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Ten Years, One Torch

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Okay – eight, nine – what was the carousel number again? Crap – thirteen, okay, okay.

Izuku tries to give off the confidence of someone who knows where the hell they’re going.

It’s not his fault – he hasn’t been to this airport in a while, and they definitely remodeled the C gates, and Izuku checks his text from Ochaco to confirm once more that yes, they are still meeting at carousel thirteen.

Izuku takes in a deep breath and adjusts the bag on his shoulder as he fights through the crowd. He can do this.

His mind has already run through a hundred-million different situations – and Izuku has decided at best, his friends will be happy to see him, and at worst they’ll have forgotten his name and moved on.

Ochaco said they – well, Ochaco has a habit of sugarcoating things for him anyways – and she really doesn’t need to, Izuku won’t be mad, four years is a really long time –

Izuku nearly jumps out his skin at the distant shout of his name. He only has a moment to recover before knuckles are digging into the top of his head.

“Deku!” Katsuki shouts, really giving him a noogie for the ages. “What the fuck – not even a fuckin’ postcard. What the hell is this?” Katuski slaps his chest with the back of his hand, and Izuku giggles an oof sound – “Who let you get gains?”

“Sorry Kacchan,” Izuku laughs. “Forgot to ask your permission first.”

Katuski snarls a laugh and digs his knuckles harder into Izuku’s head, and Izuku feels downright giddy as he tries to half-heartedly bat him off. The familiarity of it already feels like home.

“Midoriya!” Katsuki is torn off by Kirishima, and Izuku gapes at how broad he’s gotten. He’s squeezed tight in a hug, and Izuku flails to hug him back. “We missed you! Oh my god you look so different!”

“S-So do you!”

Kirishima’s hair is much longer. His shoulders are wide, but Katuski has definitely put on more muscle. Mask or not, it’s obvious that they’re heroes.

“Fuckin’ look at this,” Katsuki squeezes the muscle in Izuku’s shoulder. “I’m absolutely livid.”

“Babe, he puts our gains to shame.”

“Best friend coming through, out of my way!” Ochaco pushes, and Izuku’s heart soars as Ochaco wraps him up in a hug. “You made it!”

“I did! Wow-“ Izuku laughs. “I – thanks for coming to see me! I missed you guys like crazy.”

They’re all a little older, a little different. Less babyfat and more muscle – Izuku didn’t expect them to stay the same, but it’s still a surprise.

“The others wanted to come too,” Tsuyu croaks. “But most couldn’t get off duty.”

“O-oh!” Izuku stutters, flattered. “That’s alright! It’s great to see you, Tsuyu. I like the hair.”

Tsuyu makes a low ribbit sound, and lets Ochaco take her hand.

“Guess who else is here,” Ochaco grins, and Izuku’s heart nearly falls out of his ass because he knows what that look means.

He can do this. He can do this. He can absolutely do this. Four years – Izuku is over it, totally and completely –

Shouto steps aside, offering a short wave and a close-lipped smile, but the look in his eyes is ecstatic, glittery blue and grey – and Izuku’s soul leaves his body at a hundred miles an hour.  

 

Oh my fucking god.

 

You might as well play ‘if you like pina colatas’ and run in slow motion on the beach, because Shouto is walking towards him, and Izuku has left this planetary solar system.

Shouto is taller, stronger, lean and built with muscle that wasn’t there before. Izuku didn’t think it was possible for his face to grow even prettierbut of course Shouto has found a way to beat the odds. He’s chiseled, pale, and the most gorgeous human being Izuku has ever seen in his life, again.

Air sucking straight out of his lungs, Izuku thinks with a dull sense of humor:

 

 Oh I am so not over it.  

 

“Welcome back, Izuku,” Shouto says, and holy shit his voice. Was it always that deep?

“Y-your hair!” Izuku stutters. “It’s longer!”

“Oh,” Shouto feels along his neck. “I guess so. You cut yours.”

Shouto’s bangs are long enough to pull back in a little bun, and Izuku thinks he might actually pass out.

“Is this all you brought?” Kirishima holds up his bag from the carousel.

“O-Oh! Yeah, thanks.”

“Where are you headed after this?”

“My moms place. I didn’t have much luck apartment hunting overseas.”

“Nah,” Katuski says, taking Izuku’s bag out of Kirishima’s hand and slinging it over his shoulder. “We’re taking you out first. Four years for a fuckin’ charity project? You’ve lost your goddamn mind.”

“It wasn’t just a charity project,” Izuku laughs.

“Tell us more about it at the bar,” Ochaco says. “You’re starting to attract attention already.”

Izuku whips his head up, and he notices onlookers taking videos on their phones. He offers an embarrassed smile and a wave, and lets Kirishima urge him along with a hand at his back.

“We can all totally fit in my van. C’mon, I’ve got so much to tell you!”

Izuku turns back, and notices Shouto walking a pace behind him. Shouto gives him a half smile, and Izuku whips back around, embarrassed.

 


 

 They pile into Kirishima’s van – It’s not a mom car! – Dude it’s totally a mom car – and Izuku feels lightheaded with all the excitement. Shouto slides in next to him, and everything about this feels so normal, as if Izuku never left, and it makes his eyes sting a little.

Izuku tries not to look at Shouto too much. He’s so pretty it hurts, like it actually hurts. Like staring straight at the sun. All the repressed (and repressed, and repressed) old feelings come bubbling up like Mentos in cherry soda.

But fingers graze his elbow, and Izuku manages to look at him without squinting.

“How was the flight?” Shouto asks gently.

“Um,” Izuku clears his throat. “Long. My English has gotten way better, but American airports are still confusing as hell.”

Katuski turns around from the front seat.

“Developed a little mouth on ya back there, did you nerd? I bet he replaced us within the first day, fucker makes friends with the garbage man.”

Ochaco gasps jokingly, “How could you!”

Izuku laughs, “No! Not at all. I mean, I made some friends, but they were mostly acquaintances.” His garbage man’s name was also Paul and he had a very nice family, shut up. 

“I know,” Tsuyu says from the way back. “You only facetimed Ochaco every day.”

Shouto looks back, and over. “You did?”

Izuku feels his stomach flop with guilt. He kind of – well. He and Shouto used to text on the regular, but the last couple months have been so crazy, he kinda sorta kept ‘forgetting’ to text Shouto back. A dick move, Izuku knows.

It’s just…

When he was asked to help out on a villain case in America, Izuku knew it was too good of an opportunity to turn down. It sounded like they really needed him – and Izuku had already established himself as Number One by his twenty-second birthday, so when he got the call, he went.

It’s really the whole truth. But it was more than an opportunity; it was a chance to change. To learn new languages, to help new people.

 A chance to finally throw away the torch he’d been carrying for six years. 

 Izuku looks at Shouto out of the corner of his eye – and Shouto is staring right at him, dressed expensive, bangs pulled back and eyes open and understanding and sad, like he really did miss Izuku.

Ten years now. Izuku is pathetic.

“You ghosted him?” Kirishima laughs. “Cold as iceee.”

“I’m sorry!” Izuku laughs, patting Shouto’s arm. “Stuff got so busy, I kept forgetting to text you back. You can dethrone me as Best Friend.”

“Nah,” Shouto says, relaxing back in his seat – and Izuku realizes that he was pulling his leg. “I assumed you were busy. But it’s difficult to receive American news here – we would only hear word when it made international television.”

“Yeah!” Ochaco says, reaching over the headrest to pat his shoulder. “You’re going to have soo many people up your butt. You might as well call your publicist now, ‘cause everyone is going to ask where the Number One has been.”

The car starts to slow as Kirishima pulls into a bar parking lot, but Katsuki is still turned around completely – without a seatbelt, mind you.

 “You know you’re a fuckin’ asshole, right,” Katsuki snaps.  “Maintaining Number One without even being here.”

Izuku grins, “Hey, it’s hard to get Japanese news overseas too, but I still followed the rankings. You and Shouto switched spots what, fifteen times?”

“Eighteen,” Shouto corrects, and Katsuki turns back around and fumes.

“Just you wait, half-n-half bastard, I’m taking my rank back on the next call out.”

“Sure,” Shouto says coolly.

“I’m coming for your job, bitch,” Katuski points at Izuku. He then promptly kicks open the car door as Kirishima puts it in park.

“You can try!” Izuku pipes happily, and there’s laughter as Katsuki slams the door shut.

“Ah,” Kirishima smiles. “It’s good to have you back, Midoriya.”

 


 

 It makes him emotional to be surrounded by friends again. They crowd in on one of the circle booths and order a round of drinks, and it feels like home.

Izuku isn’t surprised when Kirishima wraps an arm around Katsuki’s waist and hauls him close. They’re cute together, and it’s nice to see that their relationship has lasted this long. Tsuyu and Ochaco are a new thing, but Izuku is happy that they’ve finally quit dancing around each other.

Shouto must want him dead, because he slides in next to Izuku and looks at him as if he’s the only person in the bar. His cologne smells sooo freaking good its seriously unfair. 

“So, I was told you worked to bring down an underground drug-trade. Is that true?”

Izuku rubs his nose, and feels cornered under Shouto’s gaze.

“I mean, sort of. It wasn’t just any drug – they were extremely dangerous quirk enhancers. The villains over there were like nothing I’d ever seen.”

“Dude, I bet you got some sick scars,” Kirishima says.

“Oh – well,” Izuku looks once around the bar, and subtly pulls up the side of his shirt. “I thought this one was kind of ironic.”

“Woah!” Kirishima slams his hand on the table, and Katsuki leans up and over the drinks to get a better look.

“What the fuck?”

Shouto makes a choked noise next to him, and Izuku quickly yanks down his shirt with a flush.

“Yeah.”

“Wait wait wait,” Ochaco lifts his shirt back up again, “What the hell? You didn’t tell me about this.”

“I didn’t? Oops.”

“Izuku!”

“That’s the same spot as All Might,” Tsuyu croaks.

“Yeah,” Izuku laughs nervously. “But without the organ damage. It’s all superficial.”

“You’re very lucky,” Shouto says, and the concern in his voice is like honey.

“Wanna’ see something nasty?” Katsuki rolls up his own sleeve and shows off a scar running down the line of his bicep all the way to his wrist. “Panther claws. Furry fuckers will get you.”

“Woah, that’s rough Kacchan.”

Tsuyu and Ochaco show off matching scars on their shoulders, and Kirishima rattles off his own list of battle victories.

“Todoroki got roughed up a bit last week, didn’t ya’?” Kirishima takes a shot and wipes the back of his mouth. “Had us all worried to hell and back.”

Izuku feels his stomach drop.

“What?! You did?”

Shouto shrugs, “Broke my back. It was fine, there was a medic with a healing quirk on scene.”

“Oh my goodness,” Izuku covers his mouth. “I’m glad you’re okay, Jesus. I feel so out of the loop.”

“That’s what we’re here for!” Kirishima grins.

“Hey dickheads,” Katsuki points to the T.V. across the bar. “Look who’s already made channel six.”

Izuku looks up, and blinks when he sees himself. It’s a video filmed in portrait mode – Katsuki rubbing his knuckles into Izuku’s hair and Kirishima giving him a big hug in the airport.

“Oh,” Izuki blinks.

“Our Number One is back,” Shouto says, gently patting his knee in a way that lights up Izuku’s entire spine. “The whole country is going to be talking about you.”

Izuku sinks a little, face going red. “Ah, I see.” If Shouto touches him again, Izuku might just combust on the spot. It’s a hard reminder that they used to be like this – touching always, leaning into each other, sharing secrets.

 “So what’s your plan? You never opened an agency.”

“And I don’t really plan on it either,” Izuku rubs the back of his neck. “I just want to get back to work as fast as possible. I might have to ask around and see if any agencies have available hero registries. I need to get back on the roster so I can receive calls again.”

“You don’t want your own agency?”

“I mean – maybe one day. But right now I don’t even have an apartment.”

“Aren’t you supposed to hire people for that kind of shit?”

“Yeah, but--“

“Join mine,” Shouto says quickly. The table goes silent.

“What?” Izuku tips his head.

“My agency,” Shouto clarifies.

Izuku blinks twice, and then nearly knocks over his drink.

“Wait – you opened it already?!”

“Oh yeah,” Katsuki sets his head in his hand. “That shit was hilarious. First halfie kicks his pops off the top ten, then he says fuck you twice and buys his own goddamn building.”

“It wasn’t…really like that…” Shouto rubs the back of his head.

“It was totally like that,” Ochaco laughs.

Izuku giggles, and fwaps his hand against Shouto’s side. “That’s incredible! Seriously! I would love to join your agency, if you’d let me.”

“Of course,” Shouto nods seriously.

“That guys been a powerhouse,” Kirishima jabs his thumb in Shouto’s direction. “Our graduating class is giving us a run of our money, I’ll tell ya.” Katsuki grunts in a reluctant agreement.

“They’re all in the top fifteen,” Tsuyu explains. “You know, give or take.”

“It doesn’t surprise me,” Izuku says. He thanks the waitress when she refills his beer, and Izuku takes another drink before continuing, “The states had good work, but I’m excited to be back in Japan again. Seriously guys, I’m really glad you came to see me.”

A short pause as they look at each other.  

“Whatever,” Katsuki snaps.

“Well duh! It hasn’t been the same without you.”

“We missed you,” Shouto says, way too earnestly.

“Iida wanted to be here so bad,” Ochaco explains. “But he’s working on a serial killer case that’s been taking up all his time.”

“Wow. I’ll definitely stop by his office to say hi.”

 “His agency isn’t far from mine,” Shouto says, leaning over to speak above the noise of the bar. “We work together frequently.”

Shouto’s breath is cool against his neck, and Izuku nearly shivers. How? How can someone be so sexy?

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Izuku was supposed to move on, get over it – screw around, get his heart broken, break bones in return and move on!

Shouto still looks at him like he’s the world. Still treats him like he never left. Is still so beautiful and kind and generous. The thought of joining Shouto’s agency gives him butterflies, and he’s twenty-six years old for Christ’s sake.

Izuku thinks he recovers fairly human-like, bringing his glass to his lips and nodding.

“I-I see! Good, that’s. Good.”

“God you haven’t fuckin’ changed,” Katsuki rolls his eyes. “Still awkward as all shit.”

“It’s a part of my branding,” Izuku jokes, getting a laugh out of the table. Shouto’s low chuckle is way, way, way too much for his brain to handle, so Izuku clears his throat and excuses himself to the bathroom. “I’ll be right back.”

“Don’t fall in.”

“Have fun!”

Izuku laughs, feeling like he’s back in high school again. The relief of knowing that his friends still care about him is heavy, in a sense. He’s tired from the flight and eager to see his mom again – but he feels like he could spend an eternity here.

Izuku manages to find the restroom. And as soon as he’s out of earshot, Shouto slams his forehead into his hands.

 

Everyone bursts out laughing –

“Kill me,” Shouto muffles into his arms. “How did he get more attractive? It should be illegal for someone to be so cute and so hot at the same time.”

“Did you see his abs?!” Kirishima slaps his hand against the table, trembling the drinks. “Sweet mother Theresa, babe I love you half to death but by god I would tap that so hard.”

“You’re disgusting,” Katuski deadpans. Kirishima wraps an arm around his shoulders in return.

“Come on. You’re tellin’ me if that ass came up to you and whined Kacchan~ you wouldn’t fuck him six ways to Sunday?”

Katsuki grunts and crosses his arms, which is a very reluctant yes. Ochaco is choking she’s laughing so hard. Tsuyu covers her mouth with her hand.

Shouto looks up through his arms and glares, “Don’t you even think about it.”

“Oh come on, you’ve had dibs since high school,” Kirishima huffs. “It’s so not fair. The undercut, guys.”

Shouto rubs his eyes, “The shirt.” He then glares at Ochaco, “You knew he was hot and didn’t tell us.”

Ochaco smiles, “Aww, me? ‘Zuku has always been attractive, silly. I didn’t think it was news.”

“You’re evil.”

“Icyhot, you better snatch him up or this bitch in heat is gonna’ steal him from you,” Katsuki elbows his boyfriend. Kirishima purrs for show, and Shouto growls in response. He likes Kirishima, he really does, but Shouto has surprisingly few hang-ups about killing him.  

“Kirishima, or the rest of Japan,” Tsuyu adds. She turns her phone around and shows off her twitter feed. “It’s all over my timeline.”

Ochaco wipes her tears and giggles, “Goodness me. I was worried his fans would’ve dispersed by now.”

“Dear god,” Shouto prays, hands under his chin. “Please give me strength.”

“To tap that ass,” Kirishima continues.

“And to not let Shouto make a fool out of himself, Amen,” Ochaco finishes.

“Idiot incoming,” Katuski grunts.

There’s a commotion as Izuku approaches the table.

“You guys are laughing,” Izuku smiles, sliding back into the booth. “What’d I miss?”

“The twitter thirst is real,” Tsuyu says, showing him the tweets as well. Izuku blushes pink, and slips all the way down in his seat.  

“O-oh, I uh…”

Izuku has never been good at handling the attention. His publicist tells him to smile and wave – and that part Izuku has down the hatch – it’s the fans that make him flush, because that used to be him. It’s hard to believe that people can think of him so highly, Number One title and all.

Shouto pulls his drink away from the edge of the table to prevent an accident, and the notion makes Izuku’s heart hurt.  

“Don’t let them tease you, Izuku.”

Dammit, Shouto should not be allowed to say his name like that.

“Mags are gonna’ be all over you like white on rice dude,” Kirishima says. “It’s gonna be Todoroki two-point-o.”

Shouto rubs at his face tiredly, and Izuku looks up at him, curious.

“What now?”

“Nothing,” Shouto says. “Want to go up to the bar? I’ll buy you another drink.”

“Oh – are you sure?”

“Absolutely. You deserve something better than beer.”

“Oi!” Katsuki snaps.

“Okay,” Izuku grins, heart loud in his ears. He slides off the booth, and Shouto follows after him, and he’s not quite sure why everyone starts laughing, but the sound of it makes Izuku smile anyways, even if it might be at his expense.

 


 

 It’s nice to be back in familiar streets again. Not that Izuku was good at speaking in any language, but at least he’s more comfortable ordering food and calling the cable company.

Mom’s happy to see him again. Izuku feels a bit like a bum, sitting around the house waiting for his Japanese hero license to renew, so he tries to help his mom how he can.

“Sit down!” Mom calls. “You spent four years working without a break – for the love of god, relax baby.

Izuku tries, but it’s not really in his bones. When his mom goes out for groceries, Izuku digs out his old weights from under his childhood bed and folds laundry with his free hand, his phone propped up against the basket.

He can tell that Ochaco is in her office – and she probably was doing paperwork, but Izuku stopped feeling bad about interrupting her about a year and a half ago.

“I don’t see what the big deal is.

“Uhh, the big deal??? Is that you withheld important information from me,” Izuku huffs. “You know how I was trying to uh – hello, get over this thing with Shouto? Yeah, it would’ve been nice for you to tell me he got a thousand million times hotter.”

Ochaco rolls her eyes.

“I’m a lesbian. How was I supposed to know?”

“Oh don’t give me that, you have eyes.

“Ugh, seriously, Izuku? If your feelings lasted that long, what made you think they wouldn’t make another four years?”

“I dunno…” Izuku folds up one of the pillowcases and sticks in in the basket. “I was hoping I wasn’t that pathetic. God Ochaco, I missed him so fucking much. You know what he texted me the other day?”

“What?”

“That he had Friday off and he wanted to help me look for an apartment. Like Jesus! He’s already hooking me up with his agency, could he be any nicer?”

“You act like this is a problem.”

“It is!” Izuku cries. “I literally did not respond to him for six months, and he moves on like it didn’t even bother him. Shouto was so happy to see me I thought I was gonna’ cry in the airport. I forgot his eyes could sparkle like that, Ochaco I’m dying. All he wants is a friend and I’m taking advantage of his nice-ness.”

“Alright. I know you hate listening to me—”

“Now that’s not true--”

“But you need to really, really, really, really listen to me.”

“Really?”

“Really, really. It’s a fresh start, you guys haven’t hung out in years. Just tell him how you feel.”

“That’s the problem!” Izuku shouts, pressing his face into an armful of sheets. “I was over him!”

Ochaco goes quiet on the line. Izuku sighs, and slowly pulls the sheets away from his face.

“….Izuku?”

“I…I moved on. Or – I thought I did. I dated people, I fell in love, I fell out of love. I had a different life – and then I saw him in that airport and it was like it all just punched me in the face. Like I didn’t even leave, Ochaco.”

“What’s so wrong about liking Shouto?”

“Nothing, I – I just want to stop obsessing over something that’ll never happen and –“  Ochaco makes a sound and Izuku barks, “I’m serious! I really fuckin’ missed him, and I really want a chance to have back what we had. I want to be friends. I think if I just – if I hang out with him a bit, the initial shock of his hot-ness will go away.”

Ochaco groans through the screen and rubs at her temples.

“You give me high blood pressure. Seriously babe, you’re an adult. Your friendship lasted a four-year break, I think if you just tell him how you feel, it’ll last through that too.”

“We’re going to be friends if it kills me,” Izuku says, and he can see Ochaco dully hit her forehead against her desk through the screen.

 


 

 Izuku takes a sip from his straw, and then mentally slaps himself for it.

Stop – it’s super weird to drink all your coffee before you’ve even gotten a chance to give away the other one; then you’re just giving someone coffee instead of having coffee together and okay, seriously dude? This needs to stop. Izuku does not care if Shouto thinks he’s a weirdo and fuck what does it matter Shouto knows he’s a weirdo anyways – Izuku takes another sip and then mentally kicks himself again.

Oh my god stop!

“Izuku.”

He spins on his heel and jerks up his head.

“Hey Shouto!” Nice recovery, very normal and socially acceptable. “Wow! You look great!” Shit, too much, pull it back –

“Thank you,” Shouto doesn’t quite smile, but his eyes do. “So do you.” He’s in those stylish, expensive jeans that you see on magazines sometimes, as well as a turtleneck and a peacoat. Shouto’s hair is in a little bun and Izuku could just! Fucking! Die!

“Here, this is for you,” Izuku hands him the coffee. “It’s still mocha with extra half n’ half, right?”

“Yes,” Shouto does smile this time. “Thank you. Bakugou overheard my coffee order a couple months ago and never let me hear the end of it.”

“You should be proud that you made it that long!” Izuku laughs, falling in step with him as they begin to walk. Damn, Izuku thought he hit a growth spurt, but Shouto has no business walking around with such long legs. Izuku clears his throat, “So, um. It was way nice of you to help me on your day off.”

“Not a problem,” Shouto answers. He pulls off the straw wrapper with his teeth and sticks it in his drink, and Izuku thinks ugh that mouth—no! Down boy! – Shouto takes a sip and glances down at him, continuing, “I wanted to spend time with you anyways.”

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah fuck.

“Ah, well I - ” Izuku laughs nervously, “- thank you! I’ve missed hanging out with you. I um, did a bit more research while I’ve been home and I couldn’t find a lot of apartments in the city but I did see some okay-ish complexes outside of –“

“No,” Shouto interrupts, “I’ve already scheduled several apartment tours for today. There’s plenty of available housing towards the suburbs, but you want to be in an accessible district to take hero calls. It’s no good if you’re too far out of town.”

“Ah,” Izuku blinks. “But I didn’t see anything available online.”  

Shouto looks to him and raises an eyebrow, “You didn’t try calling. You’d be surprised what rank will get you around here.”

“Wh-what?” Izuku presses his drink to his face to cool it down. “That’s – that’s not right. I don’t want to use Number One as an excuse to – to get a nice apartment. Some of the wait lists are years long.”

Shouto stops at a red light, and Izuku pauses alongside him. Shouto sips his coffee and answers smoothly,

“Then that just shows how much more deserving you are.”

Amid his mental screaming, Izuku manages to look around at the direction they’re headed.

“Hey,” Izuku huffs. “This is the expensive side of town. You’re not showing me a bunch of lush condos are you?”

Shouto scoffs at him, “Will you just trust me?”

The snap in Shouto’s tone startles Izuku into a laugh. Shouto’s mask slips back on, and Izuku laughs more.

Not many know that Shouto is delightfully feisty. All the kids in school favored his cool personality, but Izuku always liked when they’d hide out in his room and play streetfighter, ‘cause Shouto would get more fired-up about jump-cancels then he did about Katsuki screaming in his face during training.

“Okay, okay,” Izuku beams. “I trust you.”

“Sorry,” Shouto mumbles. “It was hard not having you around. I guess I’m just excited to see you more.”

One hit K.O, shot through the heart, another one bites the dust. It takes all of Izuku’s brain-power not to trip, bite the asphalt and scream.

That black, tar-ish feeling sludges back into his chest again – guilt pulling at his heart because, really. Shouto didn’t deserve to have Izuku shut off all contact just because he can’t get over a stupid crush. They’re best friends.

“I’m here now,” Izuku smiles. Shouto blinks down at him with an unreadable expression, and Izuku turns his gaze back to the sidewalk. “You should take me by your agency today. I’ve been dying to see what it looks like. You’re a big-wig now, aren’t you!”

“Not…really. But we can stop by. My assistant would be happy to get your paperwork done with.”

Izuku elbows him with a smile, “Does this mean you’re my boss now?”

Shouto’s face shrivels up sour.

“Of course not. You’re an independent contractor under a hero firm – if anything, between rank and experience, you would be – “

“I’m kidding!” Izuku laughs. “I’m totally kidding. I’m going to owe you like a million coffees after all this.”

Shouto’s face softens, and he tugs on Izuku’s sleeve before he can continue down the street.

“This is the first one.”

Izuku looks up at the tower and gapes.

“This?! Are you serious?”  

“I think you’ll like it,” Shouto says. “The view is pretty.”

 


 

 Truth be told, Shouto is a lot better at this than Izuku is.

He asks the important questions; like washer-dryer amenities, pest control, trash day and quiet hours. Izuku is busy running his hand along the walls, peeking over the balconies and calling Shouto look! I can see Present Mic’s radio tower from here!

 

Oh, yeah, and the apartments are cool too. They’re all a bit more high-end than what Izuku would’ve picked for himself, but Shouto keeps insisting that he needs a grown up apartment – something less reminiscent of the rat-infested complex he rented in America.

“It was totally fine,” Izuku waves, as they step out of the lobby. “If you bang the ceilings they’ll go away.”

Shouto’s face scrunches up, and Izuku tries really hard not to laugh.

“You can’t possibly think that was okay.

“You just grew up with money,” Izuku pats his elbow.

“Hm,” Shouto frowns. He then points, “The agency is three blocks that way. Do you want to call a cab?”

“I can walk!”

It’s the afternoon now, but the walking is good for his legs, seeing as Izuku hasn’t been able to hit a gym the last couple weeks.

“I liked this one a lot, you’re pretty good at this,” Izuku tells. He then looks back up at Shouto, “Wait, only three blocks? That’s convenient.”

“A coincidence,” Shouto replies. “Are you going to need new furniture?”

“Nah. I still have all the stuff I packed up from my old apartment before I left. I’ve been paying for a storage unit for the last couple years so, I might as well use it.”

“If you do go shopping, don’t take Momo with you. She’ll make you spend an arm and a leg.”

