Forcing History to Repeat - Flapjack09 - 僕のヒーローアカデミア | Boku no Hero Academia (2024)

Chapter 1: A Million Plus One


(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Izuku wheezed as Katsuki landed yet another kick into his gut. Their first day at Aldera Middle School had just ended, and it was already beginning to look like three more years of the same.

“Quit f*cking whining, Deku,” Katsuki sneered as he stomped down hard on Izuku’s side. “You should have seen this coming. Just because this is a new school doesn’t mean anything’s different between us. You’re still just as weak as ever.”

Izuku knew Katsuki was right, but that didn’t make it sting any less. A small, hopeful part of him hoped that he and his bully would be put in separate classes. Or, at the very least, he would lose interest in him. But the world just seemed to be against him. Same as it ever was.

Izuku squeezed his eyes shut as he saw Katsuki reel his arm back, ready to hit him with another explosion. At this point, he just hoped it wouldn’t singe his uniform too bad. He had a hard enough time hiding the injuries from his mom last year. He really didn’t want to buy a new uniform so soon.

“Hold on one second,” Said an unfamiliar voice. Izuku creaked one eye open to see a hand gripping Katsuki by the shoulder, holding back his attack.

Katsuki whipped around and growled at the new presence, an older-looking boy with beady blue eyes and blond hair tied back in a ponytail. “Who the hell are you?!” He demanded.

The blue-eyed boy smiled and pointed his thumb to himself. “I’m Mirio Togata! New transfer, and your upperclassman by about two years. I’d say it’s nice to meet you, but this isn’t really the most welcoming situation. Now why don’t you just quit terrorizing the boy, and we can all talk this over.”

Katsuki rolled his eyes at Mirio’s beaming grin. “Like I give a rat’s ass if you’re older than me. Once I become number one, I won’t have to take orders from idiots like you.”

Mirio let out an amused chuckle. “Number one? As in number one hero? Boy, you’ve got your work cut out for you if you’re aiming for that spot.”

“The f*ck’s that supposed to mean?! You think I can’t do it? Because I can prove it to you right now!”

“Hmmmm… Alright, hit me with your best shot!” Mirio stood up straight with his arms folded behind his back. “Go on, hit me. I promise I won’t move from this spot.”

As soon as he realized he was serious, Katsuki stomped toward Mirio with a feral grin. “Heh, your funeral, dumbass. Now DIE!”

Katsuki released a concentrated explosion at Mirio’s chest. Izuku instinctively shielded his eyes from the damage. He knew it wouldn’t be pretty.

“Heh, wow, almost felt that one,” Mirio taunted. Though with his cheerful tone, it could almost have been read as a compliment.

“Wha - what the f*ck?” Katsuki gaped.

Confused by what he heard, Izuku unblocked his vision to see that while the spot on Mirio’s uniform was burnt and singed, his skin remained completely untouched.

As expected, this didn’t do well in diffusing Katsuki’s rage. “I don’t know what the hell kinda Quirk you have, but just because it blocked one attack doesn’t mean it’s any good against me.” He then fired off a torrent of explosions around Mirio’s entire body. And while it ripped his uniform top to shreds, it didn’t do any damage to his body. In fact, Izuku noticed some of the explosions go right through him.

As Katsuki stood out of breath, panting with his hands on his knees, Mirio’s grin sharpened as he got into a fighting stance. “That was pretty good, but now it’s my turn!” He pulled back his arm and sent a punch flying toward Katuski’s stomach. “Taaaaaaaake this!”

Using up the last of his sweat reserves, Katsuki jumped back and released one more explosion toward Mirio, which actually connected this time, sending the upperclassman tumbling back into a nearby wall.

“HA! I knew you were all talk!” Katsuki said, having regained his lost confidence, “You might be able to dodge like a coward, but when it comes to fighting, you’re just as bad as Deku.” And with that, He strolled away as he dusted off his hands, leaving his two victims to wallow in their collective failure.

But in reality, Izuku was the only one wallowing. Mirio, on the other hand, stood up as he cradled his burnt arm with a strained smile. “Wow. That guy’s really tough, isn’t he? You alright there, man?”

“Am - am I alright? What about you?” Izuku got up and fretted over Mirio’s injuries. “You just took a hit from Kacchan dead-on. Here, I have some burn cream in my bag.”

“You carry burn cream around with you? That does not paint a good picture,” Mirio said, the smile never quite leaving his face.

“Well, it is what it is,” Izuku shrugged as he gently applied the cream to Mirio’s arm. “Still, I’d rather not other people take the brunt of Kacchan’s outbursts. You didn’t have to step in for me right there. I mean - I appreciate that you did, you’d be the first to do so since… ever. But I’d hate for other people to get hurt just because of my uselessness.”

“Hey, don’t say that about yourself. Just because you got hurt doesn’t mean you’re useless.” Mirio offered him a comforting pat on the shoulder. “Besides, I would’ve stepped in regardless. What he was doing to you wasn’t right. And heroes don’t let that kind of behavior slide.”

Izuku perked up at that last part. “You want to be a hero?”

“You bet I do! I wanna go out there and save people with a smile on my face, just like All Might!” His expression slowly dimmed, “But, uh, I still got a lot of work to do on my end.”

“Are you talking about your Quirk? I saw you used it to avoid Kacchan’s explosions earlier. Does it let you phase through solid matter or something?”

“Right on the money, uh… What’s your name again?”

“Izuku Midoriya. And you’re Mirio Togata, right?”

“Sure am! I just transferred here from Chiba Prefecture.”

“Yeah, I heard about that. Didn’t your school have to shut down because of an infestation or something?”

“Yup! It was a horde of rats. This Aldera place is all kinda new to me. I had a friend at my old school, but he got transferred somewhere else. I hope he’s doing alright.”


Tamaki Amajiki didn’t know what to do. He was in a new classroom environment, completely alone, with Mirio nowhere in sight. He had clearly taken his friend for granted before, because he had no idea how he would survive without a consistent positive presence in his life.

Right as he thought that, a girl with long, periwinkle hair curiously zipped up to him. “Hey, hey, are you new here? Did you just transfer? Is it because of that rat infestation I saw on the news? What’s your name? What’s your Quirk? Does it have something to do with those pointy ears? Are you an elf? Do you get to live for a long time? That’s so cool!”

Never mind, Tamaki just wanted to be left alone again.


“Getting back to my Quirk, you were right on the money, Midoriya,” Mirio shot him a pair of finger guns. “My Quirk is called Permeation. It lets me phase any part of my body through solid matter. Unfortunately, that also includes air and light. So when I’m using it on my face, I can’t see, hear, or breathe.”

Izuku wasted no time summoning a notebook and jotting down the information. “Wow, that’s a really interesting Quirk. Sounds difficult to use, too.”

“You have no idea,” He chuckled, “I’ve been training my Quirk my whole life, and I only recently got the hang of stepping through walls.”

“So I take it you don’t have much experience with fighting?”

“Nope!” He said, popping the P, “In fact, I’m lucky my pants didn’t fall off during my scuffle with that explosions guy. If I had a yen for every time I lost a good pair of pants to my Quirk, I could almost pay off the public nudity charges!”

Izuku let out an unexpected laugh at the upperclassman’s joke. “Heh, that’s a good one, Togata. Though, I have a quick question about your Quirk, can you use it to reach into people? Like, into their bodies?”

“Can I reach into bodies? Let’s see,” He permeated his arm through the back of his head. His hand then came out of his mouth from the other side, giving the illusion that he was eating his own arm. “Well, if the taste is anything to go off of, then yes.”

“Well then, that makes you a seriously dangerous fighter,” Izuku stated, jotting down theories on Quirk application in his notebook. “You could punch right into someone’s innards. If you go at it at the right angle, you could break someone’s bones in a single punch. Heck, all you’d have to do is poke their heart, and you could cause some serious damage, or even death.”

Upon digesting this information, Mirio stared down at his open palms in shock and awe. “Oh my god. I never realized these hands held so much power. You know, considering they’re the hands I use to pick my nose.”

Izuku stifled a snort. “Yeah. Your Quirk sure has a lot of potential. Of course, if you were to do that in combat, you’d have to be mindful of the most optimal place to hit someone so as to ensure their defeat, but not death. And that would require a lot of research on biology and the human body.”

Mirio suddenly grabbed him by the arm and dragged him off. “Well, what are we waiting for, Midoirya? Let’s go look into that!”

“W-wait, we’re going now?”

“Sure! I mean, unless you have something better to do.”

Izuku sighed. “No. No I don’t.”


The pair soon found themselves at the library, where they checked out as many books on human anatomy as they could and began pinpointing the most effective spots for attack.

“Let’s see here… So far, the best spots we’ve pinpointed are here, here, and here,” Izuku said, pointing to various parts of a diagram of the human body. “Of course, it’s important to be mindful of how Quirks could change or alter these specific parts, so tread with caution.”

Mirio nodded in agreement. “Right. And places like the heart, lungs, spinal cord, and testicl*s are huge no-nos.”

“I don’t think punching someone in the testicl*s would kill them.”

“It’s the principle of the thing, Midoriya. It might be a matter of life or death, but that doesn’t mean we should be willing to break the man code.”

“But what if someone tries to hit you in the balls first?”

“In that case, all matter of pretenses are out the window. They dug the hole, so they should be willing to lie in it.”

“Tough, but fair,” Izuku conceded, “So now that we have a series of weak points you should be aiming for, we can deal with the elephant in the room.”

“Actually, Midoriya, I think that’s a mammoth.” Mirio pointed to a man with a mammoth Quirk sitting across from them.

“Yes. He’s been using his trunk to root around in your backpack for the past five minutes.”

Upon being called out, the mammoth man blushed in embarrassment. “Heh, sorry, I just smelled his peanut energy bar.” He quickly and awkwardly scooted away.

“Right…” Izuku continued, “Anyways, now that we figured out where to hit your opponent, we need to figure out how to hit them.”

“Yeah, that’s a good point. How am I supposed to breach their defenses while also keeping them from breaching mine? There’s got to be some kind of strategy for it.”

“Unfortunately, I don’t have anything,” Izuku shamefully admitted, “I feel like this can only be accomplished by a form of parallel processing, which is a technique I can’t even begin to wrap my head around. I’m sorry, Mirio, but it looks like our road ends here.”

“Hey, don’t sweat it, man. We made a lot of progress for one day. Don’t give up just yet. I’m sure we’ll figure it out eventually.” He bent down and picked up a handful of anatomy books, “For now, let’s put back these books. I’m sure we’ve got that covered.”

Izuku chuckled at his friend’s stupid joke, putting him in a slightly better mood than before. He picked up a handful of books of his own, but paused when he noticed the cover of one still on the table. “Huh, what’s this?”

“Just a book on dolphins, I think. Must’ve grabbed that one by mistake,” Mirio said as he funneled his stack of books back on the shelf.

As Izuku continued to stare at the cover of the dolphin book, he felt the gears inside his brain begin to turn. Slowly but surely, his brain cells began playing a word association game, ending with a new idea formed in his mind.

“Togata… you’re a dolphin.”


“TOGATA, YOU’RE A DOLPHIN!” Izuku excitedly exclaimed as he ran up to his friend’s face.

Mirio just blinked in confusion. “Uhhhh… I’m pretty sure I’m a man. Though my peers have compared me to a golden retriever.”

“No, not literally. You know that thing where dolphins leap in and out of the ocean to get air? You could do that!”

“You’re saying I use Permeation to swim through the ground while occasionally shooting up to take a breath while also getting a brief glimpse of my opponent’s current whereabouts?”


Mirio smiled thoughtfully as he scratched his chin. “Hm, that just might be crazy enough to work.”

“Great! Now let’s not waste any time!” Izuku dashed off to the DVD section, where the pair rented as many documentaries on dolphins as they could. Of which there was a surprising abundance of. Something to do with the Dolphin Documentary Boom of ‘89.


And that’s how the two spent the entire night at Mirio’s house, binging dolphin documentaries. Izuku would take notes throughout the entire thing, and once the film was over, he and Mirio would go outside and practice using Permeation to swim on land like a dolphin, with varying results. Afterwards, they would go back inside and repeat the process.

They were currently on documentary number eleven. It was around two in the morning, and both boys struggled to stay awake. Izuku still took notes, but in his half-awake, half-asleep daze, they looked more like scribbles than anything. Part of him knew deciphering them in the future would be a Sherlock Holmes-level mystery.

“Should… should we call it a night after this one?” Mirio asked groggily.

“Yeah… probably,” Izuku stifled a yawn. “I should probably be getting home soon.”

“Dude, it’s like two AM.”

“It is? Then I should probably call Mom. She’s probably worried sick about me.”

“Don’t bother. My dad called her and said you were sleeping over.”

“Cool, thanks.” Izuku tried to focus back on the movie, but found his vision blurred when he tried to look at the screen. A telltale sign his body was ready for sleep.

“Hey… Midoriya? You still awake?” Asked Mirio, who wasn’t sounding very awake himself.

“Barely,” Izuku said with a snort, earning a laugh from his friend.

“I just… I just wanted to say thanks. Y’know, for helping me with my Quirk and all.”

“Sure, sure, it’s no problem. I love Quirks.”

“No, but, like, most people just… wrote me off when they saw me fail to use my Quirk. Well, except for my dad and Tamaki. So it’s always nice to, you know, have someone in my corner.”

“I get what you mean,” Izuku nodded drearily, “Just about everyone writes me off, too. Except my mom, obviously.”

“Hm? Why’s that?”

Izuku spared a brief moment of hesitation before his next words, but he eventually decided to just go for it. “It’s because… Well, I’m Quirkless.”

Izuku’s gaze crept over to Mirio to try and gauge his reaction, hoping it wasn’t shock or disgust. It might have just been the sleep deprivation taking effect, but he didn’t sense any noticeable shift in mood from his friend. It just appeared as though he was deep in thought. Izuku took that as a victory regardless.

“So, when I saw you getting beat up by that Bakugo guy…” Mirio continued.

“Yeah…” Izuku’s gaze shifted down, “He’s always doing that kind of stuff, always telling me I can’t be a hero, always making me feel worse about myself. I try to brush it off, but… sometimes it gets to me.”

“Well, you’re a smart guy, Midoriya, I think - I think you could do it if you really wanted to.”

Izuku slowly sat up and turned to Mirio, his eyes already shimmering with unshed tears. “You - you really mean it?”

“Of course I do,” Mirio treated him to a soft, genuine smile, “Once I’m done showing your bully what’s what, we can start working on your training.”

“Yeah,” Izuku nodded as tears silently streamed down his face, “I’d like that.”


The Next Day…

“HEY! What the hell are you two doing?” Katsuki questioned as he stomped up to Izuku and Mirio.

“Who, us?” The upperclassman asked innocently, “Me and Midoriya are just smugly leaning on this wall behind the school.”

“Like most teenagers do,” Izuku added.

Katsuki suspiciously lowered his eyebrows. “What the hell do you have to be so smug about?”

“Midoriya just helped me figure out a few new tricks with my Quirk,” Mirio explained.

Katsuki scoffed, “Yeah, right. Like that Quirkless stalker could actually amount to something. You’re both still useless as the day I kicked your asses.”

“You mean yesterday?”

“Yeah, and every day after that! I’ll prove it to you if I need to!” The explosive teen held up his palms in a battle-ready position.

Unshaken by Katsuki’s threat, Izuku casually glanced up to his friend. “What do you think, Togata? Should we show him your stuff?”

“I mean, he is quite literally asking for it.” Mirio matched the bully’s fighting stance with his own.

“Oh, you’re going down, meathead!” Katsuki threatened, which only prompted Mirio’s smile to grow exponentially wider.

“That’s correct, I am going down!” He said before taking a deep breath, activating Permeation, and diving into the ground.

“Huh?! What the-” Katsuki whipped his head around in search of his missing opponent. He had his right palm aimed outward, ready to counter whenever Mirio decided to show his face.

Suddenly, the taller blond popped out of the ground, his clothes nonexistent as he chirped like a dolphin. “There you are!” Katsuki turned and launched an explosion at the source of the noise, only to barely miss before Mirio sank back into the ground as quickly as he popped out.

Katsuki instinctively ran over to the spot where he last saw his opponent, only for Mirio to pop out somewhere else. So Katsuki fired, missed again, and ran over to his opponent’s last seen location.

This game of cat and mouse lasted a few more rounds until Mirio saw the perfect opportunity to pop out from behind and partially phase his fist through Katsuki’s shoulder, striking him directly in the shoulder blade, and dislocating it.

“Mother f*cker!” Katsuki yelped in pain as his right arm hung limply at its side. “As soon as I get my one good hand on you, you’re dead meat!”

Mirio didn’t hear this threat, as he was already back in the ground. He wasted no time popping back out for another hit. This one flew right through Katsuki’s belly and slammed into his stomach, shaking it up enough for him to get on his knees and hurl up his lunch.

“Oooh, that doesn’t look pleasant,” Mirio winced as he popped his head out of the ground. “What say we stop it here, call it a draw, and let bygones be bygones?”

Katsuki coughed up the last of his vomit as he limped over to Mirio with murderous intent. “You’d like that, wouldn’t you? Seeing me admit my own weakness? But I’d rather vomit a hundred more times than admit defeat to the likes of you.”

“Suit yourself,” He took a deep breath and sunk back into the ground. Before Katsuki could even begin to come up with his next move, his opponent popped out and somersaulted right over him. At the top height of his arc, he permeated a hand through Katsuki’s head and lightly poked his brain.

“Ew, I felt that,” Katsuki squirmed in disgust, feeling like throwing up for a second time.

Mirio smiled as he suddenly poked his head through Katsuki’s chest. “What did it feel like?”

“Hey! Get the f*ck outta my body!” Katsuki went to blow up Mirio’s face, but he permeated it at the last second, causing the explosive teen to accidentally blow himself up. The explosion sent him skidding across the ground and crashing headfirst into the back of the school. “God… dammit…” Were his last words before he lost consciousness.

“Nice job, Togata! You did it!” Izuku cheered for his friend before handing him his pants while he averted his gaze. “Now please put some clothes on.”

