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Love, Piercings, and Tattoo Machines

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Katsuki sighed to himself as he ran his fingers through his spiky, blond hair and looked at his reflection in the mirror on the wall. It was time to get the underside of his hair shaved again since it had grown out a bit. He found that to be nothing but annoying. Maybe he could just do it himself this time. If not, he was sure that he knew at least one person that would be willing to help him out. Then again, was it really worth dealing with the nonsense that would surely be a part of that instead of just paying someone a few bucks at a salon? 

His gaze fell to the silver ball studs in his eyebrow and then to the one beneath his bottom lip. He wondered if he should switch the plain labret stud out for the little skull one that he had since it was the one he preferred to wear. Skulls were his favorite thing to tattoo as well as his favorite thing in general so it was no surprise that his jewelry and even wardrobe of choice reflected that. He dusted off his black tank top with the white skull on it and then looked down at the full sleeve on his right arm.  

The whole sleeve from his shoulder to the back of his hand consisted of black and white skulls in almost every tattoo style there was. He'd started with the main one in American Traditional style on his shoulder and it all just snowballed from there. He went back for a new skull in a different design, and then another, and another until he had his entire arm covered and not a single regret. The one on the back of his hand was the most realistic and was by far the most special of all the skull tattoos he had. 

Katsuki shook his head quickly and stopped staring at himself like some sort of narcissistic jerk. He didn’t need that much confirmation to know that he looked good. He stepped out of the back room of his tattoo shop and headed over to the waiting area, where he saw the mail placed upon the coffee table in front of the couch. He grabbed the latest issue of Tattooist Monthly and then plopped down onto the couch and propped his feet up on the table. As soon as he opened the magazine and started to flip through it he felt the couch move. He looked up from his magazine to glance over at his happy-go-lucky business partner to his left. 

Kiri seemed very caught up in whatever he was looking at on his tablet as he sat on the other side of the couch facing him and using his knees to prop up the device. Katsuki noticed that he was twirling the end of his long, red hair around the fingers on his left hand as he used his right to tap upon his tablet. It was a habit Kiri had picked up as soon as his hair was long enough to pull over his shoulder.  

Katsuki watched Kiri crinkle his nose at something that he saw on the screen in front of himself, which drew his attention to the piercing in the bridge of it. Kiri had been quite nervous about getting that piercing done when he'd approached Katsuki about doing it for him. It all worked out though since not only did he love the silly thing but the look really worked on him. Katsuki noticed that the redhead was actually wearing a black compression shirt instead of his usual tank that would show off his ink, which was odd. Katsuki turned back towards his magazine since at the end of the day it didn’t really matter what the redhead wore as long as he did his damn job. 

“Hey, Bakubro! You'll never guess who’s gonna be at the upcoming tattoo convention next week!” Kiri chirped with a grin. He tapped on his tablet a few times as he searched for the article he'd read earlier. He couldn’t believe that he'd almost forgotten to tell the blond the news since he was the first person that came to mind when he'd read it. 

Katsuki ignored him and continued to flip through the new issue of Tattooist Monthly that had just arrived. He wanted to read the article about the douchey looking guy on the cover with the smug look on his face to see what his story was. He was sure that whatever his deal was it was lame as hell and not even remotely interesting. He knew that he deserved to be the one on the cover of that magazine and he damn well would be one day once his shop really took off. 

Kiri finally found the article that he was looking for then he held up the tablet so the blond could see. He smiled mischievously as he chirped, “It's Shoto! He hasn’t been around here for a while and you’ve seemed a bit down about it. Maybe this event is your chance to get him alone for a moment and finally confess your feelings to him!" 

“I don’t have any goddamn, motherfucking fee-” Katsuki yelled as he turned and glanced at the tablet that Kiri held up. He didn’t even realize that he'd stopped mid-sentence as he mumbled, “Wow, that’s a really good picture of him."  

Kiri burst into a fit of uncontrollable laughter when he heard that. He simply couldn’t help himself. How the heck had Katsuki been in the middle of denying his feelings and then say something like that? Did he even hear himself? Kiri laughed loudly until he had tears in his eyes and his sides hurt. 

Blush darkened Katsuki's cheeks as he frowned at the redhead. He rolled his eyes then grumbled, "I just mean it looks like it’s from a professional photo shoot or some shit! What kind of douche even has professional photos taken of himself looking all stupidly dramatic for no goddamn reason?”  

Your kind of douche, apparently.” Kiri snickered. He simply couldn’t get over what had just happened and he didn’t plan on letting the blond forget about it any time soon either. He wiped the tears from the corners of his eyes and then asked, “Do you know if Izuku will be at the con too even though it'll be a bit of a trek for him?” 

“Why the fuck would I know something like that?” Katsuki spat and then turned his attention back towards the magazine he held. 

Kiri shrugged and pulled the tablet back towards himself so that he could continue to browse the internet mindlessly. “Dunno. Considering how close you once were, I guess I figured that the two of you must still talk from time to time even though you work at competing shops in different cities.” 

“We don’t. Stop fucking around and get back to work.” Katsuki spat, completely done with his bullshit for the moment. There were some subjects that he knew damn well not to bring up and the green haired idiot was one of them. He had no idea what had even gotten into Kiri today. 

Kiri pouted as he looked around the empty shop to see what he could've possibly meant. It was still early and they usually did most of their business in the afternoon or evening. His next appointment wasn’t even for two hours and there were currently no walk-in customers so he had no idea what the heck the blond was talking about. He sighed and then put down his tablet and reached behind himself so that he could start to braid his long, red hair. About halfway through he pulled the braid over his shoulder to continue it easier. When it was finished he used the hair tie that he kept around his wrist to tie it off then flipped the braid over his shoulder once more. He felt it land in its usual place between his shoulder blades. It had been a hard decision for him when he was debating between growing it out or getting a mohawk but in the end he liked it long. Kiri shrugged and then picked up his tablet once more and continued to look for interesting articles on the internet as he muttered, "No need to be a grump just because you've been pining forever over guys you seem to think you can't have." 

"Fuck off. Shouldn’t you be out shopping for supplies we need or some shit?" Katsuki groaned loudly. He just wanted some peace and quiet so he could read. Why in the hell was that so much to ask? 

"Nah, I do that digitally now. Basically I can shop and annoy you at the same time, it’s pretty great." Kiri replied with a laugh. He stopped chuckling when the bell that hung above the door to the shop jingled and signaled that someone had walked in. Kiri immediately perked up then jumped to his feet and went over to see who it was. 

Katsuki rolled his eyes when he heard Kiri greet the customers cheerily. He heard him go on about how it was the two of them again and they really should just move into the shop already since they practically lived there. Katsuki sighed loudly then went to investigate for himself. When he got to the front of the shop he saw two familiar faces laughing as they chatted with Kiri. The pair turned to him and smiled before they offered him a greeting. Katsuki crossed his arms and then grunted, "Hey." 

"Tsuyu! Ochaco! It's really good to see you both again!” Kiri chirped with a delighted smile. 

“You too, Kiri!” Ochaco chirped right back at him. 

Kiri chuckled happily and then tilted his head as he asked, “What matching tattoos are you two getting this time?" 

"Well the band has really taken off lately so we decided to celebrate with some new ink. We tried to convince the other girls to come this time but they didn't seem interested." Tsuyu explained. 

"Yeah, but that won't stop us! We're thinking something we can hide if we really want to this time." Ochaco agreed with a nod. 

Katsuki stood there and blinked at them with a bored expression on his face. He was pretty sure that Kiri didn’t ask for their life story so he had no idea why they were hearing it. 

"We were thinking something color realistic." Tsuyu added. 

"Well you came to the right place since that’s my specialty!" Kiri chirped, all kinds of excited to hear what their idea was. 

"That's exactly why we're here! How do you feel about an anatomically correct heart that would fit on the backs of our necks?" Ochaco asked. 

"I love it if you love it." Kiri nodded with a grin. He clapped his hands together then said, "Give me about fifteen minutes to draw something up for you and we'll go from there." 

Tsuyu nodded then said, "Thanks, Kiri." 

The redhead left the group and headed towards his work station in the corner of the room to start his sketch. Katsuki frowned at the girls as they looked at him and waited. He had no idea what the heck they wanted from him but they sure as shit weren't going to get it. He waved his hand dismissively and then turned and started to walk away as he grunted, "There's a mini fridge in the waiting area now. Any more than one drink each and you'll have to pay." 

 

Kiri had a good time catching up with both Ochaco and Tsuyu as he worked on their tattoos. They both sat really well and only needed to squeeze one another's hand for a moment if it really started to hurt, which was something incredibly wonderful as far as Kiri was concerned. He loved spending time with the pair when they visited because the warmth they radiated when it came to their feelings for one another was just the slightest bit contagious. 

He asked them about their other two bandmates and got a lot of info about how the pair had finally stopped dancing around the fact that they liked each other and finally started dating. They were proud of just how much everyone had grown individually as well as a group and they could honestly talk about it all day long. Kiri thought that was wonderful since he enjoyed listening to them chat about it happily. 

Once both tattoos were finished and he let the pair see them with the help of two mirrors, Kiri couldn't help but be extra proud. He wrapped them up nicely, careful to avoid taping their hair or anything that would cause them pain later on. Not only did the tattoos come out wonderfully, but the happy blush in the girls' cheeks as they shared a quick kiss made Kiri fill with an incredible amount of warmth inside. He would go out on a limb and call them satisfied customers. 

“They’re so beautiful that I'm at a loss for words!” Ochaco chirped once the redhead finished taping the bandage to the back of her neck. She smiled from ear to ear and then spun around quickly and kissed his cheek. She couldn’t help but chuckle softly when she saw a light blush dust his cheeks. “Thanks, Kiri. When the day comes, just give us a call and we'll totally play at your wedding free of charge!” 

Kiri removed the black rubber gloves from his hands and tossed them into the trash. He smiled and rubbed the back of his head as he laughed loudly at her statement. His cheeks darkened just a shade more as he said, “I guess I should actually start my search for the one then!” 

Tsuyu pat him on the back comfortingly and nodded as she said, “Don’t worry. He’s out there somewhere. I’m sure you’ll find him soon.” 

"Heh, thanks. For now though I think I'll stick to focusing on preparing for the upcoming con! We got ourselves a special booth where we'll be taking walk-ins for quick flash tats!" Kiri chirped with a grin. Truth be told he was a lot more interested in that than he was in searching for Mr. Right. The con was a big deal and it was always a struggle to get a booth there so both he and Katsuki were thrilled about the fact that they'd managed to get one this year. 

"Oh that sounds like fun. I hope you guys have a blast!" Ochaco replied with a happy grin. She couldn’t help but smile when she saw the way that Kiri lit up as he talked about the con so enthusiastically. 

"Thanks!" Kiri walked the pair over to the door so he could see them out. He held it open for them as he hummed, "See you girls next time! If you bring the rest of the band when you return we'll give you a group discount!” 

"No we won't!" Katsuki yelled from another room. 

Kiri shook his head and rolled his eyes. He had no idea how that man could even hear them from god knows where. He smiled at the girls and gave them an assuring nod with a little wink that said they absolutely would give them the discount as promised. 

“Deal. Now all we need to do is talk Momo into getting inked since Kyoka has already shown interest in it.” Tsuyu replied with a wink at her girlfriend. The girls both laughed in agreement as they waved to Kiri and then headed out of the shop. 

Kiri chuckled to himself and then let the door go so it would close. He headed back over to his work station to finish cleaning up before he forgot and couldn’t help but hum a cheery tune to himself. Their happiness was really lovely and he could only hope to find someone that made him just as happy one day too. 

 

* 

 

Time flew by much faster than either Katsuki or Kiri had expected and before they knew it, the day of the con had arrived. They were both grateful that they'd managed to get everything ready before hand so there was very little work to do when they had to set up their booth. They checked in as quickly as possible and then stepped into the hall where the con would begin in a little while. 

Kiri couldn’t help but gape with his mouth wide open as he and Katsuki walked into the convention center. It was still early and normally he wouldn’t exactly be awake yet, but seeing such a grand sight seemed to help fill him with energy. It was already pretty loud in the room as artists from all over made their way inside and located their booths so they could begin to set everything up. He wondered just how many people were already there and how many more were expected. It was all so amazing. 

"Wow the place is already really lively, huh?" Kiri asked no one in particular as he looked all around the gigantic room. He couldn’t even see where it ended from where he stood and that just added to the hype. People all around him were busy setting up their booths before the doors opened to the public and he was suddenly very glad that Katsuki had insisted on preparing so much before they arrived. They really had a lot less to do than others, it seemed.  

He heard Katsuki grunt in response as he focused on setting their booth up exactly how he wanted before they had any actual customers. They may have had less to do than other artists but he was very particular about his work space so things had to be just right. Kiri simply let him do his thing since he wasn’t nearly as picky about his environment and tended to just go with the flow. He continued to look around the room and observe all that was happening around them when he heard the sound of an unexpected and familiar giggle. He saw Katsuki stop what he was doing and his body stiffen out of the corner of his eye and knew that he hadn't been mistaken when he heard it. 

Kiri pat the blond on the back twice and then headed over to the four panel room divider with a cherry blossom tree painted on it that separated them from the neighboring tattoo shop's booth. He gripped it tightly as he pulled and collapsed it just slightly so that he could peek onto the other side. He held his breath as if that would somehow make him stealthier and slowly looked past the divider to see who was there. 

What he saw nearly made his eyes pop out of his skull and his heart stop on the spot. Of all the millions of possibilities that it could've been, Kiri had not expected to see the one person that the mere thought of still made his chest hurt. His eyes were impossibly wide as he took a moment to make sure since he was too busy drawing something to notice his presence. That familiar yellow hair, though shaved on the right side now, was so distinctive. He'd never forgotten about that little black lightning bolt even after Denki had transferred to a different art school, although now he had a lightning bolt shaved into the undercut on his right side as well. Kiri couldn’t help but smile at the sight, it was just so cute and so very him. 

Even though it had only been a few years since they'd last seen one another, he found that Denki looked a lot different than he used to. Besides the fact that he had half of his head shaved now, he also had two shiny, silver studs in his bottom lip. Kiri could see that he had a black snake with a yellow lightning bolt running down its back tattooed around his right wrist. His right ear was pierced four times that he could see and he had a stud in his ear lobe with a chain attached to the hoop in his cartilage. Denki looked a lot more mature than the last time he'd seen him which was sort of a shame. That adorable baby face he'd had was really pleasant to look at to say the least. Although, as soon as the thought ran through his mind he took it back since Kiri found that he didn’t exactly dislike looking at his new appearance either. In fact, he could probably stare at him a lot more now that he had such an interesting look about him. He sort of wished that he would turn his head so he could see the other side as well. There was so much more to look at and he somehow still retained that attractiveness that he'd already had. 

Kiri had never worked up the courage to ask Denki to exchange phone numbers before he switched schools three years ago so they'd just lost touch completely once he moved. It was actually one of his biggest regrets and not something he was willing to repeat now that he had a second chance. He never thought in a million years that they'd run into one another again, especially not in a place like this. He only hoped that it wasn’t too weird and Denki still remembered him or it was going to be an awkward conversation to say the least. Just when he was about to say hello, the blond turned away from him and held up the poster he'd just been working on. 

"Hey, Izu. Is this alright?" 

Izu? Ah, so we were right. Kiri blinked a few times to clear his head and refocus on what he was doing in the first place. He now knew that he and Katsuki had been correct when they assumed it was Izuku that they'd heard laugh earlier. He looked over in the direction that Denki had turned in and then watched as the green haired man stood up from where he had been crouched and fiddling with something to turn around and look at what Denki held up. Izuku nodded and his wild green curls bounced all over the place with the motion. Kiri realized that he'd let his hair grow out a bit and he was sure that he could pull it back into a short ponytail now. It was pretty cute on him and actually it gave him quite a natural, messy look.  

Izuku smiled brilliantly at the blond and then nodded as he chirped, "Yeah, it looks incredible Denki! You should go ahead and hang it up!" Izuku grabbed a white headband off of the table next to him and then slid it onto his head to keep his wild, curly bangs out of his face as he worked. He made sure his headband was situated properly before he looked up and saw the spying redhead. As soon as his eyes met with Kiri's they widened and he shrieked, "Kiri! Is that really you!" 

Since his cover was blown Kiri stepped out from behind the divider with a half-smile on his face.  He rubbed the back of his head nervously as he said, "Yeah, hey. Sorry for spying like that but-" 

"Who cares about that! It's been so long!" Izuku exclaimed before he launched himself at the redhead. He laughed when Kiri grunted with the impact as he caught him. Izuku wrapped his arms around him and squeezed, then smiled when he felt the hug returned. He pulled away from the embrace then looked over at Denki and chirped, “You remember Kiri from our first year of art school, right? Before we both moved?” 

“Yeah, hi.” Denki quickly blew the pair off without taking his eyes off of the machine parts on the table in front of himself. He started to assemble them carefully without so much as a glance their way. 

Izuku shook his head and then turned back around to see Kiri with a pout on his face. He suddenly remembered that not everyone was used to Denki's moods. He smiled as he assured him, “Don’t mind him. He just gets hyper focused like that whenever he has to assemble a tattoo machine since he's a bit of a perfectionist. I’m sure he'll greet you properly when he's done.” 

“Oh, uh, it’s fine. He doesn’t have to.” Kiri felt his cheeks darken as he spoke. Had he been that obvious? He needed to work on not letting his emotions show so easily. He quickly changed the subject to try and distract from that. He chuckled softly as he batted some wild green curls that had flopped over the headband out of Izuku's face and said, “Look at this mess on your head!"  

Izuku laughed then shook his head side to side so that his curls bounced every which way and hit him in the face. He smiled from ear to ear as he motioned towards the braid that stopped in the middle of Kiri's back and chirped, "You grew out yours too!"  

"Yeah I like it on the longer side." Kiri agreed with a nod. He looked down at the tattoos that he could see over Izuku's neck as well as parts of his chest and arms then said, "I see you’ve gotten a lot more ink since we last saw each other. Is it all traditional Japanese?” 

"Heh, yeah!" Izuku lifted his chin and craned his neck side to side so that Kiri could get a good look at the tattoos he had there. “I’ve got an oni torso piece, coy fish neck piece, fighting tigers for a back piece, and a geisha on each arm. All in traditional Japanese style.” 

“Wow that’s incredible, man.” Kiri replied with a smile and a nod as he took note of the little silver stud in the left side of Izuku's nose as well. It felt like so much had changed since the last time they'd seen each other. He had to wonder if they were both completely different people now. His smile never faltered as he asked, “You really love Japanese style, huh?” 

“Yep! It's my specialty and my passion. I’ve run out of skin to tattoo on my torso now and have been seriously considering getting my legs done since I've got a few ideas rattling around my brain.” Izuku replied before he started to mutter to himself about whether or not he wanted to go that route. 

“Well you look great.” Kiri decided it was best not to mention the available bit of skin Izuku had on his left shoulder. Mostly because he was sure that he was already aware and probably just as important, he didn’t want to bring up the subject of the tattoo that was there. The tattoo that he knew was done in the exact same style of lettering as the one Katsuki had on his left shoulder. 

Kiri still remembered the day that he found out that the pair had each other’s nicknames tattooed on themselves. He held nothing back and flat out called them crazy for it. He couldn’t imagine ever getting any name on his skin forever with relationships being so fleeting. Yet they’d assured him that what they had was so strong that they just knew nothing would tear them apart and that he would one day find someone that he was so sure about as well. 

Three months later the pair was broken up and Izuku had transferred to the same prestigious art school as Denki. Three years later and Kiri had still not found that someone they'd mentioned, so yeah. Katsuki never talked about what had happened or what went wrong between them but Kiri had always suspected that it had something to do with the fact that Izuku had gotten into that school. Katsuki just acted like he'd never even been in a relationship before, as if the past didn't matter to him at all. Kiri knew that couldn’t be true because the blond wore a bandage over his tattoo on the days that he didn’t want to remember it existed. There had to be a reason for that since most of the time he simply ignored it. People knew better than to ask him about it by now though since it was a guaranteed way to set him off and make him grouchy for the rest of the day. 

Kiri jumped when the familiar sound of tape being pulled from its roll and then torn aggressively came from behind him. How had he forgotten that Katsuki was over there on the other side of the divider until that moment? He turned and then called over his shoulder, “We were right, Katsuki!” 

“Oh! He's here… and you two are on a first name basis now?” Izuku asked as he raised a curious eyebrow at him. That fact was more surprising than hearing that the blond was there since he was such a talented artist that he'd never have expected him not to be. Izuku had always known Katsuki to succeed at anything he set his mind to, and it was one of the things he’d always admired about him. Izuku had also heard from a mutual friend that the pair had opened a shop together around the same time that he and Denki opened up theirs. Though he had to admit he’d never pictured the pair as a couple. He watched Kiri smile then shrug and give a non-committal grunt in response. Izuku nodded slowly as he said, “That’s… nice.” 

Katsuki stepped around from the other side of the divider with his patented frown on his face and a bandage on his left shoulder. His gaze immediately met with Izuku's and he watched a faint blush appear in his cheeks as he gasped softly. If Izuku felt it happen then he chose not to react. Katsuki's eyes wandered over what he could see of the tattoos that showed on the parts of his body that his olive green tank top didn’t cover. There was a whole lot more to look at now. It was quite a change from the one sleeve he’d had last time they saw each other. Damn if the look didn’t suit him really well. He looked back up at Izuku's face and saw that he couldn’t meet his gaze anymore. Katsuki glanced at the tattoo on his left shoulder quickly then back at his face and grunted the first thing he’d said to him in three years, “Deku.” 

“Hey, Kacchan. It’s been a while.” Izuku mumbled in response. He still couldn’t bring himself to look at the blond but at least he'd managed to offer that greeting without stuttering. He would consider that a small victory. 

Katsuki didn’t want to spend time with false pleasantries. He narrowed his eyes at him and got straight to the point when he asked, “What the hell are you doing here?” 

“Oh, well, the thing about that is…” Izuku had hoped to put this confrontation off for a bit longer but he supposed there was nothing he could do about it now. He sighed to himself then rubbed the back of his neck as he said, “Denki and I are moving back to town and opening up a second shop.” 

“Second! Are you guys really doing that well?” Kiri shrieked before he could do anything to stop himself. He knew that running one shop was headache enough and couldn’t even imagine having to deal with two at the same time. He had to admit that he was quite impressed by the idea.  

“Yeah we are fortunate enough to have quite a few excellent artists on staff. Business has been great.” Izuku nodded as he smiled at him. He was very proud of what they'd built together and loved to talk about how well their shop was doing with anyone that would listen. 

“There’s no place like home.” Denki mumbled underneath his breath without looking at any of them. He was too busy putting a few finishing touches on the sign he'd been working on before he hung it up. 

“Basically, yeah." Izuku nodded in agreement. He sighed softly to himself then admitted, "We’ve both been homesick for this city and wanted to return for a while. We simply didn’t have the opportunity to do so before now.” 

Katsuki didn’t really care about their reasons or any of that other nonsense. There was something much more important he needed to know and he didn’t miss the fact that Izuku hadn't mentioned it. He glared at Izuku and asked, “Where exactly are you opening this second shop of yours?” 

“Uhh." That was the question that Izuku had hoped no one would ask. He knew they'd find out eventually but this was just not how he wanted it to happen. He glanced at the two pairs of red eyes that watched him intently then sighed in defeat. His voice was barely above a whisper as he said, "East… Main Street..?” 

“Are you fucking kidding me! Right across the street from our shop?" Katsuki immediately yelled. 

"Surprise?" Izuku muttered with an anxious smile on his face. 

"The fuck, Deku!” 

“I-it's not like we're trying to steal your business or anything! That location just… it’s just…” Izuku paused and tried to gather his thoughts. He wasn’t even sure it would make any sense but he had to try and explain it anyway. The blush in his cheeks darkened and his voice was soft as he mumbled, “It's where we were going to open our shop before we broke up and getting the location became something of a personal goal of mine that I never dropped.” 

“Tch.” Katsuki did not ask for a trip down memory lane. Of course he knew that’s where they'd talked about opening their shop together. He didn’t know that Izuku still thought about that all these years later though. That was a fact that caused his stomach to do strange things that made no sense whatsoever. 

“You’ve found someone new and that’s great for you but all I’ve focused on for the past few years was refining my craft and figuring out how to get that perfect location that I always wanted. It's all I thought about since before I left so I'm happy to finally have it.” Izuku explained further. It was weird and oddly sentimental but he really was happy about getting that location for his shop. Something about achieving the goal he'd set for himself years ago was so very satisfying and he wouldn’t trade that feeling for anything. 

Katsuki scrunched his face at Izuku's words. He understood what he meant except for one thing. He narrowed his eyes at him as he asked, “The fuck do you mean I found someone new?” 

Izuku motioned from Kiri to Katsuki as he tilted his head and the curls on his head bounced to the side. He blinked a few times before he asked, “I mean… aren’t you two-? He called you by your first name and all that so…?” 

“Fuckin- no dammit! We're not goddamn together. He calls me that because he’s a hard-headed jerk and I’m tired of correcting him.” Katsuki immediately put an end to that incorrect line of thinking. He and Kiri had been through way too much together to ever think of one another as anything more than a best friend. It was not cool that people made that assumption just because they were close. 

Izuku's eyes widened and he seemed stunned for a second before he finally let his hand fall to his side. He pursed his lips together for a moment as he tried to will the blush to leave his cheeks and then he muttered, “Oh. Sorry for, um, assuming... I guess?” 

“Neither are we since I’m sure you’re wondering.” Denki said as he glanced at Katsuki out of the corner of his eye. He quickly looked back at the sign in front of himself as he added, “I'd never date someone with another person’s name tattooed on them, anyway.” 

“D-Denki! I told you not to bring that up!” Izuku shrieked, a tad bit mortified. 

Denki shrugged and then put his hands behind his head as he leaned back in his chair. The tattoo in question may have been a bad decision but there was nothing he could do about it now so he should really just accept that. He looked up at the ceiling as he said, “It's not like I haven’t offered to give him a cover up either. He's refused me multiple times.” 

“That makes two of us.” Said a familiar, soft voice. Everyone turned towards the sound to look at the person that had just taken it upon himself to walk up to them and join in the conversation. 

“Shocchan!” Izuku gasped in surprise. He looked just as handsome as ever with the warm little smile upon his lips.  Izuku couldn’t help but return the smile for a second as his cheeks darkened with blush. It quickly faded and he exclaimed, "What are you doing here!" 

"I have my own booth here, of course." Shoto replied with a little hum. He chose not to add the fact that he was one of the featured guest artists of the event. He found it wonderful that Izuku was too focused on his own shop to keep up with things like that. Everyone else seemed to be obsessed with other peoples business and he found it to be most tiresome. He preferred that Izuku saw him more as a friend than someone to be star struck by any day. "I'm all set up and I figured I'd visit a few other artists to say hello before the con started." 

Katsuki watched as Shoto looked over at him, winked, then walked by, only to let his fingers brush up against his hand. A shiver ran down Katsuki's spine from the simple touch and he hated himself for it. He watched Shoto as he stood very close to Izuku and talked to him with that annoyingly perfect little smile on his face. He was way too goddamn attractive with his shoulder length red and white hair pulled back in a top knot, exposing the close shave underneath. Even the scar on his face was lovely and frankly it simply added to his appeal. Everything else about him was shockingly plain compared to the others around. Sure he had an attractive face but there was not one visible tattoo on him and it was so weird for such a talented and respected artist to be such a clean canvas. What Katsuki wouldn’t give to be able to get his hands on such a smooth, lovely canvas for a few hours. Oh, the things he could do. 

Shoto threw his head back and laughed at something Izuku said which revealed the shiny, silver tongue ring he had in his mouth. Even if that was the only visible body modification he had, Katsuki still found that it was incredibly appealing. Normally he wouldn't go for someone so clean as it were, but there was just something about him that he couldn’t shake. He remembered asking Shoto if he had any ink once and then getting a sarcastic response about it. Apparently it was obvious that he had tattoos since he was in the tattoo industry. Katsuki had rolled his eyes then asked why he never showed them off then. He was surprised when he said it was because his tattoos were for himself, not others, and they didn’t need to see them. That was when Katsuki had confirmed that he was so damn weird it was appealing. Even now he had to wonder just where he had his ink and what it could possibly be. Shoto laughed again and it tugged at something in the blond's chest. He frowned then rolled his eyes and shook his head. 

Katsuki had no idea why he even put up with Shoto as a guest artist in his shop. Oh wait. He did know, it was because Shoto was probably the best portrait artist he'd ever come across. Most likely the best one he'd ever meet. His talent for making his drawings true to life was incredible and Katsuki found himself in awe of his finished work every single time. Not to mention he didn't mind having someone around that was so easy on the eyes. Yeah, he might have been just a little bit starved for affection but that was expected since he had decided to stay away from any sort of emotional relationship with others after his last breakup. No matter how much Kiri encouraged him to try and put himself out there again, Katsuki knew that relationships just weren't worth the headache or heartache in the end. He also knew that there was nothing wrong with admiring someone from afar. He refocused on the world around himself just in time to hear Izuku speak. 

“I’ve already explained that I don’t even think about it anymore, Shocchan! It really doesn’t bother me! I don’t need a cover up, honest!” Izuku assured him as Shoto ran his fingers over the letters on his shoulder. He was proud of the fact that he'd managed not to shiver from his gentle touch. 

Shoto smiled then flicked a stray green curl that had escaped the headband out of his face. He bopped him on the nose and said, “Just remember that I’ll do it free of charge.” 

Izuku's eyes widened for a second and then he smiled a crooked smile at him. He nodded as he hummed, “Kay. Thanks.” 

Shoto turned to look at Katsuki and couldn’t help but smile when he saw the disapproving look on his face. He winked at him and then hummed, "I'll do yours for half price, hot shot." 

"Why does Deku get one for free?" Katsuki asked even though he had no intention of taking him up on that offer. If he'd wanted a cover up he would have gotten one done by now. People just needed to back off and let him live already. 

Shoto slid his arm around Izuku's waist and pulled him up against himself then laid his head against the top of his. He used his free hand to pinch Izuku's cheek as he explained, "Because he knows how to accept a gift. You wouldn’t stand for what you considered to be a handout." 

Katsuki honestly had no response to that since Shoto was absolutely right. When the hell had he come to know so much about him? It wasn’t like they spent that much damn time together, and when they did it was usually Shoto that talked about himself and his interests while Katsuki simply admired him in silence. Katsuki wasn’t sure what to say so he simply furrowed his brow then sucked his teeth and then shook his head. 

Shoto chuckled softly then let go of Izuku. He looked from him to Katsuki and back again then said, “I, for one, am glad that your shops will be so close together now. It makes my hopping between them much easier.” 

“Speaking of that why don’t you just choose a shop to be a permanent artist at?” Denki asked before he stood up and dusted off his finished art work. He looked it over once more and then nodded in approval. 

“And deny myself the opportunity to spend time with the artists that work at the other shop? I could never do something like that.” Shoto replied with a shake of his head. His eyes met Katsuki's and he batted them slowly as a smile crept across his face. 

"Whatever, dude. I'm just saying that shop hopping is super impractical. You should really just decide on one that you want to work in permanently." Denki shrugged then held up his sign for Izuku to see one more time. He watched as he smiled and nodded in approval then he turned around again so he could hang it up. 

Kiri turned towards Shoto with a smile and chirped, "I like it when you work at our shop!" 

"As do I." Shoto was quick to agree. He looked over at the blond with the scowl on his face and let his gaze linger upon him for a moment then quickly refocused his attention on Kiri and Izuku as they continued to chit chat. 

Katsuki looked over at the sign that Denki had finally hung up and scrunched his face. There was a new school snake with button eyes and a lightning bolt on its forehead wrapped around a wooden sign that was dripping some sort of black sludge. It read Electric Smiles Tattoo. He looked over at Denki then asked, "What the fuck does that mean? What does the name of your shop have to do with tattooing?" 

"Huh?" Denki turned towards him and blinked a few times as if he didn’t even understand the question. After a few silent seconds he finally shook his head then said, "Oh, nothing. It's all about personal aesthetics." 

Katsuki would have called that incredibly stupid but he actually understood it. Obviously this guy was way to into lightning and such which is where the electric part came in. As for smiles, he'd never seen one that could light up a room quite like- He glanced over at the joyful way Izuku laughed as he talked to Shoto. Katsuki hadn't seen such a happy expression on his freckled face in a very long time. He wasn’t sure if the twinge in his gut was because that was most likely his fault or the fact that even though he saw it now it had absolutely nothing to do with him. 

Everyone turned towards the sound of yet another new voice when they heard someone call out to Shoto. He nodded at the person when they told him it was almost time for the doors to open so he had to get back to his booth. Shoto turned back towards Izuku then put his hand on his shoulder and leaned down so he could whisper something into his ear.  

