There were many things Izuku had expected when he walked into Mei's lab. Mei asleep, Mei working on something while she ignored Melissa, one of them crying, maybe a black eye or something. He didn't think that either of them would hurt each other, but he was still ever so slightly worried. He really didn't even expect Melissa to actually go see Mei.
So when he walked in on a mostly naked Mei with a very high tech looking flame thrower strapped to her back blasting out a stream of flames so white that it hurt to look. The object getting hit by the flame was a thing. He didn't know exactly what that thing was as it was currently being roasted by fire so intense even Shoto would have a hard time matching it.
The flames came to an abrupt halt and the entire room dimmed as though the sun had been swallowed up. A moment later and his eyes readjusted, overall the lab was undamaged, saved for the wall opposite of Mei that now had a large black mark. Most if not all of the damage done was centralized to a now half melted metal pillar that was still glowing red. Still chained to it was a piece of cloth that looked completely undamaged.
"How's it look?" Mei half yelled as she flung her goggles off, undoing the first few straps of the flame thrower with ease. Shouldn't she be wearing protective gear? Wait, this was the girl that had a habit of surviving explosions while wearing a tanktop. Maybe she was mildly heat resistant. Or something.
Melissa popped out from some other area, he was mildly surprised to see her actually dressed properly. As in she had on the same shirt and pants that she was wearing earlier, all things considered it was perhaps marginally more protective than Mei's bra. With one hand she moved towards the cloth testing for heat. Then she grabbed it.
"It's completely cool!" She reached inside of it and pulled out a device of some kind device that beeped twice at her touch. Her face lit up as she looked towards Mei. "Internal temperature only increased by thirty degrees during the test."
"Ohh, that's better than I thought!" Mei bounced over to Melissa leaving the flamethrower behind like it was some old toy. Seriously, why wasn't she dressed? At this point he was going to become numb doing seeing her mostly - oh, wow she had really nice thighs, and butt - naked. Wait. No. He probably wasn't going to ever get tired of that. Dammit. "With results like that Izuku will be able to withstand the heats of most structure fires, and have a better chance against heat and electric based quirks."
"I have to say this material you developed is impressive!" Melissa handed the cloth to Mei. "It's programmable nature makes it hyper adaptive. Now we just need to start making the actual suit. Can you handle that while I work on the display and head piece?"
"Sure! Do you have an idea for-"
"Uhh, excuse me?" He half laughed walking up to the two girls before they got lost in their project. Well Mei would, Melissa might be polite enough to stop. But she hadn't noticed him walk in either so, it was up in the air. Best be careful to avoid questioning their new found friendship. "What are you two working on?"
"And why aren't you wearing clothes?" He said to Mei's breasts.
"Oh! I was going to send you more pictures. But Melissa showed up and we started to work on your new suit!" Mei waved him off looking at the material, and still not answering his question.
"She refused to put clothes on." Melissa muttered her face now the appropriate level of blush for being in the company of a mostly naked Mei. Her eyes frantically scanned both him and Mei and she grew just the slightest bit more flustered. "And I got caught up in developing the new suit that I stopped noticing. Well I did notice. But I just."
Melissa slammed both hands into her face and let out a puff, her mind clearly being overworked by sheer embarrassment. It was a really cute reaction all things considered. He always thought of her as being more mature and reserved than he was, so this side of her was just beyond cute.
"It was a waste of time anyways." Mei turned and half sprinted over to a workstation, where she began to put on a large helmet like followed by large metallic gloves that glowed a soft blue as the machine behind her started up. "If I put clothes on then we wouldn't have finished testing! It's almost done! You're going to love our baby!"
"Our baby?" He asked looking from Mei doing Mei stuff as the machine blocked and moved the material to Melissa as she began the process of recovering. "You two went from competing over who would design my new suit and refusing to work together to doing just that? What happened?"
"Mei's excitement is contagious," Melissa pushed her hair back into place and shook her head. She took a small breath and looked up at him, her blue eyes were sparkling with far more joy than that had that morning. And her smile sent a chill down his spine. "And her design was much better than mine. But there were improvements I could make. So I ended up working with her."
"Well, now I'm even more excited to see what you two make together. You know Mei had a problem with working with others. She must like you if she was willing to let you in on the project."
"I think if I had given her a chance before that we could have been great friends." Melissa bit her thumb, face pointed at the ground as she looked up at him. "But we're both in love with you, so that causes a small problem. We talked about it a bit, I don't think either one of us wants to back down."
"I don't have to be in a relationship. If it means that you two can keep being friends and making new tech for heroes, that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make." He'd end up kicking himself some nights. But maybe it was the best choice he had. His workout had been longer and more intense than usual, as he kept thinking about this choice he had to make. It felt so impossible. Not because he didn't think that he would be happier with one or the other, but because he couldn't be happy knowing that someone else was sad because of his choice.
Maybe if he had more time then the choice would be more obvious.
He felt like such a coward for not being able to make a choice. They both deserved better than that.
Melissa remained silent, still biting onto her thumb. After a moment she walked over to one of Mei's work stations, she grabbed a similar glove to Mei's and began to work with the machine a vague head shape appeared on a nearby screen.
