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out of breath

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Bakugou and Todoroki were terribly quiet as they put on their boots. It was an upsetting contrast to how they’d been behaving the last days, butting heads from the very moment they opened their eyes in the morning to the moment they closed them at night, never taking them off of each other unless it was to look at Midoriya; and it made Hizashi’s heart ache to realize that they were too worn out to engage in their usual bickering.

Shouta stood by the door, waiting patiently for them to be ready to leave. The rest of their classmates had already left around an hour ago with Ectoplasm, so they were running late. Though that ought to be devastating for two boys whose only purpose for that summer camp seemed to be to defeat each other, the poor kids were too out of it to worry about it anymore.

The skin at the corners of their eyes was still pink from all the tears that had been shed during last night’s punishment, and their movements were sluggish and slightly clumsy from the lack of sleep. Even though Shouta had made sure they no longer felt guilty before sending them to bed —it’d taken a good while, by the way—; it was obvious that the kids had still had trouble getting proper rest.

Bakugou rubbed one of his eyes with the back of his hand and huffed moodily, like a sulky toddler, as he dragged his feet to where Shouta was once he was finished. It took Hizashi a few seconds to realize that Todoroki had gone very still all of sudden, his head hanging low.

 Was he asleep?

Hizashi leaned down to brush the boy’s cheek with one of his fingers. Todoroki jolted and got on his feet immediately, blinking drowsy eyes at him, and Hizashi felt his lips curve upwards in a fond smile when the boy proceeded to yawn and stretch like a cat.

He patted Todoroki’s hip gently to urge him to join his classmate and his teacher and didn’t miss the small wince in the boy’s face as he complied. He hissed in sympathy. Mountain climbing with a sore bottom didn’t sound like a lot of fun, even if they were allowed to use their quirks. Shouta had gone very gently on them, barely given them a little more than a warm-up; but it still had to feel at least like a mild sunburn.

“You sure you don’t want to stay for today, kiddos?” Hizashi asked. “You could still get some sleep. There’s no rush. The mountain is going nowhere. I’m sure you’ll finally manage to reach the top tomorrow, if you rest well today. Or you could still go, later today—” Later today, when Midoriya-kun wakes up, he wanted to say, but he abstained himself from bringing their friend’s name up. He didn’t want to upset them again. “You look terribly tired, little listeners.”

Shouta arched a skeptical eyebrow his way, and Hizashi almost pouted. He loved his husband, but sometimes he was so harsh on his kids and…

“Are you fucking going for real, Present Mic?”

Hizashi’s own eyebrows rose to his hairline. He felt his lips part slightly as he stared in bewilderment at Bakugou, who was…showing him his teeth? The kid’s eyelids were droopy but, somehow, he was still managing to glare at him like that.

“There’s no way in hell I’ll fucking stay here to laze around! We already lost a shit ton of valuable time yesterday bringing shitty Deku here.  I’ll reach that damn top today and beat Icy Hot’s ass at once, no matter what it takes. You really must be stupid if you think—”

Bakugou yelped and cursed when Shouta predictably let his hand fall down sharply against his already tender backside. The boy tried to flinch away, but his teacher still managed to land another well-deserved smack on his thigh. Bakugou gave a small jump and made a soft, whiny sound, but finally stayed quiet and settled for crossing his arms over his chest and fixing his eyes on the wooden floor, pursing his lips petulantly.

“It’ll do them well to get distracted,” Shouta said, as he placed one hand on each of his students’ shoulders. Bakugou growled, but didn’t make a move to sink his very sharp canines into his hand, surprisingly. Todoroki only looked at him with curious eyes, with a small, endearing frown in his lips. “Keeping these two here would be like trapping two starving panthers together in a small cage. And I’m sure they wouldn’t appreciate being given the perfect opportunity to misbehave and have last night’s lesson refreshed so soon. Hm?”

He gave each of them a gentle pat, which they clearly didn’t appreciate, as they both gave a tiny start and hissed. Shouta, mean as always, barely contained a smirk.

“And, anyway, I am sure they’ll be at their best behavior now that they’ve learned very well what happens when they disobey direct orders and leave the group behind with no supervision,” Shouta said. “Now they know will go nowhere but over my knee right on the spot should they try and take off without a teacher again. Right, boys?”

