When Fox was five his mother had explained about his soulmate. He knew what they were of course, he listened to Whimsy movies with closed captioning and they were all about soulmates. People who gave up their voice, who left their homes forever, who fraught in wars, who overcame any difficulty.
So yes, he knew what soulmates were, he just didn't know anything about his.
His mother sat him down and he could smell her flowery perfume and the sent of baking that still clung to her cloths (and wafted from the kitchen, mmm brownies).
"You're going to be starting school next week." His mum said. "Are you excited?"
"Yes!" He said, grinning in her direction.
"Well, I think you should know what your words are before then."
Fox started rubbing the patch on his arm, excitement bubbling in his tummy. "Really?" He asked, rubbing the patch on his arm he knew his mark was on, even though it didn't feel any different to the rest of his arm.
"Really, really." His mum said, laughing a little.
"What does it say?"
"It says 'so, partners huh?'" His mother said, tapping each words location. "And it's written in light brown with very pretty handwriting."
Fox poked his tongue out.
"Well, your father and I thought that it might come up at school, and you're old enough that you should know." She wrapped him up in a big hug.
The first day of school and Fox was excited. Since his mother had told him his words he was sure that he would meet his soul mate today. Keeping his cane folded he let mum guide him to his class room and drop him off at the door.
"Hello Fox, Mrs Alistair, I'm Miss Brown and I'm going to be your teacher this year." She had a nice voice but Fox suddenly felt very shy and waved from where he was holding mum's arm. "Fox, would you like me to take you over to the other children on the mat?"
Fox nodded, slipped his hand out of mum's grip and held it out to Miss Brown. Her hand was warm and soft and she led him to the mat space on the floor.
He sat down with his folded cane in his lap and tired not to be nervous.
"Hi." Said a girls voice form next to him. "My name's Olive, what's yours?"
"How come you have that stick?" She asked.
"It's not a stick, it's a cane. I can't see so it means I don't walk into anything." Fox said.
"Oh, but that means you don't know what the classroom looks like!" She sounded horrified. "Well, the walls are this weird pink colour with dark blue pin boards. There's a bunch of desks…" She continued to describe the class room and Fox grinned.
No one said Fox's words that day, or the next, or the next.
That was okay though, the characters in Whimsy stories sometimes had to wait a hundred years, he could wait too!
"It's nice to meet you, Fox." Said his desk-mate in year two.
"You too Dray." Fox said.
"Do you need help?" Asked his desk-mate.
"No, I'm fine." Fox smiled. "What's your name?"
"Hi, I'm Fox."
"Hey, guess we're desk buddies."
By the time high school rolled around Fox had a reputation that, to his parent's pleasure, wasn't 'that one blind ginger kid'. It was probably just as bad to be known as the 'group project nut' but he did bring it on himself. He volunteered for them, perked up when they were mentioned, did good work.
He wasn't subtle, Olive who had stayed a friend from day one laughed at him while pointing people his way. She also helped him train on weekends for the Beacon Academy entrance exam. Something that seemed a lot closer than it should be.
He wanted to be a hunter, his semblance hopefully meant they'd look past the blindness and let him try. He wasn't sure what he was going to do if they didn't let him in.
"Pfft, they have to let you in Fox, you're awesome." Olive groaned after practice one night. "I'm rolling my eyes by the way."
"I guessed." Fox grinned.
"Aren't you a cleaver one then."
"What happened to that nice girl I used to know?" Fox mused, trying to stretch aching muscles.
"Over exposure to an orange haired asshole."
"Rude." Fox groaned. "I'm blind, you're supposed to be nice to me."
"I am nice to you, I only let dad beat you twice."
"I hate you." He complained.
"Aw, you're my best friend too." Olive paused and Fox felt genuine dread. "So it's my duty to make you run another lap."
"Ugh." Fox protested, already standing up. "Race you."
"You will all have to use a personal landing strategy. Once in to forest you will, inevitably, partner up. That partner will be the person you spend the next four years with, so you had best be able to work with each other.
"You will be partnering with the first person you see.
"Your objective is to retrieve the artefact from the forest temple. Remember, the Emerald forest is filled with creatures of grim, so this task will not be easy."
Even focusing on the task ahead Fox couldn't ignore that feeling of hope that still came up when someone mentioned partnering up.
When he was launched into the air he was, as a result, less than prepared. The free fall was fun, the landing less so. He semblance could only do so much, so he suck his blades in a tree and hoped.
As he walked through the forest he sent regular pulses out, each giving him an idea of what was around him. He felt the person before he heard them, coming from somewhere to his left.
"So," A female voice drawled. "Partners, huh?"
Fox was fairly sure an Ursa Major could have shown up and kissed him without his notice. Holy shit, someone said it, she said it.
"Do you have any idea how many group projects I did trying to find you?" He asked instead, before wincing.
She just laughed. "Probably about as many as I did." She said. "I'm Coco, Coco Adel."
"Well Fox, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful partnership."
Introducing my contribution to the FNDM, a series of soulmate Au's. Request anything and I'll give it a shot, although I'm aiming to keep things short (1-2k)