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What's this? An Update?! And it didn't take a year since the last one?!
In all seriousness, hope you guys have fun with this one!
Chapter VIII: Looking Beyond
A sound similar to a gigantic explosion rang through the air, following a bellow of rage. Concrete snapped and tortured metal groaned as the formerly pristine building visibly moved backwards, bent, sagged, and then crumpled. The entire thing fell down, throwing up a plume of smoke and grit into the sky. It took a few minutes for it to settle, and once it did, Toshinori was revealed, panting in his skinny form. He was covered in dust and grime, which had mingled with his sweat. It was now caked onto him, his costume beneath barely recognizable.
The destroyed building had joined four others in the ruined street, and still, Toshinori's rage refused to be extinguished. His arms quaked from how hard he was clenching his fists, even in his lesser form.
In the new still silence, Nezu's footsteps sounded like little explosions himself. The animal pattered up to him and let out a sigh, "Are you sure you should be wasting your time taking out my poor buildings, All Might?"
Toshinori sagged, "No." He muttered, "But I don't think I care right now… Even I get angry. Midoriya-shōnen…"
"It was good you brought him to the general hospital and not back to U.A." Nezu said solemnly, "We may have lost him if you hadn't."
"I almost didn't." He ground his teeth at the reminder, "I was panicking so much I almost didn't remember Chiyo's Quirk can't be used on the exhausted." He had SO many injuries, and not just the obvious one. He had forced his psychic power so much that he'd burst multiple blood vessels inside his head. They were told Izuku's recovery would be slow, even with the expert help that the surgeons with applicable Quirks had provided at the hospital. Chiyo had travelled from U.A. as soon as she had been able to help. He sat down heavily on a bit of concrete. "I feel fury like I never have before. The only thing that ever came close was my fight with All For One."
Nezu's answering chuckle contained no humor at all, "On that, we are of like minds. And I know what Midoriya means to you." He tossed a towel to Toshinori, "Get yourself cleaned up." As Toshinori wiped his face off, Nezu's tone took on a dark, almost maniac tinge, "We have work to do."
"Please forgive me, Cementoss." Toshinori was now cleaned up and sitting in the U.A. War Room. An outsider would have been forgiven for thinking that a nickname, but the severe looks glued to everyone's faces gave the game away. The attack on their students had been far too successful, and every single one of them were all but out for blood. "I created more work for you."
"It's alright." The anthropomorphic block of cement waved him off, "It's barely worse than some of our students have done."
"All the same…" He replied in acknowledgement. "It looks like everyone is here. Are we ready to begin?" He asked the rest of the table, which was missing only Aizawa and Thirteen. It wasn't likely that the man or woman would be up any time soon, even if they were awake. Not with those injuries. Already a day had gone by since the USJ Terror Incident, and they were still piecing everything together.
"Yes, let-" Nezu started to say, before the door slammed open.
Aizawa was standing there, bound in nearly as many casts and bandages as a mummy. His eyes were barely visible from the bandages. Thankfully he hadn't been too injured by the Nōmu beyond his arm bones being turned to powder, but he'd still been slammed headfirst into the concrete. Recovery Girl had needed to focus her attention on his arms once the skull fracture had been mostly healed, so he was needing to do the rest naturally due to the stamina drain.
"Shō!" Nemuri and Hizashi exclaimed, standing up, "You can NOT be serious right now!" Nemuri glared at him.
Hizashi growled, "You need to be resting damn it!"
Aizawa ignored them and stomped his way in, also ignoring Chiyo's disapproving glare, and turned his own livid gaze on All Might, "What…" he hissed, "Happened?"
"A master stroke by the Villains." Nezu said, solemnly. He let out a sigh as he clicked a monitor on, "After piecing as much information together as I could, I believe I determined the start of the incidents did not begin with the attack on the USJ."
All Might clenched his fists as Nezu turned his gaze towards him, "On my way towards the school in the morning, there were dozens of incidents. Far more than there usually are. Robberies, high-speed chases, even a damn bomb in broad daylight." The monitor showed images of All Might saving the day. He turned grim eyes towards Aizawa, "After considering the evidence, I can only believe that someone who knew me in some manner orchestrated the entire morning to tire me out before the Rescue Training class began."
"And it worked perfectly." Nezu said, turning a gimlet eye towards Toshinori, "All but the bomb threat could have been handled by other Heroes. You wasted most of your time helping with incidents that other Heroes could have taken care of and exhausted your body. You're not as young as you used to be, Toshinori."
"That much is obvious." Toshinori let out a groan. He hadn't felt his bones creaking even a year ago. "I'll be moving into the staff housing instead of commuting from now on. Despite my limit, I still tried to take on too much. It was a mistake I won't make again. The next generation has to be my priority."
Aizawa let out a sigh, "At least you realize that." He said flatly, "And all it took was at least one of our students getting maimed for you to get it through your thick skull."
Toshinori didn't even get a chance to respond as Nezu's voice cracked like a whip, "Enough." He glared at them, "We will get nowhere playing the blame game. If you want to waste your time, do it on your time."
"Very well." Aizawa hissed, before turning to the rest of them, "All Might not being there has been explained, but where were the rest of you?"
"There were terror attacks all over." Nemuri sighed, "Creatures not unlike the one Midoriya defeated popped up near the main campus and surrounding towns as well." Aizawa looked like he was about to have a heart attack, so she hurried on, "Not LIKE the one he fought, but similar. Dead, vacant eyes. Exposed brains. They were all pale and clammy though, not black like the one the main Villains had."
"Diversion." Aizawa groaned as he watched the camera feeds, getting nods of fury from his colleagues, "They meant to kill our students. They meant to slaughter them!"
"That was confirmed by Kurogiri, the Warp user, partner." Snipe took a deep breath, "We've obviously debriefed what students we could. They held it together remarkably well. Perhaps a little too well."
Hound Dog let out some growls and howls at that, all but slavering.
"Yes, we will have mandatory sessions scheduled, Hound Dog." Nezu confirmed.
Snipe continued, "According to Kendō, his exact words were, "we have come to this bastion of Heroism to leave your broken corpses for the Symbol of Peace to find." Those monsters knew exactly what they were doing."
Present Mic growled, his Quirk slipping a bit and causing the room to rumble under his voice. He quickly schooled himself with a shake of his head, "I've watched all the footage I could find. Twice even. The cameras were all functional, at least. And what I absolutely cannot understand is how that man child leading them came up with something like this."
"He would have been the one who disintegrated the gate." Aizawa pointed out, "What a nasty Quirk in evil hands."
"True, but all the same, he did seem rather unlikely to truly be leader material." Nemuri snorted at the thought, "His 'gamer' lingo wouldn't have been out of place on some of our students. He acted like the entire thing was this fun game where he held all the cards and then he freaked when Midoriya punched him in the mouth. Both figuratively and literally. I'm not buying it."
Toshinori squeezed his armrest so hard the wood snapped, making everyone in the room jump. Nezu let out a sigh as they all stared at him, and he groaned in embarrassment, "My apologies." He sighed, before continuing, "But if what I suspect is true…"
"You as well?" Nezu eyed him with a grim look. The rest of them simply looked at one another in confusion.
"Yes." Toshinori growled, "This has his fingers all over it. The Nōmu by itself…"
"You two know something." Ectoplasm spoke for the first time, "Speak. There can be no secrets here. Not now."
Nezu and Toshinori eyed each other, before nodding grimly, "It would have been easier if we could have recovered the Nōmu from the USJ, but you all killed or captured enough of those lesser beasts to make me suspicious. The man I suspect is truly leading those monsters who attacked our children…"
Nezu finished his sentence, "Is the same one who injured All Might all those years ago." Eyes widened, "All For One."
Several of the teachers stood up so abruptly that they almost toppled their chairs, "That's impossible! He's a MYTH!" Nemuri yelled.
"How I wish that were true." Toshinori growled, "But he should be DEAD! He stopped to gloat over me once he tore that hole in my side, and I crushed his skull with my bare hands!" Several of the others recoiled, not from horror but from shock at the lengths the strongest Hero ever had been forced to.
"It is possible it is a trusted lieutenant and not the man himself." Nezu said, and Toshinori turned a disbelieving eye on him. He sighed, "Yes, I rather doubt we would be so lucky. His men were never as smart as he was."
"Regardless, we need to prepare!" Aizawa growled out, "They can NOT get away with putting our students in danger."
"No, they most definitely cannot." Vlad finally spoke up, his voice a little rough from the punch he'd taken in the diaphragm. "I suppose that is a nice little segue into them. They did well for such a terrible situation."
"Most of them." Nemuri said darkly.
"I hate to say it," Chiyo started, "But things would have been leagues worse without Midoriya's intervention. I do not want to praise him. He put his life at risk and sacrificed himself when that shouldn't have been a decision he needed to make. He…" Her breath hitched as she thought of his state even now, "But if he hadn't put himself on the line… if he had just taken the students with him and Thirteen and fled like he should have…"
"The little listeners left in the building and both Eraser and Vlad would have died." Present Mic said solemnly. "How do we chastise him for that?"
"We can't." Nemuri sighed, "And even if we do, it's not likely he'll listen."
'No…' Toshinori thought to himself in both elation and dread. Putting oneself on the line was the epitome of heroism. Toshinori believed that firmly. But If Izuku kept doing things like that, he worried his successor would never become the Hero he was meant to be.
"What about the others?" Chiyo asked, "Admittedly I've been too busy to truly review everything." She groaned, her old bones creaking.
"It's a shame Healing Quirks like yours are so rare." Toshinori said softly.
"Yes, but I've made my peace with it." Chiyo said, before her tone became drier, "I only hope you lot are prepared to tone your idiocy down when I'm not around."
She was met with snorts, and Snipe was the one who spoke, "Moving on to your question…" He tipped his hat, "Yaoyorozu, Ashido, Tokage, and Utsushimi did extremely well in playing to their strengths. Tokage and Utsushimi could maybe even have gotten Midoriya and Aizawa out of harm's way if that Nōmu hadn't been so powerful. They distracted and harried the Villains while also attempting to rescue their comrades. It was a valiant effort."
Hound Dog growled, "None of us like the idea of killing, but we all know it is something that is occasionally unavoidable in our profession. Yaoyorozu and Ashido both knew that anything less than lethal force would have likely been useless, and were able to do their best despite it. Midoriya didn't hesitate either. I hope that was just desperation, and I will definitely be discussing it with them. But it was good that they held nothing back when the cards were down."
Grim nods answered him. It pained Toshinori's heart that his students were forced into such a situation so soon. Their careers hadn't even begun yet. He spoke, "I was incredibly impressed with how well most of them worked together. Especially the ones who probably met on the bus. They'll go far with teamwork like that. Tsuburaba couldn't have known Kaminari for too long, but had the wherewithal to save him with one of his Solid Air platforms. It would have been bad if Kaminari landed in the water with Asui and the other students in there with them."
"Not all of them did." Vlad groaned, "I'll have to speak with Monoma. I know I get competitive with Eraser about our classes, but the way he was acting was unacceptable."
"Yours wasn't the only problem child." Aizawa growled, "Todoroki's performance was… lackluster, to put it mildly."
"Do you have any idea why he never uses his fire?" Mic asked curiously.
"No, but Hagakure's testimony (as well as the video footage) paints a grim picture." Aizawa replied.
Nemuri's face was no less dour, "I believe his words were "I'll never use his Quirk in combat!" weren't they?" She closed his eyes, "He has some sort of issue with his father."
"Regardless, it ends." Aizawa said, "I understand. I do. But hang ups like those have no room in Heroics. How many people would die if he refuses to use his full Quirk?"
"Too many." Hound Dog growled, "He'll be one of the first in my office, and I suspect it'll be far more than just once."
"Bakugō-shōnen will need it too." Toshinori sighed, "I'm sure he tried to not let it show, but his defeat of that Villain shook him. He wasn't nearly as… bombastic when he saved Midoriya-shōnen from Shigaraki."
"Yoarashi will need to be reprimanded, I think." Ectoplasm said, "I'm not sure if it would have been better or worse had he and his opponent stayed with the others, but he still technically abandoned his comrades to fight her. Granted, she was incredibly powerful and may have harmed one of them if they had stayed, but he didn't know that before they left."
"Better or worse, he made the same mistake in the Heroes vs Villains exercise, so he definitely will be reprimanded." Aizawa groaned tiredly.
"Is that everyone that needs a discussion, or can we table the rest of it for later?" Nezu asked.
"I think not." Nemuri hissed acerbically, "There's one more to discuss."
They all glanced at one another, thinking the same thing. Nezu looked tired, "Very well then." He said solemnly. "Let's get to it then."
"Izuku!" Momo's (and several others) face lit up as the door of 1-A opened up. She stood in her hurry to greet Izuku, both surprised and elated that Izuku hadn't missed any classes. The school had been closed for over a week to let everyone recover and to run security check after security check. She had been beside herself with worry over the green haired boy. "I'm so glad you're oka-" The words died in her mouth. Her pallor turned ashen as tears started to pool in her eyes.
Someone let out a shriek. Or maybe several someones. Maybe it was her who screamed.
Izuku gave them an exhausted smile, "I'll be okay, Momo." She started to sob in full, uncharacteristically jumping over some seats in her hurry to get to him. Izuku looked like a deer-in-headlights as she barreled into him and squeezed him in the tightest hug she could. She was only a few seconds ahead of half the class. "Oof!" He groaned from the small impacts.
"Oh crap! Let's not crowd him, guys!" Kirishima yelled, pulling people away. In the end, all of the sobbing girls were clinging to him, along with Inasa. There were very few dry eyes in the room. Even Katsuki's fist was trembling on his desk. His jaw was clenched so tightly he was in danger of losing a tooth.
