Actions

Work Header

Amphibious

Chapter Text

“Alright, quiet down!” Aizawa called, shedding his cocoon of a sleeping bag as he entered the room, clutching a handful of mismatched papers. The noise of class 1-A died down gradually and, once it had reached an acceptable level of quiet, Aizawa continued.

 

“So, I’m sure some of you have heard by now about what’ll be going on in the next two weeks.” He set the papers down without a second glance, gazing around at the sea of faces in front of him. The speed in which Iida raised his hand, a hand so straight you could measure it with a ruler, was astounding and Aizawa didn’t bother to hide his sigh.

 

“Yes, Iida.”

 

“Might this have anything to do with the study leave being discussed by the other classes?” He asked, causing a wave of excited murmuring throughout the class by those who obviously hadn’t heard yet.

 

“We’re getting study leave…?” Kirishima hissed over to Kaminari, who looked equally as excited at the idea of a study leave, though in his case, the word ‘study’ would be easily forgotten. ‘Time off’ was more of an appropriate phrase.

 

“Well, yes and no. What it is, is an independent project that’ll be taking course over the next two weeks, which does mean that there will be no classes for that time.” There was a few loud, unashamed cheers, to which Aizawa’s brows lowered as he looked distinctly unimpressed. “And before you get excited, this is a team effort. You’ll all be sorted into pairs- pairs of my choosing- and you’ll have to work in those pairs until the two weeks is up. Got that?”

 

He could sense a feeling of unease settling over the classroom. He could practically see the questions in his students eyes. ‘What’s going on?’ ‘What’s the project about?’ and ‘Who’s gonna get paired with Bakugou?’ because getting paired with Bakugou was pretty much drawing the shortest straw.

 

“Alright, now listen up, ‘cause I’m not explaining this again. After you’re sorted into your pairs, you’ll be given a patrol rota for the next two weeks, drawn up by us and several other agencies. You’re to follow these rotas and write a report each day for the next two weeks.”

 

The mere mention of ‘report’ sent a few students groaning and grumbling, whilst a few others looked excited by the prospect. “Let me remind you that this is an independent project, meaning no help from me or any of the other staff here unless it’s an urgent emergency. If you fall out with your partner then that’s your problem and it’s up to you to solve it.”

 

He shrunk back down into the depths of his scarf, pulling the soft, yellow fabric of the sleeping bag over his shoulders. “Any questions?”

 

Whilst he meant that as a rhetorical question, several hands shot up.

 

“Iida?”

 

“Will we be working under pro heroes again?” He asked, keeping his hand raised. Aizawa shook his head, “Nope, like I said, it’s all on you. They’re relying on you to stick to your patrols and do a good job, so don’t mess up. Kaminari?”

 

“Do we really have to do a report for every day?” He was almost whining at this point, head rested lazily on his desk. A few other students seemed to sag on the spot, almost in agreement with Kaminari.

 

“Yeah, you do. All of you, and don’t even ask what’s going to happen if you skip out on a report.”

 

Several hands were lowered with matching expressions of fear. That should be enough to keep them from slacking off, at least.

 

“If that’s all...I’ll be assigning your pairs now.” Aizawa shuffled, turning his back to the students as he picked up a stubby piece of chalk and began scribbling on the board.

 

“First up is Yaoyorozu and Tokoyami. Come get your rotas and then you can go.”

 

Yaoyorozu glanced at Tokoyami, who looked equally bewildered. They could just...go? Just leave? Well, alright then.

 

The two stood up in sync and, after collecting their shared rota, left the classroom as the other students watched them, almost in awe.

 

One by one, Aizawa called out the pairs. Next was Aoyama and Jirou, followed by Kaminari and Hagakure, Kouda and Midoriya and then Ashido and Bakugou.

 

Ashido pulled a face one could only describe as...well, indescribable, as she reluctantly rose from her seat to collect her rota as the rest of the class silently wished her luck. Bakugou promptly stormed from the room and, looking back one last time, Ashido spotted Kirishima giving her a good-luck thumbs up.

 

Well, it was the most help she was going to get.

 

As the pairs continued to be called out, Asui was zoning out into her own little froggy world. This could potentially be a fun project for her. It’d been a while since they’d done something practical to this level and she was growing tired of just studying. She needed something to stretch her legs out.

 

She smiled to herself, pressing a fist into her palm. Yeah, this would be good.

 

“...and lastly, Asui and Mineta.”

 

At first, Asui’s first reaction was to insist to be called Tsuyu, having suddenly woken up from her little daydream, until she realised she was being paired with Mineta. Looking behind her, there was nobody left except for the short boy, grinning over at her with an expression that could only be described as absolutely lecherous.

 

Yikes.

 

Asui took a deep breath. Well, it wasn’t the end of the world. It was just Mineta and, even though he was the class pervert, he was practically harmless. They were on pretty good terms too.

 

But so long as he kept his hands to himself, no harm would come to him.

 

She could hear the quiet footsteps of Mineta approaching her from behind so she stood up, snatching the rota from Aizawa’s hand as she did so. She glanced back once more at Mineta, who stood behind her, as if he was waiting for something, before heading towards the door as Aizawa wished them both a rather deadpan ‘good luck’.

 

...

 

The pair stood outside silently for a few moments, as if coming to terms with the situation they were in. Asui had worked with Mineta before so it wasn’t much of a shock to her, but this might’ve been the first time she’d ever worked with him one-on-one.

 

Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted Uraraka and Sato stood by the end of the corridor. Uraraka took one look at Asui stood next to Mineta, and a hand covered her mouth. She clearly looked apologetic for Asui’s situation, but Asui offered a reassuring wave.

 

“Guess we’ll be up and close for the next two weeks, huh, Tsuyu?” Mineta grinned, almost sliding an arm around her, to which she took one very large step away, making her thoughts on the situation blatantly clear.

 

“Guess so.” Asui, despite her almost comic rejection, spoke rather bluntly, as if she had no intention of being close with Mineta. Now that they were outside, she remembered they had a rota to check. She held the paper up to read, before lowering it slightly seeing Mineta struggling on his tiptoes to make out the words on the page.

 

“So…” He began, without much to say.

 

“Seems like we’re patrolling the streets outside the campus tomorrow morning...and then around a few blocks nearby the day after.” Asui read out, “That doesn’t sound too hard.”

 

“What’s with the empty spaces there?” Mineta pointed a stubby finger where the time slots indicating Monday, Thursday and Friday were, indeed, empty. Asui tilted her head slightly, letting her tongue hang loosely out of her mouth as Mineta just stared.

 

“Huh...guess that means that we have those days off? I can’t see what else it could mean.” She glanced back at the door to their classroom. Asking Aizawa was probably not an option here.

 

Mineta pumped his fist in the air. “Means we have nothing else to do today, right? Awesome!” He said, victoriously, until Asui rested a hand on his shoulder. “Not so fast…”

 

She tapped her chin. “Mr Aizawa told us we had to write a report every day, right? I guess that would include today too…but that means we’d need to write a report on the days we aren’t on patrol.” She murmured.

 

Mineta suddenly looked unimpressed. “What are we supposed to write a report about on our days off? Today I woke up at 1pm and then spent two hours jacking off. Then I ate some cheese .” His voice carried on into a more deadpan tone as he continued to make a mock report of the mundane things he did during the day.

 

“I don’t think Mr Aizawa would want to know that that’s how you spend your days off.” Asui replied, plainly. “Or that you like to eat cheese.” Though speaking of cheese, she was feeling a little hungry.

 

“I don’t even like cheese.” Mineta replied in a small voice that almost, almost made Asui chuckle. This guy was a Class-A weirdo, that was for sure. This probably wasn’t going to be as bad as everyone else would think.

 

“Cheese aside…” She began, “If I had to guess, I’d say that they’re trusting us to use our time wisely, so that we’d have something substantial to report on every day.” She explained and Mineta nodded his head.

 

“I guess that makes sense.” He scratched his chin, “That way we wouldn’t have to write about jacking off and cheese.”

 

Asui almost sagged on the spot. “Nobody is forcing you to write about those two things. Heroes have no need to write about cheese and...whatever else it was.” She said, curtly ignoring the former of apparently what Mineta spent his days off doing.

 

“Unless the hero was a hero of cheese. Cheese quirk.” He pointed out, wearing the stupidest smile Asui had ever seen on a boy before. Asui began to wandering towards the stairs, prompting Mineta to follow her.

 

“There could be a cheese hero out there somewhere. I wonder what a cheese quirk would be though…” She pondered the useless sentiment. Mineta raised a hand, “Well, obviously it would be the power to cheese-ify liquid and stuff, right?”

 

“Ch….Cheese-ify?” Asui raised an eyebrow. Why were they talking about cheese again? How did this come to be a topic?

 

“Yeah like...I dunno, how do they make cheese?”

 

The pair made their slow descent down the stairs as Asui shrugged. “Do you churn it? Or maybe that’s just with butter…”

 

“I think they just like...let milk go stale or something. I dunno. Still, that’d be pretty cool. You could cheese-ify grape juice and make grape cheese.” He almost beamed, like he’d just had a massive revelation.

 

Asui didn’t point out the fact that she’d already seen a brand of cheese with grapes in it already, but the prospect of a cheese hero was something she should definitely suggest to Midoriya, just for fun. He’d probably appreciate the joke, anyway.

 

As the pair reached the lower floor, Asui wondered why Mineta had gone quiet all of a sudden, but when she looked down, all she could see was the familiar, almost smug, grin plastered on his face. One that usually foreshadowed something lewd.

 

“So if there was a cheese hero, do you reckon there’s a hero for jacking off too?”

 

“No.”

 

“...what about if you mixed the two so he could cheese-ify his sp--”

 

“I said no!”

 


 

Luckily for Asui and Mineta, there wasn’t much of a lunch rush in the cafeteria as the two entered- Asui with a rumbling stomach and Mineta with a big, suspiciously tongue-shaped slap mark on his cheek.

 

Their strange little conversation about cheese was actually quite funny, until he’d veered it off into a ditch that had resulted in getting a smack, even though Asui secretly had found the idea to be both ridiculous and entertaining, but she’d never admit that to him.

 

Instead, she grabbed a tray from next to the display warmer and gazed down at the variety of choices made to them both, absentmindedly helping Mineta to balance his tray on the long metal grid use to shimmy trays down the line.

 

Since there wasn’t a massive queue, they got their food fairly quickly- Asui picked out some kappa maki and a cheese salad, to which Mineta quirked a brow, and a small pot of jelly. Mineta just grabbed a bottle of grape juice and a cupcake, which wasn’t much of a breakfast meal, Asui had to say, but who was she to judge?

 

They sat down in a corner and Asui set the rota flat on the table.

 

“Since we aren’t on any patrols today...we should find something to bide our time, right? Something productive…” She pushed a finger to her chin, fiddling with a pair of chopsticks in her other hand as Mineta rested his cheek against the flat of his hand.

 

“Something productive…” He smirked, “How about something ‘reproductive’.”

 

“Or we could just sit around making pervy jokes and fail the assignment.” Asui replied lightly, munching on a maki, though she was both impressed and disappointed by the quick wordplay on his part.

 

Mineta seemed to contemplate whether it was worth failing the assignment just to have this. He quickly and wisely decided that it was not.

 

“So...where do we start? Maybe a little one-on-one study session?” He suggested, eyebrows raised and Asui couldn’t even sigh at that moment, although…

 

“Sure.” She beamed. “I think that would be a good start.”

 

For a moment, Mineta was clearly taken aback by the fact Asui had taken his proposal seriously and she had smiled so purely he almost felt a little guilty. He worried his knuckles, trying to figure out what to respond with, before settling with, “Uh...yeah, alright.”

 

“Good! Ribbit!” Asui chirped, moving onto her jelly.

 

“What are we gonna study though…” He spoke, staring off to where a group of students had entered the cafeteria. “We’re both pretty smart and the next test isn’t for ages yet.”

 

“Yeah, but we’re smart because we study a lot. If we slack off, then we’ll only be hurting ourselves.” She said wisely, “Although...since we haven’t been learning new topics, per se. I think I have an idea…”

 

Mineta looked interested all of a sudden, “Yeah?”

 

Asui practically drained the entire pot of jelly in a second as her froggy mouth twisted into a wide froggy grin.

 

“Yeah! Ribbit!”

 


 

“So...explain that to me again.” Mineta said slowly, not making an effort to tear his eyes away from where Asui’s tank-top was revealing more than he could ever hope for. Asui frowned, watching his distracted eyes with unamusement.

 

“I will if you stop staring.” She replied, lowly. Mineta cleared his throat, wiping the drool from his chin and redirecting his attention back to the map laid out on the floor of his room, where Asui continued.

 

“If we spend today studying the layout of the surrounding area and the places we’ll be patrolling, then we’ll know everything there is to know, from where a criminal could run to hide, to which spots will be hard for the police to get to. Make sense?”

 

“So if we look closely and figure out what spots are easier for us to be trapped by villains, we’ll have an advantage, right?”

 

“That’s the theory, but since it’s just patrol work, I doubt any big villains will show up. The most we’ll have to deal with will probably be purse-snatchers and delinquents.” Asui nodded her head, “I’m sure we’ll be fine.”

 

“So long as there isn’t too much to do. Patrolling sounds like a good way to scope out the ladies!” Mineta gave Asui a thumbs up and whilst Asui felt very tempted to give him a well-deserving smack, she merely agreed with him.

 

“Yeah, maybe I could find a cute girl to take on a date....ribbit.”

 

The look that slowly morphed onto Mineta’s face brought Asui nothing but delight.

 

“O-Oh...so you like girls, huh?” He scratched the back of his head awkwardly as Asui smiled vacantly at him, knowing full well he had no idea she was teasing him. “Yeah. Do...you have a problem with that?”

 

He shook his head and his hands frantically, “No, no! Like, it’s cute-- I mean, I’m happy for you, I guess!” He insisted and Asui wasn’t exactly sure what to make of that, but...at least he wasn’t acting like a jerk about it, though that wasn’t exactly an impressive feat.

 

Mineta gave her another thumbs-up, although a little shaky, “Maybe we could go pick up girls together.” He practically stammered and Asui actually chuckled at his effort to find some kind of mutual interest between the two of them.

 

“You’re such an oddball.” She pointed out, “Though if you wanted to impress girls, I guess you’d do a better job actually taking advice from a girl.” She poked her chin absentmindedly, “Of course, you’d have to do that without being creepy for once.”

 

Mineta’s face fell into exaggerated dismay, “You think I’m creepy?!”

 

“Yes.”

 

His head drooped as he sighed and Asui watched him with a blank expression. This guy wasn’t exactly the master of taking hints, was he? She patted his back with an oversized hand. “Don’t worry, I understand. You’re a typical virgin who gets a bit too excited about boobs because he’s probably not had any female friends. Doesn’t mean you have to go crazy over the first pair you see, though…” She added, lowly, and Mineta flinched.

 

“Wow, that’s cold…” He whined, feeling a large stab of embarrassment shoot through his chest. This girl really said what was on her mind, didn’t she?

 

“It’s true.” She added, tongue lolling from her mouth slightly, attracting Mineta’s short-spanned attention. “So...how about this.”

 

Mineta raised his head slightly to meet Asui’s gaze, curious to what she was about to propose.

 

“We’re going to be working together, right? ‘Cuz we’re classmates, right?”

 

“Uh...uh-huh.”

 

“Obviously I’m not gonna let you slack off to chase a girl.” She pointed at him with a stubby finger and Mineta shrank back slightly, looking indignant and disappointed. “But, instead of working together as classmates, wouldn’t it be nicer if we worked together as friends?”

 

Mineta’s expression dropped into something more neutral and a light pink tint seemed to spread across his cheeks to the tips of his ears, as if the concept of friendship actually surprised him somehow. “Huh?”

 

“I mean, I consider all my classmates my friends. Even Bakugou…” She trailed, “But I don’t mean friends like that. I mean friends-friends...good friends. Does that make sense?”

 

Mineta’s eyes lit up quicker than Asui could catch and he leant forward, clasping his hands together as if he was blessed with a gift from the gods, but Asui held up a hand quickly before he could open his mouth to say anything.

 

“But, only under my conditions.”

 

His face fell again, but he didn’t complain.

 

“First, don’t stare so much. I’m flattered that you think I look nice, but there’s no time for that and we’re not close enough.”

 

Mineta chewed his lip, but nodded anyway.

 

“Second, if you grab me I’ll smack you. If you’re that depraved that you want to keep grabbing, go ahead, but the more you do it the more it’ll hurt and we won’t be friends.”

 

Mineta went a bit red at the suggestion, but agreed. Asui watched him for a moment, before leaning over and playfully poking his forehead. “I’ll stick you to the top of Tokyo Tower with one of your balls and make sure nobody comes to help you. It’s a long way down, too.”

 

Mineta snorted, but back away, “No way, I’m not good with heights! Too big…” He complained, rubbing his forehead as Asui sat back. “Good, then you won’t do it.

 

“So is that it? To be good friends with you?”

 

Asui hummed, deep in thought, before nodding her head. “That’s it for now- and don’t think just by being friends that you can do anything pervy to me. If you break these conditions then we won’t even be normal friends. You’ll have to call me Asui.”

 

Mineta seemed horror-struck by the implications of Asui making him call her such. If she insisted to be called ‘Asui’ it meant she wasn’t even going to consider you a friend, and if Asui didn’t consider you a friend then that was the end. You were practically being exiled from class 1-A.

 

“Does that make sense?”

 

“Y-Yes! Tsuyu!” Mineta practically sat to attention, taking the prospect of this quite seriously now, much to Asui’s amusement. It was true he probably didn’t have any female friends, so maybe this would be good for him.

 

“Since we’re good friends now, you can call me Tsu. I think this’ll be a lot of fun!”

 

Seeing Asui’s bright, beaming smile and rosy cheeks was almost enough to make Mineta cry on the spot, so much so he leant over but upon remembering Asui’s conditions he just kind of waved his arms about with a shockingly intense expression.

 

“Were you going to grab me?”

 

“N-No, I was totally gonna hug you but then I remembered so…” He replied truthfully, but awkwardly, as he continued to just wave his hands in a manner that reminded Asui of Kaminari. “...here we are.”

 

“Are you gonna keep waving your arms like that?”

 

“...probably.”

 

Asui chuckled, patting his purple, sticky hair. “You look like Kaminari after he overuses his quirk.” She pointed out, and Mineta snorted. “Yeah, yeah, like-” He pulled a droopy, vacant expression, “ Wheyyy….”

