Work Header


Chapter Text

When Izuku Midoriya turned four years old, he knew two things: He wanted to be a Hero like All Might more than anything in the world and that he was destined to be mated to Katsuki Bakugou.

At the age of nineteen and freshly graduated from U.A., his first wish was well on track. While his Quirkless childhood had done its best to condemn Izuku to a civilian lifestyle, thanks to All Might himself and the wondrous power of One for All, there was no doubt in Izuku’s mind that he would fulfill the legacy placed upon his head and carry on the name of the Symbol of Peace.

His second goal of courting Kacchan was a work in progress, but Izuku had hope. He was still young and there was plenty of time yet to work on relationships while he started his Hero Career proper.

Truth be told, only Kacchan could make the simple act of mating more difficult than acquiring a Quirk.

But that was fine, really. A part of Izuku preferred it that way because stubbornness was just something Kacchan excelled at and there was a thrill that came with the pursuit that cried out to the more primal instincts of his inner being. And despite what Uraraka and Iida would tell you, Izuku knew how to be patient when things mattered.

Kacchan mattered.

Enough so that when Izuku had presented as an Alpha—not only a year earlier than his peers, but also to the surprise of his two Beta parents—he had fully resigned himself to a life of perversion if need be.

Kacchan had had “Alpha” written all over him as a child with his dominant personality, sharp canines, and fearsome Quirk. Aggression suited him and he was the picture perfect image of his Alpha mother.

Even knowing that Kacchan would likely present as the most aggressive and dominant of the three Classes, Izuku found his interest in the other did not fade. If anything, his crush on Kacchan had remained as strong as ever, only increasing as he grew to admire the other’s strong presence and dedication to victory. Even Kacchan’s indifference and occasional violence aimed at Izuku’s “uselessness” as they grew up through elementary and middle school did nothing to deter his desire to be mated with Kacchan when they came of age.

Izuku couldn’t help himself. It was like fate itself had ripped out his heart and handed it to Kacchan to do with what he pleased.

As more and more of their peers presented their Classes, Izuku had grown anxious of how things would work if Kacchan also presented as an Alpha when his own affections had refused to waver. No one caught his attention like Kacchan did whenever he bragged or smiled. No one smelled as good. No one else even blipped Izuku’s radar. Being mated to anyone else just didn’t register as an option.

Ever difficult, Kacchan did Izuku’s wild imagination no favors by being a late bloomer. Even by the end of their third year of middle school, he still hadn’t presented, even though it seemed “Alpha” was the inevitable choice.

So Izuku had researched.

Alpha-Alpha pairings were ultimately considered a perversion: A failure of biology that refused to take advantage of the Alpha’s fertile nature to pass on their genes, as well as an abandonment of the “natural course” that made them lust for and satisfy the needs of an Omega spouse.

They still happened, however, so young Izuku had held out hope he might be able to one day convince or seduce Kacchan into a life of debauchery.

(Or at least be enough of an influence that Kacchan might consider a second spouse in addition to whatever Omega might catch his fancy. There were always other options, even if Izuku would have to grit his teeth through them.)

Thankfully, it never became a problem.

During their second year at U.A., his slightly-matured Kacchan had presented as a Beta two weeks after he had been bedridden with the flu. His mother believed that the severe illness had finally kickstarted Kacchan’s hormones into gear from their resting state. Izuku wasn’t quite sure how it really worked, but Kacchan walked into class finally sporting his own unique Scent all the same, albeit dulled due to his Beta class. Kacchan had been overall disappointed he wasn’t an Alpha, but sometimes life worked out that way.

Izuku, on the other hand, couldn’t remember the last time he had been so relieved.

Alpha-Beta pairings were looked down upon, but not uncommon—case in point, Kacchan’s father was a Beta. And best of all, Beta were capable of childbirth. True, they would only have one or two children over the course of their lifetime compared to the full, multiple litters Omega could produce, but Izuku would be happy with one child if it was with Kacchan.

But the gratefulness of knowing he wouldn’t be a total social outcast was nothing compared to the relief of knowing Kacchan wasn’t an Omega.

A secret, ugly part of Izuku fantasized about it once in a while during those long years while he had waited for Kacchan to present. There was a reason that the Alpha-Omega match was expected and why entire Matchmaking Houses were dedicated to it. They fit together the way biology had designed; two halves meant to complete each other.

Izuku would not deny the thought of Kacchan on his back, begging Izuku to take care of him, had kept his fifteen year old self up at night—multiple nights—until the reality of what that would have meant set in. The terror that Izuku might lose Kacchan forever if he had presented as anything other than an Beta or Alpha had kept him up at night after that in a far more unpleasant fashion.

No matter how nice of a daydream Kacchan being an Omega would be, it wasn’t worth the risk of some other Alpha getting their hands on Kacchan first. The thought filled him with a rage he could only blame on natural forces beyond his control.

Being a Beta was the best outcome without question.

And not just because Izuku wouldn’t have to suffer the title of “pervert” for the rest of his life.

Kacchan’s Beta class meant he wasn’t particularly desirable from a biological front for the Alpha looking to have large families and his strong personality kept the rest of them away. Kacchan wasn’t scared to butt heads with other Alpha, posturing and yelling and growling just as loudly as any of them might. He may have been a Beta, but as far as other Alpha were concerned, it’d be like dating one of their own—a fact Izuku had learned long ago most weren’t even willing to consider.

Other Beta who showed interest were easy enough to discourage to the point they weren’t even a concern. No Beta would dare challenge Izuku when he’d made his own interest in courting Bakugou well known.

Kacchan could stay single for now all he liked. Eventually, he’d feel that same natural tug to mate that the rest of the population experienced and when that day came, Izuku would be right there waiting for him.

Chapter Text

“Deku! Inquiring minds want to know! You’ve been of age for quite some time now but so far no sign of a mate! Will you be visiting any of the Matchmaking Houses before the year is out?” The reporter asked, shoving their microphone in Deku’s face. Dirt clung to his cheeks from the falling building he’d just caught, saving about thirty or forty people from its clutches. Not that the press cared about that when the nation’s newest Hero Darling was old enough to pick a mate. “There’s quite a lot of gossip running around about who you might pick to carry on the Midoriya name.”

“Oh, no. I have no plans of that in my future.” Deku held his hands up and laughed, amused and full of teeth. Practiced for the press like he’d been expecting this question. “I have no intention of mating with an Omega at this time.”

“That’s a bold statement,” the reporter said. “Is there a reason?”

“I already have someone special in mind,” Deku said, continuing to smile brightly for the camera. “I’ve been courting him for years now and I don’t have eyes for anyone else. His explosive personality has had me smitten since we were four, what more can I say?”

“You may have broken the hearts of thousands of eligible Omega with that statement, you know,” the reporter pressed.

“Sadly, there’s only one heart I’m interested in,” Deku said. He held up a hand and laughed. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to assist in the clean up. That rubble won’t move itself!”

Deku walked away from the stunned reporter, not a care in the world of how this was going to affect his own PR or the fact everyone in the world knew who he was talking about.

Katsuki wanted to strangle him.

“It’s probably a good thing you want to stay single,” Kirishima said, crossing his arms next to Katsuki on the couch. The television with the news report continued to air, showing Deku cleaning up with their gossip overlaying the footage. “Because I feel bad for anyone you tried to date with an Alpha like that courting you. I think he’s done everything short of straight up Marking you to get the point across that he’s staking a claim.”

“I’d bust his nose open if he tried,” Katsuki said, picking up the remote. He changed the channel, flipping through the other news stories talking about how Deku had rescued the people downtown looking for anything else. “And he knows it.”

“I have to give him props, though, it’s pretty manly to be that dedicated and persistent,” Kirishima said. He leaned back on the couch and pulled his legs up. He nudged Katsuki in the side with his elbow. “That is a guy totally willing to die single if you keep turning him down.”

“That makes him an idiot,” Katsuki said. He stopped on a channel advertising cute jewelry for the “spoiled Omega” in your life. Nothing but decorations for a potential gilded cage. He looked at Kirishima out of the corner of his eye. “What about you? Didn’t you turn twenty last month? Pretty sure being Red Riot counts as proof of provision.”

Kirishima rubbed the back of his neck and leaned on the couch arm, slumping down. “I did think about visiting one, but the thought of going by myself was kinda intimidating. I mean, you’re going there to meet your mate! The person who’ll have your kids and you spend the rest of your life providing for and protecting!”

Katsuki cracked a small smile, shaking his head. “So the big bad Alpha wants someone to go hold his hand while he looks at potential mates?”

“If you’re trying to imply there’s something unmanly about wanting support from your friends while making the biggest decision of your life, then you’re wrong,” Kirishima said, putting his hands on his chest. Katsuki turned off the television and shoved Kirishima off the couch. Unfazed, Kirishima clasped his hands together and grinned at Katsuki from the floor. “I also wouldn’t say no if that was an offer.”

It hadn’t been.

He’d only been curious concerning his best friend’s future plans now that he was old enough to legally start a family. Kirishima was one of the few Alpha that Katsuki knew for sure would treat his future mate right, so for once, he didn’t get the usual skin crawling feeling that typically accompanied thinking about an Alpha and Omega being mated.

However, he couldn’t fight the chill that rushed down his spine at the thought of walking into one of those places willingly.

But Kirishima had those big damn puppy eyes out and Katsuki had gotten way, way too soft in the past four years.

He had his pills.

He’d be fine.

“When do you want to go?” Katsuki asked, rubbing the bottom of his mouth.

“Thank you, man!” Kirishima jumped up and tackled Katsuki in a hug. He allowed it, shoving Kirishima off after the contact got too much. His friend pulled out his phone and tapped away at the keys, excitement in his eyes. “I think there’s an open house this weekend! Let’s go then.”

“Sure,” Katsuki said. He dragged his hand through his hair and breathed out.

He hoped he didn’t regret this.

Izuku dropped the stack of tabloids on his kitchen table as he passed by. Pictures of himself and Kacchan had been cobbled together to highlight the gossip article titled: “World’s Most Eligible Hero Courts Beta!? Read inside for more!” He had laughed so hard at the magazine and the cartoon hearts drawn around them when he picked up his groceries he couldn’t help but grab a copy or two.

If Kacchan ever saw them, he’d light the entire store on fire.

His phone rang as Izuku searched his fridge for leftovers and he answered with a strong, “Hello, Deku speaking.”

“Oh, good. You’re alive!” Uraraka said from the other end. “I was scared Bakugou might have actually murdered you over declaring your love for him on television.”

“You think he saw that?” Izuku asked, leaning against his counter and smiling at the tabloids. “I have my doubts since I haven’t had an angry text or phone call from him yet.”

Uraraka laughed on the other end, knocking into something as she smacked her hand on the table. “I bet Bakugou’s ignoring you because he knows it feeds your ego when he pays attention to you.”

“Maybe,” Izuku said, taking a seat at his kitchen bar. He appreciated these phone calls from his friend, but there were some topics he’d already beaten into the ground. “So how are you doing? I saw you were hard at work the other day stopping a burglary.”

“You know it,” Uraraka said. He heard her old couch creak as she sat down. “And I also know a topic dodge when I see one. You’re pretty set on Bakugou, but have you thought about what you’re going to do if he keeps saying no? I mean, it certainly can’t hurt for you to at least look at other options. Even if you don’t want an Omega for whatever reason, there are lots of other Beta out there!”

“We are not having this conversation again,” Izuku said, resting his head back. He slumped back against the counter, sliding down on the stool. He stared across the room at a photo of him and Kacchan at U.A. taped to the wall from one of their final exams. The two of them had been partnered up for a search and rescue exercise and they’d been brilliant. Three years of training, hard work, and compromise had paid off. They had never been closer to each other then during that moment. Izuku wanted that feeling to come back. “It’s Kacchan or nothing, Uraraka.”

“Are you really listening to yourself?” She asked. “He doesn’t like you, Izuku.”

“Yet,” Izuku said. “He doesn’t like me that way, yet.”

She did the inevitable, heavily performed and loud sigh over the other line. “And what makes you think he’s going to change his mind?”

“Nothing,” Izuku said. He leaned his head back and stared at the ceiling. “But I also know he’s worth waiting for, so it doesn’t really matter either way.”

“I can’t tell if your dedication is admirable or sad,” Uraraka said. “Just try and be a little more subtle about it in the media. Bakugou’s already pretty skittish around you these days, so I doubt you want to make it worse.”

“That’s fair,” Izuku said. He hopped off the stool and stretched his back out as he headed to the center of his apartment. “Thanks, Uraraka.”

“Catch you later, Deku!”

He turned off his phone and tossed it on the couch seat next to him as he sat. Uraraka did have a point—he might have gone a tad far in singling Kacchan out on television that way, even if he didn’t say his name. It was easy enough to put together who he’d been talking about considering “Deku” and Ground Zero worked together often (though still not often enough) and were famous for being a Hero Duo from the same town.

But he couldn’t not say it either.

The desire to stake a claim on Kacchan burned in every inch of him and Izuku constantly fought the instinctual desire to corner him until he submitted. Kacchan would never go down easy, fighting and screaming every step of the way, but even that gave Izuku a thrill. Taming someone as terrifying and powerful as Kacchan into submission— knowing that Kacchan would only yield for Izuku—made his blood rush.

Izuku groaned and rolled over onto his side on the couch. He covered his face and breathed in to calm himself down.

(Maybe he really was a pervert.)

Katsuki arrived at the Matchmaking House at ten o’clock in the morning as arranged and rested his head against the steering wheel. Kirishima should be waiting for him at the door, but he needed a moment to settle his nerves. He shouldn’t be here. Katsuki shouldn’t be anywhere near this building, but he’d promised Kirishima he’d support the nervous idiot.

He was a Beta. Katsuki sucked in a breath. A Beta. A plain, average, Beta. No one in there would care about him at all. He couldn’t legally be mated to an Omega so they’d ignore him to try and find an Alpha they could tolerate. The Alpha in the room wouldn’t pay him any mind at all with Omega to ogle.

He’d be fine.

Katsuki would hold Kirishima’s damn hand, remind him he was a genuinely nice guy, a Pro Hero, and that he could randomly pick someone out of a hat and they’d be thrilled to be with him, so he was worrying over nothing.

Kirishima would get flustered.

They’d leave.

It’d be done.

“Okay, let’s do this,” Katsuki said. He shoved his car door open and put on his shades as he locked up and headed to the front entrance. You could have spotted Kirishima’s spiked hair from a mile away, so it was easy enough to tap up to his side. “You ready, Romeo?”

“You’re going to tease me the entire time we’re in here, aren’t you?” He asked, straightening his shirt. While Katsuki had chosen to dress down in jeans and a light jacket, Kirishima had spruced himself up with a button down shirt and slacks. He looked ready to make a good first impression. “I can’t tell if that'll help or not considering how nervous I am right now.”

“The fact you’re nervous is a good thing,” Katsuki said, glaring at an Alpha that strut through the door, oozing in his own overpowering aroma and self-declared authority. “At least you remember the Omega in here are people.”

“Of course they’re people,” Kirishima said, scrunching his nose. “What else would they be?”

“And this is why we’re friends,” Katsuki said, slapping Kirishima on the back before shoving him into the main entrance. “Daylight’s burning. Let’s get this over with.”

“Okay, okay!” Kirishima said, throwing his hands up.

The main lobby of the building had been decorated in marble floors and countertops, clean and polished. Professional. Kirishima whistled at the detail in the decor trimmings and the people milling about, posturing this way and that. The room looked beautiful, but the stench of competing Alpha nearly overwhelmed Katsuki. He had no idea how the Omega in the building could put up with it every day.

To his shame, Katsuki stuck close to Kirishima, focusing on the soft scent of warm earth that hovered around his person.

The receptionist at the front desk recognized Red Riot immediately and perked up. “Hello, sir! How can we help you today?”

Kirishima tugged on his shirt sleeve. “I was wondering if you could tell me how the open house worked?”

“Of course,” she said. Pulling out a small folder of paperwork she stood to help hand it over the high counter. “If you would just fill out your information here, I’ll be more than happy to explain the process while you write.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Kirishima said.

Katsuki leaned on the counter, pretending not to listen as the woman started her spiel.

“I want to start by saying that you will find that all of the Omega in our establishment passed their Finishing School exams with flying colors and all of them are more than ready and eager to be the perfect spouse. We are deeply grateful you’ve chosen our Matchmaking House for selecting your future mate.”

Kirishima nodded, concentrating on the paperwork that listed his credentials. Katsuki struggled not to make a fist.

“Today’s Open House is a nice way for you to see all of your options. Our Omega will be sitting in the waiting room and you’re welcome to talk to anyone who catches your eye to hopefully get to know them better. It’s a big decision, so make sure you take your time.”

“Right,” Kirishima said, swallowing. Katsuki knocked him in the arm with his knuckles and hissed, “Relax, idiot.” Kirishima straightened and handed back the completed paperwork. He rubbed the back of his neck and tried to smile. “Talking. I can do that.”

“Now if you see someone you like enough to be a potential mate,” the receptionist said, straightening the stack she’d been handed. “Then we can move onto the next step. If you can provide the full dowery up front, your chosen mate can go home with you today! If not, then you are welcome to return next week during the open auction and see if there are any other suitors. If there are none and you meet the minimum bid, you’ll be welcome to take your new spouse home.”

“And if there’s competition?” Kirishima asked.

“You have a variety of options from simply outbidding them monetarily to challenging them in traditional combat,” the receptionist said. She leaned forward, holding a hand near her face at the side of her lips. “Though forgive me for saying, but I doubt you will have trouble with that. I don’t think there’s anyone here who’d challenge a Pro Hero and expect to win.”

“Ah, I don’t know, I’m sure a few would try,” Kirishima said. Katsuki agreed. Alpha could be idiots that way. Lord knows his own mother would have jumped into the ring against All Might himself if Katsuki’s dad had been up on the plate. Kirishima punched one fist into his other palm. “Oh! Can Bakugou come in with me? I know he’s a Beta, but he’s not here for picking a mate, he’s just keeping me company. I’d hate for him to have to sit out here alone the whole time after asking him to come.”

“Of course he can, as long as he knows not to interfere with the matchmaking conversations,” the receptionist said. Katsuki didn’t bother to grace her with a response. The woman nodded, content with that statement before tapping on her computer and printing two slips. She handed the passes over the counter and Kirishima picked his up. “Those will let you though the gate. Please make sure to return them when you leave.”

“Thank you,” Kirishima said. He held up his pass and inhaled as they left the desk. He turned to Katsuki and breathed out. “I can’t tell if I’m excited or terrified.”

“You do know you don’t have to pick a mate out today,” Katsuki said. “Relax already or you’re going to scare someone.”

“You are so right,” Kirishima said. He scanned his badge and walked through the gate. Katsuki followed, still close to his arm to keep track of him. The scent of posturing Alpha only increased as they reached the back room and it overwhelmed everything else. Kirishima whistled as they entered the small parlor area. “Wow.”

Chatter and laughter filled the room, with Omega and Alpha paired off everywhere. A few Alpha had two or three Omega around them, while others had ganged up two or three on a chosen target in a corner. Most of them appeared to be behaving themselves and at least half the occupants in the room were either Alpha talking amongst themselves as they pointed at Omega in the room or Omega waiting for someone to come speak with them.

Kirishima looked on in awe.

Katsuki felt his stomach twist and his palms sweat as he stood in the room. It was his worst nightmare in stereo, surrounding him in every corner. He needed this to be done and to get out.

“Well?” Katsuki asked. He shoved Kirishima forward. “Go talk to someone, idiot.”

“I’m going! I’m going!” Kirishima said. He held his hands up and crossed the room, looking around like a lost pet before he spotted an Omega sitting by herself. He sucked in a deep breath before walking over and shouting “Hello!” far too loud and nervous.

The girl laughed and Katsuki let go of the breath he was holding.

Crossing his arms, he made for an empty bench off to the side. He just had to close his eyes, pretend he wasn’t here and then it’d all be over. Katsuki could put up with Kirishima gushing about mates for a few days if it meant getting out faster.

“Well look what we’ve got here!” A snide voice called out. Katsuki turn his head and snarled, seeing Phantom Thief of all people. The smug Alpha grinned at Katsuki and laughed behind his hand. “Don’t tell me Ground Zero is so much of a wanna-be Alpha now that he’s trying to find himself an Omega? The scandal!”

“I will break your face in,” Katsuki said. He closed the distance between them, snarling in the other blond’s face. “Don’t test me.”

“You’ve got the growling down at least,” Monoma said. He refused to budge, his own scent of sweat and musk increasing as he matched Katsuki’s aggression. “But I was only teasing. I know perfectly well you’re just here as moral support for your little friend. I mean, we all know that Deku, a real Alpha, will eventually stop humoring this little macho act you’re putting on and put you in your place under him one day, so whatever would you need a mate of your own for?”

Katsuki’s rage blocked out his vision and filled him so completely he might has well have been a real Alpha when he threw his fist in Monoma’s eye.

Chapter Text

After thousands of fights with Alpha, no matter which one he traded blows with, Katsuki had learned that they always escalated in violence and intensity the longer they went on. Even sniveling little Alpha like Monoma knew how to be vicious when their blood shouted with the need for dominance.

The joy that came from crushing them was the only thing that kept Katsuki’s own screaming instincts at bay.

“Die!” Katsuki slammed an uppercut into Monoma’s upper ribs, grinning around his split lip and the pounding in his skull from where Phantom Thief got in a lucky hit. “I’m going to rip you apart!”

The other hero growled and his pupils had transformed into vertical slits. With teeth bared Monoma grabbed Katsuki’s arm and fell back, jamming his leg into Katsuki’s gut. He rolled, flinging Katsuki over his shoulder and into a table. The wood shattered underneath him, knocking into his side. Katsuki hissed under his breath but refused to stay down. Palms sparking as he got up, he made a run for Monoma again.

“Hey!” Kirishima attempted to get in the way, Quirk active as he attempted to get in Katsuki’s path. “This is getting out of hand.”

Katsuki paid him no mind, too angry to think straight. He’d already had too many nightmares of Deku having his way and getting what he wanted to have Monoma suggesting it when Katsuki was awake. He shoved Kirishima aside and threw another punch at Monoma. The only thought on his mind was breaking that snide Alpha’s face and making him eat his words.

His place in the world was as a Pro Hero and nothing else.

Monoma lowered to make a running tackle, but Katsuki was ready for him. He dove to the side and caught him, slamming his foot into the back of Monoma’s knee, dropping him to the floor. The other Hero hit the ground and Katsuki barely contained his shout as he cupped his hands together and swung to knock Monoma right back down as he tried to stand again.

“Bakugou! Stop it right now!”

The Order slammed into him like a freight train, sucking the air out of his lungs. No amount of suppressants could erase the immediate response to obey and Katsuki doubled over from the force of it.

Hands on his knees he sucked in a heavy breath, arms trembling as he fought off a whimper. He bit his lip to stop the sound from escaping and shut his eyes as he focused on his own heartbeat.

“Shit. Oh, shit, shit, shit! I didn’t mean to do that,” Kirishima said, rushing over to Katsuki’s side. He hovered just in his peripheral, arms out ready to steady Katsuki if he looked like he would actually fall to his knees. “I’m sorry. You were really going to hurt him and I was trying to get your attention. It just came out as an Order. I panicked.”

“You’re still panicking,” Katsuki wheezed, covering his lower mouth.

“Right,” Kirishima said. He put a hand on Katsuki’s shoulder and rubbed it. “I’m really sorry though. I know you hate when I do that.”

“Of course he does,” Monoma said, straightening his ripped vest. “It reminds him what he is.”

Katsuki glared at Monoma through his bangs, unable to take any pleasure in the giant bruise forming on the side of his face.

That idiot had no idea just how right he was.

Monoma turned away, muttering under his breath. “This is why Beta shouldn’t be Pro Heroes.”

Kirishima slammed Monoma into the ground so fast Katsuki barely caught it. Monoma’s nose bled heavily after he rolled onto his back and he whined through his hands. The room went silent as Kirishima stood over Monoma, hand raised in a fist and his hardening Quirk slowly crawling up his body. His eyes had slit over and Katsuki honestly couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen that happen to his friend.

“Say that again,” Kirishima said, daring Monoma to move.

“Any Beta that cowers to an Order doesn’t deserve to be in the field,” Monoma said, wiping the blood from his upper lip. “There are as many Alpha Villains as there are Heroes and that makes him a liability.”

Kirishima grabbed the front of Monoma’s jacket and yanked him up until they were nose to nose. “I’ve seen Bakugou stand up to Orders from Alpha a hundred times more impressive than you. His Guard is impeccable.

“The only reason he fell to mine is because we’re friends. He trusts me and has never needed his Guard up around me,” Kirishima continued, voice even. “I blindsided him and he has nothing to be ashamed about. He’s a better Pro Hero than most Alpha I know, Beta or not. So keep your mouth shut.”

Kirishima dropped Monoma to his feet and kept at the ready.

“Aren’t you the protective one,” Monoma said. Smart, he turned away and brushed off his arms. “Are we done?”

“You are,” Kendo said. The redheaded Alpha shoved her way through a small group of gawking Omega and stopped near Monoma’s side. She put her hands on her hips and exhaled heavily through her nose. “I leave you alone for five minutes and you pick a fight. Why am I not surprised?”

Monoma looked away, immediately giving Kendo the authority. “What took you?”

“I had to talk with someone, but now we’re leaving,” Kendo said. She pushed him on the side and nudged him toward the door. Monoma rolled his eyes, sparing a glare to Katsuki and Kirishima as he left. When the door shut behind him, Kendo turned and sighed softly. “Sorry about that. He didn’t really want to be here today, so he was on edge already.”

“Didn’t want to be here?” Kirishima asked.

Kendo’s eyes glanced at the door, her gaze much softer than it should have been from one Alpha to another. “Long story. We can catch up later.”

She waved and followed him out.

Katsuki stood, hating the way he still shook from the shock of taking an Order from an associated Alpha. Even with all his practice at fighting those off, there was no way he’d be able to stop one from someone as close to him as Kirishima.

He wasn’t wired for anything else.

“Are you okay?” Kirishima asked.

He looked concerned and Katsuki nodded before Kirishima’s worry increased. “Peachy.”

“Monoma doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” Kirishima said, crossing his arms. “I think he’s still jealous you out scored him in U.A. for all three years.”

“Maybe,” Katsuki said. He glanced around the room and licked his lips. “Looks like some people in here want your attention.”

“What?” Kirishima asked. As he turned around he noticed that every Omega in the room was staring at him with awe and wide eyes, while every Alpha immediately averted their gaze when he looked their way. Kirishima swallowed, and licked his lip. “Oh.”

“Congrats,” Katsuki said, patting his friend on the shoulder. He shoved Kirishima to the center of the parlor and said, “You’re the top dog in the room. Go talk to someone so we can go the fuck home.”

The swarm of interested suitors fell on his friend, sending the room into a new form of chaos. Katsuki mentally apologized to Kirishima but he was too tired to deal with it all. He trudged over to the empty bench he’d been aiming for earlier and collapsed into it, closing his eyes.

Katsuki knew he shouldn’t have come here.

He could only hope tomorrow would be better.

“Kacchan!” Izuku jogged to catch up with his target, slowing when he reached the other’s side. To his delight, Kacchan kept his pace even allowing Izuku to walk beside him without much fuss. “Do you—”

“No,” Kacchan said, cutting him off.

Izuku pushed his mask back and tugged down the mouthpiece. “You didn’t even let me finish.”

“I don’t really care,” Kacchan said. He reached the company car and opened the back seat, getting in and sliding across for Izuku to follow. The driver pulled away from the curb, taking them back to the agency to change and turn in their patrol report. “The only thing I’m doing is going home. I don’t want to see you or any other Alpha for at least a week.”

Izuku leaned back in his seat. Kacchan sounded exhausted, which was odd and slightly worrisome. Normally after patrol or beating up a Villain or two he was on top of the world. He also never typically cared about who he hung out with when it came to Classes. Izuku watched Kacchan for any clues as he asked, “Did something happen?”

“Nothing important,” Kacchan said. He rested his head on the back rest and closed his eyes. “Some idiots just don’t know when to keep their mouths shut.”

With that, the conversation appeared over as their ride continued on its track back to headquarters.

Izuku took this moment to study Kacchan. In addition to the tired state that clung to his limbs and voice, Izuku noted that there was a slight discoloring hidden behind the mask. If he peeled it off, Izuku imagined he’d reveal a bruise—which meant that whatever thing this mystery Alpha said, it had led to a fight.

Under normal circumstances, that wouldn’t be a big deal.

Kacchan put lesser Alpha in their place all the time for all sorts of things from looking at him the wrong way to insulting the wrong person. Kacchan had been doing that that since even before he presented his Class.

To have bothered Kacchan this much, whatever harassment he’d endured must have been personal.

Izuku clasped his hands together and steadied his breath before he became too angry.

The car pulled up to the side of their building and Kacchan left without a word. Izuku followed behind, a solution forming on the tip of his tongue to keep this from happening to Kacchan again. He really shouldn’t say it, though.

But he did anyway.

“You know, Kacchan, if you let me Mark you then other Alpha would leave you alone,” Izuku said, voice low. “We don’t need to be mates to do that.”

Kacchan came to a dead stop, hand on the door. He looked over his shoulder, his face completely blank. “I’m going to pretend you didn’t say that.”

“If it feels more like a compromise, I’d even let you Mark me back,” Izuku said, pointing at his own neck. “It doesn’t quite work the same, but if you bit me hard enough it’s certainly going to leave a bruise at least.”

“You, an Alpha, would be seen wearing a Mark?” Kacchan asked, almost as if he was considering it.

Izuku felt his pulse pick up and pressed his tongue into the roof of his mouth. He wondered if he should have thought of letting Kacchan "Mark" him earlier. Maybe that would have moved things along a little faster in their courting.

(He would be the type to like that sort of thing, wouldn’t he?)

“If you’re the one who did it,” Izuku said, being utterly truthful. “I wouldn’t mind.”

Kacchan pulled away from the door and stopped an inch from Izuku. He put a hand on the wall behind Izuku’s head and leaned down. “You are not Marking me and I can't Mark anyone. I’m not an Alpha.”

“I know that,” Izuku said.

“But I do know something you can do for me,” Kacchan said.

He leaned near Izuku’s ear, breath warm and allowing him to be close enough to smell Kacchan’s Scent. The surprisingly soft aroma calmed Izuku and he desperately wished it were stronger. Then he could smell it all the time instead of only when Kacchan dared to close the distance himself.

Izuku whispered, “Anything.”

“Go find an Alpha Only club and get this shit out of your system,” Kacchan said. Izuku curled his fingers into a fist. “Because it’s becoming clear to me, that’s what you really want and I’m just the closest thing you can find that’s still ‘safe’ to date in the public.”

“That’s not true,” Izuku said, putting a hand on Kacchan’s chest. He leaned up and dug his fingers in. “I don’t care about being with an Alpha, I just want to be with you.”

“Then you’re going to be alone a long time,” Kacchan said, a hint of pity lacing his words. He shoved Izuku’s hand off his chest and stepped away, turning his back on Izuku. “Go find somebody else to obsess over.”

He stomped inside their building, motions stiff and laggy. Their confrontation hadn’t done anything for Kacchan’s already poor condition.

Izuku pushed away from the building, almost smiling to himself. He knew full well that Kacchan was not an Alpha. If he was, he’d know by now that Alpha didn’t give up when they set their sights on something whether it was mating or taking care of what belonged to them.

It just wasn’t in their nature to be anything else.

First Katsuki had to visit the stupid Matchmaking House, then he had to deal with Monoma, and not even two days later, Katsuki got stuck on a patrol with Deku who had decided to up his courting by flat out asking to mark Katsuki.

And to top it off: He ran out of pills.

“Unbelievable,” Katsuki said, staring into the empty bottle. “This day can’t get any worse.”

He had thought he counted better than this. He knew he had counted better than this. Katsuki twisted the cap back on the bottle and went into his bedroom. He dropped onto his back and dragged himself under the bed, grabbing the small emergency packet he’d taped to one of the support beams.

Katsuki swallowed the pills dry and got dressed for the day. The only blessing of all this, was he had the day off which meant he could go visit his favorite doctor and get more before he had to work again.

He shoved the empty bottle into the inner pocket of his jacket and locked his apartment door behind him. Making sure that his hat and glasses were in place, Katsuki tapped down the stairs and out the back door. If he made it across town in the next hour, he should be able to squeeze in a walk-in appointment and get his shit refilled.

It’d be faster to take the train, but Katsuki needed to keep to the back roads to keep any chance of a sighting to a minimum.

He walked.

After fifty minutes, Katsuki found himself in a run down section of the city with crumbling buildings and poor street lighting at night. During the day, the sunlight revealed the thick layer of dirt and grime that coated almost every surface. His destination could be found situated in the back corner of what used to be a fairly busy office building before it had been torn apart by a wayward Villain attack.

Katsuki approached the unmarked door and tapped twice on the metal plate in the center. After about a minute, a small click announced the intercom hidden in the door frame had turned on. Katsuki said, “Let me in or I blow up your building.”

“Always a pleasure to see you, Zero,” a dry voice answered. “It’s unlocked.”

Katsuki pushed open the door, using his sleeve to cover his fingerprints and closed it behind him. The doctor called from behind an operating curtain in the main portion of the small, hidden clinic: “You need to update your pass phrase. We all know you’re never going to do it because where else would you get your fix?”

“I’m sure I’d find somewhere,” Katsuki said. He pushed the curtain open and froze, seeing someone else occupying one of the three exam tables.

Dabi waved his fingers and whistled before grinning, stretching the worn stitches on his face. “Well, well, well! Now there’s a face I wasn’t expecting to see back here. Long time no see, buddy.”

Katsuki almost walked right back out the door.

Chapter Text

Katsuki and Dabi stared each other down, one frowning and the other with a shit-eating grin that Katsuki wanted to punch.

He took in a shaky breath and crossed the room to the Doc, breaking eye contact first. This didn’t matter. Running into another patient had been inevitable and Katsuki couldn’t have avoided it forever. Doc had limited room and no real appointment schedule, which meant patients shared the space. They’d all been told that on their first day when he laid down his conditions for treatment. So far Katsuki had been lucky catching the Doc when he was free whenever he arrived, but it looked like his bad week just decided to continue.

“I know the rules tell us to stay out of other people’s business and don’t ask questions but man I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t curious,” Dabi said, shaking out his hair. Looking closer, Katsuki noted the IV line going into his arm with a clear liquid. “What would bring the famous Pro Hero Ground Zero down to this humble establishment?”

“You two know each other I take it?” Doc said, nose in a chart on his laptop.

“Oh, we cross blows now and again whenever the League decides to make some noise,” Dabi said, leaning back on his rickety exam table. He got a fond look in his eye, that almost felt nostalgic. “And I helped kidnap him a few years back, so that’s got to count for something.”

Rule two in the clinic was no fighting and that was the only thing that kept Katsuki’s feet walking forward and avoiding the Villain. He slammed his empty bottle on the desk with a wad of cash and said, “Refill.”

The Doc pocketed the cash without counting it and looked at the bottle. He clicked twice on the screen and Katsuki saw his chart pop up, albeit under a fake name. Doc stepped away from the desk and patted the exam table closest to him. “Up you go.”

“What?” Katsuki asked.

The Doc walked to the the other side of the room and pulled down a small blood collection kit. He pushed his lab coat aside to reach into his pocket for a key and used it to open a box on the bottom shelf. He put the edge of the kit’s sanitary wrapper in his mouth to hold it with his teeth and tugged out a collection vial before locking the box again. “You skipped your last physical, Zero. No check up, no refill.”

“Don’t you just love illegal medical practitioners that actually care about your health?” Dabi asked, laughing from the other table. He waved at the hanging bag on the stand and shook his head with a bit of show. “Take me for example, I’m stuck on fluids for another day because my stitches got infected and he wants to play it safe. Fun, huh?”

“I do not care,” Katsuki said. He ran his hands through his hair and scratched the nape of his neck. “I know you mean well but can I just get what I came for and go? It has been a shitty week already and I am not in the mood for this.”

“You never want to have your physical and you heard me,” Doc said. He pointed at the exam table and repeated himself. He glared straight though his glasses and hissed, his snake tongue darting out. “No exam. No pills. Am I clear?”

“Shit,” Katsuki said. As much as he’d like to tell the Doc to screw himself, he honestly needed the damn pills and that was a man who didn’t bluff. Katsuki ripped his jacket off and hopped onto the table before tugging his sleeve up. “I have literally no complaints about anything health wise. Just take the blood sample.”

“Heroes make the worst patients, don’t they?” Dabi snickered.

“Always,” Doc said. Katsuki glared at Dabi while the man gathered a tube full of blood and hummed under his breath. Katsuki watched him as he finished up and pressed a swab of gauze on his arm over the bleeding dot and taped it down. He patted Katsuki on the thigh as he took the sample toward the back. “I’ll be back in about fifteen minutes. Play nice, you two.”

Katsuki crossed his arms and closed his eyes. He was one blood test away from getting his pills and going home.

But Dabi wouldn’t stop staring.

“What?” Katsuki asked.

“I’m upset at how much I want to break the rules for once,” Dabi said. He reached up and bit the tip of his finger, watching Katsuki closely. The scrutiny made Katsuki’s skin crawl. “There’s a lot of corrupt heroes out there into some dirty business, but I’m surprised to see that you’re one of them. Makes me wonder just what is in those little pills you’re so desperate to get.”

“Keep wondering,” Katsuki said. He stared Dabi down and tried to keep his calm. “Because it’s none of your business.”

Dabi went back to staring, his tongue pressed between his teeth and upper lip before he sat up.

“Oh, wait. I know! You’re taking Alpha supplements, aren’t you?” Dabi dropped his arm on his knee and burst into laugh. “That would explain so much about you, but then again, if you’re trying to be subtle about your Alpha envy you failed big time.”

“Shut up,” Katsuki said. He didn’t need these constant reminders that he could never be the one thing he had really wanted when he was young. Katsuki dragged his hand into his hair and clutched at his scalp, pulling at the strands until it hurt. “I’m getting so sick of hearing that bullshit.”

“Aw, I hit a nerve,” Dabi said. He licked his teeth and dropped his head, hair falling in his face. His smile faded into a soft frown before his eyes shot up and caught Katsuki’s gaze. “If they aren’t supplements, they’re the other way around, aren’t they?”

Katsuki stopped breathing.

“You’re here for suppressants, aren’t you?” Dabi tugged over the IV cord and wrapped it around his fingers, smiling. He kept a hawk’s eye on Katsuki and caught the flinch that gave himself away. Dabi clicked his tongue. “I called it. Oh man, if only I could tell Shigaraki. He’d have tried way harder trying to recruit you back in the day if he knew.”

Katsuki’s palms smoked as he gripped the table. There were rules. There were rules. There were rules and Dabi had to abide by them, too. Katsuki needed to calm down and get a grip.

He could kill Dabi in the alley outside after they left.

“Hey, don’t look so tense,” Dabi said, holding his hands up and stretching the clear tube between them. “If there’s anyone who understands completely, it’s yours truly.”

“And why is that?” Katsuki asked.

“Come on now,” Dabi said, he dropped the IV tube and rested his hands on his knees. “You don’t honestly think you’re the only Omega in the world who said ‘Fuck the system’ are you?”

Dabi laughed at Katsuki’s shocked face and he tugged up a knee to lean on. He dropped his head onto it and grinned at Katsuki across the room, all too knowing and full of warped pity.

Katsuki swallowed and shifted on his own exam table, pressing his hand into the bandage on his arm where the Doc had taken his blood.

This was unknown territory.

It was only his second year at U.A. and Katsuki’s life was over.

He clutched the sheets of his bed, his knees trembling as he struggled to pull himself off the floor. Every smell in the house had increased a hundred fold, making him dizzy with the wave of new Scents from his mom and dad. He could even detect traces of Kirishima where’d he’d come over to study in his usual seat. Katsuki breathed through his mouth, praying that the ache in his lower body would stop so he could move again.

Something had gone wrong.

His newfound senses meant he’d presented but he wasn’t the Alpha he had thought he would be. Katsuki pressed his eyes shut and shoved his face into the side of his mattress. His knees knocked on the floor as he kept trying to get up, shaking so hard he slipped and fell again. Katsuki wasn’t even the Beta he inwardly had always accepted was a possibility. He could smell himself as his pants grew wet, signaling the start of something he’d only heard about.

Katsuki presented five years late with the worst possible outcome: Omega.

Everything was over. Katsuki bit his sheets, ignoring the ever growing pulse and sharp jabs of pains. Even his hip bones felt tender and he wanted to scream.

Omega were taken away to Finishing School where they learned how to please an Alpha. Everyone knew that. Deku and Katsuki had watched in silence with the rest of their class as students that were once friends vanished and were marked off the school rolls their first year of middle school. Omega weren’t allowed to be Heroes. They weren’t allowed to have jobs at all without permission and even then their options were limited. Katsuki’s training, his year at U.A., and all his work would have been for nothing. It’d all been a waste.

His Class didn’t even get to chose their mate. They went to a stupid Matchmaking—Katsuki clutched the sheets tighter, ripping the fabric. He sunk further down to the floor, his head hitting the frame of his bed.

He was already a year older than when most Omega came of age and went to a Matchmaking House.

Katsuki could be claimed by an Alpha tomorrow.

The nausea swallowed his gut, momentarily distracting him from the constant stab of pain under his belly. Why was this happening?

He was supposed to be an Alpha like his mother and shitty Deku—


Katsuki dropped the sheets and curled his arms around himself as he shivered. Deku had been trying to court Katsuki since he presented. He’d made no move to hide his interest, staring at Katsuki throughout the day with so much want that it had unnerved him. But Katsuki had never been truly worried about it before. So Deku was a pervert—what did it matter? He’d grow out of it and Katsuki was going to be an Alpha. Deku would have to find someone else to pine after.

But Katsuki was an Omega.

And Izuku was still an Alpha.

An Alpha physically stronger than Katsuki now that he’d gotten a handle on his Quirk. Even without that, Deku could give Orders. Could Omega say no to an Order? Was that possible? Could they fight it the way a Beta or another Alpha could?

Katsuki didn’t know and it terrified him.

It was too easy to imagine Deku finding Katsuki like this, wet and shaking on the floor. He’d want to be the first. Deku would claim him in a heartbeat before the authorities could take Katsuki away. He’d say something wretched like “I knew it the whole time, Kacchan.” Deku always said they were meant to be together.

Deku had to have known subconsciously this was going to happen. That’s why he was so determined. It would explain so much: Katsuki’s Omega to Deku’s Alpha. A mated pair. Deku must have had daydreams of shoving Katsuki’s face into the ground and helping himself.

And now he could.

Katsuki’s breath hitched and he openly sobbed. The pain continued to grow, spreading like a thousand stab wounds across his body as it demanded attention. He couldn’t take this. He didn’t want this. Katsuki could only cry; doing anything else hurt too much.

That’s how his mother found him: Sobbing on the floor in his own filth.

His eyes could barely focus on the open door as the old hag stared down in him at horror, her hand covering her nose. Katsuki’s chest heaved as he forced himself to breath and they stared at each other for what felt like an eternity.

Katsuki whimpered like the pathetic thing he’d turned into and choked out a soft, “Mom.”

His mother’s eyes slit as she straightened her back. Every inch the powerful force of nature that she was, his mother declared, “Don’t worry, baby. Mom’s going to fix this.”

Before he could answer, she scooped him up in a blanket and her pores opened, drenching the room in her Scent to the point Katsuki felt like he was choking. She slammed his bedroom door open and rushed down the hall to the bathroom.

Holding him against her side, she continued to Scent him and the room. With determined eyes, she turned on the faucet and filled the tub. “I need you to get in the water and stay as clean as you can. My Scent can’t cover yours completely so we need to dull it as much as possible. Can you do that?”

Katsuki wasn’t sure he could move at all and rubbed his face into his mother’s chest, concentrating on her smell instead of how badly his hips hurt.

The longer he stayed here, the harder it was to focus. There was just the constant, pulsing agony and the desire to make it go away that continued to grow. Katsuki needed something to stop it. Anything to stop it. The pangs in his gut made it impossible to think and continued to spread through his limbs in tremors and desperation. His thoughts grew muddled and lost enough to blank out most of the experience, but later he distinctly remembered begging his mother to make it stop.

He pleaded for her to help him.

It was the first time he’d seen his mother cry.

She gathered him into a hug and kissed him on the head, whispering “It’ll be okay.” Katsuki almost felt relieved, but she let go of him right after and left the room. Katsuki’s fingers clung to the cold tile of the floor as he reached for the door. He needed her to come back. He found the energy to grab the door handle and push it forward, but it smacked into something.

They’d blocked him inside.

Katsuki sunk to the floor and pressed his face into the wood. He’d used the last of his energy and the rest of the room blurred as he passed out.

He woke between the spikes of pain when his father came in to hand wash him and apologize over and over as he forced warm soup down Katsuki’s throat.

Katsuki barely noticed in his delirium.

After nearly two weeks of constant need, nightmares, and pain—it ended. Katsuki woke, sore and numb, staring at their bathroom ceiling. It took him longer than he wanted to admit to remember what had happened as he clung to the small fort of blankets he’d hidden himself in.

The true horror of the past two weeks was just beginning. Would they take him away now? Had they called the authorities already and were just waiting for his wretched Heat to end before they claimed him?

He curled further in on himself, ashamed of his nakedness and tears.

Just as the sun set, the door opened. Katsuki peeked through the blankets, expecting a man in a uniform but only seeing his mother. She looked worn and old and her smile was forced.

She sat on the edge of the tub, her feet near the base of Katsuki’s blankets. She held up a small bottle of pills and a sheet of paper that looked official. Her cheeks were soaked with tears and her voice cracked as she said, “Congratulations, baby. You presented as a Beta.”

Katsuki stared at the paper with his name on it and a classification that definitely did not list “Omega” on the line.

He still didn’t know what she had done to get that paper and those pills on such short notice.

“Your father is never going to let me live this down.” His mother sniffed and wiped her face off on her sleeve. “He always joked that you’d be a Beta like him and it looks like he was right!”

Katsuki crawled out of his blankets and tackled his mother in a hug. He could see his father in the doorway and for the first time since he presented, he thought things might be okay.

“Your chart gives me a headache every time I look at it,” Doc said, strolling back into the room with a stack of papers. Katsuki broke away from his own thoughts and ignored the unsettled feeling that sunk into his stomach. “You’re such a mess.”

“I’ll bet if he’s on suppressants,” Dabi said. The Doc whipped his head up and Dabi held up his hands. “Sorry, sorry. I broke the rules and guessed, but I figure for once you’ll let it slide considering what it is we have in common, ya’ know?”

The Doc glanced between Katsuki and Dabi and blew out a breath. “Honestly? Yes. Zero over here could use the second opinion from one of his own instead of the Beta Doctor whose advice he likes to ignore.”

“I don’t ignore your advice,” Katsuki muttered, staring at the side wall.

He listened very carefully and just happened to be selective about which bits he followed through with and which he didn’t.

“Can I get my pills now or what?” Katsuki asked.

The Doc pulled off his glasses and took a seat in his chair. “You wouldn’t happen to have a month’s vacation time saved up would you?”

Katsuki didn’t like where this conversation was going. “Why?”

“Because your body is a wreck, more so than usual,” the Doc said. “Your natural systems are straight up attacking the suppressants at this point which makes me think something kicked them back into waking up. You haven’t done anything that would cause that, did you?”

“Like what?” Katsuki asked. He hadn’t done anything lately he didn’t normally do except—the Matchmaking House.

“Your face tells me you did something,” the Doc said. “What happened?”

“I went with Kirishima to a Matchmaking House,” Katsuki said, sinking back. “He wanted moral support.”

“Aw, how cute,” Dabi said.

“Shut up,” the Doc said. He looked back at Katsuki and touched the side of his head. “So you were in a room full of Alpha on the verge of a rut. That would definitely kick start something.”

“I answered an Order, too,” Katsuki whispered. If there was anything that had reminded him he was an Omega, that was it. A Beta wouldn’t have been so winded and he was still lucky that that no one had really noticed how hard that Order had shaken Katsuki. “It came from Kirishima. I couldn’t. I couldn’t stop it.”

“All the more reason to believe you need a break from your suppressants. If you go without for a month and let your body go through a natural Heat, then it should trick your system into thinking it’s won and you can go back to using the suppressants to hide yourself,” The Doc said. “If not, your insides are going to tear themselves apart competing between your own body and the drugs. In the the best case scenario, you’d go into Heat without warning and in the worst case, you might have a heart attack, or severe organ failure, or any other cause that would lead to dying.”

Dabi whistled. “That’s why I don’t take that shit.”

“Then why can’t I smell you?” Katsuki asked. The suppressants dulled his own Scent, but they didn’t stop him from being able to smell other people.

“Because most of my pores are burnt off, idiot,” Dabi said, pointing at his neck and arms. “Don’t know if you noticed, but it’s kind of hard to smell like anything when there’s nowhere for the smell to come out. And before you ask, I don’t hide that I’m an Omega either—I just don’t advertise it. The people who need to know, know, and the ones that don’t live in blissful ignorance.”

“He also has the benefit of being generally out of the pubic’s radar so no one cares or notices if he disappears for a week at a time,” the Doc said. “Unlike yourself who surrounds himself with Alpha and has to be on guard twenty-four-seven. I swear, the fact no one’s noticed you’re not a Beta for this long makes me doubt the qualifications of the Hero system.”

“They see what they want to,” Katsuki said.

And they all wanted to see an Alpha, not a Beta or Omega. Even Deku, the one who would benefit most from Katsuki’s Class being an Omega seemed to want the first one for some perverted reason.

“But, we’re getting off track,” the Doc said. He put Katsuki’s bottle back on the table and rubbed his eyes. Katsuki picked it up and gritted his teeth as he stared at the five small pills sitting in the bottom. “I can’t in good conscious give you more than that. I shouldn’t have let you get away with it as long as you have.”

“No,” Katsuki said, shaking his head. “No. I haven’t taken a vacation in four years. There’s no way someone won’t want to know what’s going on.”

He couldn’t live through another week of a Heat either. His parents wouldn’t be there to help him this time. They lived too far away and he couldn’t put that burden on them again. He’d taken over getting his own pills. Katsuki would handle his own problems.

“What? You don’t have any buddies of yours you can trust to help you?” Dabi asked, seemingly sincere. “No ‘My friend is dragging me on vacation and I can’t tell him no?’ cover up. I mean, you’d have to take someone with you for that week anyway, so might as well make up a cover story for both.”

“No,” Katsuki said, breathing out. He wiped the sweat of the side of his head and sucked in a breath. He couldn’t take that much time off and he couldn’t have someone with him. No one could see him like that again. Katsuki said, “You don’t know anything, so just stay out of it.”

“Hey, Bakugou,” Dabi said, leaning forward. “Humor me: When was the last time you actually had a Heat?”

Katsuki grabbed what little pills he had and shoved them in his pocket.

He wasn’t answering that.

He was not dealing with this right now.

Not after this week.

“Zero,” the Doc said. He stood up and trailed after him. “We aren’t done. You need to listen!”

Katsuki ignored him; his heart beating a thousand miles a minute in his chest. He pushed passed the curtain and ran out into the street. The Doc didn’t leave his clinic and Katsuki broke into a sprint as he hit the corner.

He didn’t know what to do.

Chapter Text

Something was wrong with Kacchan.

Izuku should have been ecstatic to have another patrol with his favorite person so soon, even if their last one hadn’t ended on the best of terms, but he couldn’t gather the energy with a worm of worry wriggling its way through his stomach and into his chest.

Kacchan’s gait was stiff and his eyes stayed locked on the ground as they walked the streets. His hands didn’t know what to do with themselves, constantly flexing and fiddling with his gauntlets. They were small things to anyone else, but to Izuku or the other people closest to Kacchan, he might as well have been screaming in the street.

If Izuku didn’t know better, he’d think Kacchan was nervous—but over what?

Kacchan didn’t get nervous.

He could be easily upset and frustrated, crying his eyes out when he failed or lost. But that was normal considering Kacchan was still human under all his bravado and humans had feelings. Occasionally Kacchan would suffer from insecurity, but that was also to be expected considering the extra pressure placed on him as a Beta Pro Hero with as high a standing as he had. But he was never afraid of those things. Kacchan took all of it head on, tears or no, and fought back until he won.

Izuku wasn’t sure how to approach this anxiety that had hold of his friend.

But at least now he had an idea of what could be responsible.

“I heard from Uraraka that you went with Kirishima to a Matchmaking House,” Izuku said. Kacchan tilted his head enough toward Izuku to indicate he was listening, but the frown on his face said he wasn’t happy with where the conversation was going. Another tick on the list indicating this might be the source of his troubles. “Kendo told her you and Monoma got into another fight.”

“Like I said before: Some idiots don’t know how to keep their mouths shut,” Kacchan said, clicking his tongue. “It wasn’t a big deal.”

Liar, Deku thought to himself. “What’d he say anyway? Kendo didn’t mention any details.”

“What’s it matter?” Kacchan asked, moving a step faster than before as they walked down the street.

“I’m just trying to make conversation.” Izuku matched his pace. He kept his voice low and watched Kacchan though the corner of his eye as they walked through the civilians and ignored their gawking. “You’ve been upset the past few days and I thought it might help to talk. Courting aside, I am still your friend, aren’t I?”

Kacchan drew his lip up in a half, frustrated sneer before dropping it along with his shoulders. He rubbed his hand on the back of his neck and exhaled. “That weasel accused me of wanting to be an Alpha so badly I was there to find an Omega mate for myself.” Kacchan paused, glancing at Deku. He opened his mouth and shut it, pressing his lips together. Kacchan found his words and settled on, “I overreacted when I shouldn’t have let it get to me.”

There was something else there he wasn’t saying. Kacchan had tried to share, but changed his mind—which meant it was important and he was scared of telling Izuku. But what could it be?

Izuku knew people gave Kacchan a hard time about his behavior mimicking an Alpha, but that happened all the time and he never had any problem brushing those comments aside before. So why did this one in particular cause so much grief?

Unless it was true.

Izuku stared directly at Kacchan, his jaw falling open before he caught it and snapped his mouth shut. That would explain so much:

Kacchan had always avoided Matchmaking Houses and Omega like the plague. Whenever they visited friends, Kacchan pretended like their Omega spouses weren’t there to a level that was almost downright rude. He typically kept his distance with Omega in general unless his job called for it, such as the times when they needed a Beta to stay with an Omega victim to keep them calm or to save one from a Villain.

Izuku had been genuinely shocked when he’d heard from Uraraka that Kacchan had been willing to go with Kirishima as moral support.

For the longest time, Izuku just thought Kacchan disliked Omega. They were the total opposite of everything Kacchan strived for and wanted to be: Submissive and dependent on someone else. Kacchan certainly wouldn’t have been the first person to immediately associate Omega with “weakness” and used that as justification to avoid them.

But maybe Izuku had assumed incorrectly. Maybe it was entirely the opposite: Kacchan liked Omega too much.

An Alpha mated to an Alpha was a perversion. A Beta mated to an Omega was illegal.

Izuku looked at Kacchan’s face, taking in the purse of his lips and his gaze focused down despite his head held high. Now that he looked for it, it was easy to see the hint of shame.

No wonder Kacchan had convinced himself that he was going to be alone forever and yelled so loudly he wanted to stay single.

He didn’t avoid Omega because he was disgusted by them. Kacchan was tempted by them.

Worst of all, Izuku had no idea how to help Kacchan if that was true. Or at least, not in any way that would actually work. Theoretically, Izuku could take two spouses—Kacchan and an Omega of his own—and just look the other way when Kacchan slept with the Omega in secret. But the chances of them getting caught were still pretty high, especially if Kacchan got the Omega pregnant.

Beta weren’t particularly fertile and the odds were slim, but it wasn’t impossible.

(Izuku himself had been born to two Beta, after all.)

Of course jealousy would also be a factor. Izuku felt his heart constrict. He wasn’t even sure he’d be able to put up with knowing Kacchan was sleeping with someone else and it would be a thousand fold worse if it was under his own roof. Izuku could maybe tolerate the affair it if he was there to watch or participate as a third party, but Kacchan would hate that.

Izuku might have to suck it up and control himself, though.

He didn’t want Kacchan to be unhappy and it was becoming clear that Kacchan chose to be alone because he felt he had no other choice, not because that’s what he actually wanted.

“You’re not mumbling, but you look like your brain is frying,” Kacchan said, reaching over and poking Izuku in the temple. “Stop overthinking. Kirishima was stressed about picking out a mate which had me on edge, too. Monoma caught me at a bad time and that’s all there is to it, okay?”

“I’m sorry, I just worry sometimes,” Izuku said, going back to the topic at hand. He needed to think things over before he confronted Kacchan directly. “You know I care about you, don’t you?”

Kacchan reached over and ruffled Izuku’s hair, harder than he should have, and shoved him to the side. “I know, nerd. But you don’t have to worry about me. I can take care of myself.”

Izuku knew that very well, but it didn’t stop him from wanting to take that burden away now and again anyway.

After their rather nerve-wracking heart-to-heart, the rest of patrol went on as usual. Katsuki still wasn’t sure what had Deku thinking so hard to himself, but it didn’t look like he had figured out Katsuki’s biggest secret or the twerp would have said something. Katsuki was safe for now.

“For now” being the big problem.

Katsuki had one more day of pills left. Which meant not only was he likely going to have to take a month off before Doc would give him more suppressants, but it’d be a month off with no warning. He might have to actually ask someone for help but he’d been struggling to think of who he could ask for the past two days—

“Let me go!” A scream interrupted Katsuki’s inner drama and he sprinted for it, Deku fast on his heels.

It took only a glance to assess the situation: An Alpha cornering an Omega in an alley, using his knee to keep the poor guy pressed to the wall while a nose sniffed way too close to his neck.

The people on the street were content to ignore the scuffle in the alley but Katsuki absolutely was not.

The tears on the Omega’s face were more than enough incentive for Katsuki to not even bother holding back when he grabbed the monster’s shirt. He yanked him away with enough force to give the assailant whiplash. Katsuki followed through by smacking him so hard across the face with his gauntlet the Alpha slammed into the opposite wall of the alley ten feet away and crumpled into a heap.

Deku whistled before checking on the Omega. “Are you—”

He cut off and backed away a few steps with his hand over his nose. Katsuki watched the Omega continue to shiver, sinking down onto the ground where his dark bangs covered his face. Deku kept his nose covered and Katsuki took in a deep sniff and—Oh.

The telltale sickly-sweet scent of pheromones were unmistakable: The Omega was close to a Heat. No wonder a random Alpha had cornered him so fast and without a care for attacking someone in broad daylight.

“I’m going to call this in,” Deku said, walking closer to the Alpha to make sure he didn’t get up and to get away from the smell. He narrowed his eyes as he tugged out his phone and Katsuki could practically feel the anger coming from him. “And I swear, when his Alpha comes to pick him up I’m going to give that jerk a piece of my mind. It’s completely irresponsible to let your mate walk around alone this close to a Heat.”

Katsuki’s stomach twisted.

“Can you watch him?” Izuku asked, unaware of Katsuki’s inner turmoil. He slammed his heel into the unconscious Alpha’s back and nodded toward the Omega. “I don’t want to leave him by himself like that in case someone else comes.”

“Sure,” Katsuki said.

As Deku turned away, he took a closer look at their almost-victim. He was a pretty thing with dark hair and brown eyes, slim but tall—and still terrified. Katsuki followed his line of sight to Deku on the other side of the alley, calling the authorities to come pick up the Alpha rapist and the Omega both.

Katsuki thought of two reasons this Omega would be out by himself and terrified at the thought of someone coming to get him: Either he didn’t have a mate and had somehow escaped a Matchmaking House or he was running away from an Alpha he didn’t want to be with.

There was only one thing to do.

Katsuki knelt next to the Omega, voice hushed and fast. “Around the corner is a small grocery that has another exit in the back. It’ll take you to another alley that connects to the main street on the other side of the block.”

The Omega’s eyes darted to Katsuki and he bit his lip, listening.

“I need you to hit me as hard as you possibly can in the face and run for it. Deku will stop to check on me first which will give you the split second you’ll need to get into the store and disappear.” Katsuki kept his own gaze on Deku, making sure he was still on call with the police. “I’ll stall him as long as I can, but you need to run like your life depends on it. Do you understand?”

“Yes,” the Omega said, whispering. “Thank you.”

“Thank me when you get away,” Katsuki said. He sucked in a breath as Deku pulled the phone away from his ear. Katsuki hissed, “Do it now.”


Izuku turned in time to watch Kacchan hit the ground, holding his nose as the Omega sprinted out of the alley. He felt the hairs rise on the back of his neck all the same, even if it clearly wasn’t a serious injury. “Kacchan!”

He darted to the other’s side and slid to a stop next to him. “Are you okay?”

Kacchan hissed as he pulled his hands away from his face and scrunched his bruised nose. “That little brat can throw a punch.”

Izuku left the alley after the Omega, shaking his head. Kacchan was fine but now they had a frightened Omega on the run and that never led to good places. Panic made people do stupid things and the last thing they needed was for some other Alpha to find the poor man in such a vulnerable state and take advantage.

He cursed as he turned the corner, however, eyes darting around the people on the street. Izuku didn’t see the Omega and there were too many people around to catch his Scent.

They’d lost him.

Izuku returned to the alley to find Kacchan sitting against the wall, fingers pressed against his nose to test if it was broken. Upon spotting Izuku, he looked up and sighed. “The Omega’s long gone, right?”

“Yes, there’s too many people in the street,” Izuku said. He crossed his arms and squatted next to Kacchan, attempting to look stern. That poor Omega was out all alone now because they failed to do their job, but it was also hard to ignore the instinctual need to make sure Kacchan was okay. “What happened?”

“I let my guard down,” Kacchan said, pulling his knees up and resting his arms on them. “I got distracted and it didn’t occur to me he’d make a run for it. It’s my fault and I’ll take the hit.”

“Distracted, huh?” Izuku said, noting Kacchan had pretty much thrown himself into taking the blame.

No arguing. No yelling. Just fast acceptance and wanting to drop the topic. The smell of the Omega still lingered in the alley, though much more diluted now that the source was absent. Kacchan kept his head down and his body remained tensed and guilty. Izuku had been right earlier: Kacchan liked Omega.

Izuku bumped their shoulders together, mind racing as he bit his lip. “It really hasn’t been your week, has it?”

Kacchan laughed and covered his face with his hands before resting his head on the back wall. He dropped his arms, and didn’t move away from the small bit of comfort Izuku offered him—furthering the severity of how badly he had to be hurting right now. Kacchan said, “Tell me about it.”

“After the police pick up that Alpha, do you want to get something to eat?” Izuku asked, testing the water. “That place you used to really like finished their renovations a couple days ago, so they’re open again.”

“Why not?” Kacchan stood and took Izuku’s hand to haul him up alongside him. “But I’m paying and you’re not going to argue about it.”

“Alright, Kacchan,” Izuku said. Letting Kacchan pay was a small price to pay to spend time with him. However, Izuku wasn’t going to let him get away with it all time. “But next time it’s my treat.”

“Not a chance,” Kacchan said. He stretched out his arms and straightened when flashing lights filled the alley.

Izuku brushed off his costume and walked to greet the police and give their report of events. The Alpha was arrested for the double charges of attempted assault and failing to report an Omega alone in public on the verge of Heat, and the police had been notified of their panicked Omega victim. Kacchan received some flack for letting the Omega get by him, but no one was in trouble.

“Come on,” Kacchan said, checking the time. He still looked uncomfortable and tense, but a little better than he had before. “Let’s get back to the office and get changed. I’m starving.”

“Yes, Kacchan,” Izuku said.

Izuku hated that Kacchan was upset enough to need comfort, but he also couldn’t help but be glad that he could give it.

Chapter Text

Katsuki stared at his last pill like a death sentence.

It wasn’t even a full dose. The Doc had only given him five pills and Katsuki regularly took two in the morning. Not one. Two. The suppressants would be out of his system entirely by that evening. He’d gone from a theoretical running out of time to a literal countdown for his last hours of freedom. Katsuki palmed the pill swallowed it dry, dropping his head onto the table and digging his hands into his hair.

Who could he ask for help?

Kirishima was the first option he’d considered, but crossed him off the list as fast as he thought of him. Katsuki glanced up at the photos sitting on the small hall table, focusing in particular at a shot of him with Kirishima’s arm around his shoulder after their first Team Mission as Pro-Heroes. Kirishima had been his first real friend and equal. Katsuki could always count on him to have his back in a fight or if he needed something—as rare as that was—and he couldn’t bear to lose that relationship.

To risk that friendship over something as stupid as his Class was not an option.

Katsuki knew that Kirishima didn’t think less of Omega, and he certainly valued them as people, but he still viewed them more traditionally than others. As far as Kirishima was concerned, Omega existed to be cared for and protected. He was the perfect Alpha to take on that role for an Omega that actually needed it, but would he look at Katsuki differently if he knew? Would their friendship turn into a weird obligation to “care for” Katsuki?

He didn’t know and it scared him.

Aside from that, Katsuki didn’t have many other options. Sero and Ashido were Beta so they couldn't help even if they wanted to. Kaminari was an Alpha, and while Katsuki could theoretically trust him with this, Kaminari also had difficulty keeping secrets. And he was really bad about keeping them when someone’s wellbeing was on the line and he felt like telling another person was the best choice. Katsuki would bet money that if he told Kaminari he was an Omega that Kirishima would know within the same hour.

Which brought him back around to his original issue.

Katsuki’s phone rang. He tugged it over from the other side of the table and frowned at the “Unknown Number” on the call screen. He hung up on the call mid-ring and put the phone aside.

As much as he hated it, Katsuki might have to risk Kirishima, though, because he sure as hell wasn’t asking—

The phone rang again.

Katsuki picked it up, saw the same number and clicked it off. It rang again and he growled as he answered, “What the fuck do you want?”

“Aren’t you pleasant,” Dabi said from the other line.

“How did you get this number?” Katsuki asked, dropping his arm on the counter. He knew that moment in the clinic was going to come back and haunt him. “The Doc has rules.”

“Yeah and the Doc is why I’m calling, so listen up,” Dabi said. Katsuki could hear the huff. “Look, I don’t give a shit about you and your problems, but the Doc does and he’s beating himself up because he’s actually worried about your ass. So he said he’d wave my medical fees for the next year if I did him a favor which brings us back around to this lovely phone call.

“You’re going to meet me at the bar at the end of Doc’s street, I’m going to pass on some information, you’re going to listen, and then we never have to see each other again,” Dabi said. “Well, until the next time we have to fight each other, but you know what I mean.”

“And why should I do this?”

“Because the Doc said you’re out of pills and you’re about to be desperate, I’m guessing,” Dabi said. “It’s up to you if you’d like a potential solution to your problem or not from a fellow Omega. I’m waiting here for an hour and if you don’t show, well, that’s your loss.”

The phone clicked off and Katsuki stared at his empty bottle of pills.

He got up from the table and grabbed his coat, cursing under his breath as he tapped out the door.

Dabi hunched in a corner booth in the back of one of the shadiest bars in downtown. Everyone in the place was either a Villain or a two-bit crook that wanted to make it big by getting on someone’s good side in the event a big time crook showed up. Fights broke out on the regular and it was near impossible to hear yourself think over the chatter of arguing Alphas.

It was the perfect place for a private chat.

Mr. Ground Zero himself walked in about twenty minutes after Dabi’s call in sunglasses and a hoodie, stopping at the bar to buy a drink before he joined Dabi in the corner. No one paid the angry blond a second look and he slammed the cup on the table before sitting across from him.

Dabi wouldn’t have recognized him either if he hadn’t been looking for him.

“Wreck” would have been too kind of a description for the mess that sat across from him as Bakugou ripped his sunglasses off and tossed them on the table. The bags under his eyes alone made him look more like that mind control guy then the explosive “Beta” that had made such an impact on the Hero Scene.

“Glad you could make it,” Dabi said, glad to get this over with. He dug into his bag and pulled out a small aerosol can and threw it at him. Bakugou caught it, staring at the label. “That’s from the Doc.”

“What is it?” Bakugou asked.

“Odor neutralizer,” Dabi said, shrugging. He slumped down and threw his feet up on the seat next to Bakugou’s hips. “It doesn’t work to hide your Scent as well as suppressants and doesn’t last nearly as long, but it’s something to help at least. He said use liberally as needed on you, your clothes, your furniture, and everything else you could Scent on accident.”

“Is that it?” Bakugou asked, popping the cap off his beer. “Because I would have been much happier with an apology bottle of pills.”

Dabi dropped his elbows on the table and rubbed between his eyes. If his stupid stitches didn’t stick him in that stupid clinic with infections at least twice a year he wouldn’t be bothering with this. “Okay smart ass, here’s part two: The Doc wanted to clarify that whole ‘take a month off thing’ but you ran out like a puppy with his tail between his legs before he could even bother.”

“Clarify what?” Bakugou asked.

“That you might not have to take an entire month off,” Dabi said. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a cigarette. He lit the end with his Quirk and took a puff. “What he was going to explain before you sprinted out of there is that everyone’s different and after you stop taking the suppressants, your Heat could start in two or three days or two weeks.

“Since you’re an idiot who literally can’t afford to be caught with his pants down by anyone, taking a month off would be playing it safe so it’s just you and whatever Alpha will be getting your rocks off who's around when it happens.” Dabi tapped the ashes off his cigarette into the tray. He couldn’t remember the last time he had to talk this much. “You get the picture?”

“Yeah, use the odor neutralizer until I have a Heat and disappear for a week. That’d be a great plan except it doesn’t solve the problem of how I just vanish for a week and have no one question where I went,” Bakugou said, hissing low. He dropped his elbows on the table and ran his hands though his hair. “I’m a workaholic and everyone knows it. And I don’t have anyone to cover for me because they’d never believe me if I said I was just taking a break for a week and would hound me more than ever to find out why I was really taking the time off.”

Dabi put his face in his hands. He was not here for counseling, but now he was just morbidly curious. “Okay, let’s just go with square one. What’d you do the last time you had a Heat?”

Bakugou leaned back into his seat and tapped his heel up and down. “That won’t work this time.”

“Why not?”

“It just won’t,” Bakugou said, glancing around the room. Dabi thought in any other situation that seeing Ground Zero nervous and anxious would be hilarious. Right now it was just frustrating. “What?”

“You never did answer before,” Dabi said. He blew a puff of smoke at Bakugou’s face. “When was the last time you had a Heat, anyway?”

“Does it matter?” he asked.

“Humor me,” Dabi said.

Bakugou rubbed the back of his shoulder on the booth and pressed his lips together. After far too long of a hesitation to be normal, he admitted, “When I presented.”

Dabi must have heard that wrong under the racket of the two Alpha having a drinking contest to the left. “Say that again?”

“When I presented,” Bakugou hissed a fraction louder. “Okay?”

“You,” Dabi said and choked on an inhale of smoke, “you haven’t had a Heat since you presented. You’ve been on suppressants every day since you presented—that’s what you’re telling me right now.”

“Yes,” Bakugou said, eyes glaring and daring Dabi to say more.

He was definitely going to do that.

“Holy shit, how are you alive?” Dabi asked. He wheezed in and shoved his cigarette out in the ashtray. “Do you know how easy it is to overdose on that shit? And who knows what the hell it’s been doing to your body—oh wait, I do know. You’re on your way to total organ failure before you’re twenty-five.”

“I didn’t have much of a choice,” Bakugou said back. He bit his lip and snarled. “I had to hide what I was somehow, and frankly, that first Heat was awful enough I wasn’t exactly itching to repeat the experience. Those pills were the best damn thing to ever happen to me.”

“What? Big tough guy like you couldn’t handle his first baby Heat?” Dabi shook his head and pressed his lips together. Even for an Omega, Bakugou was proving to be rather pathetic under that Alpha act he had going on. “Who knew Ground Zero could be taken down by the fear of a little discomfort. What a scaredy cat.”

“You shut your mouth,” Bakugou said. Dabi glanced up, stilling at the sheer fury on Bakugou’s face. He leaned across the table, voice low and threatening. “I know discomfort and I know pain and I don’t think you know what the fuck you’re talking about.”

“Then enlighten me,” Dabi said, scoffing. He’d had his first awkward Heat just like everyone else at the Finishing School he’d been trapped at for two years. If anything, Bakugou’s first Heat should have been even more of a breeze because he’d been at home for all of it. “Sharing First Heat stories is practically a beloved past time between Omega.”

Bakugou snorted heavily through his nose and turned his face to the side. He spoke softly and Dabi struggled to hear him. “I’ve taken a punch to the face from Deku in a spar, so I’m no stranger to pain, but nothing has ever came close to that fucking day.

“At first it was only sharp pains in my gut that sent me to my knees. By the time I figured out what was going on, the pain was so bad I couldn’t stand,” Bakugou said. He glanced at the table, swallowing. “It felt like that Toga chick had taken her knife to my gut and went to town stabbing it over and over, and that was at its most tolerable. By the time someone found me, even breathing hurt and I couldn’t get off the floor.”

Bakugou’s eyes glazed over and Dabi felt something twist in his gut. He pulled his feet off the seat and set them on the ground as he sat up against the booth's backrest. That—that didn’t sound right.

“Eventually, the pain was so bad that my bones hurt,” Bakugou said, his breath picking up. His anger returned and his red eyes bore into Dabi’s own. “I was so desperate to stop it that I begged my own mother to fuck me. I was relieved when I thought she would, but she didn’t. She left me on the damn bathroom floor alone and in so much pain I passed out.

“When I woke up, it’d managed to get worse somehow and I prayed to die because I couldn’t do anything else to make it stop, but I didn’t. For two weeks this went on and I still don’t know how I managed to live through it.” His voice choked and his palms smoked as he clutched his hands together under the table. “I know what pain I can take and I know what I can’t, and that? I wouldn’t have wished that on the most evil Villain in the world, so don’t you dare fucking tell me I was a coward for not wanting to go through it again.”

Katsuki swallowed as he caught his breath. Dabi stared at him, wide eyed and mouth open. Katsuki rubbed the tears out of the corner of his eyes and hissed. “What? Something else to say?”

“Bakugou,” he said, catching Katsuki off guard with his name spoken so softy. “That’s. That’s not normal. Shit.”

Katsuki put his hands on the bench seat and frowned, searching Dabi for any hint of a lie but all he saw was horror on Dabi’s face. “What do you mean? Heats hurt, don’t they? That’s like the whole reason you’re supposed to have an Alpha or some bullshit, right?”

“Or some bullshit, yeah,” Dabi said, falling into a calmer state as he stared at Bakugou. He covered his eyes and dragged his hand down. It would have been nice of the Doc to warn him about this part of the conversation at some point. “You don’t know anything about Omega, do you?”

“You’re acting like I know any,” Katsuki said, looking to the side. “Mom’s an Alpha, Dad’s a Beta, and everyone at U.A. was one or the other. The only Omega I know are spouses to my classmates, and I usually try to avoid them because I’m terrified they’ll just sense out I’m one of them even with the suppressants, knowing my luck.”

Dabi sucked in a breath and tugged on the stitches on the back of his hand as he dragged the taut, wrinkled skin. “Okay. We’re going to do this.”

“Do what?” Katsuki asked.

“Sex ed,” Dabi said. He opened his mouth before he shut it with a snap. Dabi squinted at Katsuki and pursed his lips. “Wait. There was something else weird about you, wasn’t there? Aside from the whole Beta pretending to be an Alpha thing people accuse you of. It was a big deal your first U.A. Sports Festival that year we kidnapped you, but I don’t remember what it was because I didn’t care at the time.”

“I hadn’t presented yet,” Katsuki said. He shrugged and rubbed his arm. “I won First Place without a Class which was big news at the time.”

Dabi narrowed his eyes. “How old were you when you presented?”

Katsuki matched his glare and muttered, “Seventeen.”

“Holy shit,” Dabi said, leaning back into his seat again. He tugged on his hair before dropping his hands on the table again. “That’s insane. Most late bloomers are fourteen at the oldest.”

“I know,” Katsuki said, remembering many a doctor’s appointment double checking nothing was wrong with him every year he failed to present. “You don’t have to tell me.”

“But that explains more than I thought it would,” Dabi said. He sighed and slumped on the table. “Most Omega present the same age as everyone else: somewhere between eleven and thirteen.”

“Yeah, I know,” Katsuki said. He knew his information on Omega was limited, but he knew the basics, dammit. “What of it?”

“Look, I’m only saying this shit once so shut up and listen,” Dabi said. He tapped his fingers on the table and continued and Katsuki resigned himself to listen to things he didn’t want to hear. “When an Omega presents, they have their first Heat.

“What you went though? That’s not how it’s supposed to happen.” Dabi shook his head and winced. “Your first Heat is a week of being aroused constantly. It’s awkward and uncomfortable, but you could totally power through the day if you had to. Everyone’s favorite thing to do in Finishing School when someone first arrived was to weasel out their ‘First Heat’ story because they were always a riot from people presenting at the wrong place and the wrong time.

“For goodness sake, I presented in the middle of a field trip and had to try and keep from jacking off in front of the Zoo staff while I waited for the ride to the doctor to confirm my Class,” Dabi said. “Your first year’s worth of Heats are about that level. It’s annoying, but harmless.”

Katsuki straightened his back.

“After about two years, your Heats get more concentrated and,” Dabi paused, “loud, I guess, might be a good way to put it. The horniness makes it hard to think and you start noticing just how good an Alpha can smell. But still, you can suffer through it for a week with your own hand if you had to. You can still think and make decisions.”

Dabi drummed his fingers. “Things get more complicated after that. By the time you’re fifteen or sixteen, that’s when Heats can start to hurt if you don’t actually get an Alpha’s attention. At that point, they start handing out suppressants for the week of your Heat, but no longer, and that goes on until you get a mate or find an Alpha to jump, whichever happens first.

“Omega go to Matchmaking Houses when they’re sixteen because that’s around the point where they actually need an Alpha mate to get through a Heat,” Dabi said. “And why Alpha have to be at least twenty years old with a decent job before they can pick out an Omega. The chances of getting pregnant on your first Heat with an Alpha are through the roof and they have to prove they can take care of you and the kids.

“But that’s beside the point,” Dabi said, shaking his hand back and forth. “Your situation was not normal, is what I’m trying to get at.”

“So what the fuck happened to me?” Katsuki asked, his breath picking up.

“Heats get worse the older you get and apparently they don’t care if you presented late in your case. Instead of slowly working your way up to the adult stuff, you just started there,” Dabi said, digging his thumb into the stitches in his hand. “Most Omega by the time they’re old enough to hurt even a fraction of what you described have figured out they need suppressants or an Alpha. Since the first option tends to have some serious health issues associated with it, most sensible Omega take the second route.”

“Bakugou,” Dabi said, voice low and serious. “Even Omega that get out of the system like me can find an Alpha for their Heat, whether it’s a friend they trust or if they have to lend themselves out to a whore house for the week.

“The only Omega who go through what you did are usually being abused by some sadistic Alpha who gets off watching us suffer,” Dabi said. He twisted his hands into fists and laughed. “I light people on fire for kicks and even I think that’s disgusting. No one, and I mean no one, should go through what you did.”

Katsuki pressed his lips and whispered, “My parents didn’t abuse me.”

“I know,” Dabi said. “They didn’t know any better, right?”

Katsuki nodded.

Dabi breathed out and reached into his coat for another cigarette. He lit the thing and put his feet back up on the seat next to Katsuki’s hip. Dabi tapped Katsuki’s side with his loafers. “So let’s try this again: Do you have an Alpha that can help you through your upcoming Heat, yes or no?”

“No,” Katsuki said.

“None,” Dabi said again. “You, surrounded by do-gooder, meddling Heroes who have nothing better to do with their time than save people, don’t have a single friend who can help you?”

“I have one that’s a maybe, but I don’t actually know what he’ll do if he finds out,” Katsuki said, hating to speak so low of Kirishima. “And the others are idiots who’ll probably say something on accident.”

“What about that Midori—”

“No!” Katsuki shouted, scared of the force in his own voice. He inched back down into his seat from where he’d jumped up and grabbed his beer to stop the shaking in his hands. “Deku can’t know shit about this. Ever.”

“Ah, he’s one of those Alpha.” Dabi whistled and nodded, almost knowingly. “The kind who don’t know the meaning of no-strings, casual sex and think they own you.”

“You have no idea,” Katsuki said, shaking his head.

“Likely more than you think and pretty sure I’ve killed one or two, but I’ll let your ignorance slide,” Dabi said. He tapped his cigarette against the ash tray as he and Katsuki stared at each other in the awkward silence. He licked his lip and shot Katsuki a small smile that made him nervous. “But I do think I might have an answer to your problems.”

Katsuki didn’t believe him, but asked anyway, “Yeah?”

“First up, that week off you need? When you sense your Heat coming, throw a fit. The media’s been waiting for you to blow up from the pressure for ages Mr. Beta Pro-Hero,” Dabi said, voice sinking back into it’s usual dullness. “I don’t care what you do, just end it with telling them all you’re taking a week off. The friends that bug you about it? Tell them if they cared they’d leave you be. Guilt trips are great for when you really want someone to leave you alone.”

“Assuming that works, there’s still the other problem of the Heat itself,” Katsuki muttered. “I’m not exactly looking forward to locking myself in a room and suffering for a week.”

“Let me put it this way: You don’t know any Alpha up for no-strings sex, but I sure as hell do and every single one of them would jump at the chance to fuck a Pro-Hero through a Heat. Who do you think helps me every month?” Dabi blew a puff of smoke. “They’re so casual about it they even take turns.”

Katsuki knew where this was going. “Fuck no.”

“I haven’t even given you your options yet,” Dabi said, smile turning sly. “For example, Twice is a riot and definitely your guy if you want dirty talk. He goes back and forth between petting your head and whispering ‘What a good boy’ to ‘Take it you filthy slut’ so fast it’ll make you dizzy.”

“I’m not listening to this,” Katsuki said, covering his ears.

“Toga’s fun because she likes to role play, sometimes even going as as far as using her Quirk to fully pretend to be someone else, and I absolutely promise you she will try to stab you at least once,” Dabi said with a shrug. “Keeps you on your toes.”

“Please stop talking.”

“Mr. Compress is the most clinical of the bunch if you really just want to get it over with,” Dabi said, scrunching his nose and staring at a spot behind Katsuki. “I think he read a book once while I rode him, the lazy bastard.”

“Why are you doing this?” Katsuki asked. “I know you’re a Villain, but there has to be a line somewhere.”

“But seriously though,” Dabi said, straightening in his seat and crossing his arms on the table. “I’d honestly recommend Shigaraki. He’s a weird blend of greedy and reverent that makes you feel wanted and respected at the same time. Because of his Quirk, not many people let him touch them, so getting to sleep with someone is a huge deal to him. Shigaraki’ll take it seriously without getting clingy.

“Plus, he already likes you,” Dabi said. “You’re still ‘the one that got away’ and on his tiny list of Pro Heroes he thinks are cool next to Eraserhead. I can’t promise he won’t give you a lit tract for joining the League in between rounds, but he will absolutely keep your secret, just to make sure he can fuck you again. He can’t exactly sleep with you if you’re arrested and rotting in whatever hell they’d put you if you got caught.”

“I can not sleep with the fucking leader of the League of Villains,” Katsuki wheezed, trying to block out all the new thoughts assaulting his brain. He couldn’t believe Dabi even suggested it. “He’s a monster.”

“Depends who you ask,” Dabi said. He licked his teeth and shrugged. “But what other choice do you have? Because at the end of the day you at least know Shigaraki, good or bad, which means he’s gotta’ be better than some random Alpha on the street who’d sell you out for a dime or blackmail you.”

“I can’t. You’ve all killed people and that’s the start of everything wrong with this.” Katsuki grabbed the back of his head and leaned on the table. “What am I even doing here?”

“You’re desperate and unless you suck it up and ask one of your Hero buddies, this is the best chance you’ve got,” Dabi said. He tugged out a piece of paper and scribbled a number on it. “But on one Omega’s word to another, I won’t tell anyone your secret unless you agree. Call me when you feel like your Heat is going to start.”

He slid the piece of paper across the table, shoving it in front of Katsuki’s face. Dabi leaned close to Katsuki’s ear and whispered, “And trust me, once your Heat starts, you’re not going to care whose cock is in you, which it sounds like you’re already well familiar with, so maybe make sure it’s one that you picked out ahead of time and not just the first one you jump.”

Dabi shoved a hand in his pocket and got up from the booth. “Don’t take too long to decide.”

Katsuki clutched the piece of paper between his fingers. The phone number glared back up at him and he breathed out before turning it over and drinking the rest of his beer. He listened to the sounds of the bar around him and counted to ten before grabbing the odor neutralizer and dropped it in his jacket pocket with the phone number.

He left the bar with a new sense of dread and a choice to make.

Chapter Text

Katsuki had forgotten what he smelled like.

It’d been so long since he’d had his own active Scent that when he woke up in the morning surrounded by the out of place aroma, he’d half-panicked thinking someone else had been in his bed all night. The sheets smelled like fresh-cut roses, like the ones his dad always got for his mom on their anniversary, but smothered in sugar. It took Katsuki far too long to realize that the Scent was coming from him and that he’d marked his linens in his sleep.

The first time he’d presented a Scent, he didn’t have a chance to realize what it was before his insides had decided to try and murder him. Afterwards when the Heat was done, he’d practically inhaled the suppressants his mother had gotten and they’d taken his Scent with them.

