“Who coulda predicted such an incredible turn of events so early on!? The one who made it back to the stadium first is... None other than Midoriya Izuku!!”
His nails dug into the leather of his chair. Tomura’s silent but obvious amusement next to him was annoying enough, to hear the squawking of that hero…
“Taking second--(L/N) (F/N)!!”
Telling the world that his daughter was second best to those hero brats…
“Tying for third, Todoroki Shouto and Bakugou Katsuki! Fourth, Ibara Shiozaki…”
“He didn’t even use any quirks to win,” Tomura thought he could hide the smirk on his face, but certainly not in his voice, as he scratched his throat, “How many does she have…?”
“Nobody likes the obvious to be pointed out so blatantly, Tomura.” The man tried to keep his tone calm and even, but contempt was obvious.
He was furious.
“Third place--Team (L/N)!!”
Oh, he now was livid.
‘I told her to win. I told her to win, and this is what she gives me?’
“We’ll proceed to the afternoon portion after a one-hour lunch break! See you then…”
“Tomura,” His prodigy didn’t even glance over, only gave a soft hum to indicate he was listening, “I have to make a phone call. Go have lunch and give me some privacy.”
“Yeah, yeah… Have fun getting anything outta her, she’s probably too busy kissing hero a--”
As soon as his student left, he plucked his phone up from beside him on the small side table--And simply held it in his hand for a while. Thinking carefully.
After a while of contemplating the pros and cons of letting his daughter know his contempt, he hit the second most-used speed dial button.
Riiing… Riiing… Riiing…
Don’t lose your patience. She’ll pick up. She always picks up.
Riiing… Riiing… Riiing…
The muscle where his brow used to be twitched.
Riiing… Riiing… Riiing…
“Hi, this is (L/N) (F/N)! Sorry, I can’t come to the phone right now--Leave a message and I’ll get back to you A-S-A-P! Ciao!”
He was silent for several seconds as the voicemail recorded nothing but the highlight replays of the Obstacle Course Race and the Cavalry battle. Only when there were only a few seconds left, did he finally speak.
“Call me back. Now.”
Shinsou had gone off with the rest of his class, leaving you behind as you carried an arm full of pastries around the packed cafeteria--and finally found Izukun after walking around for what felt like forever to your aching feet.
You spotted the green mop of hair next to Round Face, at their usual lunch table--Tsuyu, Four-Eyes, and others in attendance. Pinky and Pikachu had joined in.
You dumped the treats on the table with a big smirk on your face, “Guess who snuck up front and got some limited edition goods.”
“Oh! Wow--” Izukun started wide-eyed at the pile, “We were wondering where you were…”
“This looks awesome!” Pinkie squealed, scooping up a bear-shaped mochi cake, “Thanks a lot!”
“(L/N)!” You felt your soul leaving your body as Four-Eyes started up, “You shouldn’t leave the designated premises for students just so you can get sweets--We’re competing in a sports festival and should be avoiding sugary confections as they can inhibit our performance! Furthermore, we aren't even allowed up front until--!”
You shoved a candied orange stick in his face, “Stop that.”
“Talking.” Your glare shut him up. He gingerly took the sweet treat from your hand, murmuring a quiet “Thank you.”
“It sure is!” You smirked to Round-Face when you saw her mouth wide-open and watering--staring right at a particular confection, “Fresh. Pounded. Mochi.” You gestured to the entire pile, “Dig in! I got a frog matcha taiyaki for the frog girl, Mochi for Mochi-face, candied oranges for the orange-fueled square-shaped uptight--”
“We get it.”
“--And, for my favorite,” You flopped down next to Izukun, and held out a brown paper bag to him with a toothy grin, “Something special.”
He took the bag with a skeptical brow raised, “Y-You didn't have to get me anything…?” He opened it up, and his eyes widened and a smile split his face, “Holy cow!” He gasped, pulling out a large yogurt parfait--it was All-Might themed, with blueberries, strawberries, mango, and coconut bits layered in the clear cup to look like the hero's suit--with the addition of star sprinkles mixed into the granola and an All-Might cookie on top. “This looks like it's almost too good to eat!”
“Oh, I’ll take it then--”
You let out an amused snort at Izukun’s dark look directed at Pikachu and his quickly retracting hand.
Your phone vibrated in your pocket. You glanced down and reached in, only pulling it out enough to see the screen.
“So what do you guys think the next event will be?” Round Face hummed around a mouth full of strawberry mochi, “It’s always some sort of one-on-one tournament, right?”
“Yeah,” Izukun nodded, popping off the lid of his parfait and carefully picking up a spoon, looking down in wonder as he tried to figure out where to start, “One year, they were fighting with foam swords. Another on a tightrope… It’s usually different.”
“I hope it’s either real swords,” You shoved your phone back into your pocket and reached forward, snagging a taro-filled, mochi cake “Or just a plain one-on-one. I have some new tricks up my sleeve, that I want to use on some certain people…” You shot a look to your left, down a few tables.
Bakagou and Shark-Teeth were sitting together, the latter animately talking, while the other was definitely uninterested as he glared hard enough to make whatever was on his plate boil.
“That sounds dark, (F/N)...”
“So what, like you don’t have a vendetta against anyone, Round-Face?” You waved a hand, “You can’t pretend to be all nice and innocent all the time, that’s how you end up getting walked all over. Like I did, when we were sparring, remember?”
“D-Don’t remind me, my back still hurts in the middle of the night…”
“Yeah, well, you’re gonna have a reason to stay up at night after today, I guarantee it.”
“I-Is that a threat--!?”
“Hey hey hey!” You all glanced up in acknowledgment of the sudden boisterous announcement over the intercoms, “Lunch is almost up, this is your fifteen-minute warning! All first-year students, show your faces at the center stage so we can introduce the recreational events and the final matches!”
