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Last update: 20/05/2022

Prologue

Hi! I don’t really understand why exactly you’re here, reading my story, but hey, if you’re interested, welcome!
I’m gonna make a quick introduction for you before we start, because there are some things about me that will make it a lot easier for you to understand what happened if you know them from the start.
So, first things first: I am not Japanese and I didn’t grow up in Japan. That’s actually pretty obvious once you meet me, but I figured we should get that out of the way. I’m Brazilian, and I only moved to Japan when I was 11, and even if I’ve been living here since and I learned how Japanese people act, I still act very Brazilian most of the time. It makes me stand out a lot and has gotten me a fair share of weird looks from people. Especially when I get back from my family’s yearly vacations to Brazil, to see the rest of the family.
On that note, I never studied at a normal Japanese school before high school (and I’m not sure we can call my high school experience “normal” either, but we’ll get to that later). When my family moved here, my parents enrolled me in an international school, where most of my friends and classmates were also foreigners. The few that were Japanese had family abroad and their parents wanted them to have a culturally diverse upbringing, so they acted more like us foreigners than like Japanese. My friend group from then is still very close, even if we sometimes spend a lot of time apart, and it’s been like that since we each went to a different high school, so they’ll be mentioned and even make some guest appearances through this story, just not often. The important thing about them, really, is that I was used to friends who didn’t mind the way I acted and weren’t bothered by our cultural differences.
As for the events immediately before our story, I applied to U.A., but not to the hero course. You see, I never planned to become a Pro Hero. Pro Heroes were widely known and had their Quirks talked about a lot and that was… complicated for me. My Quirk was a delicate subject that I tried to keep as quiet as I could since I learned, at a very young age, that people didn’t usually react too well to it. I’ll get into more details later, but for now what you need to know is that I avoid telling people what exactly my Quirk is unless I absolutely have to. I did plan on getting a hero license, as I wanted to work with heroes and the police and use my Quirk (or at least part of it), but I didn’t see myself putting my life on the line and fighting villains on a daily basis. I wanted to work more in the background, where probably my co-workers would know what I could do, but I still wouldn’t be in the public eye.
Still, living 20 minutes away from the most famous hero school in the country, I figured the best way to get what I wanted was to study there. I was a good student, as in I always managed to keep my grades up without much effort. I wasn't exactly top of my class, but to be fair, I was a sloppy student on my best days, and lazy as hell. I liked learning, don’t get me wrong, I just didn’t like being forced to study something I had no interest in for the sake of good grades. So I surprised a few people when I announced I’d be taking U.A.’s test. Not to the hero course, but to general studies. And I passed, with a good position too.
However, I was pretty much the only one in my class who didn’t want to be a hero. Add that to my very Brazilian behavior and I stood out like a neon sign.
Our story actually begins a few months after I started attending U.A., around the time of the Sports Festival of my first year. Well, that’s if you consider my first interaction with class 1-A, but it took another while before things really picked up.
I guess that’s all you need to know for now, the rest I can explain along the way. There’s quite a few things, so expect some breaks for information.
If you haven’t given up yet, it’s time to start: my name is , and this is the story of how I fell in love with Todoroki Shoto.


1. Shinsou Hitoshi

“I don’t know, he’s just… weird.” The girl next to me muttered, trying not to be heard.
“Well, weird can mean a fuckload of different things, so if you could be a little more specific, I’d appreciate it.” I answered, mildly annoyed and loud enough that she flinched. I’d been labeled as ‘weird’ more times than I could count, both in Brazil and in Japan, so being told to stay away from someone cause they were weird just wasn’t gonna cut it for me.
A great example was my current class. I’d started my first year as a student in U.A. a short while ago. I was in class 1-C, the first general studies class, A and B were the hero course. Everyone in my class had met when the school year started, and lots of us had made friends, but I wasn’t one of them. Too Brazilian, I guess. A couple of the girls talked to me, but most of the time they kept me at arms length, precisely for being weird. Now was one of the moments when they were talking to me, and they were discussing one of our classmates: Shinsou Hitoshi. The tall, purple haired guy was a loner, always looked like he’d been sleep deprived for at least 10 years and had a Quirk - as we’d just found out, and why he was the current subject of our conversation - that was curious, to say the least: he could control people. Like, sort of turn them into puppets to do his will.
-san, please keep your voice down.” Another girl begged. “And you know what she means.” I rolled my eyes. “He’s always seemed a bit off, and now it makes sense. I mean, you heard what his Quirk is. What if he decides to control us all? Guy could make a powerful villain.”
I took a deep breath, trying to swallow my pain. They don’t know, this isn’t about you. They’re being jerks all right, but lashing out is not gonna help. I looked around the Lunch Rush, finding Shinsou himself at a table not very far from us, eating alone.
“Did it ever occur to you that, if he wanted to be a villain, he wouldn’t bother attending such a difficult school with so many heroes and future heroes? That he has never attempted to control anyone since the start of the year?” I pointed out, continuing before they could protest “Sure, he could make a powerful villain. Anyone with a powerful Quirk could. All Might, Endeavor, Hawks, Aizawa-sensei… It’s simply a matter of choice. In case you’ve forgotten, he applied to the hero course. He could be a villain, but he doesn’t want to.” I got up, picking up my tray. “As a matter of fact, by casting him out like this and judging him based solely on what you think he might do with his Quirk, you’re being more like villains than him. Very prejudiced. And quite possibly giving him reason to rethink wanting to save people.” They stared at me in shock, unable to come up with a response to my accusations. I’d managed to keep my tone mostly civil, though there was a sharp edge to it. I watched for a couple of moments as one of them opened and closed her mouth multiple times, trying to think of something to say. “Maybe you guys should rethink your attitude and words.”
And with that I walked away, making a beeline to the purple mess of hair. I sat across from him, setting my tray down and smiling at his confused expression.
“Hi! Mind if I join you?”
“Hum… you… what?” He tilted his head to the side, squinting at me in confusion. “You want to have lunch with me?”
“Yeah, if that’s okay with you. We’re in the same class. I’m .”
“You’re… the loud girl who sits in the back.”
“Guilty.” I nodded, chuckling.
“Then you know what my Quirk is. Are you sure you want to sit with me? No one else in the class seems to want to be around me”
“Well, that’s just stupid of them.” I shrugged.
“They fear I’ll control them with my Quirk. Don’t you?”
“No. Should I?” It was my turn to tilt my head at him. I didn’t need to fear his Quirk, and not just because I highly doubted that he would use it without reason. I was sure I could overpower him if I needed to. “Do you plan on using your Quirk to randomly control me?”
“No. Unless we face off in the Sports Festival in a few months.”
“Well, then it wouldn’t be random, would it? That’s a competition where it’s expected of us to use our Quirks on each other.” I began eating and shrugged again. Shinsou’s confusion had turned to curiosity, but he still eyed me as if I was some sort of impossible riddle. The trigger for his Quirk, as he’d explained earlier, was for someone to answer him. By now, I’d given him plenty of opportunities to do exactly what the others claimed he’d do.
“Then no, I have no intention of using my Quirk on you.” And he meant it.
“Perfect. Always good to know I was right.” I smirked and he lifted an eyebrow. I gestured around us to no specific direction with my fork. “Some people were being prejudiced jerks because of your Quirk, I called them on their bullshit. I’d really like to know where they got the idea that some Quirks automatically make you more likely to be a villain.” I rolled my eyes and it was his turn to shrug, turning to his food.
“They’re not the first and they won’t be the last. It’s something I’ve dealt with my whole life.” His tone was nonchalant, but I could tell that was an old wound that still hurt. Well, we have more in common than I thought then, pal.
“Again, it’s fucking stupid. Your Quirk will be brilliant for a Pro Hero. You can literally just tell villains to surrender, or stop whatever they’re doing. I can think of a bunch of recent situations when that would have assured a much better outcome than what the Pros got. Like, literally any hostage situation.”
“Thank you. That’s the plan.” I caught the tiniest tilt in the corner of his mouth, a barely there smile, and responded with a smile of my own.
“Being a Hero is more about character than Quirk, is what I always say. Though we do have some Pros with really questionable character.” I frowned at my food. “I’d be willing to bet money that the only reason why Endeavor is a hero instead of a villain is because he’s too narcissistic to do anything that grants him less praise. Guy’s an absolute dick to everyone, and fire can do a lot of damage.”
“Did anyone ever tell you that you’re weird?” He asked, amused.
“Almost daily. I take it as a compliment.”
“I doubt people usually mean it as one.”
“Oh, I know they don’t. But I’d rather speak my mind, be myself and be labeled as ‘weird’ than put on a ‘normalcy’ mask and pretend to be like everyone else. No one’s normal, not really, it’s all just pretend.” I raised both eyebrows. “Believe me, I’d know. My Quirk detects any lie or deception.”
“Really? I was almost convinced you were Quirkless. You didn’t say anything in class today.” I shrugged.
Okay, quick break, dear readers: remember when I said in my introduction that my Quirk was a sensitive subject? You’re probably wondering why the hell I said that and then revealed my Quirk to Shinsou so easily.
Well, the truth is I didn’t. Not the complicated part, anyway, because, you see, I have a multiple Quirk. Basically, I have two different Quirks that kinda complement each other. One of them is the one I revealed: I’m a living lie detector, and I can force the truth out of people. The official name for it is Veritaserum, which is basically latin for “truth serum”. This is the half of my powers that I don’t mind revealing, don’t mind people knowing, and usually my answer when I have to talk about my Quirk. Some people do look at me funny after they find out I’ll always be able to tell if they’re saying anything less than the absolute truth, but it’s not that big of a deal. It’s also the part I plan to use to work with law enforcement.
The problem is my other Quirk, and I’m not talking about that just yet. Sorry, but I’m gonna leave you curious for a while longer. Anyway, back to our story…
“I don’t talk too much about my Quirk, and it’s not exactly visible. But it’s on the whole time. I’ve never figured out how to turn off the lie detector.”
“Sounds like an interesting Quirk.” If only you knew.
“Yeah, I guess it is. Not very helpful in combat, though.”
“I thought you didn’t want to be a Pro Hero.”
“I don’t. Doesn’t change the fact that it would be useless, if I wanted to.”
We continued talking for the rest of our lunch break, and that was how I made my first friend at U.A. Sure, Shinsou was still kinda quiet a lot of the time, but I was talkative enough for the both of us. And it felt nice to be around someone who understood what it was like to be feared for your Quirk, even if he didn’t know the truth. Also, since I had no interest in the hero course, Shinsou was more open to having me around than with others, who he saw as competition.
Oh, and the girls apologized to me later that day, saying that I was right. They still weren’t very comfortable around him, but at least they were civil and didn’t push him away.

