Chapter 1 : Community Service
“And that’ll do it.” Makoto all but sauntered out of the court building as Koichi followed behind. “With only a minimal amount of community service hours completed you will officially be registered with a full hero’s license.”
“It’s not that big of a deal, Makoto.” He rubbed his head though his eyes lingered down to the card in his hands. Even slightly embarrassed by the display he grinned at the image on the card. He’d had it for over a year now, but now the provisionary license was officially a full hero’s one.
“Nonsense, we should celebrate.” His fiance stated as she pulled out her phone, “I already have a reservation at Hakido’s for seven. If we catch the A-Train now, we’ll have ample time to get ready. Shoko-san was already informed, and we should make sure to have a bag for any and all gifts our friends bring.” She started at a brisk pace through the crowds and Koichi had to glide a bit to catch up. Still the smile didn’t falter as he watched her.
This really wouldn’t have been possible without Makoto. Any and all research he had done on his own about getting his hero’s license without getting into an official hero course had gotten a bunch of contradictory and overall unhelpful information. But that wasn’t enough to stop someone as driven as Makoto. She’d run down leads and sources Koichi hadn’t even thought to try, and eventually got him on the path.
As they pushed through the station and got onto the train, Makoto sat herself down and immediately got on her phone. “Alright, now with all your previous unofficial hours tallied, that should make it fairly easy to find a program willing to take you on.”
“I mean, I could just volunteer for litter clean up places.” He offered as he stood, holding onto the railing while the train filled up. He didn’t need a seat, especially since even if it was a little bumpy he could stay upright easily with his quirk. It was still more comfortable than clinging to the side of the train.
“No,” Makoto shook her head, “That’s too generic. You don’t have much flash working for you in terms of powers. You’ll need something more visible and involved.”
Koichi winced at the assessment, but he knew this was just the wind up. She wouldn’t shoot him down without her own ideas, “What did you have in mind?”
“It’d be best if you work with a hero agency. They have a few volunteer programs that can work towards that.”
He perked up immediately. Leaning forward he looked at her phone, “They allow that?”
“Not until very recently. All Might’s agency started reaching out to youths to try and get them involved in community service, and it caused a ripple effect. Naomasa told me about it a month or two ago. I hadn’t brought it up, since we were still in the processing period. But now that you’re clear, I’ll start sending out emails. I already have most of the paperwork filled out, you just have to sign it before I send it out.”
Koichi might have asked why she would fill that out without him, but it was a silly question. She had been managing his schedule for the last two years. “So how many am I applying to?”
“There are currently eight accepting applications from your age group. Most of these programs are tailored towards a younger audience. Though having a license will help give some attention to your application, I’m going to need to scan that when we get home so it’s included.”
“Alright, so who’re the agencies hosting these?” He leaned over.
“The largest one is All Might’s as I said, but it’s not likely you’ll get into that one. I’m sending in the application but the waiting list is enormous. Best Jeanist is the only other one from the top ten offering, but again, that one is very popular. The rest are lower down on the popularity scale, but they’re more likely to give you a callback.” She was typing on her phone quickly, “I’ll be monitoring the response rates. I expect at least a two week turn around before we get any real responses on that front.”
“Oh, so what should I do in the meantime?” As the train emptied out a bit he sat down next to her.
“What you’ve been doing, being visible as just being a helpful member of the community will help if they try to do research on you. Especially since it’s fully legal how you go about it.” She continued to type on her phone and they chatted a bit but once they got to their stop they headed back to his apartment. Despite the wait, Koichi could feel the excitement bubbling behind his eyes. It had been a long time since he started trying to help out in his own way, and he’d only sort of worked with heroes before. Even if this wasn’t like being a full sidekick, it was working directly with an agency and he couldn’t help but smile in anticipation.
“Is everything alright, Izuku?” Inko turned around in time to see her son scurrying back as he turned a corner towards another room.
“F-fine! I’m fine! Just did some hero watching on the way home!” His voice rang out as Inko’s head peered down. She saw the mass of his green hair disappear into his room before the door closed. That meant something clearly was happening.
Taking in a deep breath she took in a smell she recognized immediately and walked towards the hallway door. The door hadn’t closed completely, but she didn’t push it. He’d wanted to separate himself from her and she already knew the reason why. “Izuku, is there anything you need?”
“N-no, no,” The words came out too quickly, and there was a stutter, “Just, n-need to wash up a bit.”
Closing her eyes she took in a deep breath. That scent on her nostrils made her frown, “Okay, dinner will be ready soon. I made your favorite so don’t take too long, you don’t want it to get cold.”
“Okay okaa-san.” The words were fainter now, he was probably further from the door. She walked away from his room and by the time she got to the kitchen she could hear the turning of the tap.
Moving softly she grabbed the phone and pulled up a familiar number. Her finger hovered over the call button before she pulled back. If she told Mitsuki she’d punish her son immediately, but then things would just escalate, and she’d smell more than burnt paper.
Rubbing her eyes, she let out a breath and set her head against the wall. How long had this been going on, she didn’t know. She couldn’t remember when she got the first call. It didn’t help that the calls had stopped, because the problems hadn’t. Transferring schools had been proposed as an option, but that would require relocation fees, new uniforms, paying for a longer commute plus no guarantee that it would actually work, or the fact that him going to a new school wouldn’t just make the bullying worse. She hated that this was the compromise that had been made, because as bad as Bakugou was, he stopped short of getting truly physical. In an ironic, weird way, his outbursts and displays insulated others from trying to get physically rough with her boy.
