The moment the plane landed in Honolulu International Airport, a sense of dread washed over Izuku. As they got up from their seats and prepared to exit the cabin, he realized that he was now, without even a glimmer of hope or a deu-ex-machina to come to his aid, stuck in the company of one Katsuki Bakugou. There was no plane crash to be had, no chance the wing of the plane would tear off the side and suck him out of the plane and out of Izuku’s spiraling life.
He was stuck. He took a gulp of air and found himself face to face with Katsuki’s well built pectorals as he reached the aisle and turned around to pop open the luggage compartment above Izuku’s head. He froze, body stiff as Katsuki’s arms grabbed at the suitcase above his head and Izuku watched the rippling of his biceps and tried his hardest not to turn red on the spot.
His inner dialogue was running on a constant loop of reprimand. Every minute that passed in Katsuki’s company, he had to remind himself of several key factors: Katsuki had been missing for eight years, if they still had a relationship, it was that of friends, he shouldn’t be holding the same feelings that seventeen year old, pining Izuku had, and he’d only been single for a little over two weeks.
Besides, two weeks wasn’t nearly enough to determine whether he and Touya were really over. After all, there’d been periods of their relationship where he’d said he was bored and disappeared for more than a month before showing up at Izuku’s door and telling him that he wanted Izuku back. So, really, he had to stop these intrusive thoughts. He and Touya could still get back together and this childhood crush needed to die before that could happen.
A thud near his feet spurred him from his thoughts and he looked towards the sound to find his carry-on luggage at his feet. He looked back up and came face to face with Katsuki’s somber expression. “What?”
His eyes widened and he averted his gaze. “Nothing,” he mumbled.
“Then shut your fucking mouth,” he responded, turning to walk down the aisle. “You’re gonna catch flies.”
Izuku’s cheeks tinged pink as he followed after him, right on his heels as they exited the plane and made their way through the tunnel up to the airport, where they met up with their friends directly outside of the gate. The first welcome sight he met was Uraraka’s smile, which he immediately gravitated to. He pulled up to her side, Iida standing on her left, and gave them a thankful grin as Katsuki gravitated over to Ashido’s side on the other end of the group. He spared a glance Izuku’s way, which he caught. His eyes were hooded, solemn, and Izuku couldn’t put the feeling to words, couldn’t decipher the meaning behind Katsuki’s expression, but he didn’t get the opportunity to dissect it.
“So,” Uraraka asked him, nudging his shoulder as they slowly made their way towards the baggage claim. “How’d it go?”
Izuku winced. “How’d what go?”
“I believe,” Iida spoke up, looking over his fiancée’s little brown bob, towards Izuku’s hunched shoulders. “She is referring to your flight with Bakugou?”
He winced once more. “Yeah, thanks Iida. I figured…”
“Oh, stop looking so sad, Izu,” She snapped, smacking him on the back with surprising force. Izuku flinched at the contact. She didn’t seem to notice, though. She picked up her pace, walking forward and flung her arms in wild gestures as she continued to preach. “You’re in Hawai’i! You’re here for my wedding,” she grinned, turning her head to look endearingly at Iida. “Which is going to be the greatest social gathering of the year. You’ve got two weeks off work, you get to spend it all with me, your best friend,” she told him, falling back to his side so that she could whisper the next part in his ear. “And you’ve got a chance to totally make Mr. Grumpy fall in love with you.”
Izuku scrunched his face and turned his head to the side to look at her. “Who?”
She groaned, shaking her head and bringing her hand up to her face to pinch at the bridge of her nose. “Bakugou, Izu. I’m talking about Bakugou.”
“Oh!” He responded, finally understanding. Then the words themselves registered in his brain and he jerked. “Wait, no! Ocha, I am not doing that.”
She huffed. “Why not?”
He gawked. “Are you serious?” He lowered his voice into a hushed whisper. “He’s not... I mean, I’m not… Ughhh.”
“You have a way with words, Midoriya,” Iida informed him and Izuku rolled his eyes.
“Shut up, Iida,” he groaned, before looking back at Uraraka. “Ocha, I can’t just go after Bakugou. He was my best friend and he’s been missing for eight years. You can’t possibly think that I have feelings--”
“I’m gonna stop you there,” Uraraka stated, holding up a hand to silence him. “‘cause I was there when he gave you the sextiest lap dance I have ever seen. The sexual tension between you two could have been cut with a knife.”
