"Haha! Look at them go!"
Peter had to admit the Sports Festival was turning out to be a lot more exciting than he would've thought.
With the X-Men's baseball games, they tended to just follow the standard rules of baseball. They couldn't use their powers to hamper the other players' actions but they could use them to make catching the ball or safely getting on base a lot easier. It was just the sport with an extra twist, but a lot of people found it engaging.
The Sports Festival seemed to take that standard set up and bring it to the next level.
It was a race, but each of the competitors were doing everything short of actual bodily harm to their fellow racers. It changed the field and how the others played in a second, like that scarred kid freezing everything in the corridor just so he could get ahead.
"But he didn't count on Izuku's powers. Nice going, kid!"
"So that's supposed to be Endeavor's son, huh?" La Brava asked while sipping her juice. "Well, he's got the destructive power of his dad. But it's the complete opposite…"
"I find it elegant!" Gentle motioned to the television which was zooming in on the red and white-haired teenager. "Fire's beauty is but a short thing. It burns and destroys everything in its wake. But ice? Ice preserves and the Todoroki boy can control it to such a degree! He will be a worthy future rival for me!"
La Brava's inquisitive look turned to that of admiration. "If anyone can judge that, it's you, Gentle!"
"Oh God…" Peter rolled his eyes and paid more attention to the screen as Present Mic's voice came on again.
"And we've already got our top three in this race, folks! Shouto Todoroki has taken the lead, but with Katsuki Bakugou trailing not too far behind!"
The camera then switched over to show the spiky-haired blond zooming in the air with a trail of fire and smoke coming from his palms.
"Dumb[BEEP]! Did you think that [BEEP] would slow me down?!"
"Sheesh! Someone's gotta wash that kid's mouth!"
"Eh, I've heard worse back when I was a teenager." Peter muttered to himself while taking a chip and putting it into his mouth.
"But such crude language is unbecoming of a future Hero." Gentle clicked his tongue in disapproval. "I do hope U.A disciplines him and teaches him that Heroes must not stoop to such things."
"I just don't like his face." La Brava chimed in. "Then again, a lot of them look bad compared to yours, Gentle."
"And in third place we've got Izuku Midoriya!" The screen flashed to Izuku who was now wearing a sleeveless black t-shirt with the words 'workout shirt' written in kanji. "This kid seriously made up for lost time by ditching his uninvited guest! But tell me, Eraserhead, was leaving him on those branches within the race's rules?"
"Those branches were within the area space of the race's path." A tired voice chimed in. "As a result, it was a part of the field and could be used by any student that needed it. And it was an obstacle in Mineta's case."
"Haha, yeah! I bet that's gonna smart in the morning!"
Peter chuckled. He actually loved that whole scene and couldn't wait to see the video online once this festival was done. "Glad to see that those close shave lessons weren't a waste!"
Izuku was doing well. A lot better than Peter did whenever he was without his webs during those early years. During those times he would just leap across buildings or awkwardly pay for a bus or subway ride back to Queens or his apartment so he could whip up some more.
Here, Izuku was handling his handicap like a champ.
Hell, he probably could win this thing!
"Well, I hope those three and the rest of the kiddies aren't expecting an easy ride!" Present Mic brought Peter's attention back to the screen and the camera panned to show a clear and barren dirt field with the Todoroki kid, Bakugou, and Izuku approaching it. "This is U.A and this is an obstacle race! You're supposed to expect the unexpected here! I hope you folks at home are ready, because things are about to get wild! YEAH!"
It was at that moment when square columns began to rise from the ground with metal tentacles bursting out from their sides.
Peter slapped his forehead. "Holy crap… did the school turn a freakin' race into the Danger Room?!"
Despite his Spider-Sense giving a heads-up, Izuku was still surprised that the ground below him shot up and launched him in the air. "What the heck?!"
But when he looked down, he began to understand why it was happening.
Pillars were rising up at random points, all of them at varying heights and changing what was once a completely open field into a network of paths.
"Well, it's a good way to slow us down."
Izuku could already see Todoroki and Kacchan just leaping over their new obstacles, the pillars barely phasing either teen. Kacchan cut off his explosions to put his foot on the edge of a column before launching himself higher and continuing with his makeshift thrusters. Todoroki, meanwhile, simply angled his continuous ice bridge so he could sail over them.
