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Meet (Not So) Cute

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Yamada Hizashi is running late.

Well, he’s not actually running late. There’s no specific time that he has to be at the coffee shop, but by now it’s habit that he spends Monday morning there, planning out his next radio show and doing the homework he should have done on the weekend.

There’s a reason he tries to get there relatively early, though. The Black Cat is a fairly popular coffee shop on campus, so the tables get filled in pretty quickly – and there’s a specific table Hizashi always tries to get.

It is in close proximity to a power outlet, but that’s not the main reason Hizashi likes it.

“Don’t worry, your table’s still free,” Kayama, who normally works the cash register, says, shooting him a wink as she hands him his change. Hizashi has to fight a blush.

Hizashi wishes he could say that it’s a coincidence that his table gives him the best view of Aizawa Shōta as he works the espresso machine, but it’s really not. Theoretically, he could spend a full two hours before his first class gazing at Aizawa’s broad shoulders and nicely sculpted backside. It’s too much power for a mere mortal to have.

He’s been drinking a lot of coffee lately.

Thankfully, today he has someone to keep him on track.

“You look like you’re about to start drooling,” Iida Tensei says, sliding into the seat across from Hizashi.

“I do not!” Hizashi sputters, his face flushing.

“Seriously, just ask the guy out already,” Tensei says, glancing over at where Aizawa is making designs in latte foam. “This is getting ridiculous.”

“I’ve never even talked to him before,” Hizashi sighs, burying his face in his hands. “I don’t want to bother him when he’s working and be that guy.”

“That’s what dates are for, getting to know each other,” Tensei replies, taking another sip of his coffee.

“Wouldn’t it seem a little weird, though?” Hizashi whines. “Me asking him out after four months of not saying a single word to him? Would he even recognize me?”

Tensei stares at him for a moment.

“You’ve been sitting at this creeper-table for four months?” Tensei asks, and Hizashi is torn between wanting to glare at him and wanting the ground to open up and swallow him whole.

“Can we talk about something else?” Hizashi sighs.

“Fine, fine,” Tensei says, mercifully dropping the subject.

Really, though, it’s not like Hizashi’s the only one with a “creeper-table” at the Black Cat Coffee Shop. He’s pretty sure that in order to work here, you have to score at least a nine out of ten on the attractiveness scale. Kayama, who works the cash register, is able to make even the most staid of outfits look inappropriate, and Yagi, the manager, has a sort of wholesome, earnest attractiveness that keeps the tip jar full 24/7.

Then there’s Aizawa.

He seems to have worked out a deal with Kayama so that he never has to work the cash register, instead spending his entire shift behind the fancy, stainless-steel espresso machine. If his aim was to avoid unwanted flirtation, though, it doesn’t seem to have worked much, because if anything it’s just added to the whole dark and mysterious persona he has going on.

Well, dark, mysterious, and exhausted. Aizawa always looks like he’s in dire need of a nap. Hizashi’s still trying to decide if it’s because he’s an overworked barista/college student or if it’s because he’s always mildly hungover. Really, with how little Hizashi knows about him, it could be either.

For once, though, Hizashi manages to avoid spending his entire time at the coffee shop speculating about Aizawa. Tensei gets him caught up in talking about his show for the university student radio, which is probably the most surefire way to keep his mind from straying off topic.

In fact, Hizashi’s almost ready to congratulate himself for not even looking over at Aizawa for the past fifteen minutes, when he throws his arms open wide, recounting an ongoing argument he has with the guy who hosts the sports section of the radio show.

“Hizashi – ” Tensei interrupts, his eyes widening, but he’s a moment too late.

As Hizashi flings his hand back, it slams into something hard. He hears something shatter against the ground and a moment later someone hisses, “Fuck, shit, fucking – ”

“Oh my god, I’m so sorry!” Hizashi blurts out as he turns around to face the victim of his gesticulating. “Are you – ”

However, the words get stuck in his throat as he realizes who, exactly, he hit. Aizawa Shōta’s standing next to their table, the shattered remains of coffee mugs he’d been collecting from vacated tables lying at his feet.

