"Kacchan!" - Speech
'Dammit!' - Thoughts
"I AM HERE!" - All Might Speech
"Detroit Smash!" - Special Technique Usage
Beta'd by BigCC
Chapter 1: The Wondrous Transforming Gun Arm
3rd Year Classroom, Aldera Junior High School, Musutafu
"Settle down...settle down." the teacher droned in a monotone. He was a middle-aged man wearing a grey suit and a pair of square glasses. He waited a moment for the class of rowdy teenagers to obey before he started speaking. "Now, since you are all in your third year, it's time for you all to start thinking about your futures."
Rummaging around in his desk, he pulled out a stack of papers from under his lectern and held them up. "I should be helping you to prepare for this. I even prepared these Career Aptitude Tests ready for you...but you all want to be heroes anyway, so why waste our time?"
With that, the teacher threw his forms into the air as his students cheered and started showing off their Quirks. One boy had a neck that could extend, while another chomped the air with oversized jaws and teeth. One lit his hands on fire, while another let out a breath of ice. The array of Quirks was astounding. Out of the entire class though, only two boys didn't join in.
One was a boy with blond hair, whose red eyes seemed to be in a permanent scowl. He had his legs kicked up on his desk and a derisive sneer on his face. The other was a boy near the back of the class. He had puffy green hair and seemed to hunch in on himself as everyone else showed off. A curious thing to note was that he constantly seemed to rub his hands together for a brief moment before separating them like a nervous tick.
His blue, slightly metallic-looking hands.
"Yes, yes, you all have amazing Quirks, but cut it out kids, you aren't allowed to use them at school." the teacher droned.
As everyone else got under control, the angry blond boy scoffed loudly. "Oi teach, don't put me on the same level as these extras. I'm the goddamn real deal, while the best of these rejects will be lucky to be a sidekick to a D-list hero."
"The hell man!?"
"Bakugō, you bastard! Looking down on us?!"
Bakugō smirked back arrogantly. "Of course I am, extras! I could fight all of you at once and come out without a scratch! Or do any of you weakling wanna' try and prove me wrong?" When only nervous, intimidated silence followed, Bakugō merely snorted again. "That's what I thought."
"Hm, well you do have impressive test results." the teacher mused absently, ignoring the way his student was threatening his classmates. "Maybe you'll get your wish and get into U.A. as you want. It is your first choice, right?"
A rustle of whispers ran around the classroom at that casual announcement.
"U.A.?! The top Heroics School in Japan?!"
"The one with the 0.2% acceptance rate?!"
"It's impossible to get into!"
"Impossible for scrubs and extras like you lot, but not for me!" Bakugō bared his teeth in a caricature of a smile. "I got the top score in the mock tests, and my Quirk is the strongest at this school! U.A. is the only place that's worthy of me!"
"Ah, Midoriya applied to U.A. too, didn't he?" the teacher mused.
This made another rustle go around the class. Unlike the previous one which was full of shock and awe, this one contained derisiveness and contempt.
"Midoriya? At U.A.? Ha!"
"Why would someone with a Quirk more suited for a thug or a villain try for a Hero Course?"
At each sneering comment, Midoriya Izuku shrunk down in his seat and hunched over.
"Shut it, extras!" Bakugō Katsuki shouted, leaping to his feet and letting off a small explosion from his palm that instantly quieted the jeering onlookers, causing many to reel back slightly. Once they were sufficiently cowed, he glared around and snarled. "Listen you scrubs! Deku ain't got a villain's Quirk, or have you all forgotten about the Battle Hero: Gunhead? His Quirk is [Gatling] for crying out loud! A lot more 'villainous' than Deku's is! Shut your pie-holes or I'll blow you up!"
No one, even the teacher, dared talk back to the angry boy.
"And Deku's gonna get unto U.A. because he's my sidekick." the blond boy continued, settling back into his seat. "All great heroes need a sidekick, like All Might had Sir Nighteye, so clam it if you don't want to find out what a face-full of nitroglycerin tastes like!"
That, and the teacher's weak, ineffectual and thoroughly pro-forma admonishments to Bakugō to not use his Quirk in school, were the only interesting things to happen for the rest of the day, for which Izuku was very grateful. Unfortunately, the lack of distraction combined with the fact that Izuku was a very intelligent boy and was thus vastly over-prepared for the coursework, meant his mind had the free time to brood on his life.
