THE FOLLOWING CHAPTER IS T RATED FOR LIGHTHEARTEDNESS AND FLUFFINESS. THERE WON'T BE ANY OF THE SUFFERING I PULLED LAST CHAPTER SO SIGH IN RELIEF!
I'll go up and say this. This is something that I've wanted to do for a while given personal preference however have been strictly hated for it.
But who cares!? These sorts of one-shots give way to crack fics and ideas that make little sense and I really wanted to do this and there is nothing stopping me from doing so! Heads up though, for those that are reading, if you look at the title down below and shake your head, something that another writer known as Darkbetrayer may be doing right about now, then this probably isn't for you.
But dealing with these types of crack ideas is what makes this fun to a massive extent so I hope your minds, bodies and souls are ready for this! After all, this is sort of based on an April Fool's joke that happened in 2015 if you remember that far but for those that do, you'll know where this is going.
Before we begin though, I'll keep this short just because I've wanted to do this for a while and have found it hard to put it in ACUL0 (I'm not giving up though!), and just want to get straight into it.
Yet here is the usual Q & A. Given the …nature of last chapter I think that there will be a lot of these so if you felt that there was something that you wanted addressed and felt then it was probably something that other people did as well given last chapter so there will be a pretty detailed coverage in this section of the questions and the like where I can afford it:
malandy: Most of the confusing stuff from last chapter did in fact come from the point about Index's memory being the focus of the story. From a large perspective, the 'memory' that she takes into herself is something that she should already know however as it was erased from magic, it's sort of like she's viewing it from an external perspective for the first time when she sees it again. Yet she has to remember it right? It's this sort of distinction and confusion that made the setting with Index rather hard. Hopefully it was smoothed over well though.
pop2ww: This reaction! This is exactly what I was going for when it came to last chapter, not a large sense of "This chapter was terribly/wonderfully written" but more of the sense of "Fuck" and "Shit" that you experienced. In terms of how Touma came into this, the BTL setting made it sort of hard to really delve into the aftermath and it's something that I really plan to cover heavily in ACUL0 when the idea comes up again so your questions and concerns will definitely be answered there. The Silent Screams then in a way were three words that could be used to really summarise not only what Touma felt last chapter but also Index amidst it all. In real life is there a chance of cannibalisation happening? I think it would largely depend on the situation but I am pretty sure that not everyone thinks like I do and thus I have to painfully say that I can see this sort of scene happening in real life. Not everyone thinks along the lines of "Eating is people is wrong" but even if they did, there comes a point where the rational mentality of someone can just snap which would make this type of scene entirely possible. Index then was definitely someone that suffered perhaps a bit more than Touma. For Touma experiencing the entire thing, he is entirely focused on Othinus and realises that it is her causing the distortion but for Index, the only thing that she can focus on is Touma dying and nothing else. for Index in her position, she can't look and analyse what is happening and objectify it; she can only see it for what it is as Touma dying and do nothing about it. Which in a sense makes the title, as you said more applicable to Index than Touma, especially since her screams disappear and become 'silent'. But that gap between Touma and Othinus only adds to his pain which is the most heart-breaking thing. But for everything that you said, I think that all of your points really touched upon heavily what I was trying to do last chapter.
Maldice: I felt as though the design that most matched her was that of Philuffy Aingram from Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle except her long blue hair, green eyes and wearing glasses. I also feel that given the similarities between the characters that the curse that was placed upon Maldice fits well with her character in the larger scope of things as well. Maldice was created to be a tragic character so I gave her an appearance that made one think that she did not have the capabilities of being a villain. In other words, save for the curse that was placed upon her and being forced into the world or Magic, she was supposed to be someone that did not belong otherwise there. Given that Hector fell in love with her despite it all, if anything the character trait that bests suits her had she not been cursed would have been the classic 'large breasted student council president' who has the capability of kind however views her position in contempt because of her curse. If anything, this was the main idea in my mind when I created her.
whwsms: If anything, the one thing that I am glad about when you read last chapter was that aftertaste. I didn't want you to feel good about the chapter at all: I wanted you to really look and it and WANT to turn away only to know in your mind that even if you skipped the damn thing that Touma would have gone through it anyway. Thus, if you wanted to, think of yourself as an Index character and then imagine who you would react 'seeing' it for yourself. That type of gap closing is something that I really wanted to get across for last chapter and I'm glad that it touched you in some way. As for your suggestion for the Day the World Cried…let's just say that Part 2 of the Futures Kaleidoscope touches upon it a lot more. Othinus's hell though would never even remotely end there if everyone remembered what she did to Touma…
UCCMaster: I hope that you didn't get in trouble with your co-workers… Anyway, for the most part I think that Mikoto and Misaki would have had similar but different reactions to what Touma went through but the whole 'memory' explanation fit better with Index especially when it came to the Magic side of things. Mikoto and other Science side members might just think of it as some sick dream.
Guest X: You…want a Part 2 of this? Part of me, when I was thinking of the original idea was that I wanted to have the Will's first person perspective of this as it was happening however the barrier to that is then justifying that the will does NOTHING while this is happening. It might be an interesting experiment in the scope of thing to try but the whole /return and /backscape speech might get annoying after a while…
wildarms13: Well it WAS your request! So the only thing that I am happy about is that you enjoyed it. Even though…well….Touma died. As for a chapter where Othinus confronts Touma or the other way around on what happened, I think I am going to leave that for a later stage and cover it in another one-shot. I mean, seeing The Silent Screams II would really trigger A LOT of people you know? But I do plan on having a separate one-shot series to deal with this type pf aftermath as well as cover it in ACUL0 too.
UnassumingMob: Thank you so much for your kind words regarding my projects. You have no idea how much they are appreciated. Something like last chapter though will be locked up inside of me and probably won't make an appearance in any chapters soon so rest assured.
FreakFactor: You wanted me to mention Himegami…even though she died? Well it was more so the fact that the world has descended into that type of hell that was more of the pressure point instead of the entire 'Who ate who' type of question. Although writing an entire story on just this one hell would be….'fun'. And YES! I knew that there was a manga where Accelerator is an idol. By the Gods, I am enjoying it, even though it is monthly which is a disappointment. Certainly one of the stranger spin offs.
seiker: Sorry that you read it that early in the morning last chapter though. Most of the things that I wanted to cover I couldn't really do in BTL so I plan to cover them on ACUL0 but because of the nature of that story, I can stretch out the suffering meaning that there won't be THAT much blood and stuff. However, it will be present but not to the same extent. In a way, all writers of Index support Touma x suffering in some way.
Pinto52: Thank you so much for your kind words on the matter. Hopefully the fact that this followed more of the novels was not something that was jarring despite it all and that you were fully engaged in the 'atmosphere' of the entire thing.
Horizon Dreamer: I sort of agree with you in terms of what you say about Touma forgiving Othinus however it is in his character. Not only that but the two of them spent ages with nothing but massacres so I feel as though that sort of sparked a sense of Touma thinking that if he hated Othinus the entire time then he spent all that time dying and just hating Othinus. I suppose he took it in his heart to forgive because he did not want to be swallowed up by nothing but hate you know? Touma needs a break though…..and this is me saying that. Yandere Mikoto is best Mikoto.
Anon Guest: Poor, poor Mongo. "At least we didn't say anything about what happened in the next world!" "Booooooooooo!"
SomethingTimeyWimey: I'm glad that you felt it was horrifying, it was really the very core of the entire chapter and just a sense of wrongness over the entire thing was supposed to permeate through you to the very core. But don't worry, the 'theme' wasn't really sins and the like but rather the sense of utter hopelessness so there won't be another six phases to cover the other sins. Although…..the world of Lust wouldn't be that bad right?
tenryu71: As a trope, the personification of suffering would be aa yandere. A 'human' personified as suffering already exists though, in another series written by Kamachi known as Blood-Sign. What I wrote here does not even compare to the shit that the White Queen can pull…..
vietnamese guy: Firstly, I want to say that your reaction was something that definitely hit the mark of what I was going for. Secondly, I want to apologise given the poor timing. When I released the chapter I sort of felt "Yeah….that was a bad idea." Although 2nd!? Well I'll take it were I can get it. But if anything, what you have said is exactly what I was going for. The sense of just "Leave Touma alone you motherfucker!" and "Just stop it!". And I put those emotions into Index and I feel as though everything that you said really resonated with what she was screaming all of last chapter. So I guess thank you for giving me exactly what I wanted and hopefully this will sooth the wound that you felt after last chapter. But seriously, thank you for your words and I promise that I won't do something this bad for a while. Also, again sorry for upsetting you.