Izuku let out a sigh, only blushing slightly as he patted wherever he thought was safe. "It's okay. It's okay. I'll be fine…" He repeated gently.
"But Izuku!" Momo let out a wail again, she finally pulled back, "Your arm!"
Izuku shook his head, looking down at his right limb. It was entirely bandaged up… and missing everything from just above his elbow. He sighed, "Recovery Girl didn't even have to amputate it. It just… crumbled and fell off when it cooled down. She had to cut some away to stitch it closed."
Mina was ugly-crying and blubbering, "B-b-but your leg! You grew it back! Why-"
Izuku let out a chuckle, "Mina, I may be here, but I won't be able to participate in much Hero training at all for a little while." He winced as the girls sobbed louder, "Sorry, I need to sit." He took a slow step and Camie immediately stepped forward and cautiously helped him to his chair, where he sat with a groan, "My healing works off both my psychic power and my stamina." He said, "….Of which I have a non-zero percentage." He shook his head, "That was the hardest I've ever had to exert myself. I barely have enough power right now to dress myself. I'll probably have to learn to write with my left hand for a while too."
"But you'll be okay, right? Please tell us you'll be okay, Midoriya-chan/Deku-kun." Tsuyu and Ochako pleaded with him.
"I will." Izuku said, "It shouldn't be too hard to grow back when I'm back to full strength… I hope." He mumbled to himself at the end, though not quietly enough judging from the renewed sobs. He hurried to continue, "Just… it may take a while." He trailed off lamely.
"If you need anything, please just tell me." Momo hugged him again and began to plead with him, "Don't hesitate. Anything at all, we'll find it for you. Price is no object."
Izuku smiled warmly at the beautiful heiress, "I'll keep that in mind, Momo, but I'll be okay. Don't worry."
"How can I not when-" Momo cut herself off, not letting the thought continue. She hesitated, the words trying to come out but sticking in her throat, and then the door banged open again.
"You're all here." Aizawa said needlessly as he walked in. His arm was still in its cast and it rested in a sling, but most of the other bandages had been removed. He locked eyes with Izuku, before Aizawa's eyes dropped down towards Izuku's arms. He clenched his teeth behind his scarf. "Midoriya."
Izuku replied, "Sensei." They stared for a couple seconds, before Aizawa looked away,
"In your seats." He said, walking to his desk, "We have a lot to go over today."
The girls were still sniffling as they left Izuku, all of them making sure to pat him on the shoulder in support. Momo, Camie, and Mina's hands all lingered a bit longer than the others.
Iida held up his hand, "Ah, sensei, Mineta-san isn't here! Has he called out or is he going to be late?"
Aizawa reached his desk and sat down heavily, "I'm afraid there is no Mineta in class 1-A."
The class was so silent you could have heard a pin drop. Iida landed back in his seat with wide eyes, "But-"
Aizawa sighed, "After reviewing all the footage of the USJ, I determined that Mineta-san had burned every chance I had given him. He had been told time and again that his attitude needed to change, and he just gave lip service back. When the chips were down, he did not act like a Hero. For Vlad and I to receive complaints like the ones we got from several students during an incident like the one we experienced was far too much. I gave him his expulsion papers on Monday."
Inasa's face was like stone as he glared at the blackboard. He was one of the ones who had complained during debriefing, and he didn't feel sorry in the slightest. After hearing about what had happened in the Conflagration Zone, the rest of the girls couldn't help but let out a sigh of relief. They were glad he hadn't been hurt, but gladder still that he wasn't anywhere near them anymore.
Even still, that did engulf them in a somber air. One of their classmates was gone. Aizawa proved he could and WOULD expel them now. Granted, Mineta had been an… extenuating circumstance, but this gave credence to that day one threat.
"Now," Aizawa said, glaring at them heavily. All of them stiffened up, "What we all just experienced was incredibly traumatic. Every one of you will have at least one session scheduled with Hound Dog." Several students looked like they were going to speak up, so he activated his Quirk and they shut up right quick, "This is non-negotiable. Whether you have more sessions with him depends on you." He turned his Quirk off and let out a tired sigh, "Being unsettled and needing help is not a weakness. Floundering on your own when you could be getting help is. Is that clear?"
"Yes sensei." The class replied quietly. Some far more reluctantly than others.
"Good." Aizawa sat down in his chair, "Midoriya?"
Izuku jerked, "Y-yes sensei?"
Aizawa's tone was uncharacteristically soft, "Will you be alright in classes today?" His eyes noticeably dipped towards Izuku's right arm.
Izuku put on a brave face, "I've been told being ambidextrous is a good skill to learn."
That put a small smile on almost every face. Aizawa's too, "Very well. Let's get started then."
"'Good skill to learn' He said." Izuku grumbled to himself once Aizawa had stepped out of the room with Todoroki on his heels. He glared at his work, which even to him was barely legible. Calling it chicken scratch would be an insult to chicken scratch.
Ochako giggled as she stood up and gave him a hug again, "Why not make the pencil float?"
Izuku grumbled some more, despite enjoying the hug. Who knew all it took to relax him somewhat around girls was a near death experience where they all fought for their lives together? "I have been told in no uncertain terms that if I use my power for anything for at least another week, Recovery Girl will find me and club me with her cane." Several of them shivered in fear. The kind old lady could be surprisingly scary when she wanted to be.
Before they could say another word, the door slammed open and several of the 1-B students walked in. Setsuna was leading the pack, and she stopped cold when she saw half the class get into combat stances. Even Izuku was clenching his pencil like a knife. "Hey, it's just us!" She waved her hands in surrender.
"Sorry." Camie said, rubbing the back of her head sheepishly, "We're like, kinda totally jumpy, you dig?"
"No, I do. I just about jumped out of my skin when-" Setsuna trailed off, a look of horror on her face as she zeroed in on Izuku. Her chin and bottom lip quivered before she strode forward and hugged him.
"Holy crap!" Tetsutetsu cursed when he saw it too. He looked down, "Guess not everyone made it out totally okay. I mean, Reiko was hurt too but…" He floundered helplessly.
"He says he should be able to heal it but…" Momo was worried despite it.
"What are you talking about, guys?" Setsuna's voice wobbled as well, but she had a watery smile on her face. "Look, all fixed." They all stared, and the class giggled light-heartedly. Setsuna had detached her right arm and stuck it on Izuku's stump. As her arm was much smaller than his, it looked hilariously adorable. Izuku was blushing madly as she played with his hair, "This is illegally fluffy." Setsuna declared, a small blush of her own on her face.
"Yes it is!" Izuku's blush intensified as Mina started playing with it too. "Holy crap Midori, what do you do to it? MINE isn't this fluffy!"
Okay, so he was still nervous around the girls. At least he stopped stuttering, right? The other girls had intrigued glints in their eyes, and looked like they were going to advance on him. But before they could, the door opened.
"I AM HERE!" All Might stuck half his body into the class, leaning forward in a way that looked quite hilarious. He was wearing his yellow pinstriped suit instead of his costume, which even the fanboys and girls in the classes couldn't help but think was a little goofy.
"All Might!" They all cheered.
"Hahaha! Good afternoon, children!" He said, cheerily, "Good to see you all doing well!" His smile dimmed, and the class sat straighter, "I wanted to come and apologize to you all for allowing the events of last Friday to happen." Everyone stiffened in shock, and made to protest, but he held his hand up, "Regardless of your thoughts on the matter, the facts are clear. Instead of being with my classes, I was off solving crimes that mostly could have been left to other Heroes." He stared at them seriously, "As a teacher now, you all should have been my first priority. My late arrival allowed several of you to get hurt, and for that, I am deeply sorry." He bowed his head, "It will not happen again."
Inasa stood, "We know you won't! Because you're All Might!" He held a fist up. He knew the truth of the matter, same as Izuku. All Might had been resting, not solving more crimes. His three hours had been up, "If they dare show their faces again, you'll send them packing!" The rest of the class cheered at his words.
All Might smiled brightly again, "You can bet on that, Yoarashi-shōnen." He then gave them a thumbs up, "I look forward to our next Heroics 101 class!" He directed his attention to his successor and almost couldn't help but flinch. Almost, "Midoriya-shōnen, might I have a word?"
"Ah?" Izuku blinked, "Sure thing, All Might." He stood and gathered his stuff, blinking when he realized he still had two arms, one of which was mimicking what he wanted almost perfectly. An amused, happy smile appeared on his face, "Setsuna." He smiled at her, and she blushed a little.
"Yessss?" She still replied teasingly.
"I like it. I'm keeping it." Izuku said, turning to walk away.
"Boooo!" She pouted, "Sorry Midori. I'd love to be your arm, but if I don't know what to do it won't either." She smirked, "Plus I kinda need that to write." With one last ruffle of his hair, the arm flew back to its owner.
He chuckled in reply, "Yeah, trying with my left was not fun…" He mumbled, "See you all in class."
"Bye Midori!" Mina said cheerily, and then made his face go hotter than his cursed attack at the USJ when she pecked him on the cheek, giving him an audible smooch. Izuku seemed catatonic when she pulled away, smirking cheerily, and All Might had to walk over to him and carry him out with an amused grin on his face. Izuku stayed stiff as a board as All Might carried him out under his arm.
Mina had an amused grin, "Still got it."
"Ohohoho. That was interesting." Setsuna had a glint of jealousy in her gaze, though she was still being playful.
"Yes, quite interesting." Momo's smile was a little… glassy.
"Darn, you went and stole first kiss." Camie pouted, making Momo's gaze snap to her.
Mina's smile widened, "I think it's time for a little girl talk!" She threw her arm around Momo and Setsuna's shoulders and started dragging them away, Camie following.
"Wah! Mina! Where are-" the door shut on them.
Kaminari stared at the door, "I'm going to feel bad about saying this," He said, eye twitching lightly, "But that lucky bastard!"
"Now before I say a word, I want to know if you have anything to say for yourself."
He furrowed his brow, "I'm not sure what you mean, sensei." Todoroki said evenly despite his confusion. Even with the slight expression, he looked entirely unconcerned. He was merely wondering why Aizawa had brought him into an empty classroom.
Aizawa stared at him with unimpressed eyes, "Are you so arrogant about your quirk that you believe yourself exempt from Mineta's fate?"
"Wha-" Finally an expression crossed Todoroki's face; dumb shock. He was not able to get another word in as Aizawa continued speaking.
"I will be blunt." The man stated, "After watching all of the footage and hearing the testimonies from your fellow students in the mountain zone, I'm tempted to not only expel you from U.A. but call every other school in the country to blacklist you from heroics entirely."
Todoroki ground his teeth in anger and his voice raised, "What did you-" Unbidden, the temperature started to drop.
Aizawa's eyes flashed their intimidating red as his Quirk activated, "Do not make this worse for yourself, Todoroki. And seeing as you are not seeing the problem, allow me to spell it out for you. You arrogantly assumed that half of your Quirk would see you through any and every situation and almost got yourself killed for your trouble. Every single one of the other students gave their all in the fight last Friday. All except you. Midoriya sacrificed his arm to save his friends-"
Todoroki had enough, "If I had been there I would have just buried it in a glac-"
Aizawa's capture weapon snapped out, wrapping Todoroki up and sealing his lips. He was dragged forward, wide-eyed, and his tie was seized in an iron grip, "If the next words out of your mouth are not either an apology or a 'yes sir,' this conversation is over, as is your career as a Hero."
Todoroki grunted, unable to even free his arms. He was released, and he took a deep breath, "Yes sir. I'm sorry, sir." He didn't sound very sincere.
Aizawa noticed, "I will excuse your ignorance as you were not there. Allow me to enlighten you. Midoriya cut its arm off, and not only did it regenerate, but it didn't even register any pain or stop its mission of pummeling me into the ground." Todoroki's eyes widened in surprise, "Ashido hit it with acid that turned its limbs into goo, and it regenerated." Todoroki opened his mouth but Aizawa talked over him, "Midoriya trapped it in a sphere of water and then had Yaoyorozu detonate a block of C4 bigger than your torso inside. The explosion turned it into nothing more than a spine and a little bit of head." Todoroki looked a little sick, "And it still regenerated."
"That's-" Todoroki took a step back, "That's not- There AREN'T any healing Quirks like that!"
"So we thought." Aizawa glared some more, "To be clear, that beast was an unstoppable machine with (according to the main Villain Shigaraki) multiple Quirks that was designed to kill All Might himself. You could have buried it in a new Ice Age's worth of ice, and it would have broken out. Do not let me hear you disparage the efforts of those who fought again."
Todoroki swallowed, "Yes sir." This time, the reply was much more sincere.
"Good. That's progress, at least." Aizawa snarked, despite his voice not containing any snark at all. "As I was saying, every single student fought their hardest to survive, and many came away with at least light injuries. Which made your performance against those two Villains damning. You had what you needed to fight them, and instead you went and put every other student in more danger. You not only would have gotten yourself killed if they hadn't been playing with you, but you gave a Villain with a situationally superior Quirk to your own more ammunition. Why did you not use your fire? You easily would have won."
Todoroki clenched his fist and set his jaw. His entire countenance made it blunt that he had closed off.
Aizawa realized that this was much deeper rooted than he had expected, "I see." he said evenly. "I will be blunt once more, Todoroki. You are strong and have a powerful Quirk, but as of this moment, you have nearly zero potential as a Hero. Someone who doesn't use all of their powe-"
"I don't need his fire!" The heterochromic boy snarled at his teacher.
