Kyoka has a rough idea of what to expect when Yaomomo invited her over to study over break. Plenty of studying, for one. A lot of broken pencils and chewed up pen caps. And probably a foreign tea brand she couldn’t pronounce or two.
What she did not expect, however, was Jamming Whey sitting next to Yaoyorozu with a math textbook in front of him.
“Now, a squared plus b squared equals c squared, yes? And you’re solving for b, which means you should-oh, hello Jirou!” Yaoyorozu waved at her. “I hoped you wouldn’t mind if Kaminari was here. He approached me for help on his own, and I just couldn’t say no.”
I’m right here you know.” Kaminari frowned, but his eyes were alight with amusement. “Hey Jirou! Nice to see you. Math, right?”
Kyoka rolled her eyes. “At least you’re putting your three effective brain cells to good use.” She plopped down on a corner of the bed and pulled out her English textbook.
“It’s fine, she does this all the time. You subtract a squared, right?”
It continued like this for a while. Kaminari hunched over his Algebra homework, Jirou struggling through pronouns and antecedents, and Yaoyorozu flitting between them while simultaneously brewing Oolong and doing her own Literature homework.
“Done. I think.” Jirou said, sitting up. “Yaomomo, do you think you could check this?”
“Of course!” Yaoyorozu’s dark eyes scanned the paper. “Number three is wrong. And possibly number seven, I’m not sure. Other than that, I think you’re good.”
“Huh.” She gave number three a second pass. Ah, there was the error, she circled a preposition instead. Fixing her mistake, she returned her attention to number seven.
‘As the child watched the stars, they shimmered and spun.’ She had ‘they’ down as the pronoun, and ‘the child’ as the antecedent. ‘Shimmered’ obviously made more sense for the stars, but ‘spun’ seemed to better describe the child, so she figured ‘shimmered’ was being used figuratively. English rarely meant what was actually written down.
She rubbed her forehead. This assignment was going to give her a headache later.
“Alright, everything seems to be correct. Nice work Kaminari.”
“Woo hoo!” Kaminari pumped his hands in the air. “You are a godsend, Yaomomo! It’s even in your name!”
Yaoyorozu laughed. “You flatter me. Do you have anything else?”
He dug through his backpack. “Just science. Hey, Jirou, can I see your English?”
Jirou raised an eyebrow. “Why do you ask?”
“Just lemme take a look, please? It can’t hurt, can it?”
Jirou tossed him the paper, which he caught with surprising ease. His eyes quickly scanned it. “Yup, seven’s wrong. Surprised you didn’t catch that, Yaoyorozu.”
“Okay, smarty pants, then why is it wrong?” Kyoka snatched the paper out of his hands. Kaminari shrugged.
“‘They’ describes the stars. When did anyone ever describe a toddler as ‘shimmering’? And if it was about he kid, they probably would have used ‘he’ or ‘she’.”
Yaoyorozu looked at the page again. “I think he’s right, Jirou. Good eye, Kaminari.”
“No need to thank me!” Kaminari quipped before turning his attention to the science homework-and then spotting the time on Yaomomo’s needlessly fancy clock. “Crap, I gotta go, Mina asked me to play video games in the common room.” He haphazardly shoved his stuff into his backpack. “Thank you guys for the help! See you later!” He ran out of the room, swearing under his breath.
“...Well that was unexpected.” Kyoka made the correction and took a long drink of her tea. “Thank you for this, Yaomomo. I needed it.”
“It’s no trouble at all. I enjoy helping my classmates.” Momo smiled, pouring herself a cup. “And I also enjoy spending time with you, Jirou.”
“Then, can we just talk for a bit? I don’t have any homework left.”
“Of course!” Momo produced some hair ties from her wrist. “Would you braid mine? I would try yours, but I’m afraid it’s too short.”
“Sure.” Kyoka moved behind Momo, her deft fingers weaving through the black hair. “I like the new version of your costume. I hope it keeps Mineta off your back-or I guess, front.”
Momo giggled. “Thank you! I had been considering a zipper for some time, and now that I’ve finally added it, it feels so freeing. It’s nice to not have people...staring. Especially Mineta.” Momo giggled. “I like the update you made as well. Where did you get the idea for that logo?”
“It’s based of the one Dad and his old bandmates used. It’s my way of saying thank you to them. For supporting me.”
“That’s very noble.”
“I hope so. I thought it would be kind of corny.” Kyoka wrapped the final elastic around the braid. “Your hair’s done.”
Momo moved the braid over her shoulder and looked at the braid, running her fingers over the tight pattern. “It’s lovely. Thank you.”
There was a sharp knock on the door. “Yaoyorozu!” Iida. Of course. “Ashido, Kaminari, and Sero are making a mess of the common room, and I require your assistance to break it up.” He paused in his knocking, and they heard the squeaky sound of him rubbing his shoe on the floor. “I...hope I’m not interrupting anything.”
Momo turned to Kyoka, who shook her head. “Go help. I’ll wait.” She mouthed.
Yaomomo stood up and walked to the door, opening it and smiling at Iida. “It’s no trouble at all, Iida. I’m sure we can get them to calm down.” She turned back to Kyoka. “I’ll be right back. See you in a moment.”
“Ah! Jirou!” Iida bowed. “My apologies! I did not mean to interrupt you. I will be as efficient as possible in order for you two to resume your bonding time.” He speedwalked off, joints stiff.” Momo laughed, waved once more, and gently shut the door before racing off after Iida.
Kyoka smiled to herself as she took another sip of her tea. No, this was not what she expected when she had been invited over to study. But it was wonderful all, the same.