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Coffee and Cherry Blossoms

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Izuku Midoriya was many things.

He was experienced and weary in the ways of the world, even at his young age; a mere teenager, yet already he’d been hardened to the criminal underbelly of society as he knew it from multiple encounters with the best that underbelly had to offer.

He was a kind soul, having been driven to get to where he was now by nothing but a pure lifelong desire to help others like his childhood idol and become the greatest hero the world would ever know.

He was a force of nature, blessed with the inherited power of One for All passed down to him by his mentor and aforementioned childhood idol, All-Might. This power - a power that, when activated, often threatened to tear his very body to shreds with its sheer kinetic force - allowed him to utilise his body in a superhuman manner; with it he could generate devastating wind currents with a single punch, move faster than the human eye could even register and even jump so high that one would be forgiven for mistaking it as him having taken flight.

He was given the powers of a demigod.

He was...shaking.

Shaking hard.

Izuku’s fingers trembled around the warm cup he held in both hands, gripping the steaming beverage in front of him with a vice-like grasp. He had shrunken in on himself - more-so than usual, in fact, seeming substantially more diminutive than he actually was from how drastically he’d began hunching over.
Wide green eyes stared back at him from his reflection in his cup of coffee.

He looked petrified.

Izuku nestled his face even further into the large woolly scarf wrapped around his delicate neck, his body wracked with chills not at all related to the rain pitter-pattering on the window beside him. Not even the gentle clinking of spoons on fine china as other customers stirred their drinks was enough to coax him out of his panic-attack, as it so often did whenever he’d visited the humble little coffee-shop beforehand.
In and out, his scarf would move in tandem with his hyperventilating as his thoughts grew wilder and wilder - more outlandish with each passing second. Izuku kept staring into his coffee. His grip on the cup somehow grew tighter, and he couldn’t stop the mental image of making himself look even stupider by crushing his own damn mug from invading his thoughts alongside everything else.
In, out, in, out, in, out, in, out, in out in out in out in ou-

“Hey,” a soft voice - a familiar voice - began, less than a metre in front of him, “are you alright? You’re starting to worry me.”
His green eyes darted upwards once more. It felt like an eternity since the last time he’d heard that voice, when really it had been about five minutes before they’d both fallen into deathly silence.
The sharp grey eyes of Momo Yaoyorozu met his gaze, immediately seeming to burn into him with the intensity of her own stare. She seemed...concerned.

‘No,’ Midoriya couldn’t help but think, ‘no, you’re not alright. You’re really so inept that you couldn’t even think of anything to say to her beyond pleasantries? On a DATE?! Ugh, you’re pathetic.’
Izuku hated these kinds of thoughts.
They sounded like stuff Bakugou would say, but in his head they used his voice.

The worst part was how he always found himself agreeing with them.

His left eye twitched, then. A series of quick blinks followed afterwards, stopping the tears before they came. He didn’t need to embarrass himself any further, he already looked pitiful enough.
He hoped Momo hadn’t noticed.

Of course she had, though.

Her concern shifted quickly to alarm, and those sharp eyes widened almost imperceptibly as she leaned forward slightly.
“...Wanna talk about it?” Momo carefully prodded, knowing how volatile the boy sat across from her could be in regards to his emotions. He could operate on a hair-trigger in regards to tears at times - something that had once annoyed her about him, a long while ago - and this seemed to be one of those moments.
Izuku burrowed his reddening face deeper into his scarf before quickly shaking his head to the negative.

They fell back into silence at that - painful, cutting silence.
Momo reluctantly turned her gaze to the window on her right, staring up at the fittingly grey sky as the city around the coffee shop was pelted by heavy rain.

After a moment, Midoriya looked up from his lap once more.
Momo was bathed in the subtle golden light of the small cafe, almost seeming to give her an otherworldly glow even as she looked towards the dreary world outside. It was mesmerising.

He looked at her then. Really looked at her. Looked at the genuine concern on her face, and looked at the incredible girl he’d come to call a friend.
Looked at how her hair, black as the night, framed her perfect features - how that thin rebellious streak hanging down the right side of her face automatically drew his gaze to peer right into her eyes, and at how cute she looked in her baggy, expensive-looking turtleneck sweater. She even still had that huge dorky book strapped to her back despite the extra layers, its contents protected from the downpour outside via a leather casing. She probably made the casing herself; something like that would be child’s play to her.

It wasn’t often that people got to see her that bundled-up, thanks to her Quirk; it...somehow felt more intimate than it did when she left less to the imagination.
Like she only trusted him, Deku, the loser, with being able to see this softer, cuddlier side of her. The her beyond the aspiring superhero.

He then looked down, wincing at how tightly she’d balled her hands into fists. He was stressing her out. She didn’t deserve to suffer like that, forced to sit in silence - to feel like she’d done something wrong.
Nobody did, really. But especially not her.

He changed his mind regarding his silence then, awkwardly clearing his dry throat to get her attention before hesitantly looking back into those sharp grey eyes, answering her previous question a second time - this time, nodding slowly and affirmatively.
Momo offered up an encouraging smile, but said nothing. She knew he’d have a lot to get off his chest.

A moment passed, Izuku taking a deep breath, before the boy finally let go of his steadily-cooling cup and instead clasped his hands tightly together. He looked down at them, twiddling his thumbs slowly, as he thought of what he wanted to say and exactly how he wanted to say it.

Momo gave him all the time he needed.

“I-I just...well, uh...I’m p-pretty nervous about this whole situation.”

A chuckle, strained and cracking from anxiety, escaped his throat reflexively. He forced a shaky smile, the boy having finally revealed the lower portion of his face from beneath his scarf once more.

“It’s...not often that s-stuff like this...happens to a guy like m-...like me. Y’know?”

Momo nodded, a sympathetic gleam in her eyes.

“I mean, y-yeah, you’re my friend, and I’m c-comfortable with that, but I didn’t expect...this? I don’t know. I...well, honestly, I expected Todoroki to be more your type. He’s so incredible. You two seem like you’d b-be a perfect match.”
Izuku’s date quirked her brow at that. Her lips tightened - she felt as though she knew where he was going with this.

“I just...I wanna know one thing. Just one. I know this is a h-heavy question, but...I need to ask it. I’m sorry.”
Deku let the statement hang in the air for a moment, now having moved his hands from gripping one another to holding onto the rim of their table as hard as he could.
He looked up at her, his expression pained. Momo’s chest tightened. It always hurt to see her friend like this - and this time it really was her fault, to some degree.

“Why me?”

“Why not you?” Yaoyorozu tersely countered, almost immediately. Her gaze had hardened - she was angry that he’d even imply that he was in some way undeserving of affection. Offended, even.
“You’re my best friend. We do everything together - not even a year ago we barely spoke to one another, but now I consider you a permanent fixture in my life. Why not you?” Her tone was biting. Reprimanding. More-so than she’d intended - and she found herself worrying that she was going overboard.

Momo didn’t let up, though. Not even for a moment. This would be the last time Izuku would put himself down like that, and she was going to make sure of it.

“Just because that jerk, Bakugou, keeps saying you’re not good enough, you start believing it? Screw him! You’re good enough to me! More than good enough!”
Her voice had raised a fair amount by this point - and people were starting to stare. Izuku sunk further into himself, subdued by the eyes watching him. Momo took note, and subsequently lowered her voice as a means of avoiding causing a further scene. She reached across the table, laying her hand on Midoriya’s shoulder - and he couldn’t help but note that she’d painted her nails a dark green. They matched his hair.

He could’ve sworn his cheeks felt even hotter than they already were at the realisation.

It was surreal to watch her acting so uncharacteristically aggressive - especially considering she was doing so as a means of defending him. Not even Ochako or Iida, intense as they could be at times, had ever lost their composure trying to make him feel better like that.

Momo sighed quietly.

“Sorry. I just...I don’t want you thinking like that, okay? If I were interested in Todoroki, I would’ve asked him out - but I didn’t. I asked you. I asked you because you’re special to me, Deku.
“I’ve never known somebody quite as kind as you, or as knowledgeable as you - not even anyone as humble, or as enthusiastic about the things they love. I’ve never known someone who can appreciate me for me to quite the extent that you do.”

