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Aizawa blinks an eye open to dim blue light and rubble coating his tongue. 

He immediately feels some rock particles enter his eye, so he shifts to try and find his eye drops to flush it out, but as he moves, half of his ribcage shrieks with white-hot pain and he has to stop moving. If he wasn’t used to waking up like this, he’d have gasped out loud, but it’s only a near-silent huff that escapes him.

“Sensei?” asks a voice. It sounds, unfortunately, like a voice that’s trying its very best to remain even.

“Yeah,” Aizawa grunts, because he knows it’s one of his students, even if he can’t be sure which one yet. He grits his teeth and pushes himself into a sitting position, dislodging a layer of rubble from his chest and stomach as he goes. One of his wrists feels sprained, and his head spins like he’s sustained a blow to the head, but he’s fine otherwise. His one opened eye is watering against the dirt trapped in it, so he can’t see who he’s talking to.

He hears distant rumbling, somewhere up above them. Nearer, he hears unsteady breathing, and a faint whine of pain. 

“Status report,” Aizawa mutters, as he pats his pockets for some eye drops.

“We’re--stuck,” says the same voice from before, still making desperate attempts to remain even and unaffected. It’s Todoroki, Aizawa finally places. “A structure collapsed as you were pulling Midoriya out of range of a blast. I was able to shield you from getting crushed, but now that means all three of us are here for the foreseeable future.” Todoroki pauses to take a shaky breath, then resolutely presses onward. “Midoriya’s hurt. You were unconscious for about eight minutes. I don’t know how much air is left in here.”

“Got it. Don’t let that uncertainty keep you from breathing correctly,” Aizawa instructs. At long last, he locates a bottle of eye drops and flushes his eye out, blinking hard to ease the stinging, and he’s finally able to wipe his eyes clear and focus on the scene in front of him. 

They’re contained within a dome of ice. One small section, above Aizawa’s head to the right, is thin enough for some light to shine through, casting blue across Aizawa and Todoroki, who’s kneeled, hunched over who appears to be Midoriya. 

Aizawa considers inspecting the thin part of the ice, because he assumes that the light source means they aren’t buried too far down, but instead Aizawa crawls over to Midoriya’s side. 

“Where is he injured?” Aizawa asks, though he’s already in the process of checking for himself. 

“He’s bleeding really badly from his side, and Toga got him in the shoulder, he’s--” Todoroki takes a steadying breath, then ventures on, nodding to two other wounds, mere inches from each other in Midoriya’s upper chest--his hands are preoccupied, pressing down on a spreading red spot lower on Midoriya’s torso. “--He’s having a hard time staying awake but I can’t see where else he’s hurt.”

“Okay,” Aizawa says, in as calm a tone as he can manage. “Are you hurt?”

“Nothing bad,” Todoroki says, and while he won’t make eye contact, he’s lucid and speaking full sentences. Aizawa won’t push him right now. “Nothing time-sensitive.”

"Keep me updated,” Aizawa says. He presses the back of his hand to Midoriya’s forehead, which is alarmingly cold and damp with sweat. “Problem child. Stay awake.”

“Aizawa-sensei?” Midoriya mumbles, and opens his eyes and turns his head to let Aizawa know that he's addressing him, and Aizawa wishes he hadn’t. Midoriya’s skin is ashen, and his eyes are glassy and can’t focus on Aizawa’s face. “What...I think I--I’m sorry, I--”

“Shush,” Aizawa says, a little too harsh. “Stop moving.”

“I can...blast us out of here, just let me--”

"No,” say Todoroki and Aizawa at the same time. 

Midoriya doesn’t even have it in him to keep arguing. He lapses into some incoherent mumbling, then turns his head back to look up at Todoroki before letting his eyes drift shut again.

“Did you call for help?” Aizawa asks, though he’s already taking out his phone, dialing, listening to the call struggle to connect.

Todoroki’s voice is thin when he says, “I couldn’t get my phone to work.” His hands are still pressing down, desperate, on Midoriya’s side, but even Aizawa can see that the wound is still bleeding. Todoroki shifts, trying for better leverage, and the wound makes a sickening squelch noise and Todoroki blanches. 

The call finally connects. Tsukauchi answers soon enough to keep a thrill of panic out of Aizawa’s voice as Aizawa rattles off an approximate address. 

“Who’s with you?” Tsukauchi asks.

“I have Todoroki Shouto and Midoriya Izuku. Midoriya is badly injured and I need you to send a healing quirk right now.

Todoroki catches the urgent tone in Aizawa’s voice. Aizawa can tell because Todoroki’s scared face gets paler under his scar and he swallows roughly before ducking his head to shield his face from Aizawa’s sight.

“‘S okay,” Aizawa thinks he hears Midoriya slur up to Todoroki, which is the least reassuring thing Midoriya’s ever fucking said, and it doesn’t appear to do anything to stop Todoroki’s spiral.  

“Aizawa,” Tsukauchi says, not impatient but still urgent enough to get through to Aizawa, “This attack was huge. It’ll be longer than you’d like; there are a lot of injuries right now.”

“Just make it happen,” Aizawa says, and hangs up before scooting closer and kneeling across from Todoroki. 

Two minutes pass before Aizawa taps Midoriya’s face and Midoriya doesn’t respond in the slightest. They don’t have time to wait any longer. 

Aizawa looks up at Todoroki, and tries to say with the least amount of callousness possible, “He won’t make it until the medical team gets here.”

Todoroki’s breath hitches, but his voice is still hard when he snaps, “He will .”

“He won’t,” Aizawa says, matter-of-factly, even though his heart is pounding out of his chest. 

Todoroki won’t look at him. His eyes are trained on the wound he’s pressing down on. His hands are coated in blood.

“If you want to save him, you need to cauterize the wounds,” Aizawa says.

“What?” Todoroki asks, and his head snaps up, and the expression he gives Aizawa is not the distant, professional one that is glued onto his face most hours of the day. It’s more akin to the wild, frenzied, panicked air that Todoroki had had when Aizawa had once stumbled upon him in the throes of a panic attack.

“You heard me,” Aizawa says. “He’s losing too much blood.”

“I can’t,” Todoroki says. 

“You will,” Aizawa says, and forces himself to remain entirely calm as he watches Todoroki curl forward as if he’s about to dry-heave. “It’s to save his life. He won’t make it unless you do it right now.”

“Right now?” Todoroki asks, his voice pitching up just a little further in fear. 

“Right now.” Aizawa lightly smacks the side of Midoriya’s face, eliciting a slight frown, barely a flinch from the kid. “The one under your hands first. Three, two--”

“Wait,” Todoroki says. It’s not a plea, not quite, but it’s far from authoritative. “ Stop . He’s--he’ll be fine, if we just wait a few more minutes--”

“Todoroki,” Aizawa says, and then drops his tone into something more sympathetic when Todoroki flinches away from him. “If I could do this for you, I would. But your quirk might be the only thing that can save his life right now. Do you understand?”

There’s a heavy pause. The air feels thicker than it did a second ago, but maybe that’s because they’re running low on air.

Todoroki, in a jerky motion, finally nods his head.

“I’ll count you down,” Aizawa says, voice quiet. Todoroki’s fingers twitch. “Three, two, one--”

Todoroki squeezes his eyes shut, and fire flashes, and Midoriya’s low, gurgling scream sends Todoroki stumbling away to vomit on the far side of the dome. Even Aizawa finds that he has to shut his eyes and take a deep breath through his mouth to avoid the scent of burned flesh that fills the space.

Midoriya’s scream trails off into a whine. “Todoroki?” he croaks, barely coherent, his blinking lethargic. 

Todoroki’s still retching, in no state to answer, so Aizawa takes one of Midoriya’s battered hands and squeezes and says, “Kid, it’s me. We have to stop the bleeding. There are going to be two more like that, alright?”

Midoriya nods, but he’s already getting hazy again. “Make it quick?” he mumbles.

“Sure,” Aizawa says, though he can’t promise that. “Todoroki,” Aizawa says, louder, “two more.”

When Todoroki comes lurching back, he’s sweating profusely and his right side is crackling with ice crystals. Aizawa would be more concerned about his sudden lack of temperature regulation if Aizawa wasn’t currently forcing Todoroki to burn his best friend’s wounds shut. 

As nasty as it sounds, it’s better for Todoroki to momentarily experience this than for Todoroki to be further traumatized by watching Midoriya die in front of him. 

(Aizawa doesn’t want to consider watching Midoriya die either, but Aizawa has separated himself from the situation in order to keep himself under control.)

“Okay,” Todoroki breathes, as if trying to convince himself. Any trace of his normal detached demeanor is gone, and he's just a scared teenager with his bloodied hands hovering over the next two wounds. These next wounds are obscured partially by Midoriya’s mangled uniform, so Todoroki says a shaky, “Aizawa-sensei, would you--”

“I’ll tear the uniform away,” Aizawa says. His voice sounds foreign to him, like Aizawa’s mind and Aizawa’s body are two separate entities right now. “It’ll destroy any scabbing that’s happened, so I’ll do one at a time. You have to be fast, alright? No break in-between.”

“Got it,” Todoroki says, and sets his jaw.