Agent Nine: I didn't mind your rant! In fact, the fact that you were triggered was what I was going for, the entire sense of just "This is so wrong" and "I can't accept this" from the standpoint of a character. And this is the reader remembering it so imagine what would have happened if Index remembered? And yes, I agree with you. We have no idea how long Touma spent in those worlds however from the fact that we know that there were hundreds of billions, assuming that he spent a minute in each one (unlikely given what we know) and taking only 100 billion as our (lowest) guess for the amount of worlds, then Touma spent 190,258.75 years just dying. And that's the OPTIMISTIC view. Othinus noted in one volume that basically the time that he spent there was 'infinite' so I think that we can just assume that he spent an average of a year per world. So, you felt that 730 days was bad. But in reality, one second that passed for everyone else was something skin to hundreds of billions of years if not more for Touma just suffering. Reflect on that for a bit. And the answer to the question of "hoe can Touma not be brain dead after everything" was not really something that I could cover in BTL but something I plan to cover in ACUL0. Unfortunately given the light novel format Kamachi uses, it's unlikely that this will ever be addressed so I hope that when I use this idea in ACUL0 that you can come to have the same respect for Touma and horror that you felt here again. But thank you for your words nonetheless. And those questions are all things that I will definitely answer when I can do so looking at the larger format of ACUL0 so keep them in mind! And more than anything, Index not remembering anything at all is the kicker. It's the blow to Touma in that no one can help him through this pain and what constitutes the Silent Screams that come from him. And yeah… Touma should be in therapy. And I'll get around to that come ACUL0…
RandomReview: Your opinion of last chapter being pointless isn't wrong. And that sort of tangible nothingness was what I wanted you to be left with at the end of the day. What Index went through and the fact that she feels relief in knowing that this will all end destroyed anything that she should have felt. However she could not must ignore what was happening before her eyes despite realising that nothing she said or did would amount to anything. Index's presence and everything she said had no meaning in the scope of things and she came in with nothing and left with nothing as well. So where does that leave the people that do remember what happened? Othinus feels as though Touma is fine and he is going to continue to act that way for the sake of others. In the end, the ultimate suffering is that no matter how much Touma suffered, in the end there was that pointlessness to it all in that he actually gained nothing in the scope of things. The entirety of NT 9 was nothing more than Othinus's wish being fulfilled and what does Touma get out of it. Trauma and suffering and in the end, as you said nothing but pointlessness in his conclusion. So I won't say that you are wrong but I did want you to feel as though Touma is the one that gets nothing out of this but instead is left by himself once again to suffer. Although 'gore porn' was definitely an amusing way to put it! I didn't really want to cover numerous phases though given that I wanted everything to end as it did. but largely, I intend to add 'point' to the story when I add this sort of thing in ACUL0 but what you do when I tell you that is up to you. thank you though for your honest words and opinions.
And the thanks. I'd first like to thank PokeRescue18 for his work here. It's really been appreciated despite the stupid and ridiculous ideas that I end up coming up with.
And I'd also like to thank you, the reader. If you have reached this stage and read to the bottom of this, then kudos for you. You deserve a pat on the back and you have my utmost respect.
But enough of this! For those that want to continue with this, then I hope that you enjoy to the fullest. Keep in mind though, you might want to turn your brain off just for safety reasons!
And I hope you enjoy the chapter's fluffiness.
Mr Question Mark.
A Certain Scientific Suzushina Yuriko. First_Experience_of_Reverse_Gender.
The train yard in District 17 was dark. Flames sprung up from the ground in all directions and the ruins of the train yard itself had been made into that state from the people that currently stood in front of each other.
One had their face clenched with pain.
The other had their fists clenched in order to deal pain.
"Grit your teeth strongest!"
Their eyes met as they stared at each other, the beings known as Kamijou Touma and 'Accelerator' staring each other down, the latter doing so in fear and the former doing so with nothing more than a strong determination in his eyes.
He shouted and let the words fly, strength and determination in them despite the physical state he was in.
"You're going to get a good taste of my weakest!"
The fist flew and 'Accelerator' went wide eyed as the fist connected. Blood flew from where it struck, the nose bleeding as the force of the blow flung 'Accelerator' backwards, limbs flailing in all directions.
'Accelerator' had that one thought as the fist sent pain rocketing through their body, blurring their consciousness and turning the last remnants of their thoughts into a massive mess.
However even then, it seemed as though the true battle had yet to be finished.
Without any warning, the fist suddenly opened, grabbing 'Accelerator' by the front of the shirt. Eyes wide, they turned to face Kamijou who had his bloodied face split into a wide grin as he stared at his opponent. His gaze told them that he had yet to finish, that the final blow had yet to be dealt even though it was clear who was the victor here.
Yet the gaze of Kamijou Touma indicated that this fight was far from over.
"And you'll be doing so in more ways than one!"
'Accelerator' could not even show the shock on their face as Kamijou pulled them closer. Fear of pain rocked their body as they turned their head which had no energy behind it in the direction of the boy's left fist. Kamijou had a strange right hand such that even the power of 'Accelerator' didn't stand a chance. At this close range that he was touching them, the power of 'Accelerator', which was also called Accelerator, would be negated, allowing the boy to strike his opponent once more in the face.
However, 'Accelerator' noted that the left fist was not clenched, only rising up and joining the right as it clenched the front of their chest.
That was the only thought that they had as the boy in front of 'Accelerator' instantly pulled on the cloth that he gripped, pulling 'Accelerator' towards him. Instantly, the distance that had separated the two bitter opponents was negated, much like 'Accelerator's' power, going to zero as the boy pulled his opponent closer.
And there was one detail about him that 'Accelerator' did not, could not miss.
And that was the fact that 'Accelerator' was being pulled towards the boy's lips.
Instantly realising the nefarious plan, 'Accelerator's' eyes went wide however there was nothing that they could do against that killer right hand that had negated their powers. The only thing that they could do was endure whatever was to come as the distance truly became zero now.
And it did so with the lips of Kamijou Touma meeting that of 'Accelerator's' as the strongest got a good 'taste' of the weakest.
That scream erupted into the air as 'Accelerator' rolled off the couch that they were sleeping on, landing on the floor panting heavily as they looked all around them in order to see if there was anyone that had seen that particular incident.
No one was around, the apartment that was owned by Yomikawa Aiho being completely empty as 'Accelerator' breathed heavily, catching themselves on the sofa that they had fallen asleep on as they slowly stood up. Their cane sat to the side but 'Accelerator' paid it no mind, only focusing on what had just transpired within their own mind.
"It's just a dream. A terrible, horrible dream."
They said that over and over again however they could feel a strange warmth on the corner of their cheeks, something that they instantly wanted to go away but did not have the knowledge to do so. 'Accelerator' tried to form words however they came out as nothing more than a confused splutter as they sighed.
It wasn't just their face that had undergone a change after experiencing that dream. Despite the warmth there 'Accelerator' could definitely hear their heart beating in their ears as they slowly sat down on the couch that they had fallen off and slowly moved their hand to their chest in order to determine just how fast their heart was racing.
And as they did so, they noticed (although with some anger behind it) that the small protrusions coming from their chest indicated that their small breasts had yet to grow since yesterday.
It was ridiculous to think that breasts could grow an additional cup size in one day despite what anyone said about the Bust Upper rumours but as far as 'Accelerator' was concerned, the fact that they were a late bloomer and still such annoyed them to no end.
It created all sorts of confusion, especially given that 'Accelerator' preferred to wear less frilly clothes such as normal shirts and jeans instead of dresses and camisoles that were more indicators of someone's gender if one were to look at them and make a first impression. If you heard about someone wearing jeans and a shirt one automatically thought they were a male despite females being able to wear the same clothes and if one wore a dress or a camisole, one tended to think that they were female.
It was like that and if you heard about someone wearing a dress or a camisole you were unlikely to think that they were a male even though when someone wore jeans and a shirt they could be either male or female.
As such, whenever 'Accelerator' walked around their home of Academy City, it was not unusual for people to think that they were male merely because they liked to wear trousers and shirts.
In reality though, the gender of the #1 Level 5 esper was hardly male despite what their appearance might indicate.
It went without saying that the #1 Level 5 esper, 'Accelerator' was indeed female.
The constant confusion that people made about her gender pissed her off however she felt as though she would drop dead from embarrassment if someone saw her, regardless of whether they were a stranger or not in a dress or something girly. She wore those types of clothes from time to time however only on days where she did not expect to go out into the City.
On any other occasion, whenever she had previously gone out and been seen by someone when she was wearing such girly clothes, she hadn't cared one bit. If they made any comment about her looking like a girl when they thought she was a boy, Accelerator ripped them to shreds.
No, it had only been recently that she had been embarrassed to go out in public wearing girly clothes. In fact, she knew exactly when her thought processes had slowly started to switch over from 'not caring about wearing girly clothes' to 'being embarrassed when she was seen in them'.
And it had all started on that one fateful day, during the Level 6 Shift on August 21st.
The day where one person, someone that she did not know in the slightest had called her by her name that she had entirely forgotten and had not heard in years.
While she had never seen the file itself, it seemed as though there were some papers that the boy had found in Misaka Mikoto's student dorm pertaining to the Level 6 Shift. They had outlined the project in some detail although there was one detail that the boy had picked out, that being the names of the 7 Level 5s and their possible probability of reaching Level 6. 
Naturally while all the names of the Level 5s had been given in the report, the boy had only focused upon one name in particular.
