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Baby Teeth

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Shouta has the kind of career that causes him to wake up in hospital beds far more often than he would like to, so it is not exactly a surprise when the first thing he is aware of as he is slowly dragged back into consciousness is the strong smell of antiseptics and the rhythmic beeping of a heart monitor. What is a surprise is the horrible sense of dread that fills his heart like water in a drowned man’s lungs. He racks his brains, trying to remember the source of the feeling, and Shigaraki’s words come back to his mind, causing him to jolt upright as though he had been electrocuted.
“He was bleeding out and begging for help. He was asking for you, actually, shame you didn't get here sooner.”

He nearly gets out of the hospital bed, fully prepared to rush out of the hospital and tear Shigaraki limb from limb himself. No matter if he is in prison or not, Shouta is sure he could pull a few strings. The only thing that keeps him down is the painful tugging in his arm that tells him he’s hooked up to an IV. His hand goes for the offending needle, prepared to tear it out of his arm and continue on his poorly planned revenge mission.

A slender hand wraps around his wrist before he has a chance to tug, and he looks up in a blur of rage, fully willing to cuss out a nurse for not letting him leave as soon as possible. His anger flickers out as he catches the worried face of his husband, his head cocked questioningly.
“Good morning to you too,” Hizashi says, mouth twitching upwards. “Care to tell me why you're trying to mutilate yourself?”

Shouta swallows dryly, ignoring the glass of water Hizashi is trying to shove into his clammy hands.
“Midoriya,” Shouta croaks out, grabbing the front of his husband’s shirt desperately. “Do the students know?” Hizashi blinks at Shouta uncomprehendingly.
“Uh, yeah? They were there.” He says, eyebrows furrowing. Shouta thinks it’s strange that Hizashi is still in shock, considering the progression of his wounds it has to have been at least a few hours. Shouta takes a shaky breath.
“They were there?” Shouta chokes out. He tries to climb out of bed again but is held fast by Hizashi.
“Have you told his mother?” Shouta asks, still struggling against his husband’s grip. He doesn’t make much progress, considering he is fairly sure he has a concussion and is still hooked up to multiple tubes keeping him hydrated and fed while in the throes of unconsciousness.

“Yes, of course!” Hizashi says incredulously. “There’s no way for her to get home still, but at least she doesn't have to worry anymore.” Hizashi ignores the choked gasp that Shouta lets out. “How did you even know about that anyway, you were pretty firmly unconscious.”
“How the hell are you so calm about this?” Shouta hisses, still struggling against his grip. “One of our students is dead.”

Hizashi freezes, blinking slowly, and Shouta relaxes with a huff, happy to have finally broken through his husband’s haze of shock.
“What- what the fuck are you talking about?” Hizashi sputters, eyes wild with confusion. “No one is dead!” Shouta tries to sit up again, only to be pushed back down once again by an increasingly exasperated Hizashi.

“Midoriya,” Shouta says shortly, still struggling against his husband’s hold. “Shigaraki said-”
“Woah, woah, woah-” Hizashi said, finally succeeding in pushing Shouta back into a reclined position. “First of all, he’s not dead. He’s back at the dorms, you can see him as soon as you aren't going to keel over the moment you stand up.” Hizashi explains, a soothing quality to his voice, as though he is talking to a wounded dog. Shouta manages to go limp at his husband’s reassurances that his students are all alive and whole. Relief quickly gives way to exhaustion.
“But, then what were you talking about- what did you tell his mother? What did the students see?” Shouta asks, voice slurring a bit with tiredness. Hizashi perks up immediately, a bright smile finding its way onto his face.
“Oh, right! He’s back to his normal age!”

That little tidbit of information wipes away all of the sleepiness that Shouta had felt, and he leaps out of bed, eliciting a surprised squawk from his husband.
“Why didn't you lead with that?” Shouta barks, struggling to remove his IV before he rushes out of the room and back to the dorms to check on his student. He doesn’t get the chance to inflict any more bodily harm, however, because Recovery Girl chooses that moment to rush into the room at a speed that is unprecedented at her age, and hits Hizashi over the head with her cane. Shouta’s husband clutches his head with a small squeak of pain, not fighting when he is ushered out by an enraged looking Recovery Girl.
“If I had known you were going to send him into a panicked spiral than I would never have let you in here!” She barks after Hizashi’s retreating back. He gives her a look reminiscent of a kicked dog before the door is slammed in his face.