Aizawa looked unimpressed. 'His fire.' It was a repeat of what Hagakure said, "Then you don't need to be a Hero." He replied flatly.
Todoroki's eyes took on a hateful tinge, "Am I expelled?"
"No." Aizawa replied, "Not yet at least." He turned away, "But do not mistake this as U.A. being afraid of your father's influence. He'll have to suck it up just like every other influential parent of a child who could never make it as a Hero. Whatever hang-ups you have with your fire won't matter to those who lose loved ones because you thought you could get by with half your Quirk. Instead, I will leave you with this ultimatum. The sports festival happens in two months at the end of June. If you haven't gotten your act together by then, then you really have no potential as a Hero, and I will make certain no other school in Japan will take you." He walked out.
When the door shut, Todoroki let out a snarl of rage and slammed his fist into the wall. The boy clenched his throbbing hand, icing it over. He sat heavily in his seat and started to brood.
"What did you want to speak about, Yagi-senSEI?-" Izuku almost dropped his bookbag in panic as they entered Toshinori's office. Toshinori had deflated and was currently on his knees, his forehead pressed onto the floor in full dogeza.
"Midoriya-shōnen, please forgive me!"
Izuku flailed his one good arm in panic, "Wh-wh-what are you doing, Yagi-sensei?!" He rushed over to help Toshinori up, but the man remained where he was, "Why are you-"
"Please do not act as if you don't know, Midoriya-shōnen." Toshinori got up and sat seiza. He had tears in his eyes as he stared at his successor, "You were MAIMED because I was off solving petty crimes I could have left to other Heroes!"
Izuku licked his lips to wet them, before speaking haltingly, "I won't lie… Things would have been a lot better if you had been there." Toshinori flinched, "But I know that ignoring others in need would just not be you."
Toshinori shook his head, "Do not make excuses for me, Midoriya-shōnen. I should have KNOWN BETTER." He clenched his side, "The entire point of me searching for a successor was my declining health and ability to be a Hero! And when I found him, I almost let him DIE when I should have been helping! They attacked because of ME!"
"Sensei, THEY attacked us." Izuku shook his head, "They made that choice, and we got out of it. Yes, things could have been a LOT worse, but we're ALL better prepared now." He sighed, "I won't say none of us are upset, or angry." Toshinori flinched, "But I'm pretty sure you're beating yourself up a lot worse than we are."
The man couldn't help the snort, "Reading me like a book."
Izuku smiled, putting his left arm on his mentor's shoulder, "We all need to be better. Especially with Shigaraki apparently declaring a grudge against us. So, if you want to make it up to us, teach us. Teach us EVERYTHING we'll need to know to survive."
"You can count on that." All Might said a little darkly, "And you can rest assured that we're on the hunt for this League of Villains." His eyes glittered, "We won't let them touch you again."
Izuku smiled, and offered All Might his hand, "We'll all need to be ready. I have a feeling they won't give up." His smile dropped, "I just hope that Nōmu was the only one. I… I don't know if I can fight another of those things." He looked at his arm, "Especially not soon."
"You shouldn't have had to fight the first one." Toshinori grumbled under his breath, clearly not done castigating himself. He took a deep breath, "H-how did Inko-san take it?"
Izuku flinched, staring at his feet, "She wanted to pull me from the school immediately." All Might flinched as well, "Sh-she didn't take it well at all. Only me reminding her that I would heal got her to stop panicking long enough for us to TALK." He sighed, "I… I had to pull some cards I'm not proud of to be allowed to stay."
Toshinori pursed his lips. "If it's not prying…"
Izuku shook his head. He didn't want to talk about him guilt tripping his mom. All he had to say was that he finally had friends and people who cared about him in a panic when she refused to budge on enrolling him somewhere else, and she had folded. He was pretty sure their relationship may have taken a hit… "I don't want to talk about it."
"That's okay." Toshinori took a deep breath, "But that wasn't the only thing I wanted to talk about." They walked over to the two sofas and sat heavily, "It's becoming more and more clear that we're running out of time. I need to pass my Quirk on sooner rather than later." He grinned a little in mock amusement, "Sure you don't want it?"
Izuku snorted, "Not a chance. Just look what that….evil fire did to me without One For All potentially overcharging it." Toshinori shuddered as he remembered watching the fight on the cameras. Evil wasn't a bad description.
He nodded, shrugging his shoulders, "I thought not. Had to try though." He looked down at his clasped hands, "My former sidekick (Sir Nighteye) made a recommendation to me."
"Oooh! He was one of your only sidekicks! Are you going to go with who he recommended? Who was it?" Izuku asked excitedly. Toshinori didn't answer for a while, "All Might? Is something wrong?"
Toshinori sighed, "Mirio Togata. A third year here. In terms of personality, he's exactly what I'm looking for. He's a good choice… But despite that…"
Izuku's eyes widened, "D-do you and Nighteye not get along?"
Toshinori snorted, "That assumes we have any relationship at all nowadays." He squeezed his fingers together, still not looking at him, "When I got injured, Mirai seemed to become obsessed with One For All and the Symbol of Peace. His Quirk allows him to see into a person's future," Izuku looked like he was about to freak out, so Toshinori hurried before Izuku could start building a head of steam, "-and he evidently saw something very bad in mine. He urged me to retire long before the surgeries had me down to twelve hours a day. Our relationship fractured because of it. Mirai idolized me. Not unlike you. But he took it too far. He took it to the point I started to feel like he didn't actually respect me at all. Our arguments got to the point that we stopped speaking altogether." He shook his head, eyes growing a little wet, "Five years without a word, and the first words I hear from him are a recommendation for me to pass my Quirk onto someone. It's like he feels One For All is his Quirk to pass on!"
Izuku looked a little teary eyed at how his mentor's relationship with a friend had fractured, "That's… that's so sad." He wiped his eyes. It wasn't at all what he thought All Might and Sir Nighteye's relationship would be like, "But…. That doesn't mean you shouldn't consider Togata-sempai. That seems a little…spiteful?"
"Ahahaha!" Toshinori laughed, "You thought so too, huh?" He shook his head, "I did consider him, and then I did some digging. And while he wasn't as adamant about Togata-shōnen as he was with you, Principle Nezu also recommended caution with him as well. He felt there could be some compatibility issues regarding activation." He laughed, "Plus, with all the mistakes I made, Togata-shōnen is perhaps a little bit too much like me. Plus, he's already so strong without One For All. There's a very real chance he'll CHART the second he's graduated."
Izuku's eyes bugged out, "No way!"
Toshinori nodded with a grin, "Yeah, Togata-shōnen is already good enough that he'd give some current pros a run for their money. He'll no doubt be a valuable ally and an amazing Hero once All Might is gone." He shook his head, "Regardless, I haven't eliminated Togata, but I haven't chosen him either."
Izuku had a light bulb go off, "Are you looking for someone in the first-year classes? I suppose I DID tell you I'd help, didn't I?"
"Yes, you did. Seems only fitting my successor gets to help choose who his partner will be. It was meant to be yours, after all." Toshinori grinned in amusement, "Though I veto Yoarashi-shōnen. He has too many of my bad sides! Ahahaha!" Izuku grinned in amusement, having not considered his bombastic best friend either. He was a little too much.
All Might's phone pinged, so he took it out. After a few seconds, his eyes widened, "Well now." He grinned at Izuku, "I suppose being my successor and the USJ Savior has some benefits." He put the phone away and unlocked his computer, "Come, Midoriya-shōnen. Principal Nezu has given me permission to show you the feeds from the USJ, as well as last year's Sports Festival for Togata's class."
Izuku's eyes started to sparkle.
"….Not Todoroki." Izuku said flatly.
Toshinori let out a disappointed sigh, "Definitely not. Enji, what in the world is going on? Why would your son refuse to use half his Quirk? Does he just not want to be in your shadow?"
"That looked a lot more personal than just not wanting to be in his father's shadow. No, something is wrong." Izuku retorted immediately.
"It worries me." Toshinori sighed, "And obviously, I don't think Bakugō would be a good idea." Izuku shuddered, "Several of the students DID catch my attention. Kirishima, Yaoyorozu, and Ashido from your class. Denki-shōnen also had a good showing but I don't think it wise to give it to him. His spirit of self-sacrifice was there, but he seems lacking in other aspects."
"Agreed. His Quirk is a bit too much of a wildcard." Izuku nodded, looking through his notebook, "Personally, I think Togata-sempai, Hadō-sempai, Momo, Kirishima, Tsu, Tetsutetsu-san, Kendō-san and Kaibara-san make the short list."
"Shall we take a night to think on it?" Toshinori asked him.
Izuku didn't really hear him. He was tapping his pencil on his lip, flipping through volume fourteen of his Hero Analysis for the Future notebooks. He had started a new one upon entering U.A., as there were so many fascinating Quirks amongst his friends and classmates. He was mumbling under his breath, and Toshinori rolled his eyes and settled back. Even if it was annoying, this 'thinking' mode of his was pretty effective. Suddenly, Izuku stopped, "All Might, remind me why Nezu-sensei said I shouldn't have One For All?"
"Hmm?" Toshinori stopped, and opened his mouth. He was cut off.
"We worried that if it merged with Phoenix Force, that it would become so powerful you could never use it." Nezu chirped cheerfully as he casually dropped out of a vent in the ceiling. It had swung open and then back closed once the principal had dropped out.
"Principal!" Izuku smiled at the unknown mammal.
"How do you do, Toshinori? Midoriya-san." Nezu asked cheerfully, sitting down next to the boy. "An intriguing list you've thought up. I'm eager to hear your thoughts."
"Yes sir." Izuku smiled, "All of these candidates have their merits. Kendō-san for example could definitely use the enhanced physical strength to her advantage, and she seems to have a great heart and a level head. Kirishima and Tetsutetsu-san could almost be twins, and would both make incredible shields with or without One For All. It would only enhance their strength and ability to help others. They both seem like wonderful people too. For Mina and Togata-sempai, it would enhance their already great physical ability and provide them with alternatives in case their Quirks are not enough."
"You've done some good thinking on these." Nezu praised, "But I'm sensing a 'but.'"
Izuku grinned, "You're sensing correctly." His eyes were sparkling, "Think about it! That story All Might told us almost a year ago now! His mentor's Float got overpowered once she gained One For All. The same applies to whoever is going to get it as well. There are two Quirks on this list that are already amazing, but could grow to be legendary if boosted in the way we suspect by All Might's Quirk. Hadō-sempai's Wave Motion is based on her vitality, and Momo's Creation… I have my doubts it's actually based on her lipids the way she thinks. She can create TOO MUCH for that to be the case. I think it's the fuel, not the building blocks itself."
Nezu's tail waved, "You think her Quirk functions not unlike an atomic fabricator from science fiction." He deduced.
"Exactly!" Izuku nodded, "Just think of what either of those two could do with their Quirks if you gave them the immense energy of a stockpiling Quirk!"
Nezu and Toshinori let out little laughs of their own, "Hadō-san's analysis is spot on, I think, but that's a large assumption for Yaoyorozu's Quirk."
"Do you disagree?" Izuku challenged the intelligent animal. Over a year ago, he would never have dreamed of speaking like that to the principal.
Nezu's grin widened, "I didn't say that. Your intelligence is most definitely something I am interested in cultivating." Toshinori stiffened a little, and at the other end of the school, Aizawa shuddered in his sleeping bag as if someone had walked over his grave, "I had my own suspicions, but you had more data. I think you might be right. Or at least on the right track."
"But One For All requires physical strength to use, and I'm not sure either of them fit the bill. Both of them are fit, yes, but do recall the training you underwent." Toshinori interjected.
Izuku looked at him flatly, "Momo easily carried a minigun and fired it for quite a while at the Nōmu without her aim wavering."
Toshinori opened his mouth with a raised finger. And then it clicked shut and the finger curled down, "Withdrawn." He grinned sheepishly, "Are you saying she's the best candidate?" Toshinori asked, staring at Yaoyorozu's profile before him.
"I don't think we should rush." Izuku shook his head, "But I know you need to make a decision soon. Just because she's a good candidate doesn't mean she's the best. We should think it over."
Indeed, both were excellent candidates, though Hadō-shōjo was a bit of an airhead. When the chips were down, you could always rely on her no matter what. As for Yaoyorozu? She hadn't hesitated to leap down to Izuku's aid at the USJ and had been instrumental in pinning the beast down long enough for Izuku to get back on his feet. She'd exhausted herself completely trying to save lives, and had also been crucial in the final takedown; helping with the C4 block and the vital information that fire would end it. She had a great head on her shoulders and would make an excellent partner for his successor, if chosen.
"Let's sleep on it, shall we?" Nezu asked, closing the discussion.
"Yes, I think that's a good idea." Toshinori nodded, "Thank you both for your help. This would have been much harder without you. Every single one of the students on this list would make excellent partners for you, Midoriya-shōnen. Thank you for helping me choose them."
"I'll always help someone in need! You know that!" Izuku blushed a little.
"That'a boy!" Toshinori laughed, ruffling his fluffy green hair. "Now get going. I'm sure your friends are missing you. We've been here for quite a while."
"See you tomorrow!" Izuku bowed to the principal and high-fived his mentor, before leaving.
A few more days passed, and then they received news none of them wanted to hear. "W-wait?! We're really going back there?" Kaminari gaped in shock.
Many others in the class were dumbfounded as well at the announcement they'd just had. It was their first heroics class since that fateful day, and now they were heading back to the USJ?
