Weeks passed by, the memories of the USJ attack still hanging in the air. We, class 1-A, would rather not bring up the events anytime soon. The day, however, was fairly peaceful as we learned english peacefully. I sighed, glancing outside of the window at the freshly repaired entrance.
The lunch bell rang and my class scattered throughout the school, along with all the other classes of course. Momo and I sat in the cafeteria together, discussing over the new English terms Present Mic handed out. Momo, as expected, memorized each of the words perfectly, even if the class just ended.
“You’re like a Goddess, Yaoyorozu….” a girl said, taking a seat next to Momo. It was Uraraka, to no one’s surprise. “How can you so efficiently memorize the words? I wish I was like you sometimes.”
Momo’s face was bright pink, another girl hurrying over to agree with Uraraka. Her hair was a dark purple, closing in on black if the light didn’t reflect. She seemed laid back, but also had.. What, earphone jacks?
“Uraraka’s right, Yaomomo.” the girl said, elbowing Momo’s right bicep.
Momo’s face grew even pinker, now transitioning into a deep crimson.
“Jirou, there’s no need for flattering others.” Momo whispered. “The subject Present Mic taught today was easy to catch on, especially since the subjunctive terms are easy-flowing.”
“To me, this subject is one of the worst…” Jirou, the earphone jack girl, sighed, slouching into her seat. “In general, English is the worst.”
The three of them proceeded having a lively conversation with each other, leaving me, the singled out classmate, to eat my lunch silently.
“Todoroki!” someone shouted, catching my attention. I glanced upwards, noticing the beaming, green eyes of one particular Midoriya Izuku. “Come sit with us!!”
Midoriya gestered over to the spot in front of him, a bright smile crossing his face. With a sigh, I picked up my half empty lunch tray and plopped down in front of Midoriya, Iida sitting to his right.
“Why did you call me over,” I asked. “There was no reason for you to do so…”
Midoriya urked, a tiny drop of sweat forming on his left temple.
“I just…” Midoriya stuttered. “Noticed you being left out over there with Uraraka, Jirou and Yaoyorozu.. So I thought it would be nice to invite you over here?”
Midoriya’s pitch rose with each word he let out, kind of shrinking as well. I sighed heavily, picking up my chopsticks and ate. The glow in Midoriya’s eyes began to shine brighter, Iida smiling as well.
“So,” Midoriya started, wiping a grain of rice off his cheek. “I’ve heard the Sports Festival is coming up soon!”
I winced, remembering back to last night’s encounter with, dare I say it, father.
“I’ve noticed a certain boy in your class,” Endeavor began, placing his dishes in the sink. “Who has a striking connection with my rival, All Might.”
“And what of it.” I asked harshly, glaring up at him. His eyes glowed with menace in the dark shadows of a hallway, a fire hotter than his temper burning behind them.
“Because of this,” he grumbled. “I have also noticed your blossoming “friendship” with him. Quit it . Becoming a Hero does not include screwing around with “friends”. If you’re going to rise to the top, you will have no one get in your way. I’ve accepting your “friend” Yaoyorozu because of her position and class, but this green boy? I want you to terminate that friendship now . I want you to surpass All Might, not join his side. If I see you befriending this boy again,”
“What?” I scoffed. “You’ll do what?”
Father’s fire cackled, snapping along with his patience. He held up his phone, a number already dialed in. It was the hospital .
“I’ll see it that your mother will continue living in that ward,” he said. “And live miserably . You have no idea what power you’re fighting against, Shouto.”
I backed down, father taking his leave and slammed the front door shut. Fuyumi jogged over to my side, giving me a look of sorrow. My fists were clenched, fingernails digging deep into my skin before I stormed into my room. Fuyumi looked back at me with squinted eyes; pained eyes.
“And what of it.” I asked, repeating the words I used against father.
“I just wanted to wish all you guys luck!” Midoriya smiled, something shattering in my chest. “As friends-”
“ We’re not friends .” I said sharply, cutting of Midoriya mid sentence. I wish I could take it back, but I couldn’t. Not with my mother’s life in danger. “I didn’t come to this school to make friends. I don’t intend to become friends with you anytime soon. I came to this school to become a Pro Hero, and I won’t let “friends” hold me down.”
Fuck. I thought. I sound like my father.
Midoriya looked at me with shattered eyes, as if I hurt something. Something I shouldn’t have.
