BEN 10 DOES NOT BELONG TO ME. MY HERO ACADEMIA DOES NOT BELONG TO ME. IF I HAD A QUIRK, I'D WANT ONE THAT MADE ME NOT NEED SLEEP. THAT WOULD MAKE WRITING SO MUCH EASIER.

You know, it's been a long time since I was in high school, but I don't remember having to fight robots alongside a bunch of mutants. Probably would have been better than regular high school.

My Alien Academia

Chapter 2

Showing

Midoriya had seen UA on television and the internet before; anyone in Japan who had had dreams of being a Hero was the same. It was the school where many of the most prestigious Heroes in the country came from—and in the case of All Might, in the world.

Now, Midoriya was standing in front of the massive gates for the first time, staring up at the huge archway in awe.

Beside him, Ben whistled. "Wow. That's a big door. Is it for show, or do some people's Quirks make it necessary?"

"I think it's both," Midoriya whispered. Out in the open, in front of other people, he made sure not to speak too loudly to the hologram only he could see. "Well… this is it."

Ben moved in front of him, so that Midoriya could get a good look at the raised eyebrow on his face. "Not if you don't actually go inside. Hurry up, or there won't be any good seats!"

"R-right!" He was about to step over the threshold, but a sharp bump from behind sent him staggering instead.

"Get the hell out of my way, Deku," Bakugo snarled as he stormed past. "Take your damn General Studies exam so I can get on with ignoring you, damn pebble."

Ben crossed his arms while Midoriya composed himself. "I know I'm the one who's supposed to help you, but I would really appreciate it if you crushed that guy."

Midoriya almost tried defending his former friend, but after months of Ben pointing out that heroes didn't bully people, all he could do was manage a tired sigh. "First, I have to pass the exam."

"Then stop muttering to no one like a crazy person and get going!"

Midoriya grumbled about overbearing holograms, but took his first, momentous step onto the prestigious campus. He managed another two steps before tripping, and the ground rushed up, late for an appointment with his face.

Well, this is going to suck, he thought, and closed his eyes in preparation for pain.

Instead, there was nothing; Midoriya cracked open one eye and realized that he was floating a few inches off the ground! Next to him, her hand on his arm, was an extremely pretty girl; she was a little shorter than he was, with brown hair that curled around her adorably round face in a bob.

"Sorry about that," the girl apologized, then brought her fingers together—fingers tipped with small, circular pads—and then Midoriya landed on his hands and knees after a half-second in the air. "I didn't want to use my Quirk on you without permission, but falling on your face on the first day wouldn't have been fun, right?"

Midoriya just stared at her; he had no experience with speaking to the opposite gender, not including his mother, and this girl was easily prettier than any of the girls from his middle school.

If she noticed his awkward silence, the girl didn't say anything; instead, she waved at him and jogged towards the school.

"Good luck on the exam! Maybe we'll be classmates!"

Once she was gone, Midoriya stood up and grinned proudly. "I… I just talked to a girl!"

Ben, who had watched the entire thing, raised an eyebrow. "No, you didn't. Now hurry up!"

The written portion of the exam was certainly hard, but Midoriya had spent as much time honing his mind as he had his body and his skill with his transformations. He was reasonably sure that he'd passed, at least.

Ben hadn't said a word until the test was over, and when he had a chance, Midoriya asked why.

"I'm here to help you," he had said, "not to do everything for you. Besides, I've seen your grades; I wasn't worried."

With that little boost to his confidence, Midoriya dashed to where the other students had gathered—a large auditorium with the lights out, with dozens of seats at tables. As soon as he saw Bakugo, he was thankful that it was dark, and chose a seat far away from his former friend.

"Well, look at this, a live audience!" A voice boomed throughout the auditorium as a man wearing what looked like a rocker's outfit with a speaker-like device around his neck stepped onto the stage. He had blonde hair that towered above the rest of him, and he wore sunglasses over a face that couldn't seem to stop smiling. "Everybody say 'HEY'!"

Nobody complied; as much as they all wanted to be stand-out Heroes, none of them wanted to stand out here. Still, Midoriya nearly bounced in his seat.

"That's Present Mic!" His voice might have come out in a whisper, but he was still excited. "I listen to his radio show! He's so cool!"

Had Ben not stopped showing his hologram at that point, he would have rolled his eyes; this was hardly the first, or even the hundredth, time that Midoriya had gushed about a Hero. The boy was practically an encyclopedia on Heroes, and could go on for hours about their Quirks, their equipment, their more famous moments, even their favorite foods.

