Kaminari Denki had a system. Seemingly unorganized and messy, but it was his way of doing things. Every detail had to be planned, despite how sporadic his day appeared to be or how “on a whim” he would switch to something else.
Before U.A., it would take him exactly 23 minutes (well, give or take) to get to middle school. If his right hand ring finger twitched every five minutes due to his quirk firing off, then he would twitch around four times on the way to school. If school started approximately at 8:00 am sharp, then he would have to leave the house at 7:35 am in order to make the second train, leaving him two minutes leeway time if something went wrong. It took him exactly eight minutes to get up, dressed, and ready for school so he would wake up 7:25 am. If he went to bed that night at 11:00 pm then he would get the fully recommended 8 hours or so. Kaminari also took great detail to memorizing his class schedules and routes on the way to school. He usually brought lunch from home, so he would have a diet system and an obsessive way of counting his calories for each school day.
That was his kind of system more or less, mapped out for him. But he was no longer in middle school. He was at U.A. now, for which he still hasn’t managed to map out a system just yet. The school was constantly throwing surprises at him, things he couldn’t account for. It frustrated Kaminari to no end of not being able to systemize his day. Some things he could, like when he needed to wake up and walk to school now that they were in dorms, but he didn’t have a during or afternoon plan. Usually, he would do his homework for 2 hours after school, clean the house for 1 hour, then study or practice his hobbies until 7 pm, eat dinner, shower, and occupy himself until 11 pm.
He didn’t have that luxury here. His system planning was almost obsessive in a way, but he couldn’t help it. With the way that his quirk affected his brain, he couldn’t afford to play everything by ear, lest he forget what he needed to do. He had multiple calendars in his room, clocks, shelves, everything he needed to keep himself on task. Though...Kaminari didn’t dare mention his systems to anyone. He’s been told before that it was weird to meticulously plan his day out, every single day. But it made sense to him. That’s why his grades were so horrible as of right now. He knew in the back of his mind that if he was able to lay everything out, pick it apart and put it back together then his grades would surely rise. Why? Because he would have time to study. Studying with his classmates was alright for the most part, but they weren’t as organized as he wished. There was no set time frame, nor set subject they would plan to study. He didn’t mind the divided up studying but it didn’t make sense. Why would you study algebra for 15 minutes, and then suddenly switch to English just because you were beginning to get frustrated?
Nevertheless, he attempted to plan. Aizawa was particularly territorial when it came to his lesson plan, always wanting to be ahead of everyone to keep up the element of surprise. He didn’t mind all that much...if he would just know what they were going to be doing. There seemed to be no pattern as to whether or not they would actually be going over a lesson plan or going into physical training, and no excuse he came up with seemed to be a good enough reason for Aizawa to fork over the darn lesson plans. If Kaminari told his teacher about his need to systemize, he’d probably say something about why he wasn’t a good hero if he couldn’t think on the spot. He wasn’t Midoriya, dammit!
Kaminari sighed as his alarm went off. One look at his bedside table told him it was 7:45 am. He needed to get up now in order to leave the dorms at 7:56 am (since it took 3 minutes to get out of the dorms, and it still only took him eight minutes to get ready) in order to make the 4 minute walk to U.A.
He rolled off his bed and clambered to the drawers. Kaminari was glad the uniform was reasonably not complicated, tugging on his pants and hefting the jacket on. There was no need to brush his hair, seeing as the static would mess it up anyways. He checked his watch for the time and sighed, sitting on the edge of the bed to tie his shoes.
Kaminari’s thoughts were racing, attempting to create a mental schedule for him for the day. It would be of no use soon, however. He couldn’t predict Aizawa; he could only prepare. Keeping an eye on the time, he grabbed his backpack and stepped out of the door into the hallway. Some of his classmates were emerging as well, but most likely rushing. Kaminari could feel the creeping anxiety make itself known as he made his way down the stairs (it was 30 seconds faster than the elevator with less chance of causing him more time) as the time went by.
