AN: Gonna start the final exam arc either next chapter or the one after. I think I've gotten some interesting tests for everyone.

AN2: Sorry about how long it's been on this story. This chapter did NOT want to be written.

AN3: Apologies how long it's been since I made any posts. My wife and I lost a beloved pet recently so inspiration or energy to write has been hard to come by.

What Doesn't Kill Me

Chapter 40

-Endeavor-

Running a tired hand down his face, Endeavor trudged into his home. His fingers were still twitching erratically from the earlier gas he'd been exposed to.

"Father, you're home." Fuyumi perked up as he walked in, "I was getting worried."

"I…thank you." Endeavor kept himself from frowning, unsure how to really respond to his daughter voicing concern at him coming home late.

"You missed dinner, so I ate your share." Natsuo showed exactly zero concern as he relaxed in the living room.

"Hnn." Endeavor let out a noise that was somewhere between a grumble and a growl, still feeling especially twitchy. Fuyumi and Natsuo both noticed something was off at that, the twitchiness not his normal state of being, not to mention there being no sign of active flames anywhere.

"Did…did something happen Father?" Fuyumi wrung her hands nervously as he trudged into the kitchen, slowly getting a water even with his hands still trembling slightly.

"New villain gang." He scowled, wanting his kids prepared just in case, "They use chemical weapons." He drained the glass of water in a single gulp as he worked to fill it up again, "I've…been put on leave for now."

"Say what?" Natsuo actually looked shocked, although something told Endeavor it probably wasn't for indignation at the situation.

"Hawks and Ryukyu are experiencing the same." He grabbed a frozen meal, "The gas causes hallucinations along with extreme levels of adrenaline. Elevated heartrate and rapid breathing too. Given the nature of our quirks and strength, the commission is worried about us lashing out or losing control. So, until there's no residual sign of the gas in my system, I'm not allowed to do any Hero work." The commission had happily declared Dauntless fit to continue, however. It wouldn't surprise him if they started trying to send the boy into the most toxic environments they could soon.

At least Backdraft had agreed to take overlooking after the kid for now. Apparently, the man was old friends with the Water Hose duo and offered to look after Dauntless for a bit. The fact that if the boy wasn't already fireproof then he was damn close no doubt helped the situation. Perfect for dealing with the flames of burning buildings the fire rescue hero focused on. Hopefully he'd take care about smoke inhalation at the least.

"What…what did you see?" Fuyumi asked, her voice both nervous and curious.

He was stonily silent as he looked at his reflection in the microwave, remembering back to the hallucination he'd seen. The waking nightmare of his eldest child's burnt and rotting body crawling towards him, face twisted in agonized rage.

A face that was so like Endeavor's own brother.

"…Be safe when going to school tomorrow." he couldn't bring himself to answer, taking his little microwave dinner, "I…if you see criminals in American Biker clothes…" seeing his hand trembles get worst he quickly moved to his private office.

He needed to be alone.

-Nezu-

Frowning, Nezu looked through the various reports of the new Criminal Gang known as 'The Wild Bunch'. While they'd been doing heists all over Japan, he noticed a worrying pattern.

Most areas that got attacked weren't hit again. The larger cities, like Tokyo, got hit a few times. But the area around UA was hit every day without fail. And young Midoriya had been caught in those attacks every…single…time.

A new Hero had been required to be with him after each attack as the commission kept putting them on leave from the Gas until they felt it was out of their systems. After the first couple of days, Heroes had begun carrying several gas masks on their persons at all times. Ones for their own use and to provide to civilians should they encounter this new gang who always seemed to have members no matter how many were arrested.

Every Hero who worked with Dauntless was still put on leave regardless on of their mask was used or not though. To anyone with even half a brain it was clear that the HPSC was trying to strongarm young Dauntless into being a sidekick to one of their own pawns. Unfortunately, that just meant that roughly sixty percent of the general public, at least, failed to notice.

Fortunately, however, he was not the general public. With what he knew, what his new allies could dig up, and what could be proven thanks to a certain lie detection quirk, the HPSC was not being inundated with lawsuit after lawsuit.

A class action lawsuit from all the various heroes forced to remain on unpaid leave whether they'd worn gasmasks with no exposure to the hallucinogens or if they were cleared by any independent doctors.

A class action lawsuit from the various people who weren't getting as much protection from Hero patrols due to said heroes being forced on leave by the HPSC's little games. Which was served after the lawsuit from the wronged heroes was made public.

A Lawsuit Nezu helped Mrs. Midoriya file. If the Stain fight was the reason for the HPSC to help push for Midoriya to be forcibly drafted into Hero work. To not get any choice in the matter when, as crude as the comparison was, most Hero work was essentially commission based. They make their own hours and get paid by result. Thus, a lawsuit about the HPSC refusing to pay him for the work to catch Stain and his share of the bounty.

And with that the floodgates were opened. Anyone and everyone who had issue with the HPSC started filing Lawsuits, adding to the fire as Curious stoked the public opinion about it. He made sure to filter out the cases that would be an issue with but all others he and his allies made sure to help where they could.

