Chapter 8

'The press is at the school's entrance because of All Might,' Kazuki read on the screen of his phone, which made his insides turn unpleasantly. 'I'd recommend you don't say anything at all and just get to class.'

That was the message he got from one of the UA teachers. If anything he appreciated the warning, and also the fact that they recommended he not talk. They could have just as easily demanded or ordered him not to, and he would have done it too. This way though, at least Kazuki felt like he had a choice, even if it wasn't much of one.

After all, he was certainly not eager to talk with the press.

Sadly, he still had to attend class, no matter how much he just wanted to stay at his apartment until there wasn't threat of the press. The last thing he wanted was to see his face plastered on the news or something. He could only imagine what they'd write about him, even if they didn't find out who he was.

'Oh, this is fun,' Kazuki thought when he eventually got close to the school. Not only was there a small army of reporters outside the gates, but there were also quite a bit of nervous people in there, likely the students, he guessed, or maybe even the reporters themselves. There were people that were afraid, desperate, sad and so on.

He narrowed his eyes. Those couldn't be the students, right? Why would there be something like that? Was that the reporters? Kazuki guessed that made some sense to an extent. They were people and they were doing their jobs. Just because everyone, including Kazuki himself, liked to generalize them to leeches and vultures didn't mean all of them were. Likely many of them were just doing what they needed to do. Everyone had jobs to do and most people didn't even like their jobs.

He would know, he could more often than not pick up on that.

'Focus, push the emotions away,' Kazuki thought, doing his best to keep his mind calm under the onslaught of negativity. It was nothing new to him. It was something he'd gotten good at. He just needed to keep his focus and ignore the emotions. Focus on his thoughts, focus on his current task at hand. 'One step at a time, all the way to class, come on,' he thought, clearing his expression and just walking.

Some microphones were thrust in front of his face, but he ignored them, doing his best to continue on his way. When someone stood in front of him, he just walked around them. What would they do? Hold him hostage? They were reporters, not villains. They were insistent though and some of them even clever. He was half tempted to answer some of the questions, if only to shut them up. Besides, a few even sounded pretty tame and innocent, all things considered.

He was no public speech expert though, so Kazuki just kept his mouth shut and continued walking.

Eventually, he crossed the gate, which was where the reporter sea finished and he could finally breathe. He could still feel their emotions, but at least he wasn't being physically bombarded with stuff. It made things simpler, more familiar. He was alone with his emotions and the emotions of others. 'Separate them, what am I feeling right now? What should I feel? That's what I feel, nothing else,' he chanted in his head, taking a deep breath in before continuing on his way inside the halls of the school.

'God, classes haven't even started and I'm already half dead,' Kazuki mused with a groan, running his fingers through his hair. 'Some hero I'm gonna make, huh? Overwhelmed by every bout of negativity around,' he thought with a grimace. 'I need to work on it. Stop complaining and start dealing with it. You'll likely be in worse situations.'

That wasn't a comforting thought, but it was the truth. If he wanted to be a hero, he'd have to deal with much more negativity than he was used to. More emotions than he'd like to feel too. It was how heroes worked, they jumped into the closest, biggest mess and that's where the bulk of negative emotions would be. Fear, desperation, grief. There would be lots and lots of those in Kazuki's future… if he graduated.

For his newfound resolution, he'd need to tackle that side of his Quirk too, not just his creatures.

'I don't have to like it,' he thought, finally reaching the door to his class. 'I just have to do it.'

Kazuki blinked as he took a step inside. He'd been pretty sure someone would have been there, nevermind the fact that this was his third day of class and he couldn't already be sure of much. Well, second day, really. He wasn't sure the first day, with the Quirk Apprehension Test counted, quite honestly. However, when he hadn't almost slept in because of Mineta's game, there'd been at least a few people inside.

Now, the classroom was empty.

'Thank God for that,' he thought, sighing with a weary smile on his face. Moving to his desk, he all but let himself fall on it. Resting his elbows on the wooden surface, he placed his face on his hands and gathered his thoughts. With his eyes closed, he followed the negativity around him, checking where it was, where it came from, differentiating it as best he could from his own emotions.

He was good at ignoring it, it was what he'd trained himself to do through the years to try and lead a semi-decent life whenever he got out of juvie. Now though, he wanted something completely different from it. He wanted to push it, he wanted to test it, he wanted to improve on it.

That meant, however, that he needed to focus on the negativity, that he needed to embrace it. That was far from a pleasant experience, obviously, but it was what he needed to do. With some luck, he'd get good enough fast, because he didn't like the thought of it taking him years to get used to it.

