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Softly Softly

Chapter Text

“Welcome to the best class!”

Kirishima slapped the new guy on the back. Nishimura yelped in surprise; he had just been sitting at his desk reading and waiting for class to start—not expecting to be accosted by a tall redhead.

“Oh sorry, was that too much?” Kirishima rubbed the new guy’s back in what he hoped was a soothing way.

Nishimura grinned, “It’s okay, you’re Kirishima right? I remember you from the Sports Festival.”

“Yep!” Kirishima scratched the back of his head bashfully. “Although I’m not sure I made the best impression at the Festival.”

“I thought you were great.” Nishimura said. “You made it all the way to the top 8!”

Midoriya walked in to class and went to sit behind Nishimura. He did a double take. “Hey, you’re here!”

Nishimura laughed, “Busted!”

“Congratulations on making it into the Hero Course!”

“Thanks Deku! Talking to you was a big help.”

“Ah, you know each other?” Kirishima asked.

“Yeah we met at the Sports Festival. Talked about what it meant to be a hero.” Nishimura said.

Kirishima screwed his eyes shut and tried to remember details from that day. It had been so packed full and intense. “Right. Were you in the Calvary Battle?”

“Yeah, and our team passed, but then I forfeited cause Shinso decided to be a dingus.”

“Yeah not cool to use your Quirk on your team mates without asking.”

“I don’t know,” Midoriya added. “He seemed like he could be a good leader.”

Nishimura waved it off. “Yeah, no Shinso as a person is alright. He just pulled a real jerk move brainwashing us.”

Kirishima nodded, “Consent is like a basic Quirk Ethics thing. And a basic human thing.”

Nishimura smiled. He had a feeling he was going to like Kirishima. “I’m Nishimura Yuki by the way.”

“Kirishima Eijiro.” Kirishima nodded his head with a friendly grin. “Nice to officially meet you!”

Midoriya put his things down on his desk and said, “Oh right, I’m Midoriya Izuku.”

“Wait, I thought your name was Deku!” Nishimura flapped his hands. “That’s what Bakugo called you.”

“No it’s okay, I don’t mind it as a nickname.” Midoriya reassured him.

Kirishima leaned over on Nishimura’s desk, his elbows on the desk and his face in his hands. He rocked back and forth on his heels while he rambled, “We should do something to welcome you to the team. Like go out to karaoke or something. Maybe I’ll talk to Iida.”

Nishimura smiled obligingly. He didn’t really like the idea of being the center of attention in a group of nineteen strangers.

Midoriya looked over at Iida’s empty seat. He hadn’t seen him since the Sports Festival. The news about his brother being attacked had been cycling through the news all weekend.

“Is Iida related to the hero Ingenium?”

Midoriya turned back around. “How did you know?”

Nishimura shrugged, “They look a lot alike.”

“He’s his brother.”

“No way!” Kirishima froze. “I didn’t know that. Man, that’s awful what happened to him.”

“Yeah I wonder how Iida is doing.”

They had all seen the story. Just days ago in Hosu City, the infamous Hero Killer Stain had nearly murdered Iida’s brother Ingenium. They thought about where Stain was now and whether he would be caught before he struck again.

Their classmates started arriving in droves.

“I should go sit, but let’s hang out at lunch later okay?” Kirishima said to Nishimura, weaving his way to his seat.

Nishimura sat up a bit straighter in his seat. He was really nervous about today—joining a new class and being the odd one out. But he had already made a couple could-be friends. He could get through this.

Chapter Text

“Where did you get that?”

Nishimura jolted. He was coloring in his sketch with watercolors, sitting outside UA High on a mild Spring day.

“Sorry. I startled you.” Todoroki shuffled his book bag.

“No that’s okay, um what did you say?”

“Your art supplies. Where did you get them?”

Nishimura picked up the watercolor set, “Oh yeah, I got them from my aunt’s shop. She has an art store, not too far from here actually. She sells all kinds of supplies and hosts classes and stuff.”

“Where is it?”

“You know the next westbound station after UA? There’s like a dog park and supermarket? It’s right around the corner from the market.”

“Cool.”

Todoroki stood there. Nishimura didn’t know what to say. This was the longest conversation they had had together since he had transferred into Class 1A.

Nishimura should ask him something about art. Or talk about the weather. Anything to keep the conversation going.

“Do you ... do art?” Nishimura regretted his words immediately. What an obvious question.

“No, not really. I want to get something for my mom though. She used to paint, I think.”

“That’s a great idea!”

“Yes, I hope so. Well I should let you get back to your project.” Todoroki gave a small wave and walked away.

“That was random.” Nishimura said to himself. He picked up his paints again and smiled. Todoroki had a very gentle way about him.


An Interesting Customer

“Todoroki? What are you doing here?”

“Buying a present for my mom.”

"Oh right." Nishimura resisted the urge to smack himself in the face. Or jump back in time just a few minutes and rewrite his social awkwardness.

He was carrying things out from the back room of his aunt’s shop. Todoroki was browsing watercolor paint sets. Nishimura wasn’t expecting him, and his brain had frozen for a minute.

“Do you need a hand?” Todoroki made as if to take the box from Nishimura’s hands.

“No that’s okay.” The sketchbooks inside were heavy, but Nishimura had ‘a thing’ about being able to carry boxes himself. “Let me just put this down and I can help you.”

Todoroki was inconveniently standing in his way, so he had to squeeze around him, carefully so as to not disturb the bookshelves. Nishimura set the box down and wiped his hands on his smock.

“Were you painting?” Todoroki pointed at Nishimura’s smock.

Nishimura smoothed out the smock, speckled with paint and glitter. “No it was my aunt’s idea. Kind of like an artsy-chic uniform.”

“Is that your aunt?” Todoroki pointed out an older woman who was wearing an even more colorful smock and talking animatedly with another customer.

“Um yeah, that’s one of her favorite customers.” Nishimura whispered. “They can talk about the accelerated perspective of an authentic concept piece for an hour.”

Todoroki looked confused. “What’s that?”

“Heck if I know.” Nishimura grinned. “So what are you looking for?”

“I’m not sure,” Todoroki looked around the shop like he had been transported there from the Meiji period, and hadn’t quite figured out what all these futuristic tools were for.

“Well, your mom likes to paint? Do you know if she uses water color, ink, oils...?”

“It’s been a long time. We didn’t talk for eight years, so I don’t really know what she would want.” Todoroki shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot.

“Yeah I get that, I haven’t talked to my mother for years. Family is complicated.” Nishimura touched his shoulder lightly. “I think it’s cool that you’re making an effort, thinking of her.”

“Thanks. You’re very wise.”

Nishimura blushed and chuckled. “Um, I guess it’s a job requirement. Art is serious business.”

Nishimura brushed his hands on his smock and said, “So, I think I have an idea for your mom. You could get a small, ready to go set. Instead of buying a whole lot of fancy paint she might not need.”

“That would be good, her room is small anyway.”

“We have these kits that come with the brushes, paints, and a little canvas, but I wouldn’t recommend them for an experienced painter.” Nishimura guided him through the store. “These sets of watercolours and inks are good quality, and then you can buy a sketchbook separately.” He pointed out large box sets. “Or if you want a bigger version, those ones are very high quality with a spectrum of colors and brushes. But it’s a bit more of an investment.”

Todoroki picked up a small, twelve-color set of watercolors in a neat metal tin. “Are these good?”

“Yes, that’s an excellent choice. Do you want to get a sketchbook?”

Todoroki looked at the sketchbook section and paled. There had only been a few options for paint sets. There were dozens of sketchbooks, with different covers, sizes, and types of paper.

Nishimura hovered behind Todoroki as his neck spun in circles. He kept picking up one sketchbook, then a second, putting down the first, and picking up another. It was like watching the most anxious, cautious juggling act.

“Can I make a suggestion?”

“Yes. Please.” Todoroki said emphatically.

Nishimura picked out two versions of the same leather-cover sketchbook, one was just slightly bigger. Todoroki picked the larger one and followed Nishimura back to the front of the shop.

“And if your mom wants to get more into it, Oba-Hina can order in all different styles of these brands at a really good price. You can just let me know at school. Or you could come back here.”

Nishimura scooched around his aunt, who was still enraptured in a conversation with the same person. He rang up Todoroki’s purchases and hummed quietly.

Todoroki bowed formally. “Thank you very much. You were very helpful.”

Nishimura smiled, “I’m glad you found the right gift. I think it’s very sweet.”

Todoroki smiled, “See you tomorrow.”

“See you!” Nishimura waved goodbye.

As soon as the door swung closed behind Todoroki with a jingle, Nishimura’s aunt spun around to gush, “Who was that upstanding young artiste?”

The customer she was chatting with, whose art handle was Mona Nona, also seemed overly enthusiastic about Todoroki. She said, “He had a very organic depth about him.”

Nishimura felt his face go red. “He’s just a classmate!”

Mona Nona clapped her hands, “Classmates with dark family histories make for great muses!”

“Oh my sweet summer’s child, growing up so fast!” Oba-Hina fanned herself dramatically. “Ready to take on a muse!”

Nishimura gulped. “I’m going to put away the sketchbooks.”

The last thing he needed right now was another complication.


A Business Proposal

“I have a big favor to ask of you. Do you have a minute?”

Nishimura was looming nervously over Todoroki’s desk after class. Todoroki looked up from his writing.

“Sure, are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m physically okay...” Nishimura took a deep breath. He just had to swallow his pride. “But not okay in English. I, uh, basically failed the last paper. Present Mic is letting me re-do it. And I noticed you did really well, so would you tutor me?”

Nishimura awkwardly drummed his hands on Todoroki’s desk.

“Oh that’s it? Sure. I’m free now, let’s go to the library.”  Todoroki started packing up his books.

“Wow, really!” Nishimura couldn’t believe his luck. “Thanks so much!”

They packed up and left class, as Kirishima gave Nishimura a big thumbs up.

As they walked to the library, Nishimura couldn’t stop gushing about how great Todoroki was for helping him. “—and also like no pressure, like if you need to do something else. Hopefully it’ll only take a few days to rewrite the paper, but if you don’t have to—”

“Nishimura.” Todoroki interrupted him. “You’re rambling. Midoriya is the only class-approved rambler.”

“Oh sorry.”

“It’s okay. And I really don’t mind tutoring you.” Todoroki smiled. “Mom really liked her present, by the way. She’s already put up some of her finished pictures. They really add color to her room.”

“Oh that’s great!” Nishimura beamed. Todoroki’s whole face lit up when he talked about his mom.

“This is the least I can do to thank you.” Todoroki opened the door for Nishimura like a gentleman.

Nishimura waved it off. “Well, it wasn’t a big deal, that’s just my job—”

“It meant a lot to me.”

They found an empty table by the windows. They started by going over Nishimura’s failed test. Todoroki read it calmly. Nishimura played with his pencil and tried not to focus on all the red marks he could see through the paper.

“Have you always had a hard time with English?”

Nishimura wasn’t expecting this question. “Uhhh... Yeah, I guess so. We didn’t start English at my school until later, and it wasn’t anywhere close to the level here at UA.”

Todoroki nodded and seemed to want him to continue.

“And I guess writing papers in general is difficult for me. Honestly my Literature marks aren’t great either. Usually I can keep up a bit better, but I had a lot of extra work to do when I transferred from the General to the Hero Course.”

“I noticed you did well on our math test.”

“Oh yeah, well math has always come easy. Angles, equations, physics. All that stuff. But unfortunately, I can’t barter with my grades from different classes.”

“I have a proposal.” Todoroki laid his hands flat on the table. Nishimura felt like he was in a business meeting. “I can help you re-write this paper and tutor you for the next month in languages. And, if you agree to it, you can tutor me in mathematics.”

“But, you’re great in math!”

“I have some trouble with the new unit.” Todoroki shrugged. “Besides, I find it helps to study with someone.”

“That makes sense.”

“What do you say?”

Nishimura grinned. “You’ve got a deal.”

Chapter Text

“Do you know how to use this thing?”

“Sure! You’ve never done this before?”

“I haven’t spent a lot of time in boats.”

“You get in first then. Watch your step.”

Todoroki climbed into the rowboat, gripping the edge of the dock tightly. As he stepped forward, the boat lurched under him.

“Hold on to the frame!” Nishimura called to him. It had been Nishimura’s idea to go rowing together. He thought it would be a fun, relaxing break from just studying all the time.

It was a sunny and breezy day in the park. Lots of people were walking around with their families or rowing across the lake.

“Watch out for the thwart.”

“What’s the th—” Todoroki lost his balance and smashed his shin on the wooden seat.

“Ouch,” Nishimura grimaced. “That was it. Are you okay?”

Todoroki lowered himself to sit and tried not to swear. “Fine. Let’s go.”

“Alright, sit tight.”

Nishimura untied the boat from the dock. He jumped in the back and pushed away from shore in one movement. He picked up the oars and starting rowing them out.

“I can do that.”

“It’s okay, I’ve got it.”

“Alright, well, let me know when you want to switch off.” Todoroki watched his friend rowing, his arms moving in sync. “You’re really good at this.”

“Thanks!” Nishimura closed his eyes and breathed in the air. “I haven’t been out on the water since last summer. Our old house in Nagahama was close to a pretty big lake, and I had a friend who let us use his boat whenever we wanted. Mom and I had a special island no one really went to, we could have our own little picnic and swim off the rocks.”

“That sounds really peaceful.”

“Did you have like a special spot when you were a kid?”

Todoroki looked over the side of the boat at the waves lapping against the hull. “I remember a tree close to my house. I used to climb it and play imaginary games by myself in the branches. It had a stunning view of the whole estate.”

“Do you still go out there sometimes?”

“No, my father had it cut down when I was ten. He said it was a hazard, but I think in reality he didn’t approve of my playing around.”

“Oh,” Nishimura stopped rowing. “I’m sorry. I can’t believe your father would do that to you.”

“It’s okay.” Todoroki reached for the oars. “Do you want to switch?”

“Uh, sure, here put your hand a bit further.” Nishimura adjusted Todoroki’s hands on the oars. He guided him through the motion of rowing. “See, it’s all smooth circular motions. Try to keep your wrists steady and row from your shoulders.”

Todoroki followed along until he got the hang of it. He tried not to stare too intently at Nishimura—it was hard with his face so close and his hands brushing against his.

“Woo, looking great!” Nishimura encouraged him, settling back down in his seat. “I could sit here all day.”

They relaxed in the boat. They heard the repetitive sound of the oars dipping into the lake, the creak of the handles rubbing against the boat, the splash of water droplets.

Todoroki had a question. He had thought of a whole lot of ways to phrase it, but nothing seemed right. But it was so quiet, the words just poured out of him. “You don’t talk about your mother very much. You mentioned it’s been a few years since you’ve talked.”

“There’s not much to tell.” Nishimura slouched back against the hull. “I mean she left my mom and me when I was five, and after that we barely talked except on special occasions. So I never really got to know her.”

“Why did you stop talking?”

“We got into a big fight. She wanted... me to be something I’m not. I called her a terrible mother and said I never wanted to speak to her again. So yeah, pretty much all my fault.”

Todoroki saw how upset his friend was, and steered the conversation a different direction. “What about your mom? You seem close with her.”

Nishimura leaned back and smiled. “Yeah, she’s really great. She’s like a rock. I can talk to her about basically anything and even if it’s not perfect, she tries to understand and support me.”

“Did you talk to her yesterday?”

“Yes, she seemed upbeat. We talked about school mostly. I told her a little bit about our study sessions and the art things. She said, she hopes to meet you. She’s glad I’ve got someone to help me through my first year.”

Todoroki smiled, “It’s funny, my mom said the same thing.”

“No way!” Nishimura laughed.

“They have a lot in common, our moms. Maybe we should introduce them to each other.”

Nishimura laughed. “Todoroki, I don’t care what anybody says, you are funny.”

“Wait. What."


A Slow Climb To Friendship

“Hey check out this weird bug Bakugo!”

“What?”

“See it’s crawling on that leaf there?”

“I don’t see it.”

“You gotta get closer man. It’s like a fuzzy little caterpillar.”

“Wait, Ki—” Bakugo ran over to pull his friend away, but it was too late.

Kirishima screamed in agony after touching the small hairs on the caterpillar’s back. He jumped back and crashed into Bakugo. “Fuck me! It fucking stings!”

“Sit down you idiot!” Bakugo pushed his friend on the rocky ground and dug out his water bottle. “Give me your hand!”

Bakugo poured cold water over Kirishima’s stung hand.  He grabbed a leaf from a plant that was growing right under them and stuck it in his mouth.

“Fuck that hurt.” Kirishima wiped the tears out of the corners of his eyes on his shirt sleeve. The pain had felt like being electrocuted. His hand was still throbbing and starting to turn red.

Bakugo finished chewing up the leaf and spat it out into his own hand. He took the slimy green ball and stuck it on Kirishima’s swollen hand.

“Ew, Bakugo, I don’t—”

“Shut up and leave it on! This is an obako leaf. It helps draw out the chemicals and soothe the inflammation.”

“But did you really have to chew it up?” Kirishima mumbled, trying not to think about Bakugo’s spit coating his fingers.

“Does it hurt less?”

“...Yeah, actually. Whoa that’s super cool.”

Bakugo looked relieved for a second, and then he cycled back to angry. “What the hell were you doing, just touching random things?”

“It was just a little bug!”

“It was a denki mushi!”

“Oh. OH.” Kirishima vaguely remembered the warnings he’d heard as a kid about the infamous electric bug. The warnings were absolutely justified.

“Tch, damn city boy.” Bakugo stood up and looked around. “There’s a rock we could sit on over there. Take a break for your damn foolishness.”

“Sure, thanks man.” Kirishima smiled genuinely up at his friend.

Bakugo helped Kirishima over to the rock. They sat down, drank some water and ate some snacks. They had started their hike early in the morning, in the misty haze at the bottom of the mountain. Now the skies were clear and cicadas were screaming.

“You’re so comfortable out here.”

Bakugo was leaning back on the rock and ripping apart jerky between his teeth. “I guess so. I’ve just been doing this for years.”

“Did you go with your family?”

“No, my mom wouldn’t be caught dead out here. My dad would take me, mostly so he could take a million pictures along the way. Both ways! Even if we were going back the same way we came.”

“Why do you like it?”

Bakugo felt his usual prickliness rise up, answering personal questions like this. But he reminded himself it was just Kirishima. “I like getting to the top. I like it on a day like today, when the skies are clear and no other hikers are around being noisy. It feels empty.”

“Yeah,” Kirishima took a deep breath, feeling the cool air rush to fill his lungs. “It’s like looking up at the stars and realizing you’re such a tiny speck in the universe.”

“Speak for yourself,” Bakugo grinned back smugly. “I feel like a gddamn king when I reach the top of the mountain. The universe is tiny compared to me!”

Kirishima grinned back at his friend. “Same difference, man.”

Bakugo passed his bag of jerky to his friend. “Want some?”

“No thanks.”

“What? I thought you liked this stuff.”

Kirishima felt warm, realizing Bakugo had packed it just for him. “No I do, I just can’t stand that flavor. My ex girlfriend used to eat it all the time, and I just got sick of it.”

Bakugo chewed on his jerky by himself. “Okay, I’ve got a question.”

Kirishima stretched out on the rock, looking up at the pale blue sky. “What’s up?”

“You said before you were gay. But now you just said you had a girlfriend. So, what’s the truth?”

“Oh uh, I wasn’t lying. I’m pansexual.”

Bakugo frowned, “That’s like a kind of gay right?”

Kirishima scratched the back of his head, searching for the right words. “Kind of. I sometimes say I’m gay, or bi, but I think pansexual fits better. It means I like all genders.”

“So, you just want to fuck everybody?”

“No!” Kirishima recoiled. “That’s harsh man.”

“I didn’t mean to offend you.” Bakugo shuffled in his spot and tore up the jerky in his hands into tiny pieces. “Sorry.”

Kirishima couldn’t remember ever seeing his friend so willing to admit to his mistakes. It was super manly. “That’s okay. I just have heard some shitty comments before about being pan.”

“If anyone ever says anything to you, just punch them until they die!”

“That’s not—”

“Or tell me, and I’ll do it!”

Kirishima grinned, “Okay Bakugo.”

“Anytime.” Bakugo stretched down to lie beside his friend. “So, do you like date a girl and a guy at the same time?”

Kirishima laughed, “No, that’s like polyamory or something else. I can like more than one gender at a time, but I usually just date one person at a time.”

“So you’ve dated both?”

“I’ve dated a few girls and a couple guys. Nothing really serious. My longest relationship was like 6 weeks.”

Bakugo glanced over at him, noticing his damn shirt all askew slipping off his shoulder, his shitty hair sticking against the sweat on his forehead. He wasn’t so innocent. “Did you fuck them?”

Kirishima flushed bright red. “Uh I—"

“You don’t have to answer.”

“No it’s okay. I was just surprised. I have some experience. Mostly just like, uh, with hands and, uh, oral stuff.” Kirishima stared directly at the sky, avoiding Bakugo’s eyes.

“When you fuck a guy, are you the man or the woman?”

“Hey that’s not—” Kirishima clenched his fists. “We’re both men. It doesn’t matter if you’re a top or a bottom or whatever, it doesn’t change the fact that you’re still a man. And it’s pretty ignorant to say stuff like that.”

“Oh, I didn’t know.” Bakugo groaned. “Damn it. Why am I so fucking bad at this?”

“Didn’t they talk about this in your health class? Gender and sexuality stuff?”

“What? No, they did tell us how not to get a girl pregnant, pretty useless shit to do in school. I guess, the other guys in class talked about sex a lot, but not gay sex.”

“We were pretty lucky, our school had a contractor who did sex education for the whole district, and she was all about that LGBTQ+ positivity.”

“Yeah I’m real shit at posivity.” Bakugo scowled.

Kirishima could tell that Bakugo was trying. It was hard enough for him to ever talk about relationships or crushes or sex, not to mention throwing queerness in the mix. “I could send you some websites where you could learn about LGBTQ+ stuff, just to help fill in the blanks. If you want.”

Bakugo nodded. He still looked out of it.

Kirishima slapped his friend’s arm. “Hey! Maybe you could send me pictures of the denki mushi, so I know what to watch out for next time!”

Kirishima was smiling at him. He was so open—reckless even—with his caring. His friend was doing a better job supporting him than vice versa.

“Just don’t touch anything without asking me first!” Bakugo berated him, promising himself he was going to get better at this friendship thing.

Chapter Text

“How do you know if someone likes you?”

Kirishima was going in to punch Nishimura and lost his balance. He fell onto the mat face first.

“Ah Kiri!”

“I’m okay!” Kirishima sat up and rubbed his face. “Geez, you distracted me!”

Nishimura laughed. “How fast the mighty have fallen.”

They had been training at a small local dojo; they were working on hand to hand combat. Kirishima was at a distinct advantage, but Nishimura was uncannily quick at dodging.

Nishimura sat down next to his friend. “Can I talk to you?”

“Yeah I guess now that you’ve crushed me with your superior strength.” Kirishima grinned. “What’s up?”

“So... I like someone.”

“Ooooh!” Kirishima squealed. “Tell me more, tell me more.”

“Well, he’s really sweet,” Nishimura smiled. “And we’ve been spending a lot of time together recently. And at first I thought it was just casual, friendly hanging out. But lately, I don’t know. Like sometimes we’re hanging out and I ask myself, is this a date?”

“Have you talked to him about it?”

“No,” Nishimura sighed. “I don’t know how he feels. I don’t even know if he’s gay.”

“Ah yes, a classic queer dilemma.” Kirishima stroked his chin thoughtfully. “Bemoaned throughout the ages. No homo, or yes homo?”

Nishimura shoved him, “I’m being serious! I’m dying here!”

“Dying of the love bug?”

Nishimura jumped on Kirishima’s back. They wrestled playfully on the ground, with lots of kissy kissy sounds and stabs in the gut. Finally, they sprawled out side by side on the mat, breathing hard.

“Sounds like you got it bad man.” Kirishima nudged his friend.

“Ugh,” Nishimura groaned. “I just wish there was like a clear cut sign I could decipher to know for sure how he feels. I’m so confused! Sometimes he’ll smile and stare into my eyes and be listening to me so close and be so damn cute I just can’t take it!”

“Yeah he sounds like a jerk.” Kirishima joked.

"He wants to go out for dinner this weekend. Like, is that a date?!"

"I don't know man, is it gay to eat food in front of another guy? I mean, you're like opening and closing your mouth and swallowing."

Nishimura groaned and shook his head. “Okay okay, I just don't know! Kiri, have you ever been in this kind of situation?”

Kirishima paused thoughtfully. “Not really. I’ve never really had a big lead up to dating. It was just like, hey do you want to hang out? And then some making out and some sexy things, if you know what I mean.” Kirishima winked.

“You dated boys too right?”

“Yeah, there was one guy in middle school, but I already knew he was queer before I asked him out. And uh, that guy in second year, but he asked me out first.”

Nishimura stared at his friend. “I wish I was more like you. I can’t even imagine confessing my feelings.”

Kirishima squeezed his friend’s hand. “You’ll figure it out. And hey, if it goes badly, just like pop back in time, like it never happened.”

“Use my quirk for personal gain?!” Nishimura gasped. “Okay yeah I have thought about it. But I can’t just run away from my feelings forever.”

“You sure? What if you rode on Iida’s shoulders?”

They both laughed.

“For real though, I’m here if you ever want. I got you, bud.” Kirishima squeezed his hand.

“You're the best Kiri.”


Little by Little

“Isn’t this place a little too ... distinguished for us?”

“I heard this is what people think is romantic.”

“What?”

“Yeah, I mean personally I enjoy going for walks and studying together and more casual dates like that. But I heard fancy dinners were more typical, and the sukiyaki here is excellent.”

Todoroki had brought Nishimura to dinner at a high-end restaurant. He had reserved a private tatami room that overlooked an elegant rock garden. There were water sounds from the fountain outside, but the room was otherwise quiet.

Inside, Nishimura was freaking out. “Wait! Back up! Is this a date?”

“Yes.” Todoroki looked confused, “Aren’t we dating?”

“What? Since when?” Nishimura felt like he was in a comedy skit. Nothing was making sense.

“Since we went to the park together. Remember, I asked you if you wanted to do something together on the weekend, and you said you wanted to go out rowing if it was nice out.”

“That was two weeks ago.” Nishimura started putting it all together.

“Did I say something wrong?” Todoroki looked down at his hands.

“No, I—I’m just surprised, that’s all. I didn’t know...” Nishimura trailed off.

“Do you not want to be dating?”

“No! I mean not no to dating. I mean—” Nishimura wanted to make his feelings clear. “I do want to date you. Actually, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to tell you for weeks. But then I kept getting nervous, and I didn’t want you to feel uncomfortable.”

Just then, a server came in. She brought them tea and explained the options for the meal. Todoroki ordered for them without hesitation.

After she left, they just sat there facing each other. Nishimura felt bad. He had made things awkward. He had a chance to have a fancy date with the guy he liked, and he blew it.

 “Sorry, this is all pretty new to me. I’ve never courted anyone before.” Todoroki was kneading his hands together.

“Oh,” Nishimura smiled. “It’s probably obvious, but I don’t really know what I’m doing either. But maybe, we can try to figure it out together?”

“Yes, I’d like that.” Todoroki cleared his throat. He searched for the right words. “Maybe we can take it slow?”

Nishimura realized how overwhelming this must be for him. He had never seen Todoroki so unsure of himself. “Yeah, that sounds great. We can take it little by little.”

“Little by little.”

“Maybe you could start by explaining what you just ordered and how we’re supposed to eat in places like this and what do you use this for?” Nishimura gestured around the room and picked up a long utensil off the table.

Todoroki nodded at his disaster date. "Would a diagram help?"


Too Much Romance

“Your advice backfired.”

“What? You mean an elegant dinner wasn’t romantic enough for her?”

“No it was too romantic.”

Todoroki had pulled Iida aside for a private chat before class started. They were standing in the hall just outside homeroom.

“I’m sorry, Todoroki, I don’t follow you.” Iida frowned.

“Apparently, we weren’t dating. I thought we were, but I was wrong. And then going out to dinner just the two of us was strange, and I ended up jabbering away and confessing my feelings. It was very confusing for both of us.”

Iida covered his mouth with his hand in dismay. “Oh, no. I apologize for misguiding you with my uninformed advice!”

A few days ago, Todoroki had asked Iida for advice on dating and romance. Iida had seemed like the logical choice, since he was a close friend and highly respected by their peers. Todoroki had also tried to bring it up with Midoriya, but he had immediately devolved into unintelligible gurgling at the mention of romance.

“—I have ruined your chance at happiness with this young lady!” Iida continued to rue.

Todoroki hadn’t mentioned that he was interested in a guy. He wasn’t ready to open up that conversation. “No it’s alright. It started out weird, but by the end we were both having a good time.”

“It went well?”

“Yeah, I think we’re going out again this weekend.”

Iida grinned widely. “That’s wonderful! I hope I get to meet her someday!”

“Yeah. Maybe someday.”

Chapter Text

“Can I ask you something? About being trans?”

“Yeah what is it?”

Todoroki and Nishimura were sitting at the edge of the pond in their favorite park. It was a much chillier night than expected—they hadn’t seen many others in the park. They were huddled side by side for warmth.

“Is there anything you miss about before you transitioned?”

“Oh yeah, there’s lots of things. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I had the support and ability to transition. But there are aspects of my life before that I miss.”

“Like what?”

“Mostly, not having to think about things. I feel like so much of my brain space now is just worrying and planning. When I get new clothes, I have to think about how it fits, is it in my size, does it ride up, is it too feminine? Honestly, I really like frilly blouses and flowery prints and slutty dresses, but if I wear that kind of stuff I get misgendered or harassed.”

“Really? You like dresses?”

“Yeah, I used to have this really gorgeous little black dress that was tight in all the right places and just barely covered my ass. It made me feel beautiful and powerful, like I was in a movie as a secret assassin.”

Todoroki ran his hand down his friend’s arm. “That sounds like my kind of dress.”

Nishimura laughed. “What about you? Have you ever played around with make up, tights, dresses?”

“I never really had the opportunity. I sometimes wonder what it would be like. Girls can make it look so easy, being glamorous and elegant, like Yaoyorozu. I probably wouldn’t look like that.”

Nishimura squeezed his hand. “Well obviously you wouldn’t look like Yaoyorozu, but you’d be elegant in your own way.  When I first started wearing boy clothes, I was really disappointed they didn’t make me look like a hunk, like a...”

“All Might?”

Nishimura raised his eyebrows. “Uh I don’t think I’d call All Might a hunk.”

“But he’s big, strong and handsome.”

“I was going to say like Kiri. All toned, broad-shouldered, big but not gigantic like All Might. Instead I’m all short and my arms are like twigs instead of tree trunks. I’m probably never going to be hunk material, but that’s okay, there’s other ways to be a man.”

Todoroki nodded. “I think I understand what you mean. But also you’re wrong about not being a hunk.”

“Yeah more like a himbim.”

“What?”

Nishimura smiled, looking forward to teaching this sweet boy about pop culture. “Nothing, you’re a sweetheart.” He leaned closer to Todoroki and interlaced their fingers.

Todoroki kissed the top of his head. They watched as a family of ducks glided across the surface of the pond, quacking between themselves quietly.

“I miss—nevermind.” Nishimura cut himself off.

“What were you going to say?”

“It’s kind of silly, but I miss going swimming. I used to love being in the water. There was a lake near my mom’s old place, we used to go there all the time. I liked how light and free I felt.”

“Why don’t you swim anymore?”

“It’s just—well there’s no single reason. Usually I’m too uncomfortable, being half naked in front of other people.”

“I get that. I always use the rotenburo early in the morning or late at night, when no one is around at my place.”

“Whoa, you have an outdoor hot spring? At your house?”

“Well it’s on the grounds. It’s like a five minute walk from the main building.”

Nishimura shook his head. Sometimes he forgot the kind of life Todoroki had growing up.

“Do you want to come over? Try it out?” Todoroki brushed his hand over Nishimura’s in small circles.

“The rotenburo?  But what about your family? Aren’t you trying to be discreet with them?”

“My father is going to be out of town for a few days next week. And my sister’s summer vacation already started, so she’s gone too.”

Nishimura felt a little rush of excitement, thinking about going to Todoroki’s house with no adult supervision. “But what about school?”

“Well, we have a few days off after the Practical Exam.”

“Okay let’s do it!” Nishimura grinned. He almost went in to kiss Todoroki, but he remembered they were still in public, although it was dark. He murmured, “Can I kiss you?”

“Yes,” Todoroki breathed out, wrapping his arms around Nishimura’s shoulders.

They pressed their lips together. Nishimura closed his eyes and enjoyed the feeling of his tongue, his skin, his breath. His hands balled up on Todoroki’s shirt. He let a tiny moan out from the back of his throat.

The kissing was getting more intense. Todoroki had gotten pretty used to kissing in the past few weeks. He trailed his hands over Nishimura’s hair, his neck, his back. He felt a hot hunger rise from his belly. Each kiss he gave, each flick of the tongue he tasted, each needy sound he heard—it got hotter. He wanted to feel it more.

Todoroki broke away from their embrace. He took a deep breath. “We should head back. I can walk you home.”

Nishimura nodded, “Yeah, I need to get up early to study.”

The two teenagers slowly slipped hand over hand at the water’s edge.

Chapter Text

“Man I still can’t believe it was over so fast.”

“Yeah, Cement Toss was way too powerful,” Sato finished his drink. He still felt weak from the practical exam this morning.

“Or we just weren’t strong enough,” Kirishima muttered, rubbing his sore fists.

“I’m gonna go pack my gear. Do you want to come?”

“No thanks, I’m gonna stay a while.”

Kirishima stared out the window blankly. The sun was setting. He couldn’t bring himself to get up and leave the change room. He might run into one of his classmates out there. Instead, he kept replaying the battle in his head, his every wrong move, his failure.

The door slammed and he jumped out of his seat.

“Oh sorry Kiri! I didn’t know you were still here.” Nishimura looked down quickly. “I can go—“

“No it’s okay. Honestly I don’t even know what I’m doing.”

Nishimura walked in and sat on the bench next to him. “I didn’t see your fight. But I heard you and Sugar Man lost to Cement Toss’ endurance.”

“It was such a stupid plan!” Kirishima smacked himself in the forehead.

“Hey, it wasn’t all bad. Just short sighted. And a little cocky. And maybe less of a plan and more of a ‘punch it til you win’ attitude.”

“Gee, thanks.”

“No problem!” Nishimura said cheerfully. “Anyway it was a hard match-up. The teachers knew exactly how to target our weak points.”

“I feel like I’m hitting a wall.”

“Apparently quite literally.”

Kirishima grinned weakly and knocked shoulders with Nishimura, “Smart ass.”

“Sorry you kinda... walked right into that one.”

He laughed for real and threw an arm around his friend, “Okay Nish.”

Nishimura smiled and hugged him back. “Seriously though, I know it sucks to lose, and obviously I’m sad you won’t be at training camp this summer. But is there something else upsetting you?”

“I guess it’s been bothering me for a while, since the sports festival really. Everyone else seems to be getting stronger every day. But maybe my hardening Quirk is at its limit. I can’t do long range attacks and fancy maneuvers like some people. Maybe I don’t have what it takes.”

“I know what you mean. Before we knew each other, that’s exactly how I felt. Something—something bad happened, and even though I tried, I wasn’t strong enough to stop it. I—” Nishimura stopped, took a deep breath, then continued, “I thought that if my powers couldn’t fix it, well what was even the point of having them. But then everything changed for me.”

“What happened?” Kirishima leaned closer to him on the bench; he could hear his quiet, warm breaths.

“I met somebody amazing. And I figured out that I won’t be able to fix everything, or save everyone. But I can still try to do what I can and help everyone I meet. So that’s why, I hope you keep trying. I know you’re going to be a super strong , inspiring, badass hero one day.”

Kirishima covered his face with his hands. “Damn it, it’s not manly to cry.”

“I don’t know about manly, but I think it’s just about being a human.” Nishimura knew a hell of a lot about being a guy who cried a lot. He laid his hand on the back of Kirishima’s neck and gently squeezed. He felt his shoulders tense and then relax, and heard him breathe out slowly.

“I like this time of day.” Nishimura was looking out the window. It was just after sunset. “The whole world turns this soft dark blue, like singing a child to sleep.”

“It’s peaceful.” Kirishima said.

They sat quietly for a while, watching the sky change colours.

“Hey, can I tell you something?” Kirishima wiped his face with the bottom of his shirt. Something in him knew that now was the right time. “Part of the reason I care so much about being manly is growing up I wasn’t sure I was going to be like other guys. Because, I was born with an extra chromosome and less testosterone than other guys.”

“Oh so you’re like intersex?”

“Yeah I’m XXY intersex.” Kirishima smiled. It felt good to say it and not have it be a huge deal he had to explain. “My parents told me when I was eleven and about to start puberty, because I needed to start taking testosterone.”

“So are your parents really supportive?”

“It depends. They’re like not terrible. But it’s kind of the same way with me being pansexual; they are fine with it as long as I don’t talk about it.” Kirishima rolled his eyes. “So they’re all like, ‘you’re a normal boy!’ and I know they love me. But sometimes it feels like it’s this big secret I have to keep.”

“It’s cool you told me. I feel real honored.” Nishimura gently shoulder checked his pal. He had been planning to tell Kirishima for a while, but his nerves kept getting in the way. He actually felt excited to open up to him now. “I uh have something I want to tell you. I’m trans.”

“Oh nice.” Kirishima took a second to process. He wasn’t sure if his friend meant he was a trans guy or if he was a trans woman or non-binary. He figured he should check so he asked, “So what are your pronouns?”

“He, him, his. What about you?”

Kirishima had never been asked that before. It felt kind of nice. “Oh yeah still he. I like looked into being genderqueer when I first started researching about intersex stuff, but I think my gender’s like total man.”

“Total man.” Nishimura echoed, making his voice go ultra deep.

“Total men!” Kirishima repeated, throwing his arm around his friend and jostling him on the bench. He knocked his forehead against Nishimura’s shoulder and said, “Isn’t it fucking awesome we’re friends?”

Nishimura started to say something but he was cut off. With a crackling sound, Nishimura was gone and a different Nishimura took his place.

“Ah ah ah, no. No! This. Isn’t right.” The new Nishimura panted and looked around with wild, panicked eyes. He had used his quirk to jump back in time, but he hadn't been able to focus enough and so he had emerged much further back in the timeline than he had expected. He was disoriented and his head was splitting with pain.

“What the hell Nish—” Kirishima noticed the blistering red burns on his friend’s neck. And his hands were cradled in his lap, skin scraped and peeling.

“I’m sorry Kiri. I’m so sorry. Pl-please... I need—” he pitched forward off the bench. Kirishima caught him before he hit the floor.

“Shit! Hey Nish, wake up!” he pressed the hair out of his face and saw the burns up close. The blisters were still fresh and swelling. Nishimura’s face was dripping sweat. He was wearing tattered clothes with no shoes or anything. In places, the collar of his shirt was stuck to the burnt flesh of his neck.

“Shit shit shit! What do I do? Call an ambulance? No, he needs help now. Okay, hold on Nish.”

Kirishima pulled his injured friend onto his back and lifted him off the ground. He ran out of the change room and down the hall to the elevator. He pressed the button and waited.

“Damn it! This thing’s too slow. I’ll take the stairs.”

He jumped the stairs ten at a time by hardening his legs. They were at the 6th floor, and Recovery Girl’s office was on the 2nd. It took Kirishima 30 seconds to jump all those stairs.

“Stay with me Nish! We’re almost there!”

As soon as he got out of the stairwell, he saw his teacher walking down the hallway. “Mr. Aizawa! Nishimura’s hurt!”