“Just because Momo found out about you and your problem,” I can’t make myself shut up. “Doesn’t mean I wanted to be your friend. She dragged me into this, I never obliged.”
I stood up and took my tray, placing it on a rack and began to walk back to class. Momo, sadly, overheard Midoriya and I’s conversation, along with her two friends. Midoriya sat back, his bright smile void as Iida tried to shake him out of it.
“I’m so sorry.” Momo apologized.
“No no!!” Midoriya’s smile came back, although, it wasn’t bright. “It’s okay… I kind of figured this out earlier when he became more and more distant…”
Momo watched as Midoriya, too, placed his tray on a rack and hurried to class, the bell a couple minutes away from ringing.
“What did your father do this time.” Momo whispered, barely audible to the people around her. “I swear, if I could, and if it were legal, I would beat his sorry ass-”
“Momo?” Jirou tapped her shoulder. “You’re mumbling. Don’t tell me Midoriya’s habit can spread…”
Uraraka laughed, spitting a little bit as well.
“Ah,” Momo giggled. “No no, I was just.. Out of it for a second there.”
Jirou hummed, walking with Momo and Uraraka back into class. Most of the other students were already there, the bell ringing the minute the three girls sat down.
“As you all know,” Mr. Aizawa said, dropping his “cocoon” onto the floor. “The Sports Festival is coming up soon. You’ll be fighting against, not only your own class, but the other classes here as well. Well, besides the second and third years that is.”
Mr. Aizawa continued to explain the ins and outs of the Sports Festival, right until the bell rang for dismissal. Suddenly, footsteps rampaged through the hallway and landed right in front of our classroom door. Bakugou, in the middle of trying to leave, was stormed by all the other students from the different departments. He groaned, wanting to get out as soon as possible.
“What do you think they’re doing here?” I hear someone ask.
“Probably scoping out the competition,” Bakugou replied. “I mean, we survived a villain attack. They want to see us face to face.”
Bakugou stepped up to the doorway, some students backing off as he got closer.
“At least you know what a future Pro Hero looks like,” Bakugou said, his eyes glaring daggers into theirs’. “Now fuck off, you Extras.”
“Bakugou! That’s no way to treat the other students here!” Iida shouted, his arm robotically chopping up and down. “Be respectful!”
“This must be class 1-A, huh?” someone said, their voice semi-close to our homeroom teacher. “But you…. You just sound like a complete ass.”
I held back a snicker, Bakugou’s level of anger slowly rising. The student stepped closer to Bakugou, their hair peeking out from the crowd. As they got closer, their face came into view. Dark circles fell under his eyes, his posture slouched and tired.
As if he hadn’t sleep in years.
“It’s sad that I’ve come to look at this class, only to find a bunch of egotistical brats.” they said. “Unfortunately, I had to take a different spot in this school, even if I did want to be a hero. But, if any of these students here, including myself, do well in this sports festival, we have a chance of being bumped up. However, that would mean we would need to take the spot of someone else .”
He looked at each of us individually, his cockiness increasing with each minute.
“Just so you know,” he began again. “If you don’t bring your very best to this festival, I can steal your place from right under you. Consider this as a “Declaration of War”, have at you.”
Bakugou at this mysterious purple haired boy gave each other a good stare before they were interrupted. Some student from class 1-B shouted through the crowd at Bakugou, mostly nonsense. I took this at my chance to leave, shoving my hands into my pockets as I walked to the doorway.
Bakugou had already left, everyone watching his he quietly made his way down the hallway.
“So manly,” Kirishima said. “And I hate it.”
Because of this statement, each of us trained hard for the day of the festival. Everyone, not just including my class. Each student in our building trained for the upcoming festival, giving it our all as we prepared.
“You’re going to win this festival,” father said. “No matter what. Is this clear?”
I didn’t reply, eating the last of my dinner as I went outside to continue my training. Father, although fairly pissed, did not engage afterwards. He was just happy I was training hard.
I won’t use my flame, just in spite of you. I promised, throwing a heavy punch into the air. I will win by my mother’s side, not by yours.
After we all knew it, the festival arrived. Each one of us trained nonstop, readying for this exact day. I left my home after saying goodbye to Fuyumi, hearing her say she’d watch. Father would be there anyways, so her words of encouragement didn’t help as much; she could tell too.