Accelerator had no idea that her name was still given in the files within Academy City, in fact the scientists that she had worked with had never called her by her name, to the extent that she had forgotten it but the fact was that it was there. Yet when the boy had approached her in the train yard in District 17 so long ago, she recalled the exact words that he had said.
"…Get away from her."
Accelerator remembered that she had been surprised but even more so as the boy had spoken once again, saying a name that she had entirely forgotten.
"Get the hell away from Misaka Imouto. Can you not hear me Suzushina Yuriko!?"
A name that she had not heard in so long.
Yuriko had been stunned when she heard it but not taken out entirely as she had progressed with fighting the boy, who she now knew to be called Kamijou Touma, and eventually lost. She had been stripped of her title as the strongest and the Level 6 Shift had been suspended as a result.
It had only been cancelled in its entirety when she had saved Last Order from the hands of Amai Ao.
That one event was perhaps one of the major turning points in her life. She had met someone that had stated that she did not hate Yuriko for her actions, when the girl herself had entered a spiral of self-loathing and hate for the actions that she had committed against the Sisters. Last Order stated that she wanted to stay with Yuriko despite everything that had happened and beyond anything else, Yuriko wanted to ensure that she protected the one person that she felt existed solely to give her some light.
It was selfish of her to think of Last Order as nothing more than that but she saw Last Order as the embodiment of forgiveness to such an extent that she could not allow anything else to stain her pure colours. She wanted nothing more than to protect the girl that had accepted Yuriko for who she was despite knowing what had happened during the Level 6 Shift.
The aftermath of that incident had hammered Yuriko with nothing more than people that she knew were slightly condemning her for her actions, a paranoia that she knew was not within her mind. Seeing the Sisters themselves only reminded her of those actions and beyond anything, she never wanted to see another one of them stained with the colours of blood.
And that desire was more than just words.
She had proved that when Misaka #10046 had been captured by DA and when she had defeated Musujime Awaki.
Yuriko had dealt with that issue but as if the universe itself had only made events that existed for the sole purpose of ensuring that Yuriko never forgot that she was the #1 Level 5, the esper with the greatest destructive power, it had made another event pop up that had turned her entire life upside down.
The beginning of her descent into the Dark Side.
September 30th and the events that stemmed from that in itself; the Skill-Out Uprising, the Battle Royale, DRAGON, Aiwass; all of those had continued to stain Yuriko in colours that she did not know she wanted to be stained with.
Kihara Amata, Kakine Teitoku, Hamazura Shiage and Sugitani.
Yuriko had met people stained in the same colours as her yet she had fought for the desire to protect the one person that she felt as though she could not let those colours reach.
Yet they had managed to grip Last Order in its poisonous hold, taking Yuriko and her to Russia in order to find a way to save Last Order from the illness that had gripped her. And yet once again, the universe felt as though it needed to remind Yuriko of the pain and suffering she caused, only manipulating events to ensure that she never felt happiness, only pain and suffering.
And that happened through her battle with Misaka Worst.
Yuriko remembered her screams, both that of Worst's and her own as she was forced to battle the girl for the sake of protecting Last Order. She remembered the anger, the raw hatred at herself and the world for putting her in the position that it had. It was as if the actions that she had taken, putting herself in situations that she wanted no part of and being a villain were nothing more than mute.
It was as if the universe was telling her that she only had one role; to suffer and struggle despite her being the #1. As if strength meant nothing and the only thing that mattered was that she suffered and ironically enough could do nothing about it despite her own strength. In fact, her own strength was the thing pushing her closer to the edge as she was forced to battle Misaka Worst.
Suzushina Yuriko knew exactly what had happened to her in Russia during World War 3.
She had broken.
And yet, once again, she had been saved.
By an unlikely hero, someone that Yuriko had felt as though was the embodiment of good. If anything, he was a polar opposite to Yuriko in all fashions; in Level, hair colour, eye colour, power type and even gender. He was someone that was directly opposite Yuriko and despite her not wanting to admit it, she recognised that his own heroic existence was like a torch lighting the way for those that were lost while her own villainous existence was the darkness that that light created in turn.
He should have hated her for what she did to the Sisters.
Yet he had saved her. He had told her that it was up to her what she did with her life, that the idea of heroes and villains meant nothing and that when it came down to it, Yuriko was only presented with two options when it came to people hurting in front of her.
Or to not.
What title was used when she did so did not matter. As long as she moved to save people, then whatever colours she was dyed in did not matter. The only thing that mattered was her own desire to save and the wish beyond anything to protect Last Order.
The boy had once again faced her and had once again won.
And with the aftermath of WWIII with the Star of Bethlehem falling, she had returned to her home in Academy City (although with another companion in the form of Worst), only to dive once more into the deep end with the only difference being the name of the villain that she had to face and the people that she had to protect.
The villains had come in many forms: The Freshmen, GREMLIN, Kakine Teitoku once more and surprisingly Othinus alongside Kamijou Touma.
And those that she had to save came in many forms as well: Fremea Seivelun, Hawaii, Last Order and the memory of the Sisters and surprisingly, Kamijou Touma as well despite him being her enemy at the time.
The storm had blown over and despite everything that she had been through Yuriko knew more than anything that she had to take this time to relax for as long as it lasted for she did not know when the world would suddenly throw her into the deep end and consume her once again with its dark colours.
Not only that but it seemed as though the world had gotten darker, being made up of not just Science yet also Magic as well.
The date was currently December 4th.
And for the most part, Suzushina Yuriko felt as though even despite everything that she had faced, this was the scariest day of her life.
The reason for such terrified her more than she could say so she had resorted to doing something childish, falling asleep on the couch in order to ensure that when Yomikawa came to wake her up she would feel guilty for doing so because of her (self-proclaimed) cute face and thus allow her the chance to avoid the thing that terrified her so.
Yet….yet….yet! She had had THAT dream.
Yuriko sat on the end of the couch, covering her head with her hands as she ran her hands through her white hair. Upon running her hands through it, her hand touched something that was attached in her hair, a small flower hairpin that was in her hair on the left side. Her fingers lingered on it for a while, her face going red as she recalled when exactly she had changed from her 'standard' hairpin to the flower in order to give her a more 'feminine appearance'.
It had been in Hawaii of all places.
And it had been something that he had gotten for her because of the fact that he merely 'thought it might suit her'.
Yuriko had gotten mixed messages from the boy's statement itself. He had said that it 'suited' her so that meant that he cared right? However, the fact that he had bought it cheap (something that was evident as he had accidentally left the price sticker on it) meant that there were no special feelings inside the gift. Yet he had taken the action and wasted money despite it being cheap. So that meant that the gift had special meaning right? But he had bought it cheap. But! Even though he had bought it cheap, he had given it to her personally! In Hawaii! That had to mean something right?!
Yuriko remembered the jealous face that Misaka Mikoto had made upon seeing the boy give her the hairpin and the suggestive face made by Worst (something that she wanted to forget) which made her somewhat proud of the fact that he had given it to her but she had trouble deciding whether there was something special in the gift or not.
And then….then there had been what she had said in Denmark.
Yuriko was sure that the dream she had had was in response to what she had said, some part of her mind wishing for a reality that was probably never going to happen but even so, she recalled the exact words that probably led to this embarrassed state.
It had been in the heat of the moment and Yuriko was unsure of what possessed her to say them but even so, she remembered those words that she had said to him on that snowy plain.
"I'm only gonna bother looking after the people in my cell phone's memory."
And on November 5th, on the day when he had come back to Academy City, who exactly had she exchanged phone numbers with?!
Yuriko's face burned as she recalled what she had said as well as the fact that she had his phone number within her contacts at the same time. She turned around and starting beating her head against the end of the couch, the cords from her electrode moving rapidly along with her head.
(No! Wh-what I said had nothing like that behind it! What I said to him was nothing more than spur of the moment. Spur of the moment! He probably didn't read into it and neither should I! Neither should I!)
Yuriko panted as she felt as though her forehead was swelling up as she leaned back into the couch, trying to hide her blushing face but for the most part was unable to as it burned probably hotter than the sun. Her face gained an annoyed expression that would have made most delinquents wet their pants but for the most part she paid no mind to whatever face she was making as she instead asked herself a single question.
"Since when did it turn out like this?"
Suzushina Yuriko didn't know when it had happened, especially given that she and him had started out as enemies but she could not deny the feelings that were sleeping deep inside her even though she had no experience in this field.
Suzushina Yuriko, for lack of a better word, had fallen in love.
And the person that she had fallen in love with was the oblivious Kamijou Touma, her eternal Hero that had saved her.
He probably didn't even realise that he had saved her, something that frustrated her more than she could say. After all, from his perspective the only thing that he had done was stop the Level 6 Shift and encourage her into saving Last Order when they had fought in Russia.
But that in itself had allowed Yuriko to stand on the peaceful path that she was on right now and allowed her to save the one person that had also saved her and prevented her from being dyed in the colours of the Darkness. He had shown her that titles such as 'heroes' and 'villains' did not matter and that it was only up to her to make the choices that she needed to.