 Shouta’s tone was stern, so stern it made the kids flinch, but his eyes were soft as he gave them a firmer pat to send them their way. They were already growling at each other as they exited the cabin, a familiar flare of stubborn competitiveness flashing in their eyes. Their faces lightened up entirely in a matter of seconds, all their worries long forgotten now that they had a promising day ahead of them.

Hizashi met his husband’s eyes next, smiling softly.

“I’ll take Midoriya-kun to the starting point once wakes up and has breakfast,” he promised. “I’ll also make sure he takes his medicine.”

Shouta nodded.

“I’ll make sure Ectoplasm leaves a clone behind to wait for him,” he said. “As for the medicine, don’t worry about it. I’ll take care of it tonight, when we come back. I did promise him a very unpleasant surprise if he dared to disobey the doctor’s orders.”

Hizashi flinched, but decided not to ask.

“And, Hizashi,” Shouta said, lowering his voice to that spine-chilling whisper that always seemed to scare the life out of the poor little listeners. “If he gives you any trouble, he stays right here. I will not deal with temper tantrums. If he refuses to eat for the mere pleasure of giving you an attitude? Let him be. I’ll make him sorry by dinner.”

Hizashi frowned.

“Shou,” he protested. “This is Midoriya-kun. Kiddo is probably going to be in tears when he wakes up. He’s so sweet. Don’t even worry about it, okay? I’ll take good care of him.”

Hizashi didn’t particularly like the way his husband raised an eyebrow at him, again, but decided not to comment on it as he leaned in for his goodbye kiss.

How much trouble could someone as shy and adorable as Midoriya Izuku cause?

 

A lot of it. A lot of trouble.

 

“I ALREADY SAID AM NOT HUNGRY!”

Hizashi stared in dismay at the small, fuming boy in front of him with wide eyes. Actually, dismay was an understatement to what he felt as he saw tiny Midoriya stomp his way around him with a fierce scowl on his face, his eyebrows knitted tightly together; his nose scrunched up like a very angry bunny’s. It took Hizashi a few seconds to react, but he managed to grab the kid’s wrist and pull him back before he could get out of his reach.

“Honey—” Hizashi almost let go of Midoriya when the boy looked up at him, his usually beaming green eyes burning bright with utter outrage. “You fainted yesterday. You can’t go anywhere without breakfast. I know you’re feeling much better now, but your body really needs the sugar and the nutrients. You won’t even perform at your best if you don’t…”

“I slept through the entire morning!” Midoriya complained— no, whined as he tried to tug his hand back. Hizashi only reaffirmed his grip, his eyes taking in the dark circles looming under the kid’s eyes; the lack of color in his usually pink cheeks. How did he even have this much energy to struggle? “It’s not even time for breakfast anymore. I missed my morning run, I missed the group warm-up, and I missed my entire class! I don’t want to lose more time!”

“Midoriya-kun, that’s…” Hizashi started, but the kid wasn’t listening. He was too busy trying to bat his hands away as he tried to take his chin in one of them. “Midoriya-kun. That’s enough, sweetheart. This is not up for discussion. Please, stop this right now and—”

“NO!”

Hizashi closed his eyes and counted to then, all while holding back the recalcitrant child he had in hands. This wasn’t going to work, was it? He took in a deep breath and, before Midoriya had any chance to suspect what was about to happen, he bent slightly and caught the boy firmly by the waist.

Midoriya squeaked when he was pulled closer, then again when Hizashi scooped him up in his arms and threw him over his shoulder in a very unceremonious way; all with so much more ease than anticipated. Heaven. Wasn’t this boy terribly tiny? And light, for his type of body, too. Hizashi couldn’t help fretting a little as he carried a very upset Midoriya into the kitchen, ignoring his loud protests and keeping him in place with a strong arm wrapped around his waist.

“Let me go! You can’t make me, Mic-sensei! You can’t— you can’t make me; this is not fair!” Midoriya whimpered, kicking one of his legs while huffing angrily like a kitten. Hizashi frowned, but didn’t make an attempt to make him stop. After all, his movements were sluggish and clearly much weaker than they ought to be. His anemia was no joke. That much was very obvious from how heavily the kid was panting after only a few seconds of squirming and struggling. “Please put me down, please, please, please…”

His voice lowered gradually, to a defeated whisper, and then he finally slumped and went still with a wet sniffle. Hizashi gave the Midoriya's thigh a gentle pat in an attempt to comfort him, heart squeezing in his chest, but didn’t say anything. It had to be hard for the boy, to be forced to stay behind when he was one of Shouta’s most hard-working kids; but health was health. Hizashi would not bend under a few childish pleas and crocodile tears.