“Fuck,” Aizawa mutters again, clutching his hands over his nose. A little blood drips down over his chin.

This is definitely not how Hizashi wanted to try talking to Aizawa for the first time.

“You’re bleeding,” Hizashi blurts out, unhelpfully. “Shit, do you need to go to the ER? I can take you to the ER – ”

“I’m fine,” Aizawa replies, his voice muffled and nasally.

“You’re bleeding,” Hizashi says again, and Aizawa glares at him. “Here, just – move your hands a little so I can see how bad it is.”

Reluctantly, Aizawa does so, and Hizashi winces as he surveys the damage. Aizawa’s nose is already turning a little purplish along the bridge and it looks vaguely crooked in a way that doesn’t bode well for it not being broken. Blood is also gushing out at a frankly alarming rate, and Hizashi’s glad he’s not squeamish about this sort of thing, because otherwise he’s pretty sure he’d have fainted by now.

“That really does not look good,” Tensei says, from behind Hizashi. “You should let him take you to the ER.”

Hizashi doesn’t know if this is Tensei’s attempt at being a good wingman or the worst wingman in the entire world. He’s leaning towards the latter.

“Here,” Hizashi says, grabbing a couple of napkins off the table and handing them to Aizawa, who accepts them dubiously, before attempting to mop up the blood on his face.

“Holy shit, Shōta,” someone says, and Hizashi looks over to find that Kayama’s made her way over to them. “Please tell me that blood’s yours and not a customer’s.”

Aizawa glares at her.

“It’s my fault,” Hizashi says. “Do you have a first aid kit or something?”

“I think you’re going to need more than just a first aid kit for that,” Kayama replies, frowning as she surveys the state of Aizawa’s face. “Seriously, you should go the ER before your pretty face gets permanently disfigured. I can cover for you.”

“Fine,” Aizawa finally huffs, before turning his glare on Hizashi. “I have insurance, but you’re paying the copayment.”

“Yes! Absolutely,” Hizashi replies quickly. Aizawa grabs his bag and another handful of napkins from behind the counter before heading for the door, and Hizashi has to scramble to keep up. Really, someone covered in that much of their own blood shouldn’t be able to move this quickly, he thinks.

Thankfully, the drive to the ER isn’t that long, but despite that, every moment passes in almost painful awkwardness. Hizashi clutches the steering wheel a little harder as he tries to think of something to say. What are you supposed to say when you accidentally break a guy’s nose?

“I’m really sorry,” Hizashi says. “I had no idea you were there.”

“Yeah, I figured that much,” Aizawa snorts. “I’d be pressing charges if I thought otherwise.”

“That, uh,” Hizashi says awkwardly, “makes sense.”

They fall into silence for another long moment. Guilt is still churning in Hizashi’s stomach and briefly he wonders if he should apologize again, just for good measure.

Before he can even open his mouth again, though, Aizawa says, “If you apologize again, I’m going to punch you in the face. Would you feel better if we were even?”

“I think I’m good,” Hizashi manages, and Aizawa lets out a little snort.

Once again, the car falls silent, although this time the silence is marginally less awkward than before. Keyword being “marginally.”

“I’m Yamada Hizashi, by the way,” Hizashi says, suddenly realizing that in all the chaos he hasn’t even introduced himself.

“I know,” Aizawa replies, and Hizashi glances over at him, surprised.

“You know?” he repeats.

“You’ve been coming to the coffee shop at least twice a week for the past four months,” Aizawa says, his tone of voice suggesting that he thinks Hizashi is particularly dense. “By now Nemuri doesn’t even bother to write down your order, just your name.”

“Oh,” Hizashi replies. So much for his theory about Aizawa not having any idea who he is. “I didn’t realize I’d become so predictable.”

“Hazelnut latte,” Aizawa says. “Every time.”

“Huh. Maybe I’ll have to try something different next time,” Hizashi muses.

“First you break my nose and then you try to make my job more difficult,” Aizawa drawls and Hizashi’s about to apologize again, but when he glances over at Aizawa, he looks vaguely amused. It occurs to Hizashi that Aizawa has kind of a dark, sarcastic sense of humor.

