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Fanfic / Cheat Code: Support Strategist

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After All Might gives Izuku a much-needed reality check, he has to find a new dream. When he learns that the support course at UA offers an emphasis on Intelligence and Analytics, it sounds like the perfect new passion for him to throw himself into. Who knew? Maybe Hero Analysis for the Future was never meant for his future as a hero, but for his future helping heroes...

Cheat Code: Support Strategist is a My Hero Academia fanfic by myheadinthecloudsnotcomingdown. It is the fourth part in the For The Want Of A Nail series (after Mastermind: Strategist for Hire, Deku? I think he's some pro... and Viridian: The Green Guide) and can be read on Archive of Our Own here.

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Tropes in Cheat Code: Support Strategist include:

  • Abusive Parents: Hitoshi's foster parents are emotionally abusive. His foster mother is blatantly terrified of him (and is stated to be afraid of everything) while his foster father is constantly suspicious and accuses him of lying. Then, after he wins the Sports Festival, they force him to write apology letters and reveal how his power works. Needless to say, the moment a better option shows up Hitoshi takes it running.
    • Endeavor, as per canon. After the Sports Festival, he's glad Shouto lost because it would teach him a lesson, and when Shouto calls him out and presses his Berserk Button, he stops the car and forces Shouto out mid-way to their home.
  • Accidental Innuendo: In-Universe. Izuku is amused by Mei's... particular way of talking about making support gear.
    Izuku: Most girls have to actually meet a guy before creating his children.
    • He later uses this in order to embarrass Hitoshi in front of 1-C by sending Mei to retrieve him.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance: Originally, Mei didn't get introduced to the series until the Sports Festival Arc, and Power Loader first appeared during the Final Exams Arc. Here, Izuku meets Mei during the Support Course Entrance Exam, along with Power Loader.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Mineta is a mole for All for One.
  • Adult Fear: Eraserhead finds himself fearing Uraraka to be kidnapped by the League of Villains after her sudden disappearance at Gunhead's agency. Unbeknownst to him, her disappearance was due to her having accidentally teleported herself to I-Island.
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  • Appropriated Appellation: Izuku takes on the name that Shigaraki gives him, Cheat Code, as an identifier during the USJ attack. Mei decides to cement it by designing him a logo.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Mei uses a series of these to make Izuku realize Katsuki is just a Jerkass and a bully, not his friend, such as pointing out that if he's been that way since getting his Quirk, then that means he's been treating Izuku like garbage for over a decade.
  • Ascended Extra: Multiple.
    • Mei goes from being an occasional Comic Relief character who appears whenever the hero students need something from the support course to being Izuku's first friend (and eventual love interest, according to the tags).
    • Power Loader also becomes much more important, being one of Izuku's main teachers, along with the head of the course that he's in.
    • Nedzu becomes Izuku's primary teacher for the Analysis course, with Izuku being his personal student.
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    • Hitoshi Shinsou was originally a minor character from the Sports Festival Arc, while here, Izuku decides to take him on as a student of his own.
  • Ascended Fanon: There was an Autocorrect error in chapter 42 that replaced Shinsou's name with 'Shindig' in a bit of dialogue. The fans liked it so much that Clouds decided to keep it as Uraraka's official nickname for him.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Izuku passes the written portion of the entrance exam with flying colours, with Power Loader describing the portfolio he provided as impressive.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Hitoshi's Quirk, Brainwashing, makes him the target of his foster parents' and siblings' mistrust.
  • Badass Normal: The other students in Class 1-F certainly think so of Izuku.
    Shiguro: “Um... being quirkless doesn’t make you any less terrifying, Midoriya.”
  • Bad Boss: During the USJ attack, Shigaraki disintegrates the technopath villain for not being able to track down where Izuku's interference is coming from.
  • Boxing Lessons for Superman: Izuku's analysis skills are top-notch but he has to take time to learn how to write coherently, with his mother pointing out his run-on sentences and other issues that make his analyses gibberish to anyone but him.
  • Break the Haughty: Todoroki's refusal to use his father's flames costs him the Cavalry Battle, as he was unable to keep Dark Shadow from stealing his points at the last second.
  • Breather Episode: The chapter after the USJ Arc finishes, rather than having any large events, Mei and Hitoshi visit Izuku at his house to help him pick out a logo.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Izuku's meeting with All Might changed his life by making him give up being a hero to focus on supporting heroes, but for All Might it was just another day and he doesn't even remember Izuku.