Ever since his Quirk awoke when he was four, he had been looked down on. As his old friend had insinuated, Izuku's Quirk was similar to Gunhead's own. Unlike the Battle Hero though, the greenette's Quirk was classified as a Transformation Type Quirk rather than a Mutation Type like the pros. The odd colour and texture of his hands were merely a slight deviation caused by his Quirk's manifestation.
In a world where people regularly had bodies made our of stone or slime, hair of fire and electricity, actual wings, scales, and tails, and skin in every colour of the rainbow; something as simple as Izuku's blue metallic-looking hands were nothing. As a note, his hands weren't actually metal, they were as fleshy as any Quirkless person's, his skin simply had a slightly reflective sheen to it that made them look metallic.
The technical name that the Quirk Counsellor had given his Quirk was [Transforming Gun Hands], but Izuku, who had looked for something a lot less strict and formal to call it, had found an old game/anime character from way back before the advent of Quirks who had used a weapon that looked and worked surprisingly similar to his Quirk, so he had renamed his Quirk the [Buster Hands] in honour of that weapon.
As the more technical-sounding name suggested, Izuku's quirk allowed him to transform one or both of his hands into guns, blue metallic ones that resembled a thick cylinder larger than the arm it was attached to. Initially they only fired weak blasts of light or compressed wind, which was...underwhelming, which added to the derision he suffered under.
People were dismissive of guns because, in a world full of Quirks, only villains and vigilantes used them to hide their Quirks from the eyes of the law. Oh, the police and military used them too, but in a world of heroes, guns were seen as both a crutch and a sign of the bad times before Quirks and heroes existed...or at least, that was what Izuku had managed to convince himself of.
The day went by quickly and Izuku slouched out of school, avoiding his classmates. He'd barely made it to the school gates when Bakugō whacked him on the shoulder hard enough to make Izuku stumble...which was lightly for his friend.
"Deku, you dumbass." Katsuki growled, glaring at him. "You shouldn't give a flying fuck about what those idiots say. Your Quirk is awesome strong, especially since it's got a part of mine in it!"
"K-Kacchan..." Izuku said.
It was something that Izuku had learned he could do when he was six. By touching someone with one hand while the other hand was transformed into the basic gun, Izuku could scan that person's Quirk and create a gun that used that other person's Quirk as a base. He could then use that gun for five minutes. He could keep the gun permanently under one of two conditions; if the user of the Quirk was willing and freely allowed Izuku access or if Izuku defeated them in a fight (knocking them out or making them lose by the terms of a match generally).
The latter reason was how Izuku had acquired a gun based on Katsuki's [Explosion] Quirk. They'd had a practice fight with Izuku using the Explosion Launcher (the name Kacchan had given the gun) because he wanted to see how 'his gun' stacked up compared to the 'real deal' and Izuku had won with a lucky shot. Five minutes had passed and the gun hadn't gone away.
That had been what convinced one Bakugō Katsuki that his friend's Quirk wasn't just cool, but awesome. Who wouldn't want a Quirk that got permanently stronger as you beat more enemies? Or even if friends gave you permission? Heck, even the temporary borrowing part was a kick-ass addition. Because of this, the friendship that had been slowly fraying between the two boys was instantly strengthened with Katsuki's acknowledgement that Izuku, Deku as he'd mockingly called him after his first loss, was strong.
So it both baffled and frustrated Katsuki that his friend was so damned intimidated by what other people said. His mother, Mitsuki had told him that 'not everyone has a head like a fucking armoured tank and the sensitivity of a fucking sledgehammer like you' but he still had a hard time wrapping his head around the idea that the opinions a bunch of worthless background characters would bother his friend so much.
'God-damned extras!' he mentally snarled.
"You want to hang at the shopping arcade?" he asked his friend.
"Can't. Mum wants me to grab a few things from a shop for her." Izuku shook his head. "She's taken an extra shift at the store, so..."
"Auntie Inko works too hard." Katsuki scowled. Midoriya Inko was a good woman cursed with a permanently absent husband, one Midoriya Hisashi. He had also been cutting back on the amount of money sent back to his family, citing increased living expenses in America, but his mother suspected the man had a mistress. To make ends meet, Inko had taken to doing part time jobs at a few local stores, who were happy to help her out with above average pay.
Still, even then, things were tough for the Midoriya family. Like mother like son, Inko valiantly put on a strong face in front of her friends and said she was OK...not that it fooled anyone.
"OK...well, let her know the old hag wants to have tea with her this week, Deku." Katsuki said, turning away. "I'll be in the shopping arcade if you need me."