“That’s not...I can’t just--” He continued to stammer, not sure where he was going to go in this conversation and in defending his position. As Uraraka stepped onto an escalator, followed by Iida, and then Izuku, he finally got out the best defense he could muster. “But what about Touya?”
Uraraka froze, jerking her head up to look at him, tension in her shoulders as she addressed her friend. “What do you mean ‘what about Touya’?”
Izuku shrugged under her heavy gaze. “Well,” he told her, averting his gaze to the escalator railing. He drummed his fingers on the rubber and shrugged. “We could get back together…”
“He could get tired of his new girlfriend,” he explained, barely leaving a pause between words so that Uraraka couldn’t but in with an argument. “He always get bored of them after awhile and then he wants me back, and--”
“And you’re always waiting for him, because he’s conditioned you to think he’s your best option,” she told him, almost a hiss. “He’s a horrible, good-for-nothing dipshit and you deserve better.”
“I agree with Uraraka,” a voice sounded behind him and Izuku’s soul nearly jumped out his body at the surprise. He rounded, nearly stripping on the stopper at the bottom of the escalator. He was saved by a hand wrapping around his forearm and steadying him. He looked up and saw Shinsou, who gave him a half-hearted smile. “Sorry to startle you.”
“I-It’s fine…” Izuku responded, placing a hand over his heart to steady the heavy breating. “Just freaked me out.”
“Anyways,” Shinsou continued, moving up to stand with Uraraka and Iida as they scolded him. “I think Touya treated you like trash. You’re too nice for--”
“He is nice,” Izuku told them, so much sincerity in his voice his friends couldn’t be sure he was trying to convince them or himself. “He just… has trouble expressing himself.”
“Okay, that’s it,” Uraraka said, rounding on her heels and marching back to him. She grabbed him by the forearm, dragging him off to the side. Izuku watched out the corner of his eye as she waved to the group to keep walking. Most seemed to walk by without a second glance, the majority used to Uraraka pulling Izuku aside every now and then for a much needed pep talk. The only two who seemed somewhat curious were Ashido, who scrunched her brow at the two before turning back to the group, and Katsuki, who did the same, but didn’t look away until Ashido patted him on the back, urging him forward; he shrugged her off.
Uraraka grabbed his chin and jerked his head down and over to look her in the eyes. “We are not doing this, Izuku. My wedding is in two weeks and this trip is supposed to be fun. Touya is an unfortunate parasite that had to come along because the Iidas can’t offend their business partners. That does not mean he’s allowed to ruin your good time.”
“He’s not ruining it, Ocha,” he explained, shaking his head. “He’s--I hope we can work out whatever I did wrong and we can--”
“You didn’t do anything wrong, Izuku,” She assured him, desperation in her tone. “You are a good person and Touya is a shitstain for not seeing it. Now, I brought Bakugou ‘cause you cried about it when you were drunk--” she lifted her index finger, signaling for him to remain quiet. “And before you try to tell me I shouldn’t take you seriously when you’re drunk, it’s the only time you’re ever selfish and honest about what you want.
“Whether you and Bakugou get closer on this trip or not, I think it’s important that you spend time with him and not Touya,” She explained. “I think it would do you good to remember who you were before him, and not what he spent eight years making you into.”
She threw her hands up in a gesture of surrender. Izuku really believed she’d picked up her habit from Iida, but he’d never brought it up. It would be stupid to make them self-conscious of a habit that made them all the more perfect for each other. “Maybe he didn’t! I don’t know, I wasn’t the one in a relationship with him,” she admitted. “But I do know that you’ve always been nervous around him. I think spending time with Bakugou would be good for you.”
“And you will,” she informed him, turning on her heels to march off towards the rest of the group. “Because he’s staying in your room.”
It was four in the morning when the group had finally packed all their baggage into the backs of multiple Jeep Wranglers and piled into their seats. It had been as exhausting a day as ever and Izuku only wanted to get to the hotel and fall onto the plush, queen bed of his Grand Level Suite. Realizing he’d have to manage many an awkward encounter with Bakugou under the same roof wasn’t even affecting him as much as the jet lag.
Although, the brisk air of the night, the breeze that whipped through the banyan trees that lined the highway and tousled his hair as they drove towards their choice hotel clean air and the salt of the ocean filled his nostrils and he released a breath he hadn’t known he’d been holding.
