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Bakugou can still remember the way his mom would smile at him. The corners of her mouth would pull wide, popping dimples in her cheeks, as she beamed at him. Wrinkles in the corners of her eyes, which had just begun to form, would crinkle. It was the most beautiful thing in the world- still is, he thinks, as he leans against the wall. Sometimes, when things are particularly hard, Bakugou closes his eyes and remembers it.

This is one of those times. He can hear the sounds of the other omegas outside his cell. Sometimes they scream. Sometimes they cry. Sometimes they sing to themselves, until one of their keepers walks by and hears it. Bakugou bristles as he hears the sizzle of flesh burning and the sharp cries of pain, closes his eyes, and thinks of that smile.  If it’s a particularly good day, he can still hear her laugh and the sound of the car radio crooning soft rock. Mom’s smile is the only thing he remembers of the life that was once his.

Bakugou was only six when that life ended. Well, he’s pretty sure he was six, anyway, it’s hard to remember. He doesn’t know how old he is now. It’s been so long since he was stolen that he has no idea what his birthdate is anymore. He can still remember the smell of the hot asphalt in the summer sun as he walked home from the park that day. His mom’s car pulled up outside to pick him up- or at least, he thought it was her car- and he hopped inside, eagerly waiting a bright smile.

The smile that he received was not the one he expected. Sinister, brutal, terrifying. The look of the man sitting in the driver’s seat of his mother’s car was unlike anything he’d seen before, and when you were raised living in a world full of people with Quirks, that’s really saying something. Bakugou’s brain sometimes flips to that awful smile and the fear it brought bubbling forth in his belly. Wrinkled skin pulling around dried, bloody lips, and rotting teeth- Bakugou can still remember the smell of them as it hit his face. When he saw that smile, his world went black, and when he woke up he was here.

Here is not a fun place to be. Where here is exactly is yet another terrifying mystery in his life. Bakugou is considered lucky here. He’s got the biggest cell, which is big enough for a blanket, a pillow, and a corner to relieve himself in. Light even spills in from the hallway, which others have told him is a luxury they aren’t entitled to. Others don’t have it so lucky. Others have to share.

Squirming in his small cell, Bakugou growls angrily under his breath as he fights against his restraints. They aren’t much, just a pair of handcuffs with large, tempered steel containers on the end that cover his hands, but they are the things he hates more than anything else about his cell. As much as he makes the sweat on his skin explode, he can’t free himself from their hold. If they were gone, he’d have some sense of freedom in this tiny room, but with these shackles, he’s truly a prisoner.

“Someone get Blondie out of his cell,” he hears a voice say. It’s very familiar. He can hear it dripping with vitriol and bated breath. This voice always gets excited when he survives. This is the voice that he both loves and hates; it’s the one that chooses his brief, terrifying moments of freedom, and doles out the even scarier punishments.

It’s answered by a lazy sigh. “Really? He fights so hard. It’s annoying.”

“I’m serious , Dabi. If you quit arguing, I’ll melt that disgusting flesh right off your face.”

“Tch. Don’t need to make threats, I’m already doing it.”

Bakugou rises to his feet and rolls his shoulders, despite the aching hunger in his belly. He’s the blonde. Well, right now, anyway; who knows if they’ll get another omega who’s also blonde. His scalp is shaved clean of any hair that once grew there to save his keepers the trouble of bathing him, but when he did have hair, it was blonde. Ashen, like the color of beach sand touched by stones and sediment.

Dabi stops outside his cell with the keys and Bakugou can feel rage and fear and determination all begin to well inside him like blood from a wound. He hates Dabi. Not as much as the other one, but enough to make him bare his teeth and snarl.

“Pipe down. You smell disgusting,” Dabi sneers. Of course, the alpha scent rolls off of him like smoke off a pipe: musky, unrelenting, nasty. Bakugou smells this on every single one of his keepers and it always makes him sick to his stomach. The smell means treachery and horror beyond anything anyone ever taught him when he still had a life.

“Fuck you!” Bakugou snarls.

Dabi only smiles at him. “Maybe later.”

That makes him flounder ever-so-slightly, only to bounce back to his defensive position with his metal cuffs in front of him. Dabi can smell it, the fear, and it always makes him smile. It makes Bakugou tremble because he knows what usually comes next. It’s never nice and always leaves him limping and hurt after. He cringes and snarls as Dabi slides open the barred gate to his cage.

“Out. And no funny business, or you’ll get another pretty scar to match all the others, omega.”

Bakugou hesitates just a moment and regrets it as Dabi reaches in, grabs his cuffs by the chain, and yanks him out, leaving him to fall face-first on the floor. Laughter echoes through the dingy room as his other keepers laugh at him. There’s several of them gathered at a small table in the corner. Some of them are familiar, some are new, but all are hated. The room reeks of alpha.

“Now now, Dabi, don’t hurt his pretty face,” Tomura says, looping one leg over the other. “You know he’s my favorite.”

Bakugou hisses at him, writhing on the floor as he tries to push up on his sheltered hands. Tomura plants a boot in his side and laughs again as Bakugou falls and snarls.

“Die, asshole,” Bakugou growls.

Tomura only smiles at him from his perch on an old barstool. His fingers curl around his wrinkled, disgusting chin as he rests his elbow on the table to peer down at him. Normally, he has a hand over his face, Bakugou has never figured out why, but today it lies, palm-up on the table, revealing the entirety of his face.

Tomura is one of a very few that haunt Bakugou in his dreams. Those wretched, awful hands have touched him everywhere they could reach, strangled him, suffocated him, beaten him, taken everything that they could. Where Dabi is aggressive and hurtful, Tomura is sinister and calculated. Dabi has left the scars on his body, but Tomura made the scars on his mind.

“Toss him in the ring,” Tomura said. “We have some new ones I want to test out.”

Dabi answers him with a sigh, grabs his handcuffs by the chain, and leaves. Bakugou yells angrily as he drags along on his bare knees, trying to rise to his feet. “Don’t kill these ones. Don’t let them kill you. Don’t go for the eyes,” Dabi says, as they walk down the hall. The hallway stinks of cigarette smoke and the light fixtures overhead buzz, which never fails to give Bakugou a headache.

They go through a door, which leads to a stairwell, and descend. Bakugou can count until they hit ten, and then he’s lost. It’s a wonder how many more they descend, and he’s dying to know. He stumbles clumsily down the stairs as Dabi yanks his chain hard and laughs.

“Alright, blondie. Remember the rules?” he asks, turning to face him. He uncuffs him quickly before using his alpha voice to command, “Don’t fucking blow me up.”

Bakugou spits in his face.

The cruel smile returns to Dabi’s face as he wipes the pearly drool from his left eye. “Just for that,” He mutters, yanking Bakugou close so he can whisper in his ear, “I’m gonna fuck you, even if you win.”

“I’ll kill you first.”

“In your wildest dreams,” Dabi says, before he opens the door, thrusts Bakugou through it, and closes it behind him.

Bakugou reaches to massage the raw skin on his wrists and grimaces as his dirty hands sting the open flesh. He settles for shaking the feeling back into his sweaty palms as they start to smoke. Won’t be long now, he thinks, as he makes his way hastily to the corner of the arena that’s covered in blast marks and bloodstains.

To call it an arena is kind of a joke. It looks like something out of a wrestling show when the announcer calls for a cage match. Chain link barriers line the three sides of the old boxing ring that are open to the air. The surface of the mat is disgusting; various bodily fluids and remnants of weird quirks stain its surface. It reeks of past horrors and omega fear pheromones. Bakugou’s stomach twinges out of instinct as they pass under his nose.

Old folding chairs litter the floor of the room outside the chain link cage. The usual crowd is here, which isn’t surprising at all. They always come for Bakugou’s fights. Most are quiet, save for a few leering cheers from time to time when his body starts to hurt and he’s hard most of the time. Those are the times he hates the most. Those are the times he fights the most.

The door he just came from opens again. Another omega is pushed inside and the door is firmly shut behind them with a slam that echoes through the empty, quiet room. Bakugou snarls at him, teeth gnashing, ready to fight. Dabi’s words echo in his brain and he craves comfort from the fearful images that creep into his mind. Memories, painful ones, ones he wants to forget but his body will never allow him.

Holding his wrist out in front of him, his hand simmers, pops, and an explosion fires off at the other omega. Bakugou watches as they don’t fight back, merely fall to the floor, their clothes singed and nose bleeding. His eyes are hazy and Bakugou creeps closer with curiosity.

“The fuck is wrong with you? Fight, asshole!”

They don’t fight, though. They just lay there in a twitching heap on the floor. Bakugou wonders if maybe they’re having a time, but he can’t smell them and he crouches by them to poke at them. He’s not about to take an easy win, so fighting is out of the question, and Dabi told him not to kill this one, anyway.

“Hey!” he yells.

He can see their lips moving but the way his ears ring makes it hard for him to hear so he leans down and gets closer. “Hey!” he yells again.

“They’re coming, I can hear them. I can hear it…” the male omega mutters. His voice is a wheeze and he reaches out for Bakugou with claw-like fingers. Bird quirk, Bakugou thinks, until he sees the ears. They’re way bigger than a normal human ear. That’s weird, birds don’t have ears.

Bakugou watches as his eyes dilate rapidly and his body shakes before he starts to foam at the mouth and falls still. He reaches out to touch them, realizing how oddly still they are. Did they just die? Did they just fucking drop dead? What the hell?

Dabi’s gonna kill him. He’s gonna see the scorch marks on his shirt and think that he was the one to make this shit-for-brains drop dead. Bakugou grabs him by the shirt, picks up his body, and shakes him so hard the spittle that dribbles from between his lips flecks across the stained mat.

“Wake up, wake up!” Bakugou sobs as panic grips his chest like a vise. “You stupid piece of shit!”

It’s getting uncomfortably warm in the ring. Bakugou can normally handle the heat, seeing as he makes explosions out of his own sweat on a near-daily basis, but this heat is sweltering. Sweat starts beading on the sides of his neck and smoking almost instantly. He can feel it stinging in the flesh rubbed raw by his shackles and in his eyes.

The heat fills him with panic. This isn’t normal. Everything around him is already so chaotic that throwing anything else off-kilter will drive him insane, and this is pushing that little thread of sanity he’s worked hard to maintain. He looks down at the corpse on the floor and then back up to the door.

The door- that’s the key.

He reaches for it and the handle burns his skin.

“The fuck!?” he howls, cradling his hand to his chest. Why does the handle burn him? Why is it still locked? He realizes now that the crowd is funneling out of the room at an alarming rate. They’re pushing and shoving and crawling over each other to reach the little door on the other side of the room. These freaks have seen him kill many times, so he knows it’s not because of the stiff on the floor. They want out of here, which means he probably should want out of here, too.

He takes an aggressive stance, orients his fists towards the chain link, and fires off some explosions. Nothing. He even grips the chain link in his hands and tries to blow it up that way to no avail. Bakugou wants to try to blow up the door, but it’s too hot to press his hands against and if it’s hot then there’s something hot on the other side. Right?

Of course can’t blow them up, he realizes. Someone with a Quirk around here who knows his fighting style made them or bought them or- Bakugou doesn’t fucking know. He just wants to get through it, wants to escape the hellish heat that’s boring down on him and making him wish he had more clothes to take off, just to keep cool.

Bakugou has an epiphany that makes him grasp fistfuls of his hair and scream at the top of his lungs with rage. Even if he got out of the arena and broke free, then what? He doesn’t know how to get out of here. He doesn’t even know where he is . Nevermind following the signs posted on the walls of what he thinks is an abandoned office building because he can’t fucking read.

It’s pointless. Even in the best possible fucking scenario he’s lost. Slumping against the chain link, Bakugou slides to the floor. He pulls his knees up into his chest and wraps his arms around them as his sweat soaks into his grimy t-shirt. Whatever is happening, it’s bad, and no one gives a shit about him enough to come down here and sneer at him as he sweats his guts out.

It sucks to die, and it sucks even more to die alone.




Bakugou doesn’t know how long he’s been sitting there now. The lights went out a long time ago. The digital clock they keep by the ring to keep time for matches reads one-two-four-seven, whatever the hell that means. He’s sweat through his shirt by now; fortunately, since it’s soaked, it does a better job at keeping him cool. The body on the floor across the mat reeks from the heat. He closes his eyes tightly and swears under his breath. If whatever’s gonna happen could just get itself the fuck over with, that would be great.

Mama’s smile, ensconced in a twilight glow, shines at him from behind his eyelids. She’s so pretty, and her smile is so warm. Bakugou wonders if she’s still alive. If she’s not, then they’ll meet in the afterlife. Sounds nice, nicer than any of this.

Suddenly, the whole room starts to shake. Like, really, really shake; Bakugou can feel his teeth rattling together in his mouth, it’s shaking so hard. Dust starts to fall from the ceiling like snowflakes as the trembling continues. He can hear massive rumblings above. Is the building falling? It must be.

A massive column from the floor above comes punching through the floor, along with another load of debris that sends dust billowing into the air that stings his lungs and his throat and his eyes and he can’t help but clench them shut as he holds his shirt over his mouth as some kind of shitty filter-

There it is. A voice.

“Found the basement!” someone yells.

Bakugou yells in reply, but no one comes. They can’t leave him down here to rot, they just can’t, he’s too valuable, he’s the only good fighter they have. They’ll have to start all over without him, won’t they? Tomura can’t lose him. He’s worth money. He said so last time he misbehaved, when he blew one of Dabi’s fingers off when he tried to touch his scent gland and Tomura said he’d sell him as a slut to the highest bidder.

There’s so much anger and hate bubbling up inside him at the memory that he lets off a round of explosions, one from each fingertip. They make the walls quake and the ceiling lurch. Maybe not his best idea but he’d rather be buried alive down here than go back up there with them.

The column that’s piercing the roof is crumbling; someone practically obliterates it with their Quirk as they come crashing through it with a swift kick. As it crumbles to the ground, Bakugou presses his back against the chain link. Whoever Tomura has sent is new, and strong. Stronger than him, he thinks, as he watches the column fragment into a million pieces. He wants to be stronger, though. He wants to be free of this place, of Tomura, of everyone that’s ever hurt him, and this guy is the only thing standing in the way.

He can see the dust billowing in the sunlight as the air clears and its rays nearly blind him. When was the last time he saw the sun? It’s so fucking bright, he can’t stand it. Growling in frustration at the sudden blindness, he presses the heels of his hands into his eyes.

“There’s someone down here!” the man calls.

No.

“I’m on my way down!” another calls.

Fuck. He’s so tired, he doesn’t know if he can fight off this guy, let alone two guys. His legs shake as he tucks them underneath himself, trying to lift up off the mat. Raising his hands, he gets weak little crackles out of his palms instead of his big explosions. “Don’t come near me!” he shouts in a rasp.

“He’s agitated, be careful,” the first one says, holding his hands up, palms toward him. Fuck, what kind of quirk is that gonna be? Maybe fire from the hands, he fought someone who had that once. Or maybe his hands get really big. Bakugou is getting dizzy trying to think of a way to take this guy down.

“Hey! What’s your name?” the second one calls. His hair is red, almost as red as blood, and his smile is made of teeth sharpened to points. That’s terrifying. They look painful.

“Don’t… don’t fucking come near me!” Bakugou bellows as they approach the chain link.

“We need to check and see if you’re alright,” the first one says. He’s green. Green all over, with a grate covering his face. The bunny ears on his costume remind Bakugou of some guy he used to watch on TV that smiled all the time.

The second one sticks his hands through the chainlink- Red, Bakugou thinks, that one’s red- and his skin hardens like a rock. He pulls the chain link apart like it’s made of tissue paper. Fuck, he’s strong too, Bakugou can’t handle the both of them and he’s so tired, so tired of the fighting and the abuse.

He’ll die fighting, he thinks, as he lifts his palms, presses their heels together, and summons the remainder of his strength to fire a massive explosion in their direction.

The smoke clears, Bakugou’s ears ring, and… nothing. Red’s standing there with his skin looking like the side of a cliff face. His clothes are smoking, but he’s still smiling at him with those shark teeth and those weird black bands on his face like Bakugou’s just made his day. It makes Bakugou’s gut clench in fear.

“Hey! That’s a pretty rad quirk, dude,” Red says excitedly. “You can blow shit up!”

Bakugou snarls at him. “Don’t fucking talk down to me, just kill me already!”

Red examines him with a furrowed brow and a frown. Maybe he’s mad, that looks like the kind of face Tomura makes when he’s mad. Good. Let him be mad; it’s the angry ones that always make bad decisions, and bad decisions leave open spaces for strong hits. “What is he talking about, Deku?”

Green grabs Red by the sleeve. “He’s one of the omegas Naomasa told us about!”

“Oh yeah! You think so?”

Bakugou tries to inch around them as they chatter. Maybe he can make it out, then he’d be free. Find mom, get his life back. After that, he has no idea.

“Can’t you smell his scent? He’s so stressed. Poor guy,” Green says. Bakugou can see right through him and the ruse; he’s probably trying to draw him close with kind words so he can smash his face in with one of those kicks. His hands are shaking and his knees slip as he crawls around the edge of the ring.

Red sighs. “Let’s get him out of here. They’ve got the paramedics upstairs to get these poor people out of here. Can you believe this shit?”

“Now’s not the time, Kiri… wait, did you see where he-”

“He’s over there!”

No !” Bakugou screams, backing up against the chain link.

Red - Kiri, the green one called him- holds out a hand as he approaches. They’re huge, so much bigger than his, and already the man reeks of alpha. Bakugou retreats even further until the chain link starts to press into his skin painfully. He just wants them to go away.

“We’re here to help you,” Red says confidently. His scent shifts. He smells like… what does he smell like? It’s not that sickly smell like Tomura or Dabi, but still, Bakugou smells that musk of alpha and it makes his stomach turn.

“No, no, no, no. Stop, don’t!” Bakugou says, his voice rasping from the smoke. His ears are ringing. His chest is tight, like he can’t breathe, like someone strapped a cage around his lungs. His breath falls fast and heavy from his lips as he tries to focus his eyes on the alpha, but his vision’s getting spinny.

“Deku, I’m gonna pick him up.”

“Be careful. I’d harden first, seeing as he has an explosion quirk, but he’s pretty tired. Should be easy enough.”

“I said no! Don’t! Don’t! ” Bakugou chokes as Red gets so close he can’t smell anything but alpha. His hands crackle weakly as he swats at Red, trying to get him to back off. The other keepers know better. They know the crackles are a warning before the real explosions start and Bakugou prays he’s got enough left in him to ignite a few good ones.

Red picks him up firmly and tucks him over his shoulder. Bakugou writhes against him and presses his palms flat against Red’s back, screaming as his arms ache in protest. He can feel the veins pulsing in his arms as he strains to ignite; it hurts so badly, but the only feeble chance he’s got he’s got to escape is fading.

The hard skin beneath his palms barely reacts to his explosions. It’s impressive; even with the keepers, they know better than to get on the wrong end of his blasts, but this alpha seems to have the strength to survive them. Nevermind survive them, it’s almost like Bakugou didn’t even blast him at all.

“The fuck?” Bakugou hisses as he resorts to wailing on Red with his fists.

Red only groans as he tightens his grip on his waist before Deku lifts all three of them out of the crumbling basement with a mighty jump. “My hardening counteracts your blasts, dude. I’m trying to help you, why are you acting like this?”

“He’s probably irrational and afraid, Kiri,” Green says.

Bakugou growls, “Shut the fuck up, I’m not afraid!”

The look Green gives him as Red hands him over to the paramedics is full of pity. Bakugou hates it, wants to blast it right off of his stupid face. He doesn’t need pity. He doesn’t need sympathy. He just needs a goddamn opening, a break, something .

He just wants his life back and he missed his only chance.

He’s still struggling as the paramedics try to force him to lie down on the stretcher, but he’s less than cooperative. A hand rests on his arm and suddenly, sleep hits him like a sack of bricks. A quirk. It’s a good one, he thinks, effective. His eyelids are suddenly too heavy to keep open. Too tired to protest, he falls limp against the cold cotton sheet on the stretcher and passes out.

Chapter Text

It’s with a heavy heart that Kirishima settles back in his chair and folds his arms behind his head as he stares at his desk. Someone who was passing by might think he had missed weeks of work. Stacks of police reports, summaries of his work, statistical worksheets, and various papers loom atop it like a small mountain.

Of course, it’s all from today. Kirishima sighs as he sinks his fingertips into his red spikes to massage his scalp. It’s been a long day, to say the least, and the thought makes him feel selfish. If anyone’s had a hard day today, it’s the survivors they pulled out of that building.

Today was nothing like he’d planned for it to be. He was supposed to come to work, do his job with little to no disruption beyond the norm, and go home. He wasn’t supposed to be sitting here at his desk at eleven PM, dreading the silence of his apartment. Even now, he can imagine the memories of his day sticking to the backs of his eyelids.

Kirishima can hear Midoriya shuffling around over the cubicle wall and knows he’s here for the exact same reason. What they saw today was haunting. Frightening. Appalling. It’s a lot when it’s coming from a pro hero. Kirishima has been working as one long enough to think he’s seen a fair lot of it.

Today was ample enough evidence to prove there are still horrific things left to fear in this world.

“Hey, Zuku,” Kirishima calls over the cubicle wall. “You got the damage report from the city yet?”

“Nope. Aizawa’s still working on it,” Midoriya says as that unmistakable mop of green hair pops over to peek at him. Matching green eyes dart toward the office on the far end of the room, where Kirishima can still see a sliver of light pouring into their nearly-dark office from under the door. They’re the only three left; everyone else went home hours ago. Then again, everyone else didn’t have to work the job they worked today.

Kirishima’s eyes linger on the door, on that little sliver of light, and he can see the shadows of crumbling cement and motes of dust dancing in little golden strands of daylight.

“You alright, Eiji? Tired? You should go home,” Midoriya says.

Kirishima shakes his head with a weak smile. “Nah, I’m good.”

Midoriya raises his eyebrows.

His razor-sharp smile fades and Kirishima leans forward, elbows on his knees, to cradle his face in his palms. “Okay, maybe not,” he says, his voice muffled by his scarred hands.

Midoriya’s feet scrape across the carpet as he makes his way around the cubicle wall. There’s the roll of squeaky wheels under an office chair and a groan as Midoriya settles into it. “We should talk about today,” he says, emerald eyes focusing on his twiddling thumbs. “It’s bad to let stuff like that get bottled up.”

“We’re pros now, Izuku, stuff isn’t supposed to rattle us anymore,” Kirishima exclaims.

“I know.”

“So why is this so bad? I don’t even wanna go home. Being home means… means I’m just gonna think!”

Midoriya nods as his eyes drift to the paperwork. “I still can’t believe it.”

“We were so close …”

“Tsukauchi says we were lucky to have gotten there so soon. More would have been dead.”

Kirishima thinks of the smoke billowing into the air as they approached the abandoned office park on foot. It hadn’t been far from where he and Midoriya were patrolling, but the way it burned seemed like it had been going for a long time… a roaring fire, licking at the sky like hungry dogs with deafening crackles of flames.

They could hear the screams from outside.

The police had been pursuing rumors of an underground omega fighting ring for months. As soon as they’d get close to a real, tangible hint, a step in the right direction, all signs would vanish. It seemed like a mirage, somehow; just as soon as they’d get close enough to reach out for it, it would disappear into thin air. The chase was agonizingly slow and unbelievably frustrating.

Thankfully, they had Tsukauchi on their side. With incredible use of his Quirk and dogged pursuit, he’d done it. He’d gotten an address. Kirishima and Midoriya had celebrated that night, along with Aizawa and the rest of their agency. From what they had heard, dozens of omegas had struggled, fought, and died mysterious deaths because of this ring. Taking it down would be true hero’s work.

So when they heard the report of a building fire at that exact same address, not only Midoriya and Kirishima came running, but the entire police force, emergency responders, as well as the rest of their agency came, too. What they found was a building lit up like a gasoline-soaked match, burning bright, boldly, and relentlessly.

They couldn’t save everyone. Whoever had started that fire wanted it to burn away the evidence and had done a damn good job making sure that would happen. The pros coordinated with the firefighters to get out everyone they could before the building crumbled to the ground.

Kirishima had been trying to keep it together when he heard the explosions in the basement. He thought maybe that had been the source of the fire, until he and Midoriya had found a battered, starving, angry omega. In his desperation to save anyone he could after they’d seen so many lost, he’d wrestled the omega out to the emergency responders and left him in their care.

He’d seemed so hurt, afraid, utterly broken. What would have to a person to make them beg for death in the face of kindness?

Kirishima doesn’t understand. He doesn’t know if he wants to. All he knows is that his heart hurts for all those poor people. To be targeted for their secondary gender is horrific. Alphas don’t get abused like that.

“Eijirou,” Midoriya says in that voice that Kirishima knows all too well.

They’ve been friends for a decade almost, now. Ever since high school, they’ve been inseparable, so Kirishima knows all of Midoriya’s quirks- not just the super ones. Kirishima doesn’t know if he’d call them a pack, but they’ve been by each other’s sides through thick and thin.

“Let’s go home.”

Kirishima glances at Mt. Paperwork on his desk and nods to Midoriya. “Alright.”



Kirishima doesn’t sleep well that night. He has this dream- this awful dream- about that omega they found in the basement that day. It sticks to his brain like a piece of tape you can’t see; he could shake it if he could only find where it’s stuck.

It only takes him a moment to realize that it’s everywhere . When he closes his eyes to wash his face, it’s projected there on the back of his eyelids. When he stares into the mirror as he brushes his teeth, he sees his own red eyes, framed by different scars and blonde eyebrows. When he stands in the kitchen, staring off as he tries to sort his sleep-addled thoughts, he can hear his voice.

Midoriya isn’t far behind him. His roommate has trouble waking up most mornings and Kirishima smiles at him, offering a wave in greeting. Bleary-eyed, Midoriya nods at him with the world’s sleepiest smile. There’s something about Midoriya’s quirk that makes him really tired; of course, summoning an outrageous amount of strength probably takes loads of energy out of a guy.

“Morning,” Midoriya mumbles as he opens the fridge and grabs a carton of orange juice.

“Hey,” Kirishima replies. He grabs two glasses and the cereal from the cabinet to set on the counter and Midoriya hums in gratitude. “How’d you sleep?”

“Awful.”

“Same.”

Midoriya presses his fists into his eyes as he rubs the sleep from them. “Couldn’t stop thinking about yesterday.”

Kirishima nods. “I had this dream. About that omega we found in the rubble.”

Grabbing the glasses of orange juice, Midoriya makes his way to the kitchen table and sets them down before returning for the cereal. “Do you want to talk about it?”

That’s Midoriya, Kirishima thinks, as he sits at the table and criss-crosses his legs in the chair’s broad seat. Always looking out for others, even when he’s struggling too. As much as he wants to talk about it, he doesn’t want to trouble him. Midoriya is infamous for taking too many burdens on and stretching himself thin.

“Only if you actually wanna listen dude,” Kirishima says. “It was intense.”

Midoriya slurps his juice and looks at the clock. “We have some time today. Aizawa texted me and told me to tell you we had the day off. Guess he wants to give us a break after what happened.”

Kirishima nods. It makes sense for him to do that. They had worked so hard for months to bust that fighting ring, only to find it literally up in flames. It had been a difficult day full of chaos and destruction, with only little glimmers of hopefulness in between the rubble. They couldn’t save everyone.

“Do you remember that omega?” Kirishima says. They pulled dozens from the rubble yesterday, but there’s only one that sticks in his mind.

Midoriya nods. “The angry one in the basement?”

“He was in it. Well, more like it was about him.” Kirishima sighs. “We were back there, in the basement, with all the rubble. And he was still screaming, Izuku. He was screaming so loud. I picked him up just like I did yesterday and he crumbled around me to dust.”

Kirishima leaned forward to rest his head in his hands. “It was so weird. It felt so real and when I woke up I was sweating.”

Both of their glasses are empty by the time Midoriya finally says anything. “Do you think we made a mistake, Eijirou?”

Kirishima looks at him, flabbergasted. How could they have made a mistake? They were trained to handle situations like the one they encountered yesterday. Protocol was followed for a mass emergency like that, for the collapse and the burning building both.

“What do you mean, Zuku?”

Midoriya rolls his lips between his teeth before speaking. “I mean… you heard him yesterday. That omega. He told us to kill him. He begged us not to touch him, and we did it anyway. We were saving him because we wanted to, not because he asked us to. We would’ve gotten in really big trouble if it weren’t just the two of us down there.”

“But we were getting him out of there! The basement caved in like two minutes later!”

“I know. But…” Midoriya sighs. “Sometimes, people don’t want to be saved.”

Kirishima looks at the table, running his finger over a little groove in its surface. He can see it now. That omega was so scared, underneath all that anger. He was ready to fight Kirishima for his life and if he hadn’t been so weak, he might have won with his quirk. Kirishima tries to imagine what it might be like, to be forced into a situation like the one that omega was in, but he can’t… and he’s glad he has no idea how terrible it was.

Even now that he’s free, Kirishima wonders if he really will be free. He’ll still have the memories and the scars. Who knows how long he was held prisoner for?

“Damn,” Kirishima says, rubbing his eyes. This is a lot to take in so soon after waking up. “I feel so bad.”

“We should go visit him, see if we can apologize. That’s better than just sitting here feeling sorry.”

Kirishima stands up, leaning on the table as he exclaims, “great idea! Let’s go right now.” After a moment, he slumps. “We don’t even know where he is.”

“If the paramedics took him, then he’s likely at the hospital,” Midoriya wonders aloud. After making a quick phone call, he confirms that the omega is indeed at the hospital. Midoriya seems uneasy, though. The nurses sounded strange on the phone, and he couldn’t get a straight answer out of them. Kirishima wonders if maybe someone’s already come for him. His alpha, or his family, maybe. He can smell the anxiety rolling off of Midoriya and the scent always reminds him of mildew.

“Let’s just go, dude. The worst that happens is they turn us away,” Kirishima says hopefully.

Midoriya agrees, and the two leave for the hospital.




The hospital is a really familiar place to Kirishima. It’s probably even more familiar to Midoriya, who has broken his arms so many times the doctors have told him he’s specifically not allowed to use more than 5% of his power with them anymore. Still, he’s not a huge fan of the place. The way it smells of antiseptic and scent blockers is unsettling. He always forgets how used to the smell of Midoriya he is until he can’t smell him at all.

The two make their way through the labyrinthian building, searching for the room number the head number gave Midoriya over the phone. They pass through several wings on their hunt. The emergency ward, the intensive care unit, general…. Until the numbers start getting close to the number they’re looking for.

PSYCHIATRIC WARD is printed in big, bold letters overhead as they pass into what has to be the quietest wing of the hospital. They look at each other. Midoriya’s eyes widen with shock and discomfort and Kirishima’s pretty sure he doesn’t look very different from that. They didn’t expect the omega to end up here.

The ward they need is locked. There’s a little office outside it where a nurse sits behind reinforced glass. Kirishima and Midoriya have to sign in, show their hero ID’s, and sign disclaimers. The whole thing is making Midoriya’s anxiety worse; Kirishima reaches out and puts a hand on his shoulder to center his roommate. The stench of his discomfort dissipates. Thankfully, the nurse is a beta and only smiles, unable to scent Midoriya’s emotions. “Thanks for your visit. Someone will be waiting to accompany you to his room.”

“Why?” Kirishima blurts.

Her smile falters. “He’s… The young man you two rescued has been through a lot. His doctor can explain better than I can.”

“Thank you,” Midoriya says, grabbing Kirishima by the bend of his elbow and rushing him through the door after it buzzes. While he seems hyper-aware of what’s going on, Kirishima feels cloudy. Stunned, maybe, is the right word for it. He can’t believe they’re here.

He rescued that omega to help him have a better life, not to end up in a psych ward. The guilt bubbles up like a fount in his belly, makes him feel sick. When they signed that visitor’s form, there were no other signatures for his room, and the name at the top read John Doe. Do they not even know his name?

“Hello,” a man with lavender hair says to them. His eyes look really tired with big bags underneath them and he looks less than enthused. “Are you the visitors for Blasty?”

Kirishima frowns at him. “The clipboard at the front says John Doe.”

“Yeah,” he sighs. “Legally, until we learn his name, all the forms read John Doe. But when I ask him what his name is, he says Blasty.” the man shrugs and the black hoodie he’s wearing over his white scrubs slips down a shoulder. “So I call him Blasty.”

“Okay…” Midoriya starts. “What’s your name?”

“Hitoshi. Shinsou Hitoshi,” he says, sticking a hand out which Kirishima shakes. It’s a firm grip, but he’s soft. It’s at that moment Kirishima realizes he’s an omega. The faint wisp of his smell - it’s forget-me-nots and honey - catches in the airflow from the vent overhead. “I’m the head trauma therapist.”

“We’re-”

“I know who you are,” he says, walking away and waving a hand over his shoulder to beckon them. “You two are the ones that pulled him from that building.”

“Yeah,” Kirishima says hesitantly. “What has he told you?”

“Nothing. He won’t speak to me. Not productively, anyway,” Hitoshi says. “Everything I learned I know from Detective Naomasa… and Twitter.”

“I see,” Midoriya says, and Kirishima can already see his brain moving a mile a minute. He’s probably thinking of all the possibilities. Hitoshi probably knows more about him than they do. “And the police can’t find a name or anything for him?”

“Not yet,” Hitoshi says. “But it hasn’t been long. They’ll come up with something for him.”

They stop outside a room that speaks a lot for its inhabitant. There are scorch marks all over the walls, both big and small. Even the ceiling has blackened rings dotting its surface. There’s no furniture; it’s all out in the hallway in various states of disrepair, including a chair that’s missing a leg and smells like burning plastic. The bed inside is facing away from the window.

“I’ll stay out here and watch. I can’t hear anything, but I need to be nearby in case he has another episode.”

“Episode?”

“He was on a lot of drugs when they brought him in yesterday. Never seen a combination of heat suppressants and steroids like it. We’re trying to wean him off of them, but it looks like he’s been on them so long his body is having trouble functioning if we cut him off cold-turkey. I don’t want him to hurt himself again if he gets stressed.”

“Hurt himself?!” Midoriya exclaims, and Kirishima’s heart sinks further into the pool of guilt forming in his stomach.

Hitoshi sighs. “If you keep this up, I can’t let either of you in there. You both smell bad, but Deku, you smell terrible ,” he whined, covering his nose. “Can you please calm down before you go in? I’m afraid you’ll just stress him out more.”

Midoriya pauses. “I don’t know if I can.”

“Then you’re staying out here. Riot, you can go in. Deku will join you when he calms down.”

“Right,” Kirishima says, keeping his tone calm and level. Midoriya shoots him an apologetic look and Hitoshi rolls his eyes, wondering aloud how one of the top ten heroes can be so anxious. The two start chattering away and Kirishima turns to the door.

It’s time, but he can’t seem to bring himself to move. What will he see when he goes in there? Whatever it is, it’s his fault. He was just doing his job… he never intended for it to turn out like this. The last thing he wanted was for this poor omega to go without family or friends, bedridden in the hospital.

He draws a deep breath to calm down before he walks inside. The smell hits him like a brick wall; his omega scent of burning sugar, the scent of heat fading like citrus peels, the familiar aroma of sour lemons. He’s stressed. Kirishima reminds himself to keep a level head. They both don’t need to be stinking up this room.

“You.”

Kirishima hears the word growled hoarsely from the bed and turns to face the source of the voice. He tries his best to keep his poker face as he looks at the blonde; unlike yesterday, he doesn’t have adrenaline flooding through his body like a river run amok. He can see clearly, and what he sees makes his heart ache with admiration and pain.

The omega’s scrawny. His joints protrude from his skin where his bones aren’t covered in muscle. His skin, which is a lovely almond color, is flecked with scars of all shapes, sizes, and age. Many look like burns shaped like fingerprints. Kirishima wonders if maybe someone did that to him, someone with a quirk like his friend Todoroki. There’s an IV in his arm, taped carefully in place, and the omega holds himself so as not to jostle it.

That’s kind of a surprise. Since they’re in the psych ward, Kirishima was kind of expecting him to be strapped to the bed like some kind of lunatic out to hurt himself, but no, he’s sitting there quietly. Maybe he lacks the energy to fight anymore, as he tries not to let his eyes linger on a burn spot on the edge of the mattress.

His crimson eyes follow every movement Kirishima makes like some kind of caged animal. When he raises his hand to card his fingers through his red hair, the blonde winces reflexively and then growls. Kirishima isn’t sure if he’s growling at him, or himself. He still drops his hand to his side.

“What the hell do you want?” he mutters.

“Hi, uh… Blasty,” Kirishima says with an awkward smile.

Narrowing his eyes, the omega mutters, “You know my name.”

“Hitoshi told me. Your therapist.”

Blasty peers over the top of the mattress out the window. Hitoshi looks at him and gives him a nod. The blonde stares at him for a long time before settling back on the bed to watch Kirishima carefully. He can’t seem to decide what to watch, Kirishima’s face or his hands, so his gaze bounces between them haphazardly. The redhead can’t help but smirk at the idea that the attentiveness might be making him dizzy.

“What are you smiling at?” the omega hisses.

Kirishima drops the grin and grimaces. “Sorry.”

The pause that lingers after is way too long. Kirishima doesn’t know how to say what he wants to say. All the blonde does is stare at him, stare with a look so heated Kirishima can feel it burning into his skin. After what feels like an eternity, the redhead grabs the remaining chair in the room - it’s steel, he realizes - and asks, “can I sit?”

“Whatever, ain’t my fuckin’ chair.”

“Okay. Thanks,” Kirishima says, wincing at his awkwardness. He looks up to see Hitoshi watching him with a raised brow through the glass. Kirishima looks back, giving him a concerned look, before Hitoshi looks back at Midoriya.

“You gonna tell me why you’re here?” the omega - Blasty, as ridiculous as it is, his name is Blasty, Kirishima thinks - says.

“Oh! Yeah,” Kirishima says, grinning. Blasty’s eyes widen at the sight of his sharp teeth and Kirishima closes his mouth. “I wanted to apologize.”