 

“Ribbit! Eheheh~!” Asui watched as he finally stopped, pulling his face into an awkward expression. This was weird for him, he hadn’t had any close friends that happened to be girls in the past. All the girls in class treated him just the same, they were sweet enough and to be fair, the class was just one big friend group, but this was a little different.

 

Asui was awesome- she was an amazing hero, she seemed to be friends with everyone she met and easily spoke her mind, not to mention she was totally hot to look at and her costume really brought out her--...

 

He stopped, clearing his throat as if to shake the thought from his mind, to which Asui glanced over at him with confusion. No, he had to be cool here. Normally, his depravity knew very few bounds, but for the sake of not getting stuck up on the top of Tokyo Tower and losing Asui as a friend, he had to play it totally cool.

 

 

Still...Asui was really, really, really, pretty, even if she liked girls. Not...not that that made a difference or anything...

 

“You’re staring again.” Asui pointed out as he was deep in his mental tangent. Granted, it wasn’t at her boobs. He just seemed to be zoning out in her direction, but it was still a little strange. Mineta shook his head slightly and sat back.

 

“I always stare at cute girls.” He said, like it was some kind of defense. Asui had always noted his staring was creepy when he was thinking of something perverse but apparently this time he wasn’t actually thinking anything like that. Well, it was a small victory.

 

“Why don’t you stare at the map instead.” She encouraged, pointing down at the large map of the city, to which Mineta deadpanned, “Ah, yes, Musutafu City is clearly the cutest girl of all. The way the roads cross over each other really gets me going.”

 

“Musutafu-chan is very cute, please be nice to her.” Asui grinned.

 

“I mean...somewhere out there, someone has a fetish for cartography.” Mineta laughed darkly and Asui snorted, but did her best to wipe the large grin from her face. “Well, someone has to. Anyway, that’s enough now, let’s go back to this.”

 

As Mineta excavated a notepad and a few pens from one of his drawers, Asui began to point out potential spots that would make fighting difficult or that would put the heroes at a disadvantage so they were ready for their patrol tomorrow.

Chapter Text

 

Mineta pulled his gloves further up his arms, looking out on the bustling street. Granted, it wasn’t as busy as it could be, considering it was only Tuesday, but it was still crowded as hell. At this rate, Mineta was worried he was going to disappear amongst the sea of people. A hero should be flashy enough to stand out no matter how short they may be!

 

Unfortunately, this wasn’t exactly working out in his favour.

 

He decided to sidle up against one of the larger buildings, waiting patiently for Asui to arrive onto the scene so they could begin their patrol.

 

It wasn’t anything too fancy- they were given a set area to patrol and they’d be out patrolling til late afternoon, meaning it would just about take up their entire day. After that, the plan would probably be to return to their dorms and write up a joint report on how their patrol went. There was nothing to it, really.

 

“Ribbit!”

 

When Mineta looked up, Asui was standing beside him, almost out of nowhere. She looked down at him and gave a wide smile. “Good morning.” She greeted, with a low croak. Mineta, feeling pretty confident about today, gave her a thumbs-up.

 

“Ready to head out and scope some babes?”

 

“I’m ready to go on patrol, if that’s what you meant.” She eyed him, slyly, as his face fell slightly and he acted like he wasn’t disappointed. “And...maybe look at some very cute girls.” She added, quietly, to which Mineta visibly brightened.

 

“See, I knew you were cool, Tsu!”

 

“But no being creepy!”

 

“Deal!”

 

And so began their patrol down the street, where they stuck together closely and kept a sharp eye out for anything suspicious. The problem with patrolling is that if something illegal was going on, you probably weren’t immediately aware of it. Purse-snatchers and drug-dealers weren’t like villains- they didn’t thrive on the attention and chaos they caused with loud noises and devastating violence. Those kinds of people merely hid in the shadows, which made their crimes much harder to spot.

 

Asui wasn’t one to be distracted, but occasionally took a glance in the window of a shop that took to her fancy. One in particular was a well-known chain bookstore, that currently displayed a recent bestseller that Asui hadn’t gotten around to checking out yet.

 

“You read a lot?”

 

Asui snapped out of a daydream she hadn’t realised she’d delved into by Mineta’s question. “Huh...oh, I guess so. With the amount of schoolwork and training we have, I don’t always find the time.” She lamented, quietly, still eyeing the book. “What about you?”

 

“I used to be super into comic books...I guess I still kinda am.” He gave a sheepish, almost embarrassed, chuckle, “I don’t really buy things to read anymore but I still keep a buncha books I liked as a kid.”

 

“What do you mean you don’t buy things to read anymore. I could swear I see you come back every weekend with a new dirty magazine...though I guess that technically isn’t considering reading.” Asui’s eyelids drooped as she looked over pointedly at Mineta, who stood unashamed by her claim.

 

“I only buy the ones that look worth the money!” He insisted, before gesturing to the book in the window, “Besides, I heard that one’s an ero-novel. Guess it might be worth checking it out, huh?” He nudged Asui’s thigh with his elbow, bearing an expression that was just downright cheeky.

 

Asui, however, went slightly blank and maybe a little bit pink around the cheeks. She hadn’t heard much about it, so she wouldn’t have had a clue if it was an ero-novel. “Depends what the story’s about.”

 

“Story-- there’s no story when it comes to those books!” He clenched his fists, looking more excited than he should’ve at that moment, “Everyone knows it’s just porn with, like, a tiny bit of mediocre plot to make it look adult and tasteful.” He dropped his arms, “Nobody cares about the plot anyway- trust me.”

 

Asui quirked a brow, “I didn’t realise you spoke for everyone else in the world.”

 

“Hey, I’m serious here! Legit, nobody reads those books for the plot unless...they’re like middle-aged housewives trying to convince themselves that they totally aren’t interested in the sex scenes.” Asui began to walk, letting Mineta follow behind her.

 

“Maybe when we’re done here, we could go check it out. I think it’d be funny.” He laughed, stretching his arms out, even though he had yet to do any kind of work that could be considered strenuous.

 

Asui pursed her lips, but gave a small smile anyway. “Maybe. Let’s focus on this for now.”

 

“Sure, sure. So...cute girls.”

 

“You know that isn’t what I meant.” Asui replied, her smile still lingering, and Mineta snickered to himself. “Yeah, yeah, I getcha. Maybe I could hook you up with a hottie.”

 

“I don’t think you have a great track record with girls…” Asui pointed out truthfully, but appreciated the sentiment behind it anyway. She didn’t expect to him to offer to find her a girl. In fact, she’d be happy with a boy too.

 

Come to think of it, did she mention that she liked boys too? Ah, well, that could wait.

 

“Well, that doesn’t matter! Y’know they’d take one look at you and- bam!” He smacked his fist into his outstretched palm as Asui silently wondered what ‘bam’ was supposed to imply.

 

“I mean, I’m not a lesbian but I know a good-looking girl when I see one! Girls would totally fall for you!” He...almost sounded like he was encouraging her. It was actually really surreal- he always seemed so possessive, like he was going to claim every girl for himself, but...no, he seemed dead serious about finding a girl for her.

 

Asui, herself, felt almost a little bit bashful at that moment. She didn’t often succumb to flattery, but being called ‘good-looking’ left her twirling a lock of her hair around her finger shyly. She’d always thought she looked alright for a frog- lots of people found frogs cute- but, no, this guy was...adamant that she was pretty.

 

“We do have personal differences, though.” She pointed out, “What I think makes a girl pretty might not be what you think makes a girl pretty.” And from what she’d already experienced, Mineta’s standards were both high and superficial. Mineta, however, shook his head.

 

“I dunno...different girls look pretty for different reasons to me. I guess…” He trailed off awkwardly, not sure where he was going with that point, though she felt inclined to just think he liked boobs. Asui absentmindedly brought a finger to her chin. “So...you said I looked nice. What about me makes me nice to look at, then?”

 

“Oh, that’s easy, it’s your face.”

 

Asui almost stopped walking for a second. It...wasn’t really the response she was gearing up for, but it was a pleasant surprise. Perhaps the fear of being stuck on the top of Tokyo Tower still reigned strong over his thoughts.

 

“My face…?” A lot of people thought her large, frog-like eyes were a bit intimidating- almost creepy.

 

“Well, yeah. I mean, don’t get me wrong, you have a really great rack, but like...I dunno...nice face.” He shrugged, not sure what else to elaborate on. Asui felt like that made a little more sense, but still surprised he hadn’t just said ‘boobs’ outright. Maybe he was finally getting a hint.

 

“What about the other girls? You think they’re hot too, right? Say...what do you find prettiest about Yaoyorozu?”

 

“Oh, man, she’s got some killer thighs!” This probably wasn’t an appropriate topic to verge onto, considering Mineta was now red in the face and his fingers were making that...grabbing motion. Perhaps she should stop now.

 

“She’s pretty smart, too.” Asui added, and Mineta shook his head. “Well, that goes without saying, but that’s the thing, right? She’s got a whole buncha booksmarts, but when it comes to people and all that social stuff, she’s so naive!”

 

“You look way too excited. We should stop here.” Asui told him, as they rounded a corner onto the next street, and Mineta drooped slightly. “What, but I wasn’t done! Especially if we’re talking about Yao-momo!”

 

Of course, there were plenty of things Asui wanted to say, and she wondered just what stopped her from coming out and saying them. A large chunk of her personality revolved around saying exactly what she thought, so it was odd to find herself keeping things inside. She decided that, since she was thinking about it, she might as well say it.

 

“What is it with you and being obsessed with boobs, though?”

 

“Oh, it’s not just boobs! I mean, girls always look super hot and that’s always awesome! But...I dunno...I mean sometimes I like other things too.” He scratched the back of his head, as Asui added, “Like my face?”

 

“Yeah! I mean-- wait, no, not like that!” He grew frantic, as if trying to retract his compliment, but Asui merely laughed. “If you say so. I still think it goes without saying that you’d be more popular with the girls if you didn’t just talk about their boobs all the time.”

 

Mineta sighed, but still looked excited. “Man, I can’t help it! It just always gets me going! Plus, I’m constantly stuck in a class where literally every girl is hot- even the invisible one! How am I supposed to handle that?!”

 

“You have a right hand, don’t you?” Asui remarked, lowly, gazing into the window of a shoe shop. Mineta opened his mouth to retort suddenly, “I--...wow, Tsu, I didn’t think you’d say that.”

 

“I’m not wrong.”

 

“Well, of course you’re not, but don’t you ever wish you could just…” He made one big grabbing motion, before drawing his hands closer as if emulating a kind of embrace, to which Asui watched with raised eyebrows.

 

“I...guess so. Doesn’t mean I go around looking for it, though. Not like that, at least.” She murmured, paying less and less attention to the conversation as time went on.

 

“I...guess you’re right. I can’t help but get so worked up about it! One day- one day I’m gonna be popular with the ladies and I’ll totally be in there!” Mineta announced, maybe a little too loud for the conversation, as Asui responded, almost deadpan, with “Until then, you just have to make use of your right hand like the rest of us.”

 

Mineta watched her silently for a moment, cheeks slightly pink.

 

“T-Tsu…”

 

Asui, at that moment, was far too preoccupied staring over at the sea of people around them, searching for any signs of illegal activity.

 

“D...do you use your right hand too?”

 

“Mm...mhm…” She admitted, without...actually realising what she had admitted to until it was too late to take it back. Her cheeks suddenly grew dark pink, her tongue lolling awkwardly out of her mouth as she turned back to the smaller teen.

 

“Um...I mean…”

 

Mineta merely started laughing, “No way, no taking that back! Ahahah- oh my god, Tsu!”

 

Asui stared darkly down at him, very, very tempted to smack him with her tongue, but seeing the way he held his hand over his mouth- he was genuinely laughing, he actually found this funny, but not in a malicious way. It was more...like he was laughing at the fact she wasn’t paying attention.

 

 

She began to chuckle too. “Sorry...I wasn’t paying attention.” It wasn’t like it was a big deal for her, anyway, but she’d definitely walked into that one. Mineta shook his head frantically, “Pfff...I’m...I’m not gonna tell anyone- don’t worry, but jeez! I didn’t think you’d just come out and say that! You really do say what’s on your mind!”

 

Asui bit back a large smile, seeing as the whole point of that was the fact the conversation at hand wasn’t on her mind. “Let’s not be so pervy next time, okay? Don’t just ask me something like that out in public.” She said, scratching her cheek.

 

“O-Oh, yeah. I mean, if you’re embarrassed, that’s fine! I can like...I dunno...I could embarrass myself more so people aren’t paying attention to you. Would that make you feel better?”

 

Asui found that idea to be both extremely dumb and very entertaining- almost endearing. “You don’t have to do that much. You might wind up saying something you regret.” She pointed out and Mineta shrugged, “I don’t regret a thing!”

 

“Yeah, I worry about that sometimes.”

 


 

Much to their relief, there were no major crimes to be dealt with. Asui had to give a few people a very meaningful stare, to make sure they knew she had her eye on them, but aside from that, it was all very peaceful. The pair returned to their dorms together, where a few other pairs had arrived from their own patrols.

 

Tokoyami and Yaoyorozu seemed to have a successful day as well, and it was both odd and endearing to find the two chatting to each other comfortably. Asui smiled, leaving them both to their discussion as she returned to her room to change.

 

It was pretty strange for her as well- Mineta had actually kept to his word. There was still an alarming amount of talk about Mt. Lady and her, to quote him, ‘ginormous mountain-sized titties’ along with a few other vulgar topics but it wasn’t something Asui was foreign to.

 

What was nice, was that there was no discomfort or awkwardness on their patrol- it was actually very enjoyable. Asui wasn’t sure if she could handle being on a patrol with someone she didn’t really get along with, so this was quite a good matchup for her. Despite Mineta’s...faults, she was actually on very good terms with him.

 

Once she’d changed into normal clothes, she threw her hero costume into the laundry basket and began to drag the large basket downstairs for washing, when she bumped into Mineta again.

 

“Hey, Tsu.” He greeted, casually, and Asui beamed. “Ribbit.”

 

“That’s a lot of washing...oh, uh-- yeah, I was gonna ask, did you still wanna go to the bookshop? It’s still open.” He jerked a thumb towards the buildings exit and Asui finally noticed he was wearing his shoes, ready to go out.

 

“Were you going?”

 

He scratched his chin. “Yeah, guess I was. I figured they’d probably have some good comic books there too...not to mention I totally wanna check out that book!” He grinned and Asui gave a croaky laugh, looking down at her washing.

 

“Let me put this in the machine first. Then when we come back, we can write up that report.” Asui offered, continuing her journey to the laundry room as Mineta made a noise of delighted agreement, following closely behind her.

 

They began to chat quietly as Asui loaded her dirty laundry into the washing machine, though Mineta looked far too happy. Guess taking a peek at her clothes was really exciting him. She watched him carefully as he peered over the top of the washing machine, grinning as he did so.

 

“See something you like?” Asui quirked a brow and Mineta had the decency to look a tiny bit bashful. “Eheheh...you have some nice clothes.”

 

Though saying that, he plucked out a bra from the pile of clothes and Asui felt her heart sink to her stomach- how embarrassing! Of course he was going to be so forward. Perhaps she should’ve added personal belongings to her list of terms.

 

“Minoru...put that down.” She croaked, lowly, though Mineta didn’t seem to be listening, if anything he looked utterly awestruck. It was only seconds of silence later did he turn to her, holding it up in one hand.

 

This is really cute!”

 

Asui wasn’t really too sure what to make of that. He was right, in all fairness, it was a very cute bra with little frog patterns on it- one of her personal favourites. The lewd blush on his face told her he was far too into looking at her bras but he also seemed...weirdly amazed. As if he’d never expected to see such a cute piece of attire.

 

“What the hell…” He breathed to himself, “This is fucking adorable ! Damn it, why can’t guys have cute clothes too?!” Asui snorted. Mineta now looked positively outraged by what she assumed to be the lack of ‘cute’ clothes for men, yet he still looked very entranced.

 

“Do you know how hard it is to find clothes with grape patterns on them?!”

 

Asui held her breath and her laugh as she shook her head. “R-Ribbit…”

 

“Do you have any panties with grapes on them?”

 

“No. Just frogs.”

 

Mineta looked hesitantly between the bra in his hands and the washing machine, before looking up at Asui with wide, unblinking eyes. “Can I see?”

 

Well, she should’ve seen this coming, but for some reason, there was no...awkwardness about it. She wasn’t overly protective over things like this, it was just underwear and, granted, she wasn’t wearing it at that moment so...

 

Plus watching Mineta’s eyes sparkle with passione was always quite funny.

 

“Depends.” She croaked, “They are dirty, though...unless you like looking at a girls skidmarks.” She pointed a finger downwards at him, eyes lidded as she spoke in a near sarcastic tone. She knew he was a raging pervert but even that much should’ve been too much for him- or so she hoped, anyway.

 

Mineta snorted, almost dropping the item of clothing he was holding, before putting his hands on his hips.

 

“Can’t be any worse than mine!”

 

Asui was almost tempted to point out he shouldn’t exactly have been proud to say that, but was too busy chuckling quietly to herself as she plucked out a pair of relatively clean underwear from the pile and holding it out.

 

If Mineta looked awestruck before, then now he looked positively indescribable.

 

“Are...are you serious?”

 

Asui shrugged. “It...isn’t really a big deal to me. It’s just underwear. Besides, look, they match! Ribbit!” She took the item of clothing from him and held the two up side by side to compare them. Upon seeing how they did, indeed, match, Mineta looked ready to cry tears of joy, as if he’d been blessed with a gift from the heavens.

 

What the hell, this is too cute!!”

 

Asui chuckled sheepishly, “Don’t get so worked up. It’s really nothing special.” She threw the items of clothing back into the washing machine, closing the lid on top of them and switching the machine on. The room was filled with the deafening roar of the machine and as the two began to leave, Mineta eyed her seriously, almost dangerously.

 

“You know nothing .”

 

This time, Asui really did laugh out loud.

 


 

“So you’ve never ever wanted to see a guy’s underwear before?”

 

“Not really.”

 

Mineta shrugged, side-stepping out of the way of a couple walking towards them as he and Asui headed towards the bookshop they’d passed earlier on. He glanced up at Asui questioningly.

 

“Really? I thought girls were into hot models or whatever...o-oh but I guess since you like girls...then what about girls underwear?”