"Focus, Izuku!" He shook his head as he began his descent down. "I just got to remember that something like this is perfect for me! It's no different than the park with Peter!"
With that in mind, he twisted his body so that he could be falling to the ground, face-first as if he were a human rocket. Izuku's plan was simple. He would build as much speed as possible so that when he vaulted off of one of the column, surfaces, he would gain enough momentum to…!
His head began to throb just as a metal tube sprouted from one of the pillar tops and raced towards him. He barely had enough time to process this before it wrapped around his midsection and began rearing back.
"Why did I think it would be that easy?!" Berating himself, Izuku planted his hands on the robot tentacle as it attempted to throw him back to the field's entrance. He began to scream as it continued to thrash around with him as the unwilling cowboy to its bronco.
"What the shit?!" Despite the world spinning and him feeling a bit queasy, Izuku managed to catch a glimpse of a metal arm wrapping around Kacchan's ankle and flicking him back to the quickly advancing first-years. Growling, the explosive teen did something Izuku didn't expect.
He took off his shoes.
Kicking his feet back, two explosions coming from the bottoms halted Kacchan's unwilling flight. As expected, however, he soon began to spin in the air before explosions from his hands corrected himself. So, just as Asui managed to catch up to him, Kacchan was already advancing at his former pace. And as the metal tentacle advanced towards him he growled, "Eat shit!" before kicking with his right foot.
A burst of flame and smoke enveloped the tip of the metal monstrosity, destroying it in a shower of metal and sparks.
"When did he learn that?" Well, probably during his personal training. It figured that someone like Kacchan would find some way to adjust their Quirk to their advantage in only a couple of days. "But I can't stand here admiring him! I need to keep moving…" Izuku felt the bile rise to his throat and forced it back down. "…If only so that I don't blow chunks!"
The arm he was riding on seemed to have enough and tried to slam him on the ground. But rather than let go, he planted his shoeless feet down and with a twist of his body tore the entire appendage off. He didn't spend any time admiring his handiwork and just kept moving.
Several more arms came from the sides and tops of the pillars as he kept from roof to roof. But Izuku was ready for them this time. He dodged, jumped, and weaved past their grabs and in the few instances one came too close for comfort he punched or kicked them away.
"I can't spend time ripping them all off! Not when Kacchan and Todoroki are so far ahead!"
He could see some of their handiwork. Whatever few arms weren't blown to bits the rest were frozen in place. Izuku silently thanked his cold classmate as he used some of his 'leftovers' as launching pads while avoiding the ones that set off his Spider-Sense.
And it was a good thing too, since a glance back confirmed that the ones which activated his sixth-sense broke out of their icy prison and continued their assault on the competing students.
He sent a mental apology to Ojiro as a formerly frozen metal tentacle grabbed him by the tail and slammed him back to the ground.
Some of his classmates were fairing pretty well from the glimpses he saw. Sero was using his tape to tie some of the arms onto the pillars while zipping through the corridors, Iida was taking full advantage of his speed to vault over what arms did get near him or run on the walls for a short while, Ashido was melting arms while sliding on the floor…
"I hope Uraraka and Jirou are doing okay."
He landed at the end of the field and saw that both Kacchan and Todoroki were running. His childhood friend was clenching and unclenching his hands while grimacing with every step he took. Todoroki, meanwhile, was breathing into his hands as if to warm them.
"Right! Because they need to build up sweat and not get frostbite."
Something he didn't need to worry about in the slightest.
Picking up the pace, Izuku ran past Todoroki and Kacchan in order to advance to the next portion of the race.
"Oh no you don't, Deku!"
Izuku's advancement seemed to make Kacchan magically ignore the rocks that he was running on and made him pick up the pace. Todoroki kept his pace, only glaring in frustration just as Yaoyorozu sped past him on top of an electric scooter, but with her track top starting to drench a bit in sweat.
But as the next part of the race came into view, Izuku couldn't help but grin and let out a cry of joy.
This part was made for him!
Nezu glanced at Kyle Richmond and he looked at the tablet in his hands. The man as well as several other government representatives were sitting beside him, paying rapt attention to the proceedings with grim faces on their faces.
"And you're certain that it would've taken someone who can handle nine tons to rip those things out of the wall?" He asked with a raised eyebrow at the principal.
