Chapter Two: The Entrance Exam
"Whew…I made it…" Izuku stopped to catch his breath as he stared at the huge U.A buildings at the front of the campus.
It had been ten months since Izuku had agreed to become All Might's successor and in that time, he'd put his body through absolute hell. All Might had made him train like a maniac, pushing his body to its very limits and beyond. He'd explained that Izuku's body back then was too weak to inherit One for All right off the bat, so he had to build himself up to handle the extraordinary power.
He'd definitely bulked up a fair bit, although Izuku still looked like a skinny kid at first glance. The now fifteen year old's physique didn't compare to All Might's one bit, but that was fine for now. He had made it to the starting line and that was all that mattered.
Izuku quietly groaned. His sore muscles were aching from the strain he'd put them under this morning to finish clearing all that trash from the beach. Thinking back on it, he lifted one of his hands to cover his mouth.
"Eat this!" All Might had ordered with that big grin on his face as he held up one of his own blonde hairs to Izuku.
"Huh?" The boy just stared at him with a dumbfounded expression.
All Might laughed uproariously. "It doesn't matter what it is as long as you take in my DNA!"
"It's way too different from what I imagined!" Izuku yelped as All Might practically shoved the hair into his mouth.
"Enough of that, bottoms up kiddo!"
Despite Izuku's feeble protests, he did eat the hair. It was about as pleasant an experience as you could imagine it would be. The way it just dragged down his throat was just…gross.
"Good, now don't throw that up," All Might chuckled.
"I don't feel any different, though…"
"Of course not, how do you think your stomach works? It'll take a little time for you to digest the hair, but you'll probably feel something by the time the exam starts."
Izuku shuddered and went to go grab the shirt he'd set aside earlier. "Got it…I gotta get home and take a shower and eat before the exam in a few hours…"
All Might turned his gaze towards the ocean, the view now completely void of any obstruction. "We turned you into a vessel that can house One for All, but it was made in a hurry. You didn't even get to take it on a test run. Prepare yourself for the repercussions that it will have on your body."
Izuku glanced over his shoulder at the hero. "What do you mean?"
"You'll see," All Might replied. "In any case, focus on using One for All today. With all the time we spent building up your body to house it, we didn't get to actually work on your original Quirk at all. Ideally, that's what I'd recommend you use for this exam."
"I'm not sure if I can use it in front of people yet…" Izuku mumbled nervously.
"I know, so like I said, focus on using One for All today," All Might pat the boy's shoulder with one of his huge hands. "We'll get you comfortable with your Quirk now that you've got One for All as well. It'll just take time. Focus on the exam for now, young man."
Izuku jumped, torn from his thoughts by the familiar voice. He turned and spotted Katsuki walking towards him. "Oh, Katsuki. Hey!"
Katsuki looked a little baffled in an irritated sort of way. "What are you doing here? I thought you were gonna take the Support Course test."
"Oh, well…" Izuku scratched the back of his head as the other teen reached him. "I-I decided to try for the Hero Course."
"You serious?" Katsuki tilted his head. "Dude, you haven't used your Quirk since like the second grade. Do you even remember how?"
"I-I think it'll be okay!" They were walking towards the entrance together now. "I just…I want to try at least."
"Don't tell me you're still scared of people freaking out about it?" Katsuki scoffed in annoyance. "You can't pussy out just because everyone else is terrified of your badass Quirk. It still ain't as awesome as mine, though."
Izuku sweat-dropped. I'm pretty sure the whole reason he ended up being friends with me is because he wanted to prove that he was better than everyone who was scared of my Quirk…
"What, y'all can't handle a little green fire? What a bunch of pussies! Go drown yourselves to death, then!"
He smiled slightly at the memory. Katsuki was abrasive and frankly a total ass to pretty much everyone, (including Izuku to a certain extent) but he was a bit more friendly around Izuku. Part of that was because they ended up in a video game club together at middle school and were the best players there. Heck, they'd even won a video game tournament held between all the schools in the region. He was kind of like Katsuki's sidekick in a way, so the other teen was slightly more tolerant and less abrasive towards him. Just slightly.