Katsuki watched as Izuku's cheeks darkened before he nodded slowly. He noticed that Shoto let his hand linger upon his shoulder for a moment longer than necessary before he finally smiled and let it fall back down by his side. He said goodbye to Kiri and Denki then walked past them until he was right in front of Katsuki. He took another step then paused and put his hand on his shoulder. 

Shoto turned his head and leaned in close enough so that Katsuki could feel his warm breath on his neck as he asked quietly, "Do you want to have dinner later?" 

"What?" Katsuki ignored the ridiculous way his pulse started to race because of the simple question and an invasion of his personal space. He was not some lovestruck teenager and that reaction was just ridiculous. He needed to get control of himself. 

"After the con." Shoto clarified even though it was pretty obvious. He squeezed his shoulder gently as he asked, "Food and good company? Yes?" 

Katsuki couldn’t decide if he wanted to shrug his hand off of his shoulder or not. After a mini internal battle, he decided against it for some reason that he just couldn’t figure out. His frown never left his face as he grumbled, "I'll be busy packing shit up and then getting it all back to my shop and shit." 

Shoto had expected such a response and wasn’t deterred in the slightest. His smile never faltered as he suggested, "How about takeout at your shop then?" 

Katsuki furrowed his brow then glanced at him out of the corner of his eye. He was well aware of the fact that Shoto was way too close. If he turned his head just slightly they'd be nose to nose, so he settled for the side glare. "You're not making a damn mess of my shop." 

"I'll clean up afterwards, I promise. Just takeout and three friends enjoying each other's company. It'll be fun. See you then." Shoto assured him as he pat his shoulder. He walked away and headed back to his own booth without waiting for a response. 

"Three!" The moment Katsuki yelled it he realized what he'd just gotten roped into. He looked over at Izuku and as soon as their eyes met he jumped and looked away, which made his wild curls bounce in every which direction. God the longer hair really fucking suited Izuku and made Katsuki want to tangle his hands in it, which pissed him off even more. Katsuki sucked his teeth then stomped back over to his own booth and sat down. He had no idea what Shoto's game was but he was already sure that he didn’t like it. 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Izuku plopped down into the chair next to Denki and then sighed to himself. He was glad that they'd finish setting up their booth just in time for the doors to open but he was also still a bit shocked by the way things had turned out. He shook his head as he muttered, "Well that was really unexpected. I didn’t think we'd run into anyone we knew so early on." 

"What a way to start off the day." Denki mumbled in agreement as he looked at all of the people around them chat among themselves about whatever was on their minds. Conventions always brought like-minded people together and it was interesting to watch them. 

Izuku studied the blond next to himself for a moment as he debated whether or not to ask what was on his mind. He finally decided to go for it and leaned closer to him while he made sure to keep his voice soft so that it didn't carry as he asked, "What was your attitude about earlier? Did you forget that you were crushing hard on Kiri before we moved away or something?" 

"What? Of course I didn’t forget! How could someone forget something like that?" Denki very nearly shrieked. The question was so ridiculous that Denki almost forgot to control the volume of his voice, which would have gotten the attention of the one person that he didn’t want to hear. He frowned and then rolled his eyes at the ridiculous question. 

Izuku shrugged and sat back in his chair again. His voice wasn’t nearly as hushed as he said, "You just seemed a little cold towards him is all I'm saying. After you recently told me that you wanted to see him again I just figured that you might actually act like that was true when you finally did." 

"Shut up." Denki pouted and his cheeks darkened with his embarrassment. Izuku didn’t need to point out all of the ways he was hopeless at dealing with people socially because he already knew. Unless it was a client looking for a tattoo, he was no damn good at dealing with people that he wasn’t completely comfortable around. Izuku seemed to forget that he had his own arsenal if it was a firefight he was after. Denki crossed his arms and shut his eyes before he mumbled, "You could barely even look at your ex while the two of you talked so I really don’t want to hear it from you." 

Izuku's eyes widened for a split second and then he smiled and shook his head. He was absolutely right and there really wasn’t any excuse for it. He leaned forwards to put his elbows on the table in front of him and then propped his head up in his hands as he sighed, "I guess we're both pretty hopeless when it comes to the romance stuff then, huh?" 

"Seems like it." Denki sighed as he mirrored him and put his chin in his hands too. 

"Maybe this move will be good for the two of us in more ways than one." Izuku mumbled mostly to himself. He hoped so, at least. It had been killing him slowly that he and Katsuki hadn't talked at all after he'd left. It just wasn’t right leaving things between them like that when they used to be so good. He was glad that Shoto had invited the both of them to dinner later even though the thought was a little bit nerve wracking. He hoped that everything would turn out alright in the end though. Now wasn’t the time to dwell on such things however since they had some curious potential customers asking Denki about his specialty- new school tattoos. Izuku refocused on the present since he could always dwell on the past later. Right now he just needed to get through the potentially hectic con in one piece. 

 

Katsuki didn’t even realize that he'd focused more on tattooing than anything else until Kiri told him that it was finally time to start packing up for the day. He was taken by surprise since he thought he might have enough down time during the con to visit other booths and check out the competition. In the end, time had gotten the better of him and he had been too distracted to bother. He figured that was the story of his damn life as he and Kiri packed up their things. At least he could leave knowing that quite a few satisfied customers left with new tats done by him or Kiri so they were getting their brand out there. 

Once they'd brought everything back into their shop, Katsuki told the redhead to just get the heck out and go home so he could sleep already since he was obviously drained. He was tired of listening to him yawn loudly and then grumble about being exhausted. Kiri asked if he was sure and Katsuki just waved his hand in his direction as he dismissed him and said he would finish putting everything away himself and it was no big deal. Kiri took him up on his offer after such a long day tattooing and left the shop without any argument for once. 

Katsuki reveled in the rare silence in his shop when he was finally alone. He found that he worked quite efficiently when there wasn’t anyone there to constantly interrupt him or just be in the way. He managed to get everything back where it needed to go and his shop back in order in record time and he couldn’t help but feel a bit proud of his accomplishment. He was just about to call it a night himself when he heard the bell above the door to the shop jingle. All of a sudden he remembered that he hadn't actually said no when asked about dinner earlier. He also didn’t know if this was supposed to be something like a date or what. Although now that he really thought about it that didn’t make any sense. If that were the case then Shoto wouldn't have wanted three of them to be there, right? Katsuki realized that even though that made the most sense he had no idea because Shoto was complicated to say the least. 

Katsuki headed out to the front room and found exactly what he'd expected to find. Shoto and Izuku stood there wearing both confident and shy smiles respectively. Katsuki had to stop himself from groaning at the idea that he had to play host now since he just wanted to go to bed. He wanted to relax and not have to worry about anything for the rest of the night. It occurred to him that they must've been just as exhausted if not more so, yet they still managed to show up and smile. As far as he was concerned that just proved that they were a pair of weirdos. 

"What's that look for, Kats?" Shoto asked with a smile as he held up the food he'd brought with himself to show that he'd held up on his end of the deal. He heard Izuku make a choked sound beside him but didn’t turn towards him. He continued to smile at the blond as if everything was right as rain as far as he was concerned. 

"First off, don’t ever fucking call me that again if you value your life." Katsuki immediately growled with an offended snarl. He looked away from Shoto to see that Izuku was looking around the shop in awe as he tried to take it all in at once. He'd actually forgotten that he hadn't been there before. In fact he'd had to remind himself quite often that Izuku was no longer part of his life over the past three years when he found himself wondering if he'd ever walk through the very door he just had. 

Katsuki had to admit that it was kind of an ego boost to see that amazed look on his face. He already knew that his shop was all kinds of awesome but something about Izuku realizing it too just felt gratifying. He looked at the food that Shoto held out to him then finally realized that he hadn't eaten anything in a really long time and he was incredibly hungry. He snatched the bag from him and grunted, "Second, I'm tired so you two have less than fifteen minutes to eat and then I'm locking up." 

Izuku and Shoto both smiled and hummed in agreement then followed him to the waiting area. All three of them plopped down onto the couch and Izuku shrugged out of his jacket then draped it over the back of the couch. Katsuki immediately shoved aside all of the tattoo portfolios and magazines that were sitting on the coffee table in front of the couch for guests to peruse and got to work placing the food onto it. 

"Thank you for having us over, Kacchan." Izuku said politely while the blond set everything up. He really was glad that he hadn't canceled or tossed them out when they arrived. 

Katsuki simply grunted at him in response. The only reason this was happening at all was because he'd forgotten to eat earlier. There was no reason for Izuku to think that there was something other than hunger motivating him because there absolutely wasn’t. He noticed that all three dishes seemed to be the same basic thing with slight differences so it didn’t really seem like it mattered which one he claimed. He chose the one closest to him and reached for it then paused when he noticed Izuku staring at the back of his hand. He narrowed his eyes at him and asked, "Something interesting, Deku?" 

Izuku jumped and then shook his head at the question. "Oh! No, sorry! I didn’t mean to stare! It's just that the skull you’ve got there-" 

Katsuki held up his right arm and looked down at the entire sleeve made of black and gray skulls in different tattoo styles. He turned towards Izuku and raised a curious eyebrow at him as he grunted, "You're going to have to be a little more specific." 

"The one on the back of your hand looks so... real." Izuku tried his hardest to explain why he was staring. He wasn’t usually so distracted by realism but it was just something else. He would have liked to look at it for a bit longer, truth be told. He looked down at the food on the table then reached for the plate closest to him as he muttered, "It's really beautiful." 

"Kiri will be a happy little shit to hear you think that since he's the one that did it. It was the first tattoo done in this very shop." Katsuki explained as he tore open a hot sauce pouch with his teeth and then doused his food in it. He didn’t bother to look up from his plate as he added, "The second was the dragon I put on his right forearm." 

"It twists around and the head of that one is also on the back of his hand too, right?" Shoto asked with a mouthful of food. 

Katsuki took a bite of his own food then nodded as he chewed. Unlike Shoto though, he waited until he was done chewing and then swallowed the food before he finally replied. "We wanted the first tattoos out of this shop to be somewhere that people could always see wherever we go. We'll always represent our brand no matter what happens." 

"That's surprisingly sentimental of you." Shoto hummed with an amused smirk. 

"Tch. Shut up. It's just good advertisement for our shop is all." Katsuki muttered with a frown. He didn’t care for the stupid way that Shoto smiled at him when he said that. It was beyond annoying because he didn’t actually hate it. He furrowed his brow at his food as he tried to focus his attention on eating instead of that stupid look on his stupid face. 

"So what have you been up to lately, Shocchan? You haven't come around my shop for a while." Izuku asked what he'd been wondering for over a month now. Not that he was counting the days or anything. OK, maybe he was counting just a little bit. To be fair though, things were always so lively with Shoto around and he loved having him there. He didn’t get the chance to ask earlier because the con was so hectic and they'd both been too busy to visit one another for a second chat. 

"Traveling, mostly. I've been appearing as a guest artist at shops across the country for the past month." Shoto explained. He'd been a shut in for most of his life because of reasons he didn’t care to think about and he had promised himself years ago that when he was finally well off he would at least visit all the tourist spots in his own country that he'd never gotten to see. The road trip was a spur of the moment thing, which was basically how he lived his daily life these days. He met a lot of colorful characters along the way and had an overall good time so he was glad that he went. 

"Ooooh, that sounds awesome!" Izuku immediately chirped as a happy smile spread across his face. He'd traveled a little bit but never for as long as Shoto just had and there were still many places in the country that he hadn't seen. He couldn’t imagine what it must have been like. He bet it was a really great experience though. 

"It’s not nearly as glamorous as you think." Shoto admitted softly. As nice as it was to see the sights and meet new people, he found that it was actually rather lonely for the most part. He tried his best not to let his smile fade as he thought about it. 

"Sounds more exhausting than glamorous." Katsuki muttered mostly to himself. He still wondered how he got roped into dinner with his ex that he hadn't seen in three years and his, uh, sometimes coworker. He very nearly cringed at how awkward that was even in his own head. He had no idea what the heck his life even was in that moment as the gravity of the situation finally seemed to hit him. 

"It was tiring, yes. Mostly it gave me time to think about what it was that really mattered to me." Shoto agreed with a nod before he took a sip of his soda. So much time to himself gave him a lot of chances to reflect on many different things, actually. When he'd considered his life as a whole he came to realize that there were a few regrets that he didn’t want to have. One of which was still being single in his mid-twenties. He came to the conclusion that it might not be terrible to seek out a companion of sorts. That epiphany kind of lead him to ask about having this dinner in the first place.  

"Meaning?" Katsuki didn’t care if he sounded a bit annoyed since he was. There was no point to all the word games. People should just say what they want to say and be done with it. Trying to figure out if something had hidden meaning behind it was his least favorite thing in the world and he refused to bother. 

"Well, while I traveled my mind kept on wandering back to your two shops. Apparently, those are the places where I feel most at home since I didn’t once think about my apartment here or anything like that." Shoto explained what he thought was actually pretty surprising when he'd realized it. The other shops he'd visited were nice and all but none of them had that feeling that he loved about being in theirs. It was hard to explain in words. 

"Aww, that’s so flattering!" Izuku chirped with a happy smile. He clapped his hands together as he said, "I'm glad you like my shop so much! You're welcome to come over whenever you please! We absolutely love having you there!"  

Katsuki didn’t bother to offer the same thing. It was unspoken that Shoto had an open invitation to his shop as far as he was concerned so it didn’t need saying. He couldn’t help but think it was strange that one would miss two shops over their own home though. He narrowed his eyes suspiciously at Shoto as he took a sip of his drink. 

"Thanks, Izu." Shoto laughed softly to himself. His gaze fell to the food in front of him as he muttered, "If only that was the sole problem I had to face." 

"Huh?" Izuku tilted his head as he looked at him. His words didn’t make a lick of sense no matter how he tried to figure them out in his head. He wanted to assure Shoto that he could talk to him about whatever it was since he would never turn him away if he needed to vent. 

"Oh, nothing. Tell me how you guys have been. Or even better are you at least happy to see one another again after so long?" Shoto quickly changed the subject. He knew very well that the pair hadn't seen each other in a few years but that didn’t mean they didn't think about one another. They both talked about each other a lot more often than they even realized, he was sure of that. He also knew that Katsuki wasn’t aware of the fact that Izuku was moving back to town before this morning. That had to cause a bit of confusing and possibly conflicting emotions to stir within him. 

"Fucking thrilled." Katsuki growled before he threw his head back and chugged the rest of his drink. At least things weren't nearly as awkward as they could've been in that moment, he supposed. With the way they'd left things he was sure that Izuku would never want to speak to him again. He would just have to be thankful for small miracles. 

"I mean, yeah, of course I am." Izuku admitted quietly. He stared down at his food as he pushed it around his plate. He had a contemplative look on his face as he mumbled, "Things might not have ended very well between us but I still m-" He stopped mid-sentence and looked up and the two sets of eyes staring at him as they waited for him to complete his thought. He immediately shoveled a huge amount of food into his mouth and muttered something impossible to make out then laughed. 

“Well I’m glad to see that you two can be civil with one another, regardless of your past.” Shoto said to no one in particular. He glanced at Izuku as he asked, “When did you say the new shop was opening?” 

“We'll start setting things up tomorrow since the space is already ours. We still haven’t decided if we're going to repaint yet but I have a feeling that Denki will want to. It’ll probably end up looking exactly like our other shop in the end.” Izuku replied with a laugh. Denki was all about his aesthetic and Izuku didn't mind it one bit. 

“Oh! Your main shop is quite pleasing to the eye so that sounds like a good idea.” Shoto hummed with a quick nod. 

Izuku smiled as he chirped, “I’ll be sure to let Denki know you think so since he’s the one that designed the interior.” 

Shoto nodded at him then turned to look at the blond that had fallen silent. He placed his hand on Katsuki's knee to get his attention and then asked, “It's alright if I work out of here tomorrow, right?” 

“I don’t really care what you do.” Katsuki flat out lied. He was actually quite happy about the fact that Shoto wasn’t going to just disappear again. He also couldn’t help but wonder just how long he was going to keep touching him so damn casually like he was. Katsuki's anger all but melted away when Shoto smiled sweetly at him. 

“Thanks.” Shoto hummed and then pat his knee twice. He turned towards Izuku and then assured him, “I’ll come work in your shop for the grand opening.” 

“Really? That would be amazing! We can make it into an event with a special guest artist!" Izuku chirped as he bounced in place excitedly. "People will love that! Thank you so much, Shocchan!” 

Shoto wasn’t sure why Izuku had to be so darn cute all the time. He wasn’t sure why he had to have such a warm, glowing smile that it literally plagued his dreams. He wasn’t sure of anything except for the fact that it was one of the things he’d missed most while he was away. As for the other, well, that was kind of funny when he thought about it. It was literally the exact opposite of his precious smile.  

He turned his head slightly and glanced at Katsuki out of the corner of his eye. The frown on his face was just as adorable as the smile that Izuku wore as far as he was concerned. He wanted to run his finger over that bottom lip of his and see how he would react. Alas, such a thing seemed quite unlikely considering the way his eyes were fixed on Izuku's smile as if he'd never seen anything so brilliant before in his life. Not that he could really blame him, of course. All Shoto knew was that if either of them ever looked at him the way they looked at each other then he’d probably kiss them and then propose on the spot. It was a madman's dream but he had already accepted that fact. 

Shoto had wanted to get together like this to see if the pair was capable of being civil with one another after all they'd been through together. He was glad to find out that they were. He wasn’t exactly sure how he felt now that he found out that they both obviously still harbored stronger feelings for one another than he'd realized. Not that he could really talk in that instance. He had been flirting with the both of them whenever he was in their shops pretty much since the day they met. It was usually well received by both of them, if not returned too, which kind of just made his little crushes worse. Oh, and it made it virtually impossible for him to figure out which one he liked more. It was his own private hell.  

The three of them continued to eat their meal as they all chatted about whatever came to mind. There seemed to be some unspoken tension in the air but none of them dared to bring it up. They would just let the cards fall where they would and that would be that. There was no reason to ruin what had turned into a surprisingly fun dinner. The supposed fifteen minutes they had to eat somehow turned into two whole hours before any of them realized just how late it was.  

Shoto and Izuku helped clean up just as promised and then they said a quick goodbye and parted ways for the night. As soon as he was about to turn off the lights and head out of the shop, Katsuki glanced over at the waiting area where they'd just eaten and saw that Izuku had forgotten his jacket. He shook his head and rolled his eyes as he grunted, "Some things never change." 

 

 

Kiri thought it was pretty weird when Katsuki tossed a jacket at him first thing in the morning after they opened the shop and grumbled something about him bringing it to 'the morons across the street'. He didn’t get a chance to ask about it since the blond stormed off in a huff before he could. That was fine though since he didn’t mind the task. It would be nice to greet the pair, anyway. There wasn’t anything wrong with officially welcoming them to the neighborhood. 

He headed over to the shop across the street and then knocked on the door out of proper etiquette even though it was wide open. He could smell the fumes of fresh paint and had to assume that the reason for the door being open was to let in air, not people. He didn't want to be rude and just waltz in so he knocked once more then waited until he heard someone yell for him to come in. He stepped into the shop and was careful not to trip over any of the painting supplies on the floor. 

“Izu do you know where the step ladder is- you’re not Izu at all.” Denki said as he turned towards Kiri then blinked a few times in surprise. That actually made a lot of sense considering that he wouldn’t have knocked on the door to his own shop. He had no idea why the thought hadn’t even crossed his mind. 

“Sorry to disappoint you, but it's just me.” Kiri chuckled nervously. He smiled as he hummed, "Morning! I don’t mean to interrupt, but I was told to bring this jacket here so I guess you must know why?" He offered Denki what he was asked to drop off and then nodded when he took it. The blond tossed the familiar, dark green jacket onto a nearby table and then rubbed the back of his neck slowly. It was then that Kiri finally noticed that he was wearing a tight, black, paint splattered tank top that showed off the half sleeve he hadn't seen yesterday.  

Kiri studied the half sleeve on his left shoulder for a moment. It was a striking sight to say the least. It was a depiction of a thunderstorm with dark purple and black in the background and bright white lightning strikes. The way the lightning was highlighted made it look like it glowed and it was a really beautiful sight. He could probably have stared at it for quite a long time but Denki turned towards the wall and sighed loudly. It was then that Kiri got to see the jagged tribal band that the blond had around his right bicep. 

When Denki made an irritated noise, Kiri turned to see what he could possibly have been looking at. There was nothing particularly interesting about the wall he was facing until he looked up and saw that there was an unfinished dark blue stripe on the top of the wall. It didn’t quite reach the ceiling, which was what he guessed the problem probably was. 

Kiri scrunched his face at the paint and then tilted his head. He glanced at the back of Denki's head as he asked, “Do you need some help?” 

Denki spun around to look at him like he’d just grown a second head. He frowned then grumbled, “No, I got it thanks.” 

“Uh, but you don’t got it.” Kiri said as he looked back up at the unfinished paint job on the top of the wall. Partially completed jobs like that had always irked him and he was not one to leave a job halfway done. 

“What?” 

“You can't reach the top and your paint will dry unevenly if you wait too long. Here, I’ll just-” Kiri bent down and picked up the roller that was resting on a tray that was filled with paint, and coated it generously. 

“You can't! Your clothes!” Denki shrieked. That was the only thing he could think of to say besides ‘I’m too stubborn and shy to accept your help'. Once the words had left his lips he wasn’t sure that it sounded any better. 

“That problem is easily avoided.” Kiri chuckled without missing a beat. He set the paint roller down then pulled off his t-shirt and placed it out of the paint splash zone. He bent down again, grabbed the roller, and then stood up straight and reached up as high as he could as he started to paint the top of the wall. 

Denki watched in awe as the gears tattooed to look like they were beneath ripped skin upon Kiri's shoulders seemed to move as he painted. With every motion of his arm muscles, the tattoos rippled and flowed in a most hypnotic way. His gaze fell to the large underwater scene with the menacing shark that covered Kiri's entire back. The same thing was happening as his back muscles moved and his tattoo seemed like it was given life of its own. Denki was pretty sure that he'd stopped breathing but he could not bring himself to look away even if he wanted to. He couldn’t help but wonder if he would ever get to see a more beautiful sight than what he was currently looking at. 

Kiri was happy to find that there really wasn’t too much wall for him to cover and so the task went by rather quickly. Once he was all finished, Kiri set down the paint roller and turned towards Denki with a triumphant smile. He was glad that he'd managed to get him to wear such a surprised look on his face because the sight was rather adorable. “Tada!” 

“Uh… thanks.” Denki wasn’t sure what else to say. He wasn’t sure if He was thanking him for his help or the show he'd unknowingly put on. He was still amazed by how his tattoos had looked alive like that. He really needed to sit down for a few minutes and clear his head. 

Kiri smiled at him like a ray of sunshine. He tilted his head before he asked the one thing he had been wondering since he saw the color of the paint he’d been using. “Why such a dark blue? It’s almost black.” 

“That’s just the base color. I also have gray and white.” Denki muttered in response.  

Kiri scrunched his face since he still didn’t get it. If that was supposed to explain something he was just not seeing it. He furrowed his brow in confusion as he blinked at the blond and silently asked for more information. 

“It's going to be a storm. The gray for the clouds and the white for the lightning. Just like in my other shop.” Denki explained as he pulled his phone out of his pocket. He looked through the pictures until he found one that had the mural he’d painted of a thunderstorm in the background. He held it up for the curious redhead to see. 

Kiri's eyes positively sparkled as he looked at the picture. “Oh, wow! That’s gorgeous!”  

Denki pulled his phone away then locked it and stuffed it into his pocket once more. He tried to ignore the fact that he'd felt his cheeks darken as he said, “It’s alright I suppose.” 

“What are you gonna do now?” Kiri couldn’t help but wonder as he watched Denki walk by him. He was just happy that they were having an actual conversation and he wasn’t ready to leave yet. 

Denki shrugged then mumbled, “Gotta wait for the paint to dry. I guess maybe I'll sketch something while I do.” 

“Mind if I stay for a bit?” Kiri asked before he could stop himself. He always liked to watch other artists draw since it was pretty amazing to see them work. Different views and techniques never ceased to amaze him. That plus he needed an excuse to prolong his visit and this was as good as any. 

“You don’t have things to do back in your own shop?” Denki asked as he bent down and dug through his bag for his sketchbook and pencil bag full of supplies. Once he found them he headed over to the nearby table and sat in one of the chairs. 

Kiri picked up his shirt and tossed it over his shoulder instead of putting it back on. “Not really. So do you mind if I watch?” 

“Not really.” Denki mimicked his tone and then had to keep from smiling to himself. He noticed that Kiri was quick to sit down next to him. He was glad that Kiri was a fellow artist because he knew not to say a word and just let him concentrate. That was easier said than done, however, and Denki kept finding that he would glance at Kiri out of the corner of his eye to see if he was still watching, which he absolutely was. On more than one occasion he saw the redhead looking at the silver piercings in his bottom lip curiously. He could see the questions forming before he even thought to voice them. Denki eventually paused his drawing and sighed, “They’re called snakebites.” 

“I know that!” Kiri lied when he realized that he'd been caught staring. He wasn’t the one that did the piercing in his shop so he never bothered to learn the different names of them. 

“Alright.” Denki refocused on his sketch since that was all cleared up. He was pretty happy with the general idea of it and was ready to start lining it now. 

“Do they, uh, get in the way?” Kiri asked softly a moment later. 

Denki turned his head and looked at him curiously. That was an odd question. “Of?” 

“Well… kissing I guess?” Kiri clarified as he avoided looking directly at the blond. He had no idea what possessed him to ask any of this and he was pretty sure he should've stopped two questions ago. 

Denki blinked a few times and then shrugged. He looked off to the side as he said, “People either like the feeling or they don’t. I haven’t had any complaints yet though.” 

"So your girlfriend-" Kiri paused when Denki scrunched his face at him. He wasn’t sure what that meant but he attempted to correct himself, "Or, um, boyfriend-" 

Denki held up his hand and shook his head to put a stop to that. He didn’t want to bother going through the motions of that nonsense. “I’m single. So there’s no one to have an opinion either way if that’s what you’re trying to ask.” 

“Ah. Me too.” Kiri honestly wasn’t sure why he hadn’t stopped talking to already. He felt like every time he opened his mouth he just embarrassed himself. Why the heck couldn’t he stop? He pursed his lips together in an attempt to keep from opening them again and letting anything else embarrassing slip out. 

Denki studied him in silence for a long moment before he looked back down at the table and continued to carefully line his sketch. He wasn’t exactly sure how many silent minutes had gone by as Kiri watched him draw before he finally muttered, “That’s surprising to hear. I'm sure you could snag anyone you wanted with your good looks.” 

Kiri jumped slightly and then shifted his weight nervously in his seat. He frowned to himself as he felt his cheeks darken at the compliment. “That’s not tru… oooh! That’s so cool!” He studied the finished drawing when Denki held it up proudly for him to see.  

Denki also studied the drawing curiously. He'd set out to draw a snake but somehow it had turned into a new school shark with a dumbbell in its fin and a badass snarl on its face. He told himself that he had absolutely no idea where he could've gotten the inspiration for it, or the scar across its right eye. Suddenly a bit embarrassed, he offered the drawing to Kiri without looking at him. “Since you seem to like it so much it’s yours.” 

“R-really!” Kiri gasped as he took it carefully just in case the ink on the page wasn’t fully dry yet. He didn’t want to risk smudging it in any little way. He looked down at Denki's signature in the corner and found it to be pretty cute, just like him. Kiri's eyes widened at the thought. 

“Yeah.” 

“I’ll draw you something too then!” Kiri immediately offered. It was only fair since he'd gotten a drawing for nothing in return. 

Denki's eyes widened in surprise for a brief moment before he shook his head and said, “You really don’t have to…” 

“I insist!” Kiri chirped with his patented, dazzling smile. His phone rang and he quickly dug it out of his back pocket to see who it was. He was surprised to see Katsuki's grumpy face on the caller ID. He answered it with a cheery, "Yeh-low?" 

Denki tried his best to act like he couldn’t hear the blond screaming on the other end about how Kiri was supposed to be back by now and how he had a client waiting. The swears he heard were like nothing he could have thought up in his wildest dreams and he couldn’t help but feel a little bad about being the reason he'd gotten distracted and stayed away for longer than intended. 

"Alright. Be right back!" Kiri replied in his usual happy way. His smile never faded as he hung up and then turned back towards Denki. "I gotta go but thanks for the drawing and I'll start working on one for you as soon as I'm finished with this client! Wait!" 

Denki jumped when he yelled the last word since it was quite unexpected. He blinked at the redhead a dozen times before he finally managed to ask, "Wh...at is it?" 

Kiri suddenly felt very unsure about himself. That little outburst was random and not at all thought through. Still, Denki was waiting so he had to say something. He mustered up all of the courage that he could and just blurted out, "Do you maybe want to exchange numbers in case either of us, I dunno, ever needs something or whatever?" 

"...sure." Denki couldn’t really respond in any other way when he saw the way that Kiri's eyes shined with cautious hope. Not to mention the fact that he'd wanted to exchange numbers with him three years ago but simply never worked up the courage to ask. 

The pair quickly did so because Kiri was in a hurry to head back to his shop. He smiled from ear to ear and then waved as he said, "Thanks! See you later!" 

"Uh, bye?" Denki muttered mostly to himself as he watched Kiri leave the shop with a hop in his step. He couldn’t think of any words to describe that guy sometimes. He huffed softly to himself as a smile spread across his face and he shook his head. He didn’t need any words to describe him in the end. He was simply Kiri and Denki had to admit, that was just fine. 

 

 

“Sorry I'm late!” Kiri called as he walked back into his shop. He was all smiles and he simply couldn’t help himself. He heard the sound of a tattoo machine buzzing and he looked over to his right to see Katsuki concentrating as he carefully shaded a black and gray eagle on the back of a customer's shoulder.  

Katsuki immediately looked up at him and scowled. He was glad that the canvas had opted to wear headphones and shut their eyes for the duration of the tattoo because he didn’t feel like holding back in that moment. He paused what he was doing and glared at Kiri as he grumbled, “You can't just keep a client waiting then stand around and stare. Go get to fucking work already! Act like this is a serious business for once!” 

“I’m going, I’m going.” Kiri turned away from him and headed over to the corner of the room where his station was set up. He couldn’t really blame the blond for being upset since he was the one in the wrong but at the same time he was in much too good of a mood to deal with him being so grumpy. Once he got to his station he saw a woman with a kind smile waiting. He immediately smiled back at her and chirped, “Hey! Sorry to keep you waiting!” 

“That’s alright. The other guy said that I could wait here and look through your portfolio. I spent the time doing just that and I have to say I’m very impressed.” She replied with a warm smile. 

“Oh, that old stuff isn’t so great.” Kiri chuckled in response. He placed the drawing from Denki down in a safe place and then proceeded to pull his long hair back and put it into a ponytail before he finally sat down on his padded stool. 

“It’s all beautiful.” The woman insisted. She nodded as she added, “In fact, I was pretty nervous about getting my tattoo before I saw your work and now I’m a hundred percent confident that it will be amazing!” 

Kiri couldn’t help but smile so widely that his cheeks hurt when he heard that. He turned towards her and hummed, “Well I’m glad to hear you liked what you saw and I'll be sure to work extra hard so that you like yours too. Speaking of, what exactly are you looking to get done today?” 

She smiled a lovely smile at him then lifted her shirt and motioned to her side. “I'd like a tattoo of two doves on my hip to represent my fiancé and I.”  

Kiri could see by the look on her face that she was head over heels in love. It was always a pleasure to tattoo someone that was getting something done that was so special to them. He looked down at the area she had motioned to then nodded. As he turned to find his rubber gloves he hummed, “Aw, that’s sweet. I’ll be sure to put extra love and care into them since they’re so meaningful to you!” 

"Thank you so much! I'm super excited!" 

"Great!" Kiri turned back around and pat the padded tattoo bed next to him then said, "Go ahead and sit down right here while I sketch something for you. It won't take long." 

"Alright."  

Kiri focused on his sketch as the woman fiddled with her phone. He made sure that the two doves looked like they were nuzzling one another affectionately because that seemed like it would really suit her tastes. He picked up the sketch then tapped the paper onto the table to remove excess graphite and looked at it. His gaze flicked to the gift he'd just gotten and he smiled to himself. It was just so cool and everything about it seemed to scream things he liked. He couldn’t help but wonder what he should draw for Denki in return. He wanted it to be something really awesome that he would just adore since he loved his so darn much. 

"Hey, hon. Uh huh. Alright, I'll see you later. Love you." 

