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a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor

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Like all crimes these days, the attack happens in broad daylight. Nana is sitting on a nearby building, eating lunch when she sees it.

Two men pounce on a woman with a possum quirk, it doesn't look like a robbery. Anti-Mutant discrimination, then? She throws her lunch to the side, letting herself fall down the edge of the building, and landing with a loud crack when she hits the pavement.

The two men whirl around and Nana smiles wide, punching the left one in the side. He pushes at her and thin vines grow from his hand to try and latch onto her arm. They're too weak for her enhanced body, though, and she manages a grab, throwing the man over her shoulder.

Just in time, as the man on the right is edging around her, knife in hand. He spooks a bit when she lays eyes on him, skittering back a good few feet.

"It'd be best if you gave up, you know?" She tries for extra sunny, but leans her weight on her back leg, just in case.

A good idea because the man just curses at her and then charges.

Nana dodges the knife swung at her, jumping the air with a fraction of One for All and kicking the man in the head. Air combat is something she's had to relearn since One for All powered up her quirk and it's probably something she'll have to unlearn once the embers of it finally burn out.

Or. Well.

Maybe it isn't something to be concerned about.

She floats there for a second, eyeing the man and making sure he doesn't rise. It's a futile worry, he groans and rolls over, but that's the end of it. Nana primly lands on the sidewalk, dusting her gloves off.

"All clear!" She cheers, the few people that were on the street come out of their hiding places, looking at the downed villains with fear in their eyes. Nana keeps her smile wide, stance relaxed as she turns to the victim. She's slow, careful to broadcast her movements, and places her hand feather soft on the woman's upper arm.

Too much and she'll jump, if Nana hovers, she'll take it as disgust. There's a careful balance for dealing with victims of crimes like this.

The woman only startles a little, but relaxes when she catches sight of Nana. An uneasy grin crosses her furred face.

"Are you okay?" Nana asks, angling her body so the few onlookers shuffling past can't see her past the cape. The woman nods, shrinking in on herself.

"I am now...thank you." She's quiet, but relaxes a little at Nana's calm demeanor.

The police are upon the pair soon enough, one arresting the downed villains and the other starting questioning. Nana stands to the side for two reasons. One, they obviously need her statement. Two, she sure as hell doesn't trust them with a discrimination case.

Fortunately, all goes well. The woman is picked up by a friend, the villains arrested, and Nana thanked more than she cares for.

"Nice take down," Someone says from behind, "Showing off for me, huh?"

Nana twirls around, "Recovery Girl!"

"Starlight," Shuzenji looks good, brown hair pinned with faux-syringes with her signature lab coat and dress shining brightly in the sunlight.

“Of course,” Nana grins, putting her hands on her cocked hips, “Who else would appreciate it?”

“Mhm,” Shuzenji smirks, “That’s what they all say.”

Nana bumps the other woman’s shoulder.

“As they should, you’re the hero of heroes, you know?”

Shuzenji scoffs, but she still wears a small smile.

“But you didn’t just happen by, did you?” Nana says, serious. Her smile slips a fraction and the remaining hand on her hip tightens.

“No,” Shuzenji admits, “I heard you were looking for me. Starlight, you usually don’t ask for help like this.”

Nana bites her lip, scanning the street. There are still a few civilians lingering, eyeing Shuzenji and her. The use of cover names isn’t lost on either of them. It isn’t safe here.

“You mind if I take you up?” Nana asks, pointing at the roof she vacated previously.

She’s answered by rolled eyes, but Shuzenji nods easily enough. Nana scoops Shuzenji in her arms, the other giving a soft squeak before gently pushing off the ground. Float comes like water washing over her, and Nana drifts to the edge of the roof, setting Shuzenji down carefully.

The other stumbles for a brief second, righting herself with the faux syringe and glancing around the rooftop. Nana steps forward, staring at the cracked edges on the roof.

“What did you want?” Shuzenji asks again, blunt as usual.

"I've got a selfish request," Nana closes her eyes, the wind whipping her hair. Up here, it's easy to forget about the evil broiling over in the country below.

Shuzenji grunts behind her, she can hear the thump of the other woman's baton as she taps it on the wall beside her.

"It isn't something I'm going to like, is it?"

Nana chuckles, but it comes out tired.