It would have been better if Toga had left the knives in. But both of them are gone, leaving the wounds open, with no indication as to how deep they go. Aizawa releases Midoriya’s hand, reaches over, and tears the fabric Midoriya’s hero costume away, eliciting another whine from his student. He tries to make it as efficient as possible, and doesn’t let his hands falter as he hears fire hiss across the first wound (Midoriya doesn’t scream as horribly this time, and Todoroki doesn’t vomit, but nobody enjoys it). Aizawa, without breaking momentum, yanks the uniform away further, and Todoroki pushes his left hand onto the last wound, and then it’s over. 

Midoriya hisses out a breath, and Aizawa turns out his pockets until he finds painkillers. They’re no stronger than Advil, but it’s better than nothing, and he helps Midoriya swallow them down dry. 

Then, Midoriya’s not bleeding out anymore and there’s nothing more Aizawa can do for him besides periodically nudge him awake. So Aizawa turns his attention onto Todoroki. 

The look on Todoroki’s face is frightening. He's terrified, horrified, nauseous, all at once. His gaze, still wild, is fixed on his shaking, bloody hands, and Aizawa doesn’t even think twice before moving around Midoriya’s prone body and crouching next to his other student.

“You did well,” Aizawa says. He slowly reaches out, so as not to startle Todoroki, trying to move Todoroki’s arm so he can better assess the kid for injuries. Todoroki refuses to cooperate, just curling in on himself and obscuring himself from any proper examination.

“Todoroki,” Aizawa says, and takes hold of his student’s arm again. “Kid, you did well. I know that was difficult, but you did it exactly right.”

Todoroki doesn’t appear to accept that. “I hurt him,” he says.

Aizawa’s been in Todoroki’s position, or at least something adjacently similar, but his coping mechanisms aren’t something he can legally recommend to a student. While help is on the way, it could be any length of time before someone starts digging them out of here. 

So Aizawa shifts, puts his hands on Todoroki’s shoulders, and just tries to be a steadying presence. “You did what you had to. That’s what a hero does.”

It’s not the right thing to say. Todoroki reels back, something like anger flashing in his eyes. “Heroes don’t hurt people. I can’t let my left side--”

“Hey,” Aizawa says sharply. There’s no time to analyze this outburst. He just has to keep Todoroki calm. “Your quirk helped him. It would hurt him more if you had ignored his injuries because you were scared to save him.”

Todoroki hiccups. On one side of his face, his tears have started to freeze. On the other, they’re evaporating before they hit his chin. Aizawa averts his eyes while Todoroki scrubs at his face. The motion leaves smudges of blood on Todoroki’s cheeks.

“Sit down,” Aizawa says, once Todoroki has stopped the worst of his crying. 

Todoroki eases out of a crouch, and plops down against the wall with a heavy thud. He seems to have used up all of his energy, and he doesn’t even twitch when Aizawa sits next to him.

The dome is quiet, though the air is definitively thicker than it was a few minutes ago. The light outside is still pushing in, but the rumbling outside has stopped and hopefully that means that the fight is over. The nauseating smell, an unappetizing combination of burned flesh and vomit, is starting to get even worse as the temperature rises, but Aizawa tries to push that aside. All he can do is wait. 

As Aizawa reaches out to nudge Midoriya with his boot a few minutes later, Todoroki’s head falls onto Aizawa’s shoulder. Aizawa doesn’t have time to check whether Todoroki has passed out or has just fallen asleep before a nearing siren and a shift of rubble directly outside the dome draws Aizawa’s attention.

“Aizawa-sensei?” asks someone from outside, muffled by the thick layer of ice and nearly overpowered by the wail of the siren overlapping it. 

“Here!” Aizawa shouts. Todoroki barely stirs at the noise, and Midoriya doesn’t move at all. A thrill of panic rears in Aizawa’s chest, irrationally making him yell again, “We’re in here!”

There’s a few minutes of shuddering, cacophonous noise of rubble shifting above them, and then the blue light in the dome brightens considerably. It’s not transparent, but Aizawa can see the flashing lights of what’s hopefully an ambulance. And then a hand punches through the side of the dome and Sato rips a sizable hole in the wall, poking his head inside. 

“Sensei!” Sato says. “The ambulance is here, can you stand?” He enters the dome, and seems to take stock of the situation--and while he doesn’t falter, he gets noticeably more worried. “Are they--”

“They need a hospital now, ” Aizawa says. “Carry Midoriya. I’ll take Todoroki.”

“You got it,” Sato says, and stoops to pull Midoriya into his arms, and then hustles for the exit. At least one of his fucking kids listens to him.

Aizawa shakes Todoroki’s shoulder. “Can you stand?”

Todoroki’s head lolls sideways, with no hint of alertness, and Aizawa’s blood runs cold.

“Todoroki,” Aizawa says, louder, and shakes Todoroki again. He taps the side of the kid’s face, trying to elicit a response, and finds the skin there cool and clammy. When he reaches around Todoroki’s waist to lift him up, his hand comes into contact with a deep, spreading wound that makes Aizawa recoil. The kid must have gone into shock without Aizawa even noticing, how the hell had Aizawa not even thought about checking him for injuries--

Despite the definitely-broken ribs and definitely-concussed brain that both could have kept Aizawa down, Aizawa throws Todoroki’s arm over his shoulder and surges up to his feet. He staggers, one step, then another, and then regains his balance and pushes onward. Todoroki’s feet drag along the floor, and Aizawa’s stomach lurches. 

He breaks into open air, and the sun hits his face, and he falters as the bright light feels like a slap, forcing his eyes shut. Aizawa’s surge of strength is over, and dizziness is taking charge instead. 

Eraser ,” says someone from in front of him, and Aizawa blindly reaches out towards them.

“Take him,” Aizawa manages, and shoves Todoroki forward, and then Aizawa straight-up passes out into someone else’s arms.

 

He wakes up, and a sterile hospital smell hits him even before his vision stops swimming.

It’s dim, and the ceiling is blank white, and his head hurts like someone slammed it between two textbooks.

“Hrngh,” is the only noise that he can make.

“Shouta?” says someone in the room, who had previously gone unnoticed. 

Shouta is a name that sounds familiar. Oh, it’s his. “What?” he says, irritable.

“Geez, grumpypants. Good morning to you too. The doctor said I had to ask you questions when you woke up. What’s your name?”

He can’t think. His brain is so foggy. But finally, after a painful lapse of silence, he manages to grasp at the answer. “Aizawa Shouta.”

“Right. Do you know where you are?”

“Hospital.”

“Who’s the Number One right now?”

“Endeavor.”

“Do you know who I am?”

Aizawa turns his head, and obviously , he recognizes the person sitting there as his husband. His hair is unwashed and is carelessly pushed up into a bun, and he's tired and haggard and his nails are ragged like he’s been biting them. He’s Hizashi. 

“You’re that guy my cat hates,” Aizawa says.

Shoutaaa ,” Hizashi says, and smacks Aizawa’s arm. He pulls the strike, so it barely feels like anything at all--that means Hizashi’s rattled, nervous, anxious. Aizawa’s stomach twists. “You’re so mean to me. Do you remember why you’re here?”

The details are hazy, but Aizawa’s brain suddenly latches onto a memory of Todoroki’s hands, covered in blood--Midoriya screaming like he’s being tortured. Aizawa bolts upright, all traces of fatigue gone, and almost rips his IV out on accident as he attempts to lurch out of bed. 

“Hey!” Hizashi exclaims, and presses Aizawa back onto the bed, then checks the IV over to make sure the needle isn’t dislodged. “God, calm down for a second. Todoroki and Midoriya are stable, can you just--”

“I’m going to throw up,” Aizawa announces as nausea surges in his stomach, and Hizashi barely has time to find a trash can before Aizawa empties the contents of his stomach into it.

He shakes, and spits, and then slumps back on the pillows. Hizashi sets the bowl down on the counter and then sits back in his chair, breathing betraying that he's just as shaken as Aizawa feels.

The two of them stare at each other, recovering from the quick burst of events. And then Aizawa ventures, “They’re just stable ?”

“Don’t look at me like that,” Hizashi says. “Midoriya lost a lot of blood, but he’ll be okay. None of his burns look infected. Todoroki went into shock, and they’re testing regularly to make sure he has no long-term damage, but they think he’ll be fine.”

Aizawa can’t recall any specific events from...whenever that was (a day ago? A few days ago? Last week?), but he can feel, deep in his bones, that it’s his fault his students are like this.

“Do you want me to tell you what happened yesterday?” Hizashi asks. 

Aizawa nods, slowly, and accepts a glass of water, and tries to ignore the guilt beginning to burn in his chest.

“Okay.” Hizashi yawns, poorly concealing the action behind one hand. “Alright. So yesterday, in an attempt to save Midoriya from a collapsing apartment building, you leaped in to yank him out of the way. Seeing that you were going to be caught by rubble, Todoroki saved both of you by throwing up a dome of ice around all three of you. Sound familiar?”

The circles under Hizashi’s eyes are so dark. Aizawa wonders, as he nods, if Hizashi’s exhaustion is the aftermath of a panic about Aizawa being buried under rubble. 

“You suffered a severe concussion and a few broken ribs, along with a fractured elbow. Because of your concussion, you gave an incorrect address to Tsukauchi, delaying ambulance response.”

“I told him the wrong--?” Aizawa chokes. His throat tastes like acid.

