Have chapter. It's the date chapter. I answer guest reviews.
So was your review.
July still counts as next year!
I give you... THE DATE!
You define "soon" also. Enough definitions and there's bound to be one where this is "soon"!
I OWN NOTHING! I'M BUT A HOBO THAT SNEAKS INTO THE LIBRARY AND WAISTS TIME WRITING THIS INSTEAD OF WATCHING PORN!
"Hey there!" -regular dialogue
"Who is this guy again?" -inner thoughts
"I AM HERE!" -All Might muscle form
"Time limit is nearing!" -All Might muscle form inner thoughts
This chapter was beta-read by Marethyu. Thank you for your awesome work!
They walked from the dorms to the entrance of the U.A campus, and Izuku already felt his stomach doing some weird things. Was this the butterflies? Or was this nausea? Either way, he tried hard to concentrate on his feet, so he would be in step with his date. If he focused on their feet, he would forget about his stomach. Let's go Izuku, just match her step, left, right, left, right.
But then his date started floating. He turned to look at her, a tad annoyed, and again feeling the nerves. And found her trying to contain her laughter, failing miserably at doing so. After a full minute, she got her breath under control and flew in front of him, using her quirk so they may look each other eye to eye.
"It's a date, Izuku, it's not that different from when we hang out normally. Just close your eyes, take a deep breath, and let's do something fun, ok?"
Izuku closed his eyes and went to take a deep breath, But just as he did, he felt a kiss being pressed on his forehead and started choking on air immediately.
Her laughter filled the air again, as he looked at her accusingly, which in turn made her laugh even harder. She was also flying just out of reach. Not if he jumped, of course, but that would defeat the purpose. So he instead clapped his hands, producing a gust of wind that ruffled her hair, and flipped her upside down. And it may or may not have given him an upskirt look, which made him blush heavily and quickly look down.
She landed with a pout and looked at her reflection in her phone, to see how her hair looked. Izuku helped her out by straightening up those in the back, which she could not see. His cheeks no longer red from the accidental show, he faced her and spoke.
"I'm sorry. That was not very mature of me."
"It's alright, I started it. But no more winds, ok? I don't need everyone to see what panties I'm wearing."
A reminder sent another rush of blood to his head, while she just smiled, before grabbing his hand and dragging him out of the campus proper. Wait, they were hand holding! He must never tell anyone of this! He'll get put on a watch list!
"Well, you were the one who asked me out, so I'm assuming you have some kind of plan. Unless your idea of a date is me dragging you around. Which is fine, but then I'd rather switch out my shoes."
"I do in fact have a plan."
"Is it a secret?"
"No, because keeping secrets from you would be a nightmare."
"Hmm. I guess I do ask a lot of questions." She looked thoughtful, and Izuku did not want to make her feel bad. So he muttered something only she could possibly understand. And the smile his words got him was just so beautiful.
"Aww, and you're cute when you mutter all serious like. Now, where to? Where to?!"
"Train station. We're going to the center of the city, and then scouring a few Hero Otaku shops."
"Limited edition Prime costume Ryukyu dinner plate!"
"Whaaa?! I heard that they were packaged poorly and over 90% of them got smashed on the way to the stores! Even the ones Ryukyu got to distribute as promos!"
"But, those things are expensive, are they not?"
"Don't worry about it. Apparently, d- Hisa- HE kept sending money over the years, and mum saved it up all for me. So the budget is pretty big."
"Ok. But why are we buying that particular plate today?"
"Cause after we find it, we have a reserved public kitchen and all the ingredients to make sensei's favorite dish, which we will then bring to her in the hospital, served on the plate."
"Can we do that?"
"I have a note from Recovery Girl that says we can."
"Izuku, you're the best!" She hugged his arm and looked up with sparkles in her eyes.
Izuku was not blushing, it was just the Sun. He sped up his walk, Nejire right alongside him, their hands again entwined. They caught the train to the center, listening to some music Nejire had on her phone (and still holding hands). It was peaceful. Somehow, by holding her hand, the people rushing around them seemed to matter less, hardly something to even notice. It was like being in a trance. Until they made it to the first place. Then it was time to put his game face on, as they began browsing the wares.
