Every small breeze that ruffled the grass he would move forward a few inches, every time a deer or other small forest animal would dart out of the grass he would move forward, it was a long, torturous trek that had him feeling like he wasn't making any progress.
But he was.
Ever so slowly he was approaching the students who were training on the man made mountain, he could see Tsuyu even now climbing up the sheer face, and hear the screams of Tokoyami.
He froze as he heard a rustling near him, not daring to even breathe as someone walked right beside him, stopping for a moment, Izuku slowly released his breath, being careful not to make any sounds as the figure finally walked away, heading towards the table that Momo and Sato sat at.
A few more inches and he was finally at the optimal spot, slowly bringing his rifle up as he drew a bead on Tsuyu, "sorry frogger," he muttered as he slowly squeezed the trigger, the crack of the rifle covered by Bakugo's explosion.
The rubber round slammed into Tsuyu's back, making her lose concentration and tumble back down the mountain.
Izuku stayed perfectly still as the area around him was suddenly hit by several different quirks, Rin's scales, Aoyama's naval laser, Ibara's vines, even Todoroki's fire and an explosion from Bakugo.
All of them were a few feet off, leaving him unscathed.
"Damn it I could've sworn he was there." Rin grumbled, eyes scanning the tall grass as Mina and Jirou helped Tsuyu up.
"I think we're close," Aoyama called down, clutching his stomach, "Monsieur was definitely close."
"fuckin' nerd." Bakugo growled as he turned back to his training, the others doing the same.
Izuku waited a few moments until he was sure no one was paying attention, then began the slow trek back to the treeline, within an hour he reached it and carefully got to his feet, his cloaking de-activating as he disappeared into the darkness.
"That's fifteen of the nineteen 1A students." he muttered as he reloaded and came to a rest beside a down tree, it irked him that he couldn't get a shot on Bakugo or Todoroki, both were too hyper-aware of his presence and had almost hit him several times, likewise Jirou seemed to always be able to hear him and would routinely warn Mina when she knew he was close, Tokoyami had been another one; the cave he was in was hard to access, and the flashbang and paint bomb he had thrown in there had been launched back out by Dark Shadow before they could detonate.
With 1B he had managed to get all of them but two, Rin Hiryu, and Shiozaki Ibara, the two had much better situational awareness then their classmates, and were usually the first to attempt and attack him when he made himself known.
"Going for Shishida this time," he muttered into his headpiece, letting Aizawa know his next target, "gonna be a long shot, three hundred yards out, probably the only chance I have of getting him."
"You have enough time for two more hits, after that we call it quits for the night."
"Understood, Ghost out." Izuku signed off, beginning his trek deeper into the forest, eyes on the lookout just in case Aizawa had other tricks out here for him, so far he had encountered bear traps, tripwires, 'spike' pits full of muck and foul smelling liquid that he didn't want to know what it was, and several snares.
Soon he approached a giant Oak tree which he began to climb free hand until he was peeking out over the trees, the training clearing off in the distance, "bit further than I intended," he muttered, unslinging his rifle and using a branch to help keep it stable as he aimed down the scope, zooming in until he could just barely see the students training hard, he soon singled out Rin and began making his calculations; adjusting for the distance and slight wind pick up, "lets see you dodge this one." Izuku muttered, squeezing the trigger.
The round hit Rin in the forehead, sending him crumpling to the ground in pain as the regular offenders began firing off their quirks in his general direction, none of them hitting anywhere close to him.
"Re-aligning." Izuku said into his headset, zeroing in on Shiozaki, who was looking around in paranoia, "that leaves six I haven't hit." he muttered to himself as he lined the shot up, then got an Idea.
"They're gonna hate me for this," he sighed, as he made the calculations in his head, slowly moving his crosshairs to the mountain.
Specifically in between Jirou and Mina.
With another squeeze of the trigger, the hypersonic round flew through the sky, he could see Jirou shout about another shot, then he watched as the bullet ricocheted off the cliff face and into her back, knocking her off her feet as it ricocheted into Mina's stomach and then off into Ibara's leg.
"Damn, off by a foot." he growled, as he began climbing down the tree.
"I shouldn't count that,"Aizawa said into the headset, "in real life the bullet wouldn't have ricocheted off the cliff face."
