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Change of Plans

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Best Shitty Option

Bakugou Katsuki is fucking furious. He is this close to blowing this whole fucking building to smithereens, then going to the government building, blowing that shit up too and letting the assholes inside be smashed like the fucking cockroaches they are.

“We understand your frustrations, Ground Zero. But your personal circumstances are not more important than the development and well being of our whole society. Think about this as just one of the many sacrifices you make every day as a Pro Hero to keep our communities safe.”

That is what they’d told him when those shitty government goons gave Katsuki the ultimatum: find a mate in three months or else his hero license would be revoked.

He knew this was coming. Hell, everybody knew this was coming. Once you sign up for your Pro Hero license there is a clause, in bold and underlined, stating that every Pro Hero needs to mate by the age of thirty and that failure to comply means they will be released from their duties.

When Bakugou was eighteen, fresh out of UA, a cocky and self-centered alpha who thought the whole world should bow before him, that shitty clause didn’t seem such a big deal. He had twelve years to find a mate, surely he would find a nice beta before his deadline. All of his friends were already in relationships or at least had someone in mind; why would Katsuki struggle with finding someone?

And even if he didn't find a beta he could stand for long, all he would have to do was go to a matchmaking house, pick a pretty omega that didn’t talk too much, and be done with it. He’d still focus on fighting villains and having an omega home to cook and clean would be quite handy, he thought all those years ago.

Now he is thirty years old and doesn’t see shit like that anymore. Working as a Pro Hero for over ten years changes the way you understand the world. He works grueling hours, deals with the kind of shit most people wouldn’t believe even exists, and has no patience for anybody else's shit. He knows he will be a fucking awful mate.

He likes his space, he likes his time, he likes to do shit his way, and he doesn’t like accommodating people around his routine. Plus, he is too particular about how he likes his life and doesn’t enjoy the company of most people. A mate will only get on his way; he can’t see himself living with any random beta or a clingy omega that knows nothing about hero work and thinks that when Bakugou gets home they can go out shopping or some useless shit like that. This will only impair his ability to snatch the number one spot out from Endeavor. Actually, scratch that; the fucking fire fucker probably only reached so high on the ranking because he sired a whole fucking litter of dipshits.

However, hell will freeze over before Bakugou does the same shit. He will marry some random omega, but he will not stuff them with his pups. He will certainly not go home every day to an annoying housemate and a couple of snotty brats. The goons can force him to get married, but they can’t force him to procreate. Choke on that, motherfuckers. Katsuki won’t give them what they really want no matter how much they torture him.

This whole shit is just a desperate attempt of the government to increase the birth rate. When quirks first came up, slowly but surely the number of babies being born began decreasing. Nobody really understood why, it was probably a confluence of reasons: some quirks making it more difficult for people to find mates and/or have children, a more complex economy makes having multiple children very expensive, and unhealthy modern lifestyles diminishing people’s fertility were just the main explanations out there but there were several others.

Then there was All Might, the strongest and most powerful alpha Pro Hero in history. Every little kid wanted to grow up to be just like him: strong, courageous, beloved by the masses, and... unmated. All Might never mated, never sired children, and somehow the public started to believe that unmated alphas become more powerful and the wedding rates plummeted together with the birth rates.

Bakugou knows that this is a big pile of bullshit. All Might wasn’t as powerful as he was because he was unmated, but the other way around. The legendary Pro Hero was Katsuki’s teacher in high school, and the gentle giant was very open when talking about his life and why he did some of the things he did the way he did. All Might believed that his quirk was a powerful tool that should be used to help those around him, but that meant he didn’t have much in the way of a personal life (his work was his life), and the old man just didn’t want to put a mate through something like that.

However, no matter how pure and holy All Might’s intentions were, the result was the same and now no Pro Hero is allowed to be without a mate. For the public, the government says that mates are important to help keep heroes mentally healthy and connected with society. But truth is it’s a form of propaganda to encourage people to get married and have babies.

And that brings Bakugou to this fucking moment where he is inside a stuck up traditional office, all mahogany and too many books, with Kirishima by his side listening to an obnoxious beta woman explain at length about the shitty curriculum of the finishing school that the omegas here go through. This is one of the most expensive ones in the country, so Bakugou really hopes that the fucking omegas are being taught decent shit, but he doesn’t need this woman to explain to him about the intricacies of their ‘event hosting’ classes.

Lucky for him Kirishima is eating this shit up. The redheaded beta really is a fucking good friend; he has been Bakugou’s emotional support and punching bag since the bosses started coming down hard at him for this shit. After the ultimatum, Kirishima was the one who researched about matchmaking houses and set appointments for Bakugou to know the omegas.

The one they are at right now is a private, elite one. Kirishima was who suggested to go the high-class route. His reasoning is that omegas here are not only very well educated but are actually trained to be more than bed warmers. Omegas from rich families can have very powerful quirks, and nowadays some of them even work as support heroes together with their mates.

That is the case for Todoroki Shouto, an alpha that went to school with Bakugou and Kirishima and got married to an omega woman with a quirk powerful enough that she would have been top of the class at UA if she had been allowed to attend there. Nowadays, Todoroki and his mate, Momo, are a ridiculously strong hero duo. Same goes for another top hero, Mirio Togata. Togata married an omega who also had a perfect quirk for hero work, Amajiki Tamaki. Kirishima has even worked a few operations with Tamaki in some of their agencies cooperation cases and says the omega is a very good hero.

Bakugou doesn’t intend to find an omega to be a hero duo with; he is very happy working alone. But finding an omega that has a life besides their wedding lock is a good idea since Katsuki doesn’t intend on being a very active participant of their marriage. He hopes to find an omega who focuses on his own work so that they can live like roommates or some shit like that.

However, the first matchmaking house they went to was a complete failure. The fucking administrator decided to bring three of ‘their best omegas’ to show Katsuki as if they were showcasing a few bottles of wine. Then they brought three fucking teenagers, none of them older than sixteen! Bakugou could wrap one hand around their necks and his fingers would still touch from how skinny and tiny the omegas were. Bakugou felt disgusting just from looking at their terrified faces. Ground Zero had raged at the administrator and stormed out.

The second house was slightly less terrible. This time Bakugou was taken to a big living room where the omegas were scattered around like decoration, both male and female omegas wearing stuffy white dresses that fell to their knees and showcased their skinny legs clad in white stockings. Bakugou felt completely out of place in his usual get up of dark jeans and a black skull t-shirt. The omegas were still too young, but at least a few of them looked over eighteen. Still, Bakugou couldn’t keep a conversation with any omega there and left as soon as he could.

For their third try, Kirishima purposefully asked for the oldest omegas they had to be available for Katsuki to meet when they went. Now, here they are. Finally, the annoying administrator seems to  finish up her speech about the omega’s academic abilities.

“So, gentleman, I think they are already in the garden waiting to meet you, Mister Bakugou. Just to be sure, you said that there was no preference in female or male omegas, is that right?” The middle-aged woman wears a perfectly pressed suit and has her hair up in a tight bun, she looks like she had a fifteen-inch ice pole up her butt.

“Yeah! Can’t let silly things like that get in the way of finding love, right?” Kirishima answers with a huge sharky smile. “But he did ask to be introduced to your oldest residents since Baku here is no spring chicken himself,” the beta jokes.

“Certainly. It’s very rare for omegas to be here for long, however. I’m afraid our oldest residents are not that close to Mister Bakugou’s age. Nonetheless, I did request that only omegas over eighteen be present today.” The woman gets up from her desk and motions for Bakugou and Kirishima to follow her out of the office.

Shit, another afternoon of talking to children. Is it really that hard to find an unmated omega near his age? What the fuck is up with that? They walk through the large hallways; the building looks more like an English aristocracy high school than a Japanese matchmaking house. It shows how proud they are of their curriculum and academic excellence as if  their omegas knowing calculus and Latin changes the fact that they were basically raised to be breeders and housemates. Besides, the scent of fertile omegas and heats are forever imprinted on the walls leaving no doubt as to where they truly are.

They leave the building and enter a beautiful garden. The day is warm and sunny, and several tiny tea tables are scattered around in the shadows of big cherry trees. Each table has two chairs, one occupied by an omega  and the other empty, probably for Bakugou. So that is how they expect Ground Zero to find his mate, a little English tea served with French pastries with omegas that can philosophize and recite German poets. This shit is making him gag.

There are around eight female omegas and one male, that ratio is to be expected. Omegan females are already rare, about 8% of the population, but the men are even rarer, barely reaching 2%. This time, however, the male omegas don't wear dresses but navy trousers and a white button-up shirt. The girls wear the same white shirts but with knee-length navy skirts. There are also a few handlers around the garden, betas who are responsible for protecting the omegas against visiting alphas.

Their combined scent is sweet and floral, making the garden set up even more appropriate. Some of them look at him curiously, some of them ignore him completely, some look scared (and Bakugou decides he isn’t even going to try to talk to those), none of them looks older than twenty-one.

“This looks fun! Lots of food too!” Eijirou is eternally optimistic and tries to improve Bakugou’s mood. “The lady said you can take your time and talk to them for as long as you want. So, does anyone look interesting to you?”

Bakugou takes a big whiff of their smell, hoping his instincts can help him pick someone to start a conversation with. But all he gets is that generic overly sweet floral scent, nothing that really appeals to him. So he just sits down at the closest table, the stuck up administrator follows and stands just two feet behind him. Is she really going to listen in on every conversation he has with the omegas? Bakugou has to force himself to not roll his eyes.

“I’m Bakugou Katsuki, Pro Hero Ground Zero," he tries ignoring the beta woman to focus on the petite blond girl in front of him, but it is very hard to keep the annoyance out of his voice. The girl lowers her head in what probably should be a position of submission but comes off as cowering in fear, then murmurs something unintelligible.

“What? Speak the fuck up!" Bakugou barks at her, the girl trembles. She quickly went from ‘slightly afraid’ to ‘completely terrified’. Yeah, this is not the one.

“I’m Amano Yuri. Pleasure to meet you, sir," she manages to speak with a weak quivering voice. Bakugou clicks his tongue and gets up without another word.

He sits down at the next table to try again, but the conversation follows the same pattern. The omegan girls cower in fear from his approach alone, some of them physically wince when Katsuki sits at their table. Bakugou managed to get more than fearful murmurs just out of one, but the conversation went just far enough for him to ask her age and promptly get up once she answered eighteen. During all these awful attempts, the administrator was standing sternly behind Katsuki (and maybe some of the omegas watch her more than Bakugou, but it could have been just an impression).

The next one is the male omega. Bakugou is already fucking tired of this shitshow, but he needs to keep trying, his time is running out. He plops down on the chair and reaches for one of the pastries. Then he looks up and does a double take. The omega is not cowering in fear, looking down, nor showcasing any form of submission.

On the contrary, the omega’s chin is pointed up, he is looking away from Bakugou and his arms are crossed in a dramatic display of annoyance and displeasure. His body language should paint a picture of infuriation, but combined with the omega’s cute round face, freckles, and bright green eyes, it just looked like childish petulance.

“Did they serve you the wrong kind of tea?” Katsuki teases.

“Did you run out of girls to terrify?” The omega’s voice is cold and angry and he still refuses to look at Bakugou.

“Not my fault the bitches can’t fucking speak up,” Bakugou says shrugging.

“Maybe you are just not good enough for them to put in the effort.”

Huh, the little one has claws. Katsuki is actually taken aback a little by the omega’s remark, and, before he has time to compose himself and put the little shit in his place, the administrator intervenes.

“That is enough, Izuku. Behave,” she says coldly.

“I will if he does,” the young man snaps back, finally looking away from some fixed point on the horizon to glare at the beta woman.

“That is totally unbecoming, you will show proper conduct or you will suffer the consequences," she threatens but that only seems to enrage the omega even more.

“I don’t have to submit myself to this," and gets up from his chair to the complete astonishment of Bakugou and Kirishima, who was watching the scene unravel from several feet away but got closer once things started going south.

“Sit down at this instant!" she demands but the omega ignores her and keeps walking away. “Bring him back!," the administrator screams at the handlers.

One of the male beta handlers jogs after the omega and grabs him by the biceps to pull the young man back. But in one swift move, the omega’s body lights up in green in what must be his quirk and he lands a powerful punch in the beta’s stomach making the handler fly several feet away. The other beta handlers approach the runaway omega, but the young man keeps his weird fighting stance making it clear that whoever tries catching him will suffer the same fate as their knockout colleague.

“What is happening? Should we help?” Kirishima asks worriedly, and Katsuki can't help but wonder if his friend wants to help the omega or the betas.

“I’m so sorry you have to witness this. Izuku is…a  difficult case. He doesn’t wish to be mated, so he puts on this kind of riot every time he is requested to meet an alpha.” The woman explains apologetically. “But please, let’s go back to the tea party. I’ll let the handlers know that you are done talking to Izuku and this will quickly be resolved.”

“He was requested to meet Bakugou against his will? Why?” Kirishima sounds confused. Bakugou is only half listening to their exchange, way too focused on the show the little omega is putting.

“Izuku is…the oldest resident we have. It’s been a while since someone requested to meet anyone like him, so we thought it would be a good opportunity. Clearly it was a mistake, we are so sorry. That will not happen again, Mister Bakugou.”

“How old is he?” Katsuki asks without taking his eyes off the feisty omega that had already taken two of his four handlers out of commission.

“Izuku is twenty-four.” The woman answers, “shall we go back to the tea party? So many other residents are eager to meet you and—”

“I will take him.” Bakugou says seriously and the woman and Kirishima look at him like he just grew another head.

“What?”

“Mister Bakugou, that would be very unadvisable.”

“Don’t care. That is the one.” Katsuki turns to the stupefied woman and asks matter-of-factly, “where can we fill the paperwork?”

...

“Bakubro, that is an awful idea. Really, never before have I heard of an idea with lower chances of working out. And I'm friends with Denki.” Kirishima expresses his worry about what happened today in the matchmaking house.

“That is because you are an idiot and can’t see the genius of my plan," Bakugou says while taking a swig of his beer bottle.

“I agree with Eiji that there is no way this plan will work, but I’m all up for seeing you get screwed over by your own social ineptitude. So I say go for it.” Mina says shrugging.

The three of them are in a ramen place getting dinner. Kirishima insisted since he believes Katsuki is having a mental breakdown over the weight of being forced to marry and doesn’t think Bakugou should stay by himself for too long. Mina came because she likes gossip and prefers having dinner with her mate and his friend rather than being home alone.

“Fuck you both. It’s not a plan, it’s a fact. There is no sketchy objectives, no funny business. Shit is as straight as it gets. I don’t want a mate, he doesn’t want a mate, both of us need to be married, so we can have a marriage of convenience. We will live in the same place but we will not get in each others’ business. Easy as fucking pie.” Katsuki says between mouthfuls of his extra spicy ramen.

“Baku, you didn’t ask if he wants that! All we know is what that administrator told us, but we don’t know if that is true!” Kirishima says exasperated, Bakugou just clicks his tongue at him.

“Why would that stuck up bitch lie? And besides, it’s not like I have many other options. I’m not gonna marry children! He is the oldest we’ve found and he is still six years younger than me. So tough luck, that is just how the world is.”

“You really didn’t ask him?" Mina says frowning. “He needs to agree to this arrangement.”

“No, he doesn’t. His sponsor needs to agree and I’m meeting the guy tomorrow.”

“By God, Baku. No! You can’t do that! You need to talk to him!” Mina looks at him horrified.

“This is totally not cool, bro.” Kirishima agrees with her.

“Chill both of you! I’m gonna talk to the brat. Today he was furious, throwing punches around. Tomorrow if his sponsor approves of me, then I can talk to him and explain my idea. It’s gonna be fucking alright, idiots.”

“Famous last words, Explodey. But as an alpha, I can understand where you are coming from. I would be flipping my shit if I was forced to mate some teenaged omega I barely knew.” Mina says seriously then turns lovingly to Kirishima, “I'm so lucky we met each other, Eiji.”

Kirishima gives the sappiest smile and nuzzles his alpha’s nose, “I'm the lucky one, babe.”

“And I’m completely disgusted by the two of you," Bakugou says with a grimace. “Shit is what it is. It's better to be him than to let me ruin the chances of one of those other kids actually having a happy marriage.”

“So it's just gonna be you and him unhappy?” Eijirou asks sadly and Bakugou shrugs.

***

Okay, let it be said that Bakugou knows this is a shitty idea. But at this point in his life, all he has are shitty options and this is the best shitty option he has found given the time constraints. The omega… what was his name anyway? Izuku? Whatever, the omega also doesn't have many other options.

It must be expensive to keep an unmated omega in an elite institution like the one they went to yesterday. And since that omega is considerably older than his peers, he must have been in that place for quite some time. What that meant was that whoever is sponsoring the omega has really deep pockets and cares enough for the young man to let him spend so many years unmated.

Therefore, Katsuki is actually putting an effort to dress nicely to meet his potential mate’s sponsor. He’s dressed in a light blue dress shirt his mother gave him and some black slacks. Now it is just a matter of how he should present his case to the sponsor without sounding like a complete asshole. After all, ‘Hey, I chose your son because it seemed like no one else would want him’ would not showcase Bakugou’s best side. Nor would ‘He doesn’t want me as much as I don’t want him, so at least that’s fair.’

Katsuki hates the idea of explaining himself to people that have no business meddling in his life, and he also hates lying and coming up with excuses. So this meeting will be a fucking nightmare for him, but he honestly thinks the omega and his sponsor will like his proposition. All he has to do is be polite and present the following points: the omega will have complete freedom to pursue whatever career or hobby he wants; the omega will have all his financial needs taken care of (within reason, Bakugou will not pay for the little prince to spend his summers in Verona or some shit like that); the omega will not be expected to physically mate with Bakugou and have his children; the omega will have his own room and will not be required to give Bakugou any explanation about his whereabouts.

Really, what more could they want? It will be a good deal for the both of them. Bakugou doubts the omega could hope to receive any more freedom from another alpha. And with that thought in mind, Bakugou leaves his apartment to pick up Kirishima. The beta would go with him to the matchmaking house again to help Bakugou not put his foot in his mouth in front of the sponsor or the administrator.

The drive to Kirishima’s place was quick and uneventful, both of them live near Tokyo’s center since it's close to their agency. The heroes have worked under the Number 2 Hero, Miruko ever since they became sidekicks fresh out of High School.

As Katsuki pulls in front of Kirishima’s building, the redhead is already waiting for him. He quickly jumps in the car with a huge smile that Katsuki has no idea where it is coming from.

“Hi, Bro! You dressed nicely! That’s good, it’s important to impress the in-laws, and first impressions are important! Today is a big day!” Kirishima is a pure ball of joy, and that makes Katsuki a little puzzled. Yesterday he was completely against this plan, why the sudden change of heart?

“The fuck you are so happy about, Shitty Hair? Weren’t you the one saying this is a shitty idea?”

“Well, it still is. But I thought about it and, yeah, it is really awful how you are being forced to marry someone you don’t know. And there is no way of knowing if Izuku will be better or worse for you than any other omega, but a part of me understands what you see in him," his friend answers with a smile.

“I see nothing in him besides the fact that he is as unwilling as I am in this shit,” Bakugou grumbles.

“Oh, don’t lie to me, bro! I saw you looking at him, and I get it! He is very strong, it is refreshing to see an omega fight back! And it is so manly how he has stuck it out this long even with the amount of societal pressure on him! He sounds like a cool guy.”

Eijirou’s optimism should be fucking illegal. Only he could see this fucked up situation and think Katsuki was actually going to meet the love of his life. Whatever, Bakugou will not even dignify that line of thinking with a response, so they drive quietly for a while before reach the matchmaking house again.

They arrive back at the big European style house that stills creeps Katsuki out way more than any building had the right to and are quickly escorted back to the administrator’s office.

“Mister Bakugou, I’m glad you are back. The sponsor is already waiting for you in one of our private rooms. Both of you will talk alone to protect your privacy.” The woman says quickly while shaking their hands. “Please follow me.”

They walk again through the big hallways that smell so strongly of unmated omegas and old heats that Katsuki’s brain gets a little buzzed. Maybe that is why he thought of this idea as soon as he laid eyes on the omega fighting yesterday, he was drunk on pheromones. Soon enough, they stand in front of a dark mahogany door.

“The sponsor is waiting for you inside. Mr. Bakugou, I must warn you that if this meeting doesn’t go as you hope it does, you are contractually obliged to not disclose the names of the people you met inside our institution by the nondisclosure agreement you signed yesterday. Mr. Kirishima, if you would like I can accompany you to the common rooms where you can have tea and talk to our residents.”

“Great, that sounds fun," Kirishima says to the woman, then turns to Katsuki. “Good luck in there, bro! Don’t swear too much, try to make a good impression.”

Katsuki rolls his eyes and opens the door. However, the moment his eyes land on the only person inside the little room, his brain stops working. It can’t be, it just can’t, there is no way this is true.

“All Might?!”

“Oh, young Bakugou!” The skeletal figure of Yagi Toshinori in his oversized yellow suit was the last thing Katsuki expected to see today. “My, my… that is quite a situation…," the old man scratches his head clearly uncomfortable.

“The fuck you are doing here?!” Bakugou asks in disbelief.

“I’m Izuku’s sponsor," All Might answers with a sad smile. “Please, let’s take a seat. I believe we have much to discuss.”

The office is small but expensively decorated; there is a small desk in the corner with tea and cookies, a bookshelf full of old leatherback books that Bakugou never heard of before, a two-seat couch, and an armchair. Yagi sits on the couch and Katsuki takes the armchair.

“Since when do you have a son?," Bakugou can’t help himself from asking as soon as his ass hits the cushion.

“I don’t," Yagi’s face is sad and Katsuki hates himself for bringing this up. “Officially, Izuku and I have no relation. But I like to see myself as his godfather. I met him when I began teaching at UA and moved to his neighborhood. He was a small little thing, just nine years old.”

That year was also the year All Might met Bakugou since his class was the first one the retired hero taught at UA.

“I’ve talked to Izuku before you arrived. He said you barely spoke with each other yesterday when you came. I must say I’m very surprised that you have asked to meet his sponsor under these circumstances.”

Shit, now was the time Bakugou should present all those very rational points he’d come up with, but that was before he’d found out the sponsor was All Might! How could Katsuki just say ‘I’ll let him have his own room’ to All Might?! Yagi Toshinori is such an important person for Katsuki; they have so much history together, he can’t lie to him. Scratch that, he can’t even embellish the truth to him.

“I… I’m being forced to get married under my Pro Hero contract, and your godson, well, he looked as unwilling as I am, so I thought I wouldn’t be destroying some young omega’s dream of a happy marriage. I thought he would be alright with living as my roommate of sorts.”

“Oh, that is… quite something," Yagi says getting deep in thought. “Izuku said you saw him fighting against his handlers. I trust that you saw his quirk?”

“The green lightning? I saw it. It seemed to make him stronger, I have never seen an omega take down four male betas on his own.”

All Might falls deep in thought again for several moments before speaking. “Young Bakugou, had it been anyone else that walked through that door today I would have said that Izuku would not marry them as soon as we got past the greetings and pleasantries. But you… You already know a big part of the story about why Izuku is doing what he is, and I think that you deserved to know the whole situation before we can seriously talk about marriage.”

Yagi gets up from the couch and serves them tea, “Do you remember our conversation after your kidnapping?”

Bakugou would never forget that day. It was the result of months of pain and blaming himself for All Might losing his powers while trying to rescue Katsuki from the League of Villains.

“Yeah… You caught me working myself halfway to death in a training ground and had to put my ass back in line.” Bakugou says chuckling as if the memories of overworking himself past the point of exhaustion every night for months out of guilt while crying pitifully was some kind of joke. “Then you said to me that your powers were already slowly extinguishing since you passed on your quirk to somebody else and you explained the whole deal with All for One and your quirk, One for All.”

“What I didn’t tell you at the time was who I passed my quirk to.” All Might offers Katsuki a cup of tea and sits down to drink his own. “Izuku was a quirkless boy whose dream was to be a hero. He was small, fragile, and much weaker than any other kid in the area, but time and time again I saw him standing up against bullies and protecting others. He has the heart of a hero if I ever saw one.”

All Might explains with a small smile that betrays how fond he is of the omega he is talking about.

“At that time, my injuries had already limited the time I could use my quirk to a maximum of three hours a day. I went to work at UA to find a successor, but after one year there, I accepted that the only one I could see wielding One for All, my quirk, was the tiny beta boy running around my house. He didn’t know I was All Might at the time, he saw me as an injured old man that needed help so he took it upon himself to take care of me. He used to bring me food his mother helped him prepare and help me around the house.” Toshinori explained this with a smile on his lips and a twinkle in his eyes.

Godfather my ass, Yagi clearly sees the omega as his son’ , Katsuki thinks.

“I passed my quirk to him when he was just ten years old, I thought that if he received it young he would learn to use it with more proficiency. Just like I saw you using your quirk, young Bakugou as if it was as natural as breathing. My plan was to train him slowly, I had four years to make sure he was ready for UA's entrance exam. However, two years later Izuku presented as an omega and things changed.”

“He offered to return One for All to me, or to pass it to someone else I deemed worthy. But I refused, he is the one I chose, and I do believe I made the right choice. Besides, life can be very difficult for omegas. However, Izuku, for his part, never gave up on his dream of being a hero even if I couldn’t train him anymore.”

“How do you expect him to become a Pro Hero? He is an omega. Even if he marries an alpha Pro Hero, he can, at most, hope to be a Support Hero.” Bakugou asks.

“I did try lobbying for years for omegas’ right to remain unmated and to have a shot at earning a hero license. But I was shot down every step out the way. At this point, I don’t really care if Izuku is a Pro Hero or not, I just care that he is happy. I know he has his plans, and that is why I would never approve of a mate he doesn’t want me to approve. We both have been resisting the government’s pressure for him to marry. However, the government knows I’m his sponsor, and they haven’t been taking his refusal to mate lightly. Some people think this is just a huge plot I created to induce people to not mate, first by not mating myself and now by forbidding my omegan godson to mate. Truth is I’m just an old man who wants his godson to be free to do what he wishes.”

They both drink their tea quietly for a while, ruminating about all they have talked about. It was a lot to process. Bakugou had spent a lot of time wondering who All Might had picked to pass his quirk on to. The thought had remained at the back of his mind every time he climbed the ranks as he wondered if someday someone would show up wielding One for All and take the number one spot Bakugou desired so much. But the years passed, no one showed up, and Katsuki forgot about it.

Now he finds out that All Might passed his legendary quirk to an omega child. That is completely absurd but, at the same time, something so ‘All Might’ that Bakugou can’t find it in him to doubt the man. Yagi sensei was always too kind, too gentle, too caring, nothing like a stereotypical alpha. Katsuki can totally see him falling in parental love with a young boy who wanted to be a hero and giving up his powers to help the boy follow his dreams.

But did that change anything? Not really. It actually strengthens Bakugou’s resolve. He may not know the omega, but he cares enough about All Might to promise to take care of his son. Besides, from what Yagi said the omega wants to be independent and follow his passion, Bakugou can totally get behind that. Hell, he will even allow the omega to go for a Support Hero position, as long as he doesn’t have to be Ground Zero’s partner. Maybe Kirishima could work with the omega, his beta friend is very forward thinking about that kind of shit.

“Sir, I hear you, I see that your godson is very important to you and, for me, that is all the more reason to marry him. It will be an honor to help you take care of him. When I decided to ask to mate with him, I always envisioned it to be a purely platonic marriage. He will have his own room, he will keep his own money and he may work in whatever field he wants.” Bakugou says looking straight into All Might’s eyes.

“That sounds very reasonable. But are you sure you don’t want to try finding someone to have a proper relationship with, young Bakugou? I know I would like for Izuku to be in a loving marriage, but he is so adamantly against it...”

“I have a very fulfilled life, sensei. I’m happy as I am, and I do not wish to put any omega through the difficult life that is to be mated to a Pro Hero. But since I have to, I hope you consider me worthy of your godson.”

“You are more than worthy, my boy. A teacher shouldn’t say this, but you were always one of my favorite pupils… But Izuku will not see this as I do, he will not approve, no matter how many liberties you give him.”

“He is twenty-four years old, sensei. He won’t be allowed to be here forever, and then what? Do you think the government will allow All Might’s godson to be an unmated omega? Let me talk to him and explain my reasoning, then both of you can take a couple of days to think this through.”

“Yes, that sounds like a good option, we have been here long enough already. The tea has gone cold! Let’s go take you to meet Izuku.”

They leave the small study and All Might takes them to the common room where they find the administrator and Kirishima. Yagi walks around the house as if he knows the place like the back of his hand, probably from coming here for years to see his godson.

Kirishima’s face is priceless when he sees Bakugou entering the big common room with All Might. But right now is not the time to explain things. They ask the administrator if Bakugou can talk with Izuku alone and are severely reminded that it is against the rules for unmated alphas to be with unmated omegas in a room without a chaperone. However, the solution comes quickly since one of the staff says that Izuku is in the library and the administrator agrees to allow them to talk there while the librarian serves as a watcher.

All Might and Kirishima stay behind in the common room as Bakugou is taken to the library to meet the omega. His (possible) future husband. All Might’s godson. Wielder of the One for All. Katsuki isn’t nervous, no, not at all.

***

The library is huge, there are around ten big round tables in the middle and several rows of shelves, finely decorated in the same traditional European style as the rest of the house. Bakugou thinks it might be bigger than UA’s library and that is saying something.

The beta librarian looks at him from over the top of her glasses as if she is sizing him up, Bakugou holds back the instinct to glare at her. Besides her, the room is almost empty, there is a couple of very young omegas studying one book together near the entrance and his target is all the way in the back by the windows, hidden behind a huge book. The omega looks entranced by whatever he is reading, he doesn’t even look up as Bakugou makes way towards him.

So, the omega is a nerd. It makes sense he chose to enter this particular matchmaking house then. And if he is a nerd, he probably is a reasonable person who will understand that Bakugou's proposition is solid. All Katsuki has to do is present his case clearly and everything will turn out fine.

Unfortunately, as Bakugou gets closer to the omega's table a small gust of wind enters through one of the open windows, passes through the omega before reaching Katsuki's nose. And at that precise moment, Katsuki's brain leaves the premises.

Never before has Katsuki smelled such a unique scent. It's a complex and layered smell, nothing like the sugary sweet scent of other omegas. It's a mixture of wet forest, pine trees, some kind of sweet citrus, and a bunch of pheromones all rolled into one very weird (but entincing) result.

“I don't know what you said to Yagi to convince him to allow you to talk to me, but my answer is still the same. I'm not mating with you.” The omega says with a clear and steady voice without taking his eyes off his book.

What? He isn't even going to look at Katsuki? Who does the little dipshit think he is?! Just because he is All Might's godson, he thinks he has the right to ignore Ground Zero?! Not in a million years!

“Well, tough luck asshole. You still have to fucking hear me out.”

The omega lowers the book slightly and raises his eyes to Bakugou for the first time. The green gems burn with anger.

“Excuse me? I don't have to do anything.” The omega snarls at him furiously. What is the deal with that?! The idiot is not even giving Katsuki a chance to present his idea!

“Hell yeah, you do. I came all the way here just to help you out and you give me this bullshit, fucking moron?!” Bakugou barks back.

The omega gets up from the table enraged. “I don't have to listen to any alpha just because he made the huge sacrifice of trying to talk to me," his voice drips with sarcasm. “My answer is clear, Ground Zero, I don't want to marry you," and with that, the omega begins walking away as if the conversation is over.

Bakugou's brain still hasn't come back from his impromptu vacation, so Katsuki grabs the omega's arm when the young man passes close to him on his way towards the exit. “I'm not done talking to you!"

The omega bares his teeth at Bakugou and pushes his hand free using his quirk with such strength that it shoves Bakugou back. Katsuki stumbles and crashes against one of the library's shelves hitting his head.

“Touch me again and I will break your hands,"  the omega says with restrained rage, turns around and leaves the room without looking back.

Bakugou stays still, completely dumbfounded for a while. It's only when his head starts throbbing from the hit that he shakes off his surprise and leaves the room. Yeah, that went as badly as it could have. But now every future interaction they have can only be an improvement, right?

Chapter Text

Out-raged

So, after the shitshow that was Bakugou's first meeting with the omega, he went back to the common room to find All Might and Kirishima. He reinforced his intentions to All Might and they agreed that Yagi would send an answer to Bakugou in three days at most. Now Bakugou is back at work waiting for the fucking call.

Katsuki is at his desk in the office he shares with his team. At times like these, he really wishes he had his own private office because Kirishima's knowing looks from his desk just ten feet away is grinding on his nerves. Why can't the beta just say whatever idiotic thing is going on his mind instead of torturing Bakugou with his unwanted attention?

“I can feel your creepy eyes on me, Shitty Hair. If you have something to say just grow some balls and fucking say it!”

“Ahn… It's just… today is the last day, isn't it? The deadline for All-... argh… the sponsor to call you.” Kirishima says awkwardly.

“So we finally gonna know if you get a cutie of your own, fam?” Camie asked from her desk, shitty meddlers. Katsuki completely ignores her.

“Your point fucking being?” He asks Kirishima.

“Do you think he will approve?” The redhead sounds curious and a little bit worried.

“Hell if I know. He will fucking call and then we will find out”, Bakugou shrugs as if that question hasn't been eating him up since he left the matchmaking house.

“If he doesn't approve, we will need to double our efforts to find someone. You have less than twenty days…” His friend says thoughtfully, “but if he does approve, then we will have to rush preparations.”

“What fucking preparations?”, Katsuki frowns.

“You know...” Kirishima leans across his desk to get closer, “prepare his room since he will not be sleeping in yours, buy him things.”

“Stop spouting shit and go back to work, these damn reports are not gonna finish themselves,  moron!” Bakugou screams to hide his embarrassment in having never thought about this shit.

The omega has been living in the same place since he was thirteen. He probably doesn’t even own clothes that are not part of the uniform he has to wear. Shit, would he even be allowed to take the uniform home? Certainly they wouldn't send the omega away naked, but maybe they expect Katsuki to bring him clothes when he picks up the omega? He knows most alphas like their omegas to wear their presents, and a traditional courting would have been longer, so the alpha would have already given gifts to the omega.

Maybe Bakugou should buy a t-shirt and some sweats just to be on the safe side. About the omega's bedroom, that room is already a guest room so it has a bed, a nightstand, and a small dresser. It would be alright for now, the omega can buy more shit if he wants later.

His cellphone's ring takes Katsuki out of his head. He doesn't recognize the number and that fills him with anxiety. That is it, isn't it? This is the call he has been waiting for. Kirishima perks up from his table already noticing what the call may be about. Camie gets up and comes closer too because she can't stay away from ‘hot tea’ as she would put it.

Ignoring both of them, Katsuki answers the call.

“Ground Zero speaking.”

“Young Bakugou! It's me, Yagi-sensei. I'm sorry I took so long to make my decision, but I’m sure you understand it's a very delicate subject.”

“Of course, sir. I'd like you to take all the time you need, but I'm on a time limit.” Katsuki tries keeping his anxiety far from his voice. Kirishima and Camie might as well be sitting on his lap right now from how close they are.

“I gave this matter some serious thought and, even though the circumstances are far from ideal, I will be leaving Izuku in your care. I trust you will be good to each other, young Bakugou.”

“Thank you, sir. I will not let you down.”

“I’m going to call the institute now to let them know about my decision. They will call you to set the date soon enough. Farewell, my boy.”

“Goodbye, sir.” Bakugou puts down his phone, look at his friends and says in complete disbelief. “He said yes.”

Kirishima gives him a huge sharky grin and pats him on the back, “Congratulations, bro! You are getting married!”

“Do you have pictures? I wanna see Bakugou's new princess”, Camie teases.

“He is not really a princess…”, Eijirou says scratching his head.

“Yeah, I chose him after I saw him take down four betas in a fight. I think if you call him princess, he will rip your throat out.” Bakugou says with a half smirk.

“Wow… well, didn't know you were into these kinky business, fam. But you do you. Enjoy your little feisty omega.” The female alpha just shrugs and goes back to her table.

Katsuki has half the mind to explain to her that it's not a shitty kink. But he is already tired from trying to make that airhead understand that this will be a marriage of convenience and that he has no intention of properly mating with the omega. Camie gets too caught up in her own ideas of romance and completely ignores reality around her.

The matchmaking house called a few hours later and they scheduled to sign the marriage contract in two days. The administrator was a little taken back with the hurry but didn't put up a fight. Now, as the heroes clock out for the day, his friends are pestering him that a celebration is in order.

“Think of it as your bachelor party. By the end of the week, you are going to have a pretty little thing back home and you won't want to go out with the squad.” Camie says pouting.

“I never want to go out with you assholes. Besides, you are all mated, what is the fucking difference?” Katsuki snarls at them.

“We are all mated to betas or alphas, yours will be the first omega in our group.”

“True, bro! We need to tell everyone! I already texted Mina, she said she will call Denki, Jirou, Sero, and Tsuyu.”

“I'll go pick up Kendo and we can meet you guys at the izakaya.” Camie says while they all leave their shared office.

“How the fuck is this a bachelor party if you are all going with your mates?!” Bakugou barks and finishes quietly, “besides, as Shitty Hair said, I have to buy some shit for the omega.”

“I dig the whole instinctual vibe you are giving, fam, but shouldn't you call him by his name?” Camie asks with a raised eyebrow, to which Katsuki just shrugs.

“We can go to the mall now and pick something up, bro! It's early, barely six, we can buy whatever you need and meet the guys around eight,” Kirishima says smiling.

Seeing that there is no way he is getting out of this, Katsuki just says a quick “whatever”.

“Oh! I want to go shopping too! I’m gonna text Kendo to just meet us there!” Camie butts in as always.

They take the train to the nearest mall, Camie and Kirishima talking happily by his side while Bakugou is his usual grumpy self. The two idiots debate endlessly about what an omega would need and it's so much more shit than Katsuki could ever think of that it's giving him a headache.

“Should we start with the nest items? The bathroom things? Clothes? Jewelry? Accessories?” Camie asks as they enter the mall, then looks teasingly at Bakugou and completes, “Lingerie?”

“There is that big brand store that focuses on omegas, let's start there,” Kirishima says pulling them towards a store that Katsuki never really realized existed in their local mall.

It is quite big and divided into ‘female omega’, ‘male omega’, ‘health items’ and ‘house items’ departments. The whole store is like an explosion of pastel colors and smelled like a candy factory, completely disgusting. They browse through the aisles checking random items while Camie asks Kirishima to describe the omega.

“He has dark green hair, a little bit curly. And he is quite big and strong for an omega…”, Kirishima says trying to remember details from the fleeting moment he saw Izuku brawling against his handlers.

“He has green eyes and freckles”, Katsuki says dismissively while testing the fluffiness of a pillow shaped like a rainbow.

“He sounds like quite a catch, Baku” Camie blinks at him. “Why don't you guys choose the nesting items here and I'm gonna check out the bathroom stuff?”

“Sure, why not”, Bakugou answers distracted while Kirishima shows him two blankets, one lilac and one green. Katsuki rolls his eyes and reaches for a light beige one on the shelf and drops it in the basket. “Let's just go pick up the clothes, he can come here and choose the shit he wants for his bedroom later.”

“Good thinking, bro. It's good to let him express himself as he wants in his room.”

Honestly, Katsuki was just thinking that he wants to get away from this horrible pastel vomit as soon as he can. But, whatever, the end result is the same.

They almost get lost in the store looking for clothes since the male and female sessions are just so similar. More fucking pastel everywhere, flowy blouses, yoga pants. Really, Bakugou couldn't picture the man who took down four betas without breaking a sweat wearing any of this shit. Kirishima tries showing some soft light blue sweater to him, but Bakugou goes for the ‘lounge wear’ section where he picks a bunch of sweatpants, t-shirts and hoodies.

“Really, Baku, no color at all?” Eijirou chastises him.

“What do you mean?! I picked one of each color!” Katsuki answers affronted.

“Black, gray and white are not what most people consider color!”

“Most people are fucking idiots who don't understand pre-K art classes”, Katsuki barks back.

“Can we take at least one colorful t-shirt?” Kirishima pleads.

“As long as it isn't fucking pastel”, Bakugou grumbles. Kirishima rummages through the options and puts a bright red long-sleeved cotton t-shirt in their basket with a smile.

“Shouldn't we pick something a little less casual? In case he needs to go somewhere where sweats are not appropriate?” Eijirou asks.

“Button shirt and some slacks?” Bakugou muses.

“Yeah, something like that!”

They end up picking some dark gray dress pants and a white button-up shirt. Katsuki also picks a black windbreaker and a grey sweater, it is spring but it can get chilly sometimes.

“What about shoes?”

Katsuki shrugs, “I don't know his size. For clothes, it's easy to estimate, but shoes he will have to pick on his own.” But he drops a package of white socks in the basket just for good measure.

“There you are! I got everything!” Camie returns and she really does mean everything. Her basket looks like it weighs three times as much as theirs.

“The fuck?! Did you raid their stock?”

“I high key had to pick one of each! We don't know what he is used to using or if he has any allergies or sensibilities!” Camie explains herself.

Bakugou just rolls his eyes, “Whatever. Let's get out of here.”

“Wait! Check this out”, Camie gives a wicked smile and shows a lingerie set. It is all black, the bottom is boxers made of see-through lace and the top is a flowy camisole that closes with a big bow on the front. Bakugou blushes a vivid red just from seeing the thing dangling from Camie's hand. “Gotta make your boy pretty for the wedding night”, she winks at him.

Kirishima gives an uncomfortable chuckle and says, “Come on, Camie. Let Baku keep these things to himself. You are an alpha, you should know how alphas can be jealous and possessive.”

“Yeah, but I'm an alpha mated to a beta. I never had the sweet little omega fantasy like Baku is going to have. Let me enjoy a little too”, the girl says pouting. “And anyway, he does need underwear.”

“Regular underwear, you fucking moron!” Katsuki screams at her.

“I picked it too!” She says pulling two packages of boxers, one back and one white. “One of each color because I didn't know what you would prefer seeing him wear.”

Bakugou just turns away from her and goes straight to the checkout. He needs to get away before he explodes half the store with his quirk. Camie and Eijirou follow closely behind and talk happily with the cashier about how Bakugou is marrying an omega and they are all so excited. It makes Katsuki want to puke, so he ignores their inane chatter and justs swipes the card at the right moment.

Carrying way more bags than he expected to be, they go straight to the izakaya their group usually meets at. Most of them are friends since high school, and Bakugou is the only still unmated. Bakugou is also the only one who will mate with an omega, so they are all rowdy and agitated tonight.

When Katsuki arrives with Camie and Eijirou, everybody else is already waiting for them. Mina is the first one to interject once he sees them.

“I can’t believe you went shopping without me!”, she whines, “I wanted to buy nice things for Explodey’s mate too!”

Kirishima kisses her forehead before pulling a chair to sit by her side, “Sorry, babe, we didn’t have much time. Izuku is coming to Baku’s house the day after tomorrow, so he had to buy things quickly.”

Camie gives a big kiss on her mate's lips and sits by her side, then turn to Mina, “don’t worry, my girl. We can take Katsuki’s new mate out for shopping some other day. I want to spoil the pretty thing too.”

“Did you guys get some noise-canceling headphones? Poor guy is gonna need some if he is going to live with Explodo-boy”, Kaminari teases, his mate Jirou rolls her eyes at him.

“What I wanna know is what did Baku do with the omega. Because I’ve only seen a marriage contract be scheduled so quickly when it’s a shotgun wedding.” Sero says raising his eyebrows.

“Don’t be mean, Hanta”, his mate, Tsuyu, chastises him. “You know Bakugou is in a time limit. Let’s just appreciate that he could find someone.”

It’s not even been five minutes and Katsuki already wants to blow these fuckers’ faces and go back home. Why did he even agree to this?! A whole night of being teased for having to marry someone he barely knows?!

“The situation is awful, Bakugou, but here is to hoping you guys work out alright”, Jirou says and takes a drink of her beer. Katsuki mimics her movements but doesn’t say a word.

“But really, Explodey, I don’t wanna see you hogging the cute omega all to yourself! We want to take him out to play too!” Mina whines.

“He is not a fucking toy, bitch. And he will have his own life, if you want to befriend him, be my fucking guest”, Katsuki grunts at her.

“So, Lord Explosion Murder will not be one of those jealous alphas who don’t let their omegas talk to anyone else”, Sero jokes.

“I’m excited to meet him. Since my whole family is made of betas, and I’ve been involved in the pro hero community since high school, I have never made friends with an omega. I think I properly talked to them barely a handful of times, actually”, Tsuyu muses.

“It’s super weird, isn’t it? Omegas are completely separated from everybody before high school even begins, then they expect alphas to just go to these matchmaking houses to meet their mates out of the blue.” Jirou says thoughtfully. Everybody around the table agrees with her by nodding their heads or saying words of encouragement.

“I think some regular high schools organize get-togethers with finishing schools to help alphas and betas get to know the omegas, but UA never really gave us that chance, hm”, Kaminari interjects.

“That is why all the alphas here ended up mating with betas”, Mina says then remembers the odd one of the group, “well, all except Explodey.”

“Well, I’m fucking hyped to get to know Izuku. He will be Baku’s mate, but there is no harm in indulging a little in our instincts to take care of him. We can take him shopping, have nice dinners…” Camie says dreamily then turns to her mate, “What do you say, boo?”

Kendo just rolls her eyes at her wife’s antics, “sure, if you want to spoil Bakugou’s mate to fulfill your alpha instincts, go for it. But don’t come crying to me when you receive a Howitzer Impact to the face. Bakugou can play it cool for now, but let’s see if he doesn’t get jealous after the mating.”

“I mean it, if you guys want to do all my dirty work for me, be my fucking guest.” Katsuki snarls, “take him in dates, buy him jewelry, listen to his nagging. I just want the fucking marriage certificate so I can keep my Hero license.”

After his rant, the table falls into an uncomfortable silence. It was like for a few moments they all forgot that Bakugou was being forced to marry or else he couldn’t keep being a Pro Hero. It’s easy being swayed by the excitement of meeting someone new and exotic, none of the heroes here had ever had much contact with omegas.

“Well, I’m pretty sure you were not his first choice either, Explodey. And if you are going to be an ass about it, don’t even sweat it. Kiri and I will take care of Izuku, I’m sure he will be really nice.” Mina’s alpha instinct of protecting omegas and her naturally caring personality kick in and she is already invested in providing for Izuku even before meeting the man.

“Are we really going to be impressed with Baku being an ass? That is just a given”, Kaminari snorts, “with any luck, the new guy will learn pretty quickly to not listen to Explodo, and he will have us as friends to understand him.”

The group keeps talking about everything they know about omegas and everything they want to do and ask Izuku once he becomes their friend (for the idiots, that is a given already). Kirishima, however, just smiles and nods for a while before getting close to Bakugou and whispering to him.

“It’s gonna be alright. They are just trying to be supportive in their weird way. I’m sure things will settle eventually and we will all laugh about the time we were nervous about your marriage with him”, Kirishima murmurs with a smile. “I mean, All Might himself gave you his blessing, that gotta count for something, right?”

Bakugou just grunts, but after Kirishima’s support he feels much lighter. He even jokes around with his friends again, teasing them about spending their money in things that Katsuki should be the one buying. “Don’t you guys wanna fill my reports too since you fuckers wanna take on all my responsibilities?”

***

Two days later, Bakugou parks his car in front of the matchmaking house. Today there will be no Kirishima to help him out, they talked about it and decided it probably would be less intimidating to the omega to just deal with Katsuki today (honestly, the omega would probably prefer to just deal with Kirishima and Katsuki to be the one not coming, but that isn’t an option). Katsuki leaves the car not forgetting to pick the bag with the omega's clothes.

He fixes his clothes one last time before braving in the institution. Katsuki is wearing a light gray dress shirt and a black suit (without the tie). Ashido was the one to drill him about dressing nicely, some shit about impressions and putting in the effort. Whatever, Bakugou could dress appropriately for his own fucking wedding.

“What is there to be nervous about? I'm just signing shitty papers.” Katsuki grunts to himself, “let's fucking do this.”

He enters and is taken straight to the administrator’s office. Bakugou's stomach is doing somersaults and he feels a little nauseous. Time to sign away his freedom to keep being a Pro Hero. Sometimes life just sucks.

“Mr. Bakugou, welcome”, the woman nods her greeting as he enters her office. “Please, take a seat. We need to go through the contract and dowry details.”

As she fumbles through a bunch of papers, Katsuki puts the package with the omega’s clothes on the table. Bakugou assumes someone would take it for them, he needs clothes to leave this place, right?

“I brought this for him, so he has his own stuff to leave with”, Katsuki grunts a little embarrassed.

The woman looks up from the papers surprised. “Oh… alright, I assume that is your answer about the omega's possessions. I will call someone to take it to him.”

She makes a call from the phone on his desk and less than a couple of minutes later, another beta woman enters the room.

“Hiroki, take this to Izuku and communicate him the alpha's decision about his possessions”,  the administrator says calmly but the new beta woman makes a startled face. Under the severe gaze of the administrator, the other woman holds her tongue, takes the bag and leaves the room.

The administrator goes through every point in the contract, but Bakugou's mind is as far away as it can be. His nausea gets stronger every minute, all he can think of is how he doesn't want to do this. He hates every second of it, honestly at this point not being a Hero doesn't even sound so bad. His stomach churns, his palms are sweaty, he can’t force his eyes to focus on the woman in front of him.

To hell with these government fuckers trying to control his life. He does all the dirty job, saves civilians and hunts down villains that are worse than the nightmares of those government goons. Who do they think they are telling Bakugou how he should live his life?! He should just fucking quit, get the hell away from this shitty place.

But what would he even do? Being a Hero is all he is, all he ever wanted to be. Fuck, he wanted to be a Hero before his quirk even manifested. He can't just choose another career now at fucking thirty years old,  there is nothing else he even knows how to do. He didn't go to college, he has been working as Ground Zero since he was seventeen. At this point in his life, he wouldn't even be hired to bag groceries.

Hearing  his name takes Katsuki out of his spiral, “Mister Bakugou, do you have any doubts?”

Shit, he didn't listen to a word she just said. Katsuki just shakes his head and the woman presents the contract for him to sign.

‘Here goes nothing’ , Katsuki thinks and scribbles his name in the bottom line besides Yagi Toshinori's signature.

“Perfect. The sponsor and your new mate should be waiting. Let's greet them, shall we?”

It’s a completely automatic response that makes Katsuki get up from his chair and follow the woman through the building. They go down the main staircase slowly and as they get closer to the first floor, Bakugou hears Yagi’s voice.

“It’s going to be alright, Izuku. Young Bakugou is a good Hero and…”, Toshinori pleads pitifully.

“I don’t care! I have a plan!”, the omega’s voice is a weird mixture of crying and angry. “You know I do! I could do it! I was not going to let you down!”

“Izuku, you could never let me down”, Yagi sounds tired and pained. Yeah, exactly the mood of a wedding. “But this plan of yours is too far-fetched…”

All Might is interrupted by the administrator announcing their presence, “Mr. Midoriya, Mr. Yagi, we are all set.”

The first thing Katsuki notices is that the omega is wearing the clothes he brought, the white shirt and grey pants. The second is that the omegas bright green eyes are bloodshot, making the green stands out even more. He has tears on his cheeks but his expression is one of pure fury. His teeth are grinding, his jaw is stuck out and Bakugou feels like, if he gets too close, the omega will fight him with teeth and nails. So Katsuki closes off his expression, if the omega will not play nice neither will he.

“Izuku-nii!” A small childlike voice screams from the end of the hallway. A tiny little girl with long almost-white hair wearing the same uniform as the other residents of the institution comes running. She looks way too young to have already presented as an omega, so Bakugou can’t help but frown at her presence there. She launches herself at Izuku’s arms crying, “please don’t go, Izu-nii. Please stay with me.”

“Eri, I’m sorry. I have to go”, Izuku pets her hair and nuzzles her cheek.

“But Sora said you will never come back, not even to visit me and…”, the little girl explains anxiously.

“Shhh, that is enough for now. Don’t listen to Sora, ok? I promise I will do my best to visit and to keep in touch. I will do everything I can, alright?”, the omega says looking deep inside the girl’s eyes. “I have to go now, but never forget that you are my little sister and I love you.”

“Eri, let’s go. This is not proper etiquette for when we have visitors”, one beta woman shows up to take the little girl away by the arm. Eri is dragged away but keeps looking back waving goodbye and Izuku keeps waving back until the young girl is out of sight.

Bakugou doesn’t know what to make of that exchange. It looked so foreign and so intimate that he feels a little dirty for having witnessed it. He supposes it shouldn’t be a surprise that the omega has deep connections with the other residents of the institution, he has lived and studied here since he was a young teenager. But somehow it still caught Katsuki off guard, it is a stiff reminder that he is taking a whole person to his house, to his life. And he doesn’t know anything about this person.

They say some awkward goodbyes to Yagi and to the administrator. All Might hugs Bakugou and asks him to take care of Izuku, then does the same thing with his godson asking him to take care of Bakugou. Then Katsuki and Izuku leave the building and enter his car without as much as exchanging words directly to one another.

The ride to his place was as uncomfortable as it could be. Bakugou kept his eyes on the road, the omega kept looking out of the window with an unreadable expression. Katsuki can’t help but wonder how much of the outside world Izuku really knows, he was thirteen when he presented, right?

Do finishing schools have outings? Was he allowed to go on vacations with his family? Did he go to the movies? He is not acting like a person who is leaving a building for the first time in over ten years, but Bakugou’s ignorance about how omegas truly live is grinding on his own nerves. He is not stupid and he is not sheltered, how come he doesn’t know how this whole slice of the population go by their lives?

As they get closer to his neighborhood, Bakugou decides that even if the omega does know a little about the outside world, he probably doesn’t know the area that they will live. So Katsuki tries offering an olive branch to the angry omega.

“My place is just three blocks away in this street. This is the best grocery store around. They sell the freshest stuff. The others only get their produce once a week, so you gonna get shit more often than not. This one, the owner gets new produce every other day.”

The omega turns to him with even more anger in his eyes after Bakugou talks about the neighborhood. What the fuck? Is that how his friends feel when dealing with him? That no matter what you say, the result is always more anger? Katsuki ought to buy some shit to show appreciation for Kirishima and the others, because this is fucking hard.

Katsuki pulls the car in his building and they take the elevator to his apartment. He has a really nice flat, perks of a top Pro Hero paycheck. Katsuki opens the door and begins giving the tour for his new housemate.

“This is the living room, the kitchen is clearly just after that counter,” Bakugou says pointing to the huge area with two couches, a big tv, a dining table, and the linked open floor kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances. Katsuki loves cooking and he would be damned if his kitchen isn’t pro level just as he is. “Here there is a restroom, this used to be an extra dormitory but now is a gym. That door is my room, and this is yours.”

Bakugou opens the door to the guest room where the packages with Izuku’s new things are already on top of his bed waiting for him. The bedroom has its own bathroom, so they won’t have to share. Katsuki thinks it’s quite an ok place to live, a little on the empty side with just a dresser, a bed and a nightstand, but there is still room for a wardrobe and a small study desk if the omega wants.

Izuku is standing in the middle of it looking around. He looks more confused than angry now, which is an improvement in Katsuki’s book.

“I bought you some things, just the basic stuff. Later when you are settled, I can give you the money to buy what is missing. I mean, I didn’t get you shoes because I didn’t know your size and shit like that.” Katsuki grunts a little uncomfortable. The omega still hasn’t said anything, he is just looking around the light grey walls and the white furniture. “I’ll prepare dinner, you can get used to the place or whatever.”

Once Bakugou leaves the room, he releases a breath he didn’t know he was holding. Shit, that was hard. He would rather go a few rounds against psychotic villains any day of the week than go through that again. Katsuki drops the folder with the marriage certificate and contracts on the study desk in his room than changes into some comfortable clothes.

He picks his phone and sees way too many text messages from his friends wanting to know how was everything, so he answers a quick ‘shit went fine’ to the group chat and thinks that should be good enough. He knows they will not be satisfied with that, but he really doesn’t know what else to tell the fucking meddlers.

For now, he will focus on dinner. It’s his little secret hobby that is not so secret anymore since most of his friends know about his penchant for cooking. He picks the ingredients for curry and starts prepping. It’s almost a kind of meditation for him, the repetitive motions of peeling and cutting vegetables. As a Pro Hero, Katsuki takes his nourishment very seriously and is proud in knowing how to make healthy and delicious meals.

Should he make extras for tomorrow? Usually, he always makes enough so he can set a lunch bento from the leftovers. But he got the mandatory three days off of work to settle with his new mate, so he can just cook something fresh tomorrow.

It seems that his biggest problem right now is what to do alone with an omega that apparently hates his guts for no good reason for three whole days. Bakugou is not known for his immense patience and understanding nature, he is already this close to snapping at the annoying omega. Fucker is lucky he is All Might’s godson, or else Katsuki would already have put him in his place. However, he does need to talk to the omega, they need to establish a few things.

After putting everything in the pot to simmer, Bakugou can’t help but run his hands through his hair exasperated. How can he do this? What can he do? What does he need to do? Ground Zero is a strategist, he never enters a fight without a battle plan to reach his objective. But right now he doesn’t even know what the fucking objective is. He spends some moments just going through every single option of ‘how to deal with angry omega’ in his head until he gives up.

Whatever, it’s better to just take one day at a time. If they get through fucking dinner without ripping each other’s throats out, maybe then they can talk about shopping for shoes. Right now, fucking curry is done so he might as well get this over with.

Bakugou walks down the short hallway and knocks on the door, “food is ready.”

He goes back to the kitchen and begins plating two bowls of curry. He sets two places as far away from each other as he can in his small dining room table and, as he grabs two glasses and a pitcher of water, Izuku arrives in the living room. His eyes are very bloodshot again, he probably was crying in his room. Katsuki is immensely grateful that the omega had the mind to stop crying before coming for dinner because he doesn’t want to deal with tears right now.

Bakugou pulls one of the chairs for the omega to sit, and sits himself down on the other place. Katsuki eats silently and looking down at his bowl for a while, not knowing how to even start a conversation. Sneaking peeks towards the omega, he finds the man drinking copious amount of water after every spoonful of food. Weird, maybe he is dehydrated? He surely cried a lot, and he hasn’t asked for water in the hours that they have been back home.

Whatever, Bakugou needs to bite the bullet and try talking to the omega.

“I have three days off of work to help you settle. Do you wanna go buy shoes tomorrow?”, Katsuki grumbles looking sneakily towards the other man just to see Izuku shrugs noncommittally. That pisses him off. “Can you use your fucking words?”, Bakugou barks.

“Very grand of you wanting to talk to me now”, Izuku’s voice drips with venom.

“I tried talking to you before, asshole. You just didn’t fucking listen to me!”, Katsuki screams.

“Stating that you will marry me without my consent is not talking!”, Izuku screams back.

“I’m your fucking best option, idiot!”, how can he not see that? Bakugou is here going out of his way to be nice to the fucker and all the omega does is be difficult about it!

“No, you are not! I had other plans! I was doing fine!”, Izuku’s eyes fill with tears again and that is enough for Bakugou.

“You are fucking delusional. I expect you to drop this act and behave like a fucking adult from now on!” Katsuki yells at the omega and stomps towards his room slamming the door shut.

Chapter Text

Recon

When the alpha slammed the door to his bedroom, Izuku finally managed to breathe. Midoriya Izuku has been a flaming ball of anger and anxiety since the infuriating alpha dropped into his life. A big part of him still can’t believe Toshinori just gave him away to this brute. But sitting here in this stranger’s apartment it is pretty hard to deny that his situation has changed.

Izuku stays sitting down looking at the bowl of disgustingly spicy curry thinking about what to do now. The alpha hasn’t given him any instructions but, to be honest, Izuku would probably not follow his orders anyway. It doesn’t look like the man will leave his room any time soon, that may give Izuku some time to assess his new living situation better.

He picks the half-eaten bowls and goes to the kitchen, if the alpha asks he can just say he thought he was supposed to clean up. Or he can tell the alpha to shove it, whatever he feels like saying if the situation presents itself. After dropping the dishes in the sink, Izuku begins looking around.

The kitchen is new, with state of the art appliances but it looks like it is used frequently (the spices are all less than half full, there are leftover tupperwares in the fridge). Does the alpha cook for himself or does he have a maid? Will he keep a maid now that he bought an omega to do the work? He must certainly not expect Izuku to cook, he should have received Izuku’s report cards and recommendation letters, Miss Hikamoto probably warned him that Izuku is useless in a kitchen.

Or maybe she didn’t. The ruthless administrator has been trying to get rid of Izuku for years, she may have ‘forgotten’ to warn the alpha about his shortcomings in housekeeping. And the alpha already told Izuku where he is supposed to buy groceries from, so maybe the alpha really is expecting Izuku will take on the housework. The presumptuous ogre may really think he got himself a bedwarming maid.

Izuku will not be swayed by Toshinori’s blind faith in his former student nor by the false sense of security that having his own bedroom presents. He knows what alphas want in omegas. Just because this particular alpha doesn’t seem to be interested in the traditional omegan beauties, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t want Izuku for the same end. The asshole probably thinks that since Izuku is too old for others, he will be even more willing to ‘prove his worth’ for the alpha who chooses him. Well, he is out of luck because Izuku knows his own worth and knows what he wants to do with his life, and it is not to bend over to any alpha.

Izuku finds some granola bars and bananas while rummaging through the kitchen, they will have to work as dinner for today since the alpha’s food was just as inedible as the things Izuku cooks himself. How can the alpha eat something so spicy? Or maybe he did it on purpose to force Izuku to cook in the future, some kind of offhanded threat ‘you better cook or else I’ll destroy the food with chili peppers’.

After finishing his makeshift dinner, Izuku gets to work inspecting the rest of the apartment. In the living room, he finds lots of brainless action movies near the tv, a big collection of punk rock and metal CDs, some cooking books - it seems that the more refined options of entertainment don't interest the brute. The big window there seems easier to climb back up than his own since he could use the neighbor's AC unit as a foothold.

When he goes in to look around the small gym, Izuku needs to pinch his nose with his hand and breathe through his mouth. The smell of alpha is strong in the whole apartment, but it is unbearable there. The pungent smell makes Izuku’s head foggy, it smells like a wild forest on fire -  smoky, ashy, burning. Whatever, it is not as if the alpha had given him permission to use the place so he probably won’t enter that room often.

Going back to his room, Izuku decides to analyze better the things the alpha gave him. When he was informed that the alpha hadn’t allowed him to take his possessions with him, he was furious. He is still very furious, but he thought the alpha must have bought him several gifts to win his favor. Guess he was wrong again, the alpha bought the bare necessities in the most boring and plain options available. It’s all black, white and grey stay-at-home clothes. Clearly, the alpha doesn’t expect Izuku to actually leave the apartment.

In the other bag, Izuku finds every type of scent blocker ever invented among other toiletries. Okay, message received, the alpha doesn’t want Izuku’s smell around the house. Apparently, the flat will have to keep smelling like a locker room since the alpha obviously doesn’t mind his own stench on the place. Izuku rolls his eyes as he puts on the blockers on his neck glands, he knows he is not the best smelling omega but this does seem excessive.

Well, Izuku will need to be smart from now on. He will need to know how to choose his battles, and having to block his scent doesn’t seem to be such a big deal. What he is really lacking right now is a cell phone, and he needs to find a way to get one since he doesn’t have a cent to his name nor any possessions worth enough to sell.

He does have friends, though. He shouldn’t be doing this on the first night he is at this new place, however. It’s too dangerous, he doesn’t know if the alpha won’t decide he actually does want to enjoy their wedding night after all. He needs to be in his room to beat some sense in the alpha if the man tries to invade.

The alpha said he has three days off work, Izuku should wait for those days to pass before making his first move. He needs to be smart and think things through, he is playing for the long run now and can’t let the alpha get in the way of his objectives. The plans will have to change, but the goal is still the same. Izuku will be a worthy wielder of One for All no matter what society has to say about it.

***

Those were three hellish days. It felt like there was a bomb inside the apartment and any sudden movement could set it off. Izuku and the alpha walked on eggshells around each other, both of them going the extra mile to never be in the same room at the same time.

After that disastrous dinner, the alpha didn’t ask Izuku to eat with him again. He cooked for both of them, ate his portion and announced through Izuku’s door that he could go eat, then the alpha hid away in his bedroom or in the gym. Izuku felt a little grateful for that and, for his part, spent as much time in his room to not get in the alpha’s way.

Also, almost all their conversations happened with a door between them. On his second day, alpha asked again about Izuku’s shoe size, then he left for a couple of hours and came back with a house slipper, some running shoes and a loafer. All of them black and boring. After that, the Alpha didn’t try talking to him about anything besides “food is ready” until the night of the third day.

Last night, the alpha’s voice through the door sounded as harsh as usual. “Tomorrow I’m back at work. I leave early and come back at night. You will have to feed yourself for lunch and dinner. There will be money for food on the kitchen counter if you want to buy anything that is missing.”

Izuku doesn’t know if the alpha stood around long enough to hear him answer “alright”. Finally he would have time for himself without wondering if the alpha would barge in his room or yell at him for skipping his chores. Izuku can’t help feeling a bit excited about having this chance.

So in the morning of his first day alone, he rolls up his sleeves and cleans his room and bathroom. Izuku isn’t really big on housekeeping but staying cooped in a room for three days made the place a little gross. He makes sure to not let his scent bleed in the rest of the apartment by cleaning thoroughly and keeping his glands covered in scent blockers. He really doesn’t need to deal with the alpha trying to claim him under the pretense of ‘your smell made me do it’.

After everything is clean and fresh, his clothes are washed and he took a nice shower, Izuku is ready to really put his plan in motion. So he jumps off his window and climbs the four floors down until he lands on the back of the building among some trees. Those trees will be his life savers to get in and out of the place without being seen.

Once he is on the ground, Izuku looks around thinking which way to go. He really wants to check in with Tamaki, he knows his friend must be worried sick about him since they haven't talked in five days. But it is still a little dangerous, he needs to understand more about this neighborhood before he can venture around. He doesn't know if the alpha left people watching over for him or not.

He also needs to map out the city's security cameras. The alpha is a Pro Hero, he must have access to the cameras’ feed and could use them to track Izuku's steps if he finds out the omega is taking trips around town. The alpha didn't explicitly say he is forbidden to leave the apartment, but he hasn't given Izuku a key and only bought stay-in kind of clothes; so his expectations are pretty clear.

Well, tour around the neighborhood it is. Time to get acquainted with the place. Izuku walks around as if he was only taking a stroll, but his eyes scan every inch of these new streets with ferocity.

He needs all the information he can gather, so he walks around the whole neighborhood mapping out all the stores, all the little alleys he can sneak into, all the fire escape stairs he can use to get on top of buildings. He gives a good once-over the nearby park and checks the local subway station to see which lines connect there.

Izuku even goes the extra mile and starts befriending local store clerks. It's always good in case he needs to fake an alibi that the people around pay attention when they see you. So he introduces himself to a sweet beta old lady who owns a little flower shop and strikes up a conversation.

"Oh my! Just mated to a hero! That sounds exciting! I've seen Ground Zero around before, he is quite a handsome alpha. I'm sure you both are going to be very happy and have the most beautiful pups!"

"Thank you, Mrs. Izumi," Izuku answers with a well-rehearsed fake smile.

"Oh, call me Granny Izumi! It is how everybody calls me around here." The old lady answers cheerfully. "You can come ask me for anything you need, alright dear? Marrying a Hero is hard work, they stay out of the house more time than in!"

"I will, don't worry! Hero life sure is very challenging." Years and years of etiquette classes made sure Izuku can charm his way through anything (and can lie like a pro).

The old lady's smile falters, "it is… My son and his mate… they were Heroes and perished in the line of duty. They were a duo of an alpha Hero and omega Support Hero."

Izuku feels a pang of guilt in his chest at the woman’s confession. Here he is thinking about taking advantage of this sweet old lady as a possible alibi and she is just projecting the loss of her son and his mate. He decides to befriend the beta for real at that moment.

"I'm so sorry to hear that, Granny…"

"It's alright, my dear. They saved so many lives! And they left me with a grandson, Kouta. You have to meet him! We don't have many omegas around, it would be nice for him to get to know one better since his mother passed away."

Well, guess Izuku has his first mission in this new place.

"Sure, it would be my pleasure," he says smiling sincerely to his first friend in the neighborhood.

After leaving Granny Izumi's shop, Izuku goes back to the park to work out. He has been stuck in his room for three days, his muscles are pent up needing release. He doesn't think he spent so long without working out since he was twelve, he was honestly bored out of his mind.

On the park, he takes off running on the joggers' trail. The local park is quite big, the trail goes around its perimeter and it even has an outdoor public gym that Izuku might use. This will probably be his primary way of exercising and it's way better than what the Institution had to offer.

Back in the Institution, Izuku had to exercise inside his room most days; push-ups, leg-ups, sit-ups, he did every damn 'ups' he could do alone in his small room. The Institution really doesn’t encourage omegas to do any heavy training; they have some PE classes where they mostly play ball games but Izuku needed more for his body. Some nights he would climb up and down the walls of the Institution to train, or would run a few laps around the block. Those were the best, Izuku loved to exercise in the chilly night air.

Another good thing about running in the dead of night is that he didn’t usually meet anybody on the streets, quite different than jogging in a city park in the early afternoon. A man has been keeping pace with Izuku for a couple of laps by now. Every time the omega speeds up, the man speeds up after him, always keeping the same very-short distance.

When a stronger wind gust comes from behind, Izuku catches a whiff of the man's scent, an alpha. Izuku is being hunted.

Now he needs to analyze the situation and think about what to do. His scent blockers certainly sweated off by now, the man must have smelled him already. The alpha has been keeping pace with him for a good twenty minutes but hasn't made any aggressive moves yet. There is a nice chance that the alpha thinks he lucked out finding an unmated omega up for grabs and is just thinking about flirting with Izuku.

However, there is also the chance he is just hoping to corner the omega in a more private section of the park to have his way with Izuku. It wouldn't be the first nor the last alpha to believe they had a right over an omega's body just because the omega doesn't sport a mating bite on their neck.

Izuku could just take a route towards a more crowded part of the park and hope that being around people would curb the alpha’s opportunity of harassing Izuku. However, the alpha probably lives around, there are good chances they will run into each other in the park again and Izuku will not give up his first chance of working out outdoors because one lousy alpha has an issue with him. Izuku really likes the idea of working out in this park, so it’s better to confront the man and make it very clear Izuku will not be pushed around.

With that decision, Izuku takes a turn out of the trail towards a more empty area of the park thinking how to send his message to the alpha. He could just roundhouse kick the asshole in the stomach, but that may be a little too much since the man hasn’t done anything yet. Should Izuku wait for the man to make his move? Or force the man’s hand?

As he gets to a completely deserted area full of trees that block the view from the outside, Izuku slows down to see what the alpha is going to do. The alpha slows down right behind him as he predicted. It’s now or never, Izuku comes to a sudden and complete halt right in front of the alpha making the man almost crash against him.

“O-oh!” The alpha says as he gets his balance back extending his hands towards Izuku.

That is all the omega needs to assume the worst, so he grabs the man by the wrist and launches him on his back on the ground in a swift move. He holds the man’s hand in a position that he could break with the smallest movement and puts his foot down on the alpha’s shoulder near his neck.

“DON’T TOUCH ME!” Izuku screams enraged looking down at the face of his stalker for the first time. He is probably a little older than Izuku, has black hair, wears glasses and is looking completely caught off guard.

“I’m-... I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you, citizen. However, you shouldn’t be running out of the pre-set track. It is a very dangerous action who could lead you to trouble. I’m glad you know how to defend yourself, however I can’t condone such attitude. In the future, I must ask you to keep your daily routine in well-populated areas to ensure your safety.”

What? The alpha is immobilized on the floor and is giving him a reprimanding about putting himself in unsafe situations? Who is this guy?

“Why were you following me?” Izuku snarls at him.

“Why? To guarantee your safety, of course. It is very unorthodox for an unmated omega to exercise alone in public. Nonetheless, as a Pro Hero it is my duty to assure the well-being of all citizens, even the ones who take such reckless actions. Now, if you could please release me, I will escort you back to your family and go over proper routines for unmated omegas’ safety with them.”

Izuku lets go of the alpha’s hand and allows him to get back on his feet completely bewildered. This man sounds and smells sincere; his scent isn’t pungent with the arousal of hunting down an omega nor with the anger of being overpowered by one. He smells completely calm and collected, he really was following Izuku to make sure he would be safe. Now that is quite refreshing, finally a Pro Hero worthy of carrying the title.

“I’m sorry I attacked you. I jumped to conclusions when I noticed I was being followed.” Izuku says to the alpha.

“It’s quite alright, I should probably have introduced myself before. I’m Iida Tenya, Pro Hero Ingenium at your service.” Iida takes a small courteous bow.

“I’m Midoriya Izuku. Argh- No, wait. I’m Bakugou Izuku. Sorry, recent marriage, I’m still not used to the new name.” And there goes nothing. The first time Izuku has to introduce himself with that name.

“Bakugou?” Iida asks taken back. “Any relation with Bakugou Katsuki?”

“That is the one. My new… ahn- husband.” Izuku can’t help scratching the back of his head uncomfortably.

He hated saying that, but there was nothing to gain lying to Iida. He seemed to be a stickler to the rules and he wouldn’t let an unmated omega run around unchecked. Besides, he seemed to know Bakugou so lying to him could easily get out of hand.

“My sincere apologies, I didn’t know Bakugou had gotten married! I would have sent you both a congratulatory present. I shall redeem myself as soon as I can, Mr. Bakugou.”

Izuku freaks out at the idea of being called Mr. Bakugou . “No, no! Please, call me Izuku. The marriage is quite recent, it hasn’t even been a week so you are not late whatsoever and I’m still not very used to being called Mr. Bakugou.”

Iida ponders a little, a hand on his chin probably thinking if it is socially acceptable for him to call a married omega by his first name. “Alright, if you insist. I suppose since Bakugou and I have known each other for so many years, it wouldn’t be unseemly for us to treat each other with such familiarity.”

“Thank you, Iida. How-... How long have you and Bakugou known each other?” Izuku asks curious.

“We attended high school together at UA, and we have worked alongside each other in several multi-agency cases since graduation. Ground Zero is an esteemed colleague.” Iida explains proudly.

Great, from all the people Izuku could stumble upon during a run, he finds one of the alpha’s former classmates. But Izuku supposes it could have been worse, Iida seems nice enough and has been very polite; he didn’t even point out that Izuku doesn’t have a claim mark on his neck even though he alleges to be just married.

“That is nice. Well, Iida, I should go back to my training if you don’t mind.”

“Izuku, I must insist to escort you during your exercises. It is quite dangerous, even though you have some training in basic self-defense.” Wait, basic?

“Basic? I took you down!” Izuku says insulted.

“Yes, you did. Nonetheless, I didn’t put up a fight and I didn’t try getting back up without making sure you felt safe. Predatory alphas wouldn’t be so mindful, and your hold on me wasn’t up to par with what it would take to keep an alpha incapacitated.” Iida explains fixing his glasses in a righteous way.

“I didn’t even use my quirk on you, Iida. I’m sorry but if anyone took it easy to not hurt the other, it was me.” Izuku crosses his arm in a challenge.

“I don’t mean to offend you, Izuku. But you can’t expect to be a serious opponent with such an untrained form. You are quite strong for an omega, but your technique is severely lacking.”

Izuku blushes, he knows he doesn’t have a good fighting form but since his quirk is so strong he can usually get away with it. However, he doesn’t usually fight UA trained Pro Heroes, so maybe there is that to consider.

“Well, my fighting style is good enough to take down any thugs that get in my way. I just never had to fight a Pro Hero before.” Izuku turns his face away embarrassed.

“If you’d like, I could give you some pointers. Self-defense is quite an useful skill and it may be the difference between life or death for a Pro Hero’s mate. Unless Bakugou intends to train you, then I’m sorry for overstepping my boundaries.”

“No! That would be great!” Izuku corrects him quickly. It’s not every day that a Pro Hero offers to help him fight, that can be a great opportunity! “Bakugou and I… It is quite a recent development and I don’t wanna impose on his time.”

“Well, I usually run here in the early afternoon then I do strength training at my agency’s gym together with my mate. You are welcome to join us, I don’t think it would be appropriate for us to spar in the park.”

Izuku gives the alpha his brightest smile, “That would be great, Iida. Thank you very much. May I ask the name of your mate?”

“Sure, her name is Iida Ochako, Pro Hero Uravity.”

***

Iida and Izuku agreed to meet back at the park the next day since it was already too late for Iida to train with him today. The alpha insisted, however, that Izuku stretched properly with him giving a long lecture about proper routines to keep the muscles healthy and to not suffer strains.

The alpha was so prim and proper, Miss Hikamoto would love him. Izuku had heard about Hero Ingenium before (he even heard some omegas rave over the man’s calves) and about Hero Uravity, but he didn’t know they were married. Uravity is a beta, Miss Hikamoto would be so disappointed in that, the damn administrator was always working to bring more unmated heroes to meet the omegas at her Institution.

Izuku has heard people comment that alpha Pro Heros usually mate with betas, but he never had any interest in checking this fact out. Most of the Pro Heroes’ mating status are in public records, however it always seemed so intrusive to look for this kind of information. Izuku was not above studying the heroes styles’, their quirks and battle prowess; but to look up their personal life isn’t something he felt comfortable doing.

Izuku walks back to his new building thinking about it. He has always admired Heroes from afar hoping to someday be one of their peers. Because of that, he analyzed the heroes’ fighting videos and how they applied their quirks and support gadgets at length. However, while some omegas in the Institution read all the tabloid news about alpha heroes’ mating status, he always felt a little dirty thinking about it.

It was like if Izuku gave in and started checking out the desired alpha bachelors and bachelorettes with his peers, he would be giving up his dream of being a Pro Hero and accepting he would be lucky to have a shot as a Pro Hero’s mate who could help out as a support hero. That felt wrong, it felt like disappointing All Might and every other previous holder of One for All.

Izuku has been given a Hero's quirk. A quirk that helped generations of civilians. He shouldn’t allow his time with the quirk to pass by being only a supporting actor, an extra, expendable. Izuku wants to be the one helping out, taking care of people and giving them hope.

Izuku gets back to the building, checks the street to see if nobody's watching him climb up a tree, then begins making his way up towards the living room window. He would have to use his quirk to jump straight to his bedroom window since there was no closer foothold, and he is afraid of breaking anything (tree, window, building, leg) if he doesn’t have total control of his quirk’s strength; so his best option is to get in the apartment by the living room. Izuku easily climbs back to the flat, and Katsuki hasn’t returned yet just like he promised he wouldn’t have. Everything is clear for now and Izuku will take a shower to get rid of his sweat.

In the shower, Izuku goes back to thinking about his predicament. Once he presented as an omega, it became even clearer to Izuku who were the ones he needed to take care of. Omegas are a minority who have been repressed, controlled and abused for centuries. Yeah, the government has laws about ‘omega care and security’, but they are a bunch of bullshit.

Those laws are just a way of making omegas behave the way the alphas want them to behave; but when an omega really is in an unsafe situation with an alpha, the government doesn’t help. There must be thousands and thousands of omegas in the world who are in abusive relationships that they can’t get out; and even the ones who aren’t have to deal with abuse in their lives from stranger alphas on the daily.

Izuku was just thirteen, still getting used to the idea of having to live in the Institution away from his mother and Toshi, when he saw abuse for the first time. A mailman, alpha, somehow wormed his way inside the Institution’s grounds, found an omega girl about half his age and tried forcing himself upon her against the garden’s walls.

That was the first time Izuku lost control of his quirk. He punched the man away with such strength that he broke all the bones in his arm and almost killed the alpha. The case was hushed up since it exposed a humongous breach of security in a place that prides itself in saying it can guarantee the safety of the omegas in its care.

That was not the last time Izuku saw abuse against his kind and not the last time he lost control of One for All; he has the scars running over his right arm to forever remind him of them. As he dries himself from his shower, Izuku looks over the marks marring his skin. None of the short sleeved boring t-shirts the alpha gave him will be used since Izuku never goes in public with his arms showing.

He pulls a gray long-sleeved shirt and some pants, applies the scent blockers and goes to lean over his window to enjoy the view of the city during dusk. After that first time, the Institution upped its security and Izuku never again saw anything like that happen inside the gates of his ‘home’. However, it didn’t take long for him to figure it out that, just because it wasn’t happening in his backyard, it didn’t mean it wasn’t happening at all.

Izuku always knew that he couldn’t just wait around the Institution hoping that someday the world would accept him as a Hero. No, he had to be the Hero the world needed even against society’s norms.

He was fifteen when he took his first walk at night outside of the Institution’s gates just wanting to get some air and run around the block a little. That night he saw abuse once again, that night he broke just the bones in his hand. The third time he saw it, he didn’t break anything; the fifth he wasn’t so lucky and his entire arm was shattered again.

