Reason #17 Why Tsuyu Likes Ochako: She’s Dependable
Tsuyu is fifteen minutes early to their meeting place, but that’s okay; Ochako will definitely be on time. Their bench is soft and and just a little damp from the morning dew seeping into the wood, never quite dry under the shade of the magnificent willow. Tsuyu settles onto the bench, kicking her legs back and forth. In front of the pond a brother and sister tussle and Tsuyu thinks of Ochako.
They found this park on their second date, by happenstance. Tsuyu likes fresh air; Ochako likes morning runs, and they both have a soft spot for adventure. It only made sense that they go on a walk through the city instead of staying cooped up in a coffeeshop. Tsuyu remembers the warm pink of Ochako’s hands wrapped around a coffee cup, the perfectly shaped half-moons of her fingernails. She remembers wondering if Ochako had done her nails for Tsuyu.
But more than that, Tsuyu remembers taking her hand for the first time, how soft her skin was, and watching the pink of her hands migrate to her cheeks. Ochako had the loveliest rosy cheeks.
This park—their park—was a bit out of the way, but it was a spot of brilliant green in the middle of the city’s greys and neon lights. A babble of water over rocks where there was usually the rumble of cars. Peace instead of restlessness. And there were ducks. Ochako loved the ducks, and was in turn loved by them. Or maybe it was just the remainder of her toast she had thrown them.
“Tsuyu-chan!” Ochako calls, waving. Tsuyu can see the smile on her face, even at a distance. She waves back.
“This little bench is so cute!” Ochako had said, the first time they found the park. “Reminds me of a romantic rendezvous.”
“Let’s meet up here from now on, then,” Tsuyu said.
Ochako’s eyes went wide and her hands flew to her red, red cheeks. “That’s—that’s a little embarrassing…” she mumbled.
“Ochako,” Tsuyu said. “Ochako, I like you.”
“Tsuyu-chan…” Ochako said, staring at her foot, scuffing at the gravel path. “I—I li—”
“You don’t have to say it now, if you can’t,” Tsuyu said. “I won’t be hurt. Just being here with you is enough.”
“But I do,” Ochako said. “I do like you.” She lifted her eyes, smiling. “And this is kind of our park, isn’t it? We found it all on our own. We should meet up here.” And she had taken Tsuyu’s hands in her own.
“You’re pretty deep in thought, huh,” Ochako teases. “You’re doing that little head tilt you do when you’re thinking hard.”
Tsuyu straightens up unconsciously, aware of the tips of her ears burning. “I was thinking about romantic rendezvous,” she replies.
Ochako blushes immediately, covering her face. “Don’t bring up the past!” she squeaks.
“Don’t cover your face now,” Tsuyu says, leaning forward to gently pull her hands away from her face. “The color of your skin when you blush is very cute.”
Ochako puffs up her cheeks and narrows her eyes. “Try calling me cute now,” she says.
“Oh dear,” Tsuyu says. “You look even more like a frog now. You’re meeting all my standards!”
Ochako lets the air out of her cheeks with a whoosh and a giggle, the kind that made her dimples show up with a flash of white teeth. Her eyes crinkled at the edges. Unconsciously, she squeezes Tsuyu’s hands gently.
Reason #23 Why Tsuyu Likes Ochako: She’s Beautiful
“Ochako,” Tsuyu says. “You’re the single most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen.”
“Eh?! Not at all, not at all,” Ochako protests. “Please, I’m sure I have some dark circles under my eyes, and, and—I smell sweaty from walking all the way here in the heat!”
Tsuyu flicks her tongue in and out. Raises an eyebrow.
Ochako huffs. “Don’t look at me like that; I’m not letting you get away with such straightforward compliments, missy.”
Ochako’s wearing sensible jean shorts and a flowy, floral tank top. She’s got sunglasses perched on top of her head, bright red sneakers, and mismatched socks with kittens on them. Her skin is flushed from the walk and her hair sticks to her temples. Her hair is a little frazzled and she’s pouting, cocking her hip to the side.
“It’s true though,” Tsuyu says.
“Let’s go already,” Ochako says, squeezing her arms tighter around herself. Her ears are as red as Tsuyu’s. “I have to show you my new trick!”