"But this isn't real life." Izuku said back, as he reached the ground, "besides, in an urban setting, I can definitely figure out how to ricochet the bullet off metal fixtures."
"...i'll allow it, now bring it in, and don't be surprised if some of the others try and take a shot at you."
"Copy that," Izuku said with a grin as he hoofed it through the forest, jumping over yet another bear trap and a snare, "This is too easy." he chuckled.
Aizawa smirked as he watched a pink mushroom cloud rise through the forest, "keep in mind kids," AIzawa called to the thirty nine stunned students watching the cloud, "always watch where you step. "
Izuku slowly sat down on one of the benches, his armor and everything he wore underneath covered in a bright pink, slowly he pulled his helmet, setting it down on the table as he looked around.
"What the hell hit you?" Bakugo asked as he walked over with Eri sitting on his shoulders.
"You're pink Poppa!" Eri giggled.
"That I am," Izuku agreed, smiling when Eri jumped down and happily sat in his lap, "I stepped on a mine," he said to Bakugo, "I dodged snares, bear traps, and spike pits, but a single mine got me."
"Loser," Bakugo scoffed as he sat down as well, guzzling down water.
"My score is 37/1," Izuku countered as Eri sneakily began reaching for his helmet, "and i'm planning on getting you and Todoroki tomorrow."
"Good luck nerd." he sneered, watching as the pussycats brought out vegetables and raw meat, explaining that they would be cooking for themselves that night, "excuse me, I need to go show these extras how to cook." Bakugo said, standing and walking over to the ingredients with a few others following him.
Izuku chuckled and turned to Eri, snorting when he realizes she was wearing his pink helmet, "how was your day?" he asked, pulling the helmet off of her and setting it on the table.
"Fun!" Eri chirped, "I colored!"
"That's great! Can I see?"
The father daughter duo sat for a few minutes, looking over the colorful pages that Eri had filled out while waiting for them to get done for the day, stopping only when Bakugo called for his help.
"GET PIKACHU AWAY FROM MY DA-ARN KITCHEN!" Bakugo roared, making Kaminari cower away.
"On my way," Izuku sighed, slowly standing and setting Eri on the bench, "i'll be right back kiddo," he said, bopping her on the nose and making her giggle as he walked over to Bakugo.
Eri once again picked up his helmet and put it on, looking around happily as the students were busy cooking.
Which was probably why she was the only one who saw Kota walking towards a hard to see path.
Eri took the helmet off and hesitated, the older boy had been mean to her yesterday, but then she remembered her Poppa's words, "it's hard making new friends." she said with an adorably serious nod as she jumped off the bench and ran after Kota, hugging the helmet to her chest.
Izuku looked up and watched as Eri ran after the dour Kota, humming to himself as he turned to help Kaminari salvage what he could from the half burned pot of Curry.
Kota glared over the trees of the forest, frowning as he thought of the students back in the clearing.
"What a bunch of heroes," he muttered, "who would want to be a hero…"
Kota jumped, whirling around and scowling when he saw Eri standing shyly behind him, hugging a pink helmet tightly as she hesitantly approached him, "Get out of here." he demanded, "this is my secret spot!"
"Oh! I'm sorry, I didn't know," Eri said, looking remorseful, "I just wanted to talk to you, can we be friends?"
"No." he said pointedly, turning away from her, "Now get out of here.'
"But why not?" Eri asked, very confused as to why he was being so mean.
Kota scoffed, "you're with those heroes," he sneered, "and I don't want to be friends with some hero fangirl. "
"What's wrong with liking heroes?" Eri asked, "My Poppa's a hero and he's the bestest hero ever!"
"Your pops is probably only a hero for the popularity that comes with it."
"No he's not!" Eri exclaimed hotly, 'He wants to help people! My Poppa is a real hero!"
Eri turned around quickly, her eyes lighting up to see Izuku walking towards them, his armor from the waist up removed leaving him in a slightly pink stained shirt, "Poppa!" she exclaimed as she flounced over to him, "Kota says you're not a real hero but I know he's lying!"
Izuku chuckled at that, "Thank you for believing in my princess," he said, ruffling her hair and making her giggle, "Yaomomo has a plate of curry for you, why don't you run back and eat with her, I'll be along soon."
'Okay Poppa." she said, sparing Kota one last glance before walking away.