“You were concussed,” Hizashi says, and waves his hand. “While waiting for the ambulance, you then instructed Todoroki to perform lifesaving measures, and Todoroki cauterized three of Midoriya’s wounds. Midoriya lost consciousness, but he’s awake now and he gave a report to Tsukauchi this morning--he’s resilient. After sealing Midoriya’s wounds, Todoroki proceeded to go into shock, and was unresponsive when he entered the ambulance. He’s not awake yet, last I checked. It was Sato who brought the ambulance to the correct location, based on the last place he’d seen Todoroki.”

“I didn’t check for shock,” Aizawa says. His response is delayed, but he couldn’t get the thought through his brain and into his mouth fast enough. 

“You did pretty fucking well, considering the state your head was in,” Hizashi says, leaving no room for Aizawa to have a pity party. “They’re both alive, Shouta. Take it easy on yourself.”

The room lapses into quiet again.

When Hizashi speaks again, his voice has taken a completely different tone. This one is much softer, much more vulnerable. “You gotta stop getting concussed, Shouta.”

“Hmm,” Aizawa says, but he doesn’t pull away when Hizashi takes hold of his hand. That’s not something he can promise, and both of them know it. “Hitoshi?”

“He’s staying with Nemuri for now. Broken wrist, and a few stitches, but he slept off everything else. I’m gonna be honest,” Hizashi says, running a hand through his bangs, his jagged nails catching on several hairs in a way that makes Aizawa’s skin crawl, “he’s really freaking out. I’ll let him know you’re up.” Hitoshi has a severe aversion to hospitals, so Aizawa’s not surprised that Hitoshi isn’t here. “And the rest of your students are alright too. Shouji, Ashido, and Kirishima spent the night in Recovery Girl’s ward, but they’re okay. Almost everyone was injured, but nobody else was that bad off.”

Aizawa’s gut twists again. There’s nothing he can do about how dangerous his jobs are, but he’s still in a bad habit of forgetting that he has so many students he failed to protect. Aizawa swallows, and nods, and pushes this information aside to overthink later.

“If Midoriya’s still awake, I’d like to talk to him,” Aizawa says. None of his other students are close enough for him to check in on. 

“Sure,” Hizashi says. He squeezes Aizawa’s hand, and then lets go. “I’ll go find a nurse.”

 

Midoriya tells his account to a doctor, then to Tsukauchi, and then he has to tell it again because--Midoriya doesn’t remember anymore. He’s very extremely tired, which comes from having all his blood exit his body, so tired that he spills applesauce all over himself like a child. When his mom shows up, far past upset and edging into anger (her face is blotchy from past crying but she’s not crying now, jaw set in exhausted fury), Midoriya just holds her hand and tries not to think about how close he was to dying.

“Izuku,” she tells him, in an upsettingly blank voice, “You can’t keep doing this.”

This hits differently, when she’s not crying. His mom’s probably gotten used to this, sitting at the side of a hospital bed and staring at Midoriya’s heart monitor in case something goes wrong, but Midoriya can hardly look her in the eye.

“You’re--you won’t always be this lucky,” she says. She sniffs, and sounds so congested that it must be uncomfortable. “I know that you will help a lot of people as a hero, sweetheart. But something needs to change. Understand?”

Midoriya nods. His eyes are falling shut, it’s hard for him to stay awake even though he knows his mom needs him to hear this. She squeezes his hand, done with her piece, and he lets himself fall asleep again.

He blinks awake and it feels like he’s closed his eyes for five seconds but the clock on the wall says it’s been an hour. His mom’s gone, though her coat is still draped over the back of a chair, so she can’t have gone far. Midoriya shifts, just a little, and moves his hand to the chest of his hospital gown to finally assess the effects of the day before. 

The three burns across his torso have been dressed, so he can’t fully see them. They’re deeper and more circular than the old starburst-shaped burns that Kacchan had given him in elementary school. These new ones feel tight, and the one on his side is crisscrossed with stitches--he’d been informed that he’d had surgery to repair what the deep knife wound had done to an organ. Midoriya doesn’t remember which one. He’s very tired. 

The burns hurt, especially when he moves, and he definitely remembers getting stabbed in a way that’s going to pop up in a few nightmares in the weeks to come. But even the deepest stab wound isn’t causing the worst pain he’s ever been in. His everyday chronic pain is actually worse than this, especially with the remnants of post-op painkillers softening the edges of the room. Now that he’s had his latest nap, Midoriya is basically alert. And that means it’s time to overthink.

Tsukauchi told him earlier that his classmates are all safe. But Todoroki is probably terrified. If he’s not here already to try and see Midoriya, he’s probably been left in the dorm to unravel himself, if the look on his face yesterday had been any indication to his mental state. Midoriya’s phone sits on the bedside table, pinging with texts from his classmates, but his texts to Todoroki have gone unanswered. 

Aizawa, too--he’d been uncharacteristically mechanical, blank underneath that rubble yesterday. Midoriya had probably scared him, and Aizawa’s movements had been confused enough to imply a concussion. The three of them had been so lucky that nobody from the League had tried to punch their ice dome in to finish the job, but that doesn’t mean that Aizawa hasn’t still suffered severe head trauma from a falling windowsill or something.

And that also doesn’t take into account that all of Midoriya’s friends had been in battle yesterday, too--Midoriya had seen flashes of Uraraka with blood streaming down her temple, and heard echoes of what sounded like Kirishima’s scream, and-- all of them could have gotten hurt, and Midoriya had let himself get taken out, useless under the remnants of a building. 

Midoriya’s thoughts are interrupted by the opening door, and he glances up, expecting to have to face his angry mother again. He finds Aizawa instead, and Midoriya’s spine stiffens.

Aizawa’s head is wrapped in bandages, not thick enough to imply severe damage but enough that he’d probably been bleeding and Midoriya hadn’t noticed because Aizawa’s hair is usually unruly enough to hide that. His teacher is holding onto the doorframe with one hand, and he’s being supported on the other side by a blond man who appears more exhausted than Aizawa himself.

“Sensei,” Midoriya says, halfway to apologizing for his reckless behavior yesterday, but Aizawa cuts him off. 

“Problem child,” Aizawa states, “you’re awake.”

Midoriya nods, having nothing to add. He can’t interpret Aizawa’s facial expression at all.

The man at Aizawa’s side helps Aizawa slump down in the chair next to the bed. He moves Midoriya’s mom’s coat to a different chair so it won’t get wrinkled, and then puts a soft hand on Aizawa’s head (a part of it that isn’t bandaged) and says, “I’ll grab some tea for you two and find a nurse to check on the other kid, okay? I’m glad to see you’re awake, Midoriya.”

Midoriya nods, confused (is Aizawa dating this man? ), but when the man flashes Midoriya a smile, Midoriya’s mouth falls open and he says, “Oh--Mic-sensei, thank you! Sorry, I didn’t--”

Present Mic laughs, though there’s not much of his usual energy behind it. “You’re alright. Don’t hurt yourself. I’ll be back. Maybe ten minutes, okay, Shouta?”

Aizawa grunts. His eyes have fallen closed, but they reopen after Present Mic has patted his head again and left the room, softly closing the door behind him.

Midoriya’s brief confusion about what’s going on with Present Mic and his homeroom teacher is quickly replaced by his normal anxiety at having Aizawa stare at him. Aizawa’s proven himself in the past to be reliable, and hasn’t ever given Midoriya a scolding that Midoriya didn’t earn, but Midoriya’s pretty sure he’ll burst into tears if Aizawa starts expressing disappointment in him.

When Aizawa doesn’t say anything for a long moment, just yawns and winces against what’s probably a pretty bad headache, Midoriya tries to apologize again. “Aizawa-sensei, I’m sorry for--”

“You have nothing to apologize for.”

Midoriya tilts his head, thrown off guard. 

“You have no responsibility to be throwing yourself in harm’s way to save me. I should be the one who apologizes to you. I acted irrationally, and let my own injuries get in the way of keeping you and Todoroki safe.”

Midoriya frowns. “What? It’s not your fault that--”

Aizawa holds up a hand, throwing a sharp glare that shuts Midoriya up instantly. “It was my actions that put me in danger in the first place, and that led to you two almost being killed on my watch.”

Midoriya can’t protest that he didn’t almost die, because he definitely did come close. But it feels wrong, to have Aizawa apologizing, looking like--

Midoriya finally places Aizawa’s expression. It’s the same look that Iida or Uraraka get when they’re coming down from being terrified out of their minds.

“I forgive you,” Midoriya says, because it’s the easiest thing in the world to say. “You were just defending our class, and you’ve done the same for me.” Before Aizawa can either accept or reject that, Midoriya’s mind snags on something else. “Is everyone else okay?”

Aizawa’s face says that he really wants to keep arguing against being forgiven--apparently, all heroes have the same self-flagellating streak that makes them want to be guilty for everything that goes wrong (that’s something that Midoriya’s therapist is always grumbling about). But instead, Aizawa moves on for now and says, “Everybody’s alive. Three spent the night at Recovery Girl’s, and Todoroki’s around here somewhere.”

It makes sense that Todoroki would force his way into the hospital, trying to visit Midoriya, and Midoriya’s face forms a smile as he asks, “I bet he didn’t get any sleep, right? Well, I’d like to see him. I thought I was allowed to have non-family visitors.”

“No, kid,” Aizawa says. His brain might be working a little slower than usual, because his face gradually shifts into something that's alarmingly like pity. “He’s here for treatment.”

