Chapter One: A Weak Breeze on a Hot Day

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It was a hot August Monday and literally nothing had gone right for you. You opened your sleep-crusted eyes at five in the morning, invisible fists pounding against your skull, alarm clock blaring louder than what you felt was necessary for a clock. You dragged yourself to the shower of your tiny, dank, outer-Mustafu apartment. You turned on the shower, stripping out of last night's slightly sweaty, a little-too-sticky sports bra and panties. You gazed at your brown skin in the mirror, tired, sleep-blurred eyes roaming over your body. You looked good; drained, but good. You stuck your hand in the water to check the temperature. Why was it cold? Oh hell, the water heater went out. You cursed under your breath, making a mental note to argue with your landlord about fixing it later that afternoon. You stepped under the water, ice-cold tears running down your body, goosebumps jumping up against your skin. You washed quickly, shuddering and sniffling under the water, before jumping out and wrapping yourself in a towel. You went out to grab your suit from the laundry room, put it on, then hurried back to the bathroom to put on your makeup and get ready for the day. Time seemed to move in slow motion, breakfast seemed slower than before, the sun rose slowly over the city, casting light into your coffee. Wait, shit, you've sat there for too long! You're late! You scrambled up from the table, grabbing your coffee and scraping the leftover omelette into your cat's bowl. You grabbed your car keys, and practically threw yourself into the car. Now begins your long, boring, traffic-filled commute to work.

You sat in the car, listening to the radio. Although you lived outside the city and were usually safe from terrorist attacks, you liked to stay updated when something happened so that you knew when to move back into your 'panic house,' which was your parent's home in America. As you clicked the buttons on your radio, the newsman's voice announcing grimly: "The terrorist known as Overhaul is wanted by the Hero Commission, last sighted in the center of last week's traffic accident on [KZZRT-!] Street. Star U.A. student Lemillion has announced he is officially retired." You tapped your fingers on the steering wheel. You had been watching the news when helicopters were surrounding the awful traffic accident, shaking on your living room couch as you watched a young man with snowflake white hair step out of a van. The thought of that sight made you shudder, but what really disturbed you was the bump under your tire and the loud hiss that you were hearing as you drove down the highway. "Goddammit, a flat," you growled, "Can this day get any worse?!" You pulled over, called your boss, and went to fix your tire. 

Two hours later, you finally made it to work. As you sat in your desk seat and logged into your monitor to clock in, your boss tapped you on the shoulder and motioned for you to go ahead and follow him into his office. Practically shaking in your shoes, you went and sat in the creaky, old leather chair that sat across the desk from his nice, modern, sleek one. Your boss gave you the heartbreaking news: You're fired. It had nothing to do with you being late, they had just hired a brand new worker with a quirk that complimented the office perfectly: Cloning. Sadly, you were kicked because you had the least amount of time with the company, and you were not nearly as efficient as one man who can turn into multiple men for the same pay. And, of course, companies valued free labor more than tears about how you were going to pay rent, or how hard you'd been working for the six months you'd been there. 

You packed up your desk, submitted your final timecard, and walked, head low, to your car. You sorrowfully placed your box full of office decorations and items into your trunk and started on your way home. It was about noon, and you were starving. It wouldn't hurt to stop and grab a microwave lunch before heading home to eat it. You took the long way to the grocery store, sobbing your last few tears before pulling into the parking lot and wiping the tears away from your face. You glanced in the rearview mirror.  Your eyes were puffy, red, and tired. You stepped out of the car and walked into the little corner store.

You browsed the ramen section of your local store quietly. You were in your thoughts when you heard a soft, slightly croaky voice call out: "Hey!"

 You turned, not really wanting to deal with anything or anyone. However, when you were approached by a tall, blonde, and pretty heavily bandaged blondie with deep blue eyes and a rather charming smile, your mind changed a little.

 "Ah, sorry, do I know you," you asked a bit shyly, "or am I in your way?" The blonde smiled, "You've GATA be kidding me, you don't remember me, Y/n?" 