Frustratingly, he almost missed one of the people he could sense walking towards the classroom. There was weariness, but not physical. Someone hadn't enjoyed dealing with the press, it seemed. There was no annoyance though, which was interesting. They just seemed… drained by the experience, just that.

Before they reached the door, Kazuki checked to see if there was anyone else coming. It seemed that the start of classes might be delayed or something because of this, if everyone was going to be arriving later than usual. Unless the school did something about it. He wasn't sure if they could do something about it, of course but still… Well, he'd see, he supposed.

His mind was taken away from those idle thoughts as the door opened and the person he'd sensed entered through it. Unsurprisingly, it was Yaoyorozu, one of the few that had arrived before him on that first day when he hadn't arrived at the last minute. Leaning back against the chair, he sighed and gave the girl a nod.

"Yaoyorozu," he said as a way of greeting. It wasn't like he was curt or something, really. Nor did he want to. It was just that he already had a sort of friend group formed, by some miracle, and he didn't want to push things too much.

One day, everyone in the class would find out who he was and he didn't want to hope that they'd all take it as well as Midoriya seemed to have to. Surely at least some of them would take it badly, right? And when that day came… Kazuki didn't want to have too many friends turning against him. If he limited the amount of people that interacted with him then-

"Do you dislike me for some reason, Endo?" Yaoyorozu asked, making him blink. 'When did she come all the way over here?' he wondered, eyes widening a little as he saw the girl standing right in front of his desk, looking at him with a mixture of nervousness and something that wasn't quite picked by his empathy. "You seem friendly enough with others, but when it comes to me… You seem to close off."

"It's… Not that I have a problem with you," he replied, caught off guard. He didn't want to insult the girl, which was why he'd been quick to answer, but still… 'What am I supposed to say here? I just got out of juvie and I've killed people, so I don't want to be friendly with people because it'll hurt when they leave?' he thought before sighing. "It's really not that," he stressed when he noticed the disbelieving look he was getting. "I'm not a friendly person, honestly. The others are the ones that approach me to begin with."

"I… I see, then… I…" the girl started, clearly surprised by his answer. It wasn't even a lie, really. Just like he'd kept away from her, he likely would have the rest of the class. The only ones that he'd approached were Mineta and Hagakure, and the latter had been to help her during the Entrance Exam, which he wasn't sure counted, in all honesty. As for the former… Well, even Kazuki himself wasn't very sure how he'd ended up in that situation. "I apologize then. I'm sorry for assuming."

"Don't worry about it," he reassured, waving the whole thing off. "It's not like I'm the most unfriendly person in the classroom though. You gonna ask Bakugo what his problem is?"

"Ah, no, I just…" Yaoyorozu mumbled again, looking away as she rubbed her arm. Taking her in, Kazuki tried to make sense of her emotions. She seemed to be… unsure? Self-conscious, he thought it was. She was nervous too and… fearful? "You didn't seem like a bad person, despite… everything. But you seemed to actively try to avoid talking to me despite being just fine with our other classmates."

"Despite… everything?" he asked, frowning. There'd been a spike of emotion when she said that, but he hadn't known what it was about. As he spoke though, he felt the same spike more clearly this time. She was… afraid.

"I know… about you," she told him, making him tense up. "I thought your power looked familiar yesterday during the Battle Trial," she added, making him grin bitterly. She was afraid alright, nervous too. "I'm sure U.A. has a reason to have you here. I trust the staff, if nothing else. Besides… you seem… alright, from what I've seen."

Kazuki didn't know what to say to that. What were the odds that two of his classmates would find out about him and be… ok with it? Sure, Yaoyorozu seemed more wary of him than Midoriya had been, but she was still saying it was fine. Despite her concerns and fear, he knew, from her emotions, that she meant what she was saying.

"... Thank you," he said then, giving her an unsure smile. Gulping down his sudden nerves. "I really appreciate you saying that. I…" He ran his fingers through his white hair. "Just, thank you."

"Don't mention it," Yaoyorozu told him with a hesitant smile not unlike his. "As I said, no offense, but it's more that I'm trusting the staff instead of you."

"No offense taken," he replied. He was lying, of course. He was slightly hurt by the comment, but it was a valid and understandable opinion. It wasn't her fault that all she knew about him was what happened during that day. For all she knew, he was an unstable person at the edge of causing another massacre. "I appreciate the benefit of the doubt. It's honestly more than I expected," he admitted with a sad smile. Contrary to his previous statement, that one had held only the truth.

"It's the least I can do, Endo," Yaoyorozu told him, eyeing him curiously now, her previous nerves and fear mostly vanishing. Not entirely, but he'd take that as a win at that point. "I want to think what happened to you was… a tragedy, and an accident. I hope I'm right."