She smiled shyly, squeezing his shoulder gently, and Izuku realised just how close she was to his face.
He also couldn’t help but take note of the wild fluttering that that realisation caused within his chest.

‘She’s so gorgeous. She’s always so gorgeous. And so sweet, and so mature, and so considerate. She’s so out of your league it’s not even funn-’

“Why you? Because you’re amazing, Deku. Because nobody else makes me quite as happy as you do, and nobody else makes time escape me whenever I’m around them. Because I...like you. Like-like you. That’s why I asked you out.” Yaoyorozu finished, her speech devolving into quiet muttering as she stared at Izuku’s blushing face, reciprocating with a furious blush of her own.

By the time she was done, the dam had broken - and tears were finally pouring down the cheeks of young Midoriya - but for once he didn’t feel sad. Instead, he was just lost for words, a stupid, real smile stretched across his face.
The waning dregs of negativity and self-doubt still lurking within his mind had finally gone silent at her admission, her words ringing in his thoughts over and over - echoing constantly, and filling him with warmth.

‘I like you. Like-like you.’

“Yaomomo…” He trailed off, getting lost in her gentle smile and reddened cheeks. Momo reached over and squeezed his shoulder affectionately once more.

Suddenly, the warm cafe in the middle of a dreary, cold, grey rainstorm felt much cozier for the pair.

“I...I’m honestly not sure what to say,” Izuku muttered shakily as Momo, flustered as she’d ever been, sunk back into her seat, “I mean...what can I s-say to that?”
The boy scratched the back of his neck, sniffling as he looked down at the polished tiles beneath his feet.

“Well, how about ‘thank you’, for a start?” Momo playfully responded, winking at his now even-more-flustered expression.
Midoriya’s eyes widened in shock, admonishing himself for his rudeness as he frantically attempted to bow to the best of his ability from his seated position at the table.

“A-Ah, of course! Th-thank y-”

“I’m kidding, Izuku.”

“Oh! R-right. I knew th-that.

She couldn’t help but stifle a chuckle at his relieved embarrassment. He was agonisingly cute when he was a blustering mess like this - though she wanted to snap him out of it soon, so that they could enjoy their date without any more tension. She’d worked hard to set it all up - and dammit, they were going to enjoy it.

“Still...thank you. Really - kn-knowing you feel that way means...s-so much to me.” Izuku managed to sputter out after a moment, rubbing his arm as he spoke.

“Like I said, you’re my best friend, Deku. Why wouldn’t I feel like that?” Momo responded, her voice calm now that Midoriya was beginning to regain his composure. The boy sniffled one last time, quickly wiping his eyes with a handkerchief he’d haphazardly crammed into the pocket of his jeans in anticipation of a moment like this, before clearing his throat and steeling his resolve.
“I’m lucky to know you, Momo.” Izuku uttered simply.

Momo’s smile grew - and like he always was, Midoriya found himself dazzled by it. By her.

“Likewise, Izuku.”

“I...I like-like you too. I’ve f-felt that way for a long while now.” The boy stated, breaking the pair’s brief, comfortable silence.
Momo couldn’t help but quietly gasp in response, her eyes lighting up. She’d hoped he’d reciprocated her feelings, but he had never explicitly said so - so she had always assumed he didn’t, and prepared for rejection since she’d asked him out. It had felt like the most sensible thing for her to have done.

All of her worries, though - all of her self-doubts - were cast aside immediately with Izuku’s admittance.

“I...I think my feelings first surfaced during the tournament all that time ago - I j-just didn’t understand them yet. You were always so cool and mature, so in control no matter what...I thought you were incredible, both as a person and as a hero. I still do,” Midoriya continued, following a moment of hesitation. His eyes hardened, and Momo could not help but take note of the fact that his stutter was becoming far less prevalent the more he poured his heart out.

“And all the little things we did afterwards, all the times where we’d spend hours just studying or talking or messing around? Those are s-some of my most treasured memories.”
The green-haired boy let out a shaky laugh as his eyes took on a distant look for a moment, in clear recollection of something special to him.
“Remember that one time you tried teaching me how to dance, because of the disco? I couldn’t even focus properly - you took my breath away, Yaomomo. I was stumbling over my feet the whole time, but you were so patient and graceful. It was...beautiful.”

Momo’s eyes grew steadily glassier the more Izuku spoke, tears of her own threatening to spill from them at any moment. She did remember that day.

~~~

It had been at least 3 AM when she’d woken up to the sound of clumsy stomping and frenetic, muted music out in the courtyard of the students’ dorms - and there he’d been when she’d gone to see what the disturbance was, awkwardly shuffling and struggling to maintain his balance as he’d tried to dance.
She’d chuckled at the sight of her cute, dorky friend, rushing out to meet him with an eagerness she didn’t know she could have so late at night - and soon enough, following her mischievous offer to teach him how to properly dance with a partner, they were dancing together in their pajamas. Their giggles, carefree twirling and playful banter had carried on for hours, and though they had both been utterly shattered the following morning she’d considered it entirely worth it.

His eyes had glistened in the moonlight, and she couldn’t look anywhere but straight into their mesmerizingly bright green depths for the entire night. He’d reciprocated - and for those few hours, she’d been invigorated and ready to take on whatever would come next. She’d felt happier then than she had in an awfully long time; she’d decided that very night that she did indeed love Izuku Midoriya...even if he didn’t feel the same way.

~~~

That was one of Momo’s most precious memories; one of her most intimate moments with her best friend. Knowing he’d remembered it so fondly too caused a new wave of intense blushing to coat her reddened cheeks, just as her tears finally began to pour.

Izuku took a deep breath, ignoring the butterflies he felt in his stomach to finish saying his piece - and continued, his voice firm and resolute.
“You’re wonderful, Momo - even if, sometimes, you yourself don’t believe it. The way your eyes sparkle whenever you get excited about something...how you scrunch up your nose whenever you try to hold in your laughter...even how you start wringing your hands together whenever you get really invested in a movie.
“Everything about you...is perfect. You’re so compassionate, and so much smarter than anybody else I’ve ever met - and...nobody else has supported me as much as you have. You’re special to me, too. And...like I said...I’m lucky to know you.”

Midoriya nestled his face deep into his own scarf once more, hiding his tomato-red face after spilling such an enormous torrent of repressed emotions to his stunned date.
Momo squeezed her eyes shut tightly, streams of tears continuing to spill from them even now - before grabbing hold of her cappuccino with shaky hands and taking a long sip, despite the beverage having long since gone cold by that point.

Slowly lowering the mug after a long moment, her nerves having been steadied, Momo looked back to the boy sitting timidly opposite her with a huge smile.
He smiled back, seeming to have gotten an immense weight off of his chest.
Then, as those wonderful green eyes moved to look at her mouth more intently, they widened.
Izuku couldn’t help but let out a loud snort of amusement, long before he’d even realised he’d done it.

“Wha-...? D-did I do something wrong?!” Momo frantically asked, mortified at what the spontaneous reaction could have entailed - before Midoriya’s rapidly-shaking head and sincere expression put her a little more at ease.

“N-no...it’s just, uh…” The young man barely managed to splutter out amidst barely-restrained laughter, before pointing a shaking finger at her upper lip. Momo, her eyebrow quirked and her curiosity peaked, utilised Creation to produce a small handheld mirror from the back of her hand before holding it up to inspect her lip.

Evidently, the reason for her date’s sudden mirth was fairly self-explanatory; the cream of her cappuccino had given her a thick white ‘moustache’. She gazed, stone-faced, at her reflection as Izuku desperately wheezed and sputtered opposite her.
Looking up to lock eyes with him, she stonily challenged him to keep laughing.

He met her unspoken challenge head-on, ceasing his futile resistance and allowing the giggles to overwhelm him.

The ‘joke’ was stupid. Immature, even. There was nothing even remotely funny about it for anybody over the age of 5, considering it was a perfectly normal occurrence with a beverage like Yaoyorozu’s.

The corner of her lip trembled.

A stupid, immature joke.

Her nose began to twitch.

Bottom of the barrel humour.

It scrunched up, as if she were holding back an immense sneeze. Her mouth began forming a shaky smile as she struggled to keep herself composed.

