Sometimes, when wondering if something would be cool to write about, the best way to find out is to try and write it. This is one such story. I had loads of fun writing the entire thing, so I hope it can make some of you smile as well ;)
In the process of writing it, it evolved into a kind of epilogue for "A Certain Destined Introduction". I say "kind of", since it's not really a proper epilogue. It didn't fit into the original story either, so I decided to make it a sort of stand-alone instead. You do not have to read A Certain Destined Introduction before reading this, but I guess there are things in here that can be considered spoilers if you haven't – so you're warned.
Disclaimer: As usual, I own nothing ;.;
A Certain Destined Introduction: Duel by Cun
Part 1: Ready?
Kuroko stared at Mikoto opposite her, a grin plastered on her face even as sweat gathered in the back of her neck. The ace of Tokiwadai had a determined look on her face, as if she was finally going to take this seriously. Kuroko wanted it no other way. The tension between them could almost be seen and heard; as if the very air around them was anticipating the coming fight.
Now, wait a minute… what's going on in this situation? To understand that, we have to go back to the morning of this particular day…
Room 208 in Tokiwadai's dorm outside the Garden of Education had never really been considered anything special. During the past year it received a somewhat famous reputation due to the fact that the ace of Tokiwadai, Misaka Mikoto the Railgun, lived in that room, and sometimes one could find icky love letters stuck under the door, but that was it. To most of the other students, it was merely another dorm room.
After a certain teleporter moved in though, things had changed.
"KUROKO!" This morning started with a thundering roar; those who had yet to wake up jumped out of bed in surprise and smacked to the floor. The misfortune of many of their schoolmates was unknown to the duo that lived in room 208, but was the reason that particular room had become infamous during the last week.
At the moment, the occupants of said room were facing each other from opposite sides of one of the beds. Mikoto's bed, to be exact. The girl known as the ace of Tokiwadai was red-faced, and she pointed at her longhaired roommate with an accusing finger. "What are you doing in my bed, you pervert!"
Obviously, the reason for the commotion was the fact that when she woke, Mikoto found a certain teleporter snuggled up against her in the bed. It had only been one week since the longhaired girl moved into the room (against Mikoto's will), and during that week, several things had changed.
For instance, Mikoto's underwear was in constant threat. She had found her belongings in the oddest places; atop the bookshelf, underneath Kuroko's night table, tucked away inside the towel closet in the bathroom, and even once under her own pillow. It was grating her nerves to the limit, and Kuroko always had a dumb smile on her face when she confronted her with it; as a result, the ace of Tokiwadai grew even more furious and unleashed electric currents onto her surroundings. Not wanting to have her computer and other electrical doodads harmed by a wild lightning strike, Kuroko from then on tried to be more discreet in her exploit of Onee-sama's underwear.
However, that was not all. One morning Kuroko 'happened' to enter the bathroom while Mikoto showered; their shower head had to be replaced after an uncontrolled electric charge hit it (and of course, they got detention for that), while Kuroko escaped with a bottle of shampoo smacked to her face. She also tried her luck at throwing herself directly at her roommate one night, which resulted in a harsh wrestling match coupled with painful electric treatment. Mikoto won when she smashed Kuroko to the floor in an impressive German suplex.
Then there was the fact that Kuroko had also picked up her camera again to start photographing; however her target of interest weren't insects or flowers, but rather her roommate. When Mikoto caught her snapping a shot of her while undressing one evening, she furiously short-circuited the camera, to which Kuroko defended herself: "But Onee-sama, it was you who suggested I get a hobby in the first place!"
Bothered by her own conscience, Mikoto bought a new battery for her camera the next day (though it was handed to her together with a clear warning about the usage of her terror weapon).
To say it mildly, the first week of being roommates had been turbulent. And it didn't look like it was ending anytime soon. This morning Kuroko had slipped into Mikoto's bed during the early hours, and wound her arms around the other's midsection with a content smile. Of course, she had barely been awake when this happened; it was almost as if it was a natural instinct.
Trying to explain that to Onee-sama proved difficult though.