"You're getting into U.A, right?" Katsuki demanded, giving him a sideways glare.
Izuku nodded. "Even if I don't pass the Hero Examination Test, I'll take the Support Class Test. I can definitely get into that one."
"No shit. You've got a fuckin' library in that goddamn head of yours," Katsuki rapped his knuckles against the timid boy's forehead. "And you take way too many notes. Just get in, got it? It'll piss me off if you fail."
"I got it," Izuku promised.
Aaaaand now he was tripping on his shoelaces.
Or I'll just die, he thought as he waited for the inevitable impact.
Except he didn't hit the ground and just remained suspended in midair. Katsuku gave him a weird look as Izuku yelped and squirmed in the air, but didn't fall.
"Are you all right?"
The boys looked up to find a teenage girl standing there with her hand on Izuku's backpack. She had shoulder-length brown hair, big brown eyes, and rosy red cheeks. Carefully, she helped to right Izuku so he was back on his feet before she clapped her hands together and smiled. "Sorry I used my Quirk without asking, but I figured it would've been bad luck if you tripped, y'know? Did nerves get to you? I'm kinda nervous too. Good luck!"
Before either Izuku or Katsuki could say a word, she was walking off. Katsuki just stared after her with a face like he couldn't decide whether to be annoyed or not. "The fuck?"
A huge smile spread over Izuku's face and his eyes practically sparkled. "I just talked to a girl!"
"You didn't say a damn thing, you dumbass!" Katsuki snapped at him. "And wipe that weird look on your face! It's creepy as fuck!"
Once they were in the auditorium, the lights hit the stage and they were greeted by a Pro Hero named Present Mic. The man had a wild haircut, spiffy glasses, and a big speaker fixture wrapped around his neck. He also apparently had never heard the phrase "keep it down" because he was being obnoxiously loud.
"Welcome everyone to my live show!" He shouted into the mic and jabbed his fingers out to either side of him at the crowd. "Everybody say HEY!"
He put a hand to his ear, but all he got was silence.
"Tough crowd!" Mic laughed. "Whatever! I'm gonna give you the run-down on how this exam is gonna go! ARE YOU READY?!"
More silence was his answer, though Izuku was muttering to himself out of habit. "Holy crap, it's really him! I listen to his talk show on the radio every week! The lecturers at U.A really are all Pro Heroes!"
"Shut up," Katsuki growled beside him.
"Pay attention, listeners!" Mic shouted. "We'll be seeing if you got skills to pay the bills in a ten minute practice run at our replica-city district! You can take whatever equipment you want, just gather at your designated meeting area after my presentation, ya dig?!"
Katsuki looked from the card he had for his test to the one Izuku had, noting that they were in different districts. "It's set up so that we can't work together with people we know, huh?"
"That makes sense," Izuku muttered. "It'd be too unfair if some people had others helping them out to stock up on points."
"That's fine, though," Katsuki dismissed. "If you got stuck in my exam, I'd end up taking all the points for myself, anyways."
Izuku wasn't at all insulted by his friend's greed for points. That was kind of the objective here, after all.
Mic was talking again. "There'll be loads of faux-villains spread all over the battlefields and each one will be rated as a One, Two, or Three pointer! Your job is to use your Quirk to take out as many of them as you can and rack up a high score! Also, you can't attack other competitors directly! That's nasty anti-hero stuff and it's against the rules, ya dig?!"
All eyes were suddenly drawn to a student in the stands- a young man wearing glasses who bore a very stern expression on his face. "On the handout, there are clearly four types of villains listed! If this is an error, then it's a huge embarrassment for a top-tier national academy of U.A's caliber! What is the meaning of this?"
"Also, you!" The other teen suddenly twisted to glare at Izuku, who jumped in surprise and fright. "Quit muttering to yourself! We're trying to pay attention! If you think U.A is just for fun, then leave this place at once!"
Izuku practically melted into his seat from embarrassment, covering up his face as most of the other students started to chuckle at him, but he was saved from complete humiliation by Katsuki. The teen snarled and stood up, placing his foot on the railing as he yelled at the guy who had called Izuku out. "The hell did you say?! I'll kick your ass!"
