The Golden Iteration 01
Author's notes: This will be a lemony story. Also me throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks.
In which Othinus offered Misaki a chance to save Touma's life in exchange for a small favor...
"Misaki?" Touma rubbed his head and groaned. He sat up with a wince, expecting his wounds to bleed out. The petite girl looked at him worriedly. "What happened? Where's Deadlock? I thought we were goners there for a second."
They survived the fierce rooftop battle against the organization known as Deadlock, and Touma recalled sustaining multiple injuries during the scuffle.
He looked at his body. No penetration wounds, no bruises, not even a scratch. "What just happened?"
Instead of being surprised alongside himself, Misaki simply released a sigh of relief.
And then fell to her knees. "You fool. You stupid, inconsiderate fool! Why did you hurt yourself protecting me!?"
"Misaki, wait, ouch. Stop!" Touma was forced to raise his forearms to protect himself from her uncalled for attacks. Misaki's punches were clumsy and weak. "You're not even strong enough to punch me. Come on, you're just embarrassing yourself here. Okay, no biting, no biting!"
He fell back on his back, his hands holding her cheeks away from his face as he warily looked at her gnawing teeth.
"You're so stupid. I was really worried. God…" She pressed her face to his chest and cried. Touma rubbed her back and sighed.
Despite being the meat shield, he was relegated to the role of comforting his friend. "It's alright. It's alright. Guess I was dreaming it all up," he told himself. He didn't really have any possible explanation as to how his wounds healed, and he doubted Misaki would tell him if she knew.
"Where is Deadlock anyway?" Touma looked over the ledge into the streets below. Pedestrians and vehicles, but no Queen Divers in sight. Those motorhelmets and racer clothes were really distinguished. It'd be impossible to miss the jutting blades from those thugs.
"I-I don't know." Misaki rubbed her eyes with her gloves, wiping herself free of her tears. Her doe starry eyes glared at him. "We should go."
Yup, she was angry. And once more he had no reason why.
He just couldn't understand girls.
"I gave you a piggyback back to my place and even bought you some snacks," Touma complained, glaring at the lazy honey blonde girl lying on his bed. He was forced to sit on the floor while she enjoyed the comfort of his mattress.
"Quit complaining. I'm the one providing for the food," Misaki sniffed. She laid on her stomach, lazily waving her legs in the air as she texted someone in her smartphone. Gone was the sweet girl who always enjoyed being given his personality was replaced by this very demanding bratty attitude. That, and her chest grew. He wondered if all the good traits went to her chest, leaving her head with the sour remains.
On the other hand, she also lost some of her elegance around him. Example being;
Her handbag hit his head. "H-how dare you talk about me like that!? Does your perverse garrulous ability know no bounds!?"
Crap. Did he say that out loud?
She was blushing, one gloved hand covering her chest as she glared at him. He rolled his eyes, left the floor and crawled his way beside her on the bed. He endured her suspicious stare. She flinched when he raised a hand, but calmed down when he began patting her head.
"I'm not your dog, you know… Right there, to the left." Her eyes closed and she smiled jovially as he indulged her fetish. It reminded him of a puppy seeking his attention.
"Do you have bipolar or something?" Touma asked. Misaki opened one eye, her lips straightening as an aura of concentration projected from her glare. "...I'll shut up now."
For a while she took comfort in his hand while his own mood soured.
"Come on, Touma." She reluctantly met his eyes. "I'm sorry I kicked you off the bed."
"Why'd you even do that?" he asked, pulling his hand off her head. Misaki pouted like a young girl being scolded. "Did something happen at your school?"
She went to Tokiwadai Middle School, though it wasn't obvious because she disliked wearing her uniform. She always packed extra clothes, and was currently wearing a yellow shirt and white shorts. He was just in a blue shirt and matching white pants, courtesy of Misaki having bought them matching clothes.
Touma had to fetch her from Tokiwadai every day of the week, and in turn followed him wherever he went. That spread the rumor that she was dating him, which, to be fair, she sort of was.
