Izuku Midoriya has never gotten angry. Not once in his entire life.
When he was born, he never screamed. He'd cry, and he'd burble and he'd make all manner of loud noises, but he'd never scream.
The so called terrible twos weren't all that terrible. The entire time, he never threw a tantrum. Inko is grateful. Izuku's good behavior makes being a single mum just a little easier.
One day, when Izuku is three, he and Kacchan and a few other boys from the neighborhood go exploring. It's great fun, until Kacchan slips off a log and falls into the creek. Izuku is scared. Kacchan could be injured! He rushes to help, but it isn't needed. Kachan slaps his hand away, shouting something about not looking down on him. He seems angry. Izuku doesn't mind. He's just glad Kachan is ok.
At age four, his mother takes him to a quirk specialist. They discover that he does have a quirk, one that seems to dampen some of his emotions. There is clearly more to it, but the doctor says that Izuku will have to unlock the secrets of his quirk himself. Izuku goes home happy. He was beginning to worry he didn't have a quirk.
School tends to melt together in his mind, the years becoming indistinct. As soon as his classmates realised it was hard to make him angry, they took it upon themselves to find his breaking point. Most of them try for a few weeks before giving up. Not Kacchan. Kacchan keeps trying, for years and years. Izuku isn't sure why. He thinks it might be because Kacchan is always angry, and he wants Izuku to know what it's like. Friends are are supposed to share with each other, right? Maybe Kacchan likes being angry? He supposes that would mean that whenever Kacchan destroys his homework or steals his lunch or beats him up, he's trying to give Izuku a gift. Izuku doesn't really like Kachan's gifts, but he appreciates that he's still putting effort into their friendship.
Izuku is fourteen when he almost meets his end and meets his hero instead. The sludge villain had been terrifying, but Izuku couldn't find it in himself to hate it. Especially not when All-Might is right there! All-Might is really tall, but he has this presence that makes him seem even larger. Izuku is sure he'd be fawning all over the number one hero if he wasn't coughing up his own lungs. All-Might walks him to the hospital.
While waiting for the nurse, Izuku asks the question that he always wanted All-Might's answer to: Can I be a hero? All-Might tells him that he can't be a hero with a quirk as weak as his. Izuku is heartbroken, but he can't bring himself to hate his hero. He can see that All-Might only told him that to protect him, even if hearing it hurts far more than dying in a villain attack ever could. Heroes are supposed to save lives, and crushing Izuku's dreams might have seemed like the best way to save his. Izuku decides it's worth the risk. He'll keep trying.
The beach is a dump. It's completely full of junk and garbage. All the stuff thrown away and forgotten by society ends up here. Izuku never really cared about metaphors, but he has to admit it does seem kind of fitting that he's the one cleaning it up.
It's a long, slow, painful process, but eventually the beach is pristine. Izuku has put on almost 3 kg of muscle in the process, and his stamina is much better. He still does his morning runs along the shorefront, but he isn't alone anymore. Dozens of people use the beach to exercise on, or relax on. He even saw one person propose! Even if he doesn't make it into UA, he can always look on this with pride. Izuku is happy.
The day of the entrance exam has finally arrived. Izuku is nervous, running through a mental checklist, trying to convince himself he's ready for this. He's trained his mind, his strength, his speed, his endurance, his-
His foot catches on a crack in the concrete, and he pitches forward. My reflexes, he thinks, I should have trained my reflexes.
A hand slaps his back. He jerks to a stop in midair.
A female voice from behind him rings out, "Sorry about that, I shouldn't have used my quirk on you without asking, but I couldn't just let you fall over. It'd be bad luck."
"Th-thank you," Izuku says, spinning in the air until he's facing her, "I don't think I would have caught myself.
"No problem! Good luck on your exam!"
Izuku doesn't feel quite so stressed anymore.