Izuku slowly walked towards Kota, who tensed up as he approached.
"Relax kid," Izuku said, holding his hand up in a placating manner as he pulled a pack of cigarettes, "Can't smoke around the lodge, they get mad, so how about let's keep it a secret, between you and me."
"Hmph, whatever…" Kota muttered, looking away from him as Izuku put the cigarette between his lips and lit it.
"Impressive little hide out you got here kid," Izuku praised, looking around the clearing and then over the cliff, "bit dangerous for my taste, but so long as you're careful-"
"Shut up!" Kota snapped, "we're not friends! And we'll never be friends! I don't wanna be friends with some wannabe heroes and their brats!"
Izuku frowned at him, but said nothing, making the boy continue talking.
"Why would you even want to be a hero," he sneered, "a bunch of idiots trying to show off their quirks!"
Izuku chuckled, "for some maybe, but I'm Quirkless."
Kota's eyes widened at that, "but...then...why are you trying to be a hero?"
"Because I want to help people," Izuku said, not looking at Kota, "and being a hero is the best way to do that."
"But what if you get hurt!?"
Izuku smiled sadly and held his hand up, showing off his prosthetic in the weak sunlight, "then I learn, and get better." he said softly.
Kota winced, then looked away, "W-what happened?"
"Some villains attacked our High School," Izuku said, letting his hand fall back down to his side, "they wanted to hurt our teachers and us, and I had to step up."
"B-but you're just a student!" Kota exclaimed, "why would you put yourself in harm's way!?"
"Because if I didn't then my classmates would've been hurt." Izuku said, looking up at the sky as it began to fade into muted oranges and purples, "we weren't very close when the attack happened, only a week into the new year after all; but I knew that If I were to simply run away, save myself, then everyone I left behind would've still been in danger, so I had to grit my teeth and fight, and do what I could to save them."
"But...but you didn't know them...and it wasn't your job…" Kota mumbled.
"True, wasn't my job." Izuku said, "and I really didn't know them, but I knew they were innocent, that they didn't deserve to get injured because some villain decided to go on a rampage...and besides, I'm training to be a hero, and heroes don't stop being heroes just because things are a little dangerous; we lay our lives on the line so that normal people don't have to, so that they can be safe and secure." he looked at Kota, "You're parents were heroes, weren't they?"
Kota sniffled, wiping away the tears collecting in the corners of his eyes, "everyone keeps saying how they 'went out like heroes' how their deaths were honorable but...but what does that matter? They left me…"
"Kota," Izuku said gently, kneeling down beside the boy, "your parents didn't leave you, they're with you-"
"What does that even mean!" Kota snapped angrily, taking a step away from Izuku, "they're not here, so why does everyone keep saying that!?"
Izuku sighed, flicking his crumpled cigarette into the forest below, "I used to ask the same thing kid." he said, sitting back and letting his leg hang off the ledge, "they'll always tell you 'they're in a better place' or 'they're still with you' all it does it make you mad, what place is better than here with me? If they're here, why can't I see them? No one ever sits down and takes the time to explain what they mean.'
"You lost someone?" Kota whispered.
"My girlfriend," Izuku said, "she was my life, the one bright spot in my life, when I lost her I was broke, aimless, didn't know what I would do or even if I'd make it through the day; and all I would be told is 'she was in a better place' 'she was still here with you', and it made me angry, made me mad...but I learned, after months of pain, that those words aren't just some...some token words that we use to try dismiss someone's pain...no, in all honesty, I think they're the most honest words ever." he looked at Kota, who was now staring back, tears trailing down his cheeks, "see, the world isn't a nice place, it'll beat you down until there's nothing there; every single one of us has to struggle against it, try and make it better. that's why they're in a better place, because they don't have to struggle anymore, and yes, it hurts that they're gone, that we'll never see them again; but they are with us," he reached out and tapped Kota's forehead, "they're in your memories, all those fond ones you had of them, and-" his hand moved down and he tapped his chest, "They're in your heart, they're love for you will never die Kota, and their spirit will always be watching over you." Izuku let out a slight groan as suddenly Kota was hugging him, sobbing into his chest, he put his arms around the boy, doing his best to comfort the crying boy.
