Fandom: Boku No Hero Academia

  • Izuku Midoriya/Ochako Uraraka
  • Minor Original Characters
  • Fluff
  • Angst
  • UA Traitor Ochako
  • Villain Ochako (kinda)
  • Izuku is a Flustered Nerd
  • Vomiting
  • Minor Character Death
  • Science Was Researched in the Making of This Fic

Length: 2.7k, Oneshot

Date Posted: 2019-10-31

Collections: Shipoween 2019



She thinks of all the techniques she's worked out, the ones she's showcased and the ones that she's kept tucked into her belt, just a little too brutal for the hero whose mask she now wears. Uravity's mask is pastel pink, crafted from bouncy words and cheerful smiles, far sugary-sweeter than Ochako has ever been. Ochako's not much of a pessimist or a cynic, but Stratosphere is a bundle of barbed wire and battery acid next to the blinding light of the stars in Uravity's eyes.

Then again, Stratosphere was kind of a bitch.

Uraraka could have made a terrifying villain.


Written for angeltrumpets.

"Hey, U-Uraraka-san!" She looks up from her lunch to focus on him, catching a spark in his eyes. Izuku's excitement bubbles up into his voice, and she doesn't miss the pink tint to his cheeks. He's more composed than their first meeting, where he'd turned mute and red in the face, but the crush is still as obvious as the noon daylight through the lunchroom windows.

She takes in the notebook in his hands, already open to a pencil-illustrated page. It looks familiar, maybe some other hero he's obsessed with? He bounces a little in place as she watches.

"What?" she asks, playing along and grabbing clearer glances at the illustration between bites. The visor looks familiar, as does some of the shape-- oh, that's her hero costume. Either he's in analysis mode, or he just wanted to draw her. The second thought is oddly charming.

"So, I, um, the other students and I were talking about costume designs yesterday a-and some of them said I was helpful for coming up with stuff to do with quirks because I want to know stuff and I ask a lot-- a lot of questions, and I. Was wondering. Um."

He averts his gaze for a moment, sweating. "If you would like me to help with ideas? For new ways to use or test your quirk, or improvements to your costume...?"

She considers it. He clearly wants a chance to talk to her more, on a subject he can easily fall back on if flustered. His advice and questions can be genuinely useful, and she has been thinking about ways to fix the costume she's been given. (She had hoped for something generically heroic. She should have known better.)

An attachment like this, paired with accepting their help, will further cement her position as someone friendly, trustworthy, and nonthreatening. A connection like this will provide opportunities for trust she can use to keep the long con going.

(She feels almost weightless seeing his smile, and it's nothing to do with her quirk, but she releases all same, and lets her mission's gravity pull her heart back into place.)

"Sure!" she says, with a warm smile. "I'd love to! I really wish I hadn't gotten that bodysuit..." A meek little laugh, turning her head to the side. It's slightly less of an act than she expected.

"Okay, so I have a few alterations in mind, but I actually had some questions first. Um, do the round bracers and boots have any special purpose?"

She nods. "Yeah, somewhat. They have internally placed bands to push pressure points around my wrist and knees to reduce nausea from using my quirk -- sort of like those wristbands people wear for carsickness! But I didn't expect them to be so bulky..."

That much is true. She has, several times now, internally cursed her choice of gauntlets over six inches in diameter. It took days to figure out how to walk without her ankles clanking together with each step.

"Oh, I didn't even consider that!" Izuku scribbles something down in his notebook, barely bothering with proper kanji in his haste to record new information. "I just assumed they were just armor, for fights, and you know, for when you need to work with something heavy or if you float and then come back down..."

"They do that too," she clarifies, keeping up the smile. "They're pretty sturdy, and the boots have shock absorbers to help with landings."

"Oh, yeah, that would make sense! So you don't break your legs..." He trails off again, looking sheepish, and she laughs playfully.

"Maybe you should try them out, too!" And the conversation goes wobbling off the rails for a moment -- why did she say that? -- before he saves her from the awkwardness by completely missing the implications.

His eyes light up again, briefly. "I wonder if I can ask about modifying mine, too? Or maybe I could ask that support class girl about replicating the ones from yours, instead -- oh, but I'd probably just end up breaking the mechanisms, since it'll take the direct hit instead. If there's maybe something that can withstand... I'll just write it down."

Either missing implications, or he's being doing this for so long that breaking bones from using his quirk is just a fact of life.

He pauses, considering something. "Hey, have you ever tried using your quirk to drop yourself down on someone? Like a normal punch or kick, but with gravity helping you out?"

She thinks for a moment. She has, but not at UA. The occasion she remembers... yeah, she can't tell him about that one. She regretted it, anyway. No proper shock absorbers. She was lucky to come back with mostly unbroken knuckles and a decent lie.