“Okay,” Tsuyu says and stands up. She offers an arm and Ochako takes it, giving up her pout for a small smile.
“I was thinking of camping out on top of Gun Head’s hero office,” Ochako says, a bounce in her step. “I have the key to the roof, you know.” Her stomach growls. “Um. Maybe after we get food?”
“There’s a nice sandwich shop on the way,” Tsuyu says. “I take Samidare and Satsuki there sometimes when we play at our park.”
“Oh, good,” Ochako says. “I’m starving.”
Reason #41 Why Tsuyu Likes Ochako: She’s Soft
Ochako swallows the last bite of her sandwich and lets out a long sigh, patting her belly. “I am the happiest hog in the world,” she says.
“Amazing,” Tsuyu says. “It’s gone.”
“Hey now!” Ochako tuts. “Don’t make fun of a girl for her eating habits.”
“I’m not,” Tsuyu says. “I’m just saying, if survival of the fittest applied to humans, you would never let your food go to waste.”
Ochako’s jaw drops. “You are making fun of me!” She wraps Tsuyu in a headlock and gives her a noogie. Tsuyu croaks in protest.
“That’ll teach you not to make fun of me!” Ochako says, triumphant. Tsuyu’s not sure she’s lost though, given that she’s comfortably wrapped in Ochako’s arms, squished against her chest. Tsuyu wiggles comfortably in Ochako’s lap. Soft.
Ochako’s arms fall loosely around Tsuyu’s middle. She tucks her chin over Tsuyu’s shoulder and giggles at the sound of Tsuyu chewing. Tsuyu can feel her heartbeat. She imagines falling asleep there, unquestionably safe in Ochako’s arms.
And then Ochako’s fingers find Tsuyu’s stomach.
Against her will, Tsuyu starts laughing—more like smothered giggles—and squirms in Ochako’s arms. “Ochako—that—that tickles,” she protests through laughter.
“Man, that’s just no fair,” Ochako grumbles. “You’ve got abs for days! How d’you do it?”
Tsuyu gasps for breath, but thankfully Ochako stops feeling up her stomach and instead starts poking her own stomach, frowning. “I swim for three hours a day,” Tsuyu says. “Training my body and my Quirk. You can join me, if you’d like.”
Ochako pales. “No, thank you,” she says. “I think I’d just end up floundering and you’d have to save me.”
“There’s nothing wrong with you the way you are now,” Tsuyu says, tilting her head to the side. “You keep up with all of us just fine and your Quirk doesn’t require a great deal of physical strength.”
“Yeah, but Tsuyu-chan, and Deku-kun, and Tenya-kun are so muscular,” Ochako sighs. “I feel like I’m falling behind when I’m so…soft.”
Tsuyu remembers their first sleepover, a study sleepover, before they started dating. There had been studying, of course, but then there were the pillow fights. The gossiping. The painting of each other’s nails, when Tsuyu discovered the miracle of Ochako’s laugh for the first time when Tsuyu did a horrific job painting Ochako’s nails. She remembers the fire in Ochako’s eyes as she swung her pillow, her determination, and her fighting spirit. How could she not? It was when she fell in love.
She remembers winning the pillow fight, and pinning Ochako down for her punishment. “N-no, please!” Ochako had said, already laughing before Tsuyu even began the torture. “Mercy!”
“There is no mercy in a pillow fight,” Tsuyu said, and then pulled her nightshirt up to blow a big, fat, noisy raspberry on her stomach.
Ochako had howled and kicked, wiggling around like Satsuki did whenever Tsuyu hustled her into bed. But as a trained big sister, Tsuyu was immune to the tricks of her victims. She only relented from her torment when Ochako levitated her into the air.
“No fair,” Tsuyu had said, crossing her arms four feet above Ochako’s head. “Using your Quirk is cheating.”
Ochako wiped tears from her eyes. “You were killing me,” she said, smiling. “I had to escape the tyranny of the villainous Froppy somehow.”
Ochako put her down after making Tsuyu promise to cease with the tummy raspberries, but Tsuyu never forgot the softness of her stomach, or how nice it was to pillow her head on Ochako’s thighs when they watched a scary movie together. Even now, the silkiness of her skin on Tsuyu’s and the plushness of her arms has Tsuyu sinking further against her.
