When We First Met

Bubblegum’s place smelled like incense and perfume when I walked in. This usually meant that Aprajita was cooking something up and masking the smell to keep everything fresh. It smelled amazing, strong but also delicate, and not so intense that I felt my sinuses burning.

“Yo, I’m here!” I called out.

“One minute!” came Bubblegum’s reply.

The apartment was decorated with all sorts of pictures of Bubblegum and her partner. I picked one of the frames up, gazing at it absentmindedly as I waited. Bubblegum and Aprajita were sitting together on a boat off the coast of Malaysia, according to the inscription on the back. The former was decked out in all pink, per her usual style, with a grin so wide it almost took up the whole picture. Next to her was Aprajita — or as their girlfriend like to call them sometimes, “Api” — wearing a blue blazer that looked way too thick for the weather they must have been in. They had a tiny smile on their face — a momentous occasion, all things considered. The two expressions you most often get from Aprajita were usually “neutral” and “slight frown.”

Bubblegum came bustling through the door, an orange box in her hands.

“Alright, here it is!” she said, passing the box off to me. I nearly buckled under the weight of the thing, surprised by how heavy it was when it reached my hands. Bubblegum clasped her hands together, smiling.

“They’re not that far from here, so it should be quick!”

I gave an exasperated sigh.

“Bubbles, I know we’re band-mates, but that doesn’t mean I’m also your delivery girl!” I said, putting the package down next to me and placing my hands on my hips.

“Of course Mint, of course! Buuuut shipping is expensive, and if it’s a local delivery, me and the customer get a discount when you do it!”

“Yeah, and all I get is a sore back,” I muttered. “What’s in this thing anyway?” I asked, tapping the box with my boot. Bubblegum crossed her arms.

“I can’t tell you that, obviously. It’s against the law.”

“From what I’ve heard, the law isn’t a thing that’s stopped you before.”

“I will neither confirm nor deny the truth of those statements,” Bubblegum replied. It came out so quickly and rehearsed that I was almost worried about the sort of crap she got into before we met. But she’d never tell me, so it was never worth dwelling on.

“Ask them yourself!” she continued.

“That…would be weird,” I said, scrunching up my face.

“From what I’ve heard, being weird isn’t a thing that’s stopped you before.”

Touché,” I said. I lifted the package up and slung it over my shoulder.

“If nothing else, this courier gig is going to get me jacked,” I said as I made to exit Bubblegum’s place. “Tell Api to save some food for me, please!”

“Will do! If they’re feeling extra generous, they might even throw some curry in on the house.”

God, please.”

“But…only if you get that package there quick. Ciao!” The pink-haired woman shut the door behind me before I could protest.

“Well, curry’s a suitable enough bribe,” I said to myself. “May as well get to it now.”

My skateboard was waiting for me on the porch. I kicked it off of the wall and hopped on, kuh-kunking down the two stairs that led to Bubblegum’s home before getting onto the sidewalk. My friend wasn’t lying about her customer being close — they were only a block or two away. And the weather was perfect for a ride on my board. A breeze was running through the summer sun, preventing it from scalding the neighborhood with its heat. Clouds assisted in the endeavor, only letting the yellow orb peek through them now and again as they passed above me.

I lazily pushed myself left and right on my skateboard, mind elsewhere as I let muscle-memory kick in while I rode. I had been across these paths so many times before when coming to Bubblegum’s house for band practice, I could probably ride through them with my eyes closed. It was incredible to think that our little garage, grass-roots effort had gotten so popular so quickly. People were even starting to recognize me while I was out skating! I had no idea how I was going to deal with it if we really blew up…

Before I could ponder the effects of potential fame any further, I found myself standing in front of the client’s place. They were on the third floor of a narrow apartment complex, nestled between houses on either side. It looked to be a little cramped. I shrugged, hopping off my board and making my way through the lobby and onto the elevator. It spit me out where I needed to be, with the client’s apartment being only a few paces away.

I gave the door a swift knock, and waited.

Nothing.

I gave another quick rap with my knuckles, louder this time.

Still nothing.

“Hello?” I called out. It was then that I realized I could hear a faint sound on the other side of the door. I put the box down and leaned close to the door, ear pressed against the cool, black-painted wood.

It was music!

And not playing from speakers, either. A guitar was shredding somewhere inside, completely drowning out any sound of my knocking. While I admired the thing’s aggressive style, I had places to be. This just wouldn’t do.

“Hey!” I shouted, now finally pounding on the door. “I have a package for you, fam!”

The sound cut off. I let my hands fall to my sides, tapping them impatiently while I waited. I was just about ready to leave the package in front of the door and bounce when it finally swung open.

A taller girl stood in front of me. She had striking pink hair that swept forward, nearly obscuring her eyes. and shaved on one side. And she was dressed in a casual grey jumper that looked like something a mechanic might wear. The sleeves were rolled up to reveal chain-patterned tattoos on either of her arms. My eyes widened, a thought exploding through my head unannounced.

Holy shit she’s cute!

“C-can I help you?”

I gaped at the girl.

“Hello?”

“O-oh! Hi! Um, I…” I was sputtering. I was already screwing it up! Aprajita would roast me if she found out. I could already hear her words echoing in the back of my head. “Some top you are.” Noooo!

I tried to stick the landing as best I could. I gave a small wave. “Hi, I’m Haruko! My friends call me Mint.”

“Um…cool,” the girl replied. “I’m Queen. My friends call me Queen.”

“Oh, cool, cool…” So much for sticking the landing. I shot up straight.

“Oh right! I have a package for you. From Bubblegum? The Etsy lady?”

The girl — Queen — lit up at the realization. “Awesome! I’ve been super excited for this stuff.”

I passed the box to her, putting my hands behind my back afterwards. Queen gestured towards her apartment.

“You wanna come inside? It’s hot out, I can give you a glass of water or something.”

My heart shot up into my throat.

“Are you sure? I don’t want to intrude…”

“You aren’t. I’m here alone, so if anything, you’ll be brightening the place up. Come on in.”

I stepped into the apartment and past Queen, trying not to look too eager all the while. I caught the smell of metal coming off of her fingers from playing her guitar. When I walked through the hallway into the apartment, I let out a small gasp.

“Woah…”

The apartment was filled end-to-end with all kinds of fancy technology. A lot of it I couldn’t even describe to you. Stacks of computers were lined up like battle-stations, and multiple desks were strewn about with monitors on them displaying all kinds of information that I definitely did not understand one bit. Cables snaked their way pretty much everywhere — past monitors, coiled around desk legs, under tables and scattered on the ground. Queen stepped through the jungle of tech with ease, not bumping into a single thing as she walked from one end of the living room to the next.

