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The Skinwalker

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Between two nameless mountains, located at a river delta in Southwestern Alaska, lay a small village by the name of Elpetquik. A fairly unknown village, not many strangers venture there for reasons other than the fishing season during the summer. The community consists mostly of Alaska Natives, the majority of them being Yupik, and the population is about 600 people. In a village that small, abnormalities and aberrant behavior is easily noticed, and therefore unaccepted in the community.

At the aforementioned river delta, a man with rich copper skin and long black hair in a low ponytail stood along the coast, looking around as if searching for something or someone. His dark brown eyes peered along the murky water. A ripple on the surface made him scoff softly. With his fists on his hips, he called out.

“I know you’re there, Yuli. No point in hiding from me.” He said sternly. 

A moment passed, and a brown otter emerged from the deep, only its ears and cognac colored eyes visible, leering at the man. Its small ears were twitching slightly in what appeared to be annoyance. Noticing this, the man chuckled and crossed his arms, the movement wrinkling his parka.

“Come on, get over here, it’s time to go home.” He told the creature.

The small animal begrudgingly swam to the shore as slow as possible. The man on the mud and sand shore kept beckoning the otter, pointing at it and then pointing his finger to his feet, and then making a ‘hurry up’ motion with both his hands. The animal snorted, water spouting along its face, as if it was laughing.

When the small creature finally arrived at the man’s feet, a high-pitched squeak came from its mouth, trying to make conversation. The man held up his hand to silence the animal.

“I don’t want to hear it. Grab your clothes.”

With a huff, the creature disappeared behind some bushes along the shoreline. The man continued to glare at the bush, impatiently listening to the ruffling of clothes. A few moments later, a young girl with a slightly lighter skin than him emerged from the greenery. Her long dark brown, almost black hair was in two long braid along her head, meeting at the base of her neck, with the rest of her wavy hair loose. Her cognac eyes peered at the man in front of her.

“Hey Dad.” She muttered apprehensively, averting her eyes to the water.

The man, her father, walked over to his daughter and pinched her cheeks directly under her eyes. An easy feat, as her cheekbones were very wide. He smiled, his cheekbones the same as hers, giving him a buddha like appearance.

“I thought we had an agreement on going to the river.” He said, turning serious again. The girl shifted under his gaze, fiddling with the strings of her hoodie.

“Don’t go alone, and not so close to town.” She parroted from memory while pouting. “But dad, I wasn’t even that close to town!”

“But you were alone, and I can’t help you if any of the villagers see you use your Quirk!”

His stern voice made the young girl flinch, her pout deepening and her gaze went to her boots in shame. She had disappointed her father, just for a few minutes of freedom.

Her father sighed, and put his hand on her head, petting it affectionately.

“I only want you to be safe, you know that. Don’t give the other villagers more reason to be scared.” He explained in a morose tone.

“They wouldn’t have to be so scared if they didn’t believe in stupid superstition.”

The Yupik man cast his eyes down, silently agreeing with his daughter. At this point however, there wasn’t much they could do about it. He grabbed her shoulder with one hand and pulled her towards him.

“Let’s go home, Urayuli. I’ll make you some gumbo.”


After a quiet dinner with her father, Urayuli Yaraqpik felt it was time to isolate herself in her room. Giving her dad a kiss on the cheek, she hurried up the stairs of their home. She entered her small bedroom, a single bed on the right wall and a desk with laptop on top next to it, facing the only window in her room. Her father had offered to make his old office her room, but she liked the small space. It was comfortable, like her own little bubble. She didn’t need much else. 

On her walls a few posters of artists she used to listen to but never had the energy to remove, and above her bed a Yupik shaman mask she had made herself with help from her grandfather when she turned ten years old.

Dropping herself on the bed, she groaned loudly. Despite loving her father and this house, it oftentimes felt like a prison. She was only allowed outside if she was chaperoned by her father and she couldn’t just use her Quirk. The villagers were very troublesome when it came to that. She had watched the developments in Japan over the years. Quirks were accepted as a way of life, as 80% of the population had some quirk or another. It made her want to run from this place she called home.

She got up and sat at her desk, opening her laptop to search for videos on so-called “hero’s” in Japan. The videos she watched were all in Japanese, but that never was an issue. Her father Kvichak was the head of the largest fishing company in Elpetquik, as well as the only fishing company in Elpetquik. That said, many foreigners from all around the world, especially Japan, came around during the summer months for the fishing season. Catching Alaskan salmon can earn you a lot of money if you do it right. Because of that, Urayuli was forced to learn Japanese to communicate with the Japanese fishermen when she would help her father at his company, which was every summer.

After binging hero videos for half an hour, and clicking “next video” after every link, she came across the hero All Might. She had seen videos of him before. A beast of a man with blond hair and a huge smile, laughing as he saved people, always with the phrase “All is fine, now. Why? Because I’m here.”

The overconfidence he displayed would have been seen as annoying and overall douchey behavior in the states, but it was anything but to Urayuli. All Might was the top hero in Japan, saving people left and right. He had every reason to be overconfident. They can use their Quirks when they want, where they want. Why am I the one stuck in here?

Closing her laptop, she peered out the window, gazing at the river that flowed not too far away from her house. I want to go out there, she thought to herself. As quietly as she could she opened her bedroom door and tiptoed downstairs. Her father had finished cleaning up the kitchen and he was sleeping on the couch, the tv on some news channel. She tiptoed back up the stairs and closed her door again.

I’ll go to the river and swim with the otters, I’ll be back home in half an hour. He won’t even notice I’m gone. She opened her window and promptly jumped out, rolling her body when her feet made contact with the ground. She worried not about getting back into her room, as strong vines were interconnected and raised to her bedroom window. I can easily climb back up when I get back. Taking a deep breath, she took off, running as fast as her feet could take her. Laughing to herself, she threw herself into bushes and tumbled along the trees. Freedom feels good.

Finally arriving at the river, she found some brushes where she could leave her clothes. Stripping out of them, she didn’t bother folding them in her hurry. Being naked in the wilderness of Alaska, the chilly October air didn’t bother her in the slightest. A child born on the tundra need not be afraid of it.

Getting on all fours, she prepared herself for the transformation. She stretched her spine, and she could feel every bone in her body changing. Shapeshifting hurt, just a little bit, because her whole body transformed into something not wasn’t exactly hers, but still felt like a part of her. This, however, didn’t matter to her, as her preferred form was worth it. Bones popping and disappearing, fur covering her whole body, her hands transforming into paws, she let out a sound that wasn’t her own, yet hers altogether. Squeaking from her new vocal chords, she relished in the feeling it.

The transformation was complete, and it was time. With crazy speed, Urayuli launched herself into the water, her otter form allowing her to quickly traverse the water. Even though it was murky and difficult to see through the opaque water, her animal nose lets her smell better and her whiskers allowed her to feel everything moving around her.

Nearing a sandbank, she heard the telltale chirps of other otters. Breaching the surface, Urayuli made her way to the small creatures congregating on the sandbar. Normally the animals she would turn into would not recognize her as their own. She could mimic them, sure, but she could not communicate with them, nor could she understand them. However, these otters have become familiar with her over the years and have somewhat warmed up to her existence. As she came closer, the creatures took turns sniffing her as a way of welcoming her. It filled her with fuzzy feelings.

After playing with the small animals, she decided begrudgingly that it was time to leave again. The few moments of freedom she enjoyed had lifted her spirits. She chirped her goodbye to the otters and started swimming back, noticing a moment later that a few of the beasts had followed her. They must have wanted to play with her a little while longer. Smiling inwardly, she chirped to them her thanks, despite them not being able to understand her.

Her clothes lay undisturbed when she got back. Turning back into her original form, she casually shrugged on her clothes with the otters trotting near her feet.

Something hit her head and caused her to flinch from the unwelcome sensation. A rock had bounced against her temple, the commotion scaring her small aquatic friends back into the water. Swiftly looking around, the ones responsible for the pain stood a few feet away from the girl. They were kids from Urayuli’s class, and one or two siblings from said classmates. Come to taunt the mutant, have you? She thought to herself wryly. She grew up with these kids, but after the discovery of her quirk, the parents had played a hand in how they treated her.

“Why are you all alone? Where’s your daddy, freak?” One of the children named Phillip jeered at her, holding another, bigger rock in his hand.

“If it’s a brawl you want, Phillip, you can just ask. Put the rock down and we’ll settle this like men. No weapons or quirks.” Urayuli scoffed, putting her hands up and in fists, arranging her body in a fighting position. She silently thanked her grandfather for giving her self-defense lessons when she was much younger.

Much to her annoyance, the children started laughing.

“Fighting like men? You’re not even a real person!” A girl named Anouk yelled.

“My grandmother told my auntie Jessica on the phone that freaks like you spirit people away, and my grandmother never lies.” Mary-Jo stated matter-of-factly, arms crossed.

“Then maybe your grandmother isn’t a liar, but she sure as hell is a dumbass.” Urayuli sneered back.

“Don’t talk about my grandmother like that, outcast!”

Urayuli bit her lip, anger bubbling in her chest. What gives them the right to speak to me like that?

“Hey, didn’t our old principle disappear and die a while back? Maybe it was her doing!” Joshua nudged Phillip, snickering to themselves.

What?! “B-but she was attacked by wolves!” Urayuli stuttered, disbelieving the overall callousness the boy spoke with.

“Well, who’s to say you weren’t one of the wolves ripping her to shreds? Got any proof you weren’t? Huh? Skinwalker?! ” Phillip leered at her.

The girl stood, staring slack-jawed at the accusations. The principle Joshua mentioned had been attacked by a pack of wolves, which is not unheard of in Alaska, but Urayuli wasn’t able to shift in animals that size. The only bigger animal she could shift into was a beluga, and that took out most of her energy. Shifting into a wolf was a whole ‘nother ballgame. Aside from that, why would she attack people? She had never done anything like that!

The children continued taunting her, accusing her left and right, but she couldn’t hear them, a monotone beep in her ears. It felt like she was underwater, the sounds around her distorted and ugly. Unshed tears pricking behind her eyes, until one of the children made an unsightly hand gesture towards her. Phillip’s hand was under his chin, pointing to his neck with his fingers, and flicking his hand out towards her. Eyes flashing, she moved with great speed towards the boy, and grabbed his wrist with all of her strength.

“You want to know what I actually do with people? Keep taunting the skinwalker and see what happens.” She hissed with as much venom as she could muster.

She wasn’t sure who started screaming, but as soon as she heard them, the other kids began screeching as well, running away in a panic. Phillip wrenched his hand away, face sweating bullets and staring at her as if she had broken his wrist. The children scurried away frantically, shouting obscenities at Urayuli.

“I’m telling my mom and dad how dangerous you are! Crazy bitch!” One of them yelled at her from afar.

Urayuli in the moment cared not. Most of the other villagers were afraid enough of her as it was, but a bunch of dumb kids fearing her was not something that she worried about. Breathing deeply to calm herself, she gathered her shoes in her hands, and started the barefoot trek back to her home. Small pebbles dug into the soles of her feet, making her wince every once in a while. The last of the dying mosquitos that would swarm in clouds during the summer desperately flying near her for a final drink before their inevitable demise. Along the way she encountered some lingonberries that she would nibble on.

It was dusk when she got home, and the lights were on in the garage. That meant dad was most likely awake and had been searching the house for her. Dread filled Urayuli’s chest at the possibly inevitable lecture she was going to get. She swallowed the spit that had gathered in her mouth because of her nerves and walked up to the house. Peeking into the garage, her suspicions on her father’s whereabouts were proven right, as he sat on the stool next to his workbench with his arms crossed, looking straight at her. So much for sneaking in.

Her father said nothing. He just looked at her, his dark brown eyes stern and hard, his lips in a tight line. Urayuli matched his gaze for about two seconds before looking away in shame.

“Dad, I can expla- “

“Do you have any idea how worried I was? How frantically I searched the house, afraid you were out there somewhere? Where I couldn’t help you?” He spoke softly, but his voice had an edge to it.

“I had everything under con- “

Kvichak angrily slammed his fist on the workbench.

“We had just talked about it, Urayuli! You don’t go outside alone, and you sure as hell don’t go to the river! What were you thinking?!” He boomed, making his daughter flinch for a moment.

“I… just wanted to be free for a moment.” She muttered under her breath.

“Was scaring me or scaring the other children really worth that little bit of freedom? I got a call from Jane, and she told me you attacked her boy!”

“I did not attack him! They were calling me names, calling me a freak, and skinwalker, and accused me of mauling Principle Farley! I just kinda… grabbed his wrist and threatened him a little.”

Her father pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration while groaning a little. He got up from his stool, and walked over to the girl, putting his hands on her shoulders.

“Why don’t you ever listen to me, Urayuli? You understand your safety is on the line here, right?” Then, in a softer voice, he added, “I can’t lose you too.”

This, however, did not pacify Urayuli. It only made her angry, as in her 15-year-old mind, her father only ever talked about her mother when they were at each other’s throats like this. To her it felt like her father was guilting her.

“Mom has nothing to do with this. Why can’t I just have a life on my own?! I’m being held prisoner in my own home!” She yelled in her father’s face, her anger getting the better of her.

“Calm yourself! You shouldn’t let what other people say about you to get to you! Your mother never let it bother her, and neither should you!” Her father’s words only further fueled her anger.

“Shut up! I’m sick and tired of everybody telling me how to feel and who I am or who I should be! I never asked for this! You have no idea how I feel because you’re normal! No one fears you for who you are!” She finished, tears running down her cheeks.

She wrenched herself out of her father’s grasp, leaving the older man in the garage as she ran through the door to the kitchen and ran up the stairs. When she got to her room, she angrily and tearfully slammed the door shut with all her strength, almost knocking it off its hinges. The ground shook from the force, and she could swear she heard a picture frame falling on the floor outside her room. Urayuli dropped on her bed and buried her face in her pillow. Her cries and screams were muffled by the pillow she was ferociously grabbing onto, her nails almost ripping the material apart.

For a while the only thing she could do was cry and scream her frustrations. Hearing her father come up the stairs, she quickly grabbed her chair and blocked the doorknob with it, preventing him from entering. Kvichak knocked a couple times, only for Urayuli to angrily growl at him to leave her alone.

“Go away!” She wailed. “I don’t want to talk, especially not to you!”

“But sweetheart- “

“NO! I WANT YOU TO LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE!” She shrieked, her emotions swirling in her stomach and chest, and kicked against her door.

A few semi silent moments passed, the only sound to be heard were Urayuli’s angry sobs. She heard her father sigh in defeat, and his footsteps leaving her bedroom door.

Falling face first on her bed again, she started sobbing again, feelings of guilt for lashing out at her father and the anger at his words still cutting deep. Slowly but surely her body got fatigued from all the crying and screaming, and when she finally did fall asleep, her pillow was almost soaking wet, and her face was screwed up in a soundless sob.

Chapter Text

 

A week had passed since Urayuli blew up at her father. In an act of defiance, she had not talked to the man at all since that night. Aside from the fact that she was still very much angry at him, she felt reluctant to start the conversation after blowing up the way she had. The morning after their fight, Urayuli had gone downstairs to get some breakfast. Their home was small, and not very stocked with food, so easy to make meals were commonplace. by the time she had grabbed a box of her favorite cinnamon toast cereal and was pouring milk into a bowl filled with it, her father had entered the kitchen from the sliding doors that led to their porch. Their eyes met, and Urayuli almost immediately grabbed her food and walked past him without a word. Her father had gotten the message and said nothing.

This day, however, was different. The cognac-eyed girl sat on the couch watching tv. The show she had her eyes glued on was a show on the hero rankings in Japan, showing highlight segments on each hero and their quirks, with the exception of All Might, who's quirk remained a mystery to the masses. Some heroes, like Endeavor on the other hand, were quite obvious. Flames circling his face in lieu of a mustache, beard, and eyebrows make it abundantly clear. Brutish, intimidating, and fiery, his clothes & temperament matched his immense power. Pondering, she looked down at her clothes. She was wearing hoodie she had ordered from an online hero shop, a blue, red, and white hoodie with yellow accents, a recognizable pattern of All Might's hero suit. Call her a nerd, but Urayuli loved the mystery unbeatable man with the heroic smile.

The sound of the front door closing didn't make Urayuli look away from the screen. In fact, it made her focus on it more, so she wouldn't have to interact with who she assumed to be her father.

"Wow, look any harder and the TV will explode." A voice said with a snicker.

For a moment, the girl was alarmed, as that voice was definitely not her fathers'. She relaxed though, when she realized it wasn't anyone dangerous.

"Hey Cole. How was Washington?"

"Shut up, you don't actually care about Washington."

Cole was 21 years old and, being six years older than Urayuli, he had effectively played some sort of big brother role in her life. His light brown hair was longish with an undercut, and his neck was adorned with a complex intricacy of tattoos that lead down his right shoulder. His russet eyes had a twinkle in them every time he smiled, and it made Urayuli feel at ease. He was one of the few people in the village that didn't take exception to her, and instead treated her like a person. Being neighbors and having actually spent time with her when they were kids, and oftentimes babysitting her, he knew she was not at all how the other kids claimed to be. Aside from all of that, he started working on her father's fishing boat when he was 15.

"Hey, I do! Well, I care more about how your trip was, not Washington itself." She admitted with a smile.

"Boring as hell, my cousin Rebecca was a pain in the ass. I think she actually caused a bunch of my hair to fall out in the short amount of time I was there." He joked.

Urayuli laughed loudly, Cole's presence often brightened up her mood.

"Speaking of which, how come both you and your father look like shit? I mean, look at you, the giant bags under your eyes aren't doing you any favors."

Immediately, her mood soured.

"I'm fine. We're fine." She tried to reassure him, but her tone was too clipped and astute to be convincing.

"Yuli, I've changed your diapers, don't hide things from me."

With a groan, Urayuli sank deeper into the couch until she slid off the length of it. She looked at the ceiling in defeat and with a deep sigh, she started telling Cole the events from the week before.

"And then I just flipped out. The words he said just made me so fucking angry." She finished after a while.

Cole was frowning, understanding Kvichak's need to protect his only daughter, but also completely understanding Urayuli's want for a bit of freedom. From time to time, Kvichak had asked him to watch over Urayuli if she ever wanted or needed to go outside, picking her up from school, going to the store, stuff like that. If she wasn't at school or stuck at home, there was always either him or Kvichak with her every time she went outside. If it was hard on her when she was a kid, it especially would be as a teenager, needing space and just moments alone.

"I totally get it, man. But you can't blame your old man for just wanting to protect you. I mean, look at my folks. They are either passed out drunk or fighting over dumb shit."

Urayuli knew about Cole's parents, but she can only remember a few moments in her whole life where she has seen them sober. One time was during a barbeque a couple of summers ago, and when Cole graduated. Cole's life had been difficult, and she felt bad complaining about her stone sober and hardworking father.

"Now I'm not telling you your problems aren't valid. I mean, you are one of, what, 4 people in this town with a quirk, and your dad had to raise you by himself, without any idea on how to deal with that. And none of those quirks are like yours."

He was right, as always. The other three people blessed with a quirk were also people who were blessed with less volatile ones. Sherry, who owns one of the three bars in Elpetquik, had a quirk she herself called Erina, which means 'voice' in Yupik. It allowed her, when there would be a brawl, to emit a high-pitched noise to make anyone grab onto their heads from the pain. The 45-year-old woman almost never used it as it wasn't common in Alaska for anyone to have a quirk, but when she did, it was quite painful. Aside from Sherry, there was also Norman, a kid who could let his hair grow on command, and even have it act like a pair of extra arms, and Olaf, who had what can only be described as a photographic memory. Sherry's parents had the same quirk, but they went missing a few years before Urayuli was born.

"I know that, Cole. But it just hurts." The girl said solemnly.

"Of course it hurts. But cut your old man some slack, yeah? He means well."

After Cole had left, Urayuli contemplated on how to apologize to her father, if she even would. Yes, she felt guilty and she was sorry for yelling at him, but she was still angry. Her talk with Cole hadn't put things into perspective. She knew her father only wanted what was best for her, but to her it wasn't what he did but what he said that hurt her so much. Even if her mother knew how to block out other people's problem with her, why should she be like her mom and just take it? It didn't sit well with her, and she shouldn't have to apologize for that.

Another hour passed of her watching Hero videos, and then her dad finally came home. She had been effectively avoiding him, but being so engrossed in her shows, she hadn't heard the car drive up to the house. Kvichak entered the living room, and the two just stared at each other for a moment. Urayuli eventually stood up and walked towards the stairs until her father's voice stopped her.

"Wait." The girl sighed but didn't say anything or turn around.

"You're going to need a new coat for the winter. Let's go into town for one."

A half hour drive with him? Alone? Hard pass. She needed a sweeter pot if she was going to be alone with him. Her father could sense this and sighed.

"And we can go to DMV to see if you can start on getting your learners permit."

"Now that's more like it." Urayuli thought wryly.

Still, she didn't speak to him. Wordlessly, she grabbed her shoes and slipped them on. Sneaking a glance at her father, she noticed her father had a soft smile on his face. Quickly she looked away and moved the hood of her hoodie on her head. Buying me stuff isn't an apology.

The car ride was quite an awkward affair. Unknown music by nameless artists sounded softly from the car radio. Neither father nor daughter spoke, and the tension felt heavy to the both of them. Kvichak tried not to let the atmosphere get to him by concentrating extra hard on the road in front of him, while Urayuli looked out of the passenger window. The giant expanse of the tundra next to the one road to town looked breathtaking as always. Even though it was mid-October, snow hadn't fallen yet. Although she loved the sight of it, it was a huge inconvenience for when she had to go to school.

Nearing the end of their ride, she glanced at her father from her peripheral, to try and see what Cole had been talking about. Did he really look that bad? After staring for a moment or two, she noticed it. The bags under his eyes were more prominent, his eyes were slightly bloodshot. His hair wasn't in its usual neat ponytail, it being disheveled and messy instead. It made her feel guiltier than she already did, actually seeing her father hurting as well. She took a deep breath and swallowed her pride.

"Dad, I'm sorry." She muttered softly.

Blinking owlishly for a moment, his eyes softened, not taking them off the road.

"I know, kiddo. I'm sorry too. Oh, we're here." He added the last thing he said absentmindedly. Before they got out of the car, Kvichak spoke up again.

"I'm happy we can get through this, Yuli. I only want what's best for you."

"I know, dad." Urayuli sighed. At least they were talking again.

"I'm just surprised it took us so long. When me and your mother would fight, she would apologize almost immediately." He added with a smile.

Or not. Her eyed widened in frustration, her lip trembling. With a growl, she opened the car door and slammed it closed in his face. Arms crossed, she stomped inside the small building with the words 'Elpetquik Trading Company'.

The fluorescent lighting in the store made Urayuli squint. As the door fell closed behind her, the stale smell of mothballs and worn leather attacked her senses. She walked over to one of the coat racks, her sneakers making the old and weathered wood squeak underneath her weight. The man at the counter, whose name was Roland Taylor, leered at her, making his bushy eyebrows almost seem like one singular hairy caterpillar.

"You're not going to cause trouble, ya hear me?" He gruffly said, standing up straight with his arms crossed. Urayuli waved him off with a leer of her own.

"I just want a coat, Mister Taylor." She said, letting her eyes rest on the coat rack before her, letting her hands feel the fabric of a few of the winter jackets. A moment or so later she heard the bell above the door give a jingle.

"Yeah, well, get your coat and ge- Kvichak?" His sentence started out hostile, but immediately lost this as he had noticed Urayuli's father walk in.

"Good afternoon, Roland. Got any good coats for my girl?" Her father asked the old man. The old man stuttered for a moment before answering.

"Yeah, she's already looking through them. But Kvichak…" He trailed off, speaking in hushed voices with her father, not wanting her to hear the conversation.

Urayuli tried not to let her anger get the better of her. 'If you want to talk about me, best say those things to my face, asshole," she thought. It wouldn't make matters easier, though. She had already disappointed her father the week before by threatening other kids, it wouldn't look good on her track record to start picking fights with old men. "Or women," she thought as her eyes roamed the store and saw the women in the back of the store whispering to themselves as they snuck glances at her. Recognizing one of them as the grandmother of Mary-Jo, one of the kids who ganged up on her, she quickly averted her eyes. Nausea gathered in her stomach and she left the coat rack, walked up to her father and grabbed his arm.

"Dad, I want to go." She squeaked hurriedly, feeling the glares burn on her back, and started shaking his arm in urgency as she heard the approaching footsteps of the women behind her. Kvichak looked down at her face and noticed the distress on it, and looked up at the women. Roland frowned at the display before him. To put as much space between herself and the angry females, she quickly dipped behind her father, pressing her back to his.

"Kvichak! What is she doing here?" Mary-Jo's grandmother, Maylene, demanded, pointing one manicured finger at him. Urayuli pressed her back firmer against her father, sneaking a glance behind her. The older woman's lips were painted red and pursed angrily, her eyes were glaring at Kvichak.

"I'm just taking by daughter shopping for a coat, Maylene. It's getting colder outside." Her father told Maylene evenly.

"Are you forgetting our conversation from days ago? She has no place in the village, attacking the other children like that!" Her shrill voice echoed through the store.

"I didn't attack them! They were throwing rocks at me!" The words had left her mouth without any warning, and her eyes widened at her mistake. She hadn't told her father about the details of the incident from a week ago, and by the angry look on Maylene's face, neither had Mary-Jo. But the older woman's words made Urayuli think for a moment. Had her father and this lady talked about sending her away? What the hell...?

"Lying won't get you anywhere, you beast." She all but snarled at Urayuli. "Kvichak. Do something about your daughter. Send her to live with other family, send her to a school abroad, I don't care! Do so, or I will involve the police."

The two adults stared each other down for what seemed like centuries. The tension was palpable, and it weighed on Urayuli like a heavy blanket she couldn't kick off. This had never happened before. Someone from the village turning on her so fiercely in her father's presence. Whenever anyone approached her with bad intentions, the sight of her father near her would've deterred most people. The other children, like Joshua or Philip, would come up behind her to try and steal her backpack, only for her father to sit them down and give them a stern talking to. Not that it ever worked, but it was the thought that counts. Urayuli wondered for a moment what he would say in this situation, only for him to open his mouth and say words that she never thought she would hear him say to her at that exact instance.

"Urayuli. Get in the car."

Urayuli's mind started racing at those words. Isn't he going to say anything? Why is he letting her talk to me like that?

"Dad- "

"I said, get in the car." His words started loud and got quieter, jaw tightened. Disbelieving her father would dismiss her like that, Urayuli fled out the door, leaving the adults in the store that was getting stuffier by the second. Outside, she felt like her heart could give out. The betrayal she felt was foreign to her, as her dad had always been the one on her side. He didn't even say anything to her. He didn't defend me.


Kvichak watched his only child run out the door in a hurry, confusion and hurt apparent on her face. It's better like this, can't have her see me like this.

Turning to the older woman and her friend? Never seen her before, he squared his shoulders. In the whole 15 years since Urayuli's birth, and in the 11 years since they discovered her quirk, not once had anyone outright said to get rid of her in her presence. They never would have gotten away with that if Maria were still alive. She wouldn't stand for any of it. But Kvichak had been weak, wanting to protect his daughter, but also appease the villagers. So, he did what the villagers wanted, not letting the poor girl go outside without a chaperone, teaching her firmly to not engage in fights, make sure she wouldn't use her quirk in public. Those rules in turn made it all seem possible and easy, but Urayuli craved freedom, just like her mother.

"She's 15 years old, Maylene." He started tersely.

"Yes, 15 years old and a danger to the children. Picking fights like that is uncivilized behavior. Especially when you consider what she can do."

"They're kids! Kids fight, and they say horrible things! Is that really a reason to send her away?" Kvichak tried to reason. He remembered all the times he got into fights when he was even younger than his daughter. And he understood Urayuli's quirk, it didn't make her insanely strong, or give her a leg-up on the other kids.

"Kid or not, she is a menace. My younger sister is the mayor, if you don't do something about her, then she will." The older woman threatened with a wag of her disgusting fingers. "The ancestors have punished her with that awful power."

"Her ancestors have given her a gift! She has not given you any reason to be scared, aside from being the way she is! She's 15 for Christ's sake, show some fucking compassion!" Kvichak's patience was as good as gone. He was absolutely done with this woman talking about his only child like this. She was young and a bit rebellious at this age, but that would smooth out with time if it was given. But if it was up to this snake, she wouldn't have that time.

"How dare- "Maylene started but Kvichak was having none of it.

"No. We are done here. I'm taking my daughter home. Fuck you, and your sister."


Urayuli was leaning against the side of the car, waiting for him. It seemed forever until her father walked out of the store, a deep frown set on his brow. Urayuli hadn't heard what transpired inside, but it couldn't have been anything positive. In her mind, she thought her father had relented to the old crone's wishes. Once again, hot anger swirled inside of her chest, ready to lash out at her father.

"So where are you going to send me off to?" She spat at Kvichak. His face contorted into a mix of confusion and apprehension.

"Urayuli, what- "

"You guys talked about sending me away to some place far away, so no one here has to deal with me, right? If you wanted to get rid of me, you should've just said so instead of pretending you actually wanted me around!" The girl cried and turned around without listening to the false words she was sure were going to come from her father's mouth.

She took a running start in the direction of where her house was, jumped in the air and shifted. She grew smaller again, but her arms extended slightly. White feathers barred with brown appeared on her body, her face contorted, and her eyesight changed, making her see further away than she normally could. Urayuli hated this form, her father knew this, and thus would make it known to him she absolutely didn't want to be around him. She took flight, her clothes dropped onto the dirt, and her father watched as the snowy owl flew away.

This form is mine this form is mine this form is mine. She forced the mantra into her head every time she shifted into an owl. The memories of the nightmares she had as a kid made it difficult, but not impossible to maintain the shape she was in.

After about 20 minutes of flying straight to her house, she launched herself into her bedroom window, shifting back, and barrel rolled onto the floor, slamming against the door of the small room. Her naked form shivered from the sudden cold air that had gathered in her room thanks to the open window, and immediately crawled into her bed. The headache that came with her owl form wracked through her skull like a sledgehammer.

Moments later Urayuli heard her father's car in the driveway, and the door to his car slam closed. The front door opened and closed, and her father's footsteps echoing through the house, coming closer and closer until he was at her door. He knocked a few times.

"Yuli? Can we please talk?" Kvichak's voice called out. But Urayuli didn't answer. She simply got up, pulled her chair over to the door and blocked the doorknob. She didn't speak. She was done.

"Urayuli." Her father said a bit more sternly. The girl ignored him. She was just so tired. Seconds seemed like hours before Kvichak sighed deeply and gave up, and left.

The noise inside Urayuli's head swirled and wracked her brain in a cacophony of voices from herself, her father, anyone in her life. So you have a quirk? What a freak. I will do anything to protect you, honey. That child is a menace. You'll be fine, kid. Did you see that? Calm yourself! Skinwalker! I can't lose you too. Yuli! Until it reached a climax and silence followed.

I'm tired of this place. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.

The following morning Urayuli went downstairs, making sure to avoid her father's bedroom. The house was strangely quiet, however she was still on edge. As silent as she could she made her way to the kitchen and plopped some mini pizza bites in the microwave oven. Urayuli took the time it took to cook her breakfast to glance around the corner of the room into the living room. Her eye fell on a piece of paper on the coffee table, she picked it up, it was a handwritten note from her father, resting atop at least $100 in $20 notes.

Hey sweetheart,

I got called into work early today, and I am going on an impromptu fishing trip. Hank said we will be out at sea for a week, and not a day longer. I will be back before you know it.

I'm sorry I didn't say goodbye, but you were still barricaded in your room. Just know that it was never my intention to hurt you, and that I only want what is best for you. Please promise me you will be good while I'm gone. The money I left you is for groceries.

Be safe, my darling girl.

Love, Dad

P.S.
I would sooner die than send you away at the command of some old crow. No one will ever take you away. I won't ever let them.

Chapter Text

He lied.

That’s what Urayuli thought when the week was over, and her father still hadn’t come back. She had been anxious about his arrival, wanting to finally make up to him. To apologize for everything that had transpired the weeks before. But he was almost a day late. Can’t expect him to call, seeing as phone reception out at sea is absolute dogshit. But where was he? She looked at the clock in the kitchen. 8.50. It was already dark out and Urayuli was just sure he wouldn’t walk through the door any second.

Suddenly the front door slammed open and Cole stood in the entrance, panting hard.

“Yuli! Get in the car!” Cole’s voice was strained with worry and fear, it made Urayuli pause.

“What’s going on, Cole?” She asked frantically.

“I will explain in the car! Just come on!”

Cole’s insistence on the matter made her haul ass to put on her shoes and ratty coat and rush outside. When they both were situated in the car, Cole planked it and sped off in the direction of the town.

“Cole, what in the actual hell is going on?!” Urayuli demanded.

“It’s your dad!” Cole yelled, not taking his eyes off the road. “His boat was on the radar just fine, on the way here, when suddenly it wasn’t!”

No. You’re lying. Urayuli felt herself get colder. You’re lying to me. Please tell me you’re lying. Her dad couldn’t be gone. How does a boat disappear from the radar? She was shook from her stupor when Cole drove over one of the many potholes in the road, his urgency and the dark outside making his driving sloppy.

“You’re lying. How does that happen?” Cole didn’t answer. “Cole? Cole, answer me. Where is my father? Where are we going right now?”

“We’re going to the fishing company. Try and see if they have answers for us. I’m sorry I couldn’t come sooner, they wouldn’t let me leave.” Cole explained.

“They? Who is ‘they’?”

Cole groaned. “Those old fucks at the company. They were making a big fuss about telling you, saying we should wait until we had more answers.”

“What?! It’s my father we’re talking about! Why would they wait on telling me on purpose?!” Urayuli couldn’t believe her ears. Were they that scared of her turning volatile? With good reason, her father didn’t come home and now Cole was saying his boat disappeared, how else is she supposed to react?

The girl slumped in her seat, letting the anger coil inside her chest. Letting it fester and burn, thinking of things to say when she finally got to talk to the imbeciles in charge while her father’s whereabouts were unknown. She grabbed hold of her arms, pinching harder and harder until she couldn’t take it anymore. Her jaw clenched and unclenched. They didn’t want to see me angry.

But now I’m angry.


 When they finally arrived about 30 minutes later, Urayuli rushed out of the car and made a dash for the door to the fishing company, evading Cole’s grab for her form. She all but kicked the door in, and the sight that met her did little to quell her anger. In the large barrack was a table with equipment and 5 men standing around looking solemn. She knew who these men were. Hank Smith, Finn Clark, Hunter Matthews, Sven Olaffson, and James McAllen. Five of her father’s coworkers, she knew them all, but none of them had come to get her after her father had disappeared. They all looked up and at the door from the noise. Sven at least had the decency to look guilty upon seeing her. Hank and the others were only frowning.

“How come no one came to me the second my father disappeared from the radar.” It wasn’t much of a question as the words came from her clenched teeth. She looked at every face, challenging them to answer her in a way she didn’t approve.

“Look, kid” Hank started, getting up from the chair he was sitting in. “We wanted to wait until we had some answers ourselves. We don’t know what happened and we- “

“You what? Wanted to wait until after you find my father’s body to tell what the fuck happened?” She spat back at the man. Hank’s dark skin got darker with annoyance and walked over to the youth with a scowl.

“Listen here, Yaraqpik. I don’t like this anymore than you do. The radar showed your father’s location just fine, and the next thing we know the signal vanished. The last bits of radio com were static until that disappeared entirely as well. None of us has the answers you are looking for, so quit looking at us as if we did this to you.” The older man spoke lowly as he looked at the girl.

Urayuli bit her lip, angry unshed tears in her eyes. She just wanted to know where her father was. Needed to know that he was okay.

“Then we’ll look for him!” She exclaimed. “With my quirk, I can turn into a beluga or an otter and we’ll- “

“Are you touched in the head, girl?” Sven interrupted her suddenly. “The weather can turn sour any moment. The weather lady spoke about an immense snowstorm incoming, we can’t go out with our boats!”

“You don’t have to go anywhere. I’ll look for him myself. Just give me the location of where his boat was last on the radar.” Urayuli told him, determination in her eyes. She felt Cole’s hand on her shoulder.

“Yuli, you can’t. What if something happens to you while you’re out there? Kvichak will kill me!”

She shrugged his hand off her shoulder. “He can’t kill you if he’s dead, and we won’t know for sure if he is if I don’t go out there and look for him.

Her gaze fell on Hank again, her eyes pleading to him to give her the info. As long as she could remember, Hank had always been her father’s closest friend, but an absolute hardass. By his grizzled and scarred face, calloused hands, and muscles, one could easily see bush Alaska worked him to the bone. Proud of his work and his homeland. He was never hostile to her, but never friendly either. Their only connection being Kvichak, a man they both loved.

“Hank, please. I need to find him.” She pleaded with a hand over her sternum. Let me find him. Let me bring him home.

Hank bore his eyes into hers, searching for God knows what. A reason to tell her no, to let the adults take care of it. Eventually he sighed, knowing the adults in the room didn’t have the power to do anything, and realizing this girl did. He broke eye contact with Urayuli to point at a place on the map that hung on the wall, a point in the river where it split into two.

“His boat was last seen here.” He turned around to look the native girl in her determined cognac-colored gaze. “Bring him back.”

Nodding, Urayuli sped out the door, Cole hot on her trail. I’ll find you, dad. I promise.


Hank Smith sat back down in his chair with a deep sigh. Sven and Hunter looked around the room, defeated. Finn kicked over the nearest trashcan in frustration at not being able to do anything. James was simply pacing around the room, until he suddenly stopped in the middle of the room.

“So are we just going to let a kid take care of business? We’re the adults here!” He voiced, looking at Hank. “Why did you let her go out there?”

“Because if there’s anyone who can find him, it’s her.” Hank told James. “And while we’re on the subject, I need to make a phone call while we still have service until the storm hits.”

He walked over to the landline phone and punched in a number. The other men in the room stared at him with question visible in their gaze.

“Who are you gonna call?” Sven asked apprehensively. Hank glared at him for a second.

“The Ghostbusters, now shut the fuck up.”

Hank could hear the phone ring for a couple of seconds, until he heard someone pick up, and a gruff voice answered.

“Yeah?”

“Max. It’s Hank. It’s about Kvichak.”


 “You know this is crazy, right?” Cole said after he had caught his breath from running after his young friend. They were near the fork in the river where her father’s boat was last seen. “This is completely insane.”

“Call it what you want, I’m going in there.” Urayuli said clenching her fists. It was getting colder. Snow had already started falling and the flakes in her hair contrasted with the dark color of her locks. With every breath she took, a cloud of warm air escaped her nostrils. Her ratty coat did little to shield her from the cold, but it didn’t matter to her. A child born on the tundra need not fear the cold.

Without a word, she slowly took her clothes off, not bothered by Cole’s presence. She had a job to do. She had her duty to fulfill. Find her father and bring him home. Still naked, and feeling the cold on her dark skin, she and Cole made their way to the river bank. Urayuli handed Cole her clothes and slowly but surely walked into the already freezing river. She could feel the cold soak into her skin and bones, and goosebumps shot up through her entire body.

“Yuli.” Cole’s voice reached her ears. She turned her head to look at him. “Be careful.”

She nodded before turning her eyes back on the murky and icy water. She waded deeper and deeper until she could barely stand on her tippy toes on the bottom. This seems like a good spot. Taking a deep breath, she concentrated before exhaling and breathing deeply again, and finally diving underwater. Her spine elongated, she could feel her senses warping and changing, her legs morphing into a tail. Her skin changed color and structure, and the cold suddenly wasn’t an issue anymore. A soft clicking noise escaped her.

Using echo location, she surveyed the area while swimming as swiftly as she could. Repetitive clicking noises rang through her skull, and they bounced off something large and made of metal nearby. Quickly now. Building up speed, she swam through the murky waters as she kept clicking, until she eventually found the metal structure of a boat underwater. She swam deeper and tried to read the boat’s name. The Gambit. This was it. The boat was resting on the bottom as far as she could see, and clutter from the boat was floating around. She swam around, clicking away, searching for bodies. Nothing came back. No heartbeat. No movement. Not even an indication there were any bodies at all.

She kept searching. There was no way she was leaving without him. But there was nothing. She moved around so she could take a peek inside the boat windows, but there was no one inside. What? This was a boat with a crew of at least 10 men, where has the crew gone? On her way she hadn’t found any bodies adrift or washed ashore, neither had she even heard or located them with her echo location.

Dad, where are you?! Urayuli kept clicking and squawking desperately, swimming to and fro, but there was nobody there. Did they just disappear? How do 10 fishermen just vanish?! She was panicking, frantically calling out and clicking, but to no avail.

Urayuli felt her energy draining fast. I have to go up. Can’t keep this up any longer. Need air. As fast as she could, she swam towards the surface before her form could give out. She breached the surface, and she had shifted back again. Feeling her legs and feet again, and being able to see better again, she frantically peered along the dark waters and shoreline. Nothing. No sign of life. No bodies adrift, only supplies and other clutter. In her panicked state, she called out to her father.

“DAD! WHERE ARE YOU?! DAD!” But there was no one there to answer her. The snow was coming down harder, the wind harsher and biting her wet skin, it became almost impossible for her to see clearly.

Shifting into an otter, she quickly made her way back to the shore where she had left Cole. With a heavy heart, she left the wreckage of The Gambit.

When she finally got to the shore, she quickly shifted back, and her body wracked with intense shivers and her teeth clacked violently. Cole hurried over to her and wrapped her in something warm.

“I had totally forgotten that we drove to the fishing company, so I ran all the way back and drove back here again. What’s the situation?” He explained out of breath. The blanket he wrapped around her did little to protect her from the cold as she was still naked, but she was still grateful.

“He’s n-n-not-t t-t-there. I c-couldn’t f-f-f-ind his-s bod-d-dy an-n-nywhere. It’s like they dis-s-sap-p-peared!” Urayuli tried to explain through her chattering teeth and lips that were slowly turning blue. She was slowly losing any feeling in her toes and fingers, that were rapidly getting whiter and whiter by the second. Cole quickly dressed her, starting with her feet to warm them up. Not at all embarrassed by the situation, he helped her put on her underwear while simultaneously hugging her closely, so she could warm up from his body warmth.

When she was dressed, she took another moment to try and see along the river for any signs of life, but the heavy snowfall made it impossible. I failed. I couldn’t find him He’s out there somewhere, I know he is.

One last time she called out.

“DAAAAAD!” The snow dampened her voice, but it still traveled over the water. But no one called back.


That night, Cole brought her back to her house and stayed there. Urayuli was stubborn in going asleep, telling Cole that she could still go out and look for Kvichak, but Cole discouraged her. The two of them talked about what Urayuli had seen there, how she found The Gambit, but not the crew it belonged to. As they did so, Cole began treating her frostbite symptoms, gradually warming the young girl. 

Eventually Urayuli got frustrated and began fighting against Cole’s administrations, but he held her tightly, petting her hair and holding her face to his shoulder as she cried and clutched his shirt. After a few minutes she fell asleep like that, and Cole had carried her up to her bed. He kept vigil on her person until he fell asleep in the chair at her desk.

When Urayuli finally woke up from her restless slumber, it was already 3PM, and she had missed school. Doesn’t matter. Nothing matters. The smell of pancakes lured her downstairs to the kitchen, where she found Cole making said breakfast. While they ate, he explained to her that the police had been notified in the night, but it was hard for them to because of the snow. The snow storm had accumulated 6 inches of snow overnight, and it made driving through town exceedingly difficult and annoying.

As the day progressed, Urayuli and Cole decided to stay in and turn on the TV for background noise, as local news wouldn’t really talk about the disappearance of a fisherman crew in the bush. People disappeared here all the time, and once someone disappears, they are gone. Actually gone. When you die on the tundra, the tundra just takes you. Bodies are almost never found because the tundra straight up eats them in less than a month time.

The police showed up at some point during the early evening but had to disappoint the young girl. Aside from the shipwreck underwater and the supplies that were floating around, they found no sign of Kvichak or the other men on the fishing trip. They subtly tried to tell her to take funeral arrangements into consideration, like the families of the other men were expected to do. She promptly slammed the door in their face. He’s alive. And if he isn’t, let’s just hope the tundra has him. At least he would be on Alaskan soil. But he’s not dead. I know he’s not.


“Are you sure you’ll be fine on your own? I can just stay here for another day, you know my parents won’t mind. Or care, for that matter.” Cole tried to convince Urayuli. 

“I’m sure. I just want to be alone for a while.” Urayuli grimaced. The sun had already set, and the glow of the light scones on the snow made the whole scenery feel like Christmas. Except Christmas wouldn’t ever feel the same anymore.

“Alright, if you’re sure. Stay warm, okay? And tell me if you hear anything.” Cole said, and he left, his feet causing the snow to crunch underneath. Urayuli waved his back goodbye and hurried back inside.

It felt wrong to be there. Without him. The silence felt deafening as she stood in her living room, staring at her feet. And I couldn’t even save him. I couldn’t rescue him. What a fucking failure. She sank down on the floor, the rough carpet itching her feet through her socks. She hugged her knees as she cried softly. Loneliness wasn’t a foreign feeling to her, but she at least always had her father. It was always the two of them, and now there was only her. What was she supposed to do now?

Emotionally drained and overall tired from the entire ordeal, she had fallen asleep in the fetal position, only to be woken up hours later by Cole kicking the door open and shaking her frantically.

“Yuli! Yuli! They found them! They found your dad!” He exclaimed in a rush, picked her up in his arms and rushed to his car. They sped away, and the tires kicked up dust on the dirt road.

“W-What do you mean, they found them?! The Gambit was completely abandoned! Where the hell did they find the crew?” Urayuli asked, her heart in her throat.

“I got a call from Hank, he told me he found them washed ashore down near the boats! As far as Hank could tell, they were all okay. One or two have hypothermia, Klaus has insane frostbite, though. Might lose his hand. But Kvichak is fine, aside from probably having pneumonia.” Cole explained, his voice starting out frenzied, but mellowing out as he kept talking.

She couldn’t believe it. Her father was okay? But how come she couldn’t find him the night before? Was her echo location just off? It’s true Urayuli didn’t use her beluga form often, the opportunity almost never available, but one would think she could use it to some extent. And it was never as if she was allowed to shift often anyway, so could that have been the case? She just sucked at using her quirk? Is that the reason why she was unable to help her father? I’m just fucking useless?

“There!” She yelled as soon as she saw the hunched over form of her father. The car hadn’t even skidded to a stop before Urayuli all but jumped out of the car. She heard Cole yell “HEY” when she slammed the door shut, but she couldn’t wait. Her father barely lifted his head to look at her before she collided with him, wrapping their arms around each other.

They didn’t say anything, just held each other close. Both father and daughter quietly sobbed in each other’s arms for a while, clutching tightly, afraid the other would disappear. Kvichak started rocking back and forth, trying to calm both himself and Urayuli down. After a few moments, he held her at arm’s length to look at her.

“My darling girl… I am sorry I’ve worried you.” He whispers, still in disbelief that she was there.

“What happened, dad?” She whispered back. “I tried to look, but I couldn’t find you.” The last part she sobbed out, voice cracking, remembering the events of the night before.

“I’ll tell you when we get home and I’ve warmed up a bit. Is that alright with you?” Urayuli nodded, tears still streaming down her face.

Chapter Text

Cole had prepared some hot chocolate for the two of them before he left in a hurry, saying something about needing to pick up his mother from the airport. This left both father and daughter alone in their relieved happiness, sitting across from each other at the kitchen table. Snow was still falling heavily outside, covering the world in a thick blanket of white. Urayuli’s face was still stained red from crying and Kvichak was letting the vapors of his hot chocolate warm his. Looking in the dark brown eyes that were nothing like hers except for in shape, a question swirled in her mind.

“Dad.” She said. Kvichak looked back at his daughter. “How did you even survive? I… I know I’m not supposed to, but I shifted so I could look for you in the water. I only found The Gambit but not you or your crew. It was… getting colder and colder, and I couldn’t find you.” In between words she would sniffle, as the memories and pain from the night before were still fresh in her mind

Her father looked down at his hands curled around his cup, then at Urayuli’s around hers, before closing his eyes. Scratching behind his ear, he thought of the best way to explain what had happened.

“Do… Do you remember anything about your grandfather?”

Urayuli’s head reared back slightly, her face scrunching up in confusion. What did her grandfather have anything to do with this? Kvichak almost never spoke of him to her. The last time he was in Elpetquik was for her 10th birthday, and then she never saw him again.

“Grandpa Max?” Her father nodded, urging her to continue. “Not much, really.” She confessed.

Kvichak sighed, closing his eyes again and rubbing his temples.

“It’s no surprise, honestly. He would only visit once a year, and that stopped after your tenth birthday. At the time I had sincerely hoped he would at least write occasionally, but he’s not one for flowery words.”

“Dad, wait.” Urayuli interrupted. “What are you getting at?”

He was silent for a moment. His daughter’s cognac eyes trained on him, eyes that were so much like Maria’s it hurt. His heart clenched at the thought of his late beloved, but his mind steeled for the matter at hand.

“That day, while on the river, The Gambit suddenly started sinking. Apparently, Klaus had accidentally steered us into shallow waters earlier. He had kept quiet about it until we actually started sinking, the moron. What’s more, remember Gerald? He’s the new guy, and he was in charge of the life raft. Idiot never even seen that kind of equipment before, so we had nothing.”

Urayuli gaped at her father, her eyes widening in disbelief. “Nothing?!” The realization made her blood run cold.

“Nada.” Kvichak confirmed, crossing his arms and hunching over in thought. “I never should have let him go on this trip. I shouldn’t even have been on that trip. Aside from Klaus and I, none of the crew were experienced enough to go out at sea, but they begged me to. So they would get the experience they obviously lacked. Before I knew it, Sean had broken the radio antenna in his panic to try and fix it, when I wasn’t even aware of it being broken at all. Everyone was running around in a frenzy while water was filling up the hull. At some point I just said, ‘fuck it’ and told everybody to abandon ship.”

He ended his ramblings with a shrug of his shoulders and arms. Urayuli couldn’t believe what she was hearing. The image her mind was conjuring of her father just deciding on a whim to jump ship made no sense at all.

“You… abandoned ship… Did you even know there was a snowstorm coming? How could you do something so dangerous?” She asked tightly, her frame shaking.

Kvichak looked at his daughter’s trembling form and clenched his teeth.

“I definitely knew there was a storm coming. I also knew that if we didn’t get to shore before the storm hit, we wouldn’t live through the night. It was either we got ourselves soaked trying to fix the hull, or leave the ship dry, and with all of our energy intact. As I was saying, we jumped ship and we made our way to the shore. Everyone was tired and cold and uncomfortable, but we had to make do. Three of us eventually collapsed and we had to carry them the rest of the way. But I hadn’t realized we were on the wrong shore until much later. We were in a forest none of us were familiar with and the sun had finally set, so it was too dark for us to make our way back.”

She smacked her hand against her forehead in exasperation. That is probably the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of. There was a reason her father wasn’t ever in charge of being at the helm of a ship.

“Jesus… I’m almost afraid to ask, but what happened next?”

“We eventually found an abandoned mine and took shelter there. At some point all of us were too tired to complain and we just huddled together like penguins to keep ourselves warm. When the sun rose again, snow had covered the entire landscape. We couldn’t leave that place, but we also couldn’t stay. We had no food or water. Caleb, Fred, and Tucker still hadn’t woken up, and no one can carry grown men on their backs in the condition we were in. So… we just stayed put, hoping that the police would come find us. And then…” He trailed off.

The whole time Urayuli was listening intently but was caught off guard by her father’s abrupt stop. She tried catching his eye, but he wouldn’t look at her directly.

She put her hand on the table, palm up so he would maybe take her hand.

“And then what, dad?” She asked softly.

“I heard… or I thought I heard an eagle overhead. I know I saw a bird of prey circling up above when I left the mine to check it out. Probably a Golden Eagle. Which wouldn’t have bothered me so much until I remembered Golden Eagles are only around these parts during the breeding season. Eventually I lost sight of it. And later… I heard a moose call. That terrified the living daylights out of me. It was close too, and I had no idea how close it was to us. And then it appeared through the trees. It was bigger than any moose I have ever seen, with an enormous set of antlers.” He shivered from the memory.

“I was scared shitless.” The wording made Urayuli snort. “I’m serious. Moose are no joke. I feared for my life, until…”

“Until what? Stop doing that, just tell me the story.” Urayuli said, impatient.

“It’s called suspense, young lady. Anyway… as I was saying, I probably would have shit myself in that moment, until it looked at me. Looked me in the eye. These almost amber colored eyes that peered into my soul. The moose had your eyes, Yuli.”

The words made Urayuli’s heart stop. Her eyes? The same color eyes? On a moose? Her mouth opened to ask the question that was burning her tongue, but no noise came.

“I immediately started getting the others, and with their help put Caleb, Fred, and Tucker on the moose’s back so he could carry them to safety. We followed them, and the moose led us to a small vessel on the shore, so we could get back to the port. And… you know the rest.”

Her head was spinning. Kvichak’s words kept running through her mind in echoes, desperately trying to figure out what he was telling her. Thus, the question that was hanging in the air between them was vocalized.

“What does this all have to do with grandpa?” She asked while anxiously picking at her upper lip.

“Yuli, your grandfather was the moose.”

The missing piece clicked into place, and her eyes widened at the sudden realization. To try and subdue the disbelieving laughter that was bubbling in her stomach, she sipped on her long forgotten hot chocolate that stopped being hot altogether. The shock made her choke, which turned into coughs and then laughter anyhow. Absolutely absurd. She believed her father, but the whole situation felt so weird to her.

“Grandpa Max… was the moose? So wait, he has the same quirk?”

“Where do you think you and your mom got it from?” He quipped back. It made sense to her now, but because of the lack of interaction with her grandfather, she never really took it into consideration.

A follow-up question popped into her mind.

“But wait, how did grandpa know you were missing in the first place?”

“Hank filled me in on the phone.” A sudden, gravelly voice answered.

She hadn’t even heard the front door open, and the sudden appearance of the voice made her stand up in alarm. A man stood not even ten feet away behind her, resting his enormous frame on the sliding doors with his arm. A white and short but full beard and mustache, with the same color hair atop his head. His skin was much lighter than hers, though his defined cheekbones spoke true of his heritage. But the most striking feature of all, was the same cognac gaze staring back at her. If it weren’t for those eyes, she would have never recognized him.

She blinked in confusion, her grandfather has always been a tall man, but she was still a young kid when she had last seen him. Grownups almost always seem much taller than they actually are. Not Max Ivanov.

Max Ivanov was, in all honesty, a beast of a man. Six foot eight with the build of a grizzly bear, his entire posture demanded respect.

“G-grandpa Max?” Urayuli stuttered. A small smile broke on her lips, but Max did not return the gesture. Her smile faltered. His eyes rested on her for a moment before landing on Kvichak’s face.

“Good to see you’ve kept her well informed of her proud heritage, Jack.” Max said flatly.

The misuse of her father’s name did not go unnoticed by Urayuli. She looked at her father, whose face was shadowed by shame, and peered at her grandfather’s eyes, which were darkened by anger and the brim of his sailor cap created an overcast on his brow. The animosity in the air could be cut by a knife.

“You got anything to say for yourself?” Max demanded gruffly, voice still flat. Kvichack’s hands clenched and unclenched.

“I did it to protect her.” He answered through gritted teeth.

“Protect her, or hide her away, so you wouldn’t lose her like you lost her mother?” Max quipped.

Kvichak abruptly stood up from his chair, the noise of the legs being scraped back on the wooden floor grating on Urayuli’s ears.

“Is that what you think of me?” He demanded to know.

“No, I think less of you.” Max stated, staring his late daughter’s husband in the eyes.

“Is this really necessary with Urayuli in the room?”

“You’re right. Me and my ‘quirkless’ granddaughter will speak privately about this later.” Max told Kvichak tersely.

She felt out of place here. She had no part in this conversation, and so she did what any fifteen-year-old would do in this type of situation. Awkwardly announce your departure and remove yourself from the matter at hand.

“You obviously have much to talk about, so… I’m just… gonna go.” She shifted her weight around and with that, she fled to the front door, put on her shoes, and went outside.

The cold stung her warm face and the icy air filled her lungs as she stepped into the cold and barren wasteland of snow. She peered at the large pine tree in her front yard and decided in the moment to climb it. Hoping the branches wouldn’t crack under her weight she slowly made her way up until she found a suitable perch about a quarter of the way up. From her perch she could visibly see her male relatives argue in the window looking into the kitchen. Flailing hands from both parties, her father’s pacing around the room and her grandfather slamming his fist on the kitchen counter.

Urayuli wasn’t sure how to feel. The fact that Max never knew she had a quirk was a plan concocted by her father when she was younger. “Grandpa would only feel uncomfortable about it” He would tell her. Looking back at it, the whole idea should have unnerved her, but it never did. If she was her grandfather, she probably would have wanted to know something so detrimental.

After what felt like half an hour, Grandpa Max finally stepped outside, slamming the front door shut. He immediately spotted the young girl and made his way through the snow towards her. Urayuli steeled herself and watched with bated breath, until her grandfather stood still under her dangling feet. He gazed at her for a moment, deciding what to do. He raised his right hand slowly, and easily grabbed her smaller foot with it and shook it lightly. A greeting?

“Did you climb the tree yourself? Or did you let one of your little forms out?” Max asked lowly.

“I- I climbed it myself.” Urayuli confessed, tugging at the strings of her hoodie.

“Hmph. You would have been up there faster had you shifted into a squirrel.” Max said with his arms crossed.