“I’ll see you guys back at the arena,” You stood up and crumpled your mochi wrapped, tossing randomly onto the table--much to Four-Eye’s chagrin, “I gotta make a call.”
“O-Oh, okay--” Izuku called after your figure, even though you were already walking away to a random hall, “If you aren’t there in ten minutes, I’ll come to find you!”
You raised a hand without looking back in thanks, then shoved your hands in your pockets, and stalked off to find somewhere quiet, a group of… American cheerleaders cutting off their view of you.
When the chatter from the cafeteria became a distant murmur, you dipped into an empty classroom and pulled your phone out, turning the screen on and checking the notifications.
One new text message from: Smelly Hands
“Nice going, princess.”
You made a mental note to sneak into the hideout and put bleach in a load of Tomura’s clothes.
Missed call from: Papa
Voicemail from: Papa
You swallowed down the lump in your throat and opened the audio clip--A whole minute and a half long!?--and placed it to your ear.
For what seemed like the entire duration of the voicemail, all you could hear was the distant sound of Present Mic’s voice excitidly recapping… The obstacle course race… And the cavalry battle…
Your heart leaped into your throat when a dark voice cut in.
“Call me back. Now.”
You pulled the phone away from your ear and looked at the time it was left.
Ten minutes ago.
Even though your entire body screamed to just put your phone back in your pocket, ignore it, pretend you never received the call…
… You pressed the call-back icon, put the phone back to your ear, and waited.
Riiing… Riiing… Riiing…
You couldn’t hear anyone on the other end, except for indistinct chatter of television commercials and--
“Are you having fun?”
“Listen to me--”
“I’m sorry, please let me expl--”
“Quiet! Let. Me. Talk.”
Your mouth snapped shut. You felt your heart falling with you as you let yourself sink into a chair, not trusting your legs to hold you up.
“You were supposed to win.”
His pause was not an invitation to speak.
You did anyway.
“I-I was going to, Papa! But I had to limit my quirk, o-or else I could have accidentally lost control--”
“That’s no excuse. You didn’t even use my speech, not a word of it. Why would you waste my time asking for help?”
“You don’t understand! It’s so tedious making sure I don’t slip up--”
“ I don’t understand!?”
You flinched away.
“Understand this, Shiikan (F/N), if you don’t redeem yourself in the final event… I’m removing you from your little game.”
“No more UA.”
“And no more little boy to play with--”
No. No no no no--
You shot up faster than a bullet, shrieking, with panic filling every inch of your bones, “That’s not fair! You can’t just--!”
“Fair? I am your father. The only unfair thing is how much I’m shelling out for you to live in that town when you’re not even bringing in any results.”
You felt your resolve cracking, you had to fight to keep your breath from cracking and turning you into a sniveling mess.
No more Izukun. No more UA. No more Mrs. Midoriya’s cooking, no more messing with Round Face and Frog Girl and Four-Eyes, no more jump-scaring Shinsou, no more--
“Okay,” Your voice was quiet and meek.
It was weak.
“I… Swear, Papa, I’ll--”
“Just don’t embarrass me again.”
You line went dead, leaving you in silence.
No more Izukun.
Your chest tightened.
No more UA.
You couldn’t breathe.
No more Mrs. Midoriya and her cooking, no more messing with Round Face and Frog Girl and Four-Eyes, no more jump-scaring Shinsou, no more no more no more--
Everything was crashing down on you as you sink back into the chair, vision blurry as tears fell from your eyes.
Looks like you only had one choice.
That’s all you could do.
‘Sounds like I’m not the only one with a shitty father.’ Todoroki Shouto kept his hands shoved in his pocket as he leaned against the wall outside the classroom he had just had lunch in.
A certain student entered from the front end as he was leaving the other.
He had planned on just continuing on to the cafeteria to rejoin the others, but when a weak “Papa” sounded right before he was going to pass the open door…
… He has eavesdropped on his father’s conversations plenty of times. He didn’t think he would be doing anything like it in school, though.
He really didn’t care about the other students.
He could barely hear the speaker of the phone inside. Something about winning.
“I-I was going to, Papa! But I had to limit my quirk, o-or else I could have accidentally lost control--”
‘Control of her quirk…?’ Todoroki’s eyes narrowed considerably, ‘What would happen if…’
The voice on the phone was so loud it was hard to decipher, no matter how much he strained his ears.
“You don’t understand! It’s so tedious making sure I don’t slip up--...” Silence, then the screeching of the chair she probably sat in, “That’s not fair! You can’t just--!”
Something about being fair, being her father… Shelling out money? From what he’s overheard, she’s supposed to be well off, like him… Results? Of what? Hero-training? (L/N) might not be at Todoroki’s level, but she wasn’t a pushover…
A weak, cracking voice was hardly audible, “Okay… I… Swear, Papa, I’ll…”
Continued silence told him the caller probably hung up.
Just a few seconds later, there was the soft sound of whimpering and then muffled sobbing.
For a brief moment, he was five years old again, standing in the doorway of that kitchen while the kettle began to whistle and his mother was quietly sobbing to her own on the phone--
The sound of a chair moving and quiet footsteps told him it was time to get out of there.
He barely managed to retrace his steps and silently duck back into the classroom--right as (L/N) was leaving it. He stood with his back to the wall and listened carefully for the sound of her footsteps fading, and let out a soft breath, then ducked back out--
“It’s rude to listen in on other people’s conversations.”
Shouto let out a soft grunt of surprise when he was face-to-face with (L/N) herself, who glared hard enough to curdle milk.
Despite her eyes being red and puffy.
“How much did you hear?”
He opened his mouth a few times, trying to find out how to answer that without starting a confrontation (which she was known for; just last week, Kaminari made a joke about Midoriya’s and her’s relationship being borderline creepy, and she teleported him continuously in the air until he built up enough speed, then reversed him, sending him flying up to the height of simulated dilapidated tower, where he barely managed to grab the ledge of the roof and scream for someone to help him before he fell and, no doubt, regained all that speed…).