By the time they parked in front of the grand entrance of the Ritz Carlton Residence, Izuku couldn’t help but feel a gnawing curiosity. He wanted to explore, to see the island and witness the culture. He knew from school how many people of Japanese descent inhabited the island. He wanted to see the similarities, the differences, and get a feel for just how their cultures varied. He loved that: to travel, explore, and gain knowledge on different peoples, different places. Though right now, he couldn’t. It was 4 AM, and while the staff had said they’d be there to check them in, the valet was off duty and they needed to unload their bags to their drivers could leave.
“Hey,” a deep voice barked at his side and Izuku jumped in his seat. He jerked his head to Katsuki, who was looking at him with a disgruntled smolder. “You gonna get out of the fucking car or do I gotta push you?”
“Sorry,” Izuku muttered, popping open the door and hopping out onto the asphalt. He looked around, saw others hopping out of their perspective Jeeps. Iida had begun pulling his and Ochako’s bags out of the back. In the one in front of his own, Hagakure was sitting in the passenger’s door, kicking her feet in the air as Masahiro pulled out her bags and Tokoyami attempted to convince her that incorporating black into her wardrobe would definitely improve a sense of mystery.
“Deku!” Izuku whipped around, found a disgruntled Katsuki handing hot pink, leopard print bags over to Ashido from the trunk. “Don’t fucking stand there. Get us checked in.”
Katsuki grit his teeth and clenched his jaw. “Stop saying sorry,” he hissed, before furrowing his brows and popping his head back into the trunk. Izuku quirked an eyebrow at his behavior. The Katsuki he remembered always yelled at him about apologizing, but he never seemed particularly bothered. This new one, the Katsuki eight years in the future, seemed agitated by Izuku’s constant apologies. He chewed the inside of his lip and turned towards the entrance.
The space was mostly open to nature, no barrier to the inside. White marble covered the floor, white walls adorned with paintings of flowers, mountains, and forests lined him on either side. He approached the main counter, heard mad laughter and looked to his left to find the entrance to one of the Hotel’s restaurants. He could barely make out a bar, as well. Where a few people were still downing Martinis like it wasn’t the early morning.
He turned back, up to the dark wood counter. There was a girl there, light brown hair and a freckled face, smiling back at him. She seemed quite cheery for having to work at such an hour. “Hello, Sir. How can I help you?”
“Um, I’m checking in,” he told her. “The name is Midoriya--”
“Izuku.” He whipped around at the sound of his name. His heart stopped. Shocking blue eyes and a head of wild black hair met him. Todoroki Touya, standing a head taller than him, smirked at him as he walked closer. Izuku noticed his outfit, the white v-neck that showed off a slender neck and defined collarbones and pants that were so tight they sculpted muscular legs perfectly. His jaw nearly dropped at the memory of those same legs between his as Touya…
A sharp cackle echoed through the lobby as he walked up and leaned against the counter. He turned to the woman, waved his hand at her. “Well, go on. Do your job.”
The receptionist cleared her throat, looking back down at her monitor and punching a few keys on her keyboard. Then she pulled out a key card and slid it across the counter. “The key to room 1032,” she told him. “Room for two.”
“One, actually,” Touya corrected her, looking back down at Izuku with a devilish smirk on his face. “Sorry to embarrass you like that, Izuku, but I couldn’t just share a room with you. Pretty sure you wouldn’t like hearing my girl screaming at night.”
Izuku winced and looked down at his feet. “I...Um…”
“Deku!” Katsuki’s voice echoed from the entrance and both he and Touya’s eyes jerked to him, stopping through the lobby with a scowl so profound that Izuku was glad the room was nearly vacant. He couldn’t imagine the fear that would have jolted through other tourists at the sight of it. Izuku watched as Katsuki’s eyes quickly glanced over Touya, before turning back to Izuku. He smiled wickedly, something Izuku identified as being the very same he had when he was busy embarrassing Izuku back at Club Ultra.
He pulled up to his side and flung an arm around Izuku’s shoulders, making him flinch in surprise. Katsuki flashed his shit-eating grin at Touya, who was trying to quickly recover from shock. “Bakugou? What the fuck are you doing here?”
Katsuki snorted. “The fuck you mean? I’m here for the wedding.”
“But...You...You’re supposed to be missing.”
Katsuki shook his head. “I wasn’t missing. There was no report filed,” he assured him, before squeezing Izuku into his side and continuing to rant at a stiff-looking Touya. “Besides, I couldn’t fucking leave Deku without a date. He’s too special for that.”