Childish comedy, not at all befitting of an aspiring pro her-

“PFFFT-” Momo sputtered, unable to hold in the laughter for any longer. Staring at Midoriya, who had completely creased over with merriment by then, had broken her last feeble line of defence.

The pair raucously laughed together, uncaring of the cafe’s other customers looking at them with irritation. One of them would snort, or make a goofy wheezing sound mid-laugh, and it would just spur both of them into laughing even harder. Izuku slammed a fist on the table repeatedly as Momo kicked her legs wildly, rocking in her seat as they thoroughly lost it.

It wouldn’t have been unreasonable to have assumed that they were both insane; of course, the pair didn’t care what other people thought. In those few, sacred minutes, they were at peace. They had professed their mutual love for one another after months of bottling it up, and they were intent on enjoying the afterglow of the warm fuzziness that gave them.
Yaoyorozu wiped at her watering eyes with an idle hand after she was finally able to collect herself once more, looking to Izuku with rosy cheeks and a warm, contented smile. The boy in question gave her a similarly satisfied grin - as if the weight of the world had been lifted off of their shoulders.

It was then that Midoriya took note of Momo’s other hand - the one not occupied with the task of wiping away tears of mirth. He quietly gasped, looking at how it had reached across the table to grab onto his own. They’d somehow began holding hands at some point during their laughter without even realising it, and did not seem to be intending on letting go any time soon.
Momo followed her date’s gaze after a few moments, soon tensing up as she came to a similar realisation. She looked back up at his face upon noticing, her sharp grey eyes locking with his own brilliant green ones, and offered up another smile - this one being much smaller than her prior ones. She seemed so much more timid.

It was a rare occurrence for her to be the more nervous of the two of them at any given time - Momo was by far the more rational of the two in most situations, using her keen mind and history of etiquette training as a means of keeping any anxiety she would occasionally feel at manageable levels. However, very rarely...the brave face would fall, and dents began showing in her armour. This was one of those rare moments.
Izuku reached beneath his own scarf and fiddled with the collar of his Plus Ultra! shirt using his free hand, taking note of her obvious nervousness and smiling back at her placatingly as he desperately wracked his brain for a way to alleviate any tension she might have felt.

It was then that he remembered something he’d been told only a month or two beforehand, back when he’d still believed Momo hadn’t been interested in him as anything more than a friend; a conversation that he’d kept at the forefront of his mind for most days afterwards, but had never had the guts to act on.
He allowed himself to momentarily lose himself in the memory, staring deep into her mesmerising eyes just as she did his.

~~~

“Y’know, falling in love is a lot like being a hero when you think about it,” All Might had suddenly remarked, staring out at the cherry blossom leaves falling en-masse outside the windows of Yuuei’s staff room. The setting sun framed his frail body in a golden light as he spoke, and for a moment he looked just that little bit more like the Symbol of Peace he had once been.
“Hm-...?” Izuku responded, having had his mouth full of fairly bland herbal tea at the time. Lowering his cup from his lips, he regarded his mentor curiously. “What m-makes you say that, All Might?”

“Well - s’like I said when I first met you, great heroes move without even thinking about what they’re doin’, right? Same thing goes for love. Sometimes you just...do stuff when those butterflies are fluttering around. Y’don’t even think about it.
“Your crush is feeling down? You go straight over and try to make ‘em smile. Hair over their eye? You reach over n’ brush it outta the way. Not even any conscious thought behind it - you just do it, cuz you love ‘em and wanna care for ‘em best you can.”

The former hero’s eyes, only noticed by Midoriya from glancing at his faint reflection in the window he stood before, had taken on a wistfully nostalgic sheen to them by then - as if he were recounting an old, precious memory.

“Huh. I never really looked at it from that perspective; I guess you’re right. But, what does that have to do with anything?” Izuku couldn’t help but ask, curious as to the relevance of his mentor’s train of thought.

A long, pregnant pause passed between the two, only exacerbated by the spacious room they and they alone currently occupied. It made the wait feel so much longer, as if the silence had needed to bounce off of every wall before All Might would continue.

“Well.”

He turned towards Izuku. Bright blue irises bore into the boy from amidst a sea of shadow.

“You’re crushin’ pretty hard on young Yaoyorozu, ain’tcha?”

Midoriya barely avoided dropping his cup, scrambling to keep it in his fumbling hands even as tea flew everywhere from the frantic action.

“WH-WHAT HOW D-DO YOU KNOW THAT I-IS IT THAT OBVIOUS-”
All Might guffawed, filling the room with a deep, raucous laughter (along with some rather unsightly spurts of crimson from his mouth) at the boy’s sheer flustered terror.

“OH C’MON, KID, YOU NERDS COULDN’T BE MAKIN’ IT MORE OBVIOUS! WHAT, YOU WANT ME TO MAKE SOME GLOWING NEON SIGNS FOR YA SO IT’S EVEN MORE BLATANT?!”
Collecting himself after a moment, the ex-Symbol of Peace cleared his throat and wiped his lip of any excess blood.

“Honestly, young Midoriya? I can tell from the ways you look at her. S’like you’re under a spell or somethin’. Plus it helps that you two are always hangin’ around each other nowadays, and you’re always talkin’ about her. Face it, kid - you’re smitten.”

Izuku looked down, staring absentmindedly at his scarred hands as he pondered his mentor’s words. Did he really do all that?

“Trust me,” All Might continued, breaking the boy out of his reverie, “A lot more people are startin’ to suspect than you might think. That includes your classmates. I’ve been observing.”

The ex-Symbol of Peace spread his arms wide as he continued, striking a dramatic, passionate pose.

“I say act on it, dude! You love her? Then tell her when you’re ready. I can tell you two trust each other more than you do anyone else - not to mention I have a feeling she’s got a similar crush on you, what with some of the dorky faces she’s pulled at you when she thinks nobody’s lookin’ sometimes.”

Izuku’s eyes had widened in shock then, but his own self-doubts quickly worked to stomp out any trace of hope he might have had blossoming within him at his mentor’s words. ‘Momo would never fall in love with someone like you,’ he’d thought. ‘She’s so much better than that.’

“I had a chance for somebody special a long time ago, much like you - but I was a coward, and I squandered it. Their interest in me faded the less I reciprocated, and I’ve regretted it all my life.
“Don’t be like me, kid. S’not worth it. You wanna be #1? Well, it’s lonely at the top, believe me. When everybody’s gunnin’ for your prestige and reputation, it’s nice to have someone you can trust to stand by your side no matter what. Ask her out when you’re ready, and keep acting without even thinkin’. Even if she doesn’t feel the same way, at least you’ll know you tried your best.”

He offered the astounded teen sitting on the plush couch only a few feet away a toothy grin, accompanied by an encouraging thumbs-up.

Izuku teared up slightly, offering his idol a shaky smile and a thumbs-up of his own.

“Plus Ultra. Now, go on, kid, wipe away those tears and get outta here - young Yaoyorozu’s probably starting to miss you by now.”
All Might couldn’t help but chuckle as Izuku’s initial embarrassment quickly shifted into shock, then culminated in a loud “Oh no, Momo!” as he realised he’d forgotten to tell his best friend that he’d be meeting with his mentor for lunch that day. She’d be wondering if he was alright!
The boy bolted out of the room like a shot, not even sparing All Might a goodbye, and just managed to hear him mumble, “Ah, young love,” before the door to the faculty room finally swung shut.

~~~

Blinking himself back into reality, Izuku glanced back down at his hand - still interlocked with Momo’s. Her grip was tight, like she was afraid of letting go; he was almost adamant that his own grasp was likely just as tense, given how he’d begun sweating bullets while lost in thought.
His date’s smile was still slightly strained, her lips thin, as she seemed to anxiously wait for him to say something - anything - in response to the situation they had found themselves in.
Thankfully, it seemed like he hadn’t zoned out for very long. Maybe a couple of minutes, tops.

“Izuku…?” Yaoyorozu prodded hesitantly, studying the boy’s eyes intently as he looked to her in response.

Midoriya fought the urge to once again bury his face within the silky depths of his own scarf, instead allowing the words of his mentor to fill his mind and subdue his nerves.

‘Sometimes you just... do stuff when those butterflies are fluttering around. Y’don’t even think about it.’

