WHEN: June 14th
WHERE: DOA Headquarters
WHAT: Ochaco and Tenya are reunited
Ochaco was excited. In her various travels to other dimensions (something she never thought she’d be accustomed to), she’d never have one of her friends from home with her. And while she was really good at making friends, and managed to make some pretty good connections in both of her times being at Tumbleweed and then getting pulled to Vallo, it was nice having someone from her home with her. It made things definitely easier. Sure, she was definitely used to Vallo now, but that didn’t mean that she never got homesick. She really missed her parents, and she definitely missed her friends.
So when Tenya showed up, to say that she was overjoyed was an understatement. She was kind of glad that she wasn’t home when she saw his post on the network, because she would’ve been embarrassed making the extremely loud squeal in earshot of Rogue and Anka Irene. Even though Rogue was nothing but always nice to her, and probably would’ve been excited for her that one of her friends had shown up. Ochaco had definitely talked to Rogue a lot about her friends. Especially Deku, Tenya, and Tsu. She’d definitely talked about them the most. Once Tenya got settled, she would have to introduce him to her. She hoped that they would all get along and become friends.
Ochaco practically ran to the DOA, where she was led to the room where Tenya was waiting for her. A rush of emotions came over her at once, and Ochaco couldn’t help but cry tears of joy. Ultimately, she was just so happy. She knew that getting someone from her own world wasn’t guaranteed, and she honestly wasn’t sure if someone she ever knew would show up.
She would wait for him to stand up, and then she couldn’t control herself any longer. “Tenya!” She rushed towards him, barreling into him for a hug. “I wasn’t sure if I would ever see anyone from home while I was here!” She looked up at him, happy tears brimming around her eyes.
To say that Tenya was disoriented was an understatement. From being transported somehow to a new location, to a surprisingly detailed explanation of the logistics involved therein, to the appearance of his friend Ochaco… It was a lot to take in.
Especially in light of what was happening while he was gone. Katsuki was missing. Izuku, Momo, Shoto, and Eijiro were planning a rescue of him. And he could not decide if he could work up the courage to join them. It was borderline illegal. It could get them arrested or worse, expelled. Either outcome would have brought shame to the Iida family name and forever tarnished the Ingenium legacy he had hoped to uphold. But as class president, as someone who owed Izuku greatly, could he have simply abandoned his friends to their fates?
And now he might never know the answer, even though Ochaco believed he would return as he had left. No matter the option, the thought still haunted him.
Yet his heart was also gladdened to see his friend. He had feared he would be alone here. While he believed he was self-sufficient enough for that… He had made too many friends to feel comfortable without them now. Even Denki and Minoru would have been acceptable, however marginally.
Instead, it was one of his true friends.
At the sight of Ochaco, he leapt to his feet. Just in time to be tackled with a hug. Though he was not always accustomed to overt displays of physical affection, he put his arms around her.
“It is good to see you,” he said, cheerfully. “I was afraid I would be alone here. Having a friend makes this much easier to bear.”
Ochaco practically beamed up at Tenya. In her various travels to other dimensions, this was the first time that someone from her own home had ever arrived. And she had to be honest, it did always make her a little jealous whenever she saw other people get someone from their home. Yes, she had friends, and they were nice, but that didn’t mean that she didn’t miss her own friends, and wanted at least one of them there with her. Ochaco always chastised herself afterwards for thinking so selfishly. After all, being in Vallo met that they were away from their home and families. It was at least a little wrong for her to wish that one someone else, right?
“Well, you have me!” She said, smiling. “It’s not so bad being here. Sometimes weird things happen, but everyone here is nice for the most part. And there’s a school, though not like UA, but we can still get an education, which is important! Oh, and sometimes, things from home show up! I got my costume a few days ago!”
Ochaco blushed. “I’m sorry. I’m probably just confusing you. How are you doing?”
Ochaco’s exuberance gave Tenya cause to smile for the first time in quite a while. “As well as can be expected, given the circumstances,” he said. “Both of the current situation and the one I left.”
But Ochaco had told him it had all worked out. He supposed that meant he had made the right decisions. He could draw some comfort from that. Ever since his brother, since Stain, he had questioned his ability to make the right choice.
His brother. That thought hadn’t struck him yet. Bad enough to be away from his friends, but his family as well?
But no, he wasn’t completely away from his friends, he reminded himself.
“You seem to have made quite the life for yourself here already,” he said, smiling again. “And I am glad to see you have not let your travels diminish your pursuit of your education. How long have you been here?”
