You ever just get the feeling you're completely... powerless?
And I don't mean, like... Being some nerd on the Internet without any real voice to the rich and powerful who run the government.
It just feels like... Everything big that ever happened to me was completely outside of my own control.
Hereditary conditions. Abusive parents. Unstable siblings. Bullying grade schoolers. Irresponsible teachers. Abusive special needs schools. Bosses who wouldn't ever cut you a break. Wrongful termination. Complex-PTSD. Nervous breakdowns. Parents evicting and disowning you. Mental and physiological disorders you never asked for.
The schools I went to, programs I was signed up for, therapy I got, jobs I got... Were any of them my choice? Was there anything in my life that didn't happen to me against my will, that I didn't foresee or choose to happen?
Looking back on it... I truly feel powerless.
Nothing was my choice. Everything was forced on me by birth, parents, teachers, bosses, or abusers. Most of it I couldn't even say I directly or indirectly caused. It just happened to me completely out of my control. Even my own death wasn't my choice, nor was it directly or indirectly caused by me... Truly powerless, right to the very end.
I was gazing up at a sterile white ceiling. Uh... Okay, that's odd. Is this some kind of dream while I lay dying, or is reincarnation real? Glancing around, I saw that everything was huge and I was sitting in a see-through plastic crib on a white cushion. Crying was all around me so... Yup. I'm a baby. Wow, do I have to go through puberty all over again?
...Of course that's my first thought.
Well, I wasn't going to rule out some kind of pre-death dream just yet. But for now, I'd try and play it cool. Footsteps sounded in my ears and I looked up to see a nurse walk up with... blue skin?
...Holy balls, am I an isekai protagonist? Thank you for noticing me, Truck-senpai!
I ended up sleeping on and off for a while. It was hard to keep track of time. In fact, it almost seemed like my brain was too underdeveloped to keep up with my thoughts at times. Best I could figure out was that I was reincarnated and kept my memories of my last life. I briefly realized I'd miss my boyfriend, girlfriend, and the friends who had become like family, but in between sadness at that, I tried to keep a positive attitude and think ahead to the new friends and family I'd make.
Other than that, I realized I couldn't understand what the nurses were saying. Either my brain had to catch up to understanding verbal speech, or they weren't speaking English. Possibly both. Both is good. They were actually kinda worried since I wasn't crying. Not wanting them to worry or to seem odd, I found it was surprisingly easy to work up some tears.
I ended up waking up from a nap right as they were carrying me somewhere. It wasn't long before I met what had to be my parents.
One was a gentleman in a white lab coat over a red button shirt, beige slacks, and brown loafers. A bit of a stubble was the only thing keeping his short, spiky black hair and black, square-framed glasses from making him look too much like a science geek. He picked me up, lifting me high with a bright grin on his face and turned to speak happily and energetically to the woman next to him.
Said woman had long, straight black hair, gray eyes with round glasses over them. A white blouse was stretched over her impressive bust and long red pencil skirt covered her lower half. Her feet were clad in sandals and after taking a moment to stop tapping on her phone, she turned to smile at me and speak animatedly with the man next to her. I had to admit, aside from the glasses, she could almost pass for a classical Japanese beauty, though she was too animated and vivacious to be a proper yamato nadeshiko.
So, these were my parents, huh? They seemed pretty energetic. I was always something of an IRL genki girl, so I'd fit right in! My father carried me out into the waiting room, meeting up with a little boy, no older than five. He was dressed in a simple white hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans, and red sneakers. He smiled up at my parents and after saying something, they handed me to him to hold. Huh. Did I have an older brother?
I glanced at my mom and she seemed to have a problem with her phone. My big brother gestured for her to give it to him, and with a quick tap that caused a spark, mom smiled.
...Blue skin, cheerful parents, and now bioelectricity? I wasn't in a normal world, was I?
My first diaper change came and went with the expected unpleasantness. Turns out I'm a girl, so... Sweeeeet. Dodged a bullet there.
With my sense of time kind of skewed, I spent the next while lying in my crib, being personally fed by my mom and being carried around by my parents and big brother. It was kinda nice. My parents were really attentive. I don't know if they worked from home or had maternity leave, but when they couldn't tend to me, my big brother was surprisingly eager to play with his baby sister.
It was kinda weird. I often commanded my body to do things, but it just didn't have the strength to respond. My fingers lacked the dexterity for basic things and while I had words in my head, when I tried to use them all that came out was crying or goo-goo ga-ga sounds.