“Sorry about the mess,” she said as she headed into the kitchen. “I don’t usually have guests over, so I’ve never had to clean up. It’s a bad habit of mine.”

“You’re good,” I said. “Do you work with all this stuff?”

“Yeah.” The kitchen was separated by the living room with a counter, so the tall girl was able to continue talking to me while she accessed her fridge. “Most of it is just diagnostic stuff, but the rest is for one kind of project or another, even if I’m never actually working on them as much as I’d like.”

I sighed in understanding. “I feel that. I have like three or four songs on my mind at any given time. Nine times out of ten I don’t work on any of them and veg out on the couch instead.”

“Oh, you play?” Queen asked, stepping over to me with a glass of water and gesturing towards a couch that I hadn’t noticed amidst the sea of electronics. I nodded.

“My friends and I started a band a couple of months ago, actually. Minty Fresh. I didn’t pick the name, by the way!” I quickly added as I sat down, waving a hand. It was Bubblegum’s idea. I promise I’m not that conceited…”

Queen seemed to have stopped listening to me. Suddenly she put her hands on her head, gasping.

“You’re the singer of Minty Fresh? What the hell?”

“Um…yes?” I replied, acting as a question more than an affirmation. Queen shot her hands out towards me, palms upward, as if I just broke one of her computers.

“That’s amazing! I was at one of your shows, like, two weeks ago, at Future First! You opened for Kanon!”

I gave a sheepish grin. “Yep, that’s me…”

“No wonder you looked so familiar! This is so cool! I always wanted to start a band, but the guitar has always been kind of a hobby for me. But you’re like, out here! Doing it!”

I laughed. “Don’t sell yourself short! You were shredding pretty hard just now from what I heard.” I was trying to turn the subject away from me, still unused to the fact that people were starting to recognize who I was. We were in a small enough town, but still…it was weird.

Luckily, Queen seemed fine with moving on. “Thanks. It’s a nice break between projects. Ah, speaking of!”

I sipped at the water Queen provided me while she jumped to the parcel I had delivered, pulling out a pocket knife that she used to swiftly cut the thing open. I sat up on my chair to look over her shoulder while she pulled everything out. It was more advanced-looking technology, as well as some sort of shiny block.

“Yes! This’ll do nicely.”

I kicked my legs idly on the couch as the girl examined all of her new toys. “What’re you gonna do with all that stuff?”

It seemed like Queen had to struggle to tear herself away from her present to focus her attention on me. “I’m trying to make a helmet. I want it to have a HUD, and maybe even interface with a couple of my other things.”

“Oh, I see, I see. A HUD, huh? Pretty cool.” I had no idea what a HUD was.

“Where does Bubblegum even get this stuff?” I asked. Queen laughed.

“It sounds like we shouldn’t ask. She was selling it for pennies, too, she may as well have been giving it away for free.”

“Yeah, that’s kind of her MO. I assume it’s a middle finger to…something.”

“Capitalism?”

I shrugged. “Oh hey, what’s that at the bottom of the box?”

Queen turned beet red. “This is, uh, just an extra thing that I got.”

“Can I see?” I was curious, but I didn’t want the girl to explode, which seemed very close to happening if you got a good look at her face.

“S…sure.”

She passed the thing to me. I could tell just by feeling it that it was made out of crocheted yarn of all sorts of colors. I ran it through my fingers and turned it around.

“Oh my God.”

It was a sweater. Emblazoned on the front was a cat hanging on a branch with text above it that said “Hang in There!”

Queen couldn’t meet my eyes as I looked up from the sweater and at her.

She’s…too cute!

“Did Bubblegum make this for you?” I asked as nonchalantly as possible. The girl nodded. “I knew I recognized the handiwork. This makes more sense to put in an Etsy shop, anyways.”

“This is so embarrassing…” Queen muttered. “But I guess I won’t see you again, so…”

I gave her the most innocent smile I could. “Oh, you won’t?” I asked.

Queen looked like she was about to faint. I almost felt bad for teasing her so much, but enjoyment beat out whatever little conscience I had.

“I mean…if you want to…oh, actually, I remembered something. At your concert, I saw you were struggling getting some of your equipment working.”

This time it was my turn to blush.

“Was it that obvious?” I asked, tapping my cheek.

“Oh, no no, it’s not your fault!” Queen was up and about again, moving to grab a sketchbook off of her desk. It was clear that she was always in her element talking about tech, which was, like everything else about her, extremely cute. She flopped onto the couch next to me, flipping the book open to a page with what looked like a pair of headphones, striped red near the top.

“That stuff is always really difficult to work with, especially in the moment. But see, I had this idea for a headset that sort of unifies everything it connects to, and lets you control it with minimal effort.”

“That’s…awesome.” I wasn’t even trying to flatter her at this point. It’d actually be really helpful for concerts too.

“Right!? So I was wondering if you’d wanna try it at your next show?”

I beamed. “Sure!”

“Awesome.” She was up again, pacing back and forth. “So I’ll need to get a look at all your instruments and amps and stuff, and definitely anything wireless you have on stage. Hmm…and I’ll need your measurements too.”

I crossed my arms, giving a sly smile.

“Measurements, huh?” I asked, coupled with an exaggerated eyebrow raise.

Queen stuttered yet again. “O-of your head, I mean. I don’t need, like, other measurements.”

I crossed one leg over the other. “Sure, but do you want them?”

She pretended not to hear the question. “Alright, so I definitely don’t have enough space to do this here…is it okay if I come to you?”

“Yep!” I replied, hopping from my seat. “It’s a date!”

“It is? I mean, it is. Right.”

I grabbed a marker off one of Queen’s desks and gently took her hand to scribble on it.

“Here’s my number. Call me whenever you wanna swing by, Q.”

“O-oh. I could have just put it in my phone.”

“I know,” I replied, grinning. “Well I won’t be taking any more of your time, and I have to get ready for practice.” I made for the exit, Queen following behind me. I turned to the girl as I kicked my board, letting it slide under my arm as I grabbed it from the air. I was absolutely trying to flex, and was very happy the thing didn’t slap my face, like it did pretty much every other time I tried to pull that move off.

“Feel free to order from Bubblegum again. I certainly wouldn’t mind,” I said as I waved my goodbye. As I left the apartment, Queen called out to me.

“Hey Mint!”

I turned. “What’s up?”

The girl had a hand in her pocket. “Oh, nothing, I just…I like your hair, that’s all. It suits you.”

“Oh! Thank you!”

“Yeah. Alright, see you later.”

The girl closed the door. I was able to contain myself all the way to the elevator, where I couldn’t stop myself from hugging my skateboard and squealing in excitement.

