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Sugar & Spice

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As soon as Aizawa Shōta sees Yamada Hizashi on Friday morning, he knows that it’s going to be a very long day.

“Heeeeey, Shōta, my buddy, my pal,” Hizashi says, as he sidles up towards Shōta, falling into step beside him as they make their way towards UA.

“What do you want?” Shōta snorts, giving Hizashi a flat look.

“Can’t I just talk to my best friend?” Hizashi asks, giving Shōta a very convincing puppy-dog look. Unfortunately, Shōta’s learned to see through it by now.

“Just spit it out already,” Shōta huffs, and Hizashi drops the innocent act, leaning toward Shōta’s and lowering his voice.

“So Suzuki kind of broke up with me yesterday,” Hizashi says with a grimace.

It’s not exactly a surprise to Shōta. By his count, Hizashi’s blown off Suzuki three times in the past five days to spend time with him instead, and Suzuki definitely punched him a little harder than usual during training the other day. While part of him feels bad about it, he can’t help but also feel a little smug about Hizashi picking him over Suzuki, even if it’s in a purely platonic sense. Maybe he’ll have to buy her a juice box or something to apologize.

Not that he should be the one apologizing, really. It’s hardly his fault Hizashi’s so dense when it comes to dating, and keeps accidentally pissing people off. Honestly, their entire class should know by now that despite being the nicest, cutest guy in class 1-A, it’s impossible for Hizashi to hold down a date.

“You wanna go to the arcade after class?” Shōta asks, trying to sound sympathetic.

“What? No,” Hizashi replies, wrinkling his nose slightly. “I mean, sure, but that’s not what I need to talk to you about.”

Shōta raises an eyebrow at Hizashi in question, urging him to continue.

“Look, so I kind of made a bet with Taguchi?” Hizashi says, and Shōta’s already wary of where this conversation is heading. “And it kind of required me to date someone for a full week, which I didn’t think was gonna be a big deal, because I was dating Suzuki, but, uh. That’s not exactly a thing anymore. And my deadline is the Halloween party next Friday.”

“So you’ve lost,” Shōta replies, shrugging. “Just pay whatever you owe Taguchi and move on.”

“We didn’t bet money,” Hizashi groans. “He’s going to make me hold his pet tarantula if I lose! I can’t do that!”

“Then find another date. You have exactly a week until the party, don’t you?” Shōta huffs, hoping that Hizashi interprets the agitation in his tone as annoyance at the situation in general, instead of jealousy. Normally he tries not to let it bother him, watching Hizashi go through partner after partner, but he’s only human.

“I don’t want to ask someone out just to win a bet,” Hizashi sighs. “That would just be mean. But…” Hizashi trails off, biting his lower lip and looking at Shōta with those puppy-dog eyes of his again.

“But what?” Shōta asks, not entirely sure he wants to hear Hizashi’s answer.

“I was thinking that you could maybe pretend to date me for a week?” Hizashi answers quickly. Shōta opens his mouth to protest, but before he can speak, Hizashi barrels on. “Just until the Halloween party! Then we can tell people that we realized we were better off as friends and break up!”

“No,” Shōta says flatly and increases his walking pace.

“Please don’t make me hold Taguchi’s tarantula!” Hizashi begs, hurrying to catch up with Shōta. “It’ll bite me or something and I’ll die and then you’ll have to play DDR with Tensei instead and he sucks at DDR and – ”

“Taguchi’s tarantula isn’t going to kill you,” Shōta huffs. “It’s a pet.”

Instead of replying properly, Hizashi turns up his puppy-dog eyes to maximum cute setting. Shōta hates how his resolve wavers ever so slightly.

“I’ll do your English homework for a month,” Hizashi finally offers.

“No,” Shōta says flatly. “That’s cheating.”

“I’ll buy you juice every day,” Hizashi tries.

“Still no,” Shōta replies.

“I’ll get you a new sleeping bag?” Hizashi offers, his tone a little more hesitant this time. “The one in the window of the camping store near the train station.”

Shōta pauses.

“Do you even have that much money?” Shōta asks, skeptical.

“I have some savings,” Hizashi answers, grimacing a little. “It’s probably enough.”

For a moment, Shōta wonders why Hizashi would have that much saved up in the first place, but then he remembers the noise-cancelling headphones Hizashi’s been waxing poetic about for the past six months. He sighs.

“Don’t worry about the sleeping bag,” he says.

“I really do think I have enough!” Hizashi protests, his tone a little desperate. “Just please – ”

“I’ll pretend to date you,” Shōta interrupts, watching as Hizashi’s eyes go wide. “But you don’t need to worry about the sleeping bag.”

“Really?” Hizashi blurts out, his face splitting into a grin. “Oh my god, thank you so much. You’re the best friend ever!”

“Yeah, yeah,” Shōta snorts, feeling his cheeks heat slightly. “Don’t thank me yet. First we have to somehow convince people we’re actually dating.”

“Why wouldn’t people believe us?” Hizashi asks, frowning.

