First Snow

by WCLaine
Tags   drama   hurtcomfort   relationships   bnha   hawks   hawksxoc   dabi   | Report Content




"You're going to be a pain in my ass, aren't you?"

"Mah, who knows?" Finding what she was after, she held out two bento boxes. "I did take notice of what you ordered for room service last night, though. There were only a few options left at short notice, so I hope you're not allergic to anything."

Expression softening and brows raising at the consideration from the woman he couldn't quite pin-point, Hawks accepted the pair of triple-stacked lunches and placed them on the pull-down table attached to the seat in front of him. "When did you have time to get this? You didn't have more than half an hour to get dressed, pack your stuff and then make it into town."

"I pre-ordered them from the hotel restaurant before I started packing and picked them up on the way out when you were getting your things."

"Is there anything you don't think of?"

"Yeah, I'm trying to ignore the fact my sweat is pretty much straight-up ethanol and I need a smoke already."

"You should really pack that stuff in; it'll kill ya, ya know?"

"Something has to - 'not met it yet, though. Besides," opening the lid of one of her bento boxes, Zero scowled at the salad garnish she had clearly left a note to leave out. Using a single chopstick to fling the parsley off the ledge and into the now-empty paper bag the lunches came in, she cracked her neck left and then right, the crunch of vertebrae resonating through the joined seats. "I'm no quitter." Chuckling at her own play on words, the woman hovered her utensils over the mixed box of fried meats with a serious glower of concern.

"Why are you looking so pensive? You'll eat each of them at one point or another."

"Boy, I swear-" Halting herself and snapping her head around, Zero squinted through the opaque lenses. "Stop guessing my expressions."

"There's no need to guess. I don't need to see your eyes because you scrunch your nose and make this cute shape with your lips."



"I just got a bit of cucumber." Turning away, she scraped her tongue off her upper teeth and spat the greenery into the bag between her left hip and the window. "And that thing about being cute, can you not?"

"I take it you don't like it?"

"I'm not sure if you're referring to the salad or what you may think are compliments but no. Neither." Brushing the rest of the greenery into the corner, she glanced back. "Do you want them?"

"The compliments or the salad?"

"The salad, it'll only get wasted otherwise. And I'll praise you where I see fit."

"Even though you can come across as prickly, you're a thoughtful senior, aren't you?" gesturing for the salad, Hawks' smile squeezed his eyes shut. "It's almost like a date, being so close and sharing food."

"Some shitty date." Piling her garnish and salad onto the plastic lid beside his late dinner, she opened up another tub which was separate. "Cramped into a speeding tin can with dozens of other people waiting on the next platform, and the sheer fact that even some light groping in public is frowned upon is not my idea of a fun time."

"I didn't think you'd care about some disapproving looks."

"Honestly, I think my reputation is past saving at this point but not only do you have an image to uphold, if I'm so much as accidentally brushed in the next half hour, there's an eighty percent chance I'm going to vomit." Hawks unintentionally inched away and the woman wiped the sweat from her forehead with the back of her left sleeve. "I know. Sexy, right?"

"Have you always been travel sick?"

"No, I actually loved taking the car and train up until I was around fourteen. There was an incident and after that, my gut churns like I drank a gallon of sour milk and chased it with chilli-vodka shots. I could probably deal with the discomfort but the fact a big deal was made out of how I vomited the first time around provokes my anxiety and makes me stress."

"One, you have anxiety? Two, how can vomiting be anything but that?"

"Of course I have anxiety: I think everyone born after 1990 has some form of stress-related issues whether it's legit or how people like to say they're lactose intolerant. And seriously, I really don't want to talk about it. It's making my stomach turn and my skin prickle just thinking about it. I need to hurry and finish this food before my nausea and heartburn kick in."

"Lady, with all that and the fact your bones crack the way they do, you sound like you're falling apart at the seams."

"Broken on the outside and the inside. That's inbreeding for you, I guess."

Spluttering, Hawks coughed into his elbow with pincered brows. "W-what?"

"You should see your face." Holding a strip of tonkatsu pork to her mouth, Zero's eyes turned up into crescents. "Most of the families who first gained quirks only marry into the other bloodlines. I wasn't saying I was a sister-wife."

"Oh, good gods, I nearly swallowed a whole tomato."

"Sorry, I didn't mean to spring it on ya like that, but your expression was priceless."

"Ya'know, I took notice of what you did last night, too."

"Oh, aye?"

"Most people pretend to be from good upbringings even when they're dirt-poor and then slip into their natural way of talking after drinking, but you were the opposite. You got into a bit of a to-do with a guy stating that archery was an easy sport for women. You disagreed because of 'shorter arm-length and generally weaker physical strength, and 'coz boobs', and when he contested you, you started arguing in formal language with less of a slur than before."

Shielding her face, another flash of last night's memories came burrowing back. "Oh, no..."

"So what you were saying about marriage contracts and the poorly worded 'inbreeding', you meant that you're from one of those families, didn't you?"

