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Sit Ups Sure are Hard

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Misaki’s loud breaths are the only sound in her second home. Her whole body is trembling despite the tight grip Mikoto has around her knees. She groans loudly as her back lifts from the floor, her hands tightening around her neck.

“Hey, Misaki,” Mikoto says lowly, hovering above her. Misaki pauses from her movement, letting out short quick breaths from the physical exertion. She meets Mikoto’s eyes in a daze. “Why are you making this sound so obscene?”

“Hm?” Misaki hums in question, before putting her arms down to push herself up to sitting position. She lets out a huge sigh when she’s face to face with Mikoto who had been holding her feet and knees in place. “Well, I just thought, this is the first time Misaka-san is in my secret second home, and yet, I’m not getting the type of exercise ability I want. The best I can do is pretend that it is.”

Mikoto sends her a grimace, before letting out a sigh of her own. “You’re the one who asked me to help you improve your physical ability and insisted we do it here instead of the many gyms in Tokiwadai. Don’t complain that I’m not falling for your diversion tactics ability~”

Misaki pouts. “Stop copying my speaking ability. And would you really have preferred the entire Tokiwadai student body making up rumors about us?”

“Not that the rumors aren’t true.” Mikoto shrugs, resting her chin on her arms that held Misaki’s knees. “I mean, we are dating, right?”

“That is not the point! What do you think will happen if it gets out that we’re more than friends?”

Mikoto’s eyebrow rises. “We… can go on dates in public places?”

Misaki blushes at Mikoto’s simple-minded yet oddly sweet answer. “T-that is… yes, that would be nice, but,” Misaki taps Mikoto’s adorable nose with a finger, “As Academy City is now, we cannot let anyone untrustworthy know that an alliance between Level 5s can happen. I won’t be surprised if the higher ups manipulated our lives so we’d all hate each other. Despite their power over us, we still are the strongest espers in the city. Just one of us fighting them would be a nuisance at best, but if we work together? You know just how powerful we can be.”

Mikoto hums thoughtfully. “I guess it is a bit of a cheat that we can basically remove any traces of anything happening with our combined abilities. But now I can’t get the idea of the seven of us going out for lunch.”

Misaki hums back. “That would be the end of Academy City.”

They share glances before breaking out into giggles.

After a moment, Mikoto taps Misaki's knees. "Anyway, let's go back to your training. Just five sit ups and we can get that iced tea you like."

Misaki blows a raspberry with her lips. "And how many have I achieved?"

Mikoto sends her a dry look. "Zero."

“Whaaat? I for sure have done at least two! Are you sure of your counting ability?!"

"Using your arms doesn't count."

"You're being too strict on your girlfriend."

"My girlfriend needs to have a strict workout routine so she can improve her physical ability and pass PE."

"I was doing fine before!"

"Only because you brainwash your PE teachers into passing you."

Misaki pouts. "I can't believe I haven't dumped you for this." She grumbles before lying down and positioning her arms over her chest. "Can't you at least provide some motivation?"

Mikoto hums. "Something to motivate you, huh?"

Misaki is mid-sit up, struggling to lift her entire upper body for a complete rep, when Mikoto grabs her wrist and pulls her up with a single hand.

Mikoto’s lips on hers are warm, taking whatever is left from her already ragged breath. The kiss ends before Misaki can fully grasp what’s happening, but Mikoto doesn’t move away, setting her chin above her arms which she set on top of Misaki’s curled knees. Mikoto smirks before letting go of Misaki’s wrist, the sudden lack of support making her squeal as her body falls back on the floor.

Misaki takes a few breaths before she pushes herself up on her arms again. “W-w-w-what was that?!”

Mikoto shrugs, a smug grin on her perfect lips. “Motivation.”

Misaki gapes, a retort at the tip of her tongue, but her eyes unwillingly focus back on Mikoto’s mouth, and all she could do is huff and lay back down. “I’ll show you my sit ups ability!”

Misaki only ever manages to do one complete sit up that night, but that’s all she really needed to capture Mikoto into her arms.