 

Asui glanced back at him, her lips twisting in a shape of uncertainty. “I wear girls underwear. It’s not a foreign concept to me.” She pointed out, and Mineta quietly agreed, having remembered. “Besides,” she continued, “I think it depends on the girl. I’ve seen a lot of girls who are really into male models but...I’m not sure, I don’t think men’s underwear has the same effect as women’s underwear.”

 

Mineta nodded, crossing his arms, “That’s because a lot of women’s underwear are designed to be pretty. We just get shitty boxers with the same old colours and occasionally something funny written across the ass.” He shrugged.

 

Asui sighed. “Yeah, I know- I have a little brother. Though they do make frog-themed underwear for boys too…” She smiled, turning back to Mineta. “Maybe us girls could switch to wearing boxers.” She suggested, “I heard they’re much more comfortable.”

 

The suggestion might’ve resonated a little too well with Mineta, who looked blank at the very thought. “Girls...wearing guys underwear…” He looked as if he’d come to a revelation, “This is perfect!

 

Asui watched, and the way Mineta looked deeply invested in this concept reminded her too much of Midoriya when he was muttering to himself about something hero-related. The resemblance was too uncanny.

 

“Don’t think too hard about it...you might give yourself a nosebleed.” She patted his head gently and he gave her a bright, yet dazed thumbs-up. Guess a new world had been opened up to him.

 

“Maybe you could wear my underwear?” He grinned and Asui almost choked and, without missing a beat, replied, “Maybe you could wear mine.” as the pair entered the store.

 

“God, stop , I can only get so hard.” Mineta groaned, mockingly and Asui had to cover her mouth with her hand to stop herself from laughing. Mineta had said that way too loud for a bookshop and she playfully smacked his shoulder.

 

“S-Shut up...ribbit.” She said, stifling her giggles behind her hand and Mineta looked immensely proud of himself. He posed, making a finger-gun motion with his hands as he responded, “ Never.

 

“You’re too much!” Asui said with a light croak, as she made a beeline towards the new novels section with Mineta in tow.

 

“So, what’s good?” He asked, picking up a book at random and skimming through the blurb. Asui eyed the book, the one she’d seen in the display window, with hesitance, only for Mineta to flat out pick it up with his other hand, discarding the book he was holding before with boredom.

 

“So, this is it, right?” He looked up at Asui, practically radiating sparkles with how pleased he looked. He flipped the book over and began to read the blurb out loud.

 

“Uhh...blah, blah, blah-- this is a sensual tale of romance and lust between two people who are fated to never be together . Yep, exactly what I thought. All sex and no story.” He smirked, opening the front cover. Asui tapped a finger to her chin, thoughtfully.

 

“Well...if it’s about two people who clearly can’t be together for some reason, then maybe there is a story behind that. Wouldn’t you think?”

 

“Nah, ‘cuz...like, you could say that about anything. ‘Love between two people who can’t be together’ could be the difference between a peasant and a princess or...a fucking frog and a grape, I dunno…”

 

Asui’s lips stretched into a grin as she began to laugh quietly. “I wonder where you got that comparison from...ribbit!” She pressed her fingers together, peering over Mineta’s shoulder to read the book too. Mineta flushed slightly.

 

“Well...I could’ve gone with anything. I mean, technically, love between a man and a horse is illegal, so...y’never know, we might be in for a book about straight-up beastiality.” The longer he spoke, the closer he was to devolve into a laughing mess as he handed Asui the book, though Asui seemed far too preoccupied with trying not to embarrass herself in a public place.

 

“P...Please, no…” She whined quietly, her cheeks bright pink from holding in her mirth. Mineta gave a low chuckle, which escalated into a stupidly loud laugh. “Yeah, totally! Okay, but for real...it’s probably some princess story or something. Anyway-” He looked up at Asui with an intense expression, “--let’s get to the good bits!!”

 

Asui sighed, letting out the rest of her pent-up laughter, feeling her cheeks grow hot. “Alright, but if a horse appears in the story, we’re going home.” She mockingly warned. Mineta shrugged, smiling slyly, “What if it’s a man in a horse mask? Or like...some kind of weird BDSM horse outfit?”

 

“You almost sound like you’re hoping for that. Also I’m not sure if I want to know where you...got that from.” She flicked through the pages, skimming over the words. She had to admit, Mineta was right about this. The dialogue was empty and cliché and there was grip to the so-called plot, though as she began to get to the middle, Mineta stuck his hand out across the page.

 

“There! Read it!”

 

“I-I’m not reading it out loud!” Asui told him, eyeing the entrance to the bookshop, which they were merely metres away from. Mineta grabbed the sleeve of her jacket and began to pull her in the direction of a sofa wedged between two large bookshelves, where they would clearly never be heard. This guy had definitely been here before.

 

Even though she’d refused, there was still a big, silly smile plastered on Asui’s face. Even if it was a little silly, things like this were always kind of funny. Funny in the same way a child would find it funny to look up naughty words in a dictionary or something like that.

 

Though that comparison did feel very accurate to the situation.

 

Mineta jumped up onto the plush fabric of the sofa and crossed his arms expectantly, pulling as serious a face as he could muster, only to dissolve into childish snickers as he patted the space beside him.

 

Asui complied, sitting down and opening the book back up to where she had marked the page with her thumb. So where did they get up to…?

 

Mineta’s eyes were sparkling and Asui could not physically stop herself from smiling if she tried.

 

“Umm...alright, here… ’He gently caressed her smooth breasts and in return she... r-ribbit!”

 

Mineta clenched his fists, “C’mon, Tsu!” He cheered, encouragingly, “You can do it! That’s nothing!” though Mineta’s cheeks were equally flushed.

 

Asui shook her head, “No, no, it’s...the next bit is so bad! Ribbit! I can’t read this, it’s terrible!” She gestured wildly to the book and Mineta peered over to read for himself- a big grin plastered onto his face. “Is it that bad? Yeah, shitty books like this are often like... really bad!”

 

There was a period of silence as Mineta continued to read.

 

S-She...opened her legs... Oh my god, this is so bad!! ” He cleared his throat, preparing to read it seriously, but the way his lips quivered into a smile ruined it. “ A-and...revealed her...f-f-f….flo-hahahah!! I can’t do this!! It’s so baaaad!!

 

Mineta doubled over with laughter, trying to repeat the line he was supposed to read, but with no results whatsoever as Asui sat back into the sofa and continued to read, with small tears forming in her eyes.

 

“R-Ribbit! Maybe I’ll read you the really bad bits.”

 

“Please...do…” Mineta wheezed, collapsing onto his side, so that his head was resting on Asui’s lap. “Man, even I can’t get horny reading this shit! And that’s saying something!”

 

“Hmmm...eheheh…” Asui giggled, before erupting into full-blown laughter, “How about this… ’H-His dick twitched north like a compass.’ What does that even mean…?”

 

Mineta shifted so that he was lying on his back, looking up at Asui as she continued to read and it was only then did Asui realise he’d been resting his head on her lap.

 

“Everyone knows guy’s dicks point north. Human compass!” Mineta outstretched a finger, making a circular motion with it to indicate a compass shape- Asui lifted the book a notch to meet his gaze as she laughed.

 

“Ribbit! There’s another line here…’ He was going to gift her orgasm upon orgasm like the layers of a sexual onion.’

 

“A s-se-se--ahahahahah!! What the fuck is a sexual onion!?” Mineta clutched his sides as he laughed whilst Asui buried her red face into the book as she ribbited quietly. This book was appalling- she wasn’t even sure if she could read any more. Maybe when Mineta’s birthday came around, she’d gift him this book as a kind of joke present. Seriously, just what the fuck was a sexual onion? Was the author on drugs?

 

But for now, she let him laugh it out on her lap. He had a very strange laugh, high-pitched and a snort or two every now and then but it was incredibly endearing to hear. Come to think of it, she hadn’t laughed that hard for a while either. It was actually pretty refreshing, though when she glanced outside, she realised it had already gotten dark.

 

“Ah, Minoru. It’s dark already.” Asui pointed a finger towards the entrance, shutting the book and gently prying Mineta from her lap. Mineta hopped down from the sofa as Asui placed the book back onto the shelf.

 

“Crap, I forgot to check out the comic book section. Guess I’ll go next weekend instead.” Mineta shrugged his jacket on properly as the two left the bookshop. He looked up at Asui brightly, “Maybe you could come with. We could totally finish that book too.” He snickered, shoving his hands deep into his pockets as they began to head back to the school.

 

Asui gently pressed a finger against her cheek in thought, a large beaming smile stretched out across her face. “I think that sounds fun.”

 

She hadn’t quite imagined the assignment would end up with the two of them taking a little outing to the bookshop- or that it would result in both of them laughing til they cried sprawled on a sofa together but Asui was glad it did.

 

Mineta was still the same old pervert that he’d always been, though the lack of intense, not-so-subtle stares and touching made her wonder if he’d really been taking being her friend seriously. If so, such a thought made her even happier.

 

Asui could always tell who could make a good friend, she had good judgement for that kind of thing, yet still, in this situation, found herself pleasantly surprised as she listened to Mineta ramble on about an interview with Mt. Lady that was supposed to be airing later tonight.

 

“She’s gonna be wearing her costume too! It’s gonna be so awesome!” He was already red in the face thinking about it and Asui couldn’t do much else but laugh quietly.

 

“Maybe we could watch it whilst we do the report…?”

 

“S-Seriously?! Tsu, you’re the best!”

 

Even Asui couldn’t deny that at that time, she really did feel like the best.

Chapter Text

Asui felt good when she woke up the next day. She often succumbed to sleepiness in the early hours, especially during the winter, but the moment she opened her eyes that morning she was wide awake.

 

Though this time, she was the one waiting for Mineta to appear.

 

Their report had gone better than expected last night, even with the distraction of Mt. Lady’s interview on TV. Mineta was undoubtedly a smart kid, being in the top ten of their class exam-wise, but his skills regarding writing reports and essays rivalled that of Yaoyorozu’s and for that, she was very thankful.

 

“Hey, Tsu! You been waiting long…?”

 

Asui gave Mineta a small wave as he approached, adjusting his costume as he did so. “Not that long.” She assured, “Ready to head out?”

 

Mineta gave her a thumbs-up. “Hell yeah. Let’s go!”

 

Asui noted that he seemed very chipper that morning too. Then again, she’d never seen him so excited until last night’s interview- the guy was literally drooling.

 

“You really enjoyed that interview last night…” Asui commented, as they began their patrol and Mineta visibly brightened. “Are you kidding, I taped it! Mt. Lady was so hot I thought I was gonna die!”

 

“No kidding…” Asui eyed him with a snicker, “You were practically touching yourself. I got seriously worried for a second. I thought you were going to ruin the report we wrote up.”

 

Mineta gave a sheepish laugh, “Yeah...I kinda forgot you were sat there. Don’t worry, though, we have tomorrow off so you can bet your ass that’s what I’m gonna be doing when I wake up!!”

 

“Ribbit! Minoru, keep it down!” Asui chided, but she, too, was smiling. “But...makes me wonder- what was meeting Mt. Lady like?” She didn’t seem like the kind of woman Asui would normally hang around, but Asui was flexible when it came to friendships, so it didn’t matter too much.

 

“Oh, man, like...the whole experience was, uh, really something but meeting her for the first time? I almost came on the spot.” He said quite seriously and Asui almost bit her tongue.

 

“I bet she was really impressed by that.” She teased, poking the side of his head, playfully.

 

Though the mood was light, it was suddenly shattered by a piercing scream that seemed expected, rather than surprising. Without missing a beat, Asui hopped into action with Mineta dashing behind her, frantically wandering if she was this fast before.

 

After finding the source of the scream, Asui quickly and quietly listened to the woman’s statement as Mineta caught up, breathless and exhausted.

 

“I-It wasn’t a big villain or anything like that--!!”

 

“I understand, miss, but can you just tell me what happened?” Asui could tell this woman was a rambler when it came to talking to the police, which wasn’t very helpful when it came to immediate emergencies.

 

“Well, I came out of the shop and I had my bag on my shoulder--!”

 

“What’s the immediate emergency here?!” Mineta threw his hands out, clearly impatient and the woman made a small exclamation.

 

“Oh! A man snatched my bag- he ran that way!”

 

Thank you!!” Mineta huffed, before dashing off in the direction the woman was pointing. A few people sidestepped out of the way, having watching their whole conversation play out.

 

“Don’t worry, we’ll get your bag back!” Asui reassured, turning away to follow Mineta. “Just stay right here, okay? Ribbit!”

 

The woman called a ‘thank you’ as Asui raced to catch up to Mineta, who was making good headway on his own, but it wasn’t enough considering his lack of speed. She hopped up beside him, following the trail of people whose confused expressions told them that they’d seen the criminal.

 

“The crowd is a little too tall for us!” Asui called, “We need to get somewhere higher! Is that okay with you?”

 

For a moment, Mineta was a little too preoccupied, watching Asui’s long hair thrashing wildly in the wind and reveling in the way he could see the muscles in her thighs when she landed each hop. He’d seen Asui up-close in action before, but was too panic-stricken to really take in what he was seeing but now that he had the chance…?

 

Minoru!”

 

“A-Ack! Yeah, just do what you gotta do!” He swallowed thickly as Asui nodded, but eyed him with a questioning expression. She inhaled, before snatching Mineta up with her long tongue and making one giant leap onto the side of the building beside them. Mineta, having not picked up on what Asui was going to do, yelped in fear.

 

“S-So….uh, what’s the plan?!” Mineta yelled, flinching with every big jump Asui made. Asui’s brows furrowed as she thought, though now she was getting a good idea of where the assailant was. She croaked, lifting Mineta up above her head. Her tongue was beginning to ache now.

 

“Ca’ you thee the crimi’al?” She called up hoping, in giving Mineta extra height, that he could get a clearer view. Mineta made a low noise of perplexion as he scanned the crowd, where most of the faces were staring them, save for the one man he could now spot, running away.

 

“Yeah, I got him! Uh, throw me!”

 

“Wha’?!”

 

He glanced down at Asui, who looked too stunned to have misheard his words. He clapped his fist in his hand. “I said ‘ throw me!’ Trust me!”

 

“Bu’ I ca’t thee where I’m aimin’!” She reasoned, trying to come up with a better plan instead of having to submit to Mineta’s, though the time constraint made that difficult. At this rate…

 

“It’s fine! M-Maybe I can use my cape to like...fly or something!?”

 

“You don’ thound very thure o’ yourthel’...” Asui deadpanned, but right now she couldn’t think of a better idea and, if it worked, then Mineta would be able to floor the criminal. If not, then Asui would have to wait a long time for Mineta to catch up to her and that would almost guarantee the criminals escape.

 

It was a bit of a die-or-die situation here, but Asui was thankful they weren’t dealing with a real villain. She lifted Mineta up further and further back, muffling, “Tell me whe’!” around her outstretched tongue.

 

“W-Wait...wait….okay, now !”

 

Asui screeched to a halt and, with every ounce of strength in her upper body, threw Mineta clear across the crowd of people- the moment he left her grip, she put all of her energy into racing up to him, hoping that she would hit her target.

 

Meanwhile, in midair, Mineta was severely regretting his idea.

 

He loudly cursed his constant attempts to impress- this being one of them. He was surprised he’d even managed to build up the courage to suggest the idea but now he was paying the price. Even though he couldn’t stop the screams escaping, he still managed to rack up the energy to pull a few balls from his head, sticking them to the soles of his feet and to his hands. If this worked, if Asui’s aim was decent, then Mineta would be able to stick right to the criminal from behind and take him down that way!

 

Or, so was the theory, anyway. Guess this is what he got for trying to impress Asui.

 

But the closer he got to the criminal, the higher his confidence rose, along with his fear. He forced his hands out against the force of the wind- all he had to do was latch just one hand on and he was good.

 

He shut his eyes tightly as he felt an impact approaching.

 

‘Come on, you have to grab him! If you don’t...Tsu will think you’re a total loser!”

 

He opened his eyes at the last second, seeing nothing but a blur of colour from the criminal’s clothes, as he pulled his hand up and stuck right to the man’s back. The man, who apparently hadn’t seen Mineta coming despite his loud screaming, yelped in surprise as Mineta planted both of his feet onto his back and pulling another ball from his head.

 

“Stop, or I’ll...I-I’ll put this over your mouth! S-Seriously, you won’t be able to breathe and you’ll die, so...so cut it out!” He threatened lamely, hooking an arm around the man’s neck and holding the purple, sticky ball close to his face. He did his best to remain intimidating, despite the tears streaming from his eyes.

 

The man, who seemed to realise he was out of his depth, continued to run in a blind panic, making Mineta’s grip on him unstable. Without much else to do, and not wanting to actually suffocate the target, Mineta stuck the ball over the man’s eyes and held on tight.

 

Having lived with this quirk, Mineta knew full well that when a person had one of these stuck to them, their first reaction would be to try to pull it off, and when they’d attempt that, their hand would also get stuck, making it an even bigger inconvenience than before. Sure enough, the criminal did just that.

 

At this point, it was like riding a feisty, disobedient horse. Mineta just had to hold on and wait for the man to run out of energy, and when he did, he collapsed straight to the ground with Mineta stuck on top.

 

“I told you, y’know.” He chided, using a few more balls to stick the man down, just to be sure. He strained to unstick himself and, when he did so, maneuvered the bag out of the criminal’s grip.

 

When Asui hopped up to the scene, she sighed in relief because wow, that had actually worked. Mineta turned to her with a thumbs-up and a beaming smile, even though he had fat tears rolling down his cheeks and he looked like he was about to burst into a hysterical crying episode at any minute.

 

“W-We...we did it!!” He yelled and Asui clapped. “We did it! Ribbit! Your plan worked!” She croaked, as she took the bag from Mineta and slung it over her own shoulder. “I’ll go and give this back to its rightful owner. You stay here and wait for the police to arrive, okay?”

 

“Sounds good!” Mineta roughly wiped his eyes.

 

The crowd around them, who had once been staring at the apprehended man with awe and chattering to one another about ‘these UA students’ soon dispersed as the police made their swift arrival. Mineta decided to leave everything to them, as he turned back and headed off to catch up with Asui.

 

The young woman was overjoyed to see Asui and Mineta appear, bag in hand. She took the bag and began to rummage through it. “I need to thank you two, maybe I could give you a small tip…” She murmured, and Asui shook her head and her hands. “No, no, it’s okay. We’re just doing our jobs.”