2B to Tea

Another flash fic request! It was hard to find a reason for these two to meet up and smooch at first, but it came together in the end. This isn’t 100% canon-compliant, but that’s okay.

Also I love 6O. She’s so cute!! This was a good request to get. 🙂


The clack of 2B’s heels echoed through the halls of the Bunker. It was relatively empty — most of the other androids were likely at Command, or on a mission on the surface. She couldn’t feel the cold that crept through each section of the base as she passed through, matched with the dark expanse of space that sat outside. 2B didn’t know why the Bunker had windows. Anything that needed to be seen could be through the numerous high-tech sensors that adorned the Bunker’s exterior. But she didn’t see the need in asking why, either. It seemed to have always been this way. And sometimes 2B would look out at the stars glittering out in front of her when she looked out the window. She would never admit it to anyone if they asked, but she enjoyed the view.

2B had a day off. It was a rarity in her line of work, but even androids needed to rest. As her Pod would constantly point out, work with no sign of stopping was detrimental to her performance, which in turn was detrimental to the mission as a whole. She would rather have been back out on the field, but the last thing 2B needed was a reprimand from the Commander. Plus, she had already been tied up with plans at this point.

2B made some cross between a grimace and a smirk when she remembered it. She and 9S were in the City Ruins on reconnaissance when 2B received a call.

“Operator 6O to Combat Unit 2B!” came the sing-song voice on the other end of the line. 2B accepted the communication.

“2B here. What do you need, 6O?”

“Command wanted to notify you that you have a mandatory day off tomorrow!”

2B flinched. “Is it…really mandatory?”

“Yes, 2B! Gosh, a bit of rest wouldn’t kill you you know!”

2B sighed at her operator’s admonishment. “I suppose so. Fine. I’ll report in for my rest day tomorrow.”

There was silence on the other end of the line. 2B frowned.

“You should still be on the line. Signal’s clear,” 9S said, checking his systems.

“6O? Can you hear me?” 2B asked.

“So then 2B…that means you don’t have any plans tomorrow, do you?” 6O said in whisper of a voice.

“What? Of course not. You just told me I have time off.”

“Great! So that means we can go on a date tomorrow, right?”

If 2B were human, she would have broken out into a cold sweat. It wasn’t that she wasn’t interested in 6O — she actually was, though she’d die before admitting it to anyone that asked. She just wasn’t prepared to go on a date so soon. And yet, she had no excuse to dodge the meeting. 2B was caught in 6O’s trap.

“I suppose…I don’t have a choice do —”

Before 2B could finish her sentence, 6O’s high-pitched squeal shot through on the other end of the line, nearly causing 2B to short-circuit. It was more powerful than some of the EMP blasts she had been subjected to in battle.

Yes! Okay, I’ll give you the details later, but we’ll meet tomorrow at 1600 hours! Don’t be late! Operator 6O out!”

The connection closed. 2B was left to look out at the horizon as a breeze ruffled her skirt, too shocked to move or speak.

Thusly did 2B make her way to 6O’s appointed coordinates. She was in a part of the Bunker she never found herself visiting. A pleasant smell was wafting through the door in front of her. This was probably the place.

2B opened the door to let herself in, and found herself face-to-face with…

“What is this?” 2B asked aloud.

It was unlike anything she had ever seen before. Rather than the usual silver and black walls, 2B had found herself in a small room with wooden panels on all sides. Pictures adorned the walls, and light blue and green streamers hung in the rafters above her. A handful of other androids were sitting at different tables, and they had drinks in their hands. This was some sort of…coffee shop?

Before 2B could ruminate further, she saw an overly energetic hand waving towards her from the corner of the room.

“Over here!” 6O called out. She had replaced her usual uniform with an elegant black and yellow dress. She looked more adorable than ever.

Subsequently, 2B felt very under-dressed.

The android cleared her throat, before making her way to 6O’s table.

“6O,” she said, giving a bow. Was it too polite? Oh damn, she was already messing up. 2B tried to bulldoze her way past her paralyzation and sat down.

“Has this place always been here?” she asked. 6O chuckled.

“Yes, silly! The Bunker Cafe has been here forever. It’s a spot where androids can relax when they’re not on the job. You’ve just never seen it because you never take a day off, and when you do you spend all your time sleeping in your room!”

“It seemed like the most optimal use of my time in regards to the mission…” 2B replied. 6O passed the woman a menu that she began to peruse.

“It’s built to mimic the same structures that humans would spend their time relaxing in,” 6O said as 2B examined the menu.

“They sure were strange creatures.” Still, she was intrigued by the whole concept. It seemed that Nines’ curious nature was beginning to rub off on her.

“What are you ordering?” 2B asked. She almost never ate human food, even though she had the capability, because it was unecessary. She figured it best to defer to 6O, who was fascinated by human meals.

“Lunar tea!” the girl replied, grinning. “It’s the best thing you can drink here!”

“I’ll get the same then,” 2B replied. “And a plate of biscuits as well.” She wasn’t interested in them, but she noticed 6O eyeing the ones on a table next to them a few times. 2B could tell she made the right decision when 6O’s eyes lit up.

“Make sure to share!” she said. 2B smiled.

“Of course.”

The Cafe wasn’t exactly busy, so the pair’s tea and snacks came to them quickly. 2B picked up one of the biscuits. It was circular, and had a face baked into it with two large round eyes and a wide grin spread across it.

“Creepy,” 2B said, before taking a bite.

“How’s field work going?” 6O asked. 2B crossed one leg over the other and took a sip from her drink, which was surprisingly tasty.

“Fine,” she replied. “There hasn’t been much in the way of unusual activity. We just perform our usual recon missions before returning to base.”

6O sighed. “I would kill to go to the surface,” she said, pouting. “It looks so beautiful. I wanna see it all in person!”

“Operators have no reason to go to the surface,” 2B said matter-of-factly. 6O stuck her tongue out at the woman, causing her to blink in surprise.

“Haven’t you ever wanted to do something just because you wanted to, 2B? Like yeah, missions are important, but isn’t there anything you want yourself?”

This was the part of 6O that 2B was always thrown off by. She seemed to not have a filter on anything she said, even for an Operator unit. 2B put her hand under her chin in thought.

“I suppose…I haven’t,” she said. “Oh!”

6O leaned forward. “Oh?”

“I did want to see you today. That was for myself.” 2B nodded, content with her answer. She noticed that 6O had covered her face with her hands.

“6O?” she asked, puzzled. “Are you alright?”

Blghhhaa, 2B!” she said, her voice muffled by her hands. “You can’t just say stuff like that out of nowhere!”