“Apologize….” Blasty says, his eyes dropping to the blankets that cover his lap. “The fuck does that mean?”

“Do you not know what an apology is?” Kirishima asks gently.

Blasty’s crimson eyes burn red-hot. “Fuck you, I don’t need your apologize.”

“Apologies?” Kirishima corrects.

“Fuck you!” Blasty’s cheeks burn as brightly as his eyes do. He’s embarrassed, Kirishima can tell that much. “I don’t need your apologies!”

Kirishima opens his mouth to apologize, realizes how stupid that would be, and closes it. Shifting his weight in the chair, he squirms under the weight of the silence in the room. Blasty is still staring him down, watching him. It seems like he’s waiting for Kirishima to leap at him, or something.

“Are you gonna talk or are you just gonna sit there?” he growls.

“I wanted to- to apologize,” Kirishima replies with a sheepish smile. “I wanted to say sorry for kinda manhandling you yesterday. Should’ve listened when you said no.”

“Fuckin’ right.”

Kirishima stares at the floor. He’s getting even more uncomfortable now with yet another awkward silence. He’s said what he needs to say; maybe it’s time to leave? It doesn’t seem like they’re going to have an Earth-shattering conversation and as much as Kirishima wants the omega’s forgiveness, he knows forgiveness isn’t always easy to come by. When he thinks of that hateful stare, it makes him even more sure he’s not going to earn it this time. Resolved in his defeat, Kirishima rises from the chair - it squeaks loudly in complaint as his heavy, muscled body leaves its frame - and he heads toward the door.

“Wait,” Blasty mutters.

Kirishima, hand on the doorknob, looks over his shoulder. “Hm?”

He can just barely see the side of the omega’s face from this angle, but it’s enough for him to see a faint redness spread across his cheeks. “Thank you.”

“I…. you’re welcome,” Kirishima says, taken aback.

“What? You think I don’t know how to say thank you?” Blasty hisses.

“No!” Kirishima says, walking back to the omega’s bedside, standing with his legs pressed against its sides. The omega’s eyes only widen a bit at the sight of him so close. “I just didn’t expect it is all. Seemed like you really didn’t wanna be saved yesterday.”

“I didn’t.”

Kirishima frowns. “Then why are you thanking me?”

“Do I need a fucking reason?”

Kirishima looks at him and then away quickly, drawing a sharp breath in. A reason would be nice, but he doesn’t need one. Maybe he’s grateful to be alive now, Kirishima thinks. He can’t help but smile at the omega, who only glowers at him more sourly.

“I… would’ve been dead. Without your help,” the mutters, hugging himself. “And dead is the only thing that’s worse than what I was.”

Kirishima nods. The omega won’t meet his gaze.

“What’s your plan now?” Kirishima asks hopefully.

That was the wrong question. The omega’s eyes drop. That smell of sour lemons is back again and it hits Kirishima like a wall, making the smile drop from his face.

“Do you have a plan?” he asks quietly, this time, daring to perch on the edge of the omega’s bed.

It’s a long time before answers, “Was abducted when I was fucking five and have been in that hellhole ever since, you think I have a plan? My plan was to get out and now that I’m here…”

His knuckles turn white as he clenches his fists and grits his teeth. “I don’t fucking know, I don’t fucking know, I don’t fucking know!” as he yells it, over and over like some kind of twisted mantra. He gets louder and louder until his voice cracks. Tears well up in the corners of his scarlet eyes and he looks at Kirishima with such pure rage that even the pro hero is a little worried.

With his fists crackling like fireworks, the omega presses them into the mattress.

“Woah! Woah! Don’t do that-” Kirishima starts, reaching for his wrist. The omega reaches out with a sparking palm and the redhead hardens instinctively as he braces for the impact. It’s not a large explosion, but it’s enough to singe the edge of his shirt sleeve and leave a smoking ring on his hardened flesh.

It seems to instigate the omega and he lunges across the bed, battering his smoking and sparking fists into Kirishima’s chest. “I don’t know!” he howls, tears spilling from his eyes. Kirishima’s eyes glance up to see Hitoshi and Midoriya staring through the window, wide-eyes. Hitoshi reaches for the phone hanging on the wall beside the window and begins speaking into it.

“I don’t fucking know anymore,” the omega sobs angrily.

Kirishima’s first instinct was to stop him, but now he thinks the poor thing might need this. Might need to wail on something until he wears himself down enough to be anything but angry. His shirt will be ruined, but it’ll be worth it if Kirishima can bring the omega some relief.

He lets him strike his hardened chest, over and over, until there’s smoking holes in his shirt and his skin is tinged red from the heat. Out of the corner of his eye, he can see nurses rushing to the room, but he shakes his head.

Don’t , he mouths.

Hitoshi furrows his brow in confusion as the omega drops to Kirishima’s lap. He’s exhausted his weak, malnourished body with all the struggling, reducing himself to quiet, choked sobs. He clenches his fists around the ruined fabric of Kirishima’s shirt, burying his face in it as he cries.

Kirishima dares to rest a hand on the omega’s head. The short spikes of his shaved hair tickle at his palm. The omega draws a sharp, short inhale at the touch and starts to tremble as he cries. Wide-eyed, the hospital staff watch through the window.

Anyone would be crazy not to be heartbroken from this, Kirishima thinks. He obviously has no one. No plan, no knowledge of the outside world. If someone doesn’t step up for him… Kirishima can’t bare to think of what his future might be like.

“Come home with us,” he volunteers.

The omega looks up at him and scowls. “Don’t want your fucking pity,” he spits, his eyes rimmed red.

Kirishima shakes his head. “It’s… my job to help people, right? I’m a hero. I’m supposed to help people. Let me help you. To make up for what I did.”

It’s an odd silence. The blonde stares at him with narrowed eyes, like he’s trying to figure him out. He must not be able to think of anything, because he mutters, “fine, but it’s your fucking funeral.”

Chapter Text

“His name is Bakugou Katsuki,” Shinsou says, leaning back in his chair and setting his feet on his desk.

“Bakugou… Katsuki… why does that sound so familiar?” Midoriya asks, pressing his knuckle to his lip and running it nervously over a scar.

“Do you remember….. About fifteen years ago? That scare with all the child abductions? They were taking kids with strong quirks.”

“Yeah, I do remember that. Mom didn’t worry about me because I didn’t have a quirk,” Midoriya laughs, but the memory still stings a little. He can still remember the empty playgrounds. His mom had worried obsessively, until she learned that only kids with quirks were targeted; the fleeting bliss, followed by the crushing realization that many of his friends were being kept home, was exhausting.

“He was one of them.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah. You two have signed up for a lot, you know that?” Shinsou asks. “Are you sure you want to take him in?”

Midoriya thinks of Kirishima’s eager face and his pleading. The pro hero was so desperate to take the omega in, and Izuku can’t really blame him. The way he broke down, sobbing in his arms…. And the way Shinsou was surprised by the fact that he’d willingly touched Kirishima like that. It had to mean something. Blasty- Bakugou - he needs them.

“Yes,” Midoriya asks.

“Sign,” Shinsou says, sliding the forms across the table, and Midoriya takes the pen with a shaking hand.

 

The three of them are crammed in the back of a cab, with Bakugou in the middle. The paper bag in Bakugou’s hands is smoking; Shinsou gave it to him before they left the hospital, and apparently it’s full of medicine, documents, and the clothing he was wearing when he was admitted to the hospital. Thankfully, Kirishima had had the common sense to bring some extra clothes for him. They tried guessing what sizes he was; thankfully, Shinsou had sent them his measurements and suggested sizing up, since he’s bound to put on weight. The clothes are a little big; the shirt hangs low below his collarbone and the belt on his jeans is secured several punches in.

Kirishima sets his hand on Bakugou’s wrist and the omega tenses up so hard Midoriya can feel him shaking from where they’re pressed together. It stops him from igniting the paper, though, so Izuku’s a little grateful. Bakugou’s frown tightens into a grimace, so Kirishima pulls his hand away. He’s not fond of being touched, obviously. Midoriya feels a little bad that they had to squish together in the backseat of a cab like this.

The ride from the hospital to their apartment feels like it’s going to last forever. Midoriya breathes a sigh of relief, unaware that he had been holding his breath almost the entire ride, pays the driver, and opens the door for Bakugou to shuffle out of. The city bustles around them, unaware and unknowing, its citizens going about its daily life. People walk by and Bakugou flinches. A firetruck zooms down the road with sirens blaring and the blonde looks like he’s about to run for it.

“We live just up the stairs,” Kirishima says, his alpha radiating an essence of serenity and calm Midoriya has never sensed from his roommate. Bakugou looks at him darkly, clutching the paper bag to his chest before nodding, and follows them up the stairs.

They spent most of the week in between meeting Bakugou and bringing him home cleaning the place up and trying to learn as much about Bakugou as they could. Beyond blood type, height, weight, and allergies, there wasn’t a lot they could learn. The omega was a mystery, thanks to fifteen years of being out of the system.

Shinsou had done a lot of digging into his past, though. The omega had no immediate family in Japan. He was an only child and, as far as they knew, his parents hadn’t had any children after having him.

His parents were the real mystery. Three years after his abduction, they just… dropped off the map. No one had said anything to Bakugou, and he hadn’t asked, so the subject laid untouched until he was ready.

There weren’t too many changes Shinshou suggested making to the apartment, besides putting scissors and knives in a now-locked drawer in the kitchen, and cleaning up what he called “alpha lair stench”. He couldn’t smell it, but Shinsou had said it would make Bakugou more comfortable in an unfamiliar environment if scents that reminded him of his kidnappers weren’t so strongly present.

The omega doesn’t immediately recoil when they walk through the door, which is good. Red eyes widen as they take in the apartment. It’s not much; there’s a kitchen with a little breakfast bar, and a big living room, which is home to a sofa, squishy chair that Kirishima falls asleep in constantly, and a big television with some games. A bachelor pad, if Midoriya had to call it anything.

Kirishima smiles excitedly at Bakugou as he watches the omega take it all in. “What do you think?” he asks eagerly.

Bakugou hesitantly lets go of his bag long enough to reach out and touch the top of the chair. Midoriya knows how soft it is after years of abuse, so the green fabric underneath the omega’s hand is really nice to the touch. Bakugou runs his hand over it and squeezes the padding underneath.

“So soft,” he mutters. “Why the hell is it so soft?”

“Wouldn’t you want to sit on something soft?” Midoriya asks. Bakugou looks at him blankly. “You should try it out after we show you your room.”

“My… room.”

“Yeah! It’s got good stuff in there, I picked it out myself, come on, come on, Bakugou!” Kirishima practically squeals. The omega watches him warily as the redhead practically skips down the hallway to a closed door at the end of the hall. It used to be Kirishima’s room, but Shinsou said the omega would be more comfortable in a room at the end of the hall where people wouldn’t be walking past it all the time. It even has its own bathroom suite.

The room’s not much, but it has a big window that faces the park behind their house that lets a lot of light in, making it warm and airy. There’s a bed in the corner with a little nightstand, and a big table on the other side, since Shinsou told them Bakugou would need a space to work with a tutor on his reading and writing. The closet’s pretty spacious, enough for the clothes they got for him with the money a nonprofit charity sent them. The charity had heard through the news that the heroes had taken in a battered omega and sent a sizeable check to help with his transition.

Bakugou just stares at it as he stands in the doorway, arms clamped around the bag tightly, making it crinkle. Eyes dart from the bed to the table to the closet and the bathroom door over and over again. Midoriya’s heart hurts a little for him. It must be a lot to take in.

“What do I have to do for it?” Bakugou mutters.

“Huh?” Kirishima asks, confused.

Bakugou scoffs. “You know.”

“We don’t, Bakugou,” Midoriya says softly.

Bakugou starts breathing fast and holds the bag so tightly it starts to smoke again. “You’re telling me I don’t have to fuck someone or kill someone for this stuff.”

Kirishima looks at Midoriya with a look of alarm. “Course not!” he says quickly. “We got it for you. All this stuff is yours. You can do whatever you want with it.”

Bakugou’s tongue darts out to lick his lips before he bites down on them. He walks slowly across the room to set the bag on the table before moving to the bed. It’s covered in pillows of different shapes and sizes, along with a stack of folded blankets. Midoriya had remembered that Shinsou said Bakugou might want to have a cozy little space, so he’d gone to the thrift store and collected a bunch of pillows and blankets to leave there for him. The omega’s already pretty enthralled, reaching out to take a pillow and squeeze it between his hands.

“It’s real fluffy,” he mutters, squeezing and kneading at it. “They all like this?”

“Yeah, dude,” Kirishima says with a breathy laugh.

“And they’re all mine.”

“Yep.”

“Why the fuck are you giving me this stuff?”

Midoriya hands him another pillow. This one is filled with microbeads and sags in the omega’s hands. “Omegas like to nest. We thought you might wanna use them to make the room a little more cozy.”

“...nest. The fuck is that?” Bakugou growls, staring at the microbead pillow with a confused look as he sinks his fingers into it, pulling and squishing and hugging it against his chest.

“You’ve never nested?” Midoriya asks. He’s curious, of course, about Bakugou’s life in imprisonment. Maybe if he knows more, he can help better.

Bakugou growls, “fuck you,” and throws the pillow in his face.

“Hey, hey, hey,” Kirishima says softly, taking the pillow from Midoriya. “We just wanna know so we can help.”

“Whatever! I don’t need help!”

“Okay,” Kirishima says softly. “Do you want to be alone?”

“No!” Bakugou says, burying his face in the pillow. “I don’t know what I want! I don’t want to answer fucking questions from this moron!”

Well. Of all the things Midoriya was expecting to be called today, moron was not one of them. He’s not mad, so much as he is surprised. Then again, he was asking a question that must be pretty personal to Bakugou. He must have presented while imprisoned… of course. If he was already so mistreated and abused when they found him, of course they wouldn’t have let him nest. He was on heat suppressants.

Has he even had a heat?

Oh boy.

This is gonna be really interesting when that comes around.

“I’m gonna make some tea,” Midoriya says hesitantly. “Do you guys want some?”

“Tea?” Bakugou asks.

“It’s a hot drink,” Kirishima says. “It’s really good. Izuku, will you make us some too?”

“Sure,” he says hesitantly. As he makes his way down the hall, he can hear Bakugou say, the fuck, I thought his name was Midoriya and Kirishima answer yes but his given name is Izuku . Bakugou only huffs in response.

The smell of the tea leaves hits him as he opens the container, washing Midoriya’s nerves in comfort. The little green leaves smell earthy and fresh, like the park on a wet, rainy day. Izuku takes a deep inhale and sighs, refreshed. Sour lemons out, tea in, repeat. He wonders if the omega will ever smell like anything else.

The electric kettle boils water in just a minute while Izuku gets the mugs ready. As he watches the bubbles begin to roll in the water, he can’t stop thinking about him. About Bakugou, everything he doesn’t know, all the things he can already think of that they should do. Should they show him how a nest looks? Should they tell him about heats? What if he scents them? Does he know the social rules in place about that?

Then he remembers how averse the omega was to touch. Maybe they won’t have to worry about scenting. It’s all so much. Izuku has had his fair share of experience with omegas; his ex-boyfriend was an omega, after all, and they were together for a few years. Maybe Shouto could help them- it’s not like they’re unfriendly. They work together, after all.

The kettle screams and the sound startles Izuku.

And Bakugou, he guesses, as he hears a rumble at the other end of the apartment.

“Ah! Please don’t explode in here!” he hears Kirishima cry.

What the fuck was that!?

“Just the tea kettle!”

Izuku winces. “Sorry!” he yells down the hall.

“The hell’s a tea kettle!?”

Izuku sighs, prepares a pot of tea and the mugs, and carries them down the hall to find Kirishima against the wall, Bakugou at his throat, and a ring of soot on the wall next to Kirishima’s head. Bakugou’s head whips around to look at Izuku and then at the tea.

“Tea?” Midoriya asks nervously, and Kirishima shoots him a nervous smile.

“Tea,” he says, relieved.



Midoriya and Kirishima leave Bakugou to his own devices in his room, eventually. They teach him how everything in the bathroom works - having to explain exactly how to use a toilet had Kirishima in giggling fits - and show him where to find fresh towels. He’s mystified by the shower and spends forty five minutes in there.

The omega comes out, stark naked and smelling like burnt sugar. “Where’s clothes?” he asks, clutching a towel to his chest that conveniently drapes over him. It’s so obvious now, how thin he is. He’s all knobby and he has joints protruding in his skin that shouldn’t protrude. There’s muscle though; it’s plain to see that while he’s skinny, he’s strong.

Kirishima’s hands go straight up to his face as it turns as red as his hair.

“Here, I’ll show you,” Midoriya says gently, trying to keep his gaze locked to the floor as he guides Bakugou back into his room. He smells like the vanilla shampoo they left in there for him and it complements his natural aroma of burnt sugar and cloves quite well. Midoriya finds himself scenting the room and chastises himself.

“Clothes are in here,” he says, opening the closet door to find all the pillows they put on the bed tumbling out onto his feet. “Oh. Did you put these in here?”

Bakugou cringes. “It’s dark in there. I like it.”

“Okay, sure. That’s fine,” Midoriya says with a soft smile. Reaching for the hangers, he pulls out some clothes. “You can pick whatever you want to wear out of the closet.”

“There’s more in there?”

“Yeah. You’re gonna need a couple changes so you don’t have to do laundry every day.”

“Laundry.”

“You know, when you wash your clothes.”

Bakugou narrows his eyes as he takes a black t-shirt from the rack and holds it in his hands. “Wash them?”

Yes, there’s a lot to learn about the world, he tells himself. Be patient. Shinsou said he’d been captive since he was a toddler. He’s going to need a lot of help. Midoriya tries not to let the vague frustration he’s feeling roll off of him in his scent, so he thinks of tea and breathes a deep breath.

“We’ll show you later. For now, clothes,” he says, fishing a pair of boxers out of a box on the shelf. “These go under…” he says, grabbing a pair of pants. “These.”

“Right,” Bakugou says. “Boxers. Pants. I know this shit.”

“Good.”

“Don’t fucking act like I’m stupid.”

Raising his eyebrows, Izuku mutters, “Okay.”

Bakugou winces. Maybe he’s upset and confused about this all too. Okay, he’s definitely upset and confused, because he smells like lemons again.

“It’s alright,” Izuku says softly. “I guess, get dressed, and, um… we’ll be in the living room, if you want to join us.”

Bakugou doesn't join them for awhile. They can hear him moving around in his room, thumping and swearing. The sound of hangers clattering to the floor, followed by a profound fuck catches Kirishima's attention.

“I think he's nesting in his closet? Or trying to,” Midoriya says, muting the television.

Kirishima's stares down the hall at the closed door. “We should get him a dresser or something if he's gonna do that.”

“I dunno, Eiji. He said he liked how dark it was. And the clothes kinda make a ceiling? Like, if I were looking for a cozy spot to nest, it'd be in that closet,” Midoriya says. “I was looking it up online and I guess closets are popular for nesting.”

Kirishima smirks. “So you're doing research, huh? Mr. I'm-Not-Getting-Involved is totally in it to win it.”

Midoriya blushes. “I feel bad for him, alright? That's it.”

With a hum, Eijirou nods. “He's strong. He'll get the hang of it. He made it like fifteen years in an illegal fight club, Zuku. This is a breeze compared to that!”

Pretty sure they didn't have jobs or bills or math in Fight Club, Midoriya thinks, but Kirishima looks so determined. He doesn't want to crush his spirit. Midoriya, in the end, just shrugs. He’s almost positive this is gonna be much more difficult than either of them expect.

Neither of them see Bakugou for the rest of the day. Midoriya assumes he’s sleeping. Since he’s so underweight, it’s probably exhausting for him to be up and around without constant adrenaline to keep him going. There’s no rush here, no fear to keep him moving and powered.

Might be nice to rest awhile. Feel safe. The thought brings a little smile to his face as he chops up vegetables for dinner. Kirishima requested spicy curry for dinner, and while neither of them are very good cooks, it’s the one thing Midoriya knows how to make just right.

He gets the vegetable broth simmering on the stove while Eijirou slices the pork into thin strips, batters, and fries it. The aroma’s intoxicating, rich with spices and the faint undertone of the fat from the pork cooking off. It’s decadent.

Izuku is so in-the-zone with his cooking - it doesn’t help that Kirishima is singing along way too loudly to the radio - that he doesn’t hear Bakugou pad into the kitchen. For once, he doesn’t look angry. Inquisitive, yes, and positively eager, but not angry. He shies away when he sees Izuku looking at him, for which he feels a little guilty.

“Hey!” Kirishima says loudly over the radio. “You’re just in time!”

Bakugou frowns at him. “For what?”

“Dinner!”

“We made some spicy pork curry, if you want some.”

Bakugou huffs.

“Set the table?” Kirishima says, handing him a stack of bowls with some spoons that clatter around inside the stack.

Bemused, he takes them from him, and walks over to the table. “You just want me to put ‘em out, right?”

“Yeah! Yeah! And I’ll give you some glasses too. I, uh. Do you like beer? We have beer.”

“Maybe that’s not the best idea, Eiji,” Midoriya mumbles as he stirs the sauce.

Bakugou sneers. “I hate beer.”

“Oh!” Eijirou exclaims. “That’s fine! More for me.”

Watching Bakugou puzzle through things is certainly entertaining. He sets the three bowls in the middle of the table with the spoons still in the center bowl and stares at his arrangement. Then he moves a spoon to each bowl. It’s not quite right- they’re still situated dead in the center of their square table- but it’s good enough.

Izuku can’t help but grin when he sees Bakugou move the spoons so they’re all pointed in the same direction and covers his mouth with his fist- was that, was that a smile on his face? Probably a figure of his imagination, Midoriya thinks.

“Dinner’s ready,” he announces, carrying the pot of curry with one hand and the pot of rice with the other. Bakugou’s eyes widen as he watches him set them on the table. Kirishima’s got beverages - a beer for himself, and water for the other two - and plops down at the table to serve himself.

Bakugou stands and stares, watching them as they put food in their bowls. Izuku nudges the omega’s chair out with a foot. “Sit with us?” he says quietly.

Looking at the bowl full of hot food, then at Eijirou and Izuku, he looks confused. Hurt, maybe, as if the invitation was not to sit for dinner, but to engage in something unpleasant. Kirishima’s eyes widen as he watches Bakugou snatch the bowl from the table, shuffle off to his room, and slam the door shut.

“Huh,” Izuku mutters aloud.

“Did we say something?” Kirishima asks quietly.

“Don’t think so.”

Kirishima shrugs, and they eat.

Chapter Text

Bakugou is hungry. It’s been awhile since he left the closet; two days, if the light moving slowly in the crack between the door and the floor is a good indicator of time passing. No one has come to bother him, thank goodness. He can stay in here, where it’s dark and warm and smells nice now.

He never intended to use the closet this way. When he was really small, he sometimes hid in the closet when he was in trouble, but now it feels different. Bakugou knows every cranny of this closet now. He knows about the spider that lives beneath the box on the top shelf - leaves him alone, they’re both hiding in here as far as he’s concerned - and the creaky floorboard on the left side. Midoriya left lots of blankets on his bed, which he’s already pulled into the closet to use like a makeshift mattress.

But the pillows. The pillows are his favorite part of this whole “nesting” thing. They’re soft and squishy and malleable; he can make them pretty much any shape he wants them to be. The big ones he’s arranged against the walls, making it cozy and compact there in his pile of blankets. The little ones, though, they’re scattered around and there’s one with a really, really soft cover that changes shades of brown when he pets it and it feels so good against his skin.

The microbead pillow is his favorite, though, and it’s not because Midoriya gave it to him. Or at least, that’s what he tells himself. He tries to ignore their faces in that memory. They look so fucking happy to have him there. Don’t they know how disappointed they’ll be, sooner or later? When they find out how fucking broken he is?

Bakugou’s not stupid. He’s survived a decade and a half of fights to the death. It’ll take more than fear to bring him down. This all has been scarier than any fight he’s ever been in. There were simple rules in the cage: don’t die, fight to the end, and make sure Tomura sees you smiling.

Here? Not so much. It had all been too much when Kirishima and Midoriya asked him to join them for dinner. Like they’d have a fucking conversation or something. What was he gonna talk about? Being a prisoner? Killing other omegas with his bare hands?

There was absolutely nothing normal about his life. Well, to other people. That life had been normal for him. He doesn’t understand how he could possibly miss it, but he does. He curls up in that cozy, warm, clean, fluffy pile of pillows and cries. Cries for his cage, cries for his tattered blanket, cries for the sound of a body colliding with a chain link fence- hell, he even thought of the leer in Dabi’s voice and teared up.

Of course, then he pressed a palm to his skin and let it heat, pop, and crackle until it stung. A palm-shaped burn to match the other palm-shaped burns he’d made in here. The nest seemed like a good idea at the time when Midoriya had mentioned it. Bakugou should’ve known better than to listen to the idiot. Bakugou growls angrily at himself and wipes the tears that are forming in his eyes.

He’s such an ungrateful bastard.

There’s a knock at the door. He knows it’s Kirishima, there’s no mistaking that allspice and coriander wafting under the door. Of course, there’s also that alpha stench. It bores down on him, bringing back sour memories of other times he’s suffered under the threat of alpha. These two haven’t threatened him. Not yet.

“Hey dude, haven’t seen you in awhile,” Kirishima says through the door.

Bakugou rolls to face away from the closet door. He knows how this goes. He’ll stay quiet, Kirishima will get mad, barge in, tear him out from this place - his nest , he thinks, it sounds so weird in his head but there’s this weird little part of him that’s so oddly satisfied - and beat him. That’s what every other alpha that Bakugou has known has done when irritated.

“It’s cool. I get it. Probably a lot to get used to, huh? I brought you some food,” Kirishima calls. “If you’re wondering where Izuku is, he’s on duty today… you probably weren’t even thinking about that, were you? Well, I’m gonna leave this out here. You should eat it while it’s still hot.”

There’s the sound of a plastic tray clattering on the floor before feet pad away down the hall. Whatever it is smells amazing ; there’s cinnamon and sugar and are those fucking strawberries? If this is Kirishima’s attempt to trick him to come out so he can punish him, it’s fucking working.

Bakugou spends the next ten minutes fighting himself. His stomach churns in protest. Has he already been so spoiled by the hospital that now he expects meals? He’ll get fed on a regular basis now that he’s not enslaved, right? Psh. Yeah, right.

Still, though. Maybe he could sneak out there and find out whatever it is. Before it gets too cold.

The closet door creaks as Katsuki opens it and he winces. Loud. He crawls out of the closet, tucks all the pillows back safely inside, and creeps across the floor. Thank goodness the door to his room isn’t as loud as his closet door, he thinks as it opens silently.

There it is. Whatever it is, it looks weird. Brown mush in a bowl. An orange drink. Some weird kind of meat that’s all long and striped- that’s bacon. And a huge bowl of strawberries. Bakugou whimpers, that weird feeling in him swelling up again at the thought that Kirishima did this for him. The fucker seems to be nowhere in sight, either. Katsuki peers down the hall before dragging the tray into his room, closing the door, and taking it into the closet with him.

His stomach starts to hurt after he's tackled the bacon and the mushy stuff. This is more food than he's seen in… Well, ever, now that he thinks about it. Shinsou said it would take time. Time for his body to adjust, for these feelings of fear and disgust to dissipate. How much time, though? He wants to be better now .

He has so many questions. Why is he hiding in a closet is one. How can this place smell so good if there are alphas here is another. They're the most confusing part of all of this. Alphas are disgusting, and cruel, and terrible. They're violent and they take everything they can get from omegas- even if they don't want to give it. Bakugou hates alphas with every little bit of himself.

He doesn't hate Kirishima though. His teeth are terrifying, and he's bigger than every single alpha he's ever seen. He smells more alpha, too. But he's kind. He thinks he's kind, anyway. He doesn't make him nervous, at least. Not more nervous than he already is.

Maybe he'll show his true colors after Bakugou gets comfortable. That's the worst part of all of this. As much as Katsuki wants to let his guard down, he can't. Not when there's so much that's happened, not when there is so much that will happen and Bakugou doesn't know what those kinds of things will be. Not here.

He's dissolved into frustrated, salty tears that taste terrible as they mix with the nitroglycerin on his skin. Bakugou digs his nails into the back of his neck as he clings to himself, retracting deeper into his nest. Attempts to stay quiet are futile; he’s hiccuping and sobbing and the noisiness makes him even angrier.

He must be pretty loud, because feet are padding down the hall again.

“Bakugou?” Kirishima says softly through the door.

“Fuck off,” he croaks, voice cracking from crying so much.

There's a pause. “Are you sure?”

No , I'm not fucking sure. I don't know anything anymore, ” he hisses, curling against the microbead pillow.

“Can I come in?”

Bakugou rolls his lip between his teeth. Does he let him in? He obviously has a choice here, and as scared as he is of Kirishima, he doesn't want to be alone.

“Y-yes. But hands off the fucking closet!”

“Okay,” Kirishima replies, voice soft and low. He hears the click of the doorknob and now the footsteps are louder, closer. Bakugou hears Kirishima groan as he sits down- must have been on the floor, because that floorboard apparently squeaks there, too.

They're silent. Bakugou coughs as he chokes a bit on the wetness that's clouding his windpipe from the tears. He's a fucking mess. Kirishima smells calm, though. Like spice. Bakugou sniffs the air. There's happiness there, too. No anger.

Maybe….

“Come in here.”

“I-in your nest?!”

“No, moron. Yes, in the fucking closet,” Bakugou mutters through gritted teeth.

Kirishima waits a minute before shuffling across the floor. Bakugou covers his eyes as he's exposed to the light of day - his eyes, they fucking burn - and Kirishima mumbles an apology as he crawls inside and closes the door.

They're a jumble of limbs in the tiny, dark space. Bakugou can see Kirishima in the dark; the alpha is so much bigger than him and he's cramming himself in the corner, trying not to touch Katsuki more than he has to. He looks really uncomfortable.

Curling in on himself again, Bakugou lets the tears roll silently down his cheeks, save for the occasional hiccup. Kirishima says nothing, just sits there, staring at the light under the door. It's fucking annoying. He went to all the trouble to come in here. Why isn't he saying anything?

“Well?” Bakugou rasps.

Kirishima jumps a bit. “What? I'm sorry,” he laughs awkwardly.

“Why did you want to come in here?” Katsuki asks bluntly.

Kirishima's gaze moves from the floor to Bakugou's face. The omega looks away instinctively; he was taught, cruelly, not to make eye contact with alphas. He can feel Kirishima looking at him though.

“I felt bad for you. Not pity!” He says quickly. The redhead must remember their previous conversation in the hospital; Bakugou was seething then, fixated on the idea that people pitied him and hating it. “I could hear you in here. And I don't know what to do. I want to help you, I really do. But I don't know how. What can I do?”

“You really think I fucking know?” Bakugou hisses, and Kirishima retracts immediately, making him feel worse. “Sorry,” he mutters.

Kirishima reaches out for him and Katsuki has to fight the urge not to lash out at him. His huge hand lands on Bakugou's shoulder and it's terrifying; he's so fucking big , he could probably crush him with that stupid quirk he has, if he really wanted to.

He doesn't though. He just touches him. After a minute, Bakugou can no longer hear his heart pulsing in his ears. His breath is steadier. It's like he's level, for a split second.

“...can I hug you?” Eijirou asks.

Bakugou has to think for a second before he remembers. How could he forget, truly, what it was like to be embraced by someone? His mom gave him the best hugs. Kirishima's big, so his are probably good too.

Or he'll crush him to death. That's also a possibility.

“Are you gonna hurt me? Is this some kind of trick?” Bakugou asks.

“No. You just look like you could use a hug.”

Whatever that's supposed to mean, Katsuki tries not to think about it too much. He just shrugs. He doesn't really know if it's a yes or a no. He'll leave the interpretation up to Kirishima. The alpha has had plenty of opportunities to hurt him and he hasn’t yet, so maybe he should put some trust in the redhead.

Bakugou crosses his arms and looks at him. He’s not going to reach, not going to expose himself to the likely possibility that Kirishima is just doing this to mess with him. There’s something about him though; maybe it’s the calm scent of spices that naturally radiates from him, or his soft smile (so he is capable of smiling without showing those fucking teeth), or his patience.

No one’s ever treated him like that.

Kirishima whispers as he says, “I won’t if you don’t want me to.”

“Shut up,” Bakugou hisses, fingers scratching over his scalp as he pulls his knees to his chest. Eijirou winces just a little at his harsh words, but rallies with a sunny smile. He’s always smiling, always fucking smiling. “Why are you always smiling?”

“Honestly?” Kirishima asks, his face growing a little pink. “I was worried about you dude. You’ve been in here a few days! But you let me in your room, and then in your nest ! It’s super rad in here, by the way. Very cozy.”

Bakugou bites his lip and looks away to wipe his eyes with his fist. He’s finally got the crying under control. It makes him sick to think that he’s crying in front of someone. If he’d been crying in front of Dabi or Tomura, they would have beaten the tears out of him. Kirishima didn’t though. He offered a hug , which for some reason, is way harder to handle than getting his ass kicked.

“I don’t understand. Like, fucking anything. Feel all sick when I cry, and I fucking miss that place. Which is bad! I shouldn’t miss it!” Bakugou growls. “But I do! I knew what happened there! I don’t know anything about you, or Midoriya, or this fucking place. It’s… It’s… I don’t even know the fucking word !”

“Scary,” Kirishima says quietly as he stares at a scar on his hand, pinching and pulling at it as he listens to Katsuki.

“If that’s what this is, then yeah,” Bakugou says, his voice breaking as he feels like he’s about to spiral again. He presses the heels of his palms into his eye sockets like he’s trying to push the tears back into his eyes. He feels a gentle touch at his wrist and startles. It’s Kirishima, touching him again .

“Why are you touching me? Always touching!?”

“Sorry. Sometimes I’m not so good with words? I’m better with touch,” he says sheepishly.

Now that is something Bakugou can understand. He sighs, and feels a little bit better. He obviously sucks at words. Shinsou told him there would be someone to help him with that, when he was ready. But touching. Touching is simple.

“So, I don’t fucking know, then touch me, I guess,” he grumbles, and braces himself. He doesn’t know what that entails; whether it’s hurting or gentle, hard or soft, small or big, like it’ll swallow him up.

Gentle, soft, swallowed up.

That’s how he feels as Kirishima takes him into his arms.

His body goes rigid like it always does when someone touches him. As Kirishima pulls him into his side, making their bodies press together, it’s like stone and sand meeting on the beach. The stone is unwavering, having faced the cold waves of the ocean its entire life. The sand is soft, warm, malleable. It fits into the little crevices, sealing them up, perfectly to memory. Eventually, sand wears down on stone.

And Bakugou eases into the touch.

It’s unknown whether it’s been an hour or a minute, but eventually, he finds himself leaning into Eijirou. He’s so warm, and big, and strong, and his hand rests over his shoulders, touching his arm. It makes Bakugou’s insides feel weird. Normally they’re all knotted up and nauseous and uncomfortable. Every alpha has always made him feel that way and trained it into him with their fists or their boots or their quirks.

Kirishima makes them feel loose. Wiggly. It’s kind of uncomfortable, but in a way Bakugou doesn’t totally hate. The sobs echoing through his chest turn into soft cries, little ones that eventually fade to hiccups. When they finally stop, Kirishima radiates a smell that reminds Katsuki of the way the asphalt smells in the summer, like it used to when he was a kid.

The smell makes him melt into Eijirou’s side. How the hell does he do that? It’s just a smell, and yet it seems to captivate him. Calms him. Bakugou turns his head toward Kirishima, breathes deeply, and closes his eyes.

“Better?” Kirishima asks quietly.

“Fuckin’- do you ever stop talking?” Bakugou mutters darkly.

The arm around his shoulder tightens just a millimeter. “Zuku wonders the same thing, sometimes.”

“Can’t blame him.”

Kirishima laughs. “You wanna come out? Maybe it’ll help if you see how we do stuff around here!”

Bakugou pauses. It’s not the worst idea. It’s not great, either. What if Kirishima asks questions? Wants to know all the gory little details?

“Don’t ask me questions. If I come out with you.”

“Like… anything?” Kirishima asks. “Or just about-”

“Yes, dipshit, that. Don’t ask about any of it.”

“Can do,” Kirishima says with a grin. He carefully pushes open the closet door and crawls out, being careful not to knock any of Bakugou’s pillows out of alignment. “You comin’?”

Bakugou looks at the newly-vacant spot on the blanket Kirishima just left. He’s cold now. The alpha had radiated heat into his body like the fucking sun.

“Yeah,” he sighed, and climbed out of his nest.



Kirishima’s hands work skillfully over the warm, sticky rice as Bakugou watches. His fingers curl around the rice, shaping, molding, forming it. The rice is nothing when he starts, just a mass of steaming, moist grains of white in a bowl. Bakugou wouldn’t think anything of it; it’s a food he’s eaten his entire life. When he ate it, it was always cold and dry, with little flecks of whatever his keepers had had for dinner before they decided to toss the leftover rice in a bowl and give them to him. It was always nothing.

The way Kirishima makes it though… it’s special. The little scars on his fingers that make little divets in his skin collect white mush and grains of what looks like white sand. He molds the rice into shapes; whatever they are, Bakugou doesn’t know their names, but they look perfect. All the corners are rounded just right, the sides are straight, and the little strips of nori sit perfectly on their surfaces. There are some where Eijirou has even folded fish and other things inside.

“Onigiri,” Kirishima says with a smile, holding one out to Katsuki. He watched him make it, down to the part where he rinsed the rice, over and over, under the tap. Each time, he would swirl his fingers in the mixture, making the little white grains dance in the murky water. As he rinsed, the murk faded, leaving perfect, clean grains. Bakugou doesn’t doubt this food, nor does he doubt Kirishima. He can trust him- this time.

The rice is soft and warm in his mouth. It’s unlike anything he’s ever tasted; the mass of white fluffiness molds against his tongue like a pillow. Bakugou breathes through his nose, letting the rice rest in his mouth a moment before chewing and swallowing.

