TIRED


Hold me down, I'm so tired now

Aim your arrow at the sky

Take me down, I'm too tired now

Leave me where I lie

- Sky Full of Song by Florence and the Machine


Nezu calmly leads her through the campus straight to his main office; she was going in the wrong direction, it seems, until the incident with Eraserhead had happened. The entire walk there even seems a bit confusing; it's much larger than any campus she's been on. She's not sure if that's just UA, or if schools have just gotten bigger since she's left. Even the college (colleges) she had attended in the past didn't even compare to this.

She knows that she'll have to get something to help her find her way when she starts teaching here or, alternatively, she will spend the first few weeks getting endlessly lost.

The moment that they are within his office, with confidence that they won't be bothered, Florence finally speaks up.

"Was any of that really necessary?"

Nezu notices the tired tone of her voice, the sunken look of her eyes as her face seems to have lost its color. She looks too similar to how she used to look - trapped, engaged, dying. Her skin had turned blue, rotting away in front of him, eyes glossed over and left open. He will never forget that smell. He remembers exactly how long he had been forced to see her face - dead, cold - in front of him, unable to help. He was never sure if that time would be the last time. If she would come back or not.

He has to turn his back away from her, focusing carefully on the way he makes them a cup of tea. Suddenly, all he can smell is the green tea perfectly brewed in front of him. He breathes it in deeply before, after a moment of hesitation, he takes out a bottle from a cabinet and pours just a small amount of it into each cup.

"My sincerest apologies, Florence." Nezu states calmly as he settles into a chair that is much too big for him. In private, he drops the honorific for her name. "But before you came onto the staff, I had to see how Eraserheads quirk would affect someone such as yourself. You are, admittedly, a wild card when it comes to your abilities and the more I know about them the better I can be fully prepared and adjust the school accordingly."

I think you just don't like not knowing something. Rodents, Florence decides, are the most nosey of creatures. Always sniffing where they don't belong. Florence doesn't even take one sip from the cup, setting it down on the table in front of her as she looks at Nezu with narrowed eyes.

"You can just ask." She states simply. "I did not agree to be an experiment of yours, Nezu. If there is something that needs to be figured out about my abilities, I will simply experiment with them on my own. I do not condone you taking that decision away from me."

Nezu doesn't seem too phased at her words and she is, unfortunately, reminded of how disconnected Nezu really is from others at times. She doesn't bother getting upset, knowing it would be a lost cause. The worst case scenario of anything is that she dies - and she'll either come back, or she won't. In either case, she will be fine. Nezu just continues to sip idly at his tea before he finally speaks up again.

"Eraserhead's quirk allows him to completely cancel a quirk, provided that he maintains them in his eyesight. Granted, it won't work on most mutant-class quirks."

Florence takes her cup of tea back and takes a bigger drink of it than she should've. The taste of burning liquor mixed with tea doesn't phase her and when she downs the cup in one go, Nezu offers her the entire bottle of whisky from the cabinet instead. He pours some more into his own cup before offering her the rest of it, which she accepts gladly.

"You don't know if his quirk could have killed me."

The statement is a heavy one to swallow. Saying it out loud creates a thick, palpable air in the room. The effects of Eraserhead's quirk are still fresh in her mind - feeling nothing but the cold and a familiar darkness emerging in her chest. Florence takes a long swig of the bottle and then continues, her voice cutting out softly.

"It felt like it was going to."

She offers the bottle back to Nezu, but he declines as he finishes off his cup, deciding to take out a cigar instead. She continues to nurse the small bottle of liquor as Nezu trenches into safer conversation; satisfied he got an answer to his experiment, though not thrilled at what it can imply.

"I had one of our teachers build a new building for your class," Nezu continues as if their previous conversation never happened. "Cementoss' quirk allows him to manipulate cement. Quite handy when teaching the future generation. Kids these days can have such destructive quirks."

She supposes that explains, in part, why the campus is so large. Having a teacher with an ability like that on staff gives them the chance to have more buildings and chances to rebuild much easier than it would be for other schools. She imagines it also allows the school to have more budget for other expenses.

"I'm still in the process of adding it to our maps, but it will be just north of where we are now. Ground Omega will house your building along with the space to do anything you require of your students with a specialized viewing area for their homeroom teachers, should they choose to observe your class. Some of our teachers were a bit more hesitant on someone overtaking what is normally already a part of their own curriculum. Observing your class will ease their worries as well as stress just how different your class will be."

She isn't surprised. If Eraserhead was anything to go by, she imagines that the teachers take their jobs very seriously. Which is to be expected of at a school such as UA.

"As long as they don't interfere and don't get in my way," Florence reasons, "Then they will be more than welcome to observe in a safe, non-distracting way."

"Naturally."


Shoto Aizawa finally manages to drag himself home long after the sun has set. He can feel the exhaustion settling in his bones, after teaching a class that will be over as they near the end of the school year, on top of doing a few patrols. He wouldn't change it for the world, but damn was it tiring. His class this year was nothing short of exhausting, with most of them already being expelled and the ones left still not progressing as much as he would have liked. He doubts that many of them, if any, will even make it through the second year.

He can only hope that the next class come April will have more potential, but considering the types they tend to keep getting, he doubts it. He's not sure how much longer he can go on teaching spoiled brats with idealization issues and no real motivation.

He only smiles at the stray cats already at his balcony, waiting for their expected supper. He feeds them all, gently reminding them in a soft hush voice to not eat so fast, before he starts his own (late) dinner.

Hizashi: I heard a certain someone got to meet the new teacher.

He sends an outrageous amount of emojis through the groupchat. Judging from the earlier sent text from Nezu to inform any staff still left on campus of Florence Talbot's presence. Figures that Nezu finds it convenient to message everyone only after he had already mistaken her for an intruder. It was only a matter of time before Hizashi would find out that he had run into the teacher considering he was the only teacher still on campus when the message had been sent out.

Nemuri: how absolutely naughty of you ~ meeting the new teacher before all of us

He sighs deeply, regretfully thankful that the group chat only consists of the three of them instead of the entire staff. He barely has the energy left to engage with them; if it had been a chat consisting of the entire staff, he wouldn't even have bothered replying.

Aizawa: please stop that

Nemuri: not until you tell us all of the delicious~ details

Hizashi: tell us what we want to know Shoto

Aizawa really just wanted to get home and maybe get a few hours of sleep before he had to go to work again, but that was just too much to ask. He should have known that they would want to know everything about what happened; Hizashi in particular is pretty good (bad, in his case) about staying up to date with the gossip. He could tell them everything. About how the new teacher actually got the jump on him and - mildly - impressed him. Nezu's odd interest and comments that could warrant more thought, if Aizawa actually cared enough to look into it. But none of that actually tells him anything of interest, such as if she'll actually be a decent teacher or not.

Aizawa: wait until April then find out for yourselves