"There's nothing in that brain of yours that can be considered natural!" Mikoto declared. "Your perverted actions are going too far! I swear, one more time and I'm having you thrown out of here!"
Kuroko stutteringly tried to calm the other girl down, with little success. It ended in a rather forced neutral silence at the breakfast table (even though they were having a fight, the two girls wound up sitting together). The other occupants of the same table didn't even notice; the third-years were discussing an upcoming assignment.
Kuroko gazed carefully at her roommate in-between the bits of her breakfast, but Mikoto was just scowling the entire time, either at her food or out the window, and there didn't seem to be an opening to say anything. Honestly, she's just too stubborn! Kuroko looked down at her own food and sighed.
How can I make her notice my feelings are real? The thought was troubling Kuroko as she sat on the bus that took them to school. Mikoto had, as if she was a child having a rebellious moment against her parents, found another seat to sit at. The first-year beside her seemed like she would die from holding her breath for too long any moment, but Mikoto didn't even look at her once, staring with a bored expression into her cell phone.
Kuroko kept throwing looks at her from where she sat, looking like a sneaky paparazzi tagging her next big shot, and making the girl beside her look at her oddly. Her mind worked on high-drive.
Her shyness is manifesting itself in her cold behavior… she needs to loosen up a little! At several occasions, Kuroko had been met with clear denial. When she stepped in to chase off a throng of girls begging Misaka-san to let them watch her play in violin recess, Mikoto proceeded to bluntly tell her she was no exception. And when she tried to invite the other girl for a shopping date to buy her some new lingerie (since Onee-sama obviously did not dare do this alone due to her incredibly timid nature), it had ended up in a heated argument concerning the habit of wearing shorts, and Kuroko decided to retreat when blue crackles started emitting from Mikoto's bangs.
When she had shown up at Onee-sama's training grounds during ability enhancement class, easily traversing the fences and danger signs with her ability, she had been chased from the scene by a torrent of lightning before she could do more than wave at the other girl. And when Kuroko's class was doing the serving maid job in the school cafeteria just yesterday, Kuroko had devoted herself to be Onee-sama's private servant, but she had been met with clear refusal.
Obviously she's playing hard to get. I need to prove to her how serious I am.
It seemed like she had come to terms with her own feelings fairly quickly; only a month ago she had been thinking of the other girl as a moron and an idiot. However Kuroko was not a girl that lingered too long on the past. Her problem was a current issue; it needed to be dealt with now. While the challenges were piling up, she steadily traversed them with increasing dedication. Follow your conviction and take the actions you deem right! It was one of the creeds of Judgment, and applied to all occassions. Needless to say, she was not about to give up.
If this is her test to see if I'm worthy, I will gladly accept! No doubt Onee-sama thought that her destined partner should be someone special; and really, you had to be in order to manage to live with a level five with a mean temper and a tendency to electrify the living daylights out of you for looking at her the wrong way. There's nobody else than me fit for this task! Kuroko grinned and started chuckling darkly; the girl sitting beside her sweat-dropped. Just you wait and see, Onee-sama! Kuroko has quite a few tricks up her sleeve!
Mikoto sighed as she walked down the hallway towards her classroom. She had avoided Kuroko (who strangely didn't stick to her like they were glued together) and successfully escaped the shrieking squeals of a gang of first-years. Luckily they weren't half as bad as they had been one month ago; honestly, the start of this school year had been hell. She didn't know how many love letters she'd found in her shoe locker or how many times she'd signed her name in some dreamy-eyed girl's diary. In comparison, a few glittering eyes every day was something she could live with.
On the other hand, Kuroko seemed to have revealed a hidden side of herself during this past week. In many ways she had proven to be even worse than those other girls, and Mikoto found herself wondering how the heck they had ended up even sharing a room in the first place. But no matter what the other girl did to deteriorate her reputation in Mikoto's eyes, she couldn't seem to forget those words back in the greenhouse. Obviously Kuroko was just weird like this.
Mikoto sighed deeply as she walked down the hallway towards her classroom, and then noticed several girls from a parallel class standing outside the door to her destination. They were looking inside and giggling lightly amongst themselves.
