Disclaimer: I do not own My Hero Academia or Fate/Stay Night
Shirou lay on his bed, tossing a tennis ball up and down in a constant rhythm with his metallic arm. After having had effectively played catch with Midoriya for a large amount of time, Shirou had to admit that his new arm was less than ideal. Undoubtedly it was the current peak in technology that the company had been able to produce but that small window of time between when he wished for the fingers to act and when they would actually operate was painfully obvious.
Given his fighting style required him to leave openings for his opponents to take advantage of and consequently allowing him to counter, microseconds were the difference between life and death. Microseconds wasn't something he could effectively calculate. Were he to try and activate his robotic arm a fraction of a second too soon, a new opening would present itself and make himself vulnerable.
While the average enemy would still pose little threat, he was more than aware that there were more than enough villains in this world capable of dealing damage to him. That wasn't even including the heroic spirits that the planet would will into existence to deal with him if he traced multiple weapons into existence. Microseconds was more than enough time for them to take advantage of.
A knocking on the door caught his attention and his concentration momentarily wavered, causing the ball he had been catching to bounce off of the palm of his metallic hand before falling to the ground and dribbling away. Shirou released a sigh before responding. "Who is it?"
"It's Jiro, can I come in?"
"Sure, it's open," he said as he pushed himself into a seated position. The door to his bedroom opened and Jiro stepped in, the hero in training taking a moment to gaze around Shirou's room.
"So this is what it's like in here," she commented before focusing on Shirou. "I was just wondering, was there a reason why you weren't in the last class of the day?"
"All Might needed a word," answered Shirou honestly.
"You met with All Might!" exclaimed Jiro, clearly not having expected such news. "He's been absent for so long, how is he? Is everything alright? Do you know when he'll be coming back to class?"
"Jiro, calm down," ordered Shirou, the effect becoming immediate as Jiro's mouth clamped shut. "At this time, All Might is unable to his role as a teacher due to things out of his control. When the truth comes out, I hope you'll understand the predicament that he is in."
Jiro merely nodded in understanding, knowing full well to not pry any further into that topic of conversation. "Was there anything else you wished to originally discussed?" asked Shirou.
"Well," said Jiro, her fingers reaching up to play with her earphone jacks. "The lesson that you missed out on had Uwabami come in and she was asking some...difficult questions in the form of an interview."
"How did you find these questions difficult?" asked Shirou, his gaze sharpening.
"Well, she put each of us into a situation where we had just saved the day but the method we had gone about it painted us in a negative light. It just, got me thinking was all about what happens when we are out of here and actually out there as professional heroes. I've never been on tv before and I feel that speaking to an audience of millions is far more intimidating than any villain."
"Standing in front of a camera isn't for everyone," assured Shirou.
"Well, I was more curious as to what you would say in that kind of position," said Jiro. "Of all of us here, you're the one who has experienced the most so I would like to get your view."
"Very well," said Shirou. "Ask me a question and I will try to respond as naturally as possible."
"Oh, okay then," said Jiro as she tried to compose herself for the role she was about to play. "Shirou, the civilians have been saved but some will be scarred for life due to the injuries you inflicted on the villains. Do you have anything to say on the matter?"
"The people are safe and the criminals have been apprehended, that's all that matters to me."
"Really," said Jiro. "So you don't care about how people react?"
Shirou could make the safe assumption that Jiro had swiftly dropped the role of the reporter. "Jiro, for the longest of times I wanted to be a hero of justice. I wanted to be the person who swooped in and saved the day. To me however, a hero was somebody who would do whatever it was they could to rescue anybody in need. I never wished to be a hero for the praise and adoration, I wanted to be a hero for the sole reason of saving people."
"So as long as you save someone, you're content?"
"Yes, it doesn't matter what is said about me behind my back from civilians or professional heroes. I don't care if those that I save are terrified of me or my methods. When I save them, knowing that they have been saved is all I need. I save them simply because it's the right thing to do and how I go about that shouldn't matter."
"That's..." started Jiro before looking away in thought.
"I understand if it's hard to get your head around," said Shirou. "When you were a child watching heroes on the television, they would always smile to the camera and reassure the audience that everything was alright. Children idolize this behaviour. Hearing me say that I don't care about that is a slap in the face of the hero society as a whole. Heroes, to me, should always focus on the safety of the people. They shouldn't care about the amount of press they've been in or the number of views their latest video reached."
"I think I understand," said Jiro. "Thank you for your time."
"No problem," said Shirou as Jiro dismissed herself, leaving him to his thoughts.
Shirou knew what society desired from those who saved the day. Children played with action figures of their favorite heroes and had posters on the walls. His image would never be plastered inside a kid's bedroom.
After all, he wasn't a role model for children to look up to.
Jiro sat down in the living room, her mind replaying everything that Shirou had said. Trying to recall her earliest thought on wanting to be a hero, she had imagined people running up to her on the street and wanting to get a picture with her to show off to their friends. As a child she had known what her Hero name would be and had figured out just what her autograph would look like.