    • Played with in that All Might should have remembered the interaction (according to Nedzu at least), given that Izuku discovered All Might's greatest weakness that he has been hiding from the public.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Izuku serves as this for Mei. Hitoshi serves as this for Izuku.
  • Comical Overreacting: When Mei complains to Izuku about the teachers being cruel at UA, he worries about them being like the teachers at Aldera... for about five seconds, before Mei reveals that she's complaining about not being allowed lab access on the first day without supervision (something completely sensible, given that she caused at least three explosions during her entrance exam).
  • Corpsing:
    • During the Cavalry Battle, Izuku, Mei and Ochako shake with silent laughter after Hitoshi manages to use his Quirk to make Tokage's team not notice she has just lost her headband.
    • Hitoshi barely manages to restrain his laughter when Izuku and Mei pop out of a hole in the ceiling and pull him up through it in front of his classmates.
  • Demoted to Extra: Since Izuku doesn't join the Hero Course, Bakugo is the only member of Class 1A to appear in person before the attack on the USJ. Though Izuku's semester project is to analyze the students of the first year Hero Course.
  • The Dreaded: Played for Laughs. Izuku and Mei become this to the other students thanks to their reputation for chaotic hijinks. It's not unjustified, especially when they get access to Nedzu's Tunnel Network and cause Class 1A to panic by abducting Hitoshi through the ceiling.
  • Eccentric Mentor: Izuku decides to take an extra credit assignment to help Hitoshi get into the hero course from Gen Ed. Naturally, Mei joins him in his endeavor.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Izuku's fellow support students are disgusted that he used to get in trouble for reporting discrimination.
  • Exact Words: When Hitoshi orders Izuku to sit on a stool in a room that doesn't have one, the brainwashed Izuku leaves the room to find a stool to sit on.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • Izuku does not receive One for All from All Might. Whilst this does not prevent him from going to UA, this does end up pushing him into Support.
    • Izuku sat on the rooftop for a few minutes after his meeting with All Might to process the fact that his Pro-Hero dream is over. As a result, Izuku didn’t come across Bakugo being attacked by the Sludge Villain and the Pro-Heroes who were at the scene and All-Might managed to save Bakugo without Izuku having to rush in to try to save him first. Izuku didn’t even know about the whole incident until he arrived home.
    • Izuku watching the USJ when the villains attack allows him to warn the teachers the moment it begins, and taking control of its defensive measures lets him help the students fight the villains off. His actions also cause Shigaraki to kill the technopath jamming the signal, giving Aizawa a clue about his Quirk, and with the students being led around the plaza, Shigaraki tries to kill Aizawa instead of Tsuyu.
    • Because of the destruction of the 10 million headband, Team Todoroki does not make it to the final round while Team Monoma does.
    • Hitoshi ends up winning the Sports Festival after defeating Bakugo, giving him a chance to transfer to the Hero Course. He's also pretty much adopted by Eraserhead and Present Mic.
    • Due to their impressive performance in the Sports Festival, Izuku and Mei are offered an internship from I-Island.
    • Ochako's tenacity and strength during her match against Bakugou impresses All Might enough that he offers her One For All.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: During their 1-on-1 match, Izuku turns Mina's own acid against her by setting it on fire to force her out of the ring.
  • I Resemble That Remark!: When Aizawa gives Class 1-A Izuku's abbreviated analyses of their Quirks, Bakugo promptly blows up his packet and throws the remains out of the window because it said he had impulsivity issues. Aizawa pulls out a copy, saying that Izuku knew that would happen.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • Even though Izuku is in the Support Course, he wins the Obstacle Course during the Sports Festival - he even does the "jump on the mines" trick to reach Bakugo and Todoroki and jump from their backs.
    • Two of Izuku's teammates for the Cavalry battle are Mei and Uraraka.
    • Tensei is crippled in one of Stain's attacks.
  • Insult of Endearment: Hitoshi calling Izuku and Mei "his kidnappers" eventually reaches this, though it's more of a statement of fact than an insult.
  • Kansas City Shuffle:
    • On Izuku's and Mei's advice, Hitoshi masks how his Quirk activates by doing random things like holding eye contact too long or touching people before using his Quirk. As such, people will be so busy avoiding the fake activation conditions that they don't realize the real one is replying to him.
