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New Year, Same Us

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It was New Year’s Eve in the third and final year of school at U.A. for Izuku Midoriya and his classmates in class 3-A. While the school year still had a few months to go before their inevitable graduation, the calendar year was on its last leg. The week before,, the students of class 3-A spent Christmas with their respective families, as opposed to celebrating together as they had in past years. While there wouldn’t be a class-wide gift exchange, the extra time they all gained to spend with their family was priceless on its own. Izuku and his mother had a nice dinner and exchanged gifts: Izuku received some ankle weights, and he gifted his mom with tea to calm her nerves and reduce her worrying about him.

Christmas with their families meant New Year’s Eve with classmates, and with this being their first and last New Year’s Eve celebration with each other (at least while they were still in school), everyone wanted to go all out. With this new year, they were on the cusp of finishing their final year at U.A. There was still a grueling and stressful gauntlet of a third term that awaited them before their inevitable journey into the workforce, yet that final milestone before herodom seemed so close. While a student or two had some reservations, the ultimate consensus was that one last hurrah before things got serious wouldn’t be the end of the world.

They divided the prep work amongst themselves, splitting into small groups. Satou, Yaoyorozu, Todoroki, Bakugo, and Kirishima would take care of the food (whether it be cooking or catering). Mineta, Shoji, Koda, Ojiro, and Aoyama, would clean the common area (Aoyama promised a sparkling clean room, but not more sparkly than him, of course). Mina, Hagakure, Sero, Jirou, Kaminari and were in charge of entertainment. Lastly, Ochako, Tsu, Iida, Tokoyami, and Deku were trusted with decorations once the common area was fully clean.

Iida proposed a trip into town for the party supplies, and as long as they went before stores started closing. Uraraka also figured if they saved money by relying on public transit, that meant more funds to spend on supplies and decorations (it’d be two train rides and a bus ride, but it’d be better than a rideshare for five people). The group met outside of the Heights Alliance, and once Iida and Uraraka had the route plotted out, they set off on their journey.

It was cold enough today for Izuku to see his own breath. He cupped his palms around his mouth and exhaled once again, letting his hands warm, even if it was just a little bit. The wind didn’t help, and bit at his face. If he’d known it’d be this cold outside today, he’d have tried to switch places with someone in the group tasked with cleaning (at least the dorm building was warm). Izuku shivered again as a chill traveled up his spine.

“You didn’t bring gloves, Deku-kun?” Uraraka asked, looking over at his hands.

“I might have left it at my mom’s house when I left after Christmas,” Izuku suggested while shaking his head. Yeah, that must have been it. The image of his gloves on his childhood desk was clear in his mind. “You wouldn’t happen to have an extra pair of mittens, would you, Uraraka-san?” 

She shook her head, so Izuku breathed into his hands once more, taking solace in the split-second of fading heat. Surrounding all of them were large, white flakes falling slowly to accumulate as a fresh, powder coat on the ground. The cold was bad enough, but did it really have to snow too?

“Did you want one of my pairs of gloves? I’m wearing a few today, kero ,” Tsu offered cheerfully, speaking up behind them.

“Depends. How many are you wearing?” Izuku asked. It sure was tempting. While it hadn’t snowed since Christmas Eve, he didn’t expect the temperature to drop so much. 

Three,” Tsu croaked proudly, gesturing with her hand.

“No, it’s okay, Asu--I mean--Tsu...chan,” Izuku assured, “you’ll need all the layers you can. We don’t need you to start hibernating, and we’ve got a busy day and long night ahead of us.”

“If Todoroki-kun wasn’t on the food duty, we could just stick him in the middle of all of us, and he could keep us all warm,” Uraraka joked with sweeping gestures. A bundled-up Tsu nodded in agreement. Uraraka turned to their bird-headed classmate, telling him, “No offense, Tokoyami-kun.”

“None taken,” he responded, shaking his head, “while the darkness may engulf us all in due time, it’s not particularly warm.”

“Uraraka-kun, that is not a proper use for Todoroki-kun’s quirk,” Iida scolded, chopping the air with his gloved hands. “And Midoriya-kun! You must find it within yourself to be more responsible! Imagine if it had been the gloves of your hero costume instead. I can only imagine the frustration of your support department that carefully crafted an item you need in battle, only for you to forget it in a moment of absent-mindedness!”

“Do you think the support course could add some extra compartments to my belt for a pair of extra gloves?” Izuku joked, only to provoke more lecturing from Iida.

“Wanna hear an Uraraka Family Special Technique, Deku-kun?” Uraraka asked, punching the air enthusiastically. “I’ve got the perfect solution for you that’s never failed me! Not even once!”

“What’s that?” Izuku asked curiously. The phrase “special technique” piqued his interest in particular. Over the years, Uraraka had developed plenty of new super moves, from her Comet Home Run to her Meteor Storm, and even combination techniques like the Meteor Fafrotskies when she teams up with Asui. If she’d been hiding another secret move, he’d most likely have to update his notes on her quirk when he got back to his room later. 

“Getting the heat fixed can get expensive real quick, so when it would malfunction in the winter time, my parents’ and I had a special way of fighting the cold!” Uraraka shared proudly, “Just close your eyes and imagine something warm!” 

“Ooh, like a steaming cup of tea?” Izuku said, suddenly wishing he kept the tea for himself rather than give it to his mom for Christmas. 

“Yeah!” Uraraka exclaimed.

“Or the sun at high noon when I’m basking in the summer!” Tsu said through chattering teeth. 

