AN: So been a while hasn't it, I am a sure a few people were beginning to think I had given the story up. fear not, I am back and with a fresh new update. Not only that, but I also had a lot of help with this chapter from my new beta, Bardothren, whose own My Hero Academia story Precognition is also on the FFN site, I would heartily recommend it as it is a brilliant story, with some fresh ideas and quite a few twists and turns.

Either way with his help I have updated the chapter, and hopefully it goes down well. It is always a pain to follow up an exciting action fueled chapter with a more sedate one dealing with the aftermath, but hopefully I've done an alright job with his. Hopefully I have.

Either way, I hope you all enjoy and leave a comment or a review, etc. If you have a question or what not, please feel free to PM I am usually good at answering those. Or if you fancy I am on a discord group with a couple of others including Bardothren, the link is in my bio and feel free to join if you want to chat, brain storm ideas or whatever.

Disclaimer: I do not own My Hero Academia. It probably would be fun if I did though.

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Chapter 12

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(The U.S.J.)

Detective Tsukauchi Naomasa muffled a slight groan as he tried to focus on the ongoing situation at hand. Or rather as he focused on the recently incapacitated and detained villains that were being led out of the U.S.J. in orderly lines by armed officers, before being transported over to a nearby convoy of police cars and trucks. Once the doors slammed shut, they would be on a one-way ticket to the nearest station for processing and detainment.

This was not what he had pictured himself doing today when he had woken up this morning, not at all.

Scowling at that thought, Tsukauchi looked over at the meandering mass of students just to the side of the entrance. From where he was standing, he could see that the small group of students had been placed far enough away from the police convoy and crowd of distant reporters and journalists to be afforded a least some sense of privacy while still being within sight of the attending officers, even as paramedics checked over their scratches and bruises.

Once things had been squared away here, he would ask them a few questions to fill in the gaps about what went down before sending them home with escorts. Everything else, such as the filing incident reports, contacting of family members, etc., including any more questions that may or may not need to be asked, could be sorted out later. At a time when they weren't all as shaken up as they currently were, so he could press them for more details.

Tsukauchi let out a sigh at that. These kids were far too young for a villain attack.

Sure, they were training to be Pro Heroes, but they were only in their first year. They were what, fifteen at most, still children really. They were only supposed to be preparing for villains attacks and all the other shit that came with hero work, not already doing them.

He felt saddened by just the sight of their haunted faces, it gave made him feel a tightness in his chest. Instead of enjoying their teenage years, being a bit rebellious and finding themselves, they were instead training to fight, disable, and maybe even hurt, if necessary, other human beings. Thinking of it now, was there any difference between heroes in training and child soldiers?

No, that was unfair. For one the heroes in training were doing a government sanctioned service for society, and for another, they were training to de-escalate situations, assist evacuations, and administer first aid, and cut out the next sentence, just as much as they were being trained how to use their Quirks.

He was being petty and uncharitable before, he knew that. He was allowing his own misgivings and doubts bleed into his opinion. It wasn't constructive now, nor was it helpful. Not now when he was dealing with the aftermath of a such a large-scale villain attack.

Tsukauchi didn't have much to do at the moment. Not with most of the mooks, low level thugs and criminals subdued before police reinforcements had even arrived.

Tsukauchi frowned at that thought, even as he sent the line of captured villains a scathing look. Most of them were wastrels and slackers, people who achieved nothing in life and had no real place in society, the type that could be easily bought with a bit of chump change. They took more from the world than they gave. They didn't subscribe to any kind of ideology, unlike the League of Villain's leaders that had used them for disposable cannon-fodder, espoused.

No, instead they were just dissatisfied and disenfranchised individuals that had squandered their opportunities early on in life. They were the kind that had bombed out of school early with no relevant qualifications to speak. The kind that were work shy, and instead they used their brawn and Quirks to take from others around them, they were parasites in every sense of the word.

Some of them, now that he thought about it, had also probably graduated or left school with the aim of getting into the Pro Hero profession. They had thought that with their Quirks they could easily make it and live an easy life of luxury, only for their dreams to fall in tatters around them as they came to realise both how competitive and cutthroat the hero industry was, and that there was more to being a hero than just a flashy Quirk. No, to become a hero, you also needed a drive and commitment that they lacked.

