“The first in your class? That’s amazing Akuriru! We knew you could do it!”
“As a reward, we can go anywhere you want to for dinner tonight!”
“Yes, anywhere at all! After all, we have to spoil our smart boy, don’t we?”
“But of course! Come, tell us. Where do you want to go?”
Was what Akuriru liked to imagine the situation to have been when he first told his parents that he had been accepted into Ultimate Academy, but nevertheless, things hadn’t gone that way.
Sure, his parents had originally been shocked that he managed to get into such a prestigious high school in the first place, but then again, he hadn’t told them about just exactly how he had been accepted in the first place. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust his parents, but he knew that telling them could put them in trouble as well if – or at this point, when – his secret got out.
Currently sitting at his desk with his math homework in front of him, Akuriru found himself scratching at his head. Normal school academics had never been his strongpoint. He wasn’t a bad student, but when it came to complex mathematics and such, he felt like tearing his hair from his skull. It made sense as to why they, the students from a hero academy, would need to know the volume of something, in case they needed the knowledge in a situation to determine a destructive range of something, but that didn’t really motivate him into remembering the formula for it.
He considered taking a break, but after seeing how determined most of the students were in class earlier today, he felt the need to try and keep up with them. It didn’t make it any easier though.
As if on cue, Akuriru’s head rose from the cage of his hands wrapped over his head, to hear Momo making her way up to his room. The two of them didn’t usually hang out after school, so when she opened his door, he found his words escaping before he had the chance to think them through properly.
“What are you doing here?”
“Is that any way to greet your cousin?” Momo asked, her head tilted with that always friendly smile of hers. Her eyes soon found his homework before him and judging by the bag she had hanging from her arm, she had known exactly what he needed.
“No,” Akuriru felt his face colouring as he looked back to his books, feeling ashamed for the tone he had used, “s-sorry.”
Momo’s smile remained as she waved her hand to brush it off. He supposed that’s what he liked the most about his cousin, the fact that she never held his quips against him. He knew he should treat her nicer, all things considered, and he tried. He just needed to try harder.
“Uh, do you want to take a seat?” Akuriru asked, motioning to the single bed pushed against the only windowed wall with its own array of band and comic posters plastered in a disarray, as well as a couple of tattoo designs that he was considering getting for the future, both for his work as a professional hero and because he simply liked the designs.
The only other furniture in the room besides that was his desk, chair, and bookcase with his comic and sketchbooks. He wasn’t one to call himself a great artist, but that didn’t mean that he didn’t enjoy putting pencil to paper and watching the result come to life. Figuratively of course. His quirk didn’t allow him to manipulate ink on paper like it did on skin.
“Pardon the intrusion,” Momo said as she entered his room, closing the door behind her, omitting a soft chuckle when she noticed the All Might poster taped to the back of it, causing Akuriru’s cheeks to colour once more, except this time it was for a different reason.
They had both been around seven when there was an All Might meet-and-greet convention in town. They both had gone but at one point during the convention, Akuriru had gotten lost on his way back from the bathroom, and too scared to ask anyone for help with finding his cousin and her mother, had ended up waiting outside the convention hall, bawling in tears by the time they found him.
By then the convention had already been over, and all the merchandise sold out. Momo had gotten the last piece of memorabilia, a cute little key chain, but he hadn’t gotten anything after having wanted just one thing to remember the day by. She must have felt bad, because the next moment he saw, she had turned around, lifted her shirt enough to expose her stomach and then out of nowhere he had a brand new, custom made All Might poster in his hands, courtesy of Momo Yaoyorozu, with her back-then-in-practice signature neatly scribbled in the corner. It had become his most treasured possession.
“You know, I could make you a new one if you want. All you have to do is ask,” she said, smiling at the memory as she made her way over to his bed, setting her bag down by her feet.
Akuriru shook his head, a fond smile on his own lips. “No. I like it the way it is.”
“All right. So, which homework should we do first?”
Akuriru found his smile widening. Not only did his cousin take the feelings of others into account, but she also knew how and when to help. He nearly shot out of his chair to hug her but kept himself seated.
“The wonderful world of numbers and figures,” Akuriru said, holding up his calculator with an overly dramatic sigh mixed in with his own sarcasm.
“My favourite,” Momo chuckled as she opened her bag.
Published by Fang Wolfsbane