NOTES: Back by popular demand! I decided to do a little something different with this chapter, and I feel like it suits Ashido's character. This chapter is a lot shorter than the others, but I feel like it all works out. Enjoy!
If there was one thing Midoriya prided himself on, it was his diligence that reliably got him through tough times. He hadn't given up when his own lack of a quirk had barred him from being a superhero, he hadn't given up in the face of All Might's training regimen, and he hadn't given up when Aizawa-sensei seemed resolute on failing him and the rest of the class. When Midoriya hadn't been strong enough, he'd trained his body to match the challenge. If he ever wasn't quite up to snuff on his academia, he'd study laboriously until he was able to claw his way out of mediocrity to retain his fairly high class ranking. Dedication was what Midoriya prided himself on, most of all.
On the list of traits Midoriya was proud to possess, one of the less bombastic examples than determination was how he was able to help inspire people. He liked to think that he made most of his classmates feel better about themselves, uplifting them and spurring them on to bigger and better things. He'd certainly lit a fire under Todoroki, no pun intended, and he liked to think he'd helped Iida through some of his complexes regarding the mantle of Ingenium he intended to take on in his brother's stead. It made Midoriya feel good to make others feel good, and that felt to him like the kind of quality a hero should have: the ability to enjoy and promote the happiness of others.
There were times, however, where he really wished he could let some things pass without getting involved. There were times where Midoriya got in way over his head, and ended up regretting his altruistic tendencies afterwards. Sure, butting one's nose in was considered by All Might to be a heroic kind of trait, but it was also the trait of bleeding heart types whose urge to help out got themselves in hot water.
And so, without really thinking about it, Midoriya approached Mina Ashido after class. Her horned head was buried in her arms, her shoulders heaving up every so often before falling again with a loud sigh. She'd been like that for five minutes after class ended, and Midoriya had kept an eye on her even while he spoke to the teacher about homework. The teacher gave Ashido a tired kind of look, then left her and Midoriya to go grade papers and decompress.
With a deep breath to fortify himself, Midoriya made his way over to Ashido. "H-hey, Ashido-san," he greeted her. "Is, um. Is everything alright?"
Ashido heaved with a big sigh. "Nooo it iiisnnn't," she groaned loudly. "If I don't get an A on the test tomorrow, I'll flunk out. And if I flunk out, my dad will kick my ass." The sudden oath made Midoriya flinch, and Ashido sighed as she rose up. "Sorry, sorry," she told him, rubbing at her eyes. "I uh, shouldn't foist my problems onto you."
"No no," Midoriya raised his hands placatingly! "No, it's fine, Ashido-san! I'm happy to listen to your problems!" And then, Midoriya did it. He made an offer he couldn't take back, and which would change the direction his life would take for the immediate future.
"In, in fact," he stuttered, "How about I help you study for the test?" He gave a loud gulp, inwardly cursing himself for making that offer so casually. What had he done!?
Ashido raised her head, her mouth hanging open slightly. Then she smiled, and her whole face lit up! "Wow, really!? You'd do that for me? You're the bomb, Deku!" Ashido sprung from her seat, wrapping her arms around Midoriya's shoulders! She spun around him once, twice, then slung herself off, grabbing her school bag along the way. "Meet me outside, and we'll walk over to your house! Thanks, dude!" The momentum from spinning around with Midoriya carried Ashido until she sprinted out of the classroom, leaving Midoriya behind.
Lips pursed as if he'd just bitten down on a particularly sour lemon, Midoriya gave a deep, long-suffering sigh. "Well," he muttered, adjusting his grip on his bag, "I guess I have only myself to blame if this goes badly."
As he made his way down the hallways of Yuuei, Midoriya tried to think positively. Sure, he felt like he wasn't outgoing enough to really do well as a tutor, but had done a lot of studying for the test beforehand. With his understanding of the subject matter, he was sure that he could muddle through and help Ashido prepare! Right, it was going to be fine!