 

“I-I can think of something!” Mineta grinned and Asui began to sweat, unsure of whether she should stop him now or smack him later. The woman, oblivious to what that usually meant for Mineta, looked at him blankly. “Oh…?”

 

“Go on a date with my friend here!”

 

Asui felt her tongue flop from her mouth as she slowly began to process what he’d said. Mineta, gesturing proudly and victoriously to Asui, beamed. “She’s one of the best heroes in UA- and she’s cute!”

 

R-Ribbit! Minoru!”

 

Asui looked frantically between Mineta and the woman, who held a hand over her mouth as if she was muffling her laughter.

 

“O-Oh! Ahahah, I’m sorry, sweetheart, but I don’t...really swing that way. You know, I thought you were a couple when I first saw you! You seem to work so well together!” The woman exclaimed, clasping her hands together and both Asui and Mineta spluttered. She thought they were a couple?

 

Mineta tugged on the collar of his cape. He wouldn’t admit it yet but the idea of dating Asui was...definitely something. A good something, too. Asui, herself, was red-faced at the thought, wondering what to say. Did they really seem that close? That must be a good thing, right?

 

Oh and of course, she’d forgotten Mineta was adamant about finding her a ‘cute girl’ to date, which brought her to the realisation that she’d never actually told Mineta in the end that she liked boys too. Was...was now a good time to bring that up? Ah, whatever, it didn’t matter too much.

 

The woman continued to laugh. “I’m so sorry! Though, since you did such a good job catching that thief…” She bent down to Mineta’s level, “Maybe you and I could go on a date?” She suggested, putting a finger to her lips in a sultry manner.

 

Mineta was at a loss for words at this point, his jaw almost hitting the floor. She was seriously suggesting a date between the two of them? Not to mention she was really hot too. Her shirt did little to cover her torso, stretching tightly over her boobs which Mineta could not tear his eyes from, until he glanced back at Asui.

 

Asui looked as if she were pretending she was somewhere else.

 

Mineta genuinely hadn’t expected the woman to say such a thing, he’d just assumed she was out of his league since he wasn’t a big, flashy hero yet. If anything...he felt a little bad for Asui, taking her blank expression as a sign of dismay due to the rejection, when in actuality, Asui didn’t care much at all.

 

So if she didn’t care, why did she feel like she’d rather be anywhere else?

 

Mineta watched her for a while. Even when she wasn’t paying attention, she was still overwhelmingly cute, and he couldn’t help but remember watching her hop across the pavement and being in total awe of her.

 

Yet somehow, she looked sad to him. Asui always said what was on her mind and maybe that was because what was on her mind didn’t really show on her face, but her eyes looked misty and vacant.

 

He looked back up at the expectant woman, before shaking his head.

 

“Sorry. I’m, um...taken.”

 

Both the woman and Asui wore looks of surprise and for vastly different reasons. “O-Oh, is that so? Ahah, sorry about that!” The woman apologised, “But, again, thank you so much for getting my bag back to me! It’s nice to know there are heroes around when I need them!”

 

The woman turned away, waving the two heroes goodbye as she headed to wherever it was she needed to be, leaving the two students stood silently on the street and the bustling crowd around them seemed louder than it had ever been.

 


 

The walk back was dead silent too and the entire time, Mineta was desperately, silently begging for Asui to break the silence with her calm demeanour and ability to diffuse a tense situation. Asui, however, remained as silent as before, keeping her large, unblinking eyes trained on the pavement in front of her as they headed back to UA.

 

Meanwhile, Asui was having her own personal conflict. Why wasn’t Mineta saying anything? He wasn’t taken and they both knew that- he’d even denied that the two of them were a couple, so who could he be talking about?

 

Why had he lied like that?

 

Mineta’s dream was just...women-- it was just outright women. He wanted to be popular with the ladies and become a cool hero and even though it was a sordid kind of motivation, it was a motivation nonetheless. It was easy to see how much he wanted female attention, he was constantly drooling over every girl in class and would jump at the chance to go on a date with one of them- or a date with any woman for that matter, so why did he refuse?

 

She just didn’t understand it in the slightest.

 

And truthfully, Mineta didn’t understand either. The moment they had returned to UA, they had silently gone their separate ways with the unspoken agreement to meet up later than night and do their report. Mineta shed his costume the moment he stepped into his room and promptly flopped down onto the bed.

 

He’d just turned down an actual date with a real hottie. Why the hell did he do that?

 

Asui had seemed really sullen after that interaction and even though he would probably kill a man to go on a date with a hot chick, he didn’t really like the idea of leaving Asui by herself whilst she looked so...sad.

 

And even then, he hadn’t said anything on the way back. He’d just waited for Asui to make the first move. He was too scared to mention anything- he didn’t want to make Asui feel worse than she already probably did. Not even that but...he felt like he’d done something wrong, like he’d messed up somewhere across the line.

 

He sat up, plucking a worn shirt from the floor and sliding it over his head. He’d turned down a date to stick around and make Asui feel better, right? How was he supposed to make her feel better when they weren’t in the same room?

 

He’d just have to go over to her room and do exactly what she does. Speak his mind to her. Maybe if he did that, then she, too, would speak her mind as she always did. It was probably just a little misunderstanding of some kind.

 

He left his room and made the long trip around to the other side of the building to Asui’s room, where he knocked on the door and waited patiently.

 

About half a minute later, Asui opened the door a crack, enough for her to peer through.

 

“Hey, Tsu. Can I come in?”

 

She dropped her head down, so her long, thick hair was covering most of her face. “I thought we were going to do the report later on?” She gripped the door-handle on her end as tightly as she could, though Mineta would have no way of knowing that.

 

“I know. I just needed to talk to you for a bit.”

 

Asui hesitated, looking back at her room, before opening the door enough to let Mineta walk through under her arm. He did so, gazing around at the room’s decor as he did so.

 

“What did you want to talk about?” She tilted her head slightly, hands dropped to her side. Asui had already changed from her hero costume, now dressed in a turtleneck and a pencil skirt. Mineta looked side to side, before taking a seat on the floor and leaning back.

 

“Um. You seemed kind of sad.” It wasn’t great, but it was a start. Asui, too, took a seat on the floor and felt a familiar tingling sensation in her gut. She’d expected this, of course, but still felt anxious.

 

“I’m...not really.” She scratched her cheek. It was a bit of a lie, but it was a little harder to explain than that. “Why did you turn down the date with that girl back then?” She questioned, staring hard at the floor.

 

Mineta shuffled in his spot. “Uh...well, you seemed real upset about something. I didn’t...really want to leave you alone if you were sad. I mean, don’t get me wrong, that girl was really hot but...I dunno, it didn’t seem right.”

 

“But...isn’t that what you always wanted? To go out and be popular with girls?” Asui could see the logic now, but not what was behind it. It made sense, but it didn’t make sense for Mineta.

 

“Well, yeah.” He laughed, humorlessly, “but...um...I dunno, you’re my friend, y’know? You said that we’d be good friends over the next two weeks so if we were good friends then I wouldn’t just ditch you if you were sad.”

 

“You could’ve scheduled the date for another time.” She pointed out, “But you lied and chose to say that you already had a girlfriend. I still don’t get it.”

 

Mineta paused, thinking on what to say. There wasn’t much he could respond with when he, himself, didn’t know the answer either. He hadn’t really thought of rescheduling it.

 

“Well, you always speak your mind, right? Why didn’t you tell me what was wrong when we were walking home?” He asked, “I mean...were you upset because you got turned down? I-I mean, if I embarrassed you, I’m sorry!” He raised a hand, apologetically as Asui shook her head.

 

“No..I wasn’t upset because of that. I didn’t really care about going on a date with her anyway.” She replied, pressing her fingers together in a habitual manner.

 

“So...what were you upset about? Did I do something wrong?” He sat forward, cross-legged.

 

“You haven’t done anything wrong.” She murmured, “I’m not trying to be cryptic or anything. I do my best to speak my mind because it’s easier than letting things go unsaid and causing people trouble but...I don’t know what to say.”

 

Asui lifted her head and Mineta could see now that she looked teary, as if there was something really tearing her up inside but all he could do was open his mouth. This wasn’t right- Asui was a gorgeous, smiling girl, so why did she look like she was going to cry?

 

“H-Hey, Tsu, you don’t have to cry!” He crawled forwards to look up at her half-concealed face, covered by the massive amounts of hair she had. He didn’t know whether he should hug her, pat her or wipe her tears away or if he should just sit there.

 

“R-Ribbit...I don’t like not knowing what to say. I feel like I owe you a big explanation but I don’t really know what it is or what it’s for.” She admitted, quietly, rubbing any signs of tears from her eyes.

 

Mineta sat back on his heels, crossing his arms. “You don’t owe me an explanation, Tsu. It’s alright if you were upset- sometimes you just gotta cry, right? I mean, look at me, I cry all the time!” He pointed it his own face and pulled a silly expression in an attempt to lighten the mood a little, for which Asui was thankful for.

 

“Sometimes we’re just sad, even if we don’t know why. I mean, if I’m being honest with you, I’m not really sure how I feel right now either, but...we’re still friends, aren’t we?”

 

Asui’s lip trembled, listening to Mineta doing his best to be comforting and doing a better job than he could imagine. Of course they were friends, she’d offered that from the very beginning. Maybe, back then, it was a ploy to form a good alliance for the next two weeks which had somehow devolved into something much nicer.

 

She wasn’t even sure how to explain it to herself.

 

Without much else to do, and with the need to express her own gratitude to Mineta, she leant over and wrapped her arms around his small shoulders.

 

Mineta sat there, stunned, before slowly, slowly wrapping his own arms around her waist and pressing his face into the crook of her neck. She felt warm and soft- weren’t frogs meant to be cold and clammy?

 

He was reminded of a couple of old romance novels he’d read years ago, cheesy and sappy with the most awful clichés like describing eyes as an endless sea or describing someone smelling of vanilla or cinnamon or whatever.

 

Asui didn’t have a distinct smell like any of those. She just...smelled like Asui, the way a person has their own scent and Mineta…

 

...Mineta loved that.

 

But now he was the one feeling confused. He felt a little bit sick and a little bit excited, but his jaw ached and so did his eyes- one of the cutest girls, no, the cutest girl in his class and one of the coolest heroes he knew was hugging him, so why did he feel like crying?

 

He almost wanted to let go, but his hands wouldn’t let him. His arms remained around her, adamant to stay latched onto her and Mineta didn’t know what to do but savour the moment as much as he could.

 

“You’re...you’re a good friend, Tsu.”

 

“R...Ribbit…”

Chapter Text

The next day was their day off and, despite the fact Mineta alluded to watching the Mt. Lady interview again that morning, he never did.

 

He remained in bed, curled up in the vast softness of his blankets as he pressed himself further against the wall. The soft noises of rainfall from outside brought a sense of quiet isolation to the room.

 

Right now, Mineta was at a loss.

 

He had no idea what...well, he had no idea- period. Something deep inside felt very different but he didn’t know what, he didn’t know how and he certainly didn’t know why. This was probably the exact same feeling Asui had attempted to describe yesterday.

 

The only thing he could trace anything back to, was the hug from yesterday.

 

He was sure it wasn’t the first hug he’d gotten from Asui, or perhaps his ‘hugs’ in the past were a little one-sided, but she’d held him so tightly and...there was just something about that. He couldn’t stop himself from pressing his face against the crook of her neck and trying to memorise everything about that scenario- he’d succeeded too, considering it was now all he could really think about.

 

Every few minutes, he’d think of a new topic like breakfast, or the interview he planned to rewatch later but somehow it always veered off on a tangent that led straight back to Asui. The way that his mind would just do that was so infuriating yet somehow so incredible. She had such a hold on him now and he wasn’t sure what to do about it.

 

He’d be lying if he said he didn’t want another hug.

 

Curling further in on himself, he imagined what it would be like. The image of a brief hug turned into the image of a long hug, and then into a cuddle, and then into lazing around in bed together, and then holding her hand and then--

 

...a sudden, unexpected realisation.

 

He sat up, rubbing his eyes roughly. It hadn’t even been three days and now he was undeniably smitten. Part of him was happy, delighted-- overjoyed by that because now he’d have the next week and half to just spend with her and right now, he couldn’t think of anything better.

 

Well, he could think of something better, but he left that for now.

 

But with these things, there was always a problem- a dark cloud to the silver lining, and that dark cloud was the fact that he couldn’t be with her no matter how much he wanted that. Part of him wondered just how would he have felt if the woman from yesterday had actually said yes.

 

And maybe...maybe though he didn’t know it at the time, but that was the real reason that he’d turned that girl down- because deep down even though he wanted female attention and his goal was merely just to be popular, there was something specific that he wanted and that woman wasn’t it.

 

He wasn’t sure if it was worth getting out of bed, in all fairness. The revelation had brought him some kind of understanding now and that was helpful, but it also brought an ugly feeling of knowing you could never have what you really wanted. He’d had teenage crushes in the past, it wasn’t a totally unfamiliar feeling towards him, but this one had definitely taken him by surprise and now he didn’t really know how to deal with it. This wasn’t just lusting after a girl who had a nice rack and a pretty ass. This was wanting to spend as much time as was humanly possible with a girl who never, ever failed to make him smile.

 

He wasn’t even sure if having the next week and a half to spend with Asui was a good or a bad thing- what was he supposed to do now? Just roll with it and pretend everything was all good, or should he tell her? Would she tell him if she was in his shoes?

 

Was speaking your mind always a good thing…?

 

Still, he couldn’t just suddenly ignore her or act like things were different. She was already struggling with trying to figure her own problems out and he didn’t really want to add to that. He’d just play it cool and see how things went.

 

Even though he was filled with a false sense of confidence, he practically screeched when there was a knock on his bedroom door. He stared hard at the door, wondering whether or not it was worth opening, before crawling out of bed.

 

He silently hoped it was Asui and when he opened the door, his wish was granted.

 

Asui stood there, looking a bit more chipper than yesterday, holding a box in her hand and a package under her arm. She looked even cuter today, wearing a plain green shirt and a frog-themed fleece.

 

“Sorry...did I wake you up?” She tilted her head, letting her bangs fall across her face. Mineta tried his best not the rub his eyes again, “Nah, I just woke up a little while ago. Just chilling in bed.”

 

“Mt. Lady interview…?” She quirked a brow, smiling in a fashion that could only be described as ‘all-knowing’. Mineta scratched the back of his head, “Actually, no. I’ve just been, um, listening to the rain, I guess.” It sounded dumb when he said it, but Asui’s smile didn’t waver.

 

“Me too. The mail came today and there was a package for you. I also got some stuff I wanted to share with you...if that’s okay?”

 

Mineta was undoubtedly half-asleep, that much was clear even to Asui, but once he’d processed her request, he opened the door. “Yeah, sure. Uh...I should probably put some clothes on.” He looked down, realised he was wearing only a t-shirt and his underwear.

 

Asui balanced the box on top of the package she was holding and used her free hand to pat Mineta’s head. “I don’t mind- it is your room after all. I thought you were always eager to take your clothes off, not put them back on.” She teased and for the time being, Mineta felt like everything was okay and back to normal. He’d grown to appreciate Asui’s teasing, seeing as it lightened the mood but it was surprising to see at first how adaptable her sense of humour was.

 

Mineta decided not to find more clothes, but did bundle himself up in his duvet as he watched Asui set the boxes down on the floor.

 

“You can sit up here if you like.” He offered, as Asui snatched a pair of scissors from his desk. She offered them out to him and he groaned. “Can you do it for me? I’m feeling super lazy today.” He gave a cheeky grin and Asui, though sighing, smiled just as wide.

 

“If you want.” She sat down, tucking her skirt underneath her legs, but went for the small box first, untucking the thin, cardboard lid with her fingers.

 

“Oh, yeah, my parent sent me some sweets. Do you like mochi?” She opened the box and set it down, unfolding the packaging inside, revealing several rows of colourful mochi. Mineta shifted so he was lying on his front, staring down into the box. “Of course I like mochi- who do you take me for?”

 

Even though he was sure it wasn’t even noon yet, he watched Asui pick out a green, squishy ball and place it in her mouth, before holding the box out to him. “The green ones are green tea flavoured, the white ones are azuki bean, the pink ones are strawberry and the black ones are espresso.” She told him, as he made his decision.

 

He chose an espresso flavoured mochi, chucking the treat into his mouth as he reached out to shimmy the box closer to him. “This is for me?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

He read the finer details printed on the top of the box as he chewed- Asui leant over to catch his attention, having finished her mochi already. “How is it? I’m not too fond of coffee…”

 

“Super good.” He said, around his mouthful. “How was yours?”

 

Asui picked up the scissors, laughing very softly under her breath, “Tasty.” She replied, as she opened the scissors and ran one blade down the middle of the package, where the flaps were held together by tape.

 

“Tell me what’s in it.” He said, shuffling backwards like he was gearing up for a surprise. Asui’s eyebrows rose further and further up her forehead as she daintily picked out a four-pack set of underwear. “Is this package from your parents by any chance…?”

 

“Yeah, why?”

 

“This.”

 

“Are you serious …” Mineta groaned, “Even when we aren’t living together, they’re finding new ways to embarrass me in front of girls.” He said, a half-smile making his joke evident. He rested his head on the bed, waiting for Asui to tell him the next item, but when she was silent, he pulled himself back up to look at her, only to find her having opened the set of underwear and holding one pair out to look.

 

“H-Hey, don’t just look at them!” He squeaked, and Asui croaked with delight. “So even you get embarrassed when people look at your underwear…? I think they’re nice.” She said, setting them down beside the box.

 

He rested his chin on his hand. “It’s only embarrassing because most of my underwear is designed for kids. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love wearing All-Might boxers but this isn’t something I like other people knowing.” He couldn’t stop the smile etching its way onto his face as Asui dropped her head back to laugh.

 

“Maybe I could get a bra that says ‘Plus Ultra’ across it.” She said, running a finger across her chest to indicate where the words would go and Mineta gave her a thumbs-up of approval. “What’s next?”

 

“Socks. All-Might ones, actually.” She held out the package with a snicker and Mineta snatched from from her grasp. “Amazing, I’m wearing these right now.” He laughed, ripping the packaging open and sitting upright.

 

“There’s a letter here, too. Oh, there’s some sweets here too -they’re grape flavoured- and a bottle-- wait, is this wine?” She held up the bottle to read the label and Mineta, who had actually decided to put all four pairs of socks on at once, looked up in delight.

 

“Awesome! Gimme! Wait, what does the letter say?”