The plan was never to look for these situations, but when he was out on the streets exercising he couldn't turn a blind eye. Eventually, he stopped counting. Heroes shouldn’t count their victories, only the amount of people they saved and Izuku really wanted to increase his numbers.

Chapter Text

Friends

The alpha did get back very late that night, Izuku heard him walking through the apartment while already in bed. His door was locked as it has been every night since he had arrived in the alpha’s home but, just like every other night too, Bakugou made no attempt of entering Izuku’s room. The alpha didn’t even say anything through the door as he does sometimes.

That should have given Izuku some relief, but it didn’t. There is no way the alpha is going to be happy allowing an omega to mooch off him without taking anything in return; and Izuku knows what alphas want. Bakugou may have everyone else fooled with his Hero persona, but Izuku won’t be swayed by it.

Being a Hero doesn’t give people automatic good morals, there are several alphas running around calling themselves Heroes who do very unheroic things when they know they can get away with it. Izuku will never forget the sad state in which he met Todoroki Rei in the Institution, it was a rude wake-up call to the young boy’s admiration of Heroes.

Sure, there are alpha Heroes worthy of the title. All Might was and will always be the best hero of all to the public, and Yagi Toshinori is Izuku’s personal hero; Iida also seems to be nice and Mirio is a dear friend. Ground Zero, however… the jury is still out on that one.

Bakugou is harsh, loud, rude, a complete barbarian. The media doesn’t seem to get Ground Zero either, they praise his efficiency at the same time that they condemn his attitudes. Some say he is a prime example of an alpha because that is how a true alpha should act like, nothing like those pansy flimsy modern alphas who care more about their reflection in the mirror than stacking their territory. But Izuku hates it, he hates feeling like he is shacking up with a wild wolf who may devour him at any brusque movement.

At least, Izuku's rational mind hates it; his omegan side, however, is much more inclined to see the qualities in the alpha. The pheromones imprinted on the flat, the ashy burning scent of Bakugou, sometimes make Izuku’s head hazy. Hearing the alpha snarl at him fills the omega with a crazy need to submit and show his neck for mercy. The omega inside Izuku coos at him whispering that this is a good alpha who can provide for him and give him strong pups, but Izuku refuses to listen.

He will not be a slave to his hormones for he has a duty to think about; he is the wielder of One for All and he can’t be a breeder for another hero, he will be a hero on his own right. Besides, that is just a chemical attraction, he would feel it for any alpha in the same circumstance.

He knows some omegas even enter in heat after marrying because they get too overwhelmed with the alpha’s pheromones. Izuku will not go through that, he refuses; he is taking extra care in not getting too exposed to the alpha’s scent by avoiding spending time in anywhere but his room. The little omega is taking matters into his own hands to not be vulnerable to anything.

That morning, when Izuku wakes up he is filled with renewed resolve to fix his situation as best as he can. The meeting with Iida yesterday turned out great and now he has a Pro Hero friend who is willing to help him learn how to fight better. However, that is not the only thing he needs to settle into his new life. He needs a phone, some notebooks, some gear… actually, he needs his stuff back but he doesn’t know if he will ever be allowed to go and take it from the Institution.

Is it even in the Institution? Maybe they gave it to his mom or Toshi, then Izuku has a chance of getting it back. However, he still doesn’t have permission from the alpha to talk to his family; his mom probably won’t tell on him but Izuku knows Toshinori will never believe Bakugou hasn’t allowed Izuku to talk to him. Toshi has Bakugou in crazy high regard and really wants this marriage to work out, so if Izuku goes to him behind the alpha’s back Toshinori won’t be pleased.

What Izuku really needs is to talk to Tamaki. His brother will know what to do and will help him; but again he is stuck with not having a phone nor permission to leave the apartment and talk to his friends. Izuku may be willing to ignore the rules, but he can’t put Tamaki and Mirio in that situation since they are Heroes and it could blow back at them.

Maybe the first order of business is to get a phone. He knows Tamaki’s number by heart, so all he needs to do is find a way to call him. Can he buy a cellphone? He doesn’t have money but the alpha said he has left some for food in the kitchen. Would that be enough?

Wait, if the alpha left money for food, doesn’t he expect Izuku to leave the apartment to buy food? That may be a loophole in the whole ‘can’t leave the flat’ issue. Bakugou may notice if the money goes missing and food doesn’t show up, but maybe Izuku can tell him it was for hygiene products? Yeah, that sounds like a plan.

In the kitchen, Izuku finds the money. Definitely not enough to buy a phone, but he can start a piggy bank? He is going to have to think about that. Back in his room, Izuku puts on a hoodie and climbs out of the window. There is no point in staying cooped inside, he needs more intel from around the neighborhood if he wants to solve his problems and he has a meeting with Iida in a few hours.

He knows he probably shouldn’t have scheduled to meet Iida again. Since the other alpha is a friend of Bakugou's, his little escapade can easily end up on his husband’s ears. But how could he say no to an alpha Pro Hero offering to help him train? That is an once-in-a-lifetime kind of opportunity! Izuku has been hoping for something like this since he was sent away to the Institution and found out Toshinori wouldn’t be allowed to train him anymore. And Iida is married to Uravity! Izuku has been a fan of the beta pro hero since she debuted, he can’t pass on the chance to meet her!

If worse comes to worst, he can plead the whole loophole of ‘getting out of the flat to buy food’ thing and say that, since Iida is a friend of Bakugou’s, Izuku didn’t think it would be a problem. Oh, and Iida said something about knowing self-defense being important for a Pro Hero's mate; yeah, he can use that excuse too.

***

Izuku ends up using a little bit of the money to buy lunch. He didn’t want to, but he doesn’t want to appear weak in front of Iida for not having eaten anything, so he gets some instant ramen in a convenience store just to fill his belly (and gets a little lecture from the beta cashier that all that sodium is bad for his health and he should take better care of himself if he wants to have strong pups. What the fuck? Why do people feel entitled to butt in omegas’ lives like that?).

After lunch, he just hangs out in the park for a while waiting for Iida. Izuku jogs a little, plays around in the outdoor gym, watches some kids in the playground. He really loves this park, it’s probably one of the best parts of this whole new living arrangement he found himself in. In the Institution he tried spending as much time as he could in the gardens, but their academic curriculum is heavy and Izuku is an unapologetic nerd; so he stayed in studying more hours than not.

Now he didn’t have anything to study, no tests scheduled. Izuku knows he is being a little lazy but, honestly, he thinks he deserves this break to settle into his new life. Eventually, he can go back to working on his German (that is severely lacking), practicing his French, keeping his notes sharp on the piano, and even learning some new skills (the Institution's health curriculum focuses solely on child care and omegan biology, he could look into first aid and things like that).

Lost inside his head while sitting on a bench, Izuku doesn’t see Iida approaching before the alpha is already greeting him. They talk briefly before Iida invites Izuku to follow him to his agency. Ingenium’s agency is in Hosu, about five subway stops away from the park.

“Why do you come all this way to run every day?” Izuku asks curious when they enter the train.

“There isn’t a park as nice and big as this one next to my agency. Besides, running to the park is also part of my exercise routine. My quirk demands that I focus my training on my legs, so it’s important for me to run every day.” Iida explains and that begins a whole conversation about different exercising needs depending on the quirk and secondary gender of the person.

Iida really is a very nice person, he seemed honestly interested in Izuku’s methods for managing his omegan difficulty to put on muscle mass and didn’t make Izuku feel uncomfortable about his secondary gender not even once. The conversation flows between them in a very polite and friendly manner, making Izuku feel like talking to a peer and not to an alpha Pro Hero.

The alpha also talks so lovingly and proudly about Uravity that it warms Izuku’s heart. Iida clearly loves and respects his mate beyond any shadow of a doubt. Izuku also gets the chance to ask questions about Uravity, he is very excited to meet the beta Hero. Her rescue numbers are really impressive and a part of him is fanboying really hard about meeting the woman.

Ingenium’s Agency is quite small compared to the other big name agencies in the Tokyo area. The agency is formed by only the two Pro Heroes Ingenium and Uravity, two sidekicks and one intern. Their one-story building fits snugly between a few other shops in the neighborhood, giving it the feeling of ‘friendly neighborhood Heroes’ instead of ‘big alpha hotshots who will destroy half the city trying to stop one villain’. Izuku immediately likes it.

“Good afternoon, everyone!” Iida greets as they enter the building. The lobby area is small, just a little receptionist desk where a beta secretary greets them back with a smile. Izuku introduces himself to her right before they go deeper into the building.

As they pass a small door they arrive at a big gym-like room. There are a few workout machines and weights, and a large area for training. Uravity is sparring with what must be an intern (he doesn’t look older than seventeen) but stops as they enter the room.

“Hi!” The woman says as she approaches them smiling. “You must be Izuku, Tenya told me everything about you!”

“Hi! Ye-yes, I’m Izuku. It’s my-my pleasure to meet you.” The omega can’t help but stutter a little. He is meeting Uravity! And she seems so nice! He can’t believe this is actually happening! “I’m a big fan of your work!”

It is hard to say who is blushing harder, Izuku or Uravity, but both of them hit it off instantly. She insists that he calls her Ochako since she will call him Izuku, and they are both friends by the time Iida and her finish giving Izuku the tour on the small building (maybe the woman telling a couple of anecdotes that make Ground Zero look like a stupid teenager helped Izuku warm up to her. Apparently, the two of them had a fierce rivalry during their high school years). Their agency is small but very welcoming and it has everything they need - two private offices for the heroes; one small kitchen/break room; and a really big area for training and sparring.

“Alright! So let’s see what you got there, Izuku! Tenya told me you actually knocked him out, that is great!” Ochako says smiling brightly as she brings them to the center of the training area. Iida stays behind just watching from afar, as do the sidekicks and the intern.

Izuku scratches the back of his head embarrassed. “Yeah, sorry about that. I thought he was hunting me and freaked out a little.”

“Oh, don’t you worry about that! He shouldn’t be sticking his nose in other people’s business anyway. But I’m glad this whole misunderstanding got us to meet! If we left it to Explodey boy, I’d be lucky to be introduced to you in this decade!” Ochako says laughing. “But enough of that, show me what you got. Attack me!”

The woman positions herself to receive an attack and motions with her hand for Izuku to come at her. Wow. This is real, this is happening. He is going to spar with Uravity, 27th in the Hero ranking, fastest beta woman to ever climb the ranks, rescue Hero prodigy. Ok, play it cool Izuku. You can do it, just do it like you usually do with thugs and hit her.

Izuku does some little jumps in place to get hyped and to relax his muscles, and when he thinks he is ready he charges against the woman to try and tackle her to the ground. However, it backfires terribly and Ochako manages to throw him on the ground with one swift move barely breaking her form (and not even taking the smile off her face).

The omega gets up and looks analytically at the Pro Hero. Alright, she really isn’t anything like the no-name thugs he beat down before. He needs to go at her faster and stronger, so Izuku takes a deep breath and tries again… only to be thrown around like a ragdoll one more time.

Then a third.

A fourth.

On the fifth time, he says fuck it and turns on his quirk - that makes him be thrown even farther away and be knocked against the wall.

“Wow! Is that your quirk? Cool! How does it work?” Ochako asks excitedly as Izuku gets up shaking his head to check for a concussion.

“Apparently it makes me get flung away even harder.” He answers grumpily and the girl laughs.

“Of course, silly! I use a fighting technique that uses the strength and speed of my opponent against him. If you come at me harder that means I’m just going to reverse that power back at you.” She explains as she offers a hand to help Izuku up.

“How do you do that?” Izuku asks accepting her hand.

“Tell you what, you can explain how your quirk works and I can teach you a few good moves so you can kick some ass when you need to.” Ochako says smiling at him and Izuku can’t help but smile back.

Maybe this new living situation really isn’t that bad. He wouldn’t get the chance to meet nice people like Iida and Ochako locked away in the Institution.

***

Izuku and Ochako spend a couple of hours sparring, they got really into playing with each other that they barely saw the time passing by. They could have spent the whole afternoon throwing one another to the floor if Iida hadn’t interrupted them reminding Ochako that she had a patrol scheduled.

Before Izuku left, Ochako nagged him for his phone number and Izuku had to pretend his phone broke and he still hadn’t had time to buy a new one. The woman didn’t seem very convinced but she didn’t press the subject, just demanded Izuku to show up there as soon as he could so they can train again.

After leaving Ingenium’s agency, Izuku decided to walk all the way back to the alpha’s apartment. He didn’t want to spend any more money on train fare, he really ought to save every penny he can for a new phone. It is a nice walk back, but it is still early so Izuku isn’t worried about getting back to the flat before the alpha does.

He strolls lazily since his body is aching a little from being beaten up by Ochako. But it is a good kind of aching, Izuku is buzzing under his skin in excitement. Never before he was taken so seriously in a fight. Ochako didn’t hold anything back, she treated him fairly and taught him important lessons about self-defense.

Not only Uravity is a great hero, but she is also a great person. Izuku is so happy that meeting someone he looked up to in magazines and videos turned out to be even better than he could ever imagine. He can’t wait until he gets his phone so he can call Tamaki and tell him all about it.

Actually, Tamaki told him where his agency is and it’s not that far away from what he saw on the city map he studied in the subway station. Maybe Izuku could drop there quickly, it’s been so long since he talked to his brother. He is sure Tamaki is probably losing sleep worrying about Izuku. The last time they talked was a quick phone call when Izuku was crying about the fact Toshi accepted to marry him off to Bakugou. Izuku looks around trying to find somewhere to check the time, it can’t be later than four thirty so he still has at least four hours befo-

Izuku doesn’t manage to finish that line of thought because someone much larger than him grabs him by the mouth and neck muffling his screams and drags him to a dark alley. The smell hits him as aggressively as he is banged against the wall - alpha in a rut. Izuku holds the alpha’s arm to prevent the man from crushing his neck and tries kicking him on the groin but that only serves to make him feel the alpha’s hard cock beneath his pants.

“You better be fucking quiet before I stab one of these pretty little green eyes.” The alpha whispers in his ear showing a bizarrely elongated nail. The nail is very long and sharp, it must be his quirk. “Yes, good boy. Now relax for me or else this is gonna hurt.”

Izuku finally looks at his assailant, the man looks about forty years old, icy blue eyes and straight black greasy hair covered by a black hoodie. The omega feels one of the alpha’s hands run over the top of his hoodie and goes under it to feel the skin of his waist.

A shiver of disgust goes through Izuku’s body. That is fucking enough. Urging his quirk forward, green lightning shines granting Izuku the strength to crush down the man’s arm that is holding his neck and face. The alpha cries out and stabs Izuku’s midsection with his claws.

The pain is strong and it makes Izuku dizzy for a second, but soon enough the omega goes back into fight mode. He changes position with the alpha forcing him against the wall and punches his stomach with enough strength to make the bricks on the wall crack against the man’s back.

“NEVER TOUCH AN OMEGA AGAIN, SCUM!” Izuku screams at him before letting the man fall on the floor crying and whimpering.

Fuck, someone might have heard that, he needs to get out of here now! Izuku begins running away but the pain on his midsection almost makes him tumble over. He touches the spot and feels wetness, he must be bleeding. Shit.

What should he do? What should he do? He can’t go back to the alpha’s apartment bleeding, Bakugou will smell the blood and the distress pheromones no matter how much blocker he sprays around. He needs somewhere to go, he needs a friend. He needs Tamaki. Yeah, Tamaki will know what to do.

But first, he needs to get off the streets. Bakugou isn’t the only one who could smell his blood and his distress by the looks he is getting. Izuku ducks into another alley and climbs the fire escape stairs on the side of a building with his quirk shining through his body. He needs to get to Tamaki as soon as possible, Tamaki will know what to do. Tamaki will help him.

On top of the building, Izuku takes a second to understand where he needs to go. He knows Tamaki works in this really big building in the middle of Ginza, his brother sent him hundreds of photos of the building and surrounding areas with cute little descriptions (‘I’m gonna take you to eat takoyaki at this street vendor!’, ‘don’t the sakura trees look beautiful in this park? Soon enough we can enjoy spring together here!’, ‘this is the view from my office, wish you were here’).

After localizing his target, Izuku sprints through the rooftops trying to be careful (but probably failing miserably). He knows he is being reckless, it is the middle of the afternoon and he could be seen by anyone. But he can’t stop or else the smell of blood will give him away too. He is stuck with an impossible situation and his mind is screaming at him to find Tamaki because his brother is the only one who can help him.

The power of One for All takes Izuku halfway across the city in less than twenty minutes. When he sees Tamaki’s building, Sir Nighteye’s Agency, he finally breathes relieved. However, that only serves to make him feel a sharp pain in his midsection and remind him he still is bleeding all over the place.

The building is not very big and he knows Tamaki’s office overlooks the setting sun. Really, climbing the walls of a Pro Heroes’ agency building is not Izuku’s most brilliant idea. But he really is out of good ideas (brilliants will have to wait for another day). So he makes the jump to the roof of the building anyway and hopes that he gets it right because there are three windows on the pavement on the side Tamaki’s office should be (only two of them are open, so it is really a 50/50 chance).

One last leap and Izuku stumbles inside the building rolling on the carpet.

“What in the world-... Izuku! Oh my god! What are you doing here?!” Tamaki’s worried voice brings a small pained smile to Izuku’s face. He got the right window.

Tamaki is over him in seconds helping him to get up, when the older omega sees Izuku’s wincing his hands go straight to pull up the hoodie and check out the wound. “What happened? Did Bakugou…?”

“No… No, it wasn’t Bakugou.” Izuku says out of breath as his friend helps him sit down on a chair. “A random alpha in rut attacked me. I… may have hurt him so I couldn’t stick around and I couldn’t go back home because I’m bleeding.”

Tamaki shakes his head in disbelief, “let’s get you cleaned and then you can tell me this whole story.” He looks at Izuku with a small sweet smile. “All these years and you are still running after me all banged up.”

Izuku smiles back, “what can I say? You are good at patching me.”

***

"You are giving me white hairs," Tamaki says shaking his head as he finishes bandaging Izuku. "You are not even a week out of the Institution and was already attacked two times."

"Hey! Iida didn't attack me! I just thought he would." Izuku grumbles. "Not my fault alphas are wild creatures."

Tamaki chuckles, "not all of them. As you said, Iida is nice and there are others like him."

Tamaki had pulled a chair by Izuku's side. His office was very standard, lots of paper lying around, some books, and two big framed pictures - one showing Tamaki and Mirio on the day they got married, and the other showing a teenaged Tamaki and Izuku smiling in the Institution's garden.

"I know… it's just hard to remember that living with… Bakugou."

"Has it been so bad?" Tamaki asks quietly petting Izuku's hair.

"Yes… I don't think we exchanged more than twenty words with each other, and most of them were screams." Izuku looks at the floor and Tamaki pulls him in for a hug.

"I know this is now what we hoped for-"

"Understatement of the century" Izuku grumbles against Tamaki's chest.

" But it may not be that bad, Izuku." Tamaki tries coaxing Izuku. "Ground Zero is a good hero, I never heard anything about him being abusive, even though everyone knows he has a temper. He gave you a room of your own and haven't tried touching you."

Izuku gets off Tamaki's hold and looks at him. "But he bought me against my will! He doesn't listen to me, he forbid me of taking my things with me, he doesn’t let me leave the apartment, he hasn't allowed me to talk to my friends and family! He wants me to rot away inside a room without getting in his way!"

“I know, I’m not saying he is perfect. I’m saying the situation could be worse.” Tamaki gives him a sad smile, “and what Bakugou wants it’s not an issue here, you are more than used to ignoring unfair rules. He may not have allowed you to meet me, but that isn’t going to stop us, right?”

Izuku hugs Tamaki again, hiding his face into the man’s neck. “No, it isn’t.”

“It’s so good to have you here, there are so many things I want to show you. So many things for us to do together now that you are out of the Institution.” Tamaki pets Izuku’s hair. “I’m going to check out if your things are still there or if they were taken to your mother, alright? And I’m buying you a phone.”

“Tama-niii-!”

“No, I don’t want to hear it.” Tamaki interrupts him. “I’m not going to be without a mean of communication with my little brother while you are locked away with that brute alpha.”

“Thank you, Tama-nii” Izuku whispers. He knew that once he talked to Tamaki his problems would begin shrinking.

“Besides, I know you. If you begin doing your nightly patrols again, I’m gonna need to tell me, Izuku.” Tamaki says seriously to him.

“I-... I’m not planning to. At least not right now. Bakugou is only home during the nights, so I gotta stay put.”

Tamaki was always the only one to support every single one of Izuku's crazy dreams, and always the one Izuku would run to when he needed to get his bruises cared for. The older omega was already in the Institution when Izuku arrived there, and they had been inseparable during the years until Tamaki married Mirio. The best thing about being out of the Institution is being able to spend more time with Tamaki again.

“Let’s go. It’s getting late and I’m walking you back to your building. Can’t let Bakugou find out you are a rule breaker.” Tamaki says with a kind smile and Izuku smiles back at him brightly. Home is where the heart is; one way or another Izuku will make this new situation that he is living home.

Chapter Text

Responsibilities

Bakugou Katsuki is pretty sure that this is some next level fucking bullshit. He is sneaking in his own agency to do paperwork. As he uses all his UA grade stealth training to pass by the secretary in the lobby without clocking in, he can’t help but feel a little bit sorry about himself.

It’s been thirteen days since the omega arrived at his home and, after the awful first three days in which both of them spent locked in their own rooms, Katsuki has been making every conceivable effort to stay away from his flat. He took all the extra shifts he could (and some he couldn’t), did office overtime every single day, and hid away at the gym during any hour that was left.

He goes home only for sleep every other day and, even when he does, he barely stays there for more than five hours -  he has been taking some power naps in one of the agency's bunk beds to catch up on his resting time. Even worse, he has to do all of that without his shitty team noticing it. If Airhead and Shitty Hair catch a whiff of how Katsuki’s married life has been, they will flip their shits.

HR is also on his tail, apparently there is a maximum amount of hours that is ‘mentally and physically healthy’ for a Pro Hero to work. Katsuki calls bullshit on that, there is nothing more unhealthy than sitting around an apartment with someone who hates you as much as that omega hates Katsuki.

His eyes burn with rage every time he looks at Bakugou, it’s unsettling. Ground Zero has faced several psychotic villains and insane murderers but he has never been the focal point of someone’s pure unadulterated anger as he is right now. Honestly, it tripped him off.

He understands that the omega is unhappy with being married against his will but, hell, Katsuki also married against his will and he is not taking off his resentment about the situation on the omega. Life is just a big pile of shit sometimes, and you gotta roll with the punches.

The omega is being completely unreasonable, he hasn’t even heard what Bakugou has to say. They haven’t had not even one proper conversation to establish how they want to deal with this marriage thing since they met. Every time Katsuki tried to bring it up and make his intentions clear to the omega, the little shit blew up on him. Sure the other is younger, but does he have to be such a fucking brat?

And it is not even only with Katsuki, the omega isn’t listening to Yagi as well. Bakugou knows his former teacher tried explaining the situation to the omega back at the matchmaking house and the omega refused to listen. The retired hero even called Bakugou to ask about his protégé a few days back; apparently, the little shit hasn’t been picking up his phone and Yagi was worried. What kind of asshole someone has to be to ignore All Might’s calls?

Whatever’ Bakugou thinks as he sits down on his table and picks up a case folder to go through, ‘ it’s not my fucking problem anyway. The asshole can do what he wants and we can spend our whole lives ignoring each other for all I care’. It actually worked in Bakugou’s favor, the plan has always been to not get involved with any omega he had to take home; the idiot was just making it easier for Katsuki to focus on his job.

It is late afternoon, Camie and Kirishima are working out before going home for the day. They think Katsuki went home early to spend time with the omega, little do they know that Katsuki already spent too many hours on the gym that morning and if he goes again it will do more harm than good. That gives Bakugou at least five good hours of peace alone in his office reading cold case files before he needs to drag his exhausted ass home (or maybe to the bunk bed in the sleeping quarters of the agency). Those are his favorite hours of the day, actually; just him alone at his desk trying to outsmart the fuckers who didn’t crack these cases when they should.

These are supposed to be his hours of peace; no annoying teammate asking about his new husband, no new husband looking at him wishing he would drop dead. But the Universe really doesn’t give a fuck about what is ‘ supposed to be’ in Katsuki’s life as it shows when the loud noise of a huge commotion comes from the hallway and he perks up on his desk.

Is the agency being attacked? It can’t be, no villain would be crazy enough to attack Japan’s strongest agency during business hours. There are probably about five Top 20 heroes working there; so really it can’t be a villain, or else the fucker would already be minced meat.

“Sir, you can’t go there! It’s against the rules! I need you to come back to the lobby-”

“Get out my way before I make you! That beast will not hide from me any longer!”

“Sir, please-!”

As Katsuki gets up from his desk with brows furrowed in confusion, the door to his team’s office bursts open and the smell of an enraged omega fills the place instantly. That kind of smell in the battlefield indicated that an omega went feral and would need to be sedated, so every fighting instinct Katsuki has honed in his Pro Hero years come forth tightening his muscles and speeding his heart.

“There you are!” Togata Tamaki, support hero Suneater, walks up seething towards Bakugou. “You monster! How could you do that to him? Do you want him dead so badly?”

Alright, the omega looks lucid enough to form full sentences, so he can’t be feral. Now, why the fuck does this asshole think he is that he can barge in his office and yell at Bakugou?! Who is he even talking about?!

“Fuck you, get out of my office, asshole!”

“Sir, please-” one secretary tries to grab Suneater’s arm to drag him out.

“Don’t touch me!” He yells at her showing his teeth threateningly, then turns to Bakugou again. “How can you be so fucking calm?! You left him to die!”

“I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT, CRAZY BITCH!”

“IZUKU! You abandoned him! Alone! No water! No aids! NO MEDS!”

Izuku? The omega in his house? Left for dead? Bakugou is thrown completely for a loop, this conversation gets more surreal by the second. Why would the omega need meds? Does he have a disease no one told Katsuki about?

“Oh my god, you don’t even know, do you? You really are that self-centered.” Tamaki shakes his head in disbelief. At this point, they have quite the public watching their altercation; Kirishima and Camie quietly enter the office to observe.

“Fuck you! No one told me he was sick! How was I supposed to guess?” Katsuki defends himself.

“He isn’t sick, you jerk! He is in heat and you abandoned him!” Tamaki yells again. “Not only you forbade him from taking his things with him, you aren’t even man enough to buy the bare necessities for him! You know what?! I don’t have time to talk to you!  Now give me the keys to your apartment!” Tamaki finishes extending his hand for the keys.

“What?! I’m not giving you shit! Get out of here!” Katsuki screams at him. Who the fuck does this omega thing he is to invade Katsuki’s space and make these crazy accusations?!

Izuku is in danger! I need to check on my brother to make sure he doesn’t die from your negligence! So you will give me these goddamn keys now and pray I don’t report you for omega endangerment!” Tamaki is seething and Katsuki is pretty sure things will get ugly very fast if he doesn’t comply with the omega’s demands.

Speechless, Bakugou grabs the keys from his pocket and gives them to the man, Tamaki turns around and leaves without another word. Katsuki can’t even begin to comprehend everything that was just spat on his face. Is this shit even real? If it is, the omega is in heat and, apparently, that put his life in danger and, from what he could gather, it was Katsuki’s job to provide medicine for him.

“Show is over, guys. Check in next week, I’m gonna be confronted by my abandoned son. It’s gonna be a real tearjerker!” Camie pushes away the crowd that formed around their office and closes the door.

“Bro, what was that?” Kirishima asked carefully.

That takes Katsuki out of his daze, he runs a hand over his hair in exasperation.

“Hell if I know… He seems to know the omega? And said he is in heat? But that he could die? What the fuck?! Can omegas actually die from heat? I always thought that was myth…” Bakugou sits back down on his chair.

“I’ve heard about that too but, honestly, never thought about looking it up,” Kirishima says pulling a chair next to Katsuki’s table, Camie sits on the table itself.

“And what was that shit about meds?” Katsuki asks more to himself than to his teammates, but Camie wiggles around uncomfortably.

“Ah… I may have some of the blame on that one… I didn’t pick any heat meds when we went shopping. I didn’t know what he would need and… well, the boxes said they were for unmated omegas, and he would be marrying you…” She says apologetically.

“Fuck…” Katsuki hides his face in his hands and takes a big breath.

“I’m sorry, Baku. I didn’t know…” Camie’s voice is small and sad.

“Not your fucking fault, I was the one supposed to take care of him. I promised his sponsor that.” He promised All Might he would take good care of his godson and he screwed up big time. Almost killed the brat. Shit. He can still be in danger, and Suneater is the one going to fix it. Fuck.

Why didn’t the omega ask for the shit he needed? Was it because Bakugou was never home? But he left some money on the kitchen last week, he is sure that… Was the money enough? Did it already run out? He was sure he checked, didn’t he? He saw it was missing at the beginning of the week, and he was going to put more but he had to pass by an ATM and… did he do it?

He can’t remember. This week has been so hectic, trying to come up with ways to not be home and not letting anyone find out what was happening. Katsuki can’t remember if he left more money or not. He can’t remember if the food in the kitchen seemed to have been eaten or not. He can’t remember the last time he physically saw the omega, not only heard his short answers from a door.

Fuck! The omega is a person, not a pet! Why Katsuki should be the one checking to see if he ate or if he needs something?! No way Bakugou could have known about the fucker’s heat cycles, right? He could talk if he wanted something, he could have left a fucking note on the fridge or some shit like that! So why does Katsuki feel so fucking guilty?!

That answer is actually easy: because he promised All Might. It was his responsibility, he shouldn’t have run away from it just because the omega makes him uncomfortable. He is a Pro Hero, the glare of a civilian omega shouldn’t make him forget his duties. And that is all the brat had done, wasn’t it? He glared and snarled, but he hasn’t done a fucking thing.

Katsuki doesn’t notice when his inner turmoil began seeping into the real world, but when he comes to his senses Kirishima is using a hardened hand to pat down the little explosions he is setting on top of the desk.

“Easy there, bro”, Kirishima gives him a reassuring look. “I know the situation is messed up, but we are in it together, ok? We can figure this thing out.”

“Yeah, I low key just entered a medical website focused on omegas. They have some really good articles, hear me out.” Camie says with her phone in hand. “First thing, heats can be deadly but in specific situations. The heat intensity grows as the omega gets closer to prime breeding age, like it starts very light when the omega just presented and it gets increasingly worse until the omega is around twenty-eight. When the omega doesn’t have a partner and is close to this age, their heats can be wild. I’m talking loss of high cognitive function, extreme dehydration, severe pain and sensibility, erratic heart rate.”

“He is twenty-four, so he really was endangered.” Katsuki grunts punching the table. “Why the fuck didn't he say anything? I’d have bought the shit he needed!”

“He may not have known, bro”, Kirishima says looking over Camie’s shoulder to her phone.

“Yeah, here it says that newly wed omegas usually enter heat after getting married because they are not used to the high level of alpha pheromones in the air. That is why you need to take three to five days of leave after mating with an omega.” Camie explains.

“But since you both are not sharing a bedroom, it may have taken longer. Maybe it wouldn’t have come at all.” Kirishima completes.

“Here also says that the standard off-the-shelf kind of heat medicine is usually targeted for young omegas. For the older ones, it needs to be stronger and it has to be bought with a medical prescription. So the ones I saw at the mall wouldn’t have helped him anyway.” Camie shrugs.

“So he should have had that medicine already, right? Why didn't he have it with him? What was that bullshit Suneater was spouting about me not allowing him to keep his stuff?” Katsuki never said the omega couldn’t take his medicines with him! He may be an asshole, but not that kind of asshole.

“I don’t know, bro…”

“What do you wanna do about this now, Baku?”

“Suneater is going to my apartment to take care of things for now, I think. But I oughta check properly this time, can’t take this shit for granted anymore even though the fucker called himself his brother. And after his heat passes, I’m gonna have to find a way of actually talking with him.” Katsuki feels a migraine forming in the back of his head.

“Wait, you haven’t been talking to him?” Kirishima asks raising an eyebrow.

Shit, busted. Yeah, whatever, not the worst thing to happen today. He might as well come clean with it.

“I haven’t talked to him face to face since I came back from the leave.”

“What the hell, Baku?!” Camie exclaims.

“That is not manly, bro.”

“He doesn’t wanna talk to me! He screams and he-” Fuck. Shit. He is coming up with excuses again. Placing the blame on the other man while Katsuki was more than happy to run away from that situation as well. “Whatever. Fuck, I’ll make this shit right, ok?”

***

Katsuki changes out of his hero uniform (for he is off duty and not feeling much like a hero at the moment) and goes home as soon as he wraps up his conversation with Kirishima and Camie. He feels nauseous and wired up as if he is ready for a fight as he approaches his building.

He passes the outer gate without even noticing the world around him, so when he hears “I wouldn’t do that if I were you” as he touches the door to enter the building, he almost jumps out of his skin. He looks back and sees Togata Mirio, Lemillion, sitting on a bench where Katsuki’s neighbors usually stay watching their dogs run around the building’s small garden.

“Are you gonna stop me?” Katsuki snarls.

“No. I’d never forbid someone from entering their own home. Well... as long as they aren’t villains, you know?” The blond alpha gives him a smile that should be friendly but just made Katsuki want to punch his teeth out. “I’m just giving you a bit of advice as someone who is married to an omega.”

Katsuki walks away from the door towards the other man. Togata has two big cardboard boxes on the floor by his side.

“The fuck are you doing here?”

“Waiting to see if Tamaki will need me for anything.” He says shrugging.

“Why aren’t you up there?” Katsuki indicates the building with his head. He stops close to the bench and shoves his hands in his pockets.

“My smell could disturb Izuku. The apartment already smells heavily of… you, another alpha’s scent could make him feel threatened.” Togata explains with an unsettling calm.

“Is that why I shouldn’t go up?”

“No, your smell is already there. If you don’t enter Izuku’s room, I don’t think he is lucid enough to know you are in the flat. The danger for you is Tamaki, he is very protective of his little brother and may attack you if he thinks you will take advantage of Izuku’s weakened state.” Lemillion explains calmly.

“You understand a lot of this omega shit, hm?” Is awkward to talk about these things with someone who is basically a stranger; but Lemillion seems to be the only one with answers that is also willing to share them with Katsuki, so he has to take advantage of it.

“Yeah, I do. Unlike most people, I have always known I’d be marrying an omega. I’ve been in love with Tamaki before either of us presented. I courted him for over a decade, so I had the time to learn these things before our wedding.” Mirio says looking at Katsuki with a bright smile, he seemed proud to talk about his mate.

“Well, not everyone has this damn luck.” Katsuki grunts.

“Bakugou, I know we are not close and I am not the one you would go to in times of need. But I care deeply about Izuku. He is Tamaki’s little brother and, for me, that means he is also part of my family. And I do believe you could be a good husband for him. You are a good Hero and you are friends with some formidable people, so you can’t be that bad. That is why I’m putting myself at your disposal to help you understand the intricacies of omegas.”

Togata says and pushes the cardboard boxes closer to Katsuki.

“First thing, you need to look into the regulations and traditions involved with being an alpha to an omega. One of them says that the omega can’t take any possession from his single life to his new mated house without permission of the alpha. It’s something related to alpha territoriality. Somehow the institution got the idea you haven’t allowed Izuku to keep his things.”

‘Somehow’ probably was because Bakugou didn’t hear not even one word the administrator said in any of the days he was there. The idea of someone being stripped of everything they own because someone else thought it would inconvenience their neanderthal idea of territory makes Katsuki’s nausea came back with a vengeance.

“Tamaki went back there to get them, and he already took Izuku’s heat necessities upstairs. I was supposed to take care of these boxes with the rest of his things until Tamaki could come down to carry them upstairs too. He was planning on completely ignoring your lack of permission for this.” Mirio has a small smile on his face as he says it, like he can’t help but be extremely amused by the idea of his mate challenging Ground Zero. “But I got a better idea. Why don’t you take these boxes with you and come back to give them to Izuku when his heat is over? It can be like a peace offering.”

Bakugou nods at him and grabs the two boxes. They hide his whole face with their size, and the bottom one is significantly heavy. Holding those boxes is the closest Katsuki has felt to actually making this shit work since he met the omega.

Taking advantage of the fact that his face is hidden, he grunts a short “Thank you” to Mirio and leaves the building. He will crash at Kirishima and Mina’s place for a while, and when the omega’s heat ends he will make this right.

***

The box is actually very heavy and carrying it around on the subway was not as easy as it should have been. The train was crowded, people knocked him from time to time (rush hour commuters don’t care about Ground Zero’s snarls) and the cardboard began ripping at the bottom forcing Katsuki to hug the bottom box, balance the top one and do his best to not let anything fall. It must have been a pitiful sight watching the bulky alpha hero struggle to keep a box in one piece in a crowded train.

When Katsuki gets to his friends' house, he has to kick the door since he can’t ring the bell and it takes a couple of yells “COME OPEN THE FUCKING DOOR, SHITTY HAIR” before he is let in.

“Bro! What happened? What is all this?” His friend fusses over while Katsuki tries to find some place to drop the boxes. The middle of the living room is the best he finds.

“The omega’s stuff.” Katsuki huffs after dropping the boxes. “Suneater and Lemillion are there. The omegas are inside the apartment, Togata is waiting in front of the building.”

Mina comes from the kitchen to hear what is going on, she has a serious look on her face that tells Katsuki his friend already told her what happened at the agency.

“He said it was better if I wasn’t in the flat during his heat, so I’m crashing here.”

“Our guest room is always available for you, bro”, Kirishima pats him on the back.

“What is in the boxes?” Mina asks curious.

“Don’t know.” Bakugou shrugs. “Togata said the alpha needs to approve for the omega to be allowed to take their possessions with them when marrying. I didn’t know that, so his things stayed behind. Suneater went to the matchmaking house to grab them for the omega, and Togata gave them to me so I can give it to him when this shit is over.”

“Shit, what kind of messed up world we live?” Kirishima says but Mina just stays still looking seriously at the boxes.

There are not many things in the world more suspicious than a quiet Ashido Mina. Katsuki decides to make a swift retreat to the guest room before she decided to say whatever was choked in her throat. He grabs the boxes in a hurry and finally the cardboard tears completely spilling several books, comic books and toys on the floor.

“Shit!” Katsuki kneels down to pick the stuff.

“I’m gonna grab a new box,” Kirishima says already half the way down the hall to find a box.

“Should you look at his things without his permission?” Mina asks from behind him.

“And what’s the alternative? To leave his shit on the floor?” He knows he shouldn’t, he would hate for someone to go through his stuff without permission. But now there isn’t much he can do about it, just to try to be respectful.

“Got it! But it’s not as big, maybe we will have to split with the other box. Is the other one full as well?” Kirishima says getting ready to help, but Katsuki cuts him off.

“I can do this, you guys can go have dinner or whatever you were doing.” He says taking the box from his friend’s hand.

“But I can-” The redhead protests but his mate interrupts him.

“Leave him to it, Ei. Let’s go.”

There are so many books, no wonder the box couldn’t handle the weight. Most of them are fiction, Bakugou sees some titles in English and some in French besides the ones in Japanese. There are American comic books about Heroes and some magazines about All Might. The toys are figurines from a few of Japan’s top Heroes, there are three All Mights, one Hawks, one Best Jeanist, one Miruko.

Katsuki opens the lighter box to see if he can share the book load between the two boxes and sees it is full of clothes. The smell of the omega is still faintly there and that makes Katsuki remember he hasn’t felt that smell since they met at the matchmaking house’s library. He doesn’t dig in the box, it doesn’t seem appropriate, but the very top item is clearly a blue and yellow All Might hoodie. He can’t help but chuckle, the omega is a nerd.

A true nerd that collects figurines, wears Hero merch and can read classic French literature. That is funny and… that is the most Katsuki knows about the man he married. Some books, some toys, and a hoodie are the closest he got to understanding who is the person living in his house.

As he puts everything from the ripped box into the other two, one item catches his attention. A cellphone. It’s already dead, probably has been since the omega was forced to leave it behind. No wonder he wasn’t picking up All Might’s phone calls. Shit, has he been unable to contact anyone this whole two weeks? Why hadn’t he said anything? Katsuki feels the guilt growing inside of him and making him nauseous.

Bakugou finishes fixing the boxes and takes them quietly to the guest room. He plops down on the bed tired, this was a hellish day. He got screamed at in front of his whole agency. The whole Hero community knows his personal shit by now, shitty gossipy fuckers. But Suneater was right to call him out, he screwed up so badly he put in danger the life of someone he is supposed to take care of. And all these fucking rules he didn’t know existed and that he ignored completely making the omega’s life way more hellish than his day was.

A knock on the door takes him out of his contemplations, “The fuck do you want, Shitty Hair?”

“Hey, Baku” but it’s Mina who enters the room.

Katsuki sits up on the bed and the woman sits on the end of it. She is still very serious and looks straight into his eyes.

“Eiji told me what happened.”

“Figured as much” he grunts.

“You screwed up. What you did was-” There is fury coming out of her words, but she takes a deep breath and tries again. “I was very angry. Still am, actually.”

Katsuki runs a hand over his hair, “Came to fucking yell at me too?”

“No, if I was gonna do something it would be melting your face off to put your ass in line” she snarls at him, then takes another deep breath. “But that will not do any good. I-... I guess I’m angry with myself too.”

“Why the fuck? It is my fucking fault, I screwed up.”

“Yeah, but I didn’t help. I know you, I knew it would be a struggle… but I didn’t question when Eiji came home every day saying you seemed alright. Now I find out you haven’t been home in almost two weeks.”

“I did go home to sleep sometimes, I just- fuck! I don’t fucking know.” He releases an ironic chuckle. “I obviously don’t know a lot of shit. Fucking Aizawa will have a field day when he finds out an omega was the one to finally take me down a few notches.”

“Fuck Aizawa, he should have taught us that shit too.” Katsuki cocks an eyebrow at her. “I didn’t know those things about heats being so dangerous either, nor that you had to approve for him to take his things with him. Eiji and I have been doing some reading since he got home, there are so many rules and no one ever told us that at UA!”

“I’d be fucking pissed if someone interrupted our hero classes to say shit about taking care of an omega.”

Mina rolls her eyes, “you being pissed off is the norm, we can’t take that into consideration when deciding what to do.”

“Fuck you, bitch” he grunts.

“Right back at you, Explodey”, Mina gives him a tentative smile. “The internet has some good articles, I’m gonna forward to you what Eiji and I have found.”

Bakugou runs his hands on his face, “I’m the one who should research this shit, it’s my fucking responsibility.”

“BEH! Wrong answer! Try again!” Mina says nudging him in the ribs.

He looks at the woman in the eyes and answers quietly, “Thanks.”

***

It took four more days before Katsuki got a message from Lemillion saying the heat was over. It was the middle of the afternoon, but Bakugou got off work the moment he got the text. He had a fucking ton of things to make right and make clear.

He goes over Kirishima’s place first to grab the boxes then goes straight home. Katsuki has spent the last days studying everything he needs to know about omegas’ regulations, traditions and biology. His team's office became ‘Omega Caring for Dummies’ central, Kirishima and Camie got straight into research mode and they have been doing some heavy reading. The three of them compiled a notebook with notes, articles and every important bit of information Katsuki might need. So he is ready for this now.

At least, that is what he tries telling himself as he faces the door to his own home. He is ready, he can do this. All he has to do is keep calm no matter how aggressive the other man is, and explain clearly his intentions. He can’t get offended by the omega’s attitude like he usually does, he needs to get his head in the game and act like a proper Hero. He owns that to All Might.

With a last deep breath, he enters the flat carrying the two heavy boxes. He can’t see where he is going since the cardboard is in front of his face, only after he puts the boxes down on the living room he realizes the omega is warily looking at him while folding laundry on the couch.

“Hi” Katsuki says way more uncertain than he would have liked to sound. The omega just keeps looking at him with an unreadable expression on his face. “Can I talk to you?”

The omega still doesn’t answer, the pillowcase crumpling in his hands is the only indication that he is hearing Bakugou. Alright, he will have to jump right into the worst part of it if he wants this shit to go right. Let’s fucking do this, Katsuki, just like you planned.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t know, but that shit ain’t an excuse. I fucked up big time because I didn’t bother learning all this shit.”

Katsuki says earnestly looking into the omega’s eyes. Said eyes dart confusedly between Bakugou’s face and the boxes next to his feet.

“This is your stuff.” Katsuki indicates the boxes with his head. “I didn’t pay attention to the stuck up bitch’s lectures, and this shit flew over my head. But the hag could have made this shit clearer too!” He can’t help but let his temper rise up at the end but he quickly bites back his tongue and casts his eyes down trying to look less intimidating.

“Stuck up bitch? We used to call her Mrs. Wench, but I guess that is more straight to the point.” There is some humor in the omega’s voice, and that makes Katsuki’s head shoot straight up.

“If you like that, I’ve got a whole fucking more. Frigid Hag, Nosey Witch, Pole-up-her-ass Harpy.”

The omega tries to bite back a chuckle, “that is extremely misogynistic.”

“Yeah, it is. But most of those I’ve heard from Camie, so I’m just paraphrasing.” Katsuki can’t help the small smirk pulling on his lips from finally having an opening to talk to the omega. “Listen, I’ve got a shitty temper and I didn’t want to put anyone through the hell that is being married to me. It sucks that you got the short stick, but I’m gonna try not to weigh you down. As far as I’ve been concerned from the start of this mess we’ve been roommates, and I thought I could just stay out of your way and that everything would be cool. Clearly, I was wrong. Now I know that you need my fucking permission for all kind of things, so let’s just say that you have every goddamn permission that you need, alright?”

“Can I talk to my friends?” The omega asks.

“Of course, I didn’t realize that you didn’t have a fucking phone and this place doesn’t have a landline. But your phone is in one of the boxes, tell me if you need money for it or shit like that.” Katsuki says trying not to roll his eyes at the implication he wouldn’t allow the man to talk to his friends.

“Can I get out of the apartment?”

“What the fuck?! Of course, you can! Have you been stuck here for two weeks?”

“Not really, but then I need a key.”

“What do you mean? There is a key on the holder by the door!” Katsuki points to the thing behind him. “How the fuck have you been getting out if you didn’t see the key?”

“I saw the key, I just didn’t know that I could take it so I’ve been using the window.” The omega shrugs like that is the most obvious thing.

“What th-? You know what, whatever. Take the fucking key.”

Bakugou runs his hand over his head annoyed, but not with the omega. He is irked with this whole situation and with how matter-of-factly the other man is while explaining he has been sneaking in and out by the window for two weeks.

The omega nods and looks like he has something else to say, but is trying to find a way to explain it. “Can I… can I get a job?”

Oh, he wasn’t expecting that. “Ah, sure? What kind of job? Do you need anything for it, like clothes?”

The omega shrugs again, “I don’t know, I just want to have money and do something.”

“You can do the fuck you want, but you don’t need to worry about money. I asked for my bank to put your name in the account and issue a card, it should arrive here soon. I know I’m not exactly prime mate material, but I can support you properly.”

“Thanks, it’s going to help for a while. But I do intend to find a job.” Izuku says seriously looking straight into Katsuki’s eyes with those big beautiful green gems.

He looks very determined and, for the first time, there doesn’t seem to be a hint of anger or resentment in his eyes. That trips Katsuki off way more than it should, so he decides this was good enough of a conversation for now.

“I’m gonna prepare some dinner”, he says walking to the kitchen.

“Don’t ruin it with peppers!” the omega says to his back and Katsuki winces. Alright, maybe he has been screwing things up even more than he thought, but now things are going the right way, right?

Chapter Text

Trying

Alright, Izuku will admit he hasn’t been having his most brilliant ideas on the last couple of weeks. Blinded by rage, he thought he could strong-arm everything into what he wanted, even his biology. The heat came to remind him he needs to be a little less stubborn if he wants to get by.

It was a series of stupid decisions that left him in extreme pain and a burning fever coming in and out of lucidity on the floor of his room. He should have noticed the passing wish to take a sniff of the alpha’s gym wasn’t a normal occurrence, it was a pre-heat symptom. But he didn’t, he just went to bed thinking he would wake the next day ready to keep training with Ochako.

It obviously wasn’t what happened. His brain clocked out sometime in the middle of the night and it was sheer dumb luck that gave him a few seconds of clarity to call Tamaki in the middle of the afternoon after so many hours sweating, shaking and crying on the floor. He doesn’t know what could have happened if he hadn’t reached his brother. He got scarily close to dying, never before he had gone through a heat like that without any meds or suppressants and the thick smell of alpha coming from the crack of his door.

Tamaki took care of him as he had always done. Giving him meds, putting him under the cold showers, force-feeding porridge down his throat, soothing him with omega pheromones. His brother is the most caring and gentle person Izuku has ever met. Tama-nii made Izuku feel like a child even though he was a breeding-age omega in heat. However, being treated like a kid also meant being scolded like one. 

His bother ripped Izuku a new one as soon as the heat was over. ‘You have always been reckless, but somehow this goes beyond anything you’ve ever done, Izuku!’; ‘How could you be so blind? The alpha is an idiot, but I expected more from you!’; ‘Don’t you give me the whole lack of permission excuse! You have never cared for permission to do anything before, why are you starting now?’; ‘I already gave you a phone, you could have asked me for the meds and aids!’; and ‘So many years of biology classes completely ignored! You wasted all the hours teachers spent explaining how heats work with your stubbornness! I should make you call them to apologize!’ are some fragments of the hours-long lecture Izuku had to endure that morning.

Izuku felt embarrassed beyond belief. Tamaki was right in everything, he has been blinded by his rage. He ignored so many things these last two weeks. Not only he overlooked every little sign his body sent him about the heat coming, but he also refused to see anything that didn’t fit his idea of a ‘tyrant alpha’ for Bakugou.

Truth is he has no idea who Bakugou is. All he has is his own ideas of what a stereotypical alpha is, a bunch of gossip from the media’s portrayal of Ground Zero, the second-hand accounts of Toshinori and Tamaki, and several misunderstandings from the two times they yelled at each other. But the man who apologized to him this morning fits nowhere in anything he had previous knowledge.

He was humble, earnest and actually a little funny. The food he made was pretty amazing without all the spices, and he said he has always seen Izuku like a roommate. Well, Izuku can work with that. The hell that was this last heat certainly took his pride down a few notches, and if working with Bakugou in this ‘roommates’ deal would prevent that from ever happening again, Izuku was willing to put in his best effort.

So, as soon as dinner (a quiet but not-that-tense affair) was over, Izuku goes through his reacquired things and pulls out a notebook. Roommates are equals; they share workloads and, in that capacity, they should split the chores equally. He lists everything that needs to be done on the apartment, from cooking breakfast to cleaning the service area, then he knocks on the alpha’s door.

The blond comes out of his room looking wary, “what?”

“Can I talk to you in the living room?” He asks and Bakugou just nods as he steps away from his room.

Back at the dining room table, Izuku opens his notebook. “If we are going to be roommates, we need to share responsibilities. The apartment is a mess, I may hate cleaning but I hate living in filth even more.”

Katsuki looks around the room, “yeah, shit is nasty. What do you suggest?”

“Obviously, each one will be responsible for their own room and bathroom. We can create a schedule for the common areas. Since you have work, I can do the grocery shopping.” Izuku says as he taps the pencil on his notebook thoughtfully. “Though if you won’t eat at home very often, I don’t think I’ll have much to buy.”

“I usually eat at home.” Bakugou interrupts him. “I used to make breakfast and dinner, and always prepared a bento for lunch. Fucking hate the shit they serve in the cafeteria.”

“Oh”, Izuku is taken by surprise. The alpha really doesn’t seem to mind cooking. “Well, then we can split the meals.” 

Izuku can barely boil an egg, but what is fair is fair. He will have to study a few recipes, but he will pull it off if it means being able to stand on the same level as Bakugou. They have a very civilized conversation for half an hour in which they create a balanced schedule of chores that should keep the place spotless.

Apparently, Bakugou can be reasonable and Izuku likes to think he was quite accommodating as well. A part of him is still angry, still calling for him to trash the place and scream at the alpha for getting in the way of his plans. But he reigns it in and focuses on the task at hand; no good will come out of bringing over and over again the same issue.

Izuku doesn’t think he will ever forgive the alpha for putting him in this situation against his will; but he will learn to work with Bakugou to assure his dreams don’t suffer more from his own stubbornness. It’s for the greater good, just one more step on his way to become the first omega Pro Hero.

When their schedule was done, it was stuck on the front of the fridge and they both went back to their own rooms. With that out of the way, now Izuku can focus on other issues he has ignored in the past week. 

He picks up his dead phone he found on the box Bakugou gave him this afternoon and plugs it on the wall. In a couple of minutes, the phone is working again and several notifications pop up. There are so many missed calls from Toshinori, Tamaki, his mother, and (his heart fills with guilt) little Eri.

The last thing he promised the girl was that he would do his best to see her as soon and as often as he could, and Izuku certainly hasn’t kept that promise. Well, this changes today.

The first person he calls is Eri. The girl cries on the phone saying how much she misses Izu-nii and that makes him end up promising to go for a visit this weekend. How could he spend so long without talking to his little sister? There was something really wrong with Izuku and he will not let himself fall on that pit of anger again.

The second call is for his mother. The beta woman is almost brought to tears during the call. The guilt in Izuku's heart is piercing; Tamaki was right, he never cared for lack of permission to do anything he wanted. Why did he obey the alpha's silent order of not talking to his family when he could have tried harder to find a way around it?

Even with the emotions running high, talking to his mother is as easy as always. She only cares about knowing if Izuku is healthy, happy, if he is being treated right. He doesn't tell her about the heat and the fights, choosing to update her about making friends with the little Granny that owns a flower shop.

They hang up after several promises of Izuku never again turning his phone off. Then there was Toshinori.

"Izuku, my boy! How are you? I've been worried!" Toshinori’s voice comes eager.

"Hey, Toshi. I'm sorry I haven't called before." Izuku sounds small and apologetic.

"It's alright, my boy. There is no need to worry about this old timer. I… I just wanted to be sure you are ok." It would be better if Toshi yelled at him. Anger is easier to deal with than knowing he hurt the man who has given him the chance of being a hero and supported him for so many years.

"I'm… I'm fine. Met a couple of other students of yours." 

"Really? Who?"

"Uravity and Ingenium"

"Oh, Young Uraraka and Young Iida!"

"Yeah, I met Iida in the park and then he took me to his agency to meet Ochako. I really like them."

"They are both great heroes, very cherished students of mine." Toshinori really sounds proud of his students, and very pleased to know Izuku has become friends with them.

"Ochako is teaching me how to fight. She showed me some really cool moves… I'm not going to stand idly with your power."

"My boy" Toshinori sighs. "It's your power, it has been for a very long time. You don't have to-"

"But I want to! I'm going to be a hero, Toshi. Nothing will stop me, I will find a way. I promise!"

"I know, Izuku. I never doubted you."

***

Next morning, some knocks on his door make Izuku stumble out of bed.

“Good morning, breakfast is almost ready”, Bakugou’s voice sounds robotic through the door.

The omega drags himself out of his room with the world’s worst bed head to find some nice food already spread on the table. Rice, fish, vegetables, miso soup - a complete Japanese breakfast. Katsuki seems to be ready to leave for the agency in a kind of incomplete Hero uniform (the pants and the tank top are from Ground Zero's clothes, but he isn’t wearing his support gear).

“I’ve made you a bento for lunch, it’s in the fridge.” Katsuki says focusing on his food.

“Thanks” Izuku murmurs back, today he will be the one cleaning the kitchen since Bakugou cooked breakfast and lunch. Dinner is also Izuku’s responsibility. “Are you coming for dinner?”

“Probably, my shift is set to end at seven. If no villain goes batshit crazy during rush hour, I should be home for dinner.”

They finish their breakfast quietly and Bakugou leaves right after. Izuku cleans up the kitchen quickly and gets himself ready for his day. He needs to check in with Granny Izumi and go to Ingenium’s agency to explain his absence to Ochako. It’s nice to have his own clothes to put on, Izuku was tired of dressing as if he was going to a very informal funeral. 

He likes colorful clothes, so he puts on dark blue sweats and a yellow All Might hoodie. It’s still a very casual attire, but he won’t put on his good clothes to be tossed around by Ochako for a couple of hours.

It feels weird to actually take the key and leave the building through the front door. Honestly, Izuku feels more comfortable with the window; probably because that was how he sneaked in and out of the Institution during so many years. But he is trying, he is giving his best effort to make this work and now that means taking the key and leaving through the door.

Granny Izumi’s flower shop is the same, she doesn’t seem to have noticed Izuku missing for almost five days so he figures it won’t do any good explaining about his heat. Ochako, however, has some strong opinions.

“Why did you go missing? Why didn’t you pick up your phone? Why have I heard gossip about Suneater bitch-slapping Bakugou about some omega? I need answers!” The girl says shaking him by the shoulders. 

She pulled him into her office and banged the door close the moment he crossed the threshold of the agency. Ochako’s actions make it clear that there won’t be any training today until Izuku explains himself.

“Calm down! I’m gonna explain!” Izuku tries calming her. “Tamaki didn’t slap Bakugou, my brother has more class than that.”

“Suneater is your brother?” She asks furrowing her eyebrows in confusion. 

“Not by blood, but he is.” Izuku gets comfortable in a chair by her desk as Ochako begins preparing tea in the little electric kettle she has in the corner of her office. “It’s normal for omegas to develop fraternal bonds with each other since we live and study together from very young ages away from the rest of our families. Tama-nii is my big brother.” 

The girl hangs into every word he says like always. Ochako comes from a family of betas and never had personal contact with omegas. She loves hearing Izuku explain things about his secondary gender but she sometimes has difficulty really understanding how apart from the rest of society omegas may be.

“And why did he feel the need to confront Bakugou? I’ve heard it was quite a spectacle.”

Izuku crosses his arms on the desk and hides his face on it in a dramatic gesture.

“Oh no, you don’t get to brush past this.” Ochako says shaking her head and serving the tea. “The whole hero community is talking about it, I need the hot tea straight from the source. If you don’t say anything, I’m gonna be the one barging into Bakugou’s office.”

She puts the two cups down on the table and sits down.

“Please don’t” he pleads. “I really don’t want the whole hero community debating my sex life.”

“So it really was a heat thing.” 

“Yeah, it came out of my cycle. I didn’t have my meds and aids prepared, things got a little bit out of hand.” Understatement of the year, but he won’t actually describe to his friend how close he got to death on those days. 

Izuku prefers to forget that heat ever happened at all, he doesn’t need the flashes of pain, lust and fever to come to his mind ever again to remind him of what went down. He drinks his tea trying to remain calm.

“So, we are ignoring the elephant in the room or what? I know my quirk is strong, but I don’t think I can keep something as big as this afloat without some kind of explanation.”

“Ahn-” Izuku tries coming up with an excuse but fails.

“I’m gonna help you: you don’t have a mating bite, Bakugou shouldn’t have found out about your heat from your brother, and it’s a little weird that your husband spent your whole heat hiding away at Mina and Kiri’s house.” 

Izuku looks puzzled at her, “how do you even know where he was? I didn’t know that!”

“Please, Izuku, it’s class 3-A. No matter how much Bakugou tries to stay away from us, we are kind of family just like you and Tamaki. Though I’d call each other more like annoying cousins than siblings.” She says shrugging.

Izuku sighs depressed, it seems like there is no way of keeping his private life private when you are an omega.

“Bakugou and I… We are not really mates. We are married, but honestly, I talked more to you during this afternoon than I did with him in my whole life.”

The girl takes some sips of her tea in deep thinking.

“I suppose it can’t be helped. We all knew Bakugou was being forced to marry and-”

“No.” Izuku interrupts her. “He was being coerced to marry, but he still had a choice. He could pick anyone else, he could give up his hero license, he could take it to the Court of Justice! I was forced! I didn’t have a choice. My name is in that marriage contract but I didn’t sign it!”

He is shaking as he finished his tirade, so he holds onto the teacup harder to control his hands. Ochako looks at him with a sad expression but without really knowing what to say.

“I’m sorry, it’s just-” Izuku tries explaining. “I hate that the whole world thinks it can decide my life for me without consulting me.”

The woman grabs his hand and holds it tightly. “You are right. I know there isn’t much that I can offer you to help the situation, but I’m your friend and I’m in your corner whenever you need me to.”

“Thanks, Ochako” He smiles at her and she smiles back.

***

Bakugou and Izuku fell into a tentative routine for the next couple of days. Bakugou prepared breakfast and bentos for their lunch in the morning, and Izuku cooked dinner. The only problem was that in the third day Izuku was already out of recipes he knew how to prepare.

The first night he did some mac and cheese after buying a box of the thing and just adding in some extra cheese. The second night, he did some kind of stir-fry after buying the vegetables already pre-cut and following carefully the instructions that came with them (they came out soggy and tasting too much of soy sauce, but the alpha hadn’t said anything).

Today he bought a jar of marinara and some frozen meatballs to make the classic spaghetti and meatballs. It seemed simple enough: boil water, cook pasta, heat meatballs, drop the sauce in it. But now, looking at how the meatballs looked grey on top and black on the bottom, he thinks he may be a little over his head.

Whatever, the sauce should make everything taste fine, right? So he just drops the meatballs on the pot with the spaghetti and douses it in marinara just as Bakugou arrives at the flat.

“Good evening,” Izuku says politely as he sets the table. 

The alpha just nods as he goes to drop his things in his room. In a few minutes, they are both at the table for dinner and when Izuku takes the lid off the pot, he wishes he could just put it back on and pretend this never happened.

The spaghetti stuck together, the meatballs are clearly not involved with the sauce whatsoever, and the sauce is cold (Izuku thought the heat of the pot would be enough but it wasn’t). The food sits on the bowls in the most disgusting sight Izuku has ever seen at a dinner table.

The alpha stabs the meatballs warily, prods on the pasta and examines the sauce as if he was analyzing a crime scene. Izuku tries being brave and takes a big mouthful of pasta just to find out it is on the hard side of al dente.

“How the fuck did you manage to burn the meatballs and still let them cold in the middle?” Bakugou asks in disbelief.

“Ahn-” He doesn’t know.

“And what kind of seasoning did you use on this sauce? This shit doesn’t even taste like tomatoes.”

“Well, that is not my fault since I bought it like that.” Izuku answers matter-of-factly, he won’t take the blame for the marinara’s manufacturer incompetence.

“What the fuck?! You bough fucking pre-made sauce?!”

“Of course I did! Why would I make it if they sell ready on the store?!”

“Why would you-?! Are you fucking serious?!”

“Yeah. Obviously, they sell pre-made on the store the things people aren’t expected to know how to cook.” Izuku crosses his arms. He knows the food is bad, but there is no need to be rude about it! 

“The is the most idiotic thing I’ve ever heard! There is nothing easier to make than a good fucking tomato sauce!”

Izuku blushes in embarrassment. Alright, he knows he sucks at cooking. It’s not news, he was actually forbidden to enter the cooking classes after one disastrous semester and way too many fire scares. After that he just never tried again, he could graduate from Finishing School without any cooking classes and living in a boarding school meant he never had to fend for himself on the kitchen.

“It’s not that easy for me”, Izuku grumbles with his arms crossed in front of him. “And you should know that!”

“I should know shit, you brat! I figured it out after you served that pot of grease with cheese topping and the soup of soy sauce with mashed vegetables! But this is even worse than those two!” The alpha yelled at him.

“It is in my report cards! You shouldn’t have bought me if having an omega that can cook was so important!” Izuku yelled back.

For a second there, it seemed the alpha would scream again but he stopped himself before the words left his mouth. The blond man takes a deep breath before speaking again.

“I didn’t buy you. And I don’t give a fuck if you can or can’t cook, you were the one who wanted to split every chore.” Bakugou explains with a tense calm in his voice that showed he was working really hard in controlling his temper in. 

That disarmed Izuku immediately. It’s hard to keep being angry with someone when they are not getting angry back.

“It seemed fair.” Izuku shrugs.

“Well, I think putting us through this shitty food is pretty unfair.” Bakugou says stabbing the pasta to make a point. “What about we trade? I can do all the cooking, and you can take on the laundry duty.”

Izuku shrugs, “alright, it seems like an equivalent exchange.”

“Fucking great, now I’m gonna call for takeout.” The alpha says getting up from the table to pick up his phone.

Izuku takes the pasta back to the kitchen and begins cleaning everything while Bakugou calls for food. He drops the whole content of the pot in the garbage without a second thought, no one would call that edible anyway.

“I asked for yakisoba from the shop around the corner. It should be here in fifteen minutes.” Bakugou says as he enters the kitchen area.

Izuku nods while he washes the pots he used.

“Do you really have report cards on cooking?” The alpha’s voice sounds curious.

Izuku blinks before looking at him just as confused. “You haven’t seen it? The Institution should have given you my reports and recommendation letters.”

Bakugou runs his hand over his head embarrassed, “yeah, maybe I really should check all of the shitty papers they gave me.”

“I’m going there for a visit tomorrow, I could get the documents if they forgot to give you.” The alpha offered him an olive branch with the whole cooking fiasco, so Izuku figured it was only courteous to do the same.

“Why the fuck are you going there?” The question takes the omega by surprise, but the tone of voice Bakugou used was not of reprehension, but curiosity.

“I need to see someone… my sister.” 

“Sister?”

“Yes. The one who came to say goodbye that day at the Institution.”

“Oh…” The alpha sounds surprised. “Isn’t she too fucking young to be there?”

“She is ten. So, yeah, quite young. But it was a very… unique situation.” Izuku explains before sighing deeply. His poor baby sister. “Eri was held hostage by a villain group, the Eight Precepts. They used her quirk for villainous activities. The high levels of stress she was put through during captivity and the rescue operation made her biology go haywire and present as omega too early.”

“Hm.” Bakugou didn’t seem to know what to say after that, so he stayed quiet for a while. “And do you have any other brothers or sisters?”

That question makes Izuku even more surprised than any other before. It seemed innocent enough, but it was also the first time the alpha tried asking Izuku personal things.

“No, I don’t. I only have Tamaki as my older brother and Eri as my baby sister.”

The alpha nods and says quietly, “I’m an only child.”

It was weird to talk about each other like that for Izuku; and probably for Bakugou too since the alpha retreated to the living room until the takeout arrived later. The rest of the night was quiet as usual, but the tension in the room seemed to have bled out a little.

***

The afternoon Izuku spent with Eri was exactly what his inner omega was needing. The unfulfilled heat had left him feeling self-conscious and uncomfortable in his own skin. There was a nagging little voice in his head telling him he spent his heat alone because he is ugly, stinky and useless, and no alpha will ever want him.

Izuku tries to reason with himself that he might not be beautiful nor have the alluring omega scent, but those things don’t determine his worth. He didn’t have an alpha for his heat because he didn’t want it , he screams at the voice. But even though, he has been feeling a little under the weather with his hormones the last few days.

That is why cuddling with his baby sister in her nest with a nice book was even better than usual. Rational Izuku was happy to spend time with her and read one of his favorites books with the girl; omega Izuku was glad to cuddle with a pup he loved so much. The sun was already setting when he finally found the strength to leave.

“I have to go, Eri, it’s getting late.”

“But if you leave, we won’t know what happened to Tumnus!” The girl pleads. “What if they shouldn’t trust Mr. Beaver? What if Lucy never sees Tumnus again?”

“Mr. Beaver seems like a very respectable man, I’m sure he is going to help”, he says kissing her forehead. “And you are a big girl, you can keep reading on your own. I’ll call you tomorrow to hear about what happened in the book, alright?”

“But you didn’t even tell me how he is like!” Eri pouts at him.

“Well, I’ve read the book so many years ago, Eri. I don’t remember everything about Mr. Beaver and-”

“Not Mr. Beaver! The alpha, your mate. You haven’t said anything about him.” She looks at him with those big shiny eyes. “I saw he is blond like Mirio-nii, and everybody is saying he is also a Hero.”

And that is where the similarities between Bakugou and Mirio stop. Izuku can’t think of two people more different from one another. Where Mirio is funny in a childlike manner, Bakugou’s humor is acid and dark; where Mirio has an endless supply of patience, Bakugou is always ready to jump the gun. But he can’t tell the little girl that, Izuku doesn’t want to destroy her dreams about what marriage is like. She has such an idyllic idea of mating from what she sees in Tamaki and Mirio’s relationship.

“And what do you wanna know about him?” He asks softly, better to let her drive this conversation or else he may say too much.

“What is his name? Everybody here only says his hero name, Ground Zero.”

“His name is Bakugou Katsuki.” First one down, that was easy enough.

“Is he nice?” Alright, this is a more tricky one.

“He is a very good hero. He is the eleventh best in Japan from the ranks.”

Eri giggles, “but that is not what I asked! I want to know if he is a nice husband. Mirio takes Tama-nii for dinner in fancy places! Remember when he showed us the picture of the two of them eating snails? I thought it was yucky, but you said it was fancy. And Mirio buys pretty things for Tama-nii!”

“Ahn-” Fuck. How does he answer that? “He cooks for me, so we don’t go to restaurants. He is very good in the kitchen.” Ok, that was safe. “And he did buy me new clothes.” Boring black sweats, but they were new.

Eri’s eyes are shining even brighter now and her expression of excitement brings dread to the pit of Izuku’s stomach.

“He cooks? But Madame Ito says alphas can’t cook!”

“Well, I guess Madame Ito doesn’t know everything. His food is very good.” When he doesn’t destroy it with chilli.

“He must be nice then! I’m so happy you found a perfect mate after all this time, Izu-nii.” Eri tackles him in a fierce hug. “You were right in waiting! Your prince finally found you!”

“Yeah, my prince alright.” Izuku bites back his tongue to keep the sarcasm out of his voice. “But I do need to go, Eri, it’s very late already.”

“When are you coming back? Will you bring your alpha with you? Can we go out together? Like the time Mirio and Tama-nii took me to the festival!”

“I’ll be back as soon as I can… and we can see about you meeting him some other time, he is a very busy hero.”

Shit. This will come back to bite him in the ass in the future, right? But there was no way he could tell the truth to Eri. The little girl went through so much in her short life. She was terrified of alphas and betas when she was rescued, and they worked so hard to get her to a more healthy mental state. 

And she looks up to Mirio since he was the one who rescued her, there is no way Izuku could say to the girl that a guy she thinks looks like Mirio isn’t a good person. Eri has such strong bonds with Mirio and Tamaki, and she still believes that every relationship is as happy as theirs. Izuku doesn’t want to be the one to break her dreams of someday finding love just like theirs.

Well, he will just have to keep coming up with excuses to why she can’t meet Bakugou. And visit the girl often enough to not let her wonder if anything is wrong. Protecting Eri has been Izuku’s priority since the girl entered his life; in his blind rage he failed in this task during the last few weeks, but he won’t fail again.

Chapter Text

Meddlers

Bakugou Katsuki hates weekends. For a workaholic like himself, having too much time on his hands is more of a problem than a solution. However, after the last two weeks of pulling every extra shift he could (and couldn’t) get, HR was adamant about giving him Saturday and Sunday off. He tried arguing, but Kirishima and Camie were on the fucking administrators' side and made shit difficult for him.

Saturday morning was dedicated to putting in order things he had been ignoring the whole week (like how dirty his bathroom had become) and working out. But as soon as those things were over, Bakugou was left alone in a squeaky clean apartment and nothing to do. Izuku had gone to see his sister, and that left an annoying weight in Katsuki’s conscience telling him he should stop ignoring his own mother’s messages.

There was no way his mother wouldn’t nag him to death about keeping his ‘husband’ hidden for over half a month. It was going to be a fucking pain in the ass to see her and the old man, but they were his parents and Bakugou knew better than to take them for granted. So Saturday afternoon he bit the bullet and took the train to his parent’s house.

He rings the doorbell of the house he grew up in and kicks the floor for a while before Mitsuki opens the door. She takes a good look at him before turning her head inside the house and yelling.

“Masaru! You can cancel the funeral, the brat is alive!”

Katsuki rolls his eyes before pushing in to enter the house.

“Don’t make me fucking regret coming here, hag.”

“Don’t make me regret pushing you out of my vagina, brat.”

“Fucking gross, woman!”

“Big and bad alpha Pro Hero should already know where pups come from. Or should I be worried? Maybe we ought to give you "The Talk" again now that you have a nice new mate that you haven’t introduced to us yet!

“I’m sure this conversation would go better with tea”, Masaru interrupts them. “Katsuki, come help me prepare it.”

He quietly follows his father into the kitchen. The beta male is a fucking saint for putting up with Katsuki and Mitsuki living under the same roof for so many years. Katsuki still has nightmares about the couple of years right after he presented, the two alphas butted heads daily.

“She is hurt. That is not how we envisioned your marriage was going to be like.” Masaru says quietly as he puts the kettle to boil.

“Not like this was my fucking plan either.” Katsuki grunts picking up the cups.

“I know, son.” His father says touching his elbow and offering a sad smile. “Get the ginger cookies, your mother baked them this morning.”

Back to the living room, Mitsuki seems to have calmed down. The three Bakugou’s sit on the couches, and Katsuki can’t help but have a deja vu of the times they all sit down like that to ‘discuss Katsuki’s behavior’, meaning he was in trouble. He feels dread in the pit of his stomach but stomps it down because he is fucking thirty years-old and he will not be afraid to face his parents.

“So, tell us about him.” His mother goes straight to the point.

Katsuki takes a sip of his tea, “his name is Izuku. Previously Midoriya Izuku and now Bakugou Izuku. He is twenty-four years-old and has received a great number of recommendation letters about his proficiency in writing.”

After the whole dinner fiasco, Katsuki decided to check out the papers that came with the omega. The man was right, Bakugou did receive all his report cards since he was thirteen years old and fifteen recommendation letters from teachers of several areas. Reading those letters was one of the most surreal experiences in Katsuki’s life. The teachers boasted about the omega’s academic accomplishes as if they were helping the man get a job; he read phrases like ‘has aptitude with numbers, can help with the household’s mortgages and taxes’ and ‘quite taken with Literature, will guarantee great vocabulary for sired children’.

“What do I care about his writing skills, brat? Who is he?”

Now that is a question Katsuki is finding out himself. He can’t say the boy is All Might’s successor and that Yagi Toshinori himself asked Bakugou to take care of him. But he can’t lie to his mother either, the woman would see it from miles away.

“I don’t know. He… shit, hag, what do you want me to tell you? I didn’t want to get married, he didn’t want either. So I signed the fucking contract and we are keeping out of each other’s way.”

Katsuki runs a hand over his hair frustrated. He doesn’t know. He has no idea who Izuku is. All he knows is that the omega can’t cook for the life of him, owns too many books, collects figurines like a child and has some very protective people looking after him.

“Does he have a family?” Masaru asks softly.

“He has a mother, a godfather and two adopted siblings; an older brother, the support hero Suneater, and a ten years-old sister,” Katsuki answers matter-of-factly.

“That is quite a big family.” His father comments.

“When can we meet them?” Mitsuki asks incisive.

“I don’t fucking know, hag. I haven’t even properly met them yet. I mean, I had a few meetings with the godfather since he was the omega’s sponsor; and I know of Suneater from work, but that is it.”

Not exactly the whole truth about knowing Suneater, but not a lie either so Katsuki figures it’s good enough. His agency pulled every fucking string and called in every imaginable favor to keep the confrontation out of the media, so the least Katsuki could do is keep his trap shut.

“Alright, when can we meet Izuku?” His mother is like a bulldog with a bone.

Katsuki sighs deeply, “which part of ‘we are keeping out of each other’s way’ haven’t you understood?”

“The part that you are fucking married to him, Katsuki. I thought me and your father taught you better about what a marriage is like!”

“It’s not the same thing! We aren’t fucking in love! It’s a marriage of convenience!”

Mitsuki looks like she is ready to yell back but his father's hand on her thigh makes the alpha bite her tongue. The woman takes a deep breath before continuing.

“A marriage is a marriage. You may not be in love, but there is more to being married than blind passion. You can still be partners, support each other.” It’s hard seeing his mother’s eyes fill with unshed tears. “I just- I want you to be happy, Kat. I know this isn’t ideal, but there are many paths to happiness. I just want to be sure you are not being too stubborn to look for them.”

At some point in his mother’s speech, Katsuki had to hold his head looking down while supporting his elbows on his knees. A nagging part of him tells him she is right. But the biggest part of him tells him his mother has no idea what she is talking about. She married the love of her life after several years of dating, it just can’t be compared to what Katsuki and the omega are going through.

When Mitsuki stops, Katsuki raises his head to face her again. “I’m fucking sorry you didn’t get your dream of watching me walk down the aisle with a cute girl. But I did what I had to do to keep my dream of being a Pro Hero alive. Izuku and I… we are going to find our way to live with each other, but it won’t be the same shit as you and dad have.”

Mitsuki shakes her head and gives a sad chuckle, “no couple is like another, kid. I know you two have to create your own thing. Just don’t cut us out of it, ok? We are here for you.”

Leaving his parent’s house left Katsuki feeling torn. He thought he and Izuku were doing much better, the whole roommates deal seems to be working. They had civilized conversations and, even when a fight was about to break out, they managed to keep communicating.

Katsuki was ready to give himself a pat on the back for a job well done and soldier through the rest of his life just like that. But his mother’s words cut deep, way deeper than he wanted them to. Contrary to popular belief, Katsuki is very connected with his parents.

Sure, he may not call and visit as often as he should, but when he does they have meaningful conversations. It’s not just proforma, his parents are his friends and people he trusts to always have his best interest at heart. That is why what they say has so much weight to Katsuki.

But at the same time, he doesn’t want to unsettle the tentative peace that has formed in his home. It felt good to be able to sleep eight hours in his bed every night and to cook in his kitchen without having someone around hoping he would drop dead. Izuku seemed pleased with the ‘roommates’ idea, and why rock the boat when they were both comfortable with the way things were going?

Katsuki thought about this the whole way home that night. What should he do? Should he begin treating Izuku like his husband and copy every single thing he saw his parents doing during his life? Or should he keep the ‘strictly business’ approach?

But what the hell does ‘strictly business’ even mean? He isn’t some stuck up suit-and-tie 9-to-5 kind of guy. His team has no idea what ‘respecting your colleague's personal life’ means, and Bakugou has been working with the fuckers long enough to not care (much). Most heroes are like that actually, they are kind of a weird bunch that don’t know how to respect boundaries.

Maybe that is the answer. Having a professional relationship with Izuku maybe means trying to befriend the fucker. Ain’t that fucking ironic? Bakugou Katsuki spends his whole life trying to get away from people who want to be his friends, just to find out that now he is the one who has to become friends with someone unwilling.

How would he even go about doping that that? He has no experience in making friends. A bunch of losers just kind grabbed onto him in high school and he is dealing with this shit until today. Kirishima would be better at this. Hell, any one of the idiots would be better at this than him.

And maybe that is the answer. They’ve been talking about meeting the omega even before Katsuki himself met him properly. Bakugou picks his phone and starts typing the message in the group chat to schedule some shit back at his place for tomorrow night but then he halts.

Professional. Respectful. Having consideration. Maybe he should ask the omega if he wants to meet the idiots before setting everything up. Alright, he can do that. He knew he got this shit on the bag, fuck what his mother thinks; Katsuki has everything under control.

On the way home, Bakugou buys some ramen for their dinner. He picked an extra spicy one for him and a regular pork one for the omega. It’s weird because he knows the order of every single one of his friends by heart, but not the one of his husband. This annoys him more than it should, so maybe his mother’s words are still working in his subconscious more than Katsuki would like to admit.

When he gets home, he notices Izuku must already be there from the shoes by the door. Some bright red jordans that Bakugou is absolutely sure he didn’t buy, so they must have been in one of the boxes of his things. Another interesting thing about Izuku, he dresses like a color-blind thirteen years-old nerd. Everything is hero merch (generally All Might but he already saw a Miruko t-shirt) in bright colors. It’s a little funny to see, but Katsuki knows better than to laugh at his face about it.

Bakugou leaves the things on top of the dining room table and knocks on the omega's door.

“I’m home, and I brought dinner.”

“Just a second!” The omega answers through the door and Katsuki goes back to set the table.

Izuku shows up a moment later with wet hair, probably he just got out of the shower.

“I got you pork ramen, didn’t know what you usually go for so I figured I should stick with the basics.” Katsuki explains handing over the take-out container to the omega.

Izuku must have answered something because Bakugou is sure he heard a voice sounding through the flat but, for the life of him, he can’t tell you what it was. And that is because when he leaned over to give the omega his box of ramen, he got close enough to catch his scent and Katsuki’s brain turned off.

If Bakugou had all his mental capacities on point after smelling the omega, he would have wondered why he hasn’t smelled this scent straight from the source since the day they got married and maybe he could have asked the omega about it. But this question will only pop up on his head several hours later. Right now all he can do is inhale the scent and try to decipher every unique note there is in it.

