Hello Everyone! Hope you enjoy this new chapter.
This story has been beta by Ezylrb. Thanks as usual.
Izuku quickly glanced around the area, noting that due to the day, time, and location, nobody else was really around. He debated about heading back to the store to have the manager call the police, but shot that idea out, as if he left Gentle Criminal and La Brava alone, they would undoubtedly enact their plan to sneak into U.A.
There weren't any hero agencies nearby either, though that wasn't a surprise since the area was very close to U.A., where active heroes were working. It didn't make financial sense for any hero agencies to be placed near the top-ranked heroic schools, nor would criminals think about committing crime in such a place.
"La Brava, change of plans," stated Gentle Criminal, "From this point on, no matter what happens, don't stop the camera!"
"Of course, Gentle," nodded La Brava as she took out her camera, "But are you really going to fight here? Do you think that's a good idea?"
"Dear listeners," began Gentle, ignoring her questions for the moment, "The grand adventure of a man with extraordinary talent is starting!"
With that, Gentle Criminal took off his disguise with a flourish, sending it flying up in the air. While Gentle Criminal was going off on his intro, Izuku was already secretly taking out his phone, tapping his screen discreetly. One sent a signal to Melissa to send her drone she had built before to spy on his conversation with Katsuki, mostly to pick up the groceries he was going to leave here. Another tap was to notify Mirio about incoming trouble, since he was invested in making sure that the cultural festival went off without a hitch. Not that Katsuki wasn't as involved, but with his temperament, it could lead to some rather bigger problems.
"The title for this video is: I tried going to U.A.!" declared Gentle Criminal as he finished his pose before returning his attention to Izuku, "Thank you for letting me finish that."
"I won't let you get close to U.A.," replied Izuku as he bent his knees before shooting forward.
Suddenly, Izuku felt something blocking his way, distorting his face.
"My apologies, but I put 'that' up the moment I discarded my overcoat," apologized Gentle Criminal, "If you've watched my videos, then you would know what my quirk is. It is elasticity, meaning I can bestow elasticity to the things I touch…. including air."
Izuku was sent flying back at a distance that even Gentle Criminal and La Brava were surprised at the rebound force. However, they didn't have time to gawk as Izuku flipped in mid-air, allowing him to land on his feet before rushing towards them again. The two quickly turned and ran for their life.
"Stop!" shouted Izuku, his eyes narrowing at Gentle Criminal, "Don't even think about attacking my school!"
"Sorry, but that is something I can't do!" exclaimed Gentle Criminal before jumping and turning around.
"I, too, worked hard as a student when it was time for events. I'm sure you're pretty invested in your cultural festival, but they can't win against my mustache and soul, my step to becoming a legend!" declared Gentle Criminal as he slowly looked up before blinking, as Izuku had disappeared from his sight. He looked up to see no signs of him either.
"Gentle!" shouted La Brava as she tackled him to the side.
Gentle Criminal's eyes widened as a hand stretched out, almost grabbing him by his collar had La Brava not tackled him.
Izuku had used Ghost Perplexing Steps to turn as soon as he saw Gentle Criminal slamming his palm onto the ground, already changing directions and hopping onto a nearby wall. He had stretched his arms out in hopes of capturing him, but missed when La Brava tackled him away.
"Gentle, I recognize him!" breathed La Brava heavily as Izuku's arm retracted back, "Izuku Midoriya. He's the one who won the U.A. Sports Festival, and also the one who was kidnapped by the villain named All for One! He was at Kamino Ward!"
"Oh…. oh no," paled Gentle Criminal.
The two of them were not aware of the rumors in the underground criminal world. Especially La Brava, as she would frequent the Dark Web for news. Izuku's name had come up more than once while doing her research on U.A.'s defenses. Curious about the name, she investigated a bit further before discovering the horrifying villain known as All for One, and how Izuku had been his hostage for a little while. That alone raised alarm bells for them.
"We have to go now!" said Gentle Criminal as he quickly applied his quirk on the air behind him, using the momentum from when La Brava tackled him to catapult the both of them away towards their destination.
Izuku quickly followed, at first thinking he could capture them easily in midair before discarding that thought.
'If he can apply his quirk on the air to block me, then he can easily apply it on the air below him to travel,' hypothesized Izuku.
Izuku was pleased to see he was right when the duo began jumping on air like they were trampolines. Still, that didn't mean he was going to let them escape!
Gritting his teeth, Izuku quickly chased after them before jumping towards them. At the same time, he used One for All and flicked an air bullet at the air where the duo had been. Izuku watched as the bullet hit something before bouncing off at an angle.
'His quirk still remains active even after jumping off it. Is it time-based or does he have a set amount he can put?' thought Izuku.
Izuku jumped towards them at blitzing speed right as the two bounced off another air trampoline.
"Naive, don't think that I can't block you if you attack that fast!" shouted Gentle Criminal as he used his quirk to create another elastic barrier that Izuku crashed into. As Gentle Criminal watched Izuku about to flung back, he noticed his arms were stretched out around the barrier. His eyes widened as he realized what Izuku had planned to do, but it was too late.