“If it will make you feel better about yourself,” Tsuyu says slowly, “then you should give extra strength training a shot. But I think there’s a certain strength in softness, too.”
“Really?” Ochako asks, hair tickling Tsuyu’s cheek.
“You’re much more accessible to the public like you are now,” Tsuyu says. “All Might might save the day with a fearless smile, but he can still be scary with his height and musculature. But you—you’re easily approachable and you have a trustworthy smile. If it came down to saving a little kid from a burning building, I would trust you to get him out safely over All Might.”
Ochako is quiet for a long moment. Then, silently, she presses her forehead to the back of Tsuyu’s neck and squeezes her in a tight hug. Tsuyu pats her arm.
Ochako’s hold loosens and Tsuyu turns in her arms, checking on her. Her smile is wobbly, but it’s there. Her eyes shimmer. Tsuyu cups Ochako’s face in her hands.
Ochako’s smile steadies a little more at Tsuyu’s touch. She puts a hand over Tsuyu’s and turns to kiss Tsuyu’s palm. Tsuyu nearly flinches, but not quite—Ochako knows what she’s doing. Tsuyu has made it clear that her hands and fingers are very sensitive to touch, and as such, she likes to use them to show affection. Ochako knows what she’s doing, kissing the pads of Tsuyu’s fingers.
“Weren’t you going to show me your cool new trick?” Tsuyu says, clearing her throat and looking away.
“Right!” Ochako says, leaning back. She hops up and pulls Tsuyu to her feet. There’s something twinkling in her eyes that makes Tsuyu hunch over, wary. That’s right—mischief.
“What kind of trick is this?” Tsuyu asks.
“A surprise,” Ochako says, grinning.
Reason #8 Why Tsuyu (Questionably) Liked Ochako: She’s Full of Surprises
Ochako leaps forward, taking both of Tsuyu’s hands in hers and lacing their fingers together. And then something powerful, like a sudden updraft or the pull of gravity lifts both Tsuyu and Ochako off the roof. They sail up, not fast enough to make Tsuyu nauseous, but fast enough that she squeezes Ochako’s hands and pulls herself in close to Ochako.
Alarm bells go off in her head. “Ochako, you can’t float yourself for too long!”
But Ochako doesn’t look alarmed. Her eyes are closed and she laughs. “That’s the trick, Tsuyu-chan!” she says. “I learned how to float myself without getting sick!”
“I don’t do so well with heights,” Tsuyu croaks, eyeing the roof of the building, now many stories beneath them. She’s flat on her stomach, as is Ochako, but there’s nothing holding her up but her faith in Ochako’s Quirk and her training not to panic.
“Do you trust me?” Ochako asks.
Tsuyu looks at her. They’ve stopped rising. Instead they’re floating, hovering in the air. Ochako doesn’t look strained. She’s smiling encouragingly, holding Tsuyu’s hand firmly but not the panicked clutch Tsuyu has around her hands. Tsuyu looks down, her head swims. She looks at Ochako, her head clears.
“I have an idea,” Ochako says.
Slowly, carefully, she maneuvers their bodies so that Ochako is beneath Tsuyu, obscuring her view of the ground below. Her control barely wobbles with the shifting. She’s been practicing, Tsuyu realizes. Maybe even practicing just to show me her control.
“Better?” Ochako asks.
Tsuyu curls into her chest, using Ochako’s body as a shield from the ground below. “Better,” she says, and her voice hardly shakes. Her hands and face are pretty sweaty, though.
Ochako floats them over the buildings and streets at an easy pace. Despite her fear, the continued support and strength Ochako demonstrates eases Tsuyu’s mind. Her heart stops racing. Her vice grip on Ochako’s hands loosen. She even braves glancing over Ochako’s shoulder to look at the people on the streets and the cars moving by.
“Wow,” Tsuyu says. “They don’t even look real.”
Ochako’s smile splits her face open. “I know, right? The first time I did this I was addicted to it; I couldn’t stop practicing until I could fly at will.”