Aizawa recognized it was an emergency situation and ran ahead. “This way! Recovery Girl, we’ve got an incoming!”

“Lay him down here. Mind his head!”

“He just appeared like this, and—”

“Aizawa, on my desk there’s a pair of scissors. Young man, go get a towel and ice packs by the sink.”

“He looks real bad. Is he—”

“You did the right thing bringing him. Now. Towel and ice packs.”

“Here’s the scissors.”

“Good, please leave me with him for ten minutes. Yes I’m sure. And go calm your student.”

Recovery Girl pulled the curtains closed around Nishimura’s bed. Aizawa heard her cutting through fabric and muttering in concentration.

“Hey, what the hell’s going on?” Bakugo was propping himself up in his own bed, where he was recovering from the fight with All Might.

“Just stay there Bakugo!”

“I got three towels and nine ice packs!” Kirishima announced with his arms full. “That’s all that was out on the counter, but I could search the cupboards too.”

“Keep your voices down out there! This is a medical clinic, not an arena!” Recovery Girl yelled loudly from the other side of the curtain. “Kirishima, please leave those beside the curtain here.”

Aizawa quickly shushed Bakugo and led Kirishima out into the hall.

“Why can’t we help?” Kirishima rounded on his teacher and snapped accusingly.

Aizawa put his hands on his shoulders in what he hoped what a comforting gesture. “Listen, Recovery Girl is taking care of it. We would only get in the way. Now, tell me everything that happened.”

Kirishima tried to explain how Nishimura had appeared in the change room after using his quirk to jump back in time.

“It was almost like he didn’t expect to come back to now. Like he was expecting something else.”

“Hmm... this was useful information. You did well Kirishima.”

Kirishima looked down at his feet and shook his head. He hadn’t really done anything.

“There’s one more thing I have to ask of you. I need to go make some calls. When Nishimura gets healed up, he’s going to be confused. I need you to go get his things from his locker and wait in the clinic with him until I get back. Do you understand?”

“Yes sir!”

Aizawa watched his red haired student running down the hall. He took a deep breath. “It’s going to be a long fucking night."


“Where did you go, Shitty Hair?”

Kirishima was breathing hard and sweating. He had been running around the school: to the change room, then to the locker room, and finally to homeroom.

Bakugo was sitting by Nishimura’s bed, feet propped up and hands in his pockets.

“I was just getting Nish’s stuff. What are you doing? Are you looking after him?”

“This doesn’t mean anything okay!” Bakugo snarled. “Damn Recovery Girl had to go so I had to watch this loser so he doesn’t die. And now you’re here, I can finally leave!”

Bakugo got up and grabbed his bag.

“Is he okay?”

“He’s fine. Recovery Girl patched him up. She said he’ll wake up soon but probably have to stay here overnight... Oh and when he wakes up, force him to drink this okay?”

“Thanks man.” Kirishima smiled. “That’s such a relief.”

“...Whatever. I just happened to be here already.”

“Did Recovery Girl know how he got so burned up?”

“No, but his neck burn was in the shape of a hand, so it’s obvious it was someone’s quirk.”

“Wait, you don’t think... Todoroki did this?”

“Don’t be an idiot. That guy couldn’t even use his fire against me in the Sports Festival. Anyway, the hand print was too big.”

“Yeah I guess you’re right.”

Bakugo shrugged and headed out the door. He stopped in the doorway and said, “Kirishima. You’d better train harder than ever before. I didn’t spend all that time tutoring you so you could fail our exams. Got it?”

“Got it,” Kirishima grinned as he left. He knew Bakugo would never come right out and tell him that he cared. His friend was just too proud.

“Guess it’s just you and me.” Kirishima sat down next to the bed and inspected his friend’s bandaged neck and hands.

Nishimura’s face was sweating a bit, so Kirishima wiped his forehead with a compress. He tucked his hair behind his ears so he could wipe easier. But then he just started brushing his friend’s hair with his fingers over and over. It made him feel calmer.

“Wake up whenever you’re ready Nish. I’ll be right here.”

Chapter Text

“Hey we need to talk.”

Nishimura jumped at Todoroki’s voice. He had tried to leave class fast enough that he wouldn’t have to face him. Obviously he wasn’t fast enough. “Mmm, okay, uh... when do—”

“Now.” Todoroki put his hand on Nishimura’s back and guided him along the hallway. There weren’t many students today since most exams were over, but he still wanted a private place they wouldn’t be overhead.

They found an empty classroom and shuffled inside. Todoroki put his bag down on a desk and leaned against the window sill. Nishimura reluctantly followed suit. He stared intently out the window.

“Are you avoiding me?” Todoroki asked.

“What, wh- why would you say that?”

“Well you didn’t text me back yesterday. And you barely talked to me in class this morning.” Todoroki said matter-of-factly. “Also you’re literally avoiding making eye contact with me right now.”

“Sorry, I’m just tired... I had a late night.” Nishimura mumbled, his eyes briefly darting at Todoroki before going back to the window.

“Well, do you still want to hang out this weekend? You wanted to come over and try the rotenburo. My father is still out of town. I asked my sister and she said it’s fine to have a friend over.”

Nishimura fidgeted with his scarf. “Sorry, I think I’m busy.”

“Busy with what?”

“Um... work and stuff.”

“What’s really going on? Hey, come on,” Todoroki said, reaching out to squeeze Nishimura’s hand.

“Ow!” Nishimura yelped and yanked his hand away.

“Sorry!”

“It’s okay, it’s still—”

“What’s wrong with your hand?”

“It’s nothing!”

“Oh no, the hand curse,” Todoroki remembered how Midoriya and Iida had both hurt their hands because of him. “It’s real.”

“What? No. No it’s not—I just got—” Nishimura stuttered incomprehensibly for a moment, flapping his hands in the air.

“Then tell me what really happened.”

“I ... I’m sorry.” Nishimura started crying and turned away from his friend. It was too much. He couldn’t keep it in anymore.

Todoroki rubbed his back and tried to comfort him.

Nishimura took some deep breaths and wiped the tears on his sleeve. “I’m just ... so scared to tell you. You might hate me. You might never want to see me again.”

“I want you to be able to tell me anything. Even if it’s bad, we can at least try to make it better together.”

“I don’t know how to say it.”

“Well, how about you start by explaining what happened to your hands.”

 “They’re okay, just a bit sore. Recovery Girl healed them last night. And my neck.”

“Can I see your neck?”

“It’s still healing, that’s why I’m wearing a scarf. It looks worse that it is...” Nishimura unwrapped the scarf and showed the red hand mark wrapped around his throat.

“Ouch that looks—Wait. My father did this didn’t he?”

“It—It’s complicated.”

“I’m going to kill him.”

“No!” Nishimura grabbed him by the shirt and looked at him face on. “No you can’t. It hasn’t happened in this timeline and I’m not going to let it. It doesn’t change anything.”

“He hurt you—”

“I killed Endeavor.” Nishimura confessed. “I did it. In that other timeline. I hated him so much and I just wanted him to stop. I stabbed him.”

Todoroki took two steps back. “That’s not possible.”

“That’s what happened.”

 “If that’s true, then it wasn’t your fault. It wasn’t! Listen, if he was choking you, then it was self defense—”

“No I killed him. He did burn me, but he wasn’t going to actually kill me. He had already let me go by the time I attacked him. He was yelling at you, just saying awful things. He didn’t deserve to be a hero. He definitely didn’t deserve to be a father! So I did it.”

Nishimura breathed out deeply and let himself crumple on the floor. He touched the scars on his neck, still hot. Now that he had started, he felt like he had to keep getting it all out.

“Todoroki, I want you to know that you didn’t do anything wrong in that timeline. It wasn’t your fault. You couldn’t stop Endeavor and you couldn’t stop me.”

Nishimura stared at his friend’s feet. “I don’t expect you to forgive me, but I hope you can believe me when I say that I am so deeply sorry. That’s why I tried to come back. I couldn’t live with myself after what I did. But when I saw you today, I just felt all those same twisted feelings in my guts. I was too ashamed to face you. So I am sorry for being a coward too.”

Nishimura finally looked up at his friend. Todoroki was standing stock still, with his hands pressed against his face. Nishimura had expected this, but it still hurt to see it happen. Of course Todoroki would be disgusted by the sight of him. Even if it had happened in a different timeline, Nishimura had killed someone in cold blood.

Nishimura wiped away his tears. “I understand. I’ll leave you alone—”

Todoroki knelt in front of him and wrapped him in a gentle hug. “Nishimura. I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you from him.”

Nishimura started crying all over again, although it was more like confused sobbing now. “It’s not—it’s not your fault! I killed him!”

Todoroki said quietly, “I wished my father would die so many times. I have so much hatred inside of me, sometimes I’m afraid of what might happen if I was in that situation.”

“But that’s not the same! I actually did it! I committed murder!”

“Tell me, what did you do after you committed this murder?”

“What?”

“Did you feel like you were justified in murdering him? Did you spit on my father’s corpse? Did you try to burn all the evidence and run away?”

“I’m not some villain!”

“Then what did you do?”

“Well, the house was on fire and falling down from all the fighting. So you made a shield of ice and carried me out of the fire. Even though I begged you to leave me there. And then you tried to treat my burns. You were talking, but I couldn’t hear you. I couldn’t think clearly. I wanted to go back. I tried to jump back just a half day. But I was so out of it, I totally screwed it up.”

Todoroki rubbed his back. “It sounds like you did what you could to make it better. And now that you’ve told me, we have a second chance, right?”

Nishimura buried his face in Todoroki’s chest.

“You don’t have to go through this alone.”

Chapter Text

“I can’t believe you’re eating that.”

“It’s good. It’s like having dessert and a meal all together.”

“Out of all the delicious ice pop flavours, you had to pick... cream of corn soup.”

“You should try it.” Todoroki waved the half eaten ice pop in Nishimura’s face.

“Eww!” Nishimura smacked Todoroki in the chest and bounded away. In all the movement, his own ice pop, grapefruit flavoured, cracked in half and fell on the ground.

“...”

“You can still have some of mine—”

“Shut up Todoroki.”

Todoroki kept crunching at his ice pop in smarmy triumph. They continued walking side by side, sometimes letting their hands brush against each other, but not quite working up the courage to touch.

Nishimura watched his friend eat his ice pop. Todoroki looked so handsome in the late evening light. And his lips were wet.

They arrived outside the shop where Nishimura was staying with his aunt. Nishimura smoothed out his hair and said, “This was the perfect day.” They had spent all evening together walking around, eating street food, and reading.

“Thanks for coming out with me.” Todoroki said, a bit awkwardly.

“Thanks for walking me home.” Nishimura had a question burning in his mind all day. “Um... Do you want to come inside for a bit?”

Todoroki looked surprised and said, “Is that okay?”

“Sure, my aunt is out shopping today.”

Todoroki blushed and said, “Is that okay?”

Nishimura smiled. He was so old fashioned sometimes. “Yeah it’s fine.” He grabbed Todoroki by the hand and led the way inside.

Nishimura called out, “I’m home!” But no one answered. “Yep, see, she’s gone.”

“Does your aunt let you have people over uninvited?”

“Well, yeah. She’s pretty loose about rules. She basically treats me like an adult.” Nishimura led Todoroki upstairs to his bedroom.

“Sorry it’s so hot in here. It gets muggy at the end of the day, and I just have this dinky little fan.” Nishimura turned on his small fan. A slight breeze moved the stale air.

“Here, let me help,” Todoroki focused a thin layer of ice onto the fan. The room instantly cooled off.

“Wow thanks! That feels so good!” Nishimura sat down on the floor in front of the fan, sticking his hands out.

Todoroki watched him and remembered how hot, itchy and uncomfortable he was when his burn was healing. “Can I try something on your hands?”

“Um, sure.”

Todoroki kneeled next to his friend and said, “Lay your hands on my knees, palms up.” Taking a deep breath, he slowly formed icicles no wider than a hair from his right palm. With another deep breath, he gently pressed his hand into Nishimura’s.

“Does that hurt?”

“A little, but it actually feels like it’s helping.”

“I’m targeting your pressure points to stimulate the bloodflow.”

“Ooh sexy.”

“A lot of the pain from burns is from fluid build up.”

“Ugh nevermind.”

Todoroki finished with one hand and moved on to the next.

“You’ve found so many ways to use your quirk to help people. I just love that about you.” Nishimura smiled and stretched out his leg to touch Todoroki’s.

Todoroki stiffened and his icicles melted in his hand.

“Oh sorry, I nudged you.”

“It’s not that.” Todoroki looked at his open, kind face intently. “I didn’t know that you felt that way.”

“Oh. OH.” Nishimura flapped his hands dismissively. “Uh well it’s just that we were talking that way in ... another timeline. And I forgot that it hasn’t happened yet in this timeline.”

“What hasn’t happened yet?”

“Not that!” He was blushing furiously now.

Todoroki smirked. “You sure?”

“Yes! We just! Talked. About how we felt about each other.”

Todoroki leaned closer and wrapped his arm around his friend’s waist. “You better clue me in. So I’m all caught up.”

“Well,” Nishimura leaned forward until his lips brushed against Todoroki’s ear. “I told you how I thought you were so sweet, and kind, and wonderful to be around. And how I feel so myself around you. And how damn sexy you are.”

“And how do you feel about me?”

“Ah it’s so embarrassing! Can’t you just take my word for it and skip to the kissing?”

“No.”

Nishimura pulled back to see Todoroki more clearly. He was grinning, but his eyes were serious and needy.

Nishimura took a deep breath and said, “I feel so lucky to know you. I want to hold you and be your partner and... I love you.”

“Me too.”

“Ah ah ah!” Nishimura wasn’t going to let him get away that easy. “Say it.”

“I want us to go steady.”

Nishimura laughed, “I knew you were going to say that.”

“I want to touch you and make you feel good and protect you. Or if I can’t always protect you at least be with you through that. I love you.”

Nishimura pulled him in closer and they kissed passionately. Todoroki pulled his partner’s legs over his hips so that he could feel more of his body against him. Nishimura wrapped his arms around his partner’s neck and lifted himself onto his knees so he could grind against him.

Todoroki pulled back from the kiss. “I just need to clarify something.”

“Oh my gosh Todoroki!”

“I just need to confirm, so in an alternate timeline, you came over to my house—with no one else home—we said we loved each other and wanted a committed relationship, we bathed in the rotenburo together—naked—and slept in my bed together—and we didn’t have sex?”

Nishimura laughed, “It actually didn’t even really come up. I thought you weren’t ready to talk about it.”

“How old fashioned of me.” Todoroki slid his hand up under his partner’s shirt. “I’m definitely ready to talk about it.”

Chapter Text

“Hey Kirishima! Over here!”

“Hey Nish! How’s it going? How’re you healing up?”

“Pretty good. My hands are all better.”

“Whoa! It looks like you’ve prepared a whole feast!” Kirishima gestured at all the small containers spread out on the blanket.

“Yeah I was kinda bored and might have gone a bit overboard...” Nishimura tugged on his friend’s sleeve. “Come on. Let’s sit so we can eat already.”

They hunkered down on the blanket and Nishimura explained what everything was. There was a lot of cured meat and sweet foods. Kirishima kept interjecting with an excited “Nice!” or “Yes!” or “I’ve never even heard of that!”

“Yeah I’d never heard of it either. To be honest, I just got it because it sounded weird and it was this bright red.” Nishimura shuffled to get comfortable on the blanket. “It’s a lot of meat. I hope it tastes good.”

“Only one way to find out!”

They dug into the various samples. Their spot in the park was pretty secluded, so they were able to just relax and enjoy the day.

“You’re so awesome, getting all this for me!”

“Well I wasn’t sure what kind you would like. You did just say ‘meat’, so I had to improvise a little.”

Kirishima stuffed his face with sausage and garbled out, “Thanks Nish!”

“I’m the one who should be thanking you!” Nishimura touched the bandages around his neck. “You saved my life. And then you stayed with me all night at the clinic, even though you didn’t have to.”

“Course I had to—we’re friends aren’t we?”

“Yeah!” Nishimura smiled. “So, can I tell you something? But it’s kinda a secret.”

“Sure you can tell me! I can keep a secret. Is it... something bad?”

“No! It’s actually very exciting! I’ve just been dying to tell someone and walking around with a big goofy look on my face all—”

“So basically your usual face.”

“Shut up!” Nishimura threw a slice of salami at his friend’s face. It stuck to his nose until he wolfed it down.

“Alright, alright, I can’t handle the suspense! Just tell me?”

“I’m dating someone!”

“Nice!” Kirishima punched his fist in the air. “Who is it?”

“Well that’s kind of the secret part.”

“Ah come on, you gotta tell me!”

“Well he’s not out yet.”

“Ah damn.”

“Yeah, but he’s a very sweet guy. We’ve been hanging out for a while, but then on Friday we decided to become more serious.”

“Getting seriously romantic!” Kirishima yelled, putting his hand up for a hive five.

Nishimura shook his head and rolled his eyes.

“Taking the relationship to the next level, amirite!”

“Kiri you’re so embarrassing.” Nishimura blushed and hid his face behind his hands.

“Hold on, hold on. You’re all embarrassed and happy. Nish, don’t tell me, did you ... go all the way?!”

“Shut up big spiky head!” Nishimura shoved his friend over, and they wrestled around in the grass.

“Okay okay I’m sorry! I give up!” Kirishima yelped. “My rock hard skin is no match for your sharp little claws.”

“Yeah you better give up.” Nishimura grumbled with a smile. He flopped over in the grass beside Kirishima.

“I can’t believe you’re having sex now. Here I thought you were such an innocent little angel.”

“Actually, I had sex for the first time like a year ago this summer. Well kind of.”

“What do you mean kind of?”

“Well I don’t actually remember it, so I don’t know.”

“Why don’t you remember it?”

“I was pretty drunk. It was stupid, I should have known not to drink that much. But anyway, when I woke up I was in a hotel room by myself, and I felt pretty awful about it. So yeah I don’t drink anymore.”

Kirishima sat up suddenly and stared intently at his friend. “Nish, that sounds like—Do you know who did that to you?”

“Yeah, it was Delirium.”

“Who?”

“He was a sidekick at the place I was doing my internship. I won a prize for writing the best essay in my district, so I got to spend two weeks at a pro hero agency. I worked with one sidekick a lot—Delirium Method. At the end of my internship, Delirium invited me to go out to celebrate. I guess we got carried away.”

“You’re telling me he’s a pro?! And he was your mentor? What a piece of shit! He should be locked up!” Kirishima started spitting curses and ranting on and on.

Nishimura butted in, “Hey chill out dude! It’s not like it was all his fault. Like, I shouldn’t have been drinking—”

“Who ordered the drinks?”

“Um, but I drank them—and I liked Delirium. He was really nice to me. He wasn’t some monster. I think I probably sent some mixed signals, so he thought I wanted to sleep with him. It’s not like—what you’re thinking.” Nishimura stared at his hands and tried to blink back tears.

“Nish.” Kirishima held his friend’s hands and said softly, “I’m so sorry. What he did was wrong and it wasn’t your fault.”

Nishimura burst into tears. He choked out, “How do you know that? What if I hadn’t—”

“Nobody deserves for that to happen to them.”

“I—I tried to go back. But I waited too long. I couldn’t—I just relived it all over again. I felt—so awful.” He cried harder and pressed his palms against his eyes.

Kirishima hugged him and rubbed his back. He felt a hollow emptiness in the pit of his stomach. He remembered being in this situation a couple years ago.

“I know you might feel like you’re all alone right now. Like no one could understand what you feel. Or that you can’t trust other people not to hurt you again. I don’t know if I trust most people honestly. But I know you’re not alone, because I’ve got you okay?”

“Kiri, did you—you too?”

“No, not to me. But my friend. By her cousin.” Kirishima was choking up now too. He tried to keep his voice calm and even though. “She told me little snippets, at first I didn’t understand what she meant. But she said a lot of the same things as you. She eventually told her parents and they moved away and I never saw her again.”

“I tried to tell my teacher at school, but she thought I was making it up for attention.”

“Was this at your last school? Before UA?”

“Yeah in Nagahama.”

“Have you told anybody else about this?”

“No, I thought about it. I didn’t want people to see me—like that.”

“I get that.” Kirishima rubbed his back again. “If you want to tell someone, I can go with you.”

“There is someone...”


Someone You Can Count On

“What did you two want to talk about?”

Kirishima and Nishimaru looked at each other. They hadn’t really expected their teacher to agree to meet them the next day, in the middle of summer break. They weren’t sure where to start.

“Okay.” Aizawa stretched out in his chair. “It sounded like it was pretty serious.”

“It is.” Kirishima looked at his friend. He was chewing the inside of his cheek and staring at his hands. “And it’s pretty personal information no one else knows—”

“I’m going to stop you right there.” Aizawa put up his hand. “Before you tell me anything else, you should know that as a teacher here, I can’t keep secrets. If you committed or are planning to commit a crime, I will report you to the administration or your guardians as is appropriate. So think carefully.”

“What if...” Kirishima searched for the right words. “What if we want to report a crime?”

“Then you should go to the police.”

Nishimura spoke up, “But what if I’m not sure the police can do anything to fix it?”

Aizawa pinched the bridge of his nose. So complicated. “Is this about what happened last week?”

“No! No it has nothing to do with that. This happened a long time ago.”

Aizawa frowned. “Okay look, I can’t give you any guarantees about what I’ll do with the information you give me. It might just be something we can work out in this room, or it might need to go higher up to the Principal or the proper authorities.”

Nishimura kept chewing the inside of his cheek. Kirishima squeezed his hand and asked him quietly, “What do you want to do?”

“If it helps,” Aizawa leaned forward. “I can promise you that I will go through the process with you. I’ll tell you what is going to happen next, even if it’s not what you were hoping for.”

“Okay.” Nishimaru nodded and then said, “I don’t know how—I don’t know where to begin.”

“Let’s start with the basics. When did this happen?”

“Last year, while I was doing an internship at the Genius Office.”

“You were interning with Best Jeanist?”

“Yes, although I didn’t actually see him very much while I was there. I worked alongside his sidekicks mostly. And—one of them—he...” Nishimura choked up and looked at Kirishima.

“I got you.” Kirishima nodded. “He assaulted Nish. He brought him to a bar and got him drunk and took advantage. Nish couldn’t stop him because he was so out of it. His hero name is Delirium Method. He’s still a sidekick, if you can believe it.”

Aizawa nodded and asked Nishimura gently, “What did you do after it happened?”

“I woke up in the hotel and didn’t really remember or understand what had happened, or I guess I didn’t want to know. So I went home and I waited to talk to my teacher directly about it, in Nagahama. But she accused me of making it up, so I decided to jump back to stop it from happening. But I ... failed.”

“How far back did you go?”

“Four days. I messed up and ended up waking up in the hotel room, even more confused.” Kirishima touched his friend’s hand and mumbled something to him quietly.

“And you didn’t report it to the police?”

“No...” Nishimura took a deep breath to steady himself. “I didn’t think they could help me because... I was just some random kid probably looking for attention, and I don’t have any evidence he did anything wrong except how I feel.”

“Why are you telling me now?”

Nishimura squeezed his friend’s hand. “Kirishima helped me realize it was okay. And I don’t want him to hurt anybody else.”

“Alright! So what can we do to bring this guy to justice?” Kirishima slammed his hand down on the armrest of the couch with a bang.

“There’s not an easy answer. You could try to lay charges with the police and have him sent to prison, but sexual assault cases are known to be drawn out and traumatic on the survivor. The details would also be made public, which can be difficult. Another option is making a report to the Hero Public Safety Commission, which could lead to Delirium having his Hero licence revoked or being required to attend rehabilitation courses. That process is also drawn out, and it can take months for them to even begin investigating reports. The details wouldn’t be public though.”

Nishimura started crying.

“Oh uh—I’ll get you a tissue.” Aizawa got up and went to the kitchen area. He grabbed a box of tissues and a glass of water. His mind was racing, trying to figure out what he should say in this situation.

“I can find out some options for counselling too.” Aizawa added, putting the water and tissues in front of his students. Kirishima was rubbing Nishimura’s back and whispering soothing words to him. “I know what I said wasn’t very encouraging, I’m not very good at this. I wish I could be of more help.”

“No it’s not that,” Nishimura dabbed at his tears. “I knew it wouldn’t be easy either way. I just... I never imagined I could talk like this and that you would listen and try to help.”

Aizawa waited as his student calmed down and drank some water. “You are being very strong and brave.”

Nishimura started sobbing again.

“Oh no.” Aizawa was way out of his depth. It pained him to think of putting this kid through a trial or investigation process. He hoped there was another way they could handle this.

Kirishima passed his friend another tissue and found a way to make him laugh. Nishimura sniffled and nodded.

Kirishima said, “So what do we do now?”

“The first step for me is to consult with the Principal and discuss our options. There might be some other ways to resolve this than just the courts or the Commission.”

Nishimura smiled. “That would be great. Thank you.”

Aizawa steeled himself. His students were his responsibility. He could do this.


Todoroki Warms Up His Partner

“Mr. Aizawa was so great. He even printed off all these clinics and counsellors I could go to. I mean, I’m not sure if I need that, but it was very kind of him.”

Nishimura and Todoroki were lying down in Nishimura’s bedroom. It was late afternoon, and they could hear the sounds of people walking through the shop downstairs. It was lightly drizzling outside. Todoroki was still a bit damp; he had rushed to come over so fast that he forgot an umbrella.

“Nishimura, why didn’t you tell me?”

“I just told you.” Nishimura had explained about going to talk to their teacher about being sexually assaulted. It had gone pretty smoothly actually, with just a few tears. It was getting easier to say the words.

“I mean before. When we were talking about having sex, you said that you had done it before. You didn’t tell me it was rape.”

Nishimura flinched. “Please don’t use that word.”

Todoroki sat up and pressed his hands against his eyes. “You didn’t tell me he had hurt you like that. I know I didn’t ask either, so stupid of me. If I had known, I wouldn’t have—And then I just had sex with you like it was—Did you feel like I was pressuring you?”

“No, it’s not like that.” Nishimura sat up and laid his hand gently on his back. “It wasn’t about you. It’s not that I don’t trust you or feel safe enough to talk to you. Until yesterday, I just figured it was a bad first sex experience. And maybe that’s how everyone felt about their first time.”

Todoroki brushed his hand over his partner’s thighs. “I liked our first time.”

“Good cause there’s gonna be more of them.” Nishimura rested his head against his guy. “I didn’t feel pressured at all. I wanted you so much it ached.”

Todoroki hugged him and buried his face in his scent. “Me too. I never want you to feel like you can’t say no to me.”

“I love you.” Nishimura kissed his forehead and hugged him back.

“Love you too. How are you feeling now?”

“I feel like I’m just empty inside. Like I’ve felt so much and cried so many tears that there’s just nothing left. Except holding you like this, there’s just this warm feeling over the empty feeling. It’s nice.”

Todoroki pulled his guy into a tight embrace, laying down on the floor with Nishimura on top. “I’ll make you warmer.”

Nishimura laughed and nuzzled into his neck. “So warm.”

“Can I ask you something?”

“Yeah of course.”

“Do you remember anything from that night?”

“Not really. Sometimes I think I might have some memories. I remember a lot of our time in the bar, before the hotel. Then I think I remember looking down at my body from above while he touched me. I think I remember him talking.”

“What did he say?”

Nishimura squirmed uncomfortably. “He talked a lot about me being a virgin and how special my first time was and that he felt so lucky that I was giving it to him. I think he said something like, ‘Relax. It’s going to start feeling good soon.’ I didn’t feel anything though.”

Todoroki spat, “What a piece of scum.”

“The weird thing is, he’s not some monster. He was so nice to me during my whole internship. He would spend extra time explaining things to me, he would bring me treats during my shift, he would comfort me when I felt nervous. He said I was already super strong, smart, and mature, so I would be a great hero. I realize now that he had other motives, but still. He seemed so ... normal.”

“It’s not normal to get a teenager drunk, take advantage of him, and leave him there.”

“Yeah, no you’re right. He actually texted me later in the day to say that he was sorry he had to leave, but there was a some mysterious 'hero emergency.' He said he wished he could have stayed and cuddled with me.”

“That’s disgusting. Did you text him back?”

“No, I felt too embarrassed. I blocked him right after.”

“I wonder if he even knows he did something wrong.”

Chapter Text

“Hey I wanted to ask why you wore a shirt? The water’s not that cold.”

Nishimura stretched his arms and thought about how to answer. The boys from Class 1A were all in the change room after endurance training in the pool. Iida had insisted they all do a stretch cool down—all of them except Bakugo and Kirishima, who had left right away.

All the other guys were topless, but Nishimura was wearing a high neck swim shirt. He still couldn’t believe how uninhibited these guys were about their bodies.

“Um, we always wore these kinds of shirts at my old school.”

“In Nagahama?” Kaminari was half-heartedly stretching out his arms. He hadn’t seemed super stoked about the endurance training, even though it was his idea.

“Yeah, they’re pretty comfortable actually.”

“Oh yeah?” Kaminari started rubbing his hand on Nishimura’s shirt to feel the fabric. “It is pretty—ouch! Hey watch it!”

“Sorry.” Todoroki said flatly. He had elbowed Kaminari in the side of the head while stretching. “Why don’t we trade spots.”

“Fine, just don’t smack me again. That really hurt!”

Todoroki sidled up to his guy and started stretching his legs. “Hey.”

“That was mean, Todoroki.” Nishimura hissed.

“Are you actually mad?”

“...No.”

Todoroki smiled. “I’m glad you decided to come.”

Nishimura grinned, “Yeah me too. I actually think I miss being in class.”

“That’s enough stretching everyone! Please remember to re-hydrate! We spent a lot of time in the sun today!” Iida gesticulated with gusto.

They started getting changed. Some of the guys just pulled their shorts off right in front of everyone. Nishimura grabbed his clothes and got changed in the stall.

“Hey Nishimura, is that you?”

Midoriya was in the next stall over apparently. “Yeah, what’s up?”

“Do you have an extra towel? I forgot mine at home. I showered, so I’m clean!”

“Oh sure, you can use mine.” Nishimura quickly peeled off his wet clothes and toweled himself off. “Heads up!” He threw his towel over the divider to Midoriya.

“Thanks! Are you excited for the training camp?”

“Yeah totally! How about you?”

“I can’t wait! I wonder what kind of training we’ll be focusing on.”

“Always about the training Deku! What about the fun camp stuff! Campfires, nature walks, staying up all night playing games...”

“Oh yeah, that’ll be fun too! And supposedly there’s a rotenburo we can all go in together! Well I mean the guys with the guys and the girls with the girls. Because obviously they wouldn’t put us all squished together.”

“Yeah, obviously they can’t put naked guys and girls in the same hot water. That’s how babies are made!” Nishimura joked.

Midoriya was flustered. “Oh um, I mean although obviously some guys could be attracted to other guys, but um—”

“It’s okay Deku, I get what you mean. Just because I’m gay doesn’t mean I can’t be in a hot spring with guy friends.”

“Right! Sorry that came out weird.”

Nishimura grinned. Midoriya was really fun to mess with. “I’m going out now—”

“Ah, I’m done too!”

When Nishimura stepped out of the stall, he noticed that most people had already left. Todoroki was still chatting with Iida though.

“Here’s your towel, thanks again.”

“No problem!”

They all packed up their things and left the changing room. Yaoyorozu and Uraraka were waiting for them in the hall.

“Hey Nishimura, I’ve got something for you!” Yaoyorozu handed him a cellphone.

“Wait, what?”

“Uraraka was telling me that you lost your phone in a different timeline. My parents are always getting the newest technology, so we have a lot of old phones we don’t use anymore.”

“And this way you can spend your money on new shoes for camp!” Uraraka seemed to be bursting with joy and thrifty pride.

“That’s so nice of you Yaoyorozu, helping a fellow classmate!” Iida commended her.

Nishimura held the phone like a delicate flower. “No I can’t accept this, this is way too nice of a phone and I’ll probably just lose it in another time.”

“Honestly we’ve got a pile of these things just collecting dust. If you lose this one, it won’t make a difference.”

Nishimura considered it. It was obviously a very caring gesture. It would be a big help for him financially too.

“Alright, but at least let me pay for it—”

“Nonsense! It’s just a little thing. Don’t worry about it.” Yaoyorozu waved it off.

“Then... at least let me treat you to something!”

“Ooh, that’s a great idea!” Uraraka jumped in. “Why don’t we all go get ice cream?!”

“Yes that sounds wonderful!” Iida said.

“I’ll come too!” Midoriya added.

“I could get an ice cream.” Todoroki said passively.

“Let’s go!”

They left campus and headed to the closest ice cream shop. Todoroki was trailing at the back of the group, so Nishimura hung back to walk next to him.

“Are you okay?”

Todoroki frowned and stared at the ground. “Why didn’t I know you needed a new phone?”

“Really, that’s upsetting you?”

“I keep missing all these things. Like I knew you had lost your old phone. But I didn’t think to ask you if you needed help getting a new one. And I didn’t even know you needed new shoes.”

“It’s just money stuff, you don’t really need to know.”

“But if you’re struggling, I should be able to pick up on that. I’m too self-absorbed to notice.”

“We’re all a little self-absorbed.” Nishimura grinned. “And you grew up rich, so I’m not that surprised you don’t understand money problems.”

They got to the shop and were investigating the options.

“Ooh, they have sprinkle cones here!”

“That’s a scam,” Uraraka warned. “Those cones are too fragile, so they fill it up with less ice cream. The best cone is the waffle; you get more for your money.”

“Yeah, also the ‘mixed’ flavour option here is a rip-off. They put just one scoop of each flavour instead of the usual 2 and a half scoops.” Nishimura added.

They all ordered—none of them got sprinkle cones or mixed scoops for fear of a lecture—and sat on a nearby wall as they ate.

“You sure seemed to know a lot about ordering ice cream. Do you come here a lot?” Midoriya asked Uraraka.

“Not really, I’ve just got an eye for a deal!” Uraraka said with a gleam in her eye.

“Uraraka.” Todoroki asked with a formal bow, “Could you explain it to me?”

“Explain what?”

“Money problems.”

“Todoroki! That’s rude!” Nishimura hissed.

“I mean,” Todoroki’s face flushed. “I just want to understand. Why is the price of ice cream so important?”

“Oh I see.” Uraraka scratched her chin thoughfully. “I guess for me, it’s all the little things. I’m pretty lucky that I do have some spending money, but I know that if something big happens, like if my computer breaks, I could use up all my savings at once. So even if it’s just ice cream, I’m always thinking about how I can save money.”

“I see.” Todoroki nodded.

“Yeah, that’s pretty much how I feel.” Nishimura kicked his feet against the stone wall. “Like these shoes are my only good pair left. But they want us to bring three good quality outdoor pairs to camp. So I have to scrounge up some money for that, and even then I’ll probably only get a couple mediocre used pairs. I wish I could have worked more these past few weeks.”

“Huh, you have a job Nishimura?” Midoriya asked.

“Oh well not a job exactly. I do odd jobs when I need them. Like dishwashing and handing out flyers at festivals. And I help out my aunt in her shop, because she’s letting me stay with her while I go to school.”

“Yeah I think a big part of my stress about money is seeing my parents struggle.” Uraraka said. “I try to help them out as much as I can, but I can’t help them pay rent or medical bills. That’s why I need to work hard, so I can become a pro hero and give them an easy life.”

“It’s very impressive that you manage to balance school, training, and working to help your families all at the same time.” Iida pointed out.

“I guess I just took it for granted that kids would get money from their parents to buy new phones and shoes and stuff.” Yaoyorozu said. “I forget that not everyone is as lucky as I am.”

“We all get caught up in our own lives sometimes.” Todoroki said seriously.

“As heroes, it’s important to know stuff like this. Every person we try to help has their own problems.” Midoriya stood up and faced his friends. “That’s why being a hero is about more than just fighting villains. It’s about making people feel safe when they see us, by knowing that they’re worth helping and protecting.”


A Free Ride

“It's not too much.”

Nishimura looked up from scrubbing the floor. Todoroki had arrived a bit early to pick him up for their date, so he was focused on trying to finish his cleaning quickly.

“What? Sorry I wasn’t paying attention.”

“Well I know you were really looking forward to visiting your mom on her weekend off, but you’re working too much to go away. If she came here, you would get to visit with her and you could still work.”

They were cleaning up the sword training room. It was a fairly small dojo, but the owner took very good care of it. Nishimura cleaned up in exchange for using the space for training.

Nishimura frowned in confusion, wiping his sweaty hair out of his face. “I don’t know.” He kept scrubbing the floor. “It might be kinda boring for her, since I’d be gone most of the day.”

Todoroki disinfected the floor after his partner scrubbed it. “She could spend the time visiting with your aunt. I’m sure they would like that.”

“She doesn’t have a car though, so unless she had someone to give her a free ride, I don’t think it would make sense.”

“She can take the train.”

“Well I could ask her, but I think money is kinda tight at the moment.” Nishimura got to the corner of the floor and stood up with a big stretch that cracked his back.

“I can take care of this. I’ll meet you in the change room.” Todoroki put away the cleaning supplies. He was trying to be delicate in how he made his proposal. He didn’t want to offend his partner.

Todoroki waited while Nishimura took a shower and got changed.

“I’m ready!” Nishimura had changed into short shorts and a crop top with a blazer over it. His hair was still damp.

Todoroki wrapped his hand around his, “You sure are.”

Nishimura laughed, “Was that... you trying to flirt with me?”

“How am I supposed to flirt with you?”

“You could compliment me, tell me I look hot, smell good, you know.”

Todoroki said flatly, “You look good and you smell hot.”

“Perfect flirting.”

They walked by the owner on their way out. He was a serious, authoritative teacher who was a highly respected swordsman. “Nishimura.” he greeted them.

“Yes Master!” Nishimura stood up straight then bowed. “I finished early with my friend’s help. This is Todoroki. I’ll be in tomorrow for the early class.”

The owner studied Nishimura’s face, his clothes, and his friend who had been holding his hand. He said, “Goodnight.” and walked away.

“Goodnight Master!”

They left the dojo walking close together, but without holding hands. That was the compromise they had come to in public.

“He doesn’t seem to approve of us being together.” Todoroki muttered.

“Master? Why do you think that?”

“He hardly spoke to us. And he looked pretty upset that we were holding hands.”

“That’s just the way he is. I actually think he was pretty friendly tonight. I mean, he even said goodnight. That’s a first for me.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah, it’s weird sometimes the people you think will be very homophobic are actually just socially awkward.” Nishimura shrugged. “So did you still want to go to the beach?”

“Yeah, and we can get food.”

“Yeah, street food!” Nishimura cheered.

Todoroki took a deep breath. “About what I was saying before, I was thinking you could offer to pay for your mom’s ticket. And I could give you the money. As a gift.”

“What? Why?” Nishimura crossed his arms and looked suspicious.

“I just think, it would make you happy to see her. This might be the last chance to see her this summer.”

“I don’t need you to pay for things.” Nishimura sounded defensive.

“But I want to.”

“Why do you even care about this? You don’t even know my mom.”

Todoroki shrugged, “It’s not that much money.”

“It’s not a lot to you, but not everyone is rich you know.”

“You’re making a big deal out of nothing.” Todoroki snapped back.

They walked in silence for awhile. They turned off the main road and took a quiet side street to cut through to the beach. Todoroki was walking two steps ahead of Nishimura and staring straight ahead, almost like he didn’t even know he was there.

Nishimura had his hands buried in his pockets and his guts were twisted into knots. Why was he making a big deal out of it? “Shoto, wait. Let’s just, stop for a second.”

Todoroki stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and kept staring off in the distance. His body was tense and closed off.

Nishimura mumbled, “Do you... Do you feel sorry for me or something?”

“That’s not it at all. I’m just trying to do something nice for you.” Todoroki said, his voice strained.