That she was the master of her own life and that she walked it of her own accord.
And not only that, he said that he was proud of the path that she now walked. He had said that he was happy that she was happy and that she deserved this happiness given how much she had worked for forgiveness.
He was proud of her. He said that he was happy that she was happy and she deserved such even despite the path of blood and death that she had left behind.
Mikoto definitely didn't feel that at all but Yuriko understood the sentiment. She didn't want complete forgiveness; that would allow her to grow complacent and forget the path that she had walked as a monster previously. She didn't want to forget and only wanted to ensure that Last Order and the Sisters at the very least could have the chance to live their lives in happiness.
Whether Yuriko achieved that was another matter.
But for him he had said that she deserved happiness for working to save others. That he was proud of her for taking the role of the hero into her own hands despite her only having done so because of his actions.
Suzushina Yuriko was happy. She was someone that had worked hard, had realised her mistake and met so many people that she saw as a family that she wanted to protect more than anything else. She had created something that she had wanted for so long when she had thought that it was so out of her reach despite her status as the #1.
And the person that had pushed her onto that path? The person that had made her realise that mistake and then told her in Russia that it was up to her what she wanted to do from now?
It was none other than the Hero. It was none other than Kamijou Touma.
Yuriko knew that she had respected the boy and idolised him for his actions even though she understood that she could never reach his level. She had seen him as perhaps a best friend or big brother in her 'family', someone that would stand by her despite what she went through, support her and give her the push that she needed to go back to the path that she knew to be the one that she wanted more than anything.
If she were a boy, that eternal respect and appreciation of the boy, his existence and what he had done for Accelerator would have stopped there. If she were a boy, she would have viewed him as the heroic nature of humans, something that had to be protected if not for the sole reason that it allowed her to see that there was a latent goodness in people. To see that just in that one boy that there was a way for everyone to be saved despite the pain.
However, Suzushina Yuriko was not a boy.
And because she was a girl, her feelings had grown for the boy. Her eternal respect and appreciation, her gratitude had turned into something else. The boy's acceptance of her as a person and as someone that he could support and trust filled her with more joy than she could say despite the darkness. His wish to make sure that she could continue to be happy made her hope for a better future.
And that was something that no one had given her in a long time.
He had reached out his hands without knowing it, dragged Yuriko into the sunlight and showed her everything that was wrong with her. And when she produced results, he claimed no credit, attributing the change entirely to her despite his role in her change.
It was selflessness to a ridiculous degree and given the darkness, it was hard to know where she stood when she thought about his nature. She had met twisted people like Kakine and Kihara Amata so she knew that the world was not entirely kind.
But when she saw him, she realised that the small kindness the world held was perhaps something worth fighting for. It was in Last Order too so she knew what it was worth.
However, her lack of experience put her entirely at a loss. What was she to do about these feelings? Not to mention that there was plenty of competition for the boy's affections.
There was that nun; Yuriko could tell that she had feelings for him from the way that she was looking at him when they had gone to his house with Leivinia Birdway (she had almost died from embarrassment after being invited to his place but she had kept it well hidden).
There was that Third Rate. How had he not noticed? It was beyond Yuriko but Mikoto's feelings were obvious to her, something that was an untouched landmine between the #1 and the #3.
There were those girls that had clung to him as he had walked home drunk. A few of them Yuriko knew but seeing the pure numbers made her feel as though she was nothing more than a side character.
There was perhaps Birdway as well although it was hard to tell. She kept her feelings hidden from Yuriko and it was hard to get a read from her, but even Yuriko could tell that she saw him as something more than just the 'Imagine Breaker'.
There were the Sisters themselves. Somehow their feelings and memories of what caused those feelings to form had spread through the Misaka Network. The result? In essence, the boy had clones whose numbers were equivalent to a small town population fall for him.
And then, there was the kicker.
S-Seeing her and her skimpy outfit clinging to him during their elopement in Denmark had almost made her seriously rid her to shreds before she recalled her own goals. There was something between the two of them, it was obvious but somehow it seemed as though Yuriko had a hard time calling it 'love'. It was like there was a silent Understanding between the two but depending on how you looked at it, you could call it love if you looked at certain points and respect if you looked at others.
Regardless, Suzushina Yuriko felt as though she was nothing more than a drop in the ocean when compared to the other girls.
What exactly did she have that they did not?
Ultimate strength? The power Accelerator? Calculation speeds that surpassed most geniuses?
How exactly were those 'charm points'?
Not to mention her stained hands.
No matter how Yuriko looked at it, even though she had those feelings deep within her, her lack of positive points and the fact that she had been stained in blood only hammered into her mind that she didn't deserve love. Someone as good as Kamijou Touma didn't deserve someone as dark as Suzushina Yuriko.
She knew that and repeated it in her mind again and again, yet every time that he looked her way, every time that he smiled at her, there was a warmth within her chest that she didn't want to fade. It was a warmth that she had been searching for so long for that her heart had frozen yet it thawed in the face of that smile.
She wanted Kamijou Touma to love her more than anything. But she also knew that it could never be.
….It was like a Shakespearian romance except all of the tragedy and conflict was happening within her own head. The boy didn't have a clue although then again, his life was the shits so she didn't think that he had noticed because of that to be honest.
Still, Yuriko shook her head, slapping herself in the face.
Th-This was no time to be thinking about that! Personally, she felt as though this was the worst day of her life and there was no time to be awake. She needed to go to sleep so that Yomikawa would be guilty in waking her up when she came to take her away for perhaps the scariest event that had happened the #1 Level 5 esper!
Yuriko lay down on the couch once more and turned to her clothes, her face twisting into an expression that would have made people faint on the spot.
Sh-She wasn't normally intimidating. Get her in a good mood and she was someone that was pleasant company (at least according to him) however bad habits that she had picked up in the Dark Side such as needlessly swearing, her own hatred for herself and what she had done meant that she constantly had an intimidating expression on her face and her androgynous appearance meant that it was easy for others to mistake her for a boy.
Which only added to the pissed expression on her face.
Regardless though, she could only feel seething hate for what she was wearing.
It was a school uniform. With a sailor uniform garb and a long skirt, it seemed to be perfectly made for her and the school logo was on the collar, something that she regarded with disdain. Yomikawa had insisted that she wear it given that today was the 'day where everything begins' as she had put it.
Suzushina Yuriko though could only put it as the 'day where everything ends'.
The reason that Yuriko was wearing a school uniform was simple.
It was her first day in school.
Despite having been put off for ages and her own haunting recollections of her own 'education' experience meant that she was incredibly reluctant to even go to school. Even though on paper, she was said to attend Nagatenjouki Academy, she had never gone. Yet here she was, in an unfamiliar uniform that clearly did not belong to that academy being made to attend school, something that she had avoided like the plague.
There were plenty of good reasons for such. Disregarding her bad experience with it in the past, the fact that she was the #1, basically an honour student meant that she was literally 'too good for school'. It might have been arrogant to say that but it was the truth.
However, it seemed as though Yomikawa Aiho was having none of it, instead conscripting the girl to attend school even though it was December. Not only that but the uniform that she was wearing was not that of Nagatenjouki Academy, something that stumped her entirely as she tried to figure out which school exactly she was going to.
Whatever the case though, it seemed as though what with the chaos of GREMLIN and WWIII having ended, Yomikawa and Yoshikawa Kikyou felt as though having Yuriko attend school to establish a sense of peace and calm was good for her.
But in her opinion, if this was anything like the peace and calm that currently surrounded her now, she didn't want any more of it.
"Come on! Come on says Misaka as Misaka shakes you in an attempt to get you to wake up."
Yuriko suddenly felt hands on her side, shaking her back and forth with vigour as she felt herself being rocked from side to side without any consideration for her personal space. She was facing the back of the couch meaning that when she opened her eyes no one saw but her red eyes held a contempt for the person shaking her back and forth without any consideration.
"Huh? Is she asleep already? Yoshikawa, did she do this a lot when you worked with her?"
"Yuri-chan? Only when she was sulking or bored. She definitely tended to resort to these sorts of childish things during the Experiment when she had another trial and she didn't want to do it. She would pretend to be asleep while thinking she was cute that we wouldn't want to wake her up. Too bad whenever she woke up she looked like a dog's breakfast meaning that we were more scared of what she looked like waking up rather than what she would do to us with her power when we did so."
(Damn it Yoshikawa! I can hear every damn word you're saying! A-And stop calling me Yuri-chan! I hate that, it's so demeaning ever since I told you I remember my name! AND WHO LOOKS LIKE A DOG'S BREAKFAST!?)
Yuriko's face contorted with rage that added to her intimidation and only resulted in the point Yoshikawa made being made known. Indeed, the face that she was making was something that should never have been on the face of a fair maiden, especially one that usually looked intimidating in the first place, not only because of her face but also because of her power and its ranking.
"Say, why don't we hover her out the broken window for some wind on her face?! suggests Misaka as Misaka tries using all her strength to push the couch even though the weight on it turns out to be surprisingly heavy!"