“Haha! You sound like you talk from experience.”

“I said I needed help finding one couch,” Shouto sighs. “I came home with a new apartment, is what I did.”

Izuku clutches his stomach as he laughs. He sways a little, almost stepping off the curb and into a vendor cart.

“I love Yaoyorozu. The power to create anything in the world, and she still—” Izuku freezes right in his tracks. He whips his head back over, and takes a step back. “What the hell is that?”

Shouto cringes, “Oh Christ.”

“Can I see this?” Izuku points quickly, and the vendor nods, bored. Izuku picks up one of the magazines and gapes. “Oh my god Shouto!”

There, right on the cover of GQ, is Shouto in a designer suit.

His posture is seductive and handsome, fingers adjusting an expensive watch on his wrist. Shouto’s expression isn’t different from any other  - but the lighting, the clothes, even the way his hair is styled – he looks like a model. Like, a model model. Like, the kind of model Tyra Banks has wet dreams about.

“Is this what Kirishima was talking about?!” Izuku gasps.

Shouto looks genuinely embarrassed. He covers half his face with one hand and sighs, “They wouldn’t leave me alone. My manager keeps making me do it.”

“You mean there’s more?!”

“N- no –“

“Hello, sir? How much?”

“Don’t buy it,” Shouto whines, but it’s too damn late, Izuku is buying every copy and stapling it to all the walls of his new apartment, whichever that may be. Hello sexy wallpaper.

“This is amazing,” Izuku beams, flipping through the pages and reading. “101 on the Number Two hero, Todoroki Shouto. Fashion, sports cars, and crime busting, Todoroki is officially heartthrob of the yea–“

“That’s enough,” Shouto snatches it out of his hand, but Izuku grabs it back.

“I never even thought about how much merch has come out since I’ve been gone — I need to do some serious amazon shopping when I get home. You know I wore out my old HotCold shirt until you could hardly read it anymore, and people in America still kept asking me where I got it.” Izuku laughs, “Kept having to tell them that it was a first edition we screen printed at my moms house.”

Izuku is irrationally excited to hunt down all his friends’ merchandise. He just can’t help it, it’s imbedded in his blood. It takes Izuku a moment to realize that Shouto is staring down at him. Izuku feels his face crawl with heat, but Shouto says softly,

“I still have yours, too.”

Izuku flushes, “You do?!”

“Among other things,” Shouto smirks. “Your merchandizing team has been working hard since you left.”

Izuku sighs, clutching the magazine to his chest as they continue towards the agency.

“I know, they emailed me like crazy. I had to approve Deku boxers last week.”

Shouto laughs – like an actual, hearty laugh – and Izuku feels so light he could just jump up and float. Their fingers brush for a second, and Izuku is yanked back down to earth by the chain around his heart.

“If you’re excited about that magazine, just wait until you see the photoshoot Bakugou did for Vogue.”

“Holy shit what?!”

 

 


 

 

“So,” Shouto says, cheek pressed against the bar, fingers loosely grasping at his glass. “I just wanted to let you guys know that I’m flying myself into the sun. I bought a spaceship and I’m leaving tomorrow, goodbye.”

“Date went well?” Momo smiles.

Shouto mumbles, “Wasn’t a date…”

“It couldn’t have gone that bad.”

“He bought my magazine, Momo.”

Katsuki leans back on the stool and cackles, and Shouto considers freezing his beer over.

“I mean, you did look hot,” Kirishima shrugs. “Maybe he’s into you.”

Shouto snorts.

“You’re a sneaky fuckin’ bastard, you know that right?” Katsuki points. “Deku sent me pictures of the apartment he ‘chose’. Does asshat know your place is only ten minutes down the block?”

Shouto smirks into his arm, and drags his fingers idly down his shot glass.

“No.”

“Men are so emotionally constipated,” Momo sighs, kicking back a shot.

 “I want him to crack my spine in half like a glowstick,” Shouto says.

“Have you ever tried look-alike porn?” Kirishima offers. “Not that would know, but there’s like fifty different Deku pornos out there.”

Shouto sighs, “It’s not the same.”

“Ya’ll are disgusting,” Katsuki sneers.

“I need to kiss his freckles or I’ll die.” 

“I’m leaving.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

It feels good to get hero calls again. Izuku is still amid the madness of getting the keys to his new apartment, meeting with his manager, and figuring out a photoshoot schedule for new merch (ick).

“All the photos are so outdated!” She cried, “The world is gonna’ go bonkers when they see you now! You’ll be a millionaire!”

Izuku doesn’t care much about the money. His passion is helping others, making a difference in the community, and trying his best to live up to All Might’s legacy. So when he gets his first call out, Izuku throws on his uniform and jumps across the city.

It’s your typical search and rescue. Well, technically there was a villain with a repulsion quirk, but he was easy to incapacitate. Izuku is more concerned with the collapsed overhang, where cars have gone off the road, others crushed under cement and debris.

They trained for situations like these at UA, but it’s experience that makes the difference. Only from unfortunate and heartbreaking trial and error has Izuku learned which cars to save first – which ones smell the most like gas – which cement bricks to lift to avoid a chain reaction.

Izuku can sense the cellphone cameras, but adrenaline tells him to save more. Three, four people piled on his shoulder. Izuku can hear more cries beneath the debris. He goes back and under, shouldering the weight, moving cement as careful as he can.

“Take my hand!” Izuku shouts. He’s got half the bridge on his back, and a woman tries to reach for him, but sobs from her injured legs. “It’s okay,” Izuku smiles, fingers slipping on the rock. “Grab my hand, and it’ll all be okay!”

She fights through the pain - you’re so brave ma’am, look how far you’ve made it you’re doing so good – and as soon as he has a grip on her, Izuku pulls her into his arms and sets down the cement slab, shielding her from the debris that flies.

Sirens are beginning to sound in the distance, and Izuku is relieved for the injured. The woman is crying thank you, thank you – and Izuku makes sure she’s okay before diving back in.

There’s a whoosh sound, and Izuku feels adrenaline kick high as tape goes flying past his ears.

“Deku!”

Izuku grins ear to ear, head looking up towards the light poles.

“Cellophane!”

“I’ve got your back, Number One,” Sero grins, swinging in alongside him. “What do you need?”

Izuku’s brain is going in too many places at once. It’s exciting to see his friend again, but there’s people in need.

“I can’t get to those cars without two hands. If I lift that top slab, the rest are going to go.”

“Gotcha’.” Sero begins to tape off some of the debris, “You hold and I’ll grab.”

The crowd grows bigger, the blood in Izuku’s ears pumps louder, and he knows he should feel guilty, but Izuku feels happy to be helping people again. He smiles for them, wiping tears and giving gentle hugs, and it feels good, because this is where he’s supposed to be.

 


 

 “What a comeback!”

“Deku! A moment, please!”

“Over here!”

 

Izuku looks up from his dinner. Mom has the T.V. on, and Izuku can see it fuzzily from the kitchen table.

“Deku – that was an amazing rescue. The police are saying you saved fifty-three lives, is that correct?”

“Oh, th-thank you. I uh, I’m not sure. If that’s what Chief Tsuragamae said, then I’m sure it’s right!”

 

Izuku rubs his nose, and stirs his chopsticks around in his food, “Mom, come on. Turn that off.”

“No way,” his mother sighs happily. “You’re so charismatic!”

“That’s definitely not true.”

The picture gets clearer as the reporter changes angles. Izuku can’t help but be critical of his appearance, so he looks to his food.

“Everyone wants to know where the Number One hero has been. Was it true that you were working on an overseas case? Why would you leave at the height of your fame?”

“Ah…well. Yes. I was reached out to by the government, and it sounded like they really needed my help. I’m happy to be back now that the case is wrapped up!”

“Weren’t you afraid that your ranking would drop? You had only been Number One for a handful of months.”

Izuku clinks his utensils against his dish as he listens. He still refuses to look up, but his mother’s eyes are glued to the screen.

“Haha, not really! I-I mean, helping people is more important than rank, you know? As a hero, it’s my job to go where I’m needed. I wouldn’t have left if I didn’t know that Japan would be in great hands.”

“Some say that with a greater rise of good, comes a greater rise of evil. Experts are expecting an increase in criminal activity since your return. Are you concerned?”

Izuku clenches his fist on screen, smiling through the dirt and ash on his face.

“Then I will just rise above them even more!”

“Thank you for your time, Deku. We’re glad to have you back.”

“No, thank you! Thank you so much.”

“Can you please turn it off now?” Izuku cringes.

“In case you’ve forgotten dear, you are still quite famous around here,” his mother smiles, standing up to cross the room.

“Ugh, I always stutter so much in interviews.”

“You’ve improved leaps and bounds love,” Mom smiles. She reaches for the power button.

“Fire and Ice hero, Shouto! Rumor has it that Deku has recently-“

“Wait!” Izuku gasps. His mother’s hand hovers in the air.

“-agency is that correct?”

“Yes.”

“Have you heard the news of the Meguro incident?”

“I have, I’m very relieved that Deku’s response time was so quick. He is an incredible hero.”

Izuku presses a hand to his face, feeling warm. Shouto doesn’t like interviews any more than Izuku does, but he always looks so good on camera. His hair is up in a ponytail, pieces of his bangs hanging in his face, and hell does it do all kinds of things to Izuku’s insides.

“Are you concerned about the Number One Hero being registered under your agency? Will this affect your rank?”

“I strive to better myself, but Deku is a close friend of mine. Our friendship is more important than any number. I wouldn’t be the person I am without him.”

“Oh god,” Izuku whines, pressing his face in his hands entirely. He can’t just say stuff like that!

“That’s so sweet,” his mother coos. Izuku peeks through his fingers.

“Is there hope of a team up?”

“I don’t know. If so, I look forward to working alongside him more.”

“That has been our channel nine evening news, stay tuned for – “ His mother finally turns off the T.V.

“Kill me,” Izuku whines.

“What was that?”  

“Nothing.”

 


 

 

Shouto’s hero building is really beautiful. Tall ceilings, a gym visible from the first floor, interns and sidekicks bustling around; its full of life, and very different from Endeavor’s chilly agency building.

Izuku is just stopping by to drop off some paperwork, but as soon as he crosses the front door, he can hear security speak into their collar and say number one is here, and Izuku’s hackles raise to his ears.

He approaches the secretary desk and hands over a file,

“Hi Chiya, how are you?”

“Oh! Hello Deku – I’m great. Is this your report?”

“Yeah, sorry I just typed it up at home.”

“We need to get you a login to the portal,” Chiya types into her computer. “It’s way easier than having you come all the way down here.”

“Ah, that’d be great! Thank you.”

Izuku sticks around long enough to exchange information, but as he turns to leave, he runs into Shouto in the lobby. He’s in his hero uniform, and Izuku’s lizard brain immediately dissects all the new things Shouto has done to it.

It’s the same navy blue, but there’s new harnesses and belts. It looks like he’s upgraded his boots, and he’s – oh lord, decided to forgo the sleeves.

“Izuku,” he waves.

“H-hey!” Good start. “Fancy meeting you here.” Is it really?

Shouto seems to find it funny, because he laughs under his breath.

“You’re not working today, are you?”

“Oh no,” Izuku blinks. Do not stare at his arms do not stare at his arms do not -  “Just dropping off my report. I have to meet with my publicist later, and then I’m supposed to be moving into my apartment tomorrow.”

Shouto raises an eyebrow, “Really.”

Izuku rocks back on his heels. “Yeah! It’s going to take me forever to haul all my stuff out of my unit, but I’m excited. I would’ve never gotten that flat without you!”

Shouto’s eyes soften, and he nods, “I’m glad I could help. Good work in Meguro last week, the footage was remarkable.”

Izuku presses his hands to his cheeks, “Ahhh, thank you! I was really flattered by all the nice things you said in that interview. You know I keep seeing your face pop up everywhere I go – you’re like, uber popular around here.”

If Izuku were anyone else, he wouldn’t notice Shouto flush under his collar. Izuku tries to think desperately about anything other than punching Shouto’s mouth with his own.

Come on dude, you’re over this.

“Yeah...unfortunately. But I meant what I said in that interview.”

“I like the changes to your uniform!” Please stop talking, me.

“Thank you,” Shouto nods. He kicks the inside of his boot, revealing a blade at the bottom of his shoe. Izuku gasps, and watches as he kicks again, shielding the blade. “I went and saw Mei, per your recommendation. I got tired of slipping all over my own ice.”

Izuku laughs, and resists the urge to fiddle with all his new stuff.

“That’s so cool! I definitely need to go see her for some upgrades.”

“Shouto!” A sidekick that Izuku doesn’t recognize comes jogging up. “We’re needed, there was an explosion on tenth street.” Izuku almost feels defensive about her using Shouto’s first name, but Izuku reminds himself that it’s his hero name, hello.

“Coming,” Shouto nods. “I’ll see you later.”

“Okay! Let me know if you need backup.”

Shouto – dear sweet heaven and all hell – winks at him, and jogs to follow the sidekick out the front door. It takes all of Izuku’s power not to melt into the floor.

 

Yeah, okay. Maybe if he just…waits a little longer, the weight on his chest will go away. Izuku is really good at lying to himself. Damn, he can hear Ochaco yelling at him already.

 

 


 

 

Izuku had prepared to work most of the day; he borrowed his mom’s car, drove all the way to the storage unit (to make many, many trips), and cracked his knuckles, ready to open the next chapter of his life.

But as soon as he saw cars parked along the curb, he burst into ugly, uncontrollable sobbing.

“Don’t cry!” Kirishima laughs, leaning off his van.

“You guys came to help me?” Izuku sniffles, wiping his eyes with his sleeve.

“I didn’t!” Denki appears. “I just brought pizza.”

Izuku gasps, and lets Denki grab him in a hug. He squeezes him back.

“What-!”

“Shouto told us you were planning on moving alone,” Iida says. “This will be much faster!”

Izuku breaks out crying all over again, and Denki tries to peel himself away saying ew, I missed you too don’t slobber on my shirt –

“Okay okay,” Katsuki rolls his eyes. “Just give me the damn key so we can be done with this.”

“Shouto, Ochaco,” Izuku sniffles. “I thought you guys were on shift today.”

 “Quit worrying and start workin’!” Ochaco smiles, slapping him on the back. “You’re the dummy for trying to do all this by yourself anyway. Who helped you pack it all up in the first place?!”

Izuku wipes his eyes and laughs wetly.

Shouto looks like he came prepared to work; old jeans and a thin gym shirt, it’s really so not fair. Izuku smiles through his tears, “Thank you.”

Shouto smiles toothlessly, taking the key from Izuku’s hand and tossing it to Katsuki to stall his raging.  

“You’d do the same for any of us.”

They’re able to load up all the cars in one trip. Denki owns a truck (surprise), so they park along the front of his apartment building and haul up boxes in teams. The elevator can only fit so many, so Kirishima waits at the top of the stairwell, and Ochaco floats up furniture for him to catch.

“Do you need help with that?” Iida asks.

“I’ve got it!” Izuku smiles, adjusting the couch on his shoulder. “It’s pretty light.”

“That’s a whole ass couch, dude.”

“Not number one for nothing!”

“Shut up and work,” Katsuki snaps, shoving a box in Denki’s arms.

 Izuku starts up the stairwell, carefully watching the corners to avoid denting anything. He startles when he almost hits someone walking down the stairs.

“Ah! I’m sorry!”

“I’m good,” Shouto says tonelessly. “I am so good.”

“O-okay,” Izuku keeps going.

Kirishima peers over the top of the stairs and gapes, “Dude! That’s manly as fuck! I want a ride.”

“Eijirou!” Katsuki barks.

“Haha – are you serious?” Izuku laughs.

“Bruh, I’ve never been more serious about anything in my life.”

Izuku hasn’t broken a sweat, or felt the need to use One for All, so he leans the couch against the wall and gestures with his free shoulder.

“Sure. I could use the workout.”

Kirishima gasps, rushing down the stairs to meet him on the second level.

“Holy shit, this is going to be the best day ever.”

The hallway comes over with a sudden chill. Izuku shivers a little, but holds out his arm and squats so Kirishima can take a seat.

“You have a fuckin’ death wish!” Katsuki calls. Denki and Ochaco break out laughing, and it must be a joke Izuku doesn’t get, so he focuses on settling Kirishima’s weight on his arm, and readjusts the couch on his other shoulder.

“I gotcha’,” Izuku says.

“Oh yeah you do baby.”  

“This feels unsafe, somehow,” Iida says, and it appears everyone is now watching Izuku walk up the stairs.

“The top ten heroes in one building, I don’t think there’s a safer place in the world,” Denki jokes.

“Not what I meant.”

“Woohoo!” Kirishima pumps his arms as Izuku reaches the top step. By the time they get to the door, and Izuku sets Kirishima back on his feet, everyone else has already ridden the elevator with more boxes.

“Is this a good place for the kitchen table?” Ochaco asks.

“That’s great! Thank you.”

Ochaco deactivates her quirk, and the furniture clatters to the ground. Izuku pushes the couch to the center of the living room and rolls his shoulder.

“Thanks for the ride,” Kirishima beams.

“Any time!” Izuku laughs.

Shouto’s voice floats through the room cool and soft. Hands in his pockets, he asks, “Kirishima, can I speak with you in the kitchen please?”

“Huh? Yeah!”

“What’s this shit?” Katsuki gestures with a box.

Izuku looks up, “Uhhh, looks like clothes. You can set it in that room on the left.”

“Hmph.”

A commotion echoes from the kitchen hey what’s up – ow ow ow hot hot cold HOT OW –

Izuku turns around, but Ochaco pulls him towards the guest room.

“Is this going to be your office?!”

“Uhh – yeah! Yeah, you can set the bookcases in there. I mean, it’s supposed to be a guest room, but it’ll be a good space for writing reports.”

Ochaco and Izuku step into the other room, and Kirishima comes out of the kitchen sniveling.

“You deserved that,” Katsuki deadpans. He holds out his hand in an exasperated let me see motion, and Kirishima shows off the handprint on his arm that is red and irritated.

“I was just messing around…”

Iida helps set up his old T.V., and Denki brings up a box of shelves. Izuku steps out to see Shouto unpacking his dishes and washing them by hand.

“Ah! Shouto, you – you don’t have to do that.”

“These have been collecting dust for four years,” Shouto says. “You can’t eat off of them.”

“N- no, but, you’re already helping so much…I can do it!”

“I want to,” Shouto says stubborn and gentle, exploding Izuku’s brain out of his ears.

“But!--“

“Shaddup and go get the rest of your shit,” Katsuki points. “I’m not sticking around here forever.”

“Geez this thing is ancient,” Denki says, watching Iida plug in the television. “You really keeping this?”

“For now,” Izuku shrugs. “I’ll probably need to replace some stuff, but this’ll get me started at the least.”

“Deku!”

“I’m going!” Izuku huffs, stepping back out the door. “You guys can leave if you need to, I’ve got it from here.”

“Fucking go!” Katsuki waves. Izuku steps back out the door, and Katsuki crosses his arms and huffs when he’s out of earshot. “Alright, we need to unpack as much of this shit as we can, because it’ll take Deku months to get to it.”

Shouto squints, heat and ice flaring into his palms.

 “You’re being nice.”

“Calm down horndog, I’m not coming for your man. That moron will live out of a box until he’s wearing the goddamn cardboard – now everyone move it before he starts fussin’ again.”

By the time Izuku returns with a stack of boxes and an old Ikea coffee table, his friends have already hung his shelves, set up his office, and begun to put away his kitchenware.

“Damn,” Izuku sets down his stuff and sniffles. “I don’t know how I’ll ever repay you guys.”

“You don’t need to,” Shouto says.

“You can thank us by shutting the fuck up.”

“Would you like to hang this corkboard?” Iida gestures.

“Oh, yes! I want to put it in my bedroom. That box over there is uh, full of pictures, haha.”

“I’ll help you!” Ochaco beams. “I want to see photos of some of the friends you made in America.”

“That box was heavy as hell,” Denki blinks. “How many pictures do you have?”

“A lot,” Izuku giggles.

They take a pizza break and get sidetracked hunting through his box of photos. There are hundreds – literally – from UA. Photo booth strips from three years of prom, blurry sleepover photos, selfies with All Might, group pictures at the beach.

Ochaco finds his baggie of new pictures and holds one up from across the floor.

“Who’s this?”

“Oh! That’s Blacklash! She was an intern in New York – she could create whips out of her palms.”

Shouto sits next to Izuku crisscross on the floor, and wordlessly hands him a paper plate and a slice of pizza. Izuku thanks him, and tries not to move away when their knees touch.

“Pffft, holy shit,” Denki holds up a photo. “You still have this?”

It was the day the girls dressed up all the boys as cats for Halloween. It’s a silly picture, but Izuku especially liked how Shouto looked in the dual-colored cat ears Momo made for him.

Izuku covers, “Of course. Kacchan was the angriest cat I’d ever seen.”

“Give that to me,” Katsuki grins evilly. “I just wanna’ see it.”

“Do not let him have it.”

Shouto quietly sorts through pictures, and Izuku burns from how close they’re sitting. He’s hyperaware of everything, and he hates it. 

Shouto just smells so freaking good. He’s without cologne, cooling down from the sweat he worked up earlier, and Izuku knows his scent — knows it from years of training mats, bus rides and sleepovers. Knows the ashyness and the chill like a campfire in winter. It’s masculine and delicious; and as creepy as it is, Izuku is magnetized to it. Ten years and counting.

“You met lots of people overseas,” Iida holds up a photograph. He looks tired, but Ochaco says something and Iida begins to laugh, and Izuku feels content.

Shouto is looking at a photo. Izuku casually glances over at his lap – and goes red all the way down to his chest.

It’s just a picture of Shouto in high school. They went for ice cream after class, and they were sitting up on the wall of the alley, and the sun was behind him and – well, he just looked so beautiful.

“Um…” Izuku swallows. “You’re very photogenic, haha.”

Shouto doesn’t reply. He picks up another; a selfie of Izuku and Shouto making peace signs.

“Can I have a copy of this one?”

“Huh? Uh – yeah! You can just take it. I mean – I have a bunch more like that one, haha.”

“Gay,” Katsuki says, an arm still around Kirishima’s shoulder.

“Thank you,” Shouto says earnestly, ignoring Katsuki altogether.

“No way!” Denki cackles, still looking at pictures. “You were there when we covered the entire hallway with silly string?”

Iida blanches, “That was you guys?”

“Think about it,” Shouto says, tucking away that selfie in his wallet, along with Izuku’s entire heart. “Who else would it have been?”

Ochaco takes the photo, giggling like mad.

The picture shows Mina, Kirishima, Sero, and Denki standing on chairs, spraying the high corners of the hallway with string.

“Mineta got in trouble for that,” says Iida, eyes narrowing.

“Scape goat,” Denki shrugs. Iida lifts an eyebrow, and Izuku lifts his hands.

“Hey, I was just an innocent bystander.”

“He’s the one who told us how to make homemade silly string in the first place.”

“They asked!” Izuku laughs as Iida mock-glares. “I didn’t know it would be used for evil!” Yes he did.

“I learned not to trust ya’ll for shit,” Katsuki grunts.

Shouto rolls his eyes, “And who’s idea was it to tape all the school doorways with plastic wrap?”

“Mine,” Katsuki says. “Because it was fucking hilarious.”

 


 

 

Shouto is the last one to leave. Izuku thanks everyone furiously, promising to meet up with Iida and Ochaco for lunch next week, and yes Kacchan he will unpack the rest of his clothes thank you mom – and shuts the door before he can explode.

 

It feels too quiet now that the loud ones are gone. Izuku drags his hand along the edge of his table, sitting in one of the chairs. He wipes some of the dust off and smiles. He’ll have to deep clean everything, but it’s petty compared to the work he was spared today.

The apartment feels homier now. More of his stuff has been put away; boxes are still piled in the corner, but there’s furniture and dishes and it feels real. He’s actually home again.

“Thank you,” Izuku says, looking up at Shouto. “You didn’t have to go to all the effort.”

Shouto takes a seat across from him. Izuku can’t look away from his eyes; Shouto is a little tired, strands of hair falling out of his ponytail, disheveled and beautiful. His voice sounds thick and rumbly and deep. Always so deep.

“Can I tell you something?”

Izuku swallows hard, panic throbbing in his mouth. He nods shallowly and tries to think of a million reasons not to jump out the window and bail.

“Anything.”

Shouto’s gaze dips down to the table and back up to his eyes. It’s dark now, but they haven’t closed the blinds, and the kitchen lights feel dull compared to the cityscape outside his window.

“When you said you were moving, I was happy for you,” Shouto says. “But it also felt like…I couldn’t breathe.”

Weight presses onto Izuku’s chest so heavy, all the air gushes out as an, “Oh.”

They didn’t talk about this. They never talked about this. 

“I don’t know…” Shouto rubs his neck, looking away. “I guess I thought – we’d fight side by side forever.”

“I – I said I was coming back!”

“I know,” Shouto shrugs. “But things happen. It was good for me, but I felt guilty. I’d used you has a crutch for so long, and now I had to figure things out without you.”

“It – it was the other way around,” Izuku stammers, and then realizes he said that out loud. He cringes a little, rubbing at his face. “I didn’t want to leave you. Uh, guys! You guys. I didn’t – all of you…fuck. I needed to go. It was the right thing to do.”

“It was,” Shouto agrees. “You’re always pushing yourself for the better. I wanted to become someone reliable for when you returned.”

It would be so easy to say it now. To rip open the seams in his chest, and let his heart tumble out onto the table. Why is Shouto saying all this? Why can’t he just let Izuku suffer in peace.

He smiles watery instead, reaching across the table to brush the backs of his fingers against Shouto’s.

“I’m so undeserving of your friendship, it’s beyond ridiculous.”

Shouto’s face hardens. He turns his left palm over, and squeezes Izuku’s hand tight. He’s glaring into the scars of his hand, as if all his frustrations could melt the abrasions away.

“Izuku-“

His phone begins to beep insistently. They both jerk up, and Izuku quickly opens it.

“I’m needed,” Izuku reads. “A villain with a strength quirk in Matsue.”

Shouto’s eyebrows press tight, “That’s pretty far from here.”

“I can jump. The high rises give me a good vantage point.” Izuku smiles, “Thank you for everything, Shouto.”

“Anytime. Be safe, okay?”

Izuku swallows, and locks the feelings in his heart back inside. Shouto leaves, Izuku throws on his uniform, and the apartment is left empty.

 

 


 

 

The bathroom mirror is too big. It’s the only part of the flat that Izuku doesn’t like.

It’s round and wide, and the lights are bright, and it shows off all the nooks and crannies that Izuku hates about himself.

He knows he’s fit; that part isn’t much of a bother. But Izuku runs his hands over scars – over lines on his fist, and the new ugly stripe across his side, and he thinks of how beautiful and perfect Shouto’s skin is, and spirals into his own mind.

Izuku drags his thumb through the scruff on his chin, and keeps shaving. He never held high regards for his body anyways – it’s how he had the power of mind to break his hands over and over and over again. He sometimes regrets it now. He’ll never be a pretty hero on a magazine, but he’s okay with that. Izuku is willing to keep breaking his body, in order to keep the peace.

