This story - especially the villain's quirk - was inspired by cursedwurm's "You Know Like Nya"
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
That Friday night was supposed to mark the beginning of what should have amounted to a week-long vacation. All the hero course students were off at their internships leaving their teachers with nothing more pressing to do than get caught up on their grading.
Or in the case of Hizashi Yamada – better known as the Pro-Hero Present Mic – it was supposed to be an evening with his Listeners calling in requests for his show, Put Your Hands Up Radio. And for the most part that was how his night had gone. Good tunes with engaging bits of conversation in-between.
It had been a perfect evening up until his producer had approached him during a commercial break with a worried look on her face.
“What’s up, Natsui?” he asked, taking in the way the scales dusting across her cheeks were a pale gray – a sure sign that something was bothering her given the effects of her Quirk: Mood Ring.
“You’ve got a call waiting for you from the hospital in Mintooin Ward,” she replied, a flash of butter yellow curiosity stealing across her face as she added, “They said it was something about you being the emergency contact of a Shouta Aizawa?”
Hizashi felt his stomach drop somewhere around the vicinity of his toes. Tonight, was supposed to be Eraser Head’s first night back out on patrol after being cleared by Recovery Girl.
“Did they say what happened?”
Natsui shook her head.
“They wouldn’t say – something about patient privacy… But I’ve still got them on the line so you can speak with them yourself.”
And so, while the next set list was cued up, Hizashi found himself on the phone with a Dr. Tachibana.
“Is he alive,” was the first and only thing he could think to ask the other man.
“Alive and stable,” Dr. Tachibana was quick to reassure him. “However, he is unconscious and under the effects of a villain’s Quirk, which is why we felt getting ahold of his emergency contact was necessary. Is there a chance you can come in?”
“Of course,” Hizashi agreed, and in less than ten minutes he was on the road to Mintooin General.
The woman at the front desk was more than willing to direct Hizashi to Shouta’s room when he asked. A room that he was relieved to note was not in the ICU – lending credibility to the doctor’s reassurances that his best friend was indeed in stable condition.
Still, Hizashi mused, as the elevator carried him up to the third floor, I’ll feel better about all of this when I see him for myself.
Room three-fifty-nine was at the end of one of the floor’s labyrinth like corridors. As he entered the first thing Hizashi noticed was that Shouta was now awake and staring at the ram horned nurse fiddling with the tubes attached to the back of his hand with one of his patented bitch faces.
The second thing he noticed was Shouta’s ears. Or to be more specific the fact that the other man was now sporting a set of large tufted cat ears with fur that matched the shade of his hair exactly. Furthermore, judging by the way one of them had swiveled like a satellite dish to hone in on him when he entered – they definitely weren’t a fashion statement.
The nurse looked up as the door clicked shut and Hizashi saw her do a brief double take at the sight of him in his Pro-Hero getup.
“You – You must be Mr. Yamada,” she said, a practiced smile fixing itself upon her face. “I’ll – I’ll go and get Dr. Tachibana so that he can update the both of you.”
Then, after making a few quick notes in Shouta’s chart, she bustled out of the room.
“So – uh – this is a new look,” Hizashi remarked, trying for a bit of levity.
The effect of his words was immediate – Shouta’s new ears plastered themselves flat against his scalp.
“So – uh – what happened exactly?” he plowed on undaunted. “I mean the Doc said it was a Villain but other than that he was kinda sparse on the details.”
Shouta heaved a sigh. His ears unfolding minutely.
“You know that serial killer that’s been in the papers the past few months?” he asked. “The one who’s been partially transforming people into fish and then leaving them to suffocate on the pavement?”
Hizashi hummed lowly as he thought. The papers had mostly been focusing on the Hero Killer after Tensei’s attack during the Sports Festival, but he had seen the report on that particular villain as well.
“You mean the one they’re calling the Gilman, right?” he asked, then another thought struck him. “Did you catch the Gilman?”
Shouta’s ears flattened once again.
“No,” he grumbled, sounding more than a little frustrated. “I managed to erase his Quirk before he could transform his next target, but –” the lines between his eyes deepened – “you know how we speculated that the time I would be able to use my Quirk might be effected by my injuries at the USJ?”