The wave of emotion that hits Midoriya is too overwhelming for Midoriya to even try to parse. He just feels a lot of something, and then he hears his heart monitor start beeping just a little faster. “He’s--what? For what? He’s here ?”

“Midoriya,” Aizawa says sternly, and scoots forward in his chair. “Hey. Todoroki’s stable. Start breathing, or Mic and a nurse and your mom will all bust in here yelling.”

Midoriya takes an uneven breath, even though his lungs feel too tight to do so properly. “I thought he wasn’t hurt that badly.”

“He went into shock after he burned your wounds closed. He had an injury he didn’t tell us about.”

Oh.  

“Oh my god--” Midoriya feebly tries to move his covers off of him, tries to slide off the bed and run--somewhere. He has no clue where Todoroki is but that doesn’t mean he’s not going to try to find him. He’d known Todoroki was going to be messed up from cauterizing three wounds, but Midoriya hadn’t even thought to check if Todoroki was hiding any wounds of his own. “I need to--”

“Stay put,” Aizawa says, and though his grip isn’t as strong as it is normally, he still wrangles Midoriya back onto the bed and keeps Midoriya from ripping various tubes out of his body. “Stop it. You can see him when he wakes up, but I’m serious about you calming the hell down.”

Midoriya’s heart is pounding so hard that he can hear it louder than the beeping from the machine next to him. Before he can try to physically overpower Aizawa and make a break for the hallway, the door opens and, as Aizawa had prophesied, Present Mic, a nurse, and his mom all come through the door in quick succession, concern scrunching their features.

“Izuku,” his mom says, and Aizawa moves aside so she can take his place. “Sweetheart, how can I help? How badly does it hurt?”

Izuku hasn’t been thinking about the pain for a few minutes now, so he shakes his head. “It’s fine. I need to--to talk to Todoroki, can I--”

“Honey,” the nurse says, to get his attention. She’s been fiddling with something that’s pumping some kind of liquid into his arm, but she now gazes down at him directly. “We can’t move you around until we’re sure you won’t lose more blood. You can talk to your friend when he’s awake and you’ve healed just a little more.”

Todoroki isn’t awake, then. On one hand, that means he isn’t spiraling, all alone. On the other hand, that means he was hurt really bad. Bad enough that Midoriya had woken up long before him.

“Count back from ten with me,” the nurse says. He thinks she’s trying to ground him, but when he checks where her hands are fiddling, it seems she’s putting something into his IV to sedate him.

“No,” Midoriya says, angry. He twists his head back to his mom, now desperate. “Mom, you have to go check on him.”

His mom squeezes his hand, nodding to him. “Don’t worry, Izuku. Get a good nap in.”

“We’ll keep an eye on Todoroki,” says Present Mic from where he’s supporting Aizawa’s weight again. “Focus on getting better, kid.”

 

This is maybe fifth on the list of Todoroki’s best hospital visits. Not bad enough to be at the bottom, but certainly not the best. Muzzy from painkillers, he informs his nurse of his impending low Yelp rating, and she just nods condescendingly and keeps checking his vitals.

He’s only been awake for about five minutes. Still blinking blearily at the room around him, Todoroki reaches back as far as he can into his brain and tries to remember how the hell he ended up here this time. The nurse told him he’s here because of a lot of blood loss, so much his organs almost stopped working and he passed out. Other than that, she was no help to him, just giving him that brand of professionally crafted cheer that all nurses seem to give to Todoroki.

The large wound that almost pushes through his entire stomach is emanating a low, dark heat through his body, barely dulled by the incredible dose of morphine he’s on. It’s not a burn, this time, so Todoroki has no leads as to who had hurt him that badly.

The nurse has left, so the room, other than him, is devoid of life. Low light pokes through closed blinds at the window. It’s about seven in the evening, close to sunset. Todoroki’s been in the hospital for more than twenty-four hours now, but he’s not surprised that nobody’s here to visit. Endeavor’s the one whose number is on Todoroki’s chart, and it’s not like Todoroki died or anything. And Fuyumi’s phone is broken and it’s unlikely that Endeavor said anything to her. And the only other number that could have possibly popped up would be--Aizawa’s. Maybe Aizawa has something more important to be doing.

His phone is on the bedside table. When he reaches for it, he sees that his hand is crusted with dried blood. It’s caked under his fingernails, and spots of it dot his arm. This is strange, because he doesn’t have a tendency to clutch at wounds he gets--he knows better than to introduce infection when there’s nothing he can do to stem the bleeding. And his left hand is, in stark contrast entirely clean of blood. 

Something in his brain starts to hum with foreboding. He’s not just forgotten what happened, he must have repressed it so far back into his mind because it was really bad, something must have happened that was awful and that’s why the nurse is being so carefully kind to him.

He finishes reaching for his phone. It’s almost dead, teetering around fifteen percent, and the screen is cracked and flooded with new notifications. Missed calls, texts, and news alerts pepper the screen. Todoroki’s eyes strain against the bright blue light of his screen, but he picks out about thirty texts from Midoriya before he has to blink his watering eyes shut again.

Midoriya, he remembers. And then like floodgates breaking open, he remembers fucking everything .

It’s Midoriya’s blood under his fingernails. Todoroki remembers Aizawa taking a chunk of concrete to the head, Midoriya screaming when Todoroki burned him, Aizawa grabbing Todoroki to try to get him to stop panicking like a child, Todoroki unable to keep himself together and succumbing to exhaustion. Todoroki hadn’t even felt his own injury until he was too tired to do anything about it.

In his current loopy headspace,Todoroki is only able to jump to worse and worse conclusions. There’s no doubt that Aizawa’s angry and disappointed in him (if he’s still alive). Had the nurse been looking at him like that, with such pity, because Aizawa hadn’t made it after all? Or because the last thing Midoriya ever felt was Todoroki using his quirk to sear enormous, awful burns into his skin? Or because--

Todoroki rolls over and yanks the trash can closer to his bed and vomits. If he was in the mood to care about his health, he would be relieved that it doesn’t appear that his stomach is bleeding when all that comes up is bile. Right now, he doesn’t give a shit. He shoves his left hand underneath himself, pinning it so he couldn’t hurt anyone else but himself even if he tried, and then throws up again.

As he’s finishing up the third round of vomiting, the door to his room slides open and the overlapping clicks of two different sets of footsteps enter the room. One voice says, “Oh, poor thing,” and the feet belonging to it come over to his side and the person sits on Todoroki’s bed, next to him, and rubs a hand up and down his back. The other set of footsteps crosses around the bed, and a machine beeps as a hand presses buttons on it.

Todoroki opens one eye, and swallows against the acid in his throat. The person who is still rubbing his back and saying soothing words is Midoriya Inko, and Todoroki jolts backwards.

Does she not know that he was the one who burned her son? Why the hell is she here , anyway? He opens his mouth--to say what, nobody will ever know--but she immediately disarms him with, “Hey, sweetheart. Izuku was so glad to hear you’re awake.”

Izuku’s alive. The good news keeps him from snapping at her, or driving her away.

“I’m giving you something for the nausea,” says the nurse’s even voice from Todoroki’s other side. “It’s totally normal to be nauseous after surgery, alright? No worries, kiddo.”

Todoroki doesn’t have the words to tell her that he’s more nauseous because of a trauma response than because of any sort of surgery he’d been through. He’s still working on a way to tell Midoriya Inko that he was the one who permanently scarred her son again. She wouldn’t be touching him so gently if she knew how badly he’d hurt Midoriya with his quirk. (Selfishly, he’s still comforted when Inko smooths sweaty hair away from his forehead. The light touch reminds him of something he hasn’t had in a very long time.)

“Sorry,” Todoroki mumbles. He wipes bile away from his mouth, remembering at the last second to use his left hand instead of his right (he accidentally catches sight of his blood-stained hand again and feels himself get a little faint). “Shouldn’t you be with Midoriya?”

It comes out much more rudely than he meant it. He’s just genuinely confused as to why she’s here.

“I don’t think you get to tell me where I should be,” Inko tells him, though it’s a mild response, all things considered. “He’s sleeping. I promised him I’d check on you.”

“Oh.” 

She eyes him closely, analyzing him with an intense squint that her son mirrors quite often. Then her gaze drops to his hands, and her brow furrows. “Oh,” she says, in a much different tone from Todoroki, and turns her head towards the nurse with a frown. “Can you bring me a washcloth or something? I’m sure he wants to wash his hands and face.”

The nurse finishes with whatever she’s writing down on a clipboard, and then crosses the room to open a cabinet and presumably find a rag. Todoroki’s eyes follow her, because it’s much less overwhelming than trying to meet Inko’s gaze.

“Your teacher let me know you’re awake,” Inko explains further. “He’s on his way here. He was discharged earlier today and his nurse got tired of watching him sulk around so she sent him home to nap.”

That sounds like Aizawa. “He doesn’t need to go out of his way,” Todoroki says. He frowns, echoing Inko’s own expression. “Isn’t he still recovering?”

“I don’t think he thinks it’s out of his way,” Inko says. “He can at least come see you before your family gets here, right?”

Todoroki snorts. 

The nurse appears again, holding a washcloth, and reaches out for Todoroki’s left hand. He jumps, moves his hand as far away as possible, barely clamps down on a yelp.

