Chapter 4:

The Hero’s New Kohai

My Cute Kohai is Actually My Archnemesis?!

He didn’t know how it happened, but Hoshi now stood outside of the Golden Globe with a camera and a voice recorder. To his left, his new kohai bounced on the balls of her feet as she spun around and stared at the Golden Globe Tower. Her eyes twinkling, Reyna exlaimed, “I can’t believe this is happening!”

“Me either.” Hoshi sighed. “I didn’t even get to finish my lunch.”

Moving to say something, Reyna hissed before cradling her side.

“You alright?” Hoshi asked. “You look like you’re in pain.”

“M’fine,” Reyna grumbled. She proceeded to do a couple twists and stretched before seeming to fold into herself. “Had a rough morning. I should be fine now.” Taking a deep breath, she seemed to regain her previous energy. “But enough about that, I want to know what we’re going to do!

“That’s the spirit.” Hoshi couldn’t help but start smiling as he saw her energy. He then started to walk, followed by Reyna. “Being part of a Danger Crew is all about keeping our eyes and ears open. The moment we hear or see something interesting, we move and we record.” Hoshi took out his phone and opened up Tweetie. “Generally, we scroll through social media to look for exciting news, but on slow days we go around town reviewing places or asking people about the world.”

Reyna nodded seriously. “Does that mean we also have a car?”

“Yeah, we have a car,” Hoshi said. “That doesn’t mean we can take it anywhere though. And we have to take care of it too, which means parking away from the danger and walking anyway. It’s better to get the exercise, you know?”

“But you can’t really move that fast, can you?” Reyna asked.

Hoshi raised an eyebrow. “And you can?”

“Well, of course not,” Reyna said quickly, “But it makes me wonder.”

“Wonder what?”

Reyna shrugged and waved her hands. “How you keep up with all the Powered. A lot of them move faster than us normal people, even if their power doesn’t seem to affect their body.”

That was a good question, actually. There were many things Hoshi wondered about, and that was one of them. “Well, when you’re like me and need to get places, you find out some shortcuts.” He then gestured at the street, where cars were backed up for blocks. “And good luck getting where you need to go when you’ve got this to look forward too.”

She giggled as she took notice of the same thing and nodded. “Right. Of course you would know, having been here over six months.”

Hoshi groaned. “Don’t remind me. Every other Danger Crew is already looking at me like I’m a freak for lasting so long.”

Another giggle crossed the air as Reyna said, “Well, even I’ve heard of the turnover rate. You’re pretty crazy, senpai.”

“And that,” Hoshi said. “Stop that.”

“Oh?” Reyna grinned. “You don’t like it when your cute kohai calls you senpai?”

Hoshi’s face reddened as he considered her for a moment. She was most definitely cute, bordering on beautiful—Wait, that wasn’t what he needed to focus on right now! “You’re not my kohai, and I’m not your senpai. We’re just coworkers, alright? Sure, I’m teaching you a little bit, but once we’re out here, we’re equals. How old are you, again?”

Of course, Hoshi knew it was taboo, but the way Reyna was acting reminded him of a child. Reyna began, “My, my, asking a woman’s age—“

Knowing she would say another stupid thing, Hoshi interrupted her. “I will, however, admit that you are cute.”

He proceeded to walk forward before he realized no one was beside him. Looking around, Hoshi looked behind himself to see Reyna’s face turning a bright red. He almost could’ve sworn to seeing steam rising from her head. “Don’t say things like that out loud!” Reyna suddenly shouted, garnering some attention. She then seemed to notice before stomping up next to him. “You can’t just say I’m cute like that! Someone could’ve heard you!”

Hoshi grinned. “Don’t call me ‘senpai’ either, then.”

“But it’s true, isn’t it?” Reyna argued. “You’re my superior here, so you’re my senpai. Simple!”

“And you’re cute.” Reyna began to fume even further, which made her all the more cute in his eyes. He shrugged. “Simple, right?”

“Why you!” She then began moving to slap him.

Suddenly, his head stung with pain as the world seemed to slow and started to superimpose itself with millions of different images. He watched as Reyna’s arm swung to hit him in several different ways before she had even begun to move it. His possible futures of physical abuse in the near future were unfolding themselves, and flickers of other futures seemed to phase in and out of his vision. The only one future he saw that mattered to him, however, was when he saw her getting thrown to the ground as someone ran into her.

Hoshi immediately hugged her close, and the world snapped into place. He ignored Reyna’s yelp of surprise as he stuck his foot out and watched the would-be attacker turn the corner in a hurry and trip. The man yelled as he hit the ground hard, and from his hands spilled a jumble of clearly-stolen phones and chargers.

He then saw stars as Reyna shoved him away and slapped him. Of course, Hoshi had seen that too, but he knew it was what he deserved for getting so handsy without warning. In any case, Hoshi quickly recovered and crouched next to the now-stunned and groaning man. He also noticed Reyna look at the scene with no small amount of disbelief, but he decided to deal with that later.

“Seriously?” Hoshi asked, before grabbing the cords and phones from the ground. “Stealing from a store’s display items? How low can you get, man?”

The man tried to argue, “H-hey, those are mine-!” but Hoshi bopped him on the head. He then flicked his eyes to the corner and watched two police officers rush around it in a panic, until they noticed him.

“Hello, officers!” Hoshi stood up and walked over to them, dropping the stolen goods into their hands. “I believe this man stole these?”

They looked at him for a moment before nodding. “Yeah,” they huffed. “We thought we were going to lose him.”

“He almost ran into my partner here,” Hoshi said, gesturing to Reyna, who waved meekly. “Good thing I noticed, huh? Otherwise, both of you would be on the ground right now.”

“Th-thanks,” Reyna muttered, her face now red for a different reason. She then glared at him. “But don’t touch me again.”

Hoshi apologized profusely while the officers took care of the guy. Incidentally, they asked him and Reyna what happened for the record, and he asked if he could take a picture of the officers with the thief. They obliged, and a moment later they were one photo richer.

Humming, Hoshi said, “This should make a decent story. ‘Man tries to rob phone store and fails miserably.’”

Hoshi then realized where he was and what just happened, and turned to see Reyna staring at him oddly. He gulped.

“What was that?” Reyna asked.