Joe's Note: I made the artistic decision to skip the actual exam - or the majority of it - for this story because let's be honest, taking up valuable space describing Izuku beating shit to death with Stormbreaker would just be a waste of all of our time. We cover the pre-exam period and the start of the exam. This chapter covers the end of the exam. The middle really isn't relevant apart from just padding my word count. Oh look, Izuku hit a thing. Oh look, Izuku hit another thing. And then he hit a third thing. And a fourth thing. And ten other things. Boring. But this is going to cover the Zero Pointer, obviously because why would I pass up on the ultimate opportunity for Izuku to look like a badass. From there, we're going to move back into socialization-centric storytelling because how can I pass up an early opportunity to introduce everyone's favorite steampunk Support Course student?
Dedications & Thanks: To Nicholas, Howard, Jade, Alexander, Tibor, Alonsis2, Daniel, Clark, Adrien, erlking, ridillin, Haematite, Charles, Jacky, Edward, Andrew, Roofcrawler, Wil, PbookR, Samuel, Mikey, Beverly, Daniel, Charles, Crygon20, Subtle, Christopher, Stephen, Fablesrogue, Morgan, Joseph, Jason, RileyWestfall, bloodylord, Marc, Ziryo, Chris, George, Koby, William, Devin, JJbelle, David, Gavin, TheTenthAncestor, Lookshy, Mauday, John, Roman, Warren, and Jess for sponsoring me on , and making it easier for me to spend more of my time writing.
Izuku let out a grunt as he landed atop another three pointer, driving it into the ground under his Asgardian-enhanced body mass and burying Stormbreaker's axe face in the robot's head for good measure. If he'd been keeping score accurately - and he wasn't the type to mess up something so essential - he'd just broken one hundred points in cleaning out 'his' half of the battle center. The remaining examinees were scattered across the front half of the center, with a few daring to venture further only to find a wasteland of destroyed robots for their efforts.
It was a good score. A great score, an exceptional score, even. If he didn't get in with a score that high, Izuku didn't want to know what it took to be admitted to U.A. High. But at the same time, he found himself feeling distinctly dissatisfied with his victory. It seemed... hollow. While the robots had been plentiful, they'd also been almost comically easy to defeat. There was no glory in his victory today. No real accomplishment. While he'd slain the most opponents, they were opponents that anyone could take out, as evidenced by his presumed future classmates' own accomplishments.
...he was complaining about it being too easy to achieve his childhood dream. Maybe there was more to being in Thor form than just inheriting some extra strength.
Hopping down off his latest victim, Izuku took to the skies again as Present Mic announced the two minute warning. He landed agilely atop a building near the center of town, giving him a good vantage point from which to survey his... not really competitors. As arrogant as it sounded even in his own head, they couldn't compete with him. Comrades, maybe? That sounded a bit more accurate. Ashido seemed to be a bit worse for wear but still in good spirits. Nearby, a blond teenager was racking up some last minute points thanks to a laser that shot out of his stomach. And... Izuku let out a low whistle as he watched a multi-armed boy with silver hair tear a one-pointer clean in two with his bare hands. It wasn't Thor strength, but still respectable. And damn cool looking.
Suddenly, the building he was standing on began to tremble as explosions filled the air and Izuku turned with wide eyes to stare at the positively massive robot that was looming over him. When he'd seen the silhouette of the zero point robot during the presentation, it had been scaled to match the rest of the robots and he'd figured it would be some sort of hidden trick mixed in with the rest of the robots. That he might have even wasted his time destroying one or two in his robot-slaughtering spree across the battle center. But this... this was something else entirely.
This was a real opponent.
Grinning widely, Izuku hopped down off the top of the building, making his way over to where the rest of the examinees were disengaging from their last ditch efforts to gain points and fleeing in the face of a greater danger. That was fine by him; he didn't want anyone to end up being collateral damage from what he was about to do. Once the area was clear enough for his liking, he bent his legs and launched himself up into the air, spinning to gain momentum as lightning flickered down out of the sky to gather on Stormbreaker's head. "VALHALLA SMASH!"