Izuku's arms quickly wrapped around La Brava and Gentle Criminal apart slightly before letting the elastic barrier Gentle Criminal had placed rebound him further away from U.A.
"I won't let you get close to U.A.!" shouted Izuku as the three of them flew for a bit.
Izuku quickly inflated himself when they approached the ground, bouncing off the street while still grasping the two criminals in his arms.
Gentle Criminal struggled to escape before raising his arms, creating two elastic barriers before smashing them together against Izuku's extended arms. He was surprised to see that Izuku didn't even flinch.
"He's elastic, like rubber, just like whatever you apply your quirk to!" shouted La Brava after poking Izuku's arm that was wrapped around her stomach, "Squishing him won't work. Sharp objects might though."
Gentle Criminal slightly paled as he remembered his knife that he had hidden behind his back, but he didn't want to resort to such violent acts. Every knife that he had used in his videos was mere props, but La Brava had forced him to carry a real knife in case of emergencies, such as right now. But the boy was hindering his plans to become a legend, a plan he swore to La Brava that he would make it come true.
Deciding on his course of action, Gentle Criminal took out the knife from his back pocket, brandishing it before stabbing down.
Izuku, however, noticed his intentions, and so quickly pulled his arms back from the two.
"Apologies for such a violent reaction, but I had no choice," apologized Gentle Criminal as he created an elastic barrier for the two of them to land on, "But you will not stop me from achieving my goal! I shall achieve it by any means necessary, as I'm prepared to see it to the end! For I am Gentle Criminal, a true gentleman!"
"What sort of gentleman decides it's fine to trample on an event students poured their hearts into creating?" questioned Izuku, "What are your plans for U.A.?"
"I would prefer you not to lump us together with that boorish League of Villains. We would never stoop so low to kidnapping or killing an innocent. Hurt some heroes, yes, but never kill. I simply planned on infiltrating your culture festival and displaying my achievements," scoffed Gentle Criminal, "So if you don't mind overlooking this, we can be on our way."
"U.A. on a high alert right now," argued Izuku, "The second you're detected, they'll shut the festival down before you can even infiltrate. You'd be willing to stomp all over their work for your own selfish goals? You'd be caught before you could do anything when the alarm rings!"
"Hahaha, not with my ingenious La Brava here!" riposted Gentle Criminal, pointing to his assistant, "With her brilliance, she can disable the alarm sensors, allowing us to sneak in without sounding an alarm. So nothing would happen, the festival can continue on, and our infiltration would go off with a resounding success. Everyone would go on without a problem!"
"That would cause an even bigger problem!" shouted Izuku, while also quickly noting La Brava's appearance. Anyone who could hack through U.A.'s security system to infiltrate, even if they were bragging, wasn't someone that could be taken lightly.
"Hahah, I suppose you're right!" laughed Gentle Criminal, "But still, I won't stop my plans, otherwise, it will become too troublesome to do in the future."
"Don't even think about it! I've already called the police, and will keep you occupied until they arrive!" threatened Izuku. It wasn't exactly a bluff, as he did send an SOS message to Mirio, who would most likely turn it over to Mirai, who would contact the police and some local heroes to rush over.
"We'll never agree," sighed Gentle Criminal as he swiped the air behind him while pushing La Brava away, "While the aftertaste of the tea remains, I'll have you go to sleep, U.A. student!"
With that, Gentle Criminal rebounded upwards. Izuku quickly tried to track him, only to see him bouncing around crazily like a bounce ball.
'It's like Gran Torino,' thought Izuku, '... No, he might be faster and more adaptable. Gran Torino can only bounce around for so long if he has enough air. This man can do so even longer, and seems to be able to control what he makes elastic with ease while controlling which way he goes. He's definitely practiced his quirk a lot to get this far. No wonder he's been able to defeat some of the heroes despite his lack of infamy. But there has to be something more if he's managed to defeat and escape several heroes.'
Izuku decided to test out Gentle Criminal's reaction time with an air bullet, only to see him not only dodge by creating an elastic membrane to bounce him away, but also a few more that rebounded the air bullet back at him at a different angle.
'Fast instinct or insight,' thought Izuku as he tried to keep track of Gentle Criminal, 'Guess it's time to put that training to the test.'
Izuku closed his eyes, letting the darkness cover his vision before focusing solely on his Haki. More specifically, Observation Haki.
"The boy closed his eyes," muttered Gentle Criminal in surprise as he bounced around, "Is he giving up or is he trying to use his other senses to track me? Either way, I can't delay any longer."
Gentle Criminal looked around to see what he could use to stall Izuku, only to frown at his lack of choices for a distraction. Izuku had managed to slingshot them not only farther away from U.A., but at a rather open area.
Gentle Criminal saw a long rope hanging about, and so grabbed it on his pass by.
'Maybe I can wrap this rope around and trap him long enough to escape. Might have to use La Brava's quirk to make it in time, but this is my step to becoming a legend!' thought Gentle Criminal.
Angling himself so he was at Izuku's blindspot where he would react the slowest, Gentle Criminal bounced forward with his rope in his hands.