(You damn brat! Whose heavy!? I-I've been watching my weight! I-I have! A-And my lack of breasts means there is no excess fat there so shut the hell up!)
"I don't think that's such a good idea Last Order. With the Arrowhead Comet smashing against something yesterday breaking all of the windows in the City, she's probably already adjusted to the cold in this room. I certainly have."
"As a gym teacher, I think that there's something to your resistance to the cold there Yomikawa. Hmm….that might be an interesting bit of research. I better write that down."
The voices of Yomikawa Aiho and Yoshikawa Kikyou filled the air as Yuriko attempted to be as quiet as possible in order to hide the fact that she was faking sleeping. If she had to say though the fact that the others were watching her sleep was something that was awfully nerve wracking not to mention the constant scraping sounds and movement of the couch on the floor made her wonder if Last Order was seriously considering hanging her out of the window to wake her up.
There were footsteps and Yuriko kept silent, her mind only thinking of one thing. While Last Order was a pain, her intentions were good. As for the adults, they never went over the line and they knew their boundaries when it came to disturbing the sleeping Level 5.
Which meant that the one she had to watch out for was her Silent Tormenter.
Suddenly Yuriko felt the cold breeze against her legs as her skirt was lifted up and the sound of a voice came through, sounding awfully cheeky and full of itself.
"Well, well, well. What do we have here? Misaka personally thinks that you're brave for going to school commando."
Yuriko screamed, turning around rapidly and grabbing the Third Season clone by the collar of her aodai and shaking her back and forth with pure anger in her red eyes and red on her cheeks as she splurted out the words within her heart.
"Who's commando?! Tell me who the FUCK is going commando!? Why the hell do you have an obsession with everything south of my hips and north of my solar plexus?! Do you think it's funny to mock something that I don't have?!"
"In a word? Misaka would say that would be 'yes'." Worst made that horrible remark with a sneer on her face as it seemed as though she was enjoying the scene in front of her, mainly because she knew that merely putting on puppy dog eyes was enough to make Yuriko stop any potential attack that she was going to unleash on her. Yuriko knew it too however it didn't make her any happier as she turned to face Yomikawa.
"Hey! You can't expect me to go to school like this!"
Yomikawa's eyes went wide.
"Y-You're actually commando?"
"N-No! Why the fuck do you think I'm commando!? I meant after this sexual harassment! This sexual harassment has played with my heart to the extent that I seriously think I can't go to school after all! And I'm not commando Yoshikawa so stop making that shitty face that screams that you think I have a hidden bold side!" Yuriko screamed as she held Worst in the air as the girl clearly was having fun with the concept that she had managed to get into the adult's mind.
But it seemed as though that concept was something that was not only shared by the adults but also the childlike figure that had suddenly lifted up Yuriko's skirt from behind her, the cloth billowing in the air blowing through the broken window. Yuriko felt rage and embarrassment coarse through her veins. The veins on her temples bulged as she slowly turned her head around, her red eyes seeming to shine with malicious intent and her face turned in rage and embarrassment.
"I-It's OK reports Misaka as Misaka takes the initiative to check on the status of Yuriko's panties! With a floral pattern matching the hairpin she has, everything is OK Captain states Misaka as Misaka exposes the lie that is going commando!"
"How can you have the sense to do that when the windows are broken and everyone in the building opposite can see me you shitty braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaattttttttttttttttt!?"
Yuriko instantly dropped Worst from her hands and reached for Last Order as the girl screamed, rounding the couch. Yuriko grabbed her cane from the side and proceeded to jump onto the sofa, breathing out a miasma that leaked through the entire room. If it was any denser, it would have set off the smoke detector as Yomikawa merely sighed.
"Come on now. Stop this. It's not that big a deal. We're all girls here."
"Fuck you! I don't see you stripping to prove your point! Come back here you shitty brat so I can strangle you!" Yuriko yelled at both of her opponents as Yomikawa twitched, the disrespect that was being shown to her putting her on edge slightly as she frowned, crossing her arms and pressing up her chest.
"In all seriousness, I have a student of mine to escort you to the school. So you better be prepared for them." Yomikawa said in seriousness as Yuriko stopped halfway through chasing Last Order who hid behind Worst, trembling slightly although the hint of amusement hidden in her eyes made it clear that she was somewhat glad that she had managed to get a glimpse of the floral pattern of the #1.
It might not have looked like it with all the swearing that Yuriko was doing and the outrage she was feeling but the fact that both Worst and Last Order had managed to lift up her skirt spoke volumes. Although she might have said that it was a pain, in this space and this space alone where Yuriko felt as though she belonged, her guard was totally let down.
She felt open and did not bother to hide anything from those that occupied this same room and felt as though the constraints that other places put on her were completely removed. After all, even though she complained about it, this space was where her 'family' resided.
And the trust that she showed them was only reflected in how she let down her guard to the extent that this sort of thing was commonplace within the Yomikawa household. From an external viewpoint, it might have seemed as though the girls had a rather invasive relationship but for those that were looking at the scene now, the only thing that they really saw was a tight knit relationship between the girls that was forged strongly.
To the extent that the bonds that connected them were something that they all treasured even if they complained about the nature of them in the first place.
"S-Someone's coming here?" asked Yuriko, rather nervous. Although she was still pissed at Last Order and Worst for having lifted up her skirt, the fact of the matter was that she was prioritising the fact that she was heading to school in her mind.
A normal life, the normal life of an average school student lay in front of her and it immediately put her on guard. The alien concept was unnatural to her and if she was honest, she would say that in truth, the thought of her going to school scared her.
She was the #1 after all.
That alone came with the stigma of the 'strong' where the weak feared them. It was unlikely that she would come across the other Level 5s as well; the uniform she was wearing was not that of Tokiwadai's, the Second Rate was hovering around the City in his Beetle Form, the Fourth Rate hardly went to school and she knew jack about both the Sixth Rate and the Seventh Rate.
Which meant that in this school, this supposedly 'safe' environment, Yuriko would be what she always had been.
People would stay away from her because of her strength and ostracise her because of it. She would end up pulling faces in contempt and frustration which would intimidate others as a result which would in turn mean that there were more reasons to stay away from her than to stick with her and things would end up as they always did.
Suzushina Yuriko would once more be alone.
And the thought of that scared her. She didn't want that at all after everything that she had gained with her hands.
It was why she wanted to stay here, where she was accepted and where she knew that no one would turn their back on her. In truth, if she was asked what she thought of school she would reply with "It's not needed" mainly because of that frame of mind that she held about social rejection.
Of course, it was not the only thought that she held; after all she was nothing more than a girl even with the title of the #1.
But even then, the average esper of Academy City never saw through that. They only saw 'Accelerator', the esper that reigned at the top with an iron grip, fearsome expression and unbeatable power.
She didn't want to be alone anymore.
So, she didn't want to go to school.
Not going to school would mean that she would never be hurt through loneliness again.
The thought that someone would be accompanying her to school then scared her as well. What type of person would this be? What type of first impression would she leave on them and what type of rumours would spread as a result? If she intimidated this person coming over, then they would tell their school friends of this bad first impression which would spread and lead to Yuriko being ostracised once again.
She didn't want that.
She didn't want that at all.
Yomikawa nodded at the response Yuriko made.
"Yeah. And judging from the time, and the fact that I said I would deduct credits if he came late, he should be – "
The doorbell rang.
And Suzushina Yuriko's heart crushed under the weight of her nervousness., anxiety and worry. Her expression changed and much to her dislike it did so in a defensive way, turning into a scowl that should anyone see it surely think of as intimidating. But this scowl was a defensive technique, something that she put up when she felt as though she was in danger.
It was perfectly natural but when he tried to consciously change it, she could feel it turning into a sneer.
Yuriko with her heart racing (which was ridiculous given that she was the #1 Level 5 esper) turned and looked to the school bag that was lying on the kitchen countertop. All she had to do was take it and head to school. She had done harder things in her life; survive a bullet to the head, taken out a Six Wings, defeated the #2, Awakened, protected Last Order, had stood on the final stage of World War 3 yet all of that seemed like nothing to what she was facing now.
She gulped and opened her mouth to say something, seeing Yomikawa's small smile at the Level 5's nervousness at the concept of entering unknown territory that could potentially hurt her.
And she spoke, not as a teacher wanting to help a student but rather as a member of Yuriko's family.
"It'll be fine. Trust me. It's the great unknown after all."
"How do you know it's great if it's the 'unknown'? It could be a pit of lava." Retorted Yuriko with a sharp tone as Yomikawa grinned, grabbing the bag and throwing it to Yuriko. She reacted and caught it as Yomikawa turned and headed for the door.
"Keep your wits about you and you'll be fine. Welcome to the first day of school."
"A-Ah! Wait! You two idiots, hide otherwise the person that came here is going to see you and your familiar faces and – "
Yuriko, in an attempt to protect both Last Order and Worst from being seen together by a total stranger turned to them however Yomikawa had already opened the door to greet the fellow student of Yuriko's school. Her face went pale (if it was possible to get even more white) as she turned and looked at the person coming through the door. She could tell her face was intimidating, she had put on another defensive expression to protect both of her family members however her mouth dropped as soon as she saw the person that walked through the door.