“I was answering your question,” 2B said. 6O waved her hands in front of her.

“Just forget about it!”

The two women went on with their cafe meals, chatting about missions they had worked on and Bunker gossip that 6O had heard while on the job. She idly spinned the straw in her tea, staring into its depths when she next spoke.

“I’m glad you said yes to this,” she said, quieter than she usually was. “I was afraid you wouldn’t.”

2B’s eyes widened. “Why wouldn’t I?”

“Well…the last girl I asked out turned me down…”

This was something 2B hadn’t heard about.

“Really?”

6O blushed. “Yeah…I kinda liked her, but…I don’t know, I guess I wasn’t good enough. Sorry, this isn’t exactly a date topic, is it?”

2B shook her head. “I’m glad she said no.”

“What?”

“If she had said yes, I wouldn’t have been able to be here with you.”

6O was near to tears. Her cheeks were flushed red.

“Two-beeeee,” she said, finally letting out a sob. 2B pat the girl’s hand, flustered herself.

“Get a hold of yourself, 6O,” she said as gently as she could muster.

The girls left the cafe twenty minutes later. 2B stretched, letting out a cat-like yawn.

“I have to admit. That was nice.”

“Wasn’t it?” 6O replied, bouncing on her toes. 2B nodded

“I’ll walk you back to Command,” she said.

The pair made their way through the Bunker’s hall. 2B had passed through them numerous times with collegues, but walking with 6O, she couldn’t help but perceive a sort of warmth in them, even if she knew it wasn’t there. She stopped herself from smiling before 6O could notice.

They arrived at the front entrance of Command a short while later. 6O turned to 2B, hands clasped together as she looked more at 2B’s feet than at 2B herself.

“Well, this is my stop,” she said, giving a nervous chuckle.

“It is,” 2B replied. “Oh yes, one last thing.”

2B popped open the containment slot built into her thigh, and pulled out a bright white flower. She offered it to 6O, who gasped.

“Is that…?”

“A Lunar Tear, yes. You mentioned wanting to see one before, so I got one on the way back to Base yesterday. It’s yours.”

2B placed the Lunar Tear in 6O’s hair. It blended brillianty with the girl’s blond locks. 2B took a step back, admiring her placement.

“I think it looks good. What about you, 6O?”

In answer, 6O rushed forward, pulling 2B into a hug before looking up to kiss her. 2B was shocked for half a second, before she wrapped her arms around the girl, kissing her in turn. They stayed like that for a while, held in each others arms, before finally letting each other go.

“I hope you get another day off soon, 2B,” 6O said. She turned on her heel and rushed into Command. 2B watched her leave.

“Me too,” she whispered.

Art by @astronauts321

It Suits You!





“That’s the stream everyone! Gotta cut it early, Queen and I have somewhere to be!”

Mint took her headset off and placed it on the table, running her hands through her hair. It always got messy when she was wearing it. The stream was good — it was a Tuesday, meaning it was quiet enough that Aprajita and Bubblegum didn’t have to stick around and moderate. And the game she was playing was pretty fun too. But, real life called, and she had to answer.

Mint leapt from her gaming chair, grabbed a nearby brush, and bounced lightly out of her room and across her house’s wooden panels. Her socks masked her sound. Good — she wanted to initiate a surprise attack.

The girl turned left at the end of the hallway and stopped outside the door. Queen, Mint’s girlfriend, could be heard inside, lightly strumming her guitar. Though she wasn’t inside, Mint could picture her face: pink hair masking her eyes, which were probably furrowed in concentration as she moved from one chord to another.

Sun filtered past the awning and through the window, warming Mint’s face. She smiled, turning to open the door to the studio slowly so as to not let it creak. Queen’s back was turned. She crept up on the girl, before letting out a bellow.

“Queen!”

The taller girl leapt off of the stool she was playing on, nearly dropping her guitar. She whirled at Mint.

“What?” she asked, concern written on her face. Mint almost felt bad for teasing her girlfriend, but it was too easy not to. She turned away from Queen, running her fingers through her green locks in a dramatic flourish.

“Brush my hair!” she commanded.

Queen sighed, letting her shoulders relax.

“Hell Mint, I thought someone broke into the place! You almost gave me a heart-attack. What if I dropped my guitar?”

“I wooooould buy you another one?” Mint asked. Queen sighed yet again. She sighed pretty often around Mint.

“Right. Can’t argue with that I guess.” She threw a hand out, gesturing at Mint’s brush in defeat.

“Get over here,” Queen said. Mint hopped over to the girl and sat on the floor, crossing her legs while Queen got back on her stool and began to brush. The girls sat in silence for a moment as Queen settled into a rhythm going through Mint’s sea of hair with the brush.

Mint’s eyes were shut in relaxation when she heard Queen begin to hum. It was the same few chords from before. She opened her eyes to look up at Queen, lost in thought. Mint smiled. Queen eventually noticed, blushing a deep crimson.

“What?” she asked.

“You’re cute when you get so into your work.”

“O-oh.”

“Is this for the next album?”

“Maybe. I’m trying to figure out the mid-section but I can’t seem to get it down.”

Mint stuck a hand out towards nothing in particular.

“Let me hear it tomorrow. Maybe I can help.”

“Alright.”

The pair sat in silence for a moment longer. Mint tapped on Queen’s knee.

“Have you thought about what you’re wearing tonight?” she asked. Queen looked away.

“I kinda thought…I wouldn’t have to go.”

“What!?”

Mint leapt to the air, nearly knocking Queen on the chin as she did so. She flipped around to look at her girlfriend, hands planted firmly on her hips.

“You have to go! I’m presenting an award! And it might be to Miku!”

Queen’s exasperation was palpable. “I know, I know, I just…”

Mint’s expression softened. She lightly lifted Queen’s chin up with a finger, who had resorted to staring at the floor.

“Just what?” she asked.

“I wanted…to wear…a suit.” Queen could barely get the words out. Mint tilted her head.

“That’s it?” she asked, puzzled. Queen ran a hand through the shaved half of her hair.

“Agh, see, I knew you wouldn’t get it!”

“Get what? You gotta tell me Queen!”

“I just…I feel like it’d be embarrassing, you know? But I don’t wanna wear a dress. I want to wear a suit. But no one’s ever seen me in formal clothes before. Just my usual punk stuff. What do they think I’m gonna wear? What do they think I should wear? What if people think I’m weird?”

Mint interrupted Queen’s rambling. She grabbed the girl’s hand and yanked her to her feet.

“Wha–“

“Come with me.”