 

Asui unfolded the letter, handing over the bottle as she scanned the words. “Um…’ We miss you lots and we hope you’re working hard. Here’s a little something, keep it quiet!’ and there’s, uh, a little picture of someone going ‘shhh’.”

 

She glanced up at Mineta, who looked overjoyed as he pumped his fist in the air. “Hell yeah! I mean, I technically shouldn’t have this so, like, don’t tell anyone, okay?” He whispered and winked. Asui gave a weary laugh.

 

“Alright. You really like grapes, don’t you?” She asked, getting to her knees and shuffling over to join him on the bed. Mineta looked more proud than he should’ve at that moment, “Hell yeah, I do! I mean, it’s pretty much my entire identity, y’know? I prefer green grapes to red ones, too, so this is white wine not red. Wanna try some tonight?” He held up the bottle, giving Asui his most convincing look.

 

“I can’t even begin to take you seriously right now.” She giggled, “I’ve never been too fond of alcohol but...maybe I’ll try a little bit.” She put her fingers together and widened them a centimetre to indicate ‘a little bit’. “Do you actually like that stuff or is it just because it’s grape?”

 

“No, I actually do like it. My dad is super into wine so, like, I’d always steal some of his drinks when he wasn’t looking. Guess as time went on I actually started liking it.” He put a finger to his lips, “Though it’s not like I like all grape flavoured stuff. Like, there’s this one brand of grape soda that I can’t fucking stand. It seriously tastes like ass!”

 

He set the bottle down and gently shuffled it under his bed with his foot. “Plus, wine makes you look classy and girls like classy guys.” He said, striking a pose that, in his mind, was meant to resemble ‘classy’.

 

“You don’t strike me as classy.” Asui pointed out, “You strike me as silly, but in an endearing way.” She nodded to herself, because it made sense to her, but Mineta just looked offended. “Huh?! I’m...well...okay, maybe I’m a little silly, but I do have a classy side.”

 

“I always thought it was classy girls that liked classy guys.” Asui pondered, but all she could think about saying that much was Yaoyorozu and Todoroki.

 

“Do you like classy girls or silly girls? Or, I dunno, like...serious girls. Like Iida.” He put a hand out straight to imitate Iida’s quirky hand gestures. Asui sat back, shuffling off her shoes and laughing at how Iida fell under the category of a ‘serious girl’.

 

“I like silly people, because they can lighten a mood well and it’s less awkward, but I like people who can be serious at the right time. Maybe a mix of both...I’m not sure.”

 

Asui was totally unknowing to the emotional turmoil that was brewing inside the boy sat next to her, because he was a silly guy and liked to play class clown a lot with Kaminari, so did Asui like that? It made his heart both race and ache.

 

“Maybe it’s because I’m kind of silly too.” She beamed and for a moment, Mineta realised he’d never considered her ‘silly.’

 

“I dunno, I think that might just be your appearance. In class you seem more like the sensible one but...well, I guess now that we’ve hung out a bunch of times, you do have a silly side! It’s super cute!” He said, thinking back to being in the bookshop with her.

 

Asui flushed, putting a hand to her cheek. “Well...I think my hero name was meant to reflect a kind of sweet silliness. When I was a kid, I thought to myself, if I was in trouble and was being rescued by a hero, what, about that hero, would make me feel more at ease? I figured kids would feel safer around heroes that are a little silly.”

 

“That’s...actually kinda sweet.” He remarked, quietly. “I never thought about it before, but you do seem like a kind of ‘kid person’.”

 

“Well I raised my little siblings whilst my parents were away, so I’ve seen it all.” She explained, “It was hard, but it made me feel good.”

 

“How many siblings do you have?”

 

Asui outstretched two fingers, “Two- I have a little brother and a little sister. Samidare is ten and Satsuki is six.” She said, her cheeks pink with pride. “What about you?”

 

“Eh, I’m an only child. Never had siblings.” He scratched the back of her head. “Kind of a lonely childhood if you ask me.” He admitted, and Asui pursed her lips in an expression that appeared sympathetic.

 

“Sounds sad.” She murmured. “I don’t know what I’d do without my siblings. I think, if they weren’t around, I might’ve had more time to make friends but...I prefer looking after them than that.”

 

“Guess they’re pretty lucky to have you as a sister.” He replied, staring off into space, thinking about something else entirely. Asui agreed quietly, noticing this.

 

 

“Are you okay?”

 

“Yeah, I’m fine.” Mineta shrugged, giving Asui the best smile he could muster, which was still small. Asui fiddled with the hem of her skirt, wondering what the best course of action could be.

 

“We could watch the Mt. Lady interview again, if you want…?” She said, giving him a poke, and Mineta felt a tug at his heartstrings because she had said ‘we’ and not ‘you’.

 

“Totally.” He grinned, leaning over to grab the remote from the nightstand attached to his bed.

 

“Alright, but if I see any suspicious movements from under the blanket, I’m locking you out on the balcony.” She warned, giving him a wide-eyed stare and Mineta snorted. “Damn, Tsu, you know me too well! A blankets not gonna stop me, though.”

 

He flicked on the television and scanned through his previous recordings of other interviews of female superheroes and that one fight where Midnight’s costume ripped. That one was Mineta’s personal favourite.

 

“What do you think of her?” Mineta asked, clicking the recording on. The room was filled with the dull noises of reporters and camera flashes as Mt. Lady waved to her audience.

 

“She seems a bit superficial to me. She looks nice though.” She offered, never finding much of an interest in the gigantic heroine. Mineta looked downright appalled by this answer, as he clenched his fists with passion.

 

“Are you kidding? She’s super hot! I bet she could destroy my house by sitting on it!”

 

“You’d really like that, wouldn’t you?” Asui teased, and Mineta groaned. “Tsu, that is how I’m going to die. If I’m, like, put into a coma or something and they have to pull the plug, tell them to put them back in my house and have Mt. Lady sit on me, okay?”

 

Asui agreed to do so with a laugh.

 

“She’s definitely up there with my Top Three Hottest Heroines.” He announces, holding out three fingers. “She ranks third right now.”

 

“Let me guess...is Midnight first?”

 

“Nope- she’s second!” He said, putting down two fingers to indicate two correct answers. “She used to be, though. Like, when I first saw her back in middle school I almost died! Little Mineta couldn’t take it!”

 

Mineta cheeks were now bright red and Asui playfully flicked him. “You’re way too silly. So...who is first?”

 

Mineta was almost about to tell her, but his smile died just a tiny bit when he realised he couldn’t really tell her that the number one hottest heroine in his eyes was sat right in front of him. Usually he’d jump at the opportunity to turn this into a smooth pickup-line but…

 

He chewed his lip.

 

“That’s a secret.”

 

Asui’s eyes widened fractionally, now intrigued considering Mineta wasn’t exactly the secretive type. In her mind, it was probably Yaoyorozu, seeing as Mineta really, really liked Yaoyorozu and her skimpy costume. She couldn’t blame him, because Yaoyorozu was truly stunning to look at and had one of the most incredible quirks she’d ever seen. Of course, that was coming from someone who didn’t think lewd thoughts of her.

 

Instead, she settled for asking, “Will you tell me one day?”

 

Mineta smiled, passively. “Probably.”

 

Because in the end, he knew he wouldn’t be able to stop himself.

 


 

They’d spent the afternoon in Mineta’s room, watching TV and sharing sweets, stopping only to review their next patrol so they’d actually have something to write about on the report. It was only until they were about to start the report, did Mineta unveil the bottle he’d hidden under his bed.

 

“Is now a good time…?” Asui questioned. “Now’s as good a time as any.” Mineta shrugged, plucking a ball from his head and squishing it onto the cork on the top. With much straining and tugging, he finally managed to pull the cork off.

 

“I just realised I don’t have any glasses. Do you mind sharing?” He said, holding the open bottle out to her. Asui hadn’t really been in a situation like this, and shrugged. “I’ve put my tongue in worse places. So long as you don’t have a cold, or anything.” She said, watching him take a swig.

 

“My dad always rants about how wine tastes better if you do this or that with it- it’s so annoying.” He grunted, passing the bottle over to Asui, who held it under her nose. It...didn’t smell as bad as she remembered.

 

Mineta snickered, watching Asui take an experimental sip. “And when you say you put your tongue in worse places…” He trailed, taking the bottle back. Asui smacked her lips- it certainly didn’t taste as bad as she remembered either.

 

“Sounds like you’re insinuating something.” She suggested, though she knew full well what he could be suggesting. Mineta bit his lip, “Am I allowed to say what’s on my mind?”

 

“Depends what it is, but I can probably guess.” She deadpanned. Mineta eyed her, taking another sip. “I’ll ask you again when you’ve had a bit more to drink.” He muttered, with a grin and Asui snatched the bottle from his hand with an astounding amount of confidence.

 

“I’ll still remember.” She told him and watching her take a larger drink filled Mineta’s eyes with sparkles because damn this girl was amazing. He’d never seen such a cool, confident looking side to Asui, even though his definition of cool might’ve been a little superficial. Asui didn’t strike him as the drinking type or the partying type but if she had a side like that to her, he certainly wouldn’t say no.

 

Meanwhile, Asui silently regretted drinking that much in one go- in fact, she had no idea why she did that other than to leave Mineta wide-eyed and open-mouthed and, though she’d never admit this to anyone else, she reveled in that. Over the past three days, Mineta had paid attention to her in a way nobody really had before and it made her feel...different.

 

Different in the way she wasn’t just Asui from Class 1-A, who always spoke her mind, who remained the cute ‘straight-man’ in amongst the class’s ridiculous antics, who always did her best and who would one day become a memorable hero.

 

Around Mineta, she was someone different. She wasn’t Asui- she wasn’t even Tsuyu, but to Mineta, she was just Tsu. Someone who would quietly laugh along to his ridiculously perverse sense of humour, someone who would laugh over corny erotic stories with him and someone who would no longer feel embarrassed to let him look through her washing...not that he’d be doing that on a regular basis or anything. She felt a might more laid-back than she would in class.

 

Somehow, over such a small period of time, Asui had developed a new kind of bond and revealed a side to her personality that even she forgot about sometimes. Maybe that was because she did her best to act normal, or more accurately, socially acceptable, but spending time with someone who brought out the different sides to her was a breath of fresh air. She could act as silly, stupid and inappropriate as she wanted without being viewed as weird or vulgar.

 

Realising this, she wondered maybe, just maybe, she could let herself go. Maybe for tonight, or maybe for the next two weeks, but this was a chance to not just speak her mind, because to her, there was a difference between saying what was on your mind and saying the first thing that came into your head.

 

She grinned, for a reason Mineta didn’t know, as she took another swig as a kind of victorious reward for her little epiphany.

 

“You’re so easy to read.” She pointed out, handing the bottle back, “I bet you were gonna ask something like, um… ’do you eat yourself out with that tongue?’

 

“You...you’re a woman after my own heart.” He put a hand to his heart and Asui brought her legs up onto the bed to cross them. “I just know you and your pervy brain well enough.” She chuckled, picking out another piece of mochi.

 

“Yeah, but, like, if you do do that, then you really would be!”

 

“I’ve already admitted way too much about that to tell you. We’ll have to reach the next level of friendship before I’ll tell you anything like that. ” She said, picking out another mochi and positioning the mochi so she had one in each cheeks, before tapping Mineta’s shoulder. “Look, look.”

 

Mineta snorted, upon seeing her bulging cheeks. “W-What the hell, Tsu, that’s too cute!”

 

Asui felt a blush coming on, as she realised that she now had to eat both pieces at once. She groaned quietly, chewing the mochi as quickly as she could and swallowing thickly with a grimace.

 

Watching Mineta copy her actions brought a smile to her face, however. She reached out and gently pinched his cheeks. “I didn’t realise your cheeks were so chubby.” She croaked, delighted by the softness of the skin. Mineta flushed, “Uh, yeah, I was a pretty fat baby to be honest.”

 

“I know what you mean.” Asui agreed, “I was pretty chubby up until I was about five. Big cheeks.” She said, puffing her cheeks out and poking them with a finger.

 

“Y’know, I think you’d still look adorable if you were like, super chubby.” He said, also puffing his cheeks out for emphasis. Asui groaned, hanging her head, “Don’t say that...I like chubby girls just as much as the next person but if I got too weighty I’d look like my dad.”

 

Mineta spat out the mochi in his mouth in a roar of laughter.

 

“Oh man, yeah, my biggest kink is girls who look like their dad.” He sniggered, wiping the drool from his chin with the back of his hand as Asui gave him a playful nudge. “What’s yours?”

 

Asui croaked, slipping the bottle out of Mineta’s grasp once more, “Uh, I dunno, guys with sticky balls on their head is like an immediate turn-on.” She teased, “Girls love sticky balls.” She spoke in between giggles, trying to keep the sentence together before dissolving into a fit of croaky laughter.

 

Mineta, too, laughed with her, yet felt an underlying feeling of excitement because even though she was joking about his ridiculous quirk, she’d still kind of alluded to him turning her on and that much was all he needed to give him an incredibly unwanted boner. Then again, it wasn’t exactly difficult to do so.

 

He merely shuffled back under his duvet to hide as he Asui passed him the now half-empty bottle. It wasn’t a massive amount of alcohol but he was beginning to feel a bit of a nice buzz. That was probably because he was a bit of a lightweight, though he liked to blame that on his size, or lack thereof.

 

“Are you cold?” Asui smiled, finding the way he was bundled up with only his face peeking out to be kind of adorable. Mineta flushed, “Uh, yeah...kinda. Totally not hiding a huge hard-on.”

 

Asui stared at him blankly, bottle half to her lips and Mineta gave her a wry smile, internally cursing his lack of a filter. Probably shouldn’t have said that in hindsight.

 

But, to his surprise, Asui began to burst out in laughter, covering her mouth with her hand but doing very little to muffle her mirth. The sudden jolt caused her to spill some of the wine on her shirt which only seemed to fuel her amusement and Mineta’s too.

 

“Do...do you ever think about what you say before you say it?” She croaked, rubbing the dark stain on her shirt. Mineta grinned, “Not really. Probably should, shouldn’t I?”

 

“Eheh, I don’t mind so much.” She said, pulling her shirt out to inspect the stain. “Huh, I just washed this, too.”

 

Mineta quirked a brow, “Guess it wouldn’t matter too much if I dumped the rest of this on you, then.” He gave a sly smile and Asui crossed her arms. “Well, it might. Are you expecting me to take my shirt off…?”

 

“Well even if you kept it on, a girl wearing a wet shirt is still pretty hot.” He said, lifting the bottle in a manner that suggested he was going to win either way and he knew it. Asui’s expression twisted, like she was trying to conceal a smile at his suggestive behaviour.

 

“Yeah...I’ve made that mistake before.”

 

Mineta suddenly looked interested, mid-drink. “Oh?”

 

Asui sat back on her hands, crossing her legs. “Yeah...you’d probably like this story, but when I think back on it, it was kinda embarrassing.”

 

“Well, now you have to tell me.” He insisted, rather seriously and Asui cleared her throat to tell the story.

 

“Basically we had a fair at school and we didn’t have to wear our school uniforms, so I picked out this really thin long-sleeved shirt to wear, but when I started walking to school, it started raining.”

 

Mineta spat out his drink, almost catching it in his hand. “H-Hoh, shit. That’s…”

 

“Yeah, and this was like...it wasn’t long ago, but... you could kinda guess what happened.” She trailed, tugging at her sleeves.

 

Mineta wore a very indescribable expression as he cleared his throat and wiped his lips. “One one hand,” He began, “I only fucking wish I could’ve been there, but on the other hand, that actually does sound super embarrassing.”

 

“Yeah it was at the time.” She responded, plainly, tapping her chin, “And even though it was embarrassing, it’s kind of funny to think back on it. Wouldn’t it count as like...exhibitionism or something?” She gave Mineta an angelic grin to tease his perverse side and Mineta choked on nothing. She bit back laughter, finding immense joy

 

“Tsu, what the hell? Where’s the real you- what did you do with her?”

 

“I really don’t say that stuff often, huh,” She admitted with a croak, “but it doesn’t mean I don’t think about it. I mean, it still is really embarrassing to think about what happened. Makes you want to curl up and wish the world away, huh? Ribbit.”

 

Mineta gave a low laugh, “Yeah, okay, I’ll tell you a story then. So I was dicking around in class with a few other guys and I was stood on the teacher’s desk. I don’t really remember what I was talking about, but this one guy snuck up to me and pulled my pants down.”

 

Asui covered her mouth with her hand.

 

“Yeah so, everything was out- and in a class full of girls too! I kinda fell down on the desk to cover myself and pull my pants back up and everyone laughed at me.” He told her, flushing slightly at the memory. “I remember the teacher came back in and, like, leant on the desk and everyone laughed ‘cuz that was the spot I sat bare-assed on.”

 

Asui really did her best not to laugh. “T-That sounds...kinda mean. I know I shouldn’t laugh, but…”

 

“Nah, it’s fine, it was funny but damn, when I got home I just wanted to die, I was that embarrassed.” He gave a nervous laugh, scratching his cheek. “But your story is way hotter.”

 

“I dunno, your story sounds pretty sexy.” She teased, poking his forehead. Mineta stuck his tongue out, “Yeah, ‘cuz I’m definitely the sexiest guy in UA.” He took another swig, “Still...it’s super weird hearing you say stuff like that. You’re totally different from how you are in class.”

 

Asui pondered this for a while, because he was right. She didn’t act like this around anybody else. She’d noticed that, but she still didn’t know what made him so different.

 

“I suppose I don’t talk about pervy things around the other girls. I mean, don’t get me wrong, we talk about a lot of things you wouldn’t expect and we can be just as gross too but...I’m not sure, I feel like it’s a bit different with you.”

 

“I like it.”

 

Asui glanced up at Mineta, whose face was expressionless, yet distant. His short statement made the room feel small and silent.

 

“I mean...I’ve always liked you, you’re one of the coolest heroes in our class, but it’s cool to see this kind of side to you.” He offered the bottle back out to her, “You can finish it if you want.”

 

“Thanks. Well, it’s not like I have lots of close relationships with boys but at the same time, I’ve never really gotten to this point with any of the girls either. I’m just...friends with everyone. I’m friends with everyone but I don’t have a specific best friend, if that makes sense.”

 

Mineta nodded, unfurling his duvet and leaning back. “Kind of like the phrase ‘Jack of all trades, master of none.’ I guess I know how you feel. I’m pretty good friends with Kaminari but we’re not that close. I guess I’ve never really had a best friend, if that’s what you’d call it.”