"What's going on?" She asked, when she was close enough for them to hear.
The girls looked at her in surprise and stepped back a notch. "Ah, Misaka-san." The one at the front said; then she looked back into the classroom. "It looks like someone has an admirer."
"Huh?" Mikoto looked into the room as well, and her face immediately drained of color.
Her desk was swamped with flowers. Big, colorful, screaming flowers packed in transparent paper with huge bows on their necks. Many of her classmates were giggling at the display, though warily kept their distance. Mikoto stared at what looked like a misplaced flower vendor with a horrified expression on her face. Who would do something like that? Had the Misaka Mikoto Fan Club finally gotten a budget?
In that case, the blame might as well be put on Hitomi-san, the cheerful blonde who sat on the desk beside hers; she was currently the student council president and the only person in school who could grant clubs a budget. But it seemed weird for her to do something like that.
The bespectacled girl looked towards the door and noticed her. "Oh, Misaka-san." She smiled brightly. "It seems like someone has given you an early morning attention."
Mikoto stiffly walked into the classroom and stopped in front of her drowned desk. "Who…?" She asked, more to herself than anyone else.
"I don't know; it was already here when I came in." Hitomi-san said. "I think it might have been delivered by a flower boutique from the town."
Mikoto hesitatingly reached out and picked up a heart-shaped card that was strapped to one of the bouquets. She turned it over, and a glaringly flourishy handwriting that was obviously done by a professional calligrapher screamed at her.
Onee-sama, it said, with a lot of hearts surrounding it, this is an apology for this morning. I hope you can forgive me and that our relationship will continue to blossom. Love xxx, Kuroko.
"Who is it from?" Hitomi-san asked, with a cheerful smile on her face.
Mikoto didn't hear her; her ears were roaring with the rush of her blood, her whole body was shivering, and she clenched her hand into a fist, crumpling the pink card in the process. Hitomi-san kept on smiling despite the taut shoulders and trembling form before her; though the rest of the girls nearby threw her worried glances and moved just a little further away.
"That Kuroko…" She forced out through gritted teeth.
"Oh, was it Shirai-san?" Hitomi-san was still smiling, even though the rigid form of Mikoto seemed like it could explode any moment.
Suddenly, a weird laughter erupted from Mikoto's mouth. "Heh. Heh." She grinned, but coupled with her glowing eyes, it only seemed dangerous. Her shoulders shook. "Hahahaaaaa WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THAT MORON!" She tossed the card to the floor and stomped it viciously; if Kuroko had been there, her neck would certainly be wringed around by now. Instead, Mikoto's fury had nowhere to go other than onto the innocent card, and when that was smashed thoroughly flat into the floor, she breathed heavily for a few seconds. Then she suddenly realized what had just happened, and straightened up, giving a stupid laugh.
"Haha, man, I guess I didn't really sleep too well tonight." She cheerfully tried to pull herself back together and ignore the embarrassing situation. A few girls whispered excitedly between themselves, but most of the class just ignored her now that the imminent threat of lightning strikes was over; as expected from the high-class girls in Tokiwadai and the classmates of the level five electromaster.
"There are still the flowers though." Hitomi-san reminded her, smiling brightly. Mikoto froze up. The flowers were completely covering her desk and chair and there was no way they would all fit into the trash can. She stared at them, as if waiting for them to disappear on their own (actually she was considering burning them to crisp and then stuff them in the trash can), when Matsui-sensei's voice entered the classroom together with the man himself:
"All right girls, let's get this started – woah!" He made a double-take as he noticed the mountain of flowers on Mikoto's desk. "Misaka!" The girl in question stiffened, then turned her head slightly and delivered him a stupid smile. Their homeroom teacher stared at her, and then put a hand to his chin, grinning smugly all of a sudden. "I see, I see. So you're already at that age, eh? Suitors!"
Mikoto wanted to cry, but all she managed to do was force out a stupid laugh.
