Shattered Centers

Summary: What could change if All Might wasn't there to stop Aizawa from investigating the fight between Midoriya and Bakugou? A lot, actually. Secrets are busted, headaches grow and teenagers get help they desperately need as events unfold in a new way.

Disclaimer: Boku no Hero Academia and all of it's characters belong to Kohei Horikoshi

Chapter 1: The Fight

"…don't want to get caught around Exit 27. A villain with an earth liquefaction quirk was cornered there after stealing a bike and it's estimated to be another hour before they have it safe to drive again.

In other news, crime is still on the rise now that-"

Tsukachi switched his radio off. "All of this over someone stealing a bike…" he sighed before continuing, "Well, that explains why traffic's at a standstill. You can probably tack on another couple hours before we through the traffic jam…once they fix the road."

Toshinori tried to ignore the last few words that had escaped the speakers before they had been silenced but they just kept echoing through his mind, fueled by the conversation he'd had with All For One.

Toshinori stared, hyper-focused, down the street from where he sat in the car as if he could see the damage around the curve and a mile away simply by looking. He finally looked away from the window as he said, "I guess I need to call UA and let them know I'll be late."

After a few moments of silence, Tsukachi asked, "How are you doing?"

There were so many ways to interpret that question. Toshinori knew his friend wasn't asking about his physical health but, even with that one possible meaning eliminated, it could still reference half a dozen other things, each with it's own answer. He chose the current situation, as it seemed like one of the easiest to answer. "Its so odd," he reflected. Glancing out the side window at the buildings nearest the highway, he continued. "A couple months ago I'd have jumped out of the car, found a place to transform and leapt to the scene of the attack in order to make sure everything was alright. Then I would have run back to the school, making sure I arrived before my time limit ran out. Now I'm just…it feels so wrong, to just be sitting here."

"And I wouldn't have blinked at you doing that," Tsukachi replied. He glanced at his old friend, "It can't be easy, being retired. Especially with how much your students look up to you."

Toshinori nodded, sighing. He had hoped to congratulate the majority of the first-year students on their success in getting provisional licenses when they got back to the school, too. By now, they were all back in their dorms.

Toshinori sighed as he stared at his reflection in the glass and found himself recalling other glass walls that he'd been sitting in front of earlier that day. Thinking of the words he'd exchanged with monsters on the other side. "I'll be glad when the day is over," He stated, looking back at his friend as he adjusted himself so that he was more comfortable in his loose hanging hero costume, "It's been too…long."

Tomorrow, Toshinori would congratulate Young Midoriya personally for his achievement. He opened the picture of the license his protégé had messaged him for the umpteenth time and smiled. He felt a warm swell of pride in his chest, just as strong as when he first received it earlier that afternoon. It may have been a long day, but this image reminded him that certainly not all of it was bad.

Yet, unknown to the retired hero, the day wouldn't end as soon as he had hoped. For in a couple hours, as their exit would finally come into view in the distance, Izuku Midoriya and Katsuki Bakugou would be slipping out of Class 1-A's dorm and heading for the school's gate. By the time their conflict ended, an unstoppable cascade of events would be set into motion.

"Yo, Eraserhead!" Tired, glazed eyes flicked up at the mechanical voice that echoed out of the school speaker system. Aizawa closed his laptop, listening to the announcement. "Two of your students are at Ground Beta! Negligent Supervision! Come take responsibility and discipline them."

"Are you serious…?" Shota asked, annoyed but not surprised, especially since the Provisional Licensing Exam was today. Big events like that were almost always bound to lead to restlessness. He'd expected to be on watch all night but almost immediately after curfew? Really?

"Seriously serious."

"Which students?"

"Students identified as Katsuki Bakugou and Izuku Midoriya."

Shota had hoped it would be something as simple as a pair of his students being thoughtless in the celebration of their success at officially becoming heroes. With those two together, though, he knew it couldn't be anything so pleasant.

Shota sighed, stood and stormed outside. "What in the world could they be thinking?" Whatever it was, he had a bad feeling. As he stated to Ms. Joke those two were the heart of class 1-A but too often he wished that they would just make his job easier and get along.

Trusting his instincts, the man rushed toward the testing ground. He heard a distant explosion and shattering of glass before smoke, black against the light from the city skyline, billowed skyward from Ground Beta. Should've known, he mentally grumbled. It wasn't until that moment that he noticed the cool breeze against his throat. He'd forgotten his capture weapon. But hearing the distant rumbling, it was clear that there was no time to retrieve it.

Shota heard echoing voices as he drew closer. Even from this far away where he was unable to make out words, he could pick up on emotions in Bakugou's voice. Ones that the explosive blond had never before shown in the whole time he'd been at UA.

Then Shota could hear the electrical crackle of Midoriya's quirk join the explosions as he drew closer.

He was nearly there when he heard Bakugou shout again. "I thought you weren't going to be my punching bag anymore!"

"I'm not!" Midoriya roared back.

Despite being winded, Shota picked up the pace. He had to stop this fight, now.

