I really couldn’t help myself. He felt like everything I had ever dreamed of and more. When you’re a kid, you close your eyes and make a wish on a shooting star and hope for silly things like super powers, or for a race car for your birthday. In my own case at least. If i would have known that someone like Izuku existed, I would have wished for him years ago, I would cast my voice out into the void of the universe in hopes that God, or whoever was on the receiving end of wishes and prayers, would take pity on me and send him my way sooner. He felt like an angel sent my way, his laugh and smile a blessing to me every time he graced me with his presence. He was beautiful, incredible and everything lovely and soft and sweet in the world. As time went by, I learned more and more about him and I was falling so head over heels for him. There have never been a pair of lips I wanted to kiss so desperately, a hand that I wanted to hold constantly… he was my missing piece. He filled all of the ugly cracks of my heart with his kindness and warmth… he made me a better person.
And that’s what I wanted to be. A better person, that is. I wouldn’t say I was a bad person by any means. I mean, I guess I could be nicer to people… I could definitely be more patient or understanding. Truthfully, my tolerance for people and their bullshit has always been relatively low and to sit through their stories or conversations was pure tortue for me. I really imagine that hell is just sitting in a room listening to these stupid extras talk about their shitty lives and their shitty friends. There were a few people I tolerated and I could admit that I cared about them deeply, just not enough to ever admit it. But as far as Izuku was concerned, I would shout from any rooftop that I was completely and utterly smitten. I would do anything, be anything for him.. And as the weeks ticked by, that feeling of admiration and care only grew and grew. I could definitely acknowledge that things were moving pretty fast, feelings wise at least.
We had held hands a few times, cuddled occasionally on his couch and we were together almost every day. It was like we were drawn to each other, a moth to a beautiful, bright flame. He shone bright enough to keep us both warm as the months of winter drug on. I began coaxing him into letting me surprise him with new drinks whenever he wandered into the shop. It was a big step for him, and I definitely didn’t take it lightly that he was breaking his routine for me. I loved watching him take tentative sips of foreign drinks, eyebrows pinched together cautiously. I could always tell when he actually did like whatever I'd given to him, and when he wasn’t a fan at all. He would never say, but when he didn’t like something, he would hollow his cheeks only slightly, one eyebrow slightly arched in surprise. Even as he nodded his approval, signing a quick “ it’s good! ” , I knew him too well. He was transparent to me, always so easy to read. Most days were spent at his apartment after work, coming in without knocking thanks to the key hidden carefully under the potted plant. I was ecstatic when I was given that privilege, and it humored me to watch Hoedoroki cringe and huff every time I let myself in. Our small frenemies relationship was running just as strong as my relationship, if you could call it that, with Izuku. I could tell he had grown sort of fond of me, no matter how tough he acted.
He put on a great show, I can admit that much for sure. I’d learned just how protective he was of Izuku over time, but apparently it was a rule that Izuku couldn’t answer the door by himself. It was something I'd found very odd at first, it seemed very controlling to not allow Izuku something as minimal as answering the door. Sure he was a bit younger than both shoto and I, being only 19 while Peppermint and I were 23, but he was still an adult nonetheless. It was only when he tried to sneak to answer the door alone to a complete stranger at the door that I understood why the rule stood in place. They did live in a relatively shady area of town, and the fact that the apartments were outward facing meant that just anyone could come up to the door and knock on the door. The stranger in question was a man that looked to be middle aged, but strong in build. He wore dark clothes, and appeared overall dirty and grungy. At the time, i had thought the door rule was completely moronic, so i didn’t think much of it when zuku jumped up to answer it. That is, until I heard izuku agreeing to follow the man into the parking lot to help him with his “injured dog.”
The conversation had definitely caught my interest at that point, and I leapt from the couch cursing the man as he reached to yank Izuku by a delicate arm out of the door. The yelling had prompted Shoto to enter the room, at the perfect moment might I add, and he had punched the thug in the face, chasing after him as he tried to flee down the hallway. I held Izuku as Shoto held the creep down in the parking lot until the police arrived. I now agreed with the door rule.
Izuku, as lovely and intelligent as he was, was very, very Naive. He had difficulty trusting in the way of love and romance, but when it came to helping a stranger, he would jump in headfirst to lend a hand. How he had survived out in a world as cruel as this? I could only assume Shoto was the answer, guiding him and protecting him from the moment they became brothers. I know izuku had been a subject of bullying in their childhood due to his small size and his deafness, Izuku himself had admitted this to me. He explained to me that following the death of his mother, he bounced around a few foster homes before finally landing in the care of Aizawa Shouta, who eventually adopted him. Shoto came along shortly after, having a past of his own. What it was, I would probably never know… but judging from the nasty scar over his eye, I could only assume it was a painridden life he lived.
