The Stubborn Brat
There was once a place, known as Academy City that had a certain program that brought the idea of super powers into a reality. The Espers were the result of this program. Out of all the research the scientists had done on improving the program, there were five levels of power. With only a couple level 5s, the highest tier, the science was obviously improving. But these people, these espers, once ranked by testing to see how far their potential could go, did not typically change, rarely was there one who moved up a rank that was unexpected. In this place full of people using powers fueled by their each individual personal reality, a certain meeting happened on one fateful day...
It was a cheery day, clear skies with only a few of the fluffy white, cotton-like clouds crossing the sky from the light breeze. Outside of one of the business buildings, a small, nearly empty playground seemed to be quite lonely. The only inhabitant was a small girl, short chestnut hair loose around her head, lonely hazel eyes staring down at the large frog stuffed animal she clutched as if for dear life. A cute little blue dress was accented by white sleeves and a white belt dressed the girl. Her shoes were simply black molly style ones over white crew socks. She was sitting on the bench, lamenting the lack of children to play with her. It was simply a not often used playground. Beside the bench was her small frog designed lunchbox, stuffed with food for her when she should decide it was lunch time, made by her loving mother. She was used to playing alone… but it still got to be boring. She wished for a playmate besides the large stuffed frog she brought with her every day. She had to come because her mother worked in the building overshadowing the playground, her father was out saving people all over the world. Like a super hero. So the little girl was often left alone and longed for some company, hungered for the constant companionship children crave.
But this cool afternoon, the chestnut haired girl was not the only inhabitant for very long. A young boy, taller than the small girl on the bench had strolled up to the large oak on the edge of the park and simply sat down. The albino boy was wearing navy shorts, a light blue shirt and a pair of sneakers. He seemed disinterested in the world, simply tucking his hands behind his head and staring up at the clouds beyond the shade of the tree. His red eyes were barely able to be seen under the mop of white that was his hair. Basking in the sunlight and enjoying the silence, he seemed to like his self-inflicted solitude. Little did he know that he was being watched by the small girl sitting on the bench. Why would he care? It wasn't like he hadn't gotten stares before. Nobody ever seemed to walk by him without turning their heads to see his brightly colored white hair. But what he didn't expect was the girl to climb off the bench and trot her way over beside him, looking down at him from where he lay relaxing.
"Do you want to play with me?"
The red eyes of the albino did not waver as he stared up at her face as if seeing through her. He decided that this child was just an annoyance. It wasn't like he hadn't gotten that offer before. But like everyone else, he knew she would give up if he just ignored her long enough. All of them were like that. Besides, he had no respect for some sniveling brat who was too afraid to play by themselves. So the boy closed his eyes to ignore the girl and return to his silent musings. But the sound of movement caused his eyes to open when he heard the sound of a body coming down beside him.
The little girl had been a little hurt by his outright ignoring her words and her presence. What else was she supposed to feel? But convinced that the boy was just as lonely as herself, she plopped her rear end right beside him with a slight pout mixed with the never ending stubbornness that would one day characterize herself.
"I'm Mikoto Misaka, What's your name?" Promptly came her cheerful question as she met his red eyes evenly.
Slightly impressed though he would never admit it, the boy decided he would test just how much this little girl would do to try and get him to talk. So he simply blinked twice before staring back up at the sky. Geez, this girl was annoying, and apparently didn't know how to take a hint. He didn't want to be bothered. Couldn't she at least tell that much? Aw well, stupid brats didn't know much about anything anyway.
Noticing that the boy was still ignoring, Mikoto pressed a finger to her chin thoughtfully. He was just staring upward, maybe he couldn't see her? No, she had already blocked his vision to the sky upon her first approach. Deciding to attempt a new tactic she suddenly stood up. She had a huge grin across her face. Since he was lonely… She suddenly thrust the large frog stuffed animal into his hands.
"Here! I gotta go to the bathroom, so you can hold Gekota and make friends with him!" She declared in the same cheerful voice before running off toward the port-a-potty just off the sidewalk surrounding the park.