Nezu took a calm sip of his tea and nodded. "Indeed. If only so that I could prove that our observations of Izuku-kun weren't exaggerated." He gave a pointed look at the woman sitting just ahead of him with short-cut blond hair wearing a black suit. "Despite what some people have claimed in our government circles."
Aoi Bando was the current head of the Hero Public Safety Commission and had been one of the staunchest opponents to Izuku's future as a Hero since day one. When he presented his findings of Izuku's entrance exam to the government, she had been the first to suggest that he should be immediately taken from his home and put into a government facility for studies. She scoffed at Nezu when he suggested they just make a more casual arrangement with Izuku's consent, saying that they couldn't allow someone like him to just continue to walk around in the general public.
Nezu could understand what she was worried about. Izuku's existence would change everything. A Hero whose powers weren't born from Quirks? It was just too radical. It changed too much in such a short time, and they didn't even understand how it was done.
To her, it was probably better to just stick Izuku in a lab, take him apart, and shoot him in the head behind a shed once they got everything they needed.
It was a mindset Aoi inherited from her predecessor.
He remembered the look she gave when he presented his findings about the Wonders of the World to both his staff and the government. That stony look of trepidation mixed with fear and the cold sweat beginning to form on her brow…
The world was changing in ways not even the HPSC could contain.
"And she never forgave me for suggesting the creation of the Committee of Extra-Human Wonders." He took another sip of his tea.
"Yes, I can see Mrs. Bando isn't your biggest fan." Richmond looked up at the big screen hanging overhead. "But, while impressive, it isn't anything like we saw during your little tests in the lab. Hyperion could've torn that thing off without any effort."
"Perhaps. But like your own wonder, Midoriya-kun is still growing." He couldn't help but smile a bit as Izuku reached the beginning of the 'canyon' area. In true Spider-Man fashion, he tore off the wire made only for shimmying too and from the rock pillars and jumped off the ledge. People in the stands gasped in awe and then cheered as Izuku began to swing across the dark bottom before rising up and letting go of the wire.
The boy even pumped a fist into the air as he shifted his body so that a new wire was within his trajectory.
"And brute strength isn't Midoriya-kun's biggest asset."
"It doesn't matter. It's just a temporary setback."
Shouto, despite the mantra repeating in his head, couldn't help but focus on Midoriya's back as his classmate jumped off of the edge of the canyon. He held onto the wire that was once at his feet before he began swinging like his costume's inspiration.
"I'll catch up to him soon enough. I'll pass by Bakugou and Yaoyorozu as soon as I get to the edge."
The two other classmates who had passed him by were already making their moves to overcome the obstacle. Bakugou simply jumped up and began using his hand explosions to launch him from one platform to the next, loudly cursing both himself and Midoriya as he went. Yaoyorozu, meanwhile, had unzipped her jacket and placed her handle on a gun handle that was coming out of her stomach. In a flash of motion, the class representative aimed her new grappling gun and fired, making the hook sail forward until it went onto the stone platform Bakugou just vacated.
Knowing Yaoyorozu's knowledge and her ability creating an electric scooter, it shouldn't have come as a surprise when she shot forward and was drawn to the platform itself.
"It won't be enough. My Quirk will let me overtake her in a heartbeat."
Shouto's hands were already feeling warmer than before. It was safe to use his Quirk again, and he took full advantage of his recovery. Jumping up, he began to create his ice slide and continued to form more ice as he skated overhead Yaoyorozu and caught up to Bakugou.
"Damn, you just don't know when to quit, do you, Icy-Hot?!" Bakugou snarled at him, but didn't move to attack. At least the short-fused teen understood that directly attacking classmates wasn't allowed for this exercise.
"That man's probably annoyed by the rule, too."
His father was a man who wanted to push Todoroki to the edge. He knew that Endeavor saw this entire event as a way to hammer in something that he had been trying to teach Shouto since his mother had scalded him.
That his ice wasn't good enough.
That if he wanted to be anything worthwhile, then he needed to use his left side.
"And that won't happen. Not if I have anything to say about…"
Before he could finish that thought, Todoroki felt his bridge begin to shake before it began to tip forward. Before he could react, he was already falling off and heading straight to the seemingly bottomless canyon.
Cursing and thinking fast, he thrust out his right hand and formed an ice bridge between two of the stone columns. He crashed on it and groaned before looking up.