“You can join them as soon as you’re done eating, honey,” Hizashi promised, and rubbed comforting circles with his hand on Midoriya’s trembling back when he heard another pitiful sniffle. Poor thing. He was probably feeling awful, too. His head had to be killing him, and he clearly was having trouble to catch his breath. It made a lot of sense that he was so moody. “Aizawa-sensei wasn’t happy, but he said he’d let you keep training under his supervision. It’s not the end of the world, hm?”

“Huh-uh,” Midoriya mumbled, shifting slightly in his hold. Hizashi allowed it, still tracing small figures with his fingertips on the small of his back over his gym shirt. He could feel the agitated rise and fall of the boy’s chest, which matched the rhythm of his rabbit-like breathing; and it was starting to worry him a little.

Even though Midoriya had put up a battle, that amount of physical effort shouldn’t have been nearly enough to get him so…

He frowned when the boy grew warmer from one second to another. At first he thought he was imagining it, but then the heat reached a point hard to ignore; and Midoriya’s entire body started thrumming. The small vibrations tingled Hizashi’s palm, even through the fabric of the boy’s gym uniform; and he had to stop for a second to look worriedly at him.

He caught a small spark on the edge of his vision, and by the time he felt Midoriya’s small body coiling up tightly, like a viper’s when it was about to strike; it was already too late.

Socked feet planted themselves firmly against Hizashi’s stomach and, even though he braced himself last second, one single push was enough to send him staggering backwards; his arm inevitably losing its grip around Midoriya’s waist.

 

Hizashi coughed and panted, bent in half with his hands braced on his knees as his vision swam as he struggled to regain his breath. What in the name of—

Hizashi wasn’t much of a short-distance fighter, but he was by no means incompetent in hand-to-hand combat. He was perfectly capable of giving his husband a hard time at training, and he’d even knocked out many villains before only with his swing. The fact that one of his kids had managed to knock the breath out of him and make him stumble back a few meters was almost embarrassing, even considering who this particular kid was.

When he finally managed to draw in a deep breath, and stand to his full weight again, he looked back at where he’d dropped his little listener. If he had to run after him…

 

His heart skipped a beat when he spotted a small, terribly still lump curled up on the wooden floor a few meters away from him.

Fuck.

He was at Midoriya’s side and on his knees in the next second, his mind racing as his hands followed by heart the protocols they'd been taught during the first aid workshop the UA required all teachers to take. He checked the boy’s pulse first, then his reflexes and, even after determining that he’d probably not hit his head; he still prodded softly at his scalp looking for bumps.

Nothing.

Hizashi sighed in relief, then allowed himself to pull the boy into his lap and cradle him gently against his own body. Midoriya whimpered and shifted in his arms, his face drained of all color, his hair plastered against his cheeks and forehead with sweat. Hizashi brushed the curls aside tenderly, wincing at how cold the child’s skin felt to the touch; then waited patiently until long lashes fluttered open and revealed dazed, wet green eyes that blinked at him confusedly.

Hizashi tried really, really hard not to smile in endearment; but he couldn’t help himself. All trace of relief melted away immediately, though, when Midoriya’s eyebrows drew together into a stubborn scowl in record time. The color slowly returned to his cheeks, but he was still quite pale when he started kicking weakly and pushing against Hizashi’s arms in an attempt to escape his hold.

Hizashi sighed again and only reaffirmed his grip, taking a few seconds to rub his temples apprehensively as he came to terms with the fact that his little listener clearly was going to need a little more of persuasion that what he’d been given so far.

Resigned, he let his own forehead crease in displeasure; and set his mouth into a thin line.

“Midoriya-kun,” he warned, lowering his voice to a whisper.

But Midoriya didn’t even look at him, busy as he was batting at his arms and wriggling like a worm freshly pulled from the earth with the little strength he could muster. Not in the disposition to listen, huh. Not a problem. Hizashi would fix that in no time.

