“If he’s sleeping soundly without the help of anaesthesia, then he’s not working hard enough.”
7pm on a Sunday and no one had seen Midoriya. Shouta scrubbed his face, trying to decide if he should just go start looking now or wait for curfew. Yagi had been fretting in the kitchen for just shy of two hours – he’d reminded the man it was fully within Midoriya’s right to use his day off how he saw fit and that it wasn’t even curfew yet, but admittedly he was starting to get a little tense himself. Giving in to the quiet, fretting voice in the back of his mind, he cracked open his laptops. As a homeroom teacher, he had access to the records of where any of his students had used their keycards, mostly in case he needed to know where they were in an emergency. This was technically an abuse of power but Nezu would understand; this class was cursed.
Irritatingly enough, sorting by student wasn’t something the program had the ability to do. Shouta settled himself in for a few painful minutes of scrolling through numbers until he found Midoriya’s ID. It hurt his eyes.
He’d underestimated the amount his kids used their cards. Yagi has somehow made his way over, anxiously clutching a cup of tea, made Shouta his own cup, paced around the perimeter of the dorms and come back and he still hadn’t found any sign of Midoriya’s keycard. If Yagi hadn’t checked the kid’s room he was going to gut the man – what was left of him anyway.
Finally, the very first scan of the day. The first four digits of Midoriya’s ID were different enough to use them in place of the whole thing, at least when narrowed down to his class. 4am on the dot, his card was used to gain access to one of the smaller training gyms on the edge of the campus.
Shouta felt his eyebrow rise to meet his hairline. That couldn’t be right.
“Aizawa, did you find something?” His face must have twisted if Yagi had noticed in his worry.
“I did but –“ He trailed off, clicking on the build’s code. The program couldn’t sort by students, but you could sort by building. Midoriya’s code sat there, alone. The only student to gain access that day.
And he still hadn’t swiped out.
Fifteen hours later.
“But?” Yagi pressed, craning his ridiculously long neck over Shouta’s shoulder. Shouta sighed, shutting his laptop.
“I’m pretty sure the system is bugged, It's throwing some weird data. I’m going to check the last place his card scanned, you wait here. I’m pretty sure he’d just been somewhere late and he’ll wander back in wondering why you were so worried.”
“Why do you think it’s bugged?” A hint of All Might’s steel rang through Yagi’s voice.
“It says the kid hasn’t left the one building for 15 hours, so unless he fell asleep around noon and still hasn’t woken up? I’m going to guess something’s fucked up.” With that, he slipped out the door, striding towards the gym.
It was on the very edge of campus, something Shouta himself hadn’t known about until he’d joined the staff roster himself. It was a holdover from before UA had become the well-funded establishment it was now, back when it had just been a normal high school trying to teach their quirked students how not to get killed. As a result, it was much smaller than any of the other training facilities UA had to offer, but it was pretty well stocked, and as a result of its status, private.
The perfect place for someone to train themselves beyond the point any other functional human would demand they stop.
Shouta picked up the pace.
A light was on in the window. Shouta swore. He pulled out his keycard, fumbling with the weirdly retrofitted lock. It clicked open and he slipped inside, all but jogging into the heart of the building. There, slumped and pale against the wall, was Midoriya. Sweat rolled down the kids brow and stained his clothes. Dark bruises laced his arms, something that looked like blood stained the edges of his shirt sleeves.
Shouta rushed to his side, hand slipping reflexively to the kid’s wrist to feel for a pulse. It was there, but fast and thready. He pressed a hand to Midoriya’s forehead, eye’s widening. He was hot, far too hot. His eyes fluttered open, eyes taking a second too long to focus.
Quirk exhaustion, heat stress, dehydration, low blood sugar, contusions on his lower arms with possible hidden lacerations Shouta’s mind catalogued, his heart sinking with each realisation. The kid was wrecked. And he’d done it to himself.
“Sensei?” Midoriya near croaked, “what are you doing here?”
Shouta blinked incredulously. “What am I doing here? What the hell are you doing here?” Midoriya looked so innocently confused Shouta thought he might scream.
“Bullshit,” Shouta growled, suppressing the flash of guilt that rose at Midoriya’s flinch “You’ve been here for 15 hours. You aren’t training, you’re destroying yourself. You’ll burn out before you even reach second year, let alone become a hero.”
Midoriya’s eye’s darkened, a hint of steel surfacing in his hazy eyes. “But I need to train! I’m not –“
“Not what? Not All Might? Fuck, of course you aren’t; you’re sixteen.” Shouta ran a shaky hand through his hair. “You’re just sixteen, kid. Leave the weight of the world on shoulders broad enough to hold it ok?” Midoriya’s eyes started to water, and Shouta felt his own begin to join him, despite his own protests. A faint part of him wondered how Midoriya had enough water left in his tiny body to cry.
Shouta straightened himself before hauling Midoriya onto his back with a huff of exertion. Midoriya tried to protest.
“It’s either this or bridal style. Pick one.”
He shut up.
The walk back to the dorms was longer with a kid on his back. He could feel Midoirya’s grip slacken occasionally, before a particularly jolting step woke him. Shouta would be more than happy to let the kid sleep once he had something to drink, maybe even got some IV fluids, but until then he was a little afraid that if Midoriya fell asleep he wouldn’t be able to wake him up. Just out of sight of the dorms Midoriya abruptly slumped against him. Shouta felt cold.
“Midoriya? I need to you wake up, kid.” He shook him gently. Nothing. Shouta broke into a jog.
Yagi was already waiting by the door, his dark eyes widening as he took in his kid slumped on Shouta’s back. He opened the door for Shouta before quickly dialling what he assumed to be Recovery Girl. The few students in the common room stopped milling around, turning to their teacher and unconscious classmate with wide eyes. Shouta lay him across the couch, hand reaching for a pulse once again.
“Uraraka, Iida: I need some water, towels and ice packs, can you do that for me?” The students in question shook themselves out of there stupor, Uraraka rushing off to the kitchen and Iida to the linen cupboard. They were back in a flash, followed by an anxious Yagi.
“Is Deku ok?” Uraraka sounded calm, maybe the slightest bit nervous, but Shouta had known her long enough to see the trembles in her arms as she held the water and ice. He sighed, making a conscious effort to even out the worry on his own face.
“He’ll be fine.” The two students and one teacher gave identical sighs of relief. “He just overworked himself and gave himself a touch of heatstroke and dehydration. You two should get to bed.”
“But it’s not even curfew-“ Iida started, clearly worried for his friend. Uraraka broke in, placing a hand on his shoulder.
“Lets, let's go, ok? We’ll talk to Deku later.” Iida’s eyes flickered from Yagi to Shouta before he seemed to reach a conclusion.
“That sounds… reasonable.” The two students turned, hurrying out of the room. Shouta turned his eyes to Yagi, poorly hidden irritation the students had picked up on flaring up like a grease fire.
“Now, Yagi.” He ground out, teeth creaking in his jaw. “Can you tell me why a kid seems to think he needs to be the next symbol of peace before he’s even out of high school”