The other boy recoiled from Katsuki's rage as he swept his glare over the rest of the kids in the room who were still laughing. He held up one hand threateningly and let a few small explosions pop off in his palm. "Anyone else wanna talk shit?! Shut up and mind your own business, extras!"
Most of the kids did as he said, though a few looked ready to pick a fight with Katsuki. Present Mic broke it up before things could get ugly. "Woohoo! Save that aggression for the test, kiddos! I can't say I don't like it though!"
"Thanks, Katsuki," Izuku barely managed to get out as he peeked between the gaps of his fingers.
Katsuki sat down and crossed his arms with a huff, still glaring in annoyance at the kid who had started the whole thing. "Nobody gets to mess with you but me."
Mic pointed at the teen with the glasses. "You make a good point young man, so let me explain! The fourth type of villain is called the Zero Pointer! It's a big gimmick that goes wild in tight places, ya dig? If I were you, I'd do my best to avoid that sucker!"
"I see! Forgive my interruption!" The teen made a huge bow and sat back down.
"Welp, that's enough from me!" Mic went on. "I'll leave you with a quote that my academy prides itself on! Go beyond! Plus Ultra! Now get out there and have a great time suffering this trial!"
Holy crap, it's huge!
Izuku gaped at the massive duplicate city laid out before them. Jeez, the place could've been its own town! He knew that U.A was top of the line and was notorious for going to extremes to train heroes, but this was more than he'd expected.
Glancing around at some of the other students, Izuku noticed that some of them had equipment to match their individual Quirks. He kind of wished he had something like that. Not that it matters. I don't think I can use my flames here and I've never used One for All before…I'm not sure what kind of equipment would work best with it.
His eyes suddenly found a familiar figure- the girl who had kept him from falling when they first arrived. Oh, that girl from before! Maybe I should go say hello…I need to thank her for earlier, anyways!
"You, stop right there."
Izuku went stiff as a board at the sound of that awfully familiar voice- uptight and stern. Oh great.
"That girl is trying to concentrate. Don't go over there and interrupt her," the glasses-wearing teen who had called him out walked over and placed a firm hand on his shoulder. There was a warning look in his eyes. "Who are you, anyways? Are you here to obstruct us during the exam?"
He jumped. "N-no! O-of course n-not!"
Several of the other kids started laughing as they watched, commenting on his jumpiness and the nerves Izuku was obviously dealing with. He hung his head in embarrassment. They think they're lucky to have me as an opponent…
Everyone stopped and turned towards Present Mic, who was standing on an observation tower. They all looked confused, but the Pro laughed and yelled again. "What are you waiting for?! There ain't a countdown in a real battle, you greenhorns! Get those legs moving!"
"Huh?" Izuku blinked, then he realized that everyone else was already running into the district. "Oh, crap!"
He blitzed after them, desperate to catch up with the rest of the pack. It's fine! I fell behind a little, but it's fine! I've got All Might's Quirk now…I can do this, I can do this, I can do this!
A building to his side suddenly exploded, making him skid to a stop. Izuku's eyes widened as a robot emerged and fixed its single eye on him. "One point!"
"Target locked on. Kill!"
The robot lunged at Izuku, who froze in place. Shit! How do I use One for All?! I still don't feel any different!
It was too fast and close for him to dodge, so he glanced around rapidly. No one was in sight, so maybe…
He ducked under the robot's swing and grabbed the bot by its thin wire neck, then let his own Quirk flare up. Instantly, he was wreathed in green flames and the heat caused the robot's sensitive circuits to overload and fail. The steel creature collapsed, neck sizzling from the heat.
Izuku immediately stopped the flames and looked around frantically. Good, no one saw me. Maybe if I sneak up on more of them on my own, I can take a them out until One for All starts working. It should be working soon, right?!
"SIX MINUTES AND TWO SECONDS LEFT!"
Mic's shout pushed him to run off again. He had only gotten one point in four minutes?! He needed more points fast!
