𝔇𝔦𝔞𝔩𝔬𝔤𝔲𝔢 𝓒𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔯 || #c9c916
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𝔇𝔦𝔞𝔩𝔬𝔤𝔲𝔢 𝓒𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔯 ||007236
She was finally starting to relax. It wasn’t difficult anymore. She could really… She could really afford to be herself. She didn’t have to worry about what he’d think, or what he’d say. Everything was going to be alright. She could finally tell him the truth, and then… No matter what he might say, she swore she wouldn’t regret it. IT would be difficult, but... It was the least she could do to be honest now after hiding so much for so long.
Well, perhaps not everything.
There was still the matter of her greatest lie to set straight… And when that particular truth came to light, everything would have to change. But if she was hated, then it was no more than she deserved, anyway.
She sighed. Why was she thinking about this now? Even if that was the real reason why she’d allowed herself to be dragged along... No, no. This wouldn’t do. As a certain friend of hers would say, “A computer works best addressing one problem at a time.” There was still time before she’d have to tell the truth, so for now… couldn’t she be at least a little selfish? Couldn’t she enjoy this moment a little while longer?
No. No she could not. She stared in disbelief as Jett cheerfully denied her heartfelt request, throwing her own words back into her face. Was he… was he really still angry at her? Had he just been waiting all this time for her to let her guard down so he could hit her where it hurt? While she couldn’t claim that his pettiness was unjustified, still… How could he be so heartless? She opened her mouth, spluttering wordlessly as she tried to muster some kind of response, but he just grinned and laughed it off as a joke. Why… How... What… She gritted her teeth, her brow furrowing in a firm frown as her lips pursed themselves resolutely into an angry pout.”You jerk…!”
She tried to sound angry, but honestly, she was so relieved that her momentary fears had been unfounded that it was difficult to sound at all authoritative. And then he followed it up by saying such a stupidly earnest thing, and giving that damned smile like he always did… She made a herculean effort not to blush. This wasn’t good… He’d see right through her for sure.“Even though I was being serious… Why can’t you just answer normally?”
She grumbled, but he didn’t seem overly inclined to listen, and suggested that they go back. She supposed that was the reason why she’d come here… There wasn’t that much time left before school would be starting back home, and before they could return, she had wanted to spend at least one free day hanging out with Fumika. It was the best thing she could think of to encourage her, not even to mention…
One thing at a time.“Fine… Let’s- Hey, what are you doing…?!”
Really, she should have known better, but when he’d simply taken her hand, she hadn’t actually felt that inclined to resist. After all, he wasn’t putting that much force on it. He wasn’t taking pity on her. To be sure, it was unexpected, but, honestly, she’d been elated for the small fraction of a second before he just as suddenly placed it upon his arm as a support… then snatched her crutch away right when she was distracted. Tugging on his arm, she tried to reach to grab it, but his arms were a great deal longer than hers, and he was at least a head taller, which would have make it difficult to reach even if she didn’t have to lean on him to keep her stupid fake leg from losing balance and letting her fall flat on her face. And to top it all off, why did he have to be so close?! Clinging to him like this was the last thing she wanted! ...Well, maybe not the last
thing but- No, that wasn’t the point! Not like this! Definitely not like this!“What the hell is your problem!? Give that back! I swear, I’m gonna friggin’ kick you if you keep this up!”
She glared up at him, her eyes flashing with an impotent rage. “S… Stop grinning like that! This isn’t funny, Jett! Give me back my crutch!”
Unable to reach around him, she gave up on the endeavor, and instead settled for unleashing a rain of rather feeble punches upon his head. In all honesty, she was still so weak from her hospitalization that they were probably little more than a mild inconvenience to him, but the resistance was gratifying to her in her present situation nevertheless.
Jett was expecting this type of reaction, and it was what he was hoping for, her slight flush covered up with an attempt to be angry at him, which turned into some weak punches upon his head. But it was all cute to him. He simply stood there and took it for a moment. ”I’m not laughing at your situation. I’m trying to help. But your little outburst is cute. It's hard not to smile at that.”
He said as he held the crutch out to his side.
To be honest there was multiple reasons he did this, but he couldn’t share all of them. He rested the crutch to his right, out of her reach and raised his hand up to block her punches. You wanted to walk right?!”
He asked very seriously as he looked at her with narrowed eyes feinting wincing at her blows. Then walk. Let me help you when you need it, but this crutch...is uh...a crutch in your development.
He said, knowing it sounded stupid. Duh it was a crutch. So he added to his explanation. ”It’s been six months, since you lost your leg right? I’ve heard people where walking on their own in 3 or so. I know you can do it without it. So walk with me.
He said with a warm smile, trying to show he was being as serious and supportive as he could.
