Kaminari was not the type to brood. For one, he didn’t want to infringe on Tokoyami’s brand. For two, he was just a generally happy personality that could only pull off a long black jacket with a few layers of irony. But today, running his fingers along the edge of his new cropped jacket, he couldn’t help but brood. Had Dabi taken him up on his offer of the old jacket? Was he doing okay out of prison?
Why hadn’t he been replying?
He’d managed to forget that, briefly, when he dropped by the support classroom to pick up his modified costume. But now, alone with his thoughts…
Maybe I should just call him and ask what’s wrong… he thought, reaching for his cell phone.
“Hey—Kaminari! I’m glad I caught you!” All smiles, Kirishima jogged over to Kaminari as he slid his costume’s case back into its locker. He eyed the phone in Kaminari’s hand. “Are you busy right now?”
“No, haha—it’s probably a good thing you stopped me, honestly…”
“Great.” Kirishima grabbed Kaminari and hauled him towards the door, “Come work out with me. I wanna talk.”
“But—it’s almost time for dinner—”
“You can’t eat right before working out! We’ll push through and eat afterwards!” Kirishima grinned, and Kaminari felt it was safe to assume this talk wasn’t going to be anything too heavy. Not from such a buoyant personality! Still...it was a little weird.
“...don’t you usually do this with Bakugo?” Kaminari asked as Kirishima pushed open the door to the weight room that the school had been leaving open later now that students lived on-campus. Mostly for Kirishima, probably, though there were a handful of third years hanging around. And in the corner, a flash of green hair...Midoriya? Being spotted by Uraraka?
“Nah man, Bakugo and I work out in the mornings! This is an extra session I wanted to throw in now that they’re pushing us to come up with signature moves. Let’s start with the bench.”
Kaminari wasn’t sure how weight training of all things was supposed to help with the development of a signature move, but that wasn’t stopping Kirishima from sliding a lot of plates onto the bar before positioning himself beneath it.
This...did not seem like the sort of environment you could easily talk in. Especially not with Kirishima’s breathing timed and deliberate, exhale as he pushed up, inhale as he lowered it down. And when he popped up and asked a question, it didn’t have anything to do with anything! “Do you want less weight?”
“Well, yeah—but not that much less. I do work out too you know, Kirishima—you’ve seen my six pack!”
“If I’ve seen it then why are you taking your shirt off?”
“To prove that I still have it! And that twenty-four hour access to Lunch Rush’s cooking hasn’t ruined it!” Kaminari flexed aggressively.
That had better be with me and not at me, Kirishima, or I’ll stop defending your makeout sessions with Bakugo and start calling it your Hoover Quirk.
Teasing aside, he’d pretty much decided that Kirishima just wanted someone to work out with when the other shoe finally dropped.
“So,” Kirishima said, as he rubbed chalk on his hands. (They’d since switched to deadlift, and some seriously scary weights awaited him.) “We haven’t really talked about the guy...from the League of Villains.”
“Right...one of the guys who took Bakugo.”
……….. oh. “Yeah…” Wasn’t that
“So, yeah, there’s that, and I can’t say that I understand it! You’re—well, you’re not always a smart guy, but Kaminari, you’re a good guy!” Kirishima clenched his fist feelingly. “I don’t believe you’d ever do something to harm UA! Or your friends! So while I feel like this guy’s bad news, I want to try trusting you.”
Kaminari was so moved that he could have hugged Kirishima. Except for how dangerous that could be while he was working out. And the fact that he was still shirtless. “ Dude…”
“Of course—” Kirishima went on, “It would have been a different story if I didn’t get Katsuki back.”
“Of course…” Kaminari bit back his words, then pushed ahead. “Look, Kirishima—I know he’s hurt people. And I can’t even begin to think of how he’ll make it all right—”
“You maybe should,” Kirishima said, his expression serious, “because when you vouch for him, or—Jirou said you were kissing him—”
“She really did not need to share that detail with the class…”
“—it seems like you’re making excuses for him. And condoning all he did.” Kaminari couldn’t think of a moment where he’d seen Kirishima look more serious. “None of that seems to match up, man, but you need to be careful. Bakugo hasn’t said anything about his attendance here, but I know it’s bothering Iida.”
“...Iida? Why?” Of everyone, he’d have thought that Bakugo might be a problem, and probably Midoriya, because of what had happened to All Might… Of course, Midoriya was Midoriya…
“Dude. His brother?”
“Yeah, Stain.” Kirishima started racking his weights, as if their chat was drawing to a close. “—I don’t know what you see in him, and I’m not sure I’m ready to have that conversation. It would probably be easier for everyone if when you thought about everything he’s done, you decided that he isn’t worth it—did you know All Might talked to us, and all of the other couples, about how the dorms and living together is going to cause drama? The class doesn’t need any more drama.”
As if on cue, someone shot past them with her hands over her face, fleeing a confused-looking Midoriya.