He noticed the first time he smelled it, even though they were in a whole building so saturated with omega and heat pheromones that could masquerade any other scent, how Izuku has a very unique scent. The first whiff screams to his brain OMEGA, but when he goes in for more it gets kinda muzzled. It’s not the traditional omega smell for sure, it’s too earthy, woody (notes that are usually associated with alphas); but there is a citric nature to it that follows the sweet omega tendency in a way Katsuki has never smelled before. For someone who actually doesn’t like sweets like Bakugou, it’s very enticing; like sucking a lemon popsicle in the middle of the park in a summer day.

“Bakugou? Bakugou?” Izuku is looking at him puzzled. “Something wrong?”

Katsuki quickly notices he has been holding the ramen box without actually giving it to the omega for way longer than it made any kind of sense. He instantly puts the container down and sits on his place.

“Nothing, I just remembered something.”

He makes up the excuse quickly hoping to change the subject but, from the look he gets from Izuku, he will need to come up with something better to divert him. In his panic, what comes out of his mouth is something he wasn’t actually planning on telling the omega.

“My mother sent you cookies.”

“Cookies?” he asks with furrowed eyebrows.

“Yeah, ginger cookies. Kinda her specialty or some shit like that. I went to visit the folks today and she insisted I brought you some.”

He says indicating with his head the tupperware with the cookies sitting harmlessly at the end of the table. Izuku looks confused from Katsuki to the tupperware a couple of times making the alpha uncomfortable.

“Whatever, just forget it. I can eat those later.” Bakugou diverts while trying to focus on his ramen.

“No!” Izuku interrupts him making Katsuki look up towards the omega. “I- I love cookies. That was very sweet of y- ahn… her. Tell her thank you for me, please.”

Bakugou nods and goes back to eating. Well, that went fine. Small victories, right? Maybe on the back of that one, it is a good moment to bring the subject about meeting his friends.

“So… I was thinking about inviting some friends over tomorrow night.”

“Hmm… yeah, I can check with Tamaki if I can spend the night there. If he is busy, I can just stay in my room. Don’t worry.” The omega seemed surprised for a moment but talked very matter-of-factly.

“No!” Katsuki barks and the omega jumps in his chair. “Shit. I mean, my friends want to meet you. If-... If you don’t mind.”

“Oh.” Izuku looks caught completely off guard. “I suppose? I-”

“You don’t have to agree.” Katsuki interrupts him. “They are fucking nosey, but I can fend them off. It would be just dinner and some beers anyway, not a big fucking deal.”

“Alright.” The omega says calmly and now it’s Katsuki’s time to look at him confused, for a moment there he was sure Izuku wouldn’t agree.

“What?”

“Sure, I’d like to meet your friends. Actually… I already met a couple of them.”

“Who?” Bakugou asks scrunching his eyebrows.

“Uravity and Ingenium. I met Iida at the park and he introduced me to Ochako. We have become friends since then.”

The omega tries to keep his cool while explaining it, but Katsuki can see the anxiety in him from the way his knuckles go white holding the chopsticks.

“Glasses and Round Face?” Katsuki chuckles. “I guess it makes sense, you seem like someone who would be in their little Nerd Squad.”

Izuku makes an indignant face (that almost looked like a pout for the alpha).

“I’ll have you know that I’m not ashamed of being a nerd. And if being part of these ‘Nerd Squad’ you say means being friends with the fastest rising female beta in the history of Hero Ranks, I will gladly accept.” He says self-righteously and Katsuki can’t help but laugh openly.

“Whatever, nerd. I’ll call my people to set shit up for tomorrow then.”

***

His friends jumped onto the idea of doing something at his place in a heartbeat. Their group chat exploded in a way that Katsuki couldn’t keep up with the flood of messages. They got so excited that they almost forgot that Katsuki is the one who always cooks in their little events. Mina and Kendo were halfway through discussing dish options when Katsuki gently reminded them to go fuck themselves because no one but him would enter his kitchen.

Izuku left that morning to go see his mother, and Bakugou took it easy for most of the day. Saw some cooking shows, exercised, went to buy things to prepare curry that night. It was such a calm and quiet day that it was almost unsettling, it stood out like a sore thumb in the middle of the shitty days he had since he received the ultimatum from the government.

He was finishing the prep for dinner when Izuku arrived.

“Hi, I’m home”, the omega says quietly as he enters the kitchen.

“Welcome home”, he answers mechanically focused on his knife work on the pieces of chicken.

“Do you need any help?”

That takes Katsuki’s attention out of his task, he looks to the omega and sees him fidgeting with the hem of the sleeves of a bright yellow Present Mic t-shirt. It clashes abhorrently with the green in his unruly hair and makes him look even younger.

Katsuki clicks his tongue and looks back to the cutting board, “you are such a disaster cooking, you are a bigger help staying away from the food.”

The omega walks past him and begins tidying up the prep area. When Izuku gets close, Katsuki catches a whiff of a beta scent with eucalyptus undertones and instinctively knows that is the smell of the omega’s mother. Izuku throws the peeled skins that were over the counter in the garbage and takes the other used knives and bowls to the sink.

“The fuck you are doing?” Bakugou grunts without looking up.

“Washing. This way I can help without interfering with the food.” Izuku answers matter-of-factly.

Katsuki has half the mind to protest just for the sake of it (he said he didn’t need any help, dammit), but he settles to just roll his eyes and huff. The fucking omega is stubborn as a mule, he won’t accept not sharing every fucking chore around the flat.

They finish their tasks quickly and quietly, and Katsuki turns on the stove to start properly cooking.

“If you don’t need me for anything else, I’m going to get ready” Izuku says.

“I’m fucking fine, you go do your shit” he answers.

During the next half hour Katsuki cooks the curry, and Kirishima and Kaminari arrive with the beer. Kaminari is an electric ball of excitement, Kirishima was a little bit calmer but not by much.

“So, where is he? Does he know we were coming? Have you told him about me? Do you think he will like me? How do I look?”

Bakugou shoves a spoonful of hot curry straight inside Kaminari’s mouth to force the fucker to shut up.

“For the love of fucking God, don’t make me regret inviting your stupid ass!” Bakugou barks at him while Kaminari jumps around fanning over his closed mouth as if that would make any difference on the temperature inside.

That is when Katsuki actually notices the two dipshits seem to have dressed up for the occasion. Usually, having dinner in each other’s house demands nothing more than a not-stained t-shirt and a not-stinky pair of pants for any of his friends, but here they are in properly pressed shirts. Katsuki suddenly feels a little bit self-conscious about his gray tank top and dark blue sweats.

“Take it easy, bro. Everyone is hyped about meeting your mate. The girls are in the mall right now picking something to bring him as a welcoming gift.” Kirishima pats him on the back.

“You guys are gonna freak him out” he says rolling his eyes.

“Hot! Hot! Hot! So damn hot!” Kaminari says with his whole tongue rolled out. “But also so good! You are a master at your craft, Explodey!”

Kirishima chuckles as he offers a glass of water to Kaminari who was still looking like a dog on a summer day, and Bakugou was taking the curry off the heat when Izuku arrives.

“Good evening,” the omega says politely and instantly the two idiots are standing up straight and acting like proper adults for a change.

Izuku is also wearing a button-down shirt, light blue, and some grey slacks. He looked very nicely put together and that only makes Bakugou feel even more out of place.

“Good evening! I’m Kirishima Eijirou. It’s very nice to finally meet you!” Kirishima opens his biggest sharky grin to the omega who smiles back promptly.

“And I’m Kaminari Denki, but you can call me Kami or Denki. Man! It’s so great to meet you! How have you been? I mean, besides the almost dying thing. Wait, should I have brought that up?” Kaminari asks confused, Kirishima winces and Bakugou facepalms. “That was insensitive, right? I’m so sorry! Forget I said that and-”

Kirishima with a terrified look on his face puts his hand in front of Kaminari’s mouth preventing the flood of idiocy of drowning them all. Katsuki’s whole body is tense. Shit, why is Pikachu so fucking stupid? The one night they had to make a first impression and he screws it up as soon as he opens his big mouth. Bakugou is just waiting for the omega to scream and run away banging his door.

But, against all odds, somehow, Izuku laughs.

“Yeah, I’m doing fine.” The three men stand dumbfounded as Izuku smiles and greets them. “Kirishima, Denki, it’s my pleasure to meet you. I’ve been accompanying your careers from the media and from tales of my godfather for a while. You both are great heroes.”

“Oh really? That is great, man! I’m flattered!” Kirishima smiles and blushes like a fucking school girl, Katsuki almost rolls his eyes again.

“That is so kind of you! Is your godfather involved with hero work?” Really, Dunce Face won’t say absolutely anything right this night.

“Yes, you could say so. He was one of your teachers at UA.” Izuku answers with a sweet smile.

“His godfather is All Might”, Katsuki grunts. If the omega thinks it was alright to say it, there is no point in beating around the bush.

Kaminari’s chin almost hits the floor. Bakugou could see the new overflow of questions forming in his brain, so he decides to take his leave before he has to witness any more of that shitshow.

“I’m gonna take a shower, don’t any of you touch the fucking pot of curry.”

In the shower, Bakugou was feeling torn about making it quick and going back to the kitchen before the omega ripped Kaminari’s head off; and just taking his time and letting Kirishima clean the blood out of the carpet. In the end, taking his time won because this will be a fucking long night and Katsuki needs to seize any chance of peace and quiet that he can get.

So he took a nice shower and picked some clothes he usually only wears to media interviews, a black shirt and some black slacks. He won’t be upstaged by the extras in his own damn house. He may not follow everything his parents taught him, but a Bakugou knows how to fucking dress.

He takes a deep breath before he opens the door of his room imagining he is entering a minefield. But what he hears is laughter coming from the living room. Puzzled, he walks down the hallway to find that Sero and Tsuyu had also arrived and the five of them were talking merrily around the counter that divides the kitchen and the living room.

They are all so engrossed in their conversation, they don’t even notice Katsuki got there until he gets close enough they can smell him. Tsuyu and Izuku seemed to have hit it off already, from the smiles they were sporting while talking; and that made it even more clear how the omega’s posture changed completely once he realized Bakugou had arrived. Izuku’s posture goes stiff and the smile on his face is replaced by a more serious look.

“Good evening, Bakugou.” Tsuyu greets him kindly as always.

“What’s up, Explodo! Curry is smelling good!” Sero pats him on the back.

“Tsu-chan and Sero brought us a gift,” Izuku says showing a big basket full of fruits, chocolates and other fancy delicacies.

Bakugou cocks an eyebrow at Sero but says “Thanks” quietly.

Apparently, this has become a wedding post-party of sorts. Everybody is dressed up, gifts are being thrown around. Katsuki grabs a beer from the fridge because suddenly he realizes he is going to need it.

The chatty little group disperses around the living room a little after that. Izuku sits down on the couch with Kaminari and Tsuyu still talking excitedly with them, Kirishima and Sero grab beers and join Bakugou on the kitchen counter.

“He is quite nice,” Sero says tentatively.

“Yeah, apparently” Bakugou grunts his answer.

“Hey, bro, this is a party! Let’s just have a good time, alright?” Kirishima calms him down. “And everyone knows things are complicated between you two, but think of it like this: it’s better that he is nice because it means once you guys figure this whole thing out, you can be proper friends or something.”

The redhead says it with such confidence and positivity that Katsuki can’t make himself to burst his friend's little bubble, so he just grunts a quietly “...or something”.

“Mina, Kendo and Camie are already on their way here”, Sero says checking his phone. “And they say the bags are heavy.”

“Shit.”

“I’m sure they only bought nice gifts.” Kirishima tries advocating for the girls but even his endless pit of optimism is coming up dry from how his voice took a weird tone.

“And he really seems to be happy talking with Tsuyu and Kami. I mean, I know my wife is the sweetest person on earth, but it’s good to see that Izuku agrees.”

“Frog girl makes sense. He is friends with Glasses and Round Face, so I guess nerds of a feather find themselves or something”, Bakugou shrugs.

“Really? When did he meet the Iidas? I can’t believe you introduced them to Izuku before us, bro!”

“I didn’t” Katsuki rolls his eyes at the betrayed look in Kirishima’s face. “They met in the park nearby. I don’t know much about it. What I wanna know is how he hasn’t ripped Kaminari’s throat yet?”

“When we got here, they seemed fine with each other. Great even, Izuku is very friendly.” Sero says taking a swig of his beer.

“Izuku said he thinks it’s funny how Kami says everything that passes through his head. He didn’t seem angry at all.” Kirishima explains.

Katsuki looks across the room to the three people sitting on the couch. Izuku is smiling and talking happily with them, both he and Tsuyu seem to be listening to some wild story Kaminari is dramatically telling them, hand gestures being thrown around. Apparently Izuku isn’t always the angry bitter person Katsuki has been living with the last two weeks.

Before he could open that can of worms, the doorbell rings announcing the arrival of Mina, Camie and Kendo. Katsuki was not prepared for the amount of bags he saw when he opened the door.

“The fuck did you all do? Looted the fucking mall?” He says as a greeting.

“Good evening to you too, Explodey! Yes, I’d love for you to help us carry these heavy bags, thank you!” Mina says shoving half a store worth of bags into Katsuki’s chest.

Camie and Kendo pass by him carrying even more bags pushing Bakugou almost out of the door.

“What’s up, fam! We here! We made it!” Camie makes a spin in the middle of the room before dropping her bags on the floor.

“Good evening, everyone!” Kendo leaves her bags with Camie.

Everybody gets closer to greet the girls, and the tension on the room raises again. Izuku goes back to his forced-politeness mode (that Katsuki is so accustomed to by now), his back straight and his fake smile.

Mina, with the finesse of a bull in a china shop, goes straight for a hug. “You must be Izuku! I’m so happy to meet you! Really! I’ve been pestering Baku since he first told me about you!”

Izuku’s face goes beet red with the hug, his whole body expression making it very clear to anyone who bothers to look how uncomfortable he is.

“Hi, yes, I’m Izuku… and you are Hero Pinky?”

“Yes! I’m Mina! Ashido Mina!” She says pulling back from the hug but still touching the omega’s shoulder. “Kirishima’s wife, Bakugou’s worst nightmare!”

Finally, Mina lets go of Izuku but the omega doesn’t have a chance to breathe before Camie takes her place.

“Hey there, cutie. I’m Camie, hero Illusionist, official homegirl, and you are so freaking cute! I wanna eat you up!” Camie says pinching Izuku’s cheek and Katsuki gets ready to hold the omega back when he goes in for the kill.

Luckily, Kendo steps in just in time. “Hi, Izuko! I’m Kendo Itsuka, this airhead’s wife.” She says hugging Camie in a way that clearly shows she is holding her wife back. “I’m sorry these two knucklehead alphas made you uncomfortable. They are excited and they mean well, but sometimes they forget their manners.”

Kendo menacingly glares at the girls, Camie and Mina look a little sheepish, and Izuku chuckles awkwardly. Bakugou still is ready to jump in at any sign of trouble.

“It’s alright! I’m glad to meet all of you.”

“We have brought gifts!” Mina says almost jumping out her skin in excitement.

Camie takes Izuku by the hand and leaves him in the middle of the bags, and now everyone is looking at him with emotions ranging from excitement to curiosity to suspicion.

“Open! Open!” Mina now is literally jumping.

“Ah… which one?” Izuku asks confused looking from one bag to the next.

“All of them, cutie! We ain’t cheap bitches.” Camie says proudly.

The omega looks completely lost among the bags, like he doesn’t even know where to begin. For a second, Izuku extends his hand to reach for one of the bags but he halts his movement and looks up to Katsuki. Their eyes hold the look for just a couple of seconds before Izuku looks down again and grabs the closest bag.

As he opens the bag and unwraps the first big package, the girls are buzzing. Whatever there are in that bags, they are very proud of themselves for picking. The others just look curious like Bakugou himself is feeling (thought his curiosity comes with a side of wariness). Finally, Izuku frees the item from the paper wrapper and holds in his hand an orange throw pillow.

“It’s a house warming gift! You know, because Bakugou’s place is the most boringly decorated flat in the whole of Japan! Everything here is black, white or grey, and when we asked Explodey said you liked wearing bright colors! So we bought bright colors to make the place a little bit more homey!” Mina explains with happiness coming out of her in waves.

Camie, Kendo and Mina start helping Izuku open the gifts while Mina is still talking their ears off.

“We got pillows, and blankets, towels, sheets, and even curtains!”

In no time at all, his pristine minimalistic living room was attacked by a rainbow of fabrics. They were colorful, fluffy and absolutely horrendous. Green blankets, yellow towels, striped pillows. Bakugou began mourning the death of his apartment’s decor at that moment and, as he got so caught up in his pain, he doesn’t notice the look of absolute panic in the omega’s eyes.

 

Chapter Text

Understanding

 

They bought him nesting items. Two mated alphas bought nesting items for an omega married to their best friend. And gave it to him in front of everyone! In front of his husband! Alright, Izuku will be the first to admit he has been a very lousy omega; he definitely isn’t a proper mate to Bakugou. But everything has its limits!

He won’t be so disrespectful to the alpha in his own house! How could they think Izuku would accept courting gifts from them in front of Bakugou?! Actually, scratch that. How could they think Izuku would accept courting gifts from any alpha anywhere?! He may be a bad mate, but he isn’t about to cheat! 

Is this some kind of sick joke? Because they know Izuku and Bakugou didn’t spend his last heat together, they mean to imply Izuku needs or wants another alpha? That is the most disrespectful thing he has ever seen. How could Bakugou’s friends do this to him? And they all seemed so nice, but no one is saying anything!

Izuku looks around at the confused and expecting faces of everyone in the room and he feels like he is going to throw up. Never before he had to deal with something like that. Sure, he received a small throw pillow once from an alpha who courted him for a couple of months (and that was enough for Izuku never to accept seeing the man again), and one gave him a handkerchief once.

But here he is absolutely surrounded by every nesting item he could ever imagine, half expecting the girls to pull a dildo out of one of their bags as a grand finale. And no one is saying anything! Izuku isn’t even brave enough to look at Bakugou. What must the alpha be thinking about him right now… 

Poor Bakugou. Sure, the man isn’t perfect and Izuku still has many issues with him, but nothing that would justify this kind of treatment to him. Or maybe Bakugou doesn’t care because he thinks Izuku is a whore? Maybe he thinks Izuku would actually accept this? Maybe he is trying to teach Izuku a lesson?

Izuku feels the bile rising through his throat and he has to put a hand in front of his mouth to not puke in front of everyone. He runs to his room straight to his toilet and empties his belly in it. At this point, big fat tears run down his face and he just wishes the ground to open up and eat him. The sobs force out another wave of puke out of his mouth. 

How did his life come down to this? How can he ever face Bakugou again? And they were going so well, they were getting to know each other. Izuku was slowly realizing the man was all bark and no bite, and that he shouldn’t be scared. But how can they overcome this ?

“Shit, the fuck happened?” Bakugou’s voice so close to him makes Izuku fall from his kneeling position and sit down crouched on the bathroom floor.

He hides his face with his hands and begins mumbling. 

“I’m so sorry, I didn’t know. I never thought it would come to it. In your own house, I can’t even believe. I’m sorry, I should have never let things get so far. I never imagined something like this could happen. I’m so sorry, Bakugou, I’m-”

“Hey, stop the fucking mumbling!” Bakugou pokes him on top of his head, the alpha is crouching right in front of him now. “I have no fucking idea what is going on, and I don’t think the morons on the living room know either.”

Izuku finally raises his head and meets the alpha's gaze with a very confused expression on his face.

“What?” Izuku asks also confused.

“What? I’m the one asking ‘what’, nerd. Why the fuck did you freak out over pillows?” Bakugou glares.

“What-?! The disrespect! The insinuations! I’m not a-! ” A fresh wave of sadness washes over Izuku. “Did you think I would-? I know I’m a bad husband and we aren’t mated but I’m not like that! I won’t cheat on you like that!”

Katsuki’s eyes grow huge and he stands up straighter. “Fuck! What? Who the fuck is talking about cheating?!”

Izuku is completely bewildered. “The- the gifts! The nesting gifts! I may not act like a proper omega, but I won’t allow any other alpha in my nest!”

Katsuki runs a hand through his head, “Shit.” He brings both his hand to his face and inhales deeply before talking again. “This is a huge misunderstanding. I’m pretty fucking sure those idiots didn’t intend for that shit to be interpreted like a… what? I don’t even know… invitation to fucking?”

Izuku looks down to the floor and says with a small voice. “Courting gifts.”

“Courting-? Shit. Shitty Hair said we shouldn’t have skipped those chapters.” He runs his hand over his face again taking another deep breath. “We-... We don’t know shit about courting omegas. When we were studying, we- I thought that wouldn’t be necessary since… well, that wasn’t the point of it.”

“Studying?” Izuku asks, his curiosity winning over his mortification.

“Yeah. After the whole heat thing, we did some research. Legislation, common practices, shit like that. But I thought the rules and regulations were what I had to focus on and we didn’t check out the courting shit. The idiots don’t know this either.”

“Oh.” They don’t know? Isn’t this common knowledge? Because Izuku certainly thought it was. Every alpha who he has ever met knew what giving nesting items to an omega meant. But every alpha he ever met in the Institution already had a closer relation with omegas or wanted to have one. Ever since he met Ochako, Izuku was presented to someone who had absolutely no idea about omegas and their lives. He thought this was only because the woman was a beta and raised in a beta family, but maybe that is the truth about more people? Why weren’t they taught this at school? Well, everyone he met with this lack of knowledge came from UA, so maybe it is an issue only-

“You are muttering again.” Bakugou pokes him on his forehead one more time. “I’m gonna go back there to send everyone away and tell them to get rid of all that shit.”

Bakugou leaves the bathroom before Izuku manages to give any kind of response. They didn’t know. They never meant to imply the awful things Izuku thought. Their only crime is ignorance and isn’t that a two-way street? Izuku thought he knew so much about the world, he thought he had fought against the Institution’s mind washing and bubble-like environment. But he didn’t.

Here he is, on the bathroom floor, having a complete meltdown over something that didn’t even happen. Tamaki used to warn him that things were different than what they were taught when his brother finally married Mirio and left the Institution, but Izuku was too bullheaded to believe. He thought his night escapades gave him a better understanding of the world than any other Institution tenant had. How wrong he was.

He feels like he spent his whole life being taught the rules of a game, but when he entered the competition he found out most people were playing a whole different thing and some people weren’t playing at all.  None of the parameters he has to measure the world are working, and no one seems willing to explain to him what is really happening.

Well, that is a lie. There are people willing to help him. Ochako and Iida are always eager to hear and understand anything about omegas, Izuku is sure the couple wouldn’t think badly of him if he asked some questions. And Tamaki is his big brother, he has never said no to Izuku before and certainly won’t start now. And Bakugou… Bakugou was here kneeling down on the floor trying to understand what happened, keeping his temper in check and calming Izuku in his weird way.

And what has Izuku done? He has been stubborn, blind, full of prejudices and making everything harder for himself and the ones around him. Izuku takes a deep breath and gets up from the floor. He washes his face and mouth, and glares at his image on the bathroom mirror. He is not a coward and he is not a quitter. That is enough hiding for today.

When he leaves his room, he can hear the hushed yells in the living room as if people were trying to not disturb him but still were in the middle of a heated discussion.

“Just take the fucking food and go!” Bakugou’s voice sounds furious.

“But we just want to-” A woman’s voice pleads.

“And I said no!” Bakugou retorts.

In the living room, it looks like everyone is trying to put things back to the way they were before the party started and Bakugou is trying to shove everyone out the door.

“Hey” Izuku says and they all immediately halt everything they are doing.

Tsuyu is the first one to talk and smile at him. “I’m glad you are feeling better, Izuku.”

“Thanks” He smiles awkwardly and scratches the back of his head. “I’m sorry I overreacted.”

“Hey, it’s not your fault! The girls shouldn’t have gone all out on the home renovation project like that!” Kaminari says smiling.

“I’m sorry, Izuku.” Mina is holding the bags back and her eyes are full with unshed tears. The woman’s lips quiver as she crumples the packages in her hands and it’s really hard for Izuku to remember that she was a terrifying alpha making inappropriate advances at him just half an hour ago. “We really didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable.”

“Don’t you worry, fam. This is all gonna disappear and we won’t get it wrong again.” Camie says picking up the last scattered items from the couch.

“Wait!” Izuku gets closer and picks up a very fluffy square pillow. It’s stripped in yellow and blue and it reminds Izuku of All Might’s costume. “I can keep this one. Let’s just… take this slowly?” 

He gives the girls a tentative smile and Mina looks like she is going in for a hug again but is held back by Kirishima.

“That sounds great, dude! We are really glad to have met you, hope you can join the squad outings next time!” The redhead says smiling.

“Yeah! You haven’t met my beautiful wife yet! Poor thing is working the whole night.” Kaminari pouts.

“I’d love to meet her, Denki.” Izuku says smiling shyly to him. Denki Kaminari is the kind of person he never expected to see in Bakugou’s inner circle of friends, but he was glad he got to meet the beta.

Actually, none of Bakugou’s friends are exactly what Izuku thought they would be. That is incredibly refreshing and something to analyze on a later date. They all say their goodbyes after such a rollercoaster of a night. When everyone has gone away, Bakugou goes back to finish cleaning the kitchen and Izuku is left on the living room clutching the pillow on his hands.

He was brave enough to face the two women and their mates and friends, he will be brave enough to face Bakugou. Izuku won’t allow himself to run away anymore so he takes step after step towards the kitchen. Katsuki is finishing packing the curry in containers when he passes the counter still holding the pillow like a shield.

“Hi.” Izuku says quietly.

“Hey.” Bakugou looks up. “You want some?”

No, he doesn’t. Izuku’s stomach is still tight in knots but he nods anyway. He doesn’t know why, but a part of him wishes to be in the kitchen for a while longer than it would take for him to say what he needs to say.

Bakugou quickly pulls out two bowls and serves them with fluffy rice and his famous curry.

“It’s not as spicy as the first time I made it. This is a recipe I use when cooking for the idiots, they can’t handle the heat either.” He grunts as he serves and warms the food in the microwave.

“You… cook very traditional Japanese recipes.” Izuku comments offhandedly trying to get a conversation flowing.

“Isn’t it fucking normal?” Bakugou says shrugging. “Of the three times you tried cooking, two of them were western dishes.”

“We had thematic weeks in the Institution. They said it was a good way to foment our understanding of different languages and cultures.” Bakugou gives him a warm bowl and Izuku tries eating a little.

“Yeah, I saw your report cards. English, Spanish, French and German. That is quite a roster, nerd.”

“If you saw it properly, you should have noticed German is not really in my roster.” Izuku shakes his head. German kicked his ass so hard, it was not pretty.

Bakugou chuckles, “well, it’s more than mine. They only taught us English at UA.”

“But they taught you to fight.” Izuku says daring to look up when Bakugou sits by the counter with him.

“And I learned fucking well.” Bakugou gives a predatory smile.

“Did you? Maybe I should ask for reports and recommendation letters.” Izuku smirks back playfully.

Bakugou clicks his tongue, “if you did, you’d see that I graduated on the top of my fucking class.”

The alpha has pride seeping through his voice and posture now. It’s interesting how Bakugou works, he is proud and stubborn, but not above apologizing and talking to an omega at the same level. Izuku thinks he should learn a thing or two from that.

“I’m sorry I made assumptions about you and your friends.”

Bakugou looks down to his bowl uncomfortably. “It’s fine. Don’t sweat it.”

“I shouldn’t have overreacted, I’ll be more mindful in the future.”

“Don’t. Sweat. It. Nerd.” Bakugou says between his teeth. Apparently, he is worse at being in the receiving end of an apology. But Izuku isn’t done yet and he won’t back down.

“...and thank you. For checking up on me and trying to explain what happened. That was… very nice of you.”

“Well… I just thought it was a waste for you to go puke in the toilet. You could have just gone for that horrendous shit they bought and taught the bitches a lesson. Honestly, I also thought the lime green curtains were vomit-inducing.”

Bakugou tries saying it matter-of-factly but the small smirk pulling on the corner of his lips betrays him. Izuku chuckles at the man’s inappropriate joke.

“Really? I thought they would go well here. The girls are right, this place has some very boring colors.”

“I have no idea how you have that recommendation letter from your art teacher when you are clearly color blind. Did you bribe the woman?” Katsuki squints his eyes at him and Izuku laughs even more.

“Hey! I can draw! And I’m not color blind, I just like colors.”

Bakugou rolls his eyes, “all of them. At the same time. That is not how color theory works.”

Izuku glares at him, “what do you even know about color theory? Did you have classes about complementary colors for hero uniforms in UA?”

“My parents are designers, so I know quite a lot, ok, shortstack?”

“And they approve of the whole monochromatic thing you have going on?” Izuku asks cocking an eyebrow.

Katsuki shakes his head, “I’m a thirty years-old man, I’m not asking my parents about their opinion on my clothes.”

“So… that’s a no.” Izuku gives him a half smile and Katsuki just chuckles.

Soon they finish their dinners and retreat to their own rooms. Izuku goes to sleep that night with his heart a little bit lighter. He knows he has a lot to unpack about this night, but right now he will just enjoy the warm feeling in his chest.

The next morning, Izuku wakes up to the sound of a huge thunderstorm. The noise on his window is deafening, and he almost doesn’t believe when he checks the clock and sees it’s already morning since his room is still so dark. The omega rolls out of bed, puts some clothes and his blockers on, his usual morning routine before dragging himself to have breakfast.

Bakugou is already there prepping the food like all the past mornings. The alpha is an early riser and always looks completely put together in those unholy hours when Izuku can barely differentiate a cup from a mug. 

“Good morning.” Izuku greets.

“Morning” Bakugou answers putting the food on the counter. Apparently, they are changing their routine from the big table to the more cozy counter. Izuku doesn’t know how he feels about it.

Bakugou is wearing his usual incomplete hero uniform, Izuku winces thinking about going out in this rain. He certainly is glad he doesn’t have to brave the storm, but he supposes pro heroes don’t have that kind of freedom.

They begin eating their food, Izuku is still half awake/half asleep. He won’t be able to exercise at the park with the weather like that, and he probably shouldn’t go see Ochako. It’s going to be boring to stay the whole day cooped in alone. He could exercise in his room as he did in the Institution, but he got used to a more interesting kind of workout quite quickly when given the chance.

Maybe he could…? No, it’s not a good idea. It’s Bakugou’s territory. The alpha has respected Izuku’s boundaries so far, the least he could do is respect Bakugou’s as well. 

… But didn’t Izuku decide yesterday to make an effort to ask things and not assume them? How many problems has he put himself through already just because he refused to ask? He almost got himself killed with his stubbornness and that still didn’t get his ass in gear quick enough. What more will it take for Izuku to man up and ask for what he wants?

“Hum… It’s raining a lot today…”

“You don’t say. It looks like a deluge out there.” Bakugou answers grumply.

“I won’t be able to go to the park to exercise.” Izuku holds the chopsticks in his hand tighter. “I was thinking if, maybe, if you don’t mind, could I use the gym?” He asks tentatively then completes rushedly. “I can also just exercise in my room.”

Bakugou shakes his head, “you can use the damn gym. It’s not a big fucking issue, stop making it be one.”

“Oh. Al-alright. Thank you.”

Bakugou glares at him for a second before asking “Why would I even care?”. 

Izuku shrugs, “territory.”

“Territory? The fuck? What did they teach you in that place?” Bakugou looks confused at him.

“Alphas are territorial, that is just biology.” Izuku answers matter-of-factly.

Bakugou rolls his eyes, “I'm not a damn hippo. Let’s just say my territory is my room. The rest of the flat is fair game for you.” After thinking a little, he completes. “And maybe the kitchen, but just because I don’t trust your cooking.”

“Alright” Izuku answers still a little dumbfounded.

Bakugou is a surprise after the other. From the less than a week since they began talking to one another, every day brings a new discovery about the man. That incites Izuku’s curiosity. He has always been a curious person, and now the target of his research will be Bakugou Katsuki.

“I gotta go to work.” Bakugou says getting up from his chair and pulling Izuku off his musings.

“Ha-have a nice day.” Izuku stutters and Bakugou looks at him a little confused before leaving.

After the alpha left, Izuku washes the dishes and does some odd chores before venturing inside the small gym. He doused himself with every kind of blocker he had, but there is no way the place won’t smell at least a little of him after working out a good sweat. Izuku hopes the alpha thought of that before giving permission to use the space.

He enters the room warily. Last time he stuck his head in it, it was the last push to trigger his heat. Bakugou has some very potent pheromones. The smoky, ashy scent of a forest on fire. Izuku would be lying if he said he didn’t like it, but he prefers to believe this is just a natural biological response and that he doesn’t need to overthink it.

Alright, it’s just working out, he doesn’t need to be afraid of old smells inside a room. Though he would love it if the room had a window… Well, no point in mulling over that. Izuku starts his exercises on the treadmill.

Running is supposed to raise your heart rate, but Izuku knows his is being affected by more than just the strain on his muscles. Every big gulp of air that fills his lungs comes with the alpha’s pheromones. Even being around Bakugou doesn’t affect Izuku so much because the alpha is very mindful of his hygiene and you can’t really smell him unless you are very close. Which Izuku isn’t. Ever. 

But there is no way the window-less gym wouldn’t be saturated with the alpha’s scent since here is where Bakugou works out. It’s hard to not think about the alpha when he is in this place. So Izuku decides he might as well open the little mental box where he shoved everything that happened last night and this morning.

Bakugou Katsuki isn’t who the media portrays. He isn’t rash or ruthless. He is short tempered, proud, stubborn and has a potty mouth. But he is also a perfectionist, very dedicated and a workaholic. He is smart, but he can suffer from tunnel vision. And he knows all that, he is very self-aware and is trying to adapt a few things for Izuku’s sake.

The thing is, Izuku likes most of what he learned about Bakugou in the last week and it has been really hard to conciliate the man who lives in this house with the man who said less than ten words to Izuku before going behind his back to force Izuku to marry him. It’s borderline painful when Izuku gets caught up with Bakugou’s humor and, on the back of his mind, a voice screams at him that this is the man who bought him against his will, this is the man who didn’t respect Izuku’s sovereignty about his own life.

Izuku gets off the treadmill sweating, panting and with a boner between his legs that he fully intends to ignore. It’s just a natural biological response to the pheromones in the air. Stupid fucking delicious pheromones from an impossibly infuriating alpha that Izuku isn’t attracted to. Not at all. Izuku refuses to be physically attracted to someone without being mentally and emotionally attracted too. He just refuses.

Izuku picks up some weights to train his arms, chest and back. However, he can’t say there isn’t absolutely nothing in the alpha that Izuku can like. Because this is also the alpha who gave up his territory for Izuku; who cooks and cleans just as much as the omega; who never even looked at Izuku with lust in his eyes; who introduced him to the group of his friends as if he was in the same level as them. The alpha who crouched over the bathroom floor, asked if he was alright and told him he would make the situation better. Sure, he did that in his weird alpha way, but he did it nonetheless. 

Izuku wants to know more about this alpha, maybe even be friends with him.

But how does he accept that these two people are the same alpha? Are the two of them really Bakugou? Or is one of them a mask? If so, which one?

Izuku drops the weights on the floor feeling determined. He is going to find out exactly who Bakugou Katsuki is. Izuku has always prided himself of his academic abilities and he is no stranger to doing research, so that is exactly what he is going to.

Running to his bedroom, Izuku goes through his stuff to find what he needed - a mostly empty notebook. He rips the old used sheets and starts writing.

Bakugou Katsuki - Ground Zero

11th ranked Pro Hero. Stagnant ranking since when? Find out. Old ranks, magazines, online forums.

Family? Mother and father, designers. No siblings.

Friends -  big group. Looks very united. Further analysis of group dynamics is needed.

Hobbies: cooking? Several cooking books around the flat.

Izuku spends a good couple of hours on the notebook detailing every single thing he could think about the alpha. He also comes up with questions he needs answering and how to get those answers. He will need to do all kinds of investigative work for this, comb the internet, talk to Ochako, get closer to some of Bakugou’s friends and even, the scariest of them all, get closer to the alpha himself. But he can’t go through his whole life without knowing who he is married. He will unravel the mystery that is Bakugou Katsuki.

***

“Nice of you to show up! I thought I’d have to send a rescue team!” Ochako greets him when he enters the gym that afternoon. She is sitting on a weight lifting bench on the corner of the big training room of Ingenium’s Agency.

Izuku rolls his eyes when he gets close enough so she can see it, “don’t be dramatic. I texted you saying I wasn’t coming.”

The woman pouts, “but I missed you! It’s boring around here without you. The sidekicks are patrolling, Tenya is doing paperwork… I need you around for training!”

“You need me around for kicking my ass.” He says sitting next to her on the bench. “But I’m sorry, I don’t think I’ll be able to keep coming every day anymore.”

“Why?” She asks furrowing her eyebrows in worry. “Any problems between you and Bakugou?”

“No, it’s not that. Things have been… good between us. He… he introduced me to his friends… I guess they are your friends too.” Izuku says awkwardly scratching the back of his head.

The girl scoots closer, “really? Who? I mean, Kiri and Mina for sure…”

“I met Kiri, Mina, Camie, Kendo, Denki, Sero and Tsu-chan. Denki’s wife was working and couldn’t come. They all came for dinner on Sunday.” Izuku says counting on his fingers because he met a lot of people that night.

“Wow. That is the whole Bakusquad minus Kyoka.”

Bakusquad ?” Izuku asks cocking an eyebrow.

“That is what they used to be called back in UA.” Ochako says chuckling. “I mean, Kiri, Mina, Kami, Sero and Kyoka. Camie wasn’t a UA student but I think they already knew each other in high school. Kendo was from class B, and Tsu-chan was one of mine.”

“Yours? You and Bakugou had opposing squads ?” Izuku asks mockingly.

“Hey! It was high school!” Ochako laughs and bumps shoulders with him. “It was not really opposing squads , but we had our little clicks. I used to hang out with Tsu-chan, Tenya and some others. Bakugou called us the…”

“Nerd squad” Izuku completes.

“Exactly! He told you that?” She asks with a soft smile.

“Kinda. He said it was obvious I’d be part of the nerd squad.” Izuku smiles back at her.

“And you are! I love Mina and the boys, but I saw you first! I’m calling dibs.”

Izuku laughs openly at Ochako’s antics. 

“Yeah, I guess they are alright but I prefer to be on the team with you and Tsu-chan too.”

“You ‘guess’ they are alright?” She prods.

“There were some… misunderstandings.” Izuku says leaning back and looking to the ceiling trying to find out how to explain that whole mess. “The alphas… I mean, Camie and Mina brought some gifts to me. And they didn’t know some gifts have specific meanings to omegas… but they apologized! It’s all good now.”

“Right…” Ochako says with a face that indicates she is going to go through her network to find out what really happened. “If everything is getting better with Bakugou, why won’t you show up anymore?”

“Bakugou allowed me to get a job, so now I need to find one. I need to put together a curriculum and… I don’t even know… look for a job?” Izuku says unsure.

Truth is he has never worked a day in his life, and the Institution never really prepared him for that. He has a top tier education, but it was focused on academic accomplishment, not in real-life skills. Izuku doesn’t even know how to start looking for a job.

“What kind of job are you looking for?”

“I honestly don’t know. I mean, my professors said that I could work in a library or a museum with my ability for arts and literature. But I don’t have a proper degree on any of it, and I have never worked before. I think I’ll be lucky if I get hired to work at a coffee shop.”

Ochako opens a big smile, “I know what to do! You can work here!”

“Here? What would I do here? You can’t hire me to beat me up, Ochako. That is what the sandbags are for.”

“Our intern just finished his contract, you could be my intern.”

“I’m... not a hero student?”

Ochako rolls her eyes, “please, Izuku. Have you looked around? The intern did my paperwork and kept me on my schedule. Besides, you are All Might’s godson and you said you wanted to be a hero. How exactly do you plan on making that happen?”

“I… don’t know…” Izuku confesses looking at the floor. “I had a plan… It was a little… ahn… unconventional. But since I married Bakugou, that plan became impossible and I haven’t really come up with anything new yet.”

“Well, I have no idea how we can get you to take a Support Hero exam. That is for mated alphas and omegas, so I never really bothered looking into the regulations. But I do know that any Hero exam demands some good training. You can get that training here! Be my intern!”

“Ochako… I’d love to. There is nothing I’d love more than to work in the Hero field by your side… But I really don’t want you to get in trouble for breaking the rules for me. There are so many laws regulating omegas work life and such.”

“We won’t be breaking any rules! There is no law that says I can’t hire help for paperwork and that I can’t hire someone to train with. You won’t be involved in any actual hero action, but I’d never take an intern for something like that anyway.”

“You…” Izuku looks at the smiling girl and tears come to his eyes. Ochako is his first real friend who looked at him and didn’t see an omega. She sees Izuku and she believes in him. He tackles the woman in a tight hug. “Thank you. Thank you so much.”

Ochako hugs him back, “no need to thank me! I’m gonna beat you up so often now…”

They both laugh in the hug. Izuku’s heart feels big and heavy with love and hope. He is finding his place, he has people on his side. He will be a Hero.

Chapter Text

New Light

Bakugou Katsuki is confused. He doesn't really understands how this happened, but since the dinner party with his friends, the omega seems to be a completely different person. And this new person never shuts up.

The period of time between the disastrous heat and the disastrous dinner was calm but quiet. The omega wasn’t averse to Katsuki’s whole existence anymore, but he definitely kept to himself, being very wary of the alpha.

Now, however, the omega seems to seek Katsuki’s company. He sticks around when Bakugou is cooking breakfast or dinner, he watches TV in the living room, he starts conversations often. Izuku has been talking non-stop, it’s like a dam of words broke and Bakugou is being flooded by conversation.

And he asks questions, a fuckload of questions.

Bakugou would love to say that he is being a very understanding and accommodating alpha to the omega’s curiosity. But the truth is he (sometimes) wants to shove a pillow on the fucker’s mouth just to get some peace and quiet. 

He is trying to keep his cool, he swears he is. There is a nagging voice (that annoyingly sounds like his mother’s) in the back of his head telling him to remember the shit he studied about omegas - about how they are raised in their little bubbles and that can create distorted views of the world; about how the first months out of the Finishing School are very traumatic (there is so much data about omegas’ depression rates after getting married and an alarming number of suicides every year). He knows that, he also knows it’s natural for Izuku to be curious since they barely know each other and the omega knows next to nothing of the world.

But for fuck’s sake, this shit is hard and it’s driving him crazy. That is why he never wanted to get married in the first place. He likes his peace, he likes to be on his own. It was alright when the omega seemed to like those things too, Katsuki thought that was the kind of life he could live. Now, however, he wants to grab the fucking pan and hit his head with it instead of being asked ‘why does he always buy white fish? Doesn’t he like salmon? Or tuna?’

But he soldiers through and answers.

“Because it’s the freshest we can find on the markets here. To get good salmon or tuna, you gotta go to the big markets downtown.” 

The annoyed answer comes out hissing through his teeth, but the omega doesn’t seem affected whatsoever.

“So what matters is the freshness, not the type of fish. Interesting…” 

God only knows why that is interesting, but whatever. Maybe now Katsuki can actually eat his shitty breakfast without it getting cold because he is answering inane questions.

“I suppose you also prefer fresh vegetables, but is there any kind you like best? And what about frozen peas? I heard they are as good as fresh ones, so I’d like to hear your thoughts on that.”

Katsuki almost breaks his chopsticks in half.

“Why the hell do you even care? It’s not like you can cook worth a shit! I’ll buy whatever the fuck I feel like!” He yells and Izuku jumps on his seat a little scared.

The omega’s lips go into a straight line and his expression closes instantly. 

Shit.

Bakugou gives up finishing his breakfast and just fixes his things to leave for work. He is out of the door in less than five minutes, the only words he and the omega exchange are quiet goodbyes.

He shouldn’t have blown up. Katsuki is better than that, he isn’t the hot-headed idiot he was at fifteen. He came a fucking long way and he knows better.

Izuku is fucking trying as well, Bakugou can see it. Rationally, Katsuki knows the omega has the right to ask as many questions as he wants; but he can’t help but feel a little invaded. He is a very private person, he likes his space and to do things his way, and he most certainly doesn’t like to have to explain himself about his way of living.

Bakugou tries shoving these thoughts to the back of his mind as he arrives at the agency. Now it’s time to work, he can worry about his fight with the omega when he gets back home.

After entering the building, Katsuki ignores the greetings from the extras, clocks in and goes to his team’s office. They don’t have patrols until the afternoon, so Bakugou is thinking about training a little in the morning and wants to see if Kirishima and Camie are up for it.

However, when he enters the office he doesn’t see any of his teammates around. Lazy fuckers, since they don’t have patrols the idiots are probably running late. He texts telling them to meet him at the gym and goes to the locker room to put on some workout clothes.

At the gym, Katsuki releases his frustrations on the treadmill. It’s been a while since he had a nice run. His team has been cooped up in the office for hellish long hours to crunch the numbers and forms for the end of the trimester. If he knew how much of Hero work was related to government forms and kissing ass to insurance representatives, he might have picked a different high school.

Actually, the last time Katsuki managed to squeeze in a good workout was probably about a week ago in his home gym. That day the rain was so strong that his team got out of patrol duty. Oh, yeah. That day. He shouldn’t think about that day. Shit, he is already thinking about it. The day he got home early, soaking wet, and decided to work out before taking a shower. He really shouldn’t think about it. 

About the fucking delicious smell that drowned him the second he put his feet inside that room. He should really invest in some kind of ventilation system or some shit in the gym because Katsuki’s thoughts were definitely not holy during that workout. Every time he has smelled the omega before wasn’t even a fraction of what he was smelling in that moment. That was pure sin.

Usually the omega’s smell was quite fresh, citric with a splash of pine or eucalyptus with some pheromones underneath. But, apparently, that was the smell of the omega when he was clean, freshly showered. The smell of Izuku after a workout had a whole new layer of temptation to it. It was muskier, the pheromones were more clear and the light citric became thicker and sweeter. 

That day Katsuki’s workout was filled with images of fierce green eyes and a panting red face. Granted, all the times Bakugou saw the omega’s face red was because of anger but his mind decided it was good enough to picture him blushing and panting for other reasons.

Bakugou is not proud of what he had to do on the shower that day. But an alpha has needs and he has been living in celibacy for a fucking long time, so give him a break, alright? He tried picturing some random person he has seen in some porn video before, however the omega’s scent seemed to cling to his pores and his mind refused to conjure anyone who didn’t have cute freckles and a mop of curly green hair.

After he left the shower he promised himself he would never again think about that day. Katsuki should be thankful the omega usually wears blockers, though he still doesn’t know why. Or maybe he should ask Izuku to ditch the blockers. Bakugou is sure he would be much more willing to endure the onslaught of questions if he could smell the calming scent of the omega.

Shit. Where did that line of thought come from? Wherever the hell it came, it wasn’t the kind of place his mind should be wandering. Katsuki doesn’t know what irks him the most: the fact he actually is capable of an archaic mindset like this one; or the fact he is such a slave to his biology that he would ignore every personality trait he has if he could just smell the sweet omega pheromones.

“Good morning to you, homeboy. Somebody is pent up today.” Camie says eyeing the speed Bakugou’s treadmill is showing.

“Some of us actually want to maintain their status as Heroes, so we gotta fucking exercise.” Katsuki grunts and Camie rolls her eyes.

“As if you even need. You, me and the whole damn country know that the only reason you are not in the top five of the ranking is because you weren’t mated. Now that this small issue is fixed, you are going up faster than Endeavor’s blood pressure when Miruko talks to him.”

Yeah, that is definitely not something Bakugou wants to think about as well. He spent his whole fucking life thinking about climbing the damn rank just to find out the government would never put an unmarried Hero in the top ten. It was a kick in his guts that he hasn’t fully recovered from yet. He knows he is better than most of the old geezers there, he knows he could already have surpassed even Miruko if he had married earlier and opened his own agency.

But Katsuki didn’t want to do any of that shit. He still doesn’t want to, but he couldn’t keep his license if he kept his single status. This is all fucking bullshit, the fact he didn’t want to get married and that he doesn’t want to deal with the bureaucracy that is leading his own agency aren’t important factors in his ability as a Hero. He knows the amount of pain in the butt that is managing an agency, he doesn’t want to deal with the Bureau's goons anymore than he already has too (and he is aware that Miruko has the fuckers calling her every single day).

The ranking is updated every six months, the next one is scheduled to come out in less than thirty days. Katsuki was sure his rank would go up just because he got married, but that was before the whole Suneater shitshow. Miruko had to work overtime (and kiss more asses than usual) to make sure the story wouldn’t come out, so now Bakugou isn’t as sure about what his rank will be.

One would think he would be furious about it but, at this point in his life, he doesn’t care anymore. He already accepted that the ranking system is a sham. Ground Zero should have been on the top five for years, and Bakugou Katsuki mourned the death of his dream of being number one a long time ago. 

All Might was the last Hero to actually earn the first spot, after his retirement it became a big propaganda tool for the government. Right now he prefers not to think about what the rank will be when it comes out. Thinking about the damn thing leaves a sour taste in Bakugou’s mouth and he decides to turn off the treadmill.

“Wanna spar?” He asks Camie as soon as he steps down.

“We can’t, we have somewhere to be this afternoon and we need to put some documents together before going there,” Camie explains.

“Ha? Since when?” Katsuki questions as he grabs his towel and water bottle.

“Since now. I just got a message from the big bosses saying there is a new district division and we gotta drop our files about Block 72 at Ingenium’s Agency.”

Katsuki rolls his eyes, “isn’t that why this fucking agency has interns and sidekicks? Why the fuck do we need to drop documents across town?”

“Block 72 is marked as a high-risk area.” Camie says matter-of-factly.

High-risk areas meant parts of town where there is a high risk of villain and/or organized crime activity. The documents and case files regarding such areas should only be handled by Pro Heroes because if they fell into the wrong hands they could cause some real damage. 

Usually, Katsuki understands that reasoning. However, the district distribution changes every fucking month because the government department in charge of defining it (the Bureau of Heroes and Police Affairs) uses it as leverage against the Hero agencies. Shitty goons are always trying to put the Heroes even more under their thumb, and the district distribution is actually an important part of the politics involved in Hero work.

That is just another one of the reasons why Bakugou would rather work for the fucking Todorokis than open his own Hero agency. And that is saying something because Katsuki would also rather eat his own damn boot than to put up with a Todoroki more than the time it took to tell them to go fuck themselves.

“Block 72? Isn’t that the one with the illegal gambling club?” Katsuki asks puzzled and Camie nods. “Why are Glasses and Round Face getting that area? They are rescue Heroes.”

“I’m just as out of the loop, fam.” Camie says shrugging as they walk side by side to the locker room.

Katsuki rolls his eyes, “Whatever, Round Face probably is missing some action and annoyed someone.”

Uraraka Ochako, Uravity, is one of the heroes of his generation Katsuki has in the highest regard. That girl never gives up and she doesn’t let anything or anyone hold her back. She isn’t afraid to put in the work and she deserves every little bit of recognition she has gathered. It’s actually a shame that the agency she works on is called Ingenium’s Agency and not Uravity’s; Glasses isn’t half bad but he isn’t in the same level of fierceness as his wife.

Bakugou grabs his things and enters the shower still thinking about Uravity. There was actually a time during high school that Katsuki entertained the idea of asking the woman out. But in the end, he thought having a girlfriend would hinder his climb on the rank when he debuted as a hero. 

Teenage Bakugou was a complete idiot - first because he was so damn sure the girl would swoon the moment he asked if she wanted to grab a burger; second because he never thought she wouldn’t be waiting around for him; third because he didn’t understand the politics behind the ranking system.

The woman started dating Iida still on their third year and, when Bakugou finally settled into his Pro Hero life, she was already engaged to a man who thought she was the most amazing creature to walk the planet. Glasses and Round Face were sickly in love and obnoxiously happy, Bakugou just had to accept that.

And now, somehow, his husband works for her. Katsuki was surprised when the omega brought the papers for him to sign (and not because he had to sign papers, he already learned that no omega can legally work without stated approval of the mate or chaperone). He doesn’t really know what Round Face was thinking when she hired Izuku, but he figured it wasn’t his place to inquire. The omega wanted a job and, apparently, Round Face wanted someone to do her paperwork and he thought that was that.

However, in these last few days that Izuku has been so talkative, Katsuki found out that he isn’t just fetching coffee and filling forms down at the agency. He is helping Round Face train and even walking around with her during patrols. Bakugou read enough of those rules and legislations about Omega Care and Security to know this shit isn’t gonna fly if any regulatory agency catches a whiff of it, but he isn’t a fucking snitch.

He promised Izuku he would keep out of his way, and he will fucking honor it. But, as Katsuki leaves his shower and gets dressed back into his Hero uniform, he can’t help but wonder if he will get to see the little omega training this afternoon.

***

Gathering the documents took longer than Bakugou expected. There was a series of issues that hindered their work; going from the fact that his shitty teammates were not as organized as he demanded them to be to the sheer amount of documents and files that they had about that block. It was already the middle of the afternoon when they got the boxes ready.

Bakugou made sure to curse at Kirishima and Camie vigorously during the whole process in hopes that the idiots learn how to keep their files fucking labeled. When it's time to go to Ingenium’s agency, Kirishima stays behind on notice, just in case any villain went batshit crazy during the drop-off and some heroes are called in as reinforcement.

Ground Zero and Illusionist take one of the agency’s cars and argue about who is going to drive. Camie wins that fight but just because Bakugou is already fucking tired of putting up with bullshit for the day, he could use some time to rest on the passenger seat for a change.

They park right in front of the agency.

“Here we are! It’s been a hot minute since I saw the rescue couple. Why aren’t they invited for the squad hangouts sometimes?” Camie whines as they grab the boxes.

Katsuki shrugs, “we never really hang out with them.”

“You never do. I know Sero and Tsu-chan meet them often, Kami and Kyo sometimes accompany. And Mina and Ochako text like every day, they are the hub of hot tea around here.”

“I know I don’t want to deal with any more losers than what I have to. But if you want so bad to hang out with the nerd squad, just fucking ask them.” Katsuki grunts before pushing open the agency’s door.

He has been here before, not often but he has come a couple of times in hero duty. The entrance is just a small room with a secretary that must spend most of her time playing Candy Crush. Going through the small door, Katsuki knows there is just a huge room with Round Face’s training gear, and three other doors (for two offices and the kitchen).

Bakugou has half the mind to just enter the training room, but Camie takes the lead and talks to the secretary.

“Hi! Illusionist and Ground Zero here to deliver Block files to Uravity or Ingenium.”

“Alright, I’m going to call Ingenium. Uravity is training.” The secretary says before taking the phone and calling Glasses. It takes less than a minute before she says. “I’m going to accompany you to his office.”

Bakugou rolls his eyes, “no need. I know the place.”

He says barging in the door without a second thought. He doesn’t need the damn woman to show him the way through an open room. Katsuki can drop the boxes and go back to the car faster than the secretary can get up from her chair.

At least, that is what he thought. However, he freezes as soon as he opens the door.

Round Face and the omega are sparring together in the middle of the open room. They are so focused on their fight, they don’t even notice the new people watching them. Izuku’s body shines with his quirk and he attacks viciously just to be flown around by the woman as soon as his fist tries connecting.

“Come on! You were too slow! I know you can be faster!” Ochako taunts but her breathing is labored.

Both fighters are equally flushed and panting, but it’s Round Face who stands her ground while the omega does his best to try landing a hit. Uravity is clearly much more experienced and reads Izuku’s movements as if the man was an open book. However, what Izuku lacks in technique and experience, he makes up in speed and strength - when one of his kicks manages to find its target, Ochako is thrown back with immense power.

Izuku has a very interesting fighting form. Bakugou feels just as bewildered as he was the first time he saw the omega fight his beta handlers and decided right then and there he would marry him. His body is slim and toned, the t-shirt and shorts he is wearing aren’t doing a thing to hide his physique; his face is a paradox, soft cheeks and cute freckles but a predatory expression; his movements are inexperienced but frighteningly powerful.

“Damn, that is hot. Two sexy things going at each other like this? I might need a second to go outside and think about my weddings vows, fam.” Camie says by his side and Katsuki realizes he is staring just as hard.

He feels his cheeks heat up and looks down.

“Let’s just go to Glasses' office”, he grunts.

“Now I see why you said he would rip my throat off if he caught me calling him princess.” Camie says still looking at the fight. “And I also see why you picked him. Big score, homeboy.”

“Lets. Go.” Katsuki hisses through his teeth turning his back and walking by the sidelines to the office door.

He barges into Ingenium’s office hoping to mask his embarrassment with aggressiveness.

“You could have come pick this shit at the lobby, Glasses! I’m not your damn sidekick to carry your shit around!” He barks and Iida jumps in his chair.

“Good afternoon, Ground Zero. I asked Kamiko to accompany you here so we could go through the proper procedure.” Iida fixes his glasses with a serious expression. “Good afternoon, Illusionist. How are you doing?”

“Sup, dude. Your girl is really going at Baku’s boy, hm?”

“Ochako and Izuku train very diligently everyday! It’s amazing to see his development! Ochako has been very happy with his improvement and believes he is an invaluable training partner!”

“You tell me, I could watch those two improve all day long-” Camie says with a wicked smile and is interrupted by Bakugou starting to pull out documents out of the boxes.

“Let’s just go through the damn papers.”

If there is something you can count with Iida is following the shitty protocols. It makes the document drop-off take much longer than any sane person would want but, at least, that means Camie’s inappropriate remarks can’t go very far. They have to sign and stamp a fucking load of papers, and double check the case files they checked before leaving their agency. When they are done, Bakugou just wants to bolt out of the door but Glasses isn’t fucking done.

“Now that our duties are out of the way, I’d like to formally congratulate you on your marriage to Izuku, Bakugou,” Iida says politely. “I’d have bought a wedding gift, but Izuku was adamant about not accepting it. But I could give one straight to you.”

Katsuki clicks his tongue, “the nerd is right, we don’t need anymore shit.”

He grabs his things and tries to leave, but Iida still doesn’t let him.

“I know it’s unusual for an omega to work in the Hero industry without their mate, so I’d like to guarantee you that I had a long talk with Ochako about insuring Izuku’s safety.”

At that, Bakugou can’t help but chuckle. 

“Yeah, she looked very concerned about his safety as she swung him across the room.”

“That was so hot. I couldn’t even say which one of them was hotter. Goddamn, I need my wife.” Camie says fanning herself.

“I had my worries about their training regime, but Izuku doesn’t accept to be taken lightly during spars. He is a very driven student!”

“Whatever, I don’t care about what he does here. It’s his job. If he wants to be paid to be Round Face’s training dummy, that's on him.” 

Bakugou leaves the room before Iida can say anything else, he is ready to go straight to the car without looking around.

“Bakugou! Now that is a big surprise.” Round Face greets him.

She and Izuku seem to be finishing their post-training stretches, but both of them stop everything when they see the three alphas leaving Iida’s office.

Izuku is frozen in place, clearly very uncomfortable and ready to get into another fight. Katsuki suddenly is reminded of the way they left things that morning.

“Round Face, Nerd”, Bakugou greets them. “We had to drop some Block files with Glasses.”

“How is it going, homegirl! Izuku! We saw you both raising some dust. You both got some nice moves going on.”

“Thank you, Camie”, Izuku murmurs still wary and uncomfortable.

“Thanks, girl! Izu is the best sparring partner I ever had! This boy never gives up! He will be kicking ass in no time!” Ochako says excitedly hitting Izuku with a light punch on the shoulder. 

Izuku looks down with a shy smile pulling in his lips and leans towards the girl. Camie makes small talk with the beta woman, asking things about their training and explaining what documents they came to deliver. Izuku participates a few times, but Katsuki doesn’t say anything during the women's conversation.

He just steals glances at his husband, analyzing his body language around Ochako. They look extremely at ease with one another. The omega looks more relaxed around her than Bakugou has seen him be with anyone else. Ochako sings his praises every time she can and isn’t shy about touching his shoulders, arms and even waist.

For someone who freaked out about being gifted pillows, Izuku looks incredibly calm with the beta’s skinship. Bakugou has also never seen Ochako so touchy-feely and excited to talk to someone. Sure, at high school she was a bubbly girl with many friends; but he's sure he hasn’t seen that glint and mischief in her eyes when talking to her nerd squad.

Suddenly, Katsuki feels like he is watching something deeply personal, something that he isn’t allowed to see. It’s almost a voyeuristic feeling, he can’t imagine how Glasses deals with that everyday. 

“Let’s go, it’s late and I want to go home.” Bakugou grunts.

“Hey, what time are you free, Izuku? We could give you a ride!” Camie, the fucking dumbass, says as if there was no problem at all in driving Izuku home.

“Don’t say shit, we need to drop the car back at the agency.” Katsuki says already walking towards the door.

“I can drive you both home, and drop the car off after. Don’t worry, fam, I got you.” Camie says with a bright smile and Izuku seems to be scrambling to come up with a way to say no.

Katsuki could give the omega a way out and say he needs to pass by the agency, but some part of him feels like being petty.

“Sure, let’s go.” He says leaving the room. 

That doesn’t give Izuku not even a second to argue, and a couple of minutes later he and Camie join Katsuki on the sidewalk. Izuku has put a blue All Might hoodie over his t-shirt and is carrying a yellow drawstring bag.

Camie keeps chatting away, completely oblivious to the tension between them. 

“So you really never trained before? That is wild!” She says opening the car to let them in.

Katsuki climbs on the passenger seat and Izuku goes to the back. Once they close the doors, however, Bakugou realizes a fatal flaw in his plan of being petty: having to be in a small enclosure with Izuku after the man just finished working out. The smell fills the car instantly and Katsuki has to bite his tongue to prevent himself from grunting. He cracks the window open hoping the evening air will help.

“No-not really. I mean, I worked out on my own, mostly in my room. But I never had fighting instructors.” Izuku explains with a small voice, a little strained.

The omega clearly isn’t as comfortable as he was before, and Bakugou would like to be annoyed, to be angry. He hasn’t done anything to deem this kind of reaction from the omega. Why can he be so relaxed around Round Face but not around his own husband?

However, he can’t will his feelings to match his rational thoughts. His customary anger doesn’t respond to his call. It must be the omega’s pheromones who are keeping his alpha at bay. Izuku smells so fucking good that Katsuki’s brain doesn’t work right if the omega is out of his blockers.

“Ochako is right, fam, you are getting good! We should spar sometime, that would be rad!”

Izuku chuckles, “I don’t know about sparing with alpha Pro Heroes yet. Ochako kicks my ass bad enough.”

“Ochako is one mean gal. She would probably kick my ass as well, so don’t feel bad about that!”

Alright, maybe Katsuki is being unfair. He did yell at Izuku this morning, that is why he is jumpier than usual. The omega hasn’t really acted as if he was afraid of Katsuki for days, if Bakugou hadn’t lost his temper they would probably be fine. 

Also, Ochako is a beta. Katsuki isn’t stupid, it’s clear the omega only talks comfortably around betas. He was pretty relaxed near Tsuyu and Kaminari, so that is probably how Izuku is with people he is close friends with.

Izuku has lived in a closed environment for over ten years where all the betas he met were authority figures, all the friends he was allowed to have were omegas, and the alphas just went there to find someone to mate. No wonder the secondary gender was such a big issue in how he acts around people; that is literally how he learned to live his life. Izuku didn’t have the privilege of ignoring people’s secondary gender like most alphas and betas had.

Maybe Katsuki should do something about having yelled at him this morning. Sure, the man’s questions were annoying but he already established Izuku is a nerd. Nerds make questions, it’s in their nature. 

“Airhead, drop us off at the grocery shop three blocks over.” Katsuki grunts without looking at anyone.

“Alright… Gotta buy dinner?” She asks curious.

“Yeah” he grunts.

The drive to the grocery store takes just a few minutes more. When Camie pulls up in front of it, Katsuki jumps out of the car.

“Don’t wreck the agency’s car.”

“Bye, Baku! See you tomorrow! Bye, Izuku! We gotta schedule that spar!”

“Bye, Camie!”

Katsuki waits for the omega to finish waving to the blonde, before opening the grocery shop’s door and indicating with the head for Izuku to enter. As soon as they are inside, he asks.

“What do you want?”

“What?” Izuku asks startled.

“What do you want for dinner?” Katsuki asks again as if it was obvious, showing the store with his hand.

“Oh… I-... I don’t know? Anything you feel like cooking is fine.” Izuku says looking down uncomfortably.

Bakugou clicks his tongue, “just tell me something, anything.” That doesn’t get Izuku’s chatter back, so he tries again. “What is your favorite meal?”

Izuku scratches the back of his head, “my favorite meal?... Do you mean Japanese?" Katsuji nods. "Oh, then it’s Katsudon.”

“Alright.” Katsuki says going ahead to pick what he needed for the dish.

Katsudon is easy enough. Way more fat than Katsuki usually goes for a weekday meal, but he can suck it up for one night. 

“Re-really, Bakugou, there is no need… I’m really not picky with food.”

Katsuki rolls his eyes, “you have eaten your own cooking, I know you aren’t picky with food.”

“...no need to bring that up.” Izuku says and when Katsuki looks back he sees the omega pouting. 

That makes Katsuki laugh.

Izuku watches every move he does inside the store with a serious look on his face. Maybe he is trying to learn, the man clearly never had to buy groceries before. So Katsuki tries explaining his thought process.

“The pork needs to be a light pink color, or else it’s bad.”

“You gotta check if there are no broken eggs in the carton.”

“You shouldn’t look at the chocolates near the cashier. Those are overpriced shit.”

Halfway through their little shopping trip, Izuku seemed to have relaxed and started asking tentative questions again.

“Why did you and Camie have to drop the documents?”

“Don’t you care about giving up a Block to another agency?”

Their light conversation, going back and forth between groceries and Hero work, kept flowing. It even had some light teasing from Bakugou when he saw Izuku eyeing the gacha machine with Hero figurines by the door of the shop. Katsuki called him a nerd and asked if he wanted some coins, Izuku pouted again and pretend he wasn’t actually interested.

Their dinner that night was relaxed and actually quite fun. That night, before going to bed, Katsuki couldn’t help but think that omega pheromones were some powerful drugs because they kept him on a good mood for hours until he fell asleep.

 

 

Chapter Text

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.

Chapter Text

Cold War

Izuku’s confused, angry, frustrated, and with a dash of depressed. He honestly doesn’t know what happened last night to make Bakugou so angry with him; Izuku was trying his best! He worked his butt off on that party to be a proper omega! And, from the media headlines he saw this morning on his phone, it worked just fine and he doesn’t understand what complaints the alpha may have.

Since he heard he’d have to accompany Bakugou to the gala, Izuku changed the focus of his research. At that point, he already had a lot of information on Bakugou, pages and pages of it. So now he needed to remember what he learned in Public Appearances and Media classes to be sure he acted like a proper omega at the party.

He pulled out magazines and online articles, looked for his old class notes, read commentaries on discussion forums and made sure to prepare his answers beforehand. No photographer or interviewer would catch Izuku unprepared. The Institution may have done many things to Izuku, but you can’t fault it for not teaching the omega how to behave properly and how to strategize when tackling a challenge.

As far as Izuku’s concerned, the night was a great success. He didn’t slip once when giving the quick interviews, he talked with several important people of the hero industry, and he even found time to talk to Bakugou’s and his friends. While Katsuki snarled and glared the whole night, even almost caused a scene at the end, completely drunk!

It’s been three days since the party, and they haven’t properly talked to each other since then. The apartment has been just as quiet as during the time before Izuku’s heat; with the difference that now it isn’t just Izuku who is angry which seem to make the atmosphere even more volatile. Izuku hasn’t said a word, afraid of setting the whole thing off.

However, today is the day they have scheduled to take Eri to the park. Before the party, they had agreed to make a small picnic just the three of them. Bakugou would prepare the food since Eri didn’t believe alphas knew how to cook; then they would let the girl play around for a while before taking her back to the Institution. 

Izuku doesn’t know if this agreement is still valid. He doesn’t even know if he wants it to be valid. On one hand, he would hate to disappoint Eri, he’s been receiving dozens of texts from her every day saying how excited she’s for their outing; on the other hand, Izuku doesn’t want to expose his fragile little sister to a volatile and angry alpha like Bakugou.

It’s like being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Izuku knows he needs to talk to the alpha and set things straight, or at least find out why he’s so mad with Izuku. But it’s hard, he feels angry and hurt by the alpha’s actions, and even a little afraid of making things even worse by talking to Bakugou.

However, he can’t keep postponing this. He needs to ask if they are still taking Eri out this afternoon, and he needs to do it before their breakfast is over or else it’s going to be even harder to talk to the alpha. Izuku sets his chopsticks down and takes a deep breath.

“Are you still going to come with me and Eri to the park this afternoon?” He asks with an even voice.

Bakugou’s body language changes immediately. He bristles like a hedgehog, all sharp edges and ready to fight.

“The fuck that means?” The alpha spits the words out.

Izuku holds back his temper. There’s nothing he wants to do more than to yell back at the alpha, but he knows that it isn’t going to help him now.

“I want to know if you’re still feeling like coming with me and Eri to the picnic as we have talked before.” Izuku keeps his voice as level as he can, hoping none of his anger shows through it.

“Fuck you. I’m not gonna fucking back down from what I said, asshole. You think I can’t act like a proper mate in front of a pup!? Shut the fuck up, I can do this shit with my eyes closed.” Katsuki snarls his answer seething in anger.

Yeah, the perfect picture of a proper mate. Izuku is so impressed that he needs to hold back from rolling his eyes at the alpha.

“I’m not implying that you can’t, Bakugou. I’m asking if you still want to.”

“I’m not backing down from what I fucking said, fucktard. If I said I was making the shitty food for the picnic, you can bet that is exactly what the fuck I’m going to do,” he barks. “Just be ready to leave at noon, I have shit to do now.”

The alpha gets off the table and goes to the kitchen without looking back. Well, that could have been worse. Izuku finishes his breakfast quickly and follows Bakugou to the kitchen to find out if he needs help preparing the picnic food. The alpha puts him running away with a few more yells so Izuku decides that if Bakugou wants to do all the work on his own, then that’s not Izuku’s problem.

The omega hides in his room the rest of the morning, only coming out exactly at noon. Bakugou is waiting for him in the living room with several bento boxes stacked in a bag and looking ready for a day at the park with a child. The alpha is wearing dark jeans and a light grey t-shirt without any skulls in it, Izuku feels just a tiny bit thankful Bakugou tried to not look as menacing as usual for this day.

Their car ride is completely silent, it seems like a redo of their ride away from the Institution as newlyweds. It feels like they haven't evolved at all in the over two months since then. That makes Izuku so angry and frustrated!

He’s been trying so hard! He studied so much to be able to talk with Bakugou as an equal! He was almost done with his research about the alpha, and his conclusions so far were overall positives! Why did Bakugou have to go and screw it all up without any good reason?!

You know what?! If Bakugou doesn't want to collaborate with this friendship, Izuku won't try so hard either! After they put on a show for Eri, they can both go their separate ways if that is what the alpha wants!

When they pull over the Institution, Izuku is full of pent up energy, ready for a fight. However, he knows this afternoon has to be focused on Eri. He can't let his temper slip.

They get out of the car and walk to the porch of the manor where Eri is already waiting with Miss Aikumo, one of the beta handlers. Eri is dressed in a pretty light blue dress and has a big bow on her head, she's almost jumping in place with excitement and Izuku's heart melts on the spot.

“Izu-nii!” The girl runs to hug him as soon as the beta lets go of her hand.

“Hey, Eri-chan! Are you excited to go to the park?” He asks her smiling.

“Yes! Yes!” She jumps happily and Izuku smiles even brighter.

His little sister is the cutest. It’s worth to put up with Bakugou’s awful mood just to see how happy she is. Talking about Bakugou, the alpha exchanged a few words with the beta handler then turned towards the two omegas. Eri stops jumping and shows a submissive attitude the moment the alpha’s eyes look her way, her head is down and her body tries to make itself look even smaller.

“Hi, Eri. I’m Bakugou Katsuki. Nice to meet you.” The alpha says politely giving a small bow.

Eri giggles and gives a small curtsy.

“Nice to meet you, Mr. Bakugou Katchuski.”

Izuku has to bite back his laughter, Bakugou’s eyebrow twitches but he keeps his calm expression in place.

“Shall we go?” Bakugou says offering his arm to the girl.

He really knows how to put on a show, Izuku thinks. In just two lines, he already portrayed himself like the perfect alpha gentleman in the eyes of Eri. Izuku knows this is just acting, but he does appreciate the effort Bakugou’s putting for his sister.

The ride to the park is much more lively. Eri tells them about what she’s studying at school and the books she’s reading; Izuku's and Bakugou's comments are always aimed at her, they don’t talk to each other not even once inside the car.

The park they chose to go to is a botanical garden, which means it’ll be less crowded than a public park and more secure. The area is huge, with a lot of open space, fluffy grass, and huge trees. There are also a few big greenhouses they can check out later to see the exotic flowers.

They pay the fee to enter, park the car and walk calmly to find a good spot for their picnic. Eri doesn’t stop talking not even one second during the process, which really impresses Izuku. When he met Eri, the girl almost didn’t talk at all.

She was a seven-year-old girl who presented as an omega in the most traumatic event Izuku has ever heard of. She had spent almost a year under the control of a villain group made of alphas and betas who terrorized and tortured her to use her quirk. The raid that ended up in her rescue was gruesome and lead to the death of a powerful Pro Hero, Sir Nighteye, Mirio’s mentor.

Mirio and Tamaki themselves got scarily close to dying that day. But they lived and saved Eri,  whose heat had come in the middle of the fight because of stress. The little girl was in severe distress, her whole body convulsed and she almost went into shock. Tamaki says Mirio still has nightmares about that day.

It took a lot in the last three years for the girl to heal and learn to open up. Seeing her so carefree and talking happily with someone she just met warms Izuku’s heart. He doesn’t know how much Bakugou knows about Eri’s history (he could access the records about her easily in his workplace), but he can tell the alpha is working very hard to be as calm and non threatening as possible. Izuku can’t help but be grateful for that.

The three of them spread a blanket under the shadow of a big tree. Bakugou starts pulling out the food containers from the bag he was carrying. When they open the bentos, they see a beautiful array of cutely displayed food. It’s absolutely adorable, Izuku doesn’t think he ever saw a meal presented so beautifully. 

Every little item is decorated -  the onigiris have bear faces made of nori; the sausages are little squids; the eggs look like chicks; cherry tomatoes are cut and pinned together as little hearts. It’s the kind of bento Izuku has only ever seen in studio-photos, he didn’t know food could look this good in real life.

“Wow! It’s so cute! I never saw anything that looks so yummy before!” Eri says amazed. “Did you really made all this food, Mr. Katchuski?”

“Yes, I did, kiddo.” Bakugou looks torn between preening under the praise and correcting her awful pronunciation of his name. 

Izuku decides to be petty.

“It really looks amazing, Kacchan! It’s the prettiest bento I’ve seen you do!” Izuku says with a teasing smile. “It’s all so adorable, just like you.”

Katsuki’s face becomes bright red. Izuku doesn’t know if it’s a blush or his poorly concealed anger.

“Kacchan?” Eri asks confused then she gives a bright smile. “Oh, you guys have special nicknames to each other! Just like how Mirio calls Tama-nii Chipmunk!”

“Yes! Katsuki is a very hard name to say, isn’t it? I’ll let you call him Kacchan too!” Izuku says with a smile that he hoped his little sister wouldn’t catch that had an evil tilt to it.

“Can I, Mr. Katchuski?” Eri asks Bakugou with huge puppy dog eyes.

Bakugou looks like he wants to tell the two omegas to go fuck themselves for a second, but he gives a teasing smirk and agrees.

“Sure you can, pipsqueak. And you also can use the special nickname I created for your brother. Do you want to know what it is?” 

Bakugou’s face is positively wicked right now and Izuku feels dread in the pit of his stomach.

“Sure! How do you call Izu-nii?” Eri says smiling completely oblivious to the silent war raging around her.

“Deku. I call him Deku because he’s my sweet klutzy omega who is absolutely useless if I’m not around to take care of him.” Katsuki has a self-satisfied smirk on his face, looking pretty happy with the nickname he came up for Izuku.

Eri giggles, “Izu-nii isn’t completely useless, Kacchan!” She does a weak attempt to defend her brother.

“Oh, isn’t he?” Bakugou asks with a raised eyebrow. “Do you think he could have cooked all this on his own?”

Eri giggles even more and shakes her head.

“No, Izu-nii can’t cook at all! He’s forbidden to get in the kitchen even to steal snacks! He had to ask me to go in his place, or else the cooks would yell at him!”

“Oh, would they?” The alpha asks with an evil smile towards Izuku, then turns back to Eri. “Do you have any more of these nice stories of your brother to share with me? Maybe if I like them, we can go get ice cream later.”

***

This afternoon was hell. The alpha charmed Eri with his stupid jokes and sincere attitude, and the little omega was team-Kacchan before they could finish the food. She told him everything. Absolutely everything she could about her big brother.

She told him about the fights he used to pick with the beta handlers; about gossips that flew around the Institution; about the time Izuku fought with a stupid math teacher; about how his essays for German class were made using Google Translate and how he was kicked out of class for mixing up the words brüste (breast) and bürste (hairbrush); about how Izuku used to bribe the gardener to buy them snacks from the convenience store; about how he booby-trapped the door with a water bucket to wet the beta handlers when an alpha demanded to see him.

Bakugou encouraged the girl after every little anecdote. Izuku swears if the alpha actually buys all the candy he promised, Eri will get cavities before the end of the day. And Eri looked over the moon talking with Bakugou, she was basking on the praises, the silly nicknames and the bribes the alpha offered.

When Eri finished telling him about the time Izuku ripped his pants climbing down from her bedroom after their lights-out hour and had to make sure so not let with his ass facing to any teacher or handler for a whole day, he decided it was time to wrap up the story-telling time.

“I think I want to walk around a little. I’m tired of sitting down for so long.” Izuku says getting up from the blanket.

“Let’s go see the flowers!” Eri says jumping up excitedly.

“Ok, we can keep talking as we visit the greenhouses.” Bakugou gets up and starts folding the blanket.

Eri goes running in front of them towards the greenhouses, Izuku stays back keeping pace with Bakugou. He doesn’t think he ever saw Eri acting so much like a kid before. In the Institution, she’s so much younger than even the other young tenants that she has no one to properly play with. The Institution also doesn’t really encourage a lot of running around and acting like a child. That makes the annoyance Izuku was feeling simmer down instantly.

“She’s really happy,” Izuku says watching Eri run with her arms stretched as if she was an airplane. “Thank you for doing this for her.”

Bakugou shrugs and murmurs, “she’s a nice kid.” Then he gives a sly smirk and completes, “and she has some great stories on you.”

Izuku rolls his eyes and huffs, “so what? You know some stupid stories about me. What are you going to do with them, blackmail?”

Katsuki clicks his tongue, “what would I even gain blackmailing you? You have absolutely nothing I want.”

The playful banter was over as quickly as it had begun. Bakugou’s voice dripped with venom in his last phrase, and the alpha increased his speed to get away from Izuku as soon as he said it.

What is wrong with him?! Izuku hasn’t done anything wrong at all! ‘ You have absolutely nothing I want’ ... Maybe this is Bakugou telling him Izuku isn’t really his omega. He’s never wanted Izuku in the first place, and now he’s stuck with an omega he’s not attracted to. Maybe having to pretend to be a couple and to watch other normal couples at the party reminded Bakugou of a fundamental piece that’s missing in their wedding.

But that isn’t Izuku’s fault either! He never asked to be picked by the alpha! He incontestably said he didn’t want to marry Bakugou! And now the alpha decides he’s angry that he’s married someone he isn’t attracted to?! How is that fair?!

Izuku has never hidden who he is! He knows he’s not beautiful, petite and slim as omegas usually are, he knows his smell isn’t as sweet as it’s supposed to be. He has been trying to not let these things bother Bakugou, he’s always using the blockers! Bakugou has no right to be mad at him because of it!

At the same time, Izuku remembers his biology classes (no matter how much Tamaki has yelled at him about it), he knows alphas have a high sex drive and can get irrational when they are sexually frustrated. Maybe that is what is happening? Maybe that is the answer to why Bakugou seems to be two people?

Because since he started his research, Izuku found out a lot about Bakugou Katsuki. Most of it he liked, most of it added up to the kind of person Izuku wanted to be friends with. It’s still very hard to conciliate the person he’s been living with since he left the Institution with the tyrant alpha who bought him. 

It’s so hard to believe that these two are the same people that Izuku came up with the theory that they actually aren’t. The alpha who Izuku met at the Institution was a version of Bakugou that was too stressed out by the obligation of getting married summed with being drunk on omega pheromones (it was quite a common occurrence with young alphas the first time they entered the Institution. Izuku even saw a couple of them pass out, Bakugou wasn’t as young but maybe he’s more susceptible to it?).

