“Left, Deku!” He kicked left and buried his iron sole into a villain’s gut before they could gore him with their bull-like horns.
“Right, Uravity!” She dropped to the ground and swept her leg out to her right, knocking down another villain before they could bash her with a tire iron.
Normally, the hero duo popularly known as Green Tea (a name which flustered them to no end whenever it was mentioned instead of their “official” moniker of Fighting Gravity) was a potent search-and-rescue team of two. However, any villains who imagined that ambushing them would allow them to quickly cut down two into one through the rescue heroine found themselves surprised and thoroughly smashed, not by Deku’s dazzling strength and speed, but by Uravity’s supreme martial arts skills that had sent her partner down into the mats more than a few times when they sparred.
Even in the pouring rain of this summer storm under the cover of night, where the wild gusts buffeted their skin through their costumes and forced chills down their spines, Izuku Midoriya and Ochako Uraraka were an unstoppable force together. They watched each other’s backs, covered their partner’s blind spots, and helped keep pressure off each other whenever they were outnumbered by villains.
The last member of this particular group was defeated by a falling motorcycle before he could get the drop on Deku, and the grass-haired hero wiped the rain from his face as they took a moment to regain their bearings after this brief battle.
“Thanks, Uravity.” Even under the shadow of the storm, where only streetlights and glowing signs of the city illuminated them tonight, his smile was the brightest thing she had ever seen, and she swallowed down her blush with a grin that put on airs of determined heroism. “Come on, Ingenium and Shouto should be this way!”
As she followed close behind him, Ochako couldn’t stop the conflicted feelings from welling up and mixing in her mochi-loving stomach. There was almost nothing Uravity enjoyed more than being out in the field with Deku, their communication crisp and clear, but Ochako found herself wishing they were still back at her apartment, even through the awkward silences that slipped between the gaps of their comfortable friendship.
Was it that comfortable?
She had caught him walking through the city streets earlier that night, rain beating down against their umbrellas as they both wore facemasks in their usual procedure to remain civilians incognito. You never knew when a fan might recognize you and approach you while you in the middle of something, and it looked like both of them valued their privacy enough to rather be safe than sorry.
“Oh, De—um, Midoriya-san!”
Midoriya-san. What an appropriate yet thoroughly unbefitting way to refer to him. It always came out clipped and too formal whenever she called him that, and she never missed the little cringe of his shoulders when he heard her refer to him that way. All that name captured was that he was a man with green plastered all over him. Green hair, green eyes, green costume. It was only the surface of the man she had come to know over the past six years.
To Ochako, “Deku-kun” covered everything else she knew about him. He was the hero who could do anything and everything if he put his will to it, always fighting, always sacrificing, always smiling for the people he saved before and after every battle. He was kind, passionate, intelligent, and he was her friend, likely the closest one she had and maybe would ever have.
And she lo—
“Not working the night patrol?” She stepped closer with a stride that she hoped betrayed no sign of nervousness about getting closer to him.
“A-ah, no, not today,” he replied, showing her the bag he carried in his other hand before adjusting the straps of the backpack he was also wearing. “Iida-kun told me about this dish his mother used to make to help him relax, so I thought about trying to make it tonight.”
“Ooh, you’re cooking again!” Her mask wrinkled as she smiled up at him. “I always imagined you settled on pork katsudon whenever you had to take the night off.”
“Well, it’s just an adaptation of pork katsudon, so you’re right about that,” he admitted with a shrug, a little embarrassment in his smile.
“Then you should come to my place! I was just walking out to see what I wanted for dinner, but I think I’d rather see what you’d cook up!” She had no idea why she was being so forward, but she couldn’t stop herself now.
“Oh no, Uraraka-san, I’d hate to impose—”
“It’s fine, it’s fine! Come on, let’s get out of this rain and make some dinner!” Suddenly her rainy evening was brightened up by her new fired-up mood, and she could feel her feet make larger splashes against the soaked sidewalk. She led Izuku back up to her apartment with a warm smile before she put away her umbrella.
“Alright, is there anything else we need?”
They went about their new culinary exercise with a friendly ease, the minutes passing by pleasantly as they prepared and handed each other the ingredients of what they were now calling “Mama Ingenium Katsudon.” In what felt like no time at all, Ochako was trying to hurry Izuku along before he muttered too much over the best way to plate the new katsudon for their dinner as befitting his status as her guest.
“C’mon, Deku-kun, it’ll be fine! It smells so good and I’m starving!” She hoped the rumbling of her stomach wasn’t audible to him as she tugged him over to her humble table and got him to help her set up. She’d gotten this fine piece of lumber on a rather reasonable deal, and it just had enough space for her to seat herself and all the girls of their former class. Now it was just the two of them sitting next to each other, and the other four empty seats reminded her that it was just him and her together. In her apartment.
After a quick “itadakimasu!” when she realized Izuku was waiting on her, they dug into their new dinner.
“Mm~! Deku-kun, this is amazing!”
“The new flavors make the pork stand out but also mix well with the other ingredients. Iida-kun’s mom really knows her stuff…”
She smacked his shoulder, struggling not to laugh as she caught Izuku leaning forward and almost muttering into his meal. “Well, now you know your stuff with this one, too! You should let a compliment come to you more often, Deku-kun.”