Aizawa nodded, "As separate classes, this time. Our Hero training was interrupted, after all." He eyed them, "As Heroes, you will be expected to visit the sites of disasters and even continue patrolling areas. Even ones you may have been injured in. Do not worry. We're taking far more precautions this time. All Might is already heading there, and will be waiting for you." Plus other teachers as well, but just All Might being name-dropped was enough for them.
That allowed them to breathe sighs of relief, "Yes, sensei!"
"As was the case last time, it is up to you whether to wear your costumes or not. Now get going."
"Midori, where's your costume?" Mina asked curiously.
"Never mind that," Momo was nervously working her hands together. She was in her costume, and almost back up to her healthy look from before the event. Izuku had been afraid for her health that day. She had lost SO much weight, "Are you sure you should be coming today? No one would look down on you for taking a self-study day."
Izuku grinned lightly at her concern. He looked far healthier than he had at the beginning of the week. Less exhausted. But he still wasn't allowed to use his Quirk… and was still missing an arm, "Plus Ultra." He shrugged, smile still on his face, "And my costume is getting repaired, Mina-chan." He paused, making a face, "Well, more like remade. Wasn't…much left to repair." He sweated in bemusement.
Camie snorted, "There's a thing as TOO Plus Ultra! You were legit wrecked, Izu."
"I appreciate the concern." He told them, "But I'm sure. Come on! Let's get on the bus!" He had to take control since Aizawa-sensei wasn't coming with them. He had to help Vlad-sensei with 1-B's training today.
Again, it only took a few minutes for them to arrive at the USJ, and their smiles almost blinded their waiting teachers as they saw Thirteen back on her feet!
"Thirteen!" Ochako (her biggest fan) couldn't help but hug the woman in the puffy suit, "You're okay!"
Thirteen laughed, the odd layering effect of her voice ringing, "Glad to see you made it out okay as well, Uraraka-chan!"
"Ahahaha!" Toshinori boomed out a laugh, drawing their attention, "I'm glad to see you all made it! Let's get started, shall we? Stay calm. THIS is planned this time." He joked, and pressed a big red button on a remote. Immediately, the facility started to rock. The landslide happened, the buildings in the conflagration zone started burning, and the lake started to flood, etc. "Now, in these disaster zones, we have robots mimicking citizens in need of aid. Your goal is to rescue as many of them as possible! We will be going from zone to zone, starting with the flood zone!"
Miss Midnight cracked her whip, "And obviously, there are going to be situations where your Quirk may be a hindrance in these scenarios. You must NOT injure or aggravate any injuries! It is up to you to decide how to approach each rescue!"
Thirteen nodded, "Remember what I told you the last time we were here! Your Quirks are powerful tools, but they could easily be used to kill if misused. You're here to learn not how to cause destruction, but how to save lives! Are you ready?"
"YES!" The class chanted, easy smiles on their faces. Just All Might's presence was enough to take the edge off, so they were excited to get to work. And off they went to the flood zone. They were put in batches of four each (except for one group of three due to Mineta being gone), and told that they had three minutes to get as many robots out from under the water and to safety as possible. Several were on the boat itself, while several others had fallen off of it and were drowning with no life jackets, while others were floating with life jackets. The robots floating on the surface and the ones on the boat they had a full five minutes for. They were told that if the five minutes elapsed, the ship would be considered "sunk" and the robots remaining on it would be dragged under to the deep. The ones on the boat had no injuries for them to jostle.
Izuku was in a group with Momo, Kyōka, and Sero. He blinked as he walked over to the prepared pier. He had started taking his gym uniform off, but was told they could not act at all until the timer started, so he dropped the hem of his shirt, "Sensei, is the lake deep enough that we have to worry about bends?" He turned and asked Thirteen. "Also, is it three minutes because of the brain death limit of five minutes with no oxygen?"
You could almost feel the smile, "A good question!" She nodded in approval, "But no, not in this case. In other scenarios, we would consider it, but this is just supposed to be a basic scenario."
"And that is indeed the reason! Less time than you would normally have, but then again you wouldn't be present the same second they fell overboard either." All Might shot his student a thumbs up.
"Good call, Izuku." Momo smiled approvingly.
Their timer officially started, and Izuku immediately shrugged off his gym shirt, shoes, and jacket. Half the class started blushing or wolf-whistling as they took in the sight of his muscular physique despite his missing arm, but he ignored them and immediately started belting out orders, "Momo, do you remember Star Wars? Can you make rebreathers from The Phantom Menace?"
She blinked, and immediately started to Create using her Quirk. Izuku had been pushing her and pushing her to make harder and harder items this entire week. They were items she knew how to make and how they worked, but he was constantly pushing her comfort zone by adding twists like these. Adding a fantasy/sci-fi twist to it to really push her creativity to the limit.
She struggled for a moment, but they popped out. Three of them. She, Kyōka, and Izuku all took ones. Sero blinked, "Hey, what about me?"
"You need to start reeling in the floating ones with your tape!" Izuku commanded, "Momo, make as many inflatable life jackets as we can carry, with a belt to secure them." Momo did as well, "Kyōka, use your Quirk to see if you can find the robots via sonar. Momo, a device capable of mapping them!" About twenty seconds of their initial three minutes had elapsed. Momo finished creating, and Kyōka hooked up one earphone jack to the device Momo handed her, which they all paired to smartwatches she had also created. Several pings appeared. "Two minutes and thirty seconds!" Izuku yelled, before putting the rebreather on his face and diving into the lake from the little platform they were on.
The rest of the class murmured. Kirishima was crying, "Midoriya is so MANLY! He only has one arm and not even a Quirk and he isn't letting it stop him!"
Kyōka grimaced as she followed, throwing off her electronics while making a mental note to check if they were / get them waterproofed, "Now I see what the teachers mean. I should probably avoid water rescues or think up a new costume." Several of the horndogs (Mina and Camie loudest of all) began to whistle as she shrugged off her jacket and shirt, revealing a sinfully tight sports bra. She had to fight to focus before on the mission and not get flustered. She wasn't confident in her body at all. She fixed the rebreather and dove in as well. Momo's costume started to glow as she adjusted it, turning it into a full swimsuit rather than her open leotard. She dropped her utility belt and dove in as well after equipping the last rebreather.
Sero stepped forward and pointed his elbows. "Let's do this!" He cried out, firing strands of tape at the floating robots, and reeling them in. As he did so, more and more robots started floating to the surface as the other three students put on the inflatable vests on the dummies and activated them. Over the next minute, the drowning robots were raised out of danger and Sero worked to reel them in.
Then the other students surfaced with splashes, and Kyōka split off, using her jacks to pull and push the robots closer to the platform for Sero to reel in. Momo and Izuku went off towards the yacht.
Momo raised her arms, aimed, and fired grappling hooks. Izuku grinned as best he could with his rebreather still on his face. Momo was becoming more creative and thoughtful regarding Creation. Once they got her to realize she was creating devices with electrical power AND programming already applied, she realized she could do other things as well. Such as creating an object already in motion and essentially firing it. They both attached to the railing of the yacht with loud clangs, and Momo briskly told him, "Grab onto me."
This was no time for blushing, so Izuku obeyed, hugging her. She glowed, and a thick belt secured him to her. They'd probably freak out later, but now was go time. Momo quickly started reeling in, and they climbed the hull with some difficulty. Izuku grumbled, "If only I was cleared to use my Quirk. I could just float us up."
"You're making everyone look bad." She giggled back, "Doing it with one arm and no Quirk." They got to the top and rolled ungracefully onto the deck. The belt vanished and they got to their feet. Momo quickly started making an inflatable raft which she tossed overboard, and then made one of those tube things down to it. She firmly attached the tube tunnel to the boat and then hurried off to find robots. Izuku brought over the first robot and he put it into the tube, allowing it to tumble down slowly and somewhat gently. When it landed, Kyōka had climbed on and got it out of the way. Momo sent the next two down, showcasing some of her deceptive strength in being able to lift two heavy bots without even a grunt of effort. Izuku brought the last of the bots on the ship, and they sent it down.
"Good job!" Izuku praised her, and raised his hand as Kyōka pushed the raft away from the yacht.
She high fived him happily, and then surprised him by pulling him into a tight hug, "You're amazing, you know that? You said on the second day of class that Heroes had to be more than one trick ponies, and you've already proved it." She squeezed him tight, drawing a massive blush from the boy.
"We couldn't have done this nearly as efficiently without you." He replied, "You were definitely the MVP."
She pouted, backing away, "Just take the compliment, Izu. I wasn't trying to make it a competition." She let out a little giggle as he looked away bashfully, "Come on. Let's get back." She jumped off the ship and into the water.
Izuku steamed for a moment, "These girls are going to kill you, Midoriya." He mumbled under his breath, before swan diving off and following. In no time, they were back on dry land.
"ASTOUNDING!" All Might applauded them, drawing blushes from all four of them. Kirishima was sobbing from manliness poisoning as he mimicked All Might's applause, "Not one aquatic Quirk amongst you with an injured member, and you finished long before the timer went off! What a fantastic display!" Momo was hiding behind her hands and Kyōka's jacks were tapping together gently.
"We could not have had a better first group!" Thirteen declared, "You all showed grit, determination, intelligence, and ingenuity with your solution! That is EXACTLY what we want to see from all of you! Top marks!"
Miss Midnight was grinning broadly, "A fantastically youthful display! Take a rest, you four! You more than earned it with that performance." She handed out towels to each of them, which were gratefully accepted as the next group (Inasa, Koda, and Iida) headed off to the little pier to prepare.
Izuku quickly dried himself off, and then grabbed his shirt from where he had discarded it. "WAIT!" Mina cried out, and Izuku froze. "Midori, it is vital you don't put that on yet!"
Izuku blinked in befuddlement as he held the shirt in one hand, "Uh, why?"
Mina went over to Kyōka and whispered in her ear. Kyōka's jaw dropped, then quickly clicked shut before she facepalmed. She took Mina's proffered phone with a little groan and a huffed, "Fine!" Her jack connected to one of her discarded speakers and the phone as well.
And then a song started blaring from her speaker as she continued facepalming, "AYAYAYAYAAAAY!"
Mina and Camie both sprang into action as the recognizable (to the nerds) song started playing. The two got behind Izuku and started posing like statues. Camie had her hip cocked, chest stuck out, and head tilted back with the middle finger of her right hand touching her pouty lips. Mina was on his other side, legs spread out a little more than shoulder wide, leaning backwards with one hand swiping in front of her face.
There was a beat.
And then everyone started to laugh as Izuku's face turned scarlet. "Oh, come on! I'm not THAT muscular!"
Momo for once was clueless, "What is this song and what are they doing?" She was still giggling at the sight. Setsuna was going to be pissed she missed this.
Kirishima managed to answer through his cackles, "It-It's the Pillar Men Theme from Jojo's Bizarre Adventures! MANLY!" Momo casually shot off a text to her butler to go purchase the series for her to watch with her friends.
All Might bellowed out a laugh, "If you've got it, Midoriya-shōnen, flaunt it!" He vanished from sight, appearing behind the three and posing as well.
Izuku barely kept from facepalming, but managed to laugh. Alright then. "I am here!" He somehow mimicked All Might's shadowed face, and then got into a pose himself, reaching up to an imaginary hat while he flexed. Half the class fell over with laughter. The rest of them took pictures.
"Kero, it's a good thing Aizawa-sensei sat this one out, otherwise we'd be down a couple more members." Tsuyu giggled as she took a few pictures while also helping Ochako stand up, otherwise the gravity girl would be rolling on the floor right now. A very thin film of red graced her cheeks.
Ochako was laughing so hard she was wheezing, "H-How is he doing that face?!"
After the teachers broke up their merriment and got them back on task, the rescue training proceeded quickly and efficiently. Barring Kaminari's disqualification from the lake event (which Izuku jumped in and took his place for, making Kirishima nearly keel over while sobbing incoherently), the rest of the training continued pretty well. The only hiccup was all three teachers trying to get Todoroki to use his entire Quirk, and failing to do so. Which was noted down, and was something that most of the class noticed. Most of them got passing grades in every zone despite this.
As they were leaving the zone, Izuku noticed All Might wanting to speak with him, and Inasa was good enough to run interference for him with the girls. He managed to stay back and walk alongside his mentor, "What is it, All Might?"
Toshinori smiled at him proudly, "You proved me wrong, you know?"
Izuku blinked, opening his mouth, and clicking it shut, "W-what do you mean?"
"All day you've been proving me wrong. No Quirk and one arm, and your performance was one of the best in the class. You showed natural leadership ability and didn't let your current state hinder you physically either."
Izuku's eyes were wide as saucers as he stared at his mentor. Tears started prickling at his eyes, "A-All Might…"
Toshinori stopped the both of them and clapped a hand to Izuku's shoulder, "Quirk or no Quirk, you were always meant to be a fantastic Hero, Midoriya-shōnen. You're going to be the best of us." Izuku started to cry, giving his mentor a watery smile as the behemoth of a man walked away. When he joined the rest of his friends, he waved off their concerned questioning, telling them they were happy tears. It took him a few minutes to get himself under control, and when they got back on the bus, he didn't even manage to blush when he was squeezed between Momo and Camie. They chatted animatedly, but it became clear they were all exhausted in one form or another. For once, Izuku refused the invite of a group study session at Momo's house, heading straight home. He barely managed to eat dinner before his head hit the pillow and he was out like a light.
"I am here!" All Might declared, walking into Gym Gamma with his signature smile.