Hearing Shirou blatantly say that he never had such dreams or aspirations regarding heroes was a shock. He was completely goal orientated which was somewhat inspirational. Yet she didn't know whether or not she could cut herself off in such a way. She wanted to be known as a hero that, when she would arrive on the scene, people would know that they were safe. Such a mindset required that she was well known, that she was in the public eye and that she had already accomplished a number of feats.
If she took all of that away, all of the spotlight and adoration, could she still be a hero? In those circumstances, would she even want to be a hero?
"You look like you've got something on your mind? Wanna share?" asked Ashido, the bubbly girl planting herself down next to Jiro.
"Oh, umm, I was just talking to Shirou and he gave me quite a bit to think about," answered Jiro.
"Oh, so he's out of his room then," said Ashido, gazing over to where the kitchen was having fully expected him to be in his domain.
"Actually...no," said Jiro, immediately knowing what was about to happen.
""Wait so you were..." started Ashido, swiftly putting the pieces together. With lightning speed, she grabbed hold of Jiro's wrist and leapt off the couch, dragging Jiro with her. "Quickly we have to find Hagakure and you have to tell us all about Shirou's room. What colours were the walls? What type of desk does he have? What does it smell like?"
Jiro suddenly felt as if she had made a terrible mistake.
Rin, Gentle and La Brava gazed at the television as the latest report came in regarding the crimes of the League of Villains. Many viewers were likely hoping to hear that the criminal organization had been apprehended by the authorities but it was not the case.
The group had targeted a prison, decimating the staff before releasing the imprisoned convicts out into the populace once again. The report explained that a number of heroes had been sent into the scene but while a good number of criminals had been captured, it was unclear as to which inmates had successfully gotten away. The only apparent silver lining was that Himiko Toga, a member of the League of Villains, had not been at that particular facility.
"Such hooligans," scoffed Gentle, rubbing at his chin. "Another brazen stunt in broad daylight."
"If it was to send a message, it was more than effective," said La Brava, her fingers dancing across the keyboard of her laptop. "The disdain currently growing on the forums is incredible with a lot of people questioning if anybody is actually capable of defeating the League."
"I would keep your eyes on those forums," stated Rin. "This kind of conversations are what the Meta Liberation Front will want to be utilizing to help push forward their agenda."
"The Meta Liberation Front?" repeated Gentle in curiosity.
"They won't do anything to us, of that you can be assured but it doesn't mean that the plans they had in place will simply up and vanish," said Rin, recalling the intricate details she had plucked from Curios' mind. Already she was coming up with a number of ways that Re-Destro would try to make use of the situation but given his recent attempt utilizing her and Stain, chances were that a different method would be utilized.
Provided he simply didn't want to throw thousands of lives away for his silly little cause.
"Should we be concerned?" asked La Brava.
"Not in a direct sense," said Rin. "There's no real way to combat the thoughts of idiots who waste their time listening to the ramblings of other idiots. It's a battlefield where we can't win, so we simply won't fight it."
"Speaking of fighting, I have noticed that Stain has been spending a vast amount of time in the lower levels of the building doing his best to increase his prowess," stated Gentle. "I can only assume he is doing so because, while we can't fight on the online battlefield, we will be partaking in another battle at some stage."
"As much as I wish to say otherwise, he is preparing himself for the most likely of situations," said Rin. "It may not be on the top of the League of Villains agenda but it is possible that one day they will target this building."
"Why would they do that?" asked Gentle.
"Is it because it withstood the attack during the battle that took place?" asked La Brava.
"Precisely," said Rin, walking to the window and looking down at the landscape which had suffered from the destructive fight. "This building protected the lives of thousands of people who would have otherwise been caught in the blast. The people still don't know why it withstood the attack and they proclaim it to either be a miracle or the use of a quirk from somebody who wished to remain unknown. I'm sure the two of you are aware of the shrine that has been erected at the base of the building."
Both Gentle and La Brava nodded, the two of them knowing it was more than a little difficult to ignore the ever growing display. "As a result of this building becoming a symbol, chances are that one day the League is going to want to tear it down. While I was able to protect it from all forms of physical damage, that doesn't particularly mean that it is impervious to destruction."
"While you can counter a single quirk, it is impossible for you to consider every possible option," summarized La Brava. Rin's silence following her comment was as much of an answer as any.
"While that is understandable, there was another reason for my prior statement," said Gentle. "I acknowledge that what you said undoubtedly has merit and there is a justifiable reason for Stain choosing to spend his days honing his skills. My concern however is that young miss Eri has opted to watch him do so."
"Given her prior circumstances, putting limits on what she is able to do in the comfort of her own home would be detrimental," said Rin. "Besides, there's nothing wrong with her hanging out with him."
Due to the fact that Gentle and La Brava hadn't spent as much quality time with Stain as Rin had, they found it difficult to understand her statement.
"Dodge," ordered Shirou, launching the egg he had been holding towards the second year student. Said student managed to do so by the barest of margins, the egg breaking against the wall behind them before they stumbled across towards the next part of the course that Shirou had set up.
"Dodge," shouted Shirou again, before tossing the egg. This student wasn't so successful in avoiding the projectile.
