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Tropevember!

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I.

Terushima Yuuji isn’t ashamed to admit he has a type.

He knows it. His family knows it. His team knows it... it’s common knowledge for anyone familiar with Yuuji.

So when, in his third year of high school, Johzenji once again find themselves across the court from Karasuno, he isn’t all that surprised to feel a nudge coming from Bobata on his left, right as their demon setter is about to serve.

“Huh?” He asks distractedly, eyes trained firmly on the ball spinning between the setter’s - Kageyama, he’s pretty sure he’s called? - long, dexterous fingers.

“So, I know you were into their manager last year, and she’s gone now... but I think Karasuno might have someone else you will find interesting,” he murmurs, Terushima able to hear the smirk in his friend’s voice.

“Bobata, we’re about to start the game. Whoever they are, they can wait,” he snips, waiting for the whistle to blow, signalling the start of the match.

“I know, I know... I just don’t want you throwing the game because you’re distracted, Captain,” comes his friend’s smug reply.

“As if,” Terushima scoffs. He may be an incredibly large flirt, but he LOVES volleyball. He wouldn’t let down his team just because of a pretty face, and he’s quite frankly insulted by the insinuation.

Before the Johzenji middle blocker can open his mouth to tease Yuuji some more, the whistle blows and they all flow into synchronised action.

Terushima plays, and he plays hard. He pulls out all the stops, knowing just how dangerous Karasuno are, however, he stupidly thinks that - with their old, reliable captain gone - their defence has holes that he and his team can exploit.

It’s about halfway through the first set that Yuuji races up to an obvious hole in their defences, already grinning in victory as he goes to slam the ball down onto the opposite court when his vision is suddenly flooded with gold. It’s so shocking that he falters in his spike, the volleyball rebounding back onto their side of the net - not that he really notices or cares, when he’s locked in such intense eye contact with Karasuno’s tall middle blocker that only stepped onto the court the round before.

... well shit.

The middle blocker is the first to break eye contact, smirking down at him, before turning away to acknowledge his teammates.

“I told you so,” comes the cocky voice of Bobata from over his shoulder.

“I...” Terushima start, before pausing to frown in confusion. “I can... kind of remember him from last year,” he admits, “but he was nothing like that. He’s so INTENSE,” he breathes, eyes still firmly trained on the blond, completely enraptured by the fire he remembers seeing in those molten gold irises.

“Intense?” Bobata questions, following his gaze to the other player. “You think so? He seems kinda cold to me...”

“Yeah!” Takeharu pipes up. “He’s the one that shut down Ushijima last year and got them to nationals! He’s totally cool and calculated!”

“No...” Yuuji murmurs, “he’s not. You didn’t see his eyes.”

“HAH! Well,” Bobata says, clapping him firmly on the back, guiding him to his position on the court, “you would know better than us I suppose; what, with that huge glasses kink of yours!”

“Windows to the soul, Bobata. Glasses are windows to the soul...” Terushima says softly, finally drawing his gaze away from the blond to smile at his teammate.

“Pfft! Yeah, sure! ‘Cause your new infatuation has nothing to do with the fact that megane-kun over there has legs a mile long and looks like he could be a model for Gucci,” he laughs, dismissing his captain in favour of focusing on the ball once more, therefore missing Yuuji’s whispered,

“I didn’t even notice his legs... oh. Holy shit, I’m screwed.”

True to his prediction, though they make a valiant effort, Johzenji do end up losing to Karasuno again, though he is extremely proud of how his teammates all take the loss in stride, laughing and joking on as they shower and get changed.

“Hey! At least the captain still has a chance of being a winner!” Takeharu says with his usual abundance of enthusiasm, causing the man in question to turn to him with a confused, searching look.

“Takeharu?”

“You know - with the megane!” He smiles. “I kept an eye on him for the rest of the game, and he was definitely interested... you should go for it!”

“Wha... you’re sure?” Terushima asks with cautious hope - he’s not known for his subtlety when he’s into people, but he genuinely likes Karasuno... he doesn’t want to ruin that if it turns out Takeharu is wrong.

It’s not Takeharu who replies, however, Higashiyama surprising the whole team when his quiet voice cuts through the room saying, “Takeharu is right. I noticed it too... you have a chance.”

“... Well shit! Were we their final match of the day?!” He asks, pulling his uniform on and buttoning his shirt with frantic fingers.

“Umm, I think so?” Bobata says hesitantly, the team now all focused on their captain.

“Shit! Okay— fuck, I’m a mess... fuck it!” He rambles, raking a hand through his hair nervously, before dashing out of the changing rooms to the laughter of his teammates, smiling at being able to pull such a noise from them after their recent defeat.

Jogging through the centre, Terushima finds himself asking different teams if they have seen Karasuno - or rather, seen a tiny, energetic, ginger boy - getting various help and directions, before stumbling upon a very familiar sight.

The blond megane is walking alongside the new brunette manager, the girl carrying a colourful bento box in her arms.

Running up to the two, he gives them his most charming smile, before turning to the female manager. “Hello, Miss. Would it be okay if I borrow your middle blocker for a moment?” He asks as sweetly as possible, cursing himself for not knowing either of their names.

“Sana—” the tall boy starts, eyes narrowing, but is interrupted by the girl’s rapid response.

“Of course you can! I’ll head out to the bus!” She replies quickly, before dashing away.

“I—” Yuuji frown after the girl, watching her leave. “Shit. I didn’t mean to scare her off...” he mumbles. Yuuji likes the way he looks a lot, and he wouldn’t change it, but he does find it disheartening how quickly other people judge him for it.

“You didn’t, she’s just rude.” The blond boy says with a sigh, eyeing him warily.

“Oh... you’re not a fan, I guess?” Yuuji questions confused.

“Mmm,” he hums noncommittally. “She’ll no doubt already be telling the entire team what she thinks is going on.”

“Ah... and what, exactly, does she think is going on?” He asks, a small smile creeping onto his face at the boy’s deadpan responses.

An aggravated sigh rattles out of the boy, making Terushima’s smile widen. “She seems to think that anytime a guy approaches me it’s to flirt,” he admits.

“And why would she think that?” Yuuji presses, wheedling more information out of the middle blocker.

“Uh, because she thinks I’m gay?” The blond snorts, before he tenses, eyes widening in shock as if he can’t believe what he’s just admitted.

“Huh... well, I hope she’s right, since I came over here to ask for your number!” Terushima says brazenly, using his most peppy, casual voice, eyes flitting across the megane’s features, taking in the surprise - and, is that pleasure? - that quickly crosses the boy’s face, before being masked.

“Is this a joke?” He asks scathingly.

“Nope. I wasn’t able to take my eyes off you all game,” he says, allowing his honestly to peek through. He’s not afraid of admitting his emotions when it comes to things like this.

“I—” the blond starts, golden eyes wide and entralling. “You’re... serious?

“Yep! If it’s okay with you, of course!” Yuuji doesn’t want the boy to feel pressured into this.

...

The silence stretches out between them as the blond scrutinises him intensely and it’s all Yuuji can do not to squirm under the attention.

When the blond’s voice cuts into the silence, he has to work hard not to physically jump in surprise.

“Give me your phone.”

Staring in shock, he wordlessly pulls out and unlocks his phone, handing it to the other, admiring his long fingers, with their bruised knuckles... he thinks they are still incredibly pretty.

“There. I’ve got to go,” distracts him from his staring, Yuuji reaching out to pluck his phone from the outstretched hand, a small smirk tugging at his lips when he looks up to see a soft blush colouring the boy’s cheeks.

“Thanks,” he says casually, deliberately dragging his fingers over the other’s hand, before pulling away, spinning his phone around to look at the new contact that has been added, “Tsukishima-kun.”

He wants to coo when the blush on his cheeks spreads to the top if his ears, staining them a beautiful rose colour. “Sure...” the other says softly, pausing for a second to stare at him, before turning and walking away decisively.

“Tsukishima...” he murmurs to himself, smiling down at his phone in happiness.

 

 

II.

 

“Soooo...” Bobata says, jostling Terushima with his shoulder, a large grin on his face. “Have you done it yet?”

“For fucks sake, Bobata, no!” Terushima replies with a sigh, eyeing his friend with a glare.

“Why the hell not, Teru?!” You two have been talking for months now!” He whines, draping himself across the captain’s shoulders dramatically. “Do it for me and my non-existent love life.”

This, at least, draws a small smile from the bottle-blond. “Bobata...” he sighs.

“He’s right you know,” Higashiyama says softly, coming up on Terushima’s other side to box him in. “What are you waiting for? You never usually take this long.”

“I... you guys KNOW why I haven’t done it yet!” Yuuji whines, leaning into Bobata.

“Because you’ll be heading away to university in a few months, we know! But you like him! And you’re planning on going to Tokyo University anyways, so it’s not like you’ll be THAT far away!” Bobata exclaims.

“But if I don’t get into Tokyo, my next choice is on the other side of Japan!”

“Then stop talking to him,” Higashiyama deadpans, causing the other two boys to stare at him aghast.

“W-What?!” Yuuji splutters.

“HE CANT STOP TALKING TO HIM!” Bobata joins in.

“Well, if you don’t want to do long distance and aren’t willing to take the risk, what’s the point?” Higashiyama continues. “You’re leading him on. Either you tell him what’s going on and let him decide what he wants to do, or you leave it alone and stop stringing the guy along,” he concludes harshly.

“I— I didn’t think... I didn’t mean to...” Yuuji tries quietly, fake stricken. “I just... I REALLY like him! And I’m scared...” he admits.

“I’m sure he’s scared too... but if you aren’t going to ask him out because you’re going to uni soon, don’t you think he deserves to know?” Higashiyama questions slowly, expression sad. “You need to decide what you want to do Yuuji - he isn’t going to wait forever.”

“I... you’re right.” He says in defeat, smiling at Bobata when he pats him consolingly on the shoulder.

“Sorry man,” he whispers. “I didn’t realise you were so serious about the kid.”

“Nah... neither did I,” he admits back.

Later that night, Higashiyama’s words are still ringing in his head, having been playing on loop all day. His performance at practice was terrible, so much so that he chose to stand off to the side and let the first years play more games instead.

It’s the end of April now, he contemplates... and he’ll be going to university in September... that only gives them 4 months if they decide to be together... but Yuuji wants that. He wants it so badly it terrifies him.

Over the past couple months, he’s come to know the sarky blond in a way he knows very few people - and vice versa. He’s opened up about his family, his childhood, his appearance, and so many other things to the younger student.

He cares so fucking much... which is why he’s terrified of losing it. But Higashiyama was right, he’s going to lose it anyways if he continues to sit around and do nothing about it...

With this in mind, he pulls out his phone and goes into his most used message chat.

 

Me: Hey, you there?

 

He sits and stares at the screen for a minute, before throwing the phone across the bed. He’s too damn stressed for this! Lying on his back, staring at the ceiling, he can’t help but let out a small chuckle, thinking that his life has turned into some kind of romantic drama without him noticing.

A small ping from the bottom of the bed has him cringing with an anxious sigh, reaching out a hand to fumble about in the covers until his fingers close around the offending, rectangular object.

Unlocking said device, squinting at the overly bright screen in the dim light of his room, he lets out another chuckle at Tsukishima’s reply.

 

Tsukki: I am now.

Me: Sorry, were you busy?

Tsukki: Not really.

Tsukki: Whats up?

Me: I

Me: I think we need to talk

 

God, he feels sick. Clenching his phone like a lifeline as those 3 incriminating dots appear. He curses Higashiyama for saying anything. Everything was going just FINE before—

 

Tsukki: Okay... what about?

Me: Well

Me: Im gonna be going 2 uni in sept and I just

Me: Thought we should talk about it?

Tsukki: Okay.

Tsukki: What about it?

Shit. He wants to curse the beautiful blond, but he knows he’s likes the boy’s aloofness, finding it stupidly attractive and endearing... shit he’s so screwed.

... Fuck it!

 

Me: Do you wanna go on a date with me?

 

He sends before he can chicken out, squeezing his eyes shut so he doesn’t have to watch those 3 dots mocking him.

Ping! Ping!

 

Tsukki: I would like that very much.

Tsukki: What about university, though?

Me: I know

Me: Honestly, I dont know what will happen when I go

Me: But I dont wanna regret not doing anything either

Tsukki: So, what you’re saying is

Tsukki: You want to date, but it will probably only last until you go to university in September?

 

Damn. He can’t help but smile at his phone, even as his gut clenches with nerves. He loves how smart the blond is - a lot of his friends have pointed out that his attraction to people with glasses might stem from his desire for intelligent people - and they might be right.

 

Me: I guess so

Me: Yeah

Me: I just know I want you, even if it might not be for long

Me: I mean, we could try long distance when Im gone if you want

Tsukki: Please stop rambling.

Me: Okay

Tsukki: I already said yes, you moron.

Tsukki: You think I haven’t thought about this too?

 

And oh... he hadn’t even considered it, actually.

 

Tsukki: I’m willing to date for a couple months if you are, but I don’t want to do long distance in my final year of high school. Getting into a good university is important to me too.

Tsukki: But I’m happy to date until then, if you are.

 

Oh... OH! OH SHIT!

He has a date... HE’S GOT A DATE WITH TSUKISHIMA!

He knows it’s not perfect - but it’s something! Smiling at the messages, he replies.

 

Me: Oh

Me: Okay!

Me: Great!

Me: When are you free next?

Tsukki: Probably at the weekend... why?

Me: Let me take you out!

Me: There’s that new exhibit at the museum you mentioned the other day! You wanna go and see that? Maybe get some food after?

Tsukki: ...

Tsukki: Yeah, okay.

Tsukki: Sounds good.

 

Holy shit...

He, Terushima Yuuji, has a date!

 

 

III.

 

Dating Tsukishima has been... more amazing than Teru could ever have anticipated.

They haven’t done anything more than go out together, occasionally holding hands, the two very aware that the clock is ticking down to the end of their relationship.

That doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been wonderful, though - because it has! It’s quite possibly, the most wonderful thing to ever happen to Yuuji, if he’s being honest with himself. He’s found himself cursing Tsukishima’s name in the solitude of his room at night, hating that the blond refuses to move on his stance concerning long distance relationships, though he supposes he brought this on himself.

He knows it’s neither of their faults, and he gets why the boy wants to focus on school over the next year - he’s so DAMN smart, Yuuji knows he’s gunning for a good university - and he would never take that chance away from him...

It just sucks.

He can’t even enjoy getting into his first choice of Tokyo University, because he knows that going there will signal the end of his relationship with the blond he’s come to love - and fuck, isn’t THAT a kick in the teeth?

Terushima Yuuji, flirting extraordinaire, falling in love with someone he can’t be with... the irony.

Being an adult sucks, he thinks, as he stands with his hands tucked into the pockets of his leather jacket, waiting for Tsukishima’s train to arrive... for their final date before he heads off to university in two days.

Not that he’s told Tsukishima this.

Staring vacantly at the train as it pulls in, he huffs out a sigh, kicking his foot against the walk behind him petulantly.

He doesn’t want this to end.

A throat clearing in front of him has him jolting in surprise, turning his eyes upwards to meet the golden stare of Tsukishima - still oh-so hot and burning, the same way it was the first time they locked eyes.

He doesn’t care what anyone else says about his ‘cold’ counterpart, Yuuji knows the boy has a passionate soul, filled with a fierce desire to learn and experience as much as be possibly can. Tsukishima is as far from cold as anyone can get, his stubborness and pride sparking fires in Terushima and those around him...

Damn, he’s gonna miss him.

“Hey,” he whispers, watching in fascination as Tsukishima’s lips curl up into a fond smile.

“Hey yourself,” he replies casually, as if this isn’t the last time they will be seeing eachother for... possibly ever.

And fuck if THAT doesn’t make Terushima’s heart ache something fierce.

Clearing his throat in an attempt to distract himself, he sends his love his warmest smile. “I figured we could just go for a walk today in the park or something,” he suggests.

“That’s fine by me,” Tsukki replies, tilting his head in confusion, wondering what has Terushima in such a weird mood.

“Awesome.”

Linking his hand with the blond’s, he starts guiding them towards the nearby park, starting up a conversation about how the boy is feeling about heading into his final year in two weeks time, clinging to the slender fingers interlocked with his like a lifeline. He can tell that the other boy has picked up on his unusual behaviour, and he knows it’s only a matter of time before he calls him out on it, but for now, Terushima holds onto the small semblance of normalcy between them, trying desperately not to burst into tears everytime he thinks about how in a couple of hours he wont have this anymore.

Being an adult REALLY sucks.

The weather honestly isn’t that great, the moody, grey skies and biting winds seeming fitting to Terushima, the foul weather reflecting his foul mood, however, Tsukishima doesn’t voice any complaints, simply allowing Teru to huddle up to him, using his lanky body to hide from the wind.

Despite the awful walking weather, their day is nice overall, Tsukishima showing his soft side that Teru loves so much, being affectionate in his own, subtle way, sending the older boy more smiles than usual, listening intently to his anecdotes about the team and his little sister.

Wandering round, they come to a wooden pagoda overlooking a koi pond and Teru decides that here is as good a place as any. Dragging them both inside, they take a seat.

Grabbing a hold of both of Tsukishima’s hands in his own, he opens his mouth to admit his real reason for asking him there, but Tsukishima beats him to it.

“You’re heading to university, aren’t you?” He asks with that same warm smile he’s worn all day.

Terushima begins to splutter out a denial, before lowering his gaze in defeat, nodding to the other.

“Ah... I thought so. You’ve been acting weird all day,” he admits with a fond chuckle, making the near constant pain in Terushima’s chest throb achingly.

“I— yeah... sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry. We both knew this would happen sooner or later—”

“Yeah, well, it still fucking sucks!” Terushima snaps, before wincing in the silence that follows.

“... It does.” Tsukishima agrees, pressing into Terushima’s side, both of them staring out across the pond, taking comfort in one another’s presence.

“Are you...” Teru starts, voice rough and hoarse. “Are you sure you don’t want to try long distance?” He asks, turning to look up at the beautiful face above him - god, he’s SO beautiful.

Letting out a mirthless laugh, the younger continues to stare out at the water as he says, “I’m not sure about anything anymore, Teru. You... you were never part of the plan.”

“The plan?”

“Tch, yeah.” Tsukishima scoffs, scowling. “The plan - for what my future looks like? Work hard in final year, get into a good university, get a good-paying job, start a family... you don’t fit into that... and yet it’s So. Fucking. Hard. To let you go!” He bursts out, finally turning to face the other, his golden eyes aglow.

“I know... I’m sorry,” Terushima whispers.

“It’s not your fault,” Tsukishima sighs, closing his eyes as if staring at the elder boy is causing him pain. “And god, I don’t regret a single thing—”

“You don’t?” he breathes out, causing liquid eyes to flash open in shock and horror.

“No! Of course I don’t!” He says heatedly, and Terushima melts.

He knows he’s so lucky to get to see this side of Tsukishima, and he can only pray that the boy doesn’t close himself off to others after this - like he did after his brother. He says as much to the blond.

“I— I wont, I promise. Pretty sure my friends would never let me,” he says with a laugh, though it is oddly wet-sounding.

“Yeah, I suppose not. I know Hinata’s crazy, and freckles has nerves of steel for being friends with your salty self for so long,” he jokes, trying to lighten the mood.

“Hmmm. Them among others,” he says fondly and Teru can only assume he means the small, blonde girl Tsukishima mentions on occassion.

They sit in silence for a while, each contemplating how life will go on without the other after today and Terushima decides he can’t live with himself if he doesn’t say it.

“I... fuck, Tsukki. I don’t want to make this more difficult—”

“Then don’t—”

“But I’m never going to get the chance after today—”

“Teru—”

“So, I love you. I love you SO damn much and— fuck! It’s so shit that I’m saying this when we are about to break up—”

“Why are you—”

“But, god! I couldn’t live with myself if you never found out how much I love you and hate that this is happening!” He shouts, voice cracking as it is carried away by the wind.

He doesn’t know what he looks like with his eyes teary and hair windswept, but the first tear escapes his eye when he sees that Tsukishima is staring at him like he is the most breathtakingly beautiful piece of art he’s ever seen.

“Terushima...” he whispers. “I... love you too. Fuck! You couldn’t have made this easy, could you?” He sighs.

“You wouldn’t love me if I was that kind of person,” he whispers back.

“No, I suppose not...”

Silence flows over them again, but this time it is comfortable, like an old friend, the two staring at eachother in the quiet. Terushima’s eyes drink in his love’s features like a starving man, very aware that today may well be his last time to do so.

Tongue darting out to wet his wind-chapped lips, he opens his mouth to ask, “can I kiss you?”

The boy before him tenses up in surprise, eyes darting between the two before him and Terushima lets him, waiting patiently, his lips curling up slightly when the boy gives a shy, hesitant nod.

Not giving himself time to hesitate, he leans up to capture the other’s lips between his own, sighing softly when they finally connect in the way he’s been craving for months now - and judging by the similar breath released from the other’s lips, he isn’t the only one.

“I love you so much,” he murmurs into the others mouth, kissing him slowly and reverently, taking his time to explore the other in a way he never has before.

“I love you too.”

They stay that way for a while, basking in these final pieces of one another, before reluctantly pulling away to lean their foreheads together.

“I’m gonna miss you.”

The concession from the younger takes Terushima off guard, making him smile sadly.

“I’ll miss you too... and hey! If you’re ever in Tokyo, hit me up?”

“Yeah,” Tsukishima replies with an equally sad smile. “I’ll do that.”

 

 

IV.

Terushima can firmly say, after over a year with no word from Tsukishima - despite knowing the boy keeps in contact with some of his volleyball teammates - he never could have anticipated that he would be standing opposite the boy that stole his heart, waiting once more for the referee to blow his whistle as molten gold clashes with chocolate brown.

Similarly, he never could have anticipated the pain that ripped through his chest when a tiny, blonde, slip of a thing hurled herself into his boy’s arms.

Fuck... he thought he was over this! He buried himself in studies and sports and sec in an attempt to escape the neverending pain that has followed him around since he walked away from the pagoda that day.

Opening his mouth to ask who the girl is, he freezes when the Tanaka siblings start talking, exclaiming over the ‘couple’. Terushima can only watch, arms twitching with the urge to rip the two apart, as Tsukishima smiles into the girl’s hair, whispering sweet nothings to her... a smile that used to be reserved for him.

He wants to leave, but he can’t draw his eyes away from the couple, jumping at the mention of karaoke. Drinking himself blind and having a good time with his friends? Yes please. It’s only when he’s heading back to his shared flat with Tendou and Bobata that Tendou causally mentions the girl’s name: Yachi.

Oh... OH! Tsukishima’s female friend! Kuroo’s crush! WAIT...?!

“Hang on, you mean she and Tsukki AREN’T a couple?!” He asks, gaping at Tendou as they step into the flat, Bobata turning to face them from his place on the sofa.

“No... he said that to Ryuu... why? Who is ‘Tsukki’ to you?” He asks teasingly, emphasising the nickname Terushima had accidentally let slip. Shit.

Opening his mouth to cover aid slip, Bobata beats him to it by squawking, “Tsukki?! As in TSUKISHIMA?!”

“Tall, blond and leggy?” Tendou asks, the smile dropping from his face at Bobata’s serious reaction.

“Yeah! What— why are you bringing him up?” Bobata asks, finally reining in his reaction, though when Tendou confusedly admits that he was one of their opponents that night, the boy can’t stop himself from turning to his childhood friend and asking, “shit, are you alright, Teru?”

The boy in question goes to say that he’s fine, only to pause, because no. He’s really, really, REALLY NOT. Choosing to shrug his shoulders instead, he heads towards his room, saying over his shoulder, “we’re heading to karaoke soon, I apologise if I’m blackout drunk when I get back,” before leaving the room, deliberately ignoring the convers behind him.

Getting a text from Bokuto about ‘making sure to wear their matching victory shirts’ he throws on a pair of black, ripped, skinny jeans that he knows make his ass look great, and the yellow and black checkered shirt that makes his skin look radiant. Checking himself in the mirror, he knows he looks good, but his eyes are dead.

The door behind him swings open to reveal Tendou’s concerned face - screw what anyone says about the Guess Monster, the guy is an angel and you can’t change Yuuji’s mind - as he asks, “you ready to head out? Apparently he and Yachi are coming to...”

Great.

Plastering on a smile that they both know is fake, he says, “I plan on being so drunk I can’t even tell which ones they are, Tendou.”

“Ah... fair enough!” The red-head says with false cheer, clapping him on the back as they head into the living room where Bobata is hovering, biting at his lip worriedly. “First round is on me, yeah?” Tendou says happily, distracting the two Johzenji students.

“Ugh! DON’T say that, Tendou! He’ll buy the entire bar!” Bobata groans in exasperation, lightening the mood slightly, before turning to his best friend. “If you need anything, drop me a text, yeah?”

“Yeah,” Teru says, breathing out a sigh, “yeah, alright. Thanks, man.”

“No problem!” He replies, sending him a bright smile, before flopping down on the sofa again. “I’m just gonna be sitting here watching Desperate Housewives anyways!”

“Oh shit! Maybe I shouldn’t bother with karaoke, after all,” Terushima jokes, laughing as Tendou drags him out the door, mentioning something about a semi? He chooses not to question the boy.

Arriving at Saeko’s flat, Terushima has a moment of horror when he realises that she’s going out with Tsukishima’s older brother, but they don’t hover long enough for him to even get a proper glance of the blond siblings.

Wandering into the karaoke bar with Tendou’s card in hand and a playful smile on his face, he drags Kuroo and Bokuto to the bar with him - with the promise of free alcohol - and buys a huge array of different shots. Waltzing into the room, shot tray in hand, he can’t stop himself from sliding in beside Yachi - he’s curious, sue him. He never got to properly meet any of Tsukki’s friends.

Going to default flirting probably wasn’t his best move, but Kuroo’s possessiveness works out well enough for him since he finds himself at the edge of their group when Saeko and Tsukishima senior get up to sing, making it easy enough - with a couple of shots already in his system - to slip out of his seat and slide into the one next to Tsukishima.

“What’s a pretty thing like you, doing in a place like this,” he jokes with a wink, trying not to curse himself for his blatant need to flirt as a defence mechanism. The guy is practically his ex for fucks sake, flirting is so innapro—

“I imagine for the same reasons a pretty thing like you is,” comes the blond’s reply, said with a fond smile that makes the neverending pain in Terushima’s chest lighten slightly.

“Huh. To getting blackout drunk so we can forget our misery, then!” He cheers, raising a suspiciously green shot in salute, before downing it, eyes widening when Tsukki does the same with an orange shot.

Sliding a little closer, watching as golden eyes seem to glow brighter at his proximity, like embers finally finding a gust of wind, Terushima can’t help but smile and ask, “so... how’s that plan for the future going?”

In the end, Terushima doesn’t even get up to sing, instead listening with rapt attention as Tsukishima tells him all about how he decided to fuck the plan; deciding to do a degree with no prospects for the future, but that he loves, that he realised he was 100% gay and doesn’t want to do the whole happy families thing anyways, and that in general - plans suck.

Gradually leaning closer and closer, pulled into one another’s orbit as they catch up, they both jolt when the room shouts, “SHOTS!” Quickly joining in with a laugh, Terushima vaguely acknowledging that his shot was red as he watches blue liquid vanishing down Tsukishima’s slender throat , the tip of a freshly-stained blue tongue slipping out to catch the leftover droplets on his lips.

“We’d make purple together,” he blurts out unintelligently, eyes still trained on Tsukishima’s plump lips, swaying slightly due to being more than a little drunk.

He barely even realises how close to Tsukishima he’s gotten, until the other whispers, “purple is my favourite colour,” and he can feel the boys breath against his own lips. Unable to stop himself, Terushima crosses the final slip of space between them with a growl, taking the other’s tongue into his mouth with fierce desperation.

Trying to rein himself in, he moans when the blond gasps into his mouth, legs moving upwards to push into the palms that Terushima has pressed onto his thighs at some point. Pulling away, Terushima drops his head to mouth at that elegant, delicate neck, growling again at the idea of marking up the smooth, pale flesh, claiming it as his own.

Using what little control he has left, he distances himself from Tsukishima, panting heavily as he says, “if you don’t want this, you need to tell me now, Tsukki, because I can’t— fuck! If this isn’t what you—”

“It is! I do! Fuck, Teru. I thought that much was obvious!” The younger boy interrupts, eyes burning brightly as he breathes in sharp bursts, swaying towards the elder as if magnetised.

“Then— fucking hell, Tsukki!” Terushima groans as the other latches onto his neck. Fumbling out his phone, it’s surprisingly difficult to order an uber when drunk, and he almost cries in relief when he sees that it will be there in 3 minutes. “Come on,” he pants, tugging the blond away from his neck. “Lets get out of here.”

There’s a moment where Tsukishima pauses and tenses up, and Teru thinks he’s made the biggest mistake ever, but then the boy’s whole body goes lax and a relaxed smile crosses his face. “Yeah, okay,” he says with a giddy excitement that Terushima barely recognises, and he can onto stare in awe as the other picks up their coats and says their goodbyes, before tugging him out of the room by the wrist.

Rushing out of the building and into the waiting taxi, he shoots off a quick message to Bobata telling him he’s bringing someone home (though he does NOT say who that someone is) and that he should probably clear out of the living room if he doesn’t want a show.

Sending that off, he barely remembers the drive, because suddenly he’s out of the uber and is now the one tugging Tsukki by the wrist as he guides them up into his apartment, trying his hardest to be quiet as the boy mouth at his neck from behind, occasionally grinding a very obvious erection against the top of his arse - and while he typically doesn’t bottom, the idea of Tsukishima dominating him in such a way has him leaking.

Unlocking the door, they both stumble into his room and he’s not afraid to admit that there is little to no finesse in their actions.

Their clothes are stripped quickly, both of them stumbling and laughing numerous times as they trip on pants and socks, giddy with alcohol and eachother’s presence. Practically falling onto the bed, Teru rolls on top of the other, his shaggy hair falling forwards to frame his face as he stops for a moment to stare into the eyes of his love.

“You’re eyes are like a bonfire... did you know that?” He breathes, watching in fascination as the boys chest hitches when his breath catches in his throat. Not able to resist any longer, he dips back down to that throat and begins to suck and nibble his way down it, groaning in satisfaction knowing that the boy will be claimed by him, and anyone who sees him in the next few days will know it too.

The body underneath his writhes in pleasure, soft whimpers and pleas being reluctantly pulled from his throat and god, does that do something to Terushima. The usually snarky boy, now laid bare beneath him, submitting to his touch. It’s addicting.

Slowly crawling his way lower, smirking at the desperate noises coming from his lover, he flicks a pointed tongue across one of the pink nipples below him, watching in satisfaction as the pale chest arches into his touch. Humming in pleasure, he continues his slow administrations, graduating from small licks and nips to harsh sucks and bites, smiling around the bead in his mouth as the other keens.

It takes a long time for him to finally reach his destination, Tsukishima a panting, shaking mess beneath him as he finally lays his eyes on his dick, unable to stop himself from lolling his tongue out to clean up the precum slowly oozing from the tip. Moaning at the salty taste, Terushima dives down in search of more, taking the long, heavy member into his mouth, moaning at the feel, making it twitch as Tsukki cries out in rapture.

Fuck, he could cum just from listening to his noises, he thinks, slowly working the other with his mouth, eyes dropping closed in pleasure. He’s always enjoyed giving blowjobs - the power that comes with being able to reduce someone to a shaking, sweaty mess with just his mouth... its heady.