Tsuyu watches the crawl of life below them. She can see the city limits, their park, even U.A. It’s chilly though, and she nestles closer into Ochako. “Is this what you’ve been learning with Gun Head?” Tsuyu asks.
“Nope!” Ochako says. “This was individual training with a psychokinetic hero that Gun Head introduced me to. She taught me the technique.”
Tsuyu looks at her. Tsuyu looks at her so long, she starts to fidget. “What?” Ochako asks.
“You were worried you’re going to fall behind your friends,” Tsuyu says.
Ochako flushes. “Well, yeah! In body building at least!”
“Ochako,” Tsuyu says, “I’m going to kiss you now.”
“You’re going to—buh?” Ochako says, but Tsuyu is already leaning in.
Tsuyu kisses her soft, so as not to startle her out of her concentration. Tsuyu leans back; Ochako leans forward. She catches herself and looks away from Tsuyu, wobbling a little. “Um,” she says.
“I can do it again,” Tsuyu suggests.
“Yes please,” Ochako squeaks.
Tsuyu parts their hands, keeping contact along Ochako’s arms at all times. Ochako’s hands move up Tsuyu’s arms too, until she’s wrapped around her back, along her shoulder blades. Tsuyu wraps her arms around Ochako’s neck and kisses her again.
This one is not as soft. This one is a smiling kiss, or series of kisses, each one longer than the last. Tsuyu wets her lips and her tongue brushes Ochako’s lips. Ochako shudders and pulls Tsuyu closer, sealing their mouths together, tilting her head to better pull at Tsuyu’s bottom lip. Tsuyu tangles her hands in Ochako’s hair and Ochako twines their legs together. They curl together, touching from chest to thigh, one entity floating lonely above the city.
Tsuyu purposefully presses her tongue to Ochako’s lips and this time Ochako’s Quirk does react—they drop fifteen feet. Tsuyu instantly changes her gentle hold to a death grip and clings to Ochako.
“It’s okay! It’s okay!” Ochako says. “Sorry, I uh…my mind kind of whited out for a moment when you…with the tongue…”
“No making out in mid-air,” Tsuyu squeaks. “Got it.”
“I liked it though,” Ochako says. “I want to try it again. When we land.”
“Okay,” Tsuyu says. Her cheeks are very, very warm.
“You’re embarrassed!” Ochako says, delighted by the find.
Tsuyu flicks her tongue out, licking at Ochako’s cheek. Ochako giggles. “It’s cute,” she says. “You’re really cute.”
Reason #1 Why Tsuyu Likes Ochako: She Makes Tsuyu Feel Beautiful, Too
Tsuyu can count on one hand the number of people who would call her cute that aren’t her family members. She has a flat face. Her emotions are hard to read. Her tongue is long. She’s very blunt. All in all, Tsuyu isn’t girlfriend material, or really friend material for that matter. But Ochako doesn’t see any of that.
“You’re kind,” Tsuyu says, unable to meet her eyes.
“Hey, Tsuyu-chan?” Ochako says. “I like you. I like you a lot. A lot a lot!”
Tsuyu buries her face in Ochako’s neck, and Ochako laughs. Tsuyu can hear it in her chest and feel it move through her shoulders. Ochako’s laugh touches all of her, extending out like beams of sunlight breaking through the clouds. Midoriya and Tsuyu agree on that for sure—sometimes Ochako is just too bright to look at.
“Look at that,” Ochako says. “The lights of the city are coming out.”
In the streets, the headlights and taillights of the cars cast a glow on the streets in the dying light of the day. And along the sides of the streets, the neon colors of shop signs flicker to life, advertising food or karaoke or gambling or any variety of wares to passersby, blending in with the concrete. From the sky, the city lights sparkle, a string of jewels on the necklace that was Musutafu.
Tsuyu looks back at Ochako.
The last rays of sunlight shine off her hair and turn her brown eyes gold. Against the gentle pastels of the sunset, every inch of her is brilliant. Tsuyu thinks that, even after seeing the city light up, nothing can quite compare to the natural shine of Ochako’s smile.
I probably love you, Tsuyu doesn’t say, not yet. It’s not time.
But in their own personal bubble, the two of them separated so cleanly from the rest of the world, Tsuyu doesn’t think it’s out of line to kiss Ochako again.