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Change of Plans

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Negotiation

 

The universe hates Bakugou Katsuki. Every time he thinks he put out the fire and shit is going to be alright for now on, life comes and kicks him in the balls.

“No.” He says definitively.

“It’s not your choice.” Miruko says shrugging.

“You can’t force me.”

“I believe we had this conversation about five months ago, and you found out that yes, they can and they will.”

The woman says unbothered because she knows no matter how much Ground Zero screams and huffs, he won’t attack his own boss in her office.

“Come on! I did what they asked me to do! I found an omega, got married. What the fuck did they expect?” Bakugou yells furious.

“They expect to kill any and every gossip about you and your omega hating each other.” Miruko says pressing her fingers on her temple as if she’s pushing away a migraine.

“We don’t! But if you force me to force him to do this, we might!” How can they not understand? The omega and he live in a very tentative balance, he can’t throw something like this at Izuku.

“Ground Zero, that is enough. It’s a party, not a death sentence. You and your husband are going to put on some nice clothes, smile to the photographers for five minutes, eat disgusting canapes and leave. You two don’t even have to talk to each other as long as the cameras get some nice shots.” Miruko says decisively.

Bakugou opens his mouth to yell back at her, but she isn’t having any of it.

“If you don’t, you’re getting suspended. I’m not going to put this whole agency under government scrutiny because you refuse to play the fucking game.”

Katsuki closes his hand to hold back the explosions.

Miruko sighs, “look, I hate doing this to you. I agree that this is bullshit and your worth as a Hero shouldn’t be questioned by your private life situation. But you know this is above me and I have a duty with the other heroes on this agency.” She looks at him with sad eyes and a sad smile. “Your career already suffered so much because of this, maybe try to play the field as they want for a while and see how that works out for you.”

Bakugou leaves Miruko’s office before he blows off her table. He knows this shit isn’t Miruko’s fault. The woman has been his mentor for over a decade, he trusts her judgment. But knowing that doesn’t make the situation any easier.

He promised Izuku they could live as roommates, stay out of each other's way. Now he has to break that promise and convince the omega to come with him to this stupid Hero gala and be paraded around like an arm-candy.

And things had been going so well. They have been talking more, getting to know each other. The last couple of weeks, every morning they both got ready to work and ate breakfast together; most nights they even had dinner together and talked about their days. It’s a nice companionship that Bakugou never thought they would reach in the first weeks of their marriage. 

Sure, the omega doesn’t know when to shut up and ask the most asinine questions Katsuki has ever heard. At least once every three days, Katsuki has to bite down his tongue to not lash out against the other man. And that’s why Bakugou says their armistice is tentative. There are still days where they end their meals in tense silences, but they’re fucking trying.

Katsuki honestly thought things were looking up for him. Life was going good, work as the same as always and married life had been better than he expected. How could he destroy that peace they built through so much difficulty?

But he doesn’t have a choice, does he? The Bureau goons won’t be satisfied if he takes the suspension. They’ll never stop going after him as they hadn’t stopped at the whole ‘getting married’ business. And then this will all have been for nothing. 

Ground Zero enters his team's office slamming the door. Kirishima jumps in his chair, and Camie raises her eyes at him unimpressed.

“No luck talking to the big boss?” The woman asks calmly.

Bakugou grunts and sits down by his desk.

“It’s not that bad, bro! It’s a party! We are all going to be there, it may be fun!”

“Really, fam, he’s right. Izuku will be cool, just talk to him. Oh, and mention the free expensive booze!”

Katsuki tunes them out for the rest of the day. He knows he’ll have to ask, but he isn’t as sure that Izuku will be alright with it. Their agreement works because they pretend they are just roommates. There are no strong feelings involved, they’re just creating a friendship between them. But going to this event means pretending to actually be happily married for the world to see.

The rest of the workday passes by in a blur. Bakugou does everything mechanically since his mind is miles away thinking about how to approach the party subject with Izuku. If there is something Katsuki has learned since he met the omega is that words matter for him. The recommendation letters weren’t lying, Izuku has great proficiency in literature, be it reading, writing or speech. He takes what Katsuki says seriously, and how he says it too.