The urge to do that with Tsukishima is strong, but he knows this may be his only chance and he’s not going to waste it.

Pulling away from the boy with a frankly filthy slurp, he leans over to rumage around in his drawers, pulling back when he finds what he’s looking for.

Dropping a condom onto the bed beside him for later, he uncaps the cold lube and warms some up on his fingers, pressing light, teasing kissing to the inside of the thighs before him, trying his own patience now. Moving his hand upwards, he uses his other to split the thighs before him wider, finally getting a glimpse of his love’s tight, puckered hole. Smiling to himself, he shoots a look Tsukishima’s face, finding it blissed out, but focused on him. Not dropping eye contact, he slowly eases one finger into his hole, his own dick twitching painfully when the blond’s mouth parts on a moan at the intrusion, eyelids fluttering closed in contentment at finally being filled.

Trying his hardest to go slow and not hurt the angel below him, he slowly works him open with smooth, practised movements, smiling in satisfaction when the body below moves to to push and pull of his fingers, undulating against him, chasing more contact.

Mouthing more bruises into the thighs by his head, he colours the pale skin with shades of red and purple, pulling away to stare at his masterpiece with pride, before climbing up the body to melt their mouths together once more.

Grinding his own erection into the blond’s, he sighs in contentment, before pulling away to ask one last time, “are you sure?”

At Tsukishima’s hurried nod and soft, “please, Teru,” he rolls the condom on and lines himself up, burying his head into the other’s soft neck as he pushes into his slick heat, satisfaction flowing through his body as he is finally united with his love wholly and completely.

 

 

V.

Terushima honestly isn’t sure what to do... and this isn’t a ‘fake it till you make it’ kind of situation either.

I mean, he has his high school love - who he is VERY much still in love with - in his bed!

Turning his head, he stares at the blond, taking in his delicate, pale features. He’s like an angel, Terushima thinks, shaking his head in mirth, before turning back to stare at the ceiling again, as if it holds all the answers to the universe.

What was he thinking last night?

Don’t get him wrong, he doesn’t regret it! Not at all! He’s just... aware that he’s setting himself up for another 12 months of heartbreak, buries in other men and women to try and feel some semblance of ‘okay’.

Letting out a sigh at the idea of another year feeling as shitty as he did the last, he startles when a small chuckle comes from his right. Flipping his head round, he meets the molten eyes of one Tsukishima Kei, glittering in amusement - and fuck, he’s missed that.

“It was just sex, Teru. You don’t need to sigh like the universe has somehow offended you,” he quips, voice dripping with that sarky lilt Terushima loves so much. “It isn’t going to change anything, anyways—”

“What if I want it to?” Terushima interrupts, staring intently at the chipped, white paint above him in order to avoid the blond’s penetrating gaze.

“... What do you mean?”

“I mean, what if I want last night to change things?” He whispers.

“I— but...” Tsukishima stutters confused, making him sigh again. Clearly they aren’t on the same page.

“Forget it,” he mutters, pushing himself into a sitting position, trying to ignore the aches and bruises littering his body - all reminders of something he should try to forget as soon as possible. God, Bobata is gonna kill him!

Pushing past the black spots clouding his vision - fucking hangovers - he goes to stand up, intending to pull on some clothes and get as fad away from the blond as possible, but is stopped by a firm grip on his shoulder.

“Oh, hell no. Fuck that. YOU invited ME here, Teru! And I’m sorry if that feels like a mistake come morning, but you can’t just... SAY something like that then run away!” Tsukishima says emphatically, passion causing his voice to go rough and raspy in a way that has all the blood in Terushima’s body rushing south.

Curse the younger man and the way he makes his body react!

“I’m not! I— ugh!” Terushima tries, groaning in frustration. “It doesn’t matter!”

“Well, it clearly does!”

“No, it’s—”

“Just fucking tell me, Teru!”

“FINE! Fucking fine! I love you! I still fucking love you, okay?! And the idea of us having done this, and it being ‘just sex’ hurts! But I know you didn’t sign up for my clingy ass, so I’m going to head out and get some space, ‘cause I cant—” he stops, sighing once more, feeling like a broken record.

When nothing but silence comes from the body beside him, he tries to stand up again, only to pause when the grip on his shoulder becomes bruising and a choked noise comes from behind him.

Whipping his head around, he finds wide, golden eyes staring at him in shock.

“Shit. I— fuck. I’m sorry, Kei. I shouldn’t have—” another choking noise cuts him off.

“You— I... you never called me Kei when we were dating,” is what ends up coming out of Tsukishima’s mouth, surprising Teru.

“I... guess not? I’ve always called you Kei in my head, but when I knew we would be going out separate ways... didn’t see much point I suppose,” he admits with a small shrug, not understanding the other boy’s reaction.

“Why did you call me it just now, then?” He asks, voice barely above a whisper.

“I... figured this would be the last time I ever saw you...” he says, equally as quiet, wincing when a wounded sound is pulled from the blond.

“I don’t want that...”

“Don’t want what?”

“This to be the last time we see eachother,” Tsukishima breathes, closing his eyes as if in pain. “I... fucking hell, Yuuji! I love you too! I figured that much was obvious when I decided to come home with you—”

“But you said it was just sex?!”

“Yeah! Because I woke up to you staring at the ceiling all melancholy, sighing dramatically like some heroine from a gothic novel!” He exclaims in exasperation, though Terushima picks up on the undercurrent of fondness in his voice and - oh!

“Oh. We’re dumb...”

“Yeah... you think?” Tsukishima snarks, the effect ruined by the small giggle he lets out, biting his lip softly, before leaning in to kiss the other hesitantly.

They kiss languidly for a couple of minutes, bodies fitting together like puzzle pieces, before Terushima pulls away to hesitantly ask, “so... you want... to try long distance?” Wincing when Tsukishima freezes up.

“I... he sighs. “I want something with you,” he admits, smiling shyly at the other, “but... I don’t want to rush into things.”

“What do you mean?” The bottle-blond asks in confusion.

“I mean, there’s so much history between us, and we’ve both changed - or at least, I know I have - and I just... want to do this properly? Tell my friends and family - hell, come out to my friends and family - go slow. Get to know eachother again, before going out. See if we are still compatible...”

“... Only you could make ‘being friends’ into something so complicated,” Yuuji says with a laugh, staring at the other with blatant love, “but yeah, alright. Lets be long distance friends first and see where that takes us, yeah?”

“Yeah... that sounds good to me,” Tsukishima agrees with a small smile.

“Good! Yuuji beams back, before pausing, a frown coming over his face. “I— can I still call you Kei, though?” He asks.

And damn, who could say no to that?

“Of course you can... Yuuji.”

 

 

VI.

Things are going well with Tsukishima, Yuuji thinks.

The past month and a half, they have been texting and calling fairly regularly, and Terushima is happy to report that he is just as in love with Tsukishima now as he was in the past.

That’s not to say the boy isnt different, because where he was all snappy wit and defence mechanisms in high school, he’s mellowed somewhat, into fond jabs and lighthearted sarcasm - though the boy can still be cutting with his words, don’t mistake him, but now every sharp comment or insult is softened by the fondness in his voice, or a gentle smile to indicate that it’s a joke.

God, Yuuji loves him so much... but he’s content with their friendship for now, comfortable with the knowledge that they both care for eachother as lovers do.

He’s also happy that Tsukki has come out to his friends, finding comfort in the occasional presence of the tiny, blonde Yachi - who, he agrees with Oikawa, must be a literal angel - the girl having come up to him, saying she’s glad he makes Kei happy...

And fuck, if that hadn’t made the constant pain in his chest melt away into nothingness.

All in all, things are going great...

But DAMN IT KEI! Why did he have to show up to Kuroo’s birthday party looking like THAT?!

Pale blue skinny jeans with tips and the knee clingy DELICIOUSLY to the beautiful, supple, SMOOTH thighs that Terushima knows rest underneath. Flashbacks of the two of them in his bed after karaoke take over his mind, the memory of his hands gripping the underside of said thighs, holding the blond’s legs in place over his shoulders as he thrust into his silky heat... pull it TOGETHER, Yuuji! You’re in public!

Shaking himself out of it, he has to suppress a moan when his eyes travel upwards. A soft looking, TIGHT, white turtleneck clings to every muscle of Tsukishima’s torso... muscles that Terushima knows intimately well, having mapped them with his tongue— STOP IT YUUJI!

Cursing himself and his raging hormones, he turns to Tendou instead of watching Tsukishima head towards the bar - god knows how his body would react if he caught a glimpse of that perky ass - and buries his head in the other’s shoulder, groaning, “tell me when he’s gone.”

It takes about 30 seconds, before the red-head replies, “all clear,” with a chuckle, amusement sparkling in his eyes.

Opening his mouth to no doubt say something that will embarrass Terushima for life, the bottle-blond shouts, “nope!” And leans across the table, making eye contact with Iwaizumi. “Let me do Karaoke with you next,” he begs, startling the older student.

“Erm... no? Unless you wanna deal with Oikawa’s wrath?” He asks, making Yuuji wince. Maybe not.

Turning puppy dog eyes onto Bokuto, he says, “you’re going up after Oikawa and ‘Zumi, right? Can I go up with you?” And bless Bokuto Koutarou for being a wonderfully kind person.

“Of course, my dude! You, me and Kuroo! What song should we sing?!” He asks enthusiastically and Yuuji finds himself engaging in a conversation weighing the pros and cons of singing rap songs on Karaoke when Tsukishima returns.

Unable to help himself, he finds his eyes darting south as the blond walks by and HOLY FUCK, HE’S SO GAY, HE— is being pulled out of his seat by Bokuto, because it’s ‘showtime!’

Honestly, he doesn’t even remember getting onto the stage, but suddenly Kuroo and Bokuto are twerking on either side of him and damn it, he’s not gonna do Nicki dirty by NOT twerking to her song!

Joining in with the others, they both point at him as the song fully kicks in and he lets his inner gay come out to play, smirking at the crowds below as he sings, “boy toy named troy, used to live in detroit,” winking and shaking his hips as he does.

“Big dope dealer money, he was gettin’ some coins,” Kuroo joins in, putting on a nasally voice that makes both he and Yuuji start cracking up, Bokuto stealing the next two lines, before they all chime in, “now that’s REAL REAL REAL,” and the show is on.

Singing and rapping over eachother, it becomes a competition to see who can perform the best, he and Kuroo getting into a ‘twerk off’ while Bokuto stands and slaps their arses. He honestly thought he had it in the bag, until Bokuto whipped out the splits and started twerking on the floor mid-split, the gathered crowd going crazy, much to the chagrin of a speechless Kuroo and Yuuji.

All in all, it’s stupidly fun and when Bokuto pulls him from the stage to the dance floor he goes with a laugh, all thoughts of Tsukishima’s delectable arse gone from his mind.

He can’t have been dancing for more than 30 minutes, Bokuto having disappeared at some point, when he’s joined by Tsukishima, making his eyes widen in surprise.

“Everything okay?’ He shouts over the pounding music, confused as to why the blond has approached him when he didn’t think the other wanted anyone to know about them—

“Terushima Yuuji, will you please be my fucking boyfriend?” Interrupts his internal monologue and— what?!

Mouth dropping open in shock, he can barely whisper, “what are you on about?” Tsukishima smirking at his shock.

“I love you. The past 2 months have only confirmed that. I wanna call you my boyfriend... if you’ll let me,” and who could say no?

Nodding enthusiastically, he launches himself at the other, pouring every ounce of love and affection he has for him into the kiss. It’s hot and mess and wet and SO SO GOOD!

Chuckling into the kiss, he pulls away only far enough so that he can look into his lover’s eyes, sparkling like liquid gold. “You’re sure?” He questions, and at the other’s confirming nod he feels himself beaming, a massive smile splitting his face. “Then yes! Holy shit, YES!” He exclaims happily, reaching up to grab the back of his love— no, his BOYFRIEND’S neck, pulling him back down into another heated kiss.

Almost two years he’s been waiting for this moment... and my god, does it feel good!

Giggling into Tsukishima’s lips, his joy bubbling out of him, he can only be thankful that his golden boy finally decided to go after what he wants - which just so happens to be him.

Boyfriends, huh? Sounds perfect.

Chapter Text

Contrary to popular belief, that very first practice match against Aoba Johsai was not the first time Hinata had met the Seijoh third years - nor was it the second, or the third, or even the tenth!

You see, Hinata has a little secret; and that secret’s name is Oikawa Tooru.

Pretty boy. Model. Flirting extraordinaire... all titles people have used when describing Oikawa (granted, that last one he made up for himself), however, for many months, Hinata only knew him as Takeru’s handsome uncle that brought him to volleyball practice at the same place as Natsu.

God, it was so awkward at first!

Hinata remembers blushing brighter than his orange hair the first time Oikawa approached him during the practice, the small, middle blocker having been admiring him from afar for weeks. However, once they got talking - the two of them being the youngest caretakers there by a good 15 years - they found that they had lots in common - way more than just volleyball.

And so, the two started a tentative friendship, which evolved over the years into a relationship that rivalled Oikawa’s with Iwaizumi’s... but the setter never found himself speechless when the light hit Iwaizumi’s hair just right when they were walking home, nor did he get lost in counting his friend’s freckles as they sat on his bed watching a movie, or find himself out of breath as he watched his delicate, pink tongue licking the dripping ice creams that’s melted onto his fingers... oh.

It took him a while, but two years into their friendship, Oikawa stopped denying his attraction to Hinata and asked him out on a date, much to the elation and joy of his tiny companion.

And now, having been going out for over a year, the two find themselves giggling (Hinata) and winking (Oikawa) at eachother across the court, Takeda Sensei having set up another practice match for them - their final one before Oikawa and the third years will be graduating.

Hinata catches Iwaizumi’s gaze as the hulking boy rolls his eyes at Oikawa’s antics, before sending his own - much more subtle - wink Hinata’s way, the ginger trying very hard to smother his laughter at Oikawa’s offended gasp, having caught the two’s interactions.

Being friends (and boyfriends) with Oikawa for three years - the two having met just before Oikawa moved to Aoba Johsai - means that Hinata is extremely familiar with the Seijoh third years, the younger boy having been invited to hang out with the 4 of them plenty of times, especially once Hinata and Oikawa’s relationship blossomed into romance, the three of them taking any opportunity to tease their normally poised captain. With Hinata joining in the fun, the 4 of them soon became a force to be reckoned with.

As a result, Hinata was SO excited when Takeda sensei announced their first practice match was against his boyfriend’s and friends’ school, the 5 of them having regular practices together.

It’s actually because of said practices that Hinata had such a hard time spiking Kageyama’s sets - it’s much more difficult than you’d think, trying to hit someone else’s sets when you’re so used to a particular setter’s tosses.

Where Oikawa’s sets are always soft, seeming to float through the air for an eternity, Kageyama’s are fast and piercing, the ginger barely having time to react.

It was difficult! But the good kind of difficult: a challenge.

... He still prefers his boyfriend’s sets though, much to Oikawa’s delight and his friends’ despair.

That first practice match had been so exciting to Hinata when it was announced, the boy vibrating with energy - and he was pretty upset that Oikawa missed most of it, though not as upset as he was with Kageyama.

He had known about the setter, of course; Oikawa talking about him with a mixture of annoyance and regret, whenever recalling junior high.

The span of Kageyama’s dislike for his boyfriend was a complete and utter shock to him though, Hinata having to hold his tongue as he listened to him telling their teammates about Oikawa on the bus to Seijoh.

He’d not worried about it until that point, figuring everyone at Karasuno would be fine with him having a boyfriend on an opposing team - I mean, Iwaizumi, Mattsun and Makki had no problem with it! How was he supposed to know his boyfriend’s mortal enemy would end up at Karasuno?!

Keeping to himself for the rest of the journey, Hinata had found himself getting more and more sick the closer they got to his boyfriend’s school - what if his teammates hated him when they found out?!

He was so nervous that he barely paid any attention as they entered the school, not even realising that his boyfriend wasn’t there at first - deliberately not making eye contact with his friends - and when he did realise his boyfriend was missing, well... needless to say he played terribly. It took making eye contact with a concerned Iwaizumi for him to calm down, the boy only playing at his best once Oikawa finally arrived, all of his stress and nerves transforming into raw power, which he used to slam that final spike past his boyfriend’s head, a small smirk forming on his face as he watched the brunette flush, honey eyes darkening with warmth as he smirks back.

Confidence now settled, he turned back to his team with a shout of joy.

Yeah... there’s no way he’d ever let Karasuno take that euphoria away from him.

The nickname Grand King had rolled off his tongue when his friends started dissing his boyfriend again. It had been his own small act of rebellion; claiming his setter as the better king. His teammates didn’t get it, but judging by the approving nod he got from Iwaizumi, the matching smirks from Makki and Mattsun, and the awed expression sent his way by Oikawa - they all understood what he meant.

It was later that week when he broached the subject with Oikawa, explaining Kageyama’s apparent hatred for him - and Tanaka and Noya’s too, thanks to his boyfriend’s deliberate poking and teasing during the match.

The two agreed that, while they refused to hide their relationship, they weren’t going to openly flaunt it either. Their teams would figure it out eventually, right..?

That was over 6 months ago now.

Since that day they have had camps together, practise matches, and even spring interhigh!

And NO ONE HAS REALISED!

It’s now become something of a challenge for the 5 of them; how obvious. An they be before someone notices them? Hence the winking and giggling.

Hinata misses a few key spikes and blocks during the match, due to uncontrollably laughing at Makki and Mattsun’s ridiculous faces and plays, the two getting into a competition to see who can do the most outlandish spikes, Hanamaki lying on his back at one point to cover as much floor space as possible, receiving one of Tanaka’s spikes to the stomach, causing him to roll around dramatically, moaning about his abs collapsing in, only for Hinata to quip, “oh, please! Like you have ABS,” with a hair flick as he walks back to his starting position, Iwiazumi and Mattsun’s raucous laughter booming through the gym behind him as he does.

 

“I can’t believe you’d betray me like that, fly boy!” Hanamaki shouts, clutching to his chest dramatically.

Hinata opens his mouth to reply, only for Coach Nobuteru to interrupt him, telling Hanamaki to get up, otherwise he’s off the court.

Scrambling up quickly, the two exchange a look, Makki raising his eyebrows in question at the ginger. Hinata grins and nods in reply; he’ll join in their little game.

It takes him using his elbow to try and spike the ball - it miraculously coming down onto the front of the opposite side of the court where no one could reach it - for his team to pick up on Hinata’s antics, Kageyama grabbing him furiously.

“What the hell, Boke?! Are you trying to throw the match?!”

“Of course not!” He replies, batting his eyelashes innocently, causing Kageyama to let go of him in panic, Iwaizumi’s shoulder’s loosening as he does - no one grabs his little crow like that.

“Then what are you doing?! I’m sending tosses to you and you’re not even trying to spike them properly!”

Groaning internally, he meets Oikawa’s eyes with an exasperated look, before plastering an innocent mask on his face - he has a younger sister, he knows the power of puppy dog eyes.

“It’s just...” he pauses, looking down at the floor bashfully, scuffing his shoes against the linoleum, “it’s their third years’ last practise match, Kageyama!” He says imploringly. “They deserve to have some fun! Mattsun and Makki were messing about having a good time... I just thought I should get involved, y’know?” He mumbles, not looking up, despite hearing someone from Seijoh chocking on their own spit. His lip tries to curl up into a laugh, but he resists it. He knows how to play the innocent card.

“That... is very astute of you, Hinata,” Daichi says, the younger boy looking up with fake hope, to stare into his captain’s compassionate face. “Very kind of you, too,” he compliments with a smile, before turning to Coach Ukai with a raised brow, the entire gym falling into silence as the man rubs at his chin thoughtfully.

“I don’t suppose a fun match would hurt...” he begins, cut off by cheers coming from Hinata, Tanaka and Nishinoya. “Who knows, maybe one of your moves will inspire a new attack or something,” he chuckles.

The look of absolute horror on Kageyama’s face is enough to finally break through Hinata’s mask, laughter bubbling out of his throat.

Holy shit, he can’t believe that worked!

Looking to his friends, he can see by the slack-jawed astonishment on their faces that they didn’t think he would get away with it. Mattsun turns to him with an awed expression, saying, “can I please keep you?”

Before Hinata can reply, shouts go up from his teammates, causing him to giggle helplessly.

“No way—”

“He’s ours—”

“Find your own little giant—”

However, one shout stands out above the rest.

“Mattsun! You know you can’t have him, he’s mine!” Oikawa complains, the riots quieting momentarily in shock, before pandemonium strikes.

“YOURS?!”

“Yeah, right!”

“Shut up, senpai!”

And Hinata?

Hinata can’t stop himself any longer, meeting Oikawa’s gaze through the net, he sends him a blinding grin.

“You bet I am! And you’re mine!” He says with a sweet giggle, happy to finally be able to say so after almost a year of not-hiding it.

The way Oikawa’s eyes seem to glow, lighting up from within with happiness, has Hinata crossing the court without meaning to, Oikawa ducking under the the net to meet him halfway, swinging a loose, but possessive arm around his shoulders as they turn to face Karasuno as a solid unit, the other third years moving over to back them up.

For once the team is silent, staring at the twi with a mixture of looks; from abject horror (Kageyama), to support (Sugawara), to glares (Tanaka and Noya), to contemplation (Tsukishima.)

“So... you two are... going out?” Yamaguchi tries, voice hesitant and wary.

“Yep!” Hinata confirms briskly with a nod, before tilting his head back to look at his boyfriend, a mischievous glint in his amber eyes. “We’ve been going out for... hmmm. It must be nearing a year and a half now, right babe?” He asks, voice dripping with saccharine sweetness.

“Sounds about right,” Oikawa agrees with a smirk, though the mirth on his face is ruined slightly by the awe still present if you look close enough, like Hinata is.

“So, yeah!” Hinata says with a clap. “Oh, and before you say anything - we were never hiding it!” He adds with a glare towards the members of Karasuno that are still clearly upset. “We just thought it would make things more difficult if we came out and announced it; what with Kageyama’s feelings towards him and whatnot - plus I didn’t want you to think I would go easy on him, just because he’s my boyfriend!”

“We wouldn’t have thought that, Hinata—” Daichi starts, but he’s cut off by the gruff, no-nonsense voice of Iwaizumi.

“You might not have, Sawamura-san, but other members of Karasuno certainly would. There was also the worry of him being taken off the court entirely, due to his connection with us.”

“Wait, wait, wait! US?!” Tanaka butts in.

“Yeah.”

“Us.”

Mattsun and Makki say, with a high five over their cool delivery, stepping up to join Iwaizumi, fully showing their support for the couple.

“We’ve been friends with the cutie over there for almost 3 years now. If you all knew that, would you have still let him play against us?” Mattsun asks?

A few grumbles rise from the group, but no one is confident that they would have.

“Alright, we see your point,” Daichi intervenes, hands held up placatingly, “but what about after nationals? Surely you could have told us then?”

“Oh. Yeah... we did think about it,” Hinata says, tilting his head to the side in thought, “but by then I kinda wanted to mess with you all,” he admits with a smirk that has most of Karasuno reeling, not used to seeing his devious side that has been formed from years of hanging out with Mattsun and Makki.

“Mess... with... us?” Asahi asks faintly.

“Yeah! We’ve been dropping hints for WEEKS now, waiting for someone to figure it out, but no one did! It was kind of disappointing, really,” he mumbles to Oikawa.

“WAIT! You mean like that time at camp, during truth or dare, when we asked which captain you would kiss if you had to - and you chose Oikawa?!” Noya blurts out, eyes blown wide.

“Yup! Already kissed him though, so I’m biased,” he teases.

“W-We thought you were just saying him to piss Kageyama off!” Tanaka joins in.

“Nope! I really would choose Oikawa, obviously.” He says, giggling when he feels his boyfriend’s arm tightening around his shoulders, pulling him closer into a cuddle.

“I can’t believe it,” Kageyama splutters, watching his best friend and arch nemesis SNUGGLE!

Believe it, Bakeyama! ‘Cause it ain’t changing!” Hinata says, turning to his boyfriend with a grin, before leaning up to plant a soft kiss on his lips.

The wonder and amazement on Oikawa’s face is worth it, he thinks. Worth the secrecy and the struggle - every single second of it.

Smiling at the thought, he turns fully, stepping up onto his tippy-toes, ignoring the coos from Mattsun, he whispers into Oikawa’s ear, “I’m so glad I can finally do this,” before leaning in for another, slightly less chaste kiss. “I love you, Grand King.”

Smiling wide and bright and honest, Oikawa brings their foreheads together as he replies, “I love you too, Little Giant.”

Chapter Text

“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me?! Hell. No.” Bakugou states emphatically, shaking his head at Aizawa, who lets out his signature ‘I’m so done with everything’ sigh.

“It’s not up for negotiation, Bakugou,” he says firmly. “After what happened at the last camp, everyone is staying in rooms of two—”

“Yeah, I get that! I’m not an idiot! But WHY IS THERE ONLY ONE BED?!” He explodes, hands sparking in anger.

Todoroki honestly doesn’t see what the big deal is. Leaving the two to argue between themselves, he wanders over to the bed in question. It’s pretty big - a king size, probably - more than big enough for them to not touch eachother while they are sleeping. Eyes flicking over to the still arguing pair, Todoroki notes the tension in Bakugou’s frame, frowning.

He doesn’t get what Bakugou is so upset about. He’s seen the other asleep with the self-proclaimed ‘baku-squad’ on the sofas in the common area on more than one occasion... he KNOWS that Bakugou - despite appearances - has no problems with physical contact, so...

The problem must be him.

Setting his bags on the left side of the bed, Todoroki turns to the pair, ensuring none of of his upset - and he is upset that Bakugou doesn’t trust him - leaks into his voice, when he says, “I’m sure I can swap with Kirishima. It’s not a problem, Bakugou.”

The boy in question whips around to face him, looking confused, angry and hurt all at once. Opening his mouth to no doubt say something rude, he is cut off by Aiwaza’s deadpan, “not possible. The rooms and roommates were chosen specifically with safety in mind. As the top student in 1-A, the school decided that you were the best person to stay with Bakugou. It’s out of my hands. NOW, if you’re done huffing, it’s been a long journey. Get some sleep the two of you,” he says, before sweeping out of the room, leaving Bakugou gaping furiously in his wake.

Crap... well, I guess we had better get some rest.

“Are you... okay with me taking the left side?” Todoroki asks hesitantly. He doesn’t have a preference, but Bakugou might.

“I don’t give a fuck, Icyhot. Do whatever you want. It’s not like I’ll be getting any sleep, anyways,” he mumbles, thinking Todoroki can’t hear him, the other tensing up.

Great. It is a him problem.

Is it because he doesn’t trust me? Todoroki wonders as he heads into the ensuite to change and brush his teeth. He knows they’ve been getting along better the past couple of months, since he helped Kirishima and Midoriya rescue him from the league of villains... but maybe he still doesn’t trust him. He did let the league take him in the first place which - though he hasn’t told anyone - still gives him nightmares to this day. Watching Bakugou disappear through that portal... everyone seems to have forgotten that he was there when it happened, but he doubts Bakugou has - not when he was so close to grabbing that damn marble! If he’d just been a little quicker - a little better! - Bakugou would never have had to go through what he did... its not really surprising that Bakugou doesn’t want to room with him, he supposes; he couldn’t save him last time, whats to say he will be able to now if there’s another attack?

Sighing, Todoroki splashes some water on his face, before staring at his reflection. He’s not exactly hero material, is he? With his scar and ugly, discoloured eyes... who would want to share a bed with that? Bakugou might wake up in the night, only to catch a glimpse of his scarred face next to him - maybe he’ll get such a fright, he’ll blow up the sheets...

Letting out a small giggle at the thought, he makes his way back into the room, ignoring the silent treatment Bakugou gives him as he shoves his way into the bathroom at Todoroki has just vacated.

Shrugging in defeat, Todoroki decides to follow Aizawa’s advice and get some sleep. Remembering how tough the last training camp was - ignoring the fact that they were attacked by the league of villains - he’s going to need all the sleep he can get.

Climbing under the covers, he lets out a small shiver. Cabins in the middle of the woods aren’t renown for their excellent heating, he supposes. Letting out a quiet huff of amusement, he uses his quirk to heat up his side of the bed only, knowing Bakugou will probably appreciate the cold, with his quirk being activated by sweat and whatnot.

Turning to face the wall, he closes his eyes and waits, his body far too tense to fall asleep yet.

The quiet click of the door signals Bakugou’s return to the room and he can’t help but find himself relaxing as the other makes as much noise as possible, no doubt trying to rile him up, however, Todoroki only smiles and settles further into the surprisingly comfortable mattress.

Bakugou doesn’t realise, but every noise he makes telegraphs his whereabouts in the room to Todoroki, meaning he can keep a better eye on him. Lulled into sleep by the reassurance that Bakugou is okay - and being his usual, annoying self - Todoroki vows to protect him this time around.

I promise, I’ll keep you safe, Bakugou...

Chapter Text

Stiles knows what it’s like to be sleep deprived - hell, he’s been sleep deprives since he was about 14! - and he’s more than capable of handling it, as he’s shown the pack on more than one occasion. However, he has this TEENY TINY LITTLE BAD HABIT, where he doesn’t know when to stop...

Staying up all night doing research? Sure!

Then staying up all the next night, running through the preserve trying to destroy whatever their current monster of the week is? Mmm... okay.

THEN staying up all night researching AGAIN because they weren’t able to catch said monster of the week? Stiles, sweetie... you should really go to bed.

And unfortunately, while the rest of the pack knows exactly where this line is through years of trial and error - and are VERY good at keeping him from crossing it - he has become very good at hiding just how close to that line he is.

And when he crosses it?

Well... it’s not exactly what you might expect.

...

It’s been a typical Wednesday for Jackson; go to school, pretend to be dumber than he is, maybe push about a couple of freshman - he’s got a reputation to uphold, alright? The pack know he’s not a complete asshole and their opinions are the only ones that REALLY matter to him anymore, but a complete personality change would only make people notice him for the WRONG reasons, and he’s damn well not going to bring that kind of attention onto the pack - anyways! A pretty standard Wednesday, rounded off with a movie night in the newly built Hale house. Lydia, Stiles, Kira and Peter are off in a different part of the house researching the creepy shadow monster haunting their new English teacher.

All in all, nothing different to normal... that is, until Stiles walks in and drops onto his lap, wrapping floppy limbs around him like an octopus.

“... What the HELL, STILINSKI?! Get off!” Jackson shouts, trying to dislodge the human without actually hurting him.

“Shit dude, stop!” McCall shouts from the other side of the room, staring at him with those wide, puppy-dog eyes of his... in fact... everyone seems to be staring at him like that.

“Someone had better tell me what the fuck is going on - and get this shithead off me - right now!” He growls threateningly, only for it to cut off in shock when he gets three returning growls from Scott, Malia and Erica.

“Dude...” Isaac says quietly, voice almost reverent. “It’s sleepy stiles - and he’s chosen YOU! You can’t push him away—”

“Sure he can!” Erica snarls, standing from her own spot on Boyd’s lap. “If he doesn’t want him, then me and Boyd are happy to take him,” she says with a malicious smile as Boyd nods seriously from behind her, causing Jackson’s arms to come up around Stiles protectively.

What the hell is going on?!

“Enough, Erica!” Scott snaps with a severity that shocks the whole room. Scott NEVER takes a tone like that with the pack. “You know as well as I do that if we move him and it wakes him up, he’ll crash!”