Despite the lack of response, Present Mic continued on. "That's cool, little Listeners. I'm here to present the guidelines of your practical exam! Are you ready!? YEAH!" Still, no one responded, but Present Mic kept going. "This is how the test will go, Listeners! After this presentation, you'll head to assigned locations, but it'll be about the same for each group." As Present Mic spoke, each student was given a handout that displayed where they would be going, as well as pictures of four different kinds of robots. "You'll be placed in a mock cityscape battle; for ten minutes, you'll have to face different kinds of robots, which we've named Faux Villains. These guys are worth one, two, or three points each, depending on their model. You all need to destroy as many of these Faux Villains as possible with your Quirks, and get all those sweet points! Oh, and no attacking your fellow examinees! There'll be enough Villains on the field as it is."

"Excuse me! May I ask a question?" A tall, muscular student stood up with his hand raised; it was difficult to see much detail in the darkness, but with the spotlight around Present Mic reflecting off the lenses, Midoriya could tell that he was wearing glasses. "You said that the Faux Villains are worth between one and three points, but there are four robots displayed here. I expected a school as prestigious as UA to avoid such simple errors!" He whirled and pointed at Midoriya, who jumped. "And you! You've been muttering nonstop, and it is distracting! Please cease!"

"S-sorry," Midoriya said, trying to become as small as possible. It didn't help that Bakugo turned to look straight at him with the most murderous expression Midoriya had ever seen.

Fortunately, before Bakugo could launch into a tirade, Present Mic spoke up. "All right, Examinee Listener, that's a good catch, but it's no error! The fourth Faux Villain just isn't worth any points! It's meant to be the unstoppable obstacle, a monster that'll rampage through the test zone. Each area will have one, and when it shows up, just run, because it's going to ruin your day if you try to fight!"

The student with glasses bowed sharply, and then sat down. "Thank you, sir. My apologies for the interruption."

"Okay, Listeners, that's enough from me!" Present Mic raised a fist, his grin never faltering. "Go out there and show us how serious you are about being Heroes! Plus Ultra!"

Thankfully for his own safety, Midoriya was not sent to the same location as Bakugo; after changing into a green jogging outfit, he and a portion of the other examinees were taken by bus to an enormous set of double doors.

"Okay, are all the doors huge here?" Ben asked, though it was only his voice coming from the Ultimatrix. "I'm starting to feel like someone was compensating for something."

Midoriya tried not to laugh, and looked for something to distract himself. He found it when he saw a familiar haircut close by; he still hadn't thanked her for before, and walked over. He was about to reach out and tap the shoulder of the girl who had helped him, but someone else grabbed his shoulder.

"What do you think you're doing?" It was the boy with the glasses again, who was much taller than Midoriya and giving him an impressive glare. "Are you trying to sabotage another examinee? How shameful!"

"What? No!" Midoriya shook his head. "I was trying to say—"

The tall boy cut him off by simply whirling around and heading for the door. Midoriya's shoulders slumped as he caught many of the other examinees giving him suspicious looks of their own.

"Easy, buddy," Ben said. "Don't think about anyone else right now. This is about your future, so get your head in the game."

Midoriya took a deep breath and nodded. The doors opened, revealing a section of cityscape that could have fit in just about anywhere in Japan; he was about to join the back of the group when Present Mic's voice boomed out.

"AND… BEGIN!"

The examinees, Midoriya included, just stood there in confusion.

"WHAT, YOU THOUGHT YOU'D GET TIME TO PREPARE? VILLAINS AND DISASTERS WON'T GIVE YOU A COUNTDOWN, AND NEITHER WILL UA! GET GOING!"

The crowd of teenagers immediately charged down the street, shouting and preparing their Quirks. Midoriya, however, just slid back his left sleeve, pressed the button on the Ultimatrix, and started cycling through the aliens he had available.

Ben hadn't given him access to all of his options, but Midoriya had quickly earned plenty over ten months of work.

Hmm… urban terrain, lots of sharp corners in the streets, and robots to fight. Midoriya nodded as he made his choice. This should work!

He slapped the dial, and vanished in a flash of green light. In his place stood a hulking white blob of a creature, with black claws, small eyes and a large mouth. On his back, the top of his head, and the backs of his arms and legs were yellow plates, and on the center of his chest was the Ultimatrix dial.

"CANNONBOLT!" he shouted in a deep voice. "Yeah, shouting out the name really does feel cool."

In the observation room, many of the teachers were intrigued by one examinee's sudden transformation.

"Interesting," Cementoss said. "He only activated his Quirk once he used that device on his wrist."

"Perhaps he can't use his Quirk without an outside factor?" Vlad King suggested. "Or maybe it's a limiter of some kind, preventing him from accidentally overusing his Quirk."

Near Vlad King was a small white-furred creature that, had it not been wearing a suit, would have been mistaken for a large mouse, a dog, or a very small bear. Whatever he was laughed with glee.

"I think I know about this one," Principal Nezu said. "Keep an eye on him; I have a feeling that he'll provide the most interesting showing of them all."