He rinses his face in the sink and gently pokes at the new scar on his shoulder, where it got torn open in Matsue. Izuku gets injuries less often than in the past– but it’s just one more apple in the bunch. What’s another ten?

 

A memory twitches by the front of his eyes, come and gone in a second.

His ex-boyfriends face, the very first time Izuku ever lifted his shirt.

“Oh, Jesus. Uh, you can leave the shirt on.”

Izuku splashes water over his eyes and turns off the light.  

 

 


 

 

Time goes by too fast these days.

 

It feels like he’s paged on the hour, keeping busy with hero work all over the city. Izuku finds time to have dinner with All Might, make all his photoshoot appointments, and go shopping for all the random crap his apartment is missing.

 

Seeing All Might again helps to clear his head. It sets Izuku’s priorities back in line; because despite all his obstacles, All Might keeps on living, so Izuku will keep on fighting.

 

“I’m way over it,” Izuku says, pointing with his chopsticks. “Shouto and I are chill. Everything is just how it used to be.”

“Can you stop lying to me?” Ochaco sighs. “You know it’s not going to work.”

Izuku huffs and tries to steal some of her noodles, but Ochaco is too fast, stuffing them in her mouth and making a gotcha’ sound.

“Seriously? We’re in public,” Tsuyu sighs.

 

 


 

 

There’s a gym in his complex, but Izuku likes the one at Shouto’s agency even more. It’s built to survive the pounding of a hero – only a small percentage of Izuku’s power – but it still allows him to break a sweat and push himself harder.

Izuku has sweat through his shirt completely. He’s reluctant to remove it, but he still has a tank top on underneath, so he pops it off and wipes his forehead down, before going back to the squat rack. Izuku can see that there’s a few heroes and sidekicks gathered by the door, but Izuku waves it off as title worship. People have been taking a lot of pictures these days, and Izuku is growing used to it (somewhat).

“Hey, what the hell is going on?”

Izuku looks up at the sound of Shouto’s voice. He finishes his rep, bar still on his shoulders. Izuku meets Shouto’s eye – and Shouto turns back to the crowd, annoyed.

“Alright, shows over. Go and ogle your reports instead.”

There’s laughter and groaning, but Shouto successfully disperses the small group. Izuku flushes, but laughs lightly as Shouto approaches. He sets down the bar, and Shouto crosses his arms, face dusted pink.

“Damn kids. Sorry about that.”

“I don’t mind. They can come talk to me, I won’t bite or anything.”

“That’s nice of you, but you shouldn’t say that,” Shouto says, setting down his gym bag. Just as Izuku is about to ask why,  Shouto continues, “This is probably a stupid question, but do you need me to spot for you?”

“Well, if you’re offering…I’d like to do some reps without using my quirk. It’s not worth anything under a full cowl, unless you’ve got another building I can sit and bench press, haha.”

A pinched, almost pained expression flickers on Shouto’s face, but he nods, “Sure.”

Izuku adjusts the weights and sets them up on the bar before lying down. “Thanks. It sounds dumb, but the stronger my body gets without my quirk, the more of it I’m able to hold. I’m hoping eventually the two will just blend into one.”

“I can’t imagine a desire to be stronger than you already are,” Shouto says, rather bluntly. He comes around the other edge of the bar and props his hip against it. “Ready?”

“Yeah.” Izuku grabs the bar, Shouto’s hands gripped outside his own, and Izuku grunts when Shouto lets go. “I mean,” one, two, “isn’t that always the goal? To get stronger?”

“Let me ask you a question,” Shouto says, and there’s seriously no reason for him to look good from that angle. Izuku can only think of one other reason he’d see him this way, and Izuku has to catapult that thought right out the open window.

“Nnn, sure.”

“What percent of your power do you think you’re using right now?”

“Right now? Zero.

“No, in battle. When your body glows, what is your maximum before your bones break?”

“Ah jeez,” Izuku breathes out on a rep, and brings the bar back up slowly. “Thirty-five percent? Maybe thirty-seven, if I’m pushing it.”

“Damn.”

“Hahh, why?”

“I can’t imagine what a hundred percent of your power is capable of,” Shouto says. Izuku brings the bar up for his last rep, and Shouto catches it, bringing it back on the hook. Izuku relaxes, and Shouto continues, “I’m not even able to picture it in my mind.”

Izuku giggles, sitting back up, “All Might could change the weather with his fists.”

“You’re already stronger than All Might,” Shouto says, motioning a swap me with his fingers. Izuku stands up, and Shouto takes a couple pounds off the weights, but not much. “Your limits are unknown. It’s incredible and frustrating.”

Izuku smiles, standing behind the bench and gripping the bar.

“You’re one to talk. I saw your broadcasted fight with that elephant villain last week. Talk about incredible, your mobility in battle is amazing.”

“Don’t flatter me,” Shouto says, lying down. “I want to earn it.”

Izuku’s brain is just now registering that Shouto is in a t-shirt and sweatpants. There are other people in the gym, there are other people in the gym, do not make an idiot out of yourself, there are other people in the gym –

“Ready,” Shouto says, drawing Izuku out of his lizard thoughts. Izuku nods and picks up the bar, letting go when Shouto locks his arms. He takes one rep, and Izuku’s eyes magnetize to his friggin pecs like glue. Oh okay cool, yeah, Shouto is definitely way more toned than he remembers, that’s dope, that’s nice.

Clearing his throat, Izuku says, “You have earned the flattery. Everything here you’ve worked your ass off for.”

“I had a head start that other people didn’t get,” Shouto says breathily.

Izuku’s mind drifts, eyes falling to Shouto’s scar. 

“Um. Is Endeavor still working?”

“Yeah. He takes hero calls in emergencies, but mostly runs his ahh - agency.”

The soft pant of his voice goes one hundred percent, with the speed of a bullet train, straight to Izuku’s dick. No warnings, no red lights, no say in the matter. One second Izuku is counting Shouto’s reps, the next he is staring at the sweat down his neck, fighting off the boner of a lifetime.

Focus, please please please.

“How uh, how are things? With your father?”

“Surprisingly,” Shouto grunts, and relaxes when Izuku takes the bar. “It’s um. Better than people think. We’ve been on speaking terms for a long time. I haven’t forgiven, and I’ll never forget, but we have somewhat of a relationship.”

Izuku smiles, “I’m really happy to hear that.”

Shouto sits up and smiles at him through his eyes, closing them briefly to wipe off his forehead with the hem of his shirt, and Izuku goes from ‘yeah I’m hard’ to solid as a fucking diamond. It almost hurts.

Shouto takes out his ponytail, shaking out his hair and recombing the strands with his fingers. He pulls it back up on his head, saying,

“I’m going to run the track for a bit. Want to join me?”

Nope. Definitely not now.

“I uh, I can’t,” Izuku blinks. “Gotta’ um, shower and meet Iida for dinner. He wants some advice on the case he’s working on.”

“Okay,” Shouto shrugs. “Tell him I’m here if he needs me.”

Izuku smiles, “I will.”

He manages to shuffle to the showers and turn the water cold before anyone can look at him funny. Izuku presses his face to his hands and – in his mind – screams at the top of his lungs.

 

 

 


 

 

 

8:03 P.M.

> hey asshole

> we’re having a house party on Saturday

> are you coming or what???

 

Izuku wouldn’t say he’s a great cook by any means, but he thinks he’s okay-ish enough to survive. It’s nice living within thirty minutes of his mom’s place, because she is definitely a way better chef than he is.

Still, Izuku is attempting to cook katsudon, spoon clenched in his teeth, turning down the flame quickly as it smells uh, burnt. His phone keeps dinging with a righteous fury, so Izuku drops the spoon to the counter and wipes off his hands, tapping on the screen with his elbow. Izuku is frankly unsurprised to see that it’s Kacchan.

 

8:06 P.M.

> DEKU  

> EI NEEDS TO KNOW HOW MUCH JELLO TO BUY

> FUCKING ANSWER ME

 

 Izuku laughs to himself. He pulls up his calendar, sorts though some of his plans and texts back.

 

8:10 P.M.

I’ll be there  ヽ ( 。・ ω ・。 ) ノ  Should I bring anything? <

 

> yeah ur sorry ass

> oh and ei says the cookies u used to make in hs

> thanks

 


 

 You don’t really plan these things. Standing outside of a house you’ve never been to, holding a plate of cookies that are, honestly, just normal cookies (but everyone thought they were the holy grail – no of course it’s not cocaine, it’s just chocolate).

Ding dong ding dong.

Izuku glances at how many cars are parked up and down the curb, and gets a feeling that he’s later than he initially thought. It’s not his fault, it took him so long to squish his ass into these jeans and he hasn’t had time to go shopping for new ones –

It’s Denki that yanks open the door.

“Ayyeee!” He grins, throwing up his arms. “You brought the cookies!”

“Are you drunk?”

“You’re late!”

“It’s six pm?”

“Pregame dude,” Denki grins, giving him a half hug and stealing the tray. “HE BROUGHT THE COCAINE!”

Mina and Sero, down at the end of the hall, raise their arms and scream. Oh lord, Izuku is having too many flashbacks at once.

“Hi Deku!” Mina waves. Izuku laughs and waves back.

“Hey Ashido!”

They take off into the house, and Izuku goes to untie his shoes, but the door slams behind him.

“Don’t bother,” Katsuki snaps. “It’s a madhouse in here. You’d probably lose a toe.”

“Sorry I’m late.”

“You’re not,” Katsuki grunts. “They’re all just fuckin’ early. No need to have a class A reunion—” Katsuki cups his hands around his mouth and shouts, “—because they’re all in my fucking house!”

Dully, from the living room.

“Woo!”

Izuku looks up at the tall ceilings and the homey entryway. It’s really, actually a house. Izuku is honestly happy for him – it’s a stability that he didn’t think Katsuki would’ve ever sought after. That’s probably the only good part about growing up. Your perspective on life begins to change.

“You have a really nice house,” Izuku tells him.

Katsuki leans his shoulder up against the wall and grunts.

“Yeah, well. I want kids, and Ei said it’s a crime not to get a front lawn – god knows I’m going to be the only one fucking mowin’ it, but now we’re stuck in this shithole ‘till the mortgage is up.”

Izuku puffs, “It’s not a – “ Izuku nearly bites off his tongue, eyes going wide as ping-pong balls. Record scratch, freeze frame. “What is that?”

“You need to get over your old man syndrome and download Instagram,” Katsuki huffs. “I’m not going to call you every time I pick my nose.”

“Oh my god!” Izuku’s voice wobbles, jerking to grab Katsuki’s hand, turning it over to study the new shiny ring. “Kacchan! Seriously!”

Katsuki tolerates Izuku’s fussing; he huffs in a mocking tone.

“No, it’s fake. April fools.”

Izuku snivels past the sting in his eyes, “Congratulations! Oh my goodness, I have to go find Kirishima and give him a hug!”

“Not gonna’ be Kiri no more,” Katsuki grins, and Izuku swats his side with a smile. They stare at each other, and it feels surreal. That after all this time, they’re still here together, in this moment. Katsuki actually smiles at him.

“Chug! Chug! Chug! Chug!”

“Fuckin shitbags,” Katsuki barks, marching off towards the livingroom. “Spill on my carpet and I’ll blast your head up your dick so fucking fast – “

Izuku follows behind at a distance. He peeks down some of the halls, and looks up at the stairs. It’s not a mansion, but the architecture makes it feel roomy. The living room opens up to a larger space shared with the kitchen, and this is where all the commotion is at.

Beer pong has been set up in the kitchen; the sliding doors open to the backyard where Satou and Koda are barbecuing burgers and hotdogs. The music is coming from speakers in the yard, and Izuku wouldn’t be surprised if Jirou was in charge of it.

“Hey babe!” Ochaco calls him over to the coffee table. “We’re doing shots!”

“Hey,” Izuku laughs. “I can’t believe the whole class is here.”

“Yeah, let’s hope the streets are quiet tonight.”

Tokoyami snorts, “Two dozen drunk heroes stumbling in the darkness to fight crime. It’s probably a reality show, somewhere.”

“Yeah, it’s called Jersey Shore.”

Shouji hands Izuku a full shot glass, and Izuku thanks him. He sniffs it and recoils.

“Jeez, starting the night out rough already. I haven’t even said hi to everyone yet.”

Iida lifts his shot glass, “To our Number One’s return.”

“Here here!”

Glasses clatter, there’s shouting from the kitchen, and Izuku pinches his nose as he swallows it down, cringing.

Katsuki calls in passing, “You still take shots like a bitch!”

“It tastes like bleach,” Izuku moans, drawing a laugh from the group, and it is at that very moment in time that Izuku decides to see just who is playing beer pong in the kitchen.

It’s Mina and Sero on one side, going up against Shouto and Momo on the other. And of course, all the stars have fucking aligned, and Shouto is in a silky red button-down, the sleeves rolled to his elbows and the top three buttons popped because fuck Izuku’s pathetic gay life.

Izuku dazedly taps the coffee table, gesturing vaguely at Shouji.

“Hit me again.”

“You’re in trouble,” Ochaco tells him.

“What else is new,” Izuku says, and takes the second shot without a complaint.

“Hey Midoriya!” Mina shouts. Izuku turns back around, and she beckons him over. “I need a rescue over here. We’re getting our asses whooped.”

Izuku gives a pleading look to Ochaco, who is very unhelpful, giving a thumbs up and wrapping her arm back around her girlfriend and fine, Izuku can handle this like an adult.

He clears his throat and approaches the table with a smile. Sero and Mina are only down to one cup. It looks like they doubled for a team match, and Momo and Shouto haven’t lost a single one.

“Wow, you guys suck.”

“We didn’t call you over here to get roasted,” Sero pouts. “This is a serious nine-one-one.”

“You can’t call in subs, this isn’t basketball,” Momo frowns.

Shouto waves her down, “Let them. If Izuku can save this, I’d be impressed.”

“That sounds like a challenge,” Izuku grins.

 


 

 Izuku ends up in the backyard. How? He isn’t sure, but someone said Jello shots and Izuku said fine, whatever and suddenly he was on the grass.

Izuku watches Kirishima force Denki to dance with him, and the back of his brain remembers who he went hunting for an hour ago. Izuku hops to his feet and gasps.

“Kirishima!”

He spins on his feet and beams. Denki sees an out and books it. 

“Midoriya!”

“I – I forgot to tell you,” Izuku starts, grabbing for his hand. “Congratulations on your engagement!”

Kirishima giggles at him, and lets Izuku see the ring. “He gave it to me while we were sparring. Decked me in the face, pinned me to the ground and yelled fucking marry me.

“That’s so manly.” 

“I know! What a heartthrob.”

“Are you going to be a Bakugou now?”

“Probably,” Kirishima laughs. “You should call me Eijirou. Not like I’m marrying your childhood friend or anything.”

“Izuku,” he nods, mock shaking his hand, and Eijirou snickers.

Laughter bursts out of the house. Izuku watches from the corner of his eye; it appears a new drinking game has started up already. Shouto hovers at the back with Tokoyami, engrossed in a conversation, and Eijirou follows his gaze.

“Sooooo. How are things going with Todoroki?”

“Oh, well. Our shifts haven’t aligned much of late, but sometimes I see him in the gym-“

“No, I mean. Are you guys like,” Eijirou makes an obscene gesture, and Izuku sputters.

“No! No no, d-definitely not. Shouto doesn’t like me like that.”

Eijirou stares at him for one looong second. He blinks, blinks twice, and then doubles over laughing.

“Stop it!” Izuku whines. “Don’t laugh at me.”

“I can’t breathe,” Eijirou says, wiping his eyes. “Holy crap, wait until Katsuki hears this.”

“No!!!! We’re just friends!”

“Shh, shh, it’s okay. Hey look – they’re playing flip cup. Let’s go!”

“Ah – uh, okay!” Izuku follows, and lets Eijirou yank him by the wrist.

 

The food is good. At least, Izuku’s not-so-sober brain tells him the food is good. He hasn’t been tipsy in a while, especially with his heightened metabolism, but with the amount of alcohol Denki and Jirou keep tag-teaming him with, Izuku was bound to go under sometime.

Izuku keeps getting dragged into beer pong because of his (killer) right arm, and he doesn’t mind as much as he should, because it’s fun. That’s just what it is; stupid fun.

He gets tired as the party simmers down. People sit up on the tables, around the firepit and along the kitchen counter. Izuku spots Shouto relaxing on the couch, talking to Hagakure on the other loveseat, and Izuku’s drunk brain says yeah, that looks like a safe place.

Beyond irrational thinking, Izuku sways to the couch, flops to the cushion and slides slooowly down until his head is plopped in Shouto’s lap.

Ah yes. This is good.

“Hello,” blinks Shouto.

“That last round,” Izuku mumbles, “was not beer. Nooobody said ‘roman coke’ pong.”

“Oh you’re fucked.”  

“I know.” Izuku sniffs. Shouto’s lap is like, super comfy. Way, way comfier than trying to crash in the lawn chairs. Izuku decides to tell him so.

“Thank you,” Shouto says.

“I’m going outside,” Hagakure points. “It looks like Bakugou is setting stuff on fire.”

“Well you wouldn’t want to miss that.”

Izuku hears Hagakure’s footsteps patter around the couch, and Izuku snuffles again, trying to set his head on straight.

“Mmm, probably callin’ in tomorrow.”

“You, and about fifteen others,” Shouto adds. After a long moment, a cool hand presses to the side of Izuku’s neck. It feels tingly.

“Didn’t drink?”

“Did,” Shouto nods. “But not the shots.”

“The shoooots,” Izuku gasps, like it’s all coming together. Shouto chuckles above him, and Izuku nearly purrs when that cold hand presses to his cheek.

His palm compresses there for a moment. Izuku breathes in and out, too fuzzy to figure out why he should be embarrassed about it. Those fingers drag up to his forehead, and Izuku hums happily.

Shouto drops his voice; a low tone, like it’s just the two of them left in the entire world.

“You’re bruised.”

“Nnn, just on my neck. Got hit with a -uh, uh.” Izuku squeezes his eyes shut and tries to mime it with his hands. “Bar. Thing. Bird, or something.”

“Someone smacked you over the head with a crowbar?”

“Yeah!”

“Were you concussed?”

“Nooope!”

Shouto presses his palm to the back of his bruise, and Izuku flinches a little. It starts to feel good after a moment, so Izuku relaxes again. There’s a heat building in his stomach – the good kind, with butterflies and stuff.

“Didja see Kiri, uh, Eijirou’s ring?”

“I did,” Shouto says. “It’s why we’re here.”

“It is?!”

Shouto laughs again, and drags his fingers by the knuckles. Up his brow, down his cheek. Along his ear.

“Get an Instagram.”

“Don’t want it,” Izuku muffles. “I don’t like reading mean comments. Um. Makes me spiral.”

Shouto frowns. Cool fingers circle around his jaw, dangerously close to his mouth, before they pull back to his cheek. Izuku swallows.

“It’s weird. Seeing Kacchan get married, n’ stuff. I think – it’s almost like. It’s backwards. I dunno’.”

“What was that?”

“I want what he has,” Izuku mumbles. “Always have. Now it’s jus’ one more on the pancake. One more thing that Kacchan has goin’ for him. God I’m so fuckin happy but, it hurts, kinda’.”

Shouto exhales, and Izuku adjust on his lap. Ugh, it feels like he’s on a boat.

“Why?”

“Uhhh, why what?”

Fingers rest on his neck and don’t move.

“Why are you jealous of Bakugou getting engaged?”

Izuku sniffs, and shrugs one shoulder.

“Cause I don’t think I’ll ever get an ending like that.”

Shouto goes silent for a long time. Izuku fuzzily stares at the unlit fireplace across the room, his brain delightfully empty for once. Laughter and shouting reverberates from the backyard. It sounds like they’ve lit up the firepit, the music turned down so they can talk over the noise.

Fingers twirl one of his curls. It feels like Shouto might’ve crouched a little, to speak soft enough so only Izuku can hear.

“Do you remember the party we had, after our second sports festival?”

Izuku has to think hard on it. He scrunches up his nose, sorts through the memories in his brain and gasps.

“Yes! We looked like a walking hospital.”

Shouto breathes a laugh.

“Yeah. I had a bruise the size of a frying pan on by back. And you broke both your arm and your nose.”

“Was fun,” Izuku nods.

Another pause. It feels like Shouto is playing with his hair, rubbing along his undercut. That’s nice too.

“You didn’t want anyone to know you were tired. But I knew.”

“Always do.”

“So we went on the roof, and I tripped over that lip in the step – “

“They never did fix that –“

“And you caught me, even though your arm was broken,” Shouto finishes. Izuku can’t quite figure out where this story is going. The red string is leading somewhere, but he’s more lulled into the sound of Shouto’s voice.

“Mm. You’re normally not so clumsy.”

“You said that. Exactly that.”

“I did?”

“Yes,” Shouto whispers. Below the noise, below the music, below his skin and bones and soul. “We talked on the roof all night. That’s when I knew you were someone important to me.”

Izuku smiles, pressing his nose into Shouto’s thigh.

“I thought we became friends after the first festival?”

Shouto lets out a breath, almost a sad one.

“We did. This was different.”

Something shuffles behind him, and Izuku begins to zone out as he hears more voices.

“-eed me to take him?”

“-s alright. I’ll drive him home.”

“-kay to drive? You-“

“-m fine-“

“-carry then-“

Izuku is way too out of it to care who or what is picking him up, but he hears a faint, “Alright, up an at ‘em, shitty nerd,” and the sounds of Shouto bickering: watch his head, moron – shut the fuck up I got him! –  and Izuku is ninety percent sure he got put in a car. Like, pretty sure.

“Nice car,” Izuku stirs. “Smells fancy.”

When he’s picked up again, it’s different. Izuku can’t distinguish how, but it’s – gentler. Keys rattle in a lock, his shoes are pulled from his feet, and Izuku is passed out before he can find out how the night ends.  

 

Chapter Text

Izuku wakes up, blinks, and cringes hard enough to curl up in a ball and whine.

“Aghhhhhh,” Izuku cries, palms at his forehead. Maybe if he tries hard enough, he can summon a black hole and get sucked into it and maybe become a dog in the next life.

Izuku remembers an embarrassingly large amount of the night, which is impressive via how much alcohol is fueling his hangover – but bits and pieces are blurry, and it makes him nervous.

He knows he embarrassed himself in front of Shouto. Not the first time and it won’t be the last, but man does it make Izuku wanna’ implode a little each time.

Izuku is still in his jeans, so he wiggles them off and throws his gross, sweaty shirt across the room. He huffs, bouncing back on the bed and squeezing his eyes shut. The headache is, mmm, just wonderful. Muah. Just what he needed.

He lays there in self-pity for a moment longer, before rolling over and texting Shouto with the lowest brightness.

10:13 A.M.

Holy shit, I am sooooooo sorry <

Izuku doesn’t wait long for a response.

 

10:15 A.M.

> No need to apologize. I set asprin on your side table. Sorry, I rummaged through your pantry

 

Izuku glances to his table and oh, Shouto left water too. Maybe guardian angels are real.

10:15 A.M.

You’re the best  。゜ ( ` Д´) ゜。  <

Thank you so much for driving me home!!!!!!! <

I owe you dinner <

 

Ping!

 

> You don’t owe me anything.

> But dinner sounds good

 

Izuku chucks his phone across his bed and faceplants into his pillow. Hero, or human disaster. Izuku isn’t sure if he can tell the difference these days.

 

 


 

 

Izuku finds a very angry and crumpled save the date postcard taped to his apartment door. It’s a photo of Eijirou and Katsuki blowing up shit in hero uniform, and it’s the least romantic wedding invite Izuku has ever seen, and it almost makes him cry.

Taped to the back is a scrawled sticky note:

Ur best man, so you better write a good fuckin’ speech.

-K

Izuku smiles, tapes the invite to his fridge, and dully reminds himself to go out and buy a suit. He also cries a little, shh.

 

 


 

 

Today’s shift didn’t quite have the challenge Izuku was looking for. It’s not like he wants trouble, but he still has pent up energy when his patrol is over, so he changes into his gym clothes and hits up the punching bag until his arms finally feel tired.

He has to be careful; the nerve damage in his hands isn’t detrimental or anything, but he can’t always feel when he’s pushing his knuckles too hard, so he rewraps them and takes to stretching on the yoga mats instead.

The gym is empty tonight. Normally it’s full of white noise; weights clattering, heavy breathing and low chatter. It’s just the radio now.

Izuku breathes in, stretches his arms above his head, exhales, and bends in half, pressing his palms to the floor. While he has been able to put on more muscle, Izuku doesn’t want to reach a point where he’s sacrificing power for mobility. His shoot style relies heavily on his flexibility; so he rotates between stretches, pressing his forehead to his knees, rolling his shoulders, and gripping his toes on the mat.

Izuku counts through the burn of a split, and spreads out his fingers on the floor. Izuku exhales shakily – he can’t quite touch his forehead to the floor, so he’ll have to work on that.

A few moments pass, and Izuku gets the prickly feeling that he’s being watched. He jerks up his head, and sees Shouto positioned the doorway.

Shouto is still in his hero uniform. His boots are covered in mud, and it looks like he has a smudge of bruising down his arm, but they’re small injuries in retrospect. Izuku’s gaze jerks to his mouth, where his lip is red and irritated, like Shouto has been chewing on it. Ugh, I am such a creep –

“Hey,” Izuku smiles.

Shouto clears his throat and blinks a couple times, stepping further into the gym.

“Hi. You weren’t answering your phone, so I thought you were still on shift.”

“Oops, sorry. I just had some extra energy,” Izuku smiles. He still can’t quite look Shouto straight in the eye ever since the party, and Izuku hates that feeling, so he says, “I uh, am super sorry about what a mess I was last Saturday.”

Shouto breathes a laugh out of his nose and straddles the nearby bench (not okay).

“You were hardly a mess. What you didn’t see was Ashido blowing cookies in Bakugou’s kitchen sink.”

Izuku sucks in air through his teeth as he cringes, and he can almost hear the die! die! die! from here. He sits crisscross on the floor and looks up at Shouto.

“Yikes.”

“It was pretty bad.”

“I still owe you. I feel bad that you had to drag my butt home.”

“Don’t feel bad. But I was curious if you were free tonight, I keep meaning to try the new soba place on eighth.”

Izuku chews on his lips and sits back on his hands.

“Umm, yeah! I mean, yes – I’m not busy. I just need to run by my apartment and change.”

Shouto smiles lopsided, only a quick one. “Me too. I can meet you at your place at nine?”

“What time is it now?” Izuku looks at his watch. “Will it be too late?”

“They don’t close until one, don’t worry. You haven’t eaten right?”

“Not at all.”

“Then I’ll see you in an hour,” Shouto says as he rises, and Izuku swallows around the cotton in his throat. Don’t freak out, don’t freak out. This is normal, you can handle this.

He doesn’t realize Shouto has left until the door closes. Izuku clears his throat and mumbles to himself.

“O-okay. See you then.”

 


 

 

Izuku still doesn’t know what to wear to his not-date, so he has to jump around his apartment to pull up his only clean pair of jeans, and manages to find a nice shirt without some hero logo printed on it.