They were easily manipulated thugs. They were nobodies, and now, they would all be charged with domestic terrorism, assaulting minors, breaking and entering, bodily harm, attempted murder, and basically whatever else the law could reasonably throw at them.

He doubted there would be much political pushback on this, not when these morons had attacked a school full of children. Examples had to be made, and these idiots had unfortunately thrown their lot in with the wrong crowd.

An attack like this couldn't go unpunished, not if they didn't want to set a precedent. Heads would roll for this, maybe not literally, but this crowd of schmucks was in for a rough time of it going forward. There were just some things, some crimes, you didn't do. There were unwritten rules such as not going after heroes in their civilian identities, don't target their families, and don't attack children and school, and they had just torn them all up and thrown them out of the window.

Shaking his head at that, Tsukauchi turned away from the dispirited thugs as the last of their number were being processed and loaded into the back of the convoy of trucks. Their lives as they knew them were effectively over. They'd be lucky to end up in a mid-level jail. But even then, their crimes would be known. He doubt they would have an easy time of it in jail, not after attacking a school. You just didn't go after kids, it was a sure-fire way to get a shiv in your ribs in prison.

Looking back over at U.A.'s Class 1a, even as a number of paramedics continued to check them over in an impromptu triage centre at the side of the building, he shook his head.

These kids, they were tough, but they weren't ready for this.

Even from where he was standing, he could already see a few of them on the verge of losing it. Their adrenaline from the fight was wearing off, and the realisation of how close to death they had just come was sinking in. In the end they were still kids, they did not have the hardened resolve to face down such violence without batting an eye. Time had not yet twisted them and made them bitter and cynical about just how shit the world was, and just how terrible, selfish, and petty the people that lived in it could be.

They were still innocent and naive. Or at least they were for now. Unfortunately, working that wouldn't last long in law enforcement. Their idealism, positivity. and belief in the general decency of human beings, if they stayed their current course, it would be gone in a matter of years and all that would be left would be cynicism and a growing feeling of resentment at the pointlessness and futility of it all.

Still overall, and despite their inexperience, they had done a good job.

When he had first heard of the assault, he had been unprepared for the sheer scale of the villain attack.

In fact, when he had heard the scale of the villain attack, he had prepared himself for a bloodbath, young bodies broken beyond repair littered around the false scenery and villains running amok as a few haggard remnants of the class held them off by the skin of their teeth.

Instead, the brats had risen to the challenge and managed to hold out long enough for reinforcements from the school to arrive and mop up the remaining villains, and secure the area.

The group of teens, alongside their teachers, Eraserhead, Snipe and Thirteen, had fought gamely and had managed to drive off the leaders of the attack, this Shigaraki Tomura character and the shadowy, warping villain, Kurogiri. The main two members of the cumbersomely named League of Villains- already a small part of him was cringing at the thought of having to seriously put that childish name in his report, had escaped.

But the rest, a good, of what, sixty or so villains and thugs, had been incapacitated by the students, or were swept up by the reinforcements as several other teachers, led by All Might himself, arrived on the scene and delivered the finally death knell to the failing attack.

In fact, by the time both himself and the police had arrived, all they had to do was take statements from the surviving teachers, process and handcuff the captured bad guys, and then scout around for this birdlike Nomu character, the one that had been punted out of the U.S.J. at some point near the end of the fighting.

Already he had a dozen or so armed officers, and at least four Pro Heroes and two of the U.A. teachers sweeping the nearby forest, and he had a call put out across all channels of communication warning of a potentially dangerous mutant-type villain in the area.

Rubbing his brow at that thought and warding away his oncoming headache, Tsukauchi tore his gaze away from the students.

For all that the main bad guys had been driven off and the mooks had been rounded up and arrested, this day had not been a good one.

It certainly hadn't been a victory.

Not with the Rescue Hero: Thirteen, dead.

The Pro-Heroes Eraserhead and Snipe were alive at least, but still they were in critical condition. Both of them were even now being raced to the nearest hospital even as paramedics, and Recovery Girl herself, tried desperately to keep them stable. Their fates were touch and go for the moment, he could only hope they pulled through in the end.

Still, three Pro Heroes down in return for putting away some minor thugs and maybe a single, previously unknown, heavy hitter, and even then that was if they could find him before Kurogiri warped him away.

He couldn't help but feel that they had gotten robbed on that trade.