 “I’m sorry,” Nishimura finally looked at him. “I guess it’s just weird for me to accept money. I don’t want you to feel like you need to do things like this for me to be with you—”

“I don’t think that, I’m not doing it to buy your love.”

“Yeah I know.”

“I just wanted to do a nice thing for you.”

Nishimura touched his arm gently. “Shoto, it is very sweet of you.”

Todoroki looked at his guy hopefully, “Is it a good idea?”

“It’s a wonderful idea. I’ll have to ask her and figure out logistics with my aunt, but it would be so lovely if she could come.”

Todoroki laid his hand on Nishimura’s and said, “Sorry. I don’t like fighting with you.”

“Sorry I over reacted.” Nishimura trailed his hands up his partner’s arms. He felt his frustration melt away. “You were just being thoughtful and kind. I’m glad we were able to talk it through.”

Todoroki slipped his hands around Nishimura’s waist, soft and warm. “Is everything ok?”

Nishimura pressed his body against Todoroki’s and ran his hands up his arms, over his shoulders and behind his neck. “Totally okay.”

Todoroki let his hands drift up his partner’s lower back, feeling his bare skin. Nishimura’s body reacted with a tiny shiver. Todoroki loved seeing him so exposed and sexy. He felt a strong urge to grab him by the hips and grind into him, maybe find a dark corner on the street and feel him up under his shorts.

Todoroki pressed his feelings down. He couldn’t think like that.

Nishimura was still rubbing the back of his neck. “Maybe mom would like to go to a festival while she’s here, I could look it up.”

“I thought it might also be nice for her to see UA.”

“Yes, she would love that!” Nishimura grinned. “And maybe, if you want to, you could meet her?”

“I would be honoured.”

Todoroki pulled his partner further down the street. They chatted energetically the whole way. They turned into a yokocho and browsed the stalls. Eventually they got yakitori to go and ate as they walked.

The beach was busy at the entrance they used. There were a lot of students partying in the area.

“Let’s find a quieter spot.”

They wandered along the shore. The breeze off the bay was cool; the sand was radiating heat.

Todoroki took off his shoes.

“Are you sure you should do that? What if you step on something sharp?”

“It’s not that dark. And it feels nice. I used to love coming to the beach when I was a kid.” Todoroki smiled up at Nishimura. He grazed his hand against the inside of his calf. “Do you want me to take yours off?”

“Take what off?!”

“Your shoes! Just your shoes!”

Nishimura laughed, “Oh okay, sorry, yeah that’s fine.”

Todoroki slid his loafers off, slowly and intentionally. Nishimura’s feet were so small and smooth.

“The sand is warm. That is pretty nice.” Nishimura wiggled his toes in the sand.

They kept walking along the bay shore. They could see the lights and shadows of the crowds in the distance, and then they turned a corner and they were gone.

“The downside to this whole bare foot thing is sand gets everywhere. It’s under my nails, on my ankles—it’ll probably be in my hair somehow.”

“It’s like a little memory for later.”

“An itchy memory.” Nishimura grumbled.

“Do you want to hold hands?” Todoroki reached out to his partner.

“Is that okay?”

“Yeah, there’s no one out here.”

They interlaced their fingers. They paused to look at the waves coming in.

“I used to pretend I was playing a game of tag with the waves, running out to get them, running in to escape. I could do that for hours.”

Nishimura watched his partner describing many fond beach memories. He was smiling in the moonlight, his eyelashes catching the glistening stars, his hair rippling in the wind. Nishimura pressed himself into his chest, and Todoroki’s hands rested around his waist.

Nishimura spoke softly, “Shoto, it’s okay if you don’t feel comfortable talking about it now, but I was wondering if you wanted to talk about some sex stuff?”

Todoroki said, “Sure, should we go sit on those rocks over there?”


Smut Ahead

There was a small alcove in the cliff formed by piles of thick rock slabs. They found a big one they could both sit on comfortably. Nishimura leaned against his guy and made a satisfied noise.

“What did you want to talk about?”

“I guess, we’ve been having sex a lot this past week. Which is good, obviously!”

“Obviously,” Todoroki echoed seductively.

Nishimura playfully nudged him. “I just wanted to ask about, like, how you feel about it. Um, is there anything you don’t like doing, anything you want to try?”

Todoroki took a long time to answer. He seemed deep in thought.

“I’d like to do it more.”

Nishimura laughed and shoved him playfully, “Shut up!”

Todoroki smirked at himself and continued, “I’m serious though, I think that’s the only thing I want more of.”

“Like more of a particular kind of sex? Like oral, from behind, from the front...”

“Yeah those all sound good.”

“Shoto!” Nishimura threw his hands up in the air in frustration.

“Sorry, I just don’t know what to say. This sex stuff is all new and so far it’s all enjoyable.”

“Yeah it’s pretty new for me too. I still worry I’m not very good at it—”

“You’re wonderful.” Todoroki rubbed his hand on his leg.

“Yeah? Like are my blow jobs okay? I know I can’t go super deep.”

“They’re amazing.” Todoroki stroked Nishimura’s thighs, feeling his shorts ride up a little further each time. “I get so turned on watching you touch me and put your mouth on me.”

Nishimura leaned in to kiss him. Todoroki was hot and his hands kept going further up his legs.

Nishimura pulled away and tried to reframe his question. “I guess what I want to know is... Are there any... like scenarios or kinks in the porn you watch that you want to try?”

“I don’t watch porn.”

“Or like what you read or listen to or whatever.”

“I don’t do any of that.”

Nishimura looked surprised, “No porn? How do you... when you jerk off, what do you do?”

Todoroki reddened and looked away, “Just regular stuff.”

“Like what?”

“It feels... weird to explain.”

“Can you show me?” Nishimura brushed his hand lightly over the growing bump in Todoroki’s pants.

Todoroki groaned and squirmed in his seat. “You want me to jerk off in front of you?”

“Well, we are all alone out here...” Nishimura brought his lips close to Todoroki’s ear and whispered, “It would be so fucking hot. Please.”

Todoroki swallowed hard and shifted his legs open wider. “How should I...”

“Do it the way you would if I wasn’t here. I’ll watch, and you do all the touching.” Nishimura turned around in his spot to face him directly. “When do you normally jerk off?”

“Normally it’s when I wake up. I’m hard and I start thinking about you.”

“What do you do?”

“Um, I touch myself a bit but it’s ... not enough.” Todoroki felt himself up through his pants.

“What do you do next?”

“I take it out and start stroking.” Todoroki pulled out his half-hard cock and pumped his hand along his shaft.

“What are you thinking about?”

“I imagine you’re with me, in my bed. You’re naked. You’re begging me for it.”

Nishimura moaned out, “Please, Shoto. Please I need your cock.”

Todoroki let out a quiet whimper and bucked his hips up into his hand.

Nishimura watched spellbound. His guy was so sensual. “Do you think about me touching you?”

“Yes,” Todoroki breathed out heavily. “You get on your knees and stroke me. You open your mouth and ask me to fuck you like that.”

Nishimura got up and knelt in the sand in front of Todoroki’s crotch. He had a great view of his hand, moving faster now, jerking himself off. Nishimura stayed far enough away he wouldn’t be too tempted to actually suck his cock.

“Shoto, please, I want you to use me, please fuck my face.” Nishimura moaned with feeling. He opened his mouth and glanced up at his guy.

Todoroki looked intense, one hand furiously beating one out and the other curled up under his shirt, playing with his nipples. He growled out, “Touch yourself. Take off your shorts and do it in front of me.”

Nishimura did as he was told. He stood up, undid his shorts, and was about to kick them off.

“No, keep them on, around your ankles.” Todoroki ogled at the show he was getting. “That’s good. Touch your dick.”

Nishimura felt the instant gratification of obeying his lover’s orders and being praised by him. He grabbed his dick with his hands and rubbed himself.

“Are you wet?”

“Y-yes.”

“Why are you wet?”

“Because!” Nishimura panted, his legs shaking under him. “Because I want you so badly, you’re so damn hot playing with yourself. And because you were ordering me around and talking dirty, and fuck—I need you, please Shoto.”

“Yuki, come here.” Todoroki stood up and grabbed his partner, kissing him hard and wet.

Nishimura reached for Todoroki’s cock, but he pushed his hand away. “Not yet, I want to do you first. Do you want me to suck you off?”

Nishimura’s face was all red and he was grinding into Todoroki’s leg like a dog. He nodded.

“Say it clearly.”

“Yes please, I’m so worked up, I need you inside me.”

“Good job.” Todoroki guided his partner onto the rock and pushed his knees apart. He pressed one finger inside his cunt and groaned appreciatively. “You know, it’s so satisfying to push into you and feel so much wetness come out.”

“More, Shoto, please it feels so good.”

Todoroki pushed another finger inside and took his dick into his mouth at the same time. Todoroki sucked on his dick and lapped at his juices underneath.

Nishimura gasped and grabbed onto his hair. His body was convulsing with waves of pleasure. His voice was rising.

Todoroki pulled back, “You’ve got to be more quiet. We’re still in public. Or do you want to get caught?”

Nishimura quieted down and mewled, “I’m sorry I’m such a mess, getting fucked outside is so amazing. Shoto, I want you in me now.”

“I am in you,” Todoroki teased, curling his fingers.

“No, with your cock. Please Shoto, I need you filling me up.” Nishimura sat back up on the rock. “But maybe we can do it on the sand, this rock is hard to lie on.”

Todoroki pulled Nishimura into his lap to kiss him. Nishimura stroked his cock, wetting his hand with his spit.

“Do you have a condom?” Nishimura asked.

“Yeah. And lube too I think.”

Nishimura stood up. He tripped clumsily and nearly landed face first on the rocks, but Todoroki yanked him back up.

“Are you okay?”

“It’s my damn shorts! I forgot they were still around my ankles.” Nishimura grumbled.

Todoroki joked, “I give you permission to take them off now.”

Nishimura shivered. “I like it when you do that.”

“What?”

“Tell me what to do.” Nishimura smiled coyly. “Do it again, please?”

Todoroki ran his thumb over his partner’s lips and considered his next command. “First, take all your clothes off. Get yourself ready down there and wait for me to fuck you. Can you do that?”

“Yes, Shoto.” Nishimura took off his shorts, jacket, and top. He left them on the rock so they’d be easy to find.

He got the lube out and ripped it open. He paused. “Shoto, are you going to watch me the whole time?”

Todoroki was sitting on the rock and staring at his guy. He was stroking his cock while he watched. “I’m supervising. Keep going.”

Nishimura felt very self-conscious lubing himself up as Todoroki watched. He rubbed the lube all over his dick and pushed it inside him with his fingers.

“Come here, get some on me.”

Nishimura rubbed his lubed up hand on Todoroki’s cock. It was burning hot and pulsing red.

“That’s enough. Get on your hands and knees. On the ground. And don’t move.”

Nishimura did as he was told. The sand felt cool against his skin now. He was looking out at the water, the waves shimmering in the moonlight. He shivered as the breeze blew over his bare ass and his sensitive dick.

Behind him, he heard Todoroki opening a condom. He felt a warm hand on his lower back and another on his inner thigh.

“Open your legs. More.” Todoroki pushed two fingers into his guy.

Nishimura rasped out, “I want you to fuck me.”

Todoroki rubbed the head of his cock on his lover’s ass, savoring the view of him in this position, totally exposed and cock-hungry on the beach. Todoroki said, “Beg for it.”

“Please!” Nishimura pushed his hips back desperately. “Please give me your cock. Please Shoto. Please just fuck me!”

Todoroki thrust his cock in balls deep. Nishimura yelped.

“Are you okay?” Todoroki pulled out quickly.

“Yes, ah so deep.” Nishimura rolled his hips and breathed out.

“I didn’t expect—it went in so easily.”

“I guess we’ve been fucking a lot.” Nishimura looked over his shoulder and smiled. “You feel so good inside me.”

Todoroki thrust a second time, pushing his cock as far as it would go. He grabbed Nishimura’s face and kissed him.

Todoroki felt like his cock was melting. His partner was wet and hot, his insides clenching and swallowing him up. He couldn’t think about anything other than fucking him more.

Nishimura broke away from the kiss, gasping in air. He dug his fingers in the sand, overwhelmed by Todoroki’s rough fucking. He moaned, “Shoto, don’t stop.”

Todoroki pounded into his guy hard and fast. He grabbed his hips so he could control the pace. He loved doing him from behind because he could get every inch of his cock inside him.

Nishimura was playing with himself with one hand. He started shaking on his knees. “Ah, ah, fuck! I’m gonna—”

“Are you going to come?” Todoroki growled.

“Yes, ah! Fuck, I’m gonna come on your cock. Please—fuck me!” Nishimura cried out as he came, with Todoroki’s hands squeezing his ass and his cock buried deep inside him.

“Yuki, let me kiss you.” Todoroki kissed his partner, who was glowing with the blissful satisfaction he got from being fucked to orgasm. Todoroki trailed his lips across his chin, down his neck, and over his shoulder.

“Can I move again?”

“Mmm yeah mess me up.”

Todoroki was pulsing with heat. He was close. “Can I ... inside you?”

Nishimura arched his back and moaned, “Yes come inside me.”

“I love you.” Todoroki breathed out just before he shot his load deep inside his lover’s cunt. He grunted and twitched with each spurt of cum.

“I love when you come inside me.” Nishimura purred, tensing his internal muscles and milking his guy dry. “It feels so good.”

Todoroki leaned forward onto his partner’s back, resting his head against his gently. “That was amazing.”

“Can we just stay like this for a while?”

“Yeah.” Todoroki put his left hand over Nishimura’s. He felt hot. “Do you want me to cool you down?”

“So much. Please.”

Todoroki created a thin sheet of ice in a radius around them. It melted on their warm bodies, but stayed icy on the sand and rocks.

“I can’t believe we had sex outside.”

“I guess it’s lucky no one walked over this far.”

“They would have seen quite the show.”

Todoroki sat up, pulling his guy up too so that his cock stayed inside him. He kissed the side of his head and hugged him. “I’m so happy.”

Nishimura hugged him back, “Me too. It feels so good to be close to you. I feel safe.”

They kissed lovingly, their bodies folded together into one. The ocean waters were shimmering in front of them; the rocks were dark, solid walls behind.

“I should pull out now, I don’t want the condom to come off.”

“Yeah we should probably head home.”

They slowly got up and stretched. Todoroki tied up the condom and picked up the bits of trash left over from their adventure.

Nishimura went to get his clothes. They were still on the rock. That’s when he realized something had gone horribly wrong.

“Damn it! I knew it!”

“What’s wrong?”

“It’s everywhere! On my hands, in my hair, it’s even in the crack of my ass!” Nishimura tried to wipe it off furiously.

Todoroki laughed.

“Don’t you dare laugh! I told you this would happen! Fucking sand!”

“If you want to wipe it off, I got extra napkins from the yakitori place.”

“No! It’s everywhere!” Nishimura ran towards the water until he was waist deep.

Todoroki walked in after him. “You know there’s sand in here too.”

Nishimura splashed him.

They laughed and ran around chasing each other, two naked butts flashing in the night.

Chapter Text

“Enough playing around. Get your stuff off the bus. Once your bags are in your rooms, we’ll have dinner in the cafeteria. After that, you can bathe and sleep. Tomorrow, your training starts in earnest. You better get a move on.”

Many of the Class 1A students groaned in exhaustion. But they slowly shuffled off according to Mr. Aizawa’s instructions.

“Nishimura. A word.”

“Yes sir.” Nishimura followed his teacher away from the group.

“I wanted to let you know that we’ve put you in the boys’ room like we discussed. The rotenburo is no clothes allowed, but you can use the boys’ showers while everyone else is outside. Are you okay with that?”

“Yeah that's fine.”

“Alright. Now go get your stuff.”

Aizawa watched his student jog back over to his classmates. Todoroki was waiting for him, and they walked off chatting together. In the distance, Aizawa could hear Bakugo yelling about how he would kill anybody who got in his way. Midoriya was slowly coming back to consciousness after getting knocked out by a toddler.

Aizawa sighed. He wasn’t going to get any sleep this week.


Chosen Family

“Ah man, I can’t believe the guys’ got such a sweet room!” Ashido said.

“The girls’ room is so tiny!” Yaoyorozu said.

“Yeah, we’re gonna have to sleep squished like sardines.” Hagakure grumbled.

“I guess you’d be at pretty high risk of getting stepped on then, huh Hagakure?” Ojiro joked.

“Oh no I didn’t even think of that!”

“Woo is this your sleeping bag Nishimura?”

Nishimura was startled. He was sitting on his bed, writing in his journal, when Uraraka appeared at his side out of nowhere. He shut his journal quickly. “Um yeah.”

Uraraka patted the material admiringly, “It’s so soft and shiny!”

“Yeah and it’s super cozy! My mom got it for me when I left for UA. I sleep in it all the time.”

“Even in the winter?” Todoroki asked. He was sitting on his bed next to Nishimura’s.

“Yeah! It’s warmer than it looks. Here I’ll show you. Uraraka hold this end.” Nishimura unzipped his bag until it was one flat blanket. Then he draped it over Uraraka’s head.

“It is ultra cozy!” Uraraka announced. “It’s so sweet that your mom got this for you.”

“Yeah, it was pretty expensive actually.” Nishimura rubbed the back of his head. “But she said it was worth it. She was so proud that I got into UA.”

“My parents have been totally supportive too. Even though they don’t really get this hero stuff. Like, my mom wanted me to pack watercolour paints and stuff for making friendship bracelets. I had to explain it wasn’t that kind of camp. But she did sneak a cute little note in my bag saying stuff like ‘try your best’ and ‘we believe in you’. So that made me really happy.”

Nishimura smiled. “Now I know where you get it from.”

“What?”

“The supportiveness. And the cuteness.”

Uraraka blushed furiously and flapped her arms. “No, no that wasn’t the point of that story at all!”

“I really envy you two.” Todoroki was still sitting on his bed, staring at them intently. “You have such good relationships with your families. I wish I had that.”

“But Todoroki, I thought visits with your mom were going good?” Uraraka said from under the cozy blanket.

“Yeah, rebuilding healthy relationships is hard. I got really lucky that from the beginning my mom was really open—and it probably helps she’s queer too. And to be fair, your dad is...”

“A dumpster fire.” Todoroki said.

Uraraka and Nishimura looked at each other and burst out laughing.

“He is a dumpster fire.”

“That’s gotta be a meme already right?”

“Oh wait, Todoroki wanted to try the coziest sleeping bag ever too!” Uraraka remembered.

“It’s fine, I’ve already—” Todoroki caught himself. He wasn’t going to explain how he had already curled up inside the sleeping bag at an earlier date.

“Here we go!” Uraraka dramatically whipped the blanket off her shoulders and draped it over Todoroki’s head.

Nishimura and Uraraka kneeled down in front of Todoroki. “How is it?” Uraraka asked.

“It’s very cozy.”

Nishimura gently patted Todoroki on the head. “See Todoroki? Sometimes a family is three teenagers and one warm sleeping bag.”

They laughed again, and Todoroki smiled. Chosen family was pretty great.

“Hey you three! We’re all getting ready to go out to the hot spring!”

“Yay! I’m so stoked! See you later Todoroki, Nishimura!” Uraraka ran to catch up with the girls. The rest of the guys left right after her. The room was suddenly very quiet.

Nishimura pulled his sleeping bag off of Todoroki and zipped it back up. “I really like Uraraka. I should get to know her better.”

“You sure you don’t want to come to the rotenburo? If we get in first and leave last—”

“No that’s okay. I would just feel stressed and self-conscious the whole time.”

“I won’t go either then.”

“No, it’s okay. Really. I’ll get to have the showers all to myself, while everybody else is sweating in the hot water.”

Todoroki watched his partner lay out his bed and smooth it out. He saw how much he cared about the sleeping bag in how he handled it, like a precious gift. Todoroki remembered watching his hands knead into this same sleeping bag when he was fucking him from behind. His hands would clench and claw as Todoroki drove into him.

“Ah what are you—”Nishimura squeaked in surprise, twisting around to look at his partner. “What if someone comes in?”

Todoroki had come up behind him. His hands were wrapped around his waist. He pressed his lips to the back of his neck and trailed his tongue over his skin.

Nishimura moaned quietly, leaning his head to the side so Todoroki could have better access. “Um, this is... very nice ... but aren’t we trying to be ... discreet?”

Todoroki pulled his partner’s shirt up over his head and tossed it to the side. He ran his fingers across his bare chest. Todoroki kept licking and sucking on his partner’s neck, eliciting a sharp gasp from Nishimura, who pushed his hips back appreciatively.

“Grinding your ass into my crotch isn’t very discreet, you know.” Todoroki said, grabbing onto his hip with his right hand to pull deeper into him. With his left hand, he undid Nishimura’s pants and slid his hand in between his legs. He felt so hot and needy. Todoroki wanted to see more of this side of him.

“Shotooo—”

“I’ll be right there!” Kirishima yelled just outside the door to the boys’ bedroom.

“Oh hey Todoroki. I just forgot my towel. Are you coming to the hot springs?”

“Sure, I’ll just be a minute.”

“Wait is that—Is Nish in bed already?!”

“Yeah, I think he was tired. He used his quirk a lot today.”

“Oh.” Kirishima whispered, “Sorry Nish.”

Nishimura listened to a bit of shuffling around, and then footsteps, and a quiet “Bye.” Then the door slid closed.

He jumped out of bed and pulled on his shirt quickly. “Fuck that was close!” His face was flushed and he was sweating hard. Not to mention he was super turned on.

“Great, got me going right before sleeping next to you all night. Without even being able to touch you. Thanks a lot Todoroki.” Nishimura muttered to himself and stomped off to the showers. He listened at the door to make sure no one was inside.

The showers were elegant and spacious. There were five stalls with open curtains, all empty. Nishimura walked all around the shower room to make sure there wasn’t anybody skulking around in the changing area or the sauna.

The cold water helped him calm down. He scrubbed at the dirt from the day. He washed his hair, which was also full of dirt. He thought about Todoroki, pushing him over and talking dirty to him. Todoroki had been very horny lately and eager to try new things. Nishimura liked seeing him take charge like that.

Nishimura was so caught up in his fantasy that he didn’t hear the door open.

Bakugo kicked open the curtain to his shower stall. “Hey nerd, Iida is—”

Nishimura froze. He was very naked and Bakugo was very close.

“Wha—why are you—Where’s Deku?” Bakugo sputtered.

Nishimura stood there under the shower with his feet frozen in place.

“Why are you just standing there looking stupid?” Bakugo yelled.

Nishimura’s brain finally rebooted. “Fuck off Bakugo!”

“No fuck you!”

“Seriously get the fuck out of here you pervert!”

“I’m not a pervert! You’re the pervert!”

“That doesn’t even make sense!”

“Shut up! I thought you were Deku—”

“Does it LOOK like I’m hiding Deku in here?!”

Bakugo seemed to finally realize Nishimura was naked and trying to hide his body. “Uh okay,” he said, stepping back out of the stall and closing the curtain.

Nishimura quickly shut off the shower and wrapped a towel around his hips.

“Hey.”

“Goddammit Bakugo why are you still here?”

“What happened to you?”

Nishimura felt a weight drop in his gut. He should have known Bakugo would want to talk shit about him being trans. He felt a gust of rage fill his lungs. This was all Bakugo’s fault, barging in without asking like an entitled prick.

Nishimura flung open the curtain and stared Bakugo in the face. “What? You got something to say to me?!”

Bakugo pointed at his chest, “I mean, why do you have two big scars there?”

Nishimura tried to draw himself up to his full height. He was still at least two feet shorter than Bakugo, but whatever. He spat out aggressively, “Why do you think?”

“I wouldn’t be asking if I knew the answer alright!” Bakugo huffed.

Nishimura pushed his wet hair out of his eyes. He couldn’t figure out what game he was playing at. Was he acting clueless so that he could mock him later?  Bakugo had never seemed the type to be wily and manipulative though. He was more the type to get right in your face and be brutally honest.

Nishimura decided to answer the way he had always wanted to. “My scars are from a shark attack.”

“...”

“You’re lying right.”

“Yep.”

“Ugh, whatever.” Bakugo turned to go.

“Wait,” Nishimura grabbed his arm. “Barely anyone else in our class knows. It would be really... uncomfortable for me if they knew. You’re not going to tell anyone, right?”

“Tch, why would I, it’s none of my business.”

“I’m not a girl, okay?”

Bakugo looked at him, “Okay.”

Nishimura breathed a sigh of relief.

“You’re a damn annoyance, that’s what you are.”

“Oh fuck off—”

“We’re gonna try out the sauna! We’ll be right back guys!”

The shower door slid open and Kirishima and Tokoyami walked in.

“Oh hey Bakugo,” Kirishima looked surprised. “Why are you just standing in front of the showers—naked?”

Bakugo’s towel was lying on the floor. He glowering, arms crossed, in front of one of the shower curtains. Kirishima and Tokoyami stood at the doorway, confused.

“Wait for—” Todoroki walked in behind them and scanned the room. “Bakugo, what are you doing?”

“None of your damn business!” Bakugo barked out. He made zero attempt to cover up his junk. Luckily he had just recently trimmed his bush—that would have been embarrassing. His hair got pretty scraggly down there.

There was an awkward vibe in the room. Tokoyami was staring at his feet. Kirishima was smiling slightly and trying not to look at his friend’s dick. Todoroki was looking directly at Bakugo’s face, eyes narrowed.

“Uh, okay, hey do you want to try the sauna with us?” Kirishima said energetically, trying to get everybody—himself included—to chill the fuck out and not have a pansexual panic.

“Fine.” Bakugo said.

“Great!” Kirishima beamed.


A Hot Night for Smut

“Nishimura? Are you awake?”

“Todoroki!” Nishimura whispered, peeking out from his bed.

A few guys were getting ready for bed, but most of their classmates were still chatting away, so they could talk without being overheard.

“I just spent a very awkward hour with three boys in a sauna.”

“An hour! I thought you were only supposed to do short saunas.”

“Well maybe not an hour. But it was long and filled with awkward male silence.”

“I told you AMS was a thing.”

“Boys are so weird.”

“Wait,” Nishimura scanned the room quickly. Bakugo’s futon was far away. “Was Bakugo naked the whole time?”

“Yes. Hence the awkwardness.” Todoroki stretched to get ready for bed. It also gave him an excuse to bend closer to his partner. “What was his deal? You were in the shower right?”

“Oh yeah. He burst in on me naked—”

“What?” Todoroki snapped, clenching his jaw.

“It was an accident. Well it was still a dick move but not meant for me. I think it’s okay though. He didn’t seem to actually get that I’m trans, but I don’t think he’ll be mean about it or anything.”

“I can talk to him.”

“Mm no offense but I think that would just piss him off. You two don’t have the chillest relationship.”

Todoroki got into bed and turned his face towards Nishimura. “But why was he naked?”

“Um, I didn’t actually see him naked. When Kiri and Fumikage were at the door, Bakugo pushed me back into the shower and closed the curtain to hide me. I think his towel probably just fell off.”

Todoroki stretched out his arms and let them fall near Nishimura’s face. “I want to touch you.”

“Sitting in that sauna got you going again?”

“No,” Todoroki looked at him intensely. “I’ve been going this whole time, thinking about you.”

Nishimura fidgeted in his sleeping bag. “It’s your own fault, being all handsy.”

“I know.”

Nishimura yawned loudly, pretended to stretch and brushed his hand against Todoroki’s. “Maybe we can sneak away tomorrow, find a little private spot in the forest.”

From across the room, Iida announced, “Boys, we have an early start tomorrow. So no more chatting and get a good night’s rest!”

Everyone quieted down at that point and got ready for bed.

“Do you ever get the sense that Iida is doing the teachers’ jobs for them?” Nishimura whispered.

Todoroki grinned, “Yeah, he should get a salary.”

Iida announced, “I’m turning out the light now, goodnight!”

“Goodnight!” Midoriya called back cheerfully.

As Todoroki allowed his eyes to adjust to the darkness, he searched out the shape of Nishimura’s body curled up in bed, his arm folded over his chest, his face turned towards him and his eyes catching the light.

All the windows were open; the sounds of the forest filled the room—leaves rustling, frogs croaking, crickets singing.

Todoroki brushed his hand against Nishimura’s. “I love you,” he whispered.

“Love you too,” Nishimura breathed out. He fell asleep a moment later.

With a start, Todoroki woke up in the pitch dark room. He dreamed that he was trapped in ice, frozen and losing air. Above him, through the ice, he could see figures moving, fighting. He tried to use his fire but he couldn’t. He couldn’t move at all.

Even awake, he still felt cold. He curled up deeper into his guy. Nishimura was radiating warmth. He must have rolled over during the night. Their sleeping bags were right next to each other now and Todoroki was hugging him from behind.

Nishimura was still sleeping. He was breathing steadily and looked so peaceful. Outside, the crickets and frogs were still singing.

Todoroki brushed his partner’s hair. Nishimura sighed and murmured, “Shoto.”

“Yuki,” Todoroki breathed into his ear. “Are you awake?”

“Mmhmm.” Nishimura settled deeper into Todoroki’s body. He took one of his hands and brought it to his lips, softly kissing it all over.

Todoroki kicked his sleeping bag out of the way and then unzipped his partner’s. He prodded his back and whispered, “Move over.”

Nishimura shimmied to the other side of his futon. Todoroki realized then that he was the one who had moved in his sleep. He had been fully lying on Nishimura’s mat. It was a good thing it was so dark and their classmates were scattered around the room.

Todoroki got into the sleeping bag and hugged his guy tightly. He loved the feeling of his warm, soft body squished against him. He slid one of his legs between Nishimura’s, feeling the heat of the bare skin of his thighs.

Nishimura murmured contentedly. He took Todoroki’s hand again, brushing his fingertips against his lips. He rocked his hips back and felt the stiff bulge against his ass. He let his tongue dart out and lick Todoroki’s fingers, sucking them quietly into his mouth.

“Fuck.” Todoroki breathed out heavily. He took his wet fingers out and turned Nishimura’s face towards him. They kissed passionately and Todoroki pushed his fingers under his partner’s clothes.

“Open your legs more.”

Nishimura did as he was asked and gasped softly as Todoroki rubbed his fingers over his dick.

“Be. Quiet.” Todoroki breathed out. He hoped the background noises of the forest would cover up the small sounds of the sleeping bag moving, their wet kisses, and his thrusting around. Todoroki pushed his hand below his partner’s dick and got his fingers coated in his juices. “You’re soaking wet.”

Todoroki was grinding his hips into his ass without even thinking about it. Nishimura reached behind his back and rubbed Todoroki’s cock through his sweatpants. Todoroki kissed him again, biting his lip and forcing his tongue into his mouth.

Nishimura was mostly being good, managing to suppress his moans while Todoroki worked him over. It helped that they had been practicing; Nishimura’s instincts were to be very loud, but Todoroki liked making him hold back and beg to scream. Todoroki would allow him, on the condition that he yelled certain erotic things.

Todoroki yanked down Nishimura’s pants so that he had full access to him. He pulled back his foreskin and pinched his partner’s small, sensitive dick between two fingers. Nishimura’s body spasmed.

“Shoto,” Nishimura mewled. He was rubbing the head of Todoroki’s cock against his bare ass and felt a spurt of precum drip out. Even in his foggy state, he knew they shouldn’t have bareback sex. “Do you have something?”

“They’re in my bag.” Todoroki cursed inwardly. His stuff was all the way across the room.

Nishimura made a little frustrated noise. He wanted Todoroki to fuck him as rough as possible. He wished he had the power to transport the two of them somewhere far away, where they didn’t have to worry about being caught by their classmates or their teachers, where they didn’t ever have to be discreet.

“Want you... in me,” Nishimura mumbled. He used his hand to guide Todoroki’s hand lower.

Todoroki pushed one finger inside his wet cunt. He felt him bear down on his finger and more wetness gush out. Nishimura was touching himself with one hand and stroking Todoroki's cock with the other.

“Shoto,” Nishimura moaned. His eyes were screwed shut.

“Shhh.” Todoroki cupped his hand over his mouth. “It’s okay.” He could tell what was coming.

Silently, Nishimura’s body shook. His cunt squeezed Todoroki’s curled up fingers as he came. His breath was ragged and hot under Todoroki’s palm.

“You’re so beautiful.” Todoroki slowly pulled his fingers out. He wiped them against his shirt.

“That was wonderful,” Nishimura sighed and splayed out on his back, with his arms over his head.

Todoroki kissed his forehead. “Can I use your mouth?” He whispered into his ear.

“Yeah.” Nishimura balled up his hands in Todoroki’s hair, kissing and then biting his neck until he pulled away.

Todoroki got on his hands and knees and straddled his partner’s chest. He checked around them to make sure no one else was awake. They had been shuffling around a lot, but no one else was stirring.

Nishimura used both his hands to firmly stroke his partner. He loved watching Todoroki’s body twitch and shake with pleasure. His chest pitched forward every time he rubbed the head of his cock. Todoroki snaked a hand up under his own shirt to play with his nipples. He never stopped staring at his partner, eyes hungry and enraptured.

Todoroki drew in a sharp breath. Nishimura stopped touching him, worried he had hurt him.

Todoroki lunged forward, pushing his partner’s arms above him.  He pressed the head of his cock into his mouth, savouring the feeling of Nishimura’s hot lips sucking him in. With just the first few inches of his cock, Todoroki fucked his face.

After the third thrust, he knew he was at his limit. He tried to hold back, so he could keep driving his cock further down his partner's throat, but it was no use. He was throbbing. He had already held back for so long.

“Fuck,” Todoroki whispered, cumming into his partner’s mouth. Some of his cum dripped down his lover's chin. Nishimura swallowed his load and licked the rest off his face.

Todoroki sprawled out next to him. He felt like he was burning up. His legs were all sweaty from being trapped in the sleeping bag while he thrashed around. He tucked his soft dick back into his pants and wiped the sweat on his face with his tshirt.

“Shoto,” Nishimura touched his face gently, making him jump a little. “How are you?”

“Hot.”

“Me too. Little help?”

Todoroki touched his chest and formed a thin layer of frost to cool him off. Then he did the same on himself.

“Thanks. You okay?”

“Did you ... like that?”

“Yeah!” Nishimura said as earnestly and energetically as possible while still in a whisper.

“I wasn’t too rough?”

“I like it when you’re rough. And that was pretty gentle actually.”

Todoroki crossed his arm over his face and murmured, “I was being selfish.”

Nishimura snuggled in close to kiss his cheek tenderly and whisper in his ear. “I love you Shoto. I love having you on top of me. I love letting you fuck my face. I love making you feel good. It’s like ... the most precious gift.”

“It’s hard to know when we have to be silent.”

“Yeah it’s easier to tell I like it when I’m screaming for more, huh.”

“Sorry I’m being so anxious.” Todoroki wrapped his arm under his partner’s head and pulled him in closer.

“It’s okay. I get it. Maybe we shouldn’t... have sex here. Cause we can’t make noise.”

“Yeah okay. I’m gonna have to change sleeping spots.”

“What? Why?”

“It’s too much of a temptation.”

Nishimura flicked his shoulder and scowled at him.

“What I’m serious. Even now all I can think about is having sex with you.”

“Such a stereotypical teenage boy.”

“But more gay.”

Nishimura kissed him long and slow, running his fingers through his hair.

“I love you Shoto.”

“Love you too.” Todoroki pecked him on the cheek. “We should probably get back in bed.”

“Speak for yourself. I am in my bed.” Nishimura yawned and stretched. “What time is it anyway?”

Todoroki reached over for his phone. “4:45.”

Nishimura banged his head against Todoroki’s chest. “No.... Aren’t we getting started at 5:30?”

“Yeah.”

“I’m so tired after all that sex stuff. And then we have to do training tomorrow?”

“Today.”

“... Shut up Shoto.”

Chapter Text

“Fuck me.”

Kirishima frantically tucked himself into his briefs and hid inside his sleeping bag. It was still dark in the boys’ room, but there was a faint light streaming in through the windows. Birds were screaming loudly, announcing that the sun was rising and they had impressively survived one more night without being eaten.

But the birds were not what woke him.

A few of the boys were sluggishly getting up, digging through their bags, going out to take showers. No one was in a rush, partially because of the ung-dly hour and partially because they still had lots of time before training began. Kirishima’s alarm hadn’t even gone off yet.

But it wasn’t the sounds of his classmates stumbling around that woke him.

Kirishima rolled onto his side and forced himself to take a deep breath. Panicking would only make things worse. Trying to deny the reality of what had happened also wouldn’t help.

He tried to look on the bright side. For starters, he was really fucking glad he had brought his own sleeping bag to camp. He was also glad that he had decided to sleep next to the wall, so he wasn’t completely surrounded by prying eyes.

Kirishima needed a plan. He carefully peered out of his sleeping bag and scanned the room. Half the beds were empty. His bag was at the front of the room. He would have to weave between four futons to get to it. He couldn’t just make a run for it.

He was considering just hopping his way over still inside his sleeping bag, potato sack race style, when Kaminari opened the door. He was yawning and his hair was wet. He shuffled over to his bag and dug through it.

Kirishima swallowed the lump in his throat. He whispered, “Hey, Kami.”

“Oh hey, Kirishima.” Kaminari yawned again and weaved his way over. “Man you’re lucky you were able to sleep in. I woke up as soon as the birds went at it. Like hello, the glowing orb has shown its face, it is time to scream.”

“Can you bring my bag over?” Kirishima whispered.

“What?” Kaminari crouched down next to him.

Kirishima felt like he was going to melt in embarrassment. What if his friend could see? What if he could smell it on him? What if he could tell because it was written all over his face?

“Bro? You okay? You seem kind of out of it.”

Kirishima gulped and said, “I’m fine, can you bring me my bag?”

Kaminari rolled his eyes, “Come on, what am I, a Roomba?”

“Please, Kami.” Kirishima blinked back tears.

Kaminari shrugged, “Okay, no worries. It’s the red one right?” He weaved back across the room and pulled out his friend’s big backpack. He lugged it over to his sleeping bag. “Are you sure you’re—”

“Thanks man.” Kirishima breathed a sigh of relief. “I just need to get dressed.”

Kaminari didn’t seem entirely convinced, but he went back to doing his own thing.

Kirishima dug through his bag. He had a jock strap he used in situations like these. He quickly pulled it on inside the covers of the sleeping bag, on top of his soiled briefs. He pulled on a pair of loose sweatpants. He checked himself over and decided he looked alright.

He carefully crawled out of bed. He winced in pain. Strapping himself down when he was like this was painful like ripping your tongue off of a frozen metal pole. He knew it was necessary, but it took all his concentration to keep from releasing himself.

Kirishima stumbled out of the room. The hallway was brightly lit, but thankfully no one was hanging around. He tried to walk normally. He forgot how he normally walked when he wasn’t in pain no one else could know about.

He got to the showers without walking into anyone. But he could hear people inside. He checked his pants again to make sure it wasn’t visible before he went it.

Iida and Midoriya were standing at the sinks, chatting. Iida was fully dressed and about to floss his teeth. Midoriya was wrapped in a towel and seemed to be about to go into the shower.

“Good morning Kirishima!” Iida greeted him loudly.

Midoriya smiled, “Good morning! How did you sleep?”

“Morning.” Kirishima replied gruffly. He grabbed a towel and went into the corner shower stall.

“Not everyone is a morning person.” Iida remarked.

Kirishima felt his face flush. He felt so awful. He couldn’t face his classmates right now. Instead, he had to deal with his problem. He turned on the shower to cold. He recoiled as the water touched him, but he had to bear it.

Carefully, he untucked his rock hard cock. He held back a groan, feeling his nerves protest to touching, bending and moving it right now. He stepped under the cold jets of water, still fully clothed. He had to wash his clothes anyway, and he didn’t know how long it would take to calm down.

