Midoriya was getting really tired of Kaminari’s shit.
He had told him multiple times that he didn't let people borrow his stuff as a rule, yet he kept asking at least once a week to borrow his pencil.
Midoriya didn't even sit next to him in class.
If he didn't know any better, he would think that Kaminari was onto him, and intentionally doing it just to irritate him into making a business deal.
If that was the case, he underestimated Midoriya's tenacity when it came to his business.
Aizawa had been… noticing things about Midoriya.
He noticed how the Problem Child just gave and gave and gave, but he absolutely refused to lend out school supplies.
He had, on occasion, spotted Midoriya in some shady corner with a management course student, and possibly some exchange of money.
He had noticed the way he shielded his notebooks from others, not necessarily protectively, but rather, he seemed to wait for something in exchange.
It was painting a picture for Aizawa, albeit a blurry one, and he wasn't sure what to think about it.
Generally, it was the management course one had to worry about when it came to these things. Aizawa had never seen one of his own students do this before. He was certain the rat at least knew about this if he wasn't in on it.
The question Aizawa kept finding himself asking was why? Why would Midoriya feel the need to make money through underhanded channels? He didn't take him for the rulebreaking type, no matter what his file from Aldera said.
Why was he so protective of his school supplies when that wasn't what he seemed to be selling? Why did some of his coworkers flush with embarrassment when he raised the topic in discussion?
He simply didn't have all the pieces to the puzzle that was Midoriya Izuku and decided that he didn't necessarily want to.
The whole thing had started in elementary school when he was only six years old.
He had started selling pencils to his classmates when he had decided that the best way to get them to remember to bring their pencils to school was to charge them money every time they didn't.
The plan didn't work, though, and people got in a better habit of bringing 100 yen with them to school than bringing a writing utensil.
At first, he had been disappointed. Then he had bought All Might merch with his own money.
He immediately expanded his stock to include pens, which cost 150 yen as opposed to the 100 for pencils, and lined paper for 50 yen a sheet.
Soon, Midoriya ended up going home with his pockets heavy with money every day.
Eventually, people started refusing to buy from him because he was quirkless. Initially, he had wanted to give up and decide to stop selling things right then and there. Then one day he saw Bakugou try to corner someone in their class. Midoriya stepped in, obviously, but instead of calling it a day at that point, he decided to track down the person he had just defended.
He offered them a deal.
He would step in between the student and Bakugou if the student agreed to sell his wares for him. He ended up making this deal with several students without having to pay them a single yen.
Every day, those students would turn in whatever money they had made as well as whatever product remained. If someone was skimming off the top, he would stop defending them until they paid him what they owed.
It was through these admittedly less than savory practices that Midoriya was able to build what could be described as an All Might shrine.
And he loved it.
Soon, they were in middle school, and the stock he sold had expanded. He also had gained several new students to sell said stock for him. He liked to consider them as employees.
Now, he also sold condensed study guides for 2500 yen, pencil sharpeners for 850 yen, glue sticks for 1000 yen, et cetera. He also doubled the price of the school supplies he had already been selling.
The study guides, in particular, were a prized commodity, and anyone who bought one would have to sign a contract saying they wouldn't show it to anyone, or else they would suddenly find themselves on the wrong end of someone's quirk.
Midoriya's employees could be very intimidating at times. They had quotas to meet, after all.
Of course, then Midoriya gained One for All and started to attend UA.
That made things difficult. His hero merch funding had been almost completely cut off, and that just wouldn't do.
So, naturally, he contacted his father. His father and he didn't have the greatest relationship since his father was never home and rarely called.
One thing that his father did have going for him, however, was that he had completed UA’s business course and was a possible way to establish contact with them.
Indeed, that particular conversation with his father had proven very helpful. He had told Midoriya where all the business course students hung out and when, as well as what to say to establish access to their marketing network.
That last part had surprised Midoriya more than it probably should have. Somehow, he hadn't expected a group of kids his age who were just as if not more entrepreneurial than him to disregard school rules and set up a black market at UA. The thought had simply not occurred to him.
So one day he walked into what likely should have been an empty room and boldly pitched his idea to the business course.
A deal was made, and hands were shaken.
The market for school supplies was pretty oversaturated, so Midoriya suggested he sell quirk analyses. He laid out his payment plans, showing what information would be included depending on how much was paid. The other students made tiny adjustments and gave him the resources he needed in exchange for 10% of his profit. They had originally wanted 20, but Midoriya managed to talk them down.
Leaving with a consumer base in hand and the green light to continue without retaliation, Midoriya opened his store.
At first, nothing had happened. Then he had been cornered by a gen ed student wanting to get an edge during the Sports Festival. He asked some questions about her quirk and told her to come to a gym on campus after school that day so he could see it in action and take proper notes.
It happened again, and again, and again. Eventually, his customers knew to just come to that gym after school, pay their fee, and wait for about a week before a nondescript file appeared on their desk before school containing the information they had asked for, as well as a basic pen and pencil that came free with every purchase, a callback to his roots.