When he was younger, his father installed into him a rule: “If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. And if you’re late? You’re fired.” The fear of being late was always on his mind, but he’d rather be perfectly on time, on the dot. Being early was good, but if he showed up early he would begin to think he was too early, and no one else would be arriving. Despite popular belief, Kaminari was never actually late to anything. But because people tended to arrive ahead of a scheduled time whereas he liked to arrive on the dot, the perspective made it seem like he was always late. Sato rushed past him, trying to get to the classroom, well, early. Kaminari checked his watch again. It was 13 seconds past 7:58, and he was nearing the steps of U.A. A little ahead of his schedule, but it was okay.
Kaminari walked through the bustling halls, weaving between crashing bodies of students. This would slow him down in order to meet his schedule needs. He used to wonder when his obsessive demand for organizing came from. Family members liked to joke around that he probably had a traumatic life involving planning or time in his past life. He liked to think it was just another side effect of his quirk. It did weird things to him, to be quiet honest. On one hand, it gave him such bad dyslexia that he had to develop (no surprise) a method in order to keep up with his kindergarten class. It was the only reason he was so good at English, actually. It was his father’s native tongue, so plenty was spoken at home. Reading was different, however, since that’s where the dyslexia came in. Japanese was easier to learn due to the character based alphabet, but he kept advancing in English literature out of pure spite.
On the other hand, his quirk gave him incredible reflexes and an intense intimidation factor. You wouldn’t believe it would you? Kaminari, of all people, used to be intimidating! His quirk was extremely difficult to control as a child, making him have slight muscle spasms due to the constant electrical energy in his nerves. It was easier to have a blank face than to smile all the time, since it used less muscles in his face. That being said...a young scrawny child that never smiled and twitched every so often with a quirk that had the potential to fry someone’s brain wasn’t exactly the most friendly looking thing in the world. Which is exactly why he never stopped smiling now. No matter how easy it is to keep a straight face, it also made his twitching more apparent. Constantly moving and fiddling made his finger twitches less obvious, and no one seemed to notice when his throat would lock up because they assumed he was rambling and tuned him out.
He stepped into the classroom at approximately 8:00 am as Aizawa closed the door behind him. Everyone was already in their seats, presumably following their own version of the rule his father taught him. Nevertheless, he was exactly on time.
Aizawa grunted quietly before making his way to the podium with a stack of papers. Ah, they had taken a test two days ago.
Kaminari got what he needed from his backpack and quietly slid it under his desk, looking to the front of the room. Aizawa went over his usual speech before giving back tests, walking down the rows after it. Kaminari knew his grade was most likely not going to be glamorous, but it should be passing. He had managed to break off from his study group and do his own studying the day before the test and ended up memorizing most of the material.
Aizawa handed him his test, back facing up. In his middle school, the teachers would use that as some kind of signal to expect a bad grade. But Aizawa never really liked letting students see other’s tests unless the individual willingly let them. So everyone got turned over papers, and his spike of anxiety was flattened. Kaminari flipped it over cautiously and sighed in relief. 68% was his grade. It was an average but considering his grades as of lately, it was impressive.
Ashido beside him groaned quietly, wallowing in her own misery and waving her paper in front of him. “I don’t get it! I studied really hard! How come I made 54 marks?”
Kaminari shot a small smile her way, reaching over to pat her shoulder. “By study real hard, you mean study hard for 10 minutes and then play on your phone?” He teased playfully.
Ashido pouted at him, pink hair swaying. “Not funny! Jelly Jump came out with a new level, and who was I to ignore them?”
Kaminari only threw her a shrug.
He checked his watch again for the time, keeping on eye on it and looked around the room. Kaminari was used to keeping a sharp eye on subtle and slight movements after living with two disabled parents for all of his life. He could tell that Ojiro was slightly irritated with whatever grade he got because the outside furs of his tail bush were becoming stiff unlike the middle. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see the metal of Jirou’s earlobe giving off a small glint in the class lights, meaning she was twisting it. (A nervous tick of hers, he gathered).
Aizawa was leaning ever so slightly to the left, towards the door. With anyone else, that just meant they were putting more weight on that foot, but with Aizawa? Something was probably going to come to the classroom. That, or he was ready to run out at any given moment in case of an emergency.