Mint sped out of the room, nearly yanking Queen’s arm off as they half-walked, half ran to their shared room. She directed Queen to the dresser on the far wall and yanked it open. It was mostly filled with Queen’s things — Mint still grabbed most of her clothes out of her suitcase, since she was too lazy to hang them up after the girls had moved in together.

Mint pointed at the dresser.

“Where is it?”

Queen stared at the dresser, mouth open as if she were about to say something. She looked at Mint, then back at the dresser again. Mint crossed her arms.

“You must have it, if you wanted to wear it, right?”

Queen nodded. She pulled out a black bag that was hanging in the middle of the dresser.

“Put it on,” Mint said.

“What!?”

Mint tapped at her ear. “Huh. I didn’t think I was wearing my headset,” the girl said. “So there’s no audio feedback. Which means I definitely was clear in what I said. Put it on!”

“A-alright.”

Queen went to the bathroom to change. Mint rolled her eyes.

“She knows I’ve seen her undress, and that I’ve undressed her myself, right?” she asked the room’s dead air. It didn’t respond, leaving Mint to huff alone.

She waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Finally, before she thought to go and find the girl herself, Queen came back into the bedroom, dressed in a sharp white tuxedo.

“Sorry,” she said, giving a sheepish grin. “I had to talk myself out of the bathroom. Uh…Mint?”

Mint seemed to have short-circuited. She was, at the very least, speechless. She took a few steps forward, until she was face-to-face with Queen, and reached out to touch one of the suit’s buttons.

“It’s too much, isn’t it?” Queen said, her worst fears realized. “It’s –“

“It’s hot.”

“It’s what?” Queen sputtered.

“It’s. Hot.” Mint looked up to lock eyes with the girl, before getting on her tip-toes to kiss Queen. When Mint backed away, Queen was just as speechless as Mint was moments before.

“Uh, that was nice,” she finally managed to say. “You really like it?”

“Queenie,” Mint said, using the girl’s pet name. “The only thing stopping me tearing that thing off of you is the fact that it’d be a pain to get ready for the Award Show a second time.”

“Wow. You really like it.”

Mint smoothed her skirt down, seemingly more composed. “Sure I do Queen, but do you? It’s your opinion that matters. I don’t want to pull you one way or the other, I just want you to be comfortable. And happy.”

Queen examined the suit on her body again. “I feel…good,” she said. “But I’m still really nervous. I mean, you know me Minty. Big changes, big anxiety.” The girl let out a short laugh.

Mint had a hand under her chin. She wasn’t looking at Queen at all anymore, but rather the wall behind her — or, perhaps even further. Queen knew that when this was happening, it meant the girl was going into overdrive. Finally, her eyes lit up.

“Don’t go anywhere,” she said, before running out of the bedroom. She turned to poke her head back in.

“I mean, get ready to go, but don’t go anywhere!” she said. “And keep the suit on!” she added as she ran out of the house.

It was two hours until Mint returned, and when she did, she shooed Queen away from her. “Don’t look at me!” she shouted as she ran down the opposite end of the hallway and into the bathroom. Queen watched her zoom past.

“Are we…are we still going to the show?” she asked, confused. Mint didn’t answer.

More time passed. Queen looked at her watch. She knocked on the bathroom door.

“Hey, it’s almost time to go, but, I don’t think I’ll–“

The girl was interrupted by the bathroom door swinging open. Mint stood in front of her girlfriend wearing her own suit, cut slightly differently at the cuffs. She twirled for Queen, before ending with a pose.

“Well? How do I look?” she asked her girlfriend, winking.

It was Queen’s turn to short-circuit. She was beet-red this time around.

Mint continued, seeing as her girlfriend was verbally out of commission. “I didn’t want you to be nervous, so I figured, why don’t we match? I wasn’t sure at first, but I think I cut a pretty good figure in a suit, don’t you?”

Queen steadied herself on the bathroom door.

“Yes,” she said simply.

“So, you’ll go?”

“Yes.”

“In the suit?”

“Yes.”

Mint clapped her hands together.

“Great!” she said. And she meant it.

They were finally ready to go. The two girls stood at the front door, putting their dress shoes on. Queen mumbled something, but Mint couldn’t quite hear it.

“Huh? What?” she asked, leaning forward to hear her. Queen looked away before repeating herself.

“I said, ‘what did I do to deserve such a good girlfriend.'”

Mint’s eyes widened. She stared at Queen for a second, before finally speaking.

“I mean, if you got a girl like me, you’re probably not too shabby yourself, right?”

Mint reached up to kiss the girl again, before the two went on their way.

Mara and Rubrim – Patreon Story

Mara waited.

She had been sitting on the rock for a few hours now, but had been waiting far longer. Years, in fact, and seven to be precise. It was a lucky number for a lot of people.

Not for her.

Were she not so anxious, Mara could have taken a moment to appreciate the beach spray as the waves lapped up against the shore. The cove was always beautiful this time of year. On a weekday, everyone at the island would be working, and with her free period being the last one of the school-day, Mara was able to enjoy some of the stillness outside, with only the occasional passing car disturbing her bike ride. If you could fly, you’d be able to see how the cove formed into a crescent moon of sorts, almost perfectly. There was supposedly a mathematical beauty that could be applied to geography, but Mara wouldn’t know — it was her worst subject.

She checked her bag for the seventieth time.

Chalk: check.

Prism: check.

Pocket knife: check.

MP3 Player: a very expensive check.

Everything was there, she knew that, but it was the only thing keeping her sane while she waited.

Mara examined her wrist. 8 o’clock. 17 minutes to go.

It was time to start.

She hopped off of the rock, careful not to scuff her uniform shoes in the sand, and trudged over to the cliff wall. It was vined over, but that’s what the knife was for. With a deft hand, Mara flicked it open, cutting away at the foliage until there was nothing but cracked gray rock in front of her. Satisfied, she turned away and took seven steps forward, before pulling out the prism from her pack and laying it down on the sand, making sure the sun would shine on it.

10 minutes to go.

Mara took a deep breath, taking in the smell of the sun as well. No point in panicking — if it wasn’t perfect, it wouldn’t work. Not for another seven years. She returned to the wall, pulling out the chalk. The sigil wasn’t too complicated, but it required a steady hand. Mara didn’t need the Book to draw it — she had memorized it by heart in the past seven years. It dotted itself on every doodle she whittled away at in class. There was no way she was ever going to forget it.

She took a step back, admiring her handiwork. It was perfect, or at least as perfect as she could make it. And with 7 minutes to spare too. Not bad. Mara sat back on the rock. Nothing left to do but wait.

The last seven minutes were agonizingly slow. But it was finally time. The sun touched the horizon. A beam of light shot itself across the ocean waves, straight into the prism. A kaleidoscope of colors burst forth, painting the sigil on the wall in rainbow hues.