Kiri blinked a few times as the woman's voice knocked him out of his own head. He didn’t know how he'd gotten so distracted but he fully intended to focus from then on out. He spun around in his chair and held up the sketch with a smile. He tilted his head slightly as he asked, "What do you think of something like this?" 

"Oh, wow that’s just lovely! It's perfect!" The woman immediately chirped. 

"I'm glad you like it. What do you think about the size? Would you like it bigger or smaller?" Kiri asked the usual questions without any real thought. 

She shook her head in response. "I think it will look great as is." 

"Awesome. Give me a second to trace the stencil real quick and then we'll be good to go." Kiri made quick work of tracing the design then nodded. He cleaned the spot on the woman's hip with rubbing alcohol before he pressed the thermal paper to her skin then applied gentle pressure to it. He removed it slowly and carefully. He nodded once the paper was removed and all that was left on her skin was the purple stencil. It looked good from where he sat so he nodded and said, "Take a look in the mirror to make sure you like the placement." 

The woman hopped off of the table and then looked into the full-length mirror and admired the design for a moment. She nodded as she said, "It looks perfect." 

"Great. Go ahead and lie down on the table for me and we'll get started." Kiri spun around in his chair and then grabbed the big bottle of black ink and poured it into the smaller ink caps that he had set up. He then removed the sealed, sterilized needles from their plastic bag and inserted the appropriate one into his tattoo machine. He spread a layer of ointment over the transfer of the stencil on her skin and then glanced up at the woman and said, "Here we go." A moment later there was the loud buzzing of a tattoo machine as Kiri turned it on and started his work. 

 

A few silent minutes into the tattoo the woman randomly asked, “So do you have someone special in your life? A wife or girlfriend or anything?” 

Kiri wiped the excess ink off of her skin then put the rag down and continued his line work. He shook his head without looking up from what he was doing as he said, “Nah, I’ve never had any interest in the fairer sex if I’m being completely honest.” 

“Oh! Sorry!” 

Kiri smiled to himself at her reaction. He didn’t need to look up from what he was doing to know that she was blushing from the embarrassment. That was pretty much how everyone reacted when he told them that he was gay, although he'd never quite understood why. He shook his head quickly as he hummed, “Nothin' to be sorry about.” 

“Well, do you have a boyfriend then?” She tried again, still wanting to chat about something or other it seemed. 

"Uh uh." 

Her voice had a playful little upwards inflection as she asked in a singsong way, "How about a crush?" 

Kiri was silent for a moment as he lined a particularly tricky spot on the tattoo. He smiled before he finally replied, “Nope.” 

“You paused.” 

“…No, I didn’t.” Kiri was quite sure that he didn’t pause. He was just focused on his art was all, just like a good tattooist should be. There was absolutely nothing to read into about it. 

“You did it again! There's totally someone you’re crushing on. I can tell. I have a sixth sense for these things.” She declared with a haughty laugh. 

Kiri simply smiled and shook his head as he continued to tattoo. She seemed to get the hint and drop the subject for the time being so that he could focus. He might not be ready to admit as much out loud but he found that he didn’t quite want to deny the accusation either. Did men his age even get crushes? He didn’t rightly know but he also didn’t feel like it would be the worst thing ever if he did, either. Especially not if said crush had just moved back to town after three years and they'd just exchanged numbers. Not saying that was the case or anything, but it wouldn’t be bad if it was

Once the tattoo was properly lined and shaded, he let the woman take a look at it in the mirror. She squealed happily and thanked him again and again as he wrapped it up for her. He explained the appropriate aftercare and handed her a small bottle of complimentary ointment to use. She thanked him one last time with a quick hug and then headed out of the shop with a hop in her step. 

Kiri always loved the way that clients lit up once they saw their tattoos so he couldn’t help but smile to himself as he cleaned up his station. He disposed of the ink caps, needles, and his gloves then wiped everything down so that his station was spotless once again. Once everything was said and done he looked over at the drawing from earlier and his smile grew. He picked up the nearby roll of tape and then tore off a piece and hung it up where everyone that entered his station would see. A sudden idea struck him and he knew just what to draw in return. He pulled out his sketchbook and immediately got to work with a silly grin stuck on his face. 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Katsuki sat at the front desk in his shop and continued working on a design for a tattoo that he'd been contemplating getting done for a while now. There was always something off about it though so he never liked it enough to finally get it done. This time was no different and he snarled at the page before he shook his head and then crumpled it up into a little ball. He looked up when he heard the bell above the door jingle, followed by the sound of laughter. Needless to say, he was surprised to see both Shoto and Izuku walk in together. 

Shoto immediately saw that they were being glared at and he smiled at the blond. "Hey, we just got back from shopping for supplies for the new shop all morning and-" 

"I don’t remember asking." Katsuki spat with a quick shake of his head. He tapped his pencil on the desk with his irritation and glanced back down at the blank page. He didn’t bother to look up at them as he added, "If it looked like I cared then you really misread the situation." 

Shoto motioned towards his work space in the corner of the room and Izuku trotted over to it without a word. He looked back at Katsuki as he explained, "Izuku wants me to prove that I can do Japanese style tattoos just as well as he can so I'm going to take him up on that. Before you ask, he insisted on paying full price so you do get something out of it." Shoto paused and a smile crept across his face when Katsuki looked up at him. He batted his eyes slowly at the blond as he said, "Besides getting to look at our pretty faces, I mean." 

Katsuki rolled his eyes at him then shook his head and grunted, "Shouldn’t you be working?" 

"Yes, sir. Right away, sir. Be sure to check up on me so you know that I'm living up to your standards, sir!" Shoto replied in a mocking tone. He had a silly little smirk on his face as he winked at the blond afterwards. He turned away and headed over to sit across from Izuku so they could discuss the tattoo he wanted in greater detail. 

It was quiet in the shop, mostly since Kiri was off that day, so Katsuki couldn’t help but overhear their conversation. He tried not to listen and just focus on starting a new sketch but damn if he didn’t find himself sitting there with his pencil upon the paper and not moving at all as they talked. 

"The grand opening is in less than a week, are you excited?" Shoto asked. 

"Of course I am! Nervous too but that’s to be expected I think. From the responses we got on social media people are excited that you'll be there. I think that will draw in an even bigger crowd." Izuku hummed in response. 

"Glad to hear it." Shoto said with a smile. He grabbed a pair of leather gloves out of the box he had and placed them down on the table next to himself.  "So you finally decided that you want a dragon, right?" 

"Yeah that’s one of the traditional Japanese pieces that I actually haven't gotten done yet if you can believe it, heh." Izuku replied with one of his silly, nervous little chuckles. 

"Is there a specific reason for that?" Shoto wondered. 

"W-well... I initially thought that I would get it done by, uh..." Izuku started but then stopped. After a bit of a pause he finally continued, "No, there's no reason. I'm just a silly procrastinator is all." 

"Alright then, Mr. Procrastinator, where would you like it done?" There was a hint of amusement in his voice and it was obvious that he was smiling because of it. 

"How about my foot?" Izuku replied with an upwards inflection as if he was asking himself. 

There was a moment of silence after that and Katsuki just sat there as he waited. The pencil in his hand still hadn't moved an inch. He wasn’t even sure what he was waiting for but he couldn’t seem to bring himself to stop listening. He heard a dull thud of what was most likely a sneaker dropping to the floor as it was discarded. 

After another quiet moment Shoto exclaimed, "Aww, what a cute canvas!"  

Izuku burst into a fit of giggles as he shrieked, "Shocchan! Quit it! That tickles!" 

The sound of the both of them laughing in sync with one another caused Katsuki to squeeze the pencil in his hand so hard that it was an actual miracle when it didn’t snap in half. He started to grind his teeth with his irritation and simply couldn’t fight off the temptation anymore so he turned to glare at the pair. What he saw when he finally did was Shoto using tracing paper to get a rough shape of the top of Izuku's foot for his design. Katsuki frowned to himself since he couldn’t really yell at the pair when they weren't simply goofing off. He held back a growl of disapproval and then turned back towards the paper in front of himself and aggressively started to draw the first thing that came to mind. 

By the time he heard the angry buzz of a tattoo machine turn on Katsuki had to ground himself. He felt like he'd just been in a daze that entire time. If the two of them had talked at all after the tickle thing he didn’t hear a word of it. Heck, he didn’t even know what he'd been drawing that whole time. He glanced down at the paper before himself and then blinked in surprise at the traditional Japanese dragon. He furrowed his brow, then shook his head as he thought about how he might be overdue for a vacation to de-stress a bit. 

It had to have been over an hour later when Katsuki had grown bored of sketching things and they had no walk-in clients waiting so he finally decided to check on the tattoo in progress. he walked over to the pair that had been chatting idly and was greeted with a smile from Izuku. Shoto merely glanced up at him for a second and then continued his work. He was always very focused when he tattooed, and it wasn’t the first time he reacted like that when he had an onlooker. 

Shoto continued to tattoo as he mumbled, "I was kidding about you checking up on me, you know." 

"Shut up. That’s not what I'm doing." Katsuki grunted in response as he admired just how exact and precise each of his lines were. All of the scales looked picture perfect and it was hard to believe that the tattoo was only line work and it already looked so damn good. He was an incredible artist, that was for sure, and it was clear why Katsuki liked to have him work out of his shop. 

"I can't believe I haven't had you do this before. It's already incredible and can only get better from here on out!" Izuku chirped, quite pleased with the way his day had turned out. He had wondered if he would ever be able to get a tattoo from Shoto and he might have even thought about being able to tattoo him once or twice but he never dreamed that either might actually come true.  

Shoto couldn’t help but smile at the compliment. Sure, he was used to people praising his work to the point that it got repetitive which was why he usually just brushed it off but it was different coming from Izuku. It didn’t feel nearly as fake and the genuine warmth in his voice combined with the happiness on his face was almost too much for Shoto to bear. He felt his cheeks darken slightly so he bent his head and pretended to focus harder on the tattoo. 

Katsuki sure as shit couldn't miss something like that. He saw the way Shoto had blushed with that stupid little smile on his face. He noticed that Izuku couldn’t stop smiling either as he watched him. They seemed like they were in their own little world together where he didn't even exist even though he was standing right there. He didn’t exist in his own freaking shop? Where did they get the nerve? God, he really hated them in that moment. 

It wasn’t until the blond stormed off in a huff that Izuku finally tore his gaze away from Shoto. He had no idea how he had managed to be so cute but it was honestly adorable when he blushed. He wondered if there was a way to make him do it again. He turned his head just in time to see Katsuki slip into the back room and slam the door behind himself. He turned his attention back towards Shoto and sighed softly to himself. 

"Give him time. It's not easy for him to act like everything is fine now that you're back in his life all of a sudden." Shoto said softly so that his voice wouldn’t carry. He was sure that he didn’t need to go into detail about how rough their breakup had been for him since Izuku had been through the exact same thing on his end. 

"I get that. I know things aren't perfect but I want them to be as good as they can be between us." Izuku rubbed the back of his neck slowly and frowned to himself. His voice was so tiny when he spoke next that he was sure it would be impossible to hear. "I've really missed him and I just wish I could tell him that. Yet every time I try the words never seem to come out right." 

"You'll be able to one day. These things take time." Shoto assured him. He wiped the excess ink from Izuku's foot and then nodded. "Alright, time for me to start on the color. Ready?" 

"Of course!" Izuku replied with a smile. Truth be told, it was a welcome distraction and he was happy to get the chance to watch Shoto work up close like this. He would make sure to absorb as much of his amazing technique as he possibly could while he watched. 

 

 

Once the tattoo was finished and finally wrapped up, Izuku couldn’t help but praise Shoto for it and admit that he was wrong earlier. He absolutely could tattoo Japanese style and it came out beautiful. Izuku was extremely happy that they'd gotten into their little argument because now he had an amazing new tattoo to stare at in awe. He sat on the table and smiled to himself as Shoto busied himself with cleaning up. 

“I don’t know about you but I’m absolutely famished. Should we order something to eat?” Shoto asked as soon as he finished tidying up his workspace and tossed his rubber gloves into the trash. He turned to look at Izuku as he pondered the question. 

Izuku's expression was conflicted and he shook his head as he mumbled, “I’m not sure Kacchan would like that.” 

“Ordering something is better than going out without him isn’t it? Also, I’m too tired to physically go anywhere and I bet you probably want to stay off of that foot for a bit.” Shoto offered an explanation of his reasoning, even though it wasn’t exactly necessary. He just didn’t want Izuku to have such an uneasy look on his face if there was something he could do about it. 

“That’s true. If we order something that means I don’t have to put my shoe back on and risk irritating the new tattoo.” Izuku agreed with a nod. That did sound like a plus since he was sure that his foot would scream in protest if he tried to even put a sock on in that moment. 

Shoto nodded and hummed in agreement. He helped Izuku to his feet and then assisted him in slowly walking over to the couch in the waiting area. Once he plopped down there Shoto smiled and said, “There’s a decent pizza place that delivers around here. Sometimes Katsuki will treat us to lunch when he's feeling generous and a bit peckish. He always makes Kiri or I order though because they refused him service last time he gave them attitude.” 

Izuku smiled and shook his head. That sounded about right. The blond was so abrasive and simply didn’t care who he rubbed the wrong way. He was always the one that had to order their takeout before he moved as well. He looked up at Shoto and then chirped, “You make a good point. Alright, let’s order.” 

Shoto nodded and then looked down at him and asked, "Is there a specific kind you want?" 

"I'll just split whatever you're having if that’s alright?" Izuku suggested since it would be a little cheaper and he wasn’t that picky when it came to these things. He could eat almost any kind of pizza and he happened to know that Shoto had a pretty sophisticated pallet. 

A little smile played at the edges of Shoto's lips as he thought about the fact that it was too bad the pizza place didn't sell spaghetti so he could suggest that they act out that once scene from Lady and the Tramp. He had to hold back a chuckle as he thought about just how hard Izuku would blush at the mere suggestion. He continued to smile as he hummed, "No complaints from me." 

"Does Kacchan still get that ridiculous barbeque chicken pizza with hot sauce instead of tomato sauce?" Izuku asked with a grossed out little shudder. He'd never understood the blond's taste in pizza and he probably never would. He had learned the hard way never to sneak food off of his plate and it was a lesson that he would not soon forget. 

"Even worse. Now he gets it with extra hot sauce!" Shoto replied with a little laugh before he shuddered too and then shook his head. They both shared a quick laugh and then he took out his phone so that he could look up the number to the pizza place and call to order. After he hung up he nodded at Izuku and told him, "Should be less than thirty minutes. They're usually pretty fast." 

"That's good." Izuku replied and then his gaze shifted to the door that lead to the back of the shop. He wondered what Katsuki could have possibly been doing back there for so long. He couldn’t help but pout to himself as he said, "He hasn’t come back out since earlier. Do you want to go check on him or something?" 

"I'm sure he's just got headphones on and is focused on a drawing or something. He knows that I would have stopped your tattoo and come get him if anyone walked in so he can stay back there as long as he wants." Shoto explained what he thought made the most sense. It wasn’t like the blond hadn't done this kind of thing before. In fact, he was kind of known for his little tantrums, wasn’t he? He always came back as quickly as possible if it involved a customer, though. 

"He really trusts you, huh?" Izuku asked softly as he looked down at the ground. It was more of an observation than something meant to be answered, really. That was not something that was given freely by the blond so it meant a lot. 

"I've worked hard these past few years to gain it, yep." Shoto replied with a smile. He noticed an odd look flash in Izuku's eyes and then joined him on the couch. He reached over to tousle Izuku's messy curls and then assured him, "No worries, he trusts you too." 

Izuku laughed softly and then attempted to pat down his wild hair when Shoto finally removed his hand. When he found that it was pointless he settled for pulling it back into a ponytail instead. Of course that one stray curl that refused to be tamed sprang free and fell right into his face. Izuku blew it out of his face and it simply landed right back where it wanted to be. He nodded as he said softly, "I think he did at one point, yeah, but I can't see how he would anymore." 

Shoto didn’t reply to that since it looked like Izuku didn’t really want to talk about the subject at length. He was sure that he would one day come to see the truth and all he had to do was wait. The pair continued to talk about anything but the subject of what Izuku wanted to avoid for the next twenty something minutes. They only stopped when the bell above the door jingled and someone called out about a delivery. Shoto was quick to jump up and go answer. He greeted the delivery person and then paid and thanked them for being so fast. He walked back over to the couch where Izuku waited and put the pizza boxes onto the table in front of him.  

"I guess you should go get him now." Izuku suggested as he carefully opened up the closest pizza box to himself and peeked inside. He didn’t want to die of hot sauce fumes so he had to be cautious as he tried to figure out which was which. 

Shoto's eyes widened when he thought of something even better. He had an amused smirk on his face as he said, "I've got a better idea. I'll get him to come to us." 

Izuku looked up at him and raised a curious eyebrow at that statement. He was even more confused when he noticed the smirk on his face. "How?" 

"By forcing his hand of course." Shoto all but snickered. He was way too amused by his own idea as he plopped down onto the couch next to Izuku and dug his phone out of his pocket. He connected to the Bluetooth speakers in the shop and quickly picked a song that always got Katsuki riled up then pressed play. He bit down on his lip to keep from laughing as the slow music started to fill the room and he turned it up so that it was obnoxiously loud. 

Wise men say  
Only fools rush in 
But I can't help  
Falling in love with you 
Shall I stay? 
Would it be a sin 
If I can't help  
Falling in love with you? 

Izuku jumped slightly when the entire atmosphere in the room suddenly changed as the romantic music started to play. He felt his cheeks darken even though there wasn’t anything remotely like that going on but the mood still seemed so saccharine. He slouched just slightly in his seat as Shoto hummed along to the song with an amused smirk on his face and his eyes fixed upon the door to the back of the shop. 

The door swung open so violently all of a sudden that it had to have been kicked. Katsuki looked furious as he yelled, "What have I told you about playing this sappy shit in my shop, you half and half bastard! Turn it off before I break your goddamn phone!" 

Shoto smiled and tapped his thumb on his phone, where it had been hovering above the pause button. As soon as the music cut off he motioned towards the table and said, "Food's here." 

"What!" Katsuki was still fuming about him playing something so disgustingly sweet even after being told not to on more than one occasion. In fact, he was fairly certain that he had been pretty fucking clear about not wanting that damn song playing in his shop ever again after the last time. He not only remembered the amusement in Shoto's eyes as he asked him to dance but the way his pulse immediately started to race because of it. The fact that the offer was obviously nothing more than a joke to Shoto but it actually made him feel was too much for him to handle at the time. He'd immediately exploded and then banned the song from being played in his shop ever again. He looked down at the table with the pizza boxes upon it and then up at the two of them on the couch and narrowed his eyes. 

Izuku smiled a crooked smile at him and asked, "Are you hungry, Kacchan?" 

He was, actually, but he wasn’t sure if he wanted to admit it or not. He'd basically hid from them for the last three and a half hours and neither of them seemed to have a thing to say about it. Unless this was all a trap and as soon as he got comfortable with his food they were going to try and talk to him about it. Well, if that happened then he would just kick them out. That’s all there was to it since it was his shop after all. He held back the smirk that played at the edges of his mouth as he stepped over to the couch and sat next to Shoto. 

They all chatted idly as they ate. Izuku went on about how getting his foot tattooed didn’t hurt him as badly as he thought it would. Then he rambled on about how he always had a high tolerance for pain so it was probably never going to be as bad for him as others claimed it to be. He muttered on about once this one healed he might even want to get the other one done. He laughed softly when Shoto shook his head and told him that he would surely run out of room on his body before long. 

Izuku then began to ramble on about what kind of ideas would be good if he was going to start leg sleeves. He continued to ramble until he noticed that Shoto was humming to himself softly. The tune was familiar since they’d just heard it. He glanced over at Katsuki and saw him tense up before he turned towards Shoto slowly with a scowl on his face. 

There wasn’t even a hint of amusement in Katsuki's voice as he asked, “The fuck are you doing?” 

“Humming.” Shoto replied without a care in the world. 

“You know the rule.” Katsuki grumbled. Of course he knew the rule. The damn thing only existed because of him. 

“But I’m not playing the song. Not even singing the lyrics. Just humming a tune.” Shoto reminded him of the loophole he'd found. 

“Hum something else or shut the fuck up.” Katsuki growled. 

“Kacchan obviously doesn’t like the song so maybe there’s another one you’d like to hum instead?” Izuku tried to smooth things over before they got out of hand. 

Shoto pouted and shook his head. “Just because he won’t dance to it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t get to enjoy it.” 

Katsuki choked on the pizza he had in his mouth when he heard Shoto speak. He turned towards him and his wide-eyed expression quickly melted into a furious glare. 

“What?” Izuku had no idea what that was supposed to mean but judging from the way that Katsuki was trying to melt him with his gaze, he did. 

Shoto shrugged as he explained, “A while back I asked him if he-" 

“If you’re done eating you can get out!” Katsuki immediately yelled over him. He didn’t need a reminder about that day and he certainly didn’t need Izuku to know about it. 

Shoto scrunched his face and glanced at him. “The shop doesn’t close until-" 

“I’m closing it early tonight.” Katsuki interrupted him yet again. 

Without thinking, Izuku reached across Shoto to place the back of his hand against Katsuki's forehead. He frowned as he asked, “Are you sick? Do you need anything?” 

Katsuki immediately pulled away from his touch and spat, “The only thing I’m sick of is the two of you. What I need is for you to go away.” 

It was beyond clear that they'd overstayed their welcome. Izuku nodded and turned so that he could close the pizza box on the table. His voice was soft as he said, “We can finish up over at my shop if you want, Shocchan.” Right after Izuku offered, thunder boomed loudly around them and he yelped as he nearly jumped right out of his skin. They could all hear the sudden downpour of rain and both he and Shoto turned towards the windows behind them at the same time to watch the rain pour down relentlessly. 

Katsuki turned and glanced out the window as well before he looked over at Izuku. He could hear him muttering to himself about just how wet he would get if he only had to cross the street. He wondered if there was a plastic bag around somewhere that he could use as a makeshift shoe to keep his foot as dry as possible. 

Katsuki rolled his eyes at just how ridiculous he was. He took another bite of pizza and then stood up and headed over to the door that lead to the back room. He reached for the knob and then paused for a moment as he mumbled, “Just wait until it fucking passes, then leave.” 

"Thanks, Kacchan." He watched the blond snort and then walk into the back and slam the door shut behind himself. Izuku looked down to where his hands were folded in his lap. He blinked slowly as he muttered, "He really hasn’t changed at all, has he?" 

"You seem disappointed." Shoto observed. 

"I'm not!" Izuku shrieked as he shook his head quickly. He frowned to himself and traced the outline of the tattoo on the back of his left hand as he said, "I just remember how he could hold a grudge forever. I guess I'm lucky that he even talks to me at all. I doubt he'll ever actually forgive me for leaving like I did." 

"I have to say that I'm pretty sure you're overthinking it." Shoto replied softly. He had no idea how Izuku had missed the light that had been in Katsuki's eyes since he'd been back. Although he supposed it could be because he spent so much time avoiding looking at him that he never actually saw it. They chatted for a few more minutes before he turned and looked out the window to see that the quick storm had already let up. He turned back towards Izuku and said, "Come on, I'll walk you to your shop before I leave." 

 

Katsuki stepped away from the door to the backroom that he'd been leaning against since he slammed it shut. He didn’t mean to eavesdrop on that last bit of conversation before they left, it just sort of happened. When he heard the bell jingle and then the door to the shop close, he opened the door he stood in front of and looked around. Suddenly the shop felt so dull and lifeless but that was to be expected with no one else around at the moment. 

He headed over to the front door, careful not to stand anywhere that he would be seen if either of them looked back, and watched as Shoto helped Izuku across the street. Once they stood outside of Izuku's shop, Shoto let go of him and took his hands in his. He had an intense look in his eyes and he nodded as he said something to Izuku. 

Katsuki watched the way that Izuku's cheeks darkened and he smiled at him. His eyes widened and something in his chest tightened when he saw Shoto lean his head down so that his face was close to Izuku's. Each second that passed with their faces so close together was absolute torture. He let out a breath he didn’t realize he'd been holding when Shoto suddenly reached around to pull the hair tie out of Izuku's hair and let his wild curls bounce freely. He watched Izuku smile and then shake his head so that his curls slapped him in the face, which made Shoto throw his head back and laugh. Izuku grinned and then ran his fingers through his hair to try and tidy it a bit. 

Katsuki had quite a vivid memory of just how soft those curls had been in his own hands, whether he was running his fingers through them gently or grabbing a fistful of them passionately. He balled his hands into fists as he continued to watch the pair interact. Izuku had a worried look on his face as he must have been waiting for an answer to a question he asked. He stretched out one long, green curl to its max while he waited. 

He saw that Izuku didn’t have to wait long for a response as Shoto immediately shook his head and then ran his fingers through his green curls lazily. He took Izuku's hand that had been stretching out the curl and brought it to his lips, where he kissed it quickly. The stab in Katsuki's gut when he saw the way that Izuku smiled so brightly and nodded was nearly enough to cause him to put his fist through the glass. 

Shoto returned his smile as he let go of Izuku's hand and it fell away from his face. He tousled Izuku's wild hair and then waved goodbye before he finally walked away. Katsuki saw Izuku smile shyly as he stood outside of his shop and held the hand that Shoto had just kissed against his chest. He turned around when the door to his shop opened and then smiled at Denki. Katsuki watched as Izuku motioned towards his foot and then shrugged his shoulders as he laughed. Denki shook his head at him before he walked over to him and pulled his arm across his shoulders. The pair slowly made their way into the shop and finally disappeared from sight. 

Katsuki finally walked away from the door with a little huff. He didn’t know what the hell it was about the two of them that they could get underneath his skin so easily but it was nuts. It probably was a good idea to close up shop early at this point so he could go home and relax. Just as he finally decided that sounded like a pretty good plan, the bell above the door jingled and a couple walked in holding hands. They looked around the shop quickly and then smiled when they spotted Katsuki. 

"Hey! Are you guys open?" Asked a short man with short, dark green hair. 

Katsuki immediately noticed the color and it sent a weird pang through his chest. He had to hold back an annoyed groan as he put on the sincerest smile that he could manage and said, "We're just about to close up but I can make you an appointment for tomorrow if you want." 

"Oh, no that's alright. We'll head to a different shop then." Replied the taller man with them medium length, white hair. 

The shorter man pouted and then whined, "But babe they're supposed to specialize in American Traditional here. I want to get it done here."  

"It can't be helped if they're not open, hon." Replied the taller man. He pat the other on the head and then took his hand as he turned to head out of the shop. 

There was something about the way the short man's eyes shined with sadness that made Katsuki think of how Izuku had looked on the day he left town three years ago. It was so familiar and he hated the sight of it. He knew that he should really encourage them to leave, however, he also knew that once his specialty was mentioned like that he just wouldn’t be able to let them walk away. He ignored the voice in his head that mocked him as he asked through gritted teeth, "What exactly are you two looking to get?" 

They stopped and turned towards him. The taller man replied, "Oh, well, we want matching black and gray roses on the backs of our hands. Simple yet meaningful to us." 

Katsuki nodded as he thought about it. He could tattoo traditional roses in his sleep, especially ones that didn't even require any color. This was so up his alley that he would be an absolute fool to send them away. Even better would be if they liked one of the flash designs he had available and he didn’t have to actually draw anything up from scratch. He motioned for the pair to follow him over to the wall where the different flash designs that he and Kiri had come up with were framed. He pointed out a sheet that had six different traditional rose designs and asked, "Would any of these designs be what you're interested in?" 

The pair looked at the six options for a mere second before they both nodded in agreement and said, "Number three." 

Katsuki nodded as well then replied, "I can get you both done in about 90 minutes with that one there." 

"Really!" The shorter man chirped with a smile that lit up his whole face. 

Part of Katsuki hated that smile of his for feeling so warm and familiar. The other part of him was a business man and knew that he could get both tats finished even faster if he didn't dawdle. He nodded and then motioned towards the couch behind them. "Have a seat while I draw the stencils real quick. There are drinks in the mini fridge but they're not free." 

Just as he knew would happen, Katsuki managed to knock out both tattoos in what felt like the blink of an eye. Roses were one of the first things he'd mastered in his preferred style and he found them easy as pie to complete. The couple thanked him again and again before they complimented him on both his speed and beautiful artwork. They tipped him generously since he'd stayed open later just for them and then just like that they were gone. Katsuki cleaned up his workspace in silence and his mind wandered.  

He couldn’t help but think back to earlier and how he could've handled things differently. He didn’t have to be such an ass all the time, but sometimes he reacted before he had a chance to think. He thought about the little smile that Izuku had on his face as he talked to Shoto. He thought about how Shoto ran his fingers through those soft, green curls of his. He removed his black, rubber gloves and tossed them into the nearby trash can and then let his head fall onto the desk he sat at with a loud thud. He had no idea what the heck was going on inside himself anymore. They way the both of them made him feel was the most confusing thing he'd ever had to deal with in his life. The two of them were going to be the death of him at this rate and that was the only thing he could be absolutely sure of at this point. 

 

* 

 

The grand opening of Electric Smiles Tattoo II had come and gone in the blink of an eye. Many people stopped by to check the place out and business was just as good as it was at their main shop. Izuku and Denki were both pretty much booked with clients now and they were just as busy as ever. They'd already started their search for other artists that they could bring in to help ease their burdens a bit. Neither of them could be any happier about the warm welcome home they'd received. 

It was much earlier than Denki would have liked when he walked into the shop across the street from his own a week after their grand opening. Kiri had sent him a message and said he was booked all day long but he really wanted to give him something so if he could come over right before the shop opened that would be great. Denki wondered if he should’ve acted like he hadn’t gotten the message as he looked around for the redhead. He was much too tired for social interaction at this hour if he was being completely honest with himself. 

He spotted Kiri in the corner of the room, hyper focused on whatever was on the table in front of him. Okay maybe it was worth getting up so stupidly early just to see the way he had his little tongue stuck out of his mouth as he nibbled on it gently while he focused. He noticed that he had on a black, zip up hoodie with red accents that really suited him. Denki couldn’t help but smile as he shook his head. He somehow felt more awake than he had a moment ago as he held his fist in front of his mouth and cleared his throat loudly. 

Kiri looked startled for a moment as he looked around. When he finally saw Denki a warm smile spread across his face. He quickly stood up and trotted over to him. He offered Denki the paper that he had been staring at so intensely and said, "Hey, Denki. Sorry this took so long but it's finally complete so here you go!"  

Denki's eyes were locked on Kiri's proud smile as he took the paper that he was offered. He glanced down at it and his eyes nearly popped right out of his skull in surprise. Before him was not a sketch at all, but a fully colored and shaded, realistic yellow and black snake. Denki immediately noticed the fact that its pupil was shaped like a lightning bolt, which he couldn’t explain how much he loved even if he had a million years. He let his eyes travel over the beautiful drawing in disbelief. It looked so lifelike that he was sure it would bite him any second now. Every single scale looked shiny and like he would be able to feel them if he ran his fingers over the page. The fangs looked like they were razor sharp and could easily slice through his flesh. He shook his head slowly as his eyes continued to look over the drawing, greedy to take in every last inch of the wondrous sight. 

 “This is- I mean…” Denki was positively floored and at a complete loss for words. He knew that since Kiri had put so much effort into the drawing that he absolutely should be compensated for his work. His eyes were glued to the picture as he mumbled, “It's beautiful. How much do you want for it?” 

“That’s not how a gift works, silly.” Kiri laughed as he rubbed the back of his head slowly. He wouldn't feel right taking money for something like that. Sure he had worked hard on it but that was just because he really wanted Denki to like it. 

Denki glanced up at him and blinked slowly. “But you put so much time and effort into this. You deserve to be paid for your efforts.” 

“Well if you’ll just smile and tell me you like it then I’ll consider that payment enough.” Kiri replied without missing a beat. Honestly that sounded a lot better than any form of monetary payment did.  

Denki gasped at his words. He couldn’t help but exclaim, “Like it? I freaking love it!” 

Blush dusted Kiri's cheeks as he smiled from ear to ear and said, “I’m glad.” 

Denki looked back down at the beautiful, lifelike creature on the page that he held in his hands. There was no way he could just leave after this. Not after he saw the level of his talent firsthand. He didn’t glance up from the drawing as he said, “Hey, Kirishima.” 

“Kiri.” He quickly corrected. His heart raced when he realized that Denki had just used his name for the first time. How he made it sound so sweet, Kiri had no idea, but he was dying to hear him say it again. 

“Kiri," Denki repeated and then paused for a second. He glanced up from the drawing to look at the redhead as he asked, "would you maybe want to give me my next tattoo?” 