Shouto decides to blow his entire world to smithereens by wearing his hair down. Yes, the restaurant is cute and homey, yes he orders some kind of noodle thing, yes they’re sharing a small table in the corner – but none of that is important. Shouto’s hair is so long.

It’s all one length, silky and thick and wow, so gorgeous. It makes him look more masculine and more feminine at the same time.

Izuku realizes with horror that Shouto has been talking to him.

“What?” Izuku chokes, sputtering out water, and Shouto begins to laugh at him. “Shit, I’m so sorry –“

“Do I have something on my face?” Shouto jokes.

“No – it’s. You just – I didn’t realize how long your hair was.”

“Hm,” Shouto blinks, and idly runs his hand down the white side.  “I didn’t realize it was this long either. I don’t really pay much attention to it anymore.”

“I got tired of mine,” Izuku laughs. He feels back at his undercut, “I didn’t have the time to detangle it every day.”

“I like it,” Shouto says. “I think I might cut mine soon.”

“Your fans would cry.”

Shouto shrugs, “I’d like to donate it, but I don’t know who would want my weird red and white hair.”

“I would!” Izuku blurts, and then nearly screams into his hands. “Oh my god no! That sounded so creepy. You know what I meant!”

Shouto is laughing; like full on, shoulders shaking, hiccupy laughter. It would be more amazing if it wasn’t at Izuku’s expense.

“Stop it!”

“I’m sorry,” Shouto turns his head to try and be polite. “I know.”

“Anyways,” Izuku huffs, ready to move on. “Long or short, you could wear a paper bag on your head and it’d look good.” Woahhh there Bessie. Laying it on a little too thick, pull back.

“That’s a thought,” Shouto says. He ignites a small flame on the tips of his fingers, and lights up the candle siting between them. “How’s your new merch line going?”

“I have no clue,” Izuku sighs, waving his hand. “I try to keep my ass out of it.”

“I know how you feel.”

“Ugh…” Izuku runs a hand through his short curls. “You were right about the magazines. I kept saying no, but my manager told me I didn’t have a choice in the matter.”

Shouto lights up.

“You did a shoot?”

“…Yeah.”

“Who for?”

“Uhh, it’s French so I’m probably going to butcher the name. L…Official Hommes. I think that’s right.”

“I told you they’d get you,” Shouto says.

“I know,” Izuku sighs. “You can rub it in, I don’t mind.”

“Deku!”

He jerks up at the sound of his name. Izuku’s initial thought is a fan – but the voice is way too familiar. A body approaches the table, Shouto tenses on instinct, and Izuku gasps.

Tall, spikey black hair, silver plating patched up and down his arms—

“Arlo!” Izuku quickly covers his mouth, “I-I mean, Heavy Metal! What are you doing here?”

Alro grins, “I’m not on duty, don’t worry. I’m here visiting my grandma!”

“Ahh! It’s good to see you!”

Izuku stands up to give him a hug, and Shouto looks on in question.

“Oh, sorry –“ Izuku steps back. “This was my uh, my –“

“Ex-boyfriend-“

“Friend from America-“

They stop, look at each other, and laugh. Izuku rubs his arm sheepishly.

“Um, we dated for a couple months, haha. We got along because he spoke Japanese.”

Shouto makes an ah sound, and rises to shake his hand.

“Todoroki. Pleasure to meet you.”

“Oh I know who you are! I’ve heard plenty about you.”

Shouto quirks an eyebrow, “You have?”

Abort! Abort!

“Uhhhh it was really nice seeing you again!” Izuku laughs nervously.

Arlo grips Izuku’s shoulder, “Oh, you too! Quit ghosting me and text me back for once.”                                                        

“He’ll do that to you,” Shouto says.

“I’m so sorry! I’ll text you I promise.”

“Enjoy your date!”

Alro waves as he steps away, and Izuku stammers, “It’s — we’re  not — oh. Okay.” They sit again, and Izuku rubs his nose, “Sorry about that.”

Shouto shrugs and drags his fingers along the edge of his glass with disinterest.

“Metal quirk?”

“He can magnetize objects when he sings. We worked in the same precinct for a couple months.”

Shouto hums. His gaze is elsewhere, face unreadable.

“Did you date a lot? Overseas?”

Izuku chews on his lip. He turns down his eyes, to the forgotten edamame.

“I mean, here and there. Sometimes the language barrier was hard, but there were a couple people like Arlo. Exchange students and stuff.”

“Mmmm.”

A beat of silence.

“Did you date anyone?” Izuku asks. He blinks, “Are you dating anyone? I mean, I assume you would’ve told me by now but – but maybe you don’t want anyone to know. You don’t have to tell me, I mean, if you do I definitely wouldn’t –“

“I’m not dating anyone,” Shouto says. He meets his eye, “I did have a couple partners, but none longer than a month. I was too busy.”

“Me too,” Izuku sniffs. His brain scrambles to come up with a subject change. Something to get Shouto lighting up again. “So... did I miss any good sports festivals?”

His plan works; Shouto starts talking and Izuku thinks he could sit and listen to him forever.

Their food comes. Izuku is only half interested. Shouto looks Adonis-like under the candlelight, and they keep leaning over the table to hear each other over the noise, and Shouto tucks his hair behind his ear when he gets animated about his new interns and Izuku wants to steal the world for him.

Shouto is so many leaps and bounds out of Izuku’s league; it feels wrong just to sit at the same table. It’s funny – how a feeling like that never really goes away. Fifteen, twenty two, twenty six. Fifty. A hundred.

 

Izuku acknowledges it there. No amount of time, no distance, no heartbreak will make him stop having feelings for Shouto. It’s permanent, it’s there, and Izuku tries not to cry in the restaurant.

 

He’s got the world on his shoulders, more power than he could possibly contain, and he’s back to square one. Still holding that stupid torch.

 

 


 

 

Izuku does cry when he gets home. The door clicks, he toes off his shoes, stumbles into the bathroom and slides his back against the wall until he’s sitting on the floor.

Head on his knees; he lets it all go. Shoulder wracking sobs that fill his heart up black and blue.

It’s eleven-thirty, but he tries calling Ochaco anyways. She answers.

All Izuku does is breathe, and Ochaco is already asking:

“Are you okay? Where are you?”

“Safe,” Izuku wipes his eyes, but the tears just keep coming. “I’m at – at home.”

“What happened?”

Izuku cries a little longer. With his arms balanced on his knees, he presses his face into the crook of his elbow until he has the words to say it.

“What if…” Izuku wobbles, “What if he’s it for me?”

“Oh baby –“

“What if I’m not capable of caring about anyone else?” Izuku cries. It sounds muffled and snotty and so gross.

“You feel so much, Izuku. So completely with your entire heart. It’s beautiful – and you shouldn’t be afraid of it.”

A sob, “I’m terrified. I love him, I really –“ Izuku curls in on himself and cries beyond the ability to speak, and Ochaco sits there and soothes him through it. Bless her, because Izuku can’t get himself right, no matter how hard he tries.

 


 

 

Getting thrown through several high-rises and nearly drowned at the bottom of the ocean will do wonders for your priorities.

A big smile for the camera:

“It’s okay! I’m here!”

“Take my hand!”

“Everything is going to be okay!”

Sometimes you need a good kick in the butt. Sometimes it shows up in the form of a thirty-foot rage monster. Shit happens, you know?

 


 

 

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and --

After his breakdown last week, Izuku feels like he’s lived a hundred lives in-between. He’s finally reached acceptance; this is his life, this is his burden, this is his friend, and Izuku is in for the long run. So suck those feelings right up in there and smile, ‘cause Izuku can’t fathom the idea of leaving Shouto again.

He sees Shouto in the agency hall and waves with a smile. Because it’s okay! He loves Shouto, and that’s okay. There might not be anyone else, and that is Izuku’s own fault, so there’s no one else to blame but himself.

Shouto texts him more, and Izuku adores that.

It’s a slow Sunday morning, the first ever in a long time, and he’s happy to roll over and check his phone for the random updates he’ll have received during the night. It’s always short things;

Thursday 8:48 PM

> Saw a dog, looks like you : [See Attachment]

Oh my goodness how cute!!! ( ◞       ) <

Friday: 4:42 AM

> Chief of police wants to see you on Thurs.

Gotcha!!! Ur the best <

Sunday: 9:01 AM

 > Took down a moss villain in Akita. I smell like sushi

It’s a good thing Sushi is delicious (   ´▽`   )*     * <

 

Ping!

 

> Now I’m hungry. Want to meet me and Tokoyami for breakfast?

 

Izuku rolls back over and smiles at his ceiling.

Is the sky blue?! <

 


 

 

Shouto spends most of his time outside of his apartment, so it’s not…terrible to have people putting his couches to use.  

He’s a little disappointed that Izuku was called out tonight, but it’s the lifestyle they chose. It’s probably for the best; Shouto never really recovered from watching Izuku do the splits in the middle of his gym.

As if to rub in the salt a little deeper, Katsuki flops his head back over the armrest and asks, “Where the idiot at?”

Shouto breathes out hot through his nose, refusing to rise to Katsuki’s bait.

“He was needed on a gang case.”

“Lame,” Katsuki kicks his leg over Eijirou’s lap. “Where? I’ll wrap that shit up real fast.”

“That’s not your call to make,” Momo says.

“What fucking ever, I do what I want.”

“That’s how you got your hero license suspended,” Denki laughs from the floor, and Katsuki chucks a pillow at him. Eijirou pats Katsuki’s head like a rogue dog.

“Are we already out of wine?”

“Yeah, you sucked my ass dry,” Shouto deadpans.

Eijirou grins, “Oh you wish I did – ow! Babe!”

Katsuki elbows him again, and Eijirou learns the second time, hardening enough to block the punch that follows.

“Soooo,” Denki bats his eyelashes at Momo. “Are you gonna’ hook us up, or what?”

“I’m not a free bar.”

“Yeah, but you could be.”

“Do it and he’ll leave you alone,” Shouto says, relaxing back on the couch. Momo rolls her eyes and pops the top two buttons on her blouse.

“Yeah! You’re the man, Yaoyorozu!”

“You guys suck.”

“Heh,” Denki grins. “Todoroki is definitely going to need another drink.”

Denki looks up at Shouto from across the coffee table, and Shouto feels a very uncomfortable chill run down his back.

“What the hell does that mean?”

“One of my sidekicks works a part time job for a commercial printer.” Denki lifts his phone with a grin, “And I just so happen to have leaks of Midoriya’s new sexy magazine spread.”

Shouto’s soul exits his body at an alarming rate.

“Oh no,” whispers Momo.

Eijirou gasps, “Are you serious bro?!”

“Would I lie to you dude?”

“Yes, you would.”

“Don’t fuck around with me,” Shouto glowers. “I will kill you over this.”

Denki raises his hands in surrender, “I’m serious! He got an entire four-page spread. Take a look.”

Shouto takes a deep breath before grabbing Denki’s phone. Katsuki is laughing at him, and Shouto can’t even hear it.

He takes one look and –

“Oh god,” Shouto slams the phone face down on the table. “I can’t do this.”

“Here you go,” Momo sighs, pouring him a glass; and Shouto shoots it back in one go. He tips the glass towards her,

“Again.”

“Help,” Katsuki laughs, “I can’t fuckin’ breathe.”

Shouto takes down another glass and stares at Denki’s downturned phone like it’s the enemy.

“Oh come on,” Eijirou rolls his eyes. He takes the phone and swipes to the photo, “It can’t be that holy shit-“

Katsuki stops mid laugh, flying up in Eijirou’s lap and squinting at the photo.

That’s the nerd?!”

“You guys would make the prettiest babies,” Denki grins. Shouto flips him off with both hands.

“Look at all those titties,” Eijirou whistles. “Ten out of ten would motorboat. Who said it was okay to put him in a wet t-shirt?”

“Definitely not me,” Katsuki says. “Worst part? That shithead has no idea how hot he is.”

“Give it back,” Shouto extends his hand. “I’m ready.”

Eijirou swipes and whistles again.

“Dude, I don’t think you are.”

“Oh fuck that,” Katsuki says, laying back down. “This is bringing up too much childhood trauma.”

“Yeah,” Eijirou says. “Fuck that is right.”

Shouto’s eye twitches. He clenches his left palm to quell the heat.

“Guys, watch it. Shouto is very capable of freezing all the blood in your body,” Momo says, the only good friend Shouto has left.

Eijirou passes the phone back. Shouto steels himself, opens the photo and nearly bites through his tongue.

The cover is Izuku in a wet t-shirt, just as they said. He’s gripping the collar, pulling it away from his body with both hands, and you can see every single scar, divot and muscle in his torso. There’s space between the hem of his shirt and the boxers above his jeans, and it is not okay. His face is so cute and adorable, round lips and fuck the freckles oh god.

“That’s illegal,” Shouto says dry.

 Momo peeks over his shoulder, “Woah. That’s uh…”

Shouto flips to the next photo of the spread; and it’s Izuku crouched in designer jeans and an open blouse, smiling because he it’s what he does best, and it feels like Shouto is being stabbed a thousand times over.

“This one is giving me PTSD,” Shouto says.

 “Is it the jeans one?”

“Yes. Did anyone else notice what he wore to your party or what is it just me?” Shouto asks, turning towards the couple on the couch.

“I did,” Denki says. “And I’m like, mostly straight.”

“Yup. Saw his ass and went oh Icyhot is so dead,” Katsuki snickers.

 “It gave me heart failure,” Shouto explains.

“We’re here for you bro.”

“There’s two more photos,” Momo points.

Shouto holds up his empty wine glass without looking. Momo pours him another.

 


 

 

Izuku isn’t sure how he’s allowed the time to escape him, but Eijirou and Katsuki’s wedding is coming up way sooner than Izuku realized.

He’s invited to a bachelor party, which doesn’t really make sense, because both bachelors are there – and didn’t they kind of already have a massive drink-a-thon at their house a couple months ago? – but it turns out their idea of a Legitimate Bachelor Party is to rent out an entire Combat Paint Zone and beat the complete and utter shit out of their friends.

Yeah, you read that right. Not each other. Their friends.

A battle is an understatement. This is an all-out war.

“I didn’t wear the right shoes for this,” Tsuyu complains, taking cover behind one of the barricades.

The ground shakes from an explosion. Izuku covers his head and tucks the gun to his chest.

“We’re never going to be allowed back in here ever again,” Izuku sighs.

“They’re a powerhouse!” Mina cries. “They took down Denki and Aoyama like they were strangers. How are we ever going to reach the flag?”

 “Izuku and I can do it,” Shouto says, giving him a side eye. His hair is up in a high ponytail, and he’s strapped in with the matching riot-gear, and everything about this is hilarious, and yet Shouto still looks photo-ready.

There’s a second explosion. Iida comes running at sonic speed, skidding along the ground.

 “Alpha team! Grooms are moving through the red field!” Iida gestures. “Now’s our chance!”

“Let’s go!” Izuku calls, and Shouto follows him on his heels. They crouch around the edge of the field; Shouto throws out his arm, Izuku hesitates, and Jirou goes running by.

“Square up you bastards!”

There’s the sound of paint guns, and Jirou cursing as she falls to the ground.

“Jesus Christ,” Izuku whispers.

Bakugou, who’s now climbed the flag tower, points his gun in the air and holds down the trigger, howling like a madman.

“He’s gone feral,” Shouto whispers. Izuku is trying so hard not to laugh, it almost hurts.

“I could jump high enough to reach him,” Izuku says. “But I can’t promise I’ll hit.”

“Not worth it. Let’s sneak around the back.”

There’s a commotion as more people try to hop the barrier. Eijirou jumps up out of the hedge like fucking SWAT, popping Iida, Ochaco, Tsuyu and Ojiro in one fail swoop.

“Hell yeah!” Bakugou calls. “I’m marrying that shit!”

“I’m that shit!!” Eijirou howls back, and dodges an onslaught of paintballs like it’s the matrix.

“What is happening?” Izuku cackles. If you told Izuku he’d be playing paintball with all his old friends after disappearing for four years he would’ve laughed until he cried.

Shouto presses a warm hand to his upper back. It’s startling how quickly his touch sets Izuku at ease.

“Shh! Keep moving.”

They army crawl along the ground. Izuku sneaks a look up over the barrier. He can see Aoyama laying on the ground, covered in rainbow paint.

“Go on…without me…” he wheezes. Shouto rolls his eyes, and Izuku presses a hand over his mouth to keep himself from giggling.

His heart is beating like crazy. It’s gone quiet again, and Eijirou could pop out of –

“Ding dong!” Eijirou grins, vaulting the hedge. Izuku moves first, tucking and rolling Shouto along with him. They scatter; Shouto going for the blockade, Izuku using his speed to dodge the paintballs.

“Go for the tower!” Shouto calls. Izuku hops the barrier and makes a run for it.

“I don’t think so—” Eijirou starts to fire, but Shouto tackles him to the ground, points his gun at Eijirou’s vest, and pulls the trigger.

“Nooo!” Katsuki roars. “You’ll pay for that, you bastard!”

Izuku fires his gun as he runs for the flag. Unfortunately, there are few things more powerful than a pissed off Ground Zero, so Izuku gets absolutely blown up with paint.

Total loss.

“Seventeen against two,” Sero sighs, wiping off his face. “This is ridiculous.”  

Everyone comes crawling out of the woodworks. Eijirou and Katsuki are laughing like madmen, clinging to each other with their victory.

“You know this is some kind of sick foreplay for them, right?” Shouto asks.

“I didn’t want to know that, but now I do,” sighs Izuku.

Shouto smiles at him, and tugs down his sleeve to wipe off some of the paint under Izuku’s eyes. It’s so…soft. Izuku’s feet feel frozen to the ground, mouth dry because Shouto’s face is so damn close.

Shouto hums, sweeping along his cheeks.

“He didn’t hold back, did he?”

“Have you met Kacchan?”

“If we were using quirks, this would’ve been a different game.”

“If we were using quirks, someone would be dead.”

Izuku closes his eyes and lets Shouto wipe off the rest of the paint. When he opens his eyes again, Shouto is just…looking at him.

Izuku tries for a joking tone.

“You were very brave, solider.”

Shouto’s ears go red. He huffs out of his nose and crosses his arms.

“We’re definitely winning this time.”

“Bullshit you are. Bring it, Halfie.”

Everyone groans.

 

 


 

 

“No.”

“Yes.”

No.”

“Yes!” Izuku sighs. “I’m serious!”

Shouto lifts an eyebrow from where he’s sprawled over Izuku’s couch. It’s a Friday night, they’re tired, there’s reports to do, but Shouto texted him asking if he was busy and Izuku said no and – it kinda’ feels like high school again. Back when they’d hang out and just do nothing together.

“Izuku, the wedding is in a week. You can’t procrastinate this anymore.”

“I know,” Izuku sighs, flopping back on the loveseat. “I just hate suit shopping. I’ve been spending all my time writing my best man speech.”

“Are you…” Shouto turns his head, hair spreading out on the cushions. “Are you bringing anyone for your plus one?”

Izuku rubs his nose and looks to his T.V., where some news station is on mute.

“N…no.”

Izuku looks back over when he realizes Shouto is still staring at him, waiting. When Izuku meets his eye he says,

“Do you mind going with me?”

Izuku has to talk himself down from a complete panic attack. No idiot, he’s not asking you on a date. Keep it in your pants.

“Um, s-sure, haha. But, it doesn’t really count ‘cause we’d both be there anyways, right?”

Shouto shrugs and turns on his back, bringing his phone to his face.

“At least we don’t have to walk in alone.”

Yes, that’s true. Izuku watches him a moment longer. There’s hundreds of adult things Izuku should be doing right now, like opening his mail and finishing his battle recount and doing the dishes. But Shouto looks so relaxed here, with him. Not so stiff, not so proper.

He’s everything.

Izuku smiles and turns back to his own phone.

“Should I ask Yaoyorozu to go suit shopping with me?”

“And empty out your bank account, sure.”

 

 


 

 

Izuku tries to be careful of his media presence. Katsuki and Eijirou are already dealing with a paparazzi nightmare as it is, and Izuku doesn’t want to add any mess to the pile.

He doesn’t look at his magazine when it comes out. It’s better to avoid those things, so he won’t have to hear the negative comments. Feedback on his abilities, his crime fighting, and his volunteer work is fine. But he just can’t handle having his image be torn apart in front of everyone.

He does keep Shouto’s magazine, however. It’s still the most gorgeous photo Izuku has ever seen in his life. Creepy? Probably, but too bad. Hey, he resisted buying the Uravity and Shouto figurines he saw in the store window last week, so that alone was a feat worth noting.

Sometimes reporters ask him about Shouto. Izuku isn’t good at handling that at all.

No he has nothing to say on the matter of his dating life. No he will not be disclosing the name of his last partner. No he will not lay out his list of Hero crushes.

It’s a list with one name, anyways.

 

 


 

 

The stars like to align for Izuku in the worst way possible. The wedding is tomorrow – you know, for his childhood friend turned enemy turned rival turned bestie? Yeah.

Suit, check. Hair trimmed, yes. He’s rehearsed his best man speech so many times, if Izuku stutters over any of it, he is going to drop kick himself over the nearest cliff. 

So of course Izuku gets called out on hero work the night before, and gets thrown around like a freaking ragdoll.

It feels like the villains are getting stronger. Izuku has dealt with these kind of strength quirks before, but he doesn’t like having to draw his maximum power to take down criminals. Thirty-seven percent is still rough on his body, and it doesn’t always work.

The dislocated shoulder is a thing Izuku can deal with. He pops those things back in on the daily. It’s the big, splotchy bruise across his cheek that makes him want to cry.

“I have concealer!” Ochaco says, but there’s no amount of concealer in the world that’ll cover this baby up. Izuku hangs his head in defeat and sighs. Yeah yeah, job risks. Izuku really wanted to look nice when Shouto picked him up tomorrow. Uh, and for the wedding (haha…).

Izuku brushes his thumb against the edge. It’s purple and blue, stretching from the side of his nose, down to his jaw, under his eye and all the way to his ear. Well, it’s probably what his friends have come to expect from him anyways.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Izuku fusses in the mirror. Shouto said he was coming by at six, and it’s three minutes after, and Izuku is still trying to make sure his bowtie stays straight. Maybe if he glued it...

It took him a while to find a suit that fit right. Even then, he had to get it tailored to fit his thighs. Sigh.

At least it is a pretty color; blue-black with a red bowtie.

Tap tap tap tap tap.

Izuku nearly scares himself into a different dimension. He presses a hand over his heart and exhales.

And I’m a pro hero, jeez.

Izuku checks that all the curtains are closed, turning down the kitchen lights and grabbing his wallet and keys off the counter.

“Coming!”

Okay – whatever he’s about to see, he can handle it. He’s seen Shouto in plenty of suits before. Izuku breathes in and out, before turning the handle on the door.

“Hey! Sorry about…” Izuku trails, mouth going slack. His throat vibrates as he swallows. “Um…the wait…”

Alright, forget all that.

Izuku feels like he’s just been sucker punched right in the windpipe.

Shouto has always stood tall, but the lines of his three-piece suit are tailored perfect to the contours of his body, making him look ten feet tall. Izuku cannot fathom his shoulder to waist ratio. It’s simply impossible. But it’s sloped in even more, shown off by his vest.

“Uh…” Shouto blinks dazedly, staring right back. “It’s…fine.”

Izuku then looks at his face, and feels his heart fall out of his ass all over again. He slaps a hand over his mouth and gapes. Holy fucking heck.

“You cut your hair!”

It looks gorgeous. Shaggy to his ears, almost the length he used to wear it in high school, but windswept and pushed away from his face. It’s shiny, straight and downright handsome. It’s aged him in the best way possible, more mature, showing off those wide shoulders that haunt Izuku at night.

“Ah…” Shouto stares. “I did. I thought the length…was probably too much for a wedding.”

“You’re too much for a wedding.”

“What?”

“Nothing. You look great!” Izuku smiles.

“You too…” Shouto breathes. Izuku can smell his cologne from here, so he knows it’s going to be a long night. Izuku closes the door behind him, throws his key in the lock, turns back around and is met with Shouto right in his face.

“Ah!-“

Shouto brings his cold hand up to Izuku’s cheek – and for a moment he hesitates – but the longer he stares, the more his eyes narrow with fury, and Izuku turns to stone. He cups the bruise in his palm, and Izuku flinches a little.

“What happened?” Shouto asks gently.

“Ugh…The Volcano. Getting decked by an obsidian fist isn’t fun.”

“I heard there was an issue at the bridge,” Shouto frowns. His thumb sweeps across Izuku’s bruise, and Izuku can taste his heart in his mouth. Thumping and clanging against his teeth. “I would have come if I’d known. They never – fucking page me –“

“I had it under control,” Izuku grins, tapping his hand playfully and sidestepping his grip. “Don’t you go underestimating me now.”

He can hear Shouto let out a breath and fall in step beside him.

“Wouldn’t dream of it.”

 

 


 

 

Izuku knew that Shouto had a fancy sports car, and he knows he’s drunkenly ridden in his fancy sports car, but he’s very unprepared to watch Shouto drive in said fancy sports car.

Reclined back, one hand on the wheel, it does terrible things to Izuku’s libido. He drives fast but efficient, with that impression that he’s in full control, and damn is it hot. There, he said it. It’s hot. Izuku tries to forcefully eject all thoughts of unclicking his seatbelt and undoing Shouto’s fly while he drives – stop stop stop.

 

Katsuki and Eijirou didn’t spend thousands on a venue, and Izuku doesn’t blame them – but Izuku thinks the area is nice anyways. It’s a community center up on one of the hills, and it’s been decorated in string lights. All Izuku knows is that the ceremony is outside, and the bar is inside.

“This is going to be a disaster, you know that right?” Shouto asks.

“Yeah,” Izuku sighs. “You know I’m going to cry through the entire ceremony, right?”

“Yup.” Shouto offers his arm, and Izuku flushes at the gesture. He hesitantly holds Shouto’s left elbow, and lets him lead them towards their seating.

Old class A students and teachers are here. There are some heroes that Izuku doesn’t recognize – a couple interns and such. The wedding has zero news coverage, and Izuku is sure someone pulled some strings for that.

Aizawa turns around from the front row, offering not a smile, but a softer look.

“Midoriya, Todoroki.”

“Hello sensei.”

“Aizawa sensei!” Izuku smiles. “Kacchan won’t say it, but I bet he’s thrilled that you’re here.”

“Mmm. I have a feeling I’ll be going to a few of these in the next few years,” Aizawa sighs.

“Oh cheer up,” Toshinori grins, and claps Shouto’s hand in a greeting as he steps to give Midoriya a hug. “Weddings are a beautiful thing.”

“It’s good to see you.”

“Likewise, my boy. Is Bakugou nervous?”

“I don’t think so,” Izuku chuckles. “I think he just wants it over with.”

“Hey can you guys still see?” Jirou points, holding a tripod.

“Yup! Are you their photographer?”

“Unpaid, yes. Bakugou said, and excuse me sensei, fuck that I don’t need no pictures, but I know that’s Bakugou speech for please.”

“You got it,” Izuku laughs.

 

It’s not uh…your typical wedding ceremony. Izuku wasn’t told much, but he knows they didn’t want a lot of the traditional stuff. Just a pastor, chairs, and vows. Of course, nothing is expected to be normal with Katsuki.