“Besides the fact that we’re best friends and you have a bet on the line?” Shōta replies, arching an eyebrow at Hizashi. “Your plan’s kind of an obvious one.”

“Ah. Well.” Hizashi pauses for a moment. “We could say that Suzuki broke up with me because she thought I liked you more than her, which made me realize my true feelings or whatever. Y’know. Hypothetically.”

“It won’t work,” Shōta replies, shaking his head. “Suzuki’s going to hear the rumor eventually and debunk it if we try that.”

For a moment, Hizashi’s quiet.

Then, he says, “Well. I mean. That’s kind of why Suzuki broke up with me, though. She thought I had a crush on you or something. Not that I do! That’s just what she claimed!”

There’s an uncomfortable feeling in Shōta’s chest as Hizashi rambles on, and he can’t help but tighten his grip on his bag a little. It’s not like he hadn’t suspected that Suzuki was jealous of him – not that she has any reason to be, really. Hearing Hizashi confirm that his crush is utterly one-sided still hurts a little, though.

“Okay,” Shōta finally manages. “So if we tell people that your breakup with Suzuki made you realize you like me instead, she’ll back it up?”

“Yep,” Hizashi replies, but there’s something a little strained about his tone. Maybe this thing with Suzuki is affecting him more than he’s willing to admit. “And if I tell Yoshida, it’ll get around the class in no time.”

“Alright,” Shōta says, wondering how long it’ll take for Kayama to hear the rumors. He grimaces, already anticipating her teasing. “Is there anything else we’ll have to do?”

“Well, we already eat lunch together,” Hizashi answers, frowning thoughtfully. “Maybe we should hold hands? And we’re going to have to coordinate costumes for the Halloween party, but other than that I think we can pretty much just hang out normally.”

“Why do we have to do costumes?” Shōta grumbles, dreading the thought of having to wear something so embarrassing. Their hero outfits are bad enough, and he can’t imagine why people would want to dress up in strange clothing just for fun.

“It’s what couples do on Halloween,” Hizashi replies, his tone firm. “It’ll look weird if we don’t.”

“Fine,” Shōta sighs. “But I’m not wearing anything with animal ears.”

“Aw, c’mon, I’m sure you’d make an adorable kitty-cat,” Hizashi teases, a grin spreading across his face. Shōta just glares at him in response.

As they enter the school building, Hizashi continues rambling about costumes, but when they get closer to their classroom, Hizashi suddenly reaches out and grasps Shōta’s hand. Shōta stiffens up for a moment, but then forces himself to relax again. Hizashi’s palm is warm against his own, calloused in places but still soft. As Hizashi twines their fingers together, Shōta feels his face heat a little, and he desperately hopes that Hizashi doesn’t notice.

In the end, they arrive at the classroom at the same time as Yoshida, and Shōta doesn’t miss the way Yoshida’s eyes widen as he notices their intertwined fingers.

The whole school is definitely going to know that they’re “dating” by the end of the day.

---

All throughout class, Shōta can feel Suzuki glaring at the back of his head. Not that he can blame her, really – he’d probably be doing the same thing if the person he just broke up with started dating someone else the very next day. Still, he really hopes that the two of them don’t get paired together for any training exercises this week. After Hizashi “dumps” him next Friday (or is he supposed to be the one “dumping” Hizashi?) hopefully they can commiserate together or something.

“So,” Iida Tensei says as he slides into a seat across from Shōta and Hizashi in the cafeteria. “Rumor has it, you two are dating now.”

Shōta glances over at Hizashi, wondering if they’re going to tell Tensei the truth, but Hizashi just laughs and says, “Yeah, that’s sort of a thing now.” He reaches over to take Shōta’s hand again. “I mean, I know it’s kind of weird and out of the blue, but – ”

“Out of the blue?” Tensei snorts, giving both Hizashi and Shōta an unimpressed look. “You two have been dancing around each other for ages. I heard Yoshida was thinking about making a betting pool, but I guess that’s a moot point now. Honestly, I was pretty sure neither of you was going to confess until graduation.”

“Dancing around – ? We were not!” Hizashi sputters. Shōta doesn’t say anything, instead just picking at his lunch silently. Somehow, he’d thought he was being subtle about his crush on Hizashi, but apparently not, if a good half of their class knows about it. Really, it must be some sort of miracle that Hizashi’s the only one who hasn’t picked up on it.

“Whatever helps you sleep at night, Hizashi,” Tensei replies, giving Shōta a commiserating look. Shōta tries not to look completely awkward. “Anyway, congrats. I guess I’ll leave you two to do gross couple stuff after school today.”

“You don’t have to – ” Hizashi starts, but Tensei cuts him off.

“Seriously, I’ve seen you two do your weird DDR mating dance enough times by now,” Tensei snorts, an amused smirk on his face. “I’m not gonna crash another one of your arcade dates, and I have to watch my baby brother today anyway.”

