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Anima et Atramentum - Soul and Ink

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No, no. Nope. Absolutely, inevitably, unavoidably, infallibly, no

Kyoka Jirou is not nervous at all. Not in the slightest. Did you read that? She isn’t.

Yeah, because the fact she is walking up and down the room, covering its area more times than she can count, isn’t a sign of her nervousness at all. Her inexistant nervousness, because she isn’t nervous!

Okay, maybe she is. Just a little.

Beep. Beep.

Her train of thoughts – surely, not anxious type of thoughts, pfft, what are those, right? – is suddenly stopped by that incessant, irritating, annoying noise grating on her ears.

That blinking, noisy monstrosity commonly known as phone, shows her the heckler is none other than a certain Alien Queen . A part of Kyoka’s mind begins to think that Mina has some kind of sensors that warns her about her classmates’ love-related problems – not that Jirou was dealing with them before the call, no, no.

Ohi, Rocking Girl, watcha doing?” Ashido’s voice resonates through the speaker, excited and somehow mischievous. 

“... Studying.” Jirou answers, after a pause, while her inner thoughts helpfully supply a “Yeah, studying the floor”.

Girl, okay, I know we have some tests these days, – gosh don’t remind me – but really, Jirou? Do you think you can fool me? After that pause too? Tell your favorite gal what’s wrong.

“My favorite gal? Since when?”

Ssh, you are just in the denial stage. Okay, seriously Jirou, you have not been your normal self for the whole day. I even heard Bakugou muttering ‘Fucking ears isn’t herself today’. I won’t pry too much, if you don’t want to. But I think I know what your problem is, and you should admit it to yourself, maybe with the help of someone else – aka, your big sister Mina, at your service!

A lot of people might not notice it at first glance, but Ashido is truly a friend everyone can rely on. She might be too happy-go-lucky, loud-mouthed, gossipmonger, but she always means well. That’s probably what convinces Kyoka to finally open up.

At least, that is her intention, before being stopped by the caller herself.

... It’s about Kaminari, isn’t it? Tonight is the night, after all.” Ashido pursues, probably mistaking her silence as a refusal to speak.

“I was going to tell my not-truly-favorite gal about my problems, but if you believe you already know everything… I might hang up.” Kyoka retorts, relying on her favorite weapon, her ‘snark’. That was more a move to delay the discussion she surely still isn’t ready to deal with right now, but she is unfortunately aware she can’t escape from it any further.

NO, NO, TELL ME, NOW! Jirou, if you hang up, I swear I will cover one of your guitars with acid!

“Ashido, if you only dare to touch one of my instruments-”

Girl, I won’t do that, but SPILL. THE. BEANS.” Ashido relents, cutting off Kyoka’s threat.

“That was my intention! Mina, has someone ever told you that you’re exhausting?”

Yes, for this reason I am searching for a significant other who won’t find me tiring but the best company ever!

“You mean Kirishima.” Kyoka counters, kinda amused when she hears Mina puff on the other side of the line.

OOF, JIROU, we should discuss your love situation, so don’t change the subject.

“First, I wasn’t the one who changed the subject. Second, ooh, you admit the situation between you and Kirishima has a romantic connotation!” Jirou feels so accomplished that she was finally able to give Ashido a taste of her own medicine.

Jirou, with all due respect, fuck you.

“You should take me to dinner first.” 

After that exchange, both of them begin to laugh, aware that they were having that silly discussion near midnight. After their snickers had considerably toned down, Mina regains her composure.

All of this small talk aside, we should go back to the core of our discussion.

Jirou bites her lower lip. Ashido doesn’t say anything for a whole hot minute, giving her the time to recoil and vent at her own pace.

“As you said, tonight is the night… he is going to have that dream and discover for sure if he has a soulmate or not, and I am kinda worried, I guess? For him! Yeah, imagine if his soulmate won’t be who he wants them to-”

Jirou, sorry if this will sound Bakugou-esque, but cut the bullshit. That isn’t the problem. You are nervous for a whole other reason. All of us girls know it and even some of the guys. You are free not to tell me, but, for your sake, admit it to yourself."