Gradually, though, I came to understand some of the words my parents and older brother were saying. I slowly began to piece together some things...
This was Japan. I'm Japanese. We're the Hassou family. My older brother is Raigoro Hassou, he's a student in elementary school and five years older than me. My mom is Gijou Hassou and she's a computer technician with her own company. My dad is Shuhiko Hassou and he's apparently Japan's premier reconstructive surgeon, and we're quite a bit wealthier than our humble house would indicate because of it.
Still, aside from the occasional bit of bioelectricity, this world seemed pretty normal. It remained to be seen what-
"I ------ when --- is going to get her Quirk?"
Of course. I get isekai'd into a fictional world. Is it One Piece? Nope. Is it Soul Eater? No. Is it Toriko? Of course not. DanMachi? I wish. I get reincarnated into an anime series that's super popular but I've only read fanfics, fancomics, and doujinshi for! Yeah, as shocking as it sounds, I've outright done RPs set in this anime, but the closest I've come to reading more than the odd chapter or watching more than the first few episodes of the anime is Wiki-walking! Great. Just great.
But still... To think, I could get my own superpower! Let's see... I looked totally human, so it obviously wasn't a Mutant Quirk. Emitter? Transformation? Transformation Quirks were the rarest type, and Emitter was kinda lazily anything that wasn't Mutant or Transformation despite the name. Seriously, Horikoshi, could you have put a bit more thought into the Quirk types?
Well, I guess I'd find out soon enough. I just had to be patient.
Held in a chest-strapped infant carrying bag, I one day found my mom carrying me to work. Seemed Rai had soccer practice, dad had to perform an emergency surgery, so that left mom having to take me to work.
Walking down the street, I gazed at the people we passed, acutely aware of the fact that this was the Hero Aca world. It was kinda clear whenever we passed someone with horns or an animal's head, but it was also the fact that just about every town or street was a fucking Star Wars reference. Wow, so if this was the Hero Aca world, did that mean that all my favorite anime and video games were vintage classics now? Did One Piece ever conclude? Was there ever a second trilogy to Kingdom Hearts? Did the Final Fantasy VII remake ever come out? Was it any good if it did? Did Dwarf Fortress or UnReal World ever finish active development? How did This Bites!, the Cross-Brain, my boyfriend, my girlfriend, and Thiscord fair without me? Did Shammy ever upload another video on Youtube after his last one? All questions I'd have to look up when I was old enough to use the Internet.
My mom made her way to the third floor of a shared office complex, where a business was located. Sadly, while I had a pretty good grasping of understanding Japanese now, I still couldn't read it, so fuck me on what my mom's IT tech business was actually called. She was greeted at the door by a bespectacled young man with... an axolotl head.
...This is my life now.
"I'm so glad you could come in, Gijou! I'm sorry to call you in so soon after the birth of your daughter. We got a unit in, and I'm just... scratching my head on it," he said, sighing. It was hard to tell considering how... amphibious he was, but it looked like he was a bit sleep-deprived.
Mom adjusted her glasses, a cheeky grin on her face. "Hey, it's okay, hun. I know you can't get by without me."
"Ha ha, real funny. And hey, is this the little bundle of joy?"
Mom thrusted her chest out, shoving me in the shorter man's face. He smelled... "You bet! This is Ryoku! She's my new pride and joy, and she's going to have an amazing Quirk someday, just like my number one son!"
A very axolotl-y smile graced the man's face as he adjusted his owl glasses. "I can only bet! Seriously though, this is a high-profile client, and he needs this unit fixed."
He led my mother in and past three other employees, into a side room where a laptop was sitting atop a workbench, the panel on it opened up to show the innards. Mom gaze at it for a moment. After a quick clap of her hands, she slipped the carrying pack off of her and handed it, with me still in it, to the axolotl man, who awkwardly took me. He's slimy...
I watched as my mom pulled a hair band out of the breast pocket of her blouse and did her long, straight black hair up in a ponytail. She next rolled up her skirt, kicked off her shoes, and... slipped her blouse off? Her employee holding me looked away, but judging from the resigned sigh, I think Mom did this a lot... But he was turned just enough that I could watch Mom walk up to the laptop and place her palm on it, releasing a... blue glow?
The blue glow spread through the laptop, circulating through it, then back into Mom's hand. She bit her lip, nodding as if listening to something, then smacked her hands together and turned to her employee. "Get me my replacement parts kit. This poor baby needs some organs replaced."
