Author's Notes: Hello again, everyone! This is stormwolfex here with yet another story. This is a What If story, starting from the beginning of To Aru Majutsu no Index. What if Misaka Mikoto and Kamijou Touma were childhood friends?
How would their personalities defer, their interactions and eventual involvement with the magic side? How will the Railgun and Imagine Breaker handle being jerked around by chessmasters and magnificent bastards?
This is my interpretation, so sit back and relax. ^^
Chapter 1: Prelude to the Storm
"She's late," a certain spiky haired boy complained as he leaned back against the plastic chair. He was currently seated in a café, having received a frantic message from his childhood friend that she would be late and to be there early to get the Gekota toy for her. Seriously, this was getting old. "Kamijou Touma has all the luck in the world when he makes friends, doesn't he?" he ruffled his black hair as he buried his face on the table with a sigh.
"Yes, he does, doesn't he?" a snide voice came from behind him, making Touma jump and sweat nervously as he realized that his childhood friend had overheard his comment. He turned to look at the brown-haired girl with a sheepish smile, laughing as she flexed her wrists threatening.
"Now, Biri Biri, you know I mean that in a good way…" he said, attempting to placate her.
"Uh huh. Whatever would you do without me, idiot?" Misaka Mikoto, affectionately termed 'Biri Biri' by Kamijou Touma for her electrokinetic abilities, sat down with a huff, "You'd be broke from frequenting expensive cafes all the time."
"Oi, oi. You're the one that drags me to those places in the first place," he pointed out aggrievedly at her snide remark.
"So it's my fault now? Don't think I'll forgive you for this insolence," Misaka scowled as she ordered a parfait, glaring at him all the while as the waitress gave him a look with a light blush on her face, much to her irritation.
"Here, I was early for a change," Touma said with an innocent smile as he held out the last, limited edition Gekota keychain.
"And you're forgiven!" Misaka continued with a delighted squeal as she grabbed the keychain joyfully, "I didn't think you'd be able to get it. Knowing your luck and all," she added with a grin.
'That means, thanks for coming early, I appreciate it,' Touma thought as she twirled the keychain around in a fascinatingly cute manner. If there was one thing he'd learned from being friends with her for so long, it was that she was rarely honest with her feelings or whatever she said to him.
It meant, though he would never tell her that, that she was a tsundere.
"So what were you busy with, anyway?" he asked as she kept the keychain.
"Oh, Kuroko said she had something important on, so I was the only one left to clean up the dorm rooms," Misaka explained, "it was such a mess too, so it took me a while."
"Kuroko?" Touma frowned thoughtfully, "Oh! Isn't she that friend you made a while back? The Judgement member, right?"
"Yup, that's the one. How many other friends and roommates do you think I have?" she asked dryly. Misaka Mikoto, also known as the Railgun, was one of Academy City's elites, one of the seven Level 5 in the city. With that fame came worship and all the icky stuff that went with it, so she never really had a 'close' friend before. Apparently, this Shirai Kuroko person was one of the few that really got to know Misaka and became her friend.
Much to Touma's relief. He couldn't always be around, since he was a Level 0, so it warmed him and that at least she had someone to depend on.
"I thought you'd have made more," he said honestly.
"Most of the girls there are more concerned with my title than my person," she muttered with narrowed eyes as she consumed her parfait. "It gets so annoying sometimes. And Kuroko… well…" she shook her head with a sigh.
"I take it that she still thinks you swing the other way?" Touma teased.
"Yes. So I had to give her some 'electrical' therapy," Misaka shot back.
"Did it work?"
"Sadly, no," Misaka sighed again, "she's incredibly stubborn on that point. And that's also the reason why I haven't introduced you two yet. She'd probably flip and jump to the wrong conclusion."
"Ouch," Touma winced. He had plenty of experience with wrong conclusions and he sympathized with her on that point. "You did call her a psycho lesbian at one point," he recalled with a grin.
Misaka blushed, "That was a joke, a joke!"
"Whatever you say," he laughed.
A shadow suddenly loomed over the table and the two looked up to see three males who looked like they belonged in a zoo rather than a city of intellectuals. All of them were dressed immaculately in an attire that the two agreed was outlandish and frankly, made them look ridiculous. They were probably punks.
"Hey, cutie," the lead male with purple hair and terrible aftershave leered at Misaka, "Why don't you join us? We'll show you a good time with a real man."