A moment passed.

The sun continued to set, but the colors were now burned into the wall. They sparkled, before bursting out, like a switch had been activated. Mara did her best to contain her excitement: it had worked.

The wall began to fade away. In its place stood a girl with brilliant red hair and a grin plastered on her face.

“Did you wait long?” she asked.

“Rubrum!” Mara shot forward, tackling the girl with a hug. She held her like that for at least a full minute, before Rubrum finally yanked free from the girl’s grasp, laughing all the while.

“I take it that’s a yes.”

“Seven years, seven hours and seventeen minutes, to be exact! I’ll be happy if I never have to see the number again. But forget that, come and sit down!”

Mara led the red-haired girl to a blanket she had spread out on the sand. There were two smoothies waiting for them.

“Wow, you’re actually prepared this time,” Rubrum said. Mara pouted.

“Shut up! I was ten last time, I barely knew how to tie my shoes.”

“I’m pretty sure ten year olds know how to tie their shoes, Mara.”

“I will shove you back into that hole if you don’t stop!”

“And miss out on a mango smoothie? You can try.” Rubrum plopped onto the blanket, taking a giant sip from the drink, before letting out a satisfying sigh.

“Ah! I missed this.”

Mara sat down next to the girl.

“What, they don’t have smoothies in your world?”

“They do, but nothing like this.” Rubrum took another sip. “Ours are all about revealing the secrets of the universe, and other such nonsense. I hope when they’re found, ‘add flavor to your food’ sits at the very top. See how dumb they feel.”

“If I had known, I would have brought more for you to take with you,” Mara said, trailing her finger in the sand.

“It’s all good!”

“Oh! I did bring this though.” Mara ruffled through her bag, and pulled out the MP3 Player.

“I filled it up with a whopping 30 gigs of Ska music, just for you. God knows why you like that stuff, but I guess somebody has to. Oh, and it’s red!”

“Holy crap, is that a Zune!?” Rubrum grabbed the music player out of the girl’s hand, examining it closely. “I was looking at these in my Scroll like a week ago! I can’t believe you got me one!”

“I can’t either,” Mara replied, unable to stop herself from grinning. “This was a year’s worth of savings, for your information. Don’t say I don’t do anything for you.”

This time it was Rubrum that put Mara into a choke-hold of a hug.

“Thankyouthankyouthankyou!”

Mara pushed the girl off her. “Yeah, yeah, you’re welcome.”

“I’ve actually got something for you too!” Rubrum pulled her satchel off from her robes, popping it open. She pulled out a green book.

“You said you were interested in flight techniques, so I figured I’d give you my old beginner’s book of runes! It’s really simple stuff, so you can do it, even without the aptitude. Just…make sure nobody’s around when you do it, or they’re going to ask questions.”

“Wow!” Mara took the book into her hands, flipping it open to check the pages.

“Yeah, I think I can make this work. Thank you!”

“Of course! Now take a sip of your smoothie, it’s starting to warm up.”

“Oh wow, you’re right.”

The girls drank and talked, regaling each other of the time they spent apart. Thought it had been so long, it was if no time had passed at all. The sun gave way to stars as the hours passed. They lay on the beach, staring up at them.

“It’s weird,” Mara said.

“What’s weird?”

“That we meet up like this, but…you know, we both look up at the same stars. It’s weird to think about.”

Rubrum snorted. “That’s corny as heck, Mara.”

Pft. Yeah, it is.”

“But it’s true.”

The girls sat in silence.

“Can I really not come see you?” Mara asked. Rubrum got up, the elbow she lent on slightly scraped by the sand.

“You know you can’t, Mara. If you did the Gate would get closed immediately. We’re already brushing up against dimensional law as is. I had to petition the Elders for a year and a half just for them to consider this.”

“I know…but I want to.”

“And I want you to…” Rubrum sighed.

“Fine. I will ask them. But no promises, do not get your hopes up!” she rushed to finish as Mara squealed in excitement. The red-haired girl got up, examining a rock of some sort on her wrist.

“That’s time. I better get back.”

Mara sat up, running her hand through her hair.

“Really? You can’t stay a little longer?”

“Hey, I’m about to ask the Elders to break a ten-thousand year law. We really shouldn’t push it, Mara.”

“Ooookaaaay,” she said, getting up herself. The two girls walked to the cove wall together. It shone its rainbow hues once more.

Rubrum turned to Mara grinning. “Same time, same place?”

Mara grabbed the girl into a hug. “Always. I’ll be waiting.”

Rubrum rubbed her eyes and quickly turned away, hoping that Mara didn’t see. She did.

“See you!”

The red-haired girl stepped towards the wall. And then she was gone.

Mara stood in front of it, waiting. She knew nothing was going to happen — that Rubrum wouldn’t suddenly reappear, that they’d get to go on further adventures together — but it didn’t hurt to wait.

Nothing happened. Mara grabbed her things together, hopped on her bike, and began to peddle. She had no idea what she’d be like seven years from now, but she knew that Rubrum would be waiting for her.

And Mara would be there.


Thanks to WagonStar for this request! If you want me to write a story for you, feel free to subscribe to my Patreon!

H’aanit x Primrose: A Hunting Trip

2019 is the year I write more overly-indulgent fanfiction of my favorite ships, baby.


“We have to wait for how long?”

Primrose clung tightly to the red furs she found herself layered in, attempting to trap every bit of heat she could in S’warkii’s frigid forest temperatures. The sun was shining through the forest trees, but it wasn’t enough to completely empty the place of snow, with melted water and slicked ice surrounding her. Primrose was more used to Sunshade’s deserts, and wasn’t happy with how different she looked in the change of clothes – like a lightly toasted marshmallow.

“As I said already, it will not reveal itself for a few more hours. We will have to wait.” H’aanit was too busy taking care of her bow on a nearby log to take notice of Primrose’s discomfort. She adjusted the strength of the bow’s string, carefully pulling it to check its weight against her hands without damaging the weapon. Primrose watched her, leaning against their tent. She loved seeing the woman work, fully absorbed in her task. It seemed like this was when H’aanit was most at peace, and it pleased Primrose to see her so.

“When I said ‘take me on a date,’ I didn’t exactly mean a hunting trip,” Primrose teased. H’aanit looked up, shaking her blonde braid out of the way.

“I have been to your home, but you have never been to mine. This is what we do. What I was raised to do.” It was true, of course — Primrose was the last to join the merry band of eight. She had warmed up to each of them individually — even Olberic, with all his stoicism. But Primrose was immediately smitten with H’aanit the minute she saw her, quietly sipping at her ale in the Sunshade tavern while the rest of the party…well, partied, her beautiful snow leopard curled up at her feet. Primrose always had trouble opening up to others, considering her past. Despite that, people were always so nosy.

