I open my eyes and the first thing I see is the robotic face of Garima. Her usual unemotional glare boring straight through me, searing its image into my nightmares as I internally shudder.
I've lost count of how many times I've either died or been knocked out. It's getting harder and harder to tell if I died for not because the head-ache is always there. Doesn't matter if it's just a quick nap to getting my skull crushed, The mind-splitting migraine is always waiting for me. Luckily, they never last longer than 5 minutes.
Garima and Izuku continue to stare at each other, one lying still in the dirt, glaring with a scowl, and the other leaning over him emotionless and victorious.
*You actually damaged me that time, I almost failed… I'm telling mummy on you.*
I let out a small chuckle. It grows until it becomes full on laughter while I hold my sides.
My chuckles die down, but that pleased smile stubbornly sticks on my face.
*Your weird. Good-bye father, Ill see you later.*
"Bye, and tell Mom Ill visit before her shift ends!"
My relationship with Mei has grown over these couple of months. After visiting nearly everyday since his and Garima's first fight, we've sort of become best friends, co-workers, hero/support team and parents. Mei's unyielding and uncompromising habit of calling his training partner, his daughter, 'their baby together', as she puts it, has finally worn him down to the point of just accepting it.
"I am a father of a beautiful, 3m, 2-ton, ass kicking robot called Garima… Could have done worse I guess."
I crawl/limp/shuffle over to the husk of a car where I left my stuff. Lean up against it, and review what I've accomplished since meeting Mei.
- -Infinite fall height survivability (float)
- -Advanced circulatory system (approx. 2500% increase of oxygen in Red Blood Cells)
- -Advanced immune system (almost invulnerable to disease, superior White Blood Cell efficiency)
- -Revival (immune or resistant to death, immortal?)
- -Advanced stamina (3 hours full sprint)
- -Advanced strength (Always improving – 2-tons, 3-tons, 5-tons)
- -Advanced speed (Always improving, 30km/hr, 40km/hr, 50km/hr)
- -Regeneration (After sleep, death, or unconsciousness, by body fully heals itself with only a migraine)
- -Super neuron firing (Perceive time slower than usual. Impossible to measure, but noticeable compared to beginning)
- -Concussion dampener (unknown, head injury's noticeably less common and severe)
- =Tougher Bones (possible structural change, denser)
- -Trauma resistance (Haven't had a bruise since the first month of training with Garima)
Just 3 more months until the U.A. entrance exam, can't afford to slow down on training now. The beach, much to my dismay, is only half-cleaned. In the beginning I just wanted to train, then I started making noticeable progress, made goals on how much I cleaned up each day. Then I met Mei and the clean-up project took a back seat. If he really wanted to clean the whole beach, he would have to stop fight training as often as he is right now. He got to work up cleaning the beach while wondering if it was worth it or not.
All-Might noticed that the Seaside Park's rubbish dump has noticeably decreased in these recent months. Today, he decided to figure out who is responsible.
After staking out the beach for a few hours, a kid practically flew towards the rubbish he was running so fast. All-Might did a spit-take when he recognized the boy as the one he saved from that sludge villain a few months ago.
Coincidence, it looked like this kid was attacking the garbage with a personal vendetta. Stuffing 4 garbage bags of rubbish and running off to the tip. 'This kid is even running it there?!' He looks back towards the beach with surprise.
'He's done good. Perhaps he might become my successor?'
He waits for the kid to come back and plans to ambush him with a surprise visit from All-Might.
As soon as he notices the kid running back, he buffs into All-Might. "I AM HERE!"
Izuku shrieks and lands on his ass, staring at All-Might with awe.
"Kid. You're a real hero! Are you cleaning up this beach by yourself?"
Izuku nods. "Y-Y-Yes sir." He stammers, almost drowning in the praise that his idol is giving him.
'This kids a fanboy.' My usual grin widens.
"The young crop of heroes these days are obsessed with flashiness. But the hero game ought to be a labour of love!"
'Is he… is he thanking me for cleaning up the beach!? OMG, this is amazing!'
"M-Mr All-Might! Can I have your autograph?" I ask, holding out my journal and pen.
He barks out a laugh. "Yes, of course you can."
"Your going to be a great hero someday Midoriya. I look forward to seeing you grow." He hands back the signed journal to a completely shocked and giddy fanboy.
"I-I-I-" He seems to be stuck in a loop until he takes a breath. "Thank-you for rescuing me from that sludge monster a few months ago. And I will be the number 1 hero someday."
All-Might barked out another laugh. 'This kid…' he fondly shakes his head.
"Of course, saving people is my job. Young Midoriya, you will make a fine hero! Ill be waiting for you at the top!"
All-Might turns on his heal and jumps away. Izuku just stands there in awe for a few moments, thanking how lucky he is to be praised by All-Might and have him believed in him.
'If his heart is in the right place… Perhaps he will be the one.'
It was sundown when Izuku decided to call it quits and made one last load to the tip to say hi to Mei.