“Heh-heh, whoops.” Mirio was quick to throw his pants on, having been used to losing his clothes in public. “Sorry ‘bout that. This is why I’m hoping to get a DNA-encoded suit one day.”

“For everyone’s sake, I hope you do. But still, you were great out there! I knew all those dolphin documentaries would pay off.”

“Hey, now don’t sell yourself short, Midoriya. I couldn’t have done any of this without that big ‘ol’ brain of yours.” He playfully tapped on Izuku’s forehead, earning a grin and a blush from the boy.

“Well, I guess we both did well today. We make a pretty good team, don’t we?”

“That we do, Midoriya. That we do.” He held out a fist toward Izuku, just begging for it to be bumped. “Here’s to working together and becoming great heroes?”

“You bet!”

As the duo shared the first of what would be many fist-bumps, they both paused for a moment upon hearing a slow clapping sound. Since they weren’t expecting an audience, they curiously turned their heads to the source of the noise, they both froze up upon seeing the visage of a pro hero they both recognized.

“I’d have to agree with you. I can see you both are already on the path to becoming great heroes,” Said Sir Nighteye with a smile.


God dammit Nighteye! We had a good thing going here!

But yes, for all the readers of the main series, this will end up going in a different direction than what I'm sure most of you would expect. But I at least hope it turns out to be an interesting direction.

Chapter 2: The Foreseeable Future


Izuku and Mirio get an offer they can't refuse.


(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Mirai Sasaki, AKA the Foresight Hero: Sir Nighteye, was never one to be ‘on edge’ so to speak. With a Quirk that allowed him to see a fully-accurate vision of the future, how could he be? But of course, like all Quirks, his had drawbacks, specifically regarding the lack of sound in his visions.

This proved to be a detriment in multiple scenarios, specifically when trying to gather verbal information. Though, his current situation was admittedly far more low-stakes in comparison.

He had already finished the drug raid in Mustafa that morning, which had gone off without a hitch. So he decided to do a small patrol around the area before he caught the train back to his agency. There was just one problem, however, when he read his own future that morning, it ended with something startling him while he was out on patrol.

So yes, this was a rare moment where Nighteye was properly paranoid. Not many things managed to shake the normally stoic hero, meaning this disruption had to be big.

It could be a large monster attacking Mustafa. It could be an unexpected earthquake, as rare as those were nowadays. It could be a sudden mass panic. It could even be-

Nighteye was cut from his thoughts as he jumped back after hearing a loud explosion noise. An explosion, of course! He should’ve known! Running to follow the noise, he soon ended up on the grounds of a local middle school. He could only hope he wasn’t too late and the kids were unharmed.

Another explosion sound led him to the metaphorical ground zero, where his expression instantly darkened upon figuring out the source of the noise.

It was just a simple schoolyard brawl, specifically between two blonds, one with explosions popping in his hands, and the other completely naked. Thankfully, the audience only consisted of a single green-haired boy, so it would be an easy fight to break up.

But before the hero could make his presence known, he found himself impressed as the naked blond seemingly activated his Quirk to phase his body through the ground, maneuvering like a dolphin to avoid the explosive blond’s attacks.

A Quirk like his didn’t seem easy to control, likely making the user unable to see or breathe while submerged in the ground. So Nighteye had to give credit where credit was due, even if his form looked sloppier than one of All Might’s meatloaf burgers with extra ketchup.

The naked blond only continued to impress the hero when his strategy finally switched to offensive, using his Quirk to partially phase through his opponent’s body and attack him from the inside. All while he avoided getting hit a single time.

And then, as he landed a punch right through the explosive blond’s stomach, Nighteye saw it. A beaming smile that shined like a lighthouse through the thickest of storms, one so bright and confident that it could reassure any civilian while striking fear into the heart of any villain.

It was a smile just like All Might’s.

At that moment, Nighteye internally decided that this boy had unyielding potential for the next Symbol of Peace. Sure, his fighting style was a little… unorthodox, but his stature and mannerisms screamed ‘All Might’ like the Foresight Hero had never seen before. All he had to do was mold that potential into someone truly worthy of One for All’s legacy.

The fight between the two blonds concluded shortly after that, with the explosive one being tricked into using his Quirk on himself. A common, yet reliable tactic if you asked Nighteye.

“Nice job, Togata! You did it!” The green-haired bystander cheered for his friend before handing him his pants. “Now please put some clothes on.”

“Heh-heh, whoops.” The naked blond, who Nighteye now knew as Togata, was quick to throw his pants on, clearly used to losing his clothes in public. “Sorry ‘bout that. This is why I’m hoping to get a DNA-encoded suit one day.”

“For everyone’s sake, I hope you do. But still, you were great out there! I knew all those dolphin documentaries would pay off.”

Dolphin documentaries? As a form of training? Nighteye suppressed a laugh. Strong, assuring, and a sense of humor? Togata was checking off all the boxes.

“Hey, now don’t sell yourself short, Midoriya. I couldn’t have done any of this without that big ol’ brain of yours.” He playfully tapped the shorter teen’s forehead, earning a grin and a blush from the boy.

So it was the Midoriya kid who helped Togata with his Quirk? Now that was interesting. Looking him over from his hiding spot, he didn’t seem like much. Skinny and nervous were the main two adjectives Nighteye would use to describe him. But if what Togata said was true, then there might also be a keen analytical mind buried underneath all that anxiety.

“Well, I guess we both did well today. We make a pretty good team, don’t we?” Said Midoriya.

“That we do, Midoriya. That we do.” Togata held out a fist toward him, just begging for it to be bumped. “Here’s to working together and becoming great heroes?”

“You bet!”

And that’s when Nighteye had another brilliant idea. These two boys seemed to be well acquainted with one another. Not only that, but they seemed to operate quite effectively as a unit, with Togata being the main hero, while Midoriya stood by his side to support him through trials and tribulations. Like a true hero and sidekick duo.

With all that in mind, Nighteye’s next course of action seemed clear as day. And if he succeeded, then maybe the glory days of All Might and Sir Nighteye could live on through their respective successors.

As the two boys’ fists met, Nighteye made his presence known with a slow clap as he emerged from his hiding space. “I’d have to agree with you. I can see you both are already on the path to becoming great heroes.”

The two boys stared in awe at the presence of a pro hero. “Oh my god… it’s Sir Nighteye!” Midoriya exclaimed. But that awe quickly turned to horror as they realized the state he found them in, where one of them had just been caught using his Quirk without a license. “Oh my god! It’s Sir Nighteye!” He repeated, his tone laced with panic this time.

They both shared a brief look of fear and uncertainty before Togata spoke up. “I - I swear this isn’t as bad as it looks. I was just trying to help my friend with-”

“Calm down, the both of you.” Nighteye ushered them into silence. “I saw what happened. And while yes, both you and your opponent were using your Quirks without a license, in the end, it isn’t worth any more than a warning. After all, if we arrested every schoolyard brawler, there would be no room left in jail for the actual villains.”

Both Togata and Midoriya deflated from their tense stances as they signed in relief. At the same time, the explosive blond who was previously knocked unconscious finally woke up, tiredly rubbing his head. “Ow… The hell just happened?”

“I’ll repeat to you what I said to them.” Nighteye turned to the explosive blond, his piercing glare immediately catching his attention. “I saw the entire fight play out. And while I’m willing to be lenient since this is your first offense, I suggest you change your tone if you’d like to get into a half-decent high school during your lifetime. Am I clear?”

The explosive blond looked like he was about to give an angry retort, but he clammed up at the last second and merely responded with, “Tch, fine…” Before getting back up and storming away, his hands clenched into fists like he was holding himself back from doing anything he might regret.

With the nuisance disposed of, Nighteye turned back to the hero and sidekick to be. “Well then, now that he’s gone, I would like to say how impressed I am at both of your performances.”

Midoriya and Togata’s jaws literally dropped upon hearing this statement. “I - Seriously?” Togata said in disbelief.

“But - But I didn’t even do anything,” Midoriya stated.

“Maybe not. But from what I saw, it’s clear that your involvement was instrumental to Togata’s victory,” Nighteye argued.

“Heck yeah it was!” Togata slapped Midoriya on the back, causing him to stumble forward a few steps. “This guy, right here? He’s a genius. Helped me figure out my Quirk like that that.” He snapped his fingers to punctuate his statement. “Practically a Quirk guru, this guy. Now that I think about it, you should totally show Nighteye your notebooks, Midoriya!”

The freckled teen tensed up at that. “My - My notebooks? Come on, Togata, I think you’re hyping up my skills a bit too much. My notes aren’t that impressive.”

“I would like to be the judge of that myself, if you don’t mind,” Nighteye cut in, curious if the notebooks could serve to show more of Midoriya’s true potential.

“I… well… If you say so.” He pulled out a notebook from… somewhere and shakily handed it over to the hero, who rapidly skimmed over the pages with the same unflinching expression he wore all day.

He hummed with a small amount of amusem*nt. While the writing was often scattered and unorganized, Nighteye could still make out some rather interesting theories on heroes’ Quirks and their applications. It was clear to him that the boy had an analytical mind not too dissimilar to his own. All he needed was a bit of guidance to lead him along.

“Alright, I’ve seen enough.” He shut the book and handed it back to Midoriya, who was holding his breath while anticipating Nighteye’s reaction. “You two both show budding potential as heroes. So if you’ll allow me, I would like to take you both on as my apprentices and help properly prepare you for UA.” He reached into his pockets and handed out a pair of business cards for the both of them. “Does this sound like something we can agree on?”

Togata’s reaction was immediate. “Are you kidding me? YES! I couldn’t possibly turn down an offer like that!” He snatched the card and jumped for joy before turning to his friend. “What about you, Midoriya?”

The friend in question remained silent for a moment as he stared down the card in Nighteye’s hand. His eyes were wide with shock, but a speck of doubt still lingered in his gaze. “I… are you sure?” He looked up and asked the hero. “I mean, it’s not like I don’t appreciate the offer, but are you really sure you want to extend it to someone like me? Even though I’m… I’m Quirkless?”

Nighteye personally couldn’t care less. He’d seen his own entry in Midoriya’s notebook. Did the kid suddenly forget he was essentially Quirkless twenty-three hours of the day? “Did I stutter?” Was his only response.

This seemed to do it for Midoriya, as he very quickly swiped the business card from the hero’s hand, prompting Togata to come over and lock his underclassman in a friendly noogie. “Yeah! That’s what I’m talkin’ about! This is gonna be great, Midoriya! Me and you, the two of us, learning to be heroes together!”

“I can hardly believe it myself!” Midoriya smiled before focusing on his now-mentor. “Thank you so much for giving us this opportunity, Sir Nighteye. I’ll do my best to live up to your expectations.”

“I wouldn’t have chosen you if I didn’t think you could,” He replied rather bluntly. “Now, did either of you have any other plans for today?”

“Uhhhh… no, I don’t think so,” Said Midoriya.

“Yeah, me neither. Why do you ask?” Togata added.

“Because time waits for no man, and I prefer to get things done sooner rather than later.” Nighteye walked off and gestured for his two apprentices to follow. “Now come on, we have a train to catch.”


Nighteye found amusem*nt in watching Togata and Midoriya’s mouths hang agape as he opened the doors to his agency. But that paled in comparison to when he showed them his personal office, and Midoriya practically had a fanboy-induced seizure upon witnessing all the rare and valuable All Might merchandise.

“Oh my god! That’s the 10th Anniversary All Might Poster! And that’s the Japan Exclusive Fourth of July All Might Watch! And that’s the complete set of the All Might Costume Evolution figure line! And that’s the unreleased director’s cut of All Might: The Movie!”

Togata let out an amused chuckle. “Wow, Izuku, you really know your All Might stuff.”

Midoriya paused at his upperclassman’s words. “Did you just call me Izuku?”

“Yeah! I figured that since we’ll be training together, we oughta become a bit more familiar with each other. You can call me Mirio if you want,” He suggested with the kind of friendly casual tone you just couldn’t say no to.

“Uh, yeah. That sounds nice,” Izuku nodded with a soft smile.

“And you too, Nighteye!” Mirio whipped around and shot a pair of thumbs-up to his mentor. And while it might not have raised any discernable reaction from the man, it did good in reconfirming his decision so far. On top of everything else, Mirio was friendly and sociable too. Nighteye really hit it out of the park with this one.

Though, as much as the hero enjoyed the rapidly budding camaraderie there was still work to attend to. “Alright, you two, come sit at my desk and we can get started.”

As the two obliged, Nighteye reached into one of his drawers and pulled out a pair of papers he had been saving for this exact moment. “First thing’s first, can either of you tell me the most essential tool in a hero’s arsenal?”

Izuku raised his hand. “Their Quirk?” He instinctively answered.

“If that were the case, then I wouldn’t be mentoring you in the first place.”

“O-Oh, right…” He timidly lowered his hand and gazed down at his feet.

Mirio raised his hand soon after. “Their ability to fight?”

“Technically yes, but what do they need to assist them in that field?”

Izuku slowly raised his hand again. “Um, strength and athletic prowess?”

“Correct. Which is why we’ll be starting with that.” Nighteye placed the papers on his desk and slid them over to his two apprentices. “This is All Might’s Aim to Pass American Dream Plan.”

“That’s a mouthful,” Mirio chuckled.

“Indeed. This workout was named by the hero himself. Should you follow it to the letter, you’ll no doubt be in peak physical condition by the time of UA’s entrance exam.”

Izuku curiously glanced between his and Mirio’s workout plans, his eyes narrowing with curiosity as he noticed something. “If you don’t mind me asking, Sir, our workout plans seem pretty different. Can I ask why?”

“Yes you can. Your training regiments vary for a multitude of reasons.” Nighteye held up his fingers as he began to count off his points of logic. “One, your body types. Mirio has a somewhat bulkier figure. While you, Midoriya, are likely to grow into more of a lean muscle.”

Mirio playfully elbowed his friend. “Huh, guess you’ll always be a bit of a string bean.”

“A curse that can never be lifted.” Izuku slowly shook his head.

The three had a good chuckle before Nighteye continued. “Two, your prior training. I could tell from Mirio’s fight that he had already put on a decent deal of muscle. Izuku, on the other hand…”

The boy noticed Nighteye gesture to his skinny, non-muscly frame and shrunk in his seat a little, instinctively covering up his body. “S-Sorry…”

Truthfully, this was far from an ideal situation for Nighteye. But he also knew mulling over it would accomplish very little in the grand scheme of things. “This leads into my third point, which is time. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but you’re a third-year and you’re a first-year, correct?” He asked, pointing to Mirio and Izuku respectively.

“You’d be right on both fronts!” Mirio answered for the both of them.

“Just as I suspected. This means Izuku has around three years to complete his training, while Mirio will have to fit in much more exercise in the span of about a year. Call it crunch time, if you will.”

For some reason, neither of Nighteye’s apprentices seemed to get his ingenious wordplay. They seemed more concerned about another issue regarding the workout schedule. “So, for Tuesdays and Thursdays, it says here that we come here for our workout? As in here to the agency?” Izuku asked to confirm.

“Yes. Those days will be dedicated to specialized combat training. I’ll get into more detail on my plans for the both of you when the date arrives. But that should be just about everything to start. Study your training plans, because I want you to get started tomorrow.”

Nighteye rested his elbows on the desk as he prepared one last statement to test his future hero and sidekick. “I will warn you, however, this training regiment will be difficult, more difficult and grueling than anything you’ve experienced so far. You might think you know how a hero bulks up, but you don’t. Yet, despite the pains you two will no doubt receive, I still expect you two to treat this with diligence and see it through ‘till the end. Are you both sure you’re ready for this?”

Much to his delight, the two boys fixed Nighteye with determined looks that matched his own. “If that’s what it takes to be a hero, then I won’t let anything stop me,” Izuku said in a rare bout of confidence.

“Yeah, what he said!” Mirio added, “If this is what’ll help me save lives, then I’d gladly do a hundred American Dream Pass Plan thingies!”

It hadn’t even been a day, and Nighteye could already say he felt pride for his apprentices. “Good. Just the kind of conviction I suspected from you, Mirio.” As the pieces were finally being put into place and a new Symbol of Peace began to rise, he couldn’t help but extend his grin just a little further, to the point where it creaked up to his cheeks.

“With an attitude like that, you could very well be the next All Might.”


The pieces are falling into place, and now the real fun can begin.

We've still got a year until Mirio goes to UA, so next time, it's time for a training montage! Which will be a very interesting beast for Nighteye to tackle. Stay tuned.

Chapter 3: Forget Everything


Nighteye puts Izuku and Mirio through a training montage leading up to UA's entrance exams. During which, he's determined to make his apprentices into the heroes he knows they were always meant to be.


(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

“Ms. Midoriya, Mr. Togata, thank you for agreeing to meet with me,” Nighteye calmly greeted as the two parents made their way to his desk. He noticed one looked significantly more bewildered than the other. “Are you alright, Ms. Midoriya?”

“Oh, um, yes!” Inko Midoriya quickly slipped into her chair, her eyes focusing back on Nighteye. “Sorry. I just - I’m still struggling to digest this situation. I mean, I know my boy was bright, but to grab the attention of a pro hero? I’m still kind of surprised.”

“I’m not!” Mirio’s father, Paku Togata, spoke up. “My boy’s a great kid, and a true hero. I knew it was only a matter of time until someone noticed his potential.”

“Well, I’m glad to have been that someone. Now, onto the reason why I called you both here.” Nighteye handed the parents a pen and a slip of paper. “In order to properly train your boys, I need you each to sign off on an apprenticeship form.”

Inko squinted her eyes as she struggled to read the wall of text laid out before her. “I had no idea you could fit so many words on a single piece of paper.”

“It’s rather simple once you get down to the basics. You’re just permitting me to mentor your respective children until they enter high school. At which point, they’ll hopefully make it into UA, and will be able to upgrade from apprentices to interns. Plus, you’ll be able to pull them out at any time, though I doubt you’ll want to.”

“SOLD!” Paku immediately scribbled his signature on the dotted line and brought Nighteye in for an overenthusiastic handshake. “Pleasure doing business with ya, Nighteye. I can already tell you’re gonna be a great fit for mah boy.”