“Well,” Hizashi says, “I suppose I can stay stuck in my ways. For your sake.”

“Your sacrifice is appreciated,” Aizawa replies, and Hizashi sees a hint of a smile on his face.

Maybe he hasn’t completely fucked up everything.

---

The ER waiting room is busy, as Emergency Rooms tend to be, at least in Hizashi’s experience. The nurses seem unfazed by Aizawa’s appearance, despite the blood splattered all over his white shirt, but thankfully they see to him quickly enough.

Hizashi, on the other hand, finds himself stuck in the waiting room, counting the minutes until Aizawa appears again. At least he has his phone with him. He winces as he unlocks it and looks at the time, though. He’s missing his physics lecture right now, and at the rate things are going, he might miss the rest of his afternoon classes, too. At least he doesn’t have anything major due today.

It takes what seems like forever for Aizawa to appear again, but in all actuality it’s not much more than half an hour. He looks vaguely more human with the blood washed off his face, although his shirt is still stained with it.

“How bad is it?” Hizashi asks, standing up from the uncomfortable waiting room chair.

“Apparently I’m going to live,” Aizawa replies, his tone dry.

“That’s, uh, good,” Hizashi says. His eyes seem stuck on the small splint straightening out Aizawa’s nose. He tries not to feel too guilty and mostly fails.

“And I’m sure Nemuri will be happy to hear that my face shouldn’t be deformed either,” Aizawa continues, and briefly Hizashi finds himself wondering if Aizawa and Kayama are together. They certainly seem comfortable enough around each other to be a couple.

“Do you want me to drop you off back at the coffee shop or is there somewhere else I should take you?” Hizashi asks and they make their way out of the ER.

“Nemuri managed to get someone to cover the rest of my shift, so if you could drop me off at my apartment that would be good,” Aizawa says. “It’s not too far from the coffee shop. I can give you directions.”

“Sure,” Hizashi replies as he slides back into the driver’s seat. “It’s the least I can do.”

Thankfully the drive back is much less awkward than the drive to the ER. Aizawa seems a little out of it, and Hizashi wonders if the ER doctor gave him any medications, or if the events of the day are finally starting to catch up to him. Instead of trying to make conversation, Hizashi fiddles with the radio for a little while, eventually settling on an indie station that’s playing something soft and acoustic.

“You can drop me off around here,” Aizawa finally says when they’re a few blocks away from the coffee shop, in an area mostly populated by student apartments.

“Hey,” Hizashi says as they come to a stop, making Aizawa look over at him. “Is there anything else I can do to make this up to you? I feel really bad about the whole thing.”

“Well, I could use a drink right about now,” Aizawa snorts. “But apparently I’m supposed to hold off on drinking for the rest of the day so I don’t start bleeding everywhere again. If you’re still feeling guilty tomorrow, though, you can buy me a drink.”

“I can do that,” Hizashi replies, trying to ignore the heavy thud of his heart in his chest. This is an apology, not a date.

Aizawa studies him carefully for a moment and then says, “I guess I’ll see you tomorrow, then.”

“See you then,” Hizashi echoes as Aizawa climbs out of the car. As he watches Aizawa walk away, he tries not to freak out too much.

Hopefully he’ll leave a better impression than he did today.

---

When Hizashi comes to the Black Cat Coffee Shop the next morning, he orders his customary hazelnut latte. However, instead of going directly back to his usual table, he hovers around the counter, near where Aizawa is operating the espresso machine with practiced movements.

“So, are you still up for that drink tonight?” Hizashi asks, clutching his coffee mug a little nervously.

“Does eight work for you?” Aizawa replies, as he mixes chocolate into a drink. When he looks up again, Hizashi has to suppress a wince. The bruising over his nose is darker now, and it’s spread around his eyes a little, too. He looks kind of like a raccoon.

“Yeah, eight works,” Hizashi answers.

“We can meet here,” Aizawa says, artfully decorating the drink he’s working on with whipped cream and cinnamon. “There’s a pretty good bar a couple of blocks down.”