She knew exactly what he meant by the way he said 'one of those families'. It was the same time and time again when the subject was brought up. She had always hated being tagged like that even before she could quite grasp why. She felt uncomfortable with the settings and pretentious posturing that came with soirees as a child, and after the aforementioned 'incident' which was way more than she let on, a certain type of terror always lingered in her frame when she found out she would have to socialize with those she didn't share living quarters with. Or those outside of books and animals full stop.

She may have been birthed into that kind of bloodline, but she wasn't one of them: She didn't share their ideals, and she certainly did not believe that they were superior beings regardless of a history of quirk-inheritance saying otherwise. Most of all, she didn't like to be associated with the snobbery which came with being a part of one of those family-trees that went out of their way to persecute those who weren't them.

"Do you even need to ask at this point?" Head down, Zero kept her eyes on her meal.

"If nothing else, it must be nice to have the money so you don't have to worry about the menial things us common-folk have to like paying school tuition and medicine. And food."

"I don't feel like you're trying to offend me on purpose, and I guess you don't really have any clue about how things work for people who come with pedigree like that, but it really is starting to grate on me." Resting her chopsticks down, she swallowed the acid building at the back of her throat. "I left home just after I was accepted into UA - two years ahead of my grade, I might add, in order to get away from that kind of privilege and the crap spouted as if it was some kind of cult gospel. Just because I slip into formal language and come from a notable bloodline doesn't mean that's all there is to me. At least, I really hope it isn't after all the work I've put in in order to build a distance from it."

"You're right, I wasn't trying to call you out or anything like that. I was actually being genuine. The amount of people I've seen buy gold-flaked coffee, have two cars and wear 200,000 Yen purses while their neighbours try to survive without food or the medication they need is horrendous." Holding up his left hand, soft eyes tried to gauge what he could from the woman's posture. "You don't come across as pretentious but you're not as black and white as you pretend to be either, are you?"

"It makes it easier for me to roast you if I think of you as having no idea, but I get the feeling that's hardly the case."

"I thought it was the bottom of a barrel when I was growing up so I made some decisions for myself. 'Turns out being a martyr is a tough gig, too."

"No shit it is." Glancing away only to avoid the expression which did not match the persona nor character she was beginning to get along with, Zero flapped her right hand towards his torso when her sight got caught in what she was seeing on her left. "Oi, look."

Smacked on the chest and dropping a piece of karaage on his crotch, Hawks pouted at the blunder. Regardless of the food leaving a suspicious stain on his cargo pants, he picked up the chunk of fried chicken and shoved it into his mouth before leaning forward to look at what was being pointed at. However, all he could see was the top corners and the very bottom inch of the right window.

"Your chest is hindering my view, but building my apprehension...and something else."

Twisting her head to face the man, she was met by an empty seat beside her and then the next two on the other side of the aisle. Glancing down, the man was balancing the bottom of his back on the edge of his seat, his cheeks filled with food, and his half-off boots propping him up via the seat-back in front of them.

"You're always in character, aren't you, ya'little twerp?

"Needs must, I guess."

Sitting as far back into her seat as possible with a straight back, Zero prodded the window which separated their humid interior from the inky outside. Whether it was the last of the sunlight lingering in the light pollution from the city, or actual remnants of the sunset, what could be seen over rolling hills and rural communities held a contrasting murky orange and indigo glow. But that was not what the woman was pointing to. Snowflakes not much smaller than one-Yen-coins floated from the ecru sky, directly down onto plush grass verges and monotone spindles of long-since blossomed trees.

Scooting up his seat a little, Hawks held the top of the woman's headrest with his left hand as the index of his right swirled the condensation thickening on the cold pane. "Isn't the first snowfall that sticks supposed to be romantic if watched with someone of the opposite sex?"

Becoming confined between the wall and her company's body lulling on the back of her ribs, Zero glanced back to snip only to realize how close the man's face was to her own. "It stuck this morning while we were at the hotel - you were just too busy with your ambush." Prodding the small stick-man Hawks had drawn in the bottom right corner, she furrowed her brows. "What on God's green earth is that supposed to be?"

"What are ya talking about? It's me!" Finishing the work of art quickly by adding wings, he jabbed right by where the woman was starting her own masterpiece. "Anyway, that doesn't count. It's the first new snowfall in a different place while we're together."

"You're reaching."

"Can you not just let me have this? I'm getting you're the cool, distanced type - probably tsundere-"

"-I am not-"

"-but there's nobody else to witness a softer side right now." Waiting until the woman had drawn a similar stick-man of herself with her arms up in a victorious pose, Hawks added a pair of exaggerated breasts and a super Saiyan aura around it. Receiving a back-smack to the chest pressed to her shoulder, the man cackled when she hissed. "I never got a normal high school life - gimme a high school romance scenario, dammit."

"What the hell do you think this is, a manga?"