“Will someone just tell me what the fuck is happening with Stilinski right now?” Jackson gets out through gritted teeth, causing Scott to sigh, before facing him. What the hell does Scott mean by ‘crash’?

“Look, Jackson. I know the two of you don’t have the best relationship, but you’ll just have to deal with it until Stiles properly falls to sleep. Then you can probably take him to bed—”

“Probably?!”

“He’s a little... clingy, when he gets like this,” Scott says, staring at his best friend - who is currently curled into a ball on Jackson’s lap, snuggling into his neck - with an extremely fond look.

“And what exactly is ‘this’, McCall?!”

“He’s crossed his line, dude!” At Jackson’s blank look he groans. “Come on, you’ve seen him like this before! He just never chooses you to cuddle with... dunno why he did tonight, to be honest...”

“McCall!” Jackson snaps. God, can this guy do anything without getting distracted?

“Right! Well, basically, you know how Stiles goes on his research benders, yeah? Sometimes staying up all night - has done since we were young?”

“Yeah...”

“Well, we realised that he has this... limit, I guess? It’s usually somewhere between days 3 and 4, where he just... stops functioning. His brain says ‘nope’ or whatever and he stops doing whatever he’s doing, searching out the nearest... safe... person, who he snuggles with until he falls asleep. It didn’t used to be so bad - like, he was still aware, you know? We could get him to go and sleep in his own bed or something, but after the Nogitsune...”

“It got worse.” Allison continues, Scott smiling at her gratefully. “It’s like... he pushes himself so hard to protect the pack! And we all know he still has nightmares...” the rest of the pack looks solemn at that. “The way he’s explained it, is that he doesn’t want to sleep because he’s afraid, but obviously he has to sleep, you know? So once he hits a certain point, his brain just - bam! Shuts down. All he knows is he has to find someone safe, and once he does he can sleep, because the pack will protect him.”

“Wait... so that’s why he walks all zombie-like sometimes and just flops on people, and no one ever complains about it?” Jackson asks, wide eyed. Holy shit, how did he miss this?

He’s broken out of his musing by Erica growling again. “If he goes to you, it means he trusts you, Jackass! It’s a fucking honour to be chosen! God knows why he started trusting you,” she sneers.

“Jealousy isn’t a good look on you, Erica, dear.” Peter drawls as he walks into the lounge with a couple of books under his arm, meeting Jackson’s eye. “She’s right though, it is a privilege. He’s never chosen me yet, and I understand why, but him picking you when he never has before? That’s a bigger deal than you realise, pup,” he says, clapping Jackson on the arm, before leaving with a wave over his shoulder.

Turning back to frown down at the now-drooling Stiles on his lap, Jackson isn’t sure how to feel.

Stiles hadn’t trusted him before?

He doesn’t know why that shocks him, but it does, and... saddens him a little, actually. He’s trusted Stiles since he drove his monstrosity of a jeep through a wall to stop Derek from killing him.

BUT HE’S— what? What has he actually done to prove to Stiles that he’s trustworthy?

Nothing.

Wrapping his arms around the warm, pliant body in his lap, Jackson lets out a small, subsonic growl, leaning down to rest his chin atop wavy, chestnut hair.

Hw doesn’t know why it’s bothering him so much, but it is.

Stiles trusts him now... and Jackson has no idea why, because he knows he’s done nothing to earn that trust, and it BUGS him.

That’s going to change, he thinks, leaning in to smell the comforting scent of orange that he now realises permeates pretty much all of his safe spaces. It’s a scent that’s practically ingrained in his senses.

I didn’t even realise it was Stilinski that smelt of oranges... fuck!

Maybe he’s not as different with the pack than at school as he thinks he is. God, how can Stiles possibly trust him? He’s a dick!

That’s going to change though, he vows, closing his eyes and relaxing into the scent he has come to associate so strongly with pack and safety.

I’m going to earn this trust.

Chapter Text

She wishes she could say it all started at her internship with Uwabami, when she saw her in all of those beautiful dresses, but that’s simply not true.

It started that very first time Monoma came to 1-A, mocking their class and riling up Bakugou.

Momo remembers trying to push herself to the front of the crowd, hoping to diffuse the situation before Bakugou got out of hand, but right as she got to the front, someone was jerking Monoma away, a firm voice telling him to drop it, before turning to apologise to the class.

She’s gorgeous...

Catching her own thoughts, Momo can’t help but flush as the ginger girl catches her eye, sending her a friendly smile and shoulder shrug towards Monoma as if to say, ‘what can you do?’ Momo finds herself smiling back, making the same gesture towards Bakugou, causing the ginger girl to smile wider in return.

“I’m Itsuka Kendo from Class 1-B, and this is Neito Monoma. Sorry for disturbing you,” she says with confidence, despite the awkward situation, before turning to drag the still rambling Monoma back to their classroom, sending one final grin Momo’s way as she does.

Wandering back to her seat in a daze, she allows herself a small smile, before pulling herself together.

Itsuka Kendo...

 

...

 

Kendo would like to say it all started at her internship with Uwabami, but that’s just not true.

It took her a little while to realise that Monoma was missing and she couldn’t help but groan when she did, rising up out of her seat to go and fetch him.

There’s only one place he would have gone, after all.

Reaching Class 1-A, Kendo holds in another groan as she looks at the crowds now gathered. Seriously? Could he not have waited a week?! But she already knew he wouldn’t, the girl having been cleaning up his messes since primary school.

Scooting to the front of the crowds with a fee well placed ‘excuse me’s, she can’t hold back her groan any longer as she sees that Monoma has managed to piss off a good half of 1-A.

Stepping forwards quickly, before he can do anymore damage, Kendo extends her hand and gives him her typical half-hearted slap in reprimand.

“Drop it, Monoma.” She says firmly, before turning to the rest of 1-A, eyes scanning them as she apologises for her childhood friend. May as well case out the competition while I’m here—

Who the hell is that?

Tall, with long, black hair and the prettiest, wide eyes she’s ever seen... Kendo is absolutely smitten.

Play it cool, Kendo! Monoma had better not have ruined her chances already!

Sending the girl a confident smile, she gestures to her friend awkwardly, like ‘I’m sorry about him, my friend is an idiot’ and to her surprise, the girl smiles back and returns the gesture, limbs indicating the still furious boy at the front of the crowd with the smoking hands.

Ahhh - they have their own Monoma.

Wait! The girl actually responded to her... Monoma hasn’t ruined everything!

She smiles wider at the thought.

“I’m Itsuka Kendo from Class 1-B, and this is Neito Monoma,” she introduces herself and her friend, “Sorry for disturbing you,” before deciding it’s best to retreat, dragging Monoma along with her - there’s still time for him to ruin things, after all.

She knows it’s stupid, but she can’t stop herself from turning to get one last look at the pretty girl who’s name she still doesn’t know, grinning happily when she finds the girl is watching her leave.

Maybe she really does have a chance.

II.

It was all downhill from there for Momo.

Suddenly she was seeing Kendo everywhere; in the hallways, at lunch, when leaving school.

She found herself secretly excited when Monoma would come to bug Bakugou, because she knew it meant she’d get more of those small smiles from the teal-eyed girl that would make the hairs on the back of her neck tingle.

It was during one of these episodes when, instead of going to stop Monoma straight away like she usually did, she stopped next to Momo, sending her one of ‘those’ smiles, causing Momo to blush furiously.

“You know, we’ve been sharing commiserating looks for weeks now over having dumb classmates, but I don’t even know your name,” Kendo says, eyes sparkling with mischief as she does.

“Oh!” Momo squeaks out. This is her chance! “I’m Yaoyorozu Momo, but please just call me Momo. Yaoyorozu is my father,” she says with a small smile, thinking of the business man.

“Momo...” Kendo says slowly, as if tasting the name on her tongue, causing the black-haired girl to flush once more. “I like it! You can call me Kendo then. Most other people do too.”

“O-Okay, Kendo,” she stutters, smiling at her crush. This is going much better than anticipated... maybe she should ask if Kendo wants to meet up sometime—

“Bloody copycat bastard! I’m gonna blast your FUCKING FACE OFF!” Bakugou hollers, making her jump. A frustrated look crosses Kendo’s face for a second, before she sighs in resignation.

“I guess I had better collect my idiot,” she jokes, sending Momo a strained smile, before adding more sincerely, “it was nice to talk to you Momo. I’ll see you around?”

“Sure...” Momo practically whispers. “I’m sure it wont be long before Monoma is bacm to antagonise Bakugou, anyways,” she jokes back, trying to smile reassuringly, the other grinning in return, before going to wrangle her friend.

She really hopes Monoma continues to bug Bakugou.

 

...

 

“Why do you insist on annoying Bakugou, Monoma? You’re only making the relationship between our classes worse!” Kendo says with a disappointed sigh. This is the third time this week she’s had to go and collect her friend from somewhere he shouldn’t be. He’s making her look back infront of the black-haired beauty, damnit!

She’s so lost in her thoughts about her own crush that she almost misses the blush colouring her friend’s face.

“Monoma... do you... have a CRUSH on Bakugou?! Is that why you keep going to Class 1-A?” She asks, baffled.

“Oh, please,” he snips, staring at his cuticles in what he thinks is a casual display of nonchalance - hint: it’s not.

“You do!” Kendo gasps, smile overcoming her face.

“What?! It’s no worse than your crush on their class vice president!”

“... You know about that, huh?” She asks, scratching the back of her neck awkwardly.

“Pfft! Why do you think I’m making such a commotion?” He says, eyes drifting away from his fingernails to pin her with a glare. “If I wanted to just talk to Bakugou, I wouldn’t rile him up so much that it draws the entire class’ attention now, would I? Too bad you’re a dumb lesbian that keeps letting all of my good work go to waste,” he sniffs.

“... WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME?! I wasn’t flirting with her because I thought I had to save you from death by explosion!” She yells.

“Oh, please. Bakugou’s training to be a hero. Sure, he has a shitty temper, but he’s not gonna hurt anyone.”

Wow... her friend really does like him.

“So, if you tried again tomorrow... I could go and talk to her?” She asks, hopefully?

Monoma huffs out a laugh at her excitement. “Sure. Just come over to stop me from ‘dying’ when his hands start actually sparking, not just smoking,” he says flippantly.

“Alright...” she hedges. “As long as you don’t wind him up too much. I want to actually be able to say more than two words to her, before coming to save your ass.”

“Deal.”

... To be fair to Monoma, she did manage to say more than two words to her, and get the pretty girl’ name.

Momo...

It suits her.

But still! 4 sentences! That was all she managed before Bakugou’s hands started sparking!

For fucks sake, Monoma.

III.

Before Momo knows it, over a month has passed at Yuuei. The sports festival has come and gone, and she’s now got an internship with the snake hero: Uwabami!

Walking hesitantly through the doors to the building she’s supposed to be at, Momo is quickly led to a changing room by a harried looking woman.

Hair curled, face painted, and body tugged into an uncomfortable dress - similar to the ones her family force her into when they have their galas and balls, she thinks irritably - she finds herself being pushed through another doorway, only to stop short when she sees the person beyond it.

Wow...

“Y-You look amazing,” she stutters out breathlessly as she stares at Kendo, hair pulled back into a curled ponytail, wearing a high-necked, floor length gown with slits up each thigh... the exact same beautiful teal colour as her eyes.

“... so do you,” Kendo says softly, a gentle look crossing her face as she lazily lets her eyes trail over Momo’s outfit, the girl blushing almost as red as her dress.

“Thank you,” she says, quickly looking away from the other girl.

Should she ask her out?

They’ve been spending more time together recently, some 1-B members joining them for lunch and Momo’s study sessions, having bonded with eachother during the festival, Kendo coming along with Tetsutetsu, much to Momo’s pleasure.

But, they never really get to spend any time alone, and Momo wants to.

BOY does she want to!

However, caught up in her thoughts as she is, she misses her chance, Uwabami sauntering into the room, apparently cutting off something Kendk had been about to say, judging by her open mouth and furrowed brow.

Perhaps it’s better to wait anyways... if they are going to be together all week, it would make things awkward if she asked and Kendo wasn’t interested after all...

Yes. She’ll wait until a better time.

 

...

 

Kendo was annoyed by the time she was shoved into the tiny waiting room, hair curled and dress donned - this is a hero agency, not a fashion show!

Unable to sit still, the girl paces the room, her frustration mounting with every step.

When Uwabami gets here, I’m going to ask what all of this is about - I swear, I’ll—

Her ranting thoughts are cut off by the door behind her opening.

Finally!

Spinning around, she’s ready to give Uwabami a piece of her mind, only to stop and gawk.

“Y-You look amazing,” Momo stutters, a blush spreading across her cheeks as she does.

... wait, what? I LOOK AMAZING?!

“... So do you,” she says, because what else can she do? Once more, her eyes rake over Momo without permission.

A bright red dress with a deep v-neck and a side slit shows off the girl’s spectacular physique. Her hair is down, which is the first time Kendo has seen it as such, and honestly? She’s entranced.

All thought floods from her mind, bar an intense desire to walk over and run her fingers through those thick, silky, locks...

Get a grip, Kendo! She thinks, shaking her head roughly. If you want to do something about it, you need to actually make a move, instead of pining from a distance like you have been during those study sessions!

... Screw it! Let’s ask her! I’ve liked her for over a month now, and she’s standing across the room blushing... blushing because we complimented her?

Oh shit... she is! I CAN ACTUALLY DO THIS! Come on, Kendo! Just ask her to coffee, you’ve got this—

“Good morning, girlies!” Uwabami cries as she walks through the door, right as Kendo had been about to ask...

Maybe it’s for the best, she thinks.

She probably wasn’t blushing because of me anyways, right?

IV.

Momo honestly thinks a ghost walk is a bit childish, but since everyone else agreed, she finds herself paired up with Awase from Class 1-B - who seems nice enough - and off they go.

They talk pleasantly, getting a couple of jump scares in the process, before the screaming starts.

“... Is this part of the walk?” She asks hesitantly.

“I don’t know...” the other boy replies. “Lets keep going to find the next scarers.”

Nodding in agreement, they carry on along the track, meeting up with some Class 1-B scarers, who admit that the screaming isn’t part of the plan.

As they are discussing what they should do, pink smoke starts to fill the forest, the others quickly panicking.

“Here!” Momo shouts, making gas masks for them all. “Wear these and head back to camp! Give the spares to anyone you find along the way!” She instructs, trying to stay calm and think. How many groups would be in the forest by now? Who should she be looking out for? “I’m going to continue ahead and see if I can catch up to the group before us!” Kendo is in these woods!

“I’ll go with you,” Awase says. “We need to give masks to as many people as possible!”

Nodding in agreement, they set out in search of others, finding a couple more, urging them to head back to camp.

It’s all going pretty well, until the fog starts to clear up and they stumble upon a Nomuz

Running away is their only option. Awase didn’t see it, but she’s seen one of these things take down Aizawa-sensei without trying - they’ll die if it catches them! Urging Awase into a run, they flee in no particular direction - “we can’t lead it back to camp!” Awase had said - stumbling and tripping over the thick tree roots.

The Nomu catches her at one point, causing her to tumble into a tree, hitting her head, Awase barely managing to pull her up before she becomes a bloodsplatter on the forest floor.

She thinks all hope is lost, the two of them hiding behind a tree as the Nomu tears them down a little ways off, when suddenly it stops... before turning around and lumbering back in the direction it came, following some unheard order.

Mind still whirling as her body pulses with adrenaline, Momo makes a tracking device, asking Awase to attach it to the retreating Nomu, before they limp their way back to camp; Momo trying not to think about what anyone else could have faced - worrying will only make it worse.

That being said, she can’t hide her relief as she slumps against Awase, the two of them breaching the treeline back at camp.

Eyes flitting across the students gathered, she finally finds the teal ones she didn’t realise she was searching for.

 

...

 

Fuck... fuck! Kendo thinks as her eyes frantically scan the crowd of students who have made it out of the forest.

Where’s Momo?

She knows the girl is still in there, giving out masks - Kendo having received one of her own from some of her classmates - but once she and Tetsutetsu took down Mustard, the gas dispersed! There’s no reason for her to still be in the forest, so where is she—

There! Emerging from the treeline... draped over Awase’s shoulders... with blood streaked down her face...

Holy shit.

Kendo doesn’t think, she just runs. Sprinting across the grass towards her, enlarging her hand when she’s close enough to remove the girl from Awase’s hold, into her own.

“Momo? Momo, are you okay?!” She asks frantically, drawing the girl in closer to her so she can brush her hair away from her forehead to inspect the headwound. There’s a nasty cut on her temple, still bleeding sluggishly.

“I’m okay... are you?” She asks quietly, staring at Kendo, as if trying to solve some great puzzle.

“Yeah! Yeah, I’m absolutely fine - thanks to one of those gasmasks you handed out... you might have just saved my life with that... so thank you.” She says slowly, coming to the realisation that she may well have died tonight, had it not been for Momo’s quick thinking. “You’re a real hero, you know that? They’re all gonna love you when you go pro,” she whispers, awe for the girl colouring her voice.

“I-It was nothing,” she stammers, that blush Kendo loves so much crawling across her cheekbones - only now, Kendo definitely knows that she’s the one who has caused it.

Smiling joyfully, she swings Momo up into her arms in a princess carry, laughing slightly when she squeaks in surprise, her blush deepening considerably.

“Come on,” she says with a wink. “Lets get you some medical attention. I can’t have you passing out on me before I get to ask you on a date, after all.”

Momo splutters in her arms at the word date, and for a moment Kendo thinks she’s misread this entire situation, before the girl calms down, snuggling into her arms as she smiles shyly.

“I’d love that.”

Chapter Text

“Oh my god! Hurry up, Kiri! We’re never going to get there if you don’t stop peeking into every ice rink!” Mina exclaims, exasperated at her friend’s antics.

“But Mina! Didn’t you see them?! They were so manly...” Kirishima replies dreamily, thinking about the ice hockey players they paused to watch 5 minutes ago. “Maybe I should take up ice hockey...” he muses, ignoring Mina’s giggles as she tugs him along by the arm.

“Kiri!” She whines between laughter. “Come on! Bakugou is gonna explode! We were already 5 minutes late BEFORE we stopped to watch the - admittedly VERY impressive - ice hockey players. We can’t be even more late - HE’LL KILL US!”

Ignoring the blood draining from Mina’s face at the thought of Bakugou’s wrath, he laughs and pats her on the head. “Oh, come on, Meens! You know his bark is worse than his bite!” He says, snapping his sharp teeth at her playfully, before using his superior strength to pick her up - princess style - and carry her to the final rink before the public one where they are meeting their friends.

Barging through the door, laughing loudly at Mina’s minor protests - “I’m not some freaking damsel, Eiji’” - he suddenly pauses, awestruck.

“Ei? Eiji?! Are you okay?!” Mins asks frantically, her friend’s suddenly slack face worrying her. Turning, she follows his line of sight, her eyes landing on— oh.

Laughter bursts out of her throat when she realises why her friend has stopped like a deer in the headlights, her voice jolting him out of his trance.

“Gay Ei strikes again!” She exclaims through bouts of laughter, giggling even more when Kirishima tries to shush her, only to almost drop her. Turning back to the rink, she nudges her hip into her friend’s abdomen with a wink. “Well? Get closer then! I can’t see shit from here!”

Obeying her orders in a daze, he carries her over to the edge of the rink, eyes focused solely on the single man on the rink, wearing a tight, bedazzled suit of deep blue and white.

Oh god... I’m so fucked, he think, a small whimper clawing its way out of his throat as he watches the figure skater perform a jumping splits. He has floppy hair that’s dyed half red, half white, falling across his forehead. High, princely cheekbones, a strong jaw and soft lips are oh-so enticing - and lets not even get into the man’s BODY, the lycra suit leaving nothing about the man’s broad shoulders or slender waist to the imagination - but what completely enraptures Kirishima is his eyes.

One a deep grey, like the sky in the middle of a thunderstorm, the other the bright turquoise of the sea in summer when the sun glitters across the surface. The blue eye is surrounded by what looks like a soft, pink scar... Kirishima is gone.

He’s the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen in his entire life - the red-head whispering as much into Mina’s bouncy, pink curls.

Humming in understanding, they both hover, unable to tear their eyes away from the beautiful routine unfolding before their eyes, only shaking themselves out of their trance when the music abruptly ends, the man holding his arms above his head in an elegant, yet triumphant, pose.

The two friend’s slowly look away from the skater to stare at one another in shock.

“Ashido...”

“Eijiro...”

“Mina... I’m so fucking gay, Mina,” he breathes, staring into her eyes intently, as if that will somehow express to her JUST. HOW. GAY. HE. IS.

She apparently gets it, because she nods her head in understanding. “I get it. Holy shit... I’d shoot my shot, but you’re totally gone, aren’t you?” She asks, smiling gently when he can only nod his head in reply, apparently having used up his last few remaining braincells to tell her how gay he is. “He’s all yours, pumpkin,” she says softly.

“Wha—” Kirishima starts, only to jump in surprise when a throat clears beside them, hands gripping Mina tightly when she startles too, almost flinging herself out of his arms in shock.

They both turn in tandem to stare at the figure skater from before, who is now at the barrier in front of them.

“Erm... sorry, but this is a private practise... you and your girlfriend are looking for the rink next door...” he says slowly, eyes flitting between the two of them hesitantly.

“Oh! Wait, no! She’s not my girlfriend! I’m gay— Ei! I’m Ei - short for Eijiro! That’s my name - wait, I’m also gay! Yep! 100% not straight! MINA, a little help here?!” He rambles, sending a panicked glance at his best friend, who’s face is bright red in her attempt not to laugh at his floundering.

“But you were doing so well on your own, Ei!” She teases with a wink, causing her red-haired companion to groan and bury his face in her hair in embarrassment.

“I’m gonna go jump off the roof,” he mumbles, Mina sniggering at the reply.

“Please don’t,” comes the soft voice of the figure skater.

“He’s fine, don’t worry about it. His brain to mouth filter stops working in front of pretty boys,” she admits cheerily, smiling when she sees a soft blush blooming on the skater’s delicate cheekbones. “I’m Mina! And my embarrassed friend has already introduced himself as Eijiro, so what’s your name?” She asks in her sweetest voice.

“I’m... Todoroki Shouto...” he says hesitantly, eyes flitting over the head still firmly buried in her own hair. “Is he okay?”

“Oh, he’s fine,” she says waving a hand dismissively. “Currently trying to dig himself out of a pit of self-loathing and embarrassment, don’t worry about it!”

“Okay... erm, well, you don’t have to be embarrassed... Ei. It’s all good.” He says, still with that lovely, gentle voice, the softness in his tone coaxing Kirishima’s head up.

Not one to stay down for long, and figuring he’s already done the most awkward thing possible, he sends the boy a bright smile, despite his still very red cheeks. “Hi! Sorry if we disrupted your practise!” He apologises - apologies are good, right?

“O-Oh! It’s no problem. I heard you laughing when you came in, but then you got quiet so... I wasn’t sure if you were still here or not. It was only once I was done that I looked over and saw you were still here,” he says with a small smile.

“Ah, that’s all Ei!” Mina says happily. “He likes to look in on the private rinks when we come here - and then, when we saw you skating, neither of us wanted to leave!” She says with a smile, her joy contagious.

“Oh... it wasn’t that good,” Shouto says demurely, hand coming up to scratch his pink cheek. “I’m still working out a couple of bits in the middle. It’s not perfected yet—”

“It was beautiful.” Kirishima whispers softly. “I mean, I don’t know anything about figure skating, but it looked amazing to me”

“Thank you, Eijiro...” Shouto says, flashing that same, small smile again.

“... And I’m out!” Mina shouts, startling the two out of their staring competition. “Eiji— I love you, don’t fuck this up! I’ll cover for you with the others. Shouto - I really hope you’re gay. Eijiro is the best guy I’ve ever met and if he was straight I’d snap him up in a heartbeat! So will someone else if you don’t make a move,” she warns.

“Meens!” Kirishima whines, his friend’s honesty both endearing and embarrassing.

“I am gay! Just - you know... letting you know...” Shouto says awkwardly, and Kirishima finds himself melting when he meets those odd eyes again.

“Ei—” Mina starts, wiggling in her friend’s arms.

“What time does your practise finish?” He asks, ignoring the girl in his arms, directing the question towards the beautiful man on the ice.

“Erm... I have the rink booked till 8?” He says, voice lilting upwards into a question.

“Great! I’ll be back here at 8 if that’s alright with you? We can go and get coffee or something? Some food maybe? I bet all that skating makes you super hungry!” Eijiro says quickly.

Blinking rapidly, brain working to parse through all the questions, Shouto’s cheeks flood red. “As in a date?”

“Well, yeah! Only if you want it to be, though! There’s no pressure - we can totally go out as friends, though I will say I’m REALLY interested in you, so—”

“Yes!” He says loudly, interrupting Kirishima’s rambling. “Yes, I... I’d like that a lot.”

“O-Oh... great! I’ll pick you up at 8 then?”

“Okay... bye then,” he laughs, waving at Eijiro’s retreating form, his pink-haired friend - Mina, he thinks she was called? - waving back. His smile grows as he hears them bickering as they walk away.

“What the hell, Eiji?! I give you the perfect opportunity to stay and watch a pretty boy figure skating and you just WALK AWAY?!”

“Mina! I agreed to meet him later - be proud I even managed to ask him out!” He says, voice whiney, before smoothing into something deeper and softer. “Besides, I came here to hang out with my friends - I’m not the kind of guy to ditch his pals for a date. You know that!”

“Yeah, I know, I know! You’re too good for this world, Ei...” she smiles.

Yes, he certainly is, Shouto thinks as he slowly skates back to the middle of the ice, lips tilting upwards at the memory of glittering red eyes and the brightest smile he’s ever seen - and he’s friends with Midoriya.

Looking at the clock on the edge of the rink, it reads 6:38pm...

8pm can’t come fast enough.

Chapter Text

Now, Thor knows he’s not the brightest, nor the most observant of the Avengers, but this is the third time in a row that Tony has flinched at his hugs - and he knows it’s not a touch thing, because they are all aware of just how much the genius enjoys physical contact.

After the third time Tony’s small body twitches away from his touch, he can’t help but ask, “Tony? Are you injured? Have I done something wrong?” Concern colouring his voice. His beloved - not that the man is aware of his affections - never says no to his cuddles.

“What? I’m fine, Point Break,” he says, frowning at the blond. “Why do you ask?”

“Well... this is the third time you have shied away from physical contact with me, so I was just wondering—”

“Oh! Shit, sorry man. I’ve just... yeah, okay. I’m a little sore, that’s all. Nothing personal.” He admits sheepishly, confusing the god.

“Sore? Have you been on any solo missions lately?”

“Erm... no?”

“Oh.” Thor says with a frown of his own. “Then what reason do you have for being sore?”

“The fight...? 5 days ago?” Tony says slowly. “With the doombots? They got a couple of good hits in to my torso... broke a couple ribs.”

“Ah, yes. I remember the fight well! But surely your healing factor would have countered your injuries by now?” He questions worriedly, tilting his head to the side, looking like an adorable golden retriever to Tony.

“Uh... I hate to be the one to break it to you, your Majesty... but I don’t have a healing factor.”

“You... don’t?” Thor whispers in shock, eyes widening when Tony shakes his head with a fond, sad smile.

“Nope. Plain old human, right here! Have you... thought I was enhanced this whole time?” He asks.

“I— yes! You perform so admirably, and have always held up against the strength of myself and the good captain, so I just assumed...”

“Ah. Well, thanks I guess?” Tony says with a small chuckle, before patting his ribs softly. “It’s gonna take me a couple of weeks to be fully healed, though.”

“But— you get hurt so often! And you’re always going back out into the field days later!” Thor says aghast, memories of his beloved in action suddenly flooding his mind.

He spends most of his spare attention in battle keeping an eye on the Hawk and Widow, because they are human and... squishy. He stares in horror as he remembers many times when he could have prevented something from happening to Tony, but assumed that with his enhances strength and healing, he would be fine...

“Are the other’s aware?” He asks, voice barely above a whisper.

“... Of course?” Tony replies, with that same, sad smile on his face.

“And none of them try to protect you?!” Anger now colouring his voice with the realisation that their teammates never cover Tony’s back, despite knowing he’s only human.

“Well— I mean, I have the armour, yeah? And FRIDAY watches my back, so...” he pauses, sympathy taking over his features as he realises why Thor is so upset. Reaching out a hand, he pats him on the bicep comfortingly. “I’m fine, Thor. Probably the most well-protected person out there. People get injured all the time in our line of work, it’s no big deal—”

“It is a VERY big deal to me, Anthony.” Thor states, his voice booming like thunder in his rage. “How many times could the others have prevented your injuries? How many times could I—” he stops, hanging his head in shame, the anger rushing out of him as quickly as it came. “I am sorry, Tony. Sincerely. Had I known, I would have made more effort to ensure you were not injured.”

“I— Thor... it’s not your responsibility to stop me from getting hurt— it’s not any of the teams’ responsibility, but my own. I’m fine! Don’t worry about it, okay?” He asks, slowly edging down the hall towards his lab. “But thanks, y’know— for caring,” he says with a smile, before turning away fully, leaving Thor alone in the hallway with his guilt.

“Of course I care, Anthony...” he whispers to himself, before heading back to his room, lost in thought.

 

•••

 

Thor spends a lot of his next two days in their joint common areas, hoping to catch Tony, but the scientist never appears, not even for their team meals - which, now that Thor thinks about it, he misses quite often.

“Lady FRIDAY?” Thor asks hesitantly on his third day of not seeing hide nor hair of his beloved.

“Yes, your Majesty?” She asks pleasantly, making him smile. He is rather fond of the Lady in the ceiling that answers all of his questions about Earth.

“Where is Tony?” He asks.

“Boss is in his lab, your Majesty.”

“Ah... and, erm... how long has he been in there?” He questions worriedly, not wanting to overstep his boundaries. Midgardians are a lot more aggressive when it comes to their privacy than Asgardians.

There is a pregnant pause which causes Thor to wince, before she finally replies, “Boss has been in his Lab for 52 hours and 24 minutes.”

52 HOURS?! That is over 2 days!

“And when did he last sleep? Or eat?” Thor asks again, heart clenching in his chest as he has another realisation.

All those times when Tony would do 5 day long research sprees... he didn’t have enhances abilities. Shouldn’t regular humans not stay awake for longer than 48 hours?

His thoughts are interrupted by FRIDAY, who answers, “Boss slept for approximately 3 hours and 16 minutes about 22 hours ago, and... he has not eaten more than a cereal bar since entering his workshop, though he assures me that coffee is one of the main food groups, and he has had... 7 cups of coffee since entering his workshop.

No food... 7 cups of coffee... 3 hours and 16 minutes sleep... how is Anthony still alive?!

“Alright...” Thor says slowly, brain still processing the WRONGNESS of the information he was just given. “Is Anthony allergic to anything, FRIDAY?”

“Boss is not allergic to anything, no, your Majesty. Though, he often expresses his dislike for tea.” The AI answers helpfully, Thor sending a grateful smile up towards the ceiling.

“Thank you, my Lady. That is indeed helpful information,” he says, pulling out some pans, already knowing what he shall make for his darling Anthony.

Humming to himself, Thor goes about making a traditional Asgardian dish, occasionally asking FRIDAY where to find specific spices, or ones that are similar to those he has on Asgard. He’s almost finished when Clint walks in, nose held high in the air.

“Mmm! What’s cookin— THOR?!” He stops, gaping at the God. “What... YOU CAN COOK?!” He shrieks.

“Why, of course I can, Hawk Man!” He laughs, before turning back to the dish at hand.