“I mean, I was just copying someone else’s recipe,” he replied, not totally facing her but not turned away either.
“But you made it, Deku-kun. People can say you copy All Might, but you’re the one out there saving people now. You’re a lot better at stuff than you give yourself credit for, you know?”
“O-oh…thank you, Uraraka-san…” Her smile encouraged his own to emerge, and then a moment later she felt the pink heat spread across her face as she realized how much she had just let out in only a few seconds.
“S-sorry! I don’t know where all that came from!”
“No, no, it’s alright—”
Between good and bad luck, any further awkwardness was stopped in its tracks when they both felt a pinging in their pockets. The tone at the table turned serious as they both looked at the emergency call that had come to them and other heroes within ten blocks of the situation.
“Please let me change in your restroom!” Deku rose up from his chair, his bowl of rice and pork pushed away as he reached for his backpack.
“Go ahead, I’ll meet you at the balcony!” Uravity got up and went to her bedroom, swiftly retrieving her hero costume and support gear before changing out of her clothes.
The reason she wanted them at her balcony was quickly made clear when she pressed her pads against his arm and herself before they hopped away from her building and into the air. The rain was beating down even harder and almost immediately soaked them, but she turned her head in the direction of the conflict nonetheless.
“That way, Deku!”
“New Hampshire…SMASH!” The wind smacked against her cheeks as she faced forward while Deku propelled them towards the chaos with his punches, returning gravity’s pull upon her first as she led them back to earth. That put them only two blocks away from the trouble. Ingenium and Shouto had run across a group of villains, one of whom was Rainmaker, who used her Quirk to worsen the storm while her allies knocked over a bank.
The greater trouble came from Glacier, whose ice manipulation countered both Shouto’s ability to create fire and ice and exploited the rainwater to slick the road against Ingenium’s sprints. Worse still, Glacier had an underworld charisma that attracted many villains as followers for their crew, who kept both police and hero reinforcements at bay and a dozen of which had ambushed Deku and Uravity when they were just a block away from helping their friends.
With those villains out of commission, Deku and Uravity covered the final block and found themselves before a wreckage of rain-splashed ice, sputtering flames interspersed throughout the site where Shouto and Ingenium dueled with Glacier, with cars and city fixtures overturned in the turmoil as other heroes and villains clashed in the rain. They saw that the battle had wrecked a building across the street from the bank, and they nodded to each other before they split up.
“I’ll help the people trapped inside!” Uravity leaped to the left.
“I’ll take care of the villains!” Deku dashed off to the right, not joining his friends but bouncing between buildings to reach Rainmaker on the rooftops.
Uravity quickly went to work lifting rubble out of the way for other rescue heroes to peer in and retrieve anyone who was trapped when Glacier sent a massive chunk of ice flying into their building. She was careful and precise as she lifted and dropped each piece; her training kept her mindful about everyone’s safety as she determined which of the rubble was safe to lift and which needed to be navigated around lest the rest of the ruins come crashing down on everyone inside.
She was helping an old man get away to safety when Rainmaker fell to the ground, her own support gear shattered around her unconscious body. Then Deku landed on the battlefield, fists raised and knees bent as he, Ingenium, and Shouto stood before Glacier. The rain was already beginning to let up like it should have about an hour ago, and now the villain leader was running out of extra water to manipulate.
“That’s enough, Glacier! We’re all here now, and we’ve got you surrounded!”
“Glacier, you should surrender now! Come quietly and we can end this without further injury to yourself or your allies!”
“Give up. It’s over.”
The larger villain, towering over their friends at seven-and-a-half feet tall, clenched their fists as their stormy scheme crumbled around them. Their allies were being defeated and arrested, barely any money had been smuggled away, and now they were to be humiliated by these young upstarts. But Glacier still had one more trick up their sleeve.
“Give up? GIVE UP? YOU DAMN HEROES, I’LL BURY YOU ALL!”
“Everyone, get back!”
“They’ve got Trigger!” Gallons upon gallons of water gurgled out of storm drains and manholes, the moisture in the air seemed to shake with force, and then everything flashed blue and white before Uravity’s eyes.
When she blinked them back into focus, she saw that Shouto had protected them with a fiery shield against the freezing flash. She and the other heroes had retreated into a small area and found themselves surrounded by ice. With the boosting power of Trigger, Glacier had frozen every drop of water they could summon within at least a block of their vicinity and clumped it all together into one massive glacier.
“Your reflexes are as fast as ever, Shouto!” Iida chopped through the chilly air as he praised his friend, a gust of steam pushing out through his visor. “You were still able to create fire after all that rain and cold!”
“But now there’s all this ice between us and Glacier,” Deku pointed out as he stood up beside Uravity. “He could be getting away!”
“I don’t think he’s just going to leave without a parting blow,” Shouto muttered. Just then, the ice began to creak and groan. Then the ice rose into the air, lifted skyward by Glacier’s enhanced power at surprising speed.
“THIS ICE WILL BE THE COMET OF YOUR DOOM!”