Katsuki picked up his pillow and sniffed it before lifting his arm to compare. He smelled like a damned candied rose bush and he hated everything. Katsuki groaned and fell back into his sheets before looking at the clock.

He had to go to work.

He crawled out of bed, dragging his sheets and blankets with him and threw them in the wash before grabbing the can of odor neutralizer. He shook it hard and “applied liberally” to everything else in the room before he jumped in the shower to wash off the sweat from his sleep.

The Scent was as strong as ever when he got out and Katsuki groaned before spraying himself down, both before and after he put his clothes on.

His first day without suppressants in four years.

Katsuki sat at his kitchen table with a bowl of cereal, not in the mood to make his own breakfast before he breathed out. He needed to think of a proper plan of action and he needed real time to do it. Katsuki licked his lip and pulled over his phone.

Maybe he should test the water.

As much as he hated to admit it, Dabi’s plan wasn’t bad. Katsuki hadn’t been himself lately at work and even Deku admitted he’d looked upset the past week. It wouldn’t be too hard to say the pressure finally got to him and he needed a break. He’d gone four years without taking a vacation day, only taking time off on the required two days a week and nothing more.

He was technically long overdue for some “rest and relaxation.”

Katsuki held his phone between his hands and stared at the time. He needed to report for duty in one hour, which meant he had more than enough time to call in sick now if he had to. Katsuki sucked in a breath. If he called in for one day off now, then maybe it would help his cause later in two or three days or however long it took for his Heat to show up when he needed the full week.

It was worth a shot—what did he have to lose?

Like ripping off a bandage, Katsuki called headquarters and said he was taking a sick day. The secretary at the front desk told him to feel better soon and that was that. Katsuki clicked off his phone and breathed out before picking up his cereal bowl. He dumped out the remaining, soggy sludges and washed the dish in his sink.

Looking for something to calm his nerves and procrastinate thinking about things he didn’t want to, Katsuki opened the fridge and cleaned it out.

By the time he returned to the table, Katsuki confirmed his original fears that knew deep down he would never be able to take any time off without an inquisition squad.

In less than thirty minutes he had ten texts from Deku, two from Kaminari, one missed call from Ashido with a rather loud message left on his voicemail that he better call her back, and he even had texts from Iida and Uraraka—the first wishing him well and the second yelling at him to call Deku back before the guy had a heart attack.

Katsuki didn’t bother to answer any of the messages and sat the phone back down before groaning into his hands. The phone continued to buzz on the table with new messages as more and more of his friends and coworkers heard that he was sick. His chest constricted and he rubbed a thumb into his ribcage. This was never going to work. Katsuki had friends now that cared about his wellbeing and they were going to ask questions if he just dropped off the face of the Earth for a week.

He was so fucked.

Katsuki answered Kirishima after his third missed call and sighed, “Hello.”

“Dude, if you need a ride to the hospital you tell me right now,” Kirishima said without preamble. “Because your version of ‘I’m sick enough to stay home’ is most people’s ‘I should visit the ER’ and I’m not having any of it.”

“I’m fine, Kirishima,” Bakugou said. He slumped on his kitchen table and leaned on his elbow, holding the small phone near his ear. “Tell everyone to stop texting me. I’m not dying.”

“How sick are you, though? I know you, dude. If you’re bad enough to stay home it has to be serious,” Kirishima said. “Do you want me to come over?”

Katsuki bit his lip, thinking of last night and Dabi’s offer. The concern in Kirishima’s voice outweighed it and he made a small choice. “I’m not sick, I’m just tired. There’s been a lot of things on my mind and I needed time to myself to think.”

“Are you okay?” Kirishima asked. “What’s going on?”

“Everything’s just catching up with me,” Katsuki said, whispering into the phone. He wanted to tell Kirishima. “And I’m not sure what to do.”

“What’s catching up with you?” Kirishima asked. “Is something going on?”

Katsuki wanted to tell him.

But he couldn’t.

“I think that the pressure of being,” Katsuki paused, hating himself as he knew what he was going to do. He needed that week off and Dabi’s plan had merit. This wasn’t a ‘fit’ but it was close enough. Katsuki sucked in a breath as Kirishima waited patiently. “Being the only Beta in the top ten is getting to me. I needed a break from it all, and I had thought about taking a week off but I wasn’t sure how that would go down. So I tested it with taking a single day off and you can see how that went: You all think I’m dying.”

“Dude,” Kirishima said, voice soft. “How long have you been feeling like that?”

“A while,” Katsuki said. “It’s fine. It is. I just need some time away from everything so I can think it all through without idiots like Monoma and Deku making things worse.”

“If you need someone to listen, you know you can count on me.” Kirishima got that steel in his voice that always sounded clearest when he was determined. “I’m here you for you, man.”

“I know,” Katsuki said. He sat up and pushed away from the table, but when he moved to step down from the stool, Katsuki felt it—a sharp pain in his stomach.

His hiss in response was not missed on the other end of the phone. “Bakugou? What was that?”

“Nothing,” Katsuki said, staring at the table top. He put a hand on his stomach and bit his lip. He was supposed to have two or three days before his Heat started at the earliest. Bullshit. Katsuki dropped his head on the table and sucked in slowly. His stomach twisted and he scrunched his eyes shut. “I’m good. I just. I’ll call you later, okay?”

“Bakugou?” Kirishima asked. “You don’t sound good.”

“I’m fine,” Katsuki repeated, as much as to himself as to Kirishima. The next wave of pain came with a rush of arousal and a hint of something wet between his legs. Katsuki dropped his head on the counter and couldn’t stop the curse: “Shit.”

“I’m coming over,” Kirishima said. “You are not okay.”

He hung up and Katsuki cursed again. This was not happening. Wasn’t he supposed to get like a day’s warning or something? Did the suppressants mess him up that badly that he wasn’t even allowed to have proper warning like other Omega? Katsuki sucked in a steadying breath and concentrated on his phone.

He bit his lip as he typed in the number he’d glared at all evening, glad he’d memorized it in the process.

Katsuki managed to press “send” before his knees buckled.

Shigaraki and Mr. Compress argued over recruiting efforts and Dabi attempted to stay awake.

These stupid “League Meetings” had been going on since Kurogiri had suggested it would be good for the group to “be more organized” for the sake of their future work and plans. Their success rate had been pretty low over the years, so he supposed it sure didn’t hurt to try new things.

If only the meetings weren’t so boring every single time.

Or happened so early in the day.

Dabi’s phone rang in his pocket. The ringtone interrupted Kurogiri’s agreement with Mr. Compress and they all turned to look at him. Dabi winced under the scrutiny and glares of the more dapper members of the group. He tugged the thing out to turn it off when he remembered why he’d put the ringer on in the first place: “Zero” popped up on the screen under the caller’s name.

“I actually need to take this,” Dabi said, putting the phone back down so they couldn’t see the name. “I’ll just be a minute.”

He hopped off his stool in the small meeting room in their newest hideout and tapped out the door, feeling Shigaraki’s eyes on his back.

Dabi answered the phone as he got in the hallway and said, “That was quick.”

Doc must have called it about the Heat showing up in two to three days if Bakugou already had the pre-Heat symptoms. Short time table, but at least the poor guy was going to get it out of the way.

There was no answer on the other end and Dabi frowned. “Bakugou?”

Katsuki gritted his teeth, breathing hard through his nose as he stared at the phone just an inch too far out of reach. Dabi’s confused voice came from the other end and he grunted as he fought the spike of pain in his gut to crawl closer from his spot on the ground.

Of course he’d drop the stupid thing when he fell and of course it’d land so far away. But at least Dabi picked up. Katsuki struggled to say something loud enough for him to hear from this distance, but his voice wouldn’t work. The only noise that came from his mouth were weak whimpers.

The light on the phone went out as the connection disconnected. He dropped his forehead on the ground and sucked in a breath. He just had to get to the phone and he could call again. The redial button existed for a reason.

A knock hit his door. Katsuki’s limbs trembled through the pain. He was out of time. Another knock came as he pushed his feet forward to inch along the ground. The doorbell rang.

Katsuki had to get up.

He had to get the damn phone and call Dabi back.

“Bakugou!” Kirishima shouted from the other side of his door. He banged it twice more and Katsuki found the effort he needed to get on his elbow. This wasn’t good. “Let me in!”

Katsuki saw his phone screen light up from the corner of his eye but it didn’t matter because Kirishima kicked his door open.

“Sorry, but you weren’t answering and—Bakugou!” Kirishima crossed the room in a blink and dropped by Katsuki’s side on the floor. He hovered near Katsuki’s head and the panic in his voice echoed in Katsuki’s ears. “What happened?”

Katsuki grunted and shoved his face back onto the floor. He’d had one chance. His choice was made and Katsuki hated everything.

Because fuck if Kirishima didn’t smell good and—No. No. He wouldn’t do that. He wasn’t going to make that mistake again. Katsuki fought the desire with everything he had, hoping to make his mouth work so he could explain and tell Kirishima to get out.

As if sensing Katsuki was rejecting the Alpha next to him, the pain worsened in an attempt to change his mind.

Kirishima touched Katsuki’s side as he inspected his friend, completely oblivious to Katsuki’s inner turmoil. The press of his hand was gentle, but Katsuki couldn’t stop the howl that came from the touch of his fingers against far too sensitive skin.

“Shit!” Kirishima exclaimed, pulling away. Without another thought he dragged his phone out of his pocket and dialed with one hand. His other hand went to rest on Katsuki’s head, petting his hair back. “You’re going to be okay. I’m going to call an ambulance, and they’ll be here soon.”

Katsuki grabbed Kirishima’s pant leg and twisted his fingers into the fabric. Finally, finally Katsuki managed to get out a word: “No.”

“Hello? I’d like to report an emergency,” Kirishima said, calm and well trained from years of Hero work. Katsuki twisted on the floor, desperate for the strength to stop the phone call, but it wouldn’t come. Katsuki made it the inch needed to drop his head on Kirishima’s thigh before the pain in his stomach shot up to his ribcage. Kirishima caught the motion as Katsuki grabbed his own chest and his friend squeezed him closer, hand still in Katsuki’s hair. “I found Pro Hero Ground Zero collapsed in his apartment. He’s conscious but in so much pain he can’t move. I think he fell, but I’m not sure. It looks like there’s also some chest pain, like he’s having a heart attack.”

Heart attack.

If only.

“No,” Katsuki said again.

He shook his head, fighting the urge to nuzzle Kirishima’s thigh and concentrated on what he needed to do. He had five or six minutes. He needed to get to his own phone before the ambulance arrived or he did something regrettable.

Katsuki shoved off of Kirishima’s thigh with enough force that he nearly blanked out from the pain when he hit the ground, yelling hard enough that Kirishima jumped, but it also placed him closer to his phone.

His fingers touched the screen when Kirishima grabbed his hand.

“Dabi!” Shigaraki hissed, sticking his head into the hall. He glared through messy bangs, his chapped lips pursing. “What’s so important that you’re missing the meeting?”

“Nothing,” Dabi said, holding the phone close to his chest.

Bakugou wasn’t picking up and he couldn’t tell if it was just bad cell reception or if something happened. Either way, he couldn’t tell Shigaraki who he’d been trying to call back. Not yet, anyway. Even if Dabi could guess what the call was about and that it’d involve Shigaraki soon enough, he couldn’t say a thing until he got a verbal confrontation from Bakugou.

There were just some things you didn’t betray in this world.

“I thought it was someone else, but it was just a sales call,” Dabi said. He swallowed and put the phone back in his pocket. “And you know, I’ll take any excuse to get away from Mr. Compress and Kurogiri monologuing at each other.”

“If I have to suffer through it, so do you,” Shigaraki said. He pointed over his shoulder. “Get back in here and turn off your phone.”

“Right, Boss,” Dabi said. He took the phone out and pressed the power button where Shigaraki could see it and put it back in his pocket.

Satisfied, Shigaraki nodded and went back into the room, only looking over his shoulder once to make sure Dabi followed him. He shoved Toga off her stool when she laughed at him for “getting in trouble” and took his seat while the discussion started back up.

Dabi made a note to call Bakugou back as soon as the meeting was over.

Eijirou didn’t know what to do.

First Bakugou called in sick, spilled his guts about societal pressure, and then he collapsed. This was not how Eijirou thought his morning was going to go after he woke up and drank his protein shake.

Bakugou sobbed into the floor as Eijirou held his wrist and gently brought it back to help his friend into a more comfortable position. He didn’t know what was causing the pain, but he had to do something while they waited for the ambulance. “You don’t need to call anyone, I already got it. I called for help, okay? Try to relax.”

Eijirou wasn’t even sure if Bakugou knew he was there from the way he stared at the phone on the floor. Bakugou’s eyes glazed over and he closed them hard enough to wrinkle his face. Eijirou had never seen his friend reduced to a state like this, but he knew Bakugou needed help right now.

What was taking that ambulance?

“No,” Bakugou said, shaking his head. He clutched at his shirt with one hand and Eijirou’s thigh with the other. He groaned, pained and long. “No.”

Bakugou heaved his chest in and out with staggered breaths and cried harder than Eijirou had ever seen. Giving the only comfort he could, Eijirou petted Bakugou’s hair and whispered. “It’ll be okay. You’re okay. They’re coming to get you real soon.”

“It hurts,” Bakugou whispered. His labored breathing felt hot on Eijirou’s thigh and his hips jerked off the floor. “Make it stop.”

“I know, buddy,” Eijirou said, halfway to tears himself. Why hadn’t he just come to check earlier instead of calling? Eijirou knew something had gone wrong when Bakugou called in sick. “Just a little longer.”

“No,” Bakugou said again. His hand darted up and grabbed for the top of Eijirou’s pants. Bakugou’s fingers dug behind the fabric over the belt line, nails scratching Eijirou’s stomach as they curled in. Bakugou whined. “It hurts.”

“Can I help you?” Eijirou asked, afraid to move Bakugou too much. His friend shook his head on Eijirou’s thigh and stopped moving. His soft breathing remained labored and tears still clung to his cheeks, but he seemed calmer now. Resigned, even. Eijirou listened to him whimper and kept petting his hair. “I’m right here. I’m not going anywhere, okay? Just hold on.”

Listening to Bakugou’s suffering grew unbearable and Eijirou tilted his head back to take in a deep breath to calm himself down and—wait.

Eijirou couldn’t smell anything in the room. In his panic over Bakugou, he hadn’t paid attention, but he should have been able to smell his friend’s Scent at least on him. This distressed, even a Beta would be releasing pheromones everywhere. Sure, Bakugou’s Scent was dull and barely there at the best of times, but Eijirou had gotten so used to it he knew it by heart.

Its sudden absence was like a warning bell.

Bakugou jerked his hips forward again, moaning softly into Eijirou’s thigh, a sliver of drool escaping the side of his mouth. A sharp spike of something sweet smelling cut through the otherwise odorless room and Eijirou gasped as it hit him. Looking for the source, his eyes locked on a damp spot growing on the inside of Bakugou’s thigh, darkening the fabric of his grey sweatpants.

Eijirou swallowed and breathed through his mouth, still taking in the far too sweet Scent.

“No,” Eijirou said. He clutched tight to Bakugou’s hair and his heartbeat picked up. Beta didn’t do that. The pain. The moaning. The clinging to Eijirou. Bakugou’s grip tightened and his knees pulled up as he crawled closer. Eijirou knew what this was. He felt his own heart constrict as he looked back down at Bakugou’s large pupils and open mouth as he sucked in air. “Bakugou. You—”

“He’s in here!” A voice called out.

Eijirou whipped his head around and stared wide-eyed at the EMT in the doorway. He’d screwed up. Eijirou clutched to Bakugou, tugging him up higher into his grip and shook his head. “Wait.”

Another EMT grabbed Eijirou from behind, but he fought it. He couldn’t let them take Bakugou. He couldn’t!

“We need you to back up, sir, or we can’t help your friend,” The EMT said, ripping the two of them apart. Eijirou wouldn’t have let go if not for Bakugou’s shriek of pain when the EMT yanked on Eijirou’s arm and he tugged Bakugou with him. He let go to avoid playing tug-of-war with his friend and regretted it as soon as the EMT stood between the separated Eijirou and Bakugou. “Please stay back.”

“No,” Eijirou said, grabbing the EMT’s arms. He shook the man and darted his gaze between the medical technician and Bakugou. “You don’t understand.”

“Hell, this isn’t a heart attack. This guy’s in Heat,” the other EMT said. He looked over his shoulder at Eijirou and dropped his jaw. “Did you know that?”

“If I did I wouldn’t have called you!” Eijirou shouted back. He snapped his jaw shut and shook it. “I just. Can you leave? Just pretend you didn’t see this. I didn’t know, I swear. You can’t do this to him. Don’t take him.”

“I’m sorry, but we have to report this,” the EMT said, looking almost remorseful.

He clicked on his radio and Eijirou moved forward. He had to stop this. If he knocked the EMT out he could grab Bakugou and run before they took him to the hospital and arrested him. However, Eijirou had forgotten about the second EMT in his rush to get to the radio. He didn’t use his Quirk in time to fight the needle jammed into the back of his neck.

Eijirou’s knees hit the ground as the sedative flooded his system. He fell on his side, eyes glued to Bakugou as his friend fought the EMT attempting to restrain him. Eijirou passed out to Bakugou’s shouting as he struggled to get away, even if it meant crawling on the floor.

The image burned into his mind as his eyes closed.

Izuku slammed his apartment door behind him as he trudged over the threshold. “A bad day” didn’t even begin to cover what he wanted to call it.

To start, Kacchan hadn’t answered any of his text messages asking if he was okay after he’d found out that he called in sick. Kacchan hadn’t answered anyone’s messages from what he’d heard when he texted them while waiting for Kacchan to answer. Izuku wasn’t even sure if Kirishima had heard back from Kacchan since he hadn’t sent out reassuring “I’ve got this!” messages like he usually did.

But before Izuku could properly check on Kacchan, he’d gotten a call for an emergency rescue operation and had to drop everything to get to the scene as fast as possible.

While some days he would like to put Kacchan’s wellbeing as a priority above everyone else, Izuku didn’t have much of a choice as the Symbol of Peace. A suspicion that something was wrong wasn’t confirmation. Kacchan had been fine enough to call, which meant he definitely didn’t rank higher than a little girl held hostage by deranged Beta who’d cornered them in an old gas station.

Even if Izuku counted the severity of the situation with the Beta armed and rambling while the little girl was in his grasp, it still should have been a relatively quick rescue considering Izuku’s Quirk and his support from the Police. Izuku should have had plenty of time to clean things up and check on Kacchan. However, it turned into an all day affair when a gas fire broke out and complicated the situation into a fire scene and the number of people needing rescued turned from one to fifty.

Worst of all, Izuku’s phone had run out of battery by the time they’d finished up and he’d forgotten his spare charger at home in his fretting over Kacchan.

His worry over Kacchan stopped him from being able to check on Kacchan.

Izuku took that as a sign that he needed to calm down and clear his head, so he walked home with the dead phone in his pocket, mumbling under his breath that he should be better than this and that Kacchan had to be fine. Izuku even kept to the back alleys to keep his fans from seeing him in such a worried state. Izuku wasn’t much in the mood for smiling and he hated to expose them to his bad attitude as he pouted.

Once safe in his apartment, Izuku plugged his phone into the charger on the counter and turned the power on. As it lit up, a stream of messages arrived and all of them were from Uraraka with some variant of “Call me.”

He dialed and held the phone up to his ear and waited for her to answer. “Uraraka?”

“Deku! Oh thank goodness, you answered.”

“I just got home from a rescue,” Izuku said. “What was with all the messages? Are you okay?”

“You still haven’t heard yet,” Uraraka said, whispering. He heard a soft thump on the other end of the line, like a hand hitting a counter. “I forgot. I told them all I’d do it, but you didn’t pick up.”

“Uraraka, what haven’t I heard?” Izuku asked.

“Deku,” she said. He could hear her swallow on the other end. “Don’t turn on the TV. I’m coming over because I don’t want to tell you this over the phone. Just. Don’t turn on the TV.”

The call disconnected and Izuku stared. He put the phone back on the counter and went to his living room.

“Sorry, Uraraka,” he whispered.

Izuku turned on the television against her warning and he knew immediately what she didn’t want him to know as the picture came into focus.

The remote tumbled to the ground as Izuku whispered, “Kacchan.”

Chapter Text

Every channel featured Kacchan.

The reporter held her hand near her earpiece as she stared at the camera. She waited a beat before speaking into the mic. “We’re live outside the courthouse where Katsuki Bakugou, otherwise known as the previous Pro Hero Ground Zero, arrived not moments ago after being discharged from the hospital earlier this morning.

“With us now is a member of the courts who agreed to answer some questions regarding the case,” the report said. She turned to the gentleman in a tailored suit and held out her microphone. “Mr. Bakugou was taken into custody early this morning and is now already in a courtroom. Is there a reason the proceedings are moving so quickly?”

“Due to the celebrity nature of the defendant in question, as well as the severity of this abuse case, it was decided that it would be in everyone’s best interests to get past the first stage of the process as quickly as possible,” the man said. He adjusted his glasses and went back to holding his hands together. “And I would like to remind everyone that this trial is only to see if he will be formally charged as an accomplice to the falsified Class listing or for failing to report the matter.”

“So you’re saying he may not be legally held accountable for this crime?” The reporter asked.

“In cases like this there are many factors at play that make it less cut and dry than a Beta falsifying his records to pass as an Alpha,” the court representative said. “When we take into account young Bakugou’s Class, it is highly possible that he did not have a choice in the matter. Ultimately, however, that will be up to the Judge to decide.”

“What will happen if he’s charged?”

The man frowned and rubbed his hand. “He will return to a jail where he will wait a formal trial. In most normal cases where an Omega is charged with a crime, their Alpha would be permitted to pay their bail and they would be allowed to spend the rest of the time under house arrest, however as he does not currently have one legally available, young Bakugou would have to remain in prison while he awaited trial.”

“And if the charges are dropped?”

The man smiled, straightening back up. “In that most hopeful case, we would of course follow the laws already in place designed to protect abused Omega such as this.”

“Thank you,” the reporter said. She turned back to the camera and nodded her head. “We’ll remain at the scene and let you know as soon as we hear some results. Back to you.”

The picture switched back to the main desk at the news station, two news anchors sitting side by side, smiling and ready to continue.

“Thank you for the update,” the anchorman said. He turned to the screen and nodded. “As a recap, early this morning around eight o’clock, the Pro-Hero Red Riot found Katsuki Bakugou, previously known as Ground Zero, collapsed in his home from what he believed to be a heart attack.

“The EMT that arrived on scene identified the ailment as a Heat, surprising everyone in the room. Regrettably, the Alpha Red Riot had to be sedated on the scene when he turned hostile due to the pheromones in the air. Bakugou was rushed to the ER where a Heat Null was admitted, followed by a full examination.

“The medical exam revealed a history of severe suppressant overdose that may have caused irreversible damage to his systems had it continued any further, but thankfully it was caught in time. Bakugou was up and well enough to be transported to trial two hours after he arrived at the ER.

“A full scale investigation started upon Bakugou’s arrival at the ER and it was soon discovered that the young man’s Classification paperwork had been falsified. We now know that the young Omega has been forced to act as a Beta for close to four years in what might be the most horrific Omega Abuse case we’ve seen in decades.”

“If any of you bastards touch my boy I’ll rip your lungs out of your chest,” Mitsuki Bakugou screamed into the camera, two officers holding her by the arms. Her husband stood in the back, already restrained and glaring. The Alpha shouted words of murder with no hesitation. “You would have done it, too, if you’d seen him! Don’t you monsters touch him!”

A third officer sedated Mitsuki in the neck with a syringe and she stumbled under their hold.

The footage stopped, switching back to a man in a suit interviewing an older gentleman in glasses with a heavy book under his arm.

“As you know professor, we discovered earlier this afternoon that the cover up was in fact instigated and designed by the victim’s mother,” the man said. “What are your thoughts?”

“It is a tragedy that such good intentions could go so wrong,” the professor said. He adjusted the book in his lap, pompous and full of fake sympathy. “As you well know, Omega are not the only ones who have needs. It is an Alpha’s very nature to nurture, protect, and to care for the Omega that need us so very badly. It’s in our very blood and we fulfill this need the way nature intended by mating with an Omega.

“In some cases where an Alpha choses to be mated to a Beta, those desires and natural instincts are often not met in a satisfying way,” the Professor said. He adjusted his glasses and cleared his throat. “Which is how we end up with Jocasta complexes, such as what we’re seeing here.

“Mitsuki Bakugou never had a proper outlet for her Alpha urges and desires through her Beta Spouse. Upon discovering her son was an Omega, she likely projected those buried feelings onto him,” the professor said. “Her desire to keep and protect outranked everything else and she sought to keep her Omega son in any way she could, even if it meant causing him such great harm. She turned her son into a sort of replacement mate, if you would.

“This phenomenon is uncommon, but this certainly would not be the first time an Alpha parent mated to a Beta became far too attached to their Omega child. There are even reported cases where the Alpha parent took on every role their child needed, including taking care of them during Heats in a total perversion of everything that makes us civilized beings.” The professor shook his head. “Thankfully, we have reason to believe that the presence of suppressants in the Omega’s system, while still physically harmful, indicate that the abuse did not have a chance to progress that far in Katsuki's case.”

“Professor,” the interviewer said. “Could you possibly go into more detail about the case itself? We don’t believe many viewers truly understand the depths of abuse this young man has suffered due to his public appearances.”

“Of course,” the professor said. He put the book aside on a table and sat up. “Even if we ignore the serious health risks of constant suppressant usage, you must understand that for four years, this young man has had to deny everything that he is and been forced to perform under the spotlight under constant pressure.

“Omega are not built to be independent,” the professor said, shaking his head. “They desire to support others. They raise, they comfort, and they are built to be wanted and protected in the same breath that Alpha desire to claim and defend.

“I must say it again: This young Omega has been made to deny every natural instinct in his body by standing on the Pro Hero stage. He has been fighting the very Alpha that his inner self craves to serve and I can not imagine the mental torment he must have been under. Some of the worst suffering is not visible and this is the most blatant case of it I’ve ever seen.”

“Thank you.” The interviewer nodded. “Any parting words?”

“Let this awful case can serve as a point of warning so this tragedy may not be repeated,” the professor said. He turned to the camera and put a hand to his chest. “I hope that the courts keep in mind how truly mistreated this young Omega has been when they make their final decision.

“I can only pray Katsuki finally gets the help and treatment he truly deserves.”

Dabi stared at the call log on his phone, elbows on the table top and hands in his hair. The television played softly in the background of the hideout’s living room, report after report coming in that explained why Bakugou never picked up the phone.

He bit his lip.

Bakugou had tried to call him. He’d called Dabi for help. Dabi. League of Villains member. The enemy. The guy who shouldn’t give a shit about that Hero and his problems when they had nothing in common but a Class. But he’d still tried. Bakugou had called for Dabi because he knew there were scarier things in the world than murderers and thieves.

That stupid Hero Alpha-wannabe had trusted Dabi for help.

And he’d failed him.

Dabi exploded, his Quirk igniting in a burst of blue flames that engulfed everything around him as he shouted, “Fuck!”

He breathed heavily, fire still lingering and licking his skin as it dissipated and revealed the burnt circle where he stood. The table crumbled into charred ashes when Dabi kicked it.

“Are-are you okay—what the fuck was that you psychopath!” Twice yelled, glued to the wall in the corner as far from the flames he could get.

“Shut up, Twice,” Dabi said, staring down at the melted glass and plastic of his phone on the ground. He threw another wave of fire over Toga’s head toward the television, knocking it off the stand. He watched the burning embers, ignoring the stares of the other two in the room. He breathed in and exhaled, his fingers still itching to burn something and everything to the ground. “I need to see Shigaraki.”

“The Hero community is in an uproar over the reveal of Ground Zero as an Omega and the formal stripping of his license earlier this morning before his trial,” a reporter said, standing near an agency downtown. “We asked a few Heroes for their opinions on the matter.”

The screen flicked to two younger Heroes who looked fresh out of school.

“What are your feelings on Katsuki Bakugou’s situation?” the reporter asked.

“It’s messed up,” the one said. He crossed his arms and shook his head, looking close to tears. “Ground Zero was our Hero! He was a Beta who made it to the top ten to brush shoulders with the likes of Deku and Shouto.”

The Beta Hero stopped and covered his mouth. His companion spoke up, putting her hand on his shoulder. “Ground Zero was an inspiration to us. To find out it was all a lie, and even more so that the person we looked up to most has been abused in secret all these years is just—It’s devastating.”

The screen flicked again.

Kirishima walked out of the hospital building, dressed in his civilian clothes and face toward the ground. A bandage had been placed over his neck where the sedation had been applied and his footsteps were heavy, even through the camera screen.

“Red Riot!” a reporter said, placing a mic in his face. “You were the one who found Katsuki Bakugou this morning. Do you have any comments on the situation at hand?”

“No comment,” Kirishima said, narrowing his eyes and not a trace of a smile on his face. His face looked drawn and pale; his hands shook. “Leave me alone.”

“Do you—”

Kirishima grabbed the front of the reporter’s shirt and the picture tilted as their cameraman moved to try and intervene. His Quirk activated, the rock hard skin covering every inch of him. “If you don’t get out of my face I’m going to break that camera and you better believe no one’s sedating me a second time.”

His face hardened further, fluctuating toward his Unbreakable form as he snarled, ugly and ferocious. “Have I made myself clear?”

“Got it! No more questions!” The reporter said, throwing their hands up.

The screen transitioned to another shot.

Monoma and Kendo stood side by side, both with wide eyes. Kendo was the first to speak up to the reporter. “What did you say?”

The reporter repeated themselves, “Do you have any comments on the news that Katsuki Bakugou was an Omega this entire time?”

Monoma continued staring wide eyed at the cameras before he tilted his head toward the ground. He pressed his lips together and shook his head. “No comment.”

The reporter pushed. “Phantom Thief, there have been reports that you two were in a fight at a Matchmaking House about two weeks ago. You hatred for the other ex-Pro Hero is also well known. You’ve never held back on your comments before on the other man. Has his Class as an Omega made such a difference?”

“I didn’t like him before and I still don’t like him now,” Monoma said, “but his Class has never had anything to do with it and that’s all you’re getting out of me.”

He grabbed Kendo’s hand and the two of them left without another word.

The screen changed again to a reporter standing outside of Izuku’s Hero Agency.

“We regret to inform you that Pro Hero Deku was unavailable for comment on the matter due to an emergency call this morning. A notice from his Agency has also let us know that he would not be available for future interviews due to the nature of his relationship with Katsuki Bakugou.”

“Breaking news,” the news anchor said, the broadcast interrupting another interview with someone talking about the psychological impact pretending to be a Beta could have on an Omega. “We have just received word that Katsuki Bakugou’s trial is over and a decision has been made on his future.

“We take you to the scene live for the final word.”

The camera focused on the reporter who had been on site all day outside the courthouse. “The trial has ended and we have with us now the lead attorney of the case. Sir, can you tell us the decision?”

“I am glad to report that this awful tragedy is on its way to a happy ending. Katsuki Bakugou has been cleared of all charges. Taking into account his emotional state at the time of the offense and the domestic abuse he has suffered, the judge has decided that leniency may be granted in this case,” the attorney said. “However, his parents are both up for trial in another month for the falsification of the paperwork. There are those pushing to have them also charged with abuse and neglect, but I believe their defense is going to argue the mother was emotionally compromised as well. We’ll have more information as the trial comes closer.”

“What will become of Bakugou?” the reporter asked.

“Usually when an Omega is retrieved from an abusive environment, they are returned to a Matchmaking House for therapy and to find a more suitable, appropriate mate.” The attorney paused. “However considering the nature of our victim this time and the sheer scale of the abuse, a more long term solution has been decided upon.

“Bakugou will be mated to an Alpha trained specifically to take care of an abused Omega, and thankfully there is no shortage of such big-hearted Alpha willing to take on the extra labor. Our young Omega will be mated by this evening and placed under protective custody in order to prevent harassment from anyone who holds any bitterness toward his prior Pro-Hero career,” the attorney said. “After years of suffering, this Omega can finally be granted the life and happy ending he’s been owed.”

“Thank you,” the reporter said. She looked back at the camera and smiled. “You heard it here first, Katsuki Bakugou is going to be alright. Let us all wish him and his future mate the best in this trying time as he recovers from the years of neglect.”

“Deku,” Uraraka whispered after the television clicked off. She rubbed her hands together and swallowed. “You’ve been watching the TV all day. Maybe you should take a break—”

Kacchan was an Omega.

Izuku smashed the remote in his hand, arm trembling. He uncurled his fingers one at a time, letting the remaining bits of the plastic controller crumple to the ground.

Kacchan was an Omega.

“Deku?” Uraraka said, a fraction louder. “Deku. I know this is bad but you need to calm down. Deku!”

Nothing she said could beak through the white noise:

Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega.

Kacchan was an Omega and they gave him to someone else.

Chapter Text

Katsuki was so tired of restraints and muzzles.

There had to be some sort of lifetime quota for being bound by those things.

His arms hung in front of him, locked in familiar metal cuffs that came up to his wrists, followed by braces that forced his arms straight at the elbow. The bottom of the cuffs were, as always, chained to the floor—though with a much shorter chain than usual that gave zero slack. The muzzle also had an added feature and came with a bar between his teeth, hidden behind the mask latched behind his head. Six leather straps held him to the chair and it was a miracle Katsuki hadn’t developed a complex over being tied down by now.

Either way, he wasn’t going anywhere.

Katsuki glanced around the dark room he’d woken up in. After that mockery of a trial, where he had also been bound and gagged, they’d given him a sedative “for his own good.” Next thing he knew, he’d been changed into a simple pair of cotton pants and a loose t-shirt and had been left alone to wait.

Two chairs, one of which he was using, and a large cabinet on the side wall were what Katsuki had to work with for any escape plan. The room was otherwise empty save for Katsuki sitting in the middle.

He didn’t want to think about the bed pressed against the far wall opposite the cabinet.

Katsuki tested his restraints, leaning forward to see if he could maybe tip over the chair when the door opened.

An Alpha entered, wearing a business suit, all of it black from the dress shirt and tie to his polished shoes. Katsuki stayed as still as possible, refusing to show any fear to some desk-jockey. He’d blown Tomura Shigaraki’s mask off his face when he was only sixteen.

He’d show no fear here, Omega or not.

The Alpha smiled at Katsuki with straight teeth and a dip of the head that set one strand of hair loose from the slicked back style. “Just look at you. I finally get to meet my favorite PR disaster face-to-face and let me say that your press images really don’t do you justice.”

Katsuki leaned back in his seat while the Alpha tugged over the second chair to place it directly across from Katsuki. He spun it around and straddled the seat, crossing his arms over the back.

“I don’t even think I could put into words what a pain in the ass you’ve been to deal with over the past four years,” the Alpha said, shaking his head. “The head of our Beta department literally cried for two days after you presented while the Juvenile division popped open a champagne bottle because they no longer had to deal with you.”

The Alpha continued cracking a grin. “It’s a lot of work maintaining the status quo of society and you were always one of our biggest headaches, just from the anxiety of your late presentation and that slim chance you’d be anything other than an Alpha. I’ve reviewed so many documents dealing with you that I feel like I already know you like an old friend.”

Katsuki narrowed his eyes. What was this guy even talking about?

“The confusion on your face makes it worse because it confirms that you have absolutely zero idea just what an influence you have in the big wide world,” the Alpha said. He sighed deeply and shook his head. “In this world, Alpha are on top, Omega are at the bottom, and Beta are supposed to hang out in between as sort of an average, middle ground.

“You crashed into the top ten before we could even stop you and had already secured your place in the Hero scene before you’d graduated,” the Alpha continued. “It’s not illegal for Beta to be Pro Hero, so we couldn’t legally stop you, but we had to work very hard to make sure you were never too good in the eyes of the public. I mean, if the rest of the Beta population got it in their heads they could be equals with Alpha, it’d be chaos!

“Ground Zero set a bar for Beta everywhere to strive for and my poor staff worked many, many a long hour to make sure the Beta population at large understood that you were an exception and that they could never be your equal,” the Alpha said. “The fact that you are genuinely amazing made it all that much harder.”

Katsuki resisted the urge to squirm under the weird praise. His gut twisted as the conversation kept going.

“Bless that Deku boy, though, even if he was the second biggest reason we couldn’t straight up get rid of you,” the Alpha said. “No one wanted to test what he might do if something happened to his precious Beta favorite. But every time he hinted that he was going to claim you it made our job just a little bit easier. The reminder that Beta could submit to Alpha really helps enforce the pecking order.”

Katsuki sighed through his nose. This guy was never going to shut up, was he?

“And then, four long years later, we get a ticket saying you weren’t a Beta at all! Ground Zero was an Omega!” The Alpha laughed, reaching a hand up and fixing the loose strand of hair. “It was like Christmas came early. Legally, we could now finally get you out of the damn spotlight and I have to say I’m rather proud of the PR campaign we threw out there.

“Nothing tugs at the heartstrings like an abused Omega,” the Alpha said, putting a hand to his chest. “I don’t think I’ve ever been so proud of my writing staff. You should see the support you’ve gotten from all the citizens out there wishing you well. They all want to see you later once you’ve ‘recovered’ enough to come back and see you happy, fat, and mated.”

Fat chance of that, Katsuki scoffed in his head.

“But you won’t have to worry about that for a while,” the Alpha said. He licked the side of his teeth, eyes raking over Katsuki’s form from head to toe like he was dissecting him. “You won’t have to worry about much of anything, really.”

Katsuki was not afraid.

“You see, while I do supervise our PR department and make sure that the media tells the public what we want them to, that’s not my primary role here,” the Alpha said. He asked, “Do you want to know what that is?”

Katsuki glared without shaking or nodding his head.

“Of course you do, so let me explain: My primary function is to train Alpha how to break in Omega like you who don’t know how to stay in their place,” the Alpha said. He tapped one finger on his arm before throwing his hand out. “In this very room in fact. I teach them all the ropes from how to Order effectively to just flat out breaking their wills into a thousand pieces if they have to in order to get them to submit.

“And when they finish the first few tests to my satisfaction, I leave them alone to seal the deal as it would be.” The Alpha nodded toward the bed and Katsuki absolutely did not shiver. “I have a perfect tract record, by the way. There’s never been an Omega I couldn’t help another Alpha break.

“But you’re sitting there thinking: There’s only one Alpha in the room! What could that mean?” The man stood from his chair and flipped it back around and away. He shrugged off his jacket and folded it neatly over the chair back. “The truth is, you’ve been such a thorn in my side for the past four years that when your name came up on the docket for reassignment, I couldn’t help but indulge in a little selfishness.”

Katsuki controlled his breathing and focused on keeping his heart rate steady. This was just another self-important asshole. He’d faced a hundred of those a day fighting Villains. He could take this. Katsuki breathed in. He’d be fine. Katsuki had been through worse.

“Legally, you already belong to me.” The Alpha unbuttoned his sleeve and rolled it to the elbow before doing the other. “Isn’t that a kicker? Your entire future and fate is now in the hands of an Alpha whose name you don’t even know.”

“I think it’ll be fun if we keep it that way for a bit, don’t you? It might drive in the point that as an Omega, you really don’t have much of a say against any Alpha whether it’s me or anyone else.” The Alpha reached over and grabbed Katsuki’s chin under the muzzle. He tilted his head to the side, thumb digging into skin. “Besides, eventually you won’t even need to know my name because the only thing you’ll be calling me in the future is ‘sir.’”

Katsuki yanked his head out of the hold and the Alpha laughed.

“Let’s not waste any time, shall we?” The Alpha said. He backhanded Katsuki across his temple hard enough to make Katsuki dizzy. His head dropped and the Alpha caught it by the chin again, pulling it back up. He kissed the top of Katsuki’s forehead and smirked into his hair. “Be a good boy now, Katsuki. We’re going to be spending a lot of time together.”

Izuku stared down Tsukauchi, fists clenched and barely keeping One for All from sparking up as the officer gave him a runaround. They were wasting time and Izuku held back the growl as he asked again: “Where is Kacchan?”

“You knew I couldn’t tell you that when you asked the first time, so I don’t know why you’ve asked a second,” the officer said, returning Izuku’s glare with equal force. He folded his hands on the desk. “I know you and Bakugou shared a close relationship, but that information is classified for specifically this reason: Alpha coming to look for him.”

Izuku bristled, gritting his teeth together. Every second he stood here without information was a second Kacchan could be in trouble. Why couldn’t Tsukauchi understand that? “But—”

“You are not the first Alpha to come in and ask where he is, by the way. The first was Kirishima, sobbing at my desk and begging me to tell him where they’d taken his friend,” Tsukauchi said. “After him, there were four or five other Alpha Pro Heroes and their intentions were far less charitable. Katsuki Bakugou made as many enemies in the Hero community as he did friends and the ones that wish him harm are doing everything they can to take advantage of this, which is again why they chose to make his location confidential.

“Truth be told,” Tsukauchi continued, tapping his finger on the desk. “I don’t actually know where he is either. So even if I wanted to tell you, I couldn’t.”

“Who would know?” Izuku asked, slamming both hands on his desk. He nearly made it an Order, but didn’t resort to that just yet. “Tell me.”

“Deku,” Tsukauchi said, breathing in and rubbing between his eyes. “You need to let this go. Bakugou had no interest in you before, so I certainly doubt he’ll—”

Izuku grabbed Tsukauchi’s collar and yanked him halfway across the desk. He felt the growl rumble up as his blood boiled. “If you do not tell me where I can find out where Kacchan is, then I will look for him myself. I will search every house, building, nook and cranny, one by one in this entire country if I have to.

“You can tell me where I can find Kacchan and I’ll look in one place,” Izuku said, mentally apologizing to All Might for the abuse of his Quirk. He lowered his voice and whispered, “Or I can rip apart everything without any care for the destruction in my wake as I search. Which would you rather have happen?”

Tsukauchi looked in Izuku’s eyes for the truth in that statement before closing his his own and turning his head away. He said under his breath, “Social Services, Department 6 is responsible for mate assignments when returning the Omega to a Matchmaking House is not an option. They would know where Bakugou was sent.”

“Thank you,” Izuku said, dropping Tsukauchi. He turned on his heel and ran out of the police station before any more time could be lost.

“Hold on, Kacchan,” Izuku said, swallowing. He pushed his legs as fast as they could go as he ran to the social services building. They had to know where he could find Kacchan. “I’m coming.”

Katsuki drooled around the bar in his mouth, breath heavy and lungs heaving as he fought the trembling in his limbs. The liquid collected in the bottom of the muzzle, wet against his chin.

“I always knew you could fight off Orders, but seeing it in person is something else,” the Alpha said, hands on his knees as he leaned forward. “It was impressive when you were a Beta, but knowing you’re an Omega? It’s beyond amazing. You really are something special, Katsuki.”

The Alpha ruffled Katsuki’s hair and straightened. “I imagine all those years of practice fighting Orders before you presented have something to do with it, and the suppressants sure didn’t hurt either I’m guessing.

“But I bet you still crumble like a dry leaf to Orders from Alpha you’ve imprinted on, don’t you?” The Alpha said. Katsuki flinched and the Alpha’s mouth stretched into a sly smile. “I knew it. Did you know there is not a single recorded case of an Omega being able to deny an Order from an imprinted Alpha? They physically can’t refuse it and it’s remarkably fascinating. I wonder how many of your Alpha friends fully realize just how much power they could have had over you if they’d known you weren’t a Beta.”

Only one and Kirishima felt like a kicked puppy every time he did it on accident.

Katsuki shook out his head, fighting off the nausea of guarding himself against the onslaught of Orders the Alpha had thrown at him. Raise your head. Shake your head. Look me in the eye. Lean forward. Simple, little things that took everything Katsuki had to disobey.

So far, his Guard had worked and he’d remained obstinately disobedient.

“I know that look you’re giving me,” The Alpha said. He cupped both of Katsuki’s cheeks between his hands and shook his head back and forth. Katsuki cursed his restraints and breathed heavily through his nose. The Alpha rubbed Katsuki’s cheeks with his thumbs. “You are dripping with confidence that you can keep fighting me. You haven’t imprinted on me so you think you’re still safe. Am I right?”

Katsuki didn’t like where this conversation was going.

The Alpha released his cheeks and grabbed his chin by the base, digging his thumb in under Katsuki’s jaw. He tilted his head back, exposing his neck and Katsuki jerked as hard as he could but the Alpha’s grip remained tight.

“I’m lucky that Mother Nature has given me a way to take that choice away from you,” the Alpha said, leaning forward. He kissed the junction between Katsuki’s neck and shoulder, breath hot on his skin. “It was so nice of her to create a built in a way to eliminate all this disobedience.”

Katsuki screamed into his gag as the Alpha bit down hard into his flesh. The Alpha let go of his chin to feel up Katsuki’s thigh while the other hand dug into Katsuki’s hair to keep his head tilted back and his neck open to the bite. Katsuki felt the tears well up against his will as the Alpha invaded his very core, injecting him with his own unique cocktail of venom. It crawled under Katsuki’s skin and into his blood, burning as much as the fresh wound bleeding on his throat.

A Mark.

The Alpha licked the blood away from his own lips and leaned back. Katsuki wheezed into his gag, eyes wide. He could still feel the Alpha under his skin like the molestation had never stopped. Katsuki couldn’t hold back the whine as the Alpha took a step away from the chair. “There we go. Now let’s try this again, shall we?”

Katsuki had forgotten the true purpose of a Mark.

“Look at me,” the Alpha Ordered.

Katsuki looked up without thinking, obeying the Order with an instinctive urge that made him want to vomit.

Marks forced an imprinting between Alpha and Omega.

Katsuki had no way to fight this.

“That wasn’t so hard, now was it?” The Alpha said. He walked around Katsuki’s chair and undid his straps one at a time, humming lightly under his breath. “I don’t believe we’ll need these any longer.”

Katsuki stopped lying to himself.

He was terrified.

The Alpha left his muzzle and cuffs on, though he did unchain them from the floor. “Stand up,” he said as he walked back to stand in front of Katsuki.

Katsuki stood.

“I’d Order you to undress, but that might be difficult without your hands,” the Alpha said, amused as he tapped the front of the cuffs. He took the step closer and stuck his fingers under the elastic band of Katsuki’s pants. “Don’t worry. You’ve been good so far, so I’ll be happy to help you.”

Katsuki jerked back when the Alpha tugged down but he gave a simple, “Don’t move” and Katsuki stopped. His heart pounded in his chest and he couldn’t breathe. It’d never been like this before. He’d always been able to catch himself before he followed through with an Order. Even with Kirishima there was a hesitation where he could fight it or at least suffer through the backlash internal agony of fighting an order.

Now there was nothing.

He just obeyed.

The Alpha worked Katsuki’s shirt off, folding it alongside his pants and underwear on the chair.

Katsuki stood naked in the room, again, save for the muzzle and bulky cuffs that were the only thing between his nudity and the Alpha.

“It’s almost going to be a shame watching all those muscles go to waste now that you no longer need them,” the Alpha said, eyes on Katsuki’s chest and abs. “But then again, a little chub would be cute on you, I think.

“If you’re good for this next part, Katsuki, I might just take this off,” the Alpha said, tapping his finger against the muzzle. “Wouldn’t you like that?”

Katsuki swung his arms, knocking the cuffs into the Alpha’s face. He heard the crack of metal against the Alpha’s jaw and snarled as he raised his arms to hit him again.

“Stop!” The Alpha shouted, putting full force into his Order.

Katsuki stopped, stumbling back like he’d been hit with a shockwave.

“Don’t move,” the Alpha ordered again. Katsuki froze in place, save for his own racing heart. The Alpha got up, rubbing his jaw and wincing as he moved it around. He shook his head at Katsuki and smiled. The fondness in that look turned Katsuki’s stomach. “You really are something.”

The Alpha nodded. “Get on the bed, face in the pillow and knees on the mattress.”

Katsuki did as instructed without hesitation; horrified at his own continued obedience no matter the command.

The hairs on his arms rose as the Alpha stood behind him, tugging him back until Katsuki’s backside sat flush with the Alpha’s hips. He heard the unzip of the other’s trouser pants and closed his eyes. He wasn’t here. There wasn’t some strange Alpha holding him. He was back at home. He was at home. This was a nightmare and he would wake up any time now.

Katsuki bit his lip hard enough to bleed when the Alpha ran his fingers down Katsuki’s spine, his hand stopping on the back of his neck.

“Only two more Orders for today,” the Alpha said, rubbing his thumb in a small circle on Katsuki’s neck near the newly made Mark. “The first: Don’t struggle.”

Katsuki’s body relaxed and the Alpha placed himself in position.

“Second,” the Alpha said, leaning over until the silk of his shirt touched Katsuki’s back. The Alpha pushed inside, stopping when he’d filled Katsuki completely. His voice turned airy as his breath shuddered. “Try to enjoy yourself a little.”

The Alpha moved and Katsuki wished that it hurt.

The Social Services building had been expecting Izuku.

His constant and vocal declarations that he had been pursuing Kacchan as a mate were well known to all and they knew he’d come sniffing around for him.

They had even prepared a statement explaining that they understood his concern, but that Kacchan had already been mated and that it would be best to leave him alone. They asked Izuku to leave with the expectation that he would do so as a law abiding citizen.

They hadn’t accounted for Izuku’s sheer irrationality when it came to Kacchan.

Full Cowling at thirty percent, ten knocked out security agents, and a broken wall later had a shivering clerk exclaim that Kacchan was still in the building and begged him not to kill anyone.

Izuku made no promises but asked for the room number.

Using his Quirk, the stairwell became the faster route as he leapt up the railings to the sixth floor of the building. He entered an empty landing, the staff already notified of his rather explosive entrance.

(Kacchan would be so proud.)

He ran down the hallway, heart pounding. Izuku found the correct door and kicked it open hard enough that it snapped off its hinges and crashed into the opposite wall.

A strange Alpha looked up from a bed, eyes wide and back jerking straight. Kacchan moaned under him, his eyes half glazed over as he nuzzled his face into a pillow.

Izuku inhaled, smelling the Alpha’s Scent blending with Kacchan’s. He squeezed the door frame, splintering the wood in his hold with a deafening and solid crack.

The Alpha was inside of Kacchan.

Izuku nearly blanked out from the force of his anger as it washed over him, awakening every natural instinct to destroy that pumped through his flesh.

He snapped his hand into a fist, sending the wood chips flying about him. The Order came out loud and snarled as Izuku shouted, “Get away from him!”

The intruder threw himself away from Kacchan, hitting the ground and crawling away on his back with elbows and scraping ankles agains the floor. He submitted and bowed his head immediately, no resistance. Izuku could smell the fear coming off him as easily as he felt One for All crackling along his skin.

He was barely worth Izuku’s time. Especially when someone more important needed Izuku’s attention.

He stepped into the room and hissed, “Get out.”

The Alpha ran, stumbling out of the room and into the hallway without bothering to cover his nakedness.

Kacchan buried his face into the pillow and Izuku dropped One for All as he took easy steps toward the bed and his shivering friend. Izuku sat on the edge of the mattress near Katsuki’s hip and his eyes watered.

“I’m so sorry, Kacchan,” Izuku said. He carefully leaned forward, slow and easy. Kacchan watched him, eyes slowly coming back into focus as his chest slowed and his body calmed down. When it looked like he had Kacchan’s attention and knew his movement wouldn’t startle him, Izuku undid the strap of the muzzle. “I came as fast as I could but I was still late.”

Kacchan whimpered as the muzzle came off, a line of drool sticking to the metal bar that had been wedged between his teeth.

Izuku should have killed that other Alpha.

He dropped the muzzle and it hit the ground with a clatter. Izuku felt wet tears line his cheeks as he gathered Kacchan into a hug, hand deep in his hair and squeezing him tight. Kacchan’s breath hitched twice before he buried his face into Izuku’s neck and sobbed. He nuzzled the side of Kacchan’s head and petted his hair, smothering the urge to erase the Mark staining Kacchan’s throat.

Now wasn’t the time.

“I’ve got you, Kacchan. It’ll be okay,” Deku whispered into Katsuki’s hair.

Katsuki hiccuped into Deku’s shoulder, body shivering in the chill of the room. He breathed in Deku’s Scent, focusing on it and using it to block out the lingering Scent of the other Alpha that clung to his own skin. The shame of being caught in such a state mixed with the shame of so openly seeking comfort from Deku.

Katsuki clung to Izuku as best he could with his hands still bound together near his waist, ashamed but too desperate for comfort to risk having Deku shove him away by saying or doing the wrong thing.

Deku slipped his hand down and rubbed Katsuki’s back with a soft coo. “Get some sleep, Kacchan. Everything will be better when you wake up.”

It hadn’t been an Order, but Katsuki treated it like one anyway and gave in to his exhaustion. He fell asleep in Deku’s arms and prayed he wouldn’t have any dreams.

Chapter Text

Katsuki knew he wasn’t at home before he opened his eyes. Even before he felt the wrongness of a strange bed, Deku’s Scent smothered him from every angle. The smell of cedar came from the pillow under his head and the skin on the arms wrapped around his waist.

“Are you awake now, Kacchan? You slept for a long time,” Deku said from behind, face moving to nuzzle into Katsuki’s shoulder blade as they spooned. His hair brushed against Katsuki’s neck and he breathed out in a lazy sigh. “You were out all night and most of the day, not that I can blame you.”

Katsuki shifted, feeling the fabric of soft pajamas on his skin and noting they smelled new. Deku squeezed, nuzzling closer and keeping Kacchan from sitting up or turning to face him. Katsuki swallowed, clutching the bed sheet in his hand. “What happened?”

“Don’t be mad, Kacchan,” Deku said, still holding tight. His nose pressed into Katsuki’s back and he could feel Deku’s lips move through his shirt. “It’s not how I pictured this would happen, but I couldn’t risk losing you again.”

Katsuki stared at the All Might poster on the opposite wall and whispered, “What did you do?”

“It was a bit archaic, but I challenged your other Alpha in traditional combat over you,” Deku said, matter of fact like he hadn’t invoked an ancient right that superseded most domestic laws. He tapped his finger on Katsuki’s stomach, the scars on his hands stretching. “He submitted immediately, which I suspected he would. Kirishima was the only other person who opposed the decision, challenging me in return.”

Katsuki let go of the sheets, staring at the sweat mark left in the fabric from his palms. All that had gone on while Katsuki had slept through the night? How could his entire life keep being uprooted in less than twenty-four hours?

“Kirishima really cares about you,” Deku said. He kissed Katsuki’s spine and yawned into his back before snuggling closer. “You can go visit him after he gets out of the ICU.”

“What?” Katsuki asked, the shock waking him up fully. He moved to get up on his elbow to face Deku properly, but the Alpha’s grip stayed firm and held him in place. Katsuki hissed as he twisted, unable to get out of the hold. “What happened to Kirishima?”

“He wouldn’t yield and the power it takes to break the unbreakable turned out too much for him to handle,” Deku said. He continued clinging to Katsuki like a child held their favorite stuffed toy. His voice turned petulant, almost annoyed that Katsuki had shown concern for the other Alpha. “He’ll be fine in a couple days and you can see for yourself.”

“Shit,” Katsuki said, his breathing picking up. If Kirishima was in the ICU that meant that Deku had indisputably won the challenge which meant—No. No, no this wasn’t happening. Katsuki stopped squirming and sunk into the mattress. “Are we?”

“Yes,” Deku said, his fingers digging into Katsuki’s sides as he clutched tighter. “Legally, personally, and in all the ways that matter. I’m never letting anyone take you away again.”

Katsuki had had nightmares about this.

He felt numb.

“There is one thing still to do, though, but I wanted you to be awake for it,” Deku said. He shifted and reached up, tugging the edge of Katsuki’s shirt collar down. His voice growled as his finger brushed the edges of the bite marks still raw and red. Katsuki felt Deku’s breath against his skin. “I’m going to Mark you, Kacchan.”

Katsuki froze.

“Are you going to fight me?” Deku whispered. He sounded apologetic, but ready to do it anyway no matter what Katsuki said.

Like a true Alpha.

Katsuki relaxed and whispered, “No.”

Deku tugged Katsuki around to put them face to face. His eyes were wet and he his voice quavered, “I know you don’t want it, but I need to get rid of that other Alpha’s Mark. I need to. No one else should have ever been allowed to touch you.”

“I already said it was fine,” Katsuki said, impressed by the steadiness of his own voice. “Idiot.”

“Kacchan,” Deku said, tears escaping his eyes. He leaned forward and kissed Katsuki’s jaw, trailing down until he got to his neck. Katsuki held onto Deku’s shirt, forcing his own heartbeat to remain calm when he felt Deku’s breath on his throat. “I’m sorry this Mark’s going to be so ugly with two in the same spot, but there’s no way I can line it up perfectly. Our mouths just aren’t the same size, but when it heals over I can do it again and—”

“Just get it over with,” Katsuki said, voice hitching.

Deku bit him, sharp canines and bottom jaw deep in the muscle. He clutched to Katsuki, one hand behind his neck and the other tugging him closer at the waist. It didn’t hurt as badly as before; Katsuki’s submission and numbness keeping the pain in check. Deku’s venom flooded Katsuki’s veins, but he didn’t feel all that different.

Deku had wormed his way under Katsuki’s skin a long time ago.

The television played softly in the corner of the room, showing a recap of the news earlier in the odd hours of the morning where Midoriya made a traditional, formal challenge for Bakugou as his mate.

And then proceeded to intimidate the original Alpha into pure submission without raising a finger and attacking the only challenger with so much vitriol that it scared away anyone else who had even thought about making a move.

(Not that many wanted to challenge the Number One Pro Hero and current “Symbol of Peace” Deku to begin with.)

“Bakugou wasn’t kidding,” Dabi said, blowing out smoke. He sat on the edge of Shigaraki’s mattress, watching the television in the dark room. The only light came from the television and Shigaraki’s game. He played behind Dabi, clicking the buttons on the handheld device as he spread out on his half of the mattress. “That Midoriya brat definitely decided he owned Bakugou as soon as he found out the guy was an Omega.”

“Why do you care again?” Shigaraki asked, eyes locked on the screen. “I didn’t know you were so sentimental to your Class.”

“I’m not,” Dabi said. “This is just the first one who actually asked for help and there’s a recruiting opportunity we weren’t able to bring up last time. If you start sleeping with the devil, you might start thinking like him.”

“Are you still planning to go ‘rescue’ him?” Shigaraki asked, ignoring Dabi’s jab that he was a demon. “That is why you destroyed the living room and gave me a sob story about how you found out he was an Omega before the news did, isn’t it? Or does this change your plans?”

“I don’t know,” Dabi said. He stared at the television recapping Midoriya’s long history with Bakugou in a fluff piece talking about destined fates and how Midoriya must have “sensed” the other’s Omega Class the entire time. The bullshit the media came up with some days was laughable. “When I suggested he use Midoriya for his Heat he freaked and honestly thought you were a better option. I never thought the second half of the Wonder Duo would be terrified of his partner.”

Shigaraki continued tapping on his game, though he sounded more amused when he said, “That sounds like a ‘Yes.’”

“Maybe it is,” Dabi said. “Does that mean I’ve got permission to borrow a few League members to do it?”

Kurogiri in particular, to make things fast and easy.

“Wait two weeks,” Shigaraki said. He paused his game and looked over the top of the device at Dabi. “If he’s suffering as much as you say, he’ll be looking for a way out after one week and jump into your arms when you show up after two.”

“I don’t know,” Dabi said, looking back at the screen and the pictures of Red Riot getting carried away on a stretcher. “A lot can happen in two weeks. What if they break him?”

“Then grab him anyway and I’ll Order him to stay put if I have to,” Shigaraki said, going back to the game. “You’re making this more complicated than it has to be.”

“Maybe,” Dabi said. He reached over and put his cigarette butt into the ash tray. “I doubt he wants to play nice when he gets here, though.”

“Either Midoriya breaks him into the perfect house Omega or we shatter him into the Villain he was meant to be years ago,” Shigaraki said, fingers clicking and eyes half-lidded. “Make up your mind which is the lesser of two evils and commit.”

“It makes it sound easy when you put it that way,” Dabi said. He dropped back onto the bed, bouncing the mattress. Shigaraki huffed as he missed a button press but didn’t do anything. “Besides, I was getting sick of being the only Omega around here anyway.”

“Sure you were,” Shigaraki said, reaching over and tugging on the end of Dabi’s hair as the game played a cut scene. “Like you don’t love the attention.”

Dabi crossed his legs at the ankles at the end of the bed and closed his eyes.

He couldn’t really argue with that.

Katsuki crossed his arms on Deku’s kitchen table and tugged on the long sleeve of his new shirt. The green fabric was the same color as Deku’s Hero uniform and had a low v-neck that did nothing to hide the Mark at the base of his throat. He wouldn’t have thought anything of it if it wasn’t for the fact he knew Deku himself had bought the thing. The Alpha had picked it up at the same time he bought the pajamas Katsuki’d had on earlier.

Deku had handed him the bag with the change of clothes after they got up and said, “I got you some new clothes on the way back home. You’re too big to fit in mine.”

“Why didn’t you just grab something out of my apartment?” Katsuki had asked, tugging out the shirt from the bag.

“The store was right next to the social services building and your apartment is on the other side of town,” Deku had said. He changed into his own clothes with his back to Katsuki. “I didn’t want you to wake up before we got home since you were so tired and it was just faster and easier to buy something.”

Katsuki accepted that answer, though something still felt off about it. He changed into the clothes and hated that they fit perfectly, because that meant Deku knew his clothing size by heart.

But that was the least of his problems.

He still couldn’t believe he’d slept solidly in a back room while Deku went full, primal levels of Alpha on the entire city when making his formal claim. Katsuki had caught about a minute’s worth of footage of his fight with Kirishima on the news before Deku turned off the television and said he was embarrassed and didn’t want Katsuki to see it. If the craters that he caught littered among the battlefield were any indication of how bad it had gotten, Katsuki wondered how it was possible anyone would have been able to sleep through it.

Maybe Deku had Ordered him to sleep and he didn’t notice.

“Thank you, Iida,” Deku said, printing a few pages from his laptop at the desk in the corner of the living room on the other side of the open floor plan. He laughed into the phone and scratched the side of his face. “It all happened so fast I wasn’t really ready for this part.”

Katsuki watched the pages stack on the printer’s paper tray, rubbing the sleeve between his fingers. After their emotional moment this morning and awkward exchange of clothing, Deku had gone into “business” mode and left Katsuki behind to run around the house muttering under breath about things he had to do.

After hearing “breaking Kacchan’s apartment lease” and “find a reliable moving crew” Katsuki had tuned him out and tried to ignore the tenderness of his neck and the feeling of loss that weighed him down.

While Deku ran around, Katsuki took the time to really take in the other’s apartment. Katsuki could honestly say he’d never been here before, even in all the years he’d known Deku. He wasn’t willing to give the Alpha that inch of hope that his courting was working by having Katsuki in his home. But now that he was there, Katsuki found himself curious and wandered around looking through rooms.

The slow realization that Deku’s apartment was already set up for two people from the double closets in the master bedroom to the spare room without anything in it made his stomach churn.

Katsuki finished his tour and wandered back to sit at the kitchen table, spending the rest of his time staring at an All Might poster on the wall and fighting a fit of nausea.

Deku’d looked like he’d been planning for a second person to move in for a long time for someone who “wasn’t really ready.”

“You’re the best, Iida,” Deku said, looking at the stack of pages and generally oblivious to Katsuki’s nervous state. “I’ll call you later.”

Deku hung up and flipped through the pages, reading them aloud under his breath. Katsuki watched, feeling like a house cat lazing around with no purpose. He slumped on the table and put his arm behind his head.

“What’re those?” he asked, speaking up for the first time since he’d asked about the new clothes.

“A print out of the appropriate laws I need to prove I have the right to your personal assets and money,” Izuku said, flipping through pages. He bit his lip and gave Katsuki an embarrassed smile. “When you mentioned your apartment this morning, I’m a little ashamed to say I had forgotten about it entirely.

“So while you were looking around I called your landlord to check on it and found they attempted to seize your stuff, so I’m trying to get it back. Iida was helping me find what I needed in one go so after I get that I can also get your bank account transferred to my name, too. I think there’s a hold on it, so it should all still be there.

“If there’s anything else I’m forgetting, tell me okay?” Izuku turned back to the papers and grabbed a highlighter. “This situation isn’t the norm so just filling out and submitting your registration paperwork wasn’t enough and I’m not sure what else is in your name I’d have to get.”

“Oh,” Katsuki said.

In all his fears of being outed as an Omega and losing his Hero career, he’d somehow forgotten that Omega couldn’t legally own property.

Katsuki covered his eyes and pressed his fingers into the socket as he breathed in. He was half surprised the Alpha from last night that tried to break him didn’t bring that up when he was talking about where the Classes fell in the hierarchy.

He pulled his hands down and stared at Deku highlighting things.

The Alpha said he spent four years watching Katsuki while trying to warp his image in the media to make him look bad as a Beta. That guy had entire departments with the sole purpose of controlling what went into the mass media and the behavior of “outliers” like Katsuki who set “bad examples.”

It felt like information that Katsuki definitely wasn’t supposed to know outside of being trapped in that Alpha’s house where no one could contact him. Even the general public would be upset if they found that sort of thing out, wouldn’t they?

Katsuki reached his hand up and covered the Marks on his shoulder. Deku’s smaller bite couldn’t cover the older one completely, though he did get rid of the other Alpha’s venom with his own. He dug his thumb into it and breathed in.

He should probably tell Deku about what happened before he broke into the room and got rid of the other Alpha, but he wasn’t sure if Deku would believe him. Or if Katsuki could get through it without also mentioning how creepy the other Alpha had been the entire time.

Even if he sprinted when Deku showed, that Alpha had been obsessed with Katsuki. He’d complained about Katsuki being a “pain” but every other word that came out of his mouth had been a compliment. At the end when he’d fucked Katsuki, everything that he said had been a form of praise or some version of “I knew you’d be amazing.”

Katsuki swallowed, shifting and putting his hands on the chair seat between his legs. If he tried, it was too easy to remember the feeling of the other Alpha inside of him and the crawl of his lust on Katsuki’s skin from his breath and touch.

“Are you okay?” Deku asked, setting his stack of paperwork on the table. “You look upset.”

“I was thinking about last night,” Katsuki said. If the only thing that had happened was some Alpha took Katsuki to bed to consummate the mating, he wouldn’t have said anything. Katsuki bit his lip. But he should really tell someone else about the shit he’d heard. Sure the guy had run away when he had to challenge Deku in physical combat, but he had looked like a man with connections. Who knew when he’d come back with something Deku couldn’t fight? “About that Alpha.”

Deku’s face turned cold, eyes burning with hatred. “You don’t have to worry about him anymore. If he so much as comes within a mile of you, I’ll make him regret being born.”

“No, he was,” Katsuki paused and licked his lip.

How did you just come out and say “He was the head of a Public Relations department that worked to keep public opinion of Alpha, Beta, and Omega in certain places and had a side job helping Alpha break Omega.” Not that he needed to do much since apparently Mother Nature hated one third of the Earth’s population and gave Alpha a literal built in advantage. But it all still sounded like a giant conspiracy theory and Deku already looked at Katsuki like he was ready to shatter any minute.

Katsuki squeezed the Mark under his palm and chose his words carefully. “He was dangerous, Deku. I don’t think he’s done with me, either.”

No one who was that obsessed gives up that easily. Or at the very least, it’ll hit him later just what a coward he looked like sprinting from Deku and some stupid Alpha pride would encourage him make a better plan of attack.

“Kacchan,” Deku said, he pulled out a chair across from Katsuki and sat down. “I know he hurt you, but you have nothing to be afraid of from that man. It’s over.

“Even if he did come back for another challenge, he’s never going to be able to stand up to me and One for All,” Deku said. He shook his head back and forth, knocking those loose curls in his face. “He can’t touch you.”

“You don’t understand,” Katsuki said. He shifted his hand, his thumb rubbing against a scab from the first Mark. Deku’s eyes watched the motion, eyes narrowed. “This guy knew how to get under your skin. He was an office worker but he terrified me, Deku. Me. I was scared of him and I think it was for good reason.”

“I think you might be making him bigger in your head than he actually is because what happened was upsetting,” Deku said, slow and carefully. “I saw the Alpha afterwards, Kacchan. He was a coward who thought he was tough because he had you chained down. That Alpha is not a threat, I promise.”

“Let me finish,” Katsuki said, dropping his hands back onto the table. “He said a lot of things while he was,” Katsuki paused, “trying to break me. In between all the weird praise he said some messed up things.”

“Praise?” Deku asked.

“I don’t know, he was a fan or something,” Katsuki said, rubbing his face. “He’s been stalking me since I won that first Sports Festival. Practically jumped on my name when he saw it on the list for mate candidates and didn’t hesitate to let me know between the stupid kisses and touching me every chance he could.”

“Well, he’s gone now.” Deku bit his lip and looked to the side. His hands clenched into fists on the table and his voice sounded strained as he said, “That’s all that matters.”

This wasn’t going where Katsuki needed it to go. “But I don’t think that he is and if you’d listen—”

“Stop talking about him!” Deku yelled, slamming his hands on the table. Katsuki flinched away from the force of it, hating himself for the weakness. Deku leaned forward. “This discussion is over, Kacchan. Never talk about that other Alpha again.”

He didn’t know if it was on purpose or not, but the declaration had come out as an Order.

Katsuki snapped his mouth shut.

Izuku’s blood ran cold when he saw Kacchan’s expression: angry with gritted teeth and a hint of hurt in his eyes.

He sat back in his seat and bit his lip. Izuku hadn’t meant to do that. He just wanted Kacchan to stop talking about that other Alpha because every time Izuku thought about someone else touching his mate it made his blood boil. If Kacchan kept talking about what the other Alpha did, he was going to keep giving more details and Izuku wasn’t sure he could control himself before he hunted the other Alpha down and actually killed him.

If he did that, Deku would get arrested—One for All was incredibly powerful, but even it had it’s limits if they actually thought Deku was a threat to the public—and then they’d confiscate Kacchan and everything would be back to square one.

“I’m sorry, Kacchan,” Izuku said, pressing his lips together. He got up from the table and grabbed his papers. His hands trembled, but he steadied them and exhaled. “But the conversation is still over. Don’t bring him up again.”

Kacchan didn’t answer and glared at the table. His nails dug into the skin behind his Mark and Izuku let him fume.

Izuku needed to give Kacchan time and be more careful about throwing Orders around. Obviously Kacchan valued his own authority and Izuku had a feeling that the next few months would be a tightrope as they got into a routine and settled some ground rules.

Transitions were difficult, but they’d be okay. They were going to work this out.

Izuku grabbed his wallet and keys, shoving them into his pocket before he grabbed his jacket. “I’m going to go take care of your apartment and belongings, okay?”

Kacchan didn’t move.

“Okay?” Izuku said, prompting Kacchan again for a response to indicate that he’d heard.

Izuku closed his eyes and breathed out when Kacchan remained silent and tense. He didn’t want to do this, but he needed to take care of Kacchan’s apartment and that required leaving. And while he had a feeling Kacchan wanted to be alone right now, he also didn’t know for sure that Kacchan wouldn’t do something stupid while he was emotional and unsupervised.

It wasn’t worth the risk.

“Don’t leave the apartment,” Izuku Ordered.

He closed the door behind him and ignored the sound of Kacchan screaming and the crash of a table.

Izuku locked his apartment and kept walking. Kacchan could get his frustration out of his system by destroying a few pieces of furniture if he wanted to. Izuku would let it slide.

He could replace a table.

But Izuku only had one Kacchan and he was going to keep him.

Chapter Text

Katsuki destroyed the kitchen table, broke two lamps, overturned the couch, and ended his tirade by cracking the coffee table in two with his fists, shattering the glass top around the entirety of the living room.

He ignored the cuts on his hands, letting them bleed as they willed.

The damage to the apartment would have been worse had he not caught sight of the All Might figurine that had been knocked off a side table by a fallen lamp. His anger drained out of him, leaving nothing but exhaustion behind seeing the tiny thing on the floor. Katsuki stepped over the broken glass and retrieved the small figure, careful not to get blood on the figure and retrieving the piece of hair that had snapped off.

He remembered buying that figurine with Deku their first year at U.A. About a month before they moved up a grade, Deku had wanted to go merchandise hunting while they had a free weekend. He’d asked if Katsuki would come since Iida and Uraraka were busy with hopeful eyes and a stupid, cheery grin. It took some badgering (and a bribe of Mrs. Midoriya’s cooking), but Katsuki eventually caved and went with him.

It hadn’t been a bad day.

Katsuki and Deku had gone from shop to shop looking through old things and new, Deku muttering an inventory under his breath the entire time of what he had and didn’t have while Katsuki snickered behind him and kept the twerp from spending too much.

They’d found the All Might figurines in a second hand shop near the end of the day after they’d stopped for a quick snack of ice cream. Katsuki had one just like it in his closet in a box of older keepsakes because Deku teased him for spending the entire day looking for merchandise and not buying anything.

Katsuki wasn’t sure if it was the good memory or the shame of breaking something that had All Might’s face on it, but the fight left him all the same.

After scrounging around Deku’s kitchen for some glue, Katsuki fixed the small model and left it on the kitchen counter. He washed his hands under the sink and grabbed a bandage to put over the one cut that still bled. He nudged the All Might figurine with his finger as he passed it by to return to the living room. Katsuki settled between the couch and the wall just under the window and spread his legs out in front of him.

He hated he couldn’t stay mad at Deku.

Katsuki had seen his face after he’d given that Order. Deku had been as shocked that he’d given one as Katsuki. Kirishima gave Orders all the time naturally and without meaning to when he got angry enough, so why would Deku be any different? Granted, Katsuki was not often on the receiving end of Kirishima’s Orders most of the time, but he still knew one when he saw it. Even if Deku was being a possessive little shit right now, he was still an Alpha and there were some things they couldn’t control.

Just as Omega were built to obey Orders, Alpha were built to give them and it wasn’t Deku’s fault nature was cruel.

Katsuki couldn’t even be angry with the intentional one he’d thrown at him on the way out the door—Katsuki wouldn’t have trusted himself to stay put either after these past two hellish days.


He reached over and grabbed a loose couch cushion that had gone flying. He tugged it over and curled up on his side. Katsuki covered his head with his arms and breathed out. He ignored the Scent of cedar that clung to the cushions and closed his eyes, going through his options.

What was he supposed to do now?

Izuku realized there was one benefit to completely losing his mind and going wild on national television: Everyone gave him his space today.

They were also much faster to give Kacchan his stuff back—or rather, give it to Izuku, but it might as well have been the same thing.

He opened the door to Kacchan’s apartment with the key he’d gotten from the landlord and stepped inside. A stool had been knocked over near his kitchen bar, but otherwise the room looked undisturbed. He’d only been there once with Kirishima and Iida when Kacchan needed to pick up some extra clothes for an overnight mission, but it looked more or less the same.

Izuku had called a moving company to come pack up Kacchan’s things before he’d come upstairs, but he wanted to go ahead and grab a box or two full of the important and valuable things he didn’t want to risk losing in a move.

He took the framed photos off the table in the living room and picked up Kacchan’s phone from the floor. There was a keepsake box in the bottom of Kacchan’s closet and he grabbed a couple outfits while he was there. Raiding his bathroom for toiletries came next and Izuku bit his lip to stop from grinning at the woodsy scented shampoo sitting in the shower. Aside from that, Izuku found surprisingly little sentimental items around the apartment, but that seemed to fit Kacchan’s personality.

The small box didn’t seem like enough, but almost everything else in the apartment was either furniture or clothes which the movers could handle.

As he put the boxes in the back of his trunk, his phone rang. Izuku answered, “Deku speaking.”

“Izuku!” His mom exclaimed. “You said you were going to call me back.”

“Ah! Sorry, Mom,” Izuku said, straightening. He closed his trunk and leaned on the back of the car. He’d gotten a call from her last night while he was changing Kacchan into some bed clothes and said he’d call her later when he had time to talk. “I really am sorry. Some stuff came up this morning with Kacchan and I forgot.”

“Of course,” his mom said, the understanding and amusement clear. She was well aware that Izuku tended to forget himself when Kacchan was involved. “How is he? Is he taking it badly?”

“That might be an understatement,” Izuku said, crossing one arm over his waist. The busy street passed him by on the road and he smiled at people passing by, despite the serious conversation. “But he’s understandably upset and I don’t think I’ve helped much.”

“I’m sure things will work out as soon as things have a chance to settle,” his mom said. “There’s no one out there better suited to taking care of Katsuki than you, so I fully believe you two will be alright.”

“Thanks, mom,” Izuku said. He sat up straight and nearly smacked himself in the face. He’d been so focused on Kacchan he’d forgotten something else rather important, even bigger than his apartment. The reason his mother had called last night in the first place: “Did you get a chance to see Kacchan’s parents?”

“Only his father, sadly,” his mom said, sighing over the phone. “His mother had gone so wild they had to sedate her rather heavily. She’s still under from what he said.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” Izuku said, rubbing between his eyes. Mrs. Bakugou was one of the scariest Alpha he’d ever met when she was truly angry, and nothing got her to that point faster than threatening her family. “Do you know how their defense is going?”

“Masaru didn’t agree with it, but their lawyer said their best shot is to declare emotional instability when Katsuki presented. He didn’t go into details, but apparently that poor boy’s first Heat was really awful and they’re going to argue that Mitsuki felt the call to ‘protect’ so loud she kept him instead of calling the hospital. Then there was something about imprinting and Alpha possessiveness, but it all went over my head.”

Izuku chuckled under his breath. The wonderful world of instincts and natural callings escaped his poor Beta parents. He still owed them apologies for all the trouble he caused when he was a hormonal teenager and they had no idea what to do with their own little Alpha.

“I hope they’ll go easy on her,” Izuku said, checking his watch. Not that he didn’t appreciate talking to his mother or the update on Kacchan’s parents, but Izuku still had things he needed to do. Getting Kacchan’s accounts in order at the bank was still at the top of the list and Izuku should head over to the Hero Agency to pick up Kacchan’s things there while he was off the clock. “I’m positive if she knew just how bad constant suppressant usage could be, she never would have given them to Kacchan. The courts have to know she meant well.”

“Same,” his mom said. “Alright, I’ll let you get back to what you were doing, but make sure to call me later and let me know how you and Katsuki are settling in, okay?”

“I will,” Izuku said.

He said his goodbyes and put the phone back in his pocket. Izuku blew his bangs out of his face before returning to the driver’s seat. He was more than ready to get these last few errands done with and to go home, no matter what war zone waited for him.

Katsuki scrunched his nose, once again waking to the smell of roses and sugar. There were downfalls to producing a lot of sweat and apparently one of them was producing more of his own Scent than other people.

That or it’d just been collected close to his body, trapped under the blanket that’d been thrown over his head.

He pushed the thick quilt up enough to see into the living room. Deku had set the couch back upright and removed the broken coffee table. He mumbled under his breath as he swept up the broken glass from the carpet, though it was too quiet to hear what he was saying.

Katsuki sat up, letting the quilt gather around his waist and stared at Deku’s back while he stayed lost in his own world cleaning. Just past him near the door were two or three boxes packed neatly that hadn’t been there before. The top one was missing its lid and Katsuki recognized one of his jackets which meant those must have been his things.

“Kacchan,” Deku said, pausing in his sweeping as he looked up. He held the end of the broom in booth hands. “Are you feeling better?”

“No,” Katsuki said, scooting back to lean on the wall.

“I didn’t think you would be,” Deku said, twisting the broom handle. He bit his lip and looked toward the kitchen. “I brought back some dinner if you want it. I’ll have to reheat it, though.”

Katsuki wasn’t hungry, but he was also pretty sure he hadn’t actually eaten anything since that half-bowl of cereal two days ago. Food might be a good idea even if he had to choke it down. “Sure.”

“Okay,” Deku said. He reached down and grabbed the dustpan, sweeping up the last of the glass and stood up. Deku looked at Katsuki before shaking his head and going back into the kitchen. He dumped out the pan and put up the broom. “It’ll be a few minutes.”

Katsuki listened to him putter about as he tugged take-out cartons from the fridge and pulled down a couple of plates. Katsuki peeled himself off the floor and folded the quilt over his arm as he stood up. He put it on the couch and returned the cushion he’d been using as a pillow.

He ignored the pieces of the kitchen table that had been shoved aside against the wall and sat at the bar top that split the kitchen from the living room.

“My mom got to visit your parents,” Deku said, pushing the time into the microwave. “It sounded like she wasn’t sure how things were going, but hopefully they have a good defense at the trial.”

“They shouldn’t have been charged with anything,” Katsuki said, crossing his arms on the counter. “Any good parent would have done the same.”

Deku frowned, pressing his lips together, but he didn’t argue even though the disagreement was plastered over his face. He turned away and tugged the food down from the microwave and handed it over the bar to Katsuki before making his own plate.

He forced down a bite, unable to appreciate the spices that hit his tongue. Katsuki was too tired to taste it.

“The movers should have all your things delivered by the day after tomorrow,” Deku said, sitting one seat down and across from Katsuki. He picked at his own, much milder food and fidgeted in his seat as he tried to find a good position. “I stopped by your apartment to grab some of your things.”

“I saw,” Katsuki said, shoving a bite of rice in his mouth. “And let me guess—that empty bedroom is for me?”

“I don’t know who else it would ever be for,” Deku said, watching Katsuki from the corner of his eye. He laughed under his breath and ate a quick bite from his plate. “I will admit, after about two years of waiting, I almost turned it into an office but I felt like I’d jinx myself. Either after I did it would be the time you actually said ‘yes’ and I’d have to clear it out again or it would be like waving a white flag to the universe that I’d given up.

“And that just wasn’t an option,” Deku said, determined as ever.

“You were pretty confident I was eventually going to give in, weren’t you?” Katsuki asked, already knowing the answer but curious despite himself. “A little full of yourself, don’t you think?”

“I’m not sure I’d put it that way,” Deku said. He pushed his plate away and poked the All Might figurine sitting next to him. Izuku picked it up and held it between his hands, rolling it back and forth. “I think it’d be better to say that you were worth waiting for, even if all my efforts went to waste.”

Deku sounded so sincere it stung.

Katsuki shoved his half eaten plate away. “Well, at least one of us got what they wanted.”

“Kacchan,” Deku said. He set the figure down and slipped out of his chair, leaning across the counter. Deku reached up and cupped the sides of Katsuki’s face and pressed their foreheads together. Their noses bumped and he whispered. “I promise that I’m going to do everything I can to make this work. I’m not going to ever get what I want until you’re happy, too.”

“And if you’re waiting forever?” Katsuki asked, curling his fingers in.

“Then at least I got this close,” Deku said, closing his eyes.

He curled his thumb in to rub Katsuki’s cheek and he could smell the want lingering just under the surface of Deku’s skin. He shivered and swallowed, but didn’t move away. They stayed like that for a minute longer, breathing each other’s air and skin touching before Deku pulled away and cleaned up the dishes.

The weird mixture of disappointment and relief that Deku didn’t kiss him followed Katsuki as he returned to the couch and curled up under the blanket.

Chapter Text

By day four, the awkward tension between Izuku and Kacchan remained as strong as ever. Their one heartfelt moment in the kitchen seemed to have been swept away with a night’s sleep and Kacchan woke up afterwards grumpier than ever.

It wasn’t quite how Izuku had expected to spend his week of leave after requesting time to help Kacchan adjust, but he would manage.

The day after that first rough patch, Kacchan’s belongings arrived and Izuku helped him move them into the spare bedroom. Little conversation occurred aside from the occasional “put that there” that came with the chore of unpacking. However, things still went pretty smoothly up until Kacchan asked where his bed and chest of drawers were.

Izuku had to admit he sent those items to a storage unit because he’d just assumed Kacchan would be using his second closet and well—Izuku did have more than enough room for two on his bed.

Kacchan said he’d use the master bedroom closet but he was sleeping on the couch until his bed magically returned from storage.

Compromise! Izuku could work with that.

The next day, they got Kacchan’s bed in and he seemed pretty satisfied with their current set up, though he did still shut the door in Izuku’s face to be alone. He wandered back out for dinner, but returned to his room immediately afterwards. Aside from meals, Izuku didn’t get to see him much.


Kacchan needed time.

Izuku reminded himself almost on the hour, every hour, that he couldn’t rush things between them even if they were mated now. No matter how happy he was about the end goal, the way that they got there was rough and Kacchan still hurt from having his entire life turned upside-down.

Izuku had to be patient.

The tension in the room remained thick, but giving Kacchan his space seemed to be working. Izuku looked up with a smile when Kacchan left his room and wandered into the kitchen to join him for lunch. He took a seat at the card table Izuku had set up in the meantime since he hadn’t had time to go furniture shopping and crossed his arms on it.

“I’m making chicken and rice,” Izuku said, looking over his shoulder. He tried not to stare too much at the tank top Kacchan had on, hiding neither his Mark or muscles. Izuku looked away and kept stirring his chicken in the pan. “Do you want any?”

“Sure,” Kacchan said. He crossed his arms on the table and rubbed his fingers together. “Hey, Deku.”

“Yes, Kacchan?” Izuku asked, checking on the rice in the cooker.

“Is Kirishima still in the ICU?”