When Midoriya finally emerged from the front gate, he found Ashido waiting with her bag slung over her shoulder. "'Sup," she greeted him warmly. "I hope you don't mind if we do this at your place. My parents are…They're a little intense." Midoriya shook his head, still unsure of himself and unable to find his voice.
"Thanks, man," Ashido sighed with relief, falling into step beside him. "You're a lifesaver." Side by side was how they walked, took the subway, and eventually made their way back to Midoriya's house. Being so close to Ashido made Midoriya realize a few things. For one thing, she had an odd, but pleasant fragrance around her, like bubblegum crossed with strong citrus.
For another thing, she had really great thighs. Sure, they were an odd shade of pink, but the way her skirt swirled around them made it hard for Midoriya to keep his eyes off of them. It took a lot of mental discipline to keep his eyes elsewhere when Ashido would walk in front of him, peering around at the sights of the city with that characteristic zeal. Her energy was infectious, though, and made Midoriya look at his surroundings with a bit more interest than before!
Eventually they arrived at his house, discarding their shoes by the door. "Please let me explain before you say anything," Midoriya desperately insisted. "My mom is…You'll probably find out as soon as we head in." Ashido nodded very seriously, and followed Midoriya in without saying a word.
Immediately Midoriya's mother rounded the corner, holding a spoon. "Welcome home, son! I was just making — " She took notice of Ashido, and stopped short. She dropped the spoon with a clatter, folded her hands over her mouth, and began to get teary-eyed.
"My little boy has brought a girl home," she wept with joy! "Oh, oh, hold on, let me go out on a trip for some groceries! I'll leave you two alone!" So hurried was she to leave that Midoriya's mother didn't even let her son explain himself, nor did Ashido even get a chance to say hello or good bye. In moments Midoriya's mom had bustled out of the door, leaving the two of them in silence.
"Wow, your mom is pretty funny," Ashido laughed. "I guess this is an opportunity for us to do this-and-that, huuuh?" When she saw how pale Midoriya went, Ashido laughed and waved her hand to dismiss his worries. "Don't worry, don't worry, I'm not going to try to fool around like that," Ashido reassured him. "We're just here to study, yeah?"
Sufficiently reassured, Midoriya nodded with a smile. He led Ashido to his room and plopped down on the bed, taking out his pencil and some paper. "So, Ashido-san," he asked as Ashido got comfortable on his bed. It occurred to him that there were going to be three tests tomorrow, it being close to the end of the semester and all. "What, er...Which test do you need help with?"
Ashido paused for a moment. She opened up her heavily-decorated schoolbag, and began to pull out textbooks. She pulled out a math book, a literature book, and an ethics book. All three!? Just as Midoriya began to panic, though, Ashido put the math book and ethics book back in her bag. She gave a little snicker, and Midoriya realized she'd been teasing him just now. He almost wanted to be offended, but all he could do was just giggle along with her.
"Ethics is kind of a cakewalk and I get math pretty well," Ashido explained. "But I guess…I dunno. Somehow I just don't get the literature stuff. I can't remember the names of characters, or how a poem is supposed to be set up, or what the parts of a plot arc are. Y'know?" Midoriya nodded, and moved over to look over Ashido's work with her. Somehow he managed to keep a level head when his leg bumped up against her thigh.
As they studied, Midoriya found that despite some assumptions he was ashamed to admit he'd had, Ashido was in no way unintelligent. When he put into practice some of his own study techniques to help her out, Ashido started to pick up and memorize the information quite rapidly! All she needed was someone to help her focus, was all.
Hours later, the two walked to the front door, laughing uncontrollably. Midoriya didn't know what it was about Ashido, but she had an incredible ability to just make him start to crack up with how she spoke and moved. It almost made him reluctant to see her go, although he knew she had to.
"Good luck on the test, Ashido-san," Midoriya told her outside the front door. "I"m sure you'll do fine, so don't sweat it, okay?"
"I'll do my best not to," Ashido replied. "Thanks a lot, Deku. Oh, and by the way…" Midoriya was shocked to find Ashido suddenly leaning over, and giving him a peck on the cheek! "Just call me Mina, okay?"
Long after Ashido had made her way up the street and out of sight, Midoriya stood there in absolute shock.
