A Certain Complex Feeling
Chapter 1 ~ Rainy Thoughts
It was a gloomy day in Academy City; a place said to be the most technically advanced on earth and supposedly ahead of the rest of the world by twenty to thirty years. The night sky was cloudy and dark, raindrops fell heavy unto the empty streets, splashing into puddles, and obstructing the view for the passing drivers still out.
Not many people wandered around; they had curled up in blankets, a warm cup of coffee or chocolate between their hands and used the dulled sound of rain against the windows to relax and reminisce, barely aware of the cold and the wind outside their comfortable homes.
Some people were not as lucky, and much to his dismay, Accelerator was one of them. The teenage boy cursed silently as heaven's tears drenched his white hair, drizzled down his neck and soaked his shirt.
If it wasn't for that severe brain damage he received some time ago, he would've easily used his Deflection to block the rain from touching him. But his computing abilities were gone, along with his speech and mobility, thanks to a bullet in his head. Without the electrode choker around his neck, directly attached to his brain, he would not even be able to stand up on his own. Now, he had to rely on a crutch and a battery that could only hold up for forty eight hours in its normal mode.
"Tch." And only fifteen minutes in esper mode, he thought to himself, looking at his left hand with an angry expression. Fifteen minutes for the usage of half the power he used to wield – both ridiculous and degrading. He had never realized just how convenient his power was. The only times he had truly appreciated it, was in his numerous battles, slaughtering his enemies in the most sadistic and brutal way.
"It's raining! Misaka says as Misaka looks up at the night sky."
The voice pulled Accelerator out of his thoughts, causing him to lift his head. In front of him, a young girl was dancing in the rain. She only wore a white coat over her light blue, dotted dress and the white socks in her sandals were already drenched. It was Last Order.
"Sheesh," Accelerator walked up to her. "Stop moving around so much."
"Misaka wanted to see the moon though, Misaka says as Misaka acts a little dejected while trying to dance," the girl said, ignoring Accelerator's comment as she ran around him.
"Hey!" Abruptly, Accelerator grabbed her collar and turned Last Order towards him. "I told you not to scurry around so much, you little brat."
Despite his harsh words, Last Order smiled widely at him. "Misaka should be fine without such intensive care, Misaka says as Misaka asks for freedom and liberty."
"Stop that democracy crap. Besides, I'm not caring at all," the boy added with a raised eyebrow.
"You're pulling that again?" Last Order asked, slightly squishing her eyes in amusement. "You don't have to be so embarrassed, Misaka says as Misaka acts aloof with her index fin-! Why are you making such a tight fist? Misaka asks as Misaka smiles in an attempt to calm your rage," Last Order anxiously stopped herself when Accelerator growled in annoyance.
The white-haired teenager stared at her for a second with his red eyes before he let out a surrendering sigh and turned his head, causing the girl to raise her hands to the sky once more, singing: "'Rain, rain, fall, fall, fall, rain fall! Misaka says as Misaka yells out to the night sky!"
Slowly, Accelerator lifted his head, staring up to the clouded stars. His thoughts wandered around aimlessly until he suddenly recalled the words from Yomikawa Aiho, his current guardian.
"Is showing goodwill towards others really that scary? You seem to have accepted Last Order's goodwill, though you're afraid to reciprocate her. Are you scared of screwing up and being unable to fix it?"
Accelerator jerked his head to see Last Order sitting on the ground, blood on her knees.
"I fell, Misaka says as Misaka reports her status from the ground," Last Order looked up to him with wide eyes.
"Sheesh, I can already see that," he condescendingly replied.
"I might need some disinfectant, Misaka says as Misaka becomes a little teary-eyed."
For a moment, Accelerator looked at her with something like sincere worry in his eyes – until it was masked again by clenching his teeth and snorting, "How about you spit on it?"
He walked past Last Order and ignored her attempted repetition by ordering, "Come on, we're going back to Yomikawa's."
"Okay..., Misaka says as Misaka tries to deal with it." Last Order got up slowly, her eyes fixated to the ground. She held on to the green goggles on her head and placed them over her eyes as she mumbled, "It's painful, but Misaka will bear it, Misaka says as Misaka trots after you."