On his way home, Bakugou decides to buy the things he needs to make Katsudon for dinner. He found out it’s the omega’s favorite some days ago and maybe that will help him win some favor for what he’s about to ask. 

Izuku is already there when he gets home, probably hidden in his room getting off his work clothes. Katsuki says loudly “I’m home” and goes straight to the kitchen. He starts prepping the food for dinner to get his mind off the issue. A few minutes later, Izuku enters the kitchen.

“Good evening! What are you making?” The omega asks curiously.

“Katsudon.”

“Again? We just had it some nights ago and you said it has too much fat for everyday food.” 

The question about why Katsuki was cooking a meal he doesn’t particularly like just a few days after making it the first time is implicit in Izuku’s tone. Bakugou just shrugs, refusing to give a direct answer.

“So, how was work today? I hear there was a big commotion in Shibuya.” Izuku tries making conversation again, and that is when the damn questions start.

“Yeah, there was.” Katsuki grunts and a part of him feels like just leave the answer at that but he knows he needs to do better if he wants to ask the omega a favor. “But that is not my team’s area, so we were not involved in the cleanup. Gale Force’s team was on it.”

“Oh, right. Well, we had quite a busy day too. We had a lost kid in the neighborhood, the parents were very agitated. Turns out the kid’s quirk manifested and he was hidden nearby, very scared because no one could see him.”

“Invisibility quirk?” Katsuki asks as he puts the pork to fry.

“No, some kind of camouflage. His mother has a lizard quirk and they thought the kid had inherited it, but it actually mutated to a chameleon quirk.”

Katsuki nods understandingly. A crazy amount of hero work was just fixing up issues created by kids who had no control over their quirks.

One thing can be said about Izuku, the man can carry a conversation completely by himself when he feels like it. Luckily tonight he’s in a talkative mood and Katsuki can just pretend to be interested in how the parents freaked out, how Round Face couldn’t even look for the kid because the aggressive alpha father was threatening everyone around him, how Izuku was the one who noticed the leaves of a bush were wetting themselves (yeah, the kid was so scared he had issues holding his bladder).

This went on until they were sitting down on the counter with steaming bowls of katsudon in front of them. Then Izuku decided to be a cunning little shit.

“So do I need to debate the pros and cons of every single one of the different reptile quirks and their possible applications or will you tell me what’s wrong?”

The green eyes burn through the feeble excuses on the tip of Katsuki’s tongue.

“They need me to do something for work.”

Izuku cocks an eyebrow, “isn’t this the point of work? You go somewhere and do things that people ask you to do?”

Katsuki clicks his tongue, “don’t be a smartass.” He takes a deep breath and puts his chopsticks down. “I’m going to need to ask you for a favor.”

“So that is what’s eating you up.”

“There is a party, the Annual Heroes Gala. I need to go and I need to bring my husband.”

“Oh.” Izuku stops mid-bite to look at Katsuki surprised.

“I tried getting out, but the Bureau fuckers can be nasty bitches when they want something.” Katsuki hates how this sounds as he’s explaining himself. He shouldn’t have to explain himself, he knows he did the best he could to get out of this situation.

“So you need me to go to the party.” Izuku says matter-of-factly.

“Yes.” The word comes out heavier than lead from Katsuki’s mouth.

Izuku looks very pensive before saying “I assume we’ll have to pretend to be a proper couple.”

Katsuki has to bite back a snarl, “yes.”

“Alright,” Izuku says and Katsuki takes a deep breath relieved. “With one condition.”

Bakugou snaps his head back up growling, ready to rip the omega a new one. Who the little fucker think he is to take advantage of Katsuki when he’s in a bad situation? Katsuki’s one step away from baring his teeth and fighting the omega, but Izuku looks completely unfazed.

“I need your help with something too. If we’re going to pretend to be a normal couple for the whole world, I’m going to need you to pretend the same thing for my sister.”

Katsuki frowns, “your sister? Why the fuck do we need to lie to your sister?”

That was definitely not the kind of condition Bakugou was expecting. Izuku looks down to his plate clearly embarrassed. 

“It’s just… She is a child, and she went through so much…  She thinks every marriage is like Tamaki’s. And… she really looks up to Mirio, she thinks you and him are similar since you are both blond, alphas and Pro Heroes…” Izuku is rambling but Katsuki already understood the core of the issue.