The blunt side of Stormbreaker's head collided with the gleaming, multi-eyed face of the Zero Pointer and caved it in with a colossal bang, the electricity discharging and skittering along the robot's body leaving small explosions in its wake. Then secondary explosions began to wrack the robot as it tipped over backwards, culminating with a titanic explosion that sent chunks of metal pinwheeling through the nearby buildings, utterly destroying them. Landing back on the street with a huff, Izuku surveyed the carnage he had wrought with a satisfied grin. Now that... was an opponent worth showing up for.
Would the school hold it against him if he took a piece of the robot home as a trophy?
...yeah, there were definitely mental effects to being in his Thor form for any length of time.
"Woah, that was awesome!" Head whipping up, Izuku looked back and forth as he tried to figure out where the excited female voice was coming from. He spotted someone's abandoned tracksuit jacket caught on a nearby bus stop, but... wait. His eyes doubled back to the jacket. It wasn't just a jacket. It was a jacket and a set of pants. Standing upright. As if there was someone still wearing them. Being able to sense electrical fields wasn't second nature to him yet, a skill that he actually had to focus on to use, and when he did... there was a girl in the tracksuit. A kind of cute girl, with pigtails that crackled with energy as she bounced up and down in place. "You were just like... wham! And then the Zero Pointer was like... blurp blurp blurp KABOOM! All over the place!"
Chuckling, Izuku swung Stormbreaker back up into the sling on his back. One of these days, he decided, he'd see if he could control it well enough to just have it float along behind him when he wanted his hands free. Or maybe he could mentally command it to shrink into something more easily portable? He focused his will on the idea of a smaller hammer and pushed... and nothing happened. Right. So the floating hammer plan was probably his best bet. "Glad you liked it enough to stick around instead of running off to get some last second points. My name is Midoriya Izuku. What's yours?"
The girl gave a few more bounces before offering up her hand to Izuku. "Hagakure Toru. It's nice to meet you. How'd you do on the exam? Other than the big finish, I mean. I had a rough go of it to start but once I found the shutdown button that they include for the less combat-oriented students, I managed to rack up a whole bunch of points."
"I think I managed to do pretty well if I do say so myself." Gesturing for Hagakure to walk with him, Izuku began heading for the exit of the battle center. Finding himself floundering for a way to continue the conversation without sounding like he was bragging, he decided to turn to an Amora staple: compliments. "Your hair is really cute. I've been more into drill curls lately since my girlfriend started wearing them but pigtails really suit you."
Hagakure came to an abrupt stop and stood there for a few seconds before dashing forward to catch up with him. "Wait, you can see me?"
Raising one hand, Izuku wobbled it from side to side before bringing his hand up to tap at his temple. "Not... exactly. As part of my Thor powers, I can sense electrical fields. It means that among other things, I have a really easy time of walking around in the dark, I'm hard to sneak up on, and... yeah, I know roughly what you look like. All I can 'see' is a crackling outline of bioelectricity, though, so I have no idea what color your hair is or anything. Just that it looks cute."
"Wait, so if you're seeing bioelectricity... my clothes don't have any. So that means you're just seeing me then, right?" Hagakure grimaced even as Izuku opened his mouth to counter that he'd never take advantage of his powers in such a way. Evidently, though, it wasn't the idea of being peeped on in and of itself that was worrying her. "So you're the one person other than the nurse here who's going to know my secret." Secret? "I'm, uh, not like most girls." Izuku blinked owlishly at that, trying to figure out what she meant. Of course she wasn't like most girls, she was invisible. And that was a really awesome quirk, with so much potential for surveillance and infiltration that Izuku just wanted to squeal in excitement at the possibility of going to school with someone like that. "I'm trans. I take my medicine every day but I'm not old enough for surgery yet so... yeah."
So when she said she wasn't the same as other girls, she meant that she had a... instead of a... and was worried that Izuku could see... oh. To be honest, he'd never even considered abusing his burgeoning power to peep on girls. Mostly because he had a really hot girlfriend who he was pretty sure would let him see her naked if he asked. "Well, I'm not exactly the peeping type so I never would have known if you hadn't told me. But I'm honored that you confided in me. And I promise not to tell anyone else."
Hagakure stared up at him with awe. "You're not... you don't mind that I'm not normal?"
"Pfft, my girlfriend isn't even the same species as me." Izuku opened his mouth, paused, and then backtracked to amend that statement. He really needed to learn to phrase that better; the last thing he needed was people thinking he was one of those creepy otaku who thought they were dating a fictional character... or worse. "Amora was one of the Asgardians who watched over Stormbreaker before I lifted it. Well technically she's from Vanaheimr so she's not even an Asgardian but it's a close enough explanation for casual conversation."