Hizashi nodded, feeling something sour settle in the pit of his stomach as he remembered sitting by the other man’s bedside with Nemuri after the attack on the USJ. The two of them waiting for Shouta to regain consciousness after the surgery to repair his orbital sockets and hopefully save his sight.
“Well, we were right,” he went on. “I can’t use my Quirk for as along. As soon as I blinked, he hit me with his Quirk…. He managed to get away when the transformation began.”
“Damn,” Hizashi swore in English. It was the only thing he could think to say. Shouta wouldn’t appreciate anything that could be construed as a meaningless platitude. He would have considered such a gesture irrational.
However, there was something about Shouta’s encounter with the Gilman that was bothering Hizashi.
“I thought the Gilman only did aquatic transformations … cause I’ve gotta say you’re looking way more cat than catfish.”
And wow. Fifteen years of friendship did not make you immune to that glare.
“Apparently the animal you acquire features from has less to do with the Gilman’s Quirk and more to do with the animal you last came in contact with,” Shouta explained, gesturing to the most obvious of his new features with a now claw tipped hand. “I was able to dodge the open tin of sardines he threw at me, thankfully.”
Well, Hizashi mused, that certainly explains some of the weirder things that have shown up at the scenes of the Gilman’s previous attacks – the shark teeth … the fish scales … the sushi platter….
“Guess it’s a good thing you always feed your hoard before going on patrol,” he said aloud. All the while cataloging the other visible changes he could see.
Aside from his now catlike ears and claws, Shouta’s teeth were definitely sharper looking – especially his canines – and if that wasn’t a tail curling under the blankets of his hospital bed, then Hizashi would eat his directional speaker.
Shouta just gave a small huff before shooting him a milder version of his previous glare. Due to how dark his irises naturally were, Hizashi couldn’t quite tell if his eyes had been effected by the transformation as well. Though he had a feeling that it would be a safe enough bet to assume that they had been.
“Personally, I’m just glad that the Principal hasn’t felt the need to hitch a ride in my capture weapon recently,” Shouta returned, running a clawed hand through his messy hair and Hizashi felt his brain shudder to a halt.
Yeah, they definitely didn’t need two ambiguous dog, bear, mouse-things running around – something could break with that much scary in the world.
Thankfully further discussion of that particular horrifying line of thought was interrupted by the arrival of the doctor.
Tall and slim, he was perhaps a couple of inches shorter than Hizashi with a messy mop of spiky orange hair that more than lived up to his name.
The doctor skipped the usual pleasantries and dove straight into the heart of the matter.
“Even with your new additions the effects of the villain’s quirk don’t appear to have had any negative impact on your overall health…. However, during admittance it was noted on your chart that your height was off by several inches from what we have on record for you. We believe that this is from your body using existing materials to create your tail. And so, we performed a full body scan to make sure that your loss in height hadn’t also resulted in a loss in bone density.”
“I thought you said that my health was fine,” Shouta interjected.
“And it is,” Dr. Tachibana reassured. “However, when reviewing the scans, it became apparent that there had been some internal alterations to your body as well.”
“The structure of your pelvic bones has shifted.” Dr. Tachibana went on. “Partly it is to accommodate for your new tail, but that doesn’t appear to be the only reason that this has happened.”
He turned to fiddle with a monitor on the wall. Pulling an image up onto the screen that consisted of a series of different pelvis x-rays.
“The image on the right is you,” the doctor explained. “The one in the middle is of a person with a mutation Quirk that effects their body in a similar way to what has been done to yours, Mr. Aizawa, and the one on the left is of a baseline human male…. If you’ll note the similarities between your own x-ray and that of the person with the mutation quirk… this is significant because we normally only see this in someone whose Quirk allows them to walk both bipedally and quadrupedally.”
Dr. Tachibana turned his amber eyes upon Hizashi, before returning his attention to Shouta.
“Aside from your having been unconscious when admitted, this is one of the reasons I had Mr. Yamada called. We’re fairly certain that the changes to your bone structure will have altered your center of gravity. Your balance and mobility might be temporarily effected – at least until you’ve had time to adjust to your new normal. And so, for safety’s sake, I feel it would be best if you have someone with you at least until you get a handle on moving about.”