This pattern continued well past the Sports Festival, and Midoriya just about had a heart attack the day Present Mic, who was a homeroom teacher for one of the gen ed classes as well as his English teacher, walked into the gym.
He only calmed down once Present Moc promised not to rat him out to Nedzu if Midoriya gave him a 50% discount.
As it turned out, Present Mic had arrived because he had noticed the remarkable improvement in his students, and had heard one of the students talking about Midoriya's services.
Midoriya was sure to slip that name to the business course students. He never saw that student again except in the halls, where they studiously avoided eye contact.
Midoriya sold Present Mic the largest amount of information he offered half off and, true to form, a file appeared on the teacher’s desk one day before school about a week after the two had spoken.
He wasn't the only teacher to have asked for Midoriya's analysis, either. Blood King and Midnight had also shyly come up to him asking for ways to improve their quirks.
They didn't ask for a discount, and he didn't offer one.
Shinsou had heard through the grapevine of this analyst in the business course that would sell you information on your quirk to help you try and get into the hero course.
He had been uninterested at first, thinking that if he were to show his quirk to this analyst, they would run away instead of helping him. However, he had come to notice a surprising lack of people bothered by his quirk. There were still a few, like the tail guy from the cavalry battle, but they were rarer than the people interested in his quirk.
Besides, he was training with the hero course now, and he could really use a leg up. Aizawa-Sensei had told him he was doing fine, but he still wasn't sure.
So he decided to see the analyst.
He had noticed the secrecy that surrounded the guy for whatever reason, so he discreetly passed a note to his classmate during lunch where he could find this analyst. They passed the note back with a place and time.
That was how Shinsou found himself gaping at Midoriya in some forgotten gym after school. He had been told it was a business course student that analyzed them. It wasn't supposed to be someone he knew.
Midoriya looked up from his notes and said, “Ah, Shinsou, you finally came. I was wondering when you would show up.”
Shinsou noticed that this wasn't the Midoriya he saw in class, the nervous, shy, and excessively generous and optimistic kid who always tried to make friends with Shinsou. No, this was the Midoriya he had seen at the Sports Festival. The one filled with a dogged determination that gave no leeway to anyone.
Midoriya didn't seem to notice his shock. “I’ve got bronze, silver and gold packages, each more expensive than the last. I know we're friends, or, well, I'm trying to be friends with you, but I don't give discounts. The bronze package gives you a basic overview and some possible applications you may not have thought of before. Silver adds in strengths and weaknesses and how to improve them, gold gives you a full workout routine. There are other things too, but those are the key bits.” Midoriya looked up at Shinsou expectantly. Shinsou blinked.
All Shinsou could say was, “Uh…” Shinsou could, at times, be very eloquent. This was not one of those times.
Midoriya looked disappointed by this fact. “Go ahead and stand in the back of the line while you decide whether you want gold or silver. I don't think bronze will help you much at this point.” With that, Midoriya turned back to the person he had been helping before, and Shinsou got in line.
A few other people were behind him when he finally reached Midoriya. Midoriya seemed to be waiting for him to say something. “Um… how much does the silver package cost?”
Without missing a beat, Midoriya replied, “5000 yen.” Shinsou’s jaw dropped. “And you seriously don't give discounts? I don't have that much on me. I only brought 2000.” Shinsou didn't even want to know how much the gold package cost.
Midoriya looked vaguely irritated. Shinsou didn't think he had ever seen him look irritated before. It scared him. “Then just pay me that now and pay me the rest later.” His expression darkened. “You will pay me back later.”
Midoriya held his hand out, and Shinsou handed him his money. Then Midoriya gave him this intense look like he was solving a really hard math problem.
“Go ahead and use your quirk on me. Make me pat my head or something, but the notebook stays confidential.”
Shinsou paused for a moment. “Are you sure?”
“Yes.” Midoriya's eyes went blank, his form limp except for the arm holding the notebook.
“Uh… pat your head, I guess.”
Midoriya did, still firmly grasping the notebook. Shinsou removed his control. Midoriya's nose went straight into his notebook, asking questions every now and then.
“Could you not use my answer to your question about pricing to take control? What else breaks control aside from you cutting it off? Has that level of contact increased with time? How many targets can you control?”
This went on for several minutes before Midoriya snapped his notebook shut and said, “There will be a file on your desk after you pay me the rest.” He then turned to the person behind Shinsou in line, and Shinsou took that as his cue to leave.
Principal Nedzu was having a grand old time. He had long since learned of the management course’s… extracurricular activities.
He had lightly covered up most of their occasional blunders, enough so that if a teacher were to keep digging, they could figure out the whole thing. No one ever did, however, and he watched the business network continue and expand for years.
Just when it was starting to get boringly predictable, in walked Midoriya.
Nedzu had been watching all of the management course meetings on a hidden camera for years now.
He was completely surprised when the boy had named Hisashi as his father and immediately started rifling through his files to find out if it was true, and if so, how he had missed such a thing.