“But... you never cook for team night?” Clint questions accusingly, to which Thor nods in agreement.

“I do not,” he says simply.

“Then... why are you cooking now?”

“Because it is for my beloved!” He states jovially, as if that clears everything up, ignorant to the shock racing through Clint.

“Beloved?!” He squawks.

“Why, yes! Asgardian warriors only cook meals for our beloved, typically. It is part of the courting process.” He says, plating up the beef stew and crispy sourdough bread for himself and Tony.

“You... you have a beloved?” Clint asks, eyes narrowed, wondering if Thor is being deliberately dense.

“Why, of course I do!” He exclaims in happiness, walking towards the elevator which opens without him asking.

“But— I thought you and Jane were done?”

“We are!” Thor calls out sunnily as the elevator doors close, leaving Clint gaping in shock. “Thank you, Lady FRIDAY! You are most helpful,” He says, his sunny smile dimming into a genuine one. “I do not wish for anyone to know my feelings towards Anthony before I tell him myself,” he admits shyly.

“Your Majesty...” FRIDAY starts, pausing in seeming contemplation. “How long... have you been fond of Boss?”

“I have been infatuated with dear Anthony from the moment I pulsed my lightning into him during our very first battle and he continued to fight as if nothing had happened. He is... extraordinary.” Thor says reverently, smiling at the memory. He knew Tony was is One from the very beginning.

“And yet... you have not done anything about it until now. Why?”

“I was waiting to see if he returned my affections... but when you imformed me that he was not taking care of himself... perhaps it is time that I become a little more proactive in caring for my beloved,” he explains.

“I see...” the robotic voice says slowly, before the elevator jolts into motion. “I shall open the lab doors for you, your Majesty.” She says primly.

“Thank you very much, my Lady,” Thor replies with genuine gratitude.

“It is my pleasure, your Majesty. It will be... nice to not be the only one looking out for Boss,” she admits, making Thor’s smile dim into something more serious.

“I promise you, Lady FRIDAY, I shall do my very best to provide for my beloved to atone for my inaction in the past.”

“... That is good enough for me,” she says quietly, and Thor thinks he might have just found himself an ally in his attempts to woo his dear Anthony.

 

•••

 

Now, Tony knows he’s not the brightest, nor the most observant of the Avengers, but something is going on.

It’s been over 2 months now since he told Thor that he is a plain, old, squishy human, and he didn’t think the reveal would change things so much.

He’s seen more of the God in the past 2 months than he probably has in the past year combined!

The man is suddenly everywhere; bringing him home cooked food - which is, holy shit, AMAZINGLY GOOD - or sparring with him, or already there, batting away enemies with Mjolnir when Tony turns around to attack an incoming threat FRIDAY has warned him about.

It’s disconcerting... but... nice.

And that is WORRYING!

Because every nice thing Tony gets always ends up leaving him or being destroyed, and— fuck! He’s grown fond of the big, blond lug!

... Maybe more than a little fond.

I mean, come on! The guy is a literal God with muscles for days and the softness of a golden retriever... Tony was already ‘fond’ of him before he became a regular staple in his life. And maybe Tony enjoys his company brightening up the lab, enjoys watching him play fetch with Dummy, enjoys listening to the random questions he asks FRIDAY about human foods or customs or TV shows, enjoys the way he now hugs him with SO MUCH CARE, treating him like he’s the most precious thing he’s ever encountered.

... It’s been a long time since some has been GENTLE with Tony... and he finds that instead of feeling annoyed or smothered by it, he likes it; likes being able to let his guard down and trust that someone will take care of him for once.

So sue him. He has big, fat Feelings with a capital F for Thor - and he can’t even bring himself to be upset about it, because... he’s pretty sure the God might just feel the same way.

I mean, he’s not stupid.

Constantly bringing him food? Taking an interest in his AIs, protecting him in battle... all the signs are there, and Tony is much too impatient to wait much longer... but, how should he go about it? Should he make him something? It is kind of Tony’s thing, after all.

Lost in his thoughts, Tony doesn’t even realise he’s not alone in the lab anymore, until he feels strong, yet gentle, arms wrapping around him from behind, one of said arms carefully depositing a plateful of something divine smelling before him, the other curling around his waist tightly as a face presses into his hair.

“Hello, Tony.” Thor’s baritone voice comes from above, the deep sound, plus the warmth of his body making Tony melt into his touch.

“Hello, your Majesty,” he says fondly, tilting his head up to catch a glimpse of the God’s face, which beams down at him in reply.

Fuck, he’s so pretty, Tony thinks.

Thor’s eyes widen in surprise and pleasure, making Tony frown in confusion.

“I think you are very pretty too, Anthony,” Thor says softly, Tony freezing in place.

Shit, he just said that out loud - also, Thor thinks he’s PRETTY!

Well, no one has ever accused him of not being a gay mess, he thinks, throwing caution to the wind as he reaches up to tug Thor closer so that he can slot his lips against the God’s confidently.

Holy shit.

The angle is terrible, but Tony can’t bring himself to care when it feels like tiny fireworks are going off on his tongue, the hairs on his arms standing to attention as he gasps into Thor’s mouth.

The God pauses for a moment, before growling into the kiss, which - hello?! Is HOT AS FUCK! Tony can only let out a small whimper when the blond pulls away, spinning him round quickly, before reattaching their mouths with a ferocity that makes Tony’s knees weak.

The two battle for dominance, biting and sucking and groaning in delight as they push against one another, before Thor grabs Tony by the thighs, lifting him up into his arms, the drag of their bodies against eachother causing them both to gasp for air.

Resting their foreheads together, the two pause, catching their breath, Tony staring into Thor’s dazzling baby blues, currently darkened with lust.

“Fuck... are— are you sure about this?” Tony asks, voice coming out rough and throaty.

Pulling away, Thor stares at the genuis bewildered. “Anthony... you are my beloved! I have never been more sure of anything!” He replies reverently.

“Oh...” Tony whispers in shock. “Beloved?”

“My One,” Thor says with a nod and a gentle smile, leaning his forehead against the genius’ once more. “I have wanted you for quite some time, my dear Tony.”

“Oh.” Tony whispers again eloquently, causing Thor to chuckle fondly. “Why didn’t you say something sooner?” He asks.

“Ah... I was not sure if you... returned my affections,” he admits bashfully, “and such is the way with the Gods, we tend to wait for our chosen to make the first move.”

“Why?” Tony asks in quiet confusion.

“Because, beloved,” Thor says, pressing the sweetest of kisses to his brow. “If I were to act first, I would be afraid that you went along with it because you felt you had no choice in the matter... because of WHAT I am...”

“Oh... Thor,” Tony says sadly, his heart swelling for the beautifully kind man before him. “You’re not pressuring me into anything, I promise.” He whispers, pulling back to look the God in the eyes.

“... You’re sure? Because I am more than content to wait, Tony, until you are sure.” Thor assures. “I will wait as long as it takes—”

Tony can’t help it. This amazing, wonderful man he’s been pining over for years, not only likes him back, but is prepared to wait indefinitely for him? His lips crash back into Thor’s with bruising force.

“I’m sure,” he mumbles between kisses, softening them from something brutal and passionate, into something tender and sweet. “I’m so fucking sure, Thor.”

“So you... consent to my courtship?” He asks, only pulling away far enough to ask the question, the two sharing damp breaths.

“I... yeah, Point Break. I consent to your courtship.”

The smile that lights up Thor’s face is unlike any Tony has ever seen before, his eyes shining with an ethereal blue light, Tony blinking in shock as a feeling of euphoria washes over him.

“And so it is done,” Thor whispers in awe, bending down to to press his lips softly to his chosen’s. “Thank you, Tony.”

And oh. Oh wow.

No one has ever thanked Tony for something like this before. People usually just expect him to put out, due to his carefully cultivated reputation.

“I... you don’t have to thank me,” he whispers back.

“I do. You do me an honour in choosing me when we are surrounded by so many capable warriors,” he says firmly.

“Oh. Well... you’re welcome,” Tony smiles, thinking he’s the truly lucky one, now that he has finally, after so many years, found someone to call his own.

Chapter Text

Wings. Everyone is born with them.

Scientists still don’t fully understand why humans suddenly started sprouting wings 500 or so years ago, but it is said that wings are the window to the soul.

Materialistic and money orientated? Magpie.

Proud and cocky? Peacock.

Energetic and sweet? Hummingbird.

Whoever you are, there’s a pair of wings for you.

Bokuto knows this. He grew up hearing all about wings, marvelling at his older and younger siblings’ wings, amazed by the fact that, despite being from the same bloodline, their wings are so different.

His eldest sister, Akame, has the beautiful, vibrant wings of a Scarlet Macaw, starting red, then changing to all the colours of the rainbow, matching her loud, creative personality perfectly.

His next eldest sister, Kaoru, is much quieter, her nose always buried in some manga or other. Her wings are small than his or Akame’s, higher and narrower in a beautiful shade of light grey. She also has much softer wings than Akame - though, Bokuto thinks his own are pretty soft - the underside full of fluffy, downy feathers. Bokuto thinks Dove wings suit her perfectly too.

His younger brother Aoki has the most wonderful wings Bokuto has ever seen. Long, rounded and bright green all over, Aoki has the wings of the sociable, hardy, Green Bee Eater.

Then there’s little Tora. Bokuto remembers being 12 years old when Tora was born, anxiously waiting for his parents to bring her home so that he could see if she had wings like him or any of his siblings. His parents named her Tora, meaning ‘tiger’, they explained, because she has the fiery, territorial spirit of the Robin. Despite her plain, brown wings, even at 5 years old she is an absolute spitfire, and Bokuto completely adores her.

And finally there’s Bokuto, with the large, thick, luscious wings of a Horned Owl. Fearless and powerful, his mother told him once, when he asked her what his wings meant.

“Horned owl’s are predator, my dear. They will face any opponent with no sign of fear, despite them often being much bigger and scarier. They protect their nests with their life, nurturing their young ones with much love. They are very powerful creatures, Bokuto. You’re future family will be incredibly lucky to have you, the same way we are.”

He knows his wings are rare, people regularly staring at them on the street. They rise above his head at the back and fall down to his mid-calf, shiny and sleek and glossy. The majority of his outer feathers are long and golden brown, with deeper, chocolate brown ones streaking down through them. The closer to the tip of his wings they get, the lighter they are, pale gold feathers brushing his legs when he walks.

The inside of his wings though, they are soft and white and downy, ran through with stripes of that same pale gold, the top tips deepening into a stunning, pure gold, shining magnificently when the light hits them.

Not many people have been allowed to see Bokuto’s inner wings, the man, despite his excitable, extroverted nature, being very private and particular about who he lets see that most vulnerable part of his body. Only his siblings, parents, volleyball team and Kuroo have ever had the pleasure.

He doesn’t even use his wings to help play volleyball!

It’s in the rules that a person can’t use their wings to fly during games, or they will be disqualified, but to help block, or give their jump a little boost? Totally allowed... but Bokuto doesn’t even to that, much to the annoyance of his teammates.

“I’ve told you, Aghashiii! If I can’t play without my wings to help me out, then I shouldn’t be playing at all!” He exclaimed once to an exasperated Akaashi after they lost a practise match, where the winning point could have been prevented if Bokuto had used his wings.

“I understand that, Bokuto-san, but you’ve already proven that you’re a great spiker without your wings. You don’t need to continue like this when people already know.”

“Akaashi...” Bokuto sighed, the fake cheer from before leaving his body.

“Yes, Bokuto-san?” Akaashi asked in alarm - the boy had actually pronounced his name right for once.

“The inside of my wings... they are for my family - for the people I trust completely - and one day they will be for my future wife. I refuse to show them to strangers in a stadium. I’m sorry that fucks things up for the team, but I’m not doing it. If you need me to, I’ll step down and someone else can take my place,” he intoned solemnly.

And Akaashi? Akaashi was floored.

Still to this day, he can remember the shock that coursed through his body at Bokuto’s declaration - for numerous reasons.

1) Bokuto considered him to be family.

2) His reason for not showing his wings wasn’t a power play like he had always pretended.

3) Bokuto swore - he NEVER swears. It’s always ‘poop’ or ‘freaking’ thanks to having two younger siblings.

4) He believed in this so strongly, he would willingly give up playing volleyball to keep them private.

And 5) “... Bokuto-san... you’re straight?”

Granted, there were many other parted of Bokuto’s statement that Akaashi could have focused on and addressed, but... STRAIGHT?!

“What?” Bokuto asks in return, tilting his head to the side, looking rather like his wing-animal would.

“You said ‘future wife’... we all thought you were gay?”

“Oh! No, that would be dumb!” He says with a laugh, shaking his head. “I meant wife or husband, but it doesn’t really matter since I won’t really be choosing them!”

For the second time that night, Akaashi is floored.

“... Who would be choosing them, then?”

“My wings of course!” He laughs, as if Akaashi is telling some great joke.

“I... don’t get it, Bokuto-san...”

“Whaddya mean, Aghaashi?”

“I mean, how would your wings pick who you’re going to marry?” Akaashi asks with infinite patience - this is not where he thought this conversation would be going.

“What are you on about? You know! The thing! THE WING THING!” He replies emphatically, but Akaashi only shakes his head in confusion. “You don’t know about the thing...?” He asks, voice small and heartbroken sounding.

“I don’t, Bokuto-san. I’m sorry.” And he genuinely is. Bokuto gets upset sometimes, sure, but he’s looking at Akaashi like he just kicked a puppy.

“I can’t believe your parents didn’t talk to you about the thing...” he whispers sadly, before straightening his shoulders and staring at Akaashi with the most intense look he’s ever seen - even when he’s honed in on the ball, he’s never looked like this. “When you meet the person that you’re meant to marry - the one that completes you, heart and soul - your wings will flare out without you meaning to, showing off your most vulnerable spot to them, so that they know you’re serious. It’s like... WING SOULMATES AGHAASHI!”

That sounds... awfully like birds presenting when they find a suitable mate... Akaashi has never heard of such a thing happening with humans before, though.

“Who told you this, Bokuto-san?”

“My mother! She said that’s what happened when she met dad - her wings knew he was the one, even though she didn’t - and look at them now! They don’t even argue - and all married couples argue!” He states adamantly.

Well, that throws a spanner in the works.

If Bokuto had heard about it from a cheesy rom-com movie or novel, Akaashi could have explained that it was fiction... but from his mother? Who has no reason to lie about something like this?

“Okay, Bokuto-san. I believe you.” He says, and when he gets home that night, he researches what Bokuto told him, only to get a whole load of hits with plenty of people explaining the exact same thing happening to them and their now-partners.

A couple of scientists have tried to pin it down, thinking it might be something to do with the types of birds they were, but there was no connections there. Others theorised that it really was like Bokuto has said - wing soulmates - and that the reason it only happens to some people is because there’s almost 8 billion people on the planet and most of them never move away from their home countries. There’s simply too many people for them to find eachother - hence the low number of cases and it not being a widely known phenomenon.

Of course, as with any soulmate theories, they have no way of proving it, so people have started to take it as they wish to - though, more often (waaay more often) than not, the two who spread their wings for eachother end up together and stay that way for a blissfully happy, long time.

Bokuto was surprised when, the next day at school, Akaashi approached him to apologise, saying he believed him, but that it’s apparently a very rare occurrence and so he shouldn’t get his hopes up, but—

“They’re out there, Aghaashi! I can feel it!” He had protested loudly.

“Okay, Bokuto-san. I believe you.”

 

••• 1 year later •••

 

“AGHAASHIIII!” Bokuto shouted across the huge gym, bouncing up and down in excitement. “IT’S TIME!”

Smiling slightly, Akaashi shakes his head fondly. “The other teams haven’t even arrived yet, Bokuto-san.”

“I knowwww,” he whines, “but I’m so excited! I get to see Kuroo! And Kenma! Plus, we finally get to meet Karasuno! Kuroo hasn’t shut up about their captain since the practise match,” at this his mouth turns down into a frown. “I wonder what’s so special about him, anyways? I’m obviously the cooler captain...”

“Obviously the more jealous captain too,” Yukie quips as she walks past, Akaashi sending her a glare as Bokuto starts wailing once more.

“No I’m nooootttt! I’m TOTALLY not jealous that this Dai-whatever guy has taken my Kuroo away from me!”

The whole team turn as one to give him a blank stare, before Suzumeda walks over to pat him on the back. “Yeah, you are Bo... but it’ll be okay! You can show Kuroo who the better captain is by crushing Karasuno in your first match with them!”

Akaashi and the rest of the team watch Suzumeda in awe as she swiftly transforms Bokuto’s depressive episode into fighting spirit, the owl-winged boy’s golden eyes lighting up with determination as his wings give a small shudder of excitement.

“Hey, hey! Heck yeah! When those crows get here, we’ll show ‘em what a real team looks like!” He shouts, pumping his first in the air, before running off somewhere else - no doubt to start practising his spikes, Suzumeda trailing after him with a wink towards the team.

“Amazing... she’s absolutely amazing...”

“Yes... that she is.” Akaashi agrees with an exasperated sigh. “Come on then, we had better follow, otherwise he’ll get sad again that no-one wants to train with him and kick Karasuno’s ass,” he says, walking leisurely in Suzumeda’s footsteps, the others quickly scrambling to catch up.

As they train, Bokuto falls into a focused kind of calm, eyes trained on the ball, slamming spike after spike after spike onto the opposite side of the court. At some point Shinzen joins them, but they decide to wait until all the teams are here to start proper matches.

After an hour or so, the sound of gravel crunching can be heard from outside the gym, Fukurodani and Shinzen looking at one another for a moment, before putting their balls down to go and investigate.

Heading round to the front of the gym, Bokuto gets excited when he sees the Nekoma bus already pulled up, not thinking much of the other coach following quickly behind, as he runs up to the students pouring out, finding his best friend in the mix.

Dragging him out of the crowd towards the other bus, Bokuto picks his friend up around the waist and twirls him in the air, releasing a battle cry as Kuroo lets out his customary hyena cackle.

Setting him down with his back facing the other bus, he clasps his best friend’s shoulders in excitement. “Hey, hey, hey!”

“Hey, hey, hey...” Kuroo drawls back, the smirk on his face betrayed by the quick hand he runs over Bokuto’s spiked hair fondly. “Missed you, pal,” he admits.

“Awww! I missed you too!” Bokuto shouts with joy, pulling him back in for another hug. It’s not often that his friend will be so open about his feelings, preferring to play the cool-headed jock, though Bokuto knows better.

Kuroo chuckles into the cuddle, hands tightening around his friend’s shoulders, before letting out a surprised sound, only to grumble out, “stop standing there with a smarmy look on your face, Sawamura. I do have friends, you know.”

Sawamura...?

Oh! The Karasuno captain!

How dare he judge Kuroo for getting a cuddle from his best friend!

Removing his arms from Kuroo’s waist, Bokuto feels a scowl coming to rest on his face as he turns around, ready to give this Sawamura a piece of his mind about the negative impacts of toxic masculinity - yeah, thats right! Bokuto knows about that stuff! - only to stop short when he actually catches sight of the man, scowl dropping from his face as his mouth hangs open in shock.

He’s... gorgeous.

Standing with his legs spread wide apart and his arms crossed over his chest, Bokuto’s eyes don’t know where to look. Those thick, muscled thighs... but those strong, tanned biceps... the wide shoulders and tapered waist! Unable to find a spot to focus on, Bokuto’s gaze is pulled up to the man’s face.

... That’s not a smarmy look at all!

His plump, full lips are pulled up slightly at the edges in what Bokuto would say is a fond smile, directed at Kuroo. His chiselled jaw and proud bone structure causing his face to look like it’s carved from marble... Bokuto wants to rub his thumb across that cheek to see if it is as soft and smooth as it looks.

You know what else looks soft? His hair. So dark it looks almost black, but with the way the sunlight is hitting it just now, Bokuto can see the rich, chocolate strands glistening gently as they fall across his brow in short strands. Matching his hair, his eyes are a deep, captivating, dark brown, with what looks to be tiny flecks of green, and yet, despite their darkness, they are so warm and inviting as he laughs at Kuroo...

KUROO?!

Bokuto has less than a second to register the jealousy flooding through his body - though not aimed at Sawamura this time - before his wings are fanning out without his permission, inside feathers revealing themselves to the man as they cut off his view of Kuroo, eyes sliding towards him automatically, before going wide in what Bokuto can only assume is a good imitation of his own slack-jawed stare.

Less than 2 seconds later, Bokuto watches in joy as Sawamura’s wings spread out to match his own and - oh!

Crows indeed!

Sleek, streamline, black wings spread from his shoulder baldes, seeming impossibly wide, even compared to his own enormous wing-span. Much like his hair and eyes, as his wings catch in the sunlight, lighter brown patches are revealed, some feathers threaded with a bright gold to match his own.

... They are stunning.

The two of them stare dumbly at one another for a couple of seconds, before Kuroo’s muffled, “what the fuck, Bo?!” Spurs him into action.

Dropping his wings to a half-mast, Bokuto strides across the gravel confidently to pull the other man into the same twirling hug he gave Kuroo just moments earlier, before pulling away slightly, leaving his hands resting lightly on the man’s firm waist, beaming brightly at the flustered captain.

“Hey, hey, hey, Sawamura-san! I’m Bokuto Koutarou, and I’ve heard so much about you!”

Face transforming into a dazzling smile to match his own, Sawamura smiles back at him.

“Hello, Koutarou... I’ve heard so much about you too - and please, call me Daichi.”

 

••• 5 years later •••

 

A woman with red hair is smiling brightly at Bokuto, waiting patiently as he wipes the sweat away from his face with a towel, before holding a microphone up to her mouth.

“I’m here with Bokuto Koutarou, wing spiker for the Black Jackals! Bokuto-san! That was one hell of a game!” She says enthusiastically, holding the microphone out to him.

“Hey, hey, hey! It sure was! The Tigers played great tonight, but our team played better! Especially our little giant, Shou-chan!” He replies, just as enthusiastically.

“He did indeed,” she agrees, bringing the microphone back to herself. “Though I don’t think anyone will disagree when I say that you were the star player in tonight’s match. That last cross to win the final point? Spectacular! And all without using your wings...”

“Ahaha!” He laughs, voice booming through the stadium. “It was a pretty good shot, wasn’t it? And yep! No wings - I’ve never used them to play!”

“Yes, yes. Something about a special someone, is that right?”

“Uh-huh!” He grins, nodding happily.

“And this partner... is she here tonight?” The red-head pries, smirking slightly in the hope of being the first reporter to get more info about the mysterious woman. Any other interviews have ended with the Spiker saying that they aren’t there and changing the topic back to volleyball... tonight is different, though.

Yeah, actually! He is!” Bokuto replies, emphasising the gender with a wink to the camera, before turning away from the reporter to face a particular section of seating. “HEY BABE!” He shouts. “THAT LAST SHOT WAS FOR YOU!” Before flaring his massive wings out proudly.

Gasps and murmurs fill the stadium quickly as cameras begin to click, snapping pictures of the humongous wings, before he can furl them back in.

Up in the stands Daichi can only shake his head in fondness as Kuroo’s hyena laughter fills the silence around them.

He’s so glad his wings flared for this idiot.

Chapter Text

Strolling out of the elevator into the common areas, hands stuffed deep into his pockets, Sero smiles serenely at the empty room. Most students have already left for the winter holidays. Just thinking about getting to see his massive family in a couple of days time is enough to pull his lips from their regular small smile, into a bright, beaming one.

Sero knows he is fortunate to get along with his family as well as he does; having 5 siblings (6 including himself) would typically be a breeding ground for animosity, jealousy and competition, but apparently ‘chill’ is part of the Sero family genetics. He laughs thinking about how often he’s said those words when questioned by people about his friendship with Bakugou. When you grow up around 2 older sisters and have 3 younger siblings to take care of, Bakugou’s ‘all bark no bite’ personality isn’t something that really phases you.

Speaking of a certain explosive blond, Sero can hear shouting - though surprisingly low in volume - coming from the cafeteria.

Sliding into the kitchen to grab himself a quick glass of water, before saving whichever poor student has managed to piss Bakugou off this time, he stops mid-pour, hearing the low, dulcet tones of Aizawa.

Ah.

That’s not something he can really interrupt.

He’s gotten pretty good at playing mediator for Bakugou over the past year, his calm personality meaning that he’s typically not offended by the insults the blond throws towards anyone that gets in between him and his prey. Over time, once Bakugou realised that Sero was practically impervious to his words - again, 5 siblings. He’s been called FAR worse than what Bakugou calls him, for doing FAR less... typically stealing his sister’s food - the insults slowly stopped, the boy coming to appreciate his friend’s casual attitude, the other soothing a lot of his rage.

However, he doubts Aizawa will appreciate him stepping into this argument - plus, with Bakugou actually making an effort to be quiet so that others wont hear... Sero can only imagine it’s something serious.

Hmm... serious problems deserve orange juice, he decides with a nod, rummaging quietly in the fridge to find the fresh orange juice - with bits, because he and Bakugou are ‘heathens’ according to their friends - pouring a large glass for the blond, figuring it might help lighten his mood a little when the conversation is finished... though, judging by the snippets Sero is picking up, orange juice isn’t going to be enough to calm Bakugou’s temper.

“Come on, Sensei!” Bakugou is practically begging, making Sero blink in shock - along with his use of the title ‘sensei’ - damn, Bakugou is serious. “Can’t I just stay in the dorms for the holidays? They’re one of the most fortified places in Japan at this point!”

Aizawa’s patented ‘we’ve been over this’ sigh reverberates through the kitchen where Sero is now perched awkwardly on an island stool, listening in guiltily. “Bakugou, there’s going to be only a few people here - all of whom are under the custody or guardianship of Yuuei. If you can get your mother to sign a consent form—”

“I’ve already said SHE WON’T!” Bakugou explodes, voice suddenly rising in volume, before quieting down again in the awkward silence that follows. “I’ve been trying to get her to sign the damn thing for the past two weeks, but she won’t do it! I... I can’t go home, Sensei! You don’t understand...”

“Then make me understand, Bakugou,” Aizawa says with enough feeling to surprise Sero. “It’s no secret you don’t get along with your mother, but I thought you liked your father? Don’t you want to see him for Christmas?” Aizawa presses and Sero finds himself nodding along to the question. He too, thought that Bakugou would want to see his dad over the holidays, but the answering silence is very telling.

“Bakugou...” Aizawa tries again. “If there is something going on at home that Yuuei should know about... get INVOLVED with... then you can tell me, and we can start compiling a case or—”

“NO! Fuck! No. It doesn’t matter. I’llgo home...” he says something else too low for Sero to hear, but it evidently confuses Aizawa, given his response.

“What do you mean ‘we already know and haven’t done shit’? Bakugou, we are here to help, but you need to tell us what’s wrong.”

“You already know what’s wrong... fuck it. Don’t know why I wasted my time askingz nice talk, Sensei,” Bakugou says dismissively, before Sero hears heavy footsteps heading his way.

Figuring there’s no way he can pretend he wasn’t listening in, Sero takes his phone out, pulling up his messages, pretending to be engrossed in the screen as his friend rounds the corner, his footsteps faltering slightly. Not looking at him - Bakugou is like a wild animal backed into a corner sometimes - Sero nudges the glass of orange juice in his direction with an elbow, eyes remaining firmly trained on his phone.

Scoffing lightly, Bakugou crosses the room to sit across from Sero at the island, grabbing the orange juice with an aggressive jerk, making Sero smirk, trying not to laugh as his eyes meet Bakugou’s whose are reluctantly grateful.

Not two seconds later, Sero hears another set of steps heading their way - Aizawa having no doubt heard that Bakugou stopped in the kitchen.

“Bakugou—” he starts, only to stop quickly when he catches sight of Sero. Noting the way Bakugou’s shoulders have tensed up, Sero’s gut clenches in anger. Think what you will about him, but he has a fierce protective streak a mile long when it comes to his friends and family.

My time to shine, he thinks, a sharp smile gracing his usually soft features as he turns to Aizawa, the man’s eyebrows raising in surprise.

“Hey Sensei. Hows it going? Must be torture, the amount of work you’ve got to do in preparation for the holidays. So many children to ‘look after’,” he smirks coldly. “I’m sure Present Mic is looking for you as we speak! Better not keep him waiting, Sensei. We wouldn’t want to be the reason you didn’t get all of your work finished, now would we, Bakugou?” He asks sarcastically.

“Nope.” His friend deadpans, taking an obnoxious slurp of his orange juice as he studiously ignores their teacher in favour of staring at Sero.

“Nope! We wouldn’t want that at all!” Sero repeats, clapping his hands loudly. “Better get a move on then, SIR.” He says, eyes narrowing as he uses the formal address, evidently not meaning it respectfully.

He watches as Aizawa’s eyes flit between the two of them, before closing with a tried sigh that makes him feel slightly guilty for his sarcasm. “Of course...” he grumbles, before turning to Bakugou with honest eyes. “Come find me if you need anything.”

“Not fuckin’ likely,” Bakugou mumbles into his glass, making their teacher wince, before heading out of the dorm with a nod to both of them.

Silence hangs over the two friends as Sero taps away on his phone, formulating a text to his mother. As he pauses to re-read it, Bakugou speaks up gruffly, catching his attention.

“You didn’t have to get involved, Tape Face.”

“I know,” Sero says with a soft smile, so different to the one he just directed at their teacher. He wants to say more, but he can tell by the way Bakugou is fidgetting that he’s not finished. Sero waits patiently for the other to figure out what he wants to say, sending off his text as he does.

 

Me: Hey Mama, I know this is going to be pretty out of the blue, and its super short notice... but how would you feel about having one more body at the table this Christmas?

Biting his lip as he reads the message, he winces a little. He knows he’s being pretty vague, but if they say no— three little dots pop up, making him smile. His mother has always been a fast replier.

“You do realise Aizawa is gonna give you so much shit for that, right?” Bakugou asks, grabbing Sero’s attention once more. His ruby eyes are focusing intently on him, worry and guilt at war within their depths, making Sero smile. So many people think that Bakugou is this heartless ball of rage, but Sero thinks his eyes are really expressive, if anyone would bother to pay attention... though he supposes most people are pretty hesitant to hold eye contact with an angry Bakugou.

Cowards, he thinks with a smile, turning said smile onto his friend. “Aizawa gives me shit every day of my life, Bakubae,” he jokes, his smile widening into a full-blown grin when Bakugou winces at the nickname, his phone pinging as he does. “I’m pretty sure I can handle it. Plus, it’s the holidays! If I’m lucky, he’ll have forgotten about it by January!”

Bakugou only snorts in reply to that, turning away to stare out of the window in thought, a tiny smile of his own tugging at his lips.

Focusing back on his phone, Sero lets out a breathy laugh at his mother’s reply, vaguely aware that Bakugou has turned to him questioningly. Ignoring the boy for now, he types out a rapid reply as elation fills his body. He hopes this works.

Mama: Ooooh! Is my baby boy inviting someone home WILLINGLY?!

Mama: Of course we have room for one more! Your uncle Daiki and Aunty Sara are joining us this year with baby Yuu!

Mama: The more the merrier!

Me: Hes just a friend, Mama! Thats all!

Me: He doesnt want to go home for the hols, but the school wont let him stay in the dorms so

Mama: Of course, sweetie! Any friend of my baby’s is more than welcome here!

Mama: Which friend is it?

Mama: Do you need some money for his train ticket?

Me: No, Mama. Ive got the money

Me: Thank you though!

Me: And its Bakugou

Me: The explosive one?

Mama: Ooh! How exciting! I bet your sisters wont be able to wait when I tell them!