He focused on how wonderful it felt to just...lock hands with her. How marvellously soft she felt compared to his own gnarled, scarred skin.
How her brilliant raven hair seemed to gleam in the golden light of the cafe, glowing despite the dreary greyness of the rainy outside world.
Just how intensely the butterflies in his stomach would flitter about whenever she smiled like she was at that very moment, or when she’d tease him, or...when she did anything, really.
How much better his life had become, now that she had become a part of it.

‘Cuz you love ‘em and wanna care for ‘em best you can.’

Izuku didn’t even give himself time to think about his actions any further, bottling his nerves and proceeding via instinct.

He gave Momo’s hand an affectionate squeeze, before smiling reassuringly at her now-shocked face.
“You really think I’d have any problem with this?” The boy asked quietly, looking into those sharp grey eyes once more, “Like I said, I like-like you. This is perfect.”
The words had just...flown out. Like they were second-nature to him. In truth, they probably were.

Yaoyorozu’s mouth hung open for a moment, before she quickly caught herself and snapped it shut. She could only muster an enormous grin in response, squeezing his hand in kind. They both quickly broke out into furious blushes - but neither relinquished their grip on one another’s hands.
‘Of course he’s fine with it,’ Momo couldn’t help but think, feeling slightly silly, ‘If he wasn’t, he’d have let go ages ago.’

Hearing him say it still dispelled all the worries she didn’t know she’d had, though. She supposed that was just one of the many, many things she and her Deku had in common: they were both intensely self-conscious. Together, she surmised, they would be able to help one another overcome that shared flaw.
Another idle thought made her cheeks glow an even brighter shade of pink, a warm fuzzy feeling filling her chest.

‘This is really happening.’

And she couldn’t have been happier about it.
Judging by the giddy look on Izuku’s face, she felt safe in assuming that he felt much the same way.

Looking back down at their intertwined hands, Momo couldn’t help but stare at the scars covering Izuku’s crooked hand with a look of fascination. He took note of where she was looking, and didn’t even realise as his grin wavered slightly.
“G-gross, right?” Midoriya blurted out, his grip on her hand tensing up in anticipation of her affirmation.

Momo’s head shot up, an intense look in her eyes.

“Not even close! You’ve helped so many people. Your scars are a reminder of that.”
Yaoyorozu ran her soft thumb over that marred, crooked hand, then.
“I think they’re beautiful.” She finished, fixing her date with a teasing smile and another squeeze to the hand in question.

She giggled as Midoriya buried his face into the layered depths of his own scarf once more with a quiet yelp, flustered beyond belief. He let out muffled words of intense thanks and embarrassment from within the safety of the clothing’s darkness, before calming down with a deep breath and slowly looking back up towards his date with an awkward smile.
“S-sorry. I just...nobody’s ever seen my s-scars that way. To other people, they’ve always just been...ugly.” He rubbed at his arm with his free hand, looking away as his smile strengthened once more.
“It means a lot to hear you say that.” Izuku ran his own thumb over Momo’s hand, marvelling at its softness and her complete lack of blemishes. He looked once more at her nails, lovingly painted in a dark green matching that of his own messy hair, and for once in his life felt truly at ease.

The pair sat in comfortable silence like that, content with simply basking in one another’s presence and relishing the sensation of their touching palms and intertwined fingers, for what felt like hours afterwards - but was actually mere minutes. It was the kind of silence one could revel in after completely and utterly laying their heart bare to somebody else - an all-encompassing, entirely satisfying silence that warmed the soul - and both Izuku and Momo made sure to savour it.
Amidst the chatter and noisy booths of that small cafe, the pair’s own little slice of heaven in the midst of an intense rainstorm, Midoriya could’ve sworn he’d caught a glimpse of a single cherry blossom petal gently falling to the ground outside their window. A tiny mass of vibrant, loving pink amidst the dreary lifelessness.

He sipped at his now-cold beverage in brief increments, enjoying the tender moment.

After a mere few minutes, their comfortable silence was interrupted; a friendly-looking waitress had approached them, smiling at the sight of their locked hands and obvious mutual affection. Two small, feathery white wings on either side of her head - an obvious mutation Quirk - gently flapped as she regarded the pair.
“Since you lovebirds seem to be finishing up your drinks, is there anything else I can getcha?” There was a slight teasing tone to her voice as she readied a pen and notepad, the wing facing Izuku and Momo stretching outwards like a curious ear.

Momo quickly decided to take the initiative, spurred on by how Izuku had immediately become a blustering, muttering mess upon hearing the word ‘lovebirds’. She’d been thinking about this during their peaceful silence, and was feeling emboldened - plus she felt like satisfying her sweet tooth. It had been a few days since her last treat, she’d earned it!

“Could we have a bowl of ice-cream, please?”

At that, Midoriya quickly snapped out of his stupor, nodding animatedly as the waitress voiced her confirmation. She took a moment to scribble down the order, pen gliding over paper with a precision that only experience could entail.

“O-oh! Me too, if that’s al-”

“No need,” Yaoyorozu quickly interrupted, her heart thumping hard in her chest as a result of her sudden burst of assertiveness, “we’ll...we’ll share.”
She turned to her date once more, asking for his approval with a shy look.
After a moment of shock at her spontaneity, Izuku - of course - responded with a tender gaze and another bout of excited nodding.

“Ah, y-yeah! We’ll share, just one bowl please.” His voice was gentle - timid - though not nearly as shaky as it had been not that long beforehand. Whilst he and Momo had eaten plenty of ice cream together before, they’d never had it from the same bowl - silly though it may have seemed, he was...excited? Yeah - not scared or embarrassed, like he’d normally have been in such situations, but excited.

“Sure thing,” their waitress responded, pretending not to notice how the pair of students were as red as tomatoes, “and what flavour’ll that be, huns? You guys’ usual?”

Momo and Izuku nodded in unison, not even looking away from one another.

“Alright, chocolate ice cream for sharing between two, coming right up! Anything else?” the waitress continued, seemingly being satisfied by the dismissive head shakes they responded with.

She then nodded politely, smiling at the sweet scene set by the two dorky teenagers in front of her, before spinning on her heel to begin making her way towards the counter.
“Lemme know if you two sweeties need anything else!” she called behind her as she walked away, beginning her search for a big enough bowl.

Midoriya and Momo passed the time they spent waiting with casual conversation, subtly skirting around more lovey-dovey topics if only for a little while.
Soon enough, the pair were happily sharing their sizable bowl of chocolate delight - but despite the circumstances, and after everything they’d aired out to one another beforehand, neither felt nervous at the romantic implications. In fact, it felt...right. Like nothing had really changed at all, besides the obvious.

Sharing their frozen treat, hands still intertwined and affectionately squeezing at each other, Izuku and Momo were finally able to truly accept that this was happening - and that their feelings had been mutual all along.

It had already been over an hour since they’d first entered that coffee shop (something that Izuku made sure to apologise profusely for, on account of wasting so much of their date moping - to which Momo simply laughed and reassured him that it was time well-spent), but both aspiring heroes were perfectly happy to stay a good few hours more. They talked about nothing and everything, from how their hero studies had been going to interesting goings-on at their homes. The clinking of their spoons on their bowl of ice-cream as they ate and spoke blended into the rest of the sounds filling the cozy cafeteria, helping in further-enhancing the intimate atmosphere.
They got into passionate discussions on which heroes would prevail in particular hypothetical scenarios, giggling and sharing notes on what they’d learnt about various pros to back up their thoughts. They talked about the blockbusters they were hoping to watch, and Momo couldn’t help but find Midoriya’s eager fanboying about the latest Godzillo film utterly adorable. They chatted and laughed and joked and teased like they always did, finally secure in themselves and their affections, and to anyone observing it would have seemed like they’d been a couple for years.

The rain continued to pour down outside, a reminder of the bleak and dreary outside world that awaited the pair once they were done with their date.
Neither Midoriya nor Yaoyorozu really cared.
Not once did they stop holding hands over the table.
Not once did Izuku avoid being entranced by Momo’s mesmerising grey eyes, nor did she ever get tired of watching as his freckles became as red as the rest of his face every time he blushed at her smiles.
Not once did those nagging inner voices resurface in their minds to bug them.