Instead of trying to run on his stubby legs, Cannonbolt took careful aim before he curled up into a ball, his armor covering every part of his white flesh. He then began to roll in place, building up momentum until he finally let go; he shot forward at incredible speed, and then ricocheted off the corner of a building. As soon as he turned the corner, he felt himself collide with something that crumpled like tinfoil.

Please don't let it be a person, he thought as he uncurled. Thankfully, it was the mangled remains of a Faux Villain; it had one wheel for legs, and spindly arms, and what remained of its chest had a 1 on it.

"Right, the one-pointers were fragile," Cannonbolt mused. "Darn it. I still haven't gotten the hang of seeing where I'm going when I roll; I should pick a different form, so that I won't hit a person by accident."

He slapped the dial on his chest; this time, he turned into XLR8 and dashed down the street.

"You saw that, right?" Vlad King waved at the monitor. "You all saw that? He changed into a completely different form that has a completely different Quirk!"

The other teachers murmured amongst themselves. Most of the other students were momentarily forgotten as they watched a blue-and-black velociraptor run at incredible speeds, only slowing down when he reached Faux Villains. He would run up their bodies and deliver a series of kicks at their heads at blinding speeds; each kick didn't appear to do that much damage, but when hundreds of them were struck in an instant, the Faux Villains were quickly destroyed.

Of all the faculty, only two weren't talking. Nezu just grinned and occasionally giggled to himself, but the other was far from laughing. He was a man so thin that he looked more like a skeleton, and his blonde hair fell around him in a mess; his yellow pinstripe suit was obviously fitted for a man with much more mass. He looked like he had one foot in the grave, but his blue eyes, sunken dangerously into their sockets, gleamed with inner strength.

I remember you, he thought to himself. Back on the roof, you said you were Quirkless. Now, you have multiple Quirks? That isn't possible, unless… no, it's just not possible.

Still, Yagi Toshinori couldn't shake the connection his mind had made between this Quirkless boy and his greatest enemy. His eyes narrowed as the boy transformed yet again, this time into an orange doglike creature that had no eyes.

I need answers.

Wildmutt roared as he tore apart a three-pointer. By his count, he had thirty-four points; that probably wasn't enough to pass, which meant that he had to step it up.

Thankfully, he detected another Faux Villain, designed like a scorpion, trying to sneak up behind him—a two-pointer this time. He rolled out of the way as it tried to smash him, then lunged at its head; his powerful jaws ripped it off in one savage motion.

Thirty-six points, he thought. Was that enough?

"SEVEN MINUTES!" Present Mic shouted. "BETTER HURRY IT UP, KIDDIES!"

Before he could start hunting another robot, the ground shuddered. At first, Wildmutt thought it was an earthquake, but the way the shaking continued made it seem like something else. Then a nearby building exploded as a massive robot began its rampage.

That's the zero-pointer!? Wildmutt backed away, growling out of reflex. That thing has to be a hundred feet tall!

All around the test zone, examinees abandoned their positions and ran for their lives. As Present Mic said, there was no point trying to fight the zero-pointer, and no one wanted to die today. Wildmutt was about to join the others when he picked up something moving under some rubble—or, rather, someone. It was the girl from before, now trapped up to her waist by heavy chunks of debris. Wildmutt couldn't see details, but the way she was moving suggested that she was too dizzy to save herself from the massive machine that was about to crush her under its treads.

He didn't hesitate; as far as he was concerned, there was someone in trouble, and he had to do something. He ran over to the girl, who looked up at him in confusion and fear; unable to speak, Wildmutt just started digging at the rubble.

"You're not going to get her out before that thing gets here," Ben said as his hologram appeared; his voice was calm, but he looked tense. "Either turn into something that can get her out faster, or something that can fight that."

Wildmutt answered by putting himself between the girl and the zero-pointer; he growled and held his paw over the dial mounted on the armor on his left shoulder.

"All right." Wildmutt couldn't see it, but Ben was grinning. "Go big or go home, buddy."

Wildmutt vanished in a massive flash of green light; in his place was a true titan, easily as tall as the zero-pointer. His skin was white, with red highlights running down his arms, legs, and the tall horn on his head. His only clothing consisted of black cargo shorts. His car-sized eyes were narrowed in determination as he raised boulder-sized fists.

"WAY BIG!" the titan boomed.

In the observation room, the teachers were shocked into silence. The only sound came from Nezu, who was outright cackling in his seat.

"I'm going down there." There was a puff of steam, and Toshinori Yagi was replaced by a giant of a man—nowhere near as large as the titan on the screen, but still imposing. Before All Might could head for the door, a small paw grabbed his sleeve.

"Now, now," Nezu said calmly, "let's not do anything hasty. There's still a test to finish."

"Are you kidding, sir?" All Might gestured to where two giants were about to do battle. "The damage they're about to do—"

"We have to trust that all potential students have the spark inside to be Heroes," Nezu interrupted. "If we rush in and help them every time, that spark will never grow." His eyes gleamed with mischief. "Besides, it's not often that someone actually tries fighting the zero-pointer! Try to relax and enjoy the show."