Mama: What time will you be getting here? I will need to switch some of the guest rooms around!

Me: About 1:45 on monday, is that ok? And you dont have to do that Mama! Be can stay in my room!

Me: AND PLEASE DONT TELL YUKI! Her crush on him knows no bounds! He wont leave me alone for the next two days!

Mama: Alright... lets leave it a surprise then, shall we?

Mama: I cant wait to see you!

Me: Me either, Mama. I love you ❤️

Mama: I love you too, sweetie! ❤️

Mama: Tell Bakugou Im excited to meet him!

Mama: Is there any food he doesnt eat?

Me: I’ll ask

Me: He might say no to staying with us, I havent asked him yet. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Mama: Ok, sweetie x

 

Pulling away from his phone, he jolts when he looks up to see Bakugou’s eyes still firmly trained on him, brows furrowed.

“Everything okay...?” He asks hesitantly.

“What you smiling at, Soy Sauce?” Is his grumpy reply, making Sero want to smile just to spite him. He knows Bakugou likes it when his friends are happy - why do you think he’s surrounded himself with Kirishima, Kaminari and Mina?

“My Mama,” Sero replies, giving in to the building smile tugging at his lips. He’s never been one to hide his affection for his family. “... Hey Bakugou?”

“Mhmm?”

“Do you wanna come stay with us for the holidays?” He asks, tensing up slightly. He honestly has no idea how Bakugou is going to respond to his meddling.

The furrow in his brow deepens as he frowns at his friend. “What the fuck are you on about, Hanta?”

First name... that’s a good sign he doesn’t want to blow me up, right? “Well...” he starts, fiddling with his elbow awkwardly. “I might have heard a TEENY, TINY BIT of your conversation with Aizawa... and I know things are strained with your mother - and my family is HUGE, so we always have too much food anyways! So I asked my Mama if I could bring a friend for Christmas and she said yes - oh! She also wants to know if there’s any foods you don’t eat or are allergic to? So like, if you want - you don’t have to - but if you do... you can come home for Christmas with me..?” He finishes, honestly amazed that he managed to get through his rambling speech without Bakugou interrupting... which is either a really good sign, or a REALLY BAD SIGN.

Flipping the phone in his hands nervously, he slowly lifts his eyes to look at Bakugou, who is staring at him intently, like he’s a difficult puzzle that needs solving.

Their staring contest continues for the better part of a minute, before the blond finally opens his mouth.

“You did also hear me saying that my mum refused to let me stay at the dorms, right? If I just up and vanish, she’ll throw a fit. Your family...”

... That’s what Bakugou is worried about? His family getting shit from Bakugou’s psycho mother? Unable to stop himself, Sero lets out a sharp bark of laughter, reaching across the island to stroke Bakugou’s fluffy hair fondly.

“Awww, Bakugou! You don’t need to worry about us! My mam is like... 100 times more chill than I am. If I can handle you, she’s more than capable of handling your mother.”

“No, Sero! You don’t get it! My mum—”

“Does not control you, Bakugou.” Sero says, using the hand resting on his hair to grip his friend’s chin, forcing him to meet his gaze. “If you don’t want to go home for Christmas, then you don’t have to. Tell her you are going to stay with a friend and leave it at that. If necessary, I’ll warn my Mama and she can talk to her! She’s already expecting you now... you can’t say no to my Mama, Bakubro! You’ll break her heart!” He says dramatically, trying to lighten the mood.

More silence takes hold of the room as Sero sits there, arm outstretched to cup his friend’s face, his thumb tracing over his cheekbones comfortingly as he watches the blond’s features travel through a cacophony of emotions, before his red eyes fall back to land on him, his teeth worrying at his bottom lip. Watching it all play out, Sero finds he does not like this tense, reserved version of his friend. Curse that woman and what she is doing to him—

“I’m allergic to walnuts... and I fucking hate mushrooms,” is what finally leaves Bakugou’s mouth, startling Sero out of his thoughts. The implication of said words doesn’t register with Sero for a moment, but when they do a happy grin blossoms across his face, his pearly, white teeth shining brightly.

“You’ll come?” He asks, more excited by the prospect than he had realised.

“Yeah, dipshit. I’ll come meet your dumb family,” Bakugou replies with his own subdued, but happy smile - one that is typically reserved for Kirishima.

Sero feels his heart clenching at the sight, his grin practically blinding, even as he jokes, “oi! My family are great! Just you wait and see— oh shit! I’m gonna have to explain who everyone is to you, before you meet them!”

“Just how many of you Seros are there?” Bakugou jokes back, only to pale when Sero smirks at him with a manic look in his eyes.

“Far, far too many.”

Chapter Text

“But WHYYYYY?!” Natsu complains from his place bundled up on the sofa, eyes wide and pleading as he stares at Lucy, who shakes her head in exasperation.

“You’re sick, Natsu! You can barely even get up to go to the toilet, never mind go on a mission!” He replies, rolling her eyes at her friend.

“But LUCYYYYY!” He tries again, even though he’s not actually making any attempts to get up off the sofa - he knows he can’t go on the mission, that he’d be a liability... but that doesn’t mean he can’t complain about them going on one without him!

“No, Natsu! You’ll cope, I’m sure,” she jokes, fluffing his blankets one more, giving his hair a gentle stroke.

“But you’re taking Happy with you! Stealing my own cat from me when I’m sick and fragile! Shame on you all!” He claims dramatically, pointing a shaky finger at the blonde who is quickly losing her temper. She already feels guilty about leaving their teammate behind, but they need the money - and it’s not like he’s never gone on missions without her before!

“Natsu...” she sighs, shaking her head. “Happy WANTS to come with us! We aren’t stealing him away.”

“But... he’s my cat...” Natsu whispers, eyes wide and betrayed, the sight making Lucy sad. She knows the two are practically inseparable... but this is Happy’s choice.

“He’s going to confess to Carla, Natsu. You know how much of eachothers time you take up when you go on missions together! He needs the space to ask her out and spend some time with her without their dragonslayer’s interrupting them!” She explains.

“I know, I know! I get it... it’s just... He usually looks after me when I’m ill, y’know?” He mumbles, embarrassed at how reliant he is on his own cat.

“Oh...” Lucy breathes, eyes widening in understanding. Of course! He’s ill and can barely move - it’s no wonder he’s sad Happy is leaving, he’s worried that there will be no one to look after him. She could ask someone at the guild to check on him before she leaves... but... “I could summon one of my spirits if you would like?” She offers.

“What? Why would you do that?” Natsu asks with a confused frown which she finds helplessly endearing. He’s cute when he’s sick.

“So that you have someone to look after you!” She exclaims happily, proud of herself for coming up with a solution.

“Won’t they just disappear when you leave, though?” He asks, eyes narrowing suspiciously.

“Hmm, maybe. If they decide to look after you of their own free will, then they can stay for a while, though! Plus, we’ll only be gone for a couple of days - a week, max! They should be able to stay for that long!” Lucy explains.

“Huh... I didn’t know that.” Natsu admits, shaking his head, messing up his already ruffled, pink hair. “So... they need to WANT to look after me?” He asks.

“Pretty much! Most of them are pretty fond of you, Natsu! You’ve helped most of them out before! I’m sure one of them will volunteer if I ask,” she says confidently.

“I mean, I guess so... who do you have in mind?” He asks with a cough, burrowing further into the blankets wrapped around him. He doesn’t mind most of Lucy’s spirits; Aries is sweet and Gemini can be funny, though he’s not so sure about—

“We could ask Virgo? She is a maid, after all—”

“No! Not Virgo! Anyone but Virgo!” He begs, rising from the sofa, only to flop back down, cringing as the room starts to spin and a wave of nausea hits him. The spirit means well, but outside of battle, she can be a little aggressive. He doesn’t want to get punched though the floor when she tries to take his temperature.

“O-kay... not Virgo then...” Lucy says slowly. “Hmm... Taurus is out, and Cancer only really cares about fashion... I suppose we could ask Leo?” She suggests, brow creasing with thought.

“Huh. Yeah... I haven’t seen that bastard in a while!” Natsu says, perking up at the thought of spending some time with his old pal, Loke. “You think he’ll agree to it, though?”

“Hmmm,” Lucy hums in thought, tapping her chin. “He’ll probably be a little annoyed - I mean, he is a celestial spirit, after all... but you guys were friends, right?”

“Yeah... I miss the guy,” Natsu admits, surprised to realise he’s telling the truth. He doesn’t think about it often, but he misses his friend a lot - they knew eachother for years, and then suddenly he was gone.

“I’ll summon him now,” Lucy says, voice soft as she stares at Natsu, head tilted to the side, clearly thinking about something deeply.

Shaking herself out of it, she speaks the incantation and waves the key around, before a flash of light blinds him, making his already spotty vision even worse.

Groaning as another wave of nausea hits him, he’s surprised to feel a cool hand on his forehead.

“Shit... you look rough, Natsu,” his old friend’s voice caresses his ears, making him grin through the pain.

“Thanks, handsome,” he chuckles, staring at eyes covered by blue sunglasses. “It’s nice to see you too.”

Chuckling along, Leo crouches down by the sofa and runs a hand through his pink waves. “You always were a baby when you were ill,” he jokes, lightening the mood in the room, which has been pretty somber when he first got ill the night before.

“Uh... Leo?” Lucy’s hesitant voice breaks in, stopping whatever Natsu had been about to say. Turning to the blonde, they watch as a slight blush creeps onto her cheeks.

“Yeah, gorgeous?” He drawls, a smirk tugging at his lips, erasing the concerned expression that he had been wearing before.

“Umm... so, Natsu is ill...” she states slowly.

“Yeah, I gathered,” he sarks, sending a grin Natsu’s way.

“Well... the team are going on a mission and Happy is coming with us...” she continues, and Loke is starting to see where this is going.

“So there’s no one to look after him?” He surmises, the smile dropping from his face, making Lucy bite her lip with worry.

“I mean, we could ask at the guild. I’m sure Elfman or Levy would be more than happy to come and check on him,” she says, watching him intently for some kind of reaction, but his blank face gives nothing away. “But we figured maybe we’d ask one of my spirits first? Since you guys don’t really sleep or anything...” she admits, now seeming a little sheepish.

Holding back his emotions honestly takes him a lot of effort. Leo likes Lucy, he does, but she can be real selfish sometimes. Had she asked him to look after anyone else, he would have left before she’d even finished explaining - they aren’t a babysitting service, for fucks sake! - but it’s not anyone else... it’s Natsu, one of his friends.

Sighing, he turns to look at the pink-haired boy, who is honestly looking pretty pathetic right now. He wasn’t lying when he’d said the boy looks rough. I mean, he’s not usually a pinnacle for cleanliness, but he has a rugged, handsomeness about him that keeps him looking pretty good most of the time, but now...

“Yeah, alright,” he gives in, smiling when the boy sends him a grateful smile. Winking in return, he turns back to the blonde and hardens his features. “But this is a one time thing. Im the most powerful celestial spirit, not a servant - I’m only doing this ‘cause the idiot looks like he’s keel over and die if left unattended.”

Sighing in relief, Lucy smiles at the spirit. “Of course! Thank you, so much, Leo!” She says gratefully, lessening the sting to his ego. Like he said, he likes the girl, he just wishes she would use her spirits for... better reasons, sometimes.

“Yeah, yeah. Whatever. You’d better hurry up if you don’t wanna miss that mission,” he says, waving a hand dismissively as he stands up, heading into the kitchen to rummage through Natsu’s cupboards. He’s pleasantly surprised to find a decent amount of food in them - maybe Erza went shopping for him, he thinks, laughing lightly when he finds some cake in the fridge - definitely Erza.

“We’ll be back as soon as we can, Natsu,” he hears Lucy’s quiet voice murming from behind him. Turning, he frowns when he spots the blonde pressing a kiss to the dragonslayers forehead. “I’ll keep an eye on Happy for you.”

The boy nods his thanks, smiling when the girl tugs the blankets up around his head until only his eyes and a couple of pink wisps can be seen. Walking back in, he pulls an armchair closer to the side of the sofa where Natsu’s head is and settles in, giving Lucy a salute when she points a finger at him.

“I’ll make sure he doesn’t vomit on the floor,” he says blandly, trying not to laugh when her frown deepens.

“Leo...” she says warningly.

“He’ll be fineee, stop worrying and get going,” he says flippantly, not ready to reveal to the blonde just how worried he is about Natsu.

Continuing to frown, but having nothing else to say, she eventually sighs and heads towards the door, turning once there to wave at her teammate. “Get well soon, Natsu,” she says fondly, before leaving, the door closing softly behind her.

Letting out a quiet sigh of his own, he drops his mask of indifference and lets his worry show once more, leaning over the arm of the sofa to hover over Natsu, who he can tell is smiling, even though he cant see his mouth, tiny crows feel forming at the side of his eyes.

“Well, I can’t say this is how I expected today to go,” he quips.

A muffled reply that he cant hear comes from under the blankets, so he carefully peels the material back from the boys face, raising his eyebrows in question.

Flushing at the close contact, Natsu says again, “I didn’t expect it either... but I’m not mad about it,” his eyes darting to the wall behind Loke.

“I’m not mad about it either, Natsu,” he says with a fond smile. No matter what anyone says about the hothead, Leo knows that he’s a selfless guy. Asking for his help was probably a big thing for him.

“You aren’t?” He asks quietly. “Because it’s cool of you wanna go back to... celestial land or wherever your from,” he says, making Leo laugh. “I wouldn’t tell Lucy you bailed.”

“Natsu... I wouldn’t leave you here to suffer on your own. You’re my... friend,” he admits, stumbling over the title that doesn’t seem right to him.

“Yeah... yeah, you’re right!” Natsu says, visibly brightening at the admission and it takes everything Loke has not to wince. “And friends look after eachother!”

“That they do,” he replies softly. “So I guess you’re stuck with me till Lucy gets back.”

“Oh, what a hardship!” He says dramatically, making Leo smile properly.

“Yeah, for me, maybe! Looking after your sorry ass! Don’t tell me I’ve gotta help you shower!” He quips, fighting off a smile as the other blushes as pink as his hair.

“Pfft! You wish you could see these goods,” he jokes back and they easily fall back into their casual banter and flirting.

Watching the dragonslayer smile and blush at him in a way he hasn’t since Leo was ‘alive’, the spirit can only pray that Lucy gets back quickly, or he might just end up ruining everything by admitting he’s been madly in love with him for years now...

Yep. This is going to be a disaster.

Chapter Text

Kuroo smiles as a shoulder jostles his, the hearty “hey, hey, hey!” Of his friend echoing through the ancient hallways, gaining the attention of a few other students who all smile indulgently and continue on their way when they see that it’s Hogwarts’ beloved Hufflepuff quidditch captain.

One of the perks of having Bokuto as a best friend; everyone loves him, so they rarely get in trouble, despite being the cause of many a ruckus.

“Ohoho! And how are you this fine morning?” Kuroo asks in an uppity voice, a devilish smirk playing on his lips.

“Ohohoho! I am marvellous, my good chap! I pray your vacations were pleasant?” Bokuto sniggers, putting on a similar, posh accent.

“Marvellous indeed! My—” Kuroo’s reply is cut off by a hand smacking him across the back of the head.

He whirls around, anticipating a teacher - maybe Snape - only to whine when he spots familiar, cobalt robes. “Owww Kitten! So mean!” He complains, rubbing at the back of his messy hair.

“Your head is as thick as this year’s History of Magic textbook - you’ll be fine,” Kenma says dismissively, making Bokuto laugh, only to receive the same treatment from Akaashi, who must have come down from Ravenclaw tower with Kenma, the two sixth years having most classes together.

“AGHAASHI!” He groans theatrically, making others in the corridor giggle, his enthusiasm for life infectious.

“Yes, Bokuto?” Akaashi asks innocently, eyes glittering with mischief - people think he and Bokuto are the pranksters in their little group of mayhem, but they’re wrong. It’s ALL Akaashi.

“Whyyyy?!” Bokuto whines, draping himself dramatically over Kuroo’s shoulders, who pats his arm sympathetically. Not one to stay down for long, the grey-haired boy starts talking animatedly about how it’s their final year at Hogwarts and how they need to make it, “the best year ever!”

“That we do, my friend,” Kuroo agrees, smiling fondly. “Though, it will only be your final year if you actually pass your exams and graduate,” he jokes, laughing as the blood suddenly drains from his friend’s face.

“You’ll help me study again, right bro?” Bokuto whispers horrified, making Kuroo snort.

“I’ve been helping you study for 6 years now - I’m not gonna leave you hanging during your final year, Bo.”

“Awww! I knew you were a softie underneath that sarcastic, Slytherin shell!” The boy jokes, knocking him with his shoulder once more.

“Mhmm,” Kuroo hums. “Not soft enough to let you win the quidditch cup this year, though!” He says confidently, throwing down the gauntlet. Being captains of their respective houses’ quidditch teams hasn’t changes their friendship any, but they do have a healthy rivalry going.

“HAH! We won last year and we will win again this year!” Bokuto claims confidently.

“I don’t know man... Kageyama’s going to be a regular this year - the boy is a quidditch genius!” Kuroo comments with a smirk.

“Yeah, well, it won’t matter how good Kageyama is if you still suck,” Kenma says apathetically.

“Kennie!” He gasps. “How can you say that about me?! My playing is great!”

“Pfft. Yeah, sure. When you’re not playing against Gryffindor maybe.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Kuroo tries, though he already knows what his best friend is referring to. “I play the same against ALL teams—”

“Your big, fat crush on Sawamura says otherwise.”

“Oof. Kick me while I’m down, why don’t you, Kennie? And hey! Who knows, maybe I’ll shock you all and ask him out! It is final year, after all.”

“Psh, sure.”

“Uh-huh.”

“Bro...”

Come three equally disbelieving replies - and honestly? Kuroo doesn’t believe it either. He’s had a crush on the Gryffindor captain since 4th year now and he hasn’t made a move - but that doesn’t mean his friends’ lack of belief in him isn’t rude!

“Guys! Mean! I could totally do it, just you watch me—” he cuts himself off quickly as the man in question appears at the end of the hallway, causing Kenma to snigger.

Dressed in blood-red robes that make his tanned skin look flush and plump, Sawamura Daichi is flanked by his two Hufflepuff friends; the silver-haired chaser called Suga, and the long-haired chaser who looks like a member of the Yakuza - but that Bokuto says is just super shy. A lopsided smile is playing on the captain’s lips as he listens to whatever Suga is saying with fondness.

“You were saying?” Akaashi says lowly, he and Kenma chuckling quietly at their friend’s gay panic, Bokuto patting him consolingly on the shoulder.

“I believe in you, Bud! It’s final year, right? No regrets and all that!” The spikey-haired beater says quietly, but with enthusiasm.

Opening his mouth to reply, he makes eye contact with the Gryffindor captain, quickly snapping it shut again, morphing his lips into what he hopes is a casual-looking smile.

The smile he gets in return makes his knees go weak, seeming to light up the entire corridor, Daichi nodding to him in greeting as he passes.

And the thing is, Kuroo knows that Sawamura isn’t the biggest or brightest or most beautiful student at Hogwarts... but he is kind and loyal and dependable... and when he laughs, the sound carries through the entire room, filling everyone who hears it with happiness and calm, his eyes glittering with life. Kuroo knows the boy isn’t the best this or the best that, but he’s so damn perfect for HIM - and that’s what counts, right?

He’s someone that Kuroo can see himself growing old with... and no matter how many times he’s tried to date or love other people in the past 3 years, he’s never gotten CLOSE to the same kind of feelings he has for Sawamura... that’s got to mean something, right?

Focusing back on Bokuto’s words as the Gryffindor continues down the hallway behind them, he smiles and meets golden eyes, his own similar ones burning with determination.

“No regrets,” he nods.

He’s going to ask Sawamura Daichi out this year if it kills him.

Chapter Text

So, despite what people might think about him, Tanaka isn’t dumb. I mean, SURE, his grades aren’t the best and academically he’s not the brightest - but emotionally? He’s pretty in tune with it all.

He supposes it comes from being practically raised by his sister. Emotions are never something the Tanaka siblings run away from - be it anger, frustration, joy... love. It’s why he’s so... lively on the court! He embraces his frustration and excitement, using it as fuel to play better.

It’s also why - back to the original point - he’s not dumb. He spotted the crush coming a mile away - and by ‘a mile away’ he really means that he felt the ‘thunk’ of Cupid’s arrow piercing his heart the very first time he saw Nishinoya, the boy’s eyes alight as he dove to rescue a volleyball.

The small, sparrow of a boy had him completely entranced... and Tanaka was more than ready to march across the room and tell him so, but the other beat him to it.

He can still remember the way Nishinoya’s warm eyes turned to him, the burning embers within them transforming into a roaring fire. They stared at one another, frozen in time for a moment, before the Libero had straightened from his crouch, a smug smile settling on his face as he began to cross the gym towards him.

Expecting the boy to slow as he got nearer, Tanaka watched as he grew closer and closer and... passed by him completely.

... What?

Turning in confusion, he swore he felt his heart physically break a little bit as he watched his tiny bird fall to his knees before an - admittedly stunning - black-haired girl, professing his love loudly for the entire gym to hear.

Oh... he’s straight then, Ryuu thought to himself with a small, self-deprecating chuckle. He must have been imagining the connection then... no problem. He’s Tanaka Ryuunosuke! He’ll get over it - it’s not like he’s never had crushes before, right?

Wrong.

Here he is, over a year later, still nursing a humongous crush on the libero, who is now his self-proclaimed best friend... yep.

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot, Tanaka.

But he can’t help it! Case in point, they are currently playing against Shiratorizawa, trying their hardest to get to nationals - but all Tanaka can think about is the way the light is reflecting off Yuu’s hair, and how the embers that are always alight in his honey eyes are currently a firestorm, and how his tongue occasionally dips out of his delicate mouth to wet his chapped lips.

He can’t help it!

This happens in every game they play together - the boy’s presence is far too strong to ignore, not that Tanaka would ever want to ignore him... because he’s been crushing on the guy for over a year now, and he thinks... he might stand a chance.

Small glances his way, intense eye contact, little unnecessary touches... it all adds up to emotionally intelligent Ryuu; his friend has a crush on him too.

Now he just has to get through this match with Shit-atorizawa, so he can figure out how to confess.

He can hear his sister shouting, encouraging Yuu to stop Ushijima’s spikes which makes him smile. She’s always been supportive of his crush. Throwing out his own supportive comment to the libero, they share a vicious grin.

“If anyone can do it, it’s you,” he says with a smile, turning to stare down Ushijima. He knows Nishinoya can stop him! His faith in the other’s skills is as unwavering as his affection.

A small intake of breath from the other, before a hum of confirmation, is all he gets in reply, but he’s not offended. His friend is going into concentration mode, and Tanaka should be doing the same. Crouching closer to the ground, loosening his legs, he releases his own breath, eyes focusing on the players over the net.

The game is gruelling. Tanaka worries about him legs giving out on him on numerous occasions, but after each point won - each shared hug of victory with Yuu - he digs deeper into his emotional well, pulling upon the determination and stubbornness he’s so well known for, charging into battle with a war cry.

Seeing their demon duo struggling, he pushes himself harder, sharing a nod of understanding with Daichi and Asahi - they need to protect their key players... so that’s what they do.

He jumps and spikes and receives in a blur, eyes flitting between the ball and Yuu constantly, pulling up more and more energy to keep fighting when he sees how determined their libero is.

He barely even registers it at first, the sound of the ball hitting the court ringing like a death toll in the silent arena. It’s not until he hears his sister’s cheers and feels a small body colliding with his own that he realises what has happened.

“We’ve... won?” He asks, voice cracking as he stares around the raucous arena stands in shock.

“Hell yeah, we did!” Comes an invigorated shout from below.

Looking down, he does a double take when he sees how close Yuu’s face is to his own, honey eyes staring up at him with a fiery pride and joy.

“Holy shit... HOLY SHIT!” He exclaims, laughing as he sags against the smaller boy, legs slowly giving out the longer he stands around doing nothing.

Laughing with him, Nishinoya lets out a loud yell, wrapping his arms more firmly around the spiker’s torso, happily taking the extra weight.

Staring at his friend, joyous laughter slowing to a stop, he wonders if now is the time he was waiting for... but should he do it? In front of all these people...

“Yuu...” he says, voice quieter and much more tender than he’d meant it to be, making the other boy’s eyes widen in surprise - and what he thinks is delight?

“Yeah?” He asks breathlessly, a large smile painted on his face.

“I—”

“JUST DO IT ALREADY!” Interrupts him, his sister’s harsh voice filtering down from the stands, making him cringe. He turns, intending to glare her to death, but is stopped by a soft pressure on his cheek.

Freezing in shock, the sensation stays there for a couple of seconds, before pulling away. Turning back around, a speechless Tanaka comes face to face with a very red - very nervous looking - Yuu.

His sister’s happy screams of, “FINALLY!” Melt into the background as he tries to find his voice. “Did you...”

“Yeah...”

“But—”

“I’m sorry...” and fuck, THAT won’t do!

“Oh, hell no! Nothing to be sorry for! Nope! Definitely not,” Tanaka rambles, shaking his head emphatically, making Nishinoya giggle. “Not bad... just confused. Yep. Very confused.” He says, eyes watching the other carefully.

“Uhm... what about?” Yuu asks, biting his lip to stop a smile from curling up at how cute and flustered Tanaka is.

“How about ALL OF IT?! I mean - I’d thought MAYBE you... but KIYOKO! And you never... that first time...” he trails off, words failing him once more.

“Oh. Yeah... well, she’s gay, and I’m gay, so we kind of agreed that the best way to hide that was to pretend I was in love with her?”

“... What?”

“Yeah! You see, we actually met at this LGBTQ+ club thing before I came to Karasuno? She explained that the guys at school liked her... but maybe I could get them to back off if they thought I liked her and was all protective and shit?” Yuu explains, waving a hand in the air.

“So you were... pretending to be in love with her this whole time?”

“Yep! Man! I almost ruined the entire thing that first day of club when you walked into the gym... I mean, if she hadn’t walked in behind you while I was coming over, I’d have confessed there and then!” He exclaims happily, like Tanaka’s world view hasn’t just been flipped on its head.

“I... thought you were going to...” Tanaka admits softly.

“Wait, really?!” Yuu asks in shocks

“Uh, yeah?! If you hadn’t crossed the gym to come to me, then I’d have come across and confessed to you! I only didn’t because you beat me to it!” Tanaka exclaims. He can’t believe... all this time! HE’D BEEN RIGHT!

“Oh... damn it! This is why you don’t pretend to be straight!” Yuu shouts mournfully, falling into Tanaka dramatically, before tilting his head up to look at the other. “So... do you still...?” He asks hopefully.

Barking out a laugh at the absurdity of the question, he grabs a handful of Yuu’s shirt, hauling him up into a bruising kiss to answer his question.

And the crowd goes wild!

Chapter Text

“Come on, Tony. Give it a rest already,” Clint groans from where he is sprawled across the sofa, head resting on Natasha’s lap as she combs her fingers through his hair.

“What do you mean?” Tony asks with feigned ignorance, eyebrow twitching in annoyance as he gets himself a fresh cup of coffee from the machine - his own machine down in the workshop is all out, otherwise he wouldn’t be here at all.

“Stop pretending! Tell him, Steve,” Clint says exasperated, waving his hand lazily in Tony’s direction.

Lifting his eyes from his almost full coffee cup, he meets Steve’s disappointed gaze, frustration lining his features. “Tony...” he starts.

“Nope. Told you before and I’ll tell you again, birdbrain; I have an Alpha.” He sighs, turning away from the group to stare impatiently at the coffee machine as he pushes the button for a second mug to be made - there’s no way he’s coming up here for another cup in the next couple hours, he’d rather die.

“Tony, look. We believed you at first - we did! But... it’s been months now, and this mysterious Alpha is never around. You don’t smell like another Alpha, you’re always caught on camera with different men and women... why won’t you just tell us the truth?” Steve asks, eyes wide like a puppy’s.

“I AM telling you the truth, you’re just too dumb to believe me,” Tony grits out through clenched teeth.

“Oh, for fucks sake, Tony! Give it up! Maybe you had an Alpha when we first got here, but it’s clear that they’ve abandoned you because of your man-whoring ways!” Clint shouts, rising up from his reclining position next to his mate to point an accusing finger at Tony.

Silence rings through the room for a moment, Steve clearing his throat uncomfortably as Tony’s second cup of coffee finally finishes pouring from the machine.

“Clint...” Bruce says quietly in admonishment.

“Well it’s true! We’re his teammates! I don’t know why he’s continuing to lie to our faces when he and his Alpha CLEARLY aren’t together anymore!”

“That’s enough, Clint—”

“No! He’s out all the time, slutting about with whoever catches his eye, pretending to have an Alpha when he doesn’t and there’s a perfectly good one right here in the tower!”

Shoulders tightening at the mention of him bonding with another alpha, Tony lets out a subsonic growl, Omega instincts willing him to lash out at anyone that would try to claim him as theirs when he already has an Alpha.

“Tony...” Steve tries again, making the Omega turn around fully to glare at his so-called teammates.

“What?” He snaps.

“... You’re breaking the team apart,” Steve admits, like it’s some big secret. “You’re our Omega and we want to take care of you, but you won’t let us! I... if you don’t want to bond with me, then that’s your choice - but either Bruce or Thor would work too! Instead of pretending to be bonded to some random Alpha outside the pack that none of us have met—”

Tony can’t stop himself from growling audibly at this point, the other’s in the room tensing and standing to attention, ready for an outside attack that isn’t coming.

“You aren’t my pack!” He growls fiercely, the room’s four occupants flinching back in shock.

“Tony!” Natasha exclaims, only to be interrupted by the Omega growling once more.

“No. You guys obviously aren’t getting it, so let me be perfectly clear: YOU. ARE. NOT. MY. PACK!” He annunciates, glowering at the superheroes in his living room - god, why did he let Fury talk him into housing them?

“Of course we are! You’re an Omega, Tony - you can’t be packless!” Clint exclaims, eyes wide at his announcement.

“Im NOT packless. Owner of a billion-dollar company, remember?” He snarks.

“A company isn’t a pack, Tony...” Steve tries again, and honestly! When will this guy quit?

“It is for me.” He says with finality. “Maybe you don’t know what it’s like to own a company like mine, but I care for my staff—”

“Caring for your staff as a business owner isn’t the same as caring for a pack like an Omega would, Tony,” Natasha admonishes with a soft voice, like he’s some flighty Omega that will jump at the first sign of aggression - as if he hasn’t flown a nuclear bomb into space for fucks sake.

“Boss?” Jarvis interrupts, the scientist looking into the nearest camera with concern.

“Yeah, Jarv?” He asks.

“There’s an in—”

“Not now, Jarvis.” Steve interrupts with his ‘captain’ voice. “Whatever it is can wait.”

“Erm, 1 - don’t boss my AI round Rogers, or your out.” Tony snaps angrily, making the team’s eyes widen. “2 - I programmed him to alert me if something is important, which it must be if he’s interrupting our RIVETING conversation, and 3, Romanoff - I didn’t say the whole company was my pack. My pack is Happy, Rhodey, Pepper and my kids... Now, you were trying to tell me something J?” He asks in a kinder voice, running a shaking hand through his hair.

“Yes, Boss. It would appear you have a surprise visitor, Sir.” The robotic voice announces loftily.

“Oh? Anyone important, J?” Tony asks, visibly perking up at the prospect of getting out of this painful conversation.

