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The longer Kaminari tries to focus, the less he understands.

It isn’t much longer now until their exams come up–the dates have been creeping up on them for months now, but now that they’re less than a week away, the reality of it all seems to hit harder than expected. And Kaminari, as infamously dense as he is, isn’t immune to it all; there’s a sudden scrambling fury in the Class-A dorms, students pulling all-nighters left and right, papers strewn carelessly across all surfaces at all times of the day.

The students’ demand for caffeine has increased dramatically in the past few days. Just recently, on one sleepless night, Kaminari had stumbled upon Sero in the kitchen, knocking back cans of Red Bull like shots, eyes red and sunken and limbs jittering. A few days later, he’d found Midoriya sprawled out and asleep on the couch, hands still clutching his notebook, pen still in hand, and mouth still murmuring the hundreds of keywords he’d memorized in a crazed, unconscious fervor.

That same afternoon, Ashido melted a total of nine library books, acid seeping through her clammy hands damaging any surface she came across. Satou, whose sweet tooth is uncontrollable on its own, had brought home several industrial-sized bags of pure granulated sugar, declaring them to be his fuel. And Todoroki, whose studies tend to stretch well into the morning, had begun to leaving a trail of frost behind, his brain far too tired to register his own body’s actions.

Tonight, Kaminari is seated in the common room of the dorms, the faint chatter of the other students serving only as an afterthought. The table before him is splattered with resources of all kinds; on one hand, he has his laptop, opened up to a million tabs, each one smattered with more useless information than the last. On the other, he has a stack of textbooks he hardly remembers checking out, coupled with folders of papers he’d hoarded throughout the year. He has his notebook open, too, though the words (numbers? shapes?) within them have started crawling around on the page, their fonts illegible to his eyes.

In all honesty, he isn’t even sure what subject he’s studying for at this point.

“Damn,” Kaminari breathes, laying his head down in the pile of papers before him. He lets the pen in his hand roll out onto the table, watching as it slowly makes its way into the messy pile of papers. “My brain feels like it’s been fried.”

Beside him, Jirou lets out a noise of frustration, a half-growl, half-groan. “What the hell,” she mutters, her own pen still scrawling mindlessly against her notebook. The ink within it has depleted significantly by now, and Kaminari has noticed more than a few stress-induced doodles littering the page; there seem to be more doodles than notes at this point. “Momo, you said this’d be easy.”

“It’s the sine and cosine rules,” Yaoyorozu says sheepishly, her hand scratching the back of her head. The girl leans over to peek at Jirou’s page, seemingly unsurprised by her drawings. “We went through it earlier, remember?”

“You’re joking, right?” Jirou says, placing her head in her hands. “It’s always math, isn’t it? Everything else is easy, but math gets me every time..” She groans, and Yaoyorozu can do nothing but offer her a pat on the back.

“Wait,” comes a voice. The three look up to see a rather concerned-looking redhead scratching at his head. “Sine and cosine?” Kirishima says, both eyes staring apathetically at his own notebook. He’s seated at the opposite end of the table, squashed between the equally-frazzled Ashido and Sero, whose features seem significantly paler than usual. Kaminari watches as the trio glance nervously at one another. “I thought we were doing chemistry.”

“Well,” Yaoyorozu says, stifling her shock, “we were . An hour ago.”

“Well, shit, ” Ashido says, slamming her book on the table. “We’re screwed.”

Kirishima groans. “Didn’t we know that from the start?”

“I give up,” Sero announces abruptly, standing up and slinging his bag over his shoulders. he scoops all his material into his arms and gives everyone a nod. “I think it’d be better if I got some rest tonight.” To Yaoyorozu, he bows deeply, both hands pressed together. “Thanks for the help today, Momo.”

“Me too!” Kirishima agrees, doing the same to his books, and bowing dangerously close to the table. “Thanks a bunch, Momo. It was great studying with you!”