All Might sat back down, but didn't revert to his true form. "Who is this boy, Nezu? When I met him last year, he was—"

"I have a few theories, actually." Nezu's eyes took on a calculating gleam as the giant slammed a fist into the robot's head. "Once the test is over, if he passes, I plan on having a conversation with him."

The way he said that held a hint of menace, but it was reassuring enough for All Might, who finally allowed himself to transform back.

"Fine," he said after a moment. "I'll trust you on this. But you'll let me know if he's connected to…" he leaned in close to whisper in the principal's ear. "Him?"

Nezu nodded; he still maintained his smile, but his eyes were steely. "Of course, All Might." He leaned back in his chair. "Now, let's watch the battle, shall we?"

Of all the aliens Midoriya could turn into, Way Big was the one he had the least experience with. This was because it was impossible to keep it secret at Dagobah Beach; instead, his mother had driven him out to a campsite on her days off. She had nearly fainted the first time she saw Way Big, and then again when he had accidentally kicked over a tree that almost crushed her car.

This time, when he kicked the robot—which was actually a bit smaller than he was now—he meant to do a lot of damage. The robot's left tread was badly dented, to the point that it moved only sluggishly. When it tried to punch him in the chest, Way Big deflected it with his left forearm, and then countered with a heavy uppercut to its chin. The robot's head snapped up and back, and Way Big could hear cables and internal mechanisms snap and tear.

Unfortunately, his big hit had also left him open, and since the robot didn't feel pain, it immediately fought back. Way Big winced as the robot's other fist smashed into his side—that was going to leave a bruise.

"All right, enough of this!" Way Big brought both of his hands together and swung in a wide, horizontal arc. They connected with the robot's head with a satisfying crunch of twisted metal, and then the head was sent flying into the distance. Without its head, the robot's body had a hard time doing much of anything, and it slumped over, 'dead'.

"Oh, man, I hope that didn't hit anyone," Way Big muttered, though his voice was still loud enough to be heard by anyone within fifty feet.

"Don't forget the girl," Ben reminded him; he was now perched on Way Big's shoulder, and looked thoroughly impressed. "You know, when I said 'go big or go home', I didn't mean go Way Big. You could have just zapped it with one of your electric aliens; you've got, like, three right now."

Way Big couldn't respond without giving Ben away, so he ignored him in favor of turning around and kneeling over the girl. "Hold on, I'll get you out of there."

Surprisingly gentle for such huge hands, Way Big brushed off the debris that trapped the girl, and then lifted her up in the palm of one hand.

"Are you okay?" he asked.

The girl hesitated, then shook her head. "I think I twisted my ankle."

"All right, I'll take you back to the entrance. If you try to do more, you'll just hurt yourself. Is that okay?"

He waited for her to give him a weak smile and nod, and then he marched over to the aid station that was set up at the entrance. It only took about ten steps, but halfway there, he felt something on his finger; he looked down, and noticed that the girl had thrown up on his hand.

"S-sorry!" she called up to him. "I was really nauseas after using my Quirk for so long."

"It's fine," Way Big said, and tried to ignore the fact that the first girl he'd ever spoken to—for real this time—had just puked on him.

Once he reached the aid station, he gently lowered the girl to the ground, where several medical robots equipped with stretchers were waiting. Just as Way Big was about to leave and maybe get a few more points, Ben materialized in front of his face.

"Dude, you burned a lot of energy going Way Big. You should go human again before—" the dial on Way Big's chest began to flash red, and Ben sighed. "—that happens."

There was a bright flash of red, and then Midoriya was human again. Unfortunately, he was also suffering the occasional side-effect of a forced shutdown after going Way Big—he was about fifty feet in the air, and gravity decided that he needed a reunion with the ground.

"AHHH!" Midoriya flailed about as he fell straight down. The Ultimatrix was recharging, so he was helpless… until just before he hit the ground, and a hand with pads on the fingertips slapped him across the face. That stung, but it also kept him from turning into a smear on the floor.

"Looks like we're even?" the girl joked, and then pressed her fingertips together. "Release!"

Midoriya once again landed safely on the ground, just in time for the girl to throw up again, this time on his shoe.

"Ugh…" the girl grabbed a nearby water bottle and washed the vomit out of her mouth. "Sorry again."

Midoriya tried to shake the vomit off his hand and shoe. "It's… fine. I wonder if we have enough time to recover and maybe get a few more points—"

He was interrupted by a loud buzzer, and then Present Mic's voice. "TIME'S UP, KIDS! YOU'D BETTER HOPE THAT YOU EARNED ENOUGH POINTS!"

"Or not," Midoriya said glumly, and turned to the girl. "How many did you get?"

