A 'series' of Crack-shots in which I, the great and consistent Sargent Crash is inserted into the various people of ToAru.
I awoke in a small and uncomfortable bathtub.
Something about that thought isn't right.
Something about this scene isn't right!
Did I drink too much last night and crashed in my bathroom? I don't even recall drinking! Have I tumbled so far below society that I've acquired the title of alcoholic without realizing it!
Before I could break out into a premature midlife crisis, I noticed something.
"A pillow? And a blanket?" Which brings the thought, "If I had enough sense to grab a pillow and blanket, why didn't I just sleep in bed?"
A couple of logical explanations came to my mind.
I'm in someone else's house.
I'm home but there are occupants in my bed, couches, and all of my floor space. Not likely as I don't often invite anyone over.
Choice 1 was probably right but I didn't have a reason as to why I thought sleeping in a small cold tub was a good idea! I had aches and cramps in places I didn't even know could cramp!
I climbed out of the cold bathtub and tried to observe my surroundings.
"Too dark." the room had no illumination to speak of so I had to rely on my excellent spatial sense to direct me to the lightswitch.
Needless to say with my first step I collided with the toilet and fell flat on my face.
"Owwww." I quietly groaned out. Thankfully with that fall I somehow managed to flip the lights on.
My first guess was right. This is not my house. Curtains are way to bland. Bathroom itself is really small. Even the mirror is…
Sure enough right above the sink was a functional mirror. Nothing out of the ordinary there. Yet I stood there staring mouth agape at the unbelievable reflection.
"That's… not me." Was all I managed to stutter out.
Staring back at me was this asian teen with spiky black hair and wearing an orange t-shirt.
What the hell is with this silly scenario!? What kind of late night drinking lead to this? Maybe it's a hallucination? The mirror copied my frantic movements as I inspected my new body that is Kamijou Touma. From the hair down to the toes all of it was Kamijou and felt unnervingly real.
"Lucid dream maybe?" Without thinking I bit down hard into my thumb breaking skin.
Ow. Ow! Nope not a dream. Real life confirmed. And that really hurts."
First came the realization.
"Okay. So I'm Kamijou now. Don't understand the how but that's a fact somehow in this strange world. That's… Not bad right? This is okay?"
Then came the panic.
"No. No. Crash this is definitely NOT okay. If I'm Kamijou Touma, then that means I'm affiliated with all the dangers and responsibilities that come with it. That means rouge magicians! Sociopathic espers! Crazed scientists and experiments! Terrorist attacks! Life threatening globe trotting trips! Imagine Breaker!
Another thought came into my mind regarding this dangerous right hand.
"My luck…" While I wouldn't go so far as to call myself lucky, my life has been filled with fortunate circumstances. For example, I was gifted with a heated blanket right when the heater in my house died in the middle of winter or forget to set my alarm only to find work got delayed due to weather.
If those fortunate events were suddenly stripped of me and diverted to the opposite, what would become of my life?
I shook my head furiously at the unfolding events. "Arrrgh! This is the worst! What kind of useless power is Imagine Breaker!? So what if it can negate supernatural powers, it's nothing but a hindrance to everyday life!"
Speaking of everyday life, Kamijou is a High School student right? Does he have school today? I grabbed Kamijou's phone from the counter and opened the severely outdated flip phone.
I've only been awake for a few minutes and already plagued by his signature misfortune.
"Dammit Kamijou! At least set an alarm like a responsible student you idiot!" I rushed out of the bathroom, crashing my exposed toe into the doorframe. I held in the cry of pain and scanned the semi-messy dorm room. "Damn! That hurt! No time for that though. Where's his uniform!?" I was far from what you call a model student but there was a sense of responsibility of at least performing the minimal duties of Kamijou Touma. Well, the ones that weren't life threatening at least.
"Hhmmm? Touma?" A sleepy and cute voice emerged from the bed. Peeking her head out Index glanced at me with a worried look.
"Index! Good morning! Where's my school uniform?" I should've taken the time to ask one of the most knowledgeable people in ToAru about the deeper inner workings of magic, different cabals and phases. However my mind prioritized something else entirely.