“The pleasure is all mine,” Nighteye smiled as he turned to the other parent, who had just finished signing her own name. Though he could sense the small bit of apprehension in her eyes. He figured it would be best to give her a few extra words of reassurance. “And thank you as well, Ms. Midoriya. I promise I’ll do everything in my power to make your son into a great hero.”

“For his sake, I hope you do,” She said slowly, her eyes trailing across the paper, “Because I’m not sure you realize how much this means to Izuku. When he came home and told me the news yesterday… that might have been the happiest I’ve seen him in the last ten years.”

She took a deep breath as she straightened herself in the chair, Nighteye could tell she was fighting back tears. “I’ll be honest, I wasn’t as supportive of Izuku as I should have been, especially while he was growing up. So I’m relieved you’re here to help him where I couldn’t.”

“Think nothing of it, Ms. Midoriya.” Nighteye took the signed papers and filed them away. “To be honest, I see a lot of myself in that boy, so I’m sure shaping him into the hero I see him as should be an enjoyable experience for the both of us.”


10 Months Before Mirio’s UA Entrance Exam…

Sir, your two apprentices are here to see you,” Centipeder’s voice spoke up over the intercom.

“Send them up,” Nighteye swiftly responded before removing his finger from the button. As expected, the two boys were right on time for their first day of specialized training. The hero mentally steeled himself as they entered his office. He knew today’s conversation would be a difficult, yet necessary one.

“Hey there, Nighteye!” Mirio casually greeted, firing off a pair of finger guns as he sat at the desk.

“Good afternoon, Sir,” Izuku briefly stated before sitting down next to his friend. He still looked as shaky and nervous as the last time he saw him, but there was an underlying eagerness beneath it all.

“Glad you both made it on time,” Nighteye began, his hands neatly folded on his desk, a gesture he often did to help keep an air of professionalism around his office, “How have the exercise plans been treating you so far? I trust you’ve been keeping up with your sets.”

“You bet I have!” Mirio shot him a thumbs up. “It’s a bit more than what I’m used to, but y’know, Plus Ultra.”

“I don’t think I’ve seen so many push-ups in my whole life,” Izuku tiredly commented, glancing at his spindly arms, which were no doubt sore beyond belief.

“Very good,” Nighteye nodded, satisfied that pleasantries had been exchanged, “Now, I’m sure you’re wondering what the first step of your combat training will be.”

“You bet I am! What do I gotta do?” Mirio leaned off his seat from anticipation, with Izuku coincidentally parroting his action.

“Do you recall the style of fighting you learned before I met you? The one you used to help dispose of that bully?”

“Sure do! I call it Dolphin Style!”

“Yes. I want you to forget it entirely.”

The two boys instantly froze in shock with their mouths hung agape. “Wha…”

This was about the reaction Nighteye expected. Luckily, he was here to pick up the pieces before the metaphorical puzzle became unrecognizable. “Don’t be mistaken, it’s not that I don’t think flopping around like a dolphin and punching people directly in the organs is a bad way to fight. In fact, I think it’s rather humorous. But the simple truth of the matter is that it’s an incredibly risky form of combat.”

“Is it because Mirio might accidentally punch someone in their heart? Or their brain? Or their failing kidney?” Izuku asked.

“Those are a few of the reasons. While I can’t deny it’s a method that can lead to rapid villain takedowns, it could just as easily lead to unnecessarily medical complications, or even deaths.”

“Yeah, I was kinda worried about that when I first suggested it to him.” Izuku pursed his lips.

“Guess I can’t argue with you on that.” Mirio slumped back in his chair with an unfortunate sigh. “Dang. I was looking forward to being the Dolphin Hero.”

“Yes, an unfortunate loss,” Nighteye said, only being partially sarcastic, “Fortunately, the style I’ve chosen for the both of you will be just as efficient, and much more reliable.”

“Wait, both of us?” Izuku leaned forward and rested his hands on the desk, his eyebrow raised curiously. “I thought we’d be learning different fighting styles. You know, because…” He rapidly pointed between himself and Mirio. “Quirk? No Quirk?”

“Well yes, but actually no. The fighting style I’m about to teach you is applicable to the both of you, regardless of Quirk status. It’s the very same fighting style I use.”

“Oh, wait, I think I know this one!” Mirio shot his hand up like he was in a classroom. “Even when you’re not using your Quirk, don’t you fight by successfully predicting your opponents’ movements?”

“Correct. And even though my Quirk makes it easier for me, it’s a skill that can be learned by just about anyone.”

“Ooh! This sounds promising!” Mirio excitedly grabbed Izuku by the shoulder and started shaking him rapidly. “Doesn’t this sound promising, Izuku? I can hardly contain myself!”

“I know-ow-ow-ow-ow!” Izuku replied as he was being shaken. “But how-ow-ow do we ho-o-one that instinct?”

“Well, the best way to do so is experience,” Nighteye said as he pulled something up on his computer, “But since we can’t have you fighting villains just yet, we’ll have to settle on the next best thing.” He turned the monitor to face his apprentices, showing them footage of a fight between Kamui Woods and a villain with spider features.

“We’re gonna be watching hero fights?!” Izuku excitedly gasped as a notebook and pen materialized in his hands.

“That’s right. You’ll be going over a multitude of heroes and villains. I want you both to take note of every tell or sign of preemptive Quirk usage you see.”

“This sounds like fun,” Mirio grinned.

“I also expect both of you to write individual essays on the topic once you’re done.”

“This sounds significantly less fun.”


9 Months Before Mirio’s UA Entrance Exam…

Izuku took a deep breath. He could do this. He just had to walk up to them and give them his suggestions. Easy.

So then why weren’t his legs moving? Was it the subconscious fear of rejection and failure? Probably. But just because he could identify his problem didn’t mean it was automatically solved.

Unfortunately, before he could muster up the courage to move a muscle, the universe decided to throw him straight into the deep end as the door to the employee break room opened up, and out stepped one of Nighteye’s sidekicks.

“Buh-Buh-Bubble Girl!” Izuku strained his anxious face into a smile.

“Oh, hi Midoriya. Is there… something you wanted to ask me?”

“Uh, yes! Yes there is!” He quickly fumbled his notebook out of his bag. “I - uh - Sir Nighteye has been helping me refine my Quirk analysis, and he wanted me to show you some possible suggestions I came up with regarding you and Centipeder’s Quirks.”

“Oh, really? That sounds interesting. Come in.” Bubble Girl opened the door the rest of the way and beckoned Izuku to follow, to which he sat in an empty chair adjacent to the couch Centipeder was lounging on.

“Good day, Midoriya. What business do you have?” The myriapod-themed hero asked.

“Just some Quirk tips. You don’t have to take them if you don’t want to, but I at least want to share.” Izuku flipped to a page in his book and read his notes aloud. “Okay, starting with Bubble Girl, you can make your bubbles smell like anything, correct?”

“Yeah. I mostly fill them with foul odors to throw off villains.”

“Alright, but what if you used them in a slightly different way? For example, it’s a common belief that the smell of burnt toast means you’re having a stroke. Do you think you could use your bubbles to trick villains into thinking that?”

Bubble Girl sat in silence as she digested Izuku’s words. Her gaze slowly shifted down to her hands, where she produced a small bubble. Upon popping it with her finger, the room filled up with the faint smell of burnt toast. “I - I guess I could do that… Wow, that’s scary.”

Izuku ignored Bubble Girl’s minor crisis as he moved on to the other sidekick. “And Centipeder, your Quirk gives you so many extra limbs. You could hold potentially dozens, if not hundreds of weapons. I know they’re mostly just small centipede legs, but they should still be able to grip onto a blade, right? Just imagine slashing an opponent with an entire line of swords! Or whacking them over the head with dozens of bats!”

“Hm, an interesting possibility indeed.” Centipeder thoughtfully scratched his chin (or whatever equivalent centipedes had). “I shall begin experimenting with smaller, easy-to-hold weapons at once.”

“Wait, really?” Izuku gawked, part of him still surprised that someone would actually listen to his Quirk advice.

“Of course. As confident as I am with my abilities, it’s important to keep striving for improvement and new directions to take my fighting style.”

“Yeah, gotta go Plus Ultra and all that,” Bubble Girl summarized.

Izuku felt a small amount of pride build up in his stomach, a feeling he wasn’t used to, but appreciated nonetheless. Even if he hadn’t exactly become a hero yet, he felt like he was already halfway there.

Hopefully, this would only be the start of good things to come.


8 Months Before Mirio’s UA Entrance Exam…

“Tamaki!” Mirio rushed over to his friend and greeted him with a slap on the back. “Man, it feels like it’s been an eternity-and-a-half since I’ve seen you.”

“H-Hi Mirio,” Tamaki returned the greeting in his usual soft and subdued manner, “Yeah, it… it’s been a while. I was worried I’d never see you again.”

“Well it’s a good thing I suggested we all meet up. But how have you been? How’s your new school? And where’s that new friend you wanted to introduce me to?”

That last question seemed to strike a chord with Tamaki. Whether it was a good or bad one was unknown to Mirio, since his friend usually reacted that way to everything. “W-Well, the new school is… it’s fine. A-And as for the new friend, sh-she’s a bit…”

“HEY! There you are!” Interrupted a girl with long, periwinkle hair, who promptly inserted herself into the conversation by glomping on Tamaki.

“Nejire…” He nervously groaned as he tried to wriggle his way out of her embrace.

“Sorry, sorry.” She quickly separated herself from him. “I’m just so super excited to be here! You talked so much about your old friend, and I’m dying to meet him! So when’s he supposed to get here? Now? Later? Ten hours from now?”

“He’s right… he’s right over there.” Tamaki pointed to Mirio. Not even a second passed before Nejire dashed over and started bombarding him with questions.

“Are you Mirio Togata? Hi, I’m Nejire Hado! You can call me Nejire if you want. Tamaki’s been talking nonstop about you. Is your Quirk really that difficult to control? How many times have you ended up naked because of it? Are you secretly an exhibitionist? Do you prefer cow’s milk or goat’s milk?”

Mirio, for his part, took all these questions in stride. “Nice to meet you, Nejire. You can call me Mirio if you want. Yes, my Quirk is hard to control. I’ve ended up naked more times than I can count. No, I’m not an exhibitionist. And I prefer cow’s milk. Also, thanks for taking care of Tamaki for me.”

“Oh, no problem. Tamaki’s great! He’s like a shy little puppy. In fact, I think he can turn into one with his Quirk. But then he would have to eat a puppy, and why would you want to do that?”

“Well, what do you think hot dogs are for?” Mirio joked, much to Nejire’s amusem*nt.

And thus, a friendship was formed based on positive vibes alone.

Meanwhile, as Tamaki watched his two friends converse and get to know each other, he felt a fourth presence slowly shamble up to the group. “Um… hi,” The green-haired boy quietly greeted.

“…Hi,” Tamaki shyly waved.

“Tamaki Amajiki, right? Is… Mirio your friend?”

“Uh-huh. Yours too?”

“Mine too.”

“Cool… cool.”



And thus, a friendship was formed based on anxiousness alone.


7 Months Before Mirio’s UA Entrance Exam…

“Izuku, can you tell me what I’m trying to accomplish here?” Nighteye asked as he moved his bishop.

“Why, did you forget?” Mirio chuckled as he passed by the chessboard to move his rook before phasing through the stack of cardboard boxes, his left heel nearly knocking them over when he jumped out.

“No, I’m simply testing him to see if he can understand the purpose of a seemingly nonsensical training exercise. I’m teaching him to think outside the box, if you will.”

“Well, let’s see here…” Izuku carefully observed the scene before him. “You and Mirio are playing a game of chess while Mirio is continuously phasing through walls of cardboard boxes in between each move. This seems to be a form of teaching him parallel processing, seeing if he can think critically while performing complex maneuvers with his Quirk.”

“Correct,” Nighteye nodded as he moved his queen a space forward, “Also, checkmate.”

“Check - wha?!” Mirio lost focus for a moment and accidentally de-permeated partway through the wall of boxes, sending cardboard flying in every direction. “Whoopsies! My bad!”

“And this is why we use cardboard instead of bricks,” Nighteye simply stated, “We wouldn’t want to risk your Quirk launching bricks at us, would we?”

“Yeah, that would really cement my status as a novice,” Mirio joked, which got a chuckle out of his mentor.

Izuku, meanwhile, was busy thinking about the deeper implications. He knew Mirio popped out of whatever object he phased himself through, but he never knew the object could pop out of him.

Before the idea could leave his brain, he added a few lines of text to Mirio’s entry in his notebook, knowing he’d want to revisit this idea after a bit of tweaking.


6 Months Before Mirio’s UA Entrance Exam…

Izuku let out a huff of disappointment as the tennis ball flew through the air and bounced off the wall, missing its target by a wide margin. “Okay, that angle’s a no-go. Try a little higher up for your next shot,” He instructed while jotting down the results.

“Already on it!” Mirio activated his Quirk on his stomach and held a tennis ball so it was partially phasing through his skin. Once his shot was lined up, he de-permeated himself, sending the ball flying out of his body. It flew in a wide arc before colliding with the can on the pedestal, knocking it to the floor.

“Bullseye!” Mirio exclaimed with a pump of his fist.

“Nice shot!” Izuku ran over to the target to gather the tennis balls from their past failed attempts at hitting the can. “We’re making progress here, I can tell. If we can just figure out the best spots to fire from, I bet we can-”

“What are you two doing?” Nighteye asked as he suddenly entered the training room, his tone unamused.

“Oh, uh, hi Nighteye,” Izuku waved with a bit of apprehension, “I was just testing out some potential Quirk applications for Mirio.”

“Yeah! I’m using Permeation to launch objects out of my body like projectiles!” Mirio demonstrated by launching another tennis ball out of his stomach, which bounced off the wall and bonked Nighteye on the head, who didn’t seem phased in the slightest by the impact. “Heh, whoops. Still workin’ on it.”

“You won’t if I have anything to say about it,” He replied in a slow yet stern tone before turning to his other apprentice. “Izuku, while I appreciate you trying to take initiative, I must remind you that Mirio’s training regiment is set in stone, and must not be tampered with.”

“I - I know, but I just felt that he should have some kind of long-ranged option. It never hurts for a hero to be-”

It must not be tampered with,” Nighteye repeated in a tone that left no room for argument. “Your Quirk advice is more than welcome for pros who already have things figured out. But Mirio has to be in top shape before his entrance exam, which he has a finite amount of time until. Understood?”

“Y-Yes Sir,” Izuku solemnly mumbled.

“Good,” He nodded, “Now if memory serves, you have a weight set you need to perform by the end of the day, so get to it.”

As Izuku dejectedly exited the training gym, Mirio slowly turned to his mentor with pursed lips, as if there was something on his mind he was debating on letting out.

Knowing things wouldn’t get back on track until something was done, Nighteye decided to bite the bullet. “Is there something wrong, Mirio?”

“Uh, no, not really. It’s just… I don’t think you needed to shut Izuku down like that. I mean, the tips he gave Bubble Girl and Centipeder have been doing wonders for their villain takedowns. I’m pretty sure he knows what he’s doing here.”

“Trust me, I am aware of that. But let me ask you a question, Mirio, have my predictions ever been wrong before?”

“Uh, no. Not that I’m aware of,” He slowly answered, unsure where this conversation was headed.

“Exactly. My visions are never wrong. And I have a specific vision for you.” He took a step back and admired Mirio from several different angles, like an art critic reviewing a painting. “When I look at you, I see a future top-ten hero in the making. No, a future number one hero. Let me ask you, do you trust me to help make you into the hero I see you as?”

“Of course I do!”

“Good. Then all you need to do is trust the process.” Nighteye patted him on the shoulder as he made his exit, “It hasn’t failed me yet, and I’m sure it’ll be the same for you.

“Whatever you say, Sir!” Mirio smiled with a thumbs up. But as soon as his mentor shut the door behind him, he felt his smile begin to wane. He knew Nighteye had both his and Izuku’s best interests at heart, but something about that conversation seemed… off.

But then again, maybe it was just him. Yeah, that was probably it. Deciding to give Nighteye the benefit of the doubt, Mirio turned to continue his original exercise.

Yet no matter how many reps he did, that niggling feeling in the back of his brain wouldn’t go away.


5 Months Before Mirio’s UA Entrance Exam…

“Today, Izuku, I’m proud to introduce you to the exciting world of paperwork.”

“…uh, yay?” Izuku tried to force out an enthusiastic cheer.

Nighteye lowered his eyebrows in a light glare. “I suggest you change your tone. This might just be the most important lesson of your hero career.”

“I know, I know. I just… it’s kinda hard to be enthusiastic over paperwork. It’s just… it’s paperwork.”

“Maybe so, but paperwork is the backbone of the hero industry. An unsung hero among heroes, if you will. Without it, there would be no agencies, no hero rankings, no late-night talk show interviews, and dare I even say… no merchandise.”

Izuku gulped down a nervous lump in his throat.

“My thoughts exactly. Now that I truly have your attention, let’s get started.” The Foresight Hero pulled out a large stack of paper, which he dropped on his desk with an audible thud. “The main kind of paperwork you’ll be filing is hero reports. Even something as simple as rescuing a cat from a tree has to be accounted for if it’s done on patrol. The act of filling out the paperwork itself is easy, but filing and organizing is a skill that will have to be honed over time.”

“Most hero reports are organized by the severity of the situation in which the hero is involved, as well as the task the hero performed. Whether it’s rescue work, villain takedowns, or community service, all of it goes toward determining a hero’s ranking. Am I going too fast for you?”

“Huh, what?” Izuku looked up from his notebook, where he had already filled out an entire page on the most efficient way to do paperwork. “No, you’re not going too fast. But I just had one question. If paperwork is as important as you say, then shouldn’t Mirio be learning this too?”

Ah, yes, Nighteye should have expected that question. Truth be told, teaching Mirio about paperwork was near the bottom of his to-do list. Back during his and All Might’s glory days, he voluntarily took care of all the paperwork while All Might focused on the actual hero work. It was all part of their relationship as hero and sidekick, and Nighteye saw no reason why it shouldn’t be the same for Izuku and Mirio.

…Then again, he knew Izuku wouldn’t be satisfied if he answered, ‘Mirio doesn’t need to learn paperwork because you’ll be doing it all for him’, so he came up with a reasonable excuse on the spot.