He knocked on the workshop doors and walked in like usual. Mei was in the middle of wielding before she abruptly turned everything off and jumped on me for a hug. After yelping and heating up in embarrassment, I tentatively hug back with equal vigour.
Being friends with Mei for so long has done nothing to curb my surprise or embarrassment towards Mei. I mean, I love everything about Mei, her constant teasing, affectionate hugs and random moments of hand holding have just sort of confirmed the crush he has on her.
I hug her back with equal vigour. The sweat, dirt, grease, and general filth between them were ignored.
'I just don't know how to tell her. Should I tell her? What if it breaks our friendship? I don't think I could live with that. And-'
"Izu-kun! Stop muttering and come see our daughter!" She drags me towards Garima and guides me towards her forearms. "I installed pressurized pneumatic plungers that run off the gasses she emits. The longer she stores them, the more powerful her punch will be when she decide to use it. I extended her maximum reach so that her fists wont sheer, with the amount of force her punch can generate." She looks so proud and happy that I can't help but to grin with her. At the rate me and this robot are improving, Garima could literally be the most state of the art training robot.
'And painful I'm sure. Could it be spring loaded, or would that negate the effect? I guess she could have used a buffer, but then the wrist could be sliding freely. Maybe Garima could integrate that into her fighting style, she learns just a quickly as me so its not impossible. A little bit more maintenance but-'
"Wow." Mei chuckles, jarring me out of my thoughts. "Your really cute when you mutter like that."
She bursts into laughter and gets a little red herself. "And your so easy to rile up."
I try to deny it. But all that comes out of my mouth are incoherent sounds that just maker her laugh louder, and makeing me turn redder.
"Heh, heh. Anyways, wanna take it for a test drive?" She asks, voice full of enthusiasm and eagerness.
Dammit! I can never say no to that. I let a pained sigh, "Yeah, alright. It's getting late though, so let me just text my mom really quick."
They arrive in the same field where they fought this morning. Mei ended up building and installing some stadium lights in the area because some times it was hard to see.
Garima and I stood a few meters apart before I took a small bow. (Mostly for Mei's sake, treating her babys with respect and all that.) Mei appreciated the gesture.
"Initiate program: Midoriya Spar." I speak clearly.
As predicted, Gerima rushed towards me while I did the same. I jumped over her kick, which turned out to be a feint, and barely managed to block the straight right cross she sent towards me. I flew backward a few meters before I landed upright as Gerima came down upon me again.
'Blind her, go for the known sensors.'
I jump back at the last moment as she tried to double hammer-fist me. Just as the metal hands flew below my head, I reached up and grabbed her horns firmly before leaping with all my strength and thrusting my knee into her face. I felt the metal bend and heard some components crunching before immensely feeling proud of myself.
'My best attempt yet. Don't lose focus now.'
Unfortunately, Gerima is a relentless machine that does not feel pain or remorse. Therefore when I felt metal fingers wrap around my other leg and squeeze, I was internally freaking out while my body reacted on its own.
Just before I felt Gerima try to fling me away, I used my free leg and pushed off her chest in an attempt to break free. She mustn't have been expecting it because she flung me anyway and lost her balance as I regained control and landed in a crouch.
I heard Mei screaming and cheering from the sidelines but I blocked it out, all attention focused on the dangerous and currently stumbling robot in front of me.
Pressing the advantage, I closed the distance between us quickly and tried to kick the robot's legs out from under itself. She managed to hold strong and minimize the blow by kicking back with similar force. While I still left damage, I didn't notice her right hook gaining speed until it was too late.
Taking a blow to the ribs and ignoring the pain, I responded by throwing punches back. We traded blows back and forth until a pressurized noise pierced the air.
He distinctly heard an excited scream from the sidelines before his mind clicked and recalled Gerima's new attack.
'FUCK! Here it comes.'
Too quick to dodge, a straight left broke through my defense like it was made from glass. Reeling from the agony and burning sensation in both my arms, I didn't notice the pressurized noise again or the movement from her right fist until it was too late.
Still stumbling back from her last hit, time slowed down and my eyes widened, as a saw Gerima's right uppercut suddenly speed up and aimed true towards my chin.
I didn't even get a chance to think before the world turned black.
Mei was analyzing the fight critically, making mental notes and cheering both Garima and Izu on. I cheered when Izu heavily damaged Gerima's head and got away from her unscathed. She noticed Gerima's fists sliding back and fourth a bit and decided she needed to rectify that later.
She was particularly proud of herself when Gerima waited for the perfect moment for her new move and let out an excited scream. She never got to test how powerful it was, so when it broke through Izu's defense and both his arms she let out a surprised gasp.
She wasn't planning on interfering, until she heard the pressurized sound again while Izu was still recovering. Her body moved on her own as she jumped up and started running towards the fight. Before she even got off the chair, a loud "CRACK" reverberated throughout the field and Izu was launched in the air towards her. He was unconscious before he hit the ground and starting rolling towards her.
She didn't even notice her tears as she cried out, "IZUUU!" in panic.