“Yes, sir. It seems—”

“Whoever it is can wait, Jarvis.” Steve interrupts once more, making Tony’s hands clench with anger. “This conversation takes priority.”

“Yeah,” Clint jumps in. “You’re late to everything anyways. Everyone must wait for the GREAT TONY STARK to arrive! I’m sure whoever it is can take a backseat to us.” He says, his entitlement knowing no bounds.

“Guys...” Bruce’s quiet Beta voice speaks up from the corner.

“Tell me who it is, please, Jarvis.” Tony asks, purely to spite Steve and Clint, the engineer having to rein in his smile as he watches their chests puff up and faces redden in indignation.

“Of course, Sir. It’s Colonel—” the AI tries, only to be interrupted once more by a new voice.

“Hey Tones... everything okay in here?” The newcomer asks, tone even and hard.

The room’s occupants turn as one to face the man who has just walked in from the landing pad outside.

Dark, cocoa skin and stern features, with a handsome jawline and thick lips... the guy is gorgeous. His deep, sparkling eyes, however, are currently narrowed, staring down the heroes in the room with menace.

“Who the hell are y—”

“HONEYBEAR!” Tony shouts, the sound of a mug shattering against the floor ringing out as he sprints out from the kitchen and into the open arms of the man, the other lifting him from the floor slighting as he pulls him in tightly, burying his face into the engineers hair.

“What the hell?!” Clint shouts, looking from the smashed ceramic and coffee on the kitchen floor, to the two men holding one another in a tight embrace, lit by the floor to ceiling windows behind them.

“What the hell, what?” Comes Tony’s mumbled reply from where his face is buried in the strangers necks, head moving slowly from side to side as if nuzzling...

“Oh, hell no. Don’t tell me this is your mystery Alpha,” Clint scoffs, making the dark-skinned man lift his head with a confused frown.

“I’m sorry. What did you just say?” He asks. His tone is polite, but there is a menacing aura emanating from him that causes Natasha to step up beside her friend.

“Come on, you’ve got to be kidding me! Someone swoops in as soon as we call you on your bullshit? Is no one else seeing what’s going on here?!” Clint screeches.

“And what exactly would that be, Barton?” The unknown man asks in a clipped voice, Tony oblivious as he tries to burrow into the man.

“You’re obviously a staff member or something he’s hired to pretend to be his Alpha!” He exclaims, arms flailing in the air.

The vicious aura that starts to emanate from the man at the archer’s announcement has the Alphas in the room’s hackles raising and the Beta’s flinching.

“Platypus...” they hear Tony mumble in a reprimanding tone.

“Tones... they think you hired me...” he replies, glaring down the pack in the room, Clint suddenly less sure of his deductions.

“Yeah, well, they’re stupid. One brain cell rattling round between them - even Banner.” He says, pulling his head away from the neck before him to stare into the man’s eyes. “They don’t matter.” He says dismissively.

“Tony—” Steve begins to say in a disapproving tone, but he’s cut off by the dark-skinned Alpha that growls at him threateningly.

“Don’t even address him!” He snarls, Tony’s pupils dialating at the sight.

“Rhodey-bear...” he whispers, diving back into the other’s neck, making the man in question growl possessively.

“Have they been acting like this the entire time?” He asks, to which the man in his arms freezes, before nodding slowly, releasing another growl from his mate. “Do Pepper and Happy know?” A shake of his head. “Damn it, Tones...”

“I told them I had an Alpha, they just didn’t believe me, ‘cause...”

“Because I’m never around and you’re always in the tabloids?” He asks with a smirk, which gets another nod in reply. He scoffs. “Dumb idiots should learn not to believe everything they read in the papers.”

A similar scoff comes from his mate as he tightens his arms around him, releasing a small whine.

“Alright folks, myth-busting time.” The man says sarcastically. “I’m James Rhodes, Colonel in the air force - hence why you haven’t seen me around. We met when we were at MIT and have been together since we were both of age. All the stories in the tabloids are lies - an easy cover to protect our relationship and privacy. We are bonded mates and that’s all there is to it. Any questions? No? Good. Jarvis can see you all out.” He says dismissively, picking Tony up by the thighs and walking away down the hall.

“Of course, Sir. Boss?” Jarvis asks, requesting Tony’s permission.

“See them out, J.” Tony says with a voice like steel, ignoring the Avengers spluttering behind him as he’s carried towards his room by his mate.

“As you wish, Boss. Avengers, if you will please collect your things, there will be a quin-jet arriving on the helipad to take you back to SHIELD. You’ve outstayed your welcome.” Jarvis says, the robotic voice taking on a sarcastic, demeaning tone.

“Wha... Tony!” Steve splutters as Clint growls.

“If you are not gone within the hour then the authorities will be notified and Stark Industries will be pressing charges.” Jarvis continues, ignoring the captain’s outrage.

“You can’t do this!” Clint yells, moving towards the hallway Tony and Rhodes had walked down, only for two metal doors to come out from the walls, closing them in.

“Sir can, actually. You were here because he was talked into it by Fury... but it seems his kindness has run out. It’s not surprising with the way you’ve treated him.” The AI says viciously.

“Jarvis, be reasonable. Let us see Tony... I’m sure we can sort this out,” the Black Widow says in a simpering tone.

“Sir has been reasonable for long enough. His Alpha is home now and he will be happy with his pack, without all of you. Gather your things, SHIELD has been notified about your return. The quin-jet will be here in 16 minutes... you have 54 minutes left to collect your things and go.”

The shouts continue for a while, before the group eventually leaves with scowling faces and pointing fingers, but Tony and his Rhodey-bear are blissfully unaware as they lie next to one another basking in eachother’s presence.

“Welcome home, Alpha,” Tony murmurs, nuzzling Rhodey’s neck, scent marking his mate.

“It’s good to be back.”

Chapter Text

This is it, he thinks. This is the day I die.

Leaning over the toilet bowl, violent coughs wrack his body as bloody, broken petals fly from his lips.

I can’t breathe!

He desperately tries to suck in a lungful of oxygen, choking once more as the air gets caught on the petals blocking his windpipe.

He has to get them out to breathe.

Starting up his coughing once more, tears leak from his eyes in a steady drip... drip... drip against the ceramic toilet seat. Forcing his body to expel the flowers, he feels it the moment they come loose, the huge clump trapped in his airways suddenly flowing up and out of his mouth, the sensation making him gag.

Please don’t be sick! Please don’t be sick! Please don’t be sick! He pleads with himself as he rests his forehead against the cool, tile wall of the bathroom, chest heaving as he sucks in deep, cooling, lungfuls of air.

At least they are proper toilets with thick walls, he thinks with a chuckle. Yuuei really splashed out on their facilities. This would be so much worse to deal with if he had to worry about people hearing him and asking if he’s okay. He’s pretty sure Mina thinks he’s bulimic at this point - that or he has some kind of bladder problem - due to the frequency with which he asks to be excused, only to return from the bathroom all pale and sweaty.

He’s thought about telling them - he really, really has! He’s stayed up all night thinking about telling them, getting his secret off his chest (haha! Get it? OFF HIS CHEST?!) especially since he can tell it’s getting worse. Each episode is longer and more painful than the last... it’s only a matter of time now, before one of his coughing sessions lasts too long and he ends up choking on the petals stuffing his lungs.

Those bastardly, pink, rose petals!

He can’t even see a rose bush when he’s out anymore, without feeling his chest constricting painfully, panic attack edging at the corner of his mind.

But what can he do?

If he tells someone, they will try to force him to get the operation to have the petals removed, and even then - with how far along he suspects the disease is - it probably wont work... or it will kill him.

That’s on top of the fact that he will never be able to love anyone ever again? I mean, come on! How unfair is that? You contract a disease because you love someone and they don’t love you back, it slowly kills you from the inside, and the only way to stop it - aside from having your love returned, which AIN’T happening for him, nope - is to have an operation to remove the plants, only, in doing so, your ability to love is removed with them and you can never love again...

IT’S BULLSHIT!

A lose-lose situation!

And sure, he could get the operation, could live a loveless life and all that... but to do that, he would have to give up his dream of becoming a pro-hero!

It became a law about 15 years ago, after one too many heroes who’d had the operation ended up getting people killed, because losing their ability to love messed with their empathy too much. Lots of heroes started to feel like taking down the villains was more important than protecting and rescuing civilians... so, to keep people safe, any hero that has the Hanahaki operation must retire, effective immediately.

It’s worse for heroes too.

Pro-heroes have one of the highest rates for Hanahaki disease; the risks of their job and secrecy that comes with it means that most heroes choose to stay single so that their loved ones don’t get caught in the cross-fire. It also means much higher death rates with the disease as heroes don’t want to give up their jobs, choosing to continue working until their lungs give out.

So... those are his two options; having the operation, giving up his dream job and ability to love, OR die, but hopefully get a chance to fulfil his dreams before that day comes.

As you can probably guess, he chose the latter option.

He told the school, so his teachers are aware, allowing him to go to the bathroom whenever he needs to. He also got some upgrades to his helmet, including a silencer, so that he can cough in peace without anyone questioning him, as well as a cool contraption that, when activated, sucks up any petals he coughs out and disintegrates them, before allowing the ashes to flow harmlessly out of the new air filtration system. He also has a small oxygen tank with his helmet and suit that gives him 10 minutes of air, should he find himself short of breath or not able to suck in enough air.

The support techs really did a good job with it, thinking of things he never could have come up with on his own.

Honestly, the whole staff at Yuuei have been extremely supportive. They had a serious talk with him about his options, said that if he wanted to have the operation they would make a space for him in the business course or general studies, got him a counsellor to talk to about everything... they were great.

And when in the middle of second year, he told Yuuei that people with Hanahaki’s disease usually get 3-5 years to live as it progresses, giving him at least a year and a half as a pro-hero, and that that was what he wanted, rather than the operation, none of them judged him for it or tried to change his mind - what, with All Might suffering from it himself - only said that if he changed his mind he could come to them and that they would support him.

That was just over a year ago now and he’s wondering if he’s even going to reach graduation, because with the way things are looking now, that 3 year minimum was a pipe dream, and he has absolutely no chance of his love ever getting returned when the object of his affection is the most sought after guy in the entire school - and quite possibly the most powerful too - everyone placing their bets on him becoming the number 1 hero of their generation.

I mean, come on! Why would he ever look at me? But here I am, the helpless, romantic fool that fell in love with the most unavailable guy at Yuuei.

That’s right, folks!

I, Sero Hanta, am in unrequited love with Todoroki Shouto.

Chapter Text

What a waste of time, Shouta thinks to himself, burying his face further into his capture weapon as red feathers wave casually in his peripheral.

Sliding his eyes to the right as he marches down the hallway, he slyly stares at his companion - his companion for the next two weeks at least.

Ugh. Why him? Why did the damn league of villains decide they wanted to destroy him? Hell, why did they keep going after his kids? They have a whole country to cause destruction in, but they choose to go after Yuuei - why?

Lost in his thoughts, it takes him a moment to realise that the red-feathered man has caught him staring and is grinning at him in return. Scoffing quietly, he faces forwards again and lets out a huff when he realises where his feet have taken him.

“... May as well get it over with,” he mumbles, getting a questioning hum from the other hero.

Not bothering to answer, he pushes open the heavy door before him, wandering into the Yuuei staff room with his usual dour demeanour. If he can just get to his sleeping bag without anyone noticing him—

“Shouta...” Midnight says cautiously.

“Yes?” He asks gruffly. His sleeping bag is in sight now.

“Why is the number 2 pro hero following you round like a lost puppy?” She asks with more confidence, humour lacing her voice.

“I’m his boyfriend,” a gravelly voice cuts in before he can reply, making him stop where he is, staring at his sleeping bag longingly as splutters fill the room.

Damn idiot.

Spinning around on his heel, he barks out, “Mid, Mic! Come with me, now!” Marching through the break room to one of the private rooms at the back, glowering when he sees that his ‘boyfriend’ is also following.

Opening the door, he lazily ushers them all inside, sending a death glare to the other teachers who are watching on with rapt attention.

Catching how serious he is, a lot of them seem to sober up, frowning at him in question, but he only shakes his head and does their hand signal for ‘could be listening in’, before closing the door on them.

“Soundproof the room, Mic,” he says. Sagging back against the door behind him, already tired and the day hasn’t even started yet.

One thing that Mic keeps secret about his abilities, is that he can not only amplify sounds, but also mute them - something that the three of them took advantage of a lot when they were younger and at school.

Waiting until his friend nods at him to confirm that the room is secure, he lets out a sigh, dropping his head back to bang against the wooden door behind him.

“Sho... what’s wrong?” Mic asks, subdued.

“Hizashi, Nemuri, meet Keigo, AKA. Hawks: my fake boyfriend for the forseeable future.” He says deadpan, waiting for the explosion that he knows is about to happen.

Sure enough, the two burst into noise, spluttering and laughing and crying, pointing between the two heroes who are so clearly polar opposites in every way; Hawks with his red feathers, golden hair and smirky attitude, versus Aizawa with his all black and grey attire and generally tired, pessimistic outlook on life.

“They... chose HIM to be your FAKE BOYFRIEND?! Are they DUMB?!” Hizashi questions between fits of laughter, voice far too loud in their small back room - hence why he asked him to soundproof everything. There would have been no secrets left by the time they exited the room.

“Yep.”

“They really are idiots!” Nemuri pipes up, wiping away her tears with a giggle. “Who made the decision? HELL, why do you have a fake boyfriend in the first place?!”

“The police made the decision, and yes, they clearly are idiots.” He says with another sighs. He feels like sighing is all he does nowadays. “As for why... they said he needed... supervision, and apparently I’m the best person to do that.”

“Supervision?! He’s the number 2 hero!” Mic exclaims, making his emo friend wince. Quickly lowering his voice guiltily, he tries again. “Even if he did need ‘supervision’ why would they pick you?”

Fed up already, Shouta waves a hand at Hawks in a ‘go on’ motion, catching the hero’s hesitance. “They can be trusted. We have leaks here at Yuuei that we are trying to patch up, but these two can be trusted. If anything ever happens and I’m not around, find one of these two.” He explains seriously, making his friends straighten in surprise and pride. Shouta doesn’t often give out praise.

Sighing dramatically, nothing like the worn-out sighs of Aizawa, Hawks smiles at the two teachers and bows lightly. “Hey there, I’m Keigo Takami, sorry for intruding like this,” he says, the smug look on his face dropping to reveal something more sincere. “I’ve been undercover in the League of Villains for a while now, but I had to intervene in one of their attacks and now my cover is blown.” He explains with a self-depreciating chuckle. “It’s not really safe for me to be out at the moment, what with the entire League out for my head, so they decided to put me up in the most fortified place in Japan - Yuuei.”

“Oh shit, my man! You okay? You’re lucky they didn’t get you!” Hizashi says with concern, despite having never met the guy before, making a small smile tug at Shouta’s lips.

“Yeah, yeah. I’m all good, just tired of it all now,” he admits, feathers rustling in agitation.

“Damn. So they’re putting you up at Yuuei; makes sense.” Midnight says with a frown. “But, why are the two of you now lovers?” She asks.

Sighing, Aizawa interjects. “When he told the police what he’d discovered, they decided that they might as well kill two bird with one stone... he’s also my protection detail.”

“Protection detail?! From what - the League?!” Hizashi asks worriedly.

“Yep. Turns out they hold a MAJOR grudge against gothy over here,” Hawks quips, trying to lighten the conversation slightly. “They need Eraserhead to be monitored and protected, and they need me somewhere safe that the League can’t penetrate... ergo, I stay at Yuuei and hang about under the pretence of being his boyfriend that’s just moved into his apartment with him on campus. I’m taking a ‘break’ to spend time with my significant other,” he scoffs.

“Wow... if ever I’d heard a dumb cover story, this is it.” Midnight jokes flatly, making them all hum in agreement.

“Tell me about it.” Aizawa agrees. “Hopefully it shouldn’t be for too long. With both of us in one place, Nezu is hoping our leaks will mess up and reveal themselves. It’s only a matter of time before the League tries something again when their two most hated heroes are in one place.”

“Damn. So, you’re not going to be heroing while all this is going on?” Hizashi asks worriedly, eyes flitting to Aizawa in question.

“Oh, no. I’ll still be on the scene,” Hawks replies easily. “I’ll just be going out with Aizawa at night instead.”

His two friends turn to stare at him in shock, making him roll his eyes at their dramatics.

“You’re?!”

“What? Is something wrong with that?” Hawks asks, eyes alert as he stares around the friend group.

“They’re just being dramatic,” Aizawa huffs, standing from the wall, ready to grab the door handle for his own dramatic exit.

He’s not fast enough, however, as Mic blurts out, “Shouta doesn’t patrol with ANYONE! He’s a lone wolf - an underground hero! If he starts patrolling with you—”

“Then everyone will believe the lie that he’s my boyfriend,” Aizawa cuts in with a glare at his childhood best friend. “I don’t patrol with anyone, ever - until now. They’ll eat up the cover story.” He explains.

“You’d really let him patrol with you... for the sake of a cover story?” Mic whispers, though Hawks still catches it, judging by the frown forming on his face.

Fuck, he doesn’t have time for this.

Yanking the door behind him open with force, he glares down the eager-eyed teachers in the lounge, all staring at him intently. “Yes, Hawks is my boyfriend. We’re moving in together at Yuuei. Please respect our privacy, or we’ll be having words.” He deadpans, staring down every teacher that’s assembled there, until they all begrudgingly agree. “Good.” He says, grabbing his boyfriend’s wrist and dragging him out of the room.

Hawks chuckles as he continues to pull him down the corridor at a fast pace - he doesn’t even care if he’s early to class at this point, he just wants to get away from his obnoxious friends who don’t know when to shut their mouths.

He feels the wrist in his grasp twist to entwine their fingers instead, pulling on his hand lightly to get him to slow down.

Letting himself be coaxed into a more casual walk, he glares at the other who seems to be holding back a laugh. “I’m not gonna pry,” he explains with a smile. “I have friends that like to overshare about my life too.”

“Goddamn idiots. Who knows why we’re all still friends,” he grumbles, though he knows exactly why they are.

“They care about you a lot, it’s nice. Can be difficult to have that in our line of work,” Hawks muses as they walk hand in hand down the corridor.

Aizawa only hums in response as he pulls the other to a stop outside his classroom. Eyeing the other hero, he sends him a scrutinising look, before nodding in satisfaction.

“Prepare yourself.” Is all he says as he opens the door to utter mayhem.

Hawks is blown away by the level of noise coming from inside the classroom. Kids of all shapes and sizes and colours are milling about on and around desks, some having animated conversations, others... threatening to blow people up?! A blue haired kid is waving his arms frantically, trying to be heard above the noise, having obviously noticed the two of them entering, though everyone else is oblivious - need to work on their perception skills...

“Sit down and shut up.” Aizawa says in his regular, quiet voice, pulling Hawks towards the desk at the front of the classroom, the pro hero watching in shock as everyone scrambles to their seats, sitting to attention in silence.

Flipping open a folder, he points to it. “Attendance list,” he explains, before flipping to the next page. “Class 1-A schedule,” another page. “Our schedule and curriculum.” He flips back to the attendance. “They have first class with us, teach them something they’ll actually use in the field,” he says with a sigh and a squeeze of his hand, before letting go and walking over to a yellow sleeping bag in the corner, stopping to face the class when he’s there. “This is my boyfriend Hawks, he’ll be taking attendance and teaching you today. Expect to see more of him around campus.” He says, climbing into the bag and facing the wall.

Turning back to the class full of children, he gives a jaunty little wave, spotting Tokoyami.

“Yo.”

All hell breaks loose.

Chapter Text

Sight blurred and head pounding, Stiles slowly comes to consciousness on the muddy floor of the preserve - a feeling he has become intimately familiar with over the past couple of years.

Groaning out, he turns his head, trying to spot a member of the pack, or a familiar landmark to tell him where abouts in the preserve he might be. Looking around, nothing screams out to him, so he gingerly pushes himself up, wincing when the weight causes his wrist to flare up in painful protest. Sitting upright fully, he cradles the hand to his chest, long, slender fingers probing at the joint worriedly, hissing when he hits another painful spot.

Not broken, but definitely sprained, he thinks with a sigh. Derek is gonna kill him and Scott will probably get all ‘protective alpha wolf’ again like he does whenever Stiles gets even a scrape.

The two have come a long way since that awful night in the woods when Scott was bitten; for one Stiles now has a decent amount of control over his ‘spark’, making him less of a liability in battle, along with some handy self-defence lessons from both his father and the pack. Another thing that has changed is that the pack has finally come to accept that he is fragile - something he himself was loathe to admit for a very long time.

It was actually their resident resurrected zombie wolf that started the ‘Stiles protection squad’ as Erica has so lovingly dubbed it, the elder wolf stepping in during pack rough housing, taking extra care with first aid after fighting their monster of the month, and generally making sure that the pack human was always safe and cared for - and that the pack were aware of how their strength could hurt him, as it so often did back in the day...

So yeah. Scott will no doubt have an aneurism over the sprain when Stiles eventually manages to locate his pack again.

Wincing as he shifts his weight, he settles back against the tree trunk next to him, waiting for the black spots crowding his vision to fade. When they do, he gives the space around him another cursory glance, trying to find any clues as to what happened to him.

Please don’t tell me I tripped over my own feet and managed to knock myself out AGAIN, he prays, eyes scanning the forest floor for any signs of magic or combat.

He doesn’t have to look very far before his eyes snag on a dark, charred patch of ground, not far from his feet - exactly where his feet would have been before he fell.

Okay, so that means magic—

Memories flood his mind at the sight of the charred ground and he grabs his head in panic, cringing at the sudden onslaught of sound and colour.

Shit... shit, SHIT, SHIT!!!

He remembers now... he was out on his own, scanning the preserve for the dark witch that had been leaving runes and markings in the trees for him, challenging his spark every time he came across and destroyed one of them.

Of course the pack aren’t around, since he didn’t tell them that he was going out in the first place.

Stupid Stiles, he berates himself, knocking his head against the trunk behind him slowly, ignoring the pain it sends shooting through his temples.

No matter how many times he goes out into the woods alone and something bad happens; he never learns his lesson!

At least the witch won’t be bothering them anymore he thinks with mirth, eyeing a patch of pinkish goo a couple of feet away from the charred ground. His spark is good for many things, including warding himself against magical attacks when he’s unconscious - a necessity after the Nogitsune. He wouldn’t be surprised to find out that she had tried to attack him once he was knocked out, only to find herself vaporised...

She certainly wouldn’t be the first monster it’s happened to.

Wracking his brain, tumbling through the memories that are still coming back to him, he pauses when he comes to something relevant, feeling the blood draining from his face as he voices his sentiments from before out loud.

“Shit—” a pause... then, “shit. What the shit? What the fuck? Is that— what is going on?!” He squeaks out in a voice that is similar to his own in accent and tone, but a much higher - MUCH GIRLIER - pitch.

What was it that damn witch said?!

‘Only true loves kiss will break the curse... good look finding your true love when everyone wants a piece of you!’

Who did this bitch think she was, Ursula?!

Groaning as he pulls himself up, using the tree beside him - which he gives a little pat of thanks - he winces when his girlish sounding voice leaves his throat again.

Oh god, am I Ariel? I mean, I haven’t grown a tail or any other body... parts...

He pauses, staring down at two prominent body parts he MOST CERTAINLY didn’t have before he came witch hunting. Lifting a finger, he gently prods at the mound on his chest, before pulling back with a small hum of confusion.

Are you seriously telling me she...

Reaching up to scratch at his head in befuddlement, he yanks his hand back quickly as it gets stuck in the thick, long hair that - with a second feel - he can tell is matted down to his mid-back. Add that to a significant lack of SOMETHING in the downstairs department and—

Holy smokes... I’m a girl... SHE TURNED ME INTO A FUCKING WOMAN!

Digging in his pockets, he miraculously finds his unfried and still alive phone - which tells him the time is 4 hours later than when he left the pack house, but that’s not his concern right now - and unlocks the camera, turning it and the flash onto his face.

Yep. He’s a woman alright!

It’s definitely still his face, that much he knows for sure, but it’s... slimmer? Daintier? His nose is even more upturned and his lips more pouty, along with his customary plethora of beauty marks and amber eyes... it’s definitely him, alright.

Him? Her? What?!

God this is too much to even think about right now.

Turning his flash from the front camera to the back, he - she? FUCK! - heads off into the woods, remembering now which way he ran from the witch, slowly navigating his way back to the rebuilt Hale house, which would normall be a 30 minute walk away, but with his sprained wrist and a possible - read: definite - concussion, takes closer to 50.

Seeing the house through the trees, he grins in relief... only to frown when he sees that all the lights seem to be on inside.

Well... looks like the pack realised he was gone sometime between now and 30 minutes ago when his phone DID die - he’s terrible at charging the thing, alright? Sue him!

Wobbling out of the tree line, he puts his good hand to his mouth and lets out a three-toned whistle. Everyone in the pack has a whistle in different tones that is solely their’s, which they can use if they are in danger, or simply just returning home. Either way, he figured with the way he looks right now, using his whistle was his best bet not to get torn to shreds instantly.

Not 5 seconds later the back door bursts open and Scott comes barrelling out, closely followed by Erica and Isaac, only for all three of them to stop short at the sight of him, freezing about 10 feet away.

“Oh, come on! I know I have tits now and stuff, but it’s CLEARLY still me! Don’t just stand there!” He huffs, the pain in his head and wrist throbbing after close to an hour trekking back through the woods.

“Stiles...?” Scott whispers, head tilting to the side in a decidedly canine way.

“Uh— yeah?! Unless you know anyone else with this many goddamn moles!” He complains, knowing that he always whines about the marks and it will be another sign that it’s truly him.

Shallow gasps come from behind the three as more of the pack come pouring out of the house, all of the wolves stopping at the sight of him in the same way Scott, Erica and Isaac had... well, apart from Peter who is walking closer with a calculating head tilt of his own.

“Stiles?” Kira asks hesitantly, sending him a cautious smile.

He wants to roll his eyes, because duh! Who else would it be? But he refrains because it’s sweet Kira, choosing to nod enthusiastically instead.

“What the hell happened?” Lydia snaps, moving into action to brush past the frozen wolves, heading in Stiles’ direction, for which he is grateful, because their behaviour is starting to freak him out.

“Dark witch who likes Disney films too much cursed me to be a woman or some shit. I don’t really know - pretty sure I’m concussed,” he rambles, sending her a patented ‘awkward Stilinski shrug’.

Sighing at his antics - because honestly? Him being turned into a woman isn’t the weirdest thing to ever happen - she continues to glide towards him with her ‘thinking face’ on when suddenly the trio in front of him start growling menacingly.

Jumping in shock, he expects them to be growling at him, but their eyes are trained away from him, hackles raised as they stand protectively between he and Peter, who is now backing away with wide eyes and upturned palms.

“Mine!” They all growl out simultaneously, only to freeze, before turning on each other, eyes and fangs flashing menacingly.

“Uh... guys?” He calls out warily, only to flinch in surprise when they all stop growling and turn to him with gooey eyes.

“Yes, love?” Isaac asks, which sets Scott and Erica away growling again, along with the other wolves in the vicinity.

“Love?!” He squeaks, sending Isaac a panicked glance. Did the witch get to him too? And what’s with all the alpha wolf posturing? I thought we got over this... years... ago...

Scanning the pack, his eyes widen as he calls out to Lydia. “It’s only the wolves that are acting strange! When the witch cursed me— she said something! Something about ‘everyone wanting a piece of me?!’ I don’t know!”

Quick to catch on, her eyes narrow in thought. “It could be a hormonal thing - wolves are all about scent. With you being female now... the curse could be about making more than just your body appealing” - “Hey! I’m always appealing!” - “but making you appealing to wolves too?”

“So... like werewolf catnip?” A deep voice pipes up from the sidelines, making Lydia and Stiles turn in surprise.

“You... aren’t affected?” Stiles asks.

“Mmm, nope. Can’t say I’m feeling the urge to growl at the others over you, or whatever is happening right now,” he quips, waving a hand carelessly though the air.

“Great! You can take Stiles with you then,” Lydia says with finality, stomping past the werewolves who don’t pay her any notice, to tug on his arm. “If Peter is right - which I sadly think he is - and you ARE werewolf catnip, then we need to get you away from the others till we get this fixed.”

“Okay... but why can’t I stay with you?” He asks in confusion.

“Because I’m not kicking Jackson out and you two can’t be in the same apartment right now,” she explains, quickly pulling him across to where Peter is, eyeing the still growling werewolves warily. “He lives on his own, he isn’t affected, and he’s also a wolf - if the others somehow manage to discover his address, then he will be capable of fighting them off in a way that the humans in the pack can’t.”

“You’re picking Jackson over me?” He mumbles in a huff.

“He’s my boyfriend and mate - of course I am, Stiles. Get a grip.” She says, handing him over to Peter who confidently wraps a firm arm around his shoulders.

Apparently that broke the spell the other wolves were under as they turn in unison to snarl at Peter, beta shift coming over some of them.

Well that’s not good!

Peter’s body tenses with anticipation for the upcoming fight, manoeuvring Stiles behind him smoothly as his claws unsheathe.

And Stiles? Stiles does what Stiles does best.

He talks.

“Oh no! No no no! Bad dogs! No more growling! STAY! Peter is good! No attacking Peter, even though you might want to!” He rambles and surprisingly... it works.

They all halt at his words, eyes wide and eager to please... huh. Werewolf catnip... cool.

“Okay... that’s good! Now - you guys just stay there and don’t growl at each other, okay! I’m gonna go somewhere safe and I’ll see you all... soon?” He says hesitantly, slowly backing away from the once frenzied group of wolves, who are all now staring at him like he’s hung the moon.

Not touching Peter, he gives an impatient ‘shoo’ motion towards the front of the house, where he knows Peter’s car is.

Getting the memo, the zombie wolf runs off, the sound of an ignition seeming like a gunshot in the now silent woods.

Edging ever closer to his escape route, he hesitantly calls out, “Lydia?” Keeping his eyes firmly trained on the wolves.

“I’ll look into it,” she says firmly. “And keep you updated. Who knows, maybe once you’re out of the vicinity they’ll...”

“Return back to normal? I fucking hope so, otherwise this is going to suck balls till I get it fixed.”

Following him around the side of the house, his feet touch crunch on gravel as he slowly makes his way towards where he can hear an engine rumbling, hand outstretched behind him, the wolves watching on in dopey happiness... it’s so fucking creepy, Stiles decides.

Finally feeling thrumming metal under his hand, he makes his way to the passengers door, pointing a stern finger at the gathered wolves as he says, “stay! Behave! No biting or clawing!” In his best ‘bad dog’ voice.

Climbing into the car, he’s relieved to see that peter has rolled the window down so he doesn’t have to break eye contact with the wolves. He’s getting ready to tell the elder wolf to ‘hit it’ like in all of those cool action movies, when Lydia calls out, “hey stiles!”

“Yeah?”

“Did the witch say anything else about the curse besides ‘they’ll all want a piece of you?’” She asks and Stiles finds himself bursting into nearly hysterical laughter as he nods.

“Yep! Yeah, she did!” He giggles, his concussion really starting to take its toll.

“... Well?!” She huffs impatiently.

“She— she SAID,” he chokes out between chuckles. “That the curse can only be broken by true loves kiss!” He bursts out, tears starting to stream down his face at the absurdity of it all. Waiting to see if Lydia will respond to that at all, he hears nothing but silence, which he takes as his cue to fumble around beside him to pat Peter’s thigh as he shouts, “HIT IT!” and they peal out of the reserve.