Was she upset?
"He doesn't wear his mask that often, so we're going to have to create some quick cover system that'll draw it up." Melissa muttered towards Mei. "The storage system shouldn't be different from the rest of the costume due to the circuitry."
"Good idea, we should also find out someway to keep his hair floofy when it takes it off." Mei muttered back at her. Her usual chipper tone was ever so slightly off. She heard him too. "I like his floof."
"What about an amulet? Of some kind. I'd say a collar but apparently that's kinky and not very heroic like."
"Do you know what that means or is that just something you read online?"
"I know what it means because of the internet."
"Amulet it is. I can partially divide some of the some of the functions between it and the belt. Because of movies most people associate comms with controls near the head, would be more obvious but probably more intuitive."
The spark and joy of the creation process he had walked in on earlier somehow felt muted. Choosing one would make the other upset. Choosing neither made them both upset. This really sucked.
"Hey, why don't you two take a break and we can go out to eat again? I saw this burger place next to the gym that smelled really good on my way back from the gym. I bet you two are hungry after working so much." Knowing Mei she probably hadn't eaten anything since yesterday. And Melissa probably hadn't eaten since this morning if she was working with Mei. "That does mean you'll have to get dressed Mei."
"Pass!" Mei shouted, still not looking at him. "I want to get this baby finished as soon as possible. If we can get it ready for the Expo we'll be able to have you demo it. You're okay with being shot and and walking through fire right?"
"Uhh, sure." Apparently, it was bullet proof too. "How about I go get us something then?"
"Oh!" Mei turned to him and lifted up her goggles for a second. Her eyes were out of focus. "I know, why don't you use my kitchen to cook us dinner?"
She pulled up a remote and clicked it, a seamless door in the wall opened up revealing a simple, but incredibly clean kitchen. "There's no fridge, but there are hydroponic gardens with vegetables I was designing for space flight. They're edible."
"At Least they should be." she nodded her head and the goggles fell back into place.
"Oh, Uhh okay." He took a breath and looked at the two girls working in silent diligence. Maybe focusing on work was just what they needed?
Mei bit her lip the moment Izuku vanished out of sight. He was right in more than one way. Unlike everybody she'd come across on the Island and even U.A., Melissa was someone that she could work with. On an intellectual level. She even remembered her name! That was rare to say the least.
But, if he chose Melissa over her, then she doubted they could be friends. She doubted she could even be on I-Island. She'd probably take the nearest rocket to space and live on the space station until she died or maybe even mars. There'd be less distractions there.
And if Izuku chose her, there was no way that Melissa would be willing to stay friends. Sure she could just throw herself into her work and just ignore her. But whenever she tried to sleep, or saw her in public. Or maybe even when she saw Izuku. She would think about Melissa. And that sting.
Somehow Izuku choosing neither of them made her mad.
There had to be something they could do. Someway that everybody could be happy. Wait. Was that an option?
"Hey, Melissa." She muttered, after making sure that Izuku wasn't to close. "I think I have an idea. About Izuku."
The blond haired girl beside her turned, an 3-D anger scribble floated right beside her hood design for Izuku, and the idea of storing the hood in a set of bunny ears. "That we make his costume ridiculous?"
"What? No. Just listen."
"I hope you both like Salad. There really wasn't any meat in there." He gave an awkward laugh as he walked out into Mei's workshop with three bowls of salad. The equipment in there had been so impressive he was afraid of touching anything. "And I'm not the best cook anyways."
He had only been gone thirty minutes but already the mood felt different. The cold indifference that both girls had was replaced by something warmer but even more muted. Mei was grinning ear to ear as she worked on her project, it was much larger now, looking like it could probably cover his legs and torso. While Melissa was still working on the design, specifically what looked like lens.
Maybe he should excuse himself after they ate.
"Rabbit food is fine." Mei took off a single gauntlet, the other moving twice as fast while she began to work it single handedly. She took a bowl and lifted it towards her mouth and began munching on a large bit of lettuce. "Ooh, crispy."
"That'll do, Izuku, thank you. It makes up for the salad we neglected last night." Melissa took hers and the set of utensils with it. She actually stopped working.
"Ha, I guess you're right." He was going to need to make up the calories though.
They ate in silence that only he seemed to be unnerved by. But instead of Mei's and Melissa's calmness making him feel better it only added to it.
"I think, after I do the dishes I should leave you two be." His chuckle sounded as pathetic as his voice. "I'd really just be in the way and-"
"Actually," Mei pushed back her goggles and smiled at him. "After this I was thinking about watching some movies. You should join us Izuku."
"Us? Wait, you want to take a break?"
"I talked her into it." Melissa smiled at both of them. "I think a bit of relaxation, junk food and popcorn is just what we need. But if you want to, maybe you could go get some of that stuff in a bit?"
Something felt off. Really off. But if they both agreed to it. There shouldn't be any problems with it should there?
AN: Something's going to happen next chapter! Follow me on twiter. And hey, if you like my stuff consider donating to my Ko-Fi
Follow me on twiter.
And hey, if you like my stuff consider donating to my Ko-Fi