“And you-” Recovery Girl begins, turning on Shouta. He resists the urge to shrink back, reminding himself that he is not a student anymore. It only half works, as Shouta finds his gaze drawn to the clean linoleum floor, not able to meet Recovery Girl’s eyes. He curses himself internally. Old habits die hard, he supposes.

“I know you're worried, but trying to pull out your IV is monumentally stupid, even for you.” She mutters, adjusting something by his bedside. Shouta opens his mouth to argue against this slight to his name but shuts it with a click at the look Recovery Girl gives him. “Honestly, if you weren’t already concussed I’d beat you over the head.” She curses, and Shouta finds that he has never been more grateful to have a head injury in his life.

He feels the cool and irritatingly familiar rush of morphine in his blood and tries to give Recovery Girl a betrayed look. She doesn’t look back at him, but Shouta is sure he can see the hint of a smug smile on her face before he drops off into a dreamless sleep.

_________________________________________

Izuku has not had this many people hovering over him since last year when he’d blacked out during a training exercise. He had been chewed out by Aizawa for coming to class sick, but apparently, a rumor had gone around that he had died, so when he came back from the medical wing it was to many of his classmates shocked or sobbing. They had not left him alone for days after that, despite his reassurances that he was fine.

This evening, though, seemed to be a close contender for that day. The moment he was released from Recovery Girl’s care his classmates had been on him like white on rice. It’s a bit embarrassing, but Izuku finds it’s hard to stay annoyed when he knows that his friends are just worried about him. He doesn't blame them. Although his memories of the past few days are foggy, he certainly remembers the multiple close calls that he had gone through. He also remembers blacking out in front of his entire class again, which was more than a little embarrassing. Izuku chases away a blush at the memory by drinking a glass of ice water that sat beside him.

His class had insisted upon eating dinner together, although Izuku had the sneaking suspicion that they were just looking for an excuse to spend more time with him before he went to bed. As much as Izuku wanted to decline and just collapse in a heap under his covers, he knew that he would be reacting in much the same way if one of his friends had gone through what he had.

He is starting to regret agreeing to dinner now, though, because his classmates are currently showing each other photos they had taken with his younger counterpart, most of them cooing over his ‘baby face’. Izuku tries, multiple times, to snatch the phone away from them, face flushing red with embarrassment as he stutters out protests. He doesn’t manage to get the phones away from his friends, and by the end of dinner, multiple people have set his younger self as their lockscreens. Izuku is sure this is some sort of plot to embarrass him, but every time he accuses them of this, they smile innocently and say they just think he looks cute, which in turn reduces Izuku into a stuttering, blushing mess.

 

Dinner ends, and his classmates tentatively suggest a movie night, though Izuku can see how tired they all are after the day they've had. He’s touched that they are so worried about him that they are willing to stay up even though most of them look dead on their feet. He politely declines, laughing a little at the relived looks some of his more exhausted friends sport. Izuku heads to bed, along with most of his classmates.

Izuku opens his door and steps inside his dorm room, smiling at the remnants his past self had left behind. The unmade bed and the rumpled school uniform, still muddy and wet. He rolls his eyes fondly and folds the uniform, tucking it in the bottom of his closet. It isn't going to fit him, and hopefully, it never will again, but something in him can't bring him to throw it away.

He makes his bed, puts away some of the trinkets his younger self had taken out, and sits down. He remembers the feeling of unease that had followed him at every moment over the past few days. The feeling that he was invdiing someone else’s life. Izuku smiles, a bit sadly, and wishes that he could talk to his younger self, tell him in no uncertain terms that everything he was afraid of wouldn't come to pass. He thinks his classmates did a pretty good job of that, though.

Izuku’s eyes catch on a piece of paper sitting on his desk, and he smiles as he stands, picking up the class roster that had been slid under his door a few days ago, although it felt like years to Izuku. He smiles fondly, running his thumb over the paper, laughing quietly at the notes his younger self had taken in the margins of the paper.

Izuku stands there for several minutes, reading what his younger self had written and smiling fondly at his cramped, rushed handwriting. At least that had never changed. His reflections are cut off suddenly by a knock at his door, and he sets the roster back down on his desk and opens it, expecting one of his closer friends to check on him under the guise of saying goodnight.