It’s wonderful. It tastes so good, just like the pork katsu Midoriya had cooked the other night. That had been full of rich flavors, and the way the pork’s breading crunched in his mouth before exploding with juicy flavor had made him cry. The hospital had kept him on an IV and fed him broths so as not to upset his stomach, but Kirishima and Midoriya fed him whatever they ate. He’s never been so obsessed with something in his life as he is with tasting things.

Bakugou takes another bite and oh- there’s something in this one. Smooth, creamy, with a hint of fishy. He holds it away from his face to inspect the mixture in the center and Kirishima snorts with a little laugh.

“It’s tuna and mayo,” Kirishima says excitedly. “I made some with egg, and some with that stuff, and then some more with pickled plum. They’re really good for dessert.”

“What the hell is pickled plum? And dessert?” Bakugou says through another mouthful of onigiri.

Kirishima’s sharky grin grows wide across his face. “Oh dude. It’s so good. Pickled plums are tasty. And dessert is the best part of any meal. It’s the sweets you eat after.”

“Why not just eat this? The fish is good ,” Bakugou says before stuffing the rest of the onigiri in his mouth. Kirishima laughs and claps him on the shoulder and turning to make more. Bakugou looks at him and then looks at the onigiri. They sit there, taunting him. “Oi. I want some more.”

“Help yourself,” Kirishima says, waving a rice-covered hand over his shoulder. “But leave some for Midoriya and I. And ‘please’ helps.”

“Please… police? Why the fuck are you saying that word wrong?”

“No, please . It’s a word you say when you want something,” Kirishima says, tucking the last onigiri into the glass container with the others. “Part of manners. They make people feel good and make you look good, too.”

“But you can’t see them, Kirishima,” Bakugou says, squinting at him.

Kirishima only laughs. “Nevermind. Just say please. And when someone gives you what you want, say thank you.”

“Please,” Bakugou says, rolling his eyes and grabbing a few more onigiri. “Thank you or whatever.”

“You’re welcome,” Kirishima says, beaming at him with a bright smile. Bakugou can feel his face grow red as he turns away to shuffle over to the sitting area. He sits in the chair Midoriya told him to try and the fucker, he’s right. It’s so soft, and it feels so good to sit in, like a cloud or something. It cushions his body. Bakugou groans as he melts into it.

Kirishima comes to join him soon after, curling up on the futon they use as a sofa. He flips on the TV to some cartoon- wait, is that-

“Is this that show? With the guy who saves people?” Bakugou asks.

“It’s that old All Might cartoon from when I was a kid. Kinda was in a mood to watch something old school-”

“Oi, I know this, I fucking know what this is ,” Bakugou growls, entranced by the television.

“Cool dude! All Might is the manliest man in existence. Pretty sure every hero these days wants to be just like him.”

Bakugou scoots onto the floor to sit in front of the television. It’s entrancing, seeing something from his childhood portrayed so plainly on the screen. What’s a simple cartoon to Kirishima is earth-shattering to Bakugou. “What time is this on?”

“Oh so you remember TV schedules. Well, I have this on DVD, so you can watch it whenever you want.”

“DVD…”

“C’mere, I’ll show you.”

Bakugou is so excited he doesn’t think twice about plopping down on the couch next to Kirishima. He’s excited too, Bakugou can smell it on him; the scent is like electricity rippling through the air. Ozone. It’s kind of infectious.

As Kirishima chatters away, showing Bakugou the remote and how to work the DVD player (consequently, the blonde learns to read his first words, PLAY and MENU), the omega finds himself feeling calm. Maybe it’s because he’s so tired from the moment he’d had in his nest earlier, or maybe it’s because Kirishima is so easygoing. The alpha is unlike any other that Bakugou has ever met.

Bakugou thinks he may not hate him. Eventually.

“Got it? So when I’m at work tomorrow, you can watch the DVD player. And Shinsou is coming over, too.”

He’s leaving. Bakugou doesn’t understand the ice-cold sensation that blooms in his gut, making it hard to breathe and his stomach upset. It makes him angry, angry that Kirishima makes him feel this way, angry that he doesn’t know why , either. He can feel his breath catch as he says, “you’re leaving?”

Kirishima looks at him, confused. Matter-of-factly, he says, “I have to go to work, dude.”

“I fucking knew that,” Bakugou grumbles.

“Okay.”

They finish the cartoon. It’s only a few minutes but it feels like forever. Bakugou gets a little angrier every time Kirishima laughs or comments until he feels like he’s boiling over and his quirk is sparking in his palms. Once the credits roll, Katsuki stands up and makes his way down the hall.

“Hey! Where are you going?”

“Bed.”

“Good night!”

“Whatever.”

Bakugou closes the door behind him and stares at his bed. It’s barren now that he’s dragged all of the pillows and blankets into the closet, save for its comforter and sheets. He’s supposed to sleep there. People sleep in beds, not closets. He doesn’t want to sleep there, though. He wants to be in his nest where it’s warm and dark and has that stupid fucking squishy microbead pillow that smells like mint.

He resigns himself to the fact that he’s sleeping in the goddamned closet and crawls inside. It smells like him in here, burnt sugar and apples. There’s another smell, too; one he didn’t leave in here himself. He investigates, picking up pillows and holding them against his face.

Allspice and cloves.

Kirishima.

That’s right, he was in here with him. He’d touched him, hugged him, talked to him. Treated him like a human being. It was confusing and terrifying at the time, but Katsuki finds himself craving it now, wanting to be touched and held and feel unafraid. He hates himself for it- he’s never needed anyone else, why should that change now? Shitty hair’s leaving tomorrow, anyway.

That sick feeling is back and it makes him angry enough to pop off a tiny explosion in his closet. Bad idea, he thinks, as soot settles onto the pillows and blankets. He’s so tired of not understanding, of being scared.

Curling into the corner of his nest that doesn’t reek of alpha and spices, he tucks his face into the microbead pillow. The mint smell is fading. Nothing’s going right today, it seems, but when has anything ever been right? It hasn’t, really. Living in a cage wasn’t right. Being beaten and abused and raped wasn’t right. Fighting other omegas to the death wasn’t right.

Is this even right? Living here. Sharing food and taking showers. Being smiled at. Being hugged. Bakugou doesn’t know if it’s right but he sure as hell knows he wants it to be, though he’d never admit to the others how much he wants their friendship. Again, he’s missing the cold concrete and the crying omega a few cages over.

It feels like ages before he finally falls asleep, curled around his red, squishy pillow. When it finally embraces him, he dreams about purple, wrinkled flesh and scary smiles that morph into tan, scarred skin and sharp teeth. Sickly-looking blue hair that curls and darkens into a luscious, emerald green, and freckled hands that close around his throat. He wakes up to scorch marks on his precious pillow and the smell of burning polyester filling his nose.

Chapter Text

The steady rhythm of the ceiling fan spinning overhead with its quiet whurr has always helped Eijirou sleep. When he was a child, the hum of the blades cutting through the air would lull him into a peaceful sleep, drowning out the subtle sounds of his parents puttering about in the kitchen or living room. The ambient noise was like a blanket, falling over his ears with weight as a silent sense of comfort.

It’s a little different now that he’s older, now that his station in life and his body have changed. The ceiling fan drowns out the din of the street outside his window, muffling the voices of people from the bar across the street, the sound of sirens blaring down the road (which will always wake him up no matter what, thanks to the instinct that has been trained into him since high school), the airplanes overhead. No longer does he have the serene, peaceful home in the suburbs where his parents live.

The tinnitus is new, too. That’s thanks to his job; crumbling buildings, gunfire, sound and energy-based quirks all have a role to play in his suffering auditory health. If he stays quiet and holds his breath, he can hear it. The high-pitched whine drives him crazier than anything else. Eijirou often avoids thinking about how much worse it will get the longer he works.

Groaning, he pulls his pillow over his face.

Click, click, click, click.

Something’s wrong with the ceiling fan. Every time the blades complete a circuit, the mechanism inside clicks. The fan is supposed to drown out the noise and give him an excuse to use a blanket, but he can’t sleep when it’s clicking like this. With a groan, Kirishima gets out of bed and turns it off. It’s still spinning, but it’s not clicking now. Maybe if he tries really hard, he can fall back asleep before it goes completely silent.

Breathe in, breathe out.

Clear your mind.

Eijirou closes his scarlet eyes to see a different shade of red glaring at him there behind his eyelids. He really thought they were making progress yesterday. Katsuki had allowed him to hug him; hell, he hadn’t expected the angry blond to even let him touch him for a few weeks, at least. That was before Katsuki had left the living room abruptly, leaving Kirishima to wonder exactly what had happened.

They’d been having fun together. The old All Might cartoon they were watching had been a staple of Kirishima’s childhood; he could recite every episode from the first season, word-for-word. Apparently, Bakugou had enjoyed the program too, considering he actually remembered it. The omega’s eyes had lit up with a fire when he saw it; he had been so captivated by the old school, hand-drawn cartoon.

What would he look like if he smiled? Were his teeth straight? Did he still have all his teeth? They should take him to a dentist, Kirishima thought. Maybe later, when they can convince him that the human looming over him with sharp instruments and bright lights isn’t going to hurt him. Did his cheeks dimple? Would his eyes crinkle at the corners like Izuku’s did?

Eijirou’s heart aches as he realizes how much he wants to see Katsuki smile. He wants to see him smile in that way that people smile when they can’t help it, when their joy is so unabashedly whole and full that their lips stretch across their cheeks and they blush. He wants to smell it, too. There was a brief moment in the closet yesterday when Katsuki wasn’t crying, when he was pressed against Kirishima’s side and allowed his arm to drape over his shoulder, that the redhead could smell him ; not the rage, not the fear, not the confusion, just the scent of Bakugou .

He smelled like burnt sugar and green apples and it was wonderful .

Licking his lips, Kirishima opens his eyes to see the still ceiling fan. Great. Sleep isn’t happening anytime soon; the ambulance speeding by, sirens screaming and tires squealing, makes sure of that. His heart’s already racing thanks to the hero's response built into him like a sixth sense.

It speeds away just as quickly as it came, leaving Kirishima in the painful quiet of his room. Lying flat on his back, Kirishima groans and clenches his fists. It’s three AM. Only three AM. His shift at the agency doesn’t start for another six hours. It’s too early to get up and get ready for the day.

Maybe if he has a glass of water or some tea, he'll fall back asleep for a few, precious hours. He really needs the rest if he's going to work. Hero work on a small amount of sleep just doesn't work. The physical fatigue and mental wear is too much for such little rest.

The electric kettle seems too loud as it begins to boil, rattling in its base and sighing with the steam that rises from its spout. Eijirou is terrified of waking up Izuku; his roommate is always forgiving and kind when he does so but damn if the redhead doesn’t feel awful when he sees those tired green eyes. Izuku is always too kind to ever really get mad at him and Kirishima knows he doesn’t deserve someone as nice as that in his life when he’s such a klutz.

He’s dropping a bag of chamomile into his mug when he hears it. It’s a weird sound: breathy, high-pitched, erratic. Sounds like a whine, like when he stepped on his dog’s foot when he was a kid. He’d felt so bad when he did that and the memory alone makes his heart lurch. It’s so sad . He’s never heard a human make that sound before.

Then again, he’s never been around an omega this frequently. Sure, he’s dated omegas, but the only long-term relationship he ever had was with a beta. He has omega friends- lots- but they’re not… they’re not Bakugou. They don’t have his past or his scars. They aren’t broken.

Abandoning his cup for the ache in his heart and curiosity luring him, Kirishima pads barefoot down the hall quickly and quietly. He stops outside of Katsuki’s door, taking in the light that streams through the cracked door with a wince. It’s open… and the light is on? Is he sleeping with the light on?

He should not go in. That’s obviously encroaching on Bakugou’s territory and the battered man needs a chance to build a sense of trust and security, not just in his space, but in Eijirou, too. Going in there would be violating what little sense of safety Katsuki’s built up and he doesn’t want to be the one to break that.

There’s another whine, followed by a short little gasp that echoes from the room. It’s kind of muffled. Is Katsuki sleeping in his nest? It makes sense, of course, that he’d want to be somewhere he felt safe while he was vulnerable like that. Sleeping here must be so different from before. Then again, Eijirou didn’t really know about before . Katsuki didn’t answer questions and he didn’t ask them, not when he received a glare in response to his daring smiles.

Katsuki sobs, his breath broken and hazy, in his sleep. The pitiful sound tugs at something deep inside Eijirou, like a hook sunk deeply into his soul. It pulls him, egging him on, calling him like a siren song. Be by his side, he needs you. The feeling, the need , is hard to resist.

He steps into Katsuki’s room without a second thought. It’s like when he sees something coming at him - a villain, a car, something lethal - and his skin hardens like stone before he even realizes what’s happening. Instinct. It’s instinct that’s driving him to be by Katsuki’s side.

The overhead light is on, but the closet door is cracked. His bed is still untouched, sitting in the corner of the room, robbed of all coverings and pillows. The corner of Bakugou’s comforter is poking out of the closet and into the room, hinting at the omega’s hiding place.

“Katsuki,” Kirishima whispers.

A whimper, uncharacteristic of the strong-willed omega, answers him. Kirishima kneels before peeking in the crack in the door. Katsuki is buried in a pile of blankets with his head peeking out. The short, blond hairs that are finally growing in catch the light and shine like flecks of gold. His red eyes are shut tight, crinkling at the corners as his eyebrows furrow in pain, or fear, something unpleasant at the very least. They’re red and puffy like he’s been crying.

Has he been crying? Is that what he went to bed early to do? Cry? Oh, that hurts, it hurts so much, because Kirishima knows why, and he knows it’s his fault. Bakugou finally found some comfort and routine in his presence and Kirishima dropped his future absence on him like a ton of bricks. That’s not the way to teach him stability.

Fuck. Maybe he needs to take some time off.

“Katsuki,” Kirishima whispers a little louder.

Red eyes open in an instant and Kirishima hardens as an explosive fist comes into contact with his face. Bakugou’s pupils are pinpricks, his scent alarmed and angry, as he pops little explosions into Kirishima’s rock-hard skin. He’s scared- what kind of awful dream did Kirishima wake him up from?

“Katsuki, it’s me!” Kirishima exclaims, shielding his face with his wrists.

The explosions stop and Kirishima unhardens so he can move his arms away from his face. Bakugou’s breath is heaving as he stares at Kirishima, backed into the corner of the closet, teeth bared and eyes wide.

“It’s me,” Kirishima says, holding up his hands and baring his neck to the omega.

Katsuki stares him down, still breathing heavily, before he collapses into broken sobs, his voice still muddled with sleep. He groans angrily as he cries, his fists clenching around the ashy, burned pillow in his hands. It only draws Kirishima into the closet as he sets a hand on Katsuki’s wrist, only to be slapped away.

“Fuck you.”

“I’m sorry,” Kirishima whispers. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”

Katsuki buries his face in the pillow, rocking his head side to side as he clings to it. His sobs are muffled by the red polyester, but that does nothing to quell the guilt that’s sitting rock-solid in Kirishima’s gut.

“I’m so, so sorry,” he whispers. “Can I…”

“If you’re gonna fucking ask to touch me again I’ll blow your face off, shitty hair.”

Kirishima rolls his lip between his teeth. Of course. He fucked up by coming in here in the first place. How could he not, though, when Katsuki was obviously hurting? Kirishima felt like he needed to protect him, even from himself. He can see where he crossed the line, though. Murmuring another apology, he rearranges his large body in the small space of the closet awkwardly before making his way out.

Katsuki mutters something so quickly Eijirou’s not quite sure he even said something.

“What?”

An angry sigh. “I said , I didn’t say go , either. Whatever.”

“You want me to stay?”

“No,” Katsuki spits, but he also scoots over in the closet to make room for Kirishima’s larger frame. The redhead smiles apologetically before crawling back into the closet. Returning to his nest, Katsuki buries himself in blanket after blanket before tucking a pillow under his head and clinging to the red one like a liferaft.

Kirishima sits up against the wall beside him, taking an extra pillow and setting it on his shoulder so he can rest his head against the wall. He tucks his bare feet under the blankets, nudging Katsuki in the process and laughing when the blond retracts his feet immediately.

“Ticklish?” he asks, secretly delighted. The scent in the closet has leveled out now that he’s inside. His alpha mixes with Katsuki’s omega; the burnt sugar, apple and coriander blend so well together. He can’t smell the fear anymore, either, which sates the strong desire that brought him in here in the first place.

“Shut up.”

“Kay.”

Kirishima pulls his phone out to text Aizawa. His boss is well-aware of his and Izuku’s new roommate; the beta has asked about him several times already. Kirishima knows, in a way, that the whole agency feels responsible for Bakugou. The ring should have never lasted as long as it did. It’s feels like it’s up to them, now, to end it. It might bring some closure, not only to Bakugou, but to all of them: Kirishima, Midoriya, Aizawa, Naomasa… so many lives could start to heal.

A swift, firm kick to his thigh brings Kirishima back to the present. “Oi, shitty hair,” Katuski mumbles. “C’mere.”

“Where?”

Katsuki sighs and stretches until his feet begin encroaching on Kirishima’s limited space. “ Here . With me. Fuck, and you’re the one who went to school and shit. Aren’t you supposed to be smart?”

“Hey,” Kirishima says dejectedly. “I’m just trying to respect you.”

“Respect,” Katsuki says blankly. His eyes glance around like he’s trying to look for something. “I know that one. It’s when you’re supposed to be afraid of someone. Are you afraid of me, shitty hair?”

Oh, Katsuki.

“That’s not respect, Bakugou,” Kirishima says quietly. He tries his best to settle on his side behind Katsuki, but it’s impossible without pressing his chest against Bakugou’s back. The omega grows rigid at the touch like a board. His shoulder blades protrude, and he can feel the knobby vertebrae of his spine through the t-shirt he’s wearing. So skinny, Kirishima thinks. Maybe they should feed him fewer vegetables and more carbs.

“Then tell me, shitty hair.”

“Do you actually know my real name?” Kirishima laughs.

“Kirishima Eijirou.”

“Okay, could you not call me shitty hair?”

“No.”

Kirishima sighs.

“Now tell me what respect is.”

With a groan, Kirishima covers his face as Katsuki’s body begins to relax. “It’s… wow, this is hard to explain. Okay. So it’s when you like someone, and you want the best stuff for them. Best food, best friends, best house, best life. You want them to be happy, and treated well.”

Katuski’s quiet for a long time. “So… you want that stuff for me?”

“Yes,” Kirishima says emphatically.

“I don’t even know how to read. How can I get that stuff?” he spits viciously.

“We’ll work on it. It’ll take some time.”

“Whatever. Go to sleep, sh- Ei- fuckin, whatever.”

He’s practically putty now against Kirishima’s front as they lay together in the closet. Bakugou is so small compared to himself. Maybe it’s because of malnutrition, Kirishima thinks, as he adjusts the pillow under his head. Maybe he’s just a small omega. He could fold his arms around his slender body, hold him close, feel his heartbeat against his skin if he wanted to. It’s only an inch.

Kirishima nods off, smiling, as he thinks about it.





As it turns out, three adult men were not meant to cram onto the futon on their living room. Bakugou sits in the middle, bracketed by Midoriya on one side and Kirishima on the other. Two weeks ago, the first time they met like this, Bakugou reeled from the other two, opting to crouch in the corner of the room behind the chair. Today, he’s bristling, but he’s there, smooshed between the two alphas.

Kirishima has an arm thrown over the top of the sofa. It’s nearly spring now, so the sleeveless shirts are out, even if he needs to throw a hoodie on when he goes outside. Suns out, guns out, like he always says, and Bakugou has learned the phrase too, whispering it in Izuku’s ear whenever the green-haired hero cringes at Eijirou saying it. The omega seems to like taunting the smaller of the other two alphas, to the point where Izuku even becomes flustered.

If Bakugou knew he was toying with the Symbol of Peace so easily, perhaps he’d be proud of himself. He’s certainly grown into himself a little. Bakugou Katsuki is aggressive, determined, stubborn, rude, and feisty. Kirishima likes him; he’s nothing like any other omega he’s ever met. The reasons for his behavior and personality are despicable, but the blonde reminds Kirishima of a dandelion growing in a sidewalk crack. Beauty and strength can be found in unlikely places, he supposes. Katsuki personifies that, undoubtedly.

“So how have things been this week?” Shinsou asks, tilting back casually in the chair he’s pulled to the other side of the coffee table, blocking the television. His tired eyes focus on Katsuki; of course, he wants to hear from his patient first. Bakugou grumbles instead of answering, of course. The omega hates the group therapy, but Shinsou insists that the three of them sharing and talking in a safe environment will encourage trust, which is something he really, really needs.

That doesn’t necessarily mean Bakugou is willing to cooperate. He simply sits there, staring at Shinsou like he’s waiting for the other omega to spontaneously combust. Kirishima curls his hand to tease at the short, blonde locks that are growing at the nape of his neck, giving them a gentle tug.

“Don’t touch me, shitty hair!” Bakugou screeches.

Sighing, Shinsou bends over to reach inside a tan knapsack he’s brought with him. There’s a very thick folder inside - it’s purple, not unlike his hair, and made of shiny plastic - that he takes out and sets on the coffee table. “I’ve brought you something that might be able to help with that,” he says, deadpan, as he rifles through it. Bakugou leans forward curiously only to retreat as soon as Shinsou looks at him.

A laminated piece of paper is set on the table in front of the three. They all lean forward curiously, only for Midoriya to back off first and Kirishima second, allowing Bakugou to be the one to look at what Shinsou has brought them. Bakugou’s curious face twists into a frown as he looks at it.

It’s a scale. Since Shinsou learned that Bakugou knows his numbers up to ten - well, twenty now, thanks to Izuku - they’ve been using them a lot in therapy. This scale has faces above the numbers one through ten. A crying, sad, red face is above the one. A brilliantly happy, yellow face is above the ten. A spectrum of faces is portrayed above the numbers in between. Quirking a brow, Katsuki looks at Shinsou suspiciously.

“Let’s try again. Pick a number. How was your week, Katsuki?”

His lip curls as he hisses at Shinsou under his breath before picking up the paper and flopping back on the couch, resting his weight against Kirishima’s side. Shinsou’s noticed that, and scrawls at the speed of light on his notepad before giving the alpha a knowing look. Kirishima can feel the heat gathering in his cheeks as she shakes his head at the therapist and mouths, ‘ I dunno!’

“This week… there,” Bakugou says triumphantly, pointing at a five.

Shinsou nods. “What happened?”

“We made good food this week,” Bakugou mutters (everything’s about food this week, and Kirishima and Midoriya both have already exhausted their meager cooking skills trying to appease him).

We . That’s new. He’s never referred to them as a unit before. Kirishima looks at Bakugou, modestly surprised, and the omega seethes at him before turning back down to his laminate. The redhead watches as the omega’s fingers brush over the crying, awful face over one, his fingertips sticking tacky to the plastic. Eijirou allows himself to watch him in this moment. It’s intimate, almost, the way he touches that face. He can’t help but wonder what Bakugou’s thinking about.

“What else?”

Bakugou just shrugs.

“Should someone else take a turn?”

“I’m not the fuckin’ boss here! You are! Goddamn,” he mutters.

Shinsou nods. He’s only ever patient with Bakugou, never raising his voice or reacting to his hostile nature. He only listens. Has Shinsou ever had a patient like Bakugou before? Is this just a run-of-the-mill interaction for him? Kirishima can’t help but ask himself these questions every Sunday when they cram shoulder-to-shoulder on a futon that’s suddenly too small.

“Midoriya, how was your week?”

“Mmm,” he starts, pressing a finger to his lips as he mumbles his thoughts out loud as an incoherent stream of sounds. He’s organizing his thoughts, of course; he’s done that since high school, so Eijirou is used to it. Bakugou isn’t though, and it’s something that drives him up the wall . Maybe it’s the whispering, or the way Midoriya’s thoughts lack prosody.

“Hurry up, fuck,” he growls.

Wilting a little, Midoriya says, “My week was fine. I had a meeting with Naomasa that I should share with you, Shinsou. It’s about… ummm…”

“I can tell when you’re talking about me, dipshit.”

“Sorry,” Midoriya mutters.

“Whatever.”

“We did make a lot of good food this week. Kacchan made a lot of it himself.”

“Ah, we got knife privileges back,” Shinsou says with a smile.

“Fuck you and fuck your priloges. Priv… fuck you!”

With a sigh, Shinsou says, “and you, Kirishima? You got sick time off from work, right?”

“Yeah,” Kirishima sighs, leaning back against the couch. “My boss said it was the only way I could get this much time off.”

“Why did you take ten days off of work? It seems like a lot,” Shinsou asks. It’s a leading question, Kirishima knows it. Shinsou already knows all the details; it’s not like he doesn’t have a daily check-in with each alpha. He tried to check in with Bakugou, too, but it was difficult to get the omega to even speak to his therapist.

“I wanted to,” Kirishima says with a shrug. Bakugou needs me.

Shinsou nods, a slight smile to his otherwise nonchalant expression. “Right.”

“If I’m here, then I can help Katsuki adjust.”

“You’re calling him by his first name.” He sounds surprised. Kirishima is, too, by how quickly the omega became comfortable with him these first few weeks. They watch television, share meals… share the closet, but Kirishima isn’t about to admit to Shinsou that they’ve taken to sharing a bed. Closet. Whatever.

“We have a deal,” Kirishima says, nudging Bakugou with his elbow, who bares his teeth briefly. “Tell him, Kat.”

“Fuck… don’t call me that,” he bristles.

“Go on,” Kirishima says, grinning impishly.

He sighs. “If I call him shitty hair, he gets to call me Katsuki.”

“And what if you don’t call him shitty hair?” Shinsou asks, leaning forward in his chair. “What do you call him then?”

“Eijirou,” Bakugou mumbles.

“And Izuku?”

“Fucking Deku, that’s his name.”

“That’s his hero name.”

Bakugou grits his teeth and Shinsou gives Kirishima a pointed look before he takes more material out of the folder.

“We’re going to be talking about feelings today and healthy ways to express them…..”





“Are you ready?” Kirishima calls down the hall as he plops on the couch and crosses a leg over one knee. He bounces his ankle anxiously as he waits, while Midoriya fumbles with the zipper on his jacket beside him. The two alphas are going out today to get coffee. It’s a complete normal task that will be completely abnormal, seeing who they’re bringing along for company.

“Got the bags?”

“Yep. Just waiting on blondie.”

“Don’t call me that!” Bakugou hisses down the hall.

Midoriya mumbles, “don’t rush him. He’s new to the whole buttons thing, remember?”

“Ah, shit. Sorry!” Kirishima hollers down the hallway, only to be answered by a small, irritated sound.

Bakugou’s coming with them.

It was Shinsou who suggested taking him out. “ Menial tasks, ” he’d said. “ Let him see normal life. It’ll help him build expectations of what he wants his own life to be like .”

His own life. Like Bakugou could have a job someday, have a home someday… have a mate someday. He could count change, or use a knife, hell, Katsuki could do amazing things . It makes Kirishima a little sad to think that he won’t be there for those parts- the happy parts. The parts when Bakugou has a smile on his face and feels content with his life.

“Fuck these fucking… pieces of shit!” Bakugou growls, and two sneakers fly down the hallway with a small explosion.

Izuku picks one up and uses his sleeve to smother a small ember that’s clinging to the tongue of the sneaker. “Bakugou, please don’t blow up your shoes.”

“Shut up, Deku. I had sticky shoes when I was a kid. These have laces. And I can’t…” Bakugou starts, clenching his fists and taking a deep breath. Eijirou can’t help but smile; even though Katsuki is really good at talking shit on his therapist, it’s obvious that he’s using the tactics he’s learning from therapy. Bakugou counts inaudibly, his lips moving with the words, before he says, “I don’t want to make knots in the fuckin’ laces.”

“Sticky shoes… velcro!” Izuku says. “Yeah, I can see why this is a struggle for you, Bakugou.”

“No fucking shit.”

Kirishima watches as Izuku retracts inwardly, like a blossom closing at sunset. He’s always been one to point out the obvious, which has never bothered Eijirou; in fact, sometimes, when the redhead is too in his own head to see clearly, Izuku is the one who brings him back out into the real world. Their relationship works, it’s dynamic and Kirishima knows he wouldn’t be who he is without his best friend.

Bakugou and Izuku, though… that’s a relationship that isn’t quite functional. It worries him a bit when he watches them fail to launch over and over again. Kirishima can’t help but wonder what the future holds for those two, if they’ll ever be friends or if Katsuki will always hold an odd grudge against the other.

“Come sit,” Eijirou says, and for once, Katsuki obeys. Crossing his arms, the omega looks absolutely livid. Eijirou knows it’s not directed at him, no matter how angrily the omega looks in his direction; it’s the shoes, another simple task that the blond has no idea how to perform. He can’t imagine how incredibly frustrating, how humiliating it must be to be a twenty year old man that can’t tie his own shoelaces.

Eijirou kneels silently at his feet, earning himself a blush that lights up Katsuki’s face, and the blonde turns his head to hide it in the crook of his elbow. He pretends not to notice it, but the colors of his face and the scent of his surprise send a pleasant warmth cascading through his core. He knows it’s a gesture of respect, of honor, and that Katsuki won’t let it go unnoticed. After he slips the black sneakers onto the omega’s feet, he finally speaks.

“See, you make two loops and tie them in a knot, like this,” Eijirou says, smiling softly as he demonstrates. “It’s really easy. Then you tie them again in another knot so they don’t come undone.”

Katsuki peers over his elbow to watch as Eijirou ties his shoes. His crimson eyes watch carefully as the alpha unties his shoes and ties them again, his fingers moving slowly and purposefully so Katsuki can see every single movement. He wants this little victory for the omega, not just so smoking sneakers don’t fly down the hallway again, but so Katsuki can feel independent, somehow.

“Move, shitty hair, lemme try.”

“Alright, Kat .”

“Fuck- whatever,” Katuski growls, bending over and pushing his large alpha hands out of the way. His eyebrows furrow as he grabs a shoelace in each hand and folds them in half.

“Now tie a knot with them, just like… yeah, like that.”

“They’re fuckin’ slippery.”

“It doesn’t make sense, does it?” Kirishima laughs.

A small smile twitches at the corner of Katsuki’s mouth. “No, it doesn’t. It’s really stupid.”

Two knots later and there’s a misshapen, but tied, double knot. Katsuki’s eyes simmer triumphantly as he looks down at it. Not a moment passes before he’s untying Eijirou’s knot and retying it himself. It’s even better the second time, and he can’t help but revel in Katsuki’s quick and sharp mind.

“Good! That looks great.”

“Whatever, it’s just a knot,” Katsuki mutters, crossing his arms.

Eijirou shrugs. “I didn’t learn how to tie my shoes until almost middle school. I was really bad at it. You got it in like, two tries. Nice job, Bakugou.”

“...it’s Katsuki.”

“Hm?” Eijirou asks, looking up at him. He’s blushing again. It’s kind of cute. Kirishima can’t deny that. The thought’s totally inappropriate, though. Katuski’s in their care, and Kirishima definitely shouldn’t be thinking about him that way. The guy needs time, space, and safety. Letting his alpha preen over that blush is so wrong.

“Call me Katsuki.”

Now it’s Kirishima’s turn to feel the heat rise in his cheeks. “Okay,” he mutters, letting his sharp teeth show in a big smile that he kicks himself for but he can’t help all at the same time.

Chapter Text

Midoriya Izuku has always taken pride in his intelligence. After all, in the very beginning, that’s all he had. The pro hero was not always so powerful or well-trained. He had the heart of a hero, sure, but lacked the strength, lacked the physique, lacked the quirk. Thankfully, his mentor changed all of that, giving him the ability to inevitably become the Symbol of Peace across Japan. With this gift comes many advantages… but the scars and delicate nature of his body after years of using his quirk remind him that his power comes with a price.

In the end, it may just be him and his brain all over again, with nothing but the memory of indisputable strength and endurance left to chain him to his life as a hero. He’s well-aware of the fact. His arms are already so beaten and abused he had to develop his Shoot Style in high school, relying almost entirely on steel-toed shoes and his legs to bring down villains. That doesn’t mean that his arms don’t still ache when he carries the groceries in, or that there’s a phantom pain that never quite leaves when it’s cold outside. The soreness, the stiffness, it shouldn’t be there this early in his life.

Izuku has always kept his mind sharp and at the ready.

That’s why it doesn’t take him long to figure out what’s going on with Katsuki and Eijirou. He’s known for a while now, a few nights at least, that every evening after either he goes to bed or Kirishima comes home from work, the redhead crawls into the closet to sleep with the omega in his nest.

It’s mind blowing that only a few weeks have passed but Kirishima is already allowed into the surly blond’s most private space. He’s never been with an omega in an intimate nature like he is with Bakugou; Midoriya knows that Kirishima has had sex with omegas but he’s never truly been with one. Not in the way that brings two people close enough together so their smells start to mingle and the other can start to sense each other. Not in the way Izuku sees Kirishima and Bakugou growing together.

At first, he was so worried that they were moving too fast. Bakugou is far too traumatized to be mated or even sexual with someone else. The two are so clueless, though, that Izuku can’t help but think that it might be good for both of them just to grow familiar with the creature comforts that come with intimacy, be it sexual or romantic or with friends. Bakugou could use some affection, loathe as he is to receive it.

And Kirishima… Midoriya is convinced that he, of all the people in the world, deserves the most love. His heart is always so full and so open; when Midoriya was just learning how to use his quirk, was struggling, and had no friends to help, it was Kirishima who stepped in. As a person with a quirk that worked similarly to his own - on a scale, Kirishima could harden an eyebrow or a limb or his entire body, but that took a lot of effort, just like Izuku could break just a finger or his whole leg - the redhead had the easiest time teaching him how to control his power and be more capable.

It was after that that Izuku told him his secret… and Eijirou was so accepting. In fact, he was thrilled for Izuku that he had received such a huge honor from such a terrific hero. “Guess that makes me lucky to be best friends with the future Symbol of Peace! You’re so manly, Izuku!” he’d said with a brilliant smile and a warm hug. Izuku had expected hatred or jealousy for receiving All Might’s power, but Kirishima continued to wield his love and friendship like a weapon, leaving happy memories on Izuku’s mind like scars. He still hasn’t forgotten them after all this time.

Maybe that’s why he loves him so much. People always said after they both presented as alphas in their third year that they wouldn’t stay close. Their natural needs to dominate and lead would drive them apart. Izuku knew they could find a way around it, and while Kirishima wasn’t the best at planning or premeditating, he was a driving force of perseverance and friendship. Midoriya had the brains to beat the stereotype and Kirishima had the brawn.

They’ve been inseparable for ten years now and Izuku wouldn’t change their friendship for the world. Life has a funny way of sticking a blade in the cracks and twisting it, pushing two pieces apart to expose the weaknesses like stinging flesh under a fresh scab. The way Kirishima behaves with Bakugou hurts Izuku so much deeper than he thought it would. The way he touches him, so gently, so carefully, as if the omega is made of the most delicate of glass, is almost worshipful. Reverent.

Izuku wants to be touched like that. Wants to touch like that. He’s not sure if it’s the nature of his alpha to be so jealous, or if it’s really him. It could be that he sees the omega of their pack (jeez, to think that Bakugou is pack terrifies him, he’s not ready for that yet but his alpha might be) preening over special attention from another alpha and he’s jealous, no matter whether that omega is battered and traumatized or the other alpha is his best friend.

Or, it could be that in his heart, he loves Kirishima, as more than a friend, as more than one secondary gender would perceive another, and is jealous. It’s ugly and cruel and he doesn’t want to feel that way. Unfortunately, life has already wedged the blade deep inside his heart and twisted it. He can feel the revelation like fresh air rushing into the newly created space and stinging at the wound that’s there, that he’s hidden from himself for so long. While he’s Izuku, and Kirishima is still Kirishima, they are also alpha and alpha, and it just can’t work like that.

That’s what he tells himself, anyway, as he watches Kirishima tie Bakugou’s shoes with that look in his eyes. Midoriya’s seen it before a few times; he’d earned it himself, once, when he’d made pro hero status. It made him feel all deliciously warm and tingly inside, so he can’t blame Bakugou in the slightest for the blush that’s painting his cheeks.

“Ready to go, Izuku?” Midoriya snaps back to reality, looking up at Kirishima who’s grinning at him. “Time for coffee, and lunch, if we’re feeling it,” he says, offering him a hand and pulling him to his feet. Izuku merely nods, starstruck by Kirishima’s attention when he’s so busy staring at him, and follows Kirishima and Bakugou as they make their way out the door and down the stairs.

The cafe they like to go to is in the ground floor of their apartment complex. Frequented by the businessmen that work nearby and the students that live in the dorms across the street, it’s a quiet little place that’s perfect for a bite of lunch or a pastry in the morning. The little eatery is wedged in between two offices, so people are always coming and going, never staying put for too long.

Thankfully, the staff is amenable to the nature of Kirishima and Midoriya's career choices. They keep quiet about two of the top 20 pro heroes that happen to be regular customers. It helps, of course, that they all went to high school together.

“Yoooooo! It's the dynamic duo,” Denki calls out, waving at them as he leans comically over the edge of the counter. Hanta is by his side, wiping down the espresso machine as he sports his characteristic grin. “Oi, someone pull the curtains on the front. We saw a guy with a big camera outside yesterday. Don't need the ‘razzi up in your biz. Our biz. Whatever.”

“Sup dude,” Kirishima says, offering the alpha a fist-bump. Denki makes a goofy explosion noise as he pulls his fist away.

“Mido, my man,” Denki says, smiling at Izuku enthusiastically. Izuku can't help but think that the blonde was made for this; after years of trying to go pro, Denki and Hanta decided that maybe hero work wasn't for them and went into business together. Izuku thinks that this was probably for the best. He's never seen Denki smile like he does when he makes someone happy.

Of course, that joy is infectious. Izuku can't help but smile back.

“Oh, and who's this?” Denki asks with a curious grin. His eyes are fixed to Bakugou as he smiles at him pleasantly and sticks his hand out. “Hey man. Denki's the name, coffee's the game.”

