Izuku was 4 when he learnt that not everyone is born equal. That was when he discovered he was quirkless in a world where 80% of the world has some form of quirk. Prior to this discovery, he had wanted to become a pro hero, hoping to live up to the standard of All Might, the #1 pro hero. So the discovery that he would never be able to was, of course, devastating. But 1/5 of the population is quirkless, and Izuku was four, so he got over it. He still kept and memorised extensive notes on every hero he came across, but he did the same for villains, and spent free time hypothesizing battles and who exactly he would ideally have defend against who. Talking to other kids was always a bit hit and miss. Some were fine having him sometimes just unprompted give them quirk advice, but others tended to view it as insulting (Bakugou) strenuously rejected his advice (Bakugou) and mock him for daring to think he was equal to them (Bakugou).
He got bullied throughout elementary school because he was a quirkless kid obsessing over quirks, resulting in a lot of self-esteem issues and some suicidal tendencies for a while, but his mother found out so he went to a different middle school and got therapy. Instead of praying for a miracle and still trying for UA, Izuku collected information and made battle plans and studied languages and came up with a different life plan than being a great hero after spending several years not really caring about future plans. His mother wasn’t exactly thrilled that he spent so much time seeking out hero and villain fights, but stopping him proved impossible, and eventually it became mundane. Mostly.
And so time passed.
Izuku is 14 and he’s just spent several hours spying on the UA entrance exams and making new notes. The rooftop he’s sitting on is very exposed to the wind, and the concrete isn’t exactly comfortable, so he should probably move soon. He has a couple more hours to create various strategies for the various entrants, and then he has to be on a very specific windowsill.
See that’s the thing about underground heroes. They get anonymity and everything, but they also don’t get the personal vendettas or money to justify extensive security systems and/or great real estate. So Eraserhead, one of the teachers at UA -in fact the teacher of the 1-A Hero course- and one of Izuku’s own personal favourite heroes, lives in an apartment that, while much larger than one person could ever need, has very little security beyond his own presence, and what little security there is is very basic and for the building not his own apartment. Which is great for Izuku, because Eraserhead can’t see him coming on the security cameras which definitely get a good long look at him as he clambers up the building and sits on Eraser’s windowsill.
He’s not really bothering with stealth for this. Beyond the basic caution of approaching from the alleyway rather than the open street. He doesn’t really mind if Eraserhead sees him coming, he does mind if a passerby calls the police before he even gets a chance to talk to the guy.
He knocks on the window.
After a few thoughtful seconds, the blinds are pulled up and the window opens.
Izuku grins at Eraserhead.
“Hi, my name’s Midoriya Izuku and you are going to hire me as your teaching assistant because I know you don’t have one, sir.”
Eraserhead blinks at him. Then tries to close the window. But by that time, Izuku has wriggled around so he’s dangling halfway through the window.
“Just hear me out. I’m quirkless, but I’m very good at analysing quirk use and maximising effective use. For example.” He clears his throat and opens his notebook to Eraserhead’s page. He doesn’t look at it, takes the chance to glance around the apartment. Way more bright colours and furnishings in general than he expected. “Eraserhead. Real name Aizawa Shouta. Age… about thirty probably. Quirk: erasure- he can erase the quirk factor of a target. An underground hero who tends to avoid public confrontations, something his quirk is perfect for as he can stop the conflict before it even really begins. Unfortunately his quirk requires direct eye contact with the target’s physical form to be maintained- hence the goggles to disguise his line of sight. Quirk is used in conjunction with a capture weapon designed to restrain any and all opponents. Very effective hero, but isn’t great in larger fights with multiple powerful enemies, as only one can be targetted at any time, and he has to blink sometimes. Best in current role as a teacher and night-patrolling hero, as quirk is very useful when dealing with students trying to control quirks properly, and makes ambushing villains/stopping smaller conflicts quietly easy. Would work very well supported by a heavier-hitting hero, perhaps a strength quirk like All Might, or just a damage quirk like...” Izuku’s gaze found a framed photo on the coffee table “...Present Mic, perhaps?”
“...ok, come in.”
“Wonderful! I also have some notes on this years prospective students. Had to do some light spying, but I promise no stalking was involved. So. Tokoyami Fumikage. He is 100% getting into your class and I’d recommend...”
Orchid is excited. Nervous too, of course, but mostly excited. New country, new school, same life goal. She’d got through the entrance exam blowing out the light sensors of the robots with her quirk and shoving other entrants out of the way of the occasional bit of debris, and she’d got through every conversation since she’s got here with enthusiasm and subpar Japanese. So this whole become-a-hero-in-Japan-because-of-Britain’s-hero-regulations thing is going pretty well. She opens to door to her homeroom. And apparently walks straight into the middle of a staring contest.