“Sounds like a plan,” Hizashi replies. “How’s your nose feeling?”

“Well, I iced it to the point of numbness earlier, so at least I can’t feel anything,” Aizawa snorts. “People keep telling me I look like a raccoon, though.”

“You kind of do,” Hizashi says, before his brain-to-mouth filter kicks in. He freezes as soon as the words register in his brain, wondering if he’s pushed a little too far.

“Whose fault is that?” Aizawa replies, but his tone is dry, not angry.

“You know, a lot of people think raccoons are cute,” Hizashi protests, leaning against the counter. “It could be worse.”

“Cute, huh?” Aizawa says, quirking an eyebrow at Hizashi, who feels his cheeks heat a little.

He opens his mouth to reply, but before he can, Kayama loudly says, “Hey, Shōta, stop flirting with the customers! You’re holding up the line.”

Aizawa lets out a small huff and rolls his eyes.

“Sorry about that,” Hizashi says, grimacing slightly. “I keep making things difficult for you.”

Aizawa studies him for a long moment and then says, “More interesting, though.”

Hizashi blinks at him, surprised.

“I’ll see you at eight,” Aizawa adds, a subtle dismissal.

“Right,” Hizashi replies. “Eight it is.”

He makes his way over to his usual table, relieved to find that no one’s taken it while he was busy talking to Aizawa. He works a bit on a project for his Acoustics and Psychoacoustics course, and actually manages to get a remarkable amount done, despite how he occasionally finds his eyes straying back towards Aizawa.

The rest of the day passes simultaneously too slowly and too quickly, and Hizashi finds himself both dreading and looking forward to seeing Aizawa again. He panics a little around noon and texts Tensei, freaking out about all the different ways he could mess things up at the bar, but thankfully Tensei manages to calm him down. Well, mostly. He tries not to think about bar fights and how maybe he should have suggested a nice, quiet restaurant instead.

Aizawa said he wanted a drink, though.

Hizashi shows up in front of the coffee shop ten minutes early for good measure. Aizawa, of course, shows up exactly on time. Hizashi can’t help but stare for a moment, as he realizes that he’s never actually seen Aizawa outside of the coffee shop. Normally he has some of his hair pinned up in a half-bun when he’s working, but now it flows freely around his face. He’s changed out of the coffee shop uniform, too, instead wearing a simple black long-sleeved shirt and jeans, a messenger bag slung over one of his shoulders.

“It’s this way,” Aizawa says, brushing past Hizashi and breaking him out of his stupor.

The bar’s only a block and a half away, a small neon sign in one window declaring it “Snipe’s.” Hizashi wonders how many times he’s walked past it without noticing it. The interior is dark, a smooth wooden bar front and center, with a few tables and booths scattered around the edges. There’s a reasonable crowd inside, but it’s far from packed, and most of the occupants seem to be regulars. Aizawa waves to the bartender, before picking a corner booth, Hizashi following close behind him.

“I didn’t realize this place was here,” Hizashi says as he slides into the booth, across from Aizawa.

“Most people don’t,” Aizawa says simply. “Locals know about it, but it’s not much of a student hangout.”

“So you’re not a student at the university, then?” Hizashi asks, unable to entirely keep the curiosity from his tone.

“No, I am,” Aizawa answers. “But I’m also a local.”

“What are you studying?” Hizashi asks, wondering how much he can learn about Aizawa before the night is over.

“Astronomy,” Aizawa says simply. “You?”

“Audio Engineering and English,” Hizashi replies. “I couldn’t pick just one.”

Aizawa stares at Hizashi for a long moment, a look in his eyes that Hizashi can’t quite interpret. Then he says, “You’re that radio host.”

“What?” Hizashi replies, caught off guard.

“For the student radio,” Aizawa elaborates. “Nemuri plays it at the coffee shop sometimes. I thought your voice sounded familiar, but I couldn’t quite place it.”

“And?” Hizashi asks, his heartrate tripping into overtime. “What do you think?”

“I’m not really a fan of music,” Aizawa replies, shrugging. “But it’s not bad.”