Bakugou retracts immediately, tucking his chin into the high neck of his hoodie, glaring at the alpha. The scent of lemons fills the coffeeshop, making Izuku wince. Denki, who thankfully is a people person, knows how to work a crowd.

“Hey, hey, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend you,” he says, retracting his hand. “Just wanted to say hi. If you're friends with Eijirou and Izuku, it must mean you're pretty rad.”

“The fuck does rad mean,” Bakugou mutters to Izuku and Eijirou.

Izuku leans over and whispers, “it means you're good. Like, you're cool. He wants to be your friend.”

Bakugou glares at Denki. The scent of lemons has dissipated a bit, though the fear lingers around the omega like a cloud. Kirishima sets a hand on Bakugou's back and the shiver that travels down the omega's spine is visible even to Izuku.

“It's okay. He's a good person. He won't hurt you.”

Denki only smiles. “You look like the kinda guy that likes a good doughnut. Do you want a doughnut?”

Brows furrow over scarlet eyes. He doesn't know what a doughnut is, apparently. Eijirou stays close to Bakugou; the two are practically joined at the hip. The redhead leans over to whisper something in Katsuki's ear and those red eyes widen just a fraction before the omega nods.

“Awesome. The regular, guys? What should I make for your friend here?”

“He likes spicy food,” Eijirou answers.

He likes spicy food? Since when?

“On it,” Hanta calls as he walks back into the kitchen.

Denki hands over his sweet peace offering and Kirishima and Bakugou make their way to a vacant table in the corner. Izuku turns to follow, but a hand tugs on his sleeve.

“Psst, hey, Zuku,” he whispers.

“I'm right here, Denki,” he answers, smiling at his friend's antics.

“I didn't know Eiji was dating. Why didn't he tell me?”

Oh. “That's because he's not?”

Denki's eyes track the other two back to their table. He leans over the counter, resting his elbows on it's sparkling surface and his chin in his hands. “Aw. I got so excited for the dude. Feisty omega, though.”

“It's complicated,” Izuku says. “His name is Bakugou Katsuki. He was a victim of some pretty nasty stuff. We're just trying to help him get back on his feet. Well… on his feet, since he never really was on his feet to begin with?” His face is growing red, he knows he's talking too much and Denki's goofy smile says he knows it too.

“I gotcha, I gotcha. So he's just a friend. That Kirishima has totally imprinted on.”

Izuku frowns. “Imprinted…?”

“You can't sense it? Dude. You're so out of touch. You and Eiji spend way too much time together,” he snorts. “Yeah, it's like… it's not mating. Not at all. But Eijirou obviously has formed some kind of bond with him it's not just friends, whether he knows it or not.”

A bond… now it makes sense. The shared nest, the touching, the mingling scents. Kirishima has definitely connected with their broken omega. Izuku can see it even now, as the two share Bakugou's prized doughnut. Katsuki snuggles up against Kirishima's side as the alpha tears off bits of doughnut before handing them to him. As he wipes a sugary finger on Katsuki's cheek, the omega bares his teeth before resting his head on his shoulder.

Uh oh. Maybe that's why Shinsou was giving Eijirou those looks at therapy the other day.

“Yeah man, I remember when I imprinted on my mate. He knew it before I did, though. That's what I get for bonding with a guy who picks apart my brain like he's hunting for the croutons in a salad.”

“That doesn't even make sense, Denki.”

“If you met him, you'd know. Now get going, go sit down so I can make your coffee.”

Izuku doesn't know if he can. He feels like he's glued to the spot as his gaze rests on his friends. Eijirou looks so natural in the way he interacts with Katsuki. He's all smiles and soft voices as they bicker in the corner; Katsuki looks grumpy like he always does, but his curious gaze lingers on Eijirou's face. He's making eye contact . It's normal for anyone but him. Bakugou never makes eye contact with Izuku.

It makes Izuku's heart sink somewhere into his knees. Imprinted. Does that mean they'll be something more? If Kirishima mates Bakugou, where does that leave Izuku in his life? Oh, it hurts, it really does, to imagine finding a new apartment and a new roommate and a new life.

“Zuku, get over here before Kat eats the bit I saved for you.”

“It's my doughnut!”

“Hey. You shared with me. You gotta share with Zuku, too.”

Izuku sits next to Eijirou and Katsuki, on the other side of their corner booth. There's a little nugget of sugar-dusted confection sitting on a crumpled napkin and a grumpy-looking Katsuki glaring at him as he takes it.

“Are you sure?” He says hesitantly, looking at Bakugou. The omega looks to Eijirou, who nods, before shrugging.

“Whatever, Deku. Eat it.”

“Thanks,” Izuku says, smiling at Katsuki.

The two alphas watch with curiosity as Bakugou takes in his surroundings. There's a man sitting at a table, another group of people close to their age at another, and a woman with her children filling the booth opposite theirs. The omega watches the last group with avid curiosity. His eyes never leave the woman's face.

“She just lets them out like that,” he muttered, resting his chin on his hand, his surly expression softening.

“Yeah, dude, they're having lunch. Kids gotta eat, too,” Kirishima chuckles.

One of the children starts to cry. He's pretty young, still needing his mother's support to sit unassisted. His pale face grows red as tears stream down his cheeks. Bakugou bristles as the child cries, his eyes widening and pupils shrinking to pinpricks against his crimson irises.

The mother frowns and murmurs something they can't hear from this far away. As she reaches for the child with something clenched in her fist, Bakugou actually growls under his breath and begins to rise from the table before Kirishima pulls him back down. Izuku finds himself reaching across the table as well to set a hand atop Katsuki's.

“Hey, calm down, she's just wiping his face,” Eijirou whispers, and sure enough, a soft cloth flutters from the mother's fist. She holds it as she wipes the child's face, smiling at him sweetly. Almost instantly, the baby stops crying to smile at her tearfully.

Bakugou watches, gaze unwavering, eyebrows furrowed. His chest rises and falls rapidly with his breath, and the hand beneath Izuku's begins to tremble.

“Bakugou?” He asks quietly.

“She didn't…. She just… he cried and she touched him like that ? She didn't punish him for crying?”

“Katsuki,” Eijirou whispers, his voice oozing with hurt. Izuku feels the same sympathetic ache in his own chest as the hand beneath his curls into a fist and pulls away.

Izuku whispers, “A mother would never hurt her child for crying, Bakugou. Not for anything.”

“I knew that!”

Izuku knows he might be making a huge mistake if he challenges him on that, but he can't help but wonder. His curiosity has saved his ass just as easily as it has earned him an ass kicking on many occasions. He wants to get to know Bakugou more than he wants to let the issue go. Quietly, carefully, he says, “Did you?”

“Of course!” he insists, but the tone of his voice wavers. It sounds almost insistent, as if he's trying to sell himself on it just as much as he is Izuku.

The three remain silent as Denki drops off their coffees with a pleasant smile and a wave.

After tasting his coffee, Bakugou groans, scratching at the short blonde hair atop his head like he wants to grab onto it.

“I mean, probably it's like that! Dabi, he always told me- always told me kids got their ass beat for crying. That's what he'd tell me when I was a stupid little shit who cried.”

Bakugou is still watching them as Izuku and Eijirou share a look. Kirishima has never failed to wear his heart on his sleeve, not even now, as he grips the table so hard his knuckles go white. Izuku can't blame him; the idea that Bakugou was beaten and abused, simply for crying, makes him sick to his stomach.

The table splinters as Eijirou's quirk activates and crushes the cheap plywood beneath his rock-hard fingertips. Bakugou jumps in his seat, hair nearly standing on edge, at the sickening crunch.

“What the fuck, Eiji?!”

“Seriously?” Sero asks as he approaches their table, his arms laden with food. “Thought you outgrew the whole 'Hulk-smash!’ thing.”

“Sorry,” the redhead answers with gritted teeth, still gripping the wood.

“I'll send you the bill,” Sero sighs, dropping the plates on their table before going behind the counter to grumble at Denki. Izuku finds himself patting Eijirou's hardened knuckles awkwardly, trying to comfort his fellow alpha.

“Why the fuck are you crushing furniture??” Bakugou demands, backed into the corner of the booth, far away from both of them. His teeth are bared in a challenge but at the same time, his head is tilted, exposing the fragile skin of his neck.

“I just- I got really mad, okay?” Kirishima exclaims. He closes his eyes and sighs, relaxing his quirk and returning his fingers to their soft, scarred state. Izuku grips his fingers firmly, reassuringly, and Eijirou responds by turning his palm up to squeeze back briefly.

Izuku's heart flutters.

“Why?”

Eijirou opens his eyes and looks right at Katsuki. “Thinking about someone hurting you makes me so mad. I don't want anyone to hurt you.”

Bakugou's cheeks light up like embers and he burrows his face so deeply into his hoodie only his eyes are visible. “Whatever. I can take care of myself.”

Nodding, Eijirou replies, “I know. You're strong. Doesn't mean I don't wanna keep you safe.”

“This another one of those respect things?”

Izuku must be the only one that detects the briefest glimmer of confusion on the alpha's face.

“Yeah.”

Hardly, Izuku thinks. Then again, it isn't like Kirishima to get so worked up. Before he can object, Bakugou is pressed up against Eijirou's side, tucking into the plate of spicy yakitori in front of him. Kirishima tucks his chin over Bakugou's head, watching the other alphas in the room, as the scent of white pepper fills the booth.

White pepper. That's odd. Midoriya has never smelled this scent from Kirishima before. He knows every one of Eijirou's scents by heart, so to not know one would mean it's something Izuku has never experienced with his best friend before. And that means…

“Kirishima, can I talk to you?” Izuku squeaks, grabbing the redhead and pulling him out of the booth.

“Stay here,” he mutters to Bakugou before shoving Eijirou down the hall. The other alpha is irritated with him, he can smell it rolling off of him in waves.

“The hell, Izuku??” he grumbles, looking over Midoriya's shoulder down the hall at Bakugou, who's stirring an unreasonable amount of cream into Izuku's coffee.

“Kiri,” Izuku says, breathless. “Can you-” he reached for Eijirou's neck, pauses, and mutters, “show it to me.”

Kirishima looks down at him, eyes carefully assessing his friend, before tugging the neck of his track jacket down, revealing his scent gland. Izuku can see it there, reddened and slightly swollen. Kirishima scratches at it and groans slightly.

“When's the last time you were around an omega this long?” Izuku asks carefully.

“Dunno? Last year, when Tamaki and I were still…. Oh ,” Eijirou says, his eyes widening. “My rut.”

“Yeah.”

“I didn't think Katsuki would get me so…” Eijirou says sheepishly as he rubs the back of his neck.

Izuku sighs. “What did you think? You sleep with him every night. You took time off work to stay with him for like, a week! Any alpha's gonna go into rut sharing a nest with an omega every night!”

Eijirou covers his face. “Fuck. What are we going to do with Katsuki? He can't…. I can't…” when he drags his hands down his face, Izuku can see the regret in his eyes. Of course Eiji wouldn't have made the connection. Izuku knows that in his heart, he had only wanted to comfort and help Katsuki. His secondary gender, his instincts, the natural rhythm of his body can't be helped.

“We'll figure something out. We have a day or two,” Midoriya says, resting a hand on Eijirou's arm. He finds himself wanting to bury his nose in that smell and rub his face in his neck until white pepper is all over him. Fuck. Even his alpha is getting excited over it.

“Okay. Let's call Shinsou. He'll know what to do.”

“Right.”

“Are you fuckers gonna come back or is all this food mine?!”







It's not as easy as Izuku hoped it would be to deal with Eijirou's rut. Shinsou offers to take Bakugou home with him for the next few days.

“We don't have to talk. I have a guest room with a nice closet. I do have a mate, but he works long hours, so you won't have to worry about him,” Shinsou explains calmly, as he sits cross-legged in front of Bakugou's closet. The door is shut, but it doesn't prevent the odor of Katsuki's discontent from permeating the room slowly.

“Why do I have to leave? I didn't do anything wrong!” the omega growls through the door. His voice breaks, and Eijirou makes for the door, but Shinsou stops him, giving the redheaded alpha a pointed look.

“You haven't done anything wrong, Katsuki. You'll come back in a few days.”

“You're keeping fucking secrets, Hitoshi! Fucking tell me what's going on or I'm gonna blow your stupid face off!”

“He doesn't mean that,” Izuku answers quickly. Having received the insult more than a few times, he knows Bakugou doesn't mean it… most of the time.

“I know,” Shinsou says, turning to smile softly at Izuku. “You don't give yourself enough credit. You know him well, Izuku.”

Izuku bites his lip as he blushes, nodding when he fails to find the right reply. Shinsou turns to gaze at Eijirou, who is staring sullenly at the carpet as he absentmindedly massages his scent gland with his fingers. “You didn't do anything wrong, Eijirou. You didn't mean to imprint. It's good to bond with him, to trust him and care for him, but I think your lack of experience has presented us with a problem.”

Eijirou goes as red as his hair and practically curls inward like a pill bug. Izuku rests a hand on his back, offering him a reassuring smile. “It's okay, Eiji.”

“I don't wanna hurt him,” Eiji mutters, sinking his fingertips into his hair and pulling locks loose from his ponytail. Izuku watches as a bead of sweat slips between the strands and rolls down the gentle slope of his neck. “Don't wanna scare him.”

“Why does Shitty Hair smell so bad?” Bakugou whines, “stinks like alpha. More than usual.”

“It would be easier to talk to you if you opened the door,” Shinsou says plainly, his eyes looking even more tired than usual.

The closet door creaks about halfway open and Bakugou peers out, clutching Izuku's red microbead pillow to his chest. The polyester is melted in some places, and it's covered in scorch marks, but the sweet fragrance of burnt sugar and apple wafting from the open door makes Izuku feel a little more amenable. It's nice to see a bit of himself in the place Katsuki and Eiji spend the most time, he thinks, albeit it's a little selfish.

“Tell me,” Bakugou mutters.

“Eijirou? Would you like to tell him?” Shinsou offers. He's always pushing the three to communicate openly rather than using him as a talking stick.

Eijirou groans. He takes a deep breath, probably to calm himself, but once that sweet omega smell hits his nose, his red eyes dilate and Izuku swears he can see the pulse in his scent gland thrumming away. “Fuck,” he moans. “You smell so good, Kat. I'm sorry.”

Bakugou frowns at him before inching back into his closet. “The hell is that supposed to mean, Eiji?” His arms clamp around the pillow tighter. “What's wrong with Eijirou?”

His nostril flares as he breathes and his eyes widen to discs. Izuku scents the air too and the white pepper has intensified, carrying a heavy musk of alpha in rut.

“No,” Katsuki mutters as he presses himself into the corner of the closet. “No, no, no, don't. Don't fucking come near me with that shit. Don't make me- don't make me- please…

Izuku's heart breaks. He's begging. He's actually begging. Katsuki's ferocity, his tenacity, his spirit buckles under the aroma. The powerful scent of alpha overcomes any other scents enough for it to slip even into Katsuki’s nest. He reeks of spoiled citrus as he mutters under his breath and curls into a defensive position.

“Let me close the door, I fucking need to close the door, Hitoshi!”

“Alright, yes, close the door. Do what makes you feel safe, Katsuki. We didn't come here to make you do anything you don't want to do. You're safe.” Shinsou turns to Eijirou, who looks like his heart's been stomped into a billion little pieces, and nods.

Drawing a breath, Eijirou nods, and says, “my rut's going to start soon, Kat. I don't want to make you uncomfortable because I might not act like myself. And I don't want to say or do anything that would hurt you.”

“As if you would hurt me, dipshit!” Katsuki yells through the closet. “As if you could!”

Izuku can't help but chuckle quietly at that. Even Shinsou is smiling. “Course, Kat. You would never let me,” Eijirou answers.

“So will you go to my apartment with me for a few days, Katsuki? Let Kirishima have his rut, and then you'll come right home.”

Izuku nods. Eijirou shudders under his hand and the smaller alpha knows he's having the same reaction, that same pull right in the base of his brain. It's the alpha, knowing the omega will soon be home and safe with them.

Next thing he knows, he's shuddering too as the sensation races up his spine and flares in his brain. Who knew moving an omega in down the hall would change the basal part of him so deeply?

“Yeah, just- can I bring my pillows?”

“Of course. I'll call Denki and ask him to come help us move them,” Shinsou replies simply.

“Denki?! That fucking dipshit downstairs with the stupid hair and the doughnuts?” Bakugou whines.

“The very same,” Shinsou says, a wickedly pleased smile crossing his face.




***smutty stuff starts***

Izuku is hit by a wall of pheromones when he opens his bedroom door the next morning. The air is spicy, tickling his nostrils and causing a tight knot of arousal to form in his gut. Kirishima’s rut obviously hit the night before, there’s no denying it. The scent is almost dizzying; the alpha in him is screaming to compete but in his heart he wants to help him.

It’s weird for Izuku when he thinks about how he’s never experienced Kirishima like this before. It’s true that in the past, when he went into rut it was few and far between. He would also choose to spend time with an omega or beta in that situation; it was usually someone he was dating at the time.

Now, with this accidental rut, and no one to help him ride it out… Kirishima must really be suffering in there if his scent is this intense. Midoriya knows his own ruts, and knows that they aren’t that intense. He’s an alpha, sure, but not much of one. With his mom being an omega and his dad being a beta, his own conception was rare, let alone his presentation as an alpha. His parentage makes him smaller, slighter, curvier than the average alpha.

It also makes his ruts way more tolerable. Hell, he can even go to work when he’s in rut, sometimes, if he manages to rub it out before it’s time to go on patrol. Kirishima has always expressed envy over this; as a full-blown alpha, the redhead has a rough rut. It’s common for him to find company. Not only does it make the hormones coursing through his brain more tolerable, but it makes it go by faster, too- or at least, that’s what Eijirou claims.

Izuku can’t help but worry about his best friend. When he’s in the kitchen making tea, he can hear Eijirou through the wall, panting and grunting before he growls with frustration. The sound is quickly followed by a spike of arousal in the air and Midoriya has to lean against the countertop as the scent hits him like a sack of bricks.

Fuck. He smells so good . It’s common for pack to share ruts and heats together, making his biological response totally normal, but Midoriya had no idea that Kirishima would affect him this deeply. He can feel his own arousal hardening between his legs and hear his alpha in his brain calling out for an omega, for something to knot. This isn’t about him, though- this is about Eijirou. Eijirou’s the one in rut, the one who’s probably aching even harder than Izuku is.

Maybe it’s their emotional connection, he wonders, that makes this so strong. That just makes him want to be in there with Eijirou even more. He cares for his friend and wants to help him… but the alpha within him craves more. Craves Eijirou. Wants his pack.

Eijirou isn’t even supposed to be pack, but Izuku knows better by now. After seeing the other alpha go into rut just from being around an omega, he knows his own alpha has its cravings and desires. Izuku cannot deny that in his heart, he wants this too. He wants to be close to Eijirou, wants to love him and hold him and be more.

He’s already knocking on Eijirou’s door before he can really comprehend what he’s doing. Three sharp raps, and Izuku calls, “Eiji?”

“Izuku,” Kirishima growls through the door. “What- what d’you want?”

Izuku pauses. Kirishima sounds bad; his voice is really hoarse and the panting hardly ceases when he speaks. “I just- I wanted- I’m sorry,” Izuku says, leaning against the door. “I was worried about you.”

“Just a rut,” Kirishima grunts. “I’ll be fine,” he adds, and Izuku can hear how he’s trying to sound effortless despite the raggedness of his voice.

It’s now or never, he tells himself.

“...can I help?”

There’s a pause.

“You wanna help? You know what that- hnngh- y’know what that means, right?” Eijirou replies, his voice sounding strained. Izuku expected the heady scent of alpha to let up when he made the offer, but it’s only gotten more intense. It makes Izuku quake with anticipation. He supposes he should take it as a compliment.

“Y-yeah. Whatever you need, Eiji, I’m here for you.”

“I… fuck, Izuku,” Kirishima groans. He can hear him moving around beyond the door, hear the sounds of sheets and pillows sliding against each other. He must be in bed. Izuku can imagine it for himself; Eijirou, face reddened like his hair, a sheen of sweat over his sturdy frame, dusky nipples hard and a hand around his-

“Can I come in?” Izuku asks quickly.

“Y-yeah. If you really want this.”

His guts twist up with an anxious feeling as he asks, “do you?”

Izuku waits for what feels like an hour before Kirishima clears his throat and says, “yeah, Izuku. I want you to help me.”

The door feels like it swings open far too quickly once Izuku twists the knob, like it’s robbing him time for changing his mind. Does he really want to do that, though? He can’t find it within himself to stop. He wants this, wants Kirishima… and apparently, Kirishima wants him, too.

It’s not quite like he pictured. He didn’t expect himself to find Kirishima, coiled around one of his pillows with it clenched between his bare legs. Izuku can see the alpha’s spend spilled across it, staining the case. Sweat glistens on his tan skin and the beads of moisture shine like diamonds in the thin stripes of sunlight spilling in between the slats of his window shade. They move gently with Kirishima’s trembling body as he looks over his shoulder at Izuku.

“Fuck, Eiji,” he whispers, breathless.

Wincing as he ruts his hips against the pillow he clutches between his legs, Eijirou murmurs, “sorry, Zuku. I know it’s bad. Gotta suck, being here on your day off-” he pauses to suck air between his teeth and moans as he slips his hand between himself and the pillow. Izuku can feel the heat spreading on his cheeks as he catches a glimpse of Kirishima’s length; its purpling tip looks nearly painful. “- and you gotta pretend like I’m not rutting in here. You don’t have to help if you don’t want to.”

“I, um,” Izuku starts, pressing one thigh into the other to hopefully find some relief from his hardening arousal and finds none. Eijirou is gorgeous like this, vulnerable and needy, it’s so different from his lackadaisical nature. “I really want to help you, Eiji. I want- you look- can I touch you?”

Eijirou nods. “Just move slow. I might snap- never had an alpha around for a rut before.”

“I’ve never been around another alpha in rut before,” Izuku says with a small giggle. “We’re both new at this. At least you’re still coherent.”

It becomes plain to see that Kirishima might not be as thankful for that as Izuku is. The hand holding the pillow up to cover his modesty falls to the side as Eijirou moves to cup his balls while he strokes himself. Red and swollen, his erection stands tall between his legs, twitching with every movement of Eijirou’s hand as he grips it hard and growls low in his throat.

“Tell me what to do,” Izuku says, sitting on the bed beside him and setting a hand on his hip.

A little “ah” slips from his lips as Izuku touches him and he whines, “whatever you’d want in your rut, dude.”

That’s not hard to picture. He’d want what any alpha wants; a quivering, begging omega, smelling so sweetly and sitting tight on his knot. The thought alone makes him shiver and croon under his breath. Eijirou makes his own soft sound of encouragement and it only eggs him on.

“You sure?”

“I’m still clear enough for consent dude,” Kirishima breathes, a smile gracing his lips. That makes Izuku’s heart pound in his chest like a timpani drum; the smaller alpha draws a deep breath to center himself, only to get a heady rush of rut . The redhead reaches out to set a trembling, hot hand on Izuku’s. “Couldn’t think of someone better to ride it out with.”

“Eiji,” he murmurs softly.

“So don’t- don’t worry about that, alright?”

Izuku nods and lets his hand travel further up Eijirou’s thigh. He’s a little nervous; he’s been with omegas and betas alike, but never another alpha. The redhead rolls onto his back and lets his legs rest against the pillow as Izuku strokes his thumb along the joint of his hip. He can’t help but think about how he’ll be the one subjecting here by giving himself a piece of Kirishima that no one’s ever had before. His cock is so big ; he wonders if he can even fit it in his mouth and then he starts to wonder if he can fit it inside and oh god that’s a lot -

“Zuku, fuck, please touch me,” Kirishima groans as his hips rise off the mattress.

Biting his lip, Izuku timidly runs his palm up the hot length of Eijirou’s cock. The man beneath him groans, exasperated and eager, before thrusting up into Midoriya’s hand. Izuku moves to kneel between Kirishima’s legs so he can easily stroke him. He can’t help but wonder if the calluses and scars on his hands are a new sensation; the only omega he knows with scars like these is Katsuki-

“Ah, ah, more,” Kirishima says, his voice thick with lust. He moves to grip the bed sheets as he rests his weight on his heels so he can more easily thrust up into Izuku’s grip. The smaller alpha strokes him from root to tip at a pace to match his partner’s thrusts; this is how he always likes it, so Kirishima is bound to enjoy it, too.

More,” Kirishima growls, not sounding entirely like his cheery self anymore. His hands grip the shirt on Midoriya’s back, yanking it over his head. “Want you. C’mere, Zuku.”

Izuku squeaks and winces at the undignified sound as Kirishima pulls him into his lap. He can feel his rock-hard erection pressing into his cleft with its searing heat through the flimsy cotton of his pajama pants. He can’t help but yelp at the sudden friction.

“Sorry, sorry, Zuku, want you, please,” Kirishima says, pulling at Midoriya’s pants. Of course today was the day he hadn’t put on any underwear when he went to make tea; when Eijirou discovers this, his back arches off the mattress, pressing his cock even harder into the sensitive flesh. Hands slip beneath the elastic of his pants to paw at his ass with their rock-hard fingers. Eijirou must have trouble keeping his quirk under control when he’s this aroused, Izuku thinks to himself.

Scarlet is nearly eclipsed by the black of Kirishima’s irises as he gazes upon the freckled planes of Izuku’s pale flesh. He’s glad he asked if this was okay before, because Kirishima’s nearly gone now, almost lost to alpha. That alpha is intense, too, as he grips Izuku’s hips so hard he’ll leave marks and looks at him like a meal.

“Can I, Izuku…” Kirishima asks, sitting up to hold Midoriya in his lap while he lets his mouth hover over Izuku’s chest, sharp teeth glinting in the dim light. Izuku’s own alpha cries out with a clear alert of danger . He’s not supposed to be this close to another alpha, not like this, not so vulnerable, but it’s Eijirou. Eijirou, his best friend, his roommate, for whom he has all these complicated feelings.

Kirishima’s hot breath falls on his chest and Izuku shivers in his arms. Carefully, he snakes a hand through damp, red locks and pulls Eijirou’s face nearer to close the distance between himself and those lips and those teeth. He even dares to tilt his head to the side, to expose his scent gland and the artery that pulses with his very life. Trust. That’s what that says. Even in the throes of rut, Izuku trusts Eijrou.

“Izuku, Izuku,” Eijirou growls, his voice dark and deep and coated thick with lust, as he presses his lips to Izuku’s collarbone and sucks. Izuku growls, too; it’s a warning to keep his teeth to himself, that even though he’s submitting to Eijirou’s alpha for the time being, he’s still in charge here. This must be why omegas have such an easy time swaying alphas. They need to protect themselves and ensure their own safety. He almost wishes he had that power now, as Kirishima’s sharp teeth graze over his shoulder and he ruts up into Izuku’s body. It’s weird, being on the receiving end of that action, but the way Eiji’s erection presses up against him is so intimate, and it feels good, too.

Izuku can’t help it when he growls, “Eijirou,” and turns his face away from him, inviting him closer. Adrenaline rushes through him like a flood as sharp teeth prick the skin just beside his scent gland; the scent of his own arousal is so strong he can smell it mingling with Eijirou’s. His natural musk is spicy and Izuku’s is sweeter, tangier, making a delightful mixture in the air that goes straight to his throbbing erection.

Yanking down Izuku’s pants as far as they’ll go while he’s straddling him, Eijirou reaches around to stroke his entrance with a rough, hard finger. Izuku is quickly learning that there’s a certain amount of pain that comes with the pleasure of alpha. Eijirou’s rough but he’s careful as he marks him, as he touches him. The sharpness of his teeth, the harshness of his quirk, the friction as he ruts against him, with every ache and pain there’s a heady rush of pleasure.

“Eiji,” Izuku gasps, trying his best to resist Kirishima’s grasp and move away from his curious finger, “lube?”

“Drawer,” Kirishima grunts, pulling Izuku down into his lap to grind their cocks together. He’s lost his ability to speak in proper sentences.

“Holy shit,” Izuku breathes, abandoning the lube to grip Kirishima’s shoulders and chase that sweet friction. “One sec, just need- get my pants off, lube…”

He’s already on his back before he can think as Kirishima kneels over him, tugging his pants off around his ankles. Izuku watches with awe as Kirishima unhardens a finger and slips it between his lips, slurping lewdly around it, before dipping it in the cleft of his ass, searching for his entrance.

“Can’t wait, can’t wait, ‘Zu, need you now, now, now,” Kirishima pants - yep, definitely no more sentences - as he slips a fingertip inside of him. There’s some burning, but Eijirou’s saliva is slick enough to save Izuku from the pain. The redhead looms over him, murmuring praises under his breath as he grabs Izuku’s cock with his other hand. Thankfully, he’s got his quirk under control.

“Feel so good, Izuku, so fucking good.”

Izuku can’t help but groan as Eijirou starts stroking him vigorously as he slides his finger deeper. He reaches for the nightstand, feeling blindly around inside of it. Where’s the lube? He’s got to have some, right? Oh god, what if he doesn’t? What’ll they do then?

Eijirou reaches into the drawer and pulls a long, black tube from its depths. He pulls his finger from Izuku’s body to cup his hand, letting a glob of lube drool from the bottle onto it, along with the finger just beside it. Looking down at Eijirou’s cock, Izuku isn’t so sure two fingers will be enough of a stretch, but he has to have faith in him. They’ve made it this far, after all.

“Ooh!” he cries out, as Eijirou plunges his finger back inside.

“Shhh, baby, I got you, fuck, gonna make you feel good,” he growls, leaning over Izuku to kiss and suck at his neck. Midoriya has to bite his tongue not to growl at him, but that’s just the alpha talking; if he can just set aside his instincts for a moment, he can focus on just how good it feels to have Eijirou inside him, moving, stretching, pulling at him carefully. The careful expertise Eijirou demonstrates is probably a testament to all the betas he’s been with that have made the transition to this - sleeping with another alpha - that much easier.

Izuku gets a little jealous, thinking about that.

So jealous he might have bitten Eijirou at the joint of his neck, just to leave a mark in return.

That fires up Eijirou like no other. The redhead crooks three - when did it become three, holy shit - fingers inside of him, dragging them along the nerves inside of him, setting Midoriya on fire. He’s burning up from the inside with pleasure and arousal and holy shit, Shinsou better not come back with Katsuki for a few days at least, because he’s pretty sure if it smells this intense in here, he can’t imagine what the rest of the apartment’s gonna smell like.

They’re a mess of teeth and spit and lube and alpha. It makes Izuku wonder why they’ve never slept together before.

Oh, right. Alpha. It’s not supposed to work, alphas with alphas, but in this case, it really, really works.

Eijirou voice is almost a purr as he mutters, “you’re ready for me, baby,” and pulls his fingers from Izuku’s body. This feels even weirder than being stretched, he can feel himself opening and closing around nothing as a mild ache settles in the muscles. He needs Kirishima to fill him up, to take that ache.

“Eiji, c’mon,” Izuku says, egging him on. He’s too big for Eijirou to throw around but that doesn’t mean he can’t yank him by the hips until he’s sprawled across his lap, naturally finding the most comfortable angle by hooking his ankles around his tan, sturdy waist. Eijirou smiles down at Izuku, the look in his eyes almost predatory, as he lines up the tip of his erection with Izuku’s opening.

“Pretty demanding for an alpha,” he teases, pushing against Izuku’s rim just enough to put pressure on it. He’s teasing him.

“Aren’t you in rut?”

“Doesn’t mean we can’t have fun,” Eijirou pants, but his fingers are hardening around Izuku’s hips as he pushes the tip into Midoriya’s opening. Fuck, he’s big. He’s bigger than Izuku, but that’s kind of a definite thing given their differences in stature. It’s like Eijirou’s going to split him open and expose all those little secrets and nuances and anything he could’ve hidden and it’s all he can do to grasp Eijirou’s forearms as he lifts his hips.

“Ah, haah, Eiji, Eiji,” Izuku groans. “I-it’s so much, too much!”

Eijirou croons to him softly, letting his legs fall to the side as he enters him slowly. The sound is gentle and soothing, and Izuku can’t help but croon back at him in appreciation. His partner lets his body rest atop his as he moves, nuzzling at the inside of his neck to scent himself with Izuku’s mark.

“Better?” Eijirou murmurs once he’s buried to the hilt.

“M-mhm, move, please move,” Izuku begs.

“One sec, you’re really fucking tight, it feels so good, Izuku, you’re so good,” Eijirou whispers, kissing beneath his ear and then at the corner of his jaw. Izuku turns his head to look at him and catches them both by surprise as their lips brush. It’s funny, they’re intertwined like this with Eijirou buried deep inside of him, but the way they accidentally kissed feels so much more intimate.

“Sorry,” Izuku breathes, trying to cover his blush with his forearm.

“Izuku. Izuku. Look at me.”

It takes a minute but Izuku lowers his arm to peek out at Eijirou and only sees love in his crimson eyes. He pushes his arm to the side, gently, before groaning and rocking his hips, moving himself inside of Izuku, brushing against his prostate. That makes him nearly sing as his breath escapes from his lungs in a loud moan. Eijirou smiles and brushes his face with the back of his knuckles.

“Can I kiss you?” Eijirou asks.

Izuku nods shyly.

It should be weird that they’re having their first kiss while they’re technically having sex. It should be even weirder that two alphas are even having sex. It doesn’t feel weird to Izuku, though. Somehow, it feels right, so right, and it’s unlike any other kiss he’s ever had. Eijirou’s impatient, but he’s gentle, and it’s mindblowing how he already knows how to kiss him perfectly.

How did he never know that little scar above Kirishima’s eye also bisected his lip? It’s slight, barely there at all, but Izuku can feel it now as their lips touch. Eijirou’s are kind of chapped, but in that wonderful way that makes their lips stick together a little when they part. He didn’t know an alpha could taste so good, or smell so wonderful. What was supposed to be helping out a friend is turning out to be an awesome surprise.

“Gonna move, losing it over here,” Eijirou mumbles against his mouth.

“Fuck me, Eiji.”

Eijirou grits his teeth and hisses as his arousal spikes. He moves his hips back, only to snap them forward quickly and their skin collides with a sinful little slap. Again, and again, Eijirou bucks his hips into him, holding him steady with his back against his bent legs and his hands on his waist. Red hair falls around his face as it slips from his ponytail and the locks of crimson only make his flushed cheeks a deeper shade of pink.

Izuku can’t help but lose himself in it, in the way Eijirou’s teeth press into his bottom lip as he fucks into him, in the way their bodies sound as they meet over and over again. He moves his legs back up to wrap around Eijirou and pull him closer in a silent play for more kisses; the sex is great, yeah, but kissing Eiji is even better.

And Eijirou is talkative. Of course, he’s always talkative, so that shouldn’t surprise Izuku, but Eijirou is filthy and he loves it. He doesn’t know if it’s just because it’s him, because they’re alphas and there’s a little bit of powerplay, or if he talks to all his partners like this.

“You feel so good, Izuku, so tight around my cock,” Eijirou grunts into his shoulder as he drives his hips harder into his warm, narrow entrance. “Can’t wait to fill you up, mark you, you’ll smell like me for so long, Izuku.”

Digging his ankles into Eijirou’s back only spurs him on. He pulls out, but only long enough to flip Izuku onto his hands and knees before diving back in again. Izuku practically roars with pleasure as Eijirou assaults his prostate with every single stroke.

“F-fuck,” Izuku huffs. He can feel it, that little curl of pleasure that tightens with every stroke of Eiji’s cock inside him and every prick of pain from his sharp teeth on his shoulders and neck. If Kirishima keeps up this pace - which he undoubtedly will, Izuku knows it deep in his bones that Eiji would fuck the life out of him given the chance - then he’s not going to last much longer.

That’s probably not good, given the fact that he’s not the one in rut, Eijirou is.

“I’m gonna-”

Eijirou’s words falter as he groans, “knot, fuck, I can’t knot-”

There’s hardly a thought that passes through Izuku’s mind as he sits up, reaches over, and takes Eijirou’s knot in hand, gripping it firmly and massaging it with his thumb. He can feel his pulse beneath the velvet skin and looks up to see half of Eijirou’s face hardened over as he roars with pleasure. Izuku can feel Eijirou spill inside of him, flooding his tight passage with warmth over and over until it’s practically oozing out of him. Kirishima pulls out and the warmth rushes out of him.

“Kiri, wait-”

“I got you, baby, Izuku,” Kirishima says, smiling at him with that familiar grin. He’s in a brief lapse of clarity after his orgasm. Izuku can see it in the sparkle that simply is Kirishima; he’s a radiant sunbeam, a sunflower, something bright and happy.

And he’s kneeling between Izuku’s legs.

“You don’t have to…”

Eijirou wiggles his eyebrows before smirking. “I want to.”

“Oh. Oh,” Izuku gasps as Kirishima’s lips close around the tip of his swollen cock. He looks up at him as he swallows him up all the way to the hilt with no sign of discomfort at all and fuck, he’s gonna have to remember that view later. Eijirou slips his fingers back inside his loose, pliant rim to prod at that sweet little bundle of nerves and it sends Izuku over the edge.

“Oh my god, oh my god,” Izuku gasps, fingers tightening in Eijirou’s hair, holding him down on his cock, lips teasing at his knot as he comes, hard. Kirishima swallows around his cock and Izuku just about loses it, babbling incoherent praise and curses as he comes down from the high. Once he’s back, back in his body and not floating on some other plane of existence, he loosens his grip on his partner’s hair.

“Sorry,” Izuku pants.

Eijirou wipes a bit of drool from his lips before smiling at him. “I got you, dude. Don’t worry. At least you didn’t try to shove your knot in my mouth.”

Izuku chuckles at that before they fall into an awkward silence. He looks at the ceiling, at the bedsheets, at the weird crack in Eijirou’s wall - where did that come from? - before his gaze settles on the man himself. He’s smiling at him as he watches him.

 

***smutty stuff ends***

 

“You doing okay?” Eijirou asks, settling on Izuku’s stomach.