###


A few more months went by and Shinsou and I got pretty close. We’d have lunch together everyday and stay in school after class at least twice a week to train together. And by that, I mean we’d go to one of the more isolated parts of campus and I’d let him use his Quirk on me while I tried to fight his control and then he’d try to lie to me or not tell me the truth when I tried to force it out of him.
I knew Shinsou was going to press for a transfer to the hero course and try to use the Sports Festival as his trampoline for it, so he definitely needed to train. He was going up against the students from the hero course, who got to train their Quirks and other skills daily, not to mention one of the classes had already had experience against real villains, so they were already going in with a huge head start.
“Are you sure it’s okay?” I rolled my eyes.
“You ask me that everyday, and everyday I tell you the same thing: if I’m ever not okay with you using your Quirk on me, I’ll tell you. Or, you know, not say anything, not give you the trigger.” I arched both eyebrows at him, placing my hands on my hips. “Shin-chan, I’m the one who offered to train with you. I trust you.”
The words, as always, left a bitter taste in my mouth. Not because they were a lie, though lies did literally have that effect on me. I did trust him. But I had yet to gather the courage to tell him the truth about my Quirk, even if, from all the people that I’d ever told or considered telling, he was probably the most likely to understand.
Now, I know I’m constantly saying that I don’t tell people about my Quirk. I don’t, usually. My family knows, mostly because they knew before I figured out it was better to keep it quiet – and I mean my extended family, so aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents, not just my parents and baby brother. And my closest friends knew too. Now, they were a choice, unlike my relatives, but a carefully calculated one. I held off on telling them until they had known me for years and I was sure they wouldn’t run screaming or hate me.
And yet, here I was, considering telling a boy I’d befriended less than six months ago. The time frame was definitely why I was hesitant. I didn’t think he’d have a bad reaction, not considering his Quirk and people’s usual reaction to it. He’d probably understand better than anyone else. But telling anyone was always a terrifying idea, regardless of how well I knew them or any other circumstances, really.
“Okay, okay. It’s just still strange that you’re okay with this.” Shinsou shook his head. “Do you have to leave early again today?”
“No, only on Thursday. My teacher is only available on Mondays and Thursdays, and it was hard enough finding time with her in the first place, so I’m taking what I can.” I shrugged. “Besides, I don’t know for how long I’ll still be able to continue taking the dance lessons before this school takes up all of my time, so I’d rather start as soon as possible.”
Oh yeah, since I haven’t mentioned before: I take belly dancing classes. I have for a year now, and I absolutely love it. I used to attend classes at a studio, but they changed their schedule and it overlapped with my classes at U.A., so I had to stop. Now I’d managed to convince my teacher to give me private lessons twice a week.
“Take your seats, dearies! I have an exciting announcement for you.” Kayama-sensei called out in a sing-song voice as she walked in. I hopped down from Shinsou’s desk, walking to my seat at the back of the room. “We are finally announcing the date for the Sports Festival!”
Midnight was our homeroom teacher, just so you know. I had no idea how that happened, given that we were first years and not in the hero course, but I was definitely not complaining. She was a bit inappropriate, sure, but she was amazing, and the way she acted made me feel a bit less like an outsider.
She went on to explain how the festival would be in two weeks, how it would work, how we’d all be participating and, given everyone in the class wanted to know that, that yes, the Festival was a chance to impress the school board and could help in a student’s request to be transferred to the hero course. I was the only one not particularly interested in that little piece of information, but I was happy that my classmates would be given another chance. The practical entrance exam, from what Shin-chan had told me, had involved robots, which excluded a lot of Quirks almost automatically, like those that weren’t useful in a battle or only worked on humans, and that didn’t strike me as a very fair exam.
Obviously, they all got really excited, but everyone also started whispering and muttering among themselves that class 1A was the one to beat. They had been the ones at the USJ incident, the only students with real experience against real villains. Which led us to the unusual fuss at the end of class. No one went to the exit, which confused me quite a bit. Curious (and lightly worried, because Shin-chan had been one of the first to bolt out of class and go in the wrong direction), I followed them from a safe distance, stopping in surprise at the crowd gathered in one of the hallways, which seemed to be their destination. Frowning, I looked up and soon understood why we were here, the reason on the door that read “1A”. I rolled my eyes. Seriously? Scooping up the competition. Were all of these students really coming to pester their class only because they thought these were their ‘enemies’? I leaned against the opposite wall, out of the crowd - gods, I hated crowds - and crossed my arms, waiting to see what kind of disaster was coming out of this.
“Wha-what’s going on?!” A girl asked above the noise of chatter.
“What business do you have with class A?” A male voice sounded from inside the classroom. Poor guys. Did they really not realize?
“We can’t leave! Why have you come here?!”
Then I couldn’t hear what was said, but the hero students stopped asking us that, so I assumed one of them had figured it out. But then the crowd went silent as well, enough for me to listen to what I imagined was another student from 1A - I couldn’t see what was happening, as too many students in the crowd were taller than me.
“It’s useless to do these things. Get out of my way, extras.” Wow, aren’t we cocky.
At least the outraged screams that followed from inside the class made me think that maybe it was just this one who was an asshole.
“I came to see what Class A looks like,” I heard Shin-chan’s familiar voice stand out, quickly finding his hair among the students - bless how tall he was. He was cutting through the crowd to get to the door, and I facepalmed. Of fucking course he’s gonna go pick a fight with them. Can’t let him out of my sight for a second. “But you seem pretty arrogant. Are all the students in the hero course like this? Seeing something like this makes me disappointed.” Shinsou, shut up, for fuck’s sake, before you get your ass kicked. “There are people enrolled in general studies or other courses because they couldn’t get in the hero course. Did you know that? The school left us a chance. Depending on the results from this festival, they’ll consider transferring us to the hero course. And it seems like they can transfer some people out of it.”
Fucking liar. He didn’t know that. Midnight-sensei hadn’t said anything about students being kicked out of the hero course if they didn’t do well in the Festival, only that it was our chance to impress and get in. Obviously, though, many of the others didn’t know that he was making it up, judging by the murmurs that rose immediately. “Checking out the enemy? I, for one, came to tell you that even if you’re in the hero course, if you get too confident, I’ll cut the ground from right under you. I’ve come with a declaration of war.” Oh my gods, what a dramatic bitch.
There were a few moments of tense silence, and I could almost see the staring contest that was probably going on by the door. Boys. Then there was a commotion and another voice rising in the crowd.
“Hey, hey! I’m from Class B next door! I heard you faced villains so I came to hear about it! Don’t get so confident! If you bark too much, it’ll be shameful when you fight for real! Are you ignoring me?!”
Honestly, why were all these guys so fucking loud? Like, y’all want attention, I get it, but do you have to scream? Shinsou was making a scene, but at least he didn’t raise his voice. The crowd was quiet now to see 1A’s reaction, no need to increase the volume to make yourself heard.
“Hold up, Bakugo! What are you gonna do about this? It’s your fault everyone hates us!” Came a new voice from inside the room. So Bakugo’s the arrogant jerk. Good to know.
“Doesn’t matter.” Bakugo replied. “It doesn’t matter as long as you get to the top.” Then I watched the crowd part and an annoyed looking blond with an ‘I don’t give a fuck’ posture and spiky hair walked out. He even looked like an arrogant jerk.
I rolled my eyes again, tuning out the reactions to his statement. Really? All he cared about was getting to the top? With that attitude? Another Endeavor in the making, if I had to guess.
It wasn’t long after that that the crowd dispersed, and Shinsou froze when he saw me waiting. I just quirked an eyebrow at him and waited for him to reach me before we started walking towards our corner of the campus to train.
“Dude, what the fuck was that about?” I asked. “I’ve come with a declaration of war. What are you, a medieval warlord?”
“If you heard me, you heard that other guy too. Someone had to bring them down a notch.”
“You do realize that’s the class you’re trying to get in, right?”
“I’m not here to make friends.” I punched his arm.
“What am I, a fucking plant?” Frowning at me and rubbing the spot I’d hit (it wasn’t even that hard, he was just being dramatic), he replied:
“I never chose to become your friend. You decided I needed a friend and now I’m stuck with you.”
I stared at him in shock. The audacity of this bitch! I turned on my heels and started walking towards the exit.
“Fine, train alone then!”
, come on, wait!” I stopped, squinting at him over my shoulder. “I didn’t say I don’t appreciate your friendship, I do. It’s just that I wasn’t seeking it.”
“You’re so fucking lucky that I can tell you mean it.” I rolled my eyes, falling back into step with him. “But you need to do some serious work on your people skills. If you’re to have a chance of being hired by a Hero Agency in the future, you’re gonna have to learn how to be nice to strangers.”
“I know how to be nice to strangers.”
“Not ones who think they’re better than you, you don’t. And you’re gonna need to know when not to pick a fight with those.”
“That…” he started protesting, but then sighed “that’s probably true.”
“Look, you’re right about their arrogance. They’re not better than anyone else and thinking they are is not just stupid, but probably dangerous. And you’re right to fight for what you want. I wanna see you give it your all at the Festival and kick some serious ass, because I know you can do it.”
“I feel a ‘but’ coming.” Shinsou quirked an eyebrow at me, and I grinned at him.
“But after you get into the hero course, we’ll have to work on polishing your speech.”
“Coming from the most foul mouthed person I’ve ever met?” I laughed, shoving him playfully with my shoulder.
“Hey, I know how to sound like a ‘proper lady’! In three languages, no less! I just choose not to most of the time.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard you sound proper.” Shinsou smirked.
“Yeah, cause why would I spend my manners on you?”
“Hey!” He shoved me back, voice tinted with fake outrage. We both laughed, continuing with our day as planned. Apart of course from my remarks about his dramatic speech.