“Wait a minute Doc, this is only going to be a temporary thing, right? I mean the effects of this Quirk are going to wear off right?” Hizashi felt he had to interject, because so far, he hadn’t heard anyone say anything about when Shouta would be changing back to his usual self.
An uncomfortable look crossed the doctor’s face.
“Unfortunately, without more information on how the Gilman’s Quirk operates we have no idea of how long its effects could last. The investigating detective told us that all of his previous victims retained their transformations even after death. And the one survivor has shown no signs of reverting back to baseline and she was attacked almost a year ago….”
“Basically,” he summed up, “there is no way of knowing when or even if the transformation will reverse itself.”
In the end, since there technically wasn’t a medical reason to admit him, Shouta was to be released under the provision that he wasn’t to be left alone for at least twenty-four hours. This heralded the return of the ram-horned nurse from before. This time bearing gifts in the form of Shouta’s belongings in a drawstring plastic bag and the capability to untether the other man from the myriad of medical equipment tying him to the bed. Pulse oxy meter and blood pressure cuff were detached from one arm, then then IV from the other.
It was obvious to Hizashi when Shouta did get off the bed that his balance was indeed shot as he swayed uncharacteristically on his feet. The surprisingly fluffy looking tail protruding from underneath his hospital gown moving as though it possessed a mind of its own as he tried to regain his equilibrium.
Furthermore, now that he was standing Shouta’s loss in height was plainly noticeable. The only time the voice hero could ever recall him being this small was the summer before their third year at U.A.. Back before he’d gone through his last major growth spurt.
Regaining that height is going to hurt, he couldn’t help but think. Memories of his own fiercely aching arms and legs stirring the phantoms of growing pains along his limbs. Acquiring the last of his own height had been hell.
As Shouta wobbled his way towards his belongings at the foot of the bed Hizashi was struck with the urge to offer him an arm for some extra support, but he refrained – barely. The other man had an independent streak a mile wide for all that it would be rational to accept help when it was needed.
Shouta actually managed just fine. Having retrieved a knife from on of the pouches on his utility belt, he then proceeded to use it to open up a slit in the seam in the seat of first his boxers and then his jumpsuit so that his tail had a place to go.
Then, with that done, dressing was a relatively simple matter… for the most part.
Shouta’s jumpsuit was noticeably ill-fitting when he finished putting it on. Especially in the arms and legs with his sleeves hanging just past his finger tips and the cuffs of the legs pooling around his now daintily clawed feet. He looked almost like All Might wearing his hero costume in his deflated form….
He looks vulnerable, Hizashi thinks but doesn’t say, because Shouta would kick his ass if he did.
“Y’know you’re supposed to let them wheel you out of here,” Hizashi can’t help but remark as they made their way towards the hospital entrance.
Shouta merely gives a small huff in response; his tail lashing in irritation, earning the appendage a jaundiced look.
“That’s just because they don’t want to risk being sued if I fall and crack my head open on the way out,” he replied. “And since I won’t, even if I did, I’ll be making my own way. Besides the only way I’ll get my balance back is by walking.”
And it was obvious to Hizashi that the other man did indeed seem to be a bit more coordinated than he was when he first got up. Or at least he wasn’t weaving like he’d spend a night out on the town with Nemuri.
It was only a short walk from the hospital entrance to the elevators in the hospital’s parking garage. A quick ride up to the third level and then they were climbing into Hizashi’s car; Shouta’s new tail curling daintily overtop his feet so that it was out of the way of the car door.
“So, your place or mine?” Hizashi asked, only to wince at how suggestive that sounded.
“You know you don’t have to actually watch me. I’ll be fine on my own,” Shouta muttered in return. A flush of red staining his cheeks. If it was from irritation at his situation or something else Hizashi didn’t know.
“Your place it is then,” he replied, a flush staining his own cheeks.
 I love the Star Wars references Kohei Horikoshi includes throughout the series so I decided to try and use them as well. Mintooin or the Minntooine Spur is a hyperspace lane in the Star Wars universe that connects the Calamari system with the Minntooine System. Where better for an aquatic villain to be from?