He found an intersection that was crawling with robots, but they were all being taken out by a mass of students. He saw the girl from earlier touch several of them so that they floated up, then with a clap of her hands, they fell and were destroyed. She set her hands on her knees, breathing heavily before she moved on. "That's twenty eight points!"
Izuku jumped as the teen with the glasses came out of nowhere and destroyed another robot's head with a huge kick. "That's forty five points!"
He started to panic. They never told us how many villains there were! If I don't get a move on, all of them might be taken and I'll fail!
He was about to run off to try and find more isolated villains like before, but before he could do anything, the ground began to shake. Izuku flinched and his jaw fell open in terror as a massive robot appeared further down the street, destroying a building in the process. It had a big ZERO on its forehead.
Isn't that way too much?!
He fell to the ground, cowering at the sight of the behemoth robot as it made its way towards them. The other students were already scrambling to get out of its way.
Izuku felt like he was on the verge of a panic attack. No! I only have one point! I gotta run, but I gotta get points! Why can't I feel One for All yet?! Where is it?! All the work I did with All Might will be wasted if I can't use it!
He froze and looked over his shoulder when he heard the cry of pain. Izuku realized that the girl who had helped him before had collapsed and was trapped under some rubble. She looked like she was gonna be sick and couldn't move even with the Zero Pointer coming at them.
She would be crushed.
He was going for the robot before he even realized what he was doing.
Izuku crouched as he charged, feeling a rush of power surge through his body. He jumped up, surging into the air like a rocket towards the Zero Pointer. His fist clenched as he forced that power through his arm, tearing his sleeve with the raw force it gave off.
When you use One for All, squeeze your ass super tight and yell this at the top of your lungs!
Izuku drove his fist into the Zero Pointer, unleashing One for All's devastating force and pulverizing the robot as though it were made of styrofoam. The steel behemoth was lifted off the ground and hurled back with a massive crash, utterly destroyed by the impact.
He hovered in the air for a moment, shocked by the degree of damage he'd done, but like all things under gravity's influence, he started to fall.
"Whoa, shit!" Izuku yelped, flailing to regain his balance. Crap, I gotta calm down! This is All Might's power, so I should be able to land alright now…
He was suddenly made aware of his right arm and both legs flopping around at it very unnatural angles. Izuku had time to blink at his ruined limbs before pain like nothing he'd ever felt before sent lightning through his nerves.
He screamed as he fell, clutching his destroyed arm with his left hand. Tears flew from his eyes and he struggled not to vomit.
I'm an idiot! This is All Might's power! I just barely got to the point that I can keep it in my body without it killing me! I went way overboard with it!
Izuku glared at the ground through blurry eyes, trying to gauge this distance. The only way he was surviving this fall was if he used One for All with his left arm. His own Quirk wasn't gonna help him here at all.
But if he used One for All again, it would destroy his left arm and he wouldn't be able to move at all. With just one point to his name, Izuku wouldn't be able to pass the exam.
He was just twenty feet off the ground when he decided his life was worth more than the exam and curled back his fist to set One for All loose again. But just as he was about to let it rip, a hand slapped his cheek and gravity ceased to effect him.
Izuku floated slowly to the ground, glancing to the side as he realized the girl who had been trapped had floated up on a piece of debris to save him. As they hovered just over the ground, the now nauseous-looking placed her fingertips against each other and groaned. "…release!"
They hit the ground at a safe distance, at which point the girl began to vomit and Izuku struggled to maintain his composure through the terrible pain in his broken limbs. "Th-thanks…!"
He started to crawl with his left arm, looking around desperately for a robot to attack even in his injured state. "I gotta get…more points…One won't…cut it…"
Present Mic's voice rang through his eardrums and once he realized what the Pro had said, despair settled into Izuku's stomach. He let his head fall to the ground and gave up to the darkness taking over his vision, knowing that all his effort had been utterly wasted.
Several of the other examinees walked over, but kept a wary distance from him. They couldn't believe the devastation he'd caused with just one punch. Destroying a robot of the Zero Pointer's size with only one blow was crazy.
