The class had mostly gone back to normal after the…incident. Except it hadn’t, not really. Shoji sighed, flipping over on his futon. He blinked, looking at the clock on the floor. 4;27 blinked back at him.
Everyone’s physical wounds had healed, and yet…he formed a hand on the end of one of his tentacles and flexed it. He’d never blamed Tokoyami or Dark Shadow for what had happened, not even for a moment; in fact, he felt awful for putting his friend in that situation. His mind drifted to Midoriya, who hadn’t hesitated to throw himself into danger, despite his injuries. Shoji winced at the thought of seeing one of his friends banged up so badly…he turned to his other side again. Was Izuku a friend? He certainly hoped so, there was just something so inspiring about that mumbling, energetic ball of nerves. His brain reminded him of his many thoughts of going beyond friendship, but he chided it and shoved it back. Now was not the time. It was never the time, he sighed.
“Damn…” resigned to the fact that he wouldn’t be getting back to sleep anytime soon, Shoji gathered himself into a standing position and made his way into the kitchen. Maybe he could get away with making a cup of tea without waking anyone. Something warm sounded nice right about now.
Quietly padding into the kitchen, his sleepy eyes barely noticed the tuft of green fluff peeking from over the top of the couch.
“Midoriya?” he asked quietly, flicking on the electric kettle. He was met with a squeak and a thump. Walking over curiously, he found Izuku in a pile on the floor, appearing to have fallen off the couch. “I did not mean to scare you.” He apologized, offering a hand up. Izuku nodded, squeaking again when two more hands assisted him in standing when he wobbled a bit.
“Y-you didn’t, uh…why are you – “ Izuku cut himself off with a yawn “…w-why are you up so late?” he paused, frowned “…early?”
Shoji shrugged “I could ask you the same, but I think we both know the answer.” Padding back over to the kettle, he got out two mugs from the cupboard and plopped a teabag in each. “Would you like some tea?”
“Um…” Izuku fiddled with the hem of his shirt “…yes?”
They stood in silence as the water boiled. Izuku shuffling nervously – or was that just how he normally was? Shoji wasn’t sure – and Shoji keeping an eye and an ear on the kettle. The click of the kettle turning off seemed to flick a switch, the world returning to normal, or whatever counted as normal now.
Bringing their mugs over to the couch, silence still hanging in the air, though less tense. He noticed Izuku’s eyes flicking from him to his mug a few times, then off to the side. He looked as if he wanted to say something, gnawing on his lip like that, yet he remained quiet. Shoji wasn’t one for much talking, but there was something in Izuku’s eyes that made his heart ache.
“Yes?” he said quickly, eyes zipping over to meet Shoji’s.
“Do you…want to talk about it?” he wasn’t sure, but had a strong inkling that Izuku wanted to talk about ‘the incident’.
“I-it?” Izuku fumbled, almost dropping his mug “I-I don’t know what you mean, haha…”
“Training camp…Kamino…” he said softly “It’s been bothering me too. Do you want to talk about it?”
“I-I…” Izuku set his mug down on the table and gave Shoji a shaky thumbs-up, wiping at his eyes with his other hand “I-I’m fine, I…” he hid his face in his arms, unable to stop his quiet sobs.
Shoji’s body seemed to move on its own, delicately scooping up the green-haired boy and placing him in his lap, wrapping him in all six arms with a few hands rubbing soothingly along his back. He didn’t say anything, just let himself be something warm and soft for Izuku to cry onto.
“I-it’s my fault…” if it hadn’t been for his enhanced hearing, Shoji might not have heard the almost inaudible whisper from the shaking body in his arms.
“It is not.” He whispered firmly, hugging Izuku closer.
“I-it is though, I-I’m the one that couldn’t save Kaachan, a-and I messed up everything by trying to save him, a-and…” he sniffled, burying his face in Shoji’s chest to mumble the rest.
“I don’t know what that last one was, but I can assure you it isn’t true. You couldn’t have known what would happen. And,” he tipped Izuku’s head up slightly, wiping away the still-flowing tears “although I still stand by that I do not agree with your choice to go alone…it was brave of you. You did what a hero would do, Midoriya.”
“A-a hero w-wouldn’t let their friend get hurt…”
“Bakugou only sustained minor bruising, remember?” he frowned as Izuku looked down.
“N-no, I…I mean yes, but…I meant you…” he closed his eyes, sucking in a breath to try to hold back the next wave of tears.
“Oh.” It came out as more of an exhale than a word. “It wasn’t your fault…it wasn’t even Tokoyami’s fault…” Shoji slid his newly healed hand over to Izuku, causing the latter to jump as he brushed it over one of Izuku’s. “See? All is well, no harm done.”
As he was about to retract his hand, Izuku held it and gave it a small squeeze. Shoji froze, feeling himself flush under his mask. If he thought he was blushing then, though, it was nothing compared to how hot his face felt when Izuku brought his hand up to his mouth and kissed it, mumbling apologies and “sorry” into it, eventually leaving it to cup his cheek, sighing contentedly.
Shoji held the boy tighter still, wondering just what he was supposed to do with something so precious.