To Izuku’s immense surprise, it’s Bakugou. It’s not that they haven't made progress over the past three years, but they aren’t quite friends, and certainly not close enough ones for Bakugou to be knocking on his door during the night. Things are quiet for a few seconds, and Bakugou shifts from foot to foot a bit uncomfortably.
“Uh… hey.” Izuku greets lamely. “What’s up?”
“Do you remember the ambulance? What we talked about?” Bakugou mutters, almost too quiet to hear. Izuku pauses, thinking back. He mostly remembers discomfort. Feeling as though his skin was too small for him, but he thinks to the moments before that feeling.

“I’m sorry.”

Izuku takes a shuddering breath, remembering what was said just moments before his entire body was enveloped in hot, white light. It kind of makes him want to laugh, no preamble, no flowery words, straight to the point. He wouldn’t expect anything else from Bakugou.
“I forgive you, by the way,” Izuku says softly, and something seems to relax within Bakugou. “I didn't back then, but… yeah. I forgive you.”

Bakugou takes a deep breath, and Izuku can't tell if it’s relieved or not. Izuku takes a tentative step forward, opening his arms slightly. Bakugou doesn't pull away, so Izuku wraps him in a hug, the first real one they’ve shared in a long time, at least while Izuku was at his proper age. Bakugou hugs back, which is surprising, to Izuku. Rough bandages scrape against Izuku’s arm, making him wince when he remembers Bakugou holding on to him even as he was engulfed in that hot white light. He wants to apologize, but something tells him that that wouldn't go over well.

Izuku is stronger this time, but he still lets go when Bakugou pulls away after a few seconds. The two of them exchange stilted ‘goodnights’ before Bakugou walks to his room. Izuku closes his door once again and turns to get ready for bed. He doesn't even get to wet his toothbrush before their is another knock on his door. Izuku rolls his eyes, a bit irriated now.
‘Is the entire class going to visit me tonight?’ He thinks, annoyance giving way to fondness as he walks to the door. He opens it not to the worried faces of one his classmates, but instead to the stern expression of his teacher.

Aizawa doesn’t say anything before grabbing his face, turning it to both sides to check for injuries. Izuku makes a surprised noise in the back of his throat but doesn't pull away. He remembers, however distantly, that Shigaraki had told Aizawa that he was dead, so he wasn't going to stop his teacher from checking on him.
“I’m glad you're okay, problem child,” Aizawa says gruffly, once he’s let go of Izuku’s face. Izuku smiles a bit at his teacher’s rare admittance of caring about them.
“I was in the vents,” Izuku explains. “Shigaraki was bluffing for time, I think.” Aizawa nods solemnly, rolling his shoulders. Izuku squints at the exhausted expression on his teacher’s face.
“Aren't you supposed to be resting, sensei?” Izuku asks suspiciously. Aizawa huffs out a laugh and ruffles his hair, quickly enough to seem embarrassed at the act of affection.
“I’m cleared to be walking around, brat.” He scoffs, before yawning widely. “Goodnight, kid.”
“Goodnight sensei,” Izuku responds in kind, dipping his head slightly.

Izuku closes the door for what will hopefully be the final time that night and finally is able to get ready for bed without interruption. Once his face is washed, his teeth are brushed, and his pajamas are on, he lies down in his bed, staring at the room around him, plastered with all the parts of his life he had forgotten over the last few days.

One thing he has not been able to shake since coming to UA has been the fear of being attacked while he slept. It is something that has followed him since his first year, for obvious reasons. Tonight, though, there is a complete absence of nervousness, which in itself is so startling that it makes him shoot up into a sitting position. He looks around the room, wondering what could be causing this sudden change, and it is then that he remembers what was said to him while he had been sitting outside of that abandoned motel.

He had been told to trust his classmates to handle what he could not, and… that had seemed to stick around, even as he had returned to his proper age. He remembers, vaguely, the details of the quirk he had been under the effects of, but one thing he can't forget is the trigger for its reversal, which is to heal from whatever made you weak.

He thinks of his classmates and teachers fighting to get him out of that motel. He thinks of his friends protecting him when that building had exploded, he thinks of them, all worried for his safety even though he’s fine now. He falls asleep smiling.

He sleeps easy that night, in a room that he knows more than ever is his own, feeling safer than he ever had. He knows his friends will protect him if something happens, but until then, he sleeps.

He’s pretty sure he’s earned it.