His silence seemed to just irritate her more.
“Your father... Doesn’t seem like a good person.”
She flinched back as if struck, and a range of emotions flashed on her face--anger, disbelief, understanding… And anger again.
“Yeah, well…” She blew a frustrated breath through her nose, shooting him one last scowl as she turned back towards the direction of the cafeteria, “Your old man isn’t anywhere near All Might either, Frosty.”
His eyebrows raised in surprise, despite his eyes remaining half-lidded and seemingly uninterested, “No, he certainly isn’t. Never will be.”
She tripped on her own feet and stumbled to a stop, looking back with brief surprise… That turned into a sharp, incredulous stare, “... What?”
“He isn’t All Might,” Todoroki calmly started his pace by her, looking ahead and trying to keep a cool head. Letting one person in on his personal backstory was enough for one day.
… But for someone who was just sobbing from a phone call from her own father, he felt she deserved… Something that would let her know he wasn’t judging her.
And the petty side of him didn’t want anyone to think Endeavor was a good father.
“Never has been, never will be. Ever.”
There. That’s all he needed to get off his chest--
“You’re quirk is half-and-half, isn’t it?” Her footsteps caught up to him quickly, and he saw her just out of his peripheral to his-- “Why don’t you ever use your fire side?”
A twinge of annoyance sprouted in his temple. He really didn’t feel like spilling his guts again, let alone to a rival that he would probably be facing again, soon.
“I just don’t.”
It was his turn to stumble in shock, as she passed him, hands shove in her pockets.
“Your quirk is half and half. You think you can be the best of the best with only half your strength? Tch, don’t make me laugh.” She held up what he thought was a peace sign for a moment, “There are only two people in this world that can do that. One,” She put her middle finger down, “Is All Might. The other,” … She put her index finger down and raised her middle, “Sure as hell is not you.”
He watched as she shoved her hand back in her pocket and imagined the smirk on her face, as she disappeared into thin air, right in front of the cafeteria doors.
“Five minute warning, listeners!! Get in gear!”
‘I just had to be a show off,’ You muttered to yourself internally, eye twitching as you glared a path through the moving herd of students, ‘I only got maybe twenty-five minutes left, now. Damnit. Why did that Frosty bastard have to go and get on my nerves…!? I don’t need the likes of that hero-bred-brat telling me what I already know. What the hell does he know!?’
You couldn’t think of anything… Particularly incriminating he could have heard. So you were safe there. Hopefully.
Your eyes burned and struggled to adjust to the glaring sun as you and the rest of the herd reentered the stadium, the roar of the crowd deafening and… Suffocating.
‘Stay calm. No more playing around, from here on, everyone is to be crushed.’
“This is still a sports festival, so we’ve prepared recreational activities for ALL participants! We even shipped in some cheerleaders from America to get you pumped up--Hope everyone enjoys this little recreational competition--Once that’s over, we’re onto the final event!”
Your class and class B were the closest to the stage, where Midnight was at, smirking down at the lot of you with a devious look in her eyes, holding an obvious box behind her back.
Totally wasn’t creeping you out.
“Once that’s over, we’re onto the final event! Between the sixteen members of the four winning teams…”
The screen behind Midnight flashed to light, displaying a flow-chart.
“We’ll have a formal tournament!! A series of one-on-one battles!”
‘One-on-one,’ You felt a grin crawling onto your lips, ‘Just what I need to shine brightly.’
“The matchups will be decided by drawing lots!” Midnight cheerfully held the box up in front of her--one you’ve seen many times, “Once that’s settled, we’ll move on to the festivities and then the tournament itself. It’s up to you sixteen finalists whether or not you participate in the fun--I suspect some of you would rather take a breather and save your strength. Now, let’s start with the first-place team…”
“Uhm, excuse me…”
You glanced behind you, slightly startled.
‘He better not try to sabotage--’
“I’d…” Tail-Boy had his hand held up, as he looked solemnly down to the ground, “... Like to drop out.”
“This is your chance to be seen by the pros!”
“The cavalry battle… I have no memories of anything that happened up until the very end.” He glanced off to the side, towards a certain purple-haired boy, “It was probably his quirk that did it…”
Shinsou just turned away without a hint of interest.
“I know this is a great opportunity,” Tail-Boy gripped his fist, shaking slightly, “I know how stupid it must seem to be throwing it away. But this final tournament… Everyone else here made it on their own strength. Yet I’m standing here, and I don’t even know why or how--I just can’t take it…!”
“You’re thinking about it too hard!” The invisible girl shrilly cut in, “Just show what you got in the final tournament!”
Pinky grumbled, “By that logic, I shouldn’t really be here, either!”
‘Idiot,’ You turned back to the stage and crossed your arms, shaking your head with an annoyed twinge in your brows, ‘Bakagou’s team wouldn’t have gotten far if she didn’t melt all the cement that Bondo guy spewed. But to throw away the opportunity to move on…’
Tail-boy just sighed and put a hand over his eyes, slumping over. “No, I’m talking about my pride here… I don’t think it’s right.”
“I can’t remember anything either… I wanna withdraw too.”
You jerked your head up and around to see the class B boy stepping forward, “This is a contest of skill! Letting someone who didn’t do anything advance… Doesn’t it defeat the point of the sport’s festival? Isn’t it even against the rules?”
‘Idiots, both of them, idiots! Tch!’ You turned back around with more of a huff, glaring down at the stage, ‘Shinsou hands them this opportunity on a silver platter and they throw it away!? Ungrateful!’
“What a strange turn of events… What will the umpire, Midnight, decide…?”
“How naive and green…” The dark look in her eyes was startlingly familiar, up until she aggressively cracked her whip and yelled, “I like it!”