“You didn’t tell her this is a marriage of convenience.”

Izuku rolls his eyes, “it may be convenient to you… But no, I didn’t tell her.”

“And how would that go? I need to go to the matchmaking house again or what?”

“I don’t know… Going to the Institution is an option, but we could also take her somewhere. Like an afternoon outing at a park or something like that.”

“Ok, we take your pup for a walk and you smile prettily for the cameras. It’s a deal.”

“Glad doing business with you.”

***

At the day of the Gala, Katsuki is a pile of nerves. Actually, he has been anxious since he first heard about having to go to the damn thing but the closer it got to the party, the more anxious he felt. He hates events like that, he hates feeling like a show pony.

He’s a goddamn Pro Hero, he doesn’t want to smile to the cameras and answer questions about what designer he is wearing. He’s always wearing the same fucking thing anyway, his father’s latest collection. And this time it’ll be even worse because they’ll be asking about the matching outfit he and his husband are wearing.

Katsuki is going to thank his lucky star every single day just for the fact he managed to take Izuku to his father’s atelier without his mother knowing it. He had to soldier through the worst nagging of his life on the phone later, but he wouldn’t be able to handle his mother meeting the omega on the week of the Gala. There aren’t enough punch bags in the country for him to deal with that amount of stress.

Funny thing though is that Izuku doesn’t seem to be stressed at all. He’s calm and collected, just going through the motions of everything they need to arrange for the party. The omega actually took charge of most of the preparations (schedule a car to take them, fix the time for they to walk the red carpet with the event organizers, have their suits dry-cleaned and delivered) and allowed Bakugou to seethe in his anger and anxiety. 

In his father’s atelier, Izuku was the perfect example of a good mate meeting the in-laws. He was charming, pleasant, and respectful, Masaru was delighted to meet him. It creeped Katsuki out. Not even when his friends came to have dinner he saw such polished behavior from the omega. It was so perfect that it looked fake, plastic, rehearsed. It pissed him off immensely.

Something fishy is going on with the omega. He’s acting too put together for the shit they will have to go through. Katsuki doesn’t know what the man is plotting, but he’s sure he doesn’t like it. He can’t help but feel dread in the pit of his stomach now that he’s finishing getting ready for the Gala. 

He takes a step back to look at himself in the mirror. Well, whatever happens tonight, at least he’s looking fucking good. His father prepared for him a perfectly fitted black suit, white shirt and a black tie with an orange X going across it. It’s clearly inspired by his hero uniform, the old man said something about personal marketing but Katsuki ignored it. He grabs his shoes and goes to the living room to put them on, the car should be arriving shortly.

As he finishes getting ready (shoes, wallet, wristwatch), Izuku appears in the living room as well. Shit, the idiot is fucking gorgeous. He’s also wearing a fitted suit, but his is a dark maroon. He’s wearing a white shirt as well, but his tie is completely different than the usual. It’s a style Katsuki doesn’t think he ever saw another man wearing, a big loose bow that goes to the middle of his chest and made of shiny black silk.

The complete look makes for a very interesting dichotomy, a very stiff suit and a very flowy tie. The omega also did something with his hair, the unruly curls are tamed in a fluffy style, and his freckles are completely gone. He must be wearing makeup because his face looks awfully smooth, no marks or blemishes in sight. Izuku looks good, perfect even, almost like a plastic doll.

“The car should be pulling up in a couple of minutes, we can already head down,” Izuku says very serious and calm.

“Let’s get this shit over with.”

The car ride is completely silent. Katsuki doesn’t think the mood between him and Izuku has been this tense since before his heat. There is nothing Bakugou wants more than to tell the driver to take them back home and blow off the whole party. And if he was feeling bad during the way to the Gala, nothing could have prepared him to actually walk the red carpet.

It’s not as if he’s never done this before, he’s been to the Gala some years, mostly when he was a rookie trying to make a name for himself. But it was very different to walk the red carpet as a promising new Hero and to walk it as a veteran with a new mate.

The photographers go crazy. A thousand flashes begin blinking the moment he opens the car door. They are screaming all kinds of shit, ‘Ground Zero, how is married life?’, ‘Ground Zero, can you introduce us to your husband?’, ‘Zero! Tell us! Is there any truth to the rumors?’, ‘How long was the courting? Why did you keep this hidden for so long?’. Fucking vultures.