The person that walked through the door seemed even more surprised as they opened their mouth to say something however spotted something in the corner of their eye, turning towards it and going even more wide eyed.
"Wh-Why do you have 5 rice cookers Yomikawa-sensei!? D-Don't tell all your nutrition comes from r – bfhbhfbhfhb!?"
"What the fuck are you doing here!? And why are you placing rice cookers above me in terms of overall importance?!"
Yuriko reacted by throwing her bag through the air as it collided with its target. He fell to the ground, rubbing his head where the bag had impacted before picking it up and leaning over the counter with it in hand.
"O-Ow. My ordeal with Kamisato yesterday still hasn't completely healed. B-But no. I was just surprised. I mean it's not every day you see 5 rice cookers!"
"So you've gotten used to me is that it?" Yuriko said in a scathing tone to which the boy blinked, tilted his head and seemed to not understand what the whole problem was in the first place.
"Yeah, pretty much. I mean, when seeing friends, it's not like there's a big fanfare right? Unless you're into that sort of thing but then after a while, it's a drain on the wallet. A-and that's not something that I can afford!"
The word 'friend' instantly made Yuriko blush furiously despite herself and she noticed that in the corner of her eye, Worst had resorted to an old habit whenever she saw the person in front of her, moving behind the sofa in order to avoid being seen. Last Order though was more energetic as she instantly bounded through the air and tackled the student in the gut.
"I-It's the Saviour! yells Misaka as Misaka presses up against you, wondering what this blonde-haired figure in your pocket is."
The boy grunted as he was tackled in the chest by Last Order as Yuriko instead turned to face her guardian, demanding answers from the woman that seemed more surprised that the two of them knew each other despite it all. The meeting had entirely been unplanned but even so, Yomikawa turned and looked at Yuriko with that surprised expression.
"You know him? How in the world do you know Kamijou Touma-kun?"
Yuriko glanced back at the boy as soon the teacher said that, noting that the boy had had enough of Last Order clinging onto him and wanted her off as soon as possible as he struggled to do so. While Yuriko knew the boy, she felt as though it was discretion that prevented her from stating how the two of them knew each other. While she would lie, the fact that she hardly went out meant that anything she might come up with would be seen through.
"Forget that. How the hell do you know the H-"
Yuriko caught herself before she spoke.
What she was about to call Kamijou was nothing more than something that she alone referred to the boy as. If she had been a boy, she was sure that addressing Kamijou as the 'Hero' in front of others was probably a mark of respect but as a girl, she felt nothing but a heated embarrassment whenever she did so and people looked at her strange.
Of the people that knew of what she called the boy, only Last Order, Worst and those that she had gone to Hawaii with knew of her tendency to refer to Kamijou with that word.
Her mind searched for an appropriate term to call him with, unable to think of anything straight up and instead resorted to a defensive position, choosing the word that Yuriko knew was extremely unfair to call him yet she still spat it out regardless.
"How the hell do you know this bastard?!"
Kamijou though seemed unfazed as Yomikawa tilted her head and pointed at the boy that had managed to get Last Order off however the girl seemed to be having too much fun, grabbing his front and trying to swing around the back. It irritated Yuriko that the girl was being so friendly and the boy so flippant; this was a serious case of her heart being placed on the line.
The boy laughed, a joyous sound that lifted the spirits of Yuriko as she forced down the happiness that she was feeling at the sound.
She didn't deserve him but even so she was lost in the sound of the boy's laugh, no matter how desperate it might seem now that Last Order was basically pinching him in order to maintain her grip on him.
Yomikawa though chose to answer her question.
"He's a student at my school. And the one that you will be attending. I asked around for people that might have a good first impression of you and apparently, this guy was 'popular with the girls' so I figured that he would be the one to get on your good side and fast. I didn't expect you two to have met beforehand though."
"H-Hang on there! Who's 'popular with the girls'?! Th-That's not coming from my class is it!? Let me tell you right now that everything they say is lies! All lies!"
Kamijou's comment, along with his shocked face were ignored as the adult and the female student conversed. The boy though seriously wondered what kind of horrendous rumours surrounded him at school and he wondered what his school life had descended into. His imagination went wild and tears started running down his face as he figured that it probably wasn't anything good given his misfortune.
"Well, how did you two meet?"
Yuriko averted her gaze, her face flushing a bit as she considered what to tell the older woman. While she could indeed lie, it would be seen through; she let down her guard to that extent within this peaceful space that she called her home. Not only that but Yomikawa knew her well enough to know when she was lying. Although Yuriko was generally good at hiding things, lying was another thing altogether.
So instead of beating around the bush, she merely got straight to the point.
"He helped me out once. That's it."
(It's not entirely true, but it's not entirely false either. Damn Yomikawa and her questioning.)
Yomikawa rose an eyebrow, turning to Kamijou that seemed rather flustered at being put on the spot and clearly being asked as well. A quick glance at Yuriko and her ice creating stare back told Kamijou that he needed to go with what she said as he sweatdropped with Last Order still clinging to him and scratched his cheek.
"Y-Yeah. Something like that. Suzushina helped out me out in turn a greater deal though so I sort of owe her." Kamijou said sheepishly, which got a raised eyebrow from Yoshikawa as she turned to the girl, seeing that she had narrowed her eyes.
Here was the boy doing it again. Despite everything that he had done for her, he placed what she had done for him on a greater level, offering himself up to her as a result. It was modesty at its finest and somehow part of his charm, something that annoyed Yuriko to no end as she fiddled with her hair.
This meant that she ended up touching the hairpin that she had gotten from him. Strangely, whenever she got nervous the new habit that she had picked up by fiddling with her hair near the hairpin created a sense of calm within her and it was the only thing that she could do to not think too much into why she felt calm when she touched the item that he had given her.
"No honorifics? You two must be close," Remarked Yomikawa with a cheeky grin. "Say Yuri-chan (this got a raised eyebrow from Kamijou) is this the guy? You know the one that yo-"
"Say another word and they'll find your body in your precious rice cookers." Yuriko said bluntly. Yomikawa grinned even further while Kamijou merely tiled his head.
Unfortunately, while Kamijou was oblivious to her feelings, the same was not said of Worst and Last Order. While the latter had the sense to not say anything about it mainly because there was a constant jealously running rampant through the Network, whenever Worst got the chance she would constantly tease her over her childish crush over the boy.
It went beyond irritating and into the realm of making Yuriko suicidal at the things that Worst had suggested and 'shown' her on the Internet of things to do when she got the chance. Even now she could feel the cheeky grin of Worst coming from behind the couch which she refused to turn and meet.
"But forget all of that!"
"I'm unlikely to."
Yoshikawa made an unnecessary comment as Yuriko shot her a glare as she turned back to Yomikawa.
"A-Are you telling me that I have to attend the H-….this guy's school? I'm the #1! You have no idea the things that I can compute and the like! I have no wish to enter into a school environment where instantly I'm better than everyone else."
"Ha. Well while that's true, you can actually thank this guy for that."
"So this is YOUR fault?!"
Kamijou seemed to have been slapped in the face with a wet fish while Yuriko stormed up to him, grabbing him by the collar and shaking him around with Last Order still attached to his back. So in the end the one that had made Yuriko experience this nervousness was this Hero?! And not to mention the fact that he seemed surprised by it so he hadn't done so in order for the two of them to get closer?!
"H-H-H-Hang o-o-o-o-on th-th-th-there! Wh-wh-what-!"
Kamijou tried to speak but was unable to as Yomikawa merely spoke without stopping what was borderline abuse.
"You were overheard by Komoe-sensei and I. You said you wanted some way to increase the average of your class because most of you are idiots. Not to mention the school. You didn't realise it but you made a comment about how you wondered if the teachers were paid according to the performance of the school and the idea floated around a bit until it reached the principal. He figured it was a good idea but our class and school average is pretty bad. S-So, what else could we do but bring in the #1 in order to give her a proper learning experience!?"
"You say that but it's pretty fucking clear that the only reason I'm being sent to that school is to make sure that I can increase the class and school average because of my intelligence so that you teachers can get paid more! How selfish can you get?!"
"Wh-what? Why would you think that?"
"And did you just admit that this H-…..guy's class is full of idiots?!"
"Incidentally, he's got the worst scores."
"I-I-I-I-I-I'm cr-cr-cr-crying ov-ov-ov-ov-over h-h-h-h-h-here!" Kamijou said that as a salty liquid (most likely his tears) sprayed through the air all over the counter as Yuriko slowly let him down, breathing heavily before turning to Yomikawa.
"I refuse. I don't want to go to school."
"Come on. Not everyone feels that way."
"A-Actually I do." Kamijou provided some unhelpful input by raising both a hand and a comment as Yomikawa turned to face him with a cold smile on her face.
"Would you like to repeat?"
That comment alone seemed to stab into the boy as he fell to his knees and entered a state of depression, all the while Last Order trying to grab the figure within the boy's pocket with greater interest as the figure seemed to be fighting back as it wanted to be kept inside the boy's pocket.
