“I gotcha, Hansu, leave it with me,” Hawks replied confidently, “Hawks out…”
The soft beep beep beep of the phone call having ended sounded in the silent kitchen as Hansu pulled the phone from his ear then sat it down on the table.
“I’ll get you, Goha. The others may have put you in the back of their mind but I haven’t.” He thought darkly as he stood up.
12pm found you standing outside the UA school gates, waiting for Mirio as your mind had a conversation with itself about what to say to him.
You were staring at the ground with brows furrowed when his shadow fell across you and you looked up and brightened immediately when you saw him.
“Hi, Y/N, he greeted gently, “are you ok?”
“Yep,” you said with a fake smile.
“I can tell when you’re not fine, what’s bothering you?” he asked as he tilted his head to the side with a warm look on his face.
“Uh… where to start,” you replied sheepishly, looking off to the side.
“Let’s walk and talk,” he said kindly, taking your hand in his and turning you around so you could head out to lunch together, “hey, side note- but Butterfli3 told me that news of our daring rescue has reached an in-game interviewer.”
“It has?” you asked excitedly, “what does that mean exactly? They want to interview us about the rescue of the players stuck inside the dome?”
“Yep,” Mirio replied with his bright smile as he marched beside you, swinging your arm exuberantly with his, “dropping Pants certainly made headlines!”
“Well when you say it like that then, yes, it would definitely make headlines,” you replied with a laugh.
Mirio smiled and squeezed your hand, happy that he had managed to brighten you up a little with his small talk.
“Well here we are,” he said, gesturing to the small cafe ahead, “they do the best chips here.”
“I’m down for anything,” you replied happily, letting your arm swing along with his.
He smiled again and placed his hand on the cafe door then pushed it open and led you inside with his other hand as he stayed behind you, reaching back to close the door then stepped up beside you again.
“Where do you want to sit? They bring the menu and food to us.”
“Oh, uh…” You looked around and saw a 2 seater table in the corner and pointed to it, “that one will do nicely.”
Mirio nodded and followed your lead over to it, taking a seat on one side and you taking a seat on the other.
“Let’s order first, then we can talk,” he said with a smile as he handed you the menu.
You had a look at the food list and picked something that you would like then waited for the waitress to come and take the orders.
After placing your orders Mirio gave you his full attention, leaning down on the table with his bulky forearms and giving you that infectious smile.
“So,” he asked, “what’s on your mind?”
You sighed and looked down at the table, placing your hands in your lap.
“I’m just… I think I’ve come to a crossroads. I don’t think I want to go after Goha anymore.”
“This is new?” Mirio said with surprise, “why don’t you want to go after your AI anymore?”
“Well…” you said as you looked up at him, “it’s just that I’ve been having so much fun with you, and O/N, and Butterfli3 that I completely forgot all about Goha… and I liked it. I feel like obsessing and worrying over getting my AI back is what’s holding me back from exploring other parts of myself that I’ve never questioned before.”
Mirio nodded, “you’ve only even known life as a genius, as the head scientist, as someone who is in the front lines of research… it makes sense that you’d want to do something new. Something different.”
“Well, yeah,” you said sadly, “but I know that telling Hansu this is going to make him blow a fuse. He is still so focused on getting Goha back and we’re starting to drift apart. He’s still a scientist. He hasn’t experienced what I have.”
“What would you do if you didn’t get Goha back. Would there be any backlash?” Mirio asked, nodding his thanks to the waitress as she bought your drinks back to the table.
“Well, if it got out to the press that there was a dangerous artificial intelligence running loose in an online game then, yes, there would be a heap of backlash on me AND Hansu… and I don’t want to bring him into it.”
“You make a good point there,” Mirio mused as he took a sip of his drink, “hey! This drink is really good, try some!” He pushed it across the table and indicated for you to stick your straw in the other side so you were both drinking from the same glass.
Your eyes met his matt blue ones as he leaned in a little more, your nose touching his little up turned button one.
A little giggle escaped both your lips as you tasted the sweet drink together.
“Tell you what,” he said softly as he pulled back, “what if we found Goha and tied up that loose end and then you looked at going into a different field of practice?”
You pulled back and blinked at him a few times.
“Wait? You mean, change jobs?” you asked with surprise.
“Yes,” he said with excitement, “what if you taught programming at UA? The support class learn how to manipulate software and coding and stuff. You would be a perfect fit!”
You stared at him then a broad smile broke out on your face- that metaphorical ‘black rain cloud’ having lifted from over your head as you suddenly saw a new horizon ahead.
“That… that would be amazing! I could help the next generation. I could be involved with other’s visions!”
Mirio gave you a closed eyed, happy smile.
“And Hansu could take your place as head scientist!”
“Oh….” you said softly, that brightness fading a little, “Hansu…”
“What’s wrong?” Mirio asked tenderly.
“I don’t know if I could part from Hansu? He definitely deserves to be head scientist, don’t get me wrong. But he’s like the older brother, father figure, silly smart uncle that I never had? It would be weird not working with him.”
“He can come and teach too!” Mirio said excitedly, unfazed by the suddenly gloomy mood from just before.
“I… I don’t know how he would take all of this…” you replied with a sad smile, “I’ll have to think about it.”