"Sheesh, what the hell was that?"
"He sent that huge thing flying with just one shot…"
"But he was so timid before the test started. How the heck does a guy with a Quirk like that end up being such a scaredy cat?"
The teen with the glasses was watching from further away as the school nurse, Recovery Girl, came up to take care of the injured boy. He was frowning deeply. They're all missing the point. He jumped in to save that girl. Even though he was lacking in points, he acted to protect her from that huge robot. If this hadn't been an exam…of course, I would have done the same thing!…wait a minute. Could…could that have been a part of the test?
He watched as Recovery Girl used her Quirk to heal Izuku's broken body, thinking hard about the exam. An epiphany struck him as he considered all the factors and realized what he was missing. I see! If the test is designed like that, then this kid…
A week later and Izuku was still a ball of nerves trying to get over the pit in his stomach. He'd recovered from his broken limbs, but his failure at the exam still hurt. Even at dinner, he stared at the fish on his plate for so long that his mother started to freak out a little. He ate a little, but he just didn't have much of an appetite.
As he sat on the couch that evening, curling a dumbbell in one hand half-consciously. Day after day, he had replayed the test in his head.
If I had to guess, I think I did pretty well on the written exam, Izuku thought to himself. But with just a single point on the practical exam, that grade won't matter at all. Even All Might hasn't gotten in touch with me since then…he's probably embarrassed by how badly I screwed up after spending so much of his time to train me. God, I should just give One for All back to him…can I do that?
"…The results from your test should be in today or tomorrow, right?" Izuku's mother, Inko, tried to start a conversation with him. She was as nervous as he was.
"I guess," he mumbled.
"Even if you don't pass, I still think it's amazing that you tried! A lot of people wouldn't have had the courage to do that, you know?"
"Yeah," Izuku sighed. He hadn't told his mother about All Might. He'd promised the man, after all, not to say a word about his true identity to anyone.
Mom probably thinks I tried to take the exam with my Quirk and flunked because I can't use it. She's not totally wrong, either…
He pinched the bridge of his nose, trying to get some of the stress out of his body with a few deep breaths. "I'll just take the Support Course exam next week…"
He jumped and spun around as Inko came running into the living room from the front door, holding a single envelope in her hands. The pit in Izuku's stomach turned into a terrible black hole as he saw the U.A stamp on it.
"It's here!" Inko exclaimed, nervousness all over her face. Her son looked absolutely despondent.
Izuku took the envelope and retreated into his room, placing it on his desk. He could hear Inko pacing back and forth outside the door and it did absolutely nothing to help his own nerves. He spent a good fifteen minutes just staring at the envelope before he grabbed it harshly and ripped the thing open. Instead of a letter, a small metal disk clattered onto the desk.
"I AM HERE AS A PROJECTION!"
He yelped as a video of All Might was projected onto the wall behind his desk from the metal disk. Izuku glanced back and forth from the disk to the projection in confusion for a few seconds. "Wh-what the- All Might?! Wait- this-this is from U.A, right? Huh?"
"Sorry kiddo! I had a lot of work to do so I couldn't get in touch with you!" The projection of All Might took a bow. "But it's all good! We'll be seeing more of each other since I'll be starting a teaching job at U.A!"
He looked like he was about to say something else that would drop further bombshells on Izuku's already strained brain, but the hero was distracted by someone out of frame. "What? Speed it up? I've gotta tell him a few things though…it's gonna push everything else back? How many more of these do I have to do again? Jeez, alright I got it!"
All Might cleared his throat and said the words that made every cell in Izuku's body feel like it weighed a ton. "You passed the written exam with flying colors, but you only got a single point on the practical. So of course, you didn't pass…if that were all!"
Izuku blinked in confusion. All Might gestured to a video screen behind him. "Observe, young man!"
A video began to play and Izuku realized that the girl who appeared in it was actually the one who had saved him from falling to death. She looked a little nervous as she approached Present Mic, whom she had called to get his attention. "Excuse me…I'm sorry to bother you, but there was a boy in my exam with curly hair and lots of freckles, um…he's kind of plain looking, you know?"
