Chapter 2: Might Tower
Chapter 2: A Meeting at Might Tower
Koichi had to stifle his yawn as he exited the morning train and started heading out the station. Despite the early hour the station was absolutely buzzing and he had to weave about to not be jostled too much. In the end he just decided to pull up next to a wall and glided idly up over the crowds and along the surface. This got a few glances, but no one really commented since he dropped down to swipe his card to log his trip before briskly walking out.
After that it was just a matter of letting muscle memory lead him to the All Might agency. He’d been visiting at least once a year for as long as he could remember, that was after all where he’d purchased his official All Might hoodies, like the classic one he was wearing right now. Koichi was thankful the morning air was still relatively cool, since he wanted it ready and waiting if All Might just happened to be in attendance at his agency.
Now, he knew intellectually that this had never been the case in any of his previous visits. Everyone knew why, All Might was always elsewhere doing good, but maybe, just maybe, there would be a fleeting moment of seeing him when he did his famously brief visits to his own agency that he could get a signature. The muscular hero’s physical speed was thus that he was known to do dozens of autographs in a single pass through a group of fans, so it wasn’t that unusual and he definitely wanted to have his hoodie ready and waiting.
As he approached, the idle daydream of getting an autograph faded as he stared up at the hero agency. Might Tower wasn’t the largest hero agency in Japan, but it was definitely one of the most famous. It dwarfed all the surrounding buildings as it was a skyscraper with a giant globe on the top. A few times Koichi had imagined climbing the tower with his quirk, but others had previously tried and been arrested for their efforts. Only All Might was allowed to go to the famous All Might entrance which was built into the side of the building several stories off of ground level. Presumably it was so no villains could follow him inside if he had to fall back from a fight, not that All Might ever fell back. Instead of attempting that he just walked into the ground floor, the one place almost any All Might fan would recognize as it was the only part of the tower that was open to the public.
Entering the lobby he walked past the brass statue of All Might set in the center and out of sheer habit almost headed straight for the official merchandise store. He’d taken a single step inside the store when he remembered what exactly he was here for. Turning heel, he pulled out his phone to recheck the instructions he’d received two weeks prior. Glancing around the lobby he walked past the store and a wall mounted timeline of All Might’s career he’d seen many times when he stood in line to get merchandise in the past. After that was the bathrooms, another familiar sight, but turning the corner he came to a security desk. Blinking, he looked at the desk that was set in a dead end. Standing at the desk was a woman in the official Might Tower uniform. She smiled at Koichi, “Good morning, are you looking for the elevators to the All Might museum?”
“Ye-no, um,” He held up his phone and pulled up his email. “I’m here for the, the volunteer program? That’s today right?” He looked around, a bit nervous. He hadn’t passed anyone else on the way here, which was a bit odd now that he thought about it. Did he come too early? Or was he late? Was it a different date? He looked down at the email and confirmed the date on the phone. Was he…
“Alright sir, may I see your ID?” The voice brought him out of it.
“My, oh yes.” He fished into his pants pockets for a moment before remembering he’d put his wallet in the hoodie pocket. Taking it out he reached in and presented the first photo ID he had in his wallet. The woman took it and looked at it for a moment, blinking.
“You’re a licensed hero?”
“Yes why would you, wait, sorry.” Koichi reached out to take the hero ID, while he rubbed the back of his head. He’d taken it out a bit too often in the last few months since he’d gotten the official one. Instead of handing it back the security guard took out a light gun and scanned the card before turning towards her computer. After a few keystrokes, she passed back his ID. “Alright Haimawari-san,” She pulled out a small pad, “If you would please put your thumb print onto this pad.”
Koichi complied and watched it flash a small light before it beeped twice. Apparently this was supposed to happen as the woman pulled back the pad and grabbed something from under the desk. She clipped a card onto a lanyard before handing it to Koichi. “Please keep that on your person so long as you are in Might Tower anywhere past the first level.” She pressed a button and a wall opened, revealing an elevator. “This will take you to where you need to go.”
Koichi nodded before heading into the elevator. The doors were silent as they closed and left him in what he saw was an elevator without any floor buttons. Absently rocking on his heels as the elevator rose his eyebrows rose as it went past the third floor, which was where most public access ended. Still, it didn’t go that far past, stopping the fifth door and opening up to reveal a hallway with an arrow that indicated he would go to room 621.
Inside he found a waiting room with a bunch of other similarly aged youths. The youngest looked just out of high school. Breathing in relief at finding the right place, he slumped into a chair and pulled out his phone, texting Makoto he’d made it to the right place.
Now, he just needed to wait.
Izuku stared intently at the decision at hand. His narrowing down the field was now left to two items where his practical side and collector instinct warred.
In one hand he held up the official All Might backpack to replace his current issue one. This wasn’t a new design but one he’d had his eye on for a while. It had a large interior and several pockets as well as a special pocket for his phone and a hole for a charging cord. But more importantly it had the design of one of his favorite All Might costumes, his American Silver age one with the cape, the top flap was even reminiscent of said cape. Though his current middle school had pretty strict bag regulations, his high school might not and he could still use it on weekends.