 

Asui hummed, “I didn’t have much time in middle school to make friends, but I did have one girl who I’d call my best friend- her name was Habuko. She didn’t have many other friends, either.”

 

“I had way too much free time on my hands in middle school, but it wasn’t like I spent it with anyone else. I’d joke around with guys in my class and tease some of the girls but...I don’t think I’d care if they left one day.”

 

He slowly looked up at Asui.

 

“Is...is that mean?”

 

Asui shook her head almost immediately. “I don’t think so, but I also don’t think you should devalue your friendships with people either.”

 

“I decided, when I entered UA, that I’d try and make proper friends this time around. Not, like, class friends. Actual friends to hang out with outside of class.”

 

He shuffled back to sit against the wall. “And even though I’m not really all that close to anybody else, the whole class is like one big friend group. I kinda like that.”

 

Asui joined him against the wall, cheeks dusted with a dark red to indicate her mild inebriation. “Me too. Everybody’s friends and nobody is left out. I really like that, ribbit.” She let out a quiet burp, setting the bottle down on the bed.

 

“I think everybody sees you as the epicentre of the group, though. Like, you and Midoriya are the friendliest people in class, maybe Uraraka too, but...I dunno, you seem like the foundation of this big cluster of friends.” Mineta outstretched his hands to gesture a kind of ball-shape.

 

“But Midoriya has his close friends too- he’s pretty close with Uraraka and Iida. I always see those three together. I just drift from group to group.”

 

“Yeah, and Kaminari always hangs out with Kirishima, Bakugou and Jirou. And then, like, Kouda, Satou, Shouji and Tokoyami always group together in class too.” Mineta pointed out. “I just fit myself in where I can, but since we sit together, it’s usually with those guys.”

 

“Guess we’re not so different, huh.”

 

“Guess not.”

 

The pair remained silent for a while, because there wasn’t anything that really needed to be said. Asui couldn’t imagine doing something like this with any of the other girls, or any of the other boys for that matter, and she wondered how such a feeling of comfort stemmed from such a short amount of time.

 

She supposed that was what it was like to ‘click’. Maybe it was a risky thing, to suddenly become close with someone over a day, but it was new, it was exciting and it made her feel more than just comfortable. It was nice to suddenly just jump over every single boundary possible without having to spend time getting to know a person.

 

“We’re close friends, aren’t we? I mean...you said it yourself.”

 

Asui turned her head to gaze down at Mineta’s slightly forlorn expression. “When you offered that...I thought that once the two weeks were over, we’d go back to just being friendly classmates. Like it was a temporary bond or something.”

 

He tilted his head, so they were both looking each other in the eye.

 

“Is that what’s going to happen?”

 

Asui’s mouth hung open slightly.

 

He looked down at his lap. “It sounds a bit dumb. At first I don’t think I would’ve minded- like how I said I wouldn’t really care if people left, but now that we’re here...I like it. I like having you around.” He admitted, though didn’t feel satisfied by the admission.

 

But he wasn’t really speaking his mind, was he? He chewed his lip and suddenly realised that, during the whole period Asui was here, he hadn’t thought back to yesterday all day. That morning, the hug from last night was all he could think about…

 

If he opened his mouth right now and said the right words- the words he wanted- then everything would change. It would fall to bits but maybe that’s what he wanted. He just had to say it.

 

Say it.

 

He swallowed.

 

I like you.

 

Though he didn’t say anything, he flinched, feeling something warm wrapping around his hand and between his fingers. He looked over, seeing a set of pale fingers intertwined with his and his mouth fell.

 

“I don’t want things to go back to how they were before either.” She murmured. “I like having you around too. I can act however I want and say whatever I want and you’d never look at me weirdly because...you’re like that too.”

 

He gave a weak thumbs-up, “I’m even worse than you.”

 

Asui gave an equally weak laugh. “Yeah, I guess so.” She remarked, looking down at their hands. She’d grabbed his hand on a whim, because it felt right, but why?

 

“So...does this mean we’ll keep being like this after the assignment ends?”

 

“Of course we will.”

 

They shared a smile, despite not being aware of the sadness lingering within both of their minds. Mineta’s grip on Asui’s hand tightened and so did Asui’s grip on his heart.

Chapter Text

Mineta woke up upside-down in his bed the next morning, Asui nowhere to be found. He grunted, sitting upright and rubbing his eyes as he felt around for his phone. The screen was too blinding for this early in the afternoon.

 

Whilst he was waiting for his eyes to adjust, he recalled the events of last night.

 

Not much else had happened, they continued to watch whatever Mineta had recorded late into the night until Asui bid him goodnight, leaving him the rest of the coffee-flavoured mochi and trudging back off to her room. He must’ve passed out not long after that.

 

It had definitely been a good night, though. He’d gotten to hold her hand which, just thinking about it, left him a bit of a mess, and Asui had continued to grip his hand until she left to return to her room. That being said, he wondered if Asui made it back okay.

 

He opened up his social messenger and typed out a text, asking if she was alright after last night. He strained to reach the half empty box of mochi Asui left to him, shoving one in his mouth. He wasn’t hungover or anything, but he was definitely starving.

 

Though there was an idea.

 

‘Do u fancy goin out to eat today?’

 

He rolled over and lay back down, staring up at the ceiling, waiting for his phone to buzz. He reached for another piece of mochi, unlocking his phone once more.

 

‘Like lunch?  0~0’

 

He wondered if that was meant to be a little froggy face- if so, how adorable.

 

‘Lunch, dinner, whatever u want’

 

It was only after he sent the message did he realise going out for lunch and going out for dinner had wildly different meanings- taking Asui out for lunch could just be seen as a friendly outing whilst going out for dinner could be misconstrued as a date.

 

Well, he wouldn’t complain about going on a date with Asui.

 

‘I like the sound of that. 8)~~’

 

Mineta grinned- that was really, really cute.

 

‘yeah im starving so i could def go for some food.’

 

‘me too. I realised too that we forgot to do the report for yesterday. We didn’t really have much to report about did we?’

 

Mineta frowned- that was true, they had forgotten about the report entirely and they hadn’t done anything productive either, aside from finishing two boxes of sweets and a bottle of wine.

 

‘Eh i’ll just blag it. Say we did some training or something.’

 

He rolled out of bed and sifted through his room for some cleaner clothes, switching on the TV to act as mindless background noise as he got ready. He finished off the rest of the mochi and threw the packaging in the bin, but kept the empty bottle, as he shoved whatever he needed for today into his bag.

 

‘I hope we can pull it off. we’ll make up for it today- meet you by the gate?’

 

He grinned.

 

‘race you there’

 

He left his bedroom, locking the door behind him as he fondled his jacket pocket for his phone and wallet.

 

‘okay!! (`・ω・)9’

 

He snorted, picturing Asui clenching her fists with determination, and for a moment he felt like he was going to melt into a puddle. He set off down the corridor towards the stairs, almost tripping down the whole flight, before he reached the ground floor. He passed by Kaminari and Sero, who were playing a video game on a console hooked up to the TV. Kaminari opened his mouth to greet Mineta but trailed off as Mineta bolted past, leaving him no time to do so.

 

He almost dropped his phone opening the door and sprinting outside, only to sigh dramatically as Asui stood in front of the gate, suspiciously red-faced. Damn, she was quick.

 

“You’re fast. ” He exhaled heavily, “What, did you jump out of the window or something?”

 

Asui smiled cheekily, but looked extremely guilty to this accusation as she scratched her cheek. “Where did you want to go to eat?” She asked, deflecting the question.

 

Mineta paused, now looking rather worried. “I didn’t really think that far ahead.” He admitted, looking up at the froggy girl, “You know any good places?” He hadn’t actually expected her to accept his offer. He’d asked tons of girls out on dates and he’d always been rejected, though technically this wasn’t a date...

 

Asui tapped her chin, “Y’know, I think I might. It’s a small place my parents used to take me when they came back home from work.” She turned towards the gate, her cheeks forming creases under her eyes, “We could go there if you’re up for it?”

 

“Definitely!”

 


 

The walk to the restaurant was quiet, yet comfortable. Mineta almost stepped out into the road several times, too distracted by what Asui was wearing.

 

Her clothes seemed to have a running theme, mostly frog-themed and mostly green. Today, she’d opted to wear a white long-sleeved shirt with a dark green dungaree dress and white tights. Mineta wasn’t totally clueless when it came to fashion, he actually had quite the eye for clothes, but what Asui was wearing today was undoubtedly adorable.

 

The restaurant Asui had brought them to was almost exactly what he would’ve imagined too. It was a small, dark-looking building down a narrow street off one of the main roads. A few large potted plants stood outside around the entrance.

 

Asui slid the doors openly quietly, peeking in it see if it was open. Upon spying a few other people sat at the tables, she opened the door wider to let Mineta through too. Mineta gazed around at the odd decor- strangely traditional but very cozy. Very ‘Asui’ in his opinion.

 

“Oh, yeah, I was thinking- about the report for yesterday. Since we watched a bunch of hero interviews, we can just say we did like...research on how other heroes conducted their rescues or whatever.” Mineta waved a hand dismissively and Asui looked thoughtful. “I suppose we could use that as an excuse. Let’s just...leave out the fact they were all about Mt. Lady and Midnight, yeah?”

 

Mineta chuckled sheepishly. “Couldn’t help myself. If it were me I’d totally do research on the costumes of female heroes.” He gave a kind of lecherous grin and Asui rolled her eyes. “That does sound like something you’d do. So long as we have something to write about for yesterday…”

 

Mineta coughed, feeling a bit awkward as he agreed quietly. He glanced down at the menu, whilst Asui seemed incredibly invested in her. Guess he’d just order something small.

 

His eyes drifted back up to Asui. He hadn’t noticed it before, but she often stuck her tongue out when she was deep in thought or focusing hard on something. He wondered if she was aware of this habit.

 

“You look really nice today…”

 

Asui’s eyes slowly shifted from the menu to his, and Mineta’s mouth fell open because, though he meant to mouth those words to himself, it’d obviously been loud enough for her to hear. He could feel his face heat up and his ears went red.

 

Asui’s tongue lolled further from her mouth as her cheeks were tinged pink. She watched Mineta try and play off like he was humming a tune, staring intensely out of the small window with the most nervous expression on his face that she had ever seen.

 

She propped up the menu so it would conceal the lower half of her face- specifically, her large, beaming smile that just wouldn’t shake no matter how hard she wished.

 

“...thank you.” She mumbled, hoping he would hear it.

 

Mineta flinched, trying his best to cover his mouth with his hand whilst looking natural about it. He didn’t dare let his gaze stray from the window, even when he was giving his order to the waiter.

 

Whilst they were waiting for their food, Asui found herself in the same boat as Mineta. He’d just come out and said she looked nice, there was no prompting that, there was no lead up to it, he just...said it.

 

And he’d said it so quietly too. She’d been complimented on the street before and it hadn’t phased her too much since she wasn’t really self-conscious, but...there was just something about the way he said it, like he was embarrassed to say so, or like he didn’t want her to hear him.

 

It wasn’t his usual style and that might’ve been what was so pleasantly surprising.

 

Unfortunately this thought gave way to a whole slew of other thoughts, such as the woman whose bag they had retrieved and the trip to the bookstore. She’d been so upset that night and what infuriated her is that she still couldn’t get to the bottom of it. Usually she was so good at figuring herself out. She said everything how it was and that way, it was easier to understand, so when she was unable to really dig deep into why she’d burst into tears the moment she entered her room that day, she felt out of control.

 

She kept her eyes trained on him- fidgeting nervously and pretending to act cool. He wasn’t cool in the slightest, but she liked that.

 

In fact, she’d grown to like a lot about him the past few days. She actually found his perverse sense of humour to be entertaining and appreciated how dedicated and well-meaning he was to finding her a girlfriend. If anything, it seemed like he was pretty serious about keeping to her demands and that meant a lot to her.

 

She enjoyed their little conversations too, even if it was just him nattering on about Mt. Lady or Midnight. She just liked to listen to how happy he sounded and then--

 

She’d hugged him.

 

Even she didn’t know why she did that, the same way she didn’t know why she almost chugged a bottle of wine to grab his attention. Sure, she was upset at that moment and he’d been shockingly reassuring and helpful. She’d just reached out to him on a whim, but then he’d responded so nicely. She’d half-expected him to grab at her or pop a boner but it felt like he’d just melted into her embrace and it was a totally different experience.

 

And if the hug wasn’t enough, she’d grabbed his hand too. Again, it was a totally impulsive move, but the way his forehead had creased with concern left her feeling like she had no other choice. It was comforting and since he’d comforted her before, that meant it was her turn.

 

She inspected his face, resting her chin on her hand so her face was just about visible from behind the menu. His quirk sure was strange, oddly specific and just a constant innuendo- a bit like him, when she thought about it. He didn’t look like any of the other guys in her class either. Incredibly small- to the point she wondered if there was a condition behind that- very thin and with large eyes that mirrored her own. It actually made him look quite cute.

 

She watched him chew his lip habitually. It was a strange sensation, noticing the little things other people did. Sometimes it was things like biting your fingernails, playing with your hair or whistling, habits that seemed totally mundane that made them seem even more human than she’d ever realised.

 

It was only when Mineta caught her staring in his peripheral vision, did she finally lock eyes with him and for a moment she almost regretted it, having come to a monumental realisation.

 

I like you.

 


 

Once their food came, they gradually began to sink into conversation once more. Asui recalled her fond memories of the restaurant along with a few other memories of her home life- in turn, Mineta divulged the same, with a few embarrassing tidbits thrown in to make her giggle. The topic then lingered on school for a while, before veering off into what they were going to do later today.

 

“Well…” Asui munched on her rice, “I don’t think we can get away with watching interviews all day. What can we do that’s really...substantial?”

 

“We could train.” Mineta replied, racking his brain for ideas, “Maybe we could book a training room and spar or something, I dunno…”

 

Asui set down her chopsticks. “That might not be such a bad idea. We could go and see if there are any rooms available and if not…”

 

Mineta set his fists down firmly on the table with a grin, “Then we spar in my room!”

 

“Ribbit! I hope you like your things being broken.” She gave him the most angelic smile she could muster and Mineta felt himself sink. He’d let her break every material possession he owned if it meant she’d keep smiling like that.

 

“So did you get back okay? Like, were you okay when you woke up?” He asked, changing the topic quickly and Asui took a sip of her drink. “To be honest, I think I almost fell up the stairs.” She said, flushing slightly, “I felt a bit tired this morning but it wasn’t anything bad. Why, were you okay?”

 

“Nah, that much isn’t enough to give me a hangover. Did you like it though? I mean, I don’t think I had enough booze to get us both buzzed properly but…” He trailed off with a light laugh and Asui tucked a lock of hair behind her ear in such a cute manner he almost choked.

 

“It actually tasted nice. I think it’s beer I don’t like- my dad drinks it at home and I’ve never liked it.” She put a finger to her chin, “My brother likes to steal some as a joke but he always pulls the funniest face when he actually drinks it.”

 

“My dad always liked to give me wine as a li’l kid cause apparently I made this really funny face but then, jokes on him, I ended up getting used to it.”

 

“It’s strange, I’d never have pinned you for the wine type. It seems too classy for you. Too refined.” She commented unabashedly and Mineta snorted. “Huh?! I can be classy too!” He argued, with a sly smile.

 

“How about, since we have next Monday off, we do what we need to do and then in the evening I’ll take you out. We can get some drinks, yeah?” He said, winking for extra emphasis and Asui muffled a laugh in her hand because, god, he could never be cool. He just came off as...kind of an endearing dork.

 

“It’s risky...I don’t want to have to sneak out in the middle of the night and get yelled at by Mr Aizawa.” She pointed out, “Besides that, I’m not really a ‘go-out-and-party-person’. I’m...more of a stay at home and drink person.”

 

“We can do that if you want.” He shrugged, “Makes no difference to me. Probably cheaper too.” He joked, shovelling some rice into his mouth, but Asui still looked concerned. He raised an eyebrow, indicating his confusion.

 

“Aren’t we...way too young for this? I mean, your parents gave you that bottle, but if we were to go out and buy it ourselves, we probably wouldn’t get served.” Asui shrugged, wondering why she hadn’t thought of that at the very beginning, but Mineta didn’t look worried.

 

“There’s a shop around here owned by one of my dad’s friends- he’ll sell it to me. I mean, he’s not gonna sell me any of the really hard shit, but he’ll give me enough. He’s cool.” He told her, finishing the rest of his rice.

 

“Is that really okay? I mean, I feel like a bit of a hypocrite since...we’re on the side of justice and breaking the law. If we get caught then we’re kind of screwed.” She reasoned, but didn’t want to outright refuse the offer. The excitement stemming from something she didn’t do often clouded her better judgement.

 

“Yeah, but it’s not like a big law. The whole reason he’ll serve me is cause, like, he knows I’m not gonna fuck myself up- I’m not stupid.” He spoke around his mouthful of rice, “Plus, if I buy anything from him, he tells my dad too. My dad doesn’t care but if he gets a phone call from someone telling him I’m getting my stomach pumped or something he’s gonna come over and beat my ass.”

 

“As any loving parent would do.” Asui snickered. “I’m not looking to get dangerously drunk or anything, you know. I suppose I want to experience it for myself. Maybe that sounds a little silly…”

 

“Nah, it doesn’t. Being stupid drunk is like...it’s an experience, but it’s not a thing you actively wanna do. Unless the whole period of being drunk cancels out the hangover the next morning, but it almost never does.” He grinned.

 

Asui tilted her head, pausing for a moment. “Why are you the last person I’d ever expect to have experience with drinking.”

 

“What, am I that uncool to you?!” He faked over-exaggerated shock, before shrugging. “I think I got used to it. It’s not something I really brag about, but it’s still pretty cool, right?” He leant over the table, giving Asui a kind of finger-guns gesture, before sitting back up. “Still...I’m surprised you were up for it. I didn’t really expect you to consider it, y’know.”

 

“I generally have other things to do, but sometimes I want to be impulsive. It’s...a little embarrassing actually.” She twirled a long lock of hair around her finger, “I suppose I grew up with the idea that teenagers just do what they want and have fun doing it. It’s not something I really do, but sometimes I just want to do something impulsive and maybe a little stupid- like going out in the middle of the night and go swimming in a river or something.”

 

“We could go skinny-dipping.” Mineta grinned, wolfishly, and Asui gave him a playful smack.

 

“But...you understand what I mean, right?”