Both Midoriya and Yaoyorozu were simply...happy.

Time passed the pair by in a blur as they simply had fun in each other’s company, enjoying their date as people occasionally filtered in and out of the coffee shop around them. As a matter-of-fact, it took a brief absentminded glance at the clock on the cafe’s wall for Izuku to even notice how late it was getting.
He performed a double-take at the time as he spluttered for a moment, briefly choking on his third cup of coffee, before quickly lowering the cup from his lips and looking to his now-confused date with wide eyes.

“Y-Yaomomo, it’s 9:47! We’re g-gonna be out past our curfew! I didn’t even r-realise, I’m so sorry!” The boy frantically exclaimed, finally unlinking his hand from Momo’s to reach beneath the table and pull his bag up beside him as he spoke. Unzipping it, Midoriya watched as his date’s eyes widened and her gaze similarly shot to the clock - before she let out a loud gasp.

“Wh-! Seriously?! That late? Oh gosh, how did neither of us notice?!” Yaoyorozu responded, shock filling her voice as both of her hands reflexively flew up to cover her mouth. “Um, I-I’ll foot the bill, it shouldn’t be much - you get going, I’ll meet you outside, okay?”
She reached into her coat pocket, revealing her wallet - but the normally-composed girl couldn’t help but falter as Izuku turned to look at her as though she had three heads.

“What? No way, I’ll pay-” The boy had managed to sputter out in response, before his eyes settled squarely on the wallet. The pouch was decorated with adorable pink floral patterns and small images of chibi cats, and Momo couldn’t help but blush as she realised he’d never seen this one before. His panic seemed to momentarily ebb away as he stared at the colourful design, his face uncharacteristically devoid of emotion.
He sat, frozen midway through haphazardly shoving yet another of his notebooks back into his bag, for a few painful seconds as his eyes seemed to burn into the painfully cute purse. Momo fidgeted in her seat, growing steadily more embarrassed, before he looked back up at her once more.
“That’s...your wallet?”
She nodded, not able to meet his steely gaze for more than a second before crumbling under her own flustered awkwardness.

“...I absolutely love it.” Midoriya abruptly continued, smiling once more.

“Shut up,” Momo whined, now unable to hold back her own smile as a heavy blush coated her cheeks, “it’s a stupid wallet, I know! I’ve had it since I was little, I just...never saw any point in getting rid of it, so I use it from time to time.”

“...Because you like it.” Izuku prodded once more, his eyes narrowing impishly as his smile grew.

He received a playful kick to the shins under the table as a result, Momo simply sticking her tongue out at him nonchalantly in response to the surprised yelp that had followed. He kicked back - much gentler, and she’d already gone easy on him - before the pair eventually began playing footsies with one another, giggling shyly.
Until, of course, both simultaneously remembered why they had been rushing in the first place.

After an abundance of panicked rushing to put their jackets back on, the pair swiftly got into a heated - though admittedly very rushed - debate of who would end up paying (eventually resulting in the pair begrudgingly settling on paying half each, despite one another’s insistence on being able to pay the full price (“I-It’s my way of making up f-for all my crying...besides, my mom made sure I’d have enough money for today!”) (“This is negligible, Izuku! My parents likely won’t even notice - it’s the least I can do, this was all my arrangement anyway! I wanted to treat you!”)).
Soon enough the duo were sprinting back to the Heights Alliance, hand in hand, as Momo held an umbrella she’d created for them as a means of bolstering their defences against the downpour that pelted them. Midoriya couldn’t help but check the clock on his phone every few seconds, squawking with terror every time he’d note that another minute had flown by on their way back.

Even as his phone’s screen was increasingly assaulted by fat droplets of rain, and even though every single time he’d look at that accursed device he’d grow even more frantic, the green-haired boy still repeated his borderline-compulsive, panic-fuelled ritual over and over again.

“Mr. Aizawa’s gonna kill us, Mr. Aizawa’s gonna kill us, Mr. Aizawa’s gonna kill us…” Izuku couldn’t help but mutter in horror, his breathless mantra only serving to further unnerve his partner as they sprinted down the dark streets of Musutafu.
‘Think, Momo,’ Yaoyorozu’s mind began, now much clearer and less conflicted than it had been when her feelings had still been pent-up, ‘your b-...your...your boyfriend is panicking. How do you calm him down?’

She couldn’t help but smile slightly at the thought of the word ‘boyfriend’. Regardless, she pushed those giddy feelings down for the moment - Izuku needed her right now. Even if it was for something as seemingly-trivial as barely missing being back in time for their curfew, she would help him.

Her grip around his scarred hand tightened as she gave it yet another consoling squeeze. The gesture immediately quietened Izuku’s mumbling, though as he turned to look at her appreciatively mid-run the nervousness in his eyes was still palpable.
“Don’t worry,” She huffed, speaking between deep breaths as she matched Izuku’s pace, “we’ll be...roughly three minutes late, given we maintain our current pace...relative to how far away the dorms are - we’ll be fine!”

Momo gave Midoriya a cheerful look, masking her own crippling worries about their lateness behind a smile.
“We both know...Aizawa’s harsh but fair,” She managed to continue after a few moments of unresponsiveness from her date, “he always lets us off...so long as everything’s alright. It’s going...to be okay! He’s probably...not even going to check.”

She winced slightly as Midoriya’s bright green eyes bore into her, quickly turning her head back to face the path in front of them in an attempt at avoiding his wholly unconvinced look.
She couldn’t blame him; even she was struggling to believe her own encouragement. Mr. Aizawa may have been fair...but he was mostly harsh.
Both students decided on putting on brave faces for one another, smiling uncertain smiles at each other as they ran towards what was likely to be a very serious reprimanding hand-in-hand.

Izuku couldn’t help but gulp in dread as his eyes scanned his phone screen for the umpteenth time, looking at the numbers emblazoned upon its rain-soaked surface.

22:01.

“W-well...that’s it, then.” He shakily mumbled to his date, not panting as much as she was - but still beginning to feel exertion weigh in as a result of a long, satisfying day combined with their running through the city streets. Even though he was desperately worried about their lateness - and inevitable reprimanding - he slowed down slightly to allow Momo to keep up with him without exhausting herself.

Heights Alliance was in view - only a short ways-away, a few minutes more of running, which to the two of them felt like hours.
The duo fell into a dread-filled silence, the only sounds accompanying their return trip from then on being the pitter-patter of rain on their coat hoods and umbrella, alongside the pounding of their shoes on the sidewalk.

22:03.

By now Izuku’s eyes were almost constantly trained on his phone’s clock, intermittently squeezing Momo’s hand for some form of comfort. She squeezed back every time, appreciative of the affection and its help in similarly comforting her.

22:04.

The duo put their all into sprinting as they encroached upon the dorms, bolting onto the Yuuei grounds at a breakneck pace. Their breaths fell in ragged bursts and their muscles ached, but they were finally almost there! With Aizawa nowhere to be seen to boot!
The 1-A emblazoned upon the front of their destination drew nearer and nearer as they sped past Supports’ dorms, Business’ dorms, General Studies’ dorms...

22:05.

They flew past 1-B’s dormitory...and there it was! The 1-A Alliance building in all its splendour!
The lampshades outside the five-story building glew brilliantly amidst the darkness of the night, which grew darker-still as time progressed. Izuku and Momo couldn’t help themselves; despite the fact that they were already clearly late, still hadn’t actually gotten indoors yet and were standing out in the pouring rain, the pair stopped by the hedged-off entrance leading up to the pathway of the dorm for a moment to catch their breath. They laughed and cheered for one another happily as they took a minute to gratefully gulp down air, trudging their way up to the building’s twin set of double-doors slowly as they did so.

Standing beneath the shelter of the wide, towering doorway, the pair allowed their excited giggles to die down before sharing another tender moment simply enjoying one another’s company.
They stood side-by-side in front of the doors to the dormitory, looking out at the city they’d both come to call home as it was bathed in both rain and moonlight. Momo closed the umbrella she’d used to shelter them both, no longer in need of it, and leaned against the wall between the twin sets of double doors with a sigh of contentment. Izuku soon joined her, hesitantly brushing up against her in doing so - and relaxed as she playfully bumped hips with him in response.

