What's up people CharlesWatch220 here! I know I haven't really been active on this website for quite a while but that's because I have to deal with graduate school stuff and it is swamping me...But here's something I offer to you readers as a peace offering. I have up to four chapters written already, each of them about 6-7 pages long. It's a Deku x Jirou fic. Hope my writing skill hasn't gotten rusty. As always, I own nothing except this here story. Please support the official release.
Without further ado, enjoy! Plus ULTRA!
Kyoka Jirou scratched her head, growling in frustration as she tore a page out of her notepad, crumpled it up, and tossed it over her shoulder into the pile of another dozen or so pages. Having gotten through the majority of assignments for tomorrow's classes, she decided to write a song in her spare time, a slow rock ballad. Everything was going perfectly. At least writing on the music sheet was. Aside from several minor changes here and there after only half a dozen tests, her pencil was flying across the pages.
However, her excitement died faster than Kaminari playing a console game online in PvP mode as she began writing the crucial part of a song to complement the music: lyrics. Every other sentence just crashed and burned.
"Come on, Kyoka. Cooooome ooooooon….You've been playing music since your damn hands can reach around the entire neck of a guitar." Jirou wracked her brains for another half an hour or so to no avail. Collecting the littered pieces of paper on the floor of her room, she stepped outside of her room in Heights Alliance to empty her trashcan in the dumpster out back on the ground floor. Plus, the night air should do some good and hopefully would let some fresh idea flow into the brain.
This sudden and severe case of lyricist's block weighed heavily on her mind as she sighed, twirling her earphone jacks with her fingers. Leaving the Heights Alliance compound with the trashcan of combustible waste, she jogged over to the dumpster behind the building when she heard a noise. Grunting, followed by a dull sound like a ball hitting a wall, hard.
Having an acute sense of hearing as a part of her Quirk, she stopped in her tracks, listening hard in order to assess the situation. It definitely was not an animal, which left her classmates and now dorm mates of 1-A. But who the hell would be out and about this late at night? She knew she could rule out Iida and Yaoyorozu (or Yaomomo as some of her classmates now call her with affection), being the sticklers they were born to be. Uraraka is usually tuckered out by this time of the day getting through assignments after being put through the wringer called Hero course training exercises.
Jirou shook her head. Process of elimination was not going to work. Steadying her breathing, she slowed her pace, inching towards the dumpster just around the corner. Peeking from there, she saw a figure in short pants and a hoodie, breathing hard. Judging by the grunts, it definitely was a boy.
Bobbing and weaving, he unleashed a flurry of punches, followed up by a push kick, flying knee strikes and a right roundhouse, all aimed at a thick wooden post about six feet tall with a length of rope wrapped around it before he stepped back again, only to lunge forward with his left elbow held out. His right leg then snaked out, striking low, middle and high in rapid succession.
Jirou winced, imagining what would happen if someone with a strength-enhancing Quirk dished that out to someone. A concussion and bruised ribs were going to be the least of their worries.
Then it hit her. It was so obvious who it was. The sneakers. They were high-tops. Red high-tops. The only person she knew with that kind of footwear was a classmate, the resident hero-nerd who declared his hero name to be Deku, the green-haired Izuku Midoriya.
Relaxing a bit upon finding out it wasn't some random prowler, Jirou stepped out from behind the corner. "Hey, Midoriya."
The hooded figure jerked his head around. "Oh, uh, h-hi Jirou." His breathing was heavy.
"Dude, how are you not tired from today's training exercises?"
"I'm just, uh…..it's a good sign, right? More stamina? What brings you back here?"
"Emptying my trash out." Jirou answered, holding up the trashcan. "I suppose. How long have you been doing this?"
"I took about half an hour to warm up, so…r-roughly an hour and a half now, I think?"
"With breaks, right?"
"Um….no, actually. I just…..I might have kinda lost track of time. Sorta."
"Wha…." Jirou was dumbstruck. She never really had any interaction with Izuku despite being in the same class, but she knew enough that he absolutely sucked at lying.
An hour and a half of punches and kicks of that intensity without a single break. Izuku definitely was winded, his shoulders rising and falling with every breath, but he was still standing and looked like he could go on for another half an hour or so. Grabbing the towel hanging on a branch, he replaced it with the sweat-drenched sweatshirt. Wiping whatever sweat his sweatshirt and tanktop failed to absorb, he guzzled about half the contents of a two-liter Nalgene bottle before taking another long breath.
