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In Which Midoriya Izuku Discusses The Nature Of Death Rays

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"So. The UA exams are coming up."

"Yes, dad. Why?" Izuku put another spoonful of cereal in his mouth, while with the other hand he works on his math homework.

"Did you study for it? I know you're smart, but slacking will get you nowhere."

Izuku rolled his eyes. "I know dad. I'm doing my homework right now."

"Exactly, right now, during breakfast, on the day you're supposed to hand it in."

Okay, he might have a point, but still.

"Another thing, I know you're a genius with chemistry," Izuku felt a warm glow in his chest at the notable pride in his dad's voice, "but how're your engineering skills?"

"My engineering skills? I mean, they're okay, but-"

"Well, we're going to have to fix that then."

"What do you mean?" Although, now that Izuku thought about it, dad had a point. Support items usually came in the form of machines, not materials or chemicals. It would not be weird for UA to ask for something like that.

"You'll see. Now run along, or you'll be late for school."

---

"Dad?"

"Yes, squirt?"

"Why are we here?"

Dagobah Beach was a mess, as always. Heaps of rusty scrap hid the blue ocean and the horizon from view, some being three times as tall as Izuku himself. He couldn't really think of a reason why dad would bring him here. Dad chuckled, tiny licks of flame escaping with the air.

"That is a deep question, Izuku, that many philosophers have tried to answer. Why do you think we're here?" Dad's face was pensive, but his golden eyes were sparkling with amusement, reflecting the sun's light.

Izuku pondered it for a moment. What did this unofficial junkyard have to offer them? Without any distracting quirks nearby and his dad's calming presence, which tended to help him focus, he found the answer fast.

"Cheap scrap," Izuku said.

"Got it in one. I don't know if they changed the practical, but if they haven't, you won't get top of the line materials. And while you will have some chemicals to work with, it is mostly engineering you'll be expected to do. So, your genius dad is going to help you brush up on those skills." Dad swung an arm around Izuku's shoulder.

"Izuku, little firestarter, we're going to make a robot, or a mecha, or whatever you want, that can clean up this beach!"

---

Making robots was hard work, Izuku learned. You didn't really need many muscles to mix chemicals, or to handle a bunsen burner. What you did need muscles for was hauling steel across a beach, digging out useful materials from scrap heaps, and tightening heavy bolts. At least the welding was easy, considering their quirks.

After they had cannibalized a large part of the junk covering the beach, the time came to see if their invention worked.

The sun shone down on stainless steel, rubbed clean of all the rust. The Midoriya's had decided to built a mech-suit, using Hisashi's more expensive materials for the circuitry. Izuku was allowed to control it.

"This is awesome," he yelled, as he lifted up a fridge, upon which two cars stood balanced. Hisashi chuckled.

"It's not as if I'm one of the top inventors of Japan for nothing, you know." Izuku laughed, the sound ringing clear and pure in the sunlit sky, like the singing of the nightingale in the evening. Hisashi smiled at his son, who was enthusiastically moving around the junk.

Izuku tried to hide it, but Hisashi knew his son was nervous about the exam. He didn't think he needed to be, though. Izuku was a genius. "You'd be proud, Inko," Hisashi muttered, softly touching the ring around his finger. The beach was cleared by the end of the week.

The exams were two days later.

---

Izuku could see his death coming fast, and it looked like the slightly uneven pavement in front of the UA building. If only he hadn't tried to fish out his notebook while walking, he might have paid more attention to the ground. He estimated he had 1.5 seconds left until impact, and quietly regretted putting two plastic bottles filled with nytroglycerin in his backpack, which he had been holding in front of him when he stumbled. Dad had said the participants would be allowed to use any materials available. Ah well, at least the explosion would be magnificent.

Then he stopped.

His brain worked fast. There was no pull on his jacket or any opposing force that should keep him from falling face forward. In fact, his feet just left the ground! Levitation? It had to be somebody's quirk. Levitation or telekinesis made the most sense, considering it not only stopped his momentum, but reversed it too.

Focus, damnit! You've got an exam!

"-ello? Oh, what do I do, what do I do!? His jacket is on fire, can somebody-"

"Hey, nerd! Snap out of it!"

Startled, Izuku twisted in mid-air and righted himself. It was a lot like swimming, except more difficult because air was way less dense than water. "Hey Kachan!" he greeted his friend cheerfully. Green flames licked his face, and he forced it back, after which he notice the a brunette girl standing next to Kachan. She had a worried expression on her face. The girl started talking when he made eye contact.