If all went well this would let him and his allies begin pushing changes through. To remove most if not all the power of the HPSC. Let a new organization rise to take its place. One where he and Detnerat could do what they could to push through more acceptable laws.

But for now, he had to focus on the upcoming exams for his students before the summer break. The most recent staff meeting had been finalizing the final matchups for the various students of each year they hadn't settled on. Mostly the first-year class A admittedly.

Each student was being tasked to fight someone who had some sort of advantage or counter to them. To test how creative the students could be in overcoming challenges.

Yuga Aoyama would be going against the Hero X-Less. A Pro Hero who also possessed a laser quirk that was much more efficient at this point. Aoyama wouldn't be able to rely on a single well-placed range shot before his stomach issues overcame him. Hopefully the young man would be able to learn by battling a more experienced laser user.

Tsuyu Asui would be going against Selkie. Someone with a very similar quirk in that they were both Mutants who excelled at aquatic arenas. The difference being that Selkie's made him far physically stronger.

Tenya Ida's opponent would be Mystic. The young man was fast but at the moment struggled in doing any attacks that weren't a straight line on the ground. But Mystic's platforms would let him simply rise above such strikes. Ida would have to adapt.

Mashirao Ojiro would be tasked with battling Fourth Kind. Another close combat specialist who also possessed additional limbs. A more experienced version of young Ojiro himself.

Denki Kaminari would be combating another electric user. A hero from Re-Destro's force known as Amplivolt. Someone who could manipulate and resist electricity. Kaminari's normal attacks would only make his opponent stronger.

Koji Koda would be battling the hero Centipeder. The young man had a crippling fear of insects which was holding back his own quirk's capabilities. Young Koda would have to fight his own fears to pass.

Rikido Sato would be battling Fat Gum. Young Sato tended to just try and brute force his way through each problem he faced. Given his quirk lowered his intellect this was an issue. So, an opponent he couldn't just overpower would be a good test for growth.

Mezo Shoji would be fighting the third-year student Amajiki. Another young man who could alter their own appearance to monstrous levels. Growing extra limbs. His hope was the young man picking up a few tricks from someone with such a similar skillset.

Kyoka Jiro would be going against Edgeshot. Someone who was trained in stealth to teach her not to over rely on her sense of hearing. With any luck she'd pick up her own ambush tricks from the encounter.

Hanta Sero, unfortunately for him, had to go against Best Jeanist. Nezu had noted that Mr. Sero's current primary type of tape seemed to be a thick fabric like composition. Having collected some after a Hero class he confirmed that Best Jeanist was able to manipulate it. So, it would force the young man to change up how he used his quirk to achieve success and, hopefully, open himself up to new creative ideas.

Fumikage Tokoyami would have the opponent of Mister Blaster as his opponent. Someone who could create bright explosions from his palm. If they were bright enough to require Mister Blaster to use goggles to avoid blinding himself then they would force Tokoyami to be creative in avoiding his weakness.

Itsuka Kendo would be fighting the hero known as Tiger. Someone with incredible physical strength but also his own body alteration. She had great talent with her combat skills but had to focus on thinking outside the box.

Momo Yaoyorozu would be going against Rock Lock. Someone who could freeze anything he touched in midair and force her to have to either catch him off guard with her creations or overpower him since once it was frozen it was most likely useless to her.

Eijiro Kirishima and Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsu, much to his amusement, both got assigned the same opponent. The young heroine Bubble Girl. With those two so focused on just 'hardening up' and tanking everything that came their way, they'd have to adapt to her quirk. Bubbles that contain any smell she wants aren't something they can just 'harden' against.

Mina Ashido would be going up against Manual. The man's ability to manipulate water would let him, to be blunt, water down the young lady's Acid. Pushing her beyond her current limits.

Ochaco Ururaka would be fighting Snatch. With his body comprised of sand he'd be completely immune to her quirk so she couldn't take him out by removing his gravity.

Shoto Todoroki would go against Burnin. Someone intimately familiar with how the fire half of his quirk worked and who would have solid resistance or counters to both ice and heat.

Toru Hagakure would go against Ragdoll. Someone who could always find her regardless of any invisibility.

Hitoshi Shinso would go against Mandalay. Someone who could communicate telepathically. This meant she could respond to his quirk without having to set it off by making a verbal remark.

Reiko Yanagi was going to go against her fellow third year Nejire. The girl's telekinesis was powerful but she'd shown no ability to use it on pure energy so she couldn't control miss Hado's attacks.

Mirio Togata would fight Miss Joke. The young man had to make constant rapid calculations with his quirk to use it effectively in combat. But being forced to laugh hard enough that many under said quirk passed out would test just how well he could do those calculations under pressure.

And then there was Izuku Midoriya who'd be forced to defend against his own homeroom teacher. The young man had a truly powerful defensive quirk. But how well would he fare without access to those resistances he'd built up? Would he be able to hold out till he got an opening?

What he was most curious though, was if the students would figure out the hidden meaning behind his test. Most of them would think that they could only pass by winning. In all honesty his focus was on how well they improved; how creative they could be. How much they worked for it.