Izuku spots the same girl at the practical exam. Now that the nerves of the written exam are gone, he can think a little clearer. He definitely could have been a bit more polite. She saved him from slamming face-first into the ground, and he didn't even ask her name! This is why I don't have any friends, he thinks. He walks toward her.
"Hey! What do you think you're doing? Disturbing other candidates during this time of preparation would be extremely unheroic!"
Izuku whirls around to find a stern looking teenager staring at him. He has to lean back to meet the other boys eyes. He looks to be about two heads taller than Izuku, and he is using every inch of that height to great effect.
"O-oh, sorry, I-I didn't think of that. I just wanted t-to thank her for helping me earlier," Izuku stuttered.
"Yes, well, I'm sure she'll be just as grateful after the practical exam is finished," the other boy said with a glare.
"Y-you're right... hey, your voice- is- are you the person who asked about the zero pointer?" Izuku asked hesitantly.
"Why yes, yes I am. Why do you ask?"
"O-oh, it was, uh- it was good spotting. I didn't notice the extra robot. You must be really observant," Izuku said.
" Oh! Thank you! I am Iida Tenya"
"Midoriya Izuku, nice to me-"
"Aaaand Go!!!" Yelled Present Mic, simultaneously ending their coversation and starting the test.
The practical exam is a nightmare.
He's fighting killer robots with a quirk that stops him from getting angry. None of this is built in his favor. Not to say that he isn't trying. He's already managed to bludgeon a 1-pointer into scrap, and he finally wore down a 3-pointer that had been leading him on a merry chase around half the city.
"3 minutes to go! That means it's time for the big guns!" Present Mic's booming voice echoes amongst the artificial skyscrapers that line the streets.
A strange rumbling envelops the city. Izuku turns. There, towering above the contestants is the biggest robot he's ever seen. Well, outside of the movies anyway. The design is familiar, like he saw it earlier. Iida's words come back to him. This is no ordinary robot. This is the Zero Pointer.
Oh, he thinks, that's why we're supposed to run away. That makes sen-
"Help! Please, someone help!"
Izuku looks down. There, lying right in the path of the giant robot, is the nice girl from earlier. She's trapped under some rubble. It looks like she can't move. It also looks like she's getting closer but that must just be a trick of the li- or he could have started running without realising it. That's also an option.
He's already there by the time he's finished thinking. Now that he's closer, he can see what the problem is. A piece of rubble has fallen on top of... ok, so he still needs to ask her name when they're done but its on her legs and she's pinned.
A quick scan of the area reveals a rebar support he can use as a lever. He quickly grabs it and works it under the rubble. He braces himself as well as he can on the uneven ground, and pushes. He pushes with all his might! The rubble begins to lift.
The bar bends. The rubble falls. The girl screams in pain.
Izuku starts to panic. There is nothing else to use as a lever, and he really doubts that he can lift the slab of concrete. His training as good, but not that good. But, lifting it himself is the only option he's got left. He has to try. He worms his fingers underneat the slab, spreads his legs, straightens his back, and lifts.
The slab doesn't budge.
Izuku swears. "Damn it! Come on, you worthless waste of space, how are you supposed to become a hero if you can't even save one person! Move, you useless piece of-"
Izuku feels strange. Almost like someone else has taken over the controls of his body, and all he's doing is watching. It confuses him so much, he doesn't notice he's lifting the concrete lifting until it's high enough for the girl to crawl out.
His body seems to freeze, almost like it did what it wanted and isn't sure where to go from here. Which is strange, because Izuku has spent years teaching himself proper rescue protocol. In his minds eye, he can clearly see his battered old copy of the official hero search and rescue handbook. Chapter 2, subsection 4 paragraph 8: After removing all nearby civilians from immediate danger, endeavor to move them to a safe or safer location where they will stand less chance of being caught up in a dangerous situation again.
By the time Izuku stops reminiscing, he's already got the girl in a fireman's carry and he's three blocks from where found her. He runs for two more blocks, before leaning her gently against the side of a building and slumping down next to her, suddenly feeling unbelievably tired.