Heat rushed to her face, ashamed of her lack of talent.

“Don’t know how.” Max lowered his head in slight disappointment at her confession. He adjusted his cap before looking at her again.

“You will. It takes time and effort. You’ve never been given the opportunity to actually use your Quirk, so it’s no surprise you suck.” Max’s harsh words cut through her heart. She turned her head to look at nothing in particular, as long as she wasn’t looking at him.

Max lightly nudged her foot. “That doesn’t mean you will suck forever, you know. You just have to be in an environment where you can learn to use it.”

“And what, have you teach me?” Urayuli snorted with a crooked smile. She raised an eyebrow at her grandfather, only to see something similar on his face. We have the same smile. “Wait, you’re serious?”

“Serious as a heart attack. I will teach you how you can make your quirk your own. But…” He trailed off.

“But?”

“I’m not staying here. This place has too many reminders of a life I’ve left behind.”

The young girl thought for a moment.

“Where would we go?” She asked softly.

“To the place where heroes are made.” The words made Urayuli hold her breath. “It’s up to you.”

It felt as if her heart was ready to leap out of her chest. Does he mean Japan?

“When?” She asked, strangely out of breath, as if she had just ran a marathon. Her grandfather smirked at her, a glint in his eyes.

“I’ve got two plane tickets heading to Japan. I’m leaving tomorrow, and if you’re up for it, so are you.”

Her heart exploded with all kinds of feelings. Going to the country with one of the biggest and most prestigious hero schools and hero agencies? It felt unreal. Her eyes widened, and she searched her grandfather’s face for any deception. Finding none, she readied herself and jumped from her perch onto the soft snow below. Standing in front of Max, the top of her head barely reached the top of his sternum. To look at his face, she had to drastically crane her neck.

A brick of uncertainty fell in her stomach. What did this all mean for her father? Max only had two tickets. Would she have to leave without him?

“What about dad?” The mention of her father made the corners of Max’s mouth turn down and his large nose crinkled as if disgusted.

“Jack is staying here. He has his own duties and responsibilities.”

The thought of leaving her father behind made her blood run cold. It has always been the two of them. And now she had to leave him behind? But going to Japan, and training under her grandfather… to actually use her quirk… Was it worth it? She was deep in thought until Max interrupted her.

“Your abilities need molding and teaching. It would be a waste not to, and it will be a cold day in Hell if I ever let that happen. If you’re going with me, best start packing tonight.” He said and strode to the blue rusted pick-up in the driveway, leaving Urayuli with her thoughts.

The sound of the engine rumbling to life seemed extra loud because of the absence of other noise. Max locked eyes with his granddaughter before nodding at her and driving away. Urayuli sent a small wave his way.

She made her way over back to the house and opened the door with purpose, needing to talk to her father about all of this. Unsure of herself, unsure of her future, she needed his blessing or his reluctance in this. But when she got back in the kitchen, and saw his face, there were no words needed to be said.

Kvichak smiled sadly at his daughter, reluctant in letting her go but understanding the necessity of the situation. He got up from his seat at the kitchen counter and enveloped his only living family in his arms. He knew she needed to leave him, that he had to let her go, but that didn’t make it any easier on him. The both of them erupted in sobs as they held onto each other tightly.


Max was putting all of her belongings into the truck, which wasn’t much to begin with in retrospect. Her personal trappings were able to be contained in two or three boxes and shoved in the back of the pick-up. The most most important things were in her backpack in the cab. He turned to her after he put the last box in.

“Have you said your final goodbyes to everyone worth mentioning?” Max asked.

“Yeah, I went to Cole’s house earlier. He was sad to see me leave.” Urayuli nodded. It didn’t escape Max that her father wasn’t there with them.

“Don’t you need to say goodbye to your old man.” Max grunted. Urayuli shook her head no.

“We already said our goodbyes last night. Doing it now will just be painful.” She tried her best to sound confident, but the quiver of her lip was not lost on her grandfather.

As if on cue, Kvichak hastily stumbled outside, holding an envelope. He held it out to her with a smile.

“I thought we- “Urayuli started with a frown.

“Yeah, I know, but I forgot to give you this. Don’t open it until the plane has taken off.” He hugged her one final time, tightly against his chest.

After about ten seconds they finally stepped away from each other. They stared at one another for a few moments before the sound of a car horn shook them out of their trance. Max impatiently honked two extra times short and consecutively after another while staring the two of them down.

Urayuli turned back to her father, unshed tears in her eyes.

“I’ll write you. I’ll send emails, we’ll skype!”

“Of course we will, honey. Chin up, and don’t forget about your old dad, okay?” He tapped the underside of her chin with a curled finger and winked at her.

Not wanting to prolong the goodbye, she turned on her heel and briskly walked over to the car. She locked eyes with her father one final time before getting into the vehicle. The engine roared to life and grandfather and granddaughter took off. She couldn’t look over her shoulder. It would hurt her too much.

As they drove past Cole’s house, the young man ran outside and waved to the car with both his hands above his head. Urayuli hurriedly opened the car window and stuck her head and an arm out to wave back. Neither could see the gathering tears in the other’s eyes. The car turned the corner around the trees and her vision of Cole was obscured. It would be a long while before she saw him again.

Urayuli sat back down and tried but failed to wipe away the tears that were now streaming down her face. Max let her cry and didn’t pay her any mind, to her relief. Instead, he just softly took her much smaller hand in his bigger one, while he kept one hand on the steering wheel.

After she was done crying, they were almost at the airport, if you could call it that. It was just one waiting area not much bigger than a McDonald’s parking lot, with only one runway. 

Max rubbed her hand with his thumb. “I know it’s hard, leaving all of it behind. Everything you’ve ever known will be so far away. But the opportunity and experience you get in exchange… You might be just like me, and never go back to it.”


The airplane was rumbling, ready to take off. Urayuli wringed her hands together, fidgeted with the seatbelt, took a deep breath and tried as hard as she could to stop her heart from beating so fast. She had flown before, just never so long distance. Granted, the small bush plane would make a stop at Anchorage, where Urayuli and Grandpa Max would muck around for 4 hours, and then they would be on a nine-hour flight to Haneda Airport. Urayuli had never been outside of the US before and has only been out of state a few times, so she felt her nerves were at least justified.

She looked over to her right and saw that her grandfather had already fallen asleep in his seat, with his hat positioned over his eyes. Snorting a little at the sight of him, she rummaged in the seat pouch in front of her. Finding nothing of interest except for the usual barf bag and emergency instructions, she slumped back in her seat.

Boredom overtook her nerves and she felt around in her ratty backpack for entertainment. Her mp3 player and headphones wouldn’t make enough noise to cancel out the engine sounds, so that was out. Her handheld Nintendo device was an option, but she couldn’t for the life of her remember the last time she charged it. That left a lone book and the envelope her dad gave her. Curiosity got the better of her, and even though her father told her to open it after takeoff, who would let her out of the plane now should she decide to leave?

Urayuli impatiently snagged open the sealed envelope with her pinky finger and fished the letter out.

My kind Urayuli,

Knowing you, you’ve probably already opened this letter before takeoff, but I’ll forgive you for it.

Urayuli snorted softly.

When you were born to this earth, I was overjoyed, even when your dear mother left us. Even as she passed in my arms, all I could think about was the little pink baby crying in her grasp. I had decided in that moment that I would protect you from all the harm and pain in the world. Even after your Quirk had manifested, I promised I would keep you safe. In doing so, I caused you pain by not setting you free when you so desperately needed to. ‘If you love something, let it go’, right?

A tear rolled down her cheek.

But I couldn’t, because I’m a weak man. I couldn’t in good conscience let the only thing I had left of your mother out of my arms. You mean the absolute world to me, Urayuli. You do know that, don’t you?

Her heart felt heavy and her tears kept coming.

You are strong, sweet child. Way stronger than me. Than I’ll ever be. You have greatness in you, and I know you are going to do great things in the future. Your mother would be so proud of you if she could see you now. She would have moved our asses to Japan ages ago if she were still alive.

I know you hate it when I call you this, but it fits in your case.

My sweet summer child

Urayuli dropped her hand in her lap for a second to groan softly, because OF COURSE her father would write something corny like that. A smile crept its way on her face. She continued reading.

My sweet summer child, I will miss you dearly. I don’t expect you to come back to stay here forever, just promise me you’ll visit every once in a while. This house will always be your home.

I hope you don’t bare any resentment towards me. Every time we fought about your Quirk, every time something happened at school or wherever you used your Quirk or fought off the other kids, just know that I always had your best interest in mind. All I ever wanted was to protect you.

I guess this is goodbye, sweet girl. I love you and I will always love you. Never forget that.

With all the love in the world,

Dad

Chapter Text

Leaving Elpetquik and her father behind had been bittersweet. She wouldn’t see her father and the beautiful environment for a long time, but at the same time she was happy to never see the bitter villagers again. She was curious how life with her grandfather was going to be like. Looking outside the window in the stale smelling taxi cab, she was in awe at the surroundings. They were driving on the highway en route to Musutafu near Tokyo, and the whole environment felt odd to her. Having watched anime for the greater portion of her life, the houses and buildings had a familiar feel to them, but at the same time they did not.

Her grandfather was sitting in the passenger seat, rapidly speaking to the taxi driver. His Japanese was much better than hers, but she could follow it if she concentrated. Urayuli didn’t want to however, deciding instead to keep looking out the window. Even just to make sure she would get used to the fact that they were driving on the left side of the road.

After another thirty minutes of driving they finally arrived at a semi-modern looking house in a suburban neighborhood. It looked sizable on the outside. Not much bigger than Urayuli’s house had been. The taxi driver had put all her belongings on the stoop of the house and bowed to the both of them. She nodded back and went to bend down to pick up the boxes, only to be shooed away by her grandfather so he could do it instead. He handed her a set of keys and mumbled “Unlock the door”.

When she did, her eyes were greeted with what was the word again? Genkan? littered only with two pairs of outdoor shoes and three pairs of crocs in varying colors, two of which in her size. Grandpa. Ew. She made a face before taking her shoes off, not even looking twice at the ugly footwear. She took a few steps into the hallway, noticing a flight of stairs to her right. Walking further, she opened a door to her left and was met with a large living area with an open kitchen. A sizable red couch, a white coffee table, large TV, cabinets. It looked somewhat homey. Definitely not what she expected her grandfather’s house to look like.

Urayuli looked around to see if her grandfather had followed her until she heard thumping coming from upstairs. She turned around to the hallway and warily walked up the wooden stairs, feeling with her socks how slippery the wood felt. Another hallway with four doors, two on either side of the walls. The door that was furthest away from her was open. She noticed quickly that there was a wooden name-tag hammered into her door that said “Urayuli”. Oh. That’s actually adorable. She peeked inside the room.

It’s… spartan. The room only had a single bed with green bed-sheets, a closet and a desk. Above her desk was an air conditioner installed. A window to the right of her desk. This room was a little bigger than her room was back home.

Her grandfather opened the last box on the bottom of the stack and turned towards her.

“Well, all your stuff’s in here now. If you need any tools to put up decorations and what not, just holler. Take your time getting settled in today. I’m gonna cook some dinner.” He grumbled not unkindly, took off his hat and left her to her own devices.

She took a good look around the room and rolled up the sleeves of her red flannel shirt. Time for some interior decorating.


Urayuli had emptied out the first two boxes, which consisted mostly of her wardrobe and shoes, that were now neatly put away in the closet at the foot of her bed. She bent down to start unpacking the third box when she heard her grandfather’s booming voice from downstairs.

“Urayuli! Dinner!” The words made her oddly nostalgic. She snorted to herself. I left one house with a loud man and went to live with another.

Dashing down the stairs (or at least trying to as she slipped on the last step and fell hard on her ass), her senses were attacked by a smell that she could only describe as abrasive. She made a face when she entered the living room, and her eyes fell on the dinner table. Two dishes of baked sweet potato with a side of rice. Urayuli cringed. God, I hate sweet potato.

She sat down at the table, despite the horrible smell assaulting her nose. Grandpa Max sat down as well and started eating. Urayuli immediately grabbed for the rice, completely abandoning the sweet potato monstrosity. Max reached over with his chopsticks and tapped her plate.

“Eat your potatoes, kituuqta.” He grumbled. “They’re good for you.”

“Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, Papa Max, but sweet potatoes are fucking foul.” Urayuli admitted.

“They’re what’s for ‘fucking’ dinner.” Max said while staring her down before going back to eating.


 She felt bad for talking shit about Grandpa Max’s cooking, so Urayuli had offered to wash the dishes as a sign of goodwill. While in the kitchen, she noticed a latch door in the center of the wood. A cellar maybe? It gave her the creeps for some reason.

After doing the dishes, she walked over to the sliding doors that led into the relatively large yard. It was snowing again. Opening the doors, she let the cold glide over her body. She took a large whiff of the evening air. It doesn’t smell the same as Alaska. The thought made her sad, knowing home was so far away. She was so caught up in her thoughts, she hadn’t heard her grandfather walk up to her.

“It just doesn’t quite feel the same, does it?” He mumbled to himself. Urayuli nodded mutely and continued to stare at the overcast sky.

“There’s no chance we’ll see the aurora out here, is there?” She asked quietly. His hand softly grabbed onto her shoulder to steer her away from the window.

“Not likely. Time to get to bed, Urayuli. Tomorrow we start your training.”

“Already?” She made a face.

“Yes, already. School starts in April here, and you need to be ready for the entrance exam. That’s only four months away. Gotta get you ready.”

Unsure what her training was going to entail, she nodded with a crooked eyebrow.

That night she slept in an unfamiliar bed, in an unfamiliar country, with a basically unfamiliar relative. Looking up at the ceiling that matched the rest, she wondered what her dad was doing. How he was holding up. If Cole was there for him. The sounds coming from outside made her uneasy. She was used to the quiet sounds of the forest and the bay, and the sound of cars passing by the house felt wrong. With every noise that didn’t sound like Alaska, she was put on edge, making sleep almost impossible.

All night she tossed and turned, desperately trying to get comfortable in the bed that smelled like anything but home. She felt her eyes getting more and more fatigued as the hours ticked by. When she finally did fall asleep, it was dark still, but dawn was slowly setting in. She felt sweet, sweet relief when sleep took her in its warm embrace.

The sound of a loud gong scared her awake, making her leap from the bed and falling face first on the wooden floor. Immediately she scrambled to her feet, ready to punch her father in the face because why the fuck does dad have a gong? But instead of her father, she came face to face with her grandfather holding a gong and included hammer, and she realized she wasn’t in her room in Elpetquik. Her crazed and tired eyes now wide awake stared at Grandpa Max for a couple of seconds.

“What the hell, grandpa?!” She shrieked.

“Get showered, get dressed, and mosey your ass downstairs. Breakfast is ready.” And without another word Max trudged downstairs. Urayuli let out a loud groan, raked a hand through her thick hair and left for the bathroom.


It took her about 20 minutes to shower and get dressed in sweats. Her hair she put up haphazardly in a messy bun as she slowly moved down the stairs. The sun was still rising slowly on the horizon and it made Urayuli sneer and groan at the light source coming in from the windows.

She seated herself at the dinner table and rubbed her eyes furiously. Opening her eyes again, she saw the food that had been put in front of her. What. The fuck. Is this. Urayuli eyed the strange looking food on her plate. It was obviously beans, but what the hell had happened to it? Max took his seat across from her.

“Grandpa.” He replied with a “hmm?”. She crinkled her noise and looked at the food.

“What the fuck am I looking at?”

“It’s Natto and it’s really nutritious.” He said in between bites. She used a fork to pick up some of the beans, but the sight of the stringy material made her eyes widen.

“Eugh!” She complained loudly.

“Oh, don’t worry about it. In a couple of months, you’ll be used to it.” He replied oblivious to her disgust.

Against her better judgement she took a tentative bite of the sticky and stringy bean dish, and forced her body to keep it inside her mouth without vomiting. With every chew she could feel the oddly structured food stick between the crevices of her teeth.


 Urayuli placed the plates on the counter-top and followed her grandfather outside to the yard. It was sizable, snow covering the small field. It wasn’t like the thick blanket of snow in Alaska yet, but given enough time it might look like it. She looked at her grandfather, who stood inn the middle of the field with his hands on his hips.

“What animals can you shift into?” He asked with a gruff voice. The question came a little as a surprise and she had to take a moment to answer him.

“A dog, a- “

“What kind of dog.” Max interrupted.

“I don’t know, a dog? Like a husky?”

“Okay, what else.”

“Uhm, an otter, a fox, an owl, a beluga, a ptarmigan- “

“Beluga? You know what, never mind, let’s just start with the ones that are handy.”

They were quiet for a moment.

“Tundra chicken? Seriously.” Max grimaced with mirth in his eyes.

“There isn’t much else to turn into in Elpetquik, what d'you expect?” She grinned at him.

“Fair enough.”

The two of them chuckled a bit. Ptarmigan are a little silly, I’ll admit.

“You get cold quickly?” Max asked.

Urayuli shook her head. She was used to the cold, the only time she could think of when it affected her was that night she was looking for her father, and that was in freezing water.

“Alright. Good. Take your clothes off.”

“I’m sorry, come again.”

She blinked, and her grandfather looked at her expectantly.

“I’m waiting.”

“Grandpa, I’m gonna be honest with you; this is making me a little uncomfortable.”

“I know, which is why I got this.” He walked over to the engawa which is just a fancy way of saying ‘porch’ if you ask me and grabbed a cloth out of a box that was sitting there. He unraveled the cloth, and it appeared to be some sort of jumpsuit.

“Honestly, I don’t know why you’re so weird about this since I changed your diapers.” He said as he tossed the suit to her.

She didn’t answer the older man and held the jumpsuit in front of her to check for size.

“Gramps, this is way too big on me.” Urayuli said eyeing her grandfather. Max scoffed at her.

“No shit, it used to be mine. Quit complainin’ and put it on.”

Urayuli groaned and started undressing. The cold caused her skin to rise, but she willed it away. Putting on the jumpsuit, her suspicions were proven correct. Where it should have been skintight around her knees, the suit instead flared a bit around her calves, and left a lot of room around her chest. The fabric was a lilac blue, with darker blue accents.

“Didn’t know you were one for showing off your assets, grandpa.” She snorted to herself.

“Shut your smart mouth. It’s made from the fibers of my hair, so it should work fine on you. It shifts with you.” Max explained.

Grandfather and granddaughter stood in front of each other for a moment. Both stood with their hands on their hips. Urayuli absentmindedly dug her toes into the snow and earth.

“I need you to shift into a dog for me. Any dog.” Max told her.

Urayuli nodded and proceeded to get on all fours. It always helped her shifting if she maintained a position that corresponded with the animal she was trying to turn into. Her face elongated, hands turned into paws, colors changed, and her teeth grew larger and pointier. She noticed quickly that the jumpsuit had merged with her body and fur. When she was done, she barked at her grandfather.

“Alright, well done. You can turn back now.”

In her dog form, Urayuli whined before shifting back. She popped the joints in her neck briefly.

“You said you could turn into an owl.” Grandpa Max continued. “What kind of owl?” He didn’t notice the shiver going down Urayuli’s spine.

“A snowy owl.” She admitted begrudgingly.

“Why an owl? Surely eagles are much faster.” He questioned. Urayuli sighed deeply before answering him, thinking of a way to tell him.

“When I was much younger, I would sometimes walk the tundra as a fox. But because I was still little, I shifted into a baby fox, and an owl swooped down to grab me. In my panic I shifted back immediately, but it kept going for me. I’ve been scared of owls ever since, but I haven’t been able to shift into any other type of bird ever since. Except for ptarmigan, but they’re not any faster.” She trailed off.

Max cleared his throat roughly. “I see. And I assume that because of your fear, you’d rather not shift into them, right?”

Urayuli nodded, keeping her eyes on her bare feet in the snow. When that owl had attacked her, it had mistaken her for food due to her size. She knew she couldn’t blame the owl. She was small, and it was hungry or needed food for their babies, but the shrieks in her ears and the talons in her skin had frightened her. The memory caused a brick to fall in her stomach. Grandpa Max’s voice cut through her thoughts.

“How about I teach you to turn into something else? Something faster and without the bad memories attached to it?” He offered with a glint in his eye.

She looked at her grandfathers’ face and noticed the slight grin on his lips. Where are you going with this, gramps?

Without saying a word, he took off the navy sweater he was wearing, showing a similar colored jumpsuit underneath. Thank God, I wasn’t ready to see my grandfather naked just yet. After Max had taken off both his pants and his shoes, he crouched down. Wait, is he going to

She had barely finished her thought when her Max was enveloped in light, not bright enough to blind her, but enough to make her squint her eyes slightly. What emerged from the light was a large bird that screeched as it stretched its wings. Holy shit. Urayuli looked at the bird slack jawed. She was quiet for a moment before approaching slowly.

“I had never actually seen someone shift before. Is that what it looks like? What the fuck…” Being the only person she knew to have powers like her, she never even knew what it looked like when she shifted. Now it sort of made sense that people were freaked out about her. She stared at her grandfather as he shifted back, the light returning and encasing him fully. Back to his normal self, he stretched out, popping his back.

“Goddamn, shifting is fun and all, but it sure does give you a crick in the neck.” He joked while turning his upper body to pop his hip. Urayuli snorted softly at him.

“Shifting into an owl just gives me a mighty headache.” She admitted. Grandpa Max eyed her for a moment.

“Now that you’ve seen up close what a Golden Eagle looks like, I need you to turn into one as well. Properly visualize what it looks like and try not to make any mistakes.” He looked at her pointedly. Urayuli nodded before crouching down on the ground and closed her eyes.

Okay, just take a deep breath. Visualize what a Golden Eagle looks like. Young Golden Eagles have darker feathers, right? Lighter tarsal feathers… Black tip on the beak… Yellow feet…

She felt the telltale signs, bones popping and body changing shape, and when she opened her eyes, her sight had changed as well. She shrieked to hear what her voice sounded like in this shape. Urayuli decided she liked it. When she looked at grandpa Max, the glint in his eye was still present and he was still grinning. It made her pause. Thinking back, her father had never grinned at her like that when she shifted. Especially not the first time.

“That’s a bright ass light you got there, kituuqta.” He said before getting into a crouch once again.

Max shifted into a Golden Eagle as well, and that’s when she noticed his shape to be much bigger than hers. It made sense since he was much older. He stretched his wings and looked at his granddaughter, urging her to do the same. Urayuli did as he wanted, and it felt good for her muscles.

Shrieking, her grandfather, whose wings were still stretched, started flapping them, taking flight. He flew over to the roof of one of the neighbors’ houses. Not wanting to be left behind, she went after him. Her landing wasn’t as smooth and knocked one of the roof tiles, but no one got hurt. The both of them took flight again and circled around the neighborhood, just so Urayuli could get used to the form. Flying like this, just gliding through the sky with wings larger than her body…

This is what freedom feels like.


After they had landed back in the yard, the two of them shifted back to normal. The exhilarating feeling of flight was still coursing through her veins and she needed to get it out. Urayuli took off in a sprint and did a lap around the yard, yelling her heart out. Max followed her with her eyes with a smirk. When she was done, she stopped in front of him.

“Grandpa, that felt amazing! I’ve never felt so good about flying before!” She laughed.

Max grabbed onto her shoulder. “Now hold on, hold on.” He chuckled at her. “Try to calm yourself down. The first flight as an eagle always feels like this, but I need you focused for the next part of your training.” 

“Next part of my training?” Max nodded at her words and urged her to sit down with him in the snow. They sat cross-legged, and the wet snow clung to her ill-fitting jumpsuit. Yuck, couldn’t we have grabbed a towel or something?

“As shapeshifters, we have heightened senses. We are more in tune with nature because of our Quirk. But those heightened senses are only any good when you’ve trained them appropriately. I don’t assume you ever had the chance, have you?” Urayuli shook her head.

“Not really. I’ve always had excellent hearing. Made it easier to eavesdrop on my shitty classmates whenever they were talking behind my back.”

“All of that doesn’t matter now.” Max pressed. “I want you to forget about those times for the time being. Close your eyes.”

Urayuli pouted, but did as she was told. She straightened her spine and put her hands on her knees.

“I want you to listen to your surroundings. To hear the birds around us. Feel the earth beneath you. Do you feel it?” Urayuli took a breath and nodded.

“Do you smell the snow? Can you feel the wind on your face?” She nodded again.

“Can you hear the neighbors from across the street yelling at each other about their upcoming divorce?”

Urayuli let out a bark of laughter and shook her head.

“Try harder. Try to actually hear it.”

Taking another deep breath, she focused on her hearing. Faintly, angry voices made their way to her ears. They were arguing in Japanese, and they were speaking fast, but the words ‘custody’ and ‘cheating whore’ she could decipher from the flurry of words.

“I can hear them.”

“Good. Very good. Can you smell the tea our next-door neighbor is drinking? Tell me what kind of tea it is.”

She took a big whiff of the air through her nose. Nothing. She took a few more whiffs. Is that… Rooibos? No, this one is sweeter.

“Orange pekoe?”

“Very good, kituuqta. Open your eyes again.”

When she opened her eyes, her grandfather was grinning again. “How was that?”

She let out a laugh. “It felt weird, but really cool. Thank you for teaching me.”

“I’m going to be teaching you a lot of cooler things. They’ll serve you well.”

“I’m honestly really glad you brought me here. I would have never learned all of this if you hadn’t.”

Max frowned slightly at her words. “Your father never let you utilize your Quirk. He did you a disservice by doing that.”

Urayuli snorted. “The only disservice both he and my mom ever did to me was name me ‘Urayuli’, granddad.”

“Urayuli is a fine name, kituuqta. You should be grateful.”

“Granddad, ‘Urayuli’ is basically Alaska’s Bigfoot. Other kids were making bets on who I would spirit away.”

Max sighed deeply. He ran a hand over his face, as if to get rid of the frown that was starting to form. “The ‘urayuli’ in Yupik stories was always known as a benevolent creature. It’s the ‘Kushtaka’ from Tlingit folklore that kidnaps young children. The Kushtaka, however, are known to be shapeshifters, whereas the urayuli is not.”

Urayuli thought for a moment. “So what does Kushtaka mean?”

“Literally, it means ‘otter-man’.”

Her heart stopped. “My go-to shift is an otter.” She told her grandfather breathlessly. Max waved his hand, as if to wave away her worries.

“That does not mean you are a Kushtaka. My go-to, I prefer birds. I grew up in a generation where all everybody ever wanted was to be free. And I felt that too. But I could turn into a bird. I could fly above the world and its problems. I could go anywhere I wanted to, leave when I wanted to. I can’t say the same about the rest of my generation, but this has always been the form I wanted.”

“Transforming into a wolf or a bear is nice, because its familiar. You understand those creatures through and through. But understanding yourself is a different thing altogether. And when you do, you will know what your favorite shifts are. Sometimes when you transform, you feel as if you are transforming into yourself. And when you feel that, you’ll have found it, kid.”

Urayuli thought for a moment before speaking. “Am I like a mix between a kushtaka and an urayuli?”

“No. Absolutely not. No matter what folklore would define you as, you should strive to be more than they could ever have imagined. Greater than yourself, or anything anyone could have dreamed.”

She mulled over his words. In the quiet, she could hear an angry voice in the distance. Thinking nothing of it, she shook her head. Grandpa Max’s gaze burned a hole in her face. A snowflake floated down from the sky onto her open palm. Urayuli and Max both looked up at the sky, that had slowly been overcast by clouds.

“It’s going to snow again. Let’s go inside. I’ll go make some tea.”


 Urayuli had changed back to her sweats to get warm again after the cold had seeped into her jumpsuit and her body. Laying down on the couch, she peeked at the standing clock in the living room. It read ten thirty, and she groaned loudly.

“Grandpa?” She heard him answer her with a ‘yeah’ from the kitchen. “Are we going to train more today?”

“Yes, but not like before. For now, we’re going to focus on your senses throughout the day, but it’ll be a bit more relaxed. Speaking of which, what kind of tea am I making? Don’t close your eyes.”

She clicked her teeth in annoyance before taking a whiff of the air. It took several more for her to eventually realize what kind of tea it was.

“Green tea? Also, why aren’t you drinking coffee?”

“Well done.” He praised her from behind her. He walked over to the armchair next to the couch and gingerly set the cups on the coffee table. “I’ve lived in Japan long enough to stomach it.”

Urayuli sat up straight and took one of the cups. It was hot, and it warmed her cold fingers. Taking a whiff of the tea, she turned her head to her grandfather.

“You didn’t put any sugar in it.” She told him. Max winked at her.

“Good. And I wasn’t sure if you wanted any. You’re not supposed to anyway.”

Urayuli snorted. “People aren’t supposed to smoke, either, yet thousands if not millions of people light up a cigarette every day.”

“Drink your tea, smartass.”

The girl laughed into her cup, letting the steam roll over her face. The hot liquid was slightly bitter, and warmed her belly. After her grandfather had taken a sip, he let himself recline in his chair.

“I’ve been meaning to ask something, grandpa.” He eyed her for a moment.

“What’s that?”

“You mentioned something about school and an entrance exam last night. What school?”

“You ask about that now? Why didn’t you ask me last night?” He asked gruffly.

Urayuli frowned and sank deeper into the couch. “I mean, I was pretty tired last night. It just kind of came to me just now.” She took another sip of her tea.

He sighed. “Fair enough.” He scratched the back of his head. “I’ve enrolled you to partake in the entrance exam of U.A. High School.”

At his words, Urayuli immediately shot forward from her seat and spit out her tea in shock, spraying the hot liquid all over the coffee table. She put the tea cup down on the now wet table to not drop it.

“Grandpa! What the FUCK.” She spluttered as she wiped off her mouth with the sleeve of her sweatshirt. Max looked at her nonplussed.

“Did I not mention that? I’m pretty sure I told you.”

“Fuckin’ A, you didn’t mention it! All you said was ‘oh hey we’re going to Japan to train your Quirk, ain’t that fucking cool’, but never did you mention anything about U.A. High School. This is the school motherfucking All Might went to! I would have remembered that little tidbit!” Urayuli was aware that she was rambling, but how could she not? THE TOP SCHOOL WERE HEROES ARE MADE. ARE YOU KIDDING ME, GRANDDAD.

Max snorted into his tea. “Why do you think we moved to this city and not another?”

“You could have at least told me!” Urayuli protested. She had never really made the connection between the city they moved to and the fact that U.A. High School was in that city. Slapping her forehead with her palm, she deflated into the couch with a groan.

“Grandpaaaaa…” The girl drawled in embarrassment. “Everybody there probably has a super flashy Quirk; how can I compete with that?”

Max put down his teacup and stood up to grab a cloth from the kitchen. “You’re selling yourself short, Urayuli.” He came back and wiped the coffee table dry. “It’s not about who has the flashier Quirk, or about competing with others. You’re going to learn how to properly save lives, and isn’t that what you want?”

Thinking back to how she failed to save her father, her thoughts sobered. He was right, of course, but how was she going to do the entrance exam anyhow? If there was a written test, she would totally fuck that up. I fucking suck at kanji.

“I pulled a few strings with the principal, and he is willing to give you an English written test if you want one. However, I’m going to homeschool you for the time being to teach you proper written Japanese, so you might not have to.” Max told her.

“Yeah, but then I’ll be known as ‘the girl who had everything taken care of by her granddaddy’, and that fucking blows.” Urayuli grumbled. Max held up a hand as if to silence her, much like her father would do sometimes.

“The option is there.” He told her pointedly. “They provide such options for foreign transfer students all the time.”

Urayuli sighed deeply. “I’m just scared I don’t live up to expectations, I guess.”

“No one is expecting anything, Urayuli. They’re certainly not expecting you. Don’t worry about living up to someone else’s expectations. Live up to your own.”

Max took a seat next to her on the couch and put his hand on her knee. “You’re a smart girl, Urayuli. You’re going to do great.”


That evening, Urayuli continued decorating her new bedroom. She put a fleece throw blanket on her bed, and littered the space around her pillow with a bunch of stuffed toys she used to keep in a box under her desk in Alaska. Her electronics she stashed in the drawers of her desk, reminding herself to not forget about them eventually. A framed picture of her and her father, taken when she turned 15 last August, she put on the ledge of her windowsill. Both father and daughter had happy grins on their faces as Kvichak had an arm around her and she stood proudly with her hands on her hips. Those times seem so far away now.

A smell she hadn’t smelled since her life spiraled into what it was now seeped into her room. She took a big whiff of the air, and her heart sped up from the feelings of nostalgia. Urayuli dashed down the stairs to the kitchen, and saw her grandfather stirring a large pot. It smelled divine, of kielbasa and shrimp, combined with onions and okra and celery.

“You’re making gumbo?” The girl asked breathlessly.

“Correction, I just made the best damn gumbo you’re ever going to taste.” Max grumbled.

“When...?”

“I started last night after you had gone to bed.” The older man admitted, not ashamed of it either. “I know how hard it is to leave everything you’ve ever known, and I wanted to give you a taste of home.”

He sat down the large pot on the dinner table and prepared her plate for her. Urayuli slowly walked over to her seat, and stared hungrily at the dish in front of her. Before she finally dug in, she looked up at her grandfather and threw a genuine smile his way.

“Thank you, cheda.”


Days of training turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months. Grandpa Max prepared Urayuli to the best of his ability, knowing the ins and outs to their shared Quirk. On every even day of the week, they would wake up at six in the morning (correction, Max would bang the gong at six in the morning) to train her shifting until ten, after which they would work on her schooling.

Every odd day of the week he would make her work on her flexibility and strength. From his bedroom, there was a latch in the ceiling that would take them to the attic. From there, Urayuli would do hanging sit-ups, planking, and pull-ups from the rafters. Max had her do stretches every day. After doing their exercises, they would spar in the yard.

There were days where she did really well in shifting, especially when it came to the smaller critters of the animal kingdom. She relished in the feeling of climbing higher and higher in the tree in their yard as a Red Squirrel. There were days where her Japanese lessons were easy as pie for her, cramming vocabulary with her grandfather.

And then there were days where things didn’t go so well. One day when they were training, she just couldn’t seem to get the hang of shifting into a porcupine. Max kept hammering on and on about reading up on the creatures, but she just couldn’t figure out how to shift into one without hurting herself in the process. She would shift back and have a bunch of spines sticking out of her back. Her grandfather pressed that it was still important to be able to shift into one, but Urayuli wasn’t having it.

“Why the fuck should I learn about porcupines? They are slow, and fat, and only good at protecting themselves!” Max had left her alone about it after that.

Let’s not forget the days when Japanese lessons ended in complete disaster.

Having three different ways of saying ‘giving’, ‘receiving’, or ‘getting’ totally messed with her mind. Max made a point that it was still important, because in Japanese, there is a distinct difference between the three.

“If they understand what I’m saying, then why the hell should I bother?” Max wasn’t going to let her off so easily and they practiced until she got it right.

Heightened senses weren’t always fun times either. When they would go out running in the neighborhood and pass the garbage piles on the street corners, she would vomit out her nasty natto breakfast on the streets. She knew she had to live with things like that, and that she couldn’t just turn them off, but GODDAMN, did it smell bad.

When Christmas rolled around, she skyped with her father and Cole, who decided to spend the holidays together. Cole was being trained to be Kvichak’s successor when he would retire years down the line, or if anything would happen to him. They were very curious what kind of training she was doing, which she happily told them about. When it was time to end the call, her father told her he loved her and that he missed her. Later that evening, Max had poured her some eggnog, to which she had protested against at first, but after his gruff “come on, it’s Christmas, live a little”, she relented with a smile on her face.

February came too soon.

Chapter Text

The morning of the entrance exam, Urayuli had woken up long before her grandfather would barge in with the usual klang of that stupid gong of his. She laid in bed, pondering about what was to come that day. What kind of people will be there? What kind of Quirks will they have? Can I even do this? What if I completely blow it?

"Kituuqta- You're awake?" Her grandfather's voice startled her out of her thoughts. She sat up in her bed and stretched her neck.

"Yeah, I just– I couldn't really fall asleep– nerves I think," Urayuli admitted truthfully.

Max nodded, leaned over her bed, and ruffled her hair. "You're ready, Urayuli. You are going to blow them away." His words did little to calm her nerves, but she nodded all the same.

After a shower and carefully doing her hair in her best attempt at a French braid, she trudged down the stairs with a nervous hunger in her stomach. The familiar smell of eggs, bacon, and pancakes wafted through the air inside the house, and she smiled. Let's just hope I don't vomit it all back up later. When she entered the kitchen, she saw her grandfather sitting at the dinner table with a box on his lap. Hmm?

"Eat your breakfast and I'll give you this," Max said with a slanted smile. Curious, Urayuli felt that was more than a bit odd, she eyed her grandfather as she ate, wondering what it could be. The entirety of the breakfast was gone within minutes, but the feeling of emptiness in her stomach persisted. Nerves... Wiping her mouth on the sleeve of her sweatshirt, Urayuli held out her hands towards her grandfather.

"All done, now gimme." She joked, and Max snorted at her impatience. He handed the box to her with a grin, and Urayuli hurriedly ripped it open. Inside she found clothes, not unlike the jumpsuit she had been using as her training clothes. Holding it out in front of her, it was indeed another jumpsuit, but this one was in a soft lilac hue with white accents along the sleeves and legs. The sleeves ended at the elbow, the legs ended at the knees, and it was turtlenecked. Its zipper ran along the front of the suit at an angle leading to her right collarbone.

"Oh, and when you get back, there will be another surprise waiting for you," Max told her, sliding his finger underneath his nose in mischief. Not giving him time to react, Urayuli launched herself at him in a tight hug.

"Thanks, grandpa. I'll make you proud."

"Don't make me proud," Max grunted while he grabbed ahold of her and held her at arm's length. "Make yourself proud. Become someone you yourself can be proud of."

Grinning until her face hurt, Urayuli dashed back up the stairs to get dressed in her new outfit. It fit like a glove, and the fabric clung to her body like a second skin. Assuming the suit would shift with her as her grandfather's would, she shifted into an otter in front of the mirror on her closet door. Her assumptions proved correct and shifted back again. She grabbed some other clothes to put on over it, walking around in just a jumpsuit like this would make her feel foolish. And still felt a bit like playing dress up as a kid.

Dressed in gray sweatpants and a dark green sweater, she went back downstairs to hug her grandfather goodbye. She shot a quick text to her father and Cole.

Today's the day. Wish me luck.

A pair of black Adidas stood in the entryway or "genkan" as her grandfather insisted she call it. They, as well as the jumpsuit, fit as if they were made for her. The navy duffel jacket that hung on the coat rack and a fluffy scarf inside the sleeve was prepared for her as well. Dammit, grandpa- stop buying me stuff, she huffed to herself.


On the train to U.A. High she had already seen multiple other students with all kinds of different school uniforms scrambling inside the train car. Most of them looked normal, but she of all people knew looks can be deceiving. Girls with the same uniform were excitedly chatting with each other. Boys were rambunctiously egging each other on. Urayuli felt horribly out of place. She had no uniform to speak of, and she had no one to talk to. No one to nervously talk about the exam to come with. The realization made her feel lonely.

Getting out of the train proved annoying, as she was squashed in between a flurry of students. She all but tripped out of the doors and was pushed onto the platform, the cold February air contrasting with the heat from inside the train. Wringing her hands together, Urayuli made her way to her destination. Using her phone to navigate here was unnecessary as she just had to follow the many students that were walking the same way. Keeping the seemingly stark difference between herself and the students around her in mind, she made herself as small as possible. Everyone is wearing those fancy school uniforms, and I come here in fucking sweatpants? Nice one, Yuli...

In the distance, she could see the enormous building in the shape of an H.
Oh. An H for 'hero', right? I gotcha. She snorted to herself.

She followed the stream of students inside the building and into a giant auditorium for the practical exam portion of the day. The number of students entering the building made her insides flutter, and she unsurely searched for a place to sit. At that moment, she locked eyes with a boy with black hair and a faded scar above his right eye. His friendly red eyes are what prompted Urayuli to make a dash for the seat next to him.

When she sat down, she let out a deep sigh of relief.

"It's pretty exciting, isn't it?" She heard next to her. Looking up, the boy was eyeing her expectantly.

"Oh… yeah, it's kinda crazy." She answered lamely, still unsure of her Japanese, despite practicing with her grandfather for months. She always felt like her conversation skills were lacking, even in English. Conversations with her peers were never easy for her. Students were slowly trickling into the auditorium and it was slowly but surely filling up.

"I know what you mean! Being here at all feels almost surreal, huh?" He began again, voice rising excitedly. A hand poised on his chest, he continued to speak.

"My name is Kirishima, by the way. Kirishima Eijiro. What's yours?"

Okay, so an actual conversation is happening. Fuck me.

"Urayuli Yaraqpik." As the words left her mouth, she visibly cringed at herself. "Sorry, Yaraqpik Urayuli."

Kirishima looked at her inquisitively. "Yaraqpik? Are you foreign?"

"That obvious, huh? I flew over from the United States a couple of months ago." Urayuli explained as she took off her coat, the heat from the rooms' AC getting the better of her. "Specifically, Alaska."

Kirishima immediately started waving his arms around, looking distressed.

"Oh, sorry! Did I offend you? Your Japanese isn't bad or anything!"

"It's bad, but thanks for making me feel better." She was quiet for a moment. "So where are you from, Kirishima?" She stammered to put her hand over her mouth as if to catch the words that escaped. Fuck, now I'm being rude, too?

"Hey! No worries about honorifics! Japanese is difficult for foreigners, yeah? And I have full confidence we're going to get through this exam, so we might as well be a little familiar with each other, right?"

Kirishima was actively trying to make her feel better, much to Urayuli's chagrin, it was working. He had a friendly energy about him, and it made her feel at ease. At least a little bit. Even if she could tell how nervous he was as well.

The two talked for a little bit to forget about her language faux-pas. Urayuli discovered that Kirishima lives in the Chiba Prefecture and that he really admires the hero Crimson Riot, to which she just nodded lamely, not knowing enough about his idol to talk about him in detail. In turn, she told him briefly about living in Musutafu with her grandfather. They kept talking until the lights dimmed and a spotlight shone on a man on the stage in front of the auditorium. Urayuli squinted at him. He sure looks… interesting. Long blond hair spiked upwards like a cockatoo, orange glasses and speakers around his neck?

"Welcome to today's live performance! Everybody say 'HEEEYYYY'!" The man's shrieks echoed through the room and a deep silence followed. The sudden bombardment of sound caught Urayuli off guard—the silence of the crowd—the absolute stone-faced reactions of everyone around her sent her into a burst of laughter. The outburst was short-lived and followed by the immediate horror that no one had accompanied her, she forced herself to hold in the rest of the outburst in hopes no one noticed.

(They did.)

Kirishima stared at her shaking shoulders and grinned at her revealing his unusually sharp teeth.

"W-well, that's cool, my examinee listeners! I'm here to present the guidelines for your practical! Are you ready!? YEAHH!" Tears of laughter streamed down her face. THIS MAN IS ABSOLUTELY ABSURD. She desperately pinched the soft flesh between her thumb and index finger to make herself stop laughing. Students in front of her were turning their heads at her soft snorting with weird looks on their faces. Urayuli waved a hand in front of her face to let them dismiss her as crazy, she was fine with that.

Taking a deep breath, she moved closer to Kirishima. "So who is this guy?" She asked shakily, the last giggles leaving her lungs.

"That's the Pro Hero; Present Mic," Kirishima whispered back. Urayuli let out a soft 'ohh' in understanding. Maybe some Heroes are more of a local thing?

"This is how the test will go, my listeners! You'll be experiencing ten-minute-long 'mock cityscape maneuvers'! Bring along whatever you want! After this presentation, you'll each head to your assigned testing location! OK?!"

As Present Mic kept explaining the whole shebang, a soft voice in the crowd kept muttering to themselves. Present Mic was too loud for her to discern what the small voice was saying, but to her now heightened senses, she could at least understand they were nervous. Inquisitive. Thinking out loud. She tried to focus on the voice until a boy further away stood up.

"May I ask a question!? There appear to be no fewer than four varieties of faux villain, on this handout! Such a blatant error, if it is one, is highly unbecoming for U.A., Japan's top academy! We're all here today in the hopes of being molded into model heroes!" Urayuli frowned at the boy's words. Kind of an overachiever, are we? But she took a look at the handout mentioned and did see what he was talking about.

"And you, with the curly hair!" He said with a flourish of his hand, pointing to another boy in the crowd. Urayuli couldn't see him in the dark, but she did see a figure shrink in on themselves.

"You've been muttering this whole time… it's distracting! If this is some sort of game to you, then please leave immediately!"

It took a lot of Urayuli's willpower not to stand up and yell at the loud dark-haired boy. Who says that kind of thing? Everyone is nervous, so why make others feel bad about that?

"Alright, alright. Examinee 7111, nice catch. Thanks! But the fourth faux villain variety gets you zero points! He's more of an obstacle! Have you ever played Super Mario Brothers?! The old, retro game? It's kind of like a Thwomp! Only one at each site! A 'gimmick' that'll rampage around in close quarters!" Present Mic explained.

"That's all from me! I'll leave my listeners with our school motto. The great hero Napoleon Bonaparte once said, 'True heroism consists in being superior to the ills of life.' PLUS ULTRA!"

Butterflies were relentlessly flying around in her stomach, and they showed no sign of stopping.


Where the hell do these guys get their funding?! Was the thought that rang through Urayuli as she stood before the chain-link gates to the exam grounds. She turned to Kirishima, and she thanked whatever God was out there that she at least had him around instead of being alone in this. While he was gone he had changed into a dark tank top and some sweats, readying himself, he was doing some stretches.

"It looks like an entire city! Is this normal?" She asked him. He shrugged lightly in response.

"That's U.A. for ya, I suppose. Also, is that all you're wearing? Aren't you cold?"

She unconsciously smoothed out the nonexistent creases in her jumpsuit. Goosebumps appeared all over her arms and her stomach turned to ice, but not from the February air.

"Not really. And I need this jumpsuit for my Quirk." She explained.

"Then why are you shaking?"

Urayuli sighed and faced Kirishima fully. "Do you want an honest answer?" At his nod, she continued. "I'm super nervous and my insides have turned into liquid." She said with a straight face, and Kirishima burst into laughing.

"So honest! You're so manly, Yaraqpik!"

The girl started doing stretches of her own and arched an eyebrow at her red-eyed companion, who had a wide grin on his face.

"Girls don't usually like being called 'manly', Kirishima– but thank you all the same."

"AND BEGIN!"

What? The gate in front of her opened. She locked eyes with Kirishima, who nodded at her with determination in his eyes. Nodding back at him, the two of them quickly made their way inside of the gates amidst the chaos that ensued, as suddenly everyone ran inside. The inside of the test site looked like any nondescript Japanese city, with high buildings and actual streets. Okay, so you have one-pointers, easy to get but not worth much. Then there are two-pointers and three-pointers. Stay focu-

A robot twice her size suddenly careened from around the corner, blocking her way. Her heart lurched in her chest and was threatening to escape through her throat. Probably thinking she had gotten the shakes, Kirishima stopped to try and help her, but Urayuli held out a hand to stop him.

"I've got this!" She yelled out and got on all fours. Her hands made contact with the concrete and she was enveloped in her light. The feeling of hands turning into hooves still felt odd, but she had to stay focused. Spine aligned differently, she grew a short tail, and from her head, a set of horns sprouted. Fur spread over the entirety of her body. American Bison, American Bison. Transformation complete, she immediately made a dash for the robot and with the use of her horns and the strength in this shape, launched it into the air. It fell back on the streets with a crash.

To conserve her energy, she shifted back and gave herself a once over. Her jumpsuit had no damage whatsoever. Her shoes, however, were nowhere to be found. Peering behind her, Kirishima was staring at her with his fists at his chest.

"That was so manly, Yaraqpik!" He yelled out before running off himself to destroy some robots. He launched himself at a one-pointer and completely obliterated it with a fist, that seemed to look harder than before. Can he harden his body? That's useful as fuck.

Determined, she went off in another direction than Kirishima did, to get out of his way. I need to get a better vantage point. With that in mind, she took a running start and jumped in the air, quickly shifting into a Golden Eagle. Getting higher and higher, she had a good view of the test site and all the robots in the vicinity. In the corner of her eye, she noticed a robot closing in on another student. Her heart dropped in her chest when she saw the student, a girl, was cowering away from the robot and had curled herself into a ball. She's frightened.

Without another thought, Urayuli swooped down with incredible speed, and the velocity caused her eyes to water. In the middle of her descent, she got an idea. If I shift into a beluga, my weight could wreck that thing... What if I hurt myself? Times upFocusing again, she shifted into a beluga. Her idea proved fruitful, as her weight made her fall slightly faster than just as an eagle. She angled herself as best as she could to smash into the robot. She crashed back first into the large machine, destroying it instantly. Ducking into a recovering roll out of her transformation she shifted back to normal. Oh, fuck, my back. With difficulty, Urayuli scrambled closer towards the girl, the ache in her back settling as the adrenaline kicked in.

Urayuli approached the nearby girl, still cowering and urged her to get on her feet. She pulled the girl up and dusted her off.

"You good?" Urayuli asked her while trying to catch her eye. The girl's blonde hair was standing up in all kinds of directions and she shakily nodded.

"Can you walk? Do you need me to walk you back to the gate?" Tears were gathering in the girl's eyes, and she nodded meekly. Understanding the situation, she decided to suck up the pain in her back and held out her hand to the girl. The blonde grabbed on to her hand tightly, and together they made their way back to the gate.

After saying their goodbyes at the gate, Urayuli tried to run in a random direction to find a few robots to kill, but her back was screaming at her the entire time. She had lost valuable time she needed to make up for. She eventually destroyed two more two-pointer robots in her Bison form, despite the immense pain in her back.

An alarm rang through the area, and the ground shook for a moment. Is that the zero-pointer? Not wanting to stick around, she used her heightened senses to steer clear of what she could only assume was something monolithic. Through the buildings, she caught a glimpse of the gargantuan robot. Urayuli made a final dash for the gates, and without thinking twice also grabbed the hand of another kid who was gaping in awe at the zero-pointer. Out of sight of the robot and near the gates, she let go of the kid's hand and left him standing.

When a siren went off to signal the end of the practical, she fell to her knees completely drained. Was saving that girl the right thing to do? Would I have done better if I had just ignored her? The thought made her stomach turn and she shook her head vehemently. No. I helped someone. I helped them with my Quirk. I did the right thing.

A hand on her shoulder shook her from her thoughts. An older and smaller lady stood before her with a piece of candy stretched out to her.

"To get your strength back." The lady assured her, and without a second thought, Urayuli popped the candy in her mouth. Almost instantly she could feel her strength returning to her. Standing up, she found that she could stand up straight again without her back protesting.

"Thank you." She said lamely to the older lady and searched around for her missing shoes near the gates.

She didn't have to look very far as Kirishima ran up to her with her kicks in his hands.

"I found your shoes, Yaraqpik! They have some scuff marks on them, but they are otherwise fine." He told her with a smile on his face as he handed them to her. For a moment it seemed like Kirishima's smile was the cause of her feeling better instead of the candy she received, but she chose not to dwell on that thought.

"Thanks, Kirishima. Do you think you did well?"

"I sure hope so! I definitely gave it my all today! What about you?"

With a sigh, Urayuli relaxed her shoulders. "No idea, but I guess we'll see."


After the students had recuperated from the strenuous part of the exam, they were all ushered inside a large hall, not unlike the room where orientation had happened. They were all given a small stack of papers that they had to fill in. Urayuli skimmed the papers and saw everything was written in Japanese and was formatted in a way that it was obvious that this was the written portion of the exam.

A man made of cement, also known as Cementoss, explained to everyone they had to answer all of the questions and problems on the sheets, and that they had about two hours to complete everything. During the explanation, the older lady from before walked over to Urayuli to ask if she would prefer an English exam instead. Urayuli read a few sentences on the sheets and shook her head no.

"Thank you, but I won't need one." She told the lady truthfully and, after the timer started, began working on her sheets.

During the exam, she oftentimes heard a soft voice muttering, much like at orientation. Where the hell is that muttering coming from? Urayuli looked around from time to time, just to see if she was the only one hearing it. Sure enough, some other students were lifting their heads in confusion at the sound.

Trying not to let the soft murmuring distract her, she concentrated on her sheet. The problems, in the end, were not as difficult as she thought they would have been. Most of the issues she had were translation issues, but she managed to get through them. Or so she hoped at least. Wait a minute. That's not the kanji for 'person', that's the kanji for 'enter'. Fuck me.


On her way out of the school, Urayuli didn't see Kirishima again. She had hoped to run into him after the exam, but no such luck. Shrugging, Urayuli made her way back to the station. Her father and Cole had messaged her during her exam, but she hadn't had the time to check them.

Knock 'em dead! – Cole

Let me know how everything went! – Dad

Their messages lifted her spirits, and she quickly texted them back.

I think it went well! I'll know in a week, I think. Love you.

The train ride was uneventful. Other students that also came from U.A. just looked exhausted and were in no mood to talk to their friends as they had before. They were a bit more sullen now, tired.

Urayuli got another text, this time from her grandfather.

I need you to exit the train at Shibuya Station.

Frowning, she put her phone away. He doesn't even sign his texts. Still, she listened to her grandfather and purposefully exited the train much sooner than usual. The doors closed behind her and she maneuvered and meandered around people to exit the station. The bronze Hachi statue greeted her and she felt it was appropriate to greet him back, so she softly patted the dog on the chest. Good dog.

She searched around for her grandfather, but almost immediately found him standing amidst the much shorter Japanese populous. He stood a few feet away with his arms crossed, looking like what Urayuli could only describe as a disgruntled bear. The loud noises from the billboards and music installations made her grandfather seem very out of place. She felt out of place.

"So why did you want to meet up here?" Urayuli asked him. Max gestured with his hand for her to follow behind him.

"It's a surprise, follow me."

As they walked, Urayuli was enthralled by her surroundings. One of the billboards on the side of a building showed a commercial with a strange lady made out of pudding. The smells of Shibuya were so different from Elpetquik. It smells fucking rank here, was what Urayuli thought as they passed the entrance to the subway. Music from shops and restaurants entered her ears in a cacophony of sounds. Fearing she would be too distracted, she quickly grabbed her grandfather's hand, who held onto hers tightly. As if they had been doing that their entire life.

After bypassing a few streets and alleys, they finally stopped at a shop with a name Urayuli couldn't quite decipher from the font. She arched an eyebrow at Papa Max.

"Where are we?"

Grandpa Max just grinned and dragged her inside.


"Are you in any pain?"

"No, Cole, it actually felt kind of nice- Of course I'm in pain! I've got a fucking piercing in my ear!"

Urayuli breathed heavily through her nose as Cole started laughing uncontrollably. The connection made his image falter slightly and the sounds of his laughter got stuck.

To say Urayuli was surprised when they entered the shop and realized she was in a piercing shop can be called an understatement. The heavily tattooed lady at the counter greeted them with a smile, and Urayuli noticed a piercing along her upper front teeth. A shiver traveled up her spine and she turned around to get out of the door. Grandpa Max halted her, turned her back around, and walked her over to the counter.

"Grandpa, what the hell are we doing?" She asked, her voice on edge.

"We are getting your ear pierced." Max simply said.

"Grandpa, I already have my ears pierced." Urayuli pressed, not looking forward to getting a needle gun near her ears again. Max shook his head.

"No, silly girl, the shell, not the lobes."

Urayuli shook out of her grandfather's grasp and turned towards him.

"Grandpa, I don't understand why we're here. You can't just drag me to a piercing shop and expect me to go along with it!" Urayuli hurriedly said, confused by her grandfather's intentions. Max sighed and put his hand in his coat pocket, revealing a small wooden box.

"Open it." He ordered as he handed her the box. She tentatively did as he said, and found a small stud made of discolored ivory. Along the center of it ran a small metal bar to hold the pieces together. Urayuli looked at Grandpa Max with uncertainty in her eyes.

"It's just like one I made your mother when she was your age... It's mammoth tusk- I wanted to give you a good luck charm that would remind you where you came from. I couldn't buy anything like that here, so I decided to make another." Grandpa Max said, his voice warmer and his eyes softer.

"But... isn't using ivory bad?"

"It's 5000-year-old ivory. The creatures are long dead." Max deadpanned. "Besides, I just plucked this baby out of the ground last time I was in Alaska."

That does not make it necessarily not bad, grandpa. Regardless, Urayuli gazed at the small carved stud and made the decision.

"Alright. Let's do it."

Max had grinned at the fire in his granddaughter's eyes and moved her to the back of the shop by her softly trembling shoulders.

"I mean, it looks pretty gnarly if you ask me. Have you told Kvichak yet?" Cole asked her after his snorts had subsided. Urayuli groaned loudly from deep within her chest.

"No, and I honestly am not looking forward to that talk. Do you remember how long I had to whine to get my earrings?"

"Oh man, by the end of it, I could swear he had aged at least 5 years. And he still didn't want you to get them!" Cole exclaimed, slamming his hands on the table his laptop was on. Urayuli snorted, remembering gluing pictures all over his bedroom walls of fashion models she had printed out. The pictures had only the women's faces on them and their ears were adorned with very extravagant earrings. She had placed several of those pictures in places where she knew her father would have to look at them; in the glove box, in the knife drawer, amid his socks, in almost every cabinet. When he had finally relented, they flew out to Anchorage to get her ears pierced, but Kvichak's entire face was sour for at least a couple weeks.

After they both took a moment to get their laughter under control, Urayuli grew serious again.

"How is he? Like, how is he really?" Urayuli asked as she stared, Cole's face staring back at her getting serious as well. He scratched at his well-kept undercut and let out a long breath.