"Yomikawa. I think maybe if we put Yuri-chan in the same class as her friend over here, then maybe that opinion will change?" Yoshikawa spoke for the first time since Kamijou entered the room, Yuriko turning to her with a faint blush on her cheeks as she glared at the woman who seemed to ignore the glance that she was sending her way. "After all, if we're going for a school environment setting, maybe putting her with others will be a better way to get her to open up?"
"Huh? Well I mean I was hoping to put her in my class so my class average can increase and my pay can…..Uh, I mean I was hoping to put her in my class so she can meet more elites like her."
"You're slipping there and your intentions are being made known."
Yomikawa averted her gaze, turning to look fully at Yuriko although she seemed to be awfully nervous and somewhat downtrodden as she spoke. Yomikawa's tone was shaky and it was clear that she was averse to the idea she was proposing however she made it anyway.
"I-I think it's a great idea! Yuri-chan, you can spend the day with him. I'm sure that Kamijou-chan here can show you the ropes around our school. …Even though it was destroyed. That was the intention anyway but being in his class is sure to allow you to meet some great people!"
Yuriko blurted out that word at the suggestion as it seemed to horrify her although on another level altogether, only added to the nervousness that was coursing through her body. The mere idea of having to see the Hero for the school days and be in the same class as him put her head into a state of warmth that she was not sure would fade; the proximity and closeness that the two of them would share making ideas form that were not healthy for a girl that age.
And yet she knew. She knew that she wanted to be with Kamijou Touma more than anything even though she also knew that she didn't deserve him. They were polar opposites; his hands were unstained and hers were stained so much that she could never wash off the blood.
It was an eternal contradiction and it hurt her that she had to cross off any chance of romance with the boy because she felt what she did about herself.
If she was in the same class each and every day as him, then she was sure that that ache would only increase. Her heart would leap in joy every time that she saw him and she would be happy when he was happy. She would feel at peace and that peace had been something that had seemed so out of reach so long ago.
Yet she knew it would never be. She knew that nothing would come of it. Suzushina Yuriko knew that she didn't deserve to be loved by Kamijou Touma in any way, shape or form because of what she had done in the past.
Being faced with the person she loved, only to have her own idea that she did not deserve him because of what she had done thrust upon her every school day would be extremely painful. It wasn't him, it was entirely Yuriko's own state of mind and the pressure of seeing him, only for nothing to come of it made her heart ache.
Yuriko hated herself for having fallen for him. While the same sentiments surrounding the boy could also be applied to Last Order, Yuriko was working to fix everything that she could with the Sisters in order to achieve peace.
But could the same be said of Kamijou Touma? Was there anything there that she could fix in order to bring about the resolution and redemption she wanted?
She didn't know and for the most part, whenever she thought about it, it would only give her pain to consider. That much was the truth and being in the same class as him day in and day out would only pressure her from all sides, crushing her heart. She would be mocked by herself, presented with Kamijou who she liked only to have nothing come of it because of her own limiters.
She didn't want to be hurt in that way.
So Suzushina Yuriko did not want to go to school.
"We've already signed the paperwork so you may as well go. Not going is going to cause more trouble than if you do." remarked Yomikawa as she placed her hands on her hips while looking at Yuriko with a frown.
The girl merely averted her gaze and stared at the floor.
"Even so, I don't want to go. Nothing you can say can convince me otherwise."
Yuriko stood her ground, her expression cold and fierce as the two adults sighed. Last Order turned to face Yuriko as she hung onto the back of Kamijou and spoke.
"B-But! Misaka thinks that experiencing something that can allow you to connect with others would be a good sense of growth says Misaka as Misaka honestly conveys what she thinks to be good for you."
"I don't give a damn so shut up you shitty brat."
"Uhhh! M-Misaka was shot down despite the best intentions behind the statement cries Misaka as Misaka clings onto the Saviour in the hopes of making you reconsider!"
"Your verbal tic makes it obvious what you're planning so just stop right there!"
Yuriko yelled that out as Kamijou glanced nervously between the two girls, Last Order looking at Kamijou with an expectant look as if she wanted something from him. Turning to Yuriko he saw something similar however it was fiercer and probably wanting the opposite of what Last Order wanted. In fact, Last Order had tightened her grip so it was clear that she wasn't going to be getting off anytime soon unless she got what she wanted.
And it was also clear that if Yuriko did not get what she wanted, she would probably murder Kamijou then and there using her power to get out of going to school.
Kamijou felt a cold sweat pour over his body as he assessed his options but even though that was the case, the only thing that he felt was a nervousness that he had gotten adjusted to over time.
(Why is it that whenever I do something I end up with this life and death situation?! I-If I make Suzushina go to school, she'll kill me. I-If I don't, Last Order will probably either tighten her grip around my neck or stick to my back even when I go to school. Either option will lead to death, especially the latter! I can just imagine Aogami's reaction when I arrive at the school with her on my back! I don't want to make these types of choices anymore! Such misfortune!)
All eyes were suddenly on him as Kamijou gulped, averting his gaze however it was clear that the others were looking to him to solve the situation at hand. He gulped again, realising that there was no way out of this situation as he gave a sigh.
"W-Well personally I think that Suzushina should do as she likes."
"What!? cries Misaka as Misaka starts to dish out the punishment game!"
"H-Hah! See!? This cowardly H-….bastard doesn't have the guts to stand up against me!" Yuriko said that as she felt somewhat disappointed at the same time as Yomikawa stepped forward towards Kamijou, the boy taking a step back in response, looking away for fear of what would happen to him.
"Do you want to explain your decision there?" she asked.
"W-Well I'd like to do so with some air in my throat Last Order so please stop choking me with your arms tied around my neck! Oxygen is vital for my health! Vital!" Kamijou cried out in desperation as Last Order narrowed her eyes, releasing the grip that she had around his throat as he gasped.
Taking his time, he merely stretched out both hands and indicated everyone in the room, even Worst who flinched as she was indicated by him. He had no idea why she did that but saved the idea for another time.
"Look around you. I mean, you're asking her to open up yet she's managed to gain so much and make so many connections. When I first met her, to think that she would have Last Order and Worst by her side was unthinkable. Let alone two adults that were happy to be by her side. You talk about her wanting to 'open up' but she's doing so. And in her own time as well. I'm not one to say things about how difficult it is to connect with others; I have my own difficulties there as well. Everyone does. But for Suzushina, making fast progress isn't a victory. It's making progress at her own pace. She doesn't want to go to school. That's fine. She wants to rest in the knowledge that the peace here is safely around her. Suddenly throwing her into a new environment is only going to make her worry and personally, I don't want her to go. She's happy here. And for me, that's all I need to see. Isn't it the same for you?"
Kamijou asked his question without holding back as the others turned to each other. They all looked surprised, even Last Order hanging around his neck as Yuriko stared at the boy.
He was being considerate of her own feelings and was considering them above anything else. He was giving her the freedom to think as her own self, realising that if she wanted to do something, she would and if she didn't, she wouldn't. He was giving her independence, a role as a person and that was something that many people hadn't offered her in a while.
He was giving her the choice to make a choice. He was giving her freedom when she had been trapped within a painful cycle of people choosing things for her for so long.
He had given Yuriko her name. He had given Yuriko the courage to save Last Order and Worst. And now he was giving Yuriko her own status as a free person, not constrained by the Darkness, by adults or anything like that.
He was merely saying 'let Suzushina Yuriko be Suzushina Yuriko'. It was a simple statement, yet one that had been denied to her for so long.
And that in itself made her blush, resulting in her fiddling with her hair and hairpin as a result of her flustered state.
Yomikawa blinked and sighed. She turned to face Yuriko once more as she spoke.
"Do you really not want to go to school? It's your choice as the boy said. He's right after all. We've been saying 'do this' and 'do that' in what we think are your 'best interests' but what do you want to do?"
Yomikawa Aiho asked her question as Yuriko suddenly found all eyes on her. She opened her mouth to make the simplest option however she found herself unable to form the words she wanted.
She turned and looked at the person that had given her the chance to make her own choice and was surprised to see that he had averted her gaze, instead looking at the rice cookers with obvious fascination. It might have seemed rude to Yuriko however the meaning behind the distracted boy was not lost on her, he was merely stating that this was her choice, one to be made without pressure and without external influence.
This was her choice. Whatever she chose no one would blame her for and she only had to consult herself in the matter.
So, what did Suzushina Yuriko want?
She loved this place. She loved the people that had gathered here in this room, the family that she had built up. Yuriko had managed to create a connection with Last Order, Worst, Yomikawa and Yoshikawa all with her own hands and had defended it from those that wanted to take it from her. She was proud to call this her own and she was happy that she had managed to hold onto it.
Being greedy and wanting to add to this peace would lead to destruction, she was sure of it. Wanting more and more people in this family was going to bring it all crashing down, of that Yuriko was sure. She was content with what she had and if things were added to it, that was fine too.
