“Ah, these plushies are so cute! Are they handmade?” Izuku asked, trying to keep his voice lighter than usual, so as not to give himself away.
“Yup! I cut them from a pattern and sew them on my machine at home,” the twenty-something artist responded from behind the table.
“That’s so cool! Not many heroes license plushies, certainly not Ground Zero,” Izuku mused, picking up the one on display, an adorably angry pout embroidered onto its face.
“I know! I guess he’s just to cool for it, but some of us think he’s cute too, you know?” The artist shrugged.
“Heh, yeah. I think I’m gonna have to get it,” he made it sound like it wasn’t one hundred percent his intention the second he spotted it on the table, but who was he kidding anyways?
Katsuki was working that day while Izuku had the day off. Normally, he hated days like those, stuck home alone and bored, waiting for his boyfriend to come home. But, not that day. No, he had a plan all set from the moment he woke up; he was going to go to the largest Hero Fan Convention, dressed in an oversized hoodie and black beanie with a bit of concealer over his freckles to avoid being recognized, and buy as much unofficial Ground Zero merch as he could.
He’d already found three super cute tee shirt designs and bought them all two sizes too big to wear as pajamas, two incredible posters, an adorable little keychain, and now the plushie. He knew Katsuki was going to find out about the stuff eventually, he didn’t exactly want to hide them forever, after all, but he figured it would be easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.
As big as the artist’s alley was, Izuku soon realized he had looped back around to some of the same tables he had seen before, and sighed to himself, thinking he ought to go already before someone recognised him. He was in a room full of crazed hero fans already, so it wouldn’t be a shock if someone caught on sooner or later.
Still, his eyes lingered over the tables as he made his way to the exit, searching for anything else worth purchasing, until they spotted long, white logs wrapped in shiny plastic piled up under one table.
Surely they weren’t… no, they were. Well, surely they wouldn’t have one of him… oh, no, they did.
Izuku stood staring with wide, unbelieving eyes down at the display sign with all of the designs and couldn’t rip his eyes away from the stylized drawing of Ka– well, Ground Zero sprawled out in full hero gear and smirking up at him.
“See something you like? I’m already out of Deku and Red Riot, but I’ve got at least one of everyone else,” the artist’s voice broke him out of little bubble.
“Uh, oh, right,” Izuku nodded, gulping dryly as his eyes flashed over the other pictures, including the one of himself. It was… kind of creepy, actually, to think there were people out there – no, in the same room as him – going home with these body pillows and doing lord knows what with them, and yet… he wanted one so bad.
“I’ll, um… I’ll take a Ground Zero one, actually,” he forced out, hoping the concealer was doing something to hide his blush, too.
“Ha, sure. Last one, actually. Lucky you!” The artist leaned under the table, retrieving the pillow in it’s full, six foot long glory. Izuku paid for it and left the building in a daze, still not quite believing this was real life, and hid the thing in the trunk as he drove home.
I bought a Ground Zero body pillow. He thought. I have a Ground Zero body pillow. I have a body pillow with Kacchan on it. I have a Kacchan body pillow. He’s gonna kill me if he finds out!
Izuku pulled into the parking lot of their apartment building and looked down at the clock in the car. It would still be another hour before Katsuki got home, though sometimes he was early. He knew he ought to hide all the stuff, or at the very least the body pillow, wash the makeup of his face and snuggle up on the couch with some snacks to make it look like he’d spent the whole day lounging about like he usually did, but he also knew that was not was he was going to do at all.
Instead, he hurried up stairs, praying no one saw him in the hall, and went straight to their bedroom, dumping the stuff on their bed.
“Oh, they’re all so nice, which one do I choose?” Izuku mumbled to himself, holding up the tee shirts. Eventually, he settled for one with a chibi Ground Zero making a V with his fingers, the words symbol of victory printed behind him. He put the other shirts, the posters, and the keychain on his desk, then snuggled up under the blankets with the plushie and pillow.
“Gosh, you are just the cutest thing,” Izuku hummed, holding the plushie up before hugging it close and rolling around with it. Eventually he settled and turned to face the pillow, instantly blushing at the mere sight of the obnoxious thing.