They sat like that for a few minutes, until Kota stopped crying and pulled away from Izuku, wiping his eyes as he sniffled. "Thanks…" he mumbled, keeping his eyes averted.
"No problem kid," izuku said with a friendly smile as he stood up, his eyes sharpening as he heard the sound of a branch breaking, "why don't you head back, go get some food; I'll be along shortly." he tapped his pack of cigarettes making Kota nod.
"okay...I won't tell anyone." he added quickly.
"Knew you were a good kid." Izuku chuckled as Kota began walking away, he waited until he was sure the boy was far enough away, then quickly turned and threw a knife at a nearby bush; he could hear the sound of the blade sinking into meat and quickly charged at the bush, pulling a compact glock from his boot holster as he crashed through the foliage.
His eyes narrowed when he found the bush empty, save for a smattering of blood on the leaves and ground.
"So, you heard something in the bushes and threw a knife." Aizawa said as he looked over the blood on the bush, beside him, Izuku was standing with his arms crossed, the Vlad King and TIger beside him.
"Yeah," he said, "waited until Kota was far enough away, didn't want him accidentally getting caught in a fight."
"The evidence points to something or someone having been in the bush when you threw that knife," Vlad King said gruffly, "but the question remains, was it an animal? Or was it someone who shouldn't have been up here?"
"Couldn't of been an animal," Tiger grunted, "otherwise there'd be a dead bird or fox in there-"
"-and if it had survived the hit then it would've jumped out of the bush as soon as it could." Izuku finished, "there was someone up here, well versed in espionage if I didn't even know they were here until I heard a branch snap; we should contact UA and get some additional heroes here-"
"-thank you for your help Mr. Midoriya, but this is now in our hands." Vlad said pointedly, 'you can return to your class."
"Mr. Aizawa please-" Izuku started.
"-your concerns are being taken into consideration Midoriya," Aizawa said, giving him a meaningful stare, "I promise we'll be doing whatever we can to ensure the safety of the other students. You're dismissed. And keep this to yourself for now, no need to cause a panic."
Izuku hesitated, then nodded and walked away.
"How soon would we be able to get other heroes here?" Tiger asked quietly as Izuku left.
"Sadly only Nezu will listen to us in regards to there being a breach," Aizawa sighed, "and the other teachers are neck deep in their own hero work, he'll have to contact someone outside of UA. we may be able to get Deadshot here, but he's about the only other hero I can think of that can get out here on such short notice."
"We'll inform Nezu of this possible breach," Vlad said, "at the very least they can get some heroes here by tomorrow afternoon, evening at the latest.'
"That's about all we can ask for, isn't it?" Aizawa muttered, "Let's go, we have some calls to make."
Izuku did not get his shot to take Bakugo or Todoroki out.
He was too distracted, what with the increasingly probability of an attack on the camp, he spent most of the day dodging through the forest and scoping out the farther reaches of the forest accessible to them; he hadn't found any evidence of any other spies, but he was sure they were out there, simply watching them and waiting for their moment to strike.
"Izuku?" Momo called as he walked towards them at the end of the day, his helmet off and looking deep in thought, "Izuku?" she said again as she walked up to him, giving him gentle nudges and making him jump, "You're distracted, what's wrong?"
"Nothing," he reassured her, offering her a tired smile, "just tired, Aizawa set up more traps out there."
"Well, let's get some food, I'm sure that will help!" Momo said with a warm smile.
"Yo Midoriya!" Kirishima called, walking towards them with a large grin, "hey man, think you can help me with my quirk before we do the evening training? I think I almost got that new form figured out."
Izuku sighed, looking to Momo helplessly, "I'll try and finish up quick." he promised, giving her a kiss on the forehead.
"Don't strain yourselves!" she called as the two headed into the forest.
"Where are those two idiots going?" Bakugo asked gruffly, walking up with Eri sitting on his shoulders, happily sipping on a juice box.
"Something about quirk training for Kirishima.' Momo sighed, giving Bakugo a look, "so, have you talked to Uraraka yet?" she smiled when his only answer was a grunt, "you know she's not gonna just sit around and wait right?"
'I know," he growled, "but every time I try and corner her, she takes off and sticks with Pinkie and see-through and they won't let me get anywhere near her!"