Jirou definitely was no slouch when it came to physical confrontation. She had been in fights before during middle school, and even at UA she managed to survive the assault mounted by the League of Villains during the USJ incident and during the training camp with the Pussy Cats, albeit with backup. But this….this was just beyond anything she had put herself through. The intensity of the aura he exuded was indescribable. Shaking her head in amazement, she emptied her trashcan, but as she got closer to him, she noticed something she failed to from afar. "Midoriya, you're bleeding. And…..wait, have you been crying?"
"Hm? Oww….I was wondering why my legs and k-knuckles were stinging. I guess…I uh, I guess I didn't notice. Plus, it strengthens the bones and skin. If I end up fighting someone like Kirishima, it'll definitely help."
"You didn't answer my question."
"It-don't worry about it, it's nothing. I'm fine. Just――"
"No, come on. Your eyes are red and puffy and you've bloodied your limbs to a goddamn pulp. That's no coincidence."
"It was just a bad dream that's gone on for a while and I couldn't sleep, okay? That's all it is."
"Stop fucking lying. You're no good at it." Jirou growled, the irritation from her lyricist's block taking over. "Now spill. What the hell happened that's got you so worked up?"
"I can't, okay? It's-this….this incident involves more than just me. This isn't something I can just tell anyone without their permission. I could get in trouble. They could get in trouble. I appreciate your concern Jirou, I really do, but this is something that I can't disclose or discuss with you." Izuku then collapsed to the ground, the fatigue finally catching up to him. "Oh, God, no….."
"Well, guess we're going to be here for a while then." Jirou said with a shrug and an evil smirk across her face.
"I just need to rest for fifteen minutes and I'll walk back." Izuku mumbled.
"I doubt you can even crawl with those legs right now. Just tell me and I'll help you up."
"Alright, fine. See you at class tomorrow. If a raccoon or a possum doesn't give you rabies first."
"Wait, you're seriously going to leave me here?!"
"Like I said. Tell me and I won't have to. Look, I'm not that good at reading people but it doesn't take much to see that your nerves are clearly rattled. We're both trying to be heroes, that's why we're even here at UA. Heroes are supposed to help each other; help me understand so I can help you." Jirou held out her hand. This was a last-ditch effort. If he still says no, then she definitely was going to leave him out here. It was his choice to come out here for this in the first place. He has nobody else to blame.
After a long sigh and pause that lasted a solid ten seconds, Izuku raised his arm as well while wincing. Grabbing his arm and pulling him up off the ground, Jirou realized she never really had a close look at Izuku before. He was about 5'5, a little on the shorter side for a teen boy his age, but his physique which she can now see without the sweater was on par with a professional gymnast. He was lean, toned, and if the high kicks that could reach above his head was any indication, very flexible. She couldn't really help but stare as the sweat-drenched tanktop reinforced his developed muscles, but soon tore her eyes off of him as he managed to stand up.
"Alright, I'll help you to the elevator, but do us both a favor and go take a shower first. I'll meet you down in the common room."
"Yeah, I will….Um, thanks."
While she waited for him with the communal first-aid kit as company on the couch, Jirou continued to ponder how the lyrics of her new ballad will go, but the lyricist's block remained persistent, firmly putting its foot down and impeding the rocker girl's creative endeavors. To make matters worse, the song was still untitled. Titles came to Jirou relatively quickly, usually during or before she even writes the lyrics, but this one was just not coming to her.
"Sorry to make you wait, Jirou. I was getting ice."
"It's fine. C'mere. Hold out your hands."
"Please be gentle...?" Izuku whispered with a nervous smile as he saw Jirou soaking a piece of gauze with alcohol.
"Nah." With an evil smile, the stinging pain came, making Izuku mewl in his throat as he gritted his teeth while Jirou callously and thoroughly disinfected the wounds. "And….done." With a satisfactory nod at her handiwork of patching up Izuku, she leaned back onto the couch.
"Right…..A deal's a deal, so I'll tell you, but Jirou, I need you to promise me that this conversation needs to be kept under wraps. I can't stress the importance of this enough."
"I'm not Mina or Kaminari, chill. My lips are sealed."
"Okay," Izuku huffed, taking several deep breaths as he mentally prepared himself. "You remember the incident at the training camp when the League of Villains attacked, right?"
"One of the nightmares, I was fighting one of the Villains on my own. Muscular. And I lost. I watched him as he killed Kouta with his bare hands. Again and again. Then the other one is about the incident at Hosu with the Hero Killer."
"Right. Endeavor saved your skin along with Iida and Todoroki's, right? Not to be a dick, but that was a while ago――"
"Let me finish. That's what the media says, but…it's not true. Not entirely."
"Huh. You don't say."
"The fact is….Iida, Todoroki and I took him on to cover a wounded Pro Hero."