“I guess I can work with that,” Hizashi sighs, deflating slightly.

“I’m normally not paying very close attention,” Aizawa replies, giving Hizashi another unreadable look. “Maybe I’ll have to pay closer attention next time.”

They fall silent for a moment.

“You know, I thought you’d be angrier with me,” Hizashi says suddenly.

Aizawa blinks at him slowly, his lips turning down in a slight frown.

“About the whole breaking your nose thing,” Hizashi clarifies.

“Holding a grudge never did anyone any favors,” Aizawa replies, shrugging. “You’ve apologized already, multiple times, and it wasn’t like you intended to hurt me in the first place.”

“I guess,” Hizashi says.

“Do you want me to be angry at you?” Aizawa asks, quirking an eyebrow at Hizashi. “Because if you want, I can force you to buy more things for me.”

“I think I’ll pass,” Hizashi replies, with a small laugh. “Student radio doesn’t exactly pay well.”

“It pays?” Aizawa asks, and Hizashi has to suppress a grimace.

“Not actually,” Hizashi answers, fiddling with the drink menu in his hands. “Sometimes I DJ at the club on 22nd, though, and I’m here on scholarship.”

“Nemuri keeps trying to get me to go to that club with her,” Aizawa snorts.

“Not a fan of dancing?” Hizashi asks, and can’t help but feel a little disappointed.

“Not a fan of losing my hearing,” Aizawa answers, and Hizashi can certainly see his point. “I can dance just fine.”

“Really?” Hizashi says, a little surprised. “You don’t seem like the type.”

“My parents made me take ballroom dance lessons when I was younger,” Aizawa replies, shrugging. “It’s been a while, though.”

Hizashi doesn’t know if the mental image of Aizawa doing ballroom dance was something he desperately needed or absolutely didn’t need. He’s better at modern dance himself, but he took a one credit salsa course his freshman year, and he’s sure he’s going to end up daydreaming about dancing with Aizawa at some point, due to this newfound knowledge.

Eventually they get around to ordering drinks. Aizawa just asks for his “usual,” which means that Hizashi still doesn’t technically know if Aizawa always looks so tired because he’s overworked – maybe he’s up late doing whatever it is Astronomy majors do? – or if he’s just always hungover.

They talk for a surprisingly long time. Truthfully, Hizashi had half expected Aizawa to leave as soon as he’d finished his drink, but instead he stays. He’s not exactly the most talkative person ever, but Hizashi’s always been able to talk enough for two people and once he gets into the swing of things, he’s easily able to carry on the conversation. In fact, Aizawa’s dry, sort of dark sense of humor helps him loosen up a little, and by the end of the night, Hizashi finds himself wondering why he was ever so worried about talking to Aizawa.

“Are you okay to walk home?” Hizashi asks Aizawa as they make their way out of the bar, the cool night air washing over him.

“You drank more than I did,” Aizawa snorts, and his cheeks are a little pink, but Hizashi can’t tell if that’s because of the alcohol, or if it’s due to the late night chill.

“I have a pretty good alcohol tolerance,” Hizashi replies. He spent more of his freshman year partying than he probably should have. Aizawa doesn’t exactly look like the partying type, though. Then again, he’s friends with Kayama, and Hizashi’s heard bits and pieces of her reputation.

“I’ll be fine,” Aizawa says. “You don’t have to walk me home.”

Part of Hizashi wants to ask, “What if I want to?” but he’s not quite drunk enough for that. Really, he’s more pleasantly buzzed than properly drunk.

“I’ll see you tomorrow?” Hizashi says instead, shoving his hands in his pockets so he doesn’t do anything stupid like try to reach out and touch Aizawa.

“You know where to find me,” Aizawa snorts, but his lips quirk up into a small smile. Hizashi finds himself unable to look away.

“Right,” Hizashi replies, a little awkwardly. “I’ll see you tomorrow, then.”

“Goodnight,” Aizawa says, before turning to head down the block in the direction of his apartment.

“’night!” Hizashi calls after him.

Hizashi smiles to himself the entire way home.