“Why is this so hard?” she whispers, after another long pause, and sighs, falling onto her mattress with a thud.

It always is. Now, take a deep breath and just blurt it out at once. One, two-

“Fine, I fucking like Kaminari and I already hate his soulmate because I am… argh! Just, what if he won’t spend time with me anymore? What if he will only have eyes for this other person and just leave me there, high-and-dry? What if we won’t be even friends anymore?” she blabbers, both angry and free from a burden way heavier than she thought it was.  “Okay, I said it, can we stop talking about this now?” 

First, I am wounded you didn’t wait for the ‘three’." her friend states, making both of them consequently snicker again, the tension fading a little. “Second, girl, don’t think we’ll change the topic! I am proud you finally admitted it. Better late than ever, we are already in the second year at UA, but we girls have been so sure you nurtured a crush on him since the first! AAH, young love!

“No, we’ll change the subject because I think this is more than enough for today.” Jirou admits, still feeling a bit overwhelmed. 

As the call with Mina comes to an end after a round of goodnights – she was successful at changing the topic, so the rest of the call had been mostly gossips or school related stuff –, Jirou buries her head on her pillow, reminiscing over what she said some minutes before.

Kyoka isn’t stupid, she has been aware for a long time that she fell for Kaminari the year prior. Admitting it was just another beast entirely, but she was able to defeat it and come out almost unscathed – except for her pride, that is.

Kaminari was surely a bit of an idiot, but a caring one. Since the accident at USJ, they have been friends, bantering over the most meaningless matters, playing together at the arcade, hanging out with the whole ‘Bakusquad’, having some midnight snacks escapades at the dorms. 

She doesn’t really know when she fell for his dumb ass exactly – probably during the Cultural festival, when he cheered for her and she had never felt so warm and accomplished before. 

**She was only sure she realized it during the battle against the Paranormal Liberation front. The idea of him getting hurt, not returning at UA, at home, their home, with his usual infectious smile, sickened her. Her words of encouragement, her ‘Get it done, Chargebolt’, were her way to say ‘I have faith in you, I know you will come back’. 

Momo had suggested she had a crush on him before that, during the training with the Wild, Wild Pussycats, but her ‘Don’t worry, he will be fine’ opened Jirou’s eyes way more than other teasing comebacks the other girls kept throwing at her during their sleepovers. During that battle, she was concerned specifically for him, because he was special to her. And then it all clicked.**

Her train of thoughts was broken again by her phone, specifically another continuous ‘ping’ and a simultaneous vibration. The nuisance, this time, is her alarm: it is midnight sharp. In Japan, it is officially the 29th of June.

Picking up the device, she unlocks it, staring a little bit at the phone wallpaper. It is a picture of the 1-A band they took almost a year ago, with Bakugou blurred in the background – or, as Kaminari liked to say, in ‘low rez’ –, Momo and Tokoyami being the only decent ones, while she and the aforementioned doofus were making faces at the camera. 

She lets a smile curl her lips lightly, deciding to finally open the chat with the idiot that has been stuck on her mind, rent-free, for the whole day.

deepestdope: happy birthday, chargedolt.

smexybeast: omg jirou u r the 1st one who wished me a happy bday! Thx u!

smexybeast: also do u know wut happens 2nite?

deepestdope: as if i don’t know, you idiot

deepestdope: have i ever told you how much I hate that nickname of yours?

smexybeast: oh no u tell me that just, u know, everyday

deepestdope: good, because I will say it again: it’s horrible

smexybeast: u just cant admit its true, jack ;)

deepestdope: sure sure

smexybeast: >:O u r just in denial of my charm

smexybeast: jirou? r u there? u havent answered for a bit.

deepestdope: umh yeah… kaminari? can i ask you something?

smexybeast: technically u already did

deepestdope: dont be a smartass 

smexybeast: oh now im smart? jirou this is the best compliment i ever received from u!

