Back to the Grind
“Got everything you need, my boy?”
It was Izuku’s first day back at UA, and now that he was living in a dorm, he was desperately running around trying to make sure he had everything he needed. Most of his things were already in his new room, however there was still a lot of school supplies and personal items he had yet to take. He sighed heavily, cramming his back pack shut. It was so incredibly full that he was surprised the zipper hadn’t busted. “I think so,” he called back finally.
It was still quite early, the sun only just coming up. Shouta and Toshi had a staff meeting this morning, and he had agreed to go in early with them. It would allow him plenty of time to dump his stuff and catch up with the rest of 1-A, who had over the weekend moved into the dorms. He was quite eager to see Iida and Uraraka, both of which he had only had limited contact with. Other than their brief trip to visit him in the hospital, they hadn’t really spoken, only via text. It would be nice to physically see them and spend some quality time together.
The trio clambered into the car, and after a painlessly short car ride, were pulling into the teacher’s carpark. Izuku was the first to unbuckle and climb out, pulling his overstuffed backpack from the floor by his feet. “Have a good first day back, my boy.” Toshi smiled warmly at his adopted son, waving him off. “Make sure to message us if you need anything,” he reminded the teen. Izuku nodded cheerfully, saying his goodbyes as he headed off towards the dorm.
“See you in class, kid,” Shouta farewelled.
Izuku was feeling positive as he slowly approached what would, for the most part, become his new home. He focused on pushing his doubts and reservations away, leaving his final judgement for after he’d experienced dorm life. He wasn’t entirely sure he’d learn to love it, but he had to at least try. It was going to be an entirely different experience, after all.
He had two main concerns though, which couldn’t be ignored. The first was that he was really going to miss spending so much time with Shouta and Toshi. They’d become a second family to him, and it was going to take some time to get used to being separated from them. The second was that this crazy new living arrangement was going to severely impact on his education. With all the chaos and noise, he was worried he wasn’t going to have the proper environment to carry out his studies, and he really didn’t want that. Izuku decided then and there that he was going to put extra effort into his school work, even if it meant shutting himself in his room and isolating himself. Yes, it would be great to have extra time to bond with his friends, but he couldn’t put that ahead of his goals.
“Deku, you’re here!!” Uraraka squealed cheerfully as trudged up the path leading to 1-A Alliance’s entrance. The young hero-in-training raced up to her friend and threw her arms around him. Iida and Asui, who had also been standing around chatting, chased after her. “How are you feeling; are you okay?” She checked, backing off as if remembering he had not too long ago been in a lot of pain.
“Hey guys,” Izuku greeted with a warm smile. “I’m fine now,” he reassured her. She scrutinised him with a look of disbelief, knowing if he was still in pain he’d likely try to hide it. “I promise,” he added quickly, trying to appease her. It was slightly stretching the truth, given he still had some residual aching, but he somehow managed to convince her. “What about you, what’s everyone been up to?”
“School work and study!” Iida started proudly, reaching a hand up to adjust his glasses. “As students of such a prestigious school, it is our responsibility to put all efforts into upholding UA’s exceedingly high expectations. Also, I had taken it upon myself to compile a copy of lecture notes from the last two weeks of class. I shall provide them to you this morning before we leave.”
Izuku shook his head internally. That was so like Iida. “Thank you, I really appreciate it!” It was true that Izuku was up-to-date with his classes, but sitting in actual lectures and hearing their teachers’ own personal experiences was something he couldn’t find in a book. They would be a valuable asset to his education, so he would be sure to read through them carefully.
“You’re welcome Midoriya. It’s the least I could do. We were all extremely worried about you; it’s good to finally have you back. Now if you will excuse me, I need to take a shower before class.” Izuku smiled fondly at his friend as he retreated back into the building. His classmate had never ceased to amaze him.
He turned to face Asui, who was looking unusually worried. And, now that he thought about it, she had remained incredibly quiet. “Everything okay, Tsu?” He asked in concern, using the nickname she preferred her friends to call her by. “You seem…a little down.”
“I’m okay,” she croaked shyly. In truth though, she was scared and worried. “I’m just glad you’re safe is all. It was scary, what happened…” She stopped there, not wanting to say anything to upset her classmate. She didn’t even want imagine what he had been through, let alone remind him of those awful memories. Then there were the rumours that he had been tortured…she really hoped that they weren’t true…
“It was…” He admitted, the corners of his mouth dipping into a frown. But he didn’t want to put a damper on the mood, nor did he feel like talking about it. “…but that’s why we have to keep training and get stronger,” he stated with all the determination he could muster. “We have to keep giving it our best, no matter what.” Asui’s mood seemed to lift somewhat, seeing him smiling, and though she wasn’t truly convinced he was actually fine, she decided to let it drop.
Together they entered the common area, and in seconds Izuku was completely surrounded by all the other students in his class, all cheerfully welcoming him back. All except one… While all the ‘extras’, Kirishima included, continually fawned over the nerd, Bakugo continued to shovel his cereal forcefully into his mouth, all the while glaring at his rival. Of all the stupid things he could have done, the brainless idiot had to go and get himself kidnapped…by the League of Villains, no less. He ‘tch’d’, turning his attention elsewhere. He had no intention whatsoever of talking to him.
