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Hero Names

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“Okay, let’s start presenting names starting with those who are ready.”

Kido stiffened. They were supposed to present? Suddenly, choosing a hero name was far more pressuring.

She gripped her board tightly and exhaled. She couldn’t be panicking over something so simple.

But it’s not simple- we’re choosing hero names- we’re presenting hero names-

She shook her head. Breathe. In. Out. The names were only temporary. If she wanted to change them later on, she could. It wasn’t as though she got any offers anyway. No one would notice.

I could just disappear, and no one would notice-

Her eye power. She could go off that. She would probably be best as an underground hero anyway. Then- should she use some clever wordplay? Some of her classmates were doing that with their own names. But she wasn’t really good at that. Kano was the wordsmith, not her. She wouldn’t be able to think of anything clever.

Maybe something simple then. Straight to the point. Many of her classmates were doing that as well. Concealing hero-

She paused. She wanted to carry on the name of the Blindfold gang. But it just didn’t sound… right. She couldn’t label herself like that. The Blindfold gang wasn’t just her. It was all of the members, together. To take up the name, by herself… It was suffocating.

She had enough of feeling like that.

Concealing hero: Kido, then? She would still be carrying on the tradition of the gang this way. And she would be referencing her power, like most of her other classmates. So why was she still hesitating?

I could just disappear, and no one would notice.

She remembered now, what Sensei had said. “When you give yourself a name, you get a more concrete image of what you want to be like in the future.” She knew who she wanted to be, before. She wanted to be a great leader. A great commander. One who could protect the Blindfold gang. One who could be a hero like Ayano was.

She still wanted to be like Ayano.

But there was no Blindfold gang now.

She rested her head against the board. This wasn’t her past life anymore. This was the life of Quirks and Pro-heroes. Of U.A. She still had a long way to go, but maybe she could start. Maybe she could leave her past behind and start accepting the present.

She wanted to be a hero like Ayano. Ayano was a kind, caring, accepting hero. If she couldn’t even accept her situation, after years of living like this, how could she accept others like Ayano did?

She heard a classmate say his name. His first name. Just his first name. She lifted her head to find his name written on the board he displayed.

“Your name? Is that okay?”

“Yeah.”

So she could just do her name. But he didn’t just do his name, he did his first name. And now she couldn’t get the thought out of her head.

Could I use my name as part of my hero name?

Her name. Once upon a time, she had hated her name. It felt suffocating, a reminder of all the things she was not and all the things her father wanted her to be. Maybe it was time to leave those bad memories behind. Maybe it was time to start accepting who she was, just a little.

She owed it to everyone in the Blindfold gang.

She began writing. Her movements were smooth and careful. The name would always remind her that she had room to grow, that she could always strive to do better. It wasn’t what people would expect from her, but that was just fine. She wanted to break expectation in the best way possible. Like Ayano did with her.

“Kido-san? Are you ready?”

She froze. That’s right, we’re presenting. She nodded and rose. Just one step at a time. Another. And another. Soon she was at the front, facing the class.

Everyone’s staring-

She remembered Ayano’s voice. She remembered her confident, cheerful smile. She remembered the gang’s crazy antics and lively manner. They noticed her. They accepted her. They wouldn’t let her disappear.

Isn’t this exactly what I want?

She wanted to be a hero like Ayano. One who broke expectation in the best way possible. To do that, she had to accept the parts of her she once tried to reject.

“Budding hero: Tsubomi.”

It would be a small step, but it would be a step in the right direction.

Chapter Text

He wondered, sometimes, about whether he could really be called brave. 

It wasn’t often, thankfully. He’d moved on past his childhood fear of the world. But all this talk of heroes, of going to a school for heroes… It made him think. After all, heroes were supposed to be brave. 

What made a hero, anyway? 

Ayano was the first person he thought of when he thought about heroes. Not his teacher, not his classmates, not even any of the Pro-heroes of this world. Ayano. She was the one who first talked to him about heroes, who took his hand, looked him in the eyes, and told him that red was the color of heroes. 

She saved him, then. Maybe not literally- she wasn’t the one who adopted him, she couldn’t stop him from drowning- but she saved him. Saved a little boy from thinking that he was nothing but a monster. 