She carefully followed Accelerator in silence, cautiously placing one foot after the other, being easy on her bruised knees.
For a while, the boy led her down the streets with dark eyes until all of a sudden, he stopped. He laboriously turned around with his crutch and walked towards Last Order. She noticed him only in the last moment, when Accelerator flicked his finger against her goggles.
"Wah!" Last Order called out as she stumbled back. Angrily, she lifted her goggles and glared at Accelerator, about to demand the reason for his action when she suddenly noticed the bench beneath her.
"Sit there," Accelerator said, avoiding her eyes as he turned away from her. "If you move even an inch, I'll smash you into little bits."
"This shitty brat," Accelerator mumbled to himself as he picked up a package of band aids at a pharmacy nearby. He frowned while looking at it, seemingly insecure, before he tossed it into the shopping cart.
This seriously isn't my style, he thought as he went to the checkout, paying for the band aids and the disinfectant.
Accelerator made his way back through the rain, to the bench he left Last Order at. The young girl was dangling her legs off the bench, humming a happy melody until she heard his footsteps. "Accelerator! Misaka calls as Misaka waves her arms," she jumped off the bench to run towards him, but a sharp pain in her knees made her twitch and stop, stumbling back to the bench.
"Tch," Accelerator grunted as he walked up to her. "I told you not to move an inch, didn't I? Stupid." He knelled down in front of her, grabbing the disinfectant.
"You did, but Misaka was so happy to see you've come back, Misaka answers as Misaka tries to explain her behavior."
Accelerator made an inaudible sound at her comment and sprayed on the disinfectant.
"Ow! Misaka screams as Misaka tries to show she's in great pain!" The young girl complained loudly, curling up her toes as the stinging alcohol hit her. Unmoved, Accelerator pressed the band aids onto her knees, then he got up, turning his head away from her. "Let's go back already."
"Alright! Misaka says as Misaka jumps off the bench to join Accelerator on his way home."
The two made their way back to Yomikawa Aiho's apartment, the place they both called home since a couple of days. Despite the wounds on her knees, Last Order jumped around, switching from one leg to the other as she continued to hum the melody from before.
"Seriously," Accelerator said to himself with annoyance while the girl swirled by, "Why did I even bother?"
"Did you say something? Misaka asks as Misaka turns around to see his face," Last Order ceased her jumping curiously.
"Nothing," Accelerator sighed with closed eyes. "Let's get going."
The apartment was in the center of Academy City. It was a tall, glazed building as futuristic as most of Academy City's architecture, overlooking countless bus stops, shops and smaller apartments. While being quite modern, the apartment had its own backyard as well as a square court in its middle with benches underneath cherry trees, rendering it into a comfortable place to live at.
Barely thinking, Accelerator stepped into the elevator and pressed the 7, the number to their floor. Last Order stood beside him, still humming and swung her arms from one side to the other.
"Misaka wonders what we're going to eat tonight, Misaka says as Misaka tilts her head." Last Order shot a glance towards Accelerator, hoping to get an answer to her indirect question. The boy abruptly jerked his head away from her, letting out a grumble of exasperation while he felt the vibrations of the mechanics lifting them up.
The elevator came to a stop and they both entered a long corridor, connecting the individual apartments. Together, they walked up to door 74. To the left from the entrance was a security door system and Accelerator reached out to enter the code.
"Meat, meat, Misaka would like some meat, Misaka sings as Misaka dances," Last Order sang to herself while Accelerator unlocked the door. Once she heard the faint click, she squeezed by Accelerator and zipped into their home, arms wide open.
"Misaka and Accelerator are home! Misaka calls as Misaka enters the living room!"
Accelerator walked past Last Order and let himself fall on the couch. He grabbed the remote for the television and switched through channels, searching for a program worth his while. In the meantime, Last Order went through the apartment, repeatedly calling for Aiho and Yoshikawa Kikyou, a friend of Aiho's who had been in the apartment when they had left that morning.
"Isn't anybody here? Misaka asks loudly as Misaka realizes the house is empty."