But H’aanit…here was a woman who knew not to pry. She never pressed Primrose on anything, preferring to let her speak when she was ready. Her silence wasn’t that of contempt or disinterest, but a companionable warmth. It made Primrose feel safe to share her heart.

Prim lightly shook herself out of her reminiscing. “You’re right. And even if S’warkii is freezing, it’s still beautiful. How often did you come to these woods?”

“Nearly every morning, with my master.” H’aanit placed her bow in the snow next to her. With a deft hand she unsheathed a pocket knife, sharpening her arrows one after the other. “This place is beautiful in the spring. I didn’t take much notice of it at first, but Z’aanta encouraged me to find the beauty in it all: the dew on the grass, the way the sunlight comes in softer than it does in the summer. How pools of water disturb the forest’s silence just so…” H’aanit laughed.

“What?”

“That old man is a fool, but I’ve come to realize that he is the only reason I am with you now.”

Primrose’s eyes widened. “Really?”

“Really. I always felt that I needed to be…serious. Responsible. Perhaps it was due to never knowing my mother and father. Regardless, I always chose to ignore anything that wasn’t important to my role as village guardian. But I’ve come to realize that I don’t need to be like that all the time — that it was fine for me to enjoy myself, to open myself up to what I want, instead of what I needed to do. And if I hadn’t, I would not have been able to meet a girl as lovely as you.”

If Prim wasn’t wasn’t red from the cold, she was certainly scarlet now. The girl coughed into her mitted hands.

“That’s quite enough of that,” she muttered, her eyes shifting nervously. H’aanit tilted her head, a small smile on her lips.

“Are you embarrassed, perhaps?”

“I will walk all the way back to Sunshade by myself if you do not stop!”

“Were it not to disturb our prey, my laugh would be heard from here all the way to town,” H’aanit said. Her fist was clenched, as if she had captured the laughter like one of her many beast. Primrose stomped a foot.

“It’s so frustrating! I’m so used to being in control, but around you…well I am a mess, to put it simply.”

“Good.”

“It is very well not good!”

“It is.” H’aanit rose from the log and walked past Primrose to pull out her traps from her bag, making sure they were maintained as well. The scent of pine-needle and sandalwood   floated past Prim, causing her pulse to quicken.

“I am glad that you loosen your walls around me, Primrose. To keep them up at all times must be exhausting.”

The dancer shrugged her shoulders. “You get used to it, to be honest. I learned when to put on the mask of a smile when I was on stage, and after a while, I carried it wherever I went. I had to.”

H’aanit placed the traps back in the bag, turning to face Primrose, her jaw taunt.

“When the time comes that you must finish your journey, Linde and I will be by your side, ready to face what comes. I trust you know this?” Now it was Primrose’s turn to smile.

“Of course I do, H’aanit. Oh, that reminds me!” Prim snapped her fingers, before rummaging through her bag.

“What is it?”

“One second…” Eventually, the woman pulled two emerald green ribbons.

“A match! For you and Linde. I wasn’t sure what your favorite color was, so I just used my own judgment. If you don’t like them, the shopkeep promised that we could swap them out, but I wanted it to be a surprise.”

“They’re perfect,” H’aanit said. She took one of the ribbons from Primrose’s hands, lifting it up to the sun so the light could bounce off of it. Without warning, she leaned down, pressing her lips against Prim’s. The girl was startled for a moment, before she closed her eyes, kissing H’aanit back. The forest, if not the world, was silent, but for the two of them.

Finally Primrose drew back, taking a few sharp breathes.

“Okay, we must stop there, or I will melt through these furs. Now turn around for me.”

Primrose sat on the log, while H’aanit leaned up against the girl’s knees in the snow, letting the dancer do her hair for her and tying the ribbon along with it.

“Prim?”

“Hm?” Primrose hummed as she worked.

“After this, I would show you how to use a bow.”

Prim looked up into the trees. The sun would be setting soon, and after that, the hunt would begin in earnest. There was still so much to do. A promise that Primrose had yet to fulfill. But for now, she was content.

“Of course,” Primrose replied, stroking H’aanit’s hair.

My Street Fighter Academia

One time I wrote fanfiction about the kids from My Hero Academia playing Street Fighter. The real reason I wanted to do this was to test out whether it’d be possible to write a story about people playing fighting games. I think it worked out pretty well, and was actually quite fun to write!


Night had settled on Heights Alliance, and with it, so did the mood of the heroes-in-training that had taken residence there. After a busy day of unpacking and setting up, the students were exhausted, scattered about in the dorm’s common area. The drowsy feeling was shattered when Kaminari suddenly burst through the door, carrying a small box in his hand.

“I forgot I brought this!” the boy shouted, snapping Deku wide awake.

“Brought what?” the boy asked. Kaminari stuck the box out, displaying it proudly.

“*Street Fighter 5*! It’s a classic, but this is the newest one. You don’t play videogames, Deku?”

“No, not often…” Deku took the box from the boy, turning it over and reading the description.

“Ah, it’s a fighting game?” he asked.

Kirishima joined the conversation, punching the air this way and that. “Yeah! You fight your opponent one on one, and whoever’s stronger wins! It’s the manliest thing there is! Eh, besides hero-work, I guess.”

Deku pulled up his phone and began to do research as the rest of the boys set up the game and booted it up.

“Who do you play?” Kirishima asked Kaminari.

“Laura!” the boy replied. “Same electricity as me!”

“Zangief for me,” Kirishima replied. “He’s the manliest guy in the game!”

Iida, having been watching from afar, stepped over as well.

“All good choices! However, Chun Li is clearly the best character! She exemplifies every aspect of a hero!”

The two boys stared at Iida. Kaminari scratched his head.

“I honestly didn’t even know you played videogames, Iida. You don’t seem the type!”

Iida crossed his arms.

“Recreational activity is just as important as training! Balance is necessary to become a well-rounded person. There’s nothing wrong with videogames now and again!”

On a nearby couch, Deku’s eyes widened.

“There’s so much depth to this game!” he said in awe, scrolling through his phone even faster and taking in all of the info.

“Crush-counters…” he muttered. Kirishima waved to Todoroki and Bakugo.

“Come play you two!” he said. Todoroki shook his head.

“I’m no good with games. I’ve never even played one. It wouldn’t be very fun for you.”

Bakugo was much more direct.

“No.”

Kaminari smirked.

“Yeah, I guess you probably wouldn’t be very good at them either, would you Bakugo?”