They were in a relationship. It was simply one that didn't need any labels. That, and if he tried she'd die of heat stroke from all the adrenaline going to her face.
"Misaki, you're my girlfriend, right?" Touma asked.
Misaki's face turned as red as a tomato. She spluttered, punched her stomach and gasped for air. "W-why'd you say something like that?" She fiddled with her fingers. "You know I-I'm not ready for that."
Touma cooed at her adorable display. "So that means I'm single?"
Her glare returned with a vengeance. "No! You're mine!" Her eyes widened in surprise and then she returned to being a tomato. "S-stupid!"
"You're the one that can't swim and I'm stupid?" he laughed as her she weakly flailed her arms in a silly attempt to punch his chest.
"Sh-shut up! Humans don't even need to swim! We are land creatures! Fishes are not the dominant creature, we are! Homosapiens rule the earth because of our legs. Our legs! We've survived to this point without the need to swim, and I'll be damned before I start now!"
"You're so unathletic you can't even hurt me if your life depended on it. Loser." Touma made his point by effortlessly blocking her hits. It drove Misaki into a frenzy. She leapt and tackled him to the bed, pressing her soft and intoxicating body against his.
She straddled his hips, her legs on either side of him, her gloved hands pushed his wrists to the mattress and grinned as she loomed over him. "Who's the loser now, tough guy?"
Her honey blonde hair curtained his face from anything else, making her the center of his world. Touma gulped, and from the soft blush on Misaki's cheeks he wasn't the only one who realized their compromising position.
He smiled fondly at her. "Love you."
"G-gah…" She gaped at him. "H-how can you just say that with a straight face?" When he continued smiling at her she gave a bashful pout. "I-I l… Love you too."
She pressed her lips to his, both of them drowning in the kiss.
After a bit they moved to the kitchen. Touma took some cheeseburgers from the fridge. "You know my room's twice the size of other dorms?"
"Yeah?" Misaki helped herself to the cheeseburger, having more appetite than Touma did.
"Why is that?" Touma asked.
Misaki shrugged. "I dunno."
"See, it's all very strange. The landlord's very strict, and they wouldn't just allow a renovation like this unless someone with great persuasive abilities that border on mind control convinces them, you know what I'm saying?"
She squirmed under his suspicious gaze.
Misaki was about to reply if not for the food in her mouth. She continued chewing, eyes narrowed into slits as she stared at him. They enjoyed their meal in companionable silence. Only after finishing their light snack did they resume talking.
"Okay. First order of the day, what got you mad?" Touma asked.
Misaki sighed. "There's this girl at school. Another Level 5. For some reason she just pisses me off. I hope you're happy, prying these secrets from a young maiden's heart." She continued bad mouthing her classmate, waving her hands animatedly and even cursing her classmate's name. By the end of her little speech she was getting a bit full of herself, acting like she was an actress in a Shakespearean play.
"So one thing led to another and you decided to kick me off the bed?" Touma sighed. For her part Misaki managed to look ashamed.
"I'm sorry," she earnestly said. "I didn't mean to."
He waved her apology away. "There's no need for that. Just tell me next time, okay?" She nodded. "So, did you mind control the landlord into giving me two rooms? And did you also mind control those construction workers who suddenly barged in and slammed a sledge hammer against the wall?"
Misaki sheepishly smiled. "Yup." She wasn't even guilty about it!
"Misaki, you can't just brainwash people into doing your bidding," Touma said. He was ready to go and lecture her like a proper teacher would their student, ignoring the part about inappropriate relationship between teachers and students. Okay, he was getting lost in his own metaphors.
"If I didn't you'd have to go to summer school," she deadpanned.
"I-I mean, wow way to go girl!" Touma gave her a high five. Internally he was shocked. Were his grades really that bad that his girlfriend had to go and bail him out.
"Am I the bad guy?" he murmured.
"Yeah! Brainwashing the populace for the win!" Misaki cheered alongside him.
Touma wondered, not for the first time, if he was raising a future super villain. Not just raising her. He was loving her, cuddling her, and showering the honey blonde girl with affection. Where did he go wrong?
It must be her power.