"Sorry I used my quirk on you without permission, but it would have been bad luck if you fell before the test, right?" She put her fingers, which had pads on the ends, together and muttered 'release', under her breath. Voice activated? He hadn't heard anything when he started floating. His feet landed on firm ground again and he quickly closed his bag, before Kachan would question why those suspicious bottles smelled so familiar (because it's your sweat, Kachan, that's why).

His mind went back to the nytroglycerin and how close to death he had been and he couldn't help but agree. Dying tended to put a damper on such things. So he thanked her, "You're right, thank you! I'm Midoriya Izuku, here for the Support Course! What's your qui- name!?" Levitation or telekinesis? If if it had been the latter he probably wouldn't have been able to move himself.

Exam, remember! Izuku shook any thoughts of quirks from his mind, and promised himself he'd stop thinking about quirks, at least for today.

Next to the girl, Kachan facepalmed at his near slip-up. The girl didn't notice, possibly still too distracted by the fact that he had been on fire up until a few moments ago. "I'm Uraraka Ochako! I'm here for the Hero Course." They shook hands, and Izuku shot the blonde boy, who had been scowling the entire exchange, a meaningful look. Kachan growled.

"And I'm Bakugou Katsuki, and if I don't fucking hurry I'll be bloody late! See ya, you nerds!"

"He doesn't mean it," Izuku whispered to a gobsmacked Uraraka as they followed, "I mean, if he did, why'd he wait for us?"

"I can hear you whispering, shithead! Quit your fucking gossipping!"

---

The written exam had been a breeze, and if it wasn't for the fact that he'd held the completed test in his hands he might have thought he had slept through the entire thing and dreamed it up.

Now it was time for the practical.

He, together with all the other Support applicants, was brought to a white hall. There were several tables, upon which lay a file of some sort.

"Welcome, everyone. Take a seat! Calmly, mind you, pick whichever is closest," the pro-hero Power Loader said, and Izuku felt that familiar hero worship bubble up.

Following the instructions, Izuku sat down at the nearest table, the one in the right corner of the room. There was a large, metal box of materials and tools under the table, which he noticed when he accidentally kicked it.

Left of him, there was a pink-haired girl chatting energetically with her neighbour, who had dark hair and looked as if she sorely needed to sleep for the next twenty-four hours.

Power Loader started talking again, silencing the chatter. "In front of you is a file on a pro-hero containing details on their quirk, combat style, theme, and goals. You will design and build at least one support item for them on which you'll be graded. There is a box with materials and tools under your table, but you are allowed to use any materials available, including ones you've brought yourself. Ask before borrowing from someone else. Questions?"

The pink-haired girl stood and raised her hand. "What should we do if we're done?"

Behind his mask Power Loader raised an eyebrow. "If you finish far ahead of time it would always be prudent to check your work." When the girl didn't seem satisfied with that answer, he added, "We've got a waiting room. I suppose, you can just, y'know, build something there."

The girl sat back down. Power Loader nodded.

"That's all. Start building, and good luck."

---

The test was fairly easy. The hero Izuku was assigned was a rescue hero called Grapple, who specialized in rescues in rugged terrain. His quirk, Grappling Hands, allowed him to shoot his hook-like hands like a grappling hook. Despite wanting to speculate more about the curious quirk, Izuku kept his focus on the test.

Considering, if he was using his hands as grapples already, he wouldn't have any free hands, Izuku designed an exo-skeleton with multiple appandages. However, he was unable to build the complete suit with the materials available, so he just focused on the arms. It took a few hours, and especially the manner of control was giving him a hard time, but he eventually settled for neuro-technology. The tentacle like appandages could be neurologically linked to their user, which would give Grapple two extra free hands.

Then he designed and made a few small bombs with the nytroglycerine he'd brought, just in case the pro-hero needed to explode a hill or something. You never know.

"Sansu! Psst, hey! You got any explosives?" The pink-haired girl was whispering to her neighbour, who slowly shook her head while giving the other girl a weird look.

"...No. Why would I have any explosives if you don't? You think I just carry bombs around the street?"

Pink Hair shrugged. "I would have, if I'd known I would be allowed to use them in this exam. I don't even need that much, my baby's almost done..." She moaned in despair.

Izuku's eyes dropped to the bottle of nytroglycerine he had left. It's not like he needed it anymore. "Pardon me," he said, "I've got some nytoglycerine, if you want."

Two pairs of eyes focused on him. Pink Hair's, he noticed, had target reticules in them, giving him a feeling as if he was being examined. Did her quirk have to do with eye-sight, or was it just a genetic mutation? Interesting eyes aside, her face slowly lit up like a child who got her christmas presents early. Her neighbour, for that matter...