She was talking about him, Izuku realized. "Would it be possible to share some of my points with him? I heard him say that he'd only gotten a single point or something, so I guess he was struggling to pass…But he got really hurt and probably lost points trying to save me from that villain! Could you please at least give him the points he lost because of me?"
He swallowed hard. "She didn't have to do that for me…I…"
All Might paused the video and grinned at the screen. "What kind of Hero Course would it be if we turned down people who did the right thing? This ain't some second-rate school you tested for! The exam was not based solely on villain points!"
The video began playing again. Present Mic lifted a hand to pat the girl on the head, grinning in amusement. "No worries, lil' missy. You can't share points, but you won't have to."
All Might stepped in front of the screen as the video ended. "Laying your life on the line for other people is a huge part of being a hero. We had a special panel of judges looking for just that thing! You only got one villain point, but you scored big on the rescue points, kid! You got a grand total of sixty one points! And your friend who tried to help you out? Ochako Uraraka scored forty five points!"
He had to be dreaming. There was no way. No freaking way.
All Might's grin got a little softer. "You passed, kid."
The lump in his throat made it impossible for him to say anything. Izuku covered his face with one hand as tremors wracked his body. All Might held a hand out to him on the screen. "Come, young man. This is your hero academia!"
A/N: Yay, chapter two. I apologize for skipping a bit from the first chapter and the training with All Might, but it's all pretty much the same as it was in the manga if you were wondering. I also realize that I promised more information about Izuku's original Quirk in this chapter, but I couldn't find a good place for it, so I'll save the details of that for another chapter. It will be addressed early on, though. Remember this story is still very rough and I'm still working on the concept behind it. Please let me know if there's anything in particular that needs to be addressed!
Without further ado, here are the first review responses for chapter one!
Jss2141: This will be good to read but I hope Izuku doesn't take One for All. How can he be willing to use someone else's power when he rejects his own?
-Sorry, but Izuku is getting One for All. The reason will be addressed more by All Might later, but the main reason is because All Might sees that Izuku has the potential to be a great hero if he can get over the circumstances surrounding his own Quirk. He knows it's going to be a process and he really wants to see Izuku become a hero, so he's trying to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak: Help Izuku conquer his own fear and train him into a hero that can take his place as the Symbol of Peace. More on that later!
inFamousSlyMonkey: Looking forward to more of this. Be interesting to see the changes in relationships Izuku's Quirk will have. Since they were at school together Katsuki will know about his quirk so there shouldn't be as much animosity. Avoiding use of fire quirks like Todoroki. :)
-Right you are! Katsuki is a bit more tolerant of Izuku here, mostly because of the reasons I gave in the chapter, but we'll get Katsuki's perspective shortly! He's still an ass, if that wasn't obvious lol. Izuku won't be avoiding other fire Quirks, but he's definitely not comfortable with his own at the moment. He's not afraid of other fire Quirk users, though. Not all of them, at least.
Karlos1234ify: Well Izuku and Shouto have something in common. They both have scum bags for fathers and fear using their power of fire.
-Eh, yes they're similar (actually they're a lot more similar than I would like at this stage) but I should clear something up here: Shouto isn't scared of his Quirk, he just hates it because he inherited it from his dad. Meanwhile, Izuku barely knows anything about his dad and the only reason he never uses his Quirk is because it scares other people. I'll explain more later in the story, but the point is, their circumstances, while similar to some degree, are very different, as will be the way they conquer those circumstances.
Orinatar: Wow, I was thinking about looking for some hero academia stories and here you are a few minutes later! What a god send. Great first chapter can't wait to see what you do with this :)
-You're welcome! I've been wanting to see some more fics for this series, so I decided to make one! It's still rough and I haven't even thought about the plot later on (this was literally a spur of the moment sort of idea lol) but I'm hoping it goes well! I really need to pump out some good chapters if I'm going to get over the writer's block for my other stories! Gotta keep the creative juices flowing!
That's all for now! As ever, please review and thanks for reading!