Izuku closed the cooker lid and pressed his lips together. He looked over his shoulder and saw Kacchan giving him a steady, almost accusing look. Izuku pushed the chicken off the heat. “I don’t know. It’s been so busy between all the paperwork and unpacking, I haven’t checked.”

“You said he should only be in there a couple days and that I could go see him when he got out,” Kacchan said. He tapped his finger on his arm and it was hard to miss the accusation in his tone. “Unless you were just humoring me and never actually intended to let me visit.”

“No,” Izuku said straightening his back and turned back to the food. He couldn’t help the rise of jealousy from Kacchan wanting some other Alpha’s attention, but it was fine. They were just friends. Just. Friends. Kirishima was just an Alpha who nearly killed himself to take Kacchan from Izuku but it was fine. He counted to ten in his head and shoved the food on the plate with a fork. “Of course we’ll go see him. I’ll call and get a room number after lunch.”

“We?” Kacchan asked. He licked his upper lip and leaned back in his seat, throwing an arm over the back. “I’m pretty certain he’s not going to want to see you. He already lost, so don’t rub it in his face by hovering over the visit the entire time.”

“You want to see him alone?” Izuku asked, doing his best to keep his voice from straining.

Kacchan curled his fingers around the chair frame. “Is that a problem?”

That was a test of a question if Izuku had ever heard one.

Every instinct in his body screamed “Yes, it’s a problem and no Kacchan, you are not allowed to be alone in a room with another Alpha” but he fought it. Kirishima and Kacchan had been friends since they were in high school. Izuku himself had encouraged their relationship and up until last week was happy Kacchan still had other people that cared about him, too.

Izuku would have to tolerate a visit now and again, no matter how jealous it made him.

“No,” Izuku said, well aware he’d been glaring at a plate of chicken far too long to have answered in a reasonable amount of time. “It’s no problem.”

The relieved exhale from Kacchan squeezed at Izuku’s chest, but he ignored it.

Eijirou smelled roses.

At first, he wondered if one of his friends had brought him a fresh vase of flowers, but it smelled too sweet and there was a familiar tint to it that he knew. Eijirou opened his eyes, staring at the dim hospital ceiling before looking around the room. The source of the Scent sat in a chair next to his bed, staring at one of his hands with his chin leaning on the back of his hand.

“Bakugou,” Eijirou said, groping for the bed adjustment remote. His friend looked up and his smile was soft, but too tired. Eijirou clicked the up button and he felt his eyes water. He had a thousand things he wanted to say but he only managed a watery “Bakugou” a second time.

“Hey, idiot,” Bakugou said. He leaned up and hopped his chair over to be closer to Eijirou’s head. “About time you woke up. I’ve only got another hour to visit.”

“Is it that late?” Eijirou asked. Visiting hours were well until after seven and his naps didn’t usually last that long.

“No,” Bakugou said, he scratched the back of his neck and shifted. He dragged his arms back down and rubbed his thumb into his palm, lighting tiny sparks. “Deku didn’t want to wait forever in the gift shop downstairs so he said we were leaving at four. It’s bullshit, but I think I’m pushing my luck as it is seeing you alone. Fighting with him wasn’t worth losing this visit entirely so you better be grateful.”

“Midoriya’s here, too,” Eijirou said, nodding and swallowing thickly. Bakugou sounding nervous and unsure was wrong on so many levels he could cry. Eijirou couldn’t help it, but his eyes drew to Bakugou’s neck. The other tugged his collar up to cover the small Mark scar that peeked out from his shirt. Eijirou really hadn’t been able to do anything. “Of course he is.”

“Don’t,” Bakugou said, sitting up. He reached over and grabbed the corner of Eijirou’s sleeve and shook it. “Don’t make that face and don’t apologize either. This shit’s not your fault.”

Eijirou leaned toward the edge of the bed, despite the pain of his stretched muscles, and put his hand on the mattress. “But—”

“It is not your fault,” Bakugou repeated again. He covered his face with his hands and shook his head, tapping his ankle up and down. “This was all going to explode in my face soon or later and I’m the one who should be sorry because I should have trusted you with this a long time ago.”

“Why didn’t you?” Eijirou asked, though he regretted it when he did. That wasn’t a fair question. “Sorry. Never mind. Don’t answer that.”

Bakugou’s red eyes watched him and Eijirou sunk into his blankets. He put his hand over the cast on his broken arm and breathed in. He was so relieved to see Bakugou here and in one piece but he knew that there was a good chance he wouldn’t get to see him again after he left. Midoriya’d been waiting to steal Bakugou away forever and now he legally could.

Eijirou’s stomach twisted.

“I was scared,” Bakugou said, quiet under his breath. He looked away from Eijirou and went back to staring at the mattress. Bakugou paused. He met Eijirou’s gaze. “You were my first real friend and if you stopped wanting to be around me because I was an Omega, I don’t think I could have handled it.”

Eijirou hugged Bakugou before he could stop himself, throwing himself half out of the bed and squishing his cast between the two of them. His other arm wrapped around Bakugou’s shoulder, pressing their heads together. The tears came next. “I’m so sorry, Bakugou.”

“Aren’t you supposed to be an Alpha?” Bakugou asked, reaching around Eijirou’s back to put a hand in his loose hair. He bumped their heads together. “What’s with the waterworks?”

“I tried so hard to get you back,” Eijirou said, dropping his head onto Bakugou’s shoulder. He could smell Midoriya’s Scent lingering around the Mark under the fabric of the shirt and sucked in a breath. “But it wasn’t enough.”

“You were up against Deku,” Bakugou said. He sighed and slumped in the chair. Eijirou slumped down with him and leaned on him. Bakugou sounded so resigned; like he’d given up. Just what had Midoriya done to him? Eijirou bit his lip. Bakugou knocked their heads together. “You’re the only one who would have ever even tried.”

“That doesn’t make me feel better,” Eijirou said. He breathed in Bakugou’s Scent and listened to his heartbeat. He whispered, “How are you doing?”

“I trashed his apartment in a fit after he gave me an Order, but he still went and got my stuff out of my apartment and let me keep my bed,” Bakugou said, dropping his hand out of Eijirou’s hair. He let it rest against his back and breathed out. “So I guess it could be worse.”

Eijirou pulled his arm back around and leaned more properly on Bakugou’s side. Eijirou made a fist and growled, “If he hurts you, I’ll kill him.”

“That sounds more like an Alpha,” Bakugou said, flicking Eijirou in the back of his head. “But maybe wait until you’re out of the hospital before you start making declarations of war.”

Eijirou sat up and shoved Bakugou in the side. “That’s not funny.”

“It’s not,” Bakugou said, staring him down. He sounded grave and said, “Don’t do anything stupid. I can take care of myself and Deku, okay?”

“The offer’s still on the table,” Eijirou said. He fell back on his pillows and grunted. “What are you going to do now?”

Bakugou went back to rubbing his hands. “I’m sure I’ll figure something out.”

“Just be careful,” Eijirou said. He rubbed his hands on his face before pulling them down. He looked at Bakugou and said, “So, you’re an Omega?”

“Shut up,” Bakugou said, turning red and slumping in the chair.

Eijirou laughed and went back to trying to make his friend smile again, if only for now.

Katsuki did his best to wash off Kirishima’s lingering Scent in the restroom before he left the the patient room floor, but he didn’t do well enough.

He wouldn’t forget that look of pure rage that flashed in Deku’s eyes, slitting them momentarily before he caught himself. It took an almost visible effort for Deku to calm down and with an awkward laugh pretend he hadn’t almost done something stupid. He covered it up by asking if Katsuki wanted dinner on the way home with a strained smile. He said "Sure" and walked out of the hospital with Deku.

Katsuki didn’t do anything wrong, so Deku had nothing to be angry about.

He hoped.

“Did you have a good visit?” Deku asked, opening the apartment door after a silent ride home.

“Yeah,” Katsuki said. He followed Deku inside and put his hands in his pockets. “I made sure he knew I wasn’t angry with him. That idiot blames himself too easily for everything.”

Deku grunted in response and dropped his keys in the bowl next to the door. He walked to the kitchen with the small bag of take out and pulled out the neatly packed boxes.

Katsuki breathed out. Dropping the topic might be tactical and he hated that he had to tread the water so carefully. Katsuki felt like a coward and it made his skin crawl. He pulled out a chair at the folding table and sat down.

Deku put handed Katsuki his food and sat across from him, not cooperating with the plan. “What else did you two talk about?”

“Not much,” Katsuki said. He pushed his food around to move his hands. “Kirishima was asleep when I got there, so we only talked for about an hour after he woke up.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” Deku said, taking a bite. “You really wanted to see him.”

Katsuki wanted to crawl into a hole. This awkwardness smothered him more than that Slime Monster all those years ago. Katsuki grunted and prayed this conversation ended soon. “I’m sure we’ll catch up later. It’s not like this is the only time I’m going to see him.”

Deku pressed his lips together tight. “That’s true.”

It better be true. Katsuki leaned back into his seat and breathed out. Drumming his fingers on the table near the half-eaten meal. “But we did talk about one thing there at the end.”

“Oh?” Deku asked.

“What I’m going to do now,” Katsuki said. He dragged his fingers back and crossed his arms. “Because I don’t know about you, but I am not going to sit around the house all day twiddling my thumbs while you’re off working.”

“I can’t picture you doing that either.” Deku cracked a smile around his fork. Looking lighter he perked up and asked, “Did you have something in mind you wanted to try?”

“To start, I’m going to look and see if I can’t get my Hero License back,” Katsuki said, rolling his fingers in the air. “There has to be some way to make an exception to the rules. I’ve already been doing the job for two years just fine. I was the number three ranked Pro Hero for goodness sake!”

Deku went quiet.

Katsuki watched Deku’s face crumble into pity and stupidly said, “What?”

“Kacchan,” Deku said, shaking his head. “I know you don’t want to hear this, but Omega can’t be Pro Heroes. You’re retired, Kacchan.”

“Bullshit I am,” Katsuki said. His chest constricted and he knew Deku had been pulling some Alpha bullshit the past few days but this? This was wrong. How dare he? “After all we’ve been through together, you’re going to sit here and tell me I can’t be a Hero? All of my works are just magically gone because people found out something that’s been true the entire time?”

“You’re an Omega, Kacchan. You should have turned in your license when you presented,” Deku said, breath hitching. He reached up and tugged on his curls, breath picking up. “Do you have any idea how lucky you are that nothing bad happened to you all these years? Omega being Pro Heroes is illegal for a reason and I’m not going to let you go out there and hurt yourself.”

“Fuck that,” Katsuki said, standing. He slammed his hands on the rickety card table, shoving it an inch forward. “Luck has nothing to do with it. I worked for what I had and no one is going to take it away from me! I’m a Hero dammit!”

“Can Quirkless people be Pro Heroes, Kacchan?” Deku asked, eyes narrowing.

“What does that have to do with this?” Katsuki asked, holding onto his fury.

“Can Quirkless people be Pro Heroes, Kacchan?” Deku repeated, pushing out of his seat. He stood, glaring up to match Katsuki’s eyes. His hands turned into fists and he breathed out. “Answer the question.”

“No,” Katsuki said, gritting his teeth. “They don’t have a way to defend themselves again Villains with Quirks.”

“All Might said the same thing. I hated hearing it but I accepted it was truth at the time after my favorite Hero told me that my best hope was to be a police officer,” Deku said. His eyes watered at the side and he sucked in a breath. “Becoming a Hero was nothing short of a miracle for me.”

“I still don’t see what the point is,” Katsuki said, a sinking feeling he knew the next thing Deku was gonna say. “So you got a magic Quirk? What’s that got to do with me?”

“Omega can’t be Pro Heroes for the same reason Quirkless people can’t. They even had to make it illegal so Omega wouldn’t even attempt it in case they were like you and had a Quirk that could compensate,” Deku said. He shook his head and breathed in. He found a renewed since of anger and shouted, “You almost killed yourself as it is using Suppressants all these years! Your pride is not worth your life!”

“Screw suppressants! I only used them so assholes like you wouldn’t take my license away because of something stupid like a Class! Are you actually implying I can’t defend myself?” Katsuki shouted, holding his palm up and letting off a small explosion. “I’m not some powerless infant! I’ve destroyed more Alpha than most other Alpha combined!”

Deku’s pupils slit and he hissed, “Sit down, shut up, and stop using your Quirk.”

Katsuki dropped into his seat, stunned from the force of the quiet Order. He wanted to scream, but his mouth stayed shut.

“Any Alpha can do that,” Deku said, tears gathering at the corner of his eyes. He growled, eyes still slit in fury. “Do you really not understand how unbelievably lucky you are that no one figured this out earlier? Marks don’t work on Beta and Alpha, but now that everyone knows, that’s going to be their number one priority.

“It only takes one Mark, Kacchan,” Deku said, still glaring. “Do you know how fast an Alpha can Mark someone when they put their mind to it? It only takes one patch of exposed skin. Your wrist. Your arm. Your neck. It doesn’t matter where but all it takes is one slip. A Mark erases everything before it and gives them total control.”

Katsuki whined through his teeth, seething and desperate to move.

“And then they can make you do anything they want,” Deku said. His shoulders lowered and he walked around the table. “That’s why Omega aren’t allowed to be Pro Heroes, Kacchan. There’s too much at risk and that’s not even including all the other things that could go wrong.

“Heats aren’t clockwork. What if it starts in the middle of a mission? Even the pre-Heat signs are distracting to you and everyone around you. You’d put everyone else in danger alongside you,” Deku said. He stood in front of Katsuki and sniffed, wiping away the tears from the side of his face. “Not to mention you’ll be out of commission for a week or more every month. I know you hate this, but you can’t be a Hero any more, Kacchan.”

“Fuck,” Katsuki said, glaring up. His chest ached and every inch of him burned in anger. “What about you then? If a week out of commission is such an issue, then how does any mated Alpha get away with it? You’re the one who’ll be with me.”

“Kacchan, that’s not how Heats work,” Deku said, voice confused. He looked to the side before something clicked and he looked at Katsuki with a sense of pity. “I forgot, Beta don’t have the same sex ed as Alpha, do they?

“When your Heat starts, after we have sex you’ll go to sleep for the rest of the day. When I come home, I’ll make sure you’ve eaten and washed up in the afternoon and by that evening we’ll do it again. My schedule will barely change at all, save for spending all my afternoons with you.”

“How the fuck is that fair?” Kacchan asked, gripping the bottom of his chair seat. Why did Nature hate Omega so much? That one Alpha had nothing on the built-in systems already screwing his Class over. “Being a Hero is all I’ve ever wanted and I had it, Deku! I had it! Don’t ask me to give it up. Please.”

Deku hugged Katsuki, pulling his face into Deku’s neck and wrapping his arms tight. He could feel Deku’s sobs and he barely held his own in. “I’m sorry, Kacchan.”

Katsuki grabbed Deku’s shirt and growled, his own tears leaking out. He sucked in a breath and lost his self control. He sobbed into Deku’s shoulder. “Then why are you fighting me?”

“I can’t—I can’t let you go out there and get yourself killed or worse,” Deku said. He squeezed harder, nearly crushing Katsuki to himself. His fingers curled into Katsuki’s spine, desperate and clinging. “I know this is a huge change and that you’ve been running from it for all these years, but you’re going to be okay. I swear this isn’t going to be the Nightmare you’ve built up in your head and seeing you hate yourself so much is killing me.

“Kacchan, you don’t know anything about your Class and what should be an amazing thing has been turned into something scary,” Deku said, he petted the back of Katsuki’s hair and nuzzled the side of his head. “Maybe if you actually talked to a few of the Omega you’ve spent so much time avoiding, it might be easier to see that you have nothing to be afraid of.”

“Do I have a choice?” Katsuki whispered, burying his face in Deku’s neck.

Deku rubbed his back and leaned on Katsuki. “I think it’d be good for you, but no, you don’t have to.”

“I’ll think about it,” he mumbled, drowning in cedar.

It’s not like he had anything else to do now.

Chapter Text

Katsuki had been betrayed.

“I’m sensing some tension,” Kyouka said, looking between Katsuki and the other four Omega staring him down from their respective seats at the round table in the eat-in kitchen.

He buckled down on matching their glares and keeping his face even.

It hadn’t started bad.

A couple days after the moment-he-refused-to-think-about after he last saw Kirishima, Deku knocked on his door and asked if he wanted to go visit Kaminari. It was his turn to host the monthly agency get-together that was supposed to encourage team building or something between the younger and older generations. It was common to bring your spouse, even if not everyone did, so there was no reason Katsuki couldn’t go—aside from the awkwardness of being there as someone’s mate instead of as a Hero in his own right.

He almost turned Deku down flat.

But after being essentially trapped in one room for a week (self imposed isolation aside), he was going stir-crazy and had agreed with a grunt. It'd be nice if just to get some fresh air and he wouldn’t mind seeing Kaminari again. Kirishima wasn’t his only friend.

But that’s when it all went wrong.

Katsuki had barely stepped in the door when he and Deku were greeted by Kaminari and his mate. Before he could so much a say “Hey” she’d grabbed his arm and grinned, speaking in a rush like she was in a hurry: “Hi! You must be Katsuki. I’m Kyouka and it’s nice to finally meet you after everything Denki’s said about you. Come on, the others are in the back.”

Caught off guard, Katsuki didn’t think to struggle when she tugged, dragging him along with her. He looked over his shoulder and saw a confused look on Deku’s face, but Kaminari—that loser—shot Katsuki two thumbs up and it became obvious: He’d been set up.

Katsuki was stuck in the dining room with four Omega who clearly weren’t happy to see him and one confused soul.

Kyouka spoke up again after the awkward silence continued and tugged on one of the jacks hanging off her ear. “I feel like I’ve missed something.”

“Kyouka, how long have you been mated to Chargebolt again?” The male brunette asked.

“Two months?” Kyouka answered.

“And you’d say that Chargebolt and our former Ground Zero here were friends right? Saw each other regularly?” he continued, glaring over his shoulder.

Katsuki gritted his teeth as Kyouka answered, “Sure.”

“So don’t you think it’s a little odd that he’s never met you?” He continued, leaning back and crossing his arms. “You’d think meeting your friend’s significant other would be a priority.”

Kyouka pressed her lips together and snorted. “You could just get to the point if you want to say something.”

“Katsuki Bakugou is rather infamous for being the Beta Pro Hero who was too good to talk to Omega,” the girl sitting next to him said. Her face remained blank as she spoke, barely emoting. “Most of the time he pretended we didn’t exist, so you’ll have to forgive us for not jumping to welcome him with open arms.”

“I’m sure it wasn’t that bad,” Kyouka said, glancing between Katsuki and the other four.

“He was never antagonistic,” Momo said, speaking up. She tugged her tea cup closer and took a sip. Her tone remained cold as she spoke, equally as bitter as her companions. “However, it is fair to say that he avoided us as much as possible.”

Katsuki kept his mouth shut.

“Okay then,” Kyouka said. She frowned at the table before clapping her hands together. She sucked in a breath and shot Katsuki a smile. “From what I understand, Katsuki here’s been having one heck of a rough week and Denki asked me to make sure he felt welcome, so that’s what I’m going to do. Katsuki is starting all over again, so there’s no reason we can’t make this a new first impression.

“I’ll start: Hi! My name is Kyouka. I’m twenty years old, and my Quirk is Earphone Jacks.”

“Twenty?” Katsuki asked.

“Yup, I know I’m a little old for Denki but it can’t be helped,” Kyouka said. She put her cheek in her palm and said with an amused smile, “That’s what happens when you get returned a few times.”

Katsuki pressed his lips together.

“We can’t all be like Momo here who had a dowery so high that even her minimum bid was so expensive she had to wait for the youngest Todoroki to come of age,” Kyouka said, continuing. She elbowed Momo in the side. “He was the only Alpha in your price range, wasn’t he?”

“Kyouka!” Momo said, blushing. She slammed her tea cup back down into the saucer and cleared her throat. “Our two families made an arranged marriage early on and you know it.”

“I know, but I can’t help but tease,” Kyouka said, laughing. “Your turn.”

“We are already acquainted,” Momo said.

“New starts,” Kyouka said. “Do it again.”

Momo and Kyouka engaged in a minor stare down and battle of wills before Momo broke first: “Hello, Katsuki. My name is Momo.”

“Good enough,” Kyouka said. She glared at the rest of the table. “Let’s go!”

“Sen,” the male brunette said. He huffed and ran his hand through his short hair. “Nice to meet you.”

“Yui,” the girl with the dark hair said.

The final boy, who’d been quiet so far, said, “Hiryu.”

“And now it’s your turn,” Kyouka said, pointing at Katsuki. “This goes for you, too, buddy.”

Katsuki exhaled and grunted, “Katsuki.”

Eijirou stared at the picture of Bakugou he’d received from Kaminari in a text: sitting with his back straight at a table with Kyouka, Momo, Sen, Yui, and Hiryu. He looked downright miserable.

The accompanied text read: “It is weird as shit to see him sitting over there with them.”

He had to agree with that.

The next four texts that came immediately after said, “Oh, and Deku’s ticked at me. Apparently when said it might be good for Kyouka and Bakugou to hang out he meant later and like on a double date. Not sticking him in an Omega-only room. I don’t know. I know you two are fighting or something but any advice!?”

Eijirou sent back a short “Apologize and don’t do it again.” before he turned off his phone and dropped it on the side of the bed.

“Let me guess: Deku brought Bakugou to Kaminari’s house?” Mina asked, looking up from her magazine. She’d forgone going to the small get-together to hangout with Eijirou while he was still stuck in the hospital room. “You only make that face when you’re really worried and right now Bakugou’s the only one who’s got your attention.”

“Heh,” Eijirou said. He slumped into the bed and grunted. “Am I that obvious about the whole thing?”

“Just a bit,” she said, pinching her fingers together.

Eijirou picked up his phone and opened the picture again. “I can’t help it. This is all my fault and if I’d realized what was going on sooner, then he wouldn’t have gotten exposed.”

“Maybe it’s a good thing you didn’t notice he was in a Heat at first,” Mina said, folding her magazine. She put it on the side of the bed and bit her lip. “If you’d noticed, then you would have also been the only Alpha around—and Bakugou needs a friend out of you more than he needs a mate.”

“Helping an Omega through a Heat doesn’t automatically make you mated,” Eijirou said, turning away. “Casual sex is still a thing, even if it's looked down on.”

Mina reached over and pointed Eijirou’s face back toward her. “Can you really look me in the eye and say you could sleep with someone and leave it casual? You. Especially if it’s someone you care about as much as Bakugou?”

“If I had to—”

“Don’t lie to me Eijirou Kirishima,” Mina said. She crossed her arms and straightened her back in the uncomfortable guest chair. “Could you sleep with Katsuki Bakugou and not get attached more than you should? Would you really look at him the same way afterwards?”

Eijirou folded his hands in his lap and whispered. “I don’t know.”

“Then don’t risk it,” Mina said, leaning over. She pushed his shoulder and sat back. “If he wanted you to be a mate, he would have said something earlier. I know you’re worried, but you’re an Alpha, too, buddy—if you go down the path of helping him out in that way, there’s no way to know if you won’t just turn into another Deku.

“Heck, you’re already halfway there,” Mina said, covering her face. “Or did you forget going wild and screaming ‘He’s mine!’ at Deku on National Television?”

“I didn’t mean it in a mate sense,” Eijirou said, rubbing the side of his arm. At the time he had, but he was in the middle of a challenge fight. Instincts were hard to fight that pumped full of adrenaline and the screaming voice that said “Bakugou was yours first.” Eijirou threw his harms over his face and rolled on his side. “Sometimes I wish I were a Beta.”

“No you don’t,” Mina said, cracking a smile. “You love being a Macho Alpha.”

“Maybe,” Eijirou said.

“You do,” Mina said. She got up and tugged him over for a hug. “Now be a real man and get your priorities straight. Bakugou needs a friend and you’re the best one he’s got. Don’t take that away from him, too.”

“I won’t,” Eijirou said. He hugged her back and squeezed. “Thanks.”

“Any time,” Mina said. She let go and reached over to grab his phone. “Now, what did they actually send you?”

“Mina!” Eijirou said, reaching for it. “Give that back.”

“Nope, mine now,” she said.

As they struggled over the small device, Eijirou considered what she said: She wasn’t wrong.

Eijirou was Bakugou’s best friend, and he was going to stay that way. Midoriya and everyone else would just deal with it.

There was no reason and Alpha and Omega couldn’t just be friends and he was going to prove it.

“You look like you want to ask again,” Kyouka said, setting a plate of cookies down on the table. She plopped back into her chair and poked Katsuki’s side. “Don’t you?”

It felt rude, but he rubbed his hands under the table and asked anyway: “You were returned more than once?”

“Yup!” Kyouka said. The others at the table rolled their eyes, implying that they’ve heard this before—likely more than once if the way Sen dropped his head on the table. “So like, imagine sixteen year old me at a Matchmaking House. I was all bright eyed and ready for the world—and I got picked by some loser who turned out to be a drug dealer looking for a cover because mated Alpha look less suspicious or something.”

Katsuki winced.

“It wasn’t that bad,” Kyouka said, waving her hand back and forth. “It just meant like, I got the bare minimum care because he just wanted to keep up the appearance of being a ‘good Alpha’ and whatever. Guy was a moron, though. I kept telling him he was going to get caught, but I swear you can’t tell some Alpha a damn thing.

“The worst part about that whole ordeal was he was using birth control under the table,” Kyouka said, glaring at the table. She snapped her cookie in two and huffed. “The one good thing that would have come out of all that and I was denied because he didn’t want to deal with kids—which was stupid because I would have been more than happy do to all the work.”

“Which isn’t normal,” Momo added, delicately sipping her tea. “As I’ve reminded you.”

“I know, I’m just saying I would have made it work with or without him,” Kyouka said, sticking out her tongue. She looked back at Katsuki and said, “Anyway, that’s what got him caught. Someone took his ‘It doesn’t matter how many times we try, she just won’t get knocked up’ excuses to heart and asked about it at the Matchmaking House I came from and they got upset because I was perfectly fertile, thank you.

“The point though, is it made them look bad!” Kyouka clapped her hands together and grinned. “So like, they came over to investigate, found his drug stash and boom! He was arrested and I was more than happy to wave goodbye.”

“And that’s when you went back to the Matchmaking House?” Katsuki asked.

“Well, I went to a police station first and got a new Mark so I could break his ‘Don’t rat me out’ Order as evidence, but more or less.” Kyouka crossed her hands on the table. “After him, the next guy was pretty okay, but he was sterile. Which I guess wouldn’t have been so bad, but my baby fever had not diminished at all. I was actually thankful as shit when he got bored and brought me back a couple years later for an exchange.”

“You can do that?” Katsuki asked. The others stared at him the way Dabi did whenever he said something ignorant and he stared them right back down. “I avoided that whole process and anything to do with it as much as possible, so no, I don’t know a lot about it. Back off.”

“Huh,” Kyouka said. She reached over and patted his shoulder. “That’s cool. You missed Finishing School, right? And Sex Ed, too I guess if you were pretending to be a Beta.”

“So I’ve been reminded constantly,” Katsuki muttered under his breath.

“Alpha may return a mate to a Matchmaking House for reasons outside of ‘failure to provide care’ or ‘abuse’ in cases where both Omega and Alpha agree that the relationship is not working,” Momo said. She sipped her tea. “It does not happen often, however, as total, mutual agreement on the return is often difficult to obtain.”

“Of course it is,” Katsuki said, glancing across the room at Deku with the other Alpha.

“But that’s where the frustration ends,” Kyouka said. She grinned like a thousand watt bulb and put her hands on the table. “Because that’s when I met Denki!”

Sen groaned into the table while Yui patted his back.

“I don’t care if you don’t want to hear it again, I’m going to tell him,” Kyouka said. “So I’m sitting there, twenty years old and not the most wanted thing in the room—most Alpha looking for mates are looking for kids and just in case you didn’t know: Your fertility goes down as you get older, so the chances of getting pregnant are like thirty percent by the time you’re twenty.”

Katsuki prayed that if his Heats jumped straight to an older Omega’s level that his fertility rate had too.

“But Denki didn’t care,” Kyouka said, continuing. She wrapped her ear jacks around a finger and pushed her cup across the table. “He saw me and was so smitten at first sight it was adorable. It was like an instant connection.”

Kyouka’s face turned warm and she turned to watch Denki across the room. “We talked for hours and by the end of it, he was so desperate to make sure he was my future Alpha he left the Matchmaking House and scraped together my full dowery instead of waiting for an Auction day.”

“I remember that,” Katsuki said. Kaminari had shown up at his door pleading for cash—Katsuki smacked his hand on the table and turned in his seat. Leaning up he yelled through the dining room and straight at the Alpha in the adjacent room: “Kaminari! You asshole, you still owe me three-hundred thousand yen!”

Kaminari squeaked and stopped mid-conversation. “Babe! Why would you remind him of that?”

Kyouka laughed and Katsuki had a feeling he and she were going to get along just fine.

Chapter Text

By the time Kyouka finished laughing at Katsuki’s retelling of Kaminari on his knees begging for the three-hundred-thousand yen, she wiped a tear from the side of her face and said, “So what do you think? Is third time the charm?”

“Yeah,” Katsuki said, tapping his cup. He looked back out the door at his laughing friend and said, “Kaminari’s an idiot, but he’s a good guy.”

“He sure is,” Kyouka said. She folded her arms on the table and leaned forward. “But enough about us! We’re not the only newly-mated! You and Midoriya have known each other like forever! It’s so surreal to think about being mated to someone you’ve known your whole life.”

“More like it just gave the Alpha more time to get attached and build up that possessive streak,” Sen said, biting into a cookie. He finished off the treat before pointing at his own neck. “A second Mark before the first one even finished healing? Somebody’s been having fun and wants everyone know.”

Katsuki sneered, feeling his own lip curl as he huffed. “You’ve got the possessive part right but even he’s not that bad. The first one was from—”

He lost his voice and stopped. Katsuki tried again: “The first one was from—”

Again, his voice left him. Kyouka and Momo shared a look as Katsuki growled under his breath. He said, “There was this—”

Alpha. There was another Alpha he was technically mated to first who made the Mark. It should have been easy to share but why couldn’t he say it?


“How long do Orders last?” Katsuki asked, putting his hand on the base of his throat.

“It depends,” Yui said.

Momo picked up the explanation with no hint of irritation as she gave a near textbook answer. “Orders typically last for the amount of time intended when given. So if say your Alpha tells you “Don’t Move” and they wanted it to only be for a minute, that’s how long it would last. If they meant a few hours, it would be a few hours. In that regard, since most Orders are ‘in the moment’ so to speak, they tend not to last very long unless they specify an exact time.

“However, sometimes when an Alpha is emotionally compromised it may last longer than intended, due to the force and emotion behind it. Theoretically, an Order could last forever if the Alpha was upset enough.

“Those cases are typically not intentional, save for cases like Kyouka where her first Alpha ordered her not to talk about his shady business. Therefore, it can usually be fixed by politely informing them that the intended result is lasting longer than expected and they can give a new Order to cancel it out.

“Or in an extreme case, you could be Marked by another Alpha and they could attempt to override it, however their success rate will be based on a level of factors based on imprinting and relationships.” Momo folded her hands on the table, calm and proper as ever. “Does that explain the matter?”

“So if shitty Deku was livid and yelled at me to ‘Never speak of something again’, it could—”

“Last indefinitely, yes,” Momo said, finishing for him. Katsuki glared but she seemed to enjoy having the upper hand. “If it’s important, you might want to let him know.”

“No, there’s no point,” Katsuki said, slumping in his chair. “He’s not going to take that Order back.”

“Why not?” Hiryu asked.

“Because Deku’s only marked me once,” Katsuki said. He clicked his tongue on the back of his teeth. “And he’s pretty angry that he was the second one to do it.”

“Say no more,” Sen said. “Believe me when I say we understand, but if you’re looking for pity you’re still barking up the wrong tree. Anyone with eyes can see that you’re going to be spoiled rotten by that guy.”

“He has a point,” Yui said. “Midoriya seems more than willing to move heaven and earth for you if you asked and if his limitations are not talking about a prior relationship, that doesn’t seem to be too much of a bad trade off.”

“Oh, he might move heaven and earth for me, but he’s never going to give me what I really want,” Katsuki said. He stared at a photo on the wall of Kyouka and Kaminari smiling together. He didn’t know how they could look so happy. Katsuki whispered, “I want my suppressants and my Hero license back and there’s nothing he can give me that would make losing those worth it.”

Kyouka reached over and patted his arm, but didn’t say anything. She tugged on her ear jacks, playing with the tips as she stared at the table. Momo, Hiryu, and Sen looked thoughtful, confused, and frustrated in that order.

Yui broke the silence first. “Have you considered seeing a therapist? You appear to have rather significant self-destructive tendencies.”

“What?” Katsuki asked.

“A willful desire to endanger yourself with suppressants and wishing to break the law by circumventing the system to retrieve a Hero license as an Omega would be enough on their own, but it also appears—forgive me for making assumptions—that you provoked a jealous reaction by discussing a previous partner with your current Alpha, agitating him to the point of giving an Order,” Momo said, joining the conversation. Once again, her well of knowledge on the subject surprised Katsuki, even as his stomach twisted from the words she said. “Most of the time when an Omega is self destructive, it’s because their Alpha isn’t giving them enough attention and their self-injuries are a desperate attempt to trigger an Alpha’s need to protect and provide care when they see their mate is injured.

“You however already have your mate’s attention, so this behavior appears to be self destructive without cause,” Momo finished.

“Unless you’re scared of losing his attention, maybe?” Kyouka offered. Katsuki stared at her and clicked his jaw shut. She dropped her ear jacks. “I mean, sometimes it’s really easy to fall into the trap of where you don’t think you're good enough for your Alpha. You could be subconsciously testing him and pushing him as far as he can go by acting out to make sure that he’ll stick around, even when you’re at your worst.”

They didn’t get it.

Katsuki dropped his shoulders and put his face in his hands. They didn’t understand at all. His chest hurt and he got up from the table. “Thanks for the talk, but I think I need to leave now.”

“Okay,” Kyouka said. She stayed seated, looking between Katsuki and the rest of the table. “Don’t be a stranger and we’ll see you later, right?”

“No promises,” Katsuki said. Her face fell and his chest continued to twist. “But probably. I’ve got to do something with all this new free time, right?”

“Yeah,” Kyouka said, though her smile strained to stay on her face through the hint of worry in her eyes.

He waved at the group and walked back into the living room.

Izuku turned as Kacchan’s Scent approached.

Kacchan stopped next to him and grunted, “Can we go?”

“Of course,” Izuku said. Kacchan looked like a thousand bricks were stacked on his back, his expression long and tight. Izuku waved goodbye to the older Pro Hero he’d been speaking with and said, “I’ll catch up with you later, but it looks like it’s time to head out for us.”

“I’ll see you later,” she said.

Izuku gave Kacchan his full attention. “Let’s go.”

Kacchan nodded and walked toward Kaminari’s front door. The two of them left and Izuku burned with a thousand questions. He had thought things were going well over in the other room. They had all been laughing and joking last he checked and Izuku had almost convinced himself he didn’t need to beat Kaminari over the head for jumping the gun.

But now he wasn’t so sure.

“Are you okay, Kacchan?” Izuku asked as they left the house.

“Did you know I was going to get jumped by Kaminari’s mate when we walked in the door?” Kacchan asked, not looking at Izuku.

“No,” Izuku said, resisting the urge to grit his teeth. He rubbed the back of his neck, slumping forward. “I was talking to him about how it might be a good idea for us to maybe have a dinner with just the four of us since he was newly mated, too, and you were already friends so it felt like a good icebreaker.

“But when he asked why I wanted to double date all of a sudden, I said you didn’t have many Omega friends and it might be good for you to make some new ones—but I didn’t tell him to set you up like that.”

“Yeah, that seems like something he would do with that information,” Kacchan said. “Remind me to punch him later, though.”

“I can do that,” Izuku said. The two of them walked back to their apartment, enjoying the good weather despite Kacchan’s sullen mood. Izuku asked, “Did it get too overwhelming? You looked like you were having fun at the start.”

“We have nothing in common,” Kacchan said. He stopped walking and stared at his hands, palms in the air. “And I don’t think I want to, either. I’m never going to be like them.”

Izuku held Kacchan’s hands, his thumbs in the palms. “You don’t need to be. You share biology with them, which is good to have someone who can relate to those things, but you’re allowed to be yourself. Kyouka and Momo aren’t anything alike, are they?”

“This is a little bigger than that,” Kacchan said, hands limp in Izuku’s grasp. “They still all have this deeper thing in common that I’m never going to share.”

“And it makes you feel broken inside, doesn’t it?” Izuku squeezed Kacchan’s hands. He took a step closer and rested his head on Kacchan’s shoulder. He dropped their hands between them, lacing their fingers together, happy Kacchan allowed it. “Even now with One for All, I still sometimes feel that emptiness that came from not having a Quirk and not understanding how it came so naturally to everyone else. It seems shallow to compare it to something like your Class that defines nearly everything that we are, but I know it hurts to feel like that.”

Kacchan rubbed Izuku’s knuckle. “I don’t feel like I’m the broken one. Everyone else is the one who feels like they’ve got a screw loose.”

Izuku grinned into Kacchan’s shoulder. “Give it some time. After a month or two when your body has a real chance to recover from all that suppressant damage, maybe things will start making more sense.”

“And if they don’t?”

“Remember that you’re not alone,” Izuku said. He’d say it a thousand times a day if he had to if it helped Kacchan understand that he didn’t need to burden himself with eventing alone. Izuku kissed Kacchan’s Mark before taking a step back. “Let’s go home, Kacchan. It’s been a long evening.”

“You said it,” Kacchan said.

The two of them returned home in silence, retreating to their respective rooms. As Izuku changed for the night, he couldn’t help but think that some progress had been made.

Katsuki buried under his blankets, covering his head with his pillow. He breathed in, focusing on his own Scent of roses that faded more and more as he acclimated to it and it fell into the background. He forced himself to sweat, bringing the sweet Scent out and onto his pillow and sheets. Katsuki surrounded himself with it.

Anything to replace the smell of cedar.

Chapter Text

Deku smelled good.

Katsuki knew Deku’s Scent inside and out. It’d always been around, even before he’d presented he had known Deku’s Scent. Afterwards, it’d been even fuller and more distinct, like a flashing beacon in the distance, but nothing that caught his attention more than other familiar smells he’d taken to heart like Kirishima’s warm earth or Shouto’s burnt ashes.

It was a constant, but never a distraction.

Last night, something had changed. Standing outside Kaminari’s house, Katsuki had been upset and Deku had walked closer and his Scent was different. Still cedar, but warmer. Calming. Enough that he hadn’t thought to move when Deku grabbed his hands or set his head on Katsuki’s shoulder. He could smell the deep woods in his hair and even in his distress he’d wanted more of it.

The Scent continued to stand out on the way home and when they arrived at the apartment, Katsuki had to stop himself from following Deku into his bedroom to bury himself into the source itself.

He’d thrown himself into his own room afterwards, terrified of his own need to find comfort in that Scent.

It had been attractive and he’d wanted more.

Katsuki screamed into his pillow later that night when his own Scent wasn’t enough to block it all out. The cedar was in his own veins and in every inch of this new place masquerading as home. Katsuki couldn’t escape it.

And half of him didn’t want to.

He’d woken up with morning wood, aroused and aching, for the first time in his life and Katsuki almost threw up. He didn’t remember the dreams but he could still taste the hint of cedar on his tongue and there was no mistaking what had caused that reaction or who he’d been dreaming about.

Katsuki was not some simpering Omega that got hot and bothered from the slightest hint of affection and comfort from an Alpha. He wasn’t. Katsuki swallowed and clutched at his sheets, teeth gritted and willing his problem to go away. Above it all, he certainly wasn’t attracted to Deku.

He turned his head to stare the door and prayed that Deku wasn’t up yet and he could make it to the shower and clean himself before the idiot could notice Katsuki’s arousal.

Izuku could smell Kacchan through the door.

He swallowed and checked off one of the symptoms of heavy suppressant usage: the barrage of uncontrolled pheromones afterwards. Izuku would bet money Kacchan didn’t even know he was releasing them.

Kacchan had always smelled amazing, even more so when his Scent was allowed to escape the confines of his skin, but it had nothing on the sheer smell of sex sinking into the sweet roses and under the door of his room.

Izuku had to leave their apartment, but not before grabbing Kacchan’s pillow while he took a shower.

He hid in the stairwell and shoved his face in the pillow, breathing it in until he was used to it. Izuku calmed himself and acclimated to the new variation of Kacchan’s Scent as best as he could. He had to be able to control himself in case this happened frequently; Izuku couldn’t keep running out of the apartment every time Kacchan smelled extra nice.

One, it told Kacchan he had no self control and worse, it might make Kacchan feel unwanted. Izuku had seen the faces of Omega ignored by their Alpha and he refused to make Kacchan feel that level of rejection.

After twenty minutes, he wandered back into the apartment and ran into Kacchan coming out of the shower, his shirt sticking to slightly wet skin. Izuku licked his lip as they stared at each other and Kacchan stared at the movement. Then, like guilty children with their hands in a cookie dish they both looked away from each other. Kacchan’s eyes fell on the pillow in Izuku’s hand as he avoided his gaze and Izuku watched his muscles tensed.

“Morning?” Izuku asked, like hadn’t stolen a pillow.

“Keep it,” Kacchan said before swallowing and locking himself in his room.

The smell of pheromones continued to linger and Izuku double checked that he went back to work tomorrow.

Two days of waking up to wet dreams of Deku and two days of something musky sneaking into his rose-sugar-whatever Scent and Katsuki might actually be going mad. Whatever he’d done to trigger this sudden burst of arousal and hormones, Katsuki wanted to go back into the past and punch himself for it.

His stomach growled and Katsuki leaned forward, dropping his head onto his pillow-less mattress. He didn’t know why Deku had had his pillow and he didn’t want to know. All he knew is that he saw the widened pupils on Deku’s face and the want that followed. Katsuki had turned into a coward who couldn’t even stand to sit and eat with Deku anymore without feeling a different sort of tug in his gut.

“Kacchan,” Deku said, knocking on his door. “I know you’re embarrassed, but we really need to talk about this.”

“There is nothing to talk about!” Katsuki yelled back.

“This is really normal, Kacchan,” Deku said again. He could just picture the twerp frowning. “I did some research and it’ll stop in a week, I think. Or just keep going and lead into your Heat, it varies from person to person.”

“You didn’t research how to stop it?” Katsuki asked, hugging his blankets. He wasn’t constantly aroused, but every once in a while he’d catch that perfect Scent of cedar and get wet faster than he could curse it. He couldn’t picture being like this twenty-four seven in a Heat. “What help are you?”

“The best way to stop it is to have sex and I’m getting the impression from you locking yourself in your room that you don’t want to do that,” Deku said. He paused before saying, “Though it might be a good idea.”

“Pervert,” Kacchan muttered under his breath.

“No! I mean, yes! I want to sleep with you, but you’ve known that since we were teenagers but that’s not why I brought it up!” Deku said. Katsuki heard the thump of Deku’s head hitting the door. “I mean that it’s been a week and a half since your last Heat, even if it got cut short with a Heat Null, which means you’re due for another one in a week or two.

“That’s going to come up faster than you think, Kacchan. Do you really want our first time to be in the middle of that when neither of us is going to be thinking straight?

“It might be better just to get the awkwardness out of the way, now.” The door rattled as Deku pushed off it. He breathed out and patted the door twice. “We don’t have to do anything, but can we at least talk about it without a wall in the way?”

The brain in his head said “No” but the one much lower down said “Get out there and get laid” and Katsuki settled on a “Fine” through gritted teeth, vowing to compromise: He’d bask in Deku’s Scent for a while and use the memory to jack off later tonight.

He opened the door and followed Deku into the living room, wearing nothing but a loose shirt and his boxers. In hindsight, he should have grabbed some more clothes but things were already miserable without having to turn around and change. Deku took a seat at the kitchen bar and Katsuki stood against the wall. He didn’t trust himself to sit and get too comfortable when he might need to make a dash back for his room.

“You don’t have to be embarrassed you know,” Deku said, folding his arms on the counter. “This is is no worse than puberty, and we all went through that. I mean, if you knew how many awkward nights I spent you’d definitely feel better about unintended pheromones.”

“I really don’t want to know,” Katsuki said, looking away. He could guess the subject matter and he always sort of knew that Deku had to jack off to him, but Katsuki did a good job not thinking about it. Ever. “Do not give me details.”

“So who would you like to have sex with?” Deku asked. For once, there was no hint of jealously—just a hint of dejection in the way his shoulders fell and the tight smile on his face. “If you had a choice?”

“Nobody,” Katsuki said, glaring at the floor. That was one part of growing up he’d actively avoided and felt better for while watching all of his Alpha friends, and even the Beta, succumb to the pining and lust. He’d been more than happy to avoid that nonsense to continue on training. “I never really liked anybody. Mostly I spent my time warding off people like you because if there was anything that would give away I wasn’t a Beta it was sex.”

“Then I hope this doesn’t last too much longer and you get a break before your Heat,” Deku said. “I know I’d be frustrated if I was releasing sex pheromones everywhere while my body readjusted its system.”

“What now?” Katsuki asked.

“Sometimes after extended suppressant usage, the body has to catch up and it’ll release pheromones just to make sure it still can for a while,” Deku said. He tapped a finger on the table. “Why did you think you were releasing pheromones?”

Katsuki swallowed and did his best to ignore Deku’s Scent that still smelled too good to be fair. “I think I’m going back to my room now.”

“Kacchan?” Deku asked. “Before you were embarrassed but now you just look scared. Please talk to me or I can’t help you.”

Something in his heart moved before his head could keep up and Katsuki blurted, “You smell good.”

Deku brightened, eyes wide and smile on his face before he caught the reaction and remembered what they were talking about. He pressed his lips together and looked to the side. “I think you smell good, too.”

“No, you,” Katsuki said, and put his hands in his hair. “I thought I knew your Scent by heart but the other day after Kaminari’s party you started smelling—I don’t know, better! And it’s everywhere and I can’t stop thinking about—”

Katsuki shut his mouth before he said too much more. This was already awkward and Deku still had the absolute gall to smell amazing.

“And you got turned on?” Deku asked, speaking slowly. “That’s why you’ve been releasing pheromones?”

Katsuki knew he was blushing and hated it.

“It makes sense,” Deku said. He bit his lip, looking off to the side. “Before you presented, you didn’t have the hormones needed for a sex drive yet and suppressants pretty much kill everything in your system.”

“Why would that effect Scents, though? They didn’t block my sense of smell.”

“But they did block your reactions to those Scents,” Deku said. He rubbed the back of his neck. “If you weren’t using them, you probably would have been attracted to a lot of people like everyone else.”

Katsuki paled.

Deku got off the counter and walked around it until he was on the same side as Katsuki. He stayed about an arm’s length away but smiled all the same. “I know you think this is embarrassing, but you’ve got nothing on me when I was fifteen.”

“I’m not sure I want to hear about you masturbating to me right now,” Katsuki said, gritting his teeth.

“I did a lot of that, too, but I think you’ll get a kick out of this,” Deku said, laughing. He covered his mouth and leaned on the bar counter. “I had a rather active imagination at the time, but it’s easier to imagine things if you have facts. So in that limbo of time while I was still in the depths of puberty and you hadn’t presented yet, I researched.

“Which led to acquiring a rather impressive collection of Alpha-Alpha porn,” Deku said. Katsuki stared at him and Deku shrugged. “All in physical mediums, by the way. Magazines, DVDs, and other things that were easier to buy with cash and hide.

“But I didn’t do well enough, because my mother found my stash,” Deku said. “All of it. She was cleaning and moved the wrong All Might comic book and it all spilled out onto the floor. Titles such as ‘Alpha to Alpha Naked Brawling’ and ‘Dominance Fest’ were now in her brain, accompanied by some racy cover images.”

Katsuki snorted, dropping his arms and covering his mouth to fight the laugh that bubbled up. He could see the look on Mrs. Midoriya’s face now: Eyes wide, lip quivering, and tears gathering at the sheer horror of it. Katsuki asked, “What did she do?”

“She caught me when I came home from school and handed me the stack in a brown bag,” Deku said. “I’d never been so red before—it was worse than when I walked in on you changing in the locker room. Mom knew why I had those magazines, too, and just said ‘Honey, I love you no matter what, but for the love of all things please be more discrete.'”

“She didn’t,” Katsuki said.

“She did,” Deku said, he shrugged. “I’m not sure who was happier when you presented as a Beta: Me or her. Alpha-Alpha sex is scary stuff. It’s like a full on Dominance brawl every time you want to have sex and I was not looking forward to that, even if I had already decided I’d struggle through it if I needed to.”

“You still watched all of it, didn’t you?” Katsuki asked.

“Guilty,” Deku said. He waved his hand toward his bedroom. “I still have them, too, if you want to see it.”

“I’ll pass,” Katsuki said. “I have this slight suspicion that’s not going to do it for me like it did you, pervert.”

“I am a little bit of one,” Deku said. “My offer still stands, too. I’ll admit to ulterior motives because this is something I’ve wanted forever, but we are eventually going to have sex when your Heat comes. Are you sure that’s what you want to wait for?”

Katsuki didn’t know.

“You’re allowed to want things, Kacchan,” Deku said. He took a step closer, bringing that wretched Scent with him and something new lingered under the surface. Something even better that made Katsuki’s heart beat faster and his palm sweat. “Between suppressants physically stopping you and your own terror trying to hide yourself, you haven’t let yourself want anything.”

“You just want me on my back,” Katsuki whispered, voice heavy. Deku was too close and coming closer. He smelled too good and Katsuki had nowhere to go, trapped between Deku and the wall. The Scent of lust mixed with Cedar and Katsuki wanted to taste it. “Been dreaming about it since you were a teenager, right? Is that what this is? Your opening to finally win?”

“You don’t win and lose at sex, Kacchan,” Deku said. He reached up and put his hands on the back of Katsuki’s neck. “This isn’t a competition. You’re not losing because you decided to let yourself feel something. Making you feel good is what’ll make me feel good.”

“It still feels like losing,” Katsuki whispered.

“Then stop running away,” Deku said. He pushed up and pressed their lips together. Katsuki fell into the kiss, whimpering at the simple contact. Deku whispered, “Let me help you, Kacchan.”

“Yes,” Katsuki said, not sure what part of him answered.

A switch flicked in Deku’s brain and Katsuki almost missed it as his back hit the wall. Deku’s mouth attached to his own again, hot and desperate. He moaned into the deeper kiss, his arousal straining his hips as it begged for motion. Deku pressed his thigh between Katsuki’s legs, putting an agonizing amount of pressure on an area that wanted more. Cedar and rose mixed together, the new Scent doing everything it could to make Katsuki keen for more.

Maybe he’d just been touched starved.

Everywhere Deku touched felt like it burned and Katsuki’s breath heaved as Deku mumbled “Kacchan” over and over into his skin at every place he kissed. Katsuki threw his arms around Deku’s shoulders and whined, moving his hips along the thigh that wouldn’t let him off the wall. He was too desperate for more to be embarrassed.

“Kacchan,” Deku said, before dropping his arms under Katsuki’s thighs and lifting. He practically threw him up in the air, catching him so that Katsuki had to throw his legs around Deku’s waist to stay up. Deku bit his lip with a smile. “Always wanted to do that. Only seems fair I get to carry you around since you got to be the taller one.”

“Shut up,” Katsuki said, feeling his body tremble from the full body contact. “Now what?”

“You’ll see,” Deku said. He walked backwards to the center of the living room, sitting on the middle seat of the couch. Katsuki settled in his lap and Deku held him there by the side of his thighs. “You’re not on your back, right?”

“This is so stupid,” Katsuki said, putting his hands on the couch back and falling forward to press his forehead into the back cushion. He wanted to stop. He wanted more. He didn’t even know what he wanted, but he laughed. “But no, I’m not.”

“I love you so much, Kacchan.” Deku leaned forward and put his forehead on Katsuki’s shoulder, hugging him close and speaking into his chest. Katsuki swallowed as he felt fingers on the front of his boxers, tugging down. He felt the whine build in his throat when the hand stopped. “Can I really do this?”

Katsuki wondered if this is what surrendering felt like; losing himself to another person.

“Please,” Kacchan said, whispering near Izuku’s ear. His arms left the couch back and curled around Izuku’s head and shoulders. He clung like his life depended on it, sitting higher on his knees. “Stop being a damn tease.”

Izuku didn’t need to hear any more.

He dipped his hand inside Kacchan’s boxers, using his fingers to split him open and give that wetness a proper exit. It covered his hand to the palm, sweet and wonderful. Deku’s own aching need grew with each passing second and he focused on the trembling of Kacchan’s thighs as he let his fingers explore.

“Deku,” Kacchan said, fingers digging in so tightly to Izuku’s back that it hurt. His heavy breaths distorted his voice, but it was hard to miss the pleading “Inside” that escaped him, moaned against Izuku’s neck.

He tugged down on the boxers, dragging them down and off Kacchan’s legs before dropping them on the floor. Izuku buried his face into Kacchan’s t-shirt and fumbled with his own pants button. The open air almost stung as his arousal begged for the return of friction. Izuku used his fingers again, dragging Kacchan down and forward until they lined up.

“Tell me if it hurts,” Izuku said, his own heavy breath making it hard to talk.

Kacchan nodded behind him, clinging even tighter and body so hot he felt feverish. Izuku closed his eyes and joined the two of them, sinking into Kacchan as far as he could go. He felt the breath from Kacchan’s gasp and mirrored it with a moan of his own. Izuku felt the tears well in the sides of his eyes as he tried to contain himself.

There weren’t words for how good it felt to be surrounded entirely by Kacchan.

“You okay?” Izuku whispered, rubbing Kacchan’s back.

“Yes,” Kacchan said, hoarse. He shivered. “Move. We should do that.”

Izuku kissed Kacchan’s shoulder again and leaned back. He tugged at Kacchan’s arm so he could see his face. Izuku guided him down to kiss him again, their hips still locked together. Kacchan looked needy and unsure and desperate all in the same lust filled expression. Izuku kissed him again, open mouthed and equally needy.

When Kacchan shifted to hold Deku’s shoulders and keep the kiss going on his own, Izuku held his hips and lifted Kacchan up before pulling him back down. Kacchan moaned into his mouth and he did it again.

They rocked together that way, crammed onto the tiny couch cushion in a steady rhythm, lost in each other.

Kacchan finished first, shouting out and burying his face into Izuku’s throat as he rode out the end of his pulsing insides. His moan that followed was enough to tip Izuku over the edge and he bit Kacchan’s shirt to stop from shouting and ruining Kacchan’s cool down.

They stayed locked together as their breaths slowed, both sinking deeper into the couch even as Izuku softened, still comfortable in Kacchan’s warmth.

Kacchan was the first to move, slipping away from each other at the hip, but not releasing his death grip around Izuku’s shoulders. He slumped to the side, tugging Izuku with him and they curled up together on the couch, still wet and sticky.

“You want to clean up?” Izuku whispered, scared to break the mood but not wanting them to be uncomfortable.

Kacchan shook his head and continued hugging Izuku, face in his neck. “I just want to sleep.”

“You might regret that in the morning,” Izuku said, rubbing Kacchan’s side. “We can get back into bed right after.”

“No,” Kacchan said. He squeezed tighter, tangling their legs together. “I want to stay right here and go to sleep.”

“Okay,” Izuku said. He kissed Kacchan on the forehead and settled down. “But no complaining in the morning.”

“No promises,” Kacchan said.

His breath evened out and he fell asleep. Izuku held him tight and followed him into the nap, so happy his heart felt like it would burst.

Chapter Text

Katsuki felt better than he ever had in his life and he hated it.

He had woken up warm and pliable despite the cramped position he and Deku tangled themselves into sleeping on the couch. No sooner had he scrunched his nose and shifted to inspect the dried mess on his thighs and stomach, Deku grinned and said they should take a shower. He’d whispered in Katsuki’s ear that he’d help clean him up, sending a shiver down his spine and renewed life to his nether regions. At that moment, it hit Katsuki that agreeing to sleep with Deku had kicked open a floodgate of sex.

Because Deku had helped him clean up in the shower, alright—with his tongue.

That smug twerp used his stupid strength to haul Katsuki up the shower wall so he wouldn’t have to kneel. Deku had kissed his way up Katsuki’s thigh and then helped himself with so much enthusiasm Katsuki almost stopped breathing from the surge of new sensations between his legs. He dug his heels into Deku’s shoulder blades and held onto green curls as he tried not to make any more embarrassing noises then he had to while being held literally five feet off the ground.

Katsuki came twice in a row from oral alone and had no idea if Deku had orgasmed or not, but he looked pleased enough that it didn’t really matter. Katsuki turned to jelly, too lost in a euphoric haze to do much more than cling to Deku as he set Katsuki back on the ground and pulled out the soap and rags to clean the two of them off. Katsuki barely recalled or noticed when the water turned off and they got out of the shower.

Deku kissed Katsuki’s neck as they shared a towel to dry off and at some point they got dressed and made it to the kitchen, but it passed in a blur thanks to Katsuki’s daze. Not all of his senses were lost, however, and it was hard not to notice the biggest change between them: Their Scents had intermingled so fully that they smelled identical, like a freaking potpourri bag.

He was torn between agreeing with the new, annoying “Omega” voice in the back of his head yelling “Now do you understand what I’ve been trying to tell you? You two could have been doing that for four years!” and jumping out a window in shame.

“I want to stay home with you so badly,” Deku said, kissing Katsuki’s temple while he set down a plate of eggs and bacon. He hugged Katsuki around the shoulder and nuzzled Katsuki’s hair. “But I really can’t miss another patrol.”

That brought down the high, remembering Deku would be going on Patrol alone.

But Katsuki kept his mouth shut, for once listening to the same nagging voice in his head that said “Keep your Alpha in a good mood, you idiot.”

It’d grown too loud to ignore and that scared Katsuki more than Deku himself.

“Are you going to be okay alone all day?” Deku asked. He started in on his own breakfast, eyes half on the clock as the time that he needed to leave quickly approached. “I can’t stay, but I could call someone else who’s home during the day.”

“Like who?” Katsuki asked, cutting his eggs in half with the fork. “Everyone I know is working like you.”

Deku winced, biting the side of his lip. He burst into a grin after a short thought and said, “What about Kyouka? You two got along alright before, right? Kaminari said she’s still sort of bored at home because she hasn’t figured out a job she wants to do yet. Maybe you two could talk about that since you’re kind of looking too now, right?”

“Sure,” Katsuki said, eating his eggs. He didn’t want to think of new jobs yet, but the chance to get out of the apartment was something he did want. “I owe her an apology anyway.”

“I’ll give Kaminari a call then,” Deku said. “He can drop her off—”

“Actually,” Katsuki said, interrupting. The voice kept yelling louder to sit and be quiet, but Katsuki wanted to fight it if even a little. He pushed his plate away. “I was thinking if we were going to hang out, we could go to the mall or something. It’d be nice to get out of the apartment.”

“Just the two of you?” Deku asked, hesitant but not entirely unreceptive to the idea.

Katsuki pushed, willing to play the Omega game if it meant escaping for some fresh air to clear his head away from Deku for a while. He needed real time to think now that his body was betraying him. “Yeah, I mean. What’s going to happen? My Quirk can handle just about anything and even without that I smell so much like you at the moment I don’t think anyone would walk within ten feet of us.”

“That’s true,” Deku said, shoulders relaxing. Katsuki could almost feel his Alpha pride perk up from the tiny acknowledgment of their mating. “As long as Kaminari is fine with it, I don’t see a problem.”

“Perfect,” Katsuki said. He tugged his plate back over and finished eating. “I can go pick her up.”

“I’m glad you’re making more friends,” Deku said. He cleaned up the dishes and texted Kaminari on his way to the kitchen. He confirmed, as Katsuki knew he would, and Deku put his things away before grabbing his work bag. Katsuki saw him to the door and Deku tugged him down by the front of his shirt for a kiss before he said, “Have a good time. Call me if anything happens.”

“Sure,” Katsuki said.

After the door shut, Katsuki leaned his forehead against it and breathed out. What was happening to him?

“Wow,” Kyouka said, stepping out of the door. She locked it behind her and gave Katsuki a once over with her eyes. She poked the hickey on the side of his neck above his Mark and covered her nose to indicate she’d noticed the new Scent. “Someone had fun last night. Or was it this morning?”

Katsuki glared.

“Or maybe both?” She asked. His palms smoked at his side as his cheeks heated and she held her hands up in surrender. Kyouka winked at him and tapped down the street, her bolero jacket flapping in the breeze. “Okay, okay! No more teasing.”

“Thanks,” Katsuki said, shoving his hands in his pockets. They strolled side by side as they walked to the station to catch the train into town. “It’s already weird enough as it is.”

“Really?” Kyouka asked. She tugged on her ear jack, looping it around her finger. “I never would have guessed with you smelling like that.”

“What are you talking about?” Katsuki asked. He sniffed his wrist, once again taking in the potpourri Scent. “Isn’t that because of the sex?”

“I am becoming concerned about how little you know,” Kyouka said. “None of this came up at all in regular conversation with even your Alpha friends?”

“Look, mating was a touchy subject since Deku’d been courting me since we were like sixteen, so they knew not to talk about it or anything related to it when I was around.” Katsuki slumped his shoulders forward as they arrived in the station and swiped his card. He and Kyouka got on the train and took a seat. She continued staring at him and he rested his head on the glass. “And I wasn’t kidding the other day. I honestly avoided everything I could that had to do with Classes and Class behavior because I didn’t want to think about it and with my suppressants I never had to.”

“That’s a little sad,” Kyouka said. Katsuki huffed and she waved her hand back and forth. “Not in like a pathetic way, but I just feel like you’ve been missing out on a lot of the nice things, too.”

Katsuki grunted, deciding not to pick a fight over that topic. He rubbed his arm and changed the subject, “So the Scent thing wasn’t just because we had sex?”

“Yes and no. Scents don’t usually mix until you’ve been together a while. For newly-mated pairs, after sex they both end up smelling like the Alpha as part of the claiming process. It’s sort of a big, ‘this is mine’ thing that compliments a Mark and to ward off other interested Alpha.” Kyouka rubbed the inside of her wrist and leaned on the back of the train car as they sped along. “The Alpha won’t stop overpowering the Omega’s scent until there’s a complete trust and faith that the two of them are staying together, or rather, when they’re sure the Omega is sticking with them by choice.

“To be frank, most newly-mated couples don’t reach that point until at least five or six months to a year into the relationship, but you two have only been together a week and a half. Deku must trust you a lot if he’s already mixing Scents.”

“Well, shit,” Katsuki said, sinking into the bench seat of the train.

Kyouka tugged her ear jack, aware of the rising tension. “So, changing topics: What’d you actually want to do today?”

Katsuki said, “Anything that doesn’t have to do with Deku or Alpha.”

“I think I can handle that,” Kyouka said. She reached over and patted Katsuki’s leg. “Let’s get your mind off things with some good, old fashioned mall shopping.”

“Sure can’t hurt,” Katsuki said, closing his eyes as he waited out the end of the train ride.

Trust. If that was true, it felt undeserved.

A few hours later and Katsuki hadn’t found much to buy for himself in the way of shopping, despite having the ability to pay for things again. Deku had gotten his name back on his bank account, but it still stung knowing it was a joint account now and not just his own.

He did however help Kyouka pick out a few outfits, putting the skills his Fashion Designer father had instilled in him to the test. His chest squeezed as he thought of his father and mother still under house arrest for their “crimes,” but he couldn’t help them any more than he could help himself at the moment. Distracting himself by helping Kyouka pick out outfits that matched Kaminari’s Hero Uniform—while still looking good on her—helped.

By the time she had three or four full new sets of clothes, they strolled through the rest of the mall on a leisurely walk. Deku’s Scent & Mark had their intended effect as well, and almost everyone who wasn’t a Beta gave Katsuki and Kyouka a wide berth. He got a few pointed looks and gossipy whispers from people who recognized him, but for the most part they were left alone. Katsuki and Kyouka chatted about minor things, both aware of how little they had in common but trying to make the conversation work.

Mostly Kyouka asked about Kaminari.

“His Quirk really did that to him?” She asked, giggling around her hand. Katsuki nodding, confirming the infamous IQ drop that followed a full blast of his Quirk. Kyouka snickered, bright and happy. “Now I know why he doesn’t talk about his school days that much.”

“He had to get a handle on it sometime,” Katsuki said, paying for two coffee and a small bag of roasted almonds to share. He handed Kyouka her cup and the two of them made their way to the small seating area on the side of the building. “Or else he’d be sort of useless as a Pro Hero with a Quirk that knocked him out every time he used it.”

“Gosh, I still can’t believe it some days,” Kyouka said, sipping her coffee and snatching an almond. “Being mated to a Pro Hero is surreal. I never thought in a million years I’d get to be with someone so high status, let alone get to know all of his friends, too!”

Katsuki grunted, thinking of his ex-fans that he used to ignore back in the day. Ground Zero didn’t have time for admirers and the masses outside of rescues and stopping crime. He’d always stood next to the top of the pack, so he never felt that full awe of standing next to a Pro Hero—save for All Might, of course.

He was always the exception.

“That’s a nice smile,” Kyouka said. “Thinking of something good?”

“You could say that,” Katsuki said, tapping his finger on the table. He ate a handful of almonds and sipped his coffee. He watched the crowds of people walk by, feeling the breeze in his hair. “I’m glad we came out. I don’t think I could have taken another day locked in the apartment.”

“Don’t I know it,” Kyouka said. She groaned and stretched her arms out over the tabletop as she leaned on it. “My other two Alpha were big on the whole traditional House Omega thing, so I pretty much had to stay home and play housekeeper all the time.

“Denki doesn’t mind if I work though, so I was really excited when I had some other options aside from being bored and watching TV all day.” Kyouka scooted back and folded her arms on the table. “But now I’ve got all these options and I can’t decide what to pick. There’s so much I want to try, which is difficult enough, but also finding jobs that are Heat friendly is harder than I thought.”

“I imagine dropping off the face of the earth for a week and a half every month makes it difficult, yeah,” Katsuki said, already not looking forward to that nightmare himself. His own time was ticking down to his first one with an Alpha. Deku or not, he hated to admit he was still nervous. “What was on your list to pick from?”

“I was thinking of taking up music lessons again,” Kyouka said. “I used to play guitar when I was little and never had time for it.”

“Heh,” Katsuki said, relieved at having at least one topic in common. Music he could handle. “That’s fun. I had percussion lessons when I was younger and got pretty good on the drum kit. I haven’t played in a while, but I bet I still remember it.”

“That’s awesome,” Kyouka said. She waved her finger back and forth and said, “Every good band needs a great percussionist.”

Katsuki sipped his coffee and froze. He slowly put the cup back on the table and said, “Kyouka, don’t move and don’t talk.”

“Let’s not be like that,” Dabi said, strolling forward from his place just beyond Kyouka. He tugged out the third chair at the table and sat between Katsuki and Kyouka, his face mostly obscured by a hoodie. He blew a puff of smoke over the table and laughed. “Introduce me to your new friend, Kacchan.”

“Don’t call me that,” Katsuki said.

“I’ll call you what I want,” Dabi said, snuffing out his cigarette in the middle of the table. “Introduce your friend.”

Katsuki debated using his Quirk, but a small part of him was grateful to see Dabi.

He wondered if he should listen to it.

Chapter Text

Katsuki stared down the new stranger with a weird mix of gratefulness and wary as the expressions switched on his face. They clearly knew each other, though, and Kyouka felt like a third wheel sitting next to them.

“Well?” The man asked, leaning toward Kyouka but with his eyes on Katsuki. “Let’s all play nice.”

“Kyouka, this is Dabi and he’s an asshole,” Katsuki said, gritting his teeth and glancing around to judge the attention of the crowd. Most kept walking by, not paying attention to the man in the hoodie or intentionally avoiding them like they had been all day due to Katsuki’s current Scent. “Dabi, this is Kyouka and she has nothing to do with anything between us.”

Dabi flicked his cigarette butt over, spreading the ashes around the table. “Really? That’s all you’re going to tell her about me?”

Kyouka physically felt the irritation but Katsuki gritted his teeth and breathed out with a heavy sigh. “Kyouka, this is Dabi and he’s part of the League of Villains’ inner circle and is dangerous so let me handle the conversation.”

Dabi’s eyes widened a fraction and his smile turned genuine but still sly and amused. “I love that’s the first place your mind went.”

Katsuki said, “Huh?”

“Don’t worry about it,” Dabi said. He leaned back in his chair, crossing his ankles under the table.

Kyouka clung to that honest confusion on Katsuki’s part and the casual response back, because it was the only thing keeping her from getting up and sprinting. The League of Villains were not two-bit crooks or pickpockets. She was sitting at a table with a Professional Villain with no Scent and even though she knew Katsuki had been a Pro Hero, he also hadn’t exactly been in his right mind all day with his stress over Deku.

“What are you doing here, anyway?” Katsuki asked. He picked up his coffee, taking a sip and using it to continue to scan the area. “I didn’t think I’d see you again.”

“A little birdie told me they spotted you off your leash in the park and I had to see it for myself. You must have been a good boy.” Dabi stretched his mouth into a grin and the light from the afternoon sun reflected off his stitches. “Did your Alpha tell you that too when you earned that lovely new Scent of yours?”

“Fuck off,” Katsuki hissed.

“I also came by to see how the newly-mated life was treating you, but I think you’ve already answered with that response,” Dabi said. He held his arms out, still smiling as he sat up. He leaned in the middle of the table his elbow close to Kyouka. “Which is why I’m here: I came to pick you up.”

Kyouka and Katsuki both froze.

“So let’s get out of here already before we start actually drawing attention,” Dabi said when neither of the two Omega moved. He turned to Kyouka and lifted a hand. “It was nice meeting you, but I need to steal your date.”

“Katsuki,” Kyouka said. Speaking up felt stupid but she had to. “You’re not going with him, right?”

“Sweetie, it’s cute that you’re worried but the adults are talking right now,” Dabi said. He reached over and patted Kyouka on the head and she smacked his hand away, Villain or not. He shook it off and laughed. “Cute.”

“Don’t touch me,” Kyouka said. “And you’re crazy if you think you can come over here and take him. He’s mated to Deku!”

“Believe me,” Dabi said, his glare turning dark. “I know.”

“She’s right, though,” Katsuki said, staring at the table. His hand trembled and he grabbed it into a fist to stop the weakness from showing. “He put Kirishima into the ICU for trying to take me and he likes Kirishima.

“He’d kill you,” Katsuki said, breathing out as the truth of that statement hit him.

Deku would murder them.

That was fact.

Deku would have reacted badly before as it is, but now he and Katsuki had slept together. They were properly mated now and his reaction to someone else touching what was “his” would be a thousand times worse. As much as Katsuki hated the League on his best days, he didn’t even want to picture what Deku would do to them if he went truly wild.

But that was only half of his issue.

While one part of his brain screamed for him to listen and get away while he could, the other half felt like it was smacking a sledgehammer into his brain with a self imposed Order of “Stay with your Alpha.”

The inner voice and the terror of Deku going on a murder spree made his final decision, no matter what conflict stirred in his heart.

“It’s not worth it,” Katsuki said, wincing under the strain of his own growing headache. He dragged his hands through his hair and stared at the table top. “I appreciate you coming to do this, but I can’t go with you.”

“Fuck,” Dabi said, half under his breath. He leaned his head back, revealing a fraction more of his face and the look of pity that fell upon it. “I told Shigaraki it wouldn’t take two weeks to break someone in. Even a guy like you has his limits.”

“I am not broken,” Katsuki said. He smacked his fist on the table and growled. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Dabi’s expression turned cold and said, “I do.”

“We should leave,” Kyouka whispered from across the table, butting into the conversation. He could feel her growing panic and his training kicked back in. Katsuki couldn’t get too lost in himself with someone innocent at the table. “We’re in public and we can just walk away.”

“It’s cute she thinks I held this meeting in public to keep you from making a scene,” Dabi said. Faster than Katsuki could move, he threw his arm around Kyouka’s shoulder and tugged her into a half-hug, squashing her against his side. “But it is time to walk away. You and me, Kacchan, have a date with a certain Warp Gate Villain about twenty feet that way.”

Dabi nodded his head toward an alley just on the other side of the nearest store. Katsuki gritted his teeth and judged the distance between him and Dabi. If he used his Quirk at just the right moment—

“If you don’t, I’m going to light this entire city block on fire,” Dabi said. He kept his arm tight around Kyouka and grabbed her Ear jacks with his hand when it looked like she was going to use them to stab him. He squeezed and she winced. “She’ll be at the center of the explosion, Ground Zero. Won’t that be fun?”

Katsuki’s palms smoked.

“You and I both know rule one of handling Villains with Quirks that have a large spread is to never let them get close to civilians because you can’t move fast enough to stop them,” Dabi said. He stood up, dragging Kyouka with him, still too close for Katsuki to split them before he lit himself up like a bonfire. “Being mated has made you sloppy, hasn’t it? So let’s talk a walk and get out of here before it has a chance to get worse. What do you say?”

Katsuki stood up from the table, breathing heavily. He wanted to smack Dabi’s face in but his heart kept beating in his chest loud and clear and screaming “We’re leaving!”

Posing like a boyfriend, Dabi kept his arm over Kyouka’s shoulder and walked her toward the back alley, still playing with her ear jacks. Katsuki wanted to rip him off, but didn’t want to risk it. Dabi killed people for fun and this was no exception. Katsuki couldn’t afford to let Kyouka get hurt because of his own bad choices.

He watched Kyouka’s shivers increase as they hit the back alley and she spotted Kurogiri, waiting patiently by the wall. His Quirk shivered and flexed as he turned his head, toward the approaching guests.

“You seem to have a tag-a-long,” Kurogiri said, glancing at Kyouka.

“Nothing to worry about, but it is time to go. If you would,” Dabi said, smiling. He turned to Katsuki and held out a hand to the portal Kurogiri formed. “After you.”

“Let Kyouka go,” Katsuki said. He looked the other Omega in the eye and did his best to reassure her she’d be fine, but her expression only screamed frustration and anger. Katsuki had to look away and turned back to Dabi. “She is not coming with us and I don’t trust you to do it after I walk through.”

Dabi stared him down before shrugging. “That’s fair.”

He took his arm off Kyouka and shoved her behind him, throwing her on the ground. “Run along, sweetie.”

She got up, ignoring her scraped palms, and stared at Katsuki. “What are you doing? Come with me!”

“He’s not going with you,” Dabi said, taking a step closer to Katsuki. He shoved his hands in his pockets and said. “Go home to your Alpha and leave us be.”


“Go home, Kyouka,” Katsuki said, cutting her off. His palms sweat and his breath felt heavy standing so close to the thing of his nightmares for a year and a half when he was younger. “I’ll be fine.”

“You are not fine!” Kyouka shouted.

Dabi threw a fireball at her feet and she yelped, falling back. He pointed a finger and said, “You are still within my range and Mr. Ground Zero here knows that. So be a good girl and get out of here before I decide to have some fun before we leave because frankly, he’s the only one who actually cares about what happens to you.”

“I’ll get help,” Kyouka said before turning on her heel and sprinting.

Katsuki stared at her back as she ran and wondered if he should follow. It wouldn’t be hard to use his Quirk now, even if Dabi did start a fire-fight in the middle of downtown. He looked at his hand and wondered why he hadn’t yet.

“Let’s get you fixed up,” Dabi said.

No sooner has he made that statement, he shoved Katsuki through Kurogiri’s portal hard enough that Katsuki tripped on the other side.

Before he hit the concrete, he was grappled by two strong arms and lifted off the ground. He heard Toga shout “Gotcha!” before she slammed a pair of heavy, Quirk-resistant cuffs on his hands.

Twice dropped him, throwing him on his side. The heavy weights on his wrists threw him off balance and Katsuki hit his knees, wincing under the impact. His cuffs chipped the floor under him as they hit, nearly knocking him over.

“Are you kidding!” Katsuki yelled, glaring at the shackles on his arms. He snarled, “I am getting so fucking sick of these damn things. Someone take these off right now before I rip all of you apart with my teeth if I have to!”

A pair of red shoes that definitely did not belong to Deku stepped into his line of sight and Katsuki snapped his mouth shut. The familiar Scent of sandalwood filled his nose and he screamed on the inside that he was an adult and not a terrified teenager.

“Don’t worry,” Tomura Shigaraki said, staring down at Katsuki on his knees. He grinned, showing off his own Alpha canines through cracked lips. “They’re only temporary.”

Chapter Text

“Quiet patrols are the best,” Denki said, stretching his arms high over his head. He leaned back until his spine popped and dropped them back down to put his hands on his hips. “Don’t you think so?”

“They are rather pleasant,” Iida said, his voice muffled slightly by the helmet on his costume. The clank of his armor kept a steady beat as they strolled down the sidewalk of the busy street. “It means that all is as it should be.”

“Heck yeah,” Denki said. He and Iida continued their light patrol for another few minutes before his phone rang with a familiar tune that identified the caller. Iida turned his head toward him and Denki shrugged. “Sorry, gotta’ take this.”

He tugged out his phone and said, “What’s up, babe?”

“They took Katsuki!” Kyouka yelled, her voice choked. “They took him and I don’t know what to do.”

“Babe, calm down,” Denki said, stopping on the side of the street. He had never heard her so panicked before. “Say that again. And are you okay?”

“I’m fine! Katsuki’s the one in trouble. There was this guy named Dabi and Katsuki seemed to know him and said he was in the League of Villains,” Kyouka said, breath heavy as she spit out the words. “And then he threatened to light the block on fire and kill me with his Quirk if Katsuki didn’t go with him and then they left with Katsuki using a misty guy’s Quirk! They took him!”

“Shit,” Denki said, slowly processing the blurted summary of events. This was so bad he didn’t even know where to start. But as worried as he was about his buddy, there was damage control to be done first. He breathed out and asked, “Have you told or contacted anyone else?”

“No, it just happened. You’re the first person I called,” Kyouka said, he heard her sniff and it broke his heart. “Was that the wrong thing to do?”

“No, you were perfect. You did the exact right thing for this,” Denki said, speaking fast. “Tell me where you are, and I’ll come get you, alright?”

“I’m outside a small café near the park,” Kyouka said. “The alley where they took Katsuki is around the corner.”

“Stay right there, I’m on the other side of town and I’ll be there in like twenty minutes,” Denki said.

“But what about Katsuki?” Kyouka asked. “That’s a long time!”

“I am going to call for more help on the way and Bakugou can handle himself, so I’m sure it’ll be okay,” Denki said. He hoped. Denki wasn’t stupid enough to believe that there wasn’t a connection between the League of Villains popping up to kidnap the guy again after he was revealed on national television to be an Omega, which meant there was a gut-wrenching chance they might abuse that fact. He had to hurry, but they had to take care of one big thing first. “Do not call anyone else, okay?”

“Okay,” Kyouka said. “But what about Deku? Shouldn’t we tell his mate?”

“Absolutely not. Don’t tell anyone else yet and especially not Deku,” Denki said, picking up his pace as he jogged down the sidewalk. He waved at Iida to follow and the other Pro Hero did so without complaint. Denki repeated himself a third time to get it across: “Absolutely, do not call Deku.”

“Alright, if that’s what you want,” Kyouka said, hesitant. “I’ll be waiting then.”

“I’ll be there soon,” Denki said. He pulled his phone away, ending the call and shouted, “Shit!”

“What happened?” Iida asked.

Denki groaned under his breath and cursed his luck. This was supposed to be a nice, quiet patrol! “The League of Villains took Bakugou.”

“Ah,” Iida said. Denki didn’t need to see his face to know that he winced. “I suspect Midoriya will take that information even worse than the last time Bakugou was apprehended by the League of Villains.”

“No shit,” Denki said. He pulled out his phone and dialed his head agency. “They’re going to have to sedate him through all of this. Who knows what the hell he’ll do if we don’t get Bakugou back before Deku finds out he’s missing.”

“I imagine a great deal of property damage and loss of life,” Iida said.

“And that’s if we’re lucky,” Denki said. He had seen what Deku did to Kirishima when Bakugou was in safe hands and Deku still appeared semi-conscious through the rage and haze of instinct. Deku would be uncontrollable if he found out his mate was in actual danger. “I’m calling it in. If we move fast enough maybe they can sedate Deku before he knows what’s happening.”

“And then let us pray we find Bakugou quickly,” Iida said.

Denki listened to the ring on the other end of the line as he waited for someone to pick up. “We will.”

They had to.

Dabi had no misconceptions about what sort of man he had become in life.

“You didn’t think I’d forgotten about you all these years, did you?” Shigaraki asked, pressing Bakugou’s face into the concrete floor by the back of the neck. The ex-Pro Hero shivered, aware of the consequences should Shigaraki drop his pinky to join the other four fingers. “Just look at you now.”

Which is why Dabi let Shigaraki do what he wanted.

This had always been a gamble from the start.

“You weren’t my first failure as a Villain,” Shigaraki said, squeezing Bakugou’s neck and dragging his face across the floor. Small scratches lined his cheek, reddening the skin. Shigaraki leaned forward, dropping his knee onto the concrete. He whispered near Bakugou’s ear with chapped lips. “But that was the first mission that cost me more than any other failure. My Master is still locked up, you know.”

“Like he should be,” Bakugou grunted, eyes furious.

“The funny thing about that,” Shigaraki said, tapping his index finger up and down. “Is that there’s a few people who would say the same about you. “A rebellious little Omega like you running away with Villains? Cleary your Alpha should have used a shorter leash and kept you back in the house where you belong.”

Bakugou gritted his teeth together so hard, Dabi was surprised they didn’t break.

“But I’m not those people,” Shigaraki said. He stood, lifting Bakugou with him. Using strength the Alpha hid well under lanky limbs, he set Bakugou on his knees, still holding him tight around the back of the neck. “And I’m torn between making you suffer for my Master’s loss and lamenting your continued, wasted potential.”

Dabi caught Bakugou’s gaze and forced himself to keep eye contact. The other Omega’s eyes screamed “You set me up” but he kept his mouth shut because he knew better than to say out loud something he already should have known.

Besides, this was the lesser of two evils and Bakugou would figure that out soon enough after the anger faded.

“At least I can compromise,” Shigaraki said. He leaned on Bakugou’s back, reaching around to his front. He touched all five fingers of his free hand to the shackles. His Decay did its job, releasing Bakugou’s hands and forming a pile of dust at his knees. The hand still around his neck kept the explosive Quirk in check. “I would recommend that you don’t flinch.”

Dabi watched Shigaraki sniff Bakugou’s neck, glad it was just the three of them in the room.

Bakugou would have never lived this down if anyone else in the League were watching.

No two Alpha’s venom was exactly alike.

Katsuki’s mother had told him so when he was very young, before he had any worries about Class or any doubts that he’d be anything other than an Alpha like his mother.

“It’s unique as a fingerprint,” his mother had said. She picked Katsuki up and sat him on her lap as they watched television. His father worked on sketches at the kitchen table, next to a vase of roses. His mother nuzzled his hair and grinned into it. “And if you’re an Alpha when you grow up, you’ll have venom of your own.”

“What’s it for?” Katsuki asked, eight and curious.

His mother hummed under her breath, licking the side of her lip. Katsuki had recognized that as the sign of “There was something she wanted to say that was too grown-up for Katsuki right now” and she needed to think of a way to put it he’d understand.

After a minute she poked him in the nose and said, “It’s like a promise between an Alpha and Omega. It bonds them together, almost like a magic spell, and shows that they belong to each other.”

“Is that why so many Omega have Marks?” Katsuki asked.

“Yup!” His mother answered. “It’s tradition to Mark your mate when you spend your first Heat together.”

Katsuki scrunched his nose. “What’s a Heat?”

His father laughed from the other room as his mother sputtered, trying to come up with a kid friendly answer that ultimately ended up as the typical cop-out answer of “You’ll know when you’re older.”

Katsuki had learned a lot of things when he’d gotten older, including becoming very familiar with that “bond” venom formed.

His first mate’s venom had burned, like hot, slick grease. It crawled like an insect under his skin, forceful and almost sentient in its awareness that the Omega it entered wanted to fight its hold.

Deku’s venom had been so familiar, Katsuki almost hadn’t noticed it was there. It didn’t feel bad or good, but it was everywhere and inescapable—just like the source. Katsuki had half submitted to that one, knowing it was pointless to fight the Alpha at the time, so he imagined that’s why it had been overall more tolerable.

Shigaraki’s venom felt like pure rot.

The Alpha’s teeth sunk deep into the flesh of his shoulder, aggravating the still healing wounds of both his first mate & Deku’s Marks. Katsuki wanted to scream but the sound stayed locked in his throat, constricted by the choking grip of Shigaraki’s tightened hand. It hurt a thousand times worse than his first Mark, the fear mixing with the feeling that his veins were decaying from the inside out.

Katsuki couldn’t believe there was ever a point in time he wanted to be an Alpha.

“There we go,” Shigaraki said, licking Katsuki’s shoulder. He let go and stood up taking a full step away from Katsuki, who shivered so hard he almost fell forward, arms wrapped around himself. He told himself over and over his veins were fine. He wasn’t falling apart—not physically, anyway. Shigaraki patted his head, fingers digging deep in Katsuki’s hair. “Let’s get some ground rules out of the way.”