Still, Izuku sobs uncontrollably when Katsuki walks out in a white suit. Eijirou is matching in white, grinning from ear to ear, and Shouto pulls tissues out of his breast pocket – and thank goodness, Izuku needs them.

The vows are…in character. To their utter shock, Denki is their chosen ordained minister.

Dude and dude…please state your vows.

Babe, you are…the manliest dude…I love you so much….

Shut the fuck up, I fucking love you lets finish this.

Shouto is a solid heat at Izuku’s side. They’re pressed close, thigh to thigh, and his presence is comforting in a way Izuku can’t describe. He’s experiencing too many emotions, and just the familiar ashy smell of Shouto is like an anchor at sea. 

Izuku sniffles as Denki says, “You may now kiss the dude,” and Katsuki grabs Eijirou by the back of the hair and plants one on him like it’s the movies.

Shouto sets a hand on his leg and squeezes. Izuku knows it’s in support, and Izuku offers a smile, and tries not to show how badly it tears into his chest.

 

 


 

 

Izuku is no public speaker. He’s still a goddamn mess by the time they move into the reception hall, and now he can’t remember half of his speech, and Izuku is officially freaking out.

“Are you okay?” Shouto asks.

“Yup!” Izuku pipes, but his voice cracks. “Um, I’m just going to go wash my face in the bathroom. I’ll be right back.”

Shouto nods, and Izuku dips out, weaving through the moving crowd until he finds the hall. He pushes open the door to the men’s restroom, closes the door, and sees Katsuki standing at the sink, staring at his reflection with watery eyes.

Izuku pauses. Everything he was freaking out about suddenly becomes unimportant. 

Katsuki whips around with a sneer, wiping his nose and sniveling.

“The fuck you want.”

It takes Izuku by surprise. He treads carefully, approaching the second sink with a smile.

“Just wiping off my face. I think I’m dehydrated I cried so much.”

Katsuki rolls his eyes, grabbing a paper towel and drying his hands with too much force. The bathroom is dead quiet, nothing other than the running sink. Izuku looks to his hands and says gently,

“You both look amazing.”

“Shut up.”

“Congratulations, Kacchan,” Izuku smiles. “You really deserve to be happy.”

Katsuki’s eyes widen. He swallows thick, and jerks his gaze away.

“Whatever. Thanks for um. Coming, n’shit.”

“Honestly…I’m nervous,” Izuku chuckles. “I’m no good at speeches.”

“I’m no good at bein’ emotional in front of people but here I fuckin’ am,” Katsuki wipes his eyes one last time. “You don’t have to say shit, I don’t care.”

Izuku finishes washing his face, and dabs it gently with a paper towel. Once Izuku tosses it in the bin he says, “I know y-you’ll kill me if I say this in front of everyone, so um, I’ll say it now. You’re one of my best friends and I love you. Thank you for letting me be your best man.”

Katsuki stares at him a moment too long, and for a second, Izuku thinks he’s about to get a matching bruise – but Katsuki grabs him by the shirt, hauls him in for the world’s most aggressive hug, and clenches his fist in the back of Izuku’s jacket.

Izuku gasps; he barely has enough time to hug him back, before Katuski slaps his shoulder and pulls away.

“Your date is waitin’ for you.”

Izuku blinks away the blush, and smiles as he calls back, “Your husband is waiting for you!”

Katsuki grins and slams the bathroom door shut.

 

Shouto really is waiting for him when he walks out. He’s not hovering, but is stalling by the entryway, hands in his pockets, calmly speaking to Momo and wow, he’s handsome. He’s so, so handsome.

Shouto sees him walk out, and waves a quick goodbye to Momo, stepping up to meet him in the middle of the hall.

“Feeling okay?”

“Yes!” Izuku grins. “Way better.”

“You’re going to do fine,” Shouto says. His hand slips to his lower back to lead them into the reception hall, and Izuku selfishly leans into him.

 


 

 

Izuku has to tap on the mic a couple times to get it to work. Everyone is talking around their tables, and frankly, Izuku’s using all his energy to avoid passing out, so his voice is a little shaky when he clears it.

The noise doesn’t stop, Izuku tries again, but Katsuki shouts “AYE, SHUT THE HELL UP!” and the hall goes quiet. Izuku tries really hard not to laugh into the microphone.

Shouto offers a close-lipped smile in support. Katsuki crosses his arms and glares, which is essentially the same thing. Eijirou just looks like an overstimulated puppy.

Izuku smiles nervously and says, “S-sorry. Kacchan hates long speeches so I’ll be really short. Um, the obsessive sobbing during the ceremony was also me – sorry about that too.”

There’s a bit of laughter, and a little more as Sero yells we know!  from the back.

Izuku clears his throat again and starts, “Six months ago I came back from a very long stretch of work. I was – well. It’d been so long since I’d been home, I wasn’t sure if I would still have friends when I came back.” Snorts of disbelief, Katsuki is definitely rolling his eyes. “But... when I landed in the airport, the first thing I got were knuckles in my hair, and a big hug from those two—” Izuku points, grinning, “— and it felt like I was home. I’ve known Kacchan and Eijirou for a long time. They are so ride or die – once you’ve earned their trust, they’ll do anything for you. And I know they’re even more ride or die for each other.”

A couple whoops and cheers. Eijirou is grinning ear to ear – and Katsuki looks strangely docile.

“I’ve never met any couple more perfect for each other than these two. Villains better watch their backs, because the power duo from hell just got married. 

“Yeah!!!!”

“Damn right!”

Izuku lifts his champagne with a laugh, looking to Katsuki and Eijirou. “To butt kicking, sick explosions and a lifelong union.”

Katsuki breaks out in a grin, whispering something into Eijirou’s ear as the entire room lifts their glasses in a toast and cheers.

“Here here!”

Izuku sets the mic back in the stand and says quickly, “We love you guys. Congrats.”

The clapping feels like white noise as Izuku scrambles back to his seat. Ochaco squeezes his wrist along the way, and Iida gives him a thumbs up.

“Great job!”

“T-thanks.”

“Very fitting. They appreciated it,” Shouto says as Izuku feels the flush start to settle in.

“I think I might throw up.”

Shouto squeezes his shoulder in support, and they all look up as Mina takes the mic.

“Alriiiiight~! Best woman in the house!”

Izuku can see Katsuki mouth here we go, and glare at Eijirou – who looks absolutely elated to see Mina at the stand. Izuku braces his elbows on the table, briefly breathing through all the adrenaline as he presses his face in his hands. He did it, he did it. And Katsuki didn’t murder him on the spot.

Shouto rubs up the line of his spine, helping and also not helping at the same time. It ignites a fire in his stomach – but distracts him from the urge to puke.

The reception is a shit show in the best sense of the word.  Izuku didn’t know that Aizawa was capable of getting so drunk, but Present Mic is an enabler in the worst way – and damn is it hilarious to watch.

 Dinner is a buffet style; which is eaten and abandoned as soon as the music starts up. Izuku wasn’t expecting Eijirou to keep his shirt on the whole time, but he also wasn’t expecting him to lose it so quickly.

“You cut your hair,” Ochaco calls, miming across the table.

“Yeah,” Shouto shrugs. “It was time.”

“It looks really good! Did you donate it?”

“I think? They took it, so…someone is getting a red and white wig.”

“I don’t think that’s how it works,” Tsuyu laughs. 

“Missed opportunity,” Ochaco points. “Some superfan would’ve bought that for a crazy amount of cash.”

“What, like Izuku?”

“Ha-ha, everyone’s a comedian.”

Shouto laughs and subconsciously pushes his bangs back, and Izuku is still getting used to this version of sexy short-hair Shouto again.

“Oh lord,” Ochaco laughs, turning to watch some of the commotion on the dance floor. “Eiji just popped a bottle of champagne with his teeth.”

Shouto leans over a little, dropping his voice below the noise.

“You know Katsuki is going to fuck him like mad for that, right?”

Izuku leans back in his chair and howls laughing.

“I mean, yes, but you don’t have to say it like that.”

“Do you think the sheets are explodo-proof?”

“Shut up, seriously,” Izuku laughs, swatting his side. Shouto snickers and sits back up, reaching for his champagne flute.

“Freeeee tequila!” Mina sings, holding up a bottle as she goes from table to table. “Open up, kiddos.”

Ochaco opens her mouth, and Mina pours it right in.

“Oh no…babe…” Tsuyu sighs.

“Woooo! Who’s next!”

“Not me,” says Iida.

Izuku and Shouto side eye each other.

“No thanks,” they say.

“Hey, Ashido!” Aizawa waves from the other table. “Bring it.”

Toshinori looks terrified, and Mina looks like she’s waited her entire life to pour tequila into her ex-teacher’s mouth.

“So,” Tsuyu says, picking at a dinner roll. “Are we taking bets over collateral damage on the community center?”

“Depends,” Izuku hums. “Explosion based?”

“Groom-based,” Shouto suggests, looking over at Eijirou and Katsuki dancing like mad on the floor. Katsuki grabs Eijirou’s hand, makes him spin and grips his fingers again – and Izuku has never seen him so happy. It makes him emotional.

“I don’t think they’re going to be the problem,” Iida says.

“Hey, is there room over here?” Tokoyami and Shouji appear, holding plates. “Kaminari attempted a flaming Dr. Pepper all over our tablecloth.”

“So that’s what that smell was…”

“I rest my case,” says Iida.

“Grab a chair! There’s plenty of room,” Izuku waves. They all scoot a little, and the table becomes a little fuller.

Shouto’s arm is draped across the back of Izuku’s chair. The casualness of it is something Izuku’s brain just can’t let go of. He wishes he didn’t notice these things, but Izuku can’t stop.

Shouto looks down at him – heterochromatic eyes and an unreadable expression – but it still feels like he’s being devoured. Raked over, dissected even. Izuku notices his gaze fall to his bruise, and Izuku rubs it subconsciously.

Ochaco and Tsuyu leave the table to join the rest of their friends on the dance floor. Izuku watches after them with a smile. Iida falls into a conversation with Tokoyami and Shouji, and Izuku gets a little lost in the atmosphere.

Feeling brave, Izuku looks up at Shouto. This – this should be okay. It doesn’t have to mean anything more. Izuku likes to play with fire, anyways.

“Do you want to dance?”

Shouto blinks.

“With you?”

“You don’t have to…” Izuku falters.

“Yes,” Shouto nods. “I would like that. Please.”

Izuku’s grin comes back tenfold, and he grabs Shouto by the sleeve and leads them towards the dancefloor. There’s a party song playing, lights flashing around overhead – and frankly, Aoyama, Mina and Denki are tearing it down. Izuku doesn’t think of himself as that great of a dancer – but neither is anyone else, so who cares.

“Ayeeee!” Sero shouts. “Top two!”

Izuku laughs, feeling his stomach flip when Shouto grabs for his waist.

Izuku can see through the crowd; Katsuki is still dancing to humor Eijirou, but they look like they’re having fun. Eijirou waves at Izuku just as Katsuki flips him off. Shouto notices and huffs.

“Ass.”

“That was his friendly middle finger.”

Shouto snorts next to his ear, and Izuku chews into his lip, secretly wishing he could just stay here forever.

Shouto’s cheek brushes his ear as he turns his head, gazing across the dancefloor.

“Looks like the Bakugous and the Kirishimas are getting along.”

Izuku tries to dance subtly to look over his shoulder, and nearly cackles when he sees both Eijirou and Katsuki’s families dancing together.

“Kacchan is going to die of embarrassment.”

“Remind Jirou to make a backup of that video.”

Izuku gets jostled a little in the group, and he braces a hand on Shouto’s arm to keep himself from falling. Shouto doesn’t seem to tense, so Izuku lets it stay on his shoulder. Shouto’s hands feel big on his waist; Izuku can’t feel their temperature, just the solid weight holding on tight.

Of course Shouto is a good dancer, because Shouto is naturally good at everything. It’s just like how Katsuki manages to blend in perfectly, like he’s been dancing in clubs since ever. Shouto and Katsuki seem to run in that same kind of talent vein.

Izuku stops paying attention to everything around him the moment Shouto’s left hand slides to his lower back. Izuku sharply inhales, pulling back a little to look Shouto in the eye.

His eyes are hazy, half lidded and bearing into Izuku’s soul. Izuku swallows, bringing his palm to cup the back of Shouto’s neck, cursing how sweaty his hands are. It brings them a little closer. Izuku’s stomach is doing so many somersaults, he’s worried it might just flip away.

“So the number one can dance,” Shouto teases. “Someone call channel six.”

“Stop,” Izuku bumps his hip against him, smiling. “You’re trying to make me embarrassed.”

“Maybe,” says Shouto.

The song changes to a slower R&B style. Denki and Sero are still dancing ridiculous, acting overly sexual to make each other laugh – but everyone else has slowed down a little.

Izuku doesn’t know how he ends up with his cheek against Shouto’s shoulder, but he does. They’re so close, Izuku has to angle his hips away when their belt buckles clack. Shouto just spreads out his palm, encouraging Izuku to wrap his arms up and around his shoulders. 

Izuku shouldn’t be doing this. Everything about it is rapidly forcing them over that friendship line, but Izuku is an addict, soaking in everything Shouto is willing to give him. A cold breath exhales past his ear, and Izuku shivers.

Their hips bump again. Izuku’s eyes snap open. He knows he’s sweating under his collar, and Izuku swallows tight as the fingers on his side clench and unclench quickly.

Shit. Shit shit shit shit.

Do not get hard. Do not, under any circumstance –

Everything smells like Shouto. Another puff blows out against his ear, but this time it’s hot, and Izuku realizes that Shouto is trying to regulate his temperature.

Ground control to Major Tom, we are losing control, get out of there.

“Sh-Shouto,” Izuku stammers, leaning his head back a little. Dammit, they’re way too close – their noses brush as Izuku tips to look at him, and Shouto’s pupils are blown completely. Izuku should’ve never let it get this far.

“Izuku,” Shouto says, and it sounds gravelly, like it’s been through a cheese grater. The subwoofer is vibrating the floor, but Izuku’s brain can’t even register what song they’re dancing to anymore.  

And in one fell swoop, Shouto effectively destroys this game Izuku has been playing. This careful secret he kept to himself. All the work, the years that Izuku spent trying to keep them from this –

Shouto grinds his thigh between Izuku’s legs, and every cell in Izuku’s body freezes rigid. He locks eyes with Shouto in a moment of complete horror.

They stop. Everyone is still dancing, still laughing, still drinking.

Izuku is absolutely hard.

His eyes are so wide they might just roll out of his head. Shouto is gaping right back at him. Time slows to a standstill.

Izuku’s hands begin to shake on Shouto’s shoulders.

No. No no –

He opens his mouth but nothing comes out. Shouto stares right back at him.

 

You did it, Izuku.

 

 

And then there’s a hand at his arm, yanking him off the dance floor and past the tables.

 

You ruined it.

 

Izuku nearly stumbles, jogging to keep up with Shouto’s brisk pace. His whole body is burning with embarrassment, tears stinging in his throat because really, he just had to go and play with fire. Couldn’t just let that torch burn, could he?

“Shouto-“ Izuku croaks, but he can’t see Shouto’s expression. He’s jerking Izuku outside of the party and into the hall. Izuku resists as Shouto throws open a random door, fear and shame and guilt building in his tears, “I’m s-“

He’s slammed up against the door as it closes. Izuku gets one look at the empty storage room, before Shouto clasps his face in both hands, tips his head and crushes their open mouths together in a harrowing kiss.

Izuku breathes in so hard he chokes. Shouto kisses into him, a furious heat that has Izuku melting into the door. His brain goes on hold, hands frozen and hovering at his sides.

Shouto keeps kissing him; crushing, desperate – it almost hurts. And then Shouto makes a sound against his lips, and Izuku’s brain turns back on and he sobs, clutching at Shouto’s arms and kissing him back.

It’s lava poured right down his throat. Flipping in his stomach, boiling hot and leaking through his bloodstream. Shouto’s mouth is scorching and freezing and everywhere and Izuku feels his eyes spring tears. They kiss and they kiss and even when it burns and their teeth clack they still -

Shouto rips himself back like it took every ounce of his soul to do so. He’s panting – head downturned with his hair in his eyes – and when he does look up, Izuku gets winded. Like a boot right in his stomach. Like having all the air kicked right out of you.

Shouto looks obliterated. That smooth, clean mask has been smashed into a million pieces, and Izuku gasps wetly, because he’s never seen Shouto look like that.

His fingers clasp into Izuku’s shoulders, and Shouto lets out a pained sound as he dips and presses his forehead into Izuku’s chest. He’s shaking, Izuku realizes. His grip is almost painful.

“Sh-Shouto-“

“I’m sorry,” he croaks. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry –“

“What…”

“Fuck!” Shouto shouts, pressing further into him. “Fuck, I’m so sorry. You are just so – “ Shouto trembles, terrifyingly vulnerable. “Shit. The suit and, and your laugh and your cute little speech and my heart won’t stop.” Shouto looks up at him, and it feels like someone’s digging claws into Izuku’s lungs. That deep voice cracks, “You’re perfect. You’re everything. You’re too much for me.”

The world falls out from beneath his feet.

Izuku feels pinned. Little tacks in his wings, stuck to a corkboard.

Carefully, he brings a hand up to cup Shouto’s cheek; and Shouto crumbles into his touch.

Izuku manages to find his voice. It takes a while, but he does it.

“Can I tell you a secret?”  

Shouto opens his eyes cautiously. It’s a look of pain – of someone who knows they’ve ruined something precious, and is waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Everything is about to change.

Izuku summons all his bravery; takes all his feelings and shapeshifts it into courage. He manages to say without his voice cracking,

“I’ve had the biggest, most pathetic, disgusting and downright embarrassing crush on you since we were fifteen.”

Ten years, one torch. Damn thing just keeps on burning.

Shouto’s eyes grow in size; slow, like he’s hitting rewind and listening to Izuku’s words over and over again.

“I...” Izuku starts again, now feeling the blush in his face. “I don’t know – I don’t know if you… I just didn’t want to ruin our friendship because you- you’re so –“

Shouto grabs him by the shoulders and shakes him, and Izuku gasps as his head hits the door.

“I’m in love with you!” Shouto cries, “Don’t you get it? I’m in love with you!”

Izuku’s mouth drops open, and nothing comes out.

And after one long, agonizing moment of silence, Izuku grabs Shouto by the tie and yanks him forwards, forcing a kiss until their heads tip. Until Shouto parts his lips and kisses back with all the heat Izuku feels roaring inside himself.

“Really?” Izuku hiccups, muffled into his mouth.    

Shouto cups his face in his hand. Drags his thumbs along his skin and pants, “It’s never been anyone but you.”

Izuku can’t describe the feeling in his chest. Like a million fireworks crackling under his skin. Like One for All activating in his blood.

Shouto kisses him – keeps kissing him, tongue sliding into Izuku’s mouth and tasting him needy. He’s never seen Shouto like this – didn’t know he was capable of feeling so much at once. Izuku’s eyes water, and he cries as they kiss, but Shouto doesn’t seem to mind.

Izuku welcomes his tongue along his own. Shouto makes that punched sound again, and Izuku’s brain fizzles out of his ears.

His lungs burn. Izuku kisses back hungrily, holding the back of Shouto’s head and leaning back against the door completely, urging more of Shouto’s weight on him – around him, shit, Izuku is going lightheaded –

Shouto pulls back and presses their foreheads together. Izuku cups his neck and tries to suck in air. His mouth is tingling. Shouto turns his head and breathes out a whole lungful of steam.

“Wow,” Izuku breathes.

“You are so beyond gorgeous,” Shouto blurts. Izuku gasps, going hot, but Shouto won’t let him look away. “My god.”

“Um,” Izuku stammers. “You’re like, the hottest person I’ve ever met in my life, so shut up.”

Shouto breathes out a shaky laugh, and his eyes are sparkling. Totally alive and full of diamonds. They skim his face; eyes, nose, lips, cheeks. Shouto braces a hand under his chin, turning Izuku’s head to press his mouth to the side of his neck. Izuku jolts, biting off a whine.

“Dammit, you gotta’ stop me,” Shouto murmurs. “There’s a wedding out there.”

Izuku really, really, really does not want to stop him. Shouto could frankly, toss him over his shoulder and fuck him on the lawn and Izuku would not give a damn.

But the rational part of his brain tells him that this is still Kacchan’s wedding.

Shouto’s nose presses into Izuku’s neck and breathes. It makes his stomach drop like you won’t believe.

“Okay,” Izuku exhales. He gently pulls on Shouto’s hair, urging him back. “Let me look at you.”

Shouto does. His mouth is kissed red, cheeks flushed and hair tousled from Izuku’s fingers. Izuku shakily traces under his scar and tries to process what the hell just happened.

“Damn you’re pretty,” Izuku says, and Shouto smiles at him. Izuku bumps their noses, summoning all the self-control he has not deepthroat Shouto’s tongue again. Shouto drags his nose along his cheek, settling to speak against his ear.  

“Do you want to get out of here?”

…Kacchan will understand.

“Hell yes.”

 


 

It’s hard to sit in the passenger seat like a good little boy.

Izuku watches Shouto drive, and it makes him sweat like whore in church – so Izuku pops off his bowtie and undoes the top button of his shirt, and Shouto’s fingers squeeze the steering wheel.

“I can still take you home,” Shouto offers, and it sounds like an out.

Izuku appreciates the sentiment, but he scoffs, nearly offended, “No way. You are going to fuck me or there is going to be hell to pay.”

Red light.

Shouto slams the breaks, reaches across the center console and yanks Izuku over for a heavy kiss, licking out the inside of his mouth before the light turns green.

“Don’t talk,” Shouto begs, “Or we are going to crash and die.”

 

Hey, Izuku was just answering the question. They don’t crash and die, FYI. They do make out in Shouto’s apartment elevator, and the hall, and against his door.

Key, open, slam – Izuku’s back hits the door and Shouto is devouring him already, mouth singeing up his jaw and down his neck, fingers untucking his shirt and pulling out his belt.

“Damn, I-“ Izuku gasps, raking his nails through Shouto’s hair, “-I still can’t believe – ahh -  th-this is happening,”  Izuku whines when Shouto bites into his neck. “I thought if I…if I tired hard enough, I could make this feeling go away. But everyone I dated was just –” Izuku sighs, “-not you.”  

“I’m going to make you forget everyone else,” Shouto growls. His hands press to Izuku’s back, hot and cold through his shirt. “I’m not going to let you go.”

“Kiss me,” Izuku begs, and Shouto meets his mouth in a fury. Izuku soaks it all in; his hair under his fingers, chest to chest and tracing tongues.

Shouto grabs his ass and squeezes. Izuku yelps.

“Shit,” Shouto curses, and grinds their hips together. “Look what you do to me.”

Oh okay, okay, okay okay okay – Shouto is hard.

Izuku groans, hips rolling to grind back against him.

“I need you naked like, yesterday.”

“Deal,” Shouto bites his unbruised cheek and squeezes his ass again. “These pants are illegal, Izuku. What the hell were you thinking?”

Despite the heat in his gut, Izuku giggles, looking up through his lashes to meet Shouto’s blown-out stare.

“It’s hard finding pants that fit my thighs, okay?”

“Fucking – “ Shouto yanks Izuku by the beltloops and pushes him towards the bedroom. “Walk, or I am going to burn this suit off of you.”

“Noo, it’s a rental!”

A throaty growl; “I’ll buy you a hundred suits, just move.

“Woah who is this Shouto?” Izuku teases, stumbling over himself to kick off his shoes and yank down his socks.

“The one that’s obsessed with you,” Shouto explains, catching his waist and spinning him. He pops Izuku’s trouser button and yanks down the fly with one hand, and Izuku can’t process how hot that is. Sorry, brain machine broke.

Izuku flops back on the bed and kicks his pants off the rest of the way, “I can’t possibly fathom why.”

Shouto slips off his watch, narrowing his eyes as he removes his suit jacket, and something about that will be engrained in Izuku’s spank bank for all time.

“Do not start with me.”

“I’m not starting anything!” Izuku laughs, and then groans the moment Shouto kneels between his thighs, kissing his mouth and working down the buttons of his own shirt.

Izuku takes over for him, mostly because he’s aching to feel Shouto’s bare skin under his hands.

He reaches the last button and pushes the white cotton off his shoulders; and Izuku sighs from it, skimming his fingers up Shouto’s bare chest and down to his happy trail.

There are scars here and there; but they’re pretty pink lines, paint on a canvas; nothing as jagged and rough as Izuku is. He notices two scars on Shouto’s arm, and thinks of alleys and hero killers and the years they’ve spent protecting each other.

Shouto sucks on his ear and Izuku, honest to god, arches off the bed.

“Oh don’t, don’t –“ Izuku moans. “That’s-“

“Amazing,” Shouto notes, kitten licking down his neck and into his collar. Izuku digs his hands into Shouto’s firm shoulders and groans.

Shouto reaches for the hem of Izuku’s dress shirt, and Izuku freezes.

“Um-“

Shouto senses his unease immediately. He stops on a dime, sitting up a little to peer down at him.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes,” Izuku exhales. Shouto goes to unbutton his shirt again, and Izuku stops him by the wrist. “Um – I…I can leave it on, if you want.”

Shouto looks at him as if he grew a second head.

“Why on god’s green earth would I want that?”

“It’s just…” Izuku skims his fingers down Shouto’s pecs. Smooth and soft, incredibly firm under his fingers and chiseled to a tee. Perfect. “Um. I’ve got some nasty scars – I’m not really that sex…y…?” Izuku trails off, growing uncertain as Shouto’s expression turns more and more furious.

Shouto is downright glaring at him. Heavy, hot, with ice creeping up his right cheek.

“Um…” Izuku blinks.

“Don’t,” Shouto snaps. “I’m trying to think of the right way to phrase this.”

“W…what?”

Steam blows out of Shouto’s mouth – like an old fashioned train.

“I-” Shouto settles, “-am attracted to every possible square inch of you. We’ve seen each other at our absolute worst. There’s – shit. Every flaw Izuku. I want all of it. Spit in my face, I don’t care.”

Izuku goes limp and breathless. His face heats, but he pulls Shouto close enough so he can cup his cheek and meet his eyes.

“You’re so out of my league.”

“I’m only trying to keep up with yours,” Shouto says, and kisses him. Izuku works down the buttons of his shirt, Shouto pushes it open, and Izuku cries out as Shouto licks into his collarbone and marks along his chest. He curses, sweeping his hand along Izuku’s stomach and sitting back to take a look. His eyes burn. “Shhhit.”

“Lube?” 

“Second drawer.”

Shouto is everywhere; over his skin, against his mouth – his scent is all encompassing, hands ever moving, and he makes Izuku ignite white hot.

Izuku finds the lube, and moves to slide down his boxer briefs, but Shouto stops him by the wrist. Curious, Izuku sits by and lets Shouto curl his fingers in the elastic and peel them down slow.

My Christmas present,” Shouto explains, eyes following his cock as it springs from the fabric. “I get to unwrap it.”

“Pffft, quit it, you weirdo.”