“What!” Kiri shrieked in surprise. He didn’t know what he'd expected Denki to say next but it certainly wasn’t that. If his heart hadn’t already been pounding from hearing his name upon the blond's lips that would have set it off for sure. 

Denki looked away from him and back at the drawing that he held. He nodded slowly as he said, “If you’re booked or whatever I understand-”  

“I’m not!" Kiri cut him off as he shook his hands and head at the same time. He felt his cheeks start to burn as he asked, "But you really, I mean, you want my art tattooed on you?” 

“Well, yeah, this shit is incredible. It’d be an honor to wear something like it on my skin.” Denki nodded as he ran his fingers over the drawing gently. Wow, it really looked like he would've been able to feel the scales. It was absolutely incredible that he couldn’t. 

“Oh my god.” Kiri's whole face was red now and there wasn’t a single thing he could do about it. He was happy and embarrassed and flattered and even a little bit scared. He had no idea how he was supposed to settle on just one emotion in that moment. 

Denki looked up at him again and saw the mixed emotions on his face. He figured there was one way that most people were swayed so he'd give it a try. “I’ll pay you double your going rate.” 

Kiri's eyes widened when he heard that and his head seemed to clear a bit. He blinked a dozen times before he finally looked at Denki and exclaimed, “You don’t have to do that!” 

Denki looked down at his phone when an alarm sounded. It was his reminder that he had to be back at the shop. He sighed to himself at the idea that this wouldn’t get resolved then and there. “Listen I gotta go. Give it some thought and let me know what you decide, alright?” 

"A-alright." 

"Thank you for the gift. It's probably the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me." Denki smiled at him and then turned and headed out of the shop. 

Kiri wasn't exactly sure what he'd meant by that since all he did was draw something that he thought Denki would like. If no one had ever been that considerate to him before then he felt just a tad bit sympathetic on his behalf. Maybe he could do something else for him too? Like give him a tattoo since he wanted one from him so badly? Kiri looked down at his trembling hands. Just the thought of getting to touch Denki's skin seemed to give him a level of anxiety that caused his hands to shake. He wouldn’t be able to hold a tattoo machine steady like that. There was absolutely no way he could agree just to give him a shaky tattoo. So the one thing that Denki wanted was the one thing Kiri might never be able to give if he couldn’t get control of himself. How was that for irony? Kiri didn’t care for it. He balled his hands into fists and then shoved them into the pockets of his hoodie and frowned to himself. 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

It had been just over a week since Denki had asked Kiri about the tattoo and they hadn't seen each other since. That wasn’t so shocking as they both had businesses to run and so they didn’t have very much free time to spare. Kiri really did want to give him a tattoo, that much he was sure of. He just needed to find a way that he could relax around him or it wouldn’t happen. A thought had been plaguing the back of Kiri's mind lately and he'd been way too nervous to bring the subject up to Denki. For some reason he felt like today would be the perfect day so he picked up his phone and called the blond. 

The phone rang until it went to voicemail and Kiri hung up before he had to leave a message. He pouted to himself as he considered his options. He could wait for Denki to return his call or he could just go over to the shop across the street and see him in person. He glanced at the clock and saw that it was lunch time so the odds that Denki was in the middle of a tattoo were slim to none. He looked around the shop and saw both Shoto and Katsuki busy with the tattoos they were working on. 

He saw that there were no other customers waiting for someone so he headed over to Katsuki and let him know that he was stepping out for a minute. He was met with a grunt of acknowledgement and that was it. He complimented them both on their tattoo's progress before he left. He headed over to the shop across the street and walked in before he lost his nerve. He admired the gorgeous mural that depicted a thunderstorm over some mountains for a moment before he finally tore his gaze away from it and his eyes landed on the blond in the corner of the room. 

Denki was sitting at his desk with headphones on and bobbing his head to the music that he was listening to as he focused on drawing something. He had to hold back a smile when he saw the adorable way that Denki nibbled on his bottom lip and then nodded at his drawing. He glanced up at the wall next to Denki and saw the snake that he'd drawn him framed and hanging there. Kiri had to stop himself from gasping out loud as a happy blush filled his cheeks. He could hardly believe that his silly drawing was worth all of that. He couldn’t help but smile to himself at the sight. 

Kiri finally looked away from that corner of the room when someone said his name and caught his attention. He turned around and smiled when he saw Izuku waving at him from his workstation. He had a tattoo machine in one hand a client lying on their stomach on the table before him. Kiri didn't want to disturb his process so he motioned towards himself and then to Denki to show that he was there to talk to him. Izuku smiled and then nodded and resumed the tattoo he was working on. 

Kiri trotted over to Denki and somehow managed to wipe the silly grin off of his face before he finally got to him. He tapped the blond on the shoulder and waited for him to turn around. Once he recognized him, Denki removed his headphones and greeted him. Kiri quickly exchanged pleasantries with him and they talked idly for a moment. It was when there was a pause in the conversation and Kiri looked over at the drawing on the wall again as a contemplative look spread across Denki's face. 

Denki looked from the framed picture to the redhead and then asked, "Did you give the idea any thought? Have you made a decision?" 

Kiri's voice was soft as nervousness crept up upon him again and he asked, "Can I try something?" 

"Um... maybe?" Denki wasn’t sure what that meant and it didn’t seem wise to just agree to it with no other information. 

"I just want to touch you if that's alright." Kiri explained. 

"I- what?" Denki was pretty sure that his voice cracked slightly but who could blame him? It wasn’t exactly the kind of thing one heard every single day, especially not from someone so very attractive. 

Kiri gasped and then shook his head quickly. "Nothing weird, I promise!" 

"O-ok?" 

Kiri had a worried look on his face as he stretched his arm out towards the blond. He reached to place his hand upon Denki's shoulder but stopped just short of actually touching him. He watched the way his hand trembled and nearly forgot that Denki was there too. It wasn’t until the blond moved to look at his hand that he finally snapped out of his daze. He let his hand fall to his side and then sighed in defeat. He shook his head slowly as he explained, "I can't do it, I'm sorry. I'm too nervous about it and can't keep my hand steady enough to hold a tattoo machine properly." 

A disappointed look spread across Denki's face, accompanied by a frown. "Nervous? But you tattoo people every day." 

"Y-yeah but not people like you," Kiri muttered mostly to himself. He gasped when he saw a weird look on Denki's face and realized what he'd just said. "No! I mean! Other established tattooists! Yeah! You've got a shop and a style all your own and you will notice even the tiniest mistake I make! That’s a lot more pressure than I'm used to!" Kiri was actually pretty impressed by his own argument since he almost believed it himself for a second. 

"Oh." Denki wouldn’t have been able to hide the disappointment in his voice if he tried. He looked away from him, tucked his hair behind his left ear, revealed the shiny piercings he had there, and then nodded as he mumbled, "I understand. I shouldn’t have put you on the spot like that in the first place." 

Kiri's chest hurt at the sight of Denki with a frown on his face. It didn’t suit him at all and he felt like the worst person in the world for being the cause of it. He suddenly felt like he owed him a better explanation than the one he offered. He reached up so that he could rub the back of his neck slowly as he mumbled, "That’s not-" 

"You don’t have to say anything else." Denki was quick to cut him off. He'd gotten his answer and really didn’t need to beat the dead horse. 

"But-" 

Denki shook his head. He cursed his stupid cheeks for burning like they did and spun around in his chair so that he wasn't facing the redhead anymore. He busied himself by fiddling with random objects as he mumbled, "Really, I get it." 

"Spend time with me!" Kiri yelled before the blond could interrupt him again. 

Denki turned towards him slowly and couldn’t do anything but blink at him. There was no hint of question in his voice as he replied flatly, "What." 

"Well, the way I see it is if we spend some time together then I'll come to see you as a friend above anything else. Once that happens I won't be so nervous about tattooing you." Kiri explained. He watched the surprised look on Denki's face morph into something else that he couldn’t quite read. He quickly added, "Only if you want to of course! You can obviously say no since this is more than a little bit unconventional. I know it's weird but you saw for yourself how I couldn’t keep my hand steady earlier. You just seemed to have your heart set on the tattoo so I figured tha-" 

"Alright." 

"Huh?" 

Denki glanced at him and then quickly looked away. He had no idea what on earth had possessed him to agree but now that he had he realized that he didn’t want to take it back. Maybe he was changing as a person, who knew? He continued to avoid looking at the redhead as he repeated, "I said ok. We can spend some time together if you think it'll help you relax around me." 

"Oh!" Kiri accidentally yelled. He didn’t mean to be so loud but he was just surprised since he really didn’t think that Denki would go for the idea. He was suddenly really embarrassed about the whole thing. His cheeks burned with blush and he quickly turned so that the blond wouldn’t see. He cleared his throat quickly then tried to keep his voice from cracking as he muttered, "G-great." 

"Maybe we should sort of ease into it with a group hang out?" Denki suggested when he realized that he might not be up for jumping into spending time alone with the redhead so suddenly. It was actually more for his own sake but he liked how it sounded like it was for Kiri since it made him seem like a caring person and all that instead of a scaredy cat. 

Kiri nodded as he gave the idea some thought. The more he did, the more he realized that it sounded like a good plan. "Hey, that’s not a bad idea. I'm sure Shoto would love to do something or other and I bet Izuku would be game too since he was gone for so long and he probably misses the sights."  

Denki nibbled on the metal studs in his bottom lip for a second before he nodded as well. "I'll bring Izuku by your shop after we close and we can propose the idea to them then, sound good?" 

"Sounds perfect!" Kiri chirped enthusiastically. As much as he didn’t want to leave, it was his lunch break and he did need to go find something to eat before it was over. He offered to bring something back for Denki but the blond politely declined his offer. The pair said their goodbyes and then he headed out of the shop as he waved goodbye to Izuku. 

 

 

It was finally the end of the day and Katsuki could not believe that Izuku and Denki had just stepped foot into his shop. He was ready to go home, not deal with them and their stupid faces. Why were there suddenly so many people in his damn shop all the damn time? He should start charging rent or some shit if none of them were there to get tattoos. He glared at Kiri when he cleared his throat loudly to get everyone's attention. 

"Now that we're all here, Denki and I were talking and we thought it would be a pretty cool idea if the five of us were to hang out sometime." Kiri explained why the group was suddenly gathered. He heard a few intrigued sounds from the others as they thought about the idea, which was a good sign indeed. 

"It could be a fun sort of welcome back and congrats on the new shop type of thing, I guess." Denki added with a shrug. 

"Yeah!" Kiri agreed. 

"I caught wind of a wine tasting that'll be happening this weekend if anyone is interested in something like that." Shoto suggested the first idea that came to mind. He rather liked the idea of spending time with everyone outside of a tattoo shop and had actually wanted to do so for a while. He was happy that someone had finally suggested it so he didn’t have to. 

Katsuki snorted and rolled his eyes. He crossed his arms over his chest and then grumbled, "If I wanted to get buzzed it would not be with a bunch of rich snobs that think they're classy." 

"You don’t drink the wine at a tasting anyway. There is no ‘getting buzzed’ at the event." Shoto explained as he made quotations in the air. 

"Even less of a reason to go. Fucking count me out." Katsuki spat with a disgusted look on his face. 

“What about paintball?” Denki suggested. He wouldn’t mind shooting these guys a few dozen times if he was being completely honest with himself. The idea sounded rather therapeutic. 

“I think something involving dinner rather than violence might be better.” Shoto quickly replied as a little smile spread across his face. 

A sudden idea struck Kiri and he turned toward his grumpy business partner. “Hey, Katsubro, remember that new restaurant slash arcade that opened up a few months back?”  

Katsuki's eye twitched at the nickname but he was too tired from a long day of work to bother getting on his case about it. He shook his head as he sighed, “What of it?” 

“Well it has games, food, and they even serve alcoholic drinks.” Kiri simultaneously reminded him and explained it to the others. 

“Ohhh. That sounds like a fun idea, Kiri!” Izuku chirped excitedly. 

Shoto nodded as he considered it. He couldn’t think of any downside to the suggestion. He hummed in approval and looked at each of them in turn as he said, “Sounds like it has something for everyone to enjoy. Should we go Saturday evening after the shops close?” 

“Can’t say I’ve got anything better to do.” Denki replied in his usual too cool manner. He hoped that his real feelings on the matter weren't as transparent as they felt. He glanced at the happy redhead next to him out of the corner of his eye and something in his chest tightened. 

“Me either!” Kiri agreed with a smile. 

Izuku smiled at the both of them and then turned towards the frowning blond that looked like he had just sucked on a lemon. He knew that face meant he was still on the fence about a decision. He also knew that meant that he just needed a push in the right direction. “You'll come too, right Kacchan?” 

Katsuki looked over at him and then narrowed his eyes. He was sure that the frown on his face made the point that he was serious as he replied, “Depends. Who's buying?” 

“Is it not a pay for yourself situation?” Izuku asked with a slight tilt of his head. Was he the only one that had assumed it was since it wasn’t a date or anything? He quickly looked around at the others and found they all seemed to have the same expression on their faces as he did. Evidently this was just Katsuki being difficult then. 

“Not if you want me to come, it isn't.” Katsuki immediately snapped. He saw no reason that he should have to spend his hard-earned money on something as stupid as spending time with these jerks. 

“Oh.” Izuku would’ve offered to pay if he didn’t think that it would be weird. In the end, he simply couldn’t bring himself to do so. He avoided looking at the blond as he nibbled on his bottom lip. 

“Well it was my idea so I guess it’s my treat?” Kiri asked himself out loud. It made some sense in his head at least so he was OK with it. 

"Works for me." Katsuki shrugged as if it really didn’t bother him either way. With that figured out he walked away from the group and started to pack his things so he could finally head home and crash. Everyone else seemed to take the hint, thank god, and they all left except for Kiri. The redhead hummed softly to himself as he helped clean up the shop for the night. Katsuki didn’t have the energy to ask him about it so he didn’t. When they were finished they locked up and parted ways for the night. 

 

  

Saturday evening arrived faster than any of them could've expected and suddenly they'd all gathered at Katsuki's shop once again. Yet again the blond had to wonder to himself why the hell he didn’t charge them all rent with the way they hung around all the damn time. He looked everyone over quickly and then shook his head at the sight of them. It was certainly a good thing that the place was casual because they were all dressed as the definition of the word. 

Izuku, Katsuki, and Kiri all wore tank tops in various colors so they could show off their tats and advertise their shops. Denki wore a casual band tee, and Shoto had on his usual t-shirt and short sleeved button up shirt combo. They looked like they could've been in an edgy band or some shit with their tats and piercings on display like they were. He rolled his eyes and pushed the thought out of his head then dug his keys out of his pocket. 

Katsuki dangled his keys in the air so that they jingled loudly and got everyone's attentions as he asked, "Are we going or what?" 

Everyone quickly filed out of the shop with him trailing behind them so he could lock it behind himself. He didn’t know how it suddenly turned into him driving them all to the restaurant but he really didn’t care all that much. It was a free meal and entertainment so he wasn’t about to complain. 

They arrived at the restaurant and immediately noticed just how loud it was. Though none of them were surprised since the arcade part wasn’t separated from the dining area by anything but the reception desk. The atmosphere was laced with the buzz of excitement and they could already feel that it was quite contagious. Shoto was quick to suggest that they eat before they got lost in the fun side of things. Everyone seemed to agree since they were all pretty hungry. 

They were seated at a circular booth and handed menus by a waiter with a kind smile. They thanked him and then perused their options when he left. The food was interesting and all but Shoto quickly found himself turning to the back page of the menu that had a list of beverages. His eyes scanned the page until he saw what he wanted. He smiled to himself and then hummed, "Looks like they've got a special on sake tonight." 

"Well that’s a sign if ever I heard one! Order it!" Izuku chirped in response.  

Denki made a face as he looked at his green haired friend with concern in his eyes. "You sure about that, Izu? You know how you get when you dr-" 

"I'm sure!" Izuku cut him off with a grin. He was ready to cut loose a bit tonight. 

When the waiter returned, the group ordered their food and the accompanying drinks to go with. They chatted among themselves until their food was delivered and then they dug right in. Shoto poured the sake into everyone's cups and then smiled at them with a nod, which served as a silent toast. Everyone got the hint and raised their cups then nodded as well. They all drank the contents of their cup and Shoto filled them all up once again. 

Once they were on their third bottle of the stuff, Izuku, Denki, and Katsuki all had alcohol induced blush in their cheeks. Shoto had slowed down his consumption of the stuff and Kiri had even less than him so they simply sat there and smiled at their friends looking rather adorable. Everyone watched Izuku reach to grab the bottle so he could refill all of the empty cups on the table. 

"You'd better check yourself, Deku. You never could keep up with me when it came to drinking." Katsuki said haughtily as he watched Izuku make a face when he swallowed a large sip of his drink. 

"Maybe I'm not the same person I used to be." Izuku quickly retorted and then narrowed his eyes at the challenge. Izuku snorted at him before he downed the rest of his sake. He motioned to his cup for someone to fill it once again, never taking his eyes off of the blond. 

An amused smirk played at the edges of Katsuki's lips. He picked up his cup and brought it to his mouth then paused as he said, "It's your funeral."  

Kiri's gaze flicked from Izuku to Denki when the blond leaned into his personal space. He'd been doing that for the last twenty minutes at least, always with a silly little smile on his face. He never said a word and only continued to smile as he leaned away again. Kiri couldn’t get over how adorable the blush in his cheeks was, even if it was also the cause of him doing something so embarrassing. He was just about to smile back at the blond when he was startled by a loud voice. 

"I AM THE ABSOLUTE GREATEST AND CAN BEAT ANYONE AT ANY GAME HERE!" Izuku declared at the top of his lungs as he jumped to his feet. 

"The hell you could!" Katsuki immediately yelled right back the moment before he was on his feet as well. 

The pair glared at one another for a moment as if trying to figure out if the other was serious. The second they narrowed their eyes at each other, they knew that the challenge was accepted. They shoved at one another as they tried to get out of the booth at the same time so they could run over to the arcade games and pick one to use for their battle. 

Shoto couldn’t help but sigh happily as he continued to watch Izuku and Katsuki interact. They both shouted and tried to shove one another so they messed up as they played a silly game, which also got them both yelling about the other cheating. It was an absolute riot. He leaned his elbow on the table and then rested his chin on his hand as he asked, "Aren't they the cutest things you’ve ever seen?" 

"Not in the slightest." Denki replied bluntly without a care in the world right before he took another sip of his sake. He had seen much cuter things in his life than a pair of adults bickering over arcade games. 

Shoto shook his head at that response and then focused on the pair at the table with him. He took a quick sip of his sake before he eyed them and asked, "So what prompted this little trip?" 

Kiri jumped at the question. His voice cracked slightly as he yelped, "We figured that everyone might want to spend some time together is all! Nothing weird!" 

"Clearly not. What could be considered weird about your reaction just now?" Shoto asked sarcastically. Though he figured that it didn’t exactly matter in the end. It was a fun time so far and he wanted that to continue. He glanced over at the pair still battling it out and couldn’t help but smile once more. He politely excused himself from the table and made his way over to them to challenge the winner to a game.  

"Not drinking?" Denki asked as he eyed the redhead and his very full cup. He'd noticed that Kiri had only drank his first cup of sake and it had been sitting there full ever since. 

"I am. Just not as much as everyone else." Kiri replied with a nod. After all someone had to drive them back, right? No one else seemed to care about that so it made sense that he did this time. He could always lose himself in a drink the next time they all went somewhere since that was only fair. 

Denki closed his eyes and took another sip of his drink. He pulled the cup away from his lips and then muttered, "A shame." 

"Why's that?" Kiri had to ask. 

"I'd like to know how you would act if you let loose a bit." Denki admitted, his inhibitions and filter slowly leaving him as the alcohol in his system started to work its magic. 

Kiri shrugged and shook his head. "I wouldn’t act any differently." 

"Oh yeah?" Denki asked as he leaned into Kiri's personal space for the millionth time. He looked up at him and blinked slowly, mostly because his eyelids were heavier than normal. He looked into Kiri's crimson eyes as he asked softly, "Is there nothing you would do right now if your inhibitions were compromised even in the slightest bit?" 

Kiri looked down at his blush dusted cheeks and half lidded eyes. The sight was so lovely that he didn’t even want to blink because that was a moment he would miss and he wanted to take in every possible second of it. His gaze fell to Denki's lips when his tongue crept out of his mouth, slid along them and over the metal studs that were there, and then slipped back into his mouth slowly. Kiri gulped and shook his head. His eyes had started to burn since he still wouldn’t let himself blink as he mumbled, "C-can't think of anything, no." 

Denki watched as Kiri squeezed his eyes shut and then rubbed them with his left hand. He opened them and blinked rapidly for a moment. Denki saw an opportunity and he took it. He grabbed Kiri's right hand and brought it to his cheek and then smiled at just how warm it was against his skin. 

Kiri's eyes were impossibly wide as he turned towards the blond slowly. He knew what was happening and that there was no way he could be dreaming but it absolutely did not feel real. The sweet little smile on Denki's face as he looked up at him caused an amount of warmth to fill his chest like he'd never felt before. He knew then and there that there was absolutely nothing he wouldn’t do for the blond when he smiled at him like that

"Kiri~" 

"Y-yes?" The combination of those beautiful, bedroom eyes and his voice being overly sultry was way too much for Kiri at the moment and he had no idea how he managed to reply at all. His heart skipped a beat and he felt blush start to creep its way into his cheeks. 

Denki squeezed the hand that he held against his cheek and continued to smile warmly at him as he said, "You're touching me and you're not trembling." 

"That-! I mean this! It doesn’t count!" Kiri shrieked as he pulled his hand away from Denki. He shook his head then added, "I didn’t initiate the contact. Plus there's alcohol in my system that won't be there if I'm going to tattoo. Everyone knows that alcohol makes one braver than they'd normally be, not to mention-" 

Denki simply nodded slowly as the redhead continued to ramble on about something or other. He was talking too fast about too many things for him to keep up with at the moment but he liked the sound of his voice so it wasn’t all bad. When Kiri finally paused to take a breath Denki's eyes fell shut and he whispered, "You smell good. I'm sleepy." 

As soon as Kiri turned towards him to ask what the heck he was talking about, Denki fell against his chest. He gasped and immediately moved to pull him away but stopped when the blond slid his arms around his waist and held him tightly in protest. Kiri's voice was barely above a whisper and he could feel the tips of his ears burning with blush as he asked, "Denki? What are you doing?" 

Denki removed his right hand from around Kiri's waist and placed it flat against his hard chest instead. His eyes remained closed as he smiled and hummed, "Your heart is racing." 

"I-I..." Kiri had absolutely no idea what to say. Of course it was! 

Denki nuzzled his chest and then took a deep breath before he exhaled it slowly. He let his hand fall back down so that he could slide it around Kiri's waist again as he mumbled, "Mm. Just five more minutesss..." 

"Five-! What are you-" Kiri stopped when Denki squeezed him tighter. 

Kiri couldn’t be sure just how long it had been since Denki had clung to him like that but if he had to guess he would probably say around twenty minutes had passed. He found that the more time that went by, the more ok he became with the whole situation. Sure, it was embarrassing but Denki kept mumbling incoherent things in his sleep and it was the cutest thing Kiri had ever seen in his life. He had to muster up all of his self-control not to wrap his arms around him and rub his back or pet his hair. He glanced up from the blond when he heard the others finally return. 

Shoto scooted into the booth first, followed closely by Izuku, and finally Katsuki. Judging by the frown on his face, Kiri had to assume that the blond hadn't won by a landslide as he'd hoped he would. He smiled to himself since he thought that was good for him. 

"I AM THE CHAMPION! POUR ME ANOTHER!" Izuku yelled enthusiastically as he slammed his fists on the table and then motioned towards the bottle of sake that was just out of his reach. 

"Stop screaming, idiot." Katsuki grumbled a second later. 

Shoto had to stifle a laugh before he looked over at the waiters that were glaring daggers at them all of a sudden. He gave them his best apologetic smile and then turned towards Izuku. He put his hands on either side of his freckled face and waited for him to look into his eyes before he said, "Izuku, sweetie, it's time to calm down. You've had enough for the night." 

Izuku blinked at him as if he had no recollection of who he was or why he was even talking to him. Once recognition finally set in, a goofy smile spread across his face. He leaned into Shoto's touch and mumbled, "You're pretty." 

Shoto couldn’t hold back his laugh that time. He smiled as he shook his head and chuckled to himself. He bopped Izuku on the nose before he chirped, "You too." 

"I'm nowhere near drunk enough to listen to this shit." Katsuki grumbled as he reached for the bottle to pour himself another drink. 

Izuku gasped and then pulled away from Shoto so he could try and grab the bottle that Katsuki had. He missed it by a long shot when the blond pulled it away. Izuku furrowed his brow as he yelled, "Share!" 

"Fat chance." Katsuki turned away from him and took a swig straight from the bottle. 

"If you think that'll stop me you've got another thing coming!" Izuku declared as he lunged at the blond, fully intent on getting the sake out of his mouth by any means necessary. He stopped short and made a choked noise all of a sudden. Izuku turned around to look over his shoulder just to see that Shoto had a grip on the collar of his shirt and a little smile on his face. 

Shoto's smile never wavered as he said, "That's enough Izuku. Let's go, I'm taking you home. Actually, I don’t know where you live now so I guess I'll have to take you back to your shop until you sober up." 

Izuku pouted and then whined loudly, "I don’t wanna go! I want that sake!" 

"You can't have it." Shoto shook his head. 

"That's no fair! I can be unfair too! I'm breaking up with every single person at this table!" Izuku declared much louder than necessary. There was the distinct sound of Katsuki snorting in response but Izuku didn’t bother to look at him. 

Shoto pat his back a few times before he finally replied, "Next time you're dating four other people at the same time you might want to let them know about it before you break up with them. Otherwise it just doesn’t have the same impact." 

"What?" Izuku asked as he blinked slowly before he scrunched his face. The threat of sleep was finally upon him and he found that Shoto wasn’t making any sense anymore. He hadn't dated anyone in three years so whatever Shoto was saying was completely random as far as he was concerned. 

"Nothing." Shoto looked at everyone else at the table. He saw a mix of tired, flushed faces and was pretty sure that was all he needed to know. The answer seemed obvious but he still asked, "Is everyone ready to leave?"  

"I think so, yeah. I didn’t have much to drink so why don’t I just drive us all back?" Kiri suggested as he attempted to pry Denki off of himself. 

Denki nuzzled his chest and squeezed him harder as he whined, "Noooo... Kiriiii..." 

"I'm not sure your cuddle buddy there would approve of that." Shoto snickered as he watched the surprised look spread across Kiri's face. He had to admit that the scene before him was pretty darn cute with Denki looking like a cat needing affection and Kiri like a person that had no idea how to deal with animals. 

Kiri's cheeks darkened to match his hair and he was at a complete loss about what to do in his current situation. He scratched idly at his cheek as he muttered, "He's not my-! He just gets clingy when he's drunk I guess? I was the only other person around so... yeah." 

Shoto didn’t think that clinginess looked like it would be for just any random person but he decided to keep his mouth shut about it. He simply smiled and hummed, "Well I guess I'm driving then. Let's get out of here before the waiters melt us with their glares." 

Kiri turned to see that Shoto was not exaggerating. The wait staff did not look happy with them at all. He turned back towards Shoto and mumbled, "We should probably leave a generous tip." 

"Already done. Now let's get these silly boys back to their shop. You'll probably need to carry Denki while-" He stopped when he heard a delighted squeal. Shoto turned and saw that Katsuki had tossed Izuku over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes and started to head for the exit. His eyes widened just slightly as he thought about how much the blond had drunk. He would not be able to legally drive the car, that much was for certain. He shook his head in disbelief as he muttered, "His tolerance for alcohol is just a little bit frightening." 

"What? Oh. Yeah, he's a high functioning drunk. It's pretty weird at first but once you really think about it, it's exactly like him." Kiri replied with a laugh as he managed to pry Denki off of himself long enough to stand up and stretch. He tried to ignore the blond's desperate little whines that were just way too cute and focus on the task at hand. He bent down and scooped Denki up bridal style then had to hold back a smile when he nuzzled up against him and laid his hand flat against his chest with a content little hum since he was right back where he wanted to be. 

"I guess you have a point." Shoto replied with a smile as he watched the way Izuku pretended to want to be let down even though he was obviously having a good time. He could only assume that Katsuki ignored his protests since he knew the difference between a real protest and a fake one. He shook his head and sighed, "Let's catch up to the pair before he hotwires the car or something." 

Kiri scrunched his face and nodded as he said, "You joke but... yeah we should go."  

 

 

 

The next three Saturdays consisted of the same kind of events. The five of them would pick somewhere to go together and then after they closed their shops they would spend that evening enjoying good food and each other's company. If alcohol was involved, things always seemed to get a bit out of hand when Izuku started to spout his nonsense about being the best at anything but it was nothing that couldn’t be managed by the others. They all got a kick out of his overly confident self, anyway.  

Suddenly it seemed like everyone was always in each other's shops when they didn’t have any clients and it was almost hard to tell who worked where anymore. If there had been any tension between the five of them when they were together that had all but melted away.  

It was the next Saturday when the five of them didn’t have plans since they all couldn’t make it so they decided to hold off until next time when everyone was free. That wasn’t such a big deal since Katsuki missed spending his Saturdays alone. He and Shoto tidied the shop up for the night since Kiri had already left. It was when Shoto headed to the back room to do god knows what that Katsuki heard the bell above the front door jingle. He didn’t know why it surprised him to see Izuku anymore since he was always around, but he couldn't help himself. His eyes widened for a split second before he regained his composure and narrowed them at him as he walked into the shop. 

He watched the way a cautious smile played at the edges of Izuku's lips and couldn’t help but frown at the sight. He turned back towards what he'd been cleaning as he asked, "And what are you doing here, Deku?" 

"Shocchan invited me over." Izuku replied quickly. 

"Well he doesn’t have the right to do something like that since this isn't his goddamn shop." Katsuki growled, more than a little bit annoyed by the whole ordeal. Making plans as a group was one thing, but up and inviting people over after hours without informing him? Not on his goddamn watch. 

Izuku's shoulders slumped and he looked down at the floor. He nodded slowly in agreement as he said, "You're absolutely right. I don’t know what I was thinking. Sorry, Kacchan." 

The utterly heartbroken look on his face that Katsuki saw when he glanced up at him made him feel like he should just crawl into the nearest corner and die. He watched Izuku turn to leave then finally seemed to notice the bag he was carrying. It was plastic and looked like it was stuffed with to-go boxes. He furrowed his brow as he grunted, "What's that?" 

Izuku turned back towards him and blinked curiously. When he saw that Katsuki's gaze was fixed upon the bag in his hand, he gasped and offered it to him. His voice was soft as he replied, “I didn’t know if you still liked the spicy curry from that place we used to eat at but I thought I’d try anyway. Here, you might as well take it since I bought it for you.” 

Katsuki didn’t understand why the heck Izuku looked like a puppy that had just been kicked. All he knew was that the look did not suit him at all. He crossed his arms and frowned as he asked, “What happened to your fighting spirit? You never would've let me boss you around without a complaint before you left.” 

“I just want us to be on good terms again, I guess. So I don’t want to set you off or whatever.” Izuku replied with a halfhearted shrug. It was weird finally saying it out loud to him. 

Katsuki narrowed his eyes at him. He wasn’t sure what Izuku thought good terms were but the fact that they even talked at all seemed pretty fucking good to him. He didn’t know what else he could possibly want from him. He also wasn’t a fan of this cautious approach he'd adopted towards him. “There’s no need for you to try and walk on goddamn eggshells around me. I’m perfectly capable of acting like a fucking adult, just as you should be.”  

Izuku pursed his lips together. Pre-breakup him would have questioned that jokingly and Katsuki would have had a fit and then gotten over it a minute later when he pulled him into a kiss. He really missed the casual, comfortable feeling they’d once had between them. Instead of any of that though, Izuku just stood there and tried not to feel awkward about the fact that he was reminiscing about how things used to be when the blond showed no interest in the subject. 

“Just be your same old goddamn nerd of a self.” Katsuki mumbled so softly that he didn’t even know if Izuku had heard it. He didn’t hear any verbal response and he sure as heck wasn’t about to look him in the eye in that moment so it would remain a mystery. 

Izuku couldn’t do much else but blink at him in response. He would probably never understand the blond or his strange actions but he could at least take comfort in the fact that it didn’t seem like he actually wanted him to leave. That could be considered a step in the right direction, he supposed. Before he could think of a way to respond, Shoto walked into the room. As soon as his eyes landed on Izuku he smiled. 

“Ah, you’re here! You even brought food. My you’re the sweetest, Izu!” Shoto hummed with delight. He took the bag from Izuku with a happy little noise. 