“Sorry, didn’t mean to startle you.” The nurse slows her movements down, and holds out the washcloth for Todoroki to take. “You can do it yourself, if you’d like. You’ll feel better afterwards.”

He takes the rag with his left hand, and gets to work on his right. The nurse mutters something to Inko, before promising to back soon to check on Todoroki again. Then, she slides the door shut behind her and Todoroki is alone with Inko.

“Someone from your family is coming to see you, right?” Inko asks. She’d definitely noticed when Todoroki thought that idea was silly earlier.

Todoroki can’t get Midoriya’s blood out from under his fingernails. His scrubbing is getting more frantic. “Um--probably not. My sister probably doesn’t know; her phone’s broken.”

“How about your mom and dad?”

Todoroki only rubs the cloth harder against his skin, until it starts to feel like his skin’s going to start to peel off. “My mom is--She can’t come. And my dad’s busy.”

“Hey--” Inko reaches out and puts a light hand on Todoroki’s left, and he flinches backwards, scrambling away from her until she can’t touch him anymore. She jerks her hand back, but she doesn’t hold it like he burned her. She just looks worried about him.

Slowly, he relaxes from where he’s pressed himself against the headboard of the bed. Inko waits until he’s stopped shaking, and then she asks, in a light tone like he hadn’t almost punched himself through the wall to get away from her,  “Could we get in touch with your sister in another way?”

“I could try to call my brother,” Todoroki concedes.

“What’s his name?” Inko asks, gently encouraging him to keep talking while she reaches for his phone where he’d kicked it onto the floor.

“Natsuo.”

“Older?”

“Yeah. He’s twenty.” He takes her phone from her grasp with a hand still damp from the washcloth. The battery has dropped to twelve percent, but it should be enough for him to get a call in. 

“You want some privacy while you call?” 

“You can stay,” Todoroki says, before he can monitor his tone even a little bit. He sees her face soften a little bit before he ducks his head in embarrassment.

Natsuo is nothing if not addicted to his phone, so he answers right away. His tone, brash and usually annoying, is reassuring right now. “Hey, Shouchan! What’s going on?”

“Don’t call me that,” Todoroki says. He has no clue what to say. He stutters, stops, before trying, “Is Fuyumi with you?”

“Oh, did you only call to talk to her? Wow, I feel loved. Three months you go without calling me, and this time it’s for her. One of these days, I’ll--”

“Niisan,” Todoroki says. He doesn’t use that nickname unless he’s drunk or having a panic attack or both, so he knows it’ll get Natsuo’s attention. “I’m in the hospital. Can you come?”

“What the fuck.” Natsuo’s tone loses all bravado. It drops about half an octave, resting at a nervous level that he reserves for when Endeavor’s asleep and the two of them are trying to sneak around the house. “ What ? Oh my god. Yeah, we’ll be right there. Are you okay?”

“I’m fine--”

“--I mean obviously you’re not okay or you wouldn’t be calling holy shit. Okay, y-yeah. Just give us--which hospital are you at? We’ll get on the next train,” Natsuo promises. His voice is still a little uneven. “If you need someone to talk to before then, you can call me, okay?” 

Something about Natsuo’s concern rings as touching, to Todoroki. Inko had been right to make him call.

 

Aizawa isn’t prepared for how scared Hitoshi is when Aizawa shows up at Nemuri’s house. 

Hizashi is still in the car, waiting for Aizawa to retrieve Hitoshi and Eri so they can go home and eat and hopefully have a chill recovery-evening, so Aizawa doesn’t even have backup when the door swings open at full velocity and Hitoshi’s there, pale and wide-eyed and shaky. One of his hands is in a cast, and a row of tiny neat stitches is holding a gash on his forehead closed.

“Dad,” Hitoshi says, voice thick, and launches forward to hug Aizawa at full force. Aizawa staggers a step back, wheezes, but returns the embrace just as tightly. Hitoshi--for whom it takes a tremendous amount of effort to express how he’s feeling--needs this. 

He puts a hand on the back of Hitoshi’s head, doing his best to make the teen feel as safe as possible when Hitoshi’s already taller than Aizawa. He’s lanky and his corners are sharp, but he still attempts to be fully enveloped in the hug, and Aizawa lets him do it.

Further into the entry hall, Nemuri’s standing in casual sweatpants and an old UA alumnus sweatshirt with a sleeping Eri balanced on her hip. Nemuri looks no better than Hizashi, with a bruise darkening under one eye and her crooked old glasses falling off her nose. She’d taken out two high-profile League members yesterday, Hizashi had mentioned. Yet, Nemuri’s face doesn’t hold much pride or joy right now.

“Thanks for looking after them,” Aizawa tells her.

“You got it,” Nemuri says. “Hitoshi's a good kid, I’m obsessed with him and his future, I’d die for him, etcetera. You’d better fucking hope you don’t let this happen again, Shouta.”

Aizawa doesn’t chide her for swearing in front of his impressionable children. She’s right to be upset. The exhausted set of her jaw, and the way Hizashi looks ready to fold like a house of cards because he doesn’t know Aizawa can still see him from here, and the way Hitoshi is trembling all make Aizawa hesitate to get angry at anyone for scolding him right now. When he’d been sprinting down that street during the League attack, his thoughts hadn’t been on his own safety, or of even pretending to want to keep himself safe. In fact, the more he thinks about it, the more he’s sure he’d been relieved when he’d seen parts of that building start to come down on him.

That’s fucked up. And Aizawa, seeing how his family is shaken after he’s had a simple concussion, needs to change something. He’s a good enough hero that he can protect himself and his kids. (And maybe, if he looked out for himself, he wouldn’t have put Todoroki and Midoriya in the hospital in the first place.)

“I’ll kick your ass into next week,” Nemuri is threatening. “Hitoshi, sweetie, move out of the way so I can kill your dad.”

“Hmm, can you do it tomorrow?” Hitoshi asks. He doesn’t release Aizawa, and he sniffles into Aizawa’s hero uniform. “I need a second.”

“I’ll pick you up at eight tomorrow,” Nemuri says to Aizawa. “Get ready to be annihilated.”

“I’d like to see you try, wench,” Aizawa says, because he knows it’ll make Nemuri break into a bit of a smile--and it works, much to his relief. It’s difficult for him to see Nemuri or Hizashi distant or upset, and if Aizawa can’t stop Hizashi from looking like that, he’ll start with his only other friend.

“I’ll show you a wench,” she vows, but finally pads closer to ruffle Hitoshi’s hair affectionately and say, “Have a good evening. Tell Mic to text me back.”

Hitoshi pulls out of the hug, scrubbing at his eyes in a way that's a little embarrassed, but he still turns and takes Eri from Nemuri because Aizawa's in no shape to be carrying a baby.

“I'm sure he has a good reason to be ignoring you,” Aizawa says to Nemuri, and rolls his eyes at her outraged cry, and then gently herds his kids down the steps and towards the car.

Hitoshi buckles Eri in, then goes around the car and lays down in the backseat next to her, clearly drained of energy. Hizashi doesn’t look much better, and on any other occasion, Aizawa would insist that Hizashi not force himself to drive if he didn’t feel up to it. But Hizashi is in the best shape out of the two of them, so Aizawa keeps a blurry view on the road and hopes that they make it home safely.

He’s woken up at home with a gentle Hizashi-hand on his shoulder, shaking him to awareness. They’re in their driveway, Hitoshi hovering behind Hizashi, Eri awake and standing on her own but not appearing to be too pleased about it. Aizawa yawns so widely his jaw cracks.

"Hi, sleepyhead,” Hizashi says. “If you get inside to the couch, you don’t have to move again.”

That sounds extremely tempting. He hefts himself out of the car and walks after Hizashi and in front of Hitoshi, leaving the latter to lock and shut the car. It’s getting to be early evening, with the sun beginning to glint gold on the front of their house, and the street is pretty quiet. Most of the houses on their street are occupied by older people, so most of them seem to be turning in to start dinner. 

Aizawa somehow wrestles his shoes off and immediately slumps onto the couch. He’ll get up and help Hizashi with dinner, once his head isn’t spinning anymore.

Eri takes Hizashi's hand with intent to follow Hizashi to the kitchen to help with dinner. Hitoshi sits at the other end of the couch, one of the cats immediately jumping up to get attention from him, and Aizawa watches them both with drooping eyelids until he dozes off.

It’s Hizashi that nudges him awake for the second time that afternoon. Aizawa comes back to himself to find that his head is pounding, it’s much later in the evening, Hitoshi is asleep at the other end of the couch, and Hizashi is holding his phone up. 

“What’s it say?” Aizawa asks, his words jumbling together.

“Todoroki’s awake,” Hizashi says. “I asked Midoriya’s mom to check in on him for you, but I assume you’ll want to head over.”

Aizawa nods. Hizashi reaches down and smooths Aizawa’s hair into some semblance of presentability, artfully avoiding disturbing the bandages. “Shower first.”

“Hmm,” Aizawa says. He’s still trying to wake up.

“I mean it. You stink,” Hizashi says. It’s bold words coming from Hizashi, because he looks like he hasn’t showered in three days, one of those being a day that a villain attack occurred. His hair is greasy and stiff with broken hair gel in a way that must be uncomfortable.

“You too,” Aizawa says. He rubs at his dry eyes. “I can take the train. You should rest.”

“I’m not letting my concussed husband take the train by himself.” 