For a short, sacred while, both forgot why they’d rushed there in the first place. Minutes ticked by, yet there they remained - looking out at the skyline of Musutafu as they let the cold night air fill their lungs. The idle pitter-patter of a ceaseless, heavy flurry of droplets filled the pair’s ears, and Midoriya eventually worked up the courage to once again reach over and hold his date’s soft hand.
Neither student directly acknowledged the contact, but they both tightened their grip around one another and smiled out to the city before them.

“Th-...thank you.” The green-haired boy mumbled shyly after what felt like hours. Momo looked at him bemusedly, arching a perfect eyebrow with a humoured look in her eyes.

“What for?” She probed, chuckling momentarily at how her date absolutely refused to meet her gaze. Even after the day they’d had, after how they’d poured their hearts out to one another, he was still nervous.
She could understand. Even as she stood there, waiting for his response, she fought to keep her breaths even and calm. Running her delicate fingers over the rough, worn, brave hand of the boy beside her as she held onto it, though, she found that task to be growing more challenging by the minute.

“...F-for the best day of my life. For...for being m-my friend, and for all the little things you’ve d-done for me. F-for being my reason...t-to never give up. Thanks, Momo.”
Momo watched as tears began steadily trickling down Midoriya’s freckled cheeks as he spoke, and the more he said the more she found herself mirroring him. The pair sobbed with joy together - perhaps due to neither being quite able to believe that a day could be quite as perfect as this one.
Izuku sniffled slightly, hesitantly casting his shimmering gaze over to the girl he adored so wholeheartedly. He’d been putting off from asking her out of sheer, crippling fear of her response - he knew he’d be irrational, that his mind would not hesitate in jumping to conclusions despite everything that had happened that night - but he had to know.

Blinking through his tears, his green eyes stared deeply into her mesmerising grey ones as, in a heavily-trembling voice, he asked, “W-...would you...like t-to...to do this a-again somet-time?”

And just like that, his good feelings were evaporated in an instant.

The boy winced as her eyes widened in evident shock, his mind even now expecting the worst, even if it was irrational.
The silence that followed his question was deafening, and eventually he was unable to meet Momo’s astounded stare for any longer as he quickly turned away and bottled up the sheer agony he felt at the rejection that was so clearly coming. His quick motion caused the pair’s hands to unlink once again, and his palms felt so cold all of a sudden.

His mind raced, and he could hear the voices of others - so many others - as countless memories and snide remarks flowed forth, given free reign of his thoughts. All of the people throughout his life who’d told him that he wouldn’t amount to anything. That he was a Quirkless wannabe hero. A loser.
They were right. He knew it. He knew it from the astonished look on Momo’s face - she hadn’t expected it. Probably hadn’t even considered it. She...probably didn’t want to go on a second date, honestly. Who would, with someone like him?

Loser.

She wanted to stay friends. That was fine. It would kill him, but he could live with it - and being friends was far better than being nothing at all, right? The spark had faded for her during their date, and she’d realised he wasn’t her type. He understood that; a pathetic, wimpy loser like him - and he’d really deluded himself into believing an incredible girl like her liked him? She was so smart, so successful, so beautiful, so kind - so perfect. He was...nobody. Decent at written tests, so useless that his own Quirk steadily destroyed him, so plain he blended into any crowd with ease - unremarkable.

“IZUKU!” A loud, panicked and sudden yell from behind him brought the boy back to reality with a startled yelp. He whirled around, face flushed and stained with tears, and found himself astounded at the sight of his date. It was as if he’d awakened from a toxic, swirling fog that had clouded his thoughts with self-hatred; the shout sounded frantic, worried - like Momo had tried a few times already to get through to him to no avail.

She was crying harder than she had been when he’d zoned out, her expression being one of utmost relief and joy.

“You were muttering again, you dorky idiot. I heard everything.”
She wiped at the tears streaming full-force down her cheeks with the back of her hand, sniffling and sobbing all whilst grinning at him with the shakiest smile the boy had seen on her all day.
“Of course I want to do this again sometime. This was the best day of my life, too, you...you complete moron!” She half-heartedly reprimanded him through her tears, greedily taking his hand in hers once more as the boy stood stock-still in utter shock. She was a blushing, tear-stricken, giddy mess - but still she persisted.
“Thank you. You were there for me when nobody else was, you helped me come out of my shell and understand who I am, you are my best friend in the entire world. You’re one of the smartest people I’ve ever known, especially regarding the things you love. You never hesitate to injure yourself to save a life, and you’re perfectly handsome to me, thank you very much. There isn’t a single thing about you I dislike, so stop putting yourself down! You ARE remarkable! You’re remarkable to ME!
Just like she had been in the cafe, she was borderline shouting by the time she was done, her voice echoing in the open air. Her face was practically glowing on account of her intense blush, and she’d squeezed her eyes shut as her passion made itself known.

Midoriya’s lip quivered slightly.

Momo tightened her grip around his hand.

“I love you, Izuku Midoriya. And I would love to go on another date.”

One pair of tearful eyes stared into another, and Midoriya whimpered whilst moving to wipe his own eyes furiously with his free hand. Nobody besides his own mother had supported him, respected him and made him laugh like Momo had throughout their date - throughout their entire friendship. Nobody had loved him so unrelentingly.
He couldn’t help it. After a lifetime of being beaten down, rendered worthless by his own genetics, being told as much by almost everyone he met, growing used to having people hate him, needing to crush and break himself with an inherited Quirk just to barely prove his own worth - to prove that he wasn’t just pitiful, useless Deku…

A beautiful, perfect girl - his best friend - saw so much more.

In that single moment, all of his worries were gone - and he felt happier than he’d ever dreamt of feeling. He felt worth something, and it was all thanks to her. Like always, Momo managed to make him forget about his past, the pressure of needing to become the Greatest Hero, the feelings of failure from not having mastered One for All yet - as she always did.

“I love you too, Yaomomo. S-so much. ” He squeaked out, holding onto her hands like she’d fade away into nothingness if he ever let go again.
The students simply smiled at one another, overjoyed, before timidly closing the distance between each other ever so slightly. They both basked in the wonderful intimacy of the moment, enjoying their first few moments as an official couple. Their curfew went completely forgotten as they savoured the warmth of one another’s hands and their combined closeness. The minds of both nerds went blank as they hesitantly shuffled closer and closer, inch by inch, quietly giggling to one another as they did.

“So…” Izuku started after a short while of content, loving silence, feeling bold, “a-are you free...tomorrow, m-maybe? O-only because there’s a f-funfair that opened nearby p-pretty recently, and I figured it’d be a perfect place for us t-to visit...uh, only if y-you want to, though! The fair...isn’t really my thing without you…”
The more he spoke, and the more he felt Momo’s gaze burning into him as he looked at his own shuffling feet, the more he realised just how close they were to one another. He reddened, focusing on anything and everything but the fact that if he just slightly leaned forward he could kiss her - instead, he just continued mumbling about his idea for their second date, anxiously playing with her hands as he spoke.
“I-I mean, maybe that’s too...loud and crowded for a date...it should be r-romantic, right? I...I’m not good at these s-sorta things…”

The boy visibly gulped, intermittently squeezing Momo’s hand for comfort like he’d been doing all day.
She silenced him with a gentle, musical giggle. He couldn’t help but look back up at her in response, just as enraptured as always.

“That sounds wonderful. Same time as today? Around five? Our classes should be over with by then.” She asked, attempting to hide the way her heart had melted at the sight of Midoriya’s timidness resurfacing stronger than ever - all because of her. She just barely failed to keep the nervous tremors out of her own voice in doing so, though.
Thankfully, saving her from any further diabetes inflicted by his sugary-sweetness, he perked up substantially at that - and was able to genuinely smile up at her once more.

“O-okay! Awesome!”

A short while of silence, filled only by the continued sound of heavy rain hitting the pathway leading up to the 1-A dormitories, passed the pair by as they took another moment to simply stand there, holding hands even now. It was clear what would have to come next. ‘Goodbye, see you tomorrow!’ But even though they would obviously see one another the next morning in the dorm commons area, and Yuuei, and would be hanging out for the entire day even long before their actual date, neither wanted to let go.
As Izuku looked into the sharp grey eyes of the love of his life, the words his mentor had said to him during their talk regarding his crush - the phrase he’d remembered ever since - filled his mind once again.