"Twenty-eight," she replied. "What about you?"

"Thirty-six. I guess we just have to wait and see if we got in."

"Yeah." The girl held out her hand. "By the way, I'm Uraraka Ochako. Thanks for saving me, Deku-kun!"

Midoriya blinked. "Um, that's not my name."

"It isn't?" Uraraka tilted her head. "But I heard that other boy call you that."

Midoriya shrugged. "It's a nickname he gave me when we were kids. It means 'useless'."

Uraraka looked shocked. "Oh, I'm so sorry! It's just that Deku sounds like 'you can do it!', so I thought it was nice."

Midoriya cracked a wobbly smile; that was the first time anyone had ever put a positive spin on that hated nickname, and he found that he liked it.

"W-well, you can call me Deku if you like." Midoriya finally shook her hand, and noted how she was careful not to touch him with all five of her fingers. "My real name is Midoriya Izuku. Hey, can I—"

"Excuse me?" Both teens turned and saw a little old lady standing behind them. She wore a white doctor's coat and was leaning heavily on a cane. "You two can chat, but only while I fix you up!"

Midoriya's eyes went wide. "Oh my gosh! You're the Youthful Heroine: Recovery Girl!"

"Yes, yes, I know I'm famous, now sit down!"

The stern tone in her voice was enough to make Midoriya sit down next to Uraraka—fear of the little old lady overrode his nervousness about sitting next to a girl.

"You!" Recovery Girl pointed at Uraraka. "Tell me where it hurts."

Uraraka shared a bewildered glanced with Midoriya. "Uh, I think I twisted my ankle, and I'm pretty nauseas."

Recovery Girl nodded. "An easy fix. Hold still." She leaned forward and kissed Uraraka's forehead; in seconds, the girl looked much better, though she seemed to be fighting off drowsiness now. "My Quirk speeds up the healing process, but you'll be tired for a while. And you, boy, what's the damage?"

Midoriya gingerly patted his side. "I think I just have a few bruises."

"Good, that means I don't have to do anything." Recovery Girl smiled. "Tiny injuries like that are best left to heal on their own. Just don't do anything crazy for a day or two. Now, if you'll excuse me, there are other children who need my attention."

After Recovery Girl hobbled away, Midoriya and Uraraka let out breaths they didn't know they'd been holding.

"She's kinda scary," Uraraka said quietly.

"Yeah…"

"Hey, before she showed up, you were about to say something?"

Midoriya perked up a bit. "Oh, right! Uraraka-san, I was going to ask how your Quirk worked, if that's okay."

Uraraka smiled. "Sure! It's called Zero Gravity; anything I touch with all five of my fingers becomes weightless. I can cancel it by putting all of my fingertips together." She blushed and scratched the back of her head. "I have to sleep with gloves on, or else I make my mattress float."

Midoriya had that mental image in his head, laughed, and then put his hand over his mouth. "I-I'm sorry! I didn't mean to laugh at you!"

Uraraka just waved him off. "It's fine, my parents think it's hilarious." She then peered closely at him. "What about you? What kind of Quirk lets you transform like that? Do you have multiple Quirks?"

Midoriya wished that Ben was there to offer him some reassurance, but the Ultimatrix was still recharging, and when that happened, Ben was offline. Still, this was good practice for explaining his 'Quirk'.

"Uh, it's called Unstable Genetics. Basically, my DNA is all twisted up, and I can't access my different forms on my own." He held up the Ultimatrix. "This, uh… I guess you could say it 'sorts' my DNA and lets me access all my forms. I can only use one at a time, and I have to be careful with the time limit. Some forms, like Way Big, use a lot of energy and eat up how long I can stay transformed."

Uraraka nodded, her eyes wide in fascination. "Yeah, it makes sense that a Quirk that powerful would have a weakness. Still, that was so cool!" She suddenly blushed. "So, uh, yeah… thanks for saving me, Deku-kun."

Midoriya then finally realized that he was only a few inches away from her; between his green hair and red face, he did an admirable imitation of a tomato. "Y-yeah, no problem."

The Ultimatrix chose that moment to recharge; the dial went from red to green, and Ben appeared in front of them. He took about two seconds to stare, and then he grinned.

"Okay, that's adorable."

Midoriya couldn't help it; he groaned and put his face in his hands.

After saying goodbye to Uraraka, Midoriya went home to await his results. It would be a week before he found out if he'd passed or failed, and the waiting was torture. His mother and Ben tried to keep his mind off it, but the more they tried to distract him, the more he thought about the exam. He replayed every moment in his head, second-guessing every choice and action he took.

Had he made too many mistakes on the written portion? Was thirty-six points enough to pass the practical? Had ten months of training been for nothing?

Finally, after a week of pacing, stress-induced headaches, and restless sleep, Izuku was brought out of his latest worry-spell when Inko ran up to him.