In the end, they ended up decorating their classroom with the ridiculous amount of flowers, and Mikoto sat sighing at her desk while Matsui-sensei praised the pretty view. I swear, that Kuroko…
Honestly, what was she thinking? Or did she even think at all? Mikoto asked herself this when they went to have gym the next period. And such a ridiculous amount of flowers too, they must have cost loads… what a waste of money. She entered the combination for her locker and opened it to take out her gym clothes; instantly, she was bombarded with something hard and sharp.
"Uwah!" In pure reflex, she let out an electric current that tore through the offending objects with a loud crackle. The girls nearby jumped in alarm.
What's-? Mikoto stared as the frilly remains of at least twenty boxes fell to the floor; they all seemed to have been heart-shaped, about the size of a fist, and one of the tops were still visible even though the rest was burnt: "Love Confetti". Her body froze again, and she gaped at the pile on the floor.
"Oh my." Hitomi-san came up beside her, gym clothes in her arms. "Is it another gift from Shirai-san?" She smiled at Mikoto. "She sure knows how to make others feel appreciated, doesn't she?"
Mikoto was trembling again, white-hot rage pouring through her veins. Small crackles of electricity escaped her bangs, and even though she kept smiling, Hitomi-san found it safer to make a silent retreat.
"That… moron!" CRAACK; The boxes was struck by another series of lightning strikes, reducing the chocolate hearts inside to mere piles of goo. "Why –" crackle "the hell –" zzzt "do you keep on –" zapph "being stupid!" BZIIT!
Mikoto was in a very foul mood by lunch time.
She had received a fair lecture from the gym teacher about her display of powers inside the school ("Such behavior is absolutely not accepted, whether it be you or the president of the United States!"), resulting in a strained gym lesson; having no teleporter close by to relieve her stress on, she let out her frustration on the ball used for their basketball game. Usually she kept the use of her powers to a minimum during team sports (with Daihaseisai being the exception of course), merely emitting a static field that would sting anyone that was to approach. Today that static was almost visible to the naked eye, not only rendering her completely inapproachable, but also striking the opposing team's players whenever they had the ball, making them let go with a wince. Her team won 42-4 as a result.
Showering made the blood that had rushed to her brain recede somewhat, and she sighed deeply as she soaped in her body. Class 1A didn't have gym today; she seemed to remember Kuroko say something about a project they had. That meant she didn't have to deal with her perverted comments in the shower stalls, at least. But when she exited the shower and found a totally unfamiliar set of underwear where her own clothes should be, giving her no option but to put on the embarrassing things, her mood seemed to deteriorate again fairly fast. It didn't help matters that her shorts were missing, making her feel completely naked under her skirt. Her face felt like it had grown permanently red, and she tried to hide it by beaming at everyone.
When she opened her laptop during math only to find her background had been switched out with a rather naughty picture of Kuroko, she found herself in the embarrassing situation of having to explain to the teacher why Trigonometry indulged the need to unleash electricity upon her own computer, rendering it useless. Mikoto apologized properly and did not complain when she was given detention for her behavior, as expected of a well-mannered Tokiwadai student.
But the limit had been reached. If she was the character in a video game, her damage gauge would be dangerously close to "Overlimit" by now, and even though she did her best to act normally on her way to lunch (meaning, smiling brilliantly), her insides were boiling with well-hidden fury. Of course, you wouldn't be able to know this by merely seeing her; but if you looked closely, you'd notice a small strain in that brilliant smile she was sporting. Also her twitching eyebrows, and the trail of girls left shrieking in her wake as static electricity seemed to lash out from the very walls around her, might be able to give you a hint.
Calm down, calm down, the mantra in her head went, much like it had done back in the beginning of the school year when the first-years were at their worst. Somehow, one single underclassman had managed to provoke the same mantra in only a few hours' time. She kept smiling though, as if her face had frozen up in that expression. Trying to bring her mind onto what to eat for lunch in an effort to calm down, she entered the cafeteria.
The first thing she saw was a crowd gathered in the middle of the room. They were gasping and laughing at something, and those who still sat at the tables rather than join the mass of people, tossed curious looks over every now and then.
What now? Forgetting both her food plans and her anger for a moment, Mikoto curiously looked over, but could see nothing through the wall of people. Walking over, she saw Hitomi-san and Asanuma-san standing at the very edge of the throng; the blonde was smiling like always, and Asanuma-san was frowning.