With a disappointed expression, Last Order came back to Accelerator, giving him a long look.
"Misaka is hungry! Misaka exclaims as Misaka attempts to get Accelerator's attention," she said with emphasis after a few seconds of intense silence. The teenager grumbled as he turned his head towards her. "Didn't that guy who found you at the mall feed you already?" He asked annoyed as he sat up, heading towards the kitchen.
"He did, but Misaka is still hungry! Misaka explains as Misaka gets up to follow," Last Order nodded as she jumped off the couch. Then, a light from the city grabbed the little girl's attention and instead of actually following, she turned towards the big windows and examined the city lights with big eyes, sparkling of excitement and curiosity.
In the kitchen, Accelerator opened the fridge to see two wrapped plates waiting for them, along with a note from Aiho.
'Kikyou and I got called in for work. We'll be away for a while. Make sure Last Order gets enough to eat – this is for today.
P.S. Don't get into trouble.'
"What a pain," the white-haired teenager sighed to himself as he took the aluminum foil off the plate. He placed their dishes in the microwave and leaned against a cupboard, brushing through his grown hair with closed eyes. For a few moments, he could enjoy a silence almost as complete as the silence he used to surround himself with before he met Last Order. Nothing but the buzzing of the microwave and the faint chatter from the television got to his ears and Accelerator allowed himself to ease up a little.
"What will we eat? Misaka asks as Misaka jumps into the kitchen." Last Order swirled around the corner, stopping in front of Accelerator who ignored her question with a deep breath. Suddenly, the microwave started to beep repeatedly and the teenager reached for their meals.
"Ooh, this looks like beefsteak! Misaka says as Misaka joyfully looks at her platter!" Last Order squealed in delight as she sat at the table. "Itadakimasu! Misaka says as Misaka digs in."
They ate their meals in their own manner: Last Order constantly blabbering and praising the dish, while Accelerator was barely listening, sluggishly poking around the food. He rarely ate, and it was only because of Aiho actually going through the trouble of preparing food for him that he bothered to. Never would he admit that to her, though.
Accelerator kept to himself when it came to any positive or socially accepted feelings. May it be his troublesome past or the fact that he had already killed almost ten thousands of the Sisters – clones of a certain Misaka Mikoto, a level five esper like him – Accelerator could only portrait feelings such as sarcasm, condescension or evil with security. That was what he felt, at least.
But his guardians Aiho and Kikyou as well as the little Last Order were convinced that he had good inside, and they continued to believe in him, despite his harsh and hurtful words and actions. And deep down, Accelerator felt grateful for that. That being something he could hardly admit towards himself, he never showed that feeling to others, of course.
"Accelerator! Misaka calls out loudly as Misaka realizes Accelerator hasn't been listening!" Last Order pulled him out of his bemusement, leaning over the table as she stared at him with that childish form of anger. Slowly, Accelerator turned his head towards her.
"Huh?" He made with dull eyes, his tone somewhat aggravated, causing Last Order to pull at a strand of his hair as she said: "Misaka said 'Thanks for the meal' Misaka says as Misaka repeats herself!"
"Ow- let go of me, stupid kid!" Accelerator spat angrily and jerked back to get rid of Last Order's grasp. This caused Last Order to lose her balance and she fell head first into Accelerator's barely touched meal.
"Ew! Misaka screams as Misaka tries to wipe off the mashed potatoes!" The young girl helplessly complained as she searched for a tissue. Accelerator got up with an annoyed expression, ready to leave the scene, but Last Order grabbed his sleeve, smearing mashed potatoes and sauce all over it.
"You cannot go! Misaka says as Misaka demands Accelerator to make up for his mistake!"
"My mistake!? Listen you, if you hadn't clung to me, you wouldn't be in such a mess!" Accelerator snarled angrily, trying to loosen Last Order's grip while at the same time struggling to keep his own balance, his left arm searching for his crutch.
"But Misaka needs your help! Misaka says as Misaka insists on Accelerator's aid," Last Order whined, still tugging at his sleeve.
Accelerator stared at her in disbelief and yanked his arm back. He won his freedom as Last Order's slippery fingers slid off his sleeve, but his victory didn't last long when he fell on the floor from the sway.