'I got him!' thought Gentle Criminal as he closed in, only for Izuku to suddenly sidestep away, as if he knew Gentle Criminal was coming at that exact time and location.
'Must escape!' panicked Gentle Criminal as he quickly created another elastic air barrier in front of him, aiming to rebound upwards to the sky at an angle.
However, as he began to rebound towards the sky, Gentle Criminal found himself staring into a web of flesh. More accurately, he crashed into Izuku's interlocked fingers that he had stretched over.
Izuku was able to use Observation Haki to predict where Gentle Criminal was coming. Then, predicting what and where he would most likely do next after missing, he quickly interlocked his fingers and stretched them out into a web, catching Gentle Criminal by surprise.
"Gotcha!" grinned Izuku as his fingers trapped Gentle Criminal before slamming him into the ground.
"Gentle!" shouted La Brava in worry as Izuku quickly wrapped him in the rope Gentle Criminal held while he was stunned.
La Brava was ready to use her quirk on Gentle Criminal, hoping it would be enough when they all heard something explode nearby.
"Best get on to that, shouldn't you?" grunted Gentle Criminal, "Go save the citizens, right? And you're going to be late to your little festival if you don't hurry. Why don't you leave the two of us here. We won't cause any trouble anymore."
"I'll take you over there. Police and heroes will be on the scene, and I can turn you in then," replied Izuku as he quickly stretched his arm around La Brava, taking her captive as he jumped up with the two of them wrapped in his limbs.
La Brave looked over to Gentle Criminal, who shook his head, telling her not to use her quirk yet. He had a feeling Izuku wasn't using all of his strength in their fight just now. And it would be easier to escape when the boy wasn't looking.
"Why do you aspire to be a hero?" asked Gentle Criminal as they flew up into the air, using his question to hopefully distract Izuku.
"It's my dream to become one," replied Izuku distractedly, "Not only that, but I've been blessed to be supported by those who believed me, all while many mocked me for it when I was younger. Even my 'father' abandoned my mother and me when first diagnosed quirkeless when I was just a late bloomer, but he never apologized nor looked back. And I want to prove to the ones that believed in me that they were right to believe in me. And to those who are hurt, I want to protect them and show them a brighter future."
Gentle Criminal remained silent, thinking about how similar he was to Izuku when he returned a question.
"Gentle Criminal, why did you become a villain?" asked Izuku as he landed on a building before jumping up once more, "You're pretty strong, and you've definitely worked hard on your quirk. Despite your title as a criminal, you haven't actually committed any serious crimes besides fighting heroes, and you've never actually done any serious damage to them. You could be a capture hero."
Gentle Criminal remained silent at that comment, his mind flashing back to his time when he did try to become a hero, only to fail. His expulsion from the hero course when he accidentally interfered with a hero's rescue attempt when he tried to save a falling man from a construction accident. He became lost in life, just wandering about while becoming freeter. It was only when he met an old classmate who had become a hero, only to discover the said hero didn't even know who he was, that woke him up. He became desperate to become someone famous, even if it meant becoming a villain. So thus, Gentle Criminal was born.
At first, he was happy he had found a calling. But as all his videos tanked with no positive feedback, he began to get desperate. It was when Manami Aiba, aka La Brava, suddenly came barging into his life while proclaiming to be his fan, that his heart lightened.
"Not to mention we're hoping Eri can smile without being under Overhaul's shadow despite being caught and thrown into jail. No young girl should live her life without knowing how to even smile," muttered Izuku, but Gentle Criminal heard him.
La Brava seemed to sneer at Izuku's words, and was about to launch a rebuttal when they all landed in time to see a Pro Hero being knocked to the ground.
"Hahaha, you were right Ane-san! There's barely any heroes or police here!" laughed a hulking man with tusks on his mouth.
"Shut up and get to robbing this store," hissed the leader of the small group, a red-haired woman with bulky gauntlets on her arm.
"Yes, boss!" shouted a trio of grunts as they began rushing towards the store.
"Stay here," ordered Izuku as he unhooked one of his wristbands, latching it onto La Brava's hand, bringing both hands together before activating a different function. Usually, it would form and wrap itself on the user's hand to form a gauntlet. However, this new function that Melissa added after getting an idea from one of Mei's random inventions allowed Izuku to temporarily use it as a makeshift handcuff.
Instantly, the wristband wrapped around both La Brava's hands and tightened, causing her to shriek a little as she could no longer move her hands freely.
"You'll be safe here, but don't even think about trying to invade U.A.," warned Izuku, "All the student faculty have worked hard in it despite the fact the government wanted to shut it down for safety, but principal Nezu wanted it to go on to allow the students some normality despite recent upheavals."
With that, Izuku jumped off the building before punching on one of the robbers coming out, smashing him into the ground/
"What the-" cursed the other two, only to be knocked out by an upside-down split kick from Izuku to the head.
"Dammit, another hero?" cursed the female leader as she pointed her gauntlets at Izuku, "Just our luck! Die asshole!"
A flurry of bullets came flying towards Izuku, who quickly dodged before using Ghost Perplexing Steps to close in.
"Slippery bastard! Go grab him!" shouted the lead villainess.