Days like today were my favorite. My shift at the cafe ended early, Sundays were short work days for me. I picked up take out from Izuku’s favorite noodle shop and practically skipped to his apartment. I let myself in to find the balcony door slightly ajar, and smiled knowingly. I made my way to the door, walking out to an adorable green bear curled tightly in a wooden chair, rocking slightly as he flipped the page of the novel resting in his freckled hands. He looked like something from a novel himself, round glasses perched on a button nose as he stared at the lines of worn down pages, the corners slightly frayed. A woven white blanket rested over his legs, hair pulled in a small bun to rest away from his face. The rain outside persisted, the several plants on the balcony soaking up the water greedily. It was practically a forest out here, Izuku loved plants and had turned their small balcony into a wonderland for small plants to thrive and grow. Things from jasmine, succulents, to even a small bed of peppers growing, rested on his balcony. It was a small safe haven for him and I loved finding him here, so at peace in his element.
Knowing he didn’t have his aids in, I walked directly into his line of sight, smiling as he lifted his eyes at my movement. He smiled back, eyes crinkling under his glasses, a little dimple resting in his pink cheek. He took my breath away so effortlessly, I couldn’t calm my hammering heart as he reached a hand out to me, pulling me close and into a greeting hug. I wrapped my arms around his little frame, squeezing slightly. He really was very small, apparently he had always been small. Just born into his smaller frame, I suppose. The fact that he didn’t eat much didn’t help, and as much as i nagged him to eat more he would just laugh and sign “ i’ll eat when i’m hungry, kat!” whatever, skinny Deku.
I pulled back from him, signing “how was your day?”
I’d freshened up on my sign language since we’d first begun talking, and because I was already pretty fluent before, I was able to communicate with him pretty easily now. There were some phrases that I struggled with, but for the most part our main way of communicating was through sign. I did love the sound of his voice though, very very much. He was self-conscious about his voice, but he had grown comfortable enough around me to talk verbally on occasion. We spent the rest of the evening gathered around the table, talking and laughing amongst ourselves. Well, izuku and I laughed and shoto tried his best to suppress his smiles. He was so fond of Izuku and he did such a great job taking care of him and making sure he had everything he needed. Izuku’s mind ran a mile a minute, never stopping or pausing to take a break from the constant analysis of the world around him. He was constantly thinking of new ideas and projects to work on, things to write and create. He truly was something so special.
I tidied up the kitchen, throwing out the empty take out containers as Shoto washed the remainder of the dishes left in the sink. Izuku had left to shower, leaving the two of us to continue with the nightly routine. Izuku had a very specific nightly routine that Shoto swore was very important to ensure Izuku didn’t have any major panic attacks through the night. It was something I wanted to question, he treated Izuku like a child in some ways. It wasn’t like I didn’t trust his judgement, I just really wondered if a lot of this was completely necessary. I didn’t mind it though, I liked the thought of taking care of Izuku in any way I could. It’s to feel needed, especially by the person I was completely enamored with.
Izuku had exited the shower, indicated by the sound of the bathroom door creaking open. Shoto nodded at me as he dried his hands on the dish towel resting on the counter, making his way towards Izuku’s room. Every night after Izuku’s shower, he went to help him choose pajamas. It was odd, but I knew better than to question it. I had already accepted that their dynamic was quite odd, but it was sweet and innocent enough. I had been able to infiltrate my way into their little routine, much to Shoto’s protests. I think he still wasn’t sure that I was here to stay, which was a valid concern.. I was still unfamiliar in many ways to him, and he wants to protect his little brother from any more heartbreak. I’m sure there was an explanation for the small rules in place and the routine Izuku had. It was something I was more than willing to adjust my own life to be a part of, because I just wanted to be withIzuku in any way that I could. I meant it when I said I’d do and be anything for him.
I filled the kettle with water from the faucet, placing it on the stove to warm and turned to grab a small, purple cup with a straw on the top. When the water was warm enough, I poured it into the awaiting cup, over the lavender tea bag resting inside. I added a teaspoon of honey for sweetness, stirring it slightly as I waited for Shoto to return. It took a few minutes, but he finally entered the kitchen, shoulders tight as he made his way over to the cup resting on the counter. He hummed in thanks, reaching into a stray cabinet and removing a small pill bottle. He opened the small pill capsule, spilling the insides into the tea, stirring it until it dissolved. At first, I'd jumped completely down his throat, thinking that he was drugging izuku. I mean, c’mon, that’s exactly what it looked. Obviously, he was offended that I'd make such an accusation but I guess he understood where I was coming from, or maybe he admired my fight to protect Izuku, even from the likes of him. He reluctantly explained to me that it was Izuku’s prescribed medication for his Ptsd nightmares. He showed me the bottle, and it did indeed have his name and a credible doctor listed on the bottle. He told me that Izuku was terrified of medications, due to previous experiences that he assured me Izuku would tell me about when he was ready. Prazosin, that was the medication. It was commonly used to treat high blood pressure, but also doubled to aid those with heavy nightmares… popular among Ptsd victims, according to google anyways. So, his story checked out. I know he would never do anything to hurt Izuku anyways.