As the rest of the day passes, a lot of classmates give Shōta knowing looks. Part of him is worried that, at this rate, Hizashi’s going to figure out about his little crush, but somehow Hizashi manages to remain oblivious. It’s kind of a sad reminder of how firmly Hizashi sees him as just a friend.

Not that there’s anything wrong with Hizashi only thinking of him as a friend. It’s hardly Hizashi’s fault that Shōta happened to fall head over heels for him. As much as Shōta would like for his feelings to be reciprocated, he’s a realist, first and foremost.

“Ready to head out?” Hizashi asks after class lets out, leaning against Shōta’s desk.

“Give me a moment,” Shōta replies, shoving his books into his bag.

Hizashi opens his mouth to reply, but before he can, someone yells, “Hey, Yamada! Aizawa!”

When Shōta looks towards the source of the racket, he grimaces. Taguchi’s making his way towards them, and despite Hizashi’s claims to the contrary, it definitely looks like he’s coming over to voice his suspicions about their relationship.

Sure enough, when he comes to a stop next to Shōta’s desk, Taguchi says, “So, I heard you two are dating now.”

“Yep,” Hizashi replies, popping the ‘p’ as he says it.

“It’s kind of convenient that you two just happened to start dating right now,” Taguchi says to Hizashi, giving him a significant look. “You know, considering you have just barely enough time to qualify for our bet.”

“Oh, shut it, Taguchi,” someone snorts, and Shōta glances over to find Suzuki, of all people, glaring at Taguchi. “I broke up with Yamada because it was clear he wanted to date Aizawa instead.”

Hizashi’s face flushes a little pink at that comment, and he falters for a moment, but then he says, “Yeah. That was, uh – Suzuki managed to talk some sense into me. Shōta and I are totally dating. We’re, y’know, boyfriends – ”

As Hizashi fumbles with his words, Shōta has to suppress a grimace. If Hizashi keeps up this rambling, Taguchi is definitely going to see through his obvious lies.

So, Shōta stands up, leans across his desk, and kisses Hizashi.

It’s a very brief kiss, chaste. It’s more of a brush of lips than anything, but it’s a kiss nonetheless, and it serves both the purpose of shutting Hizashi up and making Taguchi stare at the two of them with wide, surprised eyes.

“We’re dating,” Shōta announces flatly, giving Taguchi a mild glare. Then, he grabs Hizashi’s hand and drags him out of the classroom, leaving Taguchi to gape like a fish.

It’s not until they’re past the school gates and there’s no risk of their classmates eavesdropping that Shōta finally slows down and releases his grip on Hizashi’s hand. When he meets Hizashi’s eyes again, he’s surprised to find that Hizashi looks a little dazed, staring at Shōta like he’s never seen him before.

“Sorry,” Shōta mutters, breaking eye contact. “It was the easiest way to convince Taguchi that we weren’t lying.”

“Yeah,” Hizashi says, still sounding a little dazed. “Good, uh – good thinking.”

“Don’t make this weird,” Shōta says, giving Hizashi a flat look.

“I’m not making it weird!” Hizashi sputters, his cheeks going a little pink. “Just, y’know, next time maybe you should warn me? So I can prepare myself?”

“Fine,” Shōta snorts, rolling his eyes. He tries to ignore the small stab of hurt in his chest at the realization that Hizashi needs to brace himself to endure a kiss from him. “Let’s just go to the arcade so you can kick my ass at DDR and forget about it.”

“Sounds like a plan,” Hizashi replies, hurrying to keep up with Shōta as he heads in the direction of the arcade. “Forgetting it right now.”

Shōta clenches his jaw and wonders how he’s going to get through a whole week of this.

---

On Monday at school, no one has any doubts about Shōta and Hizashi’s relationship status. Taguchi still makes sure to remind Hizashi that it has to last at least until the end of the week, but no one seems to have any doubts about them managing that, which really just makes Shōta feel worse about the whole situation.

Suzuki appears to have moved past her anger and now just seems kind of sad instead, a little wistful when she looks at Hizashi. Honestly, Shōta kind of preferred it when she was angry at him, because then he could at least feel indignant about being falsely blamed for something out of his control.

Still, what’s done is done, he supposes. He just has to make it through the next week, and then hopefully everything will go back to normal.

(Although he can’t help but think that he’ll miss holding hands with Hizashi. It seems that today, Hizashi’s been twining their fingers together at practically every opportunity, and while part of Shōta wants to tell him that he doesn’t need to be that paranoid about people questioning their relationship, he likes it too much to tell Hizashi to stop. Sometimes Hizashi absentmindedly strokes little circles onto Shōta’s skin with his thumb, and the ghost of that feeling lingers with Shōta for hours afterwards.)

“Hey,” Hizashi says as he falls into step with Shōta when they leave the school together that afternoon. “We should go costume shopping now.”

“Do we really have to?” Shōta sighs. He hates shopping for clothes as it is, and costumes are a special sort of torture. “They cost too much for something you only wear once a year.”