She slid on her knees and leaded over his unmoving body. 'It's never been this bad before.'
Her teary eyes landed on his deformed and long neck. She squashed all emotions and threw them away to sort later as she applied first aid.
She remembered Izu's advice if he gets knocked unconscious.
"Even if it looks like I'm dead, I'm not!" 'Okay, not dead. Not dead, not dead.' She began repeating like a mantra in the back of her mind.
"Stay calm, I will be fine." 'He looks dead. No! Stop it! He's fine, he said he would be!'
"Don't apply any first aid. Preferably, move me into a secluded area and in a comfortable position." With shaky hands, she fully rolled him onto his back and positioned his broken arms at his sides and slightly parted his legs. She cringed when she rotated his neck facing the sky.
"That's all you can do. Wait until I wake up, and prepare some painkillers if available."
She didn't dare leave his side. Her tension building with every second passed until his chest finally moved. She literally cried in relief and sobbed with her head against his chest, the emotions finally catching up with her.
Guilt, grief, unbelievable relief, joy and the most powerful emotion she couldn't recognize. She didn't even realise Izu's recovery until she felt a hand hold her head to his chest and the other stroking her hair. Usually she would have teased or blushed or retaliated, but she did a combination of laughing and crying. Choking on sobs and gasping for air.
Izu moved himself and pulled Mei's head under his chin and her body on top of his. Ignoring the intimate position he put himself in, he hugged Mei for all she's worth while she did the same. "Its' alright Mei, I'm okay. Just breathe." He starting making exaggerated breathing motions, that she eventually followed and calmed down.
"I'm sorry I scared you Mei. I'm really sorry." He started to tear up himself, hating seeing his best friend and crush so distraught. Especially because it's his fault, he squeezed her tighter.
"Y-You died." She sniffed, rubbing her head against his chest. "You were d-dead. And it was my fault, and I was s-scared you wouldn't wake up!"
"I'm sorry." He said, rubbing circles on her back and playing with her hair. "And it wasn't your fault."
"Not your fault. And I'm sorry I've never told you this before but… I don't think I can die."
She shuddered in his embrace and he held his breath. "You asshole." She breathed, without any real heat.
"Mei, I care about you a lot and… I don't know, I just need you to know… that... that I…" 'Love you.'
"You… You're like my whole world to me Izu." She looked up and he saw her puffy eyes and trembling lips. "I-I don't know what I would have done if you weren't okay." She crawled up him until their foreheads were pressed together.
They stared into each others eyes, Izuku's headache forgotten and Mei's guilt banished. Green and cross-haired yellow swimming with emotions while their noses touched. Mei smiled a little and Izu smiled back. Neither moving or attempting to move, just content to hug and gauze fondly towards each other.
Izuku's phone went off, but neither so much as flinched while they were building up their courage. Mei read the emotions in Izu's eyes like an open book. Startled, annoyed, thoughtful, longing and then determined. She waited for him patiently, quite a feat if you knew her personality.
Izu tilted his head to the side and closed his eyes while Mei followed. Their lips met softly and their hearts fluttered. They both felt the others heart beat increase and smiled into the kiss. She tasted like sweet and salty with a touch of earth, Izu loved it and was immediately addicted to her. Mei thought Izu tasted like sweet and minty and trembled against him, like a breath of crisp and clean air.
With barely conscious thought, Izuku's hand traveled down her back while the other puller her waist closer to his. Mei tenderly put a hand behind his head and pushed deeper into the kiss loving every moment of his lips against hers. Izu gently bit her lower lip and brushed it with his tongue while lightly nibbling. Mei moaned into the kiss and Izu though it was the cutest sound he'd ever heard.
His phone went off again and they slowly receded the kiss. Eyes fluttering open and a trail of saliva between their mouths.
"M-Mei… That was…"
"Amazing." She finished dreamily.
"I'm sorry I scared you."
"I… just…" She sighs and stands up, bringing Izu along with her. "You're telling me all about your quirk tomorrow, got it?" She demands, mock glaring. Her trembling lip ruining her stern expression and making her look cute.
Izu just scoffs and smiles back at her. "I will. Promise." He opens his arms up for one last hug. She accepts instantly and squeezes around his chest while he snakes a hand around her back and holds her head with the other. She felt warm and safe in the embrace and nuzzled against him. 'This is the best feeling in the world!'
Izuku thought similar. 'I don't want to let go. Mei's is special.'
"I better go. Or my mom might kill me again when I get home." He jokes, Mei cracking a large smile and leaping from the embrace.
"Okay!" She replies brightly, back to her old felt again. "See you tomorrow." And with an exaggerated wave, she fled towards Gerima and dragged her home, scowling.
Izuku chuckled at the sight and quickly grabbed his stuff before running home. When mom fussed over me I told her I was going to be late and apologized for not answering her calls. I inhaled dinner and only really tasted my fourth serving, I was starving. Had a shower, and dropped into bed. Fell asleep the second my head hit the pillow, dreaming of hero's and Mei.