"I bet you've got some kind of plan up your sleeve!"

Shota rounded the corner just in time to receive a blinding flash. He bit back his curse as he closed his eyes, hissing. He was unable to use his quirk and his students were still several blocks away. Somehow, his presence went unnoticed.

Bakugou continued, "That's one of the things I hate most about you!" Bang! "I can never tell what you're thinking. No matter how much I beat you up, you keep coming back! It's obvious you always looked down on me. Even when we were kids! You think you're better than me but if you seriously think you're going to surpass me as a hero even with your new power, you better think again Deku!"

Shota tried to open his eyes but they were still too watery. Damn it. Before the USJ, he would have recovered from that flash by now. He was beginning to worry he might never completely heal from the beating he'd taken from that damn Nomu.

Despite how quiet Midoriya's response was, his words carried as well as Bakugou's roar. "Wait. Is that what you actually believed? All this time?"

Oh fuck, was this seriously them working through their issues? In a full out fight, quirks and all? Pummeling each other - or more accurately, Bakugou Pummeling Midoriya and Midoriya indulging him. Shota had wanted them to solve whatever was between them but this not what he had in mind… and what did Bakugou mean by, 'new power'?

"Think about it Kacchan," the calmer boy stated, and Shota had to admit, it was impressive how he kept his cool even now, "If I looked down on you, I wouldn't want anything to do with you anymore. I'm still here. I noticed things you couldn't all these years because I had nothing at first. There were things I hated about you, sure. But I could clearly see how amazing you were."

They had momentarily stopped using their quirks. Shota would like to hope that they were done but… he knew better. He took advantage of the moment to blink, having almost completely recovered. He had a suspicion of what would happen when he called out to them but for now, he'd give them a chance. Maybe they could work this out with no more fists. It would be nice, even if the implications of the topic of their conversation were worrying, to say the least. He let his quirk rest for the moment as he watched and quietly stalked closer.

"You had so much going for you that I didn't have. All Might was my hero but you were the one actually in my life!" Midoriya built up his power and charged forward with the declaration, until he moved faster than his teacher had seen him do without breaking himself. And Shota knew that if he acted now, Midoriya would shatter his leg as he swung it forward. So, frustrated at missing his opportunity, he waited for the right moment…

The boys charged at each other, Bakugou a yellow blur of movement and Midoriya a green. Despite dodging the blow, some of Midoriya's power was still coursing through Bakugou, sparking out through his legs, seeming to affect his movements as it did so.

That was new…

And that was not the behavior of a simple strength enhancement quirk.

Midoriya swung around again and Bakugou was sent flying. Midoriya grabbed a pole, swung around and shot after Bakugou, "Is that all you've got?!"

Damn it, this was too much. Despite the danger of erasing Midoriya's quirk while he was fighting like this, Shota was worried that allowing the hit might do more damage. So, despite the risk, Aizawa activated his quirk.

Midoriya was in midair and Bakugou launched himself upward, only to jump the couple feet his own legs gave him before coming back to earth, barely able to right himself before a confused Midoriya landed on him, the two colliding in an ungraceful crash.

When I am considering the story from a specific person's point of view, I will use their personal name to reference them. The other characters will be referred to by their family names unless they prefer the use of their personal names or some other series related circumstance dictates it.

Some of the first chapters are going to be slow but I feel that they're important. And the earlier action will be mostly training related. I plan to keep it interesting with more emotional scenes. I promise the action will pick up some later, because no force in the universe can keep Izuku Midoriya from landing right in the thick of it.

Also, when I say All Might is reminded of panes of glass he was looking through at monsters earlier, it's not a mistake. When I was going over the scene where he was heading back in the car with Tsukachi, although he doesn't get to discuss it in detail, he mentions that he had a conversation with Stain. At the time of writing this, that conversation has not been referenced again in any notable way that I can recall (The series is at 210 chapters at this point). So if you're finding this story after it's been brought up again, I didn't have the material to work with when starting this story. Otherwise, I have no doubt I would have weaved references to it in here.

Hopefully, you'll enjoy what I write. I think this is an interesting idea.

After a point from a review on , I made a slight adjustment to All Might's section.

Beta Note:

I came up with the idea the reason All Might is absent due to a villain attack effecting traffic for multiple reasons. One, as I tried to express here, was to bring up the contrast of his life as a civilian vs what it was as a hero. I want to try o get some of the emotions he might be feeling about that change into this. Another is world building, showing how this society might view these attacks, so common that traffic related news considers them a routine part of their reports.

I am also considering a subtle quirk in for Midoriya, although it's one that could fit the series as is and even explain away some plot conveniences. Still, I've already got as a head cannon anyway. The general idea is that he has a quirk that acts as a magnetism and/or agitator to other quirks. It would explain how he finds so many heroes and villains in general, draws in trouble and incidents like how in all of Hosu, Izuku managed to find his way straight to Iida and Stain. At first, it wouldn't play a major role but I would probably have its role grow over time. Is this a good idea?