“One of us should stay with the kids.”

“I’ll just let Hitoshi know where we’re going. It’ll be fine, Shouta.”

Aizawa sighs. He’s not winning the argument. He holds up his hands, and Hizashi pulls him up to his feet.

It’s an uneventful journey back to the hospital. Hitoshi is too sleepy to protest much about being left to babysit, though Aizawa still feels really really guilty about doing so, and there’s not much traffic despite the many closed roads. Hizashi keeps taking sips from a can of energy drink that looks and smells awful, but it’s the only thing that has the strength to keep Hizashi awake some days. It makes Hizashi jittery and erratic, but it keeps him functioning, at least. (Aizawa doesn’t approve, but Aizawa doesn’t have a leg to stand on in this argument right now because he’s the reason why Hizashi’s so wrung-out in the first place.)

After his shower and nap, Aizawa’s starting to feel like something approaching human. Enough that, when Hizashi finds a parking spot in the crowded garage by the hospital, Aizawa has the energy to finally try and have a conversation. 

“Hizashi,” he ventures, and reaches over to halt Hizashi from getting out of the car. “I need to say something.”

Hizashi stops, and closes the car door again. There’s a pinch between his eyebrows, either concern or just a headache from having his hearing aids on all day. If Aizawa could guarantee that his hands would be steady enough to sign with, he’d tell Hizashi it would be okay to take the aids off. “What’s up, sunshine?”

“Thank you for taking care of me today,” Aizawa says. His hand is still outstretched, and he’s relieved when Hizashi takes hold of it. “You’re not feeling well. You can stay in the car and rest and I’ll be alright.”

Hizashi leans his head back against the headrest, rolling his eyes up to the ceiling. “I’ll always take care of you. You don’t need to thank me for that.”

"Yes I do.” Aizawa scowls. “And I know you’re mad at me. Would you like to talk about that now or later?”

“I can’t be mad at you for getting hurt,” Hizashi says, like he’s trying to convince himself of that. He turns his head to glare at Aizawa. “I know we can’t prevent everything bad that comes our way. That’s the nature of our job.”

“But,” Aizawa prompts.

“But it was so fucking scary seeing you get buried under that building,” Hizashi snaps, his free hand gesturing jerkily in half-formed signs. “I was terrified. I stopped thinking, and I froze, and I couldn’t...There was nothing I could do. It felt like…”

He leaves the rest unsaid. Hizashi’s never really grieved in his life, preferring to buoy up those around him, so he gets flare-ups like this sometimes. Either anxiety, or anger, or sometimes the flu that Aizawa’s sure somehow stems from all those emotions shoved deep down into Hizashi’s heart. 

“It’s gonna take me a while to get over that,” Hizashi finally says. “I just wish you would be more careful.”

“I will be,” Aizawa promises.

“You’re always acting like some kind of tragic hero and that might be attractive to me but Hitoshi and Eri need an alive dad more than a sexy one.”

Aizawa opens his car door and says, “Goodbye.”

 

Midoriya may be used to being in quote-unquote inhuman amounts of pain, and he may be used to breathing carefully through when, for a random nonspecific example, he breaks his own bones to save someone’s life. Despite this amount of experience, it doesn’t make pain any less tiring. Midoriya is tired but not sleepy, to the point that he starts shutting down. He stares at the cabinets in his hospital room and wishes that for just one day he could leave his body and ascend to a different plane to get a freaking break for once.

His mom had gone home, to get herself a real meal and some good sleep. She’ll be back in the morning, hopefully with a book or something to distract Midoriya, but for right now he’s alone. He’s wondering if he’s weak enough to request another dose of painkillers. He really would like to get some sleep.

Midoriya’s a hair-trigger away from requesting a nurse when he hears hushed voices out in the hallway. Usually, those belong to nurses, but something about these two voices sticks out to him. The voices near his door, pass it, and then double back.

“He’s probably asleep, ” one of the voices, the lower one, hisses.

“Just get inside!” the other one says, annoyed. “We can talk there!”

Midoriya’s door slides open, and Uraraka and Iida tumble into his room. Uraraka shuts the door with a bit too much force, and Iida squawks with indignation when she accidentally treads on his foot. They’re not stealthy in the slightest. The display makes Midoriya’s eyes water with dumb happy-tears, which makes both of his friends’ faces fall when they see that he’s awake and crying.

“What’s wrong?” Uraraka asks, slipping on the hospital tile to get over to him as fast as possible.

“Do you need painkillers? Water?” Iida asks, concerned, and drags up two chairs for him and Uraraka to sit in. He reaches out, and Midoriya latches onto his hand. Uraraka finds a box of tissues on the counter and brings it over. 

“I’m okay,” Midoriya says, even though he’s still crying. He loves his friends so much. 

Gracefully, his friends move on when they realize he’s not crying for a bad reason. Uraraka says, in a theatrical whisper, “The bitch at the front desk wouldn’t let us in--”

“Don’t call her that,” Iida chides. “She’s doing her job.”

“Let me tell my story!” Uraraka says, and elbows him (gently). “She wouldn’t let us in so we had to do some espionage so it’s really only a matter of time before we are arrested and thrown out of the building--”

“--They won’t arrest us, will they?--”

“Stop interrupting me!”

“I thought you were finished.

“I was, but--shut up. Deku, are you okay? Are you sure you don’t need anything?”

Midoriya nods. “What happened next?”

His friends suddenly become very interested in the print of Midoriya’s blanket. Uraraka mutters, “We shouldn’t--” and Iida nods and says, “Yes, it’s actually not that important,” and Midoriya’s face cracks into a smile at their half-verbal communication tactics.

The cut on Uraraka’s temple is smaller than when Midoriya had seen her yesterday. It’s scabbed over and almost healed, and she doesn’t appear to be injured otherwise. Iida looks similarly healthy, the only sign of a recent villain attack being his split knuckles. They’re both wearing all-black clothing, and Midoriya wonders if that’s part of their so-called espionage to get inside the building.

“You didn’t have to break in,” Midoriya says, with no feeling behind it whatsoever. Iida’s hand is perfect hand-holding size, much bigger than Midoriya’s own, and Uraraka’s smile brightens up the room, distracting Midoriya from everything else. 

“I wouldn’t say that we ‘broke in,’” Iida says, because breaking the law makes him uncomfortable. “We just wished to see our best friend.”

Midoriya’s not in a state to cope with Iida being sweet like this. He drastically changes the subject. “Is everyone else okay?”

Uraraka’s face dims a little, but not enough to imply that something awful has happened. “Everyone’s good. Shouji and Mina and Kiri were all at Recovery Girl’s yesterday, but they all were back in the dorm today. Except you, and Aizawa-sensei, and Todoroki. We haven’t heard from them at all.”

“I saw Aizawa-sensei earlier,” Midoriya offers. “He has a concussion but he seemed normal other than that. And they won’t let me see Todoroki.”

“Todoroki’s here ?” Uraraka asks, eyebrows shooting up.

Midoriya nods. “I think--he lost a lot of blood, he went into shock and everything.”

Iida and Uraraka’s faces both fall. “I should have found out where he was,” Iida says, “as his friend. I just assumed that he was ignoring our texts as usual.”

“How did you know I was here but not him?” Midoriya asks, confused.

“I have your mom’s number!” Uraraka says, clearly upset. “I called her to ask where you were when you didn’t come back, but--Todoroki never remembers to charge his phone anyway, so…”

Midoriya tries not to think about Uraraka calling his mom behind his back. He’s sure it’s not the first time this has happened.

“We should go see him,” Uraraka says. “I bet we could find his room by calling the front desk.”

“We’re going to be in really big trouble,” Iida warns.

“Psh,” Uraraka says. She pulls out her phone, and then glances up at Midoriya. “You think we could get you to come, too?”

Midoriya haplessly waves the arm that’s attached to many, many machines. And at that moment, a nurse slides open his door and balks at the sight of two extra people in the room.

“Visiting hours are over,” she says.

Uraraka, actor extraordinaire, starts to cry. 

Midoriya and Iida’s heads snap to her, alarmed, as she sniffles and makes a big show of wiping her eyes. “I’m--we’re sorry,” she hiccups. “We just--we’re his classmates and, and we wanted to see him and our other friend, we’re just so worried about both of them.”

The nurse is new on her shift, judging by the fact that she looks fairly awake and also because she doesn’t just snap at Uraraka to leave the premises. She shuts the door behind her and walks closer, lowering her voice. “I understand. It’s hard to see a friend hurt, huh?”

Uraraka nods, and is wracked by a fresh wave of sobs. “We wanted to see De--Midoriya and then our friend Todoroki,” Uraraka explains, her words shuddering out, “but I know--I know we aren’t allowed but they got hurt so badly and I was so scared they were--they were--”

“Oh, honey,” the nurse says. Her resolve is weakening. “You’re not in trouble, it’s okay. What’s your other friend’s name?”

“Todoroki Shouto,” Iida supplies. 

“You’re all from UA, right?” the nurse asks. At their collective nod, she lets out a sigh. “Okay. Listen, I’ll let you visit with your friend for a few minutes, but then you’ve gotta leave and let Midoriya sleep, okay?”

Uraraka brightens. Her chin is still wobbling, but she swipes at her face and gives the nurse a watery smile. “Really?”