 

“Yeah, I get you.” Mineta shifted in his seat so he was leaning back against the backrest. “You wanna do something crazy every now and then, even if it’s not something you usually do, just so it’s like...an experience. So you can look back on that and be like that was a thing that happened.”

 

Asui nodded. “Like...you know when you’re doing something and you suddenly get this hyper-realistic feeling and somehow you just know you’re going to remember that one moment for the rest of your life…?”

 

Mineta swallowed, as his go-to thought for a memory like that was being hugged by her. “Yeah.” He spoke quietly, “I know exactly what you mean. We could do something like that if you want…?”

 

Asui fidgeted in her seat, feeling a bit silly for suggesting it. “I don’t mind. I’m happy with whatever we do.” Spending time with him was enough for her, she had come to realise. “What would you do…?”

 

“Uh, if I wanted to do something really impulsive or stupid. Either sneak into some of the girls rooms and have a look around…” His eyes lidded as a red tint appeared on his cheeks- Asui sighed, giving him a meaningful look as he continued, “...or I’d find out where Mt. Lady lives and make a mad, naked dash over there.” He laughed.

 

“I don’t think she’d be too impressed by ‘Little Mineta’.” Asui pointed out, flatly, “You might get too excited and embarrass yourself.”

 

Mineta gave a kind of choked laugh, like he was trying to conceal his mirth. “Guess I’ll have to go with Plan A then- gonna have a look at the girls rooms.” He winked and Asui leant over to deliver a firm, flat-handed chop to the top of his head.

 

“You can sneak into my room if you really want to, but stay out of the other girls’.” She warned and Mineta bowed as way of an apology, smacking his head on the table as he did so. He raised his head slightly, inspecting Asui’s features.

 

“So...I can come into your room, right?” He sat up, “What level of friendship are we on that?”

 

Asui watched him suspiciously. “What do you mean?”

 

“I mean, like...do I have to knock on your door or can I just come in in my underwear and start yelling about how Age of Ultron was a shit movie?” His voice was comically plain and Asui had to seriously register his sentence for a second.

 

“You can come in and yell, it’s fine- but only if I can come into your bedroom at night and start explaining the ten biggest risks with keeping frogs in a domestic setting.” She replied, just as seriously. Mineta cracked.

 

“You can come into my room whenever you like. I mean, so long as you don’t mind coming across a magazine or two every now and then.” He laughed, wearily and Asui added, “...or a used tissue.”

 

“Yeah. Feel free to tidy up my room if you come in, by the way.” He joked and Asui rolled her eyes, smiling at the thought. This level of comfort seemed strangely intimate, but she wasn’t complaining in the slightest.

 

Deep down, she still wasn’t sure what to make of the fact she liked him. That might’ve been because it hadn’t really sunken in yet, but it was still rather surreal. They’d always been on good terms but she didn’t imagine she’d end up liking the class pervert.

 

Still, he’d really toned it down massively since they’d been working together and she was happy. Behind the perverse exterior was...something different. It was still Mineta, but it was more of a normal side to him. He seemed to be full of all kinds of surprises. It was a little humorous that he was actually into wine but she wouldn’t have guessed that by looking at it. Maybe before this, she would’ve interpreted that as him trying to plan something dirty but…

 

“Tsu…?”

 

Asui gave a small croak, snapping out of her daydream. She must’ve not been listening to a word he’d been saying.

 

“R...ribbit?”

 

“You okay? You were zoning out a little there.” He gazed up at her, concern etched into his features, which soon disappeared when Asui gave him a reassuring smile.

 

“Yeah, I’m okay. Did you want to go find a training room?” Asui asked, digging around her purse for some money. Mineta outstretched a hand, reaching for her arm to stop her. “I-It’s cool...I can pay for it.”

 

Asui’s eyes widened in surprise as she chewed her lip. “Are you sure…? I don’t mind paying- or splitting it.” She offered, watching Mineta shake his head as he dug out his wallet from his jacket pocket. “Nah, it’s alright, I’ll take care of it.”

 

“Are you absolutely sure?”

 

Mineta paused, taking in her expression and smiling widely. She was really something else…

 

“Yeah…”

 


 

They’d spent the rest of the day training, totally unaware of their mutual feelings towards each other. Mineta was clearly no match for Asui, he knew that from the very beginning, but there was something thrilling about sparring with her. He also used that time to show off a few of his special moves.

 

“I think...I think that your quirk would be really powerful under certain circumstances.” Asui had pointed out, as they sat side-by-side, out of breath and slightly bruised. Mineta, sprawled on the floor, lifted his head slightly. “Huh…?”

 

“I think if you had really good aim and a really good throw, and I mean impeccable aim, then it would be incredibly easy for you to take someone out like a sniper. I mean, getting one of your balls stuck over your nose and mouth would suffocate you, wouldn’t it?”

 

Mineta nodded. “Yeah, it would.” He thought back to threatening that robber to do just that, though it was an empty threat to make himself seem tough. In hindsight, it hadn’t really worked. Guess he wouldn’t be risking that again.

 

“And seeing how you’re not as fast as some of us, your skills would work better in the shadows, especially since you’re so small and, technically, you could get anywhere you wanted.” Asui pressed her fingers together, glancing over at him, “Your quirk is specific and a bit difficult, I think, but it seems like something that would be invaluable if you found your calling.”

 

Mineta hadn’t had a massive amount of encouragement in UA. His sole motivation had been to just be cool, so once he became a cool hero that was all that had mattered, but Asui was really giving his quirk some thought.

 

Asui brought her knees up to her chest, resting her chin on her knees and wondering whether she should really say what was on her mind. She pulled a lock of hair in front of her face, glancing over at him shyly and feeling a bit stupid.

 

“I think our quirks would work really well together.” She told him and not just because she’d grown to like him, but just because they actually would. His quirk was incredibly useful for someone like her. That was all. No ulterior motives behind that whatsoever.

 

Oh, who was she kidding?

 

Mineta sat up, silently leaping for joy at the thought that Asui said they’d be good paired together. Did that mean she would want them to work together more often? He clenched his fists, feeling tears brimming at her words. Finally, a beautiful girl wanted to hang out with him!

 

Though he felt his heart sink because in the end, they couldn’t be more than friends.

 

He quickly wiped his eye before any tears could fall, turning his head away so Asui couldn’t see his expression. That meant the prospect of her ever accepting his feelings was impossible.

 

He was used to rejection yet somehow, even though Asui hadn’t actually rejected him, it still hurt more than he’d felt before. Whatever he was planning on telling her was out of the window now.

 

“Are you okay…?”

 

Mineta flinched suddenly, almost yelping, as he turned back to Asui. “Oh, uh, yeah. I’m just…” He stammered, attempting to come up with a believable lie, “Not many people tell me my quirk is useful so...guess I was surprised.”

 

Asui’s lips curled into a kind smile, as she patted his head. “I think it’s just a matter of finding where you excel. That’s why you’re here, right?”

 

Mineta swallowed, because that wasn’t even close to why he was here...but maybe it made more sense. After all, the people who worked to discover themselves and become the best heroes were cool, right?

 

He nodded, faking a smile. “Y-Yeah. Yeah, that’s what I’ve been trying to do.”

 

Asui sat back on her hands, removing her goggles. “I don’t know about anyone else, but I actually notice the little bits of improvement. You’re getting used to using your quirk in a battle scenario.” She said, poking one of the balls and feeling the strange squishy, sticky sensation of it under her fingertip.

 

“I think you just need to be a bit more confident.” She pointed out, “You’re always way too hesitant and prone to running away, even though you’re capable of thinking of a decent plan. I mean, that plan you came up with the other day. It was risky, but for a situation where we didn’t have time, it was really good.”

 

Mineta flushed slightly, feeling a stab of pride in his gut. “You think so…?”

 

Asui croaked cheerfully, “I know so. You’re a bit of a coward sometimes but it’s a learning curve, I guess.”

 

Mineta hung his head slightly with embarrassment, “Y-Yeah...it’s stupid, huh? I try and be a cool hero, but what cool hero cries and runs away?” He didn’t really like admitting to it, reasoning that lots of things were absolutely terrifying and sometimes he couldn’t help but just run away, but what kind of hero did that?”

 

“I think...I think I like that.” Asui murmured. An odd kind of silence drifted over the room in a thick veil, making it feel larger and much more empty than it actually was. Mineta shivered slightly, shuffling closer to Asui so he could hear her better- or that was his excuse anyway.

 

“I mean...not everyone can be fearless and brave,” She began, “It seems to me like heroes are the kind of people who are courageous and confident to believe in their abilities and stay cool in danger and under pressure. They pursue that line of work because they know they can do it.”

 

“Not to mention a lot of heroes have to keep a cool head in battle and when facing other stressful things like the media. They don’t have the time or the opportunity to just get mad or get sad because their job is almost 24/7. They can’t be too emotional because they’re the ones reassuring the public that everything is fine and you can’t really do that when you’re crying.”

 

Mineta slowly felt like curling himself into a ball. He knew Asui was brutally honest, but it felt like she was really targeting all of his weak points. Asui noticed him turn away slightly out of the corner of her eye.

 

“But…” She smiled, placing an oversized hand on his tiny shoulder and giving it a small shake, “You’re not like that and I like that, because you aren’t hiding anything. I might always say what’s on my mind, but you always show how you’re feeling. You’re not afraid to cry in front of people or run away, even if you feel like a coward. You have the mindset of...well, it might sound weird, but you have the mindset of a normal person.”

 

Mineta slowly raised his head to look her in the eye, but could only bring himself to stare at her lips.

 

“When you’re in a class full of people who are confident in their abilities and know that they’re going to be heroes- people like Bakugou or Todoroki, you forget that sometimes you’re allowed to be scared. They always reel in what they’re thinking and how they’re feeling and it makes them awkward to work with.” She reasoned. “Not to mention they’re boys and it seems like boys have a problem with repressing feelings.” She teased.

 

Mineta shrugged. “I can’t really repress how I feel that much.” He said in a small voice, “It always comes spilling out and I wish that it didn’t.”

 

Asui rested her head sideways on her knees so she was more level with Mineta. “I like that. I think…” She paused, trying to find the right words, “I think it’s because it’s easier for me to talk to someone who can do that. It’s a pain to try and figure out how people feel just because they won’t tell you when something is wrong- that’s why I speak my mind, because it’s easier for everyone else and for me too. Does that make sense?”

 

Mineta nodded, burying his face into his knees in the same position as Asui. “Yeah...It’s just...you never see heroes cry or run away. How am I supposed to be a hero when I can’t control these things?”

 

Asui smiled. “I don’t think that’s necessarily true, y’know. Acting like a hero doesn’t always make you a hero, and if you’re worried about that, then remember that Midoriya exists.”

 

“Midoriya is so cool.” Mineta sniffed, “I don’t think he even knows what he’s doing half the time but he just...does it. He’s just a hero.”

 

Asui gave a small croak, “Yeah and how many times have we seen him burst into tears? The two of you have cried enough tears over the school year to fill up a swimming pool.” She joked and Mineta gave a half-choked laugh, though Asui did have a point.

 

Midoriya seemed to always have a tear in his eye, whether it was out of fear or happiness, yet he was still one of the coolest guys Mineta had ever known. Still, Midoriya had skyrocketed in terms of improvement, far more than Mineta had, which left him feeling a bit hopeless.

 

“You know...you really helped me.”

 

Mineta’s eyes slowly widened as he stared at her with blank confusion. Asui smiled, almost proudly. “It might seem a bit silly, but when I was crying, you told me that it was always okay to cry and sometimes we just have to cry. I think that was more helpful than telling me not to.”

 

Mineta shrugged, smiling awkwardly and unsure of what to say. “Well...it’s true. I hate seeing girls cry, don’t get me wrong, but if you’re upset, what are you gonna do?”

 

His smile seemed far too sad for Asui’s liking and she wondered if he was going to cry himself. The thought of it left a strange, twisting feeling in her gut.

 

She’d only ever seen Mineta cry out of fear, when he didn’t really know what to do or when he was bitter about something but when she really thought about it, she’d never actually seen him cry because he was sad.

 

She wasn’t sure she wanted to. If he cracked, then she might crack too.

 

“You might...be a bit strange.” Asui told him, quietly, “You might have some pretty unconventional interests, a bit too perverse and you might cry easily but...I think you’re a hero.” She said, now incredibly aware of how close they were. Were they even that close, or was it her imagination? She shifted to fold her legs beneath her so she was looking at Mineta.

 

“Because...you’re not a flashy hero.” She whispered, feeling more on edge than she should.  I don’t think you’re going to be a big, popular, cool hero like All Might.”

 

She told herself not to, but despite what her brain and common sense was screaming, she leant over and gently enveloped him in her arms, almost lifting him into her lap. Mineta felt his knees scrape against the floor. Asui’s arms were much colder than they had been the other day and she felt thinner.

 

“I think you’re going to be a hero that really means something to someone. There’ll be someone out there who looks up to you because you are their hero.”

 

Mineta had always blagged through the year telling himself that he could do this, he was going to be a hero and he had two more years to really get it together, but then it started seeming unreasonable and impossible and it prompted him to wonder just who would he ever be a hero to?

 

His body shook with a silent, humourless laugh, because it was a stupid thought. Those silent laughs devolved into quiet sobs and he angrily cursed himself for it. Asui’s grip on him filled him with something warm and it hurt. He wanted to be able to hug back but couldn’t bring himself to do so.

 

Asui felt him tremble and pulled him in closer, feeling overwhelming guilt. She didn’t want to ruin his dreams of being a flashy cool hero- maybe it would’ve been better if she hadn’t said anything. Maybe sometimes it wasn’t worth speaking her mind, whether it was true or not, if it meant...this.

 

Though the close proximity was a stark contrast to the lack of understanding of the feelings they held for each other.

 

Mineta now undoubtedly held feelings for Asui and hated the fact he couldn’t act on them because she wasn’t into guys. Even so, he told himself that wouldn’t stop him from being her friend, since she was the closest he had.

 

Asui felt guilty for what she had said and for the fact that, though it was strange to think, she’d really grown to fancy him over the past few days, but it wasn’t like she could tell him that. He wouldn’t want to just jump into a relationship when there were so many other pretty women around- it would only end badly for the two of them.

 

Despite that, Mineta smiled into her shoulder. She was probably right- she always was in the end, but he wouldn’t let that stop him because, for better or for worse, he was tenacious and stubborn to the core.

 

If he was going to be a hero to someone, a hero who meant something special to someone, then he wanted to be a hero to her.

Chapter Text

 

Asui woke up too early the next morning, feeling like she hadn’t slept at all.

 

So...that was it, wasn’t it? She liked him. She like liked him.

 

She sighed, wanting to sink as far into her large bed as was humanly and froggily possible. It wasn’t like it was a bad thing- she’d really grown fond of him and enjoyed his company more than words could tell, but there was a lot to this that made it a difficult situation.

 

He was a bit flighty, especially with women, so it didn’t seem like he’d want to settle into a relationship so early on. She didn’t really want to restrict his interests either, not to mention they were heroes, or heroes-to-be. Their job was dangerous, anything could go wrong and even being a student meant they were a target to any passing villain. That meant that she could lose him at any point in time, just like that.

 

She wasn’t sure she could handle that. Sure, they worked together well and she found his quirk to be incredibly useful but her being the more rounded and flexible of the two meant she would have to look out for him too. If something were to happen whilst they worked together, she wouldn’t be able to forgive herself.

 

That’s why she’d convinced herself it was a bad idea. She had a funny feeling she wouldn’t be able to shake this crush for a while yet, but it wouldn’t be a good idea to pursue it, no matter how much she wanted to.

 

It made her chest ache and she wondered why it had to feel like that.

 

She rolled over, wrapping her legs around her duvet, knowing full well she would not be able to return to sleep. Why did she like him again? Sure, he was good as a friend, even better since he cut down on the pervertedness, but…

 

The more she thought about it, the more reasons she came up with and she sighed pathetically, tonguing flopping from her mouth. She felt trapped between a rock and a hard place without much way out of it. Still, she liked the sensation of having feelings for someone and how much she enjoyed his company- she didn’t want to ruin that.

 

She rubbed her eyes, convincing herself the dampness was just due to lack of sleep as she squeezed them shut and buried her face into her duvet.

 

In the end, she had fallen asleep, but only thirty minutes before her alarm went off, startling her out of sleep. The morning light shone through the thin curtains, basking the room in a dark, yellowish glow.

 

She scratched her head with a grunt, forcing her legs out over the side of the bed and standing up, instinctively searching for her hero costume. She was meant to be out on patrol with Mineta this morning and if she didn’t get a move on, she’d be late.

 

She slipped into her costume, gradually waking up and become more alert as she did so. This wouldn’t be too long of a patrol, thankfully, so she planned to take a nap when she returned.

 

She locked the door to her bedroom from the inside and slipped out through the veranda, hopping out into the sunny street, before making her way to the meeting point they had agreed on.

 

To no surprise, by the time she got there, Mineta was already stood waiting, staring off into space. She sidled up next to him and waited for him to notice her presence.

 

 

She ended up tapping his shoulder after twenty seconds, knowing full well he wouldn’t notice until at least twenty minutes later. Mineta almost physically jumped out of fright, though when he looked up at Asui, he sighed with relief.

 

“Jesus, Tsu, scare me why don’tcha…” He frowned, panting slightly from the loss of breath. Asui, though she still felt a little down, grinned. “Ribbit~!”

 

“Are you ready?”

 

“Of course.”

 

Asui led and Mineta followed, as they began their patrol route. It wasn’t as busy as Asui had come to expect, but then again it was early in the morning. That generally meant there wasn’t much to worry about in the way of work, which for the time being, she preferred. Her lack of sleep left her head spinning slightly and the sunlight was far too harsh.

 

“Oh, yeah, I forgot. Y’know how we said we were gonna do something fun on Monday? I don’t have that much money so I called my dad.” He stretched his arms up, folding them behind his head as he basked in the sunlight, “He said he’d send me some cool stuff! Neat, right?”

 

Asui, feeling a little slow on the uptake, merely nodded. Mineta glanced up at her, concerned by the quiet response and tilted his head, “Is something up?”

 

“I didn’t sleep very well last night.” She responded, truthfully, though perhaps she was omitting the other details. Mineta’s worried expression dropped into something more humorous.

 

“Up all night, huh?” He grinned, “Having a good time last night, huh?”

