Midoriya Izuku was going to die.
Ok maybe that was a slight over exaggeration, but there were days where it certainly didn’t feel like one. While he didn’t quite remember how he got himself into this little predicament, he was fully aware of the nose pressing into his neck, and the arm tightly wound around his torso. No matter how many times it happened, it never failed to amaze him that the body that was currently snoozing on top of him in the middle of the common room belong to none other than his crush, Todoroki Shouto. Yes, Izuku decided. He was definitely going to die.
But what a way to go.
This level of intimacy had become so familiar between the two of them that when Shouto had walked up to Izuku on the couch and stopped only to nervously fiddle with his hands, the green-haired boy had known exactly what his friend wanted. So he simply set aside the book he had been reading, and opened his arms.
Looking back on it, Izuku supposed it started off small. As Shouto grew more comfortable with him, they shared more casual touches. A slight grazing of hands, a soft brush of shoulders. Gradually, they grew to share more purposeful contacts. Grabbing the other’s hand to lead him somewhere, fixing the part in Shouto’s hair when the red and white became too tangled. Until it started becoming more affectionate. Hugs that lasted just a little bit longer than was socially acceptable. Being completely intertwined during movie nights. Sharing a bed with each other after one of them woke up in a cold sweat because of a nightmare.
Izuku wasn’t an idiot. He knows that they do things in their relationship that aren’t platonic. He knows that the way Shouto’s heart races when he puts his head on his chest isn’t a normal rate for when you’re just hanging out with your best friend. Izuku craves the small secretive glances, the rare quirk of lips that can hardly be considered a smile, but is so completely unique to Shouto that Izuku can’t really bring himself to care.
Neither has ever specifically said anything about their arrangement of course. They aren’t “officially” anything other than really close friends, leaving a lot about their relationship unspoken. This fact both frustrates the freckled boy, and fills him with a sense of relief. Of course there’s a part of him that wants to take that next step, hangout with Shouto in a way that’s not platonic, take him out of casual dates that show the taller boy just how much he means to Izuku. But there’s another part of him that is absolutely terrified. He’s not entirely sure Shouto recognizes their relationship as anything other than normal. What if Izuku says something and everything completely goes wrong? What if they are never comfortable around each other again? What if Izuku loses the best friend he’s ever had? What if he-
His downward spiral into these thoughts was abruptly cut off when he feels the person in his arms shift and let out a soft grunt. Instantaneously his thoughts were pulled back to the boy in front of him. He couldn’t help the small smile that graced his face at the sight.
“Well good morning Shouto. Did you have a good nap?” Izuku was granted another grunt in response.
Laughing, he shifted, adjusting the position the two were in, earning him a sound of protest from Shouto. “You know you could have taken a nap in your room right?”
“Yes, but you’re warmer. My room is cold.”
“Your quirk literally allows you to adjust your body temperature.”
The boy in his arms mumbled something about ignoring details, making the green haired boy let out another soft laugh. The room fell completely still, the only movement being a scarred hand running through red and white strands. It never failed to amaze him at how soft Shouto could be. Izuku cherished moments like this when they could just enjoy each other's presence and simply be. Of course these moments never last too long.
“GET BACK HERE SHITTY HAIR.”
Large thuds resounded throughout the common room as Kirishima literally threw himself down the stairs and out the door, followed in quick succession by large explosions coming from none other than a livid Bakugo Katsuki. Mina, Sero, and Kaminari soon followed, cackling so hard they could barely go down the stairs.
Such an unexpected cacophony of sound after such a peaceful silence startled the two boys on the couch. The green haired boy suddenly found himself cold as the person who was in his arms accidentally threw himself to the ground. Looking like a disgruntled cat, Shouto slowly pushed himself up from the ground and stood with as much dignity as someone who literally just fell off a couch could have.
“I’m going to go upstairs and, uh, change,” Shouto muttered. His head was hanging, but Izuku could still see the light blush that painted his face. Biting the inside of his cheek in a poor attempt to control the snicker bubbling up his throat, he felt gave Shouto a mischievous grin.
“Okay, just try not to fall again, alright?” The glare he received had no heat to it, and he couldn’t hold it in anymore.
His laughter followed the bicolor haired boy out of the common room.