###


The two weeks after that went by in a flash and suddenly it was the day of the Sports Festival. The whole school was different, and there were a lot of guests that came to watch the events, meaning I was very uncomfortable. Have I mentioned how much I hate crowds? Cause I really do. In any normal year, said crowd would be flocking to the third year arena, to watch the students about to graduate, but not this year. No, of course in my first year at this school, villains would attack a class in my year and everyone would want to watch them - and by consequence, us. Ugh.
Each class had their own waiting room to sit in until the event started, and the mood in 1C’s room was tense. Everyone but me was under a lot of pressure to impress, to do well and get a chance of being transferred, or at least to get the attention of some agency and be considered despite not being in the hero course.
“Hey, .” I opened my eyes, finding Shinsou staring at me. I’d taken a seat in a corner of the room and stayed uncharacteristically quiet since arriving, which, I noticed now that he’d come talk to me, got my classmates staring. “Are you okay? You look a bit sick.”
“Just feeling a bit off. But don’t worry about me, it’s no big deal. You get focused on kicking some ass today, yeah?” He eyed me carefully for another moment before nodding. I focused back on keeping my breathing steady, clutching my necklace. Not long after that, we were called to walk into the arena along with the other classes. “Good luck, everyone!” I said smiling to my classmates.
The first class to go in was 1A, then 1B. Then, at the same time, the three general studies classes got called. I squinted at the sunlight after being in the somewhat dark hallway and took deep breaths. This place was huge, and there were thousands of people watching. And I had nowhere to hide. Just get to the first event and let the ones who want it advance in the competition. Then you can leave. The three support classes were called after us, and the business ones came last, putting all eleven first years at the center of the stadium.
“We’re only here to make those guys seem cooler, aren’t we?” I heard one of the boys say defeatedly.
“Something like that…”
I frowned, but didn’t reply. They sure wouldn’t get very far thinking they were out of the competition before it even started. We all gathered in an area in the center, before a small stage on which Kayama-sensei stood.
“Time for the player’s oath!” Upon seeing her, there was an immediate rise in chatter, both among the students and the public. “Quiet, everyone! The students’ representative, from class 1A, will be Bakugo Katsuki!”
“What?”
“Huh?”
“What? Kacchan?” “That guy got the first position in the entrance exam.”
“In the hero course.”
“Ri-right.”
“They certainly hate us.” I heard one of the boys from 1A whisper.
“And it’s Bakugo’s fault.”
“Isn’t that the cocky guy?” I whispered to Shin-chan, who nodded, as the other students grew silent.
I watched as the spiky haired boy walked up to the microphone. There was a moment of tense silence as everyone waited to see what he’d say. I should have predicted the disaster that came next:
“I swear… that I’ll be number one.”
All the students around me broke out in outraged screams and complaints, and I flinched, closing my eyes. Deep breaths, deep breaths. I only opened them again once the voices died down to give space to Midnight-sensei.
“Well, now let’s start.” I can’t say I paid much attention to her words, to be honest, until I heard the word ‘race’. An obstacle race? Perfect, I could just let everyone run ahead and calmly stay in the back until it was over. “Now, take your positions!”
“Go show them who you are, Shin-chan!” I told him with a smile and he gave me the tiniest smirk.
“See you at the end.”
I let as many people as possible walk ahead of me towards the door that separated us from the course around the stadium. We all stood in tense silence as the three green lights above the door went out, one by one.
“Start!”
The Sports Festival had begun.


2. The Sports Festival

The moment the door opened, everyone ran into the hallway, which was an honestly stupid idea. It was a narrow space and around 200 people trying to fit through at the same time, which obviously only served to get everyone stuck, pushing at each other and unable to get to the other side. I watched from the back, sighing and shaking my head.
It made sense that the school would do this, the entire course was designed with obstacles, since the very beginning. It would take strategy to get out of there fast, thus getting ahead of a large portion of the students.
“Huh?” I shivered as a freezing wind came from the hallway, almost immediately followed by a layer of ice covering both the floor and a huge part of the wall, as well as effectively trapping everyone who’d made it in, the ice going up to their knees. I hugged my arms to warm myself. “Is this someone’s Quirk? Holy fuck.” Standing on my tiptoes, I could see there was still movement at the other end, so some people had managed to get out. I spotted Shin-chan’s hair above the usual height, and assumed he’d gotten people to carry him out of the mess. Good for him. After a few minutes, I saw the hallway clear enough for me to go through, and steeled myself mentally for it. I’m pretty sure they’ll find a way to kick us into the course if we don’t move voluntarily.
“Okay, here we go.” I breathed deeply, clutching my necklace again and walking towards the hallway.
I walked carefully, thanking the gods that my combat boots kept me from slipping on the ice. My pace was slow and every step carefully calculated to avoid touching any of the extremely annoyed and frustrated students.
“Oi, -san! I thought you didn’t want to participate!” Called out one of the boys from my class (I’m really terrible with names, in case you haven’t noticed) as I moved past him. I just barely managed to dodge his hand as he tried to grab my arm, flinching.
“I don’t, but I’m not gonna wait in the arena with thousands of people staring at me. I’ll be waiting on the other end of this hallway until enough people finish the race for me to go back this way.”
I saw several people around turn to glare at me suspiciously, and he didn’t seem convinced, but I just kept moving, my chest tight with tension and eyes itching. It didn’t matter, as I planned to do exactly what I said.
My shoulders relaxed and I let go of my pendant as I felt the warm sun on my face again, happy to step into open space. I kept going, just to put some distance between me and the crowd, but stopped again at the sight of the rest of the students gathered ahead. Ugh, come on, keep moving so I can wait in peace until you’re done!
“Dude, are those robots?!” I heard someone ask in a mildly terrified tone.
Robots? Fucking great. Looking up, even as far as I was, I could see the looming figures with red ‘eyes’ blocking the path. I swallowed thickly. Were these the ones that had been in the entrance exam? If so, I could certainly get why so many people didn’t even try. Well, this was the best hero school in the country, I suppose it made sense that they set the bar so high.
Then I watched in awe as the biggest robot was suddenly engulfed in ice. And the ones around it as well. I wondered whose Quirk that was. Someone in the hero course, that’s for sure, but it was insanely powerful for a first year. Probably a recommendation student. They stood for a few seconds before starting to collapse all at once, falling towards where the other students had gathered. I flinched, hoping no one got hurt - yes, I knew Recovery Girl should be on standby in case that happened, but I’d honestly prefer if her services turned out to be unnecessary. Gladly, it seemed like there had been no casualties, but more robots came, keeping the path blocked.
“Good luck getting through those.” I muttered, leaning against the fence that ran around the course and crossing my arms, as the same boy from before finally made his way past me.
“I thought you said you were staying outside the tunnel.”
“I wanted to get away from the ice.” Well, that wasn’t entirely a lie, but it wasn’t exactly the truth either. “I’ll probably go back after giving it some time to melt.” He didn’t seem to care, moving on and stopping with the others once he noticed the ‘obstacles’.
“Holy…”
Several more robots were slowly taken down as I watched students (who I’d guess were all in the hero course) blow them up, go above them or deactivate them in some way, leaving the others behind.
With each robot destroyed, the students’ confidence grew, and I saw them work together to clear the path, until somehow someone produced a fucking canon and shot several of them down. “Where the fuck did that come from?”
At least that gave them enough of a window to move forward before more of those robots showed up. Happy that everyone was now gone, I turned to go back to the tunnel and wait there, but found the door closed. “Ah, fucking great.” I wasn’t about to stay back and wait for more robots, so I followed my colleagues defeatedly, keeping as much distance as I could.
The space narrowed again after the destroyed machines, and I figured open space equaled obstacles as I walked at a slow pace. It wasn’t long before I spotted the other students again, though it didn’t look like there was a battle going on this time - thank gods. There was, however, a… Canyon? I don’t know how to call that, but there was a huge fucking hole in the ground between where we stood and the rest of the path. I could see some people going across, on what looked like tightropes that connected stone platforms that dotted the space, or using their Quirks and support equipment to jump or fly over it. I groaned.
“Whyy? Ugh, I did not sign up for this shit.”
Most people were either already on the other side or halfway through when I got there, at least, so the obstacle didn’t decrease so much of the distance between me and them. I looked behind me, wondering if I could just stay here until it was over. Would the school send someone to get the students that stayed behind? Cause I honestly didn’t feel like going back to the robots to try my luck at the entrance. I watched carefully, looking for an alternative way I could maybe get to the other side, and resigned myself to the idea that there wasn’t any. I didn’t have enough balance to try walking the tightropes nor enough strength to hang from them, and the platforms were purposefully too far from each other to jump.
I heard explosions in the distance and scoffed, turning on my heels.
“That’s it, I’m going back. Shouldn’t even have walked in here in the first place.”
Luckily, I didn’t find any new robots on my way back, and though the door was closed, there was another one nearby that was open through which the people who finished the course were going back into the arena. There was a fence between me and them, and I waited patiently until they all had crossed before elegantly jumping over the fence.
And by ‘elegantly’ I mean it was a disaster and I almost fell on my face on the other side. But at least it was not as bad as if I had tried the tightropes, cause the only thing that got wounded was my pride. And there was no one watching, really, so the only people who know how shameful it was are me and you.
All the other students were gathered again in the center of the arena, the exact same way we did before the race. I quickly found Shin-chan and made my way over to him, frowning from being back with the crowd.
“Hey! How did you do?”
“Beat some hero students, but I don’t know yet how many people are going to the next round.” Then he paused for a moment and squinted at me. “How did you get past The Fall?”
“I didn’t. Turned around and came back that way once everyone passed.” He chuckled and I shrugged.
“The first game on the stage of the first year is finally over.” Announced Kayama-sensei, and we turned to her little stage. “Now let’s see the results!” The same big screen from before reappeared behind her, this time with all of our names and positions. Shinsou had made it to the 27th. “The first 42 will move forward to the next round.”
“You did it!” I exclaimed, getting a few annoyed looks from the people closest to us. “Sorry.” I muttered, but caught my friend’s small proud smile.
“It’s unfortunate, but don’t worry even if you didn’t pass! We’ve prepared other chances for you to shine.” Midnight-sensei licked her lips, looking at us with hooded eyes. “The real competition starts now! The cavalry from the press will be on top of you! Give it your best!” She raised her whip and the screen with the categories for the competition took its place again, “Now, time for the second game. I already know what it’s gonna be, but what is it? What could it be?” She lowered her mask back to frame her eyes and pointed at the result. “I just said it, and here it is!”
The words “Cavalry Battle” glared at us. I frowned, hearing some other students comment on it around us, a girl at the front voicing the very question that was on my mind:
“It’s not an individual event, how’s this going to work?”
“Allow me to explain.” The image changed to a picture of Thirteen and Present Mic carrying All Might on their shoulders. “The participants can form teams of two to four people, however you want. Basically, the same rules as a regular battle, but the difference is… based on the results from the previous game, each person has a value in points.”
“A point-based system like the entrance exam, huh? Easy to understand”
“In other words, each team has a different value, depending on who’s in it!” Said another girl close to the front. Kayama-sensei cracked her whip down the front of the stage toward her, looking angry.
“You can’t even hold your tongues, can you?! That’s right! And your points go up by 5, starting at the bottom.” The screen changed back to the list with the positions, now with the points added beside each name. “So number 42 is worth 5 points, and 41 is worth 10! And the point value of the first position is… ten million!”
There was a moment of shocked silence at the announcement. Ten million was more than all the other points combined, which meant regardless of your position in the race, you could get to first now. I saw Shinsou’s smirk as he turned to a green haired boy that I guessed was from 1A. Well, him and everyone else, really, so I’m guessing that was Midoriya Izuku, the ten-million-point guy. Poor thing looked terrified, having realized, as well as the rest of us, that he would be everyone’s priority target.
“Yes. It’s a battle for survival, with the chance of the last ones taking the top! Those at the top will suffer more. You’ll hear that many times while at U.A. That’s what ‘Plus Ultra’ means!” She kept talking, but I was only half listening again. The longer I stayed, the worse I felt. I took deep breaths, comforted by the idea that I’d be leaving soon. “Now you have fifteen minutes to form your teams! Start!”
“Good luck, Shin-chan!” I forced myself to smile at him and he gave me a smirk in return that bordered on looking evil.
“Now, those of you who won’t be participating in the Cavalry Battle, follow me.” Said Power Loader pointing to a door much like the one from the race.
Except he didn’t lead us outside of the arena, but to the bleachers, in an area set aside for the students. I had to get out of there, but he closed the door again once we all crossed it.
“No, wait!” I called but got no answer, and let out a defeated sigh, sitting on the steps closest to the door. I tried to shut out what was happening around me, unable to tell how much time had passed. I thought the battle was starting because the screams of the crowd got louder, but didn’t check.
I could feel the students who didn’t know me staring at me, but I couldn’t bring myself to care. Besides, they’d think I was weird even if they did know me. I blinked back panicked tears. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to watch Shin-chan or the game, but being in the arena with all those people was too much for me. I closed my eyes, clutching my pendant and taking deep breaths, the voices around me all blurring together. I thought I might have heard someone call my name, but couldn’t be sure.
I rested my forehead on my knees, desperately trying to steady my breathing and keep myself under control, stubborn tears rolling down my cheeks as I felt myself beginning to hyperventilate. “Too much… too much” I sobbed under my breath, shaking.
“…-san? -san?”
“She’s in your class? What’s the matter with her?”
“My guess is as good as yours. -san? What’s wro-”
I flinched away, shaking my head furiously and barely dodging the hand coming at my arm.
“P-please d-don’t touch m-me.” I squealed, sobs breaking my words, and whoever it was took a step away. “I h-ha… I have t-to leave.”
“We should get Recovery Girl.”
“She did look sick before the race.” Their voices started sounding distant and I felt my head spinning in an all too familiarly unpleasant way. Then everything went dark.