"I hope I can prove that you are right," Kazuki replied, turning slightly to look out of the window. That's when the door opened to let in Tokoyami and Yaoyorozu took that as her cue to go to her desk. There was mostly silence after that, but he was fine with that.

A slight smile formed on his face as he continued looking outside.

The day was turning out to not be so bad.


"Are you gonna vote for yourself, Creepy?" Kirishima asked from where he sat next to Kazuki.

It was a good question, he supposed. Aizawa had told them, as soon as everyone got to the classroom, that they needed to pick a Class President. It had been a bit chaotic after that but the gist of it was that everyone seemed to want the spot.

Kazuki himself didn't know why though. Sure, it sounded cool and it probably had its advantages either at school or after it, but it also probably had responsibilities. Those he could do without, quite honestly. He'd likely have enough to worry about keeping his grades up and training to be a hero. There was no need to add more pressure on top of that.

Regardless, Ida had made a little speech regarding the issue which ended on everyone agreeing to hold a vote. A bit useless, in Kazuki's opinion since everyone still seemed intent on getting them to spot themselves, but if nothing else Kazuki would vote for someone else. That should solve the issue, he guessed.

"I'll vote for Yaoyorozu," he answered simply, writing the name on a piece of paper so that he could give it to Ida whenever he got around that part of the classroom gathering the votes.

"Why so?" Hagakure asked, from the desk behind him to his right.

"Because she's smart, so she'll probably be able to deal with the extra work on top of studying. She also seems responsible enough and serious enough. She's also not as much of a weirdo as some others in here. I think she fits," he explained simply with a shrug. He blinked then, as he felt a wave of embarrassment from somewhere behind him. Turning slightly, he saw the girl in question blushing a bit.

Still, he stood by what he said.

"Hm, I see," Hagakure mused, turning to look at Yaoyorozu herself.

"You don't want the spot then?" Kirishima asked, seemingly surprised.

"I mean, I'm sure it's nice and all… But I don't know if I'm a good enough student to be able to afford the extra time the spot probably needs," he answered with a shrug. "Besides, I wouldn't want to make the class look bad," he added with a grin. It wasn't really a joke, but they didn't need to know that.

"Don't be silly, Cree-"

"Hagakure, if you would please give me your vote?" Ida asked, making the girl scramble to write down her choice before giving it to him.

"Wonder who's gonna win though," Kazuki commented, watching as Ida continued gathering the votes. "This should be interesting, I imagine."

And indeed it was, but not as he'd expected. Once all the votes were gathered, Ida started writing names and noting votes. It started as Kazuku had expected. A bunch of names with a single vote for the people that had voted for themselves. Then there was Midoriya, breaking the mold as he got to the grand number of two votes.

And then Kazuki got a vote.

It didn't make sense. Why did he have a vote when he hadn't even voted for himself? The next was Yaoyorozu with two votes too, which made all the sense in the world. Then Yaoyorozu got another, which was a little more surprising. Then Midoriya…

And then Kazuki got a second vote.

'What the fuck?' he thought, eyes wide as Ida continued working. By the end of it all, he was all but gaping at the blackboard.

There was Midoriya with three votes.

There was Yaoyorozu with four votes.

And then there was Kazuki with four votes.

"What the fuck?" he asked, out loud this time as he stared at the results. "Who the fuck voted for me?" he asked, looking around. The first culprit was evidently Kirishima, who was grinning widely at him.

"You're gonna represent our little group, Creepy, so do your best," Ashido said, the absolute bitch.

"What part of me not wanting the spot didn't you hear?" he asked, feeling increasingly nervous at the prospect. "I'm gonna-"

"Endo, Yaoyorozu, if you'd come to the front of the classroom," Aizawa asked, looking and feeling like he didn't have a fuck to give. Kazuki could relate. If only he hadn't been dragged into things by the assholes he called friends. "There was a tie, so we should decide who's president and who's vice-president."

"Yaoyorozu is president. I voted for her, after all," Kazuki said instantly. Because goddammit, the least he could get was to be vice-president. The worst part was that the other available option was Midoriya, since he was the only other with more than one vote, and the guy was more likely to die of a heart attack than to make a good vice-president. 'I'm gonna kill those four,' he thought, eye twitching.

"That works for me," Aizawa decided with a shrug.


"You all suck," he growled at his friends when they all sat at the lunch hall. "And no, Tiny, I'm not gonna make your stupid ass manifesto happen," he added, snarling and uncaring of the hurt he felt from his friend. They were all stupid.

"Maybe we should call you Grumpy instead of Creepy," Hagakure commented from next to him. "Why are you so angry? This is a good thing!"