"Oh dear. Othinus is calling me again," Misaki said. She played with her phone, rotating the device in her hand.
"That's your friend, right?" Touma asked.
Misaki gave a stiff nod. "Touma, there's something I have to confess."
"What? That you're going on a diet? You could use one." His teasing smile meant he wasn't being serious.
It didn't stop the patty that hit his face. The bread slid off his nose, coating his skin in ketchup. Misaki was blushing, hand once more covering her chest.
"You are insufferable!" she shrieked.
"And you're pretty." He laughed as she got worked up. She was so easy to tease. How did she even survive school if she can't handle simple compliments from him?
"How can I be fat and pretty? Make up your mind!"
It wasn't like he was using anything special on her. All he said were things that happened in the past. If she did have friends they wouldn't have a problem getting her into a similar state.
Touma took the bread from his lap and finished her meal. "Thanks for the bread."
"Hmp!" She harrumphed, puffed her cheeks, crossed her slender arms under her breasts and looked away. When he just stared at propped his elbow on the table and leaned on his hand she kicked the floor.
Pay attention to me! She all but screamed.
"Misaki, I never called you 'fat'," Touma corrected her. "I'm just saying you need some exercise or at least eat healthier food because you're so unathletic. What happens if you meet someone immune to your powers like me? Then they decide to beat your ass."
Misaki snorted. "Then I'll use everyone in my general vicinity to destroy them. I've already encountered such an individual, Touma. No need for hypotheticals. Stupid railgun." The last two words were muttered under her breath.
He scratched his ear. "Man, what dangerous shit do you constantly get into?"
MIsaki scowled. "The kind that got you hurt? It's not easy being a Level 5, Touma. I wish haven't met. At least that way you wouldn't be touched by the people who want to use me."
Her drop lowered to the floor, deep in thought. The silence was suffocating and not as pleasant as before.
"Hey, hey none of that." Touma left his seat and went beside her, pulling the smaller girl into a hug. She shook in his arms. Misaki was deeply traumatized by the event that nearly got him killed. It was the sorest spot for her, and easily riled her up. It was worse because she took out her anger at him, knowing full well she was the cause of it. It constantly led her to darker thoughts.
It didn't help that this new problem of hers was stressing her out. He wondered what kind of Level 5 would pick on poor, sweet Misaki. She would never bully innocent people, so her classmate must be the one instigating her scholastic complications.
"I'm just a mess, aren't I?" she looked up his chest with flushed cheeks. "Sorry about this." She gently pushed him off her and left her chair. "Hey, want to eat outside? My treat."
"It's always your treat," Touma chuckled. "Makes me feel bad being a guy and all."
"It's the twenty first century," Misaki said. "Chivalry has its place, but the scientific community isn't it." Misaki referred to Academy City, peerless in technological advancement and industrial psychic abilities.
"So." With her hands behind her she leaned forward with a playful smile. "Wanna eat?"
We're always eating, Touma thought. It was either eating, sleeping or talking that took place in their idyllic lives. Not that it was a bad thing. He just wished there would be events to spice it up a little.
But he doubted it. What was going to happen? A magic girl fall out of the sky and into his balcony? Ha! This isn't some shounen manga. This is reality and in reality he's already got a magical girl in front of him with the ability to make his heart beat faster.
"Sure," Touma hooked his arm over her shoulder. "I like the sound of that."
Misaki's hands held his chest and she leaned against him with a flirty smile. "Then it's a date."
"Sure." Touma felt the romantic air to be lovely and leaned down to kiss her. She let out a cute sound as their lips met. It was perfect. She was perfect. He was so thankful he had her in his life.
He couldn't imagine a world without her.
Imagine his luck.
Once upon a time four months ago, Touma met a brown haired girl who emitted electricity. He thought she needed help from some thugs surrounding her in a delinquent infested street.
Imagine his shock when she electrified all of the delinquents.
Everyone other than him, that was.
His right arm was raised instinctively, protecting him from the supernatural electricity crackling from the girl.