The three students in there froze exactly where they were. Mirio Togata was sunk up to his knee on one leg with his fists up in a boxer stance. Tamaki Amajiki had his arms transformed into octopus tentacles, one of which froze inches away from Nejire Hadō. His other arm had been cocked back, but he could not whip it forward at Mirio now. Nejire was upside down, her Quirk Wave Motion spiraling around her arms and ready to fire. "ALL MIGHT!" They yelled, quickly getting out of their fighting stances, and standing tall in front of him. Well, except Mirio. He was putting his pants back on.
"Ahahaha! I see you still have that issue with your pants, young man!" Toshinori greeted them with a smile, "It's a pleasure to finally meet you three!"
Mirio rubbed his head sheepishly, "Yeah, my costume doesn't do it!" He laughed despite his slight embarrassment. "What are you here for, All Might?"
"Well, I was told how all three of you are excellent future Heroes, and wanted to see it with my own eyes!" All Might grinned wider as Tamaki blanched, seeming to have an inkling of what was about to happen. He dropped his arms in a loose, ready way as he hopped on one foot a few times, "Care for a spar?"
"Oh boy!" Nejire beamed, lifting into the air while Tamaki trembled in fright. Even picturing All Might as a potato didn't help. He just ended up being a really muscular potato.
Mirio on the other hand, trembled with excitement, "A chance to spar with you, All Might? How could I refuse?!"
"That's the spirit!" Toshinori yelled, turning it up to twenty percent just as a test, and blitzing the blonde. "Oho, too slow, huh?" He asked in amused amazement. To any onlookers, Mirio would have simply vanished, though he had seen every move himself. Mirio had fallen out of his clothes directly into the dirt.
"Hey, hey! Let's have some fun, okay All Might?" Nejire was particularly bouncy, even in the air, "Hey, can you really change the weather with a punch? That's so totally cool! I heard you can be in two places at once!" She fired off a loose, spiraling blasty of Wave Motion at the older blonde, "Wow, you can be in two places!" She gasped as her golden attack blasted through All Might, and he reappeared next to Tamaki. "That's so cool! What's your Quirk, All Might?! I'm really curious! I wanna know!"
"Ahahaha! Not quite, Hadō-shōjo!" Toshinori laughed, performing a weak chop with about five percent active. "That was merely an afterimage. I understand how it would be confused, though."
Tamaki activated his Quirk, forming a crab carapace on his body and tanking the blow. The boy grunted as she slid twenty feet, a small smoke trail from the motion. He stopped…and quivered, laying down.
"Hey, hey!" Nejire flew over and started poking him repeatedly on the cheek. "I thought I told you to eat a lion heart today, Tamaki! You ate the flea heart again! Hey, come on!"
"All Might is too scary!" Tamaki quivered again, but obeyed the periwinkle-haired girl.
"That's what makes it fun!" Mirio called out, a blinding grin on his face as he jumped out of the dirt (completely naked) and decked All Might. Toshinori blocked with his arms, but Mirio's blow simply slipped through his defense like he had turned into a ghost. Toshinori felt his fist touch the tip of his nose, and then he was gone. "Woah!" Mirio had expected an impact even if it didn't do anything to the man, so he overbalanced and nearly fell over.
"Ahahaha! Your Quirk is fascinating, Togata-shōnen! I can see why Mirai speaks so highly of you!" Toshinori declared as he turned and swiped his hand at the other blonde with just a bit more power. A windstorm kicked up and Mirio sank down and lowered his center of gravity. He turned everything but the soles of his feet and one palm permeable and allowed the windstorm to simply pass through him.
"That means so much to me, All Might! Thank you very much!" Togata sank through the ground again, and popped up in front of All Might at dizzying speeds, aiming an uppercut for his chin.
All Might dodged back, and Tamaki used his tentacle fingers to try to trip All Might up. He landed and immediately leapt up, where Nejire was waiting. Her Quirk was pulsing heavily around her in a spiraling aura, and around her arms twin helixes were rotating like drills. The energy was making an audible whir as if she really had energy drills around her arms, "Hey, hey, All Might! I wonder if you can block this! It's one of my strongest, you know!" She smiled brilliantly, making All Might wonder if it wouldn't be a good idea to introduce her to Midoriya-shōnen even if she didn't get his Quirk. "50%! Drill Wave!" She cried, firing out the golden spirals at the teacher.
All Might spun in the air, curious to see how strong she was. He held his hands out, and both beams impacted. He immediately grimaced. They weren't tough enough to actually pierce him, but the spinning was actually starting to give his hands friction burns. He threw both arms out to the sides, and the Wave Motion attack followed, piercing through two rock faces. "Ooooh!" All Might waved his hands back and forth with a grin, "That's some Quirk you have, Hadō-shōjo. Color me impressed!" He gave her a thumbs up as he fell to the ground.
"Yay! I got praised by All Might!" Nejire did a happy flip in the air, "That's like, totally awesome!"
The three students realized the spar was over, and all of them lined up after Mirio got his clothes back on. "How did we do?" Mirio asked, still smiling widely.
"You all did excellently. A lesser opponent would have been caught off guard and beaten several times! That last combo move was inspired!" He gave them another thumbs up, "And I'm quite curious about your Quirk, Togata-shōnen!"
"Oooh, I know! I know! Can I say it? Huh? Can I say it, Mirio?" Mirio opened his mouth, and she just blurted it out instead, "It's Permeation!"
"Nejire, let Mirio explain his Quirk." Tamaki mumbled, exasperated.
"It's fine, hahaha!" Mirio waved him off.
Toshinori smiled indulgently, "Excellent knowledge, Hadō-shōjo, but I was thinking mechanics. Togata-shōnen's file was surprisingly sparse. His Quirk almost makes him seem like a game glitch!" Nejire pouted, and it almost made Toshinori want to headpat her. Almost. His grin widened, thinking he may actually throw her at Izuku just to see the nerd out.
"That's my cue, then!" Mirio declared, before proceeding to explain his Quirk, "Well, you probably know that when I activate it, it allows me to slip through anything and everything." He held a finger up, "So I fall through the floor, and my experience allows me to angle myself as needed! Two things can't occupy the same space, so when I deactivate it, I get shot out from the ground! But when it's active, I also can't breathe or see anything. Air passes through my lungs, and light through my eyes. I can't feel a thing, and only have this sensation of falling." He laughed a little, remembering all the incidents he had before Sir took him under his belt, "So if I want to do something like go through a wall, it's almost like I have to have my brain run a computer program. I had to turn everything but one leg permeable, step through, then turn that half of me solid and the other leg permeable to step through. It's pretty complicated and I used to be super slow at it!"
Toshinori nodded, "It certainly is a fascinating Quirk, but more fascinating is how you've turned a Quirk with so many downsides into a powerhouse!" He clapped Mirio on the shoulder, "Mirai always was good at helping students with complicated Quirks, but it is your effort that's gotten you here! You've done well for yourself, shōnen! You're going to be a fantastic Hero!" Mirio started to tear up, and All Might grinned wider, "In fact, you all are! And this spar has given me quite an idea! How would you like to help your juniors? They could use instruction from such excellent Heroes!"
"Oooh, that would be so cool! I really want to meet the new kids!" Nejire bounced happily, "I bet they have such cool Quirks! Hey, hey, do you think their Quirks will be really cool, Mirio? Tamaki?"
Toshinori laughed, and thanked them for the spar as Nejire started building up a head of steam. He left the building, smiling, 'I can see why you thought he would be a great successor, Mirai. That smile was almost like looking in a mirror. I'm glad Midoriya-shōnen convinced me to not just discard him.' He let out a sigh, 'Yet despite that, I can't choose him. One For All is a Quirk that envelops your entire body. It's not a Quirk that you partition off. Giving young Togata One For All would be like asking him to look left and right at the same time. He would struggle intensely to combine the two, because their usages are practically polar opposites. I'd be hurting him more than I'd be helping him.' His grin widened as he slipped into the school, 'Still, at least this wasn't a total loss.' He made his way to Nezu's office. The meeting had certainly given him ideas.
It had taken longer than expected for Recovery Girl to clear usage of his Quirk. One week had passed, and then two, and still no permission to use his quirk. It had Izuku feeling more than a little antsy, but he'd followed his medical instructions. The amount of brain bleeding he'd experienced from how hard he stressed his power fighting Nōmu had him minutes away from death. He likely WOULD have died if All Might hadn't brought him to the general hospital at maximum speed. Recovery Girl just didn't have the Quirk nor the equipment to help him. His mentor had left a swath of broken windows beneath him as he rushed at full tilt towards Musutafu General. Today was going to be the day, once he was examined one final time by the diminutive woman.
But that wasn't the only reason today was such a big day. Just earlier in the day, they'd all been at the gym. The regular gym, not a Quirk gym. As all of their teachers espoused, even Support Heroes needed to be fit and able to go from A to B. With all of them planning to be Heroes that performed physical labor in one form or another, it was a necessity to have dedicated training. Even Hagakure had started making some slight improvements. Unbeknownst to them, All Might had been there and observing from the upper floors, in his civilian guise. He had his eye on one student in particular, watching how they performed physically. He was rather shocked to see how much they could bench and curl.
Izuku and Inasa were the only ones who knew he was there, with Toshinori having caught Izuku's eye when he was on the treadmill. He shot his student a quick message. Bring her to my office once classes end.
Izuku read it loud and clear.
"All Might's office?" Momo asked curiously once Izuku pulled her aside, "Did he say why?"
"Class Rep stuff." Izuku managed to lie for once, keeping his voice even. No need for anyone to get suspicious.
"I suppose that does make sense." She nodded, "I didn't think such a new teacher would have any tasks for us."
"He didn't say much." Izuku shrugged. It was even true. All Might hadn't even texted a name to him. He just assumed Izuku would know who he was talking about. "Shall we? I want to get it over with so I can go get checked over by Recovery Girl!" He was excited to have his arm back once he was cleared to use his power.
"Ah yes, that is today, isn't it!" Momo bounced happily, making her assets do interesting things and making Izuku blush. "May I come with you?" She asked hopefully, and Izuku nodded with a smile.
A few minutes later, Izuku knocked on Toshinori's door, and All Might's voice greeted them, "Come in!" The giant man was wearing his cheesy yellow pinstripe suit rather than his costume. "Ah, welcome, you two! Thank you for meeting with me."
"Of course!" Momo said diligently, smiling at their teacher, "Izuku said you had some class representative material to go over with us?"
All Might chuckled, "I'm afraid that I don't actually have any such business with you both. I had Midoriya-shōnen bring you here for a different reason."
Momo blinked as (despite her trust in the two men) her heart started to beat a little faster, "S-something else?" She stuttered uncharacteristically, but got herself under control, "But why the subterfuge?"
All Might sighed, "We needed a little bit of secrecy because I did not wish to reveal this information to the rest of your class."
Momo blinked in shock at his words, "I… I am very confused." She said honestly,
"That's understandable." Izuku smiled gently at her, placing a (he hoped) comforting hand on her shoulder. "It's nothing bad, it's just… a lot."
"And how do you know about it?" She asked him curiously, absently reaching up and gripping his hand lightly.
Izuku chuckled, "I found out mostly by accident, and was the first one our age to know. Inasa was the second and in the same manner, and All Might needed to do quite a bit of glaring to make sure he understood he needed to keep it quiet." He snickered at the memory.
"Yaoyorozu-shōjo, you have been a level-headed and calm student, and that is exactly what we need from you right now. It is quite shocking, so try to keep that cool."
Well, that certainly didn't make her heart rate slow down at all. Toshinori relaxed, and the cloud of steam enveloped him. Momo let out a squeak of shock and backed up a step, with Izuku moving his hand to the small of her back to keep her from backing into the door. When the smoke cleared, her eyes bulged, and she clapped her hands to her lips to keep from screaming.
"Easy." Izuku said soothingly.
"A-All Might?!" The name fell from her lips, strangled in her shock.
Toshinori sighed, his fitted suit hanging limply and ruffled on his skinny frame, "Not a pretty sight, is it?" He laughed, sitting down heavily on a comfy office chair. She still just stared at him, wide-eyed in shock, "About six years ago now, I was involved in a fight with a Villain. Japan's deadliest supervillain, in fact." Izuku helped a trembling Momo to the sofa and sat down with her. She hadn't taken her eyes off Toshinori, "The fight went untelevised and unreported. We buried all information of it deep. The fight was the worst in my life, and in the end my enemy was defeated. But I didn't get out unscathed."
Izuku rubbed her back to help her breathe, and spoke as well, "The Villain got a good hit in as well. All Might was severely injured and had to go through multiple surgeries. The result after six years is this."
Toshinori looked down at his feet, "I'm old now, Yaoyorozu-shōjo. Old and injured. I can only use my Quirk for around three hours a day now."
Tears prickled at her eyes, "A-All Might…" She sniffed, contemplating how much this man sacrificed for them every day. And more than that, if Izuku knew about it and had been tasked with bringing her here, that meant that their relationship was more than just a fresh student and teacher. All Might must have used up all his time the day they were attacked. She couldn't even imagine how much he must have been castigating himself for letting Izuku get hurt the way he did.
Evidently Izuku had rubbed off on her more than she thought, because All Might grimaced, "You're right about that. I had almost never been angrier than I was when I flew into the USJ and discovered how injured Midoriya-shōnen was."
She must have mumbled her thoughts out loud. "I… I- thank you for trusting me with this, but-" She wiped the tears away, "But I don't understand why you're telling me any of this. I-" She trailed off.
Toshinori smiled at her, and it wasn't anywhere near as reassuring as his usual smiles. It was a gnarled thing, despite the warmth in his gaze, "We're getting there. Do you need a moment? Some water or tea?"
Momo licked her lips, "N-Not yet. Maybe once we're done, a calming brew would be nice."