"I already told you why I don't want this. I don't need more shit on my plate to deal with," Kazuki told him, barely holding onto his anger. It wasn't helped by Bakugo's, who he could literally feel glaring at him from across the hall. Nor was it helped by the bundle of other negative emotions he could feel around the place.

They didn't know that there was another, much more concerning reason why he didn't want to be anywhere near any of the two spots. What would they think once they realized who he was? What would they do? What would the reporters out there do if they found out a whole class of future heroes had made a criminal their vice-president?

The more he thought about it, the worse things looked. He was fine with everyone hating him whenever things were revealed. His luck would run out at some point and someone was gonna hate him. No way everyone would be like Midoriya and Yaoyorozu.

What Kazuki wasn't fine with was his pseudo-secret ruining the career of all his classmates. He drew the line there, because that not only would make things bad for him, but it'd also make things bad for others. He wanted to be a hero, and the least he could do as a hero in training was make sure he was the only one that got knocked down when shit hit the fan.

"I'm gonna talk with Aizawa later, Midoriya is going to be vice-president," he decided, stabbing at his food. The meal was glorious, honestly, but he couldn't really focus on that at the moment.

"Woah, woah, no need for that, Creepy," Ashido protested. "You got voted for a reason, you'll be fine. You seem like a good enough student from what you've said and what I've seen. I'd definitely fail something if I got more stuff to deal with, but you are not like me," she argued, quite passionately too, which caught him off guard momentarily. "You are going to do fine."

"Besides, you can always give Midoriya the spot later if you feel like it's too much. No need to rush it, right?" Hagakure asked then, drawing a grimace from him. That was a good argument, if one focused only on what he'd told them.

They didn't seem like they would let up, which made him feel the oddest mix of anxious and pleased. It was good to know that his friends cared, that they wanted good things for him. Now, if only it wasn't for who he was…

"I guess I can do that," he lied through his teeth. He was definitely going straight to Aizawa as soon as possible. How the man hadn't commented or spoken up against the decision was baffling. Didn't the man know how this could impact all of them? What kind of teacher risked the careers of all his students like that?

"You are lying," Mineta pointed out, making him pause.

"What are you talking about, Tiny. Bubbly here made a good point and I agreed," Kazuki replied, giving his friend a bored expression. "I'll try and then I'll see, simple. Don't know why I didn't think of that."

"He's definitely lying," Ashido pointed out and Kazuki could feel himself starting to sweat, even though there was no real risk. What were they going to do, tie him up so he wouldn't go to Aizawa?

"Fine, I'm lying," he admitted, dropping his expression into one of much more real annoyance. "I've made up my mind. I'm not gonna be vice-president and that's that. Don't know why you guys care so much. We can try and see if we can switch votes to one of you if you feel cheated or something. Could have just heard me when I said I didn't want it and be done with it though," he grumbled, finishing his meal as fast as he could.

"Come on, Creepy, you are exaggerating," Kirishima tried to reason. "There's no need to be so…"

"Dramatic," Ashido took over then when her red-haired friend started struggling for the right word, giving him an unimpressed expression. "This is a great opportunity! Why would you just give it up before even trying?"

"Because…" he started before holding himself back. The words were right there, at the tip of his tongue. Because he'd killed people. Because he'd just gotten out of juvie before his time so that he could attend U.A. He just had to say it and they'd understand and leave him alone…

They'd leave him alone…

He was an asshole, he knew. Lying by omission was still lying and he was thoroughly doing so to people that he considered friends. Or, maybe it was better to say that he wanted to consider them friends. He wasn't sure if they were, or if he could count them, with the whole lying thing he had going on.

His hand balled into a fist and he almost grimaced at the concerned looks they were sending his way. Why couldn't they just care less? Why did they have to push on that issue? Why was it so important a matter if he was vice-president or not?

They didn't understand, he knew, but he couldn't make them understand either.

He couldn't explain…

'How long can I hide that though?' he wondered, deflating on his chair.

"Creepy?" Mineta asked, frowning at him. Kazuki almost flinched as his focus was pulled from his thoughts for a moment and he felt their concern. "Everything ok, man? We can let you be if you really don't want the spot, it's fine."

'They'll find out. Might as well clear the confusion, huh?' he thought, a bitter feeling welling in him. It was better to get it over with, he supposed. What was even the point of keeping up the facade? It'd just hurt more once things blew over. 'Better get it over with, right?'

"I just can't do it, ok? I can't," he told them, trying and failing to smile at them. As he mustered the courage to explain why, however, something happened.

A siren's sound filled the school.

[} Chapter End {]

Hey guys! How's it going?

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