Aizawa’s tired eyes scanned the classroom as cleared his throat. The students sat up straighter.
“I have a meeting to attend to this morning, so you’ll be filling out a worksheet on the next topic. Don’t expect another free day tomorrow, though. The meeting probably won’t take two days. You may work in groups of two, but if you can’t be quiet then you’ll work solo. Understood?”
The class nodded, eager to have a small break.
Midnight knocked on the door, sliding through and giving the students her own classic smile. Aizawa took that as his cue to leave, stepping off on his left foot with a folder under his arm and walking out of the classroom. So Kaminari had been right, it seems.
Midnight handed out the papers, repeating what their teacher had just said and watching as everyone lifted desks and scooted over to friends to group up. Kaminari smiled and tapped on Ojiro’s back, waiting for him to turn.
“Wanna partner up?”
Thankfully, Ojiro nodded and turned to place his paper on Kaminari’s desk so that they could face each other. Midnight graded her own papers sitting behind Aizawa’s desk in the meantime, humming a soft tune under her breath.
Kaminari tapped a finger on his leg, trying to quench the urge to bounce it. Ojiro had his head bent, trying to write neatly in the spaces left for them to answer. To his left, Kirishima had undoubtedly teamed up with Bakugou, hence the soft yet angry mutters coming from that way. How considerate of Bakugou to be quiet.
He fumbled for a pencil on his desk, clutching it with his left hand and filled out a question or two, pausing to work the next one over with his classmate. He liked that about Ojiro. Even though the student always described himself as plain, or boring, he was truly a unique and interesting person. Ojiro always had a nervous smile, willing to help when others need it. Calm and collected. Just what Kaminari needed right now.
Aizawa returned near the end of class, but seeing as it was futile to try and teach, he gathered his things and went to the teacher lounge. Midnight waved to the students and left just in time for Present Mic to slip through. Kaminari forced a happy smile as his hand silently shook, shifting the pencil to his right hand to write. English was one of his favorite subjects, obviously. It was easier for him considering he’s been speaking it his whole life, but he would never reveal that to his classmates. It felt nice to be smart in one subject where most had issues. The same couldn’t be said for Ectoplasm’s class however. It wasn’t that he hated math, it was fairly simple to follow most of the time. It’s just...sometimes the numbers and such don’t click in his brain no matter how much he studies.
Present Mic passed out some worksheets and started writing on the board, giving his usual grin and letting little bits and pieces of his quirk slip into his mutterings in an attempt to “energize” the students. Kaminari was wide awake, alright.
He checked his watch to just make sure everything was on time, frowning slightly. The official time for their English class was in a minute, meaning they were ahead of schedule. A minor adjustment, but annoying nonetheless. Present Mic was going over sentence structure and synonyms today, something which Kaminari learned a long time ago so he took the time to wander with his mind. Counting how many studs were on Present Mic’s hero outfit, counting the tiles, doodling in his notebook, etc.
He could faintly hear Yaoyorozu answering a question, or asking one– he didn’t know. It was going to be a long day, but if it followed his schedule then it should be a-okay.
Eventually it came time for lunch, a “subject” he both enjoyed and hated. Enjoyed because he could spend time and talk with his friends, hated because he would be expected to eat.
Lunch Rush so far was the only person to know about Kaminari’s calorie countings, though when Kaminari presented it to him, he was careful to slip in that it was just because of dietary restrictions. Thus, Kaminari would enter the lunch line near the end of the first wave of students, and Lunch Rush would tell him everything about the food for his journal to keep track of his “diet.” It wasn’t an eating disorder per se, but he just liked to make sure he didn’t go over the recommended calorie intake for someone of his height and age. To maintain his weight, he needed to eat roughly 1853 calories a day. However, he suspected he might need to update that estimate if he wanted to gain some muscle mass. He didn’t have any fat to be turned into muscle, so for the most part he was just lean.