“Oh, c’mon,” Hizashi whines, and there are the puppy dog eyes again. “Costumes are fun! And it’s a Halloween party, I’m pretty sure costumes are required.”

“Fine, I’ll go as a disgruntled teenager,” Shōta says flatly.

“In which case, we’ll need to buy you black eyeliner, studded bracelets, and stylishly distressed clothing,” Hizashi replies, a smirk spreading across his lips.

“A normal disgruntled teenager,” Shōta huffs.

“Nice try,” Hizashi says, wrapping an arm around Shōta’s shoulders and steering him in the direction of the costume shop near the train station. “You just have to wear it once. You’ll live.”

Shōta grumbles something unsavory under his breath, but doesn’t try to pull away.

Despite how often Shōta’s walked past the costume shop on his way to the station, he’s never actually been inside. Just seeing the outside has always been enough to make sure he steers clear, with its windows filled with as many frills and accessories as possible. At least now that it’s near Halloween, most of the ribbons have been replaced by spider-webs and fake blood.

In fact, when they enter the store, the first thing that confronts them is a large display of gory make-up and plastic weapons. Shōta picks up a bottle of fake blood, inspecting the label curiously, and says, “Maybe I should just make a fake head wound and go as your former boyfriend.”

“Hey!” Hizashi sputters. “I might be a bit of a serial dater, but I’m not a serial killer.”

“It would be a simple couple’s costume idea,” Shōta replies, arching an eyebrow at Hizashi. “Cheap, too.”

“You’re fucking morbid, Shōta,” Hizashi huffs, and plucks the bottle of fake blood form Shōta’s hand, putting it back down on the display table. “Let’s do something that doesn’t involve gross injuries.”

“That eliminates half our costume options,” Shōta snorts, but follows Hizashi over to the side of the store that’s less bloody and more… glittery.

“Look at this!” Hizashi says, his face lighting up a little as he makes his way over to one of the shelves. “Angel and devil! That’s a classic couple’s costume option.”

“Yeah, perfect,” Shōta says dryly, picking up a headband with devil horns on it and sticking it on Hizashi’s head.

“Hey! Why am I the devil?” Hizashi sputters. “Aren’t angels usually blond, anyway?”

“Appearances can be deceiving,” Shōta replies with a smirk, and Hizashi’s lips turn down into an expression dangerously close to a pout.

“Fine, fine,” Hizashi huffs, tugging the devil horns out of his hair and putting them back on the shelf. “Let’s keep looking.”

As they make their way a little further into the shop, Shōta lets his eyes wander over the various costumes, but nothing really stands out to him. Vampires and zombies require too much make-up, and he doesn’t understand why someone would want to dress up a police officer or firefighter. Those are just normal professions, aren’t they?

“We could do Dr. Frankenstein and his monster,” Hizashi muses, draping a white lab-coat over Shōta’s shoulders. “You’ve certainly got the hair for it.”

“Thanks,” Shōta says flatly.

“I don’t really want to wear a mask, though,” Hizashi continues, inspecting the monster costumes. “And I don’t know enough about make-up to be able to do something like that…”

He puts the lab coat back on the shelf and picks up a pair of plastic handcuffs instead.

“Hero and villain?” he suggests, holding the handcuffs out to Shōta.

“Kinky,” Shōta replies, pleased when Hizashi’s cheeks flush a little red and he puts the handcuffs back quickly.

Shōta zones out a little as Hizashi continues down through the aisles, rambling on about the benefits and drawbacks of various costumes. As time drags on, he considers just suggesting making ghost costumes out of bedsheets, but just as he’s about to say as much, Hizashi exclaims, “Shōta! Try this on!”

He blinks as he finds something pink and purple striped thrust into his hands, frowning as he tries to figure out what it is.

“You can be the Cheshire Cat and I’ll be the Hatter!” Hizashi says with a grin, placing a top hat on his head at a rakish angle, his hair sticking out from under it in strange tufts.

“I vetoed animal ears yesterday, remember?” Shōta huffs, inspecting the costume skeptically.

“Awww, c’mon,” Hizashi whines, and there are the puppy dog eyes again. “It’s not like I gave you a sexy cat costume or anything.”

At that comment, Shōta feels his cheeks heat a little, and he snorts, “Fine, I’ll try it on if you try on an Alice costume.”

Hizashi wrinkles his nose in distaste, and for a moment Shōta thinks he’s won, but then Hizashi says, “Alright, but I’m not buying it.”

Which is how Shōta finds himself struggling to fit into a purple and pink striped spandex suit. He’s pretty sure his life has hit a new low. Still, he supposes it could be worse. The fluffy gloves are kind of annoying and he’s pretty sure the costume is a size too small – if how tight it is is any indication – but at least he’s not wearing a dress.

Finally, he gives up on trying to zip the back of the costume all the way up, instead letting the zipper hang half-way undone, and pokes his head out of the dressing room to see if Hizashi has finished changing yet.

However, as his eyes land on Hizashi, he freezes.