"Gijou, do you have to phrase it like tha-"
"On the double, chop chop! I can't let this poor child suffer any longer!"
The axolotl sighed in resignation.
Um... Huh. Apparently mom could talk to computers, or...?
...And I was starting to think she also had poor social awareness, but hey, it's not like I didn't back in my last life. I just knew better than to take my shirt off in front of others.
When I was old enough to crawl, I started exploring my new home. It was fairly simple to figure out how to undo my crib and open my play gate.
The house we were in was... eclectic. I noticed a lot of anime and video game memorabilia, both recognizable and clearly from series that came out after my death, scattered around to the point of clutter. The apartment was decorated with no regards to coordinated colors or patterns. It was clear my parents had just gone with whatever furniture or decorations they personally liked, many of which had novelty value. I honestly would've found it embarrassing if it weren't for the fact that I... would've definitely decorated my own home the same way.
Footsteps sounded from the kitchen and I tried to make a hasty retreat back to my room. But two legs were just far more efficient than crawling. Whoever it was picked me up and I came face-to-face with Rai, my older brother.
"Oh, hey, baby sis," he said, a charming smile on his face. "Well, aren't you a little explorer? C'mon, let's sit for a while and watch some TV."
He moved to the living room, rearranging some cushions and moving a blanket so he could sit down. Did this sofa double as a bed? The pillows and blanket almost seemed like it. My older brother flipped on the TV, which was playing an unknown anime, and flipped to a sports program.
"Hey, I guess you noticed the... decor right? Mom and dad aren't exactly... Mmmm... Well, they're odd. I guess you'll find out more about it when you're older, little sis. They have a kind of brain thing. I don't really understand it, but mom and dad said I don't seem to have it myself. All I know is sometimes they do things like their brains are wired differently. A lot of things that I consider common knowledge or common sense they just don't get and can't grasp when people explain it to them. Hee hee! I say that, but here I am, talking to a baby who's only nine months old. But hey, maybe you'll get mom and dad's smarts, right? I certainly didn't... I'm good at sports, though, and mom and dad say I'm a lot better with people than they are."
He sighed. "They say my Quirk's awesome, too, but... I don't know, I can't really think of anything I can do with it. I don't really want to be a Pro Hero..."
I gazed up into Rai's eyes, noticing a kind of heaviness he normally didn't show. Even at about six years old, I could tell he was mature for his age. He was charming, had social skills, athletic... With a doctor and computer tech parents, I'm sure he didn't feel smart, but... he was. He just wasn't smart in the same way they were, I could tell. He had the emotional and social intelligence our parents lacked. I reached up and batted at his cheek, cooing. He smiled and actually laughed in response.
"Hey, why am I watching sports with you here? We should watch something you would enjoy, little sis! Say, ever heard of anime? Mom and dad are really into it, and some of them are pretty cool. Maybe if I introduce you to it early, you can talk with them about it so they don't gush about it to me, hee hee!"
He arranged me in his lap as he flipped to what looked to be a veritable library of anime on demand, only a fraction of which I actually recognized.
...How did I go from abusive parents and unstable siblings who disowned me and hadn't spoken to me in over five years to cool parents and a chill big brother in the span of just nine months?
After a while, I was old enough to say my first words. I'd practiced them in secret and I was a bit unsure whether to say Mama or Papa first. After a while though, I'd made up my mind.
Figuring out time was getting easier, so I knew by now that my first birthday was coming up. I just had to wait for the right opportunity...
Sure enough, my parents, being the silly saps they are, threw a big birthday party, despite knowing that a one year old couldn't possibly remember it.
My mom opened a present and showed me a computer-building kit, grinning. "This is for when you get your amazing Quirk, honey!"
Dad grinned, poking his wife in the boob. "Hey, what makes you think she's going to be a Technopath like you? Maybe she'll be a Biokinetic?" He turned and opened a present, shoving in my face a book that I recognized as Gray's Anatomy. "This was my first medical textbook, Ryo! It's what led me to become the doctor I am today! I'm sure when you get your special Quirk, you can do wonders with it!"
"Honey, wait. What if she gets both our Quirks?! Oh, or they fuse in an unexpected way like Raigoro's Bioelectricity!" Mom nearly squeed.
Rai stood off to the side, watching with a fond expression. I reached out, and said what I'd been waiting for.
My parents' jaws dropped.
And I saw my older brother smile bigger than I'd ever seen him.