"Izuku, it's here!" She thrust an envelope into his face. "The letter from UA just arrived!"

With shaking hands, Izuku took the envelope from her. "H-hey, Mom, can I read this in my room?"

Inko blinked, and then nodded. "Sure, honey; I'll be right outside if you need me."

"And I'll be with her, to help keep her calm," Ben said, appearing next to her. "You go do what you've gotta do, buddy."

Izuku shakily nodded and walked into his room. Once the door closed, Inko turned to Ben. "Aren't you aware of everything he does, even if your hologram is over here?"

Ben grinned. "Hey, between the two of you, I've got a lot of reassuring to do."

Inko huffed, but couldn't keep a smile off her face. "Regardless of what happens, I want to thank you."

"For what?"

Inko sniffed and fought back tears. "Izuku hasn't been this driven since before he found out he was Quirkless. You brought back a spark of life in him that I thought I'd never see again." Now, the tears started to fall. "If I could hug you, I would; it feels wrong that I can only hug one of my boys."

Ben's eyes went wide; he hadn't expected to be considered part of the Midoriya family. He quickly recovered, though he didn't fool Inko. "Well, it's all part of my programming. If you really want to thank someone, thank the real Ben."

Inko just smiled warmly. "I am thanking him."

In his room, Midoriya opened the envelope with the care of an archeologist with a precious find. Instead of a letter, a small disk fell out and landed on his desk. It immediately lit up, projecting the face of a man he thought he'd never see again.

"I am here as a projection!" All Might had his trademark grin plastered across his face. "Midoriya Izuku, it's so good to meet you again, even if this is just a recording. When we last spoke, I said some things that undoubtedly hurt you. However, you made quite a splash with your Quirk at the entrance exam!"

Midoriya allowed hope to blossom in his chest.

"Now, I have good news, and bad news." All Might glanced at something off-screen, and then nodded to himself. "The good news is that you passed the written exam with flying colors—a ninety-two percent score! The bad news, I'm afraid, was that you didn't earn enough Villain Points during the practical; thirty-six just isn't enough, even with your impressive written exam."

Midoriya's hope died a sudden and tragic death.

"But, I have a surprise for you, young Midoriya!" A hand appeared on the screen, gesturing at All Might. "Hurry it up? But I'm trying to build suspense! Fine, okay. Anyway, Villain Points weren't the only kind of points you could earn during the practical! What kind of Heroes would we be if only focused on fighting? We have to put just as much effort into saving others as we do fighting Villains! That's why each examinee was given Rescue Points, based on how well they aided their fellows! In fact, your courage in helping young Uraraka was so impressive that you were awarded sixty Rescue Points, putting your total at ninety-six! However, your sudden fall at the end did reduce your points a bit."

Midoriya was trembling, but didn't dare move. Why couldn't All Might decide whether he wanted Midoriya to feel hope or despair!?

"In the end, you received eighty-six points in total—more than enough to pass the exam!" All Might stepped back and held out his arms. "Welcome to your first step; this is your Hero Academia!"

With that, the projection faded. Midoriya walked in a daze to his door and clumsily opened it; waiting outside was his mother and Ben. Neither dared to speak first.

Finally, a wobbly smile appeared on Izuku's face. "I got in… I got in!"

Sobbing, Inko grabbed her son in the biggest hug she could manage; mother and son sank to their knees as they cried their hearts out. Izuku's vision was blurry from tears, but he could see Ben sitting next to them with a huge smile of his own.

"Congratulations," he said. "I knew you could do it, Hero."

Two days later, Midoriya received another message from UA. This one had less fanfare, and was just a simple letter; it requested that he come to the school before the year started, because the principal wanted to discuss something important. There were no other details, something that had Ben concerned as they took the train to UA.

"I mean, it's just too vague," he said as they reached their stop. "My emotions are artificial, and even I'm worried."

"Maybe he just wants to talk about my 'Quirk'," Midoriya said quietly as he walked up to the entrance to the school. "I mean, I can't think of anyone who can do what I did."

"Point taken, but getting singled out by the principal before school starts is never a good sign." Ben shrugged. "Anyway, I'm going to shut off my hologram for a while. Have fun with the guy who decides your future!"

Ben flickered and vanished, leaving Midoriya to sweat. What if Ben was right, and something was up?

He didn't worry for long, because he was suddenly distracted by something small that landed on his back when he walked through the gate. Years of being bullied made him freeze in reflex—after all, bullies were less likely to do anything if he didn't react.

"Come now, son," a soft voice said in his ear, "no need to be nervous!"

Midoriya slowly turned his head, and saw a creature that he just couldn't identify; it was certainly cute, even with the jagged scar over one eye, but it was still strange.

"You're probably trying to figure out what I am, aren't you?" The creature laughed. "Am I a mouse? A dog? A bear? Who knows?"