He used a little bit of soap and washed up the dried semen on his crotch and the inside of his thighs. He washed his cock last, knowing it was going to hurt. It did of course.

Kirishima had about one of these overly hard situations a month. It usually happened in the morning or when he was really turned on. It was so bad that even if he did manage to jerk himself off—which wasn’t easy when he was tugging on a rock—it would just make him stiffer and more uncomfortable.

He washed the rest of his body and peeled off his wet shirt and underwear. He tried not to think about the dream he was having when he woke up, hard and covered in his own cum. He scrubbed his clothes with soap and hung them up to dry.

Kirishima was disgusted with himself. He pushed his head under the cold shower and let his bangs hang in front of his eyes. Why did it happen now? He cried a little bit and felt even worse.

He kept thinking about the dream, even though he kept trying to avoid it. He remembered the feeling of his cock driving into his lover’s ass, the sound of his moans filling his ears. Kirishima had run his hands across his chest, watching his rippling, manly muscles writhing in pleasure underneath him. His lover had smiled at him, face pink and mouth gasping for air. In that moment, he had felt so unbelievably strong and sure of himself.

Now, he felt like a repulsive freak.

He had dreamed about fucking Bakugo. He had demeaned his best friend to just a sex object.

Last night, Kirishima had tried as hard as he could not to think about Bakugo, after he and Tokoyami had walked in on him naked. He had seen Bakugo’s dick! He had seen Bakugo’s bare ass, his toned legs, his broad chest. Of course, Kirishima had felt a bit turned on at first—even straight guys would have to admit that Bakugo was a snack! But he had gotten it out of his mind.

Now, he was having wet dreams and over-hard boners about his best friend.

“What the fuck is wrong with me.”

Chapter Text

“Morning class. Today we begin a training camp that will increase your strength. Our goal is to increase your skills exponentially so that each of you earns a provisional licence.”

“You’ve had a single semester at UA. And due to your various experiences, all of you have definitely improved. But those improvements have mostly been limited to mental prowess and technical skill—with a slight increase in stamina thrown in on the way. As you can see, your quirks themselves have not improved much on a fundamental level. That’s why we’re now going to focus on improving your powers.”

“This will be so hard, you’ll feel like you’re dying. Let’s hope you all survive.”

“Class rep.”

“Yes, Mr. Aizawa!” Iida snapped to attention.

“Lead the group through some basic warm ups. I’ll be pulling you aside individually with further instructions. Get to work!”

“Yes sir!” Class 1A shouted in a mix of fear and excitement.

“Alright, let’s limber up with some lunges!” Iida jumped right into his role of facilitating warm ups.

One by one, students were pulled aside and their weaknesses were mercilessly dissected. Everyone was assigned different training regimes based on what kind of Quirk they had and where it needed the most work.

“Even though there are only five of us left, please continue giving it your all, and making our class proud!” Iida continued leading exercises, which were slowly becoming more and more obscure.

“Uh, Iida? When you say ‘do a walking lizard push up’... what does that mean exactly?”

“You shouldn’t have asked Deku.” Nishimura groaned. He checked his watch. 6:41am.

 “I’m glad you asked that!” Iida said enthusiastically, going on to explain and demonstrate proper form.

Shoji got right into the exercise, practicing swapping between his Dupli-arms as he crawled. Hagakure also dived right in, supposedly. Meanwhile, Nishimura yawned and rubbed the sleep from his eyes. He wasn’t great at mornings. He also felt a bit lightheaded and sweaty.

“Nishimura, come with me.”

“Yes sir.”

Aizawa led him past the explosion boy and into the back woods. The sounds of blasts and screaming quickly faded away under the tall trees.

“Whoa,” Nishimura spotted a large black bird scaling a nearby tree trunk. It moved sturdily on its short powerful legs. “I’ve heard of these before. Is that a black woodpecker?”

“Yeah, they’re not very common here. I wonder if Koda attracted this one.”

“They drill holes in the trees right?”

“Yeah,” Aizawa stepped closer to his student. “See how they’re darting their head like that? They use sound and sight to locate their prey. When they’ve locked on, they strike.”

Sure enough, the woodpecker drummed away at the wood, flicking chunks of bark to the ground.

“That doesn’t hurt?”

“Their skulls are reinforced—their tongue wraps around the back of their brain to cushion it from the impact.”

“It doesn’t hurt the tree?”

“Hurt the...” Aizawa sighed. This kid. “No it actually helps the tree. If the tree is still healthy, the pecking helps clear out pests and increase resilience. And if the tree is already sick, it helps open it up to more insectivores and move along the cycle of decomposition.”

“That’s so cool.” Nishimura watched the woodpecker flit away through the treetops. “How do you know so much about birds?”

“...Sometimes I go birdwatching.”

Nishimura just smiled and blinked, trying to picture his teacher atwitter about birds.

“Anyway, have you been studying those physics and biology textbooks?”

“Yes sir! You were right, it has helped me understand my powers more deeply.”

“Then tell me, what do you need to improve on?”

“I get easily tired from jumping back, especially if I go further than a few minutes. Sometimes I misjudge where I’m going to land and I get disoriented. So I need to shorten my recovery time and sharpen my time sense.”

“Good points. How are you going to accomplish that?”

“I’m going to practice jumping back over and over again to the same minute, shortening the time I give myself for recovery each time.”

“So, how many times have we had this conversation?”

Nishimura grinned, “This is number eight, and I got back exactly where I aimed at.”

“Let me see your notebook.” Aizawa flipped through his student’s precise notations of his travels back, with the timing and observations for each jump. Aizawa’s signature was next to the recorded heart rates, although he had never seen them before.

“You didn’t have to pick the point when I got you, you know? It could have been at the end of the walk and then you wouldn’t need to have the same conversation every time.”

“It’s actually slightly different every time.” Nishimura shrugged and added, “Besides, I like talking about birds with you.”

Aizawa pinched the bridge of his nose. This kid. “Alright, give me your wrist.” Aizawa pressed his pulse point and counted his heartrate. “47. You’ve dropped significantly since last time.”

“Yeah, I feel lightheaded.”

“Update your notes and then go take a break for an hour.”

“Yes sir!”

Aizawa turned around and headed back the way they came. Nishimura sat down on a log and jotted down notes from his last jump, scribbling in some new landmarks and sensations.

He felt pretty exhausted. He had done 7 jumps in the same time span. Although only thirty minutes had passed in this timeline, he had experienced nearly 5 hours straight of training.

“I need to eat something.” Nishimura slowly trekked back through the woods, arriving back in the clearing in minutes. Explosion Boy was still at it, screaming and blowing stuff up.

“Damn it!” Bakugo shot another one off above his head and wiped the sweat from his face. He noticed Nishimura coming out of the woods just moments after starting his training. “Hey, what the hell Pretty Boy? You’re giving up already?!”

“Is pretty boy supposed to be an insult?” Nishimura kept walking past Bakugo, hoping to avoid any awkwardness. “I’m taking a break.”

“Hey I’m working my ass off out here! You just started!” Bakugo fired an explosion right beside his feet. “Get back to work!”

Bakugo watched in shock as Nishimura fell flat on his face.

“I didn’t even hit you, you faker!”

Bakugo walked up and nudged his prone body with his foot. “Quit messing around! Get up!”

Nishimura slowly stirred and rolled over. He had a gash on his cheek, dripping blood. “Wha—Where am I? There’s blood on my—”

“I didn’t do anything, you just fell!”

“Nishimura, are you okay?” Todoroki ran up out of nowhere. He was panting and soaked from his training.

Bakugo said, “He just fell—“

Todoroki tossed him a withering glare. He said coldly, “Am I talking to you?”

“Tch, whatever! I should be training anyway.”

“Did you over-exert yourself?” Todoroki helped his guy prop up to a sitting position.

“I’m fine, I’m just tired from training.”

“You should take a break.”

“I was going to take a break, but then Sparky Sparky Boom Boy happened.”

Todoroki wrapped his arm around his partner’s shoulders, “Your cheek is cut, I can carry you back—”

“Ah, you’re all cold and wet!” Nishimura whined and swatted at his chest.

“I’ve come to lend a paw and help!” Ragdoll, of the Wild Wild Pussycats, appeared suddenly. “Here’s a bandage!” She stuck a piece of gauze to Nishimura’s cut. “You can go back to training now, kitten!” She said to Todoroki. “I’ll take this one from here!” She pointed at Nishimura.

“But—” Todoroki tried to protest.

“It’s okay, I’ll see you later.” Nishimura allowed Ragdoll to help him up and guide him back to the rest area.

The rest area was a few benches and coolers next to the fighting style trainees. Ojiro and Kirishima were there, as well as a few Class 1B students. They were all very energetic and often yelled encouraging words at each other.

“Sit here and drink this! I’ll go get some food for you before you faint again!” Ragdoll passed Nishimura a sports drink and scurried off.

Nishimura finished his drink and laid down on his stomach on the ground. He closed his eyes to try to nap. But his brain kept bouncing around with ideas. Like how was he going to avoid Bakugo for the rest of the week. Like how much catching up had to do to make Mr. Aizawa proud. Like that Todoroki had looked very cute all wet and tired.

Nishimura gave up on the nap. He pulled his cordage out of his pocket. He had found some dogbane in the forest and had started twisting it into string. It was something easy and repetitive to do while his quirk restored itself. He finished twisting the dogbane and tied it into a bracelet.


Making a New Friend

“Hey Nishimura, how’s it going?”

Uraraka sat down on the ground next to him with a water bottle.

“Pretty good. I’m just taking a break because my quirk lowers my bloodflow, so I get kinda lightheaded. How are you?”

“Well I just threw up,” Uraraka said, “So better now I guess!”

Ragdoll came back with a tray of food. “Bon appétit! Don’t eat too fast though!”

Nishimura picked out a couple pastries and pieces of fruit. “Do you want something while I’m up Uraraka? If you’re feeling well enough?”

“Is there... some dessert?”

“No, but there’s ice pops in the cooler.”

“Oooh that would be perfect!”

“There’s soda, strawberry, melon, grapefruit, or yuzu.”

“Melon please!”

Nishimura and Uraraka nibbled on their snacks and watched the fighters at work.

“They’re so incredible,” Uraraka said.

“Yeah look at that block! Kirishima is so tough.”

“It’s times like these that I just feel so out of place here.” Uraraka smiled sadly.

“But you do belong, Uraraka. You’ve worked so hard to get here. And remember the sports festival? You were amazing.”

“Yeah, I’ve definitely come a long way.” Uraraka started absentmindedly chewing on her ice pop stick. “I don’t know why, but I still feel like I’m just missing something to be a real hero. Maybe it’s all just a lie. And maybe one day everyone will realize I haven’t had ‘it’ the whole time. ”

“I get that. Sometimes, I worry that I’m not strong enough to be a good hero. I still rely on other people to help me and solve my problems. If I didn’t have those people supporting me, I might just fall apart. Pretty useless really.”

“What?? But you’re so strong! You’ve never lost a battle!”

“It’s the exact opposite. I’ve seen multiple timelines where I failed spectacularly. Even though I passed our finals in this one timeline, there were a dozen others that I failed. So it’s all a lie for me too.”

Uraraka put her hand on Nishimura’s shoulder. “That reminds me of something Deku said. Maybe, all of us feel that way, a little bit. We feel half inspired, half intimidated by our teachers and classmates. We never really feel like we’ve gotten good enough.”

Nishimura nodded, “Yeah, I think it’s part of trying to be a hero. Always pushing ourselves to be better.”

Uraraka clapped her hands triumphantly. “And we’re all good at different things right! It’s like what Mr. Aizawa is always saying, we need to understand how we can help the most in each situation. Because it’s unreasonable to expect that we can do everything all by ourselves.”

“Unless you’re Bakugo.”

Uraraka and Nishimura burst out laughing.

“That really made me feel better,” Uraraka smiled.

“Me too. I think I needed that.” Nishimura looked at her thoughtfully. “I think that’s one of your abilities Uraraka. You like know how to make people feel more at ease.”

Uraraka covered her mouth with her hands and said, “No, no that’s not it—”

“Oh, I made something for you.” Nishimura pulled out the dogbane bracelet. “It’s a friendship bracelet. I thought since you were saying you’ve never been to camp before, that it would make a nice memory.”

“You made this? But I—I don’t have anything for you?”

“That’s okay, I just want you to have it.”

“Thank you so much!” Uraraka dipped her head. “I’m so glad you’re my friend!”

Nishimura felt his cheeks get flushed. Such brazen honesty. “Can I put it on?”

“Sure.”

Nishimura tied the ends together. Uraraka gushed some more about how great it was and how pumped up she felt.

“I’m gonna get back to training now!”

“Haha okay, see you later!” Nishimura waved goodbye and checked the time. He still had twenty minutes left for his break.


Big Bisexual Energy

“Alright, let’s take a quick breather and then swap partners.” Kendo from Class 1B said decisively, as she and the other fighters walked up to the rest area.

“Hey Nish! Were you watching my fight?”

“Yeah! You were looking good out there Kiri! Been using some of those moves I taught you huh?” Nishimura jumped to his feet and danced around doing some dramatic blocks and punches.

“Hell yeah!” Kiri fake sparred with his friend. He pretended to get injured by slight tap to the thigh. “Oh nooo, my leg, it’s broken.”

“You were a worthy opponent, Kirishima.” Nishimura bowed solemnly. “You brought honour upon yourself, your teachers, and your ancestors. Allow me to repay you, with an ice pop.”

“Nice!” Kirishima slung an arm around his friend’s shoulders and knocked heads with him, laughing. “I’d sell you to satan for one ice pop.”

“Same.” Nishimura ruffled his friend’s hair, grinning.

“Hey, I don’t think we’ve met before, I’m Tetsutetsu.”

“I’m Nishimura. I remember you from the Sports Festival! It’s nice to meet you again.” Nishimura shook hands with Tetsutetsu. “Huh.”

“What is it?”

“It’s just... your hands are so soft!”

Tetsutetsu blushed and said, “It’s because of my steel. Here, touch my arm.”

Nishimaru ran his hand up Tetsutetsu’s forearm and over his bicep. “Whoa it’s even softer.”

“You should touch my—”

Kendo chopped Tetsutetsu on the back of the head. “Geez, dude, pull it together.”

“I was going to say face!”

“That’s still a weird conversation starter!”

“Oh nice, there’s a bunch of flavours!” Kirishima was digging in the ice pop cooler. “There’s strawberry, yuzu, melon, grapefruit, and soda obviously. Tetsutetsu, which one do you want?”

“Uhhh... Man that’s hard to pick. Come back to me.”

“Kendo?”

“Mmm what were the options again?”

“Grapefruit, strawberry, yuzu, melon, and soda.”

“Geez, Kirishima, why are you trying to make me decide...” Kendo scratched her head and closed her eyes. “What are you picking?”

“Well I like soda, but I’m feeling kind of fruity.”

“Typical.” Tetsutetsu smirked.

“Geez, that doesn’t help me!”

Kirishima sighed, “Look at us, just a bunch of bisexuals trying to choose between many tasty treats.” He shook his head, “What a cliché.”

“Wait, you’re all bi?” Nishimura started putting two and two together.

“Well, technically, I’m pan.” Kirishima put up his hand.

“I’m bisexual and homoromantic.” Kendo added.

“I’m queer and single!” Tetsutetsu gave a thumbs up.

Kendo smacked him in the back of the head again. “And this is why!”

“Whoo this is super exciting! I didn’t know any other openly queer people at UA.” Nishimura punched Kirishima in the shoulder. “Except for this guy.”

“Yeah it was pretty much random that we even found each other.” Kirishima said.

“Or was it?” Tetsutetsu said mysteriously.

“Gaydar isn’t a quirk Tetsutetsu.”

“How do you know?!”

“Sorry to interrupt, but I think the ice pops are melting.” Ojiro popped his head into their queer chaos.

“Damn it, you’re right, good save Ojiro.”

“Oh I just had an idea! Ojiro, you should use your straight powers to decide what ice pops we each get!” Tetsutetsu said.

“Really? You want me to?”

“That’s a good idea actually, please choose for me!”

“Me too!”

Ojiro picked out five ice pops from the cooler and passed them around.

“Thank you for your allyship.” Kendo joked, opening her ice pop.

“Nice! I got soda!” Kirishima devoured his cold treat.

“Aww, you got grapefruit Nishimura?” Tetsutetsu looked at it longingly.

“Yeah, you want a bite?”

“Sure, you can have some of mine.”

They swapped ice pops and tasted each other’s.

Tetsutetsu noticed Nishimura had a piece of ice stuck to his top lip, and saw his opening. “Hold still, you’ve got something there—”

Kirishima swatted Tetsutetsu’s hand away from his friend’s face. “Back off man. He’s got a boyfriend.”

“Oh sorry.”

“It’s fine,” Nishimura flushed a bit. He’d never been around so many people like him, being open about their feelings.

“Since when have you two been dating?” Tetsutetsu pointed at Kirishima and Nishimura.

“Me and The Boulder?!”

“We’re not!”

“Sorry sorry! So who’s the boyfriend?”

“He’s... not out.”

“Damn, that sucks.”

“It’s hard to decide when to come out.” Kendo said thoughtfully. “I mean, I didn’t come out before I got into UA in case it would work against me. Luckily, our class has been super supportive. But it’s still unnerving, especially with new people.”

“Yeah, I think he will come out eventually, but this is all still really new to him.”

“It can be hard when one person is out and the other isn’t. Like, I dated a girl who never wanted to be seen hanging out with me in public.”

“Yeah I know right! This camp has been so hard because we’re constantly around each other, but we’re trying to be ‘discreet’.”

“Wait Nish, this guy is in the Hero Course?!” Kirishima grabbed his friend by the shoulders and shook him lightly. “Why didn’t I know this?!” Shake shake shake shake shake.

Nishimura tried to quickly backtrack. “No no, that’s not what I meant.”

“Is he in our class?!” Shake shake shake shake shake.

“Uhhhh.”

“Is he me?!” Tetsutetsu also got in on the action. Shake shake shake.

Smack smack. Kendo delivered two hits to Kirishima and Tetsutetsu. “Quit pestering Nishimura to out someone! We’re going back to training, which is what you should be focusing on! Come on Token Straight Dude!”

“See you later,” Ojiro waved and followed behind Kendo, who was dragging Kirishima and Tetsutetsu by their collars to their training ground.

Nishimura grinned. Wait til he told Todoroki.

Chapter Text

“I demand a throne!”

“Iida’s really getting into this game.”

“It’s kind of intense.”

“Silence commoners!” Iida pointed at Uraraka and Midoriya accusingly. “Your King is speaking!”

It was the second night of training camp, and Hagakure had suggested they play the King’s Game together. While the remedial students had gone to their extra classes, and some folks had gone to bed early, the rest of Class 1A crammed into the girls’ room to play.

Iida was the most recent winner and he was getting deep into the role. “I demand that number 5 and number 8 arm wrestle each other, and the loser will act as my throne for 10 minutes!”

Asui said, “I’m number 8.”

Yaoyorozu sighed, “I’m number 5.”

“Battle, my peons!” Iida gestured at both of them with an imperious air.

They didn't have a table in the room, so they had to arm wrestle lying down on the ground. Asui won the contest, so Yaoyorozu had to be the chair. “Ugh, do I have to?” she said.

“It’s either that or face the Consequences.” Iida said with a gleam in his eye.

“I took the Consequences once.” Ojiro shook his head. “I wouldn’t risk it.”

Jiro didn’t want their friend to feel uncomfortable. “Can’t Yaomomo just make you a chair?”

“That defeats the purpose!” Iida countered. “I must lord it over you that I am King!”

“Fine, I must do what I must.” Yaoyorozu got on her hands and knees.

The group whooped encouragingly. Iida made a big show of sitting on her back.

“Iida, are you putting your full weight on me?”

Iida broke character, looking concerned. “No, is it too—”

“If I’m your throne, sit down properly.” Yaoyorozu glared at him with determination.

Iida nodded. “Very well, my loyal subject! You are an excellent throne!”

“Okay, let’s re-draw.” Jiro rolled their eyes and gathered everyone’s sticks back. Jiro had a weird feeling in their guts, watching Yaomomo on her hands and knees, her ass sticking out and her hair falling over her face. Yaomomo's curves, her elegance, her intelligence were so different from Jiro. There was something exciting about watching her in such a lowly position.

They redrew sticks. 

“I’m King!” Uraraka jumped up and pumped her fist in the air. “I’ve got one! Number 1 has to wear Number 3’s socks on their hands for the rest of the round.”

“I’m Number 3.” Todoroki took off his socks.

“Who’s lucky number 1?” Uraraka asked.

“It’s me.” Yaoyorozu said.

Everyone laughed. Yaoyorozu had to be Iida’s chair for a few more minutes. Imagining her getting socks on over her hands in this position was hilarious.

Todoroki sat back down. “I guess I’ll wait—”

“No I can do it!” Yaoyorozu looked pretty stable even with Iida’s full weight on her back. “Come here.”

“I’ll put it on your left hand first, no my left.”

“Todoroki!”

“Sorry it’s caught. Flatten your hand. No. No, tuck in your thumb.”

“Faster! Ah I’m gonna—”

Yaoyorozu tipped over, sending Iida tumbling the ground. Todoroki tried to catch her but ended up just getting mixed up in the tumble.

The rest of the group erupted into laughter at the sight. 

Uraraka nervously helped Iida get untangled. “I’m sorry! I didn’t know this would happen!”

“Are you okay?” Jiro asked Yaoyorozu, helping her get up. They brushed their friend's hair back over her shoulder.

“Yeah. That was fun! Thanks Kyoka.”

Nishimura giggled as he watched Todoroki calmly put his socks back on in the midst of all the kerfuffle.

“Let’s draw again everyone!” Iida collected the sticks.

“Nice! I’m the King!” Hagakure shouted eagerly. “Number 2 and number 4 are a team. Number 6 and number 9 are a team.”

Asui and Tokoyami were a team, and Nishimura and Uraraka were a team.

“Each team has to have one person sitting in the other’s lap. And that person has to hold their breath as long as possible. The losing team... have to kiss!” Hagakure devolved into delirious laughter. She loved this kind of shit.

The group gasped. Kissing was exciting.

“Let’s try our best, Nishimura!” Uraraka fist bumped her friend.

“Right!”

Nishimura sat in Uraraka’s lap, and Tokoyami sat in Asui’s. Hagakure made sure they were fully “sitting” and judged how long they held their breath.

“Sue and Tokoyami lose! You have to kiss!”

“Excuse me! I don’t think we should pressure our classmates to kiss. Kissing can be a very personal matter and should be left to the individual to decide!” Iida lectured with big dad energy.

“Yeah, they should at least have an alternative option.” Nishimura offered.

“Fine,” Hagakure pouted. “You two can either kiss or... feed each other with your hands!”

“That’s still very intimate.” Ojiro pointed out.

“Those are the options! Or you could choose the Consequences. What will it be?”

“We already kissed.” Asui said.

“You were all too busy talking to notice.” Tokoyami added. He was looking down at the ground and blushing furiously.

“What?!” Hagakure squealed. “But no one saw.”

“I saw them.” Todoroki said. “It happened.”

Hagakure threw herself on the ground and pouted dramatically. 

“...Okay, let’s re-draw!”

“I have the King stick.” Midoriya said.

“What’s your command?”

“Hm, I have an idea...” Midoriya whispered something to Todoroki, who nodded. “Okay, number 10 has to come up here and take this ice.”

Todoroki formed a snowball-sized chunk of ice in his hand.

Ojiro came up to pick it up. “Dang, that’s cold.”

“Now Ojiro, you have to put the ice ball into the shirt of number ... 5. But they are allowed to try to get away, as long as they stay in this room.”

Iida jumped up and started running around the room. Ojiro leapt into pursuit, jumping around with his tail for balance. Iida was fast, but he had very little space to escape. Ojiro eventually grappled onto his back and pinned him to the ground.

“AHHH! So cold!” Iida squirmed on the ground making high pitched squeaks. He eventually managed to wiggle away and get the ice ball out. He advanced on Ojiro with a gleam in his eye.

“I’m sorry Iida! It's not my fault! I was just following the King’s orders!” Ojiro tried to fend his classmate back with his tail. "The bourgeoisie are trying to distract us by turning us against one another."

“You have a point.” Iida paused and considered this. "Let us hold them accountable for their crimes!”

Iida charged at Midoriya, wielding the ice ball like a sword and shouting, “Off with his head!”

“Todoroki, make more ice balls!”

Soon, everyone was armed with an ice ball.

Hagakure slipped around invisibly and caught Tokoyami completely off guard, who nearly jumped out of his skin and screeched about chills running down his spine. Uraraka was trying to hover above everyone and drop the ice, but she kept missing spectacularly. Yaoyorozu made a slingshot to nail people, but Asui got to her first.

Nishimura chased Todoroki around, eventually tackling him to the ground. Todoroki flipped him over and stuffed ice ball after ice ball into his clothes. Nishimura laughed uncontrollably like he was being tickled. Todoroki eventually released him because he could hardly breathe he was laughing so hard.

Ojiro and Iida teamed up and finally cornered Midoriya.

“Give up, Your Highness. Your days of tyranny are over.” Iida cackled.

Their teacher walked in as Ojiro was pinning Midoriya to the ground and Iida forced ice down his back.

Everyone froze—except Midoriya, who squealed as the ice traveled down his skin.

Aizawa stared at the eleven students crammed into the small room. Sleeping mats had been kicked aside, ice balls were melting all over, and it literally stunk of teenage hormones.

“It seems we didn’t train you hard enough today,” Aizawa drawled. “My mistake. Everyone, go run around the building 5 times. Then come back inside, clean up, and go to sleep.”

The group mumbled back dejectedly, “Yes sir.”


A Little Wander

“Hey, run slower!”

Todoroki waited up for his partner. Their classmates had already finished their laps, but both of them had lagged behind on purpose so they could chat.

They finished their last lap together and Nishimura flung himself on the rocky ground.

“Ah jeez, I’m so beat from training.”

Todoroki sat down next to him but resisted the urge to rub his arm. There were windows nearby, and people might still be up and about inside. “How many jumps did you do?”

“Like over 20.” Nishimura groaned, rolling over onto his belly. “Mr. Aizawa said we’re gonna do twice as much by the end of the week. I’m so exhausted. So much happened today. Oh! I found more queer friends!”

“How so?”

“Well I was hanging out with Kiri, and he introduced me to Tetsutetsu—you know the strong metal guy?—and Kendo from class 1B. And then we were talking about being bisexual disasters ‘cause we couldn’t even choose an ice pop. It was fun, I think you would have liked it too.”

Todoroki picked at the rocks in front of him. “Sounds like you made fast friends.”

“Well I still don’t really know them. I mean Kendo and I talked about the challenges of being out at school and figuring out relationships and stuff. And Tetsutetsu mostly tried hitting on me in such an awkward way—but not creepy. Just like, being weird and sixteen.”

Todoroki nudged him, “Hey, I have an idea. Come with me.”

Todoroki led him into the woods. They lost sight of the buildings quickly amid the dark conifer trees. It had been a dry summer, and the red pine needles crunched under their shoes. 

“Where are we going? Haven’t we exercised enough for one day?” Nishimura joked.

“I want some alone time with you.”

“Are you sure we should be sneaking off alone? What if the teachers get worried?”

“We won’t be gone long.” Todoroki stopped walking and turned around to face his guy. “This is far enough.”

Todoroki kissed him on the lips, heavy and wet. He pulled him into a tight embrace and pushed him against the trunk of a tree. He trailed kisses along his jaw line, his ear, his neck.

“I want you,” he growled into his skin. He took Nishimura’s hand and pressed it against his crotch.

Nishimura yanked his hand back like he had been burned.

Todoroki froze.

Nishimura looked away.

Todoroki stepped back and breathed in sharply. “What did I do?”

“I just...I don’t...,” Nishimura was mumbling and staring into space.

“You don’t want to have sex with me?”

“No! Well, I guess, you just, kind of... I wasn’t expecting...”

“Did I hurt you?”

“No, I just...” Nishimura covered his face with his hands. “I don’t know why, maybe I’m tired. It’s been a long day. I’m sorry, please don’t feel bad. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, when you touched me I just...” He started crying quietly. He got down on the dried up dirt and buried his face on his knees.

Todoroki felt empty. He thought of his mother, pulling away from him, crying because of him, looking at him with fearful eyes. “I’m sorry,” he whispered, but he felt like it wasn’t enough, that it would never be enough to cross the void between them.

Nishimura was still covering his tears behind his hands. His body was tense and curled in on itself, his shoulders heaving in sharp rhythm with his sobs.

Todoroki saw how scared and confused he was. It reminded him of how he had cried himself to sleep every night for weeks after his mother had been taken away from him. In fact, he had cried so much that he hadn’t shed a tear since. He remembered that he had just been a kid when his mom had burned him. He hadn’t done anything to deserve it. He wasn’t the one she was scared of.

“Shoto please.” Nishimura was shivering. He balled up his fists and scraped them against the ground repetitively. His breath was short and tight.

“I’m here, Yuki.” Todoroki spoke softly, trying to make his feelings clear. “Do you want me to hold you?”

Nishimura nodded shakily. Todoroki pulled him into his arms and let him cry into his shirt.

“It’s okay.”

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Please forgive me.”

“There’s nothing to forgive.” Todoroki squeezed him closer. “Can you take some deep breaths with me? This helps when I feel anxious. Breathe out as hard as you can. Now hold your breath. Slowly, breathe in. Do that again. I know it’s hard. Do it for me.”

Eventually, Nishimura’s breathing evened out and his crying dried up. He kept his face buried in Todoroki’s shirt though.

“I’m so sorry, I don’t know what happened. I want to have sex with you. I want to touch you. My brain just...” Nishimura shook his head.

“It’s okay, and you know you don’t have to explain why you don’t want sex. But it seemed like there was something ... triggering you.”

“But that’s—I’ve never felt that way before.”

“What did it feel like?”

“It was like... I wasn’t actually here. Like I was jumping but stuck in between timelines. You were you but also not you. And something bad was going to happen. I knew it was going to happen, but it felt like I couldn’t do anything.” Nishimura grabbed Todoroki’s hand and squeezed it. “It felt like nothing was real. Or like everything else was real but not me.”

“That sounds terrifying.”

“I think ... I felt for a minute... It doesn’t make any sense, but I thought you might be Delirium, that you were an illusion he created, that he was back.” Nishimura hurried to add, “I’m sorry I know you’re not like him.”

“It’s okay, I get it. I thought it might be something like that.”

Nishimura got choked up again, “I’m sorry Shoto. You’re being so supportive and comforting. You’re such a great person. I’m not being a good partner.”

“That’s not how I feel.” Todoroki brushed his partner’s hair tenderly. “I love you. I want to be able to talk about the hard stuff going on for you. And I’m glad that I can comfort you—I feel like I can’t do much to make it better.”

“I think I should go to counseling.”

“I’ll go with you.”

Nishimura wrapped his arms around Todoroki’s shoulders. Todoroki bent down so they could press deeper into each other.

“Thank you.”

They hugged each other for a while. The forest was cool and dark. Nishimura felt the breeze prickle his bare legs; his face was warm in the crook of his partner’s neck and his eyes were still puffy from crying.

“Do you want to go back to camp?”

“Yeah, the others will notice we’re gone.”

They started walking back, holding hands tightly.

Nishimura tried to lighten the mood, “Well that was probably the best round of the King’s Game I ever played.”

“Yeah, I hadn’t played it before.”

“Really?” Sometimes Nishimura forgot how sheltered and isolated little Shoto had been. “Well maybe we can play again tomorrow night. Those ice balls were perfect! Your quirk is full of fun opportunities.”

Todoroki smiled. “I can see the lights up ahead—”

Nishimura crackled and was replaced with a wetter, nuder version of himself.

“Yuki, what happened?! Why are you wet? And only wearing underwear?”

“Damn it, I was too tired, didn’t go back—” Nishimura tried to step forward and crumpled to the ground.

“Are you okay? I’ll get Mr. Aizawa.”

“No! I’m fine, I just need to rest. Shoto, I need you to run to the showers and check the sauna.”

“What? But—”

“It's Bakugo! He’s in the sauna!” Nishimura shouted. “Go! Quickly!”

Todoroki didn’t want to leave his guy, but clearly he came back for a reason. “Okay. Stay here, I’ll be back.”

Todoroki ran towards the baths. What had happened to Bakugo? Was he attacked in the sauna? Was he hurt? Or had Bakugo confronted Nishimura in the shower again?

He burst into the boys’ shower room. No one was in there. Todoroki walked up to the sauna, preparing himself for who knows what. He opened the door and was hit by a wall of moist heat.

Lying on the bench, eyes closed, was the Sparky Sparky Boom Boy himself.

“Bakugo?” Todoroki noticed his classmate was bright red. He did not seem to be relaxing. “How long have you been in here? Come on, get up.”

Bakugo didn’t budge. His hair was plastered to his forehead with sweat.

Luckily, Todoroki knew how to treat burns. He grabbed Bakugo by the shoulder and heaved him up off the bench. It felt like picking up a sack of cinderblocks. Todoroki half-carried, half-dragged him out of the sauna and into a shower. He turned on the water to lukewarm and sprayed him down.

“What—” Bakugo woke up, recoiling from the water. “Ow, ow.”

Todoroki angled the shower head to spray his chest.

“What the fuck Icy Hot! What are you doing?!”

“Cooling you off, slowly.”

“By spraying me with boiling water?!” Bakugo finally got up the strength to pull himself up and out of the water spray. He stumbled and held onto the shower wall for support.

“It’s cold water.” Todoroki pointed at Bakugo’s red skin. “You were in the sauna too long. Your skin has a first degree burn, that's why it hurts.”

Bakugo felt hot and nauseous. He remembered going into the sauna. He was tired. He was just going to lie down for a second.

“You should drink water and take a cold shower—”

“Fuck you! I don’t need your help!” Bakugo grabbed a towel and stormed off. His skin felt dry and sunburnt. A cold shower would have helped, but he couldn’t go back in there now.

Bakugo headed to the outdoor kitchen. He pumped water into his hand and gulped in down. No matter how much water he gulped down, his throat still felt parched. He started to get nauseous from the water landing in his stomach, so he stopped.

He sat down and used a little cool water to splash on his face. He had felt so weak and tired at the end of the day. It was because he had trained so hard. He had assumed the sauna would help relax him like before.

Bakugo took a few deep breaths. He felt better now, although his skin was still sore, especially along the back of his arms and legs where he had been lying on the wooden bench.

Part of him knew it was his own fault. He had gotten so worked up over a damn game. His classmates had been so excited to stay up all night acting like silly kids. He knew those games were just about social humiliation. And kissing.

Social humiliation and kissing were the last things Bakugo wanted.

Chapter Text

“Bakugo. Follow me.”

Bakugo wiped his hands off on his shirt and stretched them. He had only gotten a couple hours of training in, and his wrists were already sore.

Aizawa led his student on a trail in the woods. “Your wrists. How are they?”

“They’re fine.” Bakugo stopped stretching them, obstinately shoving his hands in his pockets.

“Right.” Aizawa bit back a sarcastic comment. Bakugo was so basic.

“Where are we going?”

“Your quirk isn’t just lacking in terms of scale. You also have a lot to learn about interpreting a situation to set up for the next move.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, you need to think ahead. Uraraka gave you a run for your money at the Sports Festival because she was planning several moves ahead, and you continued to misread the situation and give her openings to exploit.”

Bakugo clenched his jaw. Mr. Aizawa could read him like an open book. It was aggravating.

They arrived in a large clearing. Pixiebob had formed a mini arena of rock filled with a maze of passageways, caves, and boulders. The whole thing was only about the length of two tennis courts.

Sitting outside the entrance of the arena, writing things down in a journal, was Nishimura.

“What’s that lazy weakling doing here?”

“Nishimura has complementary skills to work on. He needs to practice making quick, precise jumps in high pressure situations. His quirk puts you at a disadvantage in terms of forethought.”

“Not if I blast him first!”

Aizawa pinched the bridge of his nose. Fucking basic.

“Not if you’re not careful and intentional about it. As part of this training, you are only allowed to use three blasts.”

“Why?!”

“Because, believe it or not, not every problem can be solved by blowing things up.”

Nishimura smirked at Bakugo.

Aizawa lectured, “You can’t perpetually rely on massive, ill-timed explosions to win the day. You need to learn how to slow down, see two steps ahead, find your openings. Like Nishimura.”

Nishimura smirked wider. It was fun to watch Bakugo silently fuming.

“The round ends if either of you gets tagged by the other. Nishimura, you—” Aizawa turned to his student just as he was crackling from a jump.

“You cheated!” Nishimura pointed accusingly at Bakugo. He was breathing heavily. “He blew up the whole arena the second we started!”

“Didn’t see that coming, huh Pretty Boy!” Bakugo tossed back arrogantly.

“Calm down, both of you!” Aizawa snapped. He was running on very little sleep and there was still a full day ahead. “Bakugo, don’t destroy the arena. Nishimura, remember this isn’t all about your training. Take breaks in between rounds. I’ll be back in an hour to check on your progress.”


Several missteps, missed openings, and cursewords later, Bakugo and Nishimura were taking a break. They were drinking water at the edge of the arena.

Nishimura was jotting down notes in his journal. He had won the last round by using the terrain to sneak up on Bakugo. His quirk precision was all over the map, but he was starting to notice some patterns he could build on.

Bakugo was listening to music on his earbuds. He was mad at himself. He had wasted his first two blasts early on in the round. He wouldn’t make that mistake again.

“Hey. Heyyy.” Nishimura waved his hand in front of Bakugo’s face.

“What do you want, Lazy Boy?”

Nishimura decided to ignore the new insult. “I just thought, it might help to talk about the last round—”

“Fuck off.” Bakugo got up and stretched. “Just because you won that last round doesn’t mean you’re better than me. I don’t need help from a loser like you.”

Bakugo walked back into the center of the arena, ready for the next round.

Nishimura imagined jumping back and smacking Bakugo in the back of the head while he was listening to music. Something about the guy just set him off. He decided to try to avoid him the rest of camp.

But first, he had training to do.

“Let’s do this, punk.”


An Unexpected Gift

“Mr. Aizawa, are you in here? It’s Nishimura.”

Aizawa rolled over in bed. He was hoping to get a few moments of rest before dinnertime. He was a fool to have allowed himself such a luxurious pipe dream.

“I’m just going to slide it under the door—Oh.” Nishimura was caught off guard when his teacher flung open the door suddenly. It was even more surprising because he was standing up, wearing a full body sleeping bag. “Oh sorry to disturb you, I didn’t know you were sleeping!”

“I wasn’t.” Aizawa blinked slowly.

“Well, I can just leave this here...” Nishimura set down a small folded up paper on the ground.

“What is it?”

“It’s, uh, something I wanted to show you.”

“Wouldn’t it make more sense to hand it to me then?”

“Yes, sorry sir.” Nishimura handed the paper to his teacher.

Aizawa opened it. It was a watercolor sketch of a black woodpecker on the side of a tree. Nishimura had written “Thank you Mr. Aizawa” underneath.

“I wanted to make you something to say thank you.” Nishimura bowed formally. “You’ve taught me how to be like the woodpecker. Now I can be more precise and attentive when I use my quirk, so I can help more people. But more than that, you have been so kind to me, even though I’m more trouble than it’s worth. I cannot thank you enough for being so supportive and patient and—sorry, I’m getting emotional again.”

Nishimura wiped his eyes.

“It’s lovely.” Aizawa patted his student on the head. “And don’t worry, you’re worth all the trouble.”

Nishimura sniffed and said another thank you. “Also, Ragdoll told me to tell you that they need your help. I think it was setting up something for the test of courage?”

Aizawa groaned. He would never get to have his nap. “Alright, go back to the group. And dinner better be good quality tonight.”

“Yes sir!” Nishimura ran back to the cooking area.

