It was always the three of us, and maybe two others. But we three were the main ones. We didn’t always get along all the time, but it was always Kacchan, Deku, and me.
I didn’t share the same dreams of being a hero like Kacchan and Deku, so when it came time for us to choose a high school to attend, I was one of the only people in our class who didn’t want to attend UA High.
“Please come with us! You have a powerful quirk, so getting in would be a breeze for you!” Deku begged me.
“I just…” I tried to explain myself.
“You tryin’ to leave me all alone?” Kacchan pursed his lips at me.
“No, Kacchan. We can still be friends, I just don’t want…” I tried again.
“You what?” He pressed.
“I don’t want to be a hero!” I sighed, finally getting it out. “I just don’t see myself as a hero, no matter how powerful my quirk is or not. Just because I know how to throw a punch doesn’t mean I want to fight people.”
“Not even in the name of the greater good?” Deku frowned.
“What even is the greater good? Specifically? Can you answer that?” I asked, and got nothing in response, so I bid them goodbye and went home to look over my options.
Their heads were so full with hero shit, they seemed to forget that other jobs existed. When I told them years ago that I wanted to write books, they immediately began telling me that it wasn’t promising and I could be making much more money as a hero. I could be saving people and blah blah blah.
“Why don’t you want to save people?” Deku asked me once when we were younger.
“What if someone dies while I’m trying to save them? What would happen then? It’d be my fault, wouldn’t it?” I tried to rationalize.
“No, it wouldn’t!” He disagreed.
“Yes, it would. They were in my care. They were my responsibility. If they die, that’s on me, and I’m not ready for any of that.” I shook my head, looking down.
So, most of my childhood was spent writing fantastic stories about their adventures as heroes, but it just wasn’t good enough for them. They wanted me to share their dream of saving people and being known worldwide. I just couldn’t see myself in that position, no matter how hard I tried to.
But we stayed in touch despite never physically seeing each other for years and years. Kacchan texted me at least once a week, and Deku nearly every day, even if I didn’t always respond. They both understood that I was busy with school and my writing, and though they grew and up and matured and respected my life choices, I could tell that they both still wanted me to play dress up and superheroes with them like we did when we were kids.
It took me ages to finally see them in person.
It was while I was getting back from a book signing at a store for my latest novel, which was spreading like wildfire. I was still waving and blowing kisses to the crowd from the store, all holding copies of my book and yelling for me, and I was apologizing, saying that I had to go, but there would be another signing in a week.
I turned and almost ran directly into another group, and was immediately going to apologize, then smiled when I recognized the person I nearly ran into.
“Deku! Hey! Haven’t seen you in ages!” I said and he hugged me tightly.
“Looks like you’re doing well for yourself, Kocha.” He sounded happy.
“I kept telling you guys for all those years, but did you listen to me? No!” I grinned and he looked pretty bashful.
“Yeah, I guess we should’ve had more faith in you. Kacchan, look who it is!” He turned and I smiled widely at the explosive blond boy. Kacchan grumbled and came over to give me a hug.
“Looks like you’re all famous now like us, Kocha.” He smirked a little at me.
“Is this yet another childhood friend?” A redhead asked.
“Mind your own business, dumb hair.” Kacchan snapped, and the redhead just rolled his eyes with a smile.
“Guys, this is Kocha,” Deku said, and I smiled and nodded at the group.
“Oh, you’re Kocha! Midoriya talks about you nearly as much as…” A tall guy with glasses started to say, but Deku shut him up with a yell and an embarrassed look on his face.
“Aw, you talk about me to your friends, Deku? That’s so cute!” I gushed.
“He hardly shuts up about you. Kocha this and Kocha that…” Kacchan rolled his eyes.
“Hardly shuts up about Kacchan too…” A girl grumbled softly, but I heard it.
“Deku’s always been really talkative about stuff he cares about,” I said, which just made him blush wildly and began rambling that it wasn’t true, but was true at the same time, and of course, he cared about me, but not like that. It just made me laugh, as it was so funny to mess with him from time to time.
I ended up telling them that I had to get home, but I’d be happy to catch up later. So, after I got home and showered, I called up Deku just to talk.
“Kocha? Hey, what’s up?” He answered.
“Not much. I was just bored and wanted to talk to you.” I shrugged, though he couldn’t see it.
“Okay. Talk about what?” He asked and I heard some shuffling.
“I dunno. Hey, you remember the elementary school we went to?” I asked and he hummed a yes. “Remember that bitch teacher who kept trying to keep us separated?”
“If I remember correctly, she had every right to. You and Kacchan were brutal.” He sounded amused. “Remember when you made me and Kacchan try on your heels?”
“Listen, you may have stumbled a bit, but Kacchan looks good in my gold heels. I should’ve taken pictures.” I sighed, making him laugh, and his laugh made me smile. “Man, I miss those old days.”
“You and me both. Everything was much easier.” He sighed.
“Yeah, it was.” I nodded, speaking softly. “I miss you guys. You two grew up so much.”
“Us? Have you seen yourself lately?” He laughed breathlessly. “You grew up! Puberty hit you like a bus, Kocha! I somehow thought you would still look like you did when we were fourteen. You do not look anything like a fourteen-year-old.” He said, then stuttered. “I MEAN not like I was looking or anything!”
That made me laugh. “You can say it, Deku. I have tits now.” I laughed even harder at his audible panic.
“Now you’re just being mean, Kocha.” Deku sounded like he was pouting. “You and Kacchan have always been vulgar. You know I can’t say that sort of stuff.”
“They’re just words, Deku.” I smiled softly.
“Hey, you remember when we all got our nicknames?” He grew quieter.
“I think about it sometimes,” I admitted.
“I think about it every single day,” Deku said and sighed. “Kacchan gave us ours, remember? I called him loud and named him Kacchan, and he called me useless and named me Deku. Then we decided we needed one for you.” He said, and I smiled at the memories.
“I always wore pink and frills, so you two decided that my nickname had to be related to something cute. So, you called me Kocha. Cute tea.” I rolled my eyes. “Stupid nickname, if you ask me.”
“I think it suits you,” Deku murmured, and we were quiet for a moment.
“Hey, Deku?” I asked nearly a minute later.
“You wanna go to a café with me sometime?” I asked with an uncontrollable smile on my lips.
“I’d love to.” He sounded like he was smiling, too.