"See that Mirko plush?"
"She only did those for one series, after losing a bet with Wash, so they are extremely scarce. But you can tell this one is fake because of the costume design. When she did the plushies, her leotard was connected to her stockings with three belts. This one has four. Could be the designer was focused more on symmetry than details."
"Damn. I thought it was because of the leotard itself."
"Nah, only her very first costume was not a leotard. It was a skintight suit, ending in short sleeves and shorts reaching almost to the knee, but she switched to leotards to boost her appeal, to climb ranks faster."
"I thought she didn't care for ranks?"
"She doesn't anymore, cause she now knows how strong she is. But in some of her earliest appearances, starting out fresh out of school, she would often be overly cautious in her work, which is why her first costume had those armored bits. But as she grew confident in her strength, she dropped almost all of the armor except the one's covering her feet."
Hunched over the plushie, Izuku turned to his companion, who looked at him with a smile of wonder.
"Um, you ok?"
"I just love watching you talk about heroes. The deductions, the facts, the research! It just brings some kind of excitement to your face, even when you're focused. It's captivating."
Izuku blushed and looked back at the fake Mirko plush.
"You don't have to explain it. If it feels right, just go for it, ok? It's something you like, and it's also part of what I like about you!" Izuku looked unsure for a moment, before quietly asking:
"...What are some other parts you like about me?"
"Well, I like your hair, one of these days we should totally just lay under a tree, your head in my lap, while I run my fingers through it, that will be amazing! You're cute when you mutter to yourself! And I like your determination while you're out heroing! And how your face gets when you talk about heroes- wait I just said that before! I also like how your butt looked when you were running away at the Sports Festival!"
Izuku was now really red in the face with that last one. He just hoped no one was around to see it. Or hear it. Or perceive it through the mysterious powers of quirks or the Universe. But he should have known better than to rely on that.
"Mina? What's wrong?"
"I sensed a disturbance. Something incredible has happened, and I was not there to witness it. Now life feels… emptier."
"Must be your imagination. Now, what was that about a DDR competition?"
"Oh, well, Izuku's getting pretty good with his moves and I figured-"
Izuku, now assured there was no witness to his embarrassment at Nejire's open admiration of his bottom, kept checking the merchandise in the shop. But it did not carry what he was looking for, specifically. There was one of the Ryukyu plates, but it was one of the many broken ones that were painstakingly collected piece by piece, then repaired using Kintsugi. He of course appreciated the craft and the work put into piecing it back, but such plates were not very rare, nor very pricey, ever since a villain called Tesoro flooded the gold market with his Midas-pinky quirk some odd 60 years back.
"The pattern of Kintsugi is nice, so I'll write it down as a 'maybe', in case we fail to find an unbroken one." They stepped outside the door after giving a small nod to the owner.
"That's fair. Are we going to check every single shop in the center?"
"No. I've been stalking forums, Reddit, and various merchandise websites, ever since I finished my internship. There are always rumors floating about with rare merch, but cross-referencing, interviews, and a greased up palm or two helped me narrow down the location to about seven stores."
"What did you grease them up with?"
"They give me info on rare merch, I give them info on rare merch. I told them that there's gonna be a 1-hour auction for a limited edition silver age costume All Might pen cap in about a week."
"Oh? Telling them that means more competition, so either you're confident that you possess enough money to still outbid them, or-"
"Or I'm the one who's gonna be selling."
"Why would you sell a collectible?"
"Well, I have a girlfriend now, so I figured I should downsize my collection a bit. Also, it's getting really hard to justify owning four of those pen caps. The pens ran out of ink years ago, too."
"You don't have to do that just for me, you know?"