"W-well, I d-don't," Midoriya stammered. "I d-don't even know y-your name."

"Ah, pardon me." The creature jumped and flipped over Midoriya's head and landed in front of him. "I am Nezu, principal of UA High. Please, follow me to my office; we have much to discuss."

Midoriya nervously followed after Nezu; he was so anxious that he barely had time to look around as he walked, though the few things he did notice just reassured him that UA was definitely the school to go to.

"I and many of the staff here were very impressed by your actions during the practical exam," Nezu said as they walked. "I can honestly say that we have never seen a Quirk quite like yours; it was absolutely fascinating!"

"Uh, th-thank you?"

Nezu laughed as he opened the door to his office, where a pot of tea was sitting on his desk. "Can I offer you some green tea?"

"Oh! Y-yes, please!"

Nezu hopped onto his tall chair and passed Midoriya a cup before taking his own. The two each took a sip of tea before Nezu spoke again.

"As I said, your Quirk is fascinating." He leaned forward, and his eyes gleamed. "In fact, after some reflection, I find it hard to believe that it's a Quirk at all."

Midoriya nearly spat out his tea; despite the heat of the drink, he broke out in cold sweat.

"I then took a look at your Quirk registry," Nezu continued, as if he didn't notice Midoriya's reaction. "According to that, you were registered as Quirkless until almost a year ago, until you were checked again by a Doctor Tennyson—someone whose own record is paper-thin, I might add. 'Unstable Genetics' is an interesting Quirk—unable to be used, except with that Support Item on your wrist, and grants you transformations with multiple abilities. One would be hard-pressed to really call that a Quirk, wouldn't you agree?"

"N-Nezu-san, I c-can explain, I—"

"With all due respect, Midoriya-san, I'm not talking to you right now." Nezu took another sip of tea. "I've reviewed the security footage of you before, during, and after the tests; you like to murmur a lot, and your eyes kept glancing to empty spaces nearby. Who are you talking to, I wonder?"

"Huh." Ben appeared next to Midoriya. "I can't say I was expecting someone to be that observant, or to do research on Ben Tennyson. I thought we'd done enough."

When creating Midoriya's new Quirk registry, he had turned into the super-smart Grey Matter to fabricate Ben Tennyson's existence on this Earth. According to everything he knew about the government's records on Quirks—and he knew a lot—he had created enough to pass casual inspection. Nezu, it seemed, had done far more than a casual inspection.

"Cat's out of the bag, buddy," Ben said calmly. "If he wanted to hurt you, he would have done it already, and certainly before you were accepted into the school. I think… I think he just wants answers."

"You're right," Midoriya said, though Nezu was only hearing half of the conversation. "I think not telling him will only cause problems." He took a deep breath. "Okay, show him."

Ben flickered, and then Nezu leaned back in his chair when the hologram was suddenly visible. "Hello, there."

Nezu's ears twitched, and then he smiled widely. "Hello. I believe you have some things to tell me?"

For almost an hour, Midoriya and Ben explained everything—the Ultimatrix, the real Ben Tennyson, the steps they had taken to help Midoriya become a Hero, and everything else. By the time they were done, Midoriya had his head bowed.

"Please, sir," he said quietly, "I know that I lied about having a Quirk, and about where my powers come from, and if you want to punish me for it, that's fine. All I ask is that you don't blame my mom for this."

Nezu was silent for a long time; he barely even blinked. Finally, he nodded. "All right, I think I've heard enough." Midoriya shot Ben a nervous look as the principal stood in his chair. "Everything you did was in the service of helping others as a Hero, not for your own personal gain. Because of that, I won't turn you in to the police, or share anything that you've told me today. However, there's a chance that someone else will put two and two together, and since I see you becoming quite the Hero, I'll take it upon myself to cover your tracks."

Midoriya did a double-take. "What?"

"Don't get me wrong, the way you falsified your background was good enough for government work, but some Pro Heroes might be a little suspicious and dig deeper. For your sake, I'll add in my own contribution; by the time I'm done, everything will seem to be on the up-and-up." Nezu winked. "This wouldn't be the first time I've changed records to fool humans; it's something of a hobby of mine, actually."

Midoriya let out a shaky breath, and then got out of his chair to bow low. "Thank you so much, Nezu-san."

"Ah, but while I do believe that you'll be a great Hero in the future, I'm not doing this for free," Nezu said, and put his paws behind his back. "I would like something in return."

Midoriya glanced at Ben, who shrugged. "What is it?"

"How many aliens did you say you can turn into at the moment?"

"Uh, fifty?"

"And you've had only ten months to discover fifty different transformations, whereas other people spend their whole lives mastering just one Quirk. You have a great deal of catching-up to do; as such, I want you to come to school for three hours every Saturday for additional practice, overseen by me. You will spend each day focusing on just one alien; between Ben and myself, I'm sure we can help you achieve mastery with each of your forms."