Either way, she didn't want things to change. She didn't want things to be removed from this and she didn't want things to be changed. If things were added, there was no problem with that.
But in this decision, she did not want to be hurt. Yuriko did not deny what she felt for the boy that was in front of her, she knew it and knew it well. And she also knew that by spending every school day with him, his presence would cause her pain.
He was right in front of her but her own personal limiter and her hatred for herself would prevent her from seeking out that which she wanted despite how much she loved being in the boy's presence. Yuriko didn't want to experience that pain despite the sweet-smelling fruit that came with it.
In the end, what did she want?
What was her choice going to be?
She assessed all options and made up her mind, choosing to turn to Kamijou of all people as she spoke. He saw the movement and turned to her as Yuriko laid her heart out on the table.
"I want to go. I've changed my mind. You changed it for me. No….I changed it myself. You're right. I love this place and the people within it. But…..at the same time I can't fear the world outside of here for my entire life. I can't just accept that this is all there is when everyone here knows that there is something else out there. If I do not, I'll become nothing more than an anchor weighing everyone down. I don't want that. I want to know the world; I want to see it. I want to feel pain, happiness, heartache, frustration, anger and sadness. I want to know that I have a part in this world. I want to be a part of it instead of just interacting with the small parts that I already have."
Yuriko knew that she would hurt when she chose this option.
But instead of it being a hurt that others gave for her, it would be a hurt that she had placed on herself. She had braved her fear and the hurt that came with her choice, choosing the option that would mean she could claim that whatever happened was because of her and her alone.
Suzushina Yuriko was her own person and making her own choices. She wanted to see things without the filter that others put over it and only through her eyes, eyes that belonged to a person that had chosen to enter into the fray of their own accord.
The great unknown.
Yuriko did not know what was there, but she had chosen to step into it herself. She had chosen to take that first step herself with that strength that lay within her.
"And Yomikawa. Stop fucking grinning because of a choice that I made."
Yuriko though turned and faced Yomikawa that merely put both of her hands up.
"No, I'm not grinning! Seriously! I-I'm just happy about my pa - I-I mean I'm happy for you! Yes, you!"
"You're still slipping there Aiho." Remarked Yoshikawa as she put a hand to her forehead. Last Order grinned, raising one of her arms around Kamijou's neck as he stepped in order to catch her if she fell.
"Hooray! yells Misaka as Misaka rides her victory horse! D-Does this mean that every day will become a high school romantic comedy that the other units have been seeing all around the world?! wonders Misaka as Misaka collects the necessary information in order to determine what type of life you will lead!"
Yuriko narrowed her eyes as she looked at Last Order, the girl seeing the eye contact and smiling once more. The radiance behind it was nothing more than blinding as Last Order spoke once more.
"Misaka wants you to be happy, even without Misaka by your side says Misaka as Misaka speaks from the heart. So, seeing you make this choice despite the pain it might give means that you're not scared anymore of the world. And that only proves that you're the strongest!"
Last Order spoke pure words from her heart as Yuriko looked at her with a soft glance. She didn't think that Last Order had been thinking of her in that way but seeing that it was the case only made her truly happy.
"And when you screw up, Misaka will be there to make fun of you. I'll be moral support for your failures!"
And then Worst had to go and ruin everything with her fucking mouth.
Yuriko turned to her with a gaze that would have killed a small animal as Kamijou merely grinned while he looked at the scene, letting go of Last Order from his neck and sticking out a hand in front of him. Yuriko saw the movement, regarding it with curiosity as the boy cleared his throat.
"Well despite what I might say, this was all you Suzushina. So, I'm happy for you. But since we can say that this is a new 'first meeting', I think introductions are in order. My name is Kamijou Touma and I'll be your new classmate. I'm a bit of an idiot but I seriously hope that we can be good to each other and help each other out when we need to." Kamijou said in seriousness as Yuriko deadpanned.
"It's a bit off putting when you call yourself an idiot."
Kamijou laughed at that as the girl seemed rather taken aback at the warm sound. She blinked and looked at the proffered hand, thinking back to something that Yomikawa had said about her first day at school.
That it was the start of something new. A new age, a new story and a new chapter in her life.
Yuriko could not remark on the accuracy of such a statement but even so, she felt as though this definitely was a new starting point in her life. It was something as simple as going to school yet the following days were surely going to be filled with pain, happiness, rom coms, drama and other needless and annoying events that would press down at her from all sides.
She had been scared of it at first but when looking at what was to happen and her own choices, she had taken the first step into the 'great unknown'. What lay beyond the threshold was unknown but Yuriko knew without a doubt that it would definitely prove to be something that would allow her something if nothing else.
A look into the type of peace Kamijou Touma had managed to strike for himself.
If anything, Yuriko wanted to be a part of that peace, to see it with her own eyes. And so, she had made her choice.
Even though her own heart wanted yet at the same time did not want the boy in front of her.
Regardless though, ignoring those thoughts within her head she reached for the hand that was offered and grabbed it.
And did something that was so rare for that girl.
She smiled as she spoke that name that had been given to her by this boy in front of her.
"My name… is Suzushina Yuriko. I hope that we can be good to each other as well."
Kamijou Touma grinned and Suzushina Yuriko felt a warm blush come to her cheeks as she looked at it, hanging her head out of the embarrassment so the boy would not realise the feelings sleeping deep within her.
Despite that feeling deep in her heart that she kept to herself, she also felt within her heart that even though she had accepted the pain, happiness and consequences of her choice right now, there was at least one happy moment to start this new chapter in her life off.
The only thing to consider was what happened from here on out.
And that was something that only she, Suzushina Yuriko, the #1 Level 5 esper holding the power called Accelerator could decide.
 This actually happened. In the novel, the report that Touma picks up outlines all of the 7 Level 5s and their names however he skips over them to get to the heart of the matter within the report. Hence in this story he picks out Accelerator's name instead of just referring to him as 'Accelerator'.
And there we go!
Did you see how the title was relevant? It LITERALLY was the #1 Girl!
Firstly, I hope that I did all the fanarts justice. Whenever you look at a picture of Yuriko, you get the feeling that she has a personality a bit like Mikoto with the backstory of Accelerator but it was hard to say which 'direction' that I wanted to go with this. I looked at numerous fanarts and tried to make my impressions based on them which resulted in this short story (I think it's better calling them this than one-shots given their length). It was pretty hard though choosing what type of 'dere' that I could have in this case.
As you can see here I gave Yuriko a more 'in tune' with herself feeling. She's more accepting of her feelings, knowing what she likes and dislikes and ultimately although I ended up only having a small amount of words to portray her character I wanted you to get the feeling that she was the type of girl that is sort of like the Ugly Duckling. Get past the outer appearance that is rather male looking and intimidating and you find someone with a heart that realises that she's done wrong and wants to fix it yet understands that there is one thing that she can never have, a self-imposed limiter put in place as the ultimate punishment.
I gave her some characteristics from the Accelerator that we all know (his overall vocabulary, backstory and how he feels and wants to protect Last Order above everything) while also incorporating some aspect of 'feminism' within such. I'm not saying that girls can't be evil or villains but I wanted to add a bit of 'moe' to the mix despite all of it so you ended up with this! Again though, her mannerisms were hard to get down: while in some respects she is an old character, she is also completely new and there are so many different impressions of her that is hard deciding the one I wanted to go with.
So, we ended up with this. I hope you enjoyed it despite how the gaps that were formed took hold.
I want to say that this was easy given Accelerator was used as the base but it was pretty hard as well! Giving his feelings regarding Touma seemed the obvious choice but extending those from what Accelerator already feels for him (his respect and admiration) was a bit hard in the sense that I had to make it feel natural and not entirely forced. Not only that but the hairpin bit was something I added on the fly but at the same time I feel adds to that 'moe' feel and really gets across the feeling that Acclerator here is a girl. Hopefully this entire thing felt natural despite the unnatural concept but it really changed things up which was fun to see!
But can you understand how Yuriko feels here? She wants to be happy (something that she has with Last Order and her family) yet the concept of being more than happy with Touma is something that she won't allow herself because of what she's done. In a way, I think that her wanting redemption for the point of allowing herself a chance with Touma in a romantic way is a part of her own suffering in that no matter how much she wants it, she can't decide whether she deserves it or has it being the right thing for her.
However, she realises that if she wants to view the world in a greater sense she needs to overcome this fear and come to terms with the fact that the only thing that she can do is move forward. Which ironically is something that Touma has been doing this entire time.
And the way that she does it here is to accept the offer and go to school.
So overall what did you think? Did Suzushina Yuriko touch at your heartstrings and did you feel something, if anything for her?! If you did, then I think that my job is done and there is nothing more for me do. If you felt anything (hopefully positive), then I am more than pleased.
And as always,
Review if you please.
And I'll see you when I see you and I won't if I don't.
Did you notice how I referred to Yuriko as 'Yuriko' instead of Suzushina? That's my own personal preference talking as since she can never be a heroine, I just feel as though she has the ability to become a great one from her characterisation alone. Hence using Yuriko when referring to her. Ah, I want to do another one of these…