"So All Might! What do you think about the supposed 'Next All Might' that's going to be graduating this year?"
"He has a name, you know!" All Might's voice boomed even on the small T.V. that barely fit in their room. "And I suggest you get used to saying it loud and proud."
"Right, sorry, the future pro-hero Perseverance."
"Thank you! As for what I think of that young man." All Might gave a great big smile and slapped his knee. The large yellow suit he wore would have been a fashion mistake on nearly anyone else, but All Might made it work by virtue of him being All Might. "Well, let's just put it this way: with pros like him on the way, I feel like I can safely think about retiring in a couple of decades."
"Oh my, do you really think he'll be as good as you?"
"As good?" All Might asked for clarification, his smile fading into a tight lipped frown.
"No, I don't think he'll be as good," the serious look lasted for only a couple of seconds before a mighty grin took over All Might's face. "I think he'll be better! Having been working with the young man for a while now, I have a great respect for him."
"Any insight into how his quirk works? Much like yours, his is shrouded in mystery and—"
"Ahh yes, our quirks. While Young Perseverance's quirk is similar to mine in that we both pack quite a punch, our quirks are both unique. While I've grown accustomed to my quirk and know its ins and outs, I don't believe that Perseverance can say the same. He's still discovering the nuances of his quirk." All Might snapped his finger and slapped his knee again. "Just last week, he—" All Might stopped. "Actually, I'll let him reveal that little surprise. Let's move onto the next question."
"Right. Well, since you and Perseverance have similar quirks, rumors have started to form around your relationship with him. Many believe that he may even be your son."
"Nonsense!" All Might bellowed. "To even think of such would be an insult to the boy's parents, who are every bit as kind hearted as he is."
Junko tore her eyes from the T.V. and glanced down at her little sister Mei, who was all but bouncing on the small kotatsu they all shared in the winter. When they had electricity at any rate. She looked at her sister's toothy grin for a moment and then remembered that she was currently studying. "What is it Mei? I'm studying for the hero exam."
"You're going to be a better hero than that uhh… Percy guy, right?" Mei asked, her brow furrowing as her eyes zoomed in and out at random.
"You're talking about Perseverance, right?" Junko placed a hand on her sister's thick pink hair that was similar in texture to her own blue and pink hair.
"Yeah him!" Mei jumped up while keeping her hand planted on the kotatsu, her legs going up high enough that Junko was almost worried her little sister was going to go full scorpion and end up with a bloodied lip. Again. Mei had no such concerns. "People keep talking about how great he is, but that's just because they don't know how awesome you are!"
"If I don't, I bet you will." Junko placed a hand on her sister's head to stop her from jumping. Their family was… had been… a family of pros who were effectively living weapons. Mei was no exception; with her eyes, she could even see further than Junko could.
"Nu-uh!" Mei shook her head and wiggled free from Junko's grasp. "I'm not going to be a hero! I'm going to make lots of cool babies for you to use!"
"I really don't know where you got that from." Junko sighed and shoved her little sister back a bit. One day, Mei had just randomly started to call the little gizmos she made babies. It confused both her and Otto. "Now start studying your English, you suck at it."
"Yea-huh." Junko stuck her tongue out and looked at her own open textbook. When it came to school, she was pretty good at all the subjects, but math was by far her best subject. Her brother joked that it was because of her quirk. "Now let me study."
"Are you sure you aren't going to watch the T.V.?"
"You shush. Go see what Otto is doing!"
Junko placed her pen to the paper again and resumed the mind-numbing task of studying English. She knew why it was required, but that didn't mean she wanted to actually study it. It could be useful if she ever took up the American Hero Program that seemed popular with pros. Hell, even All Might used the program.
She glanced back up towards the T.V. and saw that it was showing an image of Perseverance fighting against some villain with a gigantification quirk. With his messy green hair, light speckling of freckles, and a charming smile, it was easy to see why so many of the girls in her school were completely charmed by him. Apparently, the U.A. entrance exam was going to be extra packed this year because of him.
Not that it mattered. Junko smiled and closed her eyes for just a moment.
She was going to get in. She had the skills. She had the power. She had the quirk. All she needed to do was pass the written portion, and she was as good as in. Though she had always wanted to go to U.A., she had to admit, she wanted to meet Perseverance there one day.
"Alright!" Otto's boisterous voice came in from the small hallway-like kitchen that was only separated by a thin and increasingly damaged door. "Juju, Mei-Mei! Are you two ready for some grub?"
Junko rolled her eyes. She had no idea where that came from, either. Her brother had picked up a weird habit of coming up with terrible nicknames that were just the first syllable of someone's name repeated. "I'm not sure if I've recovered from the last time you cooked."
"Hey!" Her brother entered their small room and placed a small pot of soup down in the center of the table, its heated contents putting a smile on her face. "It's better than the bargain bin at the convenience store."
"Nope!" Mei joined in, a pair of chopsticks already in her hands.
"So mean." Otto pouted with a huff. Her little brother was anything but little. Barely a year younger than her, he was already taller than most fully grown men. And twice as dirty. His hands were clean up to his elbows and were covered in small band-aids that he got from his job. Even his bright pink hair looked to be part grease at this point. "Anyways, now that I'm roasted, let's get eating!"
Junko nodded and grabbed her own pair of mismatched chopsticks, one a recycled disposable from the convenience store and the other a pen that had been completely used up. She always felt so guilty relying on Otto, but any time she brought it up, he'd just blow her off and say things like he'd be fixing cars and appliances anyways, and how school was never really his thing, and that she'd pay him back once she became a big name hero.
"Hey," Junko paused as she blew on a clump of mismatched noodles and looked at her little brother and sister. "I love you guys."