On the other hand, he had this year’s limited edition All Might comic. Though a scan of this story ended up online within days of its release two days ago, the actual comics were always a limited run and there were only two left on the shelf when he grabbed it. If he wanted to keep this collectors mint he should put it in a case and display it in his room.
It had taken a lot of time to narrow his selection down to these two; his hands shook as he stared at them. His mother said he could get one thing while he was here, which given how pricey the merchandise was, was already an incredibly generous offer. Still, that was to be expected, this was official All Might merchandise, not some cheap knock offs. But what did he get? The useable but repeatable purchase, or the collectible limited print? Biting his lip, he absently looked back to see that the other fans who were moving through the store were meandering about and some time while he was deciding the other comic had been lifted leaving a bare shelf. A few seconds later the timer went off on his phone, signaling the end of the time he’d given himself to ponder this decision.
With one final look at both shelves, he carefully put the back pack onto its rack and hurried to the front of the store where his mother waited. Izuku’s eyes never left the comic as it was rung up and set into a paper bag. Only in his periphery did he see how much it cost, but even that made him wince. He would need to do more chores around the house to help cover it. Still, it was worth it as the paper bag with the All Might logo was handed to him and he walked out with his mother.
They followed the map on their phones and ended up at a line that led to a security booth where a woman was checking IDs before leading them into a hidden elevator. Izuku practically bounced as they loaded in with a few other kids. Some were his age, though he noticed a few were also in elementary school, while one looked tall enough to be in high school. That didn’t bother him terribly, who of any age wouldn’t want to do an event at the All Might Agency?
He’d read more about the events online, it was supposed to be based on an organization All Might encountered during his early career in the United States. Scrolling through the description he knew it was some sort of mentorship, he wondered who with? Would it be with some employees of the agency? That would be awesome, he could ask them so many questions about All Might.
The elevator rose to the fifth floor which immediately caught Izuku’s attention. This was way higher than he’d ever been in Might Tower before. What did this floor have? Maybe another branch of the museum? Maybe it was full of special trophies from less famous fights? Izuku started bouncing at the thought, though it stopped when the doors opened, showing a more office-like space. His frown only lasted for a moment as he walked out with the group. It made sense, this was also a business, some of the floors had to be offices. They were met by a person in uniform who led the way.
As they moved through the hallway he swivelled a bit, looking for any decorations. Other than the carpet, which was in All Might’s colors, the hallways were rather plain. No windows looked out and there was no framed pictures, which was disappointing. All Might had such a long career, surely they could have put more of it on this floor as well. He almost didn’t hear when the employee rose his voice, “Alright everyone, we’re here.”
Looking up he saw a pair of double doors that were at the end of the hallway. Was this some sort of ex… the doors opened showing a huge gymnasium. What! Wasn’t this an office space?
He wasn’t the only one surprised as the others walked forward, staring up at a ceiling that was at least two floors high. The floor switched from carpet to smooth wood and there were sports equipment as well as boards on the walls as well as bleachers. There was also standing at the end a small group of from the looks of it, high school and college students. “Welcome to the Might Tower sports gym. We’d like you to talk to some of your prospective big brothers and you’ll pair up in about thirty minutes for some light games to break the ice.”
Izuku’s stomach dropped as he looked at the young men. He was terrible at sports, nevermind that pairing up meant that it had to be something they both agreed on. Who would want to pair up with a useless quirkless Deku like him?
A hand on his shoulder made him see he’d stopped in the middle of the floor, his mother looked at him, “Izuku, it’ll be fine.”
“But,” He looked from her to the group moving ahead. Another group, the last one from the number, walked by as well. “But, I’m…” He bit back the words as his hand tightened into a fist.
“This isn’t about that. Everyone is welcome here. I’m sure if you just talk you’ll find someone who’ll love to mentor you,” his mom looked to the bleachers where the other parents were seated, “And I’ll be right here if anything happens.”
If he was rejected she meant.
Biting his lip, he nodded before he walked forward. He stopped a moment later when his mom tapped him, her voice soft as she spoke, “Do you want me to hold your comic for you?”
He looked down to see he was still clenching the bag in his fist. “N-no, I think I’ll keep up with it. You already have your purse, and I don’t want you to get too bogged down.” It would also give him something to do, when he was left alone.
“Alright sweetie.” She nodded and walked away.
Breathing in softly, he pulled the bag up to his chest and walked forward. He would have to get this over with.
Koichi smiled and nodded as the little boy in front of him energetically explained the mechanics of his favorite video game. Something about dragons? Apparently it was a phone game. He didn’t have many like that on his phone, except maybe frogger. Looking up he met the eyes of another volunteer. His eyes scanned the name tag, Genma, okay, he was walking over.
“Hey did I see someone talking about Dragon Reign over here?” The college student said. The little boy in front of him all but lit up and immediately turned his attention away from Koichi, who didn’t mind the dismissal as his junior took over.