Not that the emotional damage he suffered was much of a trade, but with no quirk of his own to defend himself with, it was a blessing that the school children didn’t try to physically hurt him.
Setting down her phone she walked over to the rice cooker and started to set the table. Her mind wandered as she did so. Eyes trailing to the phone she walked over and tapped the bar in the search engine on the browser. It automatically pulled up the lists: how to stop bullying, how to be supportive, options for quirkless education, home schooling certifications in Japan. She typed in with her finger “how to get someone to admit bullying”.
That had been another crux. No matter what happened, Izuku never admitted or reported Bakugo, or anyone for that matter. Not to her, and not to any of his teachers. Though they knew, no proof was brought forward and without proof it was just hearsay. Scanning the articles, she grimaced. Confrontation, that last time that happened he’d just shut down or diverted. It’d made her tear up just seeing it, which in turn made him tear up, which then got nowhere.
Inko just wished he’d trust her, confide in her. But what could she do for him to do that? She’d failed him, when he needed her, when he’d broken down, all she could do, could say…
Tightening her grip on the phone she squeezed her eyes closed as the tears formed before something caught her eyes on the phone. An ad?
Scrolling down she got a full picture of the banner. Big Brothers, Big Sisters? It was an odd ad, but the color scheme looked like it was something associated with All Might. Clicking with her thumb the screen lit up to a new page and right there in the corner was All Might’s agency’s logo. Looking at the domain name, it matched with the official address for his agency as well.
Glancing towards the hallway she continued to scroll. This wasn’t a solution, but maybe she could read for a bit. Anything All Might or any hero agencies would certainly be something to lift Izuku’s mood. He still had another two semesters before he could leave his middle school. If they could just get through this, to high school, maybe they could look into more options.
Just hold on. Like that had been helpful so far.
The sounds of footsteps in the hallway made Inko’s face switch to a smile as she faced her son and they had dinner that night.
It had been a rough week.
Maybe that wasn’t the right word. Rough few weeks, few months, semester?
It was getting hard to keep count at this point. Just that Izuku knew things were getting worse as the semester went on. An absent glance up from his desk to his wall told him why.
UA, the deadline for applying was creeping ever closer and as it did, Kacchan was getting more antsy. To be fair everyone was under a little bit of stress, it was exams week. Looking down at his own studies he sighed. English was his last exam and one of his best subjects. But there was a sense of dread as he worked out the words. The anticipation pooled in his stomach even as he studied.
He’d beaten Kacchan’s English score in the midterms, and he’d gone on a tear about it when it happened. Basically dragging him to a teacher to do a retest. When he was refused he’d thrown a fit and only the promise of suspension if he broke any school property calmed him down. Except he didn’t, he spent the next two weeks basically dragging Izuku along to quiz him on the parts he missed on the exams all while hurling insults in his direction.
It was an odd but unpleasant way to study.
Still, he needed to keep his grades up if he wanted to get into a good high school, into…
His eyes lingered on the UA poster, the bold letters followed by curved text of the school’s motto, Plus Ultra. Still he winced as he looked at the testing material. He had to try his best, Kacchan would probably beat him in the scores like he always did anyway. Even if there was a blow up on monday when they were posted. Chewing the end of his pencil absently he heard a knock on the doorway.
“Izuku, honey,” The voice of his mother was soft, though it still made his shoulders stiffen. Taking a deep breath he set his face and gave her a weak smile.
“I brought you a snack.” She walked in with some onigiri, carefully moving the collection of All Might pens and stationary to put down the plate. “Also, I wanted to ask you something.”
A pit of dread pulled in his stomach. Was it about earlier? He’d just finished salvaging the notes Bakugo had destroyed. Was she going to ask about…
“I know you’ve been working hard for your finals this week. I was wondering if you wanted to go to an event this weekend?” Her smile was small as she held up her phone. He looked down at it for a moment.
“What sort of event?” He reached over and grabbed the phone. His eyes widened as the familiar colors lit the screen. “The All Might Agency is holding an event?!” How did he not know this? He wanted to spin around and boot up his computer to check the forums. But no one had mentioned this in the post media.
“It’s not a standard one.” She said, “It’s a sort of volunteering program that pairs younger boys and girls with older mentors. Sort of like an older sibling that they can do activities with.”
He didn’t really hear most of what she was saying, his eyes just focused on the location. It was at the All Might agency, which meant, All Might, All Might might be there. “It’s this weekend? I need to think about what to wear, what to bring? Do I have enough pens? If he’s there, I can get an autograph. Do you think they’ve changed the tour?”
He turned immediately in his chair, studying forgotten as he started to look around the room to prepare for this weekend. It had been too long since he’d been to the All Might agency, though he’d never seen his hero there, there was always a chance.
Thankfully the idea of that distracted him from any anxiety about being rejected by the program.
So, full on MHA fanfiction. Yay!
So if you’ve read A Quirk In Space, you know, I’m quite fond of Koichi personally. And soft boy Izuku. Which is why I want a fic about them, just together. That’s it, that’s mostly what this fic is. Things will change of course cause, yeah, of course they will. But mainly this is my plot bunny of these two characters connecting.