Ahead of him, he saw a blond guy his age landing on the end of the obstacle on all fours. He glanced back and gave Todoroki a smug grin as he held up his hand, dripping with some sort of clear liquid.
The mystery as to what it was solved itself when droplets landed on the ground, causing smoke to rise up.
"Acid. Just like Ashido's… and the way he's crouching is like Asui…"
Damn. The guy had a Quirk that copied other Quirks.
Ignoring the blond's taunt, Todoroki merely got up and formed a new ice bridge to make up for lost time. But as soon as he landed he focused his right side and froze the ground in front of him. Sliding on the ice, he passed by the blond who was trying to free himself with Ashido's Quirk.
Let it not be said that Shouto Todoroki didn't have a spiteful bone in his body.
At least his action had the added benefit of cutting off Yaoyorozu's mobility. The girl has been forced to abandon her new electric scooter and she looked like hell. She was gasping for breath and her body was drenched in sweat. It seemed like her use of her Quirk was making her run on fumes at this point, especially with all the complex gadgets she used.
Well, that suited Todoroki just fine.
Now he was in the top three of this race, just as he should be.
"And I didn't need to use your Quirk to make that happen. I don't need it and I don't need you to become a Hero."
He could already feel Endeavor gritting his teeth as he watched wherever he was.
And the mental image of the man who was his father silently fuming at his defiance made Shouto smirk a tiny fraction.
"T-This…" Kyouka said in between gasps, her hands on her knees as sweat came out from practically every pore of her body. "…is some serious bullshit!"
"It does seem kinda unfair." Uraraka agreed while biting her lip. "I mean, half of our schoolmates can't clear this!"
Kyouka hadn't been having a good time with the Sports Festival.
She had been caught in Todoroki's little stunt with freezing everyone in the hallway, and had only managed to free herself because someone knocked her out of the ice on their way out. Then, she got the crap kicked out of her by metal tentacles until she could sink her jacks into a few.
And on top of all that, she had to run a freakin' marathon!
Kyouka wasn't out of shape. Her own training to become a Hero, her boxing lessons, and her weekend spin classes made sure she could do far better than most in her own school. At the same time, however, she was not someone who was a physical powerhouse. A lot of her fellow classmates and first years had quickly overtaken her in the race and didn't so much as glance back at her.
"This entire thing is completely in the favor of people with overpowered Quirks!"
It made sense. Those with the most powerful or mobile Quirks would get ahead and win the obstacle race. But where did that leave those like Kyouka? They had to make due with their physical bodies most of the time, and people like Midoriya left them in the dust.
"But I guess that's not it. It's also those who can use their Quirks creatively will get ahead."
She saw that green-haired girl from 1-B split her body to avoid the metal arms trying to grab her, and they saw the vine-haired girl from the same class just pass by the gorge using her own hair as a makeshift grappling hook. A part of her felt a spike of jealousy when that girl from the Support Department used freakin' rocket boots to clear the obstacle!
Uraraka looked at her with a worried expression and Kyouka sighed. "Don't hold yourself back on my account. I'll catch up eventually." She peeked over the edge and muttered, "Just hope that they've got mattresses or something at the bottom."
"Yes, Uraraka. Just go."
With a nod, the bubbly girl touched her fingertips together while running to the edge before jumping. Then, while touching her face, she began to sail like a slow-moving balloon over the gorge.
"So unfair…" Kyouka looked around and spotted the wire that Tsuyu used to crawl over to the stone platform. "Shit."
She had never been the biggest fan of heights. Hell, she was utterly terrified of them. She could barely stand to look out of the windows of skyscrapers without feeling vertigo.
"But I can't let that stop me. So fuck it."
Taking a deep breath, Kyouka ran forward and leapt forward. She grasped onto the metal wire and groaned as it dug into her skin.
"Suck it up, Kyouka! You didn't get this far just to quit now!"
But as she slowly shimmied her way towards the column of stone the wire was attached to, she could already see the underside of her fellow first-years pass her by. Ojiro, Aoyama, that Kendo girl from Class 1-B…
"Keep it cool. Forget them. Just remember that slow and steady…" She thought about it for a second before sighing. "Yeah, that's a fat load of crap right now. But at least you aren't giving up."
Kyouka wasn't going to fall behind because of her own hang ups.
She came into this competition to prove that she was a Hero to the world.