Aizawa looked at the drawing again and folded it back up. He tucked it into his shirt pocket and said to himself, “Fucking kids.”


Tiger Tells A Tale

“Wow, Bakugo, you’re really good with that knife. It’s weird.”

“What do you mean it’s weird! How can you people be so damn bad at everything?!”

“Look at that, he’s not blowing stuff up.”

“I’m too tired for this.”

“Too tired for what?” Nishimura plopped another bowl of peeled potatoes next to Kirishima’s cutting board.

Kirishima was about to answer when right behind them, Bakugo screeched murderous proclamations at his classmates.

Kirishima sighed. He had been trying to steer clear of Bakugo, but it was hard when he kept popping up unexpectedly and loudly. Kirishima mumbled, “That. I’m too tired for that.”

Nishimura grinned and leaned against the counter at his friend’s elbow. He said in a quiet voice, “Sparky Sparky Boom Boy is like a full time job isn’t he? You must really like him to put up with that.”

Kirishima jolted. His hand slipped on the potato he was cutting and it bounced off the cutting board into the dirt. He pictured his dream from two nights ago, his hand trailing up Bakugo’s smooth chest to his needy face begging for more. The more he thought about it, the more obvious it was to him that it wasn’t a random sex dream. Kirishima liked Bakugo.

“Kiri? Are you okay?”

Kirishima shook off his troubling thoughts. He couldn’t deal with it now. Maybe after training camp was over, he could figure out how deep his feelings went. For now, he would just avoid talking to, looking at, or thinking about his friend/crush. “I’m fine, just got distracted.”

“I’ll say. It looked like you floated off to a different planet. Uranus, perhaps?”

Kirishima scowled and flicked his friend in the arm, “Don’t make me kick Uranus.”

Nishimura rolled his eyes and groaned. “I don’t know which hurts more, the threat or the terrible pun.”

Kirishima laughed and shoved his friend playfully. “Such a drama queen.”

“Are you gonna get that?” Nishimura pointed at the half potato lying in the dirt.

“Uh, not much point now.”

“What, and let it go to waste? Just because of a little dirt.” Nishimura tutted disapprovingly and grabbed a bowl of water. He dunked the dirty potato in the bowl and scrubbed it clean. “Such a wasteful society we live in. A lot of energy went into making this single potato! And you would toss it aside so heartlessly.”

Kirishima grinned at his theatrical speech. He took the clean potato out of Nishimura’s hand and dropped it back on the ground, without ever breaking eye contact.

Nishimura reached over and sloshed the bowl of dirty potato water at Kirishima’s shirt. Kirishima ducked out of the way, but Kaminari was walking right behind him and got the whole back of his pants soaked.

“Not my fashionably tight track pants!” Kaminari wailed.

“Oops.”

“Hey you! With the water! Come here.” The pro hero Tiger bellowed from across the clearing. He was standing and supervising the outdoor kitchen. His voice sounded serious.

“Uh-oh, Nish.” Kirishima grimaced apologetically.

“This is all your fault Kiri,” Nishimura muttered under his breath.

“Hey look on the bright side: if Tiger beats you up, I get to have your dessert.”

“Kirishima! You too! Chop chop!”

Nishimura smirked at his friend. “Nice, I get a human shield.”

“Shut up Nish.”

They walked over to Tiger’s side of the clearing. Tiger had his bulky arms crossed over his ripped chest and was flaring his muscular nostrils.

“Come with me.” Tiger turned and marched into the forest, away from the kitchen area.

Nishimura’s head drooped—he had a bad feeling this meant more exercise. Kirishima tensed up, expecting a boring lecture about being a disappointment. But they both followed him.

Tiger led them down a narrow path for a few minutes. They emerged in a small meadow, bathing in the late evening sunlight. In the middle of the field of flowers was a circular formation of boulders. The boulders were smooth and looked out of place, like a boulder collie had been passing through here and shook off a few specks.

Tiger motioned for them to sit on the boulders. Nishimura and Kirishima sat down side by side, exchanging confused shrugs.

Tiger sat down on a boulder across from them. He crossed his legs but folded them down so his skirt didn’t flip up. He breathed in deeply and said, “I want to show you something. Close your eyes.”

Nishimura and Kirishima looked at each other. What was Tiger planning to do? Why did he bring them all the way out here away from their class? Was a sneak attack coming?

“I didn’t bring you here to hurt you.” Tiger reassured them. “This is one of my favorite places on this land. I come here to practice relaxation techniques.”

Nishimura nodded and closed his eyes. He shuffled to get comfortable on the rock, propping his legs up in front of him. Kirishima didn’t bother trying to get comfortable and just screwed his eyes shut.

“With your eyes closed, focus on your breath. Feel it move through every cell in your body. Notice how it connects you to the sky, to the flowers, to the boulder beneath you.”

Nishimura tried to relax. He focused on breathing and on listening to the sounds around them in the meadow. The grasses were swishing and skittering in the wind. The cicadas were screaming in a lazy, nearly sunset kind of way.

They sat there for what felt like an hour. Nishimura tried to stay focused and present, but he was exhausted. He had overworked himself in the training against Bakugo. He wasn’t even sure he would have enough energy for the test of courage tonight.

Kirishima tried to clear his mind. He tried to imagine he was a rock, and rocks didn’t need to think. They didn’t need to think about other rocks—how it would feel to grind into them, whether it meant they were a bad friend for even looking at that rock, what they could ever possibly say to explain how they were feeling. Rocks weren’t supposed to have feelings.

“You’re distracted.” Tiger pointed out.

“Oh uh, yeah you’re right.” Kirishima rubbed his eyes. “Sorry, I’ve just got a lot on my mind.”

Nishimura opened his eyes and checked his watch. It had only been ten minutes. “Yeah, I’m not very good at meditating.”

Tiger opened his eyes and cracked his neck. “Neither am I. I was very angry and emotional as a young person, and I had to teach myself to sit and be still and accept my situation.”

Nishimura thought he knew someone who would benefit from some mindfulness for anger management, but he kept his snide comment to himself.

“Did it help?” Kirishima asked. He could use a reboot for his feelings at the moment.

“It did. It can be hard to be young. I felt like the whole world was out to get me. Sometimes I was right. I ran away from home when I was fifteen, completely finished with my family. It took me a long time before I found my way to becoming a hero, a part of a team. If I could go back to that lost child, I wonder what I would have said to him. I wonder if he would have even heard me.”

Nishimura stretched his legs out. He wasn’t sure what this talk was about. It sounded like Tiger was just rambling out loud now, reminiscing about his past, completely oblivious to their presence. Kirishima seemed interested though, so he might as well wait it out.

“I was eighteen, when I finally figured it out. Although, and this might be true for you too, I think I had known for a long time, but I just couldn’t face it. It suddenly all made sense. My outbursts, my interests, my intense training, even my desire to be a hero. I was trying so hard to prove myself, and to prove to myself, that I could be the strongest man.”

Nishimura sat up straighter. Tiger’s story reminded him of his own struggle to understanding that he was male, that it was even possible that he could be male. “You seem super strong to me.” It was true too; Tiger was pure muscle, he was fast, he was terrifying in a charismatic way.

Kirishima wished that his body could be big and ripped like that. He had worked really hard in the past year to get rid of his feminine hips, but he still wasn’t as broad and angular as other guys. Kirishima said, “Yeah, you’re so manly!”

Tiger laughed gruffly. “Ha, don’t be fooled kitten. I didn’t shape myself to be this way by accident. I spent years putting my body through hell, working out in all the wrong ways, just to get the perfect physique. The hormone replacement therapy helped, my body finally started developing in the ways I wanted it to.”

Kirishima was startled. Hormone therapy? He looked at Tiger’s heeled boots, his thick thighs, his ridiculous facial hair. It was all fitting together.

Tiger continued, “But even after I changed my name, my ID, my body, I still wasn’t good enough. I couldn’t even rest after I had my surgery, and I ended up tearing open my incisions. My eating disorder didn’t go away on its own, I still have to check myself every day. All the toxic thoughts kept churning inside of me, and I had to work really hard on my relationships with my team mates.”

Nishimura couldn’t believe it: he was talking to a trans pro Hero! A super buff, gender non-conforming, confident, and self-aware Hero! Who had a long, distinguished career working alongside famous pros around the world!

Tiger continued, “I know that you two are like me. Obviously not exactly the same, but you know the challenges and pitfalls of trying to shape yourself into a form that others will understand—of trying to be the best man.”

“How did you know?” Kirishima squirmed. Was his body really that different?

“I did the medical intake for camp. It didn’t specifically say, but I noticed the hormonal supplementation. Then I watched you train and interact with each other. It wasn’t anything to do with how you look, if that’s what you’re asking.”

Kirishima gulped in relief. He didn’t want to think about the teachers gossiping about their intersex and trans students. He couldn’t really picture Mr. Aizawa acting that way. “Thanks.”

“This is amazing! Meeting another trans Hero, you don’t know how much this means to me.” Nishimura gushed. “I just feel so grateful.” He blinked back tears.

“I feel very lucky to meet you as well. The next generation!” Tiger stood up and laid a paw on each of the young men’s shoulders. “I think if I could talk to that confused, angry little kid I used to be, I would tell him that he didn’t have to be strong. That he didn’t have to prove himself. That he didn’t have to destroy his body. That he didn’t have to lock up his feelings. That he didn’t have to be a man the way that he had been told to. That he could choose to be his own kind of man.”

Nishimura felt his throat go dry. He looked at Kirishima and they smiled at each other.

“Also, you look good in bubble skirts!”

“What?”

“That’s what I would have told myself. And it’s true.” Tiger fluffed up the ruffles on his skirt.

Kirishima grinned. “Werk it, Tiger.”

Chapter Text

“What was in the bag?”

Tokoyami and Shoji ignored Todoroki’s question. They were still processing what had happened. The villains had been about to take Tokoyami and Bakugo through a warp gate. At the last minute, Aoyama had used his navel laser to knock them free. Shoji had grabbed Tokoyami. Todoroki had missed Bakugo.

Just like that, Bakugo was gone. Midoriya was crumpled on the ground, screaming in agony and grief. The adrenaline had completely worn off and his body was destroyed.

“The bag was heavier than it looked,” Todoroki muttered. He had noticed the villain had to drag it through the warp gate. Something about it didn’t sit right with him. “Aoyama! You’ve been here the whole time right? What did the villains put in the bag?”

“I-I don’t know. They already had the bag with them when they got here?”

“Todoroki, what’s going on?” Shoji asked.

“I thought the bag was just for weapons, but they specifically mentioned it as they were leaving. In the same breath as they talked about taking Bakugo.”

“You think... someone was in there?” Tokoyami asked in shock.

“Which way did they come from? With the bag?” Todoroki asked Aoyama.

“Down that path, over there.”

“Stay with Midoriya! I’m going to search in that direction!” Todoroki ran off down the dark path.

“Wait, Todoroki!” Shoji yelled, but he was too late to stop him. “What is he even looking for? We should go after him—”

“No. Let him search. He needs something to distract him.” Tokoyami held his friend back. “Besides, Midoriya needs us.”

Todoroki sprinted down the path. He noticed the forest fire on his left was growing. He started sweeping the burning trees with ice. Even though the fire would eventually melt it, it would at least make a buffering zone and slow down the inferno.

He tried not to think about who could be in the bag. He tried not to think about how he had failed Bakugo. He tried not to think about how his other classmates had fared against the villains.

He saw a glint on the ground up ahead. As he got closer, he could see it was a knife sticking out of a pile of mud. He recognized the knife.

“Yuki.” Todoroki leaned down to pick up the knife. He didn’t understand what the mud was about. But this meant that his partner had been here and he had probably fought one of the villains.

“Nishimura!” Todoroki yelled at the top of his lungs. He didn’t hear anything in response. “Yuki! Where are you!”

He ran further up the path and almost missed it: a patch of red on the green grass. Next to the small pool of blood was a bloodied knife. It was also Nishimura’s.

The villain with the fire quirk had been putting pressure on his right arm, like he had been wounded.

Todoroki started yelling his partner’s name continuously, without even waiting to hear if he called back. He knew Nishimura wasn’t going to call back. But he couldn’t stop.

Todoroki felt like he couldn’t breathe. He was still screaming, but in between shouts he gasped in air like he was suffocating. His legs were shaking so much he fell down onto his hands and knees. He felt like he was going to throw up, and he did. But it didn’t make the nausea go away; his head was still spinning and his stomach was still heaving. All he could taste and smell was his own bile.

He could hear the roar of the forest fire growing louder. The bright blue flames were surrounding him, pressing in on all sides.

Todoroki knew he was going to die out here, alone. He had to get up. He had to find help. He couldn’t save Nishimura or Bakugo if he was dead. He struggled to get to his feet, and he took a few steps forward before he fell down again.

He was lying there, shaking and dry heaving on the ground, when Aizawa found him.

Aizawa and the other teachers had gathered the majority of students at the main camp. He was searching the forest for the rest. The villains had managed to escape with the quirk of the warp villain, but there were still 12 of his students unaccounted for.

Make that 11 students unaccounted for. Aizawa took one look at him and knew Todoroki was coming out of a severe panic attack. He had an idea why he was in this state, but he hoped he was wrong. “Todoroki. It’s Mr. Aizawa. Can you hear me?”

Todoroki nodded and groaned. He wiped the corner of his mouth with his sleeve. The ground was still shaky, but at least it wasn’t spinning anymore.

“Todoroki. I’m looking for the rest of the students. Do you know where they are?”

“Gone.” Todoroki said, his voice cracking. His brain was in a fog. It felt like hours ago that all that had happened with the villains.

“What do you mean gone?”

Todoroki just shook his head. He was so tired.

“Who is gone?”

Todoroki remembered, and he forced the words out like pulling out deep splinters. “Nishimura. Bakugo.”

Aizawa made the list of students shorter by two. It was practical. He needed to focus on the present. “What about the others? Have you seen Midoriya, Shoji, Tokoyami, Asui, Uraraka, Aoyama, Hagakure, Jiro, Yaoyorozu?”

Todoroki nodded, and he lost his balance. Aizawa caught him before he fell on the same patch of grass he had been sick on.

“Todoroki, I’m going to pick you up.” Aizawa lifted his student carefully, knowing that touch and movement might be painful for him at the moment. He used his capturing bandages to strap him securely to his back. “We’re going to go look for your classmates, and then I will get you home, alright?”

Todoroki groaned in response. He was half asleep already.

Aizawa could easily figure out where Todoroki had come from by following the trail of ice. He didn’t have to go far before he noticed the patch of bloody earth and Nishimura’s throwing knife. He reminded himself that he needed to focus on the present.

He tracked the ice to a clearing, where a giant ice wall still stood. It was obvious there had been a battle here. Aizawa scanned the tracks on the ground; even in the dark, he couldn’t miss the large group of tracks walking together back towards camp. “I count five, maybe six people. A few of them are carrying others. That could be all of them.”

Aizawa mulled over his options. He decided not to follow the large group of tracks. He would cut through the forest a longer way round to search more ground for other students to rescue.

“We’re going to go around this way Todoroki." Aizawa knew that Todoroki was asleep—his breathing was regular and his body was relaxed. But Aizawa still felt that he needed to reassure his student. "I think your classmates can get back to camp together. After all, you are the strongest group of students I’ve ever-”

Aizawa felt his words catch in his throat. 


Iida Makes a Promise He Can't Keep

“We’re almost there.”

“I’m so sorry Midoriya, just bear it a little longer.”

Midoriya mumbled feebly. Shoji was carrying him on his back as their group hastened back to the main camp. Aoyama and Tokoyami were carrying Hagakure and Jiro, who had been knocked unconscious by the toxic gas. Uraraka was carrying Kaibara from class 1B.

“There’re lots of people up ahead! They have a first aid area too.” Asui ran up to them after scouting in front of their group.

“Shoji! Over here!” Iida waved them over to the first aid area.

“Midoriya’s arms are badly hurt. He’s in a lot of pain.”

“Mandalay, Midoriya needs attention! Put him over there Shoji.” Iida directed his classmates. “Tokoyami, Aoyama, Uraraka, you can put them over there with the rest of the unconscious students. Ashido can get you blankets.”

Mandalay was treating a few mild injuries on another student, but she jumped up as soon as she saw Midoriya. "Put him on the table!" Mandalay directed Shoji to one of the kitchen tables that had been repurposed as a treatment slab.

Shoji tried to put Midoriya down as gently as possible, but he still cried out pitifully when he was moved. Shoji felt his lungs catch. He hated seeing his friend like this. "Mandalay... he's in a lot of pain."

Mandalay prepared a needle with medicine, "I'm going to give him a sedative. That should help, at least until the emergency services get here. Why don't you go back to help Iida?"

Meanwhile, Tokoyami, Aoyama and Uraraka laid their classmates on the ground. Eight other students, all from class 1B, were already lying there in a row of bodies. Ashido got them set up with blankets and pillows.

“Everyone else, if you need some first aid, please sit over here!” Iida directed the rest of the group to a bunch of chairs. Four students from class 1B with mild injuries were sitting there, being tended to by other students.

Shoji and Asui looked at each other. They were injured, but they could still go on. “We should go back to find—”

“Absolutely not! It is not safe out there and you could get lost in the dark.” Iida said with a commanding tone. “The teachers are already out finding the rest of the students. Mr. Vlad has gone out to direct emergency services—they should be arriving soon. We are under strict orders to stay here and take care of the injured.”

“Hey, there’s more people!” Kaminari ran up to them with a bundle of blankets and other supplies in his arms. “Man I’m so glad you’re alright!”

Kirishima ran up behind Kaminari, lugging a large jug of water. “Are you guys okay?”

“Hagakure and Jiro were knocked out by the gas. Midoriya snapped both his arms. We’re a little beat up.” Asui looked down at the ground. She didn’t know how to explain what had happened to Bakugo.

“Did Todoroki get back yet? He ran off on his own.” Shoji looked around for their classmate.

“No, but did you guys see Bakugo out there?” Kirishima said.

Neither of them could work up the courage to answer him. It was a raw wound eating them up inside.

“Guys, did you see Bakugo?” Kirishima repeated, looking back and forth between Asui and Shoji. “We heard the villains were targeting him.”

Iida could sense something was wrong. He had to compartmentalize the situation to get his classmates through this crisis. Mr. Aizawa had left him in charge of the crowd while Mandalay was busy treating the injured. He needed to keep everyone safe. “Kirishima, why don’t you go put the water over there and pour some out for everyone. We’ll figure things out once everyone is back.”

“Why is no one answering me?!” Kirishima snapped in frustration. He dropped the jug of water with a bang. He had been left completely in the dark, while his friends were fighting for their lives. He needed to get answers.

Tokoyami and Uraraka rejoined their huddle. Tokoyami saw the confusion and grief on Kirishima’s face, and he knew he had to confirm his worst fear. “Bakugo was taken prisoner by the villains. As was I. Shoji, Midoriya, and Todoroki tried to extricate us, but the villains escaped through warp gates. With Bakugo.”

Kirishima shook his head, “No, no that’s impossible. Bakugo’s way too strong to get captured. It was a trick—one of those villains had a quirk to make clones of people that could walk and talk—it wasn’t really—”

“Kirishima,” Uraraka reached out to touch his arm tenderly.

Kirishima stepped back and shook his head again. “No! You’re wrong! Iida, tell them what we saw earlier, it was a clone I’m telling you.”

Iida took a deep breath. His guts were twisted up, but he had to put on a level-headed front. “We should wait until the teachers get back before we jump to any conclusions. Kirishima, let’s just—”

“I’m finished waiting! I’m going out to look for Bakugo!” Kirishima screamed out, louder than he meant to. He knew it wasn’t Iida’s fault, or his other classmates’, but he just needed to see his friend.

Iida jumped forward to hold Kirishima back. “I can’t allow you to leave.”

Even though it killed him to hear it, Kaminari had known Bakugo was gone. The teachers obviously knew it. But Kirishima didn't want to accept it. He tried to comfort his friend, “Come on, man, think about it, we need to stick together.”

“Bakugo isn’t here! I’m going to find him! Iida, let go!” Kirishima tried to yank his arm away, but Iida held fast. They struggled back and forth.

“Iida’s just trying to help—” Kaminari stepped into the way, and without even thinking about it, Kirishima lashed out and knocked him to the ground.

“Dude, what the hell—” Kaminari wiped his nose to check he wasn’t bleeding.

Iida yanked Kirishima forward, “Calm down! We can’t let our emotions get the better of us!”

Asui added, “Iida’s right. We’re all worried about Bakugo, okay? But fighting each other won’t get him back.”

Kirishima stopped struggling. He hated that their words made sense. But fighting them was useless. He leaned down to help Kaminari up, and said, “I’m sorry man, I didn’t mean to—”

“Nah it’s okay. I just stuck my nose in too deep.” Kaminari gave a small smile. He knew Kirishima cared about Bakugo a whole lot. He was trying to fight the truth because the truth was excruciating.

“Hey, a little help here!” Another group of students arrived. Kendo was dragging Tetsutetsu and a stranger behind her. Awase was carrying Yaoyorozu on his back.

“What happened to Yaomomo?” Asui and Uraraka ran forward to help their friend. Yaoyorozu had a gash on her forehead spilling blood all down her face.

“She’s unconscious, I’m sorry, we tried to get away but there was this scary Nomu with a chainsaw—”

“Let’s put her over here.” Asui guided them over to the first aid area.

“Kendo, is Tetsutetsu okay?” Kirishima asked, checking over his friend.

“Yeah he’ll be okay. I think he breathed in too much of the gas while we were fighting this guy.”

“That’s a villain?” Kaminari sized up the guy Kendo was clenching in her Big Fist. He was short, dressed in a school uniform, and pretty innocuous looking.

“Yeah, he was the one making the poisonous gas.”

“Tokoyami, go find us some rope so we can tie this villain up!” Iida delegated the job, still standing close to Kirishima in case he had another meltdown.

“I’ll take Tetsutetsu.” Kaminari offered, eager to have a job to do. He tried to lift him and immediately regretted it. “Damn he weighs like a tonne. His skin is really soft tho.”

Kendo smiled and wiped the sweat off her face. “Yeah, I know.”

Kirishima was still staring at the knocked out villain. He was part of the group that took Bakugo. He could have important information. “What if we wake him up? Get him to tell us where the villains are hiding?”

“He won’t tell us.”

“He will if we convince him.” Kirishima cracked his knuckles threateningly.

“You’re not serious, right?” Kendo looked at her friend with wide eyes.

“Kirishima, you can’t be suggesting that.” Iida said sharply. He recognized the vengeful hatred in Kirishima’s eyes. It was the same look he carried when he hunted down the hero killer Stain after he had attacked his brother. Iida understood the anger, but torture was unlawful and cruel.

Kirishima felt a hot wave of shame rush down his throat. He realized what he was saying. What was wrong with him? What was he thinking? His head was pounding. He felt like breaking something and screaming and making a scene, but he also felt like he could just lie down and close his eyes and drop away from the world.

Kirishima started crying. It was all too much. He needed Bakugo. He needed Bakugo to be okay. But Bakugo was gone.

Iida wrapped his arms around Kirishima’s shoulders and pulled him in close to his chest.

Kirishima cried harder, appreciating the hug but also surprised. “It’s okay, just let me—I’m not—I’m sorry I can’t—”

“It’s alright.” Iida rubbed Kirishima’s back soothingly in his embrace. He felt Kirishima’s heavy, ratcheting sobs cutting through his chest. His classmate was in so much pain. This was all he could do. “I’m here for you.”

“Tell me—” Kirishima choked out, clenching his fists against Iida’s soft blue undershirt. “Tell me they’ll get him back.”

Iida watched Kirishima crack open, his tears spilling onto him, his hands gripping him like he might fall over. It would be a lie to say that Bakugo would be rescued. There was no way Iida could know that, and there was nothing he could do to get him back. If he said it, he would have to stand by it as steadfast as a promise.

But Kirishima needed him. So Iida forced himself to sound sure. “They’ll get him back.”

Chapter Text

“Why are you at the hospital?!”

“I could ask you that.”

“Well, I—I couldn’t just sit at home, so I figured I would come here.”

“Me too. I felt the same.”

Todoroki shifted on his feet. He had been exhausted the past two days from his panic attack at camp and hadn’t been able to leave the house at all. He had come to see his friends, but he had also come for a different purpose.

Kirishima felt relieved that someone else was there. Even though he didn’t exactly vibe with Todoroki, if anybody could understand what he was feeling right now, it was him. “So, do you want to go visit Midoriya together?”

Todoroki nodded. “Yeah, that sounds good.”

They walked down the hallway side by side. The air smelled like disinfectant.

Kirishima said, “I never liked hospitals. They just feel so empty and gloomy.”

“I don’t mind them. I find they’re ... predictable.”

As they passed by Yaoyorozu’s room, they noticed the door was open. They peered inside stealthily. All Might and a police officer were talking to her. She gave them a receiver that she said could help them track down the location of Bakugo and Nishimura’s kidnappers.

Todoroki tugged on Kirishima’s sleeve and motioned for them to leave. They hurried down the hall before they were spotted.

“This is great news!” Kirishima beamed. “They’ve got a solid lead to track them down.”

Todoroki nodded. He held back from saying anything. He didn’t have such a positive outlook. But this information was incredibly valuable. The timing was almost too good to be true.

They got to Midoriya’s room and Kirishima knocked. A nurse opened the door and intercepted them.

“Sorry boys, I’ve got to check your friend’s vitals. It should only be about a half hour.” The nurse noticed how this news upset the young students and added, “You can go check out the cafeteria while you wait. The pudding’s halfway decent.”

“Do you want to go get something to eat?” Kirishima asked his friend.

Todoroki shrugged. He didn’t feel hungry, but he didn’t feel like being alone either.

The cafeteria was fairly empty. A few haggard looking adults sat staring into their coffee cups. Kirishima ordered beef soba while Todoroki just got a tea. They grabbed a table in a private little corner.

“Listen,” Kirishima said as they sat down. “I think we should talk about the elephant in the room.”

Todoroki felt his body tense up. He knew Kirishima was close with Bakugo and Nishimura. If anyone would have reason to tear into him, it was Kirishima. “What do you want to talk about?”

“You know, what we’re going through.” Kirishima rubbed the back of his head. “Just the whole situation since Bakugo and Nish were captured. I know we’re not super close, so I get if you don’t want to talk about it, and honestly I still feel pretty emotional about it, but Nish always encourages me to talk through hard things and actually it helps most of the time.”

“Oh right.” Todoroki sipped at his tea, feeling both relieved and disappointed that he wasn’t going to be yelled at. “So how are you?”

“I don’t know. I’m not really one thing, it’s just all these different things mixed up, fighting inside my head.” Kirishima clutched his temple and said quietly, “It’s really getting to me, not knowing what’s going to happen next.”

Todoroki nodded, “Everyone keeps telling me it’ll be fine. But they don’t know that.”

“Yeah exactly.” Kirishima pulled out his phone. “I keep reading through the group chats, I keep refreshing the news, but it’s all the same thing. It’s so shitty. Just waiting and not being able to do anything.”

“I know the feeling.” Todoroki stared into his cup of tea. He had been lying in bed for two days. He was done with doing nothing.

“And it’s like I feel guilty, you know? If I had done something different, would they still be here? When the villains attacked and took our friends, I was sitting around being protected by the teachers. Other people fought, they got hurt. I didn’t—”

“It wasn’t your fault. It was mine.” Todoroki interrupted. The words came out like jumping out of a burning airplane with nowhere else to go.

“No, Todoroki—”

“No one wants to say it, but I know!” Todoroki gripped the edge of the table so hard his knuckles turned white. “I was so close to getting Bakugo back, but I failed. Shoji got Tokoyami back. I wasn’t fast enough. I didn’t even notice Nishimura was gone until it was too late. It was my fault.”

“At least you did something.” Kirishima slammed his fists into his legs. “I was useless. Useless.”

Todoroki looked up and saw the anguish he felt in Kirishima’s eyes. “What if I never see him—I mean them again?”

Kirishima shook his head. “But the Heroes are close to finding them.”

“We have no idea what the villains are planning. They chose to take them alive from camp, but who knows how long they’ll stay that way. Especially if they feel like the Heroes are closing in—”

“Don’t say that!” Kirishima snapped. He took a long shaky breath to calm himself. “I can’t believe that. I need them to come back.”

Todoroki heard the determination in his voice. Maybe he could say something. “I have an idea. If Yaoyorozu made one receiver, she can make another. If we can track down where the villains are locking them up, we can break them out.”

Kirishima stared at him. “Todoroki, do you really think you can take all the villains in a straight up fight?”

“I know I can’t face them head on. But if there’s an opportunity, I think I could sneak them out without getting into a fight.”

“That’s a lot of ifs.”

Todoroki grit his teeth. “I know it’s risky, but I need to do everything I possibly can to get them back safe.”

“I’m in.”

Todoroki shook his head, “I wasn’t asking—”

“They’re my friends. My best friends. I don’t know what I would do if I lost...” Kirishima blinked back tears. “I need to do something.”

Todoroki considered this. It would drastically improve his chance of success. Todoroki would do whatever it took to get his friends back. “Alright. Let’s talk strategy.”

“Good.” Kirishima opened his soba container. “Do you want some? Plans usually flow better with a full stomach.”

Todoroki surprised himself in taking him up on his offer. He would need all the strength he could get.

Chapter Text

“I’ll ask you one more time Bakugo Katsuki, aspiring hero, will you join the League of Villains?”

“Go throw yourself into traffic.”

The villains didn’t blink at Bakugo’s violent response. He had been uncooperative ever since they had revived him and explained their proposal.

“If you won’t hear reason, why don’t we wake up your little friend?” Shigaraki smirked at Bakugo. “Kurogiri, bring the time bender here.”

The warp villain disappeared. A few moments later, a warp gate opened up in the middle of the room. Kurogiri glided out and Nishimura slumped onto the floor. He was soaking wet and wearing goggles over his eyes.

Bakugo was frozen in shock. When had the villains captured Nishimura? Were they holding any other hostages?

Kurogiri lifted Nishimura and sat him down in a chair. He didn’t tie him up. Nishimura’s head was drooping on to his shoulder.

Bakugo had to do something. “Damn it! Wake up Nishimura!”

Nishimura didn’t move.

“What are you waiting for?! Get up! Use your powers! Get the fuck out of here you lazy sack of shit!”

Shigaraki stood up from the bar and said, “Now now, Bakugo Katsuki. Is that any way to greet a friend? He just got here and you want him to leave already? But don’t worry, he won’t be going anywhere.”

“Stay away from him! I’ll kill you, you bastard! Don’t you fucking touch him!”

Shigaraki went up to Nishimura and carefully lifted his head up to a straight position. Then he took off the goggles.

Nishimura’s eyes snapped open. He focused on Shigaraki, crouching over in front of his face.

“Why won’t my arms move?” Nishimura asked.

“You’re feeling the after-effects of a strong sedative. You’ve been out for over two days.”

“Who are you? Are we enemies? Why am I in this chair? Where’s Todoroki?” Nishimura shot off with rapid-fire questions. He was still completely frozen in his chair, but his eyes were alert and combative.

“Let me explain... No, there is too much. Let me sum up.” Shigaraki stood up and gestured behind him. “I am Shigaraki Tomura. I’m the leader of this group. We are the League of Villains. We captured you at the UA training camp and brought you here to offer you a spot in our organization.”

“Ah beans.” Nishimura sighed and twitched his finger. “Bakugo, is that you?”

“Yeah it’s me.”

“You got captured huh? So sad.”

“You got caught too!” Bakugo screamed and thrashed in his chair.

Nishimura noted that Bakugo was restrained and couldn’t use his explosions, but at least he was aware and in decent spirits. “You’ve been awake for all this time and you’re still chained up?”

“I just woke up a few hours ago you smarmy asshole!”

Nishimura could see a clock on the wall out of the corner of his eyes. He swung his head around dramatically to face Bakugo, and got a good look at the clock at the same time. 22:14. Nishimura continued to provoke his classmate. “That’s so sad. Alexa, play Despacito.”

Bakugo realized then that Nishimura was baiting him, maybe fishing for information. “Come over here and say that to my face you punk!”

“Unfortunately, I can’t move much.” Nishimura swung his head back to face Shigaraki. “How long will I be like this? I’d like to use the bathroom at some point.”

“You’ll be partially paralyzed for a while. Plenty of time for us to have a little chat. And if you’re thinking of trying to jump back in time, you should know that you’ve been held in a cryogenic chamber these past few days. If you woke up in there without your breathing tubes, you’d be dead and gone in three minutes. Besides, you don’t have the energy for a jump like that, do you?”

Nishimura clenched his jaw. He was soaking wet, so he believed Shigaraki about the cryogenic chamber. How did they know so much about how his powers worked? He had to stall for time.

“Okay,” Nishimura casually tapped his finger on the arm of the chair. At least his mobility was coming back, bit by bit. “What did you want to chat about?”

“We believe that you could be a great asset to our organization. With the ability to manipulate time, the possibilities are infinite. Your powers are being wasted training to be a hero. Join us, and you could fully realize your abilities.”

Nishimura stretched his neck nonchalantly, observing the other villains in the room, their positions, their expressions. He just had to find an opening to get away. “Well, I don’t know who you’re getting your information from, but my quirk isn’t as big of a deal as you make it out to be. I can go back a few minutes or hours, but it’s not that impressive.”

“No? What about when you went back four days?”

Nishimura shut his mouth. Bad bad bad.

Shigaraki went back to the bar and picked up a folder. He thumbed through the pages slowly. “According to your file, you’ve successfully made several long-term jumps. The longest was four days. Just imagine how far you could go with the right guidance.”

Nishimura’s mind was racing. How had they gotten his school file? He needed an escape plan, but he still couldn’t move his limbs and his quirk was useless in this situation. He had to stay calm. Maybe he could bluff his way out.

“Why so quiet?” Shigaraki stepped towards him. “Don’t you remember going back four days? Do you need a reminder of the circumstances?”

“It doesn’t matter,” Nishimura tried to shrug but just ended up pitching his head forward. He would have fallen off his chair if Shigaraki hadn’t grabbed him.

Shigaraki pushed Nishimura's shoulder back against the chair and toyed with him. “It occurs to me that Delirium Method is hardly the only guilty one in this story. He did the assaulting obviously, but what about the other so-called heroes who hired him, put him in charge of children, covered up for him? What about the teachers who did nothing and the authorities who have made it impossible for him to be punished? Aren’t they just as guilty?”

Nishimura snapped, “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Shigaraki gripped Nishimura’s shirt and disintegrated it. He brushed the ashes off his bare chest, making Nishimura’s skin crawl and stomach clench. His fingers were cold and dry as chalk.

Bakugo thrashed and yelled, “Hey bastard! Get your hands off him!”

Shigaraki ignored him and stared at Nishimura head-on, his eyes glowing behind the hand mask. He drawled out, “How terrifying. To be completely helpless while someone violates your trust. Your mentor. A so-called hero. What kind of a world would let a man walk away after hurting a child? Tell me, is that justice?”

“Shut up you fucker! Don’t listen to him Nishimura!”

Nishimura felt his defenses crack. Shigaraki’s words ripped at the heart of that scared little kid inside of him. He had to keep him out. It was hard though with those cold fingers stroking his chest.

“Stop it.”

Shigaraki trailed his fingers down his chest to his top surgery scars. “You’ve had a hard life, Nishimura Yuki. Do you think that’s fair? That some people get everything in life handed to them, while others have to crawl and claw their way to have even their most basic dignity recognized? Society hates people like you—they think you’re unnatural. Disgusting. Subhuman. Why would you protect them?”

“Stop touching me.”

Shigaraki pushed Nishimura upright in his chair and wrapped his fingers around his throat, matching up with his burn mark from Endeavor.

From across the room, Bakugo screamed, “Hey! I said let go of him you—”

With a loud crash, Bakugo rocked forward in his chair so much that it fell over. He must have hit his head, because he was quiet suddenly.

“Bakugo!” Nishimura called out to him, but he could only twitch his hand slightly. He was powerless.

Shigaraki looked over dispassionately. “Check he’s not dead,” he said to Dabi.

Dabi checked on Bakugo and righted his chair. “He’s out cold, but he’s fine.”

“Where were we?” Shigaraki drummed his fingers around Nishimura’s neck. “Oh yes, Endeavor. Even Endeavor, the current number two hero, at his core would rather see you burn alive than get close to his son. Do you think that man should be a hero? Or do you think that the world would be better off without someone like him?”

Shigaraki squeezed his fingers lightly around Nishimura’s throat. “When he hurt you, did any hero come and save you? Did anyone save you from Delirium? Will anyone come save you now?”

Shigaraki released his neck and placed his hand on top of his captive’s head. He brushed his hair back and said quietly, “I understand. No one saved me either. I had to save myself. The truth is that no one can keep you safe in this world except yourself. Don’t you wish you could feel safe again?”

Nishimura burst out sobbing. He couldn’t hold it in anymore. His tears ran down his face and dripped onto his chest. He clenched his fists, unable to even lift them to his face. He lost control of his bladder. He felt a hot wave of fear, shame, and anger roll over him.

Shigaraki released him and stepped away from the chair. “Dabi, go clean him up.”

“Twice’ll do it.”

“Ewww no way man!” Twice changed his voice, “Do you really trust a sensitive, partially nude child with this guy?”

“Good point,” Dabi looked back at the others for volunteers.

“I’ll do it,” Magne stepped forward.

“Okay, change his clothes too, or else he’s going to smell.”

Magne picked Nishimura up bridal style and carried him out of the room. Nishimura was still crying; he hardly noticed being moved at all.

“Alright little dude, we’re gonna go in here to get you some new clothes.” Magne opened a door and set Nishimura down on the floor, propped up against the wall. “Try not to squirm around too much or you might fall over.”

Magne turned on the light and she walked around the room checking in boxes.

Nishimura hiccupped and tried to wipe his eyes on his shoulder, to some success.  From what he could tell, they were in a storage room of some kind. There were high shelves stacked with boxes. He could see a tangle of electronics in the shelf right beside him. He thought he saw a phone, but he could hardly hold himself upright, let alone start rifling through boxes.

Magne pulled down a couple boxes and started searching through them. She was too distracted to notice the slight crackling noise behind her.

Nishimura kept fake crying. He had come back at the exact right moment. He silently thanked Mr. Aizawa for pushing him to improve his precision jumps.

This was his opening. He had waited just long enough to regain the use of his arms. While Magne’s back was turned, he reached into the box beside him and pulled out a phone. He quickly dialed emergency, turned down the volume, and then put the phone back into the box.

He slowed his fake crying and said, “I never wanted to be captured by the League of Villains. Can’t you just let me and Bakugo go?”

Magne turned to look at him. “Oh honey. You know we can’t do that. Besides, we’re not so bad once you get to know us.” She went back to pulling clothes out of the box.

“What about that Shigaraki? I thought he was going to kill me right in the middle of that bar.”

“It’s true, he can be pretty intense. But he’s also a powerful leader.” She turned around with a pair of jeans. “I think these’ll fit you.”

Nishimura nodded. “What’s your name?”

“I’m Hikiishi Kenji. People usually call me Magne, but you can call me Big Sis.”

“Nishimura Yuki.”

Magne smiled and took Nishimura’s hand in her own. “It’s good to officially meet you. Now, I have to change your pants. I’ll try to do it as quickly and painlessly as possible, okay?”

Nishimura nodded. He kept his body loose while she moved him around. He remembered from the last time that Magne could be quite the talker. “So what’s your plan here anyway? Just convince Bakugo and I to join your team? And then what?”

“We have some big plans in the works. We’re not just taking out individual false heroes. We’re taking out the very notion of a hero. This is world changing stuff.”

“World changing? But you’re just eight people.”

“There are more of us. Not to mention a small army of Nomu.”