The bulky tusk man roared as he lumbered forward towards Izuku. Izuku glanced behind him, noticing that if he dodged, the villain might crash into the building behind him. The villain didn't seem like he was capable of stopping himself in time, so instead of letting him cause collateral damage, Izuku decided to stand his ground.
"Idiot! You don't have the muscles to compare against me!" roared the villain as he tried to smash Izuku into paste.
Izuku met his hammer strike with his hands with One for All running throughout his body. The result surprised both villain and villainess as Izuku stood there without even flinching. Izuku reared one of his hands back and punched the tusk villain in the stomach, sending him flying back while spitting out saliva.
The villainess cursed as she began to open fire on Izuku once more, who dodged them all before getting closer before suddenly wrapping his arms around her gauntlets, crushing them with ease.
"I'm out!" shouted the tusk villain as he began running away.
As he was fleeing, a young girl happened to be skipping out onto the sidewalk with a drink in hand, unaware of the danger until it was too late. The girl screamed in fear while the tusk villain kept charging forward, willing to ignore and bash a girl out of the way to escape.
"No!" shouted Izuku as he harshly tossed the villain to the ground as he charged toward the tusk villain.
'I have to make it in time!' thought Izuku as he thought of Eri when he saw the young girl in danger.
Suddenly, something happened that Izuku couldn't predict. Or rather, didn't know his words would have a resounding effect.
Gentle Rebound! Gentle Sandwich
Suddenly, Gentle Criminal appeared between the tusk villain and the girl, his body exuding pink aura. Gentle Criminal created an elastic barrier that protected them before sending the villain back before layering a bunch of them at once and slamming them down on the tusk villain.
"A gentleman will never leave a small girl crying and hurt if he can prevent it!" declared Gentle Criminal.
Rewind time for a little
Izuku jumped down to fight the villains, leaving the two of them alone on the rooftop.
"That stupid boy! Who does he think he is?" hissed La Brava as she pulled herself closer to Gentle Criminal, "Gentle, we should be able to escape still. He underestimated us. With my quirk, you should be able to break out of this rope easily."
Gentle Criminal nodded, but his mind was still distracted for a bit from Izuku's words.
"I love you," whispered La Brava.
"Thank you, La Brava," nodded Gentle Criminal as he felt her quirk applied to him. His strength rose up by a factor of ten, and with increased strength, the ropes around him began to fray until they were completely ripped apart.
"Come La Brava," said Gentle Criminal, "Let's see if we can get this off you. I can't have my lovely assistant bound like this."
However, the two soon found out they had no idea how to deactivate Izuku's gauntlet.
"Gentle, let's just go. I already have all the programs prepared beforehand. I can guide you on how to activate it. After that, we can sneak in easily," said La Brava.
Gentle Criminal glanced over, seeing Izuku already cornering the two remaining villains and villainess before nodding. It would take some time to reach U.A., so they needed to leave now.
As the two turned, Gentle Criminal's eyes caught the young girl walking out the store with a drink, right in the tusk villain's way. The girl was frightened when she saw the hulking villain barreling toward her, with no recourse.
'It's not my problem, if anything, this will delay them from finding me,' thought Gentle Criminal. But Izuku's words still rang throughout his mind. Despite it being an old dream, somewhere in the deep recess of his consciousness, he did want to be a hero. The feeling of doing something for someone, of being wanted. La Brava had told him that he was her hero, which warmed his heart. But he had to admit, La Brava was also his light in this world when she suddenly came into his life unannounced.
The young girl could one day grow up to be someone's light, but if she was injured, or worse….. Gentle Criminal couldn't bear to think.
His body began to move before he even realized what he was doing. He turned around and dove right in front of the girl, creating a barrier that blocked the tusk villain's charge, sending him flying back. Before he could fly all the way back though, Gentle had already created even more above the villain before smashing it down onto him.
Back to present
"I'm sorry, La Brava," breathed out Gentle Criminal, "But it seems like even I can't fight my subconsciousness, especially when a young girl is at risk. A gentleman like me can't stand aside and allow such a thing to happen."
La Brava, however, was too busy trying to make sure her camera was capturing every glorious moment of her precious Gentle Criminal.
Izuku couldn't help but grin at Gentle Criminal's entrance. He was concerned at first that Gentle Criminal used Trigger, but realized the pink aura he was emanating was likely due to a quirk. He glanced over to La Brava before theorizing it was probably her quirk, which was used to power up Gentle Criminal. That would explain how they managed to overcome some odds.
"You assholes," growled the villainess as she managed to pick herself up from the crater Izuku had left her in, "You asked for this!"
In an instant, she pulled out a syringe before injecting herself with it. Her body began to twitch rapidly as Izuku recognized the symptoms.
"She's using Trigger!" warned Izuku as he noticed the pores on the villainess's arms suddenly began to shrink and expand.
"Die!" roared the villainess as she began to fire bullets far more rapidly, and the bullets were flying faster.
"Such vulgar language should not be spoken from a lady, especially in front of a young girl," sighed Gentle Criminal as he quickly created some more elastic barriers, angling so the bullets would rebound downwards. He was wary as he saw the bullets were starting to stretch past the limit of the elastic barrier, which was why he began to stack a few.