“Nah,” says Shouto, leaning down to suck on the head of his cock. Izuku keens, and Shouto holds him by the hip. His lips are sticky and velvet soft, rubbing along him like he’s applying friggin’ chapstick. “Fuck, I want to watch you touch yourself. Can you do that for me?”

“Yes,” Izuku says breathless. Anything, Izuku thinks. He’d do anything.

 Shouto sits back on his heels, and Izuku rolls to his stomach, slicking his fingers and pressing his red face into Shouto’s pillow. He breathes in; the musky smell helps calm his nerves.

Izuku has done this hundreds of times before, but now Shouto is watching. Izuku can’t see his face, but his eyes feel like a thousand little needles in his skin.

He wants this – wants it so bad, wants it now – so Izuku gets on his knees, rolls his weight onto one shoulder and worms his hand between his legs.

“Fuck,” Shouto curses. Izuku jerks a little as Shouto touches him, fingers coming up to dig into his thighs. Izuku presses his face into the pillow and groans, index finger rubbing against his hole.

“This is so embarrassing.”

“Not for me,” Shouto mumbles. Izuku presses in his middle finger, easy up to the third knuckle, and Shouto’s grip tightens on his thighs. “You have seriously no idea how hot you look right now.”

“Just for you,” Izuku exhales, and yips as Shouto’s fingers pull and squeeze at his ass. “Ah! S-Shouto…”

“Come on,” Shouto prods, and oh that voice. Deep deep and deep. “Just like you when you’re alone.”

Izuku presses in a second finger, huffing at the angle and impatiently spreading his fingers.

“H-how do you know I even-“

“I don’t,” Shouto grunts, squeezing his ass especially hard. “Do now.”

Izuku sighs from the sting, bangs feeling sticky as he fucks himself on his fingers, pulling them out and crooking them back in with a lewd squelch. Shouto bites into his left asscheek; Izuku moans like a whore.

“Fuck,” Shouto curses.

“Y-you can use your quirk,” Izuku pants, adding a third finger. “On me. It’s – I get off on it.”

“Hmmm.” Shouto kisses his tailbone, “Like this?”

Shouto braces a hand on each thigh once more, and Izuku screws his eyes shut and gasps as he feels heat burn down one leg, and a frostbite crawl up the other. It’s only a moment – only long enough for Shouto to squeeze once and pull away – but it makes Izuku’s cock rock hard, and his patience is now nonexistent.

“Ah, ah – yes, exactly like that.” Izuku continues to fuck himself, turning his head to try and see Shouto’s expression. “Shouto!”

Cold fingers press into his upper back, forcing Izuku’s face back into the pillows.

“My quirk,” Shouto mumbles. “You’ve thought about me using it on you. That’s naughty.”

“Of course I have! C’mon I’m ready, p-please –“

“Really?” Shouto mumbles, and Izuku goes fucking crosseyed, because Shouto slides in a dry finger along Izuku’s three middle ones and holy hell his fingers are long. Izuku shouts, back arching up and Shouto pushes in hard, so hard, up and –

“Fuck! Fuck fuck fuck –“ Izuku cries, yanking his hips up so his cock doesn’t touch the bed. “Don’t! I’ll come!”

Shouto hisses, “Izuku your mouth.

Izuku pulls out his fingers and rolls, wiping his hand in the sheets and mentally apologizing for it later. He’s too hot, too worked up, and Izuku looks up at Shouto’s face and gets punched in the gut all over again.

His mouth is chewed and kissed red, hair a mess, eyes a narrowed heat – and that gaze is on Izuku. Just him, nobody else.

Izuku feels desperate; he needs more, more please.

Shouto slides between his thighs and kisses him. Izuku fists a hand in his hair and twists.

“Fuck me, you are so beautiful,” Shouto breathes. Izuku burns more, higher, hotter.

“Hurry,” Izuku whines. “I can’t w-wait any longer.”

Shouto kisses hot into his neck, and Izuku gets his hands far down enough to pull out Shouto’s belt.

“I can’t believe you’re still wearing pants…” Izuku huffs, yanking at the fly. Jeez, he’s so hard it almost looks painful. Izuku rubs his palm against him through the cotton, and Shouto makes the best noise Izuku has ever heard.

“Izuku…”

Shouto helps him push his trousers down to his thighs, Izuku pulls back his hands to get a look and - his jaw drops.

“What the hell…that is the prettiest dick I’ve ever seen.”

Shouto barks a surprised laugh, smoothing his hands up Izuku’s spread thighs and pressing his mouth back on Izuku’s stomach, like he just can’t wait.

“Don’t expect a marathon,” Shouto speaks into his skin. “You’ve got me so wired, I can’t even see straight.”

It goes straight to Izuku’s heart. Into his blood and between his legs. Izuku chokes indefinitely, whining and pulling on Shouto’s hair.

“We’ll save that for later. J-Just get in me already.

Shouto curses. Izuku spirals.

He needs, he needs –

Waited, so long –

Hot between his legs, thick and smooth and the heat, oh – finally, please –

All he’s wanted, all Izuku has ever wanted is to just – be together –

Ten years.

Izuku’s back arches off the bed. Fists in the sheets, biting into his lower lip – his heart is going faster and faster and it might just take off without him.

He can’t breathe. This is Shouto. How? How?

Izuku is panicking. Fingers now digging into Shouto’s shoulder blades, breathing in shaky gasps of air.

It can’t be happening. He waited too long, so long – and Shouto is bottoming out, hair hanging in his face and how how how –  so pretty, so fucking gorgeous, there’s no way. It’s not possible.

Izuku is losing it. He’s dizzy, staring up at the ceiling and hiccupping in air. It can’t be real. The world slows to a terrible halt. He’s dying.

 

Fingers jerk him back to the present. Izuku’s eyes snap forwards, and Shouto is here, right here, right in front of him.

Shouto clasps his face in one hand, drawing them forehead to forehead. Izuku is filled with the bodily scent of him.

“I have you,” Shouto says. “It’s okay.”

“It can’t be real,” Izuku hiccups. He’s crying – that’s great. First time with the love of his life and he breaks down sobbing. “Shouto-“

“It’s me,” Shouto says. A kiss on his cheek. Then his temple, and his chin. “It’s just me.”

“I’m s-sorry,” Izuku cries, hooking his arms around his neck. Shouto hugs him, buried deep in him and full, Izuku is finally full.

“Stay with me,” Shouto kisses him. Izuku is burning everywhere. His toes curl in the sheets, a drag of cotton that’s muffled in his ears, beyond their breathing, beyond Shouto’s pearly eyes. “You’re doing so good.”

Shouto carefully unwinds Izuku’s hands from his neck, threading their fingers together and pressing their hands into the sheets. Izuku peels open his eyes, sniffling as the tears slow.

“I’m freaking out.”

“Tell me why,” Shouto prods patiently.

“I…” Izuku shifts his hips, gasping when electricity jerks down his spine. “I can feel you.

Shouto lets out a cold breath, tipping his head so it doesn’t go right in Izuku’s face. Gentle, he kisses Izuku’s lips, coaxing him until Izuku is kissing back, accepting his tongue and all the feelings in his heart.

“I’m freaking out too.”

“Really?”

“Of course. Let me move,” Shouto coos. “I’ll make you feel good, I promise.”

Izuku squeezes his fingers, feeling his soul come back down to earth. He offers a watery smile, and Shouto bites at his nose, and Izuku laughs a little.

“It’s just me,” Shouto reminds him.

“Okay.” Izuku lets go of one of their hands, so he can push aside Shouto’s sweaty bangs. “Fuck me, please.”

Shouto makes a breathy sound, before he pulls out, presses a hand to Izuku’s thigh, and thrusts back in.

“Oh!” Izuku gasps – and then there’s more. Shouto rocking back in him again, a natural pace because of course he’s good at this, of course he is. Izuku holds on long enough to get his head on straight, and then he plants a foot in the bed and thrusts back up, allowing Shouto to hold beneath his right thigh and push it higher, changing the angle and making it impossibly better.

Izuku can lift a ten-story building, but he’s sweating. Fingers slipping along Shouto’s neck, grabbing on with a little too much strength; it seems they’re both a little messed up, because Shouto drops his head and moans against his shoulder, and Izuku hiccups as his dick throbs up off his stomach.

Izuku tells him faster and Shouto rises to the challenge. Izuku feels fucked out of his ears, body shoving up with the force of it, his free hand bracing against the headboard so he can keep meeting Shouto thrust for thrust.

Izuku wails as Shouto nails him right, and Shouto curses, twisting his body to do it again, and Izuku almost vibrates out of his skin.

Oh, how in love he is.

Shouto is sweating down his neck and long his chest. Izuku angles up and bites him right at the crook of his shoulder, and Shouto’s rhythm stutters, thrusting shallowly as he gasps.

“Shit shit,” Shouto exhales steam above his head, and Izuku doesn’t know how to tell him that he wants Shouto to breathe it in his face. “Careful, I’m – my control is a little shaky.”

“I said it’s okay,” Izuku groans, wiggling so his cock grinds against Shouto’s stomach. “Burn me, freeze me, I don’t care.”

Shouto hisses, biting at his mouth and railing him hard again – the sound of skin on skin sounds lewd in the quiet bedroom.

“If I hurt you, I’d never forgive myself.”

“You can’t hurt me,” Izuku pants, “I’m number one.”

Shouto grins into his mouth, angling his hips again and shhhhhhitttt –

Izuku feels heat coiling in his stomach. He winces, toes curling, thighs squeezing around Shouto’s hips, “Oh! Oh Shouto you – feel – ah!  You’re so – you’re so good, Shouto.”

“I want you to come like this,” Shouto demands. His lips find Izuku’s bruise, licking over it and forcing a sting – and it’s just one more nerve to stand on end – one more spike down Izuku’s back. “Can you do that for me?”

“I don’t – ah! I don’t know…”

He’s so close, he’s so close, the drag of his cock against Shouto’s stomach a tease, the real fire fueling inside his stomach, a furnace twisting in his chest. Izuku is burning to ash.

“Try,” Shouto prods, and oh no, he sucks on his ear, biting down and pulling as Izuku braces against the headboard to keep himself from plowing right through it. “Come on baby, you can it.”

Shit.

Izuku cries out roughly; embarrassingly loud and uncaring anyways. Shouto moans into his ear, and Izuku comes like a fucking bullet train. His toes curl, and he clenches down hard, gritting his teeth and throwing his head back in the sheets.

“That’s it,” Shouto exhales, and he leans his weight up to work a hand around Izuku’s cock and fuck –

“Shouto!” Izuku keens, and for the love of god, comes again. Everything goes white.

“I’ve died,” Shouto whispers, slowing his pace and working Midoriya through the aftershocks. “I died and this is purgatory.”

“You died?!” Izuku gasps, chest heaving. He stares up at the ceiling and waits for the world to stop spinning. It feels like someone just electrocuted him. “I came twice. You just screwed the soul out of me.”

Shouto’s cool hand presses up against his forehead. Izuku sighs as it rolls to his neck, his chest, down the line of his stomach before gathering up the mess.

“Do not-“ Izuku starts, but Shouto sticks his fingers in his mouth, and Izuku presses his palms to his eyes with a wheeze, “Fuck.

Shouto smirks down at him. Alright, fine.

Izuku wraps his thighs around Shouto’s hips and flips them, Izuku settling right on top. The surprised look on Shouto’s face is totally worth it.

“You’re in for it,” Izuku huffs.

Shouto looks up at him with so much adoration, that for a moment, Izuku’s confidence falters.

His hands move up and down Izuku’s thighs in worship.

“You don’t have to.”

Izuku quirks an eyebrow. He rises up on his knees, braces a hand back on Shouto’s leg, and slams back down with all his weight. Shouto makes a punched noise, coiling up and groaning from the back of his throat and oh, that was worth it.

“Hands,” Shouto pleads, so Izuku threads their fingers together and lets Shouto support part of his weight.

Izuku bounces for him, sighing contently, the oversensitivity a welcome throb rather than a real pain.

Shouto gets more vocal – not too loud, but little huffs and gasps and it’s beautiful.

“That’s it baby,” Shouto tells. “Look at you – keep hopping baby, fuck.

Izuku wants to see him lose it. Wants it so bad he could cry. He squeezes Shouto’s hands, rolls his hips and rides him, sliding back down so he can mouth against Shouto’s knuckles.

“I love you,” Izuku says.

Shouto’s skull thumps the headboard. Izuku gasps as he feels Shouto tense, his cock stiffening and sliding in deep, and Izuku shivers from it, feeling punched by the look on Shouto’s face.

“Fuck.”

“That’s it,” Izuku repeats, riding him slower now. “I’ve got you.”

Shouto comes so hard his hands tremble. Izuku is utterly done for, but he’s known that for a long time, he thinks.

Shouto’s bangs are all over the place, red and white hair spread over the pillow. Izuku stays flush with him, buried to the hilt and just taking a moment to breathe. The room starts to settle, and Shouto wipes his eyes with his forearm, blowing steam through his nose to cool down.

“Okay?” Izuku asks, albeit nervously.

Shouto looks back up at him. His eyes are full of emotions – shiny and open. Izuku feels special; no one else gets to see Shouto like this.

“I blacked out for a second,” Shouto admits, deadpan.

Izuku tips his head and laughs. Shouto smiles at him, and Izuku dips down far enough to kiss him.

 


 

 

It’s well past midnight. They opened the window to let in some of the breeze, and it welcomes a bit of the traffic noise; an occasional diesel truck, or the chatter of a neighbor on their balcony.

Izuku keeps his head on Shouto’s shoulder. He plays with his fingers, pressing their palms flat together, squeezing his knuckles, dragging his nails along his lifeline and repeat. Shouto seems to zone in and out, and a comfortable silence has settled, and Izuku tries to sort out his own head.

Izuku presses a kiss to Shouto’s palm. Shouto hums sleepily. A guilty feeling curls in Izuku’s stomach, and he rolls to flop across Shouto, forcing him to open an eye.

“I feel bad.”

“Why?”

“We left Kacchan’s wedding early to go have sex in your apartment,” Izuku states flatly.

Shouto’s hand comes to press at his lower back.

“I doubt they even noticed we’re gone.”

“I’ll take that bet. I’m kind of terrified to look at my phone.”

Shouto grunts and lays his head back. “If we get called out tonight, I’m just going to let the world burn.”

Izuku giggles and leans one elbow on Shouto’s pec so he can play with his bangs. “No you’re not. You’re a pro hero, you’d be throwing on your uniform in a heartbeat.”

“Maybe,” Shouto hums. “Only because I know you’d be the first one out there.”

“Stop that,” Izuku pulls at his hair, and Shouto’s eyes slip back shut again.

Izuku pulled his boxers back on, but there’s still so much skin on skin – so much of Shouto that Izuku gets to touch and kiss and learn. His neck is a little bruised from where Izuku kissed him, and adults shouldn’t walk around with hickeys, but Izuku can’t find it in himself to care.

Izuku continues to card his fingers through Shouto’s hair, and Shouto doesn’t let go of him.

After a short silence, Izuku mumbles, “Ten years. We’re a little slow on the uptake, aren’t we. How much do you think we missed out on?”

Shouto’s eyes slide open again. His knuckles graze up Izuku’s spine, knob for knob like he’s counting each one.

“Nothing. I think this was meant to be.”

“Really?”

“Mmm.” Shouto brings his free hand up to cup Izuku’s cheek. “If we had been dating before your call to America, I never would have let you go.”

Izuku’s eyes widen. He sits up a little, fingers hands bracing on Shouto’s chest.

“You…you think so?”

Shouto looks away, head turning on the pillow.

“There’s no way. I would’ve either followed you into hell, or had some kind of mental breakdown. I was too unstable back then.”

“I loved you back then,” Izuku defends. Shouto looks at him again, and drags his hand down to play with the soft fuzzies of Izuku’s undercut.

“No matter how – how much it frustrates me,” Shouto frowns, ears flushing red. “I’m still…happy you got to be with other people. I – I’m glad that…that you chose me in the end.”

Izuku swallows, feeling a burn prick at his throat. He forces back tears, leaning down to press his lips against Shouto’s in a soft, closed-mouth kiss.

“You’re right. We didn’t miss out on anything. Being your friend is one of the best things that ever happened to me.”

For a second, Shouto’s eyes waver. Izuku has never in his life seen him cry, but they shine wet for just a moment, before Shouto crushes him in a hug and buries his face in his neck. Izuku giggles and tries to hug him back, deciding to roll them on their sides and kick their legs together. They sigh.

“I’m hungry again,” Izuku decides.

“There’s ice cream in the fridge.”

“Let’s do it.”

 

 


 

 

11:57 P.M.

>ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS

> AT MY WEDDING????

> BEST MAN MY ASS

2:05 A.M.

I mean…technically…it wasn’t AT your wedding <

[See Attachment] <

2:45 A.M.

>you are fucking dead to me

Chapter Text

 

“Well thank God,” Ochaco says, deactivating her quirk and sending rubble to the ground. “The world’s most pathetic game of Pining Ping Pong got tiring after like, the fifth season.”

“We were not that bad,” Izuku scoffs, grunting as he rolls over a bus.

Jirou snorts from her perch atop a slab of concrete, retracting her earphone jacks from the ground.

“Oh please. Todoroki looks at you like the sun shines outta’ your ass, and you always smile at him like he’s the Daddy you always wanted.”

Ochaco leans on a fire hydrant and laughs, and Izuku squeaks from across the street.

“C-Can we please focus! We’re trying to find an escaped convict!”

“You have no idea how badly I suffered,” Ochaco tells Jirou. “The bloodshed, the tears. The phone calls.”

“Guys – “

“Thank you for your service, Uravity.”

Something darts out from under the rubble and shoots down the road at a hundred miles an hour.

“Oh god dammit,” Izuku curses, and takes off after the villain. When Izuku finally pins him to the ground, the villain kicks and squirms, and Izuku sighs as he holds him down by the neck. “Seriously, please stop moving. I’m not in the mood right now.”

“I bet Todoroki is,” Jirou pipes in his earpiece, and Izuku huffs as he yanks it out of his ear.

“You know I love you,” Ochaco says later, as they’re loading up all six escaped convicts. She leans on his side, and Izuku smiles tiredly, wrapping an arm back around her.

“I know.”

“Are you happy now?”

The question leaves Izuku feeling weird. He rubs his hand up and down her arm and says,

“I’ve always been happy. But now I’m just…complete.”

Ochaco goes quiet for a long moment, before turning under his arm and socking him in the ribs.

“Oof!-“

“That was so cute, what the hell!” Ochaco shouts. “You’re going to make me cry, you jerk!”

“Hahah – I’m sorry! Stop hitting me- I’m sorry!”  

 


 

 

Their ‘First Official Date’ is to a hero museum towards the west side of town. Everything is too fresh to hold hands and draw attention from the public, but it’s surprising how natural it is to walk side by side and gush about heroes of the past – and Izuku thinks of how many unofficial dates they had, and he soooorta starts to understand the teasing from his friends.

“This doesn’t feel different at all,” Izuku frowns.

Shouto pauses, ice cream halfway to his mouth. It starts to drip down his hand, and Shouto freezes it, dipping his head to lick it off his thumb.

“Whaya’ mean?”

“This just feels like we’re hanging out.”

“That’s a date, Izuku.”

“Is that what we’ve been doing?!” Izuku throws out his arms, distressed.

“No.” Shouto yanks down Izuku’s baseball cap and dips down so that their faces are covered. He pecks Izuku’s lips and stands back up to his full height in one swoop, mouth working at that ice cream again. “Couldn’t do that before.”

Izuku numbly feels over his bottom lip.

“I mean…you probably could have…it’s not like I would have stopped you.”

“Could’ve, should’ve, whatever. Did you hear about the new line of support items from I-Island?”

This side of the road is empty, so Izuku loops his finger in Shouto’s belt loop and smiles.

“Uhh, of course, have you met me?”

“I want the Birdseye. No, scratch that– I am getting the Birdseye.”

“That sucker costs twenty-seven million yen. You’re rich, but not that rich.”

“You don’t know what I am,” Shouto replies coolly.

Izuku raises an eyebrow, and jams his hand up and under Shouto’s armpit. Shouto squeals, jerking up and away and nearly elbowing Izuku in the face.

“Izuku!”

Izuku giggles, reaching back for his beltloop and laughing harder when Shouto glares down at him.

“I know exactly what you are. Ticklish.”

“How dare you expose my secrets like this. Your boyfriend card has officially been revoked.”

Izuku flushes at the word boyfriend. He faulters a little, hands sliding back into his own pockets as he fights the heat in his face. Oh jeez, oh jeez – this is really happening, isn’t it? Oh jeez.

Shouto senses his unease immediately.

“Sorry,” Shouto mumbles, the teasing atmosphere gone in seconds.

Izuku looks up. Shouto’s eyes are turned to the sidewalk, long white and red eyelashes, hair shaggy and swept at his neck – he’s so, so handsome.

Izuku bites his lip.

“Can I have it back?”

“Huh?”

“My boyfriend card.”

Shouto blinks down at him, and his mouth doesn’t smile, but Izuku knows it’s in his eyes.

“Sure.” Shouto hands him the bottom of his cone, “Here you go.”

Izuku gasps – flattered that Shouto even remembered that it’s his favorite part of the ice cream. He pops it in his mouth and says as he crunches,

“Wow, boyfriend-ship tastes like vanilla.”

“It won’t when I’m done with you.”

 

 


 

 

Shouto covers every square inch of him. Starts at Izuku’s ankle, mouths up his calf, bites into his thigh over and over until it looks like a strawberry field of little bruises.

Izuku learns that Shouto is strong enough to hold him up against the wall, and that is some very important information worth knowing. Also to note; Izuku is flexible enough to press his knees to his ears – Shouto is apparently beside himself about it.

Shouto makes him stand; makes Izuku fold in half and press his hands to the floor and take it – fucks him over Izuku’s kitchen counter, and the couch, and the carpet. The rugburns up his back ache for three whole days, and Shouto holds his head in his lap and blows cool air to soothe the burns.

 

 


 

 

Shouto doesn’t wait long for the door to open. He knocks twice, sets his hands in his pockets, and counts to three.

“Shouto!” Eijirou grins. He’s in a shredded tank top and baggy sweatpants, and it’s rare to see his hair down.

“Hello. Katsuki asked me to come by.”

“I know! Here, come on in. Don’t worry about your shoes – Katsuki is in the office. Second door on the left.”

“Thank you,” Shouto nods. He looks up and down the hallway as he walks; there’s inspirational gym posters, and a couple hodge-podge photographs nailed to the wall. He finds the office door and creaks it open, and he has to squint amid the darkness in the room.

Shouto steps in slowly, blinking to adjust.

“Katsuki?”

The door slams behind him, and Shouto almost startles.

There’s a desk across the room, with a tall rolling chair. Katsuki spins the chair around, folding his arms across his chest and glaring holes into his face.

“You’re fuckin’ late, half-n’-half.”

“Err, there was traffic.”

“Do you know why you’re here?”

“No?” Shouto looks over his shoulder at the closed door, and back to Katsuki. “Why did you –“ Katsuki narrows his eyes, and Shouto has a sudden ah-ha moment. “Oh. This is a shovel talk.”

“Don’t sit down,” Katsuki snaps. “This’ll be quick.”

 He presses his palms flat together and rests them under his chin, and his face becomes suddenly…serene.

With a calm, gentle, and deep voice, Katsuki looks at him with an unreadable expression and speaks slowly. It terrifies the living hell out of Shouto in an instant.

“I’m only going to say this once. If you break that loser’s heart, I will remove you from this life, permanently. There will not be a body, do you understand me?”

 “Y...yes.”

“Good,” Katsuki says, and relaxes back in the chair. He resumes his usual posture, legs kicking up on the table as the lights come back on. “Get the fuck out of my house.”

“Unless you want to stay for the game!” Eijirou says, throwing open the door. “The semi-finals just started, and Japan might actually have a chance at the cup.”

“That was needlessly dramatic,” Shouto jabs his thumb back at Katsuki, who shouts Oi!

“Just the right amount, I think,” Eijirou says. “I can harden my hands and crush a man’s skull in under seven seconds.”

Ah. Two shovels.

“Ok.”

“But think,” Katsuki grins, flopping his hand around. “It’d be a kindness. There’s nothing we could do that would come close to what Round-Face is capable of.”

Shouto shivers. Katsuki and Eijirou start to laugh.

“Jokes aside…” Shouto starts, “I’d never hurt Izuku. You know that, right?”

“Whatever,” Katsuki grunts, rising to his feet. “Soo in love, blah blah blah, shit happens, I don’t care. Make him cry and I will kill you.”

“Got it.”

“But Izuku cries all the time,” Eijirou strokes his chin.

“I have a short life expectancy,” Shouto explains. Eijirou laughs, and Katsuki claps Shouto on the shoulder and squeezes hard as he passes by him.

 

 


 

 

“Oh!” Izuku gasps. He tips his head back as hands slip around his sides and along his chest.

“What are you doing?’

“Umm…”

“This is my apartment,” Shouto mumbles in his ear, and Izuku shivers from it. “Why are you doing the dishes?”

“You looked tired,” Izuku sighs, rolling his head more so Shouto can kiss into his neck. “Um. When you left this morning. I was just trying to be – ah – helpful.”

You are still recovering from a forty-eight-hour shift,” Shouto pinches his stomach, and Izuku yips. “I left you in my bed for a reason, and then I come home to this? Can’t you just sit still for five minutes.”

“No,” Izuku smiles, and turns around partway to kiss him. “How was work?”

“Uneventful. Damn, this bruise isn’t healing any, is it?”

“Just slooow,” Izuku hums. “You smell good.”

“I do?”

“Mmm, really good.” Izuku turns around completely and kisses him again.

“You are trying to distract me from being mad at you,” Shouto observes, holding him by the hips. “Stop working and rest.”

Izuku loves how Shouto holds him. It’s loving and tender and sturdy, like he knows Izuku won’t break.

“It’s boring,” Izuku sighs, snaking his arms back around Shouto’s waist. “Why can’t I just nap at my apartment?”

“Because ‘napping’ becomes reports, and then cleaning, and then obsessive studying. I’m a stubborn ass born from a bigger ass, stop thinking you can out-ass me.” 

“That’s my favorite thing you’ve said yet,” Izuku tells. “But I still don’t know why you’re so worked up about it.”

Shouto’s eyes narrow, and Izuku guiltily realizes that Shouto is serious.

He bonks their foreheads together, forcing Izuku to go a little cross eyed.

“I don’t like seeing you in the hospital, but it’s even worse when you’re the one putting yourself there.”

“I know,” Izuku sighs. “I’m sorry. But I really feel fine, I promise.”

Shouto hums long and slips his hand between their bodies. He presses his palm flat against Izuku’s stomach, warm skin on skin. They’ve had enough arguments over this, so Izuku is glad that Shouto drops the subject. 

“Bored, huh?”

Izuku smiles, fingers coming up to fiddle with the collar of Shouto’s hero uniform. The way Shouto looks at him makes Izuku feel confident. It’s a feeling he’s still getting acclimated to; how small things Izuku does can trigger Shouto like a light switch. It’s a rush; pure adrenaline and arousal.

“Mmm. Your fault, you left me all alone,” Izuku teases. He curls his fingers around Shouto’s ears, squishes the cartilage and tugs on them gently. “I had to play all by myself.”