###

When I woke up again, I was laying down somewhere and the pressure in my chest that made it hard to breathe had eased.
“Ugh, I’d forgotten how much this sucks.” I muttered under my breath, before raising one hand to my forehead. I blinked my eyes a few times, the lights too bright.
“Good, you’re awake.” Said Recovery Girl. Blinking a few more times, I managed to focus on her. I was in her office, and she was sitting by her desk, watching three monitors where I could see the three arenas. “I checked your blood pressure and blood sugar, but they were normal, so I figured you just needed some time.” She turned her eyes to me for a second. “I also had a look at your file when you arrived. You can stay here if you want, but I’ll need you to move to the chair if any of these end up here.” She pointed to the screen. “They’ll be in worse shape than you.”
“Th-thanks. You, hum… you looked at my file?”
“I understand why you’re asking. You shouldn’t worry about that, not here, but seen as I’m a doctor, I won’t tell anyone unless it’s necessary.”
I let out a shaky breath, letting my head fall back on the pillow. “Thank you.”
“Yeah, yeah.” The old woman waved over her shoulder dismissively, her attention back to the screens. “Believe me, the hero course is out there, your Quirk’s the least of my concerns.”
I felt a laugh bubbling up and out of me. She sounded so done with them, and it felt good to know I was safe.
“How are the first years going? Has the second game finished yet?”
“Just did. You weren’t out that long.” I sighed. Shin-chan would have to forgive me for not watching to cheer him on. I let my eyes close, taking deep and slow breaths to center myself again.
Once I felt steady, I sat up and looked over Recovery Girl’s shoulder to see if there was anything about the first years. They were replaying the highlights of the event, the final scores on a table at the corner of the screen. I couldn’t help the smile that pulled my lips at the sight of “Team Shinsou” in third place, even if he wasn’t in any of the scenes being replayed. He’d made it to the next round, and if his absence was anything to go by, his Quirk was still a mystery to the others, which made for a wonderful element of surprise, whatever the next game turned out to be.
“Aren’t they going to announce the next game?”
“Your year’s on a lunch break. The others are just finishing up as well to do the same. The final game will be after that.”
“Hum. I guess that makes sense.” I paused, chewing my lip. “Hey, hum… can I… can I stay here for now? My friend made it to the next round, and I wanna go watch him, but if I stay out there until then…”
She gave me a reprimanding look.
“You want to go back to the arena? Right after fainting?”
“Shinsou needs my support. And I won’t be there long enough to pass out again, as long as no one locks me in.” She didn’t look very convinced. “I promise I know what I’m doing. I know my limits. I was actually trying to leave before things got out of hand.”
“Whatever. You didn’t have anything for me to heal, so it’s your choice.”
“Thank you.” The elderly woman waved her hand dismissively again and turned back to the screens.
I used that free time to rest. Texted my parents and then changed back into regular clothes. When the lunch break ended, there was an announcement on the screen that there would be individual battles of the sixteen students that passed, in a tournament that led to a final one on one to define the winner. Shin-chan was going to fight the first battle against the ten-million-point guy, Midoriya Izuku, but there would be some recreational games first.
I could see I was essentially the only first year not in the arena at that moment, but figured I wasn’t in trouble. Deciding the cafeteria should be emptier and there would be some time before the next event, I left to eat something before going to watch Shinsou.
I made it back to the arena just in time to hear Present Mic announcing the players.
“Go Shin-chan!” I screamed and he turned just slightly to see me there. I waved at him and he focused back on his opponent. They had to push each other out of the delimited area, immobilize the other or make them say ‘I yield’ to win, which sounded simple enough.
They were too far for me to hear anything, but I could see Shin-chan start to talk before Present Mic even announced that it started. He had that mean look on his face. I didn’t like his technique to trigger people into talking to him, but when the other guy took two pissed off steps towards him and then froze, I had to admit it was efficient.
“And what do you plan on doing at the Festival? I know we’ve been training your brainwashing, but you still need the trigger.” I told him as we walked out of the school one afternoon.
“You won’t like it.” I squinted at him.
“What is it?”
“People don’t usually stay quiet when you start being offensive. I just have to figure out what will get each of them to answer faster.”
“You’re right, I hate it. I thought the idea was to shut up the people who think you’re a villain in the making.”
“Well, I have to make people answer somehow, don’t I? I’m not saying I like it, I’m just saying it works.” I sighed, fixing my hair.
“It better.”