Izuku wanted to believe that the Bakugou he met for the first time didn’t exist anymore. He was the effect of a very particular set of circumstances that wouldn’t happen ever again. All Izuku had to worry with is the Bakugou he’s living with now. And that seemed to be working fine until the day of the gala.

Bakugou was very stressed out in the week of the party, and it only got worse when they arrived there. Maybe that was it, Bakugou doesn’t like public appearances. He can’t deal with the media, hates being in crowded places and everything that was happening got his anxiety through the roof. Stress leads to pent up aggression. And how do alphas deal with anxiety, stress and aggression? Sex. At least, that’s what his biology teachers told him.

Not only Bakugou doesn’t have anyone to release his frustrations with, in the Gala there were a few omegas without blockers. Their smell, even mixed with their mates, could have increased Bakugou’s libido. That ended up with a very sexually frustrated Bakugou who realized he isn’t even attracted to his own husband.

Izuku sighs deeply at the realization. He has no idea who invented the whole ‘marriage of convenience’ thing, but he’s sure this is anything but convenient. They can’t stay together their whole lives with Bakugou hating Izuku because he can’t have sex. They’ll need to talk about it.

That’s definitely a conversation he isn’t looking forward too. What can he even say? ‘I’m sorry I stink?’. He isn’t sorry about that! He doesn’t want Bakugou to be sexually attracted to him (no, inner omega, he doesn’t), and Izuku is perfectly fine with spending the rest of his life as a virgin. He has his meds and heat aids, he’s been going through heats alone since he presented, he doesn’t need any alpha for that.

But, apparently, Bakugou isn’t as keen as spending his whole life as a celibate. What can Izuku even do about that? He’s certainly not having sex with Bakugou, and the alpha made it quite clear he doesn’t want to do it with Izuku. ‘ You have absolutely nothing I want’ he said.

That means that Bakugou will have to have sex with other people? Did the alpha have sexual partners before they got married? If he did, why didn’t he marry them? Also, how does Izuku feel about it? He knows he felt awful with the idea of he cheating on Bakugou, but this isn’t about him so he doesn’t think he has the right to feel bad.

Maybe Bakugou is like that because he doesn’t want to ask something like this from Izuku. The alpha can be very thoughtful in his own way, he may be suppressing his needs for Izuku’s sake and that is resulting in all this anger and resentment.

Well, they simply can’t live like that. Izuku was quite enjoying the camaraderie he and Bakugou were developing. If he wants to get that back, he’ll have to be brave and start this conversation with the alpha. Izuku will have to accept that Bakugou will have his own sexual partners. They’re roommates, not mates, so this isn’t as weird as it sounds in his head right now. It’s just a matter of getting used to it, Izuku thinks.

Izuku watches as Bakugou and Eri play around in the greenhouse reading the little plaques with information about the flowers. The little girl asks things like “Kacchan! Where is this one from?” and Bakugou answers her questions in the most relaxed manner he’s ever seen the alpha. This is nice, Izuku likes this Kacchan.

For Izuku, things are quite clear now. He needs to talk to the alpha and explain that Bakugou can have sex with whoever he wants so that Izuku can be friends with Kacchan.

***

After they finished looking at the flowers, Bakugou drove them to an ice cream parlor as he promised. They got mint chocolate for Izuku, strawberry for Bakugou (he first ordered lemon sorbet than he freaked out, screamed at the server and got strawberry. Izuku thinks he must be really stressed out), and chocolate with star sprinkles for Eri.

During the ice cream stop, their conversation went to the realm of favorite foods and such. At least, Bakugou and Eri talked about their favorite foods; Izuku was still too caught up in his own head thinking about the conversation he’d have with Bakugou later.

They dropped Eri off back at the Institution just in time for dinner (that she’d probably not eat after the amount of ice cream she just had) with promises to schedule some other outing as soon as possible. Bakugou actually kneeled down to hug the girl and tell her he’d bring apple pies the next time they met.

As soon as Eri isn’t among them anymore, the silence between Izuku and Bakugou becomes tense. The ride back home is silent and strained. Bakugou looks ready to jump off the window, Izuku just wants to cry in sadness and frustration.

He can’t let this continue. He just can’t. Izuku decides he’ll talk to Bakugou as soon as they are back home. He won’t start the conversation while they are still in the car because he’s afraid Bakugou may become so stressed they get in an accident.

Inside the elevator, the tension could be cut with a knife. How will Izuku breach this subject? ‘Hey, Bakugou, I think you need to get laid. Since we aren’t doing that, maybe you could call an ex? ’ Yeah, that would go as well as a punch in the stomach. Bakugou is too proud to admit he needs anything from anyone. Izuku honestly has no idea how he can talk about this without pushing the alpha’s buttons.

But he needs to do that. ‘ I want to be friends with Kacchan’ is a mantra going over and over in Izuku’s head. Kacchan is the nice one, the one who likes children, knows how to cook and has a funny sense of humor. Kacchan is a good Hero, cares about his friends, calls his mom once a week, and isn’t afraid of hugging his father. 

However, the one by his side right now isn’t Kacchan. The one who is entering the apartment without looking back to see if Izuku is following is Bakugou. Bakugou is explosive, harsh, mean and can lash out at anything. Bakugou feels contempt about Izuku and they will never be friends. He needs to go through Bakugou to get to Kacchan.

As soon as the door closes and they take their shoes off, Bakugou makes a beeline towards his room and Izuku has to gather every shred of courage to stop him.

“Bakugou”, the omega calls out and the alpha halts in the middle of the living room. “Can I talk to you?”

Bakugou turns around and stares at Izuku with a piercing glare. He doesn’t say anything, he just waits to see if what Izuku is going to say is worth his time.

“I-... Ahn… Thank you, you know, for what you did with Eri. She was really happy and I appreciate that a lot.” 

Izuku starts with something safe but that doesn’t seem enough to coax a response from the alpha. He turns back to leave again as soon as Izuku is done talking, and the omega needs to rush to not let him get away.

“And I want to talk about why you are angry with me!” Izuku says rushedly making Bakugou stop and look back at him.

The omega looks down, fidgeting with the hem of his shirt and starts talking.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about the reasons you may have to hate me. And I-... I understand. I mean, I know I was never your choice and that you had to give up a lot of-... ahn… things to marry me, to keep your Hero license. I had to give up things too when I married you… But I suppose one of these things doesn’t really affect me as it affects you. I don’t really understand how it is, but I-... I prefer to live like we were living before, before the gala. So if you need to get this… ahn… thing back, from whoever you used to get it from… let’s just say that I understand. I’d prefer if you didn’t do it here, but I guess this is your apartment and I don’t really have a say in it… Whatever, what I want to say is that I prefer the way it was before you were so… ahn… pent up, so if you need to do it, then you need to do it.”

Izuku rambles and stumbles on his words, but he thinks he made himself clear overall. However, when he looks up to Bakugou, he sees the alpha glaring at him with a confused expression on his face.

“I wouldn’t do it!” Izuku rushes to complete. “With you or with anyone else. It just isn’t for me, I guess.”

“What the fuck are you talking about?” Bakugou asks frowning, completely at a loss to everything Izuku just said.

“You know…” Izuku scratches his head and looks down again uncomfortable. “The thing alphas do when they are stressed and pent up. I figured you’re like that because you miss it.”

“I spar with Kirishima at least once a week. I don’t need you to fucking tell me I need to kick someone’s ass to release my anger.” Katsuki barks at him in his angry alpha way, but Izuku winces because he really hasn’t made himself clear.

“No, th-the other thing alphas do to deal with frustration and… you know… hormones.”

Bakugou’s eyes grow huge with the realization of what Izuku is saying.

What the fuck?” Katsuki growls. “Are you saying I need to get laid?! You are my own shitty husband! What the fuck happened to ‘I’m not gonna cheat on you’ in the pillows’ fiasco?! FUCK YOU!”

“Stop! Stop! I don’t wanna fight!” Izuku yells back. “I don’t like this either! But I hate even more the way you have been since the Gala!”

“You think I’ve been angry with you because I want to have sex?!” Bakugou yells indignant.

“That is what you said! ‘ You have absolutely nothing I want ’ were your exact words!” Izuku screams frustrated.

“THIS WASN’T ABOUT SEX, IDIOT! THIS WAS ABOUT ALL THOSE FUCKING LIES YOU SAID DURING THE GALA!” 

The alpha’s voice echoes through the apartment, his scent is so sour and strong it is giving Izuku a headache. Every cell in the omega’s body is telling him to go hide in a corner and make himself as small as he can to try being safe from the furious alpha, but he swallows his fear and fights back.

“What lies?! What are you even talking about?!”

“All those damn shitty lies! ‘Ground Zero is the best Hero’, ‘Ground Zero is so handsome’, ‘my family loves Ground Zero’. Shitty disgusting lies! You said them as if they were nothing, you two-faced asshole! Were you pitying me because of my ranking? Were you making fun of me on national television without anyone knowing? What the fuck is your deal?!”

Bakugou shakes in barely constrained anger and small sparks come out between the fingers of his fisted hands.

“I wasn’t lying, you idiot! I was just acting like a proper omega!” Izuku screams frustrated.

“The fuck you were!” Bakugou insists.

“I wasn’t! You are one of the best Heroes! Everybody knows that, and they know your ranking isn’t what it should be! You are handsome! Every magazine says so! The omegas in the Institution begged to be introduced to you when they found out you were coming! If you hadn’t yelled at the girls, you’d have heaps of suitors to choose from! And my family does love you! It’s infuriating, actually! All Might even accepted to force me to marry you just because it was you! Just because he trusts you! You’re his favorite student! I may have embellished things for the media, but I didn’t say any lie!”

Izuku is also shaking at this point, and tears of frustration come down his face. For a long time, they just stand there looking at each other. Both completely at a loss at how badly they can misunderstand one another.

“Did you really think I’d accept to cheat on you?” Bakugou says quietly.

“I thought that it wouldn’t be cheating since we are roommates and not mates”, Izuku shrugs.

“But you wouldn’t do it,” the alpha affirms.

“I don’t want to do it,” Izuku says matter-of-factly.

“I don’t want to do it either,” Bakugou says. “I’m sure you pulled this idea from those shitty biology classes you keep referring. But that is bullshit, I don’t need to have sex to control my temper.”

“Oh...alright… But if you need-”

“I don’t.” The alpha interrupts him. “And I don’t want you playing the media for me. If we ever have another one of these types of events to go to, we’ll talk beforehand how to deal with the shitty interviews.”

“Ok, I can do that.” Izuku agrees but he’s still unsure if their fight is really over.

Bakugou takes a deep breath and runs his hand over his head, “shit. Yeah, whatever. Are you hungry?”

Izuku shakes his head, “we just had ice cream.”

“Ice cream isn’t dinner. I’m going to whip something up.” Bakugou says going to the kitchen. “You can wash the bentos we used today. Don’t want a Deku like you screwing up with the food.”

Izuku gives a small smile to himself as he picks up the bag with the picnic containers.

“Alright, Kacchan!”

Chapter Text

 

Omega

It’s been over eight months since Izuku married Bakugou Katsuki, Kacchan. 

When he was taken out of the place he called home for over ten years, against his will, to live with someone he didn’t know much about (but what he did know, he hated), Izuku didn’t think life could ever be as good as it is now.

After their big fight about the Hero Gala, something clicked between them. It’s like they were finally stripped off the final assumptions that clouded their thoughts about one another. Izuku and Katsuki saw each other for what they really were and, in the midst of that, they found Deku and Kacchan.

Not to say everything has been easy. No, Deku and Kacchan still have a bunch of things they don’t agree on, they bicker and banter more often than not, they step on each other’s toes and are both very quick to snarl. But they respect each other, they treat one another as equals, none of them is ever afraid of calling the other out, and they have fallen into a comfortable routine inside their home.

And it’s their home now. Izuku hasn’t thought about the place as ‘the alpha’s apartment’ for quite some time. He has his place there, made his nest. That should have been impossible by what his biology books taught him, but it happened nonetheless. An unmated alpha and an unmated omega have their territories side by side and respect each other’s boundaries.

Things are so perfectly settled between them, Izuku would go as far as to say they are good friends.

His home life has been so stable that Izuku finally feels safe to look at the thing he had to put on the back of his mind to not go crazy. It’s time to think about being a hero.

The one who gave him the final push about that was Ochako. A literal push.

“Can’t be a Hero if you let the villains catch you off guard!” Ochako said pushing Izuku and tripping him over to the floor of their training room.

“Hey! We’re not sparing!” Izuku complained getting up from the floor. “What are you even doing here? Didn’t you have to go to the Bureau this afternoon?”

“I went there, did my thing and now I’m back,” Ochako said attacking Izuku again as soon as he was standing.

However, the omega was already used to Ochako’s aggressive training style. He dodged perfectly and used the momentum to push her to the floor. Izuku’s quirk was shining through his body and the power of the impact made sure the girl couldn’t block his attack.

“Not bad,” Ochako smiled at him. “It’s been a while since this training has been going 50-50.”

“Well, you’ve been beating me up for months. I had to learn a thing or two eventually.” Izuku said extending a hand to help her up.

“I’m not trying to sing my own praises here, Deku. But winning against me is more than ‘learning a thing or two’. I’m still the highest-ranking beta woman Hero. Sure, my 21st spot isn’t much compared with your husband’s 6th, but let’s not forget this damn rank goes all the way to 200.”

“I know,” Izuku smiled apologetically to her. “Thank you. You have been teaching me a lot.”

Ochako and Izuku sit down in one of the press benches of their training room/gym. Sure, it’s Ingenium’s agency, but no one uses the space more than Ochako and Izuku. They’ve been training together daily since Izuku started working there, and the results are already pretty clear on the omega’s physique.

Izuku wasn’t weak by any means before, but now he’s a powerhouse. If not for the scent and soft face, no one would say he’s an omega. Not only he’s become much stronger, but he has better control of his quirk and he learned many fighting techniques.

“Enough. I taught you enough.”

“Enough? What do you mean?” Izuku asked confused reaching for his water bottle.

“I mean I think you’re ready to go for your Support Hero license,” Ochako said seriously as she picks up her bag on the floor near the bench. “I brought you some papers and a guideline for you to take a look.”

The weight of the papers Ochako puts in his hand much surpassed what it should. It didn’t just weight as a few forms and a booklet; it weighted as all of Izuku’s neglected dreams, as the responsibility of wielding One for All, as All Might’s faith in him.

“It’s not all good,” Ochako continues. “Some of the things there… I don’t think you’re going to like them. But when I met you, you told me you wanted to be a Hero and, well, this path isn’t without obstacles.”

He didn’t have to read the fine print to know what the biggest hurdle would be. Those forms weren’t for Izuku to be a Hero, they were for him to be a Support Hero. That means being inferior than any other Hero, not being able to fight for a spot in the rankings, always letting someone else take the credit for his work, always being in someone else’s shadow - and he even knew who that someone had to be, Ground Zero.

There’s no omega Support Hero that works without their alpha. It’s not only unheard of, it’s against the regulations. If Izuku wants to fill these forms, he’ll need Bakugou’s signature at the bottom line. Actually, it’s possible the document is legally valid with just the alpha’s signature; no one cares if the omega agreed or not.

“I wouldn’t be allowed to work with you anymore,” Izuku whispered.

He can’t will his eyes away from the forms. They are daunting, almost teasing him. Everything he ever wanted, but not quite so. The chance of reaching for his dream, but at what cost.

“And do you want to?” Ochako asked sincerely. “I know we have fun together, Deku. But you must want more than to be stuck in this room working out the whole day, doing my paperwork and hoping that we don’t get caught when you walk with me on patrol.”

“I do! I want more!” Izuku looked at her feeling so many emotions at the same time that he couldn’t even begin to comprehend them all.

Ochako just gave him a soft smile, “then go for it.”

That happened two days ago.

Izuku went back home, put the forms on top of his dresser and started to overthink his whole life.

He hasn’t reached a verdict yet.

First of all, Kacchan would never accept it. He likes working with his team, having a Support Hero by his side would mean he’d be taken off the team and would work as a duo with Izuku. The alpha is too proud, he’d hate working as a duo. Kacchan has always made his thoughts on the matter pretty clear — they stay out of each other’s way.

Their delicate balance and mutual respect would become dust at the moment Izuku showed up by his side on the battlefield. Because Katsuki may see Izuku as an equal in a human level, but that certainly doesn’t apply to a Hero level.

Second, Izuku doesn’t want it. He doesn’t want to run after the knucklehead alpha, cleaning up his mess. Because that’s what it would be: Ground Zero is the Hero, Izuku would just be the one to help the civilians clear away from the fighting zone and hug traumatized children.

Third, what good would that be? Sure, Izuku would have been a little bit closer to doing what he always wanted to do, and maybe All Might would think that’s enough for the omega’s time with One for All. But nothing would change.

It’s been over eight months since Izuku left the Institution, and if there’s something he learned during this time it’s that the world knows nothing about omegas. Most alphas and betas barely remember omegas exist in their daily lives. No one cares about their struggles or how unfair the legislation is for them because no one even remembers they exist.

Young unmated omegas are kept completely apart from the rest of society in these tiny bubbles where they learn outdated lessons that have close to none application in the real world. The omegas only come out of there with a mate, someone who will ‘take care of them’ for their whole lives, so they usually don’t enter the workforce.

Omegas are locked away from the world and, if you aren’t an alpha who wants to and can afford to mate with one of these rare beauties, chances are you’re going to see less than a handful of them your whole life.

It’s hard to blame people for not caring about things they don’t even know are happening, and Izuku figured it out that the only way for people to see the omegas’ struggle is to climb high and scream his truth to the world.

Representation matters. What will Izuku represent as just another omega bought by a Pro Hero to do the boring work?

But how will he even begin fighting the whole damn society? The laws? The traditions? 

He needs to have a good standing to even start this kind of thing. He needs to be famous. He needs to be a Hero.

Izuku’s thoughts run in circles in his head. He can’t see a way out, it seems that every move he can take is the wrong one.

When morning comes after the second night in a row he stayed awake thinking about his life and his place in the world, he decides to send a message to Ochako saying he won’t go to work today. He needs to make up his mind and start doing something about it. Overthinking everything on his isn’t going to help the omega.

He needs to talk to Tamaki.

Izuku doesn’t say anything to Bakugou that morning and, if Kacchan notices something seems off, he doesn’t say it. They have breakfast as usual and the omega’s lack of conversation probably passes out as the fact he’s still not a morning person.

However, when he gets out of his building, he doesn’t take his usual route to the Ingenium’s Agency. Today he’s going to Sir Nighteye’s to see his brother.

***

“You do know you can use the front door now,” Tamaki says unimpressed when Izuku enters through the open window. 

The older omega seems to be studying some documents at his desk. Every time Izuku came to visit since he left the Institution, he climbed the building instead of taking the stairs and he always gives the same excuse.

“Old habits die hard, I’ve been sneaking to see you since I was fourteen,” he says smiling to his brother.

“And this smile got you out of everything when you were a cute fourteen-years-old. It doesn’t have the same impact on the face of someone with these biceps.” Tamaki says to him with a teasing smirk pulling on his lips.

Izuku pouts, “am I not cute anymore, Tama-nii?”

Tamaki rolls his eyes but opens his arms for Izuku, “you’re always going to be my cute and undisciplined little brother.”

The two omegas hug and scent each other lovingly. Izuku’s scenting won’t do much since he’s still wearing heavy blockers daily, but just the movement is enough to get them more in sync with one another.

“What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be working?” Tamaki says when they part, Izuku sits down on the chair in front of his desk.

“I asked Ochako for a day off, needed to talk about something with you,” Izuku says putting one foot on top of the chair in a way every teacher and handler on the Institution would yell at him for doing.

But his body assumed the position to instinctively use his bent leg as a shield of sorts. He knows Tamaki would never attack him, but this isn’t going to be an easy conversation and his brother can be a frightening man when he wants to be.

Tamaki tilts his head analyzing Izuku carefully, “what do you want to talk about?”

“Ochako thinks I’m ready to take the Support Hero exam.” He says matter-of-factly.

“And you are afraid Bakugou will not approve?” The older omega asks carefully.

“Yes. But that’s not why I’m here.” Izuku says hiding his body even lower behind his leg. “I don’t know if I want to be a Support Hero. Actually, I know I don’t want to be a Support Hero.”

Tamaki frowns confused, “that’s all you ever talked about your whole life. What’s-?

“No. All I ever talked about my whole life is that I want to be a Hero. I don’t want to be just a Support,” Izuku interrupts him.

The realization makes Tamaki's face quickly go from worry to wary.

“What do you mean with that, Izuku?”

“I don’t want to be a Support Hero.” This time his voice comes out with certainty. Izuku may not be sure about much, but he knows that at the very least.

Tamaki sighs deeply, “you’re getting caught up in rhetorics. Hero, Support Hero, those are just titles. When you’re out there fighting, it doesn’t matter. No one will look at your quirk and think it’s there to help Ground Zero’s explosions.”

“But that’s the thing. It matters! I don’t want to accept being a second class Hero my whole life! I don’t want to just be there to pump Ground Zero’s ranking!” Izuku exclaims raising his head.

“Is that what you think I do?” Tamaki asks coldly making Izuku hide behind his leg again.

“It’s just-”

“Don’t try to cover up now. You made your thoughts pretty clear. You think all I’m good for is standing behind Mirio, a second class Hero.”

The omega’s voice is piercing through the quiet office.

“Why do you have to take this personally?” Izuku fights back.

“Because you’re talking about me. Or is it better that I see this as an attack on my peers?! There are great omega Support Heroes working in this country, Izuku. I’ll not let you disrespect them.” Tamaki words sound like an ultimatum, but Izuku doesn’t back down.

“Are there? I don’t really know many of them since they are always hiding! They don’t give interviews! They aren’t in the ranking! They are always in their alpha’s shadow! I don’t think I ever saw a damn list of every omega Support Hero in this country, and you know how much I read this stuff!” The younger omega yells exasperated.

“And why does that matter?! Hero work shouldn’t be about being in the spotlight! Do you want to save people or do you want an advertising contract?” Tamaki raises his voice to match Izuku’s.

“‘Why does it matter’?! Are you joking right now? Have you really never thought about making the world better for the next generation of omegas? Do you think it’s right that we’re taken away from our families, locked for years without contact with society until we are forced to marry for money?!” 

How can his brother not see it? Just because Tamaki had a one in a million relationship with Mirio, how couldn’t he see what the rest of them go through?

“And do you think they’ll change the whole structure of our society because of one Hero? One omega that can fight? Omegas are already the minority! The ones who have quirks fit for Hero work don’t even appear on the statistics!”

“It’s a start! We gotta start somewhere! Someone has to do something!” Izuku’s voice breaks with the tears that threaten to fall from his eyes.

“And what are you going to do? Punch your way into the Bureau? That’s not how it works, Izuku! You gotta earn respect! People aren’t going to give it to you if you yell loud enough!” Tamaki is just as exasperated with his young brother’s stubbornness.

“At least I’m willing to yell!”

Tamaki takes a deep breath and pressures his temples for a second, thinking.

“What is the plan?” He asks calmly.

Izuku’s fighting stance is automatically disarmed when his brother pulls back from yelling.

“I don’t know,” the young omega grumbles. “That’s why I came here to talk to you.”

“Oh, this is talking? And here I was thinking you came by just to insult my life choices and my friends.” Tamaki says sarcastically.

“I didn’t want to insult you,” Izuku murmurs taking a submissive position. He’s tired, tired of living inside his own head where the thoughts plague him. “It’s just… There’s a lot on my mind.”

“I can see that,” Tamaki sighs. “I love you, Izuku. And if someone is stubborn enough to change every law on the book, that’s you. But I think you should pick your battles better. Support Hero is just a title. Nowhere it says you can’t talk to the media, that you can’t make your waves. At the very least, having this license puts your foot in the door.”

“I… I need to think about this some more,” Izuku says getting up from the chair and walking to the window. He looks back to his brother with a heavy heart and a sad expression. “I love you too, Tama-nii,” he says before jumping off the window.

***

Izuku walks aimlessly around town after leaving Tamaki’s office. He doesn’t want to go to work without having this figured it out, but he feels just as lost as he was before talking to his brother.

Honestly, Izuku doesn’t know what he was expecting. It’s like through his whole life, talking to Tamaki always gave him the right answers; but this particular situation doesn’t seem to have a right answer. He knew what Tamaki’s opinion would be before he even went there, how could it be any different if his brother had said he’d be a Support Hero for Mirio since they met?

But Tamaki and Mirio are a point on the far end the bell curve. More often than not, the duo of alpha Hero and omega Support Hero are formed in the way Todoroki and Momo got together.

Izuku knows Todoroki only talked to the woman once before the contract was settled between his father and Momo’s father. He knows that because, during that time, Todoroki was courting him.

It was a fruitless courting, Izuku made it clear he wasn’t interested from the get-go. But Todoroki insisted and they’d see each other frequently anyway since the young man used to come by to see his mother and his sister.

Todoroki Rei has lived in the Institution since Shouto was a little boy. The public excuse was that life among betas and alphas took a great toll on the fragile omega’s mental health. But it didn’t take a genius to understand that she was abused by her alpha and got severely sick from it.

Rei is a nice and caring woman, Izuku’s very fond of her. That’s how he met the young alpha; they had a big fight when Shouto didn’t properly block his smell during one visit for his mother and made the woman triggered since he smells so much like his father. Izuku kicked the alpha’s ass off Rei’s room with his quirk, shattered all the bones in his arm in the process — Shouto was already a Pro Hero at the time and didn’t take lightly to being thrown off his mother's room by a much younger omega.

Shouto came to apologize to Izuku next time he went to visit his mother. After that, they established a tentative friendship that the alpha, erroneously, understood like a good ground to start courting Izuku.

No matter how many times the omega said no, Shouto would still come to talk to him. It was nice to have an alpha with whom he could talk as a friend, ask questions about Hero life, so Izuku never forbade Todoroki of asking for his company. At one point, the alpha even brought him a handkerchief as a courting gift —  that’s when Izuku decided to end their meetings.

A couple of months later, Todoroki came by to say his father set a meeting for him with an omega that had a quirk Endeavor approved for his bloodline. Izuku felt sorry for Shouto, but he wasn’t willing to give his freedom away to help the alpha.

After the wedding, Shouto still came by to see his mother (Fuyumi had already been married off to promising young hero Endeavor picked) and they talked from time to time. Izuku likes to consider the alpha as a friend but he never pried about the man’s married life. However, one thing is clear — the objective of their marriage was to make Shouto a better Hero.

Momo is a brilliant Support Hero with the most versatile quirk Izuku has ever seen. They are a great Hero duo, but no one knows about Creati. They know about Celsius. Creati is only in the pictures to ‘make it prettier’.

Izuku would really like to talk to Momo right now. To try to understand why she hasn’t ever said anything about how she is treated, why she accepts to be the second fiddle when her power and abilities surpass most of the ranked Heroes.

Did she have no say in her marriage as Izuku? Or did she ask to be paired with a strong Hero? Did she want to be a Support Hero, or did she have no choice in the matter since she was born with such a strong quirk?

Izuku could create scenarios and assumptions all day long and he’d still not have a right answer. Maybe there isn’t even a point in thinking about Momo. She looked happy enough at the Gala, though it could have been an act like Izuku’s. What matters is that it’s not his place to judge her life and her choices.

He doesn’t have intimacy to seek her out and ask the questions that plague him. And even if he did, what good would that do? Izuku needs to pick what’s best for him, as Momo probably did for herself.

When Izuku noticed, his feet had taken him to his neighborhood. 

Maybe he should just go home? Call it a day? 

However, he doesn’t think he’s anywhere closer to getting an answer than he was this morning. Will another night without sleep help him— 

“Izuku! Izuku!” Granny Izumi calls him from across the street.

The old lady seems to be watering some flowers in front of her shop.

“Hi, Granny! How are you?” Izuku crosses the street to talk to her.

“I’m fine, sweety, and you? It’s been quite some time since I’ve seen you around.”

“I’ve been busy with work,” Izuku explains smiling. “And you? Anything new around here?”

The woman’s smile fades at his question. Her face casts a very distressed expression.

“Granny Izumi? Is everything alright?” Izuku asks worriedly.

“It’s nothing, dear. Don’t worry! It’s just Kouta has been acting up. More than usual.”

And the usual is quite a lot. Izuku only managed to see the elusive grandson a couple of times, and every time the young boy made sure to show his displeasure in being around Izuku. He was hostile and bratty, and didn’t stick around much longer than it took to tell Izuku he doesn’t talk to omegas.

“They had a special biology lesson in his class yesterday. His first one about secondary genders… He didn’t take it very well… Now he’s suspended and he refuses to talk to me about it.”

The old beta woman looks tired and depressed. Kouta’s rebellious phase has been taking a toll on her.

“Would you like me to try and talk to him?” Izuku asks before his brain can second guess the idea.

“Oh, I couldn’t ask you for it, dear. I know Kouta is a very difficult child…” Granny shakes her head defeated.

“Exactly, he’s a child. I’m not afraid of a nine-years-old, no matter how much he shows his fangs,” Izuku gives her a small smile.

“Well, he’s in the back. I asked him to weed out the back garden for me as punishment.”

Izuku nods and enters the flower shop. A small door on the back takes him through a long corridor with several doors that ends up in a big garden where Granny has trees and vines of all kinds.

Kouta is kneeled down on the dirt weeding out the area around a lime tree.

“Hi, Kouta! How are you?” Izuku says with the softest omega voice he can muster.

“I don’t want to talk to you,” Kouta growls annoyed.

“Too bad, because I’m here to talk to you and I’m not leaving,” Izuku says sitting down on the dirt with the boy.

Kouta keeps weeding ruthlessly, projecting all his anger on the helpless green sprouts.

“Do you want help with that?”

Kouta clicks his tongue, “you’re an omega, you aren’t strong enough to help me.”

Izuku rolls his eyes and rips off a huge patch of plants, the big roots coming from at least 4 inches out of the soil. The omega didn’t even have to use his quirk, he figured it’d be too much.

“Would you like to say that again?” He asks raising an eyebrow.

Kouta turns his face away and keeps fighting with a stubborn shoot that doesn’t seem to want to be killed.

“Why do you think omegas are weak?” Izuku asks.

“Everybody knows that,” Kouta shrugs. “Omegas are the weakest sex. That’s just biology.”

Izuku can’t help but chuckle at the wording of the boy. How many times has he said the same thing to Kacchan?

“If you had told me that eight months ago, I’d be pressed to agree. But life has taught me that biology doesn’t really mean much in front of people’s wills.”

The boy looks at him warily, “you’d say that. You’re an omega, but grandma said you work with Heroes.”

“Yes, I do. And I plan to be a Hero myself one day.” Izuku explains calmly.

The boy huffs, “good thing you don’t have kids since you’re going to die.”

Izuku takes a deep breath, “I’m sorry your mom died, Kouta, but that doesn’t mean every omega who work as a Hero will, or that every omega is weak. Actually, it doesn’t even mean your mother was weak. I think she was a very brave and powerful woman.”

Kouta’s body is still turned away, but he tilts his head towards Izuku so the omega decides to continue. Honestly, Izuku doesn’t know if he’s saying that to Kouta or to himself anymore, but he keeps going.

“Kouta, your mother was very strong. She was a great Hero and she died doing what was right. I know it’s awful and probably unfair, but being an omega isn’t a weakness. Choosing to stay by your mate’s side to protect the pack isn’t a weakness. Support Heroes aren’t weak. We don’t know how many people could have died that day if your mother wasn’t there.”

“But what if you die?”

“Then I, just like your mom, will be proud to have done my best. Being an omega isn’t what killed your mother, Kouta. Your father was an alpha and he’s gone too. The one who is weak is the villain who thought to hurt people would make them feel more powerful. Your mom, she did her best to protect her city, her people, and you. Your mother didn’t want you growing up in a world where villains went by unchecked; where people weren’t allowed to walk free and fearless. I think that is the mark of true strength.”

None of them said much about secondary genders and dead parents after that, but Kouta started berating Izuku for pulling out the wrong plants. The young boy took to himself to teach Izuku how to do it properly since the omega apparently can’t tell a plant from a weed.

Kouta’s heart wasn’t completely healed, but he took the first step. Izuku’s heart wasn’t completely rested, but he made his decision.

Chapter Text

Storm

“Kacchan, I need to talk to you.”

Katsuki should have seen this coming. In hindsight, it was clear as day. There was no way he’d be getting away from this.

“You’re not going to like it.”

He signed the papers. All the papers — marriage certificate, permission to work, permission to work in an environment where there were alphas.

And he gave his word — to All Might first, to Izuku later. He said the omega would be free to pursue what he wanted, that Katsuki would not get in his way.

“I want to be a Hero.”

If Bakugou hadn’t thought about what to do when this day arrived, it was all on him. He couldn’t blame the Universe, or the omega, for not giving any signs.

But the same thing could be said about the marriage clause in his Pro Hero contract. Katsuki is an expert at ignoring things he doesn’t want to deal with.

“But I can’t. So I’m going to have to be a Support Hero.”

Izuku’s face made it clear this was not up for debate.

“My Support Hero.” 

“Yes.”

“No.”

***

Katsuki would love to say that this was the end of that discussion. That Izuku understood Katsuki didn’t want to be in a Hero Duo, that they went back to their easy coexistence, and that the only thing they argued about after that was Deku’s dislike of jalapeños in his curry.

But if there’s something Katsuki learned about the omega is that he’s as stubborn as a mule. Deku doesn’t give up on the first time someone says no to him. He doesn’t give up on the hundredth time someone denies him. 

After the first no, the omega looked at him with a resigned expression. The face of someone who heard exactly what they were expecting and already had a plan to deal with it.

Izuku let the discussion die that first time. He was getting ready to go for the long run.

“Morning, Kacchan. I’m going to be a Support Hero,” the omega said as he stumbled out of his room in the morning, with the world’s worst bedhead and sleepy eyes.

“No. Eat your melon, or else you ain’t getting eggs,” Katsuki grumbles focusing on finishing the food.

He was just as sleepy as the omega that morning for his night was fitful and stressed. The promises he made All Might and Izuku ran through his head fighting with images of what would be like to give up his team, his identity and his pride to become one of those alphas.

Those alphas who comb the country, sometimes even abroad, in search of omegas with strong quirks just to help boost their rankings. It’s said that Endeavor’s wife was brought in from eastern Europe and that, when the shitty alpha found out the woman was too delicate to be useful in battle, he made his life mission to take as many pups out of her as he could.

It’s said that Endeavor entered a bidding war to snatch the omega he wanted for his son. It’s said that Togata had to wait for years and years to gather enough money to marry the omega he wanted because Suneater’s price was not affordable for a rookie hero.

He knows what’s going to be said when the world sees Deku’s quirk. They flew on the down-low so far because All Might did a lot to keep Izuku’s whole existence a secret while he was on the Institution. But, if Deku gets his license and starts working with Bakugou, opinions are going to change very fast.

“Dinner is ready,” Katsuki called that night.

“What are we having?” Deku said when he left his room.

“Grilled fish and stir-fried vegetables. I got zucchini and carrots.” He answered putting the plates on the counter where they usually ate.

“Looks good,” Izuku said already digging in on the food. “How was work?”

Katsuki concealed a sigh of relief with a huff. He was dreading what could come out of Izuku’s mouth that night.

“Same as always, lots of patrol hours. We’re doing some good progress with that cold case, though.”

“The one about that coffee shop?” Izuku asked curious.

It was probably his favorite part of being married to the omega — having someone to talk about work, especially cold cases. Deku was very inquisitive and analytical, he had some good insights about some cases they discussed.

Their conversation during dinner revolved about work and flies by easily. Katsuki almost forgets why he was dreading to talk to Izuku until he gets up from the counter to wash the dishes.

“I left the forms for the exam on top of your dresser.”

“I know, I exploded them,” Katsuki said without looking back at him.

“I’ll get new ones,” Izuku said as if he was already expecting that answer.

The same thing happened the next morning, and the next night, and the morning after that, and the following night. Every time Izuku saw him, he’d bring up the subject. No matter how many times Katsuki said no, how many ways he tried to divert the conversation, how many papers he exploded with his quirk.

Until one evening, the one who explodes is Katsuki.

“THAT’S FUCKING ENOUGH, DEKU,” he yells hitting his fist on the counter. “I’m not letting you play Hero damn problem. But I’m not called for missing children and drunk assholes, I’m a real fucking Hero!”

“I’m not unprepared! I’ve been training! And I’m only becoming your partner if I pass the test!” Izuku argues.

“A shitty exam made for sixteen year-olds to pass! That’s not fucking enough! I don’t even work with the interns and sidekicks, I work with a team of Heroes !”

“And that’s an excuse if I ever heard one, Bakugou! I am good enough! I can keep up! Why don’t you tell the truth and say you don’t want to work with an omega?” Izuku is seething with anger, baring his teeth.

“Your damn gender has nothing to do with it! I don’t want to work with no one who isn’t at the level I’m used to work!”

“But it has everything to do with it! The only reason I need your permission is because of my gender! The only reason I’m obligated to work with you is because of my gender! And the reason I need to do this is also because of my gender!”

“You don’t need to do shit, Deku. You just want to!”

“I do! I’m in a unique position of fighting for omegas! To show we’re strong! To show we don’t need to stand behind nobody's shadow!”

“So you want me to stand in your shadow? You’re delusional! I have over a decade of experience! I climbed the ranking all on my own!”

“Omegas aren’t even allowed on the ranking! Can’t you see how this is unfair? You’re a Hero, you’re supposed to fight for the ones who can’t fight for themselves!”

“I know what the fuck I am! And I don’t need your shitty opinion about that!” Katsuki yells as he storms into his room and bangs the door.

The alpha closes his eyes and takes a deep breath to not destroy every single article inside the room. When he opens his eyes again, the new forms are waiting on top of his dresser.

He really feels ready to explode. The pent up stress is eating him from the inside and he needs to release some of it, or else things will get worse between him and the omega. 

Katsuki paces back and forth in his room like a caged animal. He needs to do something, he needs to move, he needs to get out. 

He’s going to get out.

Leaving his room, Katsuki notices Izuku must have gone to his own bedroom too. He puts on his running shoes and takes off. The alpha doesn’t even take the elevator because entering a tight box isn’t appealing at all at the moment.

When the fresh night air hit his lungs, he feels like he can finally breathe. A couple of breaths are enough and then he’s running.

He runs as if every nightmare he ever had is hot on his heels — and this may as well be true.

He can’t do it.

He fucking can’t!

He’s Ground Zero! He spent so many fucking years fighting the system, fighting against the forces that wanted him to change who he is.

‘You should be more gentle’

‘You don’t even look like a Hero.’

‘That’s not how an alpha is supposed to act.’

‘If you got married, you wouldn’t be so aggressive.’

‘If you got married, you’d climb the ranks faster.’

‘If you had an omega, we could give you some special missions.’

‘If you had a couple of pups, the public would like you more.’

Fuck that. Fuck all of that. Katsuki doesn’t need anything or anyone to be the best goddamn Hero this country has ever seen.

He promised himself he’d make the fuckers eat those damn words, and he’s been doing it!

He fought to the last fucking minute against being forced to marry, and even that was already a way bigger compromise than Bakugou was willing to make.

Katsuki won’t give up who he really is and everything he has achieved on his own.

And it’s not his damn fault! It’s not Katsuki’s fault the world is a fucked up place and that omegas got the short stick. 

He’s doing his fucking best. He’s being the best husband he can, he learned the fucking laws, he’s trying to be less of an asshole with the omegas he encounters through life. 

So many of the damn cold cases he’s been working on are about omegas. He’s doing his best to at least honor their memories and give the families some closure. What more can he do?

Katsuki is a Hero. He protects everyone regardless of their primary or secondary gender. And at what cost?

Being a Hero has stripped him of any semblance of a normal life. He has been forced to see the worst the world has to offer since he was fucking fourteen. Katsuki wasn’t even allowed to fall in love and get married like a normal person. Every little second of his life since he was about ten-years-old has revolved around being a Hero.

Isn’t that enough? Hasn’t he given enough?

Does he have to sign away the last shreds of his dignity for a cause he doesn’t even believe in?

Is that what being an alpha Pro Hero truly is? The denial of everything you are to please people who don’t even care about you?

Fuck this shit and fuck everyone involved in this shit.

Fuck the government, the Bureau, the other Pro Heroes who play this shitty game and fuck the whole society that watches this shit happen and doesn’t say anything!

Katsuki won’t take this shit anymore!

He’ll keep on fighting! He’ll fight this shitty system that takes everything from him and forces him to fit into a mold of what they expect Katsuki should be like.

He’ll fight to show he isn’t just an alpha, he’s a person and he deserves to be free to live his life how he wants!

And at that thought, Katsuki’s mind conjures Izuku saying the exact same thing and he trips on his own feet falling on his knees on the pavement.

It’s an ugly fall that leaves his knees, legs and hands bleeding with the scrapes. 

Luckily, it’s way past 10 pm and there’s no one on the street to see his fall. Katsuki gets up assessing the damage. He is dripping sweat, his breath is heaving, he doesn’t know how long he has been running aimlessly, the scrapes on his knees are stinging because the sweat is dripping into the open wounds, his hands are dirty from the ground and the blood.

Shit, what is he doing?

Looking around, Bakugou recognizes where he is. It’s very far away from home, almost on the outskirts of the town. This used to be one of his patrol districts some time ago and, if he’s not mistaken, there’s a small hole-in-the-wall ramen place close by. It’s probably open late and he can at least drink some water and wash his hands before going home.

***

The ramen place was actually open, but it wasn’t water that Katsuki ordered to drink.

One bottle of shochu became two, then became three, then four and five. Katsuki hasn’t noticed how parched he was until he began drinking. The burning sensation on his throat made him feel a little less shitty about the other pains he was feeling.

The owner of the place was a grumpy old man who just served the Pro Hero without saying much and Katsuki was very thankful for that.

Because, right now, he needs to get drunk. He needs to get so drunk that the twisted thoughts in his head start making sense. 

Usually, when people get drunk, their minds get confused. But Katsuki is already so fucking confused that he hopes drinking will give him some clarity.

The thoughts in his head go on and on about how this is all unfair, how he hates this so much, how he can’t accept this kind of shit.

But why?

Sure, it’s unfair bullshit and he has every reason to hate it — but this doesn’t explain the burning anger he’s feeling.

Is it because he’s being forced to accept? It can’t be, because he isn’t. Katsuki can keep saying no to Izuku until kingdom come, he has never had issues in denying things to people before.

Is it because Izuku may hate him? Not really. Sure, life is better when they don’t hate each other, but Katsuki can live without Izuku’s approval. He has before and he can certainly do it again.

Is it because it’s a wrong move and Izuku is being stubborn without knowing how wrong it is?

That is the thing, isn’t it? 

Why he is so angry. 

It isn’t because Izuku is wrong, it’s because he’s right.

Katsuki is furious because he agrees with Izuku’s assessment of his situation and he agrees it’s the logical step to take — he just doesn’t want to be the one who has to take it.

If Izuku was anyone else’s mate, Katsuki would totally support the omega’s decision. He’d tell Izuku to say fuck it to the Bureau and its unfair rulings, and just go for it. Show the world he can be a fucking Hero. Challenge the omega to fight with Ground Zero in the ranking. There’s nothing that Bakugou loves more than to see people sticking to their guts no matter what society tells them.

But Izuku isn’t anyone else’s mate, he’s Katsuki's husband — and Katsuki has no one to blame that on but himself.

Sometime between the sixth and the seventh bottle, Katsuki must have called his teammates. At least, he hopes he did, or else it’d be hard to explain why Shitty Hair and Airhead showed up in that ramen place in the middle of the night.

“Bro, care to tell me why you’re here drinking on your own at 3 o’clock in the morning in the middle of the week?”

Alright, the middle of the night already passed some time ago.

“Fam, you really ain’t looking good.”

“You two just,” Katsuki indicates the spaces next to him as he tries to find the word, “sit! Yeah, just sit here.”

He serves two glasses of shochu spilling almost half the bottle on the counter and gives the glasses to his friends. Kirishima and Camie look at each other and look at the glasses trying to make up their minds about what’s going on — Kirishima politely pushes the glass away, Camie chugs it down.

“Drink, Shitty Hair. I’ve got to tell you some shit and we all need to get drunk for it,” Katsuki grumbles pushing the glass close to his friend again.

Kirishima sighs deeply but takes a sip, that seems to placate Bakugou.

“What’s going on, Explodey?” Camie asks. “Not that I don’t enjoy surprise drink night, but you could have warned me before I put on my pajamas.”

“Shit is going down,” Katsuki says with his dragged drunken voice. “The world is a big stinky pile of unfair shit. And I’m- I’m in the fucking middle of it.”

“What’s unfair, bro?” Kirishima asks worried.

“The whole fucking world is unfair, Shitty Hair! It mak- *hic* it makes us choose! It makes us accept this shit! As if it’s right! As if it matters! It doesn’t fucking matter! But it does! To everyone else!” Katsuki anger seeps through his drunken words.

“What matters?” Camie asks raising an eyebrow.

“It doesn’t matter, idiot! You should know! You’re a damn girl alpha! What the fuck is this shit? It doesn’t even make sense but somehow it matters!”

“What, bro? What are you talking about?”

“Your fucking gender!” Katsuki gesticulates harshly and almost knocks over the shochu bottle. “The secondary one, it’s bullshit. The primary one is bullshit too.” He completes quietly as an afterthought.

“Bro, is this about Izuku?”

“It’s about Izuku, and omegas, and alphas and the fucking shitty unfair world!” He says picking the bottle to fill his cup again. “And it’s about me, us.”

“Fam, is this about Izuku becoming a Support Hero?” Camie asks calmly.

“See? Even Airhead understands, Shitty Hair! How can you be so stupid? Then again *hic*, I guess I was stupid too. I didn’t understand too.” Katsuki says dejected and drops his forehead on the counter.

“Well, he’s training with Uravity, Explodey. I thought you two had already talked about what would happen when he finished his training,” Camie says softly petting Katsuki’s arm.

“We didn’t,” Katsuki grumbles. “I was hoping this shitty day would never come.”

“And what now, bro?”

Katsuki raises his head, “now I’m not gonna be part of your damn team anymore. I’m gonna be a Hero duo with my omega husband.” 

After Katsuki says those words, nausea overcomes him and he has to stumble away to throw up on the curbside. Really stumble, his legs feel like jelly and the whole place seems to spin. He’d have gone face first to the ground for the second time in the same night if Kirishima hadn’t grabbed him by the arm and helped him outside.

He empties his belly for a good fifteen minutes under the disgusted expression of Camie and the brotherly pats on the back of Kirishima. Katsuki fucking loves them, he loves his shitty team no matter how stupid and inconvenient they are.

“We love you too, Explodey,” Camie says.

“Yeah, bro, you’re my best bro in the entire world.”

And, by gods, they are stupid.

“You keep talking smack we’re gonna leave you here in your puddle,” Camie threatens.

Sometime between all this, Katsuki’s mind turned off. 

When it turned on again, he was being harshly shoved in a bed.

“He smells like vomit,” Mina says. 

When did Mina come to the ramen place?

“Well, at least he threw up most of the booze. Now all he needs is water and sleep,” Kirishima says.

“I’ll get the water,” Camie says.

“Pick one of the plastic glasses, sweety! I don’t trust him with glass!” Mina yells on the hallway.

“Where are they?” Camie’s voice sounds from far away.

“The far-left cabinet!” Mina answers.

“Ok, bro, let’s take your shoes off,” Kirishima says moving Katsuki’s legs and feet as if he’s a ragdoll. “Mina, can you get the first aid kit? He has some bruises on his hands and knees.”

“On it,” Mina says turning heels.

The three of them work well together, Katsuki thinks. It makes sense. Like a team. Working together towards the same objective. And now the objective is putting Katsuki in bed, so he supposes he’s part of the team too.

Funny thing, he’s never been part of a four-person team before. It’s always been trios. Probably because things are their strongest when they come in threes.

Like the triangle, shit’s the most stable shit or something. That’s why they used it to build the Eiffel tower. And there’s the Holy Trinity. And the rule of three. Three is a good number, solid and stable.

At UA, all their team exercises were with three-member teams. That’s how Katsuki learned how to be a Hero.

Two is incomplete, it’s not good enough. Two leaves too much room for mistakes, and mistakes cost lives.

But four…

Katsuki can work with four.

*** 

Katsuki wakes up feeling like a whole truck ran over him. His head is throbbing, there’s the most disgusting taste in his mouth, his hands and legs hurt and his bed feels wrong.

It takes monumental strength, but he manages to open his eyes to check what time it is. But looking towards where his nightstand clock should be he notices he isn’t in his room. That kickstarts his brain and he sits up in bed as a quick succession of images run through his head: fighting with Deku, running, drinking, more drinking, puking? Things start to get seriously hazy after that.

But from what he can tell, he’s in Kirishima’s guest bedroom. He called his friends at some point. He should thank his drunk-self for that, because he certainly wouldn’t like to wake up with a hangover to see Izuku.

Or even worse, show up drunk at home to yell at Deku. That wouldn’t do any good. Or maybe it would, maybe their screaming matches would start making some progress if both of them were drunk.

Katsuki feels tempted to just plop back down in bed, but his full bladder and the awful taste in his mouth force him to trail to the bathroom. After doing his business and washing his face he starts feeling a little bit more human.

He hears noises in the kitchen and goes to investigate. Pinky and Shitty Hair must be preparing breakfast. He needs to put something in his belly if he wants to go to work but the weird flop his stomach makes when he thinks about food tells him that won’t be easy.

“Now look who is back to the land of the living,” Mina says when Bakugou enters the kitchen.

“Where is Shitty Hair?” Katsuki grumbles taking a seat by the round table.

“He’s at work.”

“What? He went without me?” He asks in disbelief.

“Baku, it’s past noon. You were really dead to the world.” Mina says rolling her eyes.

“Shit,” he says running a hand over his head that only makes his head throb more. “Do you have something for headaches?”

“I do, but you ain’t getting any medicine before you eat something,” she says putting a glass of water in front of him. “I’m making some chicken soup. You puked your whole stomach out yesterday from what I was told, so I thought you’d appreciate something light.”

“Thanks,” he grumbles begrudgingly. 

Mina serves both of them a bowl of hot soup and sits down at the table too.

“So, care to tell me why you thought it was a good idea to get alcohol poisoning in a Wednesday?” Mina asks teasingly.

“None of your fucking business, Racoon,” he snaps.

“When you come to my house smelling like a sewer in the middle of the night, I say it becomes my goddamn business,” Mina fights back.

“I’ve been going through shit, alright?” He barks. “You don’t know what the fuck is going down.”

“You mean the fact that Izuku wants to become a Support Hero?” The woman says as if it’s nothing.

“I mean the fact my whole fucking career is over!”

“Don’t be dramatic, Bakugou,” Mina rolls her eyes.

“Dramatic? I’m not fucking dramatic, bitch! You don’t know shit! You never had to make this kind of choice! You’re very happy working in your loser agency without having to give up your team!” Katsuki yells at her which is a really bad idea because it makes his head hurt even more.

“Well, and you don’t have to give up your team either,” Mina says matter-of-factly.

“Yeah, I can also be the asshole who forbade the omega to be a Hero,” Katsuki says sarcastically.

“Or you can be the idiot who figured out the solution to your problem while drunk and totally forgot about it. Apparently, that’s what you’re going with,” Mina says calmly as she drinks her soup.

“What?” Katsuki looks at her confused, too scared to let hope blossom in him.

“Four. You spent over half an hour mumbling, growling and even yelling ‘I can work with four’ last night.” Mina says as if that’s supposed to help him, Katsuki just keep looking at her confused. “Yeah, that’s the face we made. But you were an insistent bitch and wouldn’t go to sleep until we understood and agreed to what you were saying. Basically, the omega needs to work with his alpha, but nowhere does it says an omega needs to work only with his alpha.”

“Shit,” Katsuki says dumbfounded.

“Before you ask, yeah, Camie and Kirishima are on board with the idea.” Mina says and looks at him with a teasing smile, “Congrats, Explodey, you just got a new teammate.”

***

After having the soup and the medicine, Katsuki decides to go home. He walks most of the way and the fresh air helps with the hangover.

He even steps by a good and big grocery store to calmly buy stuff for dinner. He doesn’t usually have time to do that, but since he had an impromptu free day (Kirishima told HR Katsuki was sick), he’ll make the most out of it. 

When he gets home, he takes a good shower, naps, tidies up his room, and does everything he needs to do in a leisurely pace. When things seem in order, Katsuki lays down on the couch to hear the rain drip outside.

It started raining just after he got home, he was pretty lucky to not get wet. And now, relaxing with the calming noise of rain seems like just the right thing for Katsuki. He even puts some music on to enjoy his free time. It’s nice to be able to be at peace inside his own head.

Katsuki is so relaxed that he almost jumps out of his bones when he hears something heavy on his window. He shoots up from the couch just to see Deku perched on the windowsill looking at him like he just got caught stealing a cookie.

“The fuck are you doing on the window?” Katsuki asks in disbelief.

“Ahn… coming in?” Izuku says unsure as he drops to the middle of the living room making a huge puddle where he landed.

The omega is drenched, his long sleeve red t-shirt clinging to his body and his wild curls sticking to his face. Whatever blockers he put on when he got ready that morning are long gone and Katsuki can’t help but let his lungs fill with the delectable scent of the omega.

“Didn’t I tell you to get the damn key?” 

“I have the key,” Izuku says pulling it from his pocket and dangling for the alpha. “See? I didn’t lose them.”

“Then why are you-” Katsuki starts arguing but he gives up. He won’t let Deku’s avoidance of doors ruin his calm anymore than it already did. “You know what? Just go, you’re dripping on the floor. Go dry yourself.”

He rolls his eyes as the omega tip-toes to his room as if that’d make any difference in the little puddles he makes on his path.

Katsuki ponders laying back down on the couch for a second before giving up. He needs to dry the mess Deku made on the floor and he needs to finish dinner. He turns around to go pick up the cleaning supplies when he hears stomping across the hallway.

Before Katsuki can look back, he’s tackled by a small solid body that he can only believe is Izuku.

“What th-”

“Thank you, thank you, thank you, Kacchan!” The omega says and then Bakugou notices this is supposed to be a hug.

Deku must have seen the filled forms Katsuki left on his room.

Katsuki gives two little awkward pats on Izuku’s head trying to breath through his mouth and not smell the omega, “there, there. That’s enough. You’re soaking me.”

Izuku lets go instantly, “o-ok, sorry.”

“Go take a fucking shower, you’re freezing. If you’re gonna work with me, you gotta start taking proper care of yourself because I’m not gonna accept you missing work because you have the flu,” Katsuki grunts. And we have shit to discuss during dinner.”

“Alright! Be right back!” Deku says eagerly and runs back to his room.

It must be the omega pheromones in his system doing stupid shit to his head; but, for a second there, Katsuki thinks it’s not so bad to go through all of that if he gets to see more of the pretty smile Izuku had when he was hugging Bakugou.



Chapter Text

First Steps

Katsuki feels like his stomach is doing knots on itself. His palms are sweating and a shiver runs up and down his spine. He hasn’t felt this nervous probably since his wedding day, and everybody knows how well that went.

And he has every right to be so. Today is a pivotal day that may decide his whole life — and he can’t influence it at all.

Bakugou is used to facing challenges and fighting for what he wants. However, today he’s on the bench, he won’t be able to work towards his goal and that’s putting him on the edge like nothing else could.

“You look green,” Izuku comments. “If you ain’t gonna eat your fish, I can eat it.”

The omega eyes Katsuki’s portion of grilled fish. They’re having breakfast in what is going to be the most important day of their married lives, and Deku is acting like it’s nothing.

Just to be petty, Katsuki forces the fish down his belly and gives Deku the stink eye.

“What? It’d be worse if it went in the garbage!” The omega argues.

Katsuki rolls his eyes, “just finish your food and let’s go.”

“You’re the one who isn’t eating! I’m almost done,” Izuku grumbles.

“Yeah, you shouldn’t be.” The alpha grumbles back.

“I can do this, Kacchan. You’re probably blowing things out of proportion, it can’t be worse than what we’ve been doing the last few weeks,” Izuku says as he eats his tofu.

***

“I can’t do this,” Izuku says with his eyes huge as he sees Miruko warm up in the training room.

So, as soon as Katsuki’s hangover was over a few weeks ago, he and Deku sat down to talk about how they’d go about this. Bakugou presented his plan of having Deku enter his team instead of having them work as a Hero Duo.

The omega wasn’t really thrilled with the idea at first. He thought working with three people would make it even harder for him to stand out as a Hero on his own. However, they talked (argued, yelled) a bit and Katsuki made him understand that being in a team gave them access to higher profile cases and would make it so Izuku’s Hero identity wasn’t necessarily tied to Katsuki’s.

Deku agreed at the end. But Deku was the easy one to convince.

The one they needed to really convince it was a good idea to have Deku on the team and that he wouldn’t slow anyone down was Miruko. 

The team was still part of her agency. It doesn't matter that Katsuki has the biggest leeway in modern history because the woman was his mentor and knew he’d get the job done if left to his own devices. What they’d be asking of her was completely unheard of and could bring trouble to her agency.

Miruko works really hard to not put the heroes in her agency under government scrutiny. When Katsuki entered her office to tell her about his plan, he knew what it truly meant. Miruko’s agency would be put in a magnifying glass for the Bureau and the media. No hero, sidekick or intern would ever be allowed any room to breath; they wouldn’t even be able to call in sick for a day off without web forums wondering if their streets are really safe under Miruko’s reign.

They need to prove to her that the trouble will be worth it. That having Izuku on the team will make them unstoppable. Or else that idea simply won’t happen — Ground Zero and the omega will be kicked off the agency and forced to work as a duo all on their own.

The woman was much easier to convince about giving his husband a chance than Katsuki had expected. He thought he’d have to go full-on ‘Deku’-mode for this and bother his mentor for weeks. But Miruko said she’d make her decision after the omega proved his worth to her in a fight.

To prepare Izuku for that, the omega’s training got harder and reinforcements were called in. Camie, Kirishima and Bakugou couldn’t completely stop their work to help the omega. They still had to show Miruko they were the best and that they wouldn’t need to play catch up with the new member.

Luckily, they have friends. Mina, Kendo, Tsuyu, Sero, Kaminari, and Jirou all stepped up to the plate; Iida also increased sparring hours with Izuku, and Ochako was the omega’s personal coach.

Katsuki may not have seen how the training went, but he does know the omega was put through the grinder. Every day of the last two weeks, Deku came home stumbling on his feet, black and blue all over. He looked so much worse for wear that Katsuki even offered to allow Izuku to relax in his bathtub, but the omega declined (in hindsight, Bakugou was grateful that Deku said no; having the smell of the omega coming from his bathroom straight to his bedroom would have been maddening).

Bakugou trusts his friends, he knows they did everything they could to make sure Izuku was ready for this test. But then, is anyone ever ready to face Miruko in a fight?

His years as an intern, and then sidekick and then a rookie hero were all working for the woman (alright, there was one traumatic summer with Best Jeanist Katsuki doesn’t ever think about), and Bakugou would be the first one to ask if they couldn’t just solve the issue with dialogue if someday he had to brawl with her. She’s fierce, she plays dirty and she’s unbelievably strong.

Just watching the way she hops around in her huge rabbit legs that look like they’re made of steel is enough to make Katsuki anxious. He knows a single kick of one of those damn legs can give you brain damage. The woman must be nearing her fifties but her thighs don’t look a day older than twenty.

However, don’t go thinking her legs are the only thing you got to look out for. Her arms are just as powerful. She’s been practicing and perfecting kickboxing for decades, so no point in dodging a kick just to get caught in a left hook.

“You don’t have a choice,” Katsuki says to the omega. “She said she wanted to see you fighting before giving her answer.”

“Why does everything needs to be a fight with alphas?” Deku grumbles and Katsuki just turns to look at him with an eyebrow raised.

“Yeah, because omegas are gentle angels who never raise their voices,” his voice drips with sarcasm.

Izuku huffs and glares at him, Katsuki rolls his eyes.

“Just go, you don’t want to keep her waiting.”

“You got this, dude!” Kirishima says with forced cheerfulness. “Just- don’t let her hit you. Please”, Kirishima pleads quietly at the end.

“Good luck, Zuzu! You’re going to do great!” Camie waves and when Izuku’s halfway inside the room, the woman turns to Bakugou and whispers angrily “I can’t believe you’re gonna let this happen! He’s too pretty to get beat up, Baku!”

“He wants to be a Hero. Heroes get their asses kicked at the beginning,” he says through his teeth.

It’s not like he wants to see the omega be steamrolled by one of the the strongest alphas Bakugou has ever met. But rules are rules, if Deku wants to enter the agency, he needs to prove himself.

Usually, Miruko’s agency has a very clear entrance process. Only the best of the best are accepted, coming from the top schools all over the country and, sometimes, abroad. The woman doesn’t run one of the top Hero agencies in the world by chance.

But Izuku doesn’t have a degree in a Hero Course, he never had classes with other Pro Heroes, he never participated in sports festivals to show off his skills. The only way Miruko can assess him is like this: one on one combat.

The woman hops from one foot to the other showing her energy as Izuku comes close to greet her.

“Thank you for making time to meet me,” he says politely as he gives a small bow.

Miruko laughs loudly, “ha! First time someone thanks me before I give them an ass whooping! I like that! I should be thanked more often!”

Bakugou runs his hands over his face exasperated.

Izuku straightens up and takes a fighting stance to show he’s ready to start. His quirk lights up his body in green, contrasting with the black jogging shorts and white long-sleeve t-shirt he’s wearing (Katsuki had to fight the omega about him wearing his Miruko t-shirt to the assessment, Deku thought it’d be flattering to her).

Usually, the stronger fighter stands their ground and lets the challenging one come at him. It’s a good psychological play to show dominance and make it clear who is the one who has to work for it, who has more riding on the fight.

Miruko doesn’t believe in that whatsoever. She believes in winning.

The woman takes just two big strides before going for a kick at Deku’s head. The omega dodges stumbling back and then has to keep dodging for the series of successive hits. Each attack comes faster than the one before, and the omega doesn’t have time to fight back.

He keeps jumping back and stumbling until he falls on the floor and Miruko comes down at him hard. Her fist makes a hole on the wood floor as Izuku manages to roll away just in time. The splintered wood cracks when Miruko pulls her fist back and echoes through the room setting the theme for that sparring session. Katsuki sees the fear in Izuku’s eye as he gets up.

“Now we’re warming up!” Miruko taunts and goes at him again.

Izuku jumps with a twist over her head when she kicks at him and tries aiming a kick to the back of the alpha’s head. Miruko twists her body just in time, grabs him by the ankle and slams him against the wall. The omega lands with a “huff” that has Mina and Kirishima diverting their eyes.

“The poor thing…” Camie whines.

“Hang in there, little bro,” Kirishima whispers.

Miruko doesn’t seem as worried about the omega’s condition, though. She attacks him again forcing Izuku to roll against the wall. This time it is the concrete that breaks under her feet, cracks spreading like a spider’s web. 

“One would think you’re the bunny, not me, from how much you hop around!” Miruko taunts with a wild smile on her face. 

The woman is clearly amused by Izuku’s desperate attempts to evade her hits. Katsuki stomps down the hope that blooms in his chest at the thought; it’s not enough that Miruko is excited to fight the omega, she could still say he isn’t good enough to join her agency.

Another series of attacks and dodges gets a new section of the floor broken. Miruko really doesn’t care about what state the room is left. ‘She never did’ , Katsuki thinks when he remembers his training years with the woman.

Izuku tries sneaking in a hit a couple more times but, at every attempt, she catches him before he manages to land anything. However, Katsuki can’t help but notice that Miruko hasn’t let him hit her. 

He knows many times she would allow Bakugou to explode her face to give him a false sense of accomplishment, that she soon destroyed by using the seconds of peace the explosion gave him to grab Katsuki and smash his head under her feet. She must be respecting his quirk even without knowing much about it.

The omega’s breathing is hard and it’s clear he’s getting tired of running around. Miruko, however, seems completely unbothered and ready to keep going until dinner time. Izuku will need to change tactics quickly, or else this fight’s winner is clear.

Deku must have thought that too because the next time Miruko started a combo attack he dodged the first four attacks but, when the fifth comes, he does something completely unexpected — he blocks it. 

With his arms crossed in front of him, he stops her foot just a couple of inches from his face. His body shakes with the exertion and shines even brighter with the green lightning of his quirk. Katsuki’s breath hitches and Camie whines by his side. However, Miruko doesn’t pull her feet away.

She puts her weight into her feet, using the leg that’s still on the floor as leverage. The omega digs his own heels on the ground and the wood starts cracking and splitting under his red sneakers.

Not satisfied with the omega’s attempt, or maybe just wanting to know how far she could push him, Miruko starts snarling at him. She shows her fangs and lets her strong alpha pheromones fill the air. The scent of Miruko gets so heavy, even Kirishima frowns at the smell.

Katsuki’s inner alpha thrashes and growls wildly in his chest to see such a powerful alpha bully an omega. It’s an unnatural sight that he isn’t enjoying at all, but he closes his fist, breathes from his mouth and soldiers through. He refuses to divert his eyes for Izuku hasn’t diverted his own.

Izuku doesn’t waiver in his block, he doesn’t even seem to acknowledge that the wood gives up under his feet. He keeps his arms in place, his head up and his eyes looking straight into the alpha’s eyes. When Miruko pulls her upper lip and growls at him, he doesn’t submit.

On the contrary, he growls back.

His pungent omega smell starts spreading through the room. Furious, feral, angry.

Katsuki and the other two members of their small audience are over fifty feet away from the two, but they can smell the fighters as if they were sparing under their noses.

“Damn…” Kirishima mutters under his breath and Camie growls spiking up her own scent.

“Shut up, you two. This is his fight,” Katsuki warns them without taking his eyes from the duo still on a stalemate.

Finally, Miruko eases on her attack, giving Izuku leeway to take a step back.

But he doesn’t, as he goes a few inches back, he twists his whole body, getting speed to kick her. His foot hits her midsection and Miruko is thrown backwards a good distance but lands on her feet.

“HELL YEAH! LET’S DO THIS!” Miruko yells excited as she runs towards Izuku once again.

This time, the omega intercalates dodges and blocks, making the fight more complex. Miruko needs to keep alternating between kicks and punches, and she does connect several blows. Apparently, Izuku decides it’s worth being hit if it means he can land a few of his own.

And he does, one of his punches reaches her abs and one kick lands on her thigh. Every time Izuku manages to touch her, Miruko is pushed back harshly. Izuku’s quirk truly is a force to be reckoned with.

But Miruko’s blows are also nothing to play with. There was a damn good reason why Shitty Hair said ‘don’t get hit’ to Deku before the fight started. By the way Izuku is favoring his right side, the last hit on his ribs did some real damage.

Finally, it’s too much. Their trading blows have clearly tired the omega out, and his footwork starts to get sloppy. Izuku trips over some pieces of broken wood and that’s enough for Miruko to climb on top of him and hold down the man.

Deku still valiantly tries to use the power of his quirk to force Miruko off of him, but the alpha is too experienced. She holds the omega down by a few of his pressure points and Deku is left snarling at her but completely immobilized.

Katsuki waits with bated breath for what’s about to come. Kirishima hugs Camie in a way that must look reassuring, but Bakugou knows he’s probably stopping the woman from jumping at their boss to free Izuku. His own inner alpha is furious and ready to join the brawl, but he knows better than to let his instincts take over.

Finally, after what seems like a lifetime, Miruko releases the omega and gets up.

Izuku and Miruko face each other for a few seconds, tension making the air thick around them, until the alpha smiles at him and offers her hand to help him up.

“Congratulations, kid, you’re now one of my minions.”

“YAY!” Camie yells and jumps next to him.

“WAY TO GO, BRO!” Kirishima pumps his fist into the air.

Katsuki feels a weird mixture of pride and apprehension. It sure is better than the alternative, but it consolidates the fact that his life is changing again. There’ll be another person in his team, new dynamics to take into consideration. How will it be working with his husband? How will it be having an omega in the team?

The scent of the fighters almost knocks Katsuki out when they get close to the small audience. Sweat drips over Izuku’s temples and makes his hair stick to his face. It’s hard to keep focus on what’s being said, Katsuki only knows Airhead and Shitty Hair must be congratulating Deku.

“Thanks, guys, but I didn’t win,” he says awkwardly.

Kirishima laughs loudly, “Bro, not even Baku wins against the boss!”

Katsuki snarls, “I didn’t use to win, but it’s been some years since we had a rematch.”

This time it’s Miruko who laughs, “if you want a rematch, all you gotta do is set a date, Zero. Izuku here is going to start training with me, maybe the two of you together can actually land me on my ass.”

Before Bakugou has the chance to tell his mentor what he’s going to do with her ass, Deku turns to her with bright eyes and says excitedly “I’m going to train with you?”.

“Yeah, you got potential and I like your style. Gotta respect a kid who can land a kick on me,” she says smiling to him and Izuku’s face opens up in a huge smile. “Now, go take a shower. I can’t have every knucklehead alpha in this agency tripping themselves over you.”

“Oh, thank god,” Camie sighs. “I tell you, fam, I’ve been holding my breath and thinking about my wife for the last twenty minutes.”

“Sorry, Camie,” Izuku answers sheepishly, “I’ll- I’ll just go to the locker room you guys showed me before.”

Izuku walks away quickly and Miruko’s smile falters as she looks at Bakugou.

“He’s good, but he’s a kid.”

Katsuki looks away and scratches the back of his head, “I know.”

“Honestly, he is the oldest we found. Most of the other omegas barely reached eighteen”, Kirishima explains.

“We live in a complicated world,” Miruko says nodding. “Lots of eyes are gonna fall on the four of you. If you want to make this fly, you all will have to be so good that no one can even dream about questioning your choices.”

Bakugou faces her again before saying, “I’ll be the fucking best like always.”

“You being the best isn’t enough, Zero. I thought you had understood that already. All four of you will have to be the best.” Miruko says seriously to him. “No more running in front of Illusionist and Red Riot to catch the villain by yourself. You wanted to keep your team, then you gotta really work as a team. I can’t have an alpha with three Support Heroes.”

“I fucking know, ok?” Katsuki grunts between his teeth. “We will be the best.”

“Alright then, start bringing the kid every day starting tomorrow. He’ll have a couple of hours with me, and then you can do whatever you want with him.” Miruko says dismissively walking away, then she stops and gives Katsuki a sly smile. “Well, not whatever you like. This is still a respectable agency. If I catch you knotting your pretty little husband on the locker rooms, I’m gonna be the one knotting your ass.”

“I low key want a tape of that? We could make so much money,” Camie says and Kirishima pokes her in the ribs.

Katsuki just rolls his eyes, this is his new reality now. No one will honestly believe he and Deku aren’t like that. It’s a normal thing for alphas to lie about the amount of sex they’re having, but they usually increase the numbers and not the other way around — Katsuki might be the only alpha in the world that is having way less sex than people give him credit for.

***

After his shower, Deku showed up on their office with his scent in control. Camie was excited, planning how to organize the furniture to fit a new desk for Izuku and making Kirishima push file cabinets around.

Katsuki was also making preparations, but his were way more useful — he called the Bureau to schedule Izuku’s medical clearance for the exam. To get his license, Izuku would have to go through two steps, the first is delivering the forms the omega has been waving on his face for a week and having a doctor approve him for the physical exam; the second is divided in a written test and the physical one.

He managed to schedule the first phase for the next day. Katsuki is sure Deku will like to know that.

“Hey guys,” Izuku says sheepishly as he enters the office. 

It’s his first time in this space and, between Katsuki and Camie, it probably reeks of alpha pheromones to him. To imagine that in some time this place may also smell like the omega gives Katsuki some uneasiness.

“Hey, little bro!” Kirishima is the first to greet him. “Are you hurt? Do you need to go to the infirmary?”

Izuku shakes his head, “I’m fine. Nothing worse than what you wife did to me last week. I already applied some balm on the worst of it.”

“Hey, Zuku! What do you think? I left you the place near the window so you can have more sun!” Camie shows excitedly.

“Wow, thanks, Camie!” Izuku smiles openly. “It’ll make coming and going easier.”

“What?” Kirishima asks raising an eyebrow in confusion.

“Don’t even start,” Katsuki grumbles. “You gotta clock in by the entrance like all of us.”

Camie and Kirishima look at one another in confusion, but Katsuki grabs his things to leave before they can say anything.

“Let’s go. We aren’t gonna get anything else done anyway, we might as well go home,” Katsuki says and then looks to Izuku. “Tomorrow morning the two of us will pass by the Bureau before coming to work.”

“Great,” Izuku smiles at him brightly then turns to the others. “Bye, guys! See you tomorrow!”

“Bye, Izuku!” 

“Bye, bro!”

***

“Where are we going?” Deku says, probably noticing they aren’t on the way home.

“Get food,” Katsuki grunts.

He hates to explain himself, and he doesn’t want the omega to make a big deal out of it.

But Deku faced Miruko and lived to tell the tale, that deserves a little bit more than steamed vegetables and rice.

“What food?” The omega asks again.

“The edible kind. Come on, I thought you were over with the goddamn questions!” Katsuki says exasperated.

“It’s a reasonable question, Kacchan!” Izuku huffs.

“And I know about food! So just hang on that we’re almost getting there, shitty Deku!” Katsuki retorts.

“Why is it so hard to tell me?” 

“Why is it so hard to trust me?” Katsuki says meaning he wants Deku to trust Bakugou with knowing where to get good food, but it comes out sounding much more than that.

It kills their banter instantly. Bakugou looks away from the omega to hide his face and keeps walking as if he hadn’t said anything.

“I trust you, Kacchan,” Izuku says with a small voice. “I know that you have been making a lot of sacrifices for my sake. You left your home again last time my heat came, you accepted me as a teammate, you asked your friends to help me to train. Thank you for everything, Kacchan.”

Katsuki clicks his tongue, “If I didn’t sign the damn papers you wouldn’t have stopped nagging me until we were both shitty old geezers. And those fuckers were being a pain in my ass about spending time with you for ages. Having them train you was actually a favor for me; the more time they spend with you, the less they bother me.”

Izuku giggles, “alright, Kacchan. But thank you anyway.”

Finally, they arrive at their destination, a small yakitori place.

He knows the omega loves greasy food, but he’ll be a hero and he’ll have a medical exam tomorrow so they can’t really go eat fried things. The second best thing Katsuki could think about is this. The chicken skewers have enough salt and fat in them for Deku to enjoy, but enough protein to not fuck up their nutritional routine too much.

“Wow! This smells good!” Izuku says when they enter the small restaurant.

“Knock yourself out, I ain’t stingy,” Katsuki says to Izuku as they sit by the counter, overlooking the beautifully barbequed chicken skewers.

“Are you sure? I’m certain I can make a dent in your wallet,” Izuku says with a teasing smile.

Bakugou chuckles, “I’m sure you can’t come close to the amount I’m gonna be eating, Deku.”

“Oh, that’s some fighting words. Wanna make a bet?” The omega says raising an eyebrow.

“Hell yeah, bring it on,” Katsuki smiles wildly to him. No way in hell the little omega can eat as much as Bakugou can. He’s gonna love rubbing this win in Deku’s face.

Or at least, that’s what he thought. After they feasted on every kind of chicken skewers the yakitori place had to offer, the final score was eleven skewers for the alpha and thirteen for the omega. Katsuki insisted that Izuku had cheated somehow and Izuku will use this example to call Bakugou a sore loser for years to come.

***

Katsuki knew Deku would have to go through interviews, be analyzed and probed. It was to be expected with the Bureau’s obsession with omega Support Heroes and how they are supposed to act and behave.

However, he didn’t anticipate he’d be answering questions as well.

As soon as Izuku was taken to see a Bureau doctor, some government goon called Katsuki in his room for an interview. That pissed Katsuki off instantly. Why do his answers matter for someone else’s Hero license?

“Ground Zero, I must say I didn’t expect to see you here after the whole… issue with your marriage clause,” the short and balding man says making Katsuki snarl.

The man almost jumps on his chair and the hero chuckles.

“Le-let’s get started, shall we?” he stutters while picking up a clipboard to write things down. 

It looks even more stupid than a clipboard usually looks because the idiot is sitting on his desk. If he needs to write shit down, he can support the paper on his fucking desk ! Why does he have a clipboard? It takes all of Bakugou’s strength to not slap the thing off the man’s hands.

“So, civilian name and Hero name?” The man asks looking at his clipboard and Katsuki just raises an eyebrow. 

When the man doesn’t face him again to see that Bakugou thinks that’s a moronic question, he decides to answer it just to get away from this room as fast as possible.

“Bakugou Katsuki, Ground Zero.”

“Age?”

“Thirty.”

“Name of the omega?”

“Bakugou Izuku.”

“How long have you been mated?”

‘We aren’t ’ is the right answer, but that isn’t really what they are asking.

If you follow the true meaning of the words, ‘to be married’ is to have signed the marriage certificate while ‘to be mated’ presumes that the couple had sex and claimed each other. But, in everyday life, people use the words interchangeably because it isn’t normal for a married couple to not be mated. So, Katsuki’s just going to assume the asshole choose the word without thinking.

“Almost nine months.”

“It was nice of you to give the omega time to settle into his new life. Usually, people rush to get the omegas’ Support licenses as soon as they are out of the Finishing School and we have to convince the alphas about postponing.” 

The man has the gall to give him a supportive smile and Katsuki’s stomach flips in nausea. Yeah, they think it’s Katsuki’s idea to make Deku his Support. Not only that, they think Katsuki was gracious with his omega for allowing him time before doing that after the marriage.

Bakugou closes his fist, half to control his will to explode the guy’s clipboard away and half to be ready if he actually decides to go in for a punch.

“Have you supplied any kind of training for the omega?”

Are there asshole alphas bringing their mates to get Support Hero licenses without training them? What the fuck is wrong with this world?

“Yes, he trained under hero Uravity for the past six months.” Katsuki grunts through his teeth.

“Oh, a beta woman! Great idea, it seems to be more appropriate for a young omega.”

That’s it, this dipshit is just asking to have his teeth punched in. Not only he says shit about omegas as if they’re nothing, now he wants to diss on Uravity? Fucking number twenty-one hero? Who does this clown think he is? He barely looks like he can get his fat ass out of bed in the morning, much less be a fucking Hero like Round Face.

“Do you have decided what kind of Support Hero your omega will be? Do they have a healing quirk? Buffing quirk? Or is it going to be for the victims’ emotional support?”

Katsuki’s nails dig into his own fist as he counts to one hundred inside his head. He can’t lose his patience with this man, he can’t jeopardize Izuku’s license because he punched the dipshit in the face and told him he needed emotional support for his depressing sagging balls.

“Mister Ground Zero?”

“He’s gonna support shit,” he grunts through his teeth.

“Like helping the victims evacuate…?” The man insists and Katsuki almost kicks him from under the desk.

“He’s gonna do what he has to do, isn’t that enough?” He barks loudly making the idiot tremble in his seat and raise the clipboard like a shield.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m sure that’s enough,” he answers shakily.

A couple more questions to make sure Katsuki is aware of special regulations for Support Heroes he’d have to abide, others reminding the alpha of the extra forms he’d have to fill at the end of every trimester and, finally, they are done. 

Bakugou stomps out of the man’s office and sits down on the waiting room just praying that Izuku hadn’t exploded with the doctor if he was asked questions just as bigoted. Katsuki chuckles imagining Deku being dragged away by security after slamming the doctor’s head against a wall. Yeah, his omega certainly has a great emotional support potential.

Wait, what? Katsuki doesn’t know where the ‘ his omega’ thought came from, but better kill this shit with fire before it lays eggs. He can’t allow himself to be distracted by Deku’s omegan attributes now that they’ll be working together.

He needs to see Deku like he sees Shitty Hair and Airhead, like a teammate. A teammate that’s also his roommate. And that yeah, sure, may be good looking and smell good. But he can’t say Airhead and Shitty Hair aren’t objectively good looking, and that has never bothered him before.

“Let’s go before I punch someone,” Izuku shows up quietly with a huge fake smile taking Katsuki out of his thoughts.

“Yeah, you and me both,” Bakugou says getting up to leave. As soon as they are on the street and Izuku’s smile looks a little less psychotic, Katsuki asks “everything cool?”

“Yeah, I passed the exam and the veiled interview. They scheduled my exams two weeks from now.” Izuku explains looking to the sky like he’s still trying to calm himself down.

“Great. Let’s go to the agency, getting your ass kicked by Miruko will get you feeling better about all this bullshit.”

Izuku actually smiles after Katsuki says that, and the alpha feels the stress leaving his body as well.

 

Chapter Text

Sprinting

Izuku is running. Literally and metaphorically.

Never before in his life things moved so quickly. It’s a whirlwind of changes that leaves him overwhelmed and breathless.

Even if most of these changes are good or, at least, are the best he could hope for; it still is a lot to handle.  In the last two months, since Katsuki said ok to Izuku being a Support Hero, the omega’s life has been so chaotic that he can’t even find time or energy to think about what he likes (or doesn’t like) about all these changes.