Shouto’s eyes darken. It’s the only warning Izuku gets before Shouto pushes him up against the sink and kisses him. They’re deep kisses; long, open mouthed, kind of dirty and tender all the same. Izuku has yet to determine if Shouto’s tongue has a cold and a hot side, but Izuku is determined to find out. The kiss breaks sticky.

“Aw, poor baby. I’ll play with you,” Shouto rumbles, husky and deep and ah, Izuku’s bare toes curl against the tile.  

The last week has been busy with villain raids and cleanup assignments. Izuku was looking forward to a slow morning in bed, but Shouto crawled out at dawn, and Izuku was left in sheets that lost their warmth.

“Aren’t I supposed to be resting?” Izuku teases. He makes an appreciative sound when Shouto grabs his butt.

“You’re right,” Shouto says. “I’ve got your seat all warmed up for you.”

Izuku laughs, allowing Shouto to drag him towards the bedroom.

“Oh, you do?”

“Yup. Lose the pants.”

Izuku is only in joggers, so they’re easy to slip right off. He bounces back on the bed and giggles as Shouto chases him onto it.

“Ew, no uniforms in bed.”

“Stupid rule,” Shouto notes, pulling down the zipper. “I still think Deku sex would be top notch.”

“Deku is a symbol of hope. It would be wrong!”

“It would be hot.”

Hmph.

Izuku kneels on the bed and helps Shouto peel the rest of his uniform off. He’s left in a black long sleeve shirt and boxer briefs, but Shouto seems uninterested in himself. Once Shouto is allowed back on the bed, he arches over Izuku and chases for his mouth, fingers deftly reaching for his shirt hem.

Izuku is still a work in progress. He flinches every time, and Shouto stops, again, every time.

He breathes out through his nose, and breaks their kiss to look him in the eye.

“Okay?”

“You can take these off,” Izuku offers, snapping the elastic of his underwear. Shouto seems content with that, rolling Izuku into the sheets and peeling down his boxers. Shouto bites across his lower lip, smoothing his hand up Izuku’s inner thigh – and Izuku hums he squeezes hard.

“Can I ask something?”

“Of – of course!”

“You don’t have to answer,” Shouto says.

He rolls to his back, and Izuku blinks, watching as he pats his chest and gestures for Izuku to get on top. Izuku follows his lead, getting up on his knees and sitting on Shouto’s hips. Shouto looks beautiful from this angle; hair spread on the sheets, bright eyes locked with Izuku’s green ones.

 

“I’ll tell you anything you want to know.”

 

Anything.

 

Even the things I shouldn’t.

 

Izuku is naked, save for the shirt, and Shouto rubs up and down his thighs. It makes him feel like he’s under a magnifying glass, but the feeling isn’t so bad with Shouto. Izuku can get hard just from the way Shouto looks at him.

Shouto reaches between his legs and plays with his half-hard cock, thumbing under the head as Izuku gasps under his breath.

“Ah!”

Shouto’s voice is honey delicious and smooth as stone. It feels like jello in his ears.

“I’ll say this plainly. You are absolutely fucking gorgeous. Why are you always nervous about taking off your clothes? I can’t imagine a body more perfect than yours.” 

Izuku goes red all the way up to his ears. He squeaks, and presses his palms to his face.

“Sh-Shouto! You can’t just say things like that!”

“Why not?”

“I-I don’t know…It’s just – weird, for me. I dunno’.” Izuku breathes, and brings his hands down slowly. Shouto resumes to rubbing up and down his legs. Izuku wants to be truthful with him. He wants to tell Shouto everything.

“You’re allowed to feel that way, I just want to understand it. I am so ridiculously attracted to you, it’s just unfathomable.”

Izuku giggles a little, dropping his hand to smooth over Shouto’s chest through his cotton shirt. Ugh, so firm.

“Thank you. It’s probably some silly childhood insecurities. I’m a bit rugged looking, I think. And I know it doesn’t match my face or my – my personality much. My ex-girlfriends liked my body, but my ex-boyfriends...” 

Izuku couldn’t handle rejection from Shouto. He just couldn’t. He knows Shouto loves him, but Izuku is still cautious of scaring him away.

Shouto’s face hardens, and Izuku braces himself for – what? Something? But Shouto pinches his butt instead.

“I’m going to kill them.”

“Shouto!”

“You never saw the magazine did you? I still have serious dreams about you in that wet shirt.”

Izuku feels lightheaded; the blood in his body is fighting between his face and his dick, and it’s a serious tug of war.

“N-no. I mean, I saw the pictures but um, n-never read the magazine.”

“The world is kinder than you think,” Shouto says. A pause, and then, “And way hornier. Including myself, sorry. You should really see all the nice things they’ve written about you.”

Izuku loves him. Loves how brave Shouto makes him feel. He makes Izuku feel beautiful and wanted.

“I still have your magazines too,” Izuku admits. “You are just way too handsome, sir.”

“Move,” Shouto demands, pulling at his hips. Izuku is puzzled for a moment, unsure of where he’s supposed to go. Shouto pulls more, urging Izuku to slide higher up his chest, and Izuku squeaks as he realizes where Shouto is aiming for.

“Shouto! N-no, you can’t-“

“I said I had your seat warm,” Shouto pats his left cheek. Izuku looks down at him, horrified, and Shouto snorts. His fingers curl behind the backs of Izuku’s knees, yanking with brute strength until Izuku is positioned above Shouto’s head, crooked fingers gripping the headboard for balance.

“Are you serious right now?”

“So beyond serious,” Shouto says. He pulls at his ass, jutting his chin up and urging Izuku to sit. “Come on baby, let me eat you out.”

Izuku’s brain melts, explodes, and then sludges into silly putty.

“I’ll crush you!”

“God I hope so.”

“Shouto!”

“You won’t,” Shouto huffs, spreading his ass and squeezing hard. “Come on beautiful. I want it. Thought about doing this when I got in the shower this morning.”

Oh lord.

Izuku nervously lowers himself, Shouto pulls him the rest of the way, and the headboard makes a crick sound as Izuku’s fingers clamp into the wood.

“Ah! — Shouto – fuck, fuck.

Shouto pulls no punches. He noses up and spreads his tongue flat, flickering with a dexterity that Izuku was not aware he was capable of.  

“Jesus Christ, is that – ah! – s-supposed to feel good?”

“Has no one done this for you before?”

“No!”

“You dated idiots,” Shouto rasps, mouthing against his entrance and licking until he’s friggin’ wet. “S’ gonna’ feel so good, baby.”

“Shit –“ Izuku grits again. His stomach is flipping so fast, and his dick is way, way, way too hard for not being touched at all. Izuku grips one hand into Shouto’s hair, and Shouto moans against him and oohkay, hello, he could definitely come from this.  “Y-you’re making me weird. R-Reacting to stuff like this.”

“Then get weird,” Shouto says. He then promptly locks down Izuku’s legs with the bulk of his arms, forces Izuku all the way down on his face and fucks him with his tongue –

Izuku makes an inhuman sound. Probably like a cow in heat, if cows even have those. It’s not sexy at all, but Shouto echoes a sound back against him, and Izuku trembles like he stabbed an outlet with a fork.

His filter is gone. Bye bye. All that’s coming out of his mouth is a slew of garbage; pleas, begging, broken calls of Shouto’s name. Shouto uses all his strength to keep Izuku pinned down, and Izuku starts to ride into the movement of his tongue, and Shouto’s legs squirm on the bed.

“Fuck baby,” Izuku gasps. He looks over his shoulder, and sees Shouto wicked hard and that’s hot, oh that’s hot. “Are you getting off on this?”

Shouto turns his head far enough to bite into Izuku’s thigh. His mouth singes warm, and for a moment, Izuku thinks he might’ve burned.

“Am I...? What kind of stupid question is that?”

A huff, “Shouto, please.”

He presses his tongue flat again, works Izuku open with a patience Izuku is not capable of right now.

Izuku is close, too close; arousal thick in his mouth, Shouto’s hair soft in his hands.

“I could come,” Izuku whines.

Shouto’s right hand starts to burn with a chill against his ass. Izuku moans; open mouthed and stupid loud.

“Touch yourself,” Shouto begs, and Izuku does, and he feels dirty, but not with Shouto.

The poor headboard gets the worst of it, but Izuku is too busy trembling out of his own skin. Swear to god he blacks out for a second, hiccupping out a noise and riding out the orgasm.

“Fuck fuck fuck,” Shouto chants, as Izuku sits back on his chest. “B-babe, please move, I gotta – “

“Shhit,” Izuku slurs, still cross-eyed. “Gimmie’ a sec, I can –“

“Too late,” Shouto gasps, and Izuku turns around just in time to watch Shouto come in his underwear. Izuku’s jaw drops, and he jerks a hand to palm him through the fabric, and Shouto bites into the meat of his own fist.

“Oh my god,” Izuku breathes. “Did you really just do that?”

“Don’t...”

“That was so hot.”

“I’m glad you think so,” Shouto pants. “Let me brush my teeth and we can –“

Izuku doesn’t care about any of that. He kisses Shouto anyways; cups the side of his face and mumbles wow I love you so much and Shouto smiles against his mouth, palms under his t-shirt and you know? Izuku doesn’t care. He breaks the kiss, tosses his shirt, and welcomes Shouto’s hands on his chest.

“We’re doing that again,” Izuku tells.

“MMmkay,” Shouto purrs drunk, happily drawing circles around Izuku’s pecs.

 

 


 

 

Of solo cups scattered on the table, forgotten cards and an abandoned movie on mute, Izuku likes this part the best.

“All I need is like, 100k,” Denki says, laid out on the floor, feet up on the coffee table. “It’s really not that much.”

“Get your nasty ass feet away from my furniture before I chop them off,” Katsuki warns. Denki doesn’t move.

“Sorry bro, but nobody wants in on your Ponzi scheme,” Eijirou says.

“You’ll be sorry when I’m laughing my way to the bank and you’re stuck working nighshifts.”

“What’s your ‘genius idea’ anyways?” Shouto asks.

“This better not be a repeat of the Noodle incident.”

“That’s all in the past, lads.”

“Sure.”

Denki sits up off the floor and spreads out his hands, “Alright, now hear me out. Have you ever been sweatin’ your balls off and the ice cream man comes around and you’re like, dude, I could go for a creamsicle– but the bar opens in five and I still need to drink off yesterday’s hangover –“

“Get to the point dude,” Eijirou sighs.

“Can I get a drumroll?”

“Come the fuck on–“

Izuku laughs, and sits up to roll his fingers against the coffee table.

“I metaphorically present to you, the new adult dessert: Vodsicles. Calm down, don’t all throw your money at me at once –“

Izuku, Eijirou, and Sero break out in uncontrollable laughter.

“Are you serious?”

“Yeah, why?”

Katsuki pinches the bridge of his nose and grits, “Oh my fucking god. You are an absolute moron.”

“You’re just jealous ‘cause in two years I’ll be driving a Maserati and you will be – “

“Vodka doesn’t freeze, dumbass,” Shouto deadpans. Denki pauses.

“No.”

Katsuki starts laughing now, head falling back against the couch. Izuku might be a little tipsy, but his sides are starting to hurt.

“Yeah man,” Eijirou wipes his eyes. “Didn’t you ever wonder why your Dad knew about his stolen Grey Goose every time?”

Denki looks like he’s reevaluating all of his life’s choices, and Izuku slumps against Shouto and giggles.

Shouto’s arm has been around his shoulders for the last half-hour, and Izuku really likes the casualness of it. Not that Izuku is necessarily a possessive person by nature – but there’s something satisfying about Shouto staking a claim on him even when he doesn’t need to. Izuku always feels his eyes on him when they’re together, and Izuku has never dated anyone that’s so – well, into him. Izuku flushes a little, and Shouto’s hand falls into his hair.

Momo comes back from the bathroom, looking around the group and frowning.

“What’d I miss?”

“Fuckhands McMike had a great new invention.”

“Oh great.”

“Okay, I’m looking it up now,” Denki points. “Technically, I just need a mega ultra freezer.” He looks at Shouto, who blinks, slowly.

“No.”

“Come on! Your quirk is too much of a moneymaker to be sittin’ around for nothing.”

“Nothing,” Izuku repeats, laughing. “Oh yeah, the high-rise full of people that he saved yesterday sure was nothing.”

“Oh you know what I mean.”

“No,” Izuku continues, blocking Shouto’s mouth before he can say anything. “I’m not letting you whore out my boyfriend, sorry.”

Shouto snorts against his palm.

“Lame.”

“How about you stick to being a hero?” Sero grins. “You’re actually kind of good at it.”

Denki pouts, “Gee, thanks.”

“I actually don’t want to know,” Momo says, taking a seat again. Denki gasps,

“Momo! Creati! The most amazing person in the world!”

Katsuki rolls his eyes, “Here we go.”

Izuku giggles, and pats Shouto’s leg. His eyes sleepily turn to him.

“I’m going to get another drink. Want anything?”

“I’ll come with you,” Shouto says.

They rise off the couch and step their way through the bodies on the floor.

“Bring me back a beer!” Katsuki calls.

“Gotcha!”

Izuku has become increasingly familiar with Katsuki and Eijirou’s kitchen. They tend to rotate apartments within the group, but it’s easier to meet in a house with more floorspace.

Izuku hunts through the fridge for the good alcohol. Shouto silently leans up against the kitchen island and watches. Izuku pulls out the gin and the club soda and starts mixing a drink in his solo cup. He takes one glance at Shouto’s tired face, and smiles back down at his drink.

“Are you ready to head out?”

“Huh?”

“You have that look in your eyes – the one you get after too much social interaction.”

Izuku knows, because he gets the same way.

Shouto stares at him a moment longer, and then says, “I love you.”

Izuku stops mid pour. Technically, if Izuku was counting (he is) today would mark three months since Katsuki’s wedding. They’ve stated their feelings to each other many times already, but Shouto’s sincerity still makes his heart go haywire.

“I love you too,” Izuku smiles.

Shouto steps closer, prodding the drink out of his hand so he can thread their fingers together.

“We can stay as long as you want,” Shouto says. “I like your laugh.”

Izuku gravitates towards him. He’s always done so, but now he gets to cup Shouto’s cheek and swipe his thumb against the rough patch of his scar.

Izuku has never thought of Shouto’s facial deformity as anything other than something else that makes him beautiful. He wonders if that is how Shouto feels about Izuku in return. It’s overwhelming to brood on.

“I’m okay if we leave, you’re tired.”

“Not necessarily,” Shouto mumbles. “I just want to hold you without people around.”

Izuku’s stomach does summersaults, and he can’t help but lean on his toes and press a kiss to the corner of Shouto’s mouth. Sorry, he’s legally required to.

“You’re so adorable I can hardly stand it.”

“I,” Shouto says huskily, “am a threat.”

 “Uh huh.”

Izuku giggles as their lips brush, not quite kissing, but still enough to make his spine tingle.

“You’re the one that gives me whiplash,” Shouto states. His left hand is warm on his hip, fingers testily slipping under his shirt and resting there. “I was eating lunch when the news showed that clip of you lifting a dump truck on your shoulders. I almost choked and died, Izuku.”

Izuku bites his lip and laughs, and Shouto decides to kiss him then, and Izuku hums happily. Shouto’s mouth is wet and clever and Izuku loves to play back, biting on his lower lip and letting it slide through his teeth.

“Hey dipshits, go make out in your own kitchen,” Katsuki grunts, hip checking Izuku out of the way and throwing open the fridge. He reaches for a beer as Eijirou pops around the corner.

“Unless I’m allowed to watch.”

Izuku flushes a little, and Shouto rolls his eyes.

“Very funny.”

“Hey, I’m just sayin’.”

Katsuki asks from the fridge, “Ei, shut up. Whatya’ want?”

“Hard lemonade, baby.”

Katsuki tosses Eijirou a bottle, and slams the door shut. Katsuki pops his own beer cap off on the counter and grunts, “We’re busting out the weed. You guys in?”

Shouto’s thumb plays with the lip on Izuku’s belt – and Izuku briefly looks up at Shouto before answering,

“Next time.”

“Then you’ll finally shotgun with me?” Eijirou bats his eyelashes and grins evil.

“Stop trying to make out with him,” Shouto deadpans.

“Wh-Wh-what?!”

“Pshhh me?” Eijirou gasps as Katsuki pushes him back towards the living room. “I’m innocent officer!”

“Shut the hell up, I’m not unfreezing your feet from the floor again.”

Izuku looks up at Shouto and blinks, “You did what?”   

“Uh, nothing. Let’s go home.”

 

 


 

 

Izuku brings Shouto along to have dinner with his mom. They get as far as the front door, before his mom throws open the lock, looks between them, and bawls her eyes out.

“M-Mom!” Izuku laughs, nervously patting her shoulder. “At least let me say it!”

Shouto stares, dumbfounded as she cries.

“How did she even know?”

“I probably breathed too much in your direction,” Izuku mulls, and his mother shakes her head furiously.

“It was the eyes, sweetheart. Oh I’m so happy, I thought I was never going to see the day!”

Izuku presses his face in his palms, and Shouto starts to laugh under his breath.

 

Endeavor isn’t so easy. Shouto doesn’t seem to give two shits about what his father thinks, but he still wants to rub it in his face either way. Endeavor isn’t thrilled, but he doesn’t throw a bitchfit either, and Izuku thinks that might be his way of showing slight approval.

Izuku is the strongest in the world, but god does Endeavor still intimidate him to all hell.

“So you’re just going to let the gene pool die?” Endeavor snuffs. “That quirk has been passed down the Todoroki family for generations.”

“Yeah,” Shouto chews. “Along with the repressed homosexuality.”

Izuku full on chokes, and Endeavor continues on with a shrug.

“Fair enough.”

Izuku doesn’t understand Shouto’s father – will never understand Shouto’s father, and frankly, doesn’t want to.

 

 


 

 

 Izuku bounces across the tops of semi-trucks, jumping off the freeway overhang and ping-ponging along the buildings. His body glows with green electricity, and his eyes stay fixated on the explosions up ahead.

There are people laying on the ground in the recovery position. Izuku presses his hand to his earpiece and calls,

“Ground Zero? Do you have eyes on Switch?”

Static hisses in his ear,

“-fssft-motherfucker has friends. Containing a new threat on tenth street – don’t let him escape or I’ll fsssst-ing kill you!”

“Got it,” Izuku takes off. It’s hard to resist the urge to stop and help the injured, but if he doesn’t find this villain soon, it might get a whole lot worse.

A blade whizzes past his ear. Izuku pauses, and has to dodge a second knife towards his torso.

“I see him!” Izuku calls.

“You’re a real pain in my ass, Number One.” Switch flips a knife around in his hand, and Izuku kicks towards him, metal vibrating as he meets a longsword.

He’s a rugged looking man, with skull face tattoos that bleed down beneath his suit collar. Switch’s ability to summon an endless amount of weapons is a powerful quirk that Izuku doesn’t know enough about yet. There must be a weakness – there always is.

“Sorry,” Izuku kicks once more, ducking a blade and jabbing a punch towards his stomach, “But you’re a pain in mine.”

Izuku gets scraped along his cheek; nicked by his ear and his shoulder, and his metal boots start to chip the more he fights.

Talk about a pain in the butt – Izuku has been tracking Switch’s gang for the last two weeks, and their destruction has known no bounds. They’re out for civilian blood, and it makes Izuku sick.

Switch is incredibly fast – enough to rival Izuku in a full cowl. His weapons are endless; swords, knives, poles from the ground, spears jabbing towards his side. Explosions blow out glass in the distance, and Izuku is eager to finish this and help Katsuki.

Another slice at his cheek. Izuku summons a heavy punch, and the weight of it blows the villain back some, but not enough. They’re a bad match up. Stronger attacks need more charge up, and Switch’s battle style is quick and dangerous and made to chip you down after time.

Another explosion; more screaming.

“Quit this!” Izuku shouts, bouncing off the nearest building for leverage. “Those people are innocent!”

“Nobody’s innocent,” Switch cackles, and Izuku shouts in surprise as another sword flies out of the ground and skims up his shoulder. “I’ll know peace when this city burns to the ground.”

The asphalt starts to shake, and Izuku jumps back as the concrete ripples.

“Damn,” Izuku curses. The Golem comes barreling out of the ground, a rock monster full of magma and –

The Golem freezes over entirely.

Izuku retreats to perch along the side of a skyscraper, hands clutching a windowsill as he smiles. Heavy relief floods through him.

Shouto comes skating in on ice. He jumps a self-made ramp, skidding along the ground and freezing Switch’s feet to the ground.

“Shouto! That’s the leader!”

“Fuckin’ Christ,” Switch slides two more blades out of his arms. “Will you just die already?!”

The Golem breaks out of his ice prison, and Switch chips away his feet with a single stab.

“I’ve got him,” Shouto says. He extends his arm, and Izuku inhales as Shouto forms a long pole out of ice. “Keep the Golem out of the civilian evac zones.”

“Two cocky motherfuckers,” Switch grins. “I can’t wait to slice this one up.”

“Go ahead and try,” Shouto growls, and then blades rise from the ground, an army of knives and swords and javelins. Shouto is amazing; the mastery of his quirk is lightyears away from the Shouto he knew in UA.

Shouto’s power was explosive; he won by sheer force alone. But now Shouto is trained; he flings icicles, spinning his spear in one hand and throwing up fire blockades with the other.

Izuku doesn’t have much time to watch. A stone comes hurling his way, so Izuku kicks through it and works to chip at the Golem’s rocky armor.

Shouto hisses from a slice along his shoulder.

“Left!” Izuku calls, and Shouto ducks, and Izuku throws the rock-monster over his shoulder and into Switch’s side.

“Fuck! Get off me idiot!”

“Nghgn, suurry…”

The beast stands, more swords spin from the floor, and Izuku doesn’t even look before he knows what Shouto is planning. He just jumps; and there’s suddenly fire, and Izuku feels giddy, because the longer they fight the better they are.

Shouto is just – there, whenever Izuku turns. They fight as one; ice when he needs it, Izuku kicks when Shouto dodges, a wall of fire when the ground ripples, a metal clang as Izuku shields a handful of knives. There’s a connection; a need to protect each other, unspoken vows between them.

Shouto is a better match up for Switch. He spins his ice spear behind his back, kicks off one leg and nails Switch across the face, and Izuku has never seen something so hot in his life, good god. Shouto takes the villain on – sword to ice – and Izuku knows he’s been training in hand to hand combat, he just didn’t really think…

Izuku yips as another stone flies over his head. The beast roars, and Izuku has frankly had enough of this.

Electricity cracking in his bones, Izuku pops off a downturned semi-truck, flips in the air, and crushes through the Golems armor. Smoke and dust coat the air; Shouto’s ice skims along the floor, and the beast lays unmoving in the concrete.

“Fuck this,” Switch snaps, crawling out of the rubble. He talks in his earpiece, “Doom, pull the trigger.”

The trigger. As in the bomb beneath the city. Izuku looks at Shouto with the same oh shit look – but Katsuki starts to bark in his ear,

“There’s no bomb! He’s fuckin’ bluffing! – “

And a giant bird swoops out of the air, grabbing Switch and taking off with a sonic boom.

Shit!” Izuku glows, prepared to jump after him, but Shouto grips Izuku by the arm.

“Throw me,” Shouto pants. “Don’t think, throw me now.”

And there’s no time left. If the leader gets away now, they might never find him again. So Izuku lifts Shouto in one arm, glows with a full cowl, and launches him with full force.

Everything seems to happen in slow motion. Shouto summons a huge burst of fire, he freezes the bird’s wings with astonishingly precise aim, grabs Switch by the shirt collar, and blasts him towards the ground with a second explosion.

And at that moment, Izuku realizes that Shouto is falling. He’s never moved so fast if ever. Izuku sparks, the ground hollowing out beneath him as Izuku launches himself six blocks in three seconds.

Shouto falls, and falls, and falls –

Izuku reaches for him, Shouto meets his eye – and it’s wild how time can slow down to almost nothing. Izuku doesn’t really think about it. He grabs Shouto, tucks him into his arms, and smashes into the ground, the two of them rolling and rolling as dust and debris kicks up around them.

The pain is an afterthought. Izuku coughs and gasps, trembling slightly as he reorients himself with his surroundings. There’s white noise in his ears, ringing and static and muffled shouting.

Shouto coughs under him; Izuku pops up on his arms, jerking his head to check Shouto’s face – and he’s okay, thank the lord.

They’re panting nose to nose. Shouto’s eyes are blown wide, staring up at him in shock and holy shit he is gorgeous. They’re both bleeding and sore, and Izuku is suddenly overwhelmed by the downright heat that kicks him in the stomach. It comes out of left field, and it steals Izuku’s breath all over again.

“That worked,” Shouto breathes.

“That was so stupid,” Izuku pants. “What if I hadn’t caught you?”

Shouto’s hand comes up to brush Izuku’s hair out of his eyes. He smiles lopsided, “But I knew you’d catch me.”

Izuku plants his forehead in Shouto’s chest and stays there for a second, trying to grab ahold of himself. It keeps replaying in his mind; Shouto wielding a frozen sword with honed speed and skill, throwing ice darts and using his fire at the same time. This is so not the time to be worked up, but Izuku feels like he’s burning alive.

“Switch?”

“Threw him towards Katsuki.”

Oh, that’s what the noise in his ear is.

“sss-idiots alive? Sss-ch in custody.”

“Yeah,” Shouto flops back, closing his eyes. “Did you get him?”

“Sss-the fuck did I just say? Got ‘em muzzled sshhs-n’ everything.”

“You made me throw you,” Izuku says, like he still can’t believe it.

“Are you okay?” Shouto blinks, and Izuku can’t take it. The bruise along his cheek, the slices torn through his uniform, the dirt and sweat caked down his collar. The mental image of Shouto skating to his side like a knight in shining armor.

There are cameras. Izuku swallows.

“Ground Zero, do you have a wrap on this?”

“Yeah, ssss-hief just showed up. Why?”

Izuku rips out his ear piece and tosses it down the street.

“Hold your breath,” Izuku says, and Shouto starts to ask why – but Izuku stands up, hauls Shouto over his shoulder, and bounces towards Shouto’s hero agency down the street.  

He knows this side of town by heart. It takes less than a minute to land at the front step. Shouto makes a frazzled noise, and that’s nice, but Izuku has places to be. Izuku grabs him by the wrist, yanks him over towards the locker room, deadbolts the door, shoves Shouto against the wall of lockers and kisses him like he’s dying. Shouto completely melts into him.

“What the hell-“ Shouto gasps, “-is happening.”

“Oh my god oh my god,” Izuku kisses him, hands frantically clinging to Shouto’s uniform. “I didn’t know you could fight like that, what the heck.

“Normally don’t- ah,” Shouto pants, “-need to. You threw me over your shoulder, Izuku.”

“Yeah?”

“You can’t do that,” Shouto fists a hand at his side, mouth hot and sticky and perfect against Izuku’s lips. “It turns me on like crazy.”

Izuku moans into his mouth, kisses fast and dirty and it’s gross, they’re caked in blood and sweat, dirty from the fall, exhausted to the bone, and Izuku feels like he could fly. Heart racing, Izuku drops to his knees.