"Accelerator! Misaka calls out as Misaka rushes to help!" Last Order ran up to Accelerator in an attempt to help him up. Moving too fast, she knocked over Accelerator's plate, which unloaded its contents onto both him and Last Order.
"No, stop, don't touch me with those ha- argh!" Accelerator loudly protested when he was covered in the rest of his meal. Suddenly, the girl let go off him and he heard Last Order giggle.
At first, it was only a small, hidden chuckle, but it soon burst into laughter and Last Order held her stomach, snickering: "Misaka's belly hurts from laughing this much! Misaka says as Misaka feels a big joy!"
Accelerator stared at her, unable to grasp the situation. He was covered in sauce, mashed potatoes and slices of meat, sitting on the floor, all dignity lost and Last Order was laughing from the bottom of her heart. The young girl had let loose and was lying on the floor, pounding on it with her hands. Accelerator snarled aggressively and crawled towards her, leaving his crutch behind. Sitting behind her, he placed his hands at her cheeks and started to pull outwards, but Last Order was used to this type of playful physical punishment and she swung her hands, full of food, up and splashed them against Accelerator's face, causing the white-haired teenager to let go off her with a curse.
"So much fun! Misaka says as Misaka stops laughing," Last Order smiled widely at him once her laughter had ceased. Accelerator still wore an utterly confused expression and for a moment he felt the urge to smash something, but as his eyes met Last Order's, seeing her joyful expression, his rage calmed and he sighed exhausted.
"I'll take a shower. Clean up the mess, kid", he grumbled as he took his crutch and made his way to the bathroom.
"Yes, yes, Misaka says as Misaka gets up," he heard Last Order replying just before he closed the door.
Good grief, Accelerator thought to himself as he stood under the shower. Warm water washed away the dirt and food from his body and helped his muscles to relax while he was in his thoughts.
Not so long ago, he had killed people for lesser reasons. How did that child dare to laugh at him? The esper sighed distressed. He truly had changed, ever since meeting Last Order. No, already before that – he started changing when he met that Touma-guy. Accelerator felt anger building up inside him as he thought about the self-proclaimed hero and his blabbering about justice and worthiness of life. The teenager put his hand into a fist for a moment, letting it shake before he released and calmed his thoughts.
When Accelerator came back into the living room, the towel still wrapped around his neck, Last Order was sitting on the couch, watching a movie. As she heard him enter, she enthusiastically turned her head towards him, giving him a big, jolly smile.
"Welcome back, Accelerator!' Misaka says as Misaka smiles to show she's happy."
"I wasn't gone for long," the white-haired teenager murmured as he sat down on another sofa. He rested his crutch beside him before he laid down himself, his eyes only half open with the arms crossed behind his head.
Still, Last Order continued to smile, even when she turned her head and attention back to the television. It seemed to be a love comedy of some sort, and Accelerator hated those kind of movies. He tried to block its noise, but without his Deflection, it was not as easy, and soon, the teenager grumbled in reserve. Accelerator grabbed his cane and got up, his movements followed by Last Order's eyes.
"Where are you going? Misaka asks as Misaka slants her head in confusion."
"Sleep," Accelerator briefly answered, but his walking was interrupted by Last Order loudly whining,"Eeeeh!? Misaka says as Misaka is disappointed. Misaka wanted to stay up longer to watch the movie, Misaka adds as Misaka attempts to clarify the situation."
"So what?" Accelerator grumbled, his head only halfway turned.
"Can Misaka stay up to the end of this film? Misaka asks as Misaka sniffs her chance," Last Order asked with a more hopeful voice, bending over the couch with big eyes.
"Like I care," the white-haired teenager spat as he closed the door behind him, leaving to his bedroom.
"Yaaaay! Misaka says as Misaka rejoices!" Last Order swung her arms up in excitement before she turned her head back to the television, just in time to see the climax of the movie.
The young girl's eyes were captured by the scene where a man intensively kissed a woman after he confessed his undying love to her.
"What... are they doing? Misaka wonders as Misaka feels a strange curiosity from her heart."