“Don’t make me regret this,” the nurse says, and then begins the arduous process of moving Midoriya into a wheelchair. Iida pulls Uraraka aside, maybe to help Uraraka clean up her crocodile tears, and when the nurse leaves the room to find someone who knows which room is Todoroki’s, Midoriya says, “Good thinking, Uraraka.”

"What do you mean?” Uraraka asks. Her nose is stuffed up.

“I mean, you’re really good at fake-crying.”

Iida makes an aborted noise, and then Uraraka says, incredulous, “That wasn’t fake.”

Midoriya’s heart falls into his toes. “What?” he asks, horrified. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to--”

“It’s okay,” Uraraka says. She shrugs, but she’s clearly a little miffed. “Is it that hard to believe I’d be upset that my best friend almost died?”

The nurse comes back to find another teary child, but she handles it like a champ and soon, Midoriya is being wheeled into the hallway by Iida with directions for Todoroki’s room and a stern warning that she’ll be in to check on them in ten minutes. 

“Are you sure you don’t wanna come?” Midoriya asks, because he’s certain this is a major security risk, to let random teenagers run through the hospital at night. 

“I have rounds to do,” the nurse says. “I have a truth-inducing quirk, anyway. I know you don’t mean any harm. Go see your friend.”

“Okay,” Uraraka says, giving a double thumbs-up as the nurse turns and leaves. “What we’re not gonna do in there is cry. Got it?”

“I’ll do my best,” Iida says, as sarcastically as he’s physically able, and Midoriya wheezes even though it hurts like being shot with four guns at the same time.

 

Midoriya’s mom stays for a little while after Todoroki’s phone call, long enough to make sure that Todoroki isn’t going to break into pieces when she leaves. She mostly sits on her phone, making occasional conversation, until it’s time for her to get home and she says, “Alright, Todoroki. It was nice to chat with you today.”

Todoroki doubts that’s true. He’s notoriously bad at chatting with anyone

“You too,” he says, because that’s what’s polite. 

The hospital is very quiet. Quieter than it should be, considering such a big attack happened yesterday. His phone is long dead, so there’s nothing to do. However, Todoroki is exceptionally good at staring at nothing and breathing until his brain just kind of turns off for a few hours, so he does that. He tunes out fifteen minutes, then half an hour, and then he blinks his eyes open and Fuyumi and Natsuo are there.

“Hey, Shouchan,” Fuyumi says. She shouldn’t be as used to visiting Todoroki in situations like this, but she doesn’t appear teary-eyed and her hands are steady as they pull a chair closer to the bed. 

The same cannot be said for Natsuo. While Natsuo allegedly plans on going into some kind of medicine, he’s never been very good at coping when Todoroki is injured in front of him. Natsuo valiantly pushes forward anyway, offering a fist to bump, and Todoroki hesitantly reaches out with his right hand to oblige.

“You didn’t have to come,” is all Todoroki can think to say.

Natsuo snorts, unimpressed. Fuyumi rolls her eyes. “Ha. Nice try.”

The three of them lapse into tense silence. They’re all out of practice in making conversation with each other, despite efforts to fix that. Predictably, it’s Fuyumi who eventually picks up talking again.

“We passed Midoriya’s mom on the way out,” Fuyumi says. “Is he here too?”

Todoroki, unfortunately, doesn’t take this reminder very well. He flinches, and jerks his head away so neither of his siblings can see his face, and he’s not subtle about it at all. His siblings aren’t going to want to be here if they know what Todoroki did. 

“Did something happen?” Fuyumi asks.

Todoroki shakes his head.

“Shouto,” Natsuo says.

“Nothing happened,” Todoroki snaps.

“I could just call Midoriya and ask,” Fuyumi says, because at some point she and Midoriya had become better friends than Todoroki and Fuyumi were. Maybe that’s why Todoroki’s so worried about Fuyumi finding out about what had happened--she might take Midoriya’s side.

“Don’t,” Todoroki warns.

“Hmm, I don’t think you can tell me what to do,” Fuyumi says. She already has her phone out. 

“Did you two break up?” Natsuo asks, blunt.

“Natsuo,” Todoroki says, “ask me about it one more time and I’ll--”

“Woah, okay!” Fuyumi says, waving her hand to break up their staring contest. “Alright, we’ll drop it! Stop getting in a fight. We’re not here for that.”

Todoroki glares at Natsuo glares at Todoroki, but neither of them have the energy to keep that up for long. Stumblingly, the three of them venture into a discussion about something entirely unrelated (Natsuo’s long-time feud with his school’s entire basketball team), and Todoroki starts to relax a little bit.

Natsuo does, too. He stops shaking like he’s just hit someone with his car, and gets into a story about him sneaking into a party specifically to anger the basketball captain, and he’s laughing at his own jokes by the time someone raps on the door.

Natsuo falls silent, and all three of them turn to find Aizawa in the doorway.

Aizawa looks like every individual cell of his body is falling asleep independently and he’s doing his best to keep his body moving without the use of any of them . His head is bandaged, and his eyes are puffy like he’s either just woken up or his eyes are unionizing against Aizawa to make him go to sleep. His tired gaze regards Todoroki, then turns to Natsuo and Fuyumi. He gives them a polite nod. “Fuyumi, Natsuo. Good to see you.”

Natsuo nods back, and Fuyumi gives a quasi-friendly greeting. Todoroki has the weird feeling that the two of them have met Aizawa before, somehow. When the hell would Natsuo have talked with Aizawa without Todoroki present?

Investigating further, past Aizawa’s severe tiredness, he seems annoyed. His brow is furrowed, and his grip on the doorframe is too tight. Aizawa usually has an air of irritation around him, but this seems to be heightened. Maybe because he’s had to drive across the city to lecture one of his shitty students. Todoroki’s had hours to prepare for the consequences that Aizawa’s going to dish out, but Todoroki finds that he’s not ready at all.

“Well, we were gonna get a snack, anyway--” Natsuo says. Todoroki doesn’t understand why Natsuo seems perfectly willing to stick by Todoroki’s side until an authority figure appears. “We’ll just be at the vending machines.”

Fuyumi shoots Natsuo a glower, like what the hell , but Natsuo’s hand latches onto her elbow and tugs her up onto her feet. “Okay,” she says, though she looks between Aizawa and Todoroki with an expression that says that she can tell Todoroki’s anxiety is shooting through the roof. “Be right back, Shouchan. Do you want anything?”

Todoroki shakes his head mutely. He couldn’t eat even if he tried.

“Okay,” Fuyumi says again. She says that a lot, when she’s unsure of herself, like she’s convincing herself that everything’s fine. Todoroki can only watch as she and Natsuo escape out the door, leaving him alone with Aizawa.

Aizawa takes Fuyumi’s spot, settling into the chair in a way that betrays aching knees or maybe a sore back. His face twinges a little in discomfort, like the way Midoriya looks when his chronic pain flares up, but there’s nothing that Todoroki can do for him. He's still agitated, but he’s not talking. Todoroki assumes immediately that Aizawa’s quiet because he’s furious. When people are yelling, Todoroki can deal with that--but when people are silent and angry, that’s when it’s actually dangerous. 

Aizawa finally speaks, and says, “How are you feeling?”

“Fine,” Todoroki says. 

“Can you tell me why you didn’t tell us that you were bleeding out?”

“I didn’t feel it,” Todoroki says. His adrenaline had been rushing so hard, and his focus had been on the dying Midoriya on the ground in front of him. He winces at the memory. 

“You saved both me and Midoriya,” Aizawa says. Strangely, he doesn’t sound angry at all. Todoroki finally looks him in the eye, and finds Aizawa avoiding his gaze to watch the floor as he continues, “and I came to apologize for putting you in that situation. You did well for someone your age. Many pros wouldn’t be able to handle that.”

Todoroki feels as if he’s been knocked off balance. He’s been preparing all day for his only stable adult figure to be furious at him, and now Aizawa’s apologizing to him?

Aizawa lifts his head, his piercing gaze pushing through Todoroki. “You acted just as you were required to. But you could’ve taken stock of your own injuries.”

“I’m not going to apologize for putting Midoriya first,” Todoroki says.

“I don’t expect you to.” Aizawa just blinks at him, face blank, head tilted to rest on one hand. “He’s your best friend. But your health is just as important as his.” He leans forward suddenly, and says, “I would like to check one thing,” and his hand touches Todoroki’s left hand and Todoroki throws himself back, shying away until there’s no way Aizawa could get burned. It’s the same motion he’d accidentally done in front of Inko earlier, and it hasn’t gotten any less embarrassing. And this time, it’s clear Aizawa knows exactly what’s going on.

Todoroki just watches him, both wary and daring Aizawa to say something. Instead of addressing what’s clearly going on here, Aizawa changes the subject and asks, “Has your father been here yet?”

Todoroki shakes his head. “He doesn’t do hospital visits.”

“You could've died.”

Todoroki shrugs. It’s not Aizawa’s business to know that Todoroki’s relieved his dad’s not here--it’d likely just entail a lecture for allowing himself to get hurt this badly. Aizawa settles back into his chair, gaze calculating, and opens his mouth to ask another probing question. Before he can, Todoroki’s door slams open, and Todoroki glances over and doesn’t see Fuyumi or Natsuo. Instead, it’s Midoriya, with Uraraka and Iida clustered behind his wheelchair.