Maybe that was what made a hero. Not being brave, but saving others. From villains, from bullies, and even from themselves. 

Maybe it was the act of saving others that made heroes brave. 

He knew what kind of hero he wanted to be. What kind of person he wanted to be. 

He wanted to save others. He wanted to be brave. He wanted to be brave enough to change the future, so that his friends and family would be saved. 

He was going to be a hero. The kind that could reach out to a little girl and show her how beautiful the world was. 

He smiled to himself and wrote his hero name down. It really was easy, once he knew what he wanted to be. 

“Next!” the teacher called. 

He walked up to the front and proudly displayed his board. 

“Saving hero: Seto!”

Chapter Text

The class roared when the teacher announced that they were choosing hero names.

Marry shrank further into her seat.

She still couldn’t really believe she was here, training to be a hero. Surely, surely, there were so many people better than her, so many people more worthy than her. She could already think of a few. The boy in General Education. The friends she had made in the Blindfold gang. Her mother. Her grandmother. Her grandfather.

Surely a tiny monster like her didn’t deserve to be here.

A whiteboard tapped her. She blinked and gasped. “O-oh, sorry!” She took the board and stared down at it.

What in the world am I supposed to name myself?

She didn’t have a clue on where to start. So she waited. And thought. And waited. And thought some more. Eventually, she waited long enough for people to start going up and presenting.

Okay, so I can go off my power. Okay. Okay. So, Locking Eyes, or Combining Eyes… She paused. How am I supposed to use that?

More people presented. One used a hero they admired as a template. Another used their physical features.

She thought back to a hero she once saw on television. The Snake hero: Uwabami. The hero with snakes in her hair. She couldn’t use Snake hero as her tagline, obviously. But maybe…

How would I want them to think of me?

She thought back to the hero who saved her from being a lonely little monster. The heroes who successfully fought against a terrorist attack. The heroes who had protected her, timeline after timeline.

Seto. Momo. Kido. Kano. Ene. Konoha. Shintaro. Hibiya.

Her mother.

She smiled and wrote her name down. Her hero name. She still couldn’t really believe she was here, but now it sent a thrill down her spine.

So I won’t forget the Blindfold gang. So I won’t forget my heritage.

So I won’t forget who I am.

She scurried up to the front. Her hands shook, and her voice wavered, but her heart was set and strong. She was the granddaughter of a lonely monster who loved. She was the daughter of a mother who wanted her to see with her own eyes. She was a member of a group who banded together to fight against their tragedies. She was someone who took a stand with her friends.

“Combining Eyes hero: Medusa!”

Chapter Text

She had never thought about naming herself before.

Oh sure, she had been given names, and gave out names to others, but she never had to choose for herself. And it was proving more difficult than she thought.

Before, as part of the Blindfold gang, she had been dubbed ‘Kisaragi.’ As an idol, she had been called ‘Momo,’ along with various taglines. At home it was anything from pet names to annoyed catcalls.

She had been given and gave out names before. But she never had to name herself.

Who do I want to be, as a hero?

What kind of hero do I want to be?

She remembered Kido, cool and determined. She remembered Marry, timid but sweet. She remembered Shintaro, irritable but caring. She remembered Hiyori, sharp-tongued but genuine. She remembered Hibiya, crass but loyal.

She looked up to all of them. For their strength. Their courage.

I want to be like them.

Before Kido had found her, her life had been dreary. Not quite flat; there was still something happening every day, but it felt heavy. Frustrating. After she joined the Blindfold gang, her life had been lit up.

It was scary, at times. A lot of times. Especially with the snake involved. But it made her feel light. It made her feel alive.

It made her feel like she could shine as bright as she wanted to be.

“What’s a word for ‘drawing attention?’”

Her deskmate glanced over. “Um, how about ‘captivating?’”

“Captivating… I like that! Thanks!”

She wanted to light up people’s lives. Like her friends did. Like an idol does. There was a reason why she accepted the offer to become one in the first place.

“Right, I’m gonna show off my hero name next!”

She ran up to the front and proudly displayed her board.

“Captivating hero: Moonlight!”

Chapter Text

Once upon a time, names were just a title.

Takane didn’t care much for the symbolic value of names. Sure, people called her screen name clever, but she wasn’t really putting much thought into it.