“Nomu? Here?”

“No, not here—” Magne frowned. “I probably shouldn’t be telling you this. Anyway, that’s done.” She did up the fly of his pants. The pants were so long, they covered Nishimura’s whole foot. “Let me roll these up for you.”

“Big Sis Magne? Can you get me a shirt?”

“Oh right. One tshirt coming right up, little dude.”

As Magne was distracted looking for a shirt, Nishimura quickly checked that the phone was still connected. He hoped he had given them enough time to find their location. He covered up the evidence by ending the call and turning off the phone. He noticed a small pen in the box and shoved it in his back pocket before he got spotted.

“Apparently all they’ve got are plain black t-shirts or flashy button ups. Got a preference?”

“A black t-shirt is fine. And maybe a hoodie, if there is one.”

“Yeah it is a bit cold in here—especially if you were stuck in a tub for two days.” Magne came back over with a t-shirt and hoodie that were comically oversized. She struggled to get his (apparently) useless arms through the right holes.

“Well, that was harder than it looked.” Magne used her fingertips to quickly comb Nishimura’s wild hair. “Sorry, but this is going to bug me.”

Her combing reminded him of being a small child. His mother yelled at him to get ready for school. He was going to be late. He ran outside, his shoulder-length hair an unruly tangle. His mother took one look at him, cried out in frustration, kneeled in front of him, and combed his hair back as best she could. “I don’t know why you never brush; you have such beautiful hair.”

Magne finished by tucking Nishimura’s hair behind his ears. She smiled sadly at him, “I hope you decide to join us, little dude. I think you’re growing on me.”

Nishimura nodded. As soon as she looked away, he moved the pen from his pocket to the sleeve of his hoodie. Next time there was an opening—

There was loud yelling from next door. Bakugo must have woken up again.

Magne cursed, “I guess I should go check on that.” She quickly tied his hands and feet together. “I’ll be right back.”


An Opening

As soon as she left the room, Nishimura crackled. The future version of himself took a deep breath as he readjusted to the space. The good news was he wasn’t tied up, he had full control of his limbs, and he had a big rock. The bad news was that his leg was injured in the fight, he was lightheaded, and he had seriously overused his quirk in the last jump.

He felt like breaking down. But he knew he had to act fast. Magne would be back in five minutes. She would take him back to the other room, where the villains would try to break Bakugo and inevitably fail. The heroes would arrive to save them, but they would be warped away by the villains to a warehouse. Bakugo would be taken away. Nishimura would narrowly escape by jumping back.

Bakugo had given him one last opening. This was his chance to change this timeline.

He grabbed the phone from the box and stuffed it in his jeans’ pocket. He squeezed between the door and the wall and gripped the rock in his hand. He waited, listening to the sound of footsteps coming closer.

As soon as Magne opened the door, Nishimura swung the rock with all the force he could muster. She never even saw him.

Nishimura dragged Magne’s unconscious form into the corner of the room. He tied her arms and legs and stuffed a shirt into her mouth. He pushed down his mixed up feelings—he had no time to doubt himself. He needed to get out of here.

Nishimura opened the door carefully. The main room the villains were in was all the way at the end of the hall. Luckily, the door was closed. He could hear Bakugo yelling from the other side.

Nishimura’s heart seized up. He was running away. He was leaving Bakugo behind.

Steeling his jaw, Nishimura slowly pulled the door shut. He walked down the hall away from the door. He needed to go get help. The pro heroes should be just outside the building. All he had to do was get out there and warn them about what was going to happen.

It was taking too long. Nishimura didn’t know the way out. He ended up in an empty office by mistake. His head felt fuzzy. He retraced his steps to the main hallway. He needed to find the heroes.

He was at a stairwell. He wasn’t sure if he should go up or down. Was the bar in a basement? But hadn’t he seen a window? His leg was starting to hurt where the villain had cut him. He probably couldn’t walk upstairs in his condition anyway. So he started his way down.

He made it down one floor and knew he was going to faint. He was going to be captured again. “I’m sorry Bakugo ... I tried.” He crumpled to the ground.

Minutes later, Edgeshot found Nishimura at the bottom of the stairwell. His clothes were ripped, his left leg was crooked, and he was bleeding in multiple areas—but he seemed alive.

“This is Edgeshot.” He spoke into his earpiece. “I have Nishimura. Extracting him from 3rd floor.”

He picked him up and swiftly carried him back to the main floor. He told one of the officers to take him to get medical attention right away.

He spoke to the rest of the assembled officers. “I’ve sweeped the first three floors of the building. There are no villains. Follow behind me and wait at the fourth floor for my signal. I’ll go in first and scout in my folded form. Remember, once we move, we need to move fast.”

The unit moved through the building stealthily. Edgeshot folded himself paper thin. He glided up the stairs to the fourth floor. He heard explosions. He hurried. He could hear Bakugo and the villains through the door ahead. They were arguing.

He turned on his earpiece and gave the signal. “Hello, Kamino’s Pizza Delivery here.”


Father of the Year (Somebody Give That Man an Award)

“Shoto, I’m busy—”

“Wait! Please don’t hang up!”

“...Alright. Make it fast, I’m doing rescue in the Kamino Ward incident.”

Todoroki breathed in sharply. Maybe his father would be able to help. “I saw you were involved in the fight earlier. I—”

“I’m fine. If that’s all—”

“No, I have a question!” He had to phrase this properly. “One of my classmates was taken by the villains. Nishimura. Do you know what happened to him?”

Endeavor paused. Todoroki felt his heart sink.

“One second.”

Todoroki waited what felt like an eternity. He dug his knuckle into his pressure point for anxiety. He dug it in harder. He watched Kirishima grab his hand and squeeze it.

Kirishima said something, then Midoriya said something, but he couldn’t hear them. He couldn’t look anyone in the eye right now or he might break down.

He closed his eyes and drowned out his classmates, the other people on the train, the sickening thoughts gnawing at him. He focused on the hum of the phone at his ear and the warm hand over his.

“Shoto?” Endeavor came back on the line.

“Dad?”

“Nishimura is fine. He was evacuated before the Nomu attack and sent to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. That’s all I could find out.”

Todoroki had never felt such warmth towards his father as he did in that moment. He choked out, “Thanks Dad.” Endeavor hung up.

“What did he say? Is Nish okay?”

Todoroki nodded. Kirishima, Yaoyorozu, Iida, and Midoriya all breathed big sighs of reliefs. Bakugo smirked for a moment and then went back to his stone cold face.

“Where is he?”

“My father said he’s at the hospital. He was injured, but not seriously.”

Midoriya said, “That’s wonderful news! Well, not that he was injured, but—”

“Should we go to the hospital? To see if he’s alright?” Yaoyorozu pulled out her phone and searched for local hospitals.

“I don’t know, shouldn’t we get Kacchan to the police station first?”

“Midoriya’s right, our top priority is escorting Bakugo to the authorities.”

“Yeah I guess Nish is in good hands. Oh sorry, Todoroki.” Kirishima finally let go of his friend’s hand. “I just got really nervous while you were on the phone.”

“It’s fine.”

“What do you think Bakugo?” Kirishima asked his friend.

Bakugo grunted and looked out the window. He had been bizarrely quiet since watching All Might’s battle.

Todoroki pressed at his temples. “I don’t know, I still feel like I should go to him.”

Yaoyorozu looked up from her phone, “So apparently there is only one hospital that serves Kamino Ward. Because of the wreckage, it’s running at capacity triaging the injured and sending them to neighbouring hospitals.”

“That means Nishimura might already have been moved to another hospital.” Iida pointed out.

“Yeah, that’s right.” Yaoyorozu nodded and looked at Todoroki. “It would be chaos trying to find him tonight.”

Todoroki wanted to argue, but it made sense.

Midoriya scratched his chin and looked puzzled. “Can I ask why you’re so desperate to find him? Do you know something about the situation?”

Todoroki had had enough of pretending. “Yeah, the situation is I’m gay,” he said flatly.

Everyone made noises of surprise. Except for Bakugo who had already figured it out of course.

Midoriya made a loud confused gurgling. “Whaa??”

“Nishimura’s my partner.”

You’re the boyfriend?!” Kirishima jumped out of his seat and pointed at him dramatically. A few neighbouring train riders looked over.

“Partner.” Todoroki was exhausted, but he wanted to make sure he was clear.

“I never would have guessed.” Yaoyorozu said.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Kirishima asked.

“Well, Todoroki just... doesn’t seem like the type.”

Kirishima frowned, “Well, do I seem like the type?”

“Whaa??” Midoriya made more loud confused gurgles.

“I’m pansexual.” Kirishima said, jutting his chin out.

“To be honest,” Iida adjusted his glasses. “You’ve said that before, and I didn’t know what it meant.”

“It means I like people of all different kinds of genders. Like guys, girls, nonbinaries...”

Midoriya was slowly transforming into an aquarium water filter. “Whaa??”

“And also that queer guys can look a lot of different ways. Some are cute and femme like Nish, some are cool and masc like Todoroki, some are hot and manly like me.”

Iida nodded seriously. “I understand, thank you for explaining.”

“So is this a secret?” Yaoyorozu asked them. “Should we not tell other people from school?”

“Well, I don’t care, for me anyway.” Kirishima looked at Todoroki.

Todoroki thought about it. He knew he could trust these five people, but he still wasn’t ready for the whole school to know. He said quietly, “I’d prefer if you didn’t tell people.”

“You can absolutely trust us with this information! As class rep, I will ensure your safety and wellbeing are protected!”

“Todoroki,” Midoriya broke out of his gurgle cycle. He stared at his friend earnestly. “I just realized. I’m so sorry. All this time, I didn’t know that you two had a relationship. You must have been so scared and angry when Nishimura was taken. And you went through all of that alone.” Midoriya reached out to touch his knee.

Todoroki felt his chest tighten. Midoriya always had the words to cut right through his walls. “I thought it would be safer if I kept my feelings hidden. But now I’m not so sure.”

“Whatever you decide, we support you 100%.” Iida announced with a big thumbs up.

Kirishima slapped Todoroki on the shoulder. “Yeah, we got you man.”

Chapter Text

“Mr. Aizawa?”

“I’m here. Don’t try to get up. You still need to rest.”

“Where am I?”

“You’re in the hospital. You have a broken leg and some scrapes. You had some tranquilizers in your system. And you most likely overused your quirk while trying to escape. But you should be—”

Nishimura jolted, “Bakugo! What happened to Bakugo?! Did he get away? Is he hurt?”

Aizawa hushed his student. “It’s alright, Bakugo is fine, not a scratch on him.”

Nishimura breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank you, I wanted to help him but I couldn’t jump back any further.” He stared down at his hands laying on the scratchy hospital blanket; one had an IV running into it. “I just ran away and left him.”

“You made a hard decision. Even though you couldn’t save Bakugo, you did what you could. And the information you called in helped prepare the heroes for the rescue mission.” Aizawa patted his student’s forehead. “You did a good job.”

Nishimura felt reassured by his teacher’s steady, sensible voice. They were in a hallway of the hospital; Nishimura's left leg was propped up at the end of his bed and wrapped in a plaster cast. The hallway was loud with the sound of beds being wheeled around, machines beeping, nurses talking.

Nishimura’s head fogginess started to lift. He said, “Is everyone else okay? From the training camp?”

Aizawa paused, and decided not to get into details. “Your classmates are fine. Don’t worry about that right now.”

Nishimura sensed that something was wrong. “What happened? Did someone get killed?”

Aizawa rubbed his chin, already feeling some stubble growing in. “A few pro heroes were injured in the attack and rescue missions. They’re stable now.”

Nishimura frowned. “But what aren’t you telling me?”

Aizawa sighed. “There was a large battle between All Might and one of the villains. Large swaths of Kamino Ward were destroyed. There are still heroes sorting through the wreckage and rescuing people. That’s why the hospital is so busy.”

Nishimura sat in his bed, shocked.

“I’m going to see if I can find a nurse to check in...”

Aizawa stood up to go but Nishimura grabbed his sleeve. “How long have I been asleep?”

“Half a day.”

“Maybe I could go back, I could warn the heroes, I could stop—”

Aizawa snapped, “Don’t even think about it.”

“How many people died? I’ve jumped back four days before. If I could go far enough—”

“I said no.” Aizawa activated his quirk, nullifying Nishimura’s. “I understand you feel like you didn’t do enough, but you are in no condition to be using your powers. I certainly won’t allow you to take the risk of ending up in the villain’s hands again.”

Nishimura felt like he had been slapped in the face. His teacher had never spoken to him in that tone before. He let go of his sleeve and let his chin drop to his chest. He muttered, “I just want—I need to do something.”

Aizawa sat down by his student’s hospital bed again, noticing the glassy, scared look in his eyes. “Bakugo told me what Shigaraki said to you. Is that what this is about?”

“No! Maybe, I don’t know. I’m just...” Nishimura struggled to find the words. “What if I’m not meant to be a hero?”

“What do you mean?”

“Shigaraki said some awful things. But some of it was true. I do have hatred and anger inside of me. I’ve done horrible things. What makes me different from them?”

“You’re not a villain.” Aizawa said emphatically.

Nishimura looked at his teacher and whispered, “In another timeline, I killed Endeavor.”

“I know.”

Nishimura recoiled in shock. “No. No you don’t understand. I killed him. He was the one who burned my neck and hands.”

Aizawa nodded. “I know. I put it together. Endeavor found out about you and Todoroki, right?”

Nishimura nodded and then shook his head, “But I’m a murderer. I’m just like them.”

“Nishimura,” Aizawa took his hands in his. “You are learning one of the hardest lessons in becoming a hero. There is no static ‘hero’—it isn’t something you can just exist as, it is something you are constantly working towards and struggling with. Your mistakes are important, but they are not the ending. It is your responsibility to keep trying.”

“I don’t understand.”

Aizawa sighed, “Yeah me either. It’s been a long week. Look, I don’t have all the answers. You’ve experienced multiple timelines, and I don’t know who you might be in a different one, given a push in a different direction. But I can see the direction you’re headed now, and I know you’ll be a great hero one day.”

“I thought you said you couldn’t ‘be’ a hero. Like that whole thing about not being static, we’re not our mistakes, we are what we choose to do, so on.”

“Well now he gets it.” Aizawa grumbled.

Nishimura grinned, “You’re great at the pep talks.”

“I’ll add some absurdist nihilism to your reading list.” Aizawa squeezed his hand. “But don’t put yourself in danger. Martyring yourself won’t fix the past.”

“Okay.” Nishimura took a deep breath. “I’m still confused. But it feels good to not hold that secret anymore. So thanks.”

Aizawa got up to go find a nurse.

“Mr. Aizawa? I just have one more question.”

“What is it now?”

Nishimura pointed at his clean-shaven, professional appearance. “What happened to your face?”


 

Sorry Sparky Sparky Boom Boy

“Um, hi! I’m Nishimura Yuki. I’m Bakugo’s classmate. Is he home?”

“Oh yes, come on in!”

Nishimura hobbled in after the woman who greeted him. She looked so much like Bakugo, it was a little scary.

“Can I help you with your shoes?”

Nishimura blushed. He had been awkwardly trying to pry his shoes off with his crutch. “I’m sorry, I’m not used to the crutches yet. I just got them yesterday.”

Bakugo’s mother knelt down and started untying his shoelaces. “It’s no trouble at all. Once a mom, always a mom I guess.”

“Thank you, ma’am.” Nishimura bowed.

“Ah, so polite! You have a cute accent, where are you from?”

“Nagahama.”

“Ah it’s so beautiful there! Do you go back to visit?”

“I try to, it gets busy with school. But I talk to my mom often and she fills me in on the local news.”

“Such a sweet young man, your mom must be so proud!”

“Ah I hope so.” Nishimura rubbed his face bashfully. “She’s a really wonderful mom.”

She smiled, “I’ll show you to Katsuki’s room. Katsuki!”

She led him down the hall. The door to Bakugo’s room was clearly labelled ‘Keep Out’, but his mother motioned Nishimura to knock.

“Yeah, come in.”

Nishimura opened the door. He wasn’t sure what he was expecting, but Bakugo’s room was tidy and welcoming. It had big windows that let in lots of light; there was a wall of bookshelves and athletic gear.

Bakugo was lying on the floor in just his shorts. He was cooling off from his work out.

Nishimura swung into the room, “Hey Bakugo.”

Bakugo looked over and scowled. “What do you want Pretty Boy?”

Nishimura closed the door and sat on Bakugo’s desk. “We need to talk.”

“Get your ass off my desk.”

“But I want to rest.”

“Then sit on the chair! It’s right next to you!”

“It’s hard to move it with crutches...”

Bakugo groaned and rolled over. He pulled out the desk chair aggressively, without breaking eye contact. “There, now you can sit.”

“You’re so fucking extra.”

“What did you call me?!”

“Your mom is really nice though.” Nishimura sat down and stretched his arms out. “And I like your room, pretty nice to have a balcony.”

“Why are you here?”

“Oh right, not a chit chat type of guy.” Nishimura rubbed his hands on his knees. He was sweaty all of a sudden. “I guess I wanted to talk to you about when we were being held captive. I know a lot of stuff was said...” Nishimura trailed off.

“I’m not gonna spread your secrets, if that’s what you’re worried about. I told the police what they need to know, and I told Mr. Aizawa, but I’m not going to go around blabbing to everyone.”

Nishimura nodded, “Okay, that’s good.”

“Whatever, it’s none of my business.” Bakugo sprawled out on the floor again.

“You seem kind of down, are you alright?”

“You don’t need to pretend to care.”

“I’m not—”

“I’m not buying that bullshit.” Bakugo glared at him.

Nishimura paused. Bakugo was so difficult to talk to—he had always written him off as just a self-absorbed, hateful jerk. But he had seen a different side to him these past few days.

“I think you’re a jerk.”

“What did you say?!”

“You’re so busy acting tough and in control all the time, you don’t pay attention to others. You’re violent, you’re judgemental, and you’re obsessed with beating other people to prove yourself.”

Bakugo stood up and stepped forward menacingly, “You lookin’ for a fight, punk ass?”

Nishimura spun his chair around to face Bakugo head on. He put his hands on his knees and, announced, “No. I’m looking to apologize. I was wrong about you.”

“The hell you on about now?”

Nishimura threw his hands up in exasperation. “I’m obviously trying to tell you! Dammit Bakugo, you are making it really hard to talk to you.”

Bakugo crossed his arms and sat down on his bed. “Well get better at explaining.”

“I guess, what I’m trying to say is, I decided as soon as we met that you were an asshole. But then at camp, you covered for me. You helped me train. And then we were captured by the villains.”

Nishimura took a shaky breath. “When I woke up in that room with you, for the first time I was relieved to hear you yelling. I felt like crumbling down. But there you were. You were staring an impossible situation in the face, and you still had fight in you. You spoke up for me. Later, you fought for me. I was pretty useless in the fight, I didn’t have any weapons and my leg was messed up. You—”

“Back up.” Bakugo interrupted. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. What fight?”

Nishimura nodded, “Oh yeah, well it was a different timeline. It was after the villain warped us to the warehouse. They were trying to recapture us, but you were fending off like six of them at once. I was trying to concentrate long enough to make a jump, but I was too busy trying not to die. And then you—you saved—” Nishimura choked up and blinked back tears.

“Quit crying and finish your damn story!” Bakugo barked out.

“Oh yeah. I guess the short of it is I tripped and fell down. Two villains cornered me. You appeared out of nowhere. You forced them back. You told me not to give up. You were pretty brave. But Shigaraki got the jump on us and he...um.” Nishimura caught himself. Bakugo didn’t need details. “Anyway—”

“What did he do?”

“It didn’t happen to this version of you.”

Bakugo yelled back, “Don’t baby me! Just tell me!”

“He destroyed your hands, just like ... it was nothing to him. He said you wouldn’t need your hands anymore, after what they were going to do to you. There was a lot of blood. You were in so much pain you passed out. Then they grabbed you and took you through the warp gate. But, in that time, I was able to focus enough to jump back.”

Bakugo laid his hands on his knees and stared down at them.

Nishimura hobbled over to sit next to him on his bed. “The point is you made a huge sacrifice for me. Even though you were in this crisis situation, you stood your ground and you acted like a true hero. You refused to even pretend to be anything other than who you are. Shigaraki said that I was the only person I could trust, that only I could keep myself safe. But he was wrong. I’m only here right now because of you.”

Nishimura kneaded his hands together. “Meanwhile, I ran away the first chance I got and left you there. So I’m definitely the last person who gets to judge you.”

“Whatever,” Bakugo croaked out. “I didn’t need you to save me.”

Nishimura buried his face in his hands, “You don’t understand.”

“I understand better than you!”

“No you don’t!” Nishimura’s voice cracked. “This is all my fault. You wouldn’t have even been there for the villains to capture if it weren’t for me. It’s just like Shigaraki said, I think I know what’s best, but what if I’m just making it worse? What if the world would be better off if I didn’t mess with it?”

“Shut up, fool.” Bakugo smacked him in the head with the palm of his hand. “I wouldn’t have this hand if it weren’t for you. So stop talking like you’re not a hero. Stop talking like I’m some great savior.”

“But you would have been safe in the hospital! I mean, dehydrated but safe.”

“...Now you’re really talking nonsense.”

“Look, the night before the attack, I found you in the sauna, badly—”

“No Todoroki found me.”

“You were badly dehydrated, I got you in the shower by some miracle, but you barely reacted—”

“No that’s not how—”

“Your skin was peeling and gross. You threw up on me, which was fucking awful, but I guess I don’t blame you—”

“The hell, that didn’t happen—”

“So I tried to go back an hour and stop you, but I only went back like half an hour. And I sent Todoroki to get you. And he said you were baked like an American movie, but you got up and seemed fine. But when we got rescued, I realized that if I hadn’t used my quirk, you would have probably been sent to the hospital and wouldn’t have even been at camp to get kidnapped in the first place!”

Nishimura ended his rambling, breathing hard.

Bakugo pieced it together. “You’re so damn bad at explaining things.”

“That’s what you took away from that?!”

“Look you’re just like that damn Deku, always overthinking things.”

“I just feel like...” Nishimura took a deep breath, rubbing his leg where the cast kept digging into his thigh. “I don’t know what to do anymore.”

Bakugo thought about the villains who had captured him and revealed their plan for destroying Hero society. He thought about All Might and Deku.

“You don’t have to have it all figured out, you know.” He said.

Nishimura looked at Bakugo. His eyes seemed clouded with his own doubt and struggles. He seemed sincere and vulnerable. “Thanks.”

Bakugo shrugged, “I mean, you seem like the type who never has anything figured out.”

Nishimura grinned. “Unlike you, Mr. Can’t Even Use a Sauna Without Barbecuing Yourself.”

“What did you say?!” Bakugo glared daggers at him.

“I thought we were bonding over insults.”

“Get out of my room, you lazy fucking punk!”

“Alright, alright. I’ve got a date to get to anyway.”

“I don’t need to know that!”

Nishimura sorted out his crutches and lifted himself off the bed. He remembered there was one last thing he had to do.

“By the way, is your phone working?”

“What’s it to you?”

“Kiri said he’s been trying to reach you.” 

“It’s none of your business.”

Nishimura chewed his bottom lip. Kirishima was too unsure to make a move in this situation. He needed a little help. “Yeah I know. And I get that this week has been hard. But imagine how Kiri felt, when we were captured and he didn’t know if we were dead or tortured. Then he and Todoroki came up with a plan, and he bought those fancy night vision goggles, and then you barely made it out alive, and all this shit happened. But at the end of all that, you won’t even talk to him.”

Bakugo lay down on his bed. “Shut up. You’re exhausting me.”

Nishimura paused. He didn’t want to make things worse by meddling. “Fine. I just thought you should know.” He went to leave, tossing out a feeble, “See you at school.”

Bakugo tossed in his bed. He pulled out his phone and checked his messages from Kirishima. His last message was from yesterday.

Kirishima: Hey how’s it going? Do you want to hang out today?

Bakugo didn’t know what to say. He didn’t want to talk about his feelings. He didn’t want to see anyone right now. But Kirishima deserved to hear it from him. He wrote out a text, deleted it, and rewrote it, read it over and over again. Finally he sent it.

Bakugo: Hey Kirishima. I’m fine, stuck on house arrest it feels like. I just need some time by myself right now.

A few seconds later, Kirishima texted back. Bakugo hurried to read it.

Kirishima: I got you man! Lemme know if you need anything.

Bakugo smiled and felt his whole body relax. He had been stressed about nothing. Kirishima was a fucking ray of sunshine.

Bakugo: Thanks. See you at school next week.

Kirishima replied with a bunch of emojis.

Bakugo muttered to himself, “What the hell does this even mean Shitty Hair?”

Chapter Text

“The school administration wants to assure families that we have put in place extensive security measures to keep our students safe in the dorms—”

“Yeah, yeah, I read all that in the letter. You don’t have to convince me on the security measures.”

Aizawa paused. He had given this speech to dozens of parents yesterday. None of them had sounded so laissez faire about the security issue of the dorm initiative. Then again, Endeavor was a special case.

Aizawa couldn’t wait to get out of this stifling hot room with pretentious antique weapons hanging on the walls. He had come on his own to speak to the Todorokis; All Might being there would have just made things worse.

The only person who might want to leave more than Aizawa was Shoto, who was sitting beside him rather than next to his father. Aizawa could see why; All Might’s retirement had obviously affected Endeavor, who was acting even testier than usual.

On a professional level, Aizawa recognized Endeavor’s discipline and drive as a hero. On a personal level, Aizawa hated his fucking guts. He was selfish, aggressive, and small-minded. The first and last time Aizawa had ever tried to have a casual conversation with him, Endeavor had quickly revealed himself to be a bigoted piece of shit.

Aizawa wanted to get this over with. “Alright, well if that’s satisfactory—”

“I have another concern.” Endeavor crossed his arms and stared Aizawa down.

Aizawa repressed the urge to groan. “What is it?”

“Does UA expect that dorm life won’t impact student performance?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well I saw in the dorm package that boys and girls will be living in the same building.” Endeavor rolled his eyes. “These are teenagers we’re talking about. When it comes to romance, sex and parties, you know they can’t think straight. How will the school ensure that the girls don’t distract the boys from their studies?”

Aizawa held back a snarky comment about making heterosexist assumptions and blaming women for everything. He tried to stick to rational facts, “Each student has their own private room and washroom. Common areas are shared with all students, but students are required to abide by curfew. The halls are monitored at night for safety reasons as well.”

“Will it be the teachers doing the monitoring, or are you hiring new staff?” Todoroki asked his teacher curiously.

“The night monitoring will be automated; the teachers will be living in a separate building.” Aizawa answered. “But, on a rotation, a teacher will be available each night in case a student is in crisis.”

Endeavor huffed dismissively. “Kids these days. When I went to UA, we worked out our problems on our own. None of this mamby-pamby coddling.”

“And look how marvellously well-adjusted you turned out in dealing with your emotions and communicating with others.” Aizawa thought sarcastically to himself.

Todoroki tensed up beside him. He hadn’t spoken to his father the entire time. Endeavor had been totally unpredictable the past week—Shoto knew by experience it was safer to just stay quiet and wait it out.

Endeavor shook his head. His flames flicked through the air. “The truth of the matter is, I’m worried that Shoto is losing his focus. Before the training camp, he hadn’t had one of his fits in years—”

“It was a panic attack—” Aizawa tried to correct him, but Endeavor kept talking over him.

“—just lying in bed all day like a lump. Even though I paid good money for some ‘holistic treatment program’ that was supposed to put an end to all of that two years ago. Ever since he started school, he’s changed. First his whole rebellious attitude, then his performance in the Sports Festival, and now this! So you can see why I’m unconvinced about his schooling.”

“Perhaps we should continue this conversation in private?” Aizawa said in a low voice. His student shouldn’t have to hear this.

Endeavor looked at his son coldly, “Shoto knows what’s expected of him. Even if he has lost sight of his goals.”

Todoroki was digging his knuckles into his fist and reminding himself to keep quiet. He hated how his father turned everything into an attack against him. Even his anxiety was just something Shoto was ‘making up’ to piss off the old bastard. As if he would want to pretend to feel so out of control.

Endeavor kept complaining, “All this running around, goofing off with his ‘friends’, it’s just distracting him from his true purpose. He’s going to start falling behind if this keeps up.”

Aizawa spoke up, “I have to disagree. Shoto has shown tremendous strength and growth in the past few months. He isn’t losing focus on his training or his studies. He still has a ways to go, but he is committed to being the best that he can be. It is an honor to mentor him on his path to becoming a hero.”

Aizawa felt his chest get warm—not the stifling dry heat of Endeavor’s flames, but the soft melting sunshine of a Spring morning. He meant every word he said.

Endeavor chewed the inside of his cheek. He still looked disgruntled, but he was satisfied for now. “Fine. Shoto, pack your things. I better not see your grades slipping or hear about any more problems. Do you understand?” Todoroki nodded his head slightly. “Answer me when I ask you a question!”

Todoroki looked his father in the eyes. “I understand what’s expected of me.”

Endeavor groaned at his attitude. He didn’t have the energy to discipline his rude son. “Now I have some business to attend to. Shoto, see your teacher out.”

After Endeavor left, Todoroki breathed an audible sigh of relief. The room temperature dropped by a few degrees, which was pleasant.

“Todoroki, are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Todoroki lied. “The old man’s just been on edge. Since All Might retired. I just need to avoid him when he gets like this.”

Aizawa pinched the bridge of his nose. He hated that his young student had learned to manoeuvre around his father’s intimidations and insecurities. “Are you okay otherwise? Since the Kamino incident?”

Todoroki flinched. He hadn’t yet spoken with his teacher about his involvement in rescuing Bakugo in Kamino. “What do you mean?”

“I would understand if Nishimura’s and Bakugo’s abduction were still weighing on you. It’s okay if it’s bringing up a lot of emotions for you.”

Todoroki didn’t know what to say. Other than with Nishimura, he didn’t want to talk to anyone about how the villain attack had affected him.

Aizawa waited for his student to say something. “...Well if you want to talk to someone, the school has counselors available. They have experience with trauma in the Hero world. It can feel a little strange to talk to a stranger about these things, but I’ve found it’s actually really helpful because you don’t need to worry about downplaying your feelings to avoid hurting someone else.”

Todoroki blinked. He was surprised his teacher could talk about getting therapy like it was so normal. It was totally different from how his father talked about mental health. “I’ll keep that in mind.”

Aizawa didn’t push it. Todoroki was clearly uncomfortable talking about his anxiety and the possibility of counselling. It probably didn’t help that his mother was institutionalized—Todoroki knew how people treated you if you were ‘crazy.’ Still, Aizawa hoped he could slowly get him used to the idea.

Todoroki spoke up, “Did you mean what you said? To my father?” Todoroki’s voice sounded unsure. He wasn’t used to his teachers actually giving a shit about him as a person.

Aizawa nodded. “Yes. I meant every word.”


 

Love in Orange

“Damn, Mr. Aizawa is such a badass. I wish I could have seen the look on his face.”

“It was pretty great. There aren’t many people who can stand their ground around my father.”

Nishimura and Todoroki were hanging out in Nishimura’s bedroom. It was the middle of the day; Todoroki had come over right after his teacher visited. He was glad to be out of that house.

“I meant to ask you, did you ask Mr. Aizawa to leave early on Thursday? For your next appointment?”

“Oh yeah, I asked him when he came by to talk to my mom. He said it was fine.”

They were sitting side by side on the ground in front of a small table with tea and sliced up oranges on it. Nishimura had his legs draped over Todoroki’s lap. Todoroki had his arm around his partner’s waist. They were comfortable.

“Do you want me to go with you?” Todoroki had accompanied his partner to his past two counselling appointments.

“No that’s okay. I think I was mostly just nervous going to the clinic at first, not knowing what to expect.” Nishimura gently touched Todoroki’s face. “Thanks for going with me before.”

“Of course.” Todoroki rubbed his partner’s lower back with the tips of his fingers. “I’m glad it helped.”

Nishimura settled further into his guy, basking in the warmth and peace of this moment. The past two weeks had been grueling on both of them—they deserved more moments like this.

“Do you want another orange?” Todoroki had grabbed a slice and accidentally took two. He waved one in Nishimura’s face.

“Sure,” Nishimura went to take the orange but Todoroki held on to it.

“Open up.”

Nishimura grinned. Todoroki was offering to feed him. “Just because my leg is in a cast doesn’t mean I can’t feed myself.”

“Pretty sure you need me to help you.” Todoroki said deadpan, holding the slice in front of his face. “Come on, open up for me.”

Nishimura humored his guy, and he actually enjoying being taken care of. The fruit was sweet and juicy in his mouth. “Mmhmm so good,” he gushed over-enthusiastically.

Todoroki had another piece of orange. “Do you want more?”

Nishimura laughed, “Okay weirdo.”

Todoroki fed him more orange. Nishimura ate it and opened his mouth again, waiting.

 

A Slutty Turn

Todoroki tisked at him. “If you want more, you have to ask for it.” Todoroki’s hand wasn’t on his partner’s back anymore; it was squeezing his ass.

Nishimura swallowed and said breathily, “More please.”

Todoroki fed him another piece, but this time he pushed his fingers into his mouth and ran them over his lips. They were sticky with orange juice.

Todoroki pulled his hands off suddenly. He hadn’t realized he was being so overt. They hadn’t had sex since Nishimura was taken from camp. The last time they had tried, Todoroki had made Nishimura cry. It wasn’t an experience he wanted to repeat.

“Mmm, Shoto.” Nishimura reached out for his hand and brought it back to his lips. He kissed his fingers lightly. “Do you want to ... do stuff?”

“What stuff? Feed you more oranges?” Todoroki teased.

“No,” Nishimura huffed. “But you could put other things in my mouth. Bigger things that I’m not allowed to bite, but that still taste really good.”

Todoroki knew what he was talking about, but he liked pretending to be oblivious. He liked hearing his guy speak more honestly and descriptively. “Okay, I could get you an ice pop if you really want.”

“No! That’s not what I want!”

“Then what do you want?”

“I want you, Shoto! I want you to rub your cock on my face and use my mouth to feel good and coat the back of my throat with your cum.”

Todoroki pulled his guy into him and kissed him passionately. He tasted sweet and bright like oranges. Todoroki wanted to fuck him so badly. He had missed feeling his body pressed up against him, hearing his voice crying out desperately, owning him completely in body and soul.

Nishimura pulled away, “Can we change position? It hurts when I lean forward.”

“Oh yeah, of course. Should we...?”

“We can lie down on my futon.”

Todoroki disentangled himself from their embrace and moved the table out of the way. He picked up his partner and carried him over to his futon, careful to avoid touching his cast. He realized they had another problem, “Isn’t your auntie downstairs?”

“Yeah, but it’s okay, she’s in the shop. We just have to be quiet.”

Todoroki laid his guy down on the bed and sat over his hips. “I think you mean you need to be quiet.”

“Shut up Shoto.” Nishimura hissed.

“Tsk tsk, such a rude little mouth. Why don’t you use it for something more useful?” Todoroki leaned forward and kissed him, rougher than before.

They made out like that: Todoroki straddling his chest and pulling off his clothes bit by bit, and Nishimura squirming and thrusting his hips up. Todoroki had him completely naked in no time. He loved seeing his partner exposed and trapped underneath him. It satisfied some part of him that needed to be in charge.

Nishimura tugged at his partner’s button up shirt. He whined, “Shotooo, why do you get to keep your clothes on?”

Todoroki smiled benignly down at him, “Because I’m not a slut.”

Nishimura moaned from the back of his throat. He stared up at his guy with wide, worshipful eyes. He shivered a little bit, unintentionally, feeling his dick ache to be given attention. He couldn’t touch himself—Todoroki’s body was in the way, pinning him in place.

Todoroki cupped his partner’s cheek tenderly. “Your face gets so pretty when I call you a slut. You really like it, don’t you?” Part of Todoroki still wasn’t sure about calling his lover such degrading names. He didn’t want to insult him or hurt his feelings. But Nishimura’s reaction was so delicious.

“Yes, Shoto.” Nishimura breathed out. “I like being a slut for you.”

Todoroki leaned forward and sucked on his lover’s ear. He whispered, “You’re such a good slut.”

Nishimura moaned while Todoroki sucked on his ear and neck. Nishimura could feel Todoroki’s cock grinding into his stomach. Without even realizing it, his voice started getting louder.

“Be. Quiet.” Todoroki pulled back and growled at him. “Are you that much of a slut that you don’t even care about getting caught? Do you really only care about getting fucked as hard and as often as possible?”

Nishimura squirmed and looked away bashfully.

“I asked you a question.” Todoroki pinched his lover’s swollen dick and yanked it.

Nishimura gasped from the sudden stimulation. He choked out, “Yes, Shoto, I only care about getting fucked. Please fuck me. Please please please.”

“Such a needy little slut.” Todoroki smirked, toying with his lover’s dick in all his most sensitive places. “Such a wet needy little slut. It almost makes me want to show you off, let other guys see how frantic and wired you are. To be used, to be pounded, to be ruined. Do you think you’d like that? Having other men watch you act like a needy little cum slut?”

Something about what Todoroki was saying flipped a switch in Nishimura. “Please Shoto, I really can’t take it anymore. Fuck my face, please, I need your cock.”

Todoroki quickly pulled his cock and balls out of his pants. He was hard and throbbing. He moved forward on his knees until his erect cock was jutting out over Yuki’s face, whose mouth was already open and waiting. “Lean your head back. Open wider. Yeah just like that.”

Nishimura was panting. He might even have been drooling. He was so eager to please Shoto, and he was so close to being able to suck his cock.

Todoroki pushed the head of his cock into his open mouth, groaning as he went deeper. “Fuck that feels amazing. Suck me harder.”

Nishimura slurped on his cock hungrily, trying to breathe through his nose so he could take him deeper. Shoto was making greedy noises through gritted teeth, wrapping a hand in his lover’s hair and pulling his head further onto his cock. Nishimura felt his head start to hit the back of his throat and tapped out, gasping for air.

“Fuck, sorry, are you okay?”

“I’m fine.” Nishimura coughed. “You taste so good Shoto. I missed having you inside me.”

“That’s such a slutty thing to say.” Todoroki chuckled, stroking himself slowly. “...and I feel the same.”

“Can I touch you?”

“Sure.”

Nishimura wound his hand over Todoroki’s leg so he could grip his shaft. His cock was covered in his spit. Nishimura jerked him off, looking between his glistening cock and his beautiful face. Todoroki loved to watch him. His eyes were intense and wolf like.

Nishimura started using his tongue on the underside of his long cock. He reached the base of his cock and wanted to go further. Shoto’s balls were always clean and nearly hairless, and Nishimura had always wondered what kind of reaction he might get for sucking on them.

He tested the waters with just a little lick. Todoroki jolted in surprise, letting out a quiet moan. Nishimura licked his balls one at a time, slowly coating them with spit.

“Right there, lick me there.” Todoroki’s hand was fisted in his partner’s hair, holding Yuki exactly where he wanted him. “Suck my balls, slut.”

Nishimura purred to show him he had heard and he would do as he was told. He opened his mouth wide and worked one of the balls in, sucking gently.

Todoroki grunted and yanked his head back from his cock. “Too much. Fuck I’m getting close.”

Nishimura licked his lips. “You can come in my mouth.”

“Beg me for it,” he growled.

“Shoto, please, I need your cum. Your cock feels so amazing in my mouth, pumping cum down my throat. It’s been so long since I tasted your cum, please I’m begging you Shoto, please—”

Todoroki forced his cock into his lover’s mouth. He thrust a couple inches in and worked his hand over the rest of his shaft. He came in a long spurt of cum, holding his cock on top of Yuki’s tongue.

Nishimura swallowed his cum noisily. Todoroki tasted so bitter, but he loved it anyway.