Ochaco gave him a reassuring smile. “I know that things are rough back home, but it gets better, at least?” She knew that what he was going through right now was difficult. She remembered being really on edge when Tenya and the others had gone to rescue Bakugo. That seemed so long ago to her with everything else they had gone through, but she had to keep telling herself that to Tenya, that was all fresh, right off after his brother had his career ended by Stain.
She knew that Tenya was in a rough spot right now, and has his friend, it was her job to be there for him. Ochaco had adjusted pretty well, and while she knew that Tenya was good at adjusting to things, too, he was being pulled to a different world after being in the middle of a very intense situation.
“I’ve been here for about two months,” she said. “I was in a place called Tumbleweed, in an alternate version of Texas, in America before this. I guess I’ve gotten pretty used to it.” She giggled uneasily. “I know that sounds crazy.”
Tenya did smile at the reassurance, pushing himself to focus on the positives. “Being adaptable to new situations is a good quality for a Hero to have,” he said. “And it sounds like you came out stronger for the experiences.”
He had always respected Ochaco. She was a skilled up and coming Hero, with a good head on her shoulders, and a clear goal in mind. And to her credit, she had completely accepted him when he had let slip that he was, indeed, from that Iida family and was, in her words, “filthy stinking rich.” But to have overcome all that she said she had? Her would have to revise his already high estimation of her.
“I shall have to leave myself in your capable hands for guidance.”
Ochaco made her very best determined face. “I will do my best!” She said, holding up her fists in a confident gesture. “I haven’t been here that long, but I can definitely help you get housing and stuff. Our house is full, but I can probably get you an apartment close to ours. I’m staying with my friend, Rogue and her daughter, Anka Irene. I’ll have to introduce you to them some time. Rogue is really nice, and Anka Irene is three, and she’s really adorable. Rogue has a quirk, too. Well, they call it a mutation in her world, but it’s very similar. She actually teaches at a school for kids with superpowers back where she’s from, too! I met her when I was in Tumbleweed. Her friends Scott and Jean were my guardians.”
Ocaco paused, laughing nervously. “Sorry, I know I’m throwing a lot with you. This probably sounds insane. I know it’s a lot to adjust to. But at least here, we don’t need a guardian. Back in Tumbleweed, because I was under eighteen, they wouldn’t let me leave both times I was there until someone would come and get me. I could’ve lived on my own here, but Rogue was nice enough to ask me if I wanted to stay with her. I don’t think I would have wanted to live alone, too.”
“That sounds highly restrictive,” Tenya said. “Especially since I know you are already capable of great independence.” Ochaco was, when he was from, already living on her own, in order to be close to U.A. Quite the height of individual responsibility! Though he supposed that must be stressful as well, so perhaps the dorms had lifted some of that from her.
“But I would be happy to meet any friends of yours. From the way you describe them, they seem to be very fine people indeed.”
He would, he realized, have to prove he was capable of the same kind of independence as Ochaco. He was responsible, of course, but he was well aware there was much about day to day living he did not know. His upbringing had allowed for certain privileges and a lack of concerns common to those without money or fame. But he was confident in his ability to be up to the task! An Iida never backed down from any challenge.
“I can help you get set up, if you need it,” she offered. Though Ochaco didn’t have to really guess that Tenya probably would need it. They had vastly different upbringings, and she wasn’t really sure if Tenya knew what it was like to live off of a budget like she did. And she’d probably need to help him get a part-time job, too. While Rogue insisted that Ochaco didn’t need to work, and just needed to focus on school, she wasn’t sure if Tenya would have the same privilege. “And teach you how to manage a budget. Little things like that are important here. Housing is free, but you still need get like, food and stuff.”
She knew that Tenya was smart, and probably more than capable of taking care of himself, but the Iidas were loaded. They definitely had more money than what Ochaco would ever know what to do with. That was for sure.
“The apartments are furnished, at least,” she said. “Not really fancy, but just the basics, so you don’t need to worry about going out and buying all new furniture and blowing through the $1000 that the DOA gave you as a stipend.”
Tenya rubbed the back of his head awkwardly. “That would probably be for the best,” he agreed. “I am not given to extravagances, but all the same, the most financial management I have engaged in before was my allowance.”
Which, he realized, may still have been far more than most people in his age group had seen. He was not worried, per se, but the life he was accustomed to had not prepared him for this in the slightest. Perhaps he was a bit out of touch after all.
“I shall have to defer to your expertise in these matters,” he said. “And… thank you.”
Ochaco beamed at him. “Don’t worry! I’ve got your back!” She linked arms with him. “Come on. I’ll buy you lunch, and then we can get you all settled.” They would probably have a lot to talk about in that time, too.