‘She liked it…!?’
“Ojiro and Shoda have officially withdrawn!” She called out, “Replacing those two will be members of team Kendo, which took fifth…”
“If it’s gonna be like that,” You assumed the girl now talking was Kendo, “Shouldn’t it be Tetsutetsu’s team instead? I mean, we were immobilized the entire time!” You glanced back to see the red-head with we fists on her hips, giving a crowd-winning smile, “But they were giving their all, up until the very end! We’re not colluding or anything… This just feels right.”
‘Idiots.’ You looked back ahead, gaze softer, ‘Why are they so eager to throw away their opportunity…? What's the big deal, being all chivalrous and shit. That’s not getting them anywhere.’
There was a bit of squawking from Tetsutetsu’s team, before Midnight called out again, “Alright, that’s that then! Moving on will be Tetsutetsu and Shiozaki to bring us back up to sixteen competitors! And the matchups are here!!”
You finally looked up to the screen and scanned the roster, raising your eyebrows briefly at who you would be facing.
Izuku Midoriya vs. Hitoshi Shinso
Shoto Todoroki vs. Hanta Sero
Denki Kaminari vs. Ibara Shiozaki
Mei Hatsume vs. Tenya Iida
(L/N) (F/N) vs. Mina Ashido
Fumikage Tokoyami vs. Momo Yaoyorozu
Eijiro Kirishima vs. Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsu
Ochaco Uraraka vs. Katsuki Bakugo
Your heart sank in your stomach.
‘Izukun and Shinsou, first, against each other…!? What sick bastard decided these?!’ You didn’t dare look back as you heard a fuss, choosing to swallow the lump in your throat and continue scanning until you found your name.
“Hey!” A hand landed on your shoulder with a chipper Pinkie attached to it, “Maybe the best one win, (L/N)! No hard feelings, right?”
“I’m gonna crush you.”
‘Looks like Round-Face is going to have a rough time,’ You crossed your arms and sighed out your nose, ‘Tch, she better not lose to Baka-gou. Well, if she does, that means I get to give him hell… In the second rounds…’
“Now, let’s set aside the tournament for the time being… And get on with the thrill-a-minute festivities!”
You immediately turned on your heel and walked through the crowd, the first to move and prompting everyone else to begin going on their way.
You barely caught Izukun’s eye--Tail-Boy was wrapping his tail around his face--Ah, Shinsou was walking away. That’s why.
You marched on, head held high.
‘Today isn’t about friends,’ You reasoned your coldness away, ‘Today is about winning and getting to keep everything I worked hard for.’
You ended up finding a secluded lounge room, probably for your exact reason for residing in it, and found a relatively comfortable couch to stretch out on. A screen was hung on the wall opposite, the current recreational events playing, as well as highlights of the obstacle course race and cavalry battles in opposite corners.
You intended to take a nap until the next time Present Mic’s grating voice filled your ears, but ended up tossing and turning on the couch made for sitting for five minutes--Then cut your losses and crossed your legs, sat up straight, and closed your eyes.
‘Okay, let’s see if that blue lady on that random channel at three in the morning was actually onto something about meditation. Seven seconds of breath in, seven seconds out. Easy enough.’
It was not easy.
“Papa,” You nervously wrung your hands, glancing up at him with uncertainty creasing your thin-plucked brows, “Are you sure…”
“Being still isn’t good for your body’s muscles, not using your quirk to its limits is the same thing.” He gave you a gentle push on your back, smiling down into your grey eyes.
The ones that matched his own, since the day you were born.
He was pushing you towards a dark street where a woman was walking, constantly looking over her shoulder and scanning her surroundings.
The chameleon-zone quirk Papa had instilled on you both was the only thing keeping the two of you out of her sight.
“You can do it, Princess. I know you can.”
‘Use my quirk or manage to get out of this with my limbs intact…?’ You swallowed thickly and nodded despite your hesitation, taking a timid step out of the safety of the bubble that would have kept you nice and safe, out of the view of anyone who relied on sight to sense things.
‘Papa has been casing this woman for months for me, I… I should give it my best shot!’ You looked around just like the woman was.
She spotted you, lingering her gaze for a second, before turning back around and continuing her brisk pace, the same one she used every night after her shift at a bar in a not-so-great part of Roppongi.
This wasn’t the same as the Nomu you practiced on. This woman could, and would fight back.
‘I’m ten years old now, I can do this.’ You internally psyched yourself up, increasing your power-walking speed to begin to catch up to her, the only other person on the street with only a flickering streetlight on the opposite end, ‘Papa believes in me. Papa believes in me, so I won’t disappoint him, and that’s that!’
“E-Excuse me, ma’am?” You called out in a way you would call pathetic and meek.
She was slowing and looking back at you
‘Oh, I hope she’s not very bright...’
“I’m so-sorry to bother you--” You faked the scared-child shtick to near perfection, “I’m… I’m lost…” You false-sniffled as you slowed to a stop in front of her--she had stopped and turned around, cheap sweatshirt pulled around her tightly to cover the upper half of her bartender’s uniform--the exact same one Kurogiri wore, now that you thought about it. “I-I was at my family’s new shop--we just moved here, but… There was this cat, a-and I followed it, because it looked hurt! And now I… I don’t know where I am...”
Her pink eyes softened considerably as she tucked a bit of blue hair behind her ear to join the rest of her messy bun, “Oh, that’s not good at all…” She pulled her phone out, the screen illuminating her face and showing off blue and pink speckling across her skin, “Here, I’ll look it up and take you there. What’s the name of the store?”
“I’m sorry for being a bother,” You shivered, truthfully this time. You had worn a short-sleeved, light blue button-up shirt and a pair of khaki shorts… In the middle of fall.
You had to expose as much skin as possible. All you needed what ten seconds of skin-on-skin contact to steal a quirk.