Izuku feels floaty, like his brain is further from his body than it should be.
"Thank you," the girl says.
He grunts in response, unable to say anything more coherent.
"Huh?" He responds automatically, trying to get his head to turn on.
"Why did you do it? Why risk your chance helping me?"
Izuku tries to think of an answer, but thinking feels like trying to wade through honey with a bear cub strapped to each leg: slow and unnatural. Eventually he settles on plagiarism. "You fell over. It seemed like bad luck."
A cloud must have come overhead, because the world suddenly seems a lot darker, and the Zero Pointer must still be rampaging because he could have sworn that building was standing a second ago, not on its side.
Izuku never feels himself hit the ground.
Ochako had had a very eventful day. She'd gone to UA for the entrance exam (and wasn't that a dream come true), saved one of the other applicants from the heinous machinations of gravity of (her old nemesis), gone through a nightmarish written exam, an even more brutal physical exam, fought off hordes of killer robots, before having what felt like half a building dropped on her legs by a giant killer robot (because apparently no one at UA has ever heard of restraint).
Then the kid she'd helped earlier showed up and tried to return the favour. He managed to lift a huge slab of concrete that had been knocked off a nearby building, a loadbearing wall if she wasn't mistaken.
Ochako's parents had owned a construction company for longer than she'd been alive. She'd grown up around building sites. She knew how much that would have weighed. Anybody without either the muscles of a professional weightlifter or a strength quirk shouldn't have been able to lift that, and even then it should have been difficult. This kid didn't even seem to be paying attention, let alone struggling. Then there was the weirdness of his quirk. Where most people would have been going red from exertion, he'd looked more like he was going green. Ochako couldn't help but wonder what sort of quirk would do that. She had a feeling she was going to find out, one way or another.
Izuku had put everything into that test. He'd trained for months, he'd used every trick he knew, he'd poured his heart and soul into making his dream come true, and all head managed was. Four. Points.
He was never going to get into UA. He knew that. He didn't even need their rejection letter to tell him that. It was just going to be the final nail in his coffin. So why was it so hard to open? Why couldn't he just tear the bandaid off and get it over with?
No, no, putting this off is stupid. He can't keep the letter on his desk forever. He needs to do this. How could he ever hope to face down a villain if a letter gives him a panic attack?
He tears the envelope open. Several pieces of paper falls out. They're marked with a UA letterhead. The first one reads:
Dear Midoriya Izuku
As you may have guessed, this letter has been sent to you to address your application to UA. Your performance in the written exam was exemplary, a 97.3%. Well above a passing grade. However, your performance in the physical exam left something to be desired. You only managed to score 4 Villain Points. This, as you have probably realised, is not enough to pass. Not on its own, at least.
Your brave efforts to rescue one of your fellow students demonstrated exactly the kind of heroic spirit we seek to nurture here at UA. You were not told that such actions would help your score, and yet you decided that the safety of your fellow student held a higher priority than maximizing your score. However, there is a secondary scoring system in place for incidents such as these, kept hidden from applicants so as not to affect their decisions. This second scoring system awards Rescue Points. Your efforts in the practical exam scored you 40 Rescue Points, giving you a grand total of 44 points.
Unfortunately, the passing grade is 45 points. That is to say, 45 points is the minimum number of points one can score to be allowed into the Hero course. Your written and practical scores do make you eligible to enroll in the General Studies course. Should you still be interested in joining the Hero course, I recommend you make use of the enrolment forms provided in this letter, join the general studies course, and use the opportunity provided by the sports festival to attempt to transfer courses.
You have shown promise, Midoriya Izuku. I would hate to rob to world of a hero over a one point deficit. I hope to see you at UA.
Izuku put the letter down.
He hadn't blown it! Well, he had, but there was still a chance! He barely even has to think about what he's going to do. He grabs the enrolment forms.
"Hey mum, can you sign some stuff for me, please?"
Midoriya Izuku is going to UA.