"No. I think you're probably going to hate it." She lets herself collapse on top of the roof, one leg folded under and one dangling off the edge, opening her eyes to the brilliant blue sky above.

"I want you to take the UA position," she says, finally. The tapping stops and Nana can hear Shuzenji's footsteps come closer.

She settles in beside Nana, cross-legged, "You know how much I hate the idea. Once I start, they won't stop pushing those kids."

Shuzenji usually has a kind face, but it's marred with a scowl. Nana tries to smile and manages a weak, wobbly one.

"I wouldn't ask if it wasn't important," she says, sincere. The other woman snorts, looking away.

"If I didn't think you were, I'd have beaten you with my baton until you floated me off this rooftop!" She jabs the syringe in Nana's direction, "Now tell me what all this is really about!"

The words don't come easy, a legacy trapped within her throat. Shuzenji is trustworthy, Nana knows, but a secret kept is a secret locked. She runs her hand through her hair, tugging the ends.

"My quirk is called Float," it comes slowly out of her mouth. Shuzenji looks at her as if she's mad. With what she's about to say, Shuzenji won't think otherwise.

The wind blows harsh again and Nana lifts her face to it.

"Years ago I was given another."

Shuzenji inhales sharply.

"The Quirk called One for All."

She carefully doesn't look at the older woman, keeping her eyes to the skyline.

Shuzenji clears her throat.

"That should be impossible, but you aren't in the business of telling lies," she leans into Nana's space, "And you don't seem unwell."

"Because I'm not," Nana looks over at the other hero. There's no judgement on Shuzenji's face, heralding well.

“A Quirk that can be passed on…” Shuzenji sighs, “It sounds like a fairytale.”

Nana can’t stop the scoff that escapes her throat.

“If it is, it’s more of a curse than anything.” Her gloves squeak with how hard she clenches her fist.


“Sorry,” Nana interrupts, “I’ve...I don’t regret the things I’ve done- or will do. But I’ve lost- I’m losing so much.”

Her eyes well with tears against her will and Nana pushes them down, mouth twisting into a parody of a smile. She swallows, a pained gasp escaping before she can stop it.

Shuzenji’s hand comes to her shoulder and Nana lets herself lean into it briefly.

“Did you need my help-”

“No,” Nana interrupts again, getting a huff in response, though Shuzenji’s hand remains clasped to her shoulder.

“No, I’ve passed it on.”

“To who?”

“A boy at UA, Yagi Toshinori. He’ll do great things with it, is doing great things with it. But I’m going to be...I might not be here much longer.”

“Shimura, let me help you,” Shuzenji says, desperate. Her grip is tight to the point of bruising and her eyes wide, panicked.

Nana rests her own hand over the other’s, pushing up a smile for her.

“No one can help me. If I’m lucky...if I’m lucky I’m spouting bullshit.”

Shuzenji gives a hiss at the language.

“But if I’m not...I need as many people as I can to help protect Toshi, he’s all...he’s all I have now.”

Because she gave up-

No, she never had any children. Toshi is all she has, all she’s ever had.

“After UA, Gran will take him away from Japan. But until then, I want him to have that final safeguard.”

A moment of silence, the bustling of the city and the breeze in the air the only sounds.

Shuzenji breathes out, more of a grunt than sigh.

“And I’m that safeguard, huh?”

Her eyes are closed, hand still tight on Nana’s shoulder.

She squeezes it.

Please” slips out of her lips, pathetic and pleading.

Shuzenji winces. Bites her lip.

More silence.

Nana’s heart beats fast, pressing her emotions deep down, face forced into a pleasant smile.

“Fine,” Shuzenji says, yanking her hand away, “I’ll go to UA.”

Nana breathes in. Breathes out.

“Thank you,” she chokes out.

“Whatever,” Shuzenji grumbles, “Get me off this roof.”

“Of course!” Nana scoops her up again and steps lightly off the roof.

Shuzenji glances up at her as they float down.

“Don’t try to die too early, Shimura. There are people waiting for you.”

Her grin hurts, like she’s slashed it onto her face. Still, Nana keeps it up, setting Shuzenji down gently.

“Yes, ma’am,” Nana lies to Shuzenji, clapping her on the shoulder, “I won’t, don’t worry.”