"I'll take care of those two," Momo said, pulling Eri off of Bakugo's shoulders and letting her down to run after Kota, who was standing awkwardly off to the side, trying to 'discreetly' motion for Eri to come over, "you just worry about getting a good apology out to Uraraka and NOT insult her."
"I WASN'T TRYING TO INSULT HER!" Bakugo snapped, making Momo giggle.
"I know Bakugo, now let's go."
Bakugo grumbled as they walked towards Uraraka, Mina and Toru, "Mina, Toru, can you help me with tonight's dinner?" she asked, "we need to start dicing the vegetables."
"Okay! Come on Uraraka-" Mina began, only to stop when Momo held a hand up.
"-actually I need Uraraka to help Bakugo, since she's one of the few here that actually knows how to cook." she said with a gentle smile.
Uraraka immediately tensed up, giving Bakugo a not so subtle glare and making him huff.
"Uh...are...you sure Yaomomo?" Toru asked nervously, "maybe I should help-"
"You can burn water Invisalign," Bakugo growled, "lets go," he said to Uraraka, walking over to the fire pits, Uraraka following stiffly.
"I'll prep the meat," she muttered, going towards a blue cooler, "you cook it."
"-we have to get dinner started Bakugo," she said pointedly, not looking back at him as she pulled packets of beef out.
Bakugo bit back a growl and walked over, pulling one of the packets towards him and tearing it open.
"I said i'd prep them-"
"-gotta get dinner started right?" Bakugo mocked her earlier words, "both of us working together will make things go faster."
Uraraka muttered something under her breath but didn't say anything as they began to silently prep the meat, tenderizing it and seasoning it to go on the grill.
As they worked, Bakugo felt the tension in his shoulders begin to ease, his scowl softening to a frown, slowly he set the meat onto the grill, "Uraraka…" he said softly, making her look up, surprised at how quiet Bakugo spoke, "I...Uraraka I'm sorry." he turned to her, crossing his arms, "I'm sorry, for what I said about you about three weeks ago. I wasn't trying to call you fat, or imply it, I was trying to ask you to train with me and it...well it didn't come out right and it just got jumbled up and…" he sighed in frustration, running his hand through his hair, "I'm not used to using my words," He grumbled, "and you...you frustrate me damn it!"
"I frustrate you?" Uraraka asked in confusion, her eyebrows scrunching up.
'Yes you do!" he seethed, "out of everyone in this damn class, why do I have the hardest time talking with you huh? Everytime I talk to you I fuck it up, and It's your fault damn it!"
"How is that my fault?" She mused, amusement creeping into her tone.
"It just is! With your stupid cute roundness and-" he stopped, blushing as Uraraka began to laugh, "It's not funny." he growled indignantly.
"It kind of is." she giggled, nudging him good naturedly, he scoffed, but smiled slightly as Uraraka let out a sigh.
"I guess I'm sorry too," she mumbled, "I haven't exactly been acting maturely about all of this."
"Really, I never would have guessed." he said sarcastically.
"Don't be a jerk," she said, nudging him again and making him nudge her back, "So...we're good?" Bakugo asked unsurely.
"Yeah, we're good." she said with a bright smile, "now help me get this meat cooked."
Bakugo gave her a small smile and turned back to the grill, only for his eyes to catch a weird glint that immediately set him on the defensive, "Uraraka watch out!" Bakugo shouted, tackling her to the side as blue fire engulfed the grill and the area immediately around it. Bakugo curled around Uraraka protectively as they crashed into the ground, his eyes catching the glimpse of portals opening up under his class, those with slower reflexes fell in as Sero, Pony, half of Tokage, Tsuyu and Tokoyami were able to escape the portals, having had to dodge the attacks coming from all around.
"Are you alright?" Bakugo asked Uraraka as they hid behind the other grills, the girl nodded as she looked around the clearing in shock, men in bird-like masks were surrounding the lodge, a gigantic man at their head trading blows with Tiger while Mandalay was dodging between a lizard dressed like stain and a taller man carrying a gigantic magnet.
"Get into the Lodge!" Mandalay shouted at the remaining students, "barricade ourselves inside!"
"We're cut off!" Sero shouted as he swung between the minions, dodging a quirk that shot razor sharp leaves and using his tape to bring the attacker close to knock him out.