"Gentle!" shouted Izuku as he dodged , using his movement technique to make it harder for the villainous to lock onto him.
Gentle Criminal looked over Izuku, noticing that Izuku had his middle finger bent under his thumb, as if ready to flick. He instantly understood his intentions.
Izuku fired an air bullet at the villainess from the side, who quickly dodged.
"Ha, don't think it'll be that easy to hit m-" cackled the villainess, only to stop as the air bullet hit her from behind.
Gentle Criminal had created two more elastic barriers that bounced Izuku's air bullet so that it would hit the villainess from behind, essentially her blind spot. The villainess stopped firing after being hit, almost falling down before she put her foot out to stabilize herself. Before she could say anything, though, a face appeared right below her body, through the pavement.
As she registered a human face in the pavement, Mirio grinned as he phased upwards, punching the villainess in the stomach.
"Got your message!" grinned Mirio as he landed, "Hope I wasn't late!"
"Just on time," smiled Izuku back, "Let's finish this up. There's only one left."
The tusk villain had managed to slip out of the Gentle Sandwich and stand back up in time to see he was the only one left before trying to book it.
Just as he took a step, Mirio was already phasing through the ground before appearing in front of him, punching him in the stomach.
While the tusk villain stopped from the impact and damage, Izuku extended his arms while twisting them around each other, grabbing the villain's tusks. Before the villain could react, Izuku lifted him up in the air, letting him spin before hurling him down into the ground.
The villain had expected to slam into pavement, and was preparing himself for the hit when he felt himself being slammed into something elastic instead. The tusk villain was then bounced upwards hard before hitting another elastic barrier that bounced him back down. He soon found himself bouncing between the air and the pavement at a rather astonishing speed that made him sick.
"Please stop!" begged the tusk villain as he tried to hold the contents of his stomach inside, "I give up! Please!"
"Unfortunately, I'm unable to take my quirk off something that I've made elastic," sighed Gentle Criminal, "You'll just have to let it fade off in time. Shouldn't be long."
The tusk villain despaired before fainting as his body kept bouncing between the two barriers.
"So, are you giving up?" asked Mirio as he and Izuku turned towards Gentle Criminal.
Gentle Criminal glanced at the two, weighing his chances. It wasn't very good. La Brava's quirk would be running out of time, and it could only be used once a day. Though it increased his strength, he felt it would be useless against the heroes in front of him. One could easily overpower him, and the other could most likely just phase through his elastic barriers, no matter where he made them. His trump card was useless against them.
Soon, he heard the sirens, which meant the police had arrived, along with other pro heroes.
"I give up," sighed Gentle Criminal as he raised his hands, seeing no other option left as the police surrounded them, "But I would like to say that Aiba Minami has nothing to do with my attempts. She is an innocent girl….whom I've kidnapped and brainwashed, who knows nothing of this world."
In the end, Gentle Criminal was trying to foist all the blame onto himself so La Brava would have a chance in this world without a criminal record.
"NO!" shouted La Brava as she managed to jump off the building, landing on some conveniently placed cloth patio that bounced her onto the street before hugging Gentle's leg.
It was easy to see La Brava wanted to tell them all that she had done so on her own will, that she had not been brainwashed, but in the end, kept silent as she cried for Gentle Criminal.
As the police took the two away, Gentle Criminal couldn't help but remark to Izuku, stating that even as a hero course dropout, he wished Izuku success. Izuku couldn't help but nod before secretly typing something in his phone.
"We should get going, you're going to be late for your performance for Eri," warned Mirio.
"Shoot, gotta go!" panicked Izuku as he and Mirio rushed away back to school.
As Gentle Criminal was about to be taken to the police car, the little girl suddenly rushed forward, with her mom chasing after her.
"Mister policeman, why are you taking him away? He's a hero, isn't he?" asked the little girl, "He saved me."
The police winced as they tried to find a way to properly explain to the girl that despite saving her, he was breaking the quirk laws, not to mention he was already a criminal, albeit a rather low-priority one. Luckily, Gentle Criminal was willing to explain.
"Although I did save you, it doesn't change the fact that I am a villain. Albeit, one with morals, for I am Gentle Criminal! And a true gentleman wouldn't let a young lady like you be harmed when he can prevent it!"
While Gentle Criminal said this with a flourish, his image was slightly ruined with the jangling sounds of handcuffs. Nonetheless, the girl giggled before taking a candy out of her pocket.
"Thank you for saving me! Though you're a villain, you're also my hero! I'll be cheering for you when you come back!" said the girl as she gave Gentle Criminal her candy before skipping back to her mother.
Gentle Criminal could only stare blankly at the candy before turning around, raising his head to prevent tears from coming out of his eyes.
"You're going to be late!" shouted Melissa as Mirio and Izuku landed in front of U.A., "My drone already picked up the stuff that you left on the ground! Now get going!"
"Thanks!" shouted Izuku as he rushed back to the dorms to clean himself up before meeting up with the others.