"Later, Kacchan." Izuku said before moving off.
The errand for his mother was actually a fairly quick one, just some odds and ends that were needed for about the house that weren't sold in the shopping arcade. He wished Kacchan could have come with him, but he knew that the [Explosion] Quirk-user got bored easily, so that was unlikely from the outset. As was the norm when he was alone, Izuku's mind turned to his Quirk as he walked.
He had permanently adapted three Quirks into his own; His mother's [Attraction of Small Objects], Kacchan's [Explosion] and Bakugō Masaru's [Acidic Sweat]. It had surprised him that even although [Explosion] was derived in part from [Acidic Sweat], the parent Quirk was also able to be used separately. He chalked it up to his Quirk being picky.
Another facet of his Quirk was that he could alter the properties of his gun-hands, giving them the abilities and strengths of various types of guns. The default was the standard 'Buster' form, but after Izuku had started gun mechanics in order to better understand his Quirk, he'd found that, once he knew enough about how a particular kind of firearm worked, he could imitate its various properties using his Buster as a base. After several years of study and practice Izuku could easily morph his Buster to imitate machine guns, grenade launchers, gatling guns, rifles, sniper rifles, revolves and pistols with a simple moment's concentration.
Combine that with the 'Aspect Assimilation' portion of his Quirk and his [Buster Hands] could already become an incredibly diverse array of firearms.
The 'Attraction Shot' was a pistol-type gun he got from his mother's Quirk. It let him fire energy bullets that, when they struck something, attracted nearby objects to the point of impact, slowly, but it was a pretty cool effect.
The 'Explosion Launcher' was a grenade launcher type that fired a globule of Kacchan's nitroglycerin-like sweat at the target, which exploded on impact and was easily the most offensively powerful of his guns.
Finally, the 'Acidic Shot' was a revolver-type that fired a globule of mildly acidic liquid at his targets. It was little more than an irritant, but it was a distraction and so was useful. On an interesting note, Masaru was glad that his Quirk would be useful for Izuku to use.
'Still...Kacchan is right...I shouldn't let everyone get me down so much.' Izuku thought as he made his way home, the bag of odds and ends in one hand. 'Kacchan, Auntie Mitsu, Uncle Masaru, Mum...all of them support me. The others don't know me and they barely know anything about my Quirk, so what they say shouldn't bother...? But it does.'
No matter how he tried to convince himself otherwise, thanks to his nigh-lifelong position of being an object of disdain, contempt and bullying (before Katsuki eventually caught wind and proceeded to remind said bullies of why bullying someone whose best fried punched explosions was a bad idea) by most people he knew, Izuku was a victim of low self-esteem and self-confidence. If you get told something day in and day out for years at a time, you start to believe it yourself without sufficiently strong evidence to the contrary.
"I have to get over this...how can I be a hero if I can't even conquer my own insecurities?" Izuku muttered as he walked through a tunnel. As he reached the midpoint of it, the hairs on the back of his neck suddenly stood up. Years of training and sparring with Kacchan had given him a pretty good danger sense and right now those instincts were screaming bloody murder.
"A medium-sized invisibility cloak!" a slimy voice burbled from behind him.
Izuku launched himself forward and away from the voice without a moment's hesitation ("You hesitate, you DIE!" Katsuki's voice roared from the back of his mind), barely managing to avoid several long tendril made from a slimy muck that looked they'd just oozed out a sewer. Turning his leap into a roll with the ease of long practice, Izuku managed to quickly regain his feet and turn around, only to freeze up as he caught sight of the…person that had tried to grab him.
And he used the term 'person' very loosely in this case. The thing looming in front of him was more like a giant blob of noxious, green sludge, the only components even resembling humanity in it were a pair of large, bloodshot eyes and a set of craggy teeth sitting in disjointed place at the top of the slime-thing. He knew Quirks could cause some extreme mutations but this -
"You shouldn't fight kid." the slime villain (because who else would try and grab you from behind in a dark tunnel) said jeeringly. "Just give it up. Let me envelop you; after a mere forty-five seconds of pain, everything will be over!"
"You suck at persuasion. Air Buster." Izuku deadpanned as he activated his Quirk. Both of his hands lit up with a pale blue glow before they started to shift and grow, transforming into the large, cylindrical shape of his default Buster Mode. With a sharp pop of displaced air, both Busters opened fire at the villain with a barrage of fist-sized air blast. Originally, he had only been able to fire one at a time before 'reloading' by breathing, but he had pushed, strived and persevered until he'd been able to start building up a 'magazine' for his 'air bullets.' Not only did it allow him to fire more freely, but with each additional shot he developed in his magazine, the resulting bullets became slightly more compressed and thus struck with significantly more force when fired.