"Th, th," he stammered helplessly. "Th, that, that…That was m-m-my f-first kiss!"
Midoriya could barely get in eight hours of sleep that night, fretting over the kiss Ashido had given him. He was blushing incredibly hotly, and he couldn't keep his mind from racing. He somehow managed to get to sleep, however, springing up as soon as his alarm clock alerted him.
The trip to school was uneventful as usual, although with the added complication of Midoriya's quickened pulse and racing mind. He managed to make it to Yuuei without making a Freudian slip or anything, and got to class without any incident, too.
That necessarily brought with it new complications, though. Ashido wasn't there yet, but she probably would be, soon. Midoriya sat heavily in his seat, sweating bullets and gripping his knees for dear life.
"Excuse me, Deku-san," a familiar voice suddenly startled Midoriya! "You seem like you're nervous. Is it the tests today?" Iida gesticulated as wildly as usual, although the look of concern on his face was a bit more sobering than the motions of his hands.
"No, no, it's nothing," Midoriya sheepishly reassured the Class President. "I studied a lot to get ready. Don't sweat it, okay?" Iida took pause, as if he intended to question Midoriya further. He smiled, though, and went off to chide Bakugou for propping his feet up on the desk.
That left Midoriya alone with his thoughts, as he tried desperately to grapple with his feelings. Ashido was nice and all, and she hadn't kissed him on the lips, thank goodness. Still, she was the first woman besides his mom to ever kiss him! Was he prepared to handle this kind of situation? Judging by how his body and mind were reacting, Midoriya felt like the answer was a resounding no.
And just like that, she walked in. Now more than ever before, Midoriya found it impossible to ignore how Ashido's swaggering hips rolled side to side, or how her smile absolutely dominated her expression. While she talked to Asui, Midoriya tried desperately to make himself unnoticeable. He failed, and Ashido threw him a thumbs-up. Midoriya shakily returned the gesture, trying to ignore how Mineta and Bakugou stared at him. Iida took notice as well, but mercifully let the gesture pass without comment.
Without much further ado, class was in session. The day was pretty humdrum, with only a pop quiz to shake things up before the literature test. Midoriya had finally calmed himself enough to properly take the test, and found that he could confidently answer most of the questions without dithering or questioning himself. He hoped Ashido had the same experience.
He'd hoped that, but wasn't ready for her to bound up to him at the end of the day to tell him about it! "Dude, that cram session helped me sooo much," Ashido clapped him on the shoulder! "I actually like, knew how to answer most of those questions! You really are the bomb, Deku!"
Snickering at how Bakugou angrily stormed out at her 'bomb' comment, Ashido clasped her hands around Midoriya's fingers. "Dude, I have so got to make this up to you," she insisted! "The weekend starts tomorrow, so meet me in front of your house at 7, okay?" She went to leave, but stopped to turn, smile, and tell Midoriya, "Oh, and wear something comfortable. And don't bring your book bag, it'll weigh you down. Gotta bounce!" Ashido grabbed her bag and left with such exuberance, she almost started skipping.
Midoriya more-or-less floated home, nervous beyond compare. What could Ashido have planned? Would it be safe? Would it be embarrassing to him? Midoriya ate his dinner and drifted up to his room in a blur. All too soon it was 7 o'clock, and his mom came knocking on his door!
"Honey, that girl from before is out there," she gleefully told him! "Be sure to treat her nice, okay? Do whatever she tells you! Unless it turns to peer pressure. But I'm sure it won't!" She giddily left Midoriya to get ready, changing out of his school uniform and into some casual clothes. He then left the front door, and beheld Ashido.
She was dressed in something similar to her superhero outfit: a sleeveless lavender-colored unitard with hot pink zebra stripes, plus a fluorescent orange vest with a violet fur ruff around the collar, all topped off with coral pink bubble sunglasses. She looked truly, truly outrageous, and it was honestly a little intimidating.