"I swear, he's a magnet for trouble," sighed Melissa while Mirio laughed, "And don't you have something to do with your class for the festival?"
"I'm actually on babysitting duty with Eri for the whole day!" grinned Mirio, "Sir and Eri only get to come if I'm there with them for the whole festival, and since Eri wants to see Midoriya dance, I have to be there with them."
"Huh, neat," nodded Melissa before getting a text from her phone. She looked at the message before groaning, "I have to get back. Mei's at it again. Dammit Mei, I told you no more inventing on the day of the festival!"
Mirio watched Melissa run back to the support department, where he could swear he could hear explosions going off before deciding it wasn't his problem, and went to meet up Nighteye and Eri.
"You were almost late! What happened?" asked Momo as Izuku skidded into the dressing room.
"Sorry, a situation happened with a villain that I ended up having to intervene!" Izuku apologized, causing Momo, Ochako, and Tsuyu to raise their heads and put their fingers on their nose to stave off the impending headache.
"You fought a villain while running an errand? Manly!" yelled Eijiro from across the room.
"The hell Deku? You were supposed to just go to the supermarket to buy some stuff!" barked Katsuki, "How did a simple grocery run turn into a villain fight?"
"And why not call for help?" asked Denki in genuine curiosity.
"I did. I called Togata-sempai and Melissa," replied Izuku, "I considered Bakugo…. but decided against that."
"Ah, wise choice," nodded Hanta.
"The hell was that supposed to mean Deku, Elbows!" roared Katsuki before Denki managed to pull the orange shirt the band team was supposed to be wearing right on him.
"Let's get ready everyone, it's almost time," ordered Mina, clapping her hands to get everyone's attention, "Finish up your final touches. And Midoriya, get into your suit asap!"
Everyone began to quickly rush around, making their final preparations.
"A bit more crowded than I expected," murmured Mirai as he adjusted his glasses, "Are you alright, Eri?"
Eri nodded as she was being hoisted on Mirio's shoulder, a little nervous. Shota was standing at the back, ready to intervene if necessary while Hizashi was clearly skipping out on patrol duty to watch 1A perform. It was a song and dance, his sort of thing, so of course Hizashi didn't want to miss out.
The lights began to dim as the curtains slowly parted right at 10:00 AM on the spot. In the audience, a few disgruntled students were ready to criticize whatever they could.
Katsuki began the show with a rather huge explosion as he began to furiously beat the drums, signaling the start of the show.
As the show progressed, the audience became louder and louder as they cheered on. Even the ones originally there to voice their dissatisfaction couldn't help but join in the fun.
Mirai and Mirio glanced over at Eri, noticing her mouth beginning to twitch and curve up as the music kept going. The shadow of Overhaul that wrapped itself around Eri, cursing her to never know true joy, was slowly losing its grip on Eri. The shadow tried to keep its grip on Eri, but it was vanquished as soon as Eri threw up her hands and put on an actual smile, laughing with excitement and joy.
'To see a young girl finally smile….., it seems their choice to bring Eri here was the right one,' thought Mirai with a chuckle before turning to leave.
"Ah, sir, aren't you going to stay for the rest of the festival?" asked Mirio as he made sure Eri was steady on his shoulder, who was now gesturing and dancing with joy.
"Eraser Head is also keeping watch, as well as the one assigned to watch over Eri. I have work to do, after being in the hospital for so long. I can't be lax any longer," replied Mirai.
"Then about the thing I asked?" asked Mirio.
"I'll look into it," waved Mirai as he left.
Mirio couldn't help but smile, and it grew bigger when he saw Eri cheering along with the crowd to her heart's content.
The audience left, content with 1A's performance. Many of them walked directly to where 1B was to watch their performance while 1A was doing cleanup duty. Luckily, Melissa helped by sending out drones that she and Mei invented that would help accelerate the cleaning process, as well as showcasing some of her inventions.
Tenya kept glancing out towards the doors as he helped clean while also looking at his watch while trying to hurry up.
"Go ahead Iida," chuckled Izuku as he hefted a large piece of ice up his shoulder, "We can take care of the rest. Kodai-san is eager for you to watch. She asked about you when I visited Itsuka as she was preparing for the beauty pageant."
Tenya hesitated once more before Izuku and Momo gently pushed him towards the door.
"Class president and vice president's orders. Go watch 1B play and report back to us," said Momo with a smile.
"... Thank you!" exclaimed Tenya as he rushed out the door, passing by Mirio and Eri.
"Yoo, nice job!" grinned Mirio.
Eri quickly ran up to Izuku before excitedly narrating everything that had happened. Both Izuku and Katsuki watched her excitedly jumping with warm hearts. Though Katsuki made sure he was watching from a distance so nobody could witness it.
Thanks to the robots Melissa provided, cleaning up was much faster than anticipated, all while receiving compliments from all the viewers.
Soon after cleanup, the majority of 1A went to view the beauty pageant. Tenya arrived with Yui and the others in tow, hoping to catch Itsuka in action.
Though Itsuka certainly attracted the crowd's attention through the use of her martial arts and her beauty, it wasn't as eye-catching as her seniors, especially when Neijire began dancing in the air like a fairy.