"I honestly don't know what to tell you. He's been... alright?" Cole grimaced at his words and stroked at his imaginary beard. "I mean, as alright someone would be in the situation. More focused on his work, he's gotten more serious, I suppose?"

Urayuli rubbed her eyes with the back of her thumbs and a sigh escaped through her nose. She had suspected something like that to happen. Wishful thinking, I guess. Taking a deep breath, she clasped her hands together.

"Alright, so I should probably call him soon?" She asked without actually wanting an answer. She knew she had to call him soon, but that did not mean it was easy for her to do. Last time she had seen her father's face was at Christmas two months before, and he seemed fine then. It also could have just been the Christmas spirit Dad was experiencing with Cole. Or the eggnog he drank. Just texting him isn't enough.

The shrill sound of whistling was picked up by Cole's microphone and hurt Urayuli's sensitive ears. His phone screen lit up, and as he looked at it to see who it was, he kissed his teeth.

"I'm sorry, Yuli, it's my mom." Cole apologized but muttered under his breath after. "As if she has the right."

Urayuli quickly waved her hands in front of her. "It's no problem, Cole. We'll talk again soon."

He smiled at the camera and gave a peace sign before the image turned black.

Stretching her legs, Urayuli leaned back in her chair. It was hard for her to keep in contact with her father. Though it had only been 4 months since she left, she couldn't help but feel she abandoned him. She had left him in Alaska while she's in Japan, training to become something he never wanted her to be. He had tried so hard to be a good father for her and she was so ungrateful, leaving immediately when the opportunity arose. Why had she treated her father so badly? Did she treat everyone that badly? It would only be a matter of time before her grandfather decided-

The sudden sharp pain of her pinky nail being torn off snaps her out of her thoughts. She hadn't noticed she started biting her nail. Only half of her nail left now. Dammit.

Her mind felt foggy and in need of air. Maybe I can just escape through the window as I used to in Alaska? Deciding against it due to population density, Urayuli just raced downstairs for the front door. Almost there-!

"Urayuli! Where do you think you're going, dinner's ready!" Max's gruff voice called out. The sudden noise startled her and she tried to stop running, only for her socks to lose traction on the smooth wood floor. As if God himself was out to get her, she fell hard on her back with both legs in the air. She let out a pained groan, her grandfather behind her almost crumpling to the floor from laughing

"Fu- Grandpa! How did you even know what I was doing?" Urayuli asked after she had gotten up.

"What, you think I didn't hear you? Now come on, food's getting cold."


A week passes, and Urayuli has tried everything to keep her mind off the letter that will determine her fate. For an entire week, she goes jogging around her neighborhood, passing the same playground for a break. Every once in awhile she'll hear a voice yell throughout the neighborhood, near the more expensive and large houses. Rich people, man. Who calls anyone an old hag, anyway?

Her week consisted of jogging for a solid two hours, then she would eat breakfast with Max. Afterward, they would work out, doing stretches and core exercises. Then they would make and eat lunch together. On Wednesday, Max had taken her to Harajuku, so she could pick out a backpack for the new school year. Urayuli had protested, saying they couldn't be sure she got in, so buying a backpack was overkill.

"Better to be over-prepared than not prepared at all, kituuqta." Max had said and that was the end of that.

The pair perused shops and boutiques in a busy shopping street until Urayuli's gaze fell upon a bag with a galaxy print. She gave Max a look and he grabbed it from the high perch it was displayed at. After paying for the bag and several school supplies, they got lunch at a small café. Spending time with her grandfather like that, where they just enjoyed each other's company instead of just training, made her face ache from smiling.

Thursday she finally called her father.

"Hello, sweetie." Kvichak's tired voice entered her ears. Urayuli smiled and let go of the breath she was holding.

"Hey pops, how have you been doing?" Kvichak chuckled at the term.

"It's... been strange, of course. I'm so used to it just being the two of us, it's been really quiet without you."

Her shoulders sagged at the thought of her father being all alone in her old home.

"Are you doing okay?" She asked quietly. "And be honest."

A sigh followed.

"I will be."

Dammit.

"Let's not talk about me right now, sweetheart. How did your entrance exam go?" His voice sounded perky again, but Urayuli knew it was only for her sake.

"Truthfully? I have no clue. I think it went relatively well, but I have no idea what their criteria were. I'll get the results in a couple of days."

"Really? Well, regardless of the results, I'm proud of you. You know that, right?"

"Yeah, dad. I know. Thanks."

The rest of the conversation was Urayuli asking about Elpetquik and its inhabitants, and Kvichak, in turn, asking more questions about her life in Japan. Not that she cared much about the people in her hometown, they could burst into flame for all she cared, but her father does and it's a courtesy.

The weekend was not special in any regard. She ate breakfast, did some training, relaxed with a video game on the couch, did some extra stretches around dusk, helped Max with dinner, ate said dinner, played another video game, and then went to bed.

Then the letter came.


"Urayuli! There's mail!" Grandpa Max hollered from downstairs while Urayuli was doing her hair in the bathroom. Max's loud voice made her drop her barely done braid, undoing her progress. With a huff she brushed her fingers through her hair, opting out of the braid altogether. Not meant to be today, I guess. Forgoing socks as she didn't want to slip down the slippery wooden floor again, she rushed down the stairs. A white letter with a red seal met her gaze when she arrived at the front door. With shaking hands, she took the letter from her grandfather's hands.

"U.A. High School." Urayuli read out loud and promptly coughed from the spit that got lodged in her throat. Max gently grabbed her by the back of her neck and steered her to the living room. The pair sat down on the couch and stared at the letter still in Urayuli's steely grip. A minute or two passed by as Max continued to stare at his granddaughter's face that was locked on the dreaded letter.

Without as much as a warning, Urayuli grabbed hold of the letter at both sides and tugged, ripping the envelope in two. A small round object dropped on the table in front of them. Almost immediately a light emitted from the object, and a screen projection of motherfucking All Might appeared in front of her.

"I am here as a projection!" All Might's voice boomed through her living room. The shock of seeing her idol in the flesh well not technically because it's a projection made it impossible for Urayuli to notice her jaw almost unhinging itself in astonishment.

"It must be a surprise for you to see me, All Might, in your letter from U.A.! Truth is, I'm going to be working at U.A. in this upcoming school year!"

"Whaaat..." Urayuli whispered to herself, not quite believing it. All Might was going to be a teacher at U.A.?

"Anyhow! I am here to give you your test results! For your written test! You passed with 70%! Very good for a foreigner!"

"No way." She whispered.

"For the practical exam, you managed to get 14 villain points. Not especially high, but that was not our only criteria or the only way to get points!"

"No way." She whispered, louder this time.

"You received 36 rescue points for your show in heroism when you saved that girl from one of the villains and when you rescued the boy from the zero-pointer! That means you passed, which means you are accepted into the Hero Course at U.A.!" All Might finished.

"No fucking way!" Urayuli yelled, slamming her hands on the coffee table. Her gaze was locked on All Might's projection, tears almost forming in her eyes as her emotions overwhelmed her. Grandpa Max jumped up from the couch with a loud "Yeah!" and fist-pumped the air. Not entirely sure what to do, Urayuli launched herself into her grandfather's arms, who held onto her as the two of them laughed off their nerves from the last week.

"Congratulations!" She heard All Might boom behind her before the projection vanished. Urayuli yelled at the top of her lungs to expel whatever she was feeling out of her body. In his enthusiasm, Max joined in with the yelling. The two of them started running through the living room and screaming loudly. From the outside, it would have looked quite silly and maybe a bit frightening, but grandfather and granddaughter couldn't care at the moment. Their hard work had paid off. Urayuli stopped running for a second and turned to Max.

"I GOT ACCEPTED INTO U.A.!" She yelled in his face.

"I KNOW!" Max yelled back at her. "I HEARD THE BIG BLOND MAN!"

"GRANDPA, I'M GOING TO FUCKING U.A. HIGH SCHOOL!" She yelled again.

"WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE!"

Chapter Text

Two weeks pass. The cherry blossoms are in bloom and their petals dance in the wind, slowly drifting to the ground outside of Urayuli's home. It was around six AM and she had decided to wake up early to enjoy a moment of quiet reflection. The early morning air was cool on the skin of her arms and only proved to weigh just as heavy as the brick of anxiety settled deep inside her stomach. Today was the day she would attend U.A. High School for the very first time, and just repeating those words in her mind caused her jaw to clench and her chest to stiffen. I sure hope I don't get diarrhea on my way to U.A... again.

Slowly she stood up and moved toward her closet, her new uniform inside. Even though she wasn't used to a school uniform, it at least looked kind of cute. The blazer was a nice gray with the skirt being a dark green. On the lower lapels and the cuffs of the sleeve sat two lines of the same color as the skirt. The whole outfit was finished with a white blouse and a red tie. A matching waistcoat hung from a hanger, but Urayuli decided to ignore it. It was warm enough as it was for early April. To finish the outfit, she put on a pair of knee-high black socks. She gave herself a final once over in the mirror. Urayuli did her hair in a style she usually did in Alaska, two braids along the side of her head, meeting in the back at a bun, with the rest of her hair loose.

She carefully went downstairs and greeted her grandfather in the kitchen, who had prepared breakfast for her. After almost half a year of living with his granddaughter, he had learned not to give her a large breakfast when she was anxious, if those mornings training where she would vomit on the side of the street were anything to go by. Yogurt and toast it was gonna be. At the sight of his granddaughter in her uniform, Max stepped away from the kitchen counter to get a good look at her.

"Look at you. You must be so proud of yourself. I know I am. How do you feel?" He asked, his eyes soft. Urayuli scoffed at him humorously.

"Like my stomach might fly out of my mouth at any second." She answered truthfully with a nervous smile on her lips. Max laughed at her.

"You'll be fine. It'll be good for you to be surrounded by your peers, and not feel like such an odd duck anymore."

Slight dread settled in her stomach. What kind of students am I going to meet? Will they be nice? Urayuli had no idea what to expect from that day, and that terrified her. Her school uniform suddenly got itchy.

Even on her walk to the station, on the train ride, and the trek to U.A., her mind was filled with doubt. So much so, that when she finally stood in front of the entrance of the U.A. building, she had half a mind to turn around and go back home. Her tie suddenly felt like a vice on her neck, and she scratched at it absentmindedly. Are these people going to be super competitive and turn out to be complete assholes, will they be disinterested instead? What if they're like the shitheads back home? Her jaw clenched in irritation. If they are, just keep away from them and go your own path. And if that doesn't help... then this will be a very trying exercise in self-control.

Letting go of the breath she wasn't aware she was holding, Urayuli took the first steps of the stairs that led to the doors of the almost exclusively glass building. Around her, several other students made their way inside, and each and every single one of them looked more impressive than the last. That person's Quirk makes their body act like water, that person has spider legs, are those elf ears? In her shy curiosity, she hadn't noticed someone was right behind her, who in turn hadn't noticed she had stopped walking and bumped into her.

The slight force made her topple forward, but she didn't fall. In a reflex that she had made her own during her childhood in Alaska, she sharply whipped around to bark a 'fuck you' to the person who touched her, but her words never made it out of her mouth as she was faced with a boy with very, very purple hair that was sticking up in all kinds of directions. Purple eyes with incredibly dark bags peered into her cognac ones. He was the first one to say something.

"Ah, sorry about that. Are you okay?" His voice drawled a bit. It didn't sound like he was mocking her, he just sounded tired. Urayuli waved her hands from side to side.

"Oh, no, I'm okay. I was just curious about the other students, I should've just kept walking." She spoke back in Japanese, cringing inwardly at her slight accent mistake at the end of her sentence. She hoped furiously that the purple-haired boy hadn't noticed.

"For a foreigner, your Japanese is pretty good. Be mindful of your "R's", though." He had. Dammit.

She snorted, a bit taken aback by his forwardness.

"For a Japanese person, you're pretty to the point. Be mindful of sounding rude, though." She jested back.

His eyebrows almost shot up to his hairline, and Urayuli feared she had crossed a line in terms of forwardness by using sarcasm, but her insecurities soon melted away as the boy smiled crookedly and scratched the back of his head.

"Ah, that was pretty rude, wasn't it? I'll be more careful then." His smile was gone, but at least he wasn't angry. She allowed herself to smile briefly before holding out her hand to shake his.

"My name is Urayuli Yaraqpik. I am, in fact, foreign, and I'm in the Hero Course. Nice to meet you."

His eyes narrowed at that, and he seemed to leer at her hand. Oh shit, Japanese people don't shake hands. How could I forget about that? She quickly retracted her hand, wiping it on her skirt.

"I'm sorry, I forgot nobody shakes hands here. Just... I'm not really used to this country yet. Forgive me." She sputtered nervously, bowing her head a little.

The boy didn't say anything for a moment, he just looked at her, until he sighed and held his right hand out for her to take. She didn't hesitate and firmly grabbed onto it.

"Hero Course, huh? I'm Shinso Hitoshi, General Course. Also, it's last name, first name."

Urayuli regarded him for a second, confused.

"You put your family name first, then your given name," Shinso explained with a lazy grin.

If there was ever a moment where she wanted to headbutt the concrete more, she couldn't remember it. I literally had this SAME conversation with Kirishima a month ago, I'm a MORON.

"Oh haha, right, oopsie," Urayuli muttered with a nervous smile, screaming on the inside. OOPSIE?! Shinso turned around and walked into the building, waving a hand behind him.

"Classes start soon. See you later, Yaraqpik."

It's been exactly 3 minutes since you got to your new high school and you've already made a complete fool out of yourself. It's a new record, Yuli! Good on ya! Now let's go find a nice hidey-hole to die in!


As she went through the main entrance, she took notice of the height of the door. For some reason, it never occurred to her that the door was larger than usual. On her way to the classroom she was looking for quite feverishly, both the hallway and the other doors were also much wider and higher than what would or should have been normal. Why is everything in this school so big? Are there so many people with quirks that require the doors to be this size?

Although the grandeur of the classroom door to class 1-A intimidated Urayuli, she tightly gripped the straps of her galaxy backpack and took a deep breath to calm her nerves. When that didn't seem to work, she lightly touched her now month old helix piercing, the ivory stud her grandfather made for her. The memory of him giving it to her made her smile (although the memory of her sitting in that chair at the piercing shop made her cringe). Thank you for this, Papa Max. I'll make you proud.

Steeling her resolve, she grabbed the door handle and pulled. When she stepped inside, an abundance of eyes and faces almost immediately locked in on her. She felt her hairs stand on end from the inquisitive stares from the people who were to be her peers. Her eyes searched the room and tried to burn the faces into her mind. A guy in the back had dual-colored hair, neat. A girl with purplish-black hair and headphone jacks as earlobes. Another boy with a ninja mask and wait how many arms does he have?

A boy with spiky red hair waved at her from the middle of the classroom. It took her a moment to realize that she was looking into Kirishima's eyes and she gaped at his hair. What used to be black hair was now a shock of bright red, sticking out in every direction. It suits him, she thought. The two of them recognized each other, and Urayuli opened her mouth to say something when she heard footsteps approaching her. Without thinking, she braced herself for... for what? The footsteps belonged to a boy taller than her, with black hair and stern-looking eyebrows and rectangular glasses. He was marching towards her with his arms at an angle as if he was a robot. He looks kind of silly.

"Another student has entered the classroom! My name is Iida Tenya and I'd like to welcome you to class 1-A!" He said loudly, waving his arms around and with a very serious look on his face. He… is very intense. He also seems weirdly familiar?

"Uh, hi. I'm-" She stopped herself, remembering both her conversation with Shinso and with Kirishima. "...Yaraqpik Urayuli. Nice to meet you." In the corner of her eye, Kirishima gave her a thumbs up.

"Ah! A foreigner! I wasn't aware they let many foreigners in!" Iida began, but Urayuli interrupted him quickly, a little put off by his direct statement.

"Yeah, me neither, but here I am anyway." She said with a small grimace, Iida's loud voice slowly becoming a drain on her. She looked around briefly, counting 20 desks in the classroom. Back home the classes were never larger than 14, and mine had about 9 other kids in it.

"Out of my way, extra's." A raspy voice sounded behind her before she was pushed to the side out of the doorway. She smacked against the desk of a blond student with a strange smile and big, sparkly blue eyes. Urayuli mouthed an apology to him before turning to the person who had shoved her, ready to chew him out.

He had blond spikey hair, narrow red eyes and a scowl on his face. The way he wore his uniform looked out of place, without the red tie and his pants sagging. To Urayuli, he just screamed trouble. For some reason, she was under the impression U.A. wouldn't let people like him in, as he didn't seem like the type for a fancy-schmancy school like this. Even though I'm not the type for this kind of school either, let's be honest.

"Next time you want someone to move, just ask," Urayuli said with narrowed eyes.

Carmine met cognac with a ferocious glare. The intent behind his eyes almost made her falter, the hateful glare being eerily similar to the stared she had suffered under back in Alaska. But he has no idea who I am or what my Quirk is. This boy is just aggressive by default.

"Did you say something, foreigner? I can't fucking understand you!" He snarled at her.

The words didn't hurt as much as she thought they would, but they did annoy her greatly. Taking a few moments to stare at him with a deadpanned look on her face, she turned to Iida.

"So how does the seating in this class work exactly?" Urayuli asked him.

"Hey, bitch! Don't ignore me!" The blond boy all but screeched at her, palms sizzling with smoke. Urayuli scoffed and didn't even look at him when she spoke again.

"Iida-san, my name is Yaraqpik, where should I sit?" She could feel the blond boy's glare burning in her back but kept her own eyes on Iida to ground herself in the situation. A slender hand in the back of the classroom rose in the air. Said hand belonged to what Urayuli could only describe as a serious-looking but beautiful girl with raven black hair in a ponytail.

"My last name is Yaoyorozu, so your seat is in front of me, Yaraqpik-san." Her feminine voice stated, her hand gesturing to the desk across from her. Nodding to the girl Urayuli had dubbed 'The Japanese Beauty' in her head, she made her way to the desk, making sure she knocked shoulders with the angry blond boy. Jackass.

Approaching her assigned desk, she smiled at Yaoyorozu in thanks and went to nod at the person next to her desk, only to find a boy with the head of a black bird, but a normal human body. It gave her pause for a second before whispering "Now that looks fucking cool" in awe. Is he a shapeshifter like me?

Before she could ask about it, the blond boy's voice started raising again. She had totally missed what he had said before he started screaming, but she couldn't not focus on his voice. He was yelling at Iida, sitting two seats across from her with his foot on the table. Talk about rude.

"Remove your foot from that desk! Such an action is insulting to our upperclassmen as well as the craftsmen who made the desk!" Iida reprimanded the firey blond, doing that robot thing with his hands again. At that moment, Urayuli realized why Iida had sounded so familiar. He's that guy who was so mean to the other student at the entrance exam!

The boy snorted derisively and smirked at the taller boy.

"Like I care. What middle school did you go to, you four-eyed extra?"

"I-I went to Somei Private Academy. My name is Iida Tenya." Iida stuttered, still serious.

"Somei?! You're some stuck-up elitist, then?" The blond gritted his teeth. "I should blow you the hell up!"

Taken aback, Iida took a step backward and held an arm in front of his chest. "Blow me up?! You, are you sure you wish to become a hero?!" He stammered before noticing someone in the door opening. Urayuli shifted slightly in her seat to take a look at the new face in the classroom.

He's rather plain looking, isn't he? Another boy, with dark green hair and freckles. She couldn't see what his eye color was from this distance. What she did notice was that he hadn't tied his tie correctly and thought it looked quite silly. Both Iida and the boy that introduced himself as Midoriya Izuku began a short conversation Urayuli had slight difficulty following. Iida's Japanese sounded very official and formal and he spoke a bit too fast for her, she was only able to hear the words 'practical exam'.

Tired of trying to follow the conversation after a brown-haired girl also entered the fray, she decided to send a quick text to her grandfather to let him know getting to school went well. He almost immediately texted back with a "put your phone away" and she chuckled to herself.

"If you're here to socialize, then get out." A low, bored voice rang out. Urayuli peeked at her bird neighbor, who caught her eyes and shrugged. Two seconds later, a man in a yellow sleeping bag stood in the doorway. The entire class watched in curiosity as the man took off the soft cocoon.

"It took eight seconds for you to quiet down. Time is a precious resource. You lot aren't very rational, are you?" He said. The man had slightly long wavy black hair, a long white cloth loosely wrapped around his neck and wore a black jumpsuit. Unkempt facial hair and damn he looks tired. Is he a pro hero?

"I'm your homeroom teacher, Aizawa Shota. Pleased to meet you." He announced monotonously. This guy is our homeroom teacher? He doesn't sound very pleased to meet us.

He rummaged inside his sleeping bag and out came sets of clothes.

"Quickly now. Change into your gym clothes and head out to the grounds."


"A Quirk assessment test?!" The whole class exclaimed once they were outside, except for Urayuli, who still needed to translate every little bit of information correctly. The way the class said it at least made it clear for her that they weren't happy with it. The cute girl with the brown hair stepped forward to their teacher.

"But what about the entrance ceremony? Or guidance sessions?!" She questioned taken aback.

"No time to waste on that stuff if you want to become heroes," Aizawa-sensei said. Urayuli frowned. That sounds kind of harsh.

"U.A. is known for its 'freestyle' educational system. That applies to us teachers as well." He explained. "Softball throwing. The standing long jump. The fifty-meter dash. Endurance running. Grip strength. Side-to-side stepping. Upper body training. Seated toe touch. You did all these in middle school, right? Your standard no-quirks-allowed gym tests."

Aizawa-sensei's explanation made sense somewhat to Urayuli. Except she was never allowed to use her Quirk, period. Not in school and barely at home.

"This country still insists on prohibiting Quirks when calculating the averages of those records. It's not rational. The department of education is just procrastinating." It took Urayuli a moment to translate what Aizawa-sensei said. She felt out of the loop the entire time.

"Bakugo." Aizawa began. "How far could you throw in middle school?"

The rude blond boy from earlier spoke up.

"Sixty-seven meters." He answered. So, his name is Bakugo. More like BakuNO! Urayuli snickered to herself. I'm a moron...

"Great. Now try it with your quirk. Do whatever you need to. Just don't leave the circle." Aizawa explained and passed the ball to the aggressive blond. As Bakugo walked over to the circle, he did some arm stretches.

"DIE!" He screamed as the ball seemed to explode with his pitch, leaving a trail of smoke and debris in its wake. ...Die? What kind of..?

The ball almost disappeared out of sight before falling to the ground a couple of hundred meters ahead. Urayuli could only look in awe at the ash-blond boy. That… Quirk is intense. Like him, I suppose. Aizawa-sensei showed the rest of the class the distance the ball had gone. S-seven hundred and five meters?!

"It's important for us to know our limits. That's the first rational step to figuring out what kind of heroes you'll be."

"Whoa! This is awesome!" A male voice exclaimed from Urayuli's right.

"So we can use our Quirks for real! Man, the hero course is great!" A female voice rang out.

Aizawa was quiet for a moment before he interrupted the cheerful students.

"Awesome… you say?" Oh shit. He's turned serious.

"You're hoping to become heroes after three years here… And you think it'll be all fun and games? Right. The one with the lowest score across all eight events will be judged hopeless… And will be expelled."

Urayuli felt her mouth open in astonishment. Expelled? We literally just got here!

"Your fates are in our hands. Welcome. This is the Hero Course at U.A. High."

"Hold on a moment!" The cute brown-haired girl interrupted. "The lowest scorer will be expelled? It's only the first day! I mean, even if it weren't, that's totally unfair!"

Urayuli could feel herself nod at the girl's words. It made no sense to do something like this. We already got in the school by means of an exam, what's the point of sending us away right after?

"Japan is full of unfair things. Natural disasters, highway pileups, rampaging villains. Calamity is always right around the corner. Heroes are the ones who correct all that unfairness." Aizawa sighed, apparently done with explaining himself.

"If you were hoping to spend your evenings hanging out at McDonald's, I'm sorry to tell you that for the next three years, U.A. will run you through the wringer. That's Plus Ultra. Use your strength to overcome it all. So bring it." Aizawa finished with a small smile, beckoning his finger. "Demonstration is over. Now it's for real."

I am so boned.

"Yaraqpik," Aizawa-sensei called out. Urayuli raised her head to meet her teacher's eyes.

"Y-yes?" She asked tentatively.

"Given that we were unable to retrieve your scores from middle school, we have no way of knowing how much you have improved over the years. Regardless, I expect you to do your best anyhow."

"Of course." Urayuli agreed. Now to the slaughter.


The fifty-meter dash was first, and Urayuli's mind was racing. She was thinking of ways she could use her Quirk, if at all. And even if I could, what about the whole 'my clothes will fall off my body and I need to collect them afterward' problem? I wasn't even aware we were allowed to use special items! Urayuli thought bitterly, gazing forlornly at the strange blond boy who was wearing a huge sparkly belt around his waist. Best I don't use my Quirk at all, but that's not at all the point of this whole exercise. Should I ask Aizawa-sensei about this?

She slapped herself. No. Gotta figure this out myself. I'll use my Quirk and if they see me naked… well, then I guess they'll have seen me naked.

She got in a crouch at the starting line of the race. The student to her left was a boy with an oddly shaped head, like a rock. He snuck a peek at her and after she hesitantly smiled at him, promptly looked away with a blush. Ah, he's shy.

Without warning, she shifted into one of her newly trained shapes. Her face shaped into a sharp beak and her arms reshaped into wings. She became smaller, but her wings grew in size. Out of what her grandfather described as her luminescent transformation, or 'bright ass light', she emerged as a Golden Eagle. Screeching at the sound of the starting pistol, she took flight and made it past the finish line within four seconds.

The strange-looking boy finished a little bit later than her but turned to her in excitement regardless. He signed something with his hands. Urayuli did not know what he was trying to say and simply squawked at him while she titled her head to the side. He seemed to notice that she wasn't wearing her clothes and his eyes trailed back to the starting line at the pile of clothes. The poor boy blushed furiously and got on his haunches in front of her. He kept signing in earnest to make the obvious clear.

My guy. I know my clothes are over there. I can't really change back and dress myself in front of everybody, now can I?

He couldn't hear her, but he understood regardless. Holding up a shaky hand, he gave her a thumbs up and looked at her in question. Urayuli nodded her head if only to make herself less nervous. It seemed to work on him just fine, though.

"Is something the matter here?" She heard behind her. Of course, it was Aizawa-sensei and of course, he would want to know why she isn't shifting back. Urayuli took flight and landed on top of the pile of clothes she had left behind and squawked at her teacher.

"Interesting. Normal clothes don't shift with you, do they?" He asked, again with the bored edge in his voice. She moved her head to nod, which appeared to be a little difficult in this form.

"Can you stay in that form long enough?" Urayuli thought for a moment. She had never actually tried, except when in otter form. Maybe it's a good idea to use that one in between tests. Nodding more to herself than to her teacher, she shifted into an otter and squeaked.

Watching the other students do the same test was interesting, and Urayuli was in awe at all the different Quirks. Iida had what seemed like exhaust pipes protruding from his calves, and that made him clear the test in 3.04 seconds. The girl he was up against hopped to the finish line like a frog. After they were done, the brown-haired girl from before was racing against a blond-haired guy with a tail? She touched her clothes briefly, and although she wasn't very fast, she seemed pleased with herself. Next was the strange-looking boy with the belt around his waist against a pink-skinned girl with pink hair, black sclera, and yellow eyes and those are horns, this girl has horns. When the starting sound rang, the blond boy jumped up in the air with his back to the finish line, and a laser flashed from his belt. After the spurt of light, he fell on the ground and repeated the motion once more, finishing in 5.51 seconds. He turned to no one in particular while sighing.

"If I'd fired an instant earlier... My stomach would have exploded." He announced. Wait, what does that even mean?

Next up were the green-haired Midoriya and the aggressive blond Bakugo. At the starting line, Bakugo crossed his arms with his palms out to the sides, and explosions emitting from his hands propelled him forward at an insane speed. Yikes, that guy is nuts. He could have seriously hurt himself or Midoriya, Urayuli thought with a grimace.

The second event was grip strength, and Urayuli knew immediately what to change into. Shifting into a Golden Eagle was getting easier and easier, but still needed a lot of concentration, especially since she couldn't r change back to allow her some room to breathe. While flapping her large wings, she hovered above the ground and gripped the grip strength machine with her talons. She screeched abruptly, and moved over to Kirishima to show him her score.

"Oh, Yaraqpik, what's your score? ...What?! 360 kilograms?!" Kirishima exclaimed, his jaw dropping. "You must have crazy strength in this form, huh, Yaraqpik? Well, watch this!"

Urayuli dropped down on the floor, changing back into an otter just for convenience's sake. She watched as Kirishima gripped the machine and hardened his hand, shortly after a beeping noise sounded from it. Kirishima looked at it with a grin and showed her his score.

"Not as good as yours, but not too shabby if you ask me! 240 kilograms!" Urayuli chattered at Kirishima in praise, making a show out of clapping with her tiny hands.

For some reason, she was kind of interested in how the boy with the gray hair and the many arms would do. The moment she came over, a lanky black-haired boy with almond-shaped eyes who was also watching the many-armed boy exclaimed loudly.

"540 Kilograms?! Are you a gorilla? Or an octopus?!" Urayuli had to admit that was very impressive and she squawked her praise to the many-armed guy, who appeared nonplussed at the kind words.

During the next events, which were the standing long jump and sidestepping, she didn't perform exceptionally well. For the jump she had shifted into a fox and leaped across the sand, landing about 1.40 meters. Not great, but not terrible either. Sidestepping proved to be a bit difficult as a fox, but she managed to not be awful. All while this was happening, the green-haired boy Midoriya got seemingly more distressed for some reason. Urayuli had noticed his scores were nothing to write home about. How the hell did he get in, he doesn't seem to be good at anything.

Right before the fifth event, throwing, Urayuli quickly trotted over to Aizawa-sensei with Yaoyorozu, who had been holding onto her clothes for the time being, behind her. So sweet of her. Better than having Kirishima touching my undies. Upon approaching him, she let out a chatter and motioned with her head towards her clothes in her classmate's hands.

"I believe Yaraqpik-san would like a moment to change for the next event, would that be alright?" Yaoyorozu asked him apprehensively. Aizawa looked at the both of them contemplatively.

"There is really no time to go back to the locker rooms, but if you're quick, then I'll allow it. Hurry up."

Urayuli quickly snagged the clothes from Yaoyorozu's hands and hurried to some bushes along the field they were using for the test, the heel notches of her shoes barely fitting in her mouth with the rest of her clothes. When she entered the thick bushes, she shifted back into herself and felt terribly exposed, which was to be expected.

"Goddammit, is this going to be a thing every time?" She lamented in English, suddenly noticing how very tired she had become. I'm more or less at my limit, no more shenanigans. Feeling a presence behind her, and hearing the soft crunch of shoes on gravel, she peeked out of the bush and found Yaoyorozu with a beach towel folded out in front of her body.

"To give you some privacy. Will this be enough?" Yaoyorozu asked, fidgeting with the ends of the towel she was holding. Urayuli wasn't sure how to respond. This act of kindness was very strange to her, and her immediate thought was Is she doing this so she can yank the towel away the moment I'm indecent? What is her end game? Acts like that, she was familiar with. Other students turning off the lights in the locker rooms while she was still in the shower or locking her in a broom closet, all under the guise of being nice. She couldn't allow that to happen to her again here. Tentatively, she barely moved more than her shoulders outside of the bush.

"That'll do. Thanks." Urayuli answered her curtly, making quick work of changing in her undies and gym clothes, all while maintaining eye contact with Yaoyorozu. The girl looked away at some point, most likely growing uncomfortable under the intense cognac stare of her classmate. After changing into her shirt, Urayuli smoothed out her hair, making sure her braids were still intact. She stepped out of the bush and nodded at Yaoyorozu in apprehensive thanks. She'll probably use this to make me be in debt to her down the road.

Just as the two of them jogged towards the rest of the class, the brown-haired girl threw her ball for the test, only for the ball to float up and up and up until it was impossible to see it. Aizawa-sensei showed the whole class her score, showing an infinity symbol.

"Infinity?! Wow! The infinity symbol actually popped up!" The pink-haired girl exclaimed in awe. Urayuli was blown away by the Quirk. Zero gravity? That's really cool.

The brunette looked towards Urayuli and blushed slightly. "That's so nice of you to say!" Wait, did I say that out loud. Next to her, Yaoyorozu leaned over to her.

"You did." She said softly. Too close.

"Yaraqpik, you're next. Are you ready?" Aizawa's voice startled her out of her thoughts.

"Y-yes." She stuttered, nervous butterflies in her gut. The whole class will be watching me. With the previous tests, she was too busy concentrating on her form to busy herself with the entire class watching. If it's just her, being watched feels really embarrassing. If it's just me, and I fuck up, then they'll think I'm a fraud.

Grabbing a ball and walking into the circle in the gravel, she breathed in and out to calm her nerves. Not that it worked, but as long as she did it, she wouldn't vomit from feeling her classmates stare at her.

"Come one, Yaraqpik! You can do it!" Kirishima's voice sounded behind her, and she exhaled a laugh from her lungs and shook her head. With his words of encouragement, the butterflies had slightly settled, and she readied herself for the throw. She threw her hand back as far as she could and threw with all her might, the ball flying through the air briefly before landing with a bounce.

"Twenty-five meters." Aizawa-sensei's bored voice behind her announced. The class was eerily silent behind her. Urayuli felt the butterflies from before being squashed by the brick of dread falling into her stomach, and her face flushed with embarrassed heat. Peeking behind her, her classmates looked at her with a mix of vicarious shame and cringed faces. Mortified, her mind raced at a way out of this. Shrugging with her shoulders and arms at her side with her hands out, she smiled tersely.

"Well, a score like infinity could make anyone look bad, let's be fair here." She joked through clenched teeth, hoping to whatever god was out there that they wouldn't laugh at her.

The first ones to laugh were Kirishima, the lanky black-haired boy and a blond boy with a lightning bolt in his hair. Soon, other classmates joined them tentatively, not too sure what was happening.

"Enough. Join the rest, Yaraqpik. Midoriya, you're up." Red-faced and embarrassed heat making her heart pound loudly in her chest, Urayuli walked over to her classmates, preparing herself for the worst. To her surprise, Kirishima held up his hand for a high five, grinning widely. Hesitantly she reciprocated the high five.

"Don't beat yourself up for this one, Yaraqpik! You did pretty amazing in the other events!" Kirishima assured her.

"Maybe, I still want to throw myself into a sinkhole, though." Kirishima laughed at her words.

Midoriya walked over to the circle to perform his throw, and Urayuli noticed he was shaking slightly. He doesn't look so good.

"He's looking a little green around the gills," Urayuli mentioned. Iida, who was standing with the cute brunette and Bakugo a foot or two away, seemed to think the same thing.

"Midoriya isn't doing very well..." He noted.

Bakugo pointed to Midoriya. "Well duh. He's a Quirkless runt!"

"I find that hard to believe." Urayuli snorted at the blond, whispering under her breath in thought.

"Quirkless?! So you haven't heard about his feats during the entrance exam?!" Iida exclaimed in shock. Feats? What did he do? She kept her eye on the green-haired boy to try and discern what kind of Quirk he could have. As he moved his body to throw the ball, his throwing arm seemed to glow a reddish and yellow hue, like subdued electricity. It startled Urayuli, she had never seen anything like it, but as soon as it appeared, it vanished. The ball he threw landed not too far from him.

"Forty-six meters."

While he still scored better than Urayuli, she knew that the thing she saw happening to his arm wasn't meant to happen. She heard him mutter, "But I was trying to use it..." as if it was somehow a new thing to him.

"I 'erased' your Quirk. That ridiculous entrance exam... Completely irrational when you consider someone like you got in." Aizawa-sensei all but barked at Midoriya. The scarf that was around his neck started floating around him, revealing odd-looking goggles. Aizawa-sensei's wavy hair was raised instead of relaxed, and he looked downright menacing.

Midoriya gasped. "Erased?! Those goggles... of course! He's the Erasure Hero, Eraser Head!"

The name meant nothing to Urayuli, but from her classmates chattering, she could tell it didn't mean anything to most of them either. She watched as Aizawa-sensei came almost face to face with Midoriya, the older man towering over him.

"I saw it... How you can't control your Quirk. You'd just be incapacitated again. Were you hoping someone would step in to help afterward?"

Urayuli squinted to concentrate on what was being said while her classmates didn't seem to quiet down. One of Aizawa's ropes? Cords? whipped around Midoriya as he was trying to explain himself.

"Whatever you were planning... It would have inconvenienced those around you. Way back when, a certain hot-blooded hero saved over a thousand people during a disaster. He made himself a legend. You've got the same reckless streak, but... you're totally useless after saving just a single person. Izuku Midoriya. You cannot become a hero with that power of yours."

That... that is very relatable. Urayuli thought back to when she was back in Alaska, trying to find and save her father, yelling at the old men at the fishing company, how utterly useless she turned out to be in the end. But that's why she was here, right? That's why she came here, to learn to control her powers and save people. If that's also this kid's goal, why punish him for it? Aizawa's hair started to relax again as he sighed.

"You've got your Quirk back... Give it another go. Let's get this over with."

"Seems like he received some special instruction." Iida pointed out rubbing his chin. Bakugo snorted at this.

"Yeah. The instruction to leave this school."

"Hey, give it a rest already." Urayuli barked at the blond. His comments had already gotten real old real fast, and her patience was running dry. However, Bakugo was too focused on Midoriya to even hear her. Or he's just ignoring me. Either way, as long as he shuts the hell up.

Again, Midoriya reeled his arm back, and Urayuli silently rooted for him. Knowing how hard control was over your Quirk, she wanted him to succeed. He took a large step and swung his arm, and instead of his whole arm lighting up, it was only his finger, and he more or less flicked the ball away from his hand. Immediately the ball flew at immense speed into the atmosphere. Her lungs emptied with a deep relieved sigh, although his now bleeding and broken finger would definitely need patching up.

"Sensei! I... I can still move!"

Chapter Text

Urayuli had to admit, focusing his powers into just his finger, Midoriya sure made an impression on her. Her classmates were equally impressed as well; the brown-haired girl whooped loudly, Iida was muttering to himself in awe, and the strange starry-eyed blond just simply said "Stylishly done", as if he had full confidence in the green-haired youth. All of a sudden, she could swear she felt something she could only describe as the intent to hurt someone, and before she even finished the thought, Bakugo raced toward Midoriya using explosions from his hands while yelling loudly. Before he could get his hands on Midoriya, the cloth from Aizawa-sensei's neck wrapped around Bakugo's body.

"What the... This cloth, it's stiff!" He groaned as he strained against the strange white cloth.

"It's a 'capture weapon' made of carbon fibers and a special alloy wire," Aizawa-sensei explained while furiously rubbing his eyes. "Geez... Stop using your Quirk already. I'm getting dry eye over here." He finished with a stern glare at the two boys and let go of the blond.

Urayuli could only watch in apprehension as Bakugo kept scowling at Midoriya from afar. The clear intent to hurt the freckled boy from the blond caused her neck hairs to rise. What kind of deranged reaction was that? She could tell from how Bakugo ranted about Midoriya's apparently "secret" quirk to know that the two boys knew each other well but obviously didn't get along.

The rest of the tests were Endurance Running, Upper Body Strength, and the Seated Toe Touch. For the first time, Urayuli was actually happy Papa Max had encouraged her to jog for five miles every other day. Of course, Iida did exceptionally well in that test. She knew she could win it if she had shifted, but the thought of going through all the hassle of putting her clothes back on again made her grimace and decided against it. During the upper body strength test the entire class had to do push-ups, and all the while she and Kirishima decided to make silly faces at each other, acting as if they were having a rough time. The seated toe touch was nothing spectacular, just touching their toes while sitting down, most of her classmates were flexible enough.

When the events were finally over, Urayuli and her classmates all stood in front of Aizawa-sensei, waiting with bated breath on the results. The person who gets the lowest score will get expelled... Not to sound cocky, but I'm not really worried about myself if I'm honest. She glanced at Midoriya, who was clenching his eyes closed and trembling. Him, however...

"Your total scores simply reflect your performance in each of the events. Explaining the process would be a waste of time, so all you get are the final rankings." Aizawa told the class as he pulled out a hologram from his phone.

"Also, I was lying about expelling someone." Huh? "That was a rational deception meant to bring out the best in all of you."

"That's a really roundabout way of saying 'I lied to your faces'!" Iida, Midoriya, and the brown-haired girl all yelled out loud in disbelief.

Yaoyorozu put a hand on her hip and regarded the three. "Well, of course, it was a lie. Didn't take much to figure that out." Urayuli squinted at the dark-haired girl. Wasn't really obvious to me, honestly.

She tore her eyes from her classmate, looking at the scores displayed instead. Eleventh place. I mean, it sucks I didn't make the top ten, but I'll get better. Her eyes skimmed through the rest of the names. So it's Midoriya Izuku. And he got dead last? Oh man, he's so lucky that Aizawa-sensei was only kidding about the expelling part.


The boys and girls of class 1A went to their respective locker rooms to change back into their uniforms. Urayuli felt uneasy about changing in front of these girls again. When they changed into their gym clothes earlier, none of the girls had said anything to each other. You could say it was because of nerves or just uncertainty. One thing was for sure though; none of that anxiety was present right now. The girls were excitedly chatting with each other as they were changing back into their uniforms, the tense energy from the apprehension test forgotten. Urayuli, being the only one not participating, felt left out, and decided to throw in a question.

"So, what are your names and Quirks?" She asked no one in particular. Five pairs of eyes and a floating uniform turned to her, and Urayuli felt her stomach constrict. "I-it's just that we never really got introduced..." She trailed off.

The cute brown-haired girl beamed at her. "You're that nice person who said my powers were cool! My name is Uraraka Ochako! My Quirk is Zero Gravity. It's nice to meet you!" Urayuli wondered where the enthusiasm was coming from but decided against asking about it. Next, the pink-haired girl stepped towards her.

"My name is Ashido Mina! I spout acid from my hands." She explained with a grin.

"I'm Jiro Kyoka." The purple-haired girl with the earphone jack earlobes told her. "My Quirk is called Earphone Jack, it gives me better hearing and I can channel my heartbeat through anything I plug them into."

"I'm Hagakure Toru! My Quirk is Invisibility!" The floating school uniform said while making a cutesy pose.

"My name is Asui Tsuyu, and my Quirk is Frog," Asui said, her big eyes staring at Urayuli.

"You already know my name, but my Quirk is Creation," Yaoyorozu said with a small smile.

"Such cool Quirks... I am Yaraqpik Urayuli, and my Quirk is... Well," Urayuli thought for a moment. "I never officially gave it a name. I just call it Shifting." She said with a shrug.

"I saw you shifting into an otter during the test! That was so cute!" Hagakure said while waving her arms.

Cute? Urayuli has been called many things in the past. Scary, monster, disgusting. Never cute. It made her face flush. Even more so when the other girls agreed with Hagakure.

"Yeah, it was! What kind of animals can you turn into, Yaraqpik-san?" Uraraka asked.

"Uhh," Urayuli wasn't used to questions like this from peers. She fidgeted with the hem of her blouse before answering. "Aside from the ones you saw today; a bison, an owl, a beluga, and something called a ptarmigan. It's a type of bird." She explained after watching the girls' faces turn confused.

"Wow, that's so cool! And you can just shift into them whenever you want?" Ashido asked.

Urayuli frowned. Is this genuine interest or an interrogation. Can't really tell. "Not really. Some forms I can take on for as long as an hour, some only for a few minutes. It really depends."

"Every Quirk has its drawback, so it seems. I can use my Quirk on anything and feel fine, but the moment I use it on myself I get so nauseous!" Uraraka bemoaned.

"I know what you mean. If I don't eat right, my Quirk takes a real toll on me." Yaoyorozu explained.

What is going on? Urayuli was unsure why their Quirks was such a normal conversation topic. She wondered why they were all so willing to spill the beans on their Quirks and their weaknesses. Was this a normal thing here? Back in Alaska, talking about Quirks was almost taboo. Mostly because Urayuli was one of a small handful of people who actually had them.

"You know what we should do?" Ashido said while clapping her hands together excitedly. "We should make a group chat! Let's exchange phone numbers, and then we can talk outside of school!"

As the girls entered their respective phone numbers into each others' phones, Urayuli felt her heart flutter. She had never been included in group chats before, or group anythings out of the free will of all participants. Once she had been added to a group chat consisting of classmates, only to be ridiculed to tears. But these girls seemed genuine enough and hadn't given her reason to worry yet, so she would see where this ship would take her.


"So you're all the way from Alaska? Your Japanese is very good!" Uraraka exclaimed as she and Urayuli walked out of the school together. They had decided to wait around a bit to see how Midoriya or 'that plain-looking boy' was doing after breaking his finger. While they waited, the two girls had gotten wrapped up in conversation.

"It's alright, I still need to practice more. My grandfather will put me through the wringer when I tell him I made a bunch of mistakes today."

"Is your grandfather really that strict?"

"Not really, but it wouldn't surprise me if he gives me a surprise pop quiz on Japanese vocabulary when I get home."

"Wow, what do your parents think of that?"

The question made Urayuli pause. She wanted to be honest with Uraraka, but she simply did not know her. Even though she had been nothing but nice to Urayuli, it felt wrong and honestly was not prepared to just outright tell her about her complicated history. Instead, she just stared at her shoes, unwilling to look at her classmate.

"Oh, I'm sorry! You don't have to tell me if you don't want to. I shouldn't have asked." Uraraka said hurriedly, waving her hands back and forth in front of her face.

Urayuli made a not unkind dismissive gesture with her hands. "It's fine." She said curtly. In the corner of her eye, she noticed Midoriya and Iida talking to each other. Urayuli lightly pulled on Uraraka's sleeve by the elbow and pointed towards the two boys. "It's Midoriya."

"Right! Let's go to them!" Uraraka smiled at her as the two of them made their way to their classmates. "You two! Headed to the station? Wait up!"

Iida noticed them first. "Ah, infinity girl and beast girl." Beast girl?!

"Hey, engine calves," Urayuli mumbled.

"I'm Uraraka Ochako! Um, you're Iida Tenya and Midoriya...um...Deku! Right!"

"Deku?!" Midoriya exclaimed as Urayuli snorted.

"I don't think that's his name, Uraraka-san."

"Hmm?" Uraraka turned to her in question. "During the test, that Bakugo guy said... 'Damn you, Deku', right?"

Midoriya started fidgeting with his arms. "Um... My real name is Izuku... Deku is just Kacchan being a bully."

"A derogatory pet name then?" Iida asked with his hand on his chin.

"Oh, gotcha! Sorry! But 'Deku', well... It just screams 'do your best'! I kinda like it, the way it sounds." Uraraka beamed with her eyes closed. Urayuli silently translated what Uraraka was saying. 'Deku' for 'dekiru' which sounds like 'ganbaru'. A stretch if you ask me, but I guess it works.

"Deku's fine!" Deku all but screeched, face turning a nice shade of tomato.

"Midoriya?!" Iida exclaimed. "Show a bit of backbone! It's an insult, isn't it?!"

Midoriya hid his face in his hands. "It's like the Copernican Revolution..." Who?

"Cope... Do you know what that means, Yaraqpik-san?"

It seemed to only be at that moment that Midoriya noticed Urayuli's presence. "Oh, I'm sorry, what is your name? You're... the one who changed into those animals, right?"

"Yaraqpik Urayuli. Nice to meet you. You're the one who got in trouble with Aizawa-sensei." Urayuli allowed herself to smile a bit if to only put the poor nervous boy at ease. Not that she wasn't nervous as well, but his shy disposition made her feel a little bit less alone. The unfamiliarity of the boy did not deter her to make fun of him a bit.

"T-that was, I m-mean," He stuttered while flailing his hands back and forth. Almost instantly she felt bad for saying what she did. He looks embarrassed, you shouldn't have said that. Urayuli, you dumbass.

"N-never mind that. I thought your ball throw was really cool, though." She said to make him feel better or to save face, either one worked. It didn't work, it only made the poor boy more embarrassed than he already was, his face getting redder and redder by the second.

"Yeah! Your arm went all the way back and then the ball went like 'whoosh'! It was amazing!" Uraraka agreed, causing Midoriya to almost short circuit.

"Let's go, you three! As U.A. High students, we should make haste and get home on time. It's only expected of us." Iida told them, doing that robot thing with his arms.

Iida and Uraraka were walking in front of Midoriya and Urayuli, chatting rather animated about the apprehension test and their new classmates. Uraraka is really good at making friends. She looked at Midoriya for a moment, unsure what to talk to him about. That's what you do with classmates, right? Make dumb small talk?

"How does your Quirk work exactly, Yaraqpik-san?" Midoriya asked her before she could get the jump on him. Urayuli frowned, again a little annoyed at how blasé everyone spoke about Quirks, but the way his eyes sparkled made her feel that he was genuine. She could throw him a bone.

"I'm not really sure. I just think about the animal I want to turn into really hard, and then it sorta happens."

"Does it hurt?"

Did it hurt? She never really gave it much thought. Most forms she took on didn't have any adverse effects aside from it being energy-draining, but her owl form would mostly give her a pounding headache because of the memory associated with it.

"Smaller animals don't put that much of a drain on me, but I really have to time it when I'm using my larger forms. There is one that gives me pain afterward. What about you?" She asked.

"W-what about me?"

"What about your Quirk? O-or am I not supposed to ask?" She added timidly.

"N-no, it's fine! You can ask, it's only fair. Uhm, my Quirk just, breaks my body when I go overboard." He assured her. Urayuli grimaced at her uncertainty about talking to others her age. Midoriya noticed and immediately flustered.

"Ah, it's not that bad! It's a little bit painful, but I can manage!" He explained, thinking Urayuli's grimace was for what he said and not because she herself felt so inept.

As the quartet reached the train station, the conversations quieted down and they said goodbye to one another. Uraraka pointed finger guns at Urayuli and whispered "Group chat" to her with a big smile on her face. Urayuli gave her a thumbs up and a small smile of her own before waving at her and Iida, who both went over to their respective train platforms. Midoriya noticed a shop that had some hero related paraphernalia and told Urayuli he wanted to peruse inside before going home. She told her goodbye to the green-haired boy and left for her platform.

Finally some alone time. Urayuli felt drained from the interactions today, and from shifting so often. And for so long too. She sighed deeply as if to dispel the fatigue from her body. There weren't a lot of people around at the platform at this time, but she still inspected her surroundings for... something. Maybe it was her overall distrust or the byproduct of growing up in a small town, but she expected something of her surroundings. An ambush by her classmates who seemed nice but were maybe giant bullies in disguise. She knew it was irrational and borderline crazy to be this paranoid, but her classmates made her feel uneasy. They were nothing but nice to her, they haven't given her any reason to think like this, but... She couldn't help herself.

The train rolled into the platform and the doors opened. A flurry of people stepped out before Urayuli hastily walked over to one of the seats. I DO NOT have the arm strength to hold myself right now. She quickly sent a text to her grandfather that she was on her way home when she noticed someone with the same uniform as her get on the train. His blond hair and glaring red eyes stood out in the crowd, and one of her eyebrows twitched uncomfortably. Bakugo and I take the same train? How about you BakuGO AWAY? She exhaled air from her nose in a silent laugh. The puns I can make with his name... The possibilities are endless.

Her soundless laughter immediately ceased when his glare was directed at her instead of the people in front of him. Oh, crap, did he hear me? He couldn't have possibly known what I was thinking. A second later, he turned away from her, gritting his teeth in an annoyed snarl. Or maybe, just maybe, I was right and his modus operandi is just explosive to begin with.

During the maybe fifteen-minute train ride, she would often sneak glances at Bakugo. He didn't seem like most teenagers—not because he was so special, Urayuli didn't know him. It was mostly because, instead of looking at his phone or listening to music, he was just... glaring at no one in particular. Like he was just thinking about something or someone that made him glare and he didn't know what else to do with himself.

The train rode into her stop, and she grabbed her backpack from between her feet and made for the doors when Bakugo bumped into her on his way out.

"Watch where you're going, extra." He ground his teeth. Urayuli was not sure how to respond, shrugging her shoulders instead.

"Hey! Stop ignoring me! You think you're better than me? I'll crush you!" He yelled at her. Urayuli kept walking, her stomach going in knots. She just wanted to get home, what was this guy's problem? His loud voice was painful to her sensitive ears.

Walking on the road to home, she didn't hear Bakugo anymore. However, she kept hearing footsteps behind her. Was someone stalking her? Would someone actually mug me in broad daylight? She peeked behind her, only to feel her heart stop when Bakugo's carmine gaze only ten feet behind her.

"Jesus Christ!" She yelped in English, putting her hand over her heart. "Why are you following me?"

Bakugo snarled at her. "I'm walking home, stupid, you're the one following me!"

"How can I follow you when I'm walking in front of you, genius?"

"You think you're better than me?" He demanded from her again.

"When have I- What makes you think I think that?" She asked, confused about his train of thought.

"Whatever, just keep walking, you extra!" He said, staying put, waiting for her to start walking again.

"Could you just stop shouting? I can hear you just fine if you talk, alright?" Her request was met with a sizzling palm shooting off small explosions, and she made a dismissive noise with her teeth and waved him away without looking at him.

She kept walking, Bakugo's angry footsteps behind her making sure she kept enough distance between them. She wasn't scared of him per se, but he sure did intimidate her. After a few minutes of awkward silence, she could see the roof of her house a stone's throw away from where she was. Walking faster to get inside the small gate of her yard, she turned to Bakugo before going in. He had already passed her on the road. Urayuli decided to say something nice to him, no matter how mean he seemed.

"See you at school tomorrow."

"Shut up! You're gonna drop out soon enough with that wimpy Quirk of yours!" He growled without looking at her. With all the anger she could muster, she gave his back the most earnest double middle fingers and slammed the gate shut.


~Girl Chat~

Ashido Mina added

Hagakure Toru

To the group chat

Ashido Mina added

Jiro Kyoka

To the group chat

Ashido Mina added

Yaraqpik Urayuli

To the group chat

Ashido Mina added

Uraraka Ochako

To the group chat

Ashido Mina added

Yaoyorozu Momo

To the group chat

Ashido Mina added

Asui Tsuyu

To the group chat

[Ashido Mina] 14:30 :

Hey girls! This is the group chat, but does anyone have a cool name in mind?

[Asui Tsuyu] 14:30 :

Girl chat seems cool enough, right? Or maybe U.A. Girls?

Ashido Mina changed her name to 'Alien Queen'

[Hagakure Toru] 14:31 :

How about we change it into something cute? Like Girl Squad or something? Don't they call groups of friends 'squads' in the States, Yaraqpik-san?

[Alien Queen] 14:31 :

OMG they do, don't they? Imma change the group name NOW

[Asui Tsuyu] 14:31 :

I think i've seen people call their friends their 'squad' online before

[Uraraka Ochako] 14:31 :

That is the perfect name for the group chat!

[Jiro Kyoka] 14:31 :

Maybe we should wait until Yaraqpik says something

[Yaoyorozu Momo] 14:31 :

She might be too busy to answer right now.

[Uraraka Ochako] 14:31 :

YARAQPIK

YARAQPIK

YARAQPIK

[Yaraqpik Urayuli] 14:32 :

Uh hey

and yes, people call their friend groups 'squad' or 'posse' and stuff like that

it's a good name

Alien Queen changed the name 'Girl Chat' into

'Girl Squad'

[Alien Queen] 14:32 :

Done! Imma give you guys some nicknames too!

[Uraraka Ochako] 14:32 :

Ooh! Exciting!

[Yaraqpik Urayuli] 14:32 :

uhh shouldn't we make up our own nicknames

[Asui Tsuyu] 14:32 :

It could be fun though, Ura-kun

[Yaraqpik Urayuli] 14:32 :

Ura-kun? Lmao aight

[Alien Queen] 14:33 :

Don't worry, Im super good at giving people nicknames!

[Jiro Kyoka] 14:33 :

They better not be trash

[Alien Queen] 14:33 :

So mean! Just give me a minute

Alien Queen changed the name 'Yaoyorozu Momo' into

'Yaomomo'

[Yaomomo] 14:33 :

That's not bad at all, I kind of like it.

[Hagakure Toru] 14:33 :

Do me next! Make it something cute!

[Hagakure Toru] 14:35 :

Whats the holdup??

[Alien Queen] 14:35 :

It's hard, okay! You think of a random nickname!

[Hagakure Toru] 14:35 :

It's not supposed to be random, it's supposed to make sense!

[Yaraqpik Urayuli] 14:36 :

How about Sue Storm?

[Jiro Kyoka] 14:36 :

Who

[Yaomomo] 14:36 :

What does it mean?

[Urayuli Yaraqpik] 14:36 :

it's from an old comic book here in the states

my dad loved reading fantastic four as a kid

its the name of a character whose original alias was Invisible Girl

[Asui Tsuyu] 14:37 :

That's actually not bad

[Hagakure Toru] 14:37 :

I want that! Alien Queen, please change my name into that!

Alien Queen changed the name 'Hagakure Toru' into

'Sue Storm'

[Sue Storm] 14:37 :

Yaaay!

Alien Queen changed the group's profile picture

[Jiro Kyoka] 14:37 :

is that a cat in a dress

[Yaomomo] 14:38 :

My, that's adorable.

[Uraraka Ochako] 14:38 :

Cute! I want a cat

[Alien Queen] 14:38 :

It's not mine, I just found it online

Yaraqpik-san, what do you want your nickname to be?