He made sure he wasn’t in earshot before he let out a breath of relief. This was way harder than he thought it was. Sure he’d talked to kids before, but this was a bit more intensive than just giving directions or helping a kid who got separated from a parent in the crowd.
The whole introduction class gave them a bunch of pointers: being polite, supportive, not engaging in any contact unless the kid initiates, making sure they don’t hurt themselves, that sort of thing. They’d been given nametags, but they were supposed to ask the kids their names to initiate conversation. Which he’d done twice already, the first one he’d talked to immediately turned him down because the boy had said he was too plain looking to be his big brother, which stung, but he shrugged it off. The second one, well he suspected he might have some sort of quirk that required him to breathe less with how much he talked about that video game.
Glancing at his phone he noticed that interaction had eaten up a third of their introduction time. When his head swivelled he saw most of the other volunteers had paired up with kids. Well kind of, one of the particularly attractive college boys had three kids vying for his attention including the one who blew him off. Oh well, that’s just how it happened sometimes. Still, he wasn’t entirely sure where to go from here. None of the others seemed to be struggling like he had been. Yawning a bit, he glanced around for a place to sit, they didn’t have any chairs or tables set up so he absently glided on his heels towards a section of the bleachers.
As he got closer he saw about two steps up was a young boy with curly green hair. Was he with the rest of the group? He seemed a bit older than the others but probably, though he didn’t look too good. His head was resting on his palms. Stepping up a single level and stopping so his head was level with the boys he spoke the words they were told to do as an icebreaker, “Hey, so what’s your name?”
The boy didn’t immediately react, but he mumbled out softly something he didn’t hear. Something that started with I. “Oh, I um, I didn’t quite…” His eyes drifted over to the bag next just set next to the boys leg. Peaking out of the top was a familiar title that made his eyebrows raise. “Is that the newest edition of the All Might limited run?”
Green hair lifted as the boy spoke, “Uh, yeah? It was in the gift shop.”
“It was? I didn’t, oh I was so busy. I should have just popped in to see, but I had been so worried I would be late.” He turned towards the boy, “May I?” He was met with a light nod as he stepped up and took the seat next to him. Reverently he removed the comic from the bag but not the plastic. “Oh! This is about one of his adventures with David Shield, they never have merchandise on that, he’s even in the car!”
“I know!” The boy turned immediately towards him, “They have so many theories posted on the forums about why. Lots of people posit it’s because of the fact that using the image of a civilian would encourage vigilantism, while others say it’s because of appearance and merchandising fees subtracting from the All Might brand.”
“The laws about that are very different in America, but David Shield is such an iconic part of his early career.” Koichi responded.
“I know and…” The boy trailed off as his eyes widened, “Is, is that,” He dug into his pocket and immediately looked something up that Koichi couldn’t see. “It is! That’s the twentieth anniversary All Might Hoodie! They haven’t made a reprint of that in nearly a decade and a half! They’re impossible to find online, did you find an imitation print shop?”
“Of course not.” Koichi turned and pulled up the tag, “This is official merchandise, my dad took me to get it when I was younger than you. We always bought larges so I could grow into them.” Not that it had stopped him from wearing the oversized hoodies when he was younger.
“That’s so cool. Wait, always? Does that mean you have more?”
Koichi smiled and pulled out his own phone. The boy grabbed it as he pulled up the picture of his collection, “That’s insane, you must have gone every new year.”
“Haven’t missed it yet.”
The boy nodded as he returned the phone, “Do you have the silver age one?”
“I do! It’s one of my favorites. Oh, and,” He paused, “I didn’t hear your name earlier.”
“Midoriya Izuku.” He said, “And you’re, Haimawari-san?” Izuku read the name tag.
“Koichi’s fine, is Izuku-kun okay?” He inquired.
“Ye-yeah, that’s fine.” Turning away suddenly, Koichi glanced back over to the rest of the gymnasium.
There was probably a reason Izuku was up there, wasn’t it? Well, if he wanted to bring it up he would. So Koichi looked at his phone, “So you really like All Might, huh?”
“Of course! I mean I like all heroes, but especially All Might, he’s the symbol of peace. The number one hero who always faces down everything with a smile.”
“Yeah, he’s my favorite too. Though,” He looked at his phone and skimmed through the pictures. He probably shouldn’t show Eraserheads, but, “Do you know Ingenium?”
“The Engine Hero, not in the top twenty but the one with the only active agency in Naruhatu, covering the entire city. He has one of the largest agencies in the country in terms of sheer staff and is said to be one of the best in terms of leadership with the way he organizes so many other heroes.”
“He also runs in the morning.” Koichi held up the picture of Tensei showing off his running technique.
“How did you get this!? There aren’t a lot of pictures of him out of armor. At least not just without his helmet.”
“I live in Naruhata.” Koichi just answered. Izuku lit up at this and gave him a ton of follow up questions. They kept talking on the bleachers and continued discussion so deep, that even though there was a call for the basketball game they completely missed it.
Not that either regretted it at all.
I dunno if Might Tower is shown in the base manga, this description is based on it’s depiction in Illegals.