Izuku spent most of his time with Eri and Mirio for the cultural festival. Though the girls wanted to hang out with their boyfriend, they understood that Eri needed this for healing. They all broke up into groups to enjoy the cultural festival. Izuku and Mirio witnessed Eri truly smiling as she followed all sorts of activities.
At the end of the cultural festival, Neijire was declared the winner of the beauty pageant, though not much of a shock to Itsuka. She was aware of her 'limitations'. While she was considered beautiful enough, she was still young and growing while Neijire was already blooming. Her popularity was only known more towards the first year students, while Neijire had time to have her name and body to grow.
The festival ended with Eri having to go back with Shota to the hospital for further testing. She looked glum, having to go back, but enjoyed her time with Izuku and Mirio.
Izuku smiled as he brought out the candied apple that he had made himself during the brief lunch break they had.
"Surprise," grinned Izuku as he gave her the candied apple.
"That's weak sauce Deku!" shouted Katsuki as he suddenly arrived, "She'll love this one better!"
Katsuki pulled out a chocolate dipped apple that he had made, "Children love fuc….. I mean they love chocolate!"
Katsuki had to correct himself in order not to further corrupt Eri's language, especially when Izuku, Mirio, and Shota all glared at him when he was about to curse.
Eri bit into the candied apple, relishing the sweet taste before biting into the chocolate one. Katsuki's was slightly sour in comparison to Izuku's choice of apple, but it helped accentuate the sweet chocolate taste.
"They're both delicious," smiled Eri.
"Alright, let's wrap this up, otherwise you'll ruin her appetite for dinner," said Shota calmly, though not taking her newly acquired away.
"Come back again soon. I'll be happy to make more," waived Izuku.
"I'll make them better than Deku," bragged Katsuki, "Next time, I'll use caramel!"
Eri waved the boys goodbye as she quickly followed Shota.
Back at the police station, La Brava and Gentle Criminal had been interrogated by the police for a little bit, finding their true names to be Aiba Manami and Tobita Danjuro. Tobita was insistent that Aiba was innocent of any crimes that he committed while Aiba said that everything she did was for Tobita. The chief interrogator for the case, a man with a quirk that gave him the appearance of the gorilla, sighed as he reviewed the case once more before he received some unexpected visitors.
"You're-!" began the interrogator before he was silenced with a mere hand gesture.
"They are both still inside? Put them together in a room for me, it'll be easier," said the voice.
The interrogator nodded before barking out the orders.
Tobita and Aiba soon found themselves sitting together in a room, wondering what was going to happen next.
The door soon opened up to reveal Mirai, or Sir Nighteye in his current hero persona.
"You are wondering why I have you two in here together with me," stated Nighteye, "Two criminals intending on sneaking into the U.A. cultural festival on the chance it would make him famous. I can't tell if that's ambitious or idiotic, as you only intended to show off you could make it in."
Aiba was ready to scream at Nighteye, only for Tobita to stop her gently, allowing Nighteye to continue.
"The plan that you provided was quite clever, even by my standards. Though I guarantee you that even if you hadn't met Midoriya by accident, you would have only reached the outskirts of U.A. before being arrested."
"Before you say anything about your program, allow me to clarify," said Nighteye, interrupting Aiba's attempted rant, "Hound Dog patrolled the outskirts while the festival was going on. In case the name doesn't give it away, his quirk allows him to have the senses similar to a dog, such as a heightened sense of smell. I was told that you enjoyed a cup of Golden Tips Imperial Black Tea before commencing with your plan? While a delicious cup of tea known for its fragrance and taste, you do realize that its fragrance would have lingered in your mouth for quite some time? A unique fragrance like that, while usually undetectable by most, would have caught his attention immediately. Pro Hero Ectoplasm was also patrolling the perimeter with his clones, and would have immediately assisted him. Though you have managed to win some small skirmishes against small-time heroes, the heroes employed at U.A. are much more skilled than what you've fought."
Tobito winced at the thought that his downfall to his perfect plan if he had actually gone through it was the taste of his beloved tea.
"If you're here just to dunk on Gentle, then you might as well leave," huffed Aiba.
"Not exactly, but I'll get to my point now. I just wanted to point out your flaws," riposted Nighteye before opening up a laptop, or more specifically, Aiba's laptop, "This program here. I've had someone with more experience in computer programming take a look, and the said expert was impressed. The expert said if you had gotten in range and activated this program via wireless into the security system, it would have effectively camouflaged you two from the security systems for a few minutes, allowing you to sneak in if you somehow managed to escape the patrol teams."
Nighteye avoided using any pronouns to hide the identity of the expert, which happened to be Melissa.
"And?" asked Tobito curiously, "What does that matter to you? I've already stated that Aiba Manami is innocent of everything I've done. If you're trying to pin this on her, I've already stated that it was because of me."