“It’s no problem,” Yaoyorozu says, nodding. “I’m sorry I couldn’t do more.”

“Oh, hush,” Ashido says, rolling her eyes. She, too, has stood up, and seems more than ready to collapse in bed. “Even if we all fail the exams, I’m sure we would have done way worse without you.” She grins, baring all of her teeth, the irreplaceable shine present in her eyes. “I’m gonna head up too, though.”

“You coming, Denki?” Sero asks.

Usually, he would have joined them in an instant–it doesn’t really matter how hard he studies, or how much he tries. He knows it won’t make much of a difference for him anyway; time and time again, he’d placed dead last in the entirety of their class. A night’s worth of studying won’t change much, that much is certain–but, for some reason, he can’t bring himself to leave.

“Nah,” he tells the boy, smiling weakly. “Maybe a bit later. Goodnight, though.”

“Alright then,” Sero says, nodding. “I’ll see you guys tomorrow, yeah?”

A series of goodnight wishes follow, and the trio stir up quite a commotion as they scramble up the stairs, giggling about this and that, pushing one another around playfully. A part of Kaminari wishes he’d accepted the offer and gone up with them; but then he sneaks another glance at Jirou, and all his doubts wash away.

She’s resumed her studying; her eyes are fixed only on the problems at hand, hands busy working out the solution to yet another question. Kaminari watches as the girl chews idly at her bottom lip, and watches the tips of her earphone jacks twist together with one another subconsciously as the girl racks through her thoughts, trying her very hardest to understand the material. It’s endearing, the way she works, the way her brows knit themselves together in thought, the way she clicks at her pen in frustration, the way she scrawls on the paper–

Kaminari thinks it’s wonderful–the way her hands move, and the way her hair falls so perfectly, the way it frames her face. He can’t help but stare at her movements, and watch the perfect little details and intricacies of everything that she does.

She’s wonderful, really.

Beside her, Yaoyorozu has started cleaning up. Kaminari is so keen on watching the girl beside him that he hardly notices the ruffling noises; and neither does Jirou, apparently, because the two of them jump when Yaoyorozu clears her throat, the noise breaking both their trains of thought.

“I think I’ll be heading up too,” she says, bowing to the both of them. “It was lovely studying with you two. I’m sorry I couldn’t do much more.” A smile has made its way to her features; the girl is ever-polite as always.

“Don’t be sorry,” Jirou says, laughing. “You were the best. Thanks a lot, Momo, really. I couldn’t have gotten half of this without you.”

Kaminari nods intently. “Yeah,” he says. “Thanks a bunch, Momo. I really needed that.”

The two of them wish the girl goodnight, and offer their thanks once more. She leaves them with a wave and a quick bow, smiling all the way. Before Kaminari knows it, Jirou and him are left together in complete silence, their books scattered before them.

They continue studying, neither one of them daring to speak up–

Until Kaminari feels a tap on his shoulder.

“Denki,” she says, pointing at the page. 

She’s gesturing at yet another math problem. He looks it over; it seems to be a quadratic function, which he knows isn’t quite her strong suit. He remembers her frustration with them in class; and while he isn’t exactly an expert, he’s fairly confident in his ability to work with them.

He looks her paper over. “I think so,” he says slowly, taking in her working. Her handwriting is much neater than his. “No, wait, your vertex is funny. It isn’t centred.”

“Exactly,” she grumbles. “I have the intercepts, so I know where they’re meant to go, but I can’t make ‘em get to where they need to be.” She fiddles with the tips of her earphone jacks. “God, this is so stupid, I’m sorry. You can go back to your work, it’s alright, really.”

“No,” Kaminari says, shaking his head, “it’s fine, Kyouka.” He examines the question again. “Ah, there’s a negative here,” he says, pointing to the beginning of the equation.

“I’ve flipped it already,” she groans, clenching her fists. “What else do I need ?”

“You didn’t distribute it. To the rest of the equation.”