Movie nights were Shouto’s favorite, not that he’d ever admit that to anyone. Sitting around a small tv while being pressed against the rest of his class should make him uncomfortable, and maybe it would have before he came to UA. However, wearing pajamas with his friends and doing something meaningless that had nothing to do with becoming a hero was something he never imagined he would be able to do.
It was everything he ever wanted.
Most nights, Shouto wasn’t even sure what they were watching, but he enjoyed the atmosphere nonetheless. On this particular night, as Kaminari put on some movie Shouto had already forgotten the name of, a certain green-haired friend of his frantically burst into the common room, face flushed, hair everywhere, All Might onesie rumbled. It was incredibly endearing, and he could already feel his heart start to beat just a tiny bit faster. In typical Izuku fashion, he promptly began to mumble .
“I’m so sorry!! Oh my gosh, I completely lost track of time, and by the time I noticed I was already late and I still had to-”
“Deku, if you don’t shut the fuck up and sit down, I swear to god I’ll kill you.”
With a squeak, Izuku shuffled further into the room filled with his friends, noticing that there wasn’t really anywhere to sit. Shouto, noticing his predicament, beckoned his friend over. He ignored the way his friend’s face seemed to light up at seeing his offer, pretended like Izuku did not almost run across the common room to get to him. Afterall, there was no way someone as amazing as Izuku would ever be that ecstatic to see him of all people. Before he could fully process his friend being so close to him, Izuku had sat down between his legs and leaned back to the point where his back was completely pressed against Shouto’s chest.
...okay, so MAYBE Shouto had other reasons for liking movie night as well.
“Thanks Shouto, I don’t know what I would have done without you.”
“It’s really not a problem.” God that was an understatement. This was the opposite of a problem. In this position, he could easily rest his chin on the shorter boy’s shoulder and pull him flush against him. His heart roared and he had to stomp down on his lips efforts to claw their way into a smile. Apparently Shouto had a “crush” on his freckled friend, which was an odd concept, but was one he could not deny once all the facts were laid out for him (“Shouto, I know you’re not stupid. Please just think about it ok?” Momo had snapped at him when she finally had enough of his pining bullshit). He knew it was wrong to look at Izuku like that, knew all he would ever bring to his friend was pain, but Shouto couldn’t help himself.
There were nights where he dreamed about being something more with the other boy, but he always woke up full of guilt afterwards. He was horrible friend for allowing himself to get so close to Izuku. He had no clue why the other boy was ok with the intimacy their relationship had, but he wasn’t going to question it. He would gladly accept this closeness while it lasted like the greedy person he was. He realized that one day his friend would leave him, and he would be okay with it if that’s what would make Izuku happy. That doesn’t mean that he liked to think about it.
Sitting at this angle, it was hard to see all of Izuku’s face, but he did get a glorious view of his profile. As the movie progressed, the boy in his lap made a variety of expressions, completely encaptured by the pictures on the screen. It was fascinating. The longer the movie went on, the Izuku seemed to be nodding off, until he eventually fell asleep snuggled in his arms. Shouto went still, barely even daring to breathe. He was so engrossed in the moment that he barely noticed the movement around him until someone lightly touched his arm. Moving slowly, so as not to disturb his friend he glanced to his side and saw Momo standing there, looking slightly concerned.
“Are you okay, Shouto?” She questioned softly. He gave her a non-committal hum in return. She bit her lip, a slightly conflicted expression resting on her features. Glancing between the two, she opened her mouth, thought better of it, closed it, and began to turn away before she stopped and faced him again. “Why don’t you just ask him out?” It was hesitant, so gentle Shouto wondered if he heard anything at all.
Giving her a sad upturn of his lips, Shouto turned back to the boy still fast asleep in his arms. The pause was so pregnant Momo wondered if that was the only reponse she was going to get.
“Because I want him to be happy, Momo.”
Momo looked like she wanted to argue but wasn’t sure how, so she just walked away.
It was driving Izuku crazy. The overwhelming need to tell Shouto his feelings waged war with the crushing fear of rejection constantly within his mind. He wanted the boy to know how special he was to Izuku, but was petrified by the thought of it overwhelming his, admitabbly, socially awkward friend. He had no clue what to do, so Izuku did what he does best. He completely overanalyzed the situation. He spent hours working out plans to finally ask him out, the pros and cons of doing so; even going as far as to draw out multiple outcomes to get a better visual of his heart breaking. Needless to say, he was a mess.