[Yaraqpik Urayuli] 14:38 :

idk

surprise me

[Alien Queen] 14:38 :

LAME! But fine

Alien Queen changed the name 'Yaraqpik Urayuli' into

Beast Girl

[Beast Girl] 14:39 :

again with this

iida already called me that today

[Sue Storm] 14:39 :

That's so rude!

You can't call a girl a beast!

[Beast Girl] 14:39 :

I mean, I DO change into animals

it makes sense

it just kinda came outta nowhere

Alien Queen changed the name 'Jiro Kyoka' into

'Musa'

[Musa] 14:40 :

Again, who

[Alien Queen] 14:40 :

Beast Girl texted it to me

[Musa] 14:40 :

Yaraqpik, what even

[Beast Girl] 14:41 :

it's the name of a fairy who is the fairy of music

y'all never watched Winx Club?

[Yaomomo] 14:41 :

Oh! It's that one Italian show, right? I watched it a lot.

[Musa] 14:41 :

You know what, I'm not even mad.

I'll allow it.

Alien Queen changed the name of 'Uraraka Ochako' into

'Shepard'

[Shepard] 14:43 :

UHM

Yaraqpik did u do this

[Beast Girl] 14:43 :

No!

yes.

She's a commander in space.

Where there is no gravity

no?

[Shepard] 14:44 :

lmao I don't hate it

is every nickname you send Ashido-san a name from a show or something?

[Beast Girl] 14:44 :

no

it's also games

[Alien Queen] 14:44 :

LMAO

Alien Queen changed the name 'Asui Tsuyu' into

'gerogero'

[gerogero] 14:45 :

Cool

you can also call me Tsuyu-chan y'know


"..uli? Urayuli!" Her grandfather's voice boomed through the kitchen, making Urayuli jump with fright for the second time that day. She was so into chatting with the girls, she hadn't even heard him come home.

"Sorry, Papa. How was your day?" She asked as she put her phone face down on the table.

"How was my day- how was yours? Tell me what happened on your first day!" He said as he sat across from her at the table.

"Well," Urayuli started, clasping her fingers together. "I met some interesting people, and instead of an opening ceremony, we had to do something called a Quirk Apprehension Test. My homeroom teacher is called Aizawa-sensei, and he's the hero Eraserhead."

A glint of recognition appeared in Max's eyes but he kept his gaze locked in hers. Urayuli narrowed her eyes.

"What was that?"

"It's nothing, how'd you do in the test?" He dismissed.

"That was not nothing. Do you know him?" At her question, Max rubbed the back of his neck.

"I have met him a few times. It's not important right now. How did the test go?"

"I was eleventh place."

"That's wonderful!"

"Out of twenty."

"So? You almost made the top ten. I'd say you did well."

"But grandpa, almost doesn't feel good enough." Urayuli groaned. "Almost doesn't mean anything. No one cares if I 'almost' save someone."

"Alright, stop." Max held up his hand in front of his body. "Stop thinking like that. So you 'almost' made it to the top ten. Next time, you're going to 'almost' get into the top five. And after that, you're gonna be 'almost' top three. When you become a hero, and you 'almost' save someone, try harder the next time. Don't think about disappointing others. Think about disappointing yourself. The point is, if you're unsatisfied with your results, work harder. Do your best. You'll get there."

Max's words made her look up at him. "Is it really that simple?" She asked timidly.

"Of course it is. Besides, I'll be there every step of the way." He assured her. Urayuli snorted at him.

"Grandpa, by the time I'm a hero, you'll be dead." She joked.

"Is it too late to get my affairs in order and throw you out of my will?" Max said with a deadpanned look in his eyes. "How old do you think I am?"

"Old enough to get a seniors discount for the bus."

"Still young enough to kick your ass into next Tuesday," Max grumbled. "Now git, I'm gonna cook dinner."

Urayuli giggled at her grandfather, before getting up from the table and plopping on the couch with her phone. The group chat had died down, maybe the girls were still a little shy around their new classmates. After a small debate with herself, she went upstairs into her room and played a video game for a few hours until her grandfather called her down for dinner.

"Did you make any friends today?"

"I mean, I guess. The girls are really nice. There was this one guy who just acted like a fucking rabid monkey."

Max almost choked on the water he was drinking.

"W-what? What happened?"

"Granddad, he threw a ball and screamed 'Die'! Explosions erupted from his hands. And then he almost attacked this other kid."

"Seems like he made an impression on you." He noted.

"Yeah, the impression of someone who should be in a mental institution."


It was almost 11 PM, and she still couldn't sleep. The events of the day had made her somewhat excited for the days to come. Urayuli wondered what U.A. was going to be like in terms of teaching. More so how different it was going to be in comparison to schools in the States. Her thoughts caused her to toss and turn in her warm bed, and out of frustration, she kicked the blankets off her. She stood up and opened the window. The chilly April air smelled oddly sweet, and the wind softly blew through her hair. Maybe some stargazing will do me some good. She stepped onto the windowsill and slowly climbed her way up onto the roof.

It was a lot colder than she had anticipated, but as always, it didn't bother her. She looked at the sky above her. It's nothing like Alaska, but... maybe that isn't a bad thing. She located the big dipper and the northern star, the same stars depicted on the Alaska State flag, and smiled briefly. It's still the same sky, just... different.

Outside, on her roof, in Japan, it was quiet. However, it was a different kind of quiet. There were still cars sometimes passing by, and the rustling of trees was a welcome sound. The quiet in Alaska was almost deafening. Little to no cars passing by her house and the coniferous trees rarely moved in the wind. She missed it only because of nostalgia, and nothing else.

In the distance, she heard the almost telltale yelling from the more expensive houses in the neighborhood. She felt like an intruder listening in on this person, but the things they were saying..! Turn down the TV when you watch your dumb shows, you stupid hag! I'm trying to sleep! Snorting softly to herself, she closed her eyes for a moment. Man, meeting a person who talks to their mom like that would both be interesting and exhausting. After a few minutes of gazing at the stars and thinking about her new school life, she felt her eyelids started to droop. As silently as she could, Urayuli carefully climbed down from the roof and into her bed. Before sleep finally overtook her, she sighed and smiled.

School is going to be interesting tomorrow.

Chapter Text

Urayuli wasn't sure who to thank for being able to avoid Bakugo on her way to school, but she let out a sigh of relief when she saw the huge U.A. High building and hadn't seen hide nor hair of the explosive blond. After the day before, she didn't have the patience to deal with screaming this early in the morning. A gong she could handle just fine, aggressive energy she could not. Happy Monday to me.

"Yaraqpik-san!" A voice called out to her. Turning around, she saw Uraraka's brown hair bobbing with every step she made towards her. Her cheeks were a bit pink, Urayuli assumed that it was from the trek to school from the station.

"Good morning, Uraraka-san." Urayuli greeted her new classmate.

"Are you ready for the actual first day of school?"

"I guess? I'm not really sure what to expect, because it's still school. But it's also not?" Urayuli said thinking out loud.

"Right? Isn't it exciting?!" Uraraka smiled brightly.


First period definitely was not exciting. Apparently, morning classes were just normal classes, including English and Mathematics. All of their classes were in the same room, which was something Urayuli was not used to. Remembering running to a different class to be on time for the next period was a nightmare, so she welcomed the change. When she entered the classroom with Uraraka, she noticed immediately that Bakugo was already in his seat. How the heck did he get here so quickly? Their eyes met briefly, and his glare seemed to grow in intensity when they did. More so when she opted to break eye contact first, being sure not to give away any emotion except for disinterest.

Math class was up first. The Math teacher was called Ectoplasm, and his wide grin on his dark face reminded Urayuli of a void, which unsettled her. When he spoke, his low and almost robotic voice reverberated throughout the classroom. He was stern, but patient when it came to giving students time to solve problems on their own. He didn't seem to mind when Urayuli fibbed on saying numbers above one thousand in Japanese and would wait for her to come up with the correct answer without making her feel bad about making a mistake.

Next up was English. When he entered the classroom, she saw her English teacher was the flamboyant Present Mic, and the memory of the entrance exam caused giggles to bubble from her throat. Kirishima, who was seated two seats further in the row in front of her, turned towards her and gave her a thumbs up and a wide grin.

During class, she was pleasantly surprised by Present Mic's pretty okay grasp of the English language. She figured he spoke with an overly Japanese accent when he was just goofing around, but something Urayuli called 'Teacher Mode' set in and suddenly near-perfect English came out, with only a slight accent. On the board, he'd written four sentences, and they had to figure out which one was incorrect. They all sound weird anyway, no one really talks like that. When Present Mic yelled out "All right, everybody! Hands up! Show me some spirit!" in that same goofy way, she had to suppress her giggles and hid behind Midoriya's frame as to not draw attention to herself.

When lunch rolled around, the entire class clamored into the cafeteria. It was huge, and Urayuli eyed all the different kinds of foods that were calling her name. She shook her head, realizing she had brought leftovers from the night before. It would be both a waste of money and food, maybe next time, she thought wryly, her lunchbox already clutched in her hands. Even though these leftovers are from two days ago...

Urayuli's eyes surveyed the cafeteria, trying to find a place to sit and eat her lunch. She noticed Uraraka, Iida, and Midoriya sitting together, and was tempted to join them until she saw them talking and laughing like old friends. The way those three spoke so easily with each other constricted her heart in an unpleasant way. I would just be intruding if I join them. The thought left a bitter aftertaste in her mouth. Instead of joining them, she set herself down at a table in a corner, alone. This seems oddly familiar... minus the bullying. Still... This loneliness sucks. Urayuli was aware she was feeling sorry for herself, and that she should've just sat down with her new classmates.

Her weird distrust for people was just rearing its ugly head. A memory resurfaced of her time in middle school.

A new student had transferred from Oregon. This new girl's name was Lisa, and Urayuli couldn't wait to meet her, because finally there would be a person who didn't know who she was. Maybe she could be friends with this girl! When she was introduced to the class, her seat was assigned to be next to Urayuli, and she smiled at her when she sat down next to her. However, when lunch rolled around, Urayuli noticed Lisa sat next to both Phillip and Amy, two kids that actively bullied her. Swallowing her nerves, she sat down at their table anyway.

"What do you think you're doing?" Amy sneered at her, her lip curling in disgust.

"I- I'm eating lunch?" Urayuli had asked.

"Not with us, you're not. Lisa, this was that freak I told you about on the phone." Huh?

"Wow, and she looks so normal too if it weren't for those scary eyes. I can't believe I actually have to sit next to her." Lisa said as if she wasn't even there.

The only thoughts racing through Urayuli's head were 'no way' and 'what is happening'. The trio laughed as they picked up their trays and promptly left to sit somewhere else.

In the end, it turned out Phillip and Lisa were cousins, and he had been speaking ill of her since elementary school. They had made Urayuli's life hell until Lisa moved back to Portland six months later. Apparently, something was going on between Lisa's parents. Phillip left Urayuli alone for at least a month, having to deal with the whole drama his family was in.

Urayuli shook her head as if to wipe the memory away. That was a long time ago, and besides, technically everyone is a 'freak' here. No one is going to call me something like that anymore. Nevertheless, she didn't move from her seat, the memory still not sitting right with her. The clattering of a food tray on the table startled her out of her daydream.

"Oi, Yaraqpik! Don't tell me you're sitting all by yourself?" Kirishima's cheery voice felt like a warm hug at this point.

"I'm sitting with all of my friends, Kirishima. Can't you tell?" Urayuli said while gesturing around the empty table.

"There's nobody else here," Kirishima said.

"Yup. All of my dear friends." Urayuli deadpanned. They stared at each other for a hot minute before Kirishima started snickering and Urayuli grinned impishly. He sat down in front of her, shaking his head.

"So what did you get? I got some tonkatsu over rice." He told her. Urayuli showed him the inside of her lunchbox.

"...Is that spaghetti?"

"Ah, but Kirishima, you lack vision. It is indeed spaghetti. Except it's cold."

"You do know you can ask Lunch Rush if he can heat it up for you, right?"

Urayuli gently put down her fork and her bento-style lunchbox. She put the palms of her hands together and pressed them to her nose while breathing in deeply with her eyes closed. Kirishima silently laughed behind his fist, almost feeling Urayuli's irritation emitting from her.

"Let's just eat before I make more of a fool out of myself, mkay?" Urayuli snapped halfheartedly, and Kirishima just grinned at her before digging into his own food.

As they ate, Urayuli looked around the cafeteria, before resting her eyes on the person she had been actively trying to avoid. Bakugo was sitting alone at a table, angrily shoving food into his mouth. His fist was clenched around his chopsticks, and she could almost hear his teeth grinding as he chewed. It was oddly captivating to her, Urayuli couldn't really explain why. Was it because he was aggressive even as he ate, or the way he seemed to willingly crack his molars with every bite? She couldn't say.

"Do you want me to call him over?" Kirishima asked with a crooked eyebrow. Without even waiting for a response from her, he waved at Bakugo until he noticed the flailing redhead.

"Wait, no, what are you doing? You moron, stop doing that!" Urayuli whisper-yelled harshly at Kirishima as she tried to grab onto one of his flailing arms. "What if he comes over here?"

"Well, he is already on his way," Kirishima noted. Urayuli quickly glanced over and as he said, Bakugo had grabbed his tray and stomped his way over. To try and diffuse the situation, she focused her attention on her food. Goddammit, Kirishima, why would you call him over?!

"What do you want." Bakugo all but growled at Kirishima. In response, he just grinned at Bakugo, not at all fazed by his animosity.

"Hey man, you wanna sit with us?" Kirishima asked, and Urayuli wanted the earth to swallow her whole.

"Why would I sit with you of all people." It wasn't a question, more like a statement, and his carmine eyes narrowed.

"It's just lame sitting by yourself, right Yaraqpik?" Kirishima's question threw her off, as she was trying to put a fork of spaghetti in her mouth but stopping halfway when he called her name. Bakugo glared at her while waiting for her to respond.

"Hey, I just want to eat my cold spaghetti in peace," Urayuli said in a placating way, hoping Bakugo would just leave it be. He didn't.

"Are you dumb or something? You can just ask Lunch Rush to heat it up, you moron."

The anger that was firing up inside her chest could have easily burned the spaghetti every single person near her seemed to have some kind of opinion on, but she bit her lip to keep from speaking up. Maybe if I just listen to my dad for once and ignore it, he'll just get bored walk away.

"Besides, I have better things to do than sit with unimportant extra's like you two."

"Oh, because life revolves around you and everyone else around you is just supporting cast, right?" Urayuli snorted loudly. "Don't make me laugh, clown school hasn't opened yet."

The moment those words left Urayuli's lips, she knew Bakugo would take great offense and most likely blow up at her. She had been called an extra twice in the span of two days, and it was three times too many for her. She had laughed while saying it, mostly because she is unable to say the word 'clown' without smiling, but the flush of red dots in her neck told a different story. He reminds me so much of Phillip, it's distressing.

"What the hell did you just say to me?" Bakugo demanded in a low voice. Kirishima looked back and forth between the two, with an unsure grimace on his face. Urayuli breathed in deeply to calm herself and not let her anger get the better of her. In all honesty, she was more concerned about scaring away her only friend, Kirishima, after one day.

"The 'I'm-better-than-you' spiel? It gets old." She said, her voice even, and not betraying her feelings. She glanced at her hands that were trembling slightly, the plastic fork in her hand shaking along. Get a grip. Unbeknownst to her, Kirishima saw what was happening to her hands and the red skin on her neck. He wanted to open his mouth to say something, but was interrupted by Bakugo.

"Only if it isn't true. I aced the entrance exam and I came in third for the Quirk Apprehension Test. What was your score, huh?" He smirked with a smug glint in his eyes. Urayuli eyebrows furled in response.

"Good for you, you made it to the top of the class. The only way you can go now is down, and it'll be a very rude awakening if this is how you handle winning." She hissed at him, grabbing her lunchbox with her half-eaten spaghetti still inside and closing it with a snap. She regretted her words immediately, she didn't come to U.A. to fight, but his attitude reminded her so much of her former classmate, it almost made her sick to her stomach.

Urayuli left poor Kirishima with Bakugo without even saying a word to him, but she needed to regroup with herself. She ignored the eyes that stared at her retreating form and sped up her step while Bakugo was shouting obscenities at her.

"Take that back, you foreign bitch! I'll wipe the floor with you!"

Her heart started racing, and the spots in her neck were getting worse, she could tell. It would start to itch like mad, and she'd look as if she was trying to claw her throat open. She reached the doors and went through them, and all but dashed for the girl's bathroom. Thank god for her it was empty and locked herself in one of the stalls.

Sitting down on the toilet, she tried her best to get her breathing to even out, but the weight on her chest prevented that from happening. Maybe I should breathe in deeper? Deeper, right? That works, right? As she did, black spots started appearing before her eyes, obscuring her vision. She was panicking, she knew that, but her body did not allow her to calm down. Instead, she started breathing faster, but it felt as if no air was entering her body. She slammed one of her trembling fists on one of the stall walls in a rhythm, forcing her body to comply with her wishes. A few tears escaped her eyes. I'm not getting any air, holy fuck, Yuli, calm the hell down. She put her head between her legs and tried with all her might to control her breathing. Or at least make sure she wouldn't hurl.

After about what felt like an eternity, her breathing evened out, and she could finally see clearly again. She flushed the toilet despite having not used it and with a tired huff, she opted to finish her spaghetti in her tiny stall. Cold day in hell I'm going back to the cafeteria today. She noticed very quickly how dry her mouth had become, exited the stall to gulp some water from the faucet, and went back inside to continue eating. Afterward, she splashed water into her face to cool off her still red and heated cheeks. Pulling her cellphone out of her breast-pocket, she sent the most telling text message to Cole, her father, and Papa Max.

It happened again. I'm fine, I'll tell you about it later.

Everyone who was even a little close to her knew she was very prone to being nervous. Often it was a good kind of nervous. Being excited about something. Like when she would sneak out of the house back in Alaska. Despite knowing she would get in trouble with her father or even be in danger because of the wildlife, she would go out and feel the rush of freedom overpower her anxiety. Or when she would take a flight to Anchorage with her father, where she would still feel butterflies during the trip.

The other nervousness was different. For example, at the entrance exam, where her nerves stemmed from wanting to do well and live up to the arbitrary expectations she put on herself, despite her grandfather's attempt to talk her out of that. She still had awful stomach pains. Or having to go to school in Elpetquik, the brick in her stomach forming when she would think about what her classmates would do this time. Oftentimes she would involuntarily vomit before school. She thanked her lucky stars that she never vomited during class, unlike Dorian, who emptied his insides all over his pop quiz and desk. He never lived it down and was forever known as "Chunky Dory", from the gross chunks of food that dripped down on the floor.

Urayuli shivered from the memory. Poor Dorian... He never stood a chance, not with Phillip in school. Even though she was an ocean away from him, he still managed to influence her life. She cracked her neck and stretched her fingers in an attempt to relax. Phillip and Bakugo are way too similar to me. I can't be alone with him, ever. My mental health depends on it.


After her mental break-down, Urayuli made haste to get to her class. She promised herself she wouldn't let Bakugo know how much he had affected her, in any way, shape, or form. That meant not looking away first when he glared at her or looking sad, or just submitting to his behavior. En route to her class, Kirishima caught up with her and stopped her dead in her tracks. He seemed worried about her, with his brows furrowed and mouth in an unhappy line.

"Yaraqpik, where did you run off to? I couldn't find you after you stormed off."

What was she supposed to say? 'Sorry, Kirishima, Bakugo reminded me too much of an old bully of mine, and he gave me a panic attack?' As if that would go over well. She remembered her father, who always pressed her to be honest. UGH, I can't not tell him, but I also can't actually tell him.

"Girl's bathroom. Needed to... decompress, I suppose."

"What does that even mean? Are you okay?" His worried tone put Urayuli's stomach in knots. She really didn't want to tell him, but it wasn't in her nature to lie. It didn't help she also sucked at lying. A possible solution to this was to tell him the truth but keep it as vague as she could.

"I'm okay now, I just had to be alone for a minute. Or ten." She answered as she scratched the back of her neck. "I'm sorry for worrying you."

Kirishima seemed to want to say more but decided against it. The red flush in her neck was still visible, red bumps littering her skin. The whites of her eyes were redder than before, and she kept sniffing audibly as if she had a cold. He could tell she had been crying. It was, however, not his place to interrogate her. Instead, he mustered a grin and gave his friend a thumbs-up.

"Alright then! Are you ready for our next class?" He asked cheerily.

"No clue what our next class is, I forgot to check." Urayuli shrugged with a small grin. She was glad Kirishima didn't ask any further. He might ask about it again someday, and she would gladly tell him then, but now? During school? Nah, fam. Regardless, she was a little confused at Kirishima's enthusiasm. Classes until now had been relatively normal and not exciting.

"Dude! It's Hero Basic Training next!"

Urayuli didn't know what to expect from a class called 'Hero Basic Training', but her redheaded friend seemed excited about it, and she felt like she had to be too. She fidgeted with her hands as they entered the classroom, and she locked eyes with Bakugo. He leered at her, and she felt her gaze harden automatically. Instead of taking the long way to her seat, which meant going past Kirishima's, she walked straight past Bakugo, keeping her glare on him until she passed his desk. She kept her head high, not wanting him to know how bad he made her feel.

Not long after all her classmates had entered the classroom, she heard footsteps coming closer to the door. Quite heavy footsteps, too. They didn't sound like Aizawa-sensei, so who would teach them this class? She heard him before she saw him, and so did Midoriya if his reaction was anything to go off on.

"I am..." Wait a hot second, is that...? "Coming through the door like a normal person!" All Might announced loudly as he leaned in the door-frame, suspending himself over the threshold. Immediately, the entire class erupted in awestruck exclamations. This included Urayuli, seeing a hero of his caliber in the actual flesh made her heart beat faster.

"It's All Might!" The blond kid with the lightning bolt hair, who Urayuli remembered was called Kaminari Denki, spoke in dumbfounded reverence, as if he couldn't believe what he was seeing.

"Wow, he really is a teacher!" Kirishima exclaimed excitedly.

"That's a costume from the Silver Age, isn't it?" Asui said, pensively putting one of her large fingers to her chin.

"Its style is so different, it's giving me goosebumps." The boy with the large tail said.

"He's even bigger in person..." Urayuli added absentmindedly, awestruck. Having seen All Might on TV and videos, she knew he was supposed to be tall and imposing, but she hadn't realized he towered over almost anyone. I mean, for Christ's sake, he's taller than Papa.

All Might made his way over to the desk in front of the chalkboard and stood looming over them with his meaty fists at his waist. "I teach Hero Basic Training. It is a subject where you train in different ways to learn the basics of being a hero. You'll take the most units of this subject. Let's get right into it!" He spoke with a booming voice as he started stretching, before posing with a card that said "battle" in his right hand. "This is what we'll do today! Combat Training!"

Urayuli laughed softly, trying as she could to quell the fluttering butterflies. "What the fuck." She muttered. Her birdlike neighbor eyed her for a second with question in his eyes.

"And to go with that are these!" All Might exclaimed as he pointed to the wall with a flourish. Instantly four panels on the wall opened one by one, metal cases with numbers on them sliding out in rows. That shocked her, as she hadn't even realized they were even there to begin with. "Costumes made based on your Quirk registrations and requests you sent in before school started."

The class erupted in excited yells, everyone thrilled to finally wear their costumes. Urayuli joined them, excited to finally wear the costume she and her grandfather designed for her.

"After you change, gather in Ground Beta!"

"Yes, sir!"


Urayuli and the other girls hurried to the locker rooms, excitement overriding her anxiety, and the lunch incident was forgotten. The metal cases they all carried were surprisingly heavy, Ashido even started complaining about it. Uraraka made hers' less heavy with her Quirk and offered the same to the other girls. While the other girls were quick to take her up on her offer, Urayuli declined and wanted to make a show of it.

"No thanks, girlie, I don't need you. Have you seen these guns?!" She grunted loudly as she started flexing with exaggerated faces and sounds. The material of her uniform didn't give very well, and the stitch-work at her shoulders threatened to pop. Wow, okay, this uniform jacket is a bit too tight for muscle jokes. Jiro, who was walking behind her, got caught in a fit of giggles at her antics and gave Urayuli a push to make her move.

"Oh my gosh, Yaraqpik-san, All Might's gotta watch his back!" Uraraka joked with her. Urayuli was glad that her classmates thought she was funny, at least at this moment. Better laugh with her than at her, she supposed.

When they arrived at the locker room, none of the girls wasted any time putting on their costumes. Uraraka put on a black bodysuit with pale pink accents, pink wrist guards, wide knee-high boots and a wide belt around her waist. She balanced the visor helmet that came with it in her hands. Urayuli whistled at her classmate, and Uraraka turned pink in the face.

Asui's costume was a bright green turtleneck bodysuit, tan gloves, flippers on her feet to resemble a frog, a headband with dark green-tinted goggles attached. Urayuli didn't notice immediately, but the flippers made a click-clack noise with every step Asui made, and when she took a good look, she saw they were actually heels.

Urayuli was surprised at Jiro's choice of costume. A black leather jacket, black pants, boots with stereos built-in, and a salmon-pink shirt that was a bit long and it had several rips at the collar and hem. With that, she had two small, triangular red paint marks below her eyes, a black choker, and some white fingerless gloves.

Hagakure's costume made Urayuli and the rest of the girls giggle a bit. With Hagakure being invisible, she had opted for just using baby blue gloves and a pair of shoes as a costume. I mean, if it works, it works, right?

Yaoyorozu's sleeveless leotard was partially open at the chest and stomach, adorned with golden utility belts and crimson boots. Urayuli thought she looked very cool, or at least a bit cold. She giggled at her stupid joke.

As for Ashido's costume, it hurt Urayuli's eyes, it was that colorful. The mask she wore was white, which was a strange contrast to her purple and green camo skintight bodysuit. With it a cropped, fur-lined waistcoat and dark purple boots. According to Ashido, they were acid-proof, which made sense to Urayuli.

After she got dressed, Urayuli looked herself over for a second. A loose sleeveless top made from replicated deerskin with an intricate Yup'ik pattern that stopped at her midriff, a mid-thigh length skirt of the same material with two splits on her outer thighs with dark brown capris that reached her knees. A pair of fingerless gloves that were made of dark tan leather, and on her feet she had footwraps that left her toes visible. Her face she had painted with Greek-inspired war paint, dark red makeup around her eyes that flared to her temples. From her lower lip to the bottom of her chin, three thin dark lines. Her hair was pulled up in a braid that went through the middle of her head, wild-looking and not unlike a faux-hawk, adorned with feathers from her grandfather's Eagle form.

When Urayuli sent in her request form, she had her grandfather shave off some hair from her back in her bison shift. It would be incredibly inconvenient to lose her clothes as she was saving people, so making a costume made from the fibers of her hair would remedy that. The feathers in her hair should shift with her as they were Max's DNA, she hoped it would kind of melt with the rest of her body.

"Wow, Yaraqpik-san, you look kind of intimidating! Like, some kind of hunter or something." Uraraka said with a starry look in her eyes. "And Asui-san, you look really cute with those goggles!"

Urayuli smirked at Uraraka's enthusiasm, and after the girls had stopped chattering about each other's costumes, they quickly scurried out of the locker room. The way to Ground Beta was a long dark tunnel, and some of the boys from 1-A were already making their way inside. Urayuli could hear All Might talking loudly as the students trickled into Ground Beta. She stiffly made her way towards her teacher, someone who she only ever dreamed of meeting.

"Looking good is very important, ladies and gentlemen! Look alive now! Because from today on... You're all heroes!" All Might grinned. "Shall we begin, my wards? It's time for Battle Training!"

She heard hurried footsteps coming up from behind her and jumped slightly at the sight of someone in a green jumpsuit with a hood that had something similar to bunny ears attached to it. Over the person's mouth was a clear guard of some sort. Upon closer inspection, and looking back at All Might, she realized it was supposed to look like All Might's hair and smile. Oh, I get it. It's Midoriya, she thought, if his All Might stickers on one of his notebooks in class were anything to go by.

"Hey Midoriya, looking spiffy." Urayuli gave him a thumbs-up. Uraraka, who was standing next to her, gasped softly.

"Ah, Deku?! Cool costume! Really practical looking!" She gushed in agreement. Midoriya held onto his face guard in shock as he stared at Uraraka. Specifically the costume she was wearing. Uraraka noticed and smiled sheepishly.

"I should've written what I wanted... Mine ended up being a skintight bodysuit. It's embarrassing..." She admitted with a flush on her round cheeks.

"Well, I think you look cute, Uraraka-san. What do you think, Midoriya?" Urayuli asked with a sly grin, having noticed from the day before and his current fidgety state, that the boy had a little trouble with talking to girls, maybe a bit more talking to this girl. It was at that moment that Midoriya finally seemed to look at her and, although his face was mostly obscured by the mask he was wearing, his posture stiffened, and he seemed to have an almost similar reaction as he had with Uraraka. She looked away in amusement, satisfied with the non-answer she received.

"Now!" All Might began. "It's time for combat training!" But was almost immediately interrupted by someone in what looked like white armor, and what looked like exhaust pipes protruding from his back.

"Sensei!" They said, one arm raising politely. Almost... Too polite. Urayuli narrowed her eyes in suspicion. Oh, of course, it's Iida. Looks rad. "This appears to be the same field used in the entrance exam. Will we once again be performing cityscape maneuvers?"

"No, we're going to move ahead two steps!" All Might announced, throwing up two fingers. "Most of the time, fighting villains takes place outside, but statistically, the most heinous villains are more likely to appear indoors. Between confinement, house arrest, and black market deals... In this hero-filled society of ours, the cleverest villains out there lurk indoors."

Huh. I never really thought about it that way, Urayuli thought to herself absentmindedly.

"For this class, you'll be split into villains and heroes and fight 2-on-2 indoor battles." All Might explained.

"Without basic training?" Asui asked with a finger on her chin.

"Practical experience teaches you the basics!" All Might said with a clenched fist. "The distinction here is that you won't be fighting disposable robots."

"How will wins and losses be determined?" Yaoyorozu asked.

"Can we beat them up anyway?" Bakugo grunted out. Urayuli repressed the urge to roll her eyes. She gave his costume a once-over. Of course, your costume would look like that.

"Will the punishment be expulsion like with Aizawa-sensei?" Uraraka piped up.

"How shall we be split up?" Iida asked, again with his hand in the air.

"Isn't this cape crazy?" The strange blond named Aoyama asked, eyes sparkling behind his over the top visor. Urayuli swiftly leaned over to him from behind Iida to whisper to him.

"I think it's very you." The boy seemed to beam at the ambiguous compliment.

"I'll answer all your questions!" All Might started again, sweat collecting on his forehead. He opened a piece of paper. Is All Might seriously using a cheat sheet. Urayuli bit her lip to stop herself from chuckling.

"Listen closely. The situation is that the villains have hidden a nuclear weapon somewhere in their hideout. The heroes are trying to dispose of that. The heroes need to catch the villains or get the nuclear weapon back in the allotted time. The villains need to protect the nuclear weapon for the whole time or catch the heroes."

Urayuli grimaced at the thought of nuclear weapons.

"Teams and opponents will be determined by drawing lots." All Might finished.

"They're being decided so haphazardly?" Iida began asking.

"Pros often have to create makeshift teams with heroes from other agencies, so maybe that's why?" Midoriya inquired.

"Ah, I see. It seems I got ahead of myself. I apologize!" Iida said, bowing to All Might.

"It's fine! Let's do this quickly!" All Might said, fist-pumping the air.


It's official. God must hate me. Is what Urayuli bitterly thought when the teams were announced. They had obediently drawn lots from a box, and as if by divine intervention, she was on the same team as Mr. Explodo-boy himself. She glimpsed at him from the corner of her eye, and he didn't seem all to pleased about it either, as he was glaring at her with a crinkled nose. Peeking over at Midoriya and Uraraka, she was a little jealous they ended up together. Even more so when she saw Iida was paired up with Yaoyorozu. Couldn't you have put me with either of them or is my misfortune really that amusing to you? The letter D on her lot seemed to mock her.

"Don't get in my way." Bakugo sneered at her as she begrudgingly walked over to him.

"Yeah, yeah, you can Baku-blow me." She muttered back in English, already exhausted. His eye twitched in annoyance at her words. Guess he can at least understand some English. Good. Let him hear me.

"Moving on. The first teams to fight will be..." All Might said as he rummaged through the two boxes that said 'villain' and 'hero'. "These guys!"

You have got to be kidding me. The letters on the balls in All Might's hands were an A and a D, meaning she would have to battle Midoriya and Uraraka. As a villain no less.

"Team A will be the heroes, and Team D will be the villains. Everyone else, head toward the monitor room."

In his stride to the monitor room, Kirishima tapped Urayuli on her elbow and whispered "Good luck!" and winked at her. When everyone had walked away, Urayuli made her way towards Uraraka, a migraine starting to form behind her eyes.

"Yaraqpik-san, can you believe it? We have to battle each other right off the bat!"

"Seems fated somehow, right? Maybe this will be the start of a long-running rivalry between the two of us, and we'll never be friends again." Urayuli joked with a straight face, and Uraraka smiled despite her discomfort.

"Yeah, and when one of us finally dies in battle, the one who gets left behind will forever fight in memory of the other, but will forever be in denial about the relationship we had," Uraraka added. Urayuli grinned at her.

"In all seriousness, I'm not too worried about you and me." She pointedly eyes the two boys in front of her, as Bakugo was too busy with glaring at Midoriya to even hear what the two girls were talking about. Midoriya clenched his fist and raised his head to stare right back at Bakugo. The blond reeled back with his head a bit, shocked that Midoriya showed no fear, before gritting his teeth and glaring harder.

"Villain team, go in first and set up! In five minutes, the hero team will break in, and the battle will start!" All Might explained. The four of them were lead to a random, nondescript building, somewhere in the fake city.

"Young Yaraqpik, Young Bakugo, before you go in!" All Might stopped them at the door. "Learn to think from the perspective of the villains. This is pretty close to a real battle, so go all out. Don't be afraid to get hurt."

"Ah- Yes, sir," Urayuli mumbled. In the past, she had always used her Quirk to try to help others, sometimes to scare, but never hurt. She wasn't even sure if she could. Sure, she got into altercations back in the states, but those were fist-fights, and she never used her Quirk for that. Making a mental note to ask Grandpa Max about fighting while shifted when she gets home, she repeated her words louder to All Might.

"If things go too far, I will stop it."


They traversed the stairs to the top floor without saying anything to each other, and the awkward silence grated on Urayuli's nerves. The room was barren aside from some rubble and debris, an oil drum, and the 'bomb'. Swallowing deeply to dispel the wave of nausea, both from anticipation and the sight of the fake nuclear bomb, she decided to break the silence.

"Did you know the United States used an island in southwest Alaska for underground nuclear detonation tests all the way back in the 1960s?" She explained. "Pretty stupid if you ask me, the island they tested on was unstable in terms of tectonic placement, but they still tested three nuclear bombs, not at all worried about eventual earthquakes or tsunamis."

Bakugo said nothing, just glared at the door as if he meant to melt it with his gaze. It was quiet for a moment. She had no idea what to do in all honesty, and couldn't stop herself from talking.

"It feels kind of weird to be guarding this, right? Having to protect something that is made to deal damage, feels a little dumb, don't you think?" She turned to him in question, and he still didn't look at her.

"I can't believe that Deku has a Quirk." He said, and the suddenness of his voice made Urayuli jump a little. That's what's on his mind? Had he even heard a word I said?

"Didn't he always have a Quirk? I mean, we both saw the same kid throw a ball with superhuman strength yesterday, right?" Urayuli asked. She turned pensive for a moment. "Although, with the drawback of it being that it breaks every bone in his body if he takes it too far... You probably shouldn't attack him head-on, though."


Has he been punking me this whole time?! That damned nerd! Bakugo thought angrily, his shoulders shaking and his fists clenching and unclenching. The idea of Deku hiding his Quirk from him had sent him spiraling into a frenzy the day before, and now that stupid nerd was going to pay for it. He looked at the palms of his hands that were obscured by his large black and red gloves and formulated a plan to kick Deku's ass. I'll make him regret thinking I'm weak.

"Hey." A taut voice called out. "You're not thinking about going after him, are you?"

Bakugo growled in annoyance. And of all people, I'm stuck with this nobody. This foreigner. Her scores for the apprehension test were mediocre at best, it made no sense to him that they were on the same team. He was so far ahead of her in terms of skill, he shouldn't have to babysit her.

The first time they spoke, she decided to be snarky with him, and then promptly ignored him. As if she was better than him. Knocked shoulders with him, as if she had any right to. Then, during the apprehension test, she turned into animals, but lost all of her clothes? Talk about being impractical and a complete moron. Then she had to get helped by that black-haired girl like she's a damned baby? Her ball throw was laughable, and she annoyed him even more when she decided to laugh at it herself. As if all of this was a big joke to her. And if his day couldn't have gotten worse, she apparently lived in the same neighborhood as him. Trying to be friendly with him, like a weakling, afterward.

Above all else, the things she said to him at lunch made his blood boil.

"The only way you can go now is down, and it'll be a very rude awakening if this is how you handle winning."

How fucking dare she. Especially dashing away like a coward after saying that. If you have balls enough to say dumb shit like that, have the balls to face me. He ground his teeth together in a snarl as he turned around to face her. The dark-red warpaint gave her face an oddly wild quality to it, and it made her weird-looking eyes stand out more.

"I'll do whatever I want, fur-ball." He sneered at her. She blinked at him. Don't stare at me with those stupid owl eyes.

"Why would you deliberately go after him? What is it with you two?" She asked exasperatedly, her fingertips briefly touching her temple and fanning them out with her words.

"That's none of your business." He ground out before turning around and walking to the staircase. A hand grabbing him by the elbow yanked him back. His palms started to spark from the contact, annoyed he had been held back.

"What the fu-"

"For someone who's supposedly so smart, you make shitty decisions. Why would you go in half-cocked? What if they're together and decide to take you on two against one? Let's come up with a plan together and try to take them down systematically." She spoke fast, and it grated on Bakugo's ears. He yanked his arm out of her grip.

"Do you think I'm so weak I can't take them on? I don't have a useless Quirk like you, so I don't need a plan of attack against two opponents." He spat at her. "How about we do this. I go, and you stay here, guard the bomb, and try not to fuck it up like that pathetic ball throw yesterday."


"Now, let's start the indoor person-to-person combat training with Team A and Team D!" All Might announced through his microphone. "Okay, everyone, you all should think as well." He told the other students as they all watched the live footage from several camera angles in and around the building.

Kirishima felt a little uneasy. The incident at lunch had made him worry, and hearing Bakugo and Yaraqpik had to be on the same team didn't really help. He wondered how they would work together to win the assignment, as he hoped his foreign friend would come out victorious. Despite his worries, he was excited to see where the battle would go. I know you can show them how powerful and manly you are, Yaraqpik.


As if burned by fire, she flinched away from him, and he turned away from her. Bakugo glared at her one last time before descending the stairs, and Urayuli was left with a horrible sinking feeling in her stomach. Why was he being so difficult? She wanted to win just as much as he did, she was just trying to help.

"Do you think I'm so weak I can't take them on?"

No, you're probably scary strong.

"I don't have a useless Quirk like yours."

The last one made her flinch again. My Quirk isn't weak, it's just not totally suitable in close quarters. And neither is yours. That's why we need a good plan. She shook her head to try and shake off the insult.

To clear her mind, she took a look at the bomb she was supposed to be protecting and gave it a few knocks. The material sounded hollow but was built firmly. Is this paper-mâché?

Before long, explosions could be heard from the ground floor, along with a boyish scream and a shriek from a girl. A feeling of dread entered her nervous system. Midoriya and Uraraka. What is Bakugo doing? Hastily, she grabbed onto the earpiece she was wearing.

"Hey, Bakugo." She said his name with a grimace as if saying his name physically hurt her. "What's going on down there? I heard screaming."

"Just shut up and defend the bomb. I'm really angry right now!" His voice was a bit distorted through the earpiece, and he did sound angry. Still, she needed something of a status report.

"An answer to a question I never asked. What's going on-" White noise entered her ear, and the line went dead. "Did you seriously hang up on me." She deadpanned in disbelief. Urayuli groaned loudly in exasperation. "This is the worst." She looked around the room for a moment, and a thought came to her.

"Hmm. Uraraka-san could use all of this with her Zero Gravity and fling it at me." Urayuli thought out loud as she grabbed a lone broom that was set against one of the pillars to get rid of everything. After having accumulated a neat pile of debris and pieces of wood, she chucked every tangible thing out of an open window.

More explosions went off downstairs, and she worried deeply about Midoriya and Uraraka. If they got hurt, she wouldn't be able to help them. Because in this scenario she was supposed to be the villain and was supposed to go all out in terms of battle.

She let out a sigh and sat in a deep squat, closed her eyes and took another deep breath. Staying quiet for a moment, she listened to her surroundings, maybe a faint footfall, or breathing. The telltale sound of click-clacky heels was faint, but not too far away. Uraraka is coming. I'd better hide, but how should I do that?  Her eyes scouted the room. The 'bomb' looks big enough to hide behind. Or...

Without further ado, she quickly shifted into a red squirrel and stretched out her body. She doesn't know I can shift into this, so maybe it's inconspicuous enough, and she'll just think I'm misplaced or lost or something. The sound of her heels was coming closer, and her footsteps came from the door she and Bakugo had come in from. Urayuli jumped onto the 'bomb' and climbed to the other side of it.

And now I shall wait for my moment to strike.

Chapter Text

When Uraraka reached the room the 'bomb' was standing, she was surprised the room was weirdly empty. Yaraqpik-san was nowhere to be seen, and Uraraka didn't like it. This has to be a trap of some sort. She slowly shuffled over to the bomb but felt her heart beat faster when she heard soft pitter-patter coming from the fake warhead. A small red squirrel skittered over to her from the other side of the bomb. Uraraka sighed in relief.

“Hello, little guy. What are you doing here? Did you get lost?” She whispered to the small rodent as she went to sit on her haunches to take a closer look. Its fur looked really soft and with its dark amber colored eyes, the rodent regarded her silently. Strange eye-color... I feel like I've seen them before. The squirrel's mouth contorted in what one could describe as a smile, and Uraraka felt her heart speed up again.

“D-don't tell me..!” She yelped as she reeled back from the squirrel, standing up as fast as she could to hold onto the bomb three meters away. Before she could get any closer to it, a bright light shone behind her and she was grabbed by her belt and the back of her collar. With a wide swing, she was thrown from one side of the room to the other. Uraraka's body struck a pillar with a yelp and landed on her back, groaning from the painful throbbing.


“Sorry, Uraraka-san, but you won't get this baby that easily.” Urayuli spoke as she flexed her arms to dispel the slight ache in them. Uraraka-san might not weigh a lot, but throwing someone is difficult, man. She grabbed the side of her face to crack the stiff joint in her neck, and she moved to stand in front of the bomb to create a barrier between it and Uraraka.

Uraraka touched her earpiece. “Deku, Yaraqpik-san found me. Sorry! ...Fifth floor, right in the center.” She whispered to Midoriya in the microphone before her gaze settled on Urayuli again.

“As you can see, I removed all debris and rubble from this room, so you can't use your Zero Gravity on anything in here.” Urayuli told Uraraka, sweeping an arm in the air horizontally, proving her point by showing her the empty and clean floor. “I even got rid of the broom I used.”

“H-how..?” Uraraka moaned from the ache in her back.

“I pitched it out the window.” Urayuli said while pointing her thumb to the open window behind her. Uraraka looked at her with a blank expression.

“That's not-” She began but the sound of an enormous explosion interrupted her. The windows behind Urayuli cracked from the shock-wave, and the building rocked in its foundations. Urayuli felt the tremors in her bones and shot a glance at the floor. Bakugo, what the hell are you doing down there?

In her peripheral, Uraraka made the pads of her fingers touch and took a running start towards her. Urayuli moved to grab her, but Uraraka leaped in the air and floated up to evade her, getting within arms' reach of the bomb.

“Oh no, you don't!” Urayuli grunted, taking a running jump and shifting into a Golden Eagle. With a few powerful wing flaps, she charged Uraraka and tackled her to the ground just as she dispelled her floating. The impact sent Uraraka tumbling to the floor and slamming into the wall furthest away from the bomb, her helmet bouncing away from her. She gasped from the pain in her body.

Urayuli stood in front of the weapon like a shield. “While you can float, I can fly. Your Quirk poses no real threat to me, Uraraka-san. We can dance like this all day, but you don't really have all day, do you?” She spoke as she got into a defensive stance.

“I'm counting on you, Deku.” Uraraka whispered into her earpiece again. The two girls locked eyes with each other, both of them brimming with determination. Uraraka stood up and lingered near a pillar ten meters away from Urayuli. What is she planning?, Urayuli thought to herself. Is she going to leap herself into the bomb again? Does she need that much room for a running start?

Downstairs, she could hear Midoriya and Bakugo yelling at each other. Bakugo screamed about Midoriya looking down on him, with Midoriya refuting it with telling Bakugo how awesome he is and that he want to beat him because of it. Geez, Bakugo, you're like a broken record. She tsk'ed in annoyance and narrowed her eyes.

“Yaraqpik-san, you can hear what they're saying?” Uraraka asked her.

“Sure can, don't need my earpiece for that. Those two are so troublesome.” Urayuli huffed.

The boys downstairs yelled even louder and a second later, Midoriya's voice reached the two girls loud and clear.

“Now, Uraraka-san!” Huh?

“Okay!” Uraraka yelled as she grabbed onto the pillar she stood next to. Without giving Urayuli time to think, a shock-wave made the building tremble with force and the windows shattered loudly. Urayuli held onto the bomb to keep her balance. She had closed her eyes to protect them from the tiny pieces of rock that came with the shock-wave, and gasped when she opened them again. The floor between her and Uraraka had opened, a huge circle of destruction. Dozens of pieces of debris flew in the air, and the roof had a gaping hole in it. Uraraka used her Quirk on the pillar she was holding and held it up with ease.

“What in the-!”

“Sorry, Yaraqpik-san! Gotta improvise! Comet Home Run!” She yelled as she swung the pillar in the air, sending all the tiny rocks and pieces of rubble Urayuli's way. In a reflex Urayuli put her arms up to her face, not registering Uraraka floating towards the bomb.

“Release!” Uraraka gasped, and she landed on the weapon Urayuli had painstakingly defended. “Secured!”

Urayuli lowered her arms and looked at Uraraka in alarm. “Whaaaat!?” She whined at her. Well, at least it's better than losing an eye, with all the rocks aimed at my face.

“The Hero Team... WINS!” All Might's voice boomed throughout the building. Uraraka let out a sigh of relief as she fell to the floor, Urayuli barely catching her.

“Yo, Uraraka-san, you oka-” She stopped talking as Uraraka immediately got on her hands and knees and proceeded to vomit. Urayuli moved to grab fistfuls of Uraraka's hair to keep her from getting puke in it. When she had collected all of her friend's hair in one fist, she used her other hand to gently rub her back.

“You're all good, Uraraka. Congratulations. You made it.” Urayuli told Uraraka softly, making an effort not to puke herself. Watching someone else vomit, combined with the smell, usually had the same effect as someone yawning; before you know it you start doing it as well.

“Thank you, Yara-” Uraraka began before another wave of nausea hit her, and Urayuli hushed her gently in response. When Uraraka was done, she slowly sat down as to not upset her stomach more. Urayuli let go of her, and walked over to the hole in the floor to gaze at what was going on downstairs. Midoriya was laying on the ground, smoke coming from his body. Squinting, Urayuli saw the state of Midoriya's arms; one was covered in burns, the other was an angry purple. Probably broke his arm or something. Poor Midoriya.

Her gaze traveled to Bakugo, and she could hear how heavy and fast he was breathing. It sounded almost panicky, and a twinge of worry went through her.


The three of them stood in the monitor room, with Midoriya having been brought to the nurse's office to recover from his injuries. Bakugo, Uraraka, and Urayuli stood in front of their fellow classmates, waiting for All Might to grade them.

“Well, I'd say... The V.I.P. in this battle was Yaraqpik!”

“Cool. Wait, what?” Urayuli spluttered in surprise. “Me?!”

“Not Ochako or Midoriya?” Asui-san asked. “Even though they won?"

“I wonder why?” All Might asked, raising his hand. “Anyone know?!”

Yaoyorozu raised her hand. “I do, All Might-Sensei.”

All eyes were focused on her as she spoke. “It's because Yaraqpik-san was most able to adapt to the scenario. From what I saw, Bakugo-san's every action was motivated by an obvious personal grudge. And as you mentioned before, Sensei, using destructive attacks indoors is foolish.”

Urayuli glanced at Bakugo, his gaze despondent and empty. Or, maybe not empty, but vacant also didn't fit. He looks almost frightened.

“Midoriya-san's performance suffered from the same results. Uraraka-san was easily tricked by Yaraqpik-san's shifting Quirk and was lured into a false sense of security, and her final attack was far too haphazard. Such an attack would be unthinkable if the nuclear weapon were real.”

Uraraka shrank under the criticism. Urayuli felt bad for her friend. She did really well, though. Considering the circumstances.

“But Yaraqpik-san used her Quirk to trick her opponent, and she was dedicated in protecting the weapon. She wasn't afraid to harm her enemy, but she also showed restraint where necessary. She envisioned what the actual struggle would be like. She was only too late reacting at the very end. The Hero Team only won because this was a training exercise with exploitable constraints.”

Yaoyorozu's words filled Urayuli's chest with warmth. That's how she sees it? That... was all so nice of her to say. She sounded so honest. Silence filled the room, everyone a little intimidated by Yaoyorozu's lengthy explanation.

“Y-yes, you're correct!” All Might said with a thumbs up, trembling a little.

“We've got to start at the bottom and work up! And if we don't earnestly cheer each other on... We'll never be top heroes!” Yaoyorozu humphed, fists on her hips. The corners of Urayuli's face twitched in a smile at her classmate. So serious.

She silently glanced at Bakugo again, his eyes set in a way that concerned her. His face had paled considerably since before the exercise. Is he dejected from losing? I mean, I DID tell him it would be a rude awakening. Bakugo kept staring into nothing. Although I have the feeling it doesn't have to do with just losing alone.


The next teams were up, and this time it was Team B, consisting of the boy with the dual-colored hair and the boy with the mask and the many arms, and Team I, consisting of the boy with the tail and Hagakure. Team B made quick work of incapacitating their opponents, as the boy with the strange hair froze the entire building, freezing Team I to the floor. Urayuli was very impressed with him. That was crazy fast. Kirishima next to her looked at the screen in awe, as did the rest of the class, except for Bakugo, who silently bit his lip.

As the other teams went in to do the exercise, Urayuli kept her eye on Bakugo, as his mood seemed to get worse by the minute. At some point, when Kirishima's was up, she moved closer to Bakugo, not quite inside his personal bubble, but close enough. I don't know what to say to him without making him think I pity him, so I'll just keep quiet. In truth, Urayuli didn't pity him at all. She understood what a panic attack was like, having had one earlier that day, and she understood how debilitating it could be. It was paramount he had space, but also someone who could empathize with him. And even if I don't know the inner workings of his mind, and most importantly what brought about what he's feeling, I can still be there for him. Somewhat. Even if he is an ass.

She stayed close to him throughout the entirety of the exercise, and followed after him when the class moved outside. All Might spoke to the class in front of the exit.

“Well done, everyone! No serious injuries, apart from Midoriya's! Great teamwork, though! You all did splendidly, considering this was your first training exercise!”

Asui raised her hand. “To have such a proper class after Aizawa-Sensei's class...” Urayuli's mind flashed to her teacher's frightening face. “It's kind of anticlimactic.” She felt herself nod in agreement.

All Might raised his arms with a flourish, his cape fluttering behind him. “We're free to have proper classes, as well! Well then, I must review the results with Young Midoriya! Change and return,” All Might paused as moved his body to the exit. “To the classroom!” And he was gone, running as fast as he could.

The class yelped in awe at his speed. “All Might's amazing!” The blond with the lightning bolt in his hair exclaimed. He had electricity powers, I saw that during the exercise.

“Why was he in such a hurry?” The boy with the tail asked.

“Looks like posturing to me, and who could blame him?” Urayuli said, mostly to herself.


Class 1-A collectively moved to change back into their uniforms and made their way to their classroom, where all of them excitedly introduced themselves to each other. Urayuli knew the girls already, but wasn't at all familiar with most of the boys. She could now put names to all of their faces instead of just calling them by their most defining feature in her head.

“Man, I'm really sorry, Yaraqpik-san.” Sero Hanta began, scratching his head. “I totally referred to you as 'beast-girl' in my head.”

“That's fine, Sero.” Urayuli said, waving her hand in a dismissing way. “You were 'tape-boy' in mine.”

His grin got even wider, if that was even possible. Urayuli thought Sero might just have a perpetual smile and it was a bit contagious, as she smiled at him in return.

“Geez, Sero, you don't call a pretty girl 'beast-girl'!” Kaminari teased before turning to Urayuli. “I'm very sorry about him. You are no beast.”

“Uh, it's okay, I wasn't offended.” Urayuli said in confusion. What does him thinking I'm pretty have to do with anything?

“Allow me to make up for his behavior by taking you to a nice café soon. I know a great place that serves cheesecake.” Kaminari winked at her and it weirded her out. She wasn't uncomfortable, but why would he feel the need to do that on Sero's behalf? Aside from that, boys never talk to me like this.

“No thanks, I hate cheesecake.” She finally said. Kaminari stiffened, crestfallen at the harsh rejection.

“T-then how about-”

“Yaraqpik!” Kirishima interrupted. “You looked seriously cool during your stand-off against Uraraka!”

Urayuli flushed at the praise. “You're just saying that.”

“He's right, though! You were like 'wooosh' and 'kabam'! It was exciting!” Ashido exclaimed with animated arm-flailing. Urayuli started fidgeting, unsure how to respond to her classmates.

“So why is Midoriya at the nurse's office? What happened during his and Bakugo's battle?” She asked hoping to take the attention away from herself. Her classmates looked at her in surprise, and their enthusiasm was replaced with apprehension.

“Wait, so you don't know, Ura-chan?” Asui asked her. Ura-chan? I'll allow it.

“I mean, I just saw Midoriya looked pretty bad before being hauled off, but what happened?”

The four of them looked behind Urayuli, where the brooding subject of their conversation sat at his desk, staring at the furniture in defeat. Or what Urayuli would call defeat anyway. It didn't look like he had even heard what the five of them were talking about, stuck in his own thoughts. Urayuli felt her chest tighten uncomfortably. She turned back to her classmates.

“He was ready to kill Midoriya it seemed.” Kaminari started. “He kept railing on him with explosions, and then used one of his gauntlets for a super explosion.”

“He did?”

“Yeah, it was honestly a bit scary.” Ashido told her with a slight shiver. “He took it way too far.”

“I mean, I do remember him being quite belligerent over the earpiece, but to hurt Midoriya like that seems excessive, don't you think?” Urayuli mused.

“You didn't see it, though. He wanted to seriously hurt Midoriya, and he succeeded.” Kaminari finished.

Kaminari's explanation didn't sit well with her. There must be some reason for his anger issues, right? She wasn't saying that Midoriya was to blame, but there must be a reason for Bakugo to fly off the handle at the drop of a hat. There must have been some cataclysmic moment in their history together that caused him to be like that. Urayuli quickly shook her head. Not your pig, not your farm, Urayuli. This does not concern you in any way, so don't go looking for answers that have nothing to do with you.


After classes had more or less ended, the sun already setting, Bakugo was the first one to leave the classroom. He was in a hurry too, just shoved all his stuff in his bag without a thought, and all but ran out the door, not stopping for any classmate that wanted to talk to him. Urayuli felt compelled to go after him, since they take the same train home, but stopped herself. Nothing I do can help him, so let's just leave him be. The rest of the class lingered in the classroom.

“What are you all waiting for? Classes are over.” She asked Kirishima, who stood by the door with an eager smile on his face.

“I want to congratulate Midoriya for his manly fighting.” He said with a toothy grin. “I never really got the chance to earlier.”

“I'm honestly bummed I didn't get to see it myself.” Urayuli said.

“It was really something!” Sato interjected, having heard their conversation. “He countered Bakugo, and then threw him over his shoulder!”

“Midoriya did? That's intense. You think we get to see recordings of our fights?”

“Hmm, not sure. I think if you ask All Might, he might be willing to show it to you.” Sato pondered.

The telltale click of a door opening made Urayuli turn her head to the source of the sound. In stepped a sullen Midoriya with his arm in a cast. He looked a little worse for wear, and Urayuli worried for the boy. The pain he must have been in.

“Oh, Midoriya's here!” Kirishima announced. “Good work!”

Midoriya's sullen face turned into one of surprise as he got surrounded by his classmates Ashido, Kirishima, Urayuli herself, Sato, and Sero. Aoyama sat in his seat by the door with nothing short of admiration twinkling in his eyes for the green-haired youth.

“Man, I don't know what you were saying during the match, but you were fired up!” Kirishima exclaimed excitedly.

“I can't believe you fought evenly with Bakugo, who was first in the entrance exam!” Sero added.

“You did a good job dodging!” Ashido said, flushed with excitement and a grin that threatened to split her face in half. Midoriya looked at all of them, eyes almost bulging out of their sockets.

“You guys did that in the first match, so the rest of us had to give it our all, too.” Sato said with a smile.

“I have no earthly idea what happened during your match!” Urayuli added with an excited inflection. “But they all say you did well, so who cares?”

“You were far from elegant, but--”

“You did a good job dodging!” Ashido interrupted Aoyama, jumping up and down.

“H-huh?”

“I'm Kirishima Eijiro. We're all going over the training together right now.”