He can’t really judge these new experiences with the same scales he used before. Things that would neatly fall in the ‘bad’ category now may be stashed away with ‘meh, seen worse’ or even ‘it’s part of the business’. What he thought he wanted his whole life takes new meanings, and what he thought he’d never accept gets blurry.

“If you lag behind, you’re going for five more laps!” Miruko calls out for him a few steps away and Izuku picks up his speed.

It’s really not the time for him to have philosophical thoughts about his wishes, desires and his place in the world. The alpha Pro Hero really won’t have any qualms about torturing the young omega if she thinks he’s not trying hard enough.

Since he left the Institution, Izuku discovered that several things he learned as unquestionable truths, biology paradigms, are actually a bunch of bullshit created to control omegas. And the biggest lie of all in those books is the chapter that says alphas feel the inherited need to take care of omegas and don’t let them suffer.

Miruko is completely fine with making Izuku suffer.

The omega actually thinks she has fun doing so.

“Maybe I should call the interns to watch you train, maybe that’d light your fire,” the woman teases.

Yeah, she really has fun torturing him.

“I’m a married man,” he pants. “It’s -huff- unbecoming to be ogled by”, deep breath, “teenagers.”

“Then put them in their place!” She says, “I’m not going to have you hiding in this agency. I accepted the man who threw his scent against me, not the little omega who hides from high school kids.”

“It’s”, he pants, “different.”

They are doing laps around the agency’s block. Miruko doesn’t like treadmills, she prefers running on the streets. Not that Izuku enjoys the agency’s gym that much.

Sure, it’s the biggest and best-equipped gym he’s ever seen, but there are several unmated alphas there at any given time of day. Miruko’s agency is the biggest in the country, there are many Pro Hero teams and even more interns and sidekicks running around.

To be an unmated omega among so many alphas hasn’t been a walk in the park. Sure, he may be married, but he knows he smells unmated. And though Izuku doesn't smell as good as a regular omega because of the changes One for All did to his body, it doesn’t mean his scent isn’t enticing for a bunch of young alphas who probably never even met an unmated omega before.

There is no amount of blockers in the world that can resist the type of training Miruko has him doing every morning. She calls Izuku her ‘pet project’. When she’s in a particularly good mood the woman even calls him her ‘little bunny’ and makes him hop around (by attacking him relentlessly and watching him dodge).

She may have said she’d have him for a couple of hours every day and then he’d be free to work with his team. Well, she changed her mind when she noticed she could run away from her other responsibilities just by saying she’s training Izuku.

Another thing Izuku discovered since he started training on the agency — the administrative personnel is mostly made up of beta women, and they adore him. It was instantaneous, the moment he waved at them, he became their favorite. You want something done by the HR or PR department? Easy, just say it’s for Izuku. It’ll get done in fifteen minutes. 

Maybe because he’s an underdog, maybe because they believe the omega calms Ground Zero down (which he doesn’t, quite the contrary actually), maybe just because the omega doesn’t treat them like trash as most of the young alphas do. It doesn’t really matter the reason, the point is that if Miruko is with Izuko, she doesn’t have to sign papers or answer emails, and she’s all for that.

It’s great for Miruko who has a reason to skip her administrative duties; it’s great for the administrative teams that have a new Hero of their own; it’s great for his team, Camie finally got the design team to accept a few of her merch ideas and Kirishima managed to schedule a three-day holiday that coincided with Mina’s days off.

Izuku just doesn’t know if it’s great for him because if he thought training with his friends was hard, he has no words to describe what it is like to train with Miruko. His whole body aches, he has bruises all over, he found splinters from the smashed wood floors in unexpected places, and he has about twenty unmated alphas sniffing him through the agency’s corridors.

But, at the same time, he’s been training with one of the best Heroes in the history of Japan. He’s learned more about fighting, capturing, and saving than he could ever expect. More than that, he’s learning about the Hero business with the owner of the biggest and most successful agency in the country.

Miruko is a master in absolutely everything she does. Learning to fight with her is a blessing for Izuku, but to see her acting through the ins and outs of the Hero industry — that’s a spectacle on its own. She hates having to do it but, as the perfect specimen of an alpha that she is, she does it to protect her pack. And she sees the whole agency as her pack.

Finally, she slows down the sprint and Izuku feels the blood rushing to his legs. He doesn’t even know for how long they’ve been running but it feels like an eternity. Miruko doesn’t seem even slightly winded.

“Why is it different? She asks, referring to Izuku’s hesitation to confront the young alphas.

“Because you are you,” Izuku says breathlessly. “I knew it was a spar, that you wouldn’t really hurt me.”

As soon as the words came out of his mouth, Izuku regretted them. He doesn’t even have time to wince before the Pro Hero lands him on his ass painfully. His body collides against the cold pavement reminding Izuku of all the deep purple bruises that color his back and legs.

“Oh, I won’t hurt you?” She teases raising an eyebrow.

Izuku gets up from the floor grunting, “not like that. I mean-... it was a spar, a fair fight. One on one. I knew you wouldn’t hurt me for being an omega.”

“You mean you knew I wouldn’t rape you,” she says clearly.

Izuku looks away embarrassed. He’s embarrassed for having this conversation, for being in this situation, for having this fear, for being entitled to have this fear.

“I’d never hired a Hero or intern that I thought would do that, Izuku,” Miruko says seriously. “But I understand what you mean and what I’m going to tell you now will sound awful but, if you want to be a Hero, you’ll have to listen: that will always be a possibility, and you can’t be afraid.”

Izuku looks at her and sees the hard eyes of a woman who has been working to protect people for decades and has seen the worst the world has to offer.

“The villains will see your gender as a weakness and will try to abuse that. Your team won’t always be by your side. No matter how much you train and strategize, someday things will go to shit and you’ll be forced to face an alpha ready to do the worst to you. And you’ll have to win because there’s no alternative.”

“I’m not afraid of them!” Izuku protests, “I just hate the way they look at me. It’s disgusting!”

“Then put them in their place! No one will hand you the respect you deserve, we live in a screwed up world and you’ll have to take your respect. Grab them by the balls and twist them!” Miruko says making a fist in the air and twisting to show her point.

Izuku chuckles, “don’t come to complain to me later if I leave a few teenage alphas traumatized.”

The woman laughs openly, “I’ll give you a damn prize if you do. How do you feel about an office of your own?”

“That’d be great. Kacchan and Camie stink the place like nothing else,” he says shaking his head but with a smile on his lips.

“Well, send a couple of brats crying about ‘the evil omega’ my way, and I’ll see what I can do,” Miruko says and Izuko doesn’t know if she is joking or not.

***

It’s not just the unmated alphas sniffling him that’s leaving Izuku on edge. Time flew by, and his exam is tomorrow. Everybody is playing it down, they say it won’t be even a fraction of what training with his friends and sparring with Miruko is.

But now it feels like he has so many eyes on him. The whole agency knows about ‘Ground Zero’s mate trying for the Support Hero license' and Izuku is willing to bet the Hero community out of the agency knows it as well. There are a handful of omega Support Heroes in the country, any new addition to this number is considered big.

Kacchan convinced Izuku it’d be better to keep his connection to All Might hidden for as long as they can. They know that someday the secret is going to come out, but right now it’d only add to Izuku’s reasons for anxiety.

That’s another thing that has happened in his life and Izuku haven’t had time to think about — Kacchan became his best friend. The alpha has been on Izuku’s corner to support him and help him out through every step of the way.

Izuku knew they’ve been friends for a good while, but there was still a big space between them. Kacchan and Izuku kept each other at arm's length, both too afraid of overstepping boundaries. Now any distance they had is gone. 

They spend most of their days together, they talk about everything, they complain about everything, they keep each other’s secrets, and they support each other. They even met each other’s parents, and it went way better than anyone was expecting — Kacchan met his mother right before Izuku’s last heat, the omega was leaving the apartment to stay with Mina and Kiri, and Inko was dropping by to check on Izuku.

The omega met Mitsuki when she got tired of waiting and dropped by the flat with some ginger cookies. The alpha woman is definitely Katsuki’s mother, Izuku was amazed by how similar they are. But she did her best to make Izuku feel comfortable (under her son’s threats). In the end, both encounters ran smoothly and cemented Izuku and Katsuki as friends that happen to live together.

Izuku can say with complete confidence that he trusts Kacchan and isn’t afraid of the alpha. He’s Izuku’s closest friend and he’s very precious to the omega.

The rest of the team has also been great. Camie is so funny and welcoming, she can be the antithesis of everything Izuku thought an Alpha would be. She is even less territorial than Kacchan, she isn’t particularly aggressive, she makes friends easily. The only traditional alpha thing about her is how horny she is, but the woman keeps it controlled and is very honest about her thoughts, which makes it easier for Izuku to feel comfortable around her.

Kirishima is an angel. The beta performs miracles to make the two alphas on the team not butt heads. Everyone in the agency likes him, and he makes people feel like they are important to him. The man is always doing his best, working hard and protecting people. Kirishima is exactly how Izuku thinks a Hero should be.

On these first two weeks that he’s been coming to the agency, he has spent most of his working time with Miruko. But when his license arrives, he’ll start working with his team. Izuku thinks it’ll be fun. He’s very happy that Kacchan came to this idea, in the end. He can certainly see himself being happier working with a good team than just he and Kacchan yelling at each other.

Izuku is so caught up in his head thinking about his team and the exams, that he doesn’t notice someone is coming his way until he feels a solid body connecting with his shoulder.

“I’m sor-”, the apology dies on his lips when he sees it’s one of the rookie sidekicks.

It’s an eighteen-year-old alpha, just graduated from some top Hero school. Still standing against Izuku, the alpha tilts his head and takes a big whiff of the omega’s scent with a dazed expression on his face. Izuku can hear snickers coming from just a few feet behind, other rookie heroes that find the situation very amusing.

He knows he could, and should, tell the boy off. Snarl and growl to put the young alphas in their place, but Izuku doesn’t want to be known as the ‘neurotic omega’. He needs to have a thicker skin if he wants to someday be seen as a Hero. If he starts throwing tantrums over every minor thing, he’ll never be respected by his peers.

Izuku just looks away and keeps walking to the female beta’s locker room without looking back to any of the young alphas. If he makes eye contact, it may be interpreted as an invitation to talk to him, and that’s the last thing Izuku wants. He needs to reach the bathroom and get a shower quickly, when he has his blockers on the situation gets more manageable.

Before him, this locker room/bathroom was only used by the administrative staff, which is actually a great thing for Izuku. The place is very clean, the women even have some plants around to liven up the small space. 

The only downside is that it’s on the third floor, where all the administrative offices are; the alpha’s locker rooms are on the first floor, by the training rooms and the gym. This means that Izuku always has to take a longer path after training and, with his smell, it’s not always a very fun walk.

After taking a shower and putting his blockers in place, Izuku goes to his team’s office. Kacchan asked him to not spend the whole day with Miruko today because they need to go through ‘some shit’ for Izuku’s exam tomorrow.

“Hey, everyone!” Izuku greets as he enters the room, but inside there’s only Kacchan on his desk. “Everyone?”

“They are patrolling,” the alpha explains.

“Oh,” Izuku enters the room and sits on top of his desk. “Shouldn’t you be patrolling?”

“Shouldn’t you sit in a chair like a goddamn adult?” Katsuki grumbles and Izuku rolls his eyes but hops off the desk. “I need to check some shit with you.”

“You said that, but I still don’t know what you’re talking about,” Izuku shrugs.

“Just pull your damn chair here and stop asking so many questions,” Bakugou says grumpily indicating to Izuku to bring his chair and sit in front of the alpha.

If there’s something Izuku learned about Katsuki is that the alpha hates questions. Any enquiries are taken as a challenge of if Kacchan knows what he’s doing and if he won’t screw up. Izuku is still learning when is alright to push it (because he needs the damn information), and when it’s better to just leave the hero alone.

Today he decides to just sit where Kacchan wants him to and try to discover what they’ll be doing as they go. He pulls his chair to the alpha’s desk and sits down looking at the eternal frown on the blond’s face.

“Say you found a dispositive that may have come in contact with a villain whose quirk is still unidentified. What’s the protocol?” Katsuki asks him, red eyes piercing through Izuku, a small bundle of cards in front of him.

Izuku smiles brightly, Kacchan is quizzing him! He wants to help Izuku to be prepared for the written test! Well, Izuku has been reading the Hero guides for ages, he’ll blow the alpha away.

“It depends if the villain has been apprehended or not,” Izuku answers with certainty. “If he has been apprehended, I need to secure the area and communicate with the police department that’ll do the questioning. If he hasn’t been apprehended, I need to enter in contact with some of the Heroes specialized in disarming quirks such as Eraserhead or Wipeout.”

“Call Wipeout, Eraserhead is a pain in the ass and will complain the whole time that you woke him up,” Kacchan grumbles and picks another card. “What’s form 32-F?”

“It is the form for Public Structural Damage, not to be confused with form 27-G that is for Private Structural Damage,” Izuku answers proudly.

Katsuki chuckles, “you really are a damn big nerd.”

“I told you I’d be ready for these tests, Kacchan,” the omega answers chirpy.

“Alright, let’s go for the difficult questions then…” Katsuki says going through his cards. He takes a deep breath before starting, “you find an omega civilian in distress. The omega isn’t able to explain why they are alone or what happened to them. What’s the procedure?”

Izuku frowns and presses his lips, refusing to answer.

“What is the procedure, Deku?” Katsuki insists.

“Take them to the hospital and-”

“Wrong,” Bakugou interrupts him and Izuku crosses his arms.

“If we find any civilian in severe distress and that can’t explain his situation, we’re supposed to take them to the hospital.” Izuku says coldly.

“Omegas aren’t ‘any’ civilian. You find an omega, the first thing you need to do is get an ID and pass through the database to find their alpha or sponsor. If they are unmated, you have to take them to the Finishing School they are enrolled in, the doctor at the Finishing School will decide if they’re supposed to be taken to a hospital.” Katsuki explains deadpanned.

“That’s absurd! It may take time to get in contact with all these people! The omega may be hurt! They may have been abused! Hell, their alpha may have abused them and you want me to call the asshole the moment I find the omega?!” Izuku yells furious.

“I want you to pass the damn test tomorrow, and you and me know the hard part will be not smashing those Bureau fuckers’ heads through the wall.” Katsuki explains calmly.

Izuku drops his head on the table defeated. Kacchan is right, Izuku can’t make waves tomorrow if he wants his license. It doesn’t matter what kind of bullshit he has to agree with during the exam, it’ll be worth it if he can get his license and start doing some real change.

The omega feels something poking the top of his head and raises his face, resting his chin on the table. Kacchan keeps poking him on the forehead.

“If shit like that happens when we’re actually working, we can just argue the 17th,” Kacchan says calmly, dropping his hand at the desk.

Izuku frowns, “civilian with possible life-threatening injury?”

Katsuki shrugs, “omegas have delicate builds, who is to say severe distress isn’t possibly life-threatening?”

“Meet me at Training Room 2 and I’ll show you who has a delicate build.” Izuku says rolling his eyes and raising his head from the desk, but he has a smile on his lips. “Thanks, Kacchan.”

Bakugou frowns and looks away, “but you’ll be the one filling the damn J-14 forms, I swear I’m not touching those bitches.”

Izuku chuckles, “J-14, forms for hospital payment after emergency civilian check-in. Yeah, I can fill those.”

***

Everybody was right. The license exam was a joke. 

The written test was pure bureaucracy work. Izuku didn’t even need to have studied the intricacies of the legislation around Hero work; all the test covered was the daily paperwork he used to do for Ochako. Apparently, omega Support Heroes aren’t expected to make critical decisions about the legality of entering a building where villain activity may be underway without any clear signs of a fight; but they are expected to know they have two days to turn in reports if there was private or public structural damage during the battle.

The physical test was even worse. Izuku didn’t have to show he could fight, he had to prove he could run from a fight. A Bureau worker pretended to be a villain hunting him, and Izuku had to run away without letting the men get close. Pumping his legs with One for All made Izuku reach the finish line before the ‘villain’ had the chance to finish his monologue (the worker was taking the scene really seriously).

For the veiled interview disguised as ‘assessment of willingness’ to become a Hero, Izuku just turned off his brain and parroted the bullshit he spent years memorizing at the Institution. He’s not proud of what he had to say, but it got the job done. The examiner looked pleased enough and left to deliberate with the rest of the examination board.

It’s been one hour and seventeen minutes since they left to deliberate. Izuku is sitting on some very uncomfortable chair waiting in the lobby with Kacchan by his side. The omega’s anxiety must be eating through his blockers because the alpha actually tries calming him down.

“If they refuse you, we can just sic Miruko at them. Let’s see they try telling her no,” the alpha says with a half-smirk, his red eyes gleaming with mischief.

Izuku gives a sad chuckle, “Don’t think she’ll do that. If they refuse my license, it’ll be much easier for Miruko.” ‘ And for you’ Izuku wants to say, but bites his tongue. 

Kacchan has been doing his best to support Izuku. The omega won’t be ungrateful and point it out that it’d be even better for the alpha if he hasn’t helped Izuku.

“You’re part of her pack now, she’ll do anything for you.” Katsuki says seriously and then chuckles, “hell, she’s been so enamored with you I’d not be impressed if she had decided you are her pup now. If she finds out you’re All Might’s, she might challenge him.”

Izuku laughs at that, “no, Kacchan. You got it wrong. She thinks you’re her pup and is helping me out because you asked. You can whine as much as you want, but you’re Miruko’s favorite through and through.”

Kacchan rolls his eyes dismissively, “it’s Stockholm syndrome. We’ve been together for so long, our hate evolved into something bizarre. Besides, I’ve got my damn old hag already, don’t need another crazy woman in my life.”

Izuku laughs some more and raises an eyebrow to the alpha, “you know what? For someone who complains so much about ‘crazy women’, you surely surrounded yourself with a lot of female alphas.”

Katsuki frowns at him, “the fuck are you getting at?”

“I’m saying that female alphas are the second rarest gender of all, losing only for male omegas, but somehow you have four strong female alphas close to you. Alright, you couldn’t pick your mom, but you choose to work with Miruko. And Mina and Camie are your only alpha friends.”

Katsuki huffs annoyed, “I chose to work with Miruko because she’s the best, her genders had nothing to do with it. Mina came with Shitty Hair, I didn’t get a say in it. And Camie is an asshole who can’t fucking leave me alone. So I didn’t surround myself with female alphas, I’m just a very unlucky fucker.”

Izuku, however, ignores Katsuki’s retort and continues digressing.

“Not only that, I was the only male omega in the Institution, and I’d bet you probably haven’t seen many that’d fit your age requirements in other Finishing Schools. Is that all there really is to it, Kacchan? You like rare things?”

Izuku looks at the Hero honestly curious. After he really got to know Katsuki, he understood the person he met at the Institution isn’t who the alpha usually is; and that has been bothering him for a good while. He has no idea why Kacchan would have picked him given his situation. It’d make much more sense to pick some other omega who actually wanted to be married and explain the situation to them. Izuku is sure several omegas would jump at the chance to marry a Pro Hero who wouldn’t even demand sex from them.

“Rare? You ain’t fucking rare, dipshit. There are tons of you in any shitty Hero Con, damn nerd,” Katsuki barks at him. “I only let strong people be in my life, I don’t give a fuck about their primary or secondary genders.”

Izuku blushes and looks away at the alpha’s words. Kacchan only likes strong people, and he picked Izuku — it means the alpha thought Izuku was strong even before they became friends. The omega feels his heart full and warm knowing that Kacchan has him in such high regard. Maybe Kacchan has been his best friend all along, even when Izuku couldn’t see it.

“Ground Zero, Mr. Bakugou,” the Bureau examiner comes to them and Izuku shoots up from his chair. “Or should I say, Deku? Congratulations, here is your license.”

“What?” Bakugou asks confused but is drawn by Izuku receiving his license excitedly.

“Thank you!” He says to the man and then turns to Katsuki, “Kacchan! I did it! I have my license!”

Izuku only notices he is hugging the alpha when he feels Katsuki going stiff under his hold. Kacchan is really bad with physical contact. The omega forgets that sometimes, growing up surrounded by omegas he got used to expressing his joy and gratitude with hugs and snuggles; he knows that’s not acceptable with betas and alphas, but sometimes he forgets. Ochako never seemed to mind, but Katsuki gets very uncomfortable.

The omega releases Bakugou, and the alpha grunts “let’s get out of here.”

He follows Kacchan without looking up from his license. Izuku is way more excited about it than he thought he’d be. There’s a huge smile on his face and he can’t put the little plastic card down. Sure, it’s just to be a Support Hero, but it’s a step closer!

Oh, he needs to tell Tamaki!

Izuku stops in the middle of the street, already outside of the Bureau, and grabs his phone.

“What are you doing?” Katsuki grunts.

“I’ve got to send a picture to Tamaki!” 

Izuku is trying to make the camera focus on the license when his phone is stolen from his hands.

“Hey, give it back, Kacchan!” He complains.

Bakugou rolls his eyes and points the camera to Izuku’s face. 

“Raise the card and make a less stupid face,” the alpha says before snapping a picture.

Bakugou gives the phone back to him and Izuku sees a picture of himself with his license. It’s perfect to send to his brother, Tamaki is going to be so proud! Izuku also sends it to All Might.

“Why the fuck did you pick Deku as your hero name? That’s moronic.” The alpha says with his hands stuffed in his pocket.

Izuku looks up, “oh, it’s kind of a joke? I mean, I’m going to be useless as a Support Hero, and also lots of people will have critics about me. So I figured I’d make the media put on the cover that ‘Support Hero Deku saves the city’ or something like that.”

Izuku explains a little self-conscious, scratching the back of his head. It seemed like a good idea when he was filling the forms, now he’s not so sure.

Katsuki shakes his head laughing, “yeah, it’s going to make the damn reporters want to eat their shoes when they have to do that.”

After hearing Kacchan agree with him, Izuku feels more confident. He’s now Support Hero Deku, and he’s going to be the worst Support Hero, and the best Hero, the world has ever seen.

***

On their way home, Izuku bugged Katsuki asking the alpha to make katsudon for dinner. He whined, pleaded and begged, but Kacchan didn’t budge — he just kept saying there was food in the house and they didn’t have to stop to buy groceries. Izuku retorted saying he knew there was food in the house, just not the food he wanted.

As they get close to their building, Kacchan’s patience seems to wane. The alpha’s expression closes, his answers get shorter and his steps get faster. Izuku notices he won’t get the dinner he wants even though he believes getting his license warrants some kind of celebration.

Riding the elevator up to their home, Izuku feels bad about bothering Kacchan so much.

“I’m sorry, I’m not going to complain about whatever there’s for dinner,” he says apologetically.

“What?” Katsuki does a double-take confused, then he rolls his eyes in frustration. “We can have your fried pork tomorrow. We got bigger issues today.”

“Bigger issues?” Izuku frowns confused, “what issues?”

“You’ll see,” Katsuki says pushing the elevator door open. “Just don’t freak out.”

‘Don’t freak out’. Yeah, that doesn’t sound ominous at all.

Izuku follows the alpha towards their front door with dread on the pit of his stomach. What is Kacchan talking about? Do they have to decide more things as a team now that Izuku has his license?

“SURPRISE!” A loud choir of voices yells when Katsuki opens the door for Izuku.

There are balloons, several multicolored balloons; a big ‘CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR LICENSE’ sign on the wall; and every one of Izuku’s friends and family.

The apartment is packed with people. His mother is the first one to hug him, then Tamaki and Eri hug and scent him thoroughly, after that Izuku gets lost in a wave of ‘congratulations’ — Ochako, Iida, Mirio, Camie, Kendo, Denki, Kyoka, Tsuyu, Sero, Mina, Kiri, even Katsuki’s parents are here!

The last one waiting to congratulate him gets Izuku teary-eyed, All Might crushes him in a huge hug.

“I’m so proud of you, my boy,” the retired hero says choked.

Izuku gets confused and overwhelmed with so many people around him. Everyone is talking excitedly, and he’s swept away from small group to small group. First, he starts with his mother and All Might, both gushing about him and retelling old childhood stories of Izuku running around the neighborhood wearing a yellow cape and an All Might onesie.

Then he talks with Ochako, Tsuyu, Iida and Kyoka. The group is pretty excited to see him in action, and Izuku gets the chance to say that training with them may have been hard but it was nothing like what working with Miruko has been like. Ochako has also interned under the alpha Pro Hero during her third year of high school and has great stories about the woman kicking her and Katsuki’s ass.

After a while, Izuku looks for his brother and finds him talking with Mirio by the window.

“Hey Tama-nii, Mirio,” he greets them, comfortably entering his brother’s personal bubble to lean against Tamaki.

Having so many friends and family that care for him come to celebrate his license is great; but having so many people crowding his home is making Izuku a little bit antsy. There are too many smells, so he focuses on his brother’s calming vanilla scent for a while.

“Hi, Izuku! Congratulations again!” Mirio gives one of his beaming smiles.

“Thanks, Mirio,” Izuku says smiling back.

Tamaki holds Izuku’s head against his shoulder and kisses him on the forehead.

“I’m very proud of you, Zuku. You made the right decision, and you’re going to change the whole world,” the older omega whispers quietly for him.

“The whole world is a lot, just wanna make life easier for others like us,” Izuku says snuggling on Tamaki.

“You will. You’re the most obstinate person I ever met, I know you won’t give up until you do,” Tamaki answers.

Talking about others like them, “where is Eri?” Izuku asks looking around.

“I believe she’s in the kitchen with Bakugou,” Mirio answers and Izuku lets go of Tamaki to check on that.

Walking slowly to not draw attention to himself, Izuku enters the kitchen to see Eri and Kacchan around the stove. The girl is perked up on the counter to properly look inside the pot.

“You can tell the carrots are good when you stick your fork in them and it goes in smoothly, like that,” Katsuki says calmly. “And since they were the last thing we put in, everything should be done now. I’m going to separate half of it on another pot to add more chili paste and hot oil.”

“To make it extra spicy?” Eri asks curiously.

It thugs on Izuku’s heart to see them like that. Probably because he knows how much it took for his little sister to learn to trust people, especially alphas, again.

“Exactly, I like it extra spicy, my parents too. Your brother is a little baby and likes it the way it is.”

“Excuse me! I’m not a baby!” Izuku protests, “I can eat a regular amount of spice, you’re the weird one who killed your tastebuds long ago!”

“You get out of my kitchen before you screw up the food,” Katsuki glares at him, but he has a teasing smile on his lips.

“Yeah! I’m the one helping with dinner today, Izu-nii!” Eri agrees with the alpha.

“And she’s better than you,” Katsuki’s smirk now is a full grin.

Izuku rolls his eyes, “then don’t come crying to me to wash the dishes later. You two are impossible together!”

He turns away before they can see the big smile on his face.

During dinner, everyone praised the food and Eri preened when Katsuki said she was very important in getting everything done for them. Izuku had to hold back the urge to hug Eri and and the alpha after that.

At the end of the night, everyone left after another big round of hugs and ‘congratulations’. When Izuku finally managed to say goodbye to everyone, he goes to find Katsuki in the kitchen tidying up.

“So your official assistant didn’t stay for the wash-up?” Izuku teases.

“That one is going to be a chef, I’m not putting her to do the dishes,” Katsuki scowls playfully.

Izuku stands beside him in the sink and starts washing things with the alpha.

“Thanks for the party,” he says softly. “I know you don’t like having so many people around.”

Katsuki shrugs, “couldn’t stop them. Racoon, Airhead and Round Face joined forces.”

“Still, thank you. For the party and for everything, I wouldn’t have done it without you,” Izuku says smiling.

“You would,” Katsuki answer quietly looking at him from the corner of his eye. “You’re too damn stubborn to not find a way.”

Izuku’s heart feels too big on his chest at Kacchan’s recognition. It’s almost painful, so he changes the subject quickly.

“Your mom really hit it off with mine.”

“Damn old hag,” Bakugou says rolling her eyes. “I swear that woman is an embarrassment.”

They clean up the kitchen, trading impressions about the party. They talked about how Mitsuki stuck to Inko and already made plans to meet the woman some other day; how All Might got excited to hear details of Izuku’s training with Miruko; how ‘the nerd squad really got together’, in Katsuki’s words.

In bed, that night, Izuku feels his heart singing. He’s truly happy, thankful and hopeful. There are plenty of challenges ahead, but now he feels like he can tackle anything. He has good friends cheering him on, a team he can count, and he has Kacchan who is totally by his side.

 

Chapter Text

Team

Every morning, Katsuki wakes up, dresses the base of his uniform and goes to the kitchen to prepare breakfast and put together two lunch bentos. It’s a peaceful moment in his routine before the chaos of his daily life.

As he’s finishing getting food ready, Deku usually stumbles out of his room, hair in its customary disarray. The omega always smells harshly of powder and chemicals from the increasingly stronger scent blockers he’s been wearing.

Katsuki can’t say he isn’t thankful for that. Deku’s scent after working out is pure sin, and he can’t indulge in this kind of thought during work hours. And it’s not only Katsuki; the shitty interns stumble over their goddamn feet every time Deku comes back from training, even the older alphas need to politely turn their noses away.

However, in their home, Bakugou admits that he’d like to feel the omega’s smell fill the room. He can feel Deku’s scent coming from his bedroom and Katsuki sometimes stands a little longer there before passing through to his own room.

And that’s one of the most important parts of his routine: Deku.

After Katsuki's short morning alone, every other waking hour of his day kind of revolves around Deku. He worries about Deku’s nutritional needs for his unnaturally hard training; he checks the news to see if the reporters already caught a whiff of the new Support Hero; he debates new fighting strategies for their four-members team with Kirishima and Camie; he wonders if Miruko isn’t going too hard during training; he gets annoyed with the way the damn sidekicks and interns look at him.

Even when Deku isn’t by his side, Katsuki’s mind is filled with him. When Bakugou noticed that, he also noticed the weirdest thing of all — he’s not angry about it.

That’s weird as fuck. Everything makes Katsuki angry, from the bento’s lid getting crooked and not properly sealing up his lunch to the laws that regulate Hero work in their country. Anything that doesn’t completely follow Katsuki’s expectations in the most efficient way possible makes him angry. And yet, somehow, being obsessed with a whole other person that, by the way, never follows Katsuki’s orders, always does things the hard way and is overall a goddamn mess — that doesn’t annoy him even in the slightest.

A big portion of Katsuki was bothered by this fact; however, he quickly decided that to get angry for not being angry was a certain path to madness and stomped that down. It’s better that he isn’t bothered by Deku, the little shit surely isn’t going anywhere. He’s in for the long run in Bakugou’s life and he’ll take a bigger role in it with every passing day; and this thought actually makes Katsuki happy.

He likes having Deku around, he has fun talking to the omega and hearing his impressions about the world around them. He gets excited with the idea of someone with such a strong quirk learning to fight basically from scratch and is giving Miruko a run for her money in less than a year. And Bakugou loves having someone to talk to when he gets home from work, it’s a kind of companionship he never expected to have with anyone.

“‘Morning, Kacchan.” 

Deku shows up at the kitchen, still blinking his sleepy eyes, bed-hair as bad as usual. He looks adorable and Katsuki has to bite back the smile that threatens to break into his lips.

“Good morning, nerd,” Katsuki says as he finishes to cook their eggs.

The alpha is already used to the routine, Deku won’t be able to form coherent sentences until he’s halfway through his cup of coffee. No matter how many times Katsuki has berated him about drinking caffeine, the omega doesn’t give up this bad habit (and others too, he already caught Deku leaving the office through the window once).

The kitchen is quiet as usual while Bakugou serves their breakfast bowls and sits down in front of Deku to eat. However, as soon as Deku’s caffeine level is high enough, the omega starts talking.

“Today is a big day,” he says with a hint of a smile on his face.

“Is it?” Katsuki raises an eyebrow.

“Yeah! I got a message last night from the gear manufacturer. My uniform will arrive today!” Now Deku seems like he can’t contain his excitement, a complete turn from his dragging form of a couple of minutes ago.

“Took them long enough,” Katsuki grunts. “It’s been what? Over two weeks since you got your license.”

“Yeah, but they had to make sure the gear supported my quirk. That isn’t easy. But I’m excited to finally be able to go on patrols with the team! We need to start training our new moves together!” Izuku’s smile beams brighter than the damn morning sun at this point.

“No, we don’t. You’re going to stand back and watch me, Shitty Hair and Airhead work together for a while before we incorporate new team strategies. I’m not entering battle with a comp that puts you in the spotlight before you have some good street experience.” Katsuki says stealing glances to see Deku’s pout forming. “Your license may not state it, but you’re a sidekick until I say so.”

Izuku huffs but doesn’t argue with that. Bakugou discovered that it’s much easier to make Izuku agree with his decisions with he shows that his ideas follow the same path all the Heroes follow in their careers. Considering that Izuku’s time with Ochako was his internship, it makes sense for the omega that now he’s a sidekick.

They finish their breakfast and leave for the agency. Deku skips all the way there like an overly excited brat and Bakugou just tells him off twice.

***

“That’s so. Freaking. CUTE !” Camie screeches like a banshee.

“Very cool, little bro!” Kirishima says with his big sharky smile giving the thumbs-up.

“Thanks, guys,” Deku say smiling awkwardly, clearly self-conscious. “What do you think, Kacchan?”

What Katsuki thinks? Katsuki thinks that it’s going to be even harder to control the shitty sidekicks now. He thinks the damn gear factory screwed up and made Deku’s uniform two sizes too small around the thighs. Bakugou thinks he should probably go to the doctor to have a heart check-up because he felt that shit lose about four beats when his eyes met Deku. Katsuki thinks the goddamn uniform is a matter of public safety because no Hero or villain in their right mind would keep fighting instead of looking at the perfect specimen of an omega clad into a skin-tight green catsuit that showcases muscles that no omega had the right to have.

But he doesn’t say all that. He swallows the words ‘you’re hot as fuck’ that threaten to spill from his lips and goes with “the fuck is the deal with the bunny ears? Did Miruko rope you up to this shit?”

Izuku chuckles nervously, “no, no. I mean, it’s kind of a homage to her and to All Might? Both have two pointy thingies on their heads?” 

The omega pulls on what looks to be green bunny ears on top of his hood. His uniform also comes with leg and arm armors that look sturdy enough to withstand Deku’s powerful quirk and protect his body from enemies and from himself. Rationally, Katsuki knows those add-ons are a great safety gear; but the alpha in him whistles and whines saying they look like thigh-high stockings and that his omega is teasing him.

Why can’t Deku be a little bit less attractive? It’s been getting pretty hard to remember their agreement. But then again, what’s the problem of looking? Deku is his husband, and it’s not like Katsuki will do anything about it besides daydream a little in the privacy of his own room. Katsuki has been coming back and forth between these two stands in his thought process quite often lately.

“I high key think they look adorable! Miruko will be shook when she sees it!” Camie says happily. “And this may actually help with villain apprehension. The villains will get distracted with your beauty and let us arrest them easily!”

“Talking about villains, are you coming to patrol with us now?” Kirishima asks.

“Yeah, Miruko said I was cleared to work with you all as soon as I got my uniform!” Izuku says excited.

“Let’s do this!” Camie jumps happily. “Let’s hit the streets! Kick some ass! Show off our new team member!”

The three idiots look too excited, no way Katsuki will manage to keep them in the office right now so he just accepts his fate.

“Alright, everybody put their gear on. Nerd, with me, gotta show you the comms.”

At the corner of their room, they have the usual communication devices and stakeout gear. Their team always uses earpieces when they’re out patrolling because they don’t walk side by side in their area. They’re a team formed by high-level heroes, so they work in a different way than the regular hero plus sidekick/intern duo.

Duos usually have smaller patrol areas and walk side by side while patrolling. Ground Zero’s team has a huge area, they patrol three districts at a time; to be able to cover all this territory they split and keep each other updated by the comm line. They walk in line formation with about one block of distance from each one, that way they see more but are close enough to answer if someone asks for help.

Katsuki gives one earpiece to Izuku. The omega already heard at length about their work style, but it’s never too much to remind him.

“This stays on the whole time we’re out of the agency,” Bakugou says watching Izuku fix the comm device in his ear.

“I know.”

“You obey whatever any of us say. You’re a sidekick; if we tell you to run, you run.”

Izuku rolls his eyes, “I’ve heard that already, Kacchan.”

“Your primary concern is always to make sure the civilians are safe. We’ll lose the villain if it means we don’t endanger anyone.”

“I know, Kacchan. We’ve been talking about it for weeks!” Izuku argues but Bakugou ignores him.

“We’ll be out for three hours today. You’ll be one hour with each of us. Do you remember our rendezvous points?”

“I do, you made me repeat them yesterday,” Izuku says rolling his eyes, but under the firm gaze of Katsuki, he caves. “The McDonalds, the southeast corner of the park and under the bridge.”

Katsuki nods, “alright. Let’s go, you can start walking with Kirishima.”

There’s no good reason for Katsuki to be as anxious as he is. They’re going to patrol the three easiest districts that their team has and it’s the early afternoon, not exactly prime villain activity hours. Still, the idea of walking off the agency with Izuku as their teammate for the first time is nerve-wracking.

Bakugou feels butterflies in his stomach and chills coming up and down his spine as he stands on the locker room putting the rest of his support gear on for the patrol. His hands almost shake as he puts one of his gauntlets. However, when he looks up on the small mirror inside his locker’s door to put on his mask, he notices he’s smiling.

He actually does a double-take looking at his own face in the mirror. He’s smiling, he’s happy. The butterflies aren’t dread, they are excitement. He’s excited and happy to start working with Izuku and that’s not as unexpected as it should have been.

“Damn omega is turning me into a fucking sap,” Katsuki mumbles to himself shaking his head with a small smile still on his lips.

Ground Zero quickly finishes getting ready and walks to the lobby to find the rest of his team. The three stooges are already there waiting for him, talking enthusiastically with each other. Kirishima gesticulates wildly telling something he must think is ‘very manly’ while Deku looks at him impressed and Camie smiles teasingly.

The three stop their conversation and turn their smiles to him as Bakugou approaches.

“Let’s fucking do it.”

***

The streets are calm as usual, Katsuki really picked the easiest route he could think of for the first day. That will have to change soon, the harder spots in town obviously need more hero attention. However, he really didn’t want to deal with the media shitshow of getting into a big battle on Deku’s first patrol, there’s no way that could work out in their favor.

“This block is clear,” Ground Zero communicates to his team on the comm line.

“We’re smooth sailing here!” Kirishima's voice sounds in the comm. “Right, Deku?”

“Yeah, it seems to be a very slow day,” Izuku says through the line.

“We could gather the team and go grab some frappuccinos,” Camie argues. “No villain will try anything on such a beautiful day. It’s probably against the law.”

“We ain’t gonna stop patrol to get overpriced fatty shit.” Ground Zero grumbles at his idiotic teammate.

“Isn’t doing things against the law the whole point of being a villain, though?” Izuku ponders.

“We could just grab the frappuccinos on our way back to the agency,” Kirishima argues.

“There’s no Starbucks on our way back, dude!” Camie whines.

“We ain’t buying this shit! It costs a fucking fortune for a damn plastic cup filled with fat and sugar!” Bakugou tries to make them see reason.

“But there’s a little coffee shop. It isn’t from any big chain, but I had their lattes and muffins before and they’re great.” Izuku says.

“Oh, I know that one! It’s pretty nice! I signed an autograph for the barista’s little brother! They’re such good people!” Kirishima’s voice betrays his smile.

“When the fuck did you eat a shitty muffin?! You have a goddamn nutrition plan, Deku!” Katsuki yells furious with them. 

Why the fuck can’t he have a normal team? Why did he think putting Deku on the team was a good idea? That’s officially the worst idea Katsuki ever had and now he’s stuck with these three idiots fucking up his damn patrol!

“Miruko and I went for coffee after training last week, Kacchan. It was just one muffin, and it was a blueberry one so it doesn’t count, it’s healthy.” Bakugou can hear the cheekiness in the omega’s voice through the comm line.

“Bros, this talk is making me hungry,” Kirishima whines.

“And the Starbucks is just one block away! What a big coincidence!” Camie tries again.

“If you idiots break formation in the first damn hour of patrol to go get Starbucks, I swear to god I’m shipping you all to Endeavor’s agency!” Katsuki threatens.

“That threat doesn’t work anymore, bro,” Kirishima says lively. “We got Izuku now and no way Miruko and the administrative team are sending him to Endeavor.”

Et tu, Brutus?’ Katsuki can’t help thinking. Even his fucking best friend is speaking against Bakugou now. He needs new friends.

“I think Kacchan is right guys,” Izuku says and Katsuki breathes a little relieved knowing that someone sees reason. “We can wait until patrol is over to get our frapps.”

“But that’s still two hours away!” Camie whines.

Bakugou rubs his temple trying to remember why he can’t kill his team before saying:

“Deku, it’s time for your rotation. Go to Illusionist and keep talking to us on your way to her.”

“Yay! I get to play with the cute one now!” Camie celebrates.

And that’s Katsuki’s life now. He feels the strong urge to use his quirk to propulse himself away and never return.

The second hour of patrol was just as uneventful. By the sounds coming from Camie’s comm line (and sometimes Deku’s), the woman bought a bag of popcorn to eat during her patrol. Katsuki decided it was better to hear the chewing sounds than to put up with her complaints of being hungry even though it was the middle of the damn afternoon, so he pretended he wasn’t hearing them.

Finally, the last hour of patrol comes and Deku’s rotation will be by his side. The butterflies come back to Katsuki’s stomach as he speaks on the comm line.

“Come find me, nerd.”

“On my way, Kacchan!”

Bakugou is waiting for Deku on a street corner and it takes less than a minute before he sees the little green dot jumping rooftops towards him. The omega must be using his quirk because he's a green blur of light from how fast he is moving.

He lands with a loud ‘thump’ just in front of Bakugou, his stupid bunny hoodie thrown back, his mask pulled down and a huge smile in place. 

“I’m here, Kacchan!” 

“I noticed, nerd,” Katsuki smirks and pulls out a stray popcorn that is stuck on Izuku’s mask. “Good to know you kept Camie in line during patrol,” he says sarcastically.

The omega blushes and gives an apologetic smile, “you know how it is... I can’t say no to alphas?” 

Katsuki rolls his eyes, “yeah, right. And Fat Gum is on a diet. Let’s just go.” He then talks on to the comm line, “you all good to continue?”

“I’m good!” Kirishima answers.

“Can we go home now?” Camie whines.

“Just one more hour, Camie!” Izuku answers cheerfully.

Deku seems very happy and excited to walk around town without actually doing much. His eyes are bright, his expression is open. The omega looks like a kid in a candy store, Bakugou has to force himself to tear his eyes away and focus on the patrol.

“So, what did you learn with those idiots?”

“Kirishima quizzed me on all the high priority areas in these districts; the walk-in clinic, the schools, and the kindergarten. Camie showed me all her favorite places to buy snacks and the way to a nightclub she used to go when she was single.”

Bakugou rolls his eyes, “of course she did. Damn woman can’t be professional one fucking day.”

“She also hinted some good stories about you in that night club, Kacchan,” Izuku teases and Katsuki flushes instantly.

“I’m going to pull her fucking tongue out,” the alpha snarls furiously hoping to mask his embarrassment with anger.

His relationship with Deku is already weird enough, he doesn’t need the omega thinking back to Katsuki’s single years. Bakugou will need to have a serious talk with Camie about this later.

“Actually, she didn’t but this reaction tells me there’s something to learn about it,” Izuku says looking straight into the alpha’s eyes fearlessly with a cocked eyebrow. 

Shit, Katsuki played himself. He almost winces but manages to hold back and divert the conversation to something less incriminating.

“You gotta pay attention to the alleys, they’re the hotspots where something may happen in these districts. It’s not usual for us to find trouble on the open street like here, but those dark alleys between the big buildings can be used-”

“By alpha’s in rut to pull omegas in.” Izuku finishes with a dark and cold look in his eyes.

It’s the kind of look that Bakugou doesn’t think he was subjected to not even in those hellish weeks after their wedding. Whatever memory this conversation sparked on Deku, Bakugou almost feels sorry for bringing it up — but most of all, he wants to know what happened.

“That’s oddly specific,” Katsuki says raising an eyebrow.

“Not enough. It’s actually quite common.” Izuku says seriously.

“Deku, did-” Katsuki tries asking but stops as he sees from the corner of his eye a man pointing a huge camera to them. “Shit.”

Izuku turns and, when both heroes are looking towards the camera, the man takes several more pictures.

“Paparazzi?” He asks confused.

“Yeah, they found us,” Katsuki explains. “We didn’t manage even one fucking day without these damn vultures coming at us.”

“We knew this would happen,” Izuku says calmly.

“Yeah, but I was hoping we’d actually have done some hero work for them to report before having to deal with the media. Now the magazines will be filled with these damn photos of us walking and a shit load of conjectures.”

“Well, then we need to give them something to talk about.” 

Katsuki furrows his eyebrows, “what do you mean?”

“I’ve been watching how Miruko deals with the media since I began working with her. I couldn’t see a lot because I didn’t have much time, but one thing I understood — Miruko never waits for the news to get to her, she goes towards the news.” Izuku explains as they keep walking.

There’s nothing that can be done about the photographer. The law says they can’t get closer than twenty yards while Heroes are patrolling and they can’t ask questions or get in the way of Hero work, but they can take photos from a distance. While Heroes are on patrol, they are almost ‘public goods’, their right of image doesn’t mean much.

“You mean how she digs out something to send to the media at least once a week about the  agency?” 

Bakugou has seen his mentor do that for years but, since he hates dealing with the media, the government and the public, he never cared to think too deeply about it. Deku seems to have paid more attention to this part of the training than Katsuki did.

“Exactly. If she didn’t send the media something, they’d come sniffling on their own and who knows what they’d find. This way Miruko can control what’s being said about her and the agency.”

“That’s obvious, nerd,” Katsuki grunts. “But what do you want to do? Send a press release about you entering the team?”

“A press release won’t help us much. The media already knows I’m on the team since it’s on public records. And we won’t like to answer any of the questions they may bring us.” Izuku says deep in thought.

“So what’s your plan?” 

“We need to do something worth reporting and that puts us in a good light. If we wait around for a villain fight, it may take a while. Besides, there’s always a chance the fight turns out bad one way or another. We may save a whole bus of kids, but if we break a mailbox that’s all they’ll focus on.”

“I’m listening.” The nerd really put some good thought into it.

“Let’s solve one of the cold cases you’ve been working on, Kacchan,” Izuku smiles to him. “This way we only bring it forth if we crack it, and it’ll show our team the way we want — efficient and concerned with the public.”

Katsuki actually stops walking to consider the man by his side for a second. Izuku spent less than a month working with Miruko and already came up with a way to manipulate the media in their favor based on what he learned with the woman. Katsuki has been working with her since he was sixteen and he hasn’t ever cared about the way she works the media, he was just glad he didn’t have to do it.

Bakugou chuckles and shakes his head, “alright, nerd. Let’s pick a case later and crack the shit out of it.”

They finished their patrol without any issues, but Katsuki didn’t let the idiots get frappuccinos on their way to the agency in case the paparazzi were still around. However, they went out for ramen all the four of them to celebrate Izuku’s first real day with the team after their shift.

To reclaim his spot as number one, Bakugou challenged Deku to another eating competition — this time with extra spicy ramen. The damn omega fought bravely, but he didn’t really stand a chance against Bakugou. The alpha finished three extra spicy bowls, while Izuku only managed one and a half before he rolled his tongue out and begged for matcha ice cream (and then Katsuki finished the rest of Deku’s bowl because he wouldn’t allow good ramen to go to waste). 

***

The next morning, everything seemed to follow the usual routine for Bakugou. He got up, put on clothes, prepared breakfast, laughed at Izuku’s bed hair, fixed the bentos, berated Deku for the coffee, ate his eggs and went to work.

The first thing that tipped him off that maybe this wouldn’t be a routine day, however, was the fact that people kept stealing glances towards him and Deku on their way to the agency. Usually, morning commuters are too busy with their own lives to care about Pro Heroes going to work.

When they arrive at the agency, the glances get more obvious. Everyone is looking at them and even Deku, who is always lost in thought and doesn’t pay attention to the world around him, notices it.

“Why is everyone acting weird?” The omega whispers close to him.

“Hell if I know,” but Katsuki certainly wants to find out as soon as he can.

Kirishima is already in their office when they arrive. And his expression doesn’t spell good news.

“Hey, good morning, bros,” the redhead says with a wobbly smile.

“Spit it, Shitty Hair, the fuck is going on?” 

Not knowing is putting Katsuki on edge, he hates being in the middle of a battle when he doesn’t have the necessary intel.

“You guys haven’t watched the news yet?”

Izuku is already on his phone trying to get information, but Bakugou prefers to get the summary straight from his friend.

“Tell me what I need to know,” he says sitting down by his desk.

“Reporters were around yesterday, they got pictures from our team’s patrol.”

“I know that, I saw him tailing me and Deku,” Bakugou huffs.

Sure it’s annoying, but all the fucker could have gotten is a couple of shots of Ground Zero and Deku walking around town. Anything else would be pure speculation from the news and he couldn’t be bothered with that.

“Yeah, they also got pictures of Izuku and Camie patrolling together,” Kirishima says seriously and Bakugou feels dread on the pit of his stomach. “The pictures aren’t much but the story they are spinning from them is.”

“What the hell?!” Izuku yells furious by his side. “It’s just freaking popcorn!”

“What?” Bakugou asks confused.

“The pics show Camie and Izuku eating popcorn and walking. The story being run is that they’re flirting. Some say it was a date, others say they transformed the patrol into a date. All of them paint Izuku and Camie as starting or already having an affair.” Kirishima finishes explaining and offers his phone with the pictures for Katsuki to see.

The pictures are actually cute. The sun is shining bright and the green of Izuku’s uniform and hair seems to glow; the two heroes have open and joyful expressions on their faces; in the sequence of photos, it shows Camie throwing popcorn in the air and catching it with her mouth and later Izuku attempting to do the same.

For anyone who knows Camie and Izuku, the pictures are perfectly innocent. The two of them are very cheery people and have been developing a nice friendship, playing around with popcorn like children is exactly the kind of thing that could be expected from them. But Bakugou can see why it may look like a date for anyone else, they look very happy to be around each other.

“Those damn snakes!” Camie storms furiously into the office just as Katsuki finishes looking at the pictures. “How dare they? We were working! There’s no freaking rule about not eating during patrol! If there was, Fat Gum could have never been a hero!”

“I’m sorry, Camie,” Izuku says downcast. “I should have thought about this…”

“It’s not your fault, bro!” Kirishima says patting Izuku on the shoulder. “It’s probably just a slow day for news and they blew everything out of proportion. You guys did nothing wrong.”

“It’s not about right or wrong,” Katsuki interrupts them. “It’s about how it looks to the public. And right now it looks like shit.”

Bakugou hates it. He hates that this is even an issue in his life. He just wants to work and be a goddamn hero, he doesn’t want to worry about how it looks to the damn public if his husband walks in a five-mile radius from another alpha. That’s completely moronic! He trusts Izuku and he trusts Camie; and even if he didn’t, he was a block away from them! The damn reporters even have pictures of him with Izuku just a few minutes later!

“Should we call Kendo?”’ Izuku asks worriedly.

Camie smiles at him and shakes her head, “no need, fam. I already talked to her. She left for work earlier than me and was harassed by the damn reporters. They showed her the pictures trying to get some big reaction on camera.”

“Yeah, I saw it,” Kirishima says chuckling. “After looking at the pictures and hearing the accusations of you two having an affair, Kendo answered ‘that’s the weirdest way to have sex that I’ve ever seen’ and walked away.”

“That's my girl,” Camie says proudly.

“If they have nothing to report on, we’ll have to give them something better.” Bakugou interrupts them and all eyes go to him. “We’re going to have to speed up your plan, nerd.”

Izuku’s eyes go from apprehensive and anxious to determined instantly. It’s a complete shift in his mood and that brings a predatory smile to the alpha’s face. Katsuki likes seeing the omega in his fight-mode.

“Let’s do this, Kacchan,” Izuku says with a smirk of his own.

“What plan?” Kirishima asks confused.

***

The first order of business was to organize their schedules. They still had to patrol at least three hours every day and hit the gym for at least one hour and a half; if they wanted to keep on top of their game those things couldn’t be neglected.  The time for the usual office work also had to be taken into consideration, Miruko would kill them if they stopped being proper heroes to hunt down ghosts. That didn’t leave a lot of time for them to focus on cracking cold cases, but they’d have to make do.

The second issue was picking a case. It had to be big enough to be news-worthy, but not too big that’d take them years to reach any kind of development. Most importantly, it had to seem ‘crackable’, they need to have something to offer the media in less than a week or else it’d be too late.

Considering cold cases are known as that because heroes couldn’t solve them when they happened and that with the passing of time any crime gets harder to solve; it’s clear that the team is struggling.

“This missing omega one?” Kirishima asks showing them.

“No, this looks like the omega ran away with the beta gardener and the Finishing School was just trying to cover it up by saying it was a kidnap,” Izuku says after noticing which file case Kirishima was talking about.

They’ve been looking through files for hours. It’s way past the time any of them would already be home any given day, and now they’re starting to get hungry and cranky.

“There, it’s cracked! Let’s go with this and call it a day!” Camie says grumpily.

“We can’t break up a happy couple just because we’re in a pinch, Camie,” Izuku says frowning to her.

“But I’m starving!” The alpha woman whines plopping down dramatically over the files on her desk.

Bakugou is also tired and hungry, and he feels it’s time to say what’s been on his mind for a while now.

“We ain’t going to find anything.” His three teammates turn to look at him. “It’s been years I’ve been working on these damn cases, I crack one every five to six months at best. No way we’ll solve one in a week.”

“But we can’t just give up, Kacchan! They’ll never take our team seriously if we do!” Izuku pleads.

“I know, damn Deku! Just hear me out, ok?” Katsuki barks at him. “The basic premise of the plan is fucking solid, we’re just picking the wrong subject. Cold cases take too long, we should look at the tipping jar.”

“You mean the police’s anonymous line?” Kirishima says frowning.

“That’s where we can find fresh cases that we’d have a chance to solve quickly,” Bakugou explains.

“There’s a reason why the police handle the anonymous accusations. Most of them are fake or dead ends, and the police get dozens every day.” Kirishima argues.

“It takes the police too long to get through them all, and when they do they share with every agency. We need to go straight to the source, pick something and run with it before anyone else can say shit.” Katsuki says to the team with certainty.

“Alright, if Kacchan thinks it’s our best shot, let’s do this.” Izuku looks at him with his determined eyes.

“Can we get food before?” Camie says without having taken her face from her files.

“Camie and Kiri should go home,” Izuku says shaking his head. “If the four of us are tired tomorrow, we won’t be able to work properly and it'll make our situation worse.”

“Yeah,” Bakugou nods in agreement. “Shitty Hair, Airhead, go home. Deku and I got this.”

Kirishima and Camie put on a fight, but it’s hard to say no when Katsuki and Izuku are being so adamant. They still pass by a convenience store to buy bentos for the heroes who will stay working, and Katsuki doesn’t complain too much about eating shitty convenience store food (and only does it after his friends leave).

Deku, however, gushes and praises the food as if it was a five-star meal.

“I thought nothing could top the egg salad sandwich, but damn, this tuna-mayo onigiri may actually be better,” the omega says with rice all over his face.

“Those two have a disgusting amount of mayo and will fuck up your nutrition plan,” Katsuki grunts. 

“You’re the only one who cares about my nutrition plan, Kacchan. I care about how tasty this is.” The omega says unbothered.

“Well, someone fucking has to, Shitty Deku! You’re an omega and have been doing a great amount of muscle-building exercise! If you don’t have a proper nutrition, it’ll screw up with your health! You can have cardiac problems, loss of bone mass and several other fucked up shits!” Bakugou yells at Deku.

How can the damn omega not think about that? He has been doing an unnatural amount of training; if Deku doesn’t intake the right amount of nutrients and proteins, he may get seriously sick. He already told that to Shitty Hair and Airhead, but the fucking idiots care more about pleasing the shitty omega than what’s actually good for Deku. Bakugou has to fix everything on his own!

A light kick on his shin takes Katsuki out of his murderous thoughts and he looks up to see Izuku sitting in front of him with a warm smile.

“You’re right, Kacchan. I’m sorry for joking with this. I promise I’ll try to take better care of what I eat, but you can lighten up too. It’s just one meal, I’ll be back to eating Kacchan’s amazing cooking tomorrow.”

Bakugou looks away to not let the omega see the blush that threatens to take his face, “if I knew you’d like this crap so much, I wouldn’t have bothered cooking at all.”

Izuku giggles, “I like convenience store snacks, but no food is better than Kacchan’s.”

They spend until midnight in Katsuki’s desk going over the police database to pick some lead to follow. This kind of work should be tiring, annoying and frustrating, but it wasn’t. Talking to Deku about the leads made the experience fun and challenging, the two of them trying to one-up the other into bringing better analysis over each anonymous entry.

After they got three possible cases they thought it was worth pursuing, they stumbled back home tired. Bakugou went to sleep thinking this is exactly how he wants his life to be like from now on.

Chapter Text

Betrayal

At the sound of his alarm, Izuku grunts in pain. He’s tired, he wants to sleep, his muscles beg for rest and healing time. He thought that at this point he’d be used to the harsh reality of hero work, but he isn’t. His body began taking a severe beating when he started training with his friends to prepare for Miruko’s test almost two months ago and it hasn’t stopped suffering since then.

Izuku feels overworked. Every day is fast-paced and demanding both physically and mentally. He needs to train with Miruko, study with his team, and sprint through hero learning. During his rare hours off, he runs to be a present figure in the life of his family and friends (with a little extra focus on Kouta and Eri). 

And now, he needs to solve a case to deal with the media. That’s why last night he went to bed at an ungodly hour even though he needs to get up at ass o’clock in the morning to start the day all over again. Izuku stumbles out of bed almost losing his feet and falling face first into the ground. 

He puts on his several scent blockers through his body ignoring the itch and burn the harsh chemicals give him, and gets dressed in his hero uniform. Putting on the green fabric wakes him up a little — he did it, he has a hero uniform, a hero name and works on a hero agency.  Now he needs to brave the world, solve a case and put his name on the papers for the right reasons (he’s still furious by the way the news of him and Camie patrolling together was spun).

He leaves him room and sees Kacchan preparing breakfast as usual and that wakes him up better than the coffee that the alpha always complains he drinks ever could. Izuku instantly feels better than he felt as he woke up; life can be hard but he has his best friend by his side helping him every step of the way.

“Morning, Kacchan!” 

“Morning, nerd,” Bakugou says plating the breakfast food.

The blond has dark circles under his eyes. Last night's extra work wasn’t hard only on Izuku, and Kacchan always wakes up even earlier than the omega. Izuku can’t help but worry about his friend.

They need to solve this media issue quickly. Izuku hates how they are spinning such an innocent thing in this vile way. It not only hurts him and Camie, but it also greatly hurts their team. It’s so unfair that the public may brand their team as bad without ever giving them a chance to prove themselves. 

And most of them didn’t even need to prove anything; Ground Zero, Red Riot and Illusionist have been the strongest hero team in the country for years. Izuku is the only one who needs to show the world what he can do, but he may never get the chance if the Bureau decides to take all this gossip seriously.

“Eat,” Katsuki pushes the plate in front of him. “We’ve got a lot of work today. We have a whole case to solve.”

The alpha has a challenging smirk on his face and that fires up Izuku as well. 

Kacchan is right. If the world doesn’t want to take them seriously, all they need to do is be so amazing that no one can say anything bad about them. With Kacchan by his side and with the team they have, Izuku is sure they can achieve it.

***

“So, what do you guys got?” Kirishima asks as soon as the whole team is in the office.

They have an hour each morning for office work, then they exercise for an hour and a half on the agency’s gym, after that they have some more office time and lunch. From two to five in the afternoon, they’ll patrol one of their areas. After patrolling, they’ll focus on cracking the case they need until they have to go home to sleep.

It’s going to be a very demanding routine, but they can do it. And once they show the public what kind of achievements can be expected from their team, they can go back to a more reasonable pace.

“The most promising lead we found is an anonymous call from an omega who says her alpha is involved in villain work. The omega sounded too afraid to give any information that could indicate she was involved in it. But she said she found a card from a place called Golden Bowl and she thinks it’s an illegal gambling club that the villains use to meet.” 

Izuku explains clearly to Kirishima and Camie.

“The caller doesn’t say shit about where this place could be, but we ran the name through a few databases and found two other mentions of it. One also from an anonymous caller who says their brother lost a lot of money in this Golden Bowl shit and disappeared a few weeks later. The second came from an arrested low-level villain, a shitty convenience store robber, who says the guys he owed money were from the Golden Bowl.” Katsuki completes.

“But there’s still no address or name we can tie to it,” Kirishima affirms.

“No, there isn’t. And we can still work the databases to see if we can find anything else about illegal gambling houses.” Bakugou grunts scratching his head. The alpha looks like he’s dreading the amount of hours they’ll have to put into combing through databases.

“We could go after the arrested robber and see what we can squeeze out of him.” Camie inputs.

“We can, but he was already questioned by the police and, from what we read on the report, he was more afraid of what the people he owed money could do to him than going to jail,” Izuku says depressed.

Honestly, the anonymous call seems to lead to a bunch of dead-ends. Izuku wasn’t feeling so hopeful about solving this case from what he and Bakugou gathered last night. But the alpha said that they have the resources and that he thinks that’s the best lead they got so Izuku will trust Kacchan’s experience.

“Yeah, but Camie can be very persuasive when she wants to be,” Katsuki grunts. “Let’s make a request to the Bureau to talk to the fucker.”

“I’m on it,” Kirishima says already typing away on his computer.

“And the four of us can start going through the databases during our office hours,” Bakugou says definitively, Camie just grunts and drops her head on her desk.

“Can we find out where in the city the anon call came?” Izuku asks, deep in thought.

“We can, but it’s usually no good. People who are afraid make these calls far away from home,” Camie explains. “And we can only tell which district the call came, it’s a very big area to pinpoint a source.”

“But it’s an omega. We have the address of every omega in the country,” Izuku explains.

“We have a presumed address,” Katsuki corrects him. “The alpha may have lied, they may have moved. But you’re right, we should check that. Camie, I want you on it; it’s not like you’d be useful reading reports anyway.”

“Thanks, fam. I knew I could count on you,” Camie says looking relieved.

“And we’ll still have three people to read through the paperwork! Having another team member is great!” Kirishima exclaims excitedly making Izuku smile back at the redhead.

His team truly is the best. Even with all this mess, they didn’t contest Izuku’s place among them not even once. On the contrary, they’re all supportive and working harder than usual to make sure Izuku feels welcome and to fix the media problem. 

They also don’t smother Izuku inside the agency. The three heroes respect Izuku’s stance and allow him to deal with his issues with the young alphas on his own. The omega knows everyone is already aware he’s been struggling with the lingering looks, sniffs and snickers from the unmated alphas; but since Izuku hasn’t asked for help, they are holding their tongue.

Camie and Kirishima sometimes seem to take a longer path around the agency to be sure to accompany Izuku after his training with Miruko, but they never say it’s because of that. They give random excuses about having to talk with the PR department on the third floor or something like that. 

Kacchan doesn’t do anything at all, he didn’t change his routine and hasn’t tried to throw his scent over the young alphas — and Izuku is immensely thankful for that. He’d hate if the alpha had to stand up for him, Izuku wants to be able to do it on his own.

After they share tasks and debate a few other options, it comes to their training time. Kacchan and Kiri will spar, Camie will fumble through her phone while pretending to workout on the gym and Izuku will go to Miruko.

Izuku leaves the office feeling confident. They’ll solve this case, save the omega whose alpha is involved with gambling, dismantle the villain hotspot and show the media what they’re here to do. They have a great team, plenty of resources and Kacchan is an amazing leader. Things will work out soon enough.

However, as he enters the corridor that leads to Miruko’s office, he sees one huge sidekick coming his way. The young alpha was just as tall as Katsuki, but he’s much bulkier. His hero name is Bull, as if the huge horns on the top of his head and the prominent musculature weren’t a big enough tell of his quirk.

Izuku feels a cold shiver run through his spine and dread settles on the pit of his stomach. His inner omega yells at him to turn tail and run away. Everything about the alpha transpires aggression, his scent is pungent. But Izuku raises his head, sets his mouth in a serious line and marches on. 

Bull keeps walking towards him with an angry scowl in place. This particular sidekick never participated in the snickering groups or tried to catch a nice whiff of Izuku’s scent; on the contrary, he looks very averse of the omega. Izuku just hoped to pass by him on the corridor without issues, but he’s out of luck.

As they pass one another, the young alpha throws his weight against Izuku’s shoulder to try to make the omega fall and grunts “can’t spend one goddamn day without wasting her time”.

Though the alpha is huge, Izuku’s training hasn’t been for nothing. He holds his place against the harsh bump and turns his head to the alpha with a growl set in place. “Excuse me?”

“You’ve heard me,” the alpha says snarling, teeth showing in a menacing way. “Not enough that your husband bought your place here, you still have to waste the boss’s time. Go back to your damn nest.”

Anger starts boiling inside Izuku, he closes his fists without really knowing if he’s preparing for a punch or holding himself back. How dare him? How dare this damn alpha think Izuku got here easily? That he didn’t struggle hard enough, that he doesn’t deserve his place among the other heroes?! 

The omega is ready to lash out at the sidekick, but he bites back and keeps his mouth shut. Izuku almost feels like throwing up from how furious he is, but he can’t do anything. No matter how he reacts, it’ll only make his situation worse. This alpha could take his complaints to the media, make a huge deal out of it, lie about how Izuku got his position in Miruko’s agency; who knows how this story would be spun if they managed to create an ‘affair’ out of a picture of him and Camie sharing a bag of popcorn.

But he wants to react. He wants to give the alpha a beating he’ll never forget, wants to yell at him and make him see everything omegas as subjected to just for being who they are. Izuku wants the whole damn world to know how unfairly and inhumanely they treat a physically weaker minority. He wants to denounce the fact most alphas and betas care more about the abuse against dogs than the abuse against omegas.

Izuku’s whole body shakes with barely constrained fury, but he manages to not lash out. The alpha clicks his tongue on disgust and keeps on walking, as Izuku stands there stunned. He’s frozen in anger, shaking and ready for a fight that won’t come.

It takes some good fifteen minutes until the omega manages to get his breathing and heart back in control; until he convinces himself he can’t hunt down the alpha through the agency’s corridors to teach him a goddamn lesson. What eventually subdues his anger is realizing that Bull was just the one brave enough to voice his complaints, several other people must be thinking the same thing and don’t even have the guts to confront Izuku.

Convincing the media he isn’t in a hero team just to flirt with other alphas is just the first step. It’ll take a lot more than that to make the world understand the injustices done to the omegas. As he enters Miruko’s office and is received with one of the woman’s wild smiles, Izuku thinks he’s just glad to have so many good people by his side helping him along the way.

***

The next day their investigation starts to move. Camie and Kirishima get permission to talk to the prisoner and leave in the middle of the morning for that. Katsuki and Izuku stay behind to compile the information they already have and try coming up with something more solid.

“I’ve checked Camie’s research. There are three omegas living in the district from where the call came. Good news: it’s one of ours.” Izuku says showing the printed pages with the information on the civilian omegas to Katsuki.

“We still are dealing with a big chance of the omega having made the phone call away from her home,” the alpha says analyzing the profiles carefully.

“Maybe she couldn’t,” Izuku ponders. “If she’s so afraid, we could assume the alpha is very controlling. That could mean she may not be allowed to go very far away.”

“It could be,” Katsuki mumbles deep in thought. “Wanna go talk to them this afternoon? We could fix a route that goes through their addresses. Drop by and say it’s just a routine check-up.”

Izuku frowns, “routine check-up? Does that even exist?”

Bakugou shrugs, “it doesn’t. But since you’re an omega, and the other omegas probably don’t know the law so deeply, we may get away with this excuse.”

“We may put her in danger,” Izuku says somberly.

“She’s already in danger. If her alpha loses enough money, the villains will take payment in any kind.”

Izuku takes a deep breath and throws his head back to look at the white ceiling. It’s terrifying to think he can put someone in a risky situation, but Kacchan has a solid point — and the hero has more experience than him. But can they stir trouble for other people based on so little evidence and motivated by their own selfish need of solving a case quickly for the media?

A ball of paper hitting Izuku on the cheek gets him out of his head and makes him look at the alpha frowning.

“What are you? Twelve?” The omega huffs.

“I’m old enough to know we can’t control the whole world. Whatever happens to her, it’s not our fault. We’ll do the best job we can, but sometimes it’s out of our reach.” The alpha's red eyes pierce through him. “Now let’s go through the shit we found about unnamed illegal gambling houses and see if any of them matches the district the anon call came from.”

They work diligently crossing references for a good couple of hours. They eat their lunch, bentos prepared by Katsuki on their desks and talk about the case between mouthfuls. Kacchan knows a whole deal about illegal gambling houses and how they are used by yakuza families to make money out of the community and pump their other (even more) illegal activities. 

The alpha doesn’t hold back on his explanations and Izuku starts taking notes. It’s been a good while since he has taken notes out of what Kacchan says — this time he doesn’t feel as much like a stalker. He didn’t love having to make notes on Kacchan, but Izuku can’t say they weren’t helpful. The omega learned a lot about the alpha through his analysis, and now he has a chance to learn with the alpha.

After lunch, Kirishima and Camie return to the agency smelling clearly of hamburgers and fries. The woman is even carrying a strawberry milkshake cup. Izuku just ate, but he can’t say the sight of the pink cream doesn’t entice him.

“What’s up, fam!” Camie greets them happily.

“Hey, bros! We’re back!”

“Hey, guys!” Izuku greets them back while Katsuki goes straight to business.

“How was it? Did he talk?”

Camie looks at him with a cocky expression, “with who exactly do you think you’re talking to? Of course he talked.”

“Did you get us in trouble for using your quirk on a civilian?” Bakugou glares at her.

Camie just shrugs as she gets closer to Izuku’s desk and silently offers him a sip of her milkshake. The omega is tempted, but it’s too dangerous to break his nutrition plan in front of Kacchan, so he gives her a sad smile and shakes his head.

“Not a lot. She did use her quirk, but it was fast enough that the guards didn’t realize,” Kirishima says with an apologetic smile. “That meant we also didn’t get much out of the prisoner, but we got some good leads.”

“I have a name for the probable family running the business and a district. Top that, Baku,” Camie teases.

“We’ve got a district too, Airhead, and we got some people to talk to this afternoon.” Katsuki grunts back.

“The omegas from my research?” She says cocking an eyebrow.

“Hey, hey! Chill, guys! It’s not a competition,” Kirishima calms them down. “We’ll crack this case soon enough together.”

The two alphas toned down immediately and Izuku couldn’t help but wonder how good it would be if every alpha he ever met stopped instantly when someone asked them to.

“We’re putting together a new patrol route. We want to pass by the omegas’ place and ask some questions,” Bakugou says fumbling through their papers.

Kacchan is very professional and knows so much about hero work and investigations. Izuku is in awe at how methodical and organized the alpha is. It’s easy to dismiss Ground Zero as a hero who is only on this job for the big flashy fights — with how explosive and brazen his quirk (and personality) is one would be forgiven to think the alpha isn’t adept to boring paperwork and case analysis. 

But that’s not the case at all. Katsuki has no issues with sitting for hours examining files and trying to get to the truth. It’s fascinating for Izuku to observe the man working like that. It’s like Kacchan distorted the natural alpha instinct of hunting for this abstract medium; instead of physically running after his prey, he stalks them mentally.

Izuku is sure there aren’t many pro heroes out there whose hobby is to dig around old unsolved cases trying to put together a timeline of a trail that has been cold for over ten years. Honestly, Izuku doesn’t think he’d have the patience for that if he wasn’t doing it by Katsuki’s side. The omega has fun with cold cases just because he’s debating them with Kacchan in their home over dinner; but spending countless hours alone in the office reading dusty files? No, Ground Zero is the only one with the drive to do that.

All Might taught Izuku the principle of why to be a hero, Uravity taught him about a heroes’ daily live, Miruko taught him the ins and outs of the hero industry — and Ground Zero is teaching Izuku the grinding work applied to not be a passive agent waiting for the villains to strike. The alpha’s single-minded drive to be the best and to always be ahead is an inspiration for the hero Izuku wants to be.

They finish organizing the patrol route while Camie and Kirishima explain in depth everything they managed to squeeze out of the prisoner. It wasn’t much more than what they already knew — the man started gambling, lost more than he could afford and ended up being blackmailed into increasingly worse crimes to pay for his debts. The beta didn’t even get to meet the bosses of the Yakuza family that was blackmailing him, but the names of the men who he had been in contact with matched the names of the muscle of the crime family they had already identified as responsible for that.

The team decided that Izuku and Kirishima would be the ones talking to the omegas during patrol. It was better to not stink the omega’s places with a strange alpha’s scent. Their comms would be turned on during the whole time, so the alphas would hear everything said between the heroes and the omegas while Ground Zero and Illusionist made sure the perimeter is secure.

The first apartment they knock on there isn’t anyone home. Looking around they establish that the place looks like it hasn’t been abandoned but whoever lives there must be out. Kirishima charms one neighbor coming out of the building and they find out a family lives there and that at this time the omega usually goes out to pick their pup from school and buy things for dinner and the alpha is at work. It’s not a lot of information so they mark the place for a future visit if necessary.

The second place is a big house, there they find an omega woman with four pups aged from three to eleven. The children are running around making a mess, and the omega looks overall very happy with that. The place smells strongly of omega nest, making it clear who is the boss of the house. She seems glad that heroes are stopping by to check on her and screeches in glee when she finds out Izuku is an omega support hero. Then she spends around twenty minutes talking about her kids as the little ones run around and doesn’t let the heroes leave before taking pictures of them and the children together to show to her husband.

“For fuck's sake, if I hear another damn brat yelling through the comm,” Kacchan’s grumpy voice sounds on Izuku’s ear as he and Kirishima finally leave the omega’s house.

“The kids were great, bro! They weren’t brats,” Kirishima nags him.

“We couldn’t just leave while she was talking about Hikari’s struggle with her quirk, Kacchan,” Izuku says.

The moment it became clear the omega in that house was happy and satisfied with her life, Katsuki began complaining for them to leave. It was hard for Izuku to keep his focus on what the woman was saying with the alpha’s grumbles on his ear.

“The damn pup’s quirk is making soap bubbles, Deku! How fucking bad can she be struggling with that?!” Ground Zero asks annoyed.

“It’s been hard for her to concentrate in class because she thinks her bubbles are too pretty, Kacchan! If you had complained less and paid more attention to the story you’d know!”

“That’s so freaking adorable. I want a pup with a bubble quirk for my own,” Camie’s pout can be heard through the comm.

“I don’t think you and Kendo’s quirk could combine for something like that, Camie,” Izuku reasons since the child’s quirk usually derives from the parents. “It’s actually pretty interesting to find out what kind of quirk your Glamour and her Big First could create!”

“Don’t fucking encourage her, Deku,” Katsuki grumbles. “She doesn’t have the maturity to raise a child, we can’t have this idiot with baby fever.”

“Maybe the pup would be able to create giant illusions?” Kirishima ponders.

“I think Kendo and Camie would be great parents, Kacchan!” Izuku defends his friend. “I’m sure Kendo’s seriousness would balance out Camie’s playfulness.”

“Thanks, Zuku, baby! You and Kiri would be my pup’s godparents,” Camie says happily.

“The fuck?! And me, you damn Airhead?! I’d be the freaking best godfather this whole fucking country had ever seen!” Katsuki yells through the comm line making Izuku wince at the volume. “Your child would need me as a godfather because none of you idiots know shit about taking care of yourselves, much less of a pup!”

“Bakubro would be the boring uncle who gives cram school books as a birthday gift,” Kirishima says chuckling.

“The pup will ask for a bedtime story and Kacchan will read a ‘safety evacuation manual’ for them,” Izuku teases chuckling too.

“Uncle Baku will make delicious sugar-free, gluten-free, organic whole-grain vegan bentos for my pup’s school lunch,” Camie continues.

“I fucking hate all of you,” Katsuki grunts annoyed.

The third and last place doesn’t look nearly as inviting when they arrive. Izuku and Kirishima exchange a tense look as they enter a rundown building; the paint on the walls is dirty and chipping, the corridors smell moldy. The heroes are wary as they make way to the listed apartment.

They stop in front of the door, it’s clear there’s noise inside the apartment but it stops as soon as they knock. After waiting a while, Kirishima knocks again.

“Hero patrol!” The beta calls. “Please, answer your door!”

Finally, they hear several locks being open before an omega woman shows up looking suspiciously at them.

“Good afternoon, ma'am! I’m Red Riot and this is Deku, we’re two of the heroes in charge of this district and we’re here for a routine check up on omegas’ wellbeing!” Kirishima says with his big sharky smile.

“I’m fine,” the woman answers without meeting their eyes.

The smell coming from the apartment is strongly alpha, the omega’s smell is barely a footnote on the apartment. This isn’t an omega living happily in her nest, she hasn’t been scenting things on the place.

“Are you sure?” Izuku can’t help but ask.

The woman finally looks up to his eyes and he can see her wavering.

“You can talk to us, we’re here to help,” he says trying to make her feel safer.

She shakes her head, “I’m alright, my problems are just silly omega issues, nothing that two Pro Heroes should concern themselves with.” She goes to close the door but Izuku stops her.

“Wait!” Izuku says pulling one of the wet tissues he has on his utility belt. “Omegas’ problems are my problems too.”

The tissues are drenched with disinfectant liquid. They were added to his support items for Izuku to use in first-aid situations, and Izuku quickly found out they can clean the scent blockers completely off his skin. He passes the wet on his wrist gland and raises his hand to let the woman smell him.

The moment she notices Izuku is an omega as well, the tension on her shoulders goes down significantly. The woman closes her eyes and takes some deep whiffs of Izuku’s relaxed scent to help calm herself down as well.

“Tell me what’s wrong,” Izuku says with determination.

This time she doesn’t try to send them away and close the door, she starts talking and explains that her alpha is getting involved in villain activities after acquiring a huge debt at a gambling house. The omega knows much more than she said on her original anonymous call and the heroes leave the apartment with a lot of information, the most important of all being the exact address of the Golden Bowl.

Ground Zero and Illusionist are waiting for them just outside the building and the excitement runs through them like electricity when the four heroes meet. They've just cracked the case.

*** 

The team went back to the agency after talking to the omega and began putting together a report about their findings. They need the Bureau’s approval to raid the gambling house and put an end to that villainous activity. 

They got home late but feeling great about themselves. They are so close to fixing this situation, helping the omega and so many people who are falling in the wrong path because of this place. Izuku wakes up feeling happy and energized, the little hours of sleep he got aren’t really weighing him down today.

“Good morning, Kacchan!” Izuku says as he enters the kitchen.

The alpha is already there finishing breakfast and their lunch bentos, “morning, nerd.”

“Do you think we’ll hear back from the Bureau this morning?” The omega asks working around Katsuki to make his coffee and set the table.

“Probably not, they take their sweet fucking time reading through this kind of shit. We’ll be lucky if we get an answer at all today,” Bakugou explains plating the food.

They work well together. Their routine runs smoothly and Izuku is proud of the beautiful friendship they created. After seeing how that omega lived yesterday, he got a whole new appreciation for his platonic companionship with Kacchan. The woman may not have said it in front of Kirishima, but she’s clearly a prisoner inside her own home.

The place didn’t smell like her at all. It smelled like angry alpha, or maybe it could have been lustful alpha — it’s hard to tell the difference between those two. Pheromones can express four major moods: happiness and calm, distress, lust and anger. It’s pretty easy to identify calm and distress, but lust and anger are very similar and people usually can only tell them apart in their own mates after years of living together. Honestly, Izuku can’t pick which one he thinks is worse in the woman’s case; anger may make the alpha violent against her, but lust is a risk all on its own.

Izuku is so happy that he doesn’t have to deal with this kind of thing. Kacchan respects him as a person and they’ve developed a strong friendship. The omega never thought an alpha would value him as a friend without the need to mate with him, and he’s so glad Katsuki can. It makes him feel safe to be himself around Kacchan in a way he doesn’t feel around any other alpha, not even around Camie who is a dear friend. Because he knows that if it was Camie or any other alpha in Kacchan’s place, they would be working hard to get in Izuku’s pants.

It’s because of this certainty that Izuku feels comfortable teasing Katsuki that he cooks as if he’s trying to go trending on Instagram; entering his personal bubble to reach for food before it’s done; ignoring the alpha’s complaints as he brews his daily cup of coffee. Izuku is always safe around Kacchan, he doesn’t need to be prepared to defend himself and he values this feeling more than anything.