Midoriya makes intense, specific eye contact with Todoroki that makes Todoroki feel like a stupid, open book. Midoriya’s face softens into a relieved smile, but then he realizes Aizawa’s here and smacks at Iida’s hand on the handle of his wheelchair and hisses something to his friends. Iida has already seen Aizawa, and Uraraka’s yanking him back out of sight, but Aizawa catches sight of them and says, “Iida. Uraraka.”

Uraraka and Iida slink back into sight. Iida looks like a kicked puppy, probably very nervous about being in trouble. Uraraka is ready to argue with Aizawa, but Todoroki has already moved back to staring at Midoriya, who appears as vibrant as ever--a hundred years’ difference from how he’d looked last time Todoroki had seen him. His skin isn’t ashy, and his eyes are focused and bright, and the way he’s avoiding Aizawa’s gaze in embarrassment is more familiar than worrisome. Most of his bandages are covered by his hospital gown, and he seems like nothing had happened at all yesterday. Todoroki can’t let himself be lulled into false security, though.

“I believe visiting hours are over,” Aizawa monotones.

You’re here,” Uraraka counters.

“Hmm,” Aizawa says, which is nearly a noise of amusement. “That I am. You can visit with Todoroki for a moment, but then I’ll escort you to an exit.”

“Understood!” Iida says, standing ramrod straight. “Thank you for understanding, Sensei!”

“Don’t push it,” Aizawa says. He drags himself up to his feet and shuffles towards the door, freeing up space for Iida to push Midoriya’s wheelchair over, for Uraraka to plop herself down into a seat, for Iida to perch on the edge of Todoroki’s bed and check him over.

Todoroki is overwhelmed enough by the fact that Uraraka and Iida had conned their way into a hospital to visit him. Iida’s concerned gaze is hard enough to shrug off on a normal day, so Todoroki just tries to ignore him--and then he can’t look at Uraraka because she's so worried about him--so all he can do is stare at Midoriya, trying to force his mind to remember that Midoriya’s alive and okay.

Midoriya reaches over to take his hand. Todoroki recoils, and then has to turn his eyes down onto his blanket because Midoriya’s face fills with--something Todoroki doesn’t deserve.

“How are you doing, Todoroki?” Uraraka asks. She leans forward, propping her face up on her hands on the edge of Todoroki’s bed. “You never answer our texts.”

“Sorry, I was unconscious,” Todoroki tells her flatly. She usually giggles at comments like that, but the joke doesn’t land this time. Not wanting to listen to his three friends shoot anxious glances at each other any longer, he reaches for some kind of conversational thread. “How’d you get in here? I thought it was family only.”

“Oh, you know,” Uraraka says, and waves a hand like it doesn’t matter. “Iida’s wiles.”

“Wiles?” Iida sputters. 

“Yeah, you know, your wiles,” Midoriya agrees. In contrast to his words, he's sadder than he was a moment ago, wringing his hands together, his smile smaller. “You could charm your way past anyone.”

“I didn’t-- charm anyone,” Iida mutters furiously, his ears turning red. “I wouldn’t do that.”

“Hmm, a likely story,” Uraraka crows, and pokes a finger into Iida’s cheek. “Todoroki, I’m glad you’re safe, buddy. Iida and I are going to the vending machine now, though.”

Going to the vending machine is apparently code for “leaving the room as quickly as possible so Todoroki can have a private conversation with someone.” Uraraka ignores Iida’s protests, drags him out of the room by the arm, and leaves Midoriya alone with Todoroki before either of them can stop them.

The air stills. Todoroki forces his gaze over to Midoriya, and finds, alarmed, that Midoriya’s eyes are brimming with tears. Todoroki sits up (gasps in pain, but continues forward), and his hands hover uselessly over Midoriya because he’s not sure what’s happened. “What? Is something wrong?”

“You’re--” Midoriya laughs, chokes on it. “You’re worried about me?

“Well...” Todoroki pulls his hands back to himself, clenches them together so he doesn’t accidentally brush Midoriya’s skin. “Sorry. You’re crying.”

“Yeah. You look sad.” Midoriya wheels his chair closer, stubbornly chasing when Todoroki pulls away. “Mom said you--” and he reaches out for Todoroki’s left hand and Todoroki yanks it back, alarmed, and Midoriya scrunches his face up. “--Yeah, she said you did that, before. Listen to me. I’m not scared of you.”

“What do you mean?” Todoroki asks, eyes narrowed.

“I knew you were gonna be...You saved my life, and I’m not mad at you. Actually, I like you even more now because you didn’t let me die.” Midoriya lunges again, grabs onto Todoroki’s left hand, and Todoroki’s heart skips a beat. He irrationally tries to pull away for a third time, but Midoriya’s much stronger than him, unfortunately.

Todoroki stares at their joined hands, trying to catch his breath.

“See, I told you,” Midoriya says, gentle and not condescending at all. “You want some more painkillers? I’ll bully your nurse.”

It’s bizarre that Midoriya somehow sensed that Todoroki’s pain had been creeping back up on him. “It’s okay,” Todoroki says, and shakes his head. His voice sounds thin, even to his own ears. He finds that he’s holding Midoriya’s hand very tightly. “You don’t need to worry about me.”

Midoriya’s laugh transforms into a huge yawn, and then he uses his free hand to brush his face free of tears. Todoroki relaxes a little when Midoriya’s tone only grows lighter. “Yeah, right. I worry so good it’s basically one of my quirks. Ol’ Worry-About-Todoroki Man, they call me.”

"Nobody calls you that,” Todoroki says, though his face twitches into the beginnings of a smile despite himself. 

“You’re right. They call me Messed-Up Bones Boy because my bones are so messed up. Hey, speaking of,” Midoriya says, not nearly as casually as he’s trying to sound, “my arm is killing me. Could you work your sexy heat pack magic?”

“Please don’t call it sexy heat pack magic,” is the first thing Todoroki replies with, quickly followed by, “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

Ever-too-trusting, Midoriya sticks his free arm out in front of Todoroki and blinks expectantly. Midoriya’s clearly overdue for a nap, and his eyes are drooping shut, and the sleepiness is too close to the look that had been on Midoriya’s face in the dome yesterday--and Todoroki takes an unsteady breath and lets go of Midoriya’s hand to use his quirk on Midoriya’s arm.

His door slides open, but he doesn’t check to see who’s there. Todoroki has to use all his focus to make sure he doesn’t hurt Midoriya again--if he burns Midoriya again even a little bit, he’ll have no choice but to go lie down in the road where the cars are. He’s only doing this because the heat really does help ease the joint pain Midoriya has.

“Shouchan,” his sister says, as she approaches the bed, “we’re headed home for the night. We’ll be back tomorrow, alright?”

Shouchan?” coos Uraraka’s voice from the doorway. “Oh my god, that’s so cute! Can I call you that, Todoroki?”

“Absolutely the hell not,” Natsuo says in Todoroki’s place, because he’s the best brother in the entire world. Todoroki takes a brief glance to glance at his siblings, who have stopped at the foot of his bed. Natsuo’s looking between Midoriya and Todoroki with a smug sort of smile on his face that makes Todoroki want to fight him (he takes back what he said about Natsuo being a good brother), and Fuyumi’s face is lined with fatigue but still comforting to see. 

“Goodnight,” Todoroki says. 

“Try and get some rest,” Natsuo says. He gives Todoroki another weird smile, wiggling his eyebrows, and Todoroki glares at him until he goes away.

Fuyumi crosses around his bed to the side where Midoriya isn’t, and she gives Todoroki a kiss on the top of his head before grabbing her coat and heading for the door with Natsuo. She waves, and the two of them disappear into the hallway, leaving Uraraka and Iida behind with Aizawa behind them. Aizawa gives them a little push forward when they both hesitate to say anything.

Iida takes initiative first and says, “Have a good night, Todoroki. I hope that you rest well. We’ll be back as soon as we can!”

Uraraka chimes in, after that. Her smile is somehow softer than her usual exuberant one, but Todoroki’s never been great at telling what any sort of facial expression means on her. “Yeah, goodnight! And bye, Deku! We’ll text you!”

When Midoriya’s response is little more than a grunt, Todoroki turns back to find Midoriya’s put his head on the bed, and is nearly asleep at this point, soothed by the warmth that Todoroki’s hand is putting off. Todoroki’s stomach twists in fondness, and he almost forgets to wave goodbye to Uraraka and Iida as they disappear from the doorway.

That just leaves Aizawa. The teacher appears to be swaying on his feet, perhaps having been upright for too long, but he shuffles towards Todoroki and Midoriya and sits back down in his original chair. He puts a hand on top of Midoriya’s head, eliciting half of a smile from the latter.

He doesn’t seem upset with either of them. He sits there, hand on Midoriya’s head, and gives Todoroki an even, steady gaze. “You can sleep, kid,” Aizawa says. “I’ll get a nurse to take Midoriya back to his room.”

Tomorrow, someone will break the news to Todoroki that he’s definitely going to therapy. And Midoriya will be dragged into talks about updating his hero costume to include any kind of armor, his pleas for aesthetic integrity ignored. And Aizawa will crash for fifty-seven hours, reemerging from sleep only when Hitoshi gets genuinely afraid that he’s passed away.

Right now, Todoroki yawns and scoots himself down into a sleeping position, careful not to bump a now-definitely-asleep Midoriya. And Aizawa keeps guard until he drifts off himself.