Katsuki watched how he strutted around like he owned the place. He watched Shoto plop down onto the couch in the waiting area then pat the free space next to himself, beckoning them to join him. Katsuki frowned as he grumbled, “You can't go around inviting people to my damn shop whenever you please, idiot.” 

“You’re saying that but did you see what he brought with him? When was the last time you went 45 minutes out of your way to get food from your favorite restaurant? The way I see it, he’s a freaking hero.” Shoto replied with a smile. He took the food out of the bag and placed it onto the table in front of himself. 

“Don’t talk back to me like that in my own shop!” Katsuki snapped, his patience wearing thin. 

“Someone’s got to.” Shoto rolled his eyes at him and then smiled when he started to yell at him in response. 

Izuku watched the interaction with great interest. The playful smile on Shoto's face as he egged Katsuki on was really cute. He could also see from the blush that dusted Katsuki's cheeks that he wasn’t having a terrible time, even if he acted like the opposite was true. He had to wonder if he should just leave them to it. Maybe they'd be happier if he just left. He glanced over at the door as he debated it in his head. They probably wouldn't notice if he slipped away in the middle of their argument. 

“Izu.” 

Izuku turned towards Shoto when he heard him say his name. He watched how he smiled sweetly and patted the spot next to him on the couch once again. The fact that his adorable smile was directed at him made Izuku's chest feel warm and fuzzy. 

Shoto batted his eyes playfully as he hummed, “Come sit with me, I’m getting lonely.” 

Izuku wasn’t sure why he felt blush darken his cheeks at the offer. He plastered an insincere smile on his face as he replied, “Oh, I um… I don’t think that Kacchan wants me to stay so I should probably just-" 

“Stop being such a baby and eat the goddamn food you bought because I’m not paying you for it like you're some sort of delivery boy.” Katsuki interjected. 

Izuku knew what he’d said but it wasn’t what he’d heard. He'd gotten an invitation to stay for dinner and it made his stomach do a happy little flip. Maybe there was hope for them to have a normal friendship yet. He didn’t reply but instead went to join Shoto on the couch as requested. 

Shoto smiled at him and then placed his hand on his knee. He motioned to a specific dish with his free hand as he asked, “I’m guessing this one is yours?” 

Izuku tried his hardest not to think about the fact that his pulse had started to race from such a simple touch. He shook his head as he said, “Not really. Anyone is welcome to any of these.” 

“The hell they are.” Katsuki grunted right before he picked up the curry and then plopped down on the other side of Shoto. “I'd like to see either of you two shits just try and take this away from me.” 

“That sounds like a declaration of war.” Shoto laughed as he shook his head. If he had a love for spicy foods then he surely would’ve taken him up on it. 

“Might as well fucking be. Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve had some?” Katsuki watched the pair purse their lips together at the same time and try not to laugh when they heard his choice of words. His eyes widened and he quickly yelled, “Fuckin! You know what I mean! I haven’t been to that side of the city since I moved so keep your grubby hands away from my goddamn plate.” 

Izuku turned towards Shoto and hummed, “We can split the other two dishes if you’d like.” 

“Sounds lovely.” Shoto agreed. 

Izuku got to work splitting the dishes so that half was on each plate and then he gave Shoto his. He took his own and took a huge bite before he closed his eyes and hummed in approval. Katsuki had been absolutely right, it had been way too long since he'd had something so good. The three of them ate in silence for the first few moments, each wondering why it took so long to stop by such a delicious place for food. It was Shoto that eventually broke the silence in the room. 

“I can’t believe this hasn’t come up in our conversations yet but where did you end up moving to? Are you and Denki roommates?” Shoto asked before he took another bite of his food. 

Izuku shook his head in response. He swallowed the food in his mouth then explained, “Oh, no. We both got a really good deal at an apartment complex about thirty minutes out since we both were looking to rent at the same time. We have our own apartments.” 

“I see. Well my apartment is about fifteen minutes from here so if you’re ever too exhausted to head all the way back home after a long day you’re welcome to stay with me. I could always use the cuddle buddy.” Shoto replied with a playful wink. 

Izuku’s cheeks immediately darkened as he looked anywhere but at Shoto. He had no idea how he was supposed to respond to something like that. He could feel both sets of eyes on him as they waited for a reaction. 

Shoto studied the unreadable expressions on both Katsuki's and Izuku's faces for a moment. He wasn’t quite sure what he was seeing but he knew that he didn’t care for it. He furrowed his brow before he asked, “What are those looks on your faces? I’m not going to kill him while he sleeps or anything.” 

Katsuki knew that he wore a look of disapproval as he shoveled food into his mouth. He also knew that there wasn’t anything he could do about it. In all the years that they'd known each other how had he never heard that Shoto lived so close by before? Did he really pay that little attention to the guy when he spoke? Or was he only willing to open up about it now because Izuku was present? Maybe Shoto just didn’t see him as someone worth inviting to his home? Katsuki wasn’t sure which one was worse. 

The sudden silence in the room made Shoto sigh and then shake his head. So that’s how things were now that they were in each other's lives again, huh? There was no room for him anymore, joking or not? He honestly didn’t know why he didn’t see it coming. He tried his best to ignore what felt like a dagger in his chest as he picked up his next bite of food and stared at it. His voice was barely above a whisper as he muttered, “Fine, I get it. No more inviting you guys back to my place or anything else like that. You’re obviously not interested.” 

“Shocchan that’s not, um…” Izuku's voice trailed off since he wasn’t quite sure what he wanted to say next. It was impossible to figure out how to explain that he actually really wanted to take him up on that offer since he could literally feel the glare of his ex burning a hole right through him. He'd been interested in Shoto for a long time but he had to admit that his timing was the actual worst. Even if he meant it in a joking way there was still that hint of seriousness and that’s what had thrown Izuku off. He pouted and cursed himself for not being able to think clearly enough to respond the way he wanted to. 

“Just forget about it.” Shoto said as he put his takeout container onto the table in front of him. The rejection was bound to happen at some time and he'd honestly thought he had prepared himself for it. As it turned out, it still stung even if he saw it coming. Right now all he knew was that he needed to be elsewhere. He stood up and didn’t look at either one of them as he said, “I’ve got a canvas coming in early in the morning so I’m going home and straight to bed. You two enjoy the rest of your night.” 

“Sho-” he was gone before Izuku could even finish the word. Izuku frowned to himself as he willed the tears in his eyes to stay there. Shoto had been genuinely upset and he'd never seen such a hurt look on his face before. A look that was there because of his lack of ability to make his own brain work properly. The very idea caused his chest to ache. He couldn't really stand the idea of Katsuki making fun of him in that moment for being so upset over something so silly so before he had a chance to see him on the verge of tears, he stood up and grumbled some half-assed excuse about early morning shopping then left as well. 

Katsuki sat in that same spot on the couch for what felt like hours after the others left. How had the night started out alright and ended up this way? He’d never seen such a sad look on Shoto's face before, and he didn’t care for the sight of the tears that had been in Izuku's eyes either. Seeing one of them look sad was bad enough but both? Within moments of each other? There was only so much he could take. He suddenly felt sick to his stomach and wasn’t sure if there was anything he could do about it. He had absolutely no idea what tomorrow would bring and he wasn’t confident that he wanted to find out. 

 

 

It was the first Saturday in over a month that Kiri didn’t have plans to go out with everyone. He actually had other things to do for once and when he told them that, the group decided that they'd all skip the day then. He had to admit that it was nice of them not to want to leave him out. Still, that was neither here nor there. He pulled on his black and red zip up hoodie and then skipped out of his shop right before closing with the excuse that he'd be late for his appointment if he didn’t leave that very moment. He'd known that Katsuki and Shoto would be too busy cleaning and flirting in their own special way to watch him leave so he didn't even bat an eye as he headed across the street to Electric Smiles Tattoo II

He stepped into the building, happy that he made it there before they’d locked the doors for the night, and then looked around quickly. He noticed that most of the lights were off and there wasn't anyone around that he could see but there was the distinct sound of a tattoo machine buzzing. He followed the noise until he happened upon the back room. There he saw Denki wearing what looked like a homemade, black, off shoulder t-shirt and what looked like nothing else. He had his right leg propped up so that he could get a better angle as he tattooed his own thigh. 

Kiri gasped and immediately turned to leave but stopped when the tattoo machine cut off. He heard the surprise in Denki's voice as he asked, “Kiri?” 

Kiri spun around so that he was facing the blond and chuckled nervously. His cheeks burned with blush as he smiled a crooked smile and asked, "Oh! Should I, um, come back later?" 

"Why?" Denki asked as he blinked at him. If he needed something now then why would he leave?  

Kiri avoided looking at him as he rubbed the back of his neck slowly and replied, "You seem... busy... and kind of, ah, naked?" 

"No I'm not. I've got shorts on. They're just, well, really short." Denki lifted up the hem of his t-shirt so that he could prove he was telling the truth. He'd had the black, wet-look shorts for a while now and hadn't had an excuse to actually wear them in public. Since he wanted to fix up the tattoo on his thigh he threw caution to the wind and wore them today. How was he supposed to know that Kiri would show up unannounced and he'd end up flashing him a view of a lot of his upper thigh because of it? Denki's cheeks darkened when he realized that he was sort of still doing so. He let go of his shirt and then turned so he could wipe down the tattoo as he said, "You don't have to leave. I'm finished with this anyway." 

He glanced up at Kiri as he taped the bandage in place on his thigh since he was curious as to why he'd been so quiet these past few minutes. He was surprised to find that the redhead was standing there with his hands covering his eyes and very obvious blush in his ears. Denki had to hold back a chuckle as he asked, "What exactly are you doing?" 

"Respecting your privacy!" Came Kiri's muffled reply. 

There was no way that Denki could hold back his laughter when he heard that. If it had been privacy he was looking for then why would he wear skin tight short shorts in the first place? He chuckled to himself as he shook his head and continued to tape the bandage onto his thigh. Once he was all done he looked back up at the redhead and saw that he was peeking at him through the cracks in his fingers. He pretended not to notice as he removed his rubber gloves and said, "I'm decent now so you can look again, Mr. Chivalrous." 

Kiri let his hands fall away from his face as he watched Denki turn away from him and lean over so that he could toss his gloves into the nearby trash can. His gaze fell to where Denki's shirt rode up as he moved and his eyes immediately widened. Now, Kiri had never given much thought to or cared about wet-look clothes before but he was pretty sure that the tight, little shorts he currently saw would haunt his dreams for a long time to come. They left absolutely nothing to the imagination as they hugged his ass snugly. His damn near perfect ass, Kiri realized as his gaze followed every curve. There wasn’t a flaw about the glorious sight and boy did his fingers ache to touch. 

He quickly turned his head so he wouldn’t be tempted to stare anymore or think such thoughts. They were uncalled for, no matter how round and delectable the blond's rear looked in those tiny shorts. He knew that he wouldn’t be able to focus if things remained unchanged so he cleared his throat to get Denki's attention. 

"Oh what is it this time?" Denki asked as he turned towards the redhead. He didn’t even attempt to hide the amusement in his voice at this point. 

Kiri's cheeks hurt from just how hard he was blushing. He'd never be able to focus on what he came to do at this rate. An idea struck him and he quickly unzipped the hoodie he was wearing. He pulled it off and offered it to the blond. 

Denki took the offered hoodie that he knew would be way too big for him with a smile. It was hard to believe just how embarrassed a pair of shorts had the redhead. He would have to make a mental note of that for possible future use. He slipped his arms into the sleeves and then stood up and zipped the hoodie all the way up to his mid chest. It was so big on him that it fell past his butt, which was probably what Kiri had hoped for.  

He plopped down onto the table behind himself, held the edge of it in both hands, and kicked his feet as he tilted his head. He allowed his eyes to travel up the length of the glorious specimen before himself. That dark red muscle shirt that Kiri had on looked way too good on him and really accentuated his muscles in a positively delicious way. The biomech tattoos on his shoulders plus the business of his muscles made him look like some sort of steampunk gladiator. The idea had Denki half lost in his own fantasy world by the time he finally managed to ask, "So what brings you around these parts?" 

Kiri had almost forgotten that much himself with everything that had just happened. Thank goodness he was able to keep himself focused. He ignored the fact that his cheeks still burned with blush as he said, "I came here to touch you." 

Denki choked on a laugh and then tugged on the hoodie he wore as he said, "Most people would prefer I take off my clothes for something like that instead of put more on!" 

"Wait! No! Ahh!" Kiri shook his hands and head at the same time. He could hardly believe what he'd just said and was just about ready to die from the embarrassment. His life was truly working against him at the moment. 

Denki laughed until his sides hurt and he had to wipe tears out of the corners of his eyes. He smiled from ear to ear and then held his hands outwards as he hummed, "Well? Touch me then!" 

"Please don’t say it like that..." Kiri mumbled, his embarrassment only worsening. 

"Your words!" Denki laughed. 

Kiri chose to ignore that fact and stepped closer to the blond then reached to place his hand upon his shoulder. He paused for a second and then finally managed to do so with no issue. Kiri let out a sigh that he didn’t realize he'd been holding in when he found that he wasn't trembling. Denki being so clingy while drunk seemed to really help him push past his nerves. The more comfortable with that whole scene that he'd gotten, the less doting the task of tattooing him had seemed. Kiri's voice was soft and his gaze was fixed upon his own hand as he asked, "Where did you want me to tattoo you?" 

Denki looked from the hand on his shoulder to Kiri's face. He noticed just how serious his expression was and knew that the time for jokes was over for now. He watched Kiri's facial expression for any changes as he replied, "My neck." 

Kiri didn’t respond, instead he slid his hand along Denki's collarbone until it was on his neck. He glided his fingers over the smooth skin slowly, paying close attention to his own hand as he did. He watched for even the slightest sign of a tremble and found absolutely none. 

Denki couldn’t help but gasp softly at the tender way that Kiri touched him. He turned his head to the side the moment that he felt heat begin to rise in his cheeks. Apparently it was his turn to be the embarrassed one. He knew that there was no way for Kiri to know about how soft neck caresses were one of his absolute weaknesses so he couldn’t exactly hold it against him but wow he literally went for the jugular. Denki's eyes fell shut and he squeezed the fabric of the hoodie he wore in both of his hands as he craned his neck just slightly to give him better access to it. 

Kiri's gaze flicked to the way that Denki had parted his lips slightly so he could take slow, deep breaths without it being very noticeable. The blush in his cheeks and the way that he'd squeezed his eyes shut only made Kiri want to continue to touch him and see what other reactions he could possibly elicit from him. His fingers glided along his neck with ease and Kiri watched Denki's face carefully for a reaction. The slightest little hitch of his breath was so tantalizing that it made Kiri want to forgo anything else and just keep touching him like this. The temptation was strong indeed but Kiri fought it off with every ounce of his being and he removed his fingers from Denki's neck. 

Denki opened his eyes and focused on keeping his breathing steady for a moment. He slid his tongue over the piercings in his bottom lip as he willed his pulse to stop racing. Losing his composure at a time like this was completely uncalled for so he just needed to pull himself together before he embarrassed himself further. He glanced at the redhead out of the corner of his eye and saw that he was scratching at his cheek with his face turned away from him. How he was the embarrassed one in this situation made less than zero sense but Denki found it rather cute. Just when he was about to speak, Kiri beat him to the punch. 

"So if you're still interested in having me tattoo you..." Kiri spoke softly at first but then cleared his throat. His voice was a normal volume when he added, "I'm free now and I can start on it if you'd like." 

"I usually like to knock out my tats in one sitting." Denki said mostly to himself. He had a contemplative look on his face for a moment before he added, "This is going to take four to six hours depending on how things go. Arent you tired from working all day?" 

"Nah, it was a slow day and I didn’t do much besides help clean up around the shop and work on some new flash designs." Kiri explained. He'd also worked up the courage to come over here and offer to tattoo him, but Denki didn’t need to know that bit. He looked at Denki out of the corner of his eye and realized that along with those special little shorts and that cute shirt of his, he had on winged eyeliner as well. Kiri didn’t know how he hadn't realized it before but maybe he already had plans for the evening. He frowned and looked down at the ground as he muttered, "Uh, if you already have a date or something planned for tonight then don’t worry about it. We can make an actual appointment when the shops are open and whatnot." 

Denki turned to look at him when he heard that. He furrowed his brow in confusion and tilted his head as he asked, "Why would you think I have a date?" 

Kiri shrugged and then closed his eyes as he shook his head. "Well, you look really nice and all that." 

Denki was honestly torn between wanting to thank him for the compliment and wondering if Kiri actually thought he would really dress like this for a date. Maybe a date to the 80s or something. In the end he could only find the humor in the whole thing. He noticed that Kiri's eyes were still shut and he took the opportunity to slide off of the table then tiptoe up to him. He leaned up onto the balls of his feet and couldn’t help but smile mischievously as he whispered, "Are you saying that you can't tattoo me because you're too distracted by my outfit?" 

Kiri jumped and then opened his eyes and was suddenly nose to nose with the blond. He gasped softly and took a step backwards. He hadn't heard Denki move so the fact that he was suddenly so close was shocking. He shook his head and then muttered, "N-no! I just wanted to make sure I'm not interrupting any plans you had!" 

Denki huffed softly to himself and then headed back over to the table and sat back down again. "If you're alright with sticking around here until one or so in the morning then I am too." 

Kiri smiled a crooked smile at him as he replied, "Well the company will be good, so it won't be all bad." He walked over to Denki and then sat on his stool in front of the table. He looked up at the blond and chirped, "So let me know about this idea of yours." 

Denki wasted no time in describing what it was that he wanted. He gestured to the spot on his neck as he explained his vision for a color realistic snake that wrapped around it. He noticed the little half-smile on Kiri's face as he watched him ramble but he didn’t stop to ask about it. He'd been thinking about the idea for the past few weeks and it was nice to finally tell someone about it. Kiri nodded as he continued to talk about positioning and size. 

Once Denki finished talking Kiri nodded to himself. He smiled as he said, "I've got the gist of it. Give me about fifteen to sketch something up?" 

"You got it. I'll go order some takeout while you do since we're gonna be here all night." With that Denki hopped off of the table again and waltzed out of the room to find that stash of takeout menus that Izuku had moved yet again. He wasn't exactly sure what the rest of the night would bring but he found that he was pretty darn excited to find out. 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Kiri was all smiles the next morning as he hummed to himself and set up his workstation for the day. He hadn't gotten much sleep since after he finished Denki's tattoo the pair hung around to chat for a bit. He loved every second of it and wouldn’t have changed a thing. The tattoo had come out much better than he had hoped and Denki was so excited that he could barely contain himself when he finally saw it in the mirror. The blond had hugged him tightly as he thanked him for his hard work. Kiri couldn’t hug him back the way he wanted to since he still had his gloves on but he was sure that Denki understood that. He felt like he could still feel just how tightly Denki had clung to him and was walking on air because of it. Somehow he knew that the chipper feeling coursing through him was going to carry him through the day. 

Kiri jumped slightly when he heard the bell over the door to the shop jingle. It was still pretty early and he didn’t expect Katsuki to arrive for at least an hour or more since he'd texted him and said that he was running late. He turned towards the sound and watched Shoto walk into the building. He had dark bags under his eyes and looked like he hadn't slept a wink so he was just going through the motions to get where he needed to go. Even his usually neat top knot was a mess and he had entire strands of hair dangling freely that he'd missed when he put it up. He had coffee in his hand and looked completely spaced out as he headed over to his station and sat down then proceeded to massage his temples with a groan. 

Kiri walked over to him and stood there for a moment. He had never seen Shoto look so unkempt before, as if he just couldn’t be bothered to make the effort after he got out of bed. He waited for another moment but Shoto never even noticed his presence. Kiri tilted his head at him as he asked, “You alright, man? You look like hell. Are you sick? Should you be here?” 

“Huh?" Shoto finally opened his eyes and looked up to see a concerned look on the redhead's face. His head throbbed and he really didn’t want to be looked at like that right now. He really didn’t want to be looked at in general right now, but he'd convinced himself that he was a professional so he showed up fully intent on working. He averted his gaze from Kiri's concerned face as he mumbled, "Yeah, I’m good.” 

“You don’t look good.” Kiri replied as he debated whether he looked hungover or sick. In either case good was not an option. 

"I had a rough night." Shoto admitted softly. He wasn’t sure if he was referring to the rejection he'd faced or the fact that he couldn’t sleep afterwards so he drank for a few hours instead. The more he thought about it, the more he realized that he really needed some time to clear his head. He wouldn’t be able to do that if he was around either Izuku or Katsuki at the moment. Maybe he could think of an excuse to leave before he actually saw either of them. 

"You really look like you could use some more rest. You should go home." Kiri suggested. 

Shoto was glad that he didn’t have to think up an excuse on his own since Kiri had just offered him the perfect one. He paused for a moment and pretended that he had to think about it. He finally nodded and said, "You're probably right since I really don't feel well. I'm going to call the client and reschedule then leave a note for Katsuki and I'll head home." 

"I could tell him for you if you'd like." Kiri offered. 

Shoto shook his head and then forced a smile at the too sweet redhead. "I really need to do it myself but thank you."  

Kiri wasn’t sure what that meant but he knew that Shoto looked so run down that if it meant he would head home and get some rest then it was probably a good thing. He nodded and hummed in acknowledgement before he walked back over to his workstation to continue getting things set up. Just as he said he would, Shoto made a quick phone call to cancel his appointment before it got too late and then wrote something down on a piece of paper. He left that paper at his workstation before he left for the day. Since he was finally alone, Kiri took the chance to put on some of the sappy love songs that he secretly liked very much so he could sing along while he worked. 

 

A little over an hour later Katsuki finally showed up with his usual scowl on his face. His hair actually looked neater than it did last night and Kiri had to wonder if he was late because he was busy shaving the underside of it. That wouldn't be something that he would delay work for though, so he quickly rid himself of the thought. When he noticed that the blond was just short of seething Kiri was glad that he'd already cut off the music before he'd gotten there because he had a look about him that said he would go off at the tiniest thing this morning. Strangely enough, even with the freshly shaven undercut, he also looked like he hadn't slept much last night. Maybe none of them had slept very well, though he had to admit that seemed rather far fetched for a coincidence. Kiri swore that he saw Katsuki glance over at Shoto's empty work space though it was only for a brief moment. 

The blond stormed over to the main desk and sat down so he could go through the mail that the shop had received recently. He tossed aside the advertisements for new equipment that none of them needed since there was no point in looking at that shit if he had no intention of buying. He set aside his bills as well when he saw the new issue of Tattooist Monthly had arrived. Yet again there was someone that looked like the worlds douchey-est douche on the cover. It was a woman this time though. He rolled his eyes and flipped to the article to see what her deal was. 

He read through the interview and was surprised to find that this woman had apparently hosted Shoto as a guest artist on more than one occasion and she spoke very highly of him. Evidently she adored his work and 'gorgeous face'. Evidently she even tried to get him to come work at her shop permanently multiple times but was turned down. She claimed that she was nowhere near done trying to 'sink her claws into that perfect specimen'. 

Katsuki glanced up from the magazine and looked at the empty workstation where Shoto would have been if he was there. He couldn’t help but think about how terribly last night had ended as he did. Of course it was all he could think of. A million thoughts on how things could've played out differently ran through his head all night long and he couldn’t get any sleep because of it. He must've stared at the empty area for longer than he realized while lost in his own thoughts because Kiri spoke up all of a sudden. 

“Yeah, he was here but he looked pretty bad so I suggested that he go home and get some rest. I think he left you a note." Kiri explained when he saw how Katsuki couldn’t seem to take his eyes off of the empty area. He wasn’t exactly sure what the look on his face meant but it made him feel like he should explain things as he knew them to be true. 

Katsuki didn’t even acknowledge that the redhead had spoken. He simply stood up and walked over to Shoto's empty work space, where his eyes immediately fell upon the note he'd left. He snatched the paper up and then unfolded it and read it to himself.  

My deepest apologies for skipping out on you so suddenly like this but I'm really not feeling up to tattooing right now.  I've realized that I might not be for a while. I need some time to recover from what ails me so I can't exactly say when I'll be back. I hope that you will not think badly of me for this and that we will meet again soon. Give my regrets to Izuku as well when you see him. 

Katsuki didn’t know what he was more annoyed about, the fact that Shoto used such an impersonal, formal tone or the fact that he didn’t even bother to sign his stupid letter. Both of these things hinted that he didn’t actually plan on returning any time soon and it was infuriating. Katsuki crumpled the note into a ball and then tossed it into the nearby trash can. The nerve of him. They get into one little awkward situation and he runs away like a goddamn idiot. He had half a mind to storm over there right now and- do absolutely nothing since he had no idea where the heck he even lived. Katsuki couldn’t decide if he was pissed off or hurt. Why would he be hurt? Nothing made any damn sense in his life anymore and he just wanted something to distract himself from the horrible feelings that were waging war in his chest.

As if an answer to his prayers, the bell above the shop door jingled and in walked a pair of clients. Katsuki was quick to greet them and listen to what they wanted. One of them was there for a piercing and the other a tattoo. He showed them to the wall with all of the flash designs hung on it and told them to take their time. When Kiri asked if he wanted him to do the tattoo, Katsuki quickly said no. He needed something to take his mind off of everything else that was racing through it. Focusing on a tattoo for an hour would really hit the spot. 

Katsuki was right about the tattoo taking his mind off of everything. Sometime during the tattoo that he had started, another client walked in and Kiri gladly helped them since they wanted a design right up his alley. Katsuki could hear them chatting idly even over the sound of both tattoo machines buzzing. He wasn’t sure if that was annoying or part of the welcome distraction he'd been looking for. 

After the pair were all finished up and sent on their way, Katsuki focused on cleaning his station. Once that was finished he headed over to the front desk to finally go through those bills he’d gotten earlier. There was nothing of interest in that pile since they were all set up for automatic withdrawal. Just when he thought about heading to the backroom for a quick nap, he heard the familiar jingle that signaled that someone had just entered the shop. Another client, perhaps?

Katsuki looked up at the door and was quite surprised to see the familiar mop of messy, green curls that were held at bay by a thin white headband. He looked at Izuku's face and saw that he wore an anxious expression as he looked over to see the empty corner of the room where Shoto would have been. Izuku turned towards him and Katsuki could see the million questions written all over his face. 

It was obvious that Izuku wasn't there to see him so Katsuki considered just walking away and being done with it. Though something about the look on his freckled face gave him pause. He frowned and shook his head as he said, “He didn’t come in today.” 

Izuku's shoulders slumped and he looked down at the floor. He had a hurt look on his face as he mumbled, “Oh. Thanks.”  

“The fuck is that face about?” Katsuki asked before he could stop himself. 

“We, uh, were supposed to have lunch together. I wasn’t sure if that was still happening but I guess I got my answer. There’s always next time.” Izuku explained softly. 

“Don’t hold your breath. Next time may not be for a while.” Katsuki muttered mostly to himself. 

“Why not?” 

Katsuki didn’t look at him as he replied, “He basically said that he didn’t know when he’d be back.” 

“Oh.” Izuku was quite conflicted about this news and he couldn't help but feel responsible for it. He was suddenly very sad and he just wanted to leave. He could eat snacks at his shop for lunch or something. He turned around and motioned to leave the shop.

Katsuki absolutely couldn’t stand the look on Izuku's face. It wasn’t fair that he still made his chest ache when sad but there was nothing he could do about it. Katsuki rolled his eyes as he grunted, “Fuck, if you’re that goddamn desperate for company then I’ll go with you. Just this once.” 

“Oh! S-sure.” Izuku gasped. He supposed that could be fun. Probably. He was more surprised than anything else by the offer and he agreed to it without any real thought. 

Katsuki told Kiri that he was going to grab some lunch so he had to pay attention to the shop for a bit and then he and when the redhead acknowledged him he and Izuku left. There was mostly silence between them as they walked to the nearest sandwich shop. Neither of them particularly wanted a sandwich but it was the closest thing and since this all happened so suddenly it seemed like the best place to go. 

They stepped into the shop and then placed their orders, including extra to-go sandwiches for both Denki and Kiri since they knew they had to be getting hungry as well. The pair sat down at a nearby table with their food and neither of them could focus on how awkward the situation should be because their minds were elsewhere. 

"Um... Kacchan?" Izuku asked softly, as if trying not to poke the bear.  

"What?" Katsuki immediately snapped, sounding more annoyed than necessary. 

Izuku looked down at the uneaten food before himself with a frown. He couldn’t help but whisper as he asked, "Do you think he'll be back soon?" 

"Of course he will. He's just having a stupid little tantrum is all. Give him three days max to get over it, you’ll see.” Katsuki replied confidently. He then motioned towards Izuku's sandwich and threatened to take it for himself if he didn’t start to eat. He was well aware that Izuku knew it was an idle threat but he watched as he picked it up and started to eat anyway.

 

 

The three predicted days came and went, yet Shoto was still nowhere to be found. A whole week passed, followed by another, and Katsuki was finally at the end of his rope. It was one thing to take some time off, fine, but Shoto hadn’t returned a single call, text, or email. He’d basically just disappeared off the face of the earth as if that was ok. Izuku had stopped by every single day to see if Shoto had returned yet, and every single day he ended up disappointed. That was two whole weeks that Katsuki had to endure his sad face tearing through his chest like a freshly sharpened knife. He’d had enough of this shit already and it was time he finally did something about it. 

Katsuki quickly took out his tablet and then started his search for the information he needed. He spent a good twenty-five minutes finding absolutely nothing of value and he was getting more impatient by the second. He frowned as he growled, "What the fucking fuck? With all the press he gets how the fuck does this bastard keep so much goddamn info private?" 

Kiri paused his cleaning and looked up from his workstation when he heard Katsuki grumble loudly to himself. He looked over at the blond as he asked, "Watcha mean?" 

"What? Nothing. Stupid half-and-half bastard's address isn't listed anywhere." Katsuki shrugged him off and clicked on yet another link to see if it had the information he wanted only to find that it didn't.

Kiri removed his rubber gloves before he bent down and tossed them into the trash, which made his hair tumble forwards and dangle before him. He stood up straight and flipped his long ponytail back over his shoulder then stepped up behind Katsuki and eyed the words 'Shoto Todoroki tattooist address' that were in the search bar curiously. Kiri shook his head as he wondered if that’s what he'd been doing for the last half hour. He could've saved himself so much time if he'd only learn to communicate. Kiri pat the blond on the shoulder and then mumbled, "I have his address if you really need it." 

Katsuki turned to look at the redhead and eyed him suspiciously for a second. “How do you know where he lives?”  

Kiri shrugged and then smiled. He tilted his head as he asked, “Remember when he asked us to help him move?” 

“No.” Katsuki knew that it sounded like he was being an ass but it was the truth. He had no recollection of anything of the sort. 

Kiri shook his head at the blunt response before he sighed to himself. Even though he knew it was the truth it still seemed unnecessarily harsh for some reason. “Well I actually did help him when he asked. He thanked me with a home cooked dinner once he got the place all set up. He’s actually a really good cook, you know. He told me that he doesn’t do so very often because he’s usually so busy with his tattooing but-" 

“Get to the point, Kiri.” Katsuki snapped, his patience so thin that it was all but gone now. He didn't want to hear this shit. He didn't care if the bastard was the best cook in the world right now. All he could focus on was his goal of getting the information he wanted.

“The point is that I know where he lives, yeah.” Kiri had to bite his tongue so that he didn't add and you would too if you were a better friend to him. True as it was, now did not seem the time to get on the blond's case about the subject. There was something in his eyes that was almost desperate and Kiri had never seen anything like it before. 

Katsuki slid the tablet over towards the redhead. It was open to Google Maps and his voice was a firm demand as he said, “Give me the address.” 

“Why tho-" 

Katsuki slammed his fist on the desk he sat at and was immediately on his feet. He was tired of so very many things but right now being questioned was at the very top of the list. “Don’t fucking question me. Address. Now.” 

It was then that Kiri realized just what it was that Katsuki had in his eyes. It was something he saw so rarely that it was no wonder he didn’t recognize it. Worry. Kiri realized that the blond was genuinely worried about Shoto and this was probably his way of making sure that everything was OK. Kiri nodded silently and then looked away from him so that he could take the tablet and enter the address as requested. 

As soon as Kiri slid the tablet back his way and Katsuki saw that the address was a mere thirteen minutes from their current location, he grabbed the device and his coat then headed for the door. He didn’t even pause as he said, "Watch the shop for a bit." 

 

 

Katsuki stormed into the shop across the street from his with all the makings of a natural disaster. He had a wild, untamable look in his eyes and a furious scowl on his face as he looked around. He saw Denki look up from the tattoo he was doing and blink at him slowly for a moment before he went right back to it with a shake of his head. He turned when he heard the door to their back room open. He watched Izuku step out and then blink at him in surprise. 