He weighed his options for a moment, wondering if moving an already very uncooperating Midoriya would be a wise idea. Sitting on a chair would definitely give him advantage over his little student’s imprudent decisions, because he could pin down his legs more easily; but the truth was that itty bitty Midoriya didn’t even seem to have enough air left in his lungs or strength to put up a proper fight.

He proved his theory right when he maneuvered the squirming child with the easiness with which one would lift a kicking bunny. He set him down gently on his stomach across his lap, then took his sweet time rearranging them both into a comfortable position while realization slowly dawned in Midoriya.

It was a matter of minutes before the kid’s efforts at escaping doubled in intensity, but it was still such a pitiful attempt that Hizashi managed to hold him in place with a single hand as he shifted most of his weight back on the balls of his feet. Midoriya was already shrieking in panic by the time Hizashi was ready to raise one of his knees so his bottom would be perched up high in the air.

He was thankful he wasn’t wearing his Present Mic costume, but sport clothes that were conveniently much more comfortable for the task at hands.

“Mic-sensei, no, no, no, no—” the boy begged, voice nearly drowned by the tears he clearly was trying but failing to contain. He sniffled and squirmed, a small whine leaving his throat when Hizashi’s iron grip around his waist didn’t give in. His breathing was becoming heavier and heavier every second that went by, desperation slowly taking a hold of him. “Please, sensei, don’t make me. Just let me go. I don’t want it. I just…”

Hizashi tutted, and Midoriya whimpered as he was guided down to rest his arms on the wooden floor. Hizashi lost no time in slipping his fingers under the waistband of both the boy’s gym pants and underwear and slowly tugging them down to the middle of his thighs. Midoriya let out a long, heartbroken whine when Hizashi let one of his hands rest on his not-for-too-long unstinging bottom.   

“That, my love,” Hizashi started, keeping his voice down in a gentle but displeased whisper. “Was very, very naughty. Using your quirk on a teacher? Before having breakfast? Right after fainting just yesterday for that same reason?”

The memory of tearful, distressed red and bicolored eyes flashed through his mind, and his heart clenched. If what had happened last evening had been anything like what he’d just witnessed, then it made total sense that Bakugou and Todoroki had been so worked up as they dragged Midoriya all the way back to the cabin.

Today it’d barely been little more than a small dizziness spell, something harmless.

Yesterday, though, as they were in the middle of climbing a mountain?

It was no wonder the boys had had a full-blown panic attack after that. To see a friend fall from such a height and think for a moment there is nothing you can do would take a toll on anyone, especially in two children. Todoroki had thankfully still been able to react in a matter of seconds, unlike Bakugou, to whom it took a little longer; but both boys had ended up full of scrapes and bruises too anyway.

Hizashi took in a deep breath when Midoriya started drumming his toes against the floor, finally giving up his attempts at breaking his hold. The boy was already sobbing softly, trembling like a leaf as he babbled something along the lines of how unfair everything was and how annoying everyone was being lately. Hizashi frowned and gave him a warning pat while clicking his tongue. Midoriya went still immediately.

 “Aizawa-sensei was hoping it wouldn’t be necessary to give you further encouragement to correct this attitude, Midoriya-kun,” Hizashi said. “But I can see that you’re in clear need to be given some pointers on why your behavior has been unacceptable lately, little mister. No, no, it’s okay. I don’t mind, honey. We all need a small push from time to time, hm? I’ll be glad to help.”

“Sensei!” Midoriya wailed, craning his neck to look at him with his teary face and his big, pleading eyes. “Just—”

“You tell me when you’re feeling ready to listen, sweetheart,” Hizashi said. “You’re very clever, I’m sure this won’t take too long.”

He hoped it wouldn’t. He really didn’t like having him in that position, when he was so weak; and he wanted him to have something in his stomach as soon as possible.

Not wasting a single second more, Hizashi raised his hand a little higher, making sure Midoriya would regret his decisions from the very first beginning of his punishment, and let it fall.

 

Aizawa had talked to him about how much of a crier Midoriya was, but Hizashi’s heart wasn’t ready for when the small boy melted into a puddle of regret by the fifteenth smack.