The boy had been counting the seconds until the girl left. He had already forgotten her name. She must be pretty powerful to approach someone like him so nonchalantly. However, the girl got to her feet. Yup, she was done, giving up just like everyone else. It was kind of a bummer though, he had gotten the feeling she was more determined than that. But he was dead wrong. Instead she suddenly shoved the stupid looking toy into his hands and shouted something about going to the bathroom and leaving him with the dumb doll in his pale hands. He sat up with a scowl. Who did she think he was?! He wasn't going to hold some piece of garbage for a weakling brat like her! As he looked down at the toy, considering ripping it to pieces right then and there; he paused, hesitated. Why didn't he destroy such a stupid thing? He didn't know… he just sat there staring at it until he heard the footsteps returning several moments later. Waiting until the girl sat down, he suddenly shoved it back into her arms with an expression of disgust.
Mikoto had been overjoyed to see him staring at Gekota's face so intently, they had obviously made friends already! She was beaming; she had grabbed her lunchbox on her way back and plopped down beside the boy again. She had Gekota in her hands so fast she didn't know what to think of it. Gently she placed the stuffed frog beside her and looked back at the now grumpy faced boy. He seemed annoyed. But more than that she still felt like he was lonely and desired to make him feel better. Having forgotten her own loneliness in her concentration for helping him, she very cheerfully opened the lunchbox to reveal a sandwich cut in half, a pudding cup and two cookies in their individual wrappers. She reached into these contents, grabbing the cookies she placed one on his lap and the other on her own, removing the lunchbox from her lap and setting it next to her. She had just wordlessly shared.
"Did your mom not make you lunch?" Mikoto inquired whilst studying him and around him for any sign of food he might have brought with him.
"I didn't know my parents." The albino spoke for the first time as he stared at the cookie; her stubbornness had won over for a moment at least.
This girl confused him more than he ever thought he'd be confused. He was trying to ignore her for goodness' sake! But for some reason, with her annoying stubborn attitude, she could not be ignored. Though he said something she considered sad, he seemed not to care. He wasn't the type to care about people he never knew. He just figured they were pieces of trash like the rest of the world. But the girl's next movement filled him with complete and utter shock!
She had turned toward him and pulled her arms over him into a hug. His first ever hug in his entire life to his memory. She wasn't reflected because she was no threat to him. The albino's eyes were wide like saucers. Even more so when he thought he heard a sniffle. Reacting quickly he grabbed her shoulders and pushed her away from him.
"What is your problem, brat?! Who do you think you are?! Don't you have any clue who I am?! I'm Accelerator!" He hissed at her in a heightened level of irritation. What kind of girl dared to touch the Strongest in Academy City?!
"But… you must be lonely without any parents to make you lunch or give you ice cream." She replied tearfully, looking upset as she leaned forward toward him, as if concerned for his well
"Haaah?!" He asked in shock, was he really hearing this? He hated being around people! Why would he even be lonely? And why was she crying for him? Well… almost crying anyway...
"I have an idea!" Suddenly she shouted, her despondent attitude forgotten as the idea struck her. It was a genius one! She was beaming as she voiced her suggestion.
"I could share my mom with you! She could adopt you!"
Moment's ticked by as Accelerator stared at the girl in shock. Had she just said what he thought she did? Did this little brat just offer to have her own mother adopt him? He was the highest, strongest, top tier esper in ALL of Academy City and here he was, some little brat had just suggested that her mother adopt him. This situation was so stupid he could only stare at her with a shocked and confused look before adding in disgust.
"You're an idiot, you know that? I'm not gonna have your mom adopt me, brat. I don't even know her. Much less, what makes you think she'd go for adopting someone else? Wouldn't you already have siblings if that were the case?" His voice was dripping in annoyance, but... perhaps there was just a hint of loneliness. The Strongest esper of Academy City, only a child but had always been alone.
"Then... If my mom can't adopt you..." She trailed off a moment, deep in thought. "I could marry you!"
The great and mighty Accelerator had never been so shocked in his life. This was the weirdest little brat he had ever met, like ever! Why would some kid off the streets be worried about his loneliness? He was so astounded that he couldn't even open his mouth to talk at first, slowly he regained his composure. Blinking those clear red eyes he tried to brush off her attempt.
"You just don't know what you're talking about."