Still, the Pro Heroes had done their duty and protected their students. That and they had given as good as they had gotten.

Thirteen of the thugs that had attacked them had lost their lives, and a further fourteen were also on their way to hospital in critical condition.

At least, those were the rough figures for the moment. He was positive that all the 'hows' and 'whys' and 'how-manys' would be answered over the next couple of weeks and months as they investigated just how this shit-show happened, who was at fault, and what could be done to ensure that something like this never happened again.

The news of the attack hadn't even fully circulated yet, though considering the media were already on the scene and circling the USJ like the parasitic vultures they were, that was just a matter of time. Already, he had a growing headache just thinking about the shitstorm that was to come, and that wasn't factoring in the worst news.

First, this entire plan was some kind of intricate and overwrought plot to assassinate All Might. With that including the fact that this Nomu character was possibly tailor-made, or at least going off what the students had been saying, to specifically counter and kill the Number One Hero. That alone would be enough to cause panic within the general populace.

Throw in the resident problem child, the Titan of Musutafu, not only being involved, but assuming his full Titan form and then engaging with the villains, and well, that was like pouring rocket fuel onto a bonfire.

Thus far U.A. had managed to keep the kid's enrolment in U.A. kept low-key and away from prying eyes.

Just how they managed it? Well from what little he knew of Nezu, Tsukauchi didn't know and didn't want to. The conniving rat-dog-bear mad science experiment had always given him the creeps.

Either way, it was all for naught in the end. The prisoners would talk, and so would their solicitors, and the first responders, and probably a whole heap of the police attending the scene. If it wasn't on the front page of the morning paper, or even on the front page of some of the more wily news websites this evening, he would hang up his badge.

Still, he had to focus on the positives. The students were battered, exhausted, bruised, and maybe a little traumatised, but were all alive, and mostly safe. Sure a few had already been carted off to the school's on-site medical facility for exhaustion and the like, but there were no permanent injuries, thankfully.

That's how he, and probably everyone else in this profession, handled this job, he ignored the grim stuff and instead focused on the positives. It was the only way to keep yourself sane.

With that thought in mind Tsukauchi forced a smile onto his face and headed over to where the students were still being patched up, he could see a few of them sporting bandages, but by the looks of it that was the worst of their injuries.

Now he just had to sit through the garbled accounts of hyped up, traumatised children as he tried to get a hopefully clearer account of all that had happened now, and of who had done what, now that the kids had, had time to relax.

He could only hope that none of them were either directly, or indirectly, responsible for any of the villains' deaths, because that alone would make this convoluted situation, a thousand times worse than it currently was.

Gritting his teeth into a painful smile at that thought and firing up his Quirk, Tsukauchi assumed his professional police persona and approached the milling crowd of students and teachers.

This was going to be a long day.

( - )

(With Izuku, in his apartment)

Collapsing onto his uncomfortable, single person bed barely three hours after the assault on the U.S.J. had come to an end, Izuku suppressed a groan as he brought his hands up to his head and ruffled his hair in frustration.

The entire thing at the U.S.J. had been a disaster from start to finish.

More than that though, he felt completely and utterly useless.

He had gone in foolishly, arrogantly even, thinking he was unstoppable, and that with his Quirk he was effectively unbeatable.

Only that hadn't been the case, and Kurogiri and Nomu had proven that today by beating that belief to a pulp.

Those two villains, Kurogiri and Nomu, had toyed with him, deconstructed his entire fighting style, and then outmatched him.

It had been beyond frustrating, because every time he tried to get rid of Nomu, Kurogiri would get in the way and use his Quirk to either teleport Nomu out of trouble, or offensively to temporarily cripple him, and every time he tried to find Kurogiri, well Nomu would just hit him like a freight train.

They put him into a stalemate, only unlike the two of them, he had been on a time limit. The heat produced by his Titan form, especially when it was regenerating or using its muscles, it had been unbearable, especially since that heat is constantly ramping up. By the end of the fight, he had felt delirious, dehydrated, and on the verge of passing out.

Without the help of his classmates, he would have lost.

It was a galling realisation.

He had never thought of himself as arrogant. In fact whatever arrogance he might have once felt about the power of his Quirk swiftly left him every time he thought back on all the people crushed underfoot or buried under rubble the day of his accidental transformation. His power, although tremendous, was only as useful as his control over it. As such, he had devoted years to training himself in body and mind, and he had willingly undergone every test and experiment the researchers at Asphodel had suggested, or requested, he do.