Kaminari stood in line patiently, moving one step at a time to reach near the food with the rest of the students. First years were let out earlier than the second and third years, so it would take about 10 more minutes for second years to emerge from their classes. Many people attended U.A. so a separated lunch time would provide easier monitoring of students.
The line was going particularly slow, but Kaminari slowly made his way. Lunch Rush waved at him when he finally reached the front, pausing to grab his own notebook. Kaminari looked down at the open page and smiled as Lunch Rush began making his tray.
You usually ask for the option that has fewer calories, so here is all the details. At some point you’ll need to start eating more, however, so I might have to give you the option with more from here on out. (If that is okay!) I’ll still write down the ingredients and calories for you, though.
– Lunch Rush!
Kaminari copied everything down in his journal, tucking it under his arm and trading the notebook for his food. Lunch Rush gave him a thumbs up, shooing him off to pay for it and eat.
He glanced around the cafeteria room, spotting a familiar bright red, spiky boy and made his way over through the tables and crowd. Sero waved him over, grinning and patting the space beside himself.
“Yo man! Did you get most of that worksheet done for Aizawa-sensei?”
Kaminari shrugged, sitting down beside him. “Eh, halfway at least. I can finish it tonight.”
Ashido snickered and “slithered” her way over in front of him, eager to get payback for this morning. “Oh? And by finishing it tonight you mean putting it on your desk then playing on your phone?”
Kirishima snorted and elbowed her gently, smiling. His friends and classmates were very fond of smiling it seems. The corners of his mouth were starting to hurt. He ate slowly, watching his friends. Bakugou seemed to be in a good mood, judging solely from the fact that he was using the slightly less insulting “nicknames” he had given the self acclaimed “Bakusquad.” Though it seems Kirishima was Shitty Hair no matter what mood Bakugou was in.
Kaminari took the time to daydream while Sero and Mina began challenging Bakugou to drink some super spicy hot sauce. He figured that one person he could probably tell about his systems were Iida. Iida was very strict and seemed to have his own routine and system as well, so he probably wouldn’t find it weird. He knew Bakugou also had a very strict schedule, despite how much he seems like the type to do everything on ear. Though opening up to Bakugou would be difficult since Kirishima was really the only person Bakugou considered a friend – he supposed. He probably tolerated the rest of them because of Kirishima.
Small sparks of electricity ran across his knuckles when he picked up his fork, realizing it was probably metal. Kaminari glanced up to see if anyone had noticed and breathed a sigh of relief when he saw they were all focused on Bakugou. Sometimes the boy could be too loud for Kaminari’s ears, but he provided a good distraction. The second years came into the cafeteria soon enough and the lull of conversation picked up around the dining hall.
Kaminari considered switching to a mechanical watch instead of a digital one. He missed the ticking of the grandfather clock in his home, the beat that his heart would soon follow. Watches don’t make noises like grandfather clocks though, so maybe he could get a small clock for his room? He had a small blue tooth speaker that would play background noise for him when he slept to ease his nerves, but it still wouldn’t beat a classic clock. A shoulder knocked into his, pulling him away from his thoughts.
Sero pointed to his food with a raised eyebrow. “You want mine? I’m not really hungry.”
He had packed his own lunch, meaning Kaminari didn’t know exactly what was in it. Kaminari flashed him an uneasy smile, that darn right hand ring finger twitching.
“Nah, I’m good, man! Why don’t you just save it for later, like a snack?”
Sero didn’t buy it, nudging his little plate towards Kaminari with a pinched expression. “You sure? You should really eat more if you wanna gain some muscle!”
Kaminari snorted at the observation, shaking his head and slowly nudging the plate back to Sero. Ashido watched with amusement as they nudged the plate with a mostly untouched sandwich and chips on it back and forth for about five minutes. The bell sounded as Kaminari was about to give up, letting the blonde escape. He set the tray in the cleaning area, rushing back to the table to catch up with his friends before they continue on to class.
Kaminari checked his watch once more, walking at a slightly more fast pace. He had four minutes to get back to class, and with the way the halls were crowded, he’d be lucky to make it back in five. Ashido was happily taking her time, trying to engage Kaminari in small talk and not sensing his slight panic.