“Mirio will be taught all this during his time at UA. We’re just giving you a head start for now.”

“Oh, that makes sense.” Izuku clicked his pen as he focused back on his notes. “Now please, continue.”


4 Months Before Mirio’s UA Entrance Exam…

“I must commend you, Izuku. So far, you’ve done a proficient job at following your training regiment. Not a push-up out of place.”

“Thank you, Sir!” Izuku lightly beamed at the praise, “But it’s not that big a deal. Anyone can follow a simple plan like that. Plus, Mirio’s is much more intense than mine, so if you really think about it…”

Nighteye poked Izuku on the forehead with his long, spindly fingers. “Midoriya, what have I told you about needlessly comparing yourself to others?”

“That it’ll only hamper my ability to perform in the long run,” He drawled off, “I know, I know. I’m sorry. Old habits die hard, I guess.”

“Just keep that in mind for next time. Now, the reason I called you here is to discuss the next step of your training. Tell me, Izuku, do you know what this is?” He reached into his pocket and gently placed a stamp on his desk, which his student recognized almost immediately.

“Those are your Hyper-Density Seals! They’re your primary weapon for taking down villains! Each one weighs about five kilograms!”

“Correct. I’m glad you’re familiar with them,” He placed the seal in Izuku’s open palm, followed by five extras, “Because starting today, you’ll be carrying them around for the remainder of your training.”

Izuku gasped. “Really?! That’s…” He hoisted the seals off the table, only for the weight to drag him down to the ground. “…That’s really heavy.”

Nighteye had a good chuckle at that. “Thankfully, you won’t be carrying them all at once. We’ll work our way up to that.”

“But still, five extra kilograms on my person at all times. That might weigh me down a bit, especially starting out.”

“Yes, I recommend you either invest in a belt, or don’t place them in your pockets,” He advised, his mind flashing back to when he first made that very same mistake, causing his pants to fall down during his very first patrol as a hero.

It was a rather humorous memory for him, looking back. But of course, comedy and embarrassment were two sides of the same coin.


3 Months Before Mirio’s UA Entrance Exam…

“Today’s personalized training session will be different from the previous ones,” Nighteye announced to the two boys. “Today, you’ll be building your hero personas.”

“Uh, quick question.” Izuku raised his hand, “Isn’t this something they’re going to teach us at UA?”

“Yes, but it never hurts to get a head-start. And to do so, I’ve enlisted the help of a special guest.” Nighteye gestured to the door in front of him, signaling a familiar pro hero to enter.

“Holy woah! It’s the Fiber Hero: Best Jeanist!” Izuku couldn’t help but point out.

“Thank you for the introduction, but we all know who I am,” Best Jeanist wasted no time getting to the point. “And why is that? Because of my heroic presence, my persona, and the elegant way I carry myself out on the field. All of these factors work together to shape my public perception. It’s what separates the All Mights of the world from the Manuals.”

“Manual? I don’t think I’ve heard of him,” Said Mirio.

“My point exactly. Now, let’s start with you.” Before Mirio could even blink, he found himself sitting in a barber’s chair with Best Jeanist undoing his ponytail as he closely observed his hair’s weight, texture, color, as well as various other aspects. “Tell me, Mirio Togata, what kind of hero do you want to be?”

“That’s an easy one. I want to be the kind of hero who makes people laugh and smile, no matter how bleak things might look. I want people to see me and instantly know everything’s gonna be alright. Y’know, like All Might.”

Best Jeanist hummed and nodded. “A lofty goal for sure. And to accomplish that, you’ll first need to look the part. Which leads me to my most vital piece of advice, lose the ponytail.”

“Guh-WHA?!” Mirio exclaimed in an over-animated reaction. He was the only one in the room to react this way. Izuku tried to look away inconspicuously, while Nighteye simply stood in his usual stiff pose.

“He raises a good point,” The Foresight Hero said with zero regret, “The little things can go a long way. And unless you’re going for an ironic sense of humor, a ponytail may hinder your ability to make others laugh.”

Mirio protectively clutched the end strands of his hair. “C’mon, it could still work. Back me up here, Izuku.” He turned to his friend with a hopeful gleam in his eyes, only to get shot down by his friend’s look of ambivalence.

“Sorry, Mirio. I’m sure you could be a trendsetter if you want, but how many heroes do you know with a ponytail?”

“I could think of someone if I tried. Just give me… a week!”

“I’m afraid not. The ponytail has to go,” Nighteye shook his head solemnly, but it was more of a formality than anything. “In its place, might I suggest something with a bit more upward momentum?” He asked Best Jeanist.

“I was thinking the same thing.” As he began to carefully remove the ponytail, Nighteye cleared his throat as he decided to move onto a more pressing matter.

“Of course, looks aren’t everything when it comes to a heroic presence. One must also take words into account.”

“You mean how like All Might says ‘I AM HERE!’ whenever he shows up?” Mirio guessed.

“Precisely. And I personally think it would be beneficial to have a similar catchphrase of your own.”

Mirio hummed in thought, his mind going back and forth on the subject like a game of ping pong. “Doesn’t that sound a little derivative to you? As much as I love All Might, I wouldn’t wanna rip him off or anything.”

“I believe you’ve mistaken homage for plagiarism in this case,” Best Jeanist chimed in, “If I made a list of all their heroes who have paid homage to All Might, it would be longer than most novels.

“Oh, I have a list!” Izuku pulled out his notebook and began reading from a page filled with handwriting that was too small to read without a magnifying glass. Thankfully, he kept one on his person at all times. “There’s Star & Stripe, Golden Grin, Union Jack, Super Power, The Blonde Boxer, and those are just the exceedingly obvious ones!”

“Thank you, Midoriya,” Nighteye nodded as he turned back to Mirio. “So you see, it’s not too unordinary to have a simple phrase to alert others of your larger-than-life presence.”

“Guess I can’t really argue with that,” The young blond assumed with a tiny shrug, “What if I said something like ‘HERE I AM!’ or maybe ‘GUESS WHO!’ Or since comedy is pretty much my whole thing, what about ‘KNOCK KNOCK!’”

“No. Those are terrible,” Nighteye shot down the ideas without any mercy.

“Okay, okay, what about something that shows off my strength? Like ‘POOOOOWER!” He yelled with a flex, throwing off Best Jeanist for a brief moment.

“Please hold still,” He sternly demanded.

“Sorry…” Mirio sat back down with a nervous grin.

“But yes, I think ‘Power’ is a much nicer catchphrase,” Nighteye nodded, “It stands well as a simple phrase that can both reassure civilians while striking fear into the hearts of villains.”

“I didn’t think about it that way, but yeah, totally!”

“Alright, the ponytail is finally disposed of,” Best Jeanist announced as he dipped his hand in a jar of gel and slicked the front of Mirio’s hair upward, taking special care to make the spikes symmetrical. “Now tell me, what do you think of this?” He asked as he handed the boy a mirror.

As much as Mirio expected to hate his new look on principle, he had to admit, there was something oddly charming about it. It made him look a bit more professional. As a hero, of course. He knew this style would never land him an office job. “It’s pretty good, actually. Kinda reminds me of how my hair used to look back when I was a kid. What do you guys think?”

“Looking sharp,” Izuku complimented.

“You look more like a hero than ever,” Nighteye grinned.

“Glad the consensus is unanimous,” Said Best Jeanist, “Now, let’s move on,” He turned to look at Izuku, who suddenly found himself taking Mirio’s place in the barber chair.

“What - huh?! How did I get here?”

The Fiber Hero ignored his qualms and began making his way through Izuku’s green locks like he was trying to clear a path through a densely-wooded jungle. “Am I safe to assume your motivation for heroism is similar to Togata’s?”

“Pretty much,” He shrugged, “I want to make people smile like him, but I’m mostly interested in saving people. I just think that’s the best thing a hero can do.”

“Good to hear. But I’m afraid that means we’ll have to do something about your… unruliness.” He twirled a finger through one of Izuku’s curls.

“Might I suggest something of my caliber?” Nighteye ran a hand through his flat, smooth, businesslike head of hair.

“Seems like a fine place to start.” Best Jeanist slapped a handful of gel on Izuku’s head, who flinched at the coldness. Within seconds, his untamed shrub of a hairdo was now smoother and rounder than a polished bowling ball. “What do you think?”

Izuku let out an unfortunate hiss at the sight of his reflection in the mirror. “Well I-” The words barely escaped his mouth before his hair suddenly puffed back to normal, the floofiness simply being too much for the gel to handle.

Nighteye fought back a scowl at this sight. “Do it again,” He said to Best Jeanist.

“I sense this might require something stronger.” The Fiber Hero reached into his pocket and pulled out a small bottle of his personal brand of hair gel, the kind so tough it could keep a person’s hair neat and tidy through a Category Five hurricane.

It managed to keep Izuku’s hair in place for all of five seconds.

With his eye twitching in frustration, Best Jeanist whipped out his phone and called his agency. “Let me talk to my support engineers. I need them to develop a stronger hair gel formula. I don’t care how impossible it is, just make it happen.”

He hoped they’d figure out something soon, because at this point, he was fighting down the urge to dump wet cement on Izuku’s head.


2 Months Before Mirio’s UA Entrance Exam…

With a yelp, Izuku sidestepped a jab from Bubble Girl, only to step right into one of the odor-filled bubbles she left floating around the gym. He fought back a gag as he unwillingly inhaled a familiar scent. “Really? Burnt toast? I’m not falling for that.”

“Never hurts to be prepared.” She sent a flying kick his way, which he managed to block. The two had sparred multiple times at this point, and for once, Izuku thought he might just have a fighting chance.

At least, if this wasn’t a two-on-two spar, because his partner did not look to be faring as well.

Sparing a glance over to Mirio, he could see while the blond was surviving against Centipeder, he was far from thriving. With so many centipede legs to avoid and permeate through, each clutching their own training blade, Mirio could hardly get a breath in, much less an attack.

Izuku’s thoughts were cut off as he felt a sharp pain in his abdomen. “Hey, focus on our fight, not theirs,” Bubble Girl said as she went for a follow-up strike, which he barely managed to avoid.

While her advice was important, Izuku just couldn’t leave his partner hanging like that. Luckily, Bubble Girl was a rather floaty fighter, given her Quirk. All he had to do was wait for an opening to help his friend. When that opening finally appeared, he used the brief reprieve to throw a high-density seal at an unsuspecting Centipeder, giving him just enough time to give his partner some sage advice.“Mirio, go for the antenna!” He shouted, knowing that was by far the most sensitive spot on the sidekick’s body.

Mirio silently nodded, and without hesitation, he dived back onto the ground before rocketing himself out. As he soared over Centipeder’s head, permeating select parts of his body to avoid the dozens of training blades, he reached down and gave his opponent’s antenna a swift yank before sinking back into the floor.

“GAH!” Centipeder instinctively clutched his buzzing head, allowing Mirio to pop out of the ground and land a direct hit on his opponent’s stomach.

“POOOOOOOOWER!” He yelled as Centipeder fell to the ground, the wind thoroughly knocked out of him. Never one to waste time reveling in his victory, he quickly ran over to help Izuku with his opponent.

“It’s two-on-one now. You should probably yield,” Izuku kindly suggested as he blocked a punch to the gut before countering with his own that unfortunately didn’t land.

“You’d like that, wouldn’t you,” Bubble Girl grumbled.

“I know I would!” Mirio suddenly popped out of the ground beside her, driving a painful-looking smash in her direction. With a nervous squeak, she narrowly sidestepped the attack, only to walk right into Izuku’s leg-sweep, knocking her to the ground.

With both sidekicks down, Nighteye, who had been observing the whole time, signaled the end of the spar with a slow clap directed toward his two apprentices. “Well done, you two. The progress you’ve made in just a few short months simply cannot be understated.”

“Yeah man! We did great!” Mirio gave his friend a congratulatory slap on the back. “Thanks for the tip back there, Izuku. I was a bit confused when you told me to go for the antenna, but I knew you had it all figured out!”

“Oh, it was nothing,” Izuku smiled, returning Mirio’s gesture with a friendly slug on the arm, “You know how it is. After researching centipedes for ten hours straight, you tend to pick up on a few things. For example, did you know that most centipedes don’t even have eyes?”

“Really? Is this true?” Mirio turned to ask Centipeder, who had just gotten up. “Come to think of it, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen you blink before. You sure those eyes aren’t fake or anything?”

“You wouldn’t mind if we… took a look to make sure.” Bubble Girl curiously reached toward Centipeder’s face, only for him to rudely smack her hand away.

“Don’t even think about it.”


1 Week Before Mirio’s UA Entrance Exam…

“The day is nearly upon us, Mirio,” Nighteye began as his two apprentices sat at his desk, “And I have to ask, how are you feeling?”

He let out a worried chuckle. “Is it weird to say I’m feeling a little nervous, even though the exam is still a week from today?”

“If it’s any consolation, I’m nervous for my entrance exam, and I still have two years,” Izuku half-joked, though his friend found it funny regardless.

“It’s normal for tensions to be high. But I have no doubt you’ll thrive in the general exam,” Nighteye assured as he non-subtly reached behind his desk, causing Izuku and Mirio to lean forward in anticipation. “In fact, to commemorate such a milestone, I’ve prepared some small mementos I’d like to bestow upon the both of you.”

The two boys gasped as he placed a gift in each of their hands, both wrapped in golden All Might-themed wrapping paper. “Aw, Sir, you shouldn’t have!” Said Mirio as he cradled the unopened box in his arms.

“Trust me, I very much should have. You’ll understand when you open it.”

“Well how can I say no to that?” Mirio violently tore off the wrapping paper, earning a silent wince from Nighteye (that specific wrapping paper was limited edition). The blond’s smile shifted into a look of confusion upon witnessing his gift. “Uh, a pair of boxer shorts? Not that I don’t appreciate it or anything, it’s just…”

“Not just any boxer shorts. Try permeating through them.”

As his eyes widened in realization, Mirio slowly tried permeating his hands through the boxer shorts, only for them to move as if he wasn’t using his Quirk at all. “No way… you made me DNA-infused boxer shorts?!”

“That’s correct. Now you won’t make nearly as much of a fool of yourself when you use your Quirk.”

“And maybe I can stop getting all those public nudity charges. Thank you so much for this, Sir! This pretty much changes everything!”

“It’s my pleasure,” He smiled before nudging the other gift toward Izuku. “And now I believe it’s your turn to open your gift.”

“Oh man, I wonder what it could be…” Izuku’s grin was so wide it nearly stretched off his face as he carefully removed the wrapping paper (a method of unboxing that Nighteye found much more preferable). “Ooh, a new set of pens!” He exclaimed upon opening his box. But as he went to pick one up, he suddenly paused. “Wow, these are much heavier than they look.”

“Yes they are.” Nighteye fought back a smug grin as he waited for Izuku to connect the dots. “About five kilograms, to be precise.”

The realization hit Izuku like a sack of bricks, and he was left practically speechless. “You - You made me my own… Except it’s a pen… And - And it even functions as a…” He clicked the pen and tried scribbling in his notebook. Sure enough, it worked as both a pen and a high-density bludgeoning tool. “This is the greatest gift anyone has ever given me,” He said, ignoring the big fat tears rolling down his face.

“Just be sure to keep the tip retracted when using it as a weapon. You wouldn’t want to stab someone in the head,” Nighteye advised. “Now, I shall ask again, how are you feeling about the entrance exams? Better, I presume?”

“Infinitely better!” Mirio assured as he ran his hands through the soft, permeable texture of his new undergarments. “I feel like I could take on the world now!”

“I suggest you save that energy for the exam. Trust me, you’re going to need it.”

“Really? Am I gonna be fighting robots or something?”


The Day of Mirio’s UA Entrance Exam…

“Yup, definitely robots,” He said to himself as he shot out of the ground and socked a Two-Pointer in the face, cracking its red lights. It was honestly comical how easy these guys were to take down. Their attacks were so heavily telegraphed, you’d think they were video game bosses.

…Or maybe he was just overprepared. Yeah, probably that. Ten months of training with a pro hero will do that to ya.

Focusing back on the exam, he spotted a One-Pointer about to strike an unprotected girl with round, green hair who had her back turned. The instincts Nighteye drilled into him took over, and he immediately leaped into action. He phased into the ground and shot himself toward the girl to push her out of the way of the robot’s strike.

Once she was out of the way, he squared up to the robot, who had its shields raised to cover its weak points. Lucky for Mirio, he didn’t need to bother breaching its defenses, not when he could just phase his foot right through them to kick the robot in the face with a yell of, “POOOOOOOOWER!”

That was about the tenth time he’d said his catchphrase today. He very quickly learned that the field of heroism would not be kind on his throat.

Mirio had no time to stop and smell the roses, though, as a pair of Three-Pointers zeroed in on him and began firing missiles. Of course, since this was just an exam, the missiles were fairly slow, possibly even slow enough for him to grab and launch back. Or maybe he could just reach into the robots and yank out their main processing chips. But nah, Mirio didn’t want to risk it, instead choosing to stick to the method Nighteye taught him.

Right as he finished dispatching the two robots, he felt a sudden tremor beneath his feet. Was it an earthquake? Were people in danger? Would the test be called off? Mirio’s questions were answered as he turned to peer down the street, where he spotted the unavoidable presence of the Zero-Pointer as it practically bulldozed down the road.

“That’s the Zero-Pointer?! Didn’t Present Mic say we should just ignore that?” He heard a voice ask.

“I mean, we can since we’re so far away,” Another voice answered, “But maybe not them.” The passerby pointed to a small group of test-takers who were much closer to the giant robot. And as most people did upon seeing a metal monster the size of a skyscraper, they frantically ran away from it.

Mirio knew he couldn’t just stand by while others could potentially get crushed, so he decided to go against the crowd and run toward the danger. He targeted those closest to the robot’s encroaching treads and launched himself toward them, snatching them up, and dropping them off outside the danger zone.

He continued this routine until an alarm rang out across the testing ground, signaling the end of the exam. As Mirio finally stopped to catch his breath for the first time since the exam started, he came to the unfortunate realization that everything was sore. He supposed this was just a feeling he’d have to get used to in the field of heroics, assuming he passed the exam, of course.