Ben raised an eyebrow. "And why do you want to do that?"

Nezu grinned. "Because then I can claim that I've spent more time with aliens than anyone else on this planet!" At the looks he was getting, he shrugged. "That, and I'd hate to see such a promising student come through these halls with only passable skills. Consider this an investment in your future as a Hero. Just keep in mind that, with these extra lessons, I expect you to be in the top five of your class at all times, and I would hope that you shoot for the number-one spot."

"I will, Nezu-san—I mean, Nezu-sensei," Midoriya said, his eyes full of resolve. "I want to show everyone who thought I was useless that they were wrong about me, and I think the best way to do that would be the next top Pro Hero!"

"An excellent attitude, Midoriya-san!" Nezu clapped his paws together. "I'm glad that we could reach an agreement. Now, please return home and get ready for class; UA has a reputation for being the best, and that means we expect the best from our students!"

Midoriya shot to his feet and bowed; Ben just nodded, and then vanished. After excusing the boy, Nezu waited until the door closed, and then picked up his phone. He only waited for two rings before All Might picked up.

"Did you speak to him?"

"I wouldn't be calling if I hadn't," Nezu said. "You'll be happy to know that your fears are completely unfounded."

"Then how does he have multiple Quirks?"

"That isn't my place to say." Nezu's tone was polite, but firm. "Just know that his abilities are completely unconnected to his."

"… I understand. I'll do my best to remember that."

"See that you do, since you'll be teaching his class."

"Wait, I thought I was teaching the third-year classes!"

Nezu chuckled. "Toshinori, you've never taught anyone before, and you want to teach the advanced classes? You'll have to pick a different time to train your new protégé—perhaps on Saturdays?"

"Why do I get the feeling that you're planning something?"

"Please, I'm always planning something. Just rest assured that I have your best interests at heart."

"Gran Torino said the same thing, and I still remember the bruises."

"That's your problem, not mine. See you tomorrow to finish all that paperwork you owe me!" Before All Might could respond, Nezu hung up.

Rather than immediately get to back to the work that was already piling up, Nezu leaned back in his chair and thought about all he had learned. He hadn't lied when he said he wanted Midoriya to reach his full potential, but he couldn't help but be excited; he was positive that that boy, so plain-looking, but with such extraordinary powers and drive, would become the biggest sensation since All Might's debut.

Who wouldn't be excited about that?

Hooray, another chapter done! I just want to say now that I am blown away by how much positive feedback this story has received. Thank you all! It gave me the drive I needed to write this one; just in time, because I'm hosting another booth at another convention in a couple of days.

So, a couple of things I've added to the Ultimatrix for this story. First, while Midoriya can stay alien for up to an hour, certain aliens and their powers draw a lot more energy, thus cutting down how long he can stay transformed. Way Big is one of those aliens. Also, after ten months of learning the basics, Midoriya has earned fifty aliens, but he'll get more. As for why Way Big had pants? Well, a lot of the Ben 10 aliens don't have clothes, and the ones that do have changed outfits between series, so I thought that maybe Midoriya requested that his more humanoid aliens that don't already wear clothes or look like they have clothes be given at least pants.

Oh, and while Midoriya does consider Uraraka cute, that doesn't mean they'll end up together. I haven't decided who he'll end up with (and it'll only be one), and even if I had decided, that's still a long way off. I should mention that there will be multiple pairings in this story, though.

And All Might isn't going to be an antagonist to Midoriya, but he's carrying a lot of baggage from All For One. I imagine that seeing someone with a wide array of powers, especially coming from someone who admitted to being Quirkless, would raise suspicions. Thankfully, Nezu is on hand to set him straight, and help Midoriya really rise to the challenge.

As for who All Might has chosen as his successor? Stay tuned to find out! No, it's not Bakugo.

Anyway, I'll try to get another chapter out soon, but I'm really busy. If you want to help ease my burdens, and you happen to be going to Empire Con, come visit me and you can buy an autographed copy of my book, Alpha Sanction! You can also purchase it on Amazon, if that's more your speed.

If you want to be my hero (get it?), you can go beyond (get it?) and donate on P-atreon. You get benefits the more you donate, from getting a thank-you here, to getting a chapter early, to getting a free copy of my book!

Speaking of which, here are the lists of my Muffin Patrons:

Serious Muffins: CrazySith87, jafr86, SpaceEmperorSpar, Nimrod009, Anders Lyngbye, Krisjanis Jansons, Matthias Matanovic, ChaosSpartan575, Alexis Troy, John Collins, Calleo, Casey Pak, Red Bard, Ultimatrix10

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Ultra Muffins: Adam Costello, Jeffrey Perigo, Matthew Bunting, RangersRoll

Next Chapter: Midoriya meets his class, and gives them all a taste of just what he can do!

Muffin Smash!