“I'm Sero Hanta.”

“I'm Aoyama Yu-”

“I'm Ashido Mina! You did a good job dodging!”

“I think he gets it, Ashido.” Urayuli grinned at her friend. From behind Ashido, Asui suddenly appeared.

“I'm Asui Tsuyu. Call me Tsu-chan.”

“I'm Sato!”

Midoriya spluttered from the sheer excitement his classmates shared. To try and make Midoriya feel less nervous, Urayuli softly grabbed him by his good shoulder and jostled him around for a bit.

“You can't have forgotten my name, right? You don't want to make a girl cry, do you?” This served to make Midoriya even more nervous and red in the face. WHY WOULD YOU SAY SOMETHING LIKE THAT, YULI.

“Tokoyami!” Iida's voice suddenly boomed, his frantic steps towards the other side of the classroom startling Urayuli. Once again, his arms were at a ninety degree angle as if he was a robot. “That desk is not a chair.” He said while flailing his arms in a similar fashion. “Get off immediately.”

“It's not that big a deal, is it?” Jiro, who was standing with Tokoyami and Ojiro as this all went down, asked with a hand on her hip. Iida looked at her in shock.

“What's with those hands, anyway?” Ojiro asked with a raised brow.

“You people... I can't condone actions that disrespect the desks the great men and women who are our upperclassmen once used!”

“You're too loud.” Tokoyami grumbled.

In the mean time, the whole class was watching what was going on. Most of them a bit weirded out by Iida's enthusiasm, Urayuli herself thought it was a bit much. So serious. You can show respect AND sit on desks.

The door from the other side of the classroom opened, and Kaminari and Uraraka entered with a stack of books in their arms.

“Hey, Uraraka, wanna grab a bite to eat sometime? What do you like?” Kaminari asked her. Oh. Apparently he does that with every girl. Figures. Guess he learned to ask a girl what she likes to eat first.

“Mochi-” Uraraka started before noticing Midoriya was back. “Wait, Deku, she didn't heal your injuries?” She hurried over to him, worry laced in her voice.

“Oh, uh, it's because of how much stamina I have, and...” He stopped, looking behind the group of classmates to the desk in front of his. “More importantly, Uraraka-san, where did Kacchan go?”

“We all tried to stop him, but he went home just now without saying anything.” Uraraka explained, and with that Midoriya all but sprinted out the door.


“Should we be doing this?” Urayuli asked. Uraraka, Asui, and Ashido had walked out of the classroom to watch through the window as Midoriya caught up to Bakugo, and they had taken Urayuli with them. She felt uneasy watching them. This feels kind of private...

“I wonder what they're talking about.” Ashido mused, her eyes glued to the twosome below.

“Say, Ura-chan, you should be able to hear them right?” Asui asked.

“Guys, this feels like a private conversation, I'm not going to eavesdrop.” Urayuli said sternly, crossing her arms that were leaning against the bar in front of the window. Her classmates stared at her for a bit, and that's when they saw Urayuli's ears twitch ever so slightly. She's totally listening, the trio thought.

Urayuli didn't like to admit it, but she was too curious about the whole situation. Bakugo claiming Midoriya didn't have a quirk was strange. He obviously did, but seeing as they had history together, and if his claims were anywhere in the realm of truth, Bakugo's surprise at how Midoriya did at the Quirk Apprehension Test made sense in a way. But that in turn made even less sense! How is it possible that Midoriya had no Quirk, none whatsoever, and suddenly have one when coming to High School? Getting a Quirk so late in life was unheard of.

She listened intently despite the brick in her stomach. Eavesdropping on conversations wasn't anything new, but those conversations at least pertained to her. This wasn't any of her business, no matter how curious she was. She was not prepared for Midoriya's words however, and they made her breath hitch in her throat.

“I got my Quirk from someone else.”

What the hell does that even mean, Midoriya? And why do you think this would appease Bakugo?

The more she listened, the more Bakugo's teeth grinding became louder to her ears, even from the distance between them.

“What the hell is that? 'Borrowed power'? You're talking nonsense.” Bakugo spoke angrily. “What are you trying to do, make me out to be more of a fool than you already have? Ha? What are you tryinng to say? Today, I lost to you... That's all it was...”

I should leave and stop eavesdropping right now. But her feet stayed glued to the floor as she kept listening.

“As I watched the ice guy, I thought, 'I can't beat him'!” Bakugo grabbed a fistful of his own hair. “Damn it! I ended up agreeing with what that ponytail girl said!”

Enough is enough. Urayuli stepped away from the window, her heart heavy and her stomach in knots. She could not in good conscience listen more, she had already heard too much. The way Bakugo's voice had cracked, it was not for her to hear. I should have never done this. On shaky legs, she left her classmates.

“Ura-chan, did you hear what they said?” Asui asked her. Don't lie to her.

“It's not important.” And she didn't lie; it wasn't important. Not to them. It was none of their business, it was none of her business, but like an idiot she had made it her business. This is going to make me too invested into someone who I don't even like all that much, and God knows he doesn't like me either.

Her heavy legs carried her to the train station on auto-pilot. She doesn't even remember ever stopping for the traffic lights or looking both ways. Totally unaware of her surroundings, she had walked out of the school, to the train station, to her platform, got on the train and exited when her stop was announced. In her daze she had bumped into several people and apologized in English without even looking at them.

On the way to her house, she finally got pulled out of her stupor when she noticed she wasn't the only one on the empty road that led to her house. A couple yards in front of her walked Bakugo, head tilted down, shoulders up, hand shoved in pocket. She felt her heart get heavy, and kept her pace as it was so she wouldn't get any closer. With the way he was feeling, he could be volatile and unpredictable. As if he wasn't unpredictable before this shit happened.

When she arrived at her house, she opened the gate but stopped herself from going in just yet. She glanced at the boy in the distance, pondering what she should do.

“See you tomorrow at school.” She said loud enough for him to hear. Bakugo stopped walking, and only slightly turned his head to look at her. Looking wasn't really the right word. 'Glare' was more fitting. Urayuli sent a small wave his way while remaining eye-contact before closing the gate behind her.


“Kituuqta, you're finally home. How was school?” Max asked as he put down the newspaper he was reading.

“Long and hard, Papa. I'm beat.” Urayuli complained while dropping her backpack on the floor.

“That's too bad.” Max said. “You must be really tired, huh?”

“Gramps, you wouldn't believe the day I've had.” Urayuli said with a groan as she lowered herself on the couch. “I'm so glad to be home.”

“I bet you are.” Max said, before standing up with a lighthearted sigh. “Well, put your training gear on.”

“Come again?”

“Training gear. Outside. Five minutes.” Max reiterated with a loud teeth whistle, jerking a thumb to the sliding doors.

Not one to keep people waiting, least of all her grandfather, she made her way to her room and quickly got dressed. Which turned out to be a lot harder when you're exhausted. She haphazardly braided her hair as to not agitate her already aching arms. Yup, definitely going to feel that in the morning.

“Five minutes and fourteen seconds. Took your time.” Max teased when she finally entered their backyard in her training jumpsuit. Urayuli noticed he had also changed into his jumpsuit. That was fast.

“You were timing me, old man?” Urayuli teased back.

“Lap around the house.” Max said sternly. Urayuli groaned in protest.

“Grandpa, I literally just got home!” She bemoaned in disbelief.

“I won't say it again, Urayuli. Go.”

She huffed in exasperation as she started her lap, stopping at a section of the house's exterior where he couldn't see her so she could wildly punch and kick the air in a weird display of anger. Done with her short-lived hissy fit, she finished her lap soon after. Her grandfather grinned at her when she approached him. Could he have seen her?

“Now, if you're done, let's get into it.” He totally saw me.

“Most of the forms you've been able to do before coming here are pretty useless on land in terms of fighting power.” Max began. Ouch. “The forms that I've taught you so far, have they been of use to you?”

“Absolutely.” Urayuli nodded determined. “I mostly used my Bison Form and Golden Eagle Form, but just today I finally was able to put my Squirrel Form to use.”

“That's good to hear. What did you use it for?”

“Well, I changed into a squirrel to bamboozle Uraraka so she'd let her guard down, all while protecting a bomb.”

“Say what?! Bomb?!” Max's brow raised up as he squawked loudly. His voice made Urayuli jump from fright.

“I-it wasn't a real bomb!”

“Well, why were you protecting it?!”

“It was for class!”

“What kind of class has bombs, real or not?!”

“Battle training?”

“Wait, you already had battle training?”

“Y-yeah?”

“You had battle training and you didn't tell me?!”

“I forgot to check my schedule, okay?”

During her explanation of what happened during the day, Max's face went through different iterations of shock, concealed frustration, and a hint of pride.

“So what were the end results?”

“Well, we didn't win, that's for sure, but I was named V.I.P of the exercise because of how I handled the training. All Might praised me.” Urayuli said bashfully. Teachers never really cared much for my accomplishments, so it was a nice change of pace.

“You did well, kituuqta.” Max said with a fond smile. Urayuli felt her face heat up slightly at his words. “Changing into your Squirrel Form was an excellent example of using your Quirk for stealth and covert purposes. Ready to learn something new?”

“Absolutely. What shape am I learning next? Is it something like a wolf? Or a moose?” Urayuli rattled on.

“A spider.”

“Oh wow, I can't- wait. A spider? Why a spider?” She felt a tingle go down her spine.

“Spiders are literally everywhere, but people don't often see them. They can squirm themselves into small cracks in walls and just about anywhere.” Max explained.

“I mean, that's true, but I've only ever been able to shift into mammals and birds.” Urayuli said.

“And that's exactly the problem. It's impractical when you are limited to just those.” As he spoke, Max had grabbed a blanket Urayuli had not noticed from the engawa. He laid it out on the grass and stood on top of it.

“We're doing what we always do. I go first, then it's your turn.” He said.

Urayuli briefly squinted her eyes as her vision was filled with the bright light that came with their transformation. When she relaxed her face again, her grandfather had shifted into a creature she immediately recognized. A brown recluse sat on the spot her grandfather previously occupied, and scuttled around the blanket for a moment. She carefully reached for him, unafraid but still not wanting to scare him, and equally carefully scooped him up in her hands. Taking a moment to examine him, she memorized the violin pattern on his body and especially took note of him just having six eyes instead of eight. Deciding she had gathered enough information, Urayuli carefully put him back down on the blanket and took a step back. A moment later the bright light shone in her face again, and within seconds her grandfather's tall frame stood before her.

“Alright, now you try.” Max said as he popped his shoulder.

Urayuli stepped on the blanket, her bare feet digging into the fabric and felt the grass cushioning her toes. She took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and visualized a brown recluse. She started chanting the name in her head like her mantra, and before long she could feel herself shrinking. It felt as if her spine and skin melted from her body, and the rest of her skeleton seemed out of place. While it didn't hurt, it was far from comfortable. She could feel new limbs sprouting from her torso. It appeared to be a lot harder to turn into an insect, as opposed to mammals or avians. Her hearing changed as well, and it felt as if she had gone deaf.

When her transformation was complete, she opened her eyes, and her vision was a lot worse than she was used to. She could barely make out Max's silhouette as he stood over her. Everything was so big. What if I get stomped on? Trying to walk, she noticed how light she was as she barely made an indent in the blanket. Max's hands came close to her and scooped her up, and spoke to her. She didn't have ears in this form, but the tiny hairs on her body picked up the vibrations in the air.

“Try to move your extra limbs, kituuqta.” His speech was warbled, and sounded similar to radio static, but she could still make out the words. As per his request, she wiggled around her four extra legs to get a feel for them.

“You're doing fantastically, Urayuli. I'm putting you down now, you can turn back.” He said as he gently put her back down on the blanket.

Urayuli turned back, her hearing returned full force and gave her a headache. The world is so much louder when you're human. It felt weird to suddenly have just four limbs instead of eight, and she experienced some sort of phantom limb sensation.

“Is it normal that-” She started, but Max cut her off.

“Yes, it is. The feeling will subside after a few minutes.” He explained, knowing exactly what she was feeling.

“Insects are a lot harder than any other transformation, because they don't work the same way mammals do. Birds are hard enough as it is, but you don't have to deal with an exoskeleton or the extra limbs. Taking that into account, you did splendidly. I'm proud of you. Are you proud of yourself?” He asked as he put a large hand on her shoulder.

“I... I think? It was really tough to do, though.”

“A lot of things are. Considering the circumstances, you actually did better than expected. We'll train some more tomorrow. Speaking of which, I have an acquaintance coming over to visit tomorrow as well, and I'd like you two to meet.” Max said.

“An acquaintance? Who?”

“You'll just have to wait and see.” Max told her with a grin.

“Fine. Keep your secrets.” She said as she narrowed her eyes at him.


Max had finished cooking, and the smell of rosemary and chicken permeated throughout the entire kitchen and living room. He sat her plate down in front of her and sat down at the table.

“Tell me more about your battle training, kituuqta.” He said before taking a bite of chicken.

“Not much to tell, honestly. My costume worked as we hoped it would.” Urayuli said when she finished chewing. “My teammate was a total pain in my ass.”

“Was your teammate the reason for that text from this afternoon?” Max asked tersely. Urayuli looked up at him in surprise. He remembered that?

“Well, that happened before battle training, but... yes. He was being a total jerk during lunch, and I basically told him to go fuck himself. Imagine how annoyed I was when I heard we were in the same team.”

“Some people's kids...” Max grumbled. “Don't let some dumb boy ruin your day. Or your school experience. Your time is too precious to waste on people who just make you feel bad about yourself.”

Urayuli nodded in agreement, but above all else, she felt empathetic for her hotheaded classmate. Only a little. Seeing him in the state he was in after the battle trial made her slightly unsure in her initial assessment of him.

Later, when Max and Urayuli were finished eating, the two of them settled in the living room and watched a show together. Max had won during rock-paper-scissors, so Dragon Ball it was. Urayuli had seen the show before but never really got invested until now. After an episode or two, Urayuli went upstairs and got ready for bed.


 

[Girl Squad]

[gerogero] 21:16 :

Are you guys also exhausted?

 

[Alien Queen] 21:16 :

You bet, today was a doozy.

 

[Yaomomo] 21:17 :

I took a long, well-deserved bath to relax

[Beast Girl] 21:17 :

mad jealous

my grandfather took me into the yard for training purposes

[Yaomomo] 21:17 :

That sounds harsh! He immediately made you practice?

[Beast Girl] 21:17 :

yeah

on the bright side I can do some more cool stuff though

[Shepard] 21:18 :

Hey!!! Good evening!

Have you all eaten yet?

Omg Yaraqpik-san, your grandfather sounds so serious

[Beast Girl] 21:18 :

thats because he is

he's cool though

[Musa] 21:18 :

Hey guys, look at this dog I saw today

<cutecorgi.image>

 

[Sue Storm] 21:19 :

OHMIGOSH SO CUTE

He's sooooo fluffy

 

[Yaomomo] 21:19 :

How cute

 

[Shepard] 21:20 :

Hey Yaraqpik-san, did you end up hearing the convo

between deku-kun and Bakugo?

 

[gerogero] 21:20 :

yeah did you learn anything

[Beast Girl] 21:23 :

Uhhh it's not rly important

[Shepard] 21:23 :

You seemed pretty out of it after though

Tsuyu and I had been talking about what they might have talked about

 

[Alien Queen] 21:24 :

Yeah! You must have heard something!! I'm super curious!

[Beast Girl] 21:26 :

Alright, Imma be real with you guys

Yes I did hear some stuff and I'm not about to repeat it.

Not up to me to tell, and I would appreciate it if you could drop it.

[Alien Queen] 21:27 :

Aww come on! It's not fair to keep it to yourself!

[Beast Girl] 21:29 :

Hard pass.

I'm not going to repeat myself.

[Alien Queen] 21:29 :

You're no fun >_<

 

[Yaomomo] 21:30 :

Hey, let's not keep talking about this, Yaraqpik-san sounds uncomfortable with it.

If she says it's not important, then it's not important.

 

[gerogero] 21:30 :

yeah, you're right.

Sorry Ura-chan, we won't mention it again


“Ugh, I'm so tired.” Urayuli muttered as she wiped a hand over her face. Reluctant to keep the conversation going, she turned off the notifications. She took a deep breath and moved from her position laying on her stomach to laying on her back. A loud, exasperated groan left her lungs and she rubbed her eyes. Seems no matter where I go, people are fucking exhausting. Blindly, she reached for one of her stuffed animals, which turned out to be a plush dolphin, and hugged it tightly to her chest...

 

Six legs...

 

Chapter Text

Urayuli stood, barefoot, on a frozen ocean. In the distance she could see an island, littered with houses and other such structures. Upon closer inspection, her childhood home appeared to be one of them. An explosion went off, yet she did not see where it came from, but she feared for the worst. Her heartbeat quickened, and she ran towards the distant shore.

Suddenly, the ice beneath her opened, and she fell through the cracks. The cold water attacked her nerves as she sank to the dark void below. She tried desperately to swim to the surface, but a force was pulling her down and she could not escape.

She reached the bottom, and she was underwater no more. Below her feet a layer of water, and her own image looking back at her. Around her was an all consuming nothingness, with no end or beginning. Even without knowing where she was going, she walked with purpose, feet splashing in the water.

After walking for what felt like forever, she stumbled upon a hole in the water. Out came a spider the size of a dog, and it regarded her silently. It turned around and gestured for her to follow. She did as she was requested, and as the two walked, they eventually saw a spider's web in the distance. The spider slowly but surely shrunk into its normal size as they got closer to the web. She gently lowered herself to let the spider get on her hand, and she placed it in its home.

Suddenly she stood before her classmates, whose faces were blurred out and unrecognizable. She could not hear them but knew what they wanted from her. “Tell us.” “Tell us.” Her feet were grabbed from below by hands that seemed to sprout from nowhere. “Tell us.” “Tell us.” She tried to speak but found she could not. Something was trying to get out of her body, and she coughed. Large clumps of dark-green hair exited her mouth. Feverishly she blocked her mouth with her hands, but the clumps kept coming. One last scream fell from her lips as the void consumed her.


Urayuli awoke in the dark, breathing heavily and sweat thick on her brow. Her heart was beating fast, and in her fearful state she groped for the lamp switch next to her bed. The dim light from the lamp on her nightstand filled the room, and she could breath easier. She wiped the sweat from her forehead.

“Yuck.” She muttered as she saw the amount of perspiration collected on her hand. She checked the rest of her body, and found that she had completely soaked through her cotton pajamas. She yanked them off, searching through her closet for a clean pair. Needing a way to ground herself, she took a peek at the alarm clock when she opened the curtains.

“One o'clock? Jesus.” Opening the window, she let the cool night's breeze caress her skin. The full moon's glow almost made it seem light outside and the stars were barely visible because of it. Shame I can't turn into a wolf yet; howling at the moon seems like the perfect thing to do now. She slapped her forehead. You can turn into a dog, Yuli. Same thing.

With a deep but quiet sigh, she took off her pajamas again and put on her jumpsuit. “Don't wanna lose my clothes and be naked on the roof.” She whispered to herself. As silent as was humanly possible, she carefully climbed out the window and clamored her way onto the roof. Please don't wake up, Papa, she prayed.

Every time she climbs onto the roof, Urayuli is surprised by the beauty of Japan at night. While it was just the suburbs and not at all as exciting as downtown, the lights coming from people's houses comforted her. Alaska always felt lonely. Deserted. The next house was usually a hundred yards or so away. Or about ninety meters, I guess. Confusing metric system. In Musutafu, the houses were really close to each other, and while it caused a bit of claustrophobia in her at first, Urayuli grew to appreciate it. Knowing there were people nearby made her feel less isolated.

Still, isolation was easy. Human interaction is difficult, and Urayuli felt her chest tighten at the idea of her classmates getting sick of her. Just like the others. She huffed in disdain. They won't be like that. They're nice.

Urayuli closed her eyes to listen to the sounds of the night. Crickets were starting to come into season, the sounds weren't as dense as she had heard it in anime. Maybe in a couple of months. Cherry blossom trees swayed in the wind. Deciding she wanted to actively smell the night air, she moved to a more stable and flat part of the roof to stand on. Dog, dog, dog. The mantra made the transformation easier, and before she knew it she stood on four legs and took a big whiff of the air. It smelled sweetly of flowers, cherry blossom, and grass.

Hmmm. That loud guy that's usually around has been awfully quiet today, she mused. Although, it is the middle of the night...

Thinking of Alaska had made her sad, though. Urayuli missed her father dearly, he was the most important person in her life up until a few months ago when Papa Max came barging in. Oftentimes she would want to talk to him, but refrained from doing so, worried she might bother him. Things would have been easier if he weren't so alone while she was gone. Things would have been easier if...

If mom hadn't died.


Hey, Papa.” Urayuli began, as they were decorating the house for Christmas. “Were you there when I was born?”

Huh? Of course I was.” Max responded with a huff as he moved a stack of boxes filled with ornaments. “Why?”

How did my mom die?” She asked, willing herself to look him in the eye. Max almost dropped the boxes he was holding.

Why would you ask something like that?” He asked stunned, but not unkind. Urayuli tugged on the sleeve of her sweater.

I just...” She faltered for a moment. “Dad never wants to talk about her unless he's giving me a lecture. I don't really know anything about her.”

Then why ask about how she died?” He asked solemnly.

Urayuli was silent for a moment, before letting her hair curtain over her face. “I just need to know if her dying was my fault.”

The sound of multiple boxes dropping on the ground and glass shattering into pieces made Urayuli jump. Fast and heavy footsteps came her way, and she was forcefully grabbed by her shoulders. Max's face was contorted in a mix of worry, deep sadness, and anger.

Don't you dare.” He said flatly. “Don't you ever think that. What happened was not your fault.”

But-”

Urayuli.” He sighed, steering her towards the couch and sitting her down. “What happened to your mother was purely circumstance. She-” He wiped a hand over his face. “She was stubborn, your mother.”

He fished his wallet out of his pocket, inside of it he grabbed a slightly wrinkled picture of a young girl strongly resembling Urayuli. The picture itself was discolored, a deep sepia tone that made it look older than the photo actually was. 'It looks like there's been put a filter over it', Urayuli thought. The girl in the picture had a toothy grin, her dark hair in a complicated braid, and paint smears all over her face.

For a moment, Urayuli looked at her grandfather. Truly looked at him. He gazed softly at the picture in his hands, cradling it between his thumb and forefingers, the way someone would with a frail bird, or a flower. His fond smile did not go unnoticed by his granddaughter, and she felt a pang in her heart. The realization that she might have brought up painful memories made her feel incredibly small.

She must have been about sixteen when I took this picture. Always picking up new hobbies that interested her. This was her painting phase. I can't remember how many canvases I bought for her. Now that I think about it, her easel must still be around somewhere.” Max said, pinching his eyes closed to will the tears away. Urayuli listened silently.

When she was pregnant with you, she was adamant to have a home-birth. It's what her mother did when she was pregnant with her, and she wanted to keep that tradition alive for some reason.” He snorted mirthlessly. “I called her a moron for it, Elizabeth was just lucky she didn't have any complications. Most importantly, she didn't really have a choice in the matter. Maria did, and she still wanted the home-birth.”

Outside, snow had started to fall gently on the ground, adding to the layer that had already accumulated over the past few weeks.

I told her every time I spoke to her to just get the helicopter ride to Anchorage. Even Jack told her to not go through with it, but she just outright refused. Then, when it was finally time for you to be born, she had a change of heart, but it was already too late for a medevac. She eventually said, and I quote, 'fuck it', and it took her about five hours of labor to give birth to you.” He smiled at her, reaching with a hand to pet her hair. It warmed her heart for a brief moment, but she needed to hear the rest.

Unfortunately,” He began again, dropping his hand to hold her shoulder. “After she was done, she just wouldn't stop bleeding. Since the clinic in town didn't have the proper tools to help her, a medevac wasn't an option anymore, she just... bled out.”

Urayuli did not know how to feel. The constant nagging feeling in her heart, the part that told her none of this would have happened if she hadn't been born, kept tugging and tugging at her.

Hey.” Max's voice shook her out of her thoughts. “None of this was your fault. In the first few years after she passed, I desperately wanted to blame someone. I first blamed myself for not being more present during her pregnancy. Then I blamed your father for not being more adamant about going to Anchorage. At some point, I even blamed her for being so stupid to have let this happen. I was grieving, I needed to put the blame somewhere. But never you. You were a baby, you are truly the afflicted party here.”

What do you mean?” Her voice trembled.

You never got to meet her. Jack and I had the pleasure of having her in our lives for a long time. You never got to hear her laugh, see her smile, hear her awful singing.” He snorted softly. “I needed someone to blame for her death, but after years of contemplation I realized that it was simply circumstance that took her away.”

If that's true, then why won't you call my dad by his name?”

Max was silent for a moment. “Let's not go into that right now. It's unimportant.”

Is it? It's been bothering me ever since you came to Elpetquik. Did anything happen between you and dad?” She asked, unsatisfied with her grandfather's deflecting.

Urayuli. Drop it.” He said tightly. “I will not burden you with that. It's between me and your father.”

The finality in his voice made Urayuli falter, and she felt herself shrink in. She didn't mean for the conversation to go the way it went, she just felt blindsided. There was still so much she didn't know about her mother, or her grandfather, and was just tired of being ignorant to it. She started to absentmindedly pick at her nails, until Max grabbed for her hands.

Your father and I never blamed you. I need you to repeat after me. 'It wasn't my fault'.”

It wasn't my fault.” She said quietly.

Again.”

It wasn't my fault.” She said a little louder.

Again.”

This went back and forth until Urayuli felt the weight of her heart lessen. The feeling wasn't magically gone, and she would still doubt herself, but saying the words out loud might help her heal over time. A stray tear or two traveled over her cheek that she quickly wiped away with the sleeve of her sweater. She looked at her grandfather, who's eyes were reflecting the sadness in hers. After thinking hard about it for a few seconds, she grabbed his hands and pulled on them as a way to tell him to stand. When both of them stood in front of the other, Urayuli surprised the both of them by throwing her arms around him in a hug. The height difference made it awkward, but Max hugged her back with only a little hesitation.

This is the first time you hugged me.” He said dumbfounded.

Don't make it weird.”

Max laughed and patted her head when she let go of him. As if remembering something important, the two of them turned their heads to the heap of boxes that Max had dropped. With a grimace, Max put his hand to his forehead.

Guess we have to buy new ornaments.”


Looking back on what her grandfather told her, she now knew she wasn't to blame for her mother's death, but she couldn't help but feel responsible anyway. Not that there was something she could have done to change anything. Still, knowing there was something missing in her life made her feel lonely. Like her family was incomplete. She took another whiff of the air. As if instinctual, she reared her head back and howled. Maybe she did it because she needed her mother to hear her, she didn't know the answer to it herself.

It was quiet for a moment, before a loud voice from far away echoed through the night.

“Shut the fuck up!”

Someone heard me? They answered my howl... Maybe I should do it again. She responded to the voice with another howl.

“I said shut up!”

Urayuli felt her tail wag in excitement. This is a fun game. She let out another howl, this time louder than before.

“Don't make me come over there!”

Not to make the voice angrier than it already was, she quickly shifted back. She cupped her hands around her mouth and yelled out.

“Sorry! Have a good night!” The voice did not respond.

She felt weirdly giddy that she had made contact with the loud person she had heard since moving to Musutafu. On the one hand she figured this person was trouble, on the other it was hilarious how consistent his presence was. The shouting would usually begin somewhere around the evening, more often than not the person was yelling at his mother, after which she would shout at him in return. It was an odd dynamic that never failed to put a smile on her face, despite knowing it was wrong to eavesdrop. Somewhere in her heart it made her feel jealous. I wish I had that instead of not having a mom in the first place.

After climbing back into her room, she settled back into bed. For a moment, everything felt fine, until she suddenly had the feeling something in her room had changed. Scanning the room for a moment, her eyes finally rested on piece of paper set on her nightstand. It was blank, but with shaky hands she flipped it over and felt her heart skip a beat when her mother and father looked back at her. Her mother was wearing a beautiful dress and her father was wearing a tuxedo. On the bottom of the page, it said “Prom Night!” with the dots replaced with little hearts.

A watery smile spread over her lips as she moved to place the photograph to stand against the neck of her lamp. Thank you, Papa. Leaving the light on so the darkness from her previous nightmare could not follow her, she soon fell asleep. With her mother watching over her.

 

Chapter Text

When Urayuli had woken up that Tuesday morning, she was a bit more tired than usual, which made sense because of her nightmare. Still, the presence of the photograph on her nightstand gave her restful sleep afterwards, it was just too short for her doing. She hoped that, after the crazy events of the day before, this school day would be a bit more normal.

As it turned out, no such thing would be in the stars for her.

Nearing her school, she saw a mob of people standing in front of the school-gate, either holding expensive camera's and equipment or microphones. Every time a student would pass them, they would swarm around them, asking questions about All Might. Is that the press? They're... really invasive. She realized she had to go through them to actually get to class. With a deep sigh, she took a step forward, but a hand on her shoulder stopped her in her tracks.

"Yo, Yaraqpik. How d'you slee- What is going on?" Jiro began, but trailed off after noticing the commotion behind Urayuli.

"Reporters. Want to do a hit piece on All Might, most likely." Urayuli said. Jiro groaned and slapped her palm to her forehead.

"Ah, geez, don't they have anything better to do?" Jiro complained. "What if they corner us?"

Urayuli thought for a moment before an idea popped up in her head. She put her arm over Jiro's shoulder and steered her towards the crowd of reporters.

"I've got an idea, just follow my lead."

The two of them walked with determined steps, pretending to not even see the frantic reporters that were just itching to crowd them. For a split second Urayuli could feel the sour taste of bile collecting in the back of her throat, but she swallowed it away and marched on with her classmate. The hand she had on Jiro's shoulder tightened a bit at the sight of the closing in journalists, and if Jiro had noticed or minded, she didn't show it. We're almost there, just stick to the plan. And that plan would come to fruition the moment a microphone was shoved in her face.

"Tell us about All Might's teaching methods!" A sharp-eyed brunette all but demanded from her. Her white-knuckling the microphone showed her frustration, greedy for a smidgen of information. Urayuli made a show to stare confusedly at the lady and the mic before speaking.

"Ah, gomen-nasai, watashi wa amerikajin desu!" Urayuli exclaimed in overly American-accented broken Japanese. She put extra emphasis on speaking as phonetically American as she could. "Watashi does not wakarimasu your question! Class ga aru! Arigathanks!" She finished with a small wave as she pulled a nearly-laughing Jiro through the gate. When they finally got to the doors, Jiro let out a loud guffaw at Urayuli's antics.

"I can't believe you just did that! I can't believe that worked! Did you see their faces?!" Jiro chortled while holding her stomach. "I can't breathe!"

Urayuli tried to relax her aching cheeks as she gazed at the horde of reporters from a distance. The peeved brunette had flung her mic to the ground in a huff of frustration and yelled at her cameraman. She could hear her screech "How was I supposed to know they were letting in foreigners?!" with a hint of disdain. Probably miffed because she think she couldn't get a cohesive sentence out of me. With a snort, she looked back at Jiro, only to find her lip curled in disgust. But Jiro wasn't looking at Urayuli, she was glaring at the older woman. Urayuli reached out to Jiro with her hand, but quickly retracted it when the girl turned her head to face her.

"Are- are you good?" Urayuli asked.

"Doesn't that bother you?" Jiro countered with a raised brow.

"Eh. It isn't new to me." Urayuli said with a grimace, followed by a shrug of her shoulders. "Shit like that happens all the time. Won't matter when I'm sixty."


 "Good work on yesterday's combat training." Aizawa-sensei droned after class 1-A had settled down into their seats. He seemed a bit more tired than usual to Urayuli, and she couldn't really blame him. Must've had a run in with press outside. "I saw the video and results." He turned to look at Bakugo.

"Bakugo, you're talented, so don't act like a kid." He chastised the explosive blond with a bored look on his face. Urayuli could hear Bakugo's small grunt from displeasure, annoyed he had been called out like that in front of everyone.

"I know." Bakugo grunted, not looking at his teacher.

"And Midoriya." At this, the boy in front of her quickly shifted his head to look down at his hands.

"You settled it by breaking your arm again, huh?" Aizawa-sensei muttered disapprovingly. "You can't keep saying you can't help it because you can't control your Quirk. I don't like saying the same thing over and over. As long as you fix the control issue, there's a lot you'll be able to do."

At the unexpected praise, Midoriya's head shot up, and let out a soft but appreciative gasp.

"Feel a sense of urgency, Midoriya."

"Y-yes, sir!"

Urayuli was glad Midoriya didn't let yesterday's ordeal get to him. Facing off against Bakugo must have been crazy scary, but he seemed to have handled it as best he could. If they had history together, and Bakugo has always been like this, I can imagine how often Midoriya's had to put up with his bullshit.

"Now let's get down to homeroom business. Sorry about the late notice, but today, I'll have you..." Aizawa-sensei paused, and Urayuli immediately thought, take another special test? "...decide on a class representative."

A somewhat collective sigh of relief swept through the classroom. Oh, that's surprisingly normal. It wasn't what Urayuli expected to be sure, but it was a nice change of pace. If I have to dance like a monkey for this man again, I might just lose it. But not long after, the class erupted into chaos.

"I want to be class rep! Pick me!" Kirishima exclaimed with his arms in the air, the movement of him jumping out of his seat making his chair slam into the desk behind him. The force startled Koda and he got red in the face because of it.

"Me too!" Kaminari said while calmly raising his hand. Next to him, Jiro did the same thing.

"I want to do it, too."

"It's a job made for m-" Aoyama began before once again getting interrupted by Ashido.

"I'll be the leader!" She said with a blush, excitedly waving her arms up and down.

"Let me do it! Me!" Bakugo angrily yelled, arm raised high above his head. YOU?!

Being the class rep? Yeah, honestly, no thanks. The mere idea made Urayuli's head ache, but that also could have been from how loud her classmates were being. It wasn't so much because she didn't want the responsibilities, as it was that she suspected her classmates wouldn't want her as class representative to begin with. Her old classmates in Alaska didn't, so how would this be any different? She kept her hands glued to her desk.

"Silence, please!" Iida's voice echoed harshly through the plethora of voices, causing everyone to freeze and immediately stop talking. They all turned their heads towards him.

"It is a job with the serious responsibility of leading the others. It is not a job for just anyone who wants to do it. It is a calling that requires the trust of those around you." He said, standing absolutely still at his desk, one hand in the air and the other clenched at his side. "If we want to use democracy to decide on a true leader, then we should hold an election to choose one."

Upon further inspection, Iida appeared to be trembling a little, and because he was the tallest of all of them...

"Your hand is raised the highest!" The class yelled in unison.

"Why did you suggest that?" Kaminari asked dumbfounded.

"We haven't known each other for that long, so how can we have trust or anything, Iida-chan?" Asui asked, pressing a large finger to her face.

"If that's the case, and everyone votes for themselves..." Kirishima began.

"Don't you think that is precisely why whoever receives multiple votes here can be truly considered the most suitable person?" Iida countered. "What do you think, Aizawa-sensei?"

Urayuli had barely blinked, and Aizawa was already stepping into his yellow sleeping bag. Does that man have anything resembling a normal sleep schedule?

"I don't care, just decide before homeroom is over." The man droned before falling sideways on the ground behind his desk. Urayuli heard him snore softly, and she leaned backwards in her chair, turning her head to slightly face Yaoyorozu.

"Not very responsible of him, is it?" She whispered to the dark-haired girl.

"He should really get more sleep..." Yaoyorozu whispered back, a slight smile on her lips.

Iida took it upon himself to hand out small pieces of paper to everyone in class 1-A. Urayuli looked puzzled, and when Iida arrived at her table to press the paper on it, she looked at him, confused.

"What am I supposed to do with this?" She asked with a raised brow. She noticed too late that her question had quieted the classroom. Iida straightened his back and regarded her seriously.

"It's simple, you write down your preferred candidate and after that we'll count the votes." He explained, waving his arm in a ninety degree angle. Urayuli frowned.

"That's how you do class representative elections? It's kind of bare bones, don't you think?" Her classmates looked at her curiously, not quite understanding her meaning.

"They do it differently in the States, Yaraqpik-san?" Midoriya asked, having turned around his chair to face her. Urayuli nodded.

"It's usually a whole shebang where students who want to become class rep or class president make flyers and posters and put them up everywhere, and they give speeches and stuff." Urayuli half-assed her explanation, because she had never actually ran for class president and as such was not privy to some information. Also, she never cared much for the position.

"Oh, that sounds so creative! We should totally do that too!" Ashido exclaimed, jumping up and down in the air. "Yaomomo, can you make posters for us with your Quirk?!"

Oh god, what have I done. Urayuli swiveled her chair around to Yaoyorozu, pleading with her eyes not to do it.

"I can make some poster paper, so you can all make your own." Yaoyorozu said with a smile, before letting it fall slightly when she saw Urayuli mouth the words 'absolutely not' at her. She squirmed in her seat. "But that might take a while, what do you say, Yaraqpik-san?"

"Ahaha, yeah, it would take waaay too long, way too long to finish it before next class." Urayuli said with exaggerated gestures with her arms. "You know what? Just forget I said anything, we'll just do it like this."

"Haa? What kind of bullshit is that? First you complain, and then you backtrack? What, are you scared you'll lose?" Bakugo's rough voice called out to her from the front. His carmine eyes settled on her form in a glare. "Must be tough when almost everyone else is a better choice than you."

Urayuli's blood-pressure spiked at his words and the skin in her neck flushed red. What the hell is your problem, you glorified Pomeranian? She took a breath through her nose, having noticed her classmates eyes on her, waiting for a rebuttal.

"I don't even want to become class representative. How can I win in a race I'm not even participating in, genius?" She snapped at the blond.

"You must really be that weak if you've already given up when you haven't even started yet." Bakugo snarled at her. "Can't throw balls, can't protect a weapon, can't run for class rep. What are you even doing here?"

Several of her classmates raised their voices at Bakugo's harsh words. Iida chastised the blond, waving his arms frantically, Ashido yelled in a shrill voice how mean he was being. Ok, time to de-escalate the situation. She abruptly stood up, startling Midoriya in front of her.

"Alright. I'll stay in the race then." Her words made Bakugo regard her with suspicion. She refused to falter under his gaze. "But if and when I have more votes than you, you have to admit that I'm not weak." She declared, and she heard Hagakure and Uraraka gasp softly. Bakugo's gaze hardened as he turned away from her.

"Yeah, as if." He scoffed. Urayuli leaped out of her chair and stood next to her desk. She briefly contemplated if her next words were a smart choice or not. I'm probably going to pay for this, but I refuse to be called weak. I'm not weak anymore. I saved those kids during the entrance exam. Steeling her resolve, the words she was nervous to speak stumbled out confidently.

"Now who's scared?" She said with a crooked smile and crossed arms. Her classmates made an 'ooh' sound, and Urayuli forced the nervous laughter that was threatening to bubble from her lips down. Bakugo stood up so fast, his chair slammed against Midoriya's desk as he came face to face with her.

"What the hell did you say to me?" He said lowly, slightly puffing out his chest to seem intimidating. Bakugo was a good four inches taller than her, so she had to lift her head a little to look at him. Weird, I hadn't noticed he was that much taller than me. She was glad she had crossed her arms, her trembling hands would have alerted him she was, in fact, more nervous than she let on.

"If and when I have more votes than you, you have to admit I'm not weak." She repeated, forcing herself to maintain eye-contact despite her fast beating heart. "Unless you're scared?"

His angry gaze burned into her determined one, and she could hear his grinding teeth perfectly from this close. The class's keen eyes were trained on the pair, holding their breath in fear of an escalation. Bakugo clicked his tongue aggressively.

"I ain't scared! You're on!" He yelled in her face. "And when I have more votes than you, you have to admit you're weak and that I'm the strongest ever!"

"Alright, let's shake on it." She said at normal volume and held out her hand for him to take. Almost mimicking the time when she met Shinsou a couple of days ago, Bakugo seemed to glare at her hand as if she had requested he take gum off the sidewalk. This time she did not wipe her hand on her skirt, but thrust her hand closer to Bakugo, insisting he shake it. After what seemed like minutes he finally grabbed onto her hand and squeezed unnecessarily tight, making Urayuli suppress a wince. Ouch. And why is his hand so sweaty? She forced herself not to grimace at the wetness his hand distributed to hers.

"Good! Now that that's settled, let's get to voting!" Iida awkwardly and abruptly announced to the class. Urayuli had almost completely forgotten that she was surrounded by classmates, and felt her face heat up from embarrassment. She quietly sank onto her seat, opened her desk for a pen, and bent over her paper.

Who would I vote for? As tempting as it was, she wasn't going to be petty and vote for herself. She wanted someone worthy to actually become class rep. She peeked over at Bakugo's back. What if he does have more votes than me? She snorted and shook her head. Pfft, as if, dude is probably going to vote for himself, but no one would actually vote for him, would they? But the hand she held her pen in halted. Would they? She glanced over at the person who she actually preferred to become class rep. Fuck it. Doing her best to not make any kanji mistakes, she wrote the name with shaky strokes.

Iida Tenya

One might have been curious about her choice, but Urayuli felt it made sense. Although she thought Iida was often too serious and a little stiff, he was a stickler for rules. Every time he spoke, he spoke passionately and with authority. That might be necessary for a class like this one, this rambunctious bunch. She nodded to herself, satisfied with her choice.


 The votes had been collected and the words 'Election Results' were written neatly on the chalkboard. Next to each of their names, Iida was slowly tallying the votes, but instead of having vertical lines as was the norm for her, he began with a horizontal strokes for every single vote. It confused Urayuli, because she had never seen that done before. She leaned over to Tokoyami.

"What is that supposed to be?" She whispered to him. He regarded her silently for a second before answering.

"That's the word 'tadashi' in kanji, but in this way it's pronounced 'sei'. It's used for counting in groups of five." He explained quietly.

"Oh, that makes sense. Thanks, Tokoyami-san." She whispered back before straightening in her seat. After the votes were completely tallied, the class silently read the results. Midoriya had three votes, and both Yaoyorozu and Urayuli had two votes. Come again?! How many votes?!

"I have three votes?!" Midoriya screeched in shock. Bakugo slammed his hands on the table as he bolted up.

"Why Deku?! Who voted for him?!" He demanded to know. "And who voted for the fuzzball?!"

"Well, did you honestly think anyone was gonna vote for you?" Sero said with an uneasy smile.

"Shut up, weird-face!" Bakugo yelled at Sero, before turning around to face Urayuli. "How in the hell did you get two votes?! You must have cheated or something!"

"There are twenty ballots, how could I have cheated?" Urayuli bristled. "I didn't even vote for myself!"

"Then who did you vote for?! Was it Deku?!" He snarled while glaring at said green-haired boy.

"I don't think that's any of your business." Urayuli said curtly.

On the other side of the room, Iida was shaking, frustrated that he had lost the election. But more than frustrated, he was curious as to who had voted for him.

"Someone voted for me? I had not anticipated that. Still... to only have one vote... This is the harsh reality of this sacred office...!" He said to himself.

"So you voted for someone else?" Yaoyorozu asked exasperatedly.

"You're the one who proposed an election. What exactly do you want, Iida?" Sato asked, not really wanting an answer.

There was some rustling in the front of the class, and Aizawa-sensei stood up, still encased in his sleeping bag.

"Alright, since both Yaraqpik and Yaoyorozu have two votes, decide among yourselves who becomes vice-president." He said. Urayuli leaned back in her chair and put her hands up in front of her body.

"Oh, not me, Yaoyorozu-san should be vice-president." She said.

"Eh? Yaraqpik-san, are you sure?" Yaoyorozu asked bewildered. "You have as much right to be vice-president as I do."

"I didn't even want compete in the first place. And besides, you're the best choice anyway." Urayuli explained.

"I... Thank you." Yaoyorozu said, still surprised Urayuli was so willing to give her the position. The dark-haired girl stood up to stand in front of the class, and on her way nudged Midoriya to come join her. Midoriya stood up on shaky legs and trembled as he walked to the chalkboard.

"Then, the class rep is Midoriya, and the vice-president will be Yaoyorozu." Aizawa-sensei concluded. Midoriya stood in front of the class like a deer in the headlights, with wobbly legs like a newborn giraffe.

"S-S-Seriously? Seriously?" He stammered, sweat collecting on his forehead. Yaoyorozu watched him with raised brow before turning her head in slight disappointment.

"How vexing..." She commented.

The rest of the class, however, was not at all against the outcome of the elections. While Urayuli still stood by her decision of voting for Iida, she thought that Midoriya was a good second choice. He should probably get his act together and stop trembling so much, though. He wanted to do it as well. Her others classmates seemed to agree with the outcome.

"That might not be too bad." Asui said.

"After all's said and done, Midoriya can be pretty fired up, anyway." Kirishima agreed. That's not sound criteria, Kirishima, Urayuli thought with a slight grimace.

"And Yaoyorozu was cool when we were going over the battle results." Kaminari said. Urayuli felt herself nod in agreement. She had a good brain for analysis, that's for sure.


 Lunchtime rolled around, and Urayuli still hadn't gotten Bakugo to admit she wasn't weak. To her, they shook on it, so he had to do it. That's how it worked. With her lunchbox clutched in her hands, she made her way to the cafeteria. When she didn't see him there, she found a seat where she could have her back against the wall and with a perfect view of the entrance. That way she could see everyone come in. Kirishima, Sero and Ashido made their way to her table, warm lunches on their trays.

"So this is where you are! What do you have for lunch?" Ashido asked with an easy smile. Urayuli felt herself smile back at her.

"A breakfast burrito my grandpa made, what about you?" She asked opening her lunchbox.

"I got some tempura! Wanna share?" Ashido asked holding out her plate. "I've never had a breakfast burrito before, is it like the burritos at 7-Eleven?"

"Hell no, my grandpa makes the best food ever." Urayuli countered as she ripped off a piece of her burrito and put it on Ashido's plate, and the pink-haired girl's eyes lit up. "Here you go."

"Thank you so much!" She exclaimed while putting some pieces of tempura in Urayuli's lunchbox. "Hey, I want to apologize about last night. I didn't mean to sound so pushy, and I should've just dropped it."

Urayuli blinked at her. She was surprised Ashido apologized to her so easily and readily. No one actually owned up to it if they ever wronged her, with the exception of Max, Cole, and Kvichak. Especially her peers never bothered to ever apologized to her. So to hear Ashido do it, when they've only known each other for a couple of days, caused her heart to flutter.

"Apology accepted." Urayuli muttered before putting a piece of tempura in her mouth.

"I don't know what's happening here, but good for you, guys!" Kirishima said with a grin. "Is your burrito cold, Yaraqpik?"

"Don't start with me, Kirishima, it's a conscious choice." Urayuli glowered in jest.

"Wait, you're eating your lunch cold? But you can just-" Sero started before getting interrupted.

"Let Lunch Rush heat it up, I know already! I like it cold!" Urayuli snapped at him with a smile, to let him know she wasn't truly angry with him. The three of them laughed at their classmate. "What do you guys think, is Midoriya a good choice for class rep?"

"He looked a little nervous, though, don't you think?" Ashido pondered as she put the ripped off piece of burrito in her mouth. "Wow, 'is is 'eally 'ood!"

"Don't talk and chew at the same time." Urayuli snorted. "Who did you want to win?" Ashido swallowed her food away.

"Me, of course! I've never been class rep!" She exclaimed. "Who did you vote for, Yaraqpik-san?"

"Yeah, I've been wondering myself, because you said you didn't vote for yourself." Kirishima added.

"I voted for Iida. Seemed the most logical choice." Urayuli admitted, taking a bite out of her burrito.

"Oh, so that's where his one vote came from." Sero grinned as he slurped up some noodles.

"I'm kinda bummed you didn't go for the position of vice-president, Yaraqpik." Kirishima said.

"Why, did you vote for me?" Urayuli asked with a small grin. Kirishima nodded and she almost dropped her burrito in her lap.

"Yeah, you're the only person I really wanted as class rep anyway." He said. Urayuli raised an eyebrow.

"You didn't vote for yourself? What about you, Sero?"

"I also voted for you." Sero admitted, his grin getting larger. Urayuli gaped at him.

"What?! Why?!"

"Honestly, I just wanted to see Bakugo lose. It was worth it." He said with a shrug. "Speaking of which, has he held up to his end of the deal?"

To say Urayuli was surprised at Sero's words would be an understatement. Nevertheless, she started laughing, it was just that funny to her. Actively helping me by sabotaging him, just because he wanted Bakugo to lose?

"Oh my god, you goof, are you for real?" Urayuli said through her giggles. Sero responded by just grinning widely. "I haven't actually had the opportunity to talk to him yet. I don't want him to think I'm rubbing it in, you know?"

"I mean, why don't you? You shook on it, right?" Ashido pinched her tempura shrimp in half and put one of the halves in her mouth. " 'eems to me 'e 'as to do I', 'ight?"

"What did I just say about talking and chewing?" Urayuli said, putting a hand in front of her eyes to shield herself from the dancing mush of food in Ashido's mouth. The pink-haired girl stuck her tongue out at her. Urayuli looked away in playful disgust, when she noticed Bakugo had finally decided to show up. He already had a tray of food in his hands, and sat down at a table not too far from the four of them. His back was turned to them, which meant he probably hadn't noticed his classmates sitting so close. Nodding to herself, Urayuli stood up.

"Well, time to reap the fruits of my labor. Wish me luck." Urayuli announced to them.

"Don't die." Sero said with a tense smile. "Don't let him...'blow up' in your face."

"Oi, be careful, okay?" Kirishima said before she left. "Don't let it get to you when he starts being difficult again."

Man, Elpetquik residents would never. Every day Urayuli was reminded of how horrible her old classmates from back home were. And while Bakugo reminded her so much of Philip, one of her biggest offenders, the other students at U.A. were genuinely nice and forthcoming with her. It's now or never. She started to walk towards the blond, before walking back to her lunch-table and grabbing her lunchbox. Kirishima, Sero, and Ashido watched her curiously, but she never answered the obvious question they were asking. 'What are you doing?'

Her heartbeat was loud in her throat, and she could feel her nerves sinking into her shoes, but she refused to back down. All the different smells in the cafeteria made it difficult to smell what he was eating, but it became easier with each step closer to him. I mostly smell hot-sauce, though. She crinkled her nose at the sharp odor. Without warning, she sat herself down opposite from him at the table.

"Smells good, whatcha eating?" She said nonchalantly, opening her lunchbox and focusing on her half-eaten burrito. The boy in front of her stayed silent for a moment.

"What are you doing here." He glowered at her as he put his chopsticks down. Urayuli lifted her gaze to look at him in mock-surprise.

"I'm just eating lunch." She said, trying her hardest to remain overly casual. "Man, there are a lot of people here."

"What do you want." He said in a clipped tone. It was obvious he was not in the mood to talk to her, but Urayuli was determined to get him to eat his words.

"Why do you think I want something?" Urayuli asked with a dumbfounded look on her face. I should get an Oscar for this. "Oh, now I remember! You were just about to say that I'm not weak. As per our agreement."

She sat back in her seat, with a hint of a triumphant smirk on her face. Bakugo simply glared at her before focusing his attention back to his food.

"Keep dreaming, I don't have to do shit." He grumbled. Urayuli let out a sigh and rubbed her forehead with her fingers.

"Come on, man. We shook on it, it's time to uphold your end of the deal." Urayuli reasoned, or tried to. Bakugo's glare seemed to deepen and his hands clenched into fists.

"How about you actually prove you're not a fucking weakling, huh?" He snarled at her. Urayuli's patience was running thin, and she slammed her hands flat on the table.

"Why the fuck do you think I'm at this school for, huh? You think I'm just here for shits and giggles? I might not have literal explosions coming from my hands, but I have as much right to be here as you do." Urayuli had to really force her voice not to sound like she was about to cry. Suddenly, she remembered something her grandfather had said to her. Don't worry about living up to someone else's expectations. Live up to your own. Max was right, of course. She shouldn't have been so focused on what people thought of her, like she had with her peers in Alaska. Come to think of it, her dad had said basically the same thing when she was growing up. She had just been too bullheaded to listen to him at the time. And while it was difficult to take Kvichak's words to heart, the way Max had said them made her feel at least confident enough to bite back this time.

"You know what, I just realized. I don't have to prove jack. Especially not to you." Urayuli wanted to say more until a shrill bell rang through the cafeteria. "What the-?"

"There has been a Level 3 security breach. All students please evacuate outdoors promptly. I repeat-"

"The fuck does that mean?" Bakugo asked, looking around the cafeteria. Several if not all students were headed towards the exit, pale in the face. Most of them had left their still steaming food on the table, some were hungry enough to shove their food into their mouths before they bolted.

"I don't know, but I'm not staying here to find out. Let's bounce." Urayuli said as the two of them stood up. Thankfully, Bakugo didn't object to that, and the two of them speed walked to the exit, their lunches forgotten. The frantic footsteps of the students that hurried behind them caused them to walk faster, and soon they were surrounded by the entire student body. The flurry of students had been bottle-necked by the door-frame of the exit and in their panic started pushing each other to get out of the building as fast as possible. This only made getting outside even harder, ironically enough, as you usually can't get out of a doorway with ten people at a time.

"Oi, get the fuck off me!" Bakugo hissed in her face as they were pressed together quite harshly, her side pressed tightly into his chest. Urayuli made to respond, were it not for the random elbow shoved in her side and heavy feet stomping her toes. Bakugo's head got roughly shoved aside by one of the taller students.

"Would if I could, kind of indisposed at the moment!" Urayuli ground out as she tried to push another student back with arms that could barely stretch out due to the density of all the students together. Bakugo started pushing her away from his body, until she got pushed back with the same intensity, rendering his efforts ineffective.

"Can't you turn into a bird or something!?" Bakugo complained while getting progressively more annoyed, his palms crackling involuntarily as he was on the brink of losing his mind.

"You don't think I thought of that, smartass?" Urayuli groaned as she pushed an elbow out of her face. She had considered using her Quirk for a moment, but then realized the cons severely outweighed the pros. "I don't exactly have enough room to spread my wings!"

"Anything else?! Would be real fuckin' useful right about now!" The blond demanded as he got an unintentional kick to the back. Someone behind Urayuli slammed into her, pressing her closer Bakugo once more. She managed in a pinch to keep him an arms length away.

"I'd love to, but there are a few problems with that!" She grunted loudly when a rogue elbow embedded itself into her stomach. "Can't get smaller, I'd get trampled. Bison's too big, I could hurt someone!"

"Who cares, anything to get out of this shit!" He yelled in her face, forehead vein close to popping.

"In case you forgot," A stray hand smacked her in the face, "I lose my clothes when I shift, getting naked isn't exactly on my school schedule!" She saw a look flash on his face, as if he was up to something. "Don't even think about it! You're too close to other people, you could burn them!"

"I don't fuckin' care, I want out!" He screeched. Urayuli, face flushed from the heat of all the bodies pressing against her and her efforts to not get crushed by the other students, reached out and seized him by the collar of his shirt in a clenched fist.

"You as much as let those hands sizzle, and I'll turn into a bear and fucking EAT THEM!" She screamed in his face, trying not to laugh as his face morphed into what Urayuli would call 'startled disgust'. Soon after his jaw clenched as he seemed to think it over. She felt hope blossom in her heart, hoping to have finally gotten through to him. Without the two of them noticing, a small gap had opened in front of them, and a boy with frenzy in his eyes behind them roughly pushed Urayuli out of the way, almost knocking her over were it not for Bakugo's hand grabbing onto hers to steady her. He turned to the boy in question and aggressively pushed him, causing him to collide with the students in front of him, toppling him over.

"Watch it, you fucking asshole!" He snarled at the frightened student who frantically scrambled up from the ground, desperate to get away from the threatening blond. Urayuli tried not to think of the meaning behind his altruism as she tried to keep herself standing in the almost churning wave of students. The sound of an engine roaring cut her out of her thoughts as she saw Iida zipping through the air, landing right on top of the exit sign above the door-frame, in the same position as the little man on emergency exit signs.

"Everyone, everything's fine!" Iida's voice boomed through the hallway, silencing all the panicked students in an instant. "It is just the media! There is nothing to panic about. Everything's fine! This is U.A.! Let us act in a way befitting the best of the best."

Wait, it was those stupid reporters that triggered the alarm? Urayuli could feel her left eye twitch in irritation. Where she was annoyed at this, most of the other students sighed in relief, knowing there was no actual danger. Some still stared at Iida in awe, some with unease in their eyes, but at least all of them were safe. Urayuli gazed at the usually bespectacled boy, when did he lose his glasses, and nodded to herself, satisfied she had made the right decision to vote for him during the election from that morning. Even if it hadn't amounted to anything.

The weird sounding police sirens in the distance filled Urayuli with some sort of smug glee, knowing the reporters would be escorted away from the school. Won't be seeing them again for a while. A sudden thought came to her head, and she facepalmed. Ah, shit. I forgot my lunch-box. She turned to walk back to the cafeteria before Bakugo called out to her.

"Oi, what do you think you're doing, we're supposed to go back to class." He grumbled, shoving his hands in his pockets. Urayuli turned and regarded him silently for a moment before answering.

"I left my burrito in the cafeteria." She said. Her admission seemed to stun him, as he stared at her with a blank face, unsure whether she was joking or not. "It's a really good burrito, okay?" She turned back around and left him glaring at her back. Urayuli wondered why he had helped her when the unknown boy had pushed her. Maybe he got annoyed that our yelling-match got interrupted? That doesn't really make sense, though. During her short walk to the cafeteria she thought hard about what his motivations could have been, but came up empty. Could just be a Bakugo thing, who knows, she thought with a shrug. Regardless, she wasn't at all hungry anymore.