Mikoto jumped to her feet and pointed at him. "I do too!" She protested before proceeding to explain. "A marriage is where a boy and a girl get married and are together forever, even if my Daddy is gone a lot, he always comes to visit my Mom! So if we promised to marry each other one day, then you'd be my parent's son-in-law, meaning you wouldn't have to be adopted by my mom to be my mom's son!It's perfect!" Mikoto's excitement was overflowing as she paced to and fro. She felt like some kind of genius. Although she really didn't understand all the implications of what she was suggesting by bringing in the idea of marriage to this boy she had only just met today.
"You... want to marry me? Ridiculous. You'd forget by tomorrow." Accelerator scoffed as he closed his eyes, having recovered from his shock and now viewing the situation skeptically instead of taking her seriously.
"I won't forget! Not ever!"
Accelerator was startled by the force behind her voice. He looked up at her face, opening his eyes to see her nearly in tears and staring at him with that same dogged determination as before. Feeling taken aback he just stared at her. He turned his head away with a sound from between his teeth. For being a child, Accelerator was very mature, and unlike the little girl, he took life seriously, at least in his opinion.
"Tch, what's your name again, brat? And your level?"
It was Mikoto's turn to be confused as she wiped her face from the tears that had been threatening to fall down when she shouted that.
"Mikoto Misaka. I'm a level 1. What does that have to do with it?" She asked him in confusion as she stared at the albino boy. This made no sense to her, what did one's level matter? She had never really put much thought into her power.
Accelerator could hardly believe his ears. A level 1?! A level 1 had fearlessly walked up to the almighty level 5 Accelerator who could end her life any time he felt like it! His red eyes were wide, until he suddenly burst into laughter. This was the freaking, most ridiculous day in his entire life! He was laughing so hard that his sides hurt. He didn't care if the girl was staring at him looking terribly confused, this was just too stupid to be possible. Finally starting to get a grip over himself he chuckled one last time, letting out a sigh to calm him down.
"I'm not ever going to marry a level 1. I'm a level 5, so you get to level 5, then I'll marry you."
Accelerator knew that it was impossible to go from a level 1 to 5, so he figured the girl would realize that as well. Maybe it would shut her up and she would quit babbling nonsense and leave him alone. Though he would remember her as the most interesting level 1 he had ever met, Mikoto Misaka. Not someone he could easily forget even if he wanted to. She had made it farther than anyone else ever had. He had almost considered the fact she might have been serious, but now he had slapped the impossible in front of her, she was bound to give up.
"Then I'll become a level 5! I'll work hard and make myself stronger, I'll be the greatest level 5 too! I'll be so strong that I can protect you from anybody! That way you won't ever be alone! I might even be a level 6 some day!"
Mikoto had her hands on her hips, the look of pure stubborn determination across her face as she stared down at Accelerator. As if just daring him to tell her she was going for the impossible. She was looking dead on into his eyes. So very certain of her words, she knew what she would do, and that was never give up until she had exactly what she had made up her mind to do.
"You... Are you demented?! That's impossible! Nobody has ever leveled up that much! You realize you can only get as strong as your potential, and if you start as a weakling, you're stuck as one! You can't be a level 5!" Accelerator yelled at her harshly. He was growing angry for some reason, why did she keep up this stubborn insistence to keep him from being alone? He jumped to his feet, not caring that the earlier offered cookie fell to the ground as he grabbed the front of her dress.
"You stupid brat! What makes you think that I even WANT people around? I kill people, people hate me! Why do you think I want someone to keep me from being alone?" He hissed through clenched teeth as he lifted the fabric, pulling the smaller child from her feet. His fury was unexplained, he didn't know why this pissed him off so bad, but he felt enraged, did she think he, Accelerator, was too weak to live alone?!
Mikoto had been startled by his sudden shouting. She thought he would be pleased to hear that she wasn't giving up on him just because his level was impossible to reach. Her eyes started to well with tears as she jutted her lower jaw out stubbornly. "I will too become a level 5! Just you wait and see!" She shouted back tearfully as he lifted her off of her feet. She placed her hands on his hands, trying to keep herself balanced, just in case he dropped her. She was on the verge of tears as she looked at him stubbornly.