 

Midoriya was indeed a very smart kid. Hizashi felt satisfied when, by the twenty-fifth smack, he was already apologizing for everything he had done wrong. Skipping breakfast for the last three days. Convincing Bakugou and Todoroki of skipping lunch, too, yesterday; and convincing them not to tell anyone about it. Lying to the rest of his less-forgiving classmates, promising them he was doing just fine. Training himself to exhaustion every morning to the point of passing out in the middle of yesterday’s exercise.

No sorry for ignoring my nutritional supplement pills for the last two weeks, though, Hizashi noted. But he didn’t comment on it. Shouta said he would take care of it, so he would leave it in his hands.

“S-Sorry f-for giving you an attitude, M-Mic-sensei,” Midoriya sobbed, Hizashi’s heart swelled with pride and fondness. He still let his hand crack down on the sensitive skin under the curve of Midoriya’s bottom, though, five times on each side. The boy bawled. “I-I just don’t have time to fool around, I need to be stronger and I really really need to train harder and—”

Midoriya broke down for real with the next flurry of smacks, applied to the already well-attended crest of his backside. The boy kicked, blubbering one apology after the another; then managed to drag in a mouthful of air and proceeded to cry himself dry.

Hizashi sighed then, his hear not able to handle a single sob more, and gingerly pulled Midoriya’s boxer briefs back to their place, then did the same with his gym pants. The skin was only bright pink, on its way to turning a more stinging red; but that would surely be enough for what Hizashi had in mind.

He waited until Midoriya was no longer about to choke on his own tears, then gently scooped the boy up again and stood up with a grimace as his joints popped and his muscles protested. Midoriya clung to him like there was no tomorrow, his wet face pressed tightly against his neck, and Hizashi allowed himself to card his fingers through his soft curls as he carried him to the table where he’d left breakfast served.

He toed a chair out and lowered his tiny student on it, making sure to be very gentle, but Midoriya still wailed once more as his bottom came into contact with the hard surface. Hizashi hushed him, then chided him softly when he tried to stand back up.

“No, little listener,” Hizashi said, pushing down firmly on Midoriya’s shoulders to keep him in place. “You’ll sit here, you’ll eat all of your breakfast, you’ll listen to what I have to tell you and you’ll do all of this while sitting on your sore bottom, so the lesson sticks. Is that clear?”

Midoriya, the sweet, strong-headed kid, still had the nerve to tug at his heartstrings by pouting and looking down in deep shame before nodding; and Hizashi had to be very, very strong to stick to his resolve.

He gave in to his instincts and pressed a small kiss on the little listener’s forehead, though, smiling softly when that alone was enough to make Midoriya’s lips curve into a small smile too, even if it was only for a second. The boy still sulked through the whole lecture, though, as he sniffled while picking at his breakfast.

He ate all of it, though, and cried yet again when Hizashi reminded him that he was strong and a child and very promising but still a child and that he would get nowhere if he didn’t take care of his body the proper way. Mentioning how upset Todoroki and Bakugou had been also had a very heavy effect on him, and he was soon apologizing all over again for the same things he’d said before.

Hizashi ended up caving in again and pulling the boy into his arms for a trademark bear hug, smiling when Midoriya burrowed deeper into it instead of complaining like many students tended to do.

Well, it hadn’t been that bad, had it?

 

Well, it could surely have gone worse.

 

 

“Hurry up, shitty Deku! We just finished warming-up! I swear, if you don’t move your dumb ass and are ready in ten minutes, I’ll fucking leave both of you behind, I don’t give a shi— ow! Aizawa! You traitorous BASTARD!”

Hizashi sighed, but his smile was too big to hide.

Todoroki, bless his heart, was at least still pretending to be warming-up too, casting small, curious glances at his friends as he stretched for what probably was the fifteenth time in that day. The boys really had waited at the starting point for around an hour and a half. Shouta didn’t look happy about it, at all —actually, he looked quite annoyed—, but at least he was still standing there with them, one of Ectoplasm’s clones staring in confusion at the scene having place.

“Wait, Kacchan, I am hurrying, I promise! It’s just that—”

“It’s just that nothing, Deku! Either you do it faster or I’ll blast you to the top of the mountain myself, nerd! Here, I’ll help you!”

“Kacchan, no, no, Kacchan— ah, Kacchan, it hurts! It hurts!”

Hizashi’s smile fell a little, and he sighed as he pinched the bridge of his nose.

Well, at least the three of them were well-spanked.

That meant it would be a fair game, right?