Urayuli spotted the table her and Bakugo had been seated, but her lunch-box was nowhere to be found. Huh? I left it right here! She checked under the table, but no dice. Could it have been taken by someone who thought it was theirs? Or maybe someone is trying to mess with me, she thought wryly. She looked around the cafeteria, a few students had come back to look for some belongings as well. One girl was moping about a shoe that got lost in the mayhem. A second-year was looking for the thermos he had borrowed from his father, and if he didn't find it he was going to get it. Some tables and chairs had been knocked over during the panic. Urayuli let out a dissatisfied sigh.

"Where the hell could it be? Can't have gotten that far." She mumbled to herself as she got on all fours to check underneath a group of tables. "You'd think a bright pink lunch-box with Hello Kitty's giant fucking face on it would be easy to spot." She crawled all the way to the end until a set of legs stopped her in her tracks. Seeing the face of the person they belonged to wasn't possible from her position, sadly enough.

"What are you doing down there?" For some reason, the voice had startled her enough for her to jump, hitting her head on the underside of the table. She groaned from the instant throbbing pain and touched the top of her scalp with both hands to soothe it. At first she glared at the legs of the offender, until they bend their knees to get on her level, and her animosity turned into surprise when she saw a pair of tired purple eyes.

"Shinso?" Urayuli asked curiously. His eyes perked up a little in surprise when she said his name, but she didn't dwell on it. I probably pronounced it incorrectly. She crawled out from under the table and dusted off her skirt.

"That's me." Shinso said as he scratched behind his ear. "What's up, foreign girl?"

"I'm just looking for my lunch-box, it still had my breakfast burrito in it. Have you seen it?" She sighed as she rubbed her face, fatigued by her search. Shinso titled his head in curiosity, which helped Urayuli read him a little better, otherwise she wouldn't have considered how he actually felt by the mostly blank stare.

"That depends, what does it look like?" He asked. Now it was Urayuli's turn to scratch behind her head, a little embarrassed at her choice of lunch-box in the first place. No one in her class had said or asked about it, so she didn't have to justify it. But explaining to someone what her it looked like was a bit different.

"It, uh, it's pink." Urayuli stuttered slightly, looking away from Shinso's unblinking stare. "And, uh, it has Hello Kitty on it." She tried not to grimace as Shinso snorted softly.

"I've seen it." He confessed. Urayuli's eyebrows shot up in astonishment and she gaped at him.

"You have?"

It was then that she noticed he had one hand behind his back the entire time, and Shinso saw her staring at his hidden arm. Both of their eyes traveled to the other's face where their gaze rested. Slowly, Urayuli raised her arm to hold it out to him, palm facing up and made a quick 'give it here' movement with her fingers. The purple-haired boy gave her a small grin before revealing his arm, bright pink lunch-box clutched in his hand.

"May I ask why you have it?" Urayuli asked.

"You may." Shinso said, but stayed silent, looking at her pointedly with a mischievous smirk. Urayuli narrowed her eyes and gave him a deadpan stare.

"Why do you have it?"

"Well, to tell you the truth..." He trailed off, inspecting the lunch-box in his hand more thoroughly. "I just really like cats, fictional or otherwise." Urayuli snorted at that, feeling a whole lot less embarrassed now.

"I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks that." Urayuli said, taking her lunch-box from Shinso's outstretched hand. "Thanks. Did you get out of the hallway vortex okay?"

"I was actually on my way here when the shit hit the fan, I never actually got to eat anything yet." He explained, holding his stomach as it grumbled. "Besides, I hung back and waited a bit to avoid getting sucked in." That didn't sit well with Urayuli, however. If there was actually something going on, wouldn't he be in danger as well? Why would he want that?

"But what if there was, like, a super scary villain instead, would you not want to run to safety?" Shinso didn't answer her, but his stare deepened slightly.

Oh.

Urayuli was in strange territory. While she couldn't really call Shinso a friend, she wanted to... what? Help him? It's not like she could help him at all, but being there for him could work. Not having had any friends growing up meant this was all foreign to her, however, so she had no idea what to do next. Absentmindedly she jiggled her lunch-box up and down as a nervous tick, and felt the weight of the rest of her uneaten burrito inside. Clicking it open, she held out it out to Shinso, who looked at it quizzically and then back at her.

"I never got to finish it, and that whole affair in the hallway made me lose my appetite." She explained, not entirely lying but not being truthful about why she lost her appetite to begin with. To her, it didn't matter what caused her stomach to feel weird in the moment. What mattered was that Shinso felt better. "My grandfather made it, and he'll complain that I'm wasting food if I don't eat it. Take it. It's really good."

He stared at the offered lunch-box for a moment before looking back up at her face, indigo eyes searching for something. Urayuli realized then his eyes and hair were a more indigo color. Just purple didn't really do them justice. She wondered for a moment if he maybe had a food allergy and if that was the reason he didn't take her food.

"Ah, there's egg, potato, and bacon in it, I'm not sure if you're allergic to anything..." Urayuli trailed off, suddenly unsure about what she was trying to do. She gave Shinso a shaky smile and moved her arm closer to her body again, until Shinso reached over and plucked the burrito from the container. He didn't look at her as he quickly chewed it, but he exhaled heavily from his nose and closed his eyes. Yeah, I know, bud. Papa Max knows food.


 "Come on, class rep. Start." Yaoyorozu gently tried to convince Midoriya as they stood in front of the class. The boy's flustered face made Urayuli chuckle behind her hand, amused at the serious brows combined with the rosy cheeks. I don't think I've ever met anyone who gets as nervous as he does. Urayuli stopped her train of thought. Oh wait, I do. Me.

"N-now, let us decide on the other class officers..." He managed to stutter out before looking at his feet. "But first, can I say something?" Yaoyorozu, who at first had her back straight and her face devoid of emotion, stared open-mouthed at Midoriya in confusion.

"I think... that Iida Tenya should be the class rep after all!" He exclaimed, the words pulling a soft gasp from the bespectacled boy in question. Urayuli felt herself nod in agreement. "He was able to get everyone's attention in such a cool way. I think it would be best for Iida to do it."

"I'm good with that, too." Kaminari said, looking at Iida.

"Midoriya's saying it, and it's true Iida was a big help at the cafeteria today." Kirishima agreed.

"Yeah, and he kind of looked like the person on the emergency exit signs, didn't he?" Kaminari added excitedly.

"You're wasting time." Aizawa-sensei's sour face put Midoriya on edge. "I don't care what you do, just hurry up and do it."

Urayuli felt tempted to add something to the conversation, but decided against it. She could be upfront and just tell everyone she voted for Iida, but what would that add, truthfully? Everyone seemed to agree with it anyhow, it seemed redundant. Iida, who had been listening to his classmates, stood up with his eyes closed.

"If the class rep has nominated me, then it cannot be helped." He spoke full of conviction and raised his arm in the air. "From this day forth, I, Iida Tenya, promise to do my best to carry out the duties of class representative."

"We're counting on you, Emergency Exit!" Kirishima gave the dark-haired boy a thumbs-up and a grin.

The rest of the classes that day were pretty uneventful, and Urayuli was beat by the end of it. She couldn't wait to get home, and didn't stick around the classroom for chitchat. The train platform was a little crowded when she arrived, and immediately remembered the suffocating feeling of bodies pressed against her. A violent shudder went through her, not especially keen on reliving that so soon. Regardless, she stood in line for the doors, obediently waiting behind an old lady with a cane. I'd love to sit, but I also love to not be angrily stared at for not letting the elderly sit.

Luckily for Urayuli, there were enough seats for both her and the old lady in front of her, and her feet were thankful for it. The person she sat down next to, a random middle-aged man, quickly got up and moved somewhere else as she sat down. She shrugged to herself, knowing it wasn't personal. Probably just doesn't like foreigners. Who cares. Urayuli did, a little bit, but she felt there was no point in dwelling about it. Another person sat down in the spot the man had vacated, and she noticed familiar dark green pants in her peripheral. Turning her head, she also saw familiar spiky blond hair.

"Dammit, do we always take the same train or something? This is the third day in a row." Bakugo sneered at her before promptly looking the other way somewhat petulantly. Urayuli huffed out a mirthless laugh.

"Seems so." She said softly, not wanting to speak too loud for the other passengers.

"Well, take the later one." He grumbled, grinding his teeth together. She hummed to herself.

"You take the earlier one."

"How can I when class doesn't end fast enough? What sense does that make?!" His voice was getting louder with each word, and Urayuli's ears rang painfully.

"As much sense as demanding I take the later train. Die mad about it." She stopped herself from hissing at him despite her patience running thin. She didn't want to argue with Bakugo right now, she was too mentally drained for it. Needing an excuse to avoid him, she fished her phone out of her bag, idly opening random apps just to keep busy. A text made her phone buzz.

Max [4:50]

Don't forget, we have a guest over later. Hope you're not too tired.

She exhaled through her nose in quiet laughter, even though the text wasn't funny at all. Urayuli just knew Max didn't ask about her fatigue because he was concerned about it, but because he wouldn't even take that as an excuse to sit out on training. I thought old men were supposed to be tired all the time.

Bakugo was being oddly quiet next to her and she glanced over to him. He sat back into the seat, arms crossed and legs wide, unnecessarily so. Urayuli wondered if it was because he kept his pants sagging so low that he needed to sit like that. He caught on to her staring and glared back at her, daring her to say something. Urayuli decided she needed to humanize him for herself. There were too many moments where he had become somewhat of a mirror image to Phillip, but today had been different. He had helped her when he had no reason to, or at least none Urayuli could find. She felt she needed more proof they were different.

"What's your favorite color?" She asked without breaking eye-contact. The question seemed to have caught him off guard as he blinked at her for a moment. The way he was going to answer would be detrimental to her, and how the rest of her time at U.A. would be. While Urayuli knew that sounded a bit over-dramatic, she needed piece of mind.

"Hah? What kind of stupid question is that?" He asked abrasively. Urayuli tsk'ed and looked away from him, what little hope she had slowly getting extinguished with every passing second. I wasn't expecting anything, and I'm still disappointed. Should have known, she thought bitterly.

"...black and orange." He ground out, looking the other way. His words made her head snap back to him so fast she felt a muscle pull in her neck. The corners of her mouth quirked in an involuntarily smile and the hope in her soul returned. The fact that he answered her question had satisfied her, so much so that she was confused as to why it had. She looked away from him again.

"Mine are blue and red." She muttered loud enough for him to hear. He glanced at her from his peripherals, but didn't say anything else. The rest of the train ride was silent between them. It didn't matter much to Urayuli, she had gotten the information she needed and she had gotten this victory.

The two of them walked side by side in silence on the road to their respective houses. Bakugo absentmindedly kicked a rock the entire way to her house, and Urayuli busied herself with a game on her phone. When they arrived at the gate of her home, Bakugo kept walking.

"See you at school tomorrow." Urayuli said before entering her front-yard and closing the gate, leaving him alone with his thoughts. He didn't respond.

Today was good.

When she entered her house, she noticed a pair of shoes she did not recognize, colorful knee-high boots with tiny animal heads printed on the Velcro straps, haphazardly kicked off. Urayuli frowned, is grandpa's guest a little messy? It was then that she noticed how quiet the house was, oddly quiet for having people over. Where was Max? And why did Urayuli have the vague feeling of being watched. She sniffed the air. Her grandpa was inside, the smell of wood-smoke and freshly cut pine present in the house. There was another smell, of lavender and oak, one she recognized as much as the boots in the genkan.

She took a few steps further into the hallway, craning her head to look at the stairwell and finding nothing suspicious. With a frown she inched towards the door connecting the hallway and living room, reaching out to the door-handle tentatively. She pushed open the door, waiting a couple breaths for anything to happen. The house remained quiet and she felt herself relax a bit.

All of a sudden, a weight tackled her to the ground, causing her torso to whip back before slamming chin first onto the wooden floor. Urayuli screeched loudly in shock and pain, feeling a throbbing begin through her lower jaw. The weight on her back restrained her, hindering her from getting up. Anger and annoyance welled up in her as the weight shifted, pressing the air from her lungs.

"Grandpa!" Urayuli croaked. "What the FUCK!" She latched her nails on the wooden floorboards to scramble herself forward. "I know you're here! Help me out!"

"And you were doing so well, too." A silky voice with a slight foreign accent spoke before the weight lifted, causing Urayuli to gasp for air. Her grandfather's voice reached her ears after a few moments of silence.

"Did you have to tackle her like that?" Max grumbled as he walked over to Urayuli to grab onto her with one hand, hauling her from the floor. "You in pain, kituuqta?"

After getting her breathing to even out again, Urayuli looked at the person her grandfather had been speaking to. Pale, almost white blond hair in a pixie-cut and deep green eyes greeted her, high cheekbones almost not fitting the soft angles of her face, and some stray freckles peppered across her fair skin. She was taller than Urayuli by a foot, and she stood with her hands propped on her hips, making her appear even higher in stature. The woman was wearing a garish orange leotard with green accents around the wide neckline, showing off her ample cleavage and long legs. Her arms were completely covered by sleeves. The longer Urayuli stared at her, the wider the woman started to grin, her button nose crinkling, and the gap between her two front-teeth and her dimples became more visible.

"Anything you wanna say to me?" She asked with a smile in her eyes, tilting her head at Urayuli. She stared at the older woman for a few moments longer before turning back to her grandfather.

"Isn't she a little young for you, gramps?" She said narrowing her eyes at Max. The older man glowered at his granddaughter, disdain swimming in his eyes. He shifted his eyes to the woman in front of them, who had guffawed at Urayuli's question.

"Don't be stupid." The finality in his voice gave Urayuli pause, realizing she had read the situation completely wrong, and had angered her grandfather. She looked down at her toes in apologetic shame before glancing at the grinning woman. After a few moments she realized she vaguely recognized her. America did not have as many heroes as Japan, yet did have Top Hero Lists per state. Urayuli wracked her brain for a moment before it hit her.

"Wait. Aren't you that Pro Hero from New York? The number five hero of New York State... CopyCat?" Urayuli said with an unsure rise in her voice. "I think I've seen you on TV once." The woman smiled even wider, deepening her dimples.

"Clever girl! However, my real name is Calypso. Calypso Darnell. And what's your name, little lady?" She said, excitement sparkling in her green eyes. Her foreign accent seemed to bleed through more heavily with every word she spoke. Urayuli narrowed her eyes at her.

"Where are you from? Your accent doesn't sound like you're from New York." She asked, ignoring Calypso's question. A swift smack to the back of her head had her yelp softly in pain.

"You're being rude. Answer the question." Max grumbled at her. Calypso laughed softly, once again showing off her gap tooth.

"It's fine, Max. She's just curious." She placated, raising Urayuli's suspicion. Why are you speaking to him like you're friends? "I'm originally from Greece, my father is an American and he met my mother on holiday to Athens. We moved to the states when I was a toddler. I got the accent from her." She finished with a fond smile.

"Ahuh. Why are you here?" Urayuli asked, still ignoring her initial question, feeling strangely protective. Lady comes in here like she owns the place. Unbeknownst to the woman in front of her, she inconspicuously sniffed the air and almost flinched at the overwhelming smell of pine coming from her. Didn't she smell like lavender and oak before? Calypso grinned at the girl's question.

"Urayuli." Max barked. "Enough." Calypso waved a hand at the older man.

"I said, it's fine, you old crow." She good-naturedly scolded. Crow? Calypso fixed her gaze on Urayuli, a glint in her green stare. "We're not so different, you and I. Max invited me to give him a hand in teaching you about the ways of shapeshifters."

Urayuli turned to her grandfather with curiosity in her eyes. His face was resolute, telling her the woman Calypso was telling the truth.

"What does she have to teach that you can't?" She asked. "Things have been fine so far." And that was the truth to Urayuli, who had never had anyone teach her before Max came around.

"My way isn't the only way. It would be good for you to learn different perspectives and techniques." Max explained with a nod. "Calypso used to be a student of mine, so make her feel welcome."

Urayuli stared at her grandfather before turning her eyes to the woman in question. Calypso peered back at her with bated breath, anxious for what the young girl would say. Urayuli's mouth twisted into something mixed between a sneer and a pout.

"Fine, but I'm taking a shower first." She managed to mutter out before briskly walking out of the room, leaving her grandfather and the woman in her wake.


 Urayuli sat on the floor in the shower as the icy water cascaded over her body, leaving pebbled goosebumps on her skin. Her grandfather and that woman were downstairs, no doubt talking about her and her abrasive behavior. She knew damn well she was being rude, but who did this woman think she was? Coming into my house, like some kind of invader, smiling like she's an idiot. Calypso's unnerving green eyes had seared themselves into her retina. Why can't grandpa just teach me by himself, she thought, a little betrayed. Figures that the moment he gets the chance, he'll dump me with someone else.

She blinked away the hot tears that were threatening to fall. No. No thinking like that. Grandpa likes having me around. Why else would he bring me to live with him? Urayuli shook herself out of her thoughts and stood up to turn off the shower-head.

After getting dressed in a pair of sweats and an All Might t-shirt, she came back downstairs. Once in the living room, the piercing scent of pine assaulted her senses, together with the smell of marinated seafood and rice. Calypso was sitting in grandpa's recliner, watching Max with a weirdly soft gaze as he cooked dinner. Excuse me?! Urayuli audibly cleared her throat to catch the pale blond's attention.

"Oh, you're back! Did you have a nice shower?" Calypso asked with a warm smile. Urayuli regarded the older woman with an unsatisfied grimace, not trusting her intentions. Still, the gaze her grandfather threw her from his position in the kitchen compelled her to answer.

"...fine." She answered stiffly.

"Good!" Calypso stood up and put her hands on her hips. "Then it's time we get on with training, whaddaya think?" Urayuli studied the woman for a moment. She seemed excited at the prospect to begin teaching her, whereas Urayuli was not at all ready to start doing what this stranger wanted her to. Another glance at Max, who nodded at her resolutely. She sighed.

"Alright then. I'll go change." Urayuli relented. A rolling laugh came from the older woman.

"Oho, did old Max get some training gear commissioned for you?" Calypso turned to him. "Don't tell me you got her the same kind of old-fashioned jumpsuit you used to do your Hero work in?"

Hero work? Since when was grandpa a Pro Hero? Urayuli gaped at Max for a moment, shocked at hearing Calypso's words. He had never mentioned he had done Hero work. He had never mentioned anything about having students. What exactly do I know about grandpa? Not wanting to hear more secrets, she dashed out the room and accidentally slammed the door closed, her nerves on fire.


 "Okidoki!" Calypso exclaimed when Urayuli had joined her outside in the backyard. "I see I was right about the jumpsuit."

Urayuli nervously tugged at the sleeves of her suit, suddenly self-conscious about it. She looked at herself and then back at Calypso. You're one to talk with that stupid leotard, she thought angrily. Max had given it to her, and she had been so happy to receive it, too. She wasn't going to let this fucking gussak ruin her joy from that memory.

"First, I'd like to know what your current shifts are." Calypso asked. Urayuli squinted at her, and she seemed to know what the young girl was asking with her eyes. "It's so I know what I'm working with here." Urayuli sighed softly.

"Didn't grandpa tell you anything?" She muttered at the older woman. Calypso gave her a small smile.

"Yeah, but I wanted to hear it from you." Calypso confessed. Another sigh came from Urayuli's lips.

"Otter, bison, eagle, squirrel, fox, owl, dog, ptarmigan… and a spider." Urayuli droned out. Calypso nodded with a thoughtful look, holding her chin and rested her elbow in the palm of her other hand.

"It seems to me Max has been teaching you forms that are only native to Alaska, am I right?" She asked after a moment. Urayuli nodded. "Well, then it's time I teach you something entirely new."

"I can't." Urayuli said, almost interrupting Calypso when she spoke. The older woman blinked at her. "I watched Animal Planet as a kid and tried to shift into a lion I saw on TV. I couldn't do it."

Calypso smiled in a way Urayuli could only describe as conspiratorial. "That's because you didn't actually see it. In the flesh. I've discovered that in a lot of cases you have to actually have seen a creature in real life for shifters to turn into them." She explained. "When Max teaches you a shift, he turns into an animal as a demonstration, right?" Urayuli nodded, starting to understand. "We're going to do the same thing, except with animals more foreign to you. What would you like to begin with?"

Urayuli was quiet for a moment, deep in thought. Would it actually work? Max would turn into animals that she was at least a little familiar with and that worked (usually, she didn't want to think about the whole porcupine fiasco), but could the same be said about other animals? And what animal would be useful to me? She decided to go for something simple.

"Maybe a cat?" She asked. Calypso gave no indication she was surprised.

"What made you choose that?"

"Cats are small and good hunters. Besides, shifting into a cat sounds relatively easy." Urayuli reasoned. "I've never actually tried, because I have only ever been able to shift into Alaskan wildlife. There's not even a word for cat in Yupik."

"And what makes you think they would be easy to shift into?" Calypso asked, grinning inquisitively. Urayuli frowned.

"I don't know. They're small, and small things are usually easy to- I don't know." She abruptly ended her sentence and looked away, unnerved by Calypso's unrelenting stare.

Calypso's face broke into a smile and then a laugh, seemingly satisfied with Urayuli's response. "A cat it is, then." She crouched onto the grass. "Behold."

Urayuli watched closely as Calypso's entire body began to morph, face shrinking and changing its overall structure. Snow-white fur began to cover her body, and her hands turned into sharp nailed claws. The entire transformation felt... off, somehow. When her and Max would shift, a bright light would envelop them momentarily. This, however, felt almost weirdly grotesque, and kind of gross to look at. It was over within seconds, but to actually see someone's body contort and change like that... It made Urayuli very uneasy. It was so much unlike what she was used to seeing. Still, it would be mean to make a comment on it, so she held her tongue. When Calypso's cat form stared at her expectantly, Urayuli realized the woman was waiting for her.

Crouching down like Calypso had, Urayuli took a moment to collect her thoughts and closed her eyes. Okay, cat. Should I pick a specific breed or not? Cole had a black cat before his parents made him get rid of it... It took her a bit longer to feel herself shift, the form weirdly uncomfortable and alien. Her tailbone elongated in a similar fashion as it would when shifting into a dog, but it became more flexible. Urayuli thought the sensation was strange, but relatively okay nonetheless. When she opened her eyes again, Calypso was looking at her in her cat form, eyeing her with satisfied smugness. Urayuli gave her a 'mrow' that sounded and felt bizarre to her ears and throat respectively. Despite the odd feeling she experienced while transitioning, she got used to it really quickly.

"That wasn't so bad, now was it?" A voice rang out. Urayuli looked around the backyard in surprise, wondering where the voice came from. She gazed at Calypso as if to ask, Did you hear that too, before searching the backyard again. It was quiet for a second, and then the voice came once more.

"You pick this stuff up remarkably well." Urayuli's head snapped back to Calypso's feline eyes. The woman stared back just as hard, mirth dancing in those bright green peepers. Wait... Was that you? Cat-Calypso's face twisted into a strange grin.

"Have you realized yet?" Calypso's mouth moved the same way a human's would, and it took Urayuli by surprise. So much so that the sensation of her back arching up and her fur bristling didn't faze her, thanks to the almost natural animal-instincts that came with shapeshifting. Her ears went back and pressed themselves down on her head, a small growl coming from her throat. WHAT. THE FUCK.

"H-hey, it's okay! I'll turn back into me!" Cat-Calypso reassured before going through the same motions as before, except in reverse, which made Urayuli's stomach turn at the sight of it. When she was finished, she crouched in front of the frightened cat and held out her hand, not touching her. "It's okay, I'm me again. There's nothing to be afraid of."

Nothing to be afraid of, my ass! Urayuli backed away from the woman with her eyes trained on her, and shifted back as well. She continued to stare at Calypso with unease evident in her posture, hands close to her body, shoulders raised to her ears. Before Calypso could approach her again, Urayuli ran to the sliding doors, yanked them open, and hurried inside. She ignored her grandfather's shouts asking what was wrong and dashed up the stairs to her room, slamming the door shut.


 Max and Calypso sat at the dinner table, eating dinner in silence for the most part. Well, it was mostly him eating, and her staring at her food forlornly, the events from the backyard echoing through her mind. It was eerily quiet upstairs, a far cry from the stomping on the stairs from before.

"I think I scared her when I started talking." She confessed quietly. Max scoffed at her.

"Gee, ya think?"

Chapter Text

“Urayuli? Are you awake yet?” Max asked softly as he entered her room the following morning. He had decided to forgo the insufferable gong this time around, which Urayuli was grateful for. One of these days, I'll pitch that stupid thing out the window. She had stayed up most of the night, researching the Greek-American Pro Hero until the sky changed from the darkest of blue to a subdued gray.

Pro Hero CopyCat, aka Calypso Darnell, was quite a famous individual in New York City, and beloved by young and old. Whether it was petty theft or kidnapping, she didn't turn up her nose for anything, helping whoever she could. Online newspaper articles showed a smiling Calypso posing with some young children, holding their hands in a way that made them look like claws and ferociously baring their teeth. Urayuli had watched with morbid curiosity as Calypso spoke in a video from a news segment, after shifting into a lioness.

I'm coming for them with my claws!” She had said with great confidence, and the crowd had cheered.

Urayuli wondered if people would ever cheer for her like that. I mean, I can't speak in my animal forms, which seems to be a recurring gimmick in her interviews. Still, she felt weirded out by the sight of it. For some reason, it just didn't feel... natural. It certainly didn't look natural. It wasn't the same as when Tokoyami spoke, which for some reason or another didn't bother her as much.

Max sat next to her on the edge of the bed, his weight making the bed dip deeply. Urayuli grabbed her pillow and put it on top of her head, not ready to deal with the day to come. “What time is it?” She asked, the words muffled by her pillow.

“It's 5:30 AM.” Urayuli groaned at Max's answer and the barest of sunlight peeking through on the horizon outside her window.

“Is there a reason why you're waking me up at the ass crack of dawn?”

“Calypso is downstairs and she wants to apologize for scaring you, but you should apologize as well for worrying her.”

“Excuse me?” Urayuli snarled, suddenly very much awake. “I have to apologize?” She wanted to say more, but Max held up his hand to silence her. Her jaw snapped shut with her teeth clicking together.

“I'm not saying you have to, I'm saying you should,” Max said as he put a large hand on her head. “She frightened you, and she feels bad about it, but that was no reason for you to run away like that. She means no harm.”

Urayuli didn't know what to think about it. Why was Max so defensive of this woman? What kind of relationship did these two have? Why did she know things Urayuli herself didn't even know about her grandfather? And why didn't he ever see the need to tell her about these things? Too many questions in her head caused it to throb slightly. Questions she wanted to ask so badly, but afraid of the answers, so she stayed quiet and started picking at the threads in her quilt.

“Calypso is making breakfast, so you might as well apologize when you get downstairs,” Max said before his gaze softened slightly, ruffling her hair. “I'm not mad or disappointed in you. Hell, it scared the shit out of me when I saw her do it for the first time.”

This caused Urayuli to snort slightly, an image of her grandfather leaping into the air in shock at the sight of Calypso speaking in her cat form lightening up her mood. She wiped a hand over her face to try and rid herself of her fatigue. With a nod, Urayuli stood up from the bed and cracked her back and shoulders. “Alright, let's go then.”

The smell of scrambled eggs and bacon tickled her nostrils as they went downstairs, and Urayuli inwardly celebrated she didn't have to eat that disgusting natto today. Entering the living room, she heard the sizzling bacon and the sounds of a spatula softly scraping a pan coming from the kitchen. As Urayuli drew near, she noticed the concentrated face of Calypso still had a smile on it, albeit a tight one. Instead of her Hero Costume, she was wearing a dark gray sweater with the sleeves rolled up, and tight-fitting jeans. She hadn't heard the two of them come in, seeing as she hadn't acknowledged their presence at all. Urayuli cleared her throat obnoxiously, making Calypso lift her head in alarm. When she saw Max and Urayuli, she put the heat of the stove on a low simmer and dropped her utensils on the counter.

“Hey, good morning! How did you sleep?” She asked the young girl with a tense smile. Urayuli didn't answer until Max nudged her with his elbow.

“Alright, and you?” She answered tersely. Calypso nodded at her answer.

“Not so bad,” Her smile dropped and she came closer to the young girl. “Listen, I want to apologize for last night. I often forget people aren't used to the whole talking thing, and I thought Max had told you about it. I'm sorry.” Her words were sincere, Urayuli could tell from the way her face was devoid of deception. She gave Max a sidelong glance, wondering why he didn't tell her about the speaking thing in the first place. Deciding not to dwell on it, she looked back at Calypso.

“Apology accepted,” She scratched her cheek, unsure of how to word her thoughts. “I'm sorry too. For reacting the way I did.” Her toes were suddenly very interesting to look at.

“No no, you shouldn't apologize!” Calypso said, waving her hands in front of her body. “You didn't know, how could you react any different?”

“I can think of a few ways,” Urayuli muttered under her breath. Relieved, Calypso put a hand on her chest and sighed. She motioned the two of them to sit at the table as she finished cooking. Max and Urayuli sat in their seats opposite of each other, and Max winked at her with their shared crooked smile. Calypso put down their plates in front of them before sitting next to Max, much to Urayuli's chagrin.

“So, how did it feel, turning into a cat for the first time?” Calypso asked her as they started eating. “Or rather, how did it feel to turn into an animal you usually don't?” Urayuli thought about it for a moment before answering.

“I guess it felt alright,” Urayuli answered after swallowing a mouthful of egg. “It wasn't as hard as I thought it was gonna be, although it took my body longer to actually start shifting. Probably because it just wasn't used to doing something like that.” Calypso nodded thoughtfully.

“I suppose something like that would happen. Your body is becoming acquainted with things unfamiliar to it. Think about the possibilities!” She added with a sparkle in her eyes. “Next thing you know, you'll be turning into an elephant or crocodile or-” An elated gasp left her. “A cheetah!”

She seems to like to go on tangents, Urayuli thought wryly as she bit into her bacon. She still wasn't entirely sure about this lady teaching her things, but she couldn't help but feel the slight flutter in her stomach at her obvious excitement.

“Since it's so early,” Max started suddenly, ripping Urayuli from her thoughts. “How's about it that I teach you a new form this morning? Something... stronger?” He said with a glint in his eyes as he rubbed a hand over his bearded jaw. Urayuli inclined her head to the side.

“Stronger?” She asked tentatively. Exactly how much stronger are we talking here? Max grinned at her before getting up to move his plate to the sink.

“Put on your gear and come to the backyard,” He said before turning to Calypso. “You should come watch as well.”

“Is this a teaching moment that extends to me as well, Obi-Wan?” Calypso joked, crossing her arms and leaning back in her chair. Again with the weird nicknames, huh?

“I suppose so. It's more so you can see how Urayuli and I do things,” He answered before narrowing his eyes at her. “Don't make any Star Wars references, Urayuli hasn't seen them yet.”

“Whaaat?!” Calypso exclaimed before turning to Urayuli. “How have you not seen them yet?! They're classics!” Urayuli shrugged.

“My dad wanted me to be a little older before I watched them all. He thought some of the scenes in them would scare me.” She explained, not thinking much of it. Kvichak always told her some scenes in the movies were kind of dark and didn't want to expose her to them until she was old enough for them, despite the movies being rated PG-13. Urayuli hadn't minded much, not seeing the point in watching them anyway.

“Man, if that ain't a clear example of bad parenting, then I don't know what is.” Calypso joked, but Urayuli felt a surge of anger well up inside her. She slammed her fist on the table as hard as she could, making the older woman jump in surprise and cut short her laughter. Max peered over from his spot at the counter, warning clear in his eyes directed at Calypso.

“You don't get to talk about my father. You don't even know him,” Urayuli sneered, hurt swimming in her cognac gaze. “He was all I had my whole life.” She added softly, and she heard the woman in front of her inhale sharply before two warm hands wrapped around her fist.

“I had no idea my dumb joke would upset you. My apologies,” Calypso said shamefully. “Sometimes I run my mouth and I hurt others in the process. I'm working on it. I hope you'll forgive me.”

Urayuli was surprised at the woman's easy apologies. It seems everybody around me keeps apologizing to me these days. She stared at their joined hands, reluctant to pull away from their warmth, but did so anyway. Shifting her gaze to Calypso, she gave the older woman a nod to let her know that she had heard her. At least she's aware of it, I suppose.

“Are we done here?” Max asked gruffly, removing the weird tension in the room and shaking the two of them out of their reverie. “I wanna teach you this new form before I turn to dust.”


After a few minutes of getting ready, grandfather and granddaughter stood in front of each other with their hands propped on their hips, decked out in their usual training gear. The sun was a bit higher over the horizon, giving the sky an orange glow. Calypso sat on the engawa in a lotus position, watching the two stare each other down, shifting her gaze from one to the other. Neither of them was wearing shoes or socks, and the two of them dug their toes into the dirt and dewdrop littered grass, feeling the earth underneath their feet. After a moment of staring, Urayuli averted her gaze to do a bit of stretching, and Max followed suit. Calypso watched the odd ritual play out, pursing her lips as if in deep thought. Well, old habits die hard, she thought with a twinge of nostalgia, struck by the familiarity of it.

“You have three guesses, which form do you think I'm teaching you today?” Max asked as he stretched out his shoulders. Urayuli looked up from her position near the ground as she stretched her hamstring.

“Alrighty,” She grunted. “A moose,” Max answered her by emulating a buzzer as if she was in a game show, causing the girl to pout and Calypso to snicker. “Okay then. A wolf.” Max made the same sound as he jogged in place.

“Maybe next time. Gotta try harder, grasshopper,” Max teased. Urayuli puffed out her cheeks in mock annoyance as she thought deeply and Max scoffed at her good-naturedly. “Yeah yeah, wax on, wax off, and all that jazz,” He added flippantly.

“A bear?” She asked with a grin that got wider when Max answered her by raising his arms in the air.

“Ding ding ding! We have a winner!” Max cheered before getting serious again. “Give me five laps around the house.”

Urayuli's victory was short-lived, and her face fell at his words. “But I got it right!” She countered. “That's totally unfair!”

“You have to get warm for this, now get,” Max told her with a grin. Urayuli groaned before setting off into a sprint. When she reached the other side of the house, she started sidestep running and gave the house the double middle fingers, as if the power of a double 'fuck-you' could reach Max through the walls. During her second lap, Calypso decided to join her.

“I always hated running laps by myself.” She explained with a smile. Urayuli mentally shrugged, uncaring about the woman's explanation. If she wants to run laps so bad, I won't stop her. The two of them continued their laps, the older woman not even breaking a sweat while Urayuli was breathing only a little heavier than normal. She was satisfied with how much her physical condition had improved since moving to Japan, and she was grateful for her grandfather's hand in it.

“Moving on,” Max said as Urayuli and Calypso returned to the backyard, the latter moving back to her spot on the engawa. “You have seen a bear at least a couple of times in Elpetquik, am I right?” Urayuli nodded. “Black bears or brown bears?”

“We've had quite a few stray brown bears come close to town every so often,” Urayuli explained, shuddering at a memory of seeing one in her yard from her bedroom window. It had been a large solitary male and he was attracted by the abundance of salmonberries that were growing on the brambles near her house. She had stayed quiet but she had called her father on the phone to warn him about it, so he could alarm the rest of the town.

“Good. Watch closely, and don't panic, okay?” Urayuli nodded at him and watched as the familiar bright light enveloped her grandfather's form. He grew larger, freakishly so, and Urayuli felt a tingle of fear go through her spine. When the light disappeared, only the terrifying sight of a ten-foot grizzly bear on his hind legs greeted her. The only thing keeping her from panicking was the mantra in her mind screaming at her that this was her grandfather, not a random bear in the suburbs of Japan. Max seemed to sense her unease and lowered himself on his front legs with a loud thud, and while it did little to make her feel less intimidated, she would take a bear on all fours over a bear on its hind legs any day.

Grizzled grizzly bear alright, Urayuli thought with a grimace as she studied her grandfather in this form. The white fur around his muzzle gave away his age, as it did with most of his animal shapes. His fur was slightly matted in some places, and there were a couple of bald patches from old scar tissue littered across his chest, back, and shoulders. Urayuli wondered whether Max had gotten those from doing Hero Work or from something else. I never actually noticed those before, but then again, I've never seen grandpa without his shirt on. An involuntary shudder of distaste went through her. Alright, that's weird, Yuli, old people without shirts are pretty gross.

Speaking of gross, something people don't generally tell you is the absolute foul smell that bears can have. While they usually don't smell as bad, oftentimes bears roll around in rotten meat, making them smell like death. The creature Urayuli had spotted in her yard all those years ago smelled like decaying flesh, and as this was before she had gotten any training from Max, one can imagine how strong the vile odor was that she could smell it from her bedroom. Max, however, didn't really smell any different than usual, the same pine and wood-smoke scent around him like a comforting cloud.

Urayuli closed her eyes for a moment, getting ready to shift. Grizzly bears come in a plethora of colors, but let's go for the usual here. She sensed Max turning back into himself from the glow of his transformation and heard him popping his joints. Urayuli went back to concentrating, envisioning the large paws and blunt, scary claws. Before long she felt the tell-tale bone popping and relocation, her face elongating slightly and her teeth growing larger and sharper. Her tailbone didn't need that much altering, bears don't have exceptionally large tails anyhow.

When she opened her eyes, she was shocked to see how well she could see colors, particularly the blue of Max's jumpsuit and Calypso's jeans, for which she had to turn her head to see. Another thing she noticed almost immediately was the almost instant assault on her nostrils. Everything smelled so... much. In particular, food from the garbage bags near their gate had caught her attention, her appetite coming back in full force despite having eaten breakfast already.

Max and Calypso watched in interest as the umber-colored juvenile bear in front of them trotted around the yard, sometimes standing on her hind legs to inspect the overhanging branches along the high fence. She was not as tall as Max had been in his bear form, or even in his human form, but six foot four was nothing to sneeze at, especially compared to Urayuli's usual short stature. Urayuli huffed heavily, experimenting with the gruff noises she made in this form. She bounced on her front legs playfully, as if she was rearing up to stand on her hind legs again, but coming back down with a soft thud, flattening the grass underneath her large paws.

“Well done, Urayuli, you can turn back now,” Max said with a grin, satisfied with his granddaughter's progress. Urayuli regarded him with a huff but did as he said, reluctantly shifting back into herself. The glint in her eyes was more prominent, elated by the feel of this new shape.

“That felt... incredible!” She exclaimed with a laugh as she launched herself in Max's arms, forcing a bark of laughter out of the older man as he swung her around. He let her down softly and ruffled her still uncombed hair.

“I had a feeling you would enjoy that. I'm sure you'll find a good use for it.” Max said as the two of them grinned at each other. Calypso appeared from behind the man and held out her fist for Urayuli to fist-bump, which the girl did, albeit a little tentatively while avoiding her gaze.

“That was amazing, Urayuli!” Calypso said, giddily shaking her arms in a downward motion and her green eyes sparkled with glee. “You looked so badass!”

“Thanks...” Urayuli trailed off, feeling somewhat self-conscious all of a sudden, and a little embarrassed. Urayuli never really knew what to do with praise, whether it was from her peers or adults, but that didn't stop her cold feelings about Calypso to slowly melt away from the warmth the woman's words filled her with. Emphasis on slow, Urayuli still didn't trust her one bit, still miffed by the amount of info on Max she was privy to, whereas Urayuli still knew next to nothing about the man. Why does that keep bugging me?

“You didn't look so bad yourself, you old crow,” Calypso said, her attention back to Max. Again with the crow? How is grandpa a crow? His stature obviously suggested otherwise, his body consisting of hard muscles and sinew, so wouldn't a bear be the more clear comparison? It was to Urayuli, so why did Calypso insist on calling him a crow?

“I'm going inside to make your lunch,” Max grunted, ignoring Calypso's comment, trudging back inside the house, leaving the two of them alone in the yard. Urayuli watched as he opened the sliding doors and made his way to the kitchen. She peered over to Calypso from the corner of her eyes, a tightness grabbing hold of her gut as she realized Calypso had also watched Max leave but with a fond smile, her bright greens set in a soft gaze. Stop looking at him like that.

“Why do you call him 'crow'?” Urayuli's voice cut through the silence, and Calypso jumped at the sudden question. When she looked at the younger girl, she saw the surly face Urayuli was making. “He doesn't look like a crow.”

Calypso raised a hand to hold her chin as if pondering it herself. “Well, because when he was younger he used to have pitch-black hair.” She answered, not bothering to look Urayuli in the eye. Liar. She couldn't explain it, call it intuition, but she had the feeling Calypso was lying to her. However, she saw no point in calling the woman out because of the lack of proof. I'll find out one day, sooner or later.


When Urayuli stepped on the train her phone started buzzing obnoxiously in the pocket of her school-jacket. She fished it out and saw an unknown number was texting her. Who the hell is texting me? And how did they get this number? The only numbers she had saved on her phone were her female classmates, Kvichak, Max, and Cole. Opening her messages with a slightly elevated heartbeat, a barrage of texts flooded in.

[unknown] 8:02 :

Hi Yaraqpik-san!

[unknown] 8:02 :

I can see you, look to your left! Do you also get in at this station?

[unknown] 8:07 :

you haven't seen the last text, I'm now to your right!

[unknown] 8:07 :

Uraraka-san gave me your phone number!

[unknown] 8:08 :

This is Midoriya Izuku, by the way!

Oh, thank god, she thought as her heart slowed down. As the texts instructed, she looked to her right and saw Midoriya walking over to her, maneuvering around other passengers to reach her. When their eyes locked, he waved at her with a small smile, which Urayuli felt herself return. She was surprised to see him, as she didn't know they took the same train to school, although she should have guessed if he and Bakugo grew up together.

“Good morning, Midoriya.” Urayuli greeted pleasantly, embarrassingly eager to talk to him. Even though Calypso wasn't going to be crashing at their place, having gotten the explanation she was renting an apartment in the neighborhood, her constant presence since yesterday was beginning to smother her. A change of scenery was what Urayuli needed at the moment, and Midoriya was a welcome addition.

“Good morning, Yaraqpik-san! Did you get my texts? Was I too forward?” Midoriya asked, fiddling with the straps of his mustard yellow backpack. Urayuli shook her head no.

“Getting texts from a phone number I don't recognize was kind of strange, but I'm glad it just turned out to be you and not some creep who had somehow gotten my number,” Urayuli said frankly, feeling her stomach drop slightly at the flustered face of Midoriya. Why do you keep doing that, Yuli? Stop making him uncomfortable, she berated herself.

“Ah, I'm sorry!” What is it with people apologizing to me today, it's starting to get old. “I should've said in the first text that it was me.” Urayuli held up a hand to dismiss his apology.

“It's fine, honestly. Did you sleep well?” She asked. Midoriya nodded, his curly hair bouncing with the movement.

“To be honest,” He started as his hands began fidgeting. “Lately I've been so excited for school, I have trouble sleeping because of it.” He confessed bashfully, his cheeks reddening slightly. Urayuli nodded in understanding.

“I totally get what you mean. My school back in Alaska sucked, but that also could be the fault of the people in said school.” Urayuli said, thinking back to her time in middle school with disdain. Not only were the students horrible, the teachers never did anything when Urayuli complained. It'd always been the same bullshit excuse; “This school has a zero-tolerance on bullying”, but whenever Phillip and the usual suspects came for her...

 

It had been during recess, and Urayuli was sitting on one of the benches outside, listening to music. The temperature had finally cooled down from the unusually hot summer that year, and Urayuli was glad she could finally sit outside again and not be afraid of being swarmed by mosquitoes. The melodious tones of electric guitars, deep bass, and rhythmic drums were filling her senses as she imagined all kinds of pretty fantasies in her mind. It had been a relatively quiet day, people had left her be, for the most part, only a few off-handed comments here and there. Until her headphones were roughly ripped from her ears, the cables snagging on them and painfully getting caught in strands of hair, the music had disappeared and her fantasies had been rudely interrupted.

Phillip, Amy, and Joshua stood in front of her, smirks on their faces and ill will evident in their eyes. Phillip had snatched her headphones from her head, twirling the old-fashioned equipment around his fingers as he leered at her. Urayuli frowned deeply, she had received those headphones on her thirteenth birthday from her father, who had found them in the box of old electronics he always kept around. The mp3-player in her pocket used to be his as well, filled with songs from various artists from his youth. Pursing her lips she stood up from the bench, dread coiling in her stomach but not willing to back down.

I'll have that back now.” She said with feigned aloofness and shaking voice, holding out her hand as if Phillip was going to just comply with her demands Phillip chuckled unpleasantly as his gray eyes squinted at her.

I'll have that back now!” He mocked in a poor representation of her voice, exaggerating her previous movements and facial expression. He tipped his head back slightly and sneered at her. “Geez, you're pathetic. I just wanted to know what you were listening to. That dreamy face of yours was pissing me off.” Urayuli felt her face pinch, unable to keep her neutral facade up and lowered her hand back to her side.

Then just ask next time.” She managed to say, trying hard to keep her breathing under control. Amy's annoying giggle made Urayuli shift her eyes to her warily. “What's so funny?”

Oh, it's nothing,” Amy said as she tried to get her giggles under control. “It's just so funny you think we'd ever talk to you willingly.” She finished with more giggles, and Urayuli narrowed her eyes at the weird logic.

Then what exactly are you doing now?” Urayuli asked with a raised brow. Amy stopped laughing for a moment, stared at Urayuli as if deep in thought when suddenly her face flushed a deep red.

Shut up!” She stomped her feet on the ground, and Urayuli swallowed despite her dry mouth.

Anyway,” Joshua interrupted all of a sudden, pushing Amy behind him. “Why do you have these crappy old headphones anyway? Too poor to buy the latest ones, so you dumpster-dive instead?”

I'd have to go to Anchorage for that, wanna explain how I could get there without paying for a plane ticket?” Urayuli asked without letting her brain catch up with her mouth. She mentally kicked herself at being facetious, Urayuli didn't want to make things worse for her but the implication of her being poor irked her. Her father, ever the hard worker, made good money for the two of them, he was just a sucker for nostalgia.

You'd figure something out, doing some of that freaky shit you can do.” Phillip sneered, curling his lip. Urayuli looked down at her shoes, contemplating making a run for it but she wanted her headphones back. She held out her arm again, hand trembling, hoping Phillip would just let her be this one time. Instead, he slapped her hand away and dropped the headphones on the ground, lifted his leg and crushed them under his boot. Urayuli gasped at the sight as her stomach turned to ice and her legs to stone. Phillip smirked at her but turned his head away from her, searching for something. Amy and Joshua did the same until their gaze settled on one spot, forcing Urayuli to follow their eyes. Their teacher, Miss Morris, had glanced their way but averted her eyes when Urayuli tried to lock eyes with her, anything to make the teacher interfere. When she realized no one would help her, her shoulders sagged in defeat.

Alright, let's get her,” Phillip said to his friends and a hand fisted itself in her hair, pulling it harshly. Urayuli's hands flew to the fist in her hair with a yelp before someone slapped her cheek that stung her skin. The slap had stunned her-- she had never been hit before. Pushed, sure-- hair pulling as well, but a slap to her face? Urayuli stared in stunned silence at Phillip, who stared back with wide eyes before he narrowed them and reared his hand back for another hit. Unable to move away because of the hand holding her head in place, the same cheek was struck with his palm and Urayuli felt tears gather in her eyes from the pain. The hand in her hair pulled her to the side roughly and unexpectedly, causing her to fall on her knees hard as she lost her balance trying to correct herself. Urayuli winced at the icy, stinging pain of her knees digging into the stone tiles.

Can you believe it?” Phillip said to his friends with a flourish of his arm toward Urayuli. “Just because someone is born with a Quirk, doesn't mean they're better in any way. You hear that, freak?” He walked closer to her and crouched down to hiss in her face. “You're not better than me, and if you ever think otherwise I'll beat the shit out of you.”

My dad was right, only weak men threaten girls.” She muttered under her breath, knowing full well he could hear her. She took a deep breath to try and steel herself for whatever might come. She was so done. Done being the victim, done being treated like garbage because of what she had and what she was. Phillip's breath hitched and his fist tightened.

What did you just say?” He uttered in disbelief as his fist started trembling. Amy and Joshua behind him looked at each other uncertainly and wondered if they should stop him before things got worse. Phillip grabbed hold of the front of Urayuli's hoodie and yanked her toward him. “Who cares what your loser of a dad thinks?!”

Before he could continue yelling in her face or worse, hit her again, Urayuli threw her fist at his face with a grunt and hit him on the underside of his chin, clacking his teeth together with abrupt force. Without giving him even a second to retaliate she threw herself at him, tackling him to the ground and straddling his stomach. If Phillips cohorts were saying anything right now, she couldn't hear them through the pounding of her blood in her ears. Without thinking she started punching Phillip's face, every hit coming down with a loud grunt from her chest.

A pair of arms wrapped under her shoulders in a poorly executed Nelson Hold, not holding her neck in place, and Urayuli put her chin on her chest before rearing her head back, hitting her assailant in the nose. They let go of her to hold their face while groaning in pain. Urayuli turned around to face them, noticed it was Joshua right away and grabbed onto his shoulders to knee him in the stomach, making him double over with a groan as the air was forced out of his body. With both boys on the ground crying and in pain, Urayuli's eyes scanned her surroundings for Amy and found her running away in tears as she yelled for Miss Morris to come help.

The crotchety old woman came over with her hands on her hips, disappointment evident in her stance. Where were you when I was being assaulted, Urayuli had thought bitterly as she dusted herself off. Miss Morris started berating her for her behavior, Amy's tear-stained face smirking at Urayuli safely behind the older woman's back as Urayuli got an earful.

I'll have to call your father, young lady. Chances are you'll get suspended for this.” She told her sternly while wagging a finger in Urayuli's face.

Good, that'll give you the perfect opportunity to explain to him why you didn't stop them from harassing me.” Urayuli sneered softly as she spat on the ground, leaving behind a glob saliva on the tiles.

I didn't see anything of the sort.” Miss Morris deflected with a wave of her hand as if to wipe away the accusation.

LIAR!” Urayuli screamed with the ferocity of a lion, almost making herself hoarse, and it made the older woman pause. “YOU saw and you didn't do SHIT!”

Hey, watch your language!” The woman sputtered with a flushed face. “This is no way to act!”

You're not even denying it!” Urayuli yelled back, hot tears prickling her eyes. “It's not like you didn't see it, you just don't give a shit, do you?!” Without waiting for an answer, she turned on her heel and made for the fence, climbed to the top and leaped. She landed on her feet, regretting it somewhat from the electric pain that surged through her legs, and made a run for it. Miss Morris yelled for her to come back immediately but Urayuli kept running in the direction of her house until she was out of breath. The rest of the way she walked, tired but proud of herself. Proud she fought back. Proud she refused to let them just do what they wanted. Proud to defend not only herself but her father as well.

I won't be weak anymore.”

 

“...aqpik-san? Yaraqpik-san?” Midoriya's voice made her jump, her frown melting away as the memory faded. Midoriya looked at her with furrowed brows and thinned lips, and Urayuli realized she must've zoned out and probably worried him. “Is everything okay?”

“Not really, but it's not important,” Urayuli said with a wave of her hand and a small smile on her face. It was then she noticed his backpack's zipper was slightly open and a slightly singed notebook was on the brink of slipping out. She reached out and plucked it from the opening. “Hey, your notebook almost fell out.”

“Ah!” Midoriya exclaimed as his eyes widened when Urayuli held it out to herself to read the title. “That's my-!”

Shōrai no... tame no...” Urayuli started translating out loud, and despite his embarrassment, Midoriya didn't grab his notebook back from her. “Hiiro bun...bunseki? 'Hero Analysis for the Future'?” He looked down at his shoes. “May I read it?”

Midoriya looked up in surprise and nodded. Urayuli opened the notebook and each page inside had a drawn picture of a hero next to a detailed description of their abilities. She flipped a page and saw Aizawa-sensei staring back at her, and the next had info on Mt. Lady. She found a page with All Might's autograph around the middle of the book.

“Midoriya, did you make this?” Urayuli asked, staring in wonder at the beautiful hand-drawn images. Well, they're beautiful to me, I'm shit at art. “This is so detailed and cool.” Midoriya's cheeks flushed pink at the awe in her voice.

“Ah-- Yes! I've been making these for a while now...” He trailed off as he scratched his cheek.

“I can tell, this is number thirteen,” Urayuli said with a crooked grin as she trailed a finger over the number written on the notebook. A thought jumped in her mind and she had to ask. “So you know a lot about heroes, right?”

“Oh, well, I suppose I do?” Midoriya stuttered a bit, as the cadence of his voice lifted upward.

“Do you know a Hero by the name of CopyCat by any chance?” Urayuli asked. Midoriya's face lit up at her question. She let out a short huffing laugh. “I'm guessing you do.”

“Of course! She's the number five Hero in New York, and even has a small affiliate of her Hero Agency in Japan!” Urayuli leaned back from Midoriya's enthusiastic response, not expecting it. “She can turn into almost any animal, but her favorite animals to turn into are cats of any kind, her merchandise is among the most popular in the business with all kinds of cat-related stuff, just recently she helped with the conservation of Mountain Lions in the Midwest of America and--” Urayuli interrupted him with a hand on his shoulder. “Yes?”

“As much as I love your enthusiasm, you need to breathe, man.” Urayuli joked good-naturedly, and for the first time since school started, Midoriya smiled at her bad attempt at humor. “Thanks for the info, though. Do you keep track of Hero Statistics a lot?”

“Of course! I've always been really invested in Heroes,” He looked down bashfully. “I've wanted to be a Hero ever since I saw footage of All Might as a kid. Seeing him help people with a smile has always been really inspiring-” He abruptly stopped talking before turning to her again. “Ah- what I mean is--”

“I get what you mean.” Urayuli interrupted him with a small smile. “The way he saves people makes him feel almost untouchable, right? I've always admired him. Heck, when I still lived in Alaska I bought a ton of merch with his face on it, despite the outrageous shipping costs.” Midoriya gave her a look she couldn't place, but she had no time or incentive to ask about it. The train arrived at their stop and the two of them stepped onto the platform to make their way to school. They kept the conversation going, talking about what first period was going to be like, and whether or not Aizawa-sensei would have them do something crazy for class again.

Safe to say, first period Math class was pretty normal. It came after a short homeroom session with Aizawa-sensei, who didn't give away anything about the rest of the day in terms of weird tests. Urayuli felt herself relax, can't embarrass myself if nothing crazy happens, right? Turned out, she could, because she could not for the life of her figure out how to do the obnoxiously difficult math problems in her textbook. Several times she asked Ectoplasm for help, and while he certainly didn't look or sound as if he was getting tired of her endless questions, that didn't stop Urayuli from her face heating up after each question. Especially because no one else seemed to have the same issues as her, except for Ashido and Kaminari, with whom she was battling for the attention of their scary-looking math teacher.


“Huh, no burrito or spaghetti this time around, Yaraqpik?” Kirishima teased as they sat down together for the third day in a row. Urayuli didn't mind in the least, she liked Kirishima a lot, and was surprised at their rapport despite not knowing each other for that long. She narrowed her eyes at him playfully.

“No, of course not. It's Wednesday, which means an assortment of fruit instead.” Urayuli opened her lunchbox dramatically. Inside was a cluster of grapes and apple slices, and in her other hand, she was holding a clear plastic bag filled with baby carrots. Kirishima snickered at her.

“And it's still cold!” He exclaimed while facepalming, smiling as he did. Urayuli gave him a wide-eyed look.

“Of course they're cold! What, you gonna suggest I microwave my grapes?” She half-yelled in fake anger as she motioned her arm to the machines wildly. “Have you ever seen what happens when you do that?” Kirishima cocked his head to the side.

“Uh, I don't think I have.”

“Would you like to?” She deadpanned as she gave him a wide smile without letting it reach her eyes, and Kirishima visibly shuddered. Urayuli could not keep a straight face after that and gave him a genuine one instead.

“Okay, A, that was terrifying and B, I think I've got a feeling what it would look like.” He said with a bead of sweat in his forehead. “Also, did Bakugo ever hold up his end of the deal yesterday?”

“Nah, and I don't think he will either.” Urayuli waved a hand in a flicking motion. “Besides, it doesn't matter much to me anymore anyway. What are you eating?” Kirishima motioned to his food with a tight smile.

“It's just curry rice,” He said. “And that's so unmanly of him!” Urayuli snorted as she popped a grape into her mouth.

“Well, I didn't expect him to go along with it, honestly,” She said. “He might've given himself an aneurysm if he did.” This pulled a laugh from the redhead and he nodded in agreement. She bit into an apple slice before speaking again. “What's your favorite color, Kirishima?”

“Hmmm?” Kirishima hummed as he was chewing away at some rice and chicken. Thankfully, he swallowed before speaking, unlike someone else I know. “I love the color red!” Urayuli smiled because of course it is. “Why do you ask?”

Urayuli shook her head. “Just curious, is all.”

The rest of the meal was relatively silent, with some light conversation from time to time. Urayuli would often look around the cafeteria to spot some familiar faces, just for the heck of it. Midoriya sat with Uraraka and Iida, excitedly talking and joking around. Shoji, Tokoyami, and Koda sat at the same table and none of them would speak to one another, but they seemed not to mind the silence. Kaminari and Sero were engaged in a strange conversation about a video game they both liked, but it felt like they were speaking in a weird language as they went deeper into the lore. Bakugo sat alone, to no surprise of Urayuli. As did Todoroki, who Urayuli felt like she had seen somewhere before. Or at least looked a little familiar when she had first laid eyes on him. At some point, Urayuli locked eyes with Shinso, who just gave her a nod as a greeting. She returned it before eating the rest of her fruit.