The Orders came simple and clipped: “Do not use your Quirk against myself or any of the other League members at any point unless I tell you to. Do not contact anyone outside of the League. Do not leave the hideout without my explicit permission. Do not attempt to sabotage any League business. I am in charge here and you will follow my commands, Order or not.

“Lastly,” Shigaraki said. He yanked Katsuki’s head back by the hair and grinned. “Your next Heat is with me, so don’t bother looking for anyone else.”

Katsuki resisted the urge to spit in his face.

“Otherwise, have some fun,” Shigaraki said, letting go of his hair. He patted Katsuki on the side of the cheek with the back of his knuckles and walked away without a second glance.

The door to the small warehouse room slammed shut and Katsuki got to his feet, fighting the tremble in his limbs.

Dabi licked the side of his lip and said, “That went better than I thought.”

Katsuki decked Dabi hard enough to knock his head into the wall behind him.

Shigaraki had only said he wasn’t allowed to use his Quirk.

Izuku usually liked to trust his gut.

“Deku!” Uraraka said, dressed in her Uravity costume. He tugged back his hood and pulled down his mask as she pressed her hands together. She was out of breath, like she’d rushed there. “I’m glad I caught you before your patrol was over.”

But he wasn’t quite sure why Uraraka was giving him such a bad feeling.

“Is something the matter?” Izuku asked. They had moved to the side of the agency building. She’d caught him just as he was about to clock out for the day and while while he was glad to see her, he had wanted to get home to Kacchan more. But, her smile felt strained and her eyes were locked with his and he couldn’t fight the growing worry. “Did something happen?”

“Deku,” Uraraka said, she swallowed thickly and took a few steps closer. Her helmet nearly pressed into his nose as she whispered, “I’m really sorry.”

Uraraka shot both hands forward, activating her Quirk on Izuku’s chest. She pushed him back and up and he rolled over once as gravity left him. Floating upside down, he turned his head to see Uraraka shout, “Now!”

The first dart hit him straight in the vein with enough accuracy that Snipe had to be behind it. The second and third told him that something was very wrong and they weren’t risking One for All overriding the sedation.

“I’m sorry,” Uraraka kept whispering, not releasing her Quirk’s effect.

Izuku felt his eyes drop, but he struggled to stay conscious. There weren’t many reasons to prematurely sedate an Alpha, especially not a Pro Hero. Typically it meant that something had happened to their—

“Where’s Kacchan!” Izuku roared straight through the sedative.

“Glad to get that out of your system?” Dabi asked, holding his jaw. He felt up along the stitches and counted under his breath. “But so help me if you knocked a stitch out, you’re the one paying the Doc to fix it.”

“How is he?” Katsuki asked, sprawled out on the floor and staring at the ceiling. Dabi hadn’t used his Quirk to play “fair” but he hadn’t exactly held back either. They’d both gotten a few good punches in before Katsuki felt too tired to keep hitting him. “No one tracked me back to him, right? I didn’t mention him, but who knows what they got off those pill bottles.”

“No one came knocking on his door, but he did switch locations just in case,” Dabi said. He slumped down the wall and crossed one ankle over the other. “Word’s getting around about his new place for his loyal regulars.”

Katsuki grunted and covered his eyes.

He listened to the shuffle of Dabi’s coat as he moved about. A lighter clicked and the smell of smoke filled the room.

Katsuki pulled his arms away from his face. He reached a hand up, covering the mess of raw, bruised flesh that the space between his neck and shoulder had turned into. “Why am I really here?”

“Because Shigaraki’s humoring me,” Dabi said. He blew out a puff of smoke. “When I saw on the news what happened to you, all I could think about was that night in the bar and how terrified you were of Midoriya. Add in our game of phone tag we had that went horribly wrong and leaving it all alone didn’t feel right.

“I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask Shigaraki if I could borrow Kurogiri to go get you and he said sure,” Dabi said. “I had to wait for an opening and here we are. But if you want to know what Shigaraki’s specific plans for you are, I don’t have a clue. Whatever they are, you’re still better off here with him than with Deku.”

“I’m calling bullshit,” Katsuki said. He squeezed his shoulder hard enough to reopen the wound. The trickle of blood coated his fingers and he yelled, “I would have been better off alone!”

But if he had to pick between Deku and Shigaraki, Katsuki would have taken Deku.

Yeah he was a part of Katsuki’s “Can’t be a Pro Hero anymore” woes, and boy did he not understand, but at least he was trying. He’d let Katsuki get away with shit Katsuki knew for a fact no other Alpha would. Between trashing the apartment and the tantrums locking himself in his room, most would have been more proactive on making sure Katsuki “Got with the program” like his first mate. Deku hadn’t even pressed for sex until a week and a half into their mating, which was literally unheard of for newly mated couples unless the Omega was severely, genuinely abused—of which Katsuki was not.

Shigaraki had already proven he was an Alpha that needed to assert his authority and be in charge, so Katsuki wasn’t seeing how any of this was “Better.”

“I was hoping you’d have figured this out by now, but I guess I can give you a head’s up.” Dabi blew a puff of smoke out. “Fact: Omega don’t do single and that’s why for about ninety percent of us, the Matchmaking House system works great. The longer an Omega goes without an Alpha, the twitchier and more desperate they get.

“I’m sure you noticed that when I offered to pick you up, that you didn’t exactly jump at the chance to get away like you would have before. That’s because that little voice in the back of your brain was yelling to stick with your Alpha. Don’t deny it—I saw it on your face.”

Katsuki didn’t deny it, though now that urge to go back to Deku was utterly erased. He squeezed the Mark on his shoulder, concentrating on the burn.

“But like I said, for most Omega it’s not a problem. There’s a lovely system in place to guarantee them an Alpha, though sometimes it takes a few tries to get the right one. Even the unlucky ones that get stuck settling with a loser have enough natural instincts to get along just fine.” Dabi put out his cigarette butt on the ground. “Then there’s Omega like us that nature decided to punch in the gut and have good long laugh at.”

Katsuki sat up, leaning on his back arm.

“We’re aggressive and independent with Quirks that would make most Alpha envious with their strength,” Dabi said. He growled under his breath. “We don’t like being told what to do and have power to back ourselves up and tell an Alpha to get lost, in other words.

“But no matter how much we want to go it alone, there’s still that nagging voice screaming about how we need an Alpha that you’ll never get rid of. You may have tried to erase it all these years with drugs, but even that wasn’t good enough was it?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Katsuki said.

“You do,” Dabi said again. “You surrounded yourself with Alpha constantly. Your two best friends were Alpha and I bet you did your little Omega best to make them happy when you could, didn’t you?”

Katsuki’s stomach twisted, thinking back. He had. Kirishima was upset about going to a Matchmaking House alone? Katsuki offered to go with him, even though it was his literal worst nightmare. Deku showed concern? Katsuki spilled his guts to alleviate the worry. Kaminari needed money for a dowery? Katsuki gave it to him.

“It’s nothing to be ashamed about,” Dabi said, low under his breath. “But you’ve also been lucky so far having so many Alpha close by.

“Nature is a constant, screaming urge that the longer you fight, the worse it gets until you throw yourself at the nearest Alpha you can find, completely submissive until they take control,” Dabi said. He sucked in a breath and breathed out slowly. “But once you give nature what it wants, it backs off content for the moment, and you figure out where you are and what you did. That’s when you hate yourself more than anything else in the world and the difference between us and other Omega becomes far, far too clear.

“So you make due and compromise,” Dabi said, staring straight ahead. “Alpha who don’t give a shit what you do when they don’t need you, but who are still willing to hang around long term as your mate are a rare breed.”

“Deku was going to make you miserable, Bakugou. Omega like you and me aren’t meant to be kept at home like prized pets.” Dabi got off the ground and walked over to Katsuki. He held a hand out, palm open and waiting. “Give Shigaraki a chance and let me save you for a change, Mr. Hero.”

“You’re not very good at motivational speeches,” Katsuki said. He reached up and grabbed Dabi’s hand, letting the other pull him off the ground. Katsuki snorted at his sly smirk and covered the Mark on his shoulder again. “But it’s not like I’ve got much of a choice, do I?”

Dabi threw an arm around Katsuki’s shoulder and tugged him over into a half hug. “Trust me. This is where you were always meant to be.”

Katsuki was meant to be a Pro Hero.

But he’d play along for now until he could figure out how to get back there.

Chapter Text

Midoriya’s Quirk terrified the agency some days. Most of the other Heroes had no idea if it even had limits, or how it continued to bypass expectations. It took a near lethal dosage of sedation to take Izuku down after he realized what was going on and a constant IV feed of the drug was needed to keep him under.

They weren’t even sure if they could keep him sedated this long as fast as his Quirk burned through it.

Eijirou crossed his arms as he stared at the unconscious Alpha through the glass in the hallway outside of his containment room. Pure willpower was the only thing that stood between Eijirou and getting a sedation of his own, ending up in the same shape as Midoriya. He’d known better than to let his worry show on his face and he channelled the heart of his Quirk to stay on the defensive.

He couldn’t afford to be sedated ever again when it came to Bakugou.

Internally, Eijirou hadn’t taken Bakugou’s “kidnapping” much better than Midoriya, he just hadn’t shown it on his face. Assuming that’s what really happened. No one had written off the possibility that Bakugou had made a run for it and that made the situation more complicated.

Eijirou had watched the tape of Kyouka’s questioning with Tsukauchi, and at face value, it sounded like Bakugou had been blackmailed into going with the League. It seemed pretty open and shut—Dabi threatened the civilians, Bakugou went quietly to avoid public harm like a good, submissive Omega should.

But that wasn’t the sort of Hero Bakugou had been.

That wasn’t the type of man, Bakugou had been.

Unless Midoriya had truly crushed him in the short time they’d been mated, Eijirou suspected he would have risked the fire fight. He certainly had done it before. Bakugou never placed civilians in direct danger if he could avoid it, but he had pushed the limits of what he could get away with on a regular basis. The Bakugou that Eijirou knew would have thrown an explosion in Dabi’s face the moment Kyouka had a chance to run.

Bakugou leaving quietly with Dabi sounded less like “Blackmail” and more like “Went willingly and used Kyouka as a cover.”

Eijirou’s stomach turned.

When he’d first heard that Bakugou was with the League, he’d wanted to rescue his friend as much as anyone else. He remembered the past as well as anyone: Bakugou surrounded by the League as a teenager and the crazy stunt they pulled to save him. It was hard to forget the feel of Bakugou’s palm slapping into his own and the sheer joy that had filled him, Midoriya, Iida and Bakugou knowing that it had worked.

But he also knew how easily they could have failed. Eijirou knew there was much more on the line now and the enemies had a weapon on their side that Bakugou couldn’t fight should they choose to abuse it—and they would. They’d be idiots not to if they truly had kidnapped Bakugou and were trying to keep him under control.

The last of Eijirou’s injuries had been healed, he was back on duty, and there was nothing that could stand between him and his best friend once they found him.

Except for the guilt.

If Bakugou had left willingly, and this is what he really wanted, should Eijirou interfere? He’d already messed things up for the guy by revealing his biggest secret to the world. Did Eijirou want to hurt him again?

But what if he had just been kidnapped? What if Midoriya had “tamed” him somehow enough that he’d lost that edge that had made Ground Zero such a force to be reckoned with?

Eijirou didn’t know.

He put his hand on the glass, pressing his forehead into it. Eijirou needed to make a choice and soon.

For a guy who said “Fuck the system!” Dabi sure kept his head the fuck down whenever Shigaraki was in the room.

He was the same, deadpan snarky shit that Katsuki had come to know whenever his Shigaraki wasn’t around—not even remotely cowed by anyone else in the League, ignoring them most of the time and saying something smart ass back to any comments—but when their “leader” walked in the room?

Dabi shut up and stayed quiet unless he was addressed by someone else first.

The fire user hadn’t come straight out and said it, but it was becoming pretty clear that even if the other Alpha in the League were flings for his Heats, that Shigaraki was his mate.

When Dabi talked, his voice gained a polite edge that wasn’t formal, but more considerate than his biting words to the rest of his peers and Katsuki. He wasn’t sure how Dabi and Shigaraki acted when they were alone, but the change in behavior was noticeable enough that it made Katsuki’s skin crawl.

He’d probably been the exact same way with Deku.

But hell if Katsuki was going to submit to Shigaraki the same way.

“Hey,” Katsuki said, flicking Shigaraki’s cup. He didn’t knock it over, but he had tapped it hard enough to rattle the ice and get his attention.

He could feel the gaze of the other four with them in the room: Dabi concerned as he paused raising his glass mid-sip, Toga amused and watching closely, Mr. Compress glanced at him over the top of his book, and Kurogiri’s Warp Quirk flickered. They could stare all they wanted. Katsuki only had business with one of these losers right now.

The Alpha looked over, a loose strand of hair fell over his eye. Katsuki almost missed the hand-mask he used to stick on his face back when they were teenagers, if only because knocking it off with an explosion had been satisfying behind the terror. Shigaraki’s gaze remained steady, though his lip twitched at the corner. “Yes?”

Katsuki pointed at the Mark, swollen and gathering puss on his shoulder. He’d tried to clean it off earlier, but it still looked infected. “This shit means you can undo Deku’s Orders, right?”

He’d been curious if Shigaraki’s venom in his blood alone would be enough to erase Deku’s Order, but after testing it, Katsuki found he still couldn’t talk about his first mate. Getting Marked by Shigaraki had been utter bullshit, but Katsuki might as well make the most of it now that it was there.

“Did the little number one Hero put a leash on his favorite pet?” Shigaraki asked, picking up his glass. He spun the liquid, knocking the ice to clink against the glass. “How cute.”

“Yes or no?” Katsuki asked again.

“Is it something I want to get rid of?” Shigaraki asked, taking a drink before putting his empty cup on the bar top. Toga snickered from his other side, throwing her hands out on the polished surface. Shigaraki tipped the glass back and forth by the lip. “Maybe his little rules are good for me, too.”

Katsuki barely held back smashing Shigaraki’s head into his glass.

“Restricted speech because Deku’s a jealous little shit that doesn’t like me talking about Alpha that aren’t him,” Katsuki said, glaring. “It’s a pain in the ass, but I’m not going to beg you to cancel it out if that’s what you want.”

“With a mouth like yours, I’m impressed that’s the only topic he restricted you on,” Mr. Compress said, eyes still on his book.

“Fuck off, marble-man,” Katsuki said.

“Case in point,” Mr. Compress said, flipping a page. “Perhaps our beloved leader should be the one to shut you up properly. Omega should be seen, not heard, exactly for this reason. So much disrespect.”

“You’re full of shit, Compress,” Dabi said, putting his glass down. “You don’t even believe that.”

The man smirked, stretching the cloth mask on his face. “You’re not supposed to tell the new guy that.”

Katsuki almost yelled that he wasn’t “the new guy” putting up with a light hazing and that this situation was temporary, but that was going to end in a circular argument he didn’t want to deal with right now. He huffed and looked back to Shigaraki. “Well?”

“You may speak freely. You’re mine now and Midoriya’s Orders mean nothing to you,” Shigaraki said. Katsuki shivered at the sensation that came from the not-quite-an-Order humming with the venom under his skin and sending new synapses to the back of his brain. He didn’t need to test it—it worked. Katsuki nodded and made a step to wander back to the corner he’d been sulking in before when Shigaraki Ordered, “Tell me what he forbid you to talk about.”

“My first Alpha,” Katsuki said, unable to stop the words. The added clarification came second, concerning Katsuki more than the first response to the Order. “He was jealous that he wasn’t my first mate.”

“Oh! That means Tomura’s your third mate!” Toga said, shooting up from Shigaraki’s other side. She dropped onto her Leader’s back, throwing her arms around his shoulders. She put her knee on the bar stool, pushing up as she climbed on her boss like a giant stuffed animal. “The third time’s the charm! That means Tomura’s your perfect match! That’s so romantic, I love it.”

Dabi snorted behind Katsuki, covering his mouth to hide his smile. “I don’t think that’s how it works, Toga.”

“Says you,” she said, squeezing Shigaraki’s shoulders. The Alpha giggled to herself, her Scent becoming stronger with a hint of arousal. “Besides, if Katsuki sticks with Shigaraki, that means my Izuku is single again! I can finally have him all to myself!”

Katsuki couldn’t hide the grimace as he thought of Deku’s Alpha-Alpha porn collection.

“You don’t get to judge my love, Mr. I-Pretended-To-Be-A-Beta!” Toga said, pointing at Katsuki’s face. She shoved herself higher, one hand on Shigaraki’s shoulder. “Love goes beyond Class!”

“For you Alpha, maybe,” Dabi said. “But Omega don’t particularly like going through literal torture every month, because a Beta’s cock is pretty worthless as far as a Heat’s concerned.”

“Their cock’s good enough the rest of the time, isn’t it?” Toga asked, licking her lip. She waved her hand back and forth. “Just borrow an Alpha for that one week and go back to the good sex for the rest of it.”

“Once in a while, maybe,” Dabi said. He clicked his tongue and a lewd grin stretched his cheeks wide, tugging on the stitching. “Especially when you find one like Muscular whose dick—”

“Can we not talk about this?” Katsuki asked, glaring at Dabi. “Keep that shit to yourselves.”

His brain had started supplying images of Toga and Deku acting out that twerp’s porn and he did not need to add anyone else to the mix.

“I don’t believe it,” Toga said, eyes wide. Her mouth split open with the delighted smile, showing off her sharp canines. The Alpha pushed off Shigaraki and fell onto the bar top, knocking a drink over. Kurogiri took a step back to avoid the spill and Toga rolled as she continued laughing. “An Omega that’s a prude! That’s the best thing I’ve ever heard.”

Katsuki took a seat at the bar covered his head with his arms as the Alpha continued laughing. Dabi didn’t help either, snickering under his breath and even Shigaraki looked to be having a good time at Katsuki’s expense. He wasn’t sure why the League of Villains always ended up in a bar somewhere, but he wasn’t complaining this time around.

He glared at the Beta behind the bar and said, “Give me a drink.”

Kurogiri set a glass and a bottle of ginger ale next to Katsuki’s arm. He glared at the Warp Quirk Villain and poured himself a glass without another word.

“Any news?” Eijirou asked Mina as he entered the operation room. They’d been tracking the League of Villain’s newest haunt over the past year with no luck, but Bakugou’s capture had bumped it up in priority. He stared over the maps and data points and crossed his arms. “Or are we still stuck?”

“We know that they’ve moved since Bakugou was taken,” Mina said. She tugged over a file and handed it to Eijirou. “Iida pulled that guy in after he found him confused on a dock with stolen goods about an hour ago. After brining him in, they found out he was supposed to make a League Delivery but they weren’t where they were supposed to be and he had no idea what to do with his stuff.

“Denki, Uraraka, and Shouto all found similar cases across the city that we didn’t realize were related until recently,” Mina finished.

Eijirou glanced over the files, reading each report. “So when the League grabbed Bakugou, they picked up and left all of their operations cold turkey.”

“That’s what it looks like,” Mina said. She frowned at the table and glared. “But how long can they really afford to stay underground like this? Could Bakugou really be worth it to them to throw all their other activities and allies into a panic?”

He’d be worth it to Eijirou or Midoriya.

“I don’t know,” Eijirou said. He threw the stack of papers back on the table and headed back out the door. If Shigaraki considered Bakugou that valuable, there were only so many reasons. He wasn’t sure he could take yet another Alpha competing for his best friend’s time and attention. Bakugou deserved better. “Thanks for the update. I’m heading back out with Kaminari to do another sweep.”

“Hey!” Mina shouted at his back. Eijirou looked over his shoulder to catch her eye. She stared hard, like she was looking into his soul. “Keep your cool, okay? We can’t afford to put two Alpha out of commission. You’re already lucky they didn’t prematurely sedate you too as it is after that challenge of yours—which no one has forgotten, by the way. You only got out of the hospital yesterday.”

“I know,” Eijirou said. He gripped his fists and tried for a smile, but it came out as a grimace. Eijirou went back out the door, breathing out slowly to calm himself. “Trust me, I know.”

“So is this what you all do all day? Lounge around doing nothing?” Katsuki asked, on his fifth glass of ginger ale since Kurogiri was a prick who wouldn’t let him have the good stuff. (“You’re unpleasant enough sober, forgive me for preemptively saving my sanity.”) Katsuki glanced around the room. “None of you have evil schemes to be plotting or some other bullshit?”

“This is the evil scheme,” Shigaraki said, tapping away at a handheld game. He’d pulled it out about an hour ago and no one questioned that the Leader of the League of Villains was playing a fantasy RPG. “We’re lying low in an undisclosed location to make sure no one knows where we, and by extension you, are hiding.”

Katsuki turned to look at Dabi who shrugged. “That’s news to me, though that would explain why we were in new digs when Kurogiri dropped us off.”

“This isn’t your usual base and you didn’t question why we were here?” Katsuki asked, not even bother to hide the dumbfounded expression on his face. “Are you kidding me?”

“This is not even remotely the most random thing Shigaraki has done on a whim. He is an agent of chaos, you know,” Mr. Compress said, still nose deep in his book. “But specifically, he told everyone we were moving locations for your capture except Dabi because it’s become clear you two are bosom buddies now. Our dear Dabi doesn’t question anything when he’s told ‘Shigaraki wanted to’, as I’m sure you might have noticed.”

“He tells me more than he tells you,” Dabi said, hissing back.

Toga shrieked with laugher, sitting up on the bar top to kick her legs back and forth. “Yeah! During all that pillow talk, right?”

“Shut up, Toga!” Dabi snapped back.

“Why’s everyone yelling?” Twice said, walking in the door. He threw his hands into fists and yelled, “I’ll take you all on! I’m the best yeller!”

Shigaraki continued playing his game, as his League members fell into bickering around him. Kurogiri eventually abandoned his bar to intervene when the arguing turned physical with Twice and Toga wrestling, leaving Shigaraki and Katsuki alone at the bar, removed from the chaos by about a foot.

A small song chimed from the game and Shigaraki clicked two buttons before turning it off. He got up from the bar stool and shoved the handheld into his pocket. He raised his hand and waved his fingers toward himself. “Let’s talk somewhere quieter.”

Shigaraki walked past the commotion and pushed through a swinging door at the far end.

Katsuki followed.

Chapter Text

Shigaraki led on until he and Katsuki had been walking for about four minutes in the large warehouse. Dust and cracked walls surrounded them at every turn, the facility long out of use. Half of the equipment and furniture had been displaced or removed, leaving behind remnants of old productivity. Katsuki didn’t see anything that would identify the building or tell him where he could be, though.

Either Shigaraki had removed all the logos that used to decorate the walls himself, or they’d been stripped before—it was hard to tell.

The place remained empty as a ghost town as they walked through old offices and large work rooms. Katsuki was surprised he didn’t see more Villains hanging about the rather spacious building. Katsuki wondered how many League members had come with Shigaraki on this little lockdown venture.

Their short trip across the building ended at a supervisor’s office in the corner of the main floor. Katsuki entered first and walked past an office desk that had been shoved against the wall. The rest of the room had been redecorated like a lounge, with a couch under the glass wall that looked out over the manufacturing floor and a television across from it. A tangle of game stations and wires met at the base of the television and Katsuki snorted.

At least it wasn’t a bedroom.

Shigaraki shut the door and passed him, taking a seat on the couch. He leaned back and got comfortable, slumping deep into the cushion. He said, “Knees,” and Katsuki dropped to the floor.

“Do you want to know why you’re here?” Shigaraki asked, not bothering to look at his Order’s handiwork.

Katsuki’s breath heaved as he kneeled near the office door. He glared at the Villain as the other man stretched his spine and snuggled into the cushions. “Dabi asked.”

“That was one factor, true.” Shigaraki licked a chapped lip. He reached up and scratched his neck, staring at the blank television screen, eyes unfocused and breath shallow. “Dabi doesn’t ask for much, let alone show interest in the wellbeing of others, so he caught my attention. I almost turned him down for the oddity in his behavior, but he convinced me with his persistency.”

Katsuki attempted to move, but his knees stayed glued to the floor. He jerked again, but only fell to his elbows in his attempts to stand.

“My second reason for agreeing to take you is also fairly simple,” Shigaraki said. He tapped his finger on his knee, thumb raised. “I’m very guilty of holding grudges and I’m still rather angry you said no to my offer so many years ago.”

Katsuki grunted and shoved back to sit upright on his knees. He dusted off his arms. “I couldn’t tell.”

“But the biggest reason I agreed,” Shigaraki said. He picked up a remote and clicked on the television. “Would be this.”

“He’s mine!” roared across the screen.

That hadn’t been Deku screaming.

Katsuki watched Kirishima throw himself at Deku in full, unbreakable form, screaming in rage. His eyes were covered by his jagged skin, but Katsuki knew his pupils were as slit and dark as Deku’s. They crashed into each other like monsters, putting so much force into every move that the ground shook and cracked under each hit and throw. Katsuki had seen both of them throw down like that against Villains, but never each other.

The footage switched to the few seconds Katsuki had seen earlier, but instead of being shut off and facing an embarrassed, flushed Deku, he watched the brawl continue with the two closest people in his life attempting to rip each other apart.

“You look like you haven’t seen this fight before.” Shigaraki patted next to the couch. His Orders came soft and quiet, with absolute authority but none of the aggression: “Come sit here and have a better look at the TV.”

Katsuki growled but got off his knees and trudged across the room. He sat next to Shigaraki, glaring at the television. He winced at Deku’s Detroit Smash to Kirishima’s ribs, chipping off a piece of his jagged skin.

“Heroes do such a good job of fooling everyone into thinking they’re better than the rest of us,” Shigaraki said, turning up the volume. The camera didn’t capture it entirely, but even from the safe distance of filming he could see black seeping into Deku’s sclera, threatening to overtake the white as Deku’s grasp on reason continued to diminish. The slit pupils had narrowed so thin his green eyes nearly glowed. Katsuki wanted to turn his head, but the Order wouldn’t let him. Shigaraki threw the remote onto the floor. “But they’re the same. We’re all wild animals pretending to be civilized.

“Heroes are no different.

“And all it takes to reveal their true nature is a little push.

“Nothing drives an Alpha more wild than taking their precious little mate, now does it?” Shigaraki put his hand on the back of Katsuki’s head, a finger touching his neck. His skin crawled under the chilly touch. The footage of Deku and Kirishima’s brawl continued, furious and with continuous commentary playing down the violence under the guise of “fighting for love.” Shigaraki tapped a third finger in Katsuki’s hair. “I was wrong before. Killing Pro Heroes isn’t good enough to shake up our world when the Symbol of Peace can become scarier than I’ll ever be.

“And we both know he can be so much worse than this, don’t we? No one is ever going to look at him the same way again after he finds out you’re mine,” Shigaraki said.

“He’s going to murder everyone here,” Katsuki said. He couldn’t look away from the screen and felt sick. “He’ll kill all of you.”

Shigaraki hummed, leaning against Katsuki’s side. He rubbed his thumb into the back of Katsuki’s hair, getting comfortable and stealing all of Katsuki’s heat into his cold body. “I’m sure he’ll try and it’ll be worth seeing.”

Katsuki breathed in the Scent of Sandalwood as Shigaraki cuddled and watched Deku win on the television.

Bakugou had been missing for two days.

Eijirou breathed in and out, counting to ten under his breath. The League had Bakugou. Eijirou swallowed, thick and sore. Shigaraki had Bakugou again. Shigaraki was an Alpha. He could do anything he wanted to Bakugou.

Eijirou felt nauseous; helpless.

He whined and pressed his forehead into the mattress of his bed from the floor. His thoughts had turned into a jumbled repeat of things that he already came to terms with but couldn’t help or fix: The League had Bakugou. Shigaraki was an Alpha. They could do whatever they wanted. Bakugou needed help. Every bone in Eijirou’s body wanted to jump into the streets and stop at nothing until he got the information he needed.

Someone had to know where the League had taken him.

Eijirou punched his mattress and breathed out. He had to get a grip. Eijirou clutched at his head, fingers tugging hard on loose hair. Mina’s warnings had not been in vain: They really would put him down too if they thought he was going to lose control.

He wasn’t mated to Bakugou, but it was pretty clear by now they’d imprinted on each other. It left him in a state that left him as empty as if his own mate had been taken, even though he knew he had no claim of that nature on Bakugou.

Eijirou breathed in. He breathed out.

Bakugou was missing.

The League had him.

He shoved his face into a pillow and screamed.

Eijirou would find him.

No matter what it took.

“So either the news is doing a stellar job of covering up Midoriya’s rampage, or he’s somehow not noticed you’ve been missing for three days,” Dabi said, clicking through news stations on the lounge couch. “I’m going to take a wild guess that it’s the first one.”

Katsuki licked the side of his teeth and leaned back on the couch. “I could believe that.”

“Yeah?” Dabi asked. “I figured you’d be hoping Midoriya just stopped caring.”

“Like that would ever happen,” Katsuki said. But this was a good moment to test the water with something that still lingered on his mind. “My first Alpha worked in PR. He bragged about how he and a team manipulate the news to make sure Alpha are seen as superior and that everyone else is beneath them.

“He’s the guy behind that whole ‘Ex-Pro Hero Ground Zero was abused by his Mother’ bullshit. I wouldn’t put it past him to hide the destruction if it’d make Mr. Perfect Alpha Deku look bad.”

“Someone’s manipulating the mass media to keep the peons at bay? No!” Dabi said, eyes comically wide. He put a hand on his cheek and gasped, “Next you’ll tell me the sky is blue!”

Katsuki grunted, half expecting that answer. Dabi’d seen too much in life to be shocked at corruption in places of power.

But at least he took that explanation at face value and believed the news was covering things up—which it was in a way. The fact that what really happened to Deku hadn’t hit the news yet was a sure sign of a coverup for Katsuki’s kidnapping in and of itself. Katsuki wondered how long they’d be able to keep it hush-hush, but then again, if Kyouka only told a Pro Hero it makes sense they were able to keep this story contained.

Katsuki felt internally grateful the League didn’t seem to know why Deku hadn’t started tearing apart the city yet.

“You look thoughtful,” Shigaraki said, from his perch playing his handheld game on the desk. He’d shoved a beanbag chair on top of it and shoved it in the corner near the wall. He’d curled up in it, tapping away on the small device. “What are you hiding?”

That guy was too perceptive for his own good.

Katsuki clicked his tongue. “Just thinking about that Alpha. He pisses me off.”

“Liar,” Shigaraki said, mouth twitching. He Ordered, “Tell me the real reason Midoriya hasn’t come hunting for you yet.”

“It’s standard procedure to sedate an Alpha when their mate is taken,” Katsuki said, gritting his teeth and continuing to hate Orders with every fiber of his being. He grunted and threw his head back. “They probably knocked Deku out before he even knew I was missing.”

Shigaraki stopped his game. He sat up and got off the desk, tapping a single finger against his console. “Is that so?”

Katsuki said, “Yes.”

“I should fix that,” Shigaraki said.

He left the office and shut the door hard behind him, leaving Dabi and Katsuki alone.

“Well, that’ll be fun,” Dabi said. He patted Katsuki on the back and licked his lip. “But no worries. Shigaraki wants that Alpha of yours to go nuts, not kill us all. I’m sure we’ll be fine.”

“You don’t sound very convinced,” Katsuki said.

He sounded like those people who repeated things out loud to trick themselves in order to live in denial about the situation.

“At the very least, we can run like cowards when he shows up,” Dabi said, snorting out a laugh. He covered his hand with his face and leaned back. “Kurogiri’s gotten really quick on the escape thing since he got caught those past few times.”

“Because that’ll save us,” Katsuki said.

The news hummed in the background as the two Omega absorbed the tension in the room.

“Oh, before I forget.” Dabi snapped his finger and dug in his pockets, finding a prize with a smirk. He slapped a small, clear plastic bag in Katsuki’s hand and patted his arm. “That’s for you. I’m only spotting you this once, though, so make sure to get your own next time.”

Katsuki held up the bag and looked at the tiny, red pill sitting in it. “What’s this?”

“Birth control,” Dabi said. He pulled out a cigarette and lit it, filling the room with smoke. Dabi crossed his ankles and stretched out. “Your next Heat’s coming up, right? Like at the end of the week?”

“Yeah,” Katsuki swallowed. “It is.”

“At our age, the chances of getting pregnant is low anyway but it never hurts to be careful. I have no idea if you want kids or not, but I figured you didn’t want Shigaraki’s brats either way,” Dabi said, hitting the nail on the head. He blew out a new puff of smoke and side-eyed Katsuki and said, “That shit’s not cheap either, so don’t waste it.”

“Thanks,” Katsuki said. He clutched the pill in his hand and asked, “How’s it work?”

“Take it when your Pre-Heat pheromones kick in. It’s good for the week,” Dabi said. He stretched his hands over his head and laughed. “Doesn’t do a thing for the Post-Heat though, so be ready for that. Shigaraki’s not big on aftercare, so you’re going to be on your own.”

“What happens Post-Heat?” Katsuki asked.

Dabi watched Katsuki with narrowed eyes and took a slow drag on his cigarette. He exhaled, watching the smoke ring. Dabi closed his eyes and stared at the ceiling. “You’ll see. I’d tell you, but I think it’s best to experience this one thing the first time on your own like the rest of us did.

“This is one part of being an Omega even the mated and happy ones don’t like to talk about.” Dabi got up and ruffled Katsuki’s hair as he passed. He snuffed his cigarette out on the desk as he approached the office door. “You’re a tough guy, so you’ll be fine. Just remember it’s not really the end of the world and you’ll be great.”

“Sure,” Katsuki said, with no clue what Dabi was talking about.

He’d deal with that later. Katsuki got up from the couch and followed Dabi back into the main section of the warehouse to the old employee lounge that had been retrofitted into a bar by Kurogiri.

Katsuki had bigger problems.

Chapter Text

Bakugou had been missing for five days.

Eijirou threw a vase across the room and yelled, hands in his hair and the mantra still repeating in his head: The League had Bakugou. Shigaraki was an Alpha. Eijirou breathed heavy, shaking his head out as his heart pounded in his chest to do something. Anything. Eijirou kicked over the small stand the vase had been on.

How could they not have found Bakugou yet?

What good was an entire agency of Pro Heroes if they couldn’t find one missing Omega? How did the League erase itself so fully that there was no trace of where they’d gone? It didn’t make sense! They’d never had this much trouble before with such a high priority case.

It was like Shigaraki had disappeared off the face of the planet and taken Eijirou’s best friend with him.

Eijirou felt like his heart was going to pound out of his chest and snarled into the air, as he grabbed the leg of the overturned couch. Maybe he would have to start knocking in some real heads to get what he wanted. Or just looked harder. If Eijirou broke down enough walls, Bakugou had to be behind one of them, didn’t he?

He sat up, tilting his head back and shuddered as he tried to calm down. He had to return to his shift soon and he needed to finish getting the aggression out of his system. Eijirou was too close to a real meltdown. He kicked the couch again. Too close. Eijirou transformed his arms with his Quirk and slammed his hands down into the furniture, shattering it. Too—

A hand grabbed the back of his throat, four fingers squeezing tight.

“One of the best things about Alpha, is that no matter how out of control they are, self preservation always shines through,” Shigaraki hissed in the side of his ear. Eijirou could see a flicker of the telltale black warp gate through the edges of his eyes. “I wouldn’t move if I were you.”

“Where’s Bakugou?” Eijirou growled as his senses returned to him, teeth grit and his Quirk threatening to overtake, even at the risk of a fifth finger joining his skin. “What have you done to him?”

“Nothing bad,” Shigaraki said, stepping to the side so Eijirou could see him. His eye looked amused past the hand on his face. “He’s fine.”

“I don’t believe you,” Eijirou said.

Shigaraki frowned and pulled out his phone with his free hand. He clicked one of the fast dial buttons and a bright, horrifying smile filled the camera of the video chat with sharp canines sparkling white. “Tomura! What’s up?”

“Toga,” Shigaraki said, holding the camera up so Toga could see both Shigaraki and Eijirou in the screen. Shigaraki spoke softly. “Go find Bakugou and film him on the video chat, but don’t let him know you’re doing it.”

She licked the side of her tooth and whispered with enthusiasm, “Okie!”

Shigaraki pressed the mute button for the speaker, but left the sound on Toga’s end on. Eijirou watched as the camera bounced around in her hand as the girl ran across some warehouse. She cracked open a door and placed the phone camera in place, revealing Bakugou sitting on a couch with Dabi.

Playing a video game.

“This is not fair!” Dabi shouted. He growled at the controller, clicking hard and leaning forward. “We already have one gamer around here that can kick all of our asses, you don’t get to be one, too!”

“Stop whining and get better,” Bakugou said, smirking wide as he clicked on the controller. “You’re the one who wanted to practice so you wouldn’t get trashed next time you Shigaraki made you play with him.”

“You’re such an asshole,” Dabi said, shoving Bakugou with his elbow. He cursed when the movement didn’t distract Bakugou from the controller.

Bakugou kicked him off the couch in retaliation.

They looked like they were having fun. Eijirou’s heart sunk, confirming his earlier fears that Bakugou had run away on his own.

Shigaraki clicked the phone off and sent a “Thank you” text to Toga. He put the phone away and looked at Eijirou. “Satisfied?”

“What do you want?” Eijirou asked, dropping his Quirk. He still longed to bash in Shigaraki’s face but couldn’t find the energy.

“A little birdie told me that Deku had been sedated when we took Bakugou,” Shigaraki said, tilting his head. He twisted his hand as he walked around Eijirou’s body to stand face to hand mask. “Which ruins my plans.”

Eijirou swallowed, “What plans?”

“Taking Bakugou was a two-fold reward,” Shigaraki said. “Save the Omega and hurt the Alpha, but as you might have noticed, we only accomplished one part of that. It’s hard to create a sense of agony and loss in someone if they’re unconscious. I wanted Midoriya to suffer.”

“Falling into a spiral of violence is more likely,” Eijirou said.

Shigaraki grinned wide. “That, too. I’d love it if all the world could see what a vicious little Alpha their precious Symbol of Peace can be when he puts his animal mind to it.”

“What’s that have to do with me?” Eijirou asked.

“I want someone to wake up Midoriya,” Shigaraki said. “There’s no point in stealing his mate from him if he’s not aware enough to know I did it.”

“I got that,” Eijirou said. “But what makes you think I’ll wake him up?”

Shigaraki pulled his phone up again and clicked the play button. A video of Eijirou from the night Midoriya claimed Bakugou popped up on the screen, showing Eijirou in his Unbreakable form, ugly and screaming “He’s mine!” Shigaraki clicked the phone off and put it back in his pocket.

“You imprinted on Bakugou, didn’t you?” Shigaraki asked, snickering under his breath. “I bet you’d do anything to see him.”

Eijirou bit his lip.

Shigaraki tilted his head to the side and whispered in Eijirou’s ear, “Wake up Midoriya and I’ll tell you where Bakugou is.”

Kurogiri’s Warp appeared behind Shigaraki and he pulled his hand back, stepping halfway into the portal. He laughed and said, “When I see Midoriya rampaging on TV, I’ll find you.”

He disappeared into the black and Eijirou fell to his knees and grabbed his chest as the tightness grew.

Dabi nearly dropped the controller when Shigaraki and Kurogiri showed up to his left, warping in like they owned the place—which they did.

“Who said you could play my games?” Shigaraki asked, tugging off his hand-mask and handing it to Kurogiri, who safely Warped it to Shigaraki’s room.

“You did when you left them out with open save slots,” Bakugou said, smacking the pause button on the controller. “We even made guest accounts to not ruin your high score charts, so I don’t know what you’re complaining about.”

Dabi almost hit him. Bakugou had a mouth on him as bad as Dabi, but that guy had no idea when to keep it shut. No wonder Midoriya broke him in a week. No Alpha would have put up with that behavior to their face without cracking and putting the Omega in their place with vitriol.

“Scoot over,” Shigaraki said, kicking at Dabi’s leg. “And give me the controller. You’re horrible at this.”

Shigaraki being the one shining exception, of course.

The Alpha sat on Dabi’s other side, taking the controller in hand. He clicked off the pause button and got back into the game, attacking Bakugou’s character with a new vengeance. Dabi threw his arms over the back of the couch, one behind Bakugou and one behind Shigaraki as he made himself smaller between the two competitive gamers.

“I still can’t believe you both play the same games,” Dabi said, staring at the screen as the fight progressed into something too fast he couldn’t follow it. “It’s ridiculous.”

“This one was popular,” Shigaraki said, still clicking hard, body completely calm as he played. “I’m fairly certain anyone with a game system in the country has it.”

Bakugou knocked his knee into Dabi’s as he ducked forward and to the side, moving along with his controller as he nearly mimed out the action on the screen. “I got it for Christmas because my parents knew I liked games, but not which ones, and it was on the top of the charts. Turned out to be pretty fun.”

“I’ll take your word for it,” Dabi said.

He settled back into the couch, watching the other two play. He felt warm and content, with a kindred spirit on his right and his boss on the left. If he closed his eyes and pretended they were somewhere that wasn’t falling apart at the seams, it almost felt like home.

Dabi could get used to this.

Which is why he didn’t ask Shigaraki where he’d been just now to come back looking so smug. There was no reason to ruin the moment if he didn’t have to.

Dabi pulled his arms down into his lap and dropped his head on Shigaraki’s shoulder. He pressed his leg into Bakugou’s and watched the flashing screen and the two characters clash on the screen while the real people behind the avatars bonded closer together.

It brought a smile to his face, which he hid in Shigaraki’s shirt.

Eijirou had to be careful.

He breathed slowly, keeping his calm as he strode through the Hero Agency toward the containment room where Midoriya continued to sleep peacefully. Eijirou would lose everything if he got caught, but he pushed forward anyway—losing Bakugou for good was just as bad.

A nasty, loud voice in the back of his head said that Shigaraki had been right on at least one front: Midoriya deserved to suffer for Bakugou’s sake. He’d collared and kept him tame in a house when the man should have been out and about, loud and terrifying—Omega or not.

Bakugou couldn’t be a Hero any longer, but he could at least be allowed to stay himself and see whoever he wanted to.

Eijirou clicked a button under his thumb as he passed down the hallway. A small electric charge zapped into the wall, invisible to the naked eye, and short circuited the security wires. He heard the small “Click” of the cameras in the hall turn off and he crushed the device he’d lifted from the confiscated items room when he delivered a package earlier that day.

Opening his palm and dropping his Quirk, Eijirou let the dust fall to the ground and sprinted around the corner. He kicked open the door holding Midoriya and ran up to the IV line feeding the other Hero with the sedative.

Midoriya still smelled like potpourri and it only increased his fury toward the sleeping Alpha. Eijirou ripped the tube out from the back of Midoriya’s hand, leaving the needle in place. He took a few steps back when Midoriya’s eyes shot open. The other Pro Hero lurched forward, sitting up straight and growling. He whipped his head to the side, spotting Eijirou and leapt.

Before he could dodge, Midoriya pinned him to the ground by the back of the neck, lightning quick and Quirk active. His teeth were bared and his pupils had turned to vertical slits. A silver of drool snuck down the side of his mouth and he snarled. “Where’s Kacchan!?”

Eijirou grunted, glad he had activated his own Quirk in time or his windpipe would have been crushed under Midoriya’s grip. He yelled, “I don’t know!”


Midoriya squeezed tighter, his arm sparking with his Quirk. Red lines grew on his cheeks, flashing in and out as he breathed. Eijirou’s Quirk strained under the hold and he prayed it held out long enough. “What happened to him?”

Eijirou fought the grin as one last act of self preservation before he said, “Shigaraki claimed him.”

Midoriya froze. “What?”

“Shigaraki claimed Bakugou,” Eijirou said, dragging his hands into the ground, scratching his fingers into the dirt. If that knowledge hurt Midoriya even a fraction as much as it had hurt Eijirou, this would have been worth it. “Tomura Shigaraki stole him from you.”

Black seeped into the sclera of Midoriya’s eyes as he shuddered and the electricity of his Quirk continued to grow and spark. He let go of Eijirou and held his head as he let out a howl, screaming so loud it shattered the glass of the room’s windows. Midoriya opened his eyes, revealing that both the sclera and iris had turned completely black.

If Shigaraki had wanted Midoriya to lose his mind, he got it.

Midoriya turned that haunting glare toward Eijirou, growling and half leaned over as he readied to pounce again.

Eijirou crawled back on his elbows and yelled, “They’re in a warehouse! I don’t know which one so you’d better go look if you want to find him before it’s too late!”

His distraction worked and Midoriya ran out of the room, destroying the wall as he went and Eijirou shivered in the corner. He chose to find Bakugou over eliminating Eijirou as another threat. He’d been saved only by that one last animal instinct that put an Alpha’s mate as the ultimate priority.

Eijirou swallowed and prayed that Shigaraki held up his end of the deal or he had just unleashed a monster onto the city for nothing.

Chapter Text

“Did the computer do something to offend you, boss?” Dabi asked, leaning over Shigaraki’s shoulder. He didn’t think he’d missed much during his patrol but Shigaraki had been amused when Dabi left and furious when he came back an hour later. Dabi looked at the screen as his Alpha typed, growling at the flickering windows as he searched browsers and websites. “You’re looking a little tense.”

“Kurogiri received a report last night that Midoriya was spotted terrorizing a local villain hang out for information on our location. They said he’d gone completely primal, black eyes and all, and held nothing back.” Shigaraki continued hissing at the screen. “But the news is covering it up somehow. They’re good but how could they be that good! Some civilian had to have seen him and uploaded footage!”

“Ah,” Dabi said. He put his hands in his pockets and looked across the room at Bakugou, distracted by a persistent Toga. “Does uh, he know?”

“No,” Shigaraki said. He kept clicking through various social media feeds and other websites looking for a hint of the wild Alpha. “Don’t tell him.”

Dabi winced at the Order, but accepted it.

“And stop hovering,” Shigaraki hissed, hunching further over the laptop. He waved his hand toward to the other corner of the bar. “Go play with your new toy.”

“Sure thing,” Dabi said.

He took a step away, shoving down the bad feeling rising in his chest. Dabi had no idea who woke the hero up, but he did have a sneaking suspicion Shigaraki had been behind it and he hoped it didn’t bite them in the ass.

It didn’t matter so much at the moment though, with them safe and hidden away. Dabi put his hands in his pocket and joined the others bickering at the end of the bar.

“What is with you guys and sex?” Bakugou said, horrified as he shoved Toga off his arm and to the floor. “Don’t you have anything better to do than ask me that shit?”

“But it’s so fun! And you make the best faces,” Toga said, laughing from the floor. She kicked her feet in the air and pointed, giggling. “How are you such a prude?”

“It is kinda interesting meeting an Omega who’s so shy about this stuff,” Twice said. He laughed and slapped his leg. “What’s the deal? You too good to share with the class?”

“I’m not a prude!” Bakugou shouted back. He smacked his fist on the table, his Quirk sparking and smoking. “You’re just a bunch of perverts!”

Maybe it was time to intervene.

“Come on, guys, give him a break,” Dabi said, slipping his arm around Bakugou’s shoulders. He leaned on him and clicked his tongue. “The guy probably spent the last two weeks naked and tied to a bed with the way Midoriya’s been eying him his whole life. You’d want a break from the sex talk, too.”

“Don’t you fucking start,” Bakugou said, leaning back on the bar. He crossed his arms, looking distinctly embarrassed with the averted gaze and hunched shoulders.

Dabi felt the bite of curiosity and asked, “I was joking, but did he actually do that?”

“No!” Bakugou shouted, facing Dabi again. He shoved him away like he had Toga earlier and huffed in his chair. “Deku didn’t do anything like that. We even slept in separate rooms!”

“Really?” Dabi asked, staring openly. That seemed pretty cold—no wonder Bakugou had been so terrified of Deku getting his way if he was the kinda Alpha who got off and then kicked his Omega out. “He didn’t let you sleep with him after you had sex?”

Bakugou shook his head. “We are not talking about this.”

“Come on! Tell us, tell us!” Toga whined, getting up and grabbing Bakugou’s arm again. She swung back and forth, swinging her skirt around her hips. “What’s my baby like in bed? How much sex have you had? I want to know!”

“I am not answering that!” Bakugou yelled.

“Answer her stupid questions so she’ll shut up!” Shigaraki Ordered from across the bar. The Alpha hissed under his breath and continued typing, making sure to keep at least one finger raised high the entire time. “And keep it down! I’m working.”

Dabi took a seat on the stool and covered his eyes. This was not going where he wanted it to go. If he’d knew the first week would be so rough with the Orders and Shigaraki being grumpy, he might have given Bakugou a heads-up.

Toga grinned in glee and turned on her new victim. She swung herself up and sat in his lap, throwing her arms around his shoulders. She whispered, “What’s Izuku like in bed?”

“Good,” Bakugou said, gritting his teeth and snarling.

“I could have guessed that,” Toga said. She scooted up his thigh and ruffle his hair, putting her foot behind his ankle. “Give me some details.”

Bakugou kept his mouth shut and smirked.

Dabi laughed and said, “He only has to answer questions.”

“Boo, technicalities!” Toga said. She put her finger to her chin and pulled it down to snap her fingers. Not letting this hold her back in the least. “How much sex have you had?”

“Three times,” Bakugou said, still growling more like an Alpha than an Omega.

“What are the details of all three times?” Toga asked, catching onto the game and bopping his nose with her finger. “What happened?”

Bakugou grunted, clearly frustrated that he had to answer. Dabi would have felt bad if it wasn’t so funny watching this stoic Hero so flustered.

“The first time I had sex was with that asshole Alpha I was mated to first. He Ordered me to relax and enjoy myself before he helped himself,” Bakugou said, shoulders dropped. “I came and kinda zoned out while he kept going, but Deku burst into the room like a bat out of hell before the guy could finish. Deku literally kicked the door clean off the handle and across the room before he shattered the wall with his fist, so the other Alpha pulled out and ran.

“My second time was my first time sleeping with Deku. The night before you kidnapped me, he offered and I said yes, so we fucked on the couch. It was slow and he was nice,” Bakugou said, snapping his mouth shut, clearly not wanting to say more. He breathed in and then spoke again, “The last time was when we had shower sex the morning of the day you showed up and—stop staring!”

Dabi, Toga, Twice, and even Shigaraki had turned to Bakugou. He fidgeted in the chair and shouted, “What?”

“The first time you had sex with Midoriya was the day before we took you,” Dabi said, ashamed of the awe in his voice. “He waited a whole week and a half?”

“I said I didn’t want to share a bed when I moved in and he reluctantly agreed,” Bakugou said. He spoke softer, a hint of shame lacing his voice. “I was surprised he respected that, too.”

“Shit,” Dabi said. “He sure didn’t seem the type to have that patience.”

“He’d been waiting for me since he presented,” Bakugou said, dropping his head back. He stared at the ceiling and cracked a smile that Dabi couldn’t place: Sad, amused, or just tired. “What was another week or two?”

“Aw, you’re not a prude,” Toga said, cooing. She cuddled Bakugou’s head to her chest and squeezed tight, twisting them back and forth. “You’re just a hopeless romantic! That’s adorable.”

“Hopeless romantic? That’s really sweet,” Twice said. He pointed at Bakugou and shouted, “You’re a such a sap!”

“Are you happy now?” Bakugou asked, shoving a her until he freed himself from her bosom. He looked to be at his limit, breath heavy and frustration thick. “Because I really don’t want to talk about this any more.”

“Okay, okay,” Toga said, putting her chin on his head. “One more question and then I’m done!”

“Then ask it,” Bakugou said.

Toga leaned back and put his face between her hands. Leaning in close like she was aiming for a kiss, Toga said, “Did you—”

The wall cracked behind the bar, a large split that rattled the liquor bottles.

Dabi got up from the bar stool and readied his Quirk near his fingertips. Twice held his hands up, too. The shelf rattled again, knocking off three or four bottles that shattered onto the ground behind the bar top. Shigaraki stared from his position on the far side of the room, his laptop forgotten. Bakugou froze in place with Toga still in his lap, alert and hand near her knife.

A nasty case of déjà vu fell over everyone when the wall exploded inward, followed by a fist and an enraged Alpha.

The first time Katsuki had seen an Alpha with black eyes had been during his third year internship at U.A.

He and his Pro Hero mentor were investigating a string of robberies from a Villain with a Quirk whose touch paralyzed his victims with a short electric shock while he maintained contact. He used it to hold people down and steal their things, running away while they recovered when he let go. There had been six reports so far and aside from his Quirk, the Villain didn’t seem to be too much of a threat.

It was an easy enough job that they trusted students to help.

Katsuki and his mentor found the Villain with his throat ripped out.

A heavily breathing Alpha stood over the bleeding corpse, her back to the mouth of the alley where Katsuki and his mentor stood. She remained hunched over, body physically moving up and down with each inhale. It reminded Katsuki of a horror movie, but worse because he could smell it. The rot of dead bodies and spilled blood cut through the Scents in the alley and Katsuki almost covered his nose.

He didn’t notice the dead Omega in the corner.

His mentor did, though.

“Ma’am,” she said, holding a hand up toward the Alpha. She did her best to assess the situation and remained calm. “Are you okay? We’re here to help you.”

The Alpha turned her head at the noise and Katsuki felt his blood run cold. Her eyes were completely emotionless, black in their entirety. Katsuki felt a shiver, knowing that something had gone very wrong here. Her body moved in a short jerk, like the woman didn’t have full control of herself as she took a step.

“Zero, move!” His mentor yelled as she shoved him out of the way when the Alpha dashed forward, her movements taking on a new competency.

The woman tackled Katsuki’s mentor, physically throwing them to the ground with a strength that a civilian shouldn’t have had against someone who’s Quirk was Sure Footing. Katsuki stared in awe as the Alpha fought like a wild beast, attempting to bite and claw with short nails.

His mentor was losing the fight, scrambling to get out of the way of the sporadic attacks, and it was the most surreal thing he’d ever seen.

But he needed to stop staring and help or there’d be a third corpse in this alley.

Katsuki grabbed the Alpha and yanked her off, winning himself an elbow to the face and his mentor yelled, “Don’t hold back!”

So he didn’t.

It took the force he usually reserved for sparring with Deku to knock the woman out. Her veins had been pumped full of so much adrenaline and self-produced steroids that even a broken leg and arm didn’t stop her from trying to kill Katsuki.

Later, he found out from the case report that their Villain had accidentally killed the Alpha’s mate. Her Omega had had a pacemaker and the shock from the Villain’s Quirk shorted it out. To make it worse, they suspected that the paralyzation had stopped the Omega from being able to call for help or let them know what happened and he died shortly after the initial device short circuited from heart failure.

His Alpha had also been affected by the Villain’s Quirk and watched it happen.

When the Omega stopped breathing, she snapped. The Rage broke her free from the Quirk and that poor Beta hadn’t stood a chance.

Katsuki never forgot that case.

Toga’s tremble vibrated across Katsuki’s skin through his shirt and her fingers dug into his shoulder, aggravating the still healing Marks under his shirt. He winced and ignored the way it stung to concentrate on the matter at hand: Deku. She shivered against his skin, smiling bright but the jerks in her breathing gave away her fear.

No one moved.

Deku breathed heavy, a foot on the back of the shattered shelving unit and concrete wall he’d broken through, staring straight at Katsuki with ink jet eyes, glossy and blank. A low growl hummed under his breath and his entire body sparked with the electricity of his Quirk.

“Toga,” Dabi said, voice barely audible. “Get out of Bakugou’s lap.”

She squeaked and slipped away from Katsuki. Deku followed her movements, turning his head to follow Toga’s path as she got to the floor and held her hands up, backing away until she stood next to Twice.

Katsuki stayed on the stool, dust in his hair and rubble at his feet. Deku had found him, but he was still long gone. Should he say something? Move? Katsuki had no idea what the hell would calm Deku down enough to keep him from murdering everyone in the room.

“It’s even more beautiful than I thought,” Shigaraki said. Katsuki whipped head head to the side, staring at the lunatic. Shigaraki’s mad grin stretched his wrinkled face so wide it nearly reached his ears. “Look at what an animal you are, Midoriya. If only your fans could see you right now.”

Dabi sucked in a breath. “What is he doing?”

“Shigaraki,” Deku said, voice thick and heavy. A growl continued to lace the syllables and he snarled, barring his teeth. “You’re a monster!”

“Deku,” Katsuki said, getting off the stool and standing. He had to intervene and he had to do it right now. “Get a grip!”

“And you,” Deku said, whipping his head back to Katsuki. He pointed and the Order came harsh and firm, “Don’t you dare move from that spot.”

Katsuki doubled over, holding his head as the Order washed over him. He saw past his elbows as Shigaraki laughed at Deku’s lunge. Katsuki got control of himself, almost feeling it in his veins as Shigaraki’s venom and rot helped him fight Deku’s Order. He breathed hard, still affected, but brushing the Order off in an old way that felt familiar and welcome.

Deku’s Orders still had bite, but they no longer held—Katsuki needed that.

Shigaraki wasn’t as strong as Deku, but he was fast. The League’s boss dodged, attempting to get his own his in as Deku attacked, clumsy but dangerous. The floor and walls cracked from the pressure of each hit and the room’s ceiling crumbled as a second wall was moved.

“We should leave,” Twice said, looking up. “Or stay and fight!” He yelled.

He ran for Deku, fist raised but the smaller Alpha saw him coming. Deku leapt back from the punch and returned with a spin kick that slammed Twice into the floor. Katsuki winced at the crack that echoed in the room, which could have been from Twice’s skull or the concrete—it was hard to tell and that body wasn’t moving.

“Stay out of my way!” Deku shouted back, snarling at Toga and Dabi. “Shigaraki’s mine!”

“Fuck,” Dabi said. He lit his Quirk in his palm and ran forward, lighting the room in a wash of blue fire. He threw it toward Deku screaming, “Time to take a permanent nap!”

Chaos descended fairly quickly after that.

Katsuki watched from the sidelines, making sure at least one person had their head on straight in this mess. He was only glad Kurogiri wasn’t there to make it even more complicated than it already had become. Katsuki stayed at the ready, looking for any opening he could to get in there and restrain Deku.

If that was even possible.

Deku fought like a demon, moving with fluidity and instincts that he wished he had normally at his disposal in the field. He blocked Toga, dodged Shigaraki and sunk his knee into Dabi’s gut, knocking him across the room. Katsuki barely followed his movements, his speed enhanced by both his Quirk and the new chemicals flooding his system and powering him forward. But even Deku had his limits and after Dabi threw himself in Deku’s path between him and Shigaraki for the sixth time, he’d had enough.

“I said stay down!” Deku screamed.

He raised both fists, locked together and slammed them into the ground, sending out a shockwave that knocked everyone away and into the remaining walls. Toga was down for the count with a bleeding head wound on the far corner and Dabi groaned a few feet from Katsuki. Shigaraki sat up on his knees, his back to Deku, breathing hard and still smiling like an idiot.

Deku strode toward him, pulling his fist back as the power gathered in his limbs with a new Detroit Smash. “You’re dead for touching what’s mine.”

Deku meant that.

Katsuki got up from the floor and took a step forward. It was too easy to visualize what came next. He’d seen Deku’s moves a thousand times up close and knew what sort of force he could put behind it. With Shigaraki dazed, he’d never get out of the way in time. Deku’s fist would go straight through his chest, killing Shigaraki in a blink.

Deku’s dark eyes left no room for mercy. No room for talk.

Shigaraki was going to die.

Katsuki’s chest ached; his instincts screamed.

Deku would hate himself if he actually killed someone.

It was time to to his job.

“Hey, Deku!” Katsuki yelled, backing up until he was flush with the farthest wall in the long bar. His Alpha turned his head, confused and eyes wide. Katsuki readied his Quirk and swung his arm back. He sprinted forward, lighting the first explosion behind him. “I said get a grip!”

Deku’s shock held him in place and he took Katsuki’s Howitzer Impact head-on in the center of the chest, knocking him through the wall and straight into the body of the empty warehouse.

Shigaraki’s Order only prevented Katsuki from using his Quirk against the League.

Chapter Text

Katsuki always suspected Deku held back in sparring matches, but now he had proof.

He hit the concrete after Deku got hold of his arm and threw him across the room with enough force to slam him into the floor. He was lucky his ribs hadn’t broken. Katsuki would have used his Quirk to stop the fall, but he still hadn’t caught his breath from the knee to his gut that came immediately before the toss.

On impact, he rolled into one of the metal conveyor belts, slamming his back into it. Katsuki heard a rip as sat up and twisted to unlatch the fabric of his shirt from the stray hook it’d caught on.

“You little shit,” Katsuki hissed under his breath. Alpha got a heck of a strength boost when they hit this point, but Katsuki wasn’t a pushover. He went head to head with Deku and his stupid One for All Quirk and held his ground just fine! The extra adrenaline and steroids shouldn't have made that much of a difference, so the brat must have held back before. “That fucking hurt.”

“Then stay down,” Deku said. He turned back toward the hole in the wall, returning to his original target.

“Oh, no you don’t,” Katsuki said, launching himself up and across the room. He spun into a kick and slammed his leg into Deku’s waiting block, pushing him back. “We’re not done!”

He followed with a large burst of explosives aimed straight at Deku when he moved his arms. Maybe if Katsuki hit him enough times, he’d snap out of it. Deku seemed to be holding onto to some semblance of sanity beneath all the Alpha instincts so a little push in the right direction might be all that idiot needed. At least one of their conversations had to break through.

Katsuki hit the ground on his feet and threw his hands forward to keep up the barrage of hits.

When he stopped to take a breath—two weeks off really put him out of shape—he faced a highly unamused Alpha, lowering his arms away from his face. Deku’s Quirk continued to spark and he looked more or less unharmed.

“I really hate your Quirk some days,” Katsuki said under his breath.

“Are you done?” Deku asked, eyes still blank but Katsuki could feel them staring right at him. He shifted his foot back, getting back into an offensive position. “Because I’ll—”

Deku stopped, head tilted down.

Katsuki followed his line of sight until he saw what caught Deku’s attention: His torn shirt revealed his shoulder.

And the new Mark.

“That explains how you moved earlier,” Deku growled, fists tightening further. His specialized gloves cracked at the knuckles. “But it doesn’t explain why you keep getting in the way.”

“Someone’s got to calm your ass down,” Katsuki said, breathing hard. He couldn't ignore the internal voice laughing that this might be the most willing Omega-like thing he’d ever done in his life. It kinda pissed him off. “So if you want me out of the way, you better start hitting harder.”

Deku's breath shuddered, head flicking to stare at the Mark before going back to Katsuki’s face. He hissed, “Why are you protecting him?”

Because Deku would hate himself tomorrow if he knew he murdered people while all his inhibitions were compromised.

Because Dabi would be upset if something happened to that shit Alpha of his.

Because Katsuki was really sick of sitting on the sidelines and saving people was what he did.

“It’s my job,” Katsuki said, “in case you forgot.”

“You’re strong, Kacchan,” Deku said, leaning forward. His fingers twitched and his breath increased. That small grip on his sanity continued to slip away—the opposite of what Katsuki had been trying to achieve. Deku growled, dropping into a sprint. “So if you really want me to make you submit the hard way, so be it!”

“Shit.” Katsuki used his Quirk to throw himself out of the way in time, barely missing the Detroit Smash that landed where he’d been—taking a literal chunk out of the floor. Defense became the game as Deku’s speed picked up and it occurred to him he might be in over his head. “Are you trying to kill me?”

“No,” Deku snarled. He moved an inch faster, tackling Katsuki in the side. They rolled until Deku had him pinned, face in the ground and sitting on his back. “I’m trying to kill all those other Alpha that keep touching you!”

Katsuki winced, feeling the strain on his arm as Deku kept it twisted behind his back. Any more pressure and his bone would snap. He winced as his previously friction burned cheek scraped the ground once again. “Insecure, much?”

“Don’t act like I’m stupid, Kacchan. I know I’ve never been your first choice for a mate. I haven’t even been your second or third,” Deku said, breath still heaving. He leaned forward dropping his forehead onto the nape of Katsuki’s neck. “But when I’m done, I’ll be your only choice.”

From the sidelines, Dabi watched Midoriya stand up from Bakugou’s back and kick his Omega so hard in the side that Bakugou howled, curling in on himself on the ground. The Alpha left him there and turned, eyes still black as night and locked on the opening in the wall where he’d first been thrown through and been trying to return to since the fight started.

He clearly had his sights set on one goal.

“We need to leave.” Dabi tugged on Shigaraki’s sleeve, aware his hands were trembling but he felt freaking justified with that—that thing masquerading an Alpha in the other room. “Where the hell is Kurogiri?”

“If he has any sense, far away from here,” Shigaraki said, that fucking smile still plastered across his face. They were going to die and he looked as delighted as a little kid. “And if you think we can outrun him, you’re not as smart as I thought you were.”

“Then what are we going to do?” Dabi asked, eyes on the Alpha slowly approaching them. He didn’t look to be in any hurry, stepping around the broken machinery and rubble he’d created with his fight with Bakugou. “Because my fire’s strong but it’s not that strong.”

Shigaraki dropped his smile and tilted his head toward Dabi. “If you’re scared, just stay behind me. We’re going to be fine.”

Midoriya continued his steady approach, his pace quickening as he noticed Shigaraki and Dabi standing in the broken wall.

“How can you believe that right now?” Dabi asked, fingers twisting in the back of his Alpha’s shirt. “He’s going to murder us. Bakugou warned us about this and we brushed him off and we’re—”

“We aren’t going to die,” Shigaraki said.

Midoriya ran toward them fist raised and crying out, “Shigaraki!”

Dabi readied his Quirk for a last ditch effort and—

Bakugou slammed into Midoriya's side, an explosion behind him. The force flung both of them sideways, smashing into the outside wall of the building. They broke through and crashed into the street, rolling to a stop in the center of the road.

“You should have a little more faith in that new toy of yours,” Shigaraki said, stepping into the warehouse. He walked away from the fight toward a stairwell on the far side of the building. “We’ll be able to watch them better from the roof.”

Dabi swallowed, sending Bakugou a silent prayer as he followed after Shigaraki.

Everything hurt, but Katsuki kept punching. He’d caught Deku off guard for a split second and he intended to use every inch. Each hit returned a new snarl, the last dredges of Deku’s sanity long gone. He backhanded Deku across the cheek and screamed, “Wake up already!”

His upper hand didn’t last. Deku squirmed enough that he could get his leg up and he kicked hard, throwing Katsuki across the street and into the neighboring building. Instead of going after Shigaraki again, Deku seemed set on making sure Katsuki stayed down this time. He sprinted forward, kicking Katsuki in the side before throwing a punch.

The next hit threw Katsuki into a street lamp. He managed to catch his balance and used it as a jumping point to throw himself back at Deku with a new explosion at the ready. “What’s it going to take to snap you out of this?”

Deku dodged his hit and growled back at him like a wild dog.

Each of his moves turned more and more animalistic as he dodged and ran at Katsuki, using his arms more as he pushed off nearby surfaces and continued his assault.

“Fucking look at you,” Katsuki said, wincing after Deku got in another clean hit. Katsuki screamed back, catching Deku’s arm and throwing him over his shoulder. He managed to get a good toss in and slammed his palm into Deku’s back. He let loose an explosion straight into his back and Deku screamed. “You’re supposed to be better than this!”

Deku ducked down, tripping Katsuki over his shoulder and getting back up to keep going.

He didn’t even look out of breath.

“Shigaraki was right—You are the scariest monster around right now and for what?” Katsuki’s voice cracked as swung his fist. Deku caught it again, twisting until he caught Katsuki’s arm in a hold. Katsuki smacked Deku’s bicep, feeling his energy leave him and he dropped his head. “Me? You’d murder someone in cold blood for me? You’re the number one Pro Hero and you’re going to throw everything away! I’m not worth it, you idiot!”

Deku stilled. Only his grip trembled around Katsuki’s trapped hand. Deku sucked in a breath and exhaled, voice thick and sore. “Kacchan.”

He blinked and Katsuki nearly fell to his knees in relief when he saw the green return to his iris. Katsuki mumbled, “About time—”

The world went black.

“This is Shouto,” Todoroki said into his communicator. “The situation has been contained.”

Eijirou stood by Todoroki’s side and stared at his best friend locked in ice with Midoriya. He focused on keeping his breathing controlled.

After Todoroki’s all-clear, police and the rest of the containment team entered the area to collect Bakugou and Midoriya for questioning.

Chapter Text

Katsuki and Deku had matching shackles, though Deku’s were more for show than any actual use with that monster Quirk of his.

Tsukauchi sat across from them in the interrogation room, a large stack of notes on his desk next to an even larger selection of files with more tabs than they could hold. He rubbed the side of his head with a pencil, ignoring the armed guards in every corner, keeping a close eye on the mated pair.

“Let’s start with Deku,” Tsukauchi said. He looked toward the Alpha and asked, “What do you remember?”

“Getting sedated, waking up, Kirishima telling me that Shigaraki had Kacchan,” Deku paused, staring at the table. He inhaled and breathed out slow. His answers stayed short and clipped, and Katsuki could tell from his pinched expression he was struggling to say as much as he did. “Then everything went a little dark for a while. I remember a few of Shigaraki’s goons and warehouses, and I think I saw Hatsume at some point but I’m not sure.

“After that, I found Kacchan somehow. I remember a bit more around that time, but it’s still in bits and pieces,” Deku said, voice soft. He looked like a guy who remembered enough. “We had a fight and held nothing back, I know that much. But soon after, everything blacked out and I woke up here.”

“That sounds about right for someone who was in your state. Allow me to fill in some gaps,” Tsukauchi said. He tugged over a packet from the stack and flipped open the top page. “After Red Riot reported your break out from the containment bay, you destroyed a sealed exit door and escaped the building. We lost track of you, until Mei Hatsume reported you broke into her house, eyes black and threatening. You handed her a cellphone and demanded she trace the last number called.

“She did so, terrified for her life, and after you left with an address she reported where you were headed to the head of your agency,” Tsukauchi said. “A team was assembled and arrived at the supposed League of Villain Headquarters to contain the situation. You and Katsuki were restrained by Shouto when he found an opening during your fight, after which, you were both escorted here.”

Katsuki slumped in his chair, wishing he could move his fingers. His wrists itched under the metal but he stayed sane by reminding himself for once he didn’t have a gag to go with the cuffs.

“All together, damages were minimal and save for four or five petty Villains in the hospital, there was no sign of permanent damage,” Tsukauchi said. He sucked in a breath and turned to Katsuki, “Now as for you, I have a series of questions and I recommend that you answer them honestly the first time. We’ll all get out of here faster if you do.”

“And if I say no?” Katsuki asked.

Tsukauchi sighed heavily and rubbed between his eyes. He gripped his fist and before he could talk, Deku spoke up first.

“Kacchan, could you cooperate please for once in your life!” Deku said, shouting at the table. He sucked in a breath through his teeth and continued to stare at the table instead of turning to look at him. His voice sounded hoarse as he continued, frustrated and angry. “We are already in enough trouble, please do not make it worse.”

“That would be in everyone’s best interest,” Tsukauchi said, clearing his throat. He didn’t give Katsuki a chance to refute the request and pulled over a small recording device. He pressed the record button on the top and grabbed a pen. “First question: While you were out with Kyouka Kaminari, was your meeting with Dabi at the cafe arranged ahead of time?”

“No,” Katsuki said, rolling his head back.

“A new Mark was noted when you were escorted into the building,” Tsukauchi said, “Who gave it to you?”

“Shigaraki,” Katsuki said, glaring at the ceiling. He heard Deku suck in a breath, but stayed quiet. “Who do you think?”

“What happened after you were taken captive?”

Katsuki rolled his neck, stopping when it tugged too hard on his aching shoulder. The Mark had gotten infected at some point between the dust in the warehouse and being trapped on ice. The puss collected on his shoulder, but neither he nor Deku’s injuries had been tended to yet.

Getting answers took priority.

“Shigaraki Marked me and gave me a list of Orders that can be summed up with ‘Don’t escape and don’t attack us.’” Katsuki said, answering the question. He hated this, but he hated the idea of being trapped in interrogation longer than they had to be more. “After that I sat around and did nothing for five days.”

“Did you have sexual intercourse with Shigaraki or anyone else while in captivity?”

“What?” Katsuki choked and dropped his head down staring. “What sort of question is that?”

“The kind that decides whether or not you require a precautionary followup physical,” Tsukauchi said. Katsuki gritted his teeth, forcing himself to breathe evenly. He could feel Deku’s eyes on the side of his face, but he kept his glare focused on Tsukauchi. The officer sighed and said, quieter. “Please answer the question.”

“No,” Katsuki said. “I did not have sex with anyone in the League.”

“Noted. This was found on your person when you were brought in,” Tsukauchi said, holding up the small bag with a red pill. “Please identify the contents.”

Katsuki wondered how much that had cost Dabi to get and if he’d be mad knowing it went entirely to waste. “Birth control.”

Tsukauchi and Deku both looked at him and he sighed. “My Heat is in a couple days and they didn’t want me to get pregnant while in captivity.”

“Who gave it to you?”

Katsuki bit his lip and asked, “Does it matter?”

“Birth Control is an illegal substance outside of a prescription from a Licensed Doctor, so yes, it matters,” Tsukauchi said. “Who gave it to you?”

“Dabi,” Katsuki said through gritted teeth.

“Do you know where Dabi acquired the Birth Control?” Tsukauchi asked.

He had a good guess, but he didn’t know for sure. Hopefully that worked well enough for Tsukauchi’s truth telling Quirk. “No.”

“Were there any other Omega in the facility where you were kept?” Tsukauchi asked, putting his pen on the next question on his sheet.

Katsuki paused and pressed his lips together. Dabi had been a Villain and a murderer, but that wasn’t Katsuki’s secret to tell. Dabi had said he didn’t hide it, but Katsuki would bet everything that he had no one knew Dabi was an Omega outside of the League of Villains and Katsuki himself.

“May I refuse to answer?” Katsuki asked, lowering his head. Maybe he if he looked submissive enough, they’d let at least one question slide. He whispered, “Even Villains have some right to privacy and it isn’t my place to tell.”

Tsukauchi folded his hands on the table and his face softened, looking genuinely remorseful. “Again, I need you to answer the question, please.”

Katsuki shook his head. He couldn’t do that to Dabi. His plans fell apart and he failed, but that fire user had done everything he could to help. Katsuki wouldn’t repay him by outing him to the police.

“Is this one really that important?” Deku asked. Katsuki hid the shock that he’d spoken up. As furious as Deku was with himself, Katsuki, and the situation, he hadn’t expected him to provide support. “It doesn’t feel related to the matter at hand.”

“I’m sorry, but I was told he needed to answer every question to the best of his ability,” Tsukauchi said. “If he’s willingly hiding information, this will go a step further and we’ll have to extract the information by force. Lives are at stake and I’d rather not resort to that, am I understood?”

“Yes,” Deku said, voice strained.

“Katsuki,” Tsukauchi said. “Answer the question: Were there any other Omega at the facility where you were kept?”

“One,” Katsuki said. He shivered, swallowing hard. Katsuki wanted to blow up the room and run. He tapped his heel up and down under the desk. “Shigaraki’s mate was there, too, but I was the only captive.”

“Who was the Omega in question?” Tsukauchi asked. “Did you know them?”

“Please don’t make me answer this,” Katsuki said, aware he was pleading. His voice cracked and he bowed his head all the way down. “Don’t make me stab him in the back. He tried so hard to help me and I can’t do that to him.”

“Tsukauchi,” Deku said, voice low. Katsuki turned his head up, staring at Deku’s profile. Bags lined his eyes, he looked worn and tired, but there was no mistaking the authority in his voice. “Don’t make him answer. Go to the next question.”

The officer swallowed, licking his lip. He wrote down a quick note, bending to the strongest Alpha in the room. “Moving on.”

Katsuki had never been grateful for Deku’s status before, but he supposed there was a first time for everything.

“We only have a couple more to go,” Tsukauchi said. “Where you Ordered to defend Shigaraki and the League from threats?”

Katsuki glanced at Deku and said, “No.”

“Why did you engage in combat with Deku when he arrived?” Tsukauchi asked.

“Why do you think?” Katsuki returned. Tsukauchi sent him a withering look, as tired as anyone else in the room and he repeated his question. Katsuki kicked the table leg. “Deku was out of control. Someone had to stop him before he killed one of those idiots and despite what you assholes seem to think these days, I am fully combat trained.”

“It was quite the romantic gesture, too, when you get down to it,” a voice said as the door slid open. Katsuki froze in his chair. He knew that voice. His first mate walked by him, face in a folder file. He pulled out a chair next to Tsukauchi and took a seat like he belonged there. He slicked his hair back and laughed under his breath. “I can see the headline now: Omega goes to desperate measures to calm their beloved, risking life and limb to return them to their senses. I couldn’t have written a better story myself. It’s a shame I can’t publish it.”

“You,” Katsuki said, growling under his breath.

“Deku, Katsuki,” the Alpha said, nodding to each in kind. “I was hoping we wouldn’t have to see each other again for some time, but I suppose that’s not how the world works when you two create PR scandals this large.”

Deku growled, teeth barred and every single hackle raised at the sight of the other Alpha. He said nothing, but possessively leaned closer to Katsuki as if that would do anything.

The Alpha rolled his eyes and pulled out a pair of glasses. He stuck them on his nose and said, “My apologies. Deku, Mr. Midoriya. It’s a pleasure to see you again.”

“What did you just call me?” Katsuki asked, voice choking on the last syllable.

“Your name,” the Alpha said. He looked over the metal frames and his lip twitched. “An Omega’s surname changes to that of their Alpha when they’re mated. You didn’t think you were some special exception because all your friends still use your maiden name, did you?”

He had.

On some level Katsuki had.

“But that’s neither here nor there,” the Alpha said. He crossed his arms on the counter and said. “I hate to interrupt the good officer here, but the powers that be would like to move this along a little.”

Tsukauchi turned off the recorder and Katsuki forced himself to stay still in his chair, despite the shiver threatening to work its way across his body.

“As of right now, you’re both in my capable hands,” the Alpha said. He tapped his papers straight and smiled much too bright. “Let’s get started, shall we?”

Eijirou got away with everything but he still felt like he’d lost.

He should be happy: Bakugou had been returned safe and sound, save for a new Mark, but from what they could tell, he hadn’t been hurt by the League. Midoriya caused next to no damage to the city or civilians and what little he had done had been covered up so fast it was like it never happened.

And it was going to stay that way.

Everyone who’d been involved from Uraraka and Snipe who first sedated Midoriya to anyone who had been on the recovery team had signed a nondisclosure form, stating that the events of Bakugou’s kidnapping by the League and Midoriya’s wild state were confidential. Anything written or spoken about the event outside of a controlled environment with specific authorities would be punished accordingly.

It had all been resolved neat and tidy, save for what they were going to do with Midoriya and Bakugou themselves.

They covered up the event, but that didn’t mean those two weren’t free from consequence.

It set Eijirou’s nerves on edge and he had gotten away scot free. No one questioned why he’d been there when Midoriya escaped from sedation. The things he’d stolen from the evidence room still hadn’t been noticed missing with everyone too caught up with Midoriya going wild. Eijirou could have flat out admitted he woke up Midoriya at this point and he would be in more trouble for talking about the event than having had a hand in it.

No one seemed to care about Eijirou’s role in this at all.

He sat on the remains of his destroyed couch in his apartment and felt numb. They wouldn’t know the final verdict on Bakugou and Midoriya’s fates until the next day. Eijirou shoved a smashed cushion aside and fell over, using it as a pillow. He curled up and put his hands behind his head.

Bakugou was safe.

He was home.

He was still with Midoriya.

Eijirou punched his couch and got up. He grabbed his phone and called Mina to go out and do anything to get his mind off of this. Eijirou wouldn’t be as lucky as he had been this time twice.

And he really would be a lousy friend if he got himself arrested now that Bakugou needed him more than ever.

Katsuki glared at the table. He should have seen this coming. Katsuki really, really should have seen it coming.

It almost made him want to laugh at how absolutely pointless Shigaraki’s plan had been since it got swept under the rug so fast it might not have happened at all.

But it had.

Deku’s rampage and Katsuki’s kidnapping were now their dirty little secret they shared with government officials and a handful of other horrified Pro Heroes, now terrified of Deku.

Things couldn’t be better.

“Now that we’ve made the confidentiality of all this clear,” the Alpha said, “Let’s move on to the decision made by the agency on how to handle the aftermath.”

“Which would be?” Deku asked, speaking up for the first time since the Alpha outlined the coverup.

“To the public, you’re taking some time to yourself because your mate’s trauma was more intense than either of you realized. Officially, however, your outburst is being punished with two months unpaid leave confined to your apartment. In addition, you will be subject to mandatory, mate counseling once a week,” the Alpha said. He caught Katsuki’s intake of breath and said, “No worries. None of my classes are in your future. A genuine, unbiased third party will be overseeing the affair. Good, old fashioned therapy will do you both some good, I imagine.”

“Therapy,” Katsuki repeated. “We have to go to couples therapy.”

The Alpha’s “training sessions” felt like a better option and Katsuki wondered what that said about his head.

“But, because we all know how much you love cooperating and pushing us all to the limits of our patience,” the Alpha said, “they’re offering to make you a deal to ensure we all get what we want.”

“And what’s that?” Katsuki asked.

“If you promise to uphold the confidentiality agreement and make your best effort to participate in the counseling sessions, all charges against your parents will be dropped,” the Alpha said. He placed a paper on the table and spun it around. A small signature line listed at the bottom. “You can read it over, of course, but there’s no strings. You do your part and we’ll do ours.”

“Who decides what counts as participation?” Katsuki asked, reading the paper. It looked legitimate, but you never knew with they’d sneak in to screw Katsuki over. “You?”

“Your therapist will give a short report stating whether or not you tried,” the Alpha said. He took off his glasses and put them back in his jacket pocket. “We’re not asking for miracles, just that you made an attempt and attend every session.”

“This seems too damn easy,” Katsuki hissed.

“It is,” the Alpha said. He leaned back and crossed one leg over the other. “You’re being appeased because keeping this incident from the public is more important than punishing you for siding with the League of Villains or arresting our best Pro Hero for losing all his self control.

“The sheer panic it would cause if the public knew how easy it was to send Deku here into a primal, wild state is not something we can afford,” the Alpha said. Deku flinched in his chair, looking back at the table and Katsuki gritted his teeth. The Alpha rubbed the side of his head. “This is as simple as it gets. Letting your parents go is added insurance to ensure your cooperation, nothing more.”

Katsuki looked at Deku, wondering if he had any say.

“Do what you want, Kacchan,” Deku said, staring at the table top again. “You want to make your own choices, so make one.”

“The charges are completely dropped,” Katsuki said, looking back on the page. He searched hard, but couldn’t find any fine print. It looked legitimate. “No repercussions at all?”

“They’re even allowed their visiting rights back if Deku allows it,” the Alpha said.

Deku would. Katsuki had no guarantees of that, but he knew Deku would let Katsuki see his parents.

Katsuki swallowed and tapped his restraints on the chair. “I can’t exactly sign anything with these on.”

The Alpha turned his head to Tsukauchi, who sighed heavily and stood up. He pulled a key off his belt and walked around the table to undo the cuffs on both Katsuki and Deku. He called a guard over to take the restraints out of the room while Katsuki stretched his fingers out.

“Here you go, Mr. Midoriya. Make sure to sign your proper, legal name,” the Alpha said, handing Katsuki a pen. “And Deku signs after you as confirmation.”

Katsuki signed the sheet with a jerk, scribbling out the “B” he had started writing and replacing it with Deku’s surname. He felt ill, but what other choice did he have?

He shoved it to the side and Deku signed it without a word.

“Excellent,” the Alpha said. He collected the documents and stood from the chair. “I’m glad this was all settled for the best.”

Katsuki continued glaring out of the corner of his eye and the Alpha kept his eyes on Katsuki, still with that odd look of fondness and irritation that blended together into its own unique expression. Deku watched them both like a hawk, but the Alpha spoke on, unaffected.

“Speaking of the best,” the Alpha said. He put his papers away in his briefcase and glanced at Katsuki. “I think it’s a good thing Deku stepped in when he did. As it turns out, my mate at home is the jealous type. Who would have guessed?”

Katsuki’s mouth hung open. Mate at home? That had been jealous. Of Katsuki.

Of Katsuki.

“I got the cold shoulder for a week after he saw I had claimed you on the news,” the Alpha said, laughing under his breath. He headed for the interrogation room door and licked his lip. “I’ll be hearing about that for the rest of the year. Believe me when I say no one is happier you and I didn’t work out than my mate is. He made Deku a thank you card to show his appreciation and mailed it, though I doubt your Alpha showed you.”

Katsuki looked at Deku.

“I threw it away,” Deku said, glaring at the Alpha.

“I thought as much,” the Alpha said. “If you don’t mind, though, I said I’d be home early and I’d hate to keep my mate waiting. Enjoy your two months of house arrest.”

The door slammed shut and Tsukauchi got up, muttering under his breath about arranging an escort to their home. He left just as quickly with both guards, leaving Katsuki and Deku alone.

Chapter Text

Tsukauchi drove Katsuki and Deku home personally. A sense of pity hung around him like a dripping raincoat and Katsuki wanted to punch him.

“For now,” Tsukauchi said, standing near the door. “Because to the public you’re staying home by choice, we’re trusting you to maintain your own sentence. You’re allowed to go shopping for food and other necessities, but nothing else.”

“I take it I’m also on call if needed?” Deku asked, unlocking the door.

“That is correct to the best of my understanding.” Tsukauchi cleared his throat. “Your first therapy appointment is scheduled for for the end of next week and with that, I’ll take my leave.”