Kirishima watched her leave, then put his hand on Kaminari’s arm. “But, if you’re not going to do that...figure out how he’s going to fix things. At least with the people who have to live on campus with him. And I would appreciate if you started with my boyfriend. He’s been grumpy—”
“—er than usual, and I don’t want to see him struggle anymore, okay?”
Kaminari lapsed into silence as Midoriya wandered past them, looking dazed and confused. “...thanks, Kirishima.”
“Don’t mention it. What are bros for?” He heaved the bar back into place, tossing Kaminari’s shirt at him and headed for the exit. “It’s funny—I planned to get you out here to talk about how, when you’re dating big personalities, you have to remember to take time for yourself...I’d seen how you keep looking at your phone...but I just ended up talking about our guys anyway.” He sounded amused...mostly. Kaminari was struck by how little he knew about Kirishima under his blindingly sunny personality. Now wasn’t the time to dig, but...man, he wasn’t always the most observant, was he? Maybe he should try.
Maybe then he’d know why Dabi wasn’t answering him.
“...he’s not really ‘my guy’,” he mused as they left the gym, the sun kissing close to the horizon. “We’re not…”
Kirishima sighed. “—then wouldn’t it be so much easier if you didn’t sound so bummed about that?”
Aizawa had handled being woken up from naps before. Nearly always in the case of emergencies, but it wasn’t entirely foreign. As he leaned against the walled structure that sat like a pathetic tower atop All Might’s building, he was doing his best to act like it, instead of blinking like a newborn kitten being forced to see the sun.
Maybe it was the shade provided by the deep hollows around his eyes, but All Might was staring into the sunset with an expression of utter calm and contentment. Aizawa looked at the horizon and groaned softly.
“My eyes are dry,” he grunted, closing them for an extended period before letting them flutter open. When they opened again, he saw that All Might was now frowning.
“I didn’t think, of course—”
“I don’t have to look at the sun,” he grunted, dismissive. “—while I’ll admit this isn’t my…‘thing’, I’m going to sit here, both because I said I would and because it’s something you enjoy.”
The tension in All Might’s shoulders seemed to ease, but his answering smile and shrug still held shreds of worry. “Usually when I think of couples doing something together, it’s something they both enjoy.”
“Statistically unlikely. Even two individuals who are very alike—”
Which they weren’t. He knew that worried All Might sometimes, and he cursed himself for pointing it out.
Even if he was correct.
“—they can’t enjoy the same things all the time. Or even most of the time.” He leaned his head back against the wall and watched All Might for a while, watching him rather than the sun. He broke the silence again as the light washing over his face turned pink. “Do you think it’s that important for couples to enjoy the same things, even trivialities?”
“Hm, that’s—” All Might tucked a hand behind his head, and smiled at Aizawa. “I do, I suppose! While it’s not the same thing as fighting for the same cause, or religion, maybe people who find each other beautiful should find the same things beautiful some of the time.”
He gestured to the sunset in a flustered way that suggested he’d chosen that phrasing exclusively to call Aizawa beautiful. At the risk of obscuring his meaning! That made Aizawa frown as he considered the matter.
The sun definitely wasn’t ‘beautiful’ in his eyes. It was fortunate that it existed—it made plants grown, and warmed the earth, even if Aizawa preferred the dark—but beautiful ?
He wasn’t going to drive himself mad worrying about this, but he would be thinking about it. The fact that he’d allowed himself to be gotten out of bed after only a few hours of sleep suggested he needed to start planning his actions around keeping their relationship going, rather than questioning whether it was the sane and sound thing to do.
Maybe All Might was still thinking about it, too, because when the sun dipped below the horizon he reached for Aizawa’s hand. “Do you want to get dinner tomorrow?”
“I can do lunch...tomorrow, I want to stake out the school around that time,” Aizawa said, frowning at the dark line of the horizon, and lights flickering on all over the city.
“It’s his first day, isn’t it?”
So All Might had been keeping tabs, too. But of course he had been. “Yes. I suspect the inevitable catastrophe won’t happen right away, but it’s the second most likely course of events. If things go smoothly tomorrow night, it will be weeks before things finally boil over…”
He couldn’t stake the school out every night. So he would tomorrow, and hope there were enough hints ahead of time to warn him when the time came.
“But you’re sure it will?” All Might asked sadly. Even if the little prick had fought against the former Number One Hero, he seemed a few classes away from becoming another one of All Might’s growing list of sons. Aizawa would have to meet with Nezu to discuss Touya Todoroki’s class schedule, to make sure that didn’t happen. To protect All Might, when the other shoe dropped.
“I’m certain that even without Ectoplasm deliberately throwing the vote to get his conditions met, the boy would have crashed and burned eventually. He doesn’t have what it takes to survive UA. It’s—” More logical. “— kinder to stop things now before he gets invested. But what they’ve decided to do...is cruel, and it’s going to backfire, and I am going to do everything in my power to make sure that my students aren’t caught in the explosion.”