Katsuki’s very fucking close to tell them all to shove their cameras where the sun doesn’t shine when he feels a warm and strong hand grab his own. He looks down and sees Izuku has interlaced their fingers and is using his other hand to pet Katsuki’s biceps in what could be interpreted as a loving touch (but that Bakugou felt it’s more of a ‘I’m holding you back because I’m afraid you’re going to kill them’ touch).

Izuku has a perfect smile as he poses for the photos and answers a few questions.

“Yes, we are very excited for tonight!... Oh, we like to keep our privacy! Newly weds, you know?... I’m very proud to have been chosen to be Ground Zero’s mate, he’s the most amazing hero of all!” 

The omega smiles and giggles charming everyone around him. All his answers seem rehearsed, too fucking polite and put together to have been thought on the spot. And he doesn’t stop gushing about Ground Zero not even for one fucking second, it’s disgustingly fake. 

Bakugou doesn’t know what the shitty omega is thinking, but he hates it. It’s patronizing how he thinks he needs to praise Katsuki for the cameras. Actually, scratch that, because he isn’t saying shit about Katsuki. No, the fucker is talking about Ground Zero. At this moment, it feels like this isn’t his Hero name but actually a completely different entity.

And this Ground Zero is a fucking chump who needs an omega to sing his praises to a bunch of leeches for a chance to climb the fucking ranks. Is the omega looking down on him? Trying to ‘help him out’ by saying how excited he is to ‘see the whole world recognizing Ground Zero as the amazing alpha Pro Hero he is’. This shit is making him gag.

“Oh, I don’t know about that! I’m sure Ground Zero had a great list of possible omegas to choose from, but he doesn’t tell me things about his bachelor life.” Izuku says to a reporter giggling coyly and that is the fucking last drop to Katsuki.

“Let’s go.” He grunts to the omega pulling the man by the hand with a death grip.

He is so fucking done with this shitty party already and they haven’t even crossed the front door. He walks stiffly while the omega by his side waves for the cameras until they enter the ballroom.

The venue is huge, finely decorated and packed with every Pro Hero and rich fucker one could imagine. Katsuki doesn't even have time to take a breath before they have to start greeting people.

Katsuki's greets follow the pattern of a nod and a grunt, sometimes he manages to begrudgingly spit out a 'Good evening'.

Izuku, however, is a fucking social butterfly. He smiles and bats his eyes, and every fucker is instantly charmed. He accepts and gives out compliments like they were everyday occurrences without ever forgetting to state how happy and proud he’s of being married to Ground Zero.

"Oh, thank you! It's a design by Bakugou Masaru, Ground Zero's father. The whole Bakugou family is incredibly talented!... Yes, and my husband looks amazing tonight as well but he always looks great so that is hardly news!” 

The omega charms some high profile businessmen. Bakugou hates the business part of Hero work. He never really accepted that it’s a part of the job to deal with insurance owners, support gear industry tycoons and people like that. So he doesn’t even know who are the extras the omega is whoring them out to, but he knows he doesn’t like it. 

He hates hearing all those lies coming out of the omega. He and Izuku may have their issues and have gone through some really rough patches, but one thing Katsuki has always respected on the other man is that Izuku never lied. He sometimes refused to tell anything, but he didn’t lie. Bakugou thought he could trust everything that came out of the omega’s mouth but, with the ease that he is spouting bullshit left and right tonight, he isn’t sure anymore.

“Exactly! He isn’t just handsome, he’s so brave and strong! My whole family is so proud of our marriage!”

Shit, that’s enough. Katsuki can’t hear one more breath coming out of the omega. He turns around and leaves Izuku talking to the assholes because if he stays he’ll do something stupid. Fucking asshole making fun of Bakugou in the most veiled way possible. 

‘My family is proud’. Fucking hell. 

He knows the shitty omega hates being married to him, but does he have to rub it in Katsuki’s face how his whole family is disappointed with him marrying Bakugou? He fucking knows he wasn’t All Might’s first choice, but he’s doing his fucking best!