"You don't want to be alone! Nobody does! And if you really did want to be alone, you'd have killed me by now! Instead you are yelling! Because you are scared of being my friend, you don't want me to leave!" The tearful girl wailed as she looked at the boy in front of her, dead in the eyes. As if asking him if she was telling the truth or not.
Shock crossed Accelerator's face as he came to the realization that she was right. He hadn't killed her, she hadn't shown any hostile manner. Was he really that hungry for someone to be nearby? Was she crying for him...? Accelerator let his grip on her dress relax, letting the smaller girl down to the ground again while staring at her. He wasn't about to apologize, nor was he about to admit that she was right about him. He was almost like in a daze for a moment. His glare had relaxed into one of confusion, perhaps a bit of vulnerability. This... immature little bitch hadn't really made the great Accelerator lower down his emotional walls had she? The albino boy could hardly believe it himself. This situation was impossible! But apparently this little girl liked to defy the impossible.
"So... How does one promise to marry someone else?" He begrudgingly asked the pipsqueak with an averted gaze, sliding his arms over his chest to ignore the overreaction he was expecting.
Mikoto had just been standing there, her gaze staring at the grass growing at the base of the oak tree, feeling the awkward moment of silence. That is, until Accelerator asked her how she could promise to marry him. Overjoyed and rather proud of herself for convincing him to agree to it, the girl smiled proudly.
"Well, my Mom said that Daddy gave her a ring..." She spoke softly, thoughtfully, as she tried to figure out how to make this work.
A ring? Like an engagement ring? Accelerator felt a cold sweat run down his cheek. This brat didn't go around with a ring in her lunchbox, trying to find someone to promise to marry all the time did she? That would have more than disturbed the almighty Accelerator. He finally looked at her before daring to ask the question.
"You... don't have the ring... with you, do you?"
"Nope! But Mom told me about something else she and Daddy did!"
As Mikoto spoke she reached out to grab Accelerator's hand. He naturally jumped slightly, he wasn't used to being touched. Usually his reflection prevented it, but then again, that was because it was always to harm him. Thus this girl's touch could pass by, and though a new feeling, he couldn't help but feel like... it was something he liked. He couldn't explain it, but it was like a soft, fuzzy warm feeling that made him feel like he didn't have to keep his guard up. Naturally he kept his guard up anyway, this could be some kind of trick after all... right? But while his thoughts had been absorbed into wondering why he felt for the first time, the warmth of friendship; Mikoto had pulled him over to the oak tree. Suddenly met with the view of the bark he looked at the girl with a raised white eyebrow. What was she doing?
"My Mom and Daddy carved their initials into the tree to show they would be together forever."
Accelerator was dumbfounded, this brat really believed in stuff like this? She was an odd one, that had already been established... multiple times. He looked at the bark one more time before he decided to play along. He gently tapped the tree with his right hand, redirecting the energy to knock the bark off in that spot that his fist touched. Leaving a smooth surface.
Mikoto's eyes widened at the tiny display of power before her. She had never seen an esper ability like that before! But now that the bark was cleared from that spot, Mikoto pressed her thumb against the wood, letting a spark scorch the 'M' shape. She burnt it as deeply as her little electric spark would allow. Looking up at Accelerator so that he could do the rest of his part.
"Tch." Accelerator reached over and thumped the wood next to the 'M', controlling the wood, he made the moisture burst open a small canal into the shape of an 'A' next to the burnt 'M'. Adding one more touch to it, he added a ring around the two letters. Now that was done. He smirked like the show off he was and looked down at the pipsqueak to see how she would react.
"It's so pretty..." Mikoto breathed softly. Looking at their handiwork with a smile. She placed her hand against it to feel the differences. How had he done that?! It was awesome! Suddenly bursting out a couple of giggles. She looked up at the confused Accelerator. "Now just to seal the deal!"
"Say what? There's more?" Accelerator wasn't sure if she was making this up as she went or what. He really didn't know what to think of this brat.
"We gotta hold hands and kiss." Mikoto stated in a matter-of-fact manner, like it was a no brainer. She reached out to take Accelerator's hands again, both of them this time. They were standing in front of the tree they had just marked. Mikoto had squeezed her eyes shut and had her lips puckered for a kiss.