"I wouldn't refuse it. I mean, you even brought me a packed lunch."

"I didn't make it myself so the point is moot." Flopping around so she could reach her food, Zero's eyes fluttered at the satisfying crunch of the deep-fried coating when her teeth bit down.

Sitting back into his seat properly, he wafted his hand before diving back into the premium bento. "I really can't imagine you cooking."

So appalled her eyes and lips shot open, she covered her mouth with the back of her hand when she realized she hadn't swallowed her food. Brows creasing in the same beat, the woman coughed a laugh and choked down the mush. "I'll have you know that I held two jobs while I was at UA: and one of them was working at a ramen place below where I lived."

Jolting straight up so fast his head almost hit the ceiling, Hawks gawped at the face showing more of a frown that he'd intended to cause. "No way you did!"

"Why are you sounding so surprised? It's actually quite grating."

"Did you wear one of those bandana's and a traditional jacket?"

"Yeah, and a sarashi during the warmer months. I had a peddle bike with a really long banner on the back that I used to make deliveries on."

Rolling about in his seat, Hawks laughed above the volume anyone on evening public transport would find acceptable. "No, no way - there's no chance a girl like you did that."

Stoic expression broken by the boyish giggles caused by the true story, Zero snorted a laugh as she puffed her chest and held her nose in the air. "I did, too. I loved that place for a lot of reasons. I knew the regulars orders off by heart, the old man and his missus rented the apartment above to me cheap in exchange for doing deliveries during rush-hours and holidays, and-" she paused as a flash which didn't belong to the drunken night before took a cold grip on her ligaments. Immediately missing what exactly it was as soon as it came, Zero blinked and frowned - as if she'd forgot what she was saying mid-sentence. "It was a long time ago...I guess..." her attention returned to the passing scenery

"Where did you just go?"

Looking up, she saw Hawks had leaned forward to see her face from the front, his expression lacking the laughter which had been there a breath ago. "Pardon?"

Not wanting to say so specifically, he reached out and brushed the side of his middle finger against the bottom of her cheek. Holding it up, clear liquid dripped onto the open palm expecting to receive something.

"Oh-eugh, fuck," sniffing sharply, she rubbed over her face and under the bottom of her shades with her rolled up sleeve. "I'm sorry, they just started leaking."

"In my experience, eyes don't just lose water unless there's a reason."

"What are you, the eye-water police?"

"You do know there is a designated word for that right?"

"Yes, why?"

"Nah, I was just checking that you legitimately did."

"Are you trying to fight me?"

"What, n-"

Hawks paused when the woman's expression suddenly changed again. This time, it was neither the offset of childish arguing or spontaneous weeping. She had taken on a grey hue and her clenched fists were white at the knuckles. She had taken in a deep breath at least half a minute ago and stopped moving a few seconds after that.

"Are you okay?"

"Please excuse me!" Barely making it halfway through standing up, she flopped onto his lap when she tripped over his feet. Clawing at the backrests around her to get away, Zero fell into the aisle and landed on one knee. "Oh, n-" One arm wrapped around her gut, she repeatedly slapped the button that opened the door which separated the carriages.

Leaning to his right, Hawks watched the woman fighting with her body and a running contender in that which was modern technology. "Do you need a hand?"

The arm which had been across her stomach was now against her mouth as she held up the one which had been pressing the button. Trying to squeeze through as soon as an inch had opened, the woman flailed like a sea creature being zapped and fell into the semi-enclosed compartment holding the rest-room.

In the woman's tumble to escape, Zero's purse which had been propped between her hip and the window had toppled onto her seat. Some of the contents had spilt out and as much as the hero part of his brain told him to turn completely away and keep guard on their belongings, the other part of him was a very real human plagued by curiosity. Maybe he could have blindly shoved the items back into the bag with the back of his hand if all that fell out was a lipstick, feminine hygiene products, chewing gum and a shit-ton of bullshit receipts like he knew was commonplace for a woman of her age. But that was not what fell out. A near-empty bottle of pills with the label scratched off, a half-open wallet showcasing the corner of a battered Polaroid, and a cell phone with a notification from 'Sho Senpai' were what he was faced with.

Even from three rows back and two automatic doors between them, he could still hear the woman throwing her guts up in the bathroom. He tried to not look at the potential wealth of information she refused to let slip. His fingers twitched and his brain itched. He really wanted to know what she tried so hard to keep secret. She'd been meticulous in keeping her wiles schtum until this point but her involuntary bodily functions had gave him the upper hand. If he was quick about his investigating, maybe he could find something that wasn't just interesting, but also useful if it ever came down to needing data on the woman who would likely become an issue.


Updated: 22nd August 2020 - 16:48



Comments are moderated. Keep it cool. Critical is fine, but if you're rude to one another (or to us), we'll delete your stuff. Have fun and thanks for joining the conversation!

You must be logged in to comment.

There are no comments yet for this story.

Log in to view all comments and replies

^ Back to Top