News spread fast around Aldera, it would seem. Not long after Ibara had knocked the Bakugo bastard on his ass, there had been whispering all around her.

As well as that, it wasn't hard to notice as the days went on the sneers she got from some, the looks of people who seemed to think she was insane or a disease and those who looked at her with pity.

It was probably those last ones that annoyed her the most, the only ones worth pitying in this school were the pathetic ones who thought abusing innocent people for things out of their control was okay.

So most of them, she thought with an internal groan.

It had been a slow change on day one of more and more people keeping distance, but by the time the second day had rolled around, the change was in full effect. Everyone knew what she had done and was acting like she was a walking plague.

There were some who just seemed to be cowards, going with the peer pressure of the people around them to avoid her, probably worried about how others would react.

Then there were those stupid enough to actively voice their condemnation of her in front of her. A particular memorable example being Ikeda, the boy from the day before who had told her about the gangs who had completely changed his tune.

He'd gone into an angry tirade about 'quirkless bastards' 'stupid vine girls' and 'not knowing the pecking order', which ultimately ended up with a knocked out Ikeda with his head in the bin when the teacher walked in while Ibara hummed away and put on the fakest sweet smile she could while acting completely ignorant to the boy's situation.

If a few thorns were found in the bin from the vine that knocked him out by whipping his head, well she didn't know anything about that.

Ibara's 'favorite' hater however had to be Bakubitch himself, who was ranting about her every chance he got. It was like Ikeda but hourly, more annoying and with more swear words than a dictionary written by someone with Tourette's using text-to-speech.

Aside from that delightful reminder of what a shithole her new school actually was, she was quickly discovering she hated most of the staff as well. They were decent enough at teaching she supposed but in interacting with their students they were terrible.

There were the ones who were too strict like in every school, but for once Ibara's distaste was actually aimed at the ones who weren't strict enough which was certainly a weird feeling.

But the ones who weren't strict enough were usually the ones she'd catch in the hall watching people attack Midoriya, and even in the worst example she'd seen one give Izuku detention for loitering after the fact, when in fact he was barely lucid as far as the girl could tell.

Ibara had made her thoughts on that bullshit quite clear when she tripped that 'teacher' up on the set of stairs and left him to deal with the aftermath. Frankly she almost considered it a shame he wasn't out of commission for more than a few days.

He absolutely deserved it though, as did the librarian who refused to let Izuku check out books to do his homework and the teacher who 'accidentally' let Midoriya's homework fly out the window then marked it as not being handed in she'd happened to notice on her way between classes. Both had found themselves tripping and smashing their heads on their desks.

She probably wouldn't have noticed these incidents in the past but she was actively seeking them out now after the first day. It seemed like the entire school hated him and that just wasn't right.

It felt like the least the girl could do was give him one person on his side to help him realize he needed to stop giving a damn about these people. Who gave a fuck if the system favored strong quirks, he could rebel against it and prove it was bullshit.

At least she hoped that he would. Maybe she was just being a sentimental idiot. Deep down, loath though she was to admit it, she still just wanted to help people more than anything.

It was a week after their first meeting when it finally happened. The dinner lady had tried to fling some slop in Midoriya's face by 'accident' only for the vine haired girl to use her quirk and grab a tray just in time to block it and sweetly pretend it really had been an accident while the dinner lady grumbled away as Izuku walked off and Ibara got her own lunch while glaring right into said dinner lady's eye.

She had a feeling the woman wished she could poison the food she was giving the rebellious girl, which just made Ibara feel smug as she left and sat down at her table. It was roughly five minutes later when she heard someone sit down across from her and looked up, half expecting Bakugou to have come to rant at her again until he was told he was told to fuck off and he inevitably muttered the same thing he'd been muttering all week about 'putting the vine bitch in her place' but instead…

"U-Uh, h-hi?" Izuku Midoriya spoke with uncertainty as she looked up, as if worried he was stepping over some kind of boundary. Ibara merely smiled kindly at him, hoping it would help put him a bit more at ease.

"Hey, Midoriya. You alright?" She asked, her voice uncharacteristically soft for once as she took him in. She couldn't help her smile dropping for a moment when she noticed he had fresh bruises.