"Uniform? In the closet like always. Touma. You-!" She suddenly stopped mid sentence as I stripped off my shorts to throw on my pants. "Touma! What are you doing!" She half hid her face under the covers yet her eyes remained fixed above it.
"Don't worry about it! I've seen you naked plenty of times so it's only fair you see me." I still had underwear and a shirt on so It's not like she saw everything.
"T-Touma!" her cry of embarrassment was extremely cute but I had no time to indulge the young girl.
"Human. You mentioned something bothersome just now." Another troublesome person has woken up!
"I don't need your unfounded jealousy right now, former god." a malicious aura appeared around the miniature exhibitionist but I promptly ignored it. I wanted to leave for school and I didn't want these two to get suspicious of me. "I'll be back!" With that I rushed out the door leaving those freeloaders to fend for themselves.
An hour later A Certain High School finally came into view. No. A Certain High School is not an hour run away from Kamijou's dorm. I just didn't know where it was. It had occurred to me as I was running that through all my readings of novels, manga and watching anime, I had no sense of where anything was in Academy City. Sure District 7 but there's no real way of telling without the use of public transportation which district your in! I almost ran into that dangerous girl filled School Garden but thanks to some Anti-Skill officers, I finally reached my destination.
"What's with this misfortune? Malfunctioning cleaning bots, falsely accused of being a pervert, and then running into a person who looked like a cat! And I just got to school!" I couldn't tell if this was better or worse than my ordinary high school life but it certainly didn't lack excitement.
"Hm? Kamijou-chan?" a sweet and gentle voice filled my ears. I turned toward the school gate to see the 135cm teacher giving me a curious gaze.
"K-K-KOMOE-SENSEI!" A glint of fortune appeared before my eyes. Of course I was expecting a harsh scolding from the cute teacher but something more unexpected escaped from her mouth.
"Kamijou-chan? What are you doing here?"
"Eh? Komoe-sensei. I am a student right?" I asked quite politely.
"And this is a school right?"
"Then it's only natural for me to be here!"
The small teacher let out a disappointed sigh. "You say that as if it's natural to be here yet you have the worst attendance record I've ever seen."
Even if I'm not Kamijou-san, those are some deep cutting words, sensei.
"Kamijou-chan. It's Winter break. I'm just here to do a few things." she walked through the entrance and left me alone. "You should do your best and enjoy this time. But don't forget to study!"
I couldn't believe it! What a terrible series of events! I almost shouted at the top of my lungs a certain phrase about my lack of fortune!
"What the hell…" Yelling wouldn't help so I decided to just walk off this frustration of mine. I wasn't too concerned about the situation. Be it a lucid dream or reality, things like this tend to sort themselves out so there's no point worrying about staying in this body forever.
"Actually… This might be a stroke of good luck!" This wasn't an anime with some high quality backgrounds nor a manga with shades of black and white. No. I was in the living and breathing Academy City! I was so frantic this morning I never got a chance to take in what a fantastical Isekai situation this is! I could visit the trainyard where the epic battle took place! Or even the underground mall or the Dianoid! A diamond building sounds cool regardless of your age!
"Ah! I should check that." I reached into my pocket and pulled out a worn out wallet. "I feel you there Kamijou-san. Using things until they're unusable is the best way to live." I opened the concerningly thin wallet to find, a row of food coupons, ID card, cash card and 20,000 yen. "The cash card… That's debatable if it even has money. But that probably means the bills are for…"
Food. There wasn't a doubt in my mind this was his last of his allowance for the Kamijou residence. Of course I couldn't wastefully spend this knowing I'd starve 2 people, a fairy, and a cat.
"Speaking of, should I go back?" I pondered for a bit but dismissed the idea. "No. They're both a pain to deal with. Looks like I'm flying solo~."
"AH You!" A familiar sounding yelp broke me out of my thoughts.
"You? That's no way to address someone! Call me by my proper nam-KEBULLFDGHH!" I stumbled on my word and a strange sound escaped my mouth. How could it not? I just happened upon Misaka Mikoto! Don't be mistaken! I'm not fumbling my words cause I'm her #1 fan or anything remote to that. Meeting that girl in this body is just asking for trouble!