Her eyes light up suddenly. She snatches her paper back, pen scrawling furiously on the page. “You were.. right,” she says, staring at the graph in disbelief. “How the hell did you get that? Aren’t you the one that can barely do basic factoring?”

“A magician never reveals his secrets.”

“Great. That explains a lot.” She blinks once, then twice. “God, I hate quadratics. I hate math.”

“The quadratics are all I remember from middle school,” Kaminari admits, laughing. When Jirou shoots him a nearly-venomous look, he raises both his hands up in defense. “Hey, it’s not my fault. I had a friend that was really good at everything, and this was the only thing that stuck.”

“So he taught you quadratics, but not how to write a grammatically-correct sentence?”

“That sounds about right, yeah.”

Jirou bursts into a fit of laughter, her work laying to the side. “You’re such an idiot. You know that?”

“Am not,” Kaminari says, though he laughs along. “At least I can graph , unlike some people.”

“Sorry, remind me again of your ranking in the class?” Jirou quips, cupping a hand to her ear.

“Seventh in a class of twenty!”

“Who do you think you’re kidding?”

The two of them break into a fit of giggles, their minds momentarily drawn away from the scattered papers before them. Kaminari can’t help but bask in the atmosphere for a moment; it’s light, filled entirely with her laughter, and with her smile–

God, it’s perfect. She’s perfect.

Over the next hour or so, their work continues the same way; occasionally, Jirou pokes her head up to ask him a question or two. Other times, it’s Kaminari asking the questions, and Jirou having to run him through the very basics over and over. Still, it’s a pleasant back-and-forth; and Kaminari can’t help but hold his breath each time she draws near, each time she leans in closer, each time her hair is so close that he can just smell her in front of him–

“Shit,” the girl says suddenly, stretching her arms out behind her. She lets out a tired sigh before glancing back down at her paper. “I’m drained, man.”

“Me too,” Kaminari agrees, hand reaching up to stifle an abrupt yawn. “Should we tidy up for the day?”

“Sure,” Jirou says, trying her best not to do the same. “It’s pretty late, anyway.” She gathers up her belongings, scrambling to collect the stray papers on the table and to stuff them into her binder. He does the same with his own work, sweeping the stray papers into his bag. Standing up, he slings the strap of his backpack over his shoulders; it hangs lopsided, the entirety of its weight shifted onto one side.

They make their way to Jirou’s room first, their feet shuffling across the dorm’s wooden floors.

The walk isn’t very long, or unpleasant; neither one of them speak the whole way. Kaminari’s head is racing, trying desperately to dig for any points of conversation; and yet, as they walk, he can’t help but feel a little empty-handed. Then, all too quickly, the walk ends, and they’re at her room.

She shoots him a polite smile. “Thanks for helping me out today,” she says, her head bowing ever so slightly. “Goodnight now.”

Just as she reaches for the door handle, he stops her, his hand grabbing the ends of her sleeves and pinching the soft fabric between his fingertips. The girl stops in her tracks, and turns to face him–and, for a moment, there is a silence.


He feels his face heat up. His throat is as tight as ever.

“It was nice,” he says slowly, fingers still holding onto her for dear life. “Studying with you, I mean,” he adds quickly, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly. At first, no reply comes. He looks up at her, forcing himself to take in the sight of her, to watch her reaction–and then he watches the corners of her lips curl upward.

It’s a small, private smile, and the sight of it is almost lost upon him in the dim lighting of the dorm’s hallways–but it’s sincere, and it says everything he ever wanted to hear.

“Yeah,” she says. “It was nice, Denki.”

And then her smile widens.

His grip on the sleeves of her shirt loosens, the fabric slipping through his fingertips, the relief sinking in. Her smile is radiant. Their surroundings are dim, and there’s a clock nearby that ticks monotonously as the seconds pass–and yet he can’t help but feel as if there is an intense light, blinding and blurring his vision, illuminating something inside of him–

Except there is no light. There’s just her, smiling in the hallway, straight at him.