Katsuki goes straight to the bar and orders a glass of whiskey. Since he has to put up with this whole fucking charade, might as well find something to enjoy and the expensive drinks are the only good part of this shitty party. He drinks leaning against the counter looking straight to the wall behind the bar, Katsuki was hoping no one would be brave enough to approach him if he puts a scowl mean enough on his face. But some fuckers just don’t know when to quit.

“Baku! Fancy seeing you here! I mean, Kiri said you and Izuku were coming but I still thought you would bail on the last moment!” Kaminari shows up by his side with a huge smile that had no place in this shitty evening.

Bakugou just grunts his acknowledgment that Kaminari is there and keeps focusing on his drink.

“Where is Izuku, by the way? I want to introduce him to Kyoka!”

Katsuki shrugs and Kaminari looks at him furrowing his eyebrows.

“Everything ok, Baku? You look… more murderous than usual.”

“Just really don’t want to be here.” He grunts.

“Figured as much… Well, I’m gonna let you to your… glaring and snarling around and see if I greet some more people!”

Katsuki finishes his drink and asks for another. This is going to be a long night.

Not long after Kaminari leaves and Bakugou gets his second shot of whiskey, Sero and Kirishima find him.

“Dude! There you are! We’re looking for you!” Sero says smiling.

Kirishima, however, has a worried look on his face. The redhead probably already realized something is wrong with his best friend.

“You ok, bro? Izuku said you vanished when you were both talking to some CEOs.”

He was talking to the fucking goons. I just figured they didn’t need me standing around like an idiot.” Katsuki says coldly.

“Ahn…” Kirishima tries coming up with some way to divert Katsuki’s anger. “Now he’s talking to Kami and Jirou! How about we join them? The Iidas are supposed to come too! It’ll be like a Class 3-A reunion!”

“Not interested.” Katsuki grunts finishing his second drink.

Kirishima and Sero look at each other trying to find out a way to fix Bakugou’s awful mood but come out empty-handed. Kirishima motions with his head for Sero to leave them be and calls the bartender to ask for a drink too. Sero shrugs and goes to find their other friends.

“Really, bro, you don’t look very well. Did you and Izuku fight?” Kirishima asks worriedly.

Katsuki takes another sip of his drink, “I really don’t want to talk about this right now, Kirishima.”

“Oh, we’re in last name levels. Alright, in this case… ahn… I don’t even know…” Kirishima scratches his hair confused.

“I just want to be here at this fucking bar for the couple of hours that I’m obligated to stay in this shitty party and then go home. And if I could do that alone, even better.”

“Damn, bro… I feel bad about abandoning you like that. I can stick around to talk about whatever and take your mind off things.”

“I’m not a fucking child, Shitty Hair. You are not abandoning me, I can stay by myself for some hours. Go mingle, you have to talk to the government dipshits and the business extras in the name of our team.”

“Camie can do that, she and Kendo are around.”

“Camie? Really? She is worse than me, and I’m an asshole.” Katsuki says cocking an eyebrow.

“She isn’t that bad! I mean, she has a peculiar sense of humor…” Kirishima tries arguing but it’s futile.

“Last time she asked to an insurance representative if he would lower our premiums if she allowed him to motorboat her,” Bakugou says with a pointed expression.

“Yeah, alright… Maybe I do the networking and Camie comes to stay with you.” Kirishima says already leaving the bar to find their other teammate.

“I don’t need a fucking babysitter! Argh!” Katsuki complains but Kirishima is already halfway to the ballroom.

Bakugou just asks for another drink. Fucking Shitty Hair thinking Katsuki needs to be watched over. He is fucking fine! It’s not like he’s doing anything terribly different than what he usually does in this kind of parties! He hates kissing ass to these fucking extras, that isn’t fucking news.

Lucky for him, Kirishima probably hasn’t found Camie or he got caught up in some conversation he can’t get out because the alpha girl doesn’t show up for a good half an hour. During this time Katsuki drank some more whisky, ate some canapes (they were as disgusting as Miruko said they would be), fumbled with his phone and watched a little of the party (he didn’t want to look around too much or else some fucker might think he’s looking for someone to talk to).

“Ok! I’m here! Tell me what crawled up your ass and died!” Camie shows up by his side and Katsuki rolls his eyes.

