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Bag of pretzels

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Angie pouts down at her hands for a moment, but releases the expression when she deems that they aren’t actually bleeding. There’s just a good amount of tiny little pieces of gravel stuck in her palms. She’s glad that it’s in her palms though, and not her face, so she can’t really complain. Humming to herself, she sets about brushing the gravel from her hands before shifting to sit on her rear, looking her her knees. Her left knee is okay; the same situation as with her hands, but her right is bleeding. She probably skimmed it when she tripped. Owie. She doesn’t think she’s injured anywhere else though (despite her hands shaking with residual adrenaline from the fall) so she can probably get up and head to her room.


“Yonaga?” It’s Gonta’s voice that breaks her out of her stupor. Angie worries for a moment that Gonta has been here the whole time, and saw her frowning at her hands a moment ago, but he’s a safe enough distance away that he’s only just spotted her sitting on the ground. A bright (and slightly relieved) smile is put up on her face as she looks up at him.


“Hello, Gonta!” She greets. Ever since starting out at Hope’s Peak Academy, she’s been very impressed by Gonta. For a number of reasons, but mostly that he’s perhaps the best fit for his talent out of everyone at this school. Ultimate Child Caregiver. He’s so large in stature, but his expression is very gentle, and he has a trustworthy air that Angie is sure children eat right up. Besides, most children are much too young to feel truly afraid of him. They haven’t been taught to fear people who are large like Gonta is yet. “How are you?”


“Um, fine,” Gonta begins. “What happened? Is Yonaga alright?”


“Sure, sure,” she waves him off. “She only tripped. Everything is perfectly fine, but much thanks to you!”


“Oh, but,” Gonta hesitates, stopping next to her. “Your knee is bleeding, can Gonta help?” Angie opens her mouth to say no, but falters, reconsidering. What would it hurt? He carries around bandaids and stuff, which she knows from the time that Kokichi stubbed his toe kicking Kaito in the leg. (She isn’t sure what Kokichi was expecting, kicking a robot like that.) Besides, if anyone should be qualified to take care of her, it would be Gonta. She didn’t become a supreme leader by refusing any off of help that came her way.


“That would be lovely,” she replies decisively, flashing him a smile even wider than her default expression. So Gonta kneels beside her, swings his messenger back from his shoulder, and opens the flap, pulling out a small white first aid kit. Angie has never seen inside of it before, so she leans forward to peek. When Gonta notices her doing so, he angles it towards her. Predictably, the kit has plenty of bandaids, as well as sanitary wipes, and a small spray bottle of saline solution. He has a roll of gauze and a gel ice pack, that doesn’t appear to be frozen at this moment.


He selects a wipe and opens it, carefully placing the packaging back into the kit and holding the wipe over her scrape. “It’ll sting, a bit,” Gonta warns, raising his eyebrows at her, and Angie nods, so he gently cleans the gravel and the excess blood from the injury. It’s not that deep. It’ll probably scab over in a day or so. Angie marvels at the way it looks in the sun above their heads, the way fresh beads of blood gleam ominously. She shakes her head quickly. Probably don’t think too hard about it.


As he cleans off the scrape with a second wipe, Angie remarks, “You know, Angie and Gonta aren’t so different.” His red eyes flicker up to her for a moment, curious but not skeptical, and so she continues to speak, gesturing with the hand she isn’t using to keep herself upright. “We both look after people. Gonta takes care of people, and Angie leads them. Our talents are very similar, actually! Nya-ha-ha!”


“Gonta hasn’t thought about it that way,” he admits, quietly, and sifts through his kit for a bandaid to put on her knee. “Yonaga’s job is probably a bit more difficult, though. Gonta likes to take care of people, but he could never lead them. He isn’t smart enough for that.”

“Angie is hardly intelligent,” Angie assures. “All of her knowledge comes from God!”


Gonta gives her what might be a rueful smile, if he wasn’t such a kind person. “But a good amount of it must be Yonaga’s intelligence,” he remarks. “Because Yonaga is too observant to be someone relying on a God all the time. Gonta has friends who he asks for advice sometimes. They help him. But when it comes to situations where he has to use his wits, then he does it all on his own.”


