The warm up room was bustling with activity as students stretched and warmed up, chatting to their friends and lending encouraging words to help boost moral.
“Hey.” Chisuki said with a stiffly casual greeting as he approached his childhood friend and crush, Jinsei Kirishima.
“Oh hey, Chi.” She replied happily as she straightened from doing up her shoelaces.
“Good luck today, you’re gonna need it because I’m gonna beat your ass.” He replied with a proud smirk.
“Oh? Is that so- number two hero?” She leered in return as she placed her hands on her hips and tilted her head up confidently, “I’m gonna call you shadow because that’s where you’ll always be. In my shadow.” She teased.
“Well said.” Soshi called from across the room.
“Shut up, diamond shitter.” Chi snarled at him.
“Better than being a human implosion.” Soshi replied calmly, standing up and stretching before walking past Jinny and Chi, “remember to change your nappy first Chi.” He teased.
“Shut the fuck up!” Chi snapped, skin starting to crackle as his temper affect the activation of his quirk.
“Good luck, Jinny,” Soshi said pleasantly as he reached the door and looked back over his shoulder at her, his gorgeous orange eyes glowing as he smiled. “I won’t go easy on you if we end up becoming opponents though.”
“I’m not expecting you to.” Jinsei replied with a lopsided smirk, “and anyway, I want to be able to beat you fair and square.”
“You’ll be a tough opponent.” Soshi praised, “I’m looking forward to it.”
Just then the bell sounded for all the competitors of that years UA sports festival to head to the arena to see who they would be versing in the one-on-one duels.
“I wonder if Kiru is watching at home?” Jinny thought as she turned and headed the door with Chi following along behind her.
Clumps of students headed down the narrow hallway and out into the arena and the crowd erupted as they came into view, keen to see the next lot of up and coming heroes, battle it out.
Just then Jinsei heard a voice calling from the stands and she looked up into the smiling face of her best friend, Kiru Midoriya, the daughter of the great hero; Deku.
“Knock them dead!” Kiru shouted, raising her right fist in the air and pumping it up and down, “girl power! Go detroit smash ’em!”
“You got it, Kiki!” Jinsei shouted back at her, her long brown pigtailed hair swishing with her enthusiastic call. “I’m gonna show them.” Jinsei thought proudly, “I’m gonna be up there on the podium at the end.”
Throngs of hopeful students filed out onto the oval and waited patiently for their next orders, fidgeting and eyeing each other, wondering if they were standing next to a potential opponent as they waited for the giant screen ahead to illuminate.
“On screen you will find your name and the person you have been randomly selected to fight.” A voice suddenly said over a loudspeaker.
“Is that our homeroom teacher?” Jinsei thought as she looked around to try and locate the owner of the voice.
Up in the commentators box, hovering over the loudspeaker, was indeed her homeroom teacher, Hitoshi Shinsou, looking as tired as ever.
“Please take a good look,” he continued, “then leave the oval so we can set up for the first duel.”
Jinsei looked up at the very large screen that loomed over the students and scanned the board for her name, looking left and right to try and find her starting block and who she would be dueling.
Finally she found her name and then followed the connecting line to her opponent.
“Shida Shiozaki?” She thought, “wonder what her quirk is? I don’t remember seeing her before?”
She looked around and made eye contact with Soshi so she pushed her way across to him to ask him who he was versing and if he knew her opponent.
“Who are you up against?” Jinsei asked as she got to him.
“Kaminari.” He replied, a little sullenly.
“Oh no!!!” Jinsei gasped, “she has an electrical quirk doesn’t she?”
“Yeah, it’s a really bad match up. I’m going to have to use some kind of gem buffering.” Soshi mused out loud, placing his hand to his chin and rubbing thoughtfully.
“Do you know who Shiozaki is?” Jinsei asked curiously, “I’m versing her but I don’t know what her quirk is?”
“Isn’t she the fern girl from 1-C?” Soshi mused.
“Oh is she??” Jinsei asked, “hmmm, ok, that shouldn’t be too bad?” She muttered, knitting her brows in thought.
“Who did you guys get?” Chi asked as he strolled over.
“Someone I’m gonna beat.” Soshi replied calmly.
“Same.” Chi replied immediately, not wanting to look weak in front of Soshi or Jinny but he had been dealt a terrible hand as well.
His opponent could create cages around their target and shift the cage with their mind. An instant win, no matter which way you looked at it.
“Aren’t you up against Bakeji?” Soshi asked with a smirk. “Better learn to run fast, Chi.”
“Shut up, I can run fast already.” Chu snapped back.
Jinny giggled when she imagined Chi running around dodging cages but then felt bad and reached out to hug her friend.
“You’ll be fine.” She reassured him, patting his chest as she stepped back.
Chi gave Soshi a look, proud that he had gotten a hug from Jinsei, and the white haired ‘Prince Charming’hadn’t.
Soshi scrunched his nose with jealousy and followed behind as Jinny led the way back off the field to the waiting rooms.
Unfortunately Chi and his opponent Bakeji were up first so he left to duel, leaving Soshi and Jinny behind to watch on the screen from downstairs.
“How do you think he’ll do?” Soshi asked Jinny as he sat down next to her.
“I’m not sure to be honest, but I don’t see Chi being an easy person to capture.” She replied, settling back in her chair.
“Same.” Soshi commented as he stretched and rested his outstretched arm across the back of her chair, desperately wanting to wrap his arm around her shoulders.
As they sat there waiting for the duel to start Soshi activated his quirk, making Jinny an ice cold gem; a brownish-red Carnelian gem.
“Here.” Soshi said softly as he tapped Jinsei on the shoulder with the arm that was outstretched behind her.
Jinsei looked at her shoulder and saw that Soshi was holding out the semi precious stone to her.
“What’s this?” She asked as she took it and looked it over.
“It’s a Carnelian gem.” Soshi said softly as Jinsei turned her head to look at him, “This is a powerhouse gem, brings success, courage, and creativity to anyone who wears it.”
He looked tenderly into her eyes, his fringe falling softly over one gorgeous orange eye.
“You’ll win with this.” He said with a small smile.
“Soshi.” Jinsei said lovingly, “you’re so sweet, thank you!”
There was a pause as Jinsei looked at Soshi’s lips and a moment of hesitation coursed through her.
“Do I kiss him?” She thought.
Just then the start bell rang and both Soshi and Jinsei’s attention were drawn back to the screen in front.