"I want to. Cause after I asked you out, I kinda started thinking, and well, hoping I don't do anything stupid in the foreseeable future, maybe one day, if we work out, we'd start maybe living together, and then you'd need room for all your stuff, and me for my stuff, and I'd feel really bad if all my stuff got in the way of your stuff, so I should check over what I can sell, so I started to float some rumors online, which is how I heard about the unbroken plate, andI'mjustnowrealizingthatI'mramblingandmutt-"
A gentle finger on his lips stopped him from talking. In fact, it made his whole body seize up, preventing him from continuing to go on a muttering spree. Nejire stood in front of him, smiling, and that made him want to smile too, which he did, despite her finger still on her lips.
"You might be thinking a bit far off in the future. Or maybe not. Cause not-so-slowly but surely you're making me really REALLY like you, I-zu-ku~."
And she meant it too. She may have been the one who kept getting close to the loner boy, but somehow, little by little, Izuku started slipping into her thoughts more and more as weeks and months passed by. And when he asked her out, it just felt so natural to say yes. If becoming friends with him was so easy and wonderful, how difficult could it possibly be, to become something more? Nejire was going to try to answer that question herself, all while experiencing the joys of spending time with her Izu-kun.
Oh boy, she already gave him a nickname in her mind. Should she call him that out loud? Does he have a nickname for her in his mind? She'll ask some other time, they were already entering the next shop.
Three more shops later they still had no luck. And after an hour of watching Izuku nerd out cutely, as well as asking several customers and store owners questions, Nejire asked if they could get some food. So they decided to take a lunch break going with sushi, and Izuku insisted he pays.
"I have every intention of splurging today. And it's our first date, so all the more reason for it."
It was a wonderful omakase set, and together they experienced the flavors of baby tuna, shrimp, eel, tamagoyaki, squid, salmon, and grown-up tuna. It was delightful, and upon the chef's advice, they refreshed their mouths with pickled ginger between courses to properly experience each set. Izuku was also concerned by the amount of wasabi Nejire piled on her pieces, concerned both for her health and if she could even taste the sushi under all that heat. But she assured him she could taste just fine, and he shouldn't worry since they would not be kissing today, which made him feel as if he had just eaten a spoonful of wasabi himself.
Nonetheless, the conversation was kept light, Nejire talking about the fish they were eating, asking random inane questions while cheering up Izuku, and catching him whenever he started mumbling. Turns out she got lost in the fish market once, and spent the next 4 hours asking every fishmonger in sight about their craft, while her dad was looking for her frantically. And the sushi chef seemed to have fun confirming or denying her fish knowledge.
Izuku mainly talked about running around after hero fights or rescues or just running around in general, trying to be a fit kid so he would have a decent base for when he could start exercising. Nejire also pushed him into showing her one of his analysis notebooks. She was impressed by both the drawings and the information gathered. The chef even ended up asking him if he could design a new logo for him, which the teen politely declined. Paying up it was time to leave, both of them thanking the chef for a wonderful time, with Nejire even getting invited to come by again if she wanted to learn more about fish.
"And your boyfriend can come too, as well."
Izuku got escorted out of the restaurant by the laughter of the chef, after seeing his blush, but he also made no effort to deny that statement, which Nejire noticed. They continued their search then, and just by luck, it was the store they hit up next that carried what they were looking for.
"Hmm. The edges are unchipped, and the picture is unscratched. The art looks genuine, and the colors and contrast match."
He turned to the shopkeep.
"May I hold it for inspection?"
The young woman sighed, but still pulled one of the many keys from her belt to unlock the display case. Meanwhile, izuku already donned a pair of white gloves, as well as a digital microscope connected to his phone, along with a transparent sheet of plastic.
Carefully holding the plate, he placed the sheet on it, then began inspecting, focusing sharply on his screen
"Um, what are you looking for?"
"Checking over the pixels of the art. It's where you find most artists' signatures these days. I am also checking if the pixel ratio is correct." He showed the small signature, hidden in the eye of the dragoness.
"He's the third one today to do so. I'll never understand hero nerds." The Shopkeeper kept a careful eye on them, clearly understanding that the plate was valuable, but not what made it so. Izuku would waste no pity on this commoner. But he would still try to educate them.