"Yeah," his posse echoed, each wearing an eager expression.
To their shock, the two students exchanged a look and began to laugh.
"Did you hear that, Touma, they wanna 'show me a good time', hahaha!" Misaka sputtered in the midst of laughing.
"A real man, they said," Touma continued as he held his sides with his uncontrolled laughter, "Oh, man. Look guys," he said as he calmed himself down, "You really don't wanna piss her off. Or me, for that matter."
"What?" the leader sneered, apparently convinced that his size would make up for anything that Touma could pull out of his ass, "You're asking for it, you stupid, no good bitches!"
"Now you've done it," Touma groaned as he grabbed his phone protectively to protect it from being damaged.
The posse behind the leader began taking a nervous step back as Misaka began to give of sparks. The leader, apparently dense enough not to realize Misaka's restraint, reached out to grab her.
His mistake. In a city of full Espers, it was stupid to attack an opponent without knowing what he or she would be capable of pulling. Misaka needed no encouragement to fry him because, simply put, higher level Espers would never waste time on such mundane things. That and only 2 people were more powerful than her statistically.
A controlled jolt sailed through the air as Misaka made him the path of least resistance, sending the electric current coursing through his body. The shock was just enough to paralyze him but not enough to kill.
The posse fled as their leader keeled over in a charred heap.
Misaka finished the last bite of her parfait as the leader finally hit the ground, before looking up at Touma with an annoyed expression. "Punks. They never learn," she snorted as Touma shook his head.
"Fukou Da," was his only reply.
*** Outside ***
"You've got to control that temper of yours," Touma scolded as they finally left the café, "if it wasn't for our constant training, you'd have fried all the electronic equipment again."
"I had it under control," Misaka retorted as she crossed her arms over her chest, her face slightly red, "besides, you were ready to sock him the face too!"
"Punching the daylights out of someone is not as financially damaging as overloading all the electronic equipment in the vicinity," he said as though explaining matters to a child, "At least you controlled it this time."
"Speaking of training," she hurriedly changed the subject, "How about today? That Imagine Breaker of yours is just too good of a training material!"
"Well, excuse me princess," Touma sniffed, "I wasn't aware that my right arm, bringer of my misfortune and something that can erase even the miracles of God, was a training material to you."
"Oh, come on!" she whined, shooting him an impossibly cute and moe look she had perfected from her childhood days on him.
"No," it was unconvincing. Damn her for using this trick. He had never been able to escape from it as a kid. No, must… not… look…
Misaka held her hands together, her eyes shining almost tearfully as she shuffled her feet uncharacteristically, "Please?" she whispered.
"… Argh! Fine! Just stop looking at me like that!," Touma gave up as she overloaded the cuteness factor and her triumphant grin afterwards just made him shake his head. "Fukou Da…"
*** District 17
Training sessions between the two was always a serious thing. While Misaka Mikoto was a Level 5 who had incredible powers, Kamijou Touma was a Level 0 with nothing to his name. Nothing but his right arm, the 'Imagine Breaker'.
With Imagine Breaker, he could negate any supernatural phenomenon or any Esper ability, for that matter. It was for this that Misaka had found Touma to be the ultimate challenge. Someone that could negate her abilities, how would she fight?
The training served to push them both to their limits. Touma was a street fighter, adept at close combat and thinking on his feet. Misaka was an Esper, someone who relied prominently on her powers to win battles.
That didn't mean they couldn't work together.
Under Misaka's tutelage, Touma's reactions and sixth sense were greatly improved. Sneak attacks were difficult to spring on him now, since Misaka tended to greet him with electric shocks and he had become so sharp that it was tough to even surprise him that way anymore.
Of course, electric attacks were also notoriously difficult to dodge but Touma had somehow accomplished that feat without even looking to see where the attack was coming from.
Under Touma's tutelage, Misaka's close combat improved tremendously. Touma was a fighter than depended on openings and trickery, lessons well served for an Esper who got into trouble often. Dodging, punching and throws were all things she had picked up in the course of their efforts. In essence, she didn't have to rely on her powers to defend herself.
Of course, the duels also served to refine the use of her skills as well correct her aiming and output. No point exhausting herself needlessly on an attack if the opening was insufficient.
They continuously tested the limits of their bodies and powers to the extent that most people would call them insane. But that training would prove to be most useful in the future, though they would not know it yet.