He disappeared down the hallway as Deku opened the door and Katsuki followed him in, shoulders down. The apartment hadn’t changed since he last saw it, save for the stale smell of old Scents. Deku closed the door behind them and they stood side by side in the opening of the living room.

Katsuki needed to break the tension before they both snapped like a wire.

“Where do you keep your disinfectants and bandages?” Katsuki asked. He rubbed his skin through his shirt, just below the collection of Marks he’d acquired. It hurt like shit and he really needed to clean the wound out. They’d been rushed out of the police station so fast he still hadn’t had a chance to tend to it. Katsuki walked over to the mirror near the door and tugged his shirt down, wincing at the spreading bruise. “And I don’t know when you’re going to pull that possessive Alpha shit, but when you Mark me again, at least do it somewhere else.”

“I’m not going to Mark you, Kacchan.”

Katsuki looked away from the mirror, dropping his hands at his side. Deku stared at the floor, hands clenched tight into fists. Katsuki’s chest felt tight and stretched. That nagging little Omega voice in the back of his head had turned to screams of warning. “Last time you couldn’t wait to get rid of another Alpha’s Mark.”

“Last time I was naive,” Deku said. He didn’t move and kept his head down. Deku’s voice cracked, the pitch changing as he forced out the words. “I thought. I really thought—it doesn’t matter what I thought. You’ve made it rather clear once again you want nothing to do with me and this time I’m listening, so fine. I’ll leave you alone like you want so badly.”

The conflict churned in his stomach. He felt relief, but at the same time—keeping Shigaraki’s Mark in tact felt wrong. Katsuki said as much: “It’s Shigaraki’s Mark.”

“What’s your point?” Deku asked, looking up through dark curls. “Marks heal and venom works through your system in a month. You and I are stuck here for two which is more than enough time. You’re fine.”

“Are you?” Katsuki asked.

Deku tensed, breath still heavy.

“As fine I can be when I find out the most important person in my life was more comfortable with the League of Villains than he ever was with me,” Deku said, the hurt clear behind the anger. Katsuki dropped his shoulders and felt his own anger rise. He started to reply but Deku snapped, cutting him off. “We both know it’s true. Last night is in bits and pieces, but I clearly remember Toga sitting in your lap and how close you were to all of them!

“You weren’t in distress, you weren’t uncomfortable, and you looked more scared of me than the Villains around you!” Deku shouted again. He breathed heavy and took a step back, turning his back to Katsuki. “Don’t patronize or coddle me. I know what I saw and you wouldn’t have even been in that interrogation room at all if they didn’t have reason to believe you left with them willingly.”

“Deku,” Katsuki said.

“Don’t,” he said. He held his hands up and laughed, voice growing hoarse. He sniffed and wiped at his eyes, revealing the redness at the edges and the tears threatening to break loose. “I know I’m being bratty, but I can’t bring myself to care. Do what you want, but I’m going to bed.”

Katsuki flinched as Deku walked past, body still tense and demeanor barely containing the Alpha’s anger, though he could at least tell it wasn’t directed toward Katsuki.

“The bandages and first aid kit are in the kitchen,” Deku said when he made it to the back hallway, voice raised and tired. “In the cabinet next to the microwave.”

He shut himself into his bedroom and locked the door.

“That could have gone better,” Katsuki said under his breath.

He trudged to the kitchen and found the supplies he needed where Deku had said they’d be and pulled them down. He dragged the kit to the bathroom and shut the door behind him. Katsuki winced as he pulled off his shirt, his shoulder hurting the most as his muscles stretched.

Black and blue met him as he looked at himself fully in the mirror. His fight with Deku had left its mark and he’d be covered in bruises for at least at week with how dark some of them had already turned.

He really was lucky nothing had broken during all of that.

Katsuki went for a shower first, wincing under the hot water and slowly cleaning out the wound on his shoulder with soap. Once he was completely clean from head to toe, he left it behind and inspected the Marks once again in the mirror. The pink, sensitive skin stared back at him and he slathered it in disinfectant. Katsuki hissed from the sting, but powered through it.

He bandaged his shoulder and left the bathroom, feeling better than he had in the past week. Shigaraki’s hideout hadn’t been hygiene friendly save for a rickety shower that barely worked.

It wasn’t much, but he’d take it.

“Home sweet home,” Katsuki muttered under his breath as he pulled on his night clothes. He collapsed into his bed, too tired to shut his room door or turn off the light.

“You’re pouting,” Shigaraki said, poking his finger into the side of Dabi’s head. He dragged it down and pushed it hard into the flesh of his cheek in the dead center of a stitch. “You miss your toy that much?”

“He wasn’t a toy,” Dabi said. He lit a cigarette with a flame from his fingertips and inhaled the nicotine. He fell back onto the bed, putting his foot on the pillow on the other end. He held his cigarette over the side, so that the ashes hit the floor instead of the bedspread. “Bakugou was a brat that attracted the wrong damn Alpha.”

“Or the right one,” Shigaraki said. He walked around the bed and sat on the edge. Pulling up his feet and falling on his stomach. Shigaraki tugged over his handheld game console and flicked it on. “Such a waste—the both of them.”

“Yeah,” Dabi said. He blew out a breath of smoke and listened to the tinny game music. “A waste.”

Deku still hadn’t come out of his room.

Katsuki sat on the couch, watching a cooking show. The mindlessness of the host describing how to make a dish Katsuki had made a hundred times soothed his headache. He dropped his head on the couch back, listening to the woman drone on about spices and making easy lunches.

He’d even done so earlier and made dinner, too, with what he salvaged from Deku’s fridge and pantry after cleaning the thing out this morning.

The Alpha in question had yet to eat his portion, wrapped neatly and placed back into the fridge.

Katsuki had been tempted to go get him, but if he wanted to sulk in his room, he was welcome to.

It was his problem if he didn’t want to eat.

Deku was probably waiting for Katsuki to go to sleep to slip out and eat something when the coast was clear. That’s what Katsuki would have done if he’d really wanted to avoid the other that first couple of weeks he’d been living here and been doing much of the same thing.

Katsuki turned off the television an hour later when he noticed the sky had grown dark outside. He glanced at Deku’s door as he entered his own room, shutting it with a heavy slam to make it clear he’d gone to bed.

He waited to hear a crack from the other door, but when there was nothing, sighed and went to changing into his nightclothes.

They were going to have to sit down and talk about all this at some point and Katsuki hoped it was before they were required to do it with a third party in the room.

As he crawled into the sheets, he felt a pulse under his skin—a full body shiver that shot through him like an electric spark. When Katsuki breathed in, he smelled something pungent under his Scent—heady and sweet.

Warmth spread through his limbs and Katsuki felt dizzy, but in a pleasant way. He dug his fingers into the sheets. His breath picked up and his heart pounded. Katsuki knew what this was—it was the thing that should have happened a month ago when he’d been in his kitchen debating whether or not to call Dabi.

Pre-Heat symptoms.

“Shit,” Katsuki said, staring at the mattress. He didn’t feel aroused but he could feel his pores opening without his consent, filling the room with pheromones and a new, attractive Scent. He felt his chest expand and contract with heavy breathing. “Now what do I do?”

He should have asked Dabi more questions.

Scared or not of spending a Heat with Shigaraki, he should have taken advantage of someone who knew what went on and what happened instead of shoving it in the back of his mind.

Because now it was here. Again. Should he get someone? But the only person around was—

“Deku,” Katsuki said, whipping his head to the doorway. His pulse picked up further and all he could think about was that Omega they’d saved the other month, who’d been pinned against the wall by a greedy Alpha because of Pre-Heat pheromones at the wrong time.

He’d been releasing those pheromones for at least ten minutes now, and Deku had to be able to smell that through the door. Only the outer walls were insulated to keep Scents from spreading and Deku’s room was right across the hallway. Natural instincts should have had him breaking down the door—unless he had put his Pro Hero training to use.

Alpha Pro Heroes had extensive training to learn to fight those very pheromones, to keep from turning into the threats they were fighting.

Deku had backed away and gotten control of himself almost immediately after seeing that Omega in the alley. Come to think, Katsuki had never known Deku to be on the receiving end of a sedation before he had gone missing with the League.

Deku’s self control had always been remarkable, with Katsuki as his sole exception. But that had changed the past two days, hadn’t it?

The bedroom door remained still and quiet; untouched.

“He said he was going to leave me alone,” Katsuki whispered.

Izuku woke from his nap, scrunching his nose and wincing at the rancid smell filling his room. He sat up and coughed, concentrating on the distressed Scent and stared at his doorway. Under the rot, he caught a hint of floral sneaking through that he knew far too well.

He got out of bed and opened the door, stepping into the wave of pheromones and as he got closer to their source, he picked up yet another undercurrent of something sweet that felt out of place in the panicked Scent.

“Kacchan?” Izuku said, knocking on the door. He heard a whimper in reply, but no proper answer. Izuku did not wait for an invitation and went into the bedroom. “Kacchan!”

The Omega had curled into a ball, with his arms over his head. He lifted an elbow high enough to see Izuku in the doorway, eyes glassy and cheeks wet with thick, sloppy tears. Kacchan’s Scent had covered the room in the warped smell, pheromones wild and body tense.

He was terrified and his body screamed that he was in pain with the distressed Scent escaping him—but why?

“What happened?” Izuku asked, crossing the room. He knelt by the bed and touched the top of Kacchan’s arm. “Are you hurt?”

“I can’t do it again,” Kacchan said, shaking his head. He hid his face again, curling further into the blanket and the Scent of distress increased further, burying Kacchan’s roses under it. “I can’t.”

“Can’t do what again?” Izuku asked, looking down Katsuki’s body. He saw bruises on his arms and legs, but those had been from the fight. Did he have a nightmare, maybe? Izuku rubbed Kacchan’s upper arm back and forth and frowned. “Kacchan?”

“I can’t be alone again,” he whispered, a whimper escaping afterwards.

“Alone?” Izuku asked. He stopped his hand and breathed in again, concentrating harder on the Scent. Kacchan continued to tremble under his hand and it hit Izuku like a truck to the face. “These are Pre-Heat signs—Your Heat’s tomorrow.”

Kacchan nodded under his arms.

“And you thought I was going to leave you alone,” Izuku said, a chill working its way down his spine. No wonder Kacchan’s Pre-Heat pheromones had turned into such a rotten mess—his fear had warped them beyond recognition and his body had already started to panic at the thought of undergoing a Heat alone. Izuku threw his arms around Kacchan and dragged him into a hug, cradling his head on his shoulder. “No, no. I’m right here. No one’s leaving you alone for that.”

“You said you weren’t going to touch me,” Kacchan whispered. He clutched at Izuku’s shirt, twisting the fabric hard enough that it ripped. “You wouldn’t even look at me.”

“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry,” Izuku said, hugging his Omega tighter as his shirt grew wet with Kacchan’s tears. He crawled up to sit on the bed and hold him better. Izuku rubbed Kacchan’s back, pressing into overheated skin. “I forgot how close you were to this when I said those things—I never, ever intended to leave you alone for your Heat. I know how bad it can be and I would never put you through that.”

“You don’t,” Kacchan whispered. His breath didn’t slow and Izuku could almost feel his heartbeat racing. “You don’t have a fucking clue how bad it is.”

“I don’t,” Izuku said. He leaned back and cupped Kacchan’s face between his hands. He pressed their forehead together, their noses touching. “But this time is going to be different. I’m going to be right here with you the entire time and I’m going to help you, Kacchan. You’re not alone.”

“What if it still hurts?” Kacchan asked, he choked on his breath. “What if I’m just that screwed up?”

“It’s not going to hurt,” Izuku said. He wiped a line of tears back with his thumb and kissed Kacchan’s eyelid. “I promise. You’re going to feel so good you won’t know what to do with yourself.”

Nothing changed in Kacchan’s Scent—he didn’t believe Izuku.

“Did it hurt when we had sex on the couch?” Izuku asked. Kacchan shook his head. “What about the shower the next morning?”

“No,” Kacchan said.

Izuku kissed him, gentle and short. He moved his hands to rest on the back of Kacchan’s neck. “It’ll feel just like before, but better.”

“I hate this,” Kacchan said looking away. He dropped his shoulders, but still felt tense in Izuku’s grip.

“It’s going to be okay,” Izuku said. He hugged Kacchan again, chest to chest and as close as he could get. He buried his nose into Kacchan’s neck, searching for that rose Scent under it all. “I’m going to take such good care of you, I promise.”

Starting right now.

“Kacchan,” Izuku said. He pressed their temples together, keeping his voice soft. “Do you know what Pre-Heat pheromones are for?”

“A warning?” he asked, voice tired.

“A lure.”

Deku pressed forward, pushing Katsuki back onto the bed. He crawled further onto the mattress, a knee between Katsuki’s legs and his arms on either side of Katsuki’s head. He dipped down, kissing Katsuki’s eyelid again. Deku drew his hands in, holding the back of Katsuki’s neck as the kiss trailed down to meet his lips.

“What are you doing?” Katsuki asked, shivering as they split apart.

“Answering your call,” Deku said. He pressed his body flush with Katsuki, lining them up. Katsuki held Deku’s waist and felt his breath hitch when Deku kissed him again, a little harder this time. He pecked the side of Katsuki’s lip and said, “Pre-Heat sex makes the rest of the week easier. It’s a promise that I’ll be here the entire time, so you don’t have to worry about finding a partner and your Heat doesn’t hit you as hard.”

“Remind me to actually read a sex ed book after this,” Katsuki said, dropping his head back. “This shit is way too complicated.”

Deku snorted, giggling as he dropped his head into Katsuki’s throat. He tapped his finger against Katsuki’s skin, mouth stretching into a smile against his neck. “Okay, Kacchan.”

Katsuki breathed out, focusing on Deku’s Scent when he inhaled. He did feel calmer now, though the embarrassment creeped up along his spine.

He wasn’t weak.

He wasn’t.

“If you want me to stop, now’s the time to tell me,” Deku said, pushing himself up on his knees. He spread Katsuki’s legs further apart around him, dragging his hands down Katsuki’s chest. They rested on the edge of his boxers and he put his thumbs on Katsuki’s hips. “Are you okay?”

“No,” Katsuki said, shaking his head. He laughed and grabbed Deku’s arm when he started to back away. He settled into the mattress and covered his eyes. “I’m not okay with any of this shit but it’s going to happen whether I want it to or not.”

“Kacchan,” Deku said, voice soft. He put his hand over Katsuki’s, squeezing tight.

“Sex now makes tomorrow and the rest of the week easier, right?” Katsuki asked, pulling his knee up. His stomach turned into a new set of knots, still unsure as the last time he did this with Deku. “That’s a thing?”

“Yes, Kacchan,” Deku said. He put his hands back on Katsuki’s waist and his expression turned serious, voice controlled. “I’m not making it up.”

Katsuki let go and reached back to hold the pillow behind his head. “Then okay.”

“Okay,” Deku repeated.

He reached for Katsuki’s shirt and pushed it up and pulled it over his head. Deku shed his own afterwards and went for their boxers next. Katsuki shivered as the cold air hit his skin. Deku kissed his stomach once before he went back to Katsuki’s mouth, pressing him into the mattress with all of his weight.

Katsuki sucked in a breath when he felt Deku’s fingers enter him below, opening him with ease. His lower half pulsed, wanting and waiting already from so little simulation. He’d never get used to that and hated how badly he already wanted more. Katsuki jerked his hips around Deku’s fingers and clung to the Alpha’s back.

Deku took the hint.

He replaced his fingers with something more filling and Katsuki groaned, breath heavy.

His stupid Alpha had the nerve to chuckle and kissed him harder as he moved his hips. “Does that feel good?”

Katsuki squeezed his thighs harder around Deku’s waist and kissed him back instead of a reply.

Deku took the encouragement and propped himself up on one hand next to Katsuki’s head. He used the other to hold Katsuki’s waist as leverage, picking up his pace and thrusted harder. His pupils dilated and Deku kept his eyes locked with Katsuki’s, moaning right alongside him.

It was unfair how good it all felt.

Katsuki thought much the same when he and Deku fell asleep together twenty minutes later, tangled under his sheets.

Chapter Text

Katsuki woke limp and warm, snuggled under Deku’s arm with his head on the Alpha’s shoulder. Aside from the sluggish desire to sleep in, he felt fine—if anything, Katsuki felt comfortable and satisfied.

Nothing hurt.

“Morning, Kacchan,” Deku said, kissing the top of his head. He rubbed Katsuki’s side, lazily dragging his hand up and down his skin. He traced his fingers around the outlines of the yellowing bruises. “You feel alright?”

“Yes,” Katsuki said, content to stay right where he was. Deku’s Scent surrounded him and his bed. It worked better than aroma therapy, maintaining Katsuki’s calm. He hated that it had to end. “When does the nightmare start again?”

“Later, Kacchan. This evening you’ll be in full swing but for now we can take it easy.” Deku snorted and sat up, pulling Katsuki into a sitting position with him. “We have all day to get things ready.”

“Get ready?” Katsuki asked.

“Yes, like decide who’s room you want to stay in the entire time,” Deku said. He crawled over Katsuki, still shamelessly naked, and stood up, stretching. Katsuki tugged the sheets over him and curled back up in the bed. He didn’t hurt, but he didn’t want to move either. Deku ruffled Katsuki’s hair and said, “And a couple other things we might want to talk about before tonight.”

Katsuki grunted, closing his eyes again.

“I’ll be back in a minute so you can pick out what you like,” Deku said. “That way I’ll have an idea of what you prefer before you’re too gone to tell me properly.”

Katsuki opened his eyes again and sat up. He watched Deku leave the room, a tiny smile on the Alpha’s face. Katsuki stared after him, growing more confused the longer he thought over what the other had said. What was there to pick out?

Izuku bit his lip, attempting not to laugh.

“What the hell, Deku?” Kacchan glared into the open plastic tub on Izuku’s bed. He poked the side of it, rattling the contents. It was hard not to be amused by the mixture of disgust and red covering his face. “Did you buy all this when I was hiding in my room? You have half a store in here!”

“This is the only one I’ve bought since we were mated,” Deku said, picking up a dildo still wrapped in its box. He had wanted to pick some things out with Kacchan to prepare for his Heat, but the Omega had locked himself in his room so Deku went shopping by himself and crossed his fingers hoping that he picked out something Kacchan would like. “The rest I’ve collected over the years uh, waiting.”

“Waiting,” Kacchan repeated. He looked adorably half-awake in his first-day Heat haze. It erased any intimidation he might have been attempting. “You collected a box full of various sex toys while waiting for me to give in to your courting. You didn’t even know I was an Omega until a month ago!”

“This might come as a shock, Kacchan,” Izuku said, dropping the dildo back into the box. It knocked over a small set of vibrators. “But Beta have sex, too.”

“I know that!” Kacchan said. He pointed at the tub and said, “But these are unopened! You bought them for me before I even said yes! You don’t think that’s creepy?”

Izuku looked back at the selection of toys and licked his lip. “Maybe a little, but in my defense I didn’t realize there was so much either. I always just threw the things in the box as I bought them and didn’t really pay attention to how much I already had!”

“What are you talking about?” Kacchan asked. “How do you not keep track of this?”

“Okay, so for some reason I can’t pinpoint, I typically get asked to go with people their first time at the sex shop as support,” Izuku said. He wished he was making that up, but when his friends were embarrassed about going, they somehow knew Izuku wasn’t bothered in the slightest. “And while they looked around, so did I and I thought about my own future sex life.

“If something looked like it’d be fun to try or you might like, I just got it,” Izuku said. He rubbed the back of his neck and shrugged. “To you know, be prepared.”

Kacchan stared back at the tub and frowned. This discomfort was clear from the way he shifted back and forth on his leg, rubbing his arm. “What if I don’t want to use any of this stuff?”

“We don’t have to if you don’t want to,” Izuku said, mentally calculating his refractory period. “I thought it might help shake things up since you’ll want to come three or more times a night for half a week.”

Or to give Izuku a chance to catch his breath.

“I’d rather not,” Kacchan said. He put the lid on the box and put his elbows on the cover, holding the back of his head. “I don’t want to make this complicated.”

“Okay,” Izuku said, rubbing Kacchan’s back. He leaned on him and wrapped his arms around his Omega’s waist. Toys made things faster, but if Kacchan didn’t want to use them, Izuku would respect that. He nuzzled Kacchan’s spine and leaned on him. “We’ll keep it simple.”

Kacchan whispered, “Thanks” and breathed out.

“Come on, I’ll put these up and we can cuddle while we wait for your Heat to properly start,” Izuku said.

Kacchan nodded and wandered out into the living room. After he left, Izuku shoved the toy box back into his closet and breathed out, excitement and nerves putting an extra skip in his step.

Toys or not, Izuku wouldn’t let Kacchan down.

The intensity of Katsuki’s Heat grew over the course of the afternoon, raising his temperature and arousal like water heating in a pot.

By five o’clock it had boiled over.

Katsuki stripped his shirt off, throwing it over the side of Deku’s bed. It was too hot. Way too hot and he had a good idea of what was happening when his loins pulsed in time with his heartbeat but found himself not caring. He needed relief and the clothes were the first thing that needed to go. Katsuki stripped off his sweat-soaked shorts and fell back on the bed, tugging his knees up and spreading his legs.

He’d expected another wave of panic, but all he wanted was Deku’s dick.

“If you’re not inside me in the next five seconds I’m finding someone else,” Katsuki said, throwing a hand out and grabbing Deku’s arm. The brat had been smiling at him for the past five minutes from the other side of the bed, watching and not doing a damn thing to help. Katsuki groaned, shifting his hip and rolling on his side. “What’s so funny?”

“I’m amused how different this is from all those daydreams I had in high school,” Deku said. He pulled his shirt off over his head and stripped to match Katsuki’s nudity. “Back before you presented and being an Omega was as equally on the table as anything else.”

“Less creepy talk,” Katsuki said, not giving a shit about Deku’s masturbation daydreams. His own fingers were between his legs, rubbing hard to bring a sliver of relief but he could already tell that wasn’t going to cut it. Katsuki needed Deku if he was ever going to make it stop. “More creepy sex. Right now.”

“How could I ever say no to that?” Deku asked. He sat between Katsuki’s legs and pressed their waists together as he leaned up to kiss him. Katsuki grabbed the back of his head, fingers digging hard into his green curls. Deku smiled into the next kiss and laughed when Katsuki grabbed ahold of Deku’s crotch and tugged. “Alright, alright! I’ve got it.”

Katsuki threw his head back and his vision whited out when they finally fit together.

Kacchan kept it simple.

Izuku kissed his jawline, snuggling close as the Omega slept on, sated and exhausted after four rounds of orgasms. Kacchan nuzzled in his sleep, clinging as tightly to Izuku as he had on the couch after their first time together.

He had heard some stories about Omega in Heats from the other Alpha at work that featured anything and everything from their mates turning aggressive in their desperation or losing all control as they screamed and begged for more. Izuku had even seen his fair share of stylized sex in the few adult films he’d indulged in featuring Heat sex.

Kacchan had been better than all of that.

If he discounted the number of orgasms, Kacchan’s Heat had been downright easy with normal, missionary position sex and a hand job in the middle while Izuku waited for his lower half to come back to life.

Izuku had expected wild sex but he wasn’t complaining. Kacchan had been beside himself in pleasure, holding onto Izuku in pure adoration. He’d loved the sex and their first night of the Heat could be considered a success in both making Kacchan feel good and destroying that last remnant of fear.

“You deserve the break,” Izuku whispered, tugging the blankets tighter around the two of them.

An easy Heat was the least Nature could do to pay Kacchan back after all the horrible experiences he’d been through.

“Let’s hope the rest of the week is just as good to you,” Izuku said. He closed his eyes and breathed out, falling asleep with his favorite person.

For now at least, it was easy to pretend that the rest of their troubles didn’t exist and he looked forward to another few nights of making Kacchan feel good.


Katsuki clutched at his stomach, fingers digging into the skin of his belly. His breath picked up and he trembled as an ugly void filled his chest and heart.

For the past four mornings, he’d woken content and happy—embarrassingly cuddly as he embraced and clung to Deku for comfort. He’d felt good. It’d been so good he hated it but was too out of it and lost in his Heat to care.

That had all gone.

Katsuki choked as the tears gathered in his eyes. His insides twisted, curling in a different sort of pain as it hit him that his womb was empty.

The Heat had failed.

He didn’t know how he knew, but Katsuki wasn’t pregnant and he should have been relieved. He didn’t want a baby. He didn’t. He didn’t want one. Katsuki did not want a baby.

So why couldn’t he stop crying?

“Kacchan,” Deku whispered. He tugged him over, pulling him tight into Deku’s chest. “Hey, hey. What’s wrong?”

“I shouldn’t be upset,” Katsuki said, he breathed in cedar looking for comfort and it backfired: He wasn’t pregnant with Deku’s child. He was empty. Katsuki sobbed into Deku’s chest, unable to suppress the voice screaming in the back of his head that he’d failed. “I’m sorry.”

“For what?” Deku asked. He dragged the sheet up to wipe away the tears from his cheeks. He spoke soft, soothing and too kind. “Why are you crying?”

“I’m not pregnant,” Katsuki said. His voice shook and he replaced the missing tears with new ones. Deku’s eyes widened and Katsuki wanted to scream. Deku had known everything about Heats but he didn’t know about this? Of course he didn’t. Katsuki didn’t have the sort of luck that would warn him about this sort of shit. Katsuki shoved his face into Deku’s chest. “I shouldn’t be so upset.”

“Oh, Kacchan. It’s okay. We can try again,” Deku said, saying the wrong thing but Katsuki couldn’t blame him for trying. He pressed the sides of their heads together and hummed under his breath. “We have all the time in the world and I could wait forever for you.”

“I hate this,” Katsuki whispered. He breathed in and kept crying. “It wasn’t supposed to hurt anymore.”

“I wish I knew how to make it stop,” Deku said. He kissed Katsuki’s eyelid and hugged him close again. “I’d do it in a heartbeat.”

Katsuki breathed hard and clung hard enough to bruise Deku’s side. The voice in the back of his head needed to know his Alpha wasn’t going to leave him. Katsuki needed to know it, too. “Stay here.”

“As long as you want,” Deku said, petting Katsuki’s hair back. He crushed Katsuki to his chest, fingers digging into old bruises and grounding Katsuki with the fresh wave of physical pain. Deku growled, “As long as you want me, I’ll be right here.”

Deku wasn’t leaving.

He still wanted Katsuki, faults and all.

It made the voice in the back of his head happy and Katsuki felt calmer as he sunk into Deku’s Scent and arms and fell back asleep.

Chapter Text

Izuku stared at his phone, reading the small messages that lit up his screen from Kaminari. He rubbed Kacchan’s side as the Omega slept, eyes still puffy from the sobbing. Izuku hadn’t had a clue what that had been about, aside from Kacchan somehow being upset he wasn’t pregnant, but Izuku wasn’t going to let it go unanswered—thus the text to Kaminari.

Of all the mated Alpha and Omega pairs he knew, Kaminari was the one with the closest contact to Kacchan and would be the most discrete.

“Yeah, I know that,” the first answer to Izuku’s question read. Kaminari continued, “It’s an Omega thing. Kyouka could tell him more about it before his next Heat. Don’t bring it up or ask him about it later. They don’t like to talk about it.”

Izuku had asked what he should do next time and Kaminari left a simple, “Whatever they want you to do.”

He sent a “thanks” in reply and clicked the phone off, putting it back on the end table. Izuku turned to snuggle deeper with Kacchan and pressed his face in the choppy blond hair. Izuku would have preferred a more in-depth answer, but it could wait for a time when Kacchan wasn’t stretched too far already and Izuku could research on his own.

But he did make a mental note to invite Kyouka over again. She wanted to check on Kacchan after the whole “kidnapping” fiasco as it was.

Izuku buried his nose into the strands of Kacchan’s hair and breathed in, smelling cedar and musk.

He missed the potpourri.

Katsuki stared at the dull top of the folding table, tapping his foot against the leg on the far corner as he stretched his limbs out underneath it. He regretted destroying the dining table. If he’d known they’d be stuck with this thing for two months, he would have held back.

He also regretted being so much of a sulking brat the entire time that he’d been there that Deku got it in his skull that Katsuki had no desire to cook or participate in household chores. He watched the Alpha in the kitchen, making breakfast in silence as he fried eggs in a pan. It smelled fine and everything Deku had made so far had been edible, but all the same—Katsuki missed cooking.

And hell if he was going to eat a subpar breakfast after the past week and waking up to a literal nightmare.

“Move over,” Katsuki grunted, he took the utensils away from Deku and grabbed the pan handle. He finished up the first part of the rolled omelette and muttered, “I’ve got it.”

Deku sighed under his breath, patting Katsuki on the arm as he walked out of the kitchen. He didn’t say anything, choosing to maintain their quiet morning.

At least Katsuki wasn’t the only one dancing around eggshells concerning the past week.

Katsuki rolled the egg and went for the mixture to pour the next layer. He watched it solidify and rolled it, using the soothing motion to keep himself calm.

He didn’t like that he couldn’t remember most of his Heat.

And Katsuki hated the the parts that he could remember, most of which revolved around waking up and wanting nothing more but to bury himself inside of Deku and keep the Alpha in bed. Or those fleeting moments of lucidity he experienced while Deku was inside of him and he held tight and sunk into the mattress, wanting more, more, more. Katsuki shivered as he picked up the finished omelette roll and put it on the plate before working on a second one.

He had heard that when an Omega was in Heat or an Alpha had gone wild, that their state could be described as a being’s “most honest form” because of the total lack of inhibitions.

Katsuki didn’t want to know if that was true.

And he really didn’t want to think about how he’d woken up earlier in the day, mourning a child he wasn’t having.

The rattling thoughts in his head kept his mouth shut and their breakfast was eaten in silence, save for a short “This is good, Kacchan” from Deku.

“We need to go grocery shopping,” Izuku said, staring into their fridge around three. He looked over his bar top toward the living room. Kacchan had taken over the couch and had a cooking show on, though he wasn’t sure the Omega was actually paying attention to it. “We ate everything that was still good for breakfast and lunch. Do you want to come?”

“Yes,” Kacchan said. He crawled off the couch and turned off the television. Kacchan brushed his hair out with his fingers. “If it’s the only time we get to leave this stupid apartment, I’m taking it.”

Izuku didn’t blame him.

They both enjoyed the fresh air as they walked to the market, stopping every so often to greet a fan or two that wanted “Deku’s” autograph. A few Omega made small talk with Kacchan, though it was hard to tell if they were excited to meet the retired Ground Zero or “Deku’s” mate. He tried not to listen in too much and ignore the fans he himself was speaking with.

The patrons at the market left them alone to shop once they were inside the store and Izuku felt grateful for the discretion.

Kacchan picked out most of the groceries, throwing spices and other fresh ingredients into the cart that Izuku wouldn’t have thought to buy. Their mutual silent treatment dwindled away as mindless chatter over picking out what to buy when it came to preferences and decision making for what they wanted to make during the week.

Their loosened tongues morphed into actual conversation when they hit the frozen goods aisle and they considered buying a few sweet treats.

“Hey, Deku,” Kacchan asked, staring at a pint of ice cream. “How long have you been holding back in spars?”

Izuku winced, tightening his grip on the basket. Of all the questions to come up, he hadn’t been expecting that one. After their fight in the warehouse and seeing the bruises Kacchan had acquired from it, he should have seen it coming. Izuku answered, doing his best to avoid sounding like he was bragging. “Since our second year at U.A.”

Kacchan slammed the freezer door shut, bending in the side of the ice cream container in his hand. “What?”

“It wasn’t just for you though!” Izuku said, holding his hands up. He knocked his grocery basket against the freezer door as it swung and grabbed a loose carrot that tried to fall out. “I technically had All Might’s full power when I first received the Quirk, even if I had so much trouble controlling it at first. Around the end of second year, I’d gotten past all my major hurdles, but he said after struggling so much with my Quirk in public, it’d be suspicious if I was as strong as he had been in his prime all of a sudden.

“He told me to hold back and train at full strength in private for a few more years. Eventually I was holding back against everyone so I wouldn’t hurt them,” Izuku said. He winced and rubbed the back of his neck. “And I know I said I held nothing back in our fight at the warehouse, but there’s a good chance I was still subconsciously taking it easy on you or I would have killed you.”

“Awesome,” Kacchan said. He dropped the ice cream pint into the basket and his shoulders slumped. “Thanks for not killing me, I guess.”

Izuku sighed as the Omega walked past him, heading for the frozen vegetables down the next aisle.

Their first therapy session tomorrow was going to be a peach.

Katsuki sat next to Deku on their couch, staring at an Omega with thick-framed reading glasses and a tailored suit perched on the arm chair she’d moved in place of the coffee table Deku had bought to replace the broken one.

He wasn’t holding his breath for a productive session, no matter what she’d said when she introduced herself.

“Now then,” Specs said, adjusting her glasses. She tapped on her digital tablet, before hooking it up to a keyboard on her lap. “We’ve got our introductions out of the way, so why don’t we start.”

Katsuki mentally counted down to when this would end.

“I received a briefing from the police station concerning your relationship so far, starting with your history growing up together and continuing up to your unconventional claiming. Of course, information concerning the incident that’s led to these counseling sessions was also included,” Specs said, pulling out a small folder. She set it on the moved coffee table and opened the top flap. Specs removed two stapled packets and handed them across one for Katsuki and Deku each. “That contains all the information I received and you two are free to read it later in case you’d like to comment on or correct anything.”

Deku flipped through the small packet of papers before setting it aside on the cushion to his left. Katsuki didn’t bother to open it and tossed it to his right.

Specs noticed as much, which probably fueled her next sentence. “We’ve got a lot to cover, but I think today we’ll focus the session on you, Katsuki.”

“Why am I not surprised?” Katsuki slumped into the couch, resigning himself to participation. His knee knocked into Deku’s and he pulled his leg back. “But whatever.”

Specs kept her neutral smile, scrolling on her tablet before tapping twice. She continued typing with one hand and asked, “Do you want to take things easy today or just dive into the deep of it? You’re required to attend these sessions, but you’re still just like any of my other patients, which means you get to set the pace.”

“Let’s just get this over with,” Katsuki said, digging his shoulder into the couch. “It can’t be any worse than the past month.”

“Then we’ll start with the beginning,” the therapist said. She dropped her smile and kept typing with the one hand for a few moments before she stopped. Specs closed the tablet and set it on top of her things on the coffee table, giving Katsuki her full attention. “What was the first thought on your mind when you presented?”

Katsuki stared her straight in the eye and said, “My life is over.”

“Could you elaborate on why you thought that?” she asked.

“You can’t guess? I was a second year student at U.A. and well on my way to a career as a Pro Hero who’d stand in the top ten! Presenting as an Omega was the worst thing that could have happened to me,” Katsuki said, catching his breath and forcing himself to stay calm and avoid yelling. “I’d spent my entire life training for my future as a Pro Hero and thanks to my Class, I was going to lose all of it. Everything I’d done, all my training, all that work—for nothing.”

“I will admit, presenting as an Omega is the most challenging of the Classes because of the drastic lifestyle change,” she said, sympathetic. “So I do understand your frustration, especially since you had already set yourself on a life path unsuited for an Omega. Most of us presented much earlier in our lives and didn’t have to go through what you did.”

Deku tapped his knee back against Katsuki’s, a small gesture of attempted comfort.

“Tell me, Katsuki,” Specs said, she pressed her lips together and folded her hands on her knee. “Whose idea was it for you to hide your Class and pretend to be a Beta?”

He didn’t like that question.

“If you’re going to blame my mother for shit, you can stop right now,” Katsuki said. He growled and leaned forward slamming a hand on his knee. “That ‘abused Omega’ story from the news was bullshit propaganda to hide that I was a successful Hero as an Omega and you know it.”

Deku sighed beside him, holding his hands tight in his lap.

Specs tapped a finger up and down. “Humor me a little, Katsuki, and answer honestly: Whose idea was it for you to hide that you were an Omega?”

Katsuki lied: “Mine.”

Deku knocked his knee harder into Katsuki’s leg. “Don’t lie to the doctor, Kacchan.”

“Izuku, I appreciate the thought but it’s not necessary to push him,” Specs said. Izuku pulled his leg back and scooted away from Katsuki an inch. “Thank you. However, he is right, Katsuki. You’re not going to get much out of these sessions if you lie to me.”

“And how do either of you know I’m lying?” Katsuki asked, glaring at Deku.

“You’re too tense,” Deku said.

“Your defensive behavior toward your mother earlier leaned toward it at the very least being a mutual decision, if not entirely her idea,” the therapist said. “And your answer came much too quickly.”

“Shit,” Katsuki said, throwing his head back. He growled under his breath and hissed, “Yes, it was my mother’s idea.”

“Could you describe how that happened?” she asked.

Katsuki sunk into the couch cushion, dropping his hands between his legs. “After my Heat finished, she came to see me with the suppressants and a forged Classification document and said, ‘Congrats, you’re a Beta.’ And before you ask, I was relieved and grateful she’d done it.”

“I’m going to ask you a few personal questions, Katsuki. Would you like Izuku to leave the room?” Specs asked. Katsuki shook his head. Deku’d seen him whining like a brat during his Heat. What could possibly be more embarrassing than that? Satisfied with his answer, she pulled her glasses down and looked over the brim. “Before she came into the room, what were you thinking? How did you feel?”

“Scared,” Katsuki admitted. His mother’s crying face filled his mind and he reminded himself that her freedom was on the line and depended on Katsuki’s behavior during these sessions. He had to participate, so he’d participate. “I had thought they were waiting for my Heat to end before they sent me to Finishing School or a Matchmaking House because I was so old. I was expecting an escort to collect me when the door opened, not my mother.”

“It’s normal to be nervous and frightened during that first Heat, especially one as traumatic as yours,” she said, her voice genuinely sympathetic as it thickened. Katsuki had forgotten that his mother must have detailed the events from her point of view when she was defending herself. “But would you say that you’d accepted you were an Omega and that your life was going to change at that point?”

“I guess?” Katsuki asked. He shifted on the couch, no longer able to find a comfortable spot. “What does that have to do with anything?”

“Would you have thought to hide your Class if your mother hadn’t provided you with the option?” she asked again.

Katsuki stared at her. Had he? He’d been upset that his life was over and terrified of an Alpha claiming him, but had he thought to hide it? To run away? Katsuki swallowed, staring at the ground.

He whispered, “No.”

“You had a Heat recently, didn’t you Katsuki?” the Omega asked. “How did that go? Was there any pain? Was it anything like your first one?”

“It went fine,” Katsuki said, glancing at Deku before back at the therapist. “And no, nothing hurt.”

He was not telling her about that last morning.

She hummed under her breath, licking her lip. “How many days did it last?”

“Five, I think,” Katsuki said.

“That’s pretty average,” she said. The therapist pushed her glasses back up. “Did you know in the case of late presenters, they’re given a Heat Null upon presentation to stop their Heat?”

Katsuki shook his head.

“If your mother had reported your Heat when you presented,” she said slowly, “you wouldn’t have gone through two weeks of literal torture. I know that your mother did what she did out of love, but I need you to understand that should have never, ever, have happened to you.”

Dabi had said the same thing.

That didn’t change how Katsuki felt about it.

“My mother did the right thing. Being a Beta was what I should have presented as in the first place if I wasn’t going to be an Alpha like her,” Katsuki said, his breath picking up. He could feel the tears forming at the sides of his eyes and shook his head. Katsuki continued, voice too thick and throat too tight. “If I could go back, I’d do it the same way all over again, Heat or not. My only regret out of all of this is getting caught.”

The therapist dropped her shoulders and asked, “Katsuki, do you like being an Omega?”

“Fuck no,” he said again, his chest picking up as his heart beat.

“Could you tell me why?” she asked, voice even.

Where should he start? Omega were submissive. Their entire lives revolved around Alpha they had no choice in choosing. They had no real authority over their lives. Omega couldn’t own property or choose their careers. They needed permission to see their families. They couldn’t do anything. Omega were protected and sheltered, hanging off the arms of their Alpha and depending on them for everything.

But most of all:

“Because they’re weak!” Katsuki shouted, the exclamation surprising even himself.

Deku flinched hard next to him, eyes wide and mouth agape. Katsuki sat back against the couch, breath heavy.

“I believe that’s enough for today.” The therapist gave him a look of absolute pity, her professional mask cracking. “Over the next two weeks, I’d like you to write down why you believe that. After you’ve had time to think it over, we’ll tackle what you’ve written down and start unpacking a few of those thoughts and get to the roots of the hurt you’ve been through.

“However, next week we’ll shift our focus to you, Izuku,” she said, narrowing her eyes in his direction. “It has come to my attention that due to your familiar relationship, you’ve been humoring a lot of self destructive behavior in your attempts to be kind. While Omega are by no means weak, they do require a certain amount of discipline and structure in their lives to truly thrive.

“I want you to think about that before our next session and we’ll talk about some changes that need to be made when I see you next,” she finished. The Omega picked up her belongings, neatly putting them all back in their respective bags. “Do you have any questions before I go?”

“No,” Katsuki said through gritted teeth.

Deku shook his head, glaring at the floor.

“Then I’ll see you both next week at the same time,” she said. The Omega let herself out, leaving Katsuki and Deku alone once again.

The oppressive silence that followed felt like a hangman’s noose around Katsuki’s neck. It hurt to breathe and he wanted nothing but to dig into a hole and never come out.

“You know, Kacchan,” Deku said, voice low. He sounded thoughtful, rubbing one thumb with his finger. “For the longest time, I thought you hated Omega.

“When it came out you were an Omega yourself, your behavior made more sense. I could understand that you avoided them, sometimes going out of your way to do so, because you wanted to remove any association between yourself and that Class since you were hiding your own.” Deku paused and took a deep breath. He looked at Katsuki, green eyes thoughtful and red at the corners. “But I’m starting to think my first guess was right.”

Deku stood up, gaze avoiding Katsuki. “You can have one of my notebooks for your therapy homework.”

With that, he walked away and went to his bedroom, shutting the door lightly behind him.

Katsuki stayed on the couch the rest of the night.

Chapter Text

One of the benefits of house arrest was they were still permitted to have guests.

“Katsuki!” Kyouka shouted, throwing herself at Kacchan hard enough she nearly knocked him off his feet in a hug. Izuku watched her fingers dig into the back of his shirt, wincing as she grabbed onto a spot where he knew there was still a healing bruise. Kyouka hit Kacchan in the chest before hugging him again. “I was so worried about you, you idiot!”

Kacchan wheezed as he tried to breathe through her crushing hug. Izuku covered his mouth to hide the smile, even as he felt bad for Kacchan’s poor body. He patted her on the back. “I’m fine, I promise.”

“Never do that again!” Kyouka said, letting go. She crossed her arms and glared. “Do you hear me?”

“No promises,” Kacchan said. Izuku frowned under his breath, but he’d take honesty over lies. Kacchan glanced at Izuku and Kaminari and grabbed Kyouka’s wrist. “Come on, we can go talk in my room.”

“You have your own room?” Kyouka said, scrunching her nose in confusion as Kacchan dragged them away.

Kacchan groaned under his breath and said, “Yes. What? Is that weird, too?” He shut the door after he shoved Kyouka in the door as she said, “Kinda, yeah.” Izuku would have been upset they left so quickly, but he figured they’d want their privacy. He wouldn’t be surprised if Kacchan wanted ask about what happened at the end of his Heat and he wouldn’t make him have that conversation with two Alpha listening in.

“So, you and Bakugou seem to be speaking again,” Kaminari said, licking his lip. “That’s good.”

Izuku exhaled and licked his lip, rubbing his shoulder. He had thought about what the therapist said and he sort of had been letting things slide that he shouldn’t. “You should probably stop calling him by his maiden name.”

Kaminari frowned. “Does it matter?”

“It’s rude,” Izuku said, not sure how else to put it. “You’re enabling Kacchan to cling to the past in an unhealthy manner much like I’ve been letting it slide” wouldn’t have gone over well as an answer. “Or do you want me to start calling Kyouka by some other Alpha’s name?”

“I got it, I got it,” Kaminari said, the disapproval written on his face from the twist of his lip to the narrowed eyes. “‘Katsuki’ it is.”

“Thank you,” Izuku said.

“I am glad to see he’s okay,” Kaminari said, rolling his shoulder. “Kyouka damn near gave me a heart attack when she said he’d been taken and don’t even get me started on how worried Kirishi—”

“Don’t talk about him,” Izuku said, cutting Kaminari off feeling the desire to make it an Order bubble up, but he contained it. The other Alpha had been keeping his distance and Izuku wanted him to keep it that way. “I don’t want to think about him.”

“He’s Baku—Katsuki’s best friend, dude,” Kaminari said, frowning. “He’s probably going to be around.”

“Not if he knows what’s good for him,” Izuku said. He took a step toward Kaminari and the other Alpha took a step back. Izuku put a hand on the wall boxing Kaminari in place. The other was taller, but he shrunk under Izuku’s gaze. “Which reminds me, you can tell Kirishima something for me.”

“Yeah?” Kaminari said, swallowing.

Izuku lowered his voice so that he wouldn’t be overheard in the other room. “You tell him that I don’t know what he was trying to accomplish by waking me up and taunting me with the fact that Shigaraki claimed Kacchan, but I don’t care.

“He is not allowed to see Kacchan while he’s still single and I will not budge no matter what he says or how Kacchan feels about it,” Izuku said. He wished he felt bad about that declaration but frankly, he didn’t trust either of them alone right now. A mate wouldn’t completely get rid of Kirishima’s interest, but it would certainly provide a distraction and give him another outlet. “And if he does happen to find a mate, while I'll let him see Kacchan, if he thinks he’s ever going to be allowed alone with him again he’s got a death wish.”

Kaminari kept his mouth shut, the frustrated glare screaming that he wanted to shout but he knew better with Kyouka and Kacchan in the other room.

“For the record, the only reason I’m even allowing that much is because Kacchan would be upset if I banned them from seeing each other entirely,” Izuku said. He felt his vision sharpen as his anger took hold and he felt his eyes slit. “Do I make myself clear?”

“Yeah,” Kaminari said, a spark lighting up his side. “You’re—”

The door knocked, followed by a loud voice that said, “Package for Midoriya!”

Kaminari snapped his mouth shut, rethinking his decision to back talk and Izuku moved to answer the door. The gentleman behind it handed him the package and he signed for it with a soft, “Thank you.”

He checked the label on the front and found himself impressed. The therapist had sent this faster than he’d thought.

Izuku put the package on the counter, ripping the tape off the top. He pulled the first textbook out and read the title before putting it aside to see what else she’d seen fit to include.

“Textbooks?” Kaminari said, picking one up. He flipped through it and frowned. “Are these from a Finishing School? Why do you have these?”

“I got them for Kacchan,” Izuku said. A few hours after the therapist had left and Kacchan had gone to bed, Izuku had called and asked if she could get some educational materials for Kacchan. Upset or not, Izuku had remembered his Omega’s request to get his hands on some sex ed material and he figured the therapist would know a good resource or two. She had recommended the other textbooks on a whim, saying they might also be helpful. “He can take what he wants from them.”

“Katsuki would have flunked the hell out of Finishing School,” Kaminari said, staring at a page that read “Etiquette and you.”

Izuku snorted and covered his face with his hands.

Kaminari wasn’t wrong.

“Video games,” Kyouka said, her glare increasing. She reached over and smacked Katsuki hard across the arm, right over a bruise. He winced as she yelled, “I was worried out of my mind and you were playing video games!?”

“And answering awkward personal questions,” Katsuki added, rubbing his arm. He was never going to heal at this rate. “But like I’ve said a hundred times: This was more about making Deku angry than hurting me.”

“I still can’t believe you,” Kyouka said, falling back on the mattress and tugging over Katsuki’s pillow. She hugged it and pressed her cheek into it. “But I’m glad you’re okay.”

“Thanks,” Katsuki said.

“All that serious, danger stuff aside,” Kyouka said, she sniffed his pillow and looked up. “How’d your Heat go?”

“Fine if you ignore that last day,” Katsuki said, growling under his breath. In hindsight, he should have remembered that Dabi had warned him about it, but he should have given specifics about what to expect, not been a cryptic asshole! Katsuki felt bad saying it in front of someone content in their own skin but he couldn’t hold it in: “I hate being an Omega.”

“Yeah, the Post-Heat is no fun when you’re childless. I feel you,” Kyouka said, wincing. She reached over and patted him on the back. “Mine’s pretty rough, too,”

“So does it really only go away when you have a kid?” Katsuki asked, feeling the dread sink into his chest. He had to go through that once a month? It wasn’t as bad as his first Heat, but it was still misery he could do without. “That’s bullshit.”

“Boy is it, and since you weren’t ready for it, I doubt you had the good sense to hide it,” Kyouka said, rolling on her back. “Most Alpha don’t understand, so it’s better if they just stay out of it, but a few find out whether you want them to or not.”

“Like Kaminari?” Katsuki asked.

Kyouka nodded, hugging his pillow to her chest. She stared at the ceiling, eyes losing focus as she thought back. “One time it was so bad I couldn’t stop crying no matter how hard I tried. Denki’s been pretty good about it all though and I’m relieved I can just let it all out and he won’t get upset.”

“That’s good,” Katsuki said, not sure what else to say. He had forgotten Kyouka was childless, too, but she actually wanted a child. Her experience was probably even worse than Katsuki’s when it came down to it. He awkwardly patted her on the thigh. “Glad the third time is remaining a charm.”

She rewarded him with a laugh and knocked into his back with her knee. “What about Deku? Did he take it okay or did he freak?”

“I think he handled it as best he could,” Katsuki said, thinking back. “He panicked a little but he got better as he realized I wasn’t actually hurt or anything. The worst thing he said was that we could ‘try again next time’, so I can’t complain too much.”

“Worst?” Kyouka asked, staring at him like he was odd again. She narrowed her eyes for a minute before backtracking. “Whatever, at least he asked Kaminari about it. He’ll know better next time.”

“He asked Kaminari?” Katsuki asked. “When?”

“A few days ago,” Kyouka said. “He was really worried and sent a bunch of text messages asking about it.”

“If you knew how he reacted to the whole thing, why’d you ask me?” Katsuki asked, shoving Kyouka to the side and lying next to her.

“I wanted to hear it from you.” Kyouka slapped the pillow on his chest and snickered as she rolled on her side. “I’m comparing your stories, if you will. Sometimes you can never be too careful.”

“Thanks for that, too, I guess,” Katsuki said. He dropped the pillow over his eyes and said, “I want a nap.”

“You take one,” Kyouka said, crawling over him. “I’m gonna go save my Alpha from yours. He’ll never admit it, but I think he’s aware he’s pretty low on the Alpha food chain. I bet Denki’s been nervous all alone with a higher standing Alpha.”

Katsuki held his hand up and waved. “See you later.”

Kyouka helped herself out and he rolled over. He should have seen her out, but he was too tired to get up.

Izuku had read half of the second textbook when Kacchan wandered out of his room from his nap. He looked worn and adorable with half-lidded eyes and holding the ends of his long sleeves. Izuku patted the seat next to him on the couch in an open invitation. Sleepy enough to obey, Kacchan wandered over and sat next to him.

“What’re those?” Kacchan asked.

“That one is an Omega sex ed book,” Izuku said, pointing at it. He’d read that one first to brush up on anything he might have forgotten over the years and noticed it had an extra chapter on Post-Heat that wasn’t in the Alpha books he’d read so many years ago. That felt like a rather large oversight to him. “You wanted one, right?”

“Yes, but I didn’t think you’d get one,” Kacchan said, staring at it. “The rest?”

“I asked our therapist for the sex ed book and she thought you’d like these too,” Izuku said. He held up the cover and said, “They’re a selection of Finishing School texts she thought you should familiarize yourself with by next session.”

Kacchan frowned at the books. “Why the hell would I need those? It’s a bit late for that, don’t you think?”

“I suspect it’ll have to do with my half of the therapy next week,” Izuku said, flipping a page. A good chunk of the book so far dealt with obedience and learning when to tell when a command was out of line or within the established rights of your mate. Kacchan had made it pretty clear what he felt about commands, which might cause some problems if the therapist wanted Izuku to step up. “If she wants me to take charge more, it might be good to know where she’s coming from or at least acknowledging our relationship is rather unorthodox.”

“I’ll take the sex ed book,” Kacchan said. He picked it up and put it under his arm. “The rest can go in the garbage.”

Izuku sighed but didn’t argue it. He’d leave them out on the coffee table and maybe Kacchan would read them out of boredom.

Shopping trips were a blessing.

Katsuki and Deku weren’t as tense around each other as they had been, but the awkwardness was still through the roof. The aisles of food and packaged goods gave them a breath of fresh air and something to talk about that didn’t deal with being an Alpha or Omega.

He’d argue about whether or not they needed one dozen eggs or three any day. It doubled as a distraction for the weird desire to be near Deku that kept bubbling up under his skin, too.

“Kacchan, can you go get some carrots?” Deku asked, staring in the basket as they stood in line at the checkout. “I forgot to grab them.”

“Sure,” Katsuki said.

He shoved his hands in his hoodie pocket and tapped toward the vegetable aisle. When he turned the corner down the next aisle he felt a breeze blow through his hair and heard a clatter of plastic smack into metal.

Katsuki whipped to the side, hands up and ready to fight but he saw nothing there—save for a small cellphone sitting on the shelf next to his head. A wisp of black mist flickered over it and he swallowed. Reaching over, Katsuki picked up the phone and it had a note tacked to the top: “For Kacchan.”

He looked over his shoulder for anyone else in the aisle and shoved the phone in his pocket.

Katsuki counted to ten and caught his breath before he jogged to get the carrots, the phone weighing more than his conscience in his pocket.

Chapter Text

Izuku clasped his hands together, squeezing tight as he watched the therapist get her things together across the room.

He’d been dreading this session more than Kacchan during the past week, which said something considering his Omega had been cagier than usual the past two days. Guilt and misery coated Kacchan from the bags under his eyes to his recent habit of zoning out and jumping when Izuku tried to get his attention.

Izuku guessed that his “homework” assignment had been the most likely cause. He’d caught Kacchan staring at the blank notebook with a pen before slamming it shut and walking away more than once. Kacchan hadn’t written anything down, but if the therapist confronted him about it, Izuku was prepared to defend that he’d been trying to participate.

Izuku might also mention and remind the therapist of Kacchan’s added pressure and hoped she held him to the same standards as everyone else and that his attempts counted.

If Katsuki’s notebook even came up.

“Alright, as I said last week,” the Omega said, “this week we’ll be focusing on you, Izuku.”

He nodded in agreement, fighting the discomfort of the Omega using his first name. Izuku had agreed to let her use their given names at the beginning of the first session when she asked if he would like to keep things as casual as possible to keep Kacchan relaxed. Odd or not, she was a professional with high praise and reviews from everyone in the Hero community and there was no question that knew what she was doing and her material.

Which scared Izuku the most if this session went in the direction he thought it would.

“Tell me about your first week with Katsuki,” she said, eyes warm but strict.

“Rough,” Izuku admitted, glancing at Kacchan. He’d closed up, arms crossed and stared at the coffee table to the side of their arm chair. “But that’s what I expected with everything that had happened.”

“Understandable, of course, and from what I can tell it hasn’t improved much,” she said. She adjusted her glasses and smiled. “But that’s why we’re going to work to fix it. Let’s start with my first question: What ground rules have you established?”

Izuku sucked in a breath and steadied himself. “Rough” might be the least of their problems in a few minutes.

Katsuki knew he wasn’t going to like this session.

Between deciding whether or not to use that stupid cell phone or to tell Deku he had it—the guilt over hiding things from an Alpha was new and he did not like it or want to know where it was coming from—he’d already been having a bad couple of days without the therapist adding to his troubles.

“Ground rules?” Deku asked. He rubbed the back of his hand and licked the side of his lip. Shifting in a nervous fashion that Katsuki hadn’t seen since before he presented as an Alpha. Specs nodded, encouraging Deku to answer. He shrugged, glancing at Katsuki before looking back to the therapist. “I didn’t set any. As long as Kacchan isn’t breaking the law or hurting himself, it’s fine if he does what he wants. It’s enough that Kacchan is here.”

Katsuki kicked the table leg of the coffee table. Dabi’s voice echoed in his head “Alpha that don’t give a shit what you do are a rare breed” and bit his lip. Deku was halfway there, but sadly the things Katsuki wanted to do were against the law or “hurting himself” in the case of suppressants.

“It’s not uncommon for Omega to have different needs when it comes to structure in the home, but even the ones that thrive under limited instruction still require a certain level of control and order,” Specs said. She folded her hands gently in her lap, voice calm and too confident. “Whether an Alpha’s expectations and rules are detailed and strict or loose and free, they still exist. Omega without a strong foundation from their Alpha are prone to anxiety, stress, and often depression stemming from a lack of purpose.

“More importantly, it’s the number one cause of acting out and destructive behaviors.” Specs gave Deku a scathing look, not even giving Katsuki a glance as her tone turned scolding. “You are the Alpha in this house and no matter how much freedom you want to give Katsuki, he has to know that you’re still in charge at the end of the day.

“I believe that part of your problems is that you still think of him as a Beta,” Specs continued. She adjusted her glasses, face still locked in a frown. “The more you treat him that way, the harder it will be for him to adjust to his new life. You’re enabling his desire to fight his new instincts and feelings that have been freed from the suppressant abuse by giving him so much independence. The longer that goes on, the more miserable he’s going to be. Is that what you want? For him to be stressed and miserable?”

Deku shook his head.

Katsuki kicked the coffee table leg again. Those new instincts could jump off a cliff and he would fight them tooth and nail as much as he wanted. Deku had shit to say about it. The same went for the therapist and Katsuki was sick of being talked over like he wasn’t there. “Or maybe I’d be less miserable if everyone wasn’t trying to tell me what to do all the time when I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself!”

“Katsuki, you were showing early signs of organ damage when they found you collapsed in your apartment. You are lucky that there’s a one hundred percent chance of recovery and that it was not worse than it could have been,” the therapist said, voice cold. Deku’s hand dug into his pants leg, twisting the fabric. “You were killing yourself, whether you want to admit to it or not. I know this is upsetting, but you must break free of this denial that you were fine as you were.”

“Well whose fault is that?” Katsuki asked, voice thick. “That I even had to hide it in the first place?”

“A discussion we’ll save for next week when we look at that notebook you’re working on,” she said. Specs picked up her notes and jotted a few things down before place it aside again. “Today is about your Alpha learning that part of his job as your mate is to set limits and stick to them.”

Katsuki kept quiet. If he said anything else, he’d throw something and that would only make things worse.

“Tell me,” the Omega said to Izuku after giving Kacchan moment to calm himself down. “When you were still courting Katsuki as a Beta, what were your expectations for the future if he said yes?”

“I didn’t have too many. I figured that our relationship wouldn’t be all that different,” Izuku said. He felt the flush rise to his cheeks as he pulled his hand away from his knees. “The biggest change would be sleeping together and I was hoping we could have kids in the future, but obviously that was something we’d have to talk about.”

Kacchan flinched at the mention of children but continued to keep quiet, glaring at the table.

“Would you say those expectations have changed any now that you know he’s an Omega?” the therapist asked.

“I threw them all out the window,” Izuku said. Did he still want those things? Every day—he could admit that much. Izuku wanted to share a bed with Kacchan, sex or no sex. He wanted to share their lives together. He wanted to have a family with Kacchan. Izuku wanted so much but none of it mattered without Kacchan wanting it, too. “I figured we’d take it one day at a time and see where things went.”

The therapist picked up her notes again and said, “Had you ever considered an Omega partner in the past?”

“No,” Izuku said, firm and honest.

She chuckled a bit under her breath and smiled. “I suppose that answers my next question. I was going to ask what you would have wanted out of an Omega partner, but it seems that’s something you never thought about.”

Kacchan scoffed, shifting on the couch and shoving his hands in his hoodie pocket. The lightest dusting of pink graced his upper cheeks and it warmed Izuku’s chest.

“Before I give your own homework for the week, Izuku, am I correct in assuming you want Katsuki to maintain as much autonomy as possible?” She asked, pulling her notes over again. The Omega pushed her glasses back up and crossed one leg over the other as she leaned back in the armchair. “Or would you like that to change and would like help easing him into something more restricted?”

“As long as he’s not hurting himself or breaking the law, Kacchan can do what he wants,” Izuku said. Others might accuse Kacchan of being “spoiled rotten” but if there was anyone who deserved to be spoiled a little, it was Kacchan. “That’s still true.”

“We can work with that,” she said, “however, are you prepared to give him a more structured and controlled lifestyle if we find that’s what he requires? Omega are all unique individuals and some require that control in their lives to function. Katsuki is still adjusting to his freed body and it could go either way in the future. He may be fine with a light hand or it may be a defining point of stress. You have to step up as his Alpha and take care of his needs.”

“If it comes to that,” Izuku said, carefully choosing his words as Kacchan tensed next to him. “We’ll talk it out.”

“Hopefully after a few more sessions, we’ll get a bit more confidence in that answer,” the Omega said. She pulled a piece of paper out of her bag and started writing. “But for now, we’ll keep it easy.”

Izuku braced himself, hands back on his knees.

“This week, I want you to set three house rules and make sure Katsuki abides by them,” she said. Kacchan openly glared, gritting his teeth together to keep his mouth shut. The veins on his hands popped as he clenched them in fists. “They can be as simple as setting a curfew to be in bed or assigning who cooks dinner. It’s up to you, but once you set them, I need you to enforce them.”

“And if he doesn’t do it?” Izuku asked, hating himself the moment he blurted it out.

“Then you either Order him to do it or punish him accordingly. That will be your call as the Alpha,” the therapist said. She handed the paper to Izuku and he read “House Rules” at the top, followed by three points with blank spaces next to them. “Before I leave, I want you to write down the three rules on that page and we’ll hang it up somewhere where you’ll both see it to remind you.

“Next week before we look at Katsuki’s homework, we’ll discuss how the week went,” she said.

Izuku looked at Kacchan, still furious and glaring daggers at the therapist. He had to get this under control. Maybe he could ask Kacchan what rules he’d want. That could at least be a compromise. Izuku said, “Kacchan, wh—”

“Izuku,” the Omega said, interrupting him. She shook her head, swallowing as she composed herself and caught her breath. Cutting off an Alpha must have been stressful, but she remained professional. “This is about you setting boundaries. Katsuki doesn’t have a say in this, so please, write down three rules. You two have lived together for a month now, so I’m sure you can think of a few things you’d like to stop or encourage.”

“Fuck you,” Katsuki hissed at the therapist.

She ignored him, keeping her attention on Izuku. “Don’t think about it too deeply. Write down the first things that come to mind—your gut instincts are usually the most honest and that’s what we need right now.”

Izuku glared at the page and scribbled down three rules. If Kacchan had to participate whether he wanted to or not, the least Izuku could do was the same.

The therapist looked over the list and nodded in approval. “Thank you, this is a good start. We’re done for today, but next week we’ll be back to you, Katsuki. Makes sure your notebook is ready, alright?”

Kacchan ignored her right back, his palms smoking in his hoodie as his Quirk popped.

The Omega packed up her things and hung the list up on the wall next to the kitchen. “Until next time.”

Izuku stayed on the couch and covered his face with his hands while Kacchan stood up and kicked their new coffee table over with a shout. He was glad he’d chosen one without a glass top this time around. Kacchan breathed heavily, standing in the center of their living room before he walked to the sign and glared at it.

He ripped the thing off the wall and crumpled it, throwing it at Izuku’s head before locking himself back in his room.

Izuku unfolded it and smoothed out the paper, inwardly glad that hadn’t broken any of the new rules.

Chapter Text

Eat at least one meal together with Deku every day.

Put away or clean at least one thing a day (and tell Deku what he did if asked).

Cook a meal at least twice a week.

Katsuki glared at the crinkled paper tacked back into place on the wall. All three rules were things that Katsuki did on his own anyway. He wanted to be proud of Deku for finding a loophole to the therapist’s request. Katsuki wanted to be amused that for all intents and purposes, he would have followed the rules with flying colors whether he’d looked at the list or not, so effectively they might as well have not even existed.

But he wasn’t proud or amused.

Now that those things were rules instead of normal patterns of behavior, the thought of doing any of them made Katsuki want to break something. He wouldn’t be able to walk in the kitchen without mentally tick marking that he’d cooked a meal. Sitting down to eat with Deku was now an obligation instead of something he wanted to do.

Even cleaning had become a “rule” instead of a way to kill time and clear his head.

It’d almost have been better if Deku had attempted to reign in Katsuki’s behavior with something out of Shigaraki’s book. “Don’t break my furniture” could have been the first rule considering they still were stuck with a folding table in the dining room. Or maybe even “Stop throwing temper tantrums and screaming.”

“Do what you’re told and don’t argue.”

“Ask permission before you act.”

Anything along those lines would have worked.

Katsuki wanted rules that he could tear down and fight with a clear conscience.

Deku’s desperate attempt to be considerate of Katsuki’s feelings didn’t count and Katsuki found himself overstuffed with anger and nowhere rip it out and shove it. The therapist would have been an easy target, but Katsuki didn’t want to think about her as long as that empty notebook loomed behind him on the table. The world as a whole would be next on the list, but that wasn’t specific enough. He needed a target to hit, not a wall to smack into.

“Kacchan,” Deku said, voice strained. He glared at the list of rule himself before gently tugging on the back of Katsuki’s shirt. “Do you want to do something? We could watch a movie or that cooking channel you like.”

“Sure,” Katsuki grunted, tearing his gaze away from the page.

He saw Deku visibly relax out of the corner of his eye and dropped his shoulders. Deku did not move, however, waiting for Katsuki to go first like if he moved away Katsuki would go back to staring at the list of rules. Katsuki huffed and took the lead, hopping over the back of the couch to sit and threw his legs up to rest his feet on the coffee table.

He clicked on the television to proceed with the only real activity either he or Deku could do while trapped in the house. “I can not wait for this house arrest to be over.”

“You and me both,” Deku said, walking around the couch to sit next to Katsuki. He touched their thighs together and Katsuki felt too tired to bother and move his leg. The contact felt nice, anyway. Deku threw an arm over the back of the couch and cracked a smile. “Remind me to buy a board game or something next time we buy groceries.”


Katsuki poked Deku in the chest, flipping through the channels. “What’d you do with all my video game stuff, anyway? It wasn’t with my things you brought over, but I was too preoccupied with everything else to bring up it was missing.”

Or rather, Katsuki had been too proud to ask Deku for anything.

Now he was too bored and frustrated to care about his pride. Letting out some aggression on shooting fictional bad guys or a fighting game might be just what the doctor ordered.

“Video games?” Deku asked. He shook his head and put his thumb and finger on his chin, scrunching his nose as he stared at the floor and thought. “I don’t remember anything like that when I went to get your valuables. Where were they?”

“Everything was packed up with my movies in the cabinet under the television,” Katsuki said. “Did you look through that?”

“I don’t think so, no,” Deku said. He smacked his fist into his other palm. “I bet they’re still in the cabinet, though. That should be in the storage unit with your television and the rest of your furniture.”

Katsuki had forgotten about the storage unit. His room was a decent size, but it was too small to have fit everything that Katsuki had had in his apartment—it made sense Deku had some of it stored, like how he’d done with Katsuki’s bed. But if Deku had stored all of his furniture—

“Do you think getting my dining table out of storage counts as a necessity?” Katsuki asked.

“If it doesn’t, we could make an argument that it did,” Deku said, thoughtful with a small smile tugging at his lip. He pressed his hands together, smile turning into satisfaction as he picked up on what Katsuki had been hinting at. “And if we happen to pick up your video games while we’re there, I doubt anyone would say anything.”

“Then let’s go,” Katsuki said, throwing his feet on the floor. “I almost want to get rid of that folding table more than getting my consoles back.”

Deku laughed behind him, light and reminiscent of earlier days—it made Katsuki’s heart swell enough that he held his chest.

That was new.

Izuku thanked his mother for recommending a good moving company, because all of Kacchan’s game consoles and games were still packed neatly inside the cabinet. They were jostled about and there was a dent in the cabinet from where the game console had hit it, but everything was accounted for and looked to be functional.

He then also mentally thanked One for All for giving him the strength to carry the dining room table and the small flatscreen television the entire walk back to their apartment. Kacchan carried his games in a couple plastic bags, a lightness in his step that Izuku had dreadfully missed seeing.

When they returned to the apartment, Kacchan dropped his things on the couch before putting away the folding table (check), he then made a quick dinner of rice and reheated leftovers (check), followed by eating with Izuku at the new wooden table set up in the small dining area (a double check because they ate breakfast together, too).

Izuku felt good by the time they moved the second television into Kacchan’s room. If they kept this up, Kacchan might actually forget the rules existed and they’d get through the week without conflict.

With the limited space in the bedroom, Kacchan had to use his bed as a couch to see the television. They’d set it on a short bookshelf Izuku relocated from the living room and it wasn’t too bad for a cramped setup. Izuku sat on the bed, watching as Kacchan plugged in the console and hooked everything up.

He read video game titles as Kacchan worked, amused at the fantasy RPG and farming games that snuck into the stack of violent titles.

“Are you going to play or watch?” Kacchan asked, standing and cracking his spine as he stood up.

“Watch,” Izuku said. Video games reminded him too much of Shigaraki for comfort. Maybe in time he’d associate them with Kacchan more, but for now, he had little interest in them. “What’re you going to play?”

“Something where I get to kill things,” Kacchan said. He dug through the stack, pulling out a game that had “blood” in the title before loading it up on his console. The console menu appeared and Kacchan clicked through the options with one hand as he backed up to sit on the edge of the bed. He selected the game and the screen exploded to life with bright colors, most of which were red. “Here we go.”

Kacchan’s fingers tapped on the controller as fast as some people typed, moving through menus and items screens with ease as he raced through the three dimensional world, shooting anything that moved and snarling when he missed. He cursed under his breath that he was out of practice and went for it again, his face alive as his expressions twisted and changed to match what he was doing from glee to fury and back to smug satisfaction when he succeeded.

Izuku fell in love all over again.

He scooted across the mattress to give Kacchan more room to sit, resting his back against the wall. Izuku rested his knees against Kacchan’s lower back, enjoying the simple touch as Kacchan focused on the game.

As the night progressed and the game continued to rage, Kacchan grew more relaxed. When he came back after getting drinks, he settled further back on the bed, closer to Izuku. Whether he realized it or not, he’d chosen to sit close enough that he and Izuku could lean on each other. Izuku dared to put a hand on Kacchan’s back, rubbing slowly as he continued to play.

It was nice.

For a little while, Izuku could pretend there was nothing outside their walls but him and Kacchan. He rested his head on Kacchan’s shoulder and regretted he’d have to leave in an hour or two for bed.

Katsuki couldn’t sleep.

The television and game console were off, silent in the corner while he stared at the mattress and listened to his own breathing. The room temperature was warm, but he still felt cold. Buried under his blankets and pillow over his head, he felt a similar sort of longing that he’d experienced that first week before he’d gone with Dabi.

It wasn’t quite arousal, but it wasn’t something he could ignore either. His skin itched for contact and touch in a mixture of desire and loneliness.

Worst of all, he knew whose touch he still wanted.

Katsuki had felt the jolt of disappointment when Deku crawled off the bed around ten and said he needed to turn in for the night as his eyes drooped with sleep. He leaned to kiss Katsuki on the cheek, but stopped himself with an awkward jerk, catching himself in the act. Deku had settled for a pat on the shoulder and left the room with a soft click of the door.

Katsuki had wanted him to come back.

He had sat on the edge of the bed, watching the closed door and struggled to process his craving to get up and follow. He’d put a foot on the floor when his character died on screen, the game-over noise woke Katsuki up and he sucked in a breath. He glared at the door an inch from his nose and turned off the game console and television. Katsuki ripped off his clothes and changed for bed, hiding himself under the sheets and in denial.

That had been three hours ago and no amount of rationalization made the feeling in his chest go away.

He wanted to be touched.

A part of him wanted even more—to go further. To take what was rightfully his and the pleasure that he was owed.

Katsuki hated feeling like such a needy wretch and wanted to go asleep and turn his brain off for the rest of the night.

But the loneliness wouldn’t let him sleep and the conflict did nothing to help the growing headache threatening to overtake him.

Izuku’s eyes shot open when the door did the same, years of training put into practice to ensure he remained a light sleeper. Izuku relaxed when he picked up on the soft rose Scent that had returned to Kacchan over the past few days. Izuku rolled over onto his side when his mattress dipped.

Kacchan pressed his palm over Izuku’s mouth, skin trembling. Izuku couldn’t make out the details of his face in the dark, but he didn’t dare turn on a light.

“Do me a favor and don’t say anything,” Kacchan said, voice barely a whisper. He moved, straddling Izuku’s waist and putting his other palm flat over the back of the hand covering Izuku's mouth. Kacchan leaned forward, the pressure heavy as he pushed Izuku’s head into the pillow. “I can do what I want, right?”

Izuku nodded under the Omega’s grip, touching Kacchan’s thigh. His fingers met bare skin and he trailed up to find Kacchan was only wearing his night shirt. Izuku swallowed, shifting his hips as he turned fully onto his back. Kacchan sat fully on his waist, heavy and warm.

Kacchan’s breath shuddered and he dropped his forehead onto his knuckles. His hair tickled Izuku’s nose and he said, “I don’t want to think.”

He replaced his hands with his mouth, kissing Izuku open mouthed and hard. Kacchan’s tongue tasted Izuku’s teeth and lips while his hands pulled on Izuku’s hair. Kacchan’s hips pressed into Izuku’s growing arousal with intent.

“Kacchan—” Izuku grunted into the next kiss as Kacchan cut him off. When he broke free, he put his hand back over Izuku’s mouth, still not wanting him to talk. Izuku rubbed his Omega’s thigh instead, breathing heavily as Kacchan gathered himself and continued to shiver.

“I can do this,” Kacchan whispered. He found Izuku’s wrists and pulled them up, pinning them above Izuku’s head. He couldn’t see Kacchan’s eyes, but he could hear the request in his voice when he said, “Don’t help.”

Izuku grabbed the pillow to keep his hands there as Kacchan scooted back and tugged Izuku’s boxers down. Izuku bit his lip when Kacchan touched him, holding back the whimper as they were lined up.

He ripped the pillowcase, jerking his knees up when Kacchan dropped, taking Izuku inside with a whine of his own. He braced his palms on Izuku’s ribs, breathing hard and fingers scratching Izuku’s chest. Kacchan didn’t move for a long time, agonizingly warm and too hot around Izuku. He stayed there, fingers twitching and body too tense.

“Are you okay?” Izuku whispered, scared to move and afraid to talk but he had to check. Unless he’d did it before he came in, Kacchan didn’t look like he’d done any prep—that might have hurt. “Kacchan?”

“What am I doing?” Kacchan said, voice choked.

Izuku let go of the pillow and sat up, throwing his arms around Kacchan and gathering him into the tightest hug he could muster. Kacchan buried his nose in Izuku’s neck and wheezed, clutching at his back. He shifted his hips, uncomfortable in the position and Izuku pulled them apart before hugging him again.

“I didn’t want to stop,” Kacchan said into Izuku’s throat. He felt feverishly warm, his shirt soaked with sweat. Kacchan relaxed in Izuku’s hold, though his grip remained strong against Izuku’s back. “But I choked anyway.”

“You’re tired and upset,” Izuku said, rubbing his back. He nuzzled Kacchan and tugged him forward so they could lay side by side and he could wrap them in his blankets. “You didn’t do anything wrong.”

Kacchan snorted and said, “I’m pretty sure I’ve done a lot of things wrong.”

“In your lifetime, maybe, but we all have if that’s the case,” Izuku said. He kissed Kacchan’s head and said, “but tonight, you’re perfect.”

“I bet you said that with a straight face,” Kacchan said, knocking his head into Izuku’s as he resettled with his nose buried in Izuku’s shoulder. He mumbled, “I just want to go to sleep.”

“Then go to sleep,” Izuku said, wrapping them tighter in the blanket. “We can talk about this in the morning.”

Kacchan grunted in agreement, fully relaxing in Izuku’s hold.

“And maybe we can try that again,” Izuku said, unable to help himself. He grinned into Kacchan’s hair and said, “It’s kind of nice having you on top.”

Kacchan pushed him hard enough to knock Izuku off the bed and rolled over, stealing the covers.

Izuku didn’t need to see him to know Kacchan’s face was red as he smiled from the floor.

Chapter Text

Katsuki hid under the blankets, head flat on the sheets and forehead nudging Deku’s chest. He didn’t want to get out of bed or look Deku in the eye after last night—Or rather, earlier that morning. Katsuki was pretty sure it was long after midnight when he snuck into Deku’s room, but it didn’t matter, the point stood: He wanted to pretend last night didn’t happen, but the moment he crawled out of these blankets, Deku would want to talk about it.

He had no desire to admit that he’d wanted physical comfort to shut off his brain.

He really didn’t want to admit that he’d panicked in the middle of his attempt to control the sex and had to stop because he had no idea what he was supposed to be doing.

Katsuki also did not want to admit that Deku allowing Katsuki’s failed attempt at sex to stop cold turkey had been a relief when he’d been scared Deku was going to make him keep going anyway.

It’d been one of the most mortifying moments of his life, no matter what Deku had said about it being fine and Katsuki being “perfect.”

He’d failed, plain and simple.

“It’s really nice sleeping in with you,” Deku mumbled above his head. He rubbed Katsuki’s back through the blanket, in slow circles. “I feel lazy, but in a good way.”

He grunted into Deku’s chest, staring at his arm thrown around the Alpha’s waist. It looked like pretending to be asleep was over for the both of them.

“Do you want to talk about it?” Deku asked, lifting up the blanket enough to watch Katsuki’s face.

Katsuki said, “No.”

Deku’s lip twitched. “Do you want to try again? I think have rope somewhere if you want to tie me up instead of trusting I’ll keep my hands to myself.”

“No!” Katsuki rolled away and put his arms over his head. Deku patted him on the back and he huffed into the sheets. “And I don’t want to tie you up.”

“If there ever is anything you want to do, though,” Deku said. He scooted over and draped himself over Katsuki’s back, hugging him around the shoulders and putting his cheek against Katsuki’s arms. “Just ask. I’m pretty open to anything.”

“Can we not talk about this?” Katsuki groaned, developing flashbacks to the League and Toga and Twice’s unnatural interest in his sex life. He mumbled into the sheets, tasting the fabric on the side of his mouth. “Let me be embarrassed in peace.”

Deku, the brat, sat up and dragged Katsuki with him. He flopped on the other side, carrying Katsuki with him so he sprawled over the Alpha. He put his arms around Katsuki’s shoulders and hugged him close. “I’m going to refuse that request, because you have nothing to be embarrassed about.

“You tried something new, decided you didn’t like it, and we stopped,” Deku said, his grip never faltering. “That’s normal, Kacchan.”

Katsuki sat up enough to cross his arms on Deku’s chest. The Alpha dropped his hold from Katsuki’s shoulders to situation them on his lower back. Katsuki rested his head on his arms and listened to Deku’s heartbeat. “Whatever.”

Deku rubbed his fingers into a circle on Katsuki’s spine, and closed his eyes again, breathing out. “Want to stay in bed today?”

“Fuck yes,” Katsuki grunted.

He pillowed his head more comfortably in his arms and breathed out. Sleeping all day sounded like the best thing he’d heard the past two months, even to his workaholic brain.

However, it was a shame it did nothing to silence the other nagging voice in the back of his head.

As nice as never leaving Deku’s bedroom today sounded, there were “Rules” Katsuki was supposed to be following that haunted him and they were still tacked on the wall in the kitchen. While he didn’t actually think Deku cared or had plans to enforce anything, a sliver of anxiety said that he might when he remembered later that they skipped one in favor of lazing about.

Technically, Katsuki had picked up his video game things before he’d snuck into Deku’s room—which counted as today since it was after midnight—so that was one rule down and covered. Katsuki had already cooked two meals this week out of stress so that was good, too. That left one thing left on the list that might be hard to do if he and Deku stayed in bed all day.

But there were always loopholes.

“Hey, Deku,” Katsuki said. He pushed up on his arms, leaving over to look his Alpha in the eye. “If you gave me head, would that count as eating a meal together?”

Deku’s eyes widened and the rush of lust in his Scent made the answer a pretty resounding “Yes.”

Distractions composed of video games and sex kept Izuku and Kacchan occupied as the week carried on, with a few hours spent watching the cooking network sprinkled in for variety.

Izuku’s fear that Kacchan would purposefully break the rules to test Izuku’s resolve to enforce them never came to pass, to his great relief. Izuku hoped this ended the “Rules” topic once and for all in the next therapy session. Omega needed structure, but it was clear from all the years Izuku had known him that Kacchan’s variation of “structure” meant “Routine.”

Kacchan had always kept himself to an almost clockwork schedule while balancing his training and social life. Izuku had no doubt that once the dust settled and they were out of the public’s eye of scrutiny, Kacchan would return to his old patterns.

However, they still had to get through the next therapy session tomorrow and Kacchan had other things on his mind. He might have distracted himself too much.

“Do you want help?” Izuku asked, setting a bowl of snacks on the other end of the table. He took a seat across from him, eyes on the blank notebook spread out in front of Kacchan. “You look like you have things you want to write, but they’re not making it on the paper. Maybe if you talked it out, it’d be easier. You could think of it as practice for tomorrow when the therapist asks about what you wrote.”

Kacchan ripped his eyes away from the sprawling lines on the page and watched Izuku like a hawk, looking for ulterior motives. He must not have found any, because the next thing he said was a resigned, “Sure.”

Izuku reached for a pretzel in the snack bowl and bit it in half, hopefully creating a casual atmosphere. The last thing he needed to add was pressure to an already stressful situation. “I’m ready when you are.”

“I think Omega are weak because,” Kacchan paused, dropping his elbows on the table and ruffling his hair. Izuku waited, steadying his breathing to stay even. Kacchan’s face contorted into a disgusted wince and he whispered, “They won’t stand up for themselves. They let everyone push them around and control their lives until they’re nothing more than submissive little dogs. I hate it.”

Kacchan’s bit his lip and his shoulders rose and fell with his breath as it picked up. He shoved the notebook to the side, smacking it into the snack bowl. The contents rattled and Kacchan opened up.

“They can’t live alone. They can’t pick their own mates. They can’t do anything without permission!” Kacchan shouted. His voice cracked and he growled, throat sore and eyes wet. “Their whole lives revolve around an Alpha and they just swallow it like there’s nothing else out there when they could have fought back like me and—”

Kacchan cut himself off and gritted his teeth. He sucked in a breath and calmed himself before continuing, “Like me and the Omega in the League. He didn’t want to sit there and have his life dictated to him either so he broke out of Finishing School and lived his own damn life.”

“Shigaraki’s mate is the one that helped you while you were there, right?” Izuku asked. Kacchan nodded and slumped into the chair, relaxing as the fight left him. Izuku rubbed his thumb into his palm, massaging his hand. “Did he agree with you that Omega were weak?”

“I don’t know,” Kacchan said. He rubbed his upper arm and leaned on the table. “It didn’t come up, but I got the impression he was as annoyed with Alpha dictating everything in his life like I do.”

“So Shigaraki didn’t order him around or tell him what to do?” Izuku asked. He wanted to ask who the Omega could be, or get more information on how he “helped” Kacchan while he was in the League. However, his curiosity could cause Kacchan to close up and walk away since he still wanted to protect the other’s identity. Izuku had no choice but to let the question fester under his skin and kept it vague. “He had total freedom?”

Kacchan’s pause spoke mountains before his words did when he worked up the nerve to speak again.

“No, he didn’t. He submitted to Shigaraki the same way every other Omega I’ve ever seen submits to their Alpha,” Kacchan said, voice soft. “The exact same way I’ve been submitting to you, whether I want to or not, and it’s terrifying. I’ve lost control and I want it back.”

“Even if it’s stresses you out?” Izuku wanted to ask. But knowing Kacchan, his answer would be “Yes.”

Izuku settled on something more neutral. “These are the things you should be writing down.”

“So she can tell me how wrong I am and how Omega are supposed to be submissive to be happy?” Kacchan asked. He stared at the wall, notebook still untouched. “I’ve heard it already, so what’s the point?”

“The point is that you’ve thought this through and suffered thinking about it for two weeks. Walking in there with a blank notebook makes it look like you didn’t do it because you didn’t want to,” Izuku said. He rubbed the back of his neck and scooted forward in his seat. “As much as I’d like to vouch for your efforts, I have a feeling she won’t believe me because I’m biased in your favor. You should write it all down because you deserve credit for trying, even if the conclusions you come to disagree with hers.”

Kacchan stared at the page. “I don’t even know where to start with it all. It feels like a jumble in my head, let alone something that’ll make sense if I write it down.”

“I can help if you let me,” Izuku said. He knew how to help, but he wasn’t sure if Kacchan would accept—no matter how easy it would make all of this. “Orders don’t just exist to boss Omega around. They’re pretty good at helping break through anxious hurdles, too.”

Kacchan stared, freezing in place like a wild animal sensing danger was near. “But you didn’t Mark me again. Orders won’t work.”

“They do if you don’t fight them,” Izuku said. He reached and pushed the notebook back in front of Kacchan. “Let me take some of this pressure away from you, Kacchan.”

The clock on the wall ticked as the offer hovered in the air between them.

“Okay,” Kacchan whispered.

