It happened every once in awhile, more times than Shouto would care to admit. A glimpse in the mirror as he brushed his teeth could charge the air with the high-pitched whistle of a heated kettle. The jagged lines of his scarred flesh sometimes seared with a phantom pain from long ago. In his right eye he’d see the fear in his mother’s ice cold eyes; in his left, the burning fury of his father.
Shouto splashed cold water on his face. Intrusive thoughts were nothing new. From a young age, he’d learned to school his emotions, to hide any sign of weakness. His classmates were none the wiser to the turmoil carefully hidden behind a neutral face. There was only one person he could never fool.
“Welcome back, Shouto.”
Izuku laid down on the floor of Shouto’s dorm room, biting a pen as he poured over one of the books surrounding him. He smiled brightly upon Shouto’s return, but that smile dropped as he took in the other’s face. His face was laced with the slightest of tension and his eyes shone with an expression that only Izuku could read.
Wordlessly, Izuku sat up and pushed the books aside, settling back against Shouto’s bed. He patted the space next to him. Shouto took up the spot at his side, dropping his forehead heavily onto Izuku’s shoulder. Izuku wrapped an arm around his shoulder, snaking his hand up to run his fingers gently through Shouto’s hair.
They stayed like that for a few minutes, Shouto leaning further into the relaxing touch. When Izuku had eased most of his tension away, Shouto finally broke the silence.
“It was my scar.”
Izuku nodded. He knew what that meant. He gently nudged Shouto off his shoulder, shifting his head onto his lap. With Shouto looking up at him now, Izuku returned to running his fingers through Shouto’s fringe. Shouto let his eyes fall closed.
“It wasn’t your fault, Shouto.”
Shouto nodded, but that small twinge of tension returned.
“I know. It hasn’t happened in a while.”
Izuku bent down to press a kiss to Shouto’s forehead. He cupped Shouto’s left cheek, rubbing his thumb over Shouto’s scarred cheek.
“I’ve been a little uneasy ever since that fight,” Shouto continued.
“The one with the High End Nomu?”
“You’ve seen my father’s scar, right? Covers the left side of his face.”
Izuku frowned. “Shouto.”
“Mom knows what happened, but she hasn’t seen it yet. I just….wonder what she’ll think when she sees it. Do I look even more like him?”
Izuku’s hand stilled. He stared intently until Shouto opened his eyes and met his gaze.
“You are not your father, Shouto. We can all see that. Your mother can see that. And this scar isn’t a curse. It’s proof that you’re a fighter. No matter what knocks you down, you’ll always get back up again.”
Shouto’s gaze softened. He lifted one hand, pressing it against Izuku’s cheek. He stared deeply into his eyes, memorizing their deep emerald hue. He pulled Izuku down gently, pressing their foreheads together before he shifted to press their lips together. He laced their fingers together, running his thumb over the scars on Izuku’s hand.
“I can say the same about you, Izuku.” Izuku smiled.
They laid like that, just enjoying the other’s presence, their intertwined hands resting on Shouto’s stomach. After a while, Shouto gave Izuku’s hand a squeeze, pulling his attention in. “There’s something else, Izuku.”
“What is it?” Izuku asked.
Izuku’s eyes widened, staring at Shouto. Shouto sat up, turning to face Izuku fully.
“What….what about Dabi?”
“I….” Shouto hesitated. “I don’t know what it is, but something about how he came after Dad struck me. I didn’t realize at the time, I was too caught up in the panic, but it was familiar. The camera was too far away, yet it just felt like Dabi coming after my father was….intentional.”
Izuku’s brow furrowed. “Shouto, what do you mean?”
“I—I don’t know. Nevermind.” Shouto averted his gaze.
Izuku frowned. He gently lifted Shouto’s chin. “Hey,” he urged. “It’s ok. We’ll figure it out.” Izuku threw his arms around Shouto. “We’ll figure it out together.”
Shouto settled his hands on Izuku’s back, resting his head on his shoulder.
Izuku pulled his head back, pressing his lips to Shouto’s lips. When they pulled away, Izuku tugged on Shouto’s hand, pulling him up onto the bed. They cuddled together under the covers, foreheads pressed against each other, staring deep into the other’s eyes.
“Tell you what,” Izuku started, “how about instead of sparring tomorrow, we just have a relaxing Saturday? Maybe we ask Aizawa-sensei if we can get out of here. We can make it a date.”
“Skipping out on your training?” Shouto teased.
Izuku grinned. “I won’t tell if you don’t.”
Shouto returned Izuku’s smile. “Deal.”
Shouto kissed him. When they pulled away, Izuku pressed his hand to Shouto’s scar, running his fingers softly over the wrinkled flesh. “No matter what, Shouto, it’ll be you and me.”
Shouto pressed a kiss to Izuku’s scarred hand. “Together.”