“I can’t believe I actually bought this,” he whispered, then reahed a hand out to caress the fake Katsuki’s cheek. “Though, I suppose it’ll be nice for when he has night shifts. I’m usually all alone and hugging a pillow anyway just to get to sleep, but this… this might actually help,” he trailed off, slowly setting the plushie down somewhere behind himself then moving to wrap his arms around the pillow.
“Oh, Kacchan,” he mumbled, rubbing his face on the pillow and wrapping his legs around it, butterflies rumbling in his stomach at the sure absurdity of it all, but in truth, it felt really nice.
“Hmm…” he sighed, sinking down in the bed and closing his eyes. It didn’t quite match the real thing, but somehow he found himself drifting off nonetheless. Just a quick nap , he thought, and then he was out.
Katsuki opened the door to their apartment, about to call out that he was home, but paused when he realized the place was dead quiet. There was no evidence of anyone having occupied the couch that day, nor any rustling from the bathroom, bedroom, or kitchen.
“Hm.” Katsuki closed the door behind himself and stalked into the apartment, a subtle suspicion etched into his features. As far as he could remember, this was the first time in months that Izuku hadn’t run to greet him at the door like an excited puppy.
“De… ku?” he asked, a lilt in his voice, as he swung open the door to their bedroom.
“Ah!” Izuku sat up immediately, face turning bright red and staring at Katsuki like he’d just been caught in the act of murder. It took a second, but Katsuki soon realized what, exactly, was lying on the bed next to him, and then he too look liked he had just caught his boyfriend in such a heinous act.
“Where the fuck did you get that!?” he yelled, hands sparking.
“Ah! I-I-I’m sorry, Kacchan! When I saw it I just couldn’t help buying it!” Izuku yelped, hand flying over his face. “I swear I didn’t do anything weird! I was just taking a nap!”
“Fuckin’... and what is that?! And what are you wearing!?” He pointed to the plushie, then to his shirt.
“Aaaaaa… I know, I know! I’m sorry, Kacchan!” Izuku yelled, arms instinctually moving down to cover his shirt and shaking his hung head back and forth. “Please let me keep them! I paid good money for this stuff!”
“You, fucking, ugh! How much did you spend you idiot?” Katsuki ran up, grasping the plushie in his hand and tossing it hard at Izuku’s face.
“Ah!” he deflected, plopping back down on the bed with his arms over his hands. “Trust me… you don’t wanna know…”
“Oh, fucking hell! What do you even need all this for!” Katsuki huffed, suddenly sounding tight throated. “I – I’m right here, you know.”
“Wha… aha… ahahahaha! You’re jealous?” Izuku started to laugh, and found that he couldn’t stop.
“I’m not – ugh! Shut up!” He crossed his arms and turned around, fuming.
Izuku forced himself to stop, a hand over his mouth, then got up and walked behind his boyfriend, slipping his arms around his waist.
“I’m sorry, Kacchan. It’s just… you’re my hero, you know? I can’t help wanting to have all this stuff, just like all the other merch I collect,” he mumbled into his back.
“And the fucking body pillow? You collecting those now, too?” Katsuki snapped.
“W-well… no.” Izuku gulped. “That’s for… when I miss you.”
“Deku. We live together.” Katsuki rolled his eyes, but placed a hand atop of the ones around his waist nonetheless.
“No, I mean… for the nights when you’re working and I’m home alone. It’s so hard to sleep, thinking of all the terrible things that could happen to you, you know?” Izuku took in a shuddering breath, then pulled his head up.
“Oh.” Katsuki blinked once. “Y-yeah. I know.”
He turned around to face his boyfriend, sharing a tender moment of soft eyes on eyes as he stroked a hand across his cheek, confused only a moment at the residue of concealer, then let his eyes flutter shut as he leaned down and gave him a quick peck on the lips.
“Fine. You can keep all the stupid stuff, but that fucking pillow stays in the closet and outta my sight, ‘cept when I’m gone, kay?” he said, expression resigned.
“Mm-hm.” Izuku nodded. “That was… well, the intention, anyway.” He quirked up a smile.
Katsuki couldn’t help smiling too, shaking his head at his fucking nerd of a boyfriend.
“Good. Now put it away would, you? I don’t like it staring at me like that – fucking creepy.”