“Don’t you think it’s funny that spoons are really just bowls on a stick?”
Maybe some other time he could appreciate a stupid yet thought provoking observation, but he really wanted to get to class on time. His right hand ring finger twitched vigorously as his nerves rose, that soft bubbling in his chest. He turned his head to give Ashido a smile, lest he worry her.
“Ah, sorry Mina. There’s too many people to hear you. You can tell me in class.”
She seemed to understand slightly, taking his wrist and “politely” pushing past other students. The other three of their little group followed suit, trailing after her. Kaminari calmed slightly as they neared the classroom but he wouldn’t breathe until he knew he was on time. It was stupid, he knew that. To get worked up over making it to class, when the teacher themselves probably wouldn’t arrive for at least a few more minutes. But his father was a business man used to schedules and punctuality, so it rubbed off of him early on. Seeing his dad upset and rushing around haphazardly trying to meet a deadline or make it to a meeting installed a fear himself of horrible consequences of not making it to things on time. Kaminari just hasn’t been able to drop the habit himself, he supposed.
Ashido slid the door to the classroom open, most of the students still standing or just now reaching their own seats. Cementoss was most likely still in the teacher lounge. Kaminari sat down nervously, checking his watch again. He was grateful that Ashido had sped up their arrival, but they still reached the classroom a minute after it started – behind schedule. His leg bounced, bundles of electricity stirring around in his joints. Kaminari could feel it buzzing under his skin, and while he resisted the urge to scratch and tear them away, Ashido sat herself upon his desk.
“What I said earlier was that like, isn’t it funny that spoons are just bowls on a stick? Like you’re eating a bowl of soup, and the spoons are baby bowls!”
Yaoyorozu rolled her eyes playfully, clasping her hands together and walking closer to the two students. “If everyone worldwide blinked simultaneously, do you think anyone would notice?”
Kaminari rested his cheek on the palm of his hand, looking between them with an easy-going grin, eager to distract himself and join in. “How long do you think it take for people to realize if hiccups were gone forever?”
Jirou piped in from his left, setting her bag down. “You guys do realize that blue raspberry isn’t a real fruit in nature, and yet you can probably recognize it immediately from the taste alone.”
They went back and forth in the circle around Kaminari’s desk, exchanging weird questions and thoughts before Cementoss arrived. Kaminari took out his notebook, determined to try and take notes. His handwriting changed a lot, Kaminari noticed. He used to follow a lot of study blogs in middle school, the ones where they made their schoolwork and notes look “aesthetic-y” and neat. For a while he tried to copy it, perfect his penmanship and write neatly like the study bloggers but his right hand was far too shaky for it. Because of the overlying dominance in Kaminari’s right hand, his left hand wasn’t as jittery or twitchy– perfect for notes. So, after forcing himself to become ambidextrous when he was young, Kaminari devised a method of note taking as well. For subjects he knew well, like English, he would write with his right hand, since it was faster and he wouldn’t need to look over the notes that much. And for subjects like math, he would write with his left hand so he could read it clearly.
Most people didn’t notice when he suddenly switched writing hands, though there were the few times when someone would and he would be fawned over or asked to write something.
The class went on as normal, thankfully, so he didn’t fret as much with the time. Cementoss would be leaving in a few days for a mission, so he was trying to get extra grades in to make up for however long he would be away. Kaminari’s brain went into autopilot after a couple minutes and the rest of the day sailed past him in a blur of conversations and colors. Before he knew it, Kirishima was tugging his arm and dragging him down the steps of U.A. to trek towards the dorms.
A glance at his watch let him know that school had let out four minutes ago, to which during the glance he bumped into Kirishima’s shoulder.
“Whoops! You okay, man? You’ve been kinda spaced out since lunch...”
He blinked once, twice, before focusing on Kirishima’s face, blocking the sun behind him and creating a warm halo around his head.
“I’m okay, bro! Just kinda tired y’know? I went to bed suuuuuper late last night.”
Kirishima seemed to buy it and smiled that shark-toothed grin at him, continuing to drag the poor blond behind him.