Chapter Text

Tsukishima was 14 when the words first showed up in wide, bubbly writing - written at first in a bright, yellow pen that was extremely hard to decipher, then in a vibrant orange which was much more legible - the person excitedly explaining that their name is Bokuto Koutarou, they live in Tokyo, their favourite colour is yellow, favourite animal is an owl and that they are super excited to meet him.

Tsukki remembers the strong mix of fear and elation he felt when Yamaguchi pointed out the yellow smears on his arm to him, not that he revealed his feelings to anyone. Calmly decoding the large, sprawling writing that curled up his arm, the fear gave way to happiness brimming just under the surface, along with a small pang of pain at making his soulmate wait another 2 years before he would be able to talk to them.

He could only hope that his soulmate would be willing to wait for him...

2 months went by and Tsukishima got used to leaving his sleeves rolled up in order to catch the random, mundane notes his soulmate would leave for him, making smiling more than he had in ages. Small reminders, dumb messages from his soulmate’s friends, talk of volleyball... he didn’t care what the words said, just that he was getting them and that his soulmate cared enough to continue contacting him, even though he had no proof that anyone was even reading his notes.

Similarly, marks and bruises started to show up in random places - places that he knew he hadn’t bruised.

When he went to his mother about it, worried that something was wrong, she only smiled indulgently at him, explaining that more than just words were shared across soulbonds. Schools typically tended to teach about writing to your soulmates - using soulbonds to explain about stranger danger, among other things - instead of explaining that EVERY mark that appears on your body will also appear on your mate’s. That includes bruises, tattoos - and yes, ink.

Realising this, he started to associate certain marks and bruises with things Bokuto would tell him - like how he got flat bruises on his knees a lot, and his palm was often red and purple (war wounds from volleyball practice), or the grey smudges that would flow from the tip of his pinky finger, to the swell of flesh above his wrist (charcoal from art classes and drawing, which he expressed an interest in - much more than any academic studies like maths or science).

And while sometimes people would point them out, Tsukki being one of the few in his class that had a soulmate more than 2 years older than him, more often than not people would just smile at the marks, happy for him and his soulmate.

Or at least, they used to smile at him...

He was once again in class, 2 months after his soulmate’s first words showed up, when Yamaguchi leaned over to prod at his arm with wide eyes, whispering to Tsukki when he looked at him in annoyance, “what’s with the red ink?”

Frowning down in confusion, Kei looked at his arm, only to see that his best friend was right. Where orange was usually the sole colour covering his skin (with the occasional bit of yellow or black biro thrown in), his soulmate had never written in red ink before, which Yamaguchi knew.

Tilting his head to get a good look at the writing, where it was squished between the wavy, orange scribbles of Bokuto, his eyes widened as he read...

Because THIS wasn’t Bokuto...

Where Bokuto’s scrawl is big and bubbly, fitting his exuberant personality that Tsukishima has been able to pick up on through his random messages, the red writer had thin, scratchy, barely legible handwriting.

His name is Kuroo Tetsurou, he also lives in Tokyo, his favourite colour is red, favourite animal is a cat... and today is his 16th birthday.

Two soulmates...

He didn’t know of anyone else in school that had two soulmates! I mean, he’d heard that it happens sometimes, but all the scientists say that it’s an incredibly rare phenomenon: a polybond.

Not sure what to do with the information he’d just been handed, he scribbled a quick note to Yamaguchi, explaining what had happened, and spent the rest of the lesson in a haze, watching as his two soulmates conversed.

When he got home that night, he pulled Akiteru to the side, asking him about polybonds and - with a little pushing - revealed his new, red soulmate to his brother.

Naturally, his brother was ecstatic for him, the two pouring over the internet for more information about polybonds and how they worked - and when they came across some of the more negatively inclined sites, Akiteru was quick to reassure his brother that they were wrong and that having two mates is a gift.

And he believed him.

Even when he started rolling his sleeves down at school to hide his soulmates words from the prying eyes of his classmates, or had to sit through an awkward couple of sex ed classes where polyamory was only discussed once - and that was because a cruel classmate asked the teacher a question about it with a significant glance his way, to which the teacher responded, “polybonds are so unlikely to happen that we don’t teach about it... frankly they are difficult to talk about since they are so rare. It’s not necessary.”

His mother had rang the school in a fury that night, after discovering that her son learning about having safe sex with his soulmates was deemed ‘not necessary’ by the school, and after that the ‘freak’ comments died down a little.

For the next year at least...

He was 15 and in his final year of junior high, getting ready to move schools the next year and finally be able to talk to his two soulmates Bokuto and Kuroo - who still had no idea that there was anyone other than the two of them in the bond - when it showed up.

Over the past year he’d gained a new sympathy for people in polybonds, having researched them extensively after his own appeared.

The idea that some people would have to wait 3, 5, maybe even 10 years to meet their soulmates, knowing all the while that they are out there and have no idea that their youngest member even exists... it’s a sad reality for many - knowing that the two oldest soulmates in a polybond will meet each other first and often fall in love with each other, while the youngest can do nothing but sit back and wait till the day that they can finally talk to them... Tsukishima pities them.

At least he only has 2 years to wait, Akiteru would tell him comfortingly, soothing his brother’s worries.

Though, he can’t pretend that he wasn’t jealous, seeing his two soulmates making plans to meet up.

The two exchanged phone numbers and consequently didn’t use their arms to converse as much anymore, meaning that Tsukishima was suddenly missing out on huge chunks of their lives... and that hurt... but he’d already managed to deal with it for a year - he only has another 9 months to go until his birthday - and then he could introduce himself to them... it would be fine!

Or at least, he thought it would be... until dark blue showed up in December.

His name is Akaashi Keiji, he also lives in Tokyo (and is attending Bokuto’s high school, though he hadn’t joined the volleyball team at the time), his favourite colour is blue and his favourite animal is also an owl... and today is his 16th birthday.

Another one... holy shit, another one!

One who had been in the polybond alone the same way he had! Someone who might have some kind of idea that he is there! That might suggest that they are waiting on one more...

But it never happened.

Akaashi never spared a second thought for their youngest soulmate, the same way that Bokuto and Kuroo didn’t, despite Akaashi being living proof that they have been wrong before - hell, maybe there’s someone younger than him in the bond! Tsukki doesn’t know, but he’s not going to rule it out either... the way his soulmates have.

He hides his arms from that point onwards, wearing long sleeves and pants during sports, never wearing shorts in the summer... I mean, sure, his classmates find out about his third soulmate regardless, but he doesn’t let their comments bother him.

Or at least... he doesn’t let them see that it bothers him.

“Loner”, “freak”, “weirdo”, “why would they want you?”, “You bring nothing to the bond”, “they would be better off without you”...

You think he hasn’t realised that on his own?

He begins to wear long-sleeves clothing, even at home, fending off his mother and brothers’ questions about how his soulmates are doing.

He stopped researching polybonds and how people had made them work when he saw one day that the three of them had met up in Tokyo - something cracking painfully in his chest when he realised that they were happy without him...

Because what WOULD he bring to the bond? Athletic abilities? Bokuto had that sorted. Sarcasm and witty comebacks? Kuroo was the king of those. Intelligence and good grades? Akaashi covered that... what good was he?

His brother wasn’t happy when he told him that, the two of them exploding one night when Akiteru wouldn’t stop bugging him about his soulmates. Naturally, he didn’t believe that for a second and accused Tsukishima of being a coward - of taking the easy way out.

“If I had a polybond like you...” he’d started, only to be interrupted by Tsukishima’s vicious voice.

“What? You’d what, Akiteru?! Be bullied mercilessly? Be constantly having to hide your marks for fear that someone would find out your soulmates’ identities and try to contact them?! Be borderline depressed because they are PERFECTLY happy without you in their lives and if the bond broke tomorrow they wouldn’t mourn you like you’d mourn them?!” He’d yelled out.

“Because you’re not giving them the chance to mourn you!” His brother had replied, equally as fiercely. “You’re not even giving them the chance to prove that they can be good soulmates to you! They aren’t the ones giving up on you, YOU’RE GIVING UP ON THEM!”

Silence had hung in the air after his brother’s explosion of anger and Tsukishima had done all that he could think to do...

“Get out. NOW.”

His brother had tried to apologise, but the damage was already done.

Tsukishima became more and more reclusive, more bitter and salty, pushing people away to protect himself. The only one who really stuck around - read: refused to leave - was Yamaguchi, his friend sticking by him through it all.

It was no surprise really that the freckled boy followed him to Karasuno, a high school that is much further away from their houses, but that none of their classmates from junior high are attending, though he did have one condition when he followed him there: “we’re joining the volleyball team.”

And so they had. With only weeks till Tsukishima turned 16, the two joined Karasuno’s volleyball team - despite the blond starting a row with an energetic ginger in the hopes that their seniors wouldn’t let him into the club - and Tsukishima wore long sleeves to every practice.

And it was nice! Peaceful, even...

Sure, Hinata and Kageyama annoyed him like nothing else could, but they were good enough friends. Yachi was an angel sent from the heavens that Yamaguchi fell for instantly, despite them not being soulmates - not that Tsukishima was judging considering he wants nothing to do with his own - and the seniors were good to him, despite his... attitude problems.

His 16th birthday came and went in September - very shortly after Bokuto’s - without fanfare. He was getting good grades, suffering through volleyball for his best friend, and his soulmates were none the wiser to his existence.

Things were looking pretty good for him, all things considered.

Or so he thought.

The problem with always wearing long sleeves, even at home, is that he misses out on a lot of his soulmates’ conversations.

And while he wouldn’t really consider that a problem, it meant that he was struck frozen when he took his shirt off in the middle of October, getting ready to shower before bed, only to find large, obnoxious, orange writing scribbled across his chest.

“HELLO?!?!?! ARE YOU THERE?!?! 4th SOULMATE?!?!”

What... HOW?!

Tearing off the rest of his clothes, he searched his body frantically for the start of the conversation, dismissing small doodles from Bokuto, chemistry notes from Kuroo and musical notes from Akaashi.

... There!

On his arm in Kuroo’s red, barely legible scratch, he saw the words, ‘ah shit, I see blood! You guys okay?’

Bokuto’s massive scrawl came next, saying ‘not me! AKAAASHIII! WHY ARE YOU HURT?!? Which is closely followed by Akaashi’s beautiful, loopy handwriting.

‘I’m not hurt, Bokuto... are you sure it wasn’t one of you?’

Looking around, Tsukishima winced when he saw the blood they meant, now dried across the top of his shin from where he caught a bit of wood earlier when doing diving drills at practice.

Shit... SHIT!

Frantically skimming though more of the conversation, his stomach started to churn when he saw that they all took turns trying to wipe the blood away to see if it was from them and they just hadn’t noticed, but the blood didn’t budge.

Fuck! It’s the one way to prove which soulmate wrote what; only the person who wrote it can remove it. No matter how much Tsukishima scrubbed at his skin - which he tried, A LOT - he could never get rid of the marks on his body until his soulmates wiped them off - which they usually all do before bed so that they have a ‘clean slate’ for the next day.

If none of them could wash the blood away... it’s irrefutable proof that there is someone else in the bond.

Fuck, why didn’t he think of that?!

Scanning across his body, he fought off waves of nausea as he continued to read the conversation, until he got to Kuroo’s question in even messier writing than normal.

‘So... there’s a fourth person?’

‘It would seem so’ Akaashi had replied, Tsukishima wanting to snort at the sarcasm he could practically feel radiating from the words.

‘OMG HELLO?! HELLO!!!’ Bokuto had then started to write, the words slowly getting larger and larger as they travelled across different parts of his body - probably in the hopes that he would notice at least one of them.

‘Are we sure this is what’s happening rn?’ Kuroo had questioned inbetween Bokuto’s sprawling calls.

‘Is there any other explanation?’ Navy swirls had replied.

‘Not really... well shit. COME OUT, COME OUT, WHEREVER YOU ARE!’ Red scribbles said across his bicep, with navy blue lines crossing through them.

‘Thats creepy Kuroo.’

‘Oh... you think so?’

Twin yeses in orange and blue had replied, before it seems Bokuto had gone back to his task of covering as much of his body in orange ink as he possibly could.

A small, ‘Bokuto stop,’ in blue was written above his bellybutton, along with the words, ‘they will talk to us when they are ready.’

‘Yeah. We know they are there now - worst comes to worst, we write on their face till they—’ red had been in the middle of writing, before being obviously interrupted by blue.

‘No Kuroo. Let them come to us... and if you are reading this, then hello 4th soulmate, it’s a pleasure to meet you.’

And damn if that didn’t hurt.

The writing on the face threat worried Tsukishima more than he would have liked to admit, but he trusts that Akaashi will wrangle the two troublemakers.

He let out a mirthless laugh as he turned the shower on, staring blankly at the words across his torso.

...If only they would just forget about him, he thought, knowing how ironic it is that just a year earlier he had been begging for the exact opposite.

There’s nothing he can do now, except from clean the blood off his shin and pray they leave him alone.

He’ll have to be a lot more careful from now on.

Chapter Text

“Hi there, what can I get you?” A gravelly, yet surprisingly perky voice asks, making Tony lift his head from where it’s buried in his phone.

Damn Ross making his life hell, yet again.

He does a double take when he meets piercing blue eyes, his own brown ones scanning over rough looking stubble, high cheekbones, shoulder length hair tied in a man bun, and a smirking, full-lipped mouth...

Oh shit, he’s hot.

“Largest cappuccino you can get me, with however many extra expresso shots you’re legally allowed to serve me,” he says, dropping his eyes back down to the email on his phone, fishing his black card out of his pocket as he types one-handed.

“Of course, that will be a cappuccino with 3 extra expresso shots. Anything else?”

“No thanks,” he murmurs distractedly.

“Sure thing. It’ll be $7.75. You got a name for me, Doll?” The gravelly voice asks, making Tony raise his eyebrows in surprise, a small smirk of his own playing on his lips.

“You know my name,” he replies, figuring the guy just wants the opportunity to say he served Tony Stark - and damn if he’s gonna verify his identity.

Silence follows his announcement as the card machine beeps to say the payment has gone through.

Flicking his eyes up, he sees the man frowning at him. Sending him a cocky smile, he saunters over to the pick up area, listening as the barista scribbles something on the paper cup, before addressing his next customer.

Smiling back down at his phone, he gets lost in replying to emails and gets confused when he hears someone hesitantly clearing their throat beside him.

“Yeah?” He asks, turning to look at the girl who made his coffee, smiling slightly at her blushing face.

“Umm, my friend says this is your coffee, sir.” She says with a thick accent, toying with her long, brown hair as she slides the coffee across the counter.

“Thanks... Wanda,” he says, reading her name tag. “Cappuccino with extra expresso shots?” He asks just to check, smiling and picking the drink up when she nods. “Alright, thanks a lot,” he nods back, taking a sip of the scalding liquid as he turns to leave, lifting the drink in salute to the handsome barista who sends back a wink of his own.

It isn’t until Pepper walks into his office 30 minutes later that he realises why the brunette girl was blushing.

“Tony... why is your coffee cup addressed to ‘Mr. Bubble butt’?”

“I— what?!” He squeaks, grabbing the cup, twisting it to see the name the barista wrote down, letting out a bark of laughter when he sees that Pepper is telling the truth.

“Damn... I wish I’d noticed this before I left the shop... no wonder he winked at me when I was leaving!” He exclaims, ignoring Pepper’s sigh of disappointment.

Well, shit... he’ll have to go back there sometime soon.

Chapter Text

“We know you don’t want to do this, Kenma, but you aren’t a part of any extra-curricular activities or clubs and you haven’t been all through high school. If you do this for the final half of the year, we will give you the same credits for it as we would for a club.”

“But... I don’t need the credits to get into the college course I want,” they mumble, tugging at their sleeves awkwardly.

“True, but you do need a good reference from the school... and since you haven’t tried to join any clubs while you’ve been here...” Mr Fukoshima trails off, point clearly made.

If Kenma doesn’t do this, the school will give them a bad reference letter... they’re literally being blackmailed by their own school.

“... Fine. Who do you want me to tutor?”

“Excellent! You will be tutoring Bokuto Koutarou,” Mr. Fukoshima says excitedly, clapping his hands together.

Of course, Kenma thinks bitterly. The star of the school’s football team. No wonder they were willing to blackmail them, since Bokuto is the main reason their school continues to get such a large sports allowance from the government. If he fails his exams... the school’s reputation will drop dramatically.

“When are we doing this, then?” They huff out, eyes trained on a tree waving in the wind outside. They just want to go home and play some animal crossing.

“We will set the preliminary tutoring session for tomorrow after school in the library. Each session should last the same amount of time as a school lesson, and you should be having at least 2 a week... preferably more. After tomorrow, however, it will be up to the both of you to arrange things around your schedules.”

Ahhh. Bokuto will have training after school most days... god, waiting to do their tutoring sessions until after his football practices are done is going to be a pain, but Kenma already refuses to do them at their house.

“Alright,” they say with resignation. “I’ll see him tomorrow at 3 then.” And without a backwards glance, they stand up and walk out the door.

This is going to be a long 5 months.

 

•••

 

It’s 3:15 the next day when Bokuto finally strolls into the library, disrupting the quiet with his loud, boisterous laugh, fellow football player Kuroo Tetsurou sauntering along beside him.

Great.

They watch as Kuroo scans the room, his eyes alighting on them. A smirk pulls at the corner of his mouth as he makes his way over to the table, Bokuto trailing behind like a lost, but excitable puppy.

“This is the guy,” Kuroo says to Bokuto, dropping his bag heavily on the table, causing Kenma to flinch then glare heavily, the boy’s smirk turning into a full-blown grin at the sight.

“Kuroo.” Kenma greets acidly. “What are you doing here?”

“Just making sure my boy gets to his study session on time,” he drawls back, before his eyes harden significantly, “and that the person tutoring him actually knows what they are teaching.”

Raising their eyebrows, unimpressed, Kenma dryly replies, “by all means, you’re welcome to tutor him instead, if you know what you’re doing.”

Some of the sharpness in Kuroo’s face melts away at their reply, the messy haired boy leaning back in his chair with a wave of his hand. “Tried that. Been trying to tutor this dumbass for years now, but it never seems to stick.”

“Oh really?” They hum with false innocence. “Maybe you shouldn’t be judging other people’s teaching technique then, should you?” They ask, voice dripping with sarcasm.

He makes a ‘hmpf’ noise as the last of the hardness leaves his face, before turning to his friend with a smile. “I like this one, Bo, he’s got balls! Plus, he’s got some of the best grades in this school, besides myself.”

“Yeah, alright. Say that to my biology score,” Kenma mutters, bristling at the wrong pronouns and deliberate use of ‘he’s got balls.’

Kuroo and they have had an intense rivalry all through high school as the top two students in almost every class. Kenma knows they are beating him academically in a couple of classes, but their biology scores are almost 100%.

“Ooh, the kitten has claws!” Kuroo quips with yet another smirk, and Kenma’s patience has officially run out.

“If you’ve been trying to tutor Bokuto for years now and nothing you’ve ever done has worked out, then maybe you’re the problem,” they snap. “So I think both I and Bokuto’s grades would appreciate it if you’d leave. Oh, also, you didn’t get him here on time, you’re 15 minutes late, and as you well know by now, its they NOT him - get it fucking right!” They hiss heatedly, not even able to take pleasure in the shocked expression on Kuroo’s face because of their anger.

“... Your pronouns are they/them?” Bokuto asks timidly, speaking up for the first time since getting there, Kenma closing their eyes in annoyance at his voice.

“Yes.” They grit out.

“... And you knew?” He asks Kuroo, who shrugs one shoulder awkwardly. “Dude! That’s not fucking cool!” He says passionately, causing Kenma’s eyes to fly back open, surprise colouring their face as they see Kuroo look away in - is that shame?! “You’d better apologise man! And then i think they’re right - you should leave.”

“I—” Kuroo tries, eyes almost as wide as Kenma’s as he stares at his best friend, before deflating. “Yeah, okay.” Turning to Kenma, he looks them in the eyes as he says, “I’m sorry for not using the right pronouns, that was a dick move. I just wanted to get a rise out of you, but that’s no excuse, so yeah. M’sorry... I’ll see you tomorrow, Bo...?” He adds on hesitantly, not that he need have worried as Bokuto beams back at him and nods.

“Sure thing! Eugh. First class is with Mrs. Yukihiraaaa! SHE HATES ME!” He whines.

Kuroo pats him on the shoulder consolingly. “That’s a tomorrow problem, my man. Who knows, maybe Kenma can give you some tips to get Yukihira to like you more!”

“Ohmygod! Can you?!” Bokuto asks in a voice that is way too loud for the library, spinning round to face them with a hopeful expression.

“I... maybe?” They say awkwardly, watching as Kuroo leaves, still stunned by the apology they received.

“Damn, I hope so!” Bokuto laments. “She really hates me - but I don’t even know why! It can’t JUST be because I’m bad at maths!”

“... I take it maths is one of the subjects we’ve got to work on, then?” Kenma questions hesitantly.

“Ugh. Yeah... and like, nearly every other subject too,” he replies glumly.

“Erm...” Kenma pauses. Fuck. This is already going south. “Which ones don’t you need help with...?” They ask. Maybe it would be a shorter list that way?

“Oh! Hmm...” Bokuto hums, thinking for a second. “I’m getting good grades in English and Spanish, so those are fine! And my biology is pretty good, actually! All of my arts and sports subjects are fine... so I guess I need help with maths, physics, chem, history and religious studies?” He says hesitantly, face scrunching up as he tries to figure out if he’s missed anything. “Oh! And geography!” He adds, looking pleased with himself for a second, before he realises just how many subjects he needs help with. “Oh mannnn! I’M NEVER GONNA PASS!”

God, the dramatics. Is it going to be like this every time?

“Not with that attitude, you’re not,” Kenma quips dryly, reaching into their bag to pull out their maths notes, since Bokuto mentioned having it tomorrow.

Eyes widening as he takes in Kenma’s colour co-ordinated and neat notes, Bokuto turns starry eyes towards them.

“Are those your notes?” He asks reverently.

“Yep. And they’re what I’m gonna use to make sure that you pass, so we can BOTH go to college,” they state firmly, sending Bokuto a glare, challenging him to disagree, however, they only see awe on his face that quickly morphs into determination.

“Hell yeah!”

Chapter Text

The library is practically empty as Bakugou stomps across the room, heading towards the exit as he leaves for his first class of the day, much to the displeasure of the Yuuei librarian, who, by now, has discovered that reprimanding Bakugou for being loud will only make him louder - and put more books at risk of catching on fire.

Coming to the library an hour before his classes start has been a part of Bakugou’s rigid schedule for a couple of months now, the boy waking up at 6am to work out, showering at 7am, and being in the library by 7:30am to either complete homework, do hero research - yeah, dumb Deku isn’t the only one that tries to learn as much as he can about his future comrades, okay? - or simply read.

He’s been trying to work on his temper - stupid shitty hair’s kind-ass personality rubbing off on him - and he knows he’s the most irritable in the mornings. It’s why he goes to bed early and works out in the mornings, alright? Getting as much sleep as possible and working as much his pent up aggression out of his body as he can.

He used to return to the dorms after working out to make breakfast and shower there, but he found himself needing to work out again by the time first period rolled around, his classmates constantly bugging him to make them food, or laughing at how early he goes to bed... it’s better for everyone involved if he goes to the library and stays out of people’s ways.

Contrary to popular belief, he doesn’t WANT to get as angry at people as he does, it just happens. He can’t control it and he HATES not being in control. It’s gotten better since coming to Yuuei and meeting the... Bakusquad.

He sighs just thinking of the name his friends gave themselves, though his lip curls up into a tiny, fond smirk.

He doesn’t know why Kirishima stuck around when he told him the truth about his anger management issues. The boy wouldn’t stop trying to befriend him that first month at school and he made Bakugou ‘flare up’ a lot less than anyone else... so he told him - tried to warn him off - that he gets angry at people for no reason and that he doesn’t ACTUALLY hate them (Deku not included), he just can’t stop himself from getting mad sometimes. He even explained how the doctors think it has something to do with his quirk and how quirks can often impact and even change people’s personalities when they manifest; the explosive nitroglycerin in his system affecting his moods to make them more ‘explosive’ too.

So, after explaining this, you can see why Bakugou was surprised to find himself being followed around by not only Kirishima, but Mina, Denki and Sero, too.

... Dumbasses.

It had only taken him 3 days to explode at them, demanding to know what the fuck they were playing at.

“Well, you don’t actually mean it though, do you?” Mina had asked sweetly, her big, raccoon eyes innocent and kind. “It’s to do with your quirk and you can’t help it... you must have pushed a lot of people away, right?” And damn if she ain’t right.

Reining in his anger, he’d cautiously nodded, making them all smile at him brightly.

“Well that’s real manly, bro!” Kirishima has said with his big, shark grin.

“Damn right!” Denki cut in. “You deserve some friends too, my man! We can handle a bit of shouting, right guys?”

“Sure. I’m pretty chill... I doubt you’ll really be able to phase me,” Sero had agreed with a wink, leaving Bakugou spluttering and speechless, looking to Kirishima with wide eyes, who had only laughed joyfully.

“Bakugou? Meet the Bakusquad!”

Smiling at the memory, Bakugou heads towards the exit, eyes lazily flitting across the room - a habit picked up from hero training; the need to constantly survey his surroundings popping up whenever he’s mobile, AKA. At his most vulnerable.

His eyes land on a purple notebook on the table he’s about to pass, footsteps slowing as his eyes take in the elegant scrawl on the page, snorting when he actually reads what the words say, the sass palpable from where he’s standing.

‘Up until 5 years ago, it was prevalent for underground heroes to have a partner with them, otherwise their work would be considered that of a vigilante, as no-one could confirm that their reports were truthful...’ - well that’s fucking stupid. Double the people - double the chance of being caught. They’re called underground heroes for a fucking reason. Wow. What have I learned from this, you ask? That people are idiots and shouldn’t be allowed to make rules when they haven’t ever been an underground hero. IDIOTS!

Eyes scanning the room for the owner, he doesn’t see anyone, so he approaches the notebook and fishes out his own red pen - because red is the best colour, okay? - from his pocket to scribble a quick reply.

Fucking idiots. Never knew this... no wonder there was such higher underground hero death rates 15 years ago. Shit dude.

Still smiling, now because of the strangers foul language, his little surprise for them, and at learning something new about hero laws, he saunters out of the library for class without a hint of anger in his system.

Maybe he wont even swear at Denki tonight when he asks for help with their maths homework due in tomorrow...

Chapter Text

Friendly Neighbour Spiderman |@Spiderman

I AM HERE!!!

 

> Spiderfan |@therealslimspidey

Holy shit... is this ACTUAL SPIDERMAN?!

 

>> Deadpool |@dpool

Spideeeyyyyyy!!!

 

>>> Spider lover|@spiders_r_us

Our lord and saviour has arrived!

 

——————————

 

F N Spiderman |@Spiderman

Okay, but like... why do cats insist on getting stuck in trees? LET ME HELP YOU!

 

> Cats are evil |@whydocatsexist

Lol, even spiderman thinks cats are demons.

 

>> Spider Lover |@spiders_r_us

An angel baby

 

>>> May P |@maytheforcebwithyou

Someone has to help those poor things! Good job @spiderman

 

>>>> Vicki |@genzlife

Spiderman @ queens: LET ME HELP YOU!

 

>>>>> Clementine |@notanorange

Spiderman @ avengers: LET ME HELP YOU!

 

>>>>>> Pinky |@Alienqueen

Spiderman @ world: LET ME HELP YOU!

 

>>>>>>> Tony Stark |@Ironman

Why am I getting tagged in this?

 

——————————

 

NYC MEMES |@nyc_memes_54

Hot new meme from yours truly @friendlyneighbourhoodspidey !! #LETMEHELPYOU is now going viral

 

> Gay 4 U |@girlsliekgirls

Why is Spiderman so iconic tho? That gen z humour is killing me and he’s only had twitter for 2 days #notallheroeswearcapes

 

>> F N Spiderman |@Spiderman

Why is my life one big cosmic joke? *facepalms*

 

>>> Gay 4 U |@girlsliekgirls

A prime example ^^^

 

——————————

 

Johnny Storm |@Thehumantorch

@Spiderman Call me!

 

> F N Spiderman |@Spiderman

Umm... okay?

 

>> Hero friend |@Iloveheroes

BOOTY CALL?!?

 

>>> Spiderfan |@therealslimspidey

Omg are you guys friends?! @Spiderman !!!!!

 

>>>> Deadpool |@dpool

Is this a crossover? What is this timeline, author?

 

>>>>> Spider Lover |@spiders_r_us

Owww, look how cute our little spider is! Making friends!

 

——————————

 

F N Spiderman |@Spiderman

Why is every superhero stupidly attractive?! All I got was sticky fingers and flailing limbs! TELL ME YOUR SECRETS! @spyder @schmaptain_schmerica @Ironman

 

> Tony Stark |@Ironman

Are you okay, kid?

 

>> Black Widow |@spyder

I’d tell you, but I’d have to kill you.

 

>>> Steve Rogers |@schmaptain_schmerica

You’re a wonderful kid, Spiderman. You have many good qualities - what’s under your mask doesn’t matter!

 

>>>> F N Spiderman |@Spiderman

When Cap tells you that appearances don’t matter, but he’s second only to Thor - A LITERAL GOD - in the looks department.

 

>>>>> Flash Thompson |@flashyT

Wait, is @Spiderman gay?!

 

>>>>>> Thoe-r |@hoeforthor

Thor do be hittin different...

 

>>>>>>> I Love U Captain |@americas_ass

When @Spiderman stans captain america as hard as you do #americasass

 

——————————

 

Johnny Storm |@Thehumantorch

When @Spiderman says that Thor is the best looking superhero and not you... #rude #friendshiprevoked

 

> Spiderman |@friendlyneighbourhoodspidey

Dude... we’ve talked like 3 times, total...

 

>> Drama Queen |@youarethedramaqueen

Trouble in paradise for #spideytorch?

 

>>> Elsa |@frozenstolemyname

Oooh! #spideytorch is cute tho!

 

>>>> B Grimm |@myfaceisgrimm

I ship it.

 

>>>>> Elsa |@frozenstolemyname

Omg!!! ^^^

 

——————————

 

Buzzfeed |@buzzfeedofficial

BUZZFEED POLL: Which superbutt is SUPERior? [link]

 

> Johnny Storm |@Thehumantorch

Damn... who knew spidey was built like that?!

 

>> SpiderTorch is now |@spideystan

More #spideytorch interactions!!!

 

>>> Deadpool |@dpool

Me. I knew. Back off gaslight.

 

>>>> Tony Stark |@Ironman

@dpool STAY AWAY FROM MY SON!

 

>>>>> F N Spiderman |@Spiderman

Wow. When you wake up to AMERICA saying you have a better ass than CAPTAIN AMERICA... I’ve peaked.

 

>>>>> Spidey Lover |@spiders_r_us

That ass do be something else, tho...

 

>>>>>> MJ |@thefeministsaretakingover

Amazing that @Spiderman and @schmaptain_schmerica have better results than @spyder when 67% of poll takers are male...

 

>>>>>>> Spiderfan |@therealslimspidey

Okay, so we know @Ironman is Bi... but what’s @Spiderman?

 

——————————

 

F N Spiderman |@Spiderman

Oh, wow... umm, so I’ve been getting asked this a lot over the past week, so to answer: I’m pansexual

 

> F N Spiderman |@Spiderman

I just really like woks... <3 @we<3crockery

 

>> Tony Stark |@Ironman

Proud of you kid.