Maybe not as impressive as Midoriya, Todoroki, Bakugou, or Yaoyorozu, but one that was going to be as respected as them.
And that was good enough for her.
"And now, folks, we're approaching the final obstacle for our race! The big finish to the first event of the Sports Festival…" Present Mic's voice echoed from the loudspeaker as Izuku stopped in front of said obstacle.
He couldn't help but question what sick and twisted mind came up with the thing.
"Oh… crap…" Izuku muttered to himself as he placed a hand on his forehead. His Spider-Sense was giving a low hum no matter where he looked. As far as he could tell, almost every square inch of this place had a mine buried somewhere! It was like he was suffering from an actual migraine rather than just a short hum of warning! "T-This is totally crazy!"
But even he had to admit that it was clever. Those in the lead could no longer race as they did before, allowing the other students to catch up and even the playing field. Hell, he couldn't even use his usual leaps and bounds without landing on one of the mines!
"Okay, calm down! I have an advantage here." Izuky slowed his breathing and rubbed his temple. "While these aren't deadly mines, my Spider-Sense will warn me of danger. I just need to focus on where I get the strongest reaction before I make a step."
Peter had taught him how to do this. He even said it was what helped him to beat Mysterio once or twice.
"When you can't trust your eyes, try relying on your Spider-Sense. I know it sounds crazy and that thing is hella unreliable, but it's situations where you need something stronger than sight that it becomes your greatest asset."
Izuku closed his eyes and focused all his attention onto the Spider-Sense. He lifted his right foot and had it hover on the ground ahead of him in an arc. "Okay, it's getting stronger when I go right, so… to the left!"
He stepped down and sighed with relief as nothing happened. Okay, this was the safest option to go forward. And now that he knew what to look out for, his searching steps grew quicker by the second until he was power-walking through the field.
"I don't believe it folks! Izuku Midoriya of Class 1-A is making our little minefield look like a brisk walk in the park!"
Izuku couldn't help but notice the slight tone of wry bemusement just before he heard something explode behind him. But it wasn't Kacchan's explosions. They weren't nearly as loud and he couldn't feel any hot air. "Are those the mines?"
"But he better pick up the pace! Because his fellow competitors aren't going to sit by and let him get the win!"
Izuku risked opening his eyes and looked back to see that Present Mic was right. Just behind him was Todoroki taking careful steps through the field and eying the ground alone. Just behind him were several of his classmates, including Uraraka, and other first-year students weaving through the mines.
But the one barreling straight towards him with his right arm outstretched?
Izuku yelped as he leapt back just in time to avoid Kacchan's explosion-filled pawn. His Spider-Sense went haywire as he approached the ground, and he stretched out his arms just in time to hit the earth around a conspicuously turned-over circle of dirt with only strands of his hair touching it.
"You should've taken this more seriously, loser!" Kacchan shouted as he flew past where Izuku once was. Izuku was carefully bringing his legs down and making sure they didn't touch one of the mines just in time to see Todoroki freezing the ground in front of him and running past. "Taking your sweet-ass time has just bit you in the ass!"
"Crap!" He looked at the patch of frozen earth and saw Yaoyorozu and some other students running on it to follow Todoroki. He could use that to catch up! "But if I do that and leap over everyone to overtake Todoroki, then I could crack the ice and set off a mine!"
But he couldn't just keep going as slowly as he had been before! Running through the minefield was not an option, and who knew how badly his spider-sense would hurt him by going up and down in intensity at rapid succession?!
"Come on, Izuku! Think! There has to be some way to beat Kacchan and Todoroki! Some way to gain some more distance…"
The memory of his Venom Strike hit him. How it launched him back with enough force that he actually lifted himself off the ground.
"Because I was using it differently. Because I wasn't thinking about the ways to hurt someone or make them pay!"
But would it work like he intended?
"Only one way to find out!"
Tensing his leg muscles, Izuku crouched down before putting all his strength into a single jump. He sprung forward, barreling past the students that had overtaken him and closing in on Todoroki and Kacchan. He was approaching them fast, but it wouldn't be enough. He could already feel himself slowing down and beginning to angle down towards the ground.
His Spider-Sense was practically screaming at him and Present Mic was shouting something, but he ignored it. Instead, he closed his eyes and thought.
"I want to win."
His breathing slowed as he searched for that energy inside.
"I want to show the world that I am a Hero. That all those years praying for my dream to come true weren't for nothing."