"You just carry nytroglycerine around the street!?" Her eyebrows rose in a mixture of surprise, horror, and interest.

"You see, what we have here, Sansu, is a man of taste! What's your name?" As she talked, she took the volatile liquid and poured it in several silvery containers.

"I'm Midoriya Izuku." Pink Hair gasped.

"Midoriya? As in Midoriya Hisashi!?" Izuku nodded in confirmation, only a little surprised. Going into the Support Course, he had expected people to recognize his, or rather, his dad's name. "This must be fate!" the girl cried out. "I am Hatsume Mei, daughter of the Hatsume's. And this is my charming minion, Ketsu Sansu."

Ketsu was surprisingly unbothered by being called a minion. Maybe because she was behind in the conversation. She was waving her arms around in panic. "Are we just going to ignore how this guy apparently carried nytroglycerine around the street!?"

"Of course not, Sansu," Hatsume reassured the girl, before turning back to Izuk. "Seriously, that was good stuff. Who's your provider?"

"That's not what I meant!"

Then, Power Loader's voice cut through the room. "Hatsume, Midoriya. Like I said, if you're done, head to the waiting room instead of distracting everyone here."

Izuku and Hatsume both apologised and left for the waiting room. Ketsu Sansu couldn't help but feel like it was a mistake to leave them unsupervised.

---

Sansu finished third, a bit after Mei. Considering Mei was her closest friend and you didn't hang out with a Hatsume without either learning or being left behind, she didn't think it was all that surprising. Still, she was in a good mood.

However, when she opened to the door to the waiting room, she found her worst fears had been realized.

There were crates of materials in the waiting room, and Sansu wondered what that said about the school. Mei and Midoriya, the green-haired boy who's jacket smelled faintly of smoke, were building something. Something suspiciously gun-like.

"Mei," Sansu said warily, "What are you building?"

Mei looked up from where she seemed to be creating some sort of battery. Why did UA leave all these materials lying around? "It's a-"

"Please tell me it's not a death ray." Sansu interrupted, because she knew Mei.

"It's not a death ray," Midoriya said, accepting the battery from Mei without looking up from his work. His cheery tone of voice did nothing to disspell Sansu's fears, nor did the betrayed look Mei shot him at his words. He must have known somehow, because he tried to placate her. "It's a laser gun, Mei." It didn't work, according to the pout that was forming on her face. And how were they already on first-name basis?

Sansu felt the beginnings of a headache coming up. "And what's the difference?"

Mad Scientist Number 2 sounded way too happy. "In my eyes, a death ray would be something that just... killed, right? A laser gun won't kill anyone. If you shoot them in the foot, they'll just be maimed for life." He carefully fiddled with a lense, positioning it in front of the battery. "It's much more versatile."

"It sounds like a death ray to me, Izuku. I mean, it's a ray, and it could kill a man if you hit him in the right spot," Mei retorted, and was this seriously an argument she wanted to have? Sometimes - often - , Sansu questioned her own sanity for wanting to hang out with the inventor.

"That doesn't make it any better! It still sounds dangerous!"

"Of course it's dangerous, it's a laser gun," Midoriya stated calmly, after which he turned to Mei. "And anything can kill a man. You can kill a man with a spoon, but you don't call it a 'death spoon', do you?" Mei smirked. He frowned, confusion and intrigue visibly warring on his face. "Do you?"

God, these people were weird. She knew Mei was just messing with Midoriya, but still. Was it too late to move to a new school? In front of her, a bright green flame burst from Midoriya's fingers, which he used to weld the gun's chassis together. He lifted it up and inspected his work closely. It looked like the kind of futuristic tech you would see in a scifi movie, except dull grey with obvious welding patterns instead of shiny, sleek silver.

He aimed it at the wall and pulled the trigger. A bolt of blue energy shot forth and left a smoking mark on the wall. Midoriya lifted up his protective goggles, revealing his emerald eyes. And also his burning eyebrows. He didn't seem too bothered by it though, so Sansu let it be. She'd seen weirder things.

She supposed, if it wasn't for the whole Mad Scientist thing he got going on, he'd be kinda cute, with his green eyes, freckles, and fluffy hair.

"Could UA turn us away because we've been making illegal weapons? I wonder if we should tone down the heat of the blast." Midoriya and Mei shared a look, and promptly started laughing.

Nope. Never mind, Mei was enough. She wasn't going to touch that craziness with a ten-feet pole. Somebody else could deal with it.

---

On the train back home, Katsuki sneezed.