"The material used costs about 10400 yen per plate. Adding on the art's price raises it to about 18300. But this was always meant to be a limited edition and was to be sold as such, so the retail price, if they all made it to the stores undamaged, would be about 21500 yen. But since they didn't, this practically quintupled the price to about 110.000 yen."
Nejire could not believe her ears. She knew just how much of a nerd he was, she was in love with that part goddamnit! Still, seeing him analyze and guess something like this never ceased to amaze her. Even the shopkeep looked mildly impressed.
"Not bad, kid. Our asking price is 113.600 yen."
Izuku hummed upon hearing the price. He could afford it, no problem, but he was not a man to just accept the first price offered.
"Is your boss in? I have a… proposition."
"We're not accepting firstborn children. But you do probably have a much higher chance of signing one than the last guy who proposed such a deal."
"Not what I was gonna offer. Could I please have a chance to speak with him?"
The girl sighed, but placed the plate back in the display case, locking it up, before turning and walking towards the back of the shop. Not long after she emerged with a tall purple-colored kangaroo, wearing a suit following her.
"You wished to speak with me Mr…"
"Midoriya. Or maybe you might know me as Green_might$8?"
"I am indeed familiar with that username. Your analysis of heroes, villains, and their quirks are always a joy to read."
"I'm glad my ramblings can bring joy."
"Mmm. Now, onto your proposition?"
Izuku took off his backpack and opened it to show its contents to the purple man. And whatever was inside was enough for the boss of the shop to be willing to negotiate.
In the end, Izuku paid about 95.000 yen for the plate, and also added in an All Magic All Might 8-Ball, a few 'chibi hero' keyrings, and a Food Battler signed soda cup from the hero's favorite chain restaurant.
"Phew, that was intense. I really thought they were gonna kick you when you asked for 75 thousand."
"Well, I really wanted to kick them when they tried to prove that my 8-ball was fake because it refused to give them the answer they wanted."
"And then you only shook it once, and BAM! Favorable answer! They looked ready to flip the table! We're gonna go cook now, right? Is it far?"
"No, I planned our route accordingly, so the last shops we'd check would be closest to the kitchen we'll be using."
"Izuku Midoriya, the man with a plan! Amazing as always!"
He hid the slight blush behind a chough. It took them less than 15 minutes to walk to the public kitchen they would use. They have been shown to their dedicated space, and the ingredients were brought to them.
"Wow, you actually got some bear meat! I didn't even know you could get that stuff from that shop."
"Yep. Now for the last ingredient…"
He pulled out a tightly sealed opaque container from his backpack and opened it. The scent of sake and a familiar scent filled Nejire's nose.
"The pickled five-flavor berry! You actually got all the ingredients to make sensei's favorite dish!"
"Mhm. I had help from the guys in the Lair, but none of them knew about the berries. I had to cross-reference the recipe on a few cooking forums."
"I remember when Ryukyu cooked this dish for the agency. She purposely skipped a few spices, so she could have more to herself. She then regretted it, because even with dragon instincts, there's only so much gamey flavor she could tolerate. As an apology, she made it again, properly this time, and it was so good!"
Nejire reminisced fondly, but then a flash of how her teacher and idol looked after the battle of Kamino dashed away the happy memories. Izuku saw her smile dropping and gently took her arm in his.
"She's going to be alright. I may not know her as long as you do, but I do know this will not hold her down for long. She'll come back swinging."
"She'd chastise me for feeling sorry for her. And probably tie some weights on my legs so I couldn't fly anymore as a punishment ." Nejire was smiling once again, and swiftly donned the chef jacket provided by the kitchen.
"Let's cook, Izuku!"
It was fun, working together. Nejire ground up the meat, while Izuku prepared the onions and seasonings. Then he watched over the sauce while she battered and fried the cutlets. Despite having lunch, they had no qualms, trying out the finished product themselves.
"Mmm! These are good! Just like she would make them!
Nejire gushed with her mouth full of meat.
"And with the sauce?"