Blinking owlishly, Hagakure continued to trot alongside him as they made their way out of the battle center. "Yeah, you should probably lead with the Asgardian bit next time. That's cool, though. You know, you're taking this really well. I know that a lot of LGBT stuff sorta fell by the wayside when Quirks started showing up, but even in this day and age being transgender isn't considered the most normal thing around."
Izuku offered her a dismissive wave as he slowed his strides a bit, not wanting to catch up with the rest of the examinees as they made their way toward the large metal doors marking the exit of the battle center. "When you're friends with an alien who masquerades as both male and female humans depending on their mood, the idea of a human boy turning into a girl doesn't really phase you." Furrowing his brow, he thought back to a conversation that he'd had with Loki recently. "Actually, we might even be able to help you along your path. I'd have to ask Loki to be sure, but I know that they recently rebuilt a soul forge for Eir in Tønsberg. And that's pretty much all we should say on this subject for now. I can give you my number if you want to text me more, or we can wait until school begins..?"
"I wouldn't mind swapping numbers with you. I mean, as long as your girlfriend doesn't mind." Hagakure grinned and reached up to fluff her pigtails playfully as she winked at him. "After all, you're the one guy I've met so far who can actually see how cute I am. She could feel threatened by that."
Chuckling, Izuku dug into his pocket for his cell phone, unlocking it and opening the Contacts app before handing it to Hagakure so that she could enter her number. "Not to be mean but... well, you haven't seen my girlfriend. She doesn't have anything to feel threatened about."
In the midst of entering her information into his phone, Hagakure turned to him with wide eyes and let out a low whistle. "Ouch. By now I'm obviously used to guys not looking at me twice compared to other girls, but that one actually hurts." Before Izuku could figure out how to apologize - he'd only been responding to what she'd said honestly, after all - she let out a snort of laughter and went back to typing. "Just kidding. I'm not vain enough to think that I'm the be all and end all of girls, especially considering... well, you know. I'm sure that if she's good enough for freaking Thor to ask out, your girlfriend is pretty amazing."
"You're not wrong!" Sliding across the pavement toward them with the trademark slurping sounds of her body skating on the acid it could produce, Ashido made a loose circle around them before coming to a stop on Izuku's left. "And thanks for sticking to your word when it came to the robots. I think I may have actually gotten a good enough score to maybe qualify for Class 1-B if I'm lucky. Speaking of Amora-chan, though, she sent me a picture from on campus right before the exam started. Is she just here to cheer you on or is she in one of the other battle centers raising hell?"
Turning his head to watch as Recovery Girl of all people went hustling past him into the battle center, Izuku was silent for a moment before processing the question and turning his attention back to his pink companion. "Neither of the above, actually. Because honestly, does Amora strike you as the heroic type?" Ashido opened her mouth to respond before apparently thinking better of it, jaw closing with a snap as she shook her head slowly. "She's actually applying for the Business Course here. She decided she wanted to learn more about modern Japanese society and how to best ensure that I get the recognition she feels I deserve."
Ashido let out a cheer at that, pumping her fist in the air. "So we'll be able to trade sexy uniform selfies! Nice!" Looking over to find Izuku staring at her bemusedly, she blushed a faint lilac color as she lowered her arm. "I mean... good for you two, figuring out a way to make your futures work together?"
"Aww man. Now I kinda wanna do sexy uniform selfies too. Pooh." Hagakure leaned forward, peering across Izuku at Ashido. "I'm Hagakure Toru, by the way. Pretty sure I did well enough to make it into one of the two Hero Course classes too. Wanna trade contact info?"
Nodding, Ashido held her hand out expectantly, frowning as Hagakure passed her Izuku's phone. Returning it to its rightful owner, she tried again, receiving Hagakure's phone this time so that she could enter her phone number. "I'm Ashido Mina. Call me Mina. Pretty much everyone does, except for Midoriya-kun here."
Hagakure crossed her arms over her chest as she stared up at Izuku accusingly. "Hey, I just realized that. I told you my deepest darkest secret and you didn't even offer to let me call you by your name."
"You didn't either."
"Well call me Toru then."
"Only if you call me Izuku."