    • At the beginning of the Cavalry Battle, Izuku has Ochako use Zero Gravity on the 10 million point headband so Hitoshi can throw it, knowing that people will now be fighting for it and it won't be easy to keep a hold of it, while Hitoshi, Izuku, Mei and Ochako go around stealing low-scoring headbands, which is considered a tactic to stay out of the way and get enough points to reach the last round. It's all a ruse to allow them to steal enough headbands to cover half the points not in the 10 million headband, so that when Mei activates the microexplosives she put in the headband two minutes before the end, their team suddenly jumps to first position.
  • Know When to Fold Them: Izuku steps backward out of bounds the second his match against Bakugou begins to avoid getting the beating he knew Bakugou would give him, as well as deny Bakugou the satisfaction of actually earning his victory.
  • Konami Code: Frankly, it's inevitable given the fic is named Cheat Code. Izuku, Mei, and Hitoshi design a logo for Cheat Code, the design of which ultimately ends up paying homage to the code.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Thanks to Izuku, Hitoshi finds out he can modify people's memories with his Quirk. While the extent isn't yet known, Hitoshi has made Bakugo forget about him, made Mei think he had green hair (until she saw him again) and got Tokage's team not to notice they had lost their headband.
  • Loophole Abuse: At the beginning of the Cavalry Battle, Izuku has Mei do something to the 10 million points headband, which he thinks can be done since there is no rule about it. This turns to be filling it with micro-explosives so they can destroy it before the end, thus denying the points to everyone else.
  • Master-Apprentice Chain: Nedzu is Izuku's teacher, as he's in the Intelligence and Analytics track of the support course, and Izuku takes Hitoshi on as an extra credit project in order to get him into the hero course.
    • And of course, there's the "lineage" of One For All – of which All Might has now asked Ochako to become the next bearer.
  • The Mole: Mineta is spying at U.A. for All For One, who orders him to find Cheat Code.
  • Mythology Gag: For the written portion of the Support entrance exam, Izuku is required to write an essay about two different Quirks. Izuku recognizes the first Quirk as belonging to a (retired) Hero named Glimmer, whilst the other, whom he doesn't recognize, belongs to Gran Torino.
    • Bakugo has to be tied up to keep from attacking others at the Sports Festival podium, but this time it's because he cannot stand losing to Hitoshi.
  • The Nicknamer: Mei, not being very good with names, tends to give people nicknames. Hitoshi, for example, gets called "Extra-Credit-kun".
  • No MacGuffin, No Winner: Izuku has Mei plant tiny explosives on the ten million point headband during the Cavalry Battle. Near the end of the battle, they detonate it while Bakugo's and Todoroki's teams fight over it, ensuring no one gets the points - and pushing their team to first position, although Bakugou taking some of their points at the last minute means they finish in second.
  • Oh, Crap!: Todoroki is "sitting" in a back alley with a number of cats that have decided he makes a good bed... when Shigaraki shows up and finds him. Fortunately, he leaves soon after without causing trouble.
  • Only Sane Man: Hitoshi serves as this to Mei and Izuku, though he's Not So Above It All, as clearly shown in their antics when the three of them team up with Uraraka, and later the rest of Class 1-A when the two of them are the only people in the hero course not to react to Mei and Izuku popping out of the tunnels.
  • People Puppets: Izuku's most likely theory for how Hitoshi's Quirk works, as it can't force people to use higher brain functions, like speaking, and while Izuku failed to do a backflip under Hitoshi's control, Hitoshi also doesn't know how to do one either.
    • A later experiment shows that Hitoshi can make people talk, but only to say things he already knows. For example, Izuku doesn't respond when asked his name but does give his name when Hitoshi orders him to "Tell me your name". From the information they gathered, the reason the latter worked when the former didn't is because the former relied on Izuku's memories while the latter worked on Hitoshi's.
  • Playful Hacker: Izuku tries, unsuccessfully, to hack into UA's servers when he first arrives and later tries to hack them (again, unsuccessfully) during the practical part of his entrance exam. During the USJ attack, he's able to jury rig a signal to get past the Quirk preventing the alarms from sounding, and takes control over the USJ's disaster zones.
    • Later, at the Obstacle Course, Izuku successfully hacks into one of the robot's systems, and rides it all the way up to the minefield.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Aizawa and Yamada didn't tell Hitoshi why they were adopting him. As such, Hitoshi (mistakenly) believes they intend to keep an eye on him in case he goes villainous. Confiding his fears to Izuku and Mei causes them to barge into Nedzu's office to call him out. Fortunately, Nedzu understands and defuses the situation by telling them the truth.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Izuku delivers one to Shigaraki (who cannot hear it, sadly) as he prepares to unleash the weapons of the disaster zones on the USJ villains.