His current magazine was 150 shots per reload, and his air bullets packed quite the surprising punch.
The Slime Villain could only roar in anger and pain as dozens of wind bullets slammed into his body over the course of a few seconds, each one ripping off a chunk of sludge and splattering it against the tunnel.
"Gah, you fuckin' punk! You think something like this will save you!?" The masses of sludge splattered all over the tunnel started to wiggle before they started to flow back toward the villain's main body. "Get real!" with that several more tendrils of slime shot out of villain's body toward Izuku.
Izuku reacted instantly, readjusting his aim and firing at the incoming tendrils, splattering each even as he began to slowly back up in order to open some more space. 'Some kind of cellular control that allows him manipulate his 'body' even when it leaves the main mass? Or maybe some kind of self-hydrokinesis linked to manipulating his own body?' The greenette pondered as he continued to back away, blasting away at any tendril or limb the villain tried to form. Feeling his magazine start to run low, Izuku forced his thoughts away from his analysis and back onto the problem at hand. 'Just reloading isn't going to help me here, even if it doesn't give him a chance to grab. Looks like I need a more…explosive approach.'
A sudden nervous chill erupted down his spine as he belatedly realized that he was, technically, breaking the law himself by using his Quirk like this. 'Luckily, this should probably fall under the legitimate self-dense exemption section. Hopefully I'll get off with just a warning…' he suddenly shifted the angle of his left hand Buster to shred a tendril that had nearly gotten through due to his distraction, '…if I survive that is.'
Right, he could worry about his future after he made sure he actually had one.
"Explosive Launcher!" he roared out.
At his command, his right-handed Air Buster started to glow again before it suddenly lengthened and bulked up slightly, a handle emerging from the left side while the colouring shifted from a deep blue to a dark, camouflage green. Izuku quickly disengaged the transformation of his left hand and gripped the handle with it, using it to steady his aim as he locked onto the villain and mentally pulled the trigger.
With a loud crack, a large, clear glob of goo erupted from the end of the weapon and slammed into the Sludge Villain before detonating, splattering the attacking tendrils into hundreds of pieces and even sending the main body skidding back. Izuku didn't hesitate for a moment, mentally pulling the trigger five more time in rapid succession, each impact splattering large chunks off the ooze's main body and sending the rest skidding back. After the sixth shot, Izuku quickly reverted his hands back to Air Buster mode, freshly reloaded with a new 150 shots.
Sadly, that still wasn't enough to keep the villain down. The splattered remnants that had been scattered across the tunnel were already flowing back towards the main mass, though they were moving noticeably slower than before.
'Hopefully that meant he's starting to tire out.' Izuku thought desperately as he raised his Busters, ready to start firing again
"Brat...!" the Sludge Villain growled, rearing back to launch another attack, but then...
"Have no fear, young man." a voice boomed from behind the mass of slime. Both Izuku and the Sludge Villain looked back to see who it came from.
A large, heavily muscled man, dressed in a plain white t-shirt and camo green cargo trousers, with a metal belt buckle with a stylised 'A' engraved on it, stood there, having just climbed out of the nearby manhole. His blond hair was cut short, side from two tufts of his fringe, which was swept back in a distinctive 'V' shape. Even if he wasn't wearing his hero costume, there was no one living who wouldn't recognise him.
"And why, you may ask?" the Number One Pro Hero, All Might, said. "Because I AM HERE!"
"ALL MIGHT!" the Sludge Villain howled in a mix of fear and fury. He promptly forgot about Izuku and sent a barrage of slimy tentacles towards All Might. With almost contemptuous ease, the large man avoided the attacks and rushed in, right arm drawn back.
"TEXAS...SMASH!" he shouted, throwing his fist forwards and unleashing a massive bullet of wind that dwarfed even Izuku's best shot from the Air Buster.
"Wind...pressure...?!" the Slime Villain gurgled before he was scattering into small globs all over the tunnel...except on Izuku, who looked on in shock.
'H-holy...he punched so hard that the air pressure alone was enough to tear that villain apart!' the greenette thought in shock. 'Not only that, he aimed it, on the fly, so that not only would I only be hit with only a mild breeze, he also ensured that the hit would scatter the villain's slime around me but not on me. That, that much power but he controls it so perfectly...that's insane!'