---

Somehow, Hizashi and Aizawa have sort of become friends. Well, they’re at least casual acquaintances by now. Hizashi doesn’t hesitate to greet Aizawa when he comes into the coffee shop in the morning, and they usually end up chatting for a few minutes, although after getting yelled at by Kayama the first time, Hizashi’s careful to keep an eye on the line building up behind him.

If he’d known that all it would take to get Aizawa to start talking to him was an accidental punch to the face… no, he definitely would have spent the rest of his life pining at his “creeper-table.”

At least the bruising on Aizawa’s face has mostly faded by now, making him look less like a raccoon and more like a normal, overworked college student. Apparently he’ll be able to take the nose splint off soon, too. Hizashi’s relieved to have concrete confirmation that he didn’t actually cause any permanent damage.

Really, things are almost back to normal now.

Keyword being “almost” because one morning Hizashi arrives at the coffee shop to find that some girl, who can’t be older than fourteen, has stolen his table. Normally he’d put up at least a passive aggressive fight for his creeper-table, but, like he said, the girl is tiny. He’s mature enough to not fight a middle-schooler over something so petty. Mostly.

“Looks like you have competition,” Kayama snickers as Hizashi pays for his latte.

“Competition?” Hizashi asks, feigning ignorance.

“Shōta made a frog design in her latte foam yesterday,” Kayama replies. “He has a secret soft spot for kids.”

Hizashi is definitely not jealous of a fourteen year old girl. Still, Aizawa’s never done anything more complex than a leaf design in his latte foam.

“Is it even legal for middle schoolers to drink coffee?” Hizashi grumbles, and Kayama laughs.

“Go fight for your man,” she says, grinning. Hizashi doesn’t dignify that with a response.

He makes his way down to the other end of the counter, where Aizawa preparing his drink and leans against the counter.

“Why haven’t I ever gotten a frog design?” Hizashi asks.

“Frog designs are only for children,” Aizawa snorts, not looking up from his work. “And just having the mentality of a fourteen year old doesn’t count.”

“Hey!” Hizashi squawks. “I do not have the mentality of a fourteen year old.”

“You laughed at that toucan pun yesterday,” Aizawa says flatly, and Hizashi supposes he has a point.

(There’s someone who works the afternoon shift who writes a “Pun of the Day” on the chalkboard every day. Hizashi’s taken to calling her “Ms. Joke” in his head, and he’s half-tempted to try coming to the coffee shop in the afternoon instead of the morning in order to actually meet her, but that would mean sacrificing his Aizawa time.)

“Alright, well, I’m going to try to find another table,” Hizashi sighs, picking up his latte. “Wish me luck.”

“You could always sit here,” Aizawa says, making a vague gesture to the counter behind him.

“What, on the counter?” Hizashi asks, blinking at him. “Isn’t that breaking some sort of rule?”

“Probably,” Aizawa snorts. “But I’ve never read the employee handbook and no one actually cares.”

“You’re sure?” Hizashi says dubiously.

“Just take a seat,” Aizawa huffs, and for a moment Hizashi thinks he catches sight of a bit of pink dusting Aizawa’s cheeks.

Hizashi hesitates for a moment, but then hoists himself up onto the empty counter space behind Aizawa. He has an even better view than he does at his creeper-table now, and he quickly pulls out his physics lab notebook, trying to drown himself in equations so he doesn’t start staring.

Occasionally he finds himself making idle conversation with Aizawa, but mostly they each do their own work. It’s a comfortable sort of companionship, and Hizashi’s surprised to find that he only has ten minutes to make it to class when he finally checks his watch.

“I have to head out now,” he announces, sliding down off the counter and gathering his things. “Thanks for letting me work here, though.”

“Sure,” Aizawa replies. “As long as you’re not disruptive, no one cares.”

Hizashi goes through the rest of his day with a warm feeling in his chest. Maybe he’s actually making progress.

---

The next time he comes into the coffee shop, frog girl has stolen his table again. He bemoans the situation to Aizawa, who rolls his eyes and lets him sit on the counter again.

The time after that, his table is open, but he sits on the back counter anyway. No one calls him out on it.