    "Alright villain, you wanna treat this like a game? Then let's play."
  • Precision F-Strike: Kohaku has one after Izuku asks if he'll get in trouble for reporting discrimination against him:
    "You used to get in trouble for reporting discrimination?! What the fuck?!"
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Because Izuku is the only one who applied for the Intelligence and Analytics course, Powerloader puts him in 1-F with the invention students, in addition to taking private lessons with Principal Nedzu, so he can still share a classroom with other students.
    • When Shigaraki and Kurogiri suggest tracking Izuku's interference, the technopath villain explains that even if he could track the signal, which he can't because that's not how his Quirk works, all he'd get would be an IP address rather than a physical location.
    • Power Loader points out that while they asked him to hack UA, they didn't expect him to succeed. UA is one of the top hero schools in the nation, after all, and keeps lots of sensitive data on heroes' strengths and weaknesses, and thus has incredibly robust cybersecurity. They would have been horrified if he had succeeded, since it meant their state-of-the-art system could be broken into by a fourteen-year-old.
  • Rules Lawyer: Izuku and Mei help Hitoshi to figure out the exact specifications of his Quirk. The last on a list of orders Izuku has Hitoshi issue him is to perform a backflip, something that's theoretically possible but that Izuku doesn't know how to do. After Izuku fails, they learn Hitoshi doesn't know how to perform a backflip either, so they insist on further testing to see which person's brain is being accessed for said information.
  • Skewed Priorities: During the attack on the USJ, Mei covers Izuku's eyes so he won't see Momo's Wardrobe Malfunction. According to Hound Dog, it's likely an overreaction due to having witnessed Shigaraki kill someone.
  • Sore Loser: Bakugo, much like his canon self, is unable to accept defeat and explosively reacts to the idea. As shown by how he attempts to attack Hitoshi after he brainwashes him into stepping out of bounds.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: To Mastermind: Strategist for Hire, another fanfic by the same author. While both involve a Quirkless Izuku Midoriya putting his analytical skills to use to help others, Mastermind involves Izuku using them to produce plans for other Villains, as the titular Mastermind, whilst Cheat Code involves him attending UA's Support course in order to help other Heroes.
  • Too Dumb to Live: All Might crosses into this by not remembering Izuku, despite the fact that Izuku saw his weakened form and All Might wanting to keep said form from the public.
    • Mineta falls for Hitoshi's "offer" to give him Mei's number and jumps out of Shoji's cover, allowing Hitoshi to punch him, take control of him and take his headband.
  • True Companions: Izuku, Mei and Hitoshi greatly care for each other. Besides keeping each other "more or less" sane and minding their well-being, when Hitoshi tells them he is worried he was taken to custody by Eraserhead and his husband out of fear he might go villainous, Izuku and Mei are livid and barge into Nedzu's office.
  • Tunnel Network: U.A. has a huge, sprawling labyrinth within and beneath the building, constructed by Nedzu for his own purposes and rigged with countless locked doors and hidden passageways. He tasks Izuku with exploring them, who of course brings along Mei.
  • Un-Sorcerer: Izuku, as he does not receive One for All.
  • Unwinnable Training Simulation: For Izuku's practical Support entrance exam, Nedzu has Izuku attempt to hack UA's servers. Izuku is devastated when he's unable to succeed, but then feels better when Mei points out that since the school's cybersecurity is top-notch and impossible to be hacked by any random hacker, it's very likely that Nedzu's test was to see how Izuku dealt with problems he couldn't solve. Izuku's acceptance letter in the following chapter confirms this, with Powerloader admitting that if Izuku had been successful, he would be extremely worried about the quality of UA's cybersecurity.
    Mei: "A lot of inventions are just about learning the process. Even if they don't work, they still weren't a waste of time because they make the next invention faster! UA's security wouldn't be the best in the business if a first-year could ram through it, right? They probably just wanted to see how you approached a problem that you couldn't solve. They wanted to see your process!"
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 44 ends with One for All teleporting Uraraka to I-Island.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Aizawa chews out All Might after Uraraka's accidental One for All-induced teleportation to I-Island:
    "So you’re telling me that you not only gave my student an extra quirk without informing me, but that this impossible miracle quirk has painted a target on her back a mile wide because it comes with a nemesis that runs the goddamn League of Villains! Oh, and considering that she disappeared into thin air, they’re probably the ones who took her, especially since you didn’t even give her any extra security after handing her a giant I Am Here sign. Am I missing anything, All Might?”

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