And so she was dubbed 'Biribiri' or bug zapper. It was an onomatopoeia for the crepitation that accompanied the electricity she surged whenever she got into a foul mood.
It was similar to the serenity Misaki brings whenever she's controlling people, Touma noted. Although it only gave him a headache at the moment.
He sat at the restaurant, all content on minding his own business with his girlfriend when Mikoto went straight for them.
"Ow." Touma rubbed his head. "Misaki, quit it."
"Sorry, sweet prince~" Misaki gave him a smile so fake she looked like a doll. "But it appears I've garnered some unsavory attention."
"Hmm? What are you talking about?" Touma asked her. They were in a random restaurant, hung their jackets behind their chairs, left Misaki's beret on top of the table and just about ready to test the meals when Mikoto left a group of three delinquents from their booth. More delinquents emerged from the bathroom, amazing Touma. He thought it was only the privilege of women, but it turns out men can go in the bathroom together too.
Good thing he didn't bail her out this time. He would've gotten his ass kicked. Then again, with Misaki he wasn't in any real danger.
"Come to think about it I'm pretty much set for life…" Touma muttered.
"Stop talking about me like I'm some sort of meal ticket!" Misaki flustered and hit his shoulder with her handbag.
"Hey, stop that!" Mikoto ordered, misunderstanding Misaki's playfulness for something more sinister. Ironic, considering she does the same. "Are you alright?" Her brown eyes looked at Touma in worry. They shifted into a glare towards Misaki.
There was an air of hostility between the two, Touma noted. Mikoto was in her Tokiwadai uniform.; a light brown sweater, a short sleeved white dress beneath it, and a gray pleated skirt.
It would've given her the perfect image of a lady if it wasn't for her green rubber shoes.
"Is that a frog?" Touma squinted his eyes and leaned closer to look.
"S-stop staring!" Mikoto demanded, stomping on the floor and releasing a spear of electricity at him. Touma absentmindedly waved his right hand and negated her ability. It was a common occurrence between them.
Four months of being stalked by a battle hungry esper honed his instincts.
"Why are you even wearing rubber shoes?" he raised his head to ask her. She was flustered. Where all Tokiwadai girls so easy to tease? He would've assumed she was sick if it wasn't his experience with Misaki. Now he knew better. They just couldn't handle a simple discussion without blushing every five minutes.
"Tch. I got jealous, okay? Some rugrat decided they could wear civilian clothes whenever they damn well please. So I'm just emulating their footsteps. Heh, footsteps." She chuckled at her bad pun.
"Rugrat, huh?" Misaki sweetly echoed.
"There's something wrong with you if you decide to imitate a child," Touma spoke his thoughts.
"Why? Why do I get judged for wearing different shoes when she changes clothes all the time!" Mikoto pointed an accusatory finger at Misaki.
"Whoa, she's the child?" Touma gasped in surprise. "Wait, don't tell me-"
"Funny coming from someone obsessing over a frog." Misaki eyed the design on Mikoto's shoes.
Mikoto twitched and lowered her head, making her brown bangs cover her eyes. Oh no, Touma thought. Did Misaki went too far? He should apologize for having his girlfriend hurt Mikoto's feelings.
"Gekota. It's called Gekota!" Mikoto raised her fist threateningly. Electricity crackled from her knuckles. "If you're gonna mock me at least get the name right!"
"Please leave the premises immediately," Misaki sniffed, pulled out a remote from her handbag and pressed it on her lips. She was preparing to use her powers. The remote was a limiter for her since her telepathy was so strong she'd go haywire without an anchor to restrain her abilities.
"Please leave the premises immediately," Mikoto repeated in a mocking tone. She rolled her eyes. "Why don't you leave, huh? And can you stop brainwashing people while you're at it. This poor guy's in your control, isn't he. Just, just let go of him, Misaki. Controlling others for a date is just sad."
"Shoo." Her hands faced downward and she waved her fingers, motioning for Misaki to go away. "Leave us be, earthworm."
"How dare you assume I'm brainwashing my boyfriend!" Misaki slammed her hands on the table and stood up, looking ready to rumble with Mikoto. That would be a bad idea given the difference in their athleticism.
