Ah yes, summer. Some like it. Some don't.
One thing, however, is undeniable. Summer brings about a ton of exciting activities. In particular, the much-anticipated summer camps. The time when classmates gather at the same place during a period devoid of the boring activities typical for a regular school day and have fun together.
During summer camp, just about anything goes. Truth or dare? A necessary night-time game. Tests of courage? Bring on all the screams. Late-night crush talk? Slightly less desirable by some but still a viable option nonetheless.
To put it simply – summer camp was a time when everyone could just do all sorts of fun activities together, without a care in the world.
Atsuhi had an even more particular affinity towards summer camps. After all, her birthday often just so happened to fall right in the middle of said camps. Perhaps a downside for some (if the short conversation she'd had with Bakugo on his birthday was anything to go by).
But Atsuhi absolutely loved it. What was better than celebrating her birthday during summer camp? Simple – celebrating it with the whole bunch of awesome and fun people that were her classmates. Better yet – she loved proposing the idea of making a giant birthday cake together (under her strict guidance, of course, as were she to leave everyone else to do so by themselves, she wasn't sure they were even going to produce something edible in the end).
She had so many fond memories of similar celebrations.
And now, as her sixteenth birthday was nearing close, she was even more excited than usual. Let's just say that, while she had been over the moon to finally be accepted in UA, she had never expected she'd meet the whole class of incredible people she was now proud to call her friends.
As such, she had no doubt this year was going to be even more special than the ones before it.
Except, there is a little something that UA loved to do.
After all, nothing was ever quite the same there.
Sure, it wasn't even called 'summer camp' anymore, rather having a not-so-neat 'training' slapped in between. It was only now Atsuhi realized this 'training' part was no joke.
Because who in their right mind stopped their students hours away from their actual destination and forced them to make their way through a dense forest full of roaming creatures out to attack them!? Before they've even had lunch, mind you!
I'm still beat. And we already ate too...
Not to mention that this is still the first day. It feels like the Internships all over again. Let's just hope day three doesn't go as wrong as those did...
I know it's gonna be super brutal. But that's quite fine with me – if at the end of it my Quirk and body are stronger than ever before, it'll all be worth it! But chances are, I'll keep telling myself this until the end of Training Camp.
Hehe, well, if we're lucky about one thing, it's those awesome hot springs!!
Seriously, for a place where we're going to be training to death, it sure is surprising there is something as relaxing as hot springs.
That's right. It had been mere hours since the impromptu beginning of Summer Training Camp. Even so, it had been quite the eventful day already. And Atsuhi was ready for a nice and long (or, if we took into consideration the ungodly hour Aizawa had told them they had to be awake by, perhaps not so long) rest. And what better place to relax than some hot springs, after all?
I got it. The rest of today is gonna be all about relaxation. I'm gonna take it easy, not do anything in particular. Tomorrow the real thing begins. So it's fine if I take today off, no?
Atsuhi let herself be submerged deeper into the warm and pleasant waters, crouching down until only her nose stuck out above the surface, closing her eyes and savoring the enjoyable moment. She wasn't going to get very many of those these next few days.
However, it seems like she wasn't meant to savor in her peace for long. Soon enough, a pair of arms was flung around her neck, someone's body pressing up tightly against her back, as the person's head shuffled beside hers, fluffy hair tickling the girl's cheeks.
Due to the weight that had been pressed up against her all of a sudden, Atsuhi lost her balance, tumbling a few steps forward, and splashing along the water with her arms a few times until she finally steadied herself, turning to face her 'attacker', who had never once let her go throughout the whole thing. Of course, she long knew who that was.
"Mina, come on, I could've drowned, you know!?" the blonde exclaimed with a false hurt expression.
"Nice try, but no!!" Mina retorted back, not the slightest bit guilty. "Couldn't have you drowning before you've told us anything..." she whispered, tightening her 'hug'.Of course, even if Atsuhi had wanted to keep this conversation to as few people as possible, that was now impossible, the earlier scene having caught the attention of all the other girls too, who were now looking on with curious eyes, waiting for the information Mina was inevitably going to get out of the poor blonde, one way or another.
"Told you about what...?" And thus, Atsuhi decided to play dumb. She knew it was easy to infer what Mina was referring to. But the fewer people who actually figured it out, the better. After all, she'd much rather avoid such conversations on her self-appointed relaxation day.
