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Why do children have to be so small?

Chapter Text

We'll begin a new phase of your training today. Once a month, all of you will be patrolling in differents parts of the country for a whole day. You have your provisional hero licenses, you're allowed to take action if you need to. Patrolling is a big part of being a hero, and it needs to be done. The only exceptions are those of us who are teachers, since we already work here every day."
I look at my students. They all look exhausted after the sports festival, but heroes never take breaks.
"Get your hero costumes and meet me outside in ten minutes, changed."

Hitoshi is wearing his hero costume for the first time. It includes his own capture weapon and voice device. The fabric is loose and dark purple. It looks black in the dark. Hizashi helped him design it. He looks great. I try not to smile.
"Today we'll travel as one big group. The next time you'll go in pairs, and then after that you'll go alone. Any questions?"
Ashido raises her hand.
"Do we get to pick who to go with?"
"No, I will randomly assign you a partner. Anything else? No? Good. Let's go."
I lead the class towards the train station. We're going to a city by the coast, where the crime rate is a bit higher. I feel like a kindergarten teacher, having to lead all their students and make sure no one gets lost. Should I get a rope they can hold onto, or make everyone hold each other's hands, too? We all sit down on the train in one big group. A lot of people are staring at us. I guess they recognize the kids from the sports festival. Or maybe they're just confused why there's a bunch of 16-year-olds dressed up as heroes on the train. I really don't like being watched. And I miss my sleeping bag.

I walk at the front of the group, constantly making sure no one gets left behind or gets lost. We walk to an area with lots of apartment buildings. I turn around and call to the class.
"Watch your step, the asphalt has holes!"
It's a poor area, no one really cares about fixing potholes.
"Hey! Aizawa-Yamada, Kaminari! Don't fall behind!"
I have to refer to Hitoshi as "Aizawa-Yamada" now and I absolutely hate it. He's Hitoshi, not Aizawa-Yamada. They're walking a bit further behind the group than the rest. And they're holding hands. They let go of each other as soon as I call on them. I wonder if the rest of the class knows about them. They probably do, they're not very great at keeping it a secr-

I don't have time to even end my thought before something interrupts me. The ground is trembling. It's an earthquake.
"Everyone stop!"
I'm sure they felt it too. It wasn't too bad, but it can get worse, quickly. The ground shakes again, this time more. I sit down on the ground so I don't fall over. The others do the same. It will get worse, I know it already.
"You all have your provisional hero licenses, you are allowed to take action in case something happens. If it gets worse than this, order people to evacuate. The buildings could collapse. If they collapse, head inside the rubble and look for wounded, but NOT until the coast is clear. I don't want to see anyone get injured, and I do NOT want to see anyone just standing around, being a coward. You're heroes now, not children."
The ground shakes a third time, worse than both of the first times.
"Okay, everyone, go!"
People are already coming out from their apartments. Being inside a building if it's about to collapse is not the best thing to do. Everyone jumps into action. The ground shakes a fourth time and this time I actually fall over. The buildings are going to collapse, and the people inside will either get badly hurt or die. They need to go somewhere open and stay there. I run inside a building and start ordering people around. Knock on doors, yell. Everyone needs to be outdoors, quickly. A lot of people are hiding under furniture, like they were taught to. But that's not what we're gonna do now.

The floor cracks. We're all going to fall down five stories unless we get out quickly. I'm carrying a small, sleeping child in my arms. I won't let him go down with me. I hurry over to a window and open it. I wrap my capture weapon around him and carefully lower him to the ground. Todoroki is there to take him as soon as he can reach him. The glass in the window breaks and I have to hold onto the wall to not fall out. I can not panic now. I'm a hero. The building is nearly empty, apart from some elderly that are slower. I'll have to carry them myself if we want to get out in time. I don't have time for formalities. I grab an elderly woman and carry her on my back. I start running down the stairs as the ground shakes again, violently. The electricity is out in the whole area, if not the whole city. I grab the railing to not fall down the whole staircase. Big mistake. The railing falls off and the floor breaks. I become weightless for a moment before falling. One story, two stories, three stories, I don't have the time to count before I hit the ground. Everything happens so quickly. Something hits my back, but it doesn't hurt. I can move my arms, a little. I have to keep going, even if it'll be the death of me. One way or another. I move whatever's on my back and stand up. Or I think I'm standing up. The woman I carried is laying on the ground a couple of meters away from me. I have to get her out, I have to. I have to take her to safety. I pick her back up and keep walking towards the exit. She feels heavier than before.
I blink a couple of times and look at whoever called for me. It's Kirishima. He seems to be okay.
"Your leg! How can you even stand?"
"What about my leg? I'm alright…"
Why'd I get so sleepy all of a sudden?
"Aizawa-sensei, move!"
"Move? Why-"
Something falls on top of me. The world spins for a moment before everything goes black.