Todoroki got off of him and tucked his soft dick away and did up his pants. He kneeled down beside the bed and ran his hands over his partner’s naked body, feeling so completely satisfied.

“Do you want to come?”

“Not right now,” Nishimura stretched his arms over his head lazily. “You can go wash up first if you want.”

Todoroki hated being sweaty, sticky, or messy in any way. That’s why he liked to shower right after sex, even if they were going to try to go for another round—which he was hoping they would today. “Alright, I’ll be back in a few minutes. Don’t go anywhere.”

Nishimura laughed. “Isn’t it going to be great when we’re living in the dorms and we have an ensuite shower?”

Todoroki smiled, “Yeah, it’ll be so efficient. We can go straight from making love in bed to making love in the shower, then back to the bed again.”

Nishimura squeezed his partner’s hand. “I’m really looking forward to living together.”

Todoroki squeezed back. “Me too.”

Chapter Text

“So all that to say, don’t try to have an emotional conversation with Sparky Sparky Boom Boy.”

“Why are you telling me all this?” Todoroki sighed.

“Well I don’t have anything else to do.” Nishimura pouted. He was sitting on the ground, stretching his legs against the wall. “I don’t know why it’s taking everyone so long to set up their rooms.”

“Really?” Todoroki sanded the end of the trim to fit neatly on the wall. He was completely redecorating his room in a traditional Japanese style. He had finished installing the floor mat and paper doors in the morning and was now putting up trim on the walls.

“Yeah, even Kirishima kicked me out of his room. He said I didn’t get what he was going for. Just because I said he had a gym bunny room.”

“I can’t imagine why he would kick you out for that.” Todoroki carefully measured the next piece of trim.

“I mean, it’s like, so easy to move into a room.”

“Absolutely, so easy.” Todoroki drilled the trim into the wall.

Nishimura grinned mischievously at his guy. “Shoto you’re too good at this game. I can’t even tell if you’re being serious anymore.”

“What game?” Todoroki finished drilling the wood and put down the power tool. He wiped his hands off on his pants.

“... Maybe you are just that oblivious.” Nishimura smirked.

Suddenly, Todoroki lunged at him and  jabbed his hands into his armpits, where he knew his partner was super ticklish.

“Ahhh!” Nishimura screeched. He crawled away from the tickles, back to the wall, breathing like a rhinoceros. “Why did you do that?!”

“You come into my room, lounge around while I work, try to seduce me by bending over every which way, and then you have the gall to tease me.” Todoroki narrowed his eyes and tensed his hands. “What do you expect?”

Todoroki stepped towards him. Nishimura crab walked backwards. Todoroki kept at him until he was backed into a corner. He said ominously, “You brought this on yourself.”

Todoroki jumped on his partner, holding down his arms while he tickled him. Nishimura tried to squirm away, but Todoroki straddled his chest and pinned him.

“Ha, hah, fuck, ha, fuck.” Nishimura was convulsing and laughing with tears in his eyes.

Todoroki gave him a break from tickling, but kept him pinned down. Nishimura’s hair and clothes were all in disarray, and he was breathing heavily. Todoroki shifted on his knees as he felt a wave of arousal hit him. He growled out, “Did you learn your lesson?”

“Oh, um, I’m not sure.” Nishimura arched his back coyly, grinding his hips up into Todoroki. “What if I didn’t? What if I need a handsome carpenter to show me what happens when someone distracts him from his very important work?”

“I’m hardly a carpenter.”

“I don’t know, I saw the way you handled that wood.” Nishimura purred.

Todoroki stroked his partner’s chest—relishing the shivers he got in response. “Are you turned on?”

Nishimura flushed and nodded. He looked shy all of a sudden, put on the spot. Todoroki had his hands gripped in a vise over his head, he was backed into a corner, and he wanted to be used more.

“Where did that big mouth go all of a sudden?” Todoroki unbuttoned his partner’s shirt. He ran his hand across his pecs.

Nishimura gulped. “How am I supposed to deal with this gorgeous handyman wearing a v-neck and installing stylish furnishings? Not fair. My little gay heart can’t handle a man wielding power tools.”

“So what tools should I use on you?”

“I’m no expert. I’ll leave myself in your capable hands. Although I guess if I could make a suggestion, maybe you could screw me.”

Todoroki groaned and head-bonked him. “No more puns!”

Nishimura smirked, “Okay, but I wasn’t kidding about wanting you to screw me.”

Todoroki leaned down to kiss him. Nishimura moaned from the back of his throat, arching his body up into his lover’s. He lay there helplessly as Todoroki played with his chest, pinching and flicking his nipples.

Todoroki bit his bottom lip and groaned. He would have to finish decorating later. “You couldn’t even wait one day to fuck in the dorms.” Todoroki chided him.

“Sorry I’m such a slut Shoto.” Nishimura said, moaning as his guy trailed sloppy wet kisses along his neck, collarbone, shoulder.

They were so caught up in their making out, they both jumped when there was a knock at the door.

“Todoroki. Nishimura. Can I come in?”

“One minute, sir!” They hurried to sit up and fix their clothes. Todoroki went back to the wall he had been working on and Nishimura went to open the door.

“Hi Mr. Aizawa. Sorry we were just busy decorating.”

Their teacher stepped inside and closed the door behind him. “We all know that’s not what was going on.”

Nishimura and Todoroki stared at their feet. They had been pretty quiet, so their teacher probably hadn’t heard them moaning and kissing from outside in the hall. But it wasn’t hard to guess from their faces.

“I came to talk to you, and just in time apparently too.” Aizawa pinched the bridge of his nose and imagined being done with this talk. “If you two are in a dorm room together, you need to keep the door open.”

“The dorm guide book only said students couldn’t be in each other’s rooms after curfew. There was nothing about doors staying open.” Todoroki said.

“You’re correct. This is just a rule for you two.”

“Why are we the only students being treated differently?” Todoroki asked, his tone tense.

“Todoroki,” Nishimura tried to calm him down.

“The administration is under a lot of scrutiny right now. This new dorm initiative needs to go smoothly. It would be irresponsible for us not to put precautions in place for couples.” Aizawa explained in an even, reasonable voice.

“Other students could be in relationships! Or do you only care about the gay ones?”

“Todoroki! You can’t talk to Mr. Aizawa like that.” Nishimura put up his hands to try to shush him.

“No he’s right.” Aizawa sighed. “It is unfair. Unfortunately, there are multiple factors that make both of you different. Nishimura’s name and face were all over the media. They’d love to get their hands on a sex scandal. And Todoroki, if he ever asks, I need to be able to guarantee your father that you didn’t engage in any untoward behaviour at school.”

Nishimura and Todoroki let this news sink in. They had been so excited to live together. They were looking forward to being more open—holding hands, kissing, and being a real couple.

“Do you really think this will stop us?” Todoroki said brazenly, ignoring the consequences of challenging his teacher. “Or are you going to lock us in our rooms?”

“No, I don’t think I have to. You can decide for yourselves. I just needed to bring you the message that you can’t be intimate—” Aizawa paused for emphasis. “... on school grounds.”

“Wait, are you saying we could have sex anywhere else?”

“I didn’t say that. I was just informing you of the school’s rule and why discretion is so important... at this time.”

Nishimura and Todoroki looked at each other. Their teacher was really bad at being subtle.

“That’s all. Now, this conversation is over.” Aizawa turned to go. He made a big show of leaving the door open when he left.

Aizawa had only walked a few steps down the hall when he heard Nishimura say, “I guess we have to go to the beach more.”

Todoroki added, “I think there’s a love hotel nearby.”

“For your information,” Aizawa said loudly. “Sound travels through open doors too.”

Nishimura whispered, “Fuck.”

Aizawa facepalmed. He couldn’t believe he had agreed to live with teenagers.


Good Neighbors

 

“Hey, whatcha doing?”

Bakugo was just about to go in his room, a big bag of roasted nuts in hand. “Nothing.”

“Yeah me too,” Nishimura sighed and hung from the doorframe of his room. “It’s so boring; everybody’s taking so long to decorate their rooms.”

“Is that your room?”

“Yeah, we’re neighbors! Isn’t that great!”

“Huh.”

“So, are you done setting up your room?”

“Yeah I was done hours ago. I was just going to go work out.”

Nishimura’s face lit up and he said, “Oh that’s a good idea! We can use the school gym! I need to do some stretching on my leg anyway. I’ll just go get changed—”

“What?”

Nishimura caught himself, “Oh uh, I guess, I could come work out with you, if that’s cool with you?”

Bakugo shrugged, “Do whatever the fuck you want, just don’t make me wait up.”

They quickly changed into workout clothes and met back in the hallway.

“Should we go see if Kiri wants to come?” Nishimura realized that Kirishima would be a good buffer between them, for when things would inevitably get awkward and tense.

“No, he’s still busy in his room.”

“Putting the finishing touches on the gym bunny burrow.” Nishimura smirked at his own joke.

They left the dorms just the two of them and headed towards school. Bakugo muttered something Nishimura didn’t catch. “What was that?”

“What’s a gym bunny?” Bakugo asked aggressively.

“Oh it’s like, uh, a gay guy who likes to work out a lot and is really into the gym scene. I was just joking though, Kiri’s not really the gym bunny type—he’s too self-aware. Maybe more like a jock.”

“Kirishima’s not gay, he’s pansexual.”

Nishimura blinked in surprise. He didn’t expect Bakugo to be so hip with the lingo. “Oh yeah, I know, sometimes I use gay as shorthand for like any kind of queer.”

“Hn.” Bakugo grunted. “What’s your relationship with Kirishima anyway?”

“We’re friends.” Nishimura was confused. Where was this question even coming from? “Just because we’re both into guys doesn’t mean we’re going to be into each other. And you know I’m dating Todoroki right?”

“Okay, whatever, I was just checking. You two just spend a lot of time together.”

“Because we’re friends.” Nishimura repeated. “And Kiri’s such a great guy to be around. He’s fun, he’s kind, he’s like this big ball of happy, bubbly energy. I mean, you know.”

“Yeah.” Bakugo knew what a good friend Kirishima was. Part of him felt relieved that Nishimura wasn’t fooling around with Kirishima and Todoroki at the same time. Love triangles always ended up messy and dramatic. Bakugo didn’t want his friend to get hurt. The damn fool was always rushing into trouble for his friends, taking stupid risks. Bakugo could see him doing the exact same thing with romance and getting his squishy feelings all messed up.

Nishimura worried he had said the wrong thing. He knew that there was something weird going on between Bakugo and Kirishima. He needed to change the subject. “Well, I’m stoked to hit the gym. It’ll be good, I’ve been feeling pretty out of shape.”

Bakugo looked over at Nishimura. His cast was off now, thanks to Recovery Girl, but he was still walking with a limp. “Are you sure you’re okay to train?”

“Yeah I should be fine, just nothing too intense or weight-bearing on this leg.” Nishimura swung his arms as he walked. “I just feel like I’ve been cooped up too long. I want to do something.”

“Yeah.” Bakugo had barely left his house since he’d been rescued from the League of Villains.

They got to the gym. Nishimura started to ask a question, but Bakugo cut him off.

“Hey, if we’re going to work out together, don’t try to talk to me.” Bakugo warned him. “I just want to focus.”

“Oh, sure I get that.”

The school gym was pretty much empty this time in the afternoon. A few older students were lifting weights. Bakugo rolled out a mat and started with active stretches.

Nishimura put his mat nearby, but not too near. He warmed up his wrists and started gentle leg stretches. Once he felt loosened up, he started doing his usual repetitive sequences of squats, bends, and planks. He had only done a few sequences when he got leg cramps.

He groaned and rolled onto his side. “Ugh no, dammit!”

Bakugo looked over, “Don’t push yourself, you idiot.”

“I’m not, I can usually do like twenty of these to warm up.” Nishimura argued.

“Well obviously you can’t handle it now.”

Nishimura rubbed the cramp in his leg and scowled. “Damn body can’t do anything I tell it to do.”

“Don’t be such a weeny. Look.” Bakugo demonstrated a couple upper body movements he could try. “You just need to adjust. Until you get stronger.”

Nishimura grunted and pouted.

Bakugo got up to use the bouldering wall. He went right into the challenging routes, deftly swinging from one hold to the next like a lumbering chimp.

Once Nishimura’s leg felt better, he tried some different movements and found what worked without hurting. He paused in between sets to stretch out his hips carefully. He concentrated on working his core and upper body.

He had just started working up a sweat when a bag of nuts hit him in the face.

“Take a break, you idiot.” Bakugo was sitting down cross-legged and drinking water. He had one earbud in and one out. Big patches of sweat were spreading across his tank top.

Nishimura opened the bag and tried a few nuts. “Ugh, what is this, spicy lime?” He washed it down with water. “Ugh so spicy!”

“Don’t be a little bitch, it’s not that spicy.”

Nishimura threw the nuts back at him. He said seriously, “Hey I don’t like being called that.”

“I’m just kidding.”

“Yeah I know.” Nishimura waved his hands. “It’s some kind of tough guy code, all the swearing and insulting each other. I’m not like that though. When you call me a bitch, I just feel shitty.”

“But,” Bakugo frowned. “I don’t mean it like that.”

“Look, it’s like how you don’t want people to hug you without asking, or talk to you while you’re working out.” Nishimura pointed at himself. “I don’t like being called an idiot, a moron, a bitch. It’s okay if other people are fine with it. But I don’t want my friends to talk to me like that.”

Bakugo nodded, “Huh. Okay.”

They were quiet for a moment. Bakugo was scratching at the side of his water bottle.

“If you want, you can still call me a punk.”

“What? Why’s that any different?”

Nishimura grinned, “I just like it. It’s so old fashioned. I feel like you’re chasing me off your property for playing with a ball and stick while you’re trying to tend to your garden.”

“That analogy makes me sound like an old man!”

“Yep I picture you with baggy overalls, a big sun hat, and a permanent old man sneer.”

Bakugo smiled briefly, then he pretended to wipe the sweat off his face. “I guess you should get used to it, now that we’re neighbors. I’ll be chasing you around lots.”

“Yeah!” Nishimura smiled. “I think it would be fun to hang out more, work out like this with you.”

“Alright,” Bakugo stood up and stretched. He walked over and jabbed Nishimura in the sides with his foot. “But you gotta learn to Stop! Talking! Punk!”

Nishimura laughed and held his side. “Okay! I got it! Ouch!”

“You’re so sensitive.”

“I prefer to think of myself as soft!”

Bakugo grinned, “Yeah you’re fucking soft.”

Chapter Text

“Are you sure we’re allowed to go in here?”

“Yeah, this place doesn’t have an age requirement. And the booking is anonymous.”

“Ooh they have a pirate themed room.”

“Definitely not that one.” Todoroki scrolled through the room options. “What about ‘Rose Love’?”

“Kinda vanilla. What about ‘Space Adventure’!”

Todoroki rolled his eyes. “It’s not about the room. We just need a place we can be alone.”

Nishimura smiled, “Okay, okay. Rose Love is good.”

Todoroki finished booking the room and got a code for the door. They rode in the elevator, holding hands and shyly sneaking peeks at each other.

Nishimura had to say it. “Is it wild that we’re going to have sex in a love hotel?”

Todoroki grinned. “It is wild. We don’t have much choice though.”

They had decided this was the best way to have sex without breaking the school rules. They finally had a day off to sneak away from the dorms. They had to be back before curfew, but they still had eight hours to do whatever they wanted. They chose this.

“Whoa, it’s so... pink.” Nishimura gaped at the décor of their room.

“There’s a bed.” Todoroki closed and locked the door behind them.

The room was on theme. The entrance was a faux-marble archway decorated with red roses, rose petals were scattered on the carpet, and the center of the room was a giant circular bed with rose sheets and hanging roses on the ceiling.

“Oh my gosh, the carpet is like fake grass? Somehow?”

Todoroki watched as his partner investigated all the oddities of their room. He took off his shoes and socks. He unbuttoned his jacket and draped it over a faux marble pillar. He sat down on the bed. He got back up and took off his shirt. He sat back down on the bed.

“Yikes, Shoto, the toilet has one of those soft covers. Guess what color? Bath looks pretty big, we could probably both—” Nishimura peeked out of the bathroom and saw Todoroki lying on the bed topless. “Ooh what’s this?”

Todoroki flushed. “I just thought, I mean if you want...”

Nishimura bit his lip. He stepped forward, one hand on his partner’s shoulder and the other brushing his hair. “You look so hot lounging around half naked.”

Todoroki pulled him into him and kissed him deeply. His hands tore at the back of his shirt. He pulled off Nishimura’s tshirt and looked up at him hungrily. He was breathing hard. “I want you. So much.”

“It’s been a while.” Nishimura brushed his lover’s hair again. They hadn’t had the chance to be alone together since they moved into the dorms. “I have a surprise for you.”

“What is it?”

“No no no,” Nishimura smirked. “You have to find it yourself. And then figure out what to do with it.”

Todoroki groaned. “You mean I have to search this whole room before I can have you?”

Nishimura laughed. “Well, just a small, specific region of this room.” He sat down in Todoroki’s lap and pushed him down on the bed. “On this very bed.”

Todoroki saw the mischievous glint in his eyes. “Is that so?” He rolled Nishimura onto his back and straddled his chest. “I should start looking then.”

Todoroki ran his hands slowly down Nishimura’s body, from his neck, to his shoulders, to his arms, to his chest. He was raring to just tear his clothes off, but he took his time feeling him up.

Nishimura squirmed as Todoroki touched him. As his hands reached to undo his pants, he groaned, “Getting warmer.”

Todoroki unbuttoned his pants and stripped them off without a second thought. Nishimura was lying exposed in just his underwear.

Todoroki touched him through his boxers, appreciating the feeling of his wetness soaking through. “I assumed the surprise was a new underthing. I guess I’ll have to keep looking.”

“I guess you have to.” Nishimura said breathily.

Todoroki took his time pulling off his boxers, shimmying them down inch by inch. “Where should I look next? In here?”

Nishimura moaned as Todoroki stuck his fingers into his cunt. He felt his stomach drop in pleasure.

“I can’t feel anything in here.” Todoroki pushed another finger in his hole. “Where is it, Yuki?”

“You have to find it yourself.” Nishimura panted out.

Todoroki tugged his partner’s head forward by his hair, making Nishimura mewl. Todoroki whispered in his ear, “I thought you liked doing what you were told. Why don’t you give me a hint?”

Nishimura did love doing what he was told. “Okay. Mmm, you should turn me over then.”

Todoroki picked up his guy and flipped him onto his stomach. His back had a long arrow drawn towards his ass. Across his lower back, he had written ‘For Shoto’ in marker. In his ass was a black butt plug.

“I want you to know it was very hard to write on my back with a mirror.” Nishimura mumbled.

Todoroki ran his finger along the arrow and traced out the letters. “I can see that.”

“Do you... like it?”

“I love it.” Todoroki kissed his partner on the lips. “This is a good surprise.”

“I, um, got ready and everything. For you. If you want to try...” Nishimura trailed off, obviously embarrassed.

“Speak clearly,” Todoroki needed to make sure this meant what he thought it did. “What do you want to try?”

“I want you to fuck me. In the ass. Please.”

Nishimura was blushing so cutely, curled up on his stomach. Todoroki wanted to have some fun with him. “What should I fuck you with?”

"You know," Nishimura grumbled.

Todoroki lightly smacked his ass, "Answer properly. That was an honest question. I don't know how much you an handle. I could fuck you with just my fingers or your toy."

“Um,” Nishimura shifted on his knees, turning to look back over his shoulder at him. “Maybe you could fuck me with the toy for a little bit, so I get loosened up for your cock.”

Todoroki nodded. Honestly, he felt a little out of his depth. He didn’t know much about anal. It was painful apparently, and you need to use a lot of lube. But he trusted that Nishimura would take care of all that.

“Open your legs. Wider.”

Nishimura complied, feeling the excitement build. He yelped when Todoroki touched the toy in his butt.

“Sorry.” Todoroki pulled his hand away. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah I was just, not expecting it to be so intense.” Nishimura panted out. He touched his own dick and encouraged his partner, “It’s good, Shoto. You can keep going. Please.”

Todoroki’s heart was hammering in his chest. He fantasized about anal a lot, but a part of him was freaked out about it. Nishimura’s face looked so erotic right now, that delicious mixture of embarrassment and pleasure. Todoroki wanted to rush in and fuck him. He took a deep breath and focused on moving the toy in and out of his lover’s ass.

Nishimura was moaning and thrusting his hips back. He loved the feeling of Shoto fucking his ass, one hand spreading him open, one hand pounding the toy into him. Nishimura didn’t have a lot of experience doing butt stuff with someone else—the timing had never been right with Todoroki, and he never wanted to actually talk about how to make it happen. Vaginal sex was just easier.

Nishimura yipped as his lover pounded him harder. Obviously, they were going to get a lot more practice from now on.

“Tell me if it hurts.” Todoroki felt like he was losing his mind, trying to stay patient.

“It feels so fucking good.” Nishimura’s arms and legs were shaking. “Please, Shoto, I want you inside.”

Todoroki stood up and pulled off his pants. His cock was rock hard and pulsing. He put on a condom and lots of lube—so much that some of it dripped onto the fake grass carpeting. “Yuki, do you need more lube?”

Nishimura turned around and sat up, “Yeah, let me do it.”

Todoroki squirted some lube into his hand and watched him slowly pull the butt plug out. He rubbed the lube all over and inside his ass. He rolled out of bed to go wash his hands, giving his lover a great view of his dripping, marked body.

Todoroki felt like his cock was melting in his hand. His brain felt like jelly. He used his right hand to make a layer of frost over his chest.

“Me too, I’m too hot.” Nishimura came back to bed, his face red and sweating. Todoroki cooled him down with ice. Then he kissed him, cupping the back of his head tenderly.

“I love you Shoto.”

“I love you.” Todoroki said softly. The ice had helped him calm down. “I’m so nervous.”

“Why?”

“I don’t want to hurt you. You don’t feel like I’m pressuring you?”

“No, not at all.” Nishimura smiled and stroked his partner’s face. “I was the one who started this. I want to do this with you.”

“If you want to stop, just tell me. Okay?”

“Okay.”

They kissed again. Todoroki pushed a finger into his ass and groaned. “Yuki, you’re so fucking hot for me, aren’t you?”

Nishimura groaned, “Yeah, I’m ready for you. Shoto, please I want your cock inside me. Fuck my ass, please.”

Todoroki lifted his partner’s legs onto his shoulders and pressed the head of his cock against his asshole. His entrance was too tight. Todoroki readjusted his hips to get a better angle.

“I’m going to put it in.” Todoroki slowly eased the head of his cock into his ass. The first inch was torturously slow, his sensitive dick throbbing with the pressure and need for release.

Suddenly, the pressure loosened up and he slipped deep inside. “Fuck, sorry, was that—”

“It’s okay.” Nishimura sucked in a breath. “Just stay here for a moment. Fuck you’re so big inside me.”

Todoroki fought against his instinct to start thrusting. Nishimura’s eyes were screwed shut, and his whole body was tense. His hands were balled up in the sheets like he might fall off if he let go.

Todoroki remembered from his grounding exercises that distraction in another area of the body could help with relaxing an injured area. He slid a hand over his partner’s wet dick and played with it.

Nishimura arched his back and moaned. His partner knew exactly how to drive him wild with his fingers. His body relaxed into him, and he looked up at Todoroki’s hungry expression.

Nishimura stroked Todoroki’s smooth chest. “That feels so good, Shoto. You can move now.”

Todoroki lowered himself into his partner’s ass. The pressure was incredible. He pushed deeper until his balls were hitting Nishimura’s skin.

“Ah Shoto! Your cock feels amazing.” Nishimura opened his legs wider, as if to try to take his cock in deeper.

Todoroki felt a wave of white hot desire. “Yuki, I want to fuck you.”

“You are fucking me,” Nishimura teased.

“No I’m not.” Todoroki squeezed the inside of Nishimura’s thighs, his fingers leaving small white marks. “I want to fuck you hard.”

“I don’t know, I’m already pretty hard.” Nishimura joked, feeling giddy. He was doing anal! Todoroki was fucking his ass!

Todoroki backhanded his lover’s ass with a sharp smack. Nishimura yipped and sat up straighter. Todoroki growled out, “Don’t be a spoiled little slut. Tell me I can fuck you for real.”

Nishimura moaned out, “Yes, I can take it. My ass belongs to you all day, any way you want to use it. Please pound my ass as hard as you want.”

Todoroki let his hips take over. He was thrusting so hard that the whole bed was shaking. His blood was rushing past his ears. He watched in ecstasy as his partner screamed out for more.

“More! Shoto, please! Fuck me more!”

Todoroki was close. He plowed his cock deep into his lover’s ass and moaned, “I’m coming!”

They lay tangled up together for a few minutes, breathing hard.

“That felt amazing.” Nishimura smiled and kissed his guy.

Todoroki realized he hadn’t made Nishimura come. “Do you want me to do you?”

“Can we just cuddle for a little bit?”

“Okay, give me a minute.” Todoroki carefully pulled out and went to the bathroom to clean himself up. Then he went back to join Nishimura in bed.

Nishimura curled up into his body, nuzzling his face into his chest. He felt sore and exhausted, but happy.

Todoroki hugged him and stroked his hair repetitively. “You’re right. The roses are a bit much.”

“We can always try a different room next time.”

Todoroki smiled. Next time.

Chapter Text

“Come on man! It’ll be fun to do something as a class!”

“Why would I want to spend more time with those losers? I already have to go to school with them and live with them.”

“Exactly why we should do something fun together! I was hoping we could go out earlier, but then moving in to the dorms and classes starting up again was a whole thing.”

“Tch it’s too much damn effort.”

“It’s my treat! I already made a reservation and signed us out with Mr. Aizawa. It’s only a few minutes away from campus.”

Kirishima was trying to convince Bakugo to go out to karaoke with the class. He was sitting backwards on Bakugo’s desk chair in Bakugo’s room while his friend was putting away his books and homework.

Bakugo was already pretty much persuaded, but he didn’t want to cave too easily, otherwise Kirishima might think he actually wanted to hang out and sing songs with all the weirdos, freaks, nerds, and losers in their class. In reality, Bakugo just wanted to hang out with Kirishima. He owed it to him, after the way he had ignored him ever since his classmates rescued him from Kamino ward.

“Why are you being so nice to everyone?” Bakugo asked abruptly.

Kirishima slumped in his chair. “I just feel like I need to do something. The vibes are like all tense and shit right now. We’ve been through a lot these past few weeks. Maybe, in some small way, I can cheer us up.”

Bakugo turned away from his friend. He was so damn considerate and optimistic; it was hard to look at him head on sometimes. Like looking at the fucking sun.

“I’m not singing, got it?”

Kirishima looked up. He couldn’t believe he had got Bakugo to join a social group activity. “Really, you’re coming?”

Bakugo grunted and started taking off his school uniform to get changed into casual clothes. He grabbed a stick of deodorant and put a bunch on. His quirk made him smell really strong, especially at the end of the day.

Kirishima flushed as he saw his friend in such an intimate pose. He had been in the locker room with Bakugo lots of times, but something about this moment felt more domestic—being in his room, just the two of them, talking quietly, Bakugo’s scent all over—

“I’m gonna go, uh get ready. I’ll meet you out front in like an hour!” Kirishima blurted out, pushing his homoerotic thoughts to the side.

 

Getting Into It

“My heart will go onnnnnnnnn!”

“Iida’s really getting into this.”

“For real though, can’t you imagine Iida in like a regal gown, high femme drag?”

“I think there are costumes out front—”

“I didn’t mean right now Kiri!”

Nishimura and Kirishima were chatting at karaoke night. Kirishima had gotten the biggest room available, but the class was still kinda squished in there with thirteen rambunctious teenagers letting loose. It was loud, it was hot, and it smelled like fried foods.

Kirishima noticed his friend seemed kind of uncomfortable. “Too bad Todoroki’s not here.”

“Yeah, I tried to convince him, but he wanted to study.”

“Whack.”

“I know right.” Nishimura sighed and twirled his hair around his finger. “He seems pretty distant lately. Even when we do hang out, we just have sex and study.”

“In that order?”

“Fuck off Kiri!” Nishimura backhanded his friend.

“I’m joking, I’m joking! Seriously though, I bet he’s just stressed out. It’s probably not anything personal and he’s going through his own stuff.”

“Yeah, you’re probably right. Still, makes me wish I could read minds.”

Kirishima wanted to turn his friend’s mood around. This was supposed to be a happy, chill hang out. “Do you want to hear some gossip?”

“Ooh yes, dish!”

“You know that guy I hooked up with at the start of the year? Well he’s been texting me again, just like casual and stuff. But we were talking about moving into the dorms, and he was all like, hey here’s my room number and oh you should come check out my space sometime...”

“The thirst is strong with that one.”

They laughed heartily between themselves. Kirishima leaned against his friend’s shoulder comfortably. He had only hooked up with the guy a few times, and they stopped because they didn’t really have anything to talk about. But he kept getting random hard-ons and sexual thoughts, so maybe he just needed a fuck buddy to get his energy out. “The craziest part is I’m thinking of actually going?”

“I thought you said you didn’t really click with that guy?”

“Well, we did click in one way.” Kirishima stuck out his tongue lasciviously.

“Ew, pervert!” Nishimura squealed, squirming away from him.

“Hey Kaminari, I think Nishimura’s talking to you.” Ashido called out from the other side of the couch.

Kaminari threw a pillow at his friend. “Shut up Mina!”

“HEY I’m trying to sing up here!”

Ashido threw the pillow back at Kaminari, but it hit Bakugo instead. “Oops.”

“Who fucking threw that?!”

The heat and noise was starting to get to Nishimura. “Kiri, I’m just gonna pop out for a bit.”

Kirishima nodded to show he heard and went to calm down his friends. Nishimura weaved around the various legs and bags to get to the door.

As soon as he stepped into the hallway, the air quality and temperature improved tenfold. He strolled down the hallway towards the entrance, but he stopped when he noticed some familiar faces.

“Hey Uraraka! Hey Asui! What are you up to?”

“Hey Nishimura! It was getting a little loud in there, so we decided to get some fresh air.”

Asui and Uraraka were standing in a common area with vending machines, costumes, and the bathrooms. Uraraka was drinking an iced tea and looking through the rack of anime girl costume. Asui was eyeing a gown in the rack of fancy dresses.

“Do you think this is cute, Nishimura?” Uraraka held out a shimmery pale blue princess cosplay.

“Whoa, super cute! You should try it on!”

“Oh uh, I don’t know...”

“Yeah Ochaco! If you like it, you should try it!” Asui encouraged her friend.

“Ah, but it’ll be embarrassing to be the only one wearing a weird costume...”

“I’ll put something on too! Let’s see what they got here...” Nishimura flipped through the section marked ‘boys’; there wasn’t much selection other than edgy horror, flashy suits, and anime cosplays. Nishimura ventured over to the gowns next to Asui. He found a tight silver and black dress in his size, with glittery sequins down the front.

“Are you gonna try that one Sue?”

Asui was still looking at the same dress. It was a short, creamy white dress with no sleeves but lots of pouf. She ran her hand along the dainty embroidered flowers on the hem. She had never worn something so exquisite. “It’s so pretty. It probably would look silly on me.”

“What?”

Asui shrugged. She was gangly, short, and chubby in all the wrong places. She was used to people making fun of the way she looked. She had figured out what clothes would flatter her shape, and which ones would make her stick out. “I just don’t have the right body for it.”

“No way! Sue you can wear whatever you want!”

“Yeah there’s no such thing as a ‘right body’. All bodies are good bodies.”

“And if it means anything, I think you’re pretty no matter what you wear.”

“Ribbit.” Asui blushed deeply and pulled the dress off the rack. “I guess I could try it. Just in front of you two.”

“Yeah! Way to go!”

“Let’s all get changed at the same time okay? Oh wait, but that won’t work if you’re in the boys’ washroom, Nishimura.”

“Uh I was thinking I could get changed in the girls’ washroom? If that’s okay with you.” Nishimura shuffled uncomfortably. He didn’t like using the girls’ anything, but he also didn’t feel safe changing into a dress in the boys’ room.

“Yeah let’s do it!”

Uraraka, Asui and Nishimura all went into the girls’ bathroom and got in separate stalls. They quickly got changed into their costumes. They coordinated with each other to all step out at the same time.

“Whoa, you look amazing!”

“You look amazing! Ah this fits great.”

“Can you zip me up in the back?”

They all gushed over each other and checked themselves out in the mirrors. They felt so good in their outfits. They took pictures of each other, smiling, posing, goofing around.

Nishimura wanted to take a full body picture of himself to show Todoroki later. “I want to look at it in the full length mirror.”

“I’ll come with you.”

“Yeah me too, we should stick together.”

Nishimura grinned. The three of them left the bathroom in their fancy outfits, feeling a little self-conscious but more confident together. Luckily, there wasn’t anybody else in the common area.

Nishimura checked himself out in the mirror by the costume racks. The dress was a little tight around his shoulders, but otherwise it fit surprisingly well. He used to hate wearing dresses when everyone thought he was a girl, but now he loved the feeling of being sexy and sparkly. He took a few saucy pictures of himself.

“Hey Nishimura, do you want to try this wig?” Asui held up a bright silver long-haired wig. “I think it matches the dress.”

“Yeah totally!” He grabbed the wig and played around with it, draping it over his shoulder, tying it up, tucking it behind his ears.

“I think you should wear it like this.” Asui got behind him and deftly split and twisted and braided his wig, until two gorgeous waterfall braids met at the base of his neck, the hair underneath cascading artfully down his back.

“Whoa! That’s gorgeous!” Nishimura didn’t often miss having long hair, but seeing Asui’s stunning hairstyling was definitely getting him to consider it. “I can’t even.”

“How did you do that Sue?” Uraraka was staring at the wig in wonder.

Asui blushed at the compliment. “I’ve had a lot of practice doing my little sister’s hair.”

A group of young men suddenly appeared and walked by their group to buy things from the vending machines. They were dressed in suits, but their faces were red and they were at the very least tipsy, if not drunk.

Asui, Uraraka and Nishimura sucked in their breaths and grouped together by the racks, trying not to draw attention to themselves. But they were also watching and listening to the group behind them in case of danger.

“Haha, no way! You’re lying!”

“It’s the truth! She slept with Tamai too!”

“Oh fuck, you’re drunk!”

“Shut up! You’re one to talk!”

The four men laughed and threw their weight around. They didn’t seem to really notice the three teenagers doing cosplay in the corner.

“Should we go back in the bathroom?” Asui whispered. She was holding the bottom of her dress down, hoping the men weren’t looking at her.

“Yeah okay.” Uraraka stepped forward.

“Hey~ ladies!”

“Oh cute girls.”

Uraraka, Asui, and Nishimura ignored them and hurried towards the bathroom. One of the men got in their way.

“Hey, what’s going on girls?”

 “Come on, don’t be rude.”

The three teenagers felt trapped. They didn’t want to talk to these drunk strangers, but they also didn’t want to aggravate the men into losing their temper. They had to walk around them now to get back to the bathroom, but they also didn’t want to get any closer.

Nishimura stepped in front of Asui and Uraraka. He cleared his throat and forced a polite smile. “Sorry we’re just—”

“I like your dress, sweetheart.” One of the men was openly eyeing up Nishimura’s ass. “Even though you’re maybe a bit flat-chested.”

“Haha, dude, you can’t say that!”

“What? She might develop as she gets older.”

“Man you’re so drunk, what are you thinking!”

Nishimura felt his guts get all twisted up with anger and shame. Without even thinking, he spat out, “You shouldn’t talk about teenage girls that way, jerk.”

The man who was eye-fucking him looked startled, but he grinned. “Ooh, she thinks she’s tough!”

“That one talks like a boy.”

“Haha, no way, that’s not a boy.”

Nishimura realized he should have kept his mouth shut. He had just made things worse. How was he going to—

“Hello, excuse us. These are our friends.”

“Are these guys bothering you?”

Yaoyorozu, Jiro and Hagakure walked up behind them. They were alert and on the ball, taking in the details of the situation from the looks on their friends’ faces.

Jiro crossed their arms and gave the men a withering glare. They felt a fierce protectiveness for their friends. “Hey, get out of our way, perverts.”

A couple of the guys seemed cowed by the rapidly growing numbers of angry teens. “We were just chatting!”

“Sorry to get in your way, ladies.”

The six teenagers stalked into the girls’ bathroom as a unit. As soon as they shut the door, they breathed a collective sigh of relief.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck.”

“Are you okay?”

“I’m sorry I made things worse by mouthing off—”

“It wasn’t your fault, you were just trying to defend us.”

“What a bunch of creeps.”

“Are you sure you’re okay?”

“Yeah they didn’t touch us.”

The group reassured and comforted each other. They all had a sickly gross feeling hanging over them. A fun evening out with their class had been tainted by a couple minutes talking to some random drunk strangers.

“Should we like report their behavior to the front desk?” Hagakure asked.

“They didn’t really do anything though.” Nishimura said with an uncertain head shake.

“I just want to go home.” Asui mumbled. Uraraka threw an arm around her friend.

“We came looking for you,” Yaoyorozu explained. “We’re going to head back to campus now.”

“Okay, we’ll just be a minute.”

Uraraka, Asui and Nishimura had to change back into their casual clothes. The fancy, poufy, cute costumes felt scary and icky now.

“Your outfits look amazing by the way.”

“Oh yeah, I wanted to mention, that dress is so pretty Sue!”

“Ochaco looks like Frozen!”

“Black looks really good on you Nishimura.”

The girls tried to boost up their friends’ mood with kind words and soft touches to their outfits. They reminded each other that they were allowed to feel good about their bodies. They were allowed to wear whatever they wanted to. They were allowed to have fun together in public and feel safe.

 

Protected

“Hey we should wait, the rest of the group is stuck at the light.”

“You can wait, I’m going home!”

“Come on man, you know we gotta stick together. That’s the school rule.”

Bakugo scowled. Mr. Aizawa had made it very clear that they couldn’t be on their own while off campus. The threat of villain activity was too high.

“Fine!” Bakugo stopped so suddenly Kirishima bumped into him.

“Oh sorry.” Kirishima rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly. There were lots of people walking around the streets this time of the evening. Bakugo’s loud voice and general bad attitude was getting a lot of disapproving stares.

Bakugo stood in the same spot like a statue, not looking at his friend. His hands were buried in his pockets and he was slouched obnoxiously.

Kirishima felt guilty. He had invited Bakugo to karaoke to cheer him up, but instead he was grumpier than ever. “You okay, man?”

“Fucking stop asking me that, Shitty Hair. I’m fine.”

Kirishima chewed his lip. Bakugo was upset. Bakugo was so upset he was lashing out. Bakugo was so upset he was lashing and probably not even realizing it because he sucked at dealing with his feelings. But what else was new.

“What the fuck is taking those losers so long?!”

“They’re just crossing the—”

“Hey it’s that guy who was kidnapped by the League of Villains.”

Kirishima froze midsentence. Some people walking by were talking behind their hands—and that snippet of conversation was about Bakugo. It was so fucked up—these people didn’t know anything about him! They were just casually tossing it out there, like hey why don’t we gossip about a kid’s trauma in front of him?

Kirishima wasn’t sure if his friend had heard the comment. Bakugo didn’t turn to glare or scream at the people, so maybe not. Kirishima wanted to tell him that he should ignore them, that he was so much more than that, that he was the strongest, bravest guy he knew. Maybe he should reach out, squeeze his shoulder, tell him—

“Hey guys! Thanks for waiting up!”

Bakugo started speed walking as soon as the rest of their classmates caught up. He just focused on getting home, blocking out his surroundings, including those damn people staring at him, including Kirishima looking at him with pity. Everything could go to hell. He was going back to the dorms, to his room, to his bed.