I arrived at school, fireworks blasting into the sky as we made our into our apparent waiting room. We changed into our gym uniforms, sitting, or standing, and waited for us to be called out. Momo walked over to me and said her hello, before running off to her new friends.
“Glad you branched out.” I whispered, sighing lightly before leaning against the wall.
I noticed Midoriya’s gaze fall on me, a certain strike of pain running through my chest. I didn’t mean to hurt him, it just… Sort of came out that way.
“You will forget about this little friendship game with this boy.” father ordered. “You will win this festival.”
Iida burst into the room, explaining we only had a couple minutes until we were call outside. This was my chance. I walked up to Midoriya, his surprise clear on his face.
“H-hey, Todoroki…” he stuttered.
With a heavy, painful sigh, I looked into his eyes coldly. He shivered, hah, the two of us standing there for a moment with all class looking.
“From where we both stand, I am clearly at an advantage from you.” I said. To my surprise, Midoriya agreed to it. “However… You have All Might right behind you, don’t you? I’ve noticed the extra treatment he gives you, anyone could notice. But know this.”
Midoriya gulped, Momo sighing in the far right corner.
“I will beat you.” I proclaimed, my voice replicating my father…. Disgustingly.
“What’s with all the declarations all of a sudden?” Kaminari sighed, Kirishima rising from his seat. He placed a hand on my right shoulder, looking at me strangely.
“Yeah, Kaminari’s right.” Kirishima said. “What’s with it, Todoroki? Picking a fight before the festival has even begun?”
I shrugged him off harshly, not looking into his eyes.
“We’re not here to make friends with each other.” I turned away from the two students, my back to them. “Don’t forget, this festival isn’t a team effort.”
I began walking outside of the room, Midoriya suddenly saying my name.
“I don’t know what’s running around in your head right now,” he gulped, clearly nervous. “Or why you’re suddenly saying this, even when we’ve been getting along just fine lately. But yeah, of course you’re better than me, I’ve known that. You have better control over your Quirk than I do, even with- everything…”
“All the other courses here,” Midoriya said, his head lowered. “Are coming after us during this festival with all that they have. That means that we’re also going to be giving it our all.”
Midoriya looked up at me with determined eyes, the two of us glaring.
“That means I am also going to be giving it my all.” he said confidently, his hands resting at his side.
“Fine.” I replied deeply. The class was filled with tension, silence reigning over us before we were called out of the waiting room.
“That’s was quite the proclamation there, Todoroki.” Momo whispered. “What’s gotten into you lately…?”
I didn’t answer, but kept my eyes in front of me.
“Was it your fa-”
I turned to her with cold eyes, the two colors catching a glimpse of the light outside. Momo stopped, taking it as her time to be quiet.
“Yes,” I looked away. “It was. Who else would it be.”
“I’m sorry,” Momo apologized. “But there’s no reason to lash out like that.”
“If I don’t win this,” I gulped, my hands sweating. “He’ll hurt my mot-”
Momo looked at me with fear, Present Mic’s voice coming on over the speakerphone which cut me off.
“ARE YOU READY FOR THE TIME OF YOUR LIVES?!” Present Mic shouted, the crowd cheering with all they got. “LET ME HEAR THOSE EXCITED SCREAMS AS OUR MAIN COMPETITORS MAKE THEIR WAY TO THE ARENA!!”
The crowd went wild, our ears ringing as we made it out of the dark. The crowd, surprisingly, was a lot bigger than I had expected. I glanced over at Midoriya, who was slightly shaking, but mostly standing his ground.
Why the hell did I have to go off like that. I asked myself, mentally hitting my side. These are my father’s words, not mine… I never wanted to-
Present Mic’s introduction of us cut off my monologue, which was probably for the better. We walked out into the field, a podium in the middle of it. He then introduced class 1-B, clearly talking them up as well.
This is getting annoying.
“NEXT! GENERAL CLASSES C, D, AND E!” Present Mic announced. “SUPPORT CLASSES F, G, AND H! AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, BUSINESS CLASSES I, J AND K!!”
Midnight took to the podium, a certain nervous student behind me gulping fairly loudly. His whole body shook with nervously tension, pulling his collar away from him.
“You ready for this, Deku?” Uraraka whispered. “Aren’t you the one giving the spee-”
“And now, the introductory speech!” Midnight shouted, crashing her whip in the air. “For this student pledge, please welcome to the podium, MIDORIYA IZUKU!”