You hoped, at least. Normal people were a lot different than Nomu, who don’t fight back.
“It’s called Shiikan’s Tea and Supply,” You dared to step a bit closer to her. She didn’t move away, so that was good.
That night you learned people were the definition of moronic when you gained their trust. When they thought you weren’t a threat.
… You also learned they would do whatever they could to protect what’s their’s if it’s precious enough.
A part of who they were as a being was just that.
Two more things stuck with you that night.
One, if someone has a quirk with the ability to control the position of an item, restrain their hands.
Two, keep Kurogiri close by at all times.
The woman’s screams were transported to another place, far far away, the black mist keeping her not only from alerting nearby people but also from ripping off your limbs. Like she had nearly done before when her Marionette Strings had touched your skin as you grabbed for her exposed neck.
Your shoulders and arms were angrily protesting any movement, the limbs limp even as you had flopped your hand over her forehead. Her eyes glowed as did your own, illuminating the alleyway your scuffle had migrated into.
Ten seconds and you removed your hand. The woman looked like she had just run a ten-kilometer marathon without stopping for a second, sweaty--Ah, much of that was tears.
Kurogiri removed the portals and allowed the woman’s body to slump against the brick wall behind her.
“Are you alright, young miss?”
“Yeah,” You winced when you tried to turn towards him, not able to bear the sight of the broken person before you for another moment, “I just need to see the doctor and get my shoulders put back into place. They’re dislocated.”
A sudden slow-paced clapping filled your ears, prompting you, and Kurogiri, to turn towards the entrance to the alley again.
“Well done, well done my little princess. I knew you could do it.” He kneeled down to your level, wearing a proud smile that shone in his eyes, “A little help from Kurogiri this time, but now that you have that quirk, it will make using your own much easier!”
Easier to hold people down, but that wasn’t something he said aloud. But you knew what he meant.
“Here, let me see your arms.”
You winced and whimpered softly as Papa had you lean over, while he rotated one of your arms slowly--there was a soft “Pop!” as it went above your head, and you could move your arm once again--he did the other, giving you full control of your limbs once more.
“There, all better?”
“Yes!” You sighed in relief, rubbing your shoulders--as he took his suit jacket off and draped it around your shoulders, “Alright, now, Kurogiri. Please send the woman to Dr. Nishimura, and take my little girl and I here home.”
‘We could have done this in the lab!?’
“Alrighty, alrighty, alrighty! Any students hanging about, head to your designated seating area…”
You frowned with eyes still closed as Present Mic’s voice cut in above your head.
‘Why did I have to have a flashback now? Puppet’s master is long since gone.’
“... Because we’re about to get started on the final event!! Midoriya Izuku, please go to gate A, and Shinsou Hitoshi to gate B!”
‘Oh… Right. They’re first up.’
This was going to be tough.
Round-Face was the first to greet you when you arrived at the stands.
“(F/N)! There you are!” She leaped up from her spot, smiling wide and waving to you with one hand, pointing to the spot next to her with the other, “I saved you a seat, come on!”
“Thank you, Cementoss!! Hey guys, are you ready!? You’ve been through hell to get here, but now it’s time for the one-on-one tournament!!”
You glanced down at the nearly empty back row of seats, nearly making a move to sit there instead.
“You’ve got only yourself to rely on! Even if you're not a hero, this saying holds true! You know it!!”
Then you looked to the second row and realized Bakugou would be in your peripheral.
“Spirit, technique, strength, wisdom, and knowledge--Use em and show us your best!!”
You cut your losses and stepped quickly down the stairs, shooting Bakugou a sour look that he returned, and crossed in front of Shark-Teeth, Bird-Boy, and Four-Eyes, taking the seat on Uraraka’s left side, next to 3D-Printer.
“Thanks.” Your mutter was soft as you looked out into the stadium, eyes lidded as you hummed quietly.
“The first match!! Making a weird face despite his excellent performance, it’s Midoriya Izuku from the hero course… Versus… Sorry, but this guy hasn’t really done anything to stand out yet! It’s Shinsou Hitoshi from General Studies!”
“This is gonna be kinda hard for you, huh, (F/N)?” Round-Face murmured to you, and you could see her gripping her fists against her knees out of the corner of your eye, “You and Shinsou… You’re friends, right?”
“The rules are simple! Win by knocking your opponent out of the ring, immobilizing them or getting them to up and say “I give up!”
“No.” Your eyes were dull as you watched the two get into their positions, eyes set on the curly green hair of the nervous boy, “Shinsou and I just had a business deal.”
“--And fight dirty if you must! Ethics have no meaning here! Well, of course, going for the kill is a no-no! You’ll be disqualified! Because a true hero’s fists fly only when in the pursuit of villains!”
“His devotion if I help him out.”
“But he lost that when he insulted me.”
You could see Shinsou’s lips moving.
To the world, you were instantaneously at the railing, gripping the metal with an iron grip as you screamed, “Izuku!” You filled your lungs, and yelled, “Don’t you fucking dare roll-over!”
“If you’ve got any kind of vision of your future, there’s no sense in worrying about how you get there.”
His eyes were wide as Shinsou stared him down.
“Like that monkey, babbling about his stupid pride.”
“What kind of dumbass throws away a chance like this?”
He saw red. Thoughts racing in his head as he began to move towards his opponet. Ojiro went through so much trouble to explain everything that happened to him, Ojiro gave up his chance to fight in the tournament because he felt so strongly about being manipulated, this guy was the one that manipulated Ojiro--
He stopped in his tracks as a familiar voice, although a bit faint from the distance, screamed to him from the stands.
“Don’t you fucking dare roll-over!”
He slapped a hand over his mouth, shooting a thankful glance to the girl who’s silhouette was a bit hard to see. But he knew who it was all the same.