Izuku let out the breath he had been holding. He kept his voice soft and Ordered, “Write down how many times you sat down and tried to do this assignment and then write out the conversation we just had on the topic.”

Kacchan closed his eyes. He shivered for a moment before grabbing the pen. The words he had wanted to say fell on the page in his neat print, quick and precise. Kacchan’s face remained blank through it all as he wrote on autopilot, only stopping to flip the page.

He finished in ten minutes, closing the cover and dropping his pen on top with a jerk.

Kacchan inhaled and pushed away from the table. He said, “I’m going to bed.”

Izuku tried not to smile when Kacchan went into Izuku’s room instead of his own.

Specs read over Katsuki’s notebook with a soft smile on her face. It made his skin crawl and he was burning the thing with his Quirk as soon as possible.

“I’m glad you put so much thought into this, Katsuki,” the therapist said, closing the book. She put it on the coffee table and crossed her hands back on her lap. “I’m also happy that there was no trouble this week with the rules set in place. Izuku did a good job picking things that were well within your comfort zone.”

Katsuki glared back. He’d followed the rules half by accident and half from a compelled need to keep Deku from punishing him—not because he was scared of Deku punishing him, but because he knew Deku would be upset if he had to do it.

He was glad to be rid of them.

“Since that went so well, we can save any continued discussion of that topic for the next session when we’re back to talking about Izuku,” Specs said. She pulled her glasses down to clean the lenses on a handkerchief. When she pushed them back on the bridge of her nose, she got right to business. “Let’s talk about this notebook of yours. Tell me, Katsuki, since you moved in with Izuku, have you made any Omega friends? You may feel free to count the one you met while at the League, as I won’t be asking for his identity if it makes you more comfortable.”

“Two,” Katsuki said, a bad feeling in his stomach developed when he realized where this conversation was likely to lead. “League Boy and Kyouka, Chargebolt’s mate.”

“Would you say that the two of them are weak?” she asked.

“No,” Katsuki said, gritting his teeth. Dabi didn’t take shit from anyone, and from what he could tell, Kyouka didn’t either. They followed their Alpha because they wanted to—and that was the crux of the matter Specs wanted to get at, wasn’t it? “They aren’t.”

“You’re a smart man, Katsuki,” Specs said, putting her hand on her knee. “I think coming to conclusions on your own will be worth more than having me tell you. So your homework for this week is to have a chat with Kyouka. If she’s open to such a personal discussion, I’d ask her what her relationship with Chargebolt is like—if they have house rules, what sort of structures are in place, that sort of thing. Ask her how she feels about them and if they’re a burden or if they help.”

Katsuki dropped his head on the back of the couch.

“Afterward, write down your thoughts on it in your notebook,” she said. She handed Katsuki his notebook back. He threw it on the cushion next to him and lamented he couldn’t burn it just yet. Specs picked up her writing tablet and flicked through a few screens. “Is there anything else you’d like to ask about, Katsuki? Your Heat may show up between now and our next session, so this is a good time to get things off your chest if we need to reschedule.”

His Heat.

Had it been that long already since the last one? Katsuki knew those things happened once a month but he never realized just how short three weeks could be. Every month he’d have to go through that again and again. The embarrassment. The dread of wondering if Deku would or wouldn’t be there. The end of it all where his body screamed at him for not being pre—

Izuku grabbed Kacchan’s hand and squeezed it in gentle reassurance. Katsuki twitched and stared at Izuku. His breath calmed, proving the distraction had cut off whatever thoughts had started racing through his brain. Kacchan didn’t squeeze back, but didn’t push Izuku away, either.

Their therapist didn’t comment on the shared moment of comfort between them. She did, however, smile fondly and Izuku wanted to kick her out of the room. It felt like she was intruding on something personal, despite it literally being her job to know Izuku and Katsuki’s personal business.

She caught his glare out of the side of his eye and cleared her throat. The Omega packed away her things, the smile returning to something more polite and professional. “I think we can safely end early today. You know? I think instead of talking about Izuku next session, I think we’ll have a free day. In addition to your homework with Kyouka, write down anything you’d like to talk about concerning your relationship with your Alpha and Izuku can feel free to do the same.”

The Omega stood with her bag around her shoulder and clapped her hands together. “Again, it’s so nice to see progress being made. I look forward to seeing you both next time.”

Izuku laced their fingers together when the door shut. He leaned on Kacchan’s shoulder and grinned when the other fell on his side and dragged Izuku with him.

Katsuki sat on his mattress playing a video game to clear his head. Deku had gone to bed earlier, knowing fully well Katsuki would wander in when he was ready with the soft “Don’t stay up too late” he’d whispered before kissing Katsuki’s neck.

He killed another zombie on the screen and felt his breath pick up.

Katsuki had gotten in over his head.

Whatever was going on between him and Deku got more intense day by day and Katsuki didn’t know if he should embrace it or run from it. Should he turn into another Kyouka or Dabi who willingly submitted, or should he hold to his earlier convictions that he was better on his own?

He didn’t know.

Katsuki turned the game off mid level and threw the controller on the other side of the bed.

After he collected himself, Katsuki dragged himself off the bed. As he did, the mattress shifted and he heard the tiny clatter of plastic hitting the floor. Katsuki lifted his foot, spotting the phone that he’d shoved under the mattress to hide it.

He’d been so caught up with Deku over the past week that he’d forgotten about it.

Katsuki reached down and picked it up, turning on the screen with a swipe.

A single text message waited for him: “It’s Dabi. Text back when it’s safe.”

Chapter Text

Izuku felt no shame abusing their “grocery” trips to get out of the house. They had permission, he was going to use it. If that meant that he and Kacchan bought less than they needed on each trip for a better excuse to go out every few days instead of once a week or so, well, that was on Tsukauchi for not being more specific.

Kacchan certainly had no complaints and was more than happy to fill Izuku’s cart with spices and herbs he wanted to use after seeing various new recipes on the television.

Izuku pushed the cart lazily through the aisle, waving at children when they passed and whispered his Hero name under their breaths in excitement, in no rush to leave the store soon. Their routine involved going down every single aisle, grabbing things if they thought they’d use it in the next couple of days before moving onto the next one and they could squeeze an hour or two out of the trip if they tried.

Rows of snacks and sweet treats met him in aisle seven and he passed by most of it. Kacchan preferred spicy things and while he usually kept some sweets for Uraraka and Iida when they visited, the two of them had chosen to support Izuku from afar and would be seeing him after the house arrest had been lifted.

In hindsight, he suspected they’d been encouraged not to visit by the agency. Uraraka and Iida weren’t the types to keep their distance when they were needed. Izuku also suspected that exceptions had been made for Kaminari due to his connection to Kyouka, the one Omega that Kacchan seemed to be on good terms with.

If you didn’t count Shigaraki’s mate, but that was still an unknown factor.

“You’re spacing out,” Kacchan said, hitting his knuckles against Izuku’s arm. “Did you want chips or what?”

“Only if you do,” Izuku answered. He looked at the package of crackers he’d chosen and shrugged. “I probably won’t eat them.”

“Then I’ll get the spicy ones,” Kacchan said, tossing a bag of said mouth-burning chips into the cart.

He grabbed the edge of the basket and tugged it to keep them moving. Kacchan never minded the long trips, but he hated wasting time in each aisle, too. They were still here for groceries, too, killing time or not. Izuku grinned as he pulled the cart—that was so like him.

Katsuki rounded the corner and jerked to a stop. The cart knocked into his back and pushed it away, but his gaze stayed locked on something around the corner.

Izuku frowned and asked, “Kacchan?”

He walked around the aisle end and clenched his fist when he saw what caught his Omega’s attention. Izuku stood straight and struggled to keep his voice even. “Kirishima.”

“Deku,” the other Alpha replied, his hand in a fist around his basket handle.

Izuku noted that he’d chosen to use his professional name over his personal one.

He could play that game, too.

“Wow, am I glad to see you,” Kacchan said, touching Kirishima’s upper arm. He squeezed, failing an admirable attempt to ease the tension. “There has been way too much shit going on. Have you been okay?”

“I’ve been better,” Kirishima said, refusing to break eye contact with Izuku. “It’s sort of stressful when your best friend was kidnapped and arrested but you can’t check on him because of a certain Alpha’s overbearing rules. I’m lucky that Kaminari was willing to tell me anything at all!”

Kacchan looked at Izuku and asked, “Rules?”

“A compromise,” Izuku said, glaring back. How dare he make Izuku out to be the bad guy when Kirishima was the one weaseling his way in? “Friendship” was the last thing on that Alpha’s mind, whether he wanted to admit it or not and Izuku was not backing down. “And if Red Riot knows what’s good for him, he’ll agree with it and walk away.”

“Wait,” Kacchan said, frowning. His frustration came out in the tone of his voice, heavy and tired. “What compromise? What are you two talking about?”

“Deku declared that I wasn’t allowed to see you while I was single,” Kirishima said, grinding the handles of his basket together. The metal bent under his grip. “And even if I meet that requirement, I’m never allowed to see you alone without a chaperone again.”

“Are you serious?” Kacchan asked. He dropped his arms and turned to Izuku. He dragged a hand through his hair, clutching at the base of his scalp. “When the hell did that happen?”

“When Kaminari brought Kyouka to check on you,” Izuku said. He felt his blood boil, remembering Kirishima’s face when he taunted Izuku in the sedation room. It’d crush Kacchan if he knew how his “best friend” had used the knowledge that Shigaraki had taken him to rile him up. Izuku stepped in front of Kacchan, getting in Kirishima’s face. “I told him to give Red Riot the message, but I don’t think he took it seriously since he’s still here.”

“It’s a public place,” Kirishima answered, his skin hardening around his hand. The basket handle snapped and his few groceries scattered over the floor. A shopper behind Kirishima backed up and left the aisle. “You’re more paranoid than I thought if you think I planned to meet Bakugou today. I’m not keeping track of your schedule!”

“Running into us is one thing,” Izuku said, tempted to shove the other away but he held it back. He couldn’t afford to get physical in the middle of the store with everyone around. Someone would get hurt and no one wanted that. However, Izuku had no intention of losing this confrontation. “But you should have turned around and left when you saw him!”

“Calm down,” Kacchan said, grabbing Izuku’s arm. He tugged on it, but Izuku brushed him off. “Can we talk about this?”

“Yeah, it wouldn’t kill you to listen to what he wants for a change!” Kirishima yelled back. He grabbed the front of Izuku’s shit and lifted. “Or do you not care about him as anything more than a bed warmer?”

Izuku sucked in a breath.

How dare he?

No one cared about Kacchan more than Izuku did. To even insinuate such a thing made him see red. Izuku felt the shift, his sight sharpened as his pupils narrowed and slit. He—

“Enough!” Kacchan shouted, his palms exploding with his lost temper.

Katsuki had the attention of every single person in the store, including the two idiots that he called friends.

“I’m finished with this Alpha machismo bullshit,” Katsuki said. He pushed between the stunned Alpha and shoved them apart to stand in the middle. Katsuki let off his Quirk again, palms popping to get his point across. “And so are you two idiots.”

Neither said anything, staring at Katsuki like he’d lost his mind.

Maybe he had.

“Kirishima!” Katsuki said, addressing Idiot Number One first. “I know you’re worried and a lot of things have happened, but give it a rest. Deku’s not hurting me and I have bigger things to worry about than him. If you really want to help me, you’ll get it out of your head that he’s a threat.”

Kirishima’s shoulders shook, but he bit his lip instead of saying something. He looked at the floor, backing down from the confrontation. Katsuki’s scolding had been more effective than he’d thought if he was borderline submitting.

Keeping his momentum up, Katsuki whipped around and pointed at Idiot Number Two with his back to Kirishima. “And you!

“This jealousy thing has to stop. I don’t give a shit if it’s instinct or not, at least save it for someone that deserves it! Kirishima’s my friend and nothing else! We’re never going to be mates. We’re never having sex. He’s no more of a threat to me than you are, so the same thing about getting that paranoid fear out of your head goes for you, too!”

Katsuki breathed heavily, too angry to be embarrassed about shouting his personal business in the baking goods aisle.

Deku took a step back and looked away, his eyes still wild but he’d gotten controlled of his breathing. It took a few blinks, but his pupils returned to normal and he rubbed the side of his arm. “Fine.”

“I’ll play nice if he does,” Kirishima said.

Katsuki nodded and reached down to grab Kirishima’s fallen basket. He shoved the fallen items back in it and pushed it in his arms. “As much as I’d like to catch up, Deku and I are pushing our house arrest privileges as it is. I will see you later, okay?”

Kirishima hugged the basket to his chest and licked his lip. “For sure.”

“Until then,” Katsuki said, patting him on the upper arm. He pushed Deku the other direction, back toward their cart. “Come on, let’s go home already.”

“Okay, Kacchan,” Deku said. He grabbed their groceries and pushed it toward the front of the store.

Katsuki waved at Kirishima before he left the aisle, breathing out and feeling pretty good about how that went.

Izuku found it hard to stay mad at Kirishima when Kacchan had declared that he and Izuku were mates in front of the entire world, shouting with that fiery temper of his.

Kacchan hadn’t put it in exactly those words, but the implication had been unmistakeable and Izuku felt as amazing as the first time he’d done a one hundred percent Detroit Smash without harming himself.

Besides, the look on Kirishima’s face when Kacchan yelled they were never getting together had made it clear that was the last nail in the coffin for Kirishima’s advances.

The matter was done and over with.

Izuku felt satisfied with the results and he hoped Kacchan felt the same.

“Hey, Kacchan,” Izuku said, putting his hands on the back of the couch where his Omega watched television. He hugged Kacchan from behind, putting his arms around Kacchan’s shoulders. He rubbed his fingers in a small circle on the shoulder opposite his healing Marks. “Do you want to go to bed early?”

Kacchan leaned his head back, his hair resting against Izuku’s cheeks. “You’re in a good mood.”

“It’s hard not to be after you make dinner,” Izuku said, telling a tiny white lie. He didn’t think telling Kacchan that he was still riding the high of being acknowledged in public would go over well. Dinner had been good though! Izuku nuzzled Kacchan’s cheek and squeezed tighter. “That cooking channel study of yours has paid off.”

“You burned your tongue,” Kacchan said, mouth twitching as he struggled to fight the smirk. He slouched in the cushion and crossed his ankles on the coffee table. “You might want to try a different line of flattery to get into my pants.”

Izuku snorted and dropped his face into Kacchan’s shoulder. He patted the chest under his palm and said, “Direct it is: Kacchan, I want to have sex on the couch with you in my lap.”

Kacchan covered his reddened face and groaned in response, but he didn’t say “No” either.

Eijirou walked down the street, too high strung to stay in his empty apartment after that long afternoon.

Volunteering for an extra night patrol had been exactly what the doctor ordered.

The civilians gave him his space, parting as he walked by. The scowl on his face refused to leave, but he couldn’t get Bakugou out of his mind so his public image would have to suffer for not. Something had changed between Bakugou and Midoriya over the past month, and Eijirou wasn’t sure he liked it.

He smacked his fist into the wall as he walked by—he needed to get his head on straight.

Bakugou had asked one thing of him and Eijirou needed to do it. It didn’t matter that his brain screamed Midoriya stole his Omega and needed to be taken down a peg. It didn’t matter that he didn’t trust Bakugou’s judgment concerning the other Alpha because being mated did things to your head.

Midoriya had to have pushed things too far. Bakugou had been too tamed in the store and too defensive of the other Alpha and—Eijirou stopped and held the sides of his head.

His instincts were selfish and Eijirou had to remind himself of it again and again until it sunk in that Bakugou was fine.

Bakugou was fine.

He didn’t need saved.

Bakugou was fine with Midoriya.

His friend was fine.

The sound of flesh smacking against flesh drew Eijirou back into his surroundings. He turned his head toward the sound and tapped toward the entrance of a side alleyway. Eijirou saw nothing in the mouth, but continued to hear the sound of something being hit. The grunting came from one voice and Eijirou tapped down the alley until he reached the corner, turning around to the back of the nearest building.

An Alpha kicked an Omega, curled up on the ground with his arms over his head. Dirty black hair covered his eyes, but his mouth hung open in silent panting as the assault continued.

“You worthless idiot,” the Alpha said, “I don’t know why I even bothered to take you home!”

Eijirou activated his Quirk and shouted, “Hey!”

The Alpha stopped kicking and both he and the Omega looked up to see Eijirou behind them.

“You picked a bad day to be an asshole,” Eijirou said, holding his hand up with his fingers hardened in to claws.

He couldn’t do much for Bakugou, but at least he could save this Omega tonight.

Chapter Text

“Are you okay?” Eijirou asked. Behind him, the scum of an Alpha groaned, restrained and waiting for the authorities to come pick him up. Eijirou hit him harder than necessary when he’d taken the guy down, but he hadn’t broken anything—the jerk would heal. His Omega, on the other hand, still looked worse for the wear. “Can you wait for the medics?”

The Omega didn’t answer, sitting against the wall where he’d moved when Eijirou grabbed his Alpha, or soon to be ex-Alpha at any rate. The Omega’s expression didn’t look frightened, nor did he seem nervous. He stared at the ground, wearing a thoughtful frown that seemed rather calm for a guy who’d just been beaten. However, while Eijirou didn’t see any visible blood, there was some heavy bruising on his cheek and on the back of his hand and who knows what else.

“Are you hurt anywhere I can’t see?” Eijirou asked. He didn’t want to pressure the guy, but if he was sitting here injured, he wanted to make sure it wasn’t life threatening while they waited. “Is there something I can do to help?”

“Don’t waste your breath,” the Alpha behind him said, breathing heavy. He smirked and winced through the black eye. “That cold little mutt doesn’t talk.”

The Omega flinched.

“If you don’t shut up, I’m going to make you,” Eijirou said, gripping his hand into a fist and holding it behind his back toward the downed Alpha. The skin hardened and he heard the Alpha’s teeth click as his mouth shut. “Better.”

With that taken care of, it was time to put his Hero training to use! They covered how to help all sorts of people, and people that were unable to communicate verbally were one of them.

“Will you answer please if I ask yes or no questions?” Eijirou asked, turning back to the injured party. The Omega stared for a long time before he pulled his knees up to his chest and nodded. Eijirou inhaled and exhaled slowly to calm himself down, making sure none of his anger toward the Alpha remained. “Are you injured anywhere I can’t see?”

The Omega shook his head, hair slipping into his face and revealing pointed ears—a unique feature. Eijirou wondered if his ears were related to his Quirk, or were like Eijirou’s sharp teeth and a simple side-bonus.

“I’m glad it’s not too bad,” Eijirou said. He took a seat across from the Omega, attempting to look likes threatening. “The medics and the police should be here in a few minutes. Are you okay to wait until then?”

The Omega nodded, crossing his arms on his knees. He watched Eijirou with dark eyes, face seemingly stuck in an anxious frown. Past the bruising, Eijirou saw a handsome face and an intelligent stare.

Eijirou felt like he was being picked apart by it.

He looked away first, breathing out and counting down until the authorities arrived.

“Ground rules?” Kyouka asked, rolling onto her back. She pulled the controller to her chest and paused the rhythm game she’d brought over. Kyouka drummed her fingers on the side of the plastic. “Like from Denki?”

Katsuki grunted and threw the controller up onto the shelf under the television. “The therapist is convinced if I don’t have some ‘structure’ in my life I’ll be miserable or whatever, so she wants Deku to give me a list to follow. She wanted me to ask a friend about their house rules and write about it to back her up.”

“Oh,” Kyouka said. She set the controller aside and hummed under her breath. “Well, I’m probably a good person to ask then, since I’ve have two Alpha I can talk about when it comes to that sort of thing—I mean, I guess technically three, but I don’t think the first guy really counted. His house rules involved not talking to anyone and not ratting him out, so that’s probably not what your therapist was aiming for.”

“That sounds like Shigaraki’s set of rules,” Katsuki said. He reached up and clicked the game console and television off. “First thing he did when I dropped in was give me a Mark and hand me a list of Orders, the asshole.”

Kyouka laughed. “I think it’s wired into their brains to set the rules when you first show up. Denki was super nervous about his, but he did it, too.”

“Yeah?” Katsuki asked, sitting up to put his back against the bed frame. He tapped his knee, thinking back to his first day with Deku—he hadn’t given any rules. “Like what?”

“It was only a couple: Tell him when I need to go somewhere and make sure I do whatever chore I picked when we split the housework.” Kyouka said. She patted her hand on her ribs and pulled her knees up. “I did get a new one though after that whole thing with you getting kidnapped: Don’t go out without at least two other people.”

Katsuki grunted.

“Those are the only verbal ones,” Kyouka said. “The little unofficial ones like having dinner ready when Denki comes home or making sure the laundry gets put away since he always forgets and other things like that just sort of formed naturally.”

He slid a little down the bed. Did those things count as house rules though? Weren’t they just what happened when two people lived together? Katsuki’s dad had done all the cooking and chores because his mom had been awful at them.

“You’re kinda quiet,” Kyouka said. She rolled back on her stomach and poked him in the back of the head. “Talk to me, tough guy.”

“It’s so weird that you’re chill with this rules thing,” Katsuki admitted. He kicked the shelf, rattling the television and game console. “I hate being told what to do. Deku didn’t give me a list of rules when I got here because he knows that better than anyone. How can you stand it? How can you just walk into a place and accept being handed an ultimatum of behavior with no choice in the matter?”

“I guess I don’t really think of it that way.” Kyouka slipped off the bed, sitting next to Katsuki. She folded her hands over her knees and pressed her back on the frame with their shoulders touching. “The rules Alpha set are usually a good thing to keep the relationship in check.”

“In check? But there’s no give and take. The Alpha has all the power. They can do whatever they want and Omega just…do it!” Katsuki shouted, gripping his elbow as he crossed his arms. He dug his fingers into his hair and breathed out, trying to keep his voice down. Deku and Kaminari were still in the living room. “How can you function knowing someone else has total control of your life? That you can’t make your own decisions? That if you wanted to walk out the door and leave that you can’t?”

“Do you want to leave?” Kyouka asked.

He did.

He didn’t.

Katsuki didn’t know which was a scarier thought.

Izuku looked up from his notebook when Kaminari’s phone went off with a loud buzz. He glanced over as the other Alpha put down his book and checked the alarm. Kaminari groaned and threw his head back, holding the phone over the edge of the couch cushion. He clicked off the alarm with his thumb and rolled off the couch and sat on the floor.

“What’s the matter?” Izuku asked.

Kaminari rubbed the back of his head, his fingers sparking as he built up static. “I forgot about the charity dinner tomorrow. My agency volunteered me to make an appearance, so Kyouka and I have to go and I forgot to get my suit cleaned.”

Izuku closed his notebook, a frown forming on his face. A charity dinner sounded familiar. He pulled out his own phone and checked the calendar—Izuku was scheduled for that, too. But with their house arrest, did going to a charity event count as being “on call?”

He was the number one ranked Hero at the moment—he probably needed to show up at a charity event raising money to research support gear for disadvantageous Quirks. Considering everyone still knew the stories about him breaking his own limbs as he learned to use his Quirk, it’d be odd for him not to show his support.

Izuku held his hand up to Kaminari as he got up and went into the kitchen. “I need to make a call.”

Katsuki had the volume of the video game turned up. The practice screen played as he clicked random buttons and stared at the phone in his hand. Izuku had gone to bed earlier, nuzzling Katsuki cheek-to-cheek before he left, giving Katsuki time to himself.

He expected Katsuki to be in soon, though, already used to the routine of watching him play for a bit before turning in early while he waited for Katsuki to sneak in after the lights were off.

Katsuki’s talk earlier with Kyouka had left him bitter and he’d felt sick when he quietly asked Deku to help him write down his thoughts in his journal after Kaminari and Kyouka left.

Deku’d been nice about it, filling the awkward moment after Katsuki obeyed the Order to talk about the charity event he had to attend. Ground Zero typically didn’t get invites to those sorts of things, so it had caught him off guard when Deku asked if he wanted to go, too.

They’d gotten permission from the agency and the police, all under the impression that Deku making an appearance would be good for their public relations and keeping their house arrest under wraps.

Katsuki hadn’t answered him yet, but he needed to reply by morning so Deku could let the event committee know he was bringing his plus one.

Was that his life now? Playing homemaker and attending public events on Deku’s arm? The video game continued to play in the background and Katsuki turned on the phone. There had to be more—he had to have other options. Katsuki opened the small text message that waited for him and stared at it.

He was as safe as it got.

“Hey,” he typed. Katsuki pressed send and put the phone on his chest.

The answer came immediately.

“About time,” Dabi replied. “What took you?”

Katsuki rolled his eyes, continuing to absently click on the game to keep the character yelling and the illusion that he was playing the game alive. “Didn’t have a chance. Deku and I have been joined at the hip.”

“I bet you have.” Dabi sent. He followed it with a short, “At least he lets you out of bed for shopping trips.”

“Why’d you send me a phone?” Katsuki asked. Reacting to the lewd comments would only benefit Dabi and he wasn’t in the mood. “Why risk this after Deku nearly killed you?”

Katsuki waited for an answer, eyes on the clock as his time to stay here shortened. He usually made it into Deku’s room by nine and it was nearing eight-thirty already. Katsuki tapped the buttons on the controller, his rhythm faster as his heart picked up.

Deku would be furious if he knew Katsuki was still in contact with the League and that he’d hidden this phone for so long.

What was he doing?

Dabi answered before Katsuki’s thoughts could get too far away from him.

“The three of us were good together,” the first message said. A second followed: “The thought of you raising hell and ripping this world apart with Shigaraki gives me shivers. I want to see it.”

Katsuki swallowed, the motion catching in his throat, and typed a short “I have to go. I’ll text later.” He sent the message and turned off the screen, shoving the phone back under his mattress where it belonged.

He turned off the game and clutched his hand into a fist to stop the shaking.

Izuku smiled as the mattress dipped behind him. Kacchan slid under the covers and put his arm around Izuku’s waist. He pressed his face into the back of Izuku’s shoulder, his breath warm.

“Deku,” he whispered. Izuku put his arm over Kacchan’s and laced their fingers together to show he was listening. Kacchan squeezed their hands. “Do you miss working together at all?”

“Sometimes,” Izuku said.

He had worked so hard to have a working partnership with Kacchan during school and in their Hero careers, it was hard not to. Deku and Ground Zero had made an unstoppable team and pushed each other to their limits like no other. Kacchan had always been an incredible and amazing force that Izuku was grateful to stand next to. He’d been able to handle anything and Izuku looked forward to getting paired with him on missions every chance he could get.

But whatever they had been, Izuku’s memories had been painted over in a new light of horror as he revisited their moments together and the Villains they had fought. Shigaraki and the League of Villains weren’t the only dangerous Alpha out there.

Kacchan had so many enemies—if even one had found out his secret before everyone else—Izuku bit his lip. He didn’t dare think of it.

Izuku had been so engrossed in Kacchan’s feats and fierce nature when they were younger and in school, he’d failed to notice anything else. If he’d paid more attention, he might have noticed how much strain Kacchan had been under. Izuku might have seen the damage Kacchan was doing to himself.

He could have stopped it sooner.

Kacchan broke their hands apart as Izuku rolled over. He touched Kacchan’s cheek and placed their faces side by side, noses almost close enough to touch.

“Do you want a more honest answer?” Izuku asked.

“Yes,” Kacchan said, voice firm through the hoarse sound.

“It’s hard to miss that when getting to see you every day is so much better,” Izuku whispered.

He rubbed his thumb in a circle under Kacchan’s eye once before drawing his fingers down and putting his hand on Kacchan’s side. The other didn’t move, breathing softly. Kacchan shifted and put his head under Izuku’s chin, putting his arm back around Izuku’s waist.

“Kacchan.” Izuku rubbed his back, holding him tighter. “Are you okay?”

“Go to sleep, Deku,” Kacchan said. “We have a stupid party to go to tomorrow.”

“You want to go?” Izuku asked.

“If you leave me alone in this apartment all night tomorrow, I’ll probably blow out one of your walls, run away, and never come back,” Kacchan said, nails scratching Izuku’s back. He clung, smashing his face into Izuku’s collar. “So I should probably go with you.”

“Okay,” Izuku whispered, eyes watering. He tugged the blankets up around them and snuggled close. “It’ll be really boring, so it’ll be good we can keep each other awake.”

Kacchan grunted into his chest and pinched him. “Go to sleep.”

“Night, Kacchan,” Izuku said.

He kissed his mate’s head and settled in, closing his eyes. Things were still rough—they might always be rough—but Kacchan was worth it.

Chapter Text

Katsuki forgot that Charity dinners came attached to long boring evening parties where the hosts talked with the guests to squeeze out a few more pennies of donations before announcing the grand total at the end of the night.

He had barely survived the meal portion of the evening with nothing to distract himself from his thoughts thanks to his few friends too far away to talk at other tables. He and Deku had been assigned seats at the VIP table alongside a few Agency heads and the top donators of the night, far, far away from the likes of Kaminari or Kirishima. The rest of the table talked among themselves about the charity and business while Katsuki spent the entire dinner preoccupied with his late night confession to Deku and Dabi’s last text still haunting his brain.

Katsuki’s horror over admitting to Deku that he wanted to run away kept him quiet and earned him some unwanted praise.

None of it was said to his face, of course.

But some people didn’t whisper as quietly as they thought they did.

“I still can’t believe that’s Ground Zero,” some well-to-do guest from Katsuki and Deku’s table said to their mate as they entered the party room. Katsuki kept a straight face, following a step behind Deku, who was so busy in a conversation of his own with the Agency head to hear what they were saying. “He was so quiet and polite the entire night. I guess he really did just need to settle down with an Alpha to get that wild behavior in check.”

“Makes you wonder how Deku managed that…”

Katsuki dug his nails into his palm and walked faster to get out of earshot. If he heard another word he’d show them just how “well behaved” he could be.

His shoulder bumped into Deku’s and he paused in his conversation for a moment before he continued. While he talked, he reached down and grabbed Katsuki’s hand. He squeezed before letting go, a tiny moment of comfort, though he didn’t know what was wrong.

The agency head continued speaking, demanding Deku’s complete attention with mundane topics, however, leaving Katsuki to his own devices. That was one part of being the number one Hero that Katsuki had never envied—Public speaking.

As they entered into the main party room, Katsuki looked around as the attendees spread out to mingle in their various cliques. Kirishima had disappeared somewhere, likely dragged off by his own Agency boss to mingle. He spotted Kaminari talking with a few of the Heroes in his agency and watched Kyouka pat him on the arm before she trotted off to join Momo and the other Omega in a corner.

Katsuki almost walked over to her but he had no desire to face Kyouka’s friends tonight. It looked like he’d be spending the entire night as Deku’s well behaved plus one, hanging off his arm like a good little Omega.

“I’m going to get a drink,” he muttered to Deku.

“Okay, Kacchan,” Deku answered.

Katsuki breathed out and walked away, smoothing down the lines of his vest. He hadn’t worn a suit in ages and was glad the one from his closet still fit. He avoided eye contact and greetings as he headed for the drinks bar in the corner.

The temptation to order something strong nagged at him, but Katsuki didn’t trust himself to stop if he started. Getting drunk would be bad for everyone, including the hosts—and it wasn’t the charity’s fault Katsuki was having a lousy day.

He ordered a soda and took it from the bartender with a sigh.

“So you’re Katsuki,” a soft voice said from behind him. He turned around and came face to face with an Omega who had a large, smooth burn on his lower left cheek that stretched down to his neck. The Omega smiled, stretching the damaged skin and said, “You really are more handsome in person.”

After Kacchan left, Izuku’s boss abruptly changed topics. He kept his voice low and faked a smile to make it seem like their topic of choice continued to be happy to anyone walking by. “So how’s the house arrest going? The therapy reports have been positive so far.”

“We’re getting there,” Izuku said. He resisted the urge to fidget with his suit sleeves under the harsh glare. Kacchan’s words from last night and the silent morning lingered on the edges of Izuku’s thoughts, but that was a minor set back he was sure they could discuss. He hoped. “But are you really expecting him to just turn around and accept everything so quickly? He had to give up so much, it should be understandable that he’s frustrated and not adjusting well.”

“No one was expecting anything but for him to keep his damn head down during the news storm, but I guess that was too much to ask since he got himself kidnapped,” his boss said. He crossed his arms and muttered, staring at Kacchan’s back across the room. “That boy was a mess even when we all thought he was a Beta.”

Izuku stepped in the way of his boss’ line of sight to block Kacchan from his view. “It wasn’t his fault that happened. Kacchan’s always been rough around the edges, but he was great at his job.”

“Katsuki was good at one thing and that was taking out Villains,” his boss replied. “I’ll give him that, but now that that’s no longer an option, he gets to learn how to be good at other things in his free time.”

“Kacchan was better than that—”

“Deku,” his boss said, cutting him off. Izuku swallowed the growl threatening to break free. He was the top of the food chain most days, but the head of his agency was one Alpha he didn’t have the rights to cross—at least not in public and in the middle of civilians. “Please keep in mind that not everyone looks at Katsuki with the same blind affection and admiration that you do.”

“I’m aware,” Izuku said. He huffed and grabbed a glass off a tray as a waiter walked by. He sipped it and said, “And that’s their loss.”

His boss snorted and gracefully changed the topic to filling Izuku in on some of the major events going on that didn’t make the news.

Izuku hoped Kacchan would come back soon.

“Should I know you?” Katsuki asked.

“No, there’s no reason for us to have met.” The other Omega snorted, taking his glass of wine from the bartender. “But we did share a mate for five hours so that felt like reason enough to introduce myself.”

“Shared a mate?” Katsuki said. The Omega nodded his head toward the other corner of the room and Katsuki spotted a familiar Alpha with that same, stupid slicked hairstyle talking with another guest. He turned back to the blond tracing his finger around the rim of his glass. “You’re the guy who wrote Deku a letter of thanks—his mate.”

“That’d be me,” the Omega said. He took a few steps away from the drink table and Katsuki followed, curious. They settled near the wall to avoid the moving foot traffic around them. “My name is Hideki and I want to say it’s nice to meet you, but I was mostly curious what you were like in person. You caught my mate’s attention for so long, I feel like I already know you from all his media pieces.”

“He said the same shit,” Katsuki said.

“He would.” Hideki covered his mouth and laughed behind his hand, though his eyes didn’t share the amusement. Hideki spun the red wine around in his glass twice before humming. “But you don’t have to worry about him anymore. He’s actively avoiding you and Deku tonight and if he thinks of pulling that stunt again he’s going to get more than a week’s cold shoulder out of me.”

Katsuki stared at the Alpha and looked back at the Omega glaring at him across the room. “That guy does what you tell him? He said his main job was to put Omega in their place under Alpha and you’re telling me he cares what you think enough to respect a ‘No’ from you?”

Hideki frowned and scratched at the edge of the burn. “He told you his main job was what now?”

“Teaching Alpha how to train and break in Omega that don’t ‘know their place’ as he put it,” Katsuki said. He waved his hand, almost sloshing the soda out of his cup. “In addition to that whole lying, media thing.”

“Wow,” Hideki said. He took a sip from his glass and shook his head. “He really did like you if he told you all that. He was probably trying to impress you, come to think about it.” Hideki paused and pulled his cup down. “Or scare you. Your Quirk could blow his head off if you weren’t restrained, so maybe he was trying to look more intimidating.”

“You don’t sound surprised,” Katsuki said.

“Why would I be? I know all about it, though officially those sessions are courses designed to help Alpha handle Omega that are considered a danger to themselves or others,” Hideki said. He shrugged and held the wine glass near his waist. “He doesn’t usually describe them that bluntly, but it’s not like they’re a secret—controversial, but not a secret.”

“Are you telling me, that people know about that shit and just let it go on?” Katsuki asked, slamming his cup onto the table nearest to him. “They just let him break people because they don’t want to conform to some stupid rules that don’t make any sense?”

“I’m starting to think your looks are all you’ve got going for you,” Hideki said. “The only Omega who end up in that position are the ones like you that are determined to kill themselves by being obstinate or dangerous enough that they should be in jail, but let’s face it, no one wants to incarcerate an Omega.”

Katsuki’s stare must have voiced his unspoken question, because Hideki continued.

“Think about it, Omega have Heats and as you’re familiar, extended suppressant usage will kill them,” Hideki said. “Which means an Omega that’s in jail still needs to be taken care of once a month, whether they like it or not. So you tell me what’s worse, a dedicated caretaker who’s been taught how to get around Order loopholes to make sure the Omega behaves, or an Omega getting passed around with a different Alpha every month in a prison full of desperate Alpha and Beta who will take advantage when the guards aren’t looking?

“Shelters don’t have the resources to take care of Omega like that and prisons don’t want to deal with the extra security and abuse scandals,” Hideki said. “So therefore, what my mate does is a regretful necessity.”

“That happens to reinforce his view that Alpha are the superior Class. He seemed pretty happy to drive that point in when he slapped me across the face,” Katsuki said. He glared at the other Omega and pointed at the burn. “He do that to you?”

“No, he didn’t,” Hideki said, returning Katsuki’s glare. “My kids were playing in the house after I told them not to and a stray ball hit the stove when I was deep frying some vegetables. I’m sure you can figure out what happened after that. My mate wasn’t even home when it happened and when he did find out, he was worried.”


Katsuki grabbed his drink, wishing it had something stronger in it. That guy already had kids at home. He tossed back half the glass.

“The only work my mate ever brought home was you,” Hideki said, pursing his lips. “You were his favorite thing to complain about.”

“I’m sure lying to make sure no one thought a Beta was capable of standing next to Alpha just ruined his day.”

“Stop saying that,” Hideki said, shoving his hair behind his ear. “My Alpha doesn’t lie. He’s very guilty of spinning the story and exaggerating to make sure the public doesn’t panic, but he doesn’t lie.”

“Every damn word on the news the day I got caught was a lie!” Katsuki shouted. A couple next to them jerked and he lowered his voice. He took a step closer, looming over Hideki. “My parents did not hurt me. I’m not some weakling obeying my mother because I can’t think for myself—hiding my Class was my choice. And being a Pro Hero was my dream job, not a source of stress and mental abuse. Every word that he said was designed to make me look bad and it was all nothing but vile lies.”

“Look bad? Lies?” Hideki asked. He leaned up, matching Katsuki’s glare. “He went out of his way to make you look sympathetic, you moron! What sounds better? Poor little Omega did what his Alpha parent told him to make them happy or greedy Omega hid his Class because he wanted attention from as many Alpha as he could?”

“That’s not why I did it—”

“Says the Omega who was close friends with every Pro Hero Alpha in the top ten and had at least two willing to fight to the death over him,” Hideki said. His hair fell between his eyes and he shoved it back again with a firm jerk. “Live in denial all you want, but your mother did get you addicted on suppressants, you were living every day stressed out of your mind as you had to hide your Class, and the public would have eaten you alive if they knew the truth about what you were doing.

“You should be thanking him for making you everyone’s favorite, sympathetic Omega,” Hideki said.

“You’ll forgive me if I disagree,” Katsuki growled back. “But tell me, since you seem to agree with all the awful things he does, did you believe this bullshit before you met him? Or is that just what happens when you live with an Alpha that thinks your Class is dirt?”

“You’re proving to be more and more ignorant by the second.” Hideki bristled, his shoulders tensing up. “For the record, I studied psychology with a focus on Alpha-Omega relations for my Finishing School electives and that’s why we got along so well at the Matchmaking House. We talked for hours and found we shared quite a few views that only grew stronger when I majored in it during my later education. I’m his top consultant when he has a story he needs to spin to sound more appealing to the masses, including yours.”

“So you’re an enemy to your own Class that doesn’t want to admit you're sharing a bed with a monster out to make sure all Omega stay firmly under his heel,” Katsuki said, taking a gulp from his glass. “Noted.”

Hideki threw his wine at Katsuki, drenching him in the red liquid. He coughed and wiped the red off his face, staring at the stain dripping into his suit and covering his hands.

“Just so you know,” Hideki said, leaning closer. He shoved Katsuki in the chest and whispered, “I saw the tapes of Deku when he broke out of sedation and the footage from his attack on the warehouse. Enjoy going to bed with that monster of your own.”

He left Katsuki dripping in wine and stomped to the other side of the room, face flushed and eyes wet.

“Kacchan,” Deku said, rushing over. He’d seen the moment that other guest threw his drink on Kacchan, but nothing that led up to it. He left his boss behind without another thought, slowing his approach as he got closer and saw the state of his mate. Kacchan breathed heavily with his mouth open as he panted, his palms smoking. “What happened?”

“Nothing,” Kacchan said. He sucked in a breath and gritted his teeth. Kacchan drew his fingers into fists and shivered in anger. “We had a disagreement.”

“About what?” Izuku asked. He reached for Kacchan’s arm, well aware that everyone around them had started to whisper and stare. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Kacchan said. He smacked Izuku’s hand away from him, holding nothing back from the strike. It echoed in the room and more than one person turned in their direction, interested in the drama that was none of their business. Kacchan refused to look at Izuku. He stared at the floor and his voice cracked. “Don’t touch me.”

Izuku held the back of his stinging hand and lowered his shoulders.

“I’m going to clean up,” Kacchan whispered. His hair covered his eyes and he turned on his heel to stalk away. “Don’t follow me.”

“Kacchan,” Izuku said, dropping his hands by his side.

He watched his Omega kick open the side door of the room and duck down a hallway toward the restrooms.

Izuku turned to say his goodbyes to the hosts and important guests. If he were Kacchan, he’d want to go home after he cleaned up, so he might as well get ready to leave.

“Domesticated Omega are such a nuisance, aren’t they?”

Katsuki stopped with his hand on the restroom door, sucking in a breath. He slowly turned his head to the side. “Dabi?”

The other Omega leaned on the wall near the restroom, wearing a nice suit and gloves with make up covering the burnt skin and stitching on his face. Dabi lit a cigarette and crossed his ankles. “That was one hell of a conversation.”

“What are you doing here?” Katsuki asked.

“You cut our talk short last night,” Dabi said. He pushed off the wall and yanked a handkerchief out of his back pocket along with a bottle of make up remover. He splashed the cloth and reached up to start wiping away his disguise. “You had plenty of time to answer but ran off like a coward, didn’t you? I don’t appreciate getting blown off.”

“I had to go,” Katsuki said, through gritted teeth. He glanced over his shoulder, making sure they were still alone in the hallway. He didn’t have to leave for the reasons Dabi might have assumed, but he did need to get away from uncomfortable thoughts. “I was going to answer later.”

“You sure are,” Dabi said. He finished cleaning his face and tossed the rag and bottle into a nearby trash bin. “When you come back to the League.”

“I’m not going back there,” Katsuki said. He drew his hand through his hair and dropped his arms. “I’m not pushing my luck and neither should you, unless you want Deku to murder you.”

“Midoriya won’t be a problem.”

Katsuki whipped his head around and shouted, “Shiga—”

“Be quiet and don’t use your Quirk,” Shigaraki Ordered. Katsuki snapped his mouth shut and sucked in a breath through his teeth, a chill working down his spine as he obeyed. Shigaraki whistled, a disgusting grin stretching across his wrinkled face. “I wondered if that would still work.”

Katsuki took a step back as Shigaraki neared, his heart beating too loudly and his mouth and tongue refusing to work as he remained under the Order. He threw his hand over the faded Mark on his shoulder.

“You must have been very, very naughty if my venom is still lingering in your veins,” Shigaraki said. He reached up and pulled out Katsuki’s tie, slipping his fingers slowly under Katsuki’s collar to tug it up and look at the pink, healing wound. “I’m curious, is it still there because he’s punishing you, letting another Alpha’s venom flow through you while he takes you to bed, or are you no longer his little prize now that you’ve been tainted?”

Katsuki kicked Shigaraki in the gut, shoving him back. He couldn’t yell or use his Quirk, but he could get away.

“Stop,” Shigaraki Ordered once more and Katsuki tripped on his own feet as his brain halted his run. He hit the ground and got up on his elbow as Shigaraki walked to meet him. He felt fingers in his hair and Shigaraki whispered, “Or maybe it’s a sign that you were supposed to be mine all along.”

Dabi squatted in front of Katsuki and pulled out a small knife. He flipped open the blade, locking it in place. “We’re going to solve all your problems tonight.”

Katsuki got up on his knees, still growling through his teeth. Were they insane? Deku was just in the other room and he’d notice Katsuki had been gone too long any minute. Did they want a repeat of the warehouse?

“Dabi’s right,” Shigaraki said. He patted Katsuki’s head and stood. “Your Alpha is a nuisance, so it’s time for him to go away.”

Like Shigaraki could make that happen. He’d been trying for years and Deku beat him every time.

“Now that we’ve got you, it’ll be easy,” Shigaraki said. He took the knife from Dabi and moved to stand in front of Katsuki. “At first, I just wanted everyone to see what a monster he was and let the public destroy him, but after thinking about it, it’ll be more satisfying to see his face when you do it.”

Katsuki’s mouth dropped open.

Shigaraki grabbed Katsuki’s wrist, his pinky finger raised, and yanked him off the ground. He dropped the knife in Katsuki’s hand and leaned in close to whisper in his ear. The Order came loud and clear: “Kill Izuku Midoriya.”

Chapter Text

Look vulnerable and upset.

“Deku,” Katsuki said, his face twisted. He grabbed the edge of Deku’s suit sleeve, his heart pounding in his chest. His fingers trembled, digging into the fabric. “I need you.”

“Are you okay, Kacchan?” Deku asked, putting his hand over Katsuki’s. Concern gathered in Deku’s eyes and Katsuki’s heart ached—the little idiot. Deku pulled him to the side of the room, glaring at the people staring at Katsuki and his stained shirt. “You don’t look so good.”

Get him alone.

“Can we go somewhere private?” Katsuki asked. He dropped Deku’s sleeve and hugged himself. He continued shrinking in on himself. His face twisted in genuine horror as it became clearer and clearer Deku genuinely thought he was upset about Hideki and the wine more than anything else. “I need to talk to you. Right now.”

Do absolutely nothing that might communicate what your plans are to Izuku Midoriya. You are to fool him. You will fool him—make sure he has no idea what you’re about to do.

“Of course, Kacchan,” Deku said. He put his hand on Katsuki’s side and pushed gently. The care in his touch hurt. Katsuki’s eyes watered, increasing his look of vulnerability; doing nothing to tip Deku off something was off. Deku nodded toward a door just off the other wall. “There’s some private rooms over here we can use.”

Katsuki followed him, dropping his arm and grabbing Deku’s hand. He squeezed, praying the moron would notice something wrong—Anything wrong about this situation from the exaggerated neediness to the willing touch. Katsuki felt the weight of the knife in his jacket pocket. It tapped against his thigh as they moved. Deku, none the wiser, pushed open the side door and pulled him through into the small parlor.

Make him the vulnerable one—do something sweet. I’m sure he’ll eat it up and I imagine you have an idea of what he likes by now.

“Kacchan!” Deku yelped as Katsuki pulled him into a hug. He crushed the Alpha to his chest, dropping his face into Deku’s shoulder. The tears built up as he held the warm body. He hated it. Katsuki hated it. He squeezed Deku harder and the smaller Alpha sunk into the hug as it was returned, fierce and possessive. Katsuki cried, “I can’t do this.”

“I know,” Deku said, holding him harder. He rubbed Katsuki’s back up and down, steady and firm. “But you have to. I’m going to help, I promise.”

Katsuki nodded, pulling his hand up. He wiped at his wet eyes, stepping back and leaning on the wall. The Orders continued to ring clear in his head, demanding an outcome and Katsuki’s brain knew how to make it work. He slipped the knife out of his pocket as his hand moved up to resettle around Deku’s shoulder.

The other remained obvious to the danger as he held his mate, swaying them back and forth in comfort.

Stab him in the throat when his guard is down—not even his Quirk will save him from that if you hit the artery.

“We’ll get through this together,” Deku said.

Katsuki lifted his arm, the knife flashing in his own vision. He clutched to Deku’s jacket, dragging it down to better his aim. He swung down hard, putting all his strength into—

“Bakugou!” Kirishima shouted, throwing open the door. “Are you in here?”

Deku jerked back to face their intruder and Katsuki’s knife cut through his suit jacket and straight into the meat of Deku’s shoulder. The blood spread around the impact of the knife, staining his suit redder than the wine on Katsuki’s shirt. Deku shoved back, out of Katsuki’s embrace and his hand moved to inspect the knife lodged in his shoulder.

He’d missed the neck.

Katsuki could have cried in relief.

Instead, he cried because one last Order still lingered over him:

Should you fail or something interfere, keep trying until Izuku Midoriya is dead.

Izuku activated One for All, catching Kacchan’s wrist as he screamed and went for the knife in his shoulder. He immediately grabbed his other arm, holding him in place with ease as Kacchan struggled to get the knife.

“Kacchan!” Izuku yelled. The Omega continued to wriggle under Izuku’s grip, eyes still pouring tears. His fingers twitched as the stretched to reach the handle of the knife. Izuku pushed him back without letting go and asked, “What’s wrong? Tell me.”

Kacchan didn’t answer, continuing to reach for the knife as if there was nothing else on his mind.

“Bakugou! What are you doing?” Kirishima asked, running over. The panic filled his voice as he got closer and Ordered, “Stop!”

Kacchan flinched, breathing in hard enough to move his whole chest. He shook off the Order and cried out, renewing his efforts to go for the knife. His body trembled, unable to budge in Izuku’s hold. Tears streamed down his face as he kept attempting to move, like he wasn’t under his own—

“Kacchan, stop it,” Deku Ordered.

The change came immediately as Kacchan’s entire body shivered and he threw his head back. He let out one last sob and inhaled.

“Finally,” Kacchan said, going limp. He fell to his knees and Izuku followed him, still holding his wrists. Kacchan dropped his head onto Izuku’s uninjured shoulder and whispered, “Shigaraki’s here.”

“On it,” Kirishima said.

Katsuki watched Kirishima sprint out of the room, breathing softly as he calmed down. He’d wanted to kill Deku. He’d sincerely been trying to murder Deku and he could only be thankful his brain had interpreted Shigaraki’s Order as “Keep trying to stab Deku” and nothing else.

If he’d had other options, Katsuki’s Quirk might have gotten involved and that fight might have been too distracting for Deku to realize what was wrong as fast as he had.

He was already too luck Deku had noticed so soon.

“Kacchan, what happened?” Deku asked, dropping his Quirk. The knife in his shoulder held his blood in place like a stopgap, not that Deku seemed concerned. “Are you alright?”

“Shigaraki Ordered me to kill you,” Katsuki whispered. “And I did it. I couldn’t stop.”

His voice choked and he shook his head, hair falling in his face. If Kirishima hadn’t shown up. If Deku hadn’t moved—he’d be dead. Katsuki grabbed Deku, pulling him into a real hug. “I couldn’t stop.”

“But you did,” Deku said, rubbing his back. Katsuki waited for yelling. He waited for Deku’s angry and his ire, but none of it came. Deku continued to stroke his hand up and down Katsuki’s back, loving and secure. “You stopped, Kacchan. This isn’t your fault, okay? You stopped.”

Because Deku Ordered it.

That cleared up whose Imprint on Katsuki was the strongest one between the three Alpha that had held him.

Katsuki leaned back and stared at Deku. He reached up and yanked his tie down and popped open the collar of his shirt. “Deku.”

His eyes lingered on the sliver of skin before meeting Katsuki’s gaze. “Yes?”

“Would you get rid of Shigaraki’s venom?” Katsuki asked, yanking his shirt back to expose his partially healed shoulder. “I’m really sick of it, right now.”

“Yeah, I can do that,” Deku said, eyes watering. He reached up to touch Katsuki’s cheek and leaned in. Deku pressed their foreheads together and his voice cracked. “I’m sorry, Kacchan.”

“Then fix it before you bleed out,” Katsuki said, looking away from the fresh wound. “I want to punch Shigaraki myself before Kirishima gets him.”

“Sure,” Deku said.

He kissed the center of Katsuki’s shoulder before he bit down. Katsuki jerked up and—Oh.

A spark of something pleasant and warm filled his veins. He clutched at Deku’s back, focusing on the sensation. The Mark drew out a moan and Katsuki hadn’t been aware that could feel so good.

The last remaining remnants of Shigaraki’s venom washed away, replaced with the filling heat of Deku’s. Katsuki shivered when Deku pulled away, slumping back and leaning on the wall.

Punching Shigaraki would have to wait until the feeling came back to Katsuki’s legs.

Kirishima found no sign of Shigaraki in the other rooms or hallways. Wherever he had been, the Villain hadn’t felt the need to stick around and supervise his handiwork.

Through luck alone, no one had noticed the ruckus in the back room and Kirishima had agreed with Izuku that keeping this incident under wraps would be better for everyone. Kacchan didn’t need that sort of attention and Izuku had had worse wounds.

“You really should go to a doctor,” Kacchan mumbled, wrapping Izuku’s shoulder from the safety of their apartment. Thanks to the dark color of the suit, Izuku and Kacchan had left the party without fuss. Kirishima had been kind enough to let everyone know they’d left, stating that Kacchan was ‘upset’ from earlier. It was true enough. “Who knows what I damaged?”

“I’ll get it checked tomorrow when I can find a doctor willing to be discreet and not ask questions,” Izuku said, yawning. It’d been a long dinner, a long party, and an even longer evening with Kacchan trapped under Shigaraki’s hold. He felt good here, sitting between Kacchan’s legs on the bed. Kacchan tied off the end of the bandage, smoothing it down with his fingers. “This is good enough until then.”

Kacchan dropped his forehead into the middle of Izuku’s back. He wrapped his arms around Izuku’s waist and whispered, “Why aren’t you angry? I tried to kill you.”

“Shigaraki tried to kill me,” Izuku said. He put his arms over Kacchan’s and leaned back, tapping their heads together. “This is my fault, not yours. If I’d Marked you earlier, Shigaraki wouldn’t have been able to Order you at all.”

“How did so little venom have such a strong hold though?” Kacchan whispered. His wound had mostly healed, leaving only traces behind. Kacchan squeezed tighter. “What if I did it because that’s what I really wanted?”

Izuku bit his lip and turned to hug Kacchan properly. “Kacchan, if you wanted me dead, you would have done it long ago. You didn’t a party as an excuse to stab me in the throat when I was distracted.”

Kacchan grunted. “Maybe.”

“It’s not your fault, Kacchan,” Izuku repeated. He squeezed and pushed them both over. He winced as his shoulder hit the bed, inhaling at the sharp streak of pain that went down his side. Kacchan flinched and Izuku held him tighter. “Don’t be scared of me.”

“‘I’m not,” Kacchan said. His fingers reached up and tugged at Izuku’s curls. Izuku closed his eyes under the ministrations, enjoying the small head massage. Kacchan whispered, “I’m scared of myself.”

Izuku wished he had a proper answer to that.

Chapter Text

“Today was supposed to be a free day and your choice of discussion,” Specs said, adjusting her glasses on the bridge of her nose. She leaned back in her chair and crossed one leg over the other. “But I thought I might ask if you wanted to talk about what happened at the charity dinner the other night. It must have been upsetting if you had to leave early.”

Deku schooled his expression to stay neutral. That charity dinner was the last thing either of them wanted to discuss, even if they both knew she was referring to the scene caused by Hideki throwing his wine at Katsuki instead of the real issue of Shigaraki attacking Deku and using Katsuki to do it.

“Who told you about that?” Katsuki asked, arms crossed and slumped into the couch. He dug his thumb into the skin of his forearm, wishing he’d chosen to wear more than a tank top today. Deku’s Mark was front and center and Specs and clearly seen it with a smug smile. He almost felt grateful she was talking about the shitty dinner instead of drawing more attention to it. “Did that rat go whining to his mate?”

“No, neither Hideki nor anyone else felt the need to contact me directly, though it is the center of rather a lot of gossip, sad to say,” Specs said. She touched her cheek and shrugged. “But if you must know, I saw it in person. I was at the same dinner, but I didn’t get a chance to walk over and speak with you or Izuku before you left.”

“You know that loser?” Katsuki asked.

“We’re acquaintances,” Specs said, her smile souring a tad. She caught the expression fast enough and returned her face to a neutral position. “We don’t share a profession, but we do share a field of study that overlaps from time to time. Hideki and I have taken the same classes here or there, as well as attended a few convention panels at the same time.”

“Heh, you don’t like him either,” Katsuki said, snorting.

Deku knocked his knee into Katsuki’s, but the smile was amused instead of chiding.

Specs cleared her throat and said, “We have our disagreements, though I am curious what he wanted to talk with you about.”

“As he put it? We ‘shared a mate for five hours’ and that was reason enough to come and ruin my evening.” Katsuki caught Deku’s confused look and cursed under his breath. They’d been so preoccupied with the murder attempt, Katsuki never actually did tell him what the fight with the other Omega had been about. “He was jealous his mate was attracted to me and we had a fight. It’s not that big of a deal.”

“Oh!” Specs exclaimed. She reached down into her bag and pulled out the small information packet that had been shared with her earlier. Specs paused on the page and leaned back into the chair putting her hand next to her head. “I remembered who your first mate was, but I didn’t put together that was Hideki’s Alpha—I’d never seen them together, since Hideki and I mostly met at conventions or classes.”

The therapist closed the packet and put it aside. She fixed her glasses back on her face and said, “Hideki thrives on his Alpha’s approval and attention, so I can see how he would be the jealous type when push came to shove.”

Katsuki didn’t know where to start with that guy’s issues if that was the sort of Alpha he wanted to make happy.


“May I ask what the fight was about?” Specs asked.

Katsuki repeated it word for word, refusing to leave out any gritty details. He even threw in a few extra lines straight from the Alpha’s mouth that first day they met. It helped clear his mind from the other nightmare that evening.

Specs tapped her finger on her knee for a while, digesting that information. Deku looked vaguely sick next to him, mumbling under his breath. Katsuki wished the session would end already so he could go back to sulking in bed and pointedly not thinking about the last serious conversation he had with Deku while wrapping a knife wound.

“I will confirm, you are not the first to take issue with that Alpha’s intense methodology when it comes to behavior control. As it is not a publicized program, it’s adversaries are small in number, but they do continue to make arguments against it whenever the program comes under review.” Specs bit the edge of her lip, folding her hands together. Her shoulders dropped and the wrinkles near her eyes grew more pronounced. “However, Hideki is right in that as of now, we have yet to hear alternatives that have proven as effective. We try to make sure as many Omega are sent to proper shelters as possible, but there are some that are beyond the help of anything other than well structured Orders and forced imprints.”

“I’ll bet,” Katsuki said. “Just like the rest of what he does is necessary, too? Even if we leave Omega out of the picture, what justification does he have to spin the news and make sure everyone knows Beta can’t compete with Alpha and they should keep their heads down? What point does that serve?”

“Hideki referred to his work with the media as ‘damage control’ on the one occasion we spoke about it,” Specs said. “I imagine his Alpha would use the same reasoning.”

“Damage control,” Katsuki said, kicking the coffee table hard enough to rattle her things. “I think causing damage would be more accurate. Imagine all the Beta with potential wasting away because they’ve already convinced themselves they don’t stand a chance because he’s got them all believing I’m some wild outlier.”

Not to mention what the Omega thought.

“Katsuki, you are an outlier,” the therapist said, sighing. “A rather remarkable one, but still an outlier. Omega aside, it is true that most Beta can not challenge an Alpha successfully. They don’t share the same instincts to give them that extra nudge that an Alpha is granted by nature.

“Those slitted pupils aren’t just for show,” she said, swiping her finger vertically down in front of her eye. “When Alpha enter that mental state, they gain a physical ability boost that includes sharper hearing, sight, and increased stamina and strength. The amount varies from Alpha to Alpha, but there are very few Beta that are strong enough to keep fighting after an Alpha is pushed to their edge.”

“That still doesn’t justify him telling an entire Class not to bother trying,” Katsuki said.

“I would argue those news stories do more work making sure Beta think harder about their decisions—Is my Quirk like Ground Zero’s? Is it strong enough to compete? Am I an exception like he was?” Specs dropped her hand on the side of the armrest. “Those are questions they should be asking before they step into that field.”

“It’s still bullshit,” Katsuki muttered.

“For once, that’s an opinion that isn’t harmful to keep and I won’t argue with you about it,” she said. Specs smiled and rubbed the arm chair back and forth. “That’s a rather debated topic even now and I have many papers on the subject if you’re interested on further reading.”

Katsuki licked his teeth. “I’ll pass.”

“Is there anything else you’d like to talk about?” Specs asked, dropping the subject. “We still have a few minutes.”

“How many of these stupid sessions are we required to have?” Katsuki asked the ceiling. “They end with the house arrest, right?”

“Your mandatory participation requirements end with the house arrest,” Specs said, slow and careful. “However Izuku’s agency has requested these sessions continue for a minimum of one year, even if Izuku is the only participant. I do encourage you to continue attending as well, however, Katsuki. It’s hard to do couples counseling with only one of you.”

A year.

Deku patted his thigh, as Katsuki fell over onto the side of the couch. Specs took that as her cue to leave and said she’d see him in two weeks—his Heat was coming up after all, and nothing would get done during that.

Izuku had too many thoughts in his head and four new notebooks stuffed from cover to cover with all of them and a fifth ready to start.

Half of it were things he needed to talk about with Kacchan, but the Omega had chosen to close himself off. Kacchan and been quiet after the dinner, but he’d only gotten worse after their last therapy session. He spoke only when necessary and avoided any in-depth conversation with temptation and distractions.

Kacchan had figured out Izuku had a hard time telling him ‘No’ and abused it whether he wanted to watch a movie or asked Izuku to stop thinking so hard and come to bed.

Maybe Izuku could just give Kacchan his notebooks and hope for the best.

Izuku stopped rinsing dishes when he heard the knock at the door. He wasn’t expecting anyone today and Kaminari always called ahead when Kyouka wanted to come over. He set the dish down and went to see who’d come to visit.

He swallowed, gripping the doorknob too tight after he opened it. “Kirishima.”

“Hey,” the other Alpha said. He bit his lip with his sharp teeth and his hair fell flat around his face. Not an inch of product styled it and he hung his shoulders low. “I wanted to talk with Bakugou. I know I’m pushing my luck, but alone would also be nice.”

Every inch of Izuku wanted to say “No.”

But after yesterday’s therapy session, and Shigaraki, and Izuku’s own spinning thoughts, Kacchan’s silence. Izuku’s hand trembled on on the doorknob and he inhaled. Kacchan might need to talk with a friend more than he needed to talk with Izuku.

“Yeah,” Izuku said, swallowing. He took a step back, letting Kirishima in. “Kacchan!”

“What?” Kacchan called from the bedroom.

“Kirishima’s here to see you,” Izuku said. Both he and Kirishima heard a thump before Kacchan stumbled out of the bedroom. His bedhead from his nap matched his disheveled shirt and shorts. “I’ll just be heading out for a bit, then. I’ll do the grocery shopping, I think.”

If he stayed here, Izuku wasn’t sure he’d be able to keep himself under control. Kirishima’s imprint may have faded, as proven by Kacchan’s ability to brush off his Orders the other night, but it still felt wrong to leave Kirishima and Kacchan alone even if they were next door in a bedroom.

Leaving was the least he could do.

“I’ll see you later,” Izuku said. He grabbed his wallet and stepped outside of the door, shutting it behind him.

He made it two steps before it hit him what he’d done: Izuku had left Kirishima and Kacchan alone.

“Wow,” Kirishima said, staring at the door. Katsuki fixed his shirt as he joined Kirishima in the living room. The other Alpha continued to gape in awe. “I didn’t think he’d actually leave us alone, alone. I thought he’d just go into the bedroom or something while we talked in the living room.”

The wall cracked from an impact on the other side and both Katsuki and Kirishima jumped at the resounding shout of anger that followed.

They stayed perfectly still for a full minute before Kirishima cracked open the door. Katsuki pushed him aside and stood in the hallway, covering his mouth as he stared at the wall. The deep indent was about the size of Deku’s fist and he considered the wall lucky Deku hadn’t used his Quirk—though he imagined his hand might be smarting.

Deku’s jealousy issues were on another level.

“Maybe we should chat before he changes his mind and comes back,” Kirishima said, sinking back into the apartment. Damage aside, Deku had left like he said he would. “He didn’t say how long he’d be gone, now that I think about it.”

Katsuki followed Kirishima to the living room. They sat side by side on the couch and he couldn’t tell if this felt familiar and comfortable or strange and awkward. Katsuki missed the days of shared television watching and hanging out.

It felt like the only person he saw was Deku, and maybe Kyouka.

Kirishima put his face in his hands and laughed, but the sound was far from joyful. He leaned over, pressing their shoulders together. “I had so many things I wanted to say to you, but now I can’t think of a single one of them.”

“Thinking was never your strong suit,” Katsuki lied. Kirishima had his moments, but it felt right to tease him. He reached over and poked Kirishima in the chest. “You always did better listening to your gut.”

“I missed you,” Kirishima said. He reached down and took Katsuki’s hand. He held it, wrapping his fingers around Katsuki’s palm. “My best friend was hurting and I couldn’t do anything to stop it.”

“That makes two of us,” Katsuki said. He squeezed Kirishima’s hand back and dropped their heads together. The last time they did this, Kirishima had been in a hospital bed and Katsuki breathed out. “Things are changing and I can’t stop it.”

Kirishima said, “If I can help, ask.”

“I don’t think you can,” Katsuki said. He breathed in, closing his eyes. “The things that scare me most I have to handle by myself first and then I need to work things out with Deku.”

“What about me?” Kirishima asked.

“There’s nothing to work out between us,” Katsuki said. He dropped Kirishima’s hand and threw his arm around the other’s shoulder. “You’re still my best friend, but now you get to listen to me rant about Deku for all new annoying reasons when we hang out.”

Kirishima snorted and picked up the television remote. “I can live with that.”

“Good,” Katsuki said. He threw his feet up on the coffee table and leaned into the couch cushions. “That’s all the heart to hearts I have in me for a month.”

“We do still have things we should talk about,” Kirishima said. “Like Shigaraki and—”

“They can wait,” Katsuki said, cutting him off. He gripped the couch on the other side of Kirishima’s shoulder. “Later. We can talk later, but today? Let’s just hang out like we used to. Tell me what Ashido and Sero and all them are up to. Kaminari and Kyouka are the only ones I’ve seen in ages.”

“Sure,” Kirishima said, hesitant, but he did as asked.

Katsuki listened with half an ear as Kirishima talked about their other friends. The normality felt nice and he hoped Deku took his time in getting back.

And he got his wish.

Two hours later, Kirishima excused himself from the television binge and left Katsuki on the couch. He had to report for his patrol, as much as he’d like to have stayed longer.

Katsuki saw him out and rested his forehead on the door. Kirishima’s Scent lingered in the room, mixing with Deku’s and Katsuki breathed in both while he could before Deku’s once more overpowered them both when he got back from the store.

As Katsuki listened to the quiet of the apartment, an important fact hit him: He was alone.

“I should take care of that stupid phone,” Katsuki said, punching the crack in the wall.

He headed back to his bedroom, moving quick in case Deku chose to walk in at the wrong moment. Katsuki hadn’t been inside since he and Deku and gotten back from the charity dinner. His love of video games hadn’t been enough to pry him from Deku’s side after the horror of almost losing the Alpha. That feeling—the need to cling—had only been one of the things that scared Katsuki about himself.

The temptation to keep in contact with Dabi was the second.

But with Kirishima back in his life, the other Omega was one crutch he felt better about cutting off before things turned into a repeat of Shigaraki’s far too well thought-out Orders. Katsuki pulled up his mattress and yanked the cell phone out, tearing it away from the charging cord he’d strung up to the wall.

The screen lit up as the power source was cut off, revealing a couple of new texts from Dabi.

The first message had a timestamp from a few hours after the charity dinner: “Enjoy domesticated life.”

His hand shook as he scrolled to the second message that had been sent a day later: “Don’t worry. I’m sure when we finally slit Deku’s throat, Shigaraki’ll be happy to take you in as a house pet.”

Katsuki exploded the phone with his Quirk and cried.

Chapter Text

Izuku didn’t make it to the grocery store.

Instead, he camped out at the bottom of the apartment stairs on the ground floor—far enough away that he couldn’t interfere with the visit, but close enough he wasn’t violating the house arrest. Izuku crossed his arms over his knees and set his face in them. Hiding at the bottom of the stairwell, out of sight from other residents and the outside world, wasn’t his best moment, but it spared any fans or passerby from seeing the frustration on his face.

He had to trust Kacchan, no matter how much his instincts told him otherwise.

Izuku sulked in the stairwell for about an hour before he fell asleep, lulled to slumber by the buzzing of the light overhead and the sound of the air conditioning units on the other side of the wall. He jerked awake after the impromptu nap and checked the time—he’d been gone for three hours.

He stood up and stretched out his limbs, stiff from sleeping in the corner of the stairs. Izuku trudged back upstairs, inwardly hoping Kirishima was long gone, but he prepared himself just in case the other Alpha was still there.

“Kacchan?” Izuku asked, staring into his empty living room.

He walked past the damage on the wall, mentally reminding himself to pay the building owner for the repairs, and looked for his Omega in the small apartment. Kacchan was neither in the kitchen or living room, so he had to be in a bedroom. Izuku’s nose scrunched when he walked by spots where Kirishima’s Scent lingered, but it was stale, indicating the other Alpha had left.

Izuku relaxed, however, it was odd that Kacchan hadn’t answered him when he came in. Though, he might have gone to bed early if his talk with Kirishima had been exhausting or his video game music might have been turned up too loud if he was distracting himself.

Izuku didn’t see the Omega in the master bedroom, so he took the needed step across the hall and tapped on Kacchan’s door. “Are you still up?”

Still no reply.

He opened the door and dropped his shoulders. “Oh, Kacchan.”

Kacchan had curled up on the floor, turned in toward his bed with his knees tucked into his chest. Broken pieces of plastic littered the floor, charred and burned beyond recognition. Izuku couldn’t identify what the debris had once been, but he imagined Kacchan was short a game controller. He crouched and looked over, frowning at the red on Kacchan’s hand and the tiny flakes of black that clung to his palms. Izuku put a hand on his arm and stopped.

Kacchan wasn’t asleep.

Deku sat on the floor next to Katsuki and rubbed his shoulder in small circles. He pressed their backs together and faced the other way. “Did something happen with Kirishima?”

“No,” Katsuki said. He flicked a piece of the charred cell phone off his finger and rested his knuckles on the floor. “We watched TV and he told me how everyone was doing. It was nice.”

Deku continued to pet Katsuki’s shoulder. The motion felt soothing, but it turned Katsuki’s stomach in the same breath. He felt like a house cat. Deku kept petting, varying the pressure in small circles. “Why’d you break your game controller?”

Game controller?

Katsuki stared at the remains of the cell phone and almost laughed. He hadn’t cleaned up his evidence, waiting to get caught, but Deku trusted him too damn much. The idiot had jumped to the wrong conclusion.

He pushed up on his elbow, shoving Deku over. Katsuki remained sitting back to back, not wanting to see Deku’s face right now.

“Kacchan?” Deku asked.

“It pissed me off,” Katsuki answered. He got off the floor, using the bed to haul himself up. If he wasn’t going to get into trouble, he wasn’t going to sit here and get interrogated either. “I’m taking a shower.”

Deku picked up a piece of shattered glass from the cell phone’s screen, turning it over with a curious look.

Katsuki didn’t bother to help him figure out where it came from.

Izuku cleaned up the scraps of Kacchan’s controller and threw them away. He concentrated on the sound of the shower water through the wall, hoping that Kacchan would talk to him when he finished. If Kirishima hadn’t done anything to upset him, Izuku wanted to know what had—or at least to know what had gotten worse if Kacchan was still lingering on old aches.

He cleaned up around the house to distract himself. Izuku straightened the couch cushions and cleaned out the sink. He checked the fridge, wishing he’d actually gone to the store, and threw away a few items that had gone bad. Izuku puttered about mindlessly as time ticked by.

Kacchan’s shower continued.

After an hour, Izuku knocked on the door and asked, “Are you okay?”

Kacchan didn’t answer.

He knocked louder. “Kacchan. Are you still in the shower?”

The water turned off and Izuku stepped back as the door swung open a few seconds later. Kacchan stared at him, dripping wet. His hair hung around his face, drops of water hitting his naked skin.

Kacchan said, “No.”

“You’re getting the floor wet,” Izuku said. He reached past Kacchan for the towel waiting on the counter and pulled it over. Izuku draped it over Kacchan’s head and he huffed, his mouth twitching in a smirk. Izuku watched Kacchan shiver and touched his arm. “You’re freezing.”

“The hot water ran out,” Kacchan said. He reached up and rubbed the towel against his hair to dry the stands before he pulled it off and dropped it on the floor to mop up the small puddle he’d made. “You might want to wait until morning for yours.”

Izuku squatted next to Kacchan on the ground and hugged him from the back. He squeezed, pressing his cheek into the slick, chilled skin. “You’re scaring me, Kacchan. Please tell me what happened while Kirishima was here to make you this upset.”

Kacchan sat on the floor, holding the towel in his lap. He stretched the fabric and twisted it, wringing out the water he’d sopped up. It dripped over his legs and back onto the tile and he leaned back into Izuku’s hold.

“At least tell me you’re not going to hurt yourself,” Izuku said. This wasn’t Kacchan’s usual form of sulking when he was upset and thinking too hard. Kacchan locked himself in his room and played video games. He watched television. He sulked. This was new and it terrified Izuku. Kacchan hadn’t hurt himself yet, but between curling up on the floor and the cold shower, he could see Kacchan going that direction. “Kacchan?”

“After Kirishima left,” Kacchan said. He shivered and set the damp, cold towel on his waist. Izuku listened to his breathing and felt his chest move under his arms. Kacchan paused. Izuku could almost hear him thinking. Kacchan went limp, dropping his head onto Izuku’s shoulder. “I got a message from someone I thought was a friend. They called me a domesticated house pet.”

Izuku squeezed Kacchan tighter. “What friend said that?”

“A lousy one,” Kacchan said. He whispered, “I’m scared he’s right.”

“You are a spoiled like a pet,” Deku said. Katsuki felt a flicker of annoyance and glanced at the Alpha out of the corner of his eye. “I can see where they got that. You laze about most of the day, playing whenever you want and sniffing around whenever there’s food. You demand attention at the oddest times, sleep in bed with me, and you’ve destroyed enough furniture to make any pet jealous.”

“Why you—”

Deku cut him off with a kiss, grinning into it as his arms tightened around Katsuki’s waist. “You’ve got a lot of work to do proving that so-called friend of yours wrong if you don’t want to be a house pet.”

“What sort of work?” Katsuki asked. Deku changed positions to sit properly behind Katsuki, putting his legs on either side of him. Deku pulled his knees up brushing against his thighs with his jeans. Katsuki flushed and pulled his towel closer as his sense of shame slowly returned. Just because Deku had seen it all before didn’t mean Katsuki wanted to walk around naked. “Because my options are pretty limited.”

“We could start by looking at work ads,” Deku said. He pressed his nose into Katsuki’s hair and exhaled, his breath warming Katsuki’s neck. “You get restless when you have nothing to do, so it might not hurt to look at your other job options with an open mind.”


Katsuki slumped in Deku’s hold and stared at the ceiling. He knocked his knee into Deku’s and closed his eyes. “You think I should get a job.”

“It’ll keep you busy and give you something else to focus on,” Deku said. Katsuki wasn’t so sure of that. In the worst case, he’d spend all his time working and lamenting what he’d lost instead. But Deku could also be right—sulking around the house sure hadn’t helped things. Deku patted Katsuki’s stomach and tugged up. “Let’s get off the floor, Kacchan. We can talk about it more tomorrow when it isn’t so late.”

Katsuki grabbed the towel as he pulled away from Deku and stood up, wrapping it around his waist. Deku walked around him to brush his teeth at the sink and Katsuki wandered into the bedroom and changed into his night clothes.

They crawled into bed together and Deku helped himself to Katsuki’s chest as a pillow. Deku snuggled up and breathed out, reaching across to turn off the alarm before he moved back into place. Katsuki rolled over and pulled the blanket tighter around them, throwing his arm over Deku’s side.

Katsuki closed his eyes and rested, but sleep didn’t come.

Chapter Text

Eijirou didn’t make it a habit to check in on people he’d rescued.

Usually there were too many to keep track of and playing favorites didn’t sit right with him. But after speaking with Bakugou the other day, Eijirou had been thinking about the pointed-ear Omega he’d saved before the charity dinner more than he’d like.

They had both shared the same look of defeated acceptance and it made Eijirou feel ill.

Bakugou would be alright, Eijirou knew. He and Midoriya were slowly improving their relationship, he had his friends behind him—starting with Eijirou and ending with Kyouka, and he was a strong guy. His low moment would pass when he found his footing again and got past this hurdle.

Eijirou couldn’t say the same for the Omega he’d found in the alley, being beaten by the person who should have been protecting him.

Did that Omega have a support network? Friends? Was he strong enough to keep going or would this break him?

Eijirou didn’t know and his instincts screamed at him to check on the guy.

He hoped for once they didn’t lead him in the wrong direction.

Izuku turned on the computer screen and pulled up the web browser. Kacchan sat behind him, his arms crossed on the back of Izuku’s chair as he watched the monitor. Izuku checked his phone for the sites that Iida had recommended and pulled up the first one.

“Careers for your Omega,” Kacchan read as the page loaded. He kicked the chair leg. “Are all these sites aimed at Alpha?”

“Yes,” Izuku said, scrolling down the phone message. “You can’t apply for any of these jobs without one, so I guess they’re just skipping straight to the point.”

Kacchan groaned and dropped his head on Izuku’s shoulder. He mumbled, “I want to go back to pretending I’m a Beta.”

Izuku knocked their heads together and clicked to the categories page. “Come on, Kacchan. You said you’d at least try to find something that’ll be tolerable. And if we look enough, we might find something you like.”

“Like I’ve got a real choice.” Kacchan reached over and grabbed the mouse, scrolling through the categories. He frowned at the screen, scanning the titles. “I do wish I’d paid more attention to what the restrictions were though for Omega employment. I have no idea where to even start.”

“Most things are available,” Izuku said. “The restrictions are mostly on jobs that have harsh working conditions or that deal with conflict where you’d run into a hostile Alpha. Your options are more open than you think.

“Plus, if you see something you like but aren’t qualified for, you could always take classes instead. I’m sure that’ll keep you equally busy,” Izuku said. “You always had good grades, so I’m sure you’d pick anything up you put your mind to.”

“Stop trying to sound so motivational,” Kacchan said.

He continued looking before he grunted in frustration and scrolled rapidly up and down, clicking on a random link in the middle before doing it again, barely paying attention to what he was clicking until it stopped on a proper listing with more details about the job.

Izuku snorted.

“Don’t you dare laugh.”

“I’m sorry Kacchan,” Izuku said, grinning at the job listing. A photo with an Omega in an adorable, frilly uniform spanned half the page. “But you’d look really cute as a waiter in that cafe.”

Kacchan clicked the top banner of the page and went back to the main listings to start the search again.

This time he read the category titles before clicking.

“Oh, yes,” the assistant said. She pushed up her glasses and scooted across the desk to open a drawer. “Just a moment, Red Riot, sir.”

Eijirou waited patiently, arms folded in front of his chest. He wasn’t sure if he had permission for this sort of thing, but his uniform sure made it look like he had the authority and the Omega at the counter didn’t question a thing.

“Here we go! The Omega you rescued is named Tamaki,” she said, pulling out the file. She flipped it open and put her finger down the list. “His Alpha was charged with assault and three charges of neglect after a home inspection.”

“Were they officially split?” Eijirou asked.

“Not as of yet. They have been separated, but nothing is official until he’s been found guilty in court,” she said. The assistant frowned and looked at the file again. “His trial is in two weeks if you’d like to attend and make sure your testimony is delivered properly.”

Eijirou rubbed the back of his neck and looked at the assistant. “You see a lot of these cases, right?”

She nodded.

“Alpha like that are usually found guilty, aren’t they?” Eijirou asked.

“Most of the time,” she said.

He breathed out and relaxed. That meant Tamaki had very little chance of going back to that Alpha. But the worry didn’t leave Eijirou. “Where is Tamaki now? I want to see he’s okay for myself.”

“He’s quite fine.” The assistant shot him a hesitant look before looking at the file again. “He’s temporarily located at a local Care Shelter until his Alpha undergoes trial.”

“Am I not allowed to visit?” Eijirou asked, noting she didn’t give him a specific location. He rubbed his arm and tried to look meek. “It’s not that I don’t trust the Care Shelter, but I’d just feel better if I saw him with my own eyes.”

Her eyes softened, but she didn’t look like she was going to bend.

“That Alpha called him a mutt and that was enough to make him flinch,” Eijirou said, squeezing his arm. “I’d feel better if I knew for absolute sure he was okay.”

The Omega closed the folder and sighed. “I can’t give you his specific location, but it is a known fact there’s only one Shelter within twenty minutes of this station.”

“Thank you,” Eijirou said. He patted the top counter and waved. “Have a good day.”

He grinned wider and tapped out of the building and pulled up his phone to look up the shelter’s name and address. He smiled as he found the right one and breathed out before slowing down.

Eijirou might want to take some time to calm down and think about what he wanted to say or he might scare the poor guy. The Omega secretary had been wary of an Alpha who wanted to see a random Omega he’d had a whole thirty minutes of contact with, that included beating his Alpha up and spending time awkwardly in silence.

He’d visit tomorrow when his head was clear.

“How’s it going?” Deku asked from the kitchen behind him. He washed dishes after they’d taken a break for dinner. Katsuki slumped against the small computer desk, scrolling through job listings from the third major hub site Iida had sent them. “Find anything yet?”

“No,” Katsuki said, scrolling. “Most of these listing are retail or administration which are boring as shit.”

“Maybe we’re trying this the wrong way,” Deku said. Katsuki listened to him scrub the plates under the running water. “Instead of looking at available jobs, we could talk about what you want to do and then maybe look for contacts that can get you in somewhere.”

“And throw around your number one hero status to get it?” Katsuki said.

Deku put the plate on the drying rack. “I don’t think I’ll have to, but it’s an option.”

Katsuki took that as a humble way of saying “Yes.”

Deku went back to cleaning and Katsuki returned to his pointless reading. After a few more clicks, he hovered over a listing for a bar bouncer and clicked it. How the hell did that get on an Omega job site? The information page loaded and Katsuki scowled. The position wasn’t for a bouncer, it was for an assistant to a bar bouncer: Some cute Omega to make sure the guy throwing people out had all his needs met while standing outside the door.

He shut down the website and rubbed his eyes.

Katsuki got up from the computer desk and shut the computer screen off. He’d try again in an another hour when he’d given it more thought to what he wanted to do instead of browsing for something interesting.

“I’m taking a break.”

“I’ll join you in a minute,” Deku said. “I’m almost done with the dishes.”

Katsuki stretched his limbs out and walked into the living room. He sat on the couch and threw his head back, closing his eyes as he got comfortable to think. Katsuki sunk into the cushions and focused: What could he do?

He’d seen Omega working in the agency before, running assistant jobs or paperwork, but Katsuki didn’t think he’d be able to sit on the sidelines and watch everyone go off to work without him. It was bad enough seeing Deku and Kirishima in their uniforms while his own had been confiscated.

But if he took a job like that anywhere else, it would bother him that he could have been working with his old friends and coworkers. Katsuki didn’t want to forget his old life either.

Katsuki wanted to do something physical, but he had to narrow it down to something that didn’t involve conflict or Alpha breathing down his neck. Construction could be an option, but Katsuki didn’t know what the rules were when it came to labor that came with risks.

Though, Katsuki could have an easier time strong arming his way into that job than doing something like a bar bouncer—even if that had almost been the most promising choice of the night.

He shivered as a pulse ran through his body.

That felt familiar.

Katsuki sat up, eyes wide as the sweet smell of Pre-Heat pheromones left his pores without his permission.

He’d known his Heat was coming up—it was almost late—but he’d been internally hoping it’d take a rest.

At least he had a better idea of how everything worked now. Katsuki calmed his breathing and relaxed. He was not going to panic again like last time. Deku was here and he had nothing to worry about. Last time had been fine. Nothing had hurt. He survived it and he’d survive it again.

Katsuki breathed out and inhaled, counting to ten under his breath. His own Scent was so weird with the extra pheromones. It was nothing like how the pheromones smelled when he came across this with other Omega. Maybe Deku knew why. He’d read all of those stupid Omega books in his spare time.

He looked over the back of the couch to ask and stopped.

Deku stared at Katsuki, his breath heavy and his eyes were slit.

Katsuki whispered, “Deku?”

Deku looked possessed with all of his attention locked entirely on Katsuki as he left the kitchen, making his way to the couch with intention. Katsuki went rigid. He’d seen that desperate, wanting look once or twice when he ran into an Alpha cornering an Omega at the wrong place and the wrong time, but he’d never had that gaze turned on him.

That pheromone induced state had so much more behind it than lust.

“Kacchan,” Deku said before he descended.

In the time it took to blink, Katsuki found his back against the couch cushion with Deku between his legs and a warm mouth on his own. Katsuki opened his mouth to breath and Deku helped himself again to a deeper kiss and grabbed his thigh to join their hips.

Katsuki coughed when Deku stopped kissing him, catching his breath. He’d been too shocked that Deku hadn’t fought the pheromones to remember to breathe through his nose. Deku nuzzled his neck in the break, licking and nipping skin as he dry humped Katsuki’s waist. Deku’s arousal felt hot even through the layers of fabric between them and Katsuki squirmed under him.