Haruka slowly lowered her upraised fist. “...Didn’t you hear me before?”
She asked quietly. “I wanted to walk on my own. Without troubling anybody else. If you’re going to be my support, then you might as well just teleport us both there, or get me a wheelchair and push. Leaning on you like this isn’t getting me anywhere.”
She sighed, the fight gone from her voice. Now that he’d deigned to be serious, it would just be childish to continue bickering. “Besides, it’s not that simple. Do you know how many of these legs I’ve gone through? This one’s my fourth. It’s because every time I try to walk without a crutch, I get a little too used to it and stop holding back. If I put even the slightest amount of weight on this and let my Quirk slip even a little… You know how it is. Either I’m not using it at all, or it all comes out full blast. If I tried to go faster than tiptoeing, I’d overbalance myself, and that’s if I was lucky, not even to mention...”
Jett raised his hand to stop her. ”I understand, But if you want to walk again without any support, you’re going to have to sacrifice more legs. You’re going to have to learn how to regulate your quirk more, and that doesn’t come from relying on a crutch. Knowing you will be safe by not breaking your leg. Four legs or Four Hundred, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you don’t become reliant on this crutch. Yeah you’re going to fall a lot, and you’re going to have to rely on others for support, but it’s not weakness if you keep on pushing yourself till you don't fall, or rely on others. That’s strength. That’s the strength I always saw in you Haruka, that strength I admired since I met you.”
He took a few steps away, picking up the crutch as he did. He looked back to her expectantly. Well? Shall we? Just to the dorm building, then I'll give your crutch back.
Haruka let go of his sleeve as he pulled away and sighed. “...Please give it back to me.”
She was no longer pleading or yelling at him, merely making a polite request. Her expression seemed slightly downcast… or was she angry? She was biting the inside of her lip, and looked grave.
Jett looked at her long and hard for a moment. Before allowing his head to fall with his own sigh...perhaps he pushed a little too much. Trying to make up for the last six months in the last six minutes. He slowly moved back to her and set it just infront of her, not looking at her in the eye. Haruka nodded, took hold of it… and then promptly let it go. It clattered to the ground between them, and she stepped gingerly, cautiously over it. Her footing was unsteady, but as she teetered on the verge of stumbling, she turned around, and supported herself by leaning directly against him without any apparent hesitation. “Hold me up for a sec, will ya?”
His eyes shot open with surprise when she allowed it to fall, he watched as she slowly stepped over it and turned her back to him. He resisted the urge to reach out and stop her from falling, but she then leaned back against his chest, causing his face to somehow get really warm.
When she asked for him to hold her up for a second, he immediately complied. Placing his hands on both of her arms. Wondering what she was trying to do. He received an answer a moment later as, the joints of her artificial leg clattering slightly with the strain suddenly placed upon it, she raised her foot up and brought it down on the crutch. The wood gave way in an instant, and it snapped like a twig as a crack spread out beneath it in the pavement. She looked up at him, the lines of energy created by her Quirk glowing a pale gray as they ran up her cheeks and framed her burning amber eyes. She stuck out her tongue and grinned cheekily.“Idioooot~! You thought I was gonna chicken out, didn’tcha!”
She jeered in a sing-song voice, relishing at the chance to finally turn the tables on him. That disappointed look on his face, and now that disbelieving stare he was giving her… She’d repaid him in full for his teasing earlier!“It’s my policy to never half-ass anything. If it’s in my way, then I’ll just break it to bits and figure my own path out later.”
Saying that much was easy, but really, there still was a problem to be accounted for here. As her Quirk’s energy faded out once more, she turned slightly, placing a hand on his sleeve and speaking in a slightly softer voice.“And… I guess… I don’t mind being helped a little bit, if it’s you.”
She stared him seriously in the face. ”But you’re the one who asked for this, so don’t you dare back down on your offer, alright?”
Jett was definitely quite surprised when she snapped her own crutch in half. As she looked at him and stuck her tongue at him, he couldn’t help but smile. There she was. He simply nodded as she jeered at him.
He watched as she took his sleeve and turned slightly towards him. He didn’t realize his face was still red from having her so close to him, especially when she looked up at him with her head against his chest.
He nodded and said, ”I wouldn’t have offered If I wasn’t totally serious about it.”
He said with a confident smile. “Good.”
She nodded, evidently having gotten over her earlier trepidation, and feeling quite satisfied with herself. “Then your first task for helping me is to pick those pieces up, because…”
Haruka gave a sheepish grin. “I don’t think I can stoop that far without falling on my face, and I just… kind of realized I have no idea where the nearest trash can is.”
Jett laughed, I’m half tempted to see you try...
he said as he bent down next to her, picking up the pieces. ”How is it I’m always the one to clean up your messes?
he added with a joking tone as he stood back up after picking up all the pieces.