After lunch, they had fifth period and for the first time, Urayuli checked her schedule beforehand. Hero Basic Training again. We'll see who dies today, she thought jokingly as she recounted the events from Monday.

“For today's Hero Basic Training,” Aizawa-sensei began. “it's turned into a class with three instructors, All Might and me, and one more person.” Oh, so we're just going to stay indoors and read some light literature right? Why do we need three instructors for that, Urayuli wondered.

“Excuse me!” Sero raised his hand. “What'll we be doing?”

Aizawa-sensei held up a card that simply read 'rescue' on it in a similar fashion as All Might did the last time they had this class. “Disasters, shipwrecks, and everything in between. It's Rescue Training.”

A collective gasp went through the classroom. “Rescue...” Kaminari whispered with trepidation. “Looks like it'll be a lot of work this time, too.”

“Right?!” Ashido excitedly whispered back to him, her fists in front of her body.

“What, you thought being a hero was just about beating up villains and scoring dates?” Urayuli said with a huff of laughter as Kaminari turned to her with a pout.

“Idiot, this is the duty of a hero!” Kirishima said as he leaned over to Kaminari, before sitting back in the same position as Ashido with a big grin. “My arms are ready to rumble!”

“No one can beat me in water, ribbit,” Asui said, smiling in Kirishima's direction.

“Hey, I'm not done.” Aizawa-sensei's words caused to class to immediately cease talking as they waited for him to finish. “You can decide if you want to wear your costume or not this time.” He pressed a button on a remote and like on Monday, the panels started coming out of the wall, all of their costumes in metal suitcases. “Because there are probably costumes that limit your abilities, too. The training will take place off-campus, so we're taking a bus. That's all, start getting ready.”

SO I GUESS WE'RE NOT DOING SOME LIGHT READING THEN? Urayuli screamed in her mind as she grabbed her suitcase from the wall. Her earlier bravado against Kaminari had only been a tactic to make herself feel a little better after she realized it was going to be an affair somewhat similar to what they had on Monday. Let's just hope we're not doing this training in pairs again. If I have to deal with Bakugo's shit again, I might just lose it. Urayuli slapped her cheek softly. This is what we came here for. So we wouldn't mess things up like we messed things up with dad.

After changing, Urayuli and the girls made their way outside. Most of the others were already waiting outside in their costumes, except for Midoriya, who was dressed in his P.E. clothes but still had his costume's accessories. Urayuli noticed Bakugo was only wearing one of his grenade gauntlets and she wondered briefly where the other one went. She turned to Hagakure, who was walking next to her.

“Didn't Bakugo have two of those?” She asked, motioning to the gauntlets. “Where'd the other one go?” Hagakure lifted one of her gloved hands and pointed to the sky.

“Oh, it was completely blown to bits when he used it on Midoriya-kun.” Hagakure explained. “I forgot you never saw the footage, Yaraqpik-chan! He yanked something out of his gauntlets and this huge blast came out of it! It was something out of an action movie!”

A shrill whistle sounded and Urayuli covered her ears at the sudden pain, glaring in the direction of where the noise came from. Iida stood in front of the bus in his costume, whistle in hand. Give a girl a warning next time, class rep.

“Class 1-A, gather round!” He announced. “Form two lines by your student numbers in order to make boarding the bus go smoothly!” He blew the whistles a few times more and Urayuli felt herself get more irritated. When everybody got onto the bus, it became clear it didn't have the layout Iida had envisioned, making Urayuli suppress a giggle as she took a seat next to Yaoyorozu with Uraraka and Hagakure behind them.

“Good thing, too,” she whispered to Yaoyorozu as she made the tips of her pointer-finger and thumb barely touch. “I was this close to shoving that whistle down his esophagus.” In response, Yaoyorozu shoved Urayuli's hand away with a good-natured scoff and Urayuli snorted at her.

“Shoot.” Iida cursed dejectedly as everyone had been seated. “I didn't think it'd be this type of bus.”

“There was no point, huh?” Ashido said with a small smile as she sat next to him.

“I say whatever comes to mind.” Asui suddenly interjected, before turning her head to Midoriya who sat next to her. “Midoriya-chan...” Almost immediately he got flustered and slightly pink in the cheeks.

“Um, yes, Asui-san?” He stuttered.

“Call me Tsuyu-chan, yes?” Asui said without missing a beat. Urayuli leaned over to Yaoyorozu.

“That's a big deal, right? Using someone's first name?” She asked with a raised brow and Yaoyorozu nodded.

“It shows how close you are in terms of friendship or otherwise,” Yaoyorozu explained, Urayuli hummed in understanding as a response. Asui's next words gave Urayuli pause.

“Your Quirk is like All Might's.” Midoriya reeled back from the observation, sweat dripping down his temple and eyes blown wide.

“Huh?! Y-you think so?” Midoriya stuttered out and Urayuli frowned at him from her seat. That's kind of an odd reaction from somebody who studies heroes... It should be obvious that they're similar. A nagging feeling of dread tickled the back of her head as she stared at Midoriya for a second. “But I uh-”

“Wait a sec, Tsuyu-chan,” Kirishima interjected with a sympathetic smile. “All Might doesn't get hurt when he uses his. They just kind of look the same.” Midoriya sighed softly out of relief which didn't go unnoticed by Urayuli, who still had her gaze trained on him. “But it's nice to have a simple augmenting-type Quirk. You can do lots of flashy stuff!” Kirishima lifted his arm in the air and it hardened to rock. “My hardening's strong against others but unfortunately, it doesn't look like much.”

“I think it's really cool!” Midoriya said with awe in his voice. “It's a Quirk that can definitely pass as a pro's!”

“Yeah, don't sell yourself short, Kirishima.” Urayuli voiced, having put her thoughts about Midoriya away for the moment. She saw no point in overthinking Midoriya's Quirk. But it looks so similar, though... and what did he say about borrowed power? She mentally shook her head. Nope. Not my pig, not my farm. It is none of my business. Kirishima glanced at her with a small smile before inspecting his arm again.

“A pro's, huh? But you have to think about popularity as a hero, too, you know.”

“My Navel Laser is pro-level in both flashiness and strength,” Aoyama said confidently as he stared at Midoriya while holding his head in his hands. Ashido put her hand on his shoulder.

“But it's not great that it gives you a stomachache.” She reminded Aoyama, who turned a bit blue in the face at her words. Very much like mine, I lose my clothes when I use my Quirk, Urayuli thought as she shot an encouraging smile Aoyama's way. She thought he was a little strange, sure, but she felt for him.

“Well, if you're talking about flashy and strong,” Kirishima began with a grin, “it's gotta be Todoroki and Bakugo, though, huh?” Urayuli snuck a glance at the aforementioned boys to see their reaction. Todoroki was leaning back in his seat with his eyes closed and seemed to be asleep, but looking closer, Urayuli noticed his face wasn't as relaxed as it should be if he was actually sleeping. Oh, he's awake and listening alright. Bakugo, on the other hand, perked up slightly from hearing his name but quickly scoffed and sharply looked away to continue glaring out the window. His Quirk might be flashy, but I don't see girls swoon for his personality as they do for All Might.

“Bakugo's always mad, so he doesn't seem like he'll be popular, though,” Asui stated matter-of-factly, causing Urayuli to snort loudly, finding the fact that she and Asui had the same thought hilarious. Midoriya's face fell as Bakugo stood up abruptly, almost ready to lunge at Asui. Urayuli glanced at Jiro, who was sitting next to Bakugo and was turned away from him in annoyance.

“Man, I just want to listen to my tunes,” Jiro muttered under her breath and Urayuli snickered at that.

“What the hell! You wanna fight, frog-face!?” Bakugo yelled, white-knuckling the metal bar in front of him.

“See?”

“We've only barely started socializing,” Kaminari said with a cocky smirk, “and already you've made it abundantly clear to us the unpleasantness of your steamed turd of a personality.” Impressive vocabulary, Urayuli thought, surprised at his use of words. That kind of makes up for your awful math skills, Kaminari.

“Yeah, okay, Mr. Vocabulary. How about I pound you?!” Bakugo leaned his full weight on the metal bar, holding onto it with both hands as he yelled in Kaminari's face. Doesn't he realize he's proving exactly their point, though? Yaoyorozu put a hand to her mouth, her nose scrunching slightly.

“What a vulgar conversation.” She complained to Urayuli and Uraraka. The brown-haired girl laughed in response.

“I think it's fun!” Uraraka said, a bright smile gracing her face. Urayuli shrugged.

“I mean, they're boys. Of course they're gross.” She said with a barely contained grin.

“We're here. Stop messing around.” Aizawa-sensei said with a bored glance at the class.


“Everyone, I have been waiting for you.”

They got out of the bus in front of a very large dome-shaped building, and the class erupted in excited gasps at the sight of a person in a spacesuit, their faces not visible through the space helmet. Their voice had a static quality to it as if they spoke through a walkie-talkie. Urayuli looked around at her classmates. They all seem to know this person. Urayuli shifted from one foot to the other, glancing at Midoriya and hoping he would do that thing he always seemed to do.

“It's the Space Hero, Thirteen!” There it is. “The gentlemanly hero who has rescued tons of people from disasters!” Another wave of gasps and awestruck sounds. Urayuli felt horribly out of the loop but put on a smile so it wouldn't be too obvious to her classmates.

“Oh, I love Thirteen!” Uraraka exclaimed.

“Let's go inside without delay.” Thirteen said, motioning to the entrance of the dome-shaped building. The entire class took a bow for their teacher, as did Urayuli albeit a bit out of sync with the rest.

“We look forward to working with you!”

Inside, the class was met with an amazing sight; the gigantic indoor facility was divided into different zones. A giant lake, destroyed buildings, a mountain, and more, with a big fountain in the middle of the grounds. Urayuli overheard her classmates say it looked a lot like Universal Studios Japan, but she hasn't been there, so she had no frame of reference whatsoever. She had only ever been to the Palmer State Fair, which was nothing in comparison.

“A shipwreck, a landslide, a fire, a windstorm, et cetera-- It is a training ground that I made with different types of accidents and disasters,” Thirteen spoke while gesturing to the different zones. “It's called the 'Unforeseen Simulation Joint', or 'USJ' for short!”

Next to Urayuli, Kaminari whispered, “It really is USJ...” with a blank look in his eyes.

“Damn, has everyone been to Universal Studios except for me?” Urayuli mumbled, feeling out of the loop again. A gloved hand on her shoulder shook her sightly.

“You haven't been, Yaraqpik-chan?” Hagakure's voice asked behind her. “Then we'll have to go sometime when we get the chance!” Urayuli looked over her shoulder and smiled, somewhat happy at Hagakure's words. She wants to go to an amusement park with me? The thought filled her with butterflies.

“Let's see... Before we begin, let me say one thing... er... or two, or three-- Or four... five... six... seven...” Thirteen trailed off. Urayuli frowned, how many things do you have to say, teach? “Everyone, I am sure you are aware of my Quirk, Black Hole,” Not really. “I can suck up anything and turn it to dust.” Oh, okay.

“You've been able to use that Quirk to save people from all kinds of disasters, right?” Midoriya said with obvious reverence.

“Yes, but it is a power that can kill easily.” This changed the atmosphere of giddiness to seriousness, as class 1-A suddenly got quiet. “Some of you also have Quirks like that, right?” Urayuli shortly reflected on her powers. I mean... nothing bad has happened so far. “In a superhuman society, personal Quirks have been certified and stringently regulated, so that doesn't seem to be a problem at first glance. However, please do not forget that many Quirks can easily kill with one wrong step.”

Urayuli glanced at her classmates, Midoriya and Bakugo in particular. Midoriya could easily kill someone with a well-placed fist if he uses his Quirk, and Bakugo could very well make people explode. She took a peek at Todoroki, who she thought could easily freeze someone to death. Even the most seemingly benign Quirks could kill easily. Urayuli stared at Uraraka's back, thinking of the possibility of her sending someone into space with her Quirk. Not that she actually would, she's too kind for that.

“With Aizawa's physical fitness test,” Thirteen continued, “you found out about the possibility of your own hidden powers, and with All Might's person-to-person combat training, I think you experienced the danger of using those powers against others. This class is a fresh start. You shall learn how to use your Quirks to save people's lives.” Urayuli tightened her hand into a fist, thinking back to that fateful night so many months ago. “You do not have powers so you can harm others. I hope you leave here with the understanding that you have powers in order to help others. That was all.” Thirteen finished with a bow.

Okay, now I understand why people like Thirteen so much. That was a very inspirational speech. The rest of 1-A seemed to think the same thing, as the class erupted into cheers and applause. Urayuli couldn't help but clap for her teacher as well.

“All right then, first--” Aizawa-sensei began when suddenly all the lights in the facility went out, startling some of the students. Urayuli felt the hair on her neck stand on end. Something feels wrong here. Aizawa-sensei turned around after he heard a commotion behind him. “Gather together and don't move!” He ordered with urgency. “Thirteen, protect the students!” Something very, very wrong.

“What's that?” She heard Kirishima say with a worried edge to his voice. She looked in the direction he was looking and saw a large dark-purple haze where the fountain was supposed to be, and people in many shapes, sizes, and with all kinds of Quirks walked out of it. “Is this like the entrance exam where the lesson's already started?”

“Don't move!” Aizawa-sensei barked when Midoriya tried to take a closer look. Urayuli watched with bated breath as her normally stoic and bored teacher put on his goggles, something she had never seen him do. More people walked out of the purple haze. “Those are villains.”

Cold tendrils gripped her heart and guts as she realized exactly what that meant. In the entire time she lived in Japan, which was six months at this point, not once had she encountered a villain. And if there was villainy going on in the Tokyo area, it was never anywhere close to her house. And now there was something close of an army waiting for her down the steps. The last... thing that came out of the haze was something of nightmares, huge and looming, and incredibly menacing. Urayuli felt her hackles rise. This is bad. Really bad.

“Thirteen... and Eraser Head, is it?” A strange and rigid voice spoke from the purple haze down below, glowing eyes becoming visible. “According to the staff schedule I received the other day, All Might is supposed to be here.” Urayuli's heart sped up from the shade's words, the blood rushing through her ears forcing her to focus on what they were saying. The next person who spoke was a man with pale-blue hair and what seemed to be disembodied hands clutched to various parts of his body; three on each of his arms, two clutching his neck and one of them covering his face.

“Where is he...?” His voice rasped and it made Urayuli shudder. “We've come all this way. And brought so many playmates... All Might... The symbol of peace... Is he here?” Urayuli wanted to silently comment on his stilted way of speaking when his next words filled her body with icy dread.

“I wonder if some dead kids will bring him here...?”

Chapter Text

There have been moments in her life where Urayuli felt true fear and each of them have shaped her in different ways. When she was trotting on the tundra as a tiny fox, and when she feverishly searched for her father during a blizzard, to name a few. There was a clear difference between those moments and this one. In her tussle with the owl she quickly turned back to herself, and during her search, she only ever thought of Kvichak's safety. Neither of those moments made Urayuli truly fear for her own life as seeing dozens upon dozens of villains step out of a giant purple haze, all with the intention to hurt or kill.

"Villains? No way... There's just no way they could get into a hero school!" Kirishima exclaimed in disbelief.

"Sensei, what about the trespasser sensors?" Yaoyorozu stepped in-between Midoriya and Iida. That's it! Surely somewhere an alarm must be going off, Urayuli thought as a flicker of hope went through her chest.

"We have them, of course, but..." Thirteen trailed off, body on edge. Next to Urayuli and Jiro, Todoroki spoke up.

"Did they only appear here, or around the whole school?" He asked while eyeing the villains on the lower level. "Either way, if the sensors aren't responding, that means they have someone with a Quirk that can do that." That made sense to Urayuli, but it made her stomach clench with dread. The purple fog already spoke about knowing All Might, Eraser Head, and Thirteen were going to be here. They also knew about the sensors. That meant someone was feeding them information, right? She felt the spit in her throat burn at the thought. "An isolated area separated from the main campus during a time when a class is supposed to be here. They might be fools, but they're not dumb. This surprise attack was carefully planned with some sort of goal in mind." Urayuli eyed the rest of her classmates, hesitance and fright evident on their faces.

"Thirteen," Aizawa-sensei spoke with authority. "Start the evacuation. Try calling the school. These villains even had something to counteract the sensors. Someone with radio-wave-type powers may be interfering." He turned his head to look at his students. "Kaminari," Everyone shifted their gaze to the boy in question. "You try contacting the school with your Quirk, too."

"What about you, sir?" Midoriya asked, his eyebrows set in a worried frown. "Will you fight by yourself? With that many, even if you can erase their Quirk... Eraser Head's fighting style is capturing after erasing the enemy's Quirk. A frontal battle is..." Urayuli frowned and pursed her lips, agreeing with Midoriya's statement. Besides, how reliable can he be, he sleeps through class most of the time anyway.

Aizawa-sensei turned to Midoriya, his eyes not visible through his goggles. "You can't be a hero with just one trick." His words caused Urayuli's brain to tingle, for reasons she could not explain or understand. "I'm leaving it to you, Thirteen."

Before Urayuli knew it, Aizawa-sensei had launched himself down the stairs and disappeared out of sight. She took a few steps forward to watch him, curious how he was going to handle himself. She watched in awe as he used the wrappings around his neck to incapacitate three villains at the same time, wrapping around them and using physics against them, as if they were a yo-yo. Alright, I stand corrected. The three villains got their heads slammed together by the downward pull Aizawa-sensei performed and their bodies slackened as they fell to the ground. As she watched, Midoriya moved to stand next to her, intently staring at Aizawa-sensei's movements and fighting techniques. I forget he's an actual Pro Hero.

"Everybody! Let's not waste any time, get to the exit!" Thirteen said, and class 1-A started running towards the doors.

"Wow..." Midoriya said in awe as he and Urayuli stayed behind to watch for a few more seconds. "Aizawa-sensei's actually really good at fighting by himself against a lot of people, huh?"

"Seems like," Urayuli muttered, pulling at the hem of her skirt as she turned around to run after her classmates. She saw Iida stop and turn towards the two of them with a stern look on his face.

"This is no time for analysis! Hurry up and take shelter!" He said, Urayuli and Midoriya nodded and ran after him. The exit was at least a hundred meters away from the stairs, but at the moment it felt as if it was at the other end of a football field. Suddenly, the purple haze from before appeared before them and Urayuli's heart leaped in her throat as she skidded to a stop, almost colliding with Asui. The haze stood tall as it watched them with its yellow glowing eyes.

"I won't let you." A deep voice stated. "Nice to meet you. We are the League of Villains. It may be presumptuous of us, but we have invited ourselves in to the home of the heroes, U.A. High School, in order to have All Might, the Symbol of Peace, take his last breath."

They came to kill All Might? It took Urayuli a moment to figure out what he was saying, as the haze's speech sounded very old-fashioned, but she understood enough. Despite the obvious danger they were in, Urayuli couldn't help but complain about one thing in particular. What kind of stupid name is that, 'League of Villains'? Are we in grade school?

"I believe All Might should have been here," The haze continued. "Has there been some kind of change?" Nobody said a word as they all warily eyed the entity. "Well, that is neither here nor there. This is the part I am to play." It spoke as it raised what Urayuli could only guess were arms. However, it and the rest of the class were caught off-guard as both Kirishima and Bakugo jumped forward to strike him, the latter setting off an explosion. Urayuli raised her arms with a grunt to repel the dust and debris it caused to fly around.

"Did you consider that you'd get beaten by us before you did?" Kirishima spoke confidently.

"Oh dear, that's dangerous." The deep voice chastised, and Urayuli felt the tingle of dread go down her spine again. "That's right. Even if you are students, you are excellent golden eggs."

"No!" Thirteen yelled with a hand towards the two boys. "Move away, you two!"

"My job is to scatter you all and torture you to death!" The haze exclaimed as the purple cloud enveloped the entirety of class 1-A. Urayuli heard feminine yelps and male grunts around her as the haze roughly blew through everybody, blinding them. Her stomach dropped as she experienced an odd sensation as if she was falling. Opening her eyes, she saw she was rapidly moving towards a body of water. What the?! Urayuli angled her torso upward so her feet were pointing down toward the man-made lake, her elbows tucked in and one hand covering her nose and mouth.

"Holy fu-!" Urayuli screeched right before her feet cut through the surface tension of the water and plummeting into the depths below. Falling feet first made it so she would not damage her head or neck, and Urayuli silently thanked her father for teaching her that technique. "If you're ever on a boat and need to jump ship, this is how you do it without hurting yourself." Then proceeded to show her how coupled with a bunch of strange facial expressions. Time and a place, Urayuli, she chastised herself, looking around in the blue waters for enemies. How the hell did I even get here? Did the purple haze warp me here?

In the distance, she noticed a body slowly swimming towards the surface and from the U.A. gym uniform, Urayuli knew it was Midoriya. She started swimming over to him when she felt a hand on her shoulder. Turning her head, she came face to face with Asui's large green eyes.

"Quickly, Ura-chan, turn into an otter!" Asui demanded and while Urayuli was shocked she could speak normally underwater, she did as she asked. Within seconds, the shift was complete and Asui grabbed hold of Urayuli and tucked her under her arm, rapidly swimming toward a villain who seemed to be closing in on Midoriya. Asui swam as fast as she could and before the villain, who looked like a shark to Urayuli, could close its giant teeth on Midoriya, Asui kicked him square in the jaw. She wrapped her large tongue around Midoriya and kicked off, speeding to the surface.

As they got up for air, Urayuli saw a large ship in the middle of the lake and watched as Asui used her tongue to drop Midoriya somewhere on the ship. Shortly after, Asui wrapped her tongue around Urayuli and dropped her onto the deck as well. Midoriya quickly held out a hand to help Urayuli up after she shifted back.

"Are you okay?" Midoriya asked with a frown. Urayuli nodded as she grabbed onto his wrist, letting him pull her up. Midoriya leaned over the side of the ship. "Thanks, Asui-san."

Two large hands planted themselves on the railing and Asui's head appeared shortly after. "Call me Tsuyu-chan, okay?"

"T-T-T-T-Tsuyu-chan, thanks!" Midoriya stuttered and Urayuli held back a snort at the flustered boy.

"This has turned into a bad situation, though," Asui said, pointing a large finger to her chin as the three of them took a quick breather on the deck.

"Yeah. What the villain said earlier... They knew U.A.'s schedule!" Midoriya said, his brow set in a deep frown. "Looking at the big picture, those guys must've set up the media intrusion the other day to get information. They are waiting to pounce, just as Todoroki-kun said."

"That sounds like something villains would do," Urayuli voiced as she cupped her mouth with her hand deep in thought. "But it's not as if they could actually kill him, right? Once he learns we're in danger, he'll come to the rescue and kick their asses. Unless..."

"Unless the reason they're trying is hard is because they have a way to kill him." Asui finished for her. "I mean, guys that strong just told us they would torture us to death." Despite being on the same wavelength about the situation, it did not stop Urayuli's stomach from clenching in fear. "I wonder if we'll be able to hold out until All Might arrives... Even if All Might comes, I wonder if we will all make it out in one piece..." Urayuli grabbed onto the railing tightly, forcing herself not to vomit. Just the thought of any one of them not making it out alive... Until she saw movement in the water.

"Guys, I think we got company," Urayuli said in a low voice to Asui and Midoriya. Multiple bodies swam towards them, and while she couldn't see them, she guessed they weren't coming from just one side of the ship. Urayuli's breathing quickened and her mouth felt dryer than ever. This is not really what I had envisioned when coming here. Being in danger like this... She thought of her father and the fear she felt when she hadn't been able to find him in the murky waters of the river delta. This isn't at all comparable.

"If those guys have a way to defeat All Might," Midoriya began, making Urayuli and Asui turn to face him. "Then right now, we should be stopping whatever they're planning. By fighting and winning!" He looked up to the two girls, determination obvious from the down-turned corners of his mouth and the fire in his eyes. Despite her racing heart and faltering breath, her shaking muscles, and hands that wouldn't stop sweating in her gloves, Urayuli swallowed deeply and nodded.

"You have an idea of how we're going to do that?" She asked as she grabbed one of her hands with the other to make it stop trembling.

"Those guys down look like they're suited to aquatic combat, right?" Midoriya pointed out, making Urayuli eye the villains in the water and notice the diving gear most of them had on.

"Does that mean they knew what was in these facilities before they gathered people?" Asui asked.

"Right," Midoriya said. "For people who gathered that much intel so meticulously, there's something strange. They sent you, Asu – I mean, Tsuyu-chan – and Yaraqpik-san to the shipwreck zone." Midoriya got flustered mid-sentence and started trembling, not used to being familiar with Asui.

"Your own pace is fine," Asui assured him and Midoriya let out a relieved sigh, before turning to Urayuli.

"What point are you trying to make, Midoriya?" Urayuli asked, confused where he was going.

"This means, in other words, the villains probably don't know what our Quirks are." Midoriya finished, giving both girls a pointed look. It suddenly hit Urayuli.

"If they knew that I was a shapeshifter, they would have put me somewhere I wouldn't have any way to survive." Urayuli figured with a soft gasp.

"They probably would have thrown the both of us into that fire zone over there if they knew," Asui said with a grave voice. "I can't imagine doing all too well in there."

"They probably separated us because they didn't know our Quirks, so they planned to overpower us with numbers." Midoriya continued. "We have inferior numbers and less experience. Our only hope lies in the fact that our opponents don't know what our Quirks are! The enemy isn't trying to climb the boat. That supports my hypothesis. But that probably means they aren't underestimating us, either."

"Alright, so we don't have a plan. Let's brainstorm." Urayuli said curtly as the three of them crouched down so the villains couldn't see them. Asui nodded.

"I'll tell you more about my Quirk, then," Asui said. "I can jump high, stick to walls, and stick my tongue out up to about 20 meters. I can also spit out my stomach and wash it, and secrete toxic mucus that actually stings a little." Not gonna lie, that's kind of gross. "The last two are practically useless, so you can probably forget about them."

"I already kind of knew, but you're really strong." Midoriya praised softly. "I have super strength, but once I use it, I'm pretty much out of commission. It's like a double-edged sword."

"Well..." Urayuli began as she stared at her hand. "My Quirk is essentially turning into animals, but not just any animal I can think of. Until recently, the caveat was that it had to be an animal native to Alaska. I can turn into two aquatic animals, a Beluga Whale, and an otter, but they aren't really useful as they are neither strong or fast. Besides, it doesn't seem like I have any enhanced powers when I shift." She didn't like to admit it, but she felt like a nuisance. Everyone in her class seemed to have a useful and flashy Quirk, and hers was just 'oh yeah, lemme just turn into a dog for a bit'. It's nothing more than a glorified circus-act.

"What else can you turn into?" Midoriya asked.

"I can turn into a cat, an eagle, a spider-" Urayuli stopped herself when she noticed Midoriya started muttering to himself deep in thought. "Where are you going with this?" He was quiet for a moment.

"Would you be able to turn into a spider, but bigger?" Midoriya asked.

Bigger? Urayuli shifted her gaze away from his face back to her hand. "I don't think I can."

"Have you ever tried?" He asked. Urayuli was silent for a moment.

"Good point." Urayuli frowned as she gave it some more thought. It was true, she never actually tried doing that, but was such a thing even possible? And even if it was possible, could it have any adverse effects? Nothing about this sounded like a good idea. Either it doesn't work and they're dead, or it does work – but it backfires – killing them anyway. I need to decide soon, those dudes in the water won't wait forever. There must be something else I can do. Her eagle form could do the trick, but would that be enough to outrun the villains? I don't even know if I could carry both of them in my talons. What Aizawa-sensei said before leaping down the stairs suddenly resonated back to her. You can't be a hero with just one trick. She sighed deeply before she felt a hand on her shoulder.

"Whatever you're thinking of, you can do it, ribbit," Asui said with a determined nod. Urayuli blew some air from her lungs.

"Alright, Midoriya," She locked eyes with him as she cracked her knuckles and slowly started doing stretches, readying herself for the inevitable. "If this works, what do you need me to do?" Midoriya's determined smile lit up his face.

"Are you able to make silk in your spider-form?" Midoriya waited for her to nod. "If you can make a lot of it, that would be perfect."

"I'll warn you, the only spider I can turn into is a Brown Recluse, and they're not exactly known for having strong webbing. They're hunters, so their webs are loose and sticky as they're not used for prey." Urayuli quickly explained as she got on all fours and stretched her legs.

"That's perfect." Urayuli looked at him in confusion as his eyes sparkled with something she could not place, his hands clenching into fists at his chest. "Just trust me on this." She shrugged at his words. I don't have any other ideas, or choices, really.

Urayuli closed her eyes and took a deep breath, wondering if this crapshoot of an idea was going to have a favorable outcome. Shifting into different animals was one thing, but an animal that cannot ever hope to reach outlandish sizes? The spider she had in her mind doesn't even exist, so how could she ever manage this? Urayuli shook her head, forcing herself to concentrate on the task at hand. Brown Recluse but bigger. About the size of a big dog. Waist height? Brown Recluse but bigger. I need to be bigger. I have to be bigger.


Midoriya and Asui watched with furrowed brows as their friend got enveloped in a bright golden light, a shining silhouette remaining. They squinted and with barely concealed abject horror watched as her form changed into an eight-legged monstrosity that stood at exactly three feet high. The giant Brown Recluse in front of them was longer than it was tall, its six eyes stared at them blankly as its pedipalps moved idly in anticipation. Midoriya had to remind himself that this was his classmate and friend and that he should not panic. Especially since this was a life-or-death situation for all of them.

"Alright, Yaraqpik-san, can you still hear me in that form?" He had to ask, for he wasn't sure spiders had ears or not. The large spider in front of him turned its body with the use of its many legs, the claws at the ends of them tapping on the wood. Its many eyes stared unblinkingly, and he assumed it must've heard him. He had to stop referring to her as an 'it', otherwise it felt as if she and all her forms were separate. "Make as much spider-silk as you can, please. It doesn't have to be one continuous piece, just make sure you make a lot of it."

She didn't speak or give him any indication she had heard him at first, but soon went to work. Midoriya watched with interest as he saw her pull small ropes and clumps of spider-silk from the lower part of her abdomen before Asui averted his gaze by turning him around by the shoulder.

"She might not appreciate you watching her so closely, Midoriya-chan," She said, making Midoriya red in the face. "Let's continue with your plan. What do we do with the silk?"

"I need to prove another hypothesis – if you can call it that," Midoriya said cryptically as he grabbed some of the silk by Urayuli's claws and threw it overboard to the villains. The pieces of spider-silk that floated too close to the villains got splashed away, being cautious enough not to trust the flimsy-looking webs. Just as I thought, they won't even touch them, Midoriya thought as an idea struck him.

"Let's finish this thing! I'm getting bored over here!" Suddenly, the ringleader of the water villains – a brutal looking person with overly exposed teeth and bald head – used his Quirk and cut the boat clean in half. Asui and Midoriya held on to the railings as they threw more spider-silk overboard, keeping a close eye on Urayuli as she tried to regain her balance.

"That boat'll go under in less than a minute," the shark-man who tried to eat Midoriya said with a glare. "Once you're in the water, you're chum."

"Yaraqpik-san, change back!" Midoriya spoke loudly to get her attention. She'd made enough spider-silk for them to throw overboard, and now he needed her to be small so they could escape. The bright light returned, enveloping the spider and out of it came Urayuli, still on her hands and knees.

"How'd I d-" Urayuli cut herself off with an ear-piercing scream as she clutched her sides, holding herself as she slammed to the floor. Alarmed, Asui and Midoriya sped over to her to see if she was hurt or not but did not find any injuries. Urayuli kept screaming and crying out in pain with her eyes wide open.

"What's happening, Yaraqpik-san?!" Midoriya asked as he looked over her body once more. Asui cupped Urayuli's face in her hands and angled it to her.

"I can't see! I can't see!" Despite her pain-induced crying in English, Midoriya understood perfectly what was going on and the cold hand of terror clutched his heart. Still, it did not explain why she was grabbing onto her sides and screaming in pain. Both Asui and Midoriya were very confused as to what was going on, but time was of the essence. They had to get on with the plan, or all of the pain Urayuli was in would've been for nothing.

Midoriya stood and jumped from the boat, screaming for the villains to go to hell as he got his hands in the right position; putting tension on his middle-finger with his thumb as if to flick something away, holding his left wrist with his right hand. Asui, in the meantime, softly shushed Urayuli as she grabbed hold of her and put her on her back with her arms slumped over Asui's shoulders. Asui made sure to hold onto Urayuli's crossed wrists with her large hand. With the other, she held onto the remaining spider-silk while getting ready to jump.

"Delaware..." The hum of his power surged through his arm as he flicked his finger. "SMASH!"

The force of Midoriya flicking his finger formed an enormous hole in the surface of the water, spreading out and catching the villains unawares. Through the pain in his middle-finger – broken and bleeding – he called out for his classmates.

"Tsuyu-chan! Now!"

With a leap, Asui jumped in the air with Urayuli on her back and threw all the remaining spider-silk into the water. After dumping the silk, she snatched up Midoriya with her tongue along the way. In the middle of where Midoriya unleashed his Delaware Smash, the water started sucking in the villains and the silk, the sticky webbing almost acting as a glue, binding the villains together. They yelled in surprise as they got sucked underwater.

"By delivering a strong shock to the water's surface..." Midoriya groaned. "It spreads, and once it rushes back into the center..."

The water exploded upward, causing the enormous splash to wash away the villains as well as the remains of the boat. Stuck together, the villains flew away from the force, totally incapacitated. They crashed back in the water in the middle of the lake, unable to get loose. Midoriya, Asui, and Urayuli landed in the waters closer to the shoreline. Thankfully, Midoriya and Asui were able to stand in the shallows. Midoriya painfully clutched his hand with a wince as his finger throbbed angrily.

"Lucky that we managed to get them all..." Midoriya muttered with a hiss. "Because honestly, that was a real gamble. If they'd been smart, a few of them would have hidden under the water's surface, but I guess they weren't thinking ahead... still... gotta be careful, here..."

"Stop it, Midoriya-chan. That's scary." Asui broke through his mutterings curtly as she adjusted Urayuli on her back.

"Right. For now, calling for help is our top priority," Midoriya said as he took off one of his elbow-pads. "If possible, we should follow the shoreline and make for the exit, avoiding the plaza altogether." Asui and Midoriya peeked over to the plaza, gulping loudly as they saw Aizawa-sensei fighting with a large, slowly dwindling group of villains.

"Right. Looks like Aizawa-sensei is drawing a large number of them to the plaza." Asui noticed. Midoriya grimaced, worried his teacher bit off more than he could chew.

"There's too many of them." Midoriya deduced. "Of course he's more than holding his own out there but... it's too much for him. He knew that but jumped in to protect us. We should watch for an opening, and do what we can to lighten his load."

"Midoriya-chan," Asui poked him softly in the arm. "While that might be what needs to be done, I'm worried about Ura-chan. There's something wrong."

"W-what?" The grave tone of Asui's voice made him turn around in confusion. Asui was eyeing their friend, who was sagged against her back with her eyes closed. Her brows were pinched together and her face had a sickly pallor to her normally brown skin. Somewhere along the way she must've lost consciousnessMidoriya thought as he chewed on the inside of his cheek. "Aside from her eyes, what else is wrong with her?"

"She's not breathing normally. It's shallow and irregular. She's cold and her body... it's not heavy enough." Asui's words caused him to cough nervously.

"W-what do you mean?"

"I mean, she's light. Way too light. She weighs next to nothing, ribbit."


When she opened her eyes, an overcast night sky greeted her like an old friend. The cries of seagulls in the distance carried over by the wind made her sit up to survey her surroundings. "Where even am I?" She asked herself. Looking around, a familiar island with familiar houses and structures stood in the distance in the middle of a frozen ocean. Inside the houses, lights were burning softly and smoke from fireplaces billowed from the chimneys. She stood up and shifted from one foot to another to alleviate the cold feeling in the soles of her feet.

" I've been here before." She stated as if she's talking about the weather, her words echoing across the frozen ocean. Sniffing, she turned her head up to the murky heavens. Where had she seen this scenery before? The sudden howling winds bit at her skin as the ice underneath her sang. The salty sea air filled her nostrils and she almost wept with nostalgia.

Before long, the smell changed to burning wood and earth. It made her shift her gaze back to the island, dancing orange flames absorbing the houses and other buildings. The off-white house with the red roof disappeared in the blaze, and a man's scream for help spurred her legs to move rapidly towards the burning island.

While she should have heard only her feet slapping against the ice, she heard multiple taps on it as she ran. She stopped and gazed down at the thick, dark ocean waters frozen in time. Below her, the steps of a large spider mirrored her own beneath the ice. And it saw her too. Her pale face, her feet and fingers so red from the cold she could almost feel it herself, eyes that lost their burnt-yellow gleam. The girl shifted her gaze back up and continued to walk towards the island in flames, the sudden movement a startling change as the spider scrambled to keep up.

Where am I going, she thought – the girl did not relent in her possessed stride to the inferno along the coast.


Urayuli's head hung limply over Asui's shoulders, her face getting paler by the minute and her breathing uneven. Midoriya got rid of his right glove and touched Urayuli's forehead with his hand, flinching when he felt how truly cold she was.

"We have to figure out how to get her to safety, Midoriya-chan," Asui said as she glanced at the unconscious girl on her back. "We don't know if she's sick or hurt anywhere else, and we won't if she doesn't get medical attention." A soft pained whine came from Urayuli as she shivered.

Midoriya gave a grim nod. "I know that," he said as he turned around to face the plaza. The two of them watched as the pale-haired man grabbed onto Aizawa-sensei's elbow, causing the skin to crumble. They had to come up with something and fast. "But we can't risk getting caught by those villains either. Worst case scenario, we put her down somewhere while we fight, and that's the absolute last resort." If they went with that, most villains would probably assume Urayuli was either injured or worse and ignore her. The thought left a sour taste in his mouth. Would I even be able to do that? He stared at Urayuli, who's eyebrows were still pushed together and eyes shut tightly.

"Meet the anti-symbol of peace. The bio-engineered Nomu." The blue-haired leader whispered maliciously.

A monstrous roar forced Midoriya and Asui's attention back to the plaza, and they were met with the horrifying image of Aizawa-sensei being pinned down by a giant behemoth made of nightmares; some sort of beak and still have sharp-looking teeth, its brain exposed to the air, and crazed, unblinking eyes. The unnatural position the beast held Aizawa-sensei's arm in as it kept his head face-first in the ground gave no doubts about whether it was broken or not. The creature tightened its hold on the arm he was holding, causing the bone inside to crack.

"Canceling out Quirks. Pretty cool, but nothing special." The man with the pale-blue hair spoke in his raspy voice. "Up against crazy strength, you might as well be totally quirkless."

Aizawa-sensei shouted in pain as the demon on top of him grabbed onto his other arm and snapped it like a twig, and tried to wrench himself out of its hold, only to have his head grabbed and smashed into the concrete. Midoriya stared wide-eyed with his mouth open at the terrifying scene in front of him and Asui let herself and Urayuli sink a little deeper into the water so only their heads were above the surface. The haze that warped the students reappeared next to the blue-haired man.

"Shigaraki Tomura." It spoke.

"Kurogiri," The man – Shigaraki – said in acknowledgment. "Is Thirteen dead?"

"Merely incapacitated, but... There were some students I couldn't warp away..." The haze waited for a moment. "And one of them escaped."

The man stood still for a moment as if contemplative. "Oh?" He started scratching the side of his neck. "Huh..." He started scratching harder. "Huhhh..." Scratching with both hands long his neck in long strides. "Kurogiri. You..." He glared at the haze through the hand on his face. "I'd turn you to dust if you weren't our ticket out of here." He let go of his neck. "We won't stand a chance against dozens of Pros. It's game over man... It's game over, for now. We're leaving."

"They said they're leaving, but I've got a bad feeling, Midoriya-chan," Asui confessed as she readjusted Urayuli again. Midoriya nodded.

"Yeah, to do all this... and then just leave on a whim..." Midoriya wondered silently what these guys were thinking. Didn't they want to kill All Might? So why are they leaving?

"Oh yeah. But before that. Let's leave a few dead kids..." In the blink of an eye, Shigaraki had somehow materialized in front of the trio and reached a rough hand toward Asui's face. "To wound the pride of the symbol of peace!" There was no time to react. Midoriya's heart stopped as time seemed to slow down and watched as the mangy fingertips pressed onto Asui's shocked face. However, nothing happened, and the man tsked and turned his head.

"You really are pretty cool." His voice suddenly dropped dangerously. "Eraser Head." The broken man had gathered all his strength to lift his head and cancel the villain's Quirk in a desperate attempt to give the trio enough time to escape. The Nomu on top of him promptly slammed his head back into the already broken concrete as a reward, knocking him out cold. Grasping the man's arm with feverish urgency, Midoriya reeled back his fist.

"Get off her!" his furious yell made his voice crack.

"Nomu."

Midoriya punched something, for once not breaking his arm. The dust settled and he slowly rolled his eyes up, meeting the giant horror eye-to-eye, freezing his blood.

"Quite a move you just pulled off..." Shigaraki droned, sounding neither impressed nor indifferent. "And with a 'smash' too... You a fan of All Might?" The Nomu circled its hand around Midoriya's wrist with severe pressure and pulled him out of the water. Asui made a grab for Midoriya with her tongue while Shigaraki reached for her with one hand and for the unconscious Urayuli on her back with the other. As his hand closed in on Urayuli's face, she slowly blinked her eyes open, not quite awake or aware of her surroundings.


Where... am I? A loud bang in the distance startled her in her sleep-like state. She shivered. I'm so cold. She was being held in water. A man's deep voice thundered that sounded oddly condensed and muffled. She stirred, blinking her eyes open for an instance. A massive blond man in the distance, his face set in a deep and intense snarl. Her eyes drooped again and she sighed, frustrated she couldn't keep her eyes open for longer. She at least knew she was leaning against a body if the combination of chlorinated water mixed with skin was anything to go off on.

Suddenly, her body was moving with break-neck speed, a warm and strong arm wrapping around her stomach, and the next moment she is carefully put down on her side. She willed her eyes to open fully, and the gigantic blond man from before was crouching down in front of her. From this angle, she could only see the side of his face from below and he did not look happy. She groaned as she tried to sit up.

"Yaraqpik-san?! How are you feeling?!" A voice next to her asked frantically. Forest green eyes stared into her cognac ones. A large pair of more subdued green appeared in her line of vision.

"Where am I? Who are you?" She asked dumbly and the boy's face turned ashen.

"What are you talking about, ribbit? We talk every day. Midoriya-chan and Tsuyu-chan, remember?"

Urayuli touched her head as she shook it, snapping out of her stupor as her friends quickly helped her up. The careful way they held her jogged her memory and she grimaced at how stupid she sounded. "Yeah, sorry, I don't know what happened." She shifted her gaze to the large man, realizing it was All Might in his civilian clothes.

"Throwing punches to save people... Ha ha ha. That's our state-sponsored violence." Urayuli gazed at the pale-haired man as he plucked one of the disembodied hands and stuck it to his face. Behind him stood a colossal... she didn't have words for it. It was a disgusting-looking mutant that turned her insides to liquid. "You're fast. Too fast to keep up with, but not as fast as expected. Could it be true?" He stopped to glare at All Might with a wide grin. "That you're getting weaker..?"

"It's no use, All Might! That brain villain!" Midoriya warned next to her. "One for – I mean, my attack wasn't strong enough to break my own arm, but... He didn't even flinch!" How long was I out for? "Up against you..."

"Midoriya. Kid." The symbol of peace turned to him as he gave a genuine smile and did a peace-sign. "Fear not!" And he lunged at the monster and its master, his arms crossed in an x-formation. It hit the Nomu, but it did not react to the attack and made a grab for All Might. He dodged at reared his arm back and punched the giant in the stomach.

"We have to get Aizawa-sensei to safety, ribbit. Ura-chan, you shouldn't carry him in your condition." Asui said as the trio made to hold onto their battered teacher. Urayuli felt her head throb warmly despite still getting chills throughout her body. I'm never this cold. Her sides ached suddenly and she whimpered, rubbing the painful spots along her waist and hips with her knuckles. Yeah, I definitely shouldn't be carrying anyone. Midoriya slung Aizawa-sensei over his back, with Asui holding onto his legs.

Urayuli chanced a look behind her and gasped at the sight of All Might grabbing the monster from under its armpits and suplexed it into the ground with an explosive slam. Seeing the man she admired all these years fight in the flesh like that... she stopped walking and fumbled a hand toward Midoriya to make him watch for a moment.

"He just suplexed that thing and the ground exploded..." Urayuli whispered in disbelief. "I've seen many videos of him fighting and doing hero work, but to see it up close..." she trailed off, not knowing the words to describe the feeling.

"It's funny that he's a total newbie as a teacher, with those cheat sheets and all," Asui added. "Guess we were worried for nothing... He's unreal..."

Urayuli weakly chuckled to herself. "Kick his ass, All Might." She mumbled, knowing he could not hear her, but hoping he could feel the sentiment. Her relief did not last long, the beast had somehow warped itself underneath All Might and dug its long jagged claws into his abdomen. Her eyes darted over the scene, realizing it was the purple mist that had warped it.

"So you hoped to drive him into the concrete and seal his movements?" The pale-haired leader spoke. "It wouldn't have worked. Nomu is as powerful as you." He turned his head at the haze. "Well done, Kurogiri. Perfect timing, really." The beast clenched its fingers into All Might's flesh, making him bleed through his white shirt. Urayuli took a tentative step forward but stopped when she felt her vision blur. Christ, I'm tired.

"Impressive, for first-time offenders... But prepare yourselves!" All Might rumbled confidently, but the edge to his voice made it clear to Urayuli he was in pain. Midoriya next to her trembled.

"I can't say I much like the idea of having blood and guts inside my gate, but... If they're yours, I'll happily oblige." Urayuli could not see Kurogiri's face, but she definitely heard the threatening sneer in his voice. "You see, it's Nomu's job to get around that blinding speed of yours and hold you down. And it's my job to close the warp gate on you while you're halfway through and immobilized. Thereby cutting you in two."

"Asu – Tsuyu-chan!" Midoriya said with a desperate edge in his voice, not looking at her or Urayuli.

"You finally got it right. Nice." Asui said with subdued satisfaction. "What is it, Midoriya-chan?" The boy adjusted the unconscious man on his back and handed him to Asui.

"Take Aizawa-sensei for me!" It was unusual for Midoriya to make such demands, but she complied nonetheless. Urayuli eyed Midoriya with a confused frown.

"What're you –" Urayuli never got to finish her sentence as Midoriya sprinted away from the girls when Asui had gotten a good grip on their teacher, in the direction of the carnage. "Midoriya, have you lost your mind?!" She managed to scream, her blood both boiling and cooling dangerously from her conflicting emotions. The boy hurt his throat yelling for his idol, not noticing the purple haze forming a warp gate right in front of him.

Before the fog could swallow him – in the corner of her eye – she watched with an open mouth as none other than Bakugo flew into the fray and used his grenade gauntlet to unleash an explosion into the side of Kurogiri's face.

"Holy shit." Urayuli exhaled the air from her lungs, her shoulders sagging.

"Get the hell outta here! Deku!" The crazy-eyed, widely grinning Bakugo hollered as he grabbed onto the metal band around Kurogiri's neck that Urayuli hadn't noticed before, and slammed the villain down on the ground. Ice started to travel to and up Nomu's body, freezing the beast.

"So I heard you people are here to kill All Might," Todoroki said, who stood about two dozen yards away from Urayuli, glared at the villains. Out of nowhere, Kirishima lunged at the skinny leader but barely missing as the older man moved out of the way to dodge the attack.

"Stupid boys, throwing themselves head-first into danger. No wonder women live longer." Urayuli let out a shuddering breath, wanting with all her being – despite her bitter comment – to go over and help. To defeat the villains and assist her fellow soon-to-be-heroes in battle. She stared at her shoes for a brief moment. But what can I really contribute? Urayuli turned back around, feeling utterly useless. She stopped Asui in her tracks by stopping in front of her.

"I'll turn into a bear so you don't have to carry him, Asui-san," Urayuli said as she got on all fours.

"Call me Tsuyu-chan." Asui reiterated at her in the same way she did to Midoriya. "Are you sure about that, Ura-chan? You didn't look so hot before."

Urayuli sniffed as she rolled her shoulders. "Yeah, I don't understand what happened either, but I should be fine." Was she trying to reassure her friend, or herself? Still, she got ready for her shift, imagining a Grizzly Bear in the same way as that morning. She opened her eyes.

Her vision was the same, and Asui was staring at her curiously. Urayuli glanced at her hands planted on the ground and was surprised when she saw they were still just hands. Alright, let's try something else. She took a deep breath, focusing as hard as she could – like she always did when shifting – into a Bison this time. Her eyes opened.

Nothing happened.

No bright light, her body remained unchanged, and Urayuli was slowly losing her patience. "Alright, what the fuck is this." She grumbled to herself.

"Everything okay, Ura-chan?" Asui asked with a worried frown.

"That's the thing, I don't know," Urayuli confessed as she decided to shift into something else as a test. Let's do something simple. Time for an otter. Eyes closed, deep breath, trying hard to focus on something that shouldn't take this many tries. She opened her eyes and nothing. Her hand flies into her hair in frustration. "Come the fuck on!"

"W-what's happening?" Urayuli forced herself to calm down for her friend that seemed just as frantic and worried as she was. Asui's wide eyes were trained on her, the corners of her mouth dipping lower. Tell her the truth. Lies are death.

"I – I think my Quirk isn't working," Urayuli said, hugging herself as she tried her hardest not to sob. She could not keep her voice even as it quivered just slightly. What the hell is different this time?! Why won't my body just work?! Shaking her head angrily, she walked over to Aizawa-sensei's legs and grabbed onto his ankles. "Screw it, let's just go."

"What?" Asui asked incredulously as she readjusted their teacher. "Ura-chan, are you sure?"

"Yes, I'm sure." Urayuli gritted her teeth as they evened out the weight distribution of their teacher's body. "I've never in my life had this happen before, and I don't know why it happened. But there is no point in dwelling on it, because there's nothing I can do about it now. I'll figure it out when I get home. My grandfather might know more."

"PLUS ULTRA!"

A loud crash resounded through the entire facility, glass and concrete shattering and falling. Urayuli and Asui stopped walking and turned just at the right moment to see All Might pummeling into the disgusting bird-beast with countless punches, his last punch sending the creature flying into the dome-roof. The force caused an explosion, burning debris and glass falling to the ground. All Might stood panting with his right hand over his left shoulder post-punch. He did it. He fucking did it. A disbelieving smile stretched over Urayuli's cheeks.

"Jesus, he really is in a league of his own, huh?" Urayuli grunted as they continued walking towards the stairs, her knees wobbling slightly. "You doin' alright? How much longer do you think, Tsuyu-chan?"

"I'm doing fine, ribbit. Just hang in there, Ura-chan," Asui reassured her. "You got it right." Asui's words made Urayuli give a pained smile and a small huff. Somehow, being allowed to call Asui 'Tsuyu-chan' made her very happy. She didn't completely understand the whole 'familiarity'-thing Japan had, but being considered a friend to the frog-girl warmed her chest. They got closer to the stairs and as she peeked behind Asui's head, Urayuli saw Uraraka approach them with a relieved smile on her face, Shoji trailing close behind her.

"Yaraqpik-san! Tsuyu-chan!" Uraraka exclaimed, and for some reason, Urayuli felt her smile waver when Uraraka called her by her last name and Asui by her chosen nickname. "I'm so glad you're oka- Oh my gosh! Aizawa-sensei!"

"He's out cold and needs medical attention, and – I'll be honest – I'm not in any condition to carry him up the stairs," Urayuli confessed with a grimace. "Could you use your Quirk so we can float him up, Uraraka?"

"Of course!" Uraraka put her fingertips on Aizawa-sensei's shoulder and he slowly began to float, Asui's tongue around his midsection preventing him from rising any further. Urayuli let go of his ankles, silently wondering what floating like that would feel like.

"Do you need any help, Yaraqpik-san?" Shoji asked when he noticed her wobbly legs. Her knees almost buckled from exhaustion, but the tall boy caught her arms before she hit the ground. "Whoa, take it easy!"

"Are you hurt, Yaraqpik-san?" Uraraka asked. "What happened?"

"I'll tell you about it later, now is not the time. I'm not in pain, just achin'," Urayuli said with a grimace on her lips.

"Mezo-chan, Ura-chan overdid it today, so she needs some help up the stairs," Asui said as she kept her hands on Aizawa-sensei's legs to keep him steady.

"That's really not –" Urayuli began but was cut off by her own yelp of surprise when Shoji scooped her up in his arms, giving in to Asui's request immediately with no questions asked. He held her to his chest and it made Urayuli feel a little embarrassed, despite her fatigue. "Shoji-san, you could've just let me hold onto one of your arms."

"This is a little faster, though." The masked boy countered, and Urayuli had no reason or want to argue with him. The group, except for Urayuli and Aizawa-sensei, moved up the stairs at a normal pace, as the girls were making sure not to move their teacher around too much. When they reached the top, a few loud gunshots rang out and the four of them were greeted by an amazing sight.

"Sorry, everyone." An upbeat male voice spoke. "We're a little late. We brought everyone we could."

"Iida-kun!" Uraraka breathed out with tears in her eyes and Urayuli felt similar relief wash over her as all of their teachers stood at the top step, accompanied by the fastest student in their class. Principal Nezu – is he a mouse or a small bear– sat on Vlad-sensei's shoulders, the other teachers stood shoulder to shoulder, Snipe-sensei's gun still smoking.

"President of class 1-A, Iida Tenya! Reporting for duty!" Iida yelled in earnest.

"Oh, thank God." Urayuli panted, realizing how happy she was to see her class president. Shoji carefully set her down on her feet, making sure she was steady before grabbing hold of Aizawa-sensei. It was then when Urayuli noticed Sato and Sero holding onto Thirteen, whose suit was completely messed up and ripped apart in the back. Urayuli sighed in relief, knowing this whole debacle would be over soon.


"Sixteen... seventeen... eighteen... Besides the one with the messed-up legs, it looks like they're all unharmed."

Shortly after the teachers got to USJ, the pale-haired leader had escaped with the help of the purple mist, and not too long after that the police had arrived. Thirteen, All Might, Midoriya, and Aizawa-sensei had all been taken away, but Urayuli and her classmates were still uninformed of their current whereabouts. Urayuli let out a deep breath as she rubbed her sides roughly, the aching not entirely gone yet. They all stood waiting outside by the bus for more news but were growing more restless by the second.

"Ojiro-kun, looks like it was into the fire for you this time. And all alone? Nice going!" Hagakure said as she patted Ojiro's shoulder.

"I thought everyone was alone... I only survived with hit-and-run tactics... Where were you, Hagakure-san?"

"The landslide zone! That Todoroki's crazy strong!" The invisible girl said in awe. Urayuli snuck a curious glance at the boy in question, who didn't acknowledge Hagakure's claim of being in the landslide zone. Could... could it be he didn't know she was there?

"Are you okay?" Kirishima suddenly appeared next to her. Leave it to Kirishima to make sure I'm included.

"Honestly, I wish everyone would stop asking me that," Urayuli said with a wry smile. "I just want to go home and sleep."

"Yeah, I hear ya. Where did they drop you?"

"Oh, I was in the shipwreck area with Tsuyu-chan and Midoriya. Somewhere along the way, I passed the hell out, the next moment I was watching All Might beat the shit out of that... thing." Urayuli pondered over her next words. "Where did you end up?"

"I was in the ruins zone with Bakugo. We kicked some major ass in there! He was surprisingly manly and calm too, it surprised me!" Urayuli let out a hum in response. Are we talking about the Bakugo that almost blew up Midoriya's face because he couldn't keep his emotions in check? Well... Kirishima is saying it is, so it has to be true, right? Kirishima observed her face for a moment. "Did something happen? You look kinda pale."

Should I tell him? He hasn't given me any reason not to trust him. None of them have. People back in Alaska showed their true colors real quick, so can I have faith in them? Having made a decision, she nodded her head. Before saying anything, she grabbed onto Uraraka's wrist to catch her attention and add her to the conversation. I said I would tell her and I will. "I turned into a big spider, and usually when I shift I can feel myself being enveloped by warmth like I'm being guided. But this time, when I wanted to turn into anything else, it didn't happen. Shifts that are almost second nature suddenly wouldn't come out. There's something wrong with my Quirk," she confessed in a low voice and her friends looked at her in shock.

"Could it be that one of the villains had someone on their team like Aizawa-sensei? Someone who can turn off Quirks?" Kirishima said as he crossed his arms with a thoughtful look on his face.

"That is a possibility," Urayuli muttered. The dudes in the water had mostly water-based Quirks or something along those lines. When we were at the plaza, there wasn't anyone who could have that Quirk that I could observe. Were they hiding?

"Are you sure you don't need to go to the hospital or Recovery Girl?" Uraraka asked, putting a hand on Urayuli's shoulder. Urayuli shook her head and glanced around her, making sure no one was eavesdropping.

"I don't want to make it an issue before I ask my grandfather about it. Chances are he knows way more about this than anyone else." Urayuli said. Can I trust them with information about my Quirk? She stayed quiet for a moment before she said anything more. "When I know more, I'll text you guys about it."

"Alright, I'll give you my phone number after class," Kirishima said. Uraraka gripped her shoulder a bit tighter as if to comfort Urayuli. It made her heart flutter and she managed a small smile for her friend.

"We're gonna get you kids back to the classroom for now. This is no time to take your statements." A detective wearing a trench-coat said to the students.

