"I think the passionate you is the prettiest of them all, darling!"
It took Yoarashi Inasa little to no time to react when you suddenly bolted into the oncoming traffic to rescue the little boy who leapt out of his mother's hands to catch his ball. You caught the kid just in time before the speeding truck could run him over. Something definitely stung when you rolled on the road, clutching the boy in your arms tightly.
"Are you okay?!" You sat up, checking on the trembling child. You smiled at him, and that's when you realised you just grazed your cheek. "It's all right, kid! You're safe!"
The little boy looked at you through tears, his lips trembling as he gave you a nervous "Thank you, onee-san!"
A crowd quickly gathered around you, the child's mother rushing to your side. "My son!"
Among the crowd was Yoarashi and the truck driver who came to check on you and the child. You handed the little boy to his mother and got up, stomping angrily as you approached the middle-aged driver.
"Oji-san, this place is a commercial and residential area! You shouldn't be speeding your freaking truck where there's a lot of people!"
The man, who was visibly embarrassed by his mistake, quickly apologised to you and the mother and son. The police arrived afterwards to log the incident.
"UA students really are something else, huh?" One officer remarked, noting how keen your observations were and your quick reflexes to the incident. You managed to escape harm with just a gravel scratch to your face and a dirty uniform.
"Just doing what I had to," you replied with a bright smile, ah, but it stung when you did so. You looked down when you felt your skirt being tugged, and you saw the little boy you had saved earlier trying to give you something.
"Onee-san, this is for you."
You bent down to face him, his round face still red from his crying. You accepted the cartoon band-aid and smiled at him. "Thank you! Now be a good boy and listen to your mama."
All in a day's work. But your manager won't take it nicely when she sees the graze on your face, especially since you were set to have a short photo shoot tomorrow.
You turned back and saw that guy from Shiketsu again. He had a dumbfounded expression on his sharp face that quickly lit up when he saw you looking at him. "What a passionate rescue! You were amazing! But I guess we can all expect that from a UA student."
Oh, a fanatic. You've seen guys like this one before, but he's praising you for hero work and not for your modelling.
"Pleased to make your acquaintance! I'm a freshman from Shiketsu High! The name's..."
Ah, yes, you've heard of Yoarashi Inasa. He was at par, or possibly even better than your classmate Todoroki Shoto. He was that one guy who took down 120 provisional licence exam takers and you tried not to be so bothered when you shook his hand and his grip was fairly strong. Yoarashi had a look on his face like he was about to pounce at you from all the excitement. You figured you wouldn't be meeting him again, at least in this lifetime, so you gave him your name.
As a model, you knew you shouldn't exchange contact details with just anyone, especially if they aren't helpful to your line of work. However, when Yoarashi insisted on exchanging details with you, you felt a little compelled to give him your number. You weren't planning on just becoming a model, after all, and he might be a good connection in the future.
But when the messages started rolling in, you found yourself at a crossroads because you've made friends with a really eccentric guy, and people found it rather odd that a UA student and a student from Shiketsu would be seen together.
The both of you tried to find a middle ground for the short casual meetings you would have after your classes (Yes, you refused to refer to them as dates), and you found it at Cafe Lilico, a tiny rustic wooden cafe that's mostly hidden between Musutafu's high-rise buildings. The little place had a lot of flower pots in full bloom, concealing most of the inside of the cafe to curious passersby.
You happily dug into the large mango parfait you ordered, while Yoarashi, who was seated across you, had a single cup of chocoffee, one of the cafe's specialties.
"I still can't believe you can manage to balance all of the stuff you do!" He said with a smile. "School life, exams, modelling... You must be really passionate about those, then."
"If Uwabami can balance her life between her hero work and modelling, then I'm sure I can too, right? Besides, I have..." You raised your arms and flexed them before giving him a wink. "Passion!"
Your laughter echoed in the slightly empty cafe and Yoarashi almost spat his drink at you.
"I need to be careful," he wheezed. "Don't wanna get your face all dirty now, darling."
"It's fine. I won't have much trouble balancing things anymore," you replied nonchalantly. "I'm quitting my modelling job anyway."
"I'm quitting," you looked up at him, and he had the same dumbfounded look on his face when you first met him. "I need to focus on my hero work studies. You and I both know we can't afford to fail this."