Wow, that escalated quickly, Touma noted. He was in a minefield. One wrong step could guide him into an explosion and send him straight to heaven. Best to observe and act accordingly.
Was he a bad boyfriend? Is this why Misaki's evil?
He should do something. He should put a stop to this. This girl was harassing his girlfriend and he will not let this be!
He raised his cup, pressed the straw to his lips and took a sip of his drink.
Maybe after finishing his drink.
Mikoto gaped. "You? Boyfriend? Him?" She guffawed with laughter.
"Hey, come on." Touma dropped his head to the table. "I'm not that bad."
"Hey!" Misaki repeated. "At least I have one! Touma." Misaki pulled him into the argument. No please he didn't want any part of this. "Based on how verbose washbord is with you I take it you two are friends?"
Touma winced. "I wouldn't say friends. Maybe stalker-ish acquaintances? Does that sound good?"
"I'm not a washboard!" Mikoto screamed, ignoring him completely. "You cow! With those things of yours are you even a middle schooler!?" Mikoto pointed accusatory, this time at Misaki's chest.
Misaki glanced at Touma with a blush. She coughed in her gloved hand and crossed her arms under her breasts, drawing attention to her chest. "W-well that's how it's set up now isn't it?" Touma hummed, and she blushed in her attempt to look cool. "With my falsification powers who knows?"
"I know," Touma nodded in agreement. "They just came out of nowhere. You would not believe the growth spurt my Misaki had. It's like the gods shined light upon this girl and gave her her desires." He stood up and rubbed her head absentmindedly. She mewled with the affectionate gesture, briefly closing her eyes. Then she remembered where she was and pushed his arm away.
"Stop that!" Misaki hissed. "Not in public!"
Mikoto stared at them. "Wow. You two really are a couple. Hey Thomas."
"Touma," he corrected her. She raised her hand to her lips and giggled. She knew what his name was, so why'd she go and call him like that?
"Is she really a middle schooler? If you two are sort of childhood friends it'd be creepy for someone like her masquerading as a kid, don't you think?"
"No, she really is young." Touma set the record straight.
"So you're the kind of guy who'd date a middle schooler?" Mikoto grinned like a cat. "Did you sleep with her too? Is she good in bed? How'd you hook up? Did she fall for your charming personality?"
"Touma!" Misaki exclaimed. "Don't give ammunition to the enemy!"
"I can see that!" He warded Mikoto off with his arms. She receded, but the delighted smile remained on her face as she looked at him.
"Um, this is a weird dynamic," Touma said. His girlfriend dislike his stalker who likes attacking him. Normally at times like these he'd side with Misaki, but Mikoto was just being playful like a kid on sugar high.
"Right. I forgot you were immune to my powers," Mikoto said. "That meant you're also immune to hers, right?"
"You should your brain more," Misaki interjected and tapped the side of her head with her remote. "Common sense is obviously not your forte."
"The only one here without common sense is this guy for dating you." Mikoto scowled as Misaki gave her a dirty look.
"Okay. Mikoto, we were in the middle of something," Touma said. "Misaki and I are on a date, actually."
Misaki looked appeased, giving a happy smile as Touma defended her.
"Fine," Mikoto drawled. "I was in the middle of something anyway. Next time I'll kick your ass though!" The fighter in her said like she was the rival in a shounen manga.
"But I don't wanna fight…" Touma sighed as Mikoto left. He grew unease when she returned to the group of delinquents.
"Misaki?" Touma asked. Misaki snuggled up to him as he wrapped his left arm around her.
"What is it?"
"Do me a favor. Look after Mikoto?"
She clicked her remote.
Mikoto was having a swell time talking to the delinquents, with some of them even laughing at her jokes.
"I'm sorry you had to hear that," Touma said as they returned to their seats. "Mikoto's kind of been following me the last couple of months."
"No, it is I who drew her ire," Misaki apologized. "That flamboyant girl is an annoyance at school. But I'm glad I have you, Touma."