"Detective, what about Aizawa-sensei" Asui's eyes were drawn together with worry as she hopped over to him. The detective turned to the girl and his lips formed a tight line.

"Both of his arms were smashed to splinters. His face is also fractured," Urayuli cringed at the extent of her teacher's injuries. "Thankfully, he doesn't have any brain damage. But... his eye sockets have been pulverized. There's a chance he may suffer long-term loss of vision. That's what the doctor said." Jesus Christ, I can't even imagine the pain you must be in, Teach. "Thirteen has terrible lacerations across her back and upper arms, but her life isn't in danger. All Might's injuries aren't life-threatening either. It's possible that Recovery Girl's healing will be enough for him, so he's gone off to the Nurse's Office." Everyone's shoulders relaxed at the good news, relieved their teachers were on the mend.

"And Deku...?" Uraraka asked, her hands resting on her sternum.

"What of Midoriya?!" Iida demanded, not able to keep his worry under control.

"Midori – ah. It seems he also made it to the Nurse's Office in time." A wave of relief went through the students, as everyone let out a breath of air. The detective turned to a police officer, who was... a cat? Not a dog? "And I actually have business there myself. Sansa, I'll leave the rest to you." The tabby cat person gave the detective a salute in response.

Kirishima walked away from Urayuli and Uraraka, and Urayuli followed him with her eyes. He walked over to Bakugo and while she could only see his back, she could see his head was tilted up. Is he looking at the roof of the building? She shifted her gaze to where she thought he was looking at. There's nothing there?

"Bakugo! He said to go back to the classroom, dude!" Kirishima called out to the blond and it caught her off guard. When did they become friends? Bakugo turned around to glare at Kirishima.

"I know, bastard!" He growled before turning his body to approach them. Oh yeah, lookin' real calm over there. Urayuli blew out air from her nose in a mirthless laugh but otherwise said nothing.

"Class 1-A! Please get on the bus in an orderly fashion!" Iida announced loudly, whistle already in his hand and ready to blow it. Somehow finding the strength, Urayuli paced over to him and snatched the whistle from his neck and threw it somewhere in the bushes.

"I'll get you another one, but please man, I'm too tired to deal with shrill noises right now," Urayuli said when Iida had opened his mouth to reprimand her. To her surprise, he dropped the issue with a closed-mouth sigh. Regardless, everyone made their way onto the bus in a neat line, the adrenaline of the day having drained their bodies. Urayuli walked behind Kirishima, who was walking behind Bakugo. She didn't how it happened but suddenly she was overcome with a dizzy spell and stumbled forward, barely knocking into Kirishima and falling to the ground. However, she never hit the ground and was quickly pulled upright by her upper arms by a pair of hands that respectively had vastly different temperatures, the right being ice cold and the left warm.

"You okay?" Todoroki asked her and despite the concerned words, his low voice sounded apathetic and close to uncaring. Oh, he's the one with the ice Quirk, right?

"Yeah, I'm good. Just a dizzy spell." She looked into his face unabashedly, the red angry burn over his left eye a stark contrast with his otherwise pale skin, to not make him feel as if she was actively avoiding it. I mean, it is a part of his face, not looking at it would be even more of an insult, right? The only burn victims she knew were old men who mishandled equipment and disfigured their hands, but smack-dab in their face? Not a common sight in her town, or anytime she had ever been to Anchorage. "Did I startle you?" She asked him.

"Not really." Was his non-committal answer and he gave her a shrug, not looking her in the eye. Okay, that's a little annoying. She didn't know why, but Todoroki looked so goddamn familiar to her. She had noticed the moment she saw him but never had the chance to ask him about it.

"Say, I gotta ask," Urayuli started, and he finally looked at her. "Have I seen you somewhere before? I don't know why, but you look strangely familiar." His eyes suddenly got a cold edge to them and Urayuli knew immediately she should've kept her mouth shut. She knew that look very well. Cole would often have that same look in his eyes after an incident with his parents – either after they fought each other or... Her lips formed a thin line and she closed her eyes briefly. "You know what, forget I asked. Sorry." Urayuli shook her head and lifted a hand to wave away the question. She turned around to get into the bus, surprise filling her as both Kirishima and Bakugo had stopped walking to watch their interaction more closely. "Can I help you?"

"Who cares about your conversations anyway, fuzzball?" Bakugo sneered at her, squaring up to seem threatening. Fighting to suppress the nervous bark of laughter, she clasped her hands behind her back and pinched the soft flesh between her thumb and pointer finger.

"Then keep your eyes forward and get into the bus, firecracker," Urayuli said with a raised eyebrow and a grimace on her lips. Bakugo made to pass Kirishima, but the redhead grabbed onto his shoulders and turned him back around, pushing him inside the bus.

"Oi, what the fuck, shitty hair?!"

Kirishima didn't answer the blond, just grinned slightly in response and turning his back to smile back at her. Urayuli joined them and the others on the bus, taking her seat next to Aoyama with a deep sigh. Fucking finally, I sits. She glanced at the boy next to her. There wasn't a single scratch on his shining suit of armor, Urayuli noticed as she looked him over.

"Your costume is as shiny as ever." She complimented and Aoyama's eyes twinkled at her words. "Didn't get warped anywhere crazy, did you?" Aoyama turned to face... nothing in particular, but he definitely wasn't looking at her anymore.

"It's a secret." He said mysteriously as he seemed to sparkle even more and Urayuli snorted, finding his antics humorous.

"Gotta keep some things a mystery, right?" She gave him a tired grin, and his strange smile got a little wider.

"Ouithat's correct. You're the only one that gets it." He praised with a twinkle in his indigo eyes. Urayuli smiled at him – a genuine smile that reached her eyes – as her stomach fluttered for the umpteenth time that day. Hardships force people to grow closer, right? She took a gander at the rest of the bus, watching her classmates. Jiro and Yaoyorozu sat together in the back, tired and slightly dirty faces, sagging into their seats. Bakugo sat on the other side of the bus, his eyes closed, Kirishima and Kaminari in the seats in front of him. Wait, what's the matter with Kaminari? He had a weirdly dumb look on his face and kept saying "uwee uwee hee hee". Did he fry his brain or something? The other students were either taking a short catnap or sat with their faces buried in their hands from fatigue.

The sun was low in the sky when they got back to the school, and class 1-A strolled back to their classroom. Since classes were over they were in no hurry and they talked among themselves. Urayuli didn't do a lot of talking and was happy to just be listening to her classmates talk. Despite her fears and the anxiety she experienced that day, she felt strangely determined. They won't get away with this so easily next time, is what ran through her head. But first... she gazed at her closed fist, I need to make sure I can use my Quirk again.

They arrived at their classroom and everyone grabbed their respective suitcases, walking over to the locker-rooms to put their uniforms back on. Urayuli fished her phone out of her jacket's pocket and sent a quick text to her grandfather.

Hey, can you pick me up from school? I don't know if you heard, but there was an incident during class, and I'm not really in a state to go home by myself.

She also sent a text to her father.

Pops, can we have a skype call this weekend? I just really want to talk to you. Kisses .

Having arrived in the locker-room, Urayuli set her suitcase down and clicked it open, her folded uniform untouched and still neat. Her backpack was also still crammed inside. Idiot, why wouldn't they be? No one else knows you and would tamper with them. She took her hair out of its braid and carefully took the feathers out, shaking it out. I should've just put it in a ponytail and be done with it. Urayuli was glad she hadn't put on any warpaint that day – not for any reason except time management.

Changing was mostly done in silence, the only sound either slight grunts because of sore muscles or clothes rustling. Urayuli at some point asked Yaoyorozu for her brush, which the dark-haired girl gladly gave. Urayuli nodded in thanks before carefully brushing through her tangled locks. Mid-brushstroke her phone buzzed once and she let the brush sit in her hair as she opened the message, her friends giggling at the sight of it.

I heard. I'll be there as soon as I can. Calypso is coming too. Are you safe?

She scoffed as she read the message. Oh, she's coming too? Great...

Yeah, I'm safe. I'll see you later.

Urayuli finished changing quickly after and returned her suitcase in the classroom, together with the other girls. The seven girls made their way downstairs, eager to be going home.

"Which train do you take, Yaraqpik-chan?" Ashido asked her. While it felt better to be called -chan instead of -san, Urayuli still felt weird about being called by her last name by the girls for some reason. Can I just ask them to call me by my first name, or is that too forward? Too soon? When is it considered acceptable? Tsuyu-chan wants everyone to call her that, but is it different if you're a foreigner? She must've been deep in thought because Ashido gave her a tug on her jacket to get her attention. "Yaraqpik-chan?"

"Sorry, I was just thinking," Urayuli said, scratching her neck. "I'm not gonna take any train today, my grandfather is picking me up." They exited the gate and she took a quick look around, not seeing him anywhere. "He's not here yet. Guess I'll have to wait a bit."

"Would you like us to wait with you?" Jiro asked her. Urayuli smiled at her friends but shook her head in the negative as she set her backpack at her feet.

"Nah, I don't want to keep you guys," Urayuli assured them. Uraraka stepped a little closer.

"Are you sure? We wouldn't mind, you know that, right?" Uraraka's concern was touching but Urayuli didn't know how long her grandfather was going to take, and she wanted some alone time.

"Put those worried eyebrows away." Urayuli grinned as she put a comforting hand on the brunette's shoulder. "Go home and relax. I need some time to think anyway. I appreciate the concern, though." The girls seemed unsure still and Urayuli wiped her face with her hand. "Look, I'll just ask one of the guys to wait with me if that will put your minds at ease."

"Oh! You're gonna do the damsel-in-distress thing?" Hagakure asked with a small squeal. "How oddly romantic, Yaraqpik-chan!"

"Oh, absolutely not." Urayuli huffed, her grin growing wider. "I'm gonna tell them they don't have any manners if they don't wait with me. Which will be true, by the way."

Yaoyorozu hummed behind a dainty hand, Uraraka and Asui had similar wide grins on their faces, Jiro chuckled, while Ashido and Hagakure laughed out loud.

"Correct you are, Yaraqpik-san. Send us a text when your grandfather has picked you up, and when you've gotten home safely?" Yaoyorozu asked and Urayuli nodded in response.

"Alright! See you tomorrow!" The girls said to one another as they all went in the same direction to the train station. Urayuli sighed deeply; was she a big baby for not taking the train back home? If she had just sucked it up, she could hang out with the other girls. She shook her head. There's no way I can walk all the way home today. Leaning against the gate pillars, she waited until some of her male classmates came out of the school. Unfortunately for her, the first boy to make an appearance was Bakugo, stomping his way past her. She swallowed the excess saliva that had formed in her mouth.

"Yo, Bakugo." He turned to glare at her briefly before opening his mouth.

"You're not gone yet?" He grumbled. "So much for hoping you'd take the earlier train."

"Shut up." She scoffed good-naturedly, not taking his comments personal for once. "My grandpa is picking me up in his car, can you wait with me?" Whatever compelled her to ask him instead of waiting for anyone else to come along, she didn't know. She already had her answer whether or not he was just like those assholes back in her hometown – and he clearly wasn't – so why keep talking to him? It could have been her unachievable desire to get along with everybody in class, or maybe she was just more at ease with him because Kirishima said so. Who knowsshe asked herself.

"Too frail and weak to go home by yourself?" He complained with narrowed eyes as he turned to walk away. "Hell no, fuzzball."

Time for my foolproof plan that may or may not work on him. "What, your mom never teach you any manners?" Urayuli quipped, hoping the accusation would get on his nerves enough to make him stay a bit longer. Now, the goal to make him wait had changed into making him stay and bicker until Max rolled up.

"Didn't yours?" His retort made her flinch internally.

"No." She answered simply, her gaze shifting to look straight ahead rather than in his face. He inclined his head as if he was asking what was the hell wrong with her. "She's dead."

Bakugo didn't say anything, and neither did she. It was the first time she ever openly said a word about her mother to anyone that wasn't family, it just wasn't a topic she was comfortable speaking about. Urayuli chanced a glance his direction and he seemed to be at a bit of a loss, if only for a moment. That's new. Still, he didn't walk away and stayed glued to the other gate pillar. Just far away enough so it wouldn't look like they were waiting together but doing so anyway. At least, that's what it seemed like to Urayuli. Their other classmates left the school one by one and she gave them all a 'good night' and a wave, which almost all of them returned – with the exception of Koda, who only waved nervously before scurrying off. Kirishima ran past them and yelled a quick explanation before he left; his mom had dinner prepared so he had to bounce.

"You looked pretty cool when you saved Midoriya from that purple mist guy," Urayuli told Bakugo after five minutes of silence and him trying to keep his teeth-grinding to a minimum – it didn't work, she heard him anyway.

"Ha? I didn't save him, he gave me a good opening to take down that misty son of a bitch." Bakugo said as he crossed his arms. Urayuli hummed at him.

"Still, if it weren't for you, he'd either be warped somewhere else or dead. Now he just has broken legs, but that's his own doing." She looked down at her shoes, her lips tightening. "I just wish I could've helped more." Urayuli was aware that she was rambling. It appeared to be something she often did when around Bakugo. He's not that scary anymore, but he's still unpredictable.

"Then get stronger instead of crying about it." He responded roughly. Urayuli's noise crinkled in irritation.

"Alright – first off – I'm not crying, I'm," she took a moment to think of the correct word, pointer finger suspended in the air. "Lamenting? I'm lamenting."

"Yeah, that's what I said," Bakugo reiterated with an annoyed grimace. "Crying."

"Second off," Urayuli ignored his comment, making the number two with her fingers. "I couldn't have done anything. My..." she was quiet, wondering if the next words on her lips were the right thing to say, or if she should say them at all. "I thought of going after Midoriya, but I had to make sure Aizawa-sensei was safe. Then I found out that for some reason, my Quirk stopped working." Going into detail about her self-doubts was a bad idea, so she threw that out of the window immediately. "That's why I'm having my grandpa pick me up – so we can figure out a way to... I don't even know, reverse it?"

"Haven't you tried using it after the villains got arrested?" Bakugo asked tersely. Damn, he really does not want to be here. His words did trigger something in Urayuli. Wait. I hadn't checked yetNot wanting to get onto her hands and feet, she stayed upright and closed her eyes. Fox, fox, fox. Be a fox. The warmth never came, her body did not change. Still nothing.

"No dice." She said softly, her head hanging low as she was forcing herself not to tear up.

"Urayuli?" Max's voice rang out over the street. Urayuli's head raised as she looked for the source. "Kituuqta!" He shouted and that's when she noticed him leaning one arm over the roof of his baby-blue Kei car on the other side of the road. She watched with a crinkled nose as Calypso – who was wearing her Hero Costume again for some reason – moved out of the passenger seat to hold the door open, motioning for her to join them. Wiping away the tears that never fell, Urayuli locked eyes with Bakugo and gave him a small wave.

"Thank you for waiting with me. See you tomorrow." Urayuli said as she picked up her backpack and passed him to walk over to Max and Calypso. When she reached the passenger seat, she turned around to glance at Bakugo, but he had already turned to leave for the station. Calypso put a hand on her shoulder that Urayuli hastily shrugged off. Don't touch me, fucking gussak. My classmates touching me and comforting me I'm okay with. You don't get to do that. Already Urayuli's mood was far worse than it was when she was in actual danger and it was because of the older woman's mere presence. She didn't want to talk about what happened with Calypso in the car.

Max got into the vehicle with a little bit of difficulty, the tiny car proving a bit too cramped for his large stature. He grumbled as he wrestled with the seatbelt and waited for Urayuli to put hers on. "This isn't The Bay, put your seatbelt on or we're not going anywhere." Urayuli scoffed and chuckled at his words. "What are you laughing at?"

"It's just been a while since I've heard the words 'The Bay' come out of anyone's mouth," Urayuli said with a grin as she buckled herself in. Max let out a chuckle of his own before he wiped the smile off his face.

"Principal Nezu called me after the police had taken the villains into custody and I was about to fall asleep during his twenty-minute tangent when you texted me," Max said while grabbing a pair of aviator sunglasses out of the holder above the rear-view mirror. He adjusted the captain's hat to sit more firmly on his head before setting the sunglasses on the bridge of his nose. "What happened exactly?"

Urayuli looked at her hands, clasped together and fidgeting slightly. She wasn't sure how to bring it up, or how to tell him what transpired inside the training facility. Hell, I hardly know myself what happened. I got warped, I turned into a big spider and... pain and darkness. Urayuli picked at her earlobe before answering.

"Can I tell you when we get home?" Urayuli stared at Calypso's reflection in the side-view mirror with narrowed eyes.

"Sure. Want me to put the radio on?" Max asked. It's sweet that he wants me to be comfortable.

"No, thank you."

The rest of the car ride was quiet as Urayuli gazed out the window at the passing buildings and lampposts. Even Calypso hadn't said anything during their drive, something Urayuli was grateful for. About twenty minutes later, they arrived at the square of parking spaces near their house where Max expertly moved the car like a Tetris-block in between two other cars. Showoff.


"I'm going to make some tea," Calypso said with a smile as they entered the Ivanov home. "What's your favorite kind, Urayuli?"

I don't want you to make tea, I want you to leave. Urayuli pouted with a furrowed brow, kicking off her shoes haphazardly before running up the stairs to get changed. She put on a long-sleeved shirt, her favorite blue zip-up hoodie, and a pair of soft sweatpants. Taking a moment to look at herself in the mirror, her face contorted in disapproval at the state of her hair. I thought I brushed it? She ran her hand through it, the strands feeling rough and coarse. Oh. No wonder it looks bad, I brushed it when it was wet and gross.

Promising herself she would take a shower after her talk with Max, she went downstairs and into the living room. The sweet smell of rooibos wafted through the room and Urayuli felt herself relax a little. Max sat forward in his recliner with his elbows on his knees, hands clasped together in front of him. His thick white hair was tousled from his hat, which lay forgotten on the coffee table. Urayuli took a seat on the couch with an exhale of breath. Her cup was set in front of her by a pale hand, and another in front of Max. Guess she's not going anywhere, huh?

"You didn't hear me earlier, so I just guessed which tea you liked." Calypso hummed as she sat down on her knees on the carpet. Urayuli was not in the mood to tell her that she had heard her but just chose to ignore her instead. Still, she grabbed the warm cup and took a tentative sip. Too hot.

"Urayuli, tell me what happened," Max said curtly. "You have been avoiding the question and you never do that."

"It's..." she glanced at Calypso's face that was staring at her intently. "Look, I don't mean to be rude, but is there a reason you're still here? This has nothing to do with you." Calypso blinked at her words, the smile that seemed to just be part of resting face fell.

"Urayuli!" Max exclaimed abruptly and Urayuli jumped at his loud voice. "Calypso is here to help you with your Quirk in ways that I can't. Now stop avoiding the question. What. Happened."

"I don't know what happened, okay!" Urayuli yelled as her patience with the entire day started to wear thin. "There was this guy who had a warping Quirk and he relocated everyone to different places. I got thrown into a big lake with two other classmates and we managed to get on a ship without getting hurt." Her voice lost its volume as she started to recount the events of the day. "There were villains in the water and they had us surrounded. We needed to come up with a plan, and one of my classmates suggested I shift into a giant spider to make spider-silk. When I went to change back" – Urayuli took a deep breath – "The world was dark and my sides hurt so much. It felt as if they were burning and they ached. I passed out after that. Or at least, I think I did, because the next moment I was in the plaza with my classmates and All Might. And... now my Quirk doesn't work. I was thinking it was a villain with a Quirk like Aizawa-sensei's but –"

"Wait, wait, wait. Hold up. You're saying... you're saying you shifted into what? A giant spider?" Max let out a huff of laughter. "How big are we talking exactly?" Calypso said nothing, though she covered her mouth with her hand as she stared at Urayuli.

"I guess about the size of a big dog? I think I reached my classmate's waist in terms of height." Max's laughter was completely gone from his face, his eyes widening and his brow furrowing.

"...How did you do it." It wasn't as much of a question as it was a demand. He glanced at Calypso from the corner of his eye, who's breath deepened as she shrank under his stare.

"Same way I do any shift. I just imagined what I would look like in that form and let the warm light guide me. Instead of turning into a regular Brown Recluse, I just imagined myself... bigger." Urayuli explained lamely, putting her hands an inch away from each other before making the gap between them larger for emphasis. Still, something didn't sit well with her. Why doesn't he care about my Quirk not working? Isn't that kind of serious? Why does he keep asking about the stupid spider?

Max's jaw hung slack after her explanation but only for a moment before tightening harshly, the hands in his lap twitching. He fully turned his gaze to Calypso, his mouth twisted in a snarl. Calypso carefully held up her hands in front of her as she slowly got up from her knees and backed away from the man.

"Max, this isn't what it –" before she could finish her sentence, Max had moved towards her with frightening speed, knocking over the coffee table in the process and spilling the lukewarm teas all over the floor. Urayuli quickly shot up with a yelp of alarm at the sudden movement before Max grabbed Calypso by the front of her costume with both hands and harshly slammed her against the nearest wall, keeping them face to face as he held her almost a foot above the ground.

"You!" He thundered in Calypso's face, white-knuckling the fabric into his fists and eyes wild. "Grandpa, what the fuck?!" Urayuli cried, disturbed by her grandfather's out of character display of violence.

"Max, I swear, I didn't – " Calypso croaked but he interrupted the woman by knocking her body again into the wall.

"Do you honestly expect me to believe that?!" He barked at her, acid slowly seeping into his voice. "That you wouldn't teach her how to Mis-shift?!"

What the hell is Mis-shifting? Urayuli stood near the knocked-over coffee table, watching the scene in front of her with open mouth, afraid and confused as to what was happening. Her grandfather had never acted like this. Ornery, sure. Irritable and often grouchy, but never violent. Calypso gasped in his grasp as she held onto his wrists, the older man much stronger than her.

"Grandpa, stop!" Urayuli's words did nothing to change the situation, it was almost as if he hadn't heard her in the first place.

"It's not enough that you would forever taint the last memory I had of my wife's face, but now" – he took a deep and angry breath through his nose – "you've come to take my granddaughter away from me too!" His voice sounded tight at the end of his sentence and Urayuli felt tears well up in her eyes from the tone. His accusation gave Urayuli more questions than answers, she was even more confused than before, but she had to put an end to this. Whatever had happened between the both of them had nothing to do with this and Urayuli had to set the record straight.

Chapter Text

The gentle sunlight peeking through the small opening in her curtains was enough to wake Urayuli from her restless slumber. She groggily sat up in her bed as she roughly wiped the sleep from her eyes. It had taken her a while to find a comfortable position for the night and even then, the events that transpired downstairs had her heart feeling uneasy. I can almost feel how deep the bags under my eyes are. Two nights of bad sleep in a row, Urayuli was over it.

Absentmindedly she grabbed her phone from her nightstand and grimaced at the soft blinking LED. Five new messages, with three from an unfamiliar number.

[Unknown Number] 6:45 :

Hey Yaraqpik! Sorry I left in a hurry yesterday! I forgot to ask for your number, so I texted Midoriya for it!

[Unknown Number] 6:46 :

It's your pal Kirishima btw!

A sleepy smile crept over her lips as she saved his contact information, before reading the last message.

[Kirishima] 6:46 :

I don't know if you anyone else has texted you yet, but they canceled classes for today. Get some rest.

Urayuli frowned as her eyes darted to the time displayed on the top-right corner of the screen. 8:38. Any other day and I would've been late. She quickly checked if anyone else had messaged her about it. Sure enough – both Yaoyorozu and Midoriya had texted her the same message about classes being canceled today and would resume on Friday. Probably sent it out to everybody. Still, Urayuli decided it was nice to not be forgotten. Besides, grandpa would never have let me sleep in like this. Her nose crinkled involuntarily. Yeah... Grandpa Max.

With a deep sigh, she let herself fall back in the bed, staring at the ceiling she had become well-acquainted with on some nights since coming to Japan. She lifted a hand above her, reaching out to it, before making a fist and lowering her arm so it rested across her eyes.

"Last night fucking sucked."


Urayuli watched as Calypso helplessly and feebly kicked her legs around while the much larger Max held her suspended against the wall. The older woman wasn't aiming to kick the man holding her so aggressively, but trying to get some sort of foothold as she was struggling to breathe. As much as Urayuli didn't like her, she couldn't just stand by and watch whatever was happening happen.

"Papa, it's not true!" She hopped over the mess he had left behind in the scuffle and latched onto his right arm, trying in vain to pull it down. "Calypso never told me about anything! I figured out how to do it by myself! She never taught me, I swear!"

"What?!" Max all but growled at his granddaughter, not quite believing her. He swiftly moved his head to face Urayuli without letting go of Calypso. His eyes bore into hers, trying to detect the tiniest hint of deception. She stared right back at him, unrelenting.

This time her words reached him as he unceremoniously dropped Calypso, having the woman fall on her ass and gasp for breath. Max's body fully turned to Urayuli, his face still holding some anger as he kept their eyes locked.

"She has never told you how to do it? You're certain?"

"When have I ever lied to you?"

Max let out a deep sigh of resignation as his jaw clenched harshly. He gave the deeply breathing blond on the floor a final conflicted stare before moving over to the forgotten coffee table. He lifted the table with one hand and flipped it back in its original position, and fetched the teacups with the other. Only a little bit reluctant, Urayuli moved over to Calypso to lift her up by her wrist, who gave her a kind smile in return but was able to get up on her own strength as she got her breathing under control. Max stood with his back to them as he spoke.

"What you did today is something Shifters call 'Mis-Shifting'," Max said in a low voice. "The reason your Quirk isn't working is that that's not something our bodies are supposed to do."

Calypso patted Urayuli on her shoulder, and this time she let her. Her breathing was back to normal, but still a bit shaky as she was trying to process what had just happened. Calypso quickly moved over to the kitchen to grab a rag from the counter and began wiping up the spilled tea. Neither adult looked at each other until Calypso broke the brief silence.

"It's something shifters are rarely able to do and even when they can, it's like their Quirk rejects it," Calypso explained in a quiet voice Urayuli hadn't heard before. "Mimics – like me – can do it freely because we can change our form at will, but shifters –"

"Us Shifters," – Max interrupted her roughly – "have to abide by the laws of nature. Shifting is easier for us because the form comes naturally. When you turn into a seagull for the first time, you already know how to fly. You have nothing to teach yourself. It comes with your instincts," Max explained, and Urayuli thought back to every time she ever shifted and how easy it was to just be the animal she turned into. How the animal's instinct was her own.

"Even for talented Mimics like Calypso," Max continued as he pointed to the woman with his hand, "some forms are more difficult to learn than others. We have rules we must abide by or face the consequences. When you Mis-Shift, you can become lost in a form you're unfamiliar with and never come back. Or worse yet, the unstable form might just kill you."

"So, Mis-Shifting is like... just turning into something you shouldn't?" Urayuli asked, the end of her sentence lilting up in an unsure fashion. Max gave her both a nod and a shrug.

"It's more than that. It's turning into something that doesn't – or shouldn't – exist." Max said. Urayuli's head spun from the amount of information.

"This..." Urayuli started, but couldn't find the words to describe what she was feeling. Exhaustion from the day or the onslaught of info that she now needed to remember for the rest of her life, she couldn't say.

"I know this is a lot to take in," Calypso clasped her hands together as she came closer to Urayuli, rag lying forgotten on the floor. "This won't be the last time we talk about this. But there are fates worse than death for shifters– "

Max coughed rather loudly and cleared his throat, making Urayuli and Calypso look at him in alarm. "How about we save that for another day," he said as he gave Calypso a pointed look. He walked over to the kitchen to drop the cups in the sink.

"Is that why I was in so much pain afterward?" Urayuli started, not willing to let the conversation die out just yet. "Because the form was unstable? What about my eyes?"

"It's one of the reasons." Max turned to look at her again and sighed. "My theory about your eyes is that your body could not keep up with you shifting and retained the Brown Recluse's eyesight instead. The pain in your sides were phantom pains from your extra legs suddenly disappearing."

Doesn't that only happen to amputees, Urayuli thought with a tight expression. But as she thought about it, the more it made sense; maybe her body perceived it as if her legs had been amputated? But her brief blindness worried her, as Brown Recluses aren't blind at all, they just don't see very well.

"When will my Quirk come back?" She asked, her voice small.

"Usually after a good night's sleep," Calypso added with an exaggerated yawn. "Speaking of which, I am beat. I'll come by again this weekend, that okay?" Urayuli nodded, understanding her unease. Despite her conflicting feelings towards the older woman, Urayuli could not fault her for needing to excuse herself. God knows she wanted to. Only one night of sleep, though? She could hardly believe it, but her grandfather gave no indication of it being untrue.

Max nodded tersely and Calypso took this as her cue to go. She hovered her hand above Urayuli's head for a short moment before retracting her hand and giving her a wobbly smile instead, leaving quietly through the door to the hallway. Granddaughter and grandfather were silent as they heard Calypso put on her boots and Urayuli could've sworn she heard the older woman's wet sniffle right before closing the door.

"Okay, what was that?" Urayuli asked after a moment of silence, turning to face Max. He held her gaze briefly before looking away from her.

"It's not important," he said curtly. Urayuli felt her fingers twitch in agitation, the words she so commonly used to deflect thrown back in her face.

"Yes. It is. I just asked." Urayuli said as steadfast as possible, feeling her words were justification enough. Max still refused to look at her. "Grandpa," she ground out, jaw clenching painfully.

Max let out a deep sigh as he sat down in his chair, leaning forward on his knees with his elbows. He clasped his hands together as if he was trying to ground himself.

"Calypso and I have been through a lot together," Max began, Urayuli noted how tired he sounded from the slightly stilted way he spoke. "Many of those wounds still aren't healed, but if you want to understand what just happened, it's as simple as this; I thought that she had tried to teach you something that would take you away from me."

The confession made Urayuli uneasy, her throat and mouth suddenly dried out instantaneously. She couldn't understand why Max would say something like that, especially considering he brought Calypso in the picture in the first place. There had to be more to it, she was sure of it.

"What does that mean, Papa? Why would she take me away?" Max didn't answer her immediately, just sighed deeply again. "Grandpa?" Still, he remained quiet, not even looking her in the eyes. Him not coming clean about whatever it was that happened in the past agitated her to no end. She'd like to think she understood where he was coming from, but she was so exhausted from being in the dark about him. She realized just how little she really knew about her grandfather. Him being so unwilling to confide in her was frustrating, and annoyingly familiar.

"You know what? Never mind," her throat felt tight and her eyes burned with unshed tears. "Now I finally understand why you hate my dad so much. You're exactly like him." She ignored Max's sharp inhale of breath as she left the living room with a scoff, closing the door to the hallway with a resounding click.


Urayuli wiped her face as she was preparing herself to get up, get dressed, and face the music. Or perhaps lack thereof, if my assumption of him is in any way correct. Urayuli thought back to the weeks leading up to her father's brief disappearance and how distant her father had been. How he had refused to be the first to apologize. Not that he had any malicious intent, she knew he had her best interest in mind. Yet, it did nothing to still the heavy feeling in her chest as she remembered his reaction whenever she asked about, for example, her mother. Kvichak would get a faraway look in his eye and stay quiet for a moment before saying:

"Maybe some other time, Yuli."

Any and all attempts to get him to open up about it were shut down almost immediately. Urayuli scoffed bitterly. And then to think he was always so adamant on honesty. Again, she understood why. It just made her feel like shit. I should call him today.

Stretching out, she slowly untangled her legs from the thick blankets, making a mental note to switch them out for thinner ones before it got too hot outside. On her way to the bathroom, she passed by the full-body mirror on her closet door and snickered at the state of her hair. She also noticed how truly tired she looked, the purple bags under her eyes made her blow air out of her mouth exasperatedly. "Goddamn," she muttered as she raked a hand through her dark and tangled locks.

After an uncharacteristically long and hot shower – the goal may or may not have been to completely rid the house of warm water – her hair was finally free of its snarls and her face looked less tired as the hot water had given it a slight rosy glow. Urayuli decided to blow-dry her hair instead of letting it air dry, not in the mood for wet hair all day. At least – that's what she was telling herself was the reason for taking so long in the bathroom.

Maybe it's time to check if my Quirk still works. She stood in front of the mirror in her bedroom, staring at her naked form. Calypso said she only needed a night's sleep for her Quirk to come back, but Urayuli was doubtful. She just couldn't imagine it being that easy if Mis-Shifting was akin to breaking the rules for Shifters. Still, her grandfather hadn't corrected the woman. Taking a deep breath, she envisioned the form of an otter. Warmth enveloped her as her bones shifted and changed shape and when she opened her eyes again, she gave a cry of relief when she saw a brown otter with cognac eyes gazing back at her. She swiftly turned back and crumbled to the floor, a sigh left her lips and happy tears slid down her cheeks. "Oh, thank god..."

Before long, Urayuli stood at the top of the staircase with a dry face, dressed in a black tank-top and a blue flannel shirt that actually fit her. One of the many tags on the inside of her black jeans scratched against the skin of her hip. I should cut that thing out.

She closed her eyes, concentrating on the lack of noise from downstairs. The smell of wood-smoke and pine was very present, as well as the smell of waffles and syrup. Max was still home and had made breakfast. Urayuli exhaled through her nose as she scratched the back of her knee with her toes. She tried to make as little noise coming down the stairs as possible, despite knowing Max could hear her regardless.

Urayuli had to admit to herself that it might have been wrong of her to compare Max to Kvichak when it came to her asking questions. While Kvichak would only talk about her mother whenever it was convenient for him, she could understand the difficulty of even hearing her being mentioned by someone else, even if it was his own daughter. And even though Max might not jump at the opportunity to talk about certain topics, he at least tried to give her straight answers when she asked for them. Except for last night, obviously.

When Urayuli entered the living room, the rich aroma of butter and maple syrup that washed over her made her eyes flutter. Damn, that smells fantastic. She walked over to the kitchen and saw Max sitting at the table with his chin resting on his folded hands. Like her, he had dark bags under his eyes. Didn't have a good night either, huh? The moment she showed her face he stood up and grabbed a plate of waffles and set it on the table with a sigh. Urayuli's stomach clenched. Is this going to be the moment he wants to negotiate with me to make me apologize? She stared at the still steaming waffles for a moment.

"Grandpa –"

"I'm sorry, Urayuli."

Come again? Urayuli gave Max a bug-eyed look, unsure if she had heard him correctly.

"I need you to understand that there are some things that are very difficult for me to talk about," he told her seriously. "I want to teach you everything I know, but it'll take a long time and I don't want to mess this up like I did the last time with Calypso." Urayuli's heart beat a little faster in anticipation and she nodded for him to continue.

"She was my apprentice and I failed her. She is a talented shifter, beyond talented even. Which is why I swallowed my pride and invited her to help you." Max said as he raked a hand through his white hair. Urayuli was thankful for the short silence, allowing her to ask questions of her own.

"Why would you think she would take me away?" Urayuli asked. "You said something about that last night." Max sighed deeply at her question and Urayuli dreaded the answer, but she had to know.

"Because the last time she and I spoke, she used that same technique – Mis-Shifting – to transform into something I told her not to."

"What, did she transform into a dragon or something? What?"

"A person." Max's confession made her heart stop and her eyes widen from shock. She can do something like that? "She used her Quirk to try and get what she wanted, therefore using it for the wrong reasons. So I sent her away and I told her I never wanted to see her again. For two years I taught her everything I knew, and she used it against me. That's why what happened last night happened..." Urayuli absentmindedly took a large bite from her waffles, her eyes trained on her clenched fist next to her plate. If I hadn't turned into that damn spider, none of this would've happened. As if he had read her mind, Max said, "You did nothing wrong, you just stumbled upon something you should have never seen. And now it's my turn to apologize to her too."

She kept eating quietly, unsure of what to say to him. This was the most he had told her about his past with Calypso, but it felt like he hadn't told her anything at all. Urayuli was a little surprised to learn the older woman used to be Max's apprentice and wondered what the details were of their falling out. Maybe I'll ask him about it some other time.

"Urayuli," Max started again. "You must never do that again. Mis-Shifting, I mean. Whether you understand it or not. Trust me when I say it's for your own good." Despite how useful it was to her yesterday, she felt herself nod in agreement. Just thinking about the pain that came afterward had her cringing.

"Okay, Grandpa. I won't." She was quiet for a moment. "What's gonna happen with Calypso?"

"I'll go to her and apologize, and she will continue helping me train you," Max said. Urayuli let the information settle, feeling a little relieved, oddly enough. She had no love for the woman, she was an outsider and she had apparently hurt Max in the past. However, she had treated Urayuli with respect from the start, and that was more than she could say about other adults in her life. There's just one thing...

"Something about her bothers me," Urayuli said and it made Max look up from his clasped hands to her face. "She is a stranger to me, and she knows so much more about you than I do."

"I've known her for a long time, and she knew me when I was younger," Max reached over to put his hand on her shoulder. "She was my first apprentice, but you will be my last. And everything she knows, you'll know too – in time. But you have to be patient, kituuqta."

Urayuli smiled briefly before another thought popped up in her mind. A question Calypso had left unanswered when confronted. "Why does she call you 'crow'?" Max's left eye twitched, and Urayuli would've missed it if she wasn't staring so intently at his face. His eye relaxed and a crooked grin spread over his lips.

"Hahaha, well..." Max scratched behind his ear. "If you can believe it, my hair used to be jet-black."

"Is that seriously it?" Urayuli pouted, unsatisfied with his answer. Calypso said the same thing, but...

"Yeah, I did really use to have black hair. Now finish your breakfast and get out of here." He said as he stood up from the table.

"Get out of here?" Urayuli asked.

"We're running low on groceries, and this will be a good time for you to clear your head." He grabbed a slip of paper from the counter-top and handed it to her. Urayuli scanned the list with narrowed eyes and tsked – it was all in Japanese.

"Alright," Urayuli conceded as she collected her plate and cutlery and carefully dropped it in the sink. She moved to exit the kitchen but turned around to face her grandfather. "Cheda." Hearing Urayuli speaking Yup'ik had Max look at her face in endeared shock, as it wasn't often she called him that. "Are... are we good?"

Max's face softened before an equally soft smile appeared on his face. This one reaches his eyes. "Of course, kituuqta. Now scram, umchee."


When the front door closed after Urayuli had put on her shoes, Max let out a deep sigh as he sat back down, dropped his face in his palms and harshly rubbing his eyes. With everything that'd happened the night before, he was surprised he had gotten any sleep at all. I'm getting too old for this shit.

He didn't stiffen when the pantry door behind him slid open, having expected it the moment Urayuli left the house. Out slipped his blond-haired former apprentice, dressed casually in tight jeans and a thin off-shoulder sweater. Like a cat, she had sneaked into the house earlier that morning through the downstairs bathroom, wanting to keep her presence a secret for the girl sleeping upstairs.

"I see why you didn't want me to see her this morning." Calypso mused as she grabbed an apple from the fruit bowl on the counter. Max watched her as she leaned against the fridge door.

He told Urayuli he was going to apologize to the woman, when in fact he had already been to her house in the wee hours of the night to properly apologize for his actions. Calypso had opened the door to her apartment – eyes puffy and the red around her nose contrasting harshly against her pale skin, and it caused his stomach to turn. When he told her how sorry he was for his hasty assumptions, her easy smile broke over her lips. She had waved away his apology, saying she understood, and they spoke for a while before Max eventually left.

"She needed some one-on-one time with me. I fear she thinks this house is getting too crowded, and I want her to feel safe here." Max was fully aware Urayuli didn't appreciate Calypso's presence in their house, and he knew Calypso at least had the same inkling – she wasn't stupid. Urayuli was used to having only a father figure in her life, so adjusting to living with just him was easy. Suddenly having another person in the mix, a woman to boot – Max understood her wariness.

It was quiet for a brief moment, the only sound coming from the clock ticking in the living room. "You know she thinks you're full of shit about your little nickname, right?"

"Yeah," Max sighed. "I know. But I can't have her lose focus now." Max stood up again and popped his back. "Come on, I've got some errands to run."


Urayuli's leisurely walk to the supermarket was as uneventful as it could get, which was something she appreciated. Rock music was playing in her earbuds tethered to her phone. While Max had suggested she clear her head, it was still swirling with the information both him and Calypso had given her.

First off, it was clear to her there were different kinds of shapeshifters, all with their own set of rules and regulations. Max had distinguished her and himself as just 'Shifters' as if separating them from someone like Calypso, who had called herself a 'Mimic'. So what exactly is a Mimic, then? From what she could tell, a Mimic could change into animals just like a Shifter, but the instincts were missing. And as far as I know, someone like Calypso could in theory also shift into people. She remembered how distraught she was when Calypso had spoken to her in her cat form. Maybe they can only change the form they're in, but not other attributes like voice and instinct. And as is the case with Calypso, any animal she turns into has her deep green eyes and pale blond coat color.

As for Shifters, all she could tell was that they can turn into animals and gain their instincts and sounds. They're unable to speak like humans and were almost indistinguishable from other animals. The only thing separating them from other animals – at least in the case of Urayuli and Max – was that Shifters retained their eye color, just like Calypso. Though both of them had, as some people noted, an almost unnerving orangey hue to their eyes that was present with every form they took.

Does the mere existence of both Mimics and Shifters mean that there are other types of shapeshifters? The thought almost gave her a headache.

The automatic doors opened when she stepped in front of them and a cool wave of air from the air-conditioner washed over her. Urayuli crinkled her nose, supermarkets always had this odd smell to them. It was a weird mix of cleaning detergent and plastic packaging, and they only served to dampen the barely noticeable scent of fresh fruit and meats. She shifted the tote-bag she brought with her from her hand to hang it over her shoulder and grabbed one of the metal baskets at the entrance.

Urayuli walked through the aisles at a slow pace, wanting to take her time and to actually try to clear her head as Max had suggested. She eyed the shopping list in her hand, carefully reading it over before reading the lettering on the items she needed. Her biggest problem with the Japanese language was the different fonts people used. Companies often used less than traditional fonts for their products, so it was sometimes difficult for Urayuli to read. Aside from being almost unable to read them, Urayuli kept having problems with reading katakana.

Alright, let's start with the candy on this list. While Urayuli herself was more of a salty snack fan, Max seemed to have somewhat of a sweet-tooth, being partial to grape and sour candies. She read the name of the candy on the list. Kaju Gummy. She scanned the wall of packaged candy before zeroing in on the one she was looking for. Urayuli laughed after inspecting and reading the words on the packaging. Kudamono tabeyou. Let's eat fruit? Is there even any real fruit in this?

Okay, next up. Uhhh... Try as she might, she had difficulty reading the next item. The first part of the kanji was the word for 'fish', it was the second part she was unable to decipher. The next kanji is... Fushi? She stared at the tiny piece of paper for what felt like an eternity and she was growing more frustrated by the second. She put most of her weight on one leg as she cocked her hip to the side, lost in thought.

A raspy voice next to her said something she couldn't hear properly, making Urayuli jump at the suddenness and she turned her head to the source of the sound. Of all people, Bakugo stood a few feet away from her, tightly gripping the handles of his basket with one hand. He was dressed in a black t-shirt, an open yellow flannel shirt, and tan pants. Can't catch a fucking break this week, huh?

"W-what?" She asked as she took out one of her earbuds, not having heard what he said. He tsked and narrowed his eyes.

"I said, what are you doing just standing there." There was an almost accusatory emphasis on the word 'you' as he said it. Urayuli raised an eyebrow.

"Getting my pilot's license, what does it look like I'm doing?" She joked with an incredulous smile on her face. The way he was glaring at her made it clear he didn't think it was funny, so she quickly backpedaled as she fingered the cable of her earbuds. "My grandfather asked me to do groceries."

Bakugo took a glance at the contents in her basket and crinkled his nose. "Groceries? There's nothing but candy in there."

"I'm not exactly done, I just grabbed the candy first because it was easy," Urayuli said. "There are more items on this list, like –" she squinted at the note for a second "–chicken wings and –" another peek but her gaze rested on the item she had been unable to translate "–okay, so I can't actually read this word."

"Is your Japanese so bad that you can't even read proper kanji? How did you even get into U.A.?" Bakugo asked pointedly. Urayuli felt an embarrassed warmth flush her face.

"Some kanji are difficult, okay! Like this one," she held up the slip of paper with her finger next to the word she couldn't read. "I recognize parts of it, but other than that, I have no idea what this is." Bakugo snatched the paper from her hand to read it over. He looked back to her face with a slight narrowing of his eyes, as if he was debating whether to help her or not. Urayuli put her hands together as if in prayer. "Listen, if you help me, I'll forget all about that bet from Tuesday and we can just leave it behind us."

He didn't say anything when he briskly walked past her with the note still in hand and she followed after him in a hurry. "So, you're spending your free day doing groceries too, huh?" She mused, trying to make conversation.

"None of your business, furball," He said harshly. Urayuli grimaced. Rude. She tried not to feel annoyed, telling herself he was just like this and that she shouldn't have been surprised at his response. "That stupid old hag is having people over, so she sent me out to get her shit." He grumbled without stopping or looking at her. She felt herself grin despite herself. Something about his answer made her wonder, though. Where have I heard that term before?

After a minute or so, they stopped in front of an aisle filled with products Urayuli didn't recognize. Bakugo grabbed one of the bags lining the aisle and flung it behind him, forcing Urayuli to catch it in the air. She inspected the contents of the bag through the clear plastic before reading the letters at the top with a frown.

"Katsuobushi?" She asked as she gazed back at him. It took her a moment before she finally remembered. "Oh! They're like bonito flakes! Thanks a lot." She smiled at him, to which he grunted and looked away. She held out her hand to take the list back from him, but he dropped his gaze to it.

"Next up is spaghetti noodles." He said and walked off. Urayuli scrambled after him again.

"Hey, that's okay. I can find the rest of the items." She tried to convince him, but he just gave a loud 'Ha' in response.

"Your Japanese is so bad, you'll be here until midnight if I don't help you," Bakugo said with a cocky smirk as they reached the aisle with noodles and blindly grabbed the packaged spaghetti.

"It really isn't, but whatever helps you sleep at night, I suppose." Urayuli returned as she held up her basket for him to throw the pasta in. "Don't you have shopping of your own to do? Need some help with that?"

"Shut up! As if I need help doing goddamn groceries like you!" He yelled as he stomped towards her, his voice loud enough for some people to start staring at the two of them. He noticed their eyes on him and he turned to the onlookers to bark, "What are you looking at?!" Urayuli, without thinking, grabbed him by the shoulder to turn him away from their prying eyes and started leading him through the store.

"All good, I won't help," Urayuli tried to placate, letting go of his shoulder after they reached a more secluded aisle. "Let's just get the next items on the list, yeah?" Bakugo grumbled for a moment but otherwise said nothing. Nodding to herself, Urayuli absentmindedly grabbed something from the wall, which turned out to just be some oatmeal. She didn't need it, but she needed an excuse to keep her hands busy so as not to force him to speak.

After almost silently perusing through the store and collecting the remaining groceries, Bakugo handed her the list back and Urayuli read it over to check if they had missed anything. She peered in her basket and nodded.

"I guess that was everything. Thanks for your help, Bakugo." She smiled to herself when suddenly the events from the day before resurfaced momentarily. It hadn't escaped her notice that he hadn't asked any questions about her Quirk the entire time today, despite her confiding in him about her Quirk's disappearance the day before. For some reason, she felt compelled to tell him what she had learned. "By the way, my Quirk works again."

"Guess you're not getting kicked out just yet, huh?" Bakugo sneered, and Urayuli felt herself bristle a bit before calming herself down, not wanting to create another scene. Again, rude.

"Guess not." She managed to say through her teeth. It was strange how easily he could rile her up. She let her gaze drop to her shoes and realized what she was wearing. Her eyes lifted as she scanned Bakugo's outfit and she grinned. "Oh wow, I hadn't noticed before, but we're matching."

"Hah?" He barked before looking down at his clothes. His eyes snapped back to her face and grumbled. "Of course an extra like you would copy someone as great as me! Don't do it again!"

"Oh, come on." Urayuli grinned wider. "We're basically twinsies at school, with the uniform and all. Might as well go all the way outside of school, too. We should try to coordinate outfits, seeing as we have such similar fashion tastes." Bakugo's face scrunched up in irritation and mild disgust as the fist that wasn't holding onto his basket started crackling. "Alright, alright, no need to 'explode' on me." The popping got louder.

"If you tell anyone at school about this –"

"You'll kill me, noted," Urayuli finished for him with a lazy smile. "They're just clothes, man," She turned around towards the cash registers. "Enjoy your free day and see you tomorrow."

She waved behind her as she walked to the old lady behind the register, done with interacting with him for the day. It wasn't hard for her to admit she had enjoyed her time with him, however brief it was. He had helped her finish her grocery run, no matter how reluctant he seemed. She was glad she had a slightly easier time talking to him, especially after the interactions they've had over the past week. Bakugo isn't anything like the people back in Alaska. Nobody I've met here is. The realization made her oddly happy.

When she got home, the house was empty. Urayuli set the groceries on the counter and when she moved to the fridge, she noticed a post-it note sticking to the door.

Running some errands - will be back later.

With a hum, she resumed putting the groceries away. When she was done she plopped down on the couch and took out her phone.

[Yaraqpik] 10:12 :

Hey Kirishima, thanks for the heads-up

I talked to my grandpa, Quirk came back this morning. Wanted to let you know everything is fine

What have you been up to today?

Urayuli tapped on her phone to open a new chat with Uraraka to send her essentially the same message. Before long her phone started vibrating, the screen lighting up with Uraraka's name. Urayuli picked up.

"Yo," She answered lamely.

"Hi, Yaraqpik-san!" Uraraka's bubbly voice crackled through the phone. "How are you doing?"

"All things considered? Okay, I suppose. How have you been holding up since yesterday?"

"I'm really worried about Aizawa-sensei and Thirteen, to tell you the truth," Uraraka said quietly.

"That's right, you were right there when it happened," Urayuli recalled. She stood up to pace around the living room. "I can imagine that was scary."

"It was, but I'm thankful the other teachers arrived when they did," Uraraka said with a sigh. "I don't know what would've happened otherwise, and I don't like thinking about it."

"You can say that again," Urayuli agreed, shuddering at the thought despite herself. "What have you been doing all day?"

"The day has barely started, silly!" Uraraka laughed. "But, I've been doing homework, mostly. Did everything go alright with your Quirk?"

"Mostly," Urayuli said as she kicked an imaginary rock. "My grandfather and his... 'friend' – I suppose – assured me it would come back to me after some sleep."

"That's good! You didn't get sick from being in the water or anything?" Uraraka asked.

The conversation slowly lulled into small talk, the two girls not talking about anything of significance. Urayuli was happy about it, though. She was glad she now had girlfriends she could talk to, even if the topic was nothing to write home about. They talked about their favorite snacks and music – Urayuli learned Uraraka was partial to Pocky and pretzels and enjoyed pop-music. Before either of them knew it, an hour had passed. Max still wasn't back. After another ten minutes, Urayuli called it quits and the two girls said their good-byes.

She checked if she had gotten any new messages from Kirishima in the meantime. Sure enough, she had.

[Kirishima] 10:32 :

Good to hear your Quirk works again! Can't imagine it being gone forever

I was busy with homework and working out today, wbu?

[Yaraqpik] 11:34 :

sorry for the late reply, was on the phone with Uraraka

did some groceries and sitting on the couch

how come everyone is doing homework

[Kirishima] 11:36 :

don't tell me you're a slacker? o_o

I can't believe it

are you by any chance

a delinquent Yankee Ô.o

[Yaraqpik] 11:39 :

That's me, Yankee Yaraqpik

OMW to not do what society tells me to do

stick it to the man

[Kirishima] 11:40 :

Oh wow, I've never met a delinquent like you

how do I become as cool as you?

[Yaraqpik] 11:41 :

You can't become as cool as me

you have to be born cool

and I don't think you got what it takes

[Kirishima] 11:41 :

I do, sempai, I do!

Teach me your ways |_(0.0)_|

Urayuli laughed out loud at the ridiculous texts. It made her glad she had friends she could talk to like this. Still, she figured she had to start on her homework as well. I don't want to actually slack on my coursework. She went up to her room and fished her books out of her bag and got to work.


"Thank God." Urayuli groaned loudly when she finally finished her homework. Her right hand was cramping from her aggressive pen-holding after almost three hours. She slumped back in her chair, letting her head hang over the back of it. Fuck math, honestly.

The sound of a key sliding in the door made her perk up. Grandpa's home. She dropped her pen on her open notebook and made her way downstairs. Max was carrying two reusable shopping-bags and was toeing off his boots and stepping in his house crocs.

"You're back," Urayuli said. Max grunted as he stepped out of the genkan.

"Yeah. Did everything go okay at the store?" He asked as he walked to the living room, Urayuli right behind him.

"I had some trouble translating some of the things on the list, thanks for that," Urayuli said snarkily as she sat down on her spot at the kitchen table. Max set the bags down next to him as he sat down as well.

"Don't complain, you needed the practice anyway," Max chided. "How did you manage in the end?"

"I ran into a classmate – that same classmate that acted insane during the quirk apprehension test, remember him?" Urayuli waited until Max nodded as he recalled what she had told him. "He helped me out."

"Huh. Guess he's not as much of a rabid monkey as you said he was," Max mused as he leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms, grinning at his granddaughter.

"Oh no, he is." Urayuli deadpanned. "He caused a scene at the store when I asked him if he needed any help. Bit of an overreaction."

"Ah, so he's one of those types," Max snorted.

"Tell me about it, dude needs a hobby," Urayuli said as she moved to rest the side of her head on the table.

"Funny you should say that because I got you this," Max said as he leaned sideways to grab something out of the bags he brought with him. He set down a tiny potted plant – no bigger than a cereal bowl – in front of Urayuli's face. She raised her head and stared at the tiny seedling. Her gaze moved back to Max, who was smiling at her expectantly. "It's a tomato plant."

"Ah."

Max's face dropped slightly. "It's for you." For me?

"Why are you giving me a tomato plant?" Urayuli was confused, and absentmindedly stroked one of the tiny leaves with her finger. Max's face softened a bit.

"It sometimes feels as if you don't really have a hobby of your own, you usually play videogames or watch shows with me when we're not training," Max explained. Urayuli wanted to argue that videogames and tv shows were also a hobby, but knew he would disagree. That's old people for ya. "I didn't want to make you do anything that would take your attention from your schooling too much, like a musical instrument. I also know for a fact that art isn't exactly your thing," he grinned at her as she glared at him. He's not wrong, but still. "So I thought maybe gardening would be more your forte."

Urayuli stared at her grandfather as she thought it over. "I've never taken care of a plant before."

"Then it's time for you to learn, don't you think?" Max argued, and Urayuli couldn't disagree. "You can keep her in your windowsill, enough sunlight comes through your window during the day."

"If you say so," she said as she softly tapped the top leaves.

"I do," Max said. "Just look up online on how to take care of her."

Urayuli sighed. "This is a huge responsibility you're springing on me, grandpa."

"Think of it like taking care of a cat, except you water it and it doesn't shit in a box," Max said as he got up from his seat. Urayuli snorted at the crassness of his words. "Who knows, maybe there's a closet botanist somewhere deep inside you."

"Doubtful, but it doesn't hurt to try, I suppose." Urayuli relented. She thought to herself, what could it really hurt? It's just a plant.


In her room, Urayuli took a moment to inspect her new project of sorts. The plant was still a seedling, the stem wasn't tall – maybe an inch – and only a few leaves were sprouting from it. Grabbing her phone and tapping some keys, she searched and found a guide on how to take care of tomatoes. "Let's see... 'Make sure to keep the soil moist, not wet'," Urayuli put her hand in the pot and wriggled two fingers into the soil until it reached her nail-beds. I suppose it's a little dry? She took her fingers out and wiped them on her jeans.

"What's next... 'something something six hours of sunlight'," she mumbled as she assessed how much sun the tiny plant would get on her desk. Right, not enough then. Time to move.

"Okay, there you go," Urayuli said to no one in particular – or was she talking to the tomato? – as she put the tiny potted plant on her windowsill. The sun was still high in the sky and shining brightly, apparently perfect for tomato plants. The only thing left to do was to give the tiny seedling some water. Urayuli snatched her water bottle from her backpack – about a cup was left – and emptied it on the soil.

"And now we wait until you grow bigger," Urayuli explained. Why do I keep talking out loud, it's just a tomato, Urayuli grumbled to herself as she shook her head. She took another gander at her phone. "'Tomatoes need to feel a breeze so their stems grow strong'. Okidoki," she said as she opened the window.

Urayuli sat down backward in her swivel-chair, resting her chin on her crossed arms on the top of it as she stared at the little potted plant. A slight breeze made the tiny leaves dance gently. Still, gardening felt a little boring to Urayuli. How do I make this more fun for myself? She looked around her room for inspiration, and her eyes finally rested on her colorful pens and markers. An idea, much like the tomato, was planted in her brain. She reached for them and a piece of paper and some tape.

A few minutes later, she was finished with her creative task. I might be bad at art, but no one is truly bad at doodling. She carefully grabbed the tiny name-card she had made and taped it to the pot, swirling leaves in green and blue lining the edges like a frame, with a name penned down in black in the center.

Maria

When she wrote the name down, she almost wanted to abandon the card altogether, feeling that using her late mother's name might've been inappropriate. But the longer she stared at the name, the more it made her feel less... empty.

Urayuli grabbed the photograph of her mother – the one with Kvichak in a tuxedo and her in a dress – and after smoothing it over on her thigh, gently opened the picture frame that held the picture of her and her father. She carefully moved her mother's picture over hers so they fit just right, the smiling faces of her and her parents beaming back at her. Her heart clenched and she smiled, her eyes pricking with the need to cry.