“So what are we going to do today?” Izuku asks between mouthfuls of food.

“The usual — paperwork, training, patrol,” Katsuki says shrugging.

Izuku frowns and starts mumbling without noticing, “Miruko is still away, she’ll only be back tomorrow. I guess I’ll have to train on my own today. I could go to the gym with Camie, but then she’ll distract me from my reps to show me dog videos on her phone. I’ll have to-”

“Stop mumbling bullshit, dweeb,” Katsuki interrupts him giving the omega a side-eye glance. “You can train with me.”

The omega’s eyes go huge in excitement, “really? But don’t you spar with Kirishima on Tuesdays?”

“I’m sure Shitty Hair will enjoy a day off from being beaten up. We haven’t sparred yet, let’s see if you have anything to show,” the alpha taunts and Izuku is instantly on board with the idea.

“I’m going to kick your ass, Kacchan!” Izuku says with a wild smile.

“Let’s see you try, shortstack,” Katsuki teases back.

Focusing on paperwork was so much harder when Izuku knew that in just a few hours he’d be sparring with Kacchan. Sure, Izuku has been training with Miruko who is an extraordinary alpha; but Miruko feels so out of his league that he just accepts that he doesn’t stand a chance. But Izuku feels that with Kacchan it’ll be different, he knows the alpha won’t hold back at all for Izuku’s sake — which means Izuku doesn’t need to hold back either.

Izuku's mind keeps thinking if they should spar with or without quirks. It’d be great fun to measure his control of One for All against such a formidable opponent as Ground Zero, but the combined destruction of their two quirks might be too much for the training room to withstand (maybe for the whole building too). One day they can go camping somewhere far away enough from the city where they could truly go all out. Izuku gets giddy thinking about flying through the air to escape from Kacchan’s powerful blasts, it’d be so fun.

“Ready, nerd?” Katsuki asks, taking Izuku out of his own head. 

Finally, it’s time.

They walk to one of the training rooms and it’s hard for Izuku to hide the happy skip in his step. He can hear Katsuki chuckling beside him and he knows the alpha is highly amused by his eagerness, but he can’t force himself to care because he’ll spar with Kacchan!

“Never seen someone so happy to lose a fight,” the alpha taunts.

“You never know, Kacchan! I might win!” Izuku answers excitedly. “And even if I don’t, I’m sure I’ll make you work for it!”

“Ain’t you a cocky little shit?” Katsuki barks but he has a smirk in place too. “Not even a year of training and you already think you can make me sweat. Dream on, shortstack.”

“Want to make a bet?” The omega asks as they start stretching for their fight.

“Sure thing. I bet you won’t even land five hits,” Bakugou answers arrogantly.

“If we bet this we will have issues since I know I can knock you out in four,” Izuku retorts just as sure of himself.

Katsuki shakes his head laughing, “yeah right. Ok, ok, we can play your game: you win the bet if you make me land on my ass at least once. I win the bet only if I win the fight.”

“Great, you’re going down,” Izuku teases smiling.

Both fighters finish stretching and loosening their sore muscles. Right now, Izuku is running on excitement and expectations, because rest hasn’t been a thing in a long time. Last night they got home almost at three, and at six thirty both of them were already up and ready to start the day again. Izuku knows that his body isn’t in prime condition to tackle a challenge as big as sparring with Ground Zero, but he can’t miss this opportunity.

They go to the middle of the room and face each other with wild predatory smiles in place. They’re both wearing the bases of their hero uniforms without their support gears, another reason why no-quirks is the more logical option.

“Alright, ground rules: first to tap out or one-minute immobilization defines the winner,” Katsuki says seriously.

“And no quirks,” Izuku completes.

“Afraid of the heat, Deku?” Bakugou cocks an eyebrow and asks making small sparkles on his hand.

“No, I’m afraid of destroying the building. I don’t think Miruko likes either of us enough to let that pass,” Izuku explains.

Katsuki chuckles, “alright, dweeb. Show me what you got.”

It less than two seconds, Izuku is coming at the alpha with all he has. Katsuki doesn’t even think about dodging, he holds back Izuku’s hand and kicks one of the omega’s legs. Izuku rolls on the floor and is back on his feet before the alpha manages to come at him. This first confrontation sets the tone of their spar — fast, harsh and strong.

Ground Zero hasn’t taken light on his training to rely on the power of his quirk for hero work. The alpha’s body is built like nothing else Izuku has ever seen, every muscle is tight and ripped. When the omega does land a hit, one kick on Bakugou’s abs, it’s like he had kicked a wall; it probably hurt his feet more than it hurt Kacchan’s stomach.

Without his quirk Izuku needs to rely on his wits, speed and flexibility because he doesn’t have the raw strength to bring Katsuki down. But Bakugou isn’t dimwitted. On the contrary, the alpha is just as smart and fast, and he has an edge of experience over Izuku. The minutes pass without any of the fighters managing to do much damage, but it’s enough for both of them to work a good sweat.

But Izuku isn’t giving up. These last few weeks Miruko has been teaching him how to fight against bigger and stronger opponents, so he has a few tricks up his sleeve. The omega isn’t above fighting dirty so when he dodges a strong punch from Bakugou, he pretends to have fallen on the ground. 

He gets on his hands and knees awkwardly, hair cascading on his face, breathing ragged. He’s trying to bait the alpha to finish the fight, and it works — Katsuki comes quickly to kick Izuku’s stomach in a clear move to try to pin the omega down with his feet. However, that’s exactly what the omega was expecting.

When the boot comes his way, Izuku twists his arms to grab it and rolls on the floor. The movement works perfectly to destabilize Bakugou and the alpha falls ungraciously with his ass on the floor.

“Gotcha!” Izuku says smiling.

He just won the bet against Kacchan! He won! He’ll never let the alpha live this down! It was their first time sparring and Izuku won the bet! He can’t beli-

“Eyes on the fucking enemy, shortstack,” Izuku hears the alpha’s grunt on his ear before his world spins and he finds himself pinned with his face down on the floor and Katsuki’s heavy weight on his back.

“Kacchan! Not fair! I won!” Izuku complains trying to get himself free from the alpha’s hold.

“You won shit. You managed to make me fall, but that’s not enough to count me out of the fight,” Katsuki snarls on his ear. “We agreed the fight would only be over if someone tapped out or was immobilized for a full damn minute.”

Oh, fuck this.

Izuku turns his face towards where the alpha was teasing him and spits in Katsuki’s face. During a couple of seconds, Kacchan pulls back shaking his head annoyed and that’s enough for Izuku to release one of his legs and flip their positions.

But the alpha doesn’t take it passively. When he realizes what Izuku is doing, Kacchan ignores the spit on his face and starts fighting back. Both heroes snarl and growl at each other as they wrestle on the floor. Izuku can barely feel his body, all he can focus on is controlling the alpha, pinning him down. 

Their scents are battling just as fiercely. Izuku knows his blockers must have worn off with how much he sweated during the fight, and he also knows his pheromones must be coming off as furious as the ones he is feeling from Katsuki. The alpha is so angry that Izuku almost won their fight that his smell is thick and pungent in a way the omega has never sensed before.

They growl at each other’s faces and show their teeth trying to make the other submit as they roll on the floor. It’s a messy and dirty fight, nothing like the clean punches and perfect forms they were pulling just a few minutes ago. Now it’s not about technique but about ferocity and strength.

Izuku may have a feral strike a mile long, but unfortunately without quirks Katsuki is still much stronger. It takes a lot, but finally the alpha manages to straddle Izuku — he pins the omega’s arms above his head on the floor and uses both of his legs to restrict the alpha’s lower half. Izuku tries thrashing around one last time but halts his movement suddenly.

Izuku freezes his whole body and it’s not because he admits Katsuki got the best in the wrestle. No, Izuku is stunned by the realization that what he has been smelling isn’t the alpha’s anger — it’s his lust. The hard swell of Bakugou’s cock against his belly is impossible to deny.

“I won,” the alpha says breathlessly with a predatory smirk.

While before the teasing was just playful banter before an amicable spar, now Izuku sees them for what they really are: an alpha taunting an omega he wants to subdue, to conquer, to control. Instantly, every friendly interaction he ever had with Bakugou becomes tainted with the knowledge the alpha never really wanted to be his friend.

No, the alpha was just playing the long run to make Izuku become his omega without putting up a fight. Katsuki wasn’t seeing Izuku as a teammate, roommate, friend or comrade. He’s an alpha who has been hunting down an omega for months, trying to get Izuku to trust him until he could make his final move.

Izuku was a fucking idiot. How could he believe an alpha like Bakugou would buy an omega just to accept him as a ‘best friend’!? How could Izuku be so childish in believing that? If it sounded too good to be true, it’s because it wasn’t true. None of it was.

He spent years being taught the fundamental truth about alphas in the Institution: all they want is an omega underneath them. The dazzling lights of the outside world have blinded Izuku of his primordial instintics of not trusting alphas and made him forget everything he has been taught. Sure the Institution has its shortcomings, but how could Izuku throw away a lifetime of teachings over a few months with people he barely knows saying everything Izuku knows is wrong?! He should have known better, he has been taught even the name for this, Gaslighting.

Suddenly the man pinning him down on the floor isn’t Kacchan anymore, it’s Bakugou — the man who married him against his will and proceed to alienate Izuku from everything and everyone for weeks until anxiety and depression got the omega to ignore the warning signs of his body and almost die.

And now, Izuku is furious. He’s angry, hurt and disgusted. It would be better if Bakugou hadn't lead Izuku to believe they were friends; it’d be better if the alpha had pinned him down and forced Izuku to be his omega from the get go instead of making a fool out of Izuku.

“GET OFF ME!” One for All shines over the omega’s body and he manages to shove the alpha away. Izuku is on his feet in seconds, “HOW COULD YOU? I TRUSTED YOU!”

“What?” Bakugou asks confused but Izuku will not fall for his act again.

The omega runs towards him with his quirk snapping and starts dealing powerful blows that the alpha struggles to dodge.

“I believed in you! I thought we’re friends!” Tears cloud Izuku’s eyes and he can’t make any of his punches to connect.

“What are you talking about?!” the alpha yells back without stopping to dodge. “You’re crazy!”

“Crazy with disgust! You thought I wouldn’t notice?! Your scent may have tricked me, but there’s no mistaking what’s between your legs!” 

Bakugou’s movements falter with the realization of what Izuku was saying, and that gives the opening for one of the omega’s punches to connect on his chest. Bakugou stumbles back looking stunned at Izuku.

“I-” Izuku chokes on his words. “Stay away from me.”

The omega turns and runs away.

Chapter Text

Safety net

Izuku runs blindly. Tears come down his face making his vision hazy, his muscles scream and shake in pain at the exertion but he doesn’t stop pushing them. He needs to get as far away as he can from Bakugou before the blond manages to make Izuku fall for his lies again.

He runs until his legs give out on him, he almost stumbles on the pavement, his breathing coming out in hard pants. He’s shaking all over as he sits on a public bench outside a convenience store. 

Looking up to the bright blue sky, Izuku realizes he’s completely lost. He doesn’t really know where he’s in the city, in his life, in his dreams; he doesn’t know who he can trust, who can help him; he doesn’t know if there even is a way of being helped or solving this freaking mess.

Not knowing where to go or what to do, the omega just stays sitting there, ignoring the coming and going of people around him. He tries to clear his head from all the confusing thoughts that are making his feelings flare up, but he doesn’t manage to. His mind plays in repeat every moment he spent with Bakugou in these last eight months trying to come up with some indication that it was all a lie, looking for something that could have tipped Izuku off over the alpha’s true intentions.

It hurts, it physically hurts to second guess something he thought was so precious. His heart clenches, his stomach twists, he feels nauseous and weak. Izuku thought Kacchan was his best friend, the one to always stand by his side and help him; but he was wrong. Kacchan is just one of Bakugou’s many lies.

As the sun goes down, and Izuku’s body hurts even more from keeping the same position for a few hours, he accepts that he can’t keep sitting there until his life makes any sort of sense. He left his phone, wallet and everything behind at the agency, so his options of what to do are limited. He most certainly won’t go back to Bakugou’s home right now, so he goes for the second option — Tamaki.

At this hour his brother should already be home so Izuku starts walking, hoping he can find a train station. He doesn’t have money for the fare, but he can at least check the map and find out where he is.

***

Turns out he was very far away from his brother’s house. It took him almost two hours walking through the city in shaky legs. When he got to Tamaki’s place the moon was already high in the sky. He weakly knocks on the door, doing his best to not stumble.

“Coming!” A voice sounds from inside the house and seconds later Mirio is opening the door. “Izuku? Are you alright?”

No, he isn’t and he most certainly looks awful too. Before he can say anything, the omega loses the battle against his fatigue and falls over the alpha in front of him.

“Izuku!” Mirio says worried while catching him. The blond alpha puts his arm underneath Izuku’s armpits to help him inside the house. “TAMAKI! HELP ME OUT!”

Quick steps come his way and when Izuku notices it, he’s being hugged by his brother. The second Tamaki’s sweet vanilla scent hits his nose, Izuku falls apart. Painful sobs break through his throat and his whole body trembles. Izuku nuzzles against his big brother, staining Tamaki’s t-shirt with his tears.

“Zuku, Zuku,” the older alpha calls for him and Izuku only whimpers, hiding his face away. “It’s alright, baby, I just need to know if you’re hurt. Did you get attacked?” He shakes his head in denial, “alright, alright… Come on, let’s lay down.”

Tamaki leads him to the guest bedroom and they lay together in bed over the covers. His big brother goes through every possible calming action; he scents Izuku, pets his hair, hugs him tight and coos. All the while, Izuku sobs and shakes; he wants to stop and talk to his brother, but the idea of forming the words makes him want to cry even harder.

Izuku completely loses track of time in his fit, but, at some point, exhaustion takes over and he falls asleep. When he comes to conscience again, it’s because Tamaki is softly calling for him.

“Izuku? Can you wake up for a little while? You need to eat something.”

His eyes hurt, they’re itching and burning from the flood of tears he cried. It takes a moment before Izuku manages to open them. When he does, he sees his brother sitting by his side with a very worried expression and running his hands over Izuku’s hair.

“Hey,” Tamaki says with a soft sad smile.

“Hi,” Izuku answers with his voice rough. “I‘m not hungry.”

“I thought so, but I brought tea and some congee. Will you try eating for me?” Tamaki asks with a quiet voice. “If you do, you can have some medicine for your muscle pain.”

There’s no way Izuku will say he won’t try doing something he is requesting in such a soft way (and he could use the medicine), even though he certainly doesn’t want to. He pulls himself up to sit on the bed, Tamaki fixes the pillows to prop him up and gives him a bowl of rice porridge. 

“I’m not gonna force you to talk, but I think it would better for you if you did,” Tamaki says with wisdom way beyond his years.

Tamaki isn’t much older than Izuku, just three years. However, from the moment they met, it was like the older omega had decided Izuku was his pup. As a thirteen-year-old who was just forcefully taken from his mother and godfather, the sixteen-year-old omega seemed to be the pinnacle of knowledge and understanding for Izuku.

The older omega was also the only other male omega in the Institution, and he seemed to know everything. Tamaki knew which teachers were meaner, which classes he’d be in trouble if he was late, which worker on the kitchen was more likely to give cookies. As the years went by, his older brother remained a solid rock for Izuku when everything else seemed like quicksand.

Izuku takes a spoonful of porridge to his mouth and the first thing he notices is that it’s very bland. Must have only some salt and a light chicken broth, his taste buds aren’t impressed. So much different from the bold and full of attitude characteristic of Kacchan’s cooking. 

Bakugou.

Bakugou’s cooking.

The omega’s stomach tightens and his eyes fill with tears.

“Izuku…” Tamaki calls for him and cleans a runaway tear on his cheek softly. “Talk to me, please.”

“We- We were training. Me and Ka- Bakugou. It- It was going fine. I mean, we’re fighting, but the regular way. I thought, at least. We wrestled, he- he taunted me so I- got angry and he- he-” Izuku chokes on his words and Tamaki quickly pulls his head against his chest while petting the younger omega’s curls.

“Take your time,” Tamaki whispers. “I’m here for you.”

“I thought he was angry too, because I was using tricks in the fight. But he- he wasn’t angry, he was-... alpha.” Izuku presses his eyes closed and hides his face on his brother’s chest.

“He was hunting you,” Tamaki says seriously and Izuku only nods.

“He didn’t manage to- to do anything. I pushed him away and began using my quirk,” his voice comes muffled because Izuku refuses to take his face away from his brother's hold.

“And do you think he would?” The older omega is still serious and that makes Izuku stop and think before answering.

Kacchan wouldn’t do anything like that do him; Kacchan is his best friend, he’s always helping Izuku and never did anything to make Izuku feel uncomfortable. But Bakugou? Izuku has no idea what Bakugou would do.

“I don’t know.”

He feels Tamaki nodding and giving him a kiss on the temple.

“What do you think?” Izuku asks with a small voice.

“I- I’m not sure either, Zuku… I want to say that no, he wouldn’t. Bakugou is a good hero, I’ve never heard of him being abusive in the line of work. And you’ve been very happy in these last few months, you said you two were good friends.”

“I thought we were.” His voice expresses his hurt.

“But, at the same time… It wouldn’t be the first alpha to get caught up in a hunt, nor the first alpha who decided he was done waiting.”

“That’s what they taught us in the Institution. ‘Never run or else the alpha will get into a hunting mindset and will become aggressive.’” Izuku parrots one of the lessons that were drilled in his mind for years. “But everyone’s been saying what they taught us there is wrong.”

Tamaki takes the forgotten bowl from Izuku’s hand and put it on the nightstand so he can cuddle closer with his little brother.

Everything they taught us there isn’t wrong. We learned French, we read classic literature, we know more math than most college-educated people. But it’s not all right either, as you’ve noticed on your own.”

“But what the alphas and betas say isn’t always true,” Izuku grumbles hugging his brother properly.

“No, it isn’t. There are several things about us and about how we live and see the world that they don’t understand, and they probably will never understand. For them, the biggest proof that they respect us is when they treat us like one of them. But if we accept that, we’ll also be accepting to bury parts of us that are unique and precious.”

“So that’s the option? To spend my whole life as an outsider or to be assimilated? And how does that even apply to Bakugou having a-” Izuku’s voice gets increasingly agitated and falters in the last word.

“An erection?” Tamaki chuckles. “You can say the word, you’re a male omega after all.”

Izuku pouts and hides his face again.

“I don’t know, Izuku… Your situation is so much different than mine. I’ve always wanted to be mated with Mirio… But that’s not to say it wasn’t frightening the first few times we were alone. Do you remember the bear comparison? That thing used to run over my head every time Mirio touched me.”

“Tamanii!” Izuku whines and Tamaki chuckles again.

“My sweet innocent baby brother,” he kisses Izuku’s forehead. “But yeah, ‘Alphas are the number one cause of premature death on omegas. Every time you see yourself alone with an alpha, you can pretend they’re a bear because that’s exactly how they will behave.’ I might have called Mirio a bear the first few times we had sex.”

“Tamanii! I don’t need to know that!” Izuku berates him, then completes quietly. “I’ve been alone with Kacchan hundreds of times… He never acted like a bear.”

“I thought so… You two looked very comfortable around one another at the party for your license. And you’re always excited when you tell me what you two have done together.”

“I was… you know, excited… and happy. It’s been tough, but I thought- I thought it’d be alright because Kacchan was my friend and we’d make everyone shut up with how amazing our team would be.”

“And now?”

“Now?... I don’t know.” Izuku sighs deeply. “I don’t know what I should do, or who to trust or what do I even wanna do.”

“Do you know how you’re feeling about this?”

“Angry, hurt.”

“And heartbroken.”

“Yeah.”

“Why are you sad?” Tamaki asks looking at Izuku’s face.

“Because he betrayed me,” Izuku answers furrowing his eyebrows.

“Betrayed you how?”

“I- I didn’t know that he-... you know, thought about me like that. I thought-” Izuku looks away from his brother. “I thought he was actually my friend.”

Tamaki hums and looks back to the ceiling.

“I have things to say, and you aren’t going to like it,” his older brother says after a while.

“Do you think I should accept this?” Izuku asks with annoyance in his voice.

“No, not accept. It’s just- you’ve been working so hard. And you weren’t about to let Bakugou’s disapproval stop you, why would his… special approval do?”

“Special approval?” Izuku glares at his brother and Tamaki chuckles again.

“You’re the squirmish one, you’d complain if I said Bakugou is aroused by you.”

“Tamanii!”

“Didn’t I say it?”

Izuku glares at him again and they lay in silence for a while, letting the words sink in. Izuku knows Tamaki has a strong point; what Bakugou likes or doesn’t like about him shouldn’t interfere with his plans of being a hero. But, at this point, his hero (or support hero) career revolves around Bakugou, even if they are in a team. Can Izuku work side by side in such a dangerous profession with someone he doesn’t trust?

“I have some news… I was going to wait a while longer to tell you, but since we’re on the subject of sex…”

“We are not talking about your sex life, or the lack of mine for that matter,” Izuku complains grumpily.

Tamaki rolls his eyes, “you’re the most prude omega on the planet. But as I was saying, I have news. Mirio and I… we’re gonna try having a baby.”

Izuku shots up in the bed to properly look to Tamaki’s face. He’s startled, this news got him completely by surprise.

“What? When?”

“Good thing you didn’t ask how or else this conversation would take turns you wouldn’t like,” Tamaki teases and Izuku pokes him in the ribs, which just makes his older brother laugh. “I’ve stopped taking my suppressors and he stopped his as well, we’re gonna try in a couple of months on my next heat.”

“Tamanii!” Izuku says still too surprised to say anything else.

“I know, it’s a long shot… We don’t know if his rut will sync with my heat, male omegas usually take several heats without suppressors to be able to conceive and-”

“Tamanii! You’re gonna have a pup!” Izuku interrupts him, amazed.

“We’re gonna try,” Tamaki gives him a soft smile.

Izuku smiles back and topples down on his brother’s chest again. Tamaki releases a ‘humpf’ at his weight, but doesn’t complain.

“I’m gonna be an uncle,” Izuku whispers dreamily.

“Yeah, you’re going to be the best uncle. Going to teach my pup everything they shouldn’t know, like how to steal cookies and climb through windows.” Tamaki says petting Izuku’s hair.

“I will… Just like you taught me,” Izuku says smiling. “It’s gonna be great!”

“Yes, it will.”

They spend the rest of the night together in bed. As Izuku drifts back to sleep surrounded by his brother’s comforting scent, he feels much less lost than he was that afternoon. Tamaki will always be his safe haven, no matter how treacherous the storm gets.

***

After the best night of sleep Izuku has had in quite a while (thanks for his brother’s warmth and the medicine), he woke up feeling a little bit better. Tamaki is right, Bakugou may have hurt him but that’s not going to stop Izuku from doing his best and working as a team.

Izuku may not trust Bakugou as a friend, but he trusts Ground Zero as a hero and that’s all that truly matters in their line of work. 

He never let the handlers and teachers of the Institution dictate what he should learn, how he should exercise, how he should behave, why will he let anyone else get on his way now? Sure, one of the reasons Izuku had the leeway to do what he wanted was because Tamaki was by his side, protecting him; but if something got clear last night is that this hasn’t changed.

His big brother still will stand by Izuku's side no matter what rebellion he starts. That gives Izuku the support he needs to be rebellious and stand his ground.

The omega wakes up very early, thanks Mirio and Tamaki and goes home to get ready for work. He arrives at the agency much later than usual and when he reaches to open the door to his team’s office, he falters.

He vanished for half a day, what if his team is angry with him? Camie and Kirishima must be second-guessing having accepted him in the team. They must be thinking back about what everyone always says, that omegas are too moody and unreliable to work as heroes. They may hate him now or, at the very least, not be particularly happy that he’s around.

His heart squeezes thinking about Camie and Kiri not being his friends anymore and he can feel his eyes filling with tears. He bites his own tongue harshly and shakes his head to get out of that mindset. If the rest of the team hates him then so be it — that’s not going to stop Izuku from being a hero.

The omega raises his head feeling determined and opens the door to the office ready for battle.

“Good morning,” he says entering the room.

“Zuku baby!” Camie calls for him, “how are you feeling?”

“Glad to know you’re feeling better, little bro,” Kirishima greets him. “We were worried.”

Izuku looks confused at the people in the room. Kirishima and Camie look happy to see him and concerned, Bakugou hasn’t raised his head from some papers on his desk.

“Explodey didn’t say what you had, he just said you weren’t feeling good,” Camie says pouting.

Izuku gives a shaky smile, “Yeah, I wasn’t… But I’m completely fine now, no need for concern!”

Bakugou covered for him. Why would he do that? Izuku doesn’t understand it. Is Bakugou still playing the game even though Izuku already figured it out? But then why hasn’t he greeted Izuku like usual?

“And just in time!” Kirishima interrupts Izuku’s thoughts. “We received the go-ahead from the Bureau just a few minutes ago. Bakubro is putting together the action plan for tonight right now!”

Izuku looks at the alpha who still hasn’t raised his head or given any indication he noticed Izuku is there. Bakugou looks very focused on the documents he’s analyzing. As Izuku thought, he can trust Ground Zero to put the hero work above any other issue and Deku will do that as well.

“The Bureau gave us permission, we’ll bust the place tonight with a few more heroes and sidekicks and the police. We have a meeting with everyone involved today in the early afternoon and we should raid the place around eleven.” Bakugou finally talks but still doesn’t take his eyes off the papers.

“Who will be involved?” Camie asks.

“Gale Force’s team and a bunch of extra sidekicks. The plan is for the Heroes to invade and take care of the villains, the police to take care of the perimeter and the sidekicks arrest every shitty gambler in the house.” Katsuki says passing the paper he was looking at to Kirishima.

“So we’ll have five heroes to apprehend the four expected villains, four sidekicks to take care of the expected fifteen gamblers… and Deku will be with the sidekicks?” The redhead reads the paper with furrowed eyebrows.

“Yes,” Bakugou says gruffly without making eye contact with anyone. “Deku has sidekick-level experience, so he’ll stay with the sidekicks. Besides, they’ll need him in their numbers since they’ll be around three to one with the gamblers.”

Izuku nods, even though Bakugou isn't looking at him. It makes sense, he knows it does. Even though he’d love to be on the front line to catch the villains, a part of him feels proud of knowing he’s expected to hold his own in the fight without having his team by his side. He’s being treated like he’s just another hero in the agency’s roster and that’s all he ever wanted.

He isn’t thrilled about being put together with young alpha sidekicks though. That won’t be easy, but maybe it’ll be a good opportunity to show what he’s about. What better way to prove he deserves to be in their ranks than to fight by their side?  

Another interesting thing is the fact that Bakugou doesn’t seem to be jealous at all with the idea of Izuku spending a few hours around the sidekicks. Not that he ever appeared jealous before; but before Izuku thought the alpha had no interest in him as an omega so the lack of possessiveness made sense. So what does that mean now? That’s the first moment since their fight that Izuku’s heart blooms a bud of hope — maybe it wasn’t all a lie. 

“We’re following standard protocol since we won’t have a chance to practice a special strategy just for this operation. From the intel we have, it’s better to attack as soon as possible, so dragging this shit out to create a plan for this infiltration and train it with this big of a team involved would take too fucking long.” Bakugou says getting up to pull a few of the Standard Protocol manuals from one of their folder cabinets. “Everyone, review this shit until the meeting and we can debate any adjustments we believe have to be made.”

Bakugou still doesn’t look at him when he hands Izuku the manual, and soon each member of the team is in their own desks reading the raid protocols. Any conversation among them from then on revolves solely on the operation. Bakugou and Izuku don’t even talk directly to one another, all the questions and remarks are offered to the whole team.

During the few hours they stay in this task, the anxiety gradually bleeds from Izuku’s shoulders. It’s clear that Bakugou is in Ground Zero mode, and the omega can trust Ground Zero to be professional and focused on the job. It’d be much easier if Izuku only had to deal with Ground Zero and never with the paradox that’s Bakugou/Kacchan. 

Maybe if Izuku keeps their interactions to the minimum outside of the agency everything will slowly come back to order. Except that they were in the agency yesterday and Bakugou showed up to hunt him when Izuku thought he was training with Ground Zero. 

Maybe Izuku was too greedy. He got so caught up in the idea of Ground Zero seeing Deku as a worthy teammate and opponent that he let himself go, allowed his defenses to drop too much.

Well, that isn’t happening again. Izuku’s walls were fortified and he won’t get caught unaware another time. He shouldn’t even be thinking about this now, he needs to reread the protocols. However, now he’s getting hungry since it’s getting close to lunch and he didn’t have breakfast.

Oh damn. Lunch. What will Izuku do about lunch? He always has lunch with Ka- Bakugou, the homemade bento the alpha always prepares in the morning and brings for them. Maybe that’s how things began getting twisted — it’s normal for omegas and alphas to offer food, little snacks, to each other during courting. How many times has Izuku seen Tamaki prepare lemon bars for Mirio and the alpha arrive with dangos in the Institution?

Izuku never thought about Bakugou preparing food for him in a courting way, since it was part of their roommate agreement. But maybe that twisted Bakugou’s intentions on an instinctive level. Maybe Bakugou never intended things to go this way, but his inner alpha decided that if Izuku was eating their food it meant the omega was accepting their courting.

He’ll need to change that. The omega doesn’t even know if Bakugou even bothered to bring him food today, since the alpha didn’t know if Izuku would show up or not; but he can’t let himself fall into bad habits. It’s better to go down with Kirishima and Mina to eat something at the cafeteria in the most discreet way possible.

As if reading his thoughts, Camie calls for Kirishima.

“Hey, I’m hungry. Wanna see what’s the menu today?”

“Sure,” Kirishima says with his usual easy smile, already getting up from his chair. “I hope they have noodles.”

Izuku scrambles to get up and follow them, “I- I’m going to eat at the cafeteria too!” He says without having the courage to spare a glance to Bakugou. “I’m curious of what they serve there!”

Kirishima looks a little taken aback, but Camie doesn’t even bat an eye.

“Great! You’re gonna love it! Except when they have natto, I high key hate that shit.” Camie explains as they leave the room, Kirishima follows closely behind.

“I like the natto,” the beta says shrugging.

“You eat anything, we should cancel your food opinions,” Camie teases and continues her tirade about the cafeteria food. “But one of my favorites is the hamburger steak! It’s so good and juicy!”

Even with the easy conversation about their favorite foods, it’s hard for Izuku to shake off the weirdness that is leaving Bakugou behind and not eating his homemade bento. But Izuku keeps his act in place and a smile on his face; no good will come in letting Kirishima and Camie know about their fight if Bakugou already gave excuses for Izuku’s disappearance.

***

Lunch with Kiri and Camie was fun and light, even though Izuku wasn’t exactly feeling in a fun and light mood. The food was good, and the omega did his best to not compare it with Bakugou’s in his head(if he did, the cafeteria would certainly lose). And as soon as they finished eating they had to go to the biggest conference room in the agency to debate the operation with everyone involved.

The room was almost full to capacity, the place smelled strongly of alpha and Izuku instantly felt himself recovering all the stress and tension he lost during his calm morning and easy lunch. He didn’t see Bull in the room so that was a blessing of sorts. But having never smelled so many alphas in one small closed room, the air was too thick for Izuku to breathe freely.

Miruko and Ground Zero took the spotlight and conducted the meeting. Ground Zero explained every information their team got in the most professional manner possible, he even held back on his usual cursing; and Miruko established who she wanted in each of the roles of the standard protocol that was picked.

Obviously Ground Zero would be the leader of the raid, but some adjustments were made. Gale Force and one sidekick from his team would take care of the perimeter with the police, they were afraid of any one of the Yakuza scaping. Illusionist, Ground Zero, Red Riot would be joined by Vine, the other hero from Gale Force’s team, to take care of the villains. Deku would join two other sidekicks under the lead of Target, the oldest sidekick of the group.

Izuku doesn’t know how he feels about his group. He was lucky Bull wasn’t called in and that the three sidekicks in the team never actively bothered him; but these three sidekicks were all part of the ‘snickering’ group. They may have not done anything to Izuku like the others, but they surely found it very amusing to see it done to the omega.

“Alright, I want to see everyone geared up and ready to go at seven in the lobby. From that point on, Ground Zero is in charge and you all answer to him. Understood, my little hooligans?” Miruko says, finishing the meeting.

Everything is mechanical after that; everything follows the protocol. There’s no space for second-guessing or for getting anxious about what they will do that night. Even the young alpha sidekicks don’t appear to acknowledge the fact that Izuku isn’t really one of them — none of them talk straight to him except Target, but that also means they don’t harass him either.

Target asked questions about his quirk and didn’t seem taken aback about Izuku’s answers. Apparently the nature of his power has gotten around, probably from his training with Miruko. He never paid attention if Target was one of the people watching them but, even if he wasn’t, people talk.

Other than that, it was a lot of waiting around and making sure he remembered every codeword that could be used. Around six-ish everyone began putting on their gear and on the scheduled time everyone was ready and gathered at the appointed place.

The commute to the district where the Golden Bowl is situated is weird and slow. They can’t just fill the motorcades with heroes and speed through the city or else the villains will notice something is about to go down. So they split into small groups, use the agency’s and the police’s inconspicuous cars, go out of their path several times to throw people out for a loop and overall try to draw the least amount of attention they can. 

It’s already ten-thirty when every hero, sidekick and policemen involved is hiding in alleys and rooftops near the targeted location. Izuku can see Ground Zero’s imposing form on the top of the building in front of the Golden Bowl from his place in the sideway alley.

If there’s one word to describe Ground Zero during this whole day is imposing. He was strong, decided and straight to the point during the whole day. The assembled team for the operation was full of strong alphas but none of them dared to challenge any of Ground Zero’s orders. Not even Gale Force, who people say is the second strongest hero in the agency (not counting Miruko) argued with Ground Zero.

It was sobering to see Ground Zero working. It strengthened Izuku’s conclusion that, if nothing else, he can trust the hero in his role. He just wishes he could be so sure about Bakugou in a non-work environment. It’s so confusing and painful to try to make Ground Zero, Bakugou and Kacchan all fit in the same person.

However, Izuku had no time to dwell on that — lighting up his hand as a propulsor, Ground Zero flies straight to the entrance of the Golden Bowl at the exact scheduled time and kickstarts the raid.

Illusionist, Red Riot, Vine and Ground Zero communicate clearly through the comm line. Ground Zero is the one who talks the most, conducting every other hero to where he wants them. It’s fascinating how Ground Zero’s voice is so leveled and clear when the noises coming from the background make it clear the whole place is in chaos.

It seems to be an eternity from the moment the heroes breach into the gambling house to the moment Ground Zero’s voice calls for Target to lead the other sidekicks inside and apprehend the gamblers. Izuku and the other two young alphas follow Target through the short distance to the entrance of the Golden Bowl.

In his mind, Izuku keeps replaying what he should do. He’s expected to keep a fan formation with the other sidekicks, his place being on the far left, and immobilize the gamblers as quick as he can. There’s no way to know if the gambler has a deadly or a combative quirk so, if in doubt, he should use force to make the gambler unconscious (preferably by using pressure points or a good blow to the neck, it’s best to not let combat drag out in this circumstance).

Everything sounds pretty straight forward in the manuals and in the briefing, but nothing could have prepared Izuku to what really was inside that building. 

The place reeked. It was a mixture of smells so strong that Izuku pulled his breathing mask on quickly or else he’d throw up or pass out. Even with his mask, he feels like the stench clings to his senses — he can taste the smell of several alpha pheromones, anger and fear so strong that they’ll probably have to burn down the building after this is over.

The stench and the yelling from a dozen furious alphas make Izuku dazed for a couple of seconds. His head spins and he stays grounded in place, every fiber of his body screaming madly at him, telling him to run away and never look back. Even the agency’s gym doesn’t smell as strongly of alphas as this crowded room.

It’s Ground Zero’s voice barking directions to Target that helps him focus again and then everything seems to happen like it was a movie in Izuku’s eyes. It’s such a bizarre situation that his brain disassociates with what’s happening and he feels like he’s in a video game. The scenes pass by almost in slow motion as he sees people running around, quirks going off, explosions coming from one side of the room, acid dissolving tables on the other. Finally, he sees a man running towards him.

Izuku practically doesn’t feel the strain of his muscles or the crackling of his quirk as he immobilizes the middle-aged alpha. This man’s skin is slippery like a fish, but his quirk doesn’t seem to be much more than that; in any case, Izuku hits him on the back of the neck and secure the gambler with one of the handcuffs he has on his utility belt.

He raises his head just in time to see another gambler who decided Izuku would be his best bet in fighting for a way out. The omega can see that, he’s clearly the physically smallest of the heroes in the room. But that is completely futile when he uses One for All to kick the man in the stomach. The alpha falls on the floor crying and Izuku has him unconscious and immobilized before he can find out what kind of quirk that one had.

All the while, the comm line doesn’t stay quiet not even for five seconds. Ground Zero, Red Riot, Vine, Illusionist and Target give constant updates about the situation, with who they are fighting and what’s happening. However, Izuku isn’t really paying attention to that because the amount of information he’s receiving through all his senses is pretty overwhelming, so he keeps his focus on his fights.

After two flawless takedowns, Izuku is feeling a little more confident. He managed to ignore the screams through the room and focus on his task. It’s going to be alright. He got this. From their calculations, it would be around three to four gamblers for each sidekick so he’s at least halfway through this. 

The omega looks around the room trying to find some other gambler he can take out, but the mess is so great he can’t really find anyone. Everyone seems to be already engaged in a fight and Izuku hesitates in joining. He doesn’t want to get in the way or make any of the other heroes and sidekicks angry at him. 

Then he quickly gets angry with himself — it doesn’t matter if the other sidekicks don’t want his help, he’s here to do his job. He looks around the room again to find anyone who seems to be having a hard time, however Ground Zero’s voice blasts through the comm.

“DEKU, THE PURPLE FUCKER ON YOUR WAY. GET HIM!” 

Izuku looks around and clearly sees the ‘purple fucker’ — it’s a huge man with purple skin and wearing a black suit. The omega remembers him from their case folders, it’s one of the muscles of this particular Yakuza family. This alpha’s quirk is a skin that can’t be pierced through, but it can’t really get harder like Kirishima’s.

It probably takes less than a second for the villain to reach him, but Izuku sees every movement the alpha makes in slow motion and prepares for it accordingly. The omega gets in position and raises his fist, One for All crackling through his skin. When they finally collide, Izuku punches the purple man in the stomach with 35% of his quirk, the highest he ever used against another human on purpose, making the alpha bend in half gasping for air. 

After that, another powerful blow to the back of the head should finish the fight, but the alpha is better than Izuku expected. The villain grabs one of his legs when Izuku prepares to give the final hit, making the omega almost fall on the floor. But the training he’s been going through paid off, as he felt that he might have lost balance Izuku jumped with his other leg and hits the villain on the nose with his knee.

Finally, that’s enough to get the purple man down, he’s out like a light (and probably concussed). Izuku doesn’t miss a beat though, he jumps over the huge alpha and starts immobilizing him with handcuffs on his wrists and ankles.

“Purple villain secured,” Izuku huffs on the comm line.

The omega only allows himself to take a deep breath when he raises his head and sees that the whole room seems to be quieting down.  The fights are ending all around him as the villains and gamblers are apprehended.

It’s almost anticlimactic when every bad guy is immobilized and accounted for. There’s no pause to celebrate or anything like that — there’s just Ground Zero communicating the police they are done and several cops invading the place to take the apprehended people away and secure the crime scene for the future legal process.

Izuku feels lost among the sea of people who ignore him in favor of doing their work. Target comes to check him with a bunch of standard questions to determine if Izuku hasn’t been hurt or hit by a random quirk during the raid. It all follows protocol and the omega feels thankful for that, it gives a sense of normalcy to a situation that could easily make Izuku feel completely out of control.

From what Izuku gathered that afternoon, Target is usually like that. Sure, the omega has sensed the young alpha’s eyes lingering on his body more times than he’d like to; but during all their interactions Target has acted professionally and, at this point, that’s all Izuku is hoping for.

“Little bro!” Kirishima shows up next to him, taking Izuku of his confused daze. “Great work! The way you took the purple guy out was very manly!”

“Thanks, Kir- Red Riot,” Izuku says and the omega inside him begs him to hug the beta and never let go. 

Kirishima is safe, he’s a friend, and Izuku wants to receive a calming hug from a friend like nothing else right now. If Tamaki was here, he’d already be stuck to his brother like a baby koala. But he can’t. He’s in a professional setting and, as much as Kirishima is a friend, Izuku doesn’t have anyone around that he’s close enough to relieve his touch-starvation with.

“Come on, let’s get out of here. We can wait for everything to get ready outside.”

Alright, it’s not a hug, but the idea of getting fresh air is just as tantalizing. The omega follows the redhead to the street and is welcomed by the cold air of the night. The police cars’ colorful lights shine through the empty and dark street, there are several men in uniforms escorting the prisoners to prison vans and there’s even a couple of ambulances on standby in case anyone got hurt. 

Kirishima keeps walking towards one of the ambulances and Izuku follows him while looking around amazed the movement of people around. He’s so curious and confused about everything happening that the omega almost misses the fact that Camie is sitting on the back of one of the ambulances with an EMT patching up a bruise on her forehead.

“Hey there,” the blond woman calls them softly with a pained expression.

“Camie!” Izuku exclaims worriedly. “What happened?”

“Purple guy got salty about the whole getting arrested deal,” she says smiling. “Luckily you got him after he got me.”

“How is she, doc?” Kirishima asks the man treating Camie.

“Illusionist here got a really nasty hit to the head and to the ribs. We don’t know if anything is broken yet, so we’ll be now taking her to the hospital to check on that and treat her for a concussion.” The man says calmly. “But we don’t have any reason to believe it’s anything too serious. She’ll be back to you guys in no time.”

“Want me to call Kendo?” Kirishima asks Camie.

“Yaas! Tell bae to meet me at the hospital.”

Izuku feels lost and, at this point, this is seriously pissing him off. It’s like he’s lost his balance when he finished his spar with Kacchan yesterday and hasn’t really found it since then. Even the moments of less stress and sadness (like sleeping with his brother and having lunch with Kiri and Camie) were tainted by a veil of weirdness and wrongness that he can’t shake off.

He has no idea what he’s doing or what’s happening, and now his friend is hurt. Camie is hurt and Izuku did nothing to protect her. They were in the same goddamn room and her voice was probably blasting through the comm line, and he still didn’t realize she got overpowered in a fight. It’s a miracle Kacchan’s voice broke through this glass wall that kept Izuku disconnected from what’s happening around him.

But that isn’t Kacchan, that’s Ground Zero. And now they’re going to go home and he still won’t find Kacchan because Kacchan doesn’t exist. The one who lives in his home is Bakugou and Bakugou hurts . Bakugou’s existence hurts. Bakugou brings chaos when Kacchan brings safety; Bakugou is scary when Kacchan is his best friend.

Izuku wants Kacchan. Izuku wants to go home, take a shower, eat Kacchan’s cooking and snuggle on the couch watching All Might reruns with Kacchan. They never actually snuggled while watching TV but, right now, Izuku’s pretty sure there’d be nothing better in the whole world than to snuggle with Kacchan.

The omega’s brain doesn’t even acknowledge as the ambulance takes off with Camie in the back; or when Kirishima looks at him with a very worried expression and says something through the comm line; or when the redhead gently ushers him to the back of one of the police cars; or even when the car seat dips by his side indicating someone else sat down there with him.

However, on the next breath he takes, his lungs fill with Kacchan’s spicy and smoky scent doused with the caramel of his quirk. It’s the perfect smell — the alpha’s pheromones calm his omega instantly, and the sweetness of Kacchan’s quirk reminds Izuku of home and family (in the back of his mind a little voice connects Kacchan’s caramel with Tamaki’s vanilla, but it gets quickly drowned by the white noise of his anxiety). 

The distress in his scent must have eaten through the layers and layers of blockers because, even though their relationship is still so rocky, Kacchan tries calming him down as soon as the police car gets moving.

The alpha pokes him in the head and talks softly, “the fuck are you freaking out about? We fucking won.”

Izuku doesn’t answer because he doesn’t think he has any condition to form words at that moment. He’s hanging onto his last shred of dignity to not start sobbing on the back of the police car.

“Damn good job, by the way. That purple motherfucker will never have a straight nose again.”

That’s it. With just a few sentences and his scent, Kacchan makes Izuku feel more present and conscious than he has felt in over twenty-four hours. 

The ride home is quick. Since everything went according to the plan and no one got severely hurt they’re allowed to leave the paperwork for later. The policeman takes both heroes home in a quiet ride that allows Izuku to think deeply about what happened today.

Kacchan is right, the raid was a success. They had a very clean win and even Camie’s injuries were considered minor. Izuku managed to take down two gamblers and one villain, and no one, hero or sidekick, gave him trouble during the whole operation.

All this freak out is completely something from his head.  But does that help? Not much, just because it’s on his head it doesn’t mean it’s not important. After accompanying Eri fighting the monsters in her head for years, Izuku won’t be naive to not think he may be going through something of this kind.  The last thirty-six hours or so have been tough, it makes sense his emotions are all over the place and that it’s coming off through his scent.

In the back of the police car, Kacchan’s scent was close but there were still lots of other smells that stuck to the car — other policemen, criminals, fast food. When they got to their building and entered the very clean and small elevator, Kacchan’s scent was the only thing Izuku could focus on and that helped him relax even more.

The power of pheromones is really amazing. Kacchan knew Izuku was feeling bad from his distress coming through his scent, and the omega instantly felt a little better just from smelling the alpha near him. Kacchan’s smell is so strong that it’s addictive. How many times did Izuku have a literally hard time being inside their little home gym because of Kacchan’s scent there?

Oh damn.

What if that is the explanation? What if Kacchan never intended for any of that to happen, his inner alpha got carried away by Izuku’s scent? Then Kacchan must feel just as bad and dirty as Izuku felt when his body betrayed him inside the small gym!

The little sprout of hope that tried growing when Izuku noticed Ground Zero wasn’t jealous of Izuku around the other alphas came back with a vengeance. Izuku prays to every divinity he can think of that everything hasn’t been more than a really big misunderstanding.

Chapter Text

No safety net

There’s no amount of blockers in the world that could stop the waves of sourness coming from the omega by his side and that brings a myriad of feelings to Katsuki that’s hard for him to unpack.

Since he appeared at their office this morning, Izuku was a blank page. His scent was blocked, his smiles were fake, his reactions were rehearsed. Katsuki spent the whole day wanting to get a chance to talk to Deku, but there wasn’t any good opportunity — they were too busy with preparations for the raid. Even during lunch, a moment when they usually stay just the two of them in the room, the omega went away without looking at him and left Bakugou alone with two bento boxes.

He almost exploded the damn box in anger and frustration, but he held back his temper. The food tasted like ashes on his mouth and he didn’t even finish his portion, but he couldn’t blame nerves about the operation for that. No, he has been embarrassed, frustrated, worried and angry about what happened during their spar since yesterday.

Katsuki beat himself up for allowing the pheromones and the spar to get the best out of him. Izuku just smelled so fucking good and looked too sexy, Bakugou forgot his inhibitions and let the alpha take the front stage on his mind. It was thrilling to fight for dominance with the strong omega but he wouldn’t actually do anything and he needed to make Izuku understand that.

However, now as they ride the elevator home and Katsuki sees his window of opportunity to talk opening and closing very quickly, he realizes he doesn’t really know what to say. ‘ Sorry I think you’re hot ’? ‘ Dicks can be dicks sometimes, stop making a big deal out of it.’ ? ‘I’ve never used my legal right of forcing sex upon you until now and I don’t intend to do it no matter how much I want it. ’?

This all sounded awful even in his head. Truly awful. Awful enough to make him remember that he actually has the legal right to rape Deku. The law has all these loops and traps to secure alphas’ from being accused of a crime for having sex with their out-of-their-mind-in-heat omegas. But obviously fuckers already found a way to apply that to situations where the omega isn’t actually in heat; they do things like arguing their rut triggered a false-heat in their partners, knowing very well these biological situations can occur but are extremely hard to prove afterward.

But Izuku can’t actually think Katsuki would do something like that, can he? There must be some other problem.

And the fact he doesn’t truly understand what the fuck even is the problem is driving him crazy! Sure, Deku was uncomfortable with the boner, that much was clear. But Izuku is also a man, he also must have boners from time to time. So what the fuck happened?!

That’s the most frustrating part, Katsuki hates not understanding shit. He’s not stupid and doesn’t live in a damn bubble, there’s no reason he shouldn’t understand the fuck is wrong with someone. He may not agree with the reason people are being pissy most of the time, but he always understands their reasoning behind it.

The elevator ride seems to take an eternity and also ends up too soon. In no time at all, they’re already entering their home and Izuku is marching to his bedroom without looking back.

“Deku, wait,” Katsuki calls out to him before the omega has a chance of locking himself up.

 He just can’t deal with another night turning in bed. Even with the call Mirio gave him saying Izuku was with them Bakugou’s brain didn’t shut up the whole night thinking about Izuku and the conclusions he got were honestly terrifying, so he isn’t looking forward to repeating that shit. 

“Can you tell me what the fuck is wrong with you?”

Izuku, who looked back at him with an empty expression, quickly hardened his eyes. “I’m going to bed,” the omega says between his clenched teeth.

Alright, not the best way he could have worded that, but the principle is what matters. Izuku should know that’s just how Katsuki expresses himself by now.

“Can’t we fucking talk?” He yells frustrated.

“No, not right now, we can’t,” Izuku snaps at him. “I’m tired, I’ve been through a lot today and I think no good will come out of talking tonight.”

“I’m not gonna wait around until you think I’m worthy of a fucking talk, Izuku!” Katsuki barks back. “I haven’t done anything so fucked up that warrants this kind of bullshit!”

“Oh, you don’t think?” Izuku asks sarcastically. “News flash, Katsuki , you don’t get to decide what makes me uncomfortable!”

“WELL, APPARENTLY NEITHER DO YOU! BECAUSE CAMIE SPOUTS SHIT ABOUT YOU AND YOUR SMELL ALL THE TIME AND YOU JUST LAUGH IT OFF!”

“BECAUSE CAMIE IS HONEST WITH ME! SHE DOESN’T LIE LIKE YOU DID! She never hid her thoughts! She’s always straightforward and apologizes for it!” Izuku yells with angry tears in his eyes, then he chokes and finishes with a broken voice. “It’s just a natural biological reaction she has no control over. Is it- is it the same for you, Kacchan?”

The last phrase comes with a sliver of hope underlined by the fact this is the first time since the fight Katsuki has been addressed as ‘Kacchan’. He didn’t think he’d miss the stupid nickname as much as he did in less than two days without hearing it. 

And he may not be an idiot like Camie who blurts out any shit that crosses her mind, but Bakugou isn’t a damn liar. He has never lied to Deku and he can’t start now that the man is feeling so torn with the idea of Katsuki hiding things from him.

“No, it’s not the same,” he says letting his exhaustion show in his voice and posture. “I mean, yeah — you smell good but that shit never affected me much. I wouldn’t have believed I could live with an omega without doing shit if I wasn’t in complete control of my damn instincts.”

Katsuki is always in control of his alpha. His mother made damn sure he was since before his balls dropped and his knot formed. And he’s been around good looking and good smelling people all his life, he doesn’t even like the ultra sugary omega scents — so the only explanation to why Izuku affects him so much is that Izuku is Deku.

Deku who is stubborn, headstrong, decided, nerdy, funny, eats Katsuki under the table, always wakes up with an awful bedhead, never gives up from a challenge, has the dorkiest sense of humor, can be warm and kind or snarky and aggressive, that wants to save the whole world but never takes care of himself. Deku is what attracts Katsuki, not the omega — he spent the whole of last night awake thinking about this and, if that wasn’t enough, watching the new hero take down a man three times his size certainly did it for him.

“I- I didn’t mean to hide this shit from you,” Katsuki says scratching the back of his head. “Actually, fuck that. I did. This shit is new and I figured you didn’t want to know and that no good would come out of this but I- yeah, fuck it. I’m attracted to you. I shouldn’t have let myself get caught up in the moment yesterday. It won’t fucking happen again.”

He can’t really raise his head to face Izuku after saying that. Katsuki feels like a goddamn loser — who the fuck even says shit like this? It sounded like he’s in fucking middle school confessing to a crush. It’s fucking embarrassing, but at least it’s the truth. 

After he doesn’t hear Izuku yelling back at him, Bakugou raises his head in confusion just to see a stunned Izuku with tears spilling freely down his face. The omega’s face has a look of confusion, disbelief, like he’s completely lost for words.

That sight breaks Katsuki’s heart. He hates seeing Deku so out of his depth. And it’s fucking unfair, they should be celebrating Izuku’s first raid tonight; the omega did a great job and Katsuki almost let pride overcome his other feelings at seeing Deku take down the villain without any issues. It was fucking fantastic to see the stunned looks the sidekicks gave at Deku’s power display.

“Deku,...” Katsuki calls to him and takes a step closer. 

That seems to take the omega out of his stupor. Izuku takes a step back, “no! I can’t! I- I’m really tired, and-” Izuku's voice breaks for a second, he takes a deep breath and closes his eyes. “I can’t deal with this tonight. Tonight I needed my friend and not- not this!”

Izuku’s hands shake and Bakugou can see how he’ fighting back the tears.

“I’m your friend.”

“No! Not- Not like that you aren’t!” 

Finally their eyes meet, there’s hurt and anger in Izuku’s, probably a lot of confusion on Katsuki’s. He knows he should be feeling bad or angry because, in a very indirect way, Izuku just rejected him. But it’s not like he was expecting anything else, and seeing and smelling Izuku’s distress right now is what’s truly making him feel stressed.

All he really wants to do right now is be the friend the omega clearly needs.

“I’m not- I’m not gonna do shit to you,” Katsuki says frustrated, shaking his head. “You fucking know that! You know me!”

“I don’t think I do! Kacchan would never-” Izuku starts yelling back but bites his lips. “I thought we were friends, and friends don’t do that, friends don’t have these kinds of thoughts for one another.”

“Where the fuck did you get that from? How do you think people even start relationships?! They become friends first and the attraction comes later! Life isn’t a fucking fairy tale! There’s no love at first sight!”

“Is that what you were scheming for?” Izuku’s betrayed voice is sharp as a knife.

“I didn’t scheme for shit! I fucking like you, asshole! I’ve got to know you and I like you, and that ain’t a fucking crime! You don’t have to like me back but don’t spin my feelings as some sordid plan to fuck you because you should know I’m not like that.” Katsuki kicks open the barrier on his feelings and just lets it all spill out.

It’s not completely new, it’s not a fucking surprise. It grew slowly and steadily since the moment he and Izuku began talking. Bakugou has been trying to ignore these feelings for a while until now; but last night, knowing Izuku wasn’t home and that the omega was angry with him, he couldn’t deny them anymore and that was the terrifying thought that kept him awake — he likes Izuku. Honestly likes him, more than he has ever romantically liked anyone before.

“Then what do you expect me to do with this?” Izuku yells with tears coming down his face.

“Nothing!” Katsuki yells back and runs his hand through his hair frustrated. “Or something. I don’t fucking know. It depends on what you want.”

“I-” Izuku starts and stops. “I wanna go to bed. I can’t deal with this today, it was already too much.”

Bakugou sighs, “sure. Whatever.”

“Goodnight, Kach- Bak-... Goodnight.”

“We have the morning off tomorrow,” Katsuki calls awkwardly before Izuku vanishes to his room. “Sleep well.”

Katsuki doesn’t really know how he feels and goes through his nightly routine with his head far away, trying to decipher his own emotions. He likes Deku, that he already established the night before. But Deku… doesn’t like him back? Only likes him as a friend? Can’t understand that someone can be a friend and a romantic partner at the same time?

Shit, romantic partner? The fuck is wrong with him?! Who even uses this damn expression?! 

But at the same time, the fuck will he call Deku? His crush? His boyfriend  For fuck's sake, the man is his damn husband. Platonic husband.

God, this all sounds even more moronic the further he goes.

Maybe trying to put labels on this shit is of no use. The two of them never worked in the regular parameters of a relationship of any kind. And that also makes Izuku’s obsession with being friends even more surreal. 

For Katsuki, it doesn’t matter what you call it. It matters what it is. So far, their relationship was about companionship, mutual interests, respect, having fun together, reaching out for each other’s company. And now, all that he wants is to add the possibility of sex into it. Shit won’t change, just increase in a new way of passing the time. 

But Izuku is obsessed with the idea of labels, of words encasing expectations. He’s still pissed off about the whole Support Hero shit, and the only way Katsuki got him to understand the importance of starting slowly in his hero life was to make parallels of what he was being asked to do with what a sidekick would do.

However, does that even matter? If the man doesn’t want to try, Katsuki won’t insist on it. He’s not that kind of asshole. Bakugou promised the omega their marriage would be one of convenience and Izuku wouldn’t have any obligations towards it. So why is he even trying to come up with ways to convince Izuku to try?

Katsuki must be getting old, damn hormones tricking him into thinking he needs to settle down, find a mate and raise a family. Or maybe he just wants to have what his friends have, a companion to come home to at the end of the day — and really, he and Deku are already almost like that.

Alright, he has to accept that he truly wants Deku to consider this.

And after accepting that, he needs to decide what he’ll do to get Izuku to understand why this could be good for them.

Actually, first, he needs to make Deku understand they’re still the same as they were two days ago.

***

The alpha wakes up when the sun is already high in the sky. He was lacking some good hours of sleep and having the morning off after last night’s operation was a small blessing. He fumbles through his phone in bed for a while, checking in with Camie and answering Kirishima’s worried texts about Izuku.

Luckily none of his teammates are brightest bulbs around. Kirishima may have noticed something was off when Izuku went with them for lunch, but decided to hold his peace. During the afternoon of preparations, they were all too busy to notice anything was amiss. And after the raid, the redhead attributed the distress Izuku was in as going through his first big operation.

Which probably made sense, some (most) people get affected by this kind of shit. Katsuki has often enough seen interns and sidekicks completely freak out when fights break out around them even after all their years in hero school. That’s why he was so fucking proud of Izuku. Deku kicked ass last night and that’s the man he brought into his team.

Feeling pumped with that memory, Katsuki jumps out of bed, pulls up some pants and a tank top and goes to prepare food. He rummages through his fridge trying to come up with something Deku would like as a kind of celebration late-breakfast.

He finds the ingredients for chicken katsu. It may not be the omega’s beloved katsudon, but it’s similar enough and when this thing gets ready it’ll be almost noon, anyway. He goes through the cooking motions without much thought until the chicken is frying, when Deku stumbled out of his room with a wary expression.

“Good morning,” Bakugou greets trying to not make a big deal out of it as he turns to check on the rice and other ingredients. The soft sound of Deku’s feet against the floor tells him the omega is standing near the counter.

“Morning,” comes the cautious answer. “You’re making food.”

Katsuki turns with a raised eyebrow. “What tipped you off?”

“I can’t eat it,” Izuku says seriously.

Bakugou takes a deep breath trying to hold back his temper, “why the fuck not?”

“Because that’s one of the things that started to complicate things in your head.”

“What?” He exclaims in disbelief. “It’s fucking food, Deku. It’s part of our roommate agreement shit.”

“I know, I’m not blaming you for that,” Izuku says and Katsuki rolls his eyes. “I didn’t think this through either when I agreed to that. But for now, it’s better that we just make our own food.”

That brings a small chuckle to his lips, “oh, you want to eat your own cooking? Be my fucking guest.”

The alpha makes a dramatic motion of his arm showing the kitchen to Izuku and goes to plate the hefty, beautiful portions of the chicken katsu with rice he just made. He even drizzles the sauce in a very theatrical way making the bowls picture perfect.

Izuku watches his every move with care and, when Katsuki sets the two bowls on the counter as if he was about to eat both, the omega enters the kitchen. Deku looks around the kitchen warily like he was expecting something to jump scare him from any of the cabinets.

Even when he opens the fridge, he peeks inside as if he was sneaking a glance in a tiger’s cage. Bakugou has to force himself to look at his bowl of food or else he’ll start laughing and he doesn’t think the omega will find it very amusing.

Finally, Deku sits down by the counter with a banana in hand. Katsuki has to bite his tongue to not chuckle. The alpha starts eating his food and the delicious smell of fried chicken fills the air around them as he digs in the bowl — exactly at the moment Izuku is about to bite his banana and that makes the omega’s belly rumble loudly.

The sound of Deku’s stomach is the final straw to make Katsuki laugh. He snorts over his bowl, almost spitting rice on the counter. Izuku glares at him and takes an angry bite off the banana.

“For fuck's sake, Deku. Just eat the damn food!” Katsuki says pushing the other bowl towards the omega.

“But you-”

“I told you nothing needs to change, that includes our damn chores,” Bakugou says rolling his eyes annoyed.

Izuku reaches for the chopsticks as if he’s afraid they’ll bite him. He looks between Katsuki and the food several times before saying unsurely, “this doesn’t mean I’m accepting your courting.”

“Yeah, I fucking got that message,” Katsuki says annoyed before going back to his food. He decides to not bother the omega reminding him no one said anything about a fucking courting.

After a few seconds of eating looking down, he hears a soft “thanks for the food”.

Usually, their meals together were full of chatter — or, at least, full of Izuku’s ramblings. It’s off-putting to eat in complete silence. Six months ago that was the norm in his life, every meal was a quiet and solitary affair, and the alpha thought that was exactly what he wanted in his life. But now, Katsuki hated when Izuku went to eat with Shitty Hair and Airhead and he hates just as much this heavy silence in their home.

“Stop being weird,” he grunts to Deku between mouthfuls.

“I’m not doing anything,” Izuku grunts back with a sassy tone.

“That’s the fucking point. You never shut the fuck up and now, after your first goddamn raid, you have nothing to say?”

Izuku raises his eyes and looks analytically at Katsuki for a good while. The alpha feels like an animal in a zoo under the gaze of the omega, every second drags through an eternity. Bakugou gets hyper-aware of every muscle in his body contracting and relaxing.

“What?” He finally snaps.

“You hate my chatter,” Izuku says with certainty. “You always complain that I talk too much.”

“Do I? Because I don’t remember doing that it’s been fucking months.”

The omega’s eyes don’t stop studying him as Izuku puts his elbow on the table and rests his chin on his raised hand.

“I spent about three hours among the other sidekicks yesterday.”

That throws Katsuki for a loop, he actually shakes his head in confusion. Is Izuku finally ready to talk about the raid?

“Yeah? And how did that go for you?”

“I spent three hours among unmated alphas who have been routinely harassing me and you haven’t done anything about it,” Izuku says matter-of-factly.

Katsuki scrunches his eyebrows in confusion, “the fuck? Did you want me to do shit?”

“No, I didn’t. I’d hate if you had interfered with my work.”

“Then why the fuck are you complaining?”

“I’m not complaining, I’m stating. You’re an alpha who wants to mate with me, and yet you’re fine with waiving your rights to let me work.” Izuku says as if he’s explaining why the sky is blue to a three-year-old, that makes Katsuki’s eye twitch in annoyance.

“Waiving rights? What damn rights? It was work, Deku. I’m not a shitbag that will get all prissy about you doing your fucking job.”

“It just doesn’t make any sense,” Izuku exclaims in confusion. “How can you say you want to mate with me and not feel possessive?”

“It’s fucking easy, I just don’t see you as a damn possession!” Katsuki barks back before his brain has time to catch up with his mouth.

What he says takes them both by surprise and they take a step back of the argument that was brewing.

He can’t understand how Izuku’s brain works. Sometimes he thinks he can, but at other times the shit the omega says really throws him out of his axis. It’s frustrating and fascinating to realize things that are so clearly one thing can mean something completely different when they go through Deku’s lenses. 

Sometimes these different perspectives open new possibilities — like how the omega woman only told them everything they needed to know because Deku connected with her in a unique way none of the other heroes would be able to. In Ground Zero’s years as a pro hero, never before he had seen an omega spill the beans on their alpha; he wasn’t even expecting to get any information whatsoever out of those interviews, his plan was just to discover which alpha they’d need to tail by the omega’s distress levels.

But other times, this shit gets frustrating as fuck. Katsuki can’t understand how Izuku’s brain is twisting this whole situation as if Bakugou getting attracted to him made their previous relationship invalid when the truth is the complete opposite — their good relationship is what made Bakugou develop stronger feelings for the stubborn omega.

“Why is it so bad that I like you?” Katsuki asks defeated. He just can’t win this time, it’s too confusing for him to understand on his own.

“Because… Because I like how we are together. I don’t want it to change.” Izuku says softly looking down to his half-eaten bowl of food.

“It’s not gonna change, Deku. It doesn’t have to.” Izuku still doesn’t raise his head, but something about this conversation gives Katsuki hope. 

He still doesn’t know what is going on in Deku’s head or what conclusions the omega reached during the night, but he’s certainly more agreeable than he was yesterday. Also, if he says he doesn’t want things to change, it means he has given some serious thought to what it would be like to give this whole thing a chance.

“Don’t you think Shitty Hair and Racoon Eyes are friends?” The alpha asks and that makes Deku look up to him. “Or Airhead with Big Hands?” 

The omega seems to consider the questions for a while, but he ends up furrowing his eyebrows. “It’s different, they’re alpha/beta pairs.”

“So, Lemillion and your brother aren’t friends?” Katsuki says cocking an eyebrow.

“They- They’ve known each other for years… before any of them presented.” Izuku says but his voice is wavering and the omega fidgets with the hems of his long sleeves.

“So what? Omegas and alphas can’t be friends unless they’ve known each other since they were brats? I thought we already established that’s bullshit.”

“We did, and then you changed it!” Izuku complains angrily.

“It didn’t fucking change!” Katsuki barks back. “It doesn’t have to change if you don’t want to!”

“But if we-”

“But if we nothing!” Katsuki interrupts him. “The shit we have won’t change no matter what. I’m fucking sure of that because look at us now! We’re talking! About goddamn feelings like some damn teenage losers! Why? Because we’re fucking friends and I don’t hide shit from you!”

They face each other with burning eyes for a moment, letting the words sink in until Izuku talks again.

“And where does that leave us now?”

Katsuki runs his hand over his head frustrated, “probably late for work. We should finish eating and get ready to go.”

Izuku nods and gets up to clean the kitchen.

Well, that could have gone worse. Maybe it’ll take some time to get rid of all the weirdness around them, but they will get there — hopefully.

***

The next few days were all covered with a thin veil of weirdness that got thinner and thinner with every passing hour. For anyone looking from the outside, Bakugou and Izuku’s relationship was as good as it has always been. But Katsuki could see, through the corner of his eye, Deku watching him analytically when he thought the alpha wasn’t looking.

They also lost a little bit of the easiness of their interactions. The laughter and playfulness were strained, the silences were a little bit longer, the conversation rarely strayed away from work. It wasn’t bad, but it certainly hasn’t been as good as it used to be.

Bakugou has been doing his best to not let this affect him because it’s a fucking shitty reason to get pissy. He ain’t a dipshit who can’t give space to his partner, even if his partner isn’t his partner yet but actually is because they are married and they live together and work- Fuck. This is a goddamn mess. Whatever. He can wait and he can give Izuku space to figure shit out.

Today, however, has been a little bit harder, because today is Sunday. During the week, the two of them can focus on work and talk about it; Saturday they usually check on their friends and family; but Sunday — that’s the day when it’s only the two of them.

Deku must have felt the weight of that too because their breakfast was an even quieter affair than it has been the last couple of days. The omega had that infuriating fake smile he does when he doesn’t want to express himself. There aren’t many things in the world Katsuki hates more at this point in his life than Izuku’s fake smiles; he much prefers the unbridled anger and the fire in his eyes, even when those green eyes threaten to burn him.

So, as soon as breakfast was over, Katsuki curses his lack of courage but hides away in the gym nonetheless. Izuku stays behind to do his chores (clean the kitchen and do the laundry), while Bakugou burns the awkwardness away in the treadmill. He hates this, hates that he can’t stick around in the kitchen teasing Deku while the omega struggles to separate the colors from the whites as they’ve done for the past few months.

For the first time, Katsuki regrets letting his feelings run wild. He still doesn’t know why it is so bad to Izuku or how his new feelings can jeopardize what they’ve built so far — but the effect is the same and Katsuki hates that it has indeed changed them — even after he promised it wouldn’t, even if it’s just for a while.

He knows they’ll go back to normal eventually, but he misses talking to Deku without a care in the world. And he knows Deku misses it too. In these last few days, at least while they’re at the agency, sometimes it was like the omega forgot he was supposed to be wary and acted openly with Katsuki. But, a second later, the memory resurfaced and the omega softly pulled back.

The pang in his heart is all too real and Katsuki turns off the machine to get some water. While trying to get a hold of himself, he doesn’t hear the hasty stomps down the hall; he only notices when Izuku slams the door open with a startled expression on his face.

“KACCHAN!” The omega yells and Katsuki almost jumps from the surprise.

“What-” ‘ What is wrong?’ never leaves his lips because a second later he’s being tackled in a big powerful hug that leaves him stunned.

“I- I- The newspaper! I just-!” Izuku tries forming the words, but he also appears to be too overwhelmed to speak.

“Oh, it’s today.” 

Among the mess that has been his thoughts and personal life, it completely slipped Katsuki’s mind that Sunday’s newspaper would be printed the whole report about their operation in the Golden Bowl. The paper would bring the Bureau’s official statement on the case, whatever details of the operation the heroes could disclose, Miruko’s and Katsuki’s interview. Izuku must have read it.

The omega pulls back, still a little bit shaky and with a huge smile on his face.

“Thank you,” he says simply.

Katsuki furrows his eyebrows, “for what?”

“Everything! The info you gave the media! The interview! You- you-” Izuku chokes on his words.

Katsuki shrugs, “I told them what happened. You may have paid more attention to how Miruko does this shit, but I can put together a damn summary for the paper, Deku.” Katsuki says taking a step to the side and trying to play it off as if it isn’t that big of a deal.

It was a big deal though. To have the omega so close to him, happy and open, was doing things to the alpha. He wanted to pull Deku back to a hug, scent him and hear all the cheerful blabbering that threatens to spill from Izuku’s lips. The omega is too cute for his own good and realizing that makes Katsuki turn his back on Izuku and walk to the kitchen to get more space.

He promised Izuku shit didn’t have to change, that he had everything under control; hell, two minutes ago he was mourning the fact that Deku hasn’t been himself around Bakugou — and the moment the omega lowers his barrier, Katsuki greedily wants to take more. What the hell is wrong with him?

Support Hero Deku, a newcomer with barely a month on his license, was the primordial factor to get the operation to happen. Miruko’s Agency reports that Deku managed to get intel from an unwilling civilian source in an impressive display of sensitivity and heroism. The leader of the operation, Pro Hero Ground Zero says ‘Deku has been a great addition to the team. He’s very disciplined, has easily taken into the more research-oriented sides of the job, and he brings a fresh view to old hurdles. His input was invaluable for the development of the case. During the final raid, he worked with the rank of sidekicks due to his inexperience in this kind of situation. Still, when Illusionist was injured during the operation, Deku stepped up and apprehended the villain on his own.’”

Izuku reads the newspaper out loud while Katsuki busies himself with getting some juice from the fridge. Yeah, maybe he sang Izuku’s praises more than it was usual for this kind of shit — but that was the whole point wasn’t it? To show the public that Deku is a good hero and that their team works well together. Besides, he hasn’t said any lie, Deku did all the things he said to the paper.

“That is-” Izuku tries talking again and chokes on his words.

“The truth. You spent the most hours reading the paperwork since the rest of us had other shit to do; you were the one who insisted for us to look into the omegas in that district; you managed to talk to the omega who was a second away from slamming the door on Shitty Hair’s face; you kept your cool during the first raid with over a dozen alphas almost going feral around you; you took down two gamblers on your own and the villain who managed to get the best against Airhead — who may be an idiot, but it’s an alpha idiot who has been a pro hero for over a decade.” Katsuki says everything still looking inside the open fridge, then he turns to Deku and finishes. “You did a fucking great job.”

Tears come to Izuku’s eyes and the omega crumples the newspaper in his shaking hands. 

“Thank you, Kacchan.”

Katsuki’s heart aches with the need to reach out to Deku, but he just tightly grasps the bottle of juice.

***

After the newspaper incident, as the days went by, the veil of awkwardness around them seemed to be completely gone. Izuku was back to his usual chatty and cheerful self; work was rolling around following the routine (they started patrolling harder districts but haven’t met any big situation yet); everything appeared to be normal.

That’s why it took Katsuki completely by surprise when, during dinner, Izuku stops munching to ask:

“How would that even work?”

“What? It’s a new anime, idiot, we’ll just watch the episodes weekly as they come. Probably after work,” Katsuki says thinking Izuku is referring to his comment about Shitty Hair saying there’s a new anime that’s pretty good and that they should catch up.

“No, I mean, the courting. How would that work?”

“What?” He raises his head in complete confusion. He’s lucky he wasn’t drinking anything, or else he’d have spit across the room.

That was probably not the reaction that Izuku was expecting, because the omega quickly draws back, his body language showing how out of his depth he truly is in comparison to the nonchalance of his words.

“Ye-yeah, I-I mean… We-we already li-live to-together, so wo-would I have to mo-move in to y-your ro-room? And wo-would it be-be every day or on-only w-when you w-want to-to-” Izuku stutters and stumblers on his words until he chokes and can’t really say the rest of what he’s thinking. “Yo-you know,” he completes embarrassed. 

Under the dumbfounded expression on Katsuki’s face, the omega loses his courage.

“Whatever, th-that’s a stupid qu-question,” he grumbles pulling his chair away from the counter, ready to make a run for it.

“Wait!” Katsuki barks and Izuku halts startled with a frightened expression. “Fuck- just- chill, alright? Sit down.”

Izuku sits down mechanically and looks at Katsuki with wide scared eyes, his whole body tense.

“I haven’t really thought about how the fuck would that work. But we’re not just gonna jump in bed when I demand, so get that stupid idea out of your head.” Katsuki says and that makes the omega’s shoulders visibly relax a little. “You can’t even say the words ‘have sex’ so I don’t think we’d get to that any time soon.”

“I’m just not comfortable with the idea of sex,” Izuku grumbles, diverting his eyes down.

“And I’m not comfortable with the idea of courting,” Katsuki says rolling his eyes. “I never said that I wanted that shit.”

“Sorry,” Izuku mumbles and starts fidgeting with the hem of his long-sleeved t-shirt. “I just don’t know what this is- or would be.”

Bakugou takes a deep breath. Suddenly their age gap and difference in upbringings become painfully clear. Not only Izuku is five years younger, he was raised in a traditional and conservative boarding school with almost zero connection to the outside world. Deku was most likely a virgin — had he even kissed someone else before?

These thoughts instead of making the alpha feel possessive and thrilled (like most alphas would), make him feel the weight of this responsibility. He needs to treat this, whatever the hell this is, like something delicate. More ‘first middle school crush’ and less ‘drunk college one-night stand’.

“Dating,” he finally says. “I want you to go on a date with me.”

Izuku tilts his head in confusion, but he doesn’t look like he’s on the verge of a panic attack anymore, so Bakugou will count that as a win.

“A date?”

Katsuki shrugs, “yeah, that’s what people do when they’re interested in one another. They go on a date, you know, dinner and a movie kinda shit.”

Izuku squints his eyes, “I know what dating is, I’ve watched tv.” ‘ Bad source material, but let’s roll with that’ , Katsuki thinks. “When people go on one date, they usually haven’t decided if they want to go on a second.”

“True. People usually decide that at the end of the first date, or in the next following days.”

“So you’re saying that, if I wanted, I could decide to not go on any more dates?” Izuku asks warily.

“Yes, that’s what I’m saying.”

“And no… sex?” The omega struggles with the last word but manages to get it out.

“People don’t usually go straight to sex after the first date. It takes time to get to that point.” Yeah, Katsuki may be taking some liberties in his interpretation of that, but whatever works for them.

Izuku looks like he’s considering it for a while and then he shakes his head, “this doesn’t make any sense. We’re married. We’ll have to see each other always, we can’t just date and if it doesn’t work go our separate ways like most people would. It’s too risky. If things go bad, we may ruin what we already got.”

“Deku, there were no guarantees or safety plans for when we got married, nor for when we decided to become roommates, or even when you decided to become a part of the team. We’ve been winging this shit so far and dealing with the consequences when they show up. Dating is the same shit.” Katsuki explains calmly.

The omega considers him for a while with an unreadable expression.

“Can we make rules?”

“What rules?” Bakugou asks confused.

“I need to know when we’re on… dating mode and when we’re just… us.” Izuku says awkwardly. “I can’t wake up in the morning without knowing who I’ll find in the kitchen.”

Bakugou ponders for a second, “you mean we can only talk and act as if we’re dating during the date itself?”

“Yeah.”

“Alright,” the alpha shrugs. “It makes sense, we gotta keep shit professional at work.”

“And if we stop dating…”

“Then we just stop and keep things like they were before.” Katsuki reassures him and, finally, he sees a small smile break into the omega’s lips.

“Alright, Kacchan, we can go on a date.”

Chapter Text

Expectations

Bakugou Katsuki has absolutely no idea how he ended up in this conundrum but now he has to schedule a first date with his husband. 

This whole concept is so moronic that he’s trying his best to not think too deeply about it; or about the implications of what he’s about to do; or about how bad things can get if this shit doesn’t work out; or whatever the hell can happen if this does work out. It’s all too much and Katsuki gladly shoved these deep thoughts in a box in the corner of his mind.

All that he’s willing to focus on now is that Deku said yes to dating and, yeah, it has been some goddamn years since Bakugou has been out of the dating scene but he remembers it could be kind of fun. There was a lot of flirting, good food, and maybe a kiss or two at the end of the night.

Alright, maybe his brain is remembering this better than it really was. If dating was so good, he wouldn’t have stopped — or he would have found someone to get married to through these means. If he really thinks back about those years, he’ll probably remember a lot of awkward conversations, stupid people who thought too much of themselves, and some unsatisfying one-night stands that made him feel gross afterwards.

However, none of these things is a possible issue this time — he and Deku talk a lot and it usually isn’t awkward, Deku isn’t stupid, and sex isn’t really on the table right now. So he can focus on the good things about dating and he can’t deny he’s actually feeling a bit excited about it.

Still, Bakugou has no idea what to actually do in the damn date. All the good restaurants he knows and enjoys going, he and Deku have been there together several times over. Izuku and him eat together all the damn time, how can he make that become date-material?

They also know everything about each other, they’re co-workers and talk the whole damn day about shit. How can he make the conversation be light and fun, but meaningful so the date doesn’t end up just being them debating hero work?

Honestly, Bakugou is out of his depth here and, if there’s something he learned through the hardships of being a pro hero, is that it’s not shameful to ask for the help of a specialist.

“I need to talk to you about some shit,” Katsuki says as soon as Kirishima blocks one of his punches and they disengage. “But you can’t say shit about this to Deku or Camie.”

Kirishima does a double-take at that news and that’s enough of an opening for Bakugou to hit him square in the jaw.

“What?! Bro!” Katsuki goes for the redhead’s stomach while his friend complains, but Kirishima blocks it this time. “Come on! Stop that! I thought you were over this whole ‘beating Eijirou up when needing to talk about important stuff’ thing!”

“Stop whining and focus! The villains won’t stop to talk during a battle!” Bakugou barks going at his friend to trade blows again.

“Bro, I swear to-” Kirishima tries talking but their fight picks up the pace.

Kick, jump, punch - block, twist, punch - dodge.

“I’ve asked Deku out on a date.”

Punch - hit, fall.

“WHAT?!” Kirishima says as his ass hits the floor.

“You gotta work on your reflexes from the right, that was too easy to land.”

“NO! NO! Stop this! Stop all of this!” Kirishima says getting up from the floor and shaking his arms in front of his body in a clear indication the spar session was over. “Let’s rewind and talk about this like adults.”

“You and Deku traded all the chocolates in Camie’s desk drawer for raisin packets a couple of days ago,” Katsuki says deadpanned. 

“It was fun and- No! You’re not changing the subject!” Eijirou yells. “You brought this up! You said you need to talk! Now talk! Properly! With words and not fists and half-sentences!”

To show how set he was in his ultimatum, Kirishima crosses his arms in front of his chest and looks at Bakugou like an old nanny. Katsuki rolls his eyes and goes to pick up his water bottle.

“There’s not much to say. These last few days we- I- ahn- it became clear there’s some kind of… attraction between us.”

“Hm, interesting… These last few days when?” Kirishima asks feigning disinterest. “Do you have an exact date? Maybe it started last month or…”

“Shitty Hair, if you and those fuckers made a bet on this shit I swear to all that’s holy that I’ll-”

“No! No bet! Don’t worry about that!” Kirishima interrupts raising his hands in surrender. “Who would do such a distasteful thing as to bet how long it would take for you and Izuku to start having sex?! We’d certainly not do that. No, not in a million years.”