“Yeah,” Izuku pants. “That was something else.”

“I know. I’ve never…” Eijirou mumbles, surely meaning to finish with been with another alpha , but ending with a pause.

“Me either,” Izuku replies with a blush.

“You okay? Can you walk? Kinda need a shower.”

“In a minute.”

“Meet you in there?” Eijirou asks hopefully. Izuku replies with a nod and a smile. Before he leaves, Eijirou crawls up the length of Izuku’s body to nuzzle into his neck, sending a new bloom of affection blossoming in his gut. He plants a kiss on Izuku’s lips before leaving.

He slept with Eijirou. Eijirou, his best friend. Eijirou, his roommate. Eijirou, who just imprinted on the traumatized omega down the hall. He had come in here with the intention of jerking off his best friend and never, ever speaking of it again… but here they are.

“Fuck,” Izuku mumbles. When did things get so messy?

Chapter Text

Bakugou wakes with an inferno brewing in his guts. It feels like it’s burning him from the inside out, like an old stove with weak walls that’s full of coals that are red-hot. He cradles his middle with his scrawny arms as it feels like he’s slowly turning inside out. The chilly concrete beneath his body is soaked.

He thinks it’s sweat. His hair is damp with it and so is his skin; little rivulets of sweat sluice between the ridges of ribs that indent his skin like the folds of an accordion. The ratty t-shirt, yellow with age and littered with holes, clings to his skin. It’s soaked up most of the sweat but it’s hot. It’s so, so hot. Katsuki rips it off and hurls it at the bars of his cell, making it hit the floor outside of them with a wet smack.

There’s an ache between his legs. His cock is rock-hard, but that’s no surprise. It is most days when he wakes up; just seems to be the curse of being a teenager. This time’s different though. His erection seems to ache and burn, spewing fluid even though he’s not even touching himself. He would if he didn’t know he’d get his ass beaten for it.

He drops a hand between his legs, just to brush it with the tips of his fingers, and it feels so fucking good that his head drops to the concrete as he lets out an absolutely lewd moan. The touch only makes the heat simmering in his belly flare like a wildfire and there’s a gush of fluid between his legs.

What the fuck is that?

Reaching back just a little further, he finds that it’s leaking out of his entrance. Oh god, that’s so weird. So fucking weird. It’s really sticky, spreading between his fingers like some gooey spider web, and it smells sickeningly sweet. His entrance clutches just from the touch and he moans again.

Bakugou knows not to touch himself. Ever. At all. Sometimes he might be able to get away with it, if the guard on rotation is sleeping and the omega across the hallway doesn’t see him do it - they’re such a fucking snitch, so desperate for approval and it makes him sick. The ache in his guts, it makes him want to touch himself. It feels like if he doesn’t, he might explode. Something in his brain tells him he needs to. It yearns for more, for fullness, for completion, like he’s half-finished or something.

“Ah,” he whimpers, as he closes his hand around his cock and gives it a few tugs. It feels good… not good enough, though. He needs more. God, does he need more. He can feel himself shaking, and it can’t be because he’s cold because he’s sweating so much. His head aches for water. Is it… it’s gotta be this burning thing. It’s so fucking uncomfortable. He feels like the middle part of him is tying into knots and it’s so empty it hurts.

Bakugou peers out the bars to check before getting on his knees, pressing his face into the concrete, and reaching behind himself. His fingers slip inside so easily, it’s like his body’s opening right up to them. One, then two, then three, it shouldn’t be like this, this isn’t normal at all. He’s never even touched himself like this but it feels so right to be knuckle-deep inside himself. If only they were bigger, if only they filled him up. Bakugou rocks his fingers in and out at a rapid pace as he pants and moans.

“Oh, someone’s having fun when they shouldn’t be.”

He should stop. They’re obviously talking about him. He can’t bring himself to stop, though. He needs it, it’s the only thing that makes the aching and the hurting and the sweating stop. There’s two people out there; one is coming closer, he can hear their footsteps. Stop, stop, stop.

“Fuck,” he whimpers, before gasping as he strokes inside of himself at just the right angle and another bout of fluid gushes out of him.

“I can smell it. One of them’s in heat.”

“Shouldn’t be. Unless…” the footsteps stop outside his cell, and the alpha standing there moans softly under his breath. “What fucking luck. Blasty presented. Omega.”

God, he smells bad. This place has always smelled bad, but Bakugou has never been able to smell them before. The man outside his cell smells foul, like something awful has been set on fire and left to smoulder. Bakugou cringes as his cock twitches. It doesn’t smell good but as soon as that smoky smell hits his nose he wants it, he needs it, inside, out, anywhere he can get it. He snarls at him - Twice, he remembers now, that’s his name, fucking Twice - before letting out a pleading little whine.

“Dammit, Dabi won the bet. Coulda sworn this little bitch was gonna be an alpha,” Twice groans as he fumbles with the combination lock on Bakugou’s cell. He just wants him to leave him be, let him stay inside his cell where it’s the safest he’ll get while whatever this sickness is rides out. His heat, or whatever that means.

“Means more money if we get to keep him ourselves,” the other man - equally disgusting-smelling but oh, please, Bakugou needs more of it, it helps the ache between his legs - says before retreating. “I’ll go get Dabi to collect his prize.”

Twice growls like some kind of animal. His fingers dance over the lock erratically as his breath heaves. He can smell him, smell the awful, and smell- he doesn’t know how he knows this, but it’s desperate. Twice reeks of desperation as he fumbles with the lock. Bakugou falls to his side, facing the alpha, as he whines, “don’t! Don’t! Leave me the fuck alone!”

“You smell so fucking good,” Twice groans, his eyes black as night, as a shine takes to his lips; is he fucking drooling? He doesn’t stop until his fumbling, stupid fingers open the lock and he opens the door.

“No!” Bakugou shrieks, opening his hands to let off an explosion, but Twice grabs his wrist and twists it until there’s a pop and a burst of pain. Bakugou cries out, cradling his arm to his chest, as Twice grabs him by the ankle and drags him out of the cage.

“Mine,” Twice rumbles.

“Twice, don’t you know? I won the bet, I get first turn. Are you fucking rutting already? God, you need to get laid more,” Dabi growls, grabbing Twice by the collar of his shirt and throwing him across the room. Twice growls, but bares his throat; what the hell is going on? Bakugou wants to swear at them, but the scent of the three of them in the room is overpowering. It makes his brain go all hazy and his dick ache like crazy.

“Fuck… you…” Bakugou breathes, trying to crawl in his cage and slipping in the puddle of slick that’s all over the floor. Dabi laughs cruelly before reaching over to touch the bare skin at the base of his spine, making Bakugou tremble and keen.

“Such a little slut and we haven’t even started with you,” Dabi whispers with a smile on his face.

Bakugou can feel the tears pricking at the corner of his eyes as Dabi rips his shorts from his body and takes him by the throat.





“You know how to make a sandwich, right?”

“Like… peanut butter and jelly.”

“Yeah!”

“Bread. Insides. Ain’t hard.”

“Exactly.”

“So? Fuckin’ show me what to do, then.”

“Just a sec.”

Bakugou glowers at the floor as Denki steps through the swinging doors to the front of the cafe, leaving him in the kitchen with a massive pile of sandwich ingredients on the bar. The space is cramped and small - apparently it’s more like a closet than a kitchen according to Denki - but Bakugou likes it. He doesn’t have to worry about what, or who, is in this little space. Whenever he’s out, he’s always checking: who’s in the perimeter, what can he hide behind, where’s the danger. Here, in this tiny-ass kitchen, there’s nothing but reprieve.

Denki returns after a moment with a menu in hand. “Here’s all our sandwiches. Some of them are grilled. You can handle that, right?”

Katsuki snatches the laminated paper from him, holding it up to his face. It’s written. Isn’t it pretty fucking obvious that he’s not like everyone else? He can barely count, let alone read. His own name, yeah, sure, that’s no problem. All the words and numbers and letters on the menu make Katsuki’s blood boil just from looking at them.

Shinsou expects him to stay here at the cafe with Denki for the afternoon, ‘helping out’ or whatever. Bakugou hadn’t realized Hitoshi had other patients, but it makes sense if this is his job, taking care of people. He doesn’t want to let Hitoshi think he can’t do this - make food - but goddamn if the task is way more daunting with the menu in his hands. Can’t write. Can’t read. Now he can’t even make a goddamn sandwich.

“Didn’t Hitoshi fuckin’ tell you, idiot? I can’t read,” he spits.

Denki’s jaw drops a little. “ Oh yeah! That’s right! You can’t read!”

Shoving his hands in his pockets to hide the tiny, smoking pops he’s making, Bakugou grumbles, “fuck you. Take me back to the apartment.”

“Woah, woah, woah! Shinsou didn’t just dump you here, dude. We want you to be successful and stuff. We stayed up last night making you a visuo- thinger dinger.”

“Visuo thinger dinger? The fuck? Show me!”

Denki pushes past Bakugou to grab his backpack. There’s a big, rolled up tube of paper. It takes Denki a few minutes to use every piece of tape in the cafe to stick the behemoth-sized poster to the wall.

“There,” he says breathlessly.

It’s covered in pictures. Every sandwich, with ingredients, posted in order, and they each have their own box. There’s even words, simple ones that Katsuki can read like ham and swiss, and other ones that aren’t so simple, like dijon or pepperoncini. The pictures are close enough to the ingredients on the table, though. It’s like the menu but with pictures.

“Huh. This ain’t bad,” Bakugou mutters, looking over the menu taped to the wall. “This makes more sense than your stupid menu.”

“Shinsou came up with it. I just did the art.”

“Show me how to use the grill.”

~

He’s supposed to hate this. It’s too normal, making sandwiches. After a lifetime of fear, rage, and blood, Katsuki always assumed he would return to that. It would let him escape, for a time, but it would always draw him back. He doesn’t know any different, after all. He’s only ever known survival, to keep getting up and keep going.

Sandwiches are easy, though. Katsuki’s already got the menu memorized after only a few hours spent in the dinky kitchen of the cafe. He knows all the sauces after matching the labels to the words scrawled under their pictures. He knows all the meats; some he’s had himself in sandwiches Eijirou’s fixed for him, others he had to match with the pictures, but that was easy. The cheese is his favorite. It’s really hard to not give himself a slice every time he puts one on the bread.

The kitchen’s perfect. It’s just only enough for the dish pit, a prep table, and the grill, but he quickly discovers that’s all he really needs. The old grill sizzles and pops as his knife slams against the table through tomatoes, lettuce, and onions. He can hear the gentle piano music through the wall and the pluck of the cello strings vibrating in the plaster. There’s no room for anyone else in here and Katsuki loves it.

“Hey, Katsuki,” Sero says, peeking through the window. “Two BLTs and a melt. Cheddar on the melt, not swiss. Got it?”

“What d’you think? Course I got it,” Bakugou grumbles, buttering sourdough slices and setting them on the grill. They sizzle in the best way and the bread gets the air smelling amazing. Checking the diagrams on the wall, he makes a quick mental list and gets all the ingredients together, muttering about cheeses under his breath.

Poking his head in the swinging doors, he asks, “how’s the wonderchef doing in here?”

“Shut the fuck up with that wonderchef shit,” Bakugou hisses. “You’ve just never seen someone who can actually cook back here.”

“You’re really good at it, Bakugou. I can’t make sandwiches this good this fast,” Sero says through the window.

Grinning, Denki adds, “he’s right, dude. You’re an awesome cook.”

Katsuki averts his gaze to stare at the grill top while his cheeks flush. He doesn’t need stupid Denki or Sero to tell him that he’s good at this. He knows he’s good at this. The customers flashing thumbs up through the window as they pass the counter to leave are fucking crazy.

He’s good at this. He’s good at something that’s not blowing people’s faces off. That’s kind of nice to think. Maybe he won’t suck so much at this integrating bullshit or whatever Shinsou calls it.

“You’re just lucky to have me here,” he scoffs.

“That’s what I’m saying, Kat. You’re good at this. Better than either of us. Do you wanna keep doing it?” Denki asks.

Bakugou frowns.

“You want me to keep cooking for you?”

“We’ll pay you, too,” Sero says, his creepy smile growing wider. “Can’t do more than minimum wage, but we’ll tip you out every day.”

Money. Money? He could make money, just like Eijirou, and like Deku, too. What would he even spend it on? He’d probably get a good knife for the kitchen, first of all. Deku and Eijirou don’t know a good knife when they see one. And he needs more pillows for his bed if he’s gonna sleep on it because he sure as hell ain’t taking his nest apart. Plus, he wouldn’t have to ask for handouts like some kind of pushover.

He could get shit done for himself. Even though he can’t read - yet, he tells himself, but he’s gonna be the best fucking reader his tutor’s ever seen, as soon as he stops messing up his hiragana - he can take care of himself. That idea feels really fucking good to think about.

“Hell yeah,” Bakugou says with a grin.

Sero and Denki high-five behind the counter, and Katsuki chooses to embrace the warmth that explodes in his chest.




That warm feeling doesn’t go away. It sticks around until they close the cafe and go back to Denki and Hitoshi’s apartment, where the scent of forget-me-nots assaults his nose as they walk in. It’s such a nice smell and fills Katsuki with a sense of calm. Omega. Something about Shinsou’s scent doesn’t set alarm bells off with him like every other omega does. There’s a spice to the air, too, and a salty soy sauce smell.

“Hitoshi’s making yakidon! Hell yeah,” Denki says, nearly knocking Bakugou over with a clap to the shoulder as he’s trying to untie his shoelaces. “Lucky you, Katsuki. Maybe he’s doing it cuz you’re here tonight.”

“Fucking- watch where you’re going, dummy,” Bakugou hisses, scrambling to get his sneakers off. The alpha’s already rushing into the kitchen and his disappearance is punctuated by a sudden spike in that floral smell. Happy. Shinsou’s happy, Bakugou can smell it, he’s happy to see Denki , of all people. Katsuki rolls his eyes as he finally gets the knot untangled on his shoe and slips it off.

His socked feet slide silently across the hardwood floor as he shuffles into the kitchen with his hands shoved in his pockets. Maybe a little too quietly, because when he looks up, he knows that Denki and Hitoshi definitely didn’t hear him. Hitoshi’s got his arms around Denki’s neck and Denki’s got his arms around Hitoshi’s waist and they’re squished together. Hitoshi’s purring, the fuck?

“Hey, baby,” Denki rumbles, burying his nose in Hitoshi’s scent gland and Bakugou can hear his breath huffing from here. Gross .

“Be good, we have a guest,” Hitoshi sighs, pulling away. Katsuki thinks he’s going to let go but he doesn’t, he mashes his mouth against Denki’s and now he’s rumbling like an engine. It’s not a purr, but it’s a satisfied sound, and now the air stinks of alpha.

Katsuki growls, “what the fuck are you guys doing?”

The two freeze and the smells saturating the room dissipate quickly. Hitoshi turns back to face the stove and rub the back of his neck, while Denki looks to stare Bakugou down. “What do you mean, dude? I’m just saying hi to my mate.”

Mate?

“The hell’s that? Hitoshi’s your mate ?”

Denki grins. “Yeah, dude.”

“I still don’t know what that means , dipshit!”

“Sounds like we need to have a conversation,” Hitoshi chimes in. “Let’s eat dinner and we’ll talk.”

“Fucking talking, all we ever do is talk ,” Katsuki groans. “Sick of fucking talking.”

Hitoshi looks over his shoulder with eyes that look even more tired than usual.

“Fine. I guess we won’t tell you what mates are, then, if you don’t want to know.”

Sputtering, Bakugou hisses, “I want to fucking know! We’ll talk!”

“Okay, then,” Hitoshi says with a smile.

Dinner takes way too long. Hitoshi and Denki don’t have any fucking forks, which is a problem. Chopsticks are infuriating; Bakugou’s hands are always shaking and sometimes he can’t feel his fingers, so making them work isn’t great. When Shinsou offers him one of those goofy chopstick-toppers for kids, Bakugou wants to blow his face off. Instead, he chooses to suffer through his noodle-based hell until everyone’s plates are clean and Denki and Hitoshi are sitting there across the table with expectant looks on their faces.

“Who knew I’d be giving the birds and bees talk,” Denki cackles impishly.

“Denki,” Shinsou sighs, rolling his eyes.

“What do birds and bees have to do with mates?” Katsuki asks incredulously.

“Nevermind,” Shinsou says, shoving his hand in Denki’s face. “Where do you want to start, Katsuki?”

Bakugou just stares at him.

“Tell me why you’re letting him touch that spot on your neck. The one that feels all weird.”

Hitoshi’s hand trails to his neck, where it travels over the spot. There’s a scar there, one that Katsuki would never mistake- a bite mark. Someone bit him there. That thought makes that weird feeling tug behind his belly button and some part of his brain melt with heat.

“My scent gland,” he explains, and Denki smiles broadly. “You have one, too. It’s where our omega scents originate from. It’s also used to form a bond with your mate.”

Wrinkling his nose, Katsuki asks, “how?”

Denki bares his teeth. “With a bite.”

Hitoshi shudders and smiles at Denki.

“So… Denki did that to you? He bit you. And you fucking let him?” Katsuki hisses. “Seems like alpha bullshit to me. Fuckers bite wherever they want.”

His hand travels to his neck and over his scent gland. There’s bite marks on his, too. He wonders if he’s been mated now because he has those marks. Can an omega have more than one mate? Is he already attached to his assaulters? Katsuki can’t help but be afraid of the thought that someday they might come back for him. Their mate. He shivers.

“You can be bitten there without being mated. It has to be consensual for a mating bond to form, meaning you both have to want it. Don’t worry,” Hitoshi says, and Denki pats Katsuki’s shoulder. “You may be marked but they didn’t mate you unless you wanted it.”

“Fuck no,” Katsuki hisses. After a moment, he asks, “why the hell would I want a fucking mate anyway? Some alpha looming around all the time?”

“Besides sex?” Denki jeers.

“Denki Kaminari,” Shinsou growls.

“What, I-”

Denki’s eyes blank out and the alpha stares forward as a glob of drool starts to ooze from the corner of his mouth.

“What the fuck!?” Bakugou exclaims, backing away from the alpha.

“It’s just my quirk. He’s fine. Just inappropriate,” Shinsou huffs. “Anyway. Your mate is someone you love unconditionally. Someone you want to be with all the time. Your best friend. Someone you could wake up with every day and still feel happy that they’re by your side.”

“Sounds corny as hell.”

“It is, a little, but you don’t care, because they’re your mate. They’re the person you choose every time. I’ll always choose Denki, and we share marks because of that,” Shinsou says, leaning against a rigid, drooling Kaminari.

Bakugou stares at the grain of the wooden table, lines swirling around the knots and travelling down its length. He traces one with his finger, noting the ridges on both sides of it as he thinks. A mate. Someone he loves, unconditionally. Someone he misses and wants to be around all the time. Someone he’ll choose, every time.

Of course, he can only think of Eijirou. His heart beats a little harder when he thinks about the way they curl up together to sleep in the closet. It’s too small in there for Eijirou, but the alpha has never expressed any disdain for it. Whenever he’s home, they’re together, whether it’s mundane, stupid shit, or something more important. Side by side. Always.

Fuck. Stupid alphas, always up to shit.

“Okay, Denki. Be good, and I’ll let you go.”

“Be good,” Denki replies dully. Shinsou takes a sharp breath and Denki goes limp. “Fuck, babe. You know, sometimes that’s too much.”

“When I’m working with a patient, you know I can’t have you making inappropriate jokes, Denki.”

“Sorry,” he huffs. Hitoshi touches his face and mashes their lips together again. Why they keep doing that, Katsuki has no idea, but they seem to be enjoying it.

“Why do you keep doing that?”

“What?”

“The stupid thing with your mouths. Looks gross.”

Denki elbows Hitoshi and says, “see, this is why I brought up the sex thing. The guy can’t know about mates without knowing about all of it.”

Katsuki cringes. “You mean you actually have sex.”

“Duh,” Denki chuckles.

“And you want to do that.”

“Of course- ow!” Denki whines as Hitoshi elbows him sharply in the ribs.

“Katsuki… I can only imagine what you’ve experienced in your life,” Hitoshi says, and for once, he doesn’t have that dead look on his face. He looks sad. Pained. Katsuki wants to blow his eyebrows right off his face.

“But sex isn’t always painful or scary. With the right person, it can be-”

“Fucking awesome-”

“Would you like another brainwashing? I can make that happen,” Hitoshi says, his vibrant, lilac eyes lighting up for a brief moment. Denki quiets. “Anyway. With the right person, someone you trust and love, it can be…”

Hitoshi bites his lip, looking to Denki. “Go on, say what you’re thinking. But be reasonable.”

Denki lets his palms fall flat on the table. “Finally! Dude, Katsuki. Sex is totally awesome when you have the right person. I don’t know what it’s like for omegas, but for alphas, like holy shit, when you have that right person and you’re together, like really together, it’s so fucking good, dude. You know how they feel and you can feel it and making them feel good is the best thing ever.”

“And the mouth thing? That’s kissing. Kissing’s good too, even if your mate’s a little toothy about it - ow, Toshi - and hugs and holding hands and sleeping together…” Denki rests his hands on his chin. “Man, it’s so good.”

“Eijirou and I sleep together,” Katsuki mutters.

Hitoshi looks like he’s about to swallow his tongue. “What did you just say, Katsuki?”

“Eijirou. Me. Sleep. Together. Listen better, dipshit. Isn’t it your job to listen?”

Hitoshi eyes flash again. “I need to call him.”

“Listen, listen. He ain’t tried shit. He’s just a cuddly motherfucker.”

“And Izuku said you two weren’t a thing, I call bullshit,” Denki cackles.

“Katsuki. Do you consent to that?” Hitoshi asks anxiously.

“Duh. We fuckin’ respect each other. Eijirou would never hurt me. He wouldn’t even be around me during his rut because he didn’t wanna hurt me. That’s respect. I’d do the same for him if it were the other way around.”

Hitoshi and Denki share a brief glance before looking at Katsuki. Hitoshi leans his cheek on his fist and smiles at him.

“The fuck are you smiling about?”

“Nothing,” they say in unison.

Chapter Text

A lot can change in a week. For example, the way you look at your best friend can go from a casual smile to heated glances. Even where you look at them can change. Eijirou’s learned that, he thinks, as he remembers water from the shower sluice in rivulets between the prominent muscles of Izuku’s back when he turns away. It stirs a hunger in him; one that had lain dormant for so long that when it finally rears its head, it’s a singularity, consumer of anything and everything Izuku can give him.

His rut had been totally unexpected at first. He didn’t have a mate, didn’t even have someone he was seeing, so why would it even start? Izuku had the answer, of course, as they discussed it while lazing around on the couch during one of Kirishima’s moments of clarity. Katsuki. He’d imprinted, not that he meant to, not that he’d tried. It just happened that way. Then this whole business with Midoriya, and… well. It was no wonder his rut had lasted so long and Izuku refused to admit that it was him making Kirishima so crazy. Their relationship went from roommates and besties to… this in just a few days.

What this is, he isn’t really sure. Eijirou’s still reeling a little from it all. From the first kiss - they laughed, later, when they realized they had fucked before they’d even kissed - to this moment feels like a blur. Maybe it’s the rut fucking with his brain; he was kind of hazed out from all the hormones zooming through his bloodstream like some sick, horny drag race.

Maybe it’s just Izuku, he thinks. Sweet, sweet Izuku. Why isn’t he surprised that it’s Izuku that took his world and turned it upside down? That’s just how he is. He’s always been the one to defy the odds and come out triumphant. Eijirou’s just surprised that he picked him , of all people. Izuku could have any omega he wanted.

“Kiri,” Izuku calls from the shower.

Eijirou can’t help but smile as he strips his shorts off and climbs into the shower behind the mossy-haired alpha. Freckles dot his whole back; some are barely-there, infinitesimal dots, and others are dark and round and wide. They dot his back in sprawling constellations, same as the night sky in their sizes and shades. Eijirou slides his finger over a big one next to a fading bite mark over Izuku’s shoulder. He looks like he got in a fight from the shoulders up; teeth marks and lovebites alike are tattooed into his speckled skin.

“Got you good here,” he murmurs, running his thumb over a particularly nasty one as his other hand slips around Izuku’s waist. “Sorry about that.”

Izuku hums as Kirishima comes closer, tilting his head back to rest on his shoulder as the shower spray hits his chest and cascades down his body. “My hero suit’s got a high collar. It’s okay,” he replies. With a blush, he adds, “I like them.”

“Who knew you’d be such a freak behind those innocent eyes,” Eijirou growls, tucking his face into Izuku’s neck, earning himself a hitch in Izuku’s breath. He turns around to smile exasperatedly at the redhead.

“I am not a freak, Kirishima Eijirou.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Eijirou chuckles, his arms folding around Izuku’s waist, pulling him flush against his front and making his blush an even deeper shade of red. “Just wait. We can change that.”

“Eiji.”

Yeah, a lot of things can change in a week.

They’re just stepping out of the shower when both of their phones chirp. Sharing a look, they reach for their devices to discover a text message from Aizawa summoning both of them to the office. Well then… so much for picking up Katsuki anytime soon.

“Wonder what it’s about?” Eijirou asks, slinging his towel around his waist.

Izuku shrugs. “Could just be a meeting.”

“You know Aizawa hates meetings as much as the rest of us. It’s gotta be something,” Eijirou says, frowning as he types out a quick reply. Copy, chief. See you in twenty. “Guess we’ll find out.”

“Right.”

Naomasa is already there when Eijirou and Izuku arrive, murmuring under his breath to Aizawa. The two betas sit on the other side of the erasure hero’s desk to make it easy to share his computer monitor. The stream of quiet chatter stops as soon as the two alphas walk in the room and Aizawa gives Izuku a very pointed look. The alpha tugs the collar of his shirt up a little higher, failing to cover the ring of tooth marks just next to his scent gland.

Eijirou felt guilty. Well, he wanted to, at least.

“Thanks for coming,” Aizawa said blandly. “Have a seat.”

“You gonna tell us what’s up or leave us hanging?” Eijirou asked impatiently.

Aizawa raised his brows, leaving the deadpan look on his face, before turning his head to look at Naomasa. “Go ahead, then. Tell them.”

Tsukauchi nods his head to the two alphas. “First of all, I want to thank you for personally assisting with the relocation efforts. Bakugou Katsuki would have gone to a battered omega shelter and then on to suffer for the rest of his life, had it not been for you two.”

Eijirou’s heart swells with pain for Katsuki - he stops himself as he thinks, his omega - at the thought of him in an omega shelter. In his condition, he probably would have withered away there, too afraid of people and too angry with the world to ever truly improve. He’s home now, home with him and with Izuku, and better than he ever could have been.

His heart aches just to think of Katsuki. He knows they’re imprinted, so he’s going to be a little clingier than the omega’s average friend, but he misses him. Eijirou misses the little twitch in Bakugou’s lips when he’s amused by something or by the way he blows up when he’s embarrassed. Maybe his hair is longer. Maybe he’s a little fuller. He hopes Denki and Hitoshi have been feeding him- he’s a picky eater.

“It was the least we could do,” Midoriya says, his arm brushing against Eijirou’s as he rearranges himself in the chair. “We have an extra room and extra time.”

Kirishima can’t help but beam at Izuku. Ever the giver, he thinks to himself, as green eyes glitter back at him above a warm smile. He’s so grateful for Izuku, for his friendship and his love and his passionate nature.

Aizawa clears his throat loudly, drawing Izuku and Eijirou back into the conversation.

“As he was saying,” he says dully, eyes boring holes into Eijirou’s skull.

Naomasa nods before reaching for the computer monitor and clicking. The projector lights up the wall behind Aizawa’s desk, showing a map of their city. There’s dozens of red dots lit up on the screen.

“What’s this?” Eijirou asks. He can already hear Izuku muttering beside him a mile a minute.

Aizawa purses his lips in a thin line as Naomasa murmurs, “they’re deaths around the city.”

“Woah!” Eijirou exclaims.

“People die every day. It’s a natural part of life. Showing them to us means there’s something odd about them. We haven’t been called to these scenes, which means villains either weren’t there when the corpses were found, or they were subdued by police,” Izuku murmurs, his chin pinched in the joint of his thumb. “So what’s significant about these deaths?”

“So smart, Zuku,” Eijirou whispers under his breath, awestruck. He can feel Izuku’s alpha practically purr with pride beside him.

“There was a body recovered at the fighting ring. It was in the basement, where you found Bakugou,” Naomasa says curtly before setting a file down on the desk and opening it to reveal a stack of glossy photographs. Eijirou lifts the first one carefully. There’s a very battered corpse in the photo, purpled and massacred by the concrete it had been buried in when the building collapsed. Despite the weight of the structure debris having mangled the body, he can clearly see the pointed ears and odd coloration of the skin.

“At first we just thought that it was another omega abandoned by the ringleaders like many others we’d found. The body was brought to the morgue for genetic testing in order to identify them,” Naomasa explained, setting a results page on the desk. “However, we were unable to identify them as they presented with two completely different sets of DNA. One test came back with two different individuals’ results. We tested again from a different tissue sample and received the same results.”

“How is that possible with just one body?” Izuku asks, furrowing his eyebrows. “People have one set, unless it’s some kind of genetic disorder. Those people don’t usually live long.”

“Exactly,” Aizawa answers. Pointing to the map, casting a long shadow across the projection as he gestures, he adds, “These are either adolescent or adult corpses the police have found in the city, dumped in dumpsters or lakes or wherever a body might get trashed. None of them carried any ID, or had any identifying features beyond their secondary omega gender.”

“Except the fact that all of their autopsy reports came back with two sets of DNA in their cells,” Naomasa says, his face pulled tight and grim.

“Fuck,” Eijirou says, earning an elbow from Izuku.

Aizawa nods, looking rather upset himself.

“So how... how did they die?” Izuku asks.

“Autopsies revealed complete organ failure. The body just can’t survive like this- the doctors think their immune systems attacked their internal systems,” Naomasa explains.

Kirishima leans forward, resting his face in his hands. “So you found these corpses and they were just like the one you found at the ring. They’re connected, somehow? Seems too weird to be an accident.”

“We thought that, too. Someone’s up to something nasty,” Aizawa grunts.

“Shit,” Kirishima breathes.

“What do we do?” Izuku asks. That familiar fire is in his eyes; Izuku’s angry and his strong sense of justice is flowing liquid through his veins at a breakneck pace. The true embodiment of a hero, Izuku’s already prepared to protect, to fight, to save.

Naomasa’s eyes fall as he says, “I don’t know. Neither of us do. We need to figure out where these bodies are coming from.”

“Please keep your ears to the ground,” Aizawa says with a nod. “We figure out who’s abducting people first. Someone will slip up, and we’ll be there.”

“Right,” Izuku and Kirishima answer at the same time.




“How was your vacation, Katsuki?”

“Wasn’t a fuckin’ vacation, Deku. I worked the whole time.”

“You got a job?”

He grunts in reply.

“That’s great.”

Bakugou hisses through his teeth, positioning himself so he’s trailing behind Kirishima and Midoriya instead of walking with them.

Bakugou’s been surly ever since they brought him home from Shinsou and Kaminari’s place. It’s not his normal surly, where he can be prodded to speak and tease as if his words are the greatest gift he can bestow. Normal surly means Bakugou will growl under his breath before snuggling up against Kirishima’s side, all malcontent and huffyness.

Eijirou can at least depend on Katsuki’s body language and scent to let him know how the omega’s feeling- most of the time. A lot of smells linger on his skin today and they totally throw him off. Shinsou’s faint fragrance graces his skin like the subtle kiss of flowers beneath the scent of apple and sugar. There’s a stench to him too, that smells of ozone and burning wood. Alpha. It makes Kirishima bristle slightly to smell that aroma on Katsuki, who, as far as his alpha is concerned, is his. He knows better, of course, that Katsuki is his own person and can make his own decisions about who he spends his time with.

Still, he wants to take the omega into his nest, curl around him, and hold him tight. Mark him with his neck and wrists until Denki’s smell is completely gone and it’s just Kirishima on him. Just allspice, apple, and burnt sugar. He already knows the way their scents will mingle and he knows it’s gonna be good.

Kirishima bites his tongue as he watches Bakugou stalk into his room and slam the door behind him. He wants to follow more than anything. It’s late, though, and Izuku’s already tugging at his sleeve impatiently.

“What’s up?” Eijirou asks, reaching up to brush a lock of emerald hair from Izuku’s brow.

Izuku bites his lip, looks down the hall, and then back at Eijirou. “Um,” he starts, his voice wavering slightly with nerves, as he touches the tips of his fingers together. Kirishima can already feel his anxiety hit him like a wave.

“I just- we’ve been…” Izuku mutters. “Where are you sleeping tonight?”

Such a simple question throws Kirishima into chaos. Where is he sleeping tonight? Normally, if Katsuki were home, he’d curl up with him in his nest. However, the omega doesn’t seem keen on visitors tonight; he can already hear the shower running from his bathroom. As much as Kirishima has missed him, he’d hate to leave Izuku alone tonight. He doesn’t deserve to be left in the dust, that wouldn’t be very manly of him at all to ditch his-

Izuku isn’t his mate, right? Eijirou has to rub the heels of his hands into his eyes at the thought of that, of two alphas mated. Despite everything he knows, he cares for Izuku, and can’t find it within himself to care about anything anyone’s ever said about the two of them. He can remember the doubts, the questions, the ways people would insist their friendship would fade, and he feels triumphant in the fact that they’ve made it this far.

He guesses that’s that, then, if Katsuki’s door is already closed and he’s off in his own world. Maybe he found his own sense of independence while he was out during Kirishima’s rut. Maybe, now that he has a job, he’s already thinking about freeing himself, about building that life he’s supposed to have. The life he wants to have , whatever it may be.

As loud as his alpha screams, he’s got to ignore it. He’s got to respect Katsuki’s privacy and independence. How would he be any better than the omega’s abusers if he can’t even let him out of his sight? He’s already kicking himself for imprinting because it’s more problematic than he thought and Katsuki doesn’t need another alpha claiming him for themselves.

This is way more confusing than it should be.

“Eijirou?” Izuku says quietly.

“Let’s get to bed, yeah?” Eijirou asks, smiling at those bright, green eyes. “I’ve got work tomorrow.”

Izuku’s small, shy smile makes his heart clench. It haunts him as he goes through the motions, practicing his rituals and preparing for bed. He’s so happy, and Eijirou makes him happy, and that makes Eijirou happy, too. Even standing by his side as they brush their teeth makes him happy; they take turns making stupid faces and laughing through the foam.

Curling into Izuku’s front after a long day feels so good. He’s smaller, but he’s sturdy and he’s strong. There’s comfort in the way scarred, freckled arms settle over his side and his fingers splay across Eijirou’s chest. I’m here, I won’t let you go . Eijirou may be a pro hero who’s inclined to save everyone and bring them a sense of security, but that doesn’t mean he’ll deny himself the same sense of serenity. Lucky for him, it’s  right here in Izuku’s arms. It helps to quell the worry he’s feeling over Katsuki in the next room over.

“Night, Eiji,” Izuku murmurs, his lips moving against his neck, breath puffing against his skin, sending little goosebumps scattering from the source. Izuku laughs as Kirishima shivers.

“Night, Zuku.”

It’s a nearly dreamless sleep. The only reason why Kirishima knows he’s awake is because he can smell Katsuki’s omega aroma in his room, and he can never smell in his dreams. His sweet smell is entrancing and lovely; it’s such a juxtaposition to the scowl he always has on his face and Eijirou nearly preens at the scent. That leads to the question: why can he smell Katsuki right now? It’s not like the omega has ever set foot in his room. In fact, he always complains that Eiji’s space “stinks like a fucking alpha,” so Kirishima has never expected him to come in here.

He doesn’t want to open his eyes and surprise him. That won’t just disturb Katsuki, but Izuku as well, who’s still sleeping, snoring softly at Kirishima’s backside, snuggled into him with arms and legs wrapped around him like a koala. Squeezing his eyes shut, he inhales deeply, scenting the room. There’s the cinnamon at his backside - that’s Izuku - and the sugar just in front of him - Katsuki. He bets that if he dared to reach out, he could touch him.

“Fucking Deku,” Katsuki hisses under his breath.

Kirishima can’t help but be curious about why Katsuki’s in his room right now, in the middle of the night, creeping around as if he doesn’t want to disturb either Eiijrou or Izuku. What exactly is he doing? Did he come looking for him? The thought makes his heart jump in his chest and thrum like a hummingbird. Izuku squirms a little at his backside at the sound of Katsuki’s voice.

“How the fuck…” Katsuki whispers.

If Kirishima cracks his eyes open just a hair, he can see Katsuki fumbling with the blankets on his bed, as if he doesn’t know where they start and where they end. He’s wearing the tank top Kirishima loaned him before he left; the massive, black garment with bright red letters reading RR billows down around the scrawny omega’s knees and makes his pale skin shine in the city lights streaming through the window.

Kirishima can’t deny it to himself this time that Katsuki’s pretty. Beautiful, even, with the way his skin slightly crinkles between his eyebrows when he frowns and his muscles twitch and pull beneath the skin. His hair’s finally long enough to run his fingers through and Eijirou really, really wants to touch it, wants to know exactly what those flaxen strands feel like between his fingers-

He’s getting into bed with them.

Holy shit.

Carefully, Katsuki inserts himself between the blankets and the bed. Izuku and Kirishima ended up on the far end of the bed at some point in the night - the redhead swears his bedmate’s like a magnet, pulling him in - so Katsuki slides across the supple, soft sheets until he’s right beside him.

“Katsuki,” Eijirou whispers softly.

“Shut up, shitty hair, you’ll wake up the nerd,” he hisses as he lies down facing away from him in an arrangement very similar to what they share when they sleep in the closet together.

Did Katsuki miss this?

Eijirou hopes the omega can’t feel his heart thundering in his ribcage as he scoots closer. Closer, closer, until he’s pressed against him, back to front, hinged hips slotting together like spoons in a drawer. Katsuki’s never been this close; Eijirou finds himself tilting his chin down until his nose is pressed against the back of his neck.