"What's going on?" Mikoto asked.
Hitomi-san turned towards her and beamed. "Ah, Misaka-san! I cannot seem to get through, but it seems like something interesting is happening."
"Huuuh." Mikoto turned towards the mass again. If not even the student council president could get through, it must be something interesting indeed.
Asanuma-san threw her long, black hair behind her shoulder and sniffed: "It's probably just a new cell phone or something." She seemed kind of put off that she was not the center of attention for once.
Suddenly, a voice rang through the crowd: "Onee-sama!"
Mikoto stiffened, and the throng of girls in front of her parted, as if making a pathway for her into the unknown. When the last girl moved aside, Mikoto was staring right at her worst nightmare: Kuroko, dressed in a ridiculous transparent nightdress, was lying on a table surrounded by fruit and flowers, beaming at her roommate from afar. "Onee-sama, come, let us blossom in the ripeness of our love!"
Several girls laughed; some of those closest to Mikoto put a hand in front of their mouth to hide a giggle. Asanuma-san gaped, horrified; Hitomi-san kept smiling.
But Mikoto didn't smile, nor laugh. Neither did she shout. She was staring at the scene in horror, too shocked to move a muscle. Yet, her blood was boiling, a pressure building up inside her head. A geologist would probably describe the phenomena as the early stage of a volcanic rupture.
Slowly, her teeth gritted and her hands clenched into fists. Then, a lightning strike suddenly struck from the top of her head, over the entire throng of girls, and hit the table were Kuroko lay in an explosion of electricity; the teleporter fell from her spot while the flowers and fruit exploded to all sides and sent the girls packed around shrieking in all directions.
Kuroko oof'ed as she hit the floor, and then looked up at her roommate. "Onee—" Her neck broke out into sweat at once. Mikoto was literally crackling with electricity, hair and clothes fluttering in the forceful static; her face was absolutely expressionless though, and that made it all the more terrifying.
"O-Onee-sama…" Kuroko was devastated. Even though she did her best, was it still not enough to please Onee-sama?
"Onee-sama, Onee-sama…" Mikoto muttered, electric currents lashing out into the air around her like deadly snakes, "do you like playing with death, Kuroko? Are you trying to invent a new form of suicide?"
Kuroko gulped; she had never seen the other girl this mad before. Was this yet another test from Onee-sama? Of course, anyone who was to live beside the level five would also have to be able to face the threat of death on a regular basis (of course, this was Kuroko's own biased opinion). She kneeled on the floor, gazing at Mikoto with tears shining in her eyes like a beggar crying for mercy.
"What can Kuroko do to make herself worthy of your attention!" She cried. "I try and I try, but…" She sniveled dramatically, "nothing I do is good enouhuhugh!"
The thin line that formed Mikoto's mouth hardly moved; the electricity didn't grow any less fierce either, and even the teachers that had entered the cafeteria to see what the ruckus was about, seemed reluctant at approaching the living taser standing before them. Of course, Tokiwadai being a school with many powerful espers, the employees also had the proper training in dealing with stray students. However, no matter what kind of training you had, when faced with a middle school girl crackling with several billion volts of electricity, no-one would carelessly approach for a chat.
"You think crying is going to change anything?" Mikoto asked. Her voice was dangerously neutral. "Flowers, chocolate… stealing my clothes and forcing me to wear something totally embarrassing… I think I need to teach you a lesson…"
"Uhm, if you guys want to have a duel, it would be best if you do it outside… the track field should be appropriate, I think?" Hitomi-san, who still stood someway behind Mikoto, hesitantly smiled. Asanuma-san was totally white-faced and had grown rock solid in shock.
A duel? Kuroko's tears stopped, and suddenly, she grinned. That's just it! "Onee-sama!" She pointed at her suddenly, as if declaring war; "Kuroko challenges you to a duel! I will defeat you in a fair fight, showing you just how strong my love is – no restraints!"