“What?” Both Izuku and Touya asked at the same time. Izuku looked at him liked he’d just swallowed bleach and Touya looked incredibly unconvinced.
“Kacchan, I’m not--”
Touya snorted. “You’re right, Izuku,” he interrupted. “You’re definitely not special enough for that.”
Izuku’s brows furrowed and he looked back down at his feet as Katsuki clenched his jaw and glared daggers at Touya. “Listen the fuck up--”
“Oy, TOOUUYYYaaaaaaaaa!” A cheery voice slurred from behind Touya and all three men shifted their attention to the bar’s entrance. Izuku’s heart fell into his stomach when he caught sight of a short girl in a dress so tight it accentuated curvaceous hips and voluptuous breasts. Her dress was green, the color that Touya always liked seeing on him, and he felt like he could cry.
What was worse was her beauty. Her skin was perfect, smooth and glowing and hair so golden it rivaled the sun. She was so different from Izuku, with knotted curls and a face full of freckles. How could he compare…
She stumbled over to them, sloshing an apple martini all over the tile. Izuku felt Katsuki’s arm tighten around his shoulders and he furrowed his brow. Looking up and over, he saw that Katsuki had clenched his jaw and set his lips into a thin line. He looked tense.
“Touya,” the girl sang, coming up to his side and leaning on him. She pushed up on her toes and slurred into his ear. “Let’s go to bed.”
Izuku chewed his lip and blinked hard to stop tears from falling. He could do this. “Just a minute, babe,” he told her, smiling down at her short figure. “Hey, meet Izuku an--”
“Katsuki,” she hissed, looking over at him with an acid stare. She pushed off her boyfriend and stepped towards him, stumbling a bit, but staying up. “What the fuck are you doin’ here?” She snapped, her finger extended at him accusingly.
“Back up,” he whispered, his voice hard and cold. Izuku, along with Touya, stared at the two of them in complete confusion. Izuku could see the look on his friend’s face. He’d grown up with him, new every tick and expression he possessed. Even with the amount of time that had passed without seeing him, he felt as though he could still decipher what he was feeling.
And when he looked at his tensed shoulders and the dark look in his eyes, he deciphered fear.
Izuku’s met very few people who felt they were strong enough to stand toe-to-toe with Bakugou Katsuki. He was vicious, tough and unwavering in the face of danger. So, he felt his entire body go rigid as he witnessed this girl--this wild, drunk girl who had usurped his position in Touya’s life--raise a hand high in the air and strike it quick and hard across Katsuki’s cheek.
He heard a gasp from the steps into the lobby, saw the rest of their group standing there with baffled expressions. Ochako had a hand over her mouth, Hagakure was squeezing Masahirao’s arm and Shinsou had a hand on Iida’s shoulder. Iida looked like he was about to run forward and jump between them before Katsuki could retaliate.
But no one moved as Katsuki gently lifted his free hand to his face and felt the sting on his cheekbone. He averted his gaze to the tile and pulled his hand away from Izuku’s shoulder so that he could clutch it in a fist at his side.
Izuku just kept staring as Katsuki grew quieter and Touya’s new girlfriend glared at him, nostrils flaring. “Well, go on!” She screamed, shrill. She stepped forward, pushed at his chest. “Do something!”
“Toga!” Touya shouted, reaching for her. Though, before he could, Ashido had made her way over to them, getting in between the blond girl and her friend. She placed a hand on Katsuki’s chest to keep him there, still. Her other was held flat in front of the girl, Toga, and her face was set in a warning expression far more dangerous than Izuku thought her capable of. “Stay away from him,” she warned, calm. “Or I will make you regret everything you have ever done to bring you to this point.”
“You--” She started, but stopped when Touya grabbed her arm and yanked her back.
Ashido looked at him critically. “Control your bitch,” she demanded, before looking over to Izuku. “Give me your keycard. I’m taking him to your room while you get the bags.”
“Uh, um,” Izuku gawked, quickly scrambling for the card--still on the counter--as he turned around to fully face him. Izuku held it out to her and she snatched it from his hand, not even glancing back at them as she grabbed Katsuki by the wrist and dragged him off towards the elevators without so little as a complaint from the surly blond.
Everyone stood there, speechless, far after Ashido and Katsuki had disappeared from the office. The entire time, all Izuku could do was repeat the same question in his head over and over again: What just happened?