He should have known tonight would suck. Bakugo mostly sat by himself and thought about how annoying the situation was. Stuck in a room with a bunch of losers, hearing terrible songs, people laughing about pointless stuff—it was a nightmare.

It was even worse because Kirishima was chatting with everybody but Bakugo. Kirishima had been acting weird since training camp. Probably because of what happened, he saw Bakugo the way everybody else now saw him, even those people in the street: just a weakling who needed to be protected.

Chapter Text

“I’m so stoked to get there. There’ll be so many students from other schools with quirks we’ve never even heard of!”

“Yeah I’m super stoked too! I can’t wait to flex my badass new moves!”

“Ooh yeah! You’re looking hella badass! Gonna dazzle all those judges!”

Kirishima and Nishimura high fived each other enthusiastically. Kirishima was leaning over the back of Nish’s seat to talk to him on the bus. Class 1A was on their way to the Provisional Hero Licencing exam. There was a lot of kerfuffle and excited discussion on the bus.

“What about you Bakugo? Are you stoked?”

Bakugo sneered. He was sitting next to Kirishima and looking out the window. “Why would I be excited for a test?”

“There’ll be so many people from all over!” Nishimura said.

“What do I care about a bunch of extras?”

“Come on man, don’t you want to have some new people to go up against? A lot of them will be second or third year students, so they should be strong. I think it’ll be a good challenge.” Kirishima grinned with determination. He was anxious to prove himself after failing his final exam.

Bakugo smirked. Kirishima had the right idea. “Yeah, I need more competition to destroy on my way to the top!”

Nishimura sighed. Bakugo was so extra. He turned to his partner beside him. “What about you, Todoroki? How are you feeling?”

Todoroki looked up from the book he was reading. He had originally wanted to sit alone. He agreed to sit next to Nishimura, after much cajoling, but he had been reading the whole time. “I’m fine. A little hungry.”

“No, I mean about the exam. Are you excited? Nervous?”

Todoroki shrugged. He was trying to avoid thinking about anything. His anxiety usually spiked before big tests, especially ones where a lot of people would be watching. He just needed to get through the day without freaking out.

Nishimura tried to come at the question from a different angle. “Well I’m looking forward to it. I mean, obviously I have no idea what’s going to happen, but I think I’ve trained as much as possible. And I’m just going to take it one step at a time, remember to play to my strengths, look for the openings, that kind of stuff.” Nishimura paused and looked at Todoroki to add something to the conversation.

“Sure.” Todoroki went back to reading his book.

Nishimura pursed his lips and tried not to take it personally. Todoroki probably wasn’t trying to be cold and standoffish.

“If the exam is anything like the Sports Festival, it might be good to work together don’t you think?”

Without looking up from his reading, Todoroki answered, “Maybe, depends on what the task is. Your quirk isn’t necessarily complementary with mine.”

“Oh okay.” Nishimura said. He didn’t know what else to say. Talking to Todoroki when he was like this was frustrating and disappointing. Just for a distraction, he pulled out his phone and re-read his text messages. Tetsutetsu had texted him, with a picture of him and Kendo on their way to their exam.

Todoroki knew he was being rude. He would have to make it up to Nishimura later tonight. Meanwhile, he had to focus.

 

Just Like His Father

“Oh no, I’m sorry. Did I hurt your feelings? Well the thing is, son of Endeavor, I just can’t help but hate both of you. You’ve changed a little bit since the first time our paths crossed, but you definitely still have your father’s eyes.”

Todoroki stared in shock as Yoarashi walked away.

“Shoto?” Nishimura whispered, appearing at his side suddenly. “What was that guy talking about? Who is he?”

“I don’t know.” Todoroki felt like the room was suffocating him. There were a hundred students in the ante room, milling about and getting ready for the second round of their licensing exam. It was so loud and so heavy with the smells and faces of strangers—it was giving Todoroki a headache.

“Are you okay?” Nishimura laid his hand on his partner’s back. “You seem upset.”

Todoroki clenched his jaw. He couldn’t let his head get in the way; he had to focus. “I’m fine. I just need a minute alone.”

Nishimura heard an edge to Todoroki’s voice. He reached out for his hand. “But I—”

“Back off.” Todoroki snapped, pushing his hand away.

Nishimura stepped back. He felt heat rush to his cheeks. Some of the other students were looking at them.

Todoroki walked away, without so much as a glance back at him.

“You okay Nish? What’s going on with him?” Kirishima came up beside Nishimura, gesturing at Todoroki with the drumstick in his hand.

“Nevermind.” Nishimura shook his head. “Let’s just focus on the exam.”

 

Rescue Me

“Ojiro! Put them down over here.”

“They were by the river. The little one isn’t very responsive.”

“It looks like shock. Bring a blanket and water from over there.” Nishimura knelt down to comfort the ‘bystanders’, who were really actors in this rescue scenario. “Hey there, are you two siblings?”

The older girl nodded, “This is my little sister. I don’t know where our parents are. We got separated.”

“My friends are out there looking for your parents right now. We’re here to help.” Nishimura smiled in a reassuring way. “I’m Yuki. What are your names?”

“I’m Sai, and this is Saora.”

Ojiro came back with supplies. The makeshift triage area was full of people with pretend injuries, but the students were all trying their best to manage the situation like it was real.

“Thanks Ojiro. When you find other people at the river, please ask whether they are looking for Sai and Saora.”

“Got it!” Ojiro leapt back towards the disaster zone.

“Sai, can you help me get Saora to sit down so I can check if she’s hurt?”

The elder girl and Nishimura carefully sat the little one down. Nishimura wrapped a blanket around her shoulders and started checking her vital signs and limbs for injuries.

“Why isn’t she talking? It’s scary.”

Nishimura looked at the teenage girl with tears in her eyes and fake blood on her cheek. These actors were good. “She’s in shock. It’s a really common thing that can happen after something traumatic. Our job is to make her feel safe and warm. Can you help me do that, Sai?”

The teenager nodded. Nishimura hadn’t found any external injuries on the child, so he got up to move them from the triage zone to the resting area.

Just then, the wall exploded nearby. A group of ‘villains’ emerged. The students didn’t just need to save the bystanders, they also had to fight off villains. Should Nishimura use his quirk to jump back, maybe warn the others what was going to happen? But he didn’t have much energy for jumps, so would it be better to protect the bystanders?

Nishimura made a quick decision. He scooped up Saora in one arm and took Sai’s hand. “Let’s go!”

He ran with them until they found an intact area to make a secondary triage area. “Sai, you stay here with Saora. Keep looking out for her. I’ll be back!”

Nishimura started running back to the fight. In the distance, he saw a blast of fire that must have been Todoroki, fending off the attackers.

Crackling loudly, Nishimura was substituted with a different version of himself. His shirt was on fire, and starting to burn his skin. He threw himself to the ground and rolled, feeling his head splitting with pain and disorientation.

“What the hell?! Are you okay man?” Another student ran up to him, obviously confused.

Nishimura checked the damage. He had gotten burned on his hands and the exposed parts of his arms. His hair was partially singed. He was feeling panicky. “I think I need help.”

One of the exam proctors was running towards them. He was saying something, but Nishimura’s head felt fuzzy. He passed out in the dirt.

 

The Only Consequence

“Good luck Todoroki, we’ll all be rooting for you!”

“Thank you.” Todoroki nodded to Iida’s encouraging words. He understood why he had failed the exam, but he was glad he would have a shot to redeem himself by taking supplementary classes.

“Hey Todoroki have you seen Nish?” Kirishima clapped Todoroki on the shoulder.

“No, I haven’t.” Todoroki turned to scan the crowd. There were a hundred students out here.

Midoriya joined their discussion. “Yeah, it’s weird he’s not standing here with our class.”

“Last I saw him, he was working in the triage area of the exam.” Iida added.

“Damn. Okay, I’m gonna go look around for him.”

“I’ll come too, Kirishima.”

Todoroki and Kirishima weaved around the crowds of students. Most groups were standing with their school, judging by their uniforms.

“Is that—no that’s not him. Maybe over—nope nevermind. Whoa there’s a lot of people here.” Kirishima kept up a non-stop commentary as they searched.

“Can we focus on looking?” Todoroki said in frustration. It had been a long day, and Kirishima’s fun guy personality was getting to him, moreso than usual.

They finished a quick go around; they couldn’t spot their friend.

“Hey, there’s Mr. Aizawa!” Kirishima pointed out their teacher, who was walking down the stairs to the arena.

“Alright, let’s go ask him.”

The two ran up to meet him.

“Todoroki. Kirishima.”

“Sir, do you know where Nishimura is?”

“Yes, I was just coming to find you. He’s in the infirmary.”

“Is he okay?” Kirishima blurted out.

“He was injured part way through the rescue scenario. He’s been healed though.”

“Can I see him?”

Aizawa combed his hair back into a loose bun. “He just wants to see Todoroki. You can see him on the bus on the way back.” Aizawa turned and went back up the stairs the way he had come.

Todoroki looked back at Kirishima, who nodded sullenly at him. He followed behind his teacher.

“So you failed.”

Todoroki nearly missed a stair. He felt a heavy weight around his neck. “Yes.”

Aizawa paused at the top of the flight of stairs. The sign said ‘Infirmary.’ Aizawa asked, “Do you think you deserved to fail?”

Todoroki stood with his hands at his sides. “Yes. I worked against Yoarashi and let the villains get the better of me.”

“If this was real life, your actions could have resulted in more casualties and destruction. People could have died because of your mistakes.” Aizawa spoke without anger, but his eyes were serious. “As a hero, personal problems can and will get in the way of your work. With your past, this will be a recurring struggle for you.”

Todoroki nodded, staring at the ground in shame.

“On the flip side, accepting and resolving issues in your personal life will make you a stronger, more compassionate hero.” Aizawa laid a hand on his student’s shoulder. “In the grand scheme of things, I hope you can appreciate that this is the only consequence of your actions.”

“What do you mean? What consequence?”

Aizawa took a deep breath. “Nishimura was burned by some of your mis-directed flames. He jumped back in time to avoid the worst of it, but he was still hurt.”

“Todoroki? Did you hear me?”

“I can’t...” Todoroki shook his head violently. “I can’t do this—I can’t face him—it’s my fault.”

Aizawa squeezed his shoulder and said calmly, “It is your fault, and that’s why you need to face him. As soon as possible. Dealing with the consequences of our mistakes is important for us, but it’s even more important for the people we’ve hurt. You understand?”

Todoroki breathed deeply. He nodded. “I understand.”

Aizawa led Todoroki to Nishimura’s room. He was lying down in bed; a tube was connected to his arm, and his arms were wrapped in bandages. He stirred when they opened the door.

“We’re going to head out on the bus in an hour. You can meet us out front. I’ll leave you to talk.” Their teacher stepped out.

“Are you okay?”

“I’m fine, they healed my burns. My skin’s just sore.” Nishimura shuffled to sit up higher in bed. “I’m really tired.”

“I’m so sorry. I lost control, and I hurt you.”

“It was an accident. You didn’t know that air bender was going to do that.”

Todoroki’s voice shook. “I caused this. Don’t try to make me feel better.”

“I’m not.” Nishimura said defensively. “Isn’t that what you should be doing? Trying to make me feel better?”

“I...” Todoroki trailed off. He didn’t know what to say. His feelings were a thick smoke just under one layer of glass. If he opened it up, they would engulf him whole.

Nishimura waited. He watched his partner’s distant gaze. He knew he had to say something. “Shoto, do you want to sit down?”

There weren’t any chairs in the room. The only place to sit was on the bed, next to Nishimura. “I’d prefer to stand.”

Nishimura sighed. “Okay. Well I don’t think... this is working.”

Todoroki breathed in sharply and started grinding his knuckles against each other. “What do you mean?”

“I think we should break up.”

The weight on Todoroki’s neck suddenly dug in. It felt like smoke was filling his lungs from the inside.

“Shoto? What do you think?”

Todoroki said, “I understand. Whatever you think is best.”

“We could talk about it.”

Todoroki shook his head.

“It’s okay, Shoto.” Nishimura reached out a hand to him.

Even wrapped in bandages, Todoroki recognized that hand. It was so warm, so soft, so familiar. He couldn’t stand the weight any longer. “I’m sorry. I have to go.”

Todoroki left the room before Nishimura could say another word.

 

A Quiet Ride

“Hey! Nish!”

“What?”

“Finally he responds!” Kirishima tossed his hands in the air exasperatedly. They were heading home from the exam; the class vibe was much more subdued. Kirishima was leaning over the back of Nishimura’s seat. “I was just asking how you’re feeling?”

“I’m fine.” Nishimura lied. He had been watching Todoroki, who was sitting up front next to Iida. He felt oddly calm and devoid of feelings right now, but he knew if Kiri started asking him questions, he might start sobbing.

“Are you sure?” Kirishima raised his eyebrows. He was not buying it.

“I’m just tired. Actually, I’m going to go lay down.”

The back of the bus had one extra-long seat that ran along the full width of the bus. Six people could comfortably sit next to each other on it—instead, one Bakugo was manspreading across the bench, listening to music. No one else wanted to risk sitting next to him in his foul mood.

“Hey, I’m gonna lie down here.” Nishimura pointed but didn’t ask if he could use the spot. He just wanted to rest.

“What?” Bakugo yanked an earbud out, but it was too late. He recoiled as Nishimura lay down beside him. “The fuck? Go away punk—”

“I just want to sleep.”

Bakugo bit back a rude comment. “Tch fine, just stay on your side.”

Nishimura curled up into a tight ball. He could just fit in between Bakugo and the window. It wasn’t comfortable, but at least he didn’t have to deal with anyone. He closed his eyes.

The bus stopped at a light, and Nishimura’s head smashed into the edge of the window. “Fuck.” He cursed under his breath, rubbing his head. He moved his arm under his head to try to make a little barrier between him and the hard metal.

A minute later, the bus turned suddenly. Nishimura’s arm smacked into the edge of the window, and then his head smacked into his arm. “Fuck,” he groaned.

“Dammit you punk, come here.” Bakugo yanked Nishimura up by his arm.

“What are you—”

“Just lie down with your head this way.”

“But I—”

“It’ll be irritating hearing you keep bonking the window the whole time, idi—I mean punk.”

Nishimura realized Bakugo was trying to be nice. He didn’t have energy to argue with him anyway. “Okay.”

Nishimura curled up in a tight ball with his feet at the window and his head next to Bakugo. Truthfully, it was easier on his noggin.

“Hey Bakugo?”

“What now?!”

“Your music is really loud. Isn’t that bad for your ears?”

“Tch, my ears are already shit anyway.” Bakugo huffed. The close proximity to loud explosions had that kind of an effect on a guy. There was no way in hell Bakugo was going to pull any punches in his training though.

“Oh okay. I like the ... beats.” Nishimura didn’t really know how to talk about music. He was probably just being annoying. Nishimura curled up tighter on the bench to give Bakugo his space.

“You can stretch out against me you know, I’m not gonna hit you.” Bakugo grumbled from above him.

Nishimura didn’t know where this tender side of him was coming from. “I don’t know, experience would beg to differ.” Nishimura joked.

“Yeah well, you never know. First time for everything.” Bakugo said the last words with an empty ring.

Nishimura realized why Bakugo was sitting alone, or why everyone was leaving him alone. He was devastated. He had failed the Provisional Licencing Exam. The only thing that Bakugo cared about was becoming the best Hero. It was his whole life.

Nishimura’s world was falling apart, but so was his.

“Okay.” Nishimura stretched out, leaning his head against Bakugo’s leg and letting his body relax. It was more comfortable. He might actually be able to fall asleep like this. “Thanks Bakugo.”

“Hn.” Bakugo grunted. He put his earbud back in. He closed his eyes and let himself fall into the music.

Chapter Text

“Hey let me in before the robot guards catch me.”

“Kiri? Is that you?”

“Yeah it’s me. Open up, or else I’ll be zapped by our robot overlords.”

Nishimura let Kirishima into his dorm room.

“It’s the middle of the night. We’re not supposed to go out after curfew.” Nishimura wiped his eyes with the sleeve of his shirt—the cuffs were already damp and wrinkly. He sniffled as quietly as possible, but it was still loud in the otherwise silent dorms.

“I know, I just wanted to check on you.” Kirishima said. “What’s up bud?”

“I...” Nishimura got choked up. “Todoroki and I broke up.”

“Oh Nish, I’m sorry.” Kirishima gently rubbed his friend’s back. “Do you want to talk about it?”

Nishimura nodded.

“Alright, come spill your fifis to Kiri.” Kirishima sat down on Nishimura’s futon and patted the blanket next to him.

Nishimura chuckled and sat beside him. Kirishima wrapped his hand around his for support.

“We broke up—I guess I broke up with him—right after the provisional licensing exam.”

“Oh yeah, you were pretty weird on the ride back. I thought it was just cause you got hurt.”

“Yeah. I didn’t want to say anything at the time, there was a lot running through my brain.” Nishimura sighed. “I got burned by Todoroki’s flames in the exam.”

Kirishima stiffened, “What the fuck.”

“It was an accident, but it still scared me.”

“Is that why you broke up?”

“Not really,” Nishimura interlaced his fingers with Kirishima’s. Kirishima’s hands were rough yet comforting. “I was feeling like something was wrong for a few weeks. Since training camp I guess. It was just the last push over the edge.”

“How did Todoroki react?”

Nishimura shrugged. “He was surprised. But he didn’t want to talk about it and just ran away. But now I feel like... there’s this unfinished conflict between us. I’m not even sure if breaking up was the right thing to do.”

“Have you talked to him? Since you broke up?”

“Not really. It’s just so awkward. And I still feel really tender about the whole thing.” Nishimura threw himself backwards onto his bed and writhed in angst. “Ugh relationships are so complicated!”

Kirishima laughed and sprawled out beside his friend. “You got that right.”

“Hey how are things going for you and—” Nishimura wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.

“Uh, okay,” Kirishima lied. He had kind of screwed things up with his fuck buddy. But that was a story for another day. “I guess we haven’t hung out in a while...”

“Yeah, things were so busy with getting ready for the exam.”

“Oh I know! We should do something chill, just the two of us. We could go get food, see a movie, go shopping, whatever you want.”

“Oh yeah, that would be fun. Maybe, we could go get street food?”

“Sure, we can go tomorrow after class. I can sign us out at the office. And I can stop by Recovery Girl’s clinic too.”

“Cool, wait why would you need to go to Recovery Girl?”

“I can check whether she can heal heart problems. You know, from your broken heart.”

“Oh fuck off Kiri!” Nishimura rolled over and kicked at his friend.

They giggled and messed around playfully, rolling over each other like wolf pups. As always, Kirishima let Nishimura ‘win’ their fight.

“Hey Kiri,” Nishimura was lying crosswise on top of Kirishima’s belly, with his hand hooked in Kirishima’s mouth.

Kirishima mumbled incoherently, due to the foreign fingers in his mouth.

“Thanks for coming over to cheer me up.” Nishimura got off of his friend and took his hand out of his mouth. “You’re the best. I love you.”

“I love you too, man.”

“How did you even know I was sad? Do you have a previously undiscovered tear-sensing quirk?”

Kirishima pulled out his phone. “Actually, Bakugo texted me and said I should check on you. See?”

Nishimura read off of his phone.

Bakugo: Hey. Your punk ass friend has been crying all night. It’s annoying. Go talk to him.”

“Oh dear Sparky Sparky Boom Boy. Such a sweetheart.” Nishimura sang out in a joking way towards Bakugo’s room.

Kirishima received another text.

Bakugo: “Go the fuck to sleep you punks.”

 

Straight Into Friendship

“Meat on a stick! There’s nothing better!”

“That's so gay.”

“True!” Kirishima laughed and tore into his yakitori.

Nishimura grinned and started eating too. The pair were sitting on a couple of crates under an awning in an alley, sheltered from the drizzle of grey rain. They could hear cars zooming up the street and every once and a while people would hurry by the alley, racing to get inside. Mostly it was quiet and they didn’t have much to do.

“So, I talked to Todoroki today.” Nishimura said out of the blue.

Kirishima couldn’t tell whether his friend’s expression was sad, relieved, or upset. They had managed to avoid talking about anything serious, so far. But if Nishimura was bringing it up, he probably wanted to talk about it. “Yeah? How did that go?”

“Okay,” Nishimura paused, watching a cyclist ride by with a splash while he figured out what to say. “We didn’t talk for very long. He showed up at my door in the morning with a sweater I had left in his room. I was kind of worried he would be angry at me, but he said he understood why I ended things and that it was like a wake up call for him.”

“How did you feel about it?”

“It was... strange. Part of me just felt like pulling him into me same as always and telling him I still love him—I mean it’s not like I can shut that shit off.”

Kirishima nodded, feeling a tug on his heart. He knew all too well that feelings couldn’t be so easily changed.

Nishimura sighed in exasperation. “But then another part of me was frustrated. Like he still didn’t really understand what I wanted from him; he was still so closed off and secretive. Apparently he’s working on that, which is good for him, but I feel like I tried so hard to be patient and supportive for him, and now he’s going to deal with his problems?” Todoroki was going to counseling. Nishimura had only suggested it about a dozen times. The guy had serious anxiety and traumas festering right under the surface.

“Do you think it would help to talk to him again? Explain how you feel?”

“Not really. I think at this point, I just want to move on you know? I asked him to give me some space, I mean it’s not like he needs to run away from me when he sees me in the dorms or when we’re at school. But I think it’ll be hard to get over him if we just go straight into friendship.”

“Yeah that makes sense.” Kirishima tried to be hopeful and encouraging for his friend’s sake. “Maybe once you’ve both had some time apart, you’ll be able to spend time together without this stuff hanging over you. I mean, I know you two were really close, and it’s hard to lose your partner, your lover, and your friend all in one go.”

Nishimura blinked back tears. He stared straight ahead. When he thought about his future, he used to imagine Todoroki in it, everywhere: finishing school together, becoming pros together, living together, even raising kids together. Now, he had no idea what his future would look like.

“Do you regret it?” Kirishima scooped up his friend’s hand and squeezed it softly. “If you could go back in time—”

“Which I can.” Nishimura joked.

“If you could go back and change things so you never started dating Todoroki, knowing everything you know now, would you do it?”

“No, I don’t think I would.”

Kirishima was asking for selfish reasons. He had been bottling up his own feelings for Bakugo, afraid of how it might change his friendship, afraid of all the unknowns.

“So, um, Kiri, what’s going on with that guy from second year? Are you dating him now?”

Kirishima groaned, “I’m such a fucking douche.”

“No!” Nishimura squeezed his friend’s hand and shook it forcefully. “What happened?”

“I knew it wasn’t going to work out. I didn’t even like him! I don’t know what I was thinking.” Kirishima smacked himself in the forehead. “I guess I thought it could just be a casual, friends with benefits kind of thing. But then he wanted to be more serious, and I fucking chickened out and ghosted him like a trash person.”

“Oh Kiri.” Nishimura patted him on the back. “I’m sure it wasn’t that bad...”

“He literally asked me to be his boyfriend, I said yes, we fucked, and then I stopped answering any of his messages.”

“Shit.” Nishimura grimaced. “Man, that’s—”

“I know! I’m like the definition of a fuckboy. Ugh!” Kirishima grunted in anger at himself. He was being such a hypocrite. 

“You should tell him—”

“I wrote him a note and left it for him this morning. Did it make me feel a little better? Maybe. Will he still hate my guts? Most likely.”

Nishimura still couldn’t reconcile this careless, deceptive side of Kirishima with the sweet, passionate, honest guy he had come to know. “But, why? Why did you lie to him? Why were you fooling around with him if you didn’t... you know?”

Kirishima tugged on his hair anxiously. The rain was making it go flat. In fact, he probably looked like a total mess right now. He wanted to come clean. “I like Bakugo.”

Nishimura breathed in sharply. He sure as hell wasn’t expecting that. “You like like him? Sparky Sparky Boom Boy? The Angry Guy? Mr. Manliness Is a Shield from My Emotions?”

Kirishima grinned. “Yeah, that Bakugo.”

“Did you tell him?”

“No, I’ve tried to but I... I don’t know. Does he like me? Does he even like guys? He seems okay with me being pan, but he’s never expressed interest in anyone, so I don’t know. But if he doesn’t, will it mess up our friendship beyond repair? And if we do go out, will I even be able to keep up a relationship with him? I’ve never dated anyone for more than a couple months, and he’s not exactly a great communicator. And if—”

“Kiri! You’re pulling a Deku.” Nishimura put up his hands to urge his friend to slow down. “You sound really torn up about this.”

Kirishima cradled his head in his hands. “I thought having sex with someone else would help, but I want Bakugo. He’s all I can think about. It’s killing me not knowing how he feels about me. But what am I supposed to do?”

Nishimura remembered an earlier conversation with Bakugo, when he himself had been feeling very lost. “Somebody who is actually kind of wise once told me that you don’t have to have it all figured out. It’s okay to just take it one step at a time.”

“I guess the first step is to be honest and tell him my feelings. But how am I supposed to tell him?”

“Oh well,” Nishimura breathed out and shook his head. “I have no clue. Probably don’t get down on one knee with a bouquet of roses and a cheesy love song? You know him better than anyone. But, I would recommend not telling him now, because he just failed the Hero Licensing Exam and all.”

Kirishima nodded and stared out into the rainy alley way. Under his breath, he said, “I hope he doesn’t hate me.”

Chapter Text

“I’m terrified that some of these kids are having sex.”

“If it helps, they probably don’t even know they’re doing it.”

Aizawa groaned. “It’s bad because it’s true. Several of them couldn’t identify oral or virtual sex as sex.  Only three students scored over 70%! Out of 20 students!”

Sitting in the teachers’ lounge with a big mug of coffee, Aizawa was preparing his notes for the special evening classes starting tonight. He was going to teach Class 1A about sex, relationships, consent, and bodies. He had never taught a full sex education unit. Usually, they only briefly covered it for a week and did one test. How he missed those days.

“To be fair, you did add a lot more material to the quiz this year.” Present Mic tossed out cheekily from his side of the lounge. He was spread out on the couch, grading papers and drinking a non-caffeinated tea.

“It only makes sense. This is the first year all the students are living together in dorms.” Aizawa flipped through the sex education resources he had compiled. He haphazardly raked his hand through his hair. It needed a wash—several days ago. “I am going to hate every minute of teaching this class.”

“If it helps, they’ll probably hate every minute of it too.”

“Not as much as I will.” Aizawa wasn’t against sex in general, or even teenagers having sex. He just didn’t need another thing on his plate right now. 

With a sigh, he organized his handouts and counted them out. He wasn’t sure how much he could fit into the class tonight, but it was better to be over-prepared anyway. “They better all come.”

“If it helps, they probably already have, while having the sex they didn’t think was sex.”

“That doesn’t fucking help Hizashi!” Aizawa threw down his book and cradled his head in his hands.

The staff lounge went dead quiet. Cement Toss quickly excused himself, leaving only Present Mic and Aizawa sitting across the room from each other.

Aizawa cleared his throat, “I’m sorry. I know you were just trying to lighten the mood.”

“No I was definitely trying to push your buttons.” Mic admitted bashfully.

Aizawa chuckled. He let out a shaky breath.

Mic sat down beside his friend and laid a hand on his shoulder. “What’s going on?”

“Another student came to me today. About being assaulted.”

Mic sucked in his breath. “That’s awful.”

“It is awful. Gut-wrenching to hear.” Aizawa rubbed his temples. “My students have so much strength in dealing with unspeakable trauma. But I—what am I supposed to do? I tried so hard to work things out for Nishimura, but it’s all fucking falling apart in my hands. I’m useless. I can’t help them.”

Mic rubbed his back. He knew how much Shouta internalized his students’ problems. Ever since the villain attack at training camp, he had been running on empty. He was barely sleeping—and for Shouta, that was saying something. “They must trust you a lot to even tell you. It doesn’t seem like much, but just listening is helping.”

“I’m not a counselor!” Aizawa croaked out angrily. “I can’t—” He took a deep breath. “I can’t do it all. I can’t be their teacher and their protector and their counselor and their dorm mother and their anger management coach!”

“It is a lot of extra responsibility, overseeing the dorms. I’m starting to feel overwhelmed too.”

Aizawa nodded, “Now I have to be their fucking sex educator too? Great!”

Mic joked, “What, shaping the future sexual relationships and values of the next generation? No pressure.”

They both laughed. Aizawa rubbed his eyes.

“I guess I should ask for some time off.”

“Yes!” Mic smacked him on the back. “Your night shift is tomorrow right? Someone can cover you in the dorms. Spend some time at home. Go for a walk by yourself. Get some rest.”

“I can’t give my best to the kids if I’m burnt out.”

“No!” Mic smacked him on the back again. “That’s not the point! You need to rest because you are human, not because you need to be able to work harder. It’s good you care about your students, but remember that what you need matters too.”

Aizawa winced. “Alright, this is some of that tough mental health love.”

“Damn right babe!” Mic draped an arm around Aizawa’s shoulders. “You know your students are incredible. They will be even without you.”

Aizawa smiled, “Yeah, those kids are amazing little assholes.”

 

Bakugo is bad at feelings, but he's getting better

“I can’t believe we have to take night classes!”

“Yeah, I thought living at school would be fun, but it’s just more work.”

A few of the boys from Class 1A were eating dinner together in the dorms. They were grumbling about the new night classes that were starting that evening.

“But Mr. Aizawa said the extra classes were only required for any dorm student who scored under 70% in the quiz.” Nishimura pointed out. “So you could just skip it if you want.”

“Yeah no I failed.” Kaminari did finger guns to downplay his inadequacies.

“Me too.” Ojiro sighed.

“I got 63%,” Kirishima scratched the back of his head. “I probably should have studied the names of infections and stuff.”

“Wait, you all did badly.” Nishimura looked around the group. He was shocked. These were some of the best students in their year. “Even you, Iida?”

Iida pushed his glasses further up his nose and nodded solemnly. “Unfortunately, yes. I scored well in anatomy and STBBIs, but I was lacking in the long form answers. I ended with a 68%.”

“How did you do Nish?” Kirishima asked.

“I got 96%.” Nishimura mumbled.

“What the hell?” Kirishima pounded the table. “Receipts! Receipts!”

“It’s because my mom was a sex ed teacher!” Nishimura put up his hands. “I’ve been learning about this stuff since I could point out body parts on my anatomically appropriate, gender non-conforming toys.”

“Do you have your quiz with you?”

“Yes, I’d be interested in seeing your answers as well.”

Nishimura pulled out his quiz and let the others take a look. He felt both proud and a little embarrassed. Of course he’d be at the top of the class in this one subject.

“Yeah, the only answer I got fully wrong was the true or false here. About wearing two condoms to reduce risk.” Nishimura explained. “See, I thought the question was talking about like, when people are having a threesome, and they switch condoms between partners. But I guess it meant putting one condom on top of another? But that’s just ridiculous right, no one thinks that.”

Midoriya said, “Why, wouldn’t that make it twice as protected?”

Nishimura laughed, “Yeah exactly!” He realized Midoriya was being serious. “I mean, no, no Deku! It’s not better, cause it creates more friction so the condom is more likely to break.”

“Your long-form answers in the communications section are quite detailed.” Iida said.

“Oh dip, you actually came up with ten steps to putting on a condom!” Kaminari looked stunned.

“Um,” Nishimura wanted to rip his paper away from them. He had written some pretty explicit stuff. “Do any of you have your quiz?”

Four of them had their quiz answers with them. They spread out the papers on the table and passed them around.

“Damn, Kaminari, you really bombed this one.” Kirishima teased.

“I’m more of a practical than a theoretical kind of learner.” Kaminari wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.

“I don’t know that you should be having sex when you’re this misinformed.”

“I still don’t know why I got this answer wrong.” Midoriya pointed out a long form question about sexual desire.

Nishimura read his answer. “Oh well, it sounds like you’re saying that girls don’t really want to have sex. And somehow also saying that everyone wants to have sex as part of biology? So it’s contradictory, and it doesn’t take asexual experiences into account.”

“What’s asexual?”

“Asexual means you don’t feel attraction in a sexual way. It’s a spectrum obviously, so some people might be fine having sex even if they’re ace.”

“Ace!” Kaminari thumped the table. “I like that!”

“Too bad you couldn’t ace this test.” Kirishima chuckled.

Bakugo walked in the front door of the dorm. He was wearing his workout clothes and listening to music.

Kirishima noticed how the front of Bakugo’s shirt between his pecs was wet with sweat. He wondered what it would be like to—

“Hey.” Bakugo pulled out his ear buds and nodded towards the group of boys.

Kirishima broke eye contact with his friend and looked down at the paper in his hands. He kept having these wild thoughts around Bakugo, so he kept avoiding him, which just made him feel more awkward and guilty. But apparently Bakugo’s hotness was unavoidable.

“Hey Kacchan!” Midoriya called out with a nervous cheerfulness.

“Tch.” Bakugo answered gruffly. He kicked off his shoes. Kirishima was still being weird.

“Bakugo, what did you get on the sex quiz?” Kaminari asked.

“None of your business!”

“Well are you going to night class?”

“...Don’t talk to me Electric Mouse.”

“That sounds like a yes.” Nishimura grinned.

“We are studying results from the quiz to prepare for class. You are most welcome to join us.” Iida announced, ever the diplomat. He even pulled out a chair next to him at the table.

Bakugo rolled his eyes. “I don’t need to study sex like some pervert.”

“Hey, that’s rude!” Kaminari pointed at him. “You’re just bitter you failed! You’re a loser like the rest of us!”

Nishimura bragged, “I got 96%, so I guess I finally beat you, Sparky Sparky Boom Boy.”

“Well I’ve got a hell of a lot bigger things to worry about.” Bakugo shrugged, “But whatever, congratu-fucking-lations, sex-crazed freak.”

“What did you call me?!” Nishimura jumped out of his chair, clenching his fists.

“Hey calm down you guys—”

“I called you a sex freak—because apparently that’s all you’re good at!” Bakugo stepped forward, scowling and sparking explosions menacingly.

“Bakugo!” Kirishima jumped up defensively. “You can’t talk—”

“Stay out of it Shitty Hair fucker!”

Kirishima winced. He hadn’t heard Bakugo snap at him in a while.

“What the fuck’s your problem?” Nishimura cursed.

Iida stood up to mediate. “Calm down everyone—”

“I am fucking calm!” Bakugo yelled.

Nishimura snickered meanly.

“And I don’t have a fucking problem, shit for brains! Not everybody has to be a slut to feel good about themselves!”

Nishimura sucked in a breath. For a second, it looked like he might rush to punch Bakugo. Instead, he spun around and stormed away from the group, running upstairs and slamming the door behind him.

“Bakugo, you have a serious issue with name calling.” Iida lectured. “You should not speak so harshly to your classmates.”

“Yeah not cool dude.”

Bakugo tuned out the voices of his classmates. Kirishima was looking at him, finally—but he was pissed.

“Whatever, fuck if I care.” Bakugo spat, walking off in a huff. He didn’t stop in the kitchen, even though he was hungry. He went straight up to his room. He glanced at Nishimura’s door. It was closed.

Bakugo let himself into his room, wrenching the door open so suddenly it smashed into the wall. He was angry. He didn’t know what had happened back there. It wasn’t his fault Nishimura was a sensitive little baby. It wasn’t his fault he had to take shitty fucking sex ed classes. It wasn’t his fault Kirishima was avoiding him.

A little voice inside his head reminded him that he wasn’t making it easy for Kirishima. He had basically pushed him away for no reason after the Provisional Licencing Exam. At least, Bakugo hadn’t explained why he was ignoring him.

“Why is everything so fucking complicated?” Bakugo yanked off his sweaty clothes and changed into clean ones. When he opened his dresser, he saw the paper Mr. Aizawa had given him at their last meeting.

Aizawa had insisted that Bakugo work on curbing his angry outbursts. At their last meeting, Aizawa had demonstrated a few grounding techniques for when Bakugo was feeling riled up. Honestly, Bakugo thought most of them sucked, but he had committed to trying a couple of them.

Bakugo sat down on his bed and put his hands on his knees. He tried to focus on his feet, feeling them pressed into the hardwood floor. He took a deep breath and tried to imagine his energy moving down his body, from his head to his feet. He kept breathing. Out breath, pushing the energy out of his head, down his body, into the floor. In breath, focusing on the air filling his lungs.

Much to his surprise, Bakugo started to feel better. He loosened his grip on his knees and rubbed his face. He had lost control. Again. Mr. Aizawa was probably gonna be offended.

Kirishima was definitely going to be offended. The dork was always sticking up for his damn friend. Bakugo knew Kirishima stood up for him too, even when he wasn’t around. He probably wouldn’t be sticking up for him anymore, after Bakugo had insulted his buddy.

Nishimura was for sure upset. He was sensitive and he had a history of taking things the wrong way. He was probably crying in his room right this second.

Before he could talk himself out of it, Bakugo got up and left his room. Reluctantly, he knocked on Nishimura’s door. “Hey, it’s me.”

After some bumping around, Nishimura opened the door, arms crossed and chin jutting out. “What, aren’t you worried I’ll be having sex in here? Because I’m such a slut?”

“I didn’t mean that.” Bakugo objected.

“Yeah right.”

Bakugo watched Nishimura scratch the inside of his arms anxiously, his eyes downcast and swollen red. He took a deep breath. “Look, I was a dick. I was in a mood and I took it out on you.”

Nishimura shook his head, “That’s just it Bakugo. You’re always taking it out on people.”

“But—”

Nishimura put up his hand, “Let me finish.”

Bakugo frowned but he shut his mouth.

“Sometimes, I really like hanging out with you, and I think we could be friends. But then you do shit like this and I feel like garbage all day. I know I don’t have tough skin, and maybe I take things too personally, but it doesn’t help when you say whatever the hell you want.”

“I’m sorry.” Bakugo said softly.

“What?”

“I’m not going to say it again.” Bakugo growled. “Look, I have some things going on. I wasn’t out to get you. But I know I fucked up and I said a bunch of shitty stuff. You don’t have to accept my apology or anything. I just want you to know.”

There was a long silence between them. Bakugo wasn’t sure if he should just leave, but it seemed like there was something Nishimura wanted to say.

“Did I do something?” Nishimura mumbled, still staring down at the doorframe.

“What?”

“Did I piss you off somehow? Is there something about me that...something wrong with...” Nishimura got choked up on his words. He was too sensitive with his feelings, or maybe he didn’t have enough courage and confidence. Either way, no matter how hard he tried, he always ruined things.

“You’re really pissing me off now.” Bakugo growled. “Why the fuck do you care what I think? Fucking hell, you’re the same as Kirishima—always trying to make other people like you, being nice to everyone. It’s exhausting.” Bakugo rubbed his face roughly. There he went again, thinking about Shitty Hair. “I already told you, it doesn’t have anything to do with you. Just my own things.”

“What things? You keep saying, you have things going on.” Nishimura finally looked Bakugo in the eye, his puffy face curious but cautious.

“It’s ... personal.” Bakugo cycled through all the things—his fight with Deku, All Might’s secret, his nightmares, his failure at the Licencing Exam, his weakness. Even just picturing the list made him feel tired.

“Well, I know one way you could make it up to me." Nishimura knew that Bakugo was dealing with some heavy shit. "Tell me some things. Sometimes being friends is about opening up. You know a shit ton of personal stuff about me. And if I knew what was bothering you, maybe I could help. Or at least, I’d know how to recognize when you need space. So you don’t bite my head off again.”

“Okay.” Bakugo wasn’t sure what he was agreeing to, but at least Nishimura wasn’t angry at him anymore. “I have to get going to night class. I’ll come over after it’s done.”

“See you then. Oh, bring some ice pops up with you."

"For fuck's sakes, what am I, your butler?"

Nishimura raised an eyebrow.

"Fine," Bakugo grumbled. "What flavor?"

"Anything except cream of corn soup."

"Dis-gus-ting."