“Does anybody need healing?” An elderly voice called out, signaling Mirio to turn and see what looked to be the Youthful Heroine: Recovery Girl making her way down the street, who noticed his presence right as he noticed hers.

“You there! the blue eyes and no shirt! Show me your hands!” She sternly commanded while walking up to him. Mirio cautiously obliged, sticking out his palms, which was when he realized how red and bloody they were. “Young man, have you been punching robots with your bare hands?” Recovery Girl asked with a frustrated grumble.

Not wanting to get in trouble before he was even admitted, Mirio opted to spout out the first excuse that came to his mind. “Noooo…. I was… eating jam? Yeah… because my Quirk is powered by jam.”

Nailed it.

Recovery Girl didn’t respond, only huffing as she kissed Mirio’s bloody knuckles. He didn’t even realize he was feeling pain in that area until it suddenly went away.

“If you get into UA, I hope you learn to curb that behavior. I don’t want to see you in my office for headbutting a diamond or something,” She warned as she walked off to help another test-taker.

“Alright, note to self: Ask for a pair of DNA-infused gloves for my future hero costume,” Mirio verbally reminded himself.


Several Weeks Later…

“It’s finally here,” Mirio murmured to himself as he held the (surprisingly heavy) envelope in his hands, the golden UA seal giving it an almost regal feel. He half-expected to hear a chorus of royal trumpets upon opening it.

“C’mon, open it already! The suspense is killing me!” Izuku practically begged. Of course, the moment the letter arrived in Mirio’s mailbox, he invited his partner in heroism over to view the results with. Depending on what was in that envelope, they would either be celebrating his victory, or mourning his defeat. Either way, they’d do it together.

“Alright, here goes everything.” Slowly, Mirio tore off the top of the envelope, the quiet tearing of paper echoing throughout his room like a distorted drumroll. But before he could finish, his phone suddenly went off.

“Hold on for a sec. Nejire’s ringing.” He paused the big reveal and answered the sudden call, only for an excited squeal from the other end to nearly rip his eardrums off.

Mirio! Mirio! I just got my entrance exam results! I got in! And you got in too! Did you know you got the top score? Huh? Did you know that? They showed a leaderboard and everything! How did you get such a high score? I think it’s ’cause of all the rescue points. Did you know about rescue points?

As Nejire’s babbling slowly devolved into nonsense, Mirio tuned her out and shrugged toward his green-haired friend. “Well, so much for anticipation.”

“But hey! You still got in! And you got the top score! I knew you could do it!” Izuku congratulated.

“Thanks, man. Now I’m just hoping Tamaki got in as well. It just wouldn’t be right if he wasn’t there.”

“I’m pretty sure he did. I would know. I spent the whole night before the exam cooking up meats for him to eat. If he can’t get in with the power of a praying mantis, then the test is clearly rigged.”

“Amen to that.”


Several MORE Weeks Later…

Izuku excitedly clutched his notebook and pen close to his chest. “I can’t believe it! I spent over a decade watching the Sports Festival on TV, and now I’m finally here! I can’t thank you enough for this, Sir!”

“I was made aware of that fact after the first hundred ‘thanks yous’,” Said Nighteye as the hero and his apprentice made their way to their seats in the stands. “But really, what kind of mentor would I be if I didn’t get front-row seats to see how far my protege has come?”

“That’s true,” Izuku agreed before letting out a wistful sigh, “It’s a bit of a shame, though. This year might be a bit more boring than the others.”

“Oh? And why is that?”

“Because I’m a hundred and ten percent sure Mirio’s gonna win,” He said with absolute certainty. And Nighteye would be pressed to agree. This Sports Festival was essentially the culmination of everything he had been training his protege for. If Mirio took home the first-place medal, then Nighteye would be sure he’d finally be ready to inherit One for All.

But even so, Nighteye was still curious about Izuku’s thoughts. “Care to elaborate on your statement?”

“I would love to.” The green teen’s eyes sharpened as he mentally entered Analysis Mode, whipping out one of his notebooks and turning to a page on the UA Sports Festival. “Given Mirio’s Quirk and his near-mastery over it, there’s a good chance he’ll be able to cheese any sporting event thrown his way.”

“How can you know for sure?” Nighteye challenged, already knowing the answer.

“While the events themselves differ, each round follows a similar pattern between years. Round One is usually a mass-elimination round, Round Two is a team event, and Round Three is always some kind of tournament. And since Mirio’s Quirk essentially allows him to avoid being touched, he’s pretty much got the First and Third rounds in the bag, no matter what events they entail.”

“And what about Round Two?”

“For that, it’s pretty much a guarantee he’ll team with Nejire and Tamaki, who have already been making leaps and strides with their Quirks since starting UA. I know you haven’t seen much of them before, but trust me, I can see them being just as big as Mirio in a year or two.”

Nighteye sat back in his chair and folded his hands as he digested Izuku’s analysis. “You’ve made some very interesting predictions, Izuku. We’ll just have to see how they play out.”

The First Years’ Sports Festival seemed to go by in a flash after that. Once Mirio finished giving the athlete’s oath (which was a very impassioned speech that reminded Nighteye why he chose him as the next Symbol of Peace), the challenge wheel was spun, and a ‘King of the Hill’ game was decided as the first event.

Just as Izuku predicted, Mirio absolutely cleaned house. The entire time, he stood unmoving atop the hill with a solitary grin etched on his face. Whenever someone tried to shove, shoot, push, or kick him off his high horse, they would just phase right through him.

(Nighteye was exceptionally glad he reminded Izuku to fill out the paperwork to let Mirio use a DNA-encoded tracksuit for the festival. One could only imagine how funny/embarrassing it would have been if his protege accidentally showed off his butt to the entire viewing audience).

The second event was a four-person relay race. And despite Mirio’s team earning a fifteen-second penalty due to him placing first in the previous round, Tamaki, Nejire, and some pink-haired girl who was apparently friends with Nejire all teamed up with him.

The penalty hardly mattered in the end, as the first part of the relay involved scaling a rock wall, which Mirio completely bypassed by throwing the baton over the obstacle and passing right through it. From there, the rest of the race went smoothly, and Mirio’s team placed second.

The third round featured a tournament involving two combatants standing on a large balance beam and being forced to knock each other off. Of course, balance was one of the many skills Mirio had picked up during his journey of Quirk mastery, so landing a hit on him proved to be a challenge for each and every one of his opponents.

Even when Mirio went up against Tamaki, who used bird wings to keep himself aloft, all it took was one good punch to the bend, and his opponent was sent flying off course, where he soon plummeted to the ground.

By the end of the festival, Mirio stood at the top of the podium as the uncontested victor, his smile beaming brighter than it ever had before as his homeroom teacher hung the first-place medal around his neck.

As the crowd cheered, Nighteye felt himself swell with pride. He was glad the public could finally see Mirio for the true hero he was. He could already tell that when looking back on this moment, this would be seen as the genesis of one of the greatest heroes to ever live.

All he had to do now was call All Might over to his agency and seal the deal.


RIP Dolphin Mirio: 2024-2024

RIP Mirio's Ponytail: 2024-2024 (raise your hand if you forgot Mirio had a ponytail, because he did. Check the flashbacks).

This was a fun chapter for me. It was fun to try and balance Nighteye's good teacher side with his creepy controlling side.

Fun fact: I named Mirio's dad Paku because his face kind of reminds me of Pac-Man's. Is that just me? Am I the only one who sees that?

Anyways, All Might is fast approaching. One can only guess how this'll turn out.

Chapter 4: An All Might-Shaped Wrench in the Works


Toshinori Yagi visits the Nighteye Agency in hopes of meeting a potential successor.


(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

If one were to describe Toshinori Yagi’s mood as he rode the train to the Nigheye Agency, ‘anticipation’ would fit rather well. Part of him wished he could just bulk up and leap to his destination in the blink of an eye, but he had already used up his time due to an incident involving a villain with guns for hands.

But then again, it wasn’t like he hated taking the train or anything. It was nice quietly living among the citizens he saved on a daily basis. But he had little time to appreciate that now, as his thoughts were taken up by his impending visit to his former sidekick’s agency.

It was quite a shock for him when Mirai called after the Sports Festival with a potential successor in mind. Of course, Toshinori watched the Sports Festival and was well aware of what Togata was capable of. The boy seemed like a good potential One for All holder, but Toshinori didn’t want to jump to any conclusions until he met him in person. After all, strength and good Quirk control don’t automatically equate to being a great hero, the gun villain from earlier reminded him of that fact.

His thoughts jolted to a halt as the train made its stop and several dozen passengers funneled out the door, Toshinori included. It was still a short walk to the Nighteye Agency from here, but he was still on track to show up at least ten minutes early. After all, early was on time, on time was late, and late was unacceptable. That was just how things worked in the hero industry.

“HEY, MY PURSE!” A woman in the crowd suddenly screamed, causing Toshinori’s heroic instincts to kick in. He scanned the area in less than a second, spotting a man dressed in a black ski mask holding the purse in question while shoving his way through the densely packed crowd.

As soon as Toshinori started to give chase, he felt his lungs begin to burn. God, he had really let himself go, hadn’t he? He could barely stop a lowly purse thief without bulking up. And even if he did still have time, the foot traffic of the train still surrounded him on all sides. There was no way he could transform without getting spotted.

With no other options, the hero mentally committed to picking up his pace in hopes he could catch up to the thief. But before he could, a young boy leaped out of the crowd and tackled the purse snatcher to the ground before locking him in a chokehold. “I GOT HIM!” He yelled as the thief tried to force himself free from his grasp, but to no avail.

Even though the criminal was detained, Toshinori still wanted to help however he could. “Allow me to assist,” He said as he approached the scene. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a handful of zip ties he kept on his person for situations like this. It took him less than a minute to tie the thief’s hands behind his back, at which point he pretty much accepted his fate and stopped fighting against the constraints.

“Phew, thanks for the help,” The boy sighed in relief as he got up and returned the purse to its original owner, who thanked the two of them profusely before heading off. “Now we just need to find someone who can…” He surveyed the area for a moment before his eyes landed on a blue-skinned sidekick Toshinori recognized. “Hey! Bubble Girl! Over here!”

At his wave, Bubble Girl came rushing over, quickly understanding the gist of the situation. “Good job, Izuku. I’ll take it from here,” She praised, hoisting the thief over her shoulder and carrying him to the nearest police station.

“Yes, I’d have to agree. That was some nice work you did out there,” Toshinori congratulated the boy, who was apparently named Izuku, and was on a first-name basis with one of the sidekicks in the area.

He casually waved off the compliment. “Oh, it was nothing. I mean, I just tackled the guy. Anyone could’ve done that.”

“Yes, but nobody did. That purse-snatcher ran past dozens of people, yet you were the only one to act in that situation. Very heroic behavior if you ask me.”

Izuku lightly blushed from the praise, absently scratching the back of his head. “Oh, well, thank you Mr…”

“Yagi. Toshinori Yagi. Pleased to meet you.” He stuck out his hand to be shaken, which Izuku gladly took.

“Izuku Midoriya. Nice to meet you too.” He spared a glance down at his Limited Edition All Might Watch and gawked at the time. “Erm, as much as I’d like to stay and chat, I should probably get going. My trainer values punctuality, and stopping a criminal only works as an excuse half the time.”

Toshinori chuckled. “Trust me, I know the feeling. I hope you make it on time, Young Midoriya.” And with that, the two parted ways.

…Or at least they would have if they weren’t going in the same direction. For the next two minutes, they walked side-by-side in an awkward silence, both hoping the other would make some kind of turn or go down a different path, but neither did.

Figuring he was in this for the long run, Toshinori decided to at least try to clear up the social awkwardness. “So… if you don’t mind me asking, where are you headed?”

“Nighteye Agency,” Young Midoriya casually answered, which grabbed Toshinori’s attention.

“Heh, what an interesting coincidence, so am I.”

“Really?” He grinned at the similarity. “Why’s that?”

“Well, the truth is that I’m actually a Might Tower representative, one who knows Mirai personally. He called me over to gauge the progress of his two apprentices.”

Young Midoriya barked out a laugh. “Oh man, you’re not gonna believe this. I’m actually one of his apprentices!”

Toshinori immediately joined in the laughter. He didn’t realize before since Mirai only glazed over his second apprentice during their brief call. But looking back on the boy’s actions, it was clear how he managed to earn such a position. “Well, I’d say you certainly made a good first impression.”

“Phew, thank god.” He let out a relieved breath. “When Nighteye told me and Mirio you were coming today, I was worried I’d mess things up or something. I could hardly sleep that night. I think Mirio felt the same way, but he’s just better at hiding it.”

“Yes, Young Togata. I’m certainly looking forward to meeting him as well.”

“Trust me, you’re gonna love him.” It was about that time when Izuku and Toshinori made their way to the front doors of the Nighteye Agency. Stepping in, they were immediately greeted by the man himself, who stood near the front desk with his arms neatly folded behind his back, as they usually were.

“Izuku, Toshinori, glad you’re both on time. And I see you’ve already become acquainted with one another.”

“Yeah, he helped me nab a purse snatcher!” Izuku excitedly exclaimed. “He also said he’s looking forward to meeting Mirio. Did he already get here?”

“Yes, around ten minutes early. He’s in the training room right now. Go and fetch him for me if you could. I need to fill Toshinori in on a few things.”

“On it!” Izuku dashed out of the room, leaving only the hero and his former sidekick to deal with each other’s company. Neither was exactly sure what to say, reluctantly preferring the sound of silence. They were both aware their last in-person meeting went rather poorly. And as much as they wanted to say something, both were hesitant to get the ball rolling.

After the silence stretched out for a little too long, Toshinori decided to be the one to bite the bullet. “It’s… been a while, Mirai.”

“A little over four years, to be exact,” He cleared his throat to hopefully dispel some of the awkward air, “But enough beating around the bush. The point is that disagreements occurred, words were spoken, decisions were made, and now we’re back here together.”

Toshinori slumped his shoulders with a sigh, absently glancing down at the ground. “Yes we are. And I’m… sorry for letting things end the way they did.”

“As am I. I’ll admit, reading your future without your consent was never my proudest moment. I just… I knew you were on a path of self-destruction, and I couldn’t stand to see you keep hurting yourself.”

“I understand, Mirai. And maybe you were right. I refused to stay and rest after my injury, thinking the world needed All Might, and now look where that’s gotten me.” He gestured to his skeleton-like body and ruptured digestive system. “In hindsight, I’m not all that surprised. You were always better at planning for the future.”

“Yes, it comes with the territory.” Mirai pushed his glasses up, his finger pointing at his future-seeing eye. “But unfortunately, the past cannot be undone. The most we can do is live in the present to hopefully prepare for the future. Which, need I remind you, is why I asked you to come here.”

“Yes, you wanted me to meet Young Togata, correct?”

“Correct.” He glanced up at the clock. “And if my timing is right, then he should be showing up right about…”

Suddenly, Young Togata fell through the ceiling and landed right in front of Toshinori, sporting the same UA tracksuit he wore during the Sports Festival. “Hey there. You the guy from Might Tower? Because I’m pretty sure you might be.”

Toshinori stifled a small laugh. “Yes I am. I’m Toshinori Yagi. Pleasure to meet you.” He went in for a handshake, only for Young Togata’s hand to phase right through his.

“Heh, gotcha!” The blond teen laughed as he shook Toshinori’s hand for real. His smile looked a bit tacked on, however. Young Midoriya was certainly right about him being nervous. “Boy, that never gets old.”

“Depends on how often you do it,” Young Midoriya chimed in as he made his way down the stairs.

“Ah, good, you’re both here,” Toshinori began as the two boys stood in front of them with the straightest posture they could muster. It was clear they were trying to look professional. Considering Mirai was the one who trained them, that wasn’t a surprise. “So, I’m told the two of you want to be heroes, correct?”

“Definitely!” Said Young Togata.

“More than anything in the world!” His friend added.

“Very well, and might I ask why?” Toshinori challenged. Thankfully, neither of them seemed to hesitate for a second with their answers.

“That’s simple, we want to save people,” Young Midoriya proudly proclaimed.

“And make them smile,” Young Togata supplied.

“Make them laugh. Bring them joy even in their darkest hour.”

“Save them in more ways than one if we can.”

“Let them know that everything’s gonna be alright.”

“Because we’re here!”

“‘Cause if All Might has proved anything, that’s the most important thing a hero can do,” Young Midoriya finished as he gave his partner a satisfied fist bump.

Toshinori nodded with a smile. “Well, it’s good to know you two have such noble goals. And what’s better is that you share them with each other.”

“I know, right? Always great to have a short, green soundboard to bounce off of!” Young Togata said as he brought his friend in for a playful noogie.

“I’m not that short,” Young Midoriya said with a small laugh.

“Speaking of bouncing off one another,” Mirai stepped in and interrupted, “The training room is free right now. Perhaps you’d like to show off your combat prowess to Toshinori.”

“Great idea, Sir! You can really get a good feel for a hero based on how they fight.” Young Togata released Young Midoriya and shot a grin his way. “What do you say, Izuku? Up for a little spar?”

“Sure!” He pulled out a notebook and flipped to a page full of tally marks. “Looks like the score right now is 57-19. Hopefully this is the time I finally start catching up.”

“We shall soon see,” He replied in a foreboding manner as he crept away from the group, backing up into a nearby wall and phasing through it.

Mirai sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. “Sometimes I wish that boy would use doors more often. We have them installed for a reason, you know.”


As Izuku and Mirio did their warm-ups in preparation for their spar, Nighteye glanced in All Might’s direction to gauge how he was feeling so far. He saw that while the hero looked deeply invested in the fight that was about to occur, there was still an air of ambivalence surrounding him, as if he wasn’t quite sure what to think about Mirio yet.

Nighteye knew this would happen, and he also knew this spar would be the thing to win All Might over. Granted, he felt no small amount of guilt for using Izuku as a means of propping up Mirio. But then again, what was a sidekick’s purpose if not supporting the hero to make them look better?

Besides, Izuku was pretty much the only option, considering Bubble Girl and Centipeder were out on patrol. If Nighteye fought Mirio, he doubted he could stop himself from subconsciously throwing the match.