“Did you already make inappropriate sexual jokes for men who decide our salaries?”

“Hum… maybe? How important is the government man who decides the districts we are assigned to?”

Katsuki rolls his eyes and finishes his whiskey. At this point he doesn’t even feel the burn anymore, maybe that’s an indication that he should take a breather.

“I was talking to Izuku and the guys from your old class. You should go there too, your hubby is fanboying about some older Heroes. It’s pretty freaking cute.”

Or maybe not. He indicates his empty glass for the bartender, silently asking for another.

“Really, Baku, the fuck, man?”

“I’m just tired of this whole fucking farce.”

Camie huffs, “how can you be so dramatic? It’s just a party, Bakugou. A work party. You know how these things are.”

Katsuki checks his watch. They have arrived almost two hours ago, certainly that is already enough, right? Miruko said all he had to do was smile to the cameras, and the omega did that more than enough.

“I’m gonna find the omega and go home.” He grunts before turning to leave the bar area.

He can feel his head working at a slower pace than usual, almost as if the whole world was in some kind of slow motion. Yeah, he drank too much, better leave before shit gets out of hand.

Camie rolls her eyes before following him and indicating where to find Izuku. The omega is there talking excitedly with fucking Icy-Hot of all people. Shitty Todoroki Shouto, Katsuki’s biggest rival and most hated former classmate. Candy Cane’s omega is standing properly by his side, it’s the most vomit-inducing scene Katsuki has seen all night (and that counts some old geezer who thought wearing a plaid suit was a good idea).

Katsuki can’t hear what they are talking about before he arrives because Half n’ Half notices his approach very quickly.

“Bakugou.” He greets coldly.

“Shitty Candy Cane.” Katsuki reciprocates the greeting.

“There you are, I was looking for you!” Izuku says with the obnoxious fake smile he has been using the whole night.

“The fuck you are talking about with this asshole?” Katsuki asks the omega annoyed.

“What?” Izuku’s eyes flash with anger just for a second, but that is the most real expression Katsuki has seen in his face the whole day. When it’s gone, the forced politeness returns. “Shouto and I have known each other for years. I’m glad to have the chance of getting to know Momo now.”

“Oh, Izuku! The pleasure is all mine!” Todoroki’s omega answers.

“Yeah, whatever. I don’t give a flying fuck. Let’s go home now.” Bakugou says and turns away to leave expecting the omega to follow him.

However, Izuku grabs his hand and makes him stop.

“Wait! We haven’t talked to everyone we need to yet. The head of the Tokyo ranking analysis is here, we must greet him.” Izuku says with a serious expression looking straight into Katsuki’s eyes.

“Ah?! You don’t get to say what I fucking must do, dipshit. I’m going home, you go talk to whatever asshole you want to.” Katsuki barks at him pulling his hand free but Izuku clamps his hold.

“Why are you being so difficult? It’s important, Bakugou. We need to do this.” Izuku looks serious and annoyed, but at least he’s expressing his real feelings.

“I’m not fucking difficult, I’m fucking over this shit and I’m. Going. Home.” Katsuki is seething and bites the words as he pulls his hand back with even more strength.

At this point, a couple of people are looking at them confused expressions. When Izuku notices that, he puts his fake smile back in place and gets really close to Bakugou, holding his hand again.

“Alright, dear. I understand you’re tired, Hero work certainly is very demanding!” Izuku says loudly for the people around to hear, then completes in a whisper. “You won, you big baby. Let’s go before you cause a scene.”

They leave the party quickly, however Katsuki still has to suffer through one more round of smiling and posing to the photographers on their way out. Izuku keeps a plastic cheery expression the whole time until the door of the car closes. The tinted windows seem to be private enough for the omega to drop his act.

The way home is even more silent and tense than their going to the party. Katsuki looks out of the window the whole way, and Izuku plays around with his phone. When they get home, for a second before Katsuki takes refuge in his room, it looks like Izuku has something to say but changes his mind at the last second.

Bakugou, however, doesn’t even want to know what kind of fake bullshit may come out of the omega’s mouth. He is freaking tired of living a lie, but since this doesn’t seem to be an option he will just go to bed and pretend he’s still single, unmated, and that the guest room is completely empty.