"C'mon, don't stand there with your mouth hanging open, Deku," Ashido giggled! "You'll catch flies that way!" She winked at Midoriya, resting her hands on her hips. The way she cocked one hip up higher than the other one made Midoriya's heart beat faster, his mouth going dry. He was afraid to see where this was going, but he was too fascinated to say no. So he just fell in stride with Ashido, and let her lead him away.
They ended up at a warehouse district, of all things! Ashido led Midoriya past the rows and rows of humongous buildings, towards what, he dare not contemplate. Soon, though, something reached his ears. It was like a heartbeat, but so loud he could hear it before he saw the source! Ashido led him towards that source, and as it grew closer, it occurred to Midoriya that this was the beat to a song.
Lo and behold, they turned one more corner, and there it was. The sun had just gone down, and in the dark of the night, the neon-colored lights flashing in the windows of the warehouse starkly stood out. The doors were slightly ajar, and a huge man with a bald head and curled horns was waiting. He looked like a bouncer, and one look from him almost made Midoriya faint on the spot!
"Chill, Keratops, he's with me," Ashido laughed! "I want to take him to his first dance!"
The bouncer chuckled, stepping aside. "Just don't come crying to me if he can't handle it," Keratops smirked at Ashido.
"What? Can't handle what?" Midoriya got his answer as Ashido dragged him in by the hand.
Just walking around
And you're confusing me
That look in your eye,
It is abusing me
And I reckon you don't know
What you do to me
The sensory overload almost brought Midoriya to his knees. The lights were flashing with green and pink, shining stark beams through an ultraviolet wonderland. From the flashing panels on the dance floor rose up hunks of what looked like coral, glowing with pinks and oranges and greens under the black lights above. There were pale green and pink bubbles, too, seemingly being blown by the DJ. He looked almost like a crustacean, using his claws to scratch the disks periodically.
I'm digging your style,
It is out of this world.
No girl out there
That can compare to you.
And I bet you don't know
You're such a beauty queen —
Straight out of a magazine.
Ashido obviously intended for Midoriya to dance, but when she saw the look on his face, she smiled tenderly. "You don't have to dance if you're not feeling it," she told him. "Just take it easy, okay?" She helped him to lean up against one of the false coral, and it was mercifully sturdy enough to support his weight. While Midoriya tried to collect himself, though, he found himself captivated by Ashido's moves.
'Cause I can't help this feeling,
My desire is burning.
You've gotta set me free, unleash what's inside of you.
My desire's burning.
The way Ashido rolled her hips and moved her feet was hypnotic, bending and swinging her arms as she spun around. She rocked her body low to the ground, then rose up again with such speed, she did a backflip in the air! She landed neatly on her feet again, and everyone cheered. Midoriya blushed, his heart hammering, and saw her wink at him from behind her glasses.
'Cause I can't help this feeling,
My desire is burning.
You've gotta set me free, unleash what's inside of you.
My desire's burning.
At no point did Midoriya realize when and how he joined Ashido on the dance floor. His movements weren't as articulated as hers, not at first. But Ashido would playfully tap him while he was dancing, getting him to move more like her, little by little, step by step. It was exhausting, it was exhilarating — it was like nothing he'd ever done before!
I see you,
I want you.
I need you girl, yeah.
You're just a pinup girl.
A pinup girl.
Girl oh, yeah, yeah.
The song didn't end when Midoriya staggered off of the dance floor, leaning on Ashido's shoulder. He didn't know if it ever would end, but he didn't care. Leaning on Ashido, face shining with sweat, his legs burning just a little, Midoriya did what came naturally:
He leaned over, and he gave Ashido a kiss. Not a peck on the cheek, or a little kiss on the nose. He gave her a deep, passionate kiss on the lips, resting his hands on Ashido's waist.
Ashido kicked her leg up just before Midoriya pulled away, gasping for breath. "So, Deku — I mean…Izuku," Ashido blushed. "You uh…You wanna go steady?"
"After tonight, Ashi — I mean," Midoriya chuckled. "After tonight, Mina? I'd love that more than anything!"
The song went on, but Ashido and Midoriya didn't dance as quickly as before.
They took it slow, embraced each other, and kept on kissing.