Right now, Jirou Kyouka is the center of his universe.

He knows it’s foolish to phrase it that way. He’s fifteen, for god’s sake. Hormonal, with no real grasp of the world, and no understanding of what any of his muddled-up feelings mean. All he knows is that his heart is pounding a mile a minute, and that there’s blood rushing all over his body, and that there’s a heat in his face that he isn’t sure will ever go away–and he knows it’s all thanks to her.

There’s a sensation bubbling in his throat.

“Well,” Jirou laughs. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Sparky.”

And then it comes out, like a huge release, the previously-contained pressure in his throat suddenly freed, and all he can do is thank the gods he isn’t tripping on his words, and that she hasn’t yet run away from him.

“Wait,” he starts. He hesitates for a split second, and then pushes on. “I like you,” he half-blurts, half-chokes, and suddenly his chest is a million times lighter. “A lot.”

Jirou says nothing, but her smile doesn’t fade–and neither does the twinkle in her eyes, despite the darkness around them. She keeps her eyes fixed on his, and maintains that smile, and for a moment Kaminari thinks he’s burning, and that his skin has melted away in her presence. For a moment, he’s Icarus, diving headfirst into danger, far too close to the light.

There’s a faint pink colour dusting her cheeks. “You’re a dork,” she laughs, her hand reaching out to ruffle the top of his head. Her touch is light and gentle, and he can’t help but revel in the feeling of her fingers tousling his hair, brushing delicately through his strands. “You know that?”

“I’m not a dork,” he protests, though he knows his words are half-hearted. She knows it, too, and laughs again, the sound filling his ears.

“Goodnight, Denki.” Her hand twists the handle open, and for a moment, he gets a glimpse into her room; the musician’s haven, with all the band-related merchandise and memorabilia she’d collected over the years, displayed proudly over her dorm room’s shelves and walls. “I’ll see you tomorrow.” Then she shuts the door behind her, and he’s left staring into a plain white door, identical to his own.

The walk back to his dorm room is utterly silent, save for the muffled shuffling of his own slippers against the dull gray carpet. His mind is whizzing, every gear turning in an attempt to get his body to function–and yet he can hardly process the events, or the words he’d just said. He feels lighter than ever, and yet his body is so unnaturally weighed-down–

So he walks to his room, shuts the door, and flops face-down into a pillow.

And then he sleeps.

Chapter Text

The next week passes all too quickly, and yet much too slow. For the most part, it’s a flurry of emotions, a frenzy of panicked class-A students trying their best to cram as much information as humanly possible.

For Kaminari, though, the panic seems to stem from elsewhere.

The night after his abrupt confession, Kaminari gathers–or, perhaps more accurately, is forced to gather–all his friends in his dorm room, the little group squashing itself within what little space his stray belongings have to offer.

The UA dorms aren’t exactly built to accommodate more than a single person; they’d been rather hurriedly arranged following the unpleasant summer camp incident, and each room, while generous with all things considered, is still quite a squeeze, particularly when group hangouts come into play. Kaminari himself has spent more time in Sero’s room than his own; they’d spent many nights bingeing numerous movies, and trying to blow an ungodly amount of through games in a single night. For them, studying usually was second priority; and tonight would be no different.

For such a tight-knit group, they rarely ever hung out in his dorm room, of all places; he’d garnered a reputation for being the messy, unkempt one, both through the bedhead he wore to class every morning, and through the messy scrawl of his notes. He’d let the class have a peek in back when they’d first moved in—back when everything was still neat and arranged—and even then they’d dismissed his room as kitschy and scrambled, at best.

Tonight, though, he figures it’ll be a nice change to have them over, instead of them invading Sero’s room for the thousandth time, or having to put up with Ashido’s rather.. loud design choices. Especially since they’d be there to give him advice.