A spark within him flared as he grasped onto that feeling.
"Mom, Dad, Peter, and everyone in U.A believed that I could do it. They gave me the strength I needed to get this far…"
He remembered those days just sitting alone, admiring Heroes from afar yet knowing deep down he could never become one.
Those days ended with the spider bite.
Now his destiny was something else.
He felt the sparks of electricity dance through his body and focus on his arms. He opened his eyes and smiled.
"I AM SPIDER-MAN!"
He felt the burst before he heard it. To Izuku, it sounded like a mix of transformer bursting and a firecracker. He smelled the burning ozone as his rapid descent halted and he was thrown forward with more force than before. He couldn't help but laugh as he passed by Todoroki and reached next to Kacchan.
"Do you see me now, Kacchan?!"
Kacchan grit his teeth as explosions now came from his feet, allowing him to keep up with Izuku.
"You improved, but so have I! I am not going to just sit back and rely on my power set. Not when others believe in me… and think I can become so much more!"
There was the entrance to the colosseum, their finish line. It was approaching and growing closer. He would be there in five… four… three… two…!
Izuku's eyes watered as he let out a scream. One only matched in its ferocity by Kacchan.
"AND THAT'S ALL, FOLKS!"
Izuku let out a gasp as his body practically skipped across the dirt, exiting the comforting cool shadows and into the light. He planted his hands on the ground before he could begin rolling, but it hurt his arms like hell. Kacchan, meanwhile, cut off his explosions and stumbled while waving his arms around to stabilize himself.
"O… Okay…" Izuku grumbled as he got up. "Need to work on the landing…"
He heard the screams and hollers of the people in the stands cheering him and Kacchan, all of them cheering just because they gave them such a good show.
He wondered if All Might was in the crowd. Was his mom and Peter watching from their televisions and cheering him on just as loudly?
"What an amazing finish to our little obstacle race, folks! Katsuki Bakugou and Izuku Midoriya, neck and neck! To be honest, if it weren't for the magic of technology I'd have no idea who made it first!" Present Mic chuckled. "But I'm not exactly good at crushing dreams, so I'll leave it for our resident sad-sack Eraserhead!"
Aizawa grumbled on the loudspeaker as he said "And the winner is…"
Izuku looked up at the video screen, loudly gulping as it began to flash between his photo and Kacchan's.
Then his heart sank when it changed to Kacchan's photo and didn't shift back.
"K-Kacchan won…" Izuku muttered to himself, disappointment in himself washing over his body with just those two words. As the screen switched to a slow-motion instant replay, he could see why it happened. During the last few seconds, Kacchan cut off his hand explosions and thrust his arms forward to gain some distance.
It was enough that his body made it to the finish line a few inches more than Izuku.
"I can understand why it happened…" He let out a sigh. "Doesn't mean I have to like it."
"I told you, Deku."
Izuku turned to Kacchan, who was staring at him with his arms crossed. He didn't look pissed off or even smug, as part of Izuku expected him to. He just seemed to be sizing him up and stating facts.
"I promised I would win. That your crazy new Quirk wouldn't beat me again, no matter how much it pissed me off." He looked at Izuku's hands and said, "You surprised me with that whole light show, but you lost focus. You got high off of your own new shit that you forgot where you were. This isn't just a place to show off, Deku." He began to walk towards the center of the stadium. "It's a competition to win. And only the real winners will become Heroes."
"Kacchan…" Was he right? Did he really just get absorbed with figuring out a new application for his Venom blast that he forgot to try and win? Swallowing, he shouted, "G-Good job, but this isn't the only activity in the Sports Festival!"
Kacchan looked over his shoulder as Izuku continued.
"I'm going to win the others, Kacchan! Just wait and see!"
The blond studied him for a second, clicked his tongue, then continued on without another word.
"Damnit…" Izuku turned to his right as saw Todoroki slowing down and glaring at Kacchan. "Damn… I was so close and…!"
"Todoroki-kun, are you…?" He flinched at the cold stare that the scarred teen gave him. The boy said nothing and just followed Kacchan without another word.
Izuku's hands clenched into fists.
That's right. While he promised to beat Kacchan, his childhood friend wasn't his only competitor.
Todoroki and the others also wanted to beat them… and they weren't going to stop until they became the winner.