After weeks of agonizing over what to do, Izuku finally came to a conclusion. He just hoped it was the right one.
Shouto didn’t expect anything special when Izuku invited him over to study; afterall, they studied with each other almost everyday, so there was nothing to indicate that this was any different. That is, until Izuku opened the door. As soon as he laid his eyes on Izuku, alarms went off in Shouto’s head. His face was so red that his freckles were hardly visible. His eyes roamed every inch of the room that didn’t have Shouto in it while his hands seemed to be trying to tear microscopic tears into the hem of his shirt. The sight made him apprehensive.
You’ve upset him. You did something wrong and now you’re going to lose the person you care about most in the world.
Vehemently shaking his head as if to physically free himself of the horrible thoughts, Shouto took a cautious step into the room and tried to get rid of the growing urge to sprint out of the room.
“Is everything ok, Izuku? Are you feeling alright?” The questions seemed to startle Izuku out of whatever stupor he’d been in before. Letting out the most uncomfortable laugh Shouto had ever heard, the other boy anxiously rubbed the back of his neck.
“Y-yeah. Why, um, why d-do you think something is wrong, S-shouto?”
“Izuku,” Shouto deadpanned, right eyebrow raised slightly in question.
The other boy just let out a defeated sigh. “Just- um,” frustrated he covered his burning face with his hands. “Just sit down for a second, ok? I need to talk to you about something important.” Oh god, I fucked up. I don’t even know what I did, but I’ve gone and ruined everyt- “It’s nothing bad I promise!” The freckled boy exclaimed, frantically waving his arms in the space between the two of them.
“Ok,” he skeptically responded, going and obediently sitting on the bed.
Izuku followed after him. Taking a deep breath as if hyping himself up, the boy began. “Shouto, you know what you mean to me, right?”
“...yes? We’re best friends.” The red and white hero paused for a second, suddenly finding the ground intriguing. “Aren’t we?” God, that sounded pathetically desperate, even to his own ears.
“No! Wait- I mean! Uh, yes? Jeez, this is so much harder than I thought it would be…”
Shouto’s stomach rolled, the intense urge to throw up hitting him like a brick wall. This was it. His best friend was about to tell him to get out of his life. He knew it was inevitable, but that didn’t make it hurt any less. “It’s okay, Izuku. If I’m making you uncomfortable, I can leave.”
Izuku scrunched his eyebrows. “What? No! That’s not what I’m saying at all! I just- I wanted to- Ugh!” The boy was shaking he was so frustrated. It was actually kind of frightening. Shouto had no idea what was happening, or how to calm down his friend, or even if he should. All he could do was sit and watch while the boy across from him attempted to compose himself.
He saw the exact moment the other boy figured out what he wanted to say. He took in a deep breath and squared his shoulders. Jaw set, green eyes opened, and Shouto saw the same glint in them he saw right before their match in the first sports tournament. He just hoped no bones were about to be broken.
“I’m in love with you.” Everything seemed to stop. The absolute conviction in his voice was intimidating, but Shouto didn’t focus on that, couldn’t when those words really just came out of Izuku’s mouth. “I know that this might be selfish of me, but I want to take you out on dates, and-and hold your hand in a way that’s not platonic. If you don’t feel the same way that’s okay too. We can do whatever you want. If you feel the same way that’s great! But if you want to keep our friendship the way it is, that's fine too! Even if-” Suddenly the boy paused, wide green eyes looking away from Shouto’s for the first time since he started coherently piecing his thoughts together. “Even if you want nothing to do with me now, I can do that too. I just wanted you to know how I feel.”
Any ounce of confidence Izuku had started with was completely gone by the end of his little speech. His voice wilted and became so quiet, the boy across from him had to strain to actually hear what he said. Shouto felt as divided as the left and right sides of his hair.
He thinks you want nothing to do this him?
Doesn’t he know how horrible you really are?
He loves you too.
You’re not allowed to want this Shouto.
He wants you in the way you want him.
All you’re going to do is hurt him.
He said he loves you.
You could never make him happy.
