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25 Years

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Honestly speaking, Hitoshi had seriously considering going up to Class 1-A at some point to declare war on them, but she might take that the wrong way so he had been on the fence about it. After the villain attack, though, he completely disregarded the idea. He had still gone to check on her and had found a crowd outside her classroom, and that was when he had gotten his first real look at Bakugo, the bastard who had made her cry at least one time.

Bakugo was rude and shoved his way through the crowd after brushing off that one guy’s comment from Class 1-B. Calling the whole crowd ‘cannon fodder’ rubbed Hitoshi the wrong way. Bakugo had ignored his own classmates, basically saying that no one else mattered because he was aiming for the top. Clearly the guy had no sense of teamwork, and he felt sorry that she had to put up with the loudmouth on a daily basis.

For some reason, his presence to pick her up had caused a slight ruckus among her classmates still inside the classroom, and she had been quick to take his hand and flee the scene. In the time leading up to the Sports Festival, she complained about Ashido and Hagakure’s teasing. He didn’t tell her, but he himself had to endure glares from his own classmates about knowing a student in Class 1-A.

(he definitely doesn’t mention the whispers about his Quirk and her supposed ‘friendship’)

Training for the Sports Festival was really too little, too late, but they only had gains to accumulate if they kept it up even after the event. After all, increasing one’s stamina and body strength can only be a good thing, right? Mind, he’d definitely be increasing his own training because it could only help him in getting closer to his goal.

The night before the festival, they texted back and forth. Apparently her friends from their middle school had wished her good luck. He didn’t have friends other than her, but when she sent her own ‘good luck’ message to him, that was all he needed.

(she was alive)

When he meets up with her the next morning, she almost looks the same as usual. However, her crooked school scarf and the slightly drooping long sock on her left calf give away her nerves. She startles when he points them out, her feelers yanking up the wayward sock and catching her schoolbag as she drops it to use her hands to straighten her scarf. When she finishes, she takes her schoolbag back into her hands and they head for the station.

“It’ll be fine,” he murmurs on the crowded train, knowing she’s probably even more anxious than he was. They’re both standing close to each other and she’s holding his arm again instead of one of the handles overhead. He tries to reassure her. “You know your Quirk and you have an idea about your limits. Don’t panic and you’ll be okay.”

She nods tightly, and he’s almost certain that his words are going in one ear and right out the other. He can’t blame her, not when they both know that the hero course students tend to get the most media coverage. Even if she’s sharing the limelight with nineteen others, the spotlight is on her today.

She’s faced villains, but the media is another monster altogether that she’s always been wary of, well aware of its potential to lead a vicious campaign against a person.

As the school comes into view, her steps falter beside him. The festival is still some time away and yet there is already a crowd at the front gate. Hitoshi heard that the security for this year’s festival was tighter than ever before, mostly in light of the villain attack on Class 1-A. From what he can see, U.A. students are bypassing the security check and being waved through by a pair of teachers. Taking her hand, Hitoshi gently pulled her forward and let her move at her own pace beside him.

As they neared the spectacle that was the front gate, she inhaled deeply and lifted her chin. Good, it seems as though she’s prepared herself for at least this part. He can’t stay with her after they near the front entrance of the school itself though, since the departments are all in separate areas. Waving goodbye, he can only hope that she’ll be okay.

Clenching his fist, Hitoshi reminded himself: this was his big chance.

(maybe his only chance to prove he was worthy of switching departments)

Waiting in the prep room with your classmates, you stood near Ashido and Hagakure. The acid Quirk girl was grinning as she chattered away, saying she was nervous but totally looking forward to what was coming. Hagakure shared her sentiment, but when they asked you how you were feeling, you brought a hand up to your mouth.

“If you’re gonna hurl, probably best to do it now rather than on live television.” Ashido cocked her head slightly. “But for real, are you going to be okay?”

Taking a deep breath, you lowered your hand. “I’ll be fine.”

Hopefully. It’s not like you can skip any meal, not with mom there to cook them and make sure you eat, but Ashido was right. You really hoped that if you puked that it didn’t happen while on camera. God, that would be humiliating, depending on the circumstances in which you throw up. It’s one thing if someone punches your gut and you hurl, but out of sheer nerves? Who would trust a hero like that?

…It’s different from Uraraka’s puking since hers is tied to her Quick usage.

Anyway, the attention shifts over to Midoriya and Todoroki when the latter declares war on the former. That’s surprising since Todoroki doesn’t usually initiate conversation or interactions on his own, and doubly surprising since you had thought that Midoriya wasn’t all that impressive, but if the best in class was calling him out…

“I’m going for it too. With everything I’ve got!”

Midoriya’s words make you take a second look at him. This boy has been breaking his bones at what seems like left, right and center (probably an exaggeration, but not by much), but he’s endured all those injuries from his Quirk and is standing here with the rest of you. To you, it looks like he’s ready to go out there and shout to the world, ‘I am here!’.

You find yourself a little envious of that determination.

It wasn’t long after that when your class was told to assemble and head out. Swallowing nervously and clenching your hands, you strode with the rest of your classmates and tried very hard not to stare down at your feet. You can hear Present Mic loud and clear and he’s calling out your class.

As you emerged into the light of day to find thousands of faces staring down at you with the knowledge that millions more were watching, your legs trembled beneath the weight of reality.

You—you—were going to participate in the famed U.A. Sports Festival!

Tightening your fists at your side, you could only hope that you wouldn’t choke.

Still, despite your nerves, you nearly cringe at Present Mic’s announcements. After the hearty introduction he gave to the first years in the hero course, the way he introduces the rest of the first years from the other departments is almost lackadaisical. Sure, he’s still shouting energetically, but he literally says, “Following Class B, it’s classes C, D and E of General Studies!”

‘Following Class B’, which is the other half of the hero course, but that’s all they get since apparently not facing villains is reason enough to stand in 1-A’s shadow.

Glancing over at the General Studies students, you spot Hitoshi because… whoa, has he always been that tall? You hardly noticed because he’s been by your side since you were little, but even though you’ve ‘known’ that he was taller than you, seeing his head of familiar hair standing out because of his height really hammers the fact home.

Hitoshi is tall.

Holding back a sigh at your obliviousness, you add that to the Hitoshi Facts along with ‘his hair is purple’.

Midnight is the referee for the first-years, and you once again wonder how an R-Rated hero managed to get hired by a school. Also, why couldn’t she design a costume that didn’t have her boobs hanging out like that? Her whole hero persona puts you off, but so far you’ve managed not to make faces in her presence during class, and hopefully you’ll be able to keep that up and not let her catch on to the fact that she kind of makes you uncomfortable.

When Bakugo goes up to give the Athlete’s Oath, you’re not surprised when he uses the opportunity to declare that he’s going to take first place. In just two sentences, he manages to alienate your whole class despite the fact that you are all not Bakugo. Annoyed but unwilling to even glance at him, you keep your eyes up on the stage, though not necessarily on Midnight.

A screen pops up and words flash on it as Midnight announces the qualifier. Having watched several other festivals, you know the gist of what’s coming, though the question is, what will be the first hurdle?

Words flash onto the screen and stay there, and with that you have your answer.

First up, an obstacle course.

If you're waiting until you feel talented enough to make it, you'll never make it.

~Criss Jami, Healology