Tsuyu hopped between the villains, her strong legs sending several flying as she flipped over Tokoyami as Darkshadow shot forward and slammed another cluster away before stumbling back as blue flames flooded the area.
Bakugo growled as his eyes zeroed in on the attacker, "get to the lodge Uraraka!" he ordered as he blasted off towards the blue flame user, "DIE ASSHOLE!"
Izuku ran through the foliage, Kirishima right beside him, "the explosions are coming from the lodge!" Kirishima exclaimed.
"Damn it," Izuku growled as they burst into the clearing, Izuku's guns coming up and peppering the nearest goons with rounds, sending them crumpling to the ground as Kirishima charged forward, his fists sending many flying, Izuku's eyes scanned the battlefield, Tsuyu and Pony were surrounded and Sero was covering Tokage and Uraraka as they ran for the lodge; Bakugo was currently unleashing powerful explosions against intense blue flames and keeping Dabi from attacking the heroes, who had their hands full with the gigantic man in the plague mask, "Yakuza," Izuku growled.
"You help Sero I'll help Tsuyu and Pony!" Kirishima shouted, hardening his fists.
"No! Kirishima you need to take on that giant." Izuku said, taking shots at the Yakuza surrounding Tsuyu and Pony, "you're the only one with the firepower!"
"I haven't mastered it yet!" Kirishima exclaimed, his hands shaking in fear.
Izuku grabbed him by the front of his shirt, and clocked him in the jaw,"GRIT YOUR TEETH AND SUCK IT THE FUCK UP!" he snarled, as he pushed Kirishima away, the boy holding his jaw where Izuku had punched him, "We have Yakuza attacking! Most of our class is not here which means they're scattered again, I need you to take out their big fucking guns before we get fucked!"
Kirishima froze, the weight of the situation finally setting on him, "I...I can't-"
"If you can't then who?" Izuku asked angrily, "What are you here to be Kirishima!?"
Kirishima's eyes hardened, "you're right Midoriya," he said as steam began to roll off of him and he suddenly bulked up, tearing through his shirt as he also gained a few extra inches of height.
He took off with a shockwave, shattering the ground under him as he slammed his fist into the gigantic man's stomach, sending him shooting off into the forest, "FULL INFUSION! RED GAUNTLET!"
"About fucking time," Izuku said with a feral grin as he slammed into the thugs around Tsuyu, "get to the lodge!" Izuku ordered her as he reloaded and ifred, forcing the thugs to fall back temporarily.
"How is Kirishima that strong?" Tsuyu asked as she jumped towards the lodge where Pony and Sero were holding off a few more thugs, Bakugo was running towards them, the villain he had been fighting nothing but a pile of melted mud.
"It's a new aspect of his quirk he came up with to be on par with All-MIght," Izuku said as he watched his friend easily trade blows with the giant Yakuza thug, "Instead of hardening just his skin, he hardens his entire body, every molecule, and then allows them to bend but not break, he calls it Full Infusion."
"That really is amazing," Tsuyu croaked as they reached the lodge.
"Where are the others?" Izuku asked as he retrieved his M4 from inside and began to lay down a suppressive fire to give the heroes some breathing room.
"Most got portaled away," Sero said as he taped up a few villains who had been unlucky enough not to retreat, "Tokoyami is in the office with Sato, they're calling the heroes."
"We don't know where Eri and Kota are!" Setsuna said, only her head, part of her chest and her right arm were currently present, "I was gonna send some parts of me to gof ind them when Yaoyorozu asked and that portal crap happened."
"Damn it," Izuku groaned, "I know where they are, Bakugo!" he called to the boy who had sent Magne flying with a single explosion.
"WHAT!?" he roared, turning towards IZuku.
"Eri and Kota are in danger! We need to get to them!"
"THEN LETS FUCKING GO!" Bakugo snapped as he launched himself towards Izuku as he ran towards the cliffs.
"Do what you can to get in contact with the others!" Izuku called back to Sero, "help where you can!" he ran as hard as he could towards the cliff, please be alright Eri!
"Well, Well, well,"Muscular sneered as he looked down at Kota and Eri, Eri hiding fearfully behind a scared Kota as the large man stepped forward, another large man in a bird mask stepping out from behind him.
"Well, if it isn't little Eri," Rappa said as he loomed over her, "Overhaul's been lookin' for you."