It occurs to him that Hizashi has very nice legs. Despite having had a crush on Hizashi for so long, it’s not really something he’s thought about too much, but now that Hizashi’s legs are outlined by sheer white stockings, Shōta finds himself staring.

“I think I got a size too small,” Hizashi says, grimacing as he tugs on the hem of the dress, drawing Shōta’s attention to the small strip of skin visible between the top of the stockings and the end of the dress.

“You should change back,” Shōta blurts out, tearing his eyes away from Hizashi’s legs and trying to fight a blush.

“I look that bad?” Hizashi asks, glancing up from his dress to look over at Shōta.

The problem is actually that he looks too good, but Shōta’s not about to actually admit that.

“You look good, though,” Hizashi continues, giving Shōta a slow once over that makes his skin prickle. He feels strangely exposed in this costume, and with how tight it is, it doesn’t exactly leave much up to the imagination.

“I feel like a fucking furry,” Shōta grumbles, crossing his arms over his chest defensively. “Also, I’m pretty sure you gave me a size too small. This is going to start cutting off my circulation soon.”

“Alright, alright,” Hizashi huffs. “I guess we can just go with the angel and devil thing. I’ll even let you be the angel.”

“No,” Shōta mumbles, tearing his eyes away from the curve of Hizashi’s calves. “The angel costume would fit you better.”

Before Hizashi can reply, he ducks back into the changing room and slumps against the wall, burying his burning face in his hands. He certainly feels sinful enough to be a devil, after seeing Hizashi in those stockings.

Halloween is officially his least favorite holiday.

---

The thing is, nothing really changes much with him pretending to date Hizashi. Sure, they hold hands now, but eating lunch together is nothing new, nor is walking to and from school together and hanging out after school. They already call each other by their first names, too.

But apparently Hizashi isn’t satisfied with that.

“Babe? Baby? Sugarplum?” Hizashi asks, half-draped over Shōta as they head to the arcade after school that day. “Love-bunny? Wait, no, that sounds weirdly close to ‘sex-kitten’ – ”

 “Hizashi,” Shōta says through gritted teeth. “Shut up.”

“Oh, c’mon,” Hizashi whines. “Couples use nicknames and endearments, right?”

“Only the really sappy ones still in the honeymoon stage,” Shōta snorts.

“Are you saying we’re not in the honeymoon stage anymore?” Hizashi huffs, giving Shōta an overdramatic, hurt look. “It’s been like half a week.”

“Maybe this is why all your relationships have fizzled out so quickly,” Shōta replies, and Hizashi pouts at him. It an annoyingly cute expression on him.

“You know what, I bet you’re just vetoing all the endearments because you’re afraid you’ll like them,” Hizashi says, shooting Shōta a playful smirk. “Wouldn’t want you to actually fall for me, would we, baby?”

“As if I’d fall for someone as annoying as you,” Shōta manages, hoping that Hizashi doesn’t notice the way his tone wavers slightly. Truthfully, he’s imagined Hizashi calling him “baby” exactly once, in a certain very explicit fantasy that made it so he was unable to look Hizashi in the eye for a whole three days afterwards.

“Ahhh, you’re so mean to me,” Hizashi whines. “Can’t you at least pretend you’re head over heels for me?”

“It’s just unrealistic,” Shōta snorts, trying to ignore the rapid thud of his heart in his chest. Thankfully, they arrive at the arcade only a moment later, effectively ending their conversation about endearments and nicknames. As they trade insults while playing Street Fighter and then do their usual DDR routine, Shōta can almost pretend that everything’s normal.

However, when it’s just about time for Shōta to head home, Hizashi says, “Hey, we should take some photos!”

“What? Why?” Shōta asks, but Hizashi’s already grabbed his hand and is starting to drag him over to the purikura booths.

“It’s something that couples do,” Hizashi answers, not that it’s really much of an answer, in Shōta’s opinion.

“You know, no one’s stalking us to make sure that we’re actually dating,” Shōta snorts, digging his heels in a little as Hizashi pushes aside the curtain of the purikura booth. “You can drop the act.”

“I need a photo of us, though,” Hizashi protests, and here come the puppy dog eyes. “For my wallet, you know? Don’t people normally keep a photo of their significant other with them?”

“We’ve been pretending to date for four days,” Shōta replies, his lips turning down into a scowl. “We’re planning to break up on Friday. There’s no point in wasting money on photos when you’re only going to carry them around for another three days.”

“Aw, c’mon, I can still keep them as, like, friend photos or whatever,” Hizashi huffs. “I’m not just gonna throw them away when we break up. Stop being such a stick in the mud.”

“Fine,” Shōta sighs, letting Hizashi drag him into the purikura booth.

It’s actually roomier than Shōta expected, but instead of letting him have his own space, Hizashi wraps an arm around his waist and pulls him in close. Shōta tries to ignore the warmth of Hizashi’s body pressed up against his, but Hizashi’s always been a difficult person to ignore, particularly for Shōta.

“You gotta smile for the camera,” Hizashi says, poking at Shōta’s cheek.