 I'm also a fan of how Horikoshi has the character's names reflect their Quirk. So the villain, The Gilman, is a reference to the Gilman House in Lovecraft's 'The Shadow over Innsmouth' since I couldn't call him Innsmouth as it was already taken by the octopus villain Tsuyu faced.
 I'm not really sure where this is going plot wise. Mostly I've just got a variety of scenes planned for Aizawa to test out his new body and a general idea of how it all should end. I'm mostly just writing this as something short and fun until my writer's block for my main fic goes away. Still I hope someone enjoys it.
Sorry this took so long. I've been dealing with some medical stuff the last few months. Hopefully, now that I've got my diagnosis and have begun a treatment that actually seems to be helping, I'll be back to writing more regularly in the future.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
In Hizashi’s opinion the building that contained Shouta’s shoebox of an apartment was not what anyone would have consider to be in the best part of town. Then again neither was it in the worst part of town either. It was an older building that had been well enough maintained that its age gave it a bit of character rather than an air of neglect. And in any case, it was still miles better than the old rattrap the other man had stayed in during their U.A. days.
“Just let me grab my overnight bag and we can head up,” Hizashi said, popping the trunk as Shouta climbed out of the passenger seat.
Most Pro-Heroes had at least one emergency overnight bag ready to go at all times – Hizashi kept three: one in his car, one in his locker at U.A., and one at his agency. The duffle bag in his trunk was one of the better stocked ones containing within it: a couple of changes of clothes, toiletries, a repair kit for his directional speaker, a spare set of both his regular glasses and his sunglasses, a recharging cord for his cellphone, a basic first aid kit, insect repellant, and a tidy sum of emergency cash sewn into the bag’s lining.
“I still say I’d be fine on my own,” Shouta muttered mulishly as Hizashi closed the trunk.
“Keep talking like that and I might start thinking you don’t want me around,” he returned only half-teasing.
And there went Shouta’s ears folding liked a scolded cat.
“C’mon,” he huffed, turning on a heel and stalking off towards his building.
Apparently natural athleticism coupled with a sense of balance that would put a trapeze artist to shame counted for something when trying to regaining one’s equilibrium after having your center of gravity shifted abruptly, Hizashi thought falling into step behind him.
Spartan was a good way of describing Shouta’s apartment. The other man had never been particularly interested in accumulating stuff. At least when it came to himself….
The rather impressive cat tree that dominated the living room spoke for itself towards the length’s the erasure hero was willing to go when it came to pampering his hoard, however. The baker’s dozen jewel bright eyes watching them with lazy, yet contented interest from both its branches and various other points around the room said the rest.
“Might be a good idea to shake your slippers out first,” Shouta warned as Hizashi stored his boots away in the getabako.
“Uh, why?” he asked even as he did so.
“Mochi’s taken to leaving her most recent catches in mine. Not mice or anything,” he added quickly. “Just a couple of beetles and a katydid the other day.”
“Gah,” Hizashi squawked, the force his quirk that would have been infused into the sound fizzling out in the face of Shouta’s own quirk. Nevertheless, an entomophobia induced flail sent his slipper flying.
“I only told you so you wouldn’t freak out,” Shouta huffed, snagging the slipper out of the air and shooting him a glare with ember red eyes.
Okay, so no maybe on the vertically slit pupils, the part of Hizashi’s mind not sending the phantom sensation of hundreds of tiny prickly legs scurrying under his skin chimed in unhelpfully.
And that wasn’t the only change from Shouta’s usual use of his quirk, because not only was his hair standing on end, but his tail was currently doing a very good impression of a bottlebrush as well.
Making a show of shaking the slipper out himself, Shouta shot him a look as if to say ‘See, you’re freaking out over nothing,’ before he handed it back to him; blinking away his quirk as he did so.
Okay, so maybe he’d overacted a bit – but bugs! Even potentially already dead ones in his shoes! Gah, it was enough to send his skin crawling again.
Thankfully, distraction came in the form of a random thought.
“Wait, I thought cats only brought you their kills if they think you’re a poor hunter?” he asked, forcing a cheeky grin across his face. “Are you telling me that even your youngest thinks your eating habits are so atrocious that she needs to feed you up herself?”