The boy’s nostrils flared as he stomped over to the TV.

“I’ll show you who’s good!” he shouted, crashing to the floor and grabbing a controller next to Kirishima. The two picked their characters. Kirishima made good on his comment, immediately moving to Zangief. Bakugo, however picked —

“Menat?” Kirishima asked, in total disbelief. Bakugo looked ready to shoot fire from his mouth.

“Shut the hell up! She’s the best character in the game and wins all of the time, of course I’d pick her!”

Kirishima shrugged. The game loaded, and the match began. Kirishima took the first round easily, using Zangief’s unconventional grappling moves to beat Bakugo. The boy high-fived Kaminari as the two grinned. Bakugo growled.

“We have one more round! And I haven’t played in months!”

Kirishima whirled on the boy.

“Months?” he asked.

The second round began. Kirishima was able to get a few hits in, but he was soon getting outplayed by Bakugo. The boy used Menat’s orbs to great affect, juggling Zangief until his HP quickly ran out. He won the second round just as easily. Kirishima tossed his controller aside, crossing his arms.

“Dang it Bakugo! Can’t you just be not good at one thing, please?”

Bakugo stood up, cracking his shoulder.

“No.”

Iida took Bakugo’s place. “Kaminari! Let’s have a round!”

The two started their game, Iida picking Chun Li, Kaminari picking Laura. Iida easily took the boy down, using Chun Li’s swift kicks to finish him off.

“Why did you go easy on me?” Iida demanded. Kaminari put his hands up in defeat.

“I didn’t! I just don’t play very often.”

Kirishima gave a quizzical look from the couch he was stretched out on.

“Isn’t it your game?” he asked. Kaminari waved at the boy to be quiet. Iida turned to Deku.

“Midoriya! Would you like to give it a try?”

Deku’s head shot up from his phone, eyes bloodshot.

“I still need to figure out the tier list…” he replied, zombie-like. Iida frowned at the boy in concern, before moving on.

“What about you, Bakugo? Care to try a round?”

Bakugo scoffed, grabbing the controller that Kaminari had just put down.

“Hopefully you put up a bigger fight than that hard-head,” the boy said, grinning.

The two boys settled in for their fight. It was a sight to behold, and by the end of the second round, the whole class was standing behind the boys watching. It was a close match. Iida had Bakugo on the ropes, before eventually stunning his character. The group erupted with excitement, ready to see how Iida would follow up.

But he didn’t.

“Iida, use your special move!” Todoroki shouted, now surprisingly invested in the game.

“It is dishonerable to attack someone when they are already stunned beyond movement!” Iida shouted back. Bakugo took advantage of the momentary confusion and countered with his own special, knocking Chun Li out. The class clapped as the match ended.

“That’s right! I’m the best!” Bakugo said, stamping his foot on the ground. Aizawa showed up from the hallway to tell the group to settle down, before retreating back to his room. Iida pulled Deku over.

“Come on, Midoriya! Just one match!”

Bakugo turned his gaze on the boy, causing a chill to run down Deku’s spine.

“So? You gonna play or what?” Bakugo asked. Deku gulped.

“I mean…I’ve never even played before…”

Ochako, having watched the match with the rest of the class, grabbed Deku’s hand.

“Come on Deku! You can do it!”

Deku stared at the girl for a moment. He blushed, before clenching his fists.

“A-alright! I’ll play!”

The class erupted into cheers as the two boys took their places. Bakugo picked Menat yet again. Deku scrolled over, before tapping on Akuma. The man’s red, lion mane hair and seemingly permanent scowl appeared onscreen, causing the entire class gasped in response.

“Really?”

“Woah…”

“Akuma, huh?”

“That doesn’t seem like your type at all, Deku!” Ochako said, hand over her mouth in surprise. But Deku barely acknowledged her. He brain was moving at a million miles a minute.

“The Akuma versus Menat match-up isn’t great, but Akuma is top-tier and Bakugo’s never played me before…I can use the armor parry on any orbs he sends out, and since he plays so aggressively, when he sends the orb out…”

The match started. Deku’s play was cautious as he tapped the controller back and forth, letting Akuma almost dance across the stage while Bakugo tried to get a hit in. Deku barely attacked as Bakugo whittled down his hit points, and before long, the boy had won the round. The class groaned in protest.

“Midoriya, what are you doing?” Kirishima groaned. “Get in there and fight him!”

Iida, however, gave a knowing smile.

“The match isn’t over yet,” he said.

The second round began. Bakugo began to apply pressure with his orbs as he did previously. This time, however, it seemed Deku was ready. He carefully maneuvered around the attacks, before hitting Bakugo with a super.

“Isn’t it a little early to do that?” Kaminari asked Iida as the group cheered. Iida pointed a finger into the air as he explained.

“Normally, yes! But this is Deku’s first time ever playing a fighting game. He knows that he does not have the advantage of experience. So he is foregoing traditional traditional strategy in the hopes that it will throw Bakugo off. And by the looks of things, it seems to be working!”

Bakugo got Menat back up after she was knocked down and tried to hit Deku with a quick jab, but Akuma was already in the air, using a kick to knock Menat down again. The boy continued to mix up his moves, before he finally won the round.

The class was stunned for a second, before every student was shouting in excitement.

“He could still win it!” Kaminari said, pumping his fist.

“Go, Midoriya!” Iida shouted.

The third match began. Deku was a shaking mess. Bakugo, however, was tilted in anger, forgoing any strategy he had previously and bum-rushing Akuma with Menat. Unfortunately for him, Deku’s button-mashing was a bit more controlled, and Akuma’s ability to dish out stronger damage with his random attacks overtook Menat. Deku won the last round even easier than the first.

The dorm was almost shaking from the class’ cheers, with Kaminari and Kirishima lifting Deku up on their shoulders. Bakugo jumped from the ground and pointed at Deku, cutting the celebration short.

“You might have beat me at this stupid game, but see if you can take me on for real!” he shouted. Deku grimaced.

“It’s just a game, Kacchan…” he started to say. Bakugo crossed his arms.

“Whatever! I’ll practice and beat you, just like in real life!” With that, the boy left for his dorm room. Kirishima chuckled.

“Sheesh! So competitive! Well I’m beat, so I think I’ll head to bed too. Night all.”

Class 1A began to filter to their rooms, a signal that the night was over. Iida clapped Deku on the back.

“Congratulations, Midoriya! The first time you’ve played, and you win against Bakugo! A strong showing!”

Deku put his hand behind his head, staring at the ground in embarassment.

“Ah…it was nothing…”

But that wasn’t true. For at least a moment, Deku was happy — that he won against Bakugo, and that the class had a chance to forget the stress of their training.