"Yeah." He squeezed her hand. He realized it was with his right. "Oh, does that break your control over your victims-" She gave him a look. "I mean puppets?"
She nodded at the correct term.
"No. Even if you disable my ability to control others what is already in their head cannot be so easily removed." Her flirty grin made him blush. "For most people, that is. Regardless, they're on autopilot and the order I gave them was to discreetly entertain that girl."
Touma glanced at the booth. Mikoto was now sharing the table, having pulled a chair from an empty one so she could continue telling her stories with the delinquents who sucked up to her in just the right way to keep her distracted.
It was such an amusing sight he couldn't help but take a picture.
"Hmm. You know it's considered rude when you're paying attention to another girl in a date with your significant other," Misaki complained. Her elbow was on the table, arm propped up and her cute face leaned on her hand.
Luckily dinner arrived, and with it dessert. The topic moved to more pleasant things, and eventually they left the restaurant. They passed by one of many wind turbines in the street as they left their feet to wanderlust.
Touma buried one hand in his windbreaker pocket while the other held Misaki's hand. Instead of returning the remote to her handbag, she left it in her black cardigan pocket, subconsciously mimicking Touma's action. It was worrying.
"Hmm?" She looked at him below her black beret, which in addition to her bangs and curious eyes made her adorable.
"Am I going to meet your friend? This Othinus person?"
"Why are you asking? Well, yes. It seems inevitable."
Touma shook his head. "Just worried if you're making friends in school."
"I have a clique," Misaki boasted.
"I don't really think it counts," Touma rebuted her. "Though I should probably give Hokaze-san a gift or something for bearing with you."
"Junko's a sweet girl, but if you send her a single snack. Well." Misaki left it at that. She was beyond petty threats, and went with the more sophisticated implied threats. More elegant and refined.
"You know you were really out of character when you kicked me off the bed. You never do that." Touma tapped his chin. "It was also during the time you were texting someone. Was it Othinus? Is she picking on you or something?"
That drew a reaction. Misaki went still and stopped in her tracks. Touma stared at her.
"Touma." Misaki gulped. "Othinus is the one who healed you."
"What?" Touma was left breathless. The secret that nagged at the back of his brain was finally revealed to him in such an anticlimactic fashion he couldn't help but be a little disappointed and relieved at the same time.
"So is she blackmailing you or something?" Touma hissed. "Misaki, if you had problems why didn't you tell me? We're supposed to be in this together!"
Misaki sighed. "It's not that. Well, not just that. She's been asking information about you, and it had me worrying. But this morning was the last time she asked questions."
"What kind of information have you given her? Do we have to move to a safehouse? Those things are expensive. What about our appearances? I'm not comfortable with plastic surgery. Do I need to change my bank pin? Please tell me you didn't give her my bank pin."
He was silenced by her soft laugh. "Relax," she told him. She draped her arms over his shoulder in reassurance. "She obsesses over everyone. Not just you. I've also given her a lot of knowledge pertaining my clique."
"Um, I don't think that's supposed to be a good thing…"
"The point is," Misaki continued. "Othinus buys and sells information, and I was a treasure trove. I was mostly worried about you, but once she was done and moved on to other targets I could finally calm my nerves. Sorry it took me this long to tell you, Touma."
"That sounds incredibly shady, Misaki." If that was supposed to calm him down it did the opposite.
"Well, at least it answered your mysterious healing, right?" Her cheeky grin was too much. He kissed her, and her surprised gasp turned into a moan as it got more passionate.
Their lips parted with a gasp. His cheeks were on fire, and hers was just as red. Misaki's goofy smile more than made up for her surprise.
"If you're sure…" His thumb caressed her cheek. She leaned into his palm, holding her hand behind his.
Misaki was involved in dangerous stuff, and he had a feeling this wouldn't be the last time they'll hear of Othinus. Someone like that wouldn't just let go of their leash over a Level 5. He didn't even know how he was healed. Nothing supernatural, that was for sure. If it was a secret technology then the price for using it must be very expensive. He'll have to prepare for this mysterious individual.
But for now he'll just enjoy basking in his lover's warmth.