"It's even better! You nailed this, Izuku!"
He was proud. He was an alright cook before but asking his mother for advice paid off loads. Subtle tells and signs to look out for, tips and tricks when in the kitchen, as well as just some good general advice about ingredients and nutrition, raised his level of skill and made him confident in tackling a fussy ingredient like bear meat.
They packed up 3 pieces, the maximum amount permissible to a patient like Ryukyu. Then they dutifully cleaned up, and paid for their time and ingredients, before leaving. As soon as they were outside, Izuku took a deep breath of relief.
"You noticed, huh?"
"Hard not to, they weren't even hiding."
What Izuku talked about was a group of about five or seven housewives who were also using the kitchen, and who took great pleasure pointing at them, giggling and semi-loudly commenting about "young love" and the likes, with the clear intention of being overheard. Still, Izuku pushed through, he had lots of experience with focusing only on his immediate surroundings, letting the whispers, teases, and mean comments of people, young and old wash past him. Surprisingly though, focusing on nejire had an almost identical effect, actually, it was even more distracting, allowing him to pay attention to her and only her.
Nejire, of course, noticed that she was the object of his sharp focus, but it made her feel nice. There were no mean intentions in his gaze, and it made her picture many different scenarios where Izuku would gaze at her. Some of them are on the naughty side.
She grabbed his hand, dispersing any thoughts of those old gossips, and led him with her to the train station. They had a delivery to make, after all!
Izuku's image of the Dragon hero Ryukyu was one of strength and pride, in both her work and her person. She may have behaved camera shy, but she confided, that it was because as a "dragon", she was raised by her father to be above the squabbles of "humans". She then also tacked on that her father was someone who believed his own hype way too much, and that the matriarch of the family, her great grandmother eventually put him in his place, by simply whacking him unconscious before he could even grow any scales. After that, the man became a lot more humble.
Still, to see this proud, strong woman, a hero to many, including himself, lying down on a hospital bed, in a white gown, and without any hair ornaments, it clashed horribly with that image. A caged dragon, as she jokingly commented when she saw him look in confusion. Still, there was certain anger in her eyes, probably because of her situation, until she began sniffing the air.
"Alright guys, I know you got meat. You best give it up, or I'll-" her threat when unfinished, as Nejire pulled from behind her back the plate of warm bear croquettes, together with a small dish of sauce.``
She at first had insisted that he should hide it like he does his notebooks. Izuku still had no idea what she meant, he never hid his notebooks, he just kept them very very close.
"I don't know if I'm even allowed to eat this, but I don't care. GIMME THAT MEAT!"
The first piece disappeared in a matter of seconds. The heroine fought hard to keep the second piece around for longer, especially after looking at both her students who both shook their heads, not that there would not be anymore. The third piece she managed to savor slowly, with plenty of sauce, some of which dripped on her hospital gown, not that she cared.
When she finished the last scrap of meat and licked the last trace of sauce from her fingers, she turned back to Izuku and Nejoire, both of whom watched her in obvious relief.
"You guys won't get in trouble for this, right?"
"Izuku cleared it with Recovery Girl."
"Thank you, Midoriya. I knew I had visitors today, but I had no idea it would be you two, or that you would be dressed so nicely."
"That's because we're on a date!"
Ryukyu looked at Nejire. Deep into the blue of her eyes. She at the least SEEMED convinced that was the truth. But was it an actual truth, or a wild assumption Nejire's brain created with the help of substances that may or may not be legal?
One look at Izuku cleared it. The blush on his cheeks, the averted eyes. Holy shit, they were actually on a date! Ryuku knew what she must do.
"Nejire dear, could you help me change my gown? Seems like I got sauce on it, me the clutz."
"Oh, sure!" Nejire floated over to her, helping her uncover and sit up. Then they both looked at Izuku, who seemed caught off guard.
"I'm not wearing anything under Midoriya. So while your interest is flattering, your presence is unnecessary."