"Very well." Toshinori pierced her with his gaze, and Momo's spine stiffened, "All Might's time is coming to an end." It wasn't some great revelation. She'd figured that out already, just from his injured form and time limit. All the same, hearing it with such finality made her feel cold, "And so I've been looking to the next generation for hope. Your classes have had some wonderful members, and you've been one of the standouts." Momo blushed despite the seriousness of the discussion, "All Might had to be a natural born Hero, but the truth is that there was nothing natural about my power."
Momo blinked in shock, "W-what is that supposed to mean?"
"He means that until he was around our age, he was Quirkless." Izuku said softly, looking at Toshinori.
Momo opened her mouth in shock, "W-wait! You mean he was a late bloomer, right? Like you?"
"No." Toshinori snorted, "You may have seen my interviews. I always get asked what my Quirk is. I always deflect, or make some sort of joke to take attention off of it. Because the truth is a secret generations old. My Quirk is named One For All, and it is a sacred torch that can be passed from person to person." Momo swore she felt her heart stop at his words, "It is a Quirk that stockpiles power, combined with the Quirk that allows you to pass on a Quirk. And after eight generations and decades inside of me, it grew to what you see every day."
"Oh my god…!" Momo managed to breathe out, utterly dumbfounded. She felt like she was short circuiting. She grabbed Izuku's hand without even thinking, drawing comfort from their clasped fingers.
Toshinori smiled a bit wider at the sight, "Because of my injury, I had been searching for a worthy individual to pass my power onto. I met Midoriya-shōnen just over a year ago and deemed him the ideal candidate. The little Quirkless boy with a gigantic heart who leapt into danger to save a boy who bullied him for years. Only Midoriya-shōnen wasn't quite Quirkless. It just took over a decade for his body to mature enough to handle his power. I was elated because I figured he was even more the ideal candidate. I immediately began training him, both for his own Quirk and preparing him to receive mine. But once we came here for Recovery Girl to examine him and his new Quirk, Principal Nezu learned how it had only awoken a short time ago and how powerful it already was. He feared that if his Phoenix Force combined with One For All, it could create something far too unstable. After hearing him, we all agreed it was too dangerous to risk."
"Izuku…" Momo squeezed his hand, looking towards him.
"It's alright." Izuku was blushing, but squeezed back, "I had my own Quirk. Something that was finally ME. I was alright with not taking Yagi-sensei's Quirk too. But I swore I would help him find someone." The yen coin finally dropped, and Momo's eyes bulged as she snapped her head back at All Might, and then back at Izuku, going back and forth. The two were grinning, "You're usually quicker on the uptake." Izuku joked.
"But why ME?!" Momo yelped at having her crazy theory confirmed.
"Multiple reasons, young lady." Toshinori smiled at her, "But it boils down to some simple reasons; your dedication, your sense of justice, your desire to help others, your leadership." He chuckled, "You were born in the lap of luxury unlike most of the rest of us, and yet you've chosen one of the most difficult and harrowing professions in the world. You've already seen darkness and you didn't break. And you didn't hesitate to throw yourself into harm's way to save Midoriya-shōnen. Something I couldn't possibly thank you enough for. Your actions bought him enough time to recollect himself."
"Mina, Setsuna, Camie, and even Shishida-san jumped in too." The words fell from her lips in an attempt to buy herself some time to collect herself.
"They did." Toshinori agreed, "And there were others we were considering as well. It has taken QUITE some time to deliberate." It was true, Momo realized. School started many weeks ago, and it had been almost three since the USJ Incident. "But we felt your more serious nature was a better fit, and Midoriya-shōnen had some ideas about how One For All would interact with Creation."
Izuku spoke for the first time in a while, "I'm quite eager to see if my theories were correct." He smiled and squeezed her hand once more. She squeezed back, before turning back to Toshinori.
Toshinori smiled at the obvious connection between both his successors, "You may not be my choice to take my place as the Symbol of Peace, and you may not have been my first choice to take my Quirk either." Momo felt a pang. She was just a replacement for Izuku, wasn't she? She wasn't sure if her quick thought showed on her face, because All Might continued, "But you are a fantastic Heroine in the making and will be amazing no matter what your choice is. You have so much potential, and I am offering you One For All because I feel you will be able to do the most good with it. And I've seen the way you work together. With you two side-by-side, I have no doubt that the future is secure." Never mind. Now her heart was hammering for another reason altogether, and she was sure her face was burning. He smiled at her, "What do you say?"
"I…" Momo took a deep breath to try to collect herself. It wasn't working. This- this was too much. This was such an honor. And she wasn't used to being praised. Not like this. "I…" She finally blurted out, "I think I'd like that tea now." Yeah, her face was burning. All Might and Izuku burst out laughing.
It had taken her fifteen minutes of relative quiet with her teacher and crush and a good cup of tea to get her thoughts in order. She'd asked a few questions between sips, which the two had answered dutifully. She was surprised to learn why he had created the Symbol of Peace, and it gave her much to think about. She also asked for details about the incident where Izuku gained his Quirk, and was a little disgusted. She was almost ready to make her decision, "Thank you so much for this opportunity, All Might."
Toshinori smiled, "You may call me Yagi-sensei or Toshinori when you see me like this, young lady."
Momo nodded at his words, "I- it astounds me that you think me worthy of inheriting something so vital."
"Do you doubt yourself?" Toshinori asked in surprise, and Momo nodded a little shamefully.
"I didn't have to get here the way everyone else did. Yes, I practiced and trained, but I just offhandedly mentioned one day to Mother that I had decided to become a Hero, and the next day Mother told me my recommendation to U.A. was secure." It frustrated her a little, "I wasn't even twelve at the time! I did my best to prove I belonged here, but it still made me feel inadequate. Like I didn't really belong."
"That's nonsense!" Izuku said, making her look at him in shock, "Hundreds of applicants get recommendations, but 99% of them end up in the general exams with the rest of us! You got in via recommendations, yes! That just means that you're the best of the best! You beat out EVERYONE else! And Inasa was there too! He told me about the test! You were competing against the likes of him and Todoroki! You don't give yourself nearly enough credit! You belong here, Momo!"
"Izuku…" She whispered, feeling hot all over again.
"Not everyone travels the same road, young lady. And every destination has many ways to get there. You were born in the lap of luxury, but you chose to be here instead of taking advantage of your high birth like so many others would have. Midoriya-shōnen is right. No number of recommendations or amount of money thrown at U.A. would have gotten you a seat in either Hero class if you didn't deserve it." Toshinori told her.
Momo took a deep breath, centering herself with her eyes closed. Then she opened them and smiled, "I think I've made my decision. I accept!" Izuku and All Might gave her brilliant grins, and she hurried before they could say anything, "It's a great power you've entrusted me with, but that's not the reason I choose to take it." She said, and they both looked at her with surprise, "It's pretty clear to me that no matter what you've said or who you chose to pass it to, Izuku is still your successor as the Symbol of Peace."
Toshinori nodded, "You're not wrong, although I believe you will be right there with him."
"But that's exactly what I'm getting at." Momo said, with just a bit of sharpness to her tone, "When you retire, that symbol is going to vanish, whether Izuku is ready or not." Toshinori grimaced unhappily, but she wasn't wrong, "I admire you so much, All Might. Everything you've done for us since before we were born! You weren't wrong to want to become who you became, but after everything I've heard, I'm not sure it was the correct path. You stood and still stand alone. Ever since you got injured, crime rates have been climbing with your declining appearances. Those make SO much more sense now."
"Villains still run scared…" He replied, "But you're right. Especially in the last two years, the crime rate has climbed. Three hours just aren't enough…"
She nodded, but moved on, "And those Heroes" She was uncharacteristically vehement as she recalled the Heroes Izuku told her about, "-who were going to let Bakugō-san drown because they lacked an appropriate Quirk… You grew too far away, and there was no one who could help you. You became a pillar of strength, and you're the only thing holding up the county. No one tried to catch up to you! Or at least not enough people! Everyone just expects you to solve every problem! I WON'T let that happen to Izuku. A pillar stands alone, and a pillar can crumble. All it needs is one fault, and the entire structure will come tumbling down. We need more than that. We need a foundation!" She stared at him with a determined gaze as she squeezed Izuku's hand tightly, "I'm accepting not because I want your power, but because I refuse to let him be alone at the top!"
Izuku's admiration of her turned almost into adoration. He was staring at her as if she were a goddess, "Momo…"
And Toshinori was nearly crying, "If any doubts ever existed within me, they were just extinguished." He smiled in joy as he covered his eyes to keep his tears at bay, "This really is such a great class. You are more than worthy, young lady. You are the right choice."
Momo smiled prettily, "Thank you for trusting me."
Izuku just shook himself and looked excited, "Are we doing it now? Is there some sort of ceremony?" He looked like a little kid in his excitement.
Toshinori's grin was a little more playful than normal, "Normally, no, we wouldn't be doing it now. One For All is a dangerous power, and an unprepared body wouldn't be capable of holding such tremendous power. It would blow her limbs off." Momo blanched. Hard. "So normally, I would spend quite a bit of time training her to be able to use it safely." Toshinori's grin widened, and then he buffed into All Might, "But…" He said teasingly, "In your own words… 'She can lift cannons.' Her fitness is already at a good level." He turned to Momo, "You are pretty slim for someone who can lift more than a ton." He said with an All Might smile, flexing his right arm and making his suit creak audibly and ominously.
Momo took it with good humor, "I weigh far more than I appear to, as well. I'm almost triple the weight of someone with the same body type as me." She giggled, remembering Ochako's comment during their first group session. The brunette had been right about Momo being heavy, even if her assumption had been incorrect as she thought Momo would be fat, not just heavy. Of course, Momo hadn't corrected her. She had no desire for the wider class to know her weight. It was an entertaining secret for her to keep, and she'd have to make sure Izuku wouldn't mention it.
"Ahahaha!" All Might laughed, reaching up to his head and plucking off a hair, "Indeed? Well, that makes this significantly easier. Now," And Izuku and Momo both recognized that he was having fun with something, "Eat this!"
"…huh?" Izuku and Momo both squeaked.
"The transfer works off of DNA. I figured this was the least nasty thing." All Might laughed.
"It's nothing like I thought it would be!" Izuku yelled, a grossed out expression on his face.
"Can't we just do a blood transfusion?" Momo asked, equally grossed out.
"Dangerous." Toshinori replied, "The transference might happen too quickly like that, without giving your body time to start getting used to it."
"Oh bother." Momo said, taking the hair with a grimace, "Well, at least it won't be the strangest thing I've ever eaten."
"…It won't?" Izuku asked, a little horrified.
"You don't want to know." She muttered, a shudder racing across her spine as she recalled some of the truly horrid 'delicacies' she had been forced to try at some fancy dinner parties. It was the one time she had ever gotten truly angry with her parents. She took her teacup and filled it again. Thankfully the rest of the tea was at least still warm. "Well, here goes." She said after scrunching up the hair as best she could. Once it was rolled in a nice ball, she tossed it into her mouth and chased it down with the tea like it was a pill, "Eurgh, that feels weird."
"Now, it should take a couple hours to digest-" Toshinori started to say, but Momo cut him off.
"Probably not." She swallowed heavily, starting to feel something bubble up in her core. It felt like something fiery. Or maybe something electric. It was warm and soothing. Almost like it approved of her. "Perhaps we should go see Recovery Girl?"
Toshinori deflated, "Most definitely. Let's go."
"You blockhead." Recovery Girl groaned when she was told what had just occurred. Momo blinked in shock, "Why didn't you just have me there with you? I already knew about One For All."
"It was a private moment between the three of us." Toshinori protested half-heartedly.
"Well, luckily, I sense nothing wrong, Yaoyorozu-chan. Please just sit here calmly and let me know if you feel anything wrong. I need to check on Midoriya."
"Yes, Ma'am." Momo nodded as she sat quietly, smiling at Izuku.
He smiled back as Recovery Girl laid him down and used a machine to examine his head and brain. Luckily imaging machines were MUCH better than the ones from hundreds of years ago. They were portable, for one, and didn't cost nearly as much. Recovery Girl let out a sigh of relief, "It looks like it's all healed. Enough that I feel safe letting you use your Quirk. Might want to use your healing flames on your head to start, just in case." She stepped back.
Izuku smiled brightly and reached inside himself for the first time in nearly three weeks. His power rose up with a responsiveness that shocked him. He barely grasped his flames when they engulfed his head, and every ache and pain he hadn't even been aware of vanished. "Oh, that feels so good!" He said almost manically, reaching out with his Telekinesis and grabbing a cup. He used FAR less than he thought he needed, and grimaced when the plastic crumpled a little. It made him grumble, "Damn… back to learning control." He bemoaned.
"Is it a lot stronger again?" Recovery Girl asked curiously.
"A LOT." He grimaced and took stock, "And I'm not even fully recovered. I can feel my… err… 'pool' still has quite a bit of room."
"It was the most you had ever strained yourself." Toshinori said, something Momo had guessed but hadn't known, "And the longest. It makes sense."
Recovery Girl finished unwrapping his stump, and Izuku engulfed it with his flames once more. Again, he felt the aches and pains vanish, but something was wrong. When he extinguished his flames to reveal his new arm, all that met him was the stump once more.
"NO!" Momo let out a wail as she witnessed the failure, and Toshinori looked like he wanted to turn into All Might and rip the Villains responsible for the attack apart with his bare hands.
Izuku stared at it, pale and lost.
Recovery Girl let out a disappointed groan, "I was afraid of this."
"But why?!" Momo hated how lost and broken Izuku's voice sounded. She had already started crying for her friend and crush.