“Yeah!” Uraraka agreed again, throwing a fist in the air.

“How about my engines when they start to overheat when I’ve used my Reciproburst too many times?” Iida chopped into the air enthusiastically with his answer.

“Yeah...probably!” Uraraka said.

“The blazing fires of eternal judgement and damnation,” Tokoyami said drearily.

“Well, that sounds right, at least,” Uraraka loosely accepted while scratching her head. “So, I guess so?”

Imagine something hot, huh, Izuku thought to himself. He wasted no time going back to his daydreams of a nice cup of tea. That, coupled with the thought of himself bundled up in one of his many All Might pajama sets and matching fuzzy socks, sipping at the comforting brew that would warm his mouth all the way down to the pit of his stomach, before it’d spread to the rest of his body. This image shattered as his face came into contact with the snow-covered sidewalk.

“Deku-kun, you didn’t have to actually close your eyes!” Uraraka said panickedly, immediately rushing to see if he was okay. 

“Too literal?” Izuku asked from the ground, rubbing his newly-sore forehead. 

Uraraka nodded, offering her mittened hand to Izuku. The bottom half of her face was (responsibly) covered by her scarf, but a muffled giggle still escaped through. He took her hand, which felt nice and warm, thanks to the mittens. Izuku tightened his grip, and so did she. 

She seemed to hold on tightly as well. It was commonplace for her to lift a pinky if she were to touch someone (otherwise they’d float away in no time). But as long as she had on mittens instead, anyone she touched remained safely tethered to the Earth’s gravity. The feeling of her hand in his (or his hand in hers; he couldn’t quite tell the difference) was strange . Well, no, ‘strange’ was the wrong word, but he sure didn’t know what to make of it. It’d be different had it been anyone else helping him up, or if he was holding the hand of a civilian while assisting them. Uraraka’s hand felt...nice. 

Whether she used her quirk or not, Uraraka wouldn’t have any issue pulling Izuku up under normal circumstances. But beneath the small layer of snow laid a thin layer of ice, and before she had a chance to realize the ground was slick, she’d already lost her balance and slipped to fall down next to him. Her face initially wore shock and surprise, but it eased into joy and amusement. She broke into laughter, and it was as contagious as ever, so Izuku couldn’t help but join in. 

“Will either of you two require any sort of medical attention? I can pick the person with the most urgent injuries to the hospital, and double back for the other,” Iida asked with concern, “Tsu-kun and Tokoyami-kun would have to take care of getting the decorations for the party, however.” 

“No, we’ll be fine,” Uraraka assured, getting back to her feet, and offering her hand to Izuku again. “It was just a tiny fall.”

Izuku accepted her hand again, and once she widened her stance for a sturdy hold on him, she pulled him up while he pushed himself off the ground. He felt warmer already (especially on his ears, cheeks, and pit of his stomach), but as they let go of each other’s hand, the cold returned to his fingertips. After brushing the snow off of his pants, he pushed his hands deep into his pockets, in hopes that would help.

“Sorry, Uraraka-san. If I hadn’t fallen, you wouldn’t have either,” Izuku apologized as his laughter faded away.

“If I had been faster, I could’ve caught you again,” Uraraka said. She slapped him on the back lightly, loosening a bit of snow clinging to the bottom of his coat. 

Uraraka’s words repeated in Izuku’s head. There were so many instances that she’d caught him. Right away, he thought of nearly three years ago, when they’d met for the first time. Even though it’d been so long ago, the memories were as fresh as the snow on the ground. Whether it was stumbling after a misstep, or plummeting down after a pointless, rash, and impulsive attack on a giant robot, Uraraka was there to save him.

In a society that warmly embraced the top heroes while coolly neglecting the quirkless, One For All opened all sorts of opportunities for Izuku, and there was a lot to be thankful for. He had a quirk now. He could save people. Even though he only had his provisional hero license, he was closer now than ever to being a hero like All Might, especially compared to who he was in middle school. 

More importantly, he had friends now. A lot of them, too. His friends constantly accepted him and pushed him to grow and Uraraka was no exception. There was the dutiful Iida. Todoroki who inspired Izuku to truly make his quirk his own. Aoyama, with whom he found common ground in the physical limitations of their quirks and the effects it had on their bodies. Uraraka was bubbly, cheerful, and supportive.

Even though Uraraka’s Quirk removed gravity from whatever she touched, Izuku often thought of the weight their friendship held. She was his first friend at U.A. and had done so much before they even knew each other’s name. And even after they got acquainted, she was only ever kind to him, their friendship only grew stronger as time went on. Even now, she was his best friend. 

But is that all they’d ever be? Izuku couldn’t help but wonder. It wasn’t uncommon for people to assume he and Uraraka were dating (typically it’d be a civilian that’d see them on duty, but Todoroki and Izuku’s mom had both said something of the sort at one point or another). It was weird to think about, as he couldn’t seem himself trading their friendship for anything in the world.

“Deku-kun!” Uraraka called out. Izuku looked up, snapping out of his thoughts, only to notice that the others had gone on further ahead. “Don’t be such a slowpoke, or you’re gonna put us behind schedule!”

Uraraka’s smile brightly reached her eyes (as it always did), and Izuku moved faster (being extra careful not to slip) to catch up to the others. He didn’t know if it was the warm nostalgia, or the faint feeling of Uraraka’s hand in his, but the cold was a little more bearable now, even if that’d only last for a moment.