“Katsuki,” he breathes, tipsy just on his scent.

“Is that the only fuckin’ word you know tonight?”

“No,” Eijirou says, breathing a little laugh into the back of Katsuki’s neck. The blond feels around behind him until he finds Kirishima’s arm and grabs it, slinging it over his own waist. The alpha reaches around him until he can slip his hand between Bakugou’s waist and the mattress, holding him snugly in his arm.

Eijirou whispers daringly, “miss me?”

“Fuck you.”

“I’ll take that as a yes.”

Izuku huffs a little whine behind him and extends his arm, investigating Katsuki’s presence. He must be fine with it, because he rests his hand on Katsuki’s side.

“Quiet, sleep,” Izuku mumbles.

“Was going to anyway whether you liked it or not, Deku,” Bakugou grumbles, nuzzling his face into Eijirou’s arm and letting his body relax against his.

The other two drift off to sleep while Kirishima’s mind runs a gleeful little race. He’s in bed with both of them, entangled blissfully in their limbs, entrenched between them. Midoriya is the solid constant, the rocky shore, and Bakugou’s the surf, the water swirling chaotically, dancing between every empty space between them. Somehow, he’s tied the two alphas together, unbeknownst to the blond.

Somewhere between the tide and the shore, Eijirou’s drowning. Their scents mingle deliciously in the air; cinnamon, allspice, sugar, a delectable confectionary in the air. He wants to consume it until there’s nothing left and it’s all his.

Is this even possible? The three of them together is something he’s never even considered but now that he’s thinking about it, it feels impossible not to let things be this way. He’s never heard of something like this, the three of them… but it could work, couldn’t it?

Then again, it could flop and go terribly. Eijirou knows he’s not the most eloquent or the most intelligent. There’s no way he can think of to bring it up between the two of them. What would work with Izuku would infuriate Katsuki… and what could even work with Katsuki? Does he even want something like this?

Too soon, Kirishima thinks, but he can’t help the way the three of them fit together like puzzle pieces fresh from the bag, with crisp edges and a firm grip. They’re perfectly suited, with no room for air between them, save the sweet scent they’re radiating.

As the sun’s rays are gently peeking through the slats of his blinds, they spill in an incandescent glow across golden strands of hair, lighting them up like a halo. For a fleeting moment, Eijirou remembers how much he wants to touch him. He can hear Katsuki’s soft breath falling from his lips in a steady, slow rhythm. He’s so peaceful like this, wrapped up in his sheets, lulled by the comfort of Eijirou’s solid presence and Izuku’s gentle touch.

Fuck. Just, fuck. He’s falling hard for Katsuki, like a penny hurtling to the sidewalk from the edge of a skyscraper. Eijirou braces for impact and hopes he doesn’t take Izuku down when he hits the ground.

Katsuki doesn’t even stir when Eijirou touches his hair. It lays across his scalp in haphazard directions, sticking this way and that. It’s probably never seen a comb, probably never been tamed, but the redhead likes it this way. It just seems so inexplicably Bakugou. The softness of it is so surprising; considering everything Katsuki’s been through, Eijirou thought it would’ve been more coarse, but it’s silky and soft.

He falls asleep with his hand buried in Katsuki’s ashy blonde locks.





“He’s partially deaf.”

“Are you sure?”

“Unfortunately, the constant exposure to high-intensity sounds throughout his life has permanently damaged his cochlea. There’s not much that can be done.”

Midoriya’s arguing with the audiologist while Kirishima sits with Bakugou in the waiting room. They can see them through the reinforced glass of the hearing clinic as they sit in the little plastic chairs, toys scattered about their feet and brightly colored cartoons painted on the walls. There’s a lot to look at, to keep them occupied while Izuku fights his losing battle, but all Bakugou can seem to stare at is his shoes.

Who knew Japan’s symbol of peace could look so mad. There’s a deep crevice between Izuku’s eyebrows as he speaks. Kirishima can’t hear him but he knows that face. He knows it’s Izuku’s last-stand face, when he’s braced and determined to fight for what he believes in even when he knows there’s little to no hope left. Eijirou loves his passion, but knows there’s nothing to be done that can fix this.

Of course, Izuku wouldn’t be Izuku if he ever backed down from a fight.

Katsuki tch es under his breath, stands up, and heads for the door. Eijirou’s hot on his heels, following the blond out the door, around the corner, and down an alleyway. It’s not until they can barely hear the chaos of the busy street just beyond it that Katsuki roars. It’s animalistic, and angry. It reminds Eijirou of when they first met, of the raspy quality of Katsuki’s voice, and the way it dripped with pain. Amidst the scent of mildew and garbage is what Eijirou can only guess is despair.

It smells like old paper, a book left out in the rain that never quite dried right. The scent hits Kirishima like a freight train before it saturates his heart, shredding it into tiny, little pieces. No matter how he covers his face, he can’t escape it, can’t escape Katsuki’s sadness; it slips in through the cracks in his fingers and claws its way into his nose.

Warmth pools in his eyes and he rubs them compulsively, trying to brush out the wet heat that can only be tears. It must be the imprint, he thinks, as he watches Katsuki assault the nearby dumpster with massive explosions that leave dents and scorch marks on its green, steel side. Each attack is punctuated by a raspy, desperate wail as Katsuki thrusts his fists into its unyielding shape.

“Katsuki,” Eijirou says, surprised by the ragged quality of his own voice.

The omega grits his teeth, tears streaming down his cheeks, as he lets off another huge boom .

“Kat, c’mon,” Eijirou urges, speaking a little louder. It’s supposed to be commanding, but he sounds so needy.

“Fuck this!” he screams, releasing a blast so powerful it actually rips a hole in the side of the dumpster. Clutching his wrist - was it too much? Maybe he can’t attack so strongly so consistently - Bakugou falls to his knees in the grimy alleyway, face pinched tightly as tears drip from his cheeks to drop darks spots in the indigo of his jeans.

Eijirou kneels at his side, unsure of what to do or say when he can’t stop crying, either. He can feel Katsuki’s pain, his remorse, his anger bubbling in him like a vat of acid, eating up all of his own feelings, leaving him with only his omega. Every ounce of instinct in his brain is screaming for Bakugou, for contact with his slight frame, to bring him some kind of comfort. It’s overwhelming.

“C’mere,” Eijirou murmurs, pulling Katsuki into his arms. For once, the blond is pliant, willing to be in his embrace; it would make Kirishima happy if it weren’t so damn sad already. Katsuki nearly collapses into his lap as he holds him close, burying his face in his short, blonde hair, burrowing into his neck, nuzzling him, letting his alpha rear its head in the place of logic and rationale.

Katsuki doesn’t even lash out with his usual snarl, or swear at him. He just crumples into him as he lets the tears fall. His heartbreak is something Kirishima feels on a primal level, yet he can’t understand it. He doesn’t know this kind of loss, try as he might to sympathize. All he can do is stroke Katsuki’s hair as he hurts.

“Guys?” Izuku calls out down the alleyway. Katsuki lets out a gasp, gurgly and wet, as he catches his breath before wiping his eyes furiously.

“Everything’s fine,” Eijirou replies, giving Katsuki a tight squeeze before letting him go so he can climb to his feet.

The three of them walk home with hurt in their hearts that makes them uncharacteristically quiet. No jabs, no laughs. Katsuki lets Kirishima hold him close as they walk. Izuku isn’t keen to walk alone, either, letting his fingers tangle loosely with Eijirou’s on the other side. He should be happy. They’re three, together, right now.

It’s not for long, though. When they get home, Katsuki retreats down the hallway quickly before slamming the door shut, leaving the two alphas in the kitchen to share in his sorrow.

Chapter Text

Izuku sets the teakettle on the stove before reaching up to grind a knuckle into his eye. The thick frames of his glasses bounce up and down on his finger as he tries his best to rub the sleep from his eyes; it clings to his lashes like glue and no matter how hard he rubs, he can’t escape his exhaustion. It’s saturated into his very bones, he can feel it every time he moves.

He’s so tired. They all are. Many sleepless nights have been shared between the three men. They slipped into Kirishima’s bed that night after the fateful appointment that left them in tears, reeking of sadness and aching with broken hearts. Kirishima attempted to hold Bakugou’s shattered pieces in his arms that night, whispering comforts that fell upon deaf ears. Katsuki had left them both hurting in his bed as he went to his closet and kept them up for hours with his tears after.

It’s chamomile and jasmine with breakfast this morning. Izuku craves that comforting scent and savors the way the sweet floral aroma cradles and caresses him with its softness. He takes a moment, just standing there with the open tin of leaves under his nose, drawing deep breaths. They steady him, and each drag of sweet, vital oxygen makes his feet sink a little flatter against the floor.

When will things finally get better and stay better? It feels like there’s no room to breathe here, not with the way he watches Kirishima, not with the way he sees him with Bakugou. Fear grips his heart like a vise; is he not enough for Kirishima? Try as he might to make up for it, he cannot change his biology . He cannot be the omega Kirishima needs. Lately he’s been questioning himself, questioning them. Midoriya has never been one to need something so simple as a label but now that he has competition the desire for it burns in his guts like fire.

His breath ratchets tightly in his chest. Eyes burn like torches in his skull, radiating heat through his brain, which is already racing a mile a minute. The disruptive thoughts cling to him like fleas, tapping what little energy he has, infecting him with their malaise.

Izuku tosses his glasses on the counter and presses the heels of his palms into his eyes as the kettle begins to scream. No crying. This isn’t something any of them can deal with right now. His feelings need to go on the backburner… again.

As he draws a shuddered breath, the front door of their apartment clicks open and shuts quietly. Izuku’s heart rate spikes and he drags his forearms across his face in a desperate attempt to wipe the duplicitous tears from his eyes. Why didn’t he wear a damn shirt this morning? Would have been good for hiding the salty evidence of his weakness away in its neckline.

“Hey,” Kirishima says gruffly from the genkan as Izuku hears his sneakers thump to the floor. “You gonna get that?”

Izuku stutters a yeah that croaks more than he wants it to and fumbles with the stove knobs. His hands are shaking; they always shake when he’s tired, always shake when he’s stressed. His hands are his weak link and it shows, as to his dismay. He opens and closes them, over and over. Breathes. The shaking will stop, he’ll make it so.

Large, bronzed hands ensconce his own, their embrace tender and soft despite their weathered scars. “You okay?” Kirishima says softly, crimson eyes lingering on their joined hands. He looks as tired as Izuku feels.

Izuku nods weakly and pulls his hands out of Kirishima’s grasp to return to the task at hand. The kettle lid chatters as his shaky hands pour boiling water over tea leaves. The tin rattles as he tries to put the lid on. His lips quiver as he realizes that he’s having a hard time keeping it as together as he’d hoped to.

“Come here,” Kirishima murmurs, pulling at the smaller alpha’s elbow to turn him around and tug him into his open, waiting arms. Izuku melts into the embrace as he releases the breath he didn’t know he was holding. Kirishima relaxes into their hold as well, turning his head to rest his cheek atop Izuku’s verdant curls as they embrace, listening to the ticking of the clock on the wall and the hot water bubbling inside the kettle. There’s so much comfort here in the other man’s embrace, a calm he wasn’t expecting but accepts with wholehearted gratitude.

Hot breath huffs into his curls as Kirishima kisses the top of his head and murmurs, “better?”

“Better. Thank you.”

“Right back at you,” Kirishima sighs. “It’s been a hard week.”

“It has… it’s been rough.”

They both look down the hall to observe the closed door at its end. Light trickles faintly from the crack beneath it. They can hear Bakugou puttering around in there, doing who knows what.

“Want some tea?” Izuku asks.

Kirishima smiles and nods. “What’s on the menu?”

“Chamomile and jasmine.”

“Perfect.”

Izuku fixes another mug and takes them to the table where Kirishima’s sitting, examining what looks like one of those shitty tabloids they sell at the konbini just down the street from their apartment. He slides a steaming mug across the table and leans over to peer at the article.

“What’s that, Kiri?”

“Uh,” Kirishima mutters, slamming it shut, takes one look at the front cover, swears, and flips it over.

Izuku raises his eyebrows, giving him an expectant look. Now he really wants to know.

“We’re in it.”

“So? People write about heroes all the time,” Izuku shrugs. “What’s so special about this one?”

Eijirou winces. “Katsuki’s in it too.”

“Huh?”

The paper sticks to the table as Eijirou slides it over. Izuku picks it up like a bomb; he has no idea what’s inside, but if it involves the three of them, he can’t imagine it’s anything good.

The three of them are on the cover, in bright, bold colors. It’s from last week, just after the audiology appointment. The only reason why Izuku immediately recognizes them is because of Bakugou’s stubborn, blonde locks, sticking this way and that as they grow out. Izuku is wearing his signature hoodie, trying to look incognito, and Kirishima’s top knot can usually get him by without passersby sparing him a second glance.

It’s intimate and heartbreaking. Bakugou’s tearstained eyes stare ahead blankly, their surface glassy despite the blazing red shade of his irises. Kirishima looks uncharacteristically sad, the corners of his mouth pulling down in a frown and his eyebrows wrinkled with concern. He has an arm around Bakugou’s shoulders, holding the small, slender man tight against his side, and the blond practically leans against him for balance.

Izuku is to the side, loosely holding Eijirou’s hand with one of his own as the other is shoved in his pocket. His head ducks low between his shoulders and his eyes speak volumes of the rage that had been boiling in his heart at that moment, boiling for Bakugou, of all people. The news he had received that day was delivered poorly, and Izuku still blames the clinician for Bakugou’s loss of morale.

Of course, that can’t be said in a picture. The heartbreak and pain the three shared in that moment and tried to fight with each other’s comfort isn’t spoken of. The quiet solace that was intruded on despite the fact that they should not have been photographed or stalked is written clearly on their faces.

Izuku feels that anger boiling again.

“Trouble in paradise… Pro heroes Deku and Red Riot seen with their new omega?” Izuku reads. His heart drops into his stomach and goes stone-cold. “Our omega?”

“Read the article,” Kirishima says gruffly as he rests his elbows on the table and drags his palms down his face.

“Been watching for signs of romance between alpha pro heroes Midoriya Izuku and Kirishima Eijirou since their debuts nearly ten years ago… Seen looking chummy outside their agency… There’s a lot here about us.”

Kirishima sighs and takes the paper from him, spreads it flat on the table between them, and points as he reads.

“Many fans have Been watching for signs of romance between alpha pro heroes Midoriya Izuku and Kirishima Eijirou since their debuts nearly ten years ago and were elated to find them snuggling up outside their agency nearly a month ago. Is it possible they’ve added a third to their tryst? The blond omega seen with them last week is a mystery to fans. Many speculate that he is in fact the abused omega the two heroes took in several months ago.

However, the trio looked less than happy on the streets of Shibuya last week. Is their relationship already crumbling? It’s shocking enough that two alphas would enter a romantic relationship, but two alphas taking one omega for themselves is downright ridiculous. No claim bites have been seen yet, but we are ever on the watch for news regarding two of the public’s most-adored heroes.”

Kirishima’s eyes linger on a picture of himself and Izuku sharing a kiss outside of their agency. “I don’t know how to fix this,” he murmurs.

"I don't think we can," Izuku murmurs. He reaches for Kirishima's hand and holds it tight. "Since when have we ever cared about gossip, though? They've said worse. We never cared."

The redhead smiles as he looks at the photo. "Yeah," he murmurs, running his fingers over it, "I remember."

"Good," Izuku replies, just as softly. He can't help but smile, especially when Kirishima's own happiness emanates from his body in the fresh scent of sun-dried sheets. It's a welcome reprieve from the depression that has hung over the apartment in a dark cloud.

"When I saw this, I was so confused," Kirishima says. "I thought, 'maybe I can't be close with Katsuki anymore.' But then I realized that he really needs me. He really needs us, Izuku."

Us. It makes him shudder with a jolt of electricity shooting down his spine. He thought he would have to compete with Bakugou for Kirishima's attention… but the redhead talks about the three of them like a unit. Could it really work that way? It doesn’t feel like it, not when he recalls every acrid look the blond has sent his way or the fact that he won’t even call him by his damn name.

Upon remembering the disdain Bakugou always regards him with, Izuku sighs unhappily, "I think he needs you more than he needs me."

“If you would try with him, I think you two could have a whole lot more. You avoid him like crazy and you never want to spend time with him,” Kirishima says. Always to the point, Midoriya thinks to himself. Kirishima has never been one for softening blows or letting someone get away easily, and that includes Midoriya, no matter how long or close their relationship has been.

“You remember when he moved in? And you did all that research to try to make him more comfortable here?”

“He blew up my pillow,” Midoriya sighs.

“Yeah, he blew it up, but he still has it. And you know what? It reeks of you, Midoriya. Always has. The damn red pillow has hung on to every bit of you and Bakugou loves it. Buries his face in that stupid thing every night.”

Midoriya is ashamed of how his alpha preens over the idea of Bakugou falling asleep to his scent. It’s kind of shocking that the omega needs his scent to fall asleep, but it does explain why he was okay with sleeping with the two of them, instead of just Kirishima. It explains a lot of things. His mind is reeling from the fact that Bakugou, whose basal instincts have been taught to hate alphas, needs alpha, his alpha.

When he snaps back to reality, Kirishima is smiling at him. That toothy grin makes Midoriya cover his face and groan. He must be blushing. Kirishima runs his hand over his shoulder to thumb at his scent gland. “It’s okay,” he purrs. “It’s alright. You should try, though. Could do it today while I’m at work. Take him out, get him talking. Might cheer him up a bit.”

“Do you even think Bakugou is capable of cheer?” Midoriya sighs. Kirishima roars a big laugh.

“Maybe, if we try hard enough.”

“You mean, if I try hard enough…”

Kirishima laughs and Midoriya knows the answer. He’ll try, as much as he doesn’t want to. He’s not sure where the resistance is rising up in him; if it’s the idea of trying to take Katsuki on alone, or if it’s the fear that he will be rejected once again. The knowledge Kirishima has bestowed on him is some kind of raft for him to cling to, out in this sea of uncertainty where Bakugou has stranded him.

Kirishima leaves for work with a kiss and a wave. Midoriya watches him leave and it feels like he’s tearing open the little chasm that’s opened in his guts as he goes, leaving the alpha feeling open and vulnerable. Vulnerable. It’s not a word he would choose to describe himself often, and he blames Bakugou for it.

The omega has turned his whole world upside down; his relationship with Kirishima, his roles at work, his home, his apartment, even his bedding. At that thought, he tries his best to forget about his pillow, which he spies hanging out the crook of Bakugou’s arm as he wanders into the kitchen. The omega is wearing nothing but Kirishima’s tank top and a pair of boxer briefs that are now too small, thanks to his healthy weight gain. Midoriya can feel himself going red again; Bakugou has never really had a sense of shame, thanks to his trauma, and Midoriya isn’t going to be the person to give him one.

“Good morning,” Izuku says softly as he pours himself another cup of tea. The hot water gurgles as it rushes from the spout of the kettle. “Would you like some?”

“Mm,” Bakugou grunts with a nod as he wanders into the kitchen.

“Breakfast?” Midoriya asks.

The blond grunts again before reaching into the fridge to extract some leftovers, sauces, eggs, and cold soba noodles. Izuku watches as he takes out their massive griddle and sets it burning hot over two burners.

“I can make food if you want,” he offers.

“Already doing it.”

“Right,” Midoriya offers awkwardly.

The silence feels palpable, then again, maybe it’s just him. Maybe Bakugou is barely tolerating his presence, already sick of him after only being in the kitchen for a few moments. Maybe he’s just tired and grumpy, but Midoriya doesn’t know him well enough to really ascertain whether he’s a morning person or not, nevermind the little heartache that comes with the notion that Kirishima would know. It could be, possibly, that Bakugou has just no interest in him at all, whatsoever-

“Do you ever stop talking?”

Midoriya nearly jumps out of his chair.

“S-sorry, I didn’t know I was… was doing that,” he mumbles, as his fingernails drag along a cuticle and pick at a jagged edge.

“You’re always fuckin’ talking. S’like you can’t think for yourself, you always gotta say shit out loud,” Bakugou grumbles as he begins to assemble his ingredients on the griddle.

“I- it just helps me think,” he sighs, “Sometimes I can’t sort it all out in my head and speaking the words just. Makes it better.”

Bakugou grunts again. He hasn’t turned around at all, not since he’s entered the kitchen. Midoriya occupies himself with the soggy ring he’s created on the corner of the front cover of the tabloid; the pages stick together like they were never separate entities at all and the sickly-smelling ink rubs off on his finger. It’s an easy way to occupy himself as he waits for breakfast- whatever it may be.

“... I do that too.”

The gruff voice startles Midoriya out of his catatonic state and he blurts, “huh!?”

“I said, I do that too! God, fuckin’, you talk so much but you never listen,” Bakugou hisses.

“Sorry, sorry,” Midoriya mumbles as his heart thunders like hooves on pavement. Is Bakugou… is he trying to actually talk to him? Not just berate him? This is a chance, one he didn’t even have to create himself, and damn it all if Midoriya isn’t going to snatch it out of the air, clutch it between his palms, and hold onto it tight.

“Thoughts just make more sense sometimes when they’re out in the air like that. Outside your head.”

Bakugou nods. “Gets too fuckin’ loud in my brain sometimes. Gotta just get it out so my mind can just shut the hell up.”

“Yeah! It gets really annoying when I can’t keep my thoughts straight,” Midoriya exclaims, setting his palms flat on the table so he can lean over its edge. They’re talking. They’re actually talking. It’s a conversation. Holy shit, Kirishima is going to be so pleased.

Now he just doesn’t have to fuck it up, and they’ll be golden.

Bakugou snorts. “You talk so fuckin’ much your brain must never stop. Think in your sleep too, Deku?”

“If you mean dreaming, then yeah, of course,” Midoriya laughs.

The knobs on the stove click as Bakugou turns off the gas before grabbing plates from the drying rack. Midoriya cranes his neck, trying to see whatever it is that Bakugou has cooked; the blond’s never cooked for him and Midoriya can help but wonder if he’s learned their awful cooking habits. He really hopes not. Maybe he’s learned the right way to cook at the cafe.

Bakugou sets a plate with a huge slice of okonomiyaki in front of him. It’s perfect, down to the little swirls drawn in the kewpie and okonomiyaki sauce on top. Midoriya uses his fork to lift the layers and peer at what’s between them. Is that chicken? Pork? There’s egg in there. It looks and smells so wonderful he can feel the saliva gathering in his mouth.

“Jeez, Deku, didn’t know you’d get so worked up over food.”

“Mmm?” he mumbles with a mouthful of the sinfully delicious food Bakugou prepared for them. For them, for him. He’s over the moon and it’s a freaking pancake but the alpha in him purrs so loudly with contentment he can feel it between the beats of his heart. All he really wants is to see Bakugou like Kirishima sees Bakugou.

“Can smell it. Smell you. Smells like… smells like…” Bakugou starts, raising his nose to scent the air. Midoriya would normally correct him for something so brazen, but he can’t. He can’t stop himself from wanting Bakugou to know what he smells like when he’s this pleased. There’s a quiet voice in his head telling him it’s not quite right to let him go thinking that scenting is okay but there’s a much louder voice, a roar, that wants him to know exactly what that smells like.

Bakugou looks up at him and narrows his eyes.

He was staring. Whoops.

“Whatever,” he grumbles, digging his fork into his okonomiyaki and tearing it apart like a savage until all the ingredients are strewn across his plate. Whatever table manner he’s learned over the past few months must have gone out the window- that, or he doesn’t care when it’s just Midoriya.

Either way, it’s fun to watch him eat so voraciously. This is the first time Bakugou has ever eaten in front of him, he realizes. The first time without Kirishima there, anyway. He can see why, now, why Bakugou hasn’t really done so before. It seems like Bakugou likes to make perfect little bites, each with a bit of every single ingredient, before swirling the bottom of his fork in a puddle of the sauce he’s left on the side.

He eats like a man that hasn’t seen food in years; then again, he’s still learning, still experiencing. That includes food. The omega is so enraptured in his meal that it probably feels like he’s letting his guard down just so he can feed himself, which is a little heartbreaking. Midoriya reminds himself that it takes baby steps, and they’ve already taken so many.

Midoriya eats quietly, savoring the meal as he watches Bakugou enjoy his own. It’s the closest Midoriya has ever seen Bakugou get to smiling; his lips are relaxed and that trademark furrow between his brows is gone, leaving a tiny crease in its place. He still uses his fingers to push food onto his fork-

His fingers. They’re riddled with scars and calluses alike; the inside pads of his fingers are thick with them, and the tops of his hands are littered with jagged scars. They look like some kind of morbid, macabre confetti.

Green eyes trace up the top of his hands to his wrists and he can’t help but look at his scent glands. Midoriya has never really looked at Bakugou before now but he completely understands in an instant why Kirishima guards him so fiercely, why he cradles him in his arms, speaks softly and kindly despite the vitriol the blonde throws back. His own heart aches when he sees the glands on the insides of his wrists.

Scars. There’s so many more of them in such a delicate place. Teeth marks- god, there’s fucking teeth marks on his arms - encircle the little pink patches. They’re pale and silvery like at some point someone had bit him with enough force to really sink their teeth in. It was not a loving bite. What really upsets the alpha, though, are the circular scars inside the rings of teeth that are scattered over the skin like poka dots.

“Bakugou… what are those marks?” he asks incredulously, reaching over slowly to point at one of his scent glands.

The omega finishes chewing and swallowing before glancing at what Midoriya is pointing at. The furrow returns, and so does the scowl, but they’re subdued. the faint scent of lemons fills the room.

“What does it fucking matter to you?” Bakugou snarls.

“I just want to know,” Midoriya asks. “How… how did you get them?”

Bakugou looks at the silver circles before looking at Midoriya. He’s used to the normal hateful stare that the blond looks at him with on a frequent basis, so the pain, the hurt in those crimson eyes lances him right in the heart. He was expecting hate, not melancholy.

“Cigarette burns,” Bakugou mumbles, wrapping his fingers around his wrist and looking away.

“Katsuki,” Midoriya says, continuing to reach for Bakugou. He wants to comfort him, but he doesn’t know how. It’s literally a painful memory that he’s brought back to the forefront. For once, Midoriya can see it clearly, shimmering there just beneath the surface with its malicious iridescence.

Midoriya knows the shame that can come with a scar all too well. He hides his own every single day beneath moisture-wicking fabrics in the summer and button-downs in the fall. They sing a familiar chorus about the mistakes and choices he’d made when he was too young to know the difference and see the future consequences of his actions.

Be proud of your scars. They show how far you’ve come, and everything you’ve given up to get here.

Toshinori’s words ring loud and clear in his ears. It’s a lesson he’s failed to learn, but maybe he can embrace it if he has someone to share it with.

“Bakugou,” Midoriya says softly, drawing a sideways glance from his surly companion, before he grasps the hem of his shirt and yanks it over his head.

Bakugou brightens with a light shade of pink across his cheeks as Midoriya tosses his shirt to the floor and straightens up in his seat. Narrowing his eyes, the blond looks away and hisses between his teeth, “what the hell are you doing?”

“I-” he stutters. “Will you just- can you- please just look at me for a minute.”

The omega is obviously still flustered as he turns to look at Midoriya’s bare torso. His narrowed eyes widen and his pupils narrow as he stares at his body, as he takes in the scars that stripe strong arms and firm torso. Dozens and dozens of silvery streaks, spots, blotches… Midoriya drags his fingertips over his forearms as he waits; for what, he’s not sure.

Spindly, callused fingers close around his wrist and turn it over to expose his scent glands. It instantly reddens despite every attempt Midoriya makes to keep a level head. There’s something about Bakugou’s strong, fearless grasp that unnerves him. The omega touches him so plainly; he takes what he wants, unknowing of the unspoken rules and taboo that so callously define the lines between alpha and omega. Bakugou doesn’t know those lines or understand them and it’s kind of charming.

Again, he has to remind himself that Bakugou seriously needs an etiquette lesson as the omega touches his scent gland, tracing over the scars that have torn across its surface time and time again. Midoriya shivers as the omega touches his scars with near reverence and snorts at his body’s reaction.

“Stupid Deku,” Bakugou hisses with a smile. “You have more than me. Fuck.”

“When I got my quirk, I wasn’t strong enough to handle it. I broke my arms, over and over again. I can’t use them in combat anymore, my doctor tells me I would probably lose their use if I broke them again.”

“Fuck,” Bakugou murmurs, as he reaches out tentatively to the silvery sea of scar tissue that covers his upper arms. Midoriya can see him touch them, but the tissue is so thick he cannot feel it. He’s surprised by how much the notion hurts, that he can be touched but he still cannot feel.

“I hate my scars,” Midoriya whispers, turning his arm and watching the marks shine as the infinitesimal wrinkles in the new skin catch the light.

“You’re an idiot.”

“Huh?”

“You fuckin’ lived, alright? All these scars? You lived. You didn’t die. You… you beat it. Whatever it was. They make you better. Fucking Deku, learn to appreciate your wins,” the blond hisses, throwing Midoriya’s arm back in his lap.

With a smirk, Midoriya looks up and catches scarlet eyes glaring at him.

“Couldn’t you say the same for yourself, Katsuki?”

Bakugou simply stares at him. Midoriya watches as heat gathers in his cheeks and eyes as the blond begins to simmer. It looks like rage, but it smells good. He’s flattered, as much as he doesn’t want to admit it, and it’s gleefully surprising.

“Fuck you, Midoriya.”




The waiting room of the audiology clinic is bustling with people today. The clientele here is young; then again, it’s a pediatric clinic and a lot of the patients here have cochlear implants, not hearing aids. Children putter around the lobby, playing and chatting, broad smiles and joy abound.

Bakugou’s audiologist was recommended for having experience with more… difficult clients. Midoriya hates that, hated the moment the hearing test clinician recommended an audiologist reputed for working with “people who can’t function like other people,” as per her words. He hates that other people see Bakugou like that, like someone who cannot operate in normal society. It’s people like her that make him thankful for people like Sero, Kaminari, and Shinsou, who see Bakugou as someone who just needs a little extra help sometimes.

Midoriya runs his thumb over the scars on his arm, over and over, until the dull sensation prickles like spines and he can’t stand the sensation. He moves onto a new scar, a new spot, a new memory. For once, he didn’t cover up today, not after what Bakugou had said to him this morning. Pride, even if he has to fake it, is something he should feel when he sees them. Each one is a victory. He can’t help but wince though, as a small child stares at him like he’s some animal in a zoo, awestruck by the silvery stripes across his biceps, and he can hear the hushed tones in which people around him whisper his name.

He wishes Bakugou had invited him into the office with him, but the omega insisted he just wanted to do it alone, that he could handle it. The nurse that had brought him into the office was a beta, thank goodness, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

Or at least, that’s what he had originally thought.

“Mr. Midoriya?” the same nurse calls out, her voice strained.

He stands up and walks over, asking, “is everything okay?”

“I’m afraid… we’re having some difficulties with the patient…” she says quietly under the white noise of the radio playing in the lobby.

Midoriya furrows his brow. After Bakugou had so vehemently insisted he could do this alone, it isn’t like him to change his mind. Then again, he probably wasn’t the one who sent the nurse back for him.

“Please, we need to hurry, I’m afraid he might…”

Nodding, he follows the nurse through the doorway and down the hall. Patients and clinicians alike poke their heads into the hallway, staring at the closed door at the end of the hall. Midoriya can see a chair fly across the room through the little window beside it. A man, presumably the audiologist, backs up against the window with his hands up next to his head.

He can’t function in normal society.

That nagging little voice in his head is torture. Maybe that woman was right, maybe Bakugou can’t… but he can, can’t he? He will someday? Midoriya is having trouble getting his thoughts clear; his alpha’s hazing over his mind, robbing him of clarity. Omega, omega. He needs you.

“Back the hell off!” Bakugou croaks, crouching behind a chair. Midoriya has to cover his nose as he walks in the room; the scent of his distress is heavy in the room, along with the smoke that twists and curls through the air. The chair he’s hiding behind has black rings of tattered cloth covering it and is missing a leg.

“Katsuki, please-” the audiologist begins, but he’s promptly interrupted by the blond.

“Don’t fucking call me that! Fuck you!”

Midoriya sets a hand on the man’s shoulder and he bristles. Ah. It all makes sense now. The audiologist is an alpha. Poor Bakugou- Midoriya had just assumed since the doctor was known for working with trauma victims that he would be a beta. If he’d known, he would’ve argued with his fiery companion and stayed by his side. Guilt washes over him like a wave. Bakugou’s eyes narrow at the sight of Midoriya and the alpha can hear the little pops of warning erupting from the omega’s fists.

“Can you tell me what happened?”

“I came in the room, and told him I’d be making a mold of his ears for his hearing aids,” the audiologist begins, “it says on his chart that he’s sensitive, so I made sure to be calm and quiet, but it was no use. He erupted as soon as I came close.”

“He’s… he’s not good with alphas. Would you mind leaving the room while I talk to him?” Midoriya says quietly.

The other alpha leaves the room without argument, thankfully, and Midoriya draws a deep breath to calm himself. “Bakugou,” he says, as quietly as he knows Bakugou can hear him.

He’s answered by a choking noise and a strangled sob from behind the chair. Midoriya remembers how Kirishima approaches Bakugou, always with a steady hand and calm voice, and he always asks permission first. Right. Bakugou needs to be in control, no matter how much Midoriya’s alpha might tell him to rush to the omega’s side. He grips the counter beside the door, warring with himself over what is right and what his basal instincts scream for.

“Can I come over there with you?”

The blond hair peeking over the top of the chair sways as Bakugou nods his head. Midoriya calmly crosses the room, holding his hands out, palm-up in a submissive position, exposing his glands to the omega. He doesn’t lash out, so the alpha takes it as a signal to move closer. He kneels on the floor, giving Bakugou plenty of space while staying close enough so that he knows the omega can smell his calm demeanor. It’s a struggle not to wrap him up in his arms, hold him tightly, make him feel safe, because Midoriya knows that alpha is not safe to Bakugou. He knows that, deep in his guts, but he wants to ignore it, and he hates himself for it.

Bakugou presses his hands to his own forearms and Midoriya can hear his quirk going off like fireworks against his skin.

“Don’t! Don’t do that, Bakugou!” Midoriya hisses, reaching for his hand and pulling it away.

“Helps,” the omega hiccups, choking on his breath, as the pops get louder and louder.

“Let me, can I, please, Bakugou. Katsuki. Please.”

“I don’t-  fucking- need you!”

“Yeah, but I need you, okay? To be well, and healthy, and hurting yourself won’t do that!”

“I just want-” Bakugou sobs, his voice high and breathy and breaking, “-I just want to be a normal fucking person and I don’t even know what that means, Deku. I don’t. I don’t, I don’t, I don’t, I can’t, I can’t fucking-”

His hands pop again and Midoriya breathes in, coughing as he inhales the scent of Bakugou’s heartbreak and distress. He feels himself spiraling, losing himself in that scent. He doesn’t know what to do, how to help; this feels like a breaking point of the worst kind.

“I can’t even be alone around a goddamn alpha, Izuku!”

The light. He can see it through the haze. There’s a sign there, and Midoriya knows he can refute that statement.

“You’re. You’re here alone with me, aren’t you?”

“What?”

“Even if… no matter how much you hate me,” Midoriya chokes - he’s crying too, he can’t help it with how heartbreaking Bakugou’s tears are - “you’re still here with me, just the two of us, and I’m alpha.”

“Some alpha you are, crybaby,” Bakugou says, smiling through the tears.

Midoriya can’t help but smile back, to share joy with that beautiful smile. “Fuck off, alphas can cry too.”

“I need-” Bakugou sobs. “I don’t know, the pain makes my brain fucking shut up.”

The alpha knows all too well what that’s like; he can remember dozens of fights where he broke bones, pulled muscles, and kept going because with the awful pain came sweet, sweet clarity. It’s not the right response, though, not for someone like Bakugou, someone who doesn’t know that hurting themselves is wrong because all they’ve learned is pain.

“I know Kiri’s normally- he’s the one that- can I touch you?”

Bakugou rolls his eyes and buries his face in his arms. “You sound just like him,” he hisses, but Midoriya can smell the faint wave of affection through the bitter pain. It’s not a no, and as far as Midoriya knows, Bakugou will never really say yes to being touched by alpha.

“Please don’t explode my face,” he murmurs, shaking that quake of logical fear as he holds his arms out and reaches for the omega.

He meets him halfway, sending a cascade of relief and joy spiraling through him, shaking his core and making his alpha keen. He’s so small, so much smaller than Midoriya ever realized, which is probably thanks to his neglected childhood but all it makes the alpha want is to sweep him up in his arms and hold him tightly. So he does. He grips Bakugou in his arms with a viselike grip and cradles him.

“Won’t let them touch you,” Midoriya growls.

“Stupid Izuku,” Bakugou murmurs, letting his head rest beneath his chin as his breath slows and his scent changes to one of calm. There’s still pain there, of course. The sour lemons aren’t leaving anytime soon. But there’s the faint scent of burnt sugar that calms some instinct that’s been crying out all this time. Midoriya has no problem realizing now why Kirishima had imprinted; Bakugou has been through so much, but he’s so strong, and he keeps trying. That alone is admirable, beyond his fiery personality that’s like holding the trigger down on a live grenade.

He’ll hold that trigger as long as Bakugou will let him.

Chapter Text

He's not sure what happened. Midoriya and Bakugou didn't say much when Kirishima got home from patrol; he simply found them sitting side-by-side on the couch, enjoying take out as they watched an old All Might cartoon Bakugou had been obsessed with lately. They don’t talk, they don’t make eye contact, but something seems different.

There’s harmony. Maybe not in conversation, maybe not in their outward attitudes, but there’s something new there. It’s in their scents, Kirishima realizes when he sits down on the floor between their knees, letting his head flop back against the couch. He smiles at them, taking in the familiar scowl and opposing smile as they all look at each other upside-down. They are a familiar comfort that soaks him to the core like a warm bath.