“Har, har,” Shouta deadpanned, dripping a couple of drops of his viscous eye gel into each bloodshot eye. Tucking the green bottle away as he stepped up from the entryway; tail lashing as he misjudged the step’s height making him almost trip.
“Speaking of food,” Hizashi added, following after him, and studiously ignoring the momentary fumble. “Have you eaten?”
His own stomach was currently gnawing at his backbone since he’d yet to have the late supper he’d been banking on after his show.
“There are jelly packs in the fridge,” Shouta replied absently as of one the more demanding members of his hoard, a tortoiseshell named Chika, came over to give his shins a headbutt of greeting as she set about rather vocally demanding ear scritches.
“Those aren’t real food and you know it,” Hizashi returned, but there was no real heat to it.
“They contain all the nutrients and calories of a full meal. They’re more efficient than ‘real’ food,” Shouta replied, all the while giving Chika a careful scratch between the ears. Being quite mindful of his new claws so that he didn’t accidentally hurt her.
“Yeah, if you efficiently want your stomach to lose the ability to process solids,” Hizashi grumbled back. They’d been having this particular ‘discussion’ for years and he knew that there was really only a couple of ways to ensure that Shouta was eating more than protein gel. If they’d been at his place he would have cooked, but since they weren’t – “Are your take-out menus in the same place?”
A grunt in the affirmative as well as a vague gesture to the drawer nearest the fridge was his only answer.
“Good, you can help me pick something out then,” Hizashi said as he abandoned his overnight bag in the hall and stepped into the kitchen. While he was rifling through the menus, Shouta – after giving Chika one final stroke from head to tail – decided to join him even as the twins, Kuro and Susu decide to join their sister in greeting their human.
The pair of solid black purring ankle twiners hopping up onto the counter as Shouta shifted though the tea tins that seemed to dominate the cabinet to Hizashi’s left.
“No, you little junky this isn’t the catnip,” Shouta lightly scolded as Kuro – or maybe it was Susu – tried his best to stick his nose into the tin in Shouta’s hand.
“Is green tea alright,” he’s asked, holding up the tin and turning towards him. “I’ve also got barley tea in the fridge if you’d rather.”
Hizashi gave it a moment’s thought before deciding, “Barley’d be good, thanks.”
It was late enough that the last thing he needed was caffeine.
“You fine with gyoza?” he asked in return.
“Sure. At least you’re not trying to shove sushi down my throat,” was Shouta’s wry reply, a flash of fang the only marked difference from his usual smirk.
While Hizashi called in their order, Shouta had busied himself by spreading out his file on the Gilman across the top of the low table in his living room.
In all actuality it was the base of his kotatsu – the futon having been removed due to the heat of the approaching summer. However, even without the electric heater going, Shouta’s eldest, Ji-Ji – an old gray tom who’d been through the wars before he’d found a home with the erasure hero, was lounging underneath it in his basket. His single amber eye watching the proceedings with a vague sort of interest before returning to his dozing.
Call complete and with the promise of food in half an hour Hizashi set about making himself a bit more comfortable. Fingers deftly finding the hidden latches on his directional speaker that when depressed caused the near invisible hinges on the sides to swing wide.
Depositing it atop his overnight bag he moved to join Shouta in the living room; sinking down into a cushion opposite him while scrubbing absently at his now exposed throat.
“Do you care if I take a look?” he asked, gesturing to the files the erasure hero was flipping through.
Shouta hummed his permission, “Go ahead. Maybe you’ll see something I missed.”
As always Shouta’s notes were meticulous. He had everything from a map dotted with marks denoting the locations of all the Gilman’s known attacks to write ups on each of the previous victims. Including a transcript of the interview with the surviving victim, Izumi Hisakawa, who’d managed to survive her partial transformation into a koi fish by using her Hydrokinesis quirk to engulf her head in a bubble of water.
It was her dossier that Hizashi was examining now.
The first page showing a before and after photo of the poor woman. The latter showing the cyan haired woman sporting specialized support gear designed to push water across her gills so that she could continue to get around on dry land.