"It's much better than your response! And you just thought something rude, didn't you?"
Says the girl who calls me idiot even in her inner monologue! Seriously!? How tsundere can you be? "Why would I do anything like that, Railgun?"
"You are making fun of me."
"I would never do such a thing, #3."
Blue sparks began to fly off her petite body. "Does your brain need shock therapy?"
As expected, If I respond with anything other than, 'I get it! I get it! Misaka Mikoto! Don't go all Biri-biri on me for a joke!' I should expect no less than an electrifying retaliation from the shock princess. And that's exactly what I want!
"Now, why would you say something like that, Onee-sama?"
A torrent of violent electricity danced off her and headed straight towards me.
Fool! Did you forget I am the boy who shatters illusions! Behold the power of Imagrsdkgjj!
The bolt tore through my body, interrupting my thoughts. It wasn't enough to kill or do significant damage but I fell straight on my butt due to the lack of muscle control on my end!
OH NO! What the hell!? That frickin hurt! Why didn't Imagine Breaker work!?
"Eh? EHHHHHH? A-are you okay?" As I shuffled through my unorganized thoughts, Misaka rushed to my side to ensure my safety. It was cute seeing her so flustered and concerned but I had more important matters than the level 5.
That shock made me realize that 1. I do not possess Imagine Breaker! Which would not be such a bad thing if I had a pleasant morning! That means all the misfortune I endured hasn't been to some useless outside of combat ability but just sheer coincidence!? What kind of shitty world insert is this? I gain nothing from this, especially since 2. Pain and to a higher extent, death are most likely possible.
LiveWire here proved just that. Which meant immediate target retreat would be best!
"Ahhh! I'm fine Misaka. Sorry bout that. Just felt like teasing you a bit."
Her concerned face began to erode. "There's a limit to that kind of teasing, idiot!" She helped pull me back to my feet as my senses returned to me.
"Haha! You're right! Well then later!" I didn't waste any time trying to escape 1.21 Jigawatts, however she managed to grab my hand before I got out of reach.
"Wait… Ummmm…" Her face went full red and her eyes avoided mine.
Why're being so aggressive now? Go flirt with your crush when it actually matters!
"Ummm, Misaka-san? If you have something to say, can it wait till later? I'm kinda in a -" my excuse was cut off by an extremely loud stomach growl.
Unfortunately it didn't come from Thunderdome but from Kamijou's stomach. Which is to be expected since I ran all around this morning and skipped breakfast.
"A-as you can see, this Kamijou-san is very hungry and was about to grab some food!"
"That's perfect!" her reply was swift and full of excitement, much to my dismay, "the place I'm going has plenty of food! We can go together!"
Again, be this aggressive when it actually matters you walking power plant! "Misaka, I'm currently on a tight budget and there's no way any place of your choosing would accommodate my spending limits."
Call me cheap, or a man without dignity, I do not care. There is no way I'm turning down free food!
"Where we going?"
The Dianoid is huge! I could only stare in amazement at the building. I mean sure it's no Endymion but the diamond mall was no slouch either.
"Oh? Is this your first time here?" Misaka asked noticing my wide eyed expression.
Technically it wasn't Kamijou's first time here but it was obviously mine. "Ah no. But I'm still amazed every time I see it." I answered sheepishly.
"Hoh?" was all she said. I continued to follow her inside the building, holding my expressions to prevent any suspicious behavior. That last thing I wanted was ACDC to think I was an Imposter. I didn't have Imagine Breaker so my Kamijou experience simulator was 100x more dangerous. If I don't run into anyone else, that'll be great.
"By the way Misaka, What are you shopping for here exactly?" I was so set on free food that I honestly forgot about Electric Slide's own reasons for the trip.
"E-eh? My reason?" she stuttered.
That genius prodigy of a girl stumbled on her words. While I would just chalk that up to the crush effect, I think more of it had to do with the lack of a reason to be here.