Everyone else in the arena was shocked. Green-hair had been fighting to the last breath in the first two rounds, and now he’d frozen in the first few seconds of the finals? For anyone who didn’t know about Shin-chan's Quirk, it really didn’t make any sense. I just hoped the other battles were as easy as this one seemed to. His opponent turned around and started walking out of the ring.
I watched at the edge of my seat. I’d never managed to break free from his brainwashing, but still. What if this guy made it? I had no idea what his Quirk was. Aizawa-sensei had just explained Shinsou’s Quirk, as well as commented on his and Midoriya’s history in physical tests at school, so the surprise element was now gone.
Then, just as I was letting the tension go, there was a burst of dust-filled wind rising from around Midoriya and he stopped.
“No!” I let out, my voice drowned by the crowd as they cheered. How the fuck did he do that?!
Shinsou looked shocked too. As Green-hair started running toward him, I saw him start to talk again, trying to take back control, but he got no answer. He must have figured out how Shin-chan triggered his ability.
I still couldn’t make out the exact words, but I heard something along the lines of ‘born with the ideal Quirk’ and ‘reach goal’, my friend’s pained expression visible even from where I was. He knew he’d lost.
“No, no, no, no.” My eyes filled with tears, my chest tightening. He’d worked so hard!
Midoriya pushed him almost all the way out before Shinsou reacted. They exchanged a couple of punches, but then Green-hair judo-flipped Shin-chan out of the ring.
He just laid there as Midnight-sensei announced the winner and the crowd cheered around me. I ran out, wanting to catch Shinsou at the door as they got up and walked back to the middle of the arena to bow respectfully to each other, because I could tell how broken Shinsou was at having lost. I made it almost at the same time as he did, just a few steps away. Our eyes met and he looked like any hope had been sucked out of him. Then one of our classmates made his voice heard above us:
“You were super cool, Shinsou!”
My friend looked up, surprised, and other voices rose too.
“Good job!”
“I was surprised!”
“You’re the star of general studies!”
“You faced the guy who got first place in the obstacle race!”
“Besides…”
“That Quirk would be good against villains. I wish I had it.” Sounded a deep voice. Was that a Pro Hero?
“U.A. isn’t very smart if he’s in general studies.”
I smiled. Finally others were seeing what I’d known all along.
“Heard that, Shinsou? You’re amazing!”
He let out a tiny smile too, his eyes meeting mine again.
“Depending on the results, they’ll consider our transfer to the hero course. Remember this. Even if it doesn't work now, I sure won’t give up.” Shin-chan was talking to Midoriya, not to me, but I gave him a proud smile anyways. “I’ll get into the hero course, get my license and become a much better hero than you!”
“That’s the spirit.” I muttered. Then I saw Midoriya’s eyes blank again, and rolled mine.
“But people are usually more careful when talking to me.” I raised an eyebrow, crossing my arms and Shin-chan winked, turning to look at Midoriya. “At this rate, someone will run over you soon. At least” he released him “don’t lose badly.”
Midoriya hummed in response again and Shinsou captured him one more time, just to mess with him. I rolled my eyes, stepping into the arena to pull my friend with me.
“Oh, stop it, he learned his lesson.” He let out a small laugh and released the poor guy. “And you,” I said, earning a look that was both confused and half panicked. “Good luck on the rest of the Festival.” He nodded as I pulled Shinsou away.
We stopped at the hallway and Shinsou sighed. “I just hope that was enough.” “Hey. I’m proud of you. Really proud. We didn’t even know it was possible to break free from your brainwashing, and you would have won if he hadn’t. You made it further than several hero students. They’d be stupid not to put some serious thought into transferring you.” I nudged him with my shoulder. “Even though I’ll miss you in class.”
“Do you really think they will, even with my Quirk?” I could practically see all the self-doubt engulfing him, but I nodded. I really believed that. “Thanks.” After he paused for a moment, he frowned at me. “Where were you earlier, by the way? You disappeared after the Obstacle Race.”
“Yeah, about that…” I scratched the back of my neck and Shin-chan raised an eyebrow. “I fainted just before the Cavalry Battle and stayed with Recovery Girl till your match started.” I mumbled.
“What the hell are you still doing here, then? And why did you say you were fine when I asked if you were sick earlier?”
“Cause I’m not fucking sick and I’ve got it under control. But I do have to leave.” I sighed, resting my back against the wall. “I’m going to Baachan’s*. Come with me?”
“Shouldn’t you go home? It doesn’t sound like whatever this is is under control if you fainted.”
“Believe me, I know exactly what it is and it’s fine. If you… if you wanna stay and watch the rest of the Festival, that’s okay, but please come meet me after that. There’s something I really need to talk to you about.” He squinted.
…”
“It’s not urgent that it has to be now. Don’t worry, okay? It’s just something I want to tell you. Just call me when you’re leaving.”
“Fine.” He answered after a beat.
We each took a different hallway then, and a guy walked past me in the direction of the arena. I couldn’t help but look. His hair was split down the middle, half red and half white, and there was a nasty old scar covering the left half of his face, but he was very handsome. He barely noticed me, his expression somewhere between completely blank and pissed off - no, I don’t know how to explain it better than this. I figured he was gonna fight the next match.
Shrugging to myself, I left the school as quickly as I could and headed to the tea house that came to be almost a second home. It wasn’t exactly close, but I could easily walk there from U.A., just like I could from my house, and the elderly woman who owned it had sort of adopted me as her granddaughter with how often I went there since I’d found the place a couple of years ago. I was hoping I could watch the rest of the Festival on her TV from a safe distance and then talk to Shinsou.
There was only one group of people there when I arrived, and soon I was comfortably seated and watching the matches. I’d missed a few of them - man, these guys were fast! - but was still in time to catch the last of the first round. It was Cocky Blond against this adorable looking girl. I was at the edge of my seat the whole time, cheering for her, but he won in the end, much to everyone’s disappointment. It was a brutal match that only ended because she went so over her limits that she passed out. Despite everything, he got a tiny bit of respect from me, because he didn’t go easy on her solely because she was a girl, even though lots of people in the audience booed him for how hard he was going - and got immediately burnt by Aizawa-sensei, because he was an amazing teacher who wouldn’t let anyone say his female students were weaker.
There was a short break before they moved to the next round, and the first fight would be the boy that won against Shin-chan. I was looking forward to it, because he had yet to show his Quirk in any way. That little explosion he caused that got him out of the brainwashing had something to do with it, but it was still difficult to know what it was.
But his opponent walked in first, and I recognized him from the hallway. It was the guy I’d walked by. Their names appeared on the screen: Todoroki Shoto and Midoriya Izuku.
The second the match started, a massive wall of ice grew from Half and Half’s leg toward Midoriya.
“So you’re Ice Quirk!” I hummed to myself, sipping my tea. “Who are you?” I googled his name and frowned at the information there. Endeavor’s son, got into U.A. as a recommendation student. “Let’s just hope you don’t take after your dad.”
My jaw dropped as the ice shattered almost immediately, Midoriya’s hands pointing at Todoroki. “The fuck is up with these hero students?!”
They repeated this dance a few times before running towards each other. It was kinda hard to see through all the ice and wind, and they were fast.. But when they stopped for a few seconds, I could see one of Green-hair’s arms hanging limp against his side, clearly hurt, and I couldn’t be sure because of the distance of the camera, but it looked like there was frost covering several spots on Todoroki’s right side. I squinted.
They weren’t just stronger or faster. They were willing to go far beyond any semblance of physical limit, even seriously injuring themselves. Oh, there was definitely something other than a school competition going on in this match.
After talking for a few seconds, they did the ice wall being shattered again, and Todoroki was almost pushed out of the ring by the force of the blow. Midoriya’s determination seemed to have doubled, if his expression was anything to go by, and they talked some more - or rather, argued. Todoroki ran to him, but got punched in the gut and froze Midoriya’s arm.
“The fuck is wrong with these two?” I asked myself. And the teachers weren’t stopping them either. There was no way Midoriya wasn’t in excruciating pain by now, but he kept going like it was nothing.
I didn’t have to hear what they were saying or even see their faces. Both of them had some serious issues that they were taking out on each other for whatever reason, issues that seemed too deeply rooted to actually have anything to do with their match. I was certainly curious about it, but more than that, I was worried. This looked like the kind of shit they should be dealing with in therapy, not in a school competition.
“Holy fuck!” I exclaimed, almost choking on my tea when, instead of ice, Half and Half was engulfed by a wall of fire. “He has two Quirks?!”
The flames seemed to be coming from his left side, while ice sprouted from the right. Why hadn’t he used fire until now? Then the camera shifted for a second to the bleachers, where a happy looking Endeavor was walking down to get closer to the arena. Hum, maybe that’s why. “Would you look at all those daddy issues…” I muttered under my breath, certain of my conclusion even if I didn’t know Todoroki Shouto at all.
When they launched attacks towards each other again, cement walls appeared between them and got immediately blown up. I just blinked in shock at the force of the explosion until the dust settled enough for anyone to see and Midnight-sensei announced that Midoriya was out of the ring. Todoroki had won.
I fell back against my chair. “I’m so glad I left before this one.”
Then I picked up my phone, texting Shinsou.
WHATSAPP
Shin-chan
Onljne

Dude, u could have died if Midoriya had used his Quirk on u!

Yeah, I kinda noticed that.
Are u watching on TV?

Yep
Seriously, wtf is up with this class?!

Idk, but I’m almost glad I didn’t have to find out first hand.
Are u gonna tell me what this important thing u wanna say is about?

Nope.
That’s an in-person kind of conversation.

Ok, I’ll meet u at the tea house once the Festival ends.

K, I’ll wait here.

The next couple of battles were really fast and not nearly as brutal as the last ones, including the semi-finals. The last match was between Cocky Blond and Ice-Quirk - who refused to use his flames again, and lost. I didn’t pay attention to the award ceremony, getting anxious about my conversation with Shin-chan. Not long after, he walked through the door and I waved at him.
“Hey.”
“Hi.” I took a deep breath as he sat in front of me, steeling my nerves.
“So, what is it? You’re making such a mystery.”
“Shin-chan, I need to tell you the truth about my Quirk.”

*Baachan means grandma in Japanese, and it’s also an affectionate way of referring to elderly women


3. I-Island

So. To say Shinsou was shocked after finding out the truth was a bit of an understatement. But I gotta admit, he took it all better than I had expected.
The last few months were a lot easier, now that he knew. I didn’t have this constant sense of guilt anymore, and to have someone by my side who understood why sometimes I just had to leave a place was a relief. I did feel a little bad for having him keep my secret, but there wasn’t much I could do about it now and he didn’t really seem to mind.
Now we were on holiday, and hadn’t seen each other since the last day of school, but to be honest, I kinda wished he was here today to keep me company. Sorry, I forgot to say where I was, right? I was at I-Island for I-expo. I-Island was this artificial island where the best scientists hid from the world to work on new technologies to assist Pro-heroes everywhere, and there was this convention where the most famous Pros and big companies were invited to see all the new advancements. I was here because my dad worked in one of said companies, and he was responsible for a big part of their communications tech, so the company had decided to send him to represent them at this year’s expo. They often sent him to these events. Since it was summer vacation, they extended the invite to the whole family, so my mom, my little brother and I got to come.
But, as amazing as the island was, I got bored. I didn’t want to stick with my parents for the whole weekend, I wanted to see other things too. By some miracle, I’d managed to convince my mom to let me wander off on my own, so I’d browsed some shops, seen some parts of the exhibit and had stopped at a cafe just before it closed to have some tea. Somehow, the waiters were two boys from UA’s hero course, but they didn’t seem to recognize me, so I sat in peace at one of the tables outside.
The short one with grape hair did try to see under my skirt though, so I disliked him already. Fucking pervert. I was glad when it was time for them to close the cafe, as they got too busy to pay attention to me. But I was still there, minding my own business, when other UA students showed up, some familiar faces among them. I remembered one of the girls from the Sports Festival, it was the one who passed out after fighting Cocky Blond. And there was Green Hair, who’d defeated Shinsou. They had a blond girl with them that looked a bit older than us too that I was sure wasn’t from UA.
They went straight to talk to the other two, and I ended up overhearing them say they were attending the party tonight, which meant I was likely going to see them again later, seeing as I was also going.
“Wait guys. Hum, hi, excuse me. You’re from UA too, aren’t you?” Said a voice a lot closer than before. I lifted my eyes to find Green Hair near the table where I was, looking at me. “You’re Shinsou’s friend. The one who came to get him after our match at the Sports Festival.”
I hesitated for a moment. Sure, I’d recognized them too, but should I join them? They seemed friendly, but I liked my relative anonymity. In the end, I didn’t see a way out, so I just offered him a shy smile.
“Hi. Yeah, that’s me. I’m surprised you remember me, though.” He smiled at me. He kinda looked like my baby brother, to be honest.
“I’m really good at remembering things. I’m Midoriya Izuku.”
“Deku-kun, who’s this?” Asked the other girl from the Sports Festival, their whole group flocking to where I was sitting. Deku? What kind of nickname is that?
“I’m . I’m from UA too, but I’m in general studies. This one” I pointed at Midoriya “kicked my friend’s ass out of the Sports Festival, and we met right after that.”
“Ooh, you’re friends with the brainwashing guy!” One of the other girls, the one with short hair and combat boots, said.
“Guilty.”
“So, are you here for I-expo too?” Asked the blond with a friendly smile. “I didn’t expect so many UA students to be here. I’m Melissa Shield, by the way.” My eyebrows shot up.
“Wait, Shield, as in professor David Shield?” She nodded. “You’re David Shield’s daughter?”
“Yes, that’s me.”
“Okay, wow. Your dad is like, so fucking awesome. And yeah, I’m here for the convention. My dad’s always having to attend these events to represent the company he works for, and this time they extended the invitation to the whole family, so here I am.” I shrugged.
-san, if you’re here by invitation, are you attending the party tonight too?” I looked up at the tall, raven-haired girl.
“Yeah, I’m going. Will all of you be there too?”
“We are! I heard there will be Pro Heroes at tonight’s party as well.” Exclaimed the tall boy with exhaust pipes coming out of his legs, startling me. He sounded so serious about it, and talked like these were military orders. It was kinda funny. “We cannot taint UA’s reputation. We shall change into our formal clothes and go as a group. Everyone be at hall seven in the central tower precisely at half past six. Don’t you dare be late. I shall talk to Todoroki-kun and Bakugo-kun and share this information. Thank you, you’re dismissed!” And then, without any opening for answers, he ran off much faster than any normal person could.
“Uh, is he always like that?” I asked, pointing in the general direction he’d run to.
“Iida-kun is very passionate about doing things right.” Offered the first girl with a chuckle, her tone half apologizing “I’m Uraraka Ochaco.”
“Right! I saw your match at the Sports Festival. You were incredible.” She blushed and looked away.
“No, I-I lost.”
“And I was very sad to see that, cause I really wanted to see that guy get his ass handed to him. But you were still amazing.”
“Oh. Well, thanks.”
“Anyway, I might disappoint your fast friend. I’m here with my family, and I don’t know if my mom will let me come meet you before the party.”
“How about you ask your mom, and if she says no, you meet us inside? I can give you my number and you let us know if you’re coming or not.”
“Okay, sounds like a plan.” I shrugged. I supposed I wouldn’t mind the company for one night, and then we’d all go back to being strangers. I pulled my phone out of my bag, creating a new contact and giving it to her to fill up the information. The name she typed in was ‘Jiro Kyoka’ and there was a headphone emoji beside it. “Jiro Kyoka. And I’m still missing your names.” I said, pointing at the two boys who’d been working and the taller girl. “Oh! I’m so sorry -san, I should have introduced myself.” She sounded so disappointed in herself, looking down in shame. “I’m Yaoyorozu Momo, and these are Kaminari Denki and Mineta Minoru.” The blond guy - Kaminari - winked at me and the pocket-sized creep - Mineta - smiled in what I assumed he thought was a flirty way.
I waved dismissively. “Don’t worry about it. Nice to meet you. Now, if any of us want to be at the central tower in formal clothes by half past six, we really should be leaving.”
“She’s right, we should get going. We’ll meet later, alright?” Said Melissa, to which everyone agreed, waving their goodbyes and walking away. I did notice, as I was leaving as well, that Green Hair stayed behind with her. Hum. How did they know David Shield’s daughter anyway?