I followed him down the hall towards Izuku’s room, walking in to find him sitting on the edge of his bed, hair still wet from his shower. He smiled brightly as we entered his room, eyes widening in joy. Adorable lil broccoli. He handed Shoto the hairbrush resting in his hand as his brother climbed onto the bed behind him to brush through his unruly curls. Shoto poked his nose with a smile, a small giggle slipping from Izuku’s plump lips at the act of affection. I sank down next to him, reaching out to pull his soft hand into mine, placing the warm tea in his other hand. I stroked over his knuckles with care, rubbing my thumb over the bones protruding under his skin with the softest touch I'd ever given. He winced as Shoto tugged at a knot in his hair, head snapping back a bit at the pull. His lip wobbled at the roughness, eyes glazing over slightly. I felt the slight shake in his fingers as they rested in mine. I squeezed his hand gently in reassurance, a way of just saying “I'm here for you. I’ll protect you….. I...love you?”
Shoto shushed him gently, reaching a gentle hand out to rake through his hair, wet emerald strands laying flat on his freckles face. “I know, zuzu.. It’s okay..” he whispered as he signed with one hand, doing his best to brush out the rest of his hair gently. Izuku nodded, leaning into the sweet touches he was receiving from the both of us. I don’t know what happened to him, who could ever hurt him this way.. I’m not sure what would ever possess someone to hurt someone as kind and gentle as Izuku.
I knew for sure that no one would ever get the chance to do it again.
After his hair was brushed, his pajamas were on, and his tea cup was empty, we laid him down to rest underneath his blankets. He snuggled deeply into them, freckled face barely peeking over his blanket as he stared up at us. Shoto leaned down, pressing a gentle kiss to his forehead, checking to make sure he was tucked in and that the nightlight by his bed was plugged in to the wall. “G’night, see you in the morning okay?” Izuku nodded in response to his older brother, smiling and mumbling a goodnight before turning to look at me. I grinned and sent a wink his way, smile stretching even further at the little giggle that left him. Perfect.
I placed a kiss similar to what shoto had given him, only this time pressing it gently to the tip of his nose and feathering light kisses over his cheeks. I pulled away and looked down into emerald eyes, taking a moment to melt into honey scented shampoo and freckle splattered cheeks. I pressed one final kiss to the corner of his mouth, pulling back to bask in the brightness of his smile. He would blind me one of these days with that damn grin.
“Goodnight Kachaan!” He signed lazily, clearly too tired now to use his voice. He blinked slowly, trying desperately to keep his eyes open. I chuckled at his attempt, a combination of the rainy weather and his medication were getting the best of him now. Long eyelashes fluttered before finally resting against his cheeks, losing his battle to sleep. I stroked his cheek gently, running a finger down his jaw before pulling away to stand and head toward the hall to join the half-n-half asshole.
I left the door slightly ajar, remembering that he would most likely wake to cuddle up with Shoto later on in the night. We walked towards the door, having our own end of the night routine to follow up on ourselves. After izuku was asleep, Shoto would always walk me to the door, silently letting me out before locking it tightly behind me.
Tonight though, he stopped me before he opened the door. It was odd, a break in the usual flow of things. He looked like he was hesitant to say what he was thinking, but he sighed deeply turning to face me. I raised an eyebrow at his odd behavior, but nodded in encouragement. “Izuku… he really cares about you. And you.. Do an okay job helping take care of him. Don’t fuck anything up.” he said. His voice was hiding any emotion, and his voice gave nothing away either.
Only, I knew what this meant for him. He wasn’t someone to openly speak about his feelings, or to speak to anyone other than Izuku for that matter… he was thanking me. But he was also warning me, letting me know that Izuku cared about me was like telling me that there was a bomb with a trick wire attached to me.. One wrong move, and everything could explode. He was trying to tell me to care for Izuku, to care for his feelings delicately.
The warning seemed empty in a way, almost like he could already tell how much Izuku meant to me. Like he already knew that most of my heart was taken over by his baby brother. He was right, in every way. I knew I had to be careful with Izuku, to treat him gently. Everything in my life was slowly becoming about him, and how to make him happy… how he made me happy.
As I walked home that night, the roads still damp from rain, I stopped in the empty street to admire the traffic lights changing colors. Red, yellow, green… stop, warning, go. It made me think about how people sometimes didn’t adhere to these signs, ignoring the warning of the yellow light all together to speed by in carelessness. It wasn’t that deep, and I knew that… but it made me question how many of Izuku’s yellow lights had been carelessly run through.. How many reds?
All I knew for sure, was that when the green reflected heavily in the puddles of the darkened street, it reminded me of the green eyes that I adored so much.
Green is my favorite color, I thought and continued on my way home.