Accelerator was confused, and not quite sure what to make of the expression across the brat's face. Or... well, whatever that look could be called. He sighed, leaning down and pressed his lips to hers for a moment before pulling away. "Like that?" He asked her skeptically, not sure how that was supposed to work.
Mikoto made a face after he pulled away, wiping her mouth with her hand. "I don't know why it's supposed to be a good thing to kiss, cause it seems kind of nasty, but that's it. We have to get married when we're older. I've gotta be a level 5 first though." She stated with a nod of determination. She let go of Accelerator's hands and sat down right next to her Gekota. "Well, now we can eat out our cookies." She reminded as she picked up the cookie he had knocked to the dirt earlier.
Accelerator just shot her a glare before muttering. "If you didn't like it, don't ask for it." He was grumbling under his breath as he plopped down beside the girl. Taking the cookie she offered to him, he peeled off the wrapping to it, chocolate chip. Eh, he had no opinion toward sweets and began to eat the pastry. It was pretty good. Taking small bites to savor it, until he heard the rapid sound of crunching beside him. Turning down to look at the girl who devoured hers so fast he hadn't even swallowed his first small bite. Her hands and face had gotten chocolate smeared across from her rapid chomping. She was just about to wipe her hands on her dress. Didn't this midget have any manners?
"Hey, brat, don't wipe your hands on your dress." He ordered, causing her to freeze her movement.
Accelerator placed his cookie down on the wrapping he had pulled off a moment ago, then reached into the lunchbox to pull out the napkins, no wonder there were so many of them. He rolled his eyes as he grabbed the top one, reaching over and rubbing it across her face. He cringed at seeing his handiwork. All he had managed to do was smear the chocolate worse and brush off crumbs. He grabbed her small water bottle in the lunchbox and squirted it on the napkin. Returning to his mission he vigorously wiped her face and her hands, the damp napkin doing it's job much better than a dry one. Within a moment he finished cleaning her up. He grabbed his cookie and sat down, going back to his dainty eating of it. Only for another bite or two, he noticed there was no movement next to him. He looked over at Mikoto, who was still in the frozen position.
"You can move now." He stated in a deadpanned monotone.
Breathing a massive sigh of relief, the girl let her shoulders slump. She had been surprised by his sudden offer to help her. Well, more of just cleaning her face outright. She grabbed her Gekota and sat it in her lap, hugging it quietly, a satisfied smile coming across her face.
"I wonder how my Mom will react when she hears that I'm gonna get married." She mused aloud.
"Probably gonna get mad at you." Accelerator stated with a distracted glance. He looked away for a moment, but his gaze was back instantly when he heard a 'crunch'. Mikoto had taken that moment to take a giant chunk out of what remained of his cookie. A glower formed on his brow as he stuck the rest in his mouth and ate it quickly. Reaching out he shoved her over. "Idiot." He grumbled under his breath, Mikoto was too busy giggling to notice.
After recovering from the laugh, and sitting there a few moments in silence, Accelerator finally stopped sulking over the missing bite of his cookie that Mikoto had given him. Accelerator seemed to be deep in thought for several moments. He rubbed the side of his head.
"Hey Mikoto, let's meet here again tomorrow." He said with a low tone. Surprisingly serious as evidenced by actually using her name rather than some insult. He wanted to make sure she was serious about this, and if she forgot it completely, he'd know he had gotten his hopes up too early.
"I will! I'll be here every day to see you!" She said with a giggle, hugging her Gekota tightly and squirming with happiness.
And so, the two spent the rest of the afternoon sitting there, not saying much, till finally Accelerator rose to his feet. The sun was close to the horizon, soon her mother would be coming out to get her. So he was bidding farewell now, rather than meeting the mother who might have issues with him. "Well pipsqueak, I'll see you tomorrow then." He said with a rare smile toward her, offering his hand to help her up.
"Yup! I'll see you tomorrow!" She called happily as she gave him one last hug, once again to his surprise before kissing his cheek. She stood there, holding her Gekota and waving to Accelerator as he strolled off. Her mother had only just emerged from the building to see her daughter waving at a figure leaving the street.
"A new friend?" She asked her daughter as she picked up the child, grabbing the lunchbox as well.
"More than a friend." Mikoto sighed happily as she hugged her mother. Watching where Accelerator had disappeared over the hill.