“No I don’t,” Shōta huffs.

“People are gonna think that I kidnapped you or something when they see these photos,” Hizashi complains. “Try to look a little less like I’m holding a gun to your back or something.”

Shōta rolls his eyes, but manages to force a small, awkward smile.

“There you go,” Hizashi says, grinning at Shōta, whose face heats a little at receiving the full force of Hizashi’s smile.

They take a few more photos, and Shōta mainly just lets Hizashi position him as he pleases, trying not to think too much about the feeling of Hizashi’s hands on his waist, shoulders, chest. Hizashi’s always been a rather tactile person, but it seems like he’s taken this opportunity to touch Shōta like he’d touch someone he’s actually dating – that is, all over and all the time.

“Hey,” Hizashi says, bringing Shōta back down to earth. “For the last photo we should, uh – you know.”

“No, I don’t know,” Shōta replies dryly, giving Hizashi an unimpressed look.

“We should kiss,” Hizashi blurts out, catching Shōta off guard. “It’s, like, practically required for couples taking photos together, right? It doesn’t have to be, you know, super involved or – ”

“Okay,” Shōta says simply.

“Okay?” Hizashi replies, blinking at Shōta owlishly.

“I just want to get this over with,” Shōta snorts, giving Hizashi a flat look. “Kiss me so I can go home and actually get my homework done.”

“Right,” Hizashi says.

Then, he takes a deep breath and leans in to press his lips against Shōta’s.

Part of Shōta wants to make the most of this opportunity – after all, it’s unlikely that he’ll ever get another chance to kiss Hizashi after this week – but he’s also worried that if he kisses Hizashi too eagerly, Hizashi will figure out about his crush. So instead, he lets his eyes slide shut and just follows Hizashi’s lead.

Hizashi’s tentative at first, only pressing his mouth lightly against Shōta’s. However, after a couple of moments, he gets a little bolder, bringing a hand up to cup Shōta’s jaw and re-angle his head slightly so that their mouths fit together better.

In actuality, the kiss probably only lasts a scant couple of seconds, but when Hizashi finally pulls away, it feels like much longer to Shōta. He blinks his eyes open and runs his tongue over his bottom lip, an unconscious, automatic gesture.

“I’m going to just – ” Hizashi says, his voice sounding a little strangled and his cheeks stained pink. “ – mess around with the filters and stuff.”

With that, he turns away from Shōta, busing himself with editing the photos. Shōta’s content to let Hizashi decorate them as he pleases, still feeling a little overwhelmed by the kiss they’d just shared.

“Hey, Shōta!” Hizashi says, breaking Shōta from his thoughts. “Like it?”

Shōta scowls as he looks over to find that Hizashi’s drawn cat ears and whiskers on one of the photos of him.

“What is it with you and cat ears?” Shōta huffs, stealing the stylus from Hizashi in order to draw bunny ears on him in retaliation. “Do you have some sort of fetish or something?”

“Oh yeah, definitely,” Hizashi says with a smirk. “It was so hard to control myself when I saw you in those pink and purple cat ears yesterday.”

“You’re an ass,” Shōta grumbles, punching Hizashi lightly in the shoulder. Hizashi just laughs in response, and with that, whatever tension had remained in the atmosphere after their kiss vanishes.

When they print out the photos and split them up, Hizashi puts the one of them kissing in his wallet and Shōta tries not to read too far into it.

---

When Friday finally rolls around, Shōta thinks he should feel relieved. All he has to do is survive the Halloween party and then things can finally go back to normal.

(Of course, “normal” means no more hand holding, or sitting too close together at lunch, or Hizashi coming up with more ridiculous pet names for him to shoot down.)

Shōta sighs and digs his costume out of his closet, scowling at it for a moment before setting it down on his bed. He changes quickly, glad that he’d managed to convince Hizashi to let him get one of the simpler devil costume designs. Really, without the horns, tail, and pitchfork, the outfit’s just a normal crimson colored button down and black slacks.

He inspects himself in the mirror, reaching up to adjust his horns slightly, grimacing as they get caught in his messy hair. It’s definitely going to be a pain to get them back out later tonight.

“Shōta!” he hears his father call from downstairs. “You friend is here!”

“Coming!” Shōta yells, straightening out his shirt a little before grabbing his pitchfork and heading for the door.

When Shōta gets downstairs, Hizashi’s waiting in the entryway, rocking back and forth on his heels nervously. His costume is fairly similar to Shōta’s, only with a lighter color scheme and fluffy wings and a halo instead of horns and a tail. The button down he’s wearing is a garishly shiny golden color, though, and Shōta wrinkles his nose slightly at it, suddenly glad that he’d agreed to take the devil costume instead.

“Whose Halloween party are you going to again?” Shōta’s father asks.

“Taguchi’s,” Shōta replies, tugging on his shoes.

“Alright, well, don’t forget that your curfew is midnight,” Shōta’s father says, giving Shōta a significant look as his eyes flick between Shōta and Hizashi’s complementary costumes.