A student with red and white hair is being glared at by a blonde student who looks about two seconds away from biting his head off. Red and white boy doesn’t seem to care in the slightest. The rest of the class is watching them nervously, and she joins them as soon as she recognises the pair. The blonde student she’d seen at the exam, his explosion quirk making short work of swathes of the robots and ensuring his position. The red and white boy takes a little longer to place, but when she notices the burn on his face she remembers him from a newspaper -Todoroki something, son of one of the current top heroes and apparently one to watch if you’re a hero agency. Both are very strong and have quirks which could very easily cause a lot of collateral damage, such as Orchid and the other students. Orchid slowly creeps into the room and tries not to draw their attention. She succeeds.
A tall, black-haired girl stands up and opens her mouth, but before she can say anything a green-haired boy who doesn’t look any older than the students comes through the door carrying someone in a bright yellow sleeping bag. It’s weird enough to successfully draw the attention of everyone. Especially when the kid dumps the guy in the sleeping bag onto the desk and says “Sir, the lesson is supposed to start now. Wake up.”
He gets a groan in response and the sleeping bag rolls off and behind the desk. A few seconds later, a tall lanky man with a mess of black hair and a long white scarf-thing stands up. He glares at the green haired boy.
“Your timing was off by ten seconds, get better at that.”
The kid rolls his eyes. The man turns to the class.
“Alright. I’m your homeroom teacher Aizawa Shouta and this is my teaching assistant Midoriya Izuku. I have you for a couple of hours so I can give you timetables and-” his face scrunches in distaste “-do icebreakers. I don’t want to lead icebreakers and I presume very few of you want to do them, so we’re going to skip them. You’ll learn each other’s names as you go.”
He pulls a bundle of clothing out of the sleeping bag and dumps it onto his desk.
“Get changed into your gym clothes, we’re heading out for a test.”
Several minutes and a lot of confusion later the class is standing out somewhere on UA’s grounds. Midoriya and Aizawa are standing next to a circle.
“For this test, you will be performing a series of the kind of basic tests you will all have performed before in middle school. But this time, you’ll be performing them with the use of your quirks.” he pauses to let this sink in. “Bakugou Katsuki, please step into the circle.” Aizawa receives a glare from said student. It’s less violent than the glare that Midoriya receives. Midoriya merely blinks at Bakugou, but he does look slightly more nervous than he did two seconds ago. Aizawa gently throws a ball at him and instructs him to throw it as far as possible, with use of his quirk. He does so, yelling something incomprehensible very aggressively. It goes very far. Aizawa notes down the distance and gestures the next student into the circle, Midoriya scribbles furiously in a notebook that he materialised from somewhere. Of course, several students don’t have quirks that enhance their physical abilities -Hagakure can’t jump further because of her invisibility, Jirou can’t use sound to grip things harder, and Orchid is only able to slow her competitors down by temporarily blinding them, she isn’t faster. It’s for this reason that Aizawa doesn’t bother to threaten expulsion upon failure -he’d lose actually good heroes that way.
Uraraka sends the ball into orbit with her quirk and laughs nervously as she realises it isn’t coming back. A couple of students later, a boy with wavy black hair and dark skin turns in the circle and fixes her with a delighted grin. The air around him ripples and his features twist and then he isn’t standing there anymore. Instead there is an androgynous teen with a shoulder-length mess of green hair and wide eyes wearing a now-baggy gym uniform. They look slightly startled for a second, then refocus on Uraraka.
“Would you mind using your quirk to throw that ball for me, sweetheart?” Their voice comes out strange. It’s caught somewhere between soft and almost croaky, but it doesn’t sound even slightly natural. Uraraka gets up and throws the ball exactly as she did the first time, but with a completely blank expression. The teen gestures for her to return to the other students, the air ripples, and the student from earlier is back. He grins at Aizawa.
“Does that count, sir?”
Aizawa fixes him with a look.
“Costello Asahi, you did not throw the ball.”
“I used my quirk to get it as far as possible.”
“You especially can’t just rely on your quirk. Throw the ball.”
The air around Costello shimmers again but stops when Aizawa activates his own quirk. Costello groans and throws the ball.
The tests continue.
Midoriya finishes writing scores in his his notebook and looks to Aizawa. He gets a ‘go on then’ gesture and sighs.
“Ok listen up everyone. Currently as far as basic physical abilities go, the rankings go like this: First is Yaoyorozu Momo, you’ve got good skills all around and are very judicial with when to use and when not to use your quirk, but that doesn’t mean you can slack off – you may have done well this time, but during more high-stakes or fast-paced situations you might fall short, and you can always improve your strength and speed. Second is Todoroki Shouto, again good-” he continues like this until he finally reaches the last student. The bell for break rings as he finishes his ramble about Costello relying too much on avoiding physical effort, and he startles out of his info dump. He glances somewhat nervously at Aizawa, but gets an eye roll and a shoulder pat in return.