"It's been three weeks." She replied heavily, "Your leg was a fresh wound. This one has cicatrized. Your body recognizes this as your 'default' state. Your flames work automatically. You don't have to know what you're doing to heal." She bowed her head, "I'm sorry, Midoriya-chan…"
Momo latched on to what she said. Anything to give Izuku some hope, "But what if he did?!" She blurted out. Recovery Girl turned to her with a raised eyebrow. Momo hurried to clarify, "What if he DID know what he was doing? What if he could give his flames more direction?" She stared at Recovery Girl with hopeful eyes. Something mirrored by Toshinori.
"You mean, like… learn anatomy?" Izuku asked, thankful for the suggestion.
Recovery Girl hummed, "…I'm not sure. It COULD work… but I don't want to give you false hope. It just as easily could not." She told him.
"Any hope is better than none." Izuku said, a spark of life back in his eyes.
Recovery Girl smiled a little, and Izuku felt a chill down his spine, "Well, it HAS been quite a while since I took a student. I hope you're diligent, Midoriya-chan." Izuku gulped at the look on her face.
"In the meantime," Toshinori cut in, forcing a smile onto his face, "Those flames are cold, aren't they? Or at least not hot enough to burn? Why not try to use your power to make yourself an arm? It would be good training, right? If I recall, they cost quite a bit of stamina before the incident."
Izuku hummed, and summoned the flames. It was important he didn't try to mix them. That was what created his… hellfire. The flames slowly but surely took the form of an arm, but flickered ethereally as flames tended to do. It wasn't perfect, and he grimaced, "This'll take some getting used to." He used it to pick up a plastic clipboard, which didn't start to melt at all. It was confirmation that it could work.
"You can do it." Momo got up and gave him a hug, "I believe in you." When his flames touched her, she gasped, "Oh my!" Izuku pulled back in a hurry, so she hurried to explain, "They felt so… soothing." She touched the arm, a happy look of wonder on her face. She totally missed Izuku's blush and the two teacher's smirks.
They were back in Ground Beta, making Izuku smile as he remembered their Battle Trials. They had been less than a month ago, but so much had happened it felt longer. He and Momo were standing in the middle of the street, with All Might, Principal Nezu, and Recovery Girl nearby. "I still find it super weird that U.A. can just casually build entirely disposable cities for training scenarios." Izuku couldn't help but mutter.
Momo lit out a refined little giggle, hiding her mouth behind her hand, "Yes, even for me, this is a bit much."
Nezu let out a little laugh of his own, "Yes, well, having Cementoss on the faculty has its advantages. It's much easier to do things like this when one of your teachers is capable of easily manipulating the most common materials."
Momo nodded with Izuku mirroring her, "Is this everyone who knows of One For All?"
"There are a few others that you need to know about." All Might said, "One of my personal friends on the police force knows. His name is Naomasa Tsukauchi. The other two were my only two sidekicks; David Shield and Sir Nighteye."
"I see." Momo said evenly, her heart beating a little faster, "Judging from how you said that, I'm assuming there's at least one other I don't need to know about."
Nezu nodded, "Rest assured, we are doing everything in our power to make sure that never becomes relevant."
But Momo had heard enough. Her mind whirred, and she pieced it together, "The Villain who injured you." She said flatly, making their eyes widen.
Toshinori let out a sigh, "I forgot your brilliance was one of the reasons I chose you." He grumbled under his breath, "Yes. My arch nemesis, you could say. I thought I killed him, but the Nōmu cast that into doubt." Momo and Izuku flinched, "There is no guarantee that it was truly him, but that creature at least pointed to someone familiar with his methods."
Momo looked at Izuku, and he shook his head. "I'll be honest. I don't appreciate being given One For All without all of the facts."
"Me either." Izuku said quietly.
"I'm sorry." Toshinori bowed his head to them, "But if he IS still alive, I will ensure neither of you have to face him. THAT is MY fight." He had such an uncharacteristic look on his face that Momo and Izuku merely swallowed heavily and nodded.
Nezu stepped up, "Now, we luckily have access to this giant playground for you to test your Quirk. And I'm certain Midoriya-kun would be grateful to be able to stretch his wings once more, as it were. We will be helping you train with One For All, as well as Creation here."
Recovery Girl cut in, "I am here for any complications. This blockhead has told you that there will be some blowback, yes?"
Momo nodded resolutely, trying to put the heavy subject behind her, "Yes, though he didn't give any specifics."
"As you know," Toshinori snickered a little, "My blows at full force are capable of causing cyclones and even changing the weather. I can also move faster than most vehicles ever created. Despite your impressive physical stats, a brick wall you are not." He flexed as All Might, and that got Izuku and Momo to laugh, and drew smiles from the other two educators. He deflated again, "As such, I still expect to see at least some internal bruising and microfractures, and perhaps some torn muscle fibers here and there. We will work to get you to a level that you're capable of using safely, and then you can build up to maximum from there."
Momo nodded resolutely, and started walking deeper into the city. The other four stayed back, mostly so that they wouldn't be anywhere near her when she used One For All for the first time. They had no idea what her 100% would look like. The transference wasn't total as Toshinori would have become immediately Quirkless if that were the case. So, she could be significantly weaker. But One For All was a power that was always growing, so they weren't sure.
Momo stood in the middle of an intersection, and took a deep breath as the wind blew her hair around. She was in full costume because no doubt she would need some revisions. Precautions she may have for it, but moving at the speeds she knew All Might was capable would doubtlessly have her girls flapping in the wind, if it didn't tear her costume completely off her body. She made a mental note to get her parents to get her and her best friends some tickets to the upcoming I-Expo. U.A. even allowed students to miss class physically if you had the opportunity to go there, as it was such a tech and support tech haven. No doubt all of them could use some costume upgrades, or gadgets.
Plus, getting to spend time with Izuku, Camie, Mina, and Setsuna on an island with really nice weather sounded quite appealing.
She exhaled and took a fairly amateurish kickboxing stance. She was a much better armed fighter than unarmed, though she wasn't entirely untaught in that field. That would be something she would likely need to put more focus on.
She reached down, ignoring Creation for the first time in her life and reaching for One For All instead. She allowed it to engulf her right arm, and immediately realized that was silly and spread it through her entire body. Immediately, red lightning started crackling around her body as if she were a Dragon Ball character. They gave her body a reddish hue, and she quite liked the aura. It looked cool and was even her favorite color! She let out a strong right cross down the street.
A gigantic shockwave emanated from her fist. The wind from the attack shattered windows as it surged and bent light posts. Cars were picked up and thrown down the street. Even a small cyclone seemed to form in front of her and travel down the road.
Back where she had left the other four, there were smiles all around as they saw the result of her first attempt. And then they heard her scream in agony. Their smiles dropped off and before any of the other three could even think, Izuku was gone in an emerald flash, "Momo!" He yelled as he appeared next to her, gasping as he did so. Momo's entire arm from shoulder to fingers was shattered. The skin was a dull red with multiple tears down her arm, leaking blood. The limb was spasming and he realized her bones had to be shattered as well. It looked like a bomb had gone off under her skin.
And she was howling in agony, tears pouring down her beautiful, but milk-white face. Izuku jumped at her in a panic, trying to get her to Recovery Girl. His control lapsed as he reached out to grab her and get her back to Recovery Girl, not even thinking that All Might would be here with the diminutive woman faster than he could fly her there. And then the psychic shell he had around his healing flames holding them in an arm shape burst. Instantly, she was bathed in his flames, and her screams petered off, replaced by a long, drawn out moan of relief.
"Yaoyoro…zu?" All Might and Recovery Girl blinked, their shout trailing off as they sped into the area. They both saw how damaged her arm was whenever the flickers showed it off. But it was visibly getting better. Izuku forced it tighter around her, totally enveloping her entire right arm as he closed his eyes. To his shock, he could feel the flames repairing the damage. It was slow. MUCH slower than using it on himself, and just as stamina-draining on him… But it was working! They watched in awe as Izuku got his flames back under control, reforming his arm and unveiling Momo. Her costume was totally torn. Only one strap was still holding it up, revealing just enough breast that Izuku was a blushing mess. But she was cradling her arm (and absently keeping her costume from totally malfunctioning) in dumbfounded awe.
"It… it's healed?" She asked in wonder.
"YOU CAN HEAL?!" All Might yelled at Izuku in shock.
"I CAN HEAL?!" Izuku himself was no better.
Recovery Girl looked like she was about to sob and/or squeeeeee, "He can heal!"
Izuku felt a chill go down his spine.
Toshinori had his head in his hands as Izuku and Momo finished recounting what had happened and what he had seen, "That is FAR above and beyond the blowback I expected. My word, your arm was all but ready to come off!"
Recovery Girl had finished checking on Momo, and the younger girl had created a blanket for herself. If only to keep Izuku from passing out. She had a calming cup of tea in her hand, which was doing wonders for her nerves, "I… I don't think I've ever been so scared." She admitted with some shame, "At least the Nōmu was something I could fight against… It was just… so exhilarating… and then it wasn't. I was feeling the worst pain I've ever felt in my life. I couldn't create anything to help me… I couldn't even think due to how much it hurt." She reached out to Izuku, "You saved me again…" There was no mistaking the adoration in her voice. Izuku went atomic red as she weaved her fingers together with his.
Toshinori almost smiled, but her words weighed heavy on him, "I'm sorry, Yaoyorozu-san… I truly never intended to have you hurt like that."
Nezu seemed to know what was on his mind, "Our students' safety is our number one priority." He said, sympathy in his voice. There was no sign of his occasional sadism apparent.
Toshinori sighed, "No one would look down on you if you wished to rid yourself of it after such an ordeal. Maybe… Maybe One For All has just grown… too strong. Perhaps it should die with me."
Momo swallowed, but shook her head, "If I did, my words to you would be meaningless. I can't let myself fall after my first hurdle." The light of Creation shone as she repaired her costume, and she stood, walking away. She trembled for a moment, but reached out to One For All again. 'Less!' She screamed in her own mind. She was familiar enough with Emitter Quirks due to Creation that she was able to take control much faster than others would have. She couldn't even imagine handing this power to a Quirkless person. They would have been a person adrift in the sea. Maybe even at Point Nemo. She grabbed just a single percent, dialing it WAY back.
This time, her skin just started to glow with an inner light. There was no lightning around at all. Just some glimmering veins shining. She breathed out, took a few steps, and began to run. She moved a little bit faster than she was accustomed to, so she stopped for a moment and increased it by another percent. The shine emanating from her increased, and again, it was totally manageable. So, she doubled it to four percent. Here was where she started feeling some strain, and it was where she capped things off. The crimson lightning was back, crackling merrily around her. She leapt forward, and felt the world blur around her. She covered a hundred meters in a flash, coming to a stop and stumbling, almost faceplanting before regaining her balance. An exhilarated, somewhat shaky giggle escaped her.
Toshinori and the others either gaped or smiled proudly, "Oh my… oh MY…" He buffed up and roared happily, "GOODNESS!"
"That was fantastic, Momo!" Izuku sped toward her and wrapped her up in a hug, "Congratulations!" She hugged him back happily, pressing into him tightly. And she knew exactly what she was doing as he stiffened.
'I know we agreed to do it together,' She thought to herself, 'But you're making it really hard not to jump ahead, Izuku…' She pulled back reluctantly. "Thank you." She smiled brilliantly at him.
He smiled back despite the red on his cheeks, "The lightning was really cool too!" He stepped back, "I wonder if you can do anything with it."
She blinked, having not thought of that, "Any ideas?"
"Just a crazy one." He smiled eagerly, "And it would for sure confirm if my theory on Creation is right."
She blinked, wondering what he meant. But he didn't elaborate, merely continuing to smile at her. She let out a little pout, before thinking it through. It only took a few seconds, and her eyes widened until she was gaping at him with a dropped jaw, "Wait, you don't think-" His smile turned into a smirk. She bit her knuckle, before holding her arm out, "Nothing for it, I guess." She activated One For All and the lightning engulfed her, before she also used Creation. The lightning started focusing on her hand and elongated into a long rod before the glow disappeared, revealing both her utterly flummoxed face and a perfect Bō staff held firmly in her hand.
"YES!" Izuku cheered, pumping his (not-twin) fists into the air.
"Oh my god!" Momo cried out in shock, "I didn't even feel a tiny drain on my lipids!" She rounded on Izuku, "What was your theory?!"
Izuku laughed gaily, "You remember how the classic example of mischaracterizing Quirks is hydrokinesis? How some people have Quirks that allow them to draw moisture from the air, rather than producing it from their bodies?"
"Of course!" Momo was still mystified. She was so used to what her Quirk was that she was struggling to connect the dots. "It isn't surprising. We don't have machines to tell us what our Quirks are. We can only go by our experiences with them."
"Right! Since you lost weight, it was natural to assume it worked via direct conversion of lipids to whatever you needed." He agreed, "But that's just the thing; You weren't turning lipids into matter at all! You never were! I think (and I feel like you just proved) that the lipids were just the fuel in some sort of high-energy reaction that gave off extreme amounts of power! Like how fusing two Hydrogen gets you one helium and a lot of excess energy! You then use that energy to reconstitute matter! Like a mini big bang every time you use your Quirk! That was why you could make something like a cannon when you don't weigh anywhere near that much! And we just gave you a gigantic source of energy." He started to laugh harder, "If only you absorbed sunlight! We could rename your Quirk to 'Star Forge!'"
Momo stared at him, agog. Dimly, she realized the Principal was cackling over by All Might and Recovery Girl.