Katsuki takes a deep breath and runs his hand through his hair trying to remember why he can’t kill Shitty Hair or any one of their other friends. 

“Whatever. Anyway, we talked about this shit and we decided to try going on a date.” He grunts. “No damn sex, just one lousy date.”

“A date? Really?” Kirishima says confused. “That’s-  Wow. I didn’t know you could be so romantic, bro.”

“Romantic? There’s nothing romantic about this shit!” Katsuki says spitting the words out. “It’s a damn date, the most basic thing ever! I wouldn’t even say anything about that to you if I didn’t have to ask you how the fuck do you date someone you already live with.”

He plops down on the bench on the side of the training room and looks to the ceiling. He knew talking to Kirishima would be a pain in the ass, but the idiot is still his best alternative to talk about this sort of shit. He’d never live it down if he asked Dunce Face or, god forbid, Airhead.

“That’s the thing though, going out on a date with someone you’re already married with is pretty romantic,” Kirishima says sitting down next to him.

“I assume you and Racoon go on dates,” Katsuki says raising an eyebrow to his friend.

“Sometimes. Nor as often as we probably should, or as we’d like. We can get caught up in work, daily life and things like that. But we try,” Kirishima says with a dopey smile on his face. “Sometimes, when I get home, I find she cooked a special dinner and lit candles. Other times, I take her out to one of our favorite restaurants and we walk home together going through the city park.”

“I cook for him all the fucking time,” Katsuki says in thought. “I think the restaurant shit is a better option. What place do you losers go?”

***

That night Katsuki decided to bite the bullet and put this thing in motion. He doesn’t even know why the fuck he’s hesitating if he was the one who wanted to try it in the first place. But it’s different; while it was a far-fetched possibility in his brain that one day he could come home to Izuku’s scent filling up the place or a daydream of burying his nose on Deku’s neck and tasting his skin it was easier to deal with. Now that it’s a reality of maybe having a nice night together and sneaking in some kisses, Katsuki suddenly feels terrified.

He knows he likes spending time with Deku; he likes it more than being with his best friends because he knows he isn’t able to live with Shitty Hair without wanting to kill the man (damn roommate years after UA). Katsuki also knows his alpha desires Izuku as an omega; he smells good, he looks good, damn omega even sounds good (his grunts and pants during training follow Bakugou to his dreams).

So sure, it makes sense to unite these two things — all he has to do is take the first step.

“... overall, since the thorns can deal more damage than his wood, and both of their quirks can be used to immobilize the opponent in similar ways, I think Vine would win against Kamui.” Izuku has been talking non-stop about some extras' quirks and Katsuki can’t really say he heard a word of what the omega just said so he’ll just jump to what matters most.

“So, I was thinking, how about this Saturday?” Katsuki asks nonchalantly during dinner that night.

“What about it?” Izuku asks distracted while he stuffs his face with udon. “Are you going to see your mother? Can you bring ginger cookies?”

“Can you stop thinking about food for one damn second?” Katsuki barks at him and Izuku stops munching in shock. “It’s about the date thing,” the alpha grunts looking down to his bowl. “Do you want to go this Saturday?”

“Oh,” Izuku looks at him surprised. “Y-yeah, th-that could work… Any specific hour or…?”

“Of course there’ll be a specific hour, Deku,” Katsuki retorts. “It’s a fucking date, that’s how these things work.”

“Y-yeah, y-yeah, I- I know.” Izuku says looking down at his bowl as well.

“Be ready at seven. We’ll go out for dinner.” Bakugou explains and Izuku only nods, still focusing on his food too attentively.

The alpha holds back the urge to sigh and huff. How can things get so awkward the moment they bring up anything about dating when they were talking to each other without any issues just a second before?

Izuku's body language went from relaxed and inviting to stiff and terrified just with the mention of the word 'date'. That doesn't bode well for whatever they’re trying to do here. But there's nothing he can do about that; right now the best that can be done is to go back to their default conversation topic.

"So, I was talking to Kirishima and the fucker didn't even watch the last two Dr. STONE episodes. He says Mina prefers watching Kimetsu no Yaiba, " Katsuki says and that makes Izuku snap back from his mild freak out.

"But the last two episodes were the best! I can't believe he hasn't seen the sunflower field scene!" The omega says horrified.

"Yeah, and the fucker lost the cool acid shit too, " Katsuki agrees feeling better at seeing Izuku relax again.

***

Ok, Katsuki got this shit figured out. In the end, he couldn't go with Shitty Hair's suggestion for the restaurant because neither he nor Racoon know shit about food. The losers are fucking useless and they’re lucky to have found each other because no one else would put with their idea of a date night at a damn burger place.

So he just googled that shit like any normal person. He found a very nice French restaurant that opened it hasn't been long. He had to throw his rank around to get a reservation with such short notice, but he managed. 

Katsuki didn't even have to try keeping it a secret. Deku did his best to not bring anything up at all during the following days. It was like the elephant in the room shit, and the two of them were ignoring the shit out of the fucker.

Saturday, the omega actually vanished. He left the flat early morning to see his sister and, when he came back in the early afternoon, he sneaked in his room and didn't talk to Katsuki. Bakugou actually thinks Deku used the window of his bedroom to get in the house because, when he noticed it, he was already hearing sounds coming from the omega’s room.

The alpha had half the mind to bang on Deku's door just to confirm they'd still be going out that evening. But he didn't. Not because he was afraid, Bakugou Katsuki isn't afraid of shit, but because Deku always came through with what he said. If Izuku agreed with the date, Katsuki is sure he'll be ready on time. Yeah, that's totally it.

So, at the proper time, Katsuki takes a shower, fixes his hair, puts a black dress shirt and some black slacks, adjusts his nice watch on his wrist and goes to wait in the living room for his date.

His palms sweat a little as he waits like a goddamn idiot, standing in the middle of his own fucking living room. He has to rub his hands in his pants to not risk exploding things unwillingly. What the hell, he hasn't been through this kind of shit since he was seventeen. How can he hope to impress Izuku when he's being so pathetic?

And why would he even need to impress the shitty Deku?! Stupid omega never seemed to care about impressing him by the way he leaves his room with his hair looking like a bird's nest and dressed in other heroes' merch.

Fuck.

Who is he trying to fool?

Katsuki wouldn't have harassed his way to a reservation in one of the most expensive restaurants in the city if he didn't want to impress Deku.

He wants Izuku to like this and he wants this night to go well. More than anything, Katsuki really wants to spend time with Deku, show him things the omega hasn’t seen before and see how his face brightens up when he learns something new. Shit, he has it bad.

At seven on the dot, he hears Deku’s door opening and the omega comes to the living room in short, uncertain steps. Bakugou is taken aback by how Izuku looks; the alpha doesn’t know what he was expecting but it surely wasn’t this.

Izuku looks like a-... well, he looks like an omega. He’s wearing a white flowy blouse cinched and ruffled on his wrists and neck; some very wide dark red pants that could look like a skirt, high and tight on his waist; his hair is blow-dried and styled, not leaving any of his unruly curls left; his face is perfect porcelain by the magic of makeup, not one freckle left in sight. The end result gives the illusion of the omega’s body being more hourglass-shaped than it really is. It’s quite feminine, dainty and delicate — it’s nothing like Deku.

“Hi”, Izuku says quietly, standing a few steps away from Bakugou.

“Hey,” Katsuki answers coming back from his dazed state. “Ready to go?”

“Y-yeah.”

They take Katsuki’s car. Sometimes the alpha wonders why he even bothers keeping the damn thing since he barely uses it, but it’s handy for times like these. Inside the enclosed space of the car, Katsuki gets a whiff of Izuku’s scent — itt was blocked as always, but also covered with perfume, making it even faker than usual. The perfume is alcoholic and overly sweet; clearly an imitation of an omega’s scent that Bakugou knows is used by betas to entice alphas. It makes no sense why Izuku would block his scent and put that on, but he doesn’t ask because he doesn’t want to start the night with an argument.

The way to the restaurant is done in complete silence. Bakugou steals glances to the man beside him, still a little bit baffled by how different Izuku looks; and the omega does the same, it seems by the way their eyes meet a couple of times (but Izuku always looks away instantly).

The restaurant really is everything the internet made it out to be. The place has a huge crystal chandelier in the entrance, the waiters wear bowties, there’s a low violin playing in the background, and the air barely smells of anything betraying how much work they must put into keeping everything clean and scent-blocked. They are escorted to their table and given menus in french that make Katsuki instantly remember that he doesn’t speak a word of the language.

“Bonsoir, I’m Ito and I’ll be helping you tonight. Do you gentlemen would like to see the carte des vins?” The waiter asks, making a sudden need to punch the asshole’s teeth out come to Bakugou.

“The fuck?” He barks making several tables turn to him with horrified expressions.

“He’s offering the wine menu,” Izuku says quietly, anxiety already etched in his expression.

Oh yeah, Deku speaks french. He probably understands more of this shit than Katsuki.

The alpha just nods courtly, feeling the weight of his inadequacy at the place. There are too many pieces of cutlery on the table, too many chalices, too many words he can’t understand on the menu, too many people judging him for not knowing how to behave. The wine menu is even more confusing, why the fuck would he care about which part of France the wine comes from?

Bakugou’s face must have given away his frustration because Izuku speaks softly again. “You can just ask for his recommendation. It’s their job to know what’s best.”

“Exactly, sir,” the waiter says promptly. “The house recommends the Cabernet Sauvignon for this month since the-”

“Yeah, alright, bring one of those.” Bakugou interrupts the man shoving the wine menu back to his hands.

“Which winery would you prefer? We have-”

“Whatever, just bring a damn bottle.”

“Perfect, sir.”

Katsuki and Izuku stiffly sit in their places as the waiter sets them up with bread, water and the wine. The wine proves to be another fucking issue when the fucker serves just a tiny bit on the alpha’s glass and looks expectantly at him. For a moment Bakugou and the waiter just look at each, a firm glare on Katsuki’s face and a confused look on the other man’s, until Izuku whispers from across the table “he’s waiting for you to try it and say if it’s good to be served”.

It’s not like Bakugou even knows if a wine is good enough or not. But he tastes it nonetheless, decides he already had worse things and nods to the waiter. Honestly, he’s getting dangerously close to smashing the wine bottle in someone’s head, maybe his own; so at this point, he just nods at anything, too afraid of starting to yell if he actually has to say anything.

Finally, Izuku and him are left alone to brave the menu. In one glance, Katsuki knows he’s fucked. The whole shitty menu is in french — what fucking kind of stuck up asshole made this decision?! What kind of shitty elitist place makes a menu in french in fucking Japan?! Really, that’s just bullshit.

Katsuki’s eyes rack through the options, confused. He barely distinguishes what’s food and what’s dessert. After going through the damn pages a few good times, he’s almost growling in anger. Fucking damn restaurant fucking up the goddamn menu and making Katsuki look like a shitty fool. Who the fuck thought it was a good idea to put the freaking menu in French in Japan? That’s the shittiest assholery he ever heard of and-

“I’m thinking about the salade de chèvre chaud and the poisson du jour,” Izuku says in pretty pronunciation interrupting Katsuki’s furious thoughts.

The alpha weights the pros and cons of just mimicking Izuku’s order; the nerd usually has an alright opinion on food, but Katsuki doesn’t want to make it clear how lost he’s in this shit. He isn’t stupid, he noticed the damn waiter just talks to him, he understands the alpha is supposed to know and decide this type of shit. 

“Are you gentlemen ready to order?” the waiter returns and Bakugou has to make some executive decisions very quickly.

“Yeah,” he nods and looks at Izuku to indicate the omega can order first.

However, the waiter and Izuku keep looking at him and suddenly it makes sense why the nerd told him what he wants — the alpha is supposed to order for both of them. Bakugou almost grunts in frustration, no way in hell he’ll be able to pronounce the names of the shitty dishes.

“He’ll want the ahn.. salade chaud and the poisson,” Katsuki struggles with the words but the waiter nods as if it’s pretty clear. “And I’ll want…” Thinking quickly, Bakugou decides to ask for the same entree but a different appetizer so he looks down to the menu once more and says the only word he thinks he can pronounce. “The escargot and the poisson.”

“Very well, gentlemen,” the waiter says vanishing again and Bakugou sighs in relief.

Having past the food-order hurdle, Katsuki thought things would settle down more easily; but he was wrong. As soon as there weren’t big menus on the way, they have to come to terms with the fact that now they need to look at each other and talk. 

Izuku’s eyes dart from one place to the next, never stopping for more than two seconds anywhere and never really going to Katsuki’s. The omega is clearly fidgeting with the hem of his blouse and anxiety comes from him in waves. Bakugou can’t say he’s much better, he doesn’t know what to do with his hands or even how to sit in his chair; and he certainly doesn’t know how to start the conversation.

Shit, he should have asked Shitty Hair more about this dating shit. He pulls off a piece of bread and starts munching on it to, at least, have some excuse for not saying anything. It’s the most pathetic situation he’s ever been in and he wonders why the fuck he is subjecting himself to such an awful night.

But one glance across the table makes him remember why. Deku looks just as off place as he is, even though the omega actually knows what the fuck is going on in this damn restaurant. 

“Have you-” Katsuki starts talking, making Izuku look up a little bit startled. “Have you ever been to a place like this?”

“N-no, not really,” Izuku answers awkwardly. “But we had practical classes.”

“Practical classes?” Katsuki frowns.

“Yeah, th-the Institution organized the dining hall as a restaurant and brought in chefs to cook. And we ahn- pretended? It was considered a class, an etiquette and courting rituals class.”

Katsuki can’t help but chuckle imagining that scene. In no time his brain conjures the idea of UA doing the same thing — Kaminari and Sero playing sword with the baguettes, Mina getting drunk on the expensive wine, Bakugou exploding the desk because he thought that class was useless.

“Have you?” Izuku asks softly. “I mean, you probably did. You’ve been through several dates, it’s natural that-”

“No,” Katsuki interrupts him. “No date that I felt I should bring to a place like this.”

“Oh.”

The conversation dies down again. It’s awfully awkward, and it’s weird to need to talk so quietly, to be afraid of people overhearing their conversation. If there’s something Katsuki is sure of is that he doesn’t want to have this tentative moment with Izuku ending up in the gossip column of some shitty newspaper. Whatever they are doing seems to be too private and delicate to be put on display like that.

Katsuki also thinks about the differences between courting and dating. At first glance, they do seem to be synonyms, but the two words came loaded with very different expectations. Dating was just dating, the shitty regular thing everyone seems to be obsessed from early puberty to forever — it’s what makes the economy go-round with selling overrated valentine’s chocolate to producing big blockbuster romcom movies. Dating could come in so many different forms and styles, everyone had their own dating experiences and every couple tried to adapt it to their own way.

But courting no. Courting has rules, parameters, order; courting happens in specific places (the matchmaking houses) and at specific times. In Izuku’s former Institution courting came with a whole big pile of forms that had to be filled and signed. Courting is the kind of thing that only happens between alphas and unmated omegas, no one else. 

That’s why Katsuki hates this word, it puts too many expectations and too much weight in just one small dinner. And it’s not like he and Deku need any more to add to their clear anxiety about this situation. The two of them are already out of their depths without having to abide to the intricate rules of courting.

In a few minutes, the food arrives. Or at least, Izuku’s plate arrives with food; Katsuki receives a weird bowl of shells. Snail shells. And then he realizes the reason why he thought he could pronounce the word is because he has heard it so many times - escargot, the french snails.

Izuku starts eating his small portion of salad without much thought while Bakugou is left to brave a literal bowl of snails. The waiter even gave him a special fork to stab the little things inside their shells and pull them out. It’s the most disgusting thing Bakugou has ever seen on a plate, and he survived Izuku’s cooking for almost a week.

As he puts the first one in his mouth, he’s pretty sure he’s about to throw up. He can’t even feel the taste because all he can think is that he’s eating a snail. He gave up after the second one and just pushes the shells around the bowl until Izuku finishes with his appetizer. All the while, Katsuki is second-guessing every decision he ever made that got him to this moment.

When the waiter comes to take the plates away, Bakugou almost shoves the bowl down the fucker’s throat. The alpha washes down the taste of the snails with lots of wine, he’s already ending his second chalice. And that’s when he notices Izuku has barely touched his wine. Did the nerd not like it? Or is he afraid of getting drunk in front of Katsuki?

Actually, has he ever seen Izuku drinking? Now that Bakugou thinks about it, he doesn’t think he has. On the very few times his friends managed to drag them to some random izakaya for the night, Katsuki doesn’t remember seeing Izuku drink. Maybe he had a beer, but the alpha can only remember berating him and Shitty Hair about eating too much fried chicken.

So there are still things about Deku that Katsuki doesn’t know. That shouldn’t be a surprise, he’s always mentally complaining about not understanding how the omega’s mind works; but it’s actually weird to realize he doesn’t know something so basic about Deku’s preferences when they eat together all the damn day. 

This realization should be off-putting for Katsuki, who always prides himself on his analytical skills, however, it’s somewhat refreshing. It’s nice to know there are still things to uncover about Izuku, that dating may not be such a big waste of time.

The entrees arrive shortly after. This time both plates look identical — and minuscule. A tiny piece of fish, a handful of grilled asparagus and carrots, and that’s it. Bakugou actually looks around the room to check if the waiter will bring other plates but no, that was really it. 

When Bakugou accepts that small portion of food is all that he’s gonna get, Izuku is already halfway through his plate. Resigning himself to his fate, Katsuki starts eating as well. The fish is delicious and the vegetables are very well seasoned, the alpha just wished there was more of it because he was done in a handful of bites.

They eat their food in silence, the sound of cutlery against the porcelain is the only thing they can hear besides the whispered conversation from the other tables. It’s actually a little bit depressing to think they are almost ending their dinner and they still haven’t managed to break through the awkwardness and talk.

For a moment, Bakugou hates the fact that they’re on a date. If this was just the two of them going out to eat in a new place to check it out, he’d be able to poke fun about the small portion of food and Izuku would probably have some snarky remark of his own to make. If this was just a regular dinner, Deku would not let the conversation die not even one second; the alpha is sure that, by this point, Izuku would have told him several anecdotes about those etiquette classes he had and explained about the weird food names.

As the dessert comes (Izuku asked for a cremè brulee and Katsuki decided not to second-guess it), Katsuki is feeling a little disheartened. That’s probably the worst date in the history of dates. They barely exchanged five sentences the whole night, neither of them was relaxed either. If it wasn’t Izuku sitting on the other side of the table, Katsuki would already be playing on his phone and pretending this night never happened.

But it was Izuku, and the omega looked just as nervous as he was. Maybe it would take a few dates before they felt comfortable enough around each other to talk. But would the omega give him a second chance? Would there ever be a second date?

The dessert is eaten, the check is paid (Bakugou doesn’t even look at the number on it or else he’d explode the waiter’s face) and they go back to the car. On the way home, Katsuki struggles hard to come up with anything to say but comes out empty-handed. He can’t even glance at Izuku, too afraid of seeing a disappointed look on the omega’s face.

The ride home is silent, the elevator ride is silent and, finally, Bakugou sees them entering the apartment silently and taking off their shoes. The night is officially over and it was a complete failure.

They walk together down the hallway that leads to their bedrooms. Izuku’s door is the first on the right, Katsuki’s is the one at the end of the corridor. 

When Izuku stops to enter his bedroom, Bakugou stops behind him. It’s the closest thing they’ll get to the whole ‘walking your date home’ routine, so Katsuki decides to, at least, finish the night in the same traditional approach he has done through the whole date.

“I hope you had fun,” he grunts without meeting Izuku’s eyes.

“I did.”

That’s a lie. Bakugou knows when Izuku has fun, he has the dumbest laugh and his eyes sparkle.

“Goodnight.”

“Goodnight.”

The omega enters in his room and closes the door, Katsuki walks the couple of steps to his own bedroom and goes plop on his bed depressed.

What the fuck happened? Why was Izuku so quiet? And why the omega costume? And the fucking perfume?! And why the hell was the food so small? 

Frustrated by the flood of questions and the lack of answers, Katsuki gets up from his bed to take off the nice clothes he wore. There’s no point in ruining his best shirt because the night was a big steaming pile of shit. 

The alpha carefully unbuttons the shirt and hangs it back in his closet thinking that, at the very least, he knows he looked good. Inadvertently, his mind goes back to Izuku’s weird clothes. The omega doesn’t seem to have dressed to piss Katsuki off — when Deku wants to step on the alpha’s toes, he goes all out; he doesn’t footpuss about annoying Katsuki. So he chose that weird get up thinking that was a good idea the same way Bakugou picked his best shirt for the date.

It’s weirdly endearing. On one hand, it’s nice to know Izuku made an effort. The clothes were probably new since Bakugou had never seen them before, and there were the hair, makeup, and perfume. But at the same time, it was incredibly frustrating that Izuku thought that was how Katsuki wanted to see him. What even was that whole assemble? It looked like it came from one of those fashion magazines aimed at omegas.

As Katsuki was finishing putting on some sweatpants and a t-shirt, he hears the quiet noise of Izuku’s door opening and closing in the completely silent apartment. There’s no light coming from the hallway, meaning the omega didn’t turn any light on and was trying to be sneaky about it.

Bakugou opens the door of his bedroom as quietly as he can and peaks through it so he can listen to what’s going on. He can hear sounds coming from the kitchen, cabinet doors opening but all the lights are still off. 

Without being able to contain his curiosity, Katsuki stalks as silently as he can to the kitchen. There’s light coming from the windows, so the alpha can see well enough. The shadows are long and deep, but the silhouette of Deku in the kitchen is unmistakable.

Izuku doesn’t notice that the alpha approached him because he’s on his knees on the sink counter, busily rummaging through the back of the cupboard. He’s wearing his usual stay at home clothes that aren’t very different from what the alpha is wearing (just a lot more colorful). The omega seems to find what he’s been looking for, because he pulls his hand back.

“What the fuck are you doing?” Katsuki asks and the omega jumps startled and almost falls on his ass on the floor. Luckily his training has been hard and he recovers quickly, turning around to see the alpha.

“Kacchan!” Izuku yells scared and hides his hands behind his back.

“What are you hiding there, Deku?” The alpha asks squinting in the dark to see what’s on the omega’s back.

“No-nothing!”

“It certainly doesn’t look like nothing,” in two big strides the alpha is standing in front of him and reaching out for the hand on Deku’s back. He grabs whatever Izuku is hiding and brings to his face. “...instant ramen?”

The disbelief is clear in his voice.

“Why the fuck there’s shitty instant ramen in my damn kitchen?!” He barks annoyed.

“Ahn… you know, emergencies?” The omega answer with an awkward smile and scratching the back of his head.

“Emergency? We just had dinner!” 

“But I’m hungry!” Izuku protests, trying to take the ramen off Bakugou’s face. “Now give me!”

“Give you? I should give you a fucking smack for bringing this kind of shit to my kitchen!” Katsuki yells at him raising the package above his head.

“Kacchan!” Izuku cries jumping to get his treat back.

“Alright, I’ll give you back with one condition.” 

“What?”

Katsuki brings the package down and looks deep into Izuku’s eyes, “do you have another?”

“If I say yes, will you get rid of my stash?” Izuku asks warily.

The alpha can’t help but chuckle and offer the ramen package back to Deku.

“Tonight you get a pass.”

Bakugou is sure that, if his friends had seen his exchange with Izuku, they’d accuse him of going soft on the omega. But he didn’t, not really. He still sticks to the shit that truly matters, and that’s why he’s the one boiling the water to make the ramen; Katsuki can’t trust Deku even with that and the kitchen is still his sanctuary. Besides, he’s hungry too.

The shitty pasta with too much sodium gets ready in no time and the two men sit down to eat in the counter. For some unknown reason, none of them bother hitting the lights so they are still depending only on the white light coming from the street through the window.

“Never thought I’d see you eating instant ramen,” Izuku comments offhandedly as they blow the too-hot broth.

“Fucking portion of food was tiny.”

“We can’t talk about that,” Izuku says quietly. “We’re not in date mode anymore.”

“So if we’re not on the date we can’t talk about things about the date?” Katsuki asks raising an eyebrow.

“Yeah, or else how will we keep things separate?”

Bakugou chuckles, “clearly you know nothing about dates. The most important part of a date is talking shit about it to your best friend.”

Izuku raises his eyes to Katsuki and, even in the too-dark kitchen, it is impossible not to see how bright the green shines.

“I’m your best friend?” The omega asks reverently and Katsuki tries not to think of the weight of what he just said.

“Yeah” Katsuki answers shrugging as if it was obvious. “You and Shitty Hair.”

“Oh,” Izuku’s mouth forms a perfect little ‘o’ for a second and Bakugou has to hold back the will to kiss him. “Well, in that case, yeah. I don’t know why you chose that entrèe.”

“What do you mean why I chose that? You’re the one who chose that!”

“Yeah, because I’m an omega. That was one of the omega entrèes,” Izuku says as if he’s saying something obvious.

“Omega entrèes?” Bakugou repeats confused.

“Yes, you didn’t see? The menu was divided in plates for alphas and betas and a small section of plates for omegas,” Izuku explains looking at Bakugou. “It’s always like that in restaurants of this kind, I thought it was very weird when you picked one of the omegas’ entrees.”

“How the fuck would I know that? That’s the most idiotic thing I ever heard!” Bakugou complains. “And why the fuck the omega food is sized for a child?”

“Omegas’ portions are always about that size, it’s because omegas are supposed to eat less.” Izuku explains matter-of-factly.

“Then why the fuck did you order that?” Katsuki is completely in disbelief as to why Izuku would subject himself to starve in an expensive restaurant and the omega just shrugs without answering. “I mean it, Deku, why the fuck did you choose that?”

“It’s just what’s expected for this kind of situation, Kacchan,” Izuku says sounding annoyed. “An omega on a date shouldn’t eat much. Now leave it alone!”

Finally Deku was cracking and showing Katsuki what‘s really inside.

“‘ What’s expected’ ? That’s what you did tonight?” He asks harshly.

“Yes! That’s what I did! I behaved myself in the proper way for a courting, or date, or whatever we’re calling it!” Izuku answers angrily. “And don’t come say shit about me because you did exactly the same! You picked that restaurant! You chose the wine, ate the food and made the poor attendant have to decipher your grunts!” 

The weight of Izuku’s words sit heavily in his stomach. Katsuki really did follow a very by-the-books protocol on this date because he was nervous about doing well in it. He shouldn’t be so impressed that Izuku did the same; the only difference is that Izuku’s parameters for this are based on what he was taught in the Institution. Izuku doesn’t know how to date and turns out Katsuki doesn’t know as well.

“At least I was not the one who had to eat snails,” the omega grumbles looking down on his ramen and Bakugou cracks down laughing.

He doesn’t even know why he’s laughing — if it’s because Izuku thought the alpha would like this overly-feminine version of omega as a date; or because he spent a fucking fortune and now they’re eating instant ramen; or because of Izuku’s petulance about the situation; or even because he actually did eat snails — all that he knows is that he can’t stop laughing. 

It doesn’t take long before Izuku is laughing as well. The omega tries to hold back and it comes out as such ugly snorts that he has to put his hand on his mouth to not spit over his ramen bowl. It’s awful and disgusting, and it makes Katsuki laugh even more.

Several minutes pass before either of them manage to control the laughing fits. Their eyes are filled with tears, their faces are red and Katsuki’s belly hurts from laughing too much. He can’t even remember when in his life has he ever lost control in such a fun way.

Katsuki cleans the stray tears from his eyes and looks at Izuku again. He looks incredibly beautiful right now. His eyes are bright and glistening, there’s still a fun smile on his face, he took the makeup off, so his freckles are apparent again — Deku looks so beautiful that Katsuki wonders why took him so long to realize how much he likes the omega.

“You’re right. I took you on a very lousy date,” the alpha says staring straight into those green gems. “Let me make it up to you and take you on a better one.”

“Will you take me somewhere that you can actually read the menu?” Izuku teases, raising an eyebrow.

“Only if you don’t put on a costume. You dress just fine every day.” Katsuki answers earnestly.

“Al-alright,” Izuku blushes even deeper and drops his head embarrassed. 

Bakugou’s hand moves instinctively when he notices Izuku’s eyes are not looking at him anymore and grabs the omega’s chin to raise it. When their eyes meet again, he doesn’t pull the hand back, and he even lets his thumb rub softly on Izuku’s cheek.

“And no more makeup. I hate how that shit hides you,” Katsuki whispers softly.

Izuku smiles very softly and shyly to him, “alright, Kacchan. You can get a second date.”

The alpha notices he’s still holding Deku and lets go, quickly turning his attention back to his almost-cold bowl of instant ramen. They finish eating their dinner and go back to their rooms. This time, however, Katsuki plops in the bed with a big smile on his face — the date wasn’t a complete failure after all, he even scored a second one.

Chapter Text

Break free

It’s like he’s living through an earthquake that only he can feel. All the time around him buildings collapse, the floor opens up and nothing seems to stand in its place — but Izuku is the only one who notices it. Everyone else just follows through life as if the giant skyscraper that tumbled down into a pile of broken glass and rubble, lifting a cloud of smoke dense enough to hide the sun, wasn’t even there in the first place.

And it never ends. When Izuku finally thinks he got his footing, a new shockwave comes and cracks up the ground under him. He stumbles and he falls; knees busted open, blood gushes on the asphalt. And everyone just passes by without taking a second glance.

Well, not everyone.

Kacchan seems to always be there to offer a hand and help Izuku get back on his feet. The alpha doesn’t feel the ground shaking and doesn’t see the world coming apart around them, but he helps Izuku out anyway. And Kacchan never doubts when the omega says it wasn’t him being clumsy, it was the floor that vanished under his feet.

How many times has Kacchan helped him so far? Izuku can’t even count anymore. It goes from the little things — like how the alpha helped him record a Golden Age Heroes documentary when Izuku was struggling with the TV; to the really huge things — like Katsuki taking him to the best gear manufacturer in the country to make sure Izuku’s hero uniform was as good as it could be.

It was painful beyond belief to think that all of that was done just to make Izuku submit as an omega. However, it shouldn’t have taken him so long to realize that that didn’t make any sense. There are easier ways Bakugou could have chosen to get himself an omega or to make Izuku truly his. All that Kacchan had done for Izuku couldn’t be passed as a mere lengthy courting; no, that had to have come from the heart.

To conciliate what has been happening in his life with everything Izuku thought he knew about life was, in itself, just as hard and painful. It was several nights without sleep, it was hours and hours of pouring his heart and thoughts in notebooks, trying to make some sense of the madness. The omega’s worldviews bent back and forth until they snapped; he’s coming to terms with the fact that it doesn’t make sense.

His relationship with Katsuki doesn’t make sense and doesn’t follow any pattern; Izuku is left scrambling to find any type of parameter with which to measure what’s going on. The omega thinks, analyses, and makes plans. But, every time, the plans he made don’t survive their first encounters with reality. Reality is much more complex than Izuku can fathom.

So Izuku gathered every drop of courage he could muster and took a leap, asked a question. It was the most terrifying thing he has ever done, but he did it anyway because it was Kacchan. Then he accepted to go on a date. And then he scrambled to find any kind of reference about how that was supposed to go; and then the date was a complete failure. Still, when Katsuki asked, there was no way Izuku wouldn’t give the whole thing a second try. 

Because it’s Kacchan and Izuku is slowly finding out he has a huge weak spot for Kacchan. 

And maybe that’s alright because it seems that Kacchan has a weak spot for him too. 

However, Izuku still feels insecure. He doesn’t understand how Kacchan’s mind works, he’s barely beginning to conciliate Kacchan and Bakugou in his head, he’s afraid of the consequences of what they’re trying to do, he’s terrified of what will be left of him if it doesn’t work out — and if it does. 

So he made rules. He tried to give himself any type of control he can, or else he’ll go crazy. Izuku created all kinds of rules to himself, from how he can dress to how many steps he can stay close to Katsuki; he made some rules to Katsuki too, like how they can talk about the date thing and how they act when not in ‘date-mode’. It may sound silly, but it gives Izuku some peace of mind and, right now, he’ll take all of it that he can get.

And talking about taking every inch of peace of mind that he can — that’s why Izuku is, right now, knocking on Toshi’s house for a very long-awaited conversation.

“Izuku, my boy!” The emaciated image of the one who once was the strongest hero in the world opens the door. “Please, come in!”

The house is the same as Izuku remembers; the same furniture, the same ambiance, the same scent (Toshinori’s pheromones are much weaker than a usual alpha because of his fragile health, so he pleasantly smells of green tea and mahogany). It’s weird to think that it’s been over ten years since he set foot here. If he thinks hard about it, he can actually visualize the scene of the last time he has been in this house — his mother crying thankfully after the wealthy alpha promises to pay for Izuku’s expenses in a good Finishing School as Izuku cried for his dreams of going to UA being shattered.

It took him many years to understand what it truly meant for Toshinori to accept to be Izuku’s sponsor. The State-Sponsored Finishing Schools don’t really bother teaching their omegas any more than Pregnancy Health, Child Care, and Domestic Economy. If today Izuku can fill the gaps of his lack of hero study and real-life experience with a solid background in academic achievements is because Yagi Toshinori spent a not-that-small fortune ensuring that.

When Izuku understood that Toshinori had virtually adopted him as a son besides already having chosen him as a successor, the young omega began developing a feeling of debt to the alpha that follows him until today. Debt, duty and responsibility got mixed with gratitude, admiration and love; it was a weird blend of feelings to have for someone, and Izuku struggled with what Yagi Toshinori and All Might meant to him during the whole time he was in the Institution.

And then he was out. Out of the place he had such love/hate feelings for. Of course he hated the Institution with all its rules, expectations; always smacking him down; always telling him to not stand out; always forcing him into a mold; always teaching him a worldview that put him in a submissive position. But at the same time, that was his home; that’s where he met his siblings; had some brilliant teachers; learned everything he knows; developed into who he is today. The Institution was his home, for better and for worse, and he was taken out of there against his will.

Izuku doesn’t think he can ever forgive the fact he had his wishes so blatantly disregarded about one of the most fundamental rights a person has — the right to decide things about himself, his right of free will. It’s very tempting to hate the people who forced him into this situation forever; but the people who did it are Kacchan and Toshi.

Thinking about this screws up Izuku’s feelings like nothing else can, and he had to create with coping mechanisms to come to terms with this situation. For Katsuki, Izuku began disassociating Kacchan from Bakugou from Ground Zero; it worked for a while until the coping tool became a crutch. It worked while Izuku’s relationship with Kacchan was simpler and his connection with Bakugou was nonexistent. But, when the feelings got more complex, the omega couldn’t hammer every single interaction he had with the alpha into one box or the other.

Izuku noticed that during the time he was thinking about what to do about Katsuki’s desire to start something between them. He knew he had to stop with the dissociation thing when he had to accept that he’d agree to become Kacchan’s mate but not Bakugou’s — that’s when he started conciliating all the faces the alpha has in the same person.

But with Toshinor, Izuku couldn’t do that. It was Toshi, the person who said he was very sorry but that he accepted to marry Izuku to his former pupil because he believed Bakugou was a good potential husband for Izuku. There was no pinning that into someone else because Toshinori took the fall for it without a second thought.

What Izuku did to protect his heart from that was to keep some distance from Toshi. Sure, they’d talk on the telephone from time to time but, when they did, all Izuku talked about was generics of his work. He spoke about training a lot and doing his best. He never spoke about the real hardships he was encountering or his feeling about hero work; he certainly never said a word about his relationship with Kacchan.

“I’m going to make some tea,” the man says with a soft smile.

“I can do that!” Izuku tries following him into the kitchen. He feels bad about letting an older and sick man serve him, but Toshinori interrupts him.

“Nonsense! You’re a guest! Now sit down, I’ll be back in a jiff.”

Izuku doesn’t sit down, though. He walks around the room, trying to discover what has changed and what has remained the same from the memories he has in this house. He used to come here every day after school since he was nine years old until he was thirteen and moved to the Institution. 

The omega finds out that, as he thought, most of the room is exactly the same — the only difference being the several framed pictures of Izuku growing through the years. Most of the pictures are from inside the Institution; there are pictures of him in the garden, of the little graduation ceremonies they had after finishing a module of their studies, Izuku and Inko waving for the camera, Izuku attending Tamaki’s wedding, Izuku with Eri on his lap, Izuku in his hero uniform eating popcorn with Camie by his side taken out of a magazine, and a tiny one of Izuku posing with his team after the Golden Bowl raid cut from the newspaper.

“I’ve got tea and some biscuits your mother brought the other day,” Toshinori announces his return to the room and Izuku turns to him, rubbing his eyes off some stray tears. “Oh, you’re seeing my pictures!”

“Yeah, you’ve got quite a lot of team,” Izuku says with a shaky voice and even shakier smile.

“It’s not that many. Your mother helped me get most of these,” Toshinori explains with a kind smile. “Come sit down.”

They sit down side by side in the old worn-in yellow couch that somehow is still as fluffy as Izuku remembers. The thing clashes violently with the bright blue carpet, the red curtains, and the green throw pillows. If Kacchan ever came here, he’d immediately say that’s where Izuku’s awful color combination preferences came from — and he’d probably be right.

“How have you been?” Izuku asks as they get settled with tea and biscuits.

“I’m fine, same old, same old. The cucumbers are growing well this season, but my berries died.”

So many memories about helping Toshi with the soil, planting and tending the herbs. Izuku pushes them down to not get overwhelmed with his own feelings.

“And you? I’ve seen the great work you’ve done in that gambling house situation,” there’s obvious pride in Toshinori’s voice and that thugs Izuku’s heart in a painful way, though he doesn’t know why.

“Yeah… It was… It was something. Lots of work and- yeah…” Izuku struggles to get the words out.

“It was scary…?” Toshinori asks softly, urging Izuku too look into his eyes. When the omega does, he can feel the tears threatening to fall again. “It’s alright, my boy. Those situations are frightening. I remember I was completely aghast during my first one.”

“It- It was-!” A hiccup interrupts Izuku and he swallows back the sob. “It was a lot. So many alphas in the same room and-”

A comforting hand touches Izuku’s shoulder and, before he knows it, Izuku is hugging the closest thing he has to a father. Toshinori pulls him in a bony hug and softly pets his hair. 

“I’m sorry, I didn’t-” Izuku sobs.

“It’s alright, there’s no need to apologize,” Toshinori coos him. “You did great, my boy. I’m so proud. You’re working so well, and you’ve become so strong… and big! You used to be this tiny little thing that I could lift with one hand!”

Izuku pulls back with a watery smile, “yeah… I buffed up since I began training…” The omega cleans his tears on his long sleeves. “And we couldn’t hug very often in the Institution.”

That’s when it dawned on Izuku, this is the first time he and Toshinori are alone in a room since he was thirteen years old. The Institution would never allow an omega to be on their own with an alpha, even if it was the omega’s own father. All their meetings had to happen in the common room or with a beta chaperone.

“Izuku… I think this goes without saying, but I should reinforce — I don’t agree with several things they taught you in that place. I’m glad you’re out of there.” Toshinori says with weight on his eyes.

“I- I know… I always knew they were teaching me a twisted version of the truth… But it’s even more twisted than I thought, and sometimes it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s not.” Izuku says looking down at his tea.

“I see…” Toshinori thoughtfully takes a sip of his cup. “And how you’ve been dealing with that?”

Izuku chuckles without humor, “badly?” He shakes his head. “I don’t even know… I’m just taking one day at a time… And focusing on work when all else fails.”

“Tell me about work. How is the team?” Toshinori asks.

“The team is great,” Izuku answers with a smile of his own. “Camie is so funny, and Kiri is great. And Kacchan is- well, he’s Ground Zero. He’s an amazing hero.”

“I was so happy when I heard you’d be joining a team,” The old alpha says smiling. “I always knew you’d not make the same mistakes I made.”

“What mistakes?” He asks confused.

“To be alone,” Toshinori answers with sadness in his eyes. “Never really had long term partners, never worked in an agency… I thought the weight of my responsibilities was too much for me to impose on other people. But I was wrong.” The older man takes a sip of tea before continuing. “You showed me that being alone wasn’t the right thing when you were just nine.”

Toshinori touches Izuku’s shoulder again and continues.

“And now here you are, making right all of my mistakes. Showing that your secondary gender doesn’t define your worth as a hero and that having people by your side makes you stronger than being able to do it on your own.”

“Toshi… I’m-” Izuku struggles to come up with words again. “I have no idea what I’m doing. None of my plans have worked so far, I’m always having to come up with ways to solve the messes I make. I- I’m so far away from being even half the hero you were, and sometimes I think I’ll never truly be the symbol that I should be. I’ m-... I’m sorry...”

“Oh, Izuku…” Toshinori shakes his head. “I’ve told you so many times, but my words never seem to break through to you — you’re doing wonderfully. I couldn’t be happier with who has One for All. You’re the best successor I could ever hope for, and that’d be even if you hadn’t managed to become a hero.”

“I’m a support hero,” Izuku grumbles and Toshinori makes a dismissive motion with his hand.

“For now. You’ll show them, I know you will. You’ll show the world how a team of great heroes with unique specialties can work together in the best of ways.”

After that, the conversation took less emotional paths. They talked a lot about how their team’s quirks could complement each other, Izuku explained more about his training with Miruko and about the heroes he’s met so far.

The more they talked, the more Izuku understood that, for Toshi, there has never been any debt or duty — that has always been Izuku’s perception of his own responsibilities. Toshinori has a faith in Izuku that the omega honestly doesn’t think he deserves.

But, walking home, Izuku also came to the conclusion that Toshinori’s lack of demands doesn’t really make much difference because Izuku still has high demands for himself. 

Izuku is tired of having his secondary gender used as an excuse to hold him back. The whole damn world judges him for being an omega and set rules for him that make absolutely no sense. And, what’s even worse, his date with Katsuki made it blatantly clear something Izuku has been thinking about for some time — he has been putting hurdles in front of himself because he’s an omega.

He’s always self-conscious about his secondary gender; he continuously measures up everything he does by the parameters of ‘is this omega-like’ even when he purposefully doesn’t want to be omega-like. It’s damned if you do and damned if you don’t all the time with his gender. And that’s just stupid; if he wants to do something, then this something is inherently omega-like because Izuku’ll always be an omega!

Trying to be a role model to omegas and trying to not let his gender get in the way at work at the same time has been exhausting! It’s living in a constant paradox that leaves him second-guessing everything he does, wants and feels. It’s making all these damn rules for himself about what he should say and how he should act without knowing if any of this will even make a difference.

And he’s so done with that — with all of that. He’s done trying to measure up to expectations; he’s done second-guessing what he wants; he’s done with holding back. Talking to Toshinori was like peeling off the last layer of misconception that was hindering Izuku and now he sees what really matters.

What matters is him following his dreams, protecting those who can’t defend themselves, and being present for his friends and family. As long as he keeps those things in mind, he’ll be all right.

***

Monday morning had Izuku feeling pretty good about himself and the upcoming week. The second date with Kacchan shouldn’t be on his mind since there are so many days until the weekend and both of them agreed to keep things professional when at work. And after spending his Sunday with All Might, he had decided to just focus on his work and be the best hero he could be.

The plan was simple — work hard in his training, do his best during patrol and maybe sneak in some research time to get a cold case rolling. However, as usual, plans don’t hold up long when faced with reality.

“Honestly, if I could send you in my place, I would. I hate these goddamn meetings, but they didn’t let me run from it this time,” Miruko says, shoving loose papers in a folder. “I’ll be away for two days, so we won’t be training together.”

“All right, I’ll see if anyone in the team-” Izuku says but he’s interrupted.

“I think you should train with the other sidekicks.”

“What?” He asks, shaking his head in disbelief.

“Exactly what you heard. This is long overdue; usually, all the sidekicks train together routinely. During the Golden Bowl operation, you were put in a team that had never worked together before and that’s not how we do things here.” Miruko says to him with eyes of steel.

“You know that they won’t want to train with me,” Izuku retorts.

“If I cared about damn kids whining about not wanting to do things, I’d have killed your dear husband years ago,” she answers deadpanned. “But this is still a suggestion. It’s your training and you can choose what kind of hero you want to be.”

The words ‘I’m a support hero’ echo inside Izuku’s head and that makes him extremely angry with himself. He won’t make up excuses to run away from training, no matter how unbearable the training is. And he won’t be the only one in the agency’s roster who can’t practice with others.

“I’m going,” He answers decisively.

Miruko gives a maniac half-smile, “great.” Izuku turns around to exit her office and, just as he’s passing the door, he hears the woman saying “just don’t bring down the building”.

Izuku had no intention of bringing down the building, though he couldn’t say the same about bringing some young alphas down a few notches.

***

It was easy to find the sidekicks, most of them were more showing off than pumping iron inside the big gym. The whole place smelled awful to Izuku, too many competing alpha’s pheromones that make his instincts scream for him to run away. But he braves through, ignoring the inquisitive looks that are thrown his way by the other heroes training there.

The omega looks around, trying to pick which one he’d challenge — one of the snickers who always seem to have fun watching him struggle? Or one of the sniffers who are always trying to catch an inappropriate whiff of his scent? Then his eyes fall on the one he wants to put in his place the most, Bull.

“Hi, want to spar with me?” He asks straight to the point after approaching the young alpha that looks like is bench pressing three times Izuku’s own weight.

The alpha puts the bar back up and raises his chest to look at Izuku. He has a very wary expression on his face.

“Why the hell would I do that?” He asks, letting his anger pheromones spread over the already over-saturated place.

Izuku feels like puking, but he keeps a straight face. “To train, to become a better hero.”

Bull clicks his tongue dismissively, already going back to his exercises, “as if you can do anything for my training.”

“So, you’re afraid. All right, I’ll find someone else,” Izuku baits, also turning away, secretly hoping the alpha would be enough of a knucklehead to fall for it.

“Who the fuck is afraid, omega?” Bulls barks, getting up from the bench. “Just don’t send your alpha to complain to me after I clean the floor with your face.”

The omega has to hold in any kind of celebratory expression he wants to make. He just follows the alpha to one of the closest training rooms as quietly as he can. 

The training rooms attached to the gym are very small, not really appropriate for quirk-training. They’re there just for light hand-to-hand combat and any other exercises the heroes could need an empty room for (Camie uses for in the weekly yoga lessons the agency offers). But Izuku isn’t very worried about that.

If he was about to fight anyone else, he might have been a little anxious or a little concern. But Bull’s quirk is as straightforward as it could be, he’s as strong and fast as a bull. Sure, that can be concerning for other people — but Izuku has One for All.

There are no pleasantries, they merely enter the room and take positions in the middle of it. Izuku thanks his lucky stars that the windows are open and neither of them closed the door on their way in, because the scent coming from the young alpha would give him the worst headache and nausea if they spend long without ventilation.

Bull doesn’t even take a second to properly greet the opponent, but Izuku has been training with Miruko and learned to always be prepared for that. The alpha’s first attack is easily dodged, the second and third as well, making him very angry. The angrier the young man becomes, the sloppier his kicks and punches get.

After fighting with so many high-level heroes since he began training, the fight against Bull is almost boring. The young man might be stronger than the opponents Izuku has faced so far, but he’s much slower and less strategic about his blows, and brute force can only do damage if the hit lands.

Izuku dodges every move without a problem and, as soon as he sees an opening, he charges his leg with power and knees the alpha on the stomach, making Bull bend over wheezing. The omega takes a step back to let his opponent recover his breath, but that only makes Bull angrier.

“Argh!” The alpha howls, attacking Izuku blindly.

This time all it takes is one dodge and one straight punch to get the opponent back on the floor. 

Feeling confident, and a little bit cocky, Izuku teases “can’t you fight without stinking up the place? I could recommend some blockers.”

“You damn bitch!” Bull yells, his face red and furious. 

This time he decides to use his quirk in the attack, lowering his head and charging against the omega with his big pointy horn ready to stab Izuku in the stomach. The alpha’s attack doesn’t go as planned, however, because Izuku uses the horns as support to his feet, jumping over his opponent and kicking Bull on the back with the strength of One for All. 

As he hears the cracking of the wood, Izuku looks back to see that his kick made Bull bury his horns on the floor of the room. He’d have winced thinking about Miruko’s future yells about destroying the agency’s property but the image of the proud alpha with his head stuck in the ground was too funny to not laugh.

“AHHH!” The alpha yells completely enraged as he pulls his horns from the floor, making wood chips fly. 

Izuku is still laughing when the opponent attacks him again with his head down, so he doesn’t have time to dodge. In the split-second before Bulls hits him with enough strength to pierce his organs, the omega grabs him by the horns and throws the man over his own head.

The throw ends up being much stronger than Izuku would have liked and Bull flies through the open straight into the main gym room, crashing messily against one of the weight equipment. The sound of the solid body hitting the metal and making the weights fall on the floor echoes through the whole agency. This time Izuku winces.

‘Shit .’

Izuku comes out of the room with his shoulder up to his ears, expecting an onslaught of reprimands. However, the heroes in the gym just look between him and the knocked sidekick with astonished looks on their faces. 

The whole room is deadly silent except for the sound of metal parts rolling on the floor from the smashed equipment. Izuku swallows his anxiety and marches on to the fallen alpha. Bull is laying stunned, tangled on the metal bars from the weight pulling machine.

“Ahn... Nice spar?” Izuku offers awkwardly and extends his hand to help the young man up.

The sidekick looks at him for what feels like an eternity. The omega inside Izuku feels like squirming and crying for being under the scrutiny of such an aggressive and non-friendly alpha, but he doesn’t let any of that come through his face. Izuku remains impassive and determined, his hand not wavering from the silent offer of peace.

As everyone in the room watches the scene with bated breath, Bull raises his hand up and reaches out for Izuku’s. The omega smiles widely and pulls the young alpha up.

“Nice spar,” Bull grunts before walking away to the locker room and leaving Izuku as the stunned one behind.

“Someone add ten points to Deku because that was a strike!” Camie’s voice blares in the silent room and, when Izuku turns towards her, he sees that she’s standing with Kirishima and Kacchan near the entrance.

The whole room explodes in laughter and chatter. Before he knows it, Izuku is surrounded by people congratulating him and saying what a great throw it was. Kiri and Camie are the first ones to pat his shoulder in celebration, but he receives nice words from Gale Force, Target and others.

After talking with the other heroes for a minute, Izuku leaves the gym to go to his locker room. However, as soon as he turns left in the hallway, he sees Kacchan leaning against a wall with his arms crossed on his chest. 

Izuku’s breath hitches under the heated gaze of the alpha. Kacchan is already usually unfairly handsome but, right now, he looks hypnotizing. The alpha’s whole posture is haughty, he has a wicked little smirk on his lips and his eyes pierce through Izuku’s every defense.

Feeling the high of the victory and drunk on the clear approval coming from the alpha, Izuku looks deep into the fiery red eyes and says without any space for debate.

“We’re going on our second date tonight after work. Be ready.”

Katsuki tilts his head a tiny bit in a movement that could be either a sign of interest or of light submission, and answers with humor on his voice “if you say so”.

The omega keeps walking with a spring in his step and feeling the alpha’s warm gaze on him until he is out of sight.

***

During the rest of the workday, however, Izuku has plenty of time to get anxious about his second date with Kacchan. He doesn’t have any proper date clothes in his locker, all he has is his usual shorts and long-sleeved t-shirts; he also won’t have a way to fix his hair, nor access to his perfume and makeup.

Well, at least Kacchan said he prefers Izuku without makeup. The omega blushes thinking about the two of them in the kitchen counter having instant ramen and the alpha touching his cheek. Izuku’s heart threatens to come out through his throat every time he remembers the feeling of Kacchan’s hand on his face.

Izuku has worked up a good deal of anxiety by the time they clock out for the day, so he rushes to his locker room to take off his hero uniform and put on civilian clothes. There he faces his options with dread; there’s nothing even remotely date-like in his locker. Not that there are a lot of date night clothes in his wardrobe either, he had to buy the get-up for last time.

The omegan cute clothes really aren’t what he feels most comfortable in, but he also wouldn’t feel comfortable just in his usual options for the date. If he showed up in jeans and a Miruko t-shirt, he’d have felt even more self-conscious during dinner. Being adequately dressed as an omega gave Izuku at least some kind of security that he’d not screw up so badly in his night out with Kacchan.

After Izuku accepted the fact he’d like the idea of being really mated with Kacchan, he also had to accept the realization that he wants the alpha to see him as a good omega for him. It’s weird and confusing because Izuku has never wanted anyone to see him as a good omega, so he always kind of liked the fact that he isn’t an attractive omega.

The fact that his scent is too strong and sour for an omega (thanks to One for All coming from a line of alphas) has always been a good thing in Izuku’s book; it meant most alphas didn’t even look twice at him among the delectable smelling other residents of the Institution. In a similar fashion, Izuku has never been bothered by his prominent musculature being very un-omega-like, his lack of curves only meant he was on track with his training regime. 

However, now that he has an alpha he’d like to want him; every little flaw on his body became a huge deal for Izuku. His freckles, his messy hair, his scent, his lack of clothes — everything just made him feel self-conscious and ugly.

Izuku sighs deeply as he confirms the fact he only has some dark grey cargo shorts and his red long-sleeve shirt to put on. Well, they certainly won’t be able to go eat in a nice place this time. Not that being at a fancy restaurant has helped them at all.

The omega chuckles remembering how his alpha was looking entirely out of place. Kacchan looked like a bull in a china shop. For a second, Izuku was afraid he’d throw the bowl of escargots on the head of the server.

Putting on his t-shirt, Izuku can’t help but think that maybe the fact they didn’t have time to prepare for the date is a good thing. He has done his research and every dating website says that having fun and talking are the most important things on a date, and he and Kacchan always do that when they just leave work to grab a bite to eat.

After getting dressed, Izuku wonders if he should add more blockers or let his natural scent peek through a little. He knows scent is vital in courting (even if Kacchan doesn’t want to call this courting); if he goes all blocked out, this will just be another usual dinner between friends/roommates. 

However, the idea of letting his own scent free on purpose around Kacchan is honestly terrifying. He can’t even unpack all the reasons this idea makes him feel anxious; the fear that Kacchan won’t like his scent, the fear that Kacchan will like it too much, the fear of appearing too easy or too eager, the fear what could happen if the dating thing doesn’t work out.

“Hey, Deku! Everything all right?” Hikari, a sweet beta young woman who works in the marketing department, enters the locker room. “You don’t look too good. Are the sidekicks giving you trouble again?”

“Hi, Hikari-san!” Izuku answers startled. “No, no… Just- trying to make my mind on something.” He scratches the back of his head awkwardly.

“Can I help you?” She asks with a sweet smile.

Hikari is very sweet and welcoming with Izuku, she was one of the first ones to warm up to him in the agency.

“It’s just that- ahn… Kacchan and I are going out to eat tonight, and I don’t have my clothes and other things… But it’s nothing important! I’m just overreacting!” 

“Uh! Going out on a date, hm?” She says playfully. “That’s nice! And it’s good to dress up a little for nights like these, that’s nothing to be ashamed of!”

“Th-thanks… But I guess Kacchan will just have to deal with me in my usual clothes tonight. I don’t have anything here to get ready for the date…” The omega says dejected.

“Hold on a second! I don’t think my clothes will be of any use for you since you’re so strong,” Izuku tries to not let this compliment hit him as the criticism his brain is trying to convert it into, while Hikari opens up her own locker. “But I have a couple of things here that can help… I have gloss, mascara and some perfume.”

Izuku can’t help the wave of relief that comes through him, “Yes! That’d be great! Thank you so much!”

“Don’t worry, that’s what friends are for!” She answers, smiling at him.

The omega puts on the glittery gloss and the mascara hoping Kacchan won’t mind them since it doesn’t cover his face. Hikari almost puts the perfume away, assuming an omega wouldn’t need it, but she politely doesn’t say anything when Izuku says he’d prefer using it. The woman also helps ups fluffing up Izuku’s curls in a way he wouldn’t usually style his hair but she says it looks very cute on him.

As he walks out of the room to meet Kacchan by the entrance, Izuku is feeling much more confident. Hikari said he looked cute several times and Izuku hopes Kacchan agrees with that assessment. And when he sees the alpha looking handsome and powerful as usual in his black jeans and black t-shirt, the omega starts feeling a little excited about the date.

“Hey, Kacchan,” Izuku greets him with a small, but cheerful, voice.

“Hey, nerd,” the alpha answers in his usual gruff way but he has a tiny smirk playing on his lips. “Where are we going?”

The question takes Izuku unaware. Alphas are the ones who decide where to go for dates or things like that. But Izuku was the one who asked Kacchan out on this specific date, so it makes sense he’d be the one choosing where they should go — the omega just never expected Kacchan to just leave the reigns to Izuku without putting not even an inch of a fight.

Kacchan is really amazing.

Izuku’s heart warms up and he smiles brightly, “barbecue! I want to go eat barbecue!”

Katsuki doesn’t even complain that so much meat would mess up their nutritional plan for the week. They walk side by side to the barbecue place that’s on the way between the agency and their home, talking easily about the last developments in their favorite anime.

At the restaurant, they argue about what to order because Kacchan insists on eating at least some vegetables and Izuku complains that this will only take the stomach-space that should be filled with meat. It takes some back and forth banter, but they end up just ordering everything they both want — way too much food for only two people, but they have big appetites.

“If you don’t eat this goddamn pork, I’m just gonna shove it down your throat,” Katsuki grunts after he tells their order to the waitress.

“I’m gonna eat it! Pork is my favorite!” Izuku argues back.

“Do you guys want to order drinks?” The waitress asks cheerfully.

“Yes! I want a Cola!” The omega says eagerly.

“What? That shit is pure sugar!” Bakugou barks to him.

“It’s date night, Kacchan,” Izuku says to him pouting. 

The alpha rolls his eyes, “whatever, just get me a beer.”

When the waiter leaves, for a second Izuku gets a little bit nervous that they’ll fall in the same awkward silence that accompanied them on their first date. However, Katsuki looks at him with warm eyes and asks earnestly.

“Don’t you drink alcohol? You didn’t touch the damn wine last time either.” 

“Not usually,” Izuku says shrugging. “I don’t like the taste of most drinks. The only ones I can drink are champagne and sake because they taste better. That Cabernet was too bitter and strong for me.”

“Then why the fuck didn’t you say that when I ordered it?” Kacchan asks annoyed.

“Why did you order if you didn’t know what wine it was either?” Izuku retorts, glaring back and making the alpha chuckle.

“All right, I hear you, shortstack,” Katsuki says in a softer tone. “You can have your damn sugar water.”

“And you can have your stinky beer,” he answers cockily and Katsuki laughs.

It doesn’t take long for their food to arrive. They entertain themselves by playing with the grill, getting the temperature of the meat right and eating the delicious meal. It’s fun and they’re comfortable around each other for most of the time — but some moments Izuku feels the alpha’s eyes staring at his face or their hands bump softly while putting meat on the grill and the omega remembers that this is a date.

Izuku feels thrilled about that knowledge, butterflies in the stomach and all. He hopes Kacchan feels excited about it too and, if the way the alpha has a slight flush on his cheeks and the smirk never leaves his lips is anything to go by, he does.

On their way home, they walk side by side again and their hands brush gingerly against one another several times but neither of them takes a step away to get more space in between their arms. Like on the first date, Katsuki walks Izuku until the front of his room to say goodnight, but this time it’s the omega who talks first.

“I’ve had a good time, Kacchan,” he says quietly, blushing up to his ears.

Katsuki reaches for his hand and Izuku’s heart does a somersault. He can barely hear what the alpha says since his mind is hyper-focused on the feeling of Kacchan’s thumb rubbing circles on the back of his hand.a

“I had a great time too,” Katsuki says quietly as well. “Do you think this made up for the first time?”

“Y-yeah. I-it t-totally did,” Izuku stutters.

He can feel his heart slamming on his chest but it doesn’t feel scary, it feels good and exciting.

“Do you think it was good enough to earn a third date?” Katsuki’s voice is barely a whisper in the dark corridor.

“I-it was,” Izuku hiccups.

“Great,” Katsuki says sounding relieved. “Goodnight, Deku.”

“Goodnight, Kacchan.”

The alpha squeezes his hand a little before letting go. Izuku enters his room and jumps on his bed, smothering his face on the pillow to not let his giggling echo through the silent apartment.



Chapter Text

Approaching

Kacchan is amazing. Really, he’s the best and Izuku wants to kick himself for ever doubting that he’d enjoy dating the man.

The next morning after the very successful second date, Katsuki asked Izuku to keep his whole Saturday free for a third date. The omega was a little skeptical at first, he didn’t know if spending an entire day together could be considered a date. He thought maybe Kacchan was bending the date-rules, but a quick Google search confirmed that whole-day dates are a possibility after you’ve been dating for some time. Google even told stories about whole weekend dates, but Izuku quickly closed the tab on those ones (that was too much for now).

However, his doubts about it returned when Kacchan banged on his door at five o’clock in the morning of the damn Saturday! Who wakes up before the sun is out on a Saturday?! Izuku stumbled off bed grumpy and annoyed.

“We’re late! We need to go!” Katsuki barked through the door. 

“We can’t be late if the sun hasn’t come out, Kacchan,” Izuku grumbled back, trying to pick clothes. His brain was so foggy and slow that he picked up some running shorts and the blouse he wore to the hero gala and just looked at it as if trying to find out why that didn’t seem right.

“Put some warm and comfortable clothes! It’ll be cold and we’ll walk around the whole day!” The alpha yelled again, making Izuku grunt and put down his options.

He didn’t even bother trying to come up with a cute outfit that was also warm and comfortable when he was running on four hours of sleep. Izuku didn’t know he’d need to wake up at such an ungodly time, so he stayed up late texting his friends and reading things on his phone. He barely had his eyes open as he dressed in some blue jeans, a long-sleeve Hawks t-shirt and pulled an All Might hoodie on top of it.

When he arrived in the kitchen expecting to find some delicious Kacchan cooking waiting for him, all he got is the alpha rushing him out the door.

“But food-!” He whined way more pitifully than he’d like.

“No time! You took too long to get dressed!” Katsuki yelled at him, maneuvering the omega out of the flat.

The alpha made them walk briskly towards the train station and any attempt Izuku made of stopping at a Starbucks was quickly shut down. The omega didn’t even get the chance of looking at which train they were taking before he was shoved inside. The doors closed just a couple of seconds after they sat down.

“See? We almost missed it!” Katsuki complained at him.

“It’s too early for that, Kacchan,” Izuku said, leaning his head back on his seat. Maybe he could sleep for a while before they arrived wherever they were going. 

The omega had to hold back a huff. Maybe the key to making these dates work was that Izuku had to be the one planning them. Kacchan clearly had no idea what he was doing if he thought this was a good way of wooing Izuku — just dragging him half-awake out of bed at ass o’clock in the morning with no coffee.

Katsuki shuffled on his seat and let go of Izuku’s hand. And, at that precise moment, Izuku realized he and the alpha were holding hands all the way to the train station. Sure, it was because Kacchan was dragging him and not letting him get sidetracked by the coffeeshops on the street; but they were holding hands nonetheless. 

Blood rushed to the omega’s face and he kept his eyes closed to not give away his embarrassment. How could he have held hands with Kacchan for several blocks and didn’t even notice it? He must be really sleepy.

Something is dropped on Izuku’s lap, taking him out of his musings and forcing him to open his eyes and look down. There was a small bento box sitting on his thighs and the omega found a full breakfast waiting for him inside. There were omelets, onigiris, little tomatoes, and strawberries — all properly packed in a beautiful display.

Izuku smiled brightly and turned to look at Katsuki, but the alpha was looking out of the window to ignore him. He could see that Kacchan’s ears were red in embarrassment too, it was very cute.

“Thanks, Kacchan! It looks great!”

After eating, Izuku took a little nap and when he woke up, they were already reaching their destination — Nasu Rindoko Lake View Park. 

It’s a beautiful park with a huge lake in the middle and all kinds of farm animals that the visitors can play with. Everything looks so fun that Izuku can barely pick where to start. 

“Kacchan! Look! There’s a boat tour, and zip-line, and the animal run! We can even feed the baby alpacas! And the sheep! We need to see the sheep!”

The alpha clicks his tongue and teases, “knew you’d like this kids’ shit”. The smug tone in his voice is impossible to miss.

Izuku’s heart swells in his chest and he can’t help the large grin that’s making his face hurt. Kacchan picked this place because he knew that it’s somewhere Izuku would have fun. It’s a park aimed at children that doesn’t match the Alpha Pro Hero’s style at all, but Kacchan organized everything so they could spend the whole day there doing things Izuku would like.

Kacchan is really amazing.

And the alpha wasn’t lying when he said they’d walk around the whole day. The first thing they did is explore the place, making a list of everything they want to check out — which, for Izuku, is everything he sees and for Katsuki is ‘whatever the hell the stupid omega wants’. The park is enormous, and they take the whole morning just looking at things and seeing the animals in their enclosures. Izuku spends around twenty minutes cooing at the red pandas and Katsuki only makes fun of him twice; actually, that’s an interesting thing, Kacchan is very relaxed and isn’t really complaining about anything.

Kacchan may look mean and yell a lot, but Izuku supposes even he can’t resist the charm of cute animals. The alpha also has been very attentive to Izuku and has stayed very close so, even though the omega didn’t have the chance to dress prettily, it still feels like a date. During lunch, Izuku is even allowed to pick the less-than-healthy options at the park and makes Kacchan say an annoyed “we will see” about buying ice cream in the afternoon.

“You give Eri ice cream every time we go out with her!” The omega pouts.

“We almost never go out with her, and she’s a pup and she behaves better than you.” Katsuki answers raising an eyebrow.

“I behave well enough,” Izuku argues, Katsuki keeps staring at him with a pointed expression. “I do!”

“Don’t you want to feed the lambs? We gotta go or else we’ll miss the time slot,” Bakugou says changing the subject.

The sheep enclosure is a small grass field with properly designed hay cubes for the visitors to sit. Each of them is given a milk bottle and they’re told to spread around so that the hungry little lambs will go to them. Izuku picks a spot on the far end of the field and sits down on the grass, eagerly waiting to be chosen by a baby sheep. Katsuki sits by his side, trying to look cool even though he’s holding a milk bottle in the middle of a field of sheep.

“Don’t squirm so much, you’re gonna scare the shitty woolies away.”

“I’m not squirming!” He protests and Katsuki nudges him with his shoulder.

“One of them is coming, don’t look so much like a loser or else it’ll go away.”

“They’re not it, Kacchan, and they’re not shitty,” Izuku berates him but doesn’t move away even though their shoulders are still touching.

The omega doesn’t have a lot of time to think about it either, since a cute little lamb with wobbly legs comes to him really interested in the milk bottle. The baby is all white and fluffy, and it looks like a cotton ball. Izuku awkwardly offers the bottle, not wanting to scare the small sheep away.

“You gotta give him more support,” Katsuki whisper near his ear and puts his big hand over Izuku’s to show how to put the bottle in the right position for the baby to drink.

Izuku’s lungs fill with the alpha’s warm and spicy scent, and he can feel Katsuki’s chest pressed on his back. For normal people, maybe this position isn’t really anything racy; but Izuku’s heart rate sky-rockets. He starts sweating even more than he was before, which was a lot considering they’ve been walking around in the sun for over half a day.

He has never really been so close to Katsuki before. Actually, he hasn’t been this close to any alpha besides Toshi before. Their previous hugs were quick and were over before Izuku could get self-conscious about them; and, on their last date, their arms and hands brushed but that was it. The omega knows Katsuki is strong, but to feel his solid chest pressing on him is bringing forth feelings Izuku has never felt before.

The movement of the bottle on his hand brings Izuku’s attention back to the present. The little lamb has already almost finished the milk and Izuku realizes he must have spaced out for a good while.

“He was really hungry,” Izuku says chuckling awkwardly.

“Yeah…” Katsuki’s voice comes extremely strained.

The omega turns to look at Katsuki worried and his eyes meet hooded rubies. Kacchan’s face is less than an inch away from Izuku’s, the alpha is flushed and heavily breathing the omega’s scent. Izuku’s eyes go huge at the realization — he was so sleepy this morning that he completely forgot to put on his blockers or his perfume.

“I’m glad you didn’t,” Bakugou whispers, making Izuko notice he was mumbling. “I hate that shit.”

Izuku looks away quickly, turning his attention back to the little lamb.

“Alphas are supposed to like that smell,” he grumbles pouting. 

He worked so hard to look and smell good for Kacchan, and here is the alpha saying he hates it. Katsuki can be so annoying sometimes.

“I like the way you smell,” the alpha says, running the tip of his nose on Izuku’s jaw. 

The omega shivers at the feeling.

“Be-better than th-the pe-per-perfumes?” He stutters.

“Fuck yeah,” Bakugou whispers. “You have the best scent I have ever smelled.”

Every instinct in Izuku’s body tells him to submit, to completely give himself away to this handsome, strong and caring alpha. But his brain yells at him to run away, it tells him to get as far away possible from the alpha and block his scent forever.

He ends up going with something more subdued. He tilts his head slightly giving more space for the alpha and Kacchan perfectly interprets his invitation — the blond alpha tilts his head as well until their necks are touching. Izuku’s breath hitches and he shivers all over at the feeling; he knew scenting could be a sexual thing, but he didn’t expect it to feel this good. Scenting his friends and family never made his skin tingle and his heart palpitate like this.

An annoyed “Bah!” makes them jump away from each other. The lamb decided that now he wants Kacchan’s bottle and their scenting was getting in the way of his lunch. Izuku’s face is bright red, and Katsuki’s isn’t much better for the rest of the feeding time.

The alpha can sense Katsuki’s scent clinging to him, more close and intimate than ever before. At this point in his life, Izuku’s pretty used to Kacchan’s scent. Their whole home smells like it and the alpha never wears blockers, so Izuku smells it more often than not. But it’s an entirely different experience to feel it mixed with his own scent.

The end result is woody, smoky, but also fresh and citrusy with a hint of sweetness. It’s unlike anything Izuku has ever smelled and he feels instantly addicted to it. A part of him wishes to never wash his neck to not lose their scents (and another small part reminds him they can scent some other time again).

After playing some more with the lambs, they go watch the alpacas run around the river.

“It’s better this way, dweeb,” Katsuki says grabbing Izuku’s hand with ease and pulling him towards a spot they could watch the race under some trees.

The alpha doesn’t let go of his hand even after they settled at the right spot. Izuku feels embarrassed and self-conscious, but he doesn’t want to let go either.

“Which one do you think is gonna win?” Bakugou asks mischievously.

“It’s not a competition, Kacchan. They’re just exercising!” Izuku nags him.

“The losers are, but that brown one is going for the kill,” the alpha says indicating a rowdy brown alpaca and the omega giggles.

“I’m sure they’re just excited to play with their friends.”

“Wanna make a bet?” Katsuki says, turning to him with a raised eyebrow. “I bet the brown one is gonna win.”

“What are we betting for?”

“Winner can pick where we go for dinner,” the alpha says with a smirk.

“Alright,” Izuku turns to the alpacas to pick his champion. He doesn’t want to put up with Kacchan’s idea of a dinner date again. “The white one with a black spot on their face.”

“As if! That’s a fat alpaca, that one isn’t gonna run for shit.”

“It’s not fat, it’s muscle!”

Neither of their alpacas won in the end. Izuku’s white with a black spot decided to stop along the way to eat a patch of grass that looked particularly delicious; and Katsuki’s brown one thought it was more fun to jump around and bug the other alpacas than to run towards the finish line. But it was fun, incredibly fun. 

Izuku got ice cream without having to ask for it again and they went on the boat tour around the river to look at the ducks, swans and fish. They had dinner on their way home in a ramen place a few blocks from their building and talked freely about the park, what they liked the most about it, and the funny things they saw.

Kacchan held his hand again as they walked home and didn’t let go, not even when they stopped in front of Izuku’s room. As they stood there, the omega couldn’t raise his head to meet Katsuki’s eyes because he got very aware of the fact they still smelled like each other after scenting that afternoon. The small hallway made their scents seem intensified. Izuku’s nest was just a few feet away, there was only one door separating them from his most personal space, and Kacchan was there smelling like him!

Izuku’s heart was banging so fast he thought it would come up his throat. He didn’t trust himself to utter even a single word. Kacchan must have been feeling the weight of the situation too, because he didn’t make any snarky remarks about Izuku scaring away the ducks or about the alpaca that looked like Camie.

It’s like neither of them knows how to end this day — or want it to end. It was fun and thrilling but stressful and nerve-wracking. Izuku was the whole day in at least some level of terrified, and he wanted it to last forever.

The sound of air escaping the alpha’s mouth makes Izuku raise his head expecting Kacchan to say something. However, the moment they faced each other, Katsuki began closing his eyes and leaned in. Izuku’s heart stopped completely; he was sure the alpha was going to kiss him and in that split second all he could think about was running away. That moment, the fear won over the excitement and Izuku got terrified about having an alpha smelling like him just a couple of feet from his nest — and he turned his head slightly.

Katsuki was moving very slowly and didn’t seem bothered by Izuku’s last-second retreat. The alpha kissed him on the cheek softly and whispered “goodnight, Deku” with a gentle voice.

Izuku spent almost the whole night awake, too wired up to sleep.

***

The next morning, Izuku is so embarrassed about the almost-kiss that he didn’t find the courage to face Katsuki the whole day. He jumped off his window after waking up and spent the day helping Granny Ito and looking after Kouta. Even checking his phone proved to be too nerve-racking for the omega and he didn’t answer any texts he received.

He wants to talk to Kacchan, but he’s too afraid of doing so. Even with their agreement of not acting like they’re on a date during their daily lives, there’s no way Izuku will be able to look into the alpha’s eyes and not remember the soft lips touching his cheek.

There’s a war going on inside Izuku — half of him wants to rub his cheek raw until he can’t feel the ghost of the kiss anymore; and the other half is fighting with him for having turned his face. How can he, at the same time, want something to never happen again and want this same something to happen again right now?

“Stop it! You’re making a mess!” Kouta yells at him when Izuku spaces out while holding a bag of dirt. Soil is falling on the grass of the small garden on the back of the flower shop.

“Sorry!” Izuku fixes his hold on the bag from where Kouta is taking soil to fill small pots.

“You’re being even more useless than usual today. Just go home and sleep if you’re so tired!”

The little boy reminds Izuku of Kacchan. He’s yelling and complaining but, deep down, he’s just worried Izuku is pushing himself too much. Both of them have a hard time showing they care, but they do their best nonetheless. This thought warms up Izuku’s heart and he smiles brightly to Kouta.

“Are you sure you can finish this on your own?”

“Of course I can! I don’t need a useless hero like you to fill up pots!” Kouta yells indignant.

“Alright, Kouta-kun. Don’t overwork yourself too, ok? And behave in school!” Izuku says, patting the boy’s head on his way out.

“Don’t tell me what to do!”

When he returns home, Izuku still half expects Kacchan to yell at him for being away the whole day without sending any messages. However, he finds the alpha in the living room laying on the couch and watching tv as if there was nothing wrong in the world.

“I’m home,” the omega calls as he enters.

“Welcome home,” Katsuki says without taking his eyes off the tv.

“What are you watching?” Izuku asks curious as he gets closer to the couch.

“A cooking show,” the blond answers nonchalantly and Izuku turns his attention to the tv.

“You’re watching the Great British Bake-Off?” He asks in disbelief. “I said we should watch it and you said it’d make me want to eat too many carbs!”

“Yeah, and it would. I, however, have better self-control over these impulses and can watch any amount of baking shows that I want,” Katsuki says seriously, but there’s a teasing smile on the corner of his mouth.

“You’re an ass,” Izuku huffs.

“And you’re making a fucking mess. Go change! There’s dirt all over the floor now!” 

Izuku rolls his eyes, there’s barely two specks of soil on the floor, but he goes change into clean clothes anyway. After pulling on some sweatpants and a fresh t-shirt, Izuku goes back to the living room and sits down on one of the armchairs to watch the rest of the show with Kacchan.

It doesn’t take long for the good looking buns on the screen to entice him.

“It does look good,” he comments after a contestant praises the other contestant’s Showstopper.

“I’m not baking for you,” the alpha grumbles without taking his eyes off the screen.

“I didn’t say anything! I’m just saying it looks good!”

“I know you, shortstack. It takes nothing for you to break your nutrition plan.”

“I have carbs in my diet, Kacchan. I can change the rice for bread!”

“Not these you can’t. They have too much sugar.”

“Then you could make them without sugar.”

“Then they wouldn’t be sweet buns.”

“You could make savory ones. Uh! I know! You could make nikuman! Filled with meat!” Izuku says getting excited with the idea. 

The alpha just side-eyes him and doesn’t say anything. Izuku gets quiet too because it’s time to hear the judges analyze the buns on the show.

“Rosewater doesn’t sound tasty,” Izuku comments after one contestant describes the flavors of his buns.

“Never had it,” Katsuki says shrugging. “But the passion fruit ones look good.”

“I hate passion fruit, it stinks.”

“If I’d let you, all you’d eat is chocolate.”

“I’d eat the strawberry ones too!”

The show ends shortly after that with a tearful goodbye of a struggling participant. As soon as the credits start rolling, Katsuki gets up and goes to the kitchen without saying a word. Izuku sits by the counter on the side facing the kitchen and watches in silence as the alpha begins cooking their dinner.

For a while, Izuku just enjoys watching the precise and meticulous movements of the alpha in the kitchen. Kacchan always looks relaxed while he’s cooking, he has everything under control and is very precise with the ingredients. He minces meat, adds spices, cuts an onion; only when the alpha picks the jar of flour is that Izuku perks up in his stool.

The omega watches transfixed as the alpha prepares the dough, kneads it, fills and shapes the small little buns. As if by magic, several nikuman show up on the counter, just waiting to be steamed.

Izuku’s heart feels too full and too light; it’s like a balloon on his chest. He knows he has a stupidly huge grin on his face. The omega feels like giggling, but he bites back, afraid that the alpha will yell at him for being conceited (it’s such a Kacchan thing to get embarrassed for doing something nice for someone).

At that moment, Izuku finds the courage that he missed last night and takes another small leap.

“Hey, Kacchan.”

“What?” comes the grunt.

“Do you want to go on another date this week?”

The alpha looks up to him with a tiny smile pulling on his lips.

“Sure.”

***

Pictures of the two of them popped up on Instagram. Blurry photos taken by regular people who were enjoying a day at the park as well. Most of them showed the two heroes holding hands and walking around the park, all of them were so normal that they ended up being boring. It was hard to spin a good scandalous headline over a married couple having a nice day playing with farm animals.

Still, Izuku felt something stir in his stomach seeing the pictures online. He didn’t like that people were invasive over something that was only his and Kacchan’s. The two men already gave a lot of themselves to the public given the nature of their jobs, this was something that pertained to just the two of them.

Even though the omega knew people meant well, it still felt a little invasive for his beta friends over the administrative department to make remarks about him having a nice date with his husband. Luckily Izuku managed to steer the conversation to the park itself and, in seconds, the women were cooing about the idea of baby alpacas.

For the fourth date, they decided to go to the movies. There was a new documentary about an African hero, Storm, that tells about her work in regions affected by drought and her fight about climate change. It’d be a mid-week date again, but this time Izuku was ready for it.

He brought nicer clothes to put on after work — dark blue jeans and a leaf-green dress shirt. It wasn’t very omega-like, but he’d feel too freaked out to go out of the agency dressed in the flowy and delicate omega garments. He decided the shirt was enough for a casual movie date, and he also brought mascara and a hair clip to look a little bit better.

The omega did leave his perfume behind, though. Kacchan said he likes Izuku’s scent (and Izuku still blushes just thinking about it). And, as he’s getting ready for their date, he forgoes the blockers on purpose this time. It’s still nerve-wracking and his hand itches to go for the metal spray can, but he controls himself. 

He’s been wanting to feel Kacchan’s smell on his skin again, but they won’t be able to scent if Izuku is wearing blockers. It’s terrifying to even admit that to himself, so the omega decides to focus on fixing his hair clip to not start freaking out. It takes him a few tries until he likes how the silver clip looks near his temple.

In the lobby, Kacchan is looking as handsome as ever. The alpha is wearing black jeans and a midnight-blue shirt. Izuku’s heart flutters seeing the man waiting for him and he can’t help but wonder if these feelings will ever stop. Will he ever not become terrified and excited at the sight of Katsuki waiting for him?

“Ready, nerd?” The alpha asks him and Izuku just nods, not trusting his voice at the moment.

Katsuki grabs Izuku’s hand as if it was as natural as breathing and leads them out of the agency under the curious gazes of the few people around. The alpha doesn’t unlock their hands during the whole way to the movie theater. Only when he has to pay for their tickets, he releases Izuku’s hand — and the omega misses its warmth immediately.

“Want popcorn?” Katsuki inquires the moment he has their tickets.

“Yes! And chocolate! And a soda!” Izuku answers excitedly. That’s the first time Kacchan has offered him treats without being coerced into doing it.

“I offered popcorn, don’t push your luck,” the alpha grumbles but ends up buying the chocolate as well (no soda though, Izuku is given a lemonade).