90% of the girls inside the cafeteria heard this and thought Kuroko was suicidal; the last 10% thought she was an idiot. Kuroko's words managed to penetrate the red-hazy mist in Mikoto's mind though, and she suddenly snapped back to reality. The electricity abruptly cut off, and she reddened, embarrassed at having lost her cool like that.
"Like I want to duel you!" She shouted. "You just want to do it for your own selfish reasons; and besides, there's no way you could win!"
Kuroko smirked at her overconfidence. "We shall see, Onee-sama. I know your ability, your fighting style, and your weak points. It will give for a pretty interesting duel, I would think?"
Mikoto gritted her teeth, and then barked: "Fine! I'll take you on! But don't come crying to me when you're lying in the dirt afterwards! I won't go easy on you just because you're my roommate!"
Kuroko continued to grin. I will show you just how strong my love is, Onee-sama!
And so, after having changed into their gym clothes, they stood at the track field, staring at each other from opposite ends. They had a huge crowd of on-lookers; not only because of the ruckus they had made in the cafeteria, but whenever there was a duel between two espers in Tokiwadai, there had to be at least two teachers present, and it usually attracted some attention. Besides that, it was not every day that one of the school's level fives had a duel. The crowd was extra big today as a result, as if the whole school had gathered to watch.
After having seen the power of the girl called the Railgun up front, Kuroko knew she had no chance of winning in a one on one power fight. She knew what she was up against – she knew Onee-sama was ranked as the third strongest level five with good reason. She was powerful, no doubt about that; Kuroko had seen her take out five boys at once and knock out several others on different occasions; she had seen her tear a hole in a concrete wall with a mere coin, and demolish an entire glass building even after receiving a harsh hit to the head. She could probably eradicate this entire track field in less than ten seconds; there was no way Kuroko could compete with that.
But that didn't mean she saw the fight as lost before it started. Actually, she was quite confident in her position. While she couldn't possibly match Mikoto in pure power and versatility, she had other qualities – quickness, tactic, and levelheaded calculations. She had seen Onee-sama's lightning strikes plenty of times and knew she could dodge them (when not surprised by them, that is); but more importantly, none knew Onee-sama's weak points better than Kuroko.
For instance, no matter how powerful she was there was no way Mikoto would ever use her full power in a mere duel; she would never risk killing anyone. As a result, she hardly ever used more than 10% of her actual power against people, according to Kuroko's calculations. And that was one of the weaknesses she planned to take advantage of (of course, other people wouldn't call it a weakness at all).
"I hope you are ready for this, Onee-sama!" She announced confidently.
Mikoto gritted her teeth. "You're the one who needs to be ready, Kuroko! It's too late to retreat once we start!" Blue sparks erupted from her bangs in dangerous crackles.
Kuroko smirked. Trying to intimidate the opponent rather than hurt them – another weakness. "How about we add some excitement to this battle? If I win, you will have to stop wearing those childish shorts of yours and start wearing proper underwear!" She declared.
"Gh –" Mikoto reddened, "then if I win, you're going to –"
"I will give you a full-body massage!" Kuroko beamed.
"Out of the question!"
One of the teachers standing by as referees raised a start pistol; both girls tensed, and the audience held their breath. Then; bang!
If I was in Kuroko's position, I would definitely not have challenged her to a duel. I would most likely be scared to death instead.
But I'm not Kuroko.
Words and terms:
German suplex: Technically known as a belly to back waist lock suplex, the wrestler stands behind the opponent, grabs them around their waist, lifts them up, and falls backwards while bridging his back and legs, slamming the opponent down to the mat shoulder and upper back first. (If you still don't get it, see Railgun episode 2, approximate time 15:34. Angel Beats! Episode 10 receives the honor of giving me the name of the technique).
P.S: I will start posting my stories on my website before posting them on FF, since FF is so annoying at times with its errors and swallowing words and not allowing me to write "! + ?" and what-not (if you find any awkward sentences where it looks like a word is forgotten, please notify me!). If you care about reading it the moment it gets posted, you can find the link to my website on my profile. Aside from stories, you can also find character bios and bonus content (like a Director's Cut with amazing commentary!1!) there. No worries though, the stories themselves will still be posted here as usual.