As of now, Misaka was magnetizing iron particles in the ground to form a chain sword and whip, using them to attack Touma from all angles while he dodged, weaved and negated nimbly, their movements going faster and faster until the two of them collapsed in exhaustion.
"You know, that whip of yours is dangerous," Touma commented blandly as he tried to catch his breath.
"Your right arm does the job just fine," she shrugged, "At least we know that it doesn't have a limit to what it can negate, just the intensity and speed."
"I wonder what could surpass its negating speed though," Touma mused thoughtfully.
"Don't even think about it," Misaka warned, "Knowing your luck, it'll probably fall right out of the sky and land right on top of you or something."
"Or not," she continued as she gurgled some water down. Watching him sweat, she held out her water for him. "Here." Then, she remembered, wasn't she drinking from this too? That means… ! She blushed at the implications, "Don't think I'm doing this for you or anything, you just look dehydrated," she fibbed.
Touma rolled his eyes. 'That means, just drink it and don't ask why I'm red.' He thought with an inward sigh as he took the bottle gratefully, "Thank you," he said as he gulped down the cool water.
"Man, I bushed," she whined as she lay back against the grass.
"That's what you get when you aim for places that you shouldn't," he muttered.
"You know, I'm thinking that maybe I should introduce Kuroko to you," Misaka said suddenly.
Touma stiffened, "You just said she would probably jump to the wrong the conclusions. Not to mention that your previous descriptions of her makes her sound like a yandere who would cheerfully put a knife in my gut to keep you for herself."
"Oh, don't be such a wuss," she sniffed lightly, her face slightly red as she turned away, "I don't like sneaking around to meet you like this."
Touma blinked. Was she saying what he thought she was saying? Deciding to take the safer option, he shrugged, "Well, if I must, I suppose I could. Just so long as you can make sure I don't have a killer waiting for me when I get back."
"Really? That's great!" Misaka turned to face him happily, "Kuroko says she's going to introduce me to a friend of hers tomorrow so maybe you can meet me on the way?"
"A friend of hers?"
"From Judgement, I think," Misaka said thoughtfully, "I think her name was Uiharu, or something like that."
"That so? I guess if another member of Judgment is there, a homicide case is less likely to happen," he joked.
"So, how about it? There is System Scan tomorrow right? Will you be able to tear yourself away at all?" she asked pointedly.
"Oh yeah, that's true. Well, if it's for your sake, I guess I could give it a skip, Biri Biri," he said with a grin as he got to his feet. "So when do we meet?"
Misaka blushed lightly at his proclamation, "Um, 1pm, outside Joseph's Coffee and Restaurant. Kuroko and I will be having lunch there."
"Ok, I'll be there," he said as he held out a hand.
She took his hand, getting to her feet gracefully as he pulled lightly. "Ok, don't be late, baka!"
"Yeah, yeah. Whatever you say," he smirked, "Now, I've got homework to do and you've got curfew so hurry and get back before your dorm supervisor gets pissed."
Misaka froze at the words 'dorm supervisor', took a frantic look at the dark skies and made a strangled sound as she dashed off without warning. "You'd better turn up!" she called back as she disappeared in a cloud of dust.
Touma grinned. "That Dorm Supervisor is the only person that makes her run, I swear." Glancing at his watch, he paled. "Oh shit, I'm going to miss the sale! My precious source of nutrients! Argh! Fukou Da!" he lamented as he dashed off to grab his precious source of nutrients.
Meanwhile, Anti-Skill was responding to an emergency, where a redheaded priest had apparently summoned a living demon of fire to penetrate their defences. Reports were still pending on how an outsider could have Esper powers. Thus far, the only thing that a member had heard before being knocked out was this.
"Index Librorum Prohibitorum"
End of Chapter 1
A/N: That concludes chapter 1. This story was inspired by the idea of Misaka actually getting involved with the magic side affairs from the start. The little plotline started growing, gnawing at me till I finally said "To hell with it, I'll merge both into one!"
This what if/AU story will be on the top of my list to update, as well as Broken Illusions, which will be updated soon. Chief among my schedule is to try and seamlessly merge the Railgun and Index series in chronological order for this fic. Things will differ, naturally, and character developments will be different as well.
As you can see, Touma and Misaka's interactions have changed because they were childhood friends, so expect certain aspects to remain and certain to change accordingly. The default couple for this series is Touma/Misaka but there will be a long way to go for that. Saten though… is very tempting. I like Saten. ^^
Next chapter title:The Strongest Electromaster