The man had been a favorite of his and was one of the most famous leaders of this underground network. As famous as one could be, anyway.
He had been the only soul to figure out that Nedzu knew, and had tried to strike several deals with the creature, some of which were actually successful and definitely tilted in his favor. He made sure the network would never be ousted by the principal, even if no one else knew about it.
Now, here was his son, effectively blackmailing the management course into letting him make a profit off their consumer base while simultaneously sweet-talking them into only taking a 10% cut of the profit.
Nedzu never guessed that he had the charisma, and wondered how much of his shy persona was really an act.
When he set up shop in an old gym, Nedzu set up secret cameras and told the teachers that it was off-limits for class practice. Aizawa had asked for the reason why, but Nedzu didn't give one. He had been waiting for the day Aizawa, his star pupil, figured it all out. Nedzu had been subtly dropping hints for the man for a while now, and he was starting to catch on. Perhaps this would be the final straw.
It turned out, the final straw was Shinsou, who had finally caved and told Aizawa everything.
Shinsou had made a drastic leap of improvement with his quirk, and Aizawa had not let the topic go. He had been grilling his student for four hours after homeroom before he finally talked.
The kid didn't seem to know that what Midoriya was doing was technically against school rules. Aizawa kept him tied up on his capture weapon attached to the ceiling while he went to pull Midoriya out of class.
When he had finally managed to drag a stuttering and terrified Midoriya out of class and into the gym where Shinsou was still hanging from the ceiling, Midoriya's entire demeanor changed.
“He told you about it.” It wasn't framed like a question. Aizawa nodded anyway. His posture turned defensive, his eyes hard. He cast an angry glance at Shinsou before turning back to Aizawa. There was silence for a moment before he relaxed.
Midoriya spoke again. “Why don't we head over to the principal’s office, see what Nedzu has to say about it.”
Aizawa glared. The rat probably already knew, and this kid probably understood that. Still, he couldn't dish out proper punishment without the rat’s consent, so he untied Shinsou and led them to his office without another word, Midoriya smiling all the while.
When he got there, he found the door already open. The rat did know.
The three walked in, Aizawa looking angry, Midoriya looking pleased, and Shinsou looking intensely uncomfortable. Nedzu looked more excited than Aizawa had ever seen him.
“So, you finally found Midoriya out!” He turned to Midoriya. “Are you aware that what you’ve been doing is against school rules?”
Midoriya nodded. Shinsou startled. “What? I thought he just didn't want his classmates to know he was helping the gen ed kids!” Midoriya sent him another glare.
“So you weren't aware that by buying from Midoriya, you were breaking school rules as well?” Shinsou shook his head in vehement denial.
“You may go then. I will be summoning you back to my office within the week, however.” Shinsou left the room as fast as he could without running.
Nedzu turned back to Midoriya. “How’s your father?” His expression turned hard.
“I wouldn't know. I haven't seen him since I was four. I was lucky he answered my call about the business course. Perhaps you should ask his secretary.” There was a dangerous edge to his voice. This was not a topic open for discussion.
A quick glance at Aizawa showed Nedzu how surprised he was.
“Well, Midoriya, how would you like to make a deal with me?”
“My father already made several deals with you, I thought we could just extend one or two to me as well. What did you have in mind?” Aizawa tensed in further surprise. He would definitely be looking into Hisashi, by the looks of it. Nedzu was glad.
“Do you have your quirk analysis notebook on you?” Midoriya nodded. “May I see it?” Midoriya hesitated before pulling it out and gingerly placing it on his desk. He looked concerned as Nedzu flipped through it and started giggling.
He heard Aizawa sigh from the back of the room and mutter something that sounded suspiciously like, “Damn rat.” Nedzu sent him a warning look before turning back to his reading.
“Well Midoriya, here's my proposal: I let you continue what you've been doing, and you spend your free period with me as my personal student." Midoriya and Aizawa gaped at him.
Midoriya started stuttering something about how his analyses weren't good enough while Aizawa reached out to take the notebook, flipping through a few pages of his own. When he glanced at the cover, he noticed that it was number 15.
Nedzu continued, “Nonsense, Midoriya. You have the quirk analysis skills of a professional and you’re a first-year in high school. I simply must insist.” Midoriya looked surprised. Aizawa still hadn't spoken.
“Look Problem Child, he doesn't extend this offer to just anyone. Take it.”
Midoriya seemed to consider for a moment before he finally, quietly, said, “Okay.” Nedzu hummed in satisfaction.
As the two began to leave, Nedzu called out, “Oh! And send Yamada, Kayama, and Kan to me please.” Aizawa grunted in affirmation.
About a month into their private lessons, Nedzu asked, “Why did you feel the need to utilize the black market here the way you did?” It was a question he hadn't initially considered. Now, as the business was spreading to include the support course, he wondered.
Midoriya shrugged. “Old habit. Hero merch isn't cheap.” He didn't say any more. He didn't need to. Nedzu had seen his dorm room.