The movie is very emotional. It shows several interviews of people affected by drought and the climate change issues, and how Storm saved their crops and livestock from dying without water. It’s incredible to see heroes saving people from things other than human villains, and Izuku is completely hooked on the screen the whole time.

Well, almost the whole time. At the beginning of the movie, it was hard for Izuku to ignore the fact he could sense and smell Kacchan sitting so close to him. And, after he finished his popcorn, Izuku went to put his arm on the armrest just to feel Katsuki’s own arm already there. The omega froze in place without knowing what to do, but before he could decide to just pull his arm back, Kacchan grabbed his hand and made him settle there.

They saw the rest of the movie like that, it took Izuku a good ten minutes to relax on his seat again. And, after he finally did, the movie shows one of Storm’s fights against wildfire, and the woman makes a very cool move that puts out the flames in hectares of land at once. The omega gets very excited about it and turns to Katsuki to see if he was amazed too — just to find the alpha’s face turned entirely to him.

Kacchan has an unreadable expression on his face and is standing still just looking at Izuku. The omega’s heart skips a few beats as their eyes meet and hold together. He gets lost on those piercing red eyes that sparkle with the blinking lights of the movie screen. Dropping his gaze a little lower, Izuku sees the alpha’s thin lips shining with his own cold matcha tea and can’t help but wonder if they taste bitter as his drink or salty from the popcorn.

‘I really want to kiss Kacchan.’

This thought makes Izuku turn his face back to the screen quickly. His heart is beating wildly in his chest, the omega feels like he just ran a marathon. He’s pretty sure he’s shaking for the rest of the movie, but he does his best to keep his focus on Storm’s adventures and not on the fiery alpha by his side.

After the movies, Izuku is still feeling so frazzled that he doesn’t argue with Katsuki’s suggestion for dinner. Actually, he can barely speak yet so he just nods after anything the alpha says. They end up eating in a casual and small family-owned restaurant that serves a good array of Ground Zero Approved meals with lots of meat and vegetables. 

The food is delicious, but Izuku barely tastes it. He feels like Denki is playing a prank on him and making electricity run through the omega’s body. Izuku’s overly conscious about every single move Katsuki makes and he feels the opposite desires of getting closer and running away during the whole dinner.

If the alpha notices something is wrong with Izuku, he doesn’t say. Katsuki just eats as usual and tries to keep a casual conversation about the effects on fauna and flora that quirks can have. Usually, Izuku would be all over this conversation, but tonight his remarks are short and strangled.

On their way home, Kacchan grabs his hand again and Izuku holds on to it like it’s a lifeline. His heart is still pounding, his breath is threatening to become ragged; Izuku feels like he’s getting ready to get into a battle, or like he just got out of one. And Katsuki just leads them home as if there’s nothing wrong.

Inside his head, conflicting thoughts run around making a mess of every single of Izuku’s resolutions and emotions. He wants to kiss Kacchan, but he’s afraid, but he doesn’t know what he’s afraid of since it’s just a kiss, he knows Kacchan won’t take advantage of him, but isn’t the kiss an advantage in itself? But at the same time, is just a kiss, people kiss all the time, Izuku has seen on the tv and no one ever makes a big deal out of it, but how wouldn’t it be a big deal, it’s a huge deal, it’s the final step of accepting Kacchan as his alpha. But hasn’t he already accepted Katsuki as his alpha? It’s not like there’s anyone else, but what would that even entail? Honestly, thinking about that opens up a whole new can of-

“You alright, shortstack?” Katsuki asks softly and Izuku realizes they’re already standing in front of his room.

This is where their night ends. And they didn’t even scent this time. Izuku wasted so much time freaking out that he lost over half their date, and he was so excited about it. Now, he’ll have to wait until the weekend to maybe go on a date again, so at least three more days before he can have Kacchan’s scent on him or feel his skin tingling from touching the alpha. Izuku likes the tingles, he really wanted to have it again today.

Maybe they could scent now? Even if it’s so close to his nest, Izuku would like that. Or maybe, they could kiss. Kacchan tried to kiss him at the end of the last date, but Izuku got scared and turned his face...

However, from the distance the alpha is from him, it doesn’t seem like Katsuki intends in scenting or kissing him. The blond is standing a whole step away from Izuku; their arms are even stretched to keep holding hands.

No, Izuku screwed up last time and he screwed up this date — so he’ll have to be the one to fix it.

Gathering every ounce of courage he can find inside himself, Izuku raises his eyes filled with determination, takes a step forward, gets to the tip of his toes and plants a kiss right on Katsuki’s lips. The kiss is merely a touch of lips a little bit on the harsh and painful side because Izuku kind of slammed his face on the alpha’s in his eagerness to not let fear win against him again. 

And the kiss is over as soon as it started. The moment the feeling of Katsuki’s soft lips touching his own fear wins over courage again, and he bolts. In seconds, he’s slamming the door of his bedroom over the alpha’s face and panting against it as if he just run away from a villain. It takes a good few minutes before Izuku’s breathe gets under control — and then, the giggling starts.

He kissed Kacchan!

He — Izuku — kissed the alpha! All on his own! And Kacchan let him get away with it!

Izuku doesn’t manage to sleep that night as well.

 

Chapter Text

Discovering

Katsuki is happy. It’s so fucking weird for him to feel this way. Not that he was ever unhappy; but, if he had to use a word how he felt before, ‘fine’ would probably be what he’d say. It’s so unexpected to feel pure, unadulterated joy this way for something so silly as a kiss.

Not even a kiss, actually. It was more of a punch on his lips, but Deku’s lips were involved in the whole thing as well so he’ll count that as a kiss. Bakugou can’t help but giggle as he thinks back to the terrified escape the little omega did after bravely kissing him. He almost feels like punching himself for being such an idiot. Who the fuck giggles while preparing breakfast?

But today he’ll cut himself some slack. Never in his life he thought he’d feel so happy with the perspective of having more dates with someone — but the goddamn giggles won’t let him lie. He likes how things are developing with Deku, he’s happy to be dating the omega and, for once in his life, he’ll just enjoy what’s happening and not try to pretend he isn’t.

“‘Morning,” comes the sleepy grumble of said omega, almost startling Katsuki.

The alpha was so caught up in his own thoughts and memories of last night, he didn’t even hear Deku approaching. Izuku is sleepy like always, maybe even more than usual, has a pretty pink blush on his cheeks and a wary look in his eyes.

“Good morning,” Katsuki answers, not even attempting to keep the upbeat tone out of his voice. “Made pancakes today. Do you want yours with strawberries or blueberries? I can put both too.”

Alright, maybe the special breakfast was a little overkill. But he felt like it and, since he added honey instead of sugar to the batter, they’re generally compliant to their nutrition plan. Bakugou stomps back the part of him that tries to imagine the kind of jokes Camie would make about him preparing fancy breakfast after a kiss, ‘not that I don’t dig the whole providing alpha vibe, fam, it’s just that we usually do that after a whole night of fucking ’.

Well, he got a kiss from a man who is terrified of the word sex. And all it took was four dates, that counts as a win in Katsuki’s book. So he’ll prepare the pancakes and pray they help him win a new round of scenting sooner rather than later.

“Pancakes?” Izuku asks raising an eyebrow warily as he puts his coffee to brew. Katsuki doesn’t even complain about it when he sees it. “What’s wrong with you? You’re acting weird.”

Katsuki shrugs, “had a hot date last night, even got a goodnight kiss, so I woke up in a good mood. Now, what do you want on your pancakes?”

The sound of several things falling on the counter and a loud screeching sound tell Katsuki the omega didn’t appreciate his honesty very much. He looks back and sees Izuku struggling to prevent his cup, the coffee powder tin and the coffee maker to fall on the floor.

“KACCHAN!” Izuku barks at him flustered. “You can’t say that! We’re not on a date, we can’t talk about that!”

The alpha needs to bite back the laugh that tries to escape his lips.

“But I’m not talking with my date. I’m updating my friend in what happened in my life, completely different thing,” he retorts shamelessly.

Katsuki can see the fumes coming out of Izuku’s head as the omega tries to understand how he managed to bypass his rules so easily. He knows he’s being a little mean, but, honestly, making fun of Deku is the only thing preventing the alpha of crossing the short distance between them and claiming the omega’s lips with his own.

Izuku is terribly cute in the mornings and, after last night’s little taste, Katsuki’s inner alpha is starving for more. He wants to kiss and scent his omega, and not let the man leave their home without smelling like Bakugou. But he can’t do that, so bullying is the best alternative.

“Though, if you prefer, we can schedule a date for tonight and go over all the kissing conversation you want,” he says smirking and is rewarded with an apple almost hitting him on the forehead.

Izuku blushes and grumbles during the whole breakfast and the way to the agency. He didn’t really say a word to the alpha, he just mumbled grumpily to himself about smug alphas while munching down his pancakes.

Katsuki is almost caving in and apologizing for teasing him when they reach the agency. However, just before Izuku takes the stairs towards Miruko’s office, the omega grumbles under his breath “we can’t go on dates every night, we have work to do. But we can go on Friday.”

The omega runs away before Bakugou has a chance to reply to him. Katsuki has to take a second to get the stupid smile off his face before entering the office to greet Shitty Hair and Airhead.

***

Next day, Katsuki and Izuku are having lunch in the office as usual. The alpha made them protein-packed bentos, with a wide array of veggies. Each of them eats at their own desk because Deku is watching some hero clips on his computer and Katsuki is just fumbling with his phone.

At least, that’s what he said to the omega. What Bakugou is actually doing is getting ideas for their date that night. The alpha is running out of ideas. He wants to take Deku somewhere where they can have some privacy, like the movies, but that they can talk — and maybe some more.

Bakugou would be lying if he said he’s not hoping for some kissing, or some scenting, action on this date. He feels like a fucking teenager, having to pick places where they can make-out with no one seeing them but not being able to take his boyfriend back home. To stay in their living room talking with a bottle of some booze Deku actually drinks would be the perfect alternative, but he doesn’t think his skittish mate is ready for that yet.

Shit. He just thought of Deku as his boyfriend and as his mate in the spawn of a couple of minutes. Katsuki needs to hold back his horses, he can’t rush Izuku into this. They have their whole lives for that, but he won’t get to that point if he screws up now.

A knock on their door makes Katsuki and Izuku raise their heads in confusion. No one knocks on their team’s door. No one is stupid enough for that; if they knock on their team’s door they’ll have to deal with Camie being inappropriate at best and with Ground Zero being Ground Zero at worst. 

For a second Katsuki thinks about just ignoring the door since it was probably a mistake (Bakugou doesn’t know if it was someone getting the wrong door or someone who has no regard for their mental health, but he’s sure it was a mistake). Izuku, however, says “it’s open!” when Katsuki doesn’t make any indication of dealing with the door issue.

Who opens the door is the sidekick with huge horns. What was his name? Ox? Calf? Whatever his name is, the sidekick just takes a couple of steps inside the office and looks warily to Katsuki. That piques Bakugou’s curiosity because he wasn’t the one with issues with the sidekick, there’s absolutely no reason why the young alpha would need to talk to him.

“I’d like to talk to him,” the guy says indicating Deku with his head.

Oh, he’s asking Katsuki’s permission to talk to his omega. Now, that was unexpected. No one who knows Katsuki and Izuku would ever think of doing something like that. It’s a pretty outdated practice that speaks volumes about whoever this guy is.

“If you think you should ask my permission for that, then he’ll probably need to throw you across another room.” Bakugou turns to his computer and starts to type gibberish away just to make a point of not paying attention to the young alpha.

From the corner of his eyes, he sees Deku perked up in his chair. There’s an air of pride and pomp in the way the omega waits for the other alpha to address him. Katsuki feels relieved he seems to have said the right thing and he won’t be the one being flung out of the office.

“Ahn-” The sidekick’s voice wavers as he tries to gather the courage to say what he came to say. “I’d like to discuss with you the possibility of us training together.. Ahn- regularly.”

And the plot thickens! Katsuki feels sorry for his lack of popcorn while watching this show.

“And why is that?” The defiance in Izuku’s voice is unmistakable and Bakugou needs to bite back his smirk.

The young alpha’s scent threatens to flare up but he holds back to the best of his abilities. The sidekick huffs a little and visibly needs to restrain his temper.

“Because I think it would be good for our mutual development,” he grunts between his teeth.

“Would it? Honestly, after last time, I don’t think there is much in it for me,” Deku says sounding uninterested, but Katsuki can identify he’s just being petty with the sidekick. 

This spikes Bakugou’s pride for his mate, he needs to hold back his chuckles. It’s great to see Deku’s temper flare up with someone else for a change. Usually, the omega is an angel with everyone but Katsuki.

The sidekick even turns around ready to leave the office but gives up. He huffs and puffs before saying “listen, I’d like to train with you because I could use your help.” And, as an afterthought, he grunts out a painful “please”.

“Alright,” Izuku answers easily and Katsuki is the one who almost grunts this time. Deku should have made the idiot grovel some more. “I need to talk to Miruko to see which way would work better for her, but we can spar once a week.”

With that confirmation, the sidekick couldn’t get away from the office fast enough. When the door slams on his way out, Katsuki releases the chuckles he was holding back until then.

Izuku huffs and shakes his head, “I appreciate what you said, but did you have to stoke him so much after that?”

“What? I haven’t done anything!” Bakugou protests. All right, he had to bite back some laughter, but he did bite them back. He didn’t outright provoke the man.

“Your scent, Kacchan,” Izuku says crossing his arms as if he’s lecturing a child. “Even I was affected by how strong it got and I live with you!”

“Oh,” he didn’t realize that. Actually, he doesn’t even have a good answer to why he hates the other alpha so much. All that he knows is that in the gym that day, Deku was so freaked out of talking to this sidekick that he didn’t even see Katsuki and the others in the room. 

Same thing today, Izuku got clearly distressed with the presence of the sidekick. Bakugou doesn’t know what kind of feud those two have, but he knows Deku has issues with sidekicks and has picked that one to beat up — that’s enough for his inner alpha to decide he doesn’t want that alpha close to his mate.

“He sounds like an asshole,” Katsuki grumbles shrugging. He can’t say all that’s on his mind about the sidekick, so he goes for an easy, straightforward answer.

“He is, but he’s my issue to deal with. I don’t want you getting in the way,” Izuku says determined.

Katsuki considers the omega for a second thinking about his alternatives. If he pushed the issue now, Izuku would answer to him in a teammate/coworker capacity. That’s not what Katsuki wants from this answer, he wants to know what kind of struggles Deku is going through and isn’t telling him.

“Fine,” he answers. “You deal with the asshole.”

Izuku smiles at him brightly before saying “thank you, Kacchan”. Katsuki is sure he gave the right answer at that moment and decides to capitalize on it.

“Do you want to go for a drive tonight?”

“A drive?” Izuku furrows his eyebrows in confusion. “Where?”

“Anywhere,” the alpha shrugs. “Somewhere where people won’t take pictures of us.”

“So-sounds good,” Izuku answers with a blush coming to his cheeks.

The rest of their workday passes by without any incident and soon they’re walking back home to get ready for their road trip date.

***

Izuku made a point of going to his room to get ready for their date even though Katsuki argued they could just pass by the building to get the car. Bakugou didn’t want the omega to take too long and miss on time they could be together, but when Izuku came out of his room looking so cute he decided it was worth the wait.

Thankfully Deku gave up on wearing the extremely omega-like clothes he chose for their first date. He looked good on it, but not like himself. This get-up, however, stirs Katsuki in a very pleasant way. Izuku is wearing some skinny jeans that hug his legs and thighs sinfully, a white and flowy button shirt and some silver hair clips that take the curls away from on side of his face. The hairstyle makes it easier to see the omega’s eyes and face, and the hair clips look incredibly endearing. It’s different from what Izuku wears every day but still very much Deku.

“You look good,” Katsuki says when the omega gets to the living room.

“Thank you,” he answers, blushing and playing with a strand of his hair.

He’s so cute that even Katsuki feels a little flustered. The alpha’s words almost refuse to leave his throat. He needs to cough a little before managing to spit out a “let’s go?”.

They are both too nervous to talk in the elevator, but once they’re inside the car Katsuki decides that won’t do. The whole point of these dates is to get to know each other better in a different capacity and they can’t do that if they are too stressed out to actually chat.

“What do you think about the beach?”

Izuku looks startled at him. The omega was clearly getting lost inside his own head and Bakugou’s question pulled him back. Katsuki can only look at Izuku with the corner of his eye since he needs to keep his attention on the traffic, but that’s actually for the better. Izuku seems to relax when he realizes the alpha isn’t looking straight at him.

“Are we going to the beach now?”

“It’s an idea,” he shrugs.

Inside the car, their pheromones mingle like they did when they scented on their third date. It’s incredibly relaxing for Bakugou, he loves the citrus and pine smell that comes from Deku. It’s fresh and just a tad bit sweet; it makes the idea of staying trapped inside a car for a couple of hours incredibly alluring.

“I like the beach,” Izuku says softly. “I haven’t been there since… I think my last summer in the Institution? So, over a year.”

“Did you use to go a lot when you were at the Institution?” Katsuki asks curiously.

For all that he knew about Deku, how his everyday life was inside the Institution was still some kind of taboo between them. During their time as just friends and roommates, Katsuki never brought it up because he didn’t want to bring back the memories of their traumatic first meetings and wedding day. 

Izuku provided some anecdotes here and there, but the alpha was always a passive agent in these moments. This is the first time he actively asked about something that isn’t clearly connected to an issue or a problem, it’s just something that happened while Izuku was there.

“Every time we could get away with it,” the omega says with a soft smile on his face. “It was our favorite place to go for outings. There were excursions with every resident of the Institution on a few summer days. And Tamaki and I would always bother Miss Hikamoto to let us go on our birthdays.”

“Favorite place? Which other places did you guys go?”

“The usual?” Izuku asks thoughtfully. “We went to the movies, the aquarium, museums… Things like that. At least once a month we had an outing, the Institution is the finishing school with the most outings I’ve heard of. The other places only let the residents get out once every three months or less.”

“And how did that work out? I mean, I remember the stuck up bitch saying shit about no omega being allowed near alphas.”

“It depends on the place. I mean, all the beta handlers and several of our teachers came with us on the big outings. And if it’s a private space, like a museum or the movies, we’d go in a time of the day when people are usually working or studying so we had the place for ourselves.”

“And at the beach?”

“I believe the heroes in the area were also warned of the days we’d be there. We could see them in the distance, but they never got close.  For our birthdays, it was just Tamaki, me and a couple of beta handlers.”

Katsuki wants to ask about his mother and All Might. If they were allowed to go on the outings, if Izuku was allowed to go to their houses. But he doesn’t want to bring the mood of their date down, Deku seems comfortable with the things he’s already talking about. Besides, deep down, Katsuki already knows the answer to those questions.

The only reason they are allowed to take Eri out from time to time is because of her age and because Katsuki is a mated pro hero. Eri is only ten years old when omegas present from thirteen to sixteen; even though she presented, since it was because of a traumatic event and her body isn’t ready, she still doesn’t smell like a proper omega. That gives her some leeway for going out and acting like a child. And the fact that Ground Zero signed several forms taking responsibility for her well-being also was a deciding factor.

“Tamaki likes to look for sea animals on the beach. Starfishes, jellyfishes… He likes these weird creatures and not only to eat,” Izuku says with fondness in his voice. “He used to get so annoyed at me because I liked to make big waves underwater with my quirk and then all the animals would vanish in fear.”

Izuku giggled at the memory and Katsuki can’t help but chuckle too — but he doesn’t know if he’s enjoying more the story, the mental image of Deku annoying Tamaki with his raucous, or just the sound of the omega laughing.

“The fuckers used to drag me to the beach on our summer breaks with the rest of the class,” the alpha offers as well. “I used to fucking hate it. They used that excuse to be even more idiotic than usual. I don’t think I have been to the beach properly since I got out of high school.”

“What!? Kacchan! That was ages ago!”

“It wasn’t ages ago,” Katsuki huffs. “I’m not that old.”

“Yes, you are! You have been out of high school for what?! Fifteen years?”

“Thirteen,” he grumbles, feeling a little self-conscious and annoyed by Deku’s outburst.

“I can’t believe it! We have to go to the beach during the day! Soon!” Izuku demands.

“Alright,” ‘ we can take Eri’ Katsuki thinks but doesn’t say. He’d love to take Eri out, she’s a good kid, but he’d also love to have a whole day of dating Izuku on the beach. So he leaves the options open for now. “We can set a date to go to the beach this summer, there’s your birthday.”

“Yeah… And your birthday next month… Do you know what you wanna do to celebrate it?”

Katsuki rolls his eyes, “I’m not twelve, I don’t celebrate my birthday. If I’m too unlucky, Shitty Hair and the rest of the idiots will drag me to dinner or something.”

“We could go somewhere,” Izuku says quietly. “Somewhere you enjoy, like when you took me to the Lake to see the animals…”

“Are we scheduling dates a month in advance, nerd?” Katsuki teases a little. “Didn’t know we were already in this phase.”

“We don’t have to if you don’t want,” Izuku grumbles turning his face away from the alpha to stare out of the window.

“I never said I didn’t want,” Bakugou answers softly and he sees Deku’s shoulders relax.

***

They drive for about an hour until they arrive in a small coastal city. They talk about everything and nothing along the way — childhood memories, teenage shenanigans, the time Kaminari decided to hug an eel because ‘they were the same’ and the animal ended up biting his nose. Being in the car gave them privacy while, at the same time, not forcing them to look into each other’s eyes to get flustered. 

When their bellies began complaining about the lack of food Katsuki pulled the car in front of a small yakisoba stand near the beach. They could hear the waves from their spots on the counter. The food was way better than expected for such a small, hole-in-the-wall place.

After eating, they left the car parked and walked slowly on the pavement next to the beach. Katsuki can smell the saltiness in the air, the wind blows on them strongly and the sound of the sea is unmistakable — but looking to his right all he can see is pure darkness. The sun went down hours ago and there’s not even one source of light in the immensity of the ocean.

The alpha takes advantage of their walk to grab Izuku’s hand. During the whole time he was in the car, he thought that was the only downside of driving — he couldn’t take his hands off the wheel to hold Deku’s hands. Even in the moments when he could actually do that, it wouldn’t feel natural and it could freak out the omega.

But now, just the two of them walking on the empty beach, it couldn’t feel more natural.

“It’s really dark,” Izuku mumbles looking at the darkness by their side.

“That’s a good thing. If we start seeing lights there, then we have problems.” Katsuki says playfully.

“What would it be? Ghosts?” 

“Maybe aliens,” he shrugs.

“Do you think someone has a quirk that lets them see ghosts? Or maybe communicate with life-forms from other planets?” The omega asks curiously.

They walk by a bench that during the day overlooks the beach and it’s probably a place old aunties sit to look at the kids playing on the sand. But right now, it’s a nice place to feel the breeze and look at the big dark nothing in front of them. Their own scents are overwhelmed by the smell of the sea and the ocean wind, but it still lingers on Katsuki’s nose since they were trapped in the car for so long.

“Don’t you think if someone had a quirk that gave them the ability to talk to ghosts they’d be making millions out of people who want to send messages to their dead relatives? We’d have heard about some shit like that, it’d be all over tv.” Katsuki says dismissively.

“Maybe they’re hiding. Maybe they’re scared of what they see. I don’t know, there are many explanations as to why they wouldn’t publicize this kind of information.” Izuku does a whole body shiver after his explanation.

“Are you afraid of ghosts?” Bakugou teases.

“No,” the omega glares at him. “It’s just a little chilly.”

Yeah, he should have thought that. They’re at the beginning of spring, but the wind coming from the ocean is very cold — and Deku is wearing just a thin shirt. Omegas’ body heat is usually lower than alphas’, that’s why Bakugou didn’t realize it could be cold for him.

Feeling bold, Katsuki puts his arm on Deku’s shoulders and brings him close to his chest. It’s a very similar position to the one they were when they scented, and the alpha needs to mentally kick himself to not shove his nose in the omega’s hair.

“Is this better?” He whispers.

“Ah- ahn- I- Yes- I mean-” Izuku stumbles with his words.

“Does it help with the cold?” Katsuki asks more specifically. The unsaid question hung in the air, ‘ do you want me to stop?’ .

“It-it does,” Izuku whispers looking away. Bakugou is sure a bright blush is decorating the omega’s cheeks right now and he can’t help the chuckles that come to him.

“You’re too fucking cute.” He says earnestly.

Izuku glances his way without turning his head with a clear pout on his lips. “Did you bring me here just to cuddle?” He asks very warily and Katsuki laughs amused.

“Not gonna lie, shortstack…” He answers smirking. “I was hoping we could, at least, scent again. I’m not holding my breath for another kiss so soon, though. I understand it was a lot for you to have your first kiss the other night.”

“It wasn’t,” Izuku grumbles still with his face turned away.

“It wasn’t overwhelming? Then we could-”

“It wasn’t my first kiss.” Izuku interrupts him.

“Oh.” Well, Katsuki didn’t see that one coming. 

Katsuki knows that he should be feeling jealous and, by the way Izuku’s shoulders went tense, the omega is expecting some kind of backlash. But Deku also has his chin held high and his face turned away in a clear stand of defiance. Bakugou thinks it’s adorable how the little omega does things just to get under his skin even though he’s still scared of the consequences. Lucky for them, Katsuki doesn’t give a shit if Deku has kissed someone before (it’s actually a small weight off his shoulders to not have that responsibility).

“Oh, did you?” The alpha asks teasingly. He’s not jealous, but he’s very curious. “Did you give a taste to any of the alphas who courted you in the matchmaking house?”

“What? No!” Izuku turns to him with annoyance on his face. “I wouldn’t, even if the courting visits weren’t monitored.”

“Then was it one of the beta handlers?” Katsuki asks raising an eyebrow. “A forbidden affair with a teacher?”

“Of course not, Kacchan,” Izuku huffs. “The handlers and teachers were all mated and much older.” He explains and then continues a little more unsure. “It was-... It was with another resident.”

“Oh my, Deku. Omega-Omega action? That shit is kinky.” Katsuki provokes him with humor just to see the way Izuku’s face twists in annoyance and those green eyes glare furiously at him.

“It wasn’t kinky!” He protests. “It was just a kiss… She was my friend, and she was nervous because one alpha decided to marry her and she was afraid of what would happen when they were alone for the first time. So we kissed a little… just to see how it was.”

“Pretty omega girl begging you to teach her how to kiss before she’s mated away to some alpha? I’m pretty sure this shit is the plot of some kind of porn out there.” Katsuki teases again and this time is rewarded by a slap on his shoulder strong enough to remind him that his omega trains with Miruko almost every day.

“Stop joking about it!” Izuku huffs. “Shouldn’t you be jealous or something?”

Katsuki chuckles again before leaning his face until he could feel Deku’s breath fanning on him. “Not really. I’m pretty sure when you let me kiss you, I’ll show you that whatever you did with that girl wasn’t a real kiss.”

Izuku’s mouth opens in surprise and the omega stays stunned for a few seconds — long enough for Katsuki to wonder if he should close the distance and go in for a kiss. However, as he’s slowly leaning in further, Deku slaps his whole hand on the alpha’s face and forces him to back away.

“Behave, Kacchan!”

“Ouch!” Bakugou whines. “This is turning out to be a very aggressive date.”

“It wouldn’t be if you didn’t feel the need to tease me so much!” Izuku complains and Katsuki laughs because even after all of this, the omega didn’t shove his arm away from his shoulders.

“It’s your fault for getting so cute when you’re flustered,” Bakugou says smirking and he’s rewarded by Izuku blushing so much that’s impossible not to notice, even with the scarce street lighting they’re under.

“You’re impossible,” Izuku says huffing. “You’re lucky I was way past my prime age, or else Miss Hikamoto would not put up with your antics under her watch.”

‘Past your prime’” Katsuki says ironically, rolling his eyes. “You’re fucking twenty-five, Deku. That ain’t old.”

“Yeah, I would be old if I was less than a month away from being thirty-one,” Izuku taunts him.

“Alright, that’s it. I’m throwing you on the ocean. Let the damn aliens deal with such a mouthy omega,” Katsuki says grabbing Izuku’s midsection and hoisting him over his shoulder as he gets up from the bench.

“Wha-AH! NO! KACCHAN! PUT ME DOWN!” Izuku trashes trying to get free from his hold.

“Nope. That’s it, you’re our sacrifice to the aliens now. It’s for the good of humankind. Cheeky omegas like you will give every other omega bad ideas. Soon enough they’ll all go running around, jumping through windows and making messes on kitchens!” Katsuki says as he pretends to walk towards the sand when he’s in fact just walking back through the pavement on the way they just came from.

Izuku isn’t wrestling against his hold anymore, though. The omega is just laughing — openly, beautifully, melodically. It fills Katsuki’s heart in ways he didn’t know could be filled; it’s like there were holes in his heart he didn’t know were there before but now he feels them full and throbbing. 

Bakugou stops walking and drops Deku down in front of him carefully and slowly. Izuku’s face is very red, the cold wind blew his hair wildly, and a few giggles still escape his lips even though his mouth is forming the brightest smile Katsuki has ever seen. Deku is incredibly beautiful and fascinating. At that moment, Bakugou has no idea how he spent his whole life without the omega in it.

“Kacchan…?” Izuku asks softly, his face morphing into concern over Katsuki’s stunned state.

Without thinking, Katsuki grabs Izuku by the waist in pulls him closer in a tight hug. The alpha shoves his nose into the green curls just behind the omega’s ear and inhales deeply in the clean and fresh smell that is just pure Deku.

Izuku shivers in his hold and, this time, Bakugou is pretty sure it isn’t because of the cold. His mouth waters with the idea of tasting the omega’s skin, sucking on his gland to revel in Deku’s taste; but the last cognizant part of his brain reminds him that’d be a sure way to get his nose broken. Instead, he lowers his head a little until their necks are touching and begins rubbing his scent gland against Izuku’s. 

Goosebumps rise on his skin as their necks touch. Izuku’s skin is so soft, and Katsuki loves feeling the omega’s curls brush on his face. The alpha never really got what the whole deal with scenting was; for him, it was just something annoying his mom and dad forced him to do when he was little. But now, he couldn’t deny that this is a very sensual experience and he needs to take a step back before it got too much (Katsuki doesn’t want to repeat the Boner Freakout).

Bakugou needs to take a deep breath of ocean breeze to clear his head after scenting. When he looks back at Izuku, he sees the omega still looks dazed. The burning desire to kiss him comes back with a vengeance but Bakugou holds it down. 

“Come on, it’s getting cold,” he says grabbing Izuku’s hand and leading him back to the car.

***

The drive home goes by quickly. Even though they’re over an hour away, they play a little game that makes time go by in a flash — Katsuki spends the whole trip back home trying to find little moments to touch Izuku’s hand. Every long straight line where he could take one hand off the wheel, every red light, every minor stop he would put his hand on the edge of Izuku’s seat where the omega’s hand was resting.

At first, they just let their pinky fingers touch briefly. But with each time, they got bolder. The touches lingered, they pinkies interlocked. As they arrived in their neighborhood, Katsuki’s hand already completely rests on top of Izuku’s. The whole time, they never acknowledge what was going on; the two of them just kept on talking about silly things as if nothing was happening.

Katsuki feels almost mournful when they park in their building’s garage because it meant their little game was over. However, it also means it’s time to walk Izuku to his room — and this is quickly becoming Bakugou’s favorite part of the dates.

They let the back of their hands touch in the elevator, and enter their home in silence. When they are finally in front of Deku’s door, Katsuki grabs the omega's hand again. He really likes holding Deku’s hand into his — it’s small and soft, but so strong. Bakugou has never cared for hand holding with former lovers and dates, but he can’t help but catch himself reaching for Izuku’s every chance he gets.

“Thanks for taking me to the beach, Kacchan,” Izuku says softly, looking down to hide his blush.

“I don’t think this one counts, nerd. We didn’t even see the ocean,” the alpha answers with fondness. “I’ll take you again in a better hour if you let me.”

“I’d like that.” Izuku answers and completes it with a wavering voice. “Yo-you ca-can try if-if you want.”

“Try what?” Bakugou asks confused.

“To make me forget,” Deku’s voice is barely a whisper but the alpha understands anyway.

Not letting a second for any of them to change their mind, Katsuki takes a step closer to Izuku and raises his hand to the omega’s face very gently. He makes Deku face him, tilting his head up slightly before leaning in for the kiss.

Their lips touch softly as Katsuki’s hand slips to the back of Izuku’s neck and the other comes to hug him on the waist. The omega’s hands grab Katsuki’s biceps fiercely, as if he doesn’t know if he wants to bring the alpha closer or to push him away. And yet, the kiss is very delicate and slow.

Katsuki gently probes the seam of Izuku’s mouth with his tongue, begging for entrance. It takes some coaxing, but soon enough he’s tasting the omega. It’s delicious, addicting; Izuku taste as sweet and fresh as he smells. Bakugou lets his tongue explore the omega’s mouth and Deku even tries to reciprocate for a while. But, overall, the alpha leads the kiss and Izuku is pliant in his hold.

His inner alpha growls pleased and begs for more. He wants to kiss Izuku harshly, make the omega breathless, press him against the door. But Katsuki holds this all in and finishes the kiss with a soft peck on Izuku’s lips.

“Goodnight, Deku,” he whispers with a rough voice.

Izuku doesn’t manage to say the same, though. As soon as the alpha releases his gentle hold on the omega; Deku bolts inside his room and slams the door.

Katsuki brushes a thumb on his lip and notices he has a huge stupid smile on his face. Tonight, however, he feels like he deserves to smile.

Chapter Text

Starvation

The cold water feels like a thousand needles on Katsuki’s skin. It’s the middle of spring, but it’s still too chilly for this shit. Actually, Bakugou hates cold baths and doesn’t think he’d enjoy it even in the peak of summer. They’re a necessity, however, since Katsuki is enjoying too much of something else.

And this something else is Deku. The beautiful and frustrating omega with whom he lives, works and dates. As his relationship with Deku gets more physical with each passing date, Katsuki has to come to terms with the fact that it's not physical enough for him.

He’s honestly impressed with himself. Katsuki has never been the kind of alpha who can only think about sex. Hell, less than three months ago he was comfortable with the conviction that he’d be celibate for the foreseeable future. He had entered a marriage of convenience with the objective of not having a sexual relationship with his husband or wife — and that wasn’t by large his biggest concern at that moment. It barely registered as a concern at all, actually, since he was used to spending years without sex just by not enjoying the hassle involved with getting a partner.

But now, after the first taste of Deku, Katsuki is parched. His body aches for more of the omega. Each innocent kiss they share leaves him hard and panting. Each date is a maddening mixture of heaven and hell. He wants more; the fleeting moments when Katsuki walks Deku to the front of his bedroom door and they share a goodnight kiss are not enough to satiate the alpha.

Not that Izuku hasn’t been giving him more. The little omega is clearly interested too and fighting against his shyness and modesty to meet Katsuki in the middle ground. However, Katsuki doesn’t want the middle ground — he wants to take Deku all the way. The soft pecks on the cheek, the hand-holding, the scenting while they walk on the park; all of that is great, but they’re barely an appetizer and the alpha is more than ready for the full meal.

However, it’s not the alpha who runs the fucking show. Katsuki has full control of his capacities and will not rush Deku into having sex. He may be an asshole, but he’s not this kind of asshole. So, Bakugou has been doing what he can to keep his huge sexual drive at bay — spending more time at the gym burning out energy, talking cold showers and jerking off like he was fucking sixteen.

It’s still not enough; he’s still frustrated and painfully aroused. But he’s trying his best; and, hell, it’s fucking worth it.

Even though he’s been taking cold baths the whole damn week, the moment he leaves his bedroom he gets happy and relaxed. Izuku stopped constantly wearing blockers around the apartment like Katsuki wanted him to but wasn’t brave enough to ask, and now the fresh citrus scent bleeds a little bit around their home sometimes.

It’s not always since Deku still puts on his heavy blockers during the week before going to work. But he doesn’t bother with them on the weekends and, by Sunday night, the living room smells nicely of pine trees, freshwater and citrus fruits mixed with smoke and spices — the perfect blend of camping in a forest on a summer night.

Katsuki longs to discover how their aroused scents will mix. How will it be to taste his own sweat and pheromones on Izuku’s skin? What sounds will the omega make? Will he be his usual chatterbox or will he fight against the noises his body will beg him to make?

When the alpha gets to the kitchen to prepare their lunch, he’s already in need of another cold shower.

Resigned to his fate of fighting his horniness, Katsuki just starts cooking. Today they have a special outing planned and he can’t waste any more time thinking with his dick. Izuku must be back soon from his workout with Round Face; Bakugou himself was running at the park this morning. They agreed to meet for a late lunch and then go pick up the kids.

As Bakugou finishes prepping the ingredients, he hears the water running on Deku’s bathroom. Katsuki rolls his eyes but has a smirk on his lips. The omega must have entered through his window and went straight to take a shower. Apparently, doors are a challenge Izuku still has to master.

“Hi, Kacchan!” Deku shows up in the kitchen a few minutes later looking cheery. His hair is still wet and he didn’t bother putting on his blockers — Katsuki’s arousal comes back with a vengeance. “What are you making? Do you want help?”

Bakugou cocks an eyebrow at him, silently challenging the omega’s offer. 

“I mean, not in anything complicated… But I can hand you things and wash up?” Izuku grins apologetically.

Katsuki shakes his head. “Don’t bother, I’m almost done and I don’t want you ruining lunch. We don’t have time to make something else since we should be leaving before three.”

“True, we still need to pick up Kouta and Eri before the show,” Izuku agrees. “I hope they like it.”

“You’ve been saying that five times a day since we bought the damn tickets,” he accuses absent-mindedly while adding the last vegetables to the stir-fry.

“I know, I’m just a little anxious,” Deku grumbles. He decided to get the bowls and set the table for them.

“It’s the circus, Deku. Which kid doesn’t like the circus?”

“I don’t know… Kids who are afraid of clowns?”

“Are they afraid of clowns?”

“No… I asked…” Izuku says with a small voice.

“There you have it. Now pass me the bowls.”

Bakugou serves them hearty portions of rice, and the stir-fry he made of chicken and vegetables. It’s not his most refined recipe, but when Izuku starts gushing “Kacchan! This is so good!” Bakugou feels like it’s good enough.

“You always say that,” he grumbles.

“Because you always make the best dishes!” Izuku smiles brightly at him, making Katsuki remember why he accepted to spend his Saturday afternoon taking two pups to the circus — he’d do anything to make Deku smile.

Today is not a date night. Today they’ll take the two kids Izuku’s fond of for an outing. So today, scentings and kisses aren’t really on the table; Katsuki will need to be on his best behavior and try to not ravage Izuku at the first chance he has like he usually does. It’s going to be a struggle.

But Katsuki understands the need for it. They’ve been dating for over a month and, during this period, they fit dates every time they could. They’ve gone to parks, to a museum, to the movies, several special lunches, and uncountable dinners. He can deal with one of their days together not being a date day; besides, his birthday is coming up.

In two days he’ll be turning thirty-one and Deku has a special date planned for them. Bakugou doesn’t know what it is and, unfortunately, it’ll have to be just a dinner date since it’ll be in the middle of the week — but that doesn’t make him any less excited for it. It’s pretty disgusting how much he’s looking up for one lousy dinner date where he’ll be lucky to score one miserly kiss.

Except that dating Izuku is never lousy and every kiss sets his body on fire like nothing else ever did. And Katsuki is fucking tired of pretending to not want what he wants and not like what he likes. He isn’t a fucking teenager trying to prove himself anymore, there’s nothing to fucking prove and he can let himself be excited for something.

“Finish up already, we gotta pick up the kids,” the alpha says with a small smile.

***

If there’s one thing Katsuki quickly discovered is that, unlike Eri, Kouta isn’t a lovely child. He’s bratty, mouthy, picks up fights with shadows, complains about everything — and he reminds Katsuki way too much of himself when he was about that age. It’s frustrating and eye-opening, Bakugou has no idea why Izuku accepts to put up with that kid; and that makes him almost think about not knowing why Izuku puts up with him, but he decides to leave that can of worms untouched.

Kouta complained about having to stay too long in the car, about having to pick up Eri in a ‘weird place’, about the smell of the circus, about the options of food and, when complaining wasn’t enough, he tried to kick a clown on the balls. Bakugou was pretty close to going alpha on the brat to force him to submit, but one pointed look from Izuku got Katsuki to stop releasing his pheromones.

At last, they’re finally sitting down to watch the show. Eri has a way brighter smile than the candied apple she got merited; and Kouta is slightly frowning at his popcorn bag. But the one who seems to be the most excited about the spectacle is Deku. The omega is buzzing in his seat, looking around with eyes full of wonder, it’s so cute Katsuki wants to punch him.

“Look there! The clown just made the balloon multicolor!” Izuku exclaims pointing to the other side of the arena.

“It’s so pretty!” Eri agrees just as excitedly.

“It’s dumb. It’s just his quirk. To make things change colors, that’s such a useless quirk,” Kouta criticizes grumpily.

“No quirk is useless, Kouta,” Deku nags the brat. “All you need is imagination to use it properly.”

“Proper like becoming a clown and distributing balloons to annoying children?”

“Talking about annoying children, how do you feel about-” Katsuki starts to threaten the kid, but Izuku doesn’t let him finish.

“Kacchan!” He reprimands him. “Now, both of you, shush, it’s about to begin.”

The lights dim and the ringleader shows up to command the spectacle. It’s been about twenty years since Katsuki’s parents dragged him to the circus. When he was little, he was a brat who thought the idea of watching the show was stupid and he ended up comparing everything he saw on the circus with the All Might videos he was obsessed with. For seven-years-old Katsuki, the performers paled in comparison with the strongest alpha pro hero in the world.

Now, almost thirty-one years old Bakugou could see the circus with completely new eyes and allow himself the wonder he didn’t have as a child. Deku, by his side, seems to be completely enthralled; his green eyes sparkle even in the low lighting of the audience. Eri looks at everything completely amazed and even Kouta doesn’t appear to have any negative thing to say during the show.

Not wanting to sound like Deku, but the way the artists use their quirk in their numbers is pretty amazing. The woman walking the tightrope could make the rope dance; it made her job incredibly harder to have to walk over a snake-like moving rope but she took the chance to show how she could even tap dance sixteen feet up in the air. The juggler had some kind of multiplying quirk; he entered with one bowling pin in hand and left with twenty.

By the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ coming from his side, the kid’s favorites is the troupe of acrobats. One of them, who act as the leader, has a quirk that makes anything that he touches elastic. The stage is full of props —  big seesaws, high walls, huge boxes — and the man transforms it all in trampolines for the other artists to jump around frantically. It’s a large number, with over ten performers, and they move in such perfectly organized chaos that a part of Katsuki is glad they didn’t decide to try their hand in villainy.

And the performance that Katsuki likes the most is made by a couple of dancers. A mated alpha and omega couple, their status clear by the marks on their necks just as by the intimacy they carried in their eyes. The alpha is a tall man, with dark blond hair and chiseled body; lean muscle completely in display since he was wearing just loose fitted pants. The omega is a small woman, the top of her head barely reaches the alpha’s nipples; she’s wearing a white outfit made of flowy pants and a tight bodice. The woman is short and looks delicate at first sight, but it doesn’t take long into the performance for her to show the audience how unbelievably strong she truly is.

Their number was a mixture of dance, gymnastics and acrobatics. At the beginning, the alpha seems to be merely a supporting actor for the omega's stunts. She climbs him like a tree, shows her strength and flexibility by doing handstands on his shoulders, completes splits in the air with him supporting just her feet under his armpit, cartwheels without touching the floor on the alpha’s arm. It’s incredibly beautiful, a mixture of delicacy and raw power that Katsuki recently found out omegas possessed. 

And then, as if the show isn’t already fascinating enough, two looped ropes descend from the tent’s rigging. The omega is the first one to go up on the new support; one hand in each loop and suddenly she’s flying around the ring. The alpha makes her spin by her leg and she moves like she’s swimming, even though she’s ten feet above the ground.

In the last act of their number, the one who goes up the looped ropes is the alpha. However, while the omega used her arms and torso to support herself in the air, he uses his legs. He secures the ropes with his legs and waist, and reaches out for the omega upside down in the air. His arms become a kind of trapeze from where the woman does twists and dances.

This part of their number looks even more intimate than it looked before. The omega is only supported by the alpha, all of her movements in the air; and the alpha’s eyes never waver from her, his hands are gentle and careful as he uses all his strength to give her the support she needs for her stunts. 

The romantic background music and their fluid, coordinated movements make the whole thing look more private than if they were having sex on stage. It’s blatantly clear how precious she is to him just from the way his hands hold her waist; with enough strength to not let her fall, but careful enough to not let one mark of his fingers on her clear skin. 

In their last stunt, the woman climbs his body as high as she can go. When she gets up there thirteen feet above the floor, she lets go of the ropes and falls freely without any kind of safety net — just to be held by one ankle by the alpha’s hands, not allowing her to smash her face on the ground. It’s a trust fall if Bakugou has ever seen it.

While watching the duo put on their show; it’s impossible for Katsuki’s thoughts to not stray to the omega by his side. Izuku could probably put off most of the movements the woman was making with a little bit of practice. He’s stronger than her even without his quirk, and he can be incredibly nimble and graceful in his fights. 

But would Bakugou be strong enough to support him so easily? Izuku has way more muscle mass, he must be much heavier than the minuscule woman. Not only that, would he and Deku have the blind trust in each other for those kinds of stunts? Katsuki doesn’t think they have that level of intimacy yet — and every fiber of his being urges for it.

Bakugou wants to feel Izuku’s body pliant under his touch, wants to see the omega let go of all his barriers, physical and mental, to be with him. He wants to try, at least once, to experience the feeling of having Izuku be supported only by his hands with complete confidence that Katsuki would never let go of him.

As the audience bursts into cheers and claps at the end of their performance, Katsuki looks to the omega and sees that Deku has tears on the corner of his eyes. Izuku claps to the couple enthralled; Bakugou claps too, but his attention is completely taken by the man by his side.

There’s nothing Katsuki wants to do more than kiss him right now. His heart squeezes in his chest with the pain of holding back, but he knows he can’t do anything. Deku wouldn’t like it, and the kids were watching. Bakugou needs to force himself to look back to the stage and stop thinking about it — however, when the lights dim out again and a magician takes the stage, he reaches out for Izuku’s hand and they stay with their fingers interlocked the rest of the show.

***

After the show was over, they dropped Eri back in the Institution and Kouta back in his grandmother’s house. Katsuki only threatened to throw Kouta out of the moving car twice, so it’s clear the four of them were in very high spirits. Eri and Izuku babbled about their favorite performances while they were on their way to the Institution and Kouta even admitted to having liked a couple of the numbers.

When it’s only Izuku and Katsuki in the car, the alpha does another risky move and grabs Izuku’s hand again. He knows this shouldn’t be a date night, but maybe it could be. Couples go on outings with their pups and sometimes with friends, and they don’t stop acting as couples just because of that. Since the kids aren’t watching anymore, Bakugou sees no harm in indulging a little more in Izuku’s company.

Deku, as expected, couldn’t stop conjecturing how the artists’ quirks could be used in different scenarios. He may have started debating how they could use their quirks in the circus itself, but it didn’t take long to imagine the performers as villains or heroes.

The omega’s chatter makes Katsuki even more relaxed and happy. The car already smells like the two of them and that also gets the alpha looser. Bakugou lets his thumb caress circles on the back of Deku’s hand, and the omega doesn’t pull his hand away. He seems to be fine with Katsuki’s advances, so, when they get to their building and leave the car, the alpha grabs his hand again.

On the elevator, Katsuki’s head tilts towards Izuku. He’s crowding Deku’s space, trying to get the most of his scent as he can. Bakugou’s eyes get droopy, his blood runs hotter as he feels the scent and warmth emanating from the omega so close to him — and, still, Izuku doesn’t pull away.

Every second that Bakugou gets away with acting date-like and being more physical than it was expected makes him feel headier with need. Izuku is accepting everything Katsuki is doing, so he must be feeling this too. This hunger for more, this urgency to be together.

Deku’s chatter had long died by the time they get to the front of the omega’s bedroom door. Now, this is exactly how their other dates have gone and the fact that this night wasn’t supposed to be a date is already far from Katsuki’s mind. All that he thinks right now is how much he wants to taste Izuku’s lips; he needs their little act of intimacy.

His brain is clouded by Izuku’s scent, his smile, his beauty, his light — if it wasn’t for Izuku, he’d have never gone to the circus. He’d have never gone to so many different places, tried so many different things, learned so much. Bakugou thought he was happy with his life before, but now he sees he lived a dull, grey life; full of monotone days and routines. Deku makes his life brighter, more colorful; and Katsuki wants more.

As the omega’s bright emerald eyes meet his, Bakugou can’t control his hunger for the man anymore. One of his hands goes up to cup Deku’s cheek in a possessive hold that brings the omega clashing against him. Izuku sighs, giving Katsuki the opening he needed to delve his tongue deep and drink from the omega.

Katsuki can’t even say exactly how they moved; when he notices, he’s already pressing Deku’s body hard against the door. The omega’s hands grasp his shoulders as if they’re lifelines, and Bakugou indulges in the maddening feeling of having Izuku’s warm body flushed against his. The omega is small and hard and fits in Katsuki’s body as if they’re puzzle pieces. Their thighs rub together and Katsuki’s other hand clamps down on Deku’s waist.

The alpha mindlessly devours the man in front of him, any pretenses of keeping things tame have completely vanished. Izuku’s scent and taste make Katsuki’s head foggy, his body moves on instinct trying to get as close and as intimate with the omega as he can. Their kisses grow heated by the second and, when the alpha grinds his groin hard, Izuku gasps loudly.

Bakugou thinks Izuku made noises because he’s feeling good too, and ruts his hips again. This time, however, before his body can identify the delectable feeling of pressing his hard erection against Izuku’s leg, Katsuki is pushed away harshly — way too harshly for Deku to have only used his physical strength. Bakugou’s back and head hit the opposite wall with a loud bang and the door of Deku’s room slams shut, green lightning shining through the cracks.

Oh fuck. What has he done?

The heat of the moment goes away instantly leaving Katsuki’s soul cold.

***

Katsuki didn’t even see Izuku on Sunday. The alpha freaked out most of the night and all of the morning thinking about how to apologize (should he even apologize today? Wouldn’t that break any more of the omega’s rules of not talking about dates in their daily lives?). When he finally gathered enough courage to knock on Deku’s door to call him for breakfast, the omega was long gone. He probably jumped off the window and went to find solace with one of his friends.

It’s frustrating, but Bakugou rationalized that it made sense for Deku to need space and time to deal with that. If they were dating like a regular couple, each one of them would have their own home to retreat to when they needed some privacy. But they’re not, absolutely nothing about them is normal. And that’s precisely why Bakugou shouldn’t have pressed Izuku against the door last night.

Frustration followed the alpha the whole day. Izuku returned only when the moon was already high in the sky and he entered through his bedroom window, not taking any chance of facing Katsuki. The only way Bakugou could relax knowing the omega was home was from the soft noises coming from his room (opening wardrobe doors, running water on his sink); Katsuki had been laying in bed for hours just hoping to hear those noises.

Monday morning finds Katsuki antsy. He doesn’t know what Izuku will do, if he’ll just jump off his window and go straight to work, if he’ll even go to work. So when Deku stumbles out of his room in his usual manner — uniform, blockers, bed hair —  Bakugou can’t help but breathe in relief.

The relief is short-lived, though. Izuku murmurs a quiet “Good morning. Happy birthday, Kacchan.” and doesn’t utter another word during their whole morning routine. He looks skittish, frightened, and it pierces right through Katsuki’s heart.  Bakugou never thought that he’d miss Izuku’s anger, but to see the proud, spitfire man looking so fearful is much worse.

Izuku’s jittery mood follows them the whole day. The omega also seems to be doing anything to not stay alone with Katsuki; in their lunchtime, when Camie suggests that the four of them go out to eat to celebrate Bakugou’s birthday, Izuku is the first to agree. After that, the alpha can’t find it in him to protest and demand that he and Deku have their lunch alone like usual.

Bakugou isn’t the kind of man to care much about his birthday, it’s just another day of the year — with the difference that his friends demand him to go out to eat with them and his mother calls more whiny than usual. But this year he was actually looking forward to going out with Deku and spending a nice night together.

There’s no way that’s on the table right now and, to add insult to injury, Izuku got off work one hour before their usual time, leaving Katsuki to go home on his own. Deku didn’t even have the courage to tell him that, he just slipped away when Bakugou had to take some patrol reports to the administrative office. Shitty Hair and Airhead were the ones who told him and refused to say why Deku left early.

The walk home is extremely depressing. Bakugou even considers buying a convenience store bentos for dinner to not be forced to face the decision of cooking dinner for one or for two. He decides against that because he remembers there’s still some leftovers from yesterday (when he did cook for two).

However, when he got home, he sees that the lights are on; or at least, half on. The place isn’t in complete darkness, there’s a couple of lights and a candle? Katsuki actually does a double-take when he sees a candle lit in the middle of the dining table, the set dining table.

“Welcome home, Kacchan,” Izuku says with a wobbly voice taking the alpha’s attention away from the table.

“I’m home,” he answers automatically, trying to understand what’s going on.

Izuku looks dressed for a date. He’s wearing one of his flowy blouses, a dark red one this time, and dress pants. His hair is styled and he has a glittery gloss on, but he doesn’t have the energy he usually has on date nights. From the way Deku is biting his lips and his hands are closed in fists, he still seems scared.

“What-” Katsuki begins asking but doesn’t finish because he honestly doesn’t know what to ask.

“Your birthday dinner is almost ready. You can go freshen up if you like.”

Bakugou nods silently and goes to his room. He has no idea what to do or what to think. The alpha takes a couple of deep breaths to clear his mind. 

Alright, Izuku still looks wary but he’s trying to give Katsuki’s a nice birthday dinner date. Maybe that’s good, it shows Bakugou didn’t completely fuck up their relationship that night. Maybe, after they eat, they can talk about what happened and Katsuki can apologize. Yeah, that sounds like a solid plan. 

With that decision, Katsuki quickly changes into some nice date-clothes, a dark grey shirt and black slacks, and goes back to the living room. Izuku takes one look at him and runs away to the kitchen — that’s when Bakugou realizes that Deku probably cooked for him. 

Fuck. That’s going to be bad. And he’ll have to pretend it’s good, he can’t get even more on the omega’s nerves. Shit’s bad enough as it is, Katsuki is just going to have to soldier through Deku’s food for one night. Maybe that’s Deku’s revenge for Saturday night?

Before the alpha can decide if he’ll try to find out what kind of warzone his kitchen became or if he’ll wait in the living room, Izuku comes back carrying the bowls. The omega sets the bowls down and sits by the table, giving a furtive glance to Katsukiu that indicates he should sit too.

Bakugou feels awkward standing, but sitting doesn’t help much either. The candle and soft lightning that he now understands are supposed to be romantic, just give an eerie ambiance since they’re both so tense. What’s also not helping is Izuku’s smell. Usually, the citrusy and pine scent gets Katsuki to relax instantly, but now it comes tainted with a sourness of anxiety that makes the alpha ready to fight whoever or whatever made his omega like that.

He’s feeling so out of place and tense that only when he gets the first spoonful of food in his mouth is that he realizes a few things. First, the dinner is Tantanmen, a spicy noodle dish that Bakugou loves; second, it tastes divine; third, there’s no way Deku was the one who cooked it. Katsuki looks up with doubt in his eyes and sees Izuku looking back at him, anxiety clearly etched in his face.

“Is it good?” Izuku asks unsurely. “I- The restaurant had several good reviews online.”

Deku’s hands are clenched on the table cloth. He’s nervous and afraid from what happened, but he’s also anxious to know if Katsuki liked what he researched and ordered for his birthday. Seeing that makes Bakugou’s heart fill with some unknown feeling — it hurts and it feels great at the same time.

“It’s great,” his voice comes out a little broken, overcome with emotion. “Thank you.”

They eat quietly, sneaking glances at each other without being brave enough to say anything. It gives Katsuki awful flashbacks to their first date and, even worse, of the first month of living together. That solidifies his decision of properly talking with Deku as soon as they finish their dinner, he can’t let this situation drag on.

When the bowls are clean, Izuku gets up quickly to put them away. Bakugou hastily gets up to help, picking up a lost glass, but the omega snatches it out of his hand.

“It’s your birthday, I can do that.”

And Katsuki is left standing awkwardly in the middle of his living room again. He runs his hand over his head in frustration and takes a few deep breaths. He needs to apologize and make sure Izuku knows that what happened Saturday night will not happen again; he can’t let all their progress go away because he was fucking horny.

Bakugou wonders if he should sit down on the couch or keep standing. Both options sounded just as bad and weird. How can he feel so out of place in his own home? 

“Kacchan?” Izuku’s unsure voice calls to him. 

Turning around, Katsuki sees the omega fidgeting with his hands and the hem of his sleeves. Izuku’s expression is one of pure discomfort, almost pained. The omega walks towards him slowly, as if his legs were made of lead and he was walking towards his own execution.

When he got close enough, his sour scent hits Bakugou’s nose like vinegar in his eyes. The only reason Katsuki doesn’t wince is that he can’t will his attention away from Izuku’s face. The omega is clearly terrified, but his eyes are set in a fiery determination much like when he faced Miruko in a fight. 

Izuku raises a shaking hand to cup his face when he gets into Katsuki’s personal space. He whispers softly, “Happy birthday, Kacchan”, before rising to his tippy-toes and giving a soft peck on Bakugou’s lips. 

Katuski is so stunned by the omega’s actions that he almost doesn’t hear the quiet “you can do it” Izuku says with a wavering voice. 

At this point, Izuku’s breath is fast and shallow, as if his body was telling him to run away and don’t look back. The omega takes his hand away from Katsuki’s face and the alpha sees it’s shaking even more. Katsuki can’t even look into Izuku’s eyes because he has them shut tight in an expression of pain, or of someone expecting to feel pain very soon.

He honestly has no idea what’s happening. What would Izuku think he’ll do to him that is so scary for the omega? Does he think they’ll fight? If so, why the ki-

Realization runs over Katsuki like a freight train. His heart squeezes tight in pain and, this time, he winces. 

Deku is offering himself for Bakugou as a birthday present. The omega is shaking in his feet, absolutely terrified because he thinks he needs to have sex with Katsuki. Well, that’s a blow to his ego if he ever needed one.

“What? Deku, what the fuck are you doing?” He asks in disbelief.

“You- you can do it, Kacchan. I can take it,” Izuku says, clearly trying to brace himself for something awful. His hands are bawled in tight fists and his eyes are still shut tight.

“I’m not gonna do anything!” Katsuki exclaims, frustration and incredulity tainting his tone. 

That gets Izuku to open his eyes. The omega looks at him with confusion taking place of fear in his expression.

“What-? But I don’t-!” He stumbles in his words, his eyebrows furrowing in a pained turmoil. “Why wouldn’t you? You’re supposed to do it!” Deku’s voice crackles at the end, now anxiety comes to the mix of the omega’s emotions.

“Are you crazy? I’m not going to touch you like that!” How can that be so hard to understand? Katsuki isn’t going to force someone who is clearly terrified to have sex with him. “Who do you think I am?”

But that must not be the message that Izuku receives because the omega’s face goes through a myriad of emotions, and none of them is relief. Deku looks scared, pained, frustrated, angry, anxious, and embarrassed. Finally, his face sets in ‘furious’ and Izuku walks past him slamming against Katsuki's shoulder aggressively on the way.

“I’m sorry for offering such a subpar birthday gift,” Izuku’s voice drips with venom and hate.

“Shit,” Katsuki curses under his breath, then turns on his heels quickly and runs after the omega. “Deku, wait! That’s not fucking it!”

Izuku doesn’t look back though, in less than a second he’s yanking his door open, ready to slam it shut on Katsuki’s face and hide in his room. Bakugou doesn’t think twice either, he stops the door with his hand brusquely and barges in after the omega.

“CAN YOU FUCKING WAIT? I’M TRYING TO TALK TO YOU!” Katuski yells.

“I DON’T WANT TO TALK TO YOU RIGHT NOW!” Izuku yells back marching towards the open window.

Oh no, he won’t’ Katsuki thinks before jumping over the bed with the help of his quirk and putting his body between Deku and the window.

“Can you stop running away?” The alpha asks frustrated.

Izuku turns around and runs to the bathroom, so Katsuki understands that the answer to his question is ‘no’. With another quick jump, Bakugou manages to put his feet between the door just as Deku was about to shut himself in the bathroom. Izuku presses the door to close, and Katsuki pushes it back.

“Leave me alone!” Izuku screams at him frustrated, but his voice doesn’t come angry — it comes broken, sobbing.

“Deku, please. We need to talk about this shit.” Katsuki pleads.

“No, we don’t! You made yourself pretty clear!”

“Obviously I fucking didn’t if you think I didn’t accept your present because I don’t want you!”

Finally, the door stops being forced back. Katsuki almost falls from the strength he was pushing the door in, and ends up stumbling inside the small bathroom.

When he looks up, Bakugou sees Izuku with the same pained expression as before, but now with the addition of tears running down his cheek. The alpha says fuck it to every logical reason that tells him to keep his distance from the omega to not get him even more anxious, and closes the space between them with two long strides. 

Katsuki pulls Deku against his chest and hugs him tightly —  that’s the last straw for Izuku’s crying to become full-blown sobs. The omega’s hands grasp on his shirt and Deku weeps on him with harsh hiccups.

“I- I-” Izuku tries talking but Katsuki shushes him.

“It’s alright. Everything is going to be fine,” Bakugou whispers and pets the omegas head.

Still following his instincts, Katsuki pulls Izuku towards the bed in the middle of the room. The omega’s crying freezes in fear again when he realizes where they’re going, but Bakugou keeps his gentle pats and his coos to calm him down until they’re cuddling in bed. 

It takes some time and enough tears to soak Katsuki’s shirt but, eventually, Izuku seems to have calmed down. The omega’s breathing is deep, taking in every ounce of the calming pheromones Katsuki is giving out. Bakugou is also enjoying being, for the first time, in the omega’s nest. 

He had never entered Izuku’s room before, even less laid on his bed. He knew that’s the place of the house Deku’s scent would be stronger, he could smell it through the door — but to feel it in his nest is intoxicating. Even tainted by Izuku’s fear, the overwhelming sweet citrus and pine scent makes Katsuki relaxed and even a little drowsy.

“Hey,” Bakugou calls out tentatively when Izuku seems to be completely done with crying. “Can we talk about this shit?”

Deku buries his face in Katsuki’s armpit, hiding away from the question.

“Come on, nerd. We need to.”

“Don’t wanna,” comes the muffled, pouty answer.

“Well, I fucking wanna and I’m the least communicative asshole in the face of the Earth.” Katsuki says, slightly teasing the crabby response the omega gave. When even that doesn’t get him a chuckle, Katsuki decides he’ll just have to start without Deku. “It’s not that I don’t want you. I thought it was pretty fucking clear already how much I want you. I just don’t want to touch you if you’re not into it.”

“That’s not what they told us,” Izuku says, still hiding his face.

“Who told you what?”

“They told us the alphas would know what to do. All we had to do was let it happen,” comes the muffled answer that makes Katsuki sigh in frustration.

“Let me fucking guess — the institution?” He asks bitterly, and Izuku nods. “Well, another one for the books, they’re fucking wrong.

Izuku raises his head, finally, and looks at him skeptically with a cocked eyebrow. “...You don’t know what to do either?”

Katsuki scoffs at him, “I fucking know what to do! I just won’t do it with someone unwilling and terrified!” 

The omega looks away ashamed, his whole body goes stiff against Katsuki’s.

“Hey, no. We’re fucking talking, alright?” Bakugou complains. “We ain’t gonna solve this shit if you refuse to acknowledge what happened.”

“Ok, I was scared, but I’d have gone through it!” Izuku looks back at him and says with anger rising again.

“That’s not how sex works! You don’t fucking have to ‘go through it’ if you don’t want to!” Katsuki argues frustrated earning a humorless chuckle from Izuku.

“That’s a very alpha-thing to say. I can assure you no omega believes that.”

“Well, fuck that. I can’t promise this for every omega in the world, but you won’t have to ever have sex if you don’t want to.” Katsuki swears, looking deep into Deku’s green eyes. 

The omega looks back into his eyes for the first time that night and whispers, “what if I never want to?”

“Then we’ll never have sex.” He answers calmly.

“You can’t-”

“I can.” Katsuki interrupts him. “We’re not doing it if you’re not interested.”

“I-” Izuku begins talking and bites his lower lip before continuing. “I just- I don’t know... Maybe in my heat, when the pain is inevitable-”

“What?” The alpha asks confused, shaking his head. “What pain?”

“The… regular one?” Izuku answers unsure.

“Heats hurt?”

“Yeah? Remember the almost-dying issue in the first one I went through here?” Izuku answers as if it was obvious.

“But you were without your meds and shit, Suneater said.” Katsuki tries to understand.

“Without those, they’re deadly. With the meds and aids, they’re just very painful.” Izuku explains and then it’s his turn to look at Katsuki confused. “How did you think they are?”

“I don’t know,” Katsuki says self-consciously. He hates not knowing shit. “A five-day jerk-off session?”

“Yeah, basically. And that hurts.” The omega explains as if it was obvious.

“Well, I suppose it can get a little bit raw…” Bakugou concedes. 

Honestly, he made a point of not thinking about Deku’s heat. The second time it came, about two months ago, he just went to stay with Shitty Hair and Pinky without second-guessing it. Izuku did look a little shaky on the couple of days after that, but Bakugou didn’t feel comfortable to ask how it went (it honestly seemed to be very rude to do so).

“It’s not only that. Everything hurts from the beginning,” Izuku says frowning. “It burns, and my inside feels like it's being tied in knots… No matter the aid I use, no matter what I do, it’s awful.”

“Are you sure this is normal? Maybe a doctor-”

“I had doctor appointments before, after and during my heats in the Institution. The discomfort is normal, every omega goes through it.”

“But outside the heat, does it still hurt to-... you know, jerk off?” Bakugou asks curiously.

“I- I don’t know,” Izuku hides his face away again.

“...you don’t know?” The alpha asks even more confused. “How can you not know?”

“I just don’t do it, ok?” Izuku answers annoyed, his voice muffled by Katsuki’s armpit.

“What the- Are you telling me you never jerked off outside a heat?” The disbelief is clear in Bakugou’s voice.

“Of course not! Why would I?” Deku raises his head to express his annoyance and indignation at the question. “I never had to! I never had to deal with wanting to do that before I left the Institution!”

“Because it fucking feels good!” Katsuki answers the obvious. “I may not be an expert in omegas, Deku, but if every omega felt unbearable pain in every sex act I’m pretty sure it would have showed up in my damn research when I looked that shit up. So, either you have a medical condition or you just never did it properly.”

“I’m not defective! The doctors were always checking me!” Izuku retorts frustrated.

“No one is saying you’re defective,” Katsuki says softly, and raises his hand to pet the soft curls. He can’t let Deku get worked up again or else they’ll never get this conversation out of the way. “The fuckers in the Institution taught you all wrong, it’s their fault. You shouldn’t have to just ‘ put up’ with anything an alpha tells you to do, and you shouldn’t have to accept that your whole sexuality is there to please someone else.”

Izuku looks at him with an almost pained expression for a second before hiding his face away once more. “I’m defective,” he whimpers.

“What the fuck did I just say?” Katsuki huffs frustrated. He pulls Izuku’s face off his armpit and forces the omega to face him again. “You. Are not. Defective.”

“Tamaki always said it was weird for me to be a prude and- and- but I never wanted to without the heats, but now-” Izuku tries explaining but can’t very well between sobs and broken sentences.

“Shh” Katsuki tries calming him down again. “Let’s take this slowly, alright?” Izuku nods. “You never wanted to jerk off outside heats in the Institution, right?” Another nod. “And the doctors said it was normal?”

“Yeah… Something about not being exposed to enough pheromones.”

“Fine, I guess it makes sense.” Katsuki says thoughtfully. “But that changed when you left.”

Izuku pouts a little, “yeah. It was your fault.”

That makes Bakugou smirk, “oh… So you do like my smell.” Deku almost turns away to hide again but Katsuki stops him just in time. “It’s alright, I like your smell too.”

“You’re weird.” Izuku mumbles. “Alphas are supposed to just- you know. Do it.”

“Do you want me to take the lead?” Bakugou asks earnestly. Izuku just shrugs, without meeting his eyes. “That’s not an answer.”

“I don’t know, ok?” The omega retorts grumpily. “I- kinda yes, but not really.”

“Now that’s an enlightening answer. Clearly, all those rhetoric and eloquence classes did wonders for you.” Katsuki teases trying to lighten up the mood. That earns him a slap on the biceps, and he chuckles.

“I don’t know what I want…” Izuku says softly.

“Maybe you don’t know what you want because you were never presented with the options,” Bakugou answers just as softly.

“And you’ll show them to me.”

“If you want me to, yeah.”

Their voices are nothing more them whispers at this point. Laying in Izuku’s bed, they spend a good time just looking into each other’s eyes; trying to make any sense of the weird and eye-opening conversation they just had.

“Alright,” Izuku says quietly. “I want you to show me, Kacchan.”

Bakugou takes a deep breath, taking in the omega’s scent that’s now getting clear of the sourness of fear. He cups Deku’s face with his hand and pulls him in for a soft, sweet kiss. It’s not hungry and desperate as their last kiss was; it’s gentle and full of longing. 

The understanding of how deep Izuku’s issues with sex and intimacy go is more than enough to quench the burning fire inside Katsuki. He still wants Deku, still wants to taste him — but now, he wants to cherish him even more. Izuku’s courage seems to be bigger and brighter every time Katsuki gets a chance to look closely.

Pulling back, the alpha speaks softly and whispers. “We can do that. Just not today, alright?”

“But your birthday-” Deku tries arguing.

“Let me sleep here?” Katsuki asks softly. “This can be my birthday gift.”

“Just… sleep?”

“Yeah, just like this.” Bakugou pulls Deku to snuggle closer and they relax in each other’s embrace.

 

Chapter Text

Appetizer

Izuku usually wakes up with his alarm blaring and it takes everything he has in him to force himself out of bed. He’s not a morning person and to leave the comfortable warmth of his nest is the hardest part of his day.

Today, however, though his nest is warmer and more comfortable than ever before, he wakes up ready to run away from it — and the reason for that is because the scent of the alpha enveloping him triggers every kind of response in his brain. Izuku’s eyes open as a ‘fight or flight’ reaction runs through his body.

Completely unaffected by that, Kacchan whispers a lazy “Good morning, nerd” and kisses his forehead. The alpha runs his nose on Izuku’s neck lovingly, and ignores the way the vein there throbs with Izuku’s high heart rate before untangling his limbs. “I’ll start breakfast, don’t be late.”

It still takes Izuku a few minutes to get his nerves under enough control for him to leave his bed and get ready. The fact his nest smells like Katsuki helps and hinders the process of him calming down at the same time.

An interesting fact is that, even though Izuku overthought absolutely everything about Katsuki’s birthday night (from the food, to the decor, to what he’d be wearing and to hours and hours of trying-to-ignore-but-thinking-about-it-anyway about the sex), he never thought about the morning after. Did he expect Katsuki to mate with him and tell him to leave the bedroom? Not really, but he also couldn’t imagine himself sleeping with the alpha on the alpha’s bed.

Another interesting point — Izuku was sure it would have happened on Katsuki’s bed. He prepared himself to enter the alpha’s bedroom as if he was readying his nerves to walk to his judgment day. In his freaked-out brain, he could perfectly picture the moment sweet Kacchan would become a voracious alpha and maul him.

Now, Izuku feels incredibly guilty for thinking that. Kacchan has been nothing if not patient and understanding with him, no matter how much Izuku tempts him. Izuku knew he couldn’t expect an alpha to control himself so much when he kept inducing him to want more with his kisses. 

But, the truth is that Izuku likes the kisses. He truly does. They take his breath away and make his legs wobbly, get his heart beating faster in the most delicious way and heat pools in his lower abdomen. In this last month of dates, Izuku came to eagerly expect the end of the night when the alpha would claim his lips.

Izuku wasn’t surprised when, that last Saturday, Kacchan lost control. He knew it was coming, he knew every time he instigated the alpha by reciprocating his physical affection it was a gamble. The Institution might have been wrong about many things, but not about everything.

So, with Katsuki’s birthday arriving, Izuku decided to take the alpha out of his misery. He had strung Kacchan along for long enough, Izuku would have to face the consequences. The omega even tried to reason that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad — he liked the kisses, and maybe there would be more kisses beside the- ahn- rest.

And yet, his panic over what he was allowing to happen made him undesirable to Katsuki. Izuku has always known he is a very lousy omega, but last night was probably his rock bottom. He ruined Kacchan’s birthday with his cowardice and yet the alpha still came through for him. Kacchan did his best to calm Izuku down, to try and understand where his fears came from, to reassure Izuku he was safe.

Kacchan truly is amazing.

The alpha even controlled himself in Izuku’s nest while scenting the omega. Kacchan didn’t attack him and the kisses they shared at the end of the night were calm and collected. Izuku really liked those kisses. And then they slept. Just slept. Snuggling each other until the first morning's light, when Katsuki began stirring himself awake and decided it was a good idea to caress Izuku’s hair and back.

Izuku honestly has no idea what to make of all this.

And he can’t really think about it now, since he’s probably already late. He finishes putting on his uniform, double checks that he put on his blockers and goes to the kitchen to face Katsuki with his heart beating loudly in his chest. His palms are sweaty, his face is flustered and Izuku feels thrilled and terrified at the same time.

Will he ever again be able to look at Kacchan without feeling flustered? And, if it’s this bad already, how will it be when they do start doing whatever Kacchan has to show him? Damn, he’s really willing to try the things Kacchan’s way, isn’t he? Izuku is so out of his depth.

***

“So...” Camie says, stretching the ‘o’ as far as she can, the moment they’re alone in the office. “How was the big night?”

Izuku profoundly regrets asking Camie things during one of his freak outs. In his defense, just because internet articles said alphas could like ambient lighting for mating-night, it didn’t mean Kacchan would like it. Izuku was making up all kinds of scenarios in his head in which Katsuki yelled at him about fire hazards over the candles that he ended up blurting things out when Camie asked why he looked like he was about to throw up.

“Ahn-” He opens his mouth but nothing comes out. Maybe Kacchan was right to mock the fact his classes in public speech and eloquence aren’t helping him much lately.

“Come on! Gimme the deets!” She begs excitedly. “Did he like the candles? How was the food? How was the se-”

Midoriya slaps a hand over her mouth before the woman could finish. “I don’t kiss and tell!” He blurts out, blushing to his ears.

“You’re no fun,” Camie whines from behind his hand and Izuku releases his hold on her.

“It’s private, Camie!”

Camie shrugs. “I’d tell you all about what me and my hot mama do if you asked me.”

“Well, I’m not asking!”

“Your loss. We’re crazy hot.” She says cockily and Izuku just rolls his eyes. “No, but really, Zuku. I’m glad you two are getting shit figured out. You two deserve it.”

Camie has a soft smile on her face and, when Izuku doesn’t interrupt her, she continues talking. The woman is sitting on top of his desk, and the omega just looks at her hoping she clarifies why she thinks ‘they deserve it’.

“It’s kinda cray-cray how you two found each other — but, hey, if it worked, it worked, right? I’ve never seen Explodo happier and, yeah, I know he’s a handful — TRUST ME.” She rolls her eyes and shakes her head dramatically. “That man has been a pain since I met him. But you two make it work, so I think you’re just the right thing for him. And I guess he’s the right thing for you too since you two are so in love.”

Izuku almost falls from his chair ass first on the floor after hearing that.

He and Kacchan — in love? 

Love? Like, the whole word? This whole word with all these meanings and expectations attached?!

They can’t be in love! They never-...

What?

What have they never did to fall in love?

Can they be in love?

Does Kacchan love him?

And, more importantly, does Izuku love Kacchan?

He doesn’t… Or does he?

What even means to love Kacchan?

Izuku knows he loves Tamaki, Eri, his mother, All Might. But these are the people who have been in his life for years, his family.

Does he love anyone else?

Yeah, actually. He cares deeply and probably loves Kouta, Mirio, Ochako, Camie and Kiri. They’re not family, but they’re very close to it.

And Kacchan?

Kacchan isn’t family — but he’s closer than the ‘almost family’ he has.

Kacchan has a category all of his own for Izuku.

Not only he cares about the alpha as he cares about his friends; he also wants to protect Kacchan as he wants to protect his family. And more. He wants to spend time with Kacchan, and he’s glad they live together, and he’s looking forward to future dates, and he really, really likes the kisses.

And he was ready to go through the thing he’s the most afraid just to make Kacchan happy.

Izuku loves Kacchan. 

And not the same love he has for his family. Izuku loves Kacchan as an omega loves an alpha.

Maybe he does in the wrong way — because Izuku does everything omega-like the wrong way. He doesn’t want to be submissive to Katsuki, he doesn’t wish for Kacchan to protect him from everything, and he’s still not sure he wants to share his heats with the alpha.

But he wants to be Kacchan’s mate properly. And he wants Kacchan to want him as a mate even though Izuku is the wrong kind of omega.

“We’re back!” Kirishima boisterously interrupts Izuku’s thoughts. Katsuki and Kiri are back from their spar. “Boy! I’m starving! And today is Tonkatsu day at the cafeteria! We gotta run before they run out!”

Camie jumps from her chair, “no need to tell me twice, fam.” They quickly grab their stuff, but, as they’re going through the door, Camie looks back to him. “Hey, isn’t Tonkatsu your favorite, Zuku? Don’t you wanna come with us?”

Izuku sees, from the corner of his eye, Katsuki stop his movement of taking the two lunch bentos out of his bag. The alpha freezes on the spot, just waiting for Izuku’s response.

“Nah, I’m fine. You guys enjoy it for me!” He says smiling to his friends. Today he really feels like eating Kacchan’s homemade bento.

Without a word, Katsuki pulls the bentos out of the bag and motions to give Izuku his one. They usually eat in their own desks, doing their own things, but today he decides to change up a bit. Izuku drags his chair to Katsuki’s desk and sets it by the alpha's side.

“Wanna watch the new Bon Appetit video?” He asks under Bakugou’s baffled look. “They’re making pies.”

It takes less than a couple of heartbeats for Katsuki to relax and throw a dubious look at Izuku. “I’m not gonna bake you any fucking pies. There’s no way I can make those fit our nutrition plan.”

They eat their lunch watching the YouTube video about piemaking and, even though Katsuki promises several times he won’t bake any pies through the course of it, the alpha also makes several little remarks about how he’d tackle those recipes (but he’s still not making them, stupid Deku). Izuku enjoys every second of their lunch together — Katsuki’s food is amazing, the video is fun and he’s pretty sure he can convince the alpha to bake a couple of pies. 

By the end of their lunch, Izuku finds himself wishing this was a lunch date. Then they could walk home holding hands and share some kisses. And, as he takes a big sniff of Katsuki’s scent, he admits to himself he’s actually looking forward to the things the alpha promised to teach him.

***

Wednesdays are big days in Izuku’s week. They became the unofficial ‘week date-night day’ for him and Kacchan since it’s in the middle of the week and it helps them hold out until Friday. But not only that, Wednesdays are the days Izuku spars with Bull.

Their training sessions haven’t been productive. Bull still refuses to talk to him properly, they barely greet each other, the mood during the sessions is very tense, and the fights are subpar. The sidekick keeps repeating the same fighting style from the first time — too sloppy, focusing too much on brute strength and not enough on strategy. 

Today wasn’t different, their fight was just as unproductive and Izuku barely worked up a sweat. He decided to go to the big gym do a little bit of weight training and stretching but, the moment he enters the room, he sees Kacchan and all his plans go out of the window.

Kacchan is there with his usual black tank top and black shorts, dripping sweat and deadlifting three times Izuku’s weight as if it’s nothing. The alpha squats making his thighs strain and fill the shorts and then goes up, his arms bulging and rippling. The sweat drips down his brow and, even though there are half a dozen alphas in that gym sweating and releasing pheromones, Izuku’s nose instantly picks up Katsuki’s scent.

Izuku’s mouth goes dry and his heart rate goes even higher than it was when he was fighting Bull. All the promises of showing him stuff that Katsuki made a couple of days ago fill Izuku’s head and suddenly he’s way more curious about this stuff than he ever was. The way Kacchan’s hands grip the metal bar seems almost indecent and Izuku is pretty sure the black tank top sticking to the alpha’s skin with sweat is against some law.

The loud bang of the weight hitting the floor as Kacchan finishes his rep gets Izuku out of his stupor. He quickly decides he doesn’t need any more training for that day and that it’s not a problem to skip his stretches once, and flies away as fast as he can from the gym with his face flushed and his body heated.

The rest of the day was extremely hard for Izuku. He had to douse himself with blockers several times during the work hours to not let his interested in stuff <