“Your crush is feeling down? You go straight over and try to make ‘em smile. Hair over their eye? You reach over n’ brush it outta the way. Not even any conscious thought behind it - you just do it, cuz you love ‘em and wanna care for ‘em best you can.”

He decided to let instinct take over one last time.

Momo did the same, both students having decided to let their hearts dictate their actions in perfect synchronicity.

Neither teen even noticed as they both slowly leaned in towards one another. Izuku stood on his tip-toes with his eyes shut tight to reach his taller friend and Momo tilted her head downwards as her eyes similarly squeezed shut, until both acknowledged the feeling of one another’s lips on their own.

No conscious thought had gone into either student’s actions; none at all, beyond an innate need to cherish the individual standing in front of them in the only way that felt right at that ideal, private, intimate moment in time.

Izuku Midoriya and Momo Yaoyorozu both opened their eyes instinctually at their contact, registering what was happening - and as Izuku’s eyes widened in embarrassment and abject horror, believing that he’d overstepped his boundaries, Momo was quick in dispelling his panic by gently smiling around his lips and wrapping her arms around his waist, pulling the furiously-blushing boy closer as her own face began similarly burning up.
Soon enough, both pairs of eyes had closed once more - and the two simply stood in the entryway of the 1-A dormitory, sharing an innocent kiss between lovers as a rainy world continued onwards around them. The simple beauty of it all, the mere thought of how perfectly this day had gone, the sheer amount of love and admiration Izuku held for Momo - all of it contributed to one more round of tears beginning to fall from his eyes, still squeezed shut as he savoured the kiss.

Momo reached up with one hand, wiping away the tears as they fell with a gentle stroke of her thumb.

The kiss was sloppy. Inexperienced - awkward, even. The pair’s noses bumped together more than once, and they would occasionally take a moment to adjust themselves whenever Izuku’s tip-toes would start to hurt - their jackets made horrifically loud fabric-scraping noises as they rubbed together, and Yaoyorozu even ended up accidentally poking her boyfriend in the eye as she continued blindly wiping at his cheeks with her thumb mid-kiss.
Even despite all of that, though, neither wanted to stop. Neither would have ever stopped, if they didn’t need to breathe. The world around them, indifferent to their complete adoration of one another, went forgotten. All that mattered was the warmth of their shared gasps and the sweet, exquisite tastes of their lips, the care with which Momo kept her arms wrapped around Izuku’s waist, the way he desperately clutched at her shoulders, unwilling to ever let go - the tiny little details of their embrace. Both students’ first kiss. Both students’ first - only - love.

As the pair separated once more, gasping for air and giddy and warm with the fires that burned for one another raging deep within their hearts, they both gathered their wits and attempted to shake themselves from their love-drunk stupors.
Of course, all of their attempts were entirely unsuccessful. The duo were so thoroughly obsessed with each other that they failed to notice as the set of double doors they were standing right in front of swung open.

Barely a minute of deep breaths, giggling and cuddling had gone by before Momo, her normally-pristine raven hair now frazzled with loose locks and her cheeks still streaked with a deep red blush, gave her boyfriend a tender look.
“Th-that was amazing,” she said in a low, trembling voice, unable to keep the stutter out of her words entirely. “I...do you, um...do you maybe...want to kiss again?”

Izuku could barely even get the words out himself, only able to offer her a dumb, intense nod and a half-lidded gaze.
“Y-y...y-yes, p-please.” His voice somehow managed to tremble even more than it normally did, having also raised several octaves.

“I’d rather you didn’t.” Came a tired yet rigidly stern voice from right beside them.

Midoriya yelped and Momo froze up, before they quickly recognised the voice and calmed down with sighs of relief.
Of course, their relief rapidly once again became pure, unrelenting horror as their minds came down from their respective highs and put two and two together.

Shakily turning their heads to meet the incredibly irritated glare of the tall, dark figure standing over them from within the doorway of their dorm, Momo and Izuku both braced themselves for an absolute nightmare come to life.
Mr. Aizawa fixed the two students with one of the most furious leers he’d ever given them, his normally stone-cold face now contorted into one of sheer rage. His eyes were wide with anger, burning red from both tiredness and his Quirk in action, and his teeth were gritted together hard as he sneered. In one hand, he held up his smartphone - sleek and professional, much like the man himself - and placed emphasis on the time: 22:46.

They’d been standing outside the dorms for over half an hour?!

“I told you that you could both go on this little play-date of yours so long as you didn’t let it interfere with your studies. Correct?”
The students’ homeroom teacher’s voice was hard and icy-cold, offering up no chance at argument. Both Midoriya and Yaoyorozu simply opted for nodding rapidly, both now rendered entirely silent by dread of the punishment that was to come for their tardiness.
“Being in your dorms by ten o'clock is an aspect of those studies. It allows us faculty to know that you’re all safe and accounted for.”

Izuku stared down at his own shoes, marred by the rain he and his girlfriend had run through to get back to the dorms, before opening his mouth to try and speak.

Quiet.” Came the near-instant demand from Aizawa, prompting Izuku to merely let out a fearful squeak in response before falling dead-silent once more. Momo jolted in fear.
The professional hero could keep his eyes open no longer, blinking and cancelling his Quirk as his long, dark hair fell around his shoulders once more. He took a moment to sigh in tedium, digging around within his pockets for his eye drops, before continuing.

“I trusted you both, because you’re normally stand-out students who don’t get into much trouble. Moreso in your case, Yaoyorozu,” Aizawa drawled, casting another pointed glance at Izuku as he did. The boy merely flinched in response as Momo shot him a concerned look.
“As a result,” he continued dryly, “I’m sure you can imagine how disappointed you’ve both made me right now.”

Both utterly mortified students simply nodded once more, still completely silent. Aizawa finally found what he was looking for, grunting as he finally yanked his eye drops out of his back pocket.
Tilting his head upwards as he let droplets trickle onto his burning eyes, the gaunt man let an ominous pause sit in the air for a while. Both Momo and Izuku shuffled uncomfortably, anxious as to how this reprimanding would end.

“Naturally, you’ll both have to face punishment for being this late indoors. However, because I’m tired and I know you didn’t mean it, I’m feeling generous right now. I expect you both awake at five in the morning, sharp, for five hours of Quirk training and an extended study session on the importance of the laws imposed upon professional heroes; that will take you up to midday, at which point you’ll be expected to attend regular classes.”

As Aizawa looked down at the despairing faces of two of his top students, he couldn’t help but feel a twinge of pity.
But only a twinge.
‘Huh. Maybe I really am getting soft,’ He thought, letting another round of eye drops fall onto his bloodshot eyes.

At the pair’s silence, he continued.

“Rules are rules. You two, of all people, should really know that by now. Since this is your first time - and, I should think, your only time - being late to your curfew, I decided to avoid having you also do all the chores around the dormitory. That would’ve had you miss school for the day, which I’d like to avoid wherever possible.
“That being said, if you two ever stay out this late for the sake of fooling around again, the consequences will be dire. Much more-so than they are now. Fighting All Might at his prime would seem preferable compared to what I will put you through. Understand?” The teacher’s signature deadpan tone of voice was back, though still laced with latent traces of anger and disappointment - even still, both Izuku and Momo found it far preferable to actually-angry-Aizawa, who could genuinely be terrifying when he needed to be.

Both students nodded once more in response to his statement, their eyes wide and full of dread.
Of course, Aizawa wouldn’t actually work them to the bone - he was being harsh now as a means of setting an example, and deterring them from being out beyond their curfew again. The extra workload that would face the pair tomorrow would be fairly light, all things considered. In actuality, he was somewhat happy that the two had found love; they were both top students, they balanced one another out well, and he could see their bond strengthening their hero-work alongside their romance.
He was not sappy. Furthermore, he was not delighted that their date had worked out so well, like such things always seemed to in his favourite rom-com movies. Not at all.