“Alright, are ya ready?” Mirio asked as he shifted into a fighting stance.

“As ready as I’ll ever be,” Izuku responded, holding a Hyper-Density Pen in each hand.

“Okay. Count us off, Sir!”

“Very well. Three, two, one, FIGHT!” The moment Nighteye brought down his arm, Mirio incorporated his usual strategy and silently sunk into the ground. Meanwhile, Izuku ran around the arena with no set path, clearly trying to throw Mirio off by taking advantage of his current lack of sight.

Of course, while his actions seemed sporadic, Izuku couldn’t be more aware at that moment, with his eyes darting in every direction in hopes of spotting his opponent when he finally decided to show himself.

Suddenly, an arm popped out of the ground from under Izuku’s feet and tried to grab hold of his ankle. But the green teen was more than prepared for this, as he leaped back and chucked one of his pens at the hand, which disappeared back into the ground before the attack could land.

Izuku swiftly bent down to pick up his dropped pen, but as he did, Mirio fully emerged from the floor behind him, silently pulling back his fist as he aimed a punch to the back.

All Might and Nigheye stood on the edge of their seats as it looked like Izuku had set himself up for failure. But the second before the hit landed, he whipped his entire body around and caught Mirio’s de-permeated fist. In an instant, he threw his opponent his shoulder and sent him hurtling towards the ground, where he phased right through instead of impacting.

“Now he’s disoriented, meaning he’ll go for a straightforward attack next,” Izuku muttered under his breath. He waited for a brief moment before grabbing his pen and throwing it straight up into the air.

Just then, Mirio shot out of the ground like a bullet, aiming a punch at Izuku’s gut while yelling, “POOOOOOOOWER!” Instead of dodging to the left or right, he fell flat to the ground as Mirio’s attack soared right over him.

Then, right at the moment when Mirio was directly above Izuku, the pen came falling back down, landing on Mirio’s un-permeated elbow. Both All Might and Nighteye winced as they heard him yelp out in pain, almost swearing they heard something snap.

“Ooooohhh… I’m gonna feel that tomorrow,” Mirio said as he got up after tumbling to the ground, cradling his possibly injured arm. Yet despite his pain, his face still bore his trademark grin, though it looked noticeably strained.

Izuku worriedly trotted up to his friend, looking at his arm from all angles to make sure it was okay. “Sorry about that, Mirio. Did I go too far? I just… I knew I couldn’t hold back against you, and this was the first strategy my brain came up with, and-”

“Woah, no need to get so bent out of shape, that’s my job right now.” Mirio laughed at his own joke as he gestured to his injured arm. “But hey, you got me good there! I can tell you’ve gotten better with those pens of yours.”

“Thanks. I’ve been picking up a lot from our previous spars, and realized you mainly focused on your opponent’s movements. All I had to do was throw one of my pens out of your line of sight, and gravity would take care of everything else.”

“Heh, guess that gives me something to work on during internships.”

“Yes, yes, you’ve both clearly improved.” Nighteye walked up to the pair, fighting to keep the scowl from appearing on his face. He couldn’t help it. How could Mirio lose like that, and in front of All Might of all people? “Izuku, take Mirio to the infirmary and get his arm fixed up. And Mirio,” His eyes narrowed menacingly at the sight of his other apprentice, “I expect better from you next time.”

Mirio gulped at the unexpected display of sternness from his mentor. “R-Right!” He gave a shaky thumbs-up as Izuku dragged him out of the room.

When they were gone, Nighteye let out a sigh and turned back to All Might. True, the spar had not gone the way he wanted, but he still hoped seeing Mirio’s display of skill up close would convince the number one hero of his vision. “So, please tell me, what do you think of Mirio so far? He’s a good choice for a successor, is he not?”

“He certainly is, I won’t deny that,” All Might nodded, which would have been great for Nighteye, if it didn’t look like there was still something he wanted to say. “But - and hear me out on this - I believe Young Midoriya may be the better choice.”

Nighteye took a sudden step back from the shock as he choked on air. He felt like his eyes were about to bulge out of their sockets and shatter his glasses. “I’m sorry, did you just say Izuku?! Why? Is this because he beat Mirio in the spar? Because that doesn’t happen as often as you think.”

“No, no, not just that,” All Might denied with a cautious wave of his hand. “While both Young Midoriya and Young Togata share the traits I’m looking for in a successor, there’s just something about Young Midoriya that feels more… what’s the word I’m looking for… Genuine.”

“Genuine?” Nighteye’s eye twitched behind his glasses. “What’s more genuine about Izuku?”

“It’s hard to pin down how exactly I feel. But when I look at Young Togata - and I mean no disrespect to him when I say this - there’s something about the way he smiles that feels… manufactured.”


“Yes, like there’s a part of him that’s faking it because that’s what he’s expected to do.”

Nighteye wanted to tear his hair out in frustration. “Haven’t you admitted to doing exactly that? Faking your smile for the masses?” He deadpanned.

All Might sighed as he slumped further in his chair. “Yes, I have. And I don’t want history to repeat itself on that front.” He softly placed a hand on his injury. “A genuine smile will always be more inspiring than a false one, and I’d like the next holder of One for All to be able to smile without pain, not through it.”

“That’s really your main form of reasoning?”

“It is. Though, I’ll admit, perhaps I might be a bit biased toward Young Midoriya.”

“Biased? How?”

“Remember how we met during our walk to the agency? During which, I was sidetracked chasing a purse-snatched through a crowded train station, and Young Midoriya jumped in and tackled him without hesitation.”

And that was the final piece Nighteye needed to understand All Might’s reasoning. Of course, he should have expected it. At the end of the day, All Might was a sentimental fool, and actions always spoke louder than words to him, especially actions taken in the heat of the moment.

“But are you sure he even wants this?” He tried to argue, “I’ve been training him for the past year to be a Quirkless hero. Do you really think he’ll want to go through the trouble of essentially upending his training?”

“I don’t know. That's why I’m asking him. If he says yes, that’s great. If not, then there’s no hard feelings, and I’d be more than happy to support his journey to become a Quirkless hero.”

Nighteye held in a breath, wanting to argue with All Might further. But the logical side of him knew that would hardly accomplish anything, it would only succeed in straining their already fractured relationship even further. Plus, as All Might’s number one fan, he knew once the Symbol of Peace had his sights set on something, he wouldn’t let go for anything. It was that very ‘never give up’ attitude that made him All Might in the first place.

Knowing he wouldn’t be able to convince All Might, that left only Izuku. If he hadn’t met him beforehand, he might have been tempted to discourage him from accepting One for All, going on a tirade about how Izuku simply wasn’t as worthy as Mirio.

But knowing his protege, that would either discourage him from heroism entirely, or motivate him to become an even better successor, neither outcome Nighteye found satisfactory. After all, he still wanted Izuku to be a hero, just not the Symbol of Peace. But all his hard work would go down the drain if he couldn’t convince him of that.

And that’s when it suddenly hit him, an idea popping into his head like the best intrusive thought ever. He didn’t have to convince Izuku to let Mirio have One for All, not when the boy’s lack of self-esteem could do it for him.

The Foresight Hero could already see his plan laid out. All he had to do was sew the seeds of doubt in Izuku’s mind, add in a little extra pressure when necessary, and wait for him to inevitably crumble under the expectations. Once Izuku realizes he simply can’t handle the pressure of One for All, Mirio, being the helpful friend that he is, would be more than happy to inherit the Quirk instead. It was the perfect plan!

With all this in mind, Nighteye just had to convince All Might of one more thing. “Very well, I suppose I understand where you’re coming from with Izuku,” He lied, sternly pushing his glasses up with a single finger. “Though, even if Mirio isn’t your successor, I believe he should still be in the loop regarding One for All.”

All Might raised a suspicious brow. “Mirai, are you sure that’s the best course of action to take? You and I both know the risks that come with letting others in on this secret.”

“Trust me, I am very much aware. But I feel like an exception should be made here. Throughout their training, Mirio and Izuku have relied on each other for support and encouragement. It was their bond and the way they worked together that caused me to notice them in the first place. They… reminded me a lot of us, back when we still worked together.”

The two silently reminisced about their bygone golden days for a moment before Nighteye cleared his throat and continued. “Anyways, if Izuku is forced to keep a secret from Mirio, it may drive a wedge between them. Besides, it’s important for him to be able to choose his own confidants, especially those of a similar age.”

All Might got up and paced around in thought for a short while, his head tilting back and forth as he mentally weighed the pros and cons. “You raise several interesting points,” He eventually came to a decision, “And you’re probably correct. It would be better in the long run for Young Midoriya to have a partner he can rely on.”

Nighteye mentally pumped his fist in accomplishment. This would make convincing Mirio to accept One for All much easier. “Good. Now that everything’s settled, we should call the boys back here to explain the offer.”

Right on queue, the door to the training room flew open, and Nighteye’s two apprentices walked in. “Hey, we’re back!” Mirio waved with his formerly injured arm. “Turns out the pen just dislocated something! Snapping it back into place was… certainly an experience.”

“Glad it worked out, and you're right on time. Take a seat, Toshinori and I wanted to talk to you about something,” Nighteye requested, pulling out two extra chairs for Izuku and Mirio to sit on. He noticed Izuku shrink a bit as he witnessed his and All Might’s serious expressions.

“Is this important? This feels like it’s gonna be important.”

“Yes, this is very important,” All Might slowly nodded, “As it involves a big secret, one that if it got out, could very well cause no small amount of disaster. Yet it’s a secret I have decided to share with the two of you. I would like you to promise that what you hear in this room, you keep between yourselves.”

“Got it, I promise I won’t tell anyone!” Izuku gave a straight thumbs up.

“My lips are sealed!” Mirio locked his mouth shut with an imaginary key.

“Good,” All Might got out of his chair and prepared to flex. “Now, what you are about to see may be shocking, so I ask you try and remain calm.” In an instant, his muscles began to bulge, his face changed shape, and his entire body puffed up like a balloon, revealing the muscley form of the number one hero. “Do not despair, for I AM HERE!”

Thankfully, the two boys did not despair. Instead, Mirio fell out of his chair and instinctively phased through the ground, while Izuku just fainted on the spot.

All Might and Nighteye looked at each other with the same unfortunate sigh. It would seem as if this would be a long explanation.


Izuku stared blankly into space as his mind began to process all the information he had just been given. A Quirk that could be passed down sounded unlikely on paper, and the idea that he could be its next holder sounded infinitely more unlikely.

Despite all that, and the dozens of pinches he gave himself, this was not a dream. He could actually receive a Quirk. And not just any Quirk, All Might’s Quirk. By all accounts, he should be jumping at the opportunity to take it.

But somehow, there was that part of his mind that was unsure.

“So, Young Midoriya, what’ll it be?” Toshinori asked as he wrapped up his spiel, “I have deemed you worthy of inheriting my Quirk, it’s up to you whether you’d like to accept it or not.”

“And remember, there’s no need to feel pressured to do so,” Nighteye reminded, “If you don’t feel like taking it for any reason, there will be no hard feelings from either side.”

“Yes, my thoughts exactly.”

Izuku squirmed uncomfortably in his seat, his mind running through jumbled thoughts at a breakneck pace, so he decided to try and collect them so his neck wouldn’t actually break. “I… I don’t know. Do you think I could maybe have some time to think about it?”

“Of course,” Toshinori said in a light, understanding tone, “This is a big decision regarding your future as a hero, one that should not be taken lightly.”

“Thank you.” He got up from his seat and made his way out of the agency, desiring some fresh air to help clear out his mind.

Unfortunately, even after ten minutes of walking around the block, his mind still remained an unsolved puzzle of thoughts, beliefs, and opinions. This, unsurprisingly, frustrated him to no end, adding even more thoughts into his tangled-up knot of a brain.

It was just so infuriating! He was hoping to come to a decision during his walk, but he couldn’t do that until he figured out what was causing his uncertainty in the first place, which was somehow an impossible task for him to overcome.

“Penny for your thoughts?” He stopped at the sound of Mirio’s voice. Getting a grip on his surroundings, he realized he was back in front of the Nighteye agency, having walked in a big circle.

With a sigh, he leaned on the wall next to Mirio. “Be honest with me, is it weird that I’m so indecisive on this?” He asked.

“If you want me to be honest… then yeah, kinda.” Before Izuku could feel guilty about that, Mirio quickly went to clarify. “But like, not in a bad way or anything. It’s just that you always get so excited about learning and analyzing Quirks that I’d thought you’d leap at the chance to have one for yourself.” He snorted out a light chuckle. “It’s kinda funny, really. You’re basically Mr. Quirk, and you don’t even know if you want one.”

Izuku couldn’t help but giggle. “Yeah, it’s a little funny. But I don’t know, it’s just…” He slowly slid down the wall and sat down on the pavement, “I was kinda looking forward to being the first Quirkless hero. Not just as a novelty or anything, but as a symbol of perseverance and achieving your dreams.”

“You wanted to let people know that even if they were perceived as weak or useless, that they can still make a difference in the world?” Mirio casually guessed.

He sighed. “You know me too well.”

“Hey, what are friends for?”

“Helping people make up their minds on potentially life-changing decisions, apparently.”

“Am I doing a good job?”

“Eh…” Izuku tilted his hand in a ‘so-so’ gesture.

“Well, in that case, let me step it up a notch!” Mirio casually wrapped his arm around Izuku’s shoulder, pulling him closer. “Let me ask you this, Izuku, what do you want the most out of heroism?”

“What do I want?”

“Yeah, break down your needs into their base essentials and tell me what you want most.”

“I want to save people. I thought that was pretty obvious,” He answered without skipping a beat.

“Alright, and do you think getting a Quirk would help with that?”

“Of course it would. I mean, I could definitely save people without a Quirk. But do you know how many people All Might saves on a weekly basis? That number can go into the thousands, potentially even ten-thousands. I couldn’t possibly reach that level without a Quirk, I have to be realistic here.”

“Well then, the answer seems pretty obvious to me.”

“Yeah, I guess it does.” Despite coming to a decision, Izuku’s mind only became a little less clouded. He slumped down further, pulling his legs closer and resting his head on his knees. “I guess this is how it goes in the industry, you have to make compromises for your vision.”

“I think you’re focusing on the wrong thing.” Mirio gave him a helpful pat on the shoulder. “Instead of focusing on what you’re losing, try and think about what you’re gaining.”

Izuku slowly nodded and hummed as he thought about it. “You have a good point, Mirio. I am gaining a lot from this transaction.”

“You’re gaining more than just a lot, you’re practically gaining the greatest thing in the world!” He grabbed him by the hand and hoisted him up, leading them back into the agency. “Now c’mon, let’s go tell Sir and Yagi your decision.”

“Sounds good,” Izuku smiled, “And, uh, thanks for helping me out with that. I don’t know where I’d be without you.”

“That’s an easy one, you’d still be walking circles around the block.”


As Izuku announced to All Might his acceptance of becoming the Symbol of Peace’s successor and training to inherit his Quirk, Nighteye watched with his usual stoic look, which he used to mask his current feelings of frustration.

He glanced over to Mirio, who bore a look of pure excitement and pride for his friend. Of course he did, the thought that One for All would be better off in his hands likely hadn’t even crossed his mind. He was just selfless like that.

But this was only a minor setback for Nighteye, just a small bump on the road of his finely crafted future. Internship week was coming up, and with it came the opportunity to set things straight. He would get Mirio to understand his true calling, as he would get Izuku to understand his.

It may take a bit of extra legwork, but Nighteye was sure things would end up just like how they were before.


Izuku gets OFA instead of Mirio. Who could've predicted that? (Seriously. Who predicted it? I don't know how predictable my writing is).

But anyways, it looks like Nighteye is getting a bit more psychological in his scheme to get Izuku to give up OFA. How will this pan out? What will his methods be? Will anyone else catch on before it's too late? Will you want to punch Nighteye in the face even more than before? All shall be revealed in time.

Chapter 5: With Great Power Comes Greater Expectations


Nighteye puts his plan into action.


Content Warning: Tickle Machine.

No overly-graphic descriptions or anything. Just thought I'd let you know.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

“Hi, Nighteye. You wanted to meet with me?” Izuku greeted as he entered the office.

“Yes, I did. Take a seat,” Nighteye instructed, his hands tightly folded on the desk. His student carefully sat down on the other side while trying to make as little sound as possible. “No need to be nervous, this is just a simple chat.”

“Right, sorry,” He flushed in embarrassment, “It’s just… your posture was stiffer than normal, so I thought you were tense about something.”

It was? Nighteye hardly noticed. He quickly opted to fix his posture problem, not wanting to key Izuku in on the true nature of this meeting. “Right… moving on, I just wanted to make sure you’re comfortable with the whole One for All situation. I know tensions were high yesterday, and I wanted to make sure you didn’t accept it out of obligation or anything.”

“I assure you, Sir, that’s not the case.” Izuku firmly shook his head. “In fact, I’m thrilled to be given such a big opportunity. I really can’t thank you and All Might enough.”

Darn, not a single shred of doubt or hesitation in his voice. No matter, Nighteye had the metaphorical wheel, so he could still steer the conversation in his desired direction. “I’m glad you’re so enthusiastic. Still, it’s a shame some things will end lost in translation, so to say.”

“Yeah…” Izuku sighed wistfully, glancing down at his shoes. “But I’ve had this conversation with Mirio before, sometimes you have to compromise on your vision, even if it leaves something to be desired.”

“Yes, but I just want to be sure you understand what exactly you’re leaving behind by accepting this Quirk.” He stood up from his seat and opened a nearby filing cabinet, where he pulled out several photos of Izuku during his early days of training before spreading them out on the desk. “You were on track to become the world’s first Quirkless hero, a symbol of perseverance to not just those without a Quirk, but anyone who’d been treated as lesser throughout their lives. Are you positive you’re ready to throw all that away?”

Izuku slowly picked up one of the photos from the desk. His longing gaze bore right through it, as if he were reliving the memories captured in that moment. “I’ll be honest, Sir, I’m not a hundred percent sure. Even though I’ve already accepted the Quirk, it still hurts sometimes, knowing I’ll never quite be the hero my child self dreamed of becoming.”