Of course, knowing his friends, it doesn’t take long after the door shuts behind them to start a commotion. There’s a moment of silence as they take everything in; none of them have seen his room for quite a while, and, while Kaminari had made an effort to clean things up a little before their arrival, he’s sure it still isn’t quite as spick-and-span as their own rooms. There’s a clutter of weird trinkets lingering by the foot of his bed, with everything from old baseball bats reminescent of sportier middle-school days to odd buttons he’d found lying around. His desk isn’t much to speak for, either; a smattered mess of papers, with a plethora of odd inspirational posters hung up around his room.

It’s Bakugo that breaks the silence first. While his words are calmly stated, they’re jarring as per usual, accompanied by an accusatory finger pointed at the floor. “Hey, fuckwad. Is that a cockroach?” The statement strikes and immediate sense of fear in the others in the group; their eyes widen almost comically, and for a moment Kaminari swears they seem ready to slice him in half.

“Holy shit!” Sero exclaims from the doorway, reaching for Kirishima’s arms and wrapping himself tightly around the poor boy. “It’s moving. It’s moving, holy shit, it’s alive. Denki, what the fuck!”

“There’s more than one!” Ashido yelps. She jumps backward, and soon Kirishima is enveloped in a tight embrace, the two fearful teenagers clinging mercilessly to his body. The redhead himself can only smile weakly, shooting a rather confused, disoriented look Kaminari.

“Why?” is all Kirishima manages to squeak out, crushed by the grip of the arms around him.

Bakugo, at the very forefront of the group, lets out a snort. “I knew you were messy,” he begins, folding his arms in front of his chest, “but this is a fucking disaster.” He watches the cockroach on the ground scurry about, not making an effort to do anything about it. Out of the four of them, the boy is the least fazed about the bug’s presence, and is amused enough by the situation to let out. a series of quiet chuckles. “Dumbass,” he says, ignoring the chaos erupting behind him.

“Hey, it’s not my fault Kouda has a literal army of bugs next door,” Kaminari says, using a tissue to pick the bug up and toss it out the window. To his frantic group of friends, he offers a weak shrug of defense. He’s had the infamous bug-whisperer for a next-door neighbor for well over a year now; the bugs, at least to him, are commonplace by now. “They’re always crawling in here.”

“Then get bug spray or something!” Ashido scolds, tiptoeing warily towards the bed. She clambers on it in a hurry, eyes still on the lookout for any stray bugs. Then, upon assuring her safety, she shoots a pointed glare at Kaminari. “How do you live like this?”

“I just do,” he says, his head bowed in slight embarrassment. “Sorry about that.”

“Anyway,” Kirishima says, shaking his head with a shiver. “Forget the… bugs.” Despite his words, Kaminari watches as his face contorts in clear discomfort, as if forcing himself to forget the unpleasant cockroach encounter. “You said something happened?”

“Oh, yeah, what’s that about?” Ashido says, getting herself comfortable in the boy’s bed,crossing her legs and clutching a pillow to her chest. She appears grateful for the change in subject; she’d practically been cowering before.

With a scoff, Bakugo plops himself down on the ground. In just a moment, he’s seated himsef against the door, his back leaning against the cool wood. “I can feel my grades slipping with each fucking second that passes,” he says, each word drawed lazily. “You better make this quick, Pikachu.” Kaminari watches as the boy’s eyes slowly flutter shut, and watches how Kirishima takes it as his chance to seat himself beside the boy.

“Yeah, um,” Kaminari says slowly, looking around the room for anything to distract him. He’s chosen to sit at the desk; Sero has made himself comfortable by the foot of the bed with Ashido already, and he doesn’t feel like crowding the area any further. “I might’ve done something a little stupid,” he admits. “Like a spur of the moment kind of thing, y’know?” Even thinking about it, his heart seems to have gone rogue; it’s beating wildly in his chest, and he can feel the warmth spreading throughout him.