This girl seized the opportunity to drag Kamijou around and doesn't even have a proper excuse as to why?
"Oh! I'm guessing you're doing some last minute Christmas shopping right? What with Winter break and all it makes sense to do it now."
"Ahhh! R-right! That's it! I've still got a few people to shop for." she immediately grabbed the lifeline I threw to her.
Liar. Knowing you, you already bought, gift wrapped and are excitedly waiting for Christmas. Still, it was quite cute seeing the girl act like this.
We continued talking about supposed gifts and arrived at the food court. She ordered out food thus began operation 'Dine & Ditch'!
While I was truly grateful to Static Shock, staying by her side for the rest of the day would surely lead to bad things. None of the level 5s have what I would call, peaceful days. What with the Sisters, Kiharas and the dreaded Shirai, I would be dragged into some life threatening situation I would have to overcome without Imagine Breaker.
Not to mention that girl probably believes she's closing the distance between her and Prince Porcupine here. Unfortunately I have no attraction to younger girls. Sorry. you're gaining zero affection points today. Still, I would feel bad if I just left as is.
"Misaka." I called. "You always get upset with me whenever I don't use your name, yet I've never heard you call me by mine."
"Pfft!" She nearly spat out her drink in surprise.
"Don't you think that's unfair, Misaka-san?" If you want to close the distance, you have to at least be able to manage this hurdle. "Oh! I don't mean calling me by my given name. I'd be perfectly fine with you calling me Kamijou."
"O-of course! Why would I ever call you by your given name!?"
"Hm? Well when we see my parents again."
"P-p-parents!?" Her face once again reached tomato red.
This is no good. Teasing her is too much fun. "Yes. Like for next year's Daihasei. Calling all of us Kamijou would be very confusing, wouldn't it?"
"So that's what you meant."
How else would you take that? And don't pout so cutesy, you electric tsundere!
"Just call me Kamijou at least once, Misaka." If you can, I'll bump you up by one in my favorite ToAru character list. Good luck Biri-Biri-chan!
"K-K-Kami-" Oh! She's actually doing it! "Kamijou…" She meekly squeezed out.
As I thought. "It's kinda meaningless if you say it to me." I muttered. Obviously my heart didn't go doki-doki nor did I blush like a high school boy on his first date. "Misaka. I'd greatly appreciate if you call me that more often." She only nodded in response and began nibbling on a fry.
Thanks to that, I considered this event complete! Now then, with my empty food tray I made my way, "Ah. I'm going to the bathroom."
"Hm." an absent minded response. Not that I minded. I was planning on ditching her here of course.
What!? You think I would change my mind after such a cute Visual Novel like scene and think to myself, 'Wow! Bug Zapper isn't as bad as I thought she was! Maybe I should spend this day as Kamijou to hang out with her' huh? No! In times like this, right when your defenses are down, that's when misfortune strikes! I'm sorry Miko-chan but this Crash-san puts self-preservation above your feelings. I wouldn't blame you if thought poorly of me after this!
After exiting the bathroom, I stealthily made my way to the Dianoid entrance. I would have loved to explore and even shop in the place but doing so would certainly cause me to run into Walking Car Battery there and I had no intention of doing that!
"Hm? Kami-yan?" The electric doors slid open and two very familiar faces greeted me.
Tch! Aogami and Tsuchimikado! "Yo! How you doin? See ya later!" the thought of hanging with these guys seemed very amusing however I had to remove myself from the area as quickly as possible.
"Woah there Kami-yan!" the two strong armed and pulled me back inside. "What's the big rush? And why are you in your school uniform?"
"Relax! We're just doing some Christmas shopping for Maika. Here. Fukiyose gave us some suggestions. Even though these are mostly health products."
These two when actually cooperating are a force to be reckoned with! I couldn't break free from the grasp. "That's nice and all but I'm really in a rush!"
"Oh! Don't tell me you haven't bought a present for her yet have you? Tsuchimikado whispered.
"Ho? What're you two whispering about?" Aogami pried.
"Haha! This fool forgot to buy a present for someone and is now doing some last minute shopping! After all that high and mighty talk yesterday!"