“It’s not too late to change your mind, you know. I’m sure All Might would understand.”

“No, no, I can’t do that.” He looked back up at his mentor, quickly pulling himself out of his funk.

“May I ask why?”

Izuku nervously cleared his throat, lightly drumming his fingers on his chair’s arms. “Well, it’s complicated, and it has to do with Mirio, so can you promise you won’t tell him about this?”

“Cross my heart and hope to die.” Nighteye dragged a finger across his chest in an ‘X’ formation. At this point, his curiosity was piqued, and he would promise just about anything to hear Izuku’s reasoning.

“Okay, well… right now, the score for our sparring matches is 57-20. And although I can squeeze out a win every now and then, I don’t think it can last forever.” He got up and started pacing around to help collect his thoughts. “Mirio’s really strong. You said it yourself, he could be the next All Might one day. And there’s only so much I can do with my pens. Sooner or later, I’m gonna fall behind! It’s an inevitability!”

“So one of your motives for accepting One for All involves closing the gap between you and Mirio?” Nighteye guessed, secretly praying he was wrong.

Izuku slumped over and sighed. “Yeah… I know it’s kind of selfish, but I just can’t help it. I want to be able to stand by Mirio’s side, not in his shadow. And for a while, I thought that would just be a pipe dream.”

“…But then All Might showed up,” Nighteye finished, his left eye twitching in frustration. How did he screw up this badly? He was training Mirio to be the hero and Izuku the sidekick. But the way things were going, he wouldn’t be surprised if the reverse happened.

It seemed as if conventional methods failed Nighteye, leaving him with no other choice than to put Plan B into action. And if he recalled correctly, the first step involved planting a seed of doubt in Izuku’s mind.

Oh well, no time like the present.

“Very well then, it looks to me like you’re dead-set on this decision of yours.” Nighteye stood up and grabbed the photos off the desk, neatly filing them away in his cabinet. “I just hope you’re aware of the great expectations that come with a choice like this.”

“Trust me, Sir. I was aware the day I first stepped into your agency.”

“I don’t think you are, Izuku. Don’t forget, you’re going to be All Might’s successor, the most well-known and popular hero in Japan, if not the world. Do you know what that means?” He asked, ominously leaning over the boy.

“W-What does it mean?” Izuku couldn’t help but gulp.

“It means that since you’re inheriting his Quirk, you’ll be inheriting his status as well. For everything you do, everywhere you go, everything you say, you will be judged by thousands, if not millions on a daily basis. If you cannot rise up as the new Symbol of Peace this country needs, the consequences will be more than just dire.”

At this point, Izuku was shaking in his chair while clutching the arms with a tightness comparable to that of a boa constrictor. “That… sounds like a lot,” He barely managed to wheeze out.

“It is, but you needn’t worry.” Nighteye softened his tone, placing a comforting hand on his protege’s shoulder. “Internship week is starting tomorrow. And while you won’t be staying at my agency like Mirio, I expect you to stop by every day so I can help you with this adjustment period. Sound good?”

“Yeah…” He let out a breath as his posture softened in his seat. “Yeah, that sounds good. You worked with All Might before, so I;m sure you know what it takes to be the symbol of peace.” He got up from his seat and stretched his arms. “Yeah, I can do this. Just gotta… not mess up, or the consequences will be dire. See you tomorrow, Nighteye.” He waved before exiting the office.

“It’s my pleasure,” Nighteye waved back. And thus, the seed of doubt had been thoroughly planted. Now all he had to do was help it grow into an insecurity that would convince Izuku he just wasn’t the right fit for One for All. Then he’d give the Quirk to Mirio, and everything would be right with the world.


“Um, All Might…”

“Please, Young Midoriya, call me Yagi while I’m in my skinny form.”

“Right… Yagi, what are we doing at Takobah Beach?”

“And at the crack of dawn?” Mirio added, somehow showing no signs of grogginess despite the early hour. Izuku assumed he was just excited to start his internship later today. That, or he had a second hidden Quirk called ‘Being a Morning Person’.

As part of his response, Yagi dramatically swept his arms across the beach’s trash-filled sands. “See all this garbage that’s piled up over the years? You two are going to pick up every last piece of it!”

The boys’ eyes collectively bulged at the prospect. Some of that trash looked really heavy. Izuku was pretty sure he could even see a truck nestled in one of the piles.

“Oh, I think I get it,” Mirio suddenly realized, “This is a way to mix our strength training with community service, right?”

“That is one of the reasons, yes,” Yagi nodded, “Also, this will serve as a good benchmark to know whether Young Midoriya is ready to inherit One for All.”

“Is there a minimum strength requirement or something?” Izuku asked, to which the hero grinned.

“Let’s just say that if you haven’t built up enough muscle mass by the time you inherit my power, your arms and legs will shoot right out of their sockets.”

Izuku let out a small yelp as his brain conjured up an image of that exact thing happening. It didn’t look pretty. Meanwhile, Mirio let out an unfortunate hiss. “That’s rough, buddy.” He offered his friend a pat on the back.

“But you needn't worry! Based on the records Mirai showed me, you’ve already got a strong base to work off of. All your body needs is one final push before it can handle this!” Yagi bulked up in his muscle form and flexed his biceps before quickly turning back, trace amounts of blood dripping from his mouth. “Considering there’s two of you, and you’re both decently strong, the process should take somewhere between three to four months.”

“Oh, that sounds doable,” Mirio smiled at the news, “Ludicrously difficult and infinitely agonizing on every muscle in our bodies, but doable.”

Yagi gave a confirming thumbs-up. “That’s the entire point of it, a test of not only your strength, but your drive as a hero. Though, considering you’ve been training with Mirai for the past year, I imagine that won’t be a problem.”

“Not in the slightest, All Mi - I mean Yagi!” Izuku summoned all his determination and funneled it into his response. “If it means I can be a hero as great as you, then I’ll clean up a hundred beaches if I have to!”

“But what if I cleaned up a hundred and one?” Mirio jokingly challenged.

“Then I’ll clean up a hundred and two!”

“What if I did a hundred and three?”

“Then I’d do a hundred and four!”

“A hundred and five!”

“A hundred and six!”




“Zero,” All Might swiftly cut in, capturing the boys’ attention. “Before either of you can begin, I have to run you through a safety presentation on how not to get hurt around all this jagged metal and shrapnel. My heroic duties will prevent me from overseeing you every day, and I don’t want to explain to your parents why either of you needs a tetanus shot.”

“Oh yeah, that’s a good point,” Izuku hummed, “My mom would probably kill me if I got hurt from spending too much time in the local dumping grounds.”


Day 1 of Internships…

There are three ways to break a man: physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Nighteye intended to employ all three of these methods on Izuku. Although he wasn’t exactly going to ‘break him’ per se, he was more so going to use those methods to reinforce his student’s feelings of inadequacy.

His first step of doing so was stupefyingly easy, all he needed was a pair of High-Density Seals and an open room.

“Nighteye, I’m here!” Izuku ran through the door, panting. “Was I on time?”

Nighteye took a look at his watch. “No. You were three minutes early instead of five.”

“Dang it!” He frustratedly stomped the ground. “I’ll get it next time, though.”

“I would hope so. But let’s not waste any more time. We have a lot to cover today.” He got up from his seat and led Izuku to the training room.

“Is Mirio here?” He asked as they turned a corner.

“No. He’s out on his first patrol with Bubble Girl and Centipeder.”

“Ooh, first patrol. Sounds like a big deal,” He responded with excitement.

Nighteye shrugged. “Not particularly. Barring any large-scale villain attacks, once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. Besides, we won’t be needing him for training today. It’ll just be you and me.” He opened the door to the training room and walked in, slowly slipping his hands into his pockets.

Izuku hummed. “Huh, just me and you? I don’t think we’ve done that since - OOF!” He was cut off as his teacher threw a High-Density Seal at his chest.

“A hero should never let their guard down,” Nighteye said as he threw another seal, which Izuku barely managed to sidestep. “You’re lucky I hadn’t thrown that first stamp with my full strength. If I did, you would have been out of the fight.”

“Oh, okay, I guess we’re doing this now,” Izuku muttered, pulling out his own High-Density Pens. He threw three at once, each at a different angle. Nighteye could tell he was going for the old ‘dodge one projectile, end up in the path of another’ strategy.

While that move might have worked against your average street thug, dodging attacks like those was painfully easy for a seasoned pro like him.

“Your moves are entirely predictable, Izuku. I thought I taught you better than this.” He scolded, weaving around the first two pens before catching the third one in mid-air. “And now you’ve gone and given your opponent a weapon. I’m sensing a keen lack of foresight from you today.”

Izuku didn’t respond, instead running up to Nighteye and purposely falling to the ground to slide between his legs. He hopped back up and attempted a simple strike to the back of the head, one that could potentially knock his opponent out.

But before the hit could connect, Nighteye whipped around at near-breakneck speeds and clicked the pen in his hand, pointing the tip right between Izuku’s eyes, prompting the boy to freeze in place with the pen centimeters from his face.

“If this were a real-life scenario, you would have lost an eye,” Nighteye told Izuku before grabbing him by the arm and throwing him to the floor. To add insult to injury, he gave him his pen back by purposely dropping it on his stomach, no doubt knocking the wind out of him.

“Sorry, Sir,” He groaned apologetically. “I’ll do better next time.”

“I’m afraid ‘next time’ won’t cut it.” He leaned over Izuku as he was sprawled out across the padded floor, fixing him with a harsh glare. “You’ve got a longer way to go than you could ever imagine, and the time before you’re thrust into the spotlight is minimal.”

“I mean, I still have a little less than two years until UA,” Izuku muttered to himself.

“Two years that’ll fly by in the blink of an eye, and you’ve got a mountain of progress to climb in that time. I expect vast improvements in the coming days, Izuku, in both strength and technique, because neither you nor I can afford to wait.”

Nighteye turned to leave the training room. As he walked out the door, he heard his student lightly shudder from his spot on the ground. Good. Now that Izuku had been given a taste of the responsibilities that came with accepting One for All, it was time for him to receive another.


Day 2 of Internships…

As the sun began to set outside the Nighteye Agency, the Foresight Hero casually walked up to Izuku’s personal desk, where he was busy filling out, stamping, and filing away his assigned paperwork.

“Oh, hi Nighteye!” He looked up to greet his mentor.

“Good evening, Izuku. How has the paperwork been?”

“More than usual, that’s for sure,” He weakly chuckled before noticing Nighteye didn’t look very amused by his joke, “But - But that’s not a bad thing, of course! It’s just that since Mirio’s doing patrols now, I gotta keep track of all the heroic stuff he does. And let me tell you, he does a lot of heroic stuff.”

“Yes, he certainly does,” Nighteye nodded, his face and tone devoid of emotion.

“Thankfully, I’m almost done.” He gestured to his desk, which only had a few unfiled papers left. “I’ll be free to go after this, right? Because I don’t think I usually stay at the agency this late.” He glanced out a nearby window, wincing at the orange sky that was quickly fading into purple.

“Yes, you can go home once you’re done. But first…” Nighteye pulled a huge stack of papers - at least double the size of what Izuku started out with - and slammed it on the desk. “You forgot a few.”

Izuku’s mouth hung low at the sight of the endlessly daunting stack of papers. “I - Are you sure this is all for-”

“Yes, I’m sure.” Nighteye put a finger over his student’s mouth to shut him up and let him explain. “As I have stated before, with this new power acquisition comes greater expectations from those around you. Sometimes heroes have to pull double duty in order to get the job done.”

“I - I get that, but to this extent?!” Izuku grabbed the paper from the top of the pile and stared at it incredulously. “I mean, it’ll probably take me hours in order to-”

“All Might worked tirelessly for forty years as the symbol of peace.” Nighteye lowered his eyebrows at Izuku, who shrunk under his serious gaze. “If you cannot adopt a similar work ethic, then you’re only setting yourself up for failure down the line. Do you understand?”

“I…” He looked like he wanted to protest further, but he piped down and turned back to his desk. “…Yes sir, I understand,” He mumbled in defeat before beginning what would no doubt be one of the longest and most arduous tasks of his young life.


Day 3 of Internships…

Izuku stood firmly in Nighteye’s office as he summarized the cases and incidents he filed, which was a common formality in the agency. Of course, Mirio and Centipeder were out on patrol, so Nighteye knew there was no chance of them being interrupted.

“At 2:33 PM, Bubble Girl and Lemillion were involved in a minor convenience store robbery. According to their police statements, the criminal had no noticeable Quirk, merely threatening the clerk with a pair of daggers. The situation was resolved with minimal violence as Bubble Girl distracted the criminal with a foul-smelling bubble while Lemillion…”

Truthfully, though, Nighteye could hardly pay attention to Izuku. He was too busy gauging how the long night of overtime affected his student’s apprentice. Sure, he managed to get all the work done, but the light shade of red in his eyes showed that he hadn’t adjusted well, which was just what Nighteye expected from him.

He’d already tested Izuku’s physical and mental limits, now all that was left were the emotional ones. Fortunately, his method of doing so laid right in this very office.

“Stop.” He slowly stood up from his seat, suddenly cutting his protege off. “Izuku, what have I told you about my beliefs regarding humor?”

“U-Um…” He confusedly darted his eyes around the room, unsure what this sudden interruption had to do with anything. “You said that a society without humor has no future?”

“Correct.” As Nighteye slowly approached him, he pressed a button on his desk, prompting the panels on the wall behind Izuku to shift, pushing out a large machine labeled ‘Tickle Hell’. “And during the twelve minutes you’ve been talking, exactly how many jokes have you cracked?”

“Um, none?” Izuku’s mind was only half paying attention as he turned back to look at the tickle machine. “N-Nighteye, what exactly is that?”

The hero in question ignored his student’s concern as he continued his tirade. “You of all people should know that what that makes All Might so popular is his heroic presence, how his mere existence seems to inspire joy and assurance in others.” Izuku instinctively stepped back as Nighteye encroached closer. “Yet the whole time you stood there talking at me, I’ve felt no such presence from you.”

“But - But that’s only boring paperwork stuff!”

“A true symbol would have found a way to make it entertaining.” He shoved Izuku in the chest, where he stumbled backwards into the tickle machine. In an instant, the cuffs snapped down on his wrists, holding him in place. “Consider this a lesson for the future. If you can’t keep up your heroic presence, if you can’t smile at the world despite everything, the world will not smile back.”

“W-Wait, Nighteye! Just hold on for a second!” Izuku’s protests went unheard as the hero flipped the switch, and the two feathers on either side of the machine began rapidly whipping back and forth, furiously tickling Izuku’s sides.

“HAHAHAHAHA - Sir, please - HAHAHA HAHA - I can - HA HA HAHA - hardly breathe!”

Nighteye didn’t respond. He just stared blankly at his student as he writhed around in comedic agony. His laugher was booming, but the tears flowing down his face told a much different story.

“HA HAHAHA - I’m sorry - HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHA - I’ll be funnier next time - HAHAHA HAHAHA HA - just please let me out! HAHAHA!”

It didn’t matter how much Izuku begged. Nighteye still resolved to drive the message home. The tickle-based torture lasted five more minutes before the laughter started to sound more like hoarse wheezing. By then, it was clear Izuku had gone through enough, so Nighteye turned down the power and unhooked him from the machine. “I hope you learned your lesson,” He stated simply, opening the door and leading his apprentice out.

Izuku could only nod in response as he left, too busy trying to catch his breath through the crying and hiccuping to properly form words.


That night, Izuku could only stare at the ceiling as he laid awake in bed, pondering the things Nighteye had told him over the past few days.

It had been a tumultuous week so far. And strangely, he wasn’t talking about getting up at the crack of dawn to clean trash off a beach. No, he was referring to his time with Nighteye. From embarrassingly losing his spar, to getting saddled with more paperwork than he had ever seen in his life, to the… tickle machine, it all felt taxing one way or another.

(Hours later, he could still feel his sides ache. And no matter how much water he drank, his throat still felt sore).

But underneath it all, he knew Nighteye had a reason for what he did. He had to have one, right? He wouldn’t just put him in a tickle machine for no reason, right?

Izuku shook his head to clear the thoughts out of his mind. “No, of course he has a reason. He said it himself, he’s just trying to prepare me for the gargantuan expectations and responsibilities that come with being All Might’s successor…”

He sighed as he compressed deeper into his bed. “And judging by my performance these last few days, I haven’t been reaching those expectations.”

Izuku felt a small amount of frustration bubble up inside him. He thought he was doing well for the longest time, only for the rug to be pulled out from under him, sending him tumbling down the stairs of progress. He supposed it just came with the territory of living his whole life without a Quirk, only to have one thrust upon him.

…Maybe that was a sign he just wasn’t cut out for One for All.

“NO!” He shot out of his bed, slapping both hands over his cheeks. “I can’t keep thinking like that. A hero wouldn’t just give up when things got tough, they would push through, keep moving forward, go Plus Ultra! So that’s what I have to do, too.”

Izuku made his way to the mirror in his bedroom and silently stared at his reflection for a long time. Nighteye was right, if he wanted to fill in All Might’s massive shoes, he needed to greatly improve his strength, work ethic, and heroic presence.

He tugged the edges of his lips into a grin reminiscent of his idol’s. Considering his circ*mstances, he knew he’d have to work harder than everyone else, and he was ready to take on that challenge with a smile on his face.

Figuring he ought to get started right away, he flopped to the ground and started on a set of push-ups. So what if it was already 10:00 PM and he had beach cleaning tomorrow? A few extra (dozen) sets would only serve to benefit him in the long run.


Day 6 of Internships (AKA 3 Days Later)...

“Oh, Mom, good morning,” Izuku said as he stepped out of his room, slightly surprised by all the food on the table. “I didn’t think you’d be up this early.”

“Well, you’ve been working so hard as of late, and I figured I could try and help you out where I can.” She placed another plate of food on the already crowded table and sat down. “I know you have early morning training to get to, but surely you could spare some time for your mother.”

“Of course! Thank you for this.” Izuku pulled up his chair and dug into his breakfast, not noticing Inko observing him with a worried look on her face.