There’s a snort that resonates through the room. “What’s new?” Sero laughs, only to be met with a pillow smashed over his head. “Ouch, Mina, that hurt!”

The girl squeaks as Sero wraps a stream of tape around her wrist. For a moment, the two of them wrestle against one another, the others making no attempt to stop them–they had always been prone to it. “Shut up! You’re ruining the momentum!” she scowls, eventually melting the tape off of her with her quirk. The boy only sighs in return.

Kaminari clears his throat pointedly, and draws their attention back to him. He feels his neck grow warm, followed by his face, and then he feels a spark fly from his hands, a fact which he promptly ignores. “I may or may not have.. confessed to Jirou last night?”

“Oh, fuck,” is Ashido’s reaction—the first real, worded response to his bashful admission. “You’re serious?”

Kaminari nods slowly. He watches intently as the girl’s eyes pop open in delight, and he can’t help but smile along as she squeals, grin stretching from ear to ear. Her pride in him is infectious, and he can practically feel her beaming at him.

Kirishima’s brows are furrowed. “But we were there with you the whole time,” he says, the confusion clear in his voice. Then, noting Kaminari’s sheepish grin, he perks up, as if coming to a sudden realization. “Oh, wait, that’s not right, is it?”

“I’ve waited so goddamn long for this,” Ashido says, letting out a laugh of sheer relief. “And what did she say? You guys didn’t hook up, did you?” She bursts into laughter as yet another stream of tape comes at her, this time smacking her square in the face.

“Too soon,” Sero scolds, though he can’t help himself from laughing either.

“Is it though?” Ashido says, smirking knowingly at Kaminari. He laughs in turn, shaking his head, already too accustomed to the pink girl’s habits.

“It’s nothing like that,” he says, and the smile in his voice is all-too evident to everyone in the room. They all know how hard he’s been pining—he’d spent many sleepless nights fawning over the girl in their presence, gushing over ever minor interaction. “She didn’t really say anything though. We kind of just left it at that.”

“Wait,” Sero blurts. “She didn’t say anything ?”

“I know that sounds bad,” Kaminari says, backtracking slightly. A sigh bubbles up in his throat, and he leans back in his chair. “But, God,” he sighs. “You should’ve seen the smile on her face.”

As soon as the words come out of his mouth, there’s a good-natured bark of laughter from the door. “Lovesick dumbass,” Bakugo comments. His eyes are still shut, and his back still pressed against the door, but Kaminari can sense the amusement in his voice.

“He’s so whipped,” Ashido says, giggling. “Look at his face!” She rolls onto her back, spreading her arms out on the bed. “I’m gonna be a grandmother. To two sparky children.” She rolls back around, propping her head up on her hands and letting out a dreamy sigh. “You’re all gonna be grandparents!”

“No,” comes a moan. Sero has sprawled himself out lazily on the ground, limbs spread carelessly around him. “I’m too young to be a grandfather.”

“Oh, shut up, you killjoy!” Ashido says, clambering off the bed to flick Sero. There’s a scramble as the two of them hurl half-hearted punches at each other once again. “Mom, Hanta’s being an idiot!”

“Teenagers can’t have babies!”

“They can,” Bakugo says, eyes still shut. Kirishima chokes on his spit.

“Well, they shouldn’t!” Sero lets out a groan, struggling against Ashido. “Mina, if you don’t get off me right now, I’m never letting you on my Switch ever again,” Sero threatens, flailing uselessly against the girl’s assaults.

“Try it!”

Kaminari stands up from his desk and moves to push the two off of each other. Their wrestling match comes to an abrupt stop, and the two of them fold their arms in mock annoyance. “We’re not having any babies,” he laughs. “I’m not even sure she likes me that way,” he says, voice dropping.

“Are you kidding me?” Ashido says. She reaches out and places a hand on his shoulder, a look of genuine concern crossing her features.  “Have you even seen the way she looks at you?”

“Just so you know,” Sero says, smiling, “it’s the same way you look at her.”