That wasn't me you idiots! "AHHH! You're right! I totally forgot and rushed here to find a present! But the prices here are way out of my range!" If I couldn't break free, I just had to convince the two.
The two dragged me further inside the mall, laughing along the way! "Of course they would be Kami-yan! Lucky for you I'm in a generous mood! I don't mind pitching in a bit to assist!" Tsuchimikado said with a bright and mischievous smile.
What a terrible situation! It's not like I couldn't blitz through the two. Give me some space and I could, but the assured commotion we would cause would definitely attract Short Circuit here. That would be Game Over. So…
"I get it I get it! I'll shop with you guys! But! Let's take the top floor first and work our way down?" I caved in to the pressure and was once again dragged by someone else's will.
Being Kamijou Touma is tiring. That thought filled my head as we used the elevator to make our way to the top floor. It was one of those clear wall ones so you could get a clear view of everything below. There in the food court I saw a certain middle school girl waiting by herself.
Oh no! Even from this distance I can see blue sparks! Calm down High Voltage! It's too early to add murder to your resume!
"You okay Kami-yan? You're sweating a bit."
Ahhaha! I'm fine! Let's get shopping shall we? Any idea what you plan on giving Maika?" I'm sure I can avoid her for a while. I doubt her taste and these guys have anything remotely in common.
"This!" the duo pointed at a very small and quaint store titled 'Maids & Butlers'.
Not even a double facepalm was enough to express my full disappointment! "Your sister goes to a maid school right? And I'm sure they don't allow cosmetic changes to the uniform or even a new outfit outright!"
"It's for non-academic activities of course Kami-yan! She may not be able to wear it at school but there are plenty of other uses for a maid outfit!"
I decided it was best not to ask about those 'other uses'. "And? How is shopping here going to help me find a present?"
"If you're worried about fitting, I already have Index's 3 sizes!" Tsuchimikado pushed me in further, following Aogami who was already browsing through some of the less uniformed maid outfits.
Wait! How did you even get her 3 sizes Tsuchimikado!? I'm sure a certain fire magician would like to know the details of that! "Doesn't answer my question! How is a maid outfit a good present for ANYONE outside of your little sister Tsuchimikado?"
"Use your imagination Kami-yan.I'm sure you'll find more than one reason for maid outfit!"
I can't. I internally rebuked.
With a sigh, I let the two wander deeper into the store, slowly lagging behind as I observed my surroundings. While there were plenty of 'questionable' outfits ranging from gaudy to gothic to outright lewd, there were many which had an aura of high class and displayed the proper maid uniform. Whoever decided to create such a store was obviously dedicated to their craft. In that one and only regard, I held a small bit of respect for them.
Still there were plenty of other 'shady' customers in the suspicious store, one including a girl in a shrine maiden outfit.
"Himegami!" I blurted out. Yes it was certainly her. That placid expression coupled with her hair, even in a city of crazy individuals, her appearance stood out among others.
The girl who was holding an overly frilly outfit moved her gaze toward me. "Eh? Kamijou-san. What are you doing here?" She made a desperate and silly attempt to quickly hang the outfit back on display.
"That's the same question I wanted to ask you! Granted it probably does look more suspicious of a high school boy picking out maid outfits…" I muttered that last sentence to myself.
"Himegami? Where's that dress you picked out? The white frills and design were cute." Another voiced reached my ears, one that put my senses on high alert. Sure enough out of the aisle emerged another of Kamijou's classmates, wearing attire that I never think she would! "Eh? Kamijou Touma! What are you doing here?"
"No! I definitely should be asking YOU that question! And more importantly that outfit! I'd never thought that health obsessed freak would actua-w-wwait! Don't resort to violence just yet Fukiyose! There's just too much of a gap between your personality and your current appearance! If I'm really honest, I think it looks cute!" The words spilled from my mouth without thought. As soon as she raised her fist, my body entered fight or flight! Don't tell me this body actually remembers Fukiyose's strength? I shuddered what would happened if it connected.
"C-cute? Don't be absurd Kamijou Touma! This is a working outfit!" a light blush lit up her face and her anger dissipated.