Izuku had seen that look before and he already knew the answer to his question as he asked, "Kacchan? Is everything alright?" 

"No. Get your coat, we're going out." Katsuki immediately replied. 

Izuku's eyes widened when he heard his demand. He shook his head as he exclaimed, "We're what? I can't just leave!" 

Katsuki turned towards Denki and yelled, "Oy, Raiden!" 

Denki looked up from the tattoo he was working on and looked around. He looked at the angry blond then motioned to himself and asked, "Me?" 

"Of course you! Do you see any other lightning loving fools around here? Christ!" Katsuki replied as he rolled his eyes. He pointed at Denki and grunted, "Watch the shop for a bit, we're going out." 

"I don’t take orders from you... I don’t take orders from anyone. This is my shop." Denki mumbled to himself with a frown. He went back to tattooing as if the blond hadn't said a word. 

"Kacchan what's going on?" Izuku had to ask. He was so confused about what was happening and couldn't make heads or tails of the situation. 

Katsuki grabbed the handle on the door to the shop and yanked it open. He glanced at Izuku out of the corner of his eye as he muttered, "I've got his address." 

Izuku gasped and immediately ran out from behind the counter to where Katsuki had the door open for him. He yelled on his way out, "Watch the shop for a bit, Denki! We're going out!" 

Denki shook his head when the door slammed shut behind them. He continued to focus on the tattoo as he muttered, "Those two really deserve each other." 

 

"Where'd you get it?" Izuku all but shrieked as he hopped into the passenger side of the car and immediately pulled the seat belt on. 

"Freaking Kiri has been holding out on us. He knew the whole time!" Katsuki grumbled. 

Izuku scrunched his face at that. He couldn’t help but wonder out loud, "Did we even think to ask him if he knew?"  

"That's hardly the point!" Katsuki immediately yelled as he started the car and then took off. 

Izuku was pretty sure that it was exactly the point but he chose to remain silent. He was worried and quite anxious about what would happen when they saw Shoto again. Would he even want to see them? What if he just turned them away? How would he deal with something like that? Izuku had no idea but he knew that there was no excuse for them not to try and talk to him. Maybe this was exactly what Shoto needed so that he would finally come back and work with them again. Izuku just wanted things to go back to the way they were. 

They arrived at the apartment ten minutes later thanks to Katsuki's bat out of hell driving. Izuku had called him out on his need for speed once and Katsuki immediately wrote off his concerns. The blond had then proceeded to tell him that if he ever caught him driving that way he would kick his ass into a thousand tiny pieces. He'd always had a warped way of showing concern, but it was sweet in an odd sense. 

They hopped out of the car and headed into the building and quickly found the elevator. They headed to the thirteenth floor and then very nearly ran to the room number that Kiri had provided. As soon as they stood outside of the door, Katsuki made a fist and banged on it aggressively. "We know you're in there, you prick. Open up!" 

There was no response and Katsuki quickly banged on the door once again. He continued to yell and then wait for any sign of movement or acknowledgement from the other side but continued to be met only with silence. Katsuki slammed both of his fists against the door and yelled one more time before he finally got a response. It wasn’t from that apartment, however. 

"Is there something I can help you gentlemen with?" Izuku and Katsuki both spun around to see a woman with a stern look on her face and a bunch of white envelopes in her hand. She glared at the both of them and quickly looked them over as if she was sizing them up. She did not seem impressed by what she saw. 

"We're looking for Sho- uh, for Todoroki. Do you know if he's home?" Izuku asked as sweetly as he could manage so that he didn’t make them look any more suspect than he was sure that they already did. 

"Mr. Todoroki went out of town to see someone about a job offer. He asked me to deliver all of his mail to the table right beside the door for him. Now if you'll excuse me," The woman replied smugly as she waved the white envelopes that she held at them dismissively. She stepped past the pair and then quickly unlocked the door so that she could step inside for a moment. She returned a second later without the envelopes and shut the door behind herself. After she locked it she looked at them each in turn and said, "If that's all then I suggest you leave instead of disturbing the rest of my residents." 

"Sorry, ma'am." Izuku replied sheepishly with a quick nod as she passed them and headed to the elevator. Once she disappeared into it he finally turned to look at Katsuki. He immediately noticed that the blond had his teeth gritted and his fists clenched. Izuku reached out to put a hand on his shoulder but stopped short and let it fall back to his side. He tilted his head as he asked, "Kacchan?" 

"Did you see the logo on that letter?" Katsuki asked through gritted teeth. He would recognize it anywhere since he'd just read an article about the woman that ran that shop. 

Izuku nodded slowly. "Yeah. They're a pretty big deal." 

"That shop doesn’t take in people that hop. Permanent hires only." Katsuki pointed out. 

Izuku's eyes widened when he realized just what that meant. "You're saying that-" 

"If he accepts that job then yeah he's not going to work with either of us anymore. He won't be coming back at all." Katsuki felt a very familiar twinge in his gut. It was exactly the same as the one that he'd felt before Izuku had walked out of his life three years ago. He hadn't done anything to stop him back then and it had been a mistake that he had only ever regretted. He couldn’t help but feel that it would also be one now. 

Izuku put his face in his hands and shook his head. His voice was muffled and just a bit shaky as he said, "This is all my fault. I can't believe I was such a coward and just let him leave thinking that..." 

"I didn’t exactly stop him from leaving that night either." Katsuki grumbled as he dug his phone out of his pocket. He unlocked it then quickly found the number he needed. He held it to his ear as it rang and then as soon as the person on the other end answered he said, "Just shut your mouth and listen. Deku and I are taking a little day trip so you need to run the shop and tell Denki to do the same. Yes, I'll tell you what happened when I get back just don’t burn the goddamn place down or anything." 

"Kacchan what's going on?" Izuku asked as soon as the blond hung up and stuffed his phone back into his pocket. 

"We're going after him." The response was quick and to the point. Katsuki grabbed Izuku by his wrist and tugged him towards the elevator. 

"We are!?" Izuku shrieked. 

Katsuki continued to drag him along as he grumbled, "You're crazy if you expect me to make the same mistake twice." 

Izuku's eyes widened and his jaw dropped slightly as he stared at the back of Katsuki's head. Blush darkened his cheeks as he let the blond pull him without any resistance while his words echoed in his head. There was so much he wanted to say in that moment but he knew it was best to stay silent for now. Maybe they'd have a chance to talk after they convinced Shoto not to leave. That was way more important for the moment than talking about old, stale feelings. The pair reached the elevator and Izuku's gaze fell to Katsuki's hand where he still held onto him firmly. His heart raced in his chest and he wondered if those feelings weren't quite as stale as he thought they were. 

They made their way back to the car in silence. It wasn't until Izuku had buckled himself in that he really started to realize what was happening. He blinked and shook his head as he said, “Wait. By go get him you don’t mean?” 

“Yeah were taking a trip.” Katsuki confirmed with a quick nod as he put the key in the ignition and started the car. 

All at once the situation seemed to hit him and Izuku shrieked, "But my shop! I can't just-!" 

"Don’t you trust your partner to run things for a fucking day?" Katsuki asked as he pulled out of the parking spot and headed towards the nearest highway. 

Izuku made a face as he thought about it. He nodded and then mumbled, "Well, yeah, but-" 

"Don’t you want to stop Shoto from making a huge mistake on account of the two of us being complete assholes?" Katsuki asked. 

"I wouldn’t word it like that but I guess I see what you mean... so yeah." Izuku muttered as he slouched in his seat a bit. He definitely wouldn’t be able to forgive himself if he was part of what had driven Shoto away. 

Katsuki didn’t even look at him as he said, "Then stop complaining and hold on. We'll make good time since it's an off hour and there won't be much other traffic on the road." 

"Even so it's a six-hour drive." Izuku mumbled to himself as he thought about if this trip really made any sense at all. He started to mumble about the gas prices and the time it would take and just about every other thing possible. 

"We'll each drive three then." Katsuki quickly replied, not even the least bit fazed. 

Izuku turned towards him and asked, "Where do we even look for him though?"  

"Start at the shop. If he's not there they probably know where he's staying." Katsuki replied without a second thought. It was the logical thing to do as far as he was concerned. 

"Why would they tell us?" Izuku asked softly, not sure that such information would be given out freely. They could be stalkers for all the people at the shop knew. Now that he thought about it, they were acting exactly like stalkers! Izuku was quite embarrassed by the revelation but he still didn’t have the need to turn back. He owed Shoto an explanation or at the very least an apology and he was sure that he could explain that since he had his license which proved that he was who he would say that he was. 

"I'll make them if I have to." Katsuki replied with a scowl on his face. He squeezed the steering wheel until his knuckles turned white as he continued to drive. 

Izuku could see the familiar determination in his eyes. That look meant that Katsuki was dead set on something and there would be no talking him out of it. Not that he really wanted to, if he was being honest with himself. It was a weird feeling being on this end of such an eerily similar situation to what they had went through years ago. He couldn’t help but wonder if Katsuki felt this same awful sense of abandonment in his chest when he'd left too. Izuku frowned then turned and stared out the window as he willed the awful feeling to go away. Everything would be fine and there was nothing to worry about. He just had to believe it hard enough and it would surely come true. 

 

 

“I can’t believe you threatened to punch that guy in the face…” Izuku mumbled into his hands as he shook his head. He'd forgotten just how embarrassing Katsuki could be when he went off like that in public. In front of what was essentially their competition no less. As soon as they'd stepped foot into the tattoo shop, Katsuki had started yelling and demanding someone give him an address. He knew that they were both a little bit on edge after they'd spent over five hours driving and imagining the worst, but he didn't need to take it out on others like that.

“Yeah, well he was being uncooperative.” Katsuki grunted. He could’ve easily taken that guy out had Izuku not intervened. Now he was unsatisfied and itching for a fight, which just made his mood that much worse.

“…and then proceeded to actually try to. If I hadn’t grabbed you-!” 

“Then that dick would still be out cold.” Katsuki finished the thought for him. 

“You’re so lucky that the shop owner thought the whole thing was hilarious. Had it gone any other way she would have refused to help us because of your actions!” Izuku felt it necessary to point out. 

Katsuki rolled his eyes. “Yeah, yeah. Thanks, Mom, but I really don’t need the combined play by play and what-if recap.” 

“Kacchan! You just need to think before you act! We came all this way and it was almost for nothing!” Izuku tried to drill it into his head but he could tell that Katsuki wasn’t listening. They'd left and headed for the address they'd been provided as soon as the woman had given it to them because he was so focused on reaching his goal. Izuku was sure that he hadn't taken a second to think about his actions at all and he really felt like he needed to.

“There’s your nothing.” Katsuki mumbled to himself as he turned the car into a parking lot. 

“Oh, wow.  When they said motel… this was not what I pictured.” Izuku was stunned when he saw what had to be the classiest looking motel in existence. Even though it was dark outside the building was lit up because of the strategically placed accent lights. It was only a single floor but it looked to be absolutely pristine. The white building's windows and doors were all trimmed in gold and he could swear that it had a glow about it. There was a gorgeous half circle swimming pool out front that sparkled invitingly and was lit by mood setting accent lights. There were perfectly trimmed, decorative shrubberies all around as well. He felt like he couldn’t afford to look at the place, never mind actually step inside.  

Katsuki pulled into a parking spot not too far from the room they’d been told that Shoto was in and shook his head. Of course this ridiculously ostentatious place was right up his alley. He didn’t know why he'd expected anything different. He let out a relieved sigh and then shook his head before he said, “We should probably figure out what were gonna say so we don’t look like morons.” 

“Ah,” Izuku nodded since he had a point, “Well, I guess I’ll start by saying…” 

Katsuki turned towards him to see that Izuku had a shocked look on his face as he stared out of the windshield. Katsuki turned his head to see what the big deal was and found himself quite shocked by the sight as well.  An attractive woman with pink skin and curly pink hair walked out of the room that they had been told was Shoto's and closed the door behind herself. She wore a short, skin tight purple dress and after she took a few steps from the room she stopped to adjust her bra quickly. It would have been impossible for anyone not to notice just how her plentiful chest jiggled with the motion. Once she adjusted herself she continued on her way, her black boots clicking upon the sidewalk as she swayed her hips seemingly without a care in the world. 

Neither Izuku nor Katsuki had been prepared for what they had seen, or its implications., and they couldn’t help but wonder if they should just turn around and leave. If Shoto wanted to talk to them then he would have done so by now. What were they doing? 

Izuku frowned to himself as he thought about it. He shook his head before he said, “I don’t care. I need to see him and at least make sure that he’s alright. That's all that matters.” 

“You're such a fucking sap.” Katsuki mumbled as he turned off the car and unbuckled his seat belt. There was no point in turning back now and they both knew it. If nothing else they could use his bathroom before they hit the road again and found themselves a much less gaudy place to spend the night. 

The pair stepped out of the car and walked over to the door slowly. Neither of them knew why the air around them felt so heavy all of a sudden but they didn’t really care for it. Izuku closed his eyes and took a slow, calming breath before he exhaled slowly. He lifted his hand and then glanced at the blond next to him before knocked on the door quickly. 

“It's open.” Came Shoto's voice from the other side of the door. 

A part of Izuku was flooded with relief at the sound. He glanced over at Katsuki and saw that it was the same for him as well. Now came the real tricky part. He reached for the doorknob and turned it slowly so that he could push the door open before they both stepped inside. Yet again, neither of them was prepared for the sight that they would see. The room was much larger than one would have expected on the inside and it was mostly white with gold trim as well. The bed against the wall was so big that it had to be king size and it didn’t make any damn sense whatsoever. This was in no way a motel in any sense of the word. What the heck dimension had they just stepped into? Perhaps the most shocking thing of all was what they saw when their eyes finally landed on the other side of the room. 

Shoto stood on the other side of the large, fancy room in nothing but a towel. Well, two towels to be precise. He had one wrapped around his waist and the other draped across his neck so that the two ends fell down over his chest. He looked quite surprised to see the pair standing in the doorway. Though he didn’t look nearly as surprised as they did when their gazes fell to his bare torso and lower still. 

Shoto never wore tight shirts and things like that so how were they ever supposed to know? There was no way that they could have possibly guessed that not only did Shoto have his bellybutton pierced, but he had a pair of hip piercings to match. Had you asked the pair before they saw the piercings on him they would have told you that they didn’t really care for them either way. Now they'd say that the alluring sight was positively captivating and probably one of the sexiest things they'd ever seen. Izuku and Katsuki stared at those shiny, silver piercings for longer than either of them cared to admit before they could finally tear their gazes away from the lovely, surprisingly fit man before themselves. 

Shoto's surprise had melted away sometime when the two of them were busy staring and now he had a curious look on his face instead. He was silent as he studied the pair standing across the room from him. He waited for them to speak first since the questions that hung in the air seemed rather obvious. He saw that Izuku seemed to realize the situation first and he rubbed the back of his neck as he spoke. 

“Uhh. Hey… Shocchan… long time no see?” Izuku tried his best not to make it awkward and he failed miserably. He heard Katsuki make a choked noise next to him and immediately looked away from the half-naked man before them. 

“I suppose it has been.” Shoto replied, careful not to give away any indication of how he felt about that either way. 

If he was at all frazzled by their presence he didn’t let it show. That made Katsuki both a little mad and a little jealous since he could feel his own cheeks burning with blush. Even though he was no longer looking at him he could still see those enticing piercings of his clear as day. His fingers practically begged to touch them. Katsuki frowned to himself as he tried to salvage the situation as best he could. “We just wanted to say…” 

“We had a reason for showing up unannounced, honest!” Izuku finally managed to yell. He looked down at the floor as he muttered softly, “Well, we did before... Uh, sorry we didn’t realize you had a girlfriend so I guess this whole thing was rather pointless. It's good to see you're alright, though.” That fact actually made this quite embarrassing now that he thought about it. How had Shoto never mentioned her before? Maybe he was rude since he'd never thought to ask. Izuku wasn’t sure what to think about the whole thing since it sort of felt surreal. 

“I have a what?” Shoto asked, genuinely shocked by what he'd heard and unable to hide it. 

“Pink haired busty chick. Couldn’t really miss her if you tried.” Katsuki motioned towards the door as if she was still there. 

Shoto's eyes widened for a second before his expression turned into a look of amusement. He shook his head as he laughed softly to himself. “Mina is just my workout buddy when I’m in town. We met a couple of years ago and hit it off because she's quite the quirky one.” 

“Ah.” Izuku was surprised that he had managed to say that much since his embarrassment was coursing through him so violently that he thought he'd drop dead right there. 

“Not to mention, I kind of thought that I'd made it really obvious that I’m gay by all the flirting I've done with you two in the past." Shoto added with an amused smirk on his face. He tilted his head which caused his hair to fall to the side and reveal one side of the close shave he had underneath as he asked, "Why would you think for even a second that I'd have a girlfriend?” 

Both Katsuki's and Izuku's cheeks darkened with blush as they thought about it. When he put it that way it really did sound ridiculous that they'd assumed such a thing. Izuku's voice was barely above a whisper as he mumbled, “She did leave rather, um, disheveled.” 

“She always looks like that. It’s part of her charm.” Shoto assured them with a soft laugh. The girl was eccentric to say the least and she played by her own rules, which was why they got along so well. 

“You’re in a towel.” Katsuki added since that one argument alone made them seem rather silly. Anyone who saw what they saw would assume the same damn thing. 

“I just worked out, of course I wanted a shower.” Shoto shrugged. 

“Everything makes perfect sense.” Izuku replied with a nervous chuckle. He still felt rather silly and he wasn’t sure what to do with himself. He glanced over at the door as he contemplated just running out of the room so he could go hide in the car. He was sure that neither of them would blame him for that.

“Except for one thing.” Shoto disagreed with a quick shake of his head. He looked from one of them to the other then asked, “What the heck are you two doing in this city, never mind this motel?” 

“We went to your apartment looking for you then your stupid landlady said that you came here to accept a job offer. There's only one shop around here that's prestigious enough that you'd even consider being on staff at it. We did the goddamn math.” Katsuki explained, hoping that it would sound less crazy out loud than it did in his head. It didn't.  

"Fair enough." Shoto nodded. The fact that they'd figured out where he was wasn’t really the issue to be honest. He narrowed his eyes at the pair suspiciously as he asked, "But why were you at my apartment in the first place?" 

Izuku rubbed the back of his neck slowly. He knew they'd have to explain themselves eventually but he'd sort of hoped that they could put it off for a bit longer. He glanced at Shoto and then quickly looked away again before he finally muttered, “We, um, we missed having you around lately and don’t want you to leave us- I mean! Our shops! We want you to keep working at our shops!” 

Shoto sauntered over to the pair, fully aware of the fact that both of their gazes had fallen to where the towel sat low on his hips. Whether they were staring at his piercings or not was unclear but it didn’t really matter. He put a hand on each of their shoulders to get their attentions. Once they both looked up at him he smiled and tilted his head. “I came here to decline the offer in person because I thought it would be rude to do so over the phone. I decided to make a little trip of it on a whim.” 

“Oh. So you’re not going to work somewhere full time and have to give up coming to our shops all together?" Izuku asked softly. 

"Nope." Shoto smiled as he watched his freckled cheeks darken even more. 

"And you're not mad at us then for what happened last time we saw each other?” Izuku asked with a little sigh of relief. That alone made it feel like an incredible weight had been lifted from his shoulders. Now he just needed that other little reassurance and he could finally breathe easy once again. 

Shoto let his hands fall away from them before he crossed them over his chest. He looked down at the ground and shook his head slowly. “I can’t be mad at you for not thinking of me the same way I think of you. It's fine, really. I'll get over it and things will go back to normal eventually. When that happens we'll all think back and laugh about this crazy situation we’ve found ourselves in.” 

Katsuki watched the way that light pink blush filled Shoto's cheeks as he spoke. He really believed that crap and Katsuki could hardly believe it. As if he would ever bother to flirt with someone that he wasn’t interested in. What the heck did Shoto take him for? He rolled his eyes and grunted, “Honestly I have no idea how you manage to function being so damn wrong all the time.” 

“Wha-” Shoto was wide eyed and couldn’t help but gasp softly when Katsuki was suddenly in his face. He stopped breathing for a second when the blond surged forward all of a sudden and kissed him. The passion behind it was everything Shoto thought it would be as the blond kissed him with his emotions on his sleeve. He was sending him a message about how he felt with that heated kiss and Shoto could hear him loud and clear. 

Shoto felt the towel on his neck being tugged on so he pulled away and broke the kiss. As soon as he turned his head both ends of the towel were jerked and he was pulled down so that Izuku could kiss him without having to strain. This kiss was also just as he imagined it would be. It was cautious and sweet yet somehow still packed with the same amount of emotion as the last. Shoto was pretty sure that his heart was about to burst right out of his chest because of how hard it pounded. Once again, he didn’t have time to react properly before he was pulled away from that kiss. He stood up and blinked in surprise for a moment as his brain tried its hardest to register what had just happened. 

Katsuki crossed his arms and narrowed his eyes at him as he said, "Since we're on the subject, you need to make a goddamn decision and stop messing with the both of us." 

"I-I beg your pardon?" Shoto's brain was still busy trying to catch up with everything that had just happened. He couldn’t believe any of it and he didn't quite get what the blond meant. His pulse raced so quickly that he wasn’t certain that he'd survive the rest of the conversation. 

"You've been flirty with both of us basically since we met so we don’t really know which of us you actually like." Izuku explained timidly. It was weird to say it out loud like that but now that it was finally out in the open maybe they could get it all sorted out. 

"So stop messing with us already and tell us." Katsuki ordered with a frown. He was over the stupid games already. Every time it looked like Shoto preferred one of them over the other, he did something else that made the opposite look true. He was tired of it. 

Shoto placed his hand over his pounding heart and smiled to himself. He closed his eyes for a moment as he willed it to calm down so he could focus on his thoughts. He opened his eyes again and asked, "Both of my beautiful boys actually want me? Is that what the two of you are saying?" 

Izuku and Katsuki found themselves unable to reply. They simply stood there and blushed as they thought about it. They glanced at one another quickly as realization set in. Yeah, they both wanted him. Was that weird? They didn’t know and they certainly didn’t care since weird or not that’s just how it was. They looked away from each other and then nodded slowly in response.

"This is... incredible." Shoto smiled as he studied their blushing faces for a moment. The embarrassed expressions he saw were simply adorable and they confirmed that he'd never be able to choose between them even if given a lifetime. Maybe that wouldn't be a problem. He put a hand on each of their cheeks as he looked from one of them to the other and hummed, "How could I ever refuse either of you?" 

Izuku's eyes widened and he turned to look at him as he asked, "What do you mean?" 

"I mean I like you both and if you're willing to listen I may have a solution to this little dilemma of ours." Shoto all but purred as he pulled his hands away from their faces. He grabbed the towel from around his neck and slid it off of his shoulders so he could toss it aside. He shook his still damp hair then quickly put it up into a topknot like he usually wore it, thankful that he'd decided to put his hair tie on his wrist before he stepped out of the bathroom earlier. He glanced at the two beauties in front of him. Both of them had their eyes fixed on his chest with surprised looks on their faces. He couldn’t help but smile once again at just how adorable they were. He took one of each of their hands in his and brought them to his waist. He slid them up, over the piercings and along his torso to his chest, where he placed their fingers upon the silver nipple rings that they were both so enthralled by. There was a hint of amusement in his voice as he hummed, "You seem surprised." 

"I'm not sure that’s the right word." Katsuki replied without taking his eyes off of the shiny hoop that ran through the perky bud upon the chest before himself. He couldn't bring himself to look anywhere else. He didn’t want to look anywhere else. Somehow he knew that Izuku felt the exact same way without even sparing a glance to see his expression.   

Shoto's smile never faltered as the pair started to fiddle with his piercings curiously. He hooked his thumbs into the towel around his waist suggestively as he purred, “So, are you two interested in seeing what else I've got pierced?” 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Kiri was surprised when he saw the text from Denki earlier that said he'd like him to come by his shop after hours so he could give him his opinion on some new ideas for flash designs. He loved seeing Denki's art and the fact that he actually wanted his opinion on such was too amazing for him to even explain. He locked up the shop that evening, only sparing a passing thought to the impromptu "trip" that Katsuki and Izuku had decided to take together. He would ask all about it when they got back so he wasn’t worried about it. He headed across the street to Electric Smiles Tattoo II to find the door unlocked even though it was after hours. 

As soon as Kiri stepped foot into the shop he heard Denki call out, "Lock that behind you, will ya!" 

Kiri did as he was asked and then headed over to Denki's workstation to see if he was there. He pouted when he found that the blond wasn’t in his usual spot. He glanced around the shop quickly and realized that he wasn’t anywhere that he could see. When he heard the sound of a door opening he spun around with a grin on his face. 

Kiri immediately noticed that the blond had on his hoodie, which he had to admit he loved and it sort of made him hope that he'd keep and wear it forever. It was when he finally saw what Denki had on underneath the hoodie that he found it difficult to breathe. As if that little black cropped tank top wasn’t enough, he was wearing those shorts again. Yes, the tiny, wet-look ones. Only this time Kiri had a much better view of them than last time. His mouth went dry and he couldn't tear his gaze away from that alluring bit of skin between the two pieces of clothing. 

Denki pursed his lips together when he noticed that Kiri's gaze was fixed on his waist. He nibbled on his bottom lip to keep from laughing out loud and then grabbed both sides of the hoodie and pulled it closed around himself. He watched Kiri blink and shake his head as if suddenly knocked out of a daze. Denki smiled to himself as he walked past him and headed over to the light switch on the wall to turn it off. He made sure that the front door was locked as he said, "Let's go into the back room so people don’t think the shop is open." 

"Y-yeah. Good idea." Kiri agreed with a nod. He probably would have agreed to anything that Denki said in that moment because there simply wasn’t enough blood in his brain for him to do otherwise. He waited for Denki to pass him and then followed him into the back. 

"Have a seat."  

Kiri looked around and quickly noticed that his sitting options were either the small couch that was set next to a coffee table, much like the one in the waiting area of his own shop, or the tattoo table. The decision was easy and he plopped down onto the couch while Denki grabbed his sketchbook off of the table then joined him. He nodded as Denki went over a few of his ideas for new designs, and pointed out the ones he liked best. He tried to ignore the fact that the blond was so close that their thighs were pressed up together but that was damn near impossible since he could feel he blond's body heat even through his pants. After fifteen minutes of talking about designs, Denki finally closed his sketchbook, much to Kiri's disappointment. He watched Denki place the sketchbook onto the table in front of them before he turned towards him. 

"Listen, Ei, can I call you Ei?" Denki paused for a second to watch Kiri nod slowly. He had his head facing forwards probably because he knew that they'd be nose to nose if he turned to look at him. "I didn’t actually invite you over here because I wanted your opinion on my sketches." 

"Oh." Kiri had a disappointed look on his face and his shoulders slumped just slightly. 

Denki got off of the couch and then stood in front of the surprised redhead with the hoodie he wore swinging open freely and revealing his tantalizing little outfit once again. He watched Kiri's eyes widen and his gaze fall to his exposed waist. Denki smiled and then swung his right leg over Kiri's knees and sat on his lap, enjoying the surprised little gasp he got out of him. Denki leaned his head close to Kiri's ear and whispered, "I've got this itch I just can't scratch by myself. I was wondering if you'd be willing to help me out?" 

"I-I- uh..." Kiri couldn’t think clearly enough to form actual words. He stared at Denki impossibly wide eyed as the blond leaned back and settled onto his lap comfortably. He looked like he had no intention of leaving that spot any time soon and frankly, Kiri didn’t want him to go anywhere. 

Denki ran his fingers through Kiri's red hair. He pulled the long strands over his shoulder so that they fell down his chest and then twisted the ends around his fingers. He looked up to meet Kiri's gaze as he asked, "You like me, don’t you?" 

Kiri gulped audibly and then nodded slowly. He couldn’t seem to tear his gaze from Denki's alluring eyes. They were filled with something he could only describe as promise.  

Denki looked back down at the hair that he twirled around his fingers. He nodded as he admitted, "Well I like you too. I have since back in art school, actually."  

Kiri jumped when he heard that shocking news. His eyes were impossibly wide as he shrieked, "You what! But you never said-" 

"Yeah, I'm not good with talking about stuff like that. Social situations are just not my thing, never have been. I can show you though." Denki leaned forwards and let his lips ghost across Kiri's softly as he whispered, "If you want me to." 

Kiri instinctively reached out to touch his waist then paused just short of doing so. He studied Denki's eyes as he asked, "Can I?" 

Denki smiled and couldn’t help but huff softly in amusement. He slid his hands around Kiri's neck then purred, "I think we're a little past the asking for permission stage. Just touch me already." 

Kiri inhaled sharply then surged forward to finally kiss him. After so many years of wondering how things could've been had he made different decisions, he could finally say that he knew the taste of Denki's lips. He was pleasantly surprised to find that they tasted a lot like lemonade. Judging from just how smooth they were against his lips he would guess that was Denki's chapstick flavor of choice. He was pretty sure that he had a new favorite drink now. The cool piercings in his warm lips were a new and exciting feeling against his lips and Kiri couldn’t help but run his tongue along them. He smiled when Denki moaned softly into the kiss and then leaned in to deepen it. He was pretty sure they were his new favorite piercing as well. 

Kiri placed his hands onto Denki's waist and took note of how smooth and warm his flesh was beneath them. He slid his hands upwards slowly until they were underneath that sexy little shirt of his and continued to let them explore. He felt Denki tangle his hands in his hair just before he ground hard against his lap. The both of them gasped softly from the sudden, wonderful friction between them. 

Kiri felt Denki's muscles move beneath his hands as the blond arched his back slightly. He let his gaze travel up his body slowly so he could really drink in every last bit of what he saw and when their eyes finally met again he couldn’t help but mutter, "My god you're sexy..." 

Denki leaned in to kiss him again and Kiri turned his head slightly so that he'd miss. When he looked at the confused and slightly foggy look in his yellow eyes he smiled sweetly. Kiri placed his hand upon Denki's left cheek and maintained eye contact with him as he said, "Date me." 

"Huh?" Denki asked as he blinked away some of the fog in his eyes. 

"I really like you and I'm not into one-night stands so say you'll date me before this goes any further." Kiri lifted his hips just slightly so that Denki could feel just how obvious it was that he wanted things to continue. He was in no way trying to get out of their current situation and could barely focus on anything else but just how much he wanted the blond. 

Denki had to hold back a chuckle since most people would be more concerned about whether or not they had access to condoms and lube in their situation. Then again, Kiri was definitely not most people. He was special and Denki knew that since he felt it deep within his chest. Denki smiled at him and leaned in so that he could rub their noses together as he whispered, "I absolutely will date you, yes. But first-" 

Kiri couldn’t do a thing to stop the moan that escaped his lips when Denki gyrated his hips and rubbed his butt against his lap slowly right up against his aching member. Kiri dug his fingers into Denki's waist as he silently cursed the fact that there was so much fabric between the both of them. The pair resumed kissing and grinding against one another desperately until they needed to pull away to catch their breaths for a moment. Kiri took that moment to place his hands onto Denki's shoulders and slowly slide them down his arms as he removed the hoodie he wore. His voice was gravelly as he muttered, "You're wearing too much." 

"I believe it was your idea that I cover up in the first place." Denki smirked as he removed his hands from the sleeves of the hoodie and let it fall to the floor behind himself. 

"That was then," Kiri reached up and traced the lightning bolt that was shaved into the right side of Denki's head with his finger slowly. He honestly had no idea how he made something as silly as that look so good. He let his gaze travel down the very welcoming sight of Denki in that little outfit and then he looked him in the eyes again. He slid his hand to the back of Denki's neck and pulled him down for a kiss as he whispered, "this is now." 

Denki closed his eyes as he lost himself to the passion of the kiss. He hummed in approval when he felt Kiri place his hands upon his butt and hold him firmly against himself at the same time as he lifted his hips to rub his needy member against him. Even through their clothes, Denki could feel just how hard and how very gifted he was and needless to say that only made him want things to progress even faster. Not a moment later Denki felt the redhead hook his thumb into the side of his shorts and tug gently, evidently just as impatient to move things along. They both knew that there would be no way for him to get out of those shorts in their current position so Denki stepped off of his lap and moved to grab his shirt so he could pull it off. 

"Leave it on." Kiri hummed as he slouched so that he could undo his belt and unbuckle his pants. The strain against them was almost painful now and he needed at least a bit of relief. He unzipped them but once his erection stood freely in his underwear he didn’t go any further. Instead he watched the blond hungrily. 

"As you wish." Denki purred with a wink in his direction. He turned and headed over to a nearby table and then bent down so he could rummage through a bag that was on the floor.  