I was wide-eyed, unknowing of his.. Call to the podium. Had I really not paid attention enough?
He seemed a lot more nervous recently…
Midoriya slowly made his way up the podium stairs, Midnight waiting with a smile.
“You got this, kiddo.” she said with a thumbs up.
“R-right…” Midoriya tapped on the microphone, clearly his throat. “Uhm…”
The whole arena fell quiet, only a few whispers were heard.
“As… Us first years..” Midoriya said with a lump in his throat. “Have a lot to bring into this year’s festival… There are so many strong students here today, but there are other things we need to look out for… We’re being watched by every agency out there, which means we need to bring our best.”
“He’s handling it surprisingly well.” Uraraka whispered.
“This is our way of showing ourselves to the world.” Midoriya smiled. “So this is our chance… To show everyone what us first year students really have..!!”
The crowd, silence for another second, fell over in loud cheering, screaming their support at the classes. Midoriya hurried off the stage, his face fallen over in crimson shades. I scoffed, holding back laughter that I knew I shouldn’t have. I can’t act all friendly… Not after what I did.
“What an excellent speech, Midoriya!” Midnight said into the microphone. “As you heard him, this is their time to shine! Their time to show everyone what they have! Without further ado, though, we are now beginning the first game!”
A screen projected right behind Midnight, options spinning around and around.
“This is where you all, firsthand, experience the pain of the game!” Midnight smiled. “What will the first game be, I wonder?”
The options continued spinning before it landed right on one of the options I kind of didn’t want… The Obstacle Course.
“TA-DAH!” Midnight sung. “Each class with be participating in this contest, may I say. The track will be four kilometers around the stadium, outside of course.”
Midnight licked her lips, pointing her whip at each of us.
“I won’t have to step in, hopefully,” she smirked. “But as long as you don’t step outside of this obstacle course, you’re free to do whatever you please!”
A big, red entrance, or exit, began to glow, three green dots above waiting to count down. I stood in the front, waiting patiently as I planned for the course.
“You will win.”
Father’s voice echoed in my mind, his eyes holding me down against the ground like something crushed me under its weight. It was hard for me to speak out, let alone breathe. I couldn’t do anything under his control. And I still can’t.
The green lights finally all went out, a door opening. Students crammed to get outside, thankfully I was out of the mess.
“Little Mister Mummy Man!” Present Mic said, pointing to Mr. Aizawa. “What should be we looking at this round?”
With a sarcastic reply, Mr. Aizawa said “The doorway”. I sighed, freezing the ground beneath me as I ran ahead. I could hear Momo behind me, along with several other classmates.
“Nice trick, Todoroki!” Momo shouted, a metal pole extending from her hand.
“Never tried to trick you,” I replied, a slight smile creeping up on Momo’s face. “Just tried to get ahead.”
I continued running, Mineta strangely catching up to me. But suddenly, he was hit in the face by a-
“The robots!” Midoriya shouted. “From the entrance exam!”
“OH NO!!” Present Mic smiled. “WHAT A SURPRISE!! IT’S A, RRRRRROBO INFERNO!!!”
I stopped, staring up at one of the robots blocking my path. It unclenched its hand, trying to drop it over me.
“This is what you people had to deal with in that entrance exam?” I whispered, bending down with my right hand against the ground. “I wish you guys would put a little more into it…”
Ice began to swirl around me like a gust of wind would hit the ground, my eyes staring straight at the robots’.
“Since my dear old man is watching me.” I finished, sweeping my hand upwards at the robot. Ice came running out of it like a sudden tidal wave, freezing the robot for mere moments.
“Dude! We can get passed!” a student shouted.
“Careful,” I smiled, running ahead. “I froze them while they were reach out… Off balance. ”
“On purpose…” Momo added, watching the robot come crashing down on the students I left behind.
“LOOK AT THAT! TODOROKI SHOUTO FROM CLASS 1-A GETTING AN EARLY START!” Present Mic explained. “HE DIDN’T EVEN HAVE TO FIGHT THOSE ROBOTS WHEN HE FIRST CAME TO THIS SCHOOL, BUT HE TOOK IT DOWN SO SWIFTLY! NO WONDER HE WAS BROUGHT IN ON RECOMMENDATIONS!”
I looked behind me, picking up my pace as the others were left to fight the robots alone.
“You will win.”
The man’s echo rung in my ears like a bell, reminding me over and over again. To be like him .