Haruka frowned for a moment, but then seemed to brighten and shot him a sly grin in return. “Don’t even get started on that,”
She said with an oddly smug tone. “I can think of plenty of times where you were the one dragging me head-first into trouble. For example, I seem to remember this one incident… Something about a car?”
He simply narrowed his eyes at her as she brought up a car. He didn’t say anything as he took a deep breath and slipped some of the smaller pieces into his pockets and shifted it around so he could hold all the pieces in one bundle. ”Ready then...General?”“Indeed!”
She responded with gusto, standing a bit more rigidly upright and giving a rather bombastic laugh. However, after this show of bravado in response to her old title, she stopped suddenly, and seemed to think about it for a moment. “Although, I guess there’s no real point in me holding onto that stupid title anymore, is there? Even if I did become a hero, ‘General of Spring Winds’ would make a pretty stupid name. Man, what was I even thinking?”
She gave a slight laugh, and seemed to be on the verge of saying something else, but thought better of it and shook her head.“Well, whatever. Fumi’s probably waiting, so let’s head over and say hi.”
She shrugged, then blinked. “Actually, that raises a different question. How do you know Fumi so well, anyway?”
Her eyes narrowed. “Don’t tell me… you weren’t hitting on her, were you?”
Jett pulled his head back, clearly hurt by her statement… I NEV….
He thought back to all their encounters. Putting his finger to his lips as he racked his brain. Then nodding once he confirmed with himself. I’ve never! Flirted with Fumika. She’s just like a little sister ya know? She’s in my class, That’s how I know her. “Like a little sister, huh?”
Haruka gave a slightly wry smile. “I think I know what you mean.”
She shook her head slightly. “Well, I’m glad. How has she been doing? With everyone, I mean. It seemed fine when we were at dinner, but… She’s been properly getting along with everyone, hasn’t she? She hasn’t gotten into any fights, or ignored anyone - anything like that?”
Her questions came one right after the other, spoken in the tone of a voice one might expect a concerned mother to use.
He smiled as he looked at her in a new light. I don’t know exactly, I’ve been busy with other stuff. All I know is that the entire class respects her, she put up a hell of a fight in the two exams we had so far. I think she might have a little thing for Takeshi Yashiro, she’s been his shadow for a bit. But it seems he enjoys her company… Sadly I’ve been dealing with my own things and havent’ really had the chance to really hang out with her as much as I wanted to.”
He said contemplating. She's an adorable tough cookie…
Haruka squinted at him a bit, seeming a bit skeptical, then shrugged somewhat dismissively. “I think you may be exaggerating a bit. It’s probably just because she doesn’t like stepping out of her comfort zone, so she prefers to stay in people’s shadows, as you put it. Still… That’s good to know.”
She smiled again. “So she’s been working just as hard as ever, then... I’m proud of her. Under different circumstances… I think she’d have been a great addition to our team, y’know?”
She grinned, raising a hand and cracking her knuckles. “‘I ask of you: What is a Hero?!’”
She recited in a suitably dramatic voice, only to cut herself off as her balance began to wobble slightly, and she swiftly dropped her posturing and caught herself on Jett’s sleeve once again. “Actually, I taught her our whole routine. The poses, speeches… everything we came up with as kids. We trained together, and she said one day she was going to be my sidekick, once we made our break as heroes together. And when the accident happened, the very first thing she said to me was that she’d become a hero in my place.”
She sighed quietly. “She’s a good girl. But, you know, her saying that made me want to slap her across the face. Like, ‘If you don’t want to do it, then don’t! Don’t become a hero if your heart’s not in it.’ Something like… like that.”
She trailed off, giving an awkward chuckle. “I don’t know. I was never good at telling her the things I think now, looking back, she really needed to hear. Guess I’m a pretty terrible role model, huh?”
Jett raised an eyebrow when she mentioned she would have would have been a great addition to the team, glancing at her as she shifted and started to go into the embarrassing monologue that she forced him to memorize. He grimaced at the thought of having to do it here, but she was cut off by her balance. Which he sighed inwardly in relief. He always found it so embarrassing to do..and only did it to stop her from nagging him. She was being generous with the ‘everything we came up with as kids.’ almost all of it was her. He smiled at the memories even though they hurt mentally.
But then she mentioned she taught Fumika all those lines and poses. And he just couldn’t see it. Maybe a little but the thought was funny. He looked to her as she mentioned she was a terrible role model. He thought for a moment to find the right thing to say. He shrugged. “I agree… terrible. Breaking into schools and skipping class and sleeping in a bush… “
He said with a smirk before adding. “ I think you taking her under your wing and teaching her those embarrassing poses and speeches is what made you a terrible role model. But that aside, she seems to be doing awesome here… even if she’s an odd duck, you might have put her on the path she needed to be on. Nothing wrong with that…”
Haruka didn’t respond immediately, and her eyes seemed suddenly fixated once more on the ground beneath her as she walked. For a moment, the air between them was as tense as it was silent, before she finally spoke in an uncharacteristically quiet voice. “I’m not so sure about that.”