She hadn’t seen much of her son this past week due to Nighteye increasing his hours spent at the agency as part of a mock internship to go along with Mirio’s. But from what little she had seen of her son, she was gravely concerned.

Even now, she noticed the bags forming under his eyes, contrasting heavily with the smile plastered on his face. And she meant plastered. She’d seen him simple before, and that wasn’t it.

She wanted to bring it up with him sooner, but he had been so busy that she barely had a moment alone with him. Which was one of the reasons why she got up early to make breakfast. “So… how has your mock internship week been? I don’t feel like I’ve had the opportunity to ask.”

Izuku swallowed a mouthful of food before answering. “It’s been great! I’ve been learning a lot about my future as a hero. Y’know, forming the foundation of my hero persona and stuff.”

“Oh, and how has that been going?”

“It’s been hard, not gonna lie. But I think I’m taking it all in stride.” He finished another plate of food before moving on to the next.

“Are you sure?” Inko couldn’t help but ask. When Izuku paused to give her a look, she quickly backtracked on her statement. “Not that I think you can’t or anything. It’s just… have you noticed those bags under your eyes?”

Izuku slowly dragged his fingers across his face, stopping right under his left eye. “Huh, I didn’t notice that.” His brief look of concern quickly shifted into nonchalance as he shrugged his shoulders. “But I’m sure it’s not that big a deal. I’ve got a lot of big expectations to meet, and this is all part of the process. You know how it goes, right? No pain, no gain. Go beyond, Plus Ultra!”

Inko sat in silence for a short moment as she sipped her tea, her mind fixated on a single line from her son. “Hold on for a moment, big expectations? From who?”

“Well, Nighteye, of course. He’s been pushing me… a lot… but - but he’s got a good reason for it. He’s just trying to help me prepare for the world of heroics.”

Inko’s eyes shifted into a glare as she slowly rested her arms on the table. “So… Nighteye’s been ‘preparing’ you, has he? Tell me, Izuku, what exactly has he been doing?”

Izuku’s plastered-on smile began to waver as he tried to take another bite of his food, but Inko activated her Quirk on instinct, and his spoon bent ninety degrees in his hand. “Oh, would you look at the time. I think I’ll be late if I don’t get going now.” He shoveled the contents of his plate in his mouth before getting up from his seat and making his way out the door. “ThanksForBreakfastMomILoveYouByeeeeeeeee!”

As he left, Inko took a deep breath to calm herself down. She believed she had a clearer picture of what was going on, along with the source of her son’s recent behavior. And she planned to take this up with his mentor as soon as humanly possible.



Mirio instantly recognized Izuku’s yelp and dropped whatever he was holding to grab his friend’s shoulder before he faceplanted the sand. “Hey, watch where you’re going, that’s like the third time today. You’ve been trippin’ so much we might have to give you a drug test.”

Izuku snickered at the joke as he bent down to pick up the trash he dropped. “Sorry about that. It’s just… I guess I haven’t fully woken up yet.”

“Didn’t you say something similar yesterday?” Mirio leaned in closer, equal parts concerned and curious, “Something along the lines of ‘I haven’t had my coffee yet’? And then we both laughed it off because the idea of you drinking coffee sounded hilariously ludicrous?”

Izuku’s grabbing started to grow more frantic. “Oh, well, you know… I just - I was just saying that… uh…”

Mirio took this as an opportunity to press a little further. “You have been getting enough sleep, right?”

Izuku chuckled in response, as if what his friend said was an absurd proposition. Though only Mirio could tell how strained his smile was. “C’mon, Mirio, you know me. You really think I don’t know what I’m doing with my training?”

“Of course I don’t, but I never accused you of-”

“Then everything’s good. There’s no need to worry about me. I’m fine.” Izuku interrupted, leaving no room for argument as he speed-walked ahead of his friend, placing his handful of trash into the truck before moving on to a different pile.

Mirio sighed. His suspicions had been growing over the past few days, and the conversation he just had pretty much confirmed them. “Right… well, I’m just gonna take this over here.” He lifted the moldy bench he had previously been holding and made his way to Yagi, who had been supervising the two of them. “Hey, have you noticed something off about the way Izuku’s been acting lately?”

“Not much in particular,” Yagi answered honestly, “But I imagine you’d be more keen to point these things out, considering how long you know him. Though I have noticed the amount of trash he’s been hauling has been slightly decreasing over the past few days. Look.”

He showed Mirio a graph, where he noticed the green line representing Izuku slowly trailing downward. “Now, this isn’t an automatic cause for concern, dips and curves are expected with a workout routine like this. Though there’s a chance this could be a symptom of a greater issue.”

“Good point. But still, I know something’s been going on with Izuku, I just can’t place my finger on it. Besides our beach cleaning, I’ve hardly seen him all week.”

Yagi raised an eyebrow. “You haven’t? I thought he was ‘interning’ at Nighteye Agency with you.”

“He is, but Sir’s been keeping him to himself all week, and I don’t even know what they’re doing because he keeps sending me out on patrol with Centipeder and Bubble Girl.” Mirio sighed as he slumped onto the moldy bench, the wood quietly creaking under his weight. “I mean, I know it’s because he’s training to get One for All, but… I dunno, I didn’t think I’d get left behind so soon.”

He suddenly caught himself as he realized he was rambling, and to All Might of all people. “Ah, but that’s not important. We were talking about Izuku, weren’t we?” He said, quickly flipping his frown back into a smile.

“Your own concerns are valid too, Young Togata.” Yagi sat down on the spot next to him, causing the bench to shudder even more. “Regardless of whether Young Midoriya is inheriting a Quirk or not, it’s your internship first and foremost. If Mirai planned on handing you off to his sidekicks all week, then he should have let you go with a different hero.”

Mirio let out a breath he didn’t realize he was holding. “Phew, that’s a relief to hear. I thought I was being selfish by thinking that.” He gave a light chuckle as he let his body relax on the bench.

“There’s a fine line between being selfish and wanting things to be fair. But the way I look at it, I think it would be best to confront Young Midoriya on his change in behavior.”

“I dunno…” He glanced in Izuku’s direction, who was struggling to get a TV unstuck from one of the piles. “I kinda tried that already, but he doesn’t seem to be in a confrontational mood. I wouldn’t want to push the issue with him, not when there might be an easier way to resolve things.” He went silent for a short moment before coming up with another idea. “What about Sir? Izuku’s been spending a lot of time with him, maybe he knows what’s up.”

Of course, there was also the possibility that Nighteye was the one responsible for Izuku’s behavior, but Mirio refused to jump to any conclusions. One glance at the look on Yagi’s face showed he thought the same thing. At that moment, the two silently agreed to have a word with the Foresight Hero later that day. But until then, all Mirio could do was stand up and get back to his training.

…And the minute they got off the bench, it collapsed under its own weight and shattered into a million moldy splinters.

“Gonna be honest, I’m a little worried to pick that up now,” Mirio admitted.


“Mirai, we need to talk,” All Might said as he entered his office with Mirio in tow. “It’s about our concern regarding Young Midoriya.”

“Yeah, you’ve been spending a lot of time with him, and he seems… different now,” Mirio was hesitant to add.

Ah, yes, of course. Nighteye didn’t need to use his Quirk to know this conversation was an inevitability. As much as he’d kept Izuku and Mirio apart, they still met up every morning for beach cleaning, and it was only a matter of time before either he or All Might noticed the cracks beginning to form.

Fortunately, Nighteye was the type to plan ahead, and he had more than a few responses prepared for this exact scenario. “I think I understand. I, too have begun to notice some of Izuku’s emerging oddities, and I’m ashamed to admit I might have played a part in that.”

“…What?” Mirio asked, his tone weary.

“Mirai, what have you been doing?” All Might’s eyes narrowed, a scowl starting to form on his face.

“Calm down, there’s no cause for alarm. The truth is that in my eagerness to train the next holder of One for All, I might have saddled him with some unneeded expectations, which he likely took the wrong way. You know how Izuku is, you give him an inch, he’ll go a mile.”

And that was the trick to it all. The best lies always sprinkle in a few nuggets of truth. All Nighteye had to do was play off his actions as a well-intentioned mistake, sugarcoat some of the finer details, and the two blonds would be off his back for the time being.

It also helped that All Might only just met Izuku, meaning he didn’t know him well enough to contradict anything Nighteye had to say about him. No, the real challenge was convincing Mirio, but Nighteye was already sure he’d give him the benefit of the doubt.

One look at his student’s pondering face, and Nighteye already knew he was in the clear. “Yeah… I guess that does sound like Izuku,” Mirio begrudgingly admitted.

“No need to worry, I’ll make sure this whole thing is sorted out,” The Foresight Hero assured with a light smile on his face, “I’ll have a talk with Izuku and let him know of my misdoings.”

This was only a half-truth. He did plan on talking with Izuku tomorrow, but only to give him the suggestion that Mirio would be better off with One for All. He was ninety percent sure that Izuku’s self-esteem would be so low by then that he’d agree.

“Very well, Mirai. I’ll leave this to you,” All Might nodded, seemingly satisfied, “But please try to be more tactful with your expectations next time. Young Midoriya will no doubt face many hardships during his time as my successor, and you shouldn’t be one of them.”

“I agree with you completely.” He glanced over towards Mirio, noticing the small spec of hesitancy breaking through his normally cheerful grin. “And Mirio, I believe I owe you an apology as well.”

“Wha-me?” He snapped back to reality, pointing at himself in disbelief.

“Yes, you. The truth is my overeagerness has had an impact on not only Izuku, but you as well. I didn’t mean to neglect your training, but I promise it won’t happen again.” He stuck out his hand to hopefully seal the deal. “No hard feelings?”

“Uh… yeah, no hard feelings.” He reached out and shook Nighteye’s hand. Though, he couldn’t help but notice Mirio’s handshakes were more firm and tightly-gripped than the one he was currently receiving. But that was an issue for another day.

The moment the two blonds exited the office, Bubble Girl’s voice crackled over the intercom. “Sir, Izuku’s mother is coming to see you.

Nighteye sighed in his chair. Seriously, now of all times? He really didn’t need to deal with two separate confrontations back-to-back. “Tell her to come back another day, I’m busy.”

I’m sorry, Sir, but when I said she’s coming, I meant she forced her way past me and is now several steps away from your office.

Just then, the door swung open, and Inko Midoriya stormed up to the Foresight Hero, bearing a fierce scowl that would cause most men to instinctively cower in fear.

Nighteye was not most men, however, as he calmly sat in his seat while holding back the sigh that was building up in his throat. “Good afternoon, Ms. Midoriya. To what do I owe the pleasure?”

Her first response was to slam her hands on the desk. A rather unprofessional gesture, if you asked Nighteye. “I’m just gonna skip the formalities and get to the point, what have you been doing with my son?”

“Ma’am, I’m afraid you’ll have to be more specific than that.”

“Don’t play games with me, Nighteye. I know you’re aware of how Izuku’s been acting lately, and I have a strong suspicion you’re the one behind it. So let me ask again, what have you been doing with him?”

“I’ve simply been preparing him for the world of heroics he’ll have to face in the future,” Nighteye answered, his hands neatly folded on his desk like it was a normal meeting between parent and teacher. “The specific methods I employ shouldn’t concern you.”

Inko scoffed as if that was the most offensive thing she had heard all day. “I’m his mother! And even though he doesn’t know it, I can tell whatever you’re doing to my baby is hurting him. So give me one good reason why I shouldn’t end his apprenticeship right here and now.”

Nighteye’s eyes narrowed from behind his specs. It was clear Inko wanted to play with fire, he just hoped she was prepared to get burned. “I recall a certain someone expressing their regrets over not being as supportive of their son as they’d like.”

Inko suddenly clammed up at Nighteye’s words, so he continued. “How do you think Izuku would feel if you pulled him from my agency? If you cut off his lifeline to heroism, the thing he wants more than anything in the entire world? Would he not grow to resent you? Despise you for crushing his dreams not once, but twice?” He shook his head, silently tutting. “It wouldn’t surprise me if he never wanted to speak with you again after that.”

Inko remained silent for a moment, staring at the ground in an unblinking stupor. Nighteye was ready to escort her out until he felt a sharp tug on his tie, and the next moment, he was face-to-face with the woman, who looked even more enraged than before.

“Listen here, Sir Nighteye, I can feel that smug aura radiating off your face, thinking you’ve got me out of your hair just because you made one point. Don’t think you’re off the hook just yet. If this doesn’t turn out well for my baby, There. Will. Be. Consequences.”

And with that, she shoved him back onto his chair and stormed off, loudly slamming the door behind her.

“Psh, consequences, unlikely,” Nighteye grumbled to himself as he fixed up his tie. Her hollow threats didn’t move him in the slightest. How could they? She had no idea what was going on, no idea what was truly at stake here, no idea that a bright future depended on Mirio inheriting One for All instead of her son.

At the end of the day, he knew there wouldn’t be any need for ‘consequences’, because there was no doubt in his mind that Izuku would come out of this whole debacle better than when he started. What could be better than working as a sidekick for the future number one hero and Symbol of Peace?

All he had to do now was wait for it all to come crashing down on Izuku, so he could finally begin building him back up in his image.


Day 7 of Internships…

Izuku’s mind was drowning in thoughts as he stepped off the train and began his walk to the Nighteye Agency. He’d been working himself to the bone these past few days, even going to the beach to pick up some extra trash despite it being his rest day, but he just couldn’t shake the feeling that it wasn’t enough.

Nighteye made it clear that the world wouldn’t be kind to him as the Symbol of Peace’s successor, meaning he only had a limited amount of time to get his sh*t together before he was involuntarily thrust into the limelight. But the more he worked, the more he felt like his sh*t was falling apart.

And it wasn’t like he could stop working or anything. What would that say to Nighteye, to Mirio, to All Might? That he couldn’t handle the pressure that came with inheriting One for All?

But it’s not like that mattered, because Izuku was pretty sure that was the message they were getting anyways. His mind flashed back to yesterday’s beach training and the looks of concern Mirio and All Might gave him. What did they have to be concerned about? He was doing just fine, wasn’t he?

And then they started talking amongst each other behind Izuku’s back thinking he wouldn’t notice. He didn’t hear what they said, but he still caught the occasional worried glance in his direction, so he was all but certain it had something to do with him.

He could tell they were doubting him, that they didn’t think he was cut out to handle the challenge ahead of him, which was the exact opposite of what he was trying to prove. He even started zeroing in on the worst-case scenario, one where All Might changed his mind about making Izuku his successor.

He tried telling himself he was just being silly by thinking that, but the more time passed, the more plausible that outcome seemed. From there, it was only a matter of time until Izuku’s mind was whipped up into a frenzy.

But of course, he hid all of it - every last piece of self-doubt - behind a reassuring smile. Because as Nighteye said, he had to keep up his heroic presence no matter what. (And he really didn’t want to have to go through another round in the tickle machine if he messed up again.)

All this led him to the obvious conclusion, he had to do something to prove himself as a worthy successor, just like he did when he first met All Might. But so far, not a single opportunity has arisen. He didn’t run into any crooks, robbers, thieves, or villains that he could jump in and help stop, and it was driving him nuts!

At this rate, he was worried everyone would start seeing him for the useless, Quirkless Deku he truly was. Then what would happen? Would he lose everything? Would he go back to suffering at Aldera, go back to being picked on by the students and teachers, go back to letting Katsuki remind him of his place every day with an explosion to the-

Suddenly, Izuku stopped dead in his tracks as he heard the faint sound of a punch being thrown. Could this be the opportunity he was looking for? He rapidly whipped his head around the area looking for the source of the sound. This search led him down a nearby alley, where he bore witness to a brawl between Centipeder and some kind of villain with four arms and a tough shell coating his body.

Izuku felt bad for feeling excited, considering how much Centipeder looked like he was struggling in this fight. But it would all be fine, he was here to help, after all. He reached into his bag, pulling out one of his High-Density Pens, which he kept on him for situations like this.

The villain’s back was turned to him, giving Izuku the perfect opportunity to shoot his shot from across the alley, aiming roughly at the kidney. He threw the pen, and it looked like the shot was about to land, until the villain shifted his weight left to dodge a strike from Centipeder, and the pen slammed into the sidekick instead.

Izuku slapped his hands over his mouth in horror as Centipeder yelled out in pain. The villain took advantage of this distraction to start wailing on him with a flurry of punches.

Izuku tried running up to intervene, but by the time he made it to the other side of the alley, Centipeder was already knocked to the ground unconscious, and the villain had made his escape.

The next few minutes after that were a blur for Izuku. He knew he called an ambulance, did the standard first-aid procedure to make sure Centipeder was okay, and watched him get carted off by the paramedics. But through it all, he couldn’t help aching numbness in the back of his head, the kind that was indicative of the soul-crushing guilt he felt at that very moment.

He caused this. This was all his fault. Centipeder got hurt because of him and his stupid, selfish need to prove himself.

But through his shocked stupor, he knew he could at least take solace knowing he understood now. It almost felt cathartic in a way, really. The way he handled that situation finally proved the suspicions he’d been trying to deny for the past week.

He couldn’t do this.

He couldn’t be All Might’s successor.

He wasn’t worthy of inheriting One for All.


Sooooooo... how many of you want to punch Nighteye yet?

Don't worry, don't worry. As Inko very clearly stated, there will be consequences. All I ask is that you wait a little longer.

Anyways, this chapter is probably the hardest thing I've ever written. There are a lot of factors at play with this chapter, and a lot of perspectives to take into account. Not to mention making Izuku's whole downward spiral seem as natural and befitting for his character as possible. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if some of you were lukewarm on this chapter. But with the amount of Izuku abuse present, I could hardly blame you. (I love him, which is why I must make him suffer.)

Part of me feels bad for essentially giving All Might the shaft, but keep in mind he only met Izuku a few days ago, meaning he's less likely to notice any strange behaviors from him. Heck, in canon, he didn't notice Izuku overworking himself until he literally collapsed during training.

Also, I'm not sure how many of you think this, but Centipeder getting injured was not part of Nighteye's plan. That was just a really bad coincidence on Izuku's part.

Forcing History to Repeat - Flapjack09 - 僕のヒーローアカデミア | Boku no Hero Academia (2024)


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