“Ok listen up class, we’re going to head over to the dorms so you can get your rooms sorted and we can give you a list of contact information for various teachers and staff members, then you’re free for the rest of the day.” He starts walking and gestures the class to follow him. Midoriya turns so he’s walking backwards and facing the class.
“We also have to set up your therapy appointments. The school has several therapists on-site and if you’d prefer to speak over text or whatever, that can easily be arranged, there’s a lot of room for changes so that you can all get a therapist that works for you. Hound Dog organises all that stuff, so he’ll be contacting all of you about it over the next few weeks. Personally I think they should set all that up before the term begins, but apparently it’s easier if you’re on-site to meet or whatever, but anyway-”
“Deku what the fuck are you babbling about? I don’t need therapy!”
Midoriya stops and faces Bakugou. His expression is immediately cold and blank. Judging by Bakugou’s face, he didn’t expect that reaction. Aizawa simply watches
“It’s Midoriya, unless you want me to start calling you Kacchan?”
Bakugou snarls and opens his mouth, but Midoriya is talking to the group and his face lightens again.
“But yes, many of you -hopefully all, but apparently we’re never that lucky- won’t need the therapy sessions; however hero work is difficult and psychologically strenuous as well as physically. Every one of your teachers will have horror stories from various incidents -especially the rescue heroes- and it’s useful to have you already accustomed to therapy sessions before you enter active work. And of course, requiring therapy for everyone makes it easier for those who do need therapy and avoids situations where students or pro heroes need therapy and just don’t get it because they think they don’t need it-” Orchid could be mistaken, but she’s pretty sure Midoriya glances at Bakugou when he says that “-or are otherwise unwilling to attend therapy.” He pauses for a second, then smiles brightly. “Anyway! Talk to Hound Dog about any concerns you have, I promise he’s a sweetheart! Let’s go set you up in the dorms.”
He and Aizawa head off and after a moments hesitation the class starts following him again, though Bakugou trails a little behind them, setting off a few little explosions in his palms.
The dorms are pretty impressive. They house all of the students at UA and all of the teachers that couldn’t get apartments nearby. Needless to say, there’s a lot of them. Buildings A through K each with a common area and kitchen as the ground floor and two floors for each class. The teachers’ building is as central as the approximately-grid-like arrangement allows for. They’re also pretty good quality- each student gets their own room and the freedom to decorate it pretty much however they want. There’s also a few extra rooms on each floor, for this and that reason. The common area is currently buried in boxes and bags, but from what they can see it’s pretty modern and spacious, with several couches forming three distinct areas, each with a TV. Aizawa immediately lies down between several boxes and goes to sleep, apparently dismissing everyone to just figure it all out. There’s also a couple of older students perched around the room and in the kitchen. They’re pointedly ignoring the influx of first years, but one of them comes over and starts braiding Aizawa’s hair. He somehow doesn’t wake up. Midoriya gestures to the room.
“Well, pick a room and drag your stuff there, then meet back down here. You lot are on the two floors above this.”
There is general chaos as everyone locates their own possessions. Tokoyami has a staring contest with the second-year perched on top of his pile. Somehow Ashido’s things have made their way into everyone else’s bags and boxes. Orchid and Aoyama’s tastes are so similar that Orchid manages to walk off with two of Aoyama’s boxes and neither of them notice.
Eventually everyone manages to get their things into their rooms and re-congregate in the common area. The older students have relocated to the kitchen and a couple of them have taken to staring at 1-A. Aizawa seems to be deeply asleep, but Izuku touches his shoulder and he’s immediately awake. He doesn’t seem to care that half his hair is braided messily.
He pulls a stack of paper out from somewhere and hands it round the class.
“That’s your timetable, a map of the grounds, and a list of various contacts. You’ll note that my number and Midoriya’s are both listed there. If you have any issues whatsoever, no matter how inconsequential they may seem, feel free to contact me. I don’t want you setting fire to the dorms because you didn’t know how to cook something, or burning out halfway through the year because you didn’t want to bother anyone. Given his age, I’m not sure how much help Midoriya would be in some situations, but if you’d be more comfortable talking to someone your own age, he’s there to help.”
Izuku nods along. Some of the students are smiling, but a somewhat concerning amount look sceptical. Todoroki hasn’t made a facial expression the entire day. Sure the day’s barely begun, but it’s still been hours. That’s probably something to watch out for. He should probably start therapy sooner rather than later.
Aizawa dismisses the class for the day after detailing the many options they have to pass the rest of the day. He flops back onto the sofa he was lying on. Izuku hovers for a second or two, but when Aizawa makes no move to acknowledge him and instead falls asleep, he assumes he’s also dismissed and hurries off to try and find any teachers he hasn’t yet been introduced to. He makes it about three steps out of the dorms before two of the students -Uraraka and Iida- intercept him and invite him to hang out with them instead. He agrees, because really if he hasn’t met a staff member by now, he probably doesn’t need to for a while.
y now, he probably doesn’t need to for a while.