"You look like you're having fun," said Mirio, the third year student strutting forth while, thankfully, still dressed in his school attire.
"I guess you could say that," said Shirou, picking up another egg with his metallic arm and aiming. "Dodge!"
They didn't dodge in time.
"You're using this as training as well," summarized Mirio. "Working out your level of control with your aim. Not only that but if you try to grip them or throw them too hard, they'll break before they reach your target."
Shirou knew that Mirio was entirely correct, however considering he had previously reinforced the eggs mildly the odds of them breaking in his hand had lessened significantly. They were still more than capable of breaking on impact when colliding with a student, the last thing he wanted was the teenagers trying to explain how an egg had broken their ribs. It would raise far too many questions. Entertaining questions, but questions nonetheless.
"Was there a reason you're here?" asked Shirou before taking aim at the next student. Said student managed to avoid getting struck.
"Do I need a reason to see my junior?" asked Mirio playfully.
"Wow, talk about a blunt response," chuckled Mirio. "With the recent attack on the prison, the agency I'm working at has been asked to assist tracking down the location and whereabouts of the League of Villains. As somebody who has encountered them, I was wondering whether or not you might have any insight into the topic."
Shirou paused in his actions before returning the egg he had been holding into the carton. "They're getting bold but that doesn't necessarily mean that they have grown in courage," said Shirou. "Their entire purpose at the moment seems to surround getting the public to treat them as the number one threat, that there is no evil greater than they are. Given the fact that their leader got taken out by All Might, their initial reasons for doing so would simply have been to show that they were still relevant and that leader wasn't the biggest of losses. Since they got away with one, they're confident that they'll get away with more. They originally broke into here, then they robbed a bank and now released inmates from a prison. If anything, their next target will be equally as big and equally as bold."
"Thank you," said Mirio. "You've given me much to think about and discuss with Sir Nighteye."
"If you get any leads, be sure to let me know," said Shirou.
"Why? Just out of curiosity?"
"You could say that," said Shirou with a shrug before Mirio walked away and metallic fingers gripped around an egg once again. "Dodge!"
Eri watched as Stain went through his exercises, sweat pouring off of his brow as he pushed his body past its limits. The girl couldn't help but watch in a mix of adoration and awe as Stain performed feats that would be impossible for most of the population. Considering the only people she had seen previously barely did any training when she had seen them, anything that Stain did felt like a huge accomplishment, even the more simpler of tasks.
"Wouldn't you rather be drawing with your crayons or something?" asked Stain, not turning his attention towards Eri. Despite not looking, he could tell that the young girl was shaking her head from side to side. "Figured."
"I don't want to draw today," stated Eri as she sat on the steps leading out of the basement that served as Stain's training room.
"I'm sure there's plenty of dolls you could be playing with," said Stain, doing his utmost to ignore Eri's prescece.
"No, I don't wat to play with dolls," said Eri, mimicking her earlier tone.
"Then what do you want to play with brat?"
Stain found himself pausing mid movement as his mind replayed what he had just heard Eri say. Standing upright he used his right forearm to wipe the sweat from his brow before walking over to where Eri was sitting. Despite being the intimidating figure that he was, Eri did not flinch away in the slightest.
"Why?" asked Stain.
"Because you get to play with them all day and it's important to share," said Eri.
Stain assumed that Eri had only recently understood the notion of sharing from the diminutive jester that the clown had by his side. "So you want me to share with you one of my weapons?" asked Stain, receiving an affirmative nod from the young girl. Clicking his tongue, Stain considered his options and knew exactly which one would get him in trouble with the witch upstairs.
Given all the crap that she had given him thus far, this would barely count as a blemish on his record.
Dropping down to one knee in front of Eri, Stain pulled out the smallest blade that he had on him. It was a hidden dagger with a blade that was no bigger than his forefinger. "Here," he said, offering it out but as she reached for it he pulled it away from her fingers before she had the chance to grab hold of it. "This is not a toy. It is never to be considered as such and I only am giving this to you for your own protection. If you ever feel like you're in danger and none of us are there to protect you, I want you to be able to protect yourself and drive this into the leg of whoever is scaring you."
Eri nodded in understanding before Stain gave her the small weapon. "Now," said Stain, standing at full height once more. "If you're going to be wielding a weapon, you're going to learn how to use it. Let me teach you a thing or two and if you do semi decent I'll treat you to some ice cream tonight when everyone's asleep."
"Really?" exclaimed Eri, her eyes lighting up at the thought of the frozen dessert.
Stain turned around and began walking to the middle of his training area once again, hearing Eri's small feet pattering across the ground as she gave chase. Stain was glad that his back was turned to the little girl at that moment in time. It gave him a handful of seconds to remove the warm grin from his face.
Hope you enjoyed.
I kind of discovered that this story had crossed the 1.5 million view count and thought to celebrate by pumping out another chapter. I also wanted to give an update with everything that's going on. I'm about to begin an extensive training course to prepare myself for my new job and consequently won't be writing for some time. I don't know when I'll get the next chapter started let alone finished but at this stage it is doubtful that there will be another chapter before the end of the year.
Again, hope you enjoyed and take care.