He knew he was shutting down. He could feel himself building up all of those old walls that were his only protection for so long. What are you doing?!? Don’t shut him out or else you’ll ruin everything! But as much as he hated it, Shouto didn’t know anything else. He was fully aware how detrimental a mistake this could be, but he didn’t know what else to do. Izuku’s face fell, and he almost looked like he had been punched in the stomach.
Shouto had never hated himself more.
“I’m sorry, this was-” his voice cracked, and with it, Shouto’s heart. “This was a terrible idea. I’m sorry, don’t worry, I promise I’ll stay away from you.”
“ No. ” Shouto had to fix this. He couldn’t lose Izuku because he was a fucking coward. “I… I just… can’t…I can’t...” Was he stuttering ? What the hell was happening to him?
“Shouto, it’s ok, you don’t have to pretend that-”
“You don’t understand!” He exploded, only to snap his jaw shut right after. His chest felt tight and he wasn’t a hundred percent sure he was still breathing. Why couldn’t he just articulate his feeling like a normal person for once in his life?
“Don’t understand what?” Izuku looked more upset than he had in years, tears silently streaming down freckled cheeks. When the other boy stayed silent he continued, desperation clear in his voice. “Please Shouto. Help me understand! I don’t know what you want… I don’t know what to do.”
A scarred right hand gently rose to the left side of his face, thumb stroking right under his scar, wiping away a tear he didn’t even realize he was capable of crying.
That one word managed to break the dam holding everything back. Desperately, his left hand shot up to grab the hand resting on his face. He recognized the fact that he was shaking, but he couldn’t quite bring himself to care. He needed Izuku’s pain to go away.
“I am so scared, Izuku.” Grey and blue hesitantly rose to meet green. Taking a shaky breath he forced himself to continue. “I’ve never wanted… never been allowed to want something like this.” His grip tightened around the scarred hand. “But I can’t help it, and I feel so divided because I feel so much guilt because I’m so selfish and I know that I shouldn’t want this and I’m terrified that I’ll hurt you.. but I let myself pretend that it’s ok, and I don’t know what to do.” For a minute, both boys just stared.
“Shouto…” Izuku began cautiously, “do you want to be more than friends?”
“That’s not what I asked Shouto. Do you?”
The red and white haired boy hesitated, but he looked into those deep green eyes, looking so exposed and vulnerable. He couldn’t say no to Izuku, had never been able to really. “Yes.”
“Then that’s all that matters, Shouto.”
Already, Shouto was trying to disagree. “I could hurt you, and I would never forgive myself. We can’t…”
“Shouto, I know you would never hurt me. If you truly don’t want a relationship that’s fine, but please don’t ignore your feelings just because you think you’re protecting me from yourself.”
Was it really okay? Could he really want this? If Izuku wanted this, and felt so strongly about it, could it really be a bad thing?
He hesitated, but ultimately pulled the shorter boy into his arms. “If I’m being honest with myself, I...I want those things too, Izuku.”
“You… You do?! You’re sure?”
“Yes. I still don’t fully understand why you feel the way you do, but if you’re willing to try this new relationship, I am too.”
The green haired boy wrapped his arms around Shouto and squeezed him tightly in return. “Shou… you are the most kind-hearted and loyal person I’ve ever met in my life. When I’m with you, I know I can completely be myself because you never ask for anything else. You never judge me when I cry, and you’ve literally let me ramble for hours about nothing where most people cut me off after just a few minutes. I am so glad we get to work together the way we do because I trust no one with my life more. How could I not feel this way?”
Shouto’s throat felt tight, and his eyes burned. “Yeah?”
Shouto pulled back enough from their hug to see the other’s face. There were still tears, and his eyes were red and a little puffy, but otherwise his face was pulled into the brightest smile Shouto had ever seen before in his life. He couldn’t fathom how Izuku was that happy because of him. It made him want to tell Izuku everything about his own feelings, but he was still unsure of how to properly express them, so he settled for gently wiping the tears off of his freckles.
“Can I kiss you?” The smiling boy asked. For a second, Shouto froze, but looking into green eyes made him relax. This was okay. He could want this. After recieving a shy nod, Izuku leaned in. When the green haired boy smiled into the kiss, Shouto was confident that there was nothing better in the world than feeling that smile against his lips. When they pulled apart, both boys kept thir eyes closed, savoring the moment.
“I love you too."