Kiri's gaze was fixed on those way too tight shorts that hugged his perfect ass in the loveliest way. He bit down on his lower lip as he continued to admire the sight for as long as Denki dug through the bag on the floor. 

Denki stood upright with a triumphant little hum when he finally found what he'd been looking for. He spun around and smiled as he waved a box of condoms and bottle of lube at the redhead. Of course he'd been prepared for the chance that Kiri didn’t call him crazy and just leave once he propositioned him. Denki tilted his head as he mused, "Hmm, going by what I felt earlier, I'm not sure I have any that'll fit you." Saying that out loud sent a wave of arousal straight to his groin. He honestly couldn’t wait to see the redhead in all his naked glory. He nibbled on his bottom lip for a second before he finally looked at Kiri and said, “We could just go without, I suppose.” 

“Are you sure?” Kiri managed to ask without sounding too desperate.  

"That's not a problem for me if it's not a problem for you." Denki replied with a shrug as if it didn’t really matter to him either way. Truth be told he preferred the feeling of going without but he didn’t want to just say something like that so he bit his tongue. 

“Of course it isn’t a problem for me!” Kiri chose not to mention that the very idea made him grow harder. 

“In that case,” Denki hooked his hands into his little shorts and wiggled as he pulled them down past his hips. He was quite sure that Kiri had realized by now that they didn’t leave him any room to wear underwear as well. He smiled to himself when he freed his erection from its cloth prison and he heard Kiri's breath hitch in his throat. He let the shorts fall down around his ankles and only bothered to kick one foot free of them.  

Denki knelt on the couch next to Kiri and pulled him into a quick, yet fiery kiss before he pulled away and leaned back against the arm. He looked away from the redhead as he spread his legs slowly. His cheeks were flushed with the embarrassment of being so exposed but it was also quite thrilling if he was being completely honest with himself. He didn’t say a word as he uncapped the lube in his hand and squirted a good amount onto his fingers.  

Denki gasped as the cool lube made contact with his warm entrance. He felt Kiri slide his hands onto his thighs and rub them slowly as if he was silently encouraging him to continue. Denki took a deep breath and then exhaled before he finally plunged his first finger into himself. He gasped softly and then squeezed his eyes shut as he proceeded to pump it in and out of himself slowly as he got used to the feeling. It wasn’t long before he decided to slide in a second finger to join the first. He moaned softly as he scissored and curled his fingers while he stretched himself.  

Denki's breaths had started to become shallow as he focused on the feeling of his fingers inside himself. He opened his eyes to see Kiri staring at him, absolutely mesmerized by every little motion of his hand. Denki couldn’t help but smirk playfully as he purred, "Like what you see?" 

Kiri nodded as he rubbed Denki's thighs and continued to stare at the way he used his fingers to work himself open. "God, yes. I've never seen a more beautiful sight in my life." 

“E-Ei…” Denki whimpered right before his eyes fell shut once again. 

That was all the invitation Kiri needed and he bent down so that he could take Denki's neglected, leaking cock into his mouth. He swallowed it all the way down to the base and then pulled back and started to bob his head slowly as he continued to stare. He watched the way that Denki's breathing deepened after he groaned loudly and Kiri knew that he was close. He picked up the pace and watched as Denki's eyes fluttered open as he arched his back with a little gasp.  

“Ahh, yes, oh god, Ei! Don’t stop! Just like tha- ah, ah!” Denki started to thrust his hips to try and meet Kiri stroke for stroke but he couldn’t keep his rhythm. He gripped at the couch for dear life with his free hand and then moaned loudly with his release. 

Kiri gladly swallowed the thick, warm streams that jetted from Denki's throbbing cock as he came. The sight of him during his release was so enthralling that he couldn’t help but want to see even more. He wanted Denki to lose control of himself like that time and time again until he couldn’t even move anymore. Something primal and hungry stirred within him at the thought. He released the blond's cock and smiled when he whimpered softly in response. 

Denki laid there with his eyes shut and tried to catch his breath as he slipped his fingers out of himself. He ran his tongue across his lip piercings and then finally managed to open his eyes and immediately met Kiri's gaze. The look on Kiri's face as he licked his lips slowly was so full of need that it was an absolute wonder how he hadn’t already jumped on him. 

Denki pushed himself to a seated position and then kissed Kiri’s cheek quickly as he slid his hand over the very obvious erection in his underwear. He claimed Kiri’s lips in a fevered, messy kiss as he worked to free his cock from the tangle of clothes he still had on. Once he finally had a hold of his twitching member, he could hardly believe it. He looked over at the thick cock in his hand and stroked the head lovingly with the tip of his thumb as he mumbled, “I thought you were big but wow.” 

Kiri groaned softly as Denki slid his thumb over the slit and spread the glistening precome all around the head of his twitching cock. He leaned his forehead against Denki's shoulder and whispered shakily, “P-please.” 

Denki considered for a moment whether or not he was stretched enough to accommodate him since Kiri was even bigger than he thought he was. He quickly realized that he didn’t actually care in the slightest. He wanted Kiri inside him and didn’t want to put it off any longer. Denki grabbed the discarded lube from behind himself and squirted a generous amount onto his hand. He lathered it onto Kiri's waiting cock and then quickly moved to sit on his lap once more. He positioned himself above the large cock and then watched Kiri's expression as he started to inch himself down onto it. 

“Oh my g- hngh. You’re so fucking big, Ei. I’m so full already and it’s only halfway in. Hahh.” Denki moaned softly as he slowly took more and more of the large, throbbing cock inside of himself. 

Kiri's eyes rolled to the back of his head as he groaned loudly. The combination of just how amazing the blond felt along with his words was almost too much to bear. He placed his hands onto Denki's hips and squeezed as he let his head fall back against the couch. He could barely keep his eyes open as he breathed, “Hahh... Denki. Shit, you feel incredible ahh…” 

Denki continued to lower himself onto Kiri's thick member as he watched the redhead's expression change a million times. Each one was somehow more beautiful than the last and he could hardly believe it. Once he finally managed to take him in all the way to the base, Denki sat there and panted for a moment while his body took a second to adjust. He'd never felt so full and amazing before and it wasn't something he'd soon forget. He had known that Kiri was amazing but this was just ridiculous. 

Kiri opened his eyes so he could look at the blond and noticed that his brow was knitted together as he panted softly. He rubbed Denki's hips gently as he asked, “Are you alright?” 

Denki smiled lazily at him as he blinked slowly and hummed, “I sure am but you won’t be in a second.” 

“What do you me- shit! Oh my fucking-!” Kiri couldn’t help but swear when Denki suddenly started to ride him enthusiastically. He lifted his hips until just the tip of his cock was left inside and then he slammed back down on him to the base over and over again. Each time his body completely engulfed him once more, a new wave of pleasure shot through Kiri and he was unable to form words. All he could do was hold on to Denki's slim hips for dear life as he slid up and down the length of his cock mercilessly.  

“Hng. Ei, you’re too much! You feel so fucking good deep inside me!” Denki cried as he continued to ride him with reckless abandon. 

Kiri wanted to respond but all he could manage were a bunch of grunts in time with Denki's uncontrollable groans. As beautiful as the blond was bouncing up and down upon his lap like he was with that gorgeous flush in his cheeks, Kiri found that it wasn’t enough. He wanted to be the one in control of the situation so that he could make him moan for him. He leaned forward and wrapped his arms around the blond so he could pull him into a heated kiss.  

Kiri pulled away from the kiss and the both of them painted softly in an effort to catch their breaths for a moment. He looked into Denki's half lidded eyes and said, “Stand.” 

Denki's eyes widened before a smile spread across his face. He kissed Kiri quickly and then slid off of his lap, loving the soft moan that slipped past Kiri's lips as he did. He took a step back so that Kiri had room to stand as well. Kiri motioned behind him and Denki turned to see the tattoo table. Denki quickly understood what he meant and walked over to it and bent over slightly. He looked at Kiri over his shoulder and smiled as he wiggled his butt playfully. 

Kiri's pants slid down to pool around his ankles as he walked up behind the blond. He caressed Denki's butt and thighs lovingly for a moment before he then grabbed his left leg and propped it up on the table he leaned over. He took note of the fact that his little black shorts were still around his ankle. Kiri continued to caress his backside softly with one hand as he used the other to guide himself back to his entrance. 

Denki shivered in anticipation when he felt the tip of Kiri's thick cock start to push at his entrance. He threw his head back and cried out when he thrust all the way into him in one smooth motion.  

“Alright?” Kiri asked as he leaned forward and kissed the back of Denki's neck tenderly. 

Denki grabbed the edge of the table and squeezed it as he exclaimed, “Fuck me already!” 

A guttural sound escaped Kiri's throat right before he grabbed Denki's waist with both hands and gave the blond exactly what he wanted. He thrust into Denki with just as much reckless abandon as he'd had when he rode him earlier. Only this time, it was even faster and harder because Kiri had the control. Every little moan and whimper that escaped Denki's lips was music to Kiri's ears and it only made him want to fuck him harder. 

"Fucking hell!" Denki yelled right before he fell forwards onto his forearms with his chest pressed up against the table. Kiri had just found the perfect angle so that with each new thrust he rubbed up against that wonderful bundle of nerves inside of him and he'd begun to tremble slightly from the sheer pleasure of it. His entire body started to get hotter as it flirted with its oncoming release. Denki squeezed his eyes shut as he cried, "Oh god, oh god, right there! Yes, yes, fuck... yes!" 

Kiri squeezed Denki's hips as he continued to keep his pace and pound into him relentlessly. He alternated between shallow thrusts where he only pushed himself halfway into him and deep thrusts that went all the way up to the base. Both made him cry out in pleasure and Kiri loved every second. It was only when the blond shuddered and let out a desperate, broken cry that he finally staggered a bit with a groan of his own. 

Denki laid his head on the table and was a whimpering mess as he rode out his second orgasm of the night and his body clenched around the well-endowed redhead. From the grunts he let escape his lips as well as the way that he'd started to lose his rhythm, Denki could tell that he was close too. He looked at Kiri over his shoulder and held his gaze with half-lidded, lust filled eyes as he whimpered, "Please... come for me, Eijiro." 

"Holy shit, Denki! Ahhh!" With those words and a few more powerful thrusts of his hips, Kiri was unable to hold back anymore. He quickly pulled all the way out of him and stroked himself as his orgasm crashed through him so hard that he saw white for a split second. Denki's name slipped past his lips again and again as he shot thick streams of come onto his ass. Once finished, he took slow, deep breaths and blinked slowly to try and get his vision to cooperate once again. He rubbed Denki's lower back gently and then smiled when the blond whined softly in response. 

Kiri looked around quickly and spotted a box of tissues on the table by the couch they had been on. It was better than nothing so he nodded he quickly grabbed some tissues and proceeded to clean the sticky mess off of Denki. As he did, he noticed that the blond could barely keep himself standing with his legs wobbling like they were. Kiri made a split second decision then scooped him up and carried him back over to the couch. He laid Denki down there and watched him shut his eyes as he tried his hardest to catch his breath. Kiri kissed him quickly and then turned and he cleaned himself really quickly too. He looked at Denki and saw that he had his eyes open now. Kiri smiled to himself as he hummed, "You're absolutely beautiful right now." 

Denki's eyes were half lidded as he huffed in between deep breaths, "I'm... a fricken mess..."  

"As I said... beautiful." Kiri replied with a smile as he cleaned Denki's torso for him. He bent down and kissed him sweetly then pulled away slightly so he could stare into his eyes as he asked, "Would you come home with me tonight?" 

"Insatiable, aren't you?" Denki asked with a silly smirk. He wanted to laugh but he didn't quite have the energy yet. 

"No, well... yes, I'm absolutely going to make love to you in the morning but that's not why I asked." Kiri replied softly as he continued to smile. He looked at the blond sweetly as he promised with his eyes that it would be slow, soft, and passionate. He kissed Denki's forehead and then rubbed their noses together as he hummed, "I just want to fall asleep with you in my arms later." 

Denki slapped his hands over his face to hide his embarrassing blush and the silly smile that such sweet words caused to spread across his face. His voice was muffled as he asked, "How the hell are you so damn perfect?" 

"I'd hardly say that." Kiri chuckled as he watched the tips of Denki's ears darken with blush when he nodded to show that he would go with him. He kissed the back of Denki's hand and then said, "Great! Rest here for a bit while I clean up." He picked up his hoodie and tossed it over Denki as a makeshift blanket before he walked away. 

Denki watched through the cracks in his fingers as Kiri quickly pulled on his underwear and then rummaged around for a bit until he found the disinfectant and paper towels he was looking for. He sprayed down the tattoo table and wiped it clean then made sure there wasn’t also a mess on the floor. Denki would have done all that himself if he could feel his legs since cleanliness was next to godliness in their line of work, but he couldn’t be mad that Kiri took it upon himself to do it for him. He smiled to himself and closed his eyes once more as he wondered just how he'd ended up so darn lucky. He almost couldn’t believe that any of what had just happened was actually real. He couldn’t wait to wake up next to the redhead in the morning and prove to himself that he wasn’t crazy at all and his life really had gotten amazing overnight. 

 

 

* * * * * *

 

Katsuki wasn’t exactly sure how Shoto had convinced both he and Izuku to take off their clothes and join him in bed but it probably had to do with the fact that he'd turned away from them and dropped his towel. Both of them stared at the two gorgeous wings tattooed onto Shoto's back in awe for a moment. They were huge and stopped right at the top of his butt. The left one was aflame, and parts of it had already turned to ash in places. The right one was frozen and even had icicles dripping from individual feathers. By all means the pair together were an absolute masterpiece and were positively breathtaking. They really suited him in every possible way. 

Before Katsuki knew what had happened, both he and Izuku had followed Shoto to the bed. It felt like a mere blink of an eye for their clothes to be shed as well and suddenly the three of them were naked and in bed together. The three of them made out as their hands explored each other's bodies freely. Both Katsuki and Izuku paid particular attention to Shoto's piercings because they found them to be incredibly sexy on him. Not to mention that he seemed to really enjoy when they touched him like that, and they could not get enough of the little noises he made. 

It wasn’t until Shoto brought out the lube he'd apparently had with him that they realized just how far he intended for them to go. They also realized that Shoto wanted to be fucked and neither of them had the slightest problem with that. They continued to make out as they worked to stretch and prep Shoto, who was little more than a blushing, whimpering mess after just a few minutes. The sounds they'd gotten out of him as they licked and nipped at his piercings while they scissored and stretched his hole were nothing short of arousing and they could both honestly get him worked up like that all day long just to listen to them. 

Katsuki had been distracted by their making out earlier as well as the feeling of the hands upon him so he didn’t ask one question that had been bothering him. Now that the three of them had taken a moment for a breather and no one was in the middle of kissing anyone else he finally poked Shoto and asked, “Do you seriously have a pair of cat eyes colored to match your own eyes tattooed on your shoulder?” 

Shoto turned his head towards him and smiled. “You bet I do. Aren’t they lovely? They were Izuku's idea.” 

“Tch. Should've known.” Katsuki grunted sarcastically with a roll of his eyes. 

“Because they’re wonderful, I know.” He smiled when he noticed Katsuki's frown. He would get something small that the blond thought of as well if he could come up with a decent enough design, but that was a conversation for another time. Shoto rolled over onto his side so that he was facing the blond and kissed him quickly. He smiled as he purred, "Would you really rather sass me than fuck me right now?" 

Izuku snuggled up to Shoto's back and slid his arm around his waist. He kissed the back of his neck and then hummed, "If he doesn’t want to then I will." 

"Fuck off, Deku. We're trying to have a conversation." Katsuki grumbled without any of his usual bite. 

"You're both going to fuck me or all of that prep was for nothing. You two don't think I let just anyone play with my piercings to their hearts content, do you?" Shoto asked, with just a hint of amusement in his voice. 

"We're nowhere near done playing with those." Izuku purred as he slid his hand up Shoto's bare torso until he felt a nipple ring. He tugged at it gently and smiled when Shoto gasped. The sound was quickly swallowed by Katsuki when he claimed his lips once again. 

Izuku chuckled softly to himself and planted more kisses on the back of Shoto's neck. He pressed his hard cock against the small of Shoto's back and then paused kissing him to hum, "Looks like break time is over." 

“I guess all that’s left to decide is who’s-" Shoto yelped in surprise when Katsuki wrapped his arms around him all of a sudden and then rolled them both over. He looked down at the serious expression on Katsuki's face from his new position above him. 

“Stop being ridiculous and fucking sit on my dick already.” Katsuki demanded. 

With those words Shoto's surprise melted into a smug smile. He bopped Katsuki on the nose and then pushed himself up so that he was sitting on his knees. He rubbed the blond's inner thighs lovingly right before he got off of him completely. 

Just when Katsuki was about to question him, Shoto swung his leg over his waist so that he was straddling him once again. This time Katsuki had a full view of his back and the incredible tattoos there. He couldn’t help but slide his hands up his back slowly, half wondering if either tattoo would burn him since they looked so lifelike. His distraction was momentary as he heard the sound of something crinkle before he felt a hand slide over his hard cock slowly. He knew from the familiar sound and feeling that they had just slid a condom onto him. Not a moment later he heard lube being squirted from a bottle and then felt someone wrap their hand around his cock as they lathered it onto him. He had to admit that it was a bit thrilling not being able to see which one of them was touching him in what moment.  It took every ounce of control he had not to moan because of the positively maddening sensation. 

"Ahh, shit." Katsuki couldn't hold back his groan when Shoto finally inched onto the tip of his needy cock. He grabbed his waist and squeezed as he very nearly lost himself to the amazing feeling already. 

Shoto turned his head slightly and smiled at the blond over his shoulder as he hummed, "Alright back there, big boy?"  

"Don't tease him, Shocchan." Izuku purred as he put his hand underneath Shoto's chin and pulled his face back towards himself. He placed his hands on Shoto's upper thighs and leaned in so that their lips brushed up against each other as he whispered, "You'll love the feeling of his cock filling you up completely. Come on, take it all the way to the base. You can do it." 

Izuku's words of encouragement sent a pang of arousal through Shoto like nothing ever had before and he maintained eye contact with him as he slid down the length of Katsuki's cock until it was completely sheathed inside him. 

"Fuck." Katsuki groaned as he dug his fingers into Shoto's waist. He hadn't expected that to happen so abruptly and he couldn’t help but pant softly because of it. He closed his eyes and willed his pulse to stop racing as he grunted, "You're so fucking tight... hahh..." 

Shoto licked his lips and smirked as he hummed, "You don’t know the half of it yet." He slid up and then back down the length of his hard cock slowly, letting his body adjust to the size.  

Izuku smiled at just how beautiful Shoto looked with his eyes half mast, his mouth hanging open, and his cheeks flushed. He whispered words of praise into his ear and was delighted by the little whimper he got in response. He slid his hand up Shoto's torso to his right nipple where he pinched the perky bud. He couldn’t help but smile even wider when Shoto gasped softly and then slammed down on Katsuki in surprise. Izuku saw the blond dig his heels into the bed as he lifted his hips slightly and moaned loudly.  

Izuku started to plant slow, lazy kisses along Shoto's collarbone. He kissed his way up his neck and to the base of his ear. He nipped at his earlobe and glanced over his shoulder to make eye contact with Katsuki as he whispered, “His cock feels amazing, doesn’t it? It fills you up so completely that you want nothing else in the world while it’s inside you.” 

Katsuki maintained eye contact with Izuku as he bucked his hips and made Shoto gasp. He only looked away once he heard Shoto speak. 

“You're wrong. I do want something else.” Shoto waited for Izuku to turn towards him so he could pull him into a kiss. He moaned into the kiss as Izuku continued to play with his sensitive nipples and Katsuki thrust into him slowly. If he didn’t stop this he would get lost in the feeling and forget what he was trying to say. He broke the kiss and looked Izuku in the eyes as he said, “I want you inside me too.” 

Izuku's cock twitched at the incredible thought. He hadn't actually considered something like that before and now that he was he definitely couldn't say he hated the idea. He didn’t even have a chance to respond before Shoto had re-positioned himself so that he wasn’t on his knees anymore. Now he was leaned back against Katsuki and propped up on his hands with his legs spread invitingly. Izuku watched the lovely blush in his cheeks darken and he knew that he was hopeless to resist such a tempting sight. 

Izuku quickly grabbed the lube and extra condom off of the bed where they'd been discarded earlier. He tore into the condom and slid it onto himself in what had to be record time then layered a good amount of lube onto his throbbing cock. He knelt in front of Shoto and caressed his thigh with his left hand and he guided himself to his entrance with the other. He pushed the tip of his cock against it and then paused, just in case he'd changed his mind. Shoto merely looked at him with anticipation in his eyes as he nibbled on his bottom lip and Izuku took that as a sign to continue. 

Izuku pushed himself into Shoto slowly, each inch of his cock sliding against Katsuki's as he did. He watched for any sign that he should stop but the needy little whimpers that escaped Shoto's lips and the muttered swears from Katsuki were nothing but encouragement for him to keep going. Once he had himself sheathed to the base he closed his eyes and admitted, “Hahh… I’ve missed you so much, Kacchan…” 

“The fuck.” It wasn’t a question and it was all Katsuki could manage to say at the moment. He was absolutely lost in the pleasure coursing through himself and found that he was unable to reply the way he wanted to. 

Izuku ignored him and bent closer to Shoto so that he could purr into his ear, “And you, ngh, you’re so incredible taking us both like this... ahhh. I had no idea something like this would feel so... Hahh.” Izuku kissed his cheek and then nuzzled it quickly. "You're amazing." 

Shoto turned his head and kissed him greedily. It was a sloppy mess and he could only just keep up. He could barely think anymore but he had just enough processing power left to say, "Talk later. Fuck me now." 

Izuku couldn’t help but smirk at that and a moment later he gave Shoto exactly what he wanted. He slid his cock almost completely out of him and then thrust back in again without warning. The sensual sound of both Katsuki and Shoto moaning loudly at the same time was very nearly enough to get Izuku to come right there. He thrust into Shoto again and again, his eyes fixed on the absolutely beautiful, intoxicated faces he made each time both of their cocks were all the way inside of him. 

Katsuki noticed that the whines and moans that escaped Shoto's lips were even more desperate than before and he could barely even prop himself up anymore. His arms trembled slightly as they threatened to give out. Katsuki wrapped his arms around Shoto and pulled so that he was lying with all of his weight on top of him instead of supporting himself. He slid his hands up to Shoto's chest so that he could fiddle with his nipple piercings and then smirked when he reached up to grab a fistful of his blond hair with a groan. He turned his head so that it was right next to Shoto's ear and he was sure that he could feel his hot breath upon it as he whispered, "You feel so fucking good." 

Shoto's breath hitched in his throat for a moment before he turned his head towards the blond so that they could kiss desperately, as if they were trying to devour one another. They both moaned into the kiss when they felt Izuku pick up the pace of his thrusts, obviously enjoying what he saw. Shoto couldn’t do anything about the needy little sounds that escaped his lips in time with Izuku's movements. He squeezed his eyes shut and just let himself drown in the pleasure as it threatened to consume him. 

Shoto's whole body was hot, more so than it had ever been before, as he squeezed the fist that he had tangled in Katsuki's hair and leaned his head back against his shoulder and then moaned loudly. "Izu... Izuku if you don't slow down I'm going to..." 

"Ahh... me too..." Izuku agreed with a nod as his thrusts got a little bit less rhythmic. He was on the edge of his release and if the two of them didn’t stop being so damn sexy there would be no holding back for him anymore. 

"Then do it." Katsuki whispered as he slid his right hand down Shoto's torso and lower still. He danced his fingers over the head of Shoto's leaking cock as he played with the silver barbell that ran through the tip. As much as he wanted to touch and play with that piercing and hear what kind of delicious sounds it would cause Shoto to make, he decided against it. Katsuki wrapped his hand around Shoto's cock, causing him to gasp and tighten his grip on his hair. He started to pump him in time with Izuku's thrusts as he purred into Shoto's ear, "Hold your breath." 

Izuku watched as Shoto's eyes fluttered shut and he arched his back then took a deep breath right before his whole body shuddered. He held out for as long as he could before he had to exhale and then gasp for air again. Izuku couldn’t tear his gaze from the glorious sight as Shoto completely unraveled with both his and Katsuki's name upon his lips while he rode out his intense orgasm. Izuku watched the way that Katsuki stroked him through his orgasm without missing a beat and then how Shoto let out a broken cry as he shot glistening white streams of come onto his torso. As soon as Izuku felt Shoto clench around him and Katsuki he was done for. He thrust all the way into him and groaned loudly while stars exploded in his eyes as he came as well. He knelt there and panted in time with Shoto in an effort to catch his breath. He very nearly yelped when Katsuki suddenly dug his heels into the bed and started to thrust his hips upwards. 

The sound of both Izuku and Shoto letting out surprised cries was music to Katsuki's ears as he thrust upwards again and again. He was so very close and he just needed a little bit more to send him over the edge. He was so focused on the building tension within himself that he didn’t notice Shoto turn towards him until he felt him sink his teeth into his neck. By then it was too late. It was Katsuki's turn to let out a surprised cry as an earth shattering orgasm crashed through him. His vision blurred for a split second and he shut his eyes as he mumbled between deep breaths, "Fucking hell..." 

"You said it." Izuku agreed as he slipped his flaccid cock out of Shoto slowly and carefully. He offered Shoto his hands for support since he looked like he could barely move on his own. Izuku had to admit that the sight of his flushed face and satisfied smile was rather beautiful considering he was part of the reason it had happened.  

Once Katsuki had also pulled out of him as well, Shoto rolled off of him and let himself collapse onto the bed. He rolled onto his back then smiled as he pulled one of the pillows over to his face as he sighed contently. He heard Izuku let out a surprised squeak and then what he could only assume was the sound of a really sloppy kiss before he felt the bed dip next to him. He looked up to see Izuku with a lovely rosy blush still in his cheeks and a sweet smile on his face. 

"Let me just clean you up and then we can go to sleep, OK?" Izuku asked as he started to wipe the sticky mess off of his torso for him. He glanced up from the mess to look at Shoto but quickly looked back down again as he clarified, "If you want us to stay, I mean." 

Shoto rolled over so that he faced Izuku and gently ran his fingers through his beautiful, messy curls. He glanced over at Katsuki to see that he was disposing of the trash into the can in the corner of the room. Their eyes met and it was clear that he was just as curious as Izuku about what Shoto would say next. Shoto looked back at Izuku, let his hand rest upon his freckled cheek, and smiled as he hummed, "Yes, I want you both to stay the night." 

"Good cause I'm too fucking tired to drive and this place is way too rich for my blood you damn show off." Katsuki grumbled as he walked away from the gold-plated trash can. He crawled into bed next to Izuku and made himself comfortable underneath the covers then put both of his hands behind his head as he stared up at the ceiling.  

"Help yourselves to whatever you want," Shoto replied right before he yawned loudly. He removed his hand from Izuku's face so that he could shimmy it underneath his pillow and lie on it. His eyes fell shut as he added softly, "it's my… treat." 

Izuku smiled at the fact that Shoto still had a little smile of his own on his face while he drifted off. He rolled onto his back and rested his hands on his stomach as he joined Katsuki in staring at the ceiling while the seemingly impossible day's events replayed in his head and his eyelids got so heavy that they were nearly impossible to keep open anymore. 

 

 

“Are you telling me that you two dated seriously for years and even went as far as to get each other’s names tattooed on your bodies but you never once said 'I love you'?” Denki asked in disbelief. Of all the weird details he'd heard about Izuku's past relationship that was definitely the craziest. 

“We didn’t need to. We showed our affection through our actions. Or at least that’s what I used to think anyway.”  Izuku admitted softly. Perhaps the fact that they'd had the argument which lead to their breakup proved otherwiseIzuku wasn’t sure anymore. He'd had just enough to drink to become loose lipped but not enough that he was drunk yet . 

Denki shook his head and then took a sip of his beer. “That’s pretty messed up.” 

Oh, shut up. You couldn’t even talk to your crush so I don’t wanna hear it!” Izuku immediately exclaimed in his own defense. 

Yeah but would’ve been able to talk to him if I had more time! And I wouldn’t have held back saying 'I love you' if that’s what it evolved into either!” Denki yelled right back. 

Izuku had a somber expression on his face as he gazed into his beer.  They were supposed to be celebrating getting into art school and all that but somehow it felt more like they were mourning the loss of their past rather than celebrating their future. His voice was soft as he said, “Too bad neither of us will ever get the chance to tell them  now .” 

“Yeah.” Denki raised his glass in agreement before he took a sip. 

 

Izuku had just about drifted off to sleep when he felt the bed move slightly and he opened his eyes. He had no idea why a silly drunk conversation from when he'd moved away three years ago would be on his mind as he was about to drift off but he quickly pushed it to the back of his thoughts where it belonged. He could tell from Shoto's slow, rhythmic breathing next to him that he was already asleep, which meant he was probably not the one that had moved. Izuku turned his head to his right to see Katsuki staring at him. 

Izuku looked into Katsuki’s beautiful, red eyes and forgot how to breathe for a moment. They were filled with an intensity that he hadn't seen in a long time. Izuku didn’t say a word as he turned towards the blond and reached out to him so he could run his fingers through his hair. His gaze followed his hand as he admitted softly, “I thought about you every single day, you know.” 

Katsuki grabbed Izuku and pulled him up against himself so that as much of their bodies were pressed up together as possible. It seemed unreal that he could embrace him properly for the first time since before he'd left and Katsuki couldn't begin to explain just how much he'd missed him even if he wanted to. He placed his hand on the back of Izuku's head and pulled back from the embrace just enough to search his eyes as he whispered, “Why'd you leave?” 

Izuku slid his arm around the blond and returned the hug. He never broke his gaze as he replied, “I would've stayed if you’d asked me to.” 

Katsuki had expected as much, which was actually why he didn’t ask. He had known that Izuku would never get another opportunity like the one he had so the only logical thing was for him to go for it. Of course he probably could've handled it better and not had Izuku leave after they'd gotten into an argument but he wasn’t perfect and there was nothing he could do about it now. He wasn’t sure there was any way for him to express all that without sounding like a crazy person so he stayed quiet instead. 

Izuku's cheeks darkened as he finally tore his gaze away from the blond and mumbled, “But I'm glad you didn’t.”  

“What?” 

“I'm glad you didn’t stop me from leaving. If I never transferred schools, I never would have met Shocchan. I also never would've opened my own shop and had him come visit as a guest artist. If I hadn’t gone on and on about you all the time, he never would've traveled to meet you when you opened your shop.” Izuku explained. He looked back at Katsuki to see that he had a contemplative look on his face that was hard to read. 

Katsuki thought about it for a second and quickly realized that Izuku was absolutely right. He still remembered just how random it was to have an up and coming star in the tattoo industry waltz into his shop and ask to work there for a bit completely out of the blue. It was shocking to say the least, but neither he nor Kiri could think of any downside to his request. Even more shocking was when Shoto started to talk about his ex of all people. 

Izuku traced little circles on Katsuki's shoulder. He watched the motion of his own finger as he said, “As much as it hurt, I’m thankful for the way things happened in the end. The results far outweigh any suffering I went through.” 

“Yeah…” he had a point but Katsuki wasn’t exactly sure if he could admit that. 

Izuku stopped tracing circles and put his hand flat against Katsuki's shoulder. His voice was barely above a whisper as he said, “If not for all of that, I never would’ve realized that I could love two people at the same time…” 

Katsuki couldn’t do anything but blink at him for a second as his words rattled around in his brain. He noticed that Izuku wore a conflicted expression on his face as if he wasn’t at all sure how something like that would be received, and so he was on the fence about regretting it. Katsuki simply kissed his forehead and then pulled Izuku's head towards him so that his forehead was pressed against his collarbone as he mumbled, “Me too.” 

Izuku choked on a quiet sob as he squeezed him tightly in response. He nuzzled his neck and said a muffled, “Kacchan!” 

Shoto cuddled up to Izuku's back and kissed his shoulder lazily. He was still half asleep as he asked, “Whatcha talkin' bout?” 

Izuku smiled against Katsuki's neck and then pulled away slightly so that his voice would be heard clearly as he hummed, “The fact that we're both glad we met you.” 

“Mm. Me too.” Shoto nuzzled the back of Izuku's neck and slid his arm over his waist until his hand landed on Katsuki. Once he was sure that he had the both of them in his grasp he smiled to himself and let his eyes fall shut again.  