Cinnamon. Sugar. They’re such a lovely blend; Midoriya's spicy overtones with Bakugou's sweet scent and nitroglycerin fill his nose. Kirishima simply cannot resist the scent and lets his eyes flutter shut as he draws deep breaths.

"You guys smell good," he purrs, smiling softly.

Bakugou clicks his tongue in disapproval as Midoriya snakes his fingers through Kirishima's hair, tugging pleasantly at his crimson locks, still damp from the shower.

"How was your appointment? Good? You get your hearing aids?" Kirishima asks eagerly, turning around so he can get a good look at Bakugou. Black pieces of plastic with orange X's cradle the shell of his ear and little tubes snake inside. The blond reaches to tuck hair behind his ear and consequently cover them.

"They're just… they're just things, shitty hair," Bakugou glowers.

Dropping his voice, Kirishima whispers, "yeah, but you can hear me better now, right? Hear us better?"

Shaking his head, Bakugou mutters, "I guess. Never knew you were this goddamn loud."

Kirishima drops his head back to the couch cushions and roars with laughter. His heart is so full; full with their presences, with their smells, with their contentment. It's been so long since they've been-

Well, maybe they've never really been like this. The only time they've ever really relished each other's proximity was in bad times. This is good, though. It's simple, but Kirishima wouldn't have it, or them, any other way. Maybe this is the beginning of something new for all of them, something more transient and peaceful. How wonderful it would be if every night they could be like this.

They spend the evening crammed together on their shitty, old futon. Katsuki sits in the middle, with Kirishima on his right and Midoriya on his left. The omega leans lazily into Kirishima’s ribs, exposed by the arm he has slung over the top of the couch. He slips his fingers through verdant curls as they watch a show they’ve seen a million times over. Every time Bakugou whoops or hollers it feels brand new to them, like they’ve gone back in time to when it was fresh and unseen.

There’s a moment when one of the trademark villains captures All Might’s love interest that Bakugou becomes completely enthralled. Kirishima can see him physically bristle as he leans forward on the couch, palms pressed into the edge of the old cushion as he watches the screen. The blowout fight on the screen is loud, bright, and exciting. Both Midoriya and Kirishima know the ending, but it’s more fun to watch Bakugou discover it for himself.

It’s a trap, of course, one where the villains actually manage to succeed in capturing the famous hero. The love interest is the one that frees All Might, rescuing him with their cunning and careful planning. His freedom is celebrated and the slight nod to the two recognizing their feelings for each other sends Bakugou nearly rocketing through the ceiling. His excitement and burning passion is such a pleasant scent, reminding Kirishima of fresh cut grass wafting on the breeze.

“Aw, Kat,” Kirishima coos, watching as the love interest and All Might embrace, making Bakugou pull the neck of his sweater up over the bottom half of his face, “you get so excited when All Might’s love interest shows up.”

“So fucking what!?” Bakugou screeches, his voice muffled by the thick cotton of his green sweatshirt. Kirishima is pretty sure it’s Izuku’s; it’s big enough for Bakugou to tuck his knees underneath, so his scrawny little toes peek out beneath it. The alpha can feel his heart clench at the sight of such cuteness, though he would never breathe a word of it; he’s not really in the mood for an exploding palm to the face right now.

The urges still pull at him; biology is as inevitable as gravity, as the sun rising. As Midoriya or Bakugou plucking little bits of pieces of him away for their own, picking him apart until he’s not sure who owns more of him. Kirishima doesn’t want to know. He wants to give himself to them wholly. He’s known he’s in deep for awhile now. It makes his alpha tendencies call a little louder to them, and Kirishima is in such bliss right now that he doesn’t want to fight it. Instead, he pulls Bakugou by the elbow, hauling the little blond into his lap.

“It’s cute!” Kirishima sings, squeezing him so hard Bakugou sputters.

Midoriya blushes and adds, “he’s right, Bakugou.”

“Well I’m a goddamn omega! The cute’s just fucking in there!” Bakugou hisses, but Kirishima doesn’t miss the way the tips of his ears redden like tomatoes.

“Maybe the language isn’t so cute…” Midoriya mumbles.

“I can still kick your fucking ass, Izuku!”

“Of course, Katsuki.”

The three of them haul off to bed soon after. It’s not a debate tonight who’s sleeping where; after completing their routines, the three men wind up in Kirishima’s bedroom. It should be normal, back to the old ways of a Kirishima sandwich between alpha and omega - which honestly he prefers, he’s a greedy lover and he knows it - but Katsuki watches the two alphas crawl into bed before walking up the mattress and dropping down between their two sturdy frames.

Bakugou tucks up beneath Midoriya’s chin, just like he does with Kirishima. The other alpha is smaller, so it’s not as engulfing as when Bakugou cuddles with Kirishima, but the way the omega slots his nose into the crook of Midoriya’s neck looks so natural. He freezes as Bakugou inhales deeply and sighs.

What do I do Midoriya mouths to him, his body stiff as a board while Bakugou makes himself comfortable.

There’s equal parts jealousy and affection that rise up in Kirishima. He’d never thought of sharing Bakugou, but that’s not right, either. Bakugou isn’t his to share. He’d never thought that Bakugou would be this way with both of them, but, well… he’d learned all about packs in his Reproductive and Secondary Gender class in high school. An omega, at least an alpha, and sometimes a beta would clump like one big mated group. Is that what this is?

Is this pack?

Kirishima’s head is swimming as his heart thumps in his chest. All three of them together sounds like the most wonderful thing. He loves Midoriya, really, truly loves him, but Bakugou… Bakugou is like a spark to flame. Where Midoriya is the calm, sandy shore, constant and tantric, Bakugou is the waves, consuming more and more of the fresh earth for its purposes. That leaves Kirishima to be that earth- like he would let anyone else do that, anyway.

“You snuggle,” Kirishima murmurs once he hears Bakugou’s breath steady, “you’ve been chosen.”

“You make that sound so ominous,” Midoriya breathes.

Kirishima laughs haughtily under his breath before scooting close to set a hand on the arm Bakugou has slung over Midoriya’s waist. Bakugou radiates heat like a furnace. Maybe it’s his quirk that makes him so warm… he does ignite the nitroglycerin in his skin, after all. Regardless, as they sink into the chilly autumn evening, Kirishima is grateful for his bedmates. Their presences are not only warm, but comforting. This has been the best evening Kirishima can remember having in a long time.

“What are you thinking about?” Midoriya asks quietly. His chin is perched on top of Bakugou’s head. Jeez, he really needs a haircut. His platinum spikes are starting to droop.

“How Katsuki needs a haircut.”

Midoriya rolls his eyes and gives him a pointed look.

“Okay, okay,” Kirishima mumbles, pausing to collect his thoughts, “I was just thinking about how nice this is. Coming home to you guys. Being together, the three of us. I never thought that Katsuki would change stuff so much, but he has, and I’m kinda glad for it? Is that weird?”

“Not at all,” Midoriya replies softly, his eyes shining as he smiles with a tremble to his lip. “After today… m’ thinking the same.”

“What happened? At the doctor’s? He hasn’t called you Deku or insulted you all night.”

“Dunno,” Izuku says softly, his hand coming up to comb through Bakugou’s locks. The omega squirms even closer to him. “He had a breakdown. Almost assaulted his doctor.”

“Shit.”

“Yeah… but I thought of what you would do, or say. And I remembered what you said. That he needs both of us. Turns out, you were right.”

“I’m always right, baby,” Kirishima purrs, his tone far more sultry than intended, but the way it makes Midoriya hiccup and bury his face in Bakugou’s hair is more than worth it.

“Aw, c’mon, Deku. Kiss me goodnight?”

Midoriya gives him a deadpan glare before tilting his chin to accept Kirishima’s eager kiss.

“Goodnight, Ei.”

“Night, Izuku.”

 

 

 

The Yaoyorozu manor is bonkers. It’s bigger than any home Kirishima’s ever seen. The walk from the front gate (where he has to introduce himself to a camera every time he comes here before they’ll even let him in) is a long, slow walk. It’s kind of nice though, with the japanese maples changing colors and the crisp air tickling at his skin. This time of year really is his favorite.

A servant is waiting for him at the front door and bows deeply as they let him in. He learned the first time to just let them be seen but not heard, as they disappear as quickly as they appear. Kirishima felt bad, at first, but one took the time to explain how happy they are to work for the Yaoyorozu family, and want to honor them with perfect service.

He wasn’t surprised by this after meeting Momo. The beta had reached out to himself and to Midoriya, asking if they had found any kind of educational system for Bakugou. The three had attended high school together, but rather than go pro, Yaomomo had found her passion in engineering. It made sense, after all, with her quirk and her smarts. Japan is lucky to have her, Kirishima thinks, as he removes his shoes in the genkan.

The three of them are lucky to have her, too. Momo has the patience of a saint and the wherewithal to deal with Bakugou’s rather explosive personality. She takes her time with him and navigates their sessions carefully. They had tried other tutors in the past with no success; thankfully, Momo understands Bakugou. She gets him almost as well as Kirishima does, and Midoriya for that matter, too.

“Bakugou-san,” he hears her say in her soft, neutral tone, “do you have any questions for me before we wrap up? I think Kirishima-kun will be here any minute.”

The shuffle of paper and clatter of pencils echoing through the large room just off the genkan muffles whatever he hears Bakugou say. He knows he shouldn’t be eavesdropping, but he’s kind of curious. Okay, he’s really curious. Kirishima knows the tutoring sessions Bakugou shares with Momo are really effective but getting the blond to talk about them is like making stone bleed. He’s often given a glare, followed by a pointed silence. Bakugou doesn’t like to talk about how far behind he is compared to others his age.

“I’m sorry, Bakugou-san. Can you say that again?” Momo says sweetly.

“Tch,” Bakugou starts, but his voice drops as he says, “ ‘s personal.”

Kirishima’s fingers pause over his boot laces.

“That’s okay. We can talk about anything, remember? I won’t say anything if you don’t want me to.”

“Can a person…. Fuck.”

“Take your time.”

The feet of a chair drag across porcelain tile and echo through the room. Bakugou is taking his time. “You have two mates, right?”

Silence. Momo must be surprised. Kirishima would be lying if he didn’t say he was surprised, too.

“Like. Shinsou told me how… how mates work and stuff. So you don’t have to fuckin’ look at me like that, I know how it works with sex and stuff like that.”

“B-bakugou-san-”

“You have more than one person, right!?”

Kirishima really shouldn’t be listening. He knows that. But he can’t exactly stop, either.

“.... I do, yes.”

“That half-and-half guy. And the one with the glasses.”

“Todoroki-kun and Iida-kun, yes.”

“So do you have two alphas?”

“No. Todoroki-kun is omega, just like you. And Iida-kun is our alpha.”

“Hm. And you’re beta? Is that why you smell so damn weird? Like nothing?”

Momo laughs, “yes.”

“Do you need all three?” Bakugou asks urgently. “C’mon, out with it, lady.”

“Certainly not. Sure, alphas, betas, and omegas form packs together. But those traditional ways are not necessarily how everyone operates.”

There’s a long pause.

“Good.”

Kirishima releases the breath he didn’t realize he was holding. If he walks out now, they’ll definitely know he was listening, and Bakugou will probably take ten steps backwards in all the progress he’s made. Considering those steps have been hard, painfully-earned, and far between, Kirishima doesn’t want to make it worse. After a moment of genius, he drops his boots loudly on the floor to announce his arrival and tries to act natural as he strolls into the room.

“Hi, Yaomomo!” he says cheerfully. “Yo, Kat, are you ready to go?”

Bakugou rolls his eyes as Momo smiles brightly at him. “Good afternoon, Kirishima-kun. We just finished.” she shifts a couple of papers and sticks them in a folder. “I made some materials for you two to work on at home. Or three. Midoriya-kun can help him, too. I know he’s better at math.”

Kirishima groans. “Don’t remind me.”

Momo giggles. “Bakugou-san. Please be kind to Kirishima-kun with your math work. Not all of us are as good at trigonometry as you are.”

“Whatever,” Bakugou grumbles as he grabs his backpack and follows Kirishima into the genkan. They both put their shoes on - Katsuki ties his own shoelaces, double-knotted - and Kirishima grabs Katsuki’s coat off the rack, holding it out for the omega to slide his arms into.

“I’m not helpless, shitty hair.”

“I know,” Kirishima says softly. “I just like to… I just want to help. Is that okay?”

“Fuckin’ dandy,” he hisses as he slips his arm into his coat with Kirishima’s help.

The alpha grabs Katsuki’s backpack and slings it over his shoulder. He knows he’s practically glowing from the fact that Katsuki allows him to do little things like this; helping him with his coat, carrying his pack for him, letting him take care of him. It’s nice, and it feeds a little part of him he didn’t know was so hungry for things like this. Simple, easy things, little ways to show how much he cares.

What’s even nicer is that he’s starting to let himself care. This closeness he has with Katsuki is something he cherishes, and it’s only continued to grow. Kirishima thinks that maybe he should be afraid of this - be afraid of letting Bakugou in when things are so unsteady - but the unsteadiness is just starting to feel like part of the normal. Maybe things don’t have to be concrete to be okay.

Maybe Katsuki doesn’t have to rush. He can take his time to get better. Now that things are settled with a job, a tutor, a home… Bakugou really seems to be growing into himself. Kirishima won’t allow himself to think of the future or its possibilities. He just wants to hold onto this for as long as he can.

“Oi, shitty hair. Let’s go already,” Bakugou huffs. “Hey! Momo! Thank you.”

Momo has been watching with a soft smile on her face. “It’s my pleasure, Bakugou-san. See you on Friday.”

Leaves crunch under their feet as they walk down the long driveway from the Yaoyorozu manor. A plethora of colors dot the skyline out here; it’s nice to be surrounded by the foliage planted on the manor’s acreage. It’s such a shocking difference from the greys of citylife.

“We should go camping sometime. Maybe in the spring,” Kirishima suggests.

“The fuck is camping?”

“Where we take a little tent- it’s like a cloth house? And go out into the forest and we bring our own food and we cook over a fire. No TV, no phones, no work. Just nature,” Kirishima explains as a gust of wind forces him to brace himself.

“That doesn’t sound too bad.”

“Nah, it’s great. You would like it a lot. It’s simple. Feels good.”

“Hm.”

The two settle into their familiar silence, but it doesn’t last for long. Kirishima’s brain is positively buzzing. He wants to feel bad for eavesdropping but it’s so damn hard when he had heard something so damn good. Bakugou, asking about packs, about life, about possibilities. Is he thinking about things for himself? Considering the possibilities? Does he actually want things for himself?

Is Kirishima one of those things? Midoriya?

His heart seizes up with excitement and quiet fear over the possibilities as another gush of wind rushes by. The tall buildings surrounding them are doing a better job of shielding them from the chilly wind than the sparse trees on the estate. Of course, the sacrifice for warmth is that they’re no longer surrounded by trees, or daydreams of fires and hikes and cozy tents.

“Hey,” Bakugou mutters. “Kirishima.”

“Mm?”

“We’re here.”

He’s right; the little bell Sero and Kaminari have hanging in the doorway jingles in the breeze, drawing Kirishima back to reality. Bakugou is standing there, looking up at him with watching, curious eyes. They’re dilated; Kirishima can see little rings of scarlet around his irises.

“You okay, Bakugou?” he asks, reaching up to tug Bakugou’s beanie back down over his ears.

The blond nods. “You smell fuckin’ ridiculous,” he mutters. “Shouldn’t smell like that in public.”

“Shouldn’t scent me in public,” Kirishima snorts.

“I can’t help it! You’re like a stink bomb.”

“Come on now, that’s hurtful.”

Bakugou snorts before turning to walk into the restaurant, shoulders back and head held high in defiance. He’s changed so much. He’s broader, stronger, smarter. He has the will to hold his head high and face the world, despite the odds against him. Kirishima’s heart twists into itself with a sweet ache that makes him curl his shoulders in and shiver.

He hates to watch him go, moreso than usual. Maybe it’s the sense of proud independence that radiates from Bakugou like heat from a fire. His alpha wanes at the thought that he doesn’t need him anymore. Of course he needs him- if he didn’t need him, he would’ve left by now, right?

“Bakugou,” he croaks; he didn’t mean to speak. It’s like his lungs aren’t his own anymore.

“Mn? What is it, ‘Shima, I’m gonna be late.”

He stands there, starstruck for a moment. What is it, exactly, that he wants? His alpha was what made him ask for just one more moment. Right now, it just wants to hold him, to mark him. Keep him safe. Show him he’s his.

This is getting to be a bit of a problem, he thinks.

“It’s fine. Just go. Have fun at work!” he says, a little too cheerfully, with a wave.

Bakugou watches him from beneath the brim of his beanie. His nostrils flare and his eyes widen as he stares, making Kirishima want to melt into the concrete beneath his boots. The blond might not know a lot of things yet, but instinct is something that cannot be taught. He can smell the desperation seeping from Kirishima’s skin.

“Kirishima,” he says. His voice is so even despite the glimmer in his eyes.

Wincing, he mutters, “I’m sorry.”

After a long, quiet moment, Bakugou mutters, “s’whatever,” as he rubs his beanie against his head, “... alpha. Omega. They all do shit we don’t want them to do. Right?”

“Right,” Kirishima says, sighing in relief, and smiles. “But… Bakugou. I… I will miss you. I always do.”

Bakugou’s face turns a delightful shade of pink. “Stupid cheesy bullshit, shitty hair.”

Kirishima shrugs and grins. “Whatever you say, Katsuki.”

 

 

 

 

 

Stitches suck. There’s nothing to do or say about it that can make them any more bearable; Kirishima has always hated them. They’re his least favorite thing. Maybe it’s his skin. It’s always been different from everyone else’s, which probably isn’t a surprise to anyone. Kirishima has always had dry, rough skin. It always feels like he could use some lotion. He prefers the cuticle cream; it just works better for his skin, but he could do without all the lotion jokes.

He winces as he spreads it over his skin, still hot and damp from his post-patrol shower. A villain had managed to give him a pretty nice cut. It’ll make a good scar, he thinks, as he dabs lotion around the edges of his stitches. It travels from the side of his neck, just beneath his scent gland, all the way to his left pectoral. It was just deep enough to need a dozen or so stitches that pull his skin and feel awful when he hardens up. The medical team at his agency keep stainless steel wiring around for stitching, just for him. It’s the only thing that can hold up to his quirk.

“Good work today, Riot! You’re gonna have a pretty scar,” Mina chirped as she pulled her shirt over her head, “Looked like he was going for your, y’know…” she said, poking at her neck, right where her scent gland would be, “would have been bad if he’d got it.”

“Kind of dick move, huh?” Kirishima laughs.

“Yup,” she laughs. “Midoriya would be happy without the competition, though.”

“Wait, what?”

“You know…” Mina said, waving her hand. “I bet it’s hard at home, with two alphas and only one omega. How does that work anyway? You two take turns?” her face grows dark, the alpha glinting in her eye. “Or maybe not?”

“Mina,” Kirishima murmurs, feeling his face grow hot. She’s never been the one to shy away from taboo topics of conversation, not even in high school. Always daring, always brave; maybe toeing the line between bravery and stupidity, but Kirishima would never say that out loud. He kind of can’t believe what she’s saying right now.

“It’s not like that,” he mutters, leaning over to tie his shoes and wincing as the wires in his skin pull weirdly.

Mina rolls her eyes. “Dude. I’ve seen you with Midoriya. You two have this whole ‘trying to mash our alphas together’ thing. It’s cute. And you’re both so competitive, always trying to get better numbers and shit. How does that not happen at home, too?”

Kirishima frowns. “It just doesn’t. Katsuki is just our-”

“Katsuki. Mmmmhm. First name basis, huh?”

“It’s just a name-”

“Does Midoriya call him Katsuki too? Or maybe it’s just when they’re alone,” she giggles.

When they’re alone. Katsuki and Izuku, alone. What do they do, when they’re alone? When it’s just the two of them and Kirishima’s gone? Do they touch each other? Does Izuku hold him? Have they kissed? He hasn’t even thought about this but now he’s wondering how he hasn’t ever before. His omega. With someone else. With Midoriya.

Mina is still going on about it, of course. She’s seemingly unaware of Kirishima’s angry scent rising in the room. Deepening her voice, she says in a lusty voice, “Katsuki! Katsuki!”

He can see it, see Midoriya, buried between Katsuki’s thighs. He’s got the same face he did when Kirishima had fucked him; furrowed brows, parted lips, sweat dotting his freckled face. And Katsuki looks so good, so enraptured, his omega preening as the smell of pleasure emanates from him in a burst, and his legs are locked around Midoriya’s hips in a viselike grip. The worst part is that they so obviously love each other, and they’re alone, they don’t need Kirishima-

 “You take my knot so-”

“Stop!” he yells, pressing his palms into his temple.

Mina falls silent.

“Just please… please stop.”

“I’m sorry,” she chokes out after a long moment of silence. He almost wishes she hadn’t said anything; the apology only makes him angrier. It’s not her fault he feels the way he does- okay, well, it kind of is, but it’s also his own. He’s being jealous. His alpha is jealous, really, but it seems that lately he’s having more and more trouble distinguishing the rest of himself from that single part.

“Not your fault,” he grunts, finishing tying his boots.

“I just- Kirishima. Have you said anything to Midoriya?” she asks quietly.

Kirishima scoffs. “Why would I? We haven’t had any problems.”

“So you just… you just what? Do you guys just fuck? Is that it?”

“No!”

“Then what is it, Ei?”

Mina sits beside him on the locker room bench and grasps his wrists between her strong, scarred hands. Magenta scars dot her pink skin as she runs her fingers up and down his weathered arm. She’s never been much of one for talk, thank goodness, because Kirishima knows he’s the same way. Her gentle touch speaks more than her words do, and both of them speak the language.

Softly, she says, “Do you want to talk about it?”

“I dunno, it kind of just hit me all at once.”

“Take your time.”

He thinks about it a little more and only gets more upset. It’s not the idea of sharing Izuku or Katsuki that bothers him, in fact, he would love it, really and truly, if they could be together, the three of them. Pack. His pack. No, what’s tearing apart his carefully constructed composure like a cannonball through a brick house is the idea that the two of them don’t need him at all. It’s just the two of them without him that break his heart and boil his blood.

There’s no one without the other, it seems. He seems caught between the two in some kind of swell and he just wants the water to settle long enough for him to catch his breath. It’s been so easy just living life without thinking about how he really, truly feels.

Kirishima groans as he cups his face in his hands and Mina’s right there, rubbing his back and running her fingers through his wet hair. “When did this all start?”

He snorts. “When did Bakugou move in? Like…. Fuck. Must have been six months ago.”

“Omega pheromones, huh?” she giggles.

“I guess so. Only my rut started because I’m an alpha that jumps the gun, I guess. We imprinted,” he mutters.

“Oh.”

“Yeah. So he went to stay with his th- a friend. He went to stay with a friend while I tried to work my way through it, only I couldn’t. It was so bad, Mina. Izuku… he helped me through it.”

“Why does this not surprise me?” Mina laughs. As he gives her an incredulous look, she supplies, “well, you two have been by each other’s sides for so long. And I know he’s always had feelings for you. He has! Don’t give me that look. Did you have feelings for him too, or was it just rut sex?”

“That’s when things got complicated because I did. I did have feelings. I do. Still. A lot of them. I…” Kirishima murmurs, “I love him, Mina. I love Izuku.”

She makes a soft sound in appreciation. “So sweet, Ei.”

“Yeah, except I can’t tell him. Not like I don’t want to but we’ve never needed to.”

“You never needed to,” Mina says, “You can’t seriously tell me you think Midoriya didn’t need that from you but never said anything because he’s freaking Midoriya.”

Kirishima groans.

“And what about Bakugou? That omega? With you imprinting on him? You know only mated pairs do that. And then you didn’t even mate him! Did you ever check and see how he felt? Kirishima. I love you, but did you ever stop and think about how they felt?”

“No,” he whines.

Mina cackles. “You’ve got yourself in a real sticky situation here. Two lovers, no communication.”

“They aren’t my lovers.”

“Oh, sorry. Your imprinted omega and alpha fuckbuddy.”

“You make it sound so, so bad, Mina.”

She gives him a pointed look and rises to her feet. “I’m just saying it like it is, Kiri. You would be suffering a lot less if you just talked with them.”

“Thanks, Mina,” He says pointedly.

She chirps “you’re welcome” obliviously before trotting to the exit.

He hates it, but she’s right. They all should have had a conversation a long time ago; between Katsuki and Izuku’s difficulties, the rut, and the imprint, something should have been said. The ball was in his court and he slipped up. Kirishima feels like he’s already failed them by not doing so. Talking is so hard, though, when the words just don’t want to come out.

It’s decided then. He’ll talk to them. They’ll figure it out- whatever this is. Their pack… or at least, that’s what he hopes it’ll be.

“Are you done sulking?”

Kirishima’s head snaps up to look at none other than Aizawa, who looks even more tired than usual as he crosses his arms and leans against the door frame. It’s surprising to find him here this late in the evening; usually, he’s out on patrol, or back at home. His sullen eyes stare at Kirishima as the erasure hero frowns.

“What’s up, boss?” Kirishima asks, putting a smile on his face.

“You’re needed down at the station. We’re needed down at the station.”

Great. He’s finally ready to spring into action at home, but hero work never rests. “Fine… is it about that villain earlier? I don’t wanna press charges, I already told the police that.”

“It’s Midoriya.”

Chapter Text

Bakugou’s never been here before. It’s a restaurant, of course, he knows that. They have menus, just like the cafe, and servers that bustle around and bring people food, which pretty much constitutes a restaurant, by his definition. He’s not quite sure why they’re here, though. The food, which is just raw fish and rice - sushi, he thinks? Sash… Nigir… whatever - seems way too simple for what they’re paying for it, but hey, Deku’s paying, so he doesn’t care.

“Do you like it? I can’t believe you’ve lived in Japan your whole life, but you’ve never had sushi,” Izuku says, as he gestures with his chopsticks.

All Bakugou can do is stare at him until he realizes what he’s said.

“Sorry, I didn’t think, I just. I really like sushi but you’ve never had it, so-”

“Fuckin’ spit it out, Deku,” he grunts before popping a piece of salmon in his mouth. The texture is smooth and cool against his tongue, but the flavor is buttery with that new tangy flavor he can only associate with raw fish.

Midoriya takes his time and all the while, his face grows pinker and pinker until he’s the same shade as the fish on their plates. As Bakugou chews languidly, he cocks his head and raises an eyebrow. Out with it, he tries to say with his face.

“I wanted to treat you,” Midoriya mutters, “make you feel special.”

Bakugou nearly chokes on his sushi. Midoriya made his guts twist up all funny and go cold as ice. It’s kind of pleasant if he can get over the fact that the sensation makes him want to wriggle and squirm until it’s gone. He wasn’t expecting to feel that way at all. It’s a lot like when Kirishima scoops him up to hold him in his arms and cuddle.

He wants to hate both things, Kirishima’s affections and Midoriya’s words, but he just can’t seem to, as much as he wants to.

“Shut up, ‘Zuku. I don’t need treats. What am I, your pet?”

“N-no,” Midoriya stammers, “never mind.”

His eyes drop to his plate and he’s visibly wounded by Bakugou’s tone. Great. Now he’s gonna sulk like he always does, and that always makes Bakugou feel bad. Lately, though, he hasn’t been able to handle Midoriya’s hurt look as well as he usually can.

Bakugou clears his throat of the last grain of rice and says as loud as he can (which really isn’t that loud, he doesn’t need to wound his pride that much), “sorry. This… this is nice. You’re right, y’know. Ain’t had much traditional shit, just the stuff we make at home.”

Midoriya’s smile likes up like a firecracker, all fast and sudden and full of warmth. The scent of his relief emanates from him like a candle, and it smells good. Too damn good.

“Stupid Deku,” Bakugou mutters before stabbing a piece of octopus with his chopsticks as he ducks his head to hide his blush.

The rest of dinner goes by in a flash. There’s more chatter, more sushi. Laughter. It still feels weird to laugh because he never means to, it just fucking happens. His lungs spasm and he’s making weird sounds he never wanted to make in the first place, but someone’s almost always laughing with him and Deku’s shitty smile is just that. Shitty.

He’s wondering if maybe it’s the sushi that’s making him so sick.

“I’ll pay the check,” Deku says, “let’s go up to the front.”

It’s a Friday night, so the sushi bar is teeming with people. Bakugou wishes Kirishima was here with them; the biggest of the two alphas is always good at being a buffer against the crowd. The omega always feels safer around him. No one wants to fuck with Red Riot. Kirishima’s not here, though. It’s just Midoriya with him today, and all the smells around him are too much. He can’t pick out Midoriya’s scent in a crowd like he can Kirishima’s.

Bakugou’s skin starts to itch. He needs to scratch it, but he knows it won’t be enough. He thinks to set a series of small pops against his skin, but Midoriya has been trying so hard to help him not that he feels guilty for even thinking about it. Before he knows it, his lungs are closing like a dying star collapses on itself. He can’t breathe; whenever he does, it’s a wash of alpha, beta, omega, sweat, skin, smells, smells, smells.

“Katsuki?”

“Fuckin’ A, ‘Zuku, I can’t breathe in here,” he chokes out. He wants to curl in on himself.

A strong hand settles between his shoulder blades and rubs little circles through the thick material of his Red Riot hoodie. “It’s okay, Kacchan. Do you want to go wait for me outside? I’ll be right out.”

“Mn. Yeah.”

“Okay,” Midoriya replies, “just hang out right outside the door, okay?”

Bakugou nods and rushes outside. The autumn air is so cold it burns as he sucks it down eagerly. It’s so damn quiet out on the side street that he can hear the traffic rushing past a few blocks down on the main road. It’s nice; Bakugou loves the quiet. Now that he’s had it he doesn’t ever think he can go back. He knows he’s lucky for the life he has now. He has a lot to thank Midoriya and Kirishima for - if he can ever choke the massive lump that is his pride down long enough to admit it.

Maybe someday. They have a lot of time together, right?

He tilts his head back and paces down the sidewalk a short distance, into the darkness just beyond the sushi restaurant. He can still hear the music playing through the broad, glass doors, so he’s not too far. Like he’d ever obey Izuku, anyway.

Breathe in. Breathe out. It stinks over here.

Stinks a familiar stench. It’s awful, makes his gut clench and his omega cry with fright. What is that smell?

“Well. Hello, gorgeous,” a deep, scratchy voice calls from behind him.

Bakugou can feel the hairs on the back of his neck stand on edge.

“Such a pretty little thing out here all alone,” the alpha purrs, stepping into his personal space, so close that he can feel body heat radiate from him. It’s just like…

It’s just like when Kirishima went into rut and was all hot and sweaty and smelled awful.

Is this guy in rut? This is bad. Real bad. He knows what alphas do in their ruts and his body aches in all those awful, familiar places just thinking about it. He’s out here alone and Midoriya is inside waiting in that awful fucking line to pay for raw goddamn fish. What a great end to this night that’ll be, getting assaulted in the back alley while Midoriya waits inside-

Goddamn, he’s gonna take that so hard. Bakugou can’t let that happen. He’s too good. He’s too strong. He could blow this guy’s face off, right?

“Back off, fuckface,” Bakugou growls.

Huge hands close around his waist. This guy’s fucking huge, bigger than Kirishima. His hands fit right around his hips and his fingertips overlap like he’s holding a goddamn coffee cup, not a human fucking being.

“Maybe you should back up,” the alpha says, yanking Bakugou back into his front and God, it’s disgusting. He really is in rut.

“Listen dipshit, I don’t wanna have to blow your fucking face off!” Bakugou yells, setting his palm flat on the alpha’s arm and letting off a loose, weak explosion.

All he does is laugh, like Bakugou tickled him. “Aw, princess. It’s gonna take way more than that. But you’re a fighter, huh? That’s too bad. I hate a struggle.”

“I’ll show you a fucking struggle-”

“Now go in the back alley and take your clothes off for me. Now.”

That voice. It burrows his way into his brain and it’s way louder than any thought Bakugou has himself. He shakes his head trying to get it out, but it’s like a parasite latching onto every sulci of his brain. Alpha. Alpha. Alpha. He can’t, he can’t succumb to it, that command, it’s not good, it’s bad, listening to this guy is bad, but he reeks of rut and the smell and his words are just too much for the omega to handle. His heart’s beating fast and he’s afraid of what’ll happen if he doesn’t obey. It almost hurts to crane his neck toward the alpha and spit at him.

“Fuck… you!”

“Said I don’t like a struggle, you dumb bitch,” the enormous man growls before grabbing Bakugou by the nape of his neck and dragging him toward the side alley. Bakugou drags his fingernails down the man’s wrist. He can’t blow him up; if he tries to make explosions near his own goddamn neck he’ll blow his own head off.

“I said don’t struggle.”

He can’t fight this time. The command’s too strong, especially with the guy’s fingernails digging into his scent gland. Bakugou goes limp as a ragdoll before the alpha throws him against the side of a dumpster.

Yep, this is really bad.

As the alpha fumbles with his belt buckle before giving up and simply ripping it from his waist, Bakugou’s eyes start to burn. He can’t fight back; the alpha’s using that voice, that goddamn voice. It shouldn’t work so well, he doesn’t want it to work so well, but… here they are. He’s definitely a lost cause now.

The smell of rut is cut, briefly, by the smell of ozone.

A streak of green lightning goes by and Bakugou thinks maybe he’s losing his fucking mind to rut stench before the alpha goes down hard on his face. Midoriya has both feet planted in the center of the man’s back and a fistful of his hair. His knuckles are white and loose hairs flow between his fingers as he yanks the alpha’s head back before smashing it into the asphalt below.

Midoriya looks up at him with eyes black as night, pupils engulfing his verdant irises like the moon eclipsing the sun. Bakugou never seen such fury that wasn’t directed at him; the cold grip of fear wrestles with his insides.

“Katsuki,” he snarls.

“The fuck is wrong with you, Izuku?” Bakugou stutters. The spell broke when the alpha’s nose made contact with the concrete but now that empty obedience is filled with fear. Midoriya looks fucking angry. Fucking hungry.

“Mine,” Izuku growls.

Midoriya’s rage tastes bitter on the air. He brings the alpha’s face down onto the concrete over and over again, as if once wasn’t enough to take him down. The pinned alpha reaches behind him and grasps Midoriya’s wrist, but he has no patience for it; the rutting alpha howls with pain as Midoriya sinks his teeth into the muscled flesh of his hand.

“Izuku! Fuck’s sake, just stop!” Bakugou shouts as he backs into the corner created by the dumpster and the brick wall. He’d run, but he wouldn’t know where to go. The man who was supposed to be protecting him is right here… and Bakugou’s not sure if this is protective at all.

“He hurt you, he touched you, he fucking commanded you like some- like some-” Midoriya chokes, his voice broken and raspy as he descends into another fit of alpha rage. The man beneath him isn’t moving anymore; his arms lay limp at his sides, but Midoriya continues to press his face into the concrete with his trembling hands.

Police sirens echo in the distance as Bakugou feels himself begin to panic. Did Midoriya kill someone? Is he going to hurt him next? Whatever the hell is happening, he has no idea and he’s afraid to find out. This is some kind of hellish nightmare.

“Izuku, please,” Bakugou begs, his voice thick and wavering, “look at me. Look at me, Izuku.”

Black, hollow pupils meet his again and Midoriya’s mouth falls open. “Mine,” he rumbles.

“Whatever, just please, fucking stop,” Bakugou rasps. He’s sure he’s shaking because of the freezing cold metal dumpster at his backside; the wetness on his face is just sweat. He’s seen worse. He should be able to handle this.

For some reason, when he looks at Midoriya and sees the alpha so clearly on his face, it’s so much worse than anything else he’s ever seen.

He doesn’t stop crying until he’s in the cop car on the way to the station.

It’s several long hours of interviews and statements at the police station. Bakugou feels like his brain is a smear on the concrete; maybe it’s the alpha’s effects lingering in his brain

Kirishima is there waiting for him, hair still wet from the shower at work. He stinks of worry, which only makes things worse; Kirishima doesn’t worry about anything.

Bakugou is still relieved to see him, never mind the smell. After what just happened, there’s too much alpha in that police station. He can smell it, taste it, see it on every alpha’s face. He can even see it in Kirishima’s dark, simmering worry. It’s possessiveness. Over him, over Midoriya. Pack. Bakugou can feel it in his bones, but he doesn’t know what it means.

“Katsuki, jesus fuck am I happy to see you,” Kirishima says, opening his arms wide in an invitation for the embrace Bakugou craves. Just being near him is enough to shrink the fear from behemoth to pint-size.

“Eijirou,” he whispers hoarsely. He’s too tired to even put up a fight; Bakugou simply steps into his waiting arms and tucks his face into the valley of Kirishima’s broad chest.

Big alpha, he thinks, and shudders.

“Are you okay?” Eijirou asks softly, running his fingers through Bakugou’s hair.

“Midoriya. Izuku. He-”

“Sorry to interrupt,” a small, mousey-looking beta says, “but before we proceed with our investigation, we need to interview your mate, Red Riot.”

“He’s not my- he’s just-” Kirishima croaks.

Bakugou can’t find it within himself to care about mates and packs and all that bullshit, interrupts and mutters, “can I bring him with me?”

“Do you need him with you?” the beta asks, eyeing up the massive redhead. It only makes sense that they’re nervous around alphas; he can’t blame them right now. Kirishima wouldn’t hurt anyone though. Kirishima is the only person he can trust right now and thinking any differently about him… it’s not something he can fathom.

Bakugou rolls his eyes and hisses, “yes. I fucking need him, alright?”

“Follow me, then.”




For once, Bakugou wishes Kirishima would say something. Anything. He wishes the alpha would prattle on about random mischief a low-key villain got into on his shift or what he made for lunch, just stupid, random shit Kirishima always wants to talk about.

Bakugou always thought he hated it, conversation for conversation’s sake. It seemed so stupid. Talking and all the rules society has invented for it are fucking ridiculous. One of the very few things he misses from the ring and its fine housing options is the no-talking rule.