“Yeah, got it,” Shōta mutters, his cheeks heating.

“Have fun, but not too much fun!” Shōta’s father calls after them as Shōta practically drags Hizashi out the door.

“Did you tell your dad we’re dating or something?” Hizashi asks once they’re halfway down the block and Shōta finally releases his grip on Hizashi’s hand.

“What? No,” Shōta replies, frowning. “Why would I do that?”

“I don’t know,” Hizashi says, shrugging. “He just kind of sounded like he was implying… you know…”

“Yeah, well, he knows I like guys and we’re wearing matching costumes,” Shōta huffs. “I can’t help that he jumped to conclusions. Weren’t you worried about us needing to look convincing, anyway?”

“Well, I guess we just passed our first test,” Hizashi laughs, but there’s something a little strained about his tone.

They stick to safer topics the rest of the way to the party, but when they’re about a block from Taguchi’s house, Hizashi reaches over to take Shōta’s hand. Shōta tries not to think about how this is probably the last time he’ll get to do this, and decides he might as well savor the feeling of Hizashi’s warm palm against his while it lasts.

“Nice costumes,” someone says as they enter the house, and Shōta turns to find Tensei grinning at them, decked out in what looks like a zombie costume. “Although I personally think they would work better the other way around.”

“That’s what I said,” Shōta replies, smirking.

“Hey!” Hizashi sputters, his expression dangerously close to a pout as he looks between Tensei and Shōta. “Why are you two so mean to me?”

“It’s not our fault you make it so easy,” Shōta snorts. Tensei grins raises his hand for Shōta to high-five.

“I’m disowning you two as my best friend and boyfriend,” Hizashi huffs.

“You’ll lose your bet if you do that,” Shōta replies, quirking an eyebrow at Hizashi.

“I said disown, not dump,” Hizashi replies, and for a moment he hesitates, but then he leans in to press a light kiss to Shōta’s cheek. Shōta blinks in surprise, caught off guard.

“So, does this technically make you a fallen angel?” Tensei asks, looking amused. “Considering you’re dating a devil and all.”

“Oh yeah,” Hizashi says with a smirk. “The moment I first set eyes on Shōta, I became a sinner.”

“Okay, TMI,” Tensei replies, wrinkling his nose, and Hizashi laughs. Shōta just rolls his eyes.

“I’m going to get some food,” he announces, wriggling his hand out of Hizashi’s grip. He looks over at Hizashi and asks, “You want anything?”

“You know me. I want everything,” Hizashi answers, and Shōta rolls his eyes.

Thankfully no one tries to engage him in conversation as he makes his way over to a table set up on the other side of the room, overflowing with various Halloween themed treats. He only bothers to grab a single plate – Hizashi always ends up stealing from him anyway, so there’s no point in spreading things out over two.

Gummy candies are the first things he picks up, although he makes sure to pick out the spider-shaped ones so that Hizashi doesn’t freak out. He pops one into his mouth, chewing on it as he sorts through the chocolates next. He’s never really cared that much for chocolate in general, but he grabs a few things that he knows Hizashi likes. After a moment of hesitation, he grabs a couple of cupcakes, too, vanilla ones decorated to look like ghosts.

“Aizawa,” someone says, and Shōta looks over to find that Suzuki’s come over to him. She looks like she’s dressed as some sort of killer nurse or something, white uniform splattered with fake blood, but with the way she’s wringing her hands, she looks more awkward than murderous.

“Suzuki,” Shōta replies, unsure what else to say.

“I wanted to apologize,” she says, catching Shōta off guard. “I’ve been kind of a jerk to you recently. It’s not your fault Yamada didn’t like me as much as I wanted him to, and I shouldn’t have taken it out on you.”

“I’m pretty sure all of the bruises you gave me during training last Thursday have faded by now,” Shōta snorts. “So apology accepted, I guess.”

Suzuki winces, looking a little sheepish.

“Hey, it’s not your fault Hizashi’s so dense about relationships, either,” Shōta adds, and he can’t help but feel a little bit of pity for Suzuki. Their situations are fairly similar, after all. “I’m pretty sure he’s going to break up with me soon anyway.”

“What?” Suzuki asks, clearly surprised. “Why would he do that?”

“I don’t know,” Shōta lies, shrugging. “I just have a gut feeling.”

“Well, then you should stop listening to your gut,” Suzuki snorts, shaking her head slightly. “He’s head over fucking heels for you. Did you know he cancelled a date on me because he got a text from you saying you needed help with your English homework?”

“Uh,” Shōta replies, and now it’s his turn to look surprised. “Sorry?”

“It’s not you I’d like an apology from,” Suzuki huffs. “Really, you’re just making me feel more pathetic right now.”

Shōta doesn’t really know what to say to that.

“Anyway, I don’t think you need to worry about him not being into you enough,” Suzuki continues, piking at a spot of blood on her skirt. “Congrats, I guess.”

“Thanks,” Shōta says awkwardly.