He had spent the better part of his life preparing to become a hero so he could redeem himself in his own eyes, and so he could give back to society and make up for all he had taken that night in Musutafu.

It was a joke.

He was a joke.

All that time and all that training, and what did he accomplish? It had all been useless in the face of a real combat situation.

He doubted he could ever look Doctor Nakamura in the eye again. His primary caretaker, the man that had supported his foolish and childish dreams, the one who had been there to pick him up whenever he fell or lost faith in himself, would be ashamed if he saw him now.

Izuku let out a bitter chuckle at that.

At his first chance to show himself as something other than a raging monster, he had failed spectacularly. He couldn't even begin to imagine what his classmates must think after seeing him swinging and flailing about like a wild animal as Nomu and Kurogiri literally picked him apart.

He could already imagine their reactions. Kirishima would be embarrassed about how unmanly he had been. Any admiration Sero or Kaminari might've had for him would have wilted by now in the face of his performance today. As for Mina, Haro and Kodai, he doubted they would want to have much to do with him. Not now after he had failed to stop the lead trio from escaping so spectacularly.

He was almost glad that he had been carted off to the school's on-site medical facility so soon after the reinforcements, and the police, had arrived.

In the end he had only had a bit of dehydration and heat stroke, a side effect of piloting a fifty metre taller mass of muscle and fury. But still his time in the stiff hospital bed have gave him time to think on everything that had happened today, as well as a reprieve from the judgemental eyes of his classmates.

Sitting up in his bed at that and looking around at his still barren apartment, Izuku let out a sigh.

He was lonely here, he needed company. He had started to get used to having people around at U.A. They were all so loud and bright and vibrant, every one of them had different personality traits and quirks and different likes and dislikes. Some of them like Kirishima, Mina, Toru and Kaminari were loud and proud, and they had boisterous personalities that filled up the room. Others like Shiozaki, Kodai and Shoji, were more reserved, and were more likely to just watch things unfold than to actively take part.

He didn't know where he fit in with those groups. Sometimes, he felt awkward and wanted to hunch down and withdraw into himself until the world around him disappeared, and he was just alone again with his thought. Other times however, he found himself swept up by other people's enthusiasm and actively spoke his mind in lively conversations going off around him.

It was bizarre and jarring at times the way he seemed to be constantly in flux,but it also felt exciting. In the short time he had been in U.A., he had, had a lot of fun and had consequently thought he was settling in well.

Only now he had ruined it by messing up and needing them to bail him out.

All his attempts to show them that he was in control, that he was competent and someone that they could rely on were for nought.

Letting out another bitter chuckle, he twisted around in bed and allowed his still booted feet to settle gently on the floor, even as he looked at his still clenched fists.

This day hadn't gone the way he had wanted it too.

His first action, his first real action and he had shown himself to be weak and unprepared.

He wouldn't let it happen again.

Sure, that police officer, Naomasa, had said all the right things when he came to see him, Aoyama and Sato in the hospital to get their statements on what had happened. Like him, they had overused their Quirks to the point of dehydration and fatigue.

Still, the man had put on a fake smile and told them that they had all done well, that they had risen to the challenge and acted commendably.

It was all a sham, a joke.

That officer knew as well as he did that they hadn't had seen the state both Snipe and Aizawa sensei had been in before they were put on stretchers and taken to the hospital. He had seen them before they were taken away, they had had blood-smeared faces, an theirs arms and legs had been twisted at unnatural angles, and Aizawa, his nose had been smashed to a pulp and it had looked like his eye socket had sunken in and one of his eyes had popped like an overripe tomato. As for Thirteen, well he heard what Kurogiri said, and he saw them carry out her remains in a body-bag.

The same almost happened to the rest of them. It probably only hadn't because of the actions of their teachers, and how had they repaid their teacher's bravery? In the end they had probably only acted as a diversion to both the villains and their teachers.

He knew some of them had acquitted themselves well at the U.S.J. Considering how many villains he had seen handcuffed, they had to have done something as many of those villains had went down well before the officers had arrived. A lot of them though had failed just like he had, only they had an excuse. They hadn't had the training he had both in terms of using his Quirks, and in terms of how to fight.