'Why did he say 'Gata' like that?'  You wondered, staring up at him. He stared back, waiting patiently for a reaction. "Ah...no, sorry, I don't." 

He smiled, "That's alright, it's been some years! Togata Mirio. We went to middle school together." 

Your eyes lit up with remembrance, "Oh! My goodness, you've gotten so tall! Jeez, has it really been 5 years since I last saw you?" You smiled, grabbing a pack of heat-ready-eat udon noodles from the shelf. God, he was just as handsome as when he was in middle school! You'd always had a crush on him, his charming, nerdy, yet alluring personality always had some weird hold on your heart. 

Mirio smiled, motioning to himself before wincing from his injured arm. "Ah, I know! You're still as cute as ever!" You glanced down at his hurt arm, "What happened? It looks bad, you look like you were hit by a truck." Mirio shook his head, his expression momentarily falling from cheerful to despaired, "Ah, just... things happened at U.A." 

You decided not to press further. "Whatever happened looks like it took a toll on you..why don't you come over and I'll make you some food? We can catch up there." You offered innocently. Mirio brightened a little, "Trying to get me home already? Sure, if you wanna have my company." 

On the way home, you and Mirio chatted about everything and nothing. After about a twenty-minute drive, you pulled into your apartment's driveway. You let Mirio make himself at home as you started to make Udon with fresh fish stock. "You know, I'm glad I ran into you today, it's been so shitty." You said with a sigh, dropping vegetables into the broth, turning to face him. Mirio was looking down, seemingly spaced out. His expression looked desolate, haunted even. His deep blue eyes snapped toward you, and he seemed to brighten up, "Ah, sorry, didn't mean to space out!" He stood up and walked toward you, leaning over you to look into the pot, "I heard you though." He placed a hand on your head, "You're so short, I remember you used to be taller than me in middle school!" 

"You still look back on middle school, I hardly remember much from it," you said, reaching to take his hand off your head. It was so warm and rough...when you were kids it was small and soft, but these hands had seen years of hard work. You found yourself running a thumb over the small scars he had there, then quickly let go of his hand, apologizing with red cheeks. Mirio's gaze softened, "That's too bad, I remember a lot of middle school! We used to be so close, and we would pretend to be heroes together! Mighty Lemillion and his sidekick, Gaffer!" Mirio smiled brightly, yelling a bit, "Mighty Number One Heroes!" You couldn't help but smile. 

"Well, I do remember that. It was fun, pretending we would be heroes. At least you're on your way to number one, though!" To be quite honest, it pained you to think about leaving middle school and taking the entrance exam. You and Mirio had been separated after you were denied entrance to U.A., but you held no resentment or envy in your heart. It made you happy to know that Mirio did as well as he did, even if, for some reason, he was outside of U.A. right now. As you thought about this, you happened to notice Mirio's eyes turn sad. His smile never faltered, though, "Yeah!" Ah, wait, didn't the radio say something about Lemillion retiring? You furrowed your brows and began to speak; "Mirio, I h-" "You know, Y/n, you're really just as beautiful as you were in middle school. Ah, wait, the stock is gonna overcook!" Mirio pointed at the soup, quickly changing your focus. Oh well, you'd ask later.

You set the bowl of udon down in front of Mirio, then sat in the chair next to him at the dinner table. "Thanks again for keeping me company," you said softly, taking a bite of your udon, "But why do you keep..er...complimenting me?" "Ah, should I stop? Sorry, I kinda can't help it, I didn't get to tell you all those years ago, so why not now?" Mirio chuckled, running his hands through his fluffy golden hair. His eyes flicked upward to meet yours, a provocative smile on his lips. "Aha! I used to have a crush on you too, I was always just too shy to say it." You smiled at him, but looking at his face you couldn't help but imagine doing dirty things with him. Mirio was quiet, gazing at you. Suddenly, he leaned across the table, and before you knew it, his lips were on yours.

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