She could not say the same about her father.
He was the reason why they were in this mess.
He had gambled away all their mother's money, got both of them involved with the Yakuza, and forced mom to start working with some local villains. To this day, Junko could still hear the late night arguments that their parents had when they thought her and Otto were asleep. They grew to hate each other.
Mei had been their attempt to fix their marriage.
Until they both died.
She missed her old life.
The friends she used to have.
Her room. Her own personal room that was larger than this room she shared with her siblings.
She missed everything but her parents.
Junko shook her head and smiled at her siblings again. She'd give them a good life again.
To do that, she was going to become a hero. The best she could.
She had gotten in.
Not officially, as she was pretty sure that the acceptance letters hadn't even been sent out yet, but she had to have gotten in. She had cleared out so many robots: all those times with trick shots and a lucky encounter where she saw someone hit a kill switch on one of the robots had led her to scoring a massive kill count against the robots, enough that she didn't quite regret all those times she had chosen to help other students instead. And she had crushed the written exam easily.
Even if only one person from each arena got in, Junko was beyond confident that come spring, she would be going to U.A.
It took all she had to not start skipping her way back home after school. She might even be able to get some practice in after she picked Mei up.
Junko stopped in her tracks and looked up at the tall bald man wearing a formal suit. The bottom portion of his face was covered by a bright red beard that was kept neatly trimmed. His eyes were hidden behind a pair of sunglasses that were so dark she wondered how he could even see. He stood next to a sleek black car.
All of it felt official in the worst possible way.
Her gut was telling her to run away and cry for stranger danger.
"Yes?" She asked, hoping that this wasn't involving Otto dropping out of school, or why they weren't in the orphanage.
"Jinpei Honoka." The man pulled out a badge that she instantly recognized. "Hero Public Safety Commission," He stepped to the side and opened the car door revealing another man sitting in there. "We'd like to talk, if you don't mind."
"But, I have to pick up my little sister."
"Mei Hatsume," Jinpei said and nodded. "If you agree, I'll guide her to your home in your place."
"Uhh, that's not a good idea." Junko held up her hands, "She tends to bite strangers if they touch her."
Jinpei pulled out a pair of black gloves. "I'm prepared."
"Wait, what's this all about? What does the Hero Public Safety Commission want with me? I'm not a hero."
"Not yet." The man from inside the car leaned down and smiled at her. He was thin and old, but had a kind smile on his face. "But that's what we want to talk to you about. We have an offer for you."
"What?" She gripped her bag tight in her hands, panic flooding over her for a few moments. "Did I not get into U.A?"
"That's yet to be seen, now please," the man sat back in the car and padded the seat next to him. "Have a seat and we can discuss your future."
Junko bit her lip and looked at Jinpei then at the car. They already knew where to find her and Mei, if they were bad guys, they wouldn't do the get in the car trick. Plus they had a badge. And a nice car.
And no candy.
She nodded and sat down in the back. The inside of the car was spacious, and the leather seat was comfortable enough to make it feel like it was swallowing her whole. She jumped when the door slammed shut, and again when the engine began to purr. The driver was a woman with blond hair and a stern face.
"So, what is all this?" She asked, barely able to glance at the elderly man. "And who are you?"
"I'm Uso Tsuki, the president of the Hero Public Safety Commission." Uso pulled out a card from his wallet and handed it to her. It had all the official-looking information: address of the commission headquarters, a phone number, and an extension. "We saw the footage of your during the U.A. entrance exam and were impressed."
"Well that's good." If the H.P.S.C. was impressed with her skills, then she was pretty much a shoe-in for U.A.
"Indeed," Uso nodded and gave her a kind smile. "You see, the Commission is starting up a new program, one where we give a young hopeful hero special training. We've selected you to be the first we're offering this to."
"But," she paused. "U.A?"
"The training you'll receive will be on par if not better than the training you'd receive at U.A." Uso handed her a slender file with a few pages in it, each marked with a tab on where she was expected to sign her name. "We've hired the best tutors and trainers in Japan for this. You may well find yourself pulling ahead of your U.A. peers, and you also won't have to take the hero license exam. Food and shelter will be provided for you at the training facility."
"And my family?"
"You won't be allowed to live with them, but you will be permitted to visit them." Uso shifted in his seat and quickly held up his hand. "Additionally, the Commission is willing to support them so long as you work for us. This includes food, utilities, and schooling."
Junko let out a laugh and glanced at the contract sitting on her lap. "It kind of feels like you're using them as a bargaining chip."
"I am." Uso's face didn't even flinch at his brutal honesty. "The board believes that you're ideal for this kind of program, and we're willing to buy your compliance."
"Oh…" This felt like a conversation that was too much for a single fifteen-year-old to have. Still, a better life for her little brother and sister. Special training. But not living with them anymore. No going to U.A. No meeting Perseverance.
Well, that last part wasn't true. If she worked with the Commission she'd probably still meet him.
"Can I think about it?"
"Absolutely." Uso nodded.
The rest of the car ride was spent with Uso answering any questions she had and trying to sell her on the program.
Two nights later during a late February snow storm, they lost power, and Junko signed her name by candle light.
AN: So, I kind of made Lady Nagant related to Mei and Otto. Mostly because like, legit, she can see super good and so can Mei, and then there's the pink in here hair. so yeah. She's a Hatsume.
Perseverance is Izuku, I felt like I shouldn't go for Deku in this fic.
this is going to be the only real chapter of this age. I might do flash backs as needed.Also, why Junko? Well, Gun in Japanese is roughly Ju. Jun is a name that means obedient, Junko means pure child so I thought it fit the stages of her life.
Anything else? Uhh... I don't think so.