The police officer, Naomasa, had obviously thought the same. Izuku had recognised that cold look in his gaze, he had seen it directed at him before.

Gritting his teeth in anger and frustration, Izuku continued to stare down at his hands as he clenched them into fists.

He needed to get stronger.

No, he shook his head, and unclenched his hands.

He didn't need to get stronger. He was probably strong enough already. Instead, he needed to get better at using all of his strength and power. He needed to tap into his Quirk and push past his limits so that the next time he ended up in a situation like he was with both Nomu and Kurogiri, he could get out of it on his own, and he could be the hero.

Nodding to himself at that, Izuku focused on his hands. A shimmering blue sheen covering them as he used his Quirk to harden his flesh and intensely down at his hands, Izuku frowned and pushed at that shimmering blue glow, forcing it to burn brighter.

He had blunt force power, height, and reach, but he was lacking when faced with high durability and growing Quirks. That, or when he was facing regenerators that could somehow shake off even the heaviest of hits.

In a battle of attrition, he would be at a disadvantage. He needed a way of giving himself an edge.


He might not be able to think up a good counter to a teleporter, or to someone too fast to catch.

But he could at least start working on something, maybe by just taking his problems one at a time.

Izuku watched as his little fingers and the outside side of his hands took on a brighter, lighter shade of blue as he tried to intensify his hardening.

Heat blossomed from Izuku's hands. His fingers stung as wisps of steam curled like claws around them. Izuku pushed through the pain, willed the glow into a finer light until a polished edge shone dangerously in the light. He continued to focus.

Maybe, he thought, maybe he could manipulate his hardening ability, and use it to not only increase his durability but to also give that which was once blunt and fleshy a sharper edge.

Letting out a slight hiss as the burning sensation in his hands started to become too much, Izuku bolted up and ran over to the punching bag in the corner of his room.

Gritting his teeth, Izuku lashed out wildly with his the now glowing edge of his right hand.

With a tearing and ripping sound, his hand tore a large rent into the punching bag. It was clean cut, though the edges did look a bit… melted almost, they had curled away from each other and blackened, almost as though he had taken a lighter to them.

Focusing on the rent in the thin material, Izuku bent to inspect the scorched leather for a moment, before he stopped hardening his hands. A sigh of relief left his lips as the stinging sensation rapidly disappeared as his regeneration kicked in.

His first impromptu test looked like a success. It took a while and while it had some initial drawbacks, like the amount of time he had to concentrate on the maintaining the hardened edge, and the way it left his skin raw and irritated, it still had potential. If he somehow refined what he had just done, then there was a chance he could add bladed/ edged attacks into his repertoire along with brute force power, and all the heat/ steam based secondary effects his Quirk came with.

Shaking his hands to cool them off, an exultant smile quickly spread across his face as he pushed aside his maudlin thoughts from before, and instead focused on improving and getting better so the next time something like this happened, he wouldn't drag down the others around him. His smile quickly dropped however as a sudden thunking sound caught his attention. Quickly looking down at the floor and the source of the disturbance, Izuku could only blink in surprise as he saw two pearly white bonelike objects on the floor, just beneath the stilling swinging punching bag. Frowning slightly, Izuku bent down to examine the two pale, white objects.

Picking one up curiously and inspecting it, Izuku couldn't help but blink in confusion as he found himself holding a white, hard, bone-like object in his hand. An object that looked like it fit the shape of the outer edge of one of his hands, only with a sharp blade running down the side of it.

"What in the hell?" Izuku muttered to himself. He ran a finger down the sharpened edge of the object, only to let out a hiss as he withdrew his finger. A dribble of blood out from the shallow cut on the tip, even as the small wound rapidly healed up with a slight hissing sound.

He wasn't sure what the hell this was, but a part of him suspected that he would need to contact Doctor Nakamura sooner than either of them had previously thought.

( - )

AN: So quite an introspective chapter I know, but an important one to I think. Plus I love writing my take on Naomasa the cynical bastard. I always picture him as an 80s cop from an American film like Lethal Weapon, complete with a trenchcoat and cigarette, and saying this like 'I'm too old for this shit'.

That and I want to flesh out my Izuyku character outside of the school and a social situation. Plus for the Attack on Titan fans, which the Quirk is based around, you might be able to recognise what was happening in the last bit.

Either way that's all from me. Thanks a lot for reading and please leave a review.

Catch you later.