Well, he’s remarkably articulate. Angie feels a bit guilty for being surprised. She’s more surprised that he calls himself unintelligent so often when actually it seems like he knows quite a lot. Thoughtfully, she messes with the hem of her yellow cloak, rubbing its softness between her fingers and pondering a good reply. “Angie can lead people,” she says after a moment. “Because she can figure out what they want. After you know what someone wants, it’s pretty easy to lead them to it.” She pauses. “But, she doesn’t have the understanding or the patience required to take care of them.”


“Really?” Gonta seems a bit incredulous. He smooths out the bandaid on her knee and leans back on his shins, frowning as he opens another wipe with which to clean his hands. “Gonta doesn’t think so. Gonta thinks Yonaga is very patient.”


She’s good at pretending, but she isn’t actually very patient. Most of the time she’s actually quite irritated with everybody else. That they can’t be as smart as she is, or something like that. Maybe it’s not that she wants them to be more smart, but less dumb. Less short-sighted. Less self-absorbed. When Angie looks at a picture, she looks beyond the details that are immediately being presented to her. She takes in everything. She pays attention to all of the details, and remembers them, without any exceptions.


Because sure, in the short-term, they don’t matter. But in the long-term, they start being important. And that’s the mark of a good liar; rather, a good manipulator. Someone who hints, gives small details, all the time, before it’s even relevant. But later, when those details are super important, and everyone else has forgot, they’ve already spread them out, and so they can say, well, I told you so. Angie isn’t the kind of person to forget. She doesn’t think that her own perspective is so important that she should ignore everything else and focus on her own agenda.


That’s what being a leader is, it’s paying attention to all of the factors, making notes to herself on them. Watching them as they continue. She’s keeping tabs on nearly all of her classmates in this way. Even the ones who dumb themselves down, like Gonta, or constantly say that they’re plain, like Tsumugi. It’s easy to dismiss those people as dumb or plain, but the truth is, Gonta’s intellect is actually extremely formiddable. And Tsumugi? Well, Angie hasn’t thought that the maid is plain for a moment of their time together at this academy.


Of course, she doesn’t say any of this to Gonta. She’s alright with him thinking that she’s patient. That’s what she wants other people to believe. Still, in a way, she is taking care of children all the time, just like he is. Because the people around her are capable, but they still miss out on so much. In so many ways, she has to hold their hand and lead them to the right conclusion. Set up a trail of breadcrumbs. It’s why she likes Ryoma so much; he’s so good at following it. That must be what makes him a good detective.


“Angie is very flattered that Gonta thinks so,” she smiles. “Perhaps Angie doesn’t see it because she’s in Angie’s head and always knows what she’s thinking.” She punctuates the sentence with a giggle, to diffuse it, and Gonta gives her a small smile, so she knows that it worked. Gonta has a very honest face. Honest eyes. He, of all people, she would be able to tell when he’s lying.


“Here,” Gonta reaches into his bag and pulls out a bag of pretzels. “Gonta usually has better snacks, but Ouma has been hungry a lot recently.” Angie laughs. No, Kokichi probably just wants Gonta’s attention and gifts, so he bothers Gonta for snacks all the time. She likes pretzels, though.


“Thank you!” She beams, taking the snack, and springs to her feet, experimentally bending and unbending her leg. “Good as new,” she decides with a giggle. “Angie is very grateful for your help, Gonta!” She chirps. “Let her know if there’s anyway she can make it up to you.”


“Oh, that’s alright, Gonta doesn’t mind.” He smiles. “It’s his job, after all.”


“Hmm!” Angie isn’t going to take that seriously at all. She squeezes the pretzels bag. She’ll have to do him some kind of favour sometime soon, since he probably won’t end up asking him for anything. She reaches out and pats his head for now, bouncing on her feet. “Well, alright then! See you later, Gonta!” And with that, she turns and runs off in the direction she was heading in the first place, being very careful so that she doesn’t trip and hurt herself again, because that would be a huge inconvenience, after falling for the first time.