"A-All Might!?" he squeaked. Out of all of the heroes in existence, there were no others that Izuku fanboyed over more than this man.
"Ah, my apologies, young man." All Might said as he walked forwards. "This miscreant escaped into the sewer system as he fled from me, and you were forced to defend yourself until I managed to catch up. I don't usually make rookie mistakes like that."
"N-No, i-it's fine!" Izuku stammered. "Y-You arrived just in the nick of time, just like always! I was at my limit dealing with him, really, so don't apologise, All Might!"
"Ahahahaha!" the hero guffawed merrily. "Still, you must have quite the Quirk to hold out against this character for so long. Might I ask what your Quirk is?"
"Oh...i-it's called [Buster Hands]." Izuku said with a nervous gulp. "I can transform my hands into g-guns that fire bullets of compressed air or beams of focused light. I can make them have the functions and abilities of any g-gun that I've studied and I can also adapt the Quirks of others into guns if I touch them. I can k-keep the adapted Quirk guns if I have the permission of the original Quirk holder or if I beat them in a fight." he offered, raising up one of his Busters in demonstration
'My word, that's quite the powerful Quirk!' Toshinori Yagi mused as he listened. 'If he can truly improve his Quirk with every Quirk User that he touches and then defeats, then he will be a formidable person indeed! And that's ignoring the possibility of others willingly letting him adapt their Quirk into his own!'
"I see...that is indeed a formidable Quirk, my boy." he said after Izuku finished.
"I...I guess it is, but..." the greenette said as he reverted his right hand back to normal. "People at my school keep saying it's like the Quirk of a villain, even with heroes like Gunhead. Do...do you think that I can be a hero, All Might? Even with a Quirk like this?"
'The bias against guns rears its head again, I see.' Toshinori almost snorted but restrained himself for fear of scaring or disappointing the boy in front of him. His time in America had done wonders for curing the aversion to firearms that many Japanese held.
The Second Amendment had been given new life during the Quirk Crisis when the Age of Quirks began, as people desperately sought ways to protect themselves against criminals wielding the newly emergent superpowers.
"Do you want to be a hero, young man?" he asked instead.
"M-More than anything." the boy said immediately, with a light of determination sparking in his eyes.
"Then that is what matters." All Might said firmly. "A Quirk does not make someone a hero; a hero is made by their own will. Regardless of what one's Quirk appears to be or what people say what it looks like, so long as you have the desire and determination to strive to become a hero, you can become one."
He absently stamped on a clump of goo that was the Sludge Villain attempting to reform.
"Your name, young man?" All Might asked.
"M-Midoriya! Midoriya Izuku!" the boy squeaked.
"Young Midoriya. Take pride in your Quirk." the Pro Hero said reassuringly. "I am a good friend of Gunhead, and he went through much the same sort of negative bias that you are under. You managed to protect yourself against this villain for what had to be about three minutes with your Quirk, and believe me when I say not many people your age could accomplish that against a villain. You have my word for it, my boy...you can indeed become a hero, so long as you persevere and never give up!"
Izuku could feel the tears filling his eyes. For so long, he had endured scorn and derision from people outside of his mother and friends, but this...validation, this recognition, from his personal hero no less, was an emotional moment for him. "I-I won't give up!" he said fervently before hesitating and then blurting out, "I-I'm planning on applying to U.A. when I graduate!"
"My alma mater, eh? Well, Young Midoriya, you had better train yourself to the bone; the Entrance Exam is extremely strenuous." All Might warned him as he started stuffing the slime villain into some empty ramune bottles.
"I will." Izuku nodded his head so fast that All Might was slightly worried it would fall off. "Um...c-can you sign this?"
The boy held out a notebook with a pen shakily, as if he was worried All Might would say no.
Guffawing loudly, the Pro Hero took both items, opened the book to a blank pair of pages and scrawled his signature across it, along with the date, before handing them back to the clearly ecstatic boy before gathering up the bottles of Sludge Villain. "There you are, my boy. Now, I must away to take this scoundrel to the authorities. Fare well and I wish you the best of luck at U.A.!"
With that sentence, his world-famous smile and a mighty leap, All Might was gone.
"Best. Day. Ever!" Izuku muttered, still in a daze with a silly smile on his face. "I gotta tell Kacchan!"
Next Chapter: Sludge Villain, Second Shot