That was a lie. She was. But not on what it meant to her. It was just a title for her to put on while pursuing her gaming addiction. But then she got better. And better. And then she was attending gaming competitions and she was kicking the ass of fully grown men.

She didn’t really understand when it shifted. When other gamers started worshipping the name ‘Lightning Dancer Ene.’ But for the first time, she felt proud. Other people were doing this because they recognized her skill. She had made the name Ene into something worth speaking about.

Then she entered high school and fell hopelessly in love with Haruka.

She had tried her hardest to hide her gaming side from him. Ene was just a title, it couldn’t follow her into school. And then Ene became something that represented her gamer self, and then the school’s cultural festival happened, and then Haruka asked her to teach him how to play.

And then August 15 rolled around, and Ene became another person entirely.

Takane was crabby, angry, and frustrated. Ene was bright, cheerful, and obnoxiously loud. Ene had to be. She was tasked with being Shintaro’s tether, and to do that she had to drown out all the horrible thoughts in him. Ene became a front that she put on to keep him from the depressive slump that he would fall into otherwise. Ene became the super pretty cyber girl who saved the inhabitants of the mall from a terrorist attack. Ene became member number six of the Blindfold gang. Ene became friends with Momo, and Marry, and Kido, and all the others in said gang.

Ene became the person she had wanted to be.

Now they were choosing hero names. The front to be put up for the public. The image to be maintained. The type of hero she wanted to be.

Once upon a time, names were just a title.

She scribbled her name on the board, her fingers itching for a keyboard. From the very beginning, she knew what her hero name would be. Who her hero side would be. In the end, she couldn’t think of anything more fitting.

“Lightning Dancer hero: Ene!”

Chapter Text

Shintaro stared down at the board. A hero name? He didn’t have the slightest clue on where to begin.

Ayano would be able to think of something easily, he thought bitterly. She had always wanted to be a hero.

Ayano was a hero. He couldn’t even compare.

He sighed and began writing his name. Stopped. On the board, the character for Shi stared back at him.

Shichi.

Seven.

“You’re gang member number seven.”

He clenched his teeth and rubbed his eyes. They ached now, for some reason. Like he had strained his power. But that was silly. He hadn’t used his power at all. He couldn’t have. Not when he still remembered those days so vividly.

He had an idea now, though. On what his hero name would be. Really, it was obvious. He wouldn’t even be here if it weren’t for them. He was nothing without them. Without what they did. Without her.

Marry had called them the Retaining Eyes.

He wiped the board and began writing. Neater this time, the strokes more clear.

A name should reflect who you want to be in the future.

He smiled inwardly and raised his hand.

“Okay, Kisaragi-san! Come on up!”

For me, the person who I want to be in the future…

He rose and walked to the front. His eyes affixed on the far wall, he flipped the board.

…is the person that they’ve made me.

“Retaining Hero: Shichi.”

Chapter Text

He had an idea on what his name would be the minute he decided to be a hero. But, looking down at the board now, he wasn’t sure if he should take it.

Konoha was… divisive. Controversial. Not the person himself, but what he meant. What he did.

Konoha had attempted to save Hibiya and Hiyori thousands of times, only to fail. Konoha had become member number nine of the Blindfold gang. Konoha had lost control to the snake and killed everyone in said gang. Multiple times.

Konoha was powerful, but tired. Always tired. Always with a blank haze in his mind until the moments where it became startlingly clear. Always sluggish, always slow, until the moments where he was forced to shoot forth in a burst of speed.

Konoha was the game character he created long ago, the character that would fight and support his friends ingame. Konoha was a part of the game and trapped to the game, only to come out when someone intervened.

Konoha was always waiting. For someone. To be someone.

Haruka didn’t want to wait anymore.

He was going to be a hero. A proactive hero. Someone who saves people before they need to be saved. Someone who saves people before they even think to ask for help. Someone who saves people who don’t even realize that they need to be saved.

He had an idea on what his name would be the minute he decided to be a hero. And now it was time to take it. Good or bad, it was still his.

And right now, he had the power to change. For the better.

Marry called it the Awakening Eyes.

He scribbled down his hero name and bounded to the front. He was going to do his best, always. For the Blindfold gang. For his friends. For Takane.

“Awakening hero: Konoha!”