The wood frame of the couch cracked when Deku put his hand on the backing to get into a better position. Katsuki felt a tremble when he watched the small electric charge of Deku’s Quirk light up his arm.

Deku stared at the warped fabric around the broken couch back. Katsuki took advantage of his momentary distraction to shimmy out and drop to the floor, his limbs shaking. He got up using the coffee table as a brace and almost stopped breathing when Deku grabbed his wrist.

Katsuki couldn’t decipher the look on Deku’s face. It was a cross between confusion and anger that Katsuki had tried to leave him.

“Bed,” Katsuki blurted. He felt a shiver of excitement as Deku’s eyes lit up from that one word. He swallowed, a knot stuck in his throat. “There’s more room.”

Deku abandoned the couch as requested with a growl in his throat. Without breaking his stride, he hauled Katsuki up and over his shoulder by the waist as he walked by. Deku held him by the back of the thighs and kicked open his bedroom door.

Katsuki’s heart beat faster in his chest and his face flushed as his body temperature rose. His Scent increased as his sweat poured out and he heard Deku moan into his side as he inhaled. His nose nudged his ribs and he kept his face pressed into Katsuki as he dumped them both onto the bed.

Like something out of a cheap adult film, Deku ripped Katsuki’s shirt off, splitting the fabric at the seams. He tossed it aside and kissed Katsuki’s chest while he tugged at Katsuki’s pants and boxers. Their clothes were shed in record time and Deku paused to run his hand up Katsuki’s thighs for one reverent stroke before he settled it between Katsuki’s legs.

Satisfied that Katsuki was ready for him, Deku kissed Katsuki as hard as he thrust inside. The mattress creaked and Katsuki hit the headboard with the back of his shoulders. Deku held the back of Katsuki’s head to keep it from knocking into the wood and let his hips do most of the work.

Katsuki let Deku manhandle him and tried to keep up with the Alpha’s extra energy and stamina. Deku alternated between kissing and biting Katsuki’s neck as he continued building the pressure, not hard enough to break the skin, but hard enough to sting.

He whined into the next bite and Deku stopped. He went back to wet kisses and Katsuki patted his back, glad that there was some level of consciousness hovering under the surface.

Deku’s Quirk stayed inactive, but his strength didn’t need it. Katsuki could see the bruises on his hips form through the corner of his eyes and breathed harder. That would smart later, but for now it just felt amazing.

Katsuki would deal with being sore tomorrow.

As the evening moved on, the zeal of their joining never wavered. Deku’s energy stayed as strong toward the end as when he first shoved Katsuki onto the couch. Time felt like it stopped as the pace never wavered and the pleasure remained constant, but even an Alpha like Deku had his limits.

They came together: Deku with a shout and Katsuki with a silent gasp.

The bed survived and Katsuki stared a the ceiling, breathing hard as Deku collapsed on his chest. The Alpha nuzzled him and promptly passed out, holding Katsuki in his sleep with a tight enough grip to keep him trapped on the bed.

It’s not like he had the energy to move anyway and joined Deku in sleep.

Chapter Text

“For the record, you’re the one that broke the couch,” Kacchan said, his mouth twitching as he smirked at Izuku.

Kacchan hugged his pillow, cheek smoothed into the side of it. He looked downright relaxed and Izuku struggled to think if he’d ever seen Kacchan in such a state. Kacchan always had an edge of tension just under the surface, even when he was asleep. The tension varied from stress, to excitement, to all the other things Kacchan felt so deeply. Izuku loved that about him.

It was odd to see him so sated when his shoulders were bruised and the purpled skin continued all the way down his back until they disappeared under the sheets.

Izuku remembered very little of how those got there, but he instinctively knew he was the one that did it.

“Did we have fun?” he asked. Izuku touched a bruise and winced. “Or did it go badly?”

Kacchan snorted and reached over without answering the question. He shoved Izuku back onto the mattress with one hand and went back to hugging his pillow. “Do you remember anything?”

Izuku looked Kacchan over. A flash of slamming him into the headboard accompanied the sight of the bruise, though most of it was lost in the general sensation of “Kacchan is mine.”

He decided not to share that part.

“A little bit,” Izuku said, rubbing the back of his neck. He bit his lip and asked, “I broke the couch?”

“We won’t have any furniture left between the two of us, especially if you do that once a month,” Kacchan said, still staring at him from the pillow. “Try to be nice to the bed this week when I’m too out of it to care. We’re lucky it didn’t break last night as it is.”

“I’ll be sure to do that,” Izuku said, rolling over. He flopped on Kacchan’s back and breathed out. “Though if the couch is the only casualty, I’d say we did pretty good for our first real Pre-Heat together.”

Kacchan grunted, snuggling back into the pillow like an overgrown, pleased cat. He closed his eyes and said, “Don’t go anywhere. I’m cold and you’re warm.”

“Wouldn’t dream of it,” Izuku said. He kissed Kacchan’s back and squeezed him. “I’m sure you’ll wake me up when you need me.”

Kacchan leaned back into his hold and Izuku grinned as they snuggled.

They were good together.

“Hello, again!” Eijirou said, sitting across from Tamaki at the small card table. The Omega stared at him with a blank face half hidden behind the fabric from his thick hoodie. Eijirou rubbed the back of his hand, doing his best to ignore the stares and hushed gossip they received from the other Omega in the shelter. “I hope you don’t mind, but I wanted to see how you were doing.”

Tamaki drew a question mark on the small pad of paper in front of him. It was the first bit of writing in the small notebook.

“A friend of mine is having a rough time and it’s made me think about some things more than I used to,” Eijirou said, leaning back in his chair. “He reminded me a bit of you and it made me want to see how you were doing.”

Tamaki watched him with a hawk’s eye, with the same look he’d shared in the alley—thinking. He picked up the pen and wrote, “Ground Zero.”

“Yes,” Eijirou said. He put his elbows on the table and but his hand behind his neck. There was no denying it after everything they’d been through had been so public. “He’s my best friend and I let him down. The whole situation with him has made me think about things that happen behind closed doors that I can’t stop.”

Eijirou bit his lip and leaned back in the seat. This wasn’t something he should be sharing with a total stranger. He came to make sure Tamaki was alright, not share all of his problems.

“What about Ground Zero made you think of me?” Tamaki wrote. His expression turned soft, his eyes wider.

“You shared the same look,” Eijirou said. He stared at the small notebook, his shoulders curling in. “Like you’re resigned to whatever happens to you.”

Eijirou wish he knew if that was a good thing or not. Or if he’d mistaken acceptance for resignation.

Tamaki wrote, “You’re kind.”

Eijirou took pause, staring at the simple sentence. He swallowed and dropped his arms in his lap. “Thanks. I’m sorry for bothering you with that, though.”

“It’s okay,” Tamaki wrote. “Thank you for visiting.”

“The visit isn’t over yet,” Eijirou said, sitting back up. He felt a grin bubble up and laughed. “I came to see how you were, but so far we’ve just been talking about me.”

Tamaki cracked a tiny smile and pushed his hair behind his ear, scooting the hood back more so Eijirou could clearly see his face. He flipped the page of the notebook over to the second sheet. He wrote, “What do you want to know?”

“What’s your favorite food?” Eijirou asked. He crossed his arms on the table and leaned forward. “Maybe I can bring it by.”

“That’d be nice,” Tamaki wrote.

Their conversation flowed easily, despite the silence on one half and Eijirou felt light. Tamaki was as easy to talk with as Bakugou or Mina.

It made him want to talk as much as possible while he still could.

Time always moved too fast when you wanted it to slow down.

By the second day of his Heat, Katsuki could tell something had changed.

His pleasure felt tenfold what it had been. Better than his last Heat. Better than their first time. Better than last night. His oversensitive nerves pulsed with every touch and he had no explanation for why something that had already been overwhelming could make him feel more.

It might have been acceptance.

Katsuki had slowly, slowly started to acknowledge the deep part of his heart that knew he and Deku had a connection. Their friendship. Their rivalry. Their jealousy. Their focus on each other had always been an unavoidable absolute.

Or it could simply be the shallower reasoning that Deku’s passion and desire from the Pre-Heat had been infectious, heightening Katsuki’s senses and fulfillment in the acts that followed it. He’d been taken so hard and so completely the other day that every inch of him was on edge and desperate to repeat the sensation.

His Heat seemed happy to oblige the request, showing him all new ways to experience touch and Scents.

But Katsuki still wanted more.

“There.” Kacchan hugged Izuku’s shoulders. He squeezed his legs around Izuku’s waist harder and jerked his hip in a familiar pattern that told Izuku he was very close. “There, right there.”

“I’ve got you,” Izuku whispered, holding Kacchan’s lower back. He continued to thrust, keeping his angle steady to hit just the right spot. After five days of Kacchan’s increased enthusiasm, it’d be hard not to know exactly what Kacchan liked best. “You’re almost done, Kacchan.”

“It’s so close,” Kacchan said, shivering.

Kacchan seemed as ready for this to end as Izuku. They’d gone an extra day longer than last time and Kacchan’s extra enthusiasm proved as exhausting as it had been pleasurable.

They were both spent and ready for a long rest.

“Deku.” Kacchan kissed him and yanked Izuku down on him. He stopped moving, holding Izuku’s face in his hands. He exhaled, sharing their breath through their open mouths. Kacchan came quietly, a small shiver the only tell that he’d finished first. He kissed Izuku on the side of the lip and relaxed into the ruined sheets. “That was it.”

Izuku pulled out and relaxed. He stayed resting on Kacchan’s chest, absorbing the warmth radiating from Kacchan’s skin. Kacchan touched the side of Izuku’s face and his eyes closed as he fell asleep. Izuku kissed Kacchan’s eyelid and whispered, “I love you so much, Kacchan.”

He cleaned them both with a damp cloth before curling back up under the blankets with Kacchan. His Omega slept, warm and comfortable. Izuku hoped the morning and the pain it brought would pass quickly. Kacchan didn’t deserve to end such a good week with suffering.

Izuku kissed Kacchan one more time before he curled around him, putting an arm firmly around Kacchan’s chest to make sure he knew he wasn’t alone.

He hoped it helped.


Katsuki felt satisfied. He had a warm body to his back and a tender sensation that stretched through every inch of him, from his head to his toes. Katsuki placed his hand over Deku’s, resting it gently on his stomach.

He pressed the Alpha’s hand into his skin and he knew.

A hundred nightmares surfaced with a new vengeance, shattering the fragile balance Katsuki had worked so hard for.

He knew.

“No,” Katsuki whispered, cursing the information his instincts provided. His hand curled around Deku’s palm, pressing it harder into his stomach. The Alpha shifted, waking to the pain in his hand. Katsuki pressed their hands even further into his stomach and shook his head. “No, no, no.”

He wasn’t ready.

The worst of his prior fears had built a cornerstone on this aspect of being an Omega. It created chains meant to shackle him down and give him no escape. Kacchan had foolishly shoved this fear aside to focus on the others that were right in front of his face. The ones that he could fight or compromise with.

But this one? He’d forgotten it. He knew it was a possibility but he was supposed to be too old for this. Katsuki hadn’t thought it would happen. As time passed, it’d become less and less of a worry.

He’d let his guard down.

“Kacchan?” Deku asked. His hand twitched and Katsuki grabbed it harder, squeeze Deku’s fingers. He opened his mouth to speak but only a sob escaped. Deku kissed his shoulder. “You’re okay, Kacchan. I know it hurts, but it’ll pass. I’m not going anywhere and there’s nothing wrong with you.”

“No,” Katsuki said, shaking his head.

Once again, Deku didn’t understand.

He cried harder, curling in and wrapping his arms around his stomach. Katsuki continued to hold Deku’s hand, praying he’d figure it out for himself and figure out something of his rested under Katsuki’s skin.

“You’re so strong, Kacchan,” Deku said. He held Katsuki, gentle and firm and the promise of “I’m right here” comforted as much as it hurt. Deku kept pressing small kisses into Kacchan’s neck. “Bear with it just a little bit longer.”

Katsuki would have to say it.

He breathed through an open mouth and listened to his heartbeat. He counted in time with it to calm down. Katsuki had to say it. He had to say it. Deku would be so damn happy and Katsuki wasn’t ready. He didn’t want to do this. Katsuki wanted to hide and redo the entire week so that it wasn’t as nice. Maybe then he would have been crying for the same reason as last time.

He didn’t want to do this. Any of it.

But nature had never cared much for what Katsuki wanted.


“What is it, Kacchan?”

The silent pause lingered between them both until Katsuki confessed:

“I’m pregnant.”

Chapter Text

“My baby,” his mother said, tackling him in a hug as she burst into the room, knocking the door into Deku’s face after he answered the harsh knock. Her arms tightened around Katsuki in a rib crushing hug and he felt hot tears on the back of his neck. “I was so worried.”

Their house arrest ended around the same time as Katsuki’s Heat.

As Katsuki had fulfilled his end of the deal concerning the house arrest, kept Deku’s wild state a secret, and attended the therapy sessions as required, his parents had been cleared of all charges and were free to visit with Deku’s permission.

His mother had invited herself over within minutes of being informed the restraining order had been lifted, with little to no care what Deku had to say on the matter.

“Mom,” Katsuki said, hugging her back. His dad sniffled being her, leaning on the two of them. Her Scent filled his nose and she sobbed, rocking them back and forth. He was a grown adult, but he felt like a child again in her arms. “It’s okay.”

“Nothing about this is okay,” she said. His mother held him tighter and gathered her shaking breath. “How dare they have done all this to you.”

Deku closed the door, rubbing the side of his bruised nose. He walked away from the small reunion and went to put himself out of the way in the kitchen.

Katsuki rubbed his eyes and tugged at her arms. “Let go so I can breathe.”

“No,” she said.

“Dear,” Katsuki’s father said. “Let’s sit down. I’m sure Katsuki has a lot to tell us.”

“You don’t know the half of it,” Katsuki said. He dragged his mother over to the couch, glancing at Deku. He stayed stubbornly in the kitchen, pulling out ingredients to make dinner. The tension hung in his shoulders and the scowl on his face. Katsuki let him be and sat down. “I’ll start at the beginning.”

Katsuki filled in his parents on everything that had happened between that disastrous Heat that got him caught and the highlights of his house arrest. He left out his confidential kidnapping and Deku’s rampage, as well as the rest of his troubles with Shigaraki at the charity dinner.

His mother didn’t need to know everything about Katsuki’s new life as an Omega, but there was one thing his mother did deserve to know. Katsuki told her what he’d come to terms with over the past two days.

“You’re what!” his mother yelled. Katsuki leaned back into the couch as she stood up and spun around. She glared at Deku in the kitchen, standing in front of the stove as his food cooked. “You got my boy pregnant!”

“Mitsuki,” his father said. “Calm down.”

“I will not calm down!” she shouted back. She whipped around and slammed her hand on the broken couch back. “What were you thinking? Why didn’t you cough up some birth control? His trauma or whatever bullshit they’ve been spouting should have been reason enough to get it legally.”

Deku turned off the oven and pulled out dinner. He dropped it on the oven top and didn’t look at Katsuki’s mother.

“I’m talking to you!” she yelled, stomping around the couch. Katsuki stood up and his father grabbed his arm, shaking his head. His mother entered the kitchen and grabbed Deku’s shirt. “There’s no way you didn’t know my son’s been terrified of being mated to you his entire life. You made his worst nightmares come true, so maybe you should have kept that in mind when you decided to knock him up anyway!”

“Let go,” Deku said, leaving his arms by his side.

“Mom, put him down,” Katsuki said, tugging on his arm. His father continued holding him back, his face twisting in dread as he stared between the two Alpha. “We both were surprised this happened. The alternative was leaving me alone for my Heats and he wouldn’t do that.”

“Don’t defend him,” Mitsuki said. She lifted Deku off the ground, a few inches taller than him. “You told him you wanted nothing to do with him for years and he ignored it. Inko’s son should have left you as alone as possible and he has no right to call himself an Alpha after this.”

Deku grabbed his mother’s wrist and twisted it aside. She winced, hissing through gritted teeth. Katsuki held his breath and Deku let her go once she’d released his shirt.

“You’re upsetting Kacchan,” Deku said. His face remained blank, but the underlying tension that had been building up over months of disapproval with Katsuki’s mother remained. “If you won’t calm down, you can leave and come back at the end of the week when your head is cooled.”

“You can’t tell me what to do,” his mother said back. “I don’t care what the law says about permissions. No one is keeping my son from me again.”

“I don’t need the law to kick you out.” One for All sparked along Deku’s arm and his eyes narrowed. “But that would upset Kacchan, so do us both a favor and sit down and enjoy your visit.”

He pushed her over and paused in the living room next to Katsuki long enough to say “I’ll be in my room” before he shut himself inside.

Katsuki collapsed on the couch and held the back of his head.

His mother punched the wall, breaking the plaster.

The meeting with Kacchan’s parents could have gone better.

Izuku covered his face with his arms breathing in and out to keep himself calm. He’d come so close to decking the other Alpha. He still hadn’t forgiven her yet for leaving her son on a bathroom floor for two weeks. That aside, Kacchan’s mother had his same temper and fierce spirit as her son, which would have been admirable if it hadn’t been turned against him and solidified his anger with her.

He and Kacchan had come so far and made so much progress and she’d torn it all down in a few tense moments.

Izuku rolled over and put a pillow over his head.

He waited in the dark of his bedroom for the next couple of hours while Kacchan finished up his visit. He managed to calm down and managed to get a few pages in his latest notebook filled out as he made notes about what they’d need in the future.

Thinking about the baby on the way helped distract him from the things Kacchan’s mother had said.

The door inched open around seven and Kacchan slipped inside. He sat on the edge of the mattress and slumped forward, resting his arms on his knees. “The hag and dad left.”

“I’m sorry they were upset,” Izuku said, closing his notebook. He shoved it under the pillow and sat up. “Seeing them again should have been a good thing.”

“They’ll get over it,” Kacchan said.

Izuku reached a hand over to put it on Kacchan’s shoulder, but his fingers stopped on their own an inch from his shirt. He pulled his hand back and dropped it in his lap. He had failed at distracting himself from Kacchan’s mother.

He had to ask.

“Kacchan,” Izuku asked. He squeezed his hands together and swallowed. “Was what your mother said true? She said being mated to me was your worst nightmare. Did you really hate the idea of us being together that much?”

Kacchan flinched.

That answered that.

Izuku turned away, moving toward the edge of the bed. Kacchan stopped him from getting out, falling onto his back. The Omega’s arms wrapped around Izuku’s waist and he felt Kacchan dig his forehead into Izuku’s spine.

“It’s not that simple,” Kacchan said. He clung and breathed out, his breath warm on Izuku’s back. “I did have nightmares about you and all of this for years. I’m sure my mom heard me talking in my sleep more than once, or just seen how I’d tense up whenever mating was mentioned.”

Izuku dug his fingers into the sheet.

“When I presented, I was scared,” Kacchan said. His fingers pressed into Izuku’s stomach, his nails scratching the skin through the shirt. “I was losing everything I’d worked for and I knew what happened to Omega. I was old enough to go straight to a Matchmaking House and be claimed by an Alpha I’d never met before who could do anything he wanted with me—and then I thought about you.

“You were an Alpha that wanted me that was close to home. The knowledge that you would have claimed me given half the chance mixed together with the fear of everything else and it all,” Katsuki paused and shook his head, “merged together. It was easier to picture you than some faceless, nameless Alpha.”

Izuku hissed as Kacchan’s palms sparked, his Quirk reacting to his awful state.

“But,” Kacchan said. “I didn’t hate you, either. We’ve always been friends, even when we did a poor job of it. I knew you weren’t the monster I pictured in my head, but that didn’t stop you from starring in all my nightmares whenever I thought I might get caught.”

Kacchan’s hands trembled and Izuku put his palms over his knuckles. He rubbed them back and forth, leaning back into the Omega’s hold. “Would you tell me about them?”

“No,” Kacchan said. He shook his head back and forth. “I was right about half my fears, but wrong about just as many. All I want to do is pretend my mother hadn’t said any of it. I can’t deal with sorting through that mess and being pregnant at the same time. I can’t.”

“Okay, Kacchan,” Izuku said. He covered Kacchan’s arms with his own. He leaned on Kacchan’s head, letting the Omega continue to hide in his back. “Do you want to talk about your future litter? We haven’t spoken about it since you first told me.”

Izuku had barely been able to repeat what Kacchan had said after the Omega had declared he was pregnant before Kacchan ran out of the room and locked himself in the bathroom for half a day.

When he came out, Izuku could see on his face that he didn’t want to acknowledge it or speak of it in any way.

It seemed as good a time as any to bring it up since Kacchan had mentioned it first.

“No,” Kacchan said. His grip went limp and his arms rested in Izuku’s lap. “But we need to.”

“We’re going to be okay, Kacchan,” Izuku said. He rubbed his Omega’s arms twice before he scooted up and got off the bed. “I’ll get some tea to give us both a moment to calm down.”

“Sure,” Kacchan said. He sat against the headboard, pulling over a pillow and dropping his face in it.

Izuku got the tea, knowing Kacchan had seen the notebook he’d revealed.

Katsuki sipped the procured cup of tea, staring at the to-do lists and research topics in Deku’s notebook concerning Omega and pregnancy, children, and parenting. The Alpha pulled it over and flipped it closed, pushing it on the other side of the bed.

“I haven’t looked much into litters and children,” Deku said, explaining the notebook. He took a drink from his own cup, sitting on the other half of the bed. “When I thought you were a Beta, I thought we’d be lucky if we had one kid, so I tried not to get my hopes up too much.”

“How happy are you really about this?” Katsuki asked, looking at Deku over the top of his cup. “Be honest.”

“I’m conflicted,” Deku said. He crossed his legs on the mattress and his smile wobbled as the Alpha spoke. “The thought of you having children makes me so happy my heart could burst, but seeing you so troubled makes it hard to stay that way.”

Katsuki sipped his tea, considering the answer.

The Alpha asked, “And you?”

“It doesn’t feel real,” Katsuki said, staring at the sheets. “But it is and all I know is I’m not ready to have kids.”

“Me either,” Deku said. He licked the side of his lip. “I wanted them, but I sure haven’t planned for them. My apartment is proof enough. I picked this place out with you and I in mind, but I didn’t think about children at all. We’re going to have to find a new place soon with more room.”

“No,” Katsuki said, drinking a large gulp of tea. “There’s no need to move out when we already have a spare bedroom that’s more than than big enough for a nursery until the brats are old enough to need the space. We can move then.”

“We don’t have a spare bedroom,” Deku said, scrunching his nose.

“Yes we do,” Katsuki said. He pointed at the door toward the room across the hallway. “There’s nothing in there that can’t be moved into here. It’s not like I’m sleeping in it, so we might as well sell the bed and use it for a nursery.”

“Are you sure, Kacchan?” Deku asked. “You like having your own space.”

“I have already had to uproot everything and move once this year,” Katsuki said, his voice cracking. He put the teacup on the side table and went back to hugging Deku’s pillow. “I’m not doing it again. You can deal with my game consoles in the corner of your bedroom.”

“Our bedroom,” Deku whispered. He crawled over and put his arm around Katsuki’s shoulder, pulling him into Deku’s side. “That room will make a cute nursery.”

Katsuki nodded. He felt his eyes water as reality sunk further and further in. He put his hand over his stomach and leaned on Deku. “Damn right it will.”

What was one more thing to give up?

Chapter Text

Deku wouldn’t mind that Katsuki put his television on the Alpha’s dresser.

The figurines and other Hero merchandise that had been there previously could find new homes in storage boxes because Katsuki had been mistaken about there being enough room for the second stand he’d been using for his game systems. Deku wouldn’t miss them. He had enough packed away as it was. There wasn’t enough room in a three story house for the amount of merchandise he had for all the various Heroes.

Katsuki was pretty sure that his furniture from his old apartment was stored with Deku’s excess Hero collection. He didn’t need to rent out a new storage garage when he already had one.

Whatever the case, it all had to go because Katsuki had plans.

Five days after his Heat may have been too early to start clearing out the second bedroom, but Katsuki wanted to get it over with.

Deku had left for patrol as he returned to his Hero work early in the morning, which left Katsuki alone to nothing but his own thoughts and mindless activities. Television and video games weren’t distracting enough for something this big and he’d rather focus on a task than spend his entire day with nothing to do but search websites for jobs he didn’t want or think about Deku’s litter growing under his belly.

They’d made an appointment two weeks out for Katsuki to have a formal checkup to confirm what his instincts already told him.

It felt like a countdown.

He’d never be able to hide this from the public once they walked into that office. The general populace would react a thousand times worse than his mother when she found out. Deku was too famous to go unnoticed and some nurse would blab and it’d be in every gossip circle in the country that Katsuki was going to have Deku’s children.

If the people wanted a happy, smiling, pregnant Omega, they had another thing coming.

His kids were his own business and the first camera that got in his face would also be the first to find out that Katsuki’s Quirk still worked.

He breathed out and shook his head, returning back to the task at hand. The whole point of cleaning was to stop thinking about the pregnancy.

Katsuki placed the small rack with four shelves on the edge of the dresser to the left of the television. He’d bought it the day before since he no longer had a cabinet underneath for his things. He placed one of his game consoles on the bottom shelf and took his time plugging all of the cables into their proper places.

He finished setting up the first console and stretched his arms out with a yawn. Katsuki walked across the hall to grab the next console when someone knocked at the door.

The hurried knocking continued and Katsuki opened it with a huff, expecting a salesman or maybe a package delivery. Instead, Kirishima stood on the other side, biting the edge of his thumb and looking vaguely panicked. “Kirishima?”

“Bakugou! Good. You’re home,” Kirishima said, walking straight inside past Katsuki. He went straight for the living room, hands in his—hair? Katsuki stared at Kirishima’s flat hair without it’s usual style. He turned around, bags under his eyes and crossed his arms over his chest. “Can we talk?”

“Are you okay?” Katsuki asked.

“Something happened and I need advice,” Kirishima said, spinning on his heel. “I hate to bug you with when you’re already dealing with problems of your own, but you’re probably the best person to ask.”

Katsuki put his hand on Kirishima’s shoulder and squeezed. “What did you need to talk about?”

“Okay, so a little before that charity dinner I saved his Omega.” Kirishima sat on the couch and kept talking.

The Alpha described the rescue and how he’d gone back to check on the Omega in the shelter where he was temporarily staying.

Katsuki sat next to Kirishima and crossed his arms, as Kirishima lightened talking about this mystery Omega. The Alpha described him in loving detail, from the unique shape of his pointed ears to the personality that came through his eyes and handwriting. Kirishima even liked the way he expressed himself without words, finding a weird comfort in the Omega’s silence. His disheveled appearance couldn’t cover up the soft look in his eyes as he spoke.

Kirishima reminded him of Deku whenever he’d talk about Katsuki before they were mated.


Kirishima was smitten with an Omega.

The Alpha inhaled and breathed out, reaching the end of his monologue. “So Tamaki’s Alpha is on trial tomorrow. It’s almost certain he’ll be convicted and his mating rights will be revoked, which means Tamaki will be formally returned to a Matchmaking House to be up for bid and I’m not sure I’ll be able to see him again if another Alpha takes him. I don’t know what to do.”

“Are you sure you’re an Alpha?” Katsuki asked, his mouth twitching. He gave into the urge to smirk, feeling amused. “Because the answer to this seems really obvious for an Alpha in your position.”

Kirishima stared. “What do you mean?”

Katsuki leaned over, speaking slowly. “When an Alpha likes an Omega, they claim them and take them home. You’re an Alpha with high standing and a good reputation. You clearly like him so ask them to give him to you before he gets moved into the system. He’ll probably be thrilled and you’ll save them some paperwork.”

The Alpha stared at Katsuki like the thought hadn’t even crossed his mind that he could do that.

“Am I wrong?” Katsuki asked.

“No, I guess,” Kirishima said. He sunk into the couch and fiddled with his hands. “Your answer caught me off guard. That’s not what I was expecting to hear from you after everything with Midoriya.”

“Deku and I have our own issues.” Katsuki rested a hand on his stomach, rubbing his thumb back and forth. He looked at Kirishima, an Alpha in an absolute wreck over the wellbeing of an Omega he’d just met and smiled. “You, on the other hand, I have no worries about. Do you really think I would have gone with you to a Matchmaking House to pick out a mate if I didn’t trust you to be one of the good ones? I meant it when I said any Omega in there would be thrilled to go home with you.”

“Bakugou,” Kirishima said, sniffing once. He rubbed the side of his eyes as they grew wet. “Thank you.”

“It’s about time you found someone you liked anyway,” Katsuki said. He snorted and dropped his head on the back of the couch, still rubbing his belly. “That stupid trip to the Matchmaking House is what started this entire nightmare, so it’s about time you found a mate after all this.”

“What do you mean?” Kirishima asked.

Katsuki stopped stroking his stomach and dug his fingers in.

He’d said the wrong thing.

“Bakugou?” Eijirou asked. He watched his friend’s eyes widen in a panic and he sat up, shifting. Bakugou crossed his arms over his stomach, staring hard at the floor. Eijirou turned on the couch cushion to face his friend. “What do you mean the Matchmaking House started the nightmare?”

“It didn’t.” Bakugou licked his lip and rubbed his hand on the side of the couch arm. “Forget I said it.”

“No,” Eijirou said. He felt his chest twist, his worries of Tamaki slipping away as he looked at Bakugou’s face twisting in frustration. Eijirou dug his fingers into the couch cushion. “You’re lying. Tell me what you meant.”

“I can’t tell you.” Bakugou shook his head and dragged his heel across the carpet. “You’ll blame yourself and it’s not your fault.”

“What will I blame myself for?”

Bakugou breathed in and exhaled.

Eijirou held his hands together. Bakugou shouldn’t suffer keeping secrets just to spare Eijirou’s feelings. If he’d done something to hurt Bakugou, he wanted to know. “Please tell me.”

“The doc I was seeing wouldn’t give me more suppressants because my system had started rejecting them,” Bakugou said, scowling at the floor. He rubbed the base of his palm back and forth across his stomach in a nervous twitch Eijirou hadn’t seen before. “We think being around all those posturing Alpha and obeying your Order woke up my Omega instincts or whatever.

“He said he wouldn’t give me more until I went through a normal Heat to reset my system,” Bakugou whispered. He threw his head back again on the couch, staring at the ceiling. “I ran out of suppressants and my Heat started before I could figure out where to find an Alpha to help me through it. You were there for the rest of it.”

Eijirou put a hand over his chest and pressed it in. “Thank you for telling me.”

If he hadn’t asked Bakugou to go to the Matchmaking House, none of this would have happened.

This was his—

“Don’t you dare,” Bakugou said, lighting an explosion in his palm. Eijirou jumped and leaned into the other couch cushion. Bakugou leaned over and held his smoking palm near Eijirou’s face. “I will shove a Howitzer Impact into your face if you finish that thought.”

Eijirou almost used his Quirk on reflex and chuckled. “I got it, I got it. It’s not my fault and I shouldn’t blame myself.”

“Good,” Bakugou said. He dropped his hand and Eijirou saw that his other arm never left his stomach. “I do not need you to start moping.”

“Understood,” Eijirou said, forcing the widest grin he could manage. He held his fist up and laughed. “I will keep a positive attitude.”

“You’ll need it if you’re bringing a mate home,” Bakugou said. He pointed in Eijirou’s face and asked, “You like this Omega right?”

Eijirou folded his hands together.

He did.

Tamaki held Eijirou’s attention in a way that he’d never felt before. Even his feelings for Bakugou never felt like this. He wanted to look out for him. Eijirou wanted Tamaki to smile at him.

“Yes,” Eijirou said.

“Then go get him,” Bakugou said. He licked the side of his teeth and smirked. “And if you’re really worried, ask if he wants it. I absolutely guarantee he’ll say yes if he doesn’t straight up jump you on the spot.”

“Tamaki doesn’t seem the type to do that,” Eijirou said, forcing himself not to picture that. His mind was already racing with the other possibilities that the thought of bringing Tamaki home would bring. “I’m still not even sure he’ll say yes.”

“He will say yes,” Bakugou said. He threw his arm over the back of the couch and leaned toward Eijirou with a straight face. “I’ll bet my firstborn on it.”

Eijirou burst out laughing and slapped his leg. He held his chest, happy his friend lightened the mood. “It’s no fair if you make a bet like that. Even if you’re wrong you’ll never have to pay up.”

Bakugou looked to the side and sucked in a breath through his teeth. “About that.”

Izuku checked his calendar as he walked up the steps of his apartment building. His absence during the house arrest had backed up all of his major appointments and appearances and everyone wanted a piece of him for interviews and the latest news on how Kacchan was doing.

Most were genuinely concerned for Kacchan’s state, still moved by the original story that had circulated, while a few were looking for gossip.

He’d left them all with the simple statement of “Kacchan and I are adjusting to the situation. No further comment.”

“I need to clear space for appointments,” Izuku muttered under his breath. He wanted to be there every step of the way for Kacchan’s pregnancy, which meant making sure he booked time out of his schedule for check ups. “I’m sure I can make the time.”

Kacchan’s first doctor’s visit was in two weeks to formally confirm the pregnancy—a formality, really. When an Omega said they were pregnant, they were right in almost all recorded cases. The few whose instincts had lied to them typically had other issues harming their accuracy.

Kacchan’s health had improved dramatically over the past few months, so it was safe to say his instincts were behaving as they should.

He put his phone away when he reached his apartment and pulled out his keys. Izuku put them in the lock and twisted, but it was unnecessary—the door was unlocked.

Izuku pushed the door open and smelled Kirishima’s Scent, fresh and strong. He dropped his work bag by the entrance and stared at the other Alpha hugging Kacchan around the chest and laughing in joy.

“I can’t believe you’re going to be a dad!” Kirishima nuzzled Kacchan, cheek to cheek as he vibrated in excitement. “There’s going to be tiny versions of you running around! They’re going to be so cute!”

“Yes, I’m sure they’ll be adorable,” Kacchan said, rolling his head back. He patted Kirishima on the back, looking amused and tired. He turned his head toward Izuku and shrugged before pointing the the Alpha. “Kirishima came over to visit.”

“I can see that,” Izuku said, kicking his door shut with his heel. He stood behind the two, unsure if he should be jealous or amused at the other Alpha’s glee over kids that weren’t his. “Did you have a good day?”

“I cleaned out half of the bedroom,” Kacchan said. Kirishima let him go and composed himself when he noticed Izuku. Kacchan rested his elbow on the back of the couch and snorted. “Then Kirishima came over and we caught up. It’s been a pretty quiet day.”

Izuku kissed Kacchan on the forehead and walked around the couch. “I’m going to take a shower before dinner. Are you staying Kirishima?”

“No,” the other Alpha said, licking his lip. He held his hands up in fists and breathed out. “I have something I need to do.”

Kirishima turned to Kacchan and said, “Wish me luck.”

“You don’t need it,” Kacchan said, waving his hand. “Now get going.”

“I’ll let you know how it goes,” Kirishima said. He got up from the couch and let himself out with a determined grin on his face.

“What was that about?” Izuku asked.

“You’ll find out soon enough,” Kacchan said, turning to sprawl out on the couch. He threw one arm over his eyes and rested the other on his stomach. “I’m taking a nap while you shower.”

“Okay, Kacchan,” Izuku said.

He brushed Kacchan’s hair as he passed and pulled his shirt off as he entered the bedroom. Izuku tugged off his clothes and went into the bathroom. He turned on the shower water and ran his hands under it to test the temperature before stepping under the spray.

A voice in the back of his head nagged at him that he should be more upset about Kirishima being over alone without permission, but after how badly Kacchan’s parents took hearing the news about his pregnancy, Kacchan needed at least one person whose feelings he cared about to be happy for him.

Izuku hoped the joy he’d seen in Kacchan’s eyes stuck around.

Chapter Text

It looked like Bakugou would get to keep his firstborn.

Eijirou stared at the “Yes” on Tamaki’s notebook page, written in all caps and underlined twice. His mouth grew dry and he didn’t know how he should feel about the slightly desperate gleam that had taken up space in Tamaki’s eyes.

The Omega had answered his fumbled “I can’t stop thinking about you and thought I’d ask what you thought about maybe being my mate now that you’re single again” confession with a short, “You want to be with me?”

The “You” and “Me” in the sentence had been underlined and Tamaki’s face had looked so disbelieving it had hurt Eijirou’s heart.

“Yes, I do,” Eijirou had said and Tamaki had answered in kind before he’d finished the last syllable of the short sentence.

Bakugou had been right that Tamaki would readily agree to be Eijirou’s mate and Eijirou wasn’t sure how he felt about that. Didn’t a decision like this require at least a little more thought to it? After everything Tamaki had been through with his current mate, didn’t the Omega have a few reservations about jumping into a new relationship so fast?

His distress must have shown on his face, because Tamaki scribbled “Did you change your mind?” in jerky handwriting.

“No!” Eijirou lowered his voice after he realized he’d shouted and a few Omega around the shelter were staring. He held his hands up and shrunk in his seat “No, I’m surprised you said yes so fast. I wasn’t expecting an answer today since I thought you might want to think it over.”

“He’d be an idiot to say no,” an Omega lounging nearby said. She had her nose buried in a book and a large scar ran across her upper arm. “He’s probably more surprised you asked in the first place when the answer is so obvious. Maybe you’re the idiot.”

Another Omega smacked the girl in the shoulder and hissed, “Don’t be rude!”

“That Alpha doesn’t care,” she said. The Omega hunched her shoulders in and kept staring at her book. “All the more reason Tamaki should jump at the chance.”

“Oh,” Eijirou said. He put his hands on the table and pushed up, heart heavy. “I should go get the paperwork done, then.”

Tamaki breathed out in relief, visibly more relaxed. Eijirou got to the door and caught Tamaki reaching over to smack the girl Omega on the couch with the back of his hand with an angry hiss. The girl smirked at him and they started to bicker as he left the small visiting lobby.

Eijirou felt out of his element and moved on autopilot as he spoke with the front desk and got in touch with the authorities that could arrange a formal claiming.

“I’m glad you decided to talk with me, Katsuki,” Specs said. She had pulled the chair closer to the couch and had a paper notebook in her lap, well prepared for someone who’d taken the time for an unscheduled appointment after Deku gave her a call with the news so she’d be aware of what was going on their next session. A smalls stack of pregnancy books sat on the coffee table, ready and waiting for Katsuki to read later. “I’m also happy you agreed so speak with me alone. Considering your circumstances, I do feel it’s important to get a feel for you and Izuku individually before we all talk together.”

Katsuki kicked the table leg and shoved his hands further into his hoodie pockets.

Deku and Specs had spoken for an hour earlier in the day while Katsuki visited with Kyouka and a reluctant Momo. He’d told them the news, figuring it’d be better they heard it from him first instead of a tabloid after his appointment later in the week.

Kyouka had cried.

She had tried so hard to be glad for Katsuki in her words and congratulations, but her envy showed through the tears. Kyouka wanted children so badly it was one of the first things he’d learned about her and it was Katsuki who’d gotten pregnant. The unfairness of it all hung between them like an anvil on a string.

“If I could give them to you, I would,” Katsuki whispered.

“Don’t you dare say that.” Kyouka had stopped crying and narrowed her eyes. She sniffed and wiped her eyes off with a napkin. “Have you and Izuku talked about names yet?”

Katsuki shook his head no and she and Momo started making their own lists of names they thought suited Katsuki and Deku.

He’d almost ran out the door when Deku came to pick him up.

A new level of awkward arrived with Specs, however, while Deku excused himself to go somewhere else for the hour. Katsuki hadn’t asked where he’d went, but if he had to guess, Deku went to hang out with Uraraka or Iida.

“Katsuki?” Specs asked, tapping her pen against the paper. “Are you ready to start?”

“Yes,” Katsuki said, breathing out. He hugged his stomach, hidden behind the hoodie pocket and pressed his lips together. “We might as well.”

“Then we’ll start simple,” she said. “How are you feeling?”

“Angry and terrified,” Katsuki said, staring across the room at one of Deku’s All Might posters over the television. “What else is new?”

“At anything in specific?”

“My mom, my womb, the odds of this bullshit happening,” Katsuki said. “Take your pick.”

Specs wrote a few things down and said, “I noticed you didn’t mention Izuku in that list. Is there a reason?”

“Do you want me to be angry at him?” Katsuki asked.

His mother had had a point about birth control being available—Specs had clarified earlier that Katsuki would have qualified—but he struggled to get angry at Deku for not getting it. The part that did make him mad was he couldn’t figure out if it was instincts keeping the anger at bay or if he genuinely wasn’t angry Deku might have wanted to play the odds since he’d wanted children.

Katsuki didn’t want to think about it.

“No, but I had suspected you might be,” Specs said. She adjusted her glasses and continued writing on the page. “We can discuss your specific feelings toward Izuku’s role in your pregnancy later.”


“But speaking of Izuku,” Specs said. She flipped a few pages up on toward the bottom of the notebook and read a few notes. “He mentioned during his session that it was your idea to turn your bedroom into a nursery for the future litter.

“Izuku was very conflicted over the decision and was worried about you making that choice. He didn’t go into why he felt that way, however, saying it’d be best if I asked you.” Specs put the notebook pages back down to Katsuki’s section of the notes. “Is there a reason you think he’d want to emphasize that?”

Katsuki dropped his head to the side on the couch, glaring at the broken back they’d yet to fix. “I was very adamant about having my own space when I moved in with him. I refused to sleep in his bed and he respected that.

“When I wanted to be alone, I’d go hide in my room and lock the door,” Katsuki said, sure the therapist knew about this already. “Even when I started sleeping with Deku, I stayed in my room more often than not when I wanted to be alone.”

“So by turning the bedroom into the nursery, you’ve given up your personal space and opportunities to be alone, do I have that correct?”

“I already lost my chance to be alone, so what does it even matter what the bedroom’s used for anymore?” Katsuki whispered.

Specs paused and put the pen down. “Would you elaborate on that, please?”

“The morning after I knew,” Katsuki took a breath, “I locked myself in my room to be alone and think.”

Specs waited for him to continue while Katsuki squeezed his belly harder.

“But the longer I stayed in there alone in the quiet, the more clear it became that I wasn’t alone,” Katsuki said, eyes watering. “I could still feel them and my awareness of them was heightened the longer I stayed by myself.”

He paused, rubbing his thumb in a circle through the fabric of his pullover.

“I tried to ignore them for two days, thinking if I distracted myself with video games or television I’d stop being able to feel them, but couldn’t,” Katsuki said, leaning his head back. “Between staying alone in that room with the twisting in my stomach or being with Deku, it was easier to stop thinking about the brats with Deku around.”

Specs waited, patient as ever. Katsuki hated it and got to the heart of her question

“What’s the point of having a space for alone time when you’re never alone?” Katsuki asked. “Besides, I didn’t feel like moving twice in one year.”

Katsuki shifted on the couch and kicked the table leg again, signaling he’d finished speaking.

Specs wrote as gently as she spoke, “That had to be very difficult for you. Has moving in properly with Izuku in the master bedroom helped?”

“A little,” Katsuki said. “He’s figured out to keep his mouth shut when I’m in a bad mood, so it’s as close as I’m going to get.”

Deku being in the room gave Katsuki something to focus on outside of the tiny lives developing inside of him when the thought of future parenthood grew too much. He’d take what he could get.

“Are you ready for your appointment this weekend?” Specs asked, shifting the topic. “While most Omega already know for certain before that appointment, I imagine hearing it in a concrete fashion from an outside source might be different for you.”

“I’d feel better if I could see my own doctor,” Katsuki said, thinking of the doc in his run down clinic. Katsuki trusted that man a thousand times more than any doctor he’d seen in a public facility. He winced after he’d caught what he said and gave a wary look to the therapist. “These sessions are confidential, right?”

“Of course,” she said. “As long as it’s not something that’s a danger to yourself or others, in which case I am obligated to report it. You mentioned you had a doctor?”

“Yeah, Doc was the guy I got my suppressants from.” Katsuki wondered how the old man was doing and if Dabi was giving him trouble. “He changed locations and numbers when I got caught, so I have no idea where he is now. But I’d been seeing him regularly for years for anything when I needed medical care since he was the only one who knew I was an Omega outside of my parents.”

“I see,” Specs said. She cleared her throat and he was glad to note she didn’t write this part down. “However, it might be best if you were away from someone who would supply you with something so dangerous.”

“Bullshit,” Katsuki said. He glared and felt a fire bubble up in his chest. It felt good and he held onto the anger. “No one cared about my health more than he did. The Doc’s the one that cut me off of suppressants in the first place because he saw them reacting badly. He was more competent than any other doctor I’ve ever met.”

“I believe you,” Specs said, though her eyes said the opposite. The second part of her sentenced sounded truthful, though: “I’m sure he cared about you.”

“He’d laugh his ass off if he found out I was pregnant,” Katsuki said, breathing out. “And give me a lecture about not following his instructions. He said no patient was worse than a Pro Hero.”

Specs snorted and covered her mouth to hide the smile. “Let’s hope you’re a better patient for your future doctors, for you and your litter’s sake.”

“I’m not making any promises,” Katsuki said. He relaxed into the couch and looked at Specs and remembered that she, too, was an Omega. “Do you have kids?”

A bright smile appeared on her face and she said, “As a matter of fact, I do.”

Katsuki scooted over on the couch as she dug into her purse and pulled out a small personal phone. She turned on the screen and flipped through a few galleries before a folder popped up full of tiny, smiling faces.

They spent the rest of his session talking about her children and Katsuki could picture Deku shining as brightly as the therapist talking about his own future brats.

Katsuki wished he could say the same for himself.

It took less than an hour to transfer Tamaki over to Eijirou.

Two phone calls, one government official with printed pages, and Eijirou’s signature had been all it took.

Eijirou had been horrified at how easy it had been until he’d overheard someone say the process had been expedited because of his ranking in the Hero charts and the relief of everyone in the department that he’d finally “accepted his loss against Deku over Bakugou and moved on.”

Then he’d just felt tired.

He did his best to hide it, however, because Tamaki beamed in joy behind him—though it was subtle. The Omega’s smile had curved a fraction wider and he stood up straighter. They were tiny signs that looked like shining beacons to anyone who had seen him in his usual, reserved state the rest of the time.

Eijirou unlocked his apartment door, his hands shaking. He took a step inside and the full weight of his spontaneous decision dropped on his shoulders.

He hadn’t prepared for a second person to live with him.

“I forgot to get a new couch,” Eijirou said. Tamaki stood next to him, closing the door behind them. He’d finally removed the wreckage of his damaged furniture from his rage when Bakugou had gone missing, but he’d yet to replace any of it. His empty living room loomed back at them both as a giant sign that Eijirou rushed into this decision. “I should have remembered that.”

Tamaki wrote, “I don’t mind.”

He wouldn’t.

The Omega had come with Eijirou with nothing but the clothes on his back. The courts said Tamaki was welcome to return to his old house and reclaim his belongings, but he’d refused.

“There’s nothing there that I want,” Tamaki wrote. When asked if he was absolutely sure, he had written “Yes” with finality.

They stayed put in front of the apartment door and Eijirou had no idea what to do now. Whenever he’d pictured mated life, he always thought about picking someone out at a Matchmaking House and feeling that instant connection and moving ahead to children and a happy home life.

The steps between those two things had always been fuzzy of how they worked, but he’d been sure he’d figure it out when he got there.

Eijirou had been wrong.

“I have no idea what I’m doing,” Eijirou said. He put his hand on the back of his neck and looked at Tamaki. “I’m sorry. You deserve a lot better than this.”

Tamaki dragged Eijirou forward and kissed him, hiking himself up to wrap his legs around Eijirou’s waist. Tamaki groaned into the kiss when Eijirou grabbed the back of his thighs to steady him. Tamaki ground his hips into Eijirou and held onto the back of Eijirou’s neck.

At this rate, Eijirou might owe Bakugou his own firstborn as often as that Omega had been right about Tamaki.

“I thought you were shy,” Eijirou said, breathing hard when Tamaki pulled away.

The Omega’s lip twitched and he pulled a pen out of his pocket. He wrote on the door, “There’s too much on the line.”

Tamaki kissed Eijirou again, gentler but firm and sure. He kept writing, the pen scratching deep into the wood. “I want you.”

Eijirou accepted the next kiss and held Tamaki closer as he backed up through the empty living room toward his bedroom. The Omega tugged open the front of Eijirou’s pants with a pleased expression, sticking his hand inside Eijirou’s boxers before they made it through the doorway.

Tamaki left no room for confusion with or without his voice as he pulled Eijirou on top of him when they hit the mattress.

Chapter Text

“So this check up is for what, again?” Kacchan asked as they entered the small doctor’s office. “A general physical and the test?”

“That should be it, yes,” Izuku said. He stepped to the side and pulled out his identification and Hero license as they waited in line for the check-in desk. “I hope you don’t mind the appointment’s with my doctor. If you don’t like him, we can look around for another one you feel more comfortable with.”

“It doesn’t matter,” Kacchan said. He glared at the wall, leaning on the back of his heel. Kacchan shoved his hands into his hoodie pocket. “As long as the appointment goes quick, I don’t care who it is.”

“I’m sure it won’t be bad.”

Izuku checked them both in and they went to the small waiting room for their turn. Kacchan avoided eye contact with the other off-duty Heroes around them waiting for their own appointments. Izuku only recognized a few of them, noticing most were younger Heroes in the lower ranks. A few looked their way, but most allowed Kacchan to have his space and didn’t bother him.

Kacchan’s scowl helped keep them away, too. He settled into his seat next to Izuku, holding his stomach and resting his head against the wall.

After a short wait, a nurse came and got them.

Izuku debated going in with Kacchan to the exam room and after listing out the pros and cons a few times over, decided to follow. If Kacchan didn’t want him at the appointment, he’d speak up.

Allowing, Izuku’s presence, they waited for the doctor together in the small room.

Kacchan leaned against the exam table and crossed his arms, breathing in and out in slow, calming breaths. Izuku sat on the small chair next to the wall and folded his hands in his lap. He had never really liked going to the doctor—too many memories of when he was figuring out his Quirk and breaking limbs.

They thankfully didn’t wait long and after two quick knocks on the door, it opened and revealed—someone Izuku didn’t recognize.

The middle-aged man wore a doctor’s coat and a snake tongue flicked out of his mouth as he said, “Hello, there.”

Izuku stared at the man and said, “Hello?”

Did the doctor have the wrong room? Where was Izuku’s usual physician?

“Allow me to help with the confusion I can see on your face,” the man said, putting a file under his arm with “Katsuki Midoriya” written in the name line at the top. “Your primary physician had a personal emergency he needed to attend to. Since no one wanted Katsuki to miss his appointment, I volunteered to fill in.”

“Is he okay?” Izuku asked.

“Yes,” the doctor said. “His four year old broke his leg roughhousing with a sibling. Nothing major, but still pretty scary for a kid. He wanted to make sure he was okay in person when they set it.”

“Of course,” Izuku said. “Thank you for being here instead.”

“It’s my pleasure. You can call me ‘Doc’, because everyone else sure does,” he said, nodding his head toward Izuku. “It’s nice to meet you, Deku.”

“It’s nice to meet you, too.”

“And of course, it’s a pleasure to meet you, too, Katsuki,” Doc said, turning to Kacchan. “According to this chart, you’re long overdo for a checkup. Your last official one was back when you were in high school.”

“Y-yeah. School,” Kacchan said.

Izuku crossed his arms, frowning at Kacchan’s stutter—he might be more nervous about this appointment than Izuku thought.

The Doc was the Doc.

Katsuki’s Doc.

Standing in the middle of a doctor’s office where the majority of the clientele were Pro Heroes. Katsuki thanked his one moment of good luck that Deku had been too busy paying attention to the Doc to notice Katsuki’s face when he recognized the man. He’d barely gotten his shocked expression under control by the time the Alpha returned to watching him during the appointment.

The Doc looked out of his element. The Beta always had such a nonchalant air about him in his underground clinic. He was relaxed and sarcastic. This version, dressed in a neat Doctor’s coat with an actual name badge and clean equipment, looked like a stranger.

The physical went smoothly, with the Doc giving absolutely nothing away that he saw Katsuki regularly for two years. He worked with ease and professionalism that meant he had experience with this sort of medical care.

Katsuki had a thousand things he wanted to ask, but couldn’t say a word with Deku in the room.

Luck favored Katsuki a second time when Deku’s work phone buzzed.

The Alpha moved to turn it off, but sighed at the text on the front. He gave Katsuki a sheepish smile and said, “I need to call the office. I’ll be right back, Kacchan.”

He excused himself and awkward silence fell back over the room as the Doc finished taking the needed sample of Katsuki’s blood for the pregnancy test.

“How are you here?” Katsuki whispered.

“I work here,” he laughed. He took the vial and labeled it properly before he walked it to the door. He handed it to a nurse at the small station outside the office and returned to the table, opening Katsuki’s chart. “I’m glad you’re healing well. I was worried.”

“How do you work here?” Katsuki asked. He gripped the edge of the exam bed where he sat and forced his voice to stay as low as possible. “You—you’re always at the clinic.”

“No, you were just very lucky about catching me when I was working there instead of getting my partner. We switch shifts all the time,” Doc said. He smiled and patted Katsuki on the shoulder. “So I work here and the clinic. I have to get those drugs from somewhere, don’t I?”

“Yeah,” Katsuki said. He stared forward and almost laughed. He’d told Specs he’d wanted to see his regular Doc, but he hadn’t in a million years thought he’d get to. “How’d you get me for a patient?”

“I was just going to see how you were doing when I saw you in the patient list, but otherwise, it’s exactly what I said earlier.” Doc typed in a few comments in Katsuki’s file on the computer, using the same fast finger movements he did in the cramped clinic. “When I heard Deku’s usual doctor had to leave, I volunteered before anyone else could.”

Katsuki said, slumping forward. “I am so glad to see you. I don’t trust any of those other idiots.”

“I’m glad to see you too, and they’re not that bad, I promise,” Doc said. He grinned and flicked his tongue out. “I’m surprised you didn’t pick up that when I agreed with Dabi that Heroes make the worst patients that I was speaking from experience.”

“Like I would. That’s common knowledge.” Katsuki rubbed his arm and hugged his stomach as he fell back onto the exam table. “I’m shocked you’re not teasing me about getting knocked up.”

“I would, but I’m not that surprised,” Doc said. He opened Katsuki’s chart from the folder he’d brought with him and turned it around to show Katsuki. He pointed to a small number near his hormone counts. “Your fertility rate is above average. It’s not the highest I’ve seen, but kids were pretty inevitable if you started sharing Heats with an Alpha and didn’t use birth control.”

“Of course I’m fertile,” Katsuki said. His body didn’t know how to be bad at anything. He groaned and pulled his knees up, staring at the ceiling.

“Look on the bright side, your fertility drops with each litter you have, so when you add in your age plus having this litter, there’s a good chance these are the only kids you’ll ever have, birth control or not,” Doc said. He sat in the small doctor’s chair near the exam table and read Katsuki’s chart. “But if you do want more kids later, they do make fertility drugs that are fairly effective.”

“I’ll pass,” Katsuki said, squeezing his stomach. “If Deku wants more kids, he can get a second mate.”

“I have a hard time seeing that,” Doc said. “Not with the way you’ve talked about him.”

Katsuki grunted in agreement.

“But in about fifteen minutes, we’ll have confirmation of your current litter,” Doc said. Katsuki closed his eyes and breathed out. Fifteen minutes. He had fifteen more minutes to lie to himself and pretend he was dreaming. The Doc sensed his mood and patted Katsuki again and said, “You’ll be okay, Zero.”


They moved to unimportant chatter while they waited for Deku.

Katsuki kept his eyes on the clock.

“Congratulations, Katsuki,” Doc said. Izuku stood next to Kacchan on the exam bed as the doctor read the results from his test. “Your instincts proved right and you’re positive for a litter.”

“Great,” Kacchan said, staring at the results. “So now what?”

“Stay healthy and start adjusting your food and exercise regimens to prepare for the upcoming stages of your pregnancy,” the doctor said. He pulled out a small pamphlet and handed it over to Izuku. “Here’s a good guide to get you started. You’ll need to schedule your next appointment in a month’s time to check on how everything’s doing in there when you leave, though.”

The Doc pointed at Kacchan’s stomach and grinned.

“Do either of you have any questions?” The doctor asked.

“No, sir,” Izuku said after Kacchan shook his head. He fiddled with the pamphlet, itching to read it. “Thank you.”

“Of course,” the doctor said. “You’re free to go, but don’t forget to stop by the front desk on your way out.”

“We won’t,” Izuku said.

“See you,” Kacchan said to the Doc. He hopped off the exam table and reached for his clothes.

After he changed, they made their way to the front desk to make the appointment. But before they reached the assistant, Kacchan grabbed Deku’s arm.


“I want my next appointment with that same doctor,” Kacchan said, staring at the floor. He swallowed and said, “He was good.”

“Okay, Kacchan,” Izuku said. If this doctor made Kacchan feel comfortable, he deserved a second chance. Izuku’s physician wasn’t the only good one in the hospital and maybe Kacchan felt weird seeing the same doctor as his mate. Whatever the case, Izuku didn’t mind. “We’ll do that.”

Kacchan nodded and breathed out. He went back to crossing his arms over his stomach—his new nervous habit that Izuku couldn’t help but think was rather cute—and trailed behind Izuku.

After they made the next appointment, Izuku asked, “Is there anything you want to do with the rest of the day?”

“Not really,” Kacchan said. He frowned and looked at the sky as they stepped out of the doctor’s office. “I probably should call Kirishima, though. I expected to hear back from him by now and I’m started to get worried things went bad.”

“What things?” Izuku asked.

“That,” Kacchan said, pointing forward.

Just down the street, Kirishima approached the doctor’s office with a dark haired man next to him. The Omega held Kirishima’s arm, watching the ground as they walked. His grip looked tight, tugging on the fabric of Kirishima’s sleeves.

“Who’s that?”

“His new mate,” Kacchan said.

“Mate?” Izuku asked. He stared at the new couple and felt a distinct sense of relief that Kirishima had properly moved on.

He relaxed and grabbed hold of Kacchan’s hand to squeeze it. First they had a formal announcement of Kacchan’s pregnancy—along with finding a doctor he liked—and now Kirishima had a mate of his own.

Izuku had no intention of complaining that the day graced him with two instances of good news instead of just the one he’d been expecting.

Chapter Text

Katsuki whistled, looking over the pretty thing on Kirishima’s arm—that had to be Tamaki.

“Oh! It’s Bakugou!” Kirishima said, looking up. He trotted over and his Omega stumbled at the sudden run, but never let go of Kirishima’s arm. They stopped when they reached Katsuki and Deku, Kirishima’s puppy-like enthusiasm still in full display. “I’m glad we caught you! I didn’t want to miss the results of your check up—it was today, right?”

“Yes,” Katsuki said, surprised Kirishima remembered. Katsuki had texted him the date when he’d asked, but never answered.

“We just finished the appointment,” Deku added out of politeness, though his smile looked tight.

Kirishima smiled wider, unaffected by Deku’s mood. “So what’d you find out?”

“Positive,” Katsuki said, bracing himself.

“Congratulations again!” His friend didn’t disappoint and tackled him into a hug, laughing again. He stepped back and shook Katsuki’s arm, the excitement refusing to waver. “Instincts never lie! I’m so happy for you, man.”

“I should be the one saying congratulations,” Katsuki said, glancing at the Omega, watching the exchange with a blank face. There was no telling what he was thinking with those dark eyes. Katsuki put his hands in his pockets. “Are you going to introduce him or what?”

“Of course!” Kirishima said. He put his arm around the Omega’s shoulder and said, “This is my mate Tamaki. Tamaki, this is my best friend Bakugou and I’ll bet you already recognize Deku.”

The Omega raised his hand and waved close to his chest, but didn’t say anything. Kirishima had mentioned he didn’t talk when he was telling Katsuki everything he knew about the Omega, but he’d forgotten about it.

“It’s nice to meet you,” Deku said. He looked between the two and said, “Congratulations on the new mating.”

“Thanks,” Kirishima said, looking down and his cheeks turning pink. Tamaki rubbed his back and he collected himself. “We’re on our way to go furniture shopping, but we wanted to make sure and see how your appointment went first.”

“Furniture shopping?” Katsuki asked.

“I wasn’t very prepared for two people to live in my apartment,” Kirishima said, his blush spreading. He rubbed the back of his neck and tilted his head down. “We’ve made due the past few days but I really need a new, well, bigger couch and a wardrobe for Tamaki’s things to start.”

“Not everyone can be Deku,” Katsuki said, thinking back to the apartment prepared for two since the Alpha bought the place. He expected a comment out of Deku for the slight jab at him, but the Alpha seemed to be lost in his own thoughts. He watched people walking by, only half paying attention to Katsuki’s conversation with Kirishima. “Your decision did have a short window so this came about pretty fast. I’m not surprised you forgot a few things like furniture.”

Kirishima nodded and stopped rubbing his neck. “Yeah, but I think it’ll be okay.”

Tamaki patted his arm and Kirishima straightened. “We do need to get going though! We’ll see you soon, okay?”

“Sure,” Katsuki said.

The newly-mated couple waved and continued their way down the street. Kirishima picked up his one-sided conversation with Tamaki again, talking about couches and future meetings with Katsuki.

“So how did they meet?” Deku asked, staring after them. “Did he go to a Matchmaking House?”

“No,” Katsuki said. His stomach growled and he sighed, putting his hand over it. “I’ll tell you after we get something to eat.”

Deku took Katsuki’s hand and tugged him. “Sounds good.”

Katsuki looked over his shoulder and watched Kirishima and Tamaki round the corner of the street.

He hoped they worked out.

“We’ll be picking out furniture ourselves in a few months,” Izuku said, standing in the doorway of the empty second bedroom. Kacchan had moved everything out save for his bed and the bookcase, leaving it almost as empty as before Kacchan moved in. They’d need to move the last few items out make room for the crib and changing tables, but for now there was no rush. “I’m glad we’ve got plenty of time, though we shouldn’t put it off too long.”

Kacchan stood behind him, putting his hand on the doorframe above Izuku’s head. “We should probably paint it, too.”

“You think?” Izuku asked.

“It’s plain and kids’ rooms are supposed to be colorful and shit, right?” Kacchan said. He moved to lean on his forearm, slumping to the side. “We don’t want to bore them.”

“No we don’t,” Izuku said. He leaned back into Kacchan’s chest and rested his head on his arm. “Mom said there’s nothing more trouble than a bored child, or maybe children in our case.”

“You’re expecting more than one?”

“I was reading up on typical cases to expect and at your age, you could have anywhere between one and four.” Izuku said. He was hoping for two himself, but Izuku had a distinct feeling Kacchan only wanted one. But you never knew what nature had in store. “We might need more than one crib.”

“I hope not,” Kacchan said. He walked away and Izuku had to catch himself before he tripped. His Omega wandered back into the living room and sprawled out on the couch, searching for the remote on the floor. “One is enough.”

“How many do you think you’ll have?” Izuku asked. Omega instincts when it came to their children were something else in the books. Most were able to predict their littler counts before an ultrasound could check to be sure. “Or is it too soon to tell?”

Kacchan clicked on the television and put his hand on his stomach. “I try not to think about it, so I have no clue.”

Izuku walked over to join him, pulling Kacchan’s legs up to sit on the cushion. He put Kacchan’s legs back down in his lap and rubbed them as the television played, though neither were really watching it. “When you do think about it, let me know. I’d hate to be underprepared.”

He didn’t received a response. Kacchan stared blankly, letting the remote hang in his hand toward the tip of his fingertips. He looked exhausted, but it was far too early to go to bed.

He leaned back into the couch and winced as he hit the piece of wood that pressed against the fabric. “I keep forgetting we need a new couch, too.”

Kacchan’s mouth twitched in a smirk.

“We should get a new living room set,” Izuku said, testing that hint of a good mood. He jumped at the chance to cheer Kacchan up. He scooted out from Kacchan’s legs and sat between them, moving to lie on his chest. Izuku reached up and wrapped his arms around Kacchan’s neck. “Something that won’t break so easily.”

“I don’t think they make furniture that can survive that monster Quirk of yours,” Katsuki said, putting a hand on Izuku’s back. He rubbed it back and forth and he looked amused enough. “Or at least nothing comfortable.”

“I might miss this couch though,” Izuku said. Kacchan shifted under him, fitting them together in a better position. Izuku kissed Kacchan with a soft peck and spoke against his lips. “We’ve made good use of it since you moved in.”

Kacchan tugged on the back of Izuku’s hair and twisted it between his fingers. He played with it for a few moments before he tugged Izuku’s head down for a much rougher kiss. He bit the bottom of Izuku’s lip until he yelped and kissed him again deeper.

Izuku didn’t know what brought that on, but he didn’t move to stop Kacchan.

“The couch isn’t gone yet,” Kacchan said between kisses. He pulled Izuku’s hair, almost to the point of being painful. Kacchan slipped his other hand under Izuku’s shirt and dragged his nails on Izuku’s back. “Let’s send it off right before we break in a new one.”

Izuku shivered and kissed Kacchan with enough force that it made his answer of agreement very clear.

Katsuki stared at the ceiling while Deku snoozed beside him.

They’d knocked the arm off the couch, breaking it beyond repair, and Deku’s back was covered in bandages from where Katsuki had burned him with his Quirk—on purpose.

Deku had hissed at the small burns, inspecting them after they finished as his fingers prodded at the raw skin. He hadn’t said anything though, and got off the couch to head for the first aid supplies.

Katsuki put on a pair of boxers before sitting behind him on the floor of the bathroom to help him with the wounds.

“That might have been too rough,” Deku had said while Katsuki rubbed salve into the red skin. “But it’s not as bad as I thought, either. Maybe we can figure something out that’s more controlled if you want to do stuff like that.”

“I got carried away,” Katsuki said, dressing the burns and taping the edges with tape to keep it secured. He paused when he reached one near Deku’s healing stab wound and sucked in a breath before dressing that one as well. “It won’t happen again.”

“I’m not mad, Kacchan,” Deku said. He wasn’t talking about the burn marks. “You can be angry.”

Katsuki didn’t answer him and hugged him from the back instead, pressing into the tender flesh and squeezing. Deku turned in his hold to kiss him on the side of the mouth and they’d gone to bed shortly after.

He didn’t know why he’d wanted to be so rough when he got the urge to have sex on the stupid couch.

Or so he told himself, but Katsuki had a good idea what had spurred that decision.

Katsuki had wanted a little payback for Deku being so rough when they broke the couch in the first place. It’d felt good at the time but Katsuki was tired of getting swept up in Deku’s pacing. In addition to all that, he’d felt restless and empty. Shaking up their sex life had seemed like a good way to stop thinking about redecorating the house for their future family.

But what he really didn’t know is why he had the urge to hurt Deku while he sat in the Alpha’s lap.

He wasn’t even sure it was Deku specifically he’d wanted to hurt. Katsuki had wanted burn something and the couch didn’t seem like good enough a target after they’d started.

Somewhere between the aggression and pain as Katsuki pushed himself too hard, he’d needed another outlet that an orgasm couldn’t provide and he’d set off his Quirk, digging his fingers into Deku’s skin to keep his hand in place when the Alpha jerked away.

Deku had stopped long enough to figure out what had happened, but something on Katsuki’s face must have spurred some sort of sympathy because he’d kept going like his back hadn’t been burned.

So Katsuki had done it a second time.

And then a third with no consequences or Order to stop.

He’d come during the last burn and moaned into Deku’s shoulder, his palms still smoking on the Alpha’s back as he calmed down.

Katsuki didn’t know why he’d done that.

He didn’t know why Deku had let him do it.

He wasn’t sure he even wanted the answers to those questions.

Katsuki sat up, bunching the sheets around his waist. He held his palms up, unable to see them in the dark. He lit tiny sparks in his palm like he used to do as a child and watched it for the rest of the night.

Chapter Text

Izuku pulled his mask down and pushed back his hood as the crowds dispersed and he walked away from the scene.

He and Uraraka had taken down the bank robber with little effort and they were hardly needed for the cleanup with the police immediately on the job. No one had been hurt, all the money was accounts for, and it was the perfect sort of job that Izuku would normally be happy about.

But he had too much on his mind to appreciate the lack of collateral damage.

“That was an easy one, wasn’t it?” Uraraka said, throwing her hands up. She smacked her hand on Izuku’s shoulder, right between Kacchan’s burn and the knife wound. “Good job!”

Izuku couldn’t stop the hiss of pain in time and she yanked her hand back.

“Deku! Are you hurt?” Uraraka said. “That guy didn’t get a hit on you did he?”

“No,” Izuku said, holding his hands up. He waved them back and forth and forced a smile. “I didn’t get hurt in the fight we just had. They didn’t touch me.”

“But you are hurt,” she said, leaning closer. She put her hands on her hips and glared. “Aren’t you?”

“I’m fine,” Izuku said. “I promise.”

Uraraka narrowed her eyes. She knew Izuku too well to take his “I’m fine” at face value. She made a grab for him and he used his Quirk to dodge out of the way before she could pull back his uniform to see for herself.

“Deku, come here and let me see,” Uraraka said. The Beta held her ground and put her hands up to prep for another grab. “If you showed a reaction to pain, it has to be bad.”

Izuku knew she wasn’t going to give up this fight.

Uraraka was one of his best friends, though. He could maybe tell her if it would make her calm down. It might even be nice to get some of his feelings off his chest.

“Okay, I’ll tell you,” Izuku said. He looked around and made sure no one was watching them. “But not here. We’ll talk at your place.”

“Good,” Uraraka said. She poked him in the chest and took the lead. “You better tell me everything.”

Izuku couldn’t make that promise, but he could at least tell her about the burns.

Katsuki flipped through the pages in the furniture catalog, looking for anything that caught his eye. The more he thought about it, an entirely new furniture set might do him some good. When he looked at the couch, he thought about burning Deku instead of their first time together. The dining room table reminded Katsuki of his old apartment. The only thing that didn’t give him bad memories was the coffee table—which had replaced the one he’d broken.

He skipped past the pages of cribs and nursery furniture, focusing on living room sets and eat-in kitchens.

“We should get something custom,” Katsuki said, throwing the magazine on the table. He dragged over another one and opened, it, kicking his feet on the coffee table as he sat on the floor with his back against the broken couch seat. “None of this is going to hold up against the two of us.”

Not that Katsuki had plans to break the furniture again any time soon, but between their two Quirks and the potential for fights, they needed sturdier stuff than the usual.

After another four magazines, Katsuki had found exactly one set that he liked and stuck a tab on the page. He set it on the kitchen counter and poured himself a glass of water. He drank the entire thing and covered his face with his hands. He breathed out and stared at the broken couch.

He was going to have kids.

Katsuki didn’t know how many, but he knew it was more than one with the same gut instinct certainty that he’d felt when he realized he was pregnant. Katsuki had yet to crack open the textbooks and helpful guides that Specs had bought or bothered to look at the pamphlet from Doc. He should have, but he hadn’t.

Deku had read all of it, though. So at least one of them had made an effort to be prepared over the past month.

“Time’s moving too fast,” Katsuki said, staring at the calendar on the fridge where they’d circled his next appointment. The only knowledge he knew for sure about this mess was that Omega gestation periods varied by individual and could last anywhere from six to nine months. Katsuki didn’t know if he wanted the brats to be out of him early or to stay in as long as possible. He held his stomach and stared at it, “Are you going to be early like Deku or late like me?”

Neither his litter nor his instincts answered.

“The one time I want to know something and it doesn’t speak up,” Katsuki said. He groaned and smacked the fridge, walking away from it and going back to his bedroom. “And now I’m talking to them. Perfect.”

He returned to the bedroom and grabbed the most violent game he had, popping it into the player.

Katsuki ignored everything else.

“Deku!” Uraraka hissed, looking down the back of his shirt. They’d changed back into their civilian clothes and she gasped at the bandages over his back. Izuku thanked his luck that the one near his shoulder covered the knife wound, too. “Katsuki did all that?”

“It’s just like I told you,” Izuku said, leaning forward and back as she shook him. “And I promise it’s under control and we’re dealing with it.”

“This is not under control,” Uraraka said. She put the shirt down and smacked him hard in the center, right over a bandage. Izuku winced and his back arched and she put her hands on her hips. “You should have gone to the doctor for that.”

“I didn’t want Kacchan to get in trouble,” Izuku said. He stepped back and fell on her couch. She continued to look furious and he breathed out. “You didn’t see him, Uraraka.”

“Then make it clearer for me.” Uraraka sat in front of him on her love seat and crossed her arms. “You said he burned you when you were having sex and that it was an accident, but accidents don’t happen three times!”

“After the first one, I looked at his face and he looked terrified,” Izuku whispered. He could still see the wide eyes and twisted mouth on Kacchan’s face, horrified at himself. “I really don’t think he did it on purpose.”

“Then why’d he burn you again?”

“He might have been embarrassed,” Izuku said. “He’d lost control of his Quirk before when he was emotional, but it was in little crackles, not full burns. I think the second two burns were to make it look like he’d done it on purpose all three times and to cover up the mistake the first time.”

“Even if that’s true and the first time was an accident, he burned you—badly. And then he did it again two more times for no reason,” Uraraka said. “You can’t just look the other way, Deku. What if he loses control around someone else like that?”

“I know,” Izuku said. “But I’m not sure what else to do. He was doing so well and getting involved in helping set up the nursery that I thought maybe Kacchan was going to be okay. I don’t even know what upset him this time enough to do this.”

“Did you ask?”

“Not in as much detail as I should have,” Izuku said. He rubbed between his eyes and dragged his hand down his face. “I should have pushed, but I didn’t want to upset him even more.”

“You’re still seeing the therapist, right?” Uraraka asked. Izuku nodded in reply and she breathed out. “You should tell her. You two can’t be doing things like this with a litter on the way. Being pregnant is hard enough without all that stress added onto it.”

“You might be right,” Izuku said. He smiled and stared at the television as it played the news softly in the background. “I’ll consider it, but I do want to work some of this out between just the two of us first.”

“Alright, but if I find out he pulled something like this again, I’m going to give him a piece of my mind,” Uraraka said, pointing at Izuku’s face. “Do you hear me?”

“I’m sure he’ll tell you how he feels about it right back at you,” Izuku said, cracking a smile. “Thanks for talking with me.”

“You should do it more often,” Uraraka said. She threw her legs and arms out, stretching as she leaned back into the seat. “You’ve had me worried this past few months and barely said a peep. That’s not very nice of you, Deku.”

“I’m sorry,” Izuku said. “I’ll try to be better about keeping you up to date.”

“You better.”

“I will.”

Izuku gave her a hug goodbye and left her apartment, checking the time. He winced and hoped Kacchan wasn’t mad that he was so late getting home without calling.

Chapter Text

“I saw the living room set you marked on the counter.” The mattress bounced as Deku sat behind Katsuki. He put his hand between Katsuki’s shoulder blades and rubbed it up and down in a slow, soothing motion. “We could go see it in person at the store later this week if you want. Maybe they’ll have a matching dining room set that wasn’t in the catalog.”

“Sure,” Katsuki said. He grunted when Deku leaned forward and rested against Katsuki’s back, cuddling him with a tired sigh. Deku watched the screen over his shoulder. He felt heavy. Katsuki quit the game. “You’re home late.”

“I stopped by Uraraka’s place after patrol,” Deku said. He nuzzled Kacchan’s neck and squeezed harder, pouting into his skin. “She noticed my back and wouldn’t drop it until I talked with her about it.”

Katsuki tossed his game controller into a basket on the dresser near the television. He didn’t think he liked Uraraka knowing about what happened between him and Deku, but he supposed he might have told Kirishima the same thing if he’d had the chance.

He leaned back into Deku. “What’d she say?”

“She’s mad I didn’t go to a doctor, but she’s going to leave it alone for now.”

“Was that before or after she threatened me?”

Deku snorted into Katsuki’s back. He drummed his fingers along Katsuki’s belly and shifted his legs. “I don’t remember, but she did say she’d have some cross words if you did it again.”

At least someone was mad about it.

Katsuki didn’t have the energy to argue about it, though. That stupid Alpha would let Katsuki beat him within an inch of his life right now and not say a damn thing. Katsuki should be grateful Deku was taking all this so well and that he was giving Katsuki so much space to act out, but Katsuki found himself bitter he’d gotten so weak to need the kind hand in the first place.

Katsuki grabbed the blanket under him and took a shallow breath.

“Hey, Deku.”


“Never mind,” Katsuki said. The words “stop being so gentle” refused to come out—maybe for the better. He loathed being treated like glass, but a part of him wanted the comfort desperately. Katsuki pulled himself free of Deku’s hold and got off the bed, standing in the middle of the room. His Alpha watched him from the bed, lips pursed and gaze concerned. “I’m taking a shower.”

“Alone?” Deku asked, pulling his knee up.

“Alone,” Katsuki said. He put his hand over his stomach and frowned as he swallowed. “Or as alone as I can get.”

He left Deku behind and stripped his clothes off as he entered the bathroom and grabbed a towel. Katsuki stood in front of the shower, breathing in and out as the past couple of days ran through his head. Hurting Deku. The silent litter. Their constant presence. Deku’s wretched comfort. Katsuki’s denial. Dabi’s lingering threats.

His lost job.

His failure.

His future.

Katsuki’s hand trembled on the shower knob. His palms smoked around it as he tried to breathe. Katsuki didn’t know what to do. He didn’t know how to fix anything. Katsuki squeezed the knob tighter, the metal heating to the point that it burned.

Deku’s palm covered the back of his hand and Katsuki jerked his hand open. The Alpha laced their fingers together and pulled his hand away from the bent knob and held it between his palms.

“Sorry, Kacchan. I know you said you wanted to be alone,” Deku said. He rubbed Katsuki’s hand, sniffing. His cheeks were wet. “But it’s been twenty minutes and you hadn’t started the water yet. I was worried.”

Katsuki dropped his head on Deku’s shoulder and stayed there.


“I don’t know if you being so damn considerate is helping or hurting,” Katsuki said. The familiar cedar filled his nose and he focused on it. “I can’t make up my mind.”

“It can be both,” Deku said. He squeezed Katsuki’s hands and let go. Deku hugged him and held him too tight. “Let’s get cleaned up and go to bed. I’ll wash your hair, okay?”

Katsuki nodded and let Deku do as he pleased.

The new furniture looked good.

“I hardly recognize our apartment,” Izuku said, standing in the middle of the living room. The set Kacchan had chosen was minimalist and had a lot of high shelving for displaying Izuku’s figurines and Hero merchandise to make sure they’d stay out of reach of tiny hands. Izuku felt hope swell as he realized how much thought Kacchan was already putting into his future litter, their troubles aside. “What about you, Kacchan? Do you think it looks okay?”

“I picked it out,” Kacchan said, tossing his tools back in the bag at his feet. He pulled over the leftover cardboard boxes from the furniture that required assembly and ripped the tape off to fold it. “Of course it looks good.”

Izuku helped clean up the rest of the supplies and looked into the kitchen. A new stack of boxes waited there, though that could wait for another day.

There was a certain piece of furniture in the living room that—

“If you were planning to suggest breaking in the couch, save it for later,” Kacchan said, two steps ahead of Izuku. He whacked Izuku on the head with a flat piece of cardboard before folding it and putting it in the stack. “We’re not having sex on that couch until I buy a cover for it I can throw in the washing machine.”

Izuku snorted and crossed his arms on the counter, watching as Kacchan methodically cleaned. He had built up a sweat from building the furniture and looked focused and in control.

He and Kacchan had a rough couple of days, but he seemed to be feeling better now that he’d had some distractions with the furniture shopping and a task at hand assembling everything. Hopefully they could stay on that track and work out their issues one bit at a time between their higher moments of peace.

“What if I promise to clean it?” Izuku asked. He tapped his toe on the ground and followed a bead of sweat down Kacchan’s neck with his eye. “Then can we break it in?”

Kacchan looked up and shot Izuku the most serious, narrow eyed expression he could muster and said, “No.”

“You don’t trust me to get it clean enough?”

“Absolutely not.” Kacchan pointed at Izuku’s face. “I saw the dust in this place before I moved in. I definitely don’t trust you.”

Izuku licked his lip. “Now it’s just a challenge.”

“A challenge?” Kacchan brushed his palms on his jeans. Izuku walked over and picked Kacchan up by the hips. The Omega grabbed him to steady himself, but didn’t fight the hold. He shoved at Izuku’s face with his palm. “What are you doing now?”

“We’re going to get this couch good and dirty,” Izuku said. He sat on the new, stiff cushion and dropped Kacchan in his lap. His Omega squirmed and Izuku could smell his arousal. Kacchan loved it when Izuku picked him up, though he did his best to hide it. Izuku put his hand up Kacchan’s shirt and dragged his fingers around to feel his spine. “And then I’ll prove I can clean it good as new so you won’t need that cover.”

“If you ruin this couch, you are buying a new one,” Kacchan said, growling.

Izuku shoved his shirt up and kissed Kacchan’s ribs. “I won’t need to. It’ll be spotless, just you wait and see.”

“I doubt it,” Kacchan said. He pulled his shirt off over his head and dropped it on the floor behind him. He put his hands in Izuku’s hair and hunched over, pressing their lips together. He whispered, “You can barely clean the dishes.”

That insult shouldn’t have turned Izuku on as much as it did.

The couch survived.

Their sex session had turned into a game of Deku trying to get the couch as filthy as possible and Katsuki thwarting him by making sure there was always a piece of clothing or blanket under them to catch any escaping bodily fluids.

They manhandled each other into various positions, wrestled, tested the strength of the frame holding the furniture together and Katsuki couldn’t remember the last time he’d had that much fun.

Katsuki caught his breath, cooling down after their intense finish, nested between Deku and a pile of their dirty clothes. The couch remained untouched under them, only suffering a few sweaty handprints that didn’t count.

“You picked a good couch,” Deku mumbled, half asleep on Katsuki’s chest. He pressed tired kisses against a hickey on Katsuki’s throat. Deku had gone completely limp, his breathing even and gentle. “Let’s not break this one.”

“Agreed,” Katsuki said. He dropped his arm over the side of the cushion and drew a circle on the floor. “I’m still buying a cover for it.”

Deku snorted and sat up with languid grace. He pulled Katsuki up with him and they dragged the pile of filthy clothes onto the floor as they tumbled off the couch. They stood side by side, staring at the clean cushions. Standing naked in the living room, Katsuki felt glad he’d had the foresight to close the window curtains before they stripped.

“We really should appreciate having clean upholstery while we can,” Izuku said. He gathered the soiled clothing into his arms and grinned into it while he walked toward their laundry. “Once we have kids, I doubt we’ll have that luxury for a few years. My mom said I used to leave nothing untouched in the house and I know you had to have ruined a cushion or two with your Quirk.”

“Yeah,” Katsuki said, breathing out. The delightful high faded out as reality faded back into place. Deku hummed, still happy and cheerful as he thought of the future children he couldn’t wait to see. Katsuki reached for a blanket, wrapping it around himself as he followed Deku into the other room. “Kids are a mess.”

“I guess you’ll have to teach me to clean then,” Deku said, shooting Katsuki a fond smile. His relaxed and happy expression twisted Katsuki’s stomach, but he kept the nerves off his face. Deku dumped their clothes in the laundry bin with a laugh. “I wouldn’t want to make things worse.”

“You never do,” Katsuki said.

He kissed Deku on the side of the cheek and dragged him into the bathroom to share a shower.

Katsuki had decisions to make, but they could wait one more day.

Chapter Text

Decision one: What to do with the job hunt?

Easy choice: Katsuki stopped looking.

He deleted the web history and bookmarks for each site with a bored click as he cleaned Deku’s computer of any trace that he’d even thought of looking for another job to keep himself busy. Katsuki tore up the notes next to the desk Deku had taken when he browsed off and on looking for things Katsuki might have “missed” in his half-hearted endeavors.

There wasn’t a point to looking for a job when he’d have to turn around and quit after he got hired to raise a couple ankle-biters.

Deku had assured Katsuki he’d help out enough that Katsuki could work if he wanted to while the kids were young, but he turned him down. He made it clear he’d rather stay home the first few years. Deku tried to hide how pleased he was with that answer.

Katsuki threw away the last of the wanted ads he’d collected. It’s not like he had found a job he’d wanted anyway.

Decision two: Should he properly tell Deku about all that shit that went down with Dabi and Shigaraki?

That was a trickier decision, but once again, Katsuki chose the easier option: No. Shigaraki had made it pretty clear that he wanted to kill Deku and he’d already used Katsuki to do it. Deku wouldn’t question it if he tried again.

If he survived trying it again.

Deku was out for blood when Katsuki hadn’t been pregnant. He touched a hand to his stomach and rubbed his thumb in it. He didn’t want to think about how Deku would be if someone threatened him while he was carrying the Alpha’s brats.

Katsuki would almost like to see Shigaraki try it this time around. It’d serve him right to have a truly wild Deku out to kill him.

So he kept his mouth shut about the phone, his friendship with Dabi, and his dealings with Shigaraki.

His finial decision, however, was the hardest to decide: Whether or not to genuinely talk about how he felt about the litter growing in his stomach with anybody—Specs, Deku, Kirishima, Kyouka or hell, Kaminari.

Katsuki closed Deku’s laptop and got up from the chair at the desk. He dragged his hand along the smooth surface of his brand new dining room table and flicked the end with his index finger.