As I reached the terrible twos, I tried to make them, well... Not the terrible twos for anyone but me.
I didn't want my parents to worry that I was too much of an angel, but I certainly didn't want to make things harder for them. So while I tried to make potty training, swapping to a sippy cup, and other infant development milestones easy on my caregivers, neither did I try to make it seem like I already was familiar with their concepts. I'm not sure how well I succeeded on that... I'm not exactly a good liar.
Still, by the time I was three years old, I couldn't help but notice that my parents were surprisingly generous with the gifts. Be it anime DVDs, picture books, actual books, manga volumes, toys, anime figurines, or video games that they would play and let me watch, they all seemed to rationalize the gift for the same reason.
"This'll be for when you get your wonderful Quirk!"
They were really hammering it in hard. Dad was Biokinetic, able to reshape flesh by touching a person skin-to-skin. It was kind of limited, but it was such a rare and valuable Quirk, he had free license to use it as a reconstructive surgeon, causing him to quickly become famous even outside Japan as the miracle surgeon who could fix extensive burn scars. Mom, meanwhile, had the ability to essentially communicate with technology by flowing her own "energy" into it and then back into her, a concept she dubbed "tracing." She couldn't manipulate technology, but give her just a short few seconds and she could know a machine inside and out. She'd easily used this ability to open up a computer tech support company. It was small, but she was still a business owner, and she could easily expand it but she liked having her free time.
Raigoro, though... Mom and Dad's Quirks had essentially merged into one with him. Bioelectricity.
After one such gifting session, Rai took me aside to watch a sports anime, a kind of compromise I suggested when I noticed he was kinda groaning at another shounen fight. "Don't let them get to you that much. I know that kind thing can be a bit pressuring," he said. "To be honest, my Quirk isn't as impressive as they make it sound. It's not like I can shoot lightning at people." He raised his hand and touched me, causing a static shock that made me flinch. "I can only generate or discharge electricity through conductive media, like impure water or conductive metals. And if I overuse it, I get bad static discharge when I touch metal things. I've done some research, though. I might theoretically be able to discharge enough to kill someone, and I could probably generate it through myself to mess with my nervous system, but... I mean, why? I'm not interested in Pro Hero stuff."
I smiled and nuzzled into his chest. "Then what do Rai-Rai wanna do?" I asked. It was interesting how, even if it was a full, proper sentence in my head, it came out all cutesy and kiddy from my mouth. It was like my tongue couldn't keep up with my brain.
He sighed. "I... I dunno. I'm popular at school, I'm good at soccer... Maybe I could go into professional sports?" he said, shrugging.
I gazed up at my older brother. At eight years old now, I could tell he was going to be quite the prettyboy when he got older. His raven hair was thick and luxurious, his features were handsome, his eyes were deep pools of brown, his body was thin and toned, and he was tall for his age. Combined with his social skills, I actually was pretty happy that, even if he weren't a Pro Hero, my big bro would probably have a good future ahead of him.
"Still, don't worry about it, sis. I know my Quirk might've set the bar high, but don't be afraid if your Quirk is something small. You're still my awesome baby sister, and you make every day better just being here."
I smiled and reached up to boop Raigoro's nose. Feels good man, knowing I make a difference to someone.
It's interesting how, when you have adult intelligence but a child's ability to absorb information, you're a really fast learner. And I was taking full advantage of it, of course. I rapidly absorbed whatever information I could, asking my parents a lot about medical and computer stuff. Of course, I didn't want Rai to feel left out, so I asked him a lot about sports. I also tried to run around as much as a good, wanting to train my body. I was a slender little thing in my last life, built for cardio. Be nice to take advantage of the Hero Aca world's superhero strength-building mechanics. Izuku only needed a single summer to build dense, wiry, lean muscles and superhuman strength without One For All, after all.
I also tried to get a head start on learning to read, just so I could absorb more information by reading what books I could find. And hey, if I could get ahold of my mom or dad's tablet, I'd have The Entire Internet™ at my fingertips.
At four years old, I was at the age where Quirks begin to develop. So, naturally, my parents started watching me like a hawk, eager to see what I'd get. I myself was kinda eager to see what my superpower would be.
I actually didn't leave the house much. I was eager to gain what skills I could and improve my athleticism, and my parents themselves seemed the type to stay inside and just geek out on games or anime. They were always open to answering my questions or engaging in their hobbies with me, though. In between gushing about my future Quirk, they were actually pretty psyched to see that I liked the kind of things they did.