"Aw, come ooon, Atsuhi-chan! Summer Camp's the time girls talk about their crushes and all that!" Mina whined, making both Atsuhi and a certain other brunette blush in response.
Can't they just get off my case already... I know, alright!? I'm going to do something about it, I promise!
But if I just go ahead and say this, I'm never going to hear the end of it.
So, Atsuhi remained silent for a couple of seconds, engaging in an unexpected staring contest with the pink-haired girl, brows furrowed and expression conflicted, as she was trying to decide what was going to have her hear the smallest amount of teasing. In the end, she sighed, giving in.
"Okay, look – please just give me a few days! I'll... answer any questions I'm sure you all have soon enough, I promise! I just... need a little bit more time to sort out some stuff..."
Perhaps the girls had expected her to freak out and go along with their teasing. Or to shrink back in a blushing red mess. Their surprised faces, however, seemed to indicate that they didn't think she was actually going to give them a serious answer.
"Oh... my..." Mina was the first to break the silence.
And a mere moment later, they were all exclaiming. Very loudly.
"I can't believe this!! Atsuhi is actually going to talk to Ba-"
"Mina, please, no!" Atsuhi panicked, shouting even louder than the rest, jumping to put a hand on Mina's mouth before anything else slipped past in that not-so-discrete volume of hers. At the confused expression the pink-haired girl shot back, Atsuhi scrunched up her eyebrows in a mix of embarrassment and concern, lowering her voice back to a normal volume. "The boys are literally on the other side of this wall. Bakugo-kun's there too. Please stop before he hears and I decide it's best I go crawl in a hole and die."
Mina's eyes widened in realization and as the hand was cautiously removed from her mouth, she grinned, rubbing her neck.
"Oops, sorry, haha. Didn't think about that." And then, just as Atsuhi had feared, that apologetic grin turned more sinister. "But, you know, I'm pretty sure they heard you-"
That evening, Atsuhi returned to the girl's shared room with face tinted an almost concerning shade of red.
Here I was, thinking that if I threw them a bone, they were really going to leave me alone for a little bit. Instead, they bombarded me with more questions even after we returned to our room.
I swear, I probably got like, 4 hours of sleep total. What with my mind racing as I was trying to sleep and all. Ugh, I really hope things won't be like that every day here.
It was now the morning of the second day of Summer Training Camp. Not a single soul was ready. And it was moments like these that yawns being contagious sucked.
Twenty students were gathered together. The moment one yawned (and there was always somebody yawning), it was time for a wave of similar actions to begin and gradually make its way though every person present.
Atsuhi was in the middle of her third or fourth yawn for just the past few minutes, this time rubbing her eyes as well, trying her hardest to chase away at least some of the sleepy that made her fear she was going to drift off to dreamland any time she even so much as blinked. Yeah, it was that bad.
So, she thought she'd play a game. She randomly picked someone to look at, focusing on them until she felt the urge to blink, then moving onto the next person. (And hoping no one was too creeped out in the process. Not that they were awake enough to even notice what she was doing anyway.)
She paused when her eyes landed on a certain blond that had (unfortunately for her) been the subject of conversation all evening the previous day.
Wow, Bakugo-kun looks pretty much as awake as always. Did he go to bed early again today or something...?
You know, I feel like if I don't talk to someone I'm just going to fall asleep so-
Atsuhi walked off, only to come to a stop when she heard the quiet giggles behind her. Turning around, she noticed the two prime suspects and main sources of anxiety for her the past couple of days – Kirishima and Mina, both snickering beside each other, making strange hand signals to her, the boy holding out a big thumbs up, while the girl made a heart shape with her hands.
I swear, those two...
Atsuhi shook her head though, deciding that perhaps ignoring them might be best for her sanity, and made a futile attempt to forget about their teasing. Instead, she walked up to Bakugo, who turned around to look at her when he heard her approaching footsteps.
"Good morning, Bakugo-kun," muttered Atsuhi, though still smiling, lack of energy showing quite clearly.
"Morning..." spoke back Bakugo, words much slower and drawn-out than usual.
Ah, so that's how his lack of energy shows! Hehe, and here I thought he was actually a morning person.