“Even so,” Kaminari says, “I’m pretty sure I scared her off with yesterday. I mean, she didn’t say anything. What if things get awkward from now on?” He scratches his arm mindlessly, his thoughts whirring rapidly. “I’m just scared she won’t want to talk to me anymore. And I like her a lot.” The grip on his shoulder tightens as Ashido lets out another sigh. “God, I’ve ruined my chances, haven’t I?”

“You’re overthinking it,” comes another voice. Kaminari finds the redhead behind him; he’s wearing his signature grin, every inch of his sharp teeth bared. In a way, it’s comforting; Kaminari can feel himself easing into his words. “You’ll be okay, bro. Just trust us.”

He does, but his mind never stops running.


The next morning, Kaminari finds that his bedhead is even worse than usual.

The five of them had stayed up well past curfew together that night–with the exception of Bakugo, of course, who had fallen fast asleep with his back right against the door–and eventually, mid-conversation had fallen asleep, sprawled out on the carpeted floor of Kaminari’s room. It had taken several jarring alarms and numerous attempts on Bakugo’s part to wake them all up, and to get them all to class; and by the time they had all arrived and gotten themselves seated, the second and final bell had already rung.

Kaminari is so preoccupied with getting to class on time and scrambling to his desk before Aizawa arrives that he hardly notices the girl chuckling beside him. “Long night, Sparky?”

His neck shoots up immediately, and he finds himself staring directly at Jirou. He doesn’t speak for a moment, instead pausing to take in the sight of her, smiling up at him, her tie only loosely fastened. There’s a drowsy edge to her voice, and he attributes it to the morning; he’s never known the girl to be anything but a night owl, and he sees the way she struggles to keep herself awake for the day’s morning classes, her earphone jacks, usually full of life, laying limp against her shoulders.

It’s endearing, really.

Everything about her is.

Then, realizing himself, he coughs, drawing his gaze away from her. He can feel his hands twitching with electricity, and he prays that he doesn’t hear it. “Mhm,” he replies, trying to distract himself from the sight of her. “I was with Eiji and stuff last night.”

“Oh,” the girl says, propping her head up with one hand. “Cramming?”

“Sort of.”

“I studied with Momo again yesterday,” she says. Her eyes have fluttered closed, head leaned against her own hands leisurely. Still, despite her composed demeanor, Kaminari sees her earphone jacks begin to twitch by her shoulders, and sees the flush rise in her face. There’s a small pause before her next words, and Kaminari hears her draw in a sharp inhale. “It would have been nice to have you there.”

Kaminari feels his breath fall away.

“Oh,” he says, his voice coming out softer than expected. He watches as her jacks twitch again, and knot themselves together frantically. He wonders if he can hear his heart right now, beating a million miles a minute, the pounding in his chest undeniable.

Before he can open his mouth to respond, the door creaks open, and Kaminari watches as the girl forces herself to look up. Aizawa, eyebags deeper than ever, walks in at his own pace; silence immediately takes over the class, and there’s a scramble around him as the students race back to their seats.

“Good morning, Aizawa-sensei!” comes Iida’s voice, ever too boisterous for the day’s hours. “Everyone, bow!”

Kaminari dips his head forward, and watches as Jirou does the same, her hair falling loosely over her face and framing her features in a dark purple.

He finds himself distracted for the rest of class, his mind wandering back to one lone thought, and his eyes constantly dragging themselves back to the sight of her beside him. He can’t help but watch her in class; he’s struggling as it is, but he can’t find it in himself to focus, his eyes intent on watching her every movement.

He watches her fiddle with the tip of her earphone jack as Aizawa begins his usual daily lectures, and watches the delicate way she twirls it around her fingertips; he watches the subtle sway of her hair as she reaches for her notebook, and watches the focused glint in her eyes shine as she begins to jot down all the necessary material for the class.

He’s smitten, but he can’t bring it in himself to look away.