58 58. Touring the I-Expo.

Getting off the plane, we scanned our passes and entered the gate, before letting out Kuribo, who yapped happily, running around us in circles, finally free.

"Alright, now, now. Calm down." I said, grabbing his leash, and true to his training he sat down almost immediately.

I pulled out a treat from my pocket and fed it to him for his good behaviour as we made our way to the hotel, leaving the baggage back before going to central research tower.

The central labs were a massive 200 floor complex, complete with all the amenities of life for the scientists who practically lived where they worked, complete with botanical gardens, food courts and even a mini pool with a sauna.

Or at least that's what the infodesk showed in a perpetually looping slideshow outside the building while All Might changed in an alley behind me.

"Tada!" He said, walking out as he flexed his muscles, posing before the building, his two ahoge flowing in the wind, as he cut a dashing figure on the street.

"Now Yuji-shounen, let's go meet our hosts." He said, when suddenly a girl shouted.

" Uncle Might!" I turned to see a blonde bombshell cross the street carrying a maroon red pogo stick.

As suddenly as she had appeared, she jumped into All Might's arms.

"Long time no see." She cried.

All Might for his part swung her about, before throwing her up in the air.

"Melissa! My, how you've grown!" He said, catching her.

"I'm seventeen now!" She giggled, stumbling to her feet as All Might put her down.

"I'm heavier than I used to be, aren't I?"

"Not at all!" All Might replied, before gesturing at me.

" By the way," He said, "this is my student, Yuji. Yuji, this Melissa, my old friend's daughter."

" Nice to meet you!" She said.

"Likewise." I replied, extending her a handshake, and she reciprocated, pulling closer and simultaneously examining my hero costume.

"You have a strength and mobility type quirk don't you? With an emitter component too. What is it? Can you tell me?" She asked getting in my face. So annoying. And she just had to be the hottest babe on the block. If only she learned to curb that enthusiasm.

Jeez.

I grabbed her face like a used tissue and pushed her away before answering.

"First of all, boundaries lady. Learn 'em. Second, yes. You're right. I have two quirks. One is a strength enhancer and the other is a summoning type emitter quirk. Though I must say, you have quite the observation.

You must have practiced hard!" I smiled, deflecting the topic.

She looked at me, a bit surprised, as she muttered.

"That's new. No one's ever noticed that before."

"They all assumed that you were born talented because you are the daughter of David Shield, huh?" I commented.

"Uhum...your observation skills aren't half bad either!" She exclaimed, happily.

"Nah, I just do a lot of research. I'm trained under a detective after all. At this point it's second nature to me." I replied.

"Ahem!" All Might cleared his throat, looking around at the gathering crowd, gawking at him.

"Let's go meet David shall we? You can continue this inside."

"Good idea, sensei!" I added as we rushed into the premises.

A short ride up the elevator later, as Melissa and All Might caught up with their lives, we arrived at our, just as David walked out, according to his book, for some coffee.

Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted Melissa.

"Hmm? Melissa, weren't you doing independent research? Did something-"

He flipped open the tab of his can and turned to see us, and nearly dropped his coffee in surprise.

"Toshi-! All Might?!" He cried.

All Might struck out his biceps, and curled.

"I am here....shaking with emotion from our reunion." He said, rushing to David and engulfing him in a bear hug.

"I came all this way just to see you!" All Might added.

"Are you surprised Daddy?" Melissa asked from behind.

"Very surprised." He replied.

"Man how long has it been?" All Might asked, nostalgic.

"Too long. Far too long. Let's catch up on it in my office." David replied, putting an arm around All Might, as he turned to face me, looking me over curious.

"Ah right. David, this is my apprentice, Yuji. Yuji, you know David." All Might reintroduced me.

I bowed in greeting as was customary, and replied.

"Nice to meet you, sir. I'm a big fan of your work."

"How polite. Nice to meet you too.

It's been a long time since I've met All Might, so could you give us some time alone?

In the meantime, why don't you go around the expo and have a look about with Melissa?" He said, practically shooing us off.

"Yeah. Go and enjoy the expo, Yuji-shounen. I'll meet you at the gala." All Might supported.

"Alright then, if you say so, sensei." I agreed, as Melissa led me out and into the expo.

The first place we entered was the display on new inventions, soon to be available on the market. Coincidentally, it was also on a pavilion close to the labs.

"All of these, or most at least are made from patents under my father's name." Melissa explained.

"Oh oh! Yuji, look at this." She pointed enthusiastically at a manta ray looking ship.

"The multi-purpose beagle can fly, of course, but it can also move underwater.