“Good talk,” Suzuki says, nodding stiffly before turning on her heel and leaving Shōta to contemplate the fact that Hizashi once cancelled a date to help him with English homework.

Eventually, Shōta gives up on trying to puzzle out Hizashi’s actions and goes to find Hizashi and Tensei again. They’ve moved into the living room now and are chatting with Sakakibara and Yoshida, Hizashi gesticulating dramatically as he tells some story that’s probably been exaggerated beyond recognition. Shōta sidles up next to him, dodging a flailing arm as he settles into the small circle.

“Hey,” Shōta interrupts, nudging Hizashi with his elbow and presenting him with the plate of sweets. “Hold this so you don’t accidentally hit someone in the face with your flailing.”

“Sorry,” Hizashi replies, smiling at Shōta sheepishly. Shōta lets out a little snort and picks what looks like a gummy bat up off the plate, popping it into his mouth. “Hey, what flavor is this?”

Shōta looks over to find Hizashi holding up a stick of pocky coated in some sort of orange colored flavoring. He shrugs.

“I didn’t check,” he replies, popping another gummy bat into his mouth.

“I think it’s pumpkin,” Tensei replies. He reaches over to grab a stick, biting off a bit and chewing thoughtfully. “Yeah, it’s pumpkin.”

“Huh,” Hizashi says, taking a tentative bite of his own. He doesn’t immediately spit it back out again, so Shōta assumes it must not taste that bad. After he swallows, though, he extends the half-eaten stick of pocky over to Shōta and says, “Shōta, you try it.”

“You just bit off part of it,” Shōta protests, wrinkling his nose.

“What, so you’ll kiss me, but you won’t eat something that I’ve eaten part of?” Hizashi huffs, and Shōta rolls his eyes, but leans in to take a bite out of the offered pocky. He takes a moment to process the flavor as he chews. It’s surprisingly good for something that shade of orange, but it’s hardly his new favorite food.

The small talk starts up again, but Shōta doesn’t really bother to participate much, instead content to just listen while popping gummy candies into his mouth. Chatting has never been his strong suit.

At some point, he finds himself leaning up against Hizashi. Hizashi glances over at him for a second, clearly caught off guard, but the wraps an arm around his waist before focusing back on the conversation at hand. All that’s left on the plate of sweets are the two cupcakes now, and Shōta resolves to go get some more in just a little bit.

He picks up one of the cupcakes and takes a large bite out of it – probably too large of a bite, because he’s pretty sure he just smeared frosting all over his mouth. Before he can reach a hand up to scrub it off, though, Hizashi says, “You’re a mess,” and reaches over to swipe his thumb over Shōta’s upper lip, wiping up the frosting. Shōta finds himself staring as Hizashi proceeds to lick the frosting off his thumb.

“Aaaalright, I think I’ve seen enough of this foreplay,” Tensei announces, and Shōta feels his cheeks flush. “I’ll catch you guys later. Actually, make that tomorrow.”

Sakakibara and Yoshida snicker and Shōta glares at them, but he thinks it’s probably ruined by the light pink dusting his cheeks. The two of them follow Tensei into one of the other rooms, though, leaving Hizashi and Shōta to themselves.

“Sorry about that,” Hizashi says, a little sheepishly. “I just didn’t want to waste any frosting and we’re supposed to be acting like a couple anyway, so. But hey, at least it’s almost over, right? As soon as this party’s done, we can – ”

“Hizashi,” Shōta interrupts, making Hizashi frown at him. “Is it true that you cancelled at date with Suzuki to help me with English homework?”

Hizashi stares at him for a moment, wide-eyed, and then sputters, “Where did you hear that?”

“From Suzuki,” Shōta asks, watching carefully as Hizashi fidgets awkwardly.

“Well, I mean, you have such abysmal English scores that I figured it was probably important, and – ” Hizashi rambles, unable to meet Shōta’s gaze.

“Hizashi,” Shōta interrupts, but his voice is soft. “Tell me the truth.”

For a moment, Hizashi’s quiet, but then he swallows thickly and says, “I guess I’m just pathetic enough that I’d rather spend the evening doing homework with a guy who only sees me as a friend than on a date with a hot girl.”

“You’re an idiot,” Shōta snorts, and Hizashi flinches, but before he can run away, Shōta leans forward and captures his mouth in a kiss.

It’s just a brief brush of lips and Shōta pulls away again before Hizashi can actually start kissing back. Hizashi blinks at him for a moment, looking dazed, and Shōta has to bite his lip to keep from laughing at Hizashi’s startled expression.

“If you break up with me after this party, I’m going to be pissed,” Shōta says.

“You will be?” Hizashi blurts out, still staring.

“Generally people get pissed when they start dating the person they like and then get dumped a week later,” Shōta snorts, but there’s a small smile tugging at the corners of his lips.

“I better not break up with you then,” Hizashi says slowly, looking at Shōta like he still half-expects this to be a prank of some sort.

“Good,” Shōta says, and then leans in for another kiss.