“He’s going to send the ice back down at us!” Iida realized.
With its sheer mass and the built-up force that would come dropping down, Uravity realized the magnitude of Glacier’s final move. “It’ll come crashing down with the force of a meteor!”
“I can’t reach that high up or melt that much ice at once now,” Shouto warned them, rubbing his left wrist.
“We have to destroy it before it hits the city!” Deku replied, defiant against the odds as ever. “But I can’t jump that high!”
“Not with gravity keeping you down!” He turned to look at Uravity, and her confident grin told him everything he needed to know before he nodded back.
“Good luck, Deku.”
“I’ll be right back, Uravity.” He raised his fist as a promise, and she knocked her own against it.
One quick press of her fingers on his outstretched palm, and then Deku crouched down, flexing his muscles as he prepared to jump. One could have missed his leap up if they blinked, but Ochako kept her eyes open as his ascent crushed cracks into the pavement and sent small bits of debris in a vain chase after him.
All she could do was watch in anticipation and dread as a glowing green speck made its way up to the ice-blue mass that hung in the sky. Her breath hitched as the floating glacier became a falling glacier that widened in her vision with every second.
“We need to get out of here!” One of the other heroes yelled out. “Uravity, Ingenium, Shouto, hurry!”
“We’re not leaving without Deku! Get the civilians out of here first!” Shouto spat back. Iida stood beside Ochako, clenching his fists as they waited for the outcome.
For a moment, Deku’s bright light couldn’t be seen against the blue frost of Glacier’s wrath, and Ochako felt a shudder as she wondered what would come next. Not just the great destruction and loss that would occur if they failed, but void left behind by what she had said before he left. “Good luck”? Was that what she wanted to be the last thing she said to him? If they were going to be crushed under thousands of tons of ice, would she be content with leaving so much unsaid between them? If they won, could she continue carrying on with this self-imposed silence about her feelings for Izuku, trammeling her own heart inside her chest like a wild animal?
Then Ochako blinked, and the glacier exploded into glittering dust and snow. Deku had done it. He had saved the day once again, and she had helped him pierce the sky to do it.
“He did it!” Iida breathed out his relief with his praise.
“Does anyone see him?” Shouto asked. Against the new snowy cloud forming in the sky, the air chilled despite the summer night as the three of them searched for any sign of Deku’s survival.
“There!” Uravity pointed at an emerald glint in the sky, given away by the burst of air pushed away around it as Deku attempted to slow down his descent from thousands of feet in the air, then rushed to meet him. Every step clattered against the ground with a desperate fury as she glanced up again to track his progress toward the ground.
She threw herself forward to close the gap when he was just a dozen feet from the ground, and slapped his face before she herself fell down.
“…ow.” He rubbed at his face while she rubbed at her shoulder, scratching her head as she stood up.
“Sorry about that. I just had to catch you, Deku.”
“…mm.” he nodded, Glacier’s unconscious body draped over his shoulders. “Thank you, Uravity.”
Izuku and Ochako sighed in relief after they handed Glacier and all the other villains over to the police and gave their statements. They sat next to each other on the curb after Shouto and Tenya said their goodbyes, going with the police to wrap up their reports of this battle tonight.
As a parting gesture of gratitude, Shouto paid for a nearby pizza place to hand out pizzas to the heroes who responded to his distress signal. Ochako and Izuku were unwilling to exploit their friend’s generosity too much, so they settled on a simple cheese pizza, which was still a warm welcome for their stomachs after they’d been caught up in rain and sudden ice. Rain and sweat stuck their costumes uncomfortably to their skin, and they vainly attempted to tug at their suits and dry themselves off before the pizza arrived.
“That was amazing, Uraraka-san,” he said as he opened their box for them. “I couldn’t have defeated Glacier without you.”
“It was just a little boost,” she replied with a wave meant to downplay his praise as she tore out a slice. “You’re the one who punched a falling glacier into snow!”
“But it was your Quirk that boosted me, Uraraka-san,” he reminded her. “You helped me do something amazing, and that’s amazing, too.” There was no indication that he was sarcastically calling back to their dinner-time conversation. Every freckle of him radiated honest praise as he gave her a small smile before he took a bite from his pizza, relaxing with her.
And she loved him for it. There, she said it, at least to herself. She loved Izuku Midoriya. She loved every moment together with him, even right now as they stank of sweat mixed with that odd version of petrichor that rose from the concrete after rain. Now she couldn’t keep it inside herself any longer, everything else be damned.
She helped him beat Glacier. And now, in the middle of summer, he finally pushed her to break the ice she thought had long frozen between them.
She took a bite of pizza, weighing the words in her heart before she spoke again. “Deku-kun.”
“You know, I really love you.”
“…h-huh?! Wh-where is this coming from, U-Uraraka-san?!” Despite his blushing and frantic attempts to hide behind his free hand, Izuku didn’t turn or walk away from Ochako, nor did he say anything in the negative to her declaration. Ochako wondered if he’d been hoping to hear something like this, too.
She giggled, free as a shooting star as she scooted closer.
“From right here.”
Ochako leaned in, and they closed their eyes.