"I'm more invested in her talents," replied Nighteye, "My agency is more focused on investigative work, tracking down paper trails of criminal networks to find and destroy illegal products. Nowadays, criminals put their information into electronic storage systems to keep track of their products. Arresting the criminals to turn over to the police is the easy part. Making sure that proper evidence can be found to ensure the sentencing sticks is the harder part. Many criminal enterprises now have backups and passwords in case their files are incorrectly accessed. Such as typing the incorrect password could cause a hidden worm to activate and corrupt the file that we need access to. My sidekicks, Centipeder and Bubble Girl, know their way through computers, but are not skilled hackers. That, however, is where you come in."
"You mean-!" gasped Tobito, already drawing conclusions.
"I want to hire Aiba Minami as a computer programming consultant for my agency. With her abilities, she would be a good addition in helping crack cases, especially if she can crack open a villain's computer," said Nighteye as he shifted his glasses up, "She could help find more leads."
Nighteye coughed to clear his throat as he continued, "Since she has no real 'criminal' record so to speak, and this is her first offense that doesn't really lead up to much, this is an offer that I am allowed to give to her so as to 'reform' her, so to speak. She will be paid, of course, and given the standard employment benefits, such as medical insurance, paid holiday, etc."
"La Brava, you should take this deal. This would be the perfect opportunity for you," said Tobito with a serious tone.
Aiba looked up at Tobito for a second before turning to Nighteye, "...Does my Gentle get to come with me?"
"No," rejected Nighteye quickly, "Tobito Danjuro is still a villain, regardless of how petty his crimes may be. Nor do I need his abilities."
"Then I won't go," rejected Aiba, "I only want to be with Gentle!"
Tobito sighed as he softly rubbed Aiba's head, "La Brava, I appreciate your concern, but I will be going to jail while you remain free. I cannot, in good conscience, have you accompany me there. You will need to find some way to support yourself while I'm gone. This opportunity is one you cannot miss. Who knows, perhaps when I get out, I'll be needing to depend on you if you still want me."
"Of course I want you!" exclaimed La Brava, "I will never love anyone else! But is there really no way for you to be with me? I'll get lonely."
A cough from the door suddenly grabbed their attention, turning their heads to see Kamui Woods standing there.
"Yo, hope I'm not too late," stated Kamui Woods as he took a seat next to Nighteye.
"Passable," replied Nighteye.
"You might be wondering why I'm here," said Kamui Woods as he turned to the couple, " D. eku, the one you fought, sent me a message about your quirk and skill, praising your abilities."
Tobito coughed as he lightly blushed at the praise he was given.
"So when he mentioned your abilities, I couldn't help getting interested. I'm here to offer you a job as a probationary sidekick," finished Kamui Woods.
Tobito's mouth dropped in shock at this twist before stammering, "A….a-are you serious?"
Kamui Woods nodded as he pulled out a contract, "Keep in mind that you have to obey every command that I say. There's no wriggle room for this, since you are on probation. I'll admit, the chances of going solo pro is rather small, but it's still a chance. Unless you don't want it?"
Tobito rapidly shook his head, not trusting his mouth for a moment before asking, "Does….. La Brava get to come with me?"
"Unfortunately no," replied Kamui Woods, "One of the other deals is that you two have to be separated for a while to prevent you two from 'falling to your old habits'. You will, however, be able to live together still, though a tracking anklet will be required for the two of you."
"... Why are you giving us this offer?" asked Tobito, "I can understand La Brava's abilities, but why risk your reputation by considering me?"
"While I find it illogical, each person has his own reason," huffed Nighteye, looking away.
"I wasn't exactly a goodie two shoes when I was younger," blushed Kamui Woods, though his mask blocked it, "Was in a pretty bad crowd before a hero pulled me back from that path. He helped better myself, and if not for him, I wouldn't be the hero I am today. And now, I have the chance to do the same thing for another person. If I didn't do so, I would be betraying my own origins. So what do you say?"
"That was easier than I thought," said Nighteye as he and Kamui Woods left the interrogation room with the crying duo, "With Aiba Manami's abilities, we will be able to track down criminals easier."
'And perhaps track down Shigaraki Tomura and the League of Villains, as well as the mysterious doctor behind them,' added Nighteye mentally.
"Out of curiosity, how were you able to fast track the paperwork to get Tobito Danjuro as a probationary sidekick?" asked Nighteye, "Apologies for the brash judgment, but I didn't think you had any connections through the government."
"I don't, but Tensei still does," coughed Kamui Woods, "I told him about the situation, and he had the paperwork drawn up and processed."
"That would make more sense," nodded Nighteye, "While I still don't see how useful he can be, I suppose it's up to you to figure it out."
"I'm working with Mt. Lady and Edgeshot right now as team Lurkers. He could be on guard duty if done right, or I might have him partner up with Death Arms too. He's been looking for a capture-type hero to work with, and if 's right about him, he could be a real asset to help him out too," explained Kamui Woods.
"I suppose so," hummed Nighteye, "It does help that the distance between their current residence and to our respective agencies are roughly the same, so no major strain there."
"Well, I need to go tell my team about the situation as well as update Tensei about that paperwork, so later," waived Kamui Woods as began to jump away.
Alright, been looking through timelines a little bit. Next up, the hero billboards, then it's movie #2!
Reminder, I have a pat reon, look up azndrgn making fanfic. Donators get to read my chapters earlier!