Izuku stood confused for another moment before he caught the insinuation. He looked split between defending himself, complimenting her, or just plain combusting in flames. In the end, he found a fourth option, mumbled something about getting coffee, and bolted out of the room. A moment after his departure both females started laughing.
"That was mean, sensei!"
"I'm a patient, I get to be mean. Plus, you can't say his face wasn't worth it!"
"It was. But, still mean."
"He's a big boy, he'll get over it. But we should probably change this gown before he comes back. We got about 10 minutes, enough time to do that, and for YOU to give me the details!"
So Nejire retold when he helped her move, of their talk, and his blurted-out invitation. She spoke of her anticipation, of fretting how to dress, how Yuyu had no time to help her, Miro was not around and Tamaki seemed more closed off than normal. And then finally how the date went, teasing the shops, Izuku looking cute while nerding out, the sushi, her teasing Izuku about kissing, the store owner bartering for the plate, and finally the kitchen, the cooking and the housewives.
At the end of her explanation, Ryukyu found herself staring at the plate on which the meal was served.
"He actually found an unbroken one. That kid, he really is something." She carefully placed the plate away on her bedside table, before turning to look at her apprentice.
"Nejire, how do you feel about Izuku?" her voice was serious, her gaze more so. She was asking out of concern for both of them.
"Well, he's more open now, and I really like seeing him so. When we were cooking he sometimes focused on me completely, and it was just so…" She tried to use her hand where her words, for a change, left her, and Ryukyu seemed to at least get an idea of what she meant. Before Nejire could ramble on, she cut her off, deciding that a simpler question was best.
"Do you like him?"
"...I do. I really do."
That was more than enough for her. When Izuku returned 15 minutes after he left, with a cup of coffee from a coffee shop two blocks away, he found the two talking about the agency and Ryuku asking about how it's being run in her absence. Izuku listened attentively, and then the heroine had a discussion about the changes in ranking the battle of Kamino would undoubtedly bring. When it was time to go, they both promised to bring fruit to the patient, and the patient told them both where they could stick their fruit, and to bring more meat. They all smiled before the two left the recovering dragoness to her nurses.
Nothing notable happened on the way back, just smalltalk, and music. Izuku took Nejire all the way to the 3.A class dorm and they both pointedly ignored the shadows behind the curtains, no doubt looking at what they were doing.
"I had a really nice time today, Izuku. We'll definitely go on dates more often!"
The assurance seemed to lift some weight off Izuku's chest, but he still seemed a bit hesitant with something, standing awkwardly on the porch. Nejire made an educated guess and smiled at him.
"Izuku, we're in no rush. Take things at your own pace."
"Might not be the best idea. My pace is a bit… slow."
"Then how about this? We go at your pace, and I sometimes drag you on to my pace for a bit?"
"That sounds ok."
He stood there, a tad less awkward, but still hesitant.
"Would it help if I closed my eyes?"
"If it's not too much trouble?"
Nejire closed her eyes and after a few moments, she felt a pair of lips press themselves against her cheek, and a gentle voice whispered in her ears:
"Thank you, Nejire. Have a good night."
Still keeping her eyes closed, but letting her best smile shine forth she responded.
"Goodnight, Izuku. Talk to you tomorrow."
A moment of silence, before quiet footsteps moved away. She opened her eyes slowly, watching him go, but then he turned around, and waved at her, with a beautiful smile on his face. She was waving back, and he waved and walked backwards, until he was out of sight. This truly had been a wonderful date.
The date ends. Real talk tho. I got my first ever "grown-up" job in March. it's a good job. Makes me satisfied. The pay is ok, I guess, don't care much. But it definitely improved my mental health. In the four months, I've been working, I only had one truly bad depression day. Writing fanfics so the positive reviews can try to fill the void inside, those days are hopefully over. I'll still try to get this story to some sort of conclusion though. You lot deserve it for sticking out here. I hope you enjoyed the Izuku Nejire date. READ. REVIEW. Let me know what YOU think, and we'll read each other next time. NPGamer out.
Discord: Syber Space, disc ord . gg / QpnCqgf