Next, the two sat in silence for a while, Atsuhi's plan to talk to someone to stop her heavy eyelids from closing shut by themselves now backfiring. Instead, she even yawned. Again. Soon enough, she might as well stop keeping track of the number. This, however, made Bakugo turn to her, looking a little surprised.
"You tired?" he asked, a hint of a smirk playing on his face.
"Don't act like you aren't."
"I ain't the one who can't fight off sleep right now."
"Yes, please. All I needed was another person to tease me."
"Oh? The hell does that mean?"
"Nevermind. You know how girls are."
"Not sure if you're joking or not."
"Yeah, you're right, my bad. Trust me, you don't need to know."
And then, more silence.
I swear, by this point I just want Aizawa-sensei to come here so we can start already.
"So. You alright?"
"What do you mean?"
"You know, after yesterday?" Bakugo spoke more quietly, looking off to the side, as if too shy to look the girl in the eyes, likely due to the uncharacteristic nature of his question.
Aw, Bakugo-kun, that's so sweet!
I'll never say something like this out loud though.
"Mostly fine, I think. I was really beat yesterday but nothing hurts anymore! Almost as if that fight with the Forest Beasts never actually happened! All ready for Training Camp, hehe!" Atsuhi even went as far as to accentuate her movements, grinning wide as she took a battle stance. Meanwhile Bakugo only looked at her with an unreadable face.
"Bakugo-kun....? Did I... say something stupid...?" Atsuhi was now blushing, hopefully not as noticeably as she thought.
Way to go, me. Ugh.
"I..." Bakugo began, his own face twisting in an expression Atsuhi wasn't quite sure she'd ever seen him make before. And once again, he looked off to the side. "I meant after what happened at the Hot Springs...."
At the Hot Springs!? No, no, no! There is no way he actually heard everything – no, I can't possibly live this do-
"Oh," she suddenly realized. "You mean Mineta-kun?" Bakugo finally looked back at her, nodding his head before he looked away again. The girl only giggled. And then again. In the end, she had to bend down laughing, leaving (a flustered...?) Bakugo to sharply turn to her.
"The hell's so funny!?" he called out. And between her giggles, Atsuhi finally managed to slip out.
"Ah, there's the Bakugo-kun I know!" (And love...) She paused, wiping away the tears that had somehow managed to form at the corners of her eyes already. "It's just... Ahaha, never thought you'd be worried about something like this, haha-"
Atsuhi had this habit of pushing Bakugo's limits when it came to how much of her crap he was willing to take (something which also applied the other way around as well). Up until this very moment, she had been treading a pretty thin line. With this though, she had officially crossed the point of no return. In fact, the boy was just about to snap.
It was Aizawa who saved the situation, leaving Atsuhi to continue giggling quietly while Bakugo had to settle for shooting her a few glares here and there.
"Today, Training Camp begins for real," Aizawa began, proceeding to explain how the students had to gain the skills necessary to obtain their provisional licenses in order to face off against an upcoming evil force lurking in the shadows. "To start – here, Bakugo. Throw this."
Eh, isn't that the ball from that test of Quirks from the first day...?
Atsuhi shivered just at the thought.
That had caused me so much anxiety, it's unbelievable... Then again, that was the first time Bakugo-kun willingly approached me to talk to me. So perhaps it wasn't all that bad.
Atsuhi smiled to herself, while the boy walked up to the teacher to take the ball, and proceeded to throw it, a grin even wider than the first time he'd done so months ago adorning his face.
Bakugo-kun was strong. And he's only gotten stronger these past few months. This might just be epic!
As the device in Aizawa's hand sounded though, Atsuhi's face fell.
You're kidding. There’s… barely any difference!?
"Yes, you've all grown recently. Your Quirks, however, haven't kept up with the pace. Starting today, you'll improve on them."
So... that's what Training Camp's all about... I am... now officially terrified.
Training my Quirk. Which relies on stamina. And distance.
On no. No. No. No, no, no. Something's telling me I have a lot of running in store.
Suddenly... Summer Training Camp was not so exciting anymore.
Even still, it really was time to begin. To begin what was, without a doubt, going to feel like the longest week in Atsuhi's life.
Though, for reasons much too different from what she thought.
•2 days remaining•