Next was a copy of the sketch she’d provided the police of the Gilman himself, however it wasn’t the most informative image in the world. Male with a stocky built was about the only information that could be gleaned from it since his body and face was completely obscured by the olive jumpsuit he was wearing and the old-fashioned diving helmet he’d encased his head in.
“A diving helmet, really,” Hizashi remarked, holding up the police sketch.
“Yup,” Shouta mumbled, looking equally perplexed as he peered over top his #1 Cat Mom mug. “She forgot to mention in her interview the gaff he was flailing around. Then again that could be something he’s picked up recently. She was one of his earlier victims after all.”
“Do the police even know how long he’s been active?” Hizashi asked.
“Best guess is just over a year since there’s been a victim matching his M.O. every two months since his debut with the death of Chouza Iwasaki last summer,” said Shouta, pointing to the crime scene photo of a man with fish like features incongruent with the natural features of his mutation quirk that gave him the multifaceted eyes and feathery antenna of moth. “Plus, there’s always the chance he was active before. Especially if he started out killing without his quirk.”
“Well at least with your transformation we now know more about his quirk, so that will narrow the list of parameters to search for in the quirk registry.”
“If he’s registered,” Shouta growled and from the look on his face Hizashi knew that he was thinking of the two key players in the USJ attack.
The next words out his mouth, however, had nothing to do with the League of Villains.
“Do you think he’ll stick to his pattern after this? Go underground for a month before going after his next target?”
Hizashi worried his lower lip as he pondered his answer.
“You know this case better than me,” he said finally. Knowing it wasn’t what the other man wanted to hear. “What’s your gut telling you?”
“Nothing much considering I tend not to let it do my detective work for me,” Shouta remarked, ducking his head to hide a scowl in the folds of his capture weapon. “The facts of the case are that Gilman was out hunting barely a week after his failed attacked on Hisakawa. That’s when Kurosawa was killed.
Hizashi glanced at the file on Ichirou Kurosawa – the tentacles dangling from his chin in combination with his bat-like wings making him look like the embodiment of Cthulhu.
“You know if it was just a case of the victim escaping on their own I’d agree with you,” he said. “You’re right that his behavior with Hisakawa supports that theory…. But Shouta you’re not taking into account that he was stopped in the middle of an attack by a hero – by you – and that’s not happened before as far as we know. It might be just the thing to make him lay low for a while…. Of course, it really all depends on what’s driving him. If there is something driving him more than a desire kill.”
“Well,” Shouta drawled, untucking his chin from his capture weapon, “considering the whole time I was trying to keep him away from his most recent target he was shouting that ‘everyone had to pay for the suffering and exploitation of his underwater brethren’ I’d say he had more than just a desire for human suffering driving him.”
“It is a possible angle.” Shouta began rifling through the victim profiles until he found the one he was looking for and held it up for Hizashi’s perusal. “Akira Tanaka, according to this he owned a small fleet of fishing boats out of Musutafu Harbor. That might be enough to piss off Gilman.”
“What about the other’s occupations?” Hizashi asked, seizing another of the victim profiles and giving it a quick read through.
Once they knew what to look for it was obvious why each of the Gilman’s targets had been chosen. Each of them was connected to something that would have pinged on a fish-nut’s radar. From the chef of a restaurant that prided itself on its ikizukuri style sashimi to a curator at the local aquarium.
Shouta had just gotten off the phone updating the lead detective on the case about this potential development when the food arrived. While Hizashi went to pay, Shouta set about shuffling his papers around so that there was enough room at the table for them to eat without making a mess of his notes.
In no time at all Hizashi was back and the take-out was divvied up between them.
“Hey, fortune cookie,” Hizashi crowed snatching up one of the cookies from the bottom of the delivery bag and cracking it open.
A good friendship is often more important than a passionate romance, it read.
‘Thanks universe’, he grumbled mentally. As if that wasn’t the very reason why he’d never tried for anything more with Shouta.
And speaking of Shouta.
“Are you alright?”
He had to ask because the other man was chewing each bite rather gingerly. Almost as though each bite physically pained him or as if he was trying not to be sick.
“Fine,” Shouta grunted. “Everything just tastes … weird. Not bad, just slightly off. It was the same with the tea. It’s probably just the barbs.”