###

WHATSAPP
Jiro Kyoka 🎧
Onljne

So somehow my mom was ok w this, so I’ll see u @ the central tower in a bit.

I texted Jiro. Then, remembering I never gave her my phone, followed up:

WHATSAPP
Jiro Kyoka 🎧
Onljne

So somehow my mom was ok w this, so I’ll see u @ the central tower in a bit.

It’s from general studies, btw

I added the finishing touches to my makeup, taking a final look in the mirror. My hair was falling over my shoulder in a braid, as I’d given up trying to make it look good in any other style, but it looked nice with my one shoulder dress, which was flowy and light, the fabric ending just above my knees. It started out in a lilac so light it was almost white on my shoulder and faded into a deep purple at the hem, a simple belt of that same shade with tiny silver sequins that were only really visible when they caught the light marking my waist. For my makeup I’d stuck with the classic winged liner and red lip combo due to my sudden shortened time, and I’d replaced my usual moonstone necklace for a delicate chain with a flower pendant.
I’d also switched the shoes I’d brought originally for the ones I’d bought earlier that afternoon, cause the new ones had removable heels and turned into very cute flats for when my feet started to hurt. I’d have to keep the heels in my pockets (yes, my dress had pockets!), but they were light, so I didn’t mind. Sure, they’d been designed thinking of heroes who carried weapons and stuff, so the heels also became daggers, but I had zero intention of using that function.
I checked the time, noticing I was late, but there wasn’t much I could do. My mom had agreed to me meeting the rest of the UA students, but only since I was walking to the party with my family, and I’d have to check in with them when we got inside.
I parted with my parents just outside the tower a few minutes later. They were going straight to the party and I was meeting everyone - Jiro had answered me saying they were late as well, so I still had time.
I was picking at my nails as the doors opened to reveal the guys I’d met earlier as well as Ice Quirk.
“I’m so sorry I’m late, my family wouldn’t let me come sooner.”
! That’s alright, Melissa isn’t here yet either. Neither are Bakugo and Kirishima,” said Jiro. She looked pretty uncomfortable in the dress she was wearing, and it was so obviously not her style that I assumed she’d borrowed it from someone.
“More of your friends that are here?”
“Yeah, but I think everyone except Iida and Todoroki got late somehow.” She explained, pointing at Ice Quirk behind her. He looked at me as he heard his name, his expression blank, before looking away again.
“Does an agreed upon meeting time mean nothing to any of you?” Iida asked, looking exasperated.
“I really am sorry. My mom wouldn’t let me leave by myself, or I would have gotten here sooner.”
Then the door behind me opened, a breathless Melissa running in.
“Oh, good! I thought I was late! Let’s go down to the party. And you made it too!” She smiled at me and I smiled back.
“The best of them has arrived!” Exclaimed Grape Head, and his blond friend completed:
“Mineta, I can’t take all this beauty! I think I might die!” And he pretended to faint.
I frowned at them and Jiro rolled her eyes, frowning as well.
“These invitations were a mistake.” She muttered and I chuckled. Well, at least I wasn’t the only one who disapproved of their behavior.
“Wait, Melissa-san. Kacchan and Kirishima-kun aren’t here yet.”
I tilted my head. ‘Kacchan’ wasn’t anywhere near any of the names they mentioned.
“Who’s ‘Kacchan’?”
“He’s the one who got first place in the Sports Festival.” Yaoyorozu explained. I thought for a second, trying to remember his face.
“Oh, you mean Cocky Blond! But I thought his name was Baku- something.” They all looked at me funny for a moment, Jiro and Kaminari clearly holding in a laugh, until I realized what I’d said. “A-ah don’t get me wrong, if he’s your friend, I’m just really bad at remembering people’s names and the times I saw him…”
“Oh no, you’re spot on. It’s just that people are usually scared of him and he’s the one who ‘nicknames’ everybody.” Kaminari explained, making air quotes as he said nicknames. “And his name is Bakugo Katsuki, but Midoriya calls him Kacchan.”
Midoriya let out a nervous laugh, scratching the back of his head.
“That’s cause we’ve known each other since we were little.”
“Has he always been like that? At the Sports Festival he seemed like a… difficult person.” I asked before I could stop myself.
I had later watched the awards ceremony for the Festival. Cocky Blond had to be physically restrained in several ways, because he didn’t accept that he had won without facing Ice Quirk’s fire powers. He’d looked like some sort of rabid animal.
Midoriya started stuttering as he tried to answer, but Fast Boy cut in before he managed to actually get any words out.
“This isn’t good. Bakugo and Kirishima-kun aren’t answering their phones. Knowing those two, they’re avoiding the party.” He both looked and sounded worried, I just wasn’t sure if it was about the two or about ‘tainting UA’s reputation’ like he’d said earlier.
Everyone seemed a little confused and worried too, but then a robotic voice started announcing on speakers:
“This is an announcement from I-Island’s security system. We have received a report that an explosive device was found in one of the rooms of I-expo. I-island will remain in high alert mode. Your safety is our biggest priority.” We all looked around and at each other in confusion.
“What the fuck?” I muttered under my breath. Something didn’t smell right, and this time I meant literally: that was a lie, I just couldn’t figure out which part.
“… Whoever’s out on the streets after the next ten minutes will be violating the law.” The doors and windows around us started to be closed by metal sliding doors and I swallowed thickly, picking at the skin around my nails. That was not good. “As precaution, most of the main buildings in the island are now closing. I repeat, we have received a report…” It went on to repeat the message and I stopped listening. Well shit. We were now trapped in the building.
“I’m not getting any service. It seems my phone service is completely blocked.” Said a deep voice closer than I expected, startling me. When I turned around to look, it was Ice Quirk, staring at his phone. I hadn’t noticed up until that moment that he hadn’t said a word.
Taking his cue, I pulled my phone out of my pocket to find it was also without service. “Mine too.”
“Are you two serious?” Grape Head asked, looking a little desperate.
“Elevator’s not working either.”
“What the hell is going on?!”
“It’s strange that the system went into high alert.” Said Melissa thoughtfully. “This isn’t the protocol for when explosives are discovered.”
“Something’s definitely wrong here.” I muttered under my breath. Usually, I wasn’t able to smell lies from machines, only people. My Quirk didn’t work on absolute truths, but rather on what the person speaking believed, which meant that, like Melissa said, that wasn’t standard protocol. Someone had tampered with the island’s security system, making the artificial intelligence release a message that went against its programming.
I didn’t have the chance to tell them that, though, because Midoriya pitched in then, a look of determination on his face. “Iida-kun, let’s go to the party.”
“For what reason?” Asked the other boy.
“Because that’s where we’ll find All Might.” I quirked an eyebrow. All Might was here?
“Wait, All Might is there?”
“Oh, thank god, we have nothing to worry about.” I had to agree with Tiny Creep on that. All Might had been a little less active than usual lately, but if he was here, then we’d be fine.
“Melissa-san, do you know how we can get there without the elevator?” She nodded.
“Of course. We can use the emergency stairs. They’ll get us closer at least.” “We’ll follow you then.”
Midoriya and Melissa took the lead and I stayed to the back. What little I knew of these people told me they were far too reckless for my level, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to keep up with them if need be. That was also part of why I was so quiet. I was analyzing them, trying to figure them out and trying to figure out how to act around them too.

###

It was pretty easy to get close to the party actually, but that was about to be the last easy part of our night.
Melissa took us to a floor above the party, but there was a balcony-like structure from which we could see the party through a glass pane at the ceiling of the room where it was happening. What we saw was bad. The guests were all sitting still or restrained, including All Might. I couldn’t see far enough into the room to see if my family had made it inside. Midoriya and Jiro got closer to try to figure out what that was about.
I rested my back against a wall as I felt my head spin for a moment, almost making me trip. Come on, not now! I took several deep breaths in an attempt to steady myself, and it all almost exploded in my face as I heard a voice really close:
-san, are you alright?! Do you need medical attention?!” My eyes snapped open as I jumped, startled.
“Jesus fucking Christ, don’t do that!” I hissed, one hand on my chest. Iida (at least I think that was his name. It was Fast Boy) stood only a few inches from me, looking a little shocked at my choice of words. I also caught Ice Quirk watching us, but his expression was unreadable. “I’m fine, other than the heart attack you just gave me.”
“I’m sorry! As class president I must make sure everyone is alright and you looked ill!”
“Dude,” I interrupted. He sounded like he had earlier, with so much unnecessary energy “chill. I told you, I’m fine. But if it makes you feel better, even though I’m not in your class, I’ll let you know should anything happen, ok Mr. Class President?”
He nodded emphatically. “Yes! Thank you!”
I let out a sigh as he turned his back to me, closing my hands in fists to hide their shaking. When I looked up again, mismatched eyes were still watching me.
“This is serious, Midoriya.” Jiro’s voice called all of our attention back.