"A-A-As much a-as I c-can be in t-this school." He said with a frown, looking down at his lunch and Ibara nodded her head to acknowledge the place most definitely sucked donkey dick. She voiced as much, making Izuku's face tinge red and cause him to sputter.

"You're not supposed to actually imagine the donkey dick." She teased, making him sputter even more as he went nuclear and she grinned.

"S-Shiozaki!"

"Ibara." She corrected immediately as her smile dropped. "It's Ibara, Shiozaki makes me think of my parents and they fucking suck."

"O-Oh." He frowned, darting a cautious and apprehensive gaze to her. "Sorry."

"Not your fault." She shrugged with a sigh, before looking up. "So what's up? You've not come to me before."

"W-Well I w-wasn't sure if it w-was okay w-with you…" he explained simply, making her frown deepen at that and the fact that meant he had wanted to but had been worried she'd snap at him or something. "I j-just wanted t-to say thank you for w-what you said before and f-for what you did for me."

"I'm just doing what any decent person would do." She said, and noticing his mouth open as if he was about to defend the others she fixed him with a harder stare. "And the only decent people in this school are me and you from what I've seen, without argument. The rest are fuckheads and cunts, quite frankly."

Izuku's mouth snapped shut as if he'd changed his mind about defending the others and Ibara's smile returned.

"In any case, you're welcome, cutie."

"C-Cutie?!"

"Yeah." She grinned. "I told you the other girls are missing out. I meant it. You're a cute one."

Izuku began sputtering again as he muttered out lies about not being that cute through an amazingly red faced. Ibara frankly thought it was hilarious but took mercy on him after a moment.

"Fine, if you want to keep lying to yourself, you're not cute." She winked and he pouted at her, merely proving her point that he was damn adorable.

"A-A-Anyways, I d-don't w-want to a-annoy you s-so I g-guess I'll go now-"

"Wait." She commanded and he did, looking up confused. "Are you just gonna walk off and eat alone?"

"W-Well I d-don't have a-any friends to e-eat with s-so…" He explained, trailing off with a slightly hurt expression that made the green haired girl's heart ache.

"Then stay here where you can eat with a friend, genius." She smiled at him as warmly as she could and his eyes widened a tad as his jaw dropped. "What? I know I'm awesome but you don't need to gawk at me."

"W-We're f-friends?" He asked, far too stunned by something so simple that a part of Ibara just wanted to wrap him in her vines and never let go, but she nodded.

"Well why not? I mean everyone else fucking sucks so it's not like I want to be friends with them, and even if there were decent ones you actually seem like someone I want to be friends with." She explained simply before frowning as she noticed Izuku's eyes watering. "Oh shoot did I say something bad?!"

"N-No, it's just…" Izuku sniffed, looking down. "T-Thank you. If y-you w-want to be f-f-friends, w-we can be f-friends, p-please?"

Ibara paused for a moment and took in his shaky voice, his absolute awe at the idea of someone wanting to be friends with him and the worry in his voice as though this was some prank she could vaguely pick out.

As if her, a complete fucking stranger to him, offering her friendship was as valuable as All Might's quirk itself. Ibara didn't need to see any more of anything to know one thing as the truth from this moment on.

She would protect this boy with her fucking life if she had to and help him get out of this shit situation he was in, and nothing short of death would stop her.

And even death would fucking struggle in this case as far as she was concerned.

"Yeah, I want to be friends." She nodded and he smiled a smile that made Ibara feel like she'd just found out she won a raffle to become the richest girl in the world, an absolutely radiant smile that made her certain she was doing the right thing. 'And I promise to be the best possible friend I can be.'

And she intended to keep that promise no matter what as Izuku sat down to eat with her. She grinned at him. She might as well start the conversation for them to get to know each other better, even if she kind of already knew the answer to her first question.

She still asked it anyways, ready for whatever tirade she was going to get from the rumors she'd heard.

"So, Midoriya, how do you feel about heroes?"

And though Izuku practically talked her ear off about heroes she wasn't entirely interested in for the entirety of her lunch period, Ibara was happy.

She couldn't wait for their friendship to grow, and though she wouldn't admit it, maybe, just maybe, a small part of her was considering the possibility that they might grow beyond even that sometime in the future.

For now, though, she could just make Izuku happy.

And that was more than enough for Ibara.