It was a testament to Aizawa-sensei's reputation that his opening words, "I hope you've all been preparing diligently." Put the fear of god into the class.
"Preparing for what, Sensei?" Kaminari chanced asking, getting an aside look from the perpetually grumpy man.
"Why, the sports festival, of course." Aizawa responded, getting the room to fill with quiet energy. If they had announced it close to the USJ, they certainly would have been panicking. But time does heal all wounds, as it were. "I hope you weren't thinking the word 'fun,' just now." He added blandly, as several students flinched, "Don't forget, your performance in the festival makes up the physical portion of your midterm grades." There were several groans at his words as they were reminded that they still would have tests before the festival began in full.
"Sensei?" Momo raised her hand, "They are approaching, but I thought it was customary to announce them two weeks prior? We still have a month to go."
Aizawa nodded, "That's due to a change in the curriculum. Your syllabi have not been updated yet to reflect the new information." Iida looked like he was going to spontaneously turn into a teakettle and was having to restrain himself from beginning to chop the air. "Due to the Villain attack, we have decided to do something important before the festival rather than a-"
"HERO NAMES!" Miss Midnight all but kicked the door down as she sashayed into the room, grinning broadly. Several male members of the class went brick-red, and then the class parsed the statement and started to cheer..
"You missed your cue." Aizawa drawled as he grabbed his sleeping bag, not bothering to settle the kids down.
Midnight gasped, "Wait, let me go agai-"
"I will string you up and leave you hanging." His glare should have turned Midnight to stone, but she was unaffected. The class shut up though. "As you can see, Miss Midnight will be helping you as I'm useless at stuff like this."
"Promises, promises." She said silkily. Poor Kōda looked like he was going to pass out. Aizawa rolled his eyes as he got into his bag and she walked behind his podium, "Now! Hero names are an important part of your future careers, and due to the events of last month, we decided that we should do them early to give you all at least some level of anonymity during the Festival. The names you present today do not have to be final per se, but you WILL need one for the Festival itself." She smirked a little maliciously, "Of course, if I decide you clearly can't come up with anything good, then I'll have to take matters into my own hands." She licked her lips eagerly, and most of the males were really glad they were sitting down. "And keep in mind that this name might end up being what you get labelled as permanently. If the public latches onto a name too tightly, nothing will get them to change it."
She handed a stack of whiteboards to Aoyama, who quickly started passing all of them around. Soon, each teen had a whiteboard in front of them, and they were all agonizing over names. Well, most of them were. Some like Tsuyu had a name almost immediately, and calmly just sat with her fingers clasped. There was some light discussion, but not much. Everyone was mostly just thinking to themselves, with some nudging from friends. Finally, fifteen minutes elapsed, and Midnight called for time. And then they learned they were presenting.
"Wait, what?! We have to present these?!" Some of them roared.
"Of course." Midnight looked confused, raising an eyebrow, "If you can't proudly declare them in class, how will you declare them to the world?" And that certainly got them to understand.
Aoyama tried to stand and be first, but Inasa shot right ahead of him and kicked up some papers as he flew out of his seat and behind the podium, "Right on!" He cheered, "Me and my man Izuku started going over Hero names ages ago, and he helped me pick out a hot-blooded knockout!" He flipped the whiteboard and slammed it down, "Gale Force!"
Cheers rose up amongst the class. "Fantastic reference to your Quirk!" Midnight smiled approvingly, "And I'm sure you'll be knocking down your foes just like one!"
"Right on!" Inasa cheered, punching the air.
Aoyama scrambled to be second, since first had been stolen from him, "Here I go…" He took a breath, "Shining Hero! I Can Not Stop Twinkling!" He announced, holding the board over his head. In full English.
He was met with dead silence. "That's a sentence." Midnight said flatly.
"Ah!" Aoyama quivered, looking disappointed, "Bu-"
"Sorry Aoyama-kun, back to the drawing board, for you." The blonde sulked as Midnight told him to go take his seat.
With the first failure, several students started to sweat. Finally, Mina worked up her nerve and shot to her feet. She rushed over to the podium and put a massive smile on her face, "I will be… the Acidic Hero: Alien Queen!"
Midnight pictured Mina as an Alien with a very long extending tongue with a second set of jaws on it, hissing, "From the sequel?! Because her blood was super acidic?!" She shivered a little, "That's a little scary, don't you think? I wouldn't!"
"Dang it!" Mina groaned, dejectedly going back to her seat. Izuku patted her on the shoulder as she passed by, earning him a smile.
"I'll go then." Tsuyu got up, "This has been my name since Elementary." She presented the board, "The Rainy Season Hero: Froppy!"
"YEAH!" The class cheered, getting a small smile from the normally stoic girl, "Froppy! Froppy!"
Midnight laughed, "Well I can hardly say no to such an excellent name! Next!"
Kirishima shot up, "Red Riot!" He called out, with the extra bit 'the Sturdy Hero' written on the board before the name.
"Oh, named for Crimson Riot? Do we have our first homage?" Their teacher asked.
"That right!" Kirishima pounded his chest, "He's my Hero, and I'm honored to be able to honor his name!"
"Names like these carry a lot of pressure! It's a good thing you'll be able to endure!" She nodded, sending him back. And so a string of good names followed, with Ochako going up and becoming Uravity, Shōji taking Tentacole, and Kōda taking Anima. And then it was Katsuki's turn.
"King Explosion Murder." He growled out, a shadow over his face.
"You're kidding me with that, right?" Midnight stared at him blankly.
"What?! No! Why the hell would I?!" He turned and yelled at her. She had to fight to keep from smacking herself.
"Jus-" She didn't even finish her sentence, pointing to the chair. The explosive blonde stomped away, "Next?"
Momo smiled as she got to the front, "I originally had another name in mind, but…" She trailed off, smiling at her three closest friends in the class, "We actually had a brainstorm session on Monday. Quite lucky, no?" She flipped the board, "Izanami, the Creator!"
"Ooooh!" The class clapped, and Midnight smiled, "Clever. You DO have quite the wonderful Quirk! Approved!"
Tokoyami got up, "I almost wish you had picked whatever your first choice was, Yaoyorozu-san."
Momo blinked, "What? Why?"
"I'm not calling you mother." He flipped his board, revealing his name, 'The Jet-Black Hero, Tsukuyomi.' The class burst into laughter. Midnight almost fell over from laughing, holding herself up via the podium. Tokoyami himself merely smirked a little sardonically. Momo was giggling delightedly with her friends.
Mina leapt up with a giant smile as he sat back down and practically ran to the podium, "This one is really clever!" She cheered, "XenomorpH!"
Midnight groaned, "That IS really clever, but it's the same problem as last time!"
She grumbled, now officially in a bad mood. As Mina was about to walk dejectedly to her seat, Momo stood up and, curious, the entire class froze. Momo smiled the entire time as she went up to Mina, erased her last try, wrote something down, and handed it face-down back to Mina. She went back to her seat and smiled beatifically at Mina.
Mina blinked, and flipped the board over to read it. She twitched, making Momo's smile widen, "Yaomomo, you're ENTIRELY too cute to be sitting there so smugly!" Momo blushed a little and whistled innocently. Mina flipped it and showed the class, "Amina Acid!" The class started to cheer.
"That was lit, Yaomomo!" Camie high-fived the heiress.
"It was really clever!" Izuku smiled at her, and blushed just a little bit when Mina started hugging the three, starting with him.
Kyōka got up and presented her own, "I didn't really have many ideas that didn't have to do with my Quirk." She admitted, "But I overheard Green and Yaomomo talking and nerding out," She smirked a little at them, drawing smiles and chuckles from the class, "So I decided, why not nerd out a little myself?" She showed them her name, "Symphony Regalia!"
"YEAHHHHH!" The class cheered.
Camie high-fived Kyōka as they walked by each other, "Kill La Kill was totally the best, fam! I'm going with Discordia, cuz I'm totally gonna cause chaos on the battlefield, ya dig?!" She shot them a peace sign.
"The Roman Goddess?" Midnight asked, though she was smiling, "I suppose your illusions would indeed be worthy of that name."
"Hell yeah!" Camie cheered, pumping her fist, and returning to her seat.
Finally, Aoyama got up again. "I am disappointed that I had to dim my sparkle." He said, and ignored the several eye-rolls not all his classmates tried to hide, "But this name will reignite them!" He took his lessons from both the failed and successful names, "The Starlit Hero: Polaris!"
"Now that's what I'm talking about!" Midnight clapped approvingly, "Taking the name of the brightest star in the sky is more than appropriate! Good job, Aoyama-kun. Kaminari-kun, you're up!"
Kaminari grinned as he presented, "The Thunderstruck Hero: Conduit!" Sero went next, becoming 'Spoolerman' and then Hagakure becoming "Prism."
"Excellent! Iida-kun!" She pointed at the taller boy.
"Jet Drive!" Iida's name was accompanied with a firm chop.
"Genos!" Kaminari made a voice, getting the class to chuckle, "You certainly act robotic enough for it!"
"Huh?!" Iida started chopping, "I do not know what you mean? I said Jet Drive, not Genos!"
"We need to get some anime in you, Iida-kun." Izuku let out a little laugh. He tried to stand, but Katsuki shot up and tried again.
"Lord Explosion Murder!" He growled, a vein pulsing.
"You missed the ENTIRE point!" Midnight couldn't keep the facepalm from happening this time, the loud smack ringing in the classroom. "You can't call yourself 'Murder!' How did you even make it into 1-A?"
"Hey, you should totally call yourself the Nitrogremlin. Fits like a glove." Camie sneered at the blonde.
"Ehh?! You wanna fucking die?!" Katsuki looked like he wanted to start exploding.
Midnight cracked her whip, "Don't make me break out my Quirk." She warned, "Bakugō, since both of your names were so horrible, your name is Blast until further notice. Now go sit down." Katsuki's head appeared like a mass of pulsing veins from how angry he was. "Todoroki-kun."
"I haven't… really thought of one." Todoroki said quietly, making no effort to get up.
Midnight grumbled internally, 'Always has to be one, doesn't there.'
"Oooh, I know!" Mina waved her arm in the air, "He should totally be Frozone!" That got blinks, and then cheering laughs. Even Todoroki smiled a bit at that.
Midnight laughed, "Where's my Super Suit?!" The class burst out laughing at her attempt at Samuel Jackson's voice, "Luckily, even the Mouse can't do anything about such a long-expired copyright! I approve if you want it!" Todoroki nodded, though Aizawa (who wasn't really sleeping. How could he in this noise?) frowned. "And then there was one… Midoriya-kun!"
Izuku stood, smiling sheepishly, "Let me say quite clearly how glad I am that we don't pick Hero names as toddlers, otherwise I'd be stuck with Mighty Might Jr." Everyone started to laugh, and Mina almost slid out of her chair like a puddle of goo. Even Aizawa cracked a smile. "I've had months to think on this, and thanks to Momo, Mina, Camie, and Setsuna for helping me with it! Inasa too, even if I didn't go with any of our original ones." Inasa gave him a thumbs up anyway as he revealed his name, "The Cosmic Hero: Eon!"
"A manly name for our manliest Hero!" Kirishima yelled, standing up and throwing his fists into the air.
They all ignored Katsuki's, "EHHHH?! WHO THE FUCK DID YOU SAY IS THE MANLIEST?!"
"Wonderful!" Midnight cheered as well, mimicking the rest of the class, "This was one of the most fun groups I've had in years! Very few hiccups, and some incredibly clever names! Excellent work, everyone!"
Aizawa stood, "Now remember, if you end up coming up with something better between now and the festival, please submit it to Midnight for approval." He sounded as tired as usual, "And with that, it's almost time for you to go home." The class froze, hearing a record scratch. Almost? But this was the last class of the day! Aizawa smirked behind his capture weapon, "I have one final announcement for you all before I let you go." A nervous energy rose up in the class, "For once, All Might had an excellent idea, which Principal Nezu approved. Tomorrow afternoon, your classes will be all Foundational Heroics. One of our best third year students is being assigned to each class on a semi-permanent basis as a Teaching Assistant and trainer. Well, when they're not on Work Studies, anyway."
"Ooooh, that's awesome!" Ochako cheered happily, "I can't wait to meet them!"
"Ahahaha…" Both Aizawa and Midnight let out chilling laughs, freezing their excitement in their spines, "Ah, I remember being that innocent." Midnight licked her lips again, and this time they were too frightened to react.
"I don't." Aizawa said, glancing at her with dead eyes. She scowled at him, "Regardless…good luck." Aizawa told them as he and his fellow teacher started to walk out, "Oh!" He leaned back in, spearing them with his gaze. One of his sick smiles was wide and bright on his face, "And try not to die!" He left and closed the door.
As one, the class whimpered.
And that's a wrap. Hope everyone enjoyed! Pretty long chapter compared to the last two.
Also, CONSEQUENCES, THE CHAPTER! Why would I bother having Izuku lose an arm if I was just going to immediately give it back? He's going to have to work for it a bit harder. Also, IZUKU YOU FOOL! YOU SHOWED RECOVERY GIRL A 'HEALING' QUIRK!
Man, I've been waiting for this chapter for AGES. I don't think I've ever seen Momo with One For All. It was like one of the first concepts I thought up when planning this story. I'm going to have so much fucking fun with this!
Next chapter will NOT be the start of the Sports Festival. You'll note there's still a month left to go before then, in this version of the MHA. Which means next chapter, I get to have some fun. Time for the only one of the movies I'll be writing for this story! (Probably. I have no interest in the second movie because reasons and I've been told the third one kinda sucked due to idiot plot, among other things.)