"No, I haven't really had the chance" she replies, with a thoughtful face. "I guess it would just be the next step up from floating myself, or dropping things on people."

Izuku nods with frantic energy, still writing. "O-oh, yeah! How heavy can you lift, by the way? I remember you floated a bunch of those robots in the entrance exam, so that's at least, what, a ton? Unless I'm guessing wrong about the weight of those, but the zero-pointer felt pretty heavy, like it should, though I'm not sure what it actually weighs-- I guess if we needed to know we could ask. Power Loader probably knows, at least."

"That was pushing my limits, honestly. I couldn't have held them up for much longer -- and I, uh. Had some trouble after I released them." The blush is not at all an act. Not for the first time, she wishes the side effects of her power weren't quite so... disgusting.

Fainting can at least be dramatic and tidy, and can end in the other person's arms as they worry and call her name, but vomiting is messy and unpleasant, turning away hunched over and standing up with something foul slicked down her front if she's unlucky, while the other person tries to pretend they don't see anything. Izuku was too dazed and injured to react that time, despite his vaguely chivalrous attitude, but -- okay, no, not the time for that mental image. She can't actually start thinking like this, not if she's going to keep her job, or her secret. Focus.

"Actually, I should probably ask, uh, what other techniques have you tried? Haha, sorry, that's a terrible question, but you get-- you get the idea."

She thinks of all the techniques she's worked out, the ones she's showcased and the ones that she's kept tucked into her belt, just a little too brutal for the hero whose mask she now wears. Uravity's mask is pastel pink, crafted from bouncy words and cheerful smiles, far sugary-sweeter than Ochako has ever been. Ochako's not much of a pessimist or a cynic, but Stratosphere is a bundle of barbed wire and battery acid next to the blinding light of the stars in Uravity's eyes.

Then again, Stratosphere was kind of a bitch.

Stratosphere broke things and taunted heroes and baited them into places with potential for massive collateral damage, (but low on potential casualties, she promised herself), and laughed at the dust and rubble with victory on her tongue. Her parents' company needed help, and nobody else would do it, so she'd taken it into her own two hands.

It was one of the things that caught their eye, her employers had told her. Her willingness to handle things herself, and not strictly within the law. She's pretty sure it was more about what they could leverage or blackmail her with, but maybe it really is a good quality in her. She knows what she wants, and who she cares about, and she'll keep them safe even when the world is crashing down on their heads. It's almost, ironically, heroic.

"I mean, there was an idea I had about using floating objects as platforms for mobility, jumping between them in the air, but I haven't really thought that one through much further..." (She's tried it before. Fairly effective, until the hero started throwing bathtub-sized chunks of concrete at her with rubberhose arms.)

Izuku takes her trailing off as a cue to keep talking.

"Oh, that could be really effective if done right. But there could be problems, couldn't there?"

She watches him, curious. "Mmm?"

"I've been thinking about what we learned in physics class, too, and I realized from the other day -- your power isn't just gravity, is it? You do something with the mass too, somehow. That's why stuff floats even without being lifted, and why it feels so light and easy to push even if it's heavy and should be held back by inertia."

She'll admit to herself, she's somewhat impressed. He must have actually been paying attention in physics class. She always was -- trying to figure out the rules behind her power, deciphering the internal logic it ran on. Most people just hear 'zero gravity' (she never ended up changing the name), so they assume the floating and lightness is just that, rather than a separate part of her quirk. Even she doesn't fully understand it -- why don't objects stop moving in sync with the earth's rotation when their momentum is reduced, for example? -- but it's nice that someone's noticed, for once.

He continues, accelerating, barely pausing to breathe between sentences. "If you tried to use your floating stuff as stepping stones, there might be a risk of pushing it too far away, because of the reduced effective mass -- you might have trouble using them because they'd keep changing position after you jumped. Though, I guess the air could help hold them up a bit, like when you drop a piece of paper or a feather, and it's so light relative to the volume that the air resistance slows it down..."

"O-oh," she says, putting on a thoughtful look. "I guess... maybe if I can be more selective about it. Turning off gravity, but not reducing the mass, or the other way around."

"Can you do that?" he asks, nearly vibrating in place.

She nods. "I think so."

He doesn't actually stop with that question, but what comes after is just mumbling to himself, gears ticking behind those green eyes. He resumes scribbling in the notebook, illegible.

Several minutes later he looks up again, briefly, to ask a follow-up.

"If you erased the gravity and reduced the mass on a person and threw them really hard, how far do you think they would get before air friction got them to a stop? Actually, if you threw someone upward, would they just keep going? How far can humans fall without serious injury, anyway? I guess the nature of the impact changes it, since it's actually about the deceleration, but for concrete with no slowing down-- I mean, you want to make sure they don't--"

The memory comes back, unbidden.