---

Hizashi’s starting to think that maybe, possibly he should try asking Aizawa out. Maybe he’s reading too far into things, but Aizawa letting him sit on the back counter feels significant somehow. At the very least it means that Aizawa tolerates – and maybe even enjoys! – his presence.

So, maybe he should give it a try. Even if Aizawa does get weirded out by it, it can’t be any worse than the whole broken nose incident.

However, when Hizashi enters the coffee shop that morning, he freezes as he reads the chalkboard. Instead of a joke, written on it is:

TODAY YOUR BARISTA IS:

1. Hella fucking gay.
2. Desperately single.

FOR YOUR DRINK TODAY I RECOMMEND:

You give him your number.

For a moment, Hizashi thinks that the sign is referring to Kayama, or maybe even Yagi, but then he notices that the doodled figure in one corner has what looks like a nose splint on it. For a moment, Hizashi’s heart sinks as he wonders if he’s too late. Aizawa has to have received at least a few numbers by now.

Still, maybe if Hizashi gives Aizawa his number now he’ll be able to play it off as a joke if Aizawa rejects him.

Kayama winks at Hizashi as he pays for his latte, and he becomes even more certain that she was the one who wrote the message on the chalkboard today. Aizawa wouldn’t hesitate to erase it if he was truly bothered by it though, so maybe Hizashi actually does have a tiny, tiny chance.

“So,” Hizashi says as he leans against the counter, opposite of Aizawa. “I hear you’re collecting phone numbers.”

His tone is light, a little joking, but Aizawa’s mouth turns down in a scowl and he glares at Hizashi.

“Did Nemuri put you up to this?” he demands, and Hizashi blinks at him, surprised.

“What? No!” Hizashi replies quickly. “Why would she do that?”

Aizawa lets out a little snort, like he expects the answer to be obvious. Hizashi feels like he’s missing part of the conversation here.

“Sorry, I thought – I saw the sign, so I didn’t think you’d mind,” Hizashi replies, biting his lower lip. “Do you want me to get Kayama to take it down?”

“It’s just a stupid joke,” Aizawa sighs, glaring down at the drink he’s making.

“If it’s making you uncomfortable, though – ” Hizashi starts.

“I don’t care if strangers give me their numbers,” Aizawa interrupts. “It’s not a big deal.”

“But you care if I give you my number,” Hizashi replies, trying not to feel hurt.

Aizawa makes a frustrated sound.

“I care if you give me your number as a joke,” he clarifies, not quite meeting Hizashi’s eyes.

For a moment, Hizashi thinks he misheard. He stares at Aizawa for a moment, trying to process what he just said. Then, he blurts out, “What if it wasn’t a joke?”

Aizawa looks up sharply, finally meeting Hizashi’s eyes.

“If it wasn’t a joke,” Aizawa says slowly, “then maybe I’d accept it.”

“You sure you want the number of the guy who accidentally broke your nose?” Hizashi asks, a smile tugging at the corners of his lips.

“You can buy me dinner to apologize if you really want to,” Aizawa snorts. “But I thought we agreed that we’d moved past that.”

“Alright,” Hizashi replies, his smile turning into a full grin. “Do you have a pen?”

Aizawa digs a sharpie out of his apron pocket, along with a stack of post-it notes, and Hizashi quickly scribbles down his number.

“Get it, Shōta!” Kayama hollers from the other end of the coffee shop, and Aizawa’s cheeks turn a little pink.

“She didn’t think I was moving fast enough,” he mutters. “I didn’t actually think that sign would work, though.”

“Wait, the sign was the get me to ask you out?” Hizashi asks, unable to entirely keep the disbelief from his voice.

“Partially,” Aizawa snorts. “I think it was also just to make fun of me, though.”

“Well,” Hizashi says, his lips quirking up into a smile. “It looks like it worked on both accounts. Can I take it down now, though? I wouldn’t want to risk you getting a better offer.”

“You’re right,” Aizawa drawls, smirking. “Someone might come along and break my leg instead of just my nose.”

“I thought you said we were past that,” Hizashi sputters.

Aizawa laughs.