"Let's hope that I can keep my promise to you, Kacchan."
"Uh, Mysterio-sama?" Clash asked as she looked nervously at her boss. "Are you okay?"
Mysterio had been watching the Sports Festival with rapt attention for the past hour. She didn't understand it herself. Hell, if it was her decision she wouldn't have been watching it at all.
It reminded her too much of the future denied to her. Of the very thing society said she couldn't be a part of just because she didn't have the right genes.
Plus, every time the camera cut to the Pro Heroes, she was reminded of Fat Gum, Snatch, and Nighteye's broken and bloodied bodies. The life draining out of them when she… when they…
"Stop. Stop thinking that. That's in the past and they… they were attacking first!"
But that didn't make her feel better.
To distract herself, she focused on Mysterio pausing and rewinding one part. A green-haired and freckled boy launching himself forward with some green electricity coming off of his arms.
"I AM SPIDER-MAN!"
Mysterio slid his finger against the remote to rewind it again and pressed play.
"I AM SPIDER-MAN!"
"Uh…" Clash felt someone tap against her shoulder and turned around to see Rei glancing at their flame-headed leader in worry. "Is Mysterio-sama going to be alright? H-he hasn't said anything."
Clash bit her lip. She couldn't say 'Of course he is' when it was very clear he wasn't. But she didn't want to tell him the truth either. Rei had been a mess ever since they… took care of his dad. Vulture would tell her that Rei cried at night and sometimes wouldn't eat. She didn't want him to worry more than he already was.
"Look, Rei…" She put her hands on his shoulder and smiled. "Why don't you help that idiot make his kkaennip-jeon? I'm worried that without the big guy around he's just going to destroy the kitchen."
He looked to the side and his body was practically shaking. "W-What? H-Help him? I… I don't know how to deal with cooking. What if I don't do a good job and he gets angry at me?"
"Trust me, you'll do great! Your cooking is super yummy!" She grinned at him. "And if he gives you any lip, I've got a hardback copy of American Gods to slam on his head!"
"I HEARD THAT, BITCH!" A shout came from the kitchen.
"GOOD!" She responded back furiously before gently pushing Rei to the kitchen. "Now, try to have fun, okay? And don't worry if you make any mistakes! You're free with us, okay?"
When she closed the door to the kitchen, she winced when she heard the sound of metal and plastic breaking. She turned to see Mysterio glaring at the screen with the remote crushed in his right hand.
He didn't even seem to notice.
"I want to know everything about him." He said in a low growl. Clash flinched. He'd never sounded this angry before, except… except when…
When Tomura told him about the Spider-Man of U.A.
"I want to know his name, the names of his family, where he went to school, what little teenage girl he's seeing. I want to know everything!" He hissed as he turned to her. "Because I am going to make sure there isn't any Spider-Man in this world except for Parker, and this little shit is going to regret the day he decided to pick up that name!"
Clash gulped and looked at the frozen image on the screen of the green haired boy. The name written in kanji was a fairly unique one, so it wouldn't be too hard to find with a Google search.
Which was bad news for the boy no older than she was.
Why did she have the sneaking suspicion that things were going to become a lot more complicated because of him?
To Be Continued…
Notes: Wow, so I finally posted this. Okay, you might've noticed something different. For one thing, this hasn't been betaed by my long-running partner, reppuzan.
Instead, this chapter has been betaed by Saint Danielle.
Let me explain.
I've been sorta sitting on this chapter for over three months. It had been completed and reppuzan said he'd take a look at it. Coincidentally, this was around the time where he took a break. Now I didn't mind and thought I could wait a bit. Especially since he explained in September that the radio silence was due to him getting really into that MMORPG Final Fantasy game and some personal issues. I figured, okay that was fine because we all get wrapped up in games like that.
But he hasn't said anything since September. It's been complete radio silence since then.
I really wanted to put this out there, and I was in a bit of a rut. Then, after talking it over with some friends, I decided that it would be best for me to just post this. I notified reppuzan about this through a private message and now you all have the chapter we have today.
I cannot thank him enough for his contribution to this fic. Our planning sessions and stuff helped to make this thing what it is. And should he return I would welcome him with open arms.
But I also can't just stop writing because he's currently silent.
So I'm sorry, both to him and to all of you should this chapter not meet your standards.
Anyways, be sure to leave a review and check out the TV Tropes page!