Izuku smiled as well and then leaned his forehead against Katsuki's collarbone once more. His exhaustion had finally caught up with him and he yawned loudly before he finally closed his eyes and muttered, "Goodnight, Shocchan. Goodnight, Kacchan." I love you two.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Shoto awoke to find a tangled mess of green curls in his face and the light yet spicy scent of apples with a swirl of cinnamon in the air. He smiled to himself as he took a deep breath and simply enjoyed the wonderful scent as it washed over him. He rolled onto his back so he could stretch lazily as he smiled to himself. He heard the sound of someone tapping on their phone and turned his head to see who it was, even though the answer was rather obvious. He found that Katsuki was sitting up with his back against the headboard and part of the blanket draped across his lap. That was unfortunate as far as Shoto was concerned since waking up to his sculpted, naked form would have been a delight to say the least. Still, he wouldn’t complain about what he could see since his absolutely kissable torso was bare for the world to enjoy.  

Shoto rolled onto his side and propped himself up onto his elbow as he watched the blond for another silent moment. He only looked away when he noticed Izuku finally stir and blink his eyes slowly as he let them adjust. The sight was absolutely adorable and it was a miracle that Shoto didn’t jump on him and start kissing him all over. 

Izuku sat up in bed and the blanket slid off of his torso and pooled around his lap. He blinked slowly as he looked around for a moment. It took a second for him to register just where he was and finally remember what had happened last night. He gasped softly then looked to his right to see Katsuki fiddling with his phone. He turned to his left to see Shoto lying next to him with a dreamy smile on his face. What a beautiful sight to see first thing in the morning. Izuku couldn’t help but blush lightly as he hummed, “Good morning.” 

Shoto's voice was smooth as silk as he replied, “Morning. Sleep well?” 

Izuku smiled a crooked smile at him. He tucked his green hair behind his right ear and then nodded. “Yeah, really well. You?” 

“More soundly than I have in years,” Shoto paused to look at Katsuki, "and you?" 

Katsuki didn’t look up from his phone as he grunted, "Like a fucking rock." 

There was silence for a few moments after that as the three of them sat there with blush dusted cheeks and recalled their reason for being able to sleep so soundly. So much had finally been dealt with last night and it was a great weight off of all their shoulders. The relaxation afterwards was to be expected. It was Shoto that finally broke the silence between them when he asked a question that he already knew the answer to, “So do either of you read Tattooists Monthly?” 

"I sure do, yep! I've got a subscription to it." Izuku chirped as he nodded quickly and his long, green curls bounced with the motion.

"Same here... just to see all the trashy douches they feature in their articles." Katsuki explained calmly so that he didn’t seem as eager to agree as Izuku. He placed his phone down upon the nightstand next to him as he eyed Shoto curiously. 

Shoto had a little half smile on his face as he hummed, "Funny you should mention that. They asked me if I'd come in for a photo shoot and interview next month." 

Katsuki's mouth dropped open as if he was going to say something but he closed it again before any sound came out. He heard Izuku chuckle next to him and turned to frown at him. To be honest, it made a lot of sense that they'd want to interview Shoto and it was kind of a surprise that they hadn't before. Not that he would ever admit that out loud. He simply continued to frown at Izuku as he laughed so hard that he needed to wipe a tear from the corner of his eye.

"Kacchan has wanted to be featured in that magazine ever since I can remember! Before art school and everything!" Izuku couldn’t help but explain when he noticed the curious way that Shoto watched him. He had to purse his lips together so he didn’t laugh when he saw the embarrassed flush in Katsuki's cheeks as he sat there and didn't deny it.

"Then you're in luck since they said they'd be interested in doing a group photo shoot if I could get artists together that they’ve never featured before." Shoto all but laughed as a devilish smirk spread across his face. His eyes shined as he watched their expressions and said, "I want the two of you to join me." 

"R-really!" Izuku's amusement was quickly replaced by shock. He could hardly believe it since if what he was saying was true it would be an absolute dream come true. 

"What's the catch?" Katsuki asked, suspicious as usual. He narrowed his eyes at Shoto as he waited for his response.

Shoto's mischievous smile never wavered as he replied, "They'll most definitely ask about the nature of our relationship during the interview and I'll tell them the truth." 

Katsuki rolled his eyes and then crossed his arms over his chest. He should've known it would be something so ridiculous. He shook his head slowly as he muttered, “What relationship? We fucked one time.” 

Shoto finally pushed himself to a sitting position, not caring that the blanket had slipped of of him completely. He continued to smile at the blushing pair as he said, “Yeah and I don’t just give it away for free. If you want that kind of action again, which I am very willing to provide by the way, then that’s the price. You both have to agree to date me as well as each other.” 

“You I get... but why each other?” Izuku asked softly. Not that he was against something like that, it was more out of curiosity than anything else at this point.

Shoto leaned his face close to Izuku's and watched his green eyes widen. He maintained that intense eye contact as he purred, “Sometimes I like to watch for a bit before I join in the festivities.” 

Izuku gasped softly and then glanced at Katsuki out of the corner of his eye. The expression on his face said that he was thinking the exact same thing as him in that moment: that was so hot. They could both absolutely get behind something like that. Izuku closed his eyes for a few seconds while he considered what he should say. When he reopened them again, he smiled at Shoto and hummed, "I think it's safe to say that we can live with your terms." 

"Good, now what do you two say we check out of here and go get ourselves some breakfast at a local diner before I have to return my rental car?" Shoto suggested as he nuzzled Izuku's freckled cheek. 

Izuku scrunched his face in confusion as he thought about it. He tilted his head then asked, "You rented a car even though you have one?" 

"Yeah I wanted to try something sporty and sexier. A different kind of experience than what I'm used to." Shoto smiled mischievously and ran his fingers along Izuku's collarbone as he added, "I guess you could say I got more than my money's worth." 

"Are we still talking about cars?" Katsuki felt it necessary to ask. It was too early for word games as far as he was concerned.

Shoto tilted his head at him and blinked as he asked, "Were we ever?" 

Izuku chuckled softly and then wrapped his arms around Shoto in a tight hug. He hummed softly in approval when he felt the embrace returned and couldn't help but plant a few quick kisses upon his collarbone. He was just so happy with the way that everything had turned out and he wanted to show that through all kinds of affectionate gestures.

"Mm. On second thought, let's delay that checkout." Shoto purred right next to Izuku's ear. He smiled as he hummed, "I'm definitely in the mood for round two. The question is which of you two wants to be fucked this time around?" There was a pause as Izuku and Katsuki looked at one another and had what looked like a silent conversation. Shoto noticed their momentary hesitation and then assured them, "It doesn’t have to be the same as last night. I know that kind of thing can be intimidating. There are tons of other things we could try that are just as, hmm, satisfying."

Katsuki crawled over to the pair and then took Shoto's chin in his hand so that he could pull his face towards him. He kissed him quickly before he pulled away slightly to kiss Izuku's cheek as well. He had a devilish smirk on his face as he hummed, "Let's just see where the journey takes us."

 

 

Denki opened his eyes and blinked slowly as they took a second to focus on his unfamiliar surroundings for the second time this morning. The first time he'd accidentally woken the redhead when he stirred, and Kiri made good on his promise to make tender yet passionate love to him before they both fell back asleep for a few more hours. He turned his head to the right and what he saw when they did made him smile as heat filled his cheeks. Kiri was lying on his side next to him with a silly little smile on his face as he watched him and the sight threatened to make Denki's heart pound right out of his chest. Denki wasn’t sure just how long he'd been staring but he couldn’t seem to bring himself to look away. His voice was soft when he finally mumbled, "What are you doing?" 

"Staring." The side of Kiri's mouth twitched slightly as he held back a laugh. He couldn't help himself, just being around the blond made him want to be silly and laugh all the time. It was truly the most incredible feeling and he wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

Denki finally tore his gaze from the red eyes before himself and let his eyes travel along the glorious sight that was Kiri's tanned, bare skin. He continued to drink in the sight of him as he replied, "I know that. I'm asking why." 

Kiri's smile grew before he hummed, "Because you're an absolute vision first thing in the morning and I want to memorize every bit of what I'm seeing."  

Denki knew all too well that this was not the case. His hair was notorious for being particularly unruly first thing in the morning, especially after what they just did not too long ago, not to mention he didn’t even have on any makeup so his eyes didn’t pop like they usually would, or the fact that he was in one of Kiri's shirts that hung off of him awkwardly because it was too big. In other words, he looked like the definition of a mess. Still, it was rather sweet of Kiri to say otherwise and smile at him as if it were true. Denki looked up at him and smiled shyly to himself then he slapped Kiri on the chest playfully. “You're such a dork, Ei.” 

“That might be true,” Kiri agreed with a soft chuckle. He leaned forward and kissed Denki's forehead quickly then looked him in the eyes again. He tucked Denki's hair behind his left ear as he hummed, “but I’m a hungry dork. So what would you like for breakfast?” 

“I usually just grab a cup of coffee and muffin or something on the way to my shop.” Denki explained what had come to be his morning routine. It wasn’t that he necessarily liked those things but he was usually running late so it was a matter of convenience and the caffeine helped wake him up. He might have been just a tad bit addicted to the stuff.

Kiri nodded as he thought about it for a moment. He finally bopped Denki on the nose and hummed, “Well it’s about time you had yourself a home cooked meal, then. How do you like your eggs?” 

Denki couldn't help but smile at the cheery way that Kiri's eyes shined while he waited for a response. He huffed softly to himself and then smiled a half-smile as he replied, “Scrambled. With extra bacon. Heck, sometimes with more bacon than eggs.” 

Kiri's grin stretched from ear to ear as he chirped, “I knew there was a reason I liked you so much!”  

“Besides my winning personality and striking good looks?” Denki teased as he batted his eyes playfully. He couldn’t help himself since Kiri walked right into that one and he was in the mood to joke around, something that he found was quite a common occurrence around the redhead.

“That goes without saying.” Kiri agreed without a moment's hesitation. 

Denki felt his cheeks darken at that. He knew that he walked into it so he didn’t have a witty come back that time but he'd kind of expected Kiri to joke with him, not just up and agree. He tried to look past Kiri to see if there was a clock on the nightstand but there wasn’t. He pouted slightly as he asked, “Is there time for a big breakfast though? I still have to go home and shower then change before I open my shop.” 

“There’s always time for a breakfast made with love.” Kiri replied right before he leaned forward and kissed Denki's nose. He rolled over and then sat up and stretched as he added, “You can shower here while I cook.” 

“Thanks.” Denki couldn’t do anything about the grin on his face as he watched Kiri get out of bed and pick up his underwear so he could wriggle into them quickly. He then waltz out of the room in his boxers without bothering to grab a shirt. Denki would bet money that his silly boyfriend would come to regret that once he got cooking that bacon. Denki's cheeks hurt from just how hard he blushed when he thought that he rather liked the idea that he had a boyfriend. An incredible, perfect, sexy, too good for this world boyfriend. He buried his blushing face in his pillow and let out a muffled yell then laid there for a moment until he heard happy singing coming from the kitchen. Just when he thought the redhead couldn't get more amazing, he did something incredibly adorable like singing while making breakfast. None of this felt real anymore and he was positively walking on sunshine at this point. Denki couldn’t take it and he continued to smile to himself as he rolled out of bed so he could finally head towards the bathroom for a shower. 

 

 

The next four weeks flew by faster than any of them could have anticipated. During that time both couples managed to fall into a comfortable groove in their relationships and they were all pleasantly surprised to find out that it was the most wonderful feeling in the world. Of course everyone was surprised to hear that the other pair had gotten together but in the end as long as their friends were happy they were happy for them. Though they'd all been quick to assure each other that nothing would change because of the fact that they were dating their actual competition, that wasn't exactly true. Good thing they put in the effort to make sure those changes were positive ones.

Izuku and Denki brought in two well respected artists to run their second shop for them as they both started to spend most of their time in the one across the street from theirs. They had even started to tattoo out of there as guest artists for a while, and eventually they considered dropping the guest part since they spent so much time there. They were still very much involved in their second shop and if either Fumikage or Mezo needed anything at all they would head over there and help out. Though that duo was incredibly competent and most of the time the shop ran smoothly without them having to watch over everything, which Izuku and Denki were both grateful for. 

On the day of the photo shoot for Tattooist Monthly, the whole group arrived at the studio together. Shoto had thought to invite Kiri and Denki a few weeks ago since he was told 'the more the merrier' when he said he had already gotten two others to agree to the shoot. He was glad that there were so many talented artists so close by and he didn’t actually have to put much effort into searching. That way his time could be spent focusing on other, more important things. 

It had sounded way more convenient to take one car to the studio since parking had the potential to be problematic from what they'd heard, so that’s what they did. Once they all stepped into the studio and found their way to the set they'd be using, the producer of the shoot introduced himself and explained to the five of them that it would be two separate shoots and interviews. He was given the information that there would be two separate couples coming and he wanted to use that as inspiration for the shoot. He also explained that it would be a nude photo shoot and if anyone had problems with that then they should leave before things got underway. 

Considering that was the best way to show off their ink, none of them had even the slightest problem with the proposed plan. Not a one of them was ashamed of their body or the artwork upon it. In fact, they welcomed the chance to have it on display like it would be. They nodded as the man explained that the plan to keep things organized was that while one couple had their photo shoot, the other would have their interview and then they'd switch. 

Shoto, Izuku and Katsuki were up to take their pictures first, while Kiri and Denki gave their interview. The photo shoot itself was actually a lot more demanding than any of them expected it to be. They weren't professional models or anything, so there was a bit of a learning curve for all of them. Eventually they found their groove, and the shoot ended up being quite a bit of fun. As soon as the photographer told them they'd gotten the perfect shot, they were offered silk robes to toss on so they could go straight into the interview without wasting time on getting dressed. 

Before the interview got underway they were informed that this issue of the magazine wouldn’t be until next month so there would be a little wait to see the results of their hard work. They all understood that and then proceeded to answer the questions asked of them. The interview wasn’t exactly short but it wasn’t long either. It was just enough time to make sure all of them got to talk about their tattoos and shops as well as what inspired them to become tattooists in the first place. Of course there was a little bonus section for the readers where they talked about their relationship as well and how they’d fallen into a comfortable groove together rather quickly once they'd finally gotten together. 

 

After their rather eventful day, the five of them headed out to grab something to eat together. The snacks they'd had at the studio just weren't enough anymore and they needed something more substantial. While at the restaurant they'd stumbled upon, Kiri and Izuku thanked Shoto again and again for inviting them to the photo shoot because they'd had an absolute blast. They went on and on about how they would love to do stuff like that more often. Shoto had to constantly assure them that it wasn't necessary to thank him but he was glad they'd enjoyed themselves that much while both Denki and Katsuki shook their heads at the pair of enthusiastic dorks. 

Shoto did his best to kindly remind them that it would be a while before they got to see the magazine so they could calm down for now. Of course that did nothing to actually help calm the pair since they were so hyped up after having such a good time. It only made Shoto wonder just how they'd react when they saw the actual magazine. He bet it would be pretty adorable indeed. They all continued to chat and laugh happily about whatever random subject came up and it was wonderful. These were the moments that needed to be treasured as far as Shoto was concerned. He took out his phone and managed to get everyone to squeeze in for a group selfie to commemorate the day until they finally got their hands on the actual pictures from the shoot.

 

 

One month later. 

 

Izuku nearly tore the door right off of its hinges when he suddenly stormed into the shop and waved something above his head as yelled at the top of his lungs, "Guys! The issue! It's here!" 

Everyone stopped the conversions they'd been having to join him over in the waiting area. He plopped down onto one end of the couch, followed closely by Shoto and then Katsuki. Kiri and Denki leaned over the back of the couch so they could watch as he tore open the plastic excitedly. Once he crumpled and tossed that aside, Izuku simply stared at the cover of the magazine in his hand in awe, as did everyone else. 

In the picture Shoto stood with his back to the camera, his beautiful wing tattoos on full display for everyone to admire. His hair was up in his preferred topknot, showing off the close shave beneath. The picture cut off right at the top of his butt, since that was where the tattoos ended, and it was beyond obvious that he was actually naked for the shoot. He held his arms up to either side of himself and had the tips of his pointer fingers beneath the chins of the beautiful men on either side of him.  

Next to his fiery wing stood Katsuki, glaring at the camera out of the corner of his eye as he usually did. He was turned so that his right side faced the camera and there was a clear view of his skull themed sleeve and it cut off right above his matching leg sleeve. They could just barely tell that he had his right leg lifted slightly to act as a makeshift censor. His right hand gripped Shoto's arm and it was unclear whether he was trying to remove it or keep it where it was. 

On Shoto's other side was Izuku. He stood with his body facing the camera but his head turned towards Shoto as if being pulled by his touch. He had a smile upon his face that made it look like he had a secret that he refused to tell anyone. His chin was lifted just slightly and it gave a really good angle so that people could see the full Japanese style tattoos that started on his neck and traveled over his entire torso. His arms were by his side and his hands met over his groin to censor himself. 

"Beautiful..." Izuku whispered as he held back the urge to run his fingers across the cover. There was no other way to describe what he saw in front of himself. Every single detail about the picture of the three of them was stunning and Izuku was positively floored by how it had come out. He positively buzzed with excitement as he continued to stare at the amazing picture. It was absolutely worth the wait to see how it came out.

"Yeah you guys are sexy and whatever but come on and let's see us!" Kiri whined impatiently as he grabbed Izuku's shoulders and shook him lightly. 

Izuku chuckled softly and then flipped through the magazine to get to the main article where they’d be featured. Once he got there he heard a squeal of delight from behind him. The picture on the main page was one from Kiri and Denki's photo shoot. Kiri stood with his back to the camera to show off the colorful underwater scene and shark he had there. He flexed his left bicep as he smirked at the camera over his left shoulder. Denki's body was mostly hidden since he stood on the other side of Kiri. He had his left arm draped over the top of Kiri's shoulders to show off his thunderstorm half sleeve. His eyes were also visible above his shoulder and he had a real 'come hither' look in them. 

"You look so sexy, babe!" Kiri yelled excitedly as he clapped his hands together.

Denki rolled his eyes and chuckled softly. He shook his head as he said, "You can't even see me in that pic. You're the one that looks sexy." 

"I can see your alluring eyes just fine and they're pulling me in! Oh nooo, I can't stop myself!" Kiri exclaimed right before he wrapped his arms around Denki and pulled him into a kiss. He sort of meant for it to be a hug but there was no way he'd complain that his body had decided it wanted a kiss instead. 

Denki couldn’t help but smile before he slid his arms around his waist and kissed him back. Kiri was the sweetest, best, most amazing thing that had ever happened to him and he was grateful that he was part of his life every single day. His pulse pounded loudly in his ears as it started to race from something so simple as a loving embrace.

"Would you two stop being gross for five minutes so we can look at the rest of the pictures?" Katsuki groaned loudly when the sounds of wet kisses assaulted his ears. 

Denki pulled away from the kiss and gasped exaggeratedly as he asked, "Us? The gross ones? I think you're forgetting the time we walked in on you three all over one another! That was gross!" 

"That was fucking beautiful. Now shut up." Katsuki grumbled at the ridiculous blond. Had he and Kiri really gone home early like they said they were going to then none of that would've ever happened because the shop was supposed to be all theirs for the rest of the night. So it was all those two idiots faults no matter how he tried to look at it and no one could convince him otherwise. He turned his full attention back to the magazine as Izuku chuckled softly and then turned the page. 

The next two pages had closeups of Shoto, Katsuki, and Izuku. The focus was on their facial piercings as Katsuki's head was leaned slightly backwards to show off his labret piercing as well as the gauges in his ears, and the hoop in his right eyebrow. Izuku's head was tilted to the side to show off the cute little stud in his nose as well as his sweet little smile dimpled smile, and Shoto had his tongue stuck out of his mouth with a devilish smirk on his face as he revealed that shiny, teasing barbell. All three of them admired the flattering angles at which the pictures were taken in awe yet again. They concluded that they should really have gotten that photographers number for future events because he was apparently amazing at what he did. 

"Turn, turn, turn!" Kiri chanted enthusiastically from behind them. 

Izuku gave in before Kiri got the chance to shake him again and turned the page to see what was next. His eyes widened as he studied the picture before himself and he studied it for a moment before both he and Shoto whispered simultaneously, "Wow." 

Kiri squealed loudly and then picked Denki up and spun him around once as he exclaimed, "Look at us! We look so amazing!" 

Shoto shook his head to disagree. He had completely missed what had given them all a moment of pause. He glanced at the happy redhead and then said softly, "It's not that at all, Kiri. Look again." 

The pair looked down at the picture once more and then a moment later Denki gasped softly and slapped his hand over his mouth in an attempt to hide the blush that had suddenly risen to his cheeks when he saw what Shoto meant. He smiled beneath his hand as he considered whether or not he was happy about that being printed in a magazine for everyone in the community to see.

"What's going on?" Kiri asked as he looked from Denki to the picture and back again. There was nothing wrong with it that he could see so he didn't understand their reactions. 

Shoto tapped on the page as he asked, "Why is this picture of the two of you so incredible?" 

"Huh?" Kiri looked back down at the magazine and studied it for a moment. He and Denki were facing one another and holding hands with their palms flat against each other as they stared into each another's eyes. Kiri looked down at the dragon tattoo on his right forearm and then over at Denki's thunderstorm on his left shoulder followed by the snake on his neck. His gaze traveled to Denki's waist where his corset piercings started. They were laced with a sheer black ribbon and he bet no one had expected to see them when he took off his clothes that day. Those piercings were only about three weeks old at the time of the photo shoot and Kiri still couldn't get over just how sexy they looked traveling up the side of Denki's ribs like that.  

When he finally managed to tear his gaze away from those enticing piercings, he took note of that fact that the way that their arms were angled acted as a censor but he doubted that was what had everyone all in a tizzy. He looked down at their hands and couldn't help but smile when he saw the tattoos on the heels of them. The way that they had their palms pressed flat against each other made each of their half-tattoos line up perfectly to reveal the whole image.  

"If it's the matching tattoos you're talking about they zoomed in on them for you in that little box in the corner." Kiri motioned towards the little box he saw that was just an image of their hands. It was clear as day that they each had half of a heart shaped, copper gear on their hands and when put side by side like they were in the picture, the image made a complete heart. "The tattoos aren't really that new. I'm surprised you haven't seen them before." 

"It's not the tattoos, Kiri. Fucking hell we don’t have all day for this. Look at your goddamn faces." Katsuki groaned since he couldn't take it anymore.  

Kiri did as he said and he looked at the soft, warm way that they looked at one another. He could see that they both had what looked like a spark in their eyes and the sweetest of smiles upon their lips. There was no doubt that the only thing in the world that mattered to either of them in that moment which was caught in time forever was each other. In fact, if he didn’t know any better he'd say that the picture positively radiated- 

"Love." Izuku finally decided it was time to help him out. He couldn’t help but smile as he hummed, "The two of you look absolutely head over heels in love because of the way you’re looking at each other and it practically radiates from the image. It's really beautiful." 

"Ah," It was Kiri's turn to join Denki's blushing. He hadn't noticed since they look at each other like that every single day. He rubbed the back of his head slowly as he hummed, "well we are in love so..." He turned towards Denki to see him tuck the left side of his hair behind his ear as he avoided looking at him. He wrapped his arms around Denki and held him tightly until he finally felt the blond return the embrace. He loosened his grip just a bit and kissed the top of his head before he declared, "I don’t care if the whole world knows. No, I want them all to know! I''ll shout about it from the rooftops if I have to! I'm hopelessly in love!" 

"Me too." Denki hummed against his chest. He smiled to himself and nuzzled it quickly then looked up at him and added, "Plus you really do look incredible in that picture. We should frame it." 

"I don’t look nearly as amazing as you do! We should frame it!" Kiri chirped as he nodded enthusiastically in response. 

"Sickeningly sweet as always." Shoto added his two cents with a soft chuckle. Those two were something else and he couldn't be happier for them.

"What's this bit here about? Why is the word 'boyfriend' in bold, italics, and a larger size than the other words around it?" Izuku asked after he skimmed their interview a bit and that part caught his eye. That was super weird and he couldn’t think of any good reason for it. He scrunched his face and tilted his head as he thought about it.

Denki pulled away from the wonderful embrace and then smacked Kiri's chest lightly with the back of his hand. He shook his head as he sighed, "I still can't believe you got into an argument with the interviewer like that."  

"He called you my lover, what was I supposed to do!" Kiri immediately cried in his defense. He pouted and batted his eyes at the blond in an attempt to get him to come back to the hug.

"Not yell at him maybe?" Denki huffed, unaffected by his efforts. Honestly it was amusing now and they could laugh about it but boy was it embarrassing at the time. Thinking about it was nearly enough to make him cringe.

"You're my boyfriend. You're the light of my life. You're my everything. Any of those would've been acceptable terms and I wouldn't have had to put him in his place!" Kiri exclaimed as he shook his fist in the air dramatically, like that would somehow make his point stronger. 

Denki smiled and then rolled his eyes at him. He reached up and put his hand onto Kiri's cheek then hummed, "I love you, Ei, but you're really a dork." 

Kiri looked down at him and returned the sweet smile. Denki could call him any insult under the sun when he looked at him like that and Kiri would agree. He knew this and still went with the lighthearted dork, that had become more of a term of endearment at this point between them. Kiri's heart swelled with warmth as he maintained eye contact with him, placed his hand over the one upon his cheek, and purred, "As long as you love me, I'm the most important dork in the world." The world around them disappeared as they looked at one another and they leaned in for a kiss but paused when they suddenly heard Izuku speak. 

"Oh, hey, they also included links to our shops websites. I didn’t know they were planning on doing that." Izuku muttered as he had turned his attention back to the magazine when he realized that the pair were lost in each other's eyes yet again. Whenever that happened it was best to just let them get it out of their systems and let them catch up with what was going on when they were done.  

"Speaking of, there's something that’s been bothering me for a while and I just kept on forgetting to ask about it until now." Denki said abruptly after Izuku's words brought him back to planet Earth. 

"What's wrong, babe?" Kiri asked as he slid his arm around his waist and then rested his head on his shoulder. 

"Why is this shop called F.N. Tattoos? They're not your initials so what do the letters stand for?" Denki asked the question that had been on his mind since he first read the sign outside the shop. 

Katsuki turned slightly, glanced at him, and then quickly looked away. The corner of his mouth curled upwards in an amused smirk as he said, "It means exactly what you think it means." 

Denki blinked in surprise at his blunt response. Sure he'd had a hunch but it seemed so far-fetched that it couldn’t have been likely. Except it was. He looked from Katsuki to Kiri in disbelief as he asked, "You guys seriously-?" 

Kiri let go of Denki and stood up straight then chuckled to himself as he rubbed the back of his neck slowly. He nodded as he explained, "Yeah, well, when we were ready to apply for our business license we hadn't settled on a name for the shop yet. We had to think of something fast because there was a deadline we were very close to missing so we wracked our brains to try and think of something but nothing worked and time was running out." 

Izuku and Shoto exchanged a silent glance and held each other's gaze for a moment before they turned their attentions back to the redhead. This was a story that neither of them had heard before so they had to admit that they were also interested. It would probably be best to let him finish before they reacted just in case things didn’t head in the direction they thought they were going. 

"It was when we were both at our wits end that Katsuki just yelled, 'call it fuckin tats for all I care!' and that sparked the idea in my head. I called him a genius and filled out the rest of the paperwork then we sent it out without missing the deadline! A real heart wrenching underdog story!" Kiri exclaimed as he pretended to wipe a tear from the corner of his eye. 

Denki pat Kiri on the shoulder and shook his head as he muttered, "It really isn't though." 

"I can't believe you called your shop something so vulgar, Kacchan." Izuku said, unsure why he hadn't made the connection before. It seemed so obvious now that he thought about it and he sort of felt a bit silly for not realizing it sooner. 

"I knew what it stood for the moment that Katsuki opened his mouth when we first met." Shoto hummed with an amused smile. He turned and kissed the blond's cheek quickly and then added, "I think it suits him perfectly."  

Izuku chuckled when he watched the scowl on Katsuki's face deepen as his cheeks darkened ever so slightly. He smiled like a ray of sunshine as he hummed, "Yeah, I guess you’re right." He turned his attention back to the magazine in his hand. He flipped to the final page of the article, which included a candid shot of the five of them as they walked into the studio together. None of them had expected that so they all looked at it with intrigue. They couldn't help but smile to themselves as they studied the picture. 

In the photo, Shoto held Izuku's hand with his left and had his other hand on Katsuki's shoulder as he leaned over to say something into his ear. Izuku had a grin on his face and his head tilted towards Kiri and Denki while he chatted with them.  Kiri's eyes were squeezed shut as he smiled from ear to ear while he chatted with Izuku and held Denki's hand in the air. Underneath the picture there was a question in bold lettering: Is the future of tattooing going to be built on love? 

"It is if I have anything to say about it." Shoto hummed with a little smile on his face. He put an arm around both Katsuki and Izuku then turned and kissed them both on the cheek one after the other. Izuku immediately giggled and then wrapped his arms around his waist in a delighted hug. Shoto tugged on Katsuki so that he inched over and their shoulders were pressed together. He hummed in approval when the blond placed his hand onto his knee in agreement.

"Us too!" Denki yelled abruptly as he turned towards Kiri and jumped right into his arms. He smiled when Kiri positively lit up as he caught him instinctively and right before he started to plant quick kisses all over his face. 

 

The five of them knew that business was about to boom because of that feature in the magazine and they'd have less time to spend goofing off since they'd be working more to keep up so they had to make the most of it while they still could. That was fine though since they always ended up going home to spend the evening with the ones they loved. For Izuku, the tiring, busy days never felt nearly as terrible when he and his boyfriends were curled up together on the couch afterwards. He was quite sure it was the same for Kiri and Denki since they were such a touchy, affectionate couple. 

"I bet we'll be able to save up for an overseas vacation because of this article!" Izuku chirped, not remembering that he hadn't yet told his boyfriends that he'd be interested in something like that. He'd thought about it a couple of times but they never seemed to be around when it was on his mind so he forgot to mention it by the time he saw them again. 

"If that was something you were interested in, all you had to do was ask." Shoto hummed as he nuzzled his cheek affectionately. His voice was soft and full of promise as he whispered, "We can go anywhere you want. Just name it, my sweet." 

"Oh! I couldn’t possibly let you pay for something like that all by yourself. We should go when we can all split the difference. Don’t you think, Kacchan?" Izuku asked as he looked past Shoto and at the blond. He mostly wanted to gauge his interest in the subject of travelling together. 

"As long as it's not somewhere cold or too touristy." Katsuki muttered in response. To anyone that didn't know him that would have seemed like disinterest but he knew that his boyfriends could read between the lines. If he'd wanted to say no, he would have. 

Kiri slapped Katsuki on the back playfully as he exclaimed, "I'm sure your boys will warm you up if it's cold outside! That's kind of the point of dating! More importantly, should we be saving up for this trip too? Is it a best friend vacation?" 

"Bestie-cation, if you will." Denki added with a silly smile on his face. He chuckled when Kiri snorted at the ridiculous word.

"Not unless you two want to see my dick the whole time 'cause I guarantee it'll be out." Katsuki grunted without missing a beat. 

"Kacchan!" Izuku shrieked in disbelief as his cheeks turned a lovely shade of scarlet. He heard everyone else around him burst into a fit of laughter at the blond's vulgar response. He couldn't help but smile and chuckle too once the initial embarrassment lessened just a tad. 

"Alright, alright! We get it! We thought you meant an actual vacation, not a sexcation! You really need to be clear about these things!" Kiri yelled in between bursts of laughter. He took a moment to wipe the tears out of the corners of his eyes and then he rubbed Denki's back soothingly since the blond was doubled over in pain from laughing so hard. Kiri smiled as he hummed, "You guys can have your little lovers retreat but we should totally plan a group trip too!" 

Before any of them could respond the bell above the door to the shop jingled and caught all of their attentions. Everyone turned and looked towards the two men that had just walked in. The shorter one with the black hair looked exhausted and like he'd rather be anywhere else at that moment. The taller, extremely buff man had blond hair and a giant grin on his face. Everyone immediately recognized that grin and frown combination as the top tattoo artists in the industry, who ran the most successful shop in the country- Plus Ultra Tattoo. They were known by their aliases above all else, All Might and Eraserhead. No one in the shop dared to breathe as the pair walked over to them. 

"Judging by your open-mouthed, surprised gazes you all know who we are." Eraserhead said softly as he looked at all of the shocked expressions before himself, seemingly unimpressed. Though that was his signature look and it kind of made him hard to read. "As we also know who you are, that saves us the time of introductions." 

"Don’t mind his grumpy nature!" All Might shouted with a toothy grin. We received an early issue of Tattooist Monthly last week and saw your interviews. We were impressed to say the least! We have a proposition for you five, if you're interested!" 

The five of them looked at one another and saw just how their eyes shined with intrigue as they smiled nervously. They turned back towards the patient pair of legendary artists and then nodded for them to go ahead. Every single one of them had the feeling that their lives were never going to be the same from this day on as they waited in silent anticipation. They absolutely couldn't wait to see what the future held.