###

We all went back to the hall where we were before and she explained what All Might had told her, about how some villains had hijacked the whole island and were holding everyone in the party hostage, threatening to shoot the civilians if the Pro Heroes did anything. He’d told us to leave, hide somewhere where those same villains wouldn’t find us.
“We have received clear orders from All Might. He is our teacher. I suggest we follow his instructions and flee this place. Otherwise, we’d be going against his will.” Fast Boy said with a finality tone, like that was our only option. I quirked an eyebrow, surprised that someone from their class had some common sense. I mean, the Sports Festival wasn’t the only event they were known for ignoring any limits.
“I agree with what Iida-san is saying.” Said the tall girl, Yao-something. “We’re just students. We can’t fight these villains without hero licenses.”
“Why don’t we get out and warn the Pros that are outside?”
Melissa shook her head. “It won’t be too easy to escape. The security system here is compatible with the one at Tartarus Prison, which is where the most dangerous criminals of the world are!” I bit my lower lip, weighing our options. I didn’t want to go fight villains that had managed to infiltrate one of the safest places in the world, but my family was somewhere out there. For once, I was kinda hoping to see the recklessness 1A was known for, because the people around me were honestly our best bet at the moment.
“So, I guess we can only sit here and wait this out.” Continued the blond defeatedly shrugging. Jiro got up, looking determined and turning to him.
“Kaminari, do you really accept that?”
“What choice do we have?”
“Don’t you think we should try to stop them?” Ah, there it was.
“The villains managed to get even All Might! There’s no way we can stop them if the Pros are being held!” Shouted Grape Head.
“Are we not trying to become Pros?” Asked Ice Quirk staring at his left hand with a distant look. Like me, he’d been quiet for most of the discussion.
“Yes, but we can’t do hero work, you know that.”
“Does that mean it’s right to do nothing?” He shot back at the raven-haired girl, who backed down immediately, looking torn.
“Well, it’s complicated.”
“I want to help!” Midoriya finally pitched in, his tone leaving no margin for discussion. I was starting to notice that there was a certain division between the action takers and the thinkers, and all of the common sense and notion of consequences rested with the second group.
“Deku-kun…”
“I want to save them!” He interrupted Cutie. She looked kinda awed by him.
“You want to fight these villains?! Did you learn nothing from USJ, Midoriya?!”
“This is completely different. We don’t have to fight them.” I arched both eyebrows, curious. How could we not need to fight them? “We just need to figure out how to rescue All Might and all the others without facing the villains.” Oh, so he had no plan. He was just suggesting a hypothesis. I refrained from rolling my eyes, wanting to see what the others would say to that.
“That’s easy to say, but it won’t be that simple.”
“I know, but I still want to try! We can figure out the best action plan and keep these criminals from winning. We can save everybody!” He either thought incredibly high of their own abilities or he had no notion of danger whatsoever. Considering how injured he’d gotten at the Sports Festival; I was betting on the latter.
“Deku-kun…”
“I know where the security system is.” Melissa was the one now contaminated by Midoriya’s energy, though she sounded serious. “It’s on the last floor of this tower. If these criminals managed to take over, then the authenticator blocks were probably deactivated. We should be able to reboot the system ourselves.” Now that actually sounded like a feasible, if incredibly difficult, plan. “We just have to stay off the villains’ radar until we reach the top. If we do that, the whole island will be safe again.”
“Melissa-san…”
“Like that’s gonna be easy.” I muttered under my breath. I didn’t know which floor the system was in, but she’d said ‘top’ and this tower was a tall one. They didn’t seem to hear me.
“Sure, but how are we gonna stay hidden that long?”
“The security system hasn’t found us out yet.” Melissa explained to Jiro. “So the villains don’t really know how it works.”
“So we avoid fighting and try to bring the place back to normal.” Ice Quirk let out thoughtfully. “It could work.”
“Not bad! What you think?” Blondie turned excitedly to Jiro.
“Let’s do this!” Grape Head was panicking on the floor and I almost felt sorry for him. But then, wasn’t he in the hero course? Shouldn’t he be more chill about facing villains? I mean, I was less worried than him.
“Many of the villains must be gathered on the last floor.” Remembered Miss Voice of Reason.
“If we’re quick, we won’t have to fight them. When the system’s back to normal, All Might and the others will be released. They’ll immediately spring into action and stop the villains! I know it!” Exclaimed Midoriya, to which Cutie stood up answering:
“Deku-kun, let’s do this!”
“Uraraka-san!” Right, that was her name. I’d probably remember all their names by the end of the night at the rate we were going.
“I don’t want to just sit here playing the victim! Not when there’s something we can try. The important thing is helping people, even if we’re not real heroes.”
“That’s exactly what I think! Let’s follow our hearts and save the island!”
“Yes!” I squinted. Gods, it wasn’t just that they ignored all limits. They actively encouraged each other in doing it, feeding from each other’s recklessness. No wonder their class couldn’t seem to stay out of trouble.
“Midoriya. I’ll also go with you.”
“I’m in.”
“Todoroki-kun!”
“Kyoka-chan!”
I watched as each of them manifested their conditions to go along with that plan, Iida and Yaoyorozu establishing that they’d judge how far everyone could go.
“Melissa-san, -san, wait here for us, okay?” Midoriya said then and I scoffed, crossing my arms, Melissa answering before me.
“No, I’m going too.”
“But without a Quirk, you’ll be in danger.” He said tentatively, and she quirked an eyebrow, placing her hands on her hips.
“I suppose none of you know how to set up the island’s security system.” The embarrassed silence that followed was enough of an answer. “I’m a student at I-Academy. I’ll be useful to you.”
“Wait!”
“I won’t get in your way. At least till we reach the last floor. I want to help.” She gave an emphasis to that sentence that had me thinking she was telling him more than she was saying. “People are in danger! Please!”
The boy turned his eyes to me before answering her, trying to see if I would ask to stay back or to come along. They knew nothing about me, they didn’t even know whether I had a Quirk or not. I raised both eyebrows.
“My family was going to that party. My little brother could be down there. Tell me to stay back and I’ll shove my heels up your ass.” They didn’t need to know either, though I could be useful if we got close enough to any villains. I could force them to tell us what was happening, how they got into the island and all that. He swallowed thickly.
“Ok then. Let’s go. Let’s save everyone!”
After that, it was agreed that Midoriya would go warn All Might about what we were doing and then we’d start going up the stairs. While we waited, I removed the heels from my shoes and put them in my pockets, cause there was no way I was running around in high heels.
And that was probably my best decision, because, when we were around the 30th floor, Midoriya stopped to ask Melissa how many floors the tower had. I held back the list of every curse word I knew when the number 200 left her lips.

###

I stopped breathlessly when I saw no one was advancing anymore. We were on the 80th floor and I was very much regretting my decision to come along.
“You okay?” I asked Melissa, who was just as breathless as me. She had ditched her shoes about thirty floors ago, but the two of us still stayed to the back of the group, unable to fully keep up with the stamina of the heroes in training. She nodded.
“This path is blocked!” Iida announced, pointing at the closed door before us.
“What do we do? Destroy it?” Ice Quirk suggested and Melissa answered as I shook my head.
“If we do that, the security system will alert the villains that someone’s here.” “Why don’t we go through this door?”
“Mineta-kun!”
“No!” Melissa tried to reach him, but Grape ahead was already opening the door. An alarm immediately sounded, but there was nothing else we could do. I groaned as we moved into the hallway, running.
“Is there another way up?” Asked Iida.
“There should be another set of emergency stairs on the other side of the hallway.”
“Let’s hurry!”
There was a rumbling sound then and several gates sectioning the hallway began closing before our eyes. I looked back to see the ones behind us closing as well.
“The gates!” Said Midoriya.
“The ones behind us too!” I shouted as Yaoyorozu was turning her eyes back ahead, having seen the same as me.
“Todoroki-kun!” Iida called as the last gate between us and the door started closing.
“I got it!” Ice Quirk shouted back, blocking the metal with his ice.
We’d still have to jump relatively high to get through, but at least we weren’t stuck, and I heard a loud crash as well as Iida saying we could get out that way.
I groaned, looking up at the metal door, the gap so high I could barely reach it with my arms all the way up.
“I’m so not dressed for this shit.” I heard a low giggle beside me and turned my eyes to find Cutie — Uraraka, wasn’t it? — offering me a sympathetic look.
“Do you need help?” I took a moment to remember that her Quirk was to nullify the effect of gravity on things before nodding.
“If it’s no trouble, then yeah. I’m not sure I can get across on my own.”
She touched my arm with the tips of her fingers and I instantly felt myself become weightless. I grabbed her arm a little desperately.
“Todoroki-kun?” She called.
“Yes?” Came Ice Quirk’s deep voice from the other side of the door.
“I’m helping -chan get to the other side, can you make sure she won’t fall?”
“Okay.”
“See? You’ll be fine.” I took a deep breath. It was her Quirk after all, she knew what she was doing. I nodded and let go of Uraraka, floating to the gap.
I gripped the metal and pulled myself to the other side, finding Ice Quirk staring up at me with the same bored expression he seemed to wear constantly. Okay, here goes nothing. I pushed the door up, impelling my body towards the floor, and startled at the feeling of hands on my waist pulling me down.
“I got her, Uraraka.” He said, gently lowering me until my feet were touching the floor. I could feel my cheeks burning at the proximity. What? He was handsome, don’t judge me.
I heard her saying ‘release’ and my body had weight again, making me steady. His hands left me immediately and I cleared my throat. “Thanks.”
“Thank you, Todoroki-kun!” He just nodded, walking towards the door Iida had blasted.
We followed quietly, moving into what looked like a huge internal garden that took the entire floor.
“What is this place?”
“It’s an herbarium. They study the effects of Quirks on the plants.” Melissa explained quietly.
“Wait!” Jiro ran ahead, stopping everyone. “Look! The elevator’s coming up!” “Don’t tell me the villains found us!” Tiny Creep let out worriedly. I frowned at him, spatting my next words:
“They wouldn’t have if you hadn’t opened the fucking door!” He looked up in mild shock at being reprimanded like that, but Midoriya was already considering our next step.
“Let’s hide and let them go by us.”
And that’s what we did, using the bushes as cover and hoping the villains wouldn’t see us. I heard some whispers from Kaminari, Melissa and Mineta, but couldn’t make out what they were saying as I wasn’t close enough.
“Look at their clothes. They’re definitely the villains from the party.” Midoriya muttered tensely beside me.
“He said the kids came here.” Said one of the men. I swallowed thickly, feeling my heart beat in my throat.
“They had to pick a place with so many hiding spots.” The other one answered, annoyed.
“They’re after us!” Uraraka whispered. I turned desperate eyes to her, holding a finger to my lips.
“Be quiet!” Iida begged.
“Hey! Found you, stupid kids!”
I felt tears stinging my eyes and panic swelling in my chest.
“Huh? What did you say, you bastard?” A new voice answered from some other point I couldn’t see. I poked Midoriya, who was sitting closest to me, and mouthed “your friends?” Without a sound. He nodded, replying “Kacchan” the same way.
“What are you doing here?”
“That’s what I wanna know too.” I flinched. If that was Cocky Blond, our plan of avoiding the villains was about to get completely fucked.
“Bro, just let me handle this, ok?” Said a new voice, a cheerful one. “We got lost looking for the party. Could you point us in the right direction?”
“How did they get to the 80th floor looking for the lobby?” Mineta quipped beside me.
“Don’t lie to me or you’ll regret it!” They’re not lying, I wanted to say, gasping as the villain’s hand grew larger and he seemed to throw something at the two boys, the air shifting from his attack.
“Look out!” Cocky Blond shouted, running towards Red Spikes.
“Kirishima-kun!” Midoriya called beside me but, before Kirishima could be hit by whatever the villain had done, a wall of ice sprouted between them, protecting him and trapping the men.
“That looks like…”
“Todoroki?”
The ice shook, loud crashing noises coming from inside and shards flying. Todoroki turned to us, crouching and placing his right hand on the floor.
“The three of us can keep them busy here. Find a way to the top!” We looked down to find ice covering the floor in a circle under us.
“The fuck…?”
“Todoroki-kun!”
“But you…” the ice rose in a column with us on top, taking us high into the air.
“I’ll be fine! Go!” He shouted.
“Todoroki-san!” Yaoyorozu called from the edge of our ‘platform’.
“I’ll be right behind you after cleaning this mess.”
“Right!”
Our ‘ride’ stopped beside one of the huge walkways that crossed the herbarium and we all got off the ice. Hearing the sounds of the fight below us, they started running towards the closest door, but I didn’t move.
“Wait!” Eight pairs of eyes turned to my face and I swallowed. “I’m staying back.”
-chan, why…?” Cutie started asking, her expression worried, but I offered her a smile.
“I could be useful here. I’m not sure for how much longer I can keep up with you at this rate, but we have villains right here. I can make them talk.”
“Uh, what do you mean, you can make them talk?” Jiro asked, frowning.
“My Quirk. I can force people to tell me the truth if I’m close enough, and I have yet to find someone who could keep their mouth shut when I’m trying.” I explained. “They must know at least part of what’s really going on, and knowing can make things easier for you. At the very least you’ll know exactly what you’re up against.”
“But -san, how will we know if you stay back?” Yaoyorozu asked, and I bit my lip in thought. Then my eyes landed on Jiro’s ears.
“How far can you listen with those?”
“Not much further than one or two floors.” I sighed, but Midoriya’s eyes gleamed as he pitched in.
“Yaoyorozu-san, can you make -san a small, low frequency radio broadcaster?” I tilted my head. What did he mean, she could ‘make me’ one? “Would that make you listen farther, Jiro-san?”
“It could work.” She answered.
“The frequency would have to be incredibly low not to get blocked like the phone service.” Melissa added, and Yaoyorozu just nodded. A patch of her arm glowed for a moment and then a small walkie-talkie sprouted out of her. My eyes went wide as she handed it to me, but I kept quiet. I could ask her about her Quirk some other time, if we managed to survive the night.
“Okay, now you guys go ahead. I’ll try to help those three figure out what Quirks they’re fighting so we can follow you.”
Iida and Midoriya nodded seriously and I ran back to hide somewhere where I could see the fight. It didn’t look so good.