"Ooh!" I intoned with fake enthusiasm.

"And it even has an accompanying diving suit. It can go as deep as 7000 feet!" She added, pointing out a diving suit in the next display over, floating up and down, looking like an evangelion angel.

"That's genuinely neat!" I replied, impressed.

As we walked along the display, checking out gadgets, a delicious smell wafted into my nose, as if calling out to me.

My stomach threatened to rumble, and only my conscious effort kept it from sounding it's roar.

"Mmm ... what's that smell?" I wondered out loud, leading Melissa along till we found it.

A small booth near the edge of the pavilion, in a dark corner, where a mousy little man sat with a mechanical egg, polished black with a silver gasket at it opening.

"What are you displaying?" I asked intrigued, as we walked up to him.

"huh? Oh, you're talking to me?! Uh, yeah ...um..." He stuttered, his face lighting up at the attention.

"Uh, have you ever had ...like fries or waffles, but you eat too slow?" He asked, adjusting his glasses.

"Nah. I'm not a loser." I said, jokingly, and his face dropped, almost instantly.

"Of course... what was I even thinking ...." he muttered, silently kicking himself.

Self esteem issues much bud?

"I was joking. Dude, chill. Tell me about what this thing is. It looks real neat." I said, trying to cheer him up.

"It's not great.... it's just..." he muttered, downcast, and I think I even spotted tears pooling at the corners of his eyes.

Jesus, fuck!

I left Deku behind specifically to avoid this crap, and what do you know.

Fucking Deku 2.0.

"Look just...tell me what it's called, will you?" I pushed.

"It's the de-soggifier 3000." He replied, sinking into his seat.

"That's a horrible name." I said, instinctively.

"I know!" he cried, "I'm a failure! This was supposed to be my graduation project. And look at it now!"

"It doesn't look too bad?" I interjected his monologue of self pity.

"It doesn't matter. No one will want it anyway. It's a glorified air fryer!"

"So let me guess, it makes food, not soggy?" I asked.

"Yes." he said.

"Can I have a demo-" I said, when finally, my stomach rumbled out loud.

"Hehe....Now you know why I came here..." I smiled.

"Can we have some?" Melissa asked, after having quietly observe dus till now.

"Sure..." the man replied, opening up a tray in the mech egg, as he pulled out a box from below the table.

He opened the box, revealing fries that looked to be on their last leg of life and suffering from severe tuberculosis, hoping to die a tragic death away from the prying eyes of their upper class victorian lover in the London suburbs.

He dumped a handful in the tray, and pushed it back in, before pressing a button.

Within seconds a ding rang out and the tray ejected from the egg, and lo and behold, fries came out, looking much healthier than before, ready to make sweet love to the roof of my mouth.

"Can I?" I asked, picking up a fry, without waiting.

Because what was he gonna do to stop me?

Popping it in my mouth, I dig into it, and to my genuine surprise it crackled, and crunched, before revealing it's chewy innards to my taste buds.

"Mmmhmmm!" I moaned, maybe because of my hunger or maybe because they were perfectly crisped up, but regardless a good fry.

They brought me to a near flashback of my old college days when I subsisted solely on a diet of McDonald's and beer. The reality of waking up to overnight soggy fries for breakfast four straight years leave scars on the very soul. That's trauma you can't erase!

"Yummy!" Melissa exclaimed, attracting the gazes of nearby visitors.

"These are delicious. That machine of yours is a miracle buddy, and you my man, are a true hero!" I said, pounding the table passionately.

"It's good, but I'm not sure that's quite how I would put it?" Melissa commented.

"Have you eaten soggy fries Melissa? They are horrible!" I said, making my case, " Back me up here, man." I teased the student.

"Uh yeah, I mean no, I mean it's just...." he stuttered, confused but happier than before, his agze wandering around as people slowly moved over to his stall.

"Can I have a sample?" A girl asked.

"Me too!" said another man, as I moved out of the way with Melissa following close.

We soon left the pavilion, and entered the streets as a sly smile adorned Melissa's lips.

"You're a surprisingly nice guy." she said, skipping along.

"Whatever do you mean?" I asked, fully aware of her implication.

"That whole pony and horse show was to help him get customers wasn't it?" She outed me.

"Nah! I was just hungry." I deflected, "That reminds me, you haven't eaten lunch have you?"

"Fine. Change the topic if you're embarrassed." Melissa chuckled, "You big softy!"

"What? No." I mock protested, when I suddenly remembered.

"Uh, you mind if we stop by the hotel before we get something to eat?" I asked.

"No, why?" She asked.

"You'll see." I smiled.

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