Time ticking, Izuku quickly reassured them all that he was fine to be back at school, before promptly running up to his room to store everything he had no need of. The notes that Iida had handed him were carefully placed on his bed; he would get stuck into reading those after classes for the day had ended.
Together, the entirely of 1-A marched to the main building together, Bakugo leading after demanding the rest all walk behind him. The only exception was Kirishima, who had somehow managed to form a close bond with the hot-headed student. He, and only he was allowed to walk by his best friend’s right side. To Izuku’s left, the girls were giggling quietly about something, and out the corner of his eye he noticed Shoji taking a swipe at Mineta, no doubt having said or done something perverted. Tokoyami appeared deep in thought, and Todoroki was chatting quietly to Yaoyorozu. The green haired boy smiled, happy to be back. For the first time in a long time, he felt normal and carefree again.
All were in their seats before the bell rang. Aizawa entered the room shortly after, already feeling exhausted. At least he didn’t have to worry about ordering any of them into their seats. Unable to stop himself, he let his gaze fall on Izuku. The boy shot him a small smile, which reached his heart, and he responded with an almost imperceptible nod of his head. Without delay, he began the lesson, desperate for the day to be over and done with so he could go and have a nap.
The morning flew by, as Izuku absorbed as much as he possibly could from each class, even his most dreaded subject: maths. Each of his teachers personally took the time to welcome him back, though none gave him any special treatment, for which he was extremely grateful. As the bell went off, signalling it was time for lunch, he found nearly half the class hovering around his desk all insisting that he eat with them. Politely, he declined, having planned to meet with Toshi, yet it seemed none of them were taking no for an answer. Together, Hagakure and Uraraka grabbed him by the arms, physically dragging him to the Lunch Rush Cafeteria. He gave up struggling with a sigh, not willing to fight them. He would shoot a message to his adoptive father when he had a chance to explain, hoping he wouldn’t be mad at him.
As expected, Toshi had replied almost immediately, letting him know it was fine and to not worry. The teen knew he would understand, and he promised to make it up to him. After a healthy serving of his favourite dish, the mouth-watering katsudon, he and the others proceed back to their classroom to sit through the last few lessons of the afternoon.
By the end of class, Izuku had crammed so much information into his head that his brain hurt. He rubbed at his aching temples as he cleared his desk, glad the day was over. Usually, he looked forward to All Might’s Hero Studies classes in the afternoon, but today he was aching all over and he had a thumping headache, and really wouldn’t have felt up to it. He wasn’t aware that Shouta had re-entered the room to fetch his precious sleeping bag, nor did he notice the concerned look the Hero was giving him. With Iida and Uraraka by his side he left the classroom, completely failing to notice his second adoptive father’s presence.
Aizawa frowned, fearing something was up. Maybe they’d been foolish allowing the kid to return so soon after such a harrowing experience. He’d keep a close eye over Izuku the next few days. If he saw the boy falter in any way, he wouldn’t hesitate to step in and intervene. He’d have a chat with Toshi, too…ask his boyfriend to keep a close eye on the kid as well…
Much to the majority of 1-A’s dismay, leading to an uproar of protest, Midoriya quickly excused himself after an afternoon snack, insisting that he needed to return to his room to study. He really just wanted a quiet space to allow himself to think, but this was the perfect opportunity to browse through Iida’s immaculately put-together notes. Unfortunately, however, there was a wall of students blocking access to both the lift and stairs. Well, there was, until the Class Rep intervened. “Excuse me!” He shouted, waving his hands to draw their attention. “None of you have the right to prevent Midoriya furthering his education. I must insist that you all step aside and let him through. I myself will be following his lead momentarily, and it wouldn’t hurt you all to take note and do the same.”
He was met with a wave of disappointed glares and murmuring, but swiftly chose to ignore it. It was his duty to ensure his classmates treated each other with fairness and respect, especially in regards to school and studying. And, now that they were forced into such a loud and chaotic environment, it was important more than ever that they had the determination and restraint to stay focused and motivated with their studies. He was proud of Midoriya for not having backed down and given in to their unfair and unreasonable demands.
“Thanks Iida,” Izuku whispered as the rest of them cleared the path, shooting the other boy an appreciative thumbs-up.
“No need to thank me. Good luck with your studying. I shall be in my room if you happen to need help with anything,” he offered. The two friends took the stairs, parting ways as Izuku entered the second floor corridor. He moved hastily to his room, unlocking his door before almost immediately collapsing on the bed. He groaned, feeling his shoulders ache. He really regretted having so much stuff jammed into his bag. He also regretted that he’d neglected to pack any form of pain relief, which he really could have used right now. He was sure one of his friends would have some to spare, but he really didn’t have the energy for that right now. Instead, he decided it would be best just to try and sleep it off, and settled down in a comfortable position where he could have a brief nap.
Ten minutes turned into twenty, then an hour turned into two, and by the time his buzzing phone finally woke him, it was almost 5:30. “Crap,” he whispered, launching himself up. He had wasted so much valuable time. At least he didn’t have a headache to contend with anymore… He checked his phone. 1 new message…from Kacchan… Izuku gulped. Bakugo never messaged him, ever…
‘Meet me outside at 10’, it read. ‘Don’t be late!’