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Yuuri had been so excited to manifest. The Katsuki’s were a famous Japanese family - or famous where it counted, anyway. Sure, civilians just thought they owned the only hot springs resort in Hasetsu. If civilians thought anything about them at all. But in the superhero world? The name Katsuki could get you most favours. Not that the Katsuki’s would accept them. They were a modest family and that was partly why they were so talented. They worked hard - talent could only get you so far, after all. Yuuri had been taught that hard work got you further than talent in the end. Talent was luck, hard work was who you were. Yuuri wanted to work hard from the moment he understood the concept.

 

From the moment he woke up on his eight birthday, Yuuri had been so excited. Any day could be the day. Mari hadn’t manifested until she was twelve and his mother and father were both fifteen, so he didn’t expect anything too soon. That being said, he held out hope. Yuuri had been a quiet child, preferring to read on his own more often than not. His parents and sister worried slightly at his lack of friends, he had Yuuko, a girl two years older than him, who would read with him and exchange books. They’d even tried writing together, but Yuuri was too self conscious about his ideas. He didn’t really feel like he needed anyone else. Yuuko manifested when she was twelve and that’s when things started changing for Yuuri. Not in the way he expected, though. 

 

Yuuko’s power was the ability to control H2O in any form - ice, water or steam. It was pretty cool and she’d even convinced Yuuri to try out ice skating with her creating ice from water around him. It grabbed the attention of Takeshi, a kid in Yuuko’s class. For a while, it was just the three of them, the two older children and Yuuri. Then, when Yuuri was almost thirteen more people started hanging around. He figured they found Yuuko’s power fun to play with. Yuuri found life became more exhausting then. He had never really been a fan of lots of people. His parents merely told him it would be good practice. Besides, he wasn’t rude, he just found the more people around, the more tired he was.

 

Yuuri went through school reasonably uneventfully, hoping every day he would manifest. He dreamed of what his power would be. No one in his family was alike. His father could make anyone feel any emotion he wanted. His mother was able to summon any object - so long as she had previously touched it. Mari was able to look at someone and then look at a calendar and find out the next date that individual would feel extreme emotion. They were all so cool and so useful. Yuuri adored hearing how his family had helped other people and was excited to do so himself. Maybe he would be a mind reader, or control an element, like Yuuko. Yuuri dreamed and dreamed of his potential power.

 

Even at the age of seventeen, Yuuri looked forward to finding out his power. There was no doubt he’d have one, he was a Katsuki after all. Yuuri’s hope only dwindled when he’d spent too long on his own. A rare occasion, despite him thinking he preferred to be alone. He so often had people come round and ask to spend time with him. When he sat down and thought about it, he realised he almost always had someone in the same room as him. It was tiring. Friends would stop by, classmates would ask for him to study with them. Yuuko was still his best friend, but she teased Yuuri about his following.

 

“They’re your friends, Yuuko.” He insisted.

“Then why do they come over to your house?” She responded.

“I don’t know. Maybe there’s more water there for you to play with and make them laugh.” Yuuri pointed out, knowing for a fact they had played with the hot springs water once. Just once. His mother had not been too happy. He hadn’t dared suggest it again.

“Yuuri, one day you’ll see you are special.”

“I’m a Katsuki. It’s impossible for me to be special, because we’re all special. I can’t be uniquely special.” He pointed out.

“You’re fond of oxymorons.” Yuuko said.

“Well, if I never manifest then-”

“Yuuri! Don’t say that.” Yuuko scolded him.

“Yuuko, we know powers aren’t automatic. No one truly understands the genetics behind powers. What if I’m special in how normal I am compared to my family?” Yuuri felt tears come to his eyes. 

 

He had never voiced this fear before, had never admitted this outloud. He had had dreams - or nightmares - about being a normal human. He had sobbed into his pillow until he had no more tears left. He had rocked back and forth, worrying, wondering. But now he spoke the words allowed.

 

“Yuuri, you’ll just be a late bloomer.” Yuuko’s reassurance pulled him out of his spiral.

“I’m 18 in a month.” Yuuri pointed out.

“There are a few cases of post 18 manifestation.” She shrugged, “you’re a Katsuki, Yuuri. You’re special by default and I’ve known you your whole life. You’re not just default special. You’re uniquely special.”

 

Yuuri walked home with ‘uniquely special’ floating in his mind. Yuuko comforted him like she had for all his other worries since he could remember, but this worry was too huge to go away forever. 

 

“Yuuri, come to the dining room please!” Hiroko called when she heard her son enter the family’s private quarters, separated from the rest of the resort.

“Yes, mum?” Yuuri called as he entered the room. He froze when he looked at the table. A university prospectus lay on the table. “Mum…”

“We want you to go. We’ve been talking to Minako. She’s convinced you’ll manifest even if it’s late and you have an automatic place.”

“Mum.” Yuuri repeated, cringing at her words. “It’d be a waste of tuition money.” He reasoned.

“You’ll get a scholarship.”

“I haven’t manifested. I might not manifest.”

“We will work it out.” A deeper voice, Toshiya, his father, broke in to the conversation. 

“Dad, I don’t know…”

“Think about it, Yuuri.” His mother pleaded.

 

Yuuri picked up the prospectus for Ice Castle University , glancing at the front cover. It looked almost like a normal university prospectus with a Chinese girl, a black boy and a Pakistani girl looking almost like they would naturally be sat with the most attractive blonde haired white girl and brunette white boy. Multicultural friends sat making daisy chains on the university campus grounds. Normal. Except for the fact the black boy was levitating in the hair, the white girl had fire conjured in her hands and the Pakistani girl’s eyes were glowing gold. 

 

Almost normal. 

 

At least tokenism was a thing in the superhero world too, he thought bitterly as he flopped down onto his bed.

 

What would he even study?

 

What was he good at?

 

Maybe he would manifest before October.

 

What if he didn’t?

 

How could his parents do this to him.