‘Shit. I almost answered him…! Thanks, (F/N)--’
“Uhg, that bitch.”
Izuku’s eyes zeroed in on Shinsou, whose hands were in his pockets and a disgusting smile on his face, “She’s so annoying. How do you stand to be her lapdog? Oh, my mistake, she’s probably always in your lap, huh?”
If he saw red before, now it was a bonfire blazing in his eyes.
“I know she’s always bouncing on mine, is she that easy with you too?”
He charged, and snarled, raising a fist that flashed with color, “You shut the hell up--!!”
He suddenly came to a stop. Panic filled his mind, why did he stop moving!? Why… ‘I can’t move. I can’t… I can’t move!’
“Hey hey hey!? What’s going on?! The battle just started, and Midoriya Izuku is stuck in place!? Come on, show us some spirit! Looking confounded, Midoriya isn’t even twitching!! We were barely able to see that this guy existed, but now… He sure is one to keep an eye on!”
“Would you shut the hell up with that insulting crap…!?” You snarled up at the spectator’s booth, then turned your glare down to Izuku, “You impulsive idiot, why would you respond!?”
Shinsou raised a hand and made a little circle gesture…
And Izuku turned around and began walking. He looked like a robot, or like one of your dolls you practiced Puppet on when you first got the quirk.
“Woah!! What’s this!? Midoriya is following orders like a good little boy!!”
“Damnit, Izuku!” You screamed down to him, rocking against the railing angrily, “Snap outta it! Don’t go down like this!”
It was no use, you knew it. Nothing you said would get through to Izukun, even if you said the most devastating or dramatic line, begged him to break through and regain his own control.
You wanted to teach Shinsou a lesson yourself, but Izukun… Izukun can’t lose! He can’t, not like this! He’ll be inconsolable!
Just as Izuku was a few feet from the edge of the ring, a sudden blast of air was strong enough to force Shinsou to brace himself--You felt the breeze as light and soft against your skin.
Your eyes widened in both disbelief and joy.
“He broke out…” You watched as Izuku covered his mouth and shot his glare at Shinsou--And then the scuffle began. You stumbled backwards into your seat, sighing in relief as you watched, “It’s impossible, but then again, it’s Izukun we’re talking about, huh?”
Uraraka hummed in agreement, making a quiet squeak as Shinsou punched Izukun in the face and pushed against his broken finger.
Then Izukun flipped Shinsou over his shoulder, and out of bounds.
“Shinsou is out of the ring!” Midnight cracked her whip out to the side as she called out, “Midoriya moves on to the second round!”
You sighed again, out your nose, smiling… But not as sweetly as you wanted to, knitting your brows, as the rest of the crowd cheered.
‘Izukun won… Of course, he did. How could I expect any less?’
“Good gracious, we’re off to an uneventful start! Well, put your hands up for our fierce competitors!”
“I swear to god I am going to choke that man one of these days…”
“What was that, (F/N)?”
Shinsou was hunched over as he slinked off the stage, pausing to say something to Izukun, before he continued to his exit gate--and looked up again.
You could barely make out who you would assume to be general studies students, his classmates, no doubt.
‘Ah, right. He has friends.’
You watched as Izukun went through his gate--And immediately got up, shoving your hands in your pockets as you crossed in front of the front row.
“(F/N), where are you going?”
“The next match is gonna start! Don’t you want to support your fellow classmates--”
“Not really,” You shrugged, going up the steps, “We got some time between matches, I’m gonna go walk Izukun up.”
‘I wanna try and talk to him a little privately.’
“Papa,” Your little hands tugged on his sleeve as you looked up at his sitting form, “Who’s this?”
“Hm?” He pushed back from his desk a little bit, setting the pen in his hand down and pushing up his reading glasses--then put them back down on his nose when you handed over a little picture, in a plain black frame, “Oh, you’ve been snooping in the storage room again, haven’t you…” He hummed, only a small twinge in annoyance apparent in his voice.
“Is that you?” You pointed to one of the little boys in the picture, who’s smile was bright and wide.
“Yes, it is.”
“And that?” Your chubby little finger slid to the other boy, who Papa was hugging to his side. He was shorter and had longer hair that hid part of his face, and his smile was smaller, less blinding that Papa’s. But it had a sincerity to it that reached his visible eye… The same color as Papa’s, and your’s.
That’s weird. Papa never hesitates.
“... My little brother.” He ran his thumb over the picture, solemnly frowning, “Your uncle.”
“I have an uncle?” Your little eyes widened, “Where is he? Can I meet him?”
“I’m afraid not, princess.” He set the picture down and picked you up, setting you down in his lap while you picked it back up, looking between the two boys who couldn’t be much older than yourself at the moment. “He died, a long, long time ago, pumpkin.”
You softly murmured, “Oh.”
You knew what death was but not… Really. You knew people’s souls left their body, and they never ever came back.
“Do you miss him?”
He hummed thoughtfully, picking the pen back up as he looked over your hair at the paperwork--and the picture, “... Sometimes, yes. But he’s better off.”
“What was his quirk?”
You were a Shiikan, of course, you wanted to know his quirk.
“He had a couple.”
“No, like…” Papa hesitated again. This must be a difficult subject. “He was born with an “invisible” quirk.”
“Like… An emitter?”
“Sort of. He had the ability to pass on his quirk through his DNA.”
“Oh, like you did with me?”
“No, it’s… More direct than that. If he wanted to give you his quirk, he had to give you, say… A hair.”
“And his other quirk?”
“I gave him a stockpiling quirk.” Papa gripped his pen tightly, you noticed a crack forming in the resin.
You looked down at the words on the paper, it was some sort of notification for a building being destroyed. You didn’t know which.
“It mutated with his original one.”
“I’ll explain much more in-depth when you’re older,” He pat your head and began writing something on the paper, humming a soft tune that soon had you laying against his chest and breathing softly.