I can't tell if all the girls are weak to compliments, Or Kamijou possess a power even greater and more unfair than Fiamma's Holy Right...
"Working outfit or not, if it's cute, its cute. Also your voice is too loud Fukiyose." I continued. "But work? What are you employed at a Maid cafe or something?"
"Yes." Was the response from Himegami. Honestly it caught me off guard.
"We're working at a maid cafe and they have a contract with this store so all the employees have their own unique maid attire."
So that's their main customers.
"You still never answered my question. What are you doing here Kamijou Touma. Depending on your answer will determine the severity of your punishment."
You're just hellbent on hitting me aren't you!?
"Aha. Don't worry it's not for anything creepy. I'm just doing some Christmas shopping with Ao-I mean Tsuchimikado." That was close! If I named dropped Aogami here I would have been punished without trial!
"In a maid store?"
"I know it sounds ridiculous but he said there are some reasonably priced trinkets and accessories. He also mentioned he would pitch in." I feebly answered.
"Oh? So you were bought huh?" Fukiyose expressed flatly.
Words can hurt Fukiyose! And what's with that expression and voice! There was some disdain under all that Tsun!
"Christmas present…" You can tell her face lit up at the thought.
Please don't get your hopes up Himegami! I doubt Kamijou's allowance can even afford to survive till Christmas, add to buying presents he'll be in a bigger debt than An American College student!
"You!" A cute voice rumbled low in my ear. However it only invoked fear instead of joy.
Because it just so happened to be the Kamachiverse equivalent to Electro who I happen to ditch at the food court! To no one's surprise, she didn't take that well.
"Ditching me to flirt around with other girls? Just how insensitive can you be?" Sparks jumped all around her, a visible and dangerous representation of her anger.
Truth be told, that is certainly something out of character for Kamijou Touma to do. I however am NOT that 'normal high school boy'.
"Now Misaka-sama. C-calm down! While It is true I did ditch you and you have every right to be upset, it wasn't to flirt with my classmates! To put it bluntly, I think it's dangerous to be around you."
Ah. I didn't mean to say that last part. The damage was done to Tesla Coil and what followed was a grueling 3 hour hunt across Academy City.
She didn't give up after 1 hour.
Nor did she let up after 2 hours.
No. Thunder and Lightning chased me for THREE.
I had found myself in a crowded shopping area, as it was difficult for her to chase me in high traffic areas. I took this time to rest in a small convenience store.
I didn't hold any contempt for the girl as she responded exactly as I expected. What I didn't expect was her tenacity as well as her precise aim through crowds of people.
"You have too many dangerous people in your life, Kamijou Touma!" Thanks to that trip around Academy City, the day was coming to a close with a setting sun. "Ah. I should probably head back." I quietly signed to myself. "If it isn't the electric chair its the guillotine… and a cursed doll?" I couldn't quite find a execution equivalent to fairy god othinus but if thorns could kill…
"I probably shouldn't head back empty handed." I didn't even check to see if Kamjou had stocked up on food at the dorms. Even if he did, would that technology incompetent nun and mini god stuck in the old days be able to do anything with it!?
At this point I began to realize what a bad call leaving those two unattended for the whole day! Shoot! I gotta grab something for Sphinx too!
With an bag of food(bribes) in hand I slowly opened the door to Kamijou's dorm. "I-I'm back…"
Without even making a single step forward I was tackled to the ground by a small nun, former god and a calico cat.
"Where did you go! You were gone all day! I thought I was going to starve!"
"Before that, I'd like to inquire about the day you had. I'm sure there will be a girl or two involved."
"Alright! Alright! This Kamijou-san is reflecting deeply on his negligence! If you get off me I'll answer all you questions and prepare dinner! Yes I didn't forget about you Sphynx!"
"Dinner! We missed out on two other meals Touma! Don't think throwing food at me will free you of consequences!" Her mouth bared her unusually sharp teeth and I faced the punishment for abandoning them this morning!
Heh. Guess this is where I shout Kamijou's signature phrase huh? "Such Misfortune!"