“Fuck,” Shouto curses hard, pressing every syllable tight and gritty. “Izuku –“

“Please, just let me…” Izuku yanks down his fly, mouthing against the bulge in Shouto’s underwear. He smells so, so fucking good. “Please please please,” he begs. “I need you.”  

Shouto’s hand shakily wipes at Izuku’s face, and it looks like he’s using every ounce of his self-control.

“Baby, you’re still bleeding.”

“So’re you,” Izuku mumbles, pulling Shouto out of his underwear and secretly preening when he finds him half-hard already. “I-I’ll make it fast, I promise.”

Shouto’s head thunks back against the locker. It sounds like someone attempts to open the door, but are stopped by the lock. Izuku pulls Shouto all the way in his mouth, blinking past the blood in his eyes and moaning at the sweat-salty taste of him, and Shouto’s breath hitches.

“This is so wrong,” Shouto gravels, fingers pushing back Izuku’s bangs so he can watch him work his tongue and swallow. “Fuck, you’re still in uniform.”

Izuku looks up through his lashes. He bobs fast, presses his tongue flat and drools and drools until it’s rolling past his chin. Shouto’s face, wow– he looks downright shocked. Cheeks red and flushed and dirty and bloody and it’s amazing. Izuku feels like he’s been pulled out of his own body and stuffed with something else. An carnal urge thrums through him, some sick desire to melt into Shouto’s skin and just become one. He wants to make Shouto feel good, wants it so bad he could just die.

Shouto’s voice comes out rough and grated and deep.

“Deku.”

Izuku moans around him, gagging a little when he goes too far, and Shouto’s head clangs against the locker again.

Ah – fuck, that’s it baby. Look at you – you take it so well, such a good boy,” Shouto babbles, pushing back his bangs. “So so good for me.”

Izuku’s eyes are watering from the sting – and he needs more, needs to feel Shouto in the back of his throat, so he presses all the way down to Shouto’s navel and groans at the burn, and Shouto chokes out a sound above him.

Izuku pulls back, rubs Shouto’s cock against the soft skin of his inner cheek, and the hand in his hair fists so tight Izuku really does cry. His entire body aches already – but Shouto grips him by the back of his neck and forces Izuku back down and Izuku sobs with relief, sobs with the realization that Shouto is his and his alone.

Shouto loosens his grip quickly, and cups Izuku’s cheek in a silent apology.

“Gonna’ come,” he rasps, and it’s music to Izuku’s ears.

Izuku keeps one eye closed, too full of blood to see much out of it, but he keeps the other open and pulls back, opening his mouth wide and using his hand to finish Shouto off – and Shouto doesn’t just come. Doesn’t just chuff a sound and swallow a sigh – he clenches Izuku by the jaw, forces his mouth even wider with his thumb and moans so loud, it reverberates around the locker room.

Izuku isn’t sure if he’s ever been so hard in his whole life, and it’s incredible. Shouto spills beyond his tongue; along his chin and his nose and across his closed eye, adding to the mess on Izuku’s face.

Izuku locks eyes with Shouto for one brief moment, before he’s sitting back in shock as Shouto slumps against the locker, and slides all the way to the floor – like his legs wouldn’t hold him any longer.

He closes his eyes, head tipped back as his chest rises and falls. The most gorgeous person on the planet – reduced to putty because of Izuku.

Shouto grinds, “You’re killing me.”

Izuku wipes his face with his sleeve and exhales a laugh.

“Sorry. But my goodness, I can’t work with you if you’re gonna’ be so sexy on the battlefield.”

“You can’t say ‘my goodness’ after I just came all over your face,” Shouto groans, opening his eyes and using his thumb to try and wipe away some of the mess. Izuku sticks out his tongue, and Shouto leans over to kiss his mouth clean.

Izuku sits back, oddly satisfied despite the arousal still churning in his stomach – and then he goes white hot with embarrassment.

“Crap. Kacchan is going to murder us.”

“Oh definitely,” Shouto says, and sucks on his tongue again.

 

 


 

 

“Oops,” Izuku blinks.

Shouto peers over the kitchen island. There’s an All Might apron tied around his neck, and his bangs are pulled up in a little palm tree with one of those kids scrunchies.

“What is it?”

Izuku shakes off the sudden desire to squeeze the everliving hell out of his boyfriend, and holds up his phone guiltily.

“Ochaco texted me. Apparently it’s all over twitter.”

It’s a photo messily taken amid their fight with Switch’s gang last night. Shouto is spread out on the pavement, nose to nose with Izuku curled protectively across his chest. It was moments after they crash-landed into the street at maximum velocity. It’s kind of the most romantic photo Izuku has ever seen in his life.

“Oh,” Shouto blinks. “Oops.”

Izuku’s heart chokes up in his throat. Panic washes over him like a wave.

“Shit,” Izuku breathes, turning his phone back around. “We – we didn’t discuss any of this. I – I don’t even know if you wanted to come out – it’s -it’s conspicuous enough that if- if we really stuck the agency’s publicist on it we could – “

“I like it,” Shouto says outright. Izuku shakily looks back up again, and Shouto shrugs a shoulder, “I’m okay either way. If you want to cover it, we can. But I’m excited to tell the world that you’re mine.”

Izuku stares at him. Shouto stares back. Izuku sniffs once, and Shouto starts to laugh gently, “Oh, don’t cry.”

“I’m not.” Izuku wipes his eyes. “I’m gonna-“ sniff – “-kiss the heck out of you the next time we have an interview.”

Shouto snorts, and turns back around to stir the noodles in his pot.

“Not if I kiss you first.”

“That sounds like a challenge.”

 “It is.”

 


 

 

 Shouto visits his mom every other Sunday. When Izuku is asked if he’d like to come along, he’d be lying if he said he wasn’t unbearably touched.

Shouto likes to keep things to himself. There are certain parts of himself that he’s freely willing to open up and give away, but there are other emotions that he keeps tucked deep in his heart. His mother is a subject that Izuku doesn’t prod into, so he feels irredeemably happy that Shouto thinks Izuku is special enough to meet her.

They pick up flowers at the grocery store. Shouto is quieter than usual, and Izuku’s brain is louder than usual, a wad of anxiety clogging in his throat, so he bites his tongue to keep himself from rambling.

But Shouto can read him like an open book. As soon as they cross into the hospital, he threads their fingers together and shifts the flowers into his other arm.

“Don’t be nervous.”

“But… what if she doesn’t like me?”

“You’re the number one hero,” Shouto deadpans. “I can’t think of anyone better to bring to my mom.”

Izuku flushes, and Shouto quietly leads them down a hallway that he knows by heart. Shouto steps straight into an unmarked room, and Izuku follows reverently behind, and Shouto’s mother perks up from her seat on the hospital bed.

She’s very stunning, and Izuku feels his step faulter as she smiles ear to ear and says, “Oh, Shouto! You’ve brought him to me.”

Face red, Izuku bows his head, “It’s n-nice to meet you miss Todo- uh, m-miss Shouto’s mom.”

Rei smiles.

“He’s beautiful, Shouto.”

“I know,” Shouto says, and Izuku presses his face in his hand and steams.

Shouto sets the flowers in an empty vase, and gives his mother a hug. She extends a hand towards Izuku afterwards, calling gently, “Come here, Midoriya. Let me see you.” Izuku crosses closer, and lets Rei take his hands. She hums, “I’ve heard stories about you for a long time. I’m glad you returned to Japan.”

“My life has changed s-so much in the last year,” Izuku stammers, feeling warm as Rei studies the scars on his hands. “I’m still trying to keep up.”

“You carry a large burden on your shoulders,” Rei says, patting his knuckles and releasing his hand. “Thank you for bringing hope to the world. And thank you for giving my son a chance. You make him very happy.”

“Ahhhh!” Izuku wails, waving his hands. “H-he’s the one wh-who gave me – I – no, that’s – ah!” Izuku covers his face again. “I love Shouto so much!”

“Mom, you’re breaking him,” Shouto says, gently prying Izuku’s hands away from his eyes.

“Sorry,” she smiles.

Izuku cools a little as Shouto informs her about the last two weeks. Izuku is surprised to hear that Shouto speaks little about his hero work. He talks more on the movie they saw last week, the recent magazine they did a photoshoot for, going to the bar with their friends – all the things that Izuku didn’t think Shouto pondered on, he finds most important to tell his mother. Izuku’s eyes sting, but he resists the urge to cry.

This is special, he thinks, sitting next to Shouto’s mother on her hospital bed, retelling stories of elementary school kids wearing IcyHot sneakers. This is more special than what Izuku is capable of comprehending.

Shouto is vulnerable and soft next to his mother. Very different from the hardheaded and determined self he projects in front of his father. Izuku thinks he might be a little bit in love with both.

“Do you mind giving us a minute?” Shouto asks, and Izuku is too dumb to realize what he means right away. When the lightbulb pings, Izuku scrambles off the bed with a gasp.

“Oh! Oh sorry – sorry sorry –“

“Babe,” Shouto catches him by the wrist, squeezing his hand and offering a soft look in his eyes. “I’ll be right behind you.”

“Okay,” Izuku exhales. He turns towards Rei and bows again, “It-It was nice meeting you ma’am.”

“Please come back soon. I want to see your hero notebooks next time.”

Izuku nods jerkily, and steps out of the room a little too fast. He shuts the door with a loud click and leans back up against the wall.

It feels like his heart is beating out of his chest, and he doesn’t know why. His love for Shouto is overwhelming, almost suffocating. Shouto doesn’t owe him a damn thing – but Izuku wants to be there for him. Wants to shoulder all his burdens and protect him from any more pain.

He looks up at the ceiling and sighs.

The door opens and closes a moment later, and Izuku feels fingers prod at his wrist.

“Ready to go?”

“Are you? I – I mean, I don’t mind waiting…”

“Yes,” Shouto says, so they walk back the way they came.

Izuku mulls in his thoughts, glancing out of the corner of his eye to study Shouto’s expression. It’s unreadable and blank, but that’s not always a bad thing.

Izuku squeezes his fingers as they step outside.

“Thank you for letting me meet her.”

Shouto looks down at him. He opens his mouth, ready to say something – but he hesitates. Izuku waits patiently, and Shouto shuts his mouth with a click. He waits a moment longer, and then says,

“Thank you for coming.”

Izuku has a feeling that’s not what Shouto wanted to say, but he’s not going to pry. Shouto has borne enough of himself for today.

“Are you interested in getting lunch?”

“Depends. We’re not going back to that bootleg ramen place, are we?”

“Oh my god, the noodles were not that bad.”

“I could’ve used them for zipties,” Shouto deadpans. “I could’ve braided them together and made my own jump rope.”

“You’re a little whiner,” Izuku tells, tossing the keys over the top of the car as they go for their separate doors.

Shouto catches the keys in one hand and scoffs.

“I’m a ramen connoisseur, Izuku.”

“Uh huh,” Izuku laughs, and feels warmth in his chest when Shouto gives him a softer, more humorous look over the top of the car.

 

 


 

 

It isn’t really a fight.

 

He doesn’t suspect much from a normal afternoon. Izuku had first shift and Shouto worked second; nothing was array when Izuku got the typical alls good  text from Shouto, so Izuku focused on finishing out his patrol, and stopping by the grocery store to pick up all the stuff he’s been putting off.

Ochaco is actually the one that alerts him. He gets a text of Is Shouto Okay? And he immediately feels adrenaline shoot down his spine.

A quick google tells Izuku everything he needs to know.

Izuku doesn’t even bother taking his groceries home. He goes straight to Shouto’s apartment, riding up the elevator and chewing his lip until it hurts.

He still feels guilty when he uses Shouto’s spare key. Shouto gave it to him, but Izuku still feels like he’s intruding.

He fumbles for the key on his keyring and jams it in the lock. The bolt throws, and Izuku slowly pushes open the door.

“Shouto?”

The apartment is dead still. Maybe he’s not even home.

Izuku turns on the kitchen lights and sets down his bag on the counter. There’s a low light on in Shouto’s bedroom, and the living-room T.V. is on mute. The news is playing. Izuku reaches over and turns it off, before quietly stepping towards Shouto’s bedroom.

“Hey…Shouto? I um…”

Shouto doesn’t move from his position on the bed. His back is turned, his shoulders rising and falling under his dark t-shirt. Izuku knows he’s not asleep; his breathing is too forced and jaded.

“I heard what happened,” Izuku says gently.

“Get out.”

The snap of it almost makes Izuku flinch. But he kind of expected this, so he shuts the door behind him and approaches the bed. He doesn’t ask are you okay because it’s a stupid question.

Izuku sits on the corner of the bed. He can see ringed bruising around Shouto’s neck, like he was strangled.

Feeling choked himself, Izuku gently drags his fingers along the back of his neck.

“Oh, sweetheart…”

“Don’t patronize me,” Shouto snaps, turning his head – and his eyes are so angry, a blue and grey emotional storm. His eyes widen a second later, as if he just realized what he said. He turns back over, face pressing into his pillow. “Go away, Izuku. You’re going to see an ugly side of me.”

Izuku pets into Shouto’s hair. His heart aches for him. He knows what Shouto wants to hear, but he also knows what Shouto needs to hear.

“You don’t always have to be prince charming around me,” Izuku says. He twirls the strands around his fingers, and they’re still damp from the shower. “I’m here for you, Shouto.”

“Shut up.”

Izuku swallows past the sting – continues to pet through his hair as long as Shouto will let him.

“It sucks. It really sucks. Nobody wants to make that kind of choice, but you did what you had to do.”

“Izuku, I won’t repeat myself. Go. Home.”

If Shouto really wanted him gone, Izuku would be out the door already. He brushes his fingers against Shouto’s bruise again and says,

“I’m not going anywhere.”

There’s a long, tense silence.

Shouto’s breath whooshes out of him, curling more into himself and away from Izuku.

“It was her first patrol.”

Izuku swallows, “She had her license. She knew the risks –“

“She was fucking eighteen,” Shouto snarls. “Don’t even try to tell me–“

“I know!” Izuku snaps back. “Is one life worth fifty? I still don’t –“ Izuku turns away, and Shouto rolls a little to look at him. Izuku rubs his forehead and sighs. “Missions were like this a lot in America. Heroes died all the time, because that’s what we sign up for. But I still never… I couldn’t accept it.” He looks back at Shouto, and fists his hand in the sheets. “My senpai told me to take that feeling and let it fuel me. Told me to burn up that anger and get stronger.” Izuku smiles watery, “You didn’t do the right thing. You did what you had to do. And that’s a hero.”

 Shouto gazes up at him, eyes glossy and wide, before he rolls over and buries his face in Izuku’s lap.

Izuku’s hand threads back in his hair, carefully cupping the back of his head as he holds on tight.

“I keep running it over and over in my head. What I could have done differently.”

“I’m sorry baby, I’m sorry I wasn’t there –“

Shouto’s face presses into his stomach, and Izuku doesn’t wince away when he feels his skin burning hot.

“It’s…I’ve seen so much death, but it doesn’t get easier.”

“No,” Izuku whispers, with a dull ache. “It doesn’t.”

Shouto turns to look up at him. He swallows, tugging Izuku by the shirt.  

“Lie down.”

Izuku wordlessly shimmies down on the bed. Shouto worms into his arms, and Izuku lets Shouto nose along his cheek and kiss him.

“Sorry,” Shouto mumbles. “Sorry, sorry.”

Izuku aches for him.

He yanks the covers over them, and squeezes Shouto as hard as he can.

“I wish I could take it all away,” Izuku whispers.

Shouto mumbles into his shoulder, “I’ll be over it tomorrow.”

 “You don’t have to be.”

Shouto hugs him tight, and Izuku doesn’t know how to say it. Doesn’t know how to let him know that it’s okay.  Izuku cried alone in his apartment for years, and it hurts him to think that Shouto would come home from fights like these, and just lay here until morning, feeling that same kind of pain.

Shouto sighs thank you, and Izuku silently pets down his back.

 


 

 

All Might has a humble apartment, cluttered in some places and empty in others. Izuku likes to clean for him when he visits, as much as Toshinori complains about it.

“You look tired,” Toshinori observes, pushing a beer in his hand. Izuku smiles toothlessly, and perches on the arm of the couch. It’s a rainy day; good for Shouto’s right side and bad for his left – and somehow Izuku’s thoughts drift to him always.

Izuku looks out the open window and asks, “Do you think you can love someone too much?”

“Hmm.” Toshinori sits back, and rests his head in his hand – as sickly as he is, Toshinori has always retained that aura of distinguished authority. “I don’t think so. You’re in the honeymoon phase anyways.”

Izuku pops the tab with his thumbnail, and hums.

“If the feeling has lasted this long, I really don’t think it’s going anywhere.”

“Well…” Toshinori starts, “At least you can rest knowing he’s just as whipped for you in return.”

Izuku jerks to look at him, and Toshinori starts to laugh, and Izuku sputters, “What? What’s so funny?—” and Toshinori swats his thigh with another chuckle, stubbornly closed-lipped.

 

 


 

 

The gym door opens and closes, and Izuku looks up out of habit. He smiles as a greeting, setting down the arm weights and wiping his forehead with his sleeve.

“Hiya.”

“Hey,” Shouto nods, gripping at the towel around his neck. “I didn’t see you come in.”

“Sorry, I snuck in through the back. The paparazzi have been relentless this month.”

Shouto frowns, “I’ll have to see if security can do anything about it.”

“They’re not really a bother – their questions are just…”

“I know. It’s dangerous for them to be hanging around here anyways.” Shouto taps his arm with the back of his knuckles, “Have you been at it long?”

“Not at all.”

“Good, you’re spotting me.”

“Sure,” Izuku laughs, and follows him to the bench press. It’s gives him déjà vu, standing over Shouto and watching him do reps in some flimsy t-shirt; but this time Izuku is allowed to look all he wants, and oh does he.

Izuku likes spending time with Shouto in the gym, besides all the obvious reasons why. Izuku prefers to spar with some of the heavy-weight heroes, but Shouto is fun to do weights with. They run around the track for a while; enough to work up a sweat at least.

They haven’t had much free time as of late, so Izuku appreciates what he can get. The last month Shouto has buried himself nose-first in a villain case, determined to bring justice to the Incident That Shall Not Be Named. Izuku didn’t blame him; he did everything he could to help, but gang cases are still labor intensive and emotionally draining.

Shouto sleeps better with the case under wraps – but Izuku knows with one closed, another will open. At least they’re not alone.

Shouto wipes his forehead with his towel and breathes out steam. He’s so damn hot in his black sweatpants and his stupid Deku t-shirt.

Izuku elbows him playfully.

“Need a break?”

“No.”

“We can stop – I feel a bit tired too.”

“Shut up, you’re wearing ankle weights. Don’t tell me how heavy they are, you’ll hurt my pride.”

Izuku laughs, and waves at a passing sidekick on the track. He turns to Shouto when the hero is out of earshot.

“Are we still meeting Eijirou and Kacchan for dinner?”

“Eijirou got called in,” Shouto explains, and man, if Izuku could just lick the sweat off Shouto’s neck, he’d die happy. “It’s just Katsuki.”

“He’s still down?”

“Yeah. Said ‘it’s no fuckin’ use sittin’ home alone’.”

“Haha – hey! That’s a pretty good impression.”

 “Thank you. I listen to him shout enough in my ear as is.”

“I think it’s hilarious that you guys keep getting called out together,” Izuku says. “Kind of jealous, but still funny.”

“I’d rather it be you any day,” Shouto sighs, slowing down to a walk.

“Hey, Kacchan is right on your heels. He’s a good hero.”

Yes, but he doesn’t have your bubble butt.”

“Stop that,” Izuku laughs, swatting his arm, and Shouto snorts. He checks his watch.

“We should probably head out by eight.”

“I’ll just need to shower real quick,” Izuku says, tugging on his collar. Shouto rests a hand on his lower back, and Izuku cringes because he knows he’s sweaty as hell, but Shouto doesn’t seem to mind.

“Let’s go back to my place. Then I can at least eat you out in the shower.”

“Shouto!”

“What?”

“There are children here.”

Shouto rolls his eyes and prods him towards the door.

“Oh sorry. Then we can shower a bible’s length apart and sing I’m a Child of God.”

“It’s so unfair, nobody believes me when I tell them you’re mouthy,” Izuku pouts.

“It’s not like I hide it,” Shouto says. “And whatever, so are you.”

“Touché.”

 

Steam rolls heavy from the shower. Shouto fusses about in the bedroom, pulling out drawers and chucking his shirt in the laundry. Izuku breathes in and out, and studies himself in the mirror.

The scar on his shoulder looks like its fading. Izuku thought it was deeper, but he’s a little relieved. There’s recent bruising along his arm, and it aches more from his workout. Izuku lets out a sigh.

“You okay?”

Izuku looks to the doorway. Shouto folds his arms over his broad chest and raises an eyebrow, and Izuku nods.

“Yeah.”

“Turn around, let me see your back.”

Izuku does, and Shouto fingers along his recent stitches.

“Hm. It looks like these can be taken out soon.”

“Thank goodness, they itch like hell.”

Shouto’s fingers drag down his spine. Izuku holds his breath, feeling goosebumps break out on his arms.

“I don’t like that you’re working out with stitches in your back.”

“I know, but my muscles ache more when I don’t use them.”

Shouto’s voice drops deep, almost inaudible behind the hiss of the shower. Feather light, he traces one of his scars.

“You made me so mad, Izuku.”

“I know, I’m sorry.” He bites his lip, “It was just road burn?”

Shouto sighs, and Izuku swallows as lips press to the back of his neck. Izuku relaxes back into him – and then jolts upright when Shouto slaps his ass.

“Alright gorgeous, take these off.”

“D-Don’t call me that,” Izuku flushes, pulling down his gym shorts.

“I can’t tell lies,” Shouto says. “Sorry, pro-hero code.”

“That’s definitely not a thing, would know about it.”

“Then you better study up,” Shouto flirts, and kisses him into the shower. Izuku lets him pin his wrists to the wall – lets him trace all his teeth with his tongue – sinks back into the warm spray of the shower and soaks in Shouto like a sponge.

Wet red and white hair in his hands, smooth skin and strong muscles – Izuku is growing dangerously addicted to the way Shouto’s hands dig into his waist, grip his thighs and squeeze at his jaw and he doesn’t care. Izuku just doesn’t care.

 

“Oh come on,” Katsuki rolls his eyes the moment he sees them. “Can you guys at least pretend you didn’t fuck before picking me up?”

“Kacchan,” Izuku blinks. “Your neck is covered in hickeys.”

“Yeah, and?!”

 

 


 

 

 The apartment is warm with the morning sun. Izuku fees especially stubborn today.  

“Please,” Shouto sighs. “Please just read it. I’ll get on my knees if I have to.”

“Shouto,” Izuku whines, head hidden in his arms. “You know I can’t read that kind of stuff.”

“But we did it together, remember?” Shouto gently sets the magazine face down on the coffee table. “I hate the publicity as much as you do but – everyone’s talking about it. You should find out why.”

“I have to mute the T.V. on my own commercials,” Izuku pouts. Shouto reaches over the back of the couch and tips his head, forcing Izuku to look at him upside down.

“I’m late – but just skim it. Please? For me?”

“Tempting, but I don’t know if your sexy face is enough to smother my crippling awkwardness.”

“I will fight you.”

“Go ahead,” Izuku prods, and Shouto dips down to kiss him.

“Look at it. Or I’ll call Ochaco and she will read it to you hooked on phonics style.”

“Oh god, please don’t.”

“I love you,” Shouto mumbles, pecking his mouth again and standing back up. “I’ll meet you at the gym tonight.”

“Sounds good,” Izuku says. He watches Shouto step out the door and calls, “I’m not reading it!”

“Whatever you say.”

The door clicks, and Izuku swallows. Nope, not happening.

 

He locks himself in his office and types up the last three reports he’s behind on. He does the dishes, sorts his laundry, and even vacuums, like, wow.

 

The magazine haunts him on the coffee table.

 

Dammit.

 

Izuku sits down on the couch and stares at it. He swallows. Shouto wouldn’t beg him to read it for no reason, right? He wouldn’t let Izuku read bad things…right? Right.

Izuku slowly flips the cover over, and he bites his lip at the photo.

They’re both in suits; Shouto adjusting his tie, and Izuku fumbling with his watch, and they’re looking at each other instead of the camera – and Izuku’s breath gushes out of his chest.

Shouto is stunning; hair slicked back, shoulders broad, chiseled jaw and all – but Izuku is shocked to see that they…they look good together. Izuku isn’t totally horrified by his own photo. His freckles stand out on his nose, and his eyes match the green highlights in his hair.

There’s a text box on the side:

Number Two Hero gives exclusive inside look to his love life: PGs 7-10

Izuku chokes, fumbling through the pages until he finds another color spread. It’s Izuku laughing, Shouto grabbing him by the cheeks and peering down at him with humor in his eyes. Izuku already feels emotional. The interview is written in small print.

GQ: It’s not often the top two heroes start dating. Have you been surprised by the public’s infatuation with your relationship?

TS: No. Pro-Heroes work in the public eye. I don’t think of myself as a celebrity, but I think the experience is similar.

GQ: I’d say so! What’s it like to land 20XX’s Most Eligible Bachelor?

 

Izuku blanches, almost dropping the magazine. Most what?

 

TS: (Smiles) Like winning the lottery.

GQ: Deku is hard to pin for interviews. People love his nervous charm. What is he like behind closed doors?

TS: Genuine, adorable, sexy. He makes me laugh.

GQ: Friends to lovers, correct?

TS: Yes.

GQ: Is it strange to date your best friend?

TS: No. He’s my favorite person in the world.

 

Izuku places a hand over his mouth, feeling his throat burn. He skims the rest, eyes wavering.

 

GQ: That’s so sweet. Are your feelings recent, or has it been a long time coming?

TS: (Snorts). Oh – sorry. I just - I’ve never fallen in love with anyone else.

GQ: Japan is swooning!

TS: Really? It’s just the truth.

GQ: You two are a force to be reckoned with. What do you think of those who say you shouldn’t date other Pro-Heroes in leu of being emotionally compromised?

TS: My feelings make me stronger. That’s a lesson that Deku taught me. Both as a teenager, and recently.

GQ: Do you still want to be Number One?

TS: I always want to get stronger. But Deku is the Symbol of Hope, and I couldn’t take that away from him if I tried.

GQ: Well spoken as always, Todoroki. We look forward to your upcoming victories.

TS: Thank you.

 

Izuku fumbles for his phone, almost dropping it off the side of the couch as it flips around in his hands. His thumbs are clumsy as he unlocks his phone, missing twice and frustratingly punching in his passcode manually.

His shift starts in two hours. Shouto’s doesn’t end for another four. Izuku’s heart is beating so fast, he can hear it thumping in his ears.

Izuku dials the number he knows by heart, cradling the phone against his ear and chewing into his bottom lip. His eyes burn, and his throat feels tight. That torch burns, burns and crackles bright and hot in his chest.

It only rings once –

“Izuku?

 “Come home,” Izuku hiccups, still lighthearted as he sniffles a laugh. “I love you, Shouto. Come home.”

 

There’s no hesitation.

 

“I’m on my way.”