“W-why is your arm bent like that?” Izuku asked, staring.
There were a lot of people at UA that Izuku had never met before, but this boy wasn’t even wearing the uniform, just a red and black getup that looked garish enough to be a hero costume, if its wearer wasn’t even shorter than Izuku was. As if the red coat wasn’t enough to distinguish him, he was also wearing white gloves, and walking around with his elbow more or less bent backwards. Izuku’s own pain tolerance was nothing to sneeze at, but he would’ve at least splinted that, if not actually gone to the nurse’s office.
The stranger turned narrowed gold eyes on him and spat, “Because it’s broken, dumb*ss.”
Ooh, he’s like Kacchan, Izuku thought, even as he said, “Y-yeah, I-I kinda guessed.”
The boy scowled. “Then why’d you ask?”
Izuku took a deep breath. This wasn’t middle school, he wasn’t Quirkless, and not everyone he talked to was planning to beat him up.
“I-I just wanted to make sure you were okay,” he said.
“It’s just broken,” the boy said, rolling his eyes. “Can’t get it fixed here, so—”
Izuku would not allow this slander of Recovery Girl’s good name.
“T-that’s not true!” he interrupted. “Recovery Girl works at UA and she’s got one of the strongest Healing Quirks in Japan!”
The other boy blinked, startled. “Oh, geez, that’s not—it’s not a broken bone, it’s—” he tugged down the shoulder of his jacket, revealing a complex-looking steel prosthetic.
“Oh, wow,” Izuku said. “Yeah, Recovery Girl wouldn’t be much help with that. But have you tried talking to the Support Department?”
The boy snorted. “The dude with the weird yellow hat—”
“Power Loader,” Izuku corrected.
“Whatever, he couldn’t make heads or tails of it. One of his students thought she could fix it but then she started talking about upgrades and I bolted.”
“Let me guess, pink hair and goggles?” Izuku asked.
The boy nodded.
“Yeah, that’s Hatsume Mei,” Izuku said.
“She reminds me of my mechanic, but that doesn’t mean I’m letting her work on my arm when she hasn’t even finished school,” the boy said. “Winry’s at least got experience working with Granny…” he trailed off. “Anyhow, you’re probably the least weird person I’ve talked to since I’ve gotten here, so congratulations. Name’s Edward Elric; you can call me Ed.”
Izuku ducked into a bow. “I’m Midoriya Izuku! Nice to meet you.”
“Izuku, huh?” Ed asked.
Izuku flushed. So familiar! Aloud, he asked, “Will you be okay without your prosthetic until you can see your mechanic again?”
Ed shrugged. “Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve broken it. She’ll be pissed off, but she should be expecting it by now.”
Izuku let out a nervous laugh. “I kinda know the feeling.”
Ed gave him a sideways glance. “Hey, all your limbs look attached. Unless, what, are you missing a leg too?”
“Uh, no?” Izuku said, resolving not to poke further at that “too,” even if he was really curious. “But I keep getting yelled at to stop breaking my limbs. Especially my arms.”
“Is that something you do a lot?” Ed asked. “Aren’t you, like, a student or whatever?”
“Yeah, but, uh, my Quirk is kind of…” he made a vague gesture with his hands.
Ed raised an eyebrow. “Look, pretend I’m an idiot who doesn’t know anything about Quirks and explain it.”
“O-okay,” Izuku said. “So, like, I have an enhancement Quirk, which means that I can use it to, well, enhance myself—like, go faster, punch harder, jump higher, all of that—but it came in really late, and it’s really strong. So, if I’m not really, really careful when I use it, it breaks me.”
“Okay, I’m still not sure I completely get it, but…sometimes you punch things and they break and so do your bones?” Ed asked.
Izuku nodded so hard he felt a little dizzy. “Yes, exactly!”
“That seems like a terrible power.”
Izuku puffed up, defensive. “It’s a good power! I can use it to save people! I fought hard to get it and I’m doing my best to become a Hero with it and—”
“Okay, okay, didn’t mean to hit a sore spot, but geez, not even I break myself every time I punch something ,” Ed said.
“Well, it’s not every time,” Izuku said. “I’m getting better at it! It’s easier to control when I use my legs. And sometimes, I can finish fights by just breaking my fingers, instead.”
“Just breaking your fingers,” Ed repeated. “Is this what it’s like when other people talk to me?”
Izuku was confused.
“Look, kid, just…maybe focus on these new techniques for not completely breaking yourself that you’re learning,” Ed said.
Izuku nodded. “I’ll do my best!” And then, just for flavor, he added, “Plus Ultra!”
“I have no idea what that means,” Ed said.
Izuku opened his mouth to explain.
“Do not tell me.”