If he didn’t want to talk now, that’s okay. You love Papa, you trust him.
You’ll be patient.
“In other words, that vision wasn’t what broke the brainwashing. Rather, your own strong will allowed you to see those faces.”
Your hand hovered over the doorknob of Recovery Girl’s office as you squinted at the door, straining to listen in on a familiar voice inside.
‘Vision? Faces? What in the… Is that Izukun’s mentor?’
“And as far as Shinsou’s brainwashing… You overcame it! Just for a second! You managed to move that fingertip all on your own!”
“Yeah, but I’m not all that convinced…” That was Izukun, he sounded pretty distressed.
“Well, don’t dwell on it--Shouldn’t you be worrying about your next opponet!?”
“Right!” His voice got closer and the doorknob turned before you could grasp it, “Thank you bo th--” The door opened, Izuku stopping dead in his tracks with a small squeak as he made eye contact with you, “(F-F/N)?! Wh-What a-a-are--What did you--”
“I came to walk you up,” You worriedly creased your eyebrows, “Are you okay, Izukun? I heard you’re seeing things--Did Shinsou do something to you besides plain brainwashing? Should I end him?”
He seemed more relaxed than he should have been art hearing that, letting out a sigh of… Relief as his shoulders relaxed, “N-No, that’s not… Necessary, I’m alright.”
“Well, anyway,” You peeked over his shoulder, looking at the familiar, tall skeletal man--who was wearing a suit that was way too big for him, “Hi, Mr. Mentor! It’s been a while! I didn’t know you were here!”
“H-hello, (L/N)...” He smiled stiffly, giving a small wave. Recovery Girl was next to him, pouting slightly.
“You two get back upstairs, the next match is going to start! Go support your classmates!”
“Y-Yes ma’am!” Izuku semi-guided-semi-pushed you forward a bit, giving them a tight-lipped smile and shut the door--He let out another sigh, wiping his forehead, “Well, sh-shall we…?”
“Are you okay?” You reiterated as you two began the walk, worriedly looking him up and down, “You seem… Tense… --er. Than usual.”
“Oh, I-I’m fine. Must still have some adrenaline from my match, haha!”
You didn’t like when he brushed things off with a smile and a laugh.
You really didn’t. But… If he wasn’t going to talk now…
… You’ll be patient.
“That was close…” Yagi let out an exasperated sigh--then fell into a coughing fit when his single lung was agitated.
“Indeed,” Recovery Girl hummed, lingering her eyes on the door for a second, before turning around to her computer as she began to tap away on the keyboard, “I’m interested in watching her match.”
“Really? You aren’t normally interested in them. You said you don’t like watching them get hurt.”
“She can end the match simply by teleporting her opponent out of bounds,” Recovery girl’s fingers paused over the keys as she murmured, rather darkly, “I want to see for myself if she actually will.”
Yagi stared down at his folded hands, making a small noise of agreement.
‘Yes, I hope she does too. But I don’t think she will.’
“Deku-kun! You’re back! How’s your hand!?” Round-Face eagerly greeted the two of you as you took your seats--you made her and Four-Eyes scoot over so you could sit between Izukun and her.
“Alright now, Recovery Girl took care of it.” He displayed hand for them to see--after removing the unnecessary bandaid on the way up.
“The wait is over!!” Present Mic’s booming voice gestured for the audience, including yourselves, to look to the arena, “Moving on, there they are! The cream of the crop, yet this guy is still as plain as they come, it’s Sero Hanta of the hero course!”
Your eye twitched. ‘How dare he insult Tape-Boy, he had helped Izukun…!’
“Versus… The best of the best! The strongest of the strong! It’s Todoroki Shouto, also of the hero course!! You both ready!? Start!!”
The tape shot out as soon as Mic finished his sentence.
Then the ice came.
You stared at the gigantic iceberg that was in your face. And everyone else’s.
“Geeze. Frosty has some major daddy issues.” You raised an eyebrow as Izuku made a quiet noise of both surprise and agreement, and the crowd started chanting, “Good try…! Good try…!”
“S-Shouto Todoroki moves onto the second round!”
“Welp, it’s gonna be a while before the arena is thawed out.” You stood up, again, “I’m gonna go get some takoyaki.”
“R-Really? You haven’t had enough sweets?”
You watched Pikachu get absolutely annihilated by Vine-Haired girl from class B up on the screen as you were ordering your food, snickering to yourself the entire way back.
‘That’s what you get for being a stupid lil’ perv!’
You didn’t get back until the next match was starting, and you squinted down at the two figures skeptically, both oddly… Clunky.
“... Why is Four-Eyes...?”
“The first round of matches is halfway-over! Next up, it’s Iida Tenya of the hero course! Versus… Covered head to toe in support equipment, it’s Hatsume Mei of the support course! And… Iida is also decked out!?”
You slapped your hand over your face and dragged it down as Four-Eyes began blabbering something about the crazy Support-Girl’s sportsmanship, something about being equal and fair…
“What an idiot…” You sighed, pinching the bridge of your nose, “I can’t watch this, I gotta get to the prep room.”
“Ah--(F/N)--” Izuku tugged on your sleeve, grabbing your attention. He put on a bright, encouraging smile, lowering his notebook--which he had been taking notes on--into his lap, “Good luck!”
You blinked, then grinned back, nodding, “Thanks, Izukun.”
“Good luck, (F/N)!”
You sighed, slumping over the table in the room tiredly as you looked at your phone and waited for your cue to head out.
No new messages. No missed calls.
You just scrolled through your gallery and noted the drastic change from pictures with-and-of Papa and Tomi to pictures with-and-of Izukun… And even a couple recent ones with Round-Face and Frog-Girl.
‘I hope Mrs. Midoriya is making fried pork cutlets tonight. Oh, and dumplings… And bean buns and mochi for dessert…’
Riiing! Riiing! Riiing!