It’s not just because he feels like talking is just wasting time. Hell, he wishes it was just about that. Like some stupid thing society dictates is going to run his life. Nope, it’s not just because talking is annoying.

It’s because he doesn’t know how to go about it. How does one even start that shit? Just start mouthing off about something menial that means something to you? It sounds really stupid. It is really stupid. Bakugou doesn’t know how to start a conversation. He knows how to kill, how to survive, how to make a fuckin’ sandwich, but ask him to talk and he just clams up.

It’s what leads to this present situation. Bakugou is crammed in the backseat of a cab next to Kirishima, shoulder to shoulder, but it’s impossible not to be when you’re seated next to the (now second) biggest alpha he’s ever seen. Kirishima fiddles with a hangnail as soft American jazz croons through the cabbie’s radio. He’s so quiet, so painfully fucking quiet, that Bakugou wants to slap him in the goddamn face just to see if he’ll make a sound.

As they pay the cabbie and walk up the stairs to the apartment, he can’t help but wonder why, why is Kirishima so quiet? Is he upset about everything that happened tonight? It doesn’t seem fair, then again, Bakugou can’t blame him. He did wander off even though Deku told him not to, got assaulted, and then got Deku in trouble. Big trouble. Locked-up-for-the-night trouble.

What’s going to happen now? Is Kirishima going to kick him out? Where will he go? Maybe Shinsou and his dunceface mate can take him in until he knows what to do. Maybe get an apartment… but he doesn’t even have a bank account. He doesn’t even have an ID card yet. Turns out it takes awhile to get your information when you’ve been presumed dead for at least a decade.

His guts are already churning. Bakugou has no idea what will happen now. Will Deku get fired? Will they keep him for awhile there at the police station? He can’t help but think it’s his fault. It is his fault. He’s the one that got both of them in this mess. He’s the one that did this to all three of them. He fucked it all up.

He’s such a goddamn worthless mess. Good for fighting, causing problems, and not much else. He wants to be so much more, so much more than just a trauma victim, but after months and months of therapy and talking and trying it doesn’t feel like he’s ever going to be more. He’ll just be this; a deadbeat omega, squatting in pro heroes’ spare rooms, battling the demons he never wanted and will probably never shake.

Worthless.

Worthless.

Worthless.

Worthless.

He can hear himself say it. Hear Dabi say it. God, that voice that crackles and pops like a burning log filled with embers shakes his very bones. He can’t make him stop. Can’t make Dabi stop. He can feel the press of a hot cigarette butt in the gland on his wrist all over again as he hears him say it. They’re memories, or at least they’re supposed to be, but they feel so fucking real it’s like he’s living them all over again. Like backing up the DVD just so he can play it again but he’s not holding the remote, he doesn’t want this-

Worthless.

Worthless omega.

Singing palms on his body, staples brushing on his scars, the sick, slick spit on his ear as those white-hot fingers move everywhere-

Worthless.

A huge, strong hand closes around his wrist and he thinks it’s the end. Dabi’s here now to fuck him up and really show him just how wrong he was to ever try to be anything but a killer and a prisoner. He thrashes, hard, as hard as he can against that hand. There’s hot, wet streaks on his face that are made of tears that aren’t his and he can’t help but wonder if Dabi’s sad because he fucked up so bad, too.

“Katsuki, Katsuki.”

“Please, please no,” he begs, but he feels like it’s not himself, like another memory cloaked over reality and he’s tumbling through both. It’s utter madness; if only he knew how to right himself in all of this. Such a painful memory, but maybe he deserves it for everything he’s put Kirishima and Midoriya through today.

“Katsuki,” Kirishima says as he pulls Bakugou into his lap and folds his arms around him to crush his little omega body against his broad alpha chest. Thank fuck, Kirishima’s here now. If anyone can beat Dabi, it’s him. He can get him out of this god awful nightmare.

“Ejirou,” he wheezes, grabbing fistfuls of Kirishima’s hoodie and burying his face in his comforting scent. Spice. Alpha. Every other alpha has made his stomach roil tonight, but Kirishima’s doesn’t smell so harsh. It’s soft, almost. Like the city after rain, when there are still puddles on the hot sidewalk.

Bakugou knows he’s crying and he can’t stop; it’s like the floodgates crumbled beneath the pressure of so much pain and regret. He wishes they’d never gone out to dinner tonight. He wishes he’d been strong enough to stay in the restaurant with Deku and be unafraid.

“I’m so sorry,” he chokes, “I’m so fucking sorry.”

Kirishima curls his fingers in Bakugou’s long, spiky locks, brushing them up and away from his face where it’s buried in his chest. Kirishima rests his cheek against the crown of Bakugou’s head. They’re sitting on the floor, he realizes, sitting on the floor in the genkan. They couldn’t even make it inside. He couldn’t even make it inside.

“I know you want to blame yourself. It’s not your fault,” Kirishima says softly into Bakugou’s hair, “it’s not your fault.”

“If I hadn’t been weak- if I’d just fucking stayed-”

“It’s not your fault.”

“But that alpha-”

“Did something really, really wrong, Katsuki,” Kirishima says, pulling away to look at Bakugou’s face. His broad, rough thumbs brush over his cheeks as he cradles his face in his hands. He’s so big, but he’s so fucking delicate, so careful; Bakugou shivers as he wipes the tears away.

“Alphas aren’t allowed to do what he did to you. It’s illegal.”

“And- and what Izuku did. It’s illegal,” Bakugou croaks, “he fucking did that for me, that stupid fucking shit-for-brains.”

Kirishima huffs a little laugh and smiles at him warmly.

“Yeah, that wasn’t his best choice, huh? Went all full-cowling on his ass.”

Bakugou nods. He’s seen enough videos online of Midoriya laying people flat on their asses that he knows what full cowling is.

“You know that Izuku and I, we’d never hurt you, right?”

Frowning, Bakugou hisses, “of course I fucking know that, shitty hair. Just because that other alpha tried to lay fucking hands on me doesn’t mean you will.”

Kirishima’s smile makes his guts clench. His red eyes shimmer at him as they well up with moisture; the sight alone of tears falling like diamonds onto Kirishima’s cheeks and catching in his eyelashes makes Bakugou ache. He doesn’t want Kirishima to cry. He’s too good to cry. Too sweet, even if it makes him look like an idiot sometimes.

“Don’t fucking cry, dumbass,” Bakugou mutters. He reaches up to wipe away his tears for him. It’s what Kirishima would do.

The alpha laughs and squeezes Bakugou tightly, murmuring, “I thought you would hate us. I thought you would hate us again for being alphas because of what that asshole did to you.”

As if he could hate them. He could never hate Midoriya or Kirishima. On the contrary; when he thinks about them it’s like someone lighting a fire in his belly. The feeling burns so brightly and so hot that it’s unbearable sometimes. He doesn’t know what it is, but he does know that it would take a lot to make him stop feeling this way.

“Tch. I’m not an idiot, Eiji. Stop crying in my hair, you’re getting it all wet.”

“Sorry,” Kirishima says, his voice breaking as he pulls away to smile at him again, sharp and sweet. Bakugou reaches for his tears once again, but Kirishima catches his hand in his and nuzzles his cheek into his little calloused palm.

“You know we care for you, so, so much,” Kirishima says, looking Bakugou in the eyes with such adoration and intensity that he feels frozen to the spot.

Rage, he can handle. Hate, no problem. But this? It doesn’t seem like anything he’s ever had or felt before. Not in a long, long time. It’s kind of like the way his mom used to smile at him, but so different. It stirs something in him he’s never felt before. It makes him blush and want to cover his face, but he’d rather die than let his hand fall from Kirishima’s face.

“Whatever,” he murmurs.

Kirishima’s gaze goes soft as he turns his face toward Bakugou’s palm. His hands have been on faces before, pushing them into the stained floor of the ring as he watched them beg him for their lives. His hands have been on faces when he’s hurt them and hated himself for it.

But they’ve never been like this. They’ve never had this; never had what Kirishima gives him. A soft, tender kiss against the meat of his thumb. Rough, chapped lips, filled with incredible heat against his skin. It’s divine.

“Kiri- Kirishim- Eijirou-” Bakugou stutters.

Kirishima’s eyes never leave his face as he pulls him in for a hug.

“You stupid fucking alpha” is all he can say. Stupid fucking alpha for making him want more. Stupid fucking alpha for making him feel so much.

The redhead only smiles.



There’s comfort in the kitchen at the cafe. He’s alone, in a small, dimly-lit space. Strange smells and routine surround him. Shinsou would tell him it’s because it’s similar to the omega ring - a small, confined space he’s supposed to stay inside - that he finds it so comfortable. He’d rather think it’s because there’s damn near no way that anyone besides him can fit back here. There just isn’t room for two people.

“Special order, Kat,” Sero says, sticking his head through the window.

“Get outta here, smiley!” Bakugou squawks.

He shakes his head and smiles that same creepy grin he always smiles. “Can’t. Shinsou is here for your weekly.”

“Fuck. Okay. I just put the bacon down so don’t touch it for a minute,” he growls, tossing his apron onto the prep table before walking out. Shinsou is waiting for him, leaning against the counter while Kaminari is standing behind it. The blond alpha leans over it, whispering in Shinsou’s ear, and for once, the omega looks flustered.

“Oi. Dunceface. Back off,” he hisses at Kaminari as he approaches.

Shinsou gives him a pointed look before turning to his mate. They murmur more whispered words, which is super annoying because despite the hearing aids, he still can’t hear some things, and he’s not a great lip reader. They kiss before Shinsou finally looks at him.

“You fucking done yet?”

“Aren’t you a joy,” Shinsou says bluntly.

“A ray of goddamn sunshine like always,” he replies with a sneer. “Where are we sitting?”

“We aren’t staying here. We’re going out today.”

Oh no. “I don’t want to go out.”

Shinsou smiles, all soft and patient in a way that makes Bakugou want to blast it off his face because it means he knows what Shinsou is about to say.

“We all have to do things we don’t want to do-”

“-if we wanna get better. Yeah. Whatever,” he huffs, staring at his shoes.

There’s a drawn-out pause. It’s not really that awkward; there was a time where these silences were awkward, back when Bakugou had more trouble dealing with all the thoughts and feelings buzzing around in his skull. It turns out that freedom comes with a lot more complications than imprisonment does. With freedom comes choices, and with choices come feelings, and feelings are a fucking mess.

He wants to hate them- except more often than not lately, he’s just been feeling really good. Up until the other night, that is. Now he’s just confused, which is probably his least favorite feeling. Bakugou likes knowing where he stands, and right now he feels like he’s spinning out of control between the lurching feeling in his stomach and heart when he’s around Kirishima and Midoriya.

“So let’s go then,” Shinsou says with a smile. “We’re just going to the park. If that makes you feel better knowing where we’re going.”

“Yeah, sure.”

The two omegas set out down the sidewalk, hands stuffed deep in their pockets where the warmth of the cafe still lingers. The sleekness of Bakugou’s bomber feels so weird; the shell is sleek, black leather, but the inside is some kind of buttery smooth fabric that feels delicious against his skin and good against his hands. It’s always cool even if it’s a million degrees outside and keeps him warm even when winter’s chill nips at his face like it is right now.

Kirishima gave it to him last week when the first frost had appeared on the grass outside their apartment in a beautiful, crystalline lace. It had crunched beneath Bakugou’s sneakers and made his fingers puffy and pink. He’s never seen snow. Maybe it’ll snow this year. He doubts it can look as magical as it does in those books he reads with Yaomomo, though.

“What are you thinking about, Katsuki?”

He huffs, dissatisfied; Shinsou should mind his own fucking business, but he’s made it pretty clear that it’s his job to stick his nose in every little nook and cranny of Bakugou’s life. The blond huffs, “snow.”

Shinsou smiles. “Have you ever seen snow?”

“No. Maybe. I can’t remember.”

“Why are you thinking about that?”

Bakugou clicks his tongue. He doesn’t want to talk about Kirishima or Midoriya; not when there’s so much there he’s afraid to show to anyone else. “Just wondering if it’s going to snow when winter comes.”

“Doesn’t normally snow here, but you never know,” Shinsou replies, pointing as they approach a little park nestled between the towering skyscrapers. There are lots of big, bare trees and the grass beneath their feet is yellowing. He misses all the pretty colors of the fall; the red and gold and green of the leaves still dangling from tree limbs looked so nice together.

There’s a little playground here where a few young children play, watched by their parents, and a pond on the other end that’s home to a few ducks that linger far past migration season. He can see fish swirling beneath its surface from here in a quiet draw that calls to Bakugou.

He hears a child scream and his head whips around as his heart drops into his stomach. The little girl flops on her belly and down the slide as another child gives chase and the smile on her face makes Bakugou’s stomach twist. It sounded like something else; the requiem of a painful memory.

“Are you okay?” Shinsou asks quietly.

Bakugou nods. “I just thought. Nevermind, I was being an idiot.”

“She’s having fun. She’s happy,” Shinsou says, crossing his arms as he watches the children play. A third joins the pack, running in wide circles, kicking up wood chips with their little feet as they weave perilously through the swings. So much blind faith is in every step, but in what, Bakugou can’t figure it out. They hurtle through the playground without a care.

It feels like he’s trying to remember something. The memory lingers beneath, like a creature in an icy lake; he can see the form swirling around and moving but he can’t for the life of him see the little details that will tell him exactly what it is. If he could just reach out and touch it, he’d know.

“So how are things this week?” Shinsou asks, making his way over to a bench by the pond. “Last week was rough. I hope this one has been better.”

Rough. What an understatement. Bakugou nods. “It… has been.”

Kind of.

“Is Midoriya home yet?”

“Yeah, Deku came home a couple nights ago.”

“We’re back to Deku now?” Shinsou asks skeptically. “I thought you two had warmed up.”

“It doesn’t fucking mean anything, it’s just a name,” Bakugou growls, scuffing his shoe against the shore of the pond to knock a stone into the grey-blue water. The fish scatter away from the ripples the stone creates in the smooth surface.

“Okay. So I’ll just call you Blasty. It’s just a name, right?”

Bakugou can feel himself grow rigid under the soft leather of his bomber jacket. He hates that name. It carries so much clout. So much pain. He can only hiss under his breath as he walks the perimeter of the small pond until he’s as far away from Shinsou as he can get. Unfortunately, he can still see the pitiful look Shinsou is giving him.

“So maybe Deku means a little more than just a name,” he suggests.

“Fuck you,” Bakugou spits.

Shinsou only smiles, which makes Bakugou angrier. He’s letting the stupid fuck win, but he’s so goddamn tired of pushing him away when all he does is give chase. If this is a challenge of endurance, Bakugou knows Shinsou’s already won.

“Does it have something to do with the assault? Are you mad at him for defending you when you could have done it yourself? You’ve never had a problem defending yourself before,” he says simply. The blond knows Shinsou’s trying to placate his ego.

Bakugou shakes his head. “I couldn’t fuckin’ protect myself. That goddamn alpha used that stupid voice.”

“He commanded you.”

“Yeah.”

Shinsou stands and slowly makes his way around the pond. “He’ll be locked up for a very long time. What he did is very, very illegal. Exploitation of secondary gender is frowned upon in Japan.”

Bakugou nods.

“Midoriya saved you, right?”

“ ‘s his fuckin’ job to save people, shit-for-brains.”

Rolling his eyes, Shinsou stops at Bakugou’s side. He crouches to pluck smooth, pretty stones from the shore. All round and circular and perfect. Of course Shinsou would pick those ones.

“Was he on duty when you were assaulted?”

“No. We… were out.”

“Where?”

Bakugou can feel his face heat up. They’d just gone out for a meal, but Midoriya’s words and his blush and the way those things made him feel wash over him like a tidal wave . Fuck if he wants anyone else to know Midoriya can make his guts twist up with just a look. He grunts, “sushi.”

“Sounds nice.”

Still, he’s thinking about it now, and that familiar curl is back and he can’t help but smile at the feeling. “Said he wanted to treat me. Make me feel special. That’s not what makes me feel fuckin’ special, though. He’s such an idiot.”

“What does make you feel special?” Shinsou asks, tossing a rock into the pond, but it skips across the surface like a dancer moving across a stage. It bounces beautifully, leaving tiny ripples before it breaks through the calm water with a plunk.

He doesn’t want to tell Shinsou… but then again, maybe he can help him figure out these stupid feelings so he can stop feeling them. They’re really goddamn annoying and crop up whenever he’s doing something inane; making sandwiches at work has become torture because whenever his mind wanders, it goes right to Kirishima’s soft kiss on his palm, Midoriya’s black glassy eyes calling him his, soft words whispered in their genkan, both of them curling around him in Kirishima’s bed and-

“Fuck,” Bakugou mutters, clutching his temples in his palm.

“Take your time.”

“I wanna talk about it, Hitoshi. I don’t know how.”

“Start with how you feel. What do you feel when you think about Midoriya telling you he wants to treat you?”

“Like my guts are trying to tie in a big fucking knot.”

Shinsou laughs. “That must be unpleasant.”

“It’s not and that’s the worst goddamn part. I like it. And I fucking hate that,” Bakugou mutters, the smile still on his lips, because Shinsou’s right.

“I know the feeling,” Shinsou murmurs, a slight blush on his face as he smiles at the surface of the pond, like his mind is somewhere else. “Denki makes me feel that way all the time.”

“Why?”

“Because I love him.”

Bakugou wants to throw Shinsou in the fucking pond and watch him flail. He can’t be implying that. Implying that Bakugou loves Midoriya. He doesn’t. He doesn’t in the slightest; if he’s in love with anyone, it’s Kirishima. Right? Loving two people isn’t a thing. Then again, Yaomomo loves both Half and Half and Four Eyes and she’s the smartest goddamn person in the world, so maybe loving two people is a thing.

“But Kirishima,” he chokes out.

“What about him?”

“I. If this is what I think you’re saying it is-”

“I can’t tell you outright what your feelings are, Katsuki, you need to figure them out for yourself-”

“-well I’m fuckin’ figuring it out right now, shit-for-brains!” Bakugou rumbles, making a small cloud of sparrows alight from a nearby tree.

Another pause. Shinsou’s really fucking patient. Bakugou thinks briefly that he’s lucky to have Shinsou, otherwise he’d still be a hot fucking mess.

“I felt this way about Kirishima a long time ago,” Bakugou mutters.

“That’s wonderful. Love helps us heal so much. And Kirishima is lucky that you love him. You don’t share your heart so easily, Katsuki.”

“Fuckin’ whatever, Shinsou,” Bakugou says, “gimme one of your fancy rocks.”

Shinsou drops a smooth, warm stone in his hand. Bakugou takes it and flings it across the surface of the water, but all it does is land near the opposite shore with a splash.

“So you’re not mad at Midoriya because he saved you.”

“Hell no, I woulda got fuckin’ murdered in that alley. I owe him too goddamn much now, it’s annoying. I’m mad at him, or whatever you want to call it, because now I feel these stupid feelings twice as much. It was fuckin’ bearable with Kirishima but now I can’t even be in the goddamn apartment without feelin’ like I’m gonna be sick.”

“And you hate it but you also like it.”

“It’s confusing, more than anything,” Bakugou mutters, crouching at the surface of the water to watch the fish move in gentle circles. They barely rippe the surface of the pond. He reaches out to stick a finger in, slowly, gently, and one of the fish nibbles gently at the pad of his finger.

“It’s supposed to be confusing, as fucked up as that is. When we feel things for others it can make even the most normal things feel weird,” Shinsou says, “and that’s really annoying sometimes.”

“Damn straight,” Bakugou says with a sigh. He lets his head droop back onto his shoulders as he looks at the sky overhead. It finally feels like his guts have taken a moment of rest and he wants to savor it. He’s glad he caved to Shinsou - he’s probably supposed to tell him these things - because he needed this relief so badly.

“So what will you do?”

“Nothing. Now that I’ve told you I finally feel like a normal fuckin’ person. I ain’t gonna do shit. I can let it go and focus on somethin’ else.”

“Like?” Shinsou asks, his voice laced with amusement.

“I don’t know!” Bakugou huffs. “Making the world’s best damn sandwich.”

“If that’s what you want, Katsuki, I think it’s great.”

“It’s fuckin’ amazing,” he grumbles.

They talk a little more about the restaurant, about Midoriya’s mandated leave for the next four weeks, about his tutoring with Yaomomo. It isn’t long before the feeling comes creeping back and he’s already frustrated. Wasn’t talking about it supposed to make it go away? The love, or whatever it is?

He hurries back to the cafe and snatches his apron from Sero’s hands before getting back to work. It isn’t until then that he feels himself ease back into that familiar comfort again while that unease nags at him. What is he supposed to do? Talking helped. Maybe if he talks with Kirishima and Midoriya…

No fucking way. There’s no fucking way he’s talking about that with them.

“Order up,” Bakugou grumbles.

“Can you take it out?” Kaminari asks. “We’ve got a line.”

“Sure,” Bakugou grumbles, wiping his hands off on his apron before grabbing the plate. It’s the rarest roast beef and bacon sandwich he’s ever made and there’s a little puddle of red juice pooling in the corner of the plate.

“Is that for me?” the customer squeals, her blonde buns bobbing up and down as she bounces in her seat.

“I’m walking in your damn direction aren’t I?” he hisses, dropping the plate unceremoniously on her table.

“Thank you so much!” she says, before taking a bite and humming with delight. Bakugou turns to leave, but she grabs onto his sleeve with surprising force.

“Tell me, what’s your name? So I can leave it in the Yelp review,” she says with a broad smile on her face, exposing her pearly, white teeth.

“Bakugou.”

“That’s hard to spell,” she whines.

“Katsuki, then, jesus christ. Just lemme get back to the damn kitchen.”

“Thanks, Katsuki,” she says, sinking her knife into the sandwich and watching the blood dribble from the beef.

Chapter Text

Midoriya has spent many hours at the police station before. It’s the place he’s at most often, second to his apartment and third to the Eraserhead hero agency. Countless hours filling out reports, providing testimony, escorting witnesses, hauling in villains and criminals… It’s just another hole in the hub, sporting a spoke on his wheel of life. That wheel is always turning.

These past few days, stuck inside this cell, it’s been spinning out of control. Blank, cement walls with quirk-nullification buried in the concrete and bars made of a material Momo would love to analyze, it’s a fortress that holds the anger and woe of its prisoners in. Midoriya feels like he’s drowning in it.

The offices at the police station always smell fine. Police officers usually wear scent patches, so as not to disturb others or reveal their emotions. One wrong scent can turn a domestic violence dispute into an assault. It means the areas they frequent at the station smell neutral. Not quite alpha, not quite beta- and never omega.

The cells at the police station? Midoriya never knew they could smell so foul. It’s not for lack of cleanliness, or because of the conditions. The cells are remarkably clean. Midoriya doesn’t mind the few meals he’s eaten in here… or at least tried, to anyway.

It’s the stench of angry alpha that chokes him like a hand clamped over his mouths. It’s the smell of distressed omegas in the cell across the hall. Even the betas here cover their mouths with their shirts, unused to the intensity of the odor. There’s too many smells and too many sounds and no wonder alpha aggression is a common secondary cause for trial, because even Midoriya would lose his cool in here.

The fact that he has had far too much time to think, not enough caffeine, and too much fucking alpha in this tiny space hasn’t helped at all. Of course, he hasn’t complained for one second; he deserves to be in here. He assaulted a civilian. He succumbed to the alpha rage quelled inside for so long and slipped up, nevermind the fact that he used his strength quirk to smash the man’s face into the pavement.

Midoriya wonders if he’s still alive.

Midoriya wonders if he even wants that man to still be alive.

A hot flash of rage seeps through his veins like ink spreading across a page just from thinking about it. The memory, still as bright and fresh as blood, taints the foreground of his mind. The stink of rut. The tang of sour lemons in the air. The sound of an explosion, followed briefly by a body hitting steel. He can still remember the way Bakugou looked, pinned against the dumpster, ragdolling under alpha command and helpless of what was to come.

Again.

It was Bakugou’s defeatedness that was Midoriya’s fuel, like gasoline on open flame. From there, he can’t remember much. The smell of the air heating around his body, a lot like a summer’s night, as he raced through the alley. The feeling of bones breaking in the palm of his hand. The fear on Bakugou’s face as he witnessed alpha rage, certainly not for the first time, but hopefully the last.

Oh, Bakugou. The thought of that man, that omega - he dares not think his omega, he’s not deserving of that anymore - tears his heart to shreds. If only Midoriya had been more careful or observant… perhaps if he was a better alpha, one like Kirishima, who could calm the fiery omega with his soft words and warm scent, this never would have happened.

He can only imagine what it’s like for Bakugou now. This could easily be something that threw them straight back to step one in his journey of recovery. Midoriya wouldn’t be surprised if he was gone when he came back home. Home. If that even if his home, now. Maybe Kirishima is too mad at him to want to let him stay.

“Midoriya Izuku,” a police officer says, looking at a piece of paper as he walks into the holding cell area. His nose wrinkles immediately as he looks up and his eyes go wide. “Oh. Hero Deku.”

Midoriya’s eyes drop to the floor. He can’t bear to see the shock on the man’s face. Anyone would look at him like this right now; how else could they react to a pro hero being behind bars? He’s supposed to be a symbol of peace and tranquility, and it’s impossible to be that here now. Has he ruined his entire image? What about the agency?

Boy, he’s really fucked up.

“Y-yes, officer?” he asks. The man’s face snaps from one of shocked awe back to reality and he furrows his brow.

“Right, sorry,” he says quietly. “You’re free to go. All charges have been dropped.”

It’s like someone has lifted an anvil off his chest. He can breathe. Midoriya breathes a mouthful of stinking air, cringes, and says, “thank goodness.”

The police officer nods curtly as he opens the door to the cell and escorts Midoriya out.

“What happened to the other man? Is the omega safe?”

“Dunno. It’s not my case. Your ride is here, in any case.”

They walk up the stairs back into the tranquil, quiet office. Midoriya gulps down the air like he’s been holding his breath for the past three days (nevermind the fact that he really has, holy shit, it’s so apparent now that he’s not down there just how bad it is). He knows the scent sticks to his clothes and skin and he starts to dream of the shower at his apartment. It’s a rainfall shower and it always feels so nice on his skin, and the water’s always hot-

“Midoriya,” a gravelly voice says, pulling him back to reality.

Eraserhead is standing there in an uncharacteristically pressed, proper shirt. His hair’s pulled back and his eyes look less red and- holy shit, is he gonna fire him? Is that why he looks so professional?

“Aizawa!” Midoriay squeaks. “H-hello. Thank you for giving me a ride…. Where exactly are we going?”

“The agency,” he answers gruffly. The erasure hero looks over his shoulder at the door outside. There’s already paparazzi gathered and there’s a few sidekicks from the agency keeping them at bay. It makes him sick to think that all this is his fault.

“I just came back from a board meeting,” Aizawa says, as if it’s any explanation for his clothing.

“What did they say? Am I fired? Do you know anything about everyone-”

“Calm down. We’ll talk when we get back. Here isn’t the place to do it,” he says pointedly, looking at the secretary, whose peering eyes look anywhere else once he focuses his attention on her. 

That just makes it worse. The anticipation builds quickly in his gut like a boiling pot. Midoriya clenches his fists and releases them, over and over, trying to calm down, but it’s so hard after being swathed in hormonal scents for days. Aizawa offers him a curt pat on the back, as if he’s trying to console him.

“We’ll get you back to the agency and get you a shower, and then we’ll talk,” Aizawa says, and then drops his voice. “If I tell you you still have a job, will you calm down?”

“Y-yeah,” Midoriya says woefully.

They step outside and the sunlight isn’t as blinding as the flashbulbs on the cameras surrounding the building. The air smells crisp and chilly; had winter come while he was locked away? It’s hard to believe, then again, the seasons change and time marches on. There’s a flurry of voices as Aizawa’s hand sets on his shoulder and forces him to step forward and keep moving.

“Deku! Have you spoken to the man you attacked?”

“Pro Hero Deku, where is your omega now?”

“Deku, is it true you and Red Riot are living with that omega?”

“How’s pack life, Deku?”

“Have you told your mom yet?”

Aizawa’s hand clamps down on him as he says, “keep moving. Don’t look. Don’t answer questions.”

Midoriya laughs weakly. He doesn’t even know the answers to any of these questions anymore. It’s like he’s lost a grip on the wheel and his life is spinning out of control. How long has it been like this, truly? When’s the last time he truly knew where he stood, how much further he had to go until his next goal, and who stood beside him? This isn’t the place to have these realizations, he knows that, but as Aizawa puts a hand on his head to guide him into the car, Midoriya can’t help but choke back a sob.

“We’ve agreed to a six-month suspension of heroic duties. During this time you will be restricted to desk work and desk work only,” Shinya Kamihara says, leaning over his desk to stare down Midoriya. He rests his hands on his chin as his pointed stare pierces his already-wavering bravery; Edgeshot is just as formidable here in a suit as he is on the field.

“And please don’t interpret that to mean that you can act as a hero in your free time, either,” Mt. Lady adds, sighing as she curls one of her ringlets of hair around her finger, “we all know that your… self-sacrificial nature likes to show itself pretty much everywhere.”

“Yu, please,” Aizawa sighs from his position at the center of the table. It’s fairly clear that he’s the leader of this small group of board members, but there’s a lot of personality to compete with. 

Midoriya swallows down the tight knot of anxiety in his throat and nods his head, firmly agreeing with a “yes sirs.”

Yu smiles at him wistfully. “Shouta-kun really vouched for you here, y’know. He really thinks the rage is a one-time thing. He’s putting his neck out for you.”

“Don’t call me fucking Shouta-kun in front of our staff, Yu-”

“I agree,” Shinya interrupts. All eyes turn to him. “Any other hero would have been blacklisted for nearly killing a citizen in a fit of alpha rage. Thanks to your standing as the No. 15 hero and successor to All Might, not to mention the support of Eraserhead, you’re practically getting by with hardly any punishment at all.”

“Don’t forget the counseling, Shinya,” Yu says with a bubbly smile.

Midoriya can see why Mt. Lady isn’t Aizawa’s favorite board member.

“Right. Eraserhead says you already have a therapist.”

Thank goodness for group therapy with Bakugou and Kirishima all this time. He doesn’t have to be subjected to whatever therapist the agency has on retinue. Shinsou will probably be the one reporting to the agency. Midoriya doesn’t even want to think about trying to explain everything to someone who has no idea just how complicated his home life has become.

“I do,” he says, relieved.

“Okay then,” Aizawa says pointedly in a let’s-get-this-over-with way that is so clearly the sensei he has known and respected for almost half his life now, “that concludes our meeting, I believe. Six months of desk duty and federally-mandated therapy.”

Yu and Shinya are quick to gather their things and give curt goodbyes before leaving the conference room. Midoriya’s heart practically leaps in his chest. He is lucky. Anyone else would have been totally screwed. He says a silent thanks to Toshinori for giving him a helping hand yet again, even beyond the grave.

As he rises to his feet and releases the breath he’d been holding, Aizawa sets a hand on his shoulder.

“Not so fast, Midoriya.”

Uh-oh. “Y-yes, sensei?- E-eraserhead-san!” Midoriya stutters and quickly corrects himself. Old habits die hard.

Aizawa smiles at him and it’s almost as terrifying as the way his hair lifts when he’s really looking at him.

“Please, for the love of god, figure out your pack life.”

“P-pack life!?”

Those tired eyes roll toward the ceiling. “Yes, your pack life. It’s been fairly obvious from both Kirishima and your changing scents that your… situations… are changing. I would try not to let nature drive that change. You’re adults. Human adults. Act like it.”

“Y-yes, Aizawa-san,” Midoriya says, his lower lip quivering as he bows his head, “I will.”

“Good. Look forward to seeing you on the chimera team,” Aizawa says, his smile lurching from sympathetic to downright eerie, “we’ll need your eye for detail on the civilian side of things. Heroes aren’t looking for the details when they’re reporting these bodies to us. Maybe if we find something notable, we can actually make headway in the right direction. You’ll be of great use even while you’re not technically a hero right now.”

“Thank you!” Midoriya squeaks. Aizawa’s compliments are few and far between. He’s not sure if his heart is palpitating because of the nerves he had facing the board running the agency or because Aizawa seems to actually care about him. He kind of wishes he wouldn’t, because now there are expectations and responsibilities not just to him, but to Bakugou and Kirishima and-

“Pack life. Desk duty. These are your foci right now, Izuku. See you Monday,” he says, waving over his shoulder as the door closes quickly behind him.

Midoriya tries his best to ignore the whispers of his coworkers as he walks through his office, suit jacket thrown over his arm and tie tied far too tightly around his neck. A suit and tie feel so alien compared to his hero suit; he misses the kevlar and the steel faceguard. He feels much stronger in those than he does in cotton and silk, but Midoriya supposes he might as well get used to it if that’s what he’s going to be wearing for the next six months.

The scents of allspice and sugar collide with his nose, making his mouth water and his heart ache. The two aromas are such a fucking relief that tears sting his eyes before he can even speak, before he can think of everything that’s happened. Somewhere deep in his brain there’s an itch, an itch for pack. He needs to be with them.

“Izuku!” Kirishima bellows from across the lobby. The massive alpha towers a head above everyone else; even he’s dressed nicely in one of the red-button downs that was tailor-made for someone who hardly fits in normal sizing. It hugs every muscle in his torso perfectly. Who decided he could look so good?

Ashamedly, Midoriya admits to himself that Kirishima’s not nearly as stunning as the man beside him. Katsuki himself is dressed in a slate-grey sweater that shows just how well his recovery has gone. He almost looks like he blends in with the crowd, but the most notable thing is the haircut. There’s no way Kirishima could have done that… did Bakugou actually go out to a salon and let some random person touch him long enough to cut his hair?

Okay, now he’s crying. These two beautiful men are actually smiling at him, happy to see him despite everything that’s happened. It’s so lovely that for a moment, he had forgotten what he’d done, and could only think of them. Of sugar and allspice and the heady smell that screams pack.

“He’s already fucking crying,” Bakugou grumbles, shoving his hands into the pockets of his jeans.

“Shhh, Katsuki,” Kirishima rumbles, but he sounds happy despite his firm words.

The alpha envelops him in a massive hug and there’s no way Midoriya can deny himself the comfort of a lover’s touch. Kirishima radiates peace and affection in such a sweet smell that only makes the tears fall faster; there’s no relief like this, no feeling like this. Being utterly and wholly accepted despite the flaws is something Midoriya never knew he needed but is immediately addicted to all the same. He hopes Kirishima’s scent never shifts, and he doesn’t care about the receptionist keeping to herself in the corner when he scents the other alpha.

“Eijirou,” Midoriya practically purrs. “Thanks for coming. How did you-”

“You really think we weren’t gonna be here when you got out?” Kirishima asks, pulling away to set his hands on Midoriya’s shoulders and look at him with earnesty and patience. He uses the pad of this thumb to brush a tear off of Midoriya’s cheek.

He glances over at Bakugou, who’s looking out the window but his ears are bright red and his nostrils are flaring. So much for subtlety, but the omega makes Midoriya smile. He decides that he should just be honest. No more dancing around things he doesn’t want to talk about. It’s obviously getting them nowhere, when Midoriya knows exactly where he wants to be, and it’s right here with the two of them.

“I thought you would be mad after what happened,” Midoriya says. “I thought both of you would be mad.”

Bakugou bristles and Kirishima’s scent wavers a little.

“I only wanted both of you to be safe. After I heard what happened I almost lost it too,” Kirishima said softly. He always knows just what to say, it seems, and Midoriya reaches for his hands as he listens.

“But Bakugou… Katsuki. Katsuki really opened my eyes. It’s not about my own feelings. It’s about all three of us. How we all feel.”

The blond rolls his eyes. “Fucking stupid.”

Kirishima looks over at the omega, cringing with a smile. “Katsuki.”

“What!” Bakugou snaps. “How come we’re talking about fucking feelings all the time now! It’s stupid.”

Midoriya watches as Kirishima lets go to move toward the omega. Bakugou has his arms wrapped around himself as he watches people walk by the front of the agency and his head tucked down between his shoulders. He’s trying to hide, Midoriya can see that, but he can also see that facade start to waver as Kirishima gets closer. They’re so hushed as they speak, their faces close and Kirishima gently pawing as Katsuki’s clenched fists.

“Katsuki. Don’t you think Midoriya wants to know how you feel about it?”

“Stupid Deku never asked how I felt about it, he just did it.”

Ow. That name stings like an old, healed wound when it rains. Like a phantom ache he hasn’t felt in awhile that rings sharp in a hollow place that hasn’t hurt in eons.

“I’m sorry, Katsuki,” Midoriya says, even wincing at that. He knows it’s not enough, that there aren’t enough apologies for the way he scared him. He can still remember the bitter tang of sour lemons in his throat as those ruby-red eyes fixed on him, glittering with fear.

Bakugou turns away from both of them.

“Don’t,” he growls, and walks out of the agency, head held high.

Midoriya wipes his eyes with his sleeves and sighs. So much for progress. For pack.

“He was really worried about you,” Kirishima says, setting his hand low on Midoriya’s back, thumb swirling calming circles into the soft fabric of his shirt.

“He said that?”

“He cried about it, dude. He didn’t want you risking everything you’ve worked for, just for him.”

Midoriya’s throat swells. “How could I not?” he chokes. “Bakugou- he- I-”

Thick arms pull him in for another hug. Midoriya can feel Kirishima’s breath where it falls between errant curls onto his scalp and the warmth, the intimacy of it makes his toes curl in his shoes. He missed this so much. He missed Kirishima so much. His skin burns where it touches the other alpha as a simmer of need starts building low and slow in his belly.

“I know,” Kirishima murmurs. “He’s got therapy tomorrow. Shinsou’s gonna take him to that park and maybe get him to talk for once, and from what Aizawa tells me, you have therapy too. Can I come to your session with you? There’s stuff we need to talk about.”

“Like what? Is something wrong? Oh my god is it-”

“-No, no, don’t worry about it, I think it’ll be good,” the redhead laughs as Midoriya melts back into his touch. 

“Yeah? Good things?”

“Good things,” Kirishima hums.