 

>>> Black Widow |@spyder

Love you sweetie - tell me if anyone is mean to you, I’ll break their ankles :)

 

>>>> Johnny Storm |@Thehumantorch

LGBT+ HEROES RISE!!!

 

>>>>> Bruce Banner |@drbanner

Well done, spidey. We’re all proud of you.

 

>>>>>> Thor Odinson |@GodofThunder

Marvellous news, Spiderson! Asgard blessed you most favourably! You are welcome here any time!

 

>>>>>>> F N Spiderman |@Spiderman

Wow... thanks guys! @GodofThunder is that a serious offer? If so, when can you pick me up?

 

>>>>>>>> Tony Stark |@Ironman

@GodofThunder Stop trying to steal my kid!

 

——————————

 

Crockery is great! |@we<3crockery

We <3 you too @Spiderman! Have a wok on us! Congratulations on coming out!

 

> F N Spiderman |@Spiderman

Awww! Thanks guys! <3

 

>> Mitch |@Mitchello

This is too wholesome for me! Why is @Spiderman the sweetest hero around?!

 

>>> Spider Lover |@spiders_r_us

@mitchello? Ikr?! He’s an angel! Join the #spidermanprotectionsquad today!!!

 

>>>> Jessica Jones |@donttemptme

@spiders_r_us Where do I sign up?

 

——————————

 

HERO NEWS |@nycheronews

BREAKING NEWS: SPIDERMAN COMES OUT AS PANSEXUAL - Joining Iron Man, The Human Torch, Thor and Jessica Jones in the LGBT+ hero ranks! How will this affect his work? [link to article here]

 

> Spiderfan |@therealslimspidey

#gayicon

 

>> Dylan |@hoesbeforebros

Eww! @Spiderman is gay? I better hope I don’t get mugged in queens then! #straightistheway

 

>>> F N Spiderman |@Spiderman

@hoesbeforebros BEGONE HOMOPHOBE: GO AWAYYYY!

 

>>>> Pansexual Princess |@moveimgay

Finally! Being represented in the media by someone I love so much?? Best. Day. Ever! @Spiderman pansexuals everywhere love you!

 

>>>>> Karen M |@Karensarecool

@Spiderman is gay? I’ll be making sure my kids stay far away from him!

 

>>>>>> Karen™️ |@AIspidermom

@karensarecool You are an embarrassment to Karens everywhere. Get away from my son.

 

>>>>>>> F N Spiderman |@Spiderman

@AIspidermom When did you make a twitter, Karen?! Also thanks mom, UWU

 

>>>>>>>> Karen™️ |@AIspidermom

@Spiderman I made one just now. Also, I am incapable of loving, but if I were not, I’m sure I would love you too.

 

>>>>>>>>> Dina |@DinaDinaBobina

Wow. When @Spidermans AI gets a twitter just to defend his honour against homophobes *cries in spanish* @Ironman Come collect your children!

Chapter Text

Sawamura Daichi lives a lovely, simple life, thank you very much.

He did well in high school, graduated University with honours and is now a kindergarten teacher in Tokyo, living with his two best friends... everything is great...

Easy...

Simple...

Okay! So maybe Suga was right! Maybe he’s a little bored sometimes.

He loves his job - loves working with kids, getting to see their faces light up when they learn something new, helping them with their hiragana and maths... it’s so rewarding.

But it’s oh, so, easy.

“You’re a catch!” Sugawara said. “Put yourself out there,” Ennoshita encouraged. “Anyone would be lucky to have you,” Asahi complemented... which is exactly why he’s stumbling around in barely lit streets with a dead phone and no idea which way home is.

So much for ‘putting himself out there’ he thinks with a scoff, feeling his way along a grimy alley wall in the darkness, his only light source being the dim waxing moon above him.

He’d been on a date; his first date in 6 months.

The guy - some Brad or Chad or whatever - had seemed nice enough. Tall, toned and relatively good looking, Daichi had thought why the fuck not? At least it would get Suga off his back for a little while, and really, he should have known.

Doing ANYTHING because it’s what Suga thinks is a good idea, is a recipe for disaster.

Meaning: the date was an absolute bust.

The guy took him to this hole in the wall diner that everyone apparently ‘raved about’, in the middle of a rougher area of Shibuya that was super dark and dingy. The food was lukewarm at best and his date wouldn’t stop trying to ply him with alcohol, as if that would magically make the date better.

In the interest of having a semi-decent time, Daichi did consume more drinks than he normally would, but not nearly enough to say yes when Brad/Chad invited him back to their place.

It took slapping Brad-Chad’s wandering hands away from his crotch for the man to get the memo, who then abandoned the diner in a huff, leaving Daichi to pick up the entire bill!

And to make matter worse, he hadn’t charged his phone before heading out, so it’s now sat uselessly in his pocket while he stumbles round the Shibuya suburbs, looking for a sign that he’s heading in the right direction.

If only there was someone around that he could ask for directions—

There! To his left!

Stumbling in that direction, he navigates the moonlit streets with difficulty, heading towards the voices, a small, relieved smile playing on his lips.

Finally! He’s been out here for a good 20 minutes now.

Picking his way out of the littered alley he’s found himself in, he barely pays any mind to his surroundings, not wanting to make a fool of himself by falling over. The voices ahead of him have stopped talking, which he takes to mean they have noticed him - thank god!

Still cautiously walking through the mess around him, he says, tilting his chin in the direction he last heard the voices, “hey! Sorry to bother you, but I’m afraid I’m a little lost. I’m not from around here and I’ve found myself getting ditches by my shitty date” - okay, so maybe he’s had a little bit more to drink than he let on - “so if you could please point me in the direction of Shibuya centre, I would greatly appreciate it.” He finishes in his best ‘calm and polite teacher’ voice, lifting his head to smile at his saviours, only to freeze in shock, foot held aloft as he was busy climbing over a pile of cardboard boxes.

Standing before him in various states of amusement, are 4 separate groups, each with 10 or so members, who have all turned to stare at him - and in some cases, point guns at him.

Fuck his luck... he’s just managed to stumble into A FREAKING YAKUZA MEETING!

And like the dumb, drunk fuck he is, he just keeps on talking.

“Oh... oh! Oops?” He asks meekly, huffing out an uncomfortable laugh. “You know what? I’m sure I can find a cab or something! Don’t worry about me, I’ll just turn around and pretend the Sawamura luck hasn’t struck again,” he says, turning around as he rambles, slowly starting to pick his was back towards the alley he came out of. “No need to use those big guns... I’m sure someone else will point me in the right direction! I’ll just get out of your hair—”

“Don’t you have a phone?” One of them calls out, amusement clear in their voice, though Daichi is too afraid to turn around and see which one spoke.

“Dead!” He replies jovially, trying to pretend he isn’t 100% freaking out right now.

“And you just... stumbled upon this place?” Another guy asks, much harsher than the first.

“Yep!” He says, continuing his steady escape towards the alley mouth. Why is there so much litter everywhere?! “Date gone wrong. Got left with the bill and no ride home!”

“Fuck, dude... talk about shitty luck,” he hears someone mutter and he scoffs. Sawamura’s shitty luck: that’s him! Declining to reply this time, he dodges another obstacle. He’s almost home free—

“How much was that bill?” A smooth voice calls out, obviously addressing him. Fuck, he can’t ignore that!

“Uhm... not too much? The place he took me to was pretty shitty, to be honest,” he says candidly over his shoulder, because why not? It’s not like the night could get much worse - he almost wants one of the goons to shoot him, just to put him out of his misery.

A deep, humorous chuckle sounds from behind him as a guy - the same guy that wondered if he had a phone, he thinks - says, “damn. Give this guy 0/5 stars on trip advisor. What a shitty date.”

“Pfft. Tell me about it,” Daichi snarks, forgetting who he’s talking to for a moment as he finally reaches the alley from before. “At least you haven’t spent the night getting your thigh mauled under a table as you eat crappy food,” he mutters, placing a steadying hand on the wall beside him as he turns back to look at the men behind him.

His eyes are automatically drawn to a huge, hulking guy with black and silver spiked hair. His wide, luminous eyes are focused intently on Daichi, wearing a surprising tender look on his face - Daichi almost wants to say the Yakuza boss looks sorry for him.

The next man has a smirk on his face, with thin, slit eyes in a warm cold that matches the other bosses, though, where the silver-haired guy’s eyes were compassionate, this one’s are cold and calculating. An unruly mop of jet black hair that partially covers his face adds to the mysterious look.

In comparison, the next guy is all warm tones. With his bleached hair, under cut and eyebrow piercing he should look intimidating, but his face is soft and full of humour - maybe this is the phone guy? He’s also the shortest of the 4... leaders? Though, it’s clear to Daichi that he’s in very good shape.

The final man is a complete contrast to the other 3 gathered there, standing tall in a polished, 3 piece suit. His chocolate hair is perfectly coifed and Daichi can tell that he has a face made for smiling - though he’s currently frowning, an angry look marring his pretty face as he stares intently at Daichi...

That’s his signal to leave!

Jerking an awkward thumb behind him, the blond and black-haired guys’ smirks widen. “So, I’m gonna go! Thanks for not shooting me or whatever,” he quips, backing away warily, waiting to see if they are going to do anything to try and stop him. When nothing is said, he turns around fully and creeps away as quickly as possible.

He’s about halfway down the dingy street when a voice calls out, “keep going straight for 4 streets, then take a right! You’ll come to the main road there!”

Pausing in shock, a small smile tugs at his lips as he holler back, “thank you!” Continuing to walk straight forwards, as he was advised.

It figures that bloody Yakuza bosses would be nicer to him than his date was...

Damn Sawamura luck!

Chapter Text

Shikamaru wakes up to a pounding headache. There’s a constant beeping noise sounding to his left that’s driving lances of pain into his skull. Peeling open his eyes, he registers that he is in a hospital room, with a blonde girl and a chubby boy sat on either side of him.

The blonde is asleep, her head resting on the bed beside his leg he realises, as he slowly pulls himself up into a seated position. Noticing that their hands are linked together, he frowns and slowly untangles them, careful not to wake her - whoever SHE is.

Turning his head to survey the room, trying to get a better idea od where he is and what happened to him, he jumps slightly when he makes eye-contact with the plump boy, whose chubby cheeks are flushed and full due to his beaming smile.

Opening his mouth, no doubt to say something loud and cheerful that will wake the blonde girl, Shikamaru quickly darts forward and covers his mouth, deliberately eyeing the sleeping woman meaningfully. Thankfully his companion isn’t an idiot and nods carefully in understanding.

Removing his hand, Shikamaru raises his brows in encouragement, gesturing for the other to speak. He doesn’t know who this guy is either, but hopefully he can shed some light on the situation without Shikamaru having to admit that he has no idea whats going on.

Is this a trick, he wonders. Some kind of trap? An enemy ninjustu? He knows it’s not a genjutsu, having already attempted to break it subtly when he’d redirected the boy’s attention to the girl before. He can feel his brain working a mile a minute to categorise all of the information currently available, filing it all away for potential use later.

Damn, he’s tired.

Though... his body doesn’t ache in any way that would suggest he’d been injured enough to wind up in a hospital... unless he’s been in a coma. Hmmm, that would explain the lack of memories and searing pain in his head whenever he tries to remember anything specific. He knows all the basics; who he is, what he does, hell - even how the stupid heart monitor he’s linked up to works! But anything more personal? Like who his friends are, or what he was doing before he ended up in the hospital is just painful, swirling blurs that he’s unable to access.

A memory altering jutsu, perhaps?

Focusing his attention on the boy once more, he realises that he hasn’t said anything, instead watching him analyse the room with a sad, sympathetic smile.

“It was Ino’s jutsu,” the boy finally says with a head nod towards the girl. “Mean’t for an enemy nin, but she was knocked at the last second, changing the trajectory, making it hit you instead—” he pauses, letting out a quiet chuckle. “I can see the surprise on your face, Shika - that’s what you wanted to know, right?” At Shikamaru’s cautious nod he sobers slightly. “You don’t remember me, do you?”

“I... no. I can’t say I do,” Shikamaru hedges. The could still be an enemy nin deceiving him, though something in his guy tells him that’s not the case.

“It’s okay,” the boy says comfortingly, patting his arm lightly, “Ino said that she didn’t know how much damage their would be. She tried to pull the jutsu back when she realised it would hit you, but it was still a pretty lethal jutsu... we knew there would be some damage. I’m Akimichi Choji and— wait... do you know who you are?”

Once again Shikamaru can only nod warily. If this guy is an enemy, giving up his name could spell disaster.

The guy chuckles again, louder this time, with a notable undercurrent of fondness running through it. “You and that big brain of yours,” he mutters, before straightening his spine so he’s sitting tall and sturdy. “Your name is Nara Shikamaru. You are a member of the Nara clan, famous for their shadow jutsus, and a jounen of Konoha.” He states severely, before his lips tilt up warmly. “You are also a genius at Go. You aren’t allowed to play card games because you automatically card count without meaning to. You say your favourite hobby is cloud watching, but it’s actually going out to look after the deer on the Nara grounds... you say they don’t judge you for what you’ve done, like everyone else does. You hate dango, but refuse to tell anyone because you can’t be bothered to argue about it, so you always eat them anyways when we go out... hmm, what else is there?

“Your favourite colour is forest green. You’re pansexual. You think crabs are freaky and generally avoid water when you can— oh! And you read poetry in your spare time, which, not even your dad knows about... am I convincing you yet?” He jokes - and he has, though it’s not his words that have persuaded Shikamaru, but rather, the fondness in his voice and the kindness in his eyes when he talks about him.

... If this guy is a spy, he’s the best damn spy Shikamaru has ever come across... not that he remembers ever meeting any spies... huh. Knowing things without having the memories to back them up is going to take some getting used to.

“Yeah,” he croaks out, voice raspy from disuse. “Yeah, Choji. You’ve convinced me.”

“Thank god for that! I was worried I’d have to wake up Ino to get her to try and convince you, but her bedside manner is terrible - you’d have totally thought she was an enemy nin!”

“Really...” Shikamaru hums. Another point for Choji knowing him well.

“Yep. Oooh! Now that you’re awake though, I do have one other thing to convince you!”

“Oh? And what’s that?” He asks lazily. He already believes the boy, but he doesn’t see the harm in indulging him.

“Your dad!” He exclaims cheerfully.

“... You know I don’t remember anyone, right Choji? How would meeting my dad change things?”

“Because the two of you look exactly like each other! There’s no denying that you’re related, meaning we’re the good guys!”

Shikamaru can’t help but let out his own chuckle. “You do realise genjutsu’s are a thing, right? Not to mention, I don’t even know what I look like.”

“Oh shit... you don’t even remember that?” At his head shake, Choji gives him another kind smile. “Well that’s easily fixed! I’m sure Ino has one in her bag.” He says, standing up from his seat with a mischievous smile. “Why don’t you wake her up and ask her for it while I go and fetch your dad? Okay? Yeah? Great!” He says, before fleeing the room.

Shikamaru shakes his head, heaving out a sigh. Surely she can’t be that bad...

Lifting his hand up, he gives her shoulder a not so gentle nudge, the girl mumbling blearily and swatting at him, before freezing, her eyes snapping open to stare at him piercingly.

“Hey...” he says, smirking slightly at the line of drool on her chin.

“... Hey? ... HEY?!? Nara Shikamaru, you asshole! You don’t get to HEY me after worrying me half to death for the past 3 days, terrified that I made my best friend braindead!” She screeches, tears starting to form in the corners of her eyes.

Shit. He gets why Choji ran now.

“I’m... sorry?” He tries, though he doubts he’s the one that should be apologising right now.

Apparently it’s the right thing to say, however, as it takes the wind right out of her sails, the girl letting out a huff of air as she frowns down at her hands, fidgeting with the cover on his bed. “No, no. You don’t have to be... it was all my fault,” she sniffs again, and shit. Shikamaru is ready to rename Choji an enemy nin after all.

“Shit happens in the field,” he tries again. “Don’t worry about it... Ino.”

Taking note of his hesitance to use her name, her eyes widen once more. “You don’t remember me, do you?” She whispers, stricken.

“No... I don’t. I’m sorry,” he says, surprising himself when he realises he genuinely is. He doesn’t remember her, but she obviously cared for him a great deal. “Though if it helps, I don’t even remember what I look like,” he jokes. “Choji said you might have a mirror...?”

Sniffling, she pulls herself up with a nod. “Right. Of course I have a mirror - though god knows why you want to see that ugly mug of yours,” she says, trying to match his lighter tone, as she bends down to grab her bag with a determined look.

Give her something to do so that she feels useful, got it, Shikamaru thinks, filing the information away for later.

“Meh... who cares if I’m ugly. Choji says I look like my father - he can’t prove that without me knowing what I look like,” he shrugs. Looks are looks. He doesn’t care if he’s handsome or not.

“Choji is going to get your dad?” She asks as she finishes her rummaging, producing a mirror with a flourish, before holding it out to him.

He hums a confirmation as he takes hold of it, analysing his reflection. He’s not bad looking, he supposes. He has a sharp chin and prominent cheekbones, which stand out. His hair is long and straight, falling past his shoulders - he can only assume he puts it up for missions, long hair being dangerous for a ninja. The rest of him is pretty plain, he thinks... except for his eyes, which are dark and firm, glittering with cool intellect and curiosity.

He likes his eyes, he decides.

“I wonder if Naruto will be coming up with your dad,” Ino ponders, talking more to herself than him, but she still piques his curiosity.

“Whos Naruto?” He asks, but before the girl can answer, the door to the room swings open to admit Choji and a man that admittedly DOES look a lot like him... but he isn’t who catches Shikamaru’s attention. Instead, his eyes slide away from the man, falling to rest on a golden-haired boy standing hesitantly in the doorway with a shy smile that’s contradicted by the way his blue eyes are shining with barely contained excitement - and judging by the way Shikamaru’s chest suddenly feels tight as he develops butterflies in his stomach, he can guess EXACTLY who this is.

He knows his own eyes will be mirroring that same excitement back at the boy.

Apparently, even a mind-altering jutsu can’t change the way his body reacts to the person he loves... and fuck is he pretty.

After seeing his own plain face, Shikamaru doesn’t know how he scored such a beautiful boyfriend. 6 scars line his cheeks, which are full and bright now that he’s smiling fully, pearly teeth glistening as his entire being seems to light up the room.

Yeah. Shikamaru knows who THIS is.

“Hey, babe,” he drawls, beckoning - Naruto, was it? - forwards confidently.

However, said confidence quickly disappears when the blond’s footsteps falter, eyes widening in surprise as Ino chokes on her own spit beside him.

Turning to quickly catalog the room, Shikamaru sees shock on Ino’s face that matches Naruto’s, a contemplative look on his father’s as he stares at him with a small smirk, and a knowing, sneaky smile on Choji’s face. Obviously the boy knew about his affections for Naruto then, but Shikamaru hadn’t told anyone else - if he even told Choji at all.

Wait. So previous him had feelings THIS STRONG for this Naruto person, and NEVER acted on them?

“Wow. Old me was a coward,” he states, making eye contact with Choji, who nods with a laugh, before turning back to Naruto. “Hi. Apparently I’m hopelessly in love with you and never bothered to do anything about it. It’s nice to meet you,” he says brazenly, because fuck it. If this is one thing he can do for his old self before he regains his memories, then he will - hell, he doesn’t even know if it’s POSSIBLE to get his memories back or not, and if it isn’t, he’s not gonna spend months skirting around the issue like his past self must have been.

Watching a bright red flush travel up Naruto’s neck, across his cheeks, and up to the tips of his ears is totally worth making a fool of himself, however, Naruto’s, “it’s nice to meet you - and I’m hopelessly in love with you too,” makes it even better.

“Good.” He says decisively, holding his hand out for the blond to take, which he does almost reverently. “I don't know when I'm gonna get my memories back, but when I do, this guy had better be damn grateful."

They all chuckle at that, surprised by this new Shikamaru's confidence, used to his past, reserved nature.

"Trust me," Choji giggles. "This is going to be the best 'welcome back' present he could have asked for."

Chapter Text

Ed comes to with his head pounding and his vision swimming. He can feel someone helping him stand up - he thinks it sounds like Lan Fan?

Fucking alchemy.

Sure - he gets it! He’s a practitioner of it himself! But that doesn’t mean it’s not absolute hell to deal with sometimes.

Grumbling to himself about shitty alchemists and their even shittier assassination attempts, he scrubs at his eyes, before blinking fiercely to chase away the black dots floating in his periphery, finally seeing the research lab in central.

Right. He remembers now.

The Xingese Emperor and his delegates were here to amend the peace treaty between Amestris and Xing. They’d all been in Hawkeye’s office when they were called down to research for something... important? And ended up stepping onto a random fucking alchemy circle as they entered!

He can only assume it wasn’t a purposeful attack against the Emperor of Xing by their research team... damn! Why did he have to step into the room first? He hopes the damn Xing bastard got caught in the crossfire - the royal brat deserves it - he’s a pain in Ed’s ass.

Squaring his shoulders, he brushes off Lan Fan’s concern, only to pause—

Something’s not right.

The room... why does it look so weird?

‘Cause you’re about half a foot taller now, short-arse.’ He hears the disembodied voice of Greed chuckle.

WAIT— GREED?!

“What the fu—” Ed goes to say, only to cut himself off when the voice that comes out of his mouth isn’t his own.

What is this?! He thinks, looking about wildly, before freezing in place.

Well, buckle your seatbelts, because things are about to get a whole lot weirder because... isn’t that MY BODY?!

Staring across the room, he watches in morbid fascination as his brother and Roy help his other self to stand up. Alphonse doting on him worriedly, the other Ed soaking it up.

Am I dead? Is that why I’m suddenly hearing Greed’s voice and everything looks weird? AM I FLOATING?! He panics, turning to look at himself, only to freak out more when he sees he still has a corporeal body... one that is dressed in the fine, yellow silks of Xingese royalty that Ling had brazenly waltzed into Central wearing this morning.

Oh Gates! I’ve swapped bodies with the biggest idiot in Xing!

‘Well done, little runt.’ Greed’s voice comes again, making him jump in surprise, the homunculus letting out a chuckle. ‘You seem to have figured it out much quicker than the Princeling. Look at him,’ he snorts.

And so Ed does, eyes widening as he takes in the blush across his cheeks - LING’S CHEEKS - at receiving Alphonse’s attention...

Hang on...

‘It would seem he’s much less capable of hiding his affections in your body,’ Greed laughs once more - which Ed will come to later, but right now he has bigger problems to deal with; namely, getting that lecherous pig away from his baby brother.

The normal silence of his mind is now filled with the snorts and laughter of Greed as he rips himself from Lan Fan’s grip and storms across the room towards the idiot currently wearing his body.

“Oi! Emperor idiot! Get the fuck away from my little brother!” He shouts, quickly travelling the room in the ensuing silence to grab his brother by the arm and physically haul him away.

“B-Brother?” Alphonse stutters, looking between the two of them in confusion.

Apparently Ling’s brain finally catches up as he too begins to shout, “who are you?! Lan Fan! We have an intruder! And he’s wearing my beautiful body!”

“Oh pipe down, squinty eyes! In case you hadn’t noticed, you’re not exactly looking like yourself right now, either!”

“Wha..? WHAT?! W-What is this? Who am I? Why am I so close to the ground—”

“HEY! I’m not that damn short, you freaky, Xingese giant!” Ed hollers, trying desperately to ignore that he’s currently in said freaky, giant body.

“... WHAAAA?! ED?! Why are you in my body?!”

“Why am I— ugh! Why are you so dumb?” Ed groans.

‘I ask myself that everyday,’ Greed pipes up, making Ed snigger, a warm feeling suddenly pulsing through him.

“It’s obviously because of that damned array we stepped on!” Ed continues. “What the hell are your research team DOING, Mustang?!”

“I can’t say I’m fully aware, Fullmetal,” Mustang says after a pause, “but I intend to find out.” He says with a sharp edge to his voice that would make a lesser man cower. As it stands, Ed can see three different employees edging away from the Fuhrer at the declaration. “At any rate, I’d say the best thin to do would be continue as normal. We’ll explain what happened to the higher ups and Emperor Ling can attend meetings in Fullmetal’s body until we can figure out a way to switch them back. Fullmetal!” He snaps.

“Yeah, Fuhrer bastard?” He quips back.

“I don’t trust you not to cause trouble in your new body. Until further notice, you’re on desk duty.”

“WHAT?! You’ve got to be kidding me! How come he gets to swan about in official meetings wearing my body, but I’ve got to sit at a desk all week?!”

“Because he’s the Emperor of a foreign country and despite how much I’d rather keep him away from it all where he can’t cause any trouble—”

“Hey!”

“— He’s only here for 10 days and we have a treaty to re-evaluate. I know you don’t want to Fullmetal, but we have to keep the Emperor’s body safe while it’s not in his possession... so, that’s desk duty ONLY. Are we clear, Ed?”

The use of his actual name, rather than his title, throws him.

Shit. Fuhrer bastard is right. If he goes out fighting crime in Ling’s body, the people will have a field day - might even claim that Xing is attacking Amestris or some dumb shit... UGH! What a pain.

“Fine! You win! I’ll keep the dumb Princeling’s body safe—”

“I’m an Emperor now, Ed!” He whines - and damn! Is his voice really that high-pitched?

“I called you Princeling before, and I’ll call you Princeling now.” He says petulantly. “I knew you before you were the almighty Emperor of Xing and I’ll be damned if I change the way I treat you now, idiot!”

As he says that, the same, warm, rushing feeling he felt before floods over him again. What the fuck is that...

“... oh! Awww, you really DO like me, don’t you, short stuff?!” Ling coos and THAT IS IT.

“Oh, fuck off!” He snarls, marching towards the door. “See if I try to find a solution to this mess! I mean, who knows? Maybe there’s no cure... and I’ll have to go back to Xing in your place,” he hums, rubbing his thumb against his chin thoughtfully in the doorway, smirking when he sees the horror on Ling’s - his own - face. “Emperor Edward of Xing does have a pretty nice ring to it,” he jokes, fleeing from the room as Ling splutters.

Phantom chuckles follow him as he saunters away, back towards his team’s office with a smile.

Maybe this won’t be as terrible as he initially thought...

Chapter Text

“You’re so grouchy in the mornings!” Mina teases as she skips down the hallway, kitten heels echoing as she goes.

“Im grouchy all the time,” Shinsou replies, his deadpan voice emphasising his point.

“No you’re not! You can pretend all you want, but I know you’re a soft marshmallow, really,” she says, bumping her shoulder into his affectionately.

“Yeah, yeah. Why else would I be here?” He mutters, casting a suspicious glare towards their surroundings.

“Because you love dancing! Don’t act like I’m forcing you to be here,” she pouts, cheeks puffing out like an angry hamster.

Poking one of her cheeks with his index finger, he gives her a soft smile. “I know, I know. I’m here because I want to be. No need to get huffy,” he sighs, resisting the urge to roll his eyes when she instantly lights up, previous sadness all but forgotten.

“Exactly! It will be like back at Yuuei!” She claims excitedly, looping her arm through his. “Back when we would do ballet together to keep limber for hero training... those were the days.”

“Mhmm... you say that like we don’t still do ballet together, Mina.”

“I know we do— it’s just... trying something new, you know? I miss having Mina-Shin time together...” she trails off, eyes glazing as she remembers their time together at Yuuei, before they became pro heroes and everything got hectic.

“Yeah, well, Aizawa’s told me I have to take some ‘me time’ so... dancing it is.” He grumbles. He knows that he’s a bit of a workaholic, but being an underground hero leaves little spare time - you don’t exactly have a set schedule for criminal activity.

“Awww, it’s gonna be so much fun! Denki and Kiri took one of their other classes a couple of months ago - break dancing I think? - and they said the two instructors are amazing! One of them has this ‘rolling thunder’ quirk, where thunderclaps sound out while he’s dancing!! Oh, and the other one has a stamina quirk I think Kiri said?” She babbles, pink curls bouncing as she tilts her head to the side in thought, trying to remember her friend’s words. “— Or something like that!”

Huffing out a breathy chuckle at her constant excitement, he smiles indulgently at her. He may not voice it often, but he’s grateful for the Bakusquad’s entrance into his life - don’t get him wrong, he’s still good friends with Deku... but the energy of Mina, Denki and Kiri helped him to come out of his shell a lot more than he realised at Yuuei. He’s very thankful for the pink girl curled up beside him.

Staring down at her, he doesn’t register that they’ve walked into the dancing studio at first, as he’s too busy watching his friend’s face go slack-jawed, black and gold eyes twinkling ethereally... what the heck?

Turning to see what she’s looking at, his own eyes widen in surprise as they settle on a tanned, buff guy with a buzzcut. He has a sharp grin, but it’s softened by his laughter as he boisterously cackles at something his tiny friend has said, the two sharing an emphatic fist bump. He’s wearing stretchy, black harem pants and dress shoes with nothing else, leaving his... more than impressive 6 pack on display.

Turning back to Mina, he’s pretty sure there’s a little drool coming out of her still open mouth.

Pushing her jaw back up with a chuckle, he’s now the one to be dragging her, pulling her across the room to the guy that has caught her attention.

“Hey,” he says gruffly, giving Mina a gentle jostle with his elbow. “I’m Shinsou, this is Mina... we’re here for the Latin dancing lessons?” He asks, trying not to smirk when he sees the buff guy doing a double take at Mina, red flooding his cheeks. Good to know his friend’s feelings are reciprocated. Slyly tugging his arm out of Mina’s, lest the poor guy get the wrong impression, he asks, “and you two are?”

Shinsou gets a perfect view of the smaller man looking to his friend, only to realise that he is bright red and doesn’t seem to remember his own name. Stepping forwards, his eyes briefly meet Shinsou’s, twinkling with mischief as he announces, “hey guys. I’m Nishinoya Yuu, and this here is Tanaka Ryuunosuke. We are the dancing duo Ryuu & Yuu and will be instructing you today... I’m pretty sure the list today was an even number, so how about we split up today, bro?” He asks, sidling up beside Shinsou with a cheshire grin.

“Huh... yeah, yeah... sounds good...” he mumbles, not taking his eyes off Mina, who appears to be in a similar, trance-like state.

“Awesome! I’ll just head off with my pal Shinsou here to get started on some stretches... you two got that covered?” He prods, some life coming back into Tanaka’s eyes at the emphasised word, his steel eyes flitting to Nishinoya, before going back to Mina as he nods enthusiastically.

“Yeah, yeah! We can get started on that... right, Mina?”

“Yeah... totally...” she murmurs, and Shinsou has to walk away before he starts guffawing at their awkwardness.

“Oh god... that’s either gonna be amazing or an absolute trainwreck,” the tiny body next to him jokes, making him chuckle.

“Tell me about it. She’s a hot mess at the best of times... but she’s a good person,” he admits, turning to eye the couple, who seem to have shaken themselves out of their stupors, and are now smiling brightly at each other.

“Yeah? So’s Ryuu - he’s the best guy I know, actually...” the other says, voice softer. “I’ve only ever seen him like this once before, and that was over a girl in our high school called Kiyoko...”

“Yeah, well, I’ve never seen Mina like this over anyone... hopefully it works out for them both,” he murmurs, the two of them standing together, blatantly staring at their flirting friends.

“I’m sure we can give them a helping hand if we need to... maybe we’ll start with the rhumba,” Nishinoya jokes and Shinsou can’t help but grin at his new partner in crime.

Yeah, they’ll be fine.