It was barely even a fight, just one useless sidekick who couldn't do the damage she needed, but he had gotten in her way, so she'd tossed him over her shoulder like a dirty sock without even thinking, and gone on to deal with the main hero. She grabbed garbage cans and drain covers and whatever else passed for shields to block beams of light, darting behind a row of glass windows in hopes of the reflection giving Beam Hero some trouble.

("Beam Hero." That was her actual hero name, not her tagline. It stopped being funny after the second fight with the new hero looking to root out what she described as "local vermin". Ochako would find out the sidekick's name later, in an online article, but wouldn't have the courage to keep reading past the headline.)

The beam ricocheted into a web of destruction around the block. Beautiful. She could hear the cracked concrete and car alarms from where she stood. Her job was nearly done. Time to bail.

The beams came shredding in her direction, even through the smokescreen of dust and airborne debris, and she released her payload. Street signs and rubble came crashing down, and she bolted through the clouds and chaos, out around the buildings that remained, already planning the new route to her base (she couldn't just head straight home, after all.)

Something hit the ground in front of her with a different sound, wet and crackling and something like the whistle of air that didn't quite stop on impact. There was something warm on her sleeve, seeping into the fabric, and a dark splatter on her helmet visor.

It was red.

She had forgotten.

That night, she ran faster than she ever had in her life. If she threw up later in the bathroom stall after changing out of costume, it was only because she'd overdone it with her quirk.

It was in the papers, the next day. A promising sidekick, lost to the local villain that had sprung up last year. Worries, rumors. A new modus operandi -- Stratosphere had been destructive, but this was their first clear fatality. Before, they were simply a villanous, vandalizing nuisance who bolted as soon as they'd sated their desire for wreckage. Killing off a sidekick suggested a change in attitude.

She... she hadn't wanted this.

Her employers had contacted her a week later. She was easy to manipulate. Implied blackmail, if she failed, revealing her identity to the world (and to her parents), and positive reinforcement by anonymous donations to the family business (not to mention the actual destruction, which she supported and perpetuated through her new job.) Simple carrot-and-stick motivation.

The rest was history. History that would probably find a book, when the plans came to fruition. Her blossoming years would bear fruit for them, and if she was lucky, she would find somewhere to hide after.

Izuku is still talking, but he sounds a little concerned now. She realizes she's been gripping her chopsticks tight enough to splinter the wood, and lets go, pulling herself back into the moment.

"... Uraraka..."

"I'm fine." She pastes the smile back on. Uravity has not hurt anyone like that. Uravity is not passing secrets behind his back, working to betray them all. Uravity is fine.

For the first time in the conversation, an uncomfortable silence clouds the air. She wonders how much her mask must have slipped.

"... are you sure?"

He sounds... hesitant.

"Yeah," she tells him. Uravity's smile is better secured, this time, properly covering her face. "I just, um. Don't want to think about what would happen. If I did something like that... to a person."

Ochako shudders, forcing the weight of the memory off her shoulders.

Izuku nods, thoughtfully. "Oh, yeah. I understand. Sometimes I don't like to think about how badly I could hurt someone, either. A lot of heroes have ways of protecting themselves, and I try to aim carefully, but if I hit someone with a direct punch, at full power... I mean, I'd break my hand again, but it would be a lot worse for the other person. "

He's actually very calm about this, on the outside. She wonders how often the thought must come to him. Each time she's used her quirk on a person in training, she's managed to force down the uneasy whisper in the back of her mind with the nausea and bile, but she's never seen him look the way she feels.

She composes herself. "It would be pretty bad, huh."

He shrugs, setting his notebook on the table for a moment to focus on talking. She can sense a bit of a dramatic speech coming on. For all his nerdiness, he's quite the ham when he wants to be.

"Well, it's just part of having a strong quirk. Anyone in this course could really hurt people like that if they wanted to. That's part of why we're training, and even of why the business course exists! Liabilities can be a big deal, with collateral damage or accidents and all. So really, this is the best time to be testing techniques like that. You've got control over the situation you won't have in an actual fight, or during a rescue."

Izuku turns to her, kindling catching fire in his eyes. "So... don't be afraid of your quirk, okay? In this school, you're surrounded by people with strong quirks themselves, and with a really good school nurse! So, against us... don't be afraid to hold back!"

She thanks him, and nods in a show of restored resolve. She'll let him keep that misconception, even as the thought repeats quietly in the back of her mind, a sickening tugging of a string tied around her finger that won't let her forget.

If only it was her quirk she was afraid of.

End Notes:

a costume design for villain!ochako (click for fullsize)

Stratosphere costume - black and white sketch.