deepestdope: okay, i am done here, bye.

smexybeast: no, w8! pls, jirou, u can ask me wut u want!

deepestdope: too late.

smexybeast: :( 

deepestdope: aaargh, only because it’s your birthday.

smexybeast: i knew u cared!

deepestdope: so, umh… are you worried about this soulmate thing?

smexybeast: umh, worried? Y? i am mostly excited!

deepestdope: nevermind

smexybeast: Jack…

deepestdope: proper punctuation? That’s a first.

smexybeast: jirou, u dont fool me. is there something wrong?

deepestdope: nah, i am just worried for that unfortunate soul that will be stuck with you through this soul bonding magic.

smexybeast: rude, jack!

smexybeast: also better if i go to bed this time u know. ttyl n gn, jirou!

deepestdope: okay, bye

smexybeast:

deepestdope: ?

smexybeast: u didnt wish me gn

deepestdope: because i didn’t want to

smexybeast: legasp jirou, its my bday!

deepestdope: so?

smexybeast: ill get my revenge on your bday, jack, remember these words next month!

deepestdope: sure, sure.

smexybeast: im still waiting!

deepestdope: jamming-whey, you are truly tiring

smexybeast: but…?

deepestdope: but goodnight.

smexybeast: thats wut i wanted 2 hear! Gn again 2 u!

deepestdope: idiot

After putting her phone on the nightstand, Jirou sighs again, letting her head rest on the pillow, her hair sprawled on the red and black fabric of her pillowcase.

This is going to be a loong night.

 

❖⚜❖

 

If someone told him he was thrown in the world of a fairy tale, he would have seriously believed that. 

He strolls down the forest, the sun above him radiating, allowing the rays to pass through the drop-shaped viridescent leaves. He notices he is barefoot, but the grassy and smooth path under his feet is gentle, the boy doesn’t feel the soles hurt. The tall trees surrounds him in all their glorious height and age, making him feel more peaceful than ever.

Little levitating lights, similar to fireflies, dance around him, casting on his figure a soft, golden hue. They illuminate the road ahead. He keeps looking around, flabbergasted by that unfathomable, natural beauty. 

His eyes fall on his body, draped by a candid, pure white linen tunic. That garment… clashes with his usual fashion style, but he admits it’s comfy, at least.

He jerks his head up, eyeing the end of that verdant tunnel. He discovers the trail opens into a clearing, a flowery plaza with a human figure standing at the centre of the circular field. He doesn’t really know why he starts running, but his legs move on their own, covering the distance in little, precious seconds.

His eyes can now discern the silhouette clearlier: a petite, blonde girl is staying before him, still and silent, with her eyes closed and her long hair flowing in golden locks on her shoulders. She is wearing the same white dress, colliding with her eyes that, now open, are a stormy grey.

The boy doesn’t see her arms are behind her back until those same pale limbs hand him a purplish paper heart. He tries to take it, but, as if it were a ghost, his attempt fails, his hand passing through the object.

After that, the girl smiles, and Kaminari is sure he has already seen that pearly curl of lips somewhere, but, before he can’t grasp the solution of that riddle, he feels the world collapsing on itself, the girl still smirking while waving. Denki tries to surge forward, to stay there, but his limbs feels like lead and broken glass at once, heavy and fragile.

Then, only black remains.



❖⚜❖



Kaminari wakes up with a startle, his breath heavy, his eyes glassy. 

Only after he takes in his bed sheets glistened with sweat, his deformed pillow and his muddled cheetah-printed covers, he knows he is in his room and that the strange scenery was just a dream. Or better, the famous ‘revelation’. 

He has a soulmate. This soulmate is a girl, whose personality or physical traits are related to the colour purple. Thanks, Fate, for the numerous and clear hints.

Sitting on the edge of the bed, Denki stretches his arms, extending his hand to grab his phone, opening his chat with a certain Deepestdope.

smexybeast: gm, jirou! hope u slept gr8!

smexybeast: also, yes, u wanted to know umh... ive a soulmate.