She sighed quietly. “Don’t you think it’s strange?”
She asked at last, looking up to Jett with a surprisingly earnest expression. “You’ve hung out together with her a lot, right? But… have you ever seen her actually doing anything outside of classes? I’ve been keeping in touch with her constantly myself, and she hasn’t told me about anything except her training, what projects she’s been working on, the things she’s learned in class… That sort of stuff.”
She seemed to be anticipating some kind of response, but evidently didn’t get the reaction she’d been hoping for, as a moment later she sighed once again and lowered her head. “I don’t know. I just worry about her, because I… I got her into all this, right? Even I can’t really tell what she’s thinking, or what she wants… If she’s just doing all this for me, then I...”
She trailed off again. “Never mind.”
He furrowed his eyebrows and looked at her when she said she didn’t know about that. Before he could ask what she meant she went on to explain. He tried to think of things she did outside of class...admittedly he wasn’t really looking for her as he had his own quirk issue dragging on his mind. But he couldn’t really think of anything off the top of his head. His lips twisted to the side of his face as he realized somewhat of what she was saying.
He looked over to Haruka for a moment. It was nice to see her like this, worried about someone like this. She seemed to have matured….Perhaps only a little… but still it put a dorky smile on his face. He reached up and flicked her pigtail gently, something he always did to get her attention… and he really enjoyed flicking them just because. “Well why don’t you ask her then? She seems to be one who will give you a straight answer. Though… sometimes…”
He trailed off as he looked into Haruka’s eyes. “Sometimes we do stuff for someone else. Because we want to in our hearts.”
He thought back to all those things they did together as kids. All those embarrassing moments and new things he tried. Was to make her happy...which...in turn made him happy. He turned red slightly and rubbed the back of his head. “I don’t know… But what I do know, is if you just taaaalk
to her about it.” He said poking her side gently. “You don’t have to worry as much about her.”
Haruka nudged him back, grumbling under her breath, but then nodded. “You’re right. Of course you’re right. I know that much already,”
She said with a sigh. “I guess I just… don’t really know how to break it to her that I’m not the kind of person she thinks I am.”
She lowered her shoulders with a slight shrug, but forced a smile and kept on walking toward the dorms, side by side with her old friend. “I guess there’s no point worrying about it now. There’s still time for that. For now, I just want to make sure she’s happy. Making up for the things I did and didn’t say can come later.”
Jett when she nudged him back, he allowed himself to almost be pushed over, exaggerating the amount of push she gave him. Then slowly tilted back onto both feet after a moment. He then straightened his back and shoulders when she said he was right. In a joking smug face of, ‘of course i’m right.’ though it went away when she added that she should tell her how she really was He cocked his head to the side… perhaps Fumika took it quite literal when Haruka acted like a dork with her moves and stances. Was it that she was referring too? Did she not have a tsundre side while dealing with Fumika? Would make sense as she was a fluff of tough cookies. Few could actually handle Haruka’s real personality… well… to his knowledge, only he could. But he didn’t know how much Fumika witnessed. Hmmm I don’t know… you’re not quite the same Haruka I remember…”
he said with a smile in a casual voice. “Its kinda cute how you worry about Fumika, kinda like a big sister. I haven’t seen that side of you.”
He looked at her and smiled even more. A genuine smile, which even his eyes joined in. ”I think you are just being too hard on yourself. No matter what you do, you seem to leave a lasting impression with those you befriend.”
Haruka frowned somewhat, and seemed torn, but if she had her doubts about what Jett said, she evidently decided not to elaborate upon them, answering only in a somewhat cryptic manner. “I guess so… I just hope that impression is a good one.”
As usual, she’d ended up dancing around the thing she worried about most - even more than she’d worried about Jett ending up hating her. After all, only her feelings were at risk of being disappointed in that situation. She could live with that. Her problems had always been her own. It was best that way. But, if her own actions were to blame for Fumika’s problems, then that would be a different story. Of course, there was very little “if” about it. The girl thought the world of her - that much was obvious. But how much could she actually live up to that unrealistic opinion, when really, she’d just been-
No. Now wasn’t the time to worry about that. The truth could come later. Not yet. She wasn’t ready to risk her hatred, too. Just a little more time. She wanted to spend just a little more time being happy. Of course it was selfish, but when wasn’t she a selfish person? So, for just a little while longer, she pushed her fears out of her mind, hoped, and prayed for the best.