You gently flicked your wrist and looked at your watch. "My last job will be in about an hour, so I need to get to the studio then--"
"Can I go with you?!" Yoarashi asked, a twinkle in his eyes as he expected you to agree. You figured you wouldn't be having another photoshoot with him again, at least in this lifetime, so you agreed.
"After I finish this parfait."
"Let me help you with that, then!"
The tiny fashion agency you worked for was a bit surprised when you walked in the studio along with the strikingly tall Yoarashi.
"Oh, a boyfriend? And from Shiketsu High, too!"
"No, Mimi-chan, he's a friend of mine!" You gave an annoyed response. White-haired Mimi has been your manager since you started modelling in middle school, so she's used to your little rants and outbursts.
"Pardon me for the intrusion!" Yoarashi said as he removed his school hat. "I'm a friend of darling! Shiketsu High first-year student, Yoarashi Inasa!"
You vanished into the dressing rooms and started preparing for the last photoshoot of your high school life, followed by Mimi's purple-haired stylist friend, Jiji.
"There goes my most dedicated model," Mimi remarked as she set her DSLR down on one of the tables. "I'll have you know our darling is most passionate about this modelling thing of hers because she's been doing it since junior high school."
Yoarashi listened to the older woman as she spoke about you and your love for modelling. It was almost like a crime for him, hearing about the past you withheld from him because you've only known each other for a short time, but he took pleasure in knowing more about you, and Mimi even showed him some of your old set cards.
"Mimi-chan, didn't I tell you to keep those?" You walked out of the dressing room a new person, startling Yoarashi. Jiji's styling never failed to amaze you despite working together for so many years now. For this photoshoot, he gave you mature style, with elegantly swept-back hair and slightly dark make-up to match the sleek dark red two-piece suit and pants and dark heels Mimi picked out for you.
"Here comes the star of the show!" The older woman said with a smile. "Get under that spotlight."
Yoarashi watched your movements attentively, a twinkle in his eyes as you started your work, unfazed by his gaze and the camera lights and shutters.
"Yoarashi, isn't it?" Mimi paused from taking photos and turned to the tall boy watching by the sidelines. "How about you pose with darling for these next shots?"
"Ah! I wouldn't want to--"
"It's fine, Inasa," you stated, offering your hand to him, a grin on your lips that matched your game face. "You're gonna be a prop, so don't worry."
Ah, there it was. There was so much passion radiating from you that it compelled him to take your hand. You placed your hand on his nape, pulling him down much closer to you so your faces were but a breath apart. You took his hand and placed it on your back, feeling the warmth of his touch through your fashionable clothes.
"It's all right," you assured him. "Now clear your mind and look at the cameras with your sharp gaze."
Yoarashi wasn't sure if he was blinded by the lights or by your passion for this thing.
A week later, you two met at Cafe Lilico again, chocoffees on the table as well as some of the matte-printed photographs from your last modelling job. You happily handed him an extra set of those photos.
"Now that you look at it, you have a model-like physique, too, Inasa," you pointed to one of your photos with him. You had a pensive smile on your face. "I remember the look on your face when we first met. I mean we've met during the provisional licence exams, but that look you had when I jumped into a busy street to save a kid, I..."
Don't cry, you told yourself. What a stupid way to show emotions. "I've come to realise that I want to be a hero more than anything now... More than being glamorous... I want to save people without worrying about my looks."
"I thought you were prettiest when we first met," he stated with a rather crooked smile. "The way you jumped out there and charged in to save that kid. Don't get me wrong, though! You look great in these photos, but I thought the 'hero' you had this incredibly raw and passionate beauty that I... To be honest, I think it's too bad you're quitting your modelling job, but I can sense it's because you're determined to become a hero!"
You were staring at him from across the table, trying to hold back a smile. "Inasa, don't be so upset! I'll get back to modelling once we're pros! I'm just taking a break to focus on my studies!"
"Ah," came his surprised reaction. He didn't want to admit it, but he felt quite relieved to hear that.
"I told you, didn't I? If Uwabami can balance her life between her hero work and modelling, then I'm sure I can too. We don't quit on the things we're passionate about, right?" You took a small sip from your drink. "Also, you're pretty handsome when you're modelling, but I think I like the 'hero' you more."
Yoarashi gave you a cheeky smile. "I think the passionate you is the prettiest of them all, darling!"