“The what now?”
Instead of answering him verbally, Shouta merely finished the bite he was working on and proceeded to stick his tongue out at him.
‘Huh, that could be interesting,’ the part of his brain that had been corrupted by Nemuri chimed in as Shouta retracted the now barbed appendage. He then proceeded to give himself a mental smack before asking, “And you’re chewing like you’ve got a toothache because…?”
“Because only one of us can pull off a pierced tongue and it isn’t me” was Shouta’s succinct reply.
A glance at the clock showed that time was slowly edging from really late to really early. And so, if either of them was going to be in anyway functional the next day they both needed sleep.
“I’ll set up the spare futon,” Shouta offered, heading off into his bedroom and leaving Hizashi to wander into the bathroom to change out of the rest of his hero gear.
Jacket and gloves shed he shoved his head into the sink. It wasn’t until his hair had fully softened from his signature crest that he immerged and began pressing the worst of the water from his locks, the golden strands falling just past his shoulder blades without any product to keep them aloft.
He was in the middle of eeling out of his trousers when he heard a bit of a commotion coming from Shouta’s room.
“Shouta?” he called. “Everything alright?”
'Well that was certainly concerning,' Hizashi thought jerking his trousers back up his legs for expedency’s sake and motoring towards the other man’s room.
As he approached, however, it became apparent that Shouta hadn’t been calling for him at all.
“No,” came Shouta’s frustrated urgings once again. “Not on the futon!”
He arrived in the doorway just in time to witness Hime – a normally poised and refined marmalade tabby – hack up a large hairball with a strangled ‘hurk’ directly in the middle of the spare futon.
Shouta, who had apparently been attempting to dislodge Hime from her place atop it before she spewed was now pinching the bridge of his nose between thumb and forefinger in an effort to stave off an approaching headache.
“Even if I hook up the futon dryer this isn’t going to be useable until morning,” Shouta said after a taking a few minutes to clean the cat vomit from the spare. A rather sizable wet spot in the center now rendering it a less that ideal place to sleep. “You can take mine. I’ll just bunk down in my sleeping bag.”
“I’m not putting you out of your own bed,” Hizashi protested immediately. Shouta had just gotten out of the hospital after having his DNA mucked about with. If anyone deserved to sleep in their own bed it was him.
“Fine then we’ll just share,” Shouta chimed in like it was nothing.
'And it is,' Hizashi firmly reminds the part of his brain the wishes things between them could be something more. Remember your damn fortune, idiot.
And hell, it wasn’t even the first time they’d had to bunk down together at one of their places. It was just the first time in a while that they’d needed to share such a small sleeping space to do so. When they’d stayed at Hizashi’s in the wake of the USJ Incident they’d had his large western style bed to split between them.
Resolved to not make this weird, Hizashi returned to the bathroom to finish changing into his sleepwear. When he returned to the bedroom Shouta had done the same; giving his least favorite pair of sweats the same treatment he’d given the seat of his jumptsuit.
In no time at all they were slipping beneath the comforting weight of Shouta’s comforter – bright yellow with black cats prowling about the edges. It had been a gift for his last birthday.
It had never been more apparent that Shouta had lost more than a few inches in height until this moment. Before Shouta and he had been able to look one another directly in the eye when laying side-by-side. Now the brunette could have easily tucked his head underneath Hizashi’s chin if he’d wanted too.
Which he didn’t seem inclined to do as he dropped off immediately. Shouta’s ability to fall asleep any and everywhere was a skill he regularly demonstrated with his frequent naps around U.A..
Hizashi was less lucky as he was left trying to relax as he lay beside his long-time crush in the dark of the room. Just as he was about to finally drift off, he felt the downy feather soft tickle of Shouta's tail as the other man unconsciously curled it up and around the two of them as he shifted in his sleep towards Hizashi's warmer body.
This, this wasn't so bad, he thought as the other man's warmth seeped into him. And as he finally slipped off to sleep it was to the kitten soft prickle of clawed fingers twitching across the material of his t-shirt over his stomach.
Next chapter I plan to explore Shouta's POV of everything that's been happening. Fingerscrossed I can get into Mr. Rationality's headspace and make it work. :)