You raised an eyebrow as the call notification screen picked up, displaying an unknown number.
You shrugged, hit answer, and put the phone to your ear.
“Heeeey! Little (F/N), how’s the best little hero-killer there is!?”
Your eye twitched, “What do you want, Giran?”
“Think you can get me a business card from that support kid on TV right now--oh, she stepped outta bounds?”
“Good bye, Giran.”
“Hey, wait, will you!?--”
You rolled your eyes and ended the call, standing up and tossing your phone into the locker provided.
Just as you were shutting the door, your cue sounded above your head, a muttered, “(L/N), get out to the gate and wait to be introduced.”
“Energetic as always, Mr. Aizawa.” You murmured to yourself, stretching as you went through the door you had come in--And nearly bumped right into Round-Face.
“Ah!” She hopped back, “S-Sorry, (F/N)...”
You took only half a second to read her face. She was sweating, her brows were furrowed rather un-cutely, and she was shaking.
You put a hand on her shoulder, “Good luck, Uraraka.” You pat it as you walked past, seeing her surprised face out of the corner of your eye, “He won’t go easy on you, so extend the gesture and don’t go easy on him.”
“Thank you… G-Good luck, (F/N)!”
You slid one hand in your pocket, raising your other as a wave, and made your way to the gate.
“Alrighty!! Everybody, put your hands up for the alien queen, the business end of burning spirit, lookin’ like she ate too many shrimp, the one and only Ashido Mina!! Versus…”
You took your first step out, into the spotlight.
“... The queen of mean, the…”
You were staring, right up at the booth, into Present Mic’s sunglasses. Daring him.
“T-The princess of power, th… The… It’s (L/N) (F/N)!!”
‘That’s what I thought.’
You took your place in the middle of your side of the ring, nodding respectively to Ashido.
“Goodluck, (F/N)!” She called, waving enthusiastically, “I’ll go easy on you!”
“Don’t.” You stared her down and cracked your knuckles, slowly cracking a sinister grin.
She flinched back slightly, black eyes widening.
“Because I won’t.”
You were ready.
Mina threw a wide spray of acid, expecting you to teleport away. You slid under the first wave, jumped over the second, getting closer--
She threw a large wave in a panic, shielding her view at the same time.
‘She’s gone--!! Shit--!!’ Mina let out a cry as her legs were swept out from under her, landing her on her back and knocking the air out of her lungs and shooting pain in her body and the back of her head, forcing her to see stars.
As she was gasping for air, a figure blocked out the sun above her eyes, their hands on their hips, “Is that all?”
“Just gettin’ started!” Mina rolled to her left, right hand shooting up another spray--
“Mina Ashido is out of bounds!”
‘... What? What?!’ Mina whipped her eyes down…
“(L/N) moves on to the next round!”
… She rolled herself right out of bounds. She didn’t even know she moved!
“And that’s that!! (L/N) moved Ashido right at the last second, and it’s over, Ashido went out of bounds herself!”
Mina and her returned to the center, both bowing respectively… Even if she was bitter about it.
“Sorry,” Mina whipped her head up at the uncharacteristically soft voice. (L/N) had crossed her arms, looking down with a soft frown, “I could have given you more of a chance…”
“... Nah.” Mina laughed, lacing her fingers behind her head and giving her best humble-loser grin, “Don’t worry about it--I wouldn’t wanna win because you weren’t giving it your all! So... I’ll get you back next year!”
“Well, then I’ll really crush you.”
“Oh--(F/N), congratulations!” Izukun was the first to greet you on your return to the prep room, your jacket loose on your shoulders as you rubbed the tips of your fingers.
You blinked in surprise when you saw three figures converged around the table.
“Why are all three of you here?” You looked to Izukun with his notebook open… To a specific page, “Oh, you’re giving her pointers on how to beat up Bakagou?”
“I don’t want any help.”
You all turned to Round-Face.
“Thank you, Deku, but…” She pressed her fingers together as she looked down at the table, a small, worried smile curling her lips, “No thank you. When Iida challenged you at the cavalry battle…”
You shot a glare to Four-Eyes, who quickly looked anywhere but at you with seat suddenly building on his brow.
“... It made me realize--I thought teaming up with friends was the easiest strategy, but I realized, I was just putting my faith in you, Deku…” She stood up, and you could see it--She was shaking. “It made me feel embarrassed about myself. Everyone here is fighting for their futures, doesn’t that make us all rivals? So… Thanks, but no thanks.”
“She’s right.” You crossed your arms, letting your eyes slide shut as the three of them looked to you, “We’re rivals-- today. Bakagou won’t go easy on you, Round-Face, but you aren’t just gonna roll over either, are you? I hate to admit it, but he’s smart. Tactical. He’ll be cautious since it’s his first match and he doesn’t know what you’re capable of.” You opened your eyes, cracking a malicious smile as you looked too her, “So give him hell for me, got it?”
Uraraka broke into a wide, shaky smile, “Y-Yeah… I will!”
“What happened while we were gone?” Four-Eyes asked as the three of you, now minus a Round-Face, returned to the stands; Izukun on your right, Four-Eyes next to him, and a space between 3D-printer and yourself.
Pikachu, who had recovered from his ass being beat, was sitting directly behind you, “Tokoyami pushed Yaoyorozu outta bounds, and Kirishima and that Tetsu-guy from class B had a draw.”
Present Mic was aggressively announcing Bakagou and Round-Face as they entered the ring below.
“For the last matchup for the first round, a celebrity since his middle-school days, with a face only a mother could love--”
You snorted and had to cover your mouth to keep from howling with laughter.
“--It’s Bakugou Katsuki of the hero course!! Versus… My personal pick! Uraraka Ochako, also of the hero course!!”
‘Don’t disappoint me, Round-Face!’