Shoto

Hm… hi? How do I…? [Just tell them what happened.] Them who? [The readers. They wanna know what you thought, how you felt, how you reacted. Start at the point where the group split up.] Uh, I just say it? [Yeah, just say it. Whatever comes to mind.] Fine.
The villains burst out of my ice unharmed, apparently due to the Quirk of the first one who attacked us. Midoriya’s plan of avoiding a fight was now completely useless, as the villains seemed to want one, the other man turning into a purple beast and charging at us. I made more ice to block his path, but he merely punched his way through.
“Die!” Bakugo shouted, causing an explosion at his back, but the villain ran out of the fog to attack him again.
“Bakugo!” Kirishima shouted, pushing Bakugo out of the way and getting thrown into a wall, where he got stuck. I tried to stop him, creating an ice wall, but the impact just made him pierce right through it.
“Kirishima!”
“Look out!” I warned him and Bakugo jumped out of the way just in time to avoid the attack from the other villain.
My ice seemed useless as the villain just somehow broke huge chunks of it before he got even close, and Bakugo and I ended up back-to-back, facing each of the villains.
“You can fight, can’t you?”
“Where are you from?”
“Sure! As if we’re about to tell one of the weak villains.” Bakugo scoffed; his voice excited from the battle.
“Why would we tell anything?” I completed, assessing our odds. With Kirishima out of the picture and everyone else gone, we were even in numbers, but these villains weren’t the weakest and there was a big chance they had reinforcements on the way.
They charged again and we each jumped to one side. We needed some sort of advantage if we were to catch up with everyone soon. Who knew how many more villains there would be now that they knew we were here.
“I dislocate matter.” The man said as he attacked me, his expression turning into one of bewilderment and the sentence seeming to distract him enough that he missed me by at least 1,5 meters.
Why he said that was a mystery, but he looked as surprised by the action as me, and his distraction was a welcomed advantage. One that almost allowed me to capture him.
A few minutes went by and both the villains were speaking nonstop, telling us about their Quirks and strategies and how they had help from someone who lived in the island to infiltrate and take over the system. They seemed to fight their own voices and not know why they were talking at all. I considered it was maybe because of one of the plants around us, but when Kirishima rejoined the battle, what he said made me think it could be something else:
“Todoroki, who’s that girl that stayed back?”
“Girl?” I tilted my head, looking at him for a second. “What girl?”
“She said her name was . She’s hiding somewhere, helped me when I got stuck to the wall.”
And his timing to tell me that couldn’t have been better, because I spotted her hiding behind some bushes that were directly in the path of the villain’s latest attack.
“Watch out!” I called. She lifted her gaze just in time to see what was coming her way and protected her face with her arms. I sent a wall of ice in an attempt to push her away from harm, hoping I’d be faster than the villain, already running. “Thanks.” She coughed when I reached her. had fallen among some plants, but I couldn’t see any obvious injuries.
“What are you still doing here?”
“I’m more useful here than running upstairs with everyone else. Who do you think is distracting them?” She got up and raised an eyebrow at me, and there was something strange about her eyes for a moment, almost like they were glowing. When I blinked, surprised by what she said, the ‘glow’ was gone. Must have been a trick of the light.
“You’re making them talk.” I realized and she smiled.
“Being a portable truth serum comes with its advantages. Now go fight them so we can help the others, I’ll find a better hiding spot.”
I hesitated for a second. She wasn’t a hero in training, and she’d just taken a pretty big hit.
“Are you hurt?”
“Huh? Oh, no, I’m okay. You got me out just in time.” She did seem unharmed, so I did what she said, but not before sending her up to the walkway like before.
“Stay up there. You’re less likely to get hit by either side.”
“Fine.” rolled her eyes.
Now that I understood what was happening and knew that she was there, I paid more attention to our surroundings as a whole. I could occasionally spot her blue hair on the walkways, never far from where we were. I couldn’t deny she was right, all the information we were getting was helpful and so was the distraction it was causing. I didn’t think we’d have defeated them as fast if she hadn’t been there.
“Right, let’s find Midoriya and the others.”
“Don’t tell me what to do!”
“Up here!” called, waving.
“Todoroki, it’s time to give us some details.” Kirishima asked and I nodded, lifting us to the platform where waited. “A group of villains infiltrated the island and hijacked the security system.”
“With inside help, as you heard. They also captured all the Pro Heroes and have everyone who was already at the party being held hostage under gunpoint.” She completed. “Hi, by the way, I’m . We should hurry to help the others.”
She showed us the way through which the others had left and I created an ice pillar that lifted us to the small door, which was much faster than each of us climbing the ladder.
The problem was about two floors later, when a wave of the island’s security robots blocked our path.
“Looks like they got serious.” I said, repositioning myself.
“Fuck.” let out, taking cover behind the three of us. “I’m useless on robots.”
“Stay behind us.” Kirishima instructed her, standing directly between her and the robots.

###

Once we finally managed to defeat those machines, we kept running. A few more floors later, the conversation shifted away from what exactly was happening in the island.
“Do you know where they are, ?” Kirishima asked and shook her head. “A few floors above us. And if these robots were any indicator, in trouble too.” “Who the fuck are you, anyway?” rolled her eyes at Bakugo.
“I’m in UA too, asshole. Your class isn’t the only one there is.”
“Midoriya said they met at school and Iida invited her to come to the party with us.” I explained quietly, and Bakugo just clicked his tongue in annoyance.
Before we could continue, I heard her let out a strangled noise. The three of us stopped, looking back to find with one hand on the wall and the other on her head, doubled over as if in pain and shaking. Had she lied before about getting hurt during the fight? I took a step towards her, but turned back to exchange a look with Kirishima. It would likely be useless if all three of us stayed, and we knew the others needed help.
“We’ll catch up.” He nodded and Bakugo squinted at for a moment before they turned and continued running. When I returned my gaze to her, she had her back against the wall and was sliding down to sit on the floor. “? ?” I called, but it was like she didn’t even listen.
I got closer then, worried she was passing out. If she did, I couldn’t just leave her there, but was it best to carry her all the way back down? There would be nowhere truly safe until the villains were stopped. “, what’s going on?” I crouched in front of her, trying to see her face and finding a troubled expression. Her eyes were closed tightly, her lips parted as she panted, her hands pressing her forehead. Knowing something was decidedly wrong with her, I reached out, placing my hand on her bare shoulder. Bad idea.
Her head whipped up immediately, her eyes glowing a greyish blue as they opened for a second before shutting again. An unnatural wave of calm and reassurance washed over me, taking away my worry, and I fell back in shock, letting go of her as if her skin burned me. Several seconds went by like that before opened her eyes again, just in time for the strange blue light to fade back to brown. She faced me with confusion for a moment, then realization crossed her eyes and panic set in, her hands moving to cover her mouth.
“Oh my god.”


To be continued...



Author's note: Hehehe hi guys. Before anyone comes to kill me for the ending, please consider that this chapter I not only gave you plenty of Shoto, he got a 1,5k words long POV! And the chapter is almost 2k words longer than usual!
I know I take forever to update, but I can promise that I already started the next chapter where you will finally find out what Cami's secret Quirk is! No more hiding that and all of 1A will be a lot more present in the story from this point on.
Also, I wanna know: now, with all that you've read, any final theories on her Quirk? I'd love to know what you think.
Anyway, as always, please leave a comment here or come talk to me on insta or tumblr!
Until next time!
XOXO
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