Aizawa ushered the two through the open doors of the dorms, looking out at the rainy night sky as his students meekly, silently walked past him, hand-in-hand.
He allowed himself the faintest of smiles, chuckling ever-so-silently about these dumb love-sick teenagers and the saccharine-sweet things he’d heard them say to one another as he’d patiently waited for them to properly finish their date from behind those double-doors.

He shut the doors from the outside once Izuku and Momo had gotten in, immediately power-walking his way through the Heights Alliance to the teacher dorms. He was near-instantly drenched from head-to-toe by the heavy rainfall, but he didn’t really care. Now that all of his students were accounted for, he could actually sleep. That was all that really mattered.

Izuku and Momo stood together in the dorm’s common area, facing one another, awkwardly quiet following Aizawa’s departure. With the sound of the rain now being reduced to the faintest of pitter-pattering from outside, the lack of conversation became all the more cutting.

Soon, Midoriya took the initiative and broke their silence, bouncing up and down on his toes antsily as he spoke.
“W-well...just when we th-thought we were in the clear, huh?” He couldn’t help but chuckle, his voice still slightly shaky - remnants of the effect their kiss had had on him in conjunction with Aizawa’s abrupt appearance, Momo figured. She was in a similar state, clenching and unclenching her hands as the pair stood together.

The raven-haired girl sighed after a while, knowing that their good time finally had to come to an end.
“I...suppose this is goodnight, huh?” She asked, holding a clenched fist up against her chest as she reluctantly turned her head to look at the staircase leading up to the girls’ wing of the dorms. “...Early start tomorrow.”

“Yeah,” The green-haired boy in front of her responded lamely, his voice growing quiet. After so many revelations and emotions had been poured out to one another, neither Izuku nor Momo really wanted to leave one another’s side. However, their homeroom teacher’s threatening words eventually rang true - and they began preparing to go up to their respective rooms, oh-so-far away from one another in opposite wings of the building.

Before they parted ways for the night, Izuku was stopped by Momo’s gentle hand laying itself on his shoulder.

“I-...I’ll see you early tomorrow morning, then,” she began cheerily, a warm smile present on her face as she spoke, “...goodnight, Zu-zu. Sleep well.”
The boy was taken by surprise as she then wrapped him up into a warm, soft hug - an innocent, intimate gesture that only made his heart swell with positive feelings even more.
“I love you.”

Zu-zu.’ Midoriya’s mind rang out, the pet-name reverberating around his skull a thousand times over.
...What did I do to deserve someone so wonderful?

“G-goodnight, Yaomomo - I love you, too...a-and thank you, you as well!” He could barely bluster out in response, the combined assault of a warm hug, her sweet nickname and how good it felt to tell her he loved her all having worked to overwhelm him. He buried his face into the nape of her neck, hiding his blush as she giggled. They held that position for a while, simply hugging in the middle of the common area, before eventually finally mustering up the resolve to part ways, waving to one another until they were out of sight.

~~~

Momo was practically skipping up the many flights of stairs leading up to the fifth floor, still riding the high that being around her adorable, handsome, dorky boyfriend gave her, before a pink arm darted out from within one of the rooms lining the fourth floor corridor. It grabbed at her wrist and, quicker than a shot, yanked her inside with a yelp. The door was shut tight afterwards, of course.
Momo would have been more panicked over this predicament if it didn’t happen so often; Mina grinned up at the taller girl with a toothy smile of excitement, looking up at her expectantly with those strange black and yellow eyes of hers. She was accompanied by the other girls of class 1-A - evidently...they had been waiting for her.

Momo was rapidly beginning to regret telling them about this date.

“Yaomomo! You were really gunna just sneak past us without saying anything? We wanna know! How’d your date go?” The pink-skinned girl eagerly probed, wasting no time.
Whilst Ashido was practically bouncing off of the walls of her room in her excitement, the other girls expressed their own curiosity in different ways; Jirou looked as indifferent as she usually did, though her Earphone Jacks were perked up attentively - even as she twirled them around a finger in an attempt at seeming casual. Uraraka simply waited for her response with a smile. Tsuyu was as blank-faced as ever, though her tongue hung from her mouth inquisitively, and Hagakure was...probably smiling? It seemed like a reasonable assumption, what with how she was bobbing around excitedly.

“If anything, we’d appreciate you telling us just so Mina can stop talking about ‘needing to know the ‘juicy deets’.” Jirou chipped in, a slight pang of humour present in her voice as Mina exclaimed in faux-outrage.

“I gotta admit, I am fairly curious - though you get along incredibly well with Midoriya anyway, so I’m sure the date went fine, kero,” Tsuyu also interjected, pressing her finger against her lower lip pensively.
Ochako simply nodded in response to Tsu’s reasoning, fixing Momo with a look of understanding. They had resolved the issues and tension that had first arisen between them when Yaoyorozu’s crush had first surfaced many months beforehand, and in doing so had strengthened their friendship as a result.

Toru, as usual, was mostly just excitedly cheering and rambling with Mina as to what she thought may have happened. However, all the girls fell silent when Momo closed her eyes and took a deep breath, playing with the zipper of her puffy, soaked jacket.

She regarded her friends with an even stare, keeping them rapt at attention.

“Well…” She trailed off, suppressing a smirk as all five of the other girls leaned forward eagerly with varying degrees of subtlety.
“We’re both in love,” she began, slowly, as her smile grew at the thought, “and we’re going on a second date tomorrow. Izuku is my boyfriend. The date was perfect.”
She braced herself as the looks of realisation dawned on her friends’ faces, her smile growing into an excited grin.
The 1-A girls squealed and laughed together so loudly that night, celebrating the fact that their friend had finally sealed the deal with her crush, that even the boys trying to sleep down on the first floor of the building could hear them clearly.

~~~

Izuku plopped down onto his bed, sighing longingly as he gazed up at the All Might posters plastered all over his walls with a dorky grin. He was exhausted - but in a good way. The kind of exhaustion one feels after getting a lot off of their chest.
He could not wait for tomorrow. Even despite Aizawa’s punishment, and even despite the monotonous school day that awaited him afterwards, he was excited - because he’d get to do all of that with Momo. And then they would go on their second date!

He figured it best to rest up, so that he’d be able to take on the long day that awaited him tomorrow with a smile - like All Might would be expecting of him. Before going to sleep, though, he had to tell a certain someone the great news.

Reaching into his pocket, Izuku pulled out his phone - before scrolling through his contacts list, stopping at his mother.

Getting up from his bed, he idly held his phone whilst approaching his desk. Reaching down, he took an action figure off of its polished wooden surface - his Legacy All Might figurine, the one he’d kept since he was three years old. The still-pristine red, white and blue paintwork of the toy’s depiction of the #1 Hero’s original hero-suit helped in framing the paintwork on his chiselled face.
He thought about how the words of his mentor had helped him to go beyond his fears throughout the day, finally letting him tell - and show - Momo his true feelings. He knew he was getting very far ahead of himself...but he couldn’t help but fawn over how gorgeous she would be in her wedding dress, or how she’d brush at his suit to ensure it was pristine as they stood at the altar.

He hoped that dream would become a reality, some day.

In any case, he knew his mentor would be so proud of him when he told him about it tomorrow.

“Thank you, All Might.” He whispered, cradling the figure caringly, before finally setting it down on his desk once more and tapping on the ‘Call’ button beside his mother’s name.
He didn’t expect her to pick up, since it was late, but-
“Izuku? Honey? How did it go?!” came a frantic voice almost immediately after the phone had begun ringing, blaring from the device’s speaker clearly even without Izuku holding it up to his ear. The teen grinned giddily as he dressed into his nightwear, awkwardly tilting his head to wedge the phone between his shoulder and his ear at the same time so as to tell his mother everything.

In true Midoriya fashion, a mother took after her son - and Inko Midoriya wept with joy as her precious boy told her all about how wonderful his first ever date - and first ever kiss - with the love of his life had been. Of course, it got a little more awkward when Inko began jokingly wondering when she’d be getting some grandkids, but regardless.

As Izuku spoke on and on about Momo and their incredible day together, distracted with telling his mom about how utterly perfect his girlfriend was, he didn’t notice as a single cherry blossom petal settled on his windowsill for a moment - a loving pink that seemed to glow amidst the sea of rainy, dreary greys and dark blues of the night - before being carried off to places unknown by the breeze once more.