Shouta stared blankly into the empty cupboard in front of him, sleep-crusted eyes struggling to stay open and refusing to believe what he was seeing.
This was the last cupboard he opened, and they were all empty. Fridge? Empty. Pantry? There was less air in Kaminari's head. Satou's baking ingredients? Ravenously consumed for Aoyama's birthday party. Even the last resource can of instant coffee was done for and gone in the trash. When was the last time they'd gone grocery shopping?
It was understanble, actually. The duty often fell on the students, where they would choose a group to walk down to the store a few blocks away from UA and come back with their vital provisions. Yesterday, though, they got hit with a surprise attack from the League of Villains that had landed most of them in the infirmary—special mention to Midoriya for being the only one to actually end up in the hospital, to no one's surprise.
After recovering, the entire class had spent the following day sleeping their leftover injuries away, including Shouta who monitored them for a while to make sure they were all still breathing before retreating to his own lair.
So that's how he found himself in this dilemma. He had an empty kitchen and twenty hungry stomachs that would be waking up soon from their coma, dragging their little zombie asses to the kitchen to eat the first warm thing they came across.
Which, at this point, just so happened to be Shouta.
He could just drive to the store and pick up something for a quick breakfast, but then he'd probably come back to Bakugou eating the couch and Shinsou trying to make coffee with the liquid in Ashido's lava lamps. It was also a Saturday so he couldn't bother Lunch Rush since he wasn't even in the school grounds today.
Sighing, he walked to the intercom by the hall and pushed the button that would send his voice through all the floors of the dorm building.
“Attention students. We have a little situation in the kitchen, so if you could wake up and come down wearing at least a pair of pants, Kirishima, we could see about fixing the problem” He let the button go, waiting to hear signs of life from above. He sighed again, bonking his head against the wall a few times. He pressed the intercom once more. “Listen up shitheads, if you don't get your asses down here right now, you get no breakfast, so giddy up!”
Groans echoed through the building, bringing a wicked smile to his face. It was part of his job to deliver pain unto his students whenever necessary, and enjoy it as much as possible.
No, really. It was in his contract.
Slow steps dragged into the common room to let him know the arrival of the first wave of students. They were still in pajamas, some with bandaids and bandages, some almost intact. Midoriya's limbs were miraculously not casted, and Kirishima was thankfully actually wearing pants this time.
Uraraka was floating, half-asleep and being guided by Tsuyu's tongue wrapped around her waist.
Shouta stood there, patiently waiting for all of them to get down at whatever speed the elevators could manage. When the last group arrived, looking a bit better than the rest since they had a couple more minutes to sleep, Shouta cleared his throat and clapped his hands to wake up the ones who had fallen asleep on their feet. Ashido jumped and fell backwards over the back of the couch.
“Alright, listen up” He started. “Since we've all been passed out for the best part of the past two days, there's absolutely no food in the kitchen. And no Tsu, I won't let you go scavenging for spiders, we talked about this”
Tsuyu lowered her raised hand, croaking sadly.
“What we're gonna do is go to the cafeteria and ravage every single thing Lunch Rush has in there. And I mean Every. Single. Thing” His words managed to make some of the kids straighten up, a few hopeful smiles here and there. “I know damn well where he hides his stash of chocolate, so I hope nothing is left alive after we get out of there”
Some raised their hands in joy at the mention of chocolate, Satou and Yaoyorozu particularly happier than the rest, but there was still the general energy that troubled Shouta.
They were still dead on their feet.
At this rate he was gonna lose half of them on the way, and he was in no mood to be held responsible for a trail of half-healed passed out kids snoring in the yard.
As he surveyed the group before him, his eyes landed on Hagakure's pajamas. More specifically, on the little yellow ducklings printed on the soft fabric.
“Everyone form a line, shortest to tallest. Come on now, I don't have all morning” He absolutely did, actually, but Jirou had started eyeing Shouji as if he'd turned into an actual octopus and she was ready to jump him. After they'd complied, he stood in front of Tsuyu at the front of the line, and turned around to face away from them. “Alright, grasp the shirt or hand of the person in front of you and let's get going”
The kids, bless them, complied with the order before they fully processed it. Then they stopped and blinked in realization.
“What?” Kirishima asked groggily, both hands holding onto Ojiro's tail.
“I'm not going looking after you if you wander off and end up eating a dandelion because you were too out of it to walk in a straight line. Now hold on and let's go” He felt Tsuyu's grasp on his shirt tighten up as he started walking away, the unmistakeable weight of twenty people pulling behind him as they moved as well.
“This is fucking ridiculous” Bakugou grumbled, letting his head fall on Kirishima's shoulder to see if he could walk and sleep at the same time with everyone else guiding him forward.
“Eyes up, Bakugou, and keep the curses to a minimum if you want access to the chili sauce” That seemed to do the trick as the blond pulled his head back up, muttering under his breath in a way that would've made Midoriya proud.
The journey was uneventful, what with all the other students in campus having gone back home for the weekend, so luckily they wouldn't have to deal with Monoma recording their little people-chain to laugh at later. Their steps echoed through the empty halls of the main building, passing by classrooms and offices on their way to the prize. The kids seemed to have gathered some more energy with the walk, and even more so when the cafeteria came into view and a few tried to break the line to rush forward, but a quick glare from Aizawa and a stern warning from Iida kept them in place. Shouta was enjoying having them in order for once in their lives and he was gonna squeeze this for what it was worth for as long as possible.
Also seeing Iida do his robotic arm chops with his only free hand was kind of funny.
“Alright, here we are” He said as he stopped in front of the doors to the kitchen. He made a dramatic pause before pushing them open. “Go wild”
The kids quickly broke formation and ran inside, whooping and laughing as they threw open doors and cabinets, pulling out everything they could find. It was interesting, though, how even in this situation they seemed to have a sort of group coordination going on; while Shouji grabbed as much as he could carry from the fridge, Bakugou and Satou started oiling up pans and asking—or in Bakugou's case, yelling—what would they like them to make. Eggs and pancakes seemed to be the concensus.
Midoriya was holding a couple bags of rice while he waited for Shinsou to set up the rice cooker, all the while Todoroki set down cups and plates next to where Yaoyorozu was busy with brewing as many pots as possible of tea and coffee. Sero meanwhile was trying to keep them all alive by convincing Kaminari that it would be a much better idea to use the toaster insted of zapping the slices of bread like he and Ashido were planning to.
All in all they seemed to have it under control, but Shouta was a man raised in the belief that he who didn't work didn't eat, so he made his way to the back of the kitchen, moving aside a freezer that was conveniently covering a small cupboard that he ripped open to snatch some chocolate bars and a couple of boxes of sugary cereal.
The smell of food soon filled the room as they filed out, each carrying something as Kouda and Tokoyami pushed together a couple of tables to make a single one where they'd all fit. Iida remained standing once it was all set up and everyone was seated, clapping his hands together.
“Thanks for the food!” He said, receiving twenty answers in unison with the same words before he finally took his seat between Uraraka and Todoroki.
The meal was, in all truth, the most peaceful and entertaining Shouta had had in years, and he felt full in a way that had nothing to do with the food in his stomach. Seeing his students who not 48 hours ago had been all severely injured and dealing with the aftermath of a vicious attack, messily eating and shouting at each other across the long table as if they were in a field day, gave him a peace of mind he didn't usually get in this line of work.
Not even Nezu setting off Bakugou's explosions after snatching the toast from his hand could bother him right now.