Granted, I found out that my parents, while both clearly otaku, actually had surprisingly differing interests. Dad preferred MMOs and visual novels, mom liked shooters and RPGs. Dad liked shoujo and josei, mom liked shounen and seinen. Dad found harems an oversaturated genre, mom felt isekai was overrated. They both loved ecchi and platformers, though.
It wasn't until Rai had a big soccer meet at the park that my parents finally, willingly, went to a public event. While they tried to be supportive of their son, I could tell they found the public venue, the noise, and the crowds to be a bit overwhelming. Not long after they sat down, Dad pulled out a medical textbook, and mom her tablet, only looking up on occasion to cheer or watch what Rai was doing. I also noticed they were frequently fidgeting or tapping their fingers, something they didn't do at home all that often. But, then again, so was... I. Oh. Welp, looks like even in the Hero Aca world, I was neurodiverse. Noticing my fingers tapping in a clear pattern, Dad reached into his messenger bag and handed me a fidget spinner, acting almost like a drug dealer in the process. And I mean... have you ever had ADHD or Aspergers and used a fidget spinner? These little things are like crack for fidgety hands!
"I should show you the fidget spinner anime sometime," Mom remarked, noticing me twirl the little device.
After the game, Rai smiled at Mom and Dad in a heartfelt way I rarely saw, like he was touched. He leaned in and hugged them both. "Thanks, Mom. Thanks, Dad... This meant a lot to me."
They smiled back and each wrapped an arm around him. I looked up at my family, a smile on my own face.
Then I felt a breeze on my lower half.
"MINORU! HOW DARE YOU! At least ask the nice girl to show you her panties first!"
"...Mineta?" My mom asked, staring over her son at the short, slightly chubby woman with the hair that looked like purple goop.
The woman stared up at my Mom for a moment, then her face lit up. "Hassou! Long time no see! I haven't seen you since college!"
"I didn't know you had a son my daughter's age!"
...I wasn't sure I liked where this was going.
I was halfway through age four, and still no sign of my Quirk. Mom and dad continued to assure me that I was just a late bloomer, while Bro kept saying that whatever my Quirk would be, I'd still be his baby sister.
Of course, I quickly became Minoru Mineta's personal playmate. To say it was awkward was one thing.
Yeah, I was a perv, too. But I wasn't a molester. Consent was important to me. And for being four years old, he was surprisingly non-verbal. He was more about action. Even if that action was lifting my skirt.
Still, patience was a virtue. As I sat at his house, watching a kid's show with him, I turned to him. "Hey, uh... You ever t’ink about how you'd feel if someone... did to you what you did to guhls?" I asked.
He cocked an eyebrow at me, then shrugged.
I returned to watching the man in the fursuit talk to some kids about not bullying Mutant Quirk kids, seemingly ignorant to the fact that he was probably awakening many to being furries later in life.
Sighing, I again turned to Minoru. "Okies, so... Um... You lift my skuht because it's funny and you curious what under it, right?"
After a moment of contemplating, he nodded.
"Okies, but... How would you feel if... someone panted you?"
He didn't respond, just stared.
Hm... I sighed. "Minoru, um... P-People have feels. A-And there a ways to be funny and be curious without hurting they feelings, ya know!"
He continued to stare... And then I just sighed and returned to watching the blue-furred fox, slowly coming to the realization that that wasn't a fursuit.
At hearing the first two words Minoru Mineta had ever said to me...
As my fifth birthday neared closer and closer, it was not cause for celebration. Instead, my parents were getting more and more nervous. They were fidgeting more, they were pacing, and they found it hard to concentrate on their work, anime, and games. To be honest, I wasn't sure why, and if Rai knew, he wasn't showing it, still continuing to treat me like the same beloved baby sister. But then the day before my birthday, my parents abruptly loaded me into the car. My older brother, ten years old now, stayed home.
They took me to the hospital. I sat in the waiting room, and despite my fidgeting, Dad didn't hand me a fidget spinner. He was too busy using it. Mom at least kept her hands busy filling out a form.
A doctor saw us and while I remained curious what they were bringing me in for, I began to suspect it when the doctor ran an X-ray on my foot.
After yet more waiting in an exam room, with both my parents performing synchronized pacing, the doctor came in. He was frowning as he handed my parents the results of the X-ray.
Great. Figuratively powerless in my last life, literally powerless in my next life. Sigh...