"Iida first found him, I tracked him down, then called for help and Todoroki showed up. Endeavor came only after we barely beat him. The burn marks were from when he tried to escape. The Hosu City Police Chief decided to not publicize what we did out of gratitude and respect for stopping him. I've recently been having nightmares about how the fight in the alleyway went with him." He hugged his knees against him tightly, keeping his tremble to a bare minimum.
"He was…..he was so powerful, even without taking his Quirk into account. The only reason we barely won was more or less sheer dumb luck. Every dream, I would make a mistake, a fatal one. And Iida would die. Todoroki would die. I would die. From a knife throw, a stab wound, a spiked boot to the throat and such. And every time, I'm helpless because I can't move. Even when they're all within arm's reach. They all died. I mean, I did my best to learn from my mistakes, but――"
"You still think you just might encounter that figurative landmine again at some point and you'll freeze up and actually fuck up?"
"Yeah….and when I have that dream, I can't go back to sleep. So I just…..I try to physically tire myself out. Which is why I was doing what I was doing when you saw me."
Jirou chewed on her lower lip, trying to digest everything that she just heard. She had heard about him getting grievously injured every now and then because he couldn't get a grip on the power output of his Quirk, but this just puts the matter in an entirely different complexion. He fought the Hero Killer. The Hero Killer who had put dozens of Pro Heroes and their Sidekicks in ICU and the morgue. This was some heavy baggage that would put the heaviest bass track to shame. "Ho-ly fuck, man. Now it makes sense."
"So yeah, this is why I looked so out of it every now and then. Like I said――"
"I know. Keep it under heavy wraps. You have my word, my lips are sealed. I won't breathe a word of this. I wouldn't want the karma of causing the expulsion of a classmate on my soul."
Izuku frowned. "Since when do you believe in karma?"
"I don't, dummy. It's just an expression. You might wanna talk to Recovery Girl about that and get some meds if it's really bad."
"I really hope it doesn't come to that. Can I ask you something?"
"What're you doing up so late? You're not really an early riser. I've seen you yawning a lot in the mornings."
"Wait, how do you know that?" Jirou frowned.
"U-um…i-i-it's not like I'm, you know, stalking you or anything." Izuku began waving his bandaged hands, turning away from Jirou in a sudden panic as he continued to explain himself through stutters. "Just that, you, well, I just see you out of the corner of my eye every now and then and you h-happened to be yawning every time."
"Oh. Well, it's not that big of a reason. I've currently hit a lyricist's block."
"You know what a writer's block is, don't ya?"
"I have the music down, but I just can't come up with words. It's so fucking frustrating. I can't even come up with a title for it."
"Sounds like you've fallen out of favor with the Muses."
"Oh shut up, you All Might fanboy."
"Hey! Leave All Might out of this! But seriously, you might wanna….do something…..different."
"Different how? And don't tell me to scrap this and start over."
"No, no, no. I mean…. like, uh….listen to other genres of music that's not rock."
"You clearly have more friends than I do. Ask for suggestions."
"You honestly think I didn't try any of that? It's. Not. Working! It usually goes away in less than three days, but it's been a whole fucking week!" Jirou threw her hands up in anger. But then, she suddenly had an idea. It wasn't something she would usually do, but she was itching to blast the lyricist's block to oblivion and maybe a little something that was unbecoming of her is exactly how to regain the favor of the Muses. "Wait, I might have an idea, but I'll need your help."
"Uh, okay….? Care to elaborate?"
"I've got a Quirk that can deal with enemies at mid-range and track movement via hearing, but my actual combat skills at close range is….well, still a little sloppy. I got some pointers from the office I interned at and I'm getting more from Yaomomo and Uraraka here, but I wanna be able to integrate my Quirk to actual combat. So, I want your help with that."
"M-me?" Izuku squeaked.
"You're the only All Might fanboy here right now with me."
"Um…b-b-but, I mean, I'm flattered that you'd ask me for advice. I'm not saying that I don't want to help you, but I uh, th-there's OJirou who's been doing karate since he was in elementary school, Kirishima's a tough in-fighter――"
"You're the one with all those notes about us, so I figured you'd have the best answers. C'mon, please. I need this lyricist's block gone ASAP. I will owe you big-time for this."
"Okay. It's the least I can do. But seriously, you don't need to do me any favors."
"Alright," Jirou grinned, "so we'll use tomorrow after classes and plan from there. Thanks a lot! Night!"
"Um, yeah….yeah, sure thing. Good night." Izuku sat on the couch for a bit as he heard the elevator ding once, and ding once more as it stopped at the girl's floor. "Oh my God…..what the hell have I gotten myself into?" But at this point, he was too tired and sore to think about it, much less care. Standing up with a groan, he dragged himself back to his room with a slightly lighter heart and a weak but genuine smile.