 

Asui rolled her eyes, but managed a small smile for his sake. “I wish…” She murmured. “No, I just didn’t really sleep well.” Her eyes glazed over slightly as she tried her best to focus on the horizon. Everything felt heavy and bright, so much so she thought she would fall over at any moment.

 

“You know, if you want to sit down or just go back to bed you can. I can take over for you.” He suggested quietly, now actually rather concerned by the way Asui seemed to be wobbling. Asui shook her head stubbornly. “There’s no need- really.” She insisted.

 

“Then at least let me buy you a coffee or something. You seriously look like you’re about to pass out.”

 

“I said it’s fine.” She said, patting Mineta’s head affectionately, though it didn’t do much to quell Mineta’s concerns. He decided perhaps it was best to leave it, and reluctantly accepted her answer.

 

However, that didn’t stop him from keeping an eye on Asui the entire time they were on patrol and doing smaller things to help her out that she wouldn’t notice, like swapping places so she could walk under the shade and not in the blistering sun.

 

Though, unbeknownst to him, Asui had noticed these little things and each thing left her heart feeling full. It wasn’t often someone was so considerate to her- did he do this kind of thing often?

 

“If you put this much effort in with all the girls...you’d be much more popular…” Asui murmured out loud and though she wasn’t really talking to anybody in particular, Mineta still managed to catch what she said. He quirked a brow, unsure of how to respond.

 

Though at this point, he couldn’t really deny it. As selfish as it sounded, he only put this effort in with Asui because she meant something special to him. Maybe he should put this kind of effort into his relationships with the others girls but then what could he do for Asui that was special?

 

“I finished the reports for the last two days.” Mineta told her, holding a hand over his eyes so he could see out onto the street without the sun blinding him. “It was pretty easy to make it sound convincing.”

 

Asui yawned. “Yeah, but Mr Aizawa isn’t exactly easy to fool.”

 

Mineta shrugged. “Guess not.”

 

The conversation ended there. Mineta couldn’t help but feel a bit awkward, but Asui was tired and most likely in no mood for a conversation. Maybe he’d make her some coffee when they got back or something like that.

 

He glanced up at her- she was cute when she was sleepy, too. In fact, when wasn’t she cute? He had yet to see a side to her that was even remotely ugly.

 

Her tongue lolled lazily from her mouth as she gazed down at the pavement with tired eyes. He felt very, very close to forcefully dragging her back to bed and letting her sleep some more but he knew Asui would be having none of that.

 

Well, they only had a few more hours of their shift left. Mineta felt pretty cheerful this morning, knowing it would fly by.

 

Asui, on the other hand, felt a bit down. She hadn’t slept very well and that wasn’t the problem- the problem was that she hadn’t slept well because of him. He’d actually occupied her mind for most of the night and she found it hard to handle. She had no time in middle school for crushes, meaning this was most likely her first proper attraction to someone.

 

And that wasn’t to say she’d never found other people attractive. She often wondered what it would be like to date Uraraka or Midoriya or even Tokoyami- they were all very sweet, very attractive people, but she’d never had this kind of exposure to them. She wondered, if she had been paired with one of them for the fortnight, would she have fallen for them too?

 

If so, then didn’t that mean falling for Mineta was luck on his part? If it really was just down to whoever she was spending the time with, then didn’t that kind of devalue the feelings to begin with?

 

She slumped forward slightly, feeling heavy in both body and mind.

 

Despite that, she was more than willing to maintain the friendship between them. After last night, she realised Mineta wasn’t actually as involved with his classmates socially as she had thought. A lot of people assumed she was a part of Midoriya’s group but that wasn’t actually true for the most part. She was a drifter and it seemed to her, that he was too.

 

Perhaps they needed each other.

 

Or maybe that was just her brain telling her she wanted him.

 

“Tsu!”

 

Though she wasn’t totally shaken from her thoughts, she gave a tired, “What?”

 

“I need your tongue.”

 

She pursed her lips at his odd request, but didn’t think much of it. “No...I need it more than you do.” She reasoned quite seriously and Mineta chuckled. “Are you drunk…? No, I just...look, I just need to grab your tongue for a second.”

 

Well...it wasn’t the first time she’d been asked this. She tilted her head, “Why? Did something happen?” She looked around, now concerned, though when she looked down she saw not only Mineta, but a group of rather sparkly-eyed, hopeful looking children.

 

“There’s no time to explain, quick!” He held his hand out with a cheeky grin. Asui had the funny feeling she wouldn’t be able to say no to this. She sighed, crouching down and letting Mineta grab it. She’d had quite a few people physically grab her tongue before so, though it felt really strange, she was used to it.

 

She gave a small wave to one of the girls, who was clutching the hem of her dress and staring at her with wide, unblinking eyes. Almost as if she was in awe of her.

 

“Just sit there, okay?” Mineta instructed, as she felt the familiar feeling of her tongue stretching, watching as he paced away about twenty or thirty steps before stopping. It was only until she realised the position they were in, did it dawn on her what was going on.

 

“Okay, you guys ready?”

 

She sighed.

 

Skipping rope.

 

The children that had previously been stood behind him lined up in a row in between them, looking incredibly eager and excited. She relaxed into a sitting position as Mineta gave a testy swing. “Have you ever done this before?” He asked, wondering if the elasticity of her tongue would actually make this work.

 

“Actua’y, yeah, i’ workth qui’e well.” She replied, remembering doing something similar for Satsuki and Samidare and even herself at one point.

 

She steadied herself against the ground so she wouldn’t fall over, as Mineta made the first swing. One by one, the children cleared the first jump and Asui sighed in relief. If one of them were to trip over that could hurt quite a bit. Hopefully she’d have time to catch them if that happened, providing Mineta actually let go of it.

 

But it didn’t happen. As it turns out, the group of girls, plus one boy, were very adept to skipping rope- they all squealed and laughed with each jump. A few passersby had stopped to watch and even take pictures of the two budding heroes, exclaiming how cute and friendly they were.

 

Asui felt her cheeks tinge pink with pride. This was exactly the kind of hero she’d wanted to be when she was younger- a hero children could approach easily and could trust, not to mention it made her day feel a little brighter. Mineta seemed to be enjoying himself too, as he was laughing and chanting along with the children.

 

Come of think of it, this seemed to be his idea. She hadn’t even been paying attention to what was going on around her- she’d just looked up and there they were.

 

She glanced around at the crowd they had now generated. She hadn’t expected such a large gathering- if anything, she felt rather embarrassed by the attention. Still, publicity was publicity.

 

Hopefully, if this was to get out, it wouldn’t be misconstrued as slacking off on their part.

 

The game continued for about another fifteen minutes, until the last child was too out of breath to keep jumping and Asui was about to fall asleep. Mineta finally let go of her tongue, as she reeled it back into her mouth, smacking her lips around the ache. Still, that was a lot of fun.

 

“You’re very nice! Thank you, heroes!” The littlest girl thanked, giggling shyly as she watched Asui stand up. Asui gently ruffled her hair. “That’s okay. Did you have fun?”

 

“Yeah!!” The small group chorused, with excitement. “Again, again!!”

 

“Sorry, you guys.” Mineta apologised, stretching out his fingers on the hand he’d been holding Asui’s tongue with. “We’ve got cool hero stuff to do now! You’re gonna have to save your pocket money for a new rope.” He said and Asui now noticed the snapped rope one of the girls was holding. They all made various noises of disappointment, but seemed to understand that heroes were busy people.

 

“Wait, you’re heroes, right?! What’s your hero names?!”

 

“Yeah, I wanna tell my Mama about you!”

 

Asui scratched her cheek bashfully, kneeling down to their height as she put a hand to her chest to indicate herself. “You can call me Froppy. This is Grape Juice. We’re still students, but we’re doing our best to be heroes!”

 

“You’re in school? Do you go to UA!”

 

“No way, I wanna go to UA!”

 

“Do you think we could all be heroes too?”

 

The sudden onslaught of excited questions was a bit overwhelming- neither of them knew where to begin and Asui croaked with delight at the enthusiasm.

 

“Well...I’ll tell you guys a secret, okay?” Mineta didn’t really have to kneel to their height considering he was their height, but made a good go of it. They all hushed to whispers as they watched him, eager to know.

 

“I’m not a very good hero, y’know! I’m real silly and I mess up a lot but ‘cuz I worked hard, I got into UA! My quirk isn’t even that good so if I can get into UA and become a hero, then you definitely can.”

 

This seemed to reassure them, as they all collectively wore expressions of determination.

One of the girls giggled, leaning over to pat the squishy parts of his head. “You look silly! I think you’re a funny hero!”

 

Mineta grinned. “Ya think so? Eheheh. Hear that, Tsu?” Funny may not have been the style he was going for, but it was a start.

 

Asui nodded, positively brimming with positive energy. “I think we could be looking at a future generation of heroes. Do your best, okay?” She clapped her hands together in encouragement, which only seemed to boost their excitement further.

 

“We will!”

 

“I’m gonna become a totally awesome hero like Froppy!”

 

“Thanks for letting us play with you!!”

 

Asui stood up, waving the small group off as they head back down the street. “You’re welcome! Stay safe!” She called, standing up and stretching her legs, before glancing back down at Mineta with a sly smirk. “That was very sweet of you.”

 

He played it off like it was nothing, though his ears were a bit red as he scratched his chin. “Well...they came to me because their skipping rope broke and I wasn’t really sure what to do so...I told them we could use your tongue. Sorry for not asking first.” He flushed, feeling rather proud of how he’d handled the situation.

 

Asui shook her head with a smile, “It’s no problem. I’m just happy we did something good.”

 

Mineta slipped his phone out of his costume to check the time. “Woah, look at that, we’re done.” He commented, stretching out his arms with a low groan. “Guess you can head back to bed now.”

 

Asui shrugged, staring blankly at the pavement as they began to make the journey home. “I dunno...playing with those kids woke me up a bit.” She could still feel a lingering ache in her mouth but it was easily worth it.

 

“If you want we could hang out in your room for a bit then…? Write up a report and all that.” He suggested, hopefully. Asui pondered that thought, before cracking a big smile. “I’d like that, yeah.” She agreed.

 

“It’d be a killer report too.” Mineta punched his fist into the flat of his palm. “Technically we were socialising with civilians and making ourselves known. I’d say that’s a pretty good thing.”

 

“You think so? I feel a little bad that I haven’t done as much of the report work as you have.” She remarked, quietly. It was true, even though Asui was above him in exam results, Mineta’s writing was superior. Mineta shook his head, “Are you kidding? I don’t care about that. You’re giving me something good to write about, so you’re pretty helpful!”

 

Asui croaked, pressing the tips of her fingers together as they approached the gates to their dorm. “I hope it’s enough to pass the assignment.”

 

“We’ll be fine.” Mineta assured, dismissively as he made a beeline for the stairs leading up to the boy’s rooms. “I’ll go change and then I’ll meet you at yours.” He called down, jumping up the stairs two steps at a time. Asui gave a ribbit of agreement as she climbed the stairs towards her own room.

 

The moment she entered her room she shed her costume and dug a portable DVD player from one of her drawers. A lot of the time, she forgot she had this, but it was nice to be playing something in the background whilst she was working. She picked out an old, rather obsolete DVD and put it into the machine, flicking it on.

 

Whilst it played in the background, she got redressed, choosing a simple woollen dress to slip on, before flopping face-first onto the bed. Somehow a bed felt ten times more comfortable when you were tired. She groaned lightly, feeling herself sink into the soft expanse as she wriggled her toes. This was good.

 

She was about to doze off until she heard the click of her door opening.

 

“Yo….uh, hey. Are you asleep?”

 

“No…” Asui’s reply was muffled by the duvet.

 

She could hear him tossing a pad of paper and a pen onto the floor. “Cool. You can go to sleep if you want, I don’t mind. It’s a nice view from this angle anyway.” He said, trailing off into soft laughter and Asui stuck a hand out to pull her dress down.

 

“I know what you mean. When you’re in the room, closing my eyes is the best thing in the world.”

 

“Hey!!” He exclaimed, rather indignantly and Asui laughed, lifting her head up slightly so she could see him better. He was knelt on the floor, flipping through the pad of paper and looking like he was trying not to laugh.

 

“You okay?”

 

Asui made a noise of uncertainty. “Not sure why but I’m really aching today. It was probably all that skipping. My back hurts.” She whined, stretching her arms and legs out as far as she could.

 

“I woulda thought your tongue would be the thing that’s aching.” Mineta remarked, not looking up from the pad. “Yeah, but I’m used to using my tongue for long periods of time.”

 

“Yeah, I’ll bet you are.” He deadpanned.

 

Asui snorted. “Shush.”

 

“I could give you a back rub if you wanted?” He looked up, wearing a grin that could only be described as devilish. Asui lazily pulled a hand up to drag the hair from in front of her eyes. “You just wanna be pervy to me.” She pointed out with an accusing yet teasing tone. Mineta shrugged, as if he’d been caught out.

 

“No, for real. I’ll show you something really cool. You’ll like it.” He said, lifting his hands up in defense. Asui eyed him suspiciously. “So you’re telling me you had absolutely no pervy thoughts about giving me a back rub?”

 

“I mean... now I do, but that’s totally your fault. Do you want me to do it or not. Hell, I don’t even have to use my hands if you don’t wanna.”

 

Asui quirked a brow. “How does that work?” She watched Mineta get up from the floor and crawl onto the bed. “Trust me, I used to do this to my Dad.”

 

“Yikes, what kind of relationship did you have with your dad?”

 

“Nothing worth calling the cops for.” He grinned, before standing up, wobbling slightly with the unstable footing of the bed. “Lie flat, otherwise it’ll hurt. I don’t wanna fall on you.” He warned and, as Asui did so, he stepped onto her back.

 

She yelped slightly, but kept as still as she could as Mineta scolded her. “Seriously, keep still! Okay, uh…” He placed his left foot over her shoulder blade and gently rubbed a circle with the heel of his foot.

 

“See? I’m not a total pervert!”

 

“That’s debatable...but this does feel nice.” She sighed into the duvet, feeling her muscles loosen up and doing her best to not make it obvious just how much she was enjoying this. Physical contact with anybody was nice, especially someone you liked, but somehow there was something bizarrely intimate about this situation.

 

Mineta felt more or less the same, though felt somewhat frantic, seeing as the way Asui was groaning with delight at every right move was beginning to wake up ‘Little Mineta’. Damnit, he said he wasn’t going to be pervy and this wasn’t helping!

 

Still, it was nice to see her enjoying herself. The little noises she made were absolutely adorable and he could actually feel his face heating up because of it. If she got any cuter, he wouldn’t be able to take it.

 

“T-Tsu, stop moving! I’ll seriously fall on you!” He warned and Asui silently decided that she wouldn’t mind that happening at all. In fact, she even considered doing it on purpose. She testily wriggled on the spot, feeling him stumble above her as she tried her best not to laugh too loudly as Mineta yelped.

 

Tsu!

 

She craned her head to the side, laughing. “What? What’s wrong?” She asked, shifting her hips, causing him to topple over onto the bed. The bed creaked in protest at the sudden weight and after Mineta had recovered from the shock of falling, he burst into laughter.

 

“That was fun.” Asui giggled, feeling lightheaded from the way Mineta was steadying himself by putting his hands on her legs. Surely, that wasn’t supposed to feel too weird. Mineta, himself, hadn’t noticed he was doing so until he sat up and he swallowed thickly.

 

He was pretty much lying on a bed with Asui and he’d genuinely accidentally got a good few grabs of her legs. That was more of enough to send his cursed teenage hormones into disarray.

 

He slid off the bed, feeling like he’d accomplished something here, but felt far too much of a wreck to continue anything. “I should start on this report.” He mumbled, shifting into a sitting position and picking up the pen.

 

Asui shifted her head to the side so she was watching him as she curled her legs up to her chest. She smiled shyly against her knees, finding the way his ears went red when he was flustered to be extremely sweet. He wasn’t very good at playing these things off.

 

She continued to gaze at him, feeling her eyelids grow heavier by the minute.

 

Mineta was really trying to focus on the report, not daring to look up at Asui, but found himself in a mental tizzy. There wasn’t even that much of a root problem this time around it was just ‘legs’ and ‘I touched her’ and ‘she’s so cute’. He prayed he hadn’t come off as creepy- she’d even said before that he often gave off that vibe and that was the last thing he needed.

 

It wasn’t just Asui’s legs either. He wasn’t even trying to be perverse when he suggested the idea but now- he was so focused on not thinking about anything that his brain automatically generated mental images of her, from her legs, to her hair to her ass--

 

He scribbled so furiously onto the page the pen tore through the paper. He glared at the rip with contempt as he continued writing, forcing himself to slow his pace.

The next two hours were agonising- he didn’t dare move or look up as he did his best to recollect the events of today, jotting down each detail and making a rough edit of what would soon be a full report. The DVD Asui had put on earlier was now looping the selection menu, playing the same tune over and over and over again.

 

He sighed, chucking the pad onto the floor along with the pen as he unfolded his legs and stretched them out. He hadn’t realised it, but it was already getting dark out. He glanced over to the bed, where Asui was still lying…

 

...she was asleep.

 

A big smile sprouted uncontrollably on Mineta’s face as he took in the image of her peaceful expression. She was snoring lightly and was gripping gently on the fabric of  her duvet with her hand. Watching her made him feel immensely at ease.

 

He quietly crept over to the bed, doing his best not to wake her up. He held his breath, gently brushing a lock of hair out of her eyes so he could see her face just a little better. His heart was pumping so hard in his chest it actually hurt and he winced with every beat.

 

He wondered if maybe, just maybe , he could get away with giving her a peck on the cheek, or the forehead, or maybe even the nose. If he could just work up the courage, if he could just lean over and do it .

 

 

He didn’t want to wake her up. He sat motionless, watching her without much of a thought in his head. It was probably time for him to leave- he’d finish the report when he got back to his own room.

 

But for some reason, he couldn’t bring himself to move his legs. He kept telling himself to get up, move, stop sticking around because if Asui woke up now and saw him staring at her she would think he was such a creep. She already thought he was a creep and he definitely didn’t need that cemented.

 

He let out a very soft sigh, clenching his fists against the carpeted floor as he leant over, squeezing his eyes shut as tightly as he could as he pressed a kiss against her forehead. He stumbled backwards, snatching his pad and half-crawlings towards the door as he mumbled a goodbye.

 

He felt incredibly selfish, but in no way regretful.

 

 

A few minutes later, Asui woke up, feeling nothing but cold disappointment as she found herself alone in her room.