Talking about it would do him some good, he knew. Katsuki’s feelings on the subject were torn and he almost borrowed a notebook to write his thoughts down—but that would have left evidence. Talking with anyone about it would leave the same sort of trail that might come back and haunt him.

So Katsuki stuck with the safe answer: Don’t talk about it.

He knew what thin ice he was on with everyone. Katsuki had never really been “good” at being an Omega when it came to the general public and their opinion of him. But at the end of the day, most people thought he was “weird” for an Omega and left it alone when they were done with their gossip.

Deku didn’t care what he did. Specs wanted him to stop the Hero thing and wanted Deku to take charge more, but overall didn’t really try to curb Katsuki’s behavior outside of that. Kyouka just thought he was amusing. Kaminari didn’t know how to act around him without saying the wrong thing, but he still thought of Katsuki as his friend.

Kirishima treated him the same as ever.

But it wasn’t just Katsuki and his life that mattered now.

If anyone—anyone—so much as thought Katsuki didn’t want the kids it’d all be over. Knowing Katsuki’s luck, his mixed feelings on the topic would be misunderstood. They’d go for the worst case scenarios to “play it safe.”

He didn’t know what they’d do, but he was pretty sure constant monitoring would be on the table and that voluntary therapy might not be so voluntary in the future.

It was easier to lie.

To fake interest.

Katsuki sat on his new couch and stared at the high shelves. He crossed his arms over his stomach. Katsuki couldn’t say that he hated the litter, but he couldn’t get excited for them either. Talking it out would help. He knew that. Katsuki wanted to talk with Deku about it—they were his kids, too.

But Deku’s reaction was the one that scared him the most.

Izuku stood in the center of the infant department in the store. He had the dimensions of the nursery memorized and looked for cribs that fit, specifically the cribs built for two or more occupants.

He wanted to play it safe and make sure there was enough space for each and every baby. When Kacchan spoke about his litter, he tended to use plurals, which meant while he didn’t know the exact number, it had to be at least two.

Two cribs built for four seemed the best option.

If they ended up with two, the could always sell the second crib or use it for storage. Izuku had seen cute little play areas decorated with stuffed animals in magazines that they could try out that might look adorable and give the room some character.

He took photos of the cribs he liked and a few bed spreads that matched them. There were a few good options that were tempting to pick up today, but he wanted Kacchan’s opinion before he bought anything. Izuku texted the photos to Kacchan and hoped he didn’t mind that his mate had gone looking by himself.

Izuku had gotten off work early after stopping a Villain in the middle of town and the display in the store window caught his eye before he could stop it.

The bright orange accents on the bedding had yelled “Kacchan” and Izuku had to see it up close. Before he knew it, Izuku had looked through the entire section of the store and had five or six options that looked like they’d be perfect.

Kacchan responded fifteen minutes later when Izuku was on his way out of the store. He checked his phone as he walked and the simple answer made him chuckle: “No.”

He should have known better than to help out the child of fashion designers when it came to decorating.

Izuku pushed his phone back into his pocket as he continued his walk home. He smiled at the fans as he passed by, waving and grinning wider at the kids. Izuku couldn’t help but imagine what his own little ones would look like. Would they take after him or Kacchan more? Would they share traits?

It was fun to think about when he was alone.

He couldn’t say the same when he was around Kacchan. His mate tended to get very quiet when the topic of the kids came up. Izuku genuinely appreciated that Kacchan showed an interest in their wellbeing—attending the doctor’s appointments without a fuss, helping decorate, giving up his game room—but it was easy to see him deflate when they started discussing the future children themselves.

Kacchan didn’t like talking about the litter.

Izuku hoped it was Kacchan still adjusting to the idea of being pregnant. He had said it didn’t feel real to him once before.

But Izuku knew better.

He bought a small bag of spicy candies for Kacchan from an outdoor stand on the way home. Izuku stuffed them in his pocket to put in the candy dish later. Giving them straight to Kacchan would seem too much like a bribe.

Izuku didn’t want to bribe him.

He wanted to talk to him.

He needed to speak with him properly about their litter and about what Kacchan wanted to do. How much did Kacchan want to be involved? Did he still want to work while he had the litter? He had said no, but was that what he really wanted or did he just say it to appease Izuku and make him drop the topic? What did he want Izuku to take care of? Who did Kacchan trust to babysit? Did he want Izuku to hire a nanny to help him out?

There were so many things they needed to discuss and Izuku hadn’t gotten Kacchan past the base level of “There will be children in the apartment soon.”

The months were going to pass faster than either of them wanted and Izuku refused to leave everything to the last minute. That would be stressful for the both of them and Kacchan was already stressed enough.

Izuku squeezed the bag of candies in his pockets and sucked in a breath.

Tonight was as good as night as any to start the conversation properly.

If they answered even one or two questions, it’d be enough for the moment.

Deku had that damn look on this face—the one he always got when he was about to start shit back when they were in U.A. or he had some beef with Katsuki while they were working together as Pro Heroes. It never failed to get under Katsuki’s skin because it reminded him again and again that the brat he used to pick on had learned to stand up for himself.

Katsuki hadn’t seen it since Deku had gotten mad at him in the interrogation room before their House Arrest.

Nothing that Alpha said next was going to be good.

“Kacchan,” Deku said. He dumped a bag of candies in the dish on the counter and crumpled up the wrapper in his hand. Deku threw it away in the kitchen and shed his coat. “I want to talk about our litter.”

“There’s nothing to talk about we haven’t gone over already,” Katsuki said, sinking into the couch. He brought this on himself. Worrying about it had sent a mental signal to Deku somehow and now he wanted to talk. That was impossible, of course. It was just bad timing, but it still ticked Katsuki off. “The kids’ll go in the spare bedroom and that’s that.”

“Our litter won’t be toys you put on a shelf, Kacchan,” Deku said. He breathed out and sat on the coffee table in front of Katsuki. He crossed his arms over his knees and frowned. “We have a lot of decisions we need to make.”

“No, you have decisions to make,” Katsuki said. “I don’t care one way or another.”

Deku stared at him with his brows drawing together and Katsuki snapped his mouth shut.

He hadn’t meant to say that.

But it came out so easily.

Katsuki squeezed his arms around his stomach harder. He’d been thinking about this too much today. That had to be the explanation for his loose tongue. Katsuki turned his head away and hoped his silence dropped the topic.


“Don’t look at me like that,” Katsuki said, hissing. He narrowed his eyes, drawing in his shoulders. He could still save this. “I mean that I don’t care if you take charge of this whole thing. You can make the choices. That’s what everyone wants right? For me to sit back and let the Alpha take charge?”

Deku kept his eyes glued on Katsuki and reached over, taking his hands. He drew them away from Katsuki’s stomach and held them. “I want you to be honest with me, Kacchan.”


He’d lie.

Katsuki wouldn’t be trapped again. He was already chained down too much as it was.

“How do you really feel about this litter?” Deku asked. He squeezed Katsuki’s hand, almost painfully tight. His voice grew thick as he said, “Tell me the truth.”

“No,” Katsuki said. He felt his breath grow and a sense of panic grow in his gut. Katsuki tugged his hand. “You wouldn’t understand and it’s not important. I’m not going to do anything to compromise the pregnancy or hurt the litter, so leave it alone and let go.”

“Why are you so scared?” Deku asked. He didn’t let go of Katsuki’s hand. “I know having a litter can be overwhelming the first time, but you’re terrified.”

His heartbeat was too fast.

He knew why.

Deep down, he knew the truths he had refused to admit even to himself.

There were very few things that had scared Katsuki in his lifetime: That Deku would surpass him, that he’d become a failure, that being an Omega meant his life would end, that he’d be caught, that he couldn’t adjust to his new life, that he’d lose everything again and again trapped in the same damned cycle.

But this fear was new.

Katsuki was scared he’d fail as a parent.

The thought hit him like a shot to the chest and he stood, turning away from Deku. He ripped his hand away and held it to his chest. Katsuki had never given thought to being a parent—if he wanted to be one, if he didn’t. It was always such a given growing up that he’d die alone and single that children were never part of the equation.

It wasn’t something he studied for.

It wasn’t something he felt.

Omega were supposed to be instinctual, natural parents, but Katsuki felt nothing for the litter growing inside of him.

“Kacchan!” Deku shouted. He shook Katsuki’s shoulders and drew him back into the present conversation. Deku breathed hard and his voice was stern, but not quite an Order yet. “Tell me what’s in your head. Right now.”

“I’m scared of what you’ll do if you know,” Katsuki said. He swallowed. Katsuki’s indifference toward the litter would be taken as the worst case scenario. He knew it. They’d put Katsuki under constant supervision. They’d watch him like a hawk. He’d never have a moment of peace again. “Don’t make me answer.”

Deku loosened his grip and rubbed Katsuki’s arm. “Kacchan, I won’t tell anyone. Trust me, please. I want to be here for you.”

“I don’t feel anything for them,” Katsuki blurted. The words gushed out of him, spilling over Deku like a wave. Katsuki shook his head and stared at the ground. “They’re inside of me growing and I know they’re coming, but that’s it. I feel the same way about these brats as I do anyone else’s kids.

“What if I keep feeling like this after they’re born? What if I can’t love them? Do you know what people do to me if they think I’m a danger to them? What sort of Omega can’t love their kids?”

He breathed in and out catching his breath in the silence after he finished.

“Kacchan, I don’t care if you hate them.”

Katsuki snapped his head up.

Deku hugged Katsuki to his chest, squeezing so tight it was painful. “I’ve told you over and over, Kacchan: I don’t care what you do. I’ll love the kids three times as much if I have to.”

Katsuki’s eyes grew wider as he stared as the far wall. Deku’s Scent grew stronger, filling his nose with cedar.

“You’d never hurt a child on purpose no matter how you felt about them,” Deku said. He rubbed Katsuki’s back and held him too close. The smothering touch felt too hot. Deku kissed Katsuki’s neck and stepped forward, knocking them into the couch. “As long as you’re mine, that’s all that matters.”

“Yours?” Katsuki shoved at Deku’s arms, tugging at his shirt so that it stretched the collar, but his grip remained stubbornly tight. He almost lit his Quirk, but a flash of the bandage on Deku’s shoulder stopped him. Katsuki settled for a growl and kneeing Deku in the side. “I don’t belong to you.”

Deku shoved him back on the couch.

Katsuki caught himself with one arm over the back and the other on the cushion. Deku stood over him with a soft, knowing smile.

“I don’t know why you keep fighting this, Kacchan. You’ve always been mine,” Deku said. He came closer, pushing Katsuki on his back by the shoulder. The sparks of his Quirk laced up his arm and Katsuki froze. Deku sat on the couch side. He didn’t pin Katsuki down, but he sat too close. “You were mine to look up to, mine to praise, mine to chase after, mine to stand by, mine to adore.”

Deku kissed him, warm and always wanting.

“And now you’re mine to keep,” Deku said. He leaned back dragging his fingers down Katsuki’s chest until they stopped over his belly. “There’s nothing you can do that would make me leave you and I’d never do anything to give someone a chance to take you away. If you hate the kids, that’ll be our secret.”

“You really don’t care if I don’t love them?” Katsuki asked. He could only talk about the kids. The rest was too much right now. “At all?”

“No,” Deku said, pushing Katsuki’s shirt up to expose his stomach. He rubbed his thumb in a small circle over where the litter grew. “Like I said before, I’ll keep them safe and loved by myself if I have to.”

“Fuck,” Katsuki said. He curled his knees up, nudging Deku off the couch. The Alpha sat on the floor and put his arms on the cushions near Katsuki’s side. “I want to hate you so much.”

“I’m glad you don’t,” Deku said. His hair tickled Katsuki’s skin as he cradled his head in his arms. Deku’s Scent continued to fill the room. It was everywhere and Katsuki couldn’t escape it. It soothed him against his will, continuing to smell earthy and kind. “I love you, Kacchan.”

Katsuki covered his face with his arms again, closing his eyes to block out the light. Everything felt too sensitive right now. His heartbeat echoed in his ears and he felt his stomach churn. Something else stirred, too, woken by his overactive emotions.

“Hey Deku.”

“Yes, Kacchan?”


Deku propped his head up. “Three what?”

“The litter,” Katsuki said, pulling his arms down. The number came to him as the brats sensed their dad nearby. It was his only explanation. It didn’t change anything, but it gave him something else to think about. “There’s going to be three.”

“Kacchan!” Deku jumped up and hugged Katsuki around the shoulders, lifting him half off the couch. “That’s amazing!”

“It’s a normal number.”

“But they’re yours, so they’re amazing.” Deku kissed him again, short and grateful. “Thank you for telling me.”

“One of us should be ready,” Katsuki said. He slumped against Deku and grabbed his shirt. “Because it’s not me.”

Deku kissed him again, keeping to his word and not minding Katsuki’s answer.

Chapter Text

The sound of Kacchan throwing up had become a common sound in the Midoriya household.

Izuku winced as the man cursed over the toilet in the other room and small explosions crackled against their tile. Kacchan had been in such a rush this time that he failed to shut the door behind him. The Omega’s groaning and cursing came loud and clear from the other room.

Morning sickness varied in severity for each individual, Izuku knew, but he regretfully had to report it’d hit Kacchan pretty hard. It wasn’t bad enough to make a doctor’s appointment, but it had still been awful for his mate.

“Are you okay, Kacchan?” Izuku asked, keeping his voice low as he peeked into the bathroom. Kacchan rested his head on the edge of the toilet and shot Izuku a look that clearly replied, “No.” Izuku bit his lip and walked in. He sat next to Kacchan rubbing his back. “Maybe the fact it’s so bad now means you’ll stop having morning sickness sooner?”

“No, I won’t be that lucky,” Kacchan said. He smacked his forehead against the side once before getting up. “And to think I got excited about no Heats for half a year. If this is the tradeoff, I’ll take the Heats back.”

Izuku kept rubbing Kacchan’s back in small circles. He wouldn’t mind that trade back either.

“I’m going to sit and not move for a few hours.” Kacchan shoved out of the bathroom, his feet dragging every step of the way. His shoulders hunched, he had bags under his eyes that could compete with Shinsou, and he hugged his stomach. “And then maybe another day after that. No more moving. Moving is bad.”

Izuku followed him out and gathered his things for work while Kacchan collapsed onto the couch. “Do you need anything before I go or want me to get something on the way home?”

“No, I’m good.” Kacchan grunted and covered his head, lying on his side. “I’m going to stay right here and hug this bucket.”

He grabbed the edge of the emergency bucket and sat it next to the couch.

Izuku made a note to pick up some snacks and something to help the nausea on his way home.

The Ground Zero tag exploded overnight.

Dabi scrolled across the social feed on his phone with one thumb, his other hand tapping on the bar. Despite the retirement and new name, most of Bakugou’s old fans still used his Hero name to keep their gossip organized. Dabi tracked the tag to keep an eye on his favorite ex-Hero and future permanent roommate.

Typically, it was filled with candid shots of Bakugou and Midoriya shopping or walking together surrounded by gushing of how adorable they were.

But last night, something new had been posted that got everyone’s attention.

Dabi snapped his teeth together.

“Sorry it took so long to post this! My phone broke right after I took the picture—the worst luck, am I right!?—and I had to wait until it was fixed to retrieve the photo. But here’s the proof!” Right after the message was a photo attached of Izuku Midoriya taking snapshots of baby cribs in a store. The message ended with “I told you I saw him shopping for cribs!”

The messages came pretty fast right after:

“Oh! I saw that, too! Ah! he looks so handsome!”

“I saw Deku and Katsuki coming out of the Doctor’s office the other day! Red Riot was hugging him and super happy! It has to be real!”

“Ground Zero is pregnant! He has to be!”

“Do we have official word?”

“Who needs it?”

The discussion continued with thousands of messages as every civilian in the city decided to butt into business that wasn’t theirs as they gossiped over their favorite ex-Hero’s personal life.

He expected a formal announcement in a day or so when the social frenzy reached its peak and “Deku’s” personal relations department was forced to get to work and control the damage.

Dabi turned off the phone screen and set it face down on the bar top. His stomach twisted and he breathed through his nose to fight the nauseous feeling growing under his chest. Dabi swallowed it down and tapped his finger on the bar and asked Kurogiri for a drink. The Black Mist provided and poured him a double, reading the mood.

He threw it back and breathed out. It didn’t settle his stomach, but the burn of the alcohol was exactly what he needed.


That certainly complicated matters.

“You look like someone punched you in the stomach,” Kurogiri said, pouring Dabi another glass. “Bad news?”

“Only rumors for now,” Dabi said. He tossed back the next drink and slammed the cup down on the counter. “I need to confirm it for myself before I know for sure.”

“Are you heading out, then?”

“Yeah,” Dabi said. He shoved his hands in his pockets and headed for the door. Black Mist watched him carefully as he left, his yellow eyes too smart for their own good. “Don’t wait up.”

Shigaraki would know he’d left for something within the hour, and knowing Kurogiri, he’d check his own media sources to have a good idea where Dabi was headed.

Stuff like that didn’t stay contained to one site for long, but Dabi pushed that out of his mind.

Dabi had a thousand thoughts running through his brain, but before he did anything, he needed to see Bakugou for himself before Shigaraki found out the other Omega was pregnant.

He stopped a foot outside the hideout and pulled out his phone. Dabi dialed a familiar number and waited.

“What’s up, Dabi?” Twice answered. “Stop bothering me!”

“Could you do me a favor?” Dabi asked.

“Yes! No!”

“I’m taking the first answer,” Dabi said. He strolled forward, his gait even as he grinned. “I need you to make enough noise to get a certain Number One Pro Hero’s attention for the rest of the night.”

“Oh, that sounds like fun!” Twice said. He snickered into the line before snapping, “You owe me!”

“Just make sure you’re setting up some other sap to do the dirty work,” Dabi said. He looked both ways before pulling his old over his face. “I’d rather it not look like the League was involved.”

“You got it,” Twice said. “No promises.”

Dabi hung up the call and breathed out.

That ought to give him an hour or two alone with Bakugou. Dabi would make sure every minute counted.

“Going to be late. I’m sorry, Kacchan!”

Katsuki looked away from the text on his phone and turned on the news. He saw Deku in a fight with a Villain ripping apart downtown and turned the television right back off.

Deku would win.

But he would be stuck helping with cleanup, talking with the press, and doing all the extended paperwork that always accompanied Villains that got the public involved or caused that much damage.

Katsuki remembered those days well.

He kicked the coffee table hard and went for the kitchen. He popped a ginger candy and prayed his stomach gave him some peace until tomorrow morning.

His stomach churned a few steps back into the living room.

“Oh, come on,” Katsuki said, throwing his head back. He rushed back to the toilet and threw up what little he’d eaten for dinner. His chest heaved as he prayed for it to end and his head spun. He spit out the last of it and sat on his heels, leaning his head forward. He put his hand over his stomach and begged his littler for mercy. “Please make this stop.”

They didn’t listen and he emptied his stomach two more times before he felt steady enough to return to the bedroom.

Katsuki pulled his shirt off and tossed it on the bed.

He would sleep until Deku got back, wake up and likely throw up again, but then he’d get to go back to bed with another warm body. He still felt miserable, but he wasn’t beneath using Deku’s Scent to calm himself down.

He’d take all the help he could get.

Who knew after the agony of a Heat alone and everything else he’d been through, it was the morning sickness that did him in?

Maybe his dad had a trick or two to ward it off. He’d been pregnant with Katsuki once. If he took after his Dad in this, then maybe his morning sickness had been bad, too.

“I’ll call him tomorrow,” Katsuki said to himself. He dropped onto the bed and put a pillow over his eyes. He breathed out and groaned. “Should have called sooner.”

“You really should have. It’s not nice to leave a text unanswered.”

Katsuki shot up, grabbing the intruder and slamming him into the mattress. His palm smoked against Dabi’s wrinkled skin and he almost activated his Quirk, but the other Omega’s hands were out and open. He stayed still under Katsuki’s grip and smiled.

“Dabi?” Katsuki kneed him in the stomach. Dabi gagged but made no move to retaliate. “What are you doing here?”

The other slowly reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone. He tapped it twice without looking, pulling up a picture of Deku standing in front of cribs in a store. The Alpha had a warm grin on his face and Katsuki’s heart dropped.

“Heard you might be pregnant,” Dabi said. He licked his lip and nodded toward the bathroom. “And after hearing you in there, I guess that’s all I need to confirm it’s true.”

“Shit,” Katsuki said, snatching the phone. He let go of Dabi and sat on the mattress, scrolling through post after post of people gossiping about his litter.

He grabbed the bucket near the bed and threw up one more time after dropping to his knees.

Dabi rubbed his back.

Chapter Text

“As soon as the room stops spinning, I’m going to kick your ass,” Bakugou said, grasping the side of his bucket. He hovered over it, breathing open mouthed with his eyes scrunched shut. “How’d you get in here anyway?”

“I picked the window lock after Kurogiri dropped me off on the ledge outside your room,” Dabi said. He sat on the bed and looked around at the Hero merchandise of All Might and other Heroes covering every wall and shelf. Shigaraki would have burned the whole room down by now. “It’s not my fault you were throwing up so much you didn’t notice.”

Bakugou shot him a withering look and put his head back on the side of the bucket.

“Did the room stop spinning yet?” Dabi asked. He picked up his phone and scrolled to a news feed, double checking that Midoriya was still keeping busy with Twice’s surprise. “Because my ass is still fine.”

“Are you really here just to see if I’m pregnant or is this part of your threat to slit Deku’s throat?” Bakugou asked. He stared at the bucket, wincing at his own bile in the bottom. “Because I haven’t forgotten that bullshit from the charity or your stupid house pet comment.”

“I might have been a little angry when I sent that,” Dabi said, curling his teeth and looking away. He rubbed the back of his head, massaging his fingers into his own scalp. He almost smiled when his eyes landed on a television surrounded by gaming gear, thinking of Bakugou and Shigaraki playing against each other on that old couch. “I did come to see if you were pregnant for myself, though.”

Bakugou watched him like a hawk, even as he swayed slightly from the floor. He didn’t say it, but is expression clearly asked, “Why?”

“Your fans have been waiting and praying for you to get knocked up since you were announced an Omega,” Dabi said. Once the shock had died down and the social media posts were finished with their “oh, that poor baby” nonsense, it’d hit them all that he was mated to “Deku” and it’d continued naturally from there. Omega had kids. Bakugou was an Omega. Bakugou could have kids—easy math for easily excited fans. “I wanted to see if it was wishful thinking gone viral or the real deal with my own eyes.”

“And what are your plans now that you know?”

“I don’t have a fucking clue,” Dabi admitted. He groaned and fell back onto the bed. It reeked of cedar, just like the Omega across the room. “You getting knocked up was not in the big picture.”

“Should I be insulted?” Bakugou got off the floor and stood next to the bed, glaring down with fire in his eyes that looked good on him—but Dabi did not want a fight. “Does having kids make me too domesticated for even you?”

“Shit, that’s not it,” Dabi said. He sat up, his gaze locked on Bakugou’s stomach. He wasn’t showing yet, but in a few months there’d be a bump. Dabi put a hand over his own stomach and drew his thumb back and forth over it. “But it’s hard to shack you up with Shigaraki if he won’t touch you with a ten foot pole after he finds out you’re pregnant.”

Bakugou’s face twisted further in anger.

“It’s not what you’re thinking.”

“Then explain.”

“Just between you and me? That guy has father issues like you wouldn’t believe,” Dabi said, hoping to save the conversation. “Whether it has something to do with his real dad, Kurogiri being his parent-butler, or his messed up relationship with his Master there is no denying that the guy gets twitchy around dads. He named the stupid mask on his face ‘Father’ if that gives you any clue.”

Dabi must have said something right, because Bakugou’s face turned from anger to confusion.

“The guy avoids dads is what I’m getting at. They bother him,” Dabi said. He tilted his head back and forth with a shrug. “Or he kills them. Either way, our fight aside, I do like you and I’d rather not risk what Shigaraki might do. My plans to kidnap you into the fold are officially over. Congrats.”

“And Shigaraki?”

“No idea, but I’d put money on it that he starts avoiding you and Midoriya out of sheer disgust,” Dabi said. He licked his lip and snorted. “Or he’ll double down on trying to kill Midoriya and you both so he doesn’t have to think about it. It’s fifty-fifty.”

“You’re lucky the room is still spinning,” Bakugou said. He collapsed on the bed next to Dabi and pulled over a pillow to hug to his chest. “Get the hell out of my apartment.”

“You do have a nice little cage here,” Dabi said, still there and still being an asshole. He got off the bed and walked around the room, poking at Deku’s figurines and posters. “Perfect for raising that upcoming litter of yours.”

Katsuki should light his face on fire, but he couldn’t find the strength. His head hurt, he still felt sick, a part of his brain said starting a fight while he was in such an early stage of pregnancy was a bad idea, and Dabi just said he didn’t want him because he was pregnant.

Katsuki wasn’t sure why that hurt to hear, but it did.

“You’ve got all the entertainment you could want and look at all this closet space.” Dabi threw open the closet doors and whistled. Katsuki sat up and debated stalling Dabi so he’d still be here when Deku got back or physically kicking him out so he could hide any evidence the jerk had been here. Dabi stuck his head into the closet and looked down. “Now what is this?”

He squatted and pulled over a familiar looking tub.

“Shit! Don’t open that,” Katsuki said, throwing the pillow across the bed. He crawled forward but didn’t move fast enough. Dabi had already lifted the lid off with a dramatic flair, holding it high over his head. He saw the contents and the grin nearly split his stitches. “Forget you saw that.”

“Now this is a collection,” Dabi said. He picked up a dildo in its box and turned it so that it caught the overhead light. The glass piece shone through the clear plastic front and he held it up toward the opposite wall. “This is what should be decorating all those shelves, not that tacky Hero crap.”

Katsuki decided: He’d stall until Deku got there. He needed backup for when he murdered Dabi and had to hide the body.

“How are none of these opened?” Dabi said. He tossed the lid behind him and picked up the tub of toys. He dumped it out on the bed, spreading the dildos and vibrators over the mattress. “Who spends this much money on toys and doesn’t use them?”

“People who buy shit before asking if the other person wants them,” Katsuki said. He pointed at the mess and hissed, “Now put all that back and stick it in the closet where it belongs.”

Dabi gave Katsuki a look that looked too amused. He crossed his arms over the side of the empty tub and asked, “Have you ever used toys before?”

Katsuki made a swipe for Dabi’s face with a small explosion but he jumped back and laughed.

“For real, though—why haven’t you opened any of these to try them out?” Dabi asked, ignoring Katsuki’s fury. He strolled back to the bed and picked up one of the boxes and placed the bottom his palm to show it off. “Alpha are nice, but you can have a way better time without one. A toy and your hand could be the highlight of your day.”

“Why are you still here?” Katsuki asked. He glared at the toys out of the corner of his eye and grabbed one to throw back in the tub. He didn’t want to know what half of these things are and he wasn’t going to sit here and be teased by Dabi for this, too. “Deku’ll be back any minute. Go away and leave me alone.”

“You’re so embarrassed I think your nausea went away,” Dabi said. He put the toy on the end of the bed and tapped his finger on the top of the box. Dabi dropped his grin and graced Katsuki with a soft offer: “Do you want me to show you how to use these?”

“No,” Katsuki shouted in direct contrast to Dabi’s sincere tone. “I want you to leave before Deku gets back.”

Dabi checked his phone. “He’s still fighting downtown. We’ve got an hour at least and it is criminal that this stuff is collecting dust.”

Katsuki snatched the box from under Dabi’s hand and shoved it in the box. “You’re the criminal.”

“A criminal who knows what all of this stuff is and how to use it,” Dabi said. He overturned the tub again and hopped up onto the bed, ignoring Katsuki’s complaints. Dabi pushed aside boxes until he grabbed one and popped the lid. “Here we go. Let’s start with the classic dildo and work our way from there.”

He ripped open the box—the sound echoing in the room as Katsuki sucked in a breath wondering how the hell he was going to explain to Deku that the toys were open when he’d made such a fuss about not wanting them—and pulled out a dark teal dildo with black and cream stripes.

“Or maybe not this one,” Dabi said. He shoved it back in the ripped package and tossed it into the tub. Dabi opened the next one and pulled out a similar toy, but flesh colored with unnatural ridges. “Not as classic a shape, but this’ll work.”

Katsuki covered his ears and groaned as Dabi went over the pros and cons of the toy in his hand as compared to the other items sprawled across the bed.

He’d take the nausea over listening to Dabi talking him into trying out the shit Deku bought.

Izuku yawned into his hand as he stomped up the stairs to his apartment. The paperwork for the battle downtown had taken an hour longer than he expected and he could not wait to get home.

“I hope Kacchan is okay,” Izuku said as he pushed up the door to his landing. The bag with nausea medication and snacks he’d bought for his mate tapped against his leg. Izuku was glad there’d been a store open after he’d gotten off of patrol or Kacchan might have to go another night without. “If he’s still feeling this bad tomorrow, maybe we should go to the doctor.”

He opened his apartment door and closed it behind him.

“Kacchan! I’m back and I brought you some—”

A loud knock from the bedroom cut him off. It sounded like something heavy had fallen to the floor. The heavy thumps continued and Izuku narrowed his eyes. He carried the bag of medicine with him as he checked on his mate. “Kacchan, are you okay? What was that?”

He opened the door and sucked in a breath: Kacchan was on his knees on the floor, shoving an opened dildo into the tub. The contents of the tub were spread out over the floor like they’d been dropped it in a hurry.

The panic on Katsuki’s face made it clear he didn’t want to get caught with them.

Izuku bit his lip. Kacchan got more and more adorable every day—which was an impressive feat for someone who looked so scary half the time.

“I’m not going to tease you if you changed your mind about the toys, Kacchan,” Izuku said. He put his bag on the side of the bed and stooped to help Kacchan pick up the toys spread over their carpet. “Did you find any you liked?”

“I didn’t use them!” He shouted. His face stayed beet red and he continued shoving them in the box. Izuku looked over the wrappings and noticed he’d opened at least one of each type, like he was systemically looking them over. Kacchan refused to look at Izuku, still staring at the floor with his hand shaking as he wrapped his fingers around a dildo. “I only looked.”

“There’s nothing wrong with using them, Kacchan,” Izuku said. He put his hand over Kacchan’s and squeezed. His mate looked ashamed for taking an interest in himself and Izuku wanted to get rid of it. “And neither is asking for help if you don’t know how to use them. I can find instructions if you don’t want me to tell you.”

Kacchan shook his head and he bit his lip. His eyes darted around the room as he pulled his hand away, holding the toy to his chest. “Deku.”

“Are you okay?” Izuku asked. He put the back of his hand over Kacchan’s forehead to feel his temperature. “You’re a little on the warm side. Maybe you’re getting a cold and that’s why your morning sickness has been so bad.”

“I’m embarrassed not sick,” Kacchan said. He swallowed and continued to fidget. Kacchan wore his nerves on his sleeves—Did the toys bother him that much? Kacchan put the dildo in the box and pressed his lips together in thought. He gritted his teeth and put his hands on the side of the tub. “I was bored and curious about the toys and I was hoping to put it all away before you got back.”

He was lying—the strain in his voice and the lack of eye contact gave him away.

Izuku let out a breath and reached over, tugging Kacchan over into a hug. His Omega seemed to be alright aside from the nerves, meaning his nausea had passed for the moment. If he’d been considering playing with the toys, that only confirmed he was feeling better.

Pregnancy heightened the libido, so there was a good chance Kacchan was just randy and didn’t want to admit it—he had a bad habit of that.

“Come here,” Izuku said. He pulled Kacchan into his lap, kissing the side of his cheek and slipping his hand over his mate’s back. “Let’s play with the toys, Kacchan.”

Deku sucked on Katsuki’s neck and pulled over the tub with his free hand, but Katsuki had his mind on other things: Like the Villain flat on the floor five feet away on the other side of the bed.

Like idiots, they’d lost track of time—Dabi in his glee at embarrassing Katsuki and Katsuki trying to distract the man from his mission to be as lewd as possible by putting everything back in the damned tub.

They’d both panicked when the door opened and Deku came home. Dabi had leapt over the bed to head for the closet but the tub of toys got in his way, crashing to the floor so he’d had to scramble the other direction to dive behind the bed out of sight.

Katsuki hit the floor to make it look like he was cleaning when Deku walked in the room—and it had worked.

For the moment.

It was only a matter of time before Deku stood up or saw over the edge of the bed and saw Dabi—Katsuki should really rat him out. He’d helped Shigaraki try to kill Deku. Dabi had called him a house pet.

But he’d also laughed with him and seemed genuinely hurt by Katsuki leaving. The mixed feelings continued to twist in his stomach worse than the nausea his litter caused.

The guy had it bad enough living with Shigaraki as a mate.

Maybe if he distracted Deku enough, the other Omega could sneak out in the activity.

Katsuki stared at the box of toys and looked up at the bathroom—those needed to be cleaned, didn’t they?

“This one,” Katsuki said, leaning away from Deku as he nipped at his neck. He pulled out simplest one in the box—the one with the ridges that Dabi had first showed off. Katsuki squeezed it and hoped his plan worked. “We need to clean it first, right?”

“Yup,” Deku said. He dug through the box and pulled out a small bottle of toy cleaner and grinned. “Let’s go do that.”

He stood, carrying Bakugou with one arm, his Quirk sparking and laughed when Katsuki grabbed his shoulders to steady himself. Deku headed to the door and Katsuki looked behind him to see Dabi looking back from the floor. He mouthed “Get out” and Dabi gave him a thumbs up.

Dabi watched from the corner of the bed. He could see into the master bath from his position and waited for Bakugou to nudge the door shut while Midoriya took the chosen dildo to the sink.

When the water turned on, Dabi moved.

He crawled out of the room as slow and quiet as he could until he hit the hallway. Dabi bit his lip to keep from laughing. He’d been saved by a frisky Alpha and Bakugou’s quick thinking.

Though part of him regretted he wouldn’t be around to see the show—Bakugou using his first toy was sure to be a sight to see.

It was wasted on Midoriya.

Shigaraki would have been so much better for that first time.

Dabi pushed the window open and crawled out the side. He closed it again and hoped Bakugou had the sense to lock it when he got a chance. Once he’d edged along the side of the ledge to the corner, he called Kurogiri for a pickup.

He waited on the ledge, biting the side of his thumb. The past two hours had been fun. Dabi had had someone to talk with and tease in a different way than the others in the League picked on each other. Dabi could see them doing that every day like they had before when he’d been kidnapped. Their chemistry was good and Shigaraki had been so much happier with the other Omega around.

But that was never going to happen.

Bakugou’s stupid litter had ruined everything.

An empty bedroom waited for them when Deku carried Katsuki back inside and set him on his feet. None the wiser, Deku continued to hold him by the waist and chatter about their upcoming activities. Katsuki relaxed his shoulders, allowing himself to pay attention to the Alpha kissing him—Dabi had gotten away.

“I’m glad you’re feeling better, Kacchan,” Deku said against his lips. “I was worried.”

Katsuki huffed and bit his lip back. “Don’t look in the bucket on the other side of the bed. It’ll ruin the mood.”

Deku laughed, pressing their noses together. “I’ll be sure to stay on this side, then.”

He handed Katsuki the cleaned toy and pulled off his shirt. His pants and boxers followed—he was clean and freshly showered from the agency. Deku held his hand out for the toy and took it as Katsuki matched his undressed state, shoving the clothes in the corner.

“There it is,” Deku said. He pulled out a bottle of lubrication and popped open the cap. He applied it to the toy and grinned. “You’ve got your own, but more never hurts.”

Katsuki stared at the toy in Deku’s hand as he stood naked in the center of their bedroom and it finally hit him what was about to happen.

“We can stop,” Deku said. His second thoughts must have shown on his face because Deku’s glee turned to concern. “Kacchan?”

“No,” he said. Katsuki got on the bed and scooted back toward the pillows. As much as he hated to admit it, some of Dabi’s stories had stuck in his brain. Deku seemed pretty eager, too—like they both knew some big thing Katsuki was missing out on. “I want to try, but if I don’t like it we stop—got it?”

Deku nodded. He joined Katsuki on the bed and kissed Katsuki again, the dildo in his hand. He passed it over to Katsuki and positioned himself behind him so that Katsuki sat between Deku’s legs. He wrapped his hands around Katsuki’s waist, pressing against Katsuki from the back.

Katsuki leaned into him as Deku dipped a hand between his legs. “I’ll get you started, Kacchan, but I really want you to show me what you like yourself.”

“So you want to be lazy and make me do all the work, is that it?” Katsuki asked, his breath picking up. He squeezed the dildo in his hand. “I see how it is.”

“Don’t worry, Kacchan. I’ll be working, too.” Deku removed his hand, leaving Katsuki still wanting, and wiped it off on the bedsheets. He stuck his hand under the pillow and pulled out his notebook. Deku said in all seriousness: “I’m going to take notes.”

Katsuki groaned, falling back into Deku as he laughed and flipped it open to an empty page. He wrote “Experiment One: Ridged Dildo” at the top and drew a small sketch of the toy. Katsuki snorted into Deku’s chest after the Alpha told Katsuki to “Keep going like I’m not here.”

He settled into the Alpha’s side and gave the toy one long look before he decided to give it a go, holding back the smile as Deku narrated what he did out loud for the stupid notes.

The day had started awful, but at least it ended sort of nice.

Chapter Text

Ground Zero and Red Riot had been mated in every way but title and a shared bed.

Tamaki flicked a photograph on the side table, smack in the center of the other Omega’s face. The shot was of his Alpha and his friend when they were younger and still in U.A., one smiling so bright the camera didn’t need a flash and the other frowning but amused. Eijirou’s arm was thrown around the other Omega’s shoulder, hugging him close with a fist in the air as they celebrated some win.

Small trinkets similar to the photo covered Eijirou’s apartment, showing off their friendship wherever Tamaki looked. While his Alpha went to work, Tamaki cleaned and explored his new home and it was hard to miss the other Omega’s presence. “Bakugou” and his pictures were everywhere, both framed and in albums, in addition to random bits and letters and notes with meet ups and “game nights.”

Their schedules for patrol were matched up often, Tamaki found as he browsed through old reports on Eijirou’s desk, and they spend their evenings together after patrol on a regular basis.

The other Omega’s cooking supplies were littered around the apartment, his name labeled neatly on each piece. There was a spare toothbrush in the cabinet and an overnight bag.

Tamaki recalled the footage he’d seen when the entire world watched Red Riot crash with Deku and it no longer seemed so surprising to see the chipper Hero out for blood.

The aftermath of that event still lingered, though it was clear his Alpha was doing better. Whether it had been Eijirou’s intention or not, replacing his friend with a new Omega helped clear his head immensely.

To a point.

The other Omega still held a rather significant role in Eijirou’s life and his Alpha’s enthusiasm for his friend’s upcoming litter made that rather clear.

Tamaki had inquired about his joy while buying their new couch, curious about Eijirou’s continued emotional investment after such a brutal defeat at the hand of the other Alpha.

“Bakugou’s my best friend,” Eijirou had said. “That hasn’t changed, Class or not.”

Tamaki lifted the photo off the side table and inspected it closer. Eijirou’s bright smile reminded him of another cheery Alpha he used to know and he wanted to see it in person.

If that meant playing nice with another Omega, so be it—at least when Eijirou was around.

He put the photo face down on the table and went back to the kitchen. Tamaki picked up an apron and grabbed a plastic container with Bakugou’s name on it. If he was going to bring cookies to his visit that afternoon, he might as well return a few borrowed items while he was at it.

Katsuki had no idea what to say to the other Omega.

It’d been one thing when the Alpha were there and Kirishima carried the conversation between the four of them, but then the League of Villains decided it was a good day for mayhem and every Pro Hero in the area received an emergency call at once.

Deku and Kirishima had answered, of course, and Katsuki had no desire to turn on the television to see how they were doing or admit how badly his fingers itched to go out there himself, the law be damned.

So he turned off the television and shut the blinds to shut away the temptation, almost forgetting about his quiet companion who’d brought homemade cookies.

Katsuki remembered pretty fast when he practically tripped over the other Omega, who’d been watching Katsuki like a hawk.

He sat across from him on the couch, leaning back with his hands around his stomach. Katsuki didn’t have the slightest clue what to say to a guy who had Katsuki beat when it came to life being shit to Omega.

Tamaki exhaled, reaching for the spiral notepad he’d brought. He flipped open the top past a few pages and wrote. When he finished, he turned the page toward Katsuki so he could read, “Did you like the cookies?”

“Yes,” Katsuki answered, rubbing his thumb in a circle. “They were good.”

The other Omega turned it away and wrote another sentence: “I used the recipe you left in Eijirou’s drawer. It was in his handwriting but it said ‘Bakugou’s cookies’ at the top.”

Katsuki remembered that. It’d been like a year ago but Kirishima had wanted to try making cookies on his own and begged Katsuki for his recipe. He didn’t have a written copy, so Kirishima watched him cook and scribbled down the steps as Katsuki went.

“There are a lot of your things at his place,” Tamaki wrote. His expression remained blank—neither accusing nor curious. “I don’t think even Eijirou realizes how much of his things are yours.”

“I had a lot of his things in my old apartment, too,” Katsuki said. Not as much since Katsuki kept a cleaner home and usually returned things more regularly, but he had his share. “That’s what happens when you spend time together.”

Tamaki tilted his head just enough to be thoughtful before he answered. “He really likes you.”

“If this is some jealousy thing, you can save it. I’m getting sick of explaining this, but he really is just a friend,” Katsuki said, kicking the coffee table between them. He sat up, throwing an arm over the back of the couch and slouching in the seat. “And he doesn’t like me, he likes you. That idiot gushed for like two hours about how wonderful you were before I told him to go claim you.”

“I’m not jealous,” Tamaki wrote, underlining “jealous” twice.

“Sure you’re not,” Katsuki said. It was stupid getting into a fight with Kirishima’s mate, but if it stopped him from thinking about Deku and Kirishima fighting Shigaraki, he’d roll with it. Katsuki kicked the table again. “Then why exactly are you trying to one-up me with my cookie recipe and passive aggressively getting my stuff out of Kirishima’s apartment? Or did you think I didn’t notice my name on the cookie container?”

“Bitter,” Tamaki wrote. He paused and snorted, continuing to write. “I can’t call it ‘jealous’ when I know full well I’d be happy for him if Deku dropped dead tonight from some Villain and Eijirou claimed you in his place. But I am bitter you’ve already left such a large mark.

“It’s hard to fill the gap you left behind when I’m nothing like you.” Tamaki paused, hesitating before he continued. “Or worse, he might have picked me specifically because I’m so different from you, implying that it hurts to think about you and he needs a distraction. I don’t want that, either.”

Katsuki put his arms back around his waist and rubbed his fingers in a circle on the side of his abs.

“Look, you’re thinking about all this way too hard. Kirishima picked you because liked you,” Katsuki said again. “He’s a hopeless romantic that fell for the Omega he saved in an alley that happened to be pretty. There’s nothing else to it and it certainly has shit to do with me.”

Tamaki rested the tip of his pen on the page. His mouth twitched and he wrote, “Then maybe it’s a good thing I needed saving. The past doesn’t seem so bad when I know what I have to look forward to with Eijirou.”

“Kirishima’s a good Alpha,” Katsuki said.

Tamaki’s lips twitched and he flipped the page over. “He’s good in bed, too.”

Katsuki blew up the notebook before Tamaki could go into any further details.

(That shut him up until Tamaki found Deku’s stash of blank notebooks.)

Deku breathed out, putting his hands on his knees. Sweat poured down his body and he felt the shakes in his limbs.

The League had been in full force tonight. They’d beaten them back, but only barely. There’d been an extra passion in them all tonight, from Dabi’s flames burning brighter and hotter than ever to the sheer rage on Shigaraki’s face.

They’d been so angry they hadn’t monologued or said why they were destroying a chunk of downtown.

To everyone’s relief, Sniper had gotten a good three shots in on Shigaraki and the group retreated to tend to the wound on his shoulder. He’d hissed and Izuku almost smiled, remembering the Villain taking a shot or two back when they were all much younger and had first met.

“Wow,” Kirishima said, stumbling down a pile of rubble. “That was intense. They were really out for blood tonight. I wonder why.”

“I don’t know,” Izuku said. He licked his lip and pulled off his mask to breathe in the cool night air. “But we should find out soon before they regroup.”

“Deku!” Uraraka shouted over a hill. “All the civilians are accounted for! We’re clear!”

“Thanks!” Izuku called back. He allowed himself to relax and walked back to sit on a garden planter cracked down the side. Izuku caught sight of the time on a nearby clock and huffed. “I hope Kacchan and Tamaki are okay by themselves. We ran out of there pretty fast.”

Kirishima shook gravel out of his costume. “I’m sure they’re fine.”

“You’re probably right.” Izuku pulled out a small handkerchief and wiped the sweat off his face. “I still want to get home, though.”

Kirishima agreed and they made their way back to their respective agencies for last minute paperwork and to change. They both agreed to meet up at a ramen place between the two agencies to get dinner to bring home.

A block from the agency, however, Izuku ran into his manager waiting outside the door. He had a frown on his face and stared at his phone.

“Is there a problem?” Izuku asked. He twisted the strap of his lower mask, not liking the feeling that settled in his stomach. “You look upset.”

“I hate to bring this up after a fight with the League, but something has been brought to our attention that needs to be addressed as soon as possible,” he said, still staring at his phone. Izuku held his breath as his manager turned the phone around and asked, “Is this true?”

The picture on the screen was a photo of Izuku in the furniture store when he looked at cribs, followed line after line of shared comments from fans putting everything together and coming to their own conclusions.

Izuku texted Kirishima to go ahead and pick up Tamaki without him and to let Kacchan know he’d be late.

Something far scarier than the League had gotten his attention.

Chapter Text

“I’m glad that you both have had plenty of prior experience dealing with the public media, or we might have had an entire session dedicated to the media frenzy you’ve been in the center of,” Specs said, sitting back in her chair. She typed on her keyboard, her glasses slipping to the end of her nose. “Though I imagine this is a bit different, considering how personal the topic is.”

“Yeah, they’ve been more aggressive than usual,” Deku said, breathing out. His manager had been furious that Deku hadn’t told him ahead of time about the pregnancy. He’d been mad about getting blindsided by “The biggest news of the year,” but he let it go soon enough when they had the press to answer to. “But we’ve been handling it okay.”

“You have been very professional,” Specs said. “I’m also glad you’ve decided to stay out of the spotlight for the time being, Katsuki. That sort of stress isn’t good for you or the litter.”

“Kacchan said if he saw one camera he was going to blow it up and I believed him,” Deku said, scratching the back of his hair. He dropped his hands in his lap and fiddled with his fingers with a small shrug. “And since he can’t use his Quirk in public anymore, I figured there was no point in risking it.”

Katsuki bit his lip.

Yet another downfall of his lost Hero license: No using his Quirk in public. Like a civilian. Katsuki slumped further into the couch cushion. He’d been using his Quirk his entire life, no matter what the law said since they were from a small town where no one cared, but now that he was under the eye of everyone and they were all waiting for him to slip up, it was a much greater risk of getting an actual fine for the act (or even an arrest).

His palms smoked in his front hoodie pocket and he clenched his fists.

“Don’t those idiots have anything better to do with their time than stalk us?” Katsuki snarled under his breath and glared at the table. “We’re not that interesting.”

“On the contrary, you two were the hottest celebrity couple in the country before you were a couple,” Specs said. She fixed her glasses and glanced at Deku. “I’m sure you saw the tabloids and social media posts predicting your future mating at some point.”

“The what now?”

“Kacchan has never really paid attention to that sort of thing,” Deku said, shifting on the couch as he jumped into the conversation. His eyes darted to his desk before he chuckled. “Which might be for the best.”

“And why’s that?” Katsuki asked, frowning.

Deku bit his lip. “Because you wouldn’t like a lot of it?”

The Alpha looked guilty.

“How many tabloids of us do you have?” Katsuki got up and stomped toward the desk that he’d glanced at earlier. That had to be where he was hiding them. He ignored Deku’s cry of “Wait!” and ripped open the top drawer. “What the hell, Deku?”

Katsuki pulled out a tabloid of him and Deku plastered across the front with cartoon hearts and a collage of pictures of them standing next to each other. The paper crinkled under his hand as he tightened his hold, looking at photos of himself in his Hero uniform. He glanced at the drawer and more tabloids, at least one of which was the same edition as the one in his hand.

“Why the fuck did you buy these?” Katsuki asked, crushing the tabloid in his fist. His palm smoked and he squeezed. “Why would you support this bullshit?”

Deku winced and drew his shoulders in, putting his hands back in his lap. “I thought they were funny at the time? I knew how much you’d hate it but I couldn’t help but like seeing our pictures together and reading everyone’s predictions.”

The sparks from his Quirk lit the tabloid on fire. It burst in his hand, littering the floor with ash.

“You were right,” Katsuki said, dusting off his hands and stomping out the few pieces that were still smoldering. “I hate it.”

“Katsuki, why don’t you sit down,” Specs said. Katsuki flinched and turned his head—he’d forgotten they were still in the middle of a session. She gave him a soft smile and looked down at her laptop. “How about for this week, you write in your journal about the tabloids and how they make you feel. We can discuss it next session.”

“I’m not sure what good that’ll do, but sure,” Katsuki said. He plopped back on the couch next to Deku, who at least looked contrite. “Are we done then?”

“Almost,” Specs said. She clicked a few times on her keyboard and then looked up with a smile. “I thought we’d end today’s session with something happy and catch up how you’re doing with the pregnancy. Has the morning sickness still been as bad as the last time we spoke?”

“No, thankfully.” Katsuki hugged his stomach through his hoodie and breathed out. “It’s only bad once or twice a day now.”

That settling down had been a relief to both Katsuki and Deku alike.

“I’m glad,” Specs said. She crossed her hands over her lap. “Do you have an estimate for your gestation period yet?”

Katsuki shook head head.

“We’re going to his appointment at the end of next week and we should know then,” Deku said. He sat forward in his seat with his hands up. “He has an ultrasound scheduled, so we should be able to see the litter for the first time!”

“They’re going to be tiny dots on a screen,” Katsuki said. He snorted and said, “It’s not going to be that interesting.”

“It’s still exciting,” Deku said, grinning. He hugged Katsuki’s arm and leaned on it, squeezing tight. “I can’t wait.”

“Let me know how it goes,” Specs said. She tapped away at her keyboard and continued. “Have you two talked about what you’ll do if it’s a short gestation?”

Deku took over the conversation for the rest of the session. He brought up their furniture plans for the nursery and how they’d be receiving most of it in a couple days. He jabbered on about the things he’d been writing down in his notebook for their litter and Specs listened, likely taking notes of her own about Katsuki’s lack of participation.

Katsuki tuned them both out and tried not to think about the end of the week.

Izuku put up the crib by himself.

They’d decided on a single crib big enough for three, that came with removable dividers in case their babies needed to be separated. Kacchan’s bed had been returned to storage and the crib now stood in its place. Being thinner, it made the spare room look more spacious than when it’d been crammed with Kacchan’s large bed and gaming set up.

There was plenty of room for the changing table and chest of drawers they’d purchased to keep the babies’ things. Kacchan had picked out a toy trunk when they were in the store and Izuku’s chest swelled.

He had meant it when he’d said that Kacchan could feel however he wanted about the litter, but there was no denying Izuku would be happier if Kacchan liked them, too.

Izuku planned to support any and all interest Katsuki showed in their litter.

He breathed out and picked up the linens and put them in the finished crib, still safe from dust in their plastic. He’d wash and put together the crib when they had a better idea of when the litter would be born.

Happy with his progress on the nursery, Izuku went to see what his mate had gotten up to while he’d been working.

He didn’t see his mate in the living room or kitchen as he glanced from the hallway and walked across to the bedroom. He didn’t see Kacchan immediately and turned the corner to their shared bath.

Kacchan stood with his shirt off in his hand, while the other rested on his stomach. He stared at himself in the mirror, lost in his thoughts.

Izuku took a gentle step inside and stood next to him. “What’s on your mind?”

Katsuki grunted and dropped his hand. His cheeks dusted in pink and he crossed his arms. “Nothing. I was zoning out.”

“You looked like you were concentrating pretty hard for that,” Izuku said. He stepped behind Kacchan and stood up high on his tip-toes to put his chin on Kacchan’s shoulder. He wrapped his arms around Kacchan’s waist and nuzzled the side of his neck. “What’s bothering you?”

“I gained a few pounds,” Kacchan said, frowning. He pinched a spot on the side of his belly, gathering about a half inch in his fingers. “I’ve been sulking so much I’ve dropped the ball on keeping up my training regimen.”

“I believe you, since you’d know yourself pretty well, but I can say I didn’t notice.” Izuku snorted and squeezed Kacchan harder. “I wouldn’t worry about it until after the litter is born, though. Losing weight now isn’t good for either of you.”

“Right,” Kacchan said. His shoulders dropped and his frown depended. He pinched a larger chunk of his belly. “I forgot about pregnancy weight gain. The media’ll have a field day with that. Everyone wants to see me fat and happy, don’t they?”

Izuku frowned at the snarl in his voice during that last phrase and breathed out, watching his mate’s upset face in the mirror.

“It’s only for a few months, Kacchan. Knowing you, you’ll be back in shape so fast no one’ll be able to tell you were pregnant before the triplets turn one month old,” Izuku said. It made sense that Kacchan would worry about his weight. He’d always held himself to a high standard of health even when they were in middle school. Izuku kissed his shoulder, hoping to sooth his Omega’s worries. “While I’m sure you’ll be cute no matter what your weight, I promise to help keep you on track with training afterwards. You’re not the only one who’s going to miss your abs while they’re gone.”

Kacchan dropped his shirt.

The Omega froze and his eyes widened before he closed his eyes. Kacchan sniffed and pressed the side of his palm on the side of his head. Izuku let go when Kacchan reached up and rubbed at the corner of his eye.

“Are you okay?”

“Shut up.”

Izuku’s back slammed into the side of the shower stall when Kacchan kissed him and shoved him back. He didn’t know what he’d said, but Kacchan seemed happy. The Omega grabbed Izuku’s ass, grinding their hips together. Kacchan kept kissing him and Izuku held onto Kacchan’s back while the Omega helped himself.

Kacchan kissed his cheek and nuzzled him, squeezing hard as he hugged Izuku close.

They stayed like that until Kacchan broke the tension and whispered, “Do you want to share the shower?”

Izuku kissed him back as a “Yes.”

Katsuki hissed through his teeth as the cold gel was applied to his stomach. Deku snickered at him, covering the bottom of his mouth. Katsuki elbowed the Alpha in the side and almost kicked him. “Stop laughing! It’s freezing!”

“Stop moving around,” Doc said. He pushed up his glasses as he clicked on the computer hooked to the system. “It’ll warm up soon enough.”

The doctor picked up the transducer and set it gently into the gel on Katsuki’s stomach and they all turned to the screen. The black and white image moved back and forth as he shifted the transducer.

Deku held his breath, grabbing Katsuki’s hand as his eyes were glued to the images displayed.

Doc hummed under his breath and grinned after a moment. His snake tongue flicked out and he pointed at three black blotches on the screen.

“You called it. There’s clearly three in there,” Doc said. He pointed at each one in turn, explaining which part was the gestational sac, the yolk, and of course, the stars of the litter themselves. “Say hello to your triplets, Katsuki.”

“Kacchan,” Deku said, his voice cracking. He sniffed and his eyes watered, squeezing Katsuki’s hand harder. “They’re so cute. Look at them.”

They were so small.

The biggest one wasn’t even an inch long. Katsuki’s breath picked up as Doc moved the transducer over his stomach to get a better shot of the three as they moved about in his womb.

“Let me see if I can get a good shot of a heartbeat or two.” Doc meddled with a few dials on the screen, making small adjustments before he grinned. “There we go. That one right there has a strong one that’s easy to see.”

Katsuki stared at the tiniest flicker on the screen in the middle of the grey spot. A heartbeat.

An honest, quick, heartbeat.

“Judging by what I see here, I’d say you’re on track for a seven month gestation, maybe a little longer,” Doc said. He kept the transducer steady over the embryo with the heart pounding as fast as Katsuki’s own. “That means you’ve got about twenty weeks to go before they decide to say hello to you.”

“Twenty weeks,” Katsuki repeated.

He licked his lip and looked away from the screen, staring down at his gel covered stomach. Five months. His litter was going to arrive in five months and he knew his time was short but he wasn’t ready.

That was too soon.

Doc patted his hand and pressed a button on the side of the control panel. Katsuki swallowed as the printer whined, spitting out a copy of the screen. His shaking hand took the picture when Doc handed it to him and Katsuki licked his lip. Three small dots stared back, snuggled inside their sacs.

“I expect you’ll start showing pretty soon,” Doc said. He moved the transducer to another spot and took another picture. He printed it and went to the next spot. “Make sure you keep exercising and eating healthy.”

“Right,” Katsuki whispered.

He kept staring at the photo, his thumb half covering the one in the corner. He ignored Doc as he gave Deku the rest of the photos and his hands crinkled the edge of the glossy paper.

“It’s time to go,” Kacchan. Deku gently pulled the photo out of his hands and added the crumpled picture to his neat stack. “We need to make your next appointment.”

Doc wiped off his hands with a towel and Katsuki looked down, seeing the gel had already been cleaned up. He nodded and hopped off the table and covered his face.

“Thanks, Doc.”

“See you next month,” Doc said. He patted his back and smiled. “You take it easy, okay?”

“I will,” Katsuki said.

He trailed after Deku, staying quiet as he held his stomach. A few people wished him congratulations in the lobby but he grunted in response. He watched as Deku made the next appointment with the desk and before he knew it, they were back home.

Katsuki spent the entire time focusing on his litter and picturing their steady heartbeats.

Deku let go of his hand when they made it inside his apartment. Katsuki stared at his palm and tried not to think of all the photographs that were surely floating around of Deku leading him by the hand the entire way home.

“What do you want for dinner, Kacchan?” Deku asked. He held the small packet of photos close to his chest and his smile wavered, but the Alpha held it together. “I’ll make it so you can sit down. You seemed sort of overwhelmed at the end of the appointment.”

“That’s an understatement,” Katsuki said. He sat on the couch and threw his arms over the back, watching his Alpha stand near the doorway. Katsuki put a hand on the back of his neck and breathed out. “Make whatever. I don’t care.”

Deku set the stack of papers on the bar top between the kitchen and the living room and opened the fridge. He tugged out a small package of beef and set it on the counter, following it with a few vegetables. “I’ll make curry.”

“Sounds good.”

Katsuki flopped back onto the couch cushions and sprawled out. He threw his arm over the side and closed his eyes for a nap.

He fell asleep to three small heartbeats he could only hear in his head.

Chapter Text

The bump snuck up on him.

About two weeks after the ultrasound, Katsuki found he couldn’t button his pants. They had been snug the past week, but he blamed the extra weight gain. They still fit, though, so Katsuki hadn’t thought much of it. But soon “snug” turned into “too tight.” Katsuki had been half asleep as he pulled the jeans on for the day, yawning as he attempted to close the button. When he tugged the two ends together, however, it wouldn’t come close enough to fasten.

That woke Katsuki up pretty fast.

He left the jeans open and went to the mirror to see for himself at a better angle. Katsuki turned the lights up and looked down, touching the smooth skin that had replaced his abs. The slight bulge would be easily hidden by a loose shirt, but it had definitely grown large enough to notice.

Katsuki dropped his jeans to the floor and yanked the first pair of drawstring sweats he could find from the dresser drawer. He pulled them on and finished dressing with a baggy shirt he grabbed without looking. Katsuki passed the mirror again, scowling when he noticed the shirt had Deku’s Hero logo on the front.

“Shit,” Katsuki said.

The shirt mocked him more than the bump, but he felt too drained to take it off and search for another one.

He made breakfast in the kitchen, one ear tuned to the news playing on the television. The Villains were at it early and Deku’s patrol had already been disrupted by someone with a water Quirk.

If the commentator was to believed, the new Villain’s form was similar to that of the Sludge Monster that had attacked Katsuki when he was a teenager, but less solid.

That made it hard to punch.

But water did evaporate if you got enough Heat under it. And unless his Quirk could self multiply, there had to be limits to how far it would go. Katsuki turned off the television and went back to his eggs and toast in silence. Deku would figure it out in his own time.

Quirk Analysis was his thing before he gained the ability to punch things through walls.

Katsuki swallowed a bite of his toast and rested his arm on the kitchen table. He shoved his plate aside and slumped over, resting his head on his arm. Katsuki put the Villain and Deku out of his mind. He touched his stomach again through the shirt and traced the outline of the protrusion. Katsuki closed his eyes and breathed out, still tired after sleeping through the night.

“Eighteen weeks,” Katsuki said.

Izuku needed to talk to Hatsume about a water proof costume. The Villain’s Quirk had soaked straight through the fabric and Izuku had been drenched from head to toe until he’d contained the situation—literally, using Uraraka’s Quirk as back up. By getting rid of the Villain’s gravity, his liquid body turned into a floating, harmless floating sphere.

“I’m sorry it took so long to get here!” Uraraka had said, clapping her hands together in apology. At the same time, the Villain had been dumped into a waiting container when her Quirk released and a lid was slammed on top. She giggled and looked over her shoulder as they monitored the small breathing hole for any sign the Villain might try to squeeze out. “But it’s under control now.”

She’d hung around for the rest of Izuku’s patrol, poking fun at every squish of his wet speakers under their protective armor.

“I should have changed into my spare costume,” Izuku said to himself. He would have, but Izuku already had the afternoon off, so he hadn’t seen much point in going back to the agency to change. Izuku sneezed and shivered opening his apartment door. The cold weather hadn’t helped the wet fabric that remained damp enough to be annoying, but at least he’d changed at the agency and he wasn’t dripping water everywhere. “Kacchan, I’m home.”

Izuku found his mate asleep at the kitchen table.

He picked up the plate of his unfinished breakfast and cleaned it off, putting the dish in the sink. Izuku pulled out the chair next to Kacchan and took a seat. The Omega looked stiff and uncomfortable curled up on the hard table top. No amount of comfy clothes would fix the crick in his back later.

“Kacchan,” Izuku whispered. He put his hand on his mate’s shoulder and shook it lightly. “You need to wake up.”

“I don’t need to do shit,” Kacchan grumbled back. He cracked open an eye and scrunched his nose. “Why are you home?”

Izuku crossed his arms on the table and set his head on them to match Kacchan. “I decided to take one afternoon off a week so we could have more time to prep for the litter. The agency thought it was a good idea and they approved it without any fuss.”

Kacchan shifted, putting his hand in his hair while continuing to use his arm as a pillow. “Did you need to? You already set up the nursery and we did almost all the baby shopping already.”

“I know, but there’s still other things to do,” Izuku said. He tapped his finger on the table and shrugged. “I still have research I want to do on pregnancy and young litters and I’d rather not rush through it.”

“Haven’t you read a library on that topic by now?”

“Maybe.” Izuku reached over and tugged on a strand of Kacchan’s hair. “But it doesn’t feel like enough.”

“You just wanted to ditch work,” Kacchan said, partially right.

Izuku had wanted to spend more time at home with Kacchan. After a solid month of getting to be with him constantly, it made his work days far from home seem lonelier. Kacchan got up from the table and shifted the loose shirt with Deku’s logo.

Kacchan looked good in it.

But it wasn’t his normal ensemble.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen you wear that before,” Izuku said. He weighed his words carefully to avoid upsetting Kacchan, while still trying to pick at the reason for the clothing choice. “It looks comfy.”

“I was too lazy to change after grabbing the wrong shirt.” Kacchan washed the dish in the sink. “Stop acting like I put it on for you.”

“I know better than that.” Izuku bit his lip to hide his smile better. “But what about the sweats? Aren’t those mine, too?”

Kacchan looked down and threw his head back with a frustration groan. “I didn’t notice.”

Izuku pointed at the inch of Kacchan’s exposed ankle at the cuff. “You didn’t notice they were too short?”

“No,” Kacchan said. He stuck the dish in the drying wrack and shifted the pants down to make it less noticeable they weren’t long enough. “Does any of it matter? I’m not going anywhere today. I can dress how I want.”

“I know, but you always make an effort with your outfits choices, so I was curious,” Izuku said. The Omega’s fashion designer parents had given Kacchan a sense of style that came naturally. Even his simple outfits looked put together and deliberate. “And you never wear my stuff.”

“You aren’t going to let this drop are you?”

Izuku shook his head with a tiny smile.

Kacchan lifted the shirt and tugged down on the front of the sweats, revealing the round bump that Izuku adored seeing every morning when he woke up. Kacchan dropped his shoulders and frowned. “My pants wouldn’t fit.”

His cheeks flushed and he looked to the side.

“Do you want to spend the afternoon shopping for some better clothes that fit?” Izuku asked. He licked the side of his lip. “Though I won’t complain if you want to keep just wearing mine.”

“We’re going shopping,” Kacchan said. He dropped the shirt and stomped toward their bedroom. “I’m changing.”

Izuku tapped his finger twice on the table before he followed, fast on Kacchan’s hell. “I’ll help!”

Dabi should have stopped reading the gossip and fan feeds about Bakugou, but the need to see how the other man was doing ate at his chest like a wild dog.

Out of all the chatter, a single candid shot a creepy fan took while Bakugou was changing in a store stood out the most: The photo showed off the enlarged belly, taken at just the right angle to make it look bigger than it was with the top of his pants under the bottom of the curve as he leaned over to tug the shirt off.

“He’s pretty far,” Dabi said to himself. To be showing already, the other Omega had to be on a short gestation track. “Lucky him.”

“Oh! He’s showing already!” Toga shouted, pouncing on Dabi’s back. She reached over his shoulder and flicked through the photos on his phone with a grin. “I can’t wait to see my adorable Deku baby’s litter! They’re going to be so cute!”

“Enough to stab?” Dabi asked. He watched the photos flash by, leaning into the other Alpha’s hold. Shigaraki had left the city with Kurogiri to see a private doctor for his shoulder after his bullet wound gained an infection. He missed his own Alpha, but Toga worked well enough as a substitute in the meantime. “Because I’d love to see that.”

“Not until they’re older,” Toga said. She snorted and pushed off Dabi’s back, throwing her arms out as she stretched. Toga snickered under her breath and hid most of her hands in her sweater sleeves as she tapped her lip with a finger. “It’ll hurt Deku baby so much worse if he has a chance to get attached first.”

He turned off his phone and set it face down on the table.

The Alpha spun on her toe and put her hands near her mouth, grinning wide and showing off her canines. Toga shook her head, dancing her bangs around her cheeks in glee. “I bet his agonized face would be so lovely.”

Dabi licked the side of his teeth and ran his tongue across the stitches on the inside of his mouth. The look in Toga’s eyes said she was joking around, but Dabi had to admit that brand of cruelty held merit.

He’d have to keep it in mind for later.

Katsuki dumped his new outfits on the bed. After he’d caught sight of a giggling fan with their phone camera aimed on him, he’d made the decision to get all of his shopping done at once.

Once the bump got too big to hide, he had plans to stay locked in the apartment until the litter was born. His pregnant stomach would not be plastered everywhere for people to coo and giggle over.

His new pregnancy wardrobe would be able to handle not only his tiny bump now but the huge lump it’d grow into over the next four and a half months.

Deku collapsed onto the bed next to his bags and groaned. “Did we need to go to ten different stores looking for clothes?”

“Yes,” Katsuki said. He pulled the shirts out of the bag, stacking them side by side. Katsuki turned and opened a drawer. He’d need to take some things out to make space. Katsuki went to the closet and pulled out a foldable basket to start emptying the top drawer. “You said it yourself: I care about my clothing choices. The selections in most of those places were garbage. My parents could design better in their sleep.”

“You bought an entire wardrobe for a few months,” Deku said. “We could have stopped after store two when you had six or seven outfits picked out.”

For someone who’d been so excited about everything else to do with the littler, clothing shopping appeared to be his limit. Deku hugged his pillow and rolled over, grumpy from getting dragged from store to store. Katsuki grinned. Deku almost exclusively wore t-shirts and bland shorts when left to his own devices—it was no surprise he hated shopping for clothes.

Katsuki looked at the miserable Alpha and couldn’t help the warm feeling growing in his chest.

It was about time he had the upper hand for a change.

“Admit you’re only pouting because I didn’t buy anything green and I’ll let you take exactly one photo of the bump,” Katsuki said. He’d bet money that Deku wanted to keep track of his development in that photo album he’d placed the ultrasound photos in, but knew better than to straight up ask. Katsuki would rather Deku have a photo he took than find out later the Alpha had copies of those fan photos. “And I’ll let you pick the outfit.”

Deku shot up and grinned. “Do you mean it?”

Katsuki shoved the last of his clothes into the basket and pushed it down to flatten the top. “Yes.”

“I’m pouting because you didn’t buy anything green,” Deku said, flicking though the shirts on the side of the bed. “Good enough?”

“Say it like you mean it.”

“Kacchan!” Deku shouted, laughing. “I did it!”

“Yeah, you did,” Katsuki said. He waved at the pile on the bed and said, “Pick out the clothes so we can get it over with.”

“Will do,” Deku said. He got off the bed, ignoring the stack of Katsuki’s carefully selected wardrobe and opened the closet. He threw the door open and Katsuki heard the scrape of the hangers against the metal bar before Deku reappeared. The Alpha held up a tacky promotional button-up shirt covered in “Deku” logos. “This one.”

Katsuki held up a finger. “No.”

“You said I could pick.” Deku shook the shirt back and forth. The printed pattern repeated over and over with random stripes that were attempting to look modern but only looked like a mess. “And don’t button it up so we can actually see your stomach.”

“I take it back,” Katsuki said. “No photo.”

He ignored Deku’s pleading as he put away the rest of his clothes.

After an hour of needling, Deku wore Katsuki down enough to agree to the photo again, but he wore one of the new outfits he’d just bought.

Threatening to light the one of a kind piece of merchandise on fire had done wonders to get his Alpha to cooperate.

Chapter Text

“We’re out of sweet rice flour,” Katsuki mumbled. “That figures.”

He stared into the small storage cabinet in the kitchen, pushing aside the bag of regular flour and a bag of sugar. Katsuki had been craving something sweet and mochi would have been perfect, but their pantry stocked for spicy and savory foods had decided to be unprepared for his newly acquired sweet tooth.

Katsuki pulled the bag of sugar down and set it on the counter, systematically removing everything from the small pantry cabinet until he was half crawling on the counter to reach the back. They had to have a bag of sweet rice flour in there somewhere. He’d settle for old flour if he had to. Maybe he and Deku had picked one up on accident on their shopping trips killing time and it’d been forgotten.

Sugar. Cooking chocolate. Wheat flour. Rice flour. Caramel chips.

One by one Katsuki kept throwing items onto the counter. A bag of brown sugar tumbled over into the sink but he ignored it in his search.

There were plenty of ingredients to make baked sweets or some sort of candy, but Katsuki wanted mochi and to make mochi he needed sweet rice flour!

He looked at the clock and bit his lip.

Deku wouldn’t be home for another four hours.

Katsuki smacked the counter, knocking over a bag of regular sugar that fell over to join the other bag in the sink. He didn’t want to wait that long to get started on making the mochi. It already had a fairly long sitting time and he’d be better off going out to buy some to eat now and getting the flour for later cravings.

But he couldn’t go out by himself—Katsuki grabbed the counter.

“Why the hell can’t I go out by myself?”

Deku hadn’t Ordered him to stay inside since that first awful week together and that Order had long worn off. They hadn’t talked about Katsuki leaving and going from the apartment as he pleased because Katsuki never left.

The one time he had gone out alone, he’d met up with Kyouka near immediately and he’d still been with another person. It’d gone badly, but Katsuki wasn’t scared of that happening again, was he? There was nothing to worry about with the League done with him.

Dabi himself had said he’d given up and Shigaraki had gotten his temper tantrum over with and gone silent.

There was nothing to stop Katsuki from leaving but his own shame.

Katsuki had isolated himself.

His chest burned in fury that he’d even hesitated leaving the house.

“I’m going out,” Katsuki said aloud to confirm it. He threw his apron on the counter, throwing it over the mess of ingredients left out in haphazard condition on the counter. “And I’m buying some damn mochi.”

“Mom, I got the package you sent,” Izuku said, pushing a few stacks of paperwork aside on his desk. He had a few minutes before his second patrol started and he wanted to make the most of his lunch break to catch up with his mother. “Kacchan liked the baby clothes you picked out, too. We’re going to have some well dressed kids between you and him!”

His mother laughed on the other end of the phone. “I’m glad you liked them, though I must confess Mitsuki helped me after I asked.”

Izuku hummed and pushed the topic away from Katsuki’s mother. “How has work been?”

His mother continued to chatter brightly about her coworkers and the topics moved on from work to how Izuku’s dad was doing. He finished up his paperwork while she spoke, glad to get it out of the way and that he had the chance to call during lunch.

Izuku hadn’t avoided calling his mother with Kacchan around, but he did feel bad speaking to her so often when Kacchan barely called his. Mitsuki may have helped Izuku’s mother pick out clothes, but that was because she had a soft spot for the Beta.

So far her opinion on the pregnancy remained chilly enough to be noticed, despite holding her tongue.

He didn’t blame Kacchan for avoiding her.

Izuku breathed out and said goodbye to his mother before hanging up the phone. He gathered his things and checked his schedule. “Solo patrol, it is.”

He would have preferred meeting up with someone else, but there was no controlling the agency schedule these days. Team up patrols always went by faster because he had someone to talk with. Solo patrols meant making sure his “Hero” mask didn’t slip and the public saw shining, smiling Hero Deku above everything else.

It was easier to maintain real smiles laughing at something Uraraka said or grinning along as Iida talked about his latest issue with some regulation or their peers in the agency.

By himself, when there was no one to help or Hero work to be done, Izuku spent all his time wishing he could go home and see his mate.

Katsuki bought the sweet rice flour and a variety of fillings first. The grocery bag tapped on his side as he walked back and forth in the sweets shop and looked at everything they had to offer. His bump was hidden neatly behind the loose, black shirt he’d picked out the other day with Deku. A few people had recognized him throughout the day, whispering and pointing behind their hands, but Katsuki ignored them.

His craving for mochi had grown too great.

He ate four pieces from the first box he bought, carrying it around the store as he looked for more. The box had been devoured before he picked out three more types to take home. Katsuki made sure they stayed sealed and disappeared into a bag before he could make more of a pig of himself, swallowing down the thick pieces of chewy dough like they were his last meal.

“Is that him?”

“It is! Ah! He’s buying sweets, that’s so cute.”

“Do you think it’s cravings?”

“Has to be.”

Katsuki heard the giggled conversation behind him and he sighed. That had also been part of his self imposed isolation: the gossip and chatter. It’d been one thing when he was with Deku and could shove the “Hero” into the spotlight, but all alone he was the complete center of attention.

“Just ignore them,” he whispered to himself. He stared at the sweets case, debating on one more box to add to his stack he had already purchased while the cashier laughed at him with her eyes, amused at his “buy a box, try to leave, and go back for more” pattern. Katsuki stared through the glass case and sighed. “Pick one last thing and go home.”

He had his sweet rice flour and fillings to make his own.

Katsuki was done shopping.

But he didn’t want to go home yet.

Despite the gawking and fingers pointed at him, it was nice being outside. By himself. Like he’d used to do every day without a second thought. He’d actually been debating with himself about whether or not he should go out alone. Katsuki had been scared of leaving the house alone. It’d…he’d had to pep talk himself to go outside.

Katsuki stared at the dessert case and held his bags by his side.

Had he changed so much?

“This is so cute.”

“Take a picture!”

The click of the phone camera in the small shop had been too much and Katsuki’s patience snapped.

“Don’t you have anything better to do!” Katsuki shouted, spinning on his heel. His bag of boxed mochi smacked into the cabinet as he moved and his Quirk popped in his palm. The two girls gasped and jerked up, clutching the phones to their chests. “I’m not your entertainment! I hated that shit when I was Ground Zero and I hate it even more now!”

The girls stayed frozen but Katsuki wasn’t done.

“If you want to gossip and giggle over someone, go take pictures of Hawks or Best Jeanist! Or Uwabami or Deku! Those idiots love the attention but leave me the hell alone!”

Katsuki snapped his fist shut when the explosion released.

He breathed hard and stepped back before looking at the two he’d taken his anger out on. The Omega girl and her Beta friend had watering eyes and fear as they backed into the shelf of sweets. Katsuki dropped his shoulders and set his bag on the ground as he rubbed his face. The cashier behind him had also grabbed the counter, her hand inching toward the phone.

“Shit,” Katsuki said, shrinking down and making himself smaller and less threatening. The cashier put her hand back in her lap and looked away, distracting herself with stocking a back shelf. He looked at the crying girl again and said, “Fuck. I—I shouldn’t have done that.”

The Omega girl shook her head hard and sniffed harder. “No, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I didn’t even think about how you were feeling.”

He looked at her face again and as he looked closer, it became clear the anguish on her face came from a place of guilt and not fear of Katsuki.

“I just,” she bit her lip and sniffed. Her Beta friend rubbed her arm and her fingers clutched her phone case, strained and white. “I was so happy and excited seeing you have a chance at happiness again after all the horrible things that you’ve been through that I forgot myself. I wanted everyone to see it, too.”

Katsuki licked his lip. “What?”

The Omega girl pointed at the hidden bump. “That.”

He put his hand on his stomach and gripped the fabric, staring at the other Omega again.

She sniffed again and walked a few step closer, holding the phone to her chest. “You’re my hero.”

“Kacchan?” Izuku asked, stepping down the steps of the agency. His mate leaned against the wall near the door. Grocery bags and a few nicer looking packages from a sweets shop downtown sat near his ankles. “What’re you doing here?”

Kacchan pressed his lips together and shrugged. “I came to walk you home.”

Izuku couldn’t help grinning bright and tapping over to his mate, throwing his work bag strap over his shoulder so he had a free hand. Kacchan let him take his own and Izuku felt so happy he could burst. “Did you have a good day? I see you went shopping.”

“I wanted mochi but we didn’t have any,” Kacchan said.

He squeezed Izuku’s hand. The tone of his voice held something somber in it that set Izuku’s instincts on edge. His elation dimmed as they walked the rest of the way home in silence.

A few steps into the door and Kacchan dropped his bags to the side. He made it halfway to the couch before he stopped moving. His Omega stared at the wall before he put his hand on the back of the couch and sunk until his knees hit the floor.


“I met another Omega today,” Kacchan said. He slumped against the couch back, sitting on his side. “She called me her hero.”

“Was that…bad?” Izuku asked, slipping his bag off his shoulder. He gently rested it next to the bags of forgotten mochi and walked closer to his mate. “Kacchan?”

“One of her mothers was an Alpha that didn’t want to give her up when she presented,” Kacchan said, his voice thick. Izuku stopped moving, not wanting to startle his mate while he struggled to repeat what he’d been told. “Her mother never reported her presentation. She just stopped going to school and no one investigated. No one looked into it. Her Alpha mother faked school transfer papers and no one was the wiser that her child hadn’t been registered.”

That wasn’t an odd occurrence—a sad truth, but one all the same. With so much variation in presentations, it was easy for things like that to slip through the cracks. Kacchan himself knew that most of all, having presented so late in life himself.

“She had been upset that she was denied her right to go to finishing school,” Kacchan said, a haunted tone taking on his voice. He sounded sick, his voice thick and stuck in his throat. “She was angry that no one had found her until long after she should have been in a matchmaking house.

“Her Heats were taken care of by a family friend who was happy to keep their secret and she was humiliated and ashamed every day until someone found out what her Alpha had done and she’d been taken out of the house.

“She said she was grateful and lucky she’d managed to find a proper Alpha that still wanted her at all after all of that,” Kacchan said. He licked his lip and rested the side of his head against the couch. “She was so in awe that the timing of her story matched up nearly with my own story. Her mother had been caught around the same time as I’d been arrested. She’d found an Alpha a few months after you and I were mated.

“An Omega said I was her hero because I managed to find happiness after an experience ‘worse’ than what happened to her,” Kacchan said, covering his mouth while the words continued to pour out. He breathed in through his fingers, his eyes watering. “She said I gave her hope that if I can have kids at this age, so can she.”

Izuku dared to come closer and sat next to his mate. “It sounds like you helped the girl through something horrible by giving her someone to relate to. It always help to know you’re not alone.”

“But our situations weren’t the same at all,” Kacchan said. He dropped his hands and smacked his fist into the couch. “My mother didn’t force me. I didn’t give two shits about finishing school. I didn’t want a mate. I wasn’t miserable. I didn’t…I couldn’t.

“I couldn’t tell her any of that.” Kacchan sobbed, the tears breaking past the gate. He leaned forward and put his forehead against Izuku’s chest. “She was so fucking happy, Deku and I couldn’t correct her.”

“You’re a good person, Kacchan.” Izuku wrapped his arms around his mate and held him close, putting his chin on Kacchan’s head. “You knew how much it meant to her and let her keep her hope.”

“But it’s a lie,” Kacchan whispered.

“Most Hero work is,” Izuku answered. He rubbed Kacchan’s back, up and down, remembering All Might’s smiling face. “You smile when you’re the most frightened. You don’t let them see you sad. You make sure they have something to hope for.”

“I’m not a Hero anymore, Deku.”

Izuku stopped his petting and hugged Kacchan tighter. “Legally. You can’t fight Villains or use your Quirk, but that doesn’t change who you are.”

Kacchan pushed away and hauled himself up by the back of the couch. He swallowed and walked toward the doorway. “I bought a shitload of mochi. Help me eat it.”

“Okay, Kacchan.”

“They changed the name,” Dabi said, staring at his phone. Shigaraki slept with his head pillowed on the curve of Dabi’s back as they rested in bed. He flicked through the feed of the latest news on Bakugou, seeing more and more of the same message: “We really should stop calling him Ground Zero.”

Some Omega girl had run into Bakugou buying sweets and they had gone to lunch or something to talk. She went on and on in her posts afterwards about how Bakugou’s story had inspired her and how happy she was he could move on.

“It’s cruel to keep using his Hero name when he’s working so hard to make the best of his new life,” she had written. “If he looks at these posts, it’s just reminder after reminder of his old life and what happened to him.

“He barely wanted to be in the media at all, so if we have to talk about him, can we at least give him that?”

Dabi turned off his phone and tossed it on the side table. He turned on his side, scooting down to spoon his Alpha and snuggle with an arm over his side.

“What an idiot house pet,” he said. He closed his eyes and huffed, breathing in Sandalwood. “They’re going to break him and they don’t even know it.”

Chapter Text

“Okay, I need to know,” Kyouka said, wrapping her ear jack around her finger with her elbows on the table. “Did you really take some random Omega girl out to lunch?”

“Yes,” Katsuki said. He sat a plate of mochi in the middle of the dining table next to the savory snack tray Tamaki brought with him. Momo reached for a piece while Katsuki took a seat next to Tamaki and across from Kyouka. “Who told you?”

“The internet,” Kyouka said. She snatched a piece of mochi for herself and popped it in her mouth. She finished it off with a lick of her lips before continuing. “The girl wrote this huge open letter about how touched she was you took the time to talk with her and listened. Even her Alpha added to it to say thanks about how much you helped her out.

“You’ve become quite the popular guy, Katsuki. Everyone’s been sharing her story.” Kyouka put her chin in her hands and grinned, waving her jack back and forth on one finger. “Who knew you could be such a softie if you put your mind to it?”

“It was a touching story,” Momo added. Katsuki sat next to Tamaki, still surprised that they had both accepted Kyouka’s invitation to come with her on the visit. “Considering your gruff demeanor, it was difficult to believe at first she was talking about you.”

Katsuki ignored the minor dig to his personality and tapped his finger on the table. “What exactly did she say?”

“Oh, nothing personal!” Kyouka said. She pulled out her phone and found the post in question. Kyouka handed the phone to Katsuki. “She didn’t share any details of the conversation.”

He browsed through the post and confirmed as much for himself. Katsuki had heard most of things she had written in person when she’d left him at the small cafe and there was no direct mention of his or the other Omega’s backgrounds. The entire letter was various forms of praise, gratefulness, and not much else—save for one last part.

The call to stop referring to him as “Ground Zero” stung, but at least it came from a fan and not some public relations department with a committee behind them.

“It was a nice thing to do,” Tamaki wrote, pushing his notebook into the corner of Katsuki’s eye. “I read her story yesterday and thought it was sweet.”

“I’m surprised she didn’t mention the part where I yelled at her to get the camera out of my face when we first met,” Katsuki said. He rubbed the side of his lip with his thumb and huffed. “Enough of that, though. Didn’t you come to see the finished nursery?”

“Yes!” Kyouka said. She jumped up and grabbed Momo’s arm. She yanked the other Omega from the table and pulled her across the living room. “It’s your old bedroom, right?”

“That’s right,” Katsuki said, noting leaving the table. Tamaki stayed with him, sipping a cup of tea and poking through the snacks. Katsuki rubbed a circle on his bump and raised his voice so the other two would hear him. “Don’t touch anything.”

“It’s so cute in here!” Kyouka yelled.

Katsuki cracked a smile while the girl continued to gush loud enough she could be heard easily in the kitchen.

The care put into the nursery directly contradicted Katsuki’s outward, apathetic attitude toward his future litter. A plethora of childcare books lined the shelf on the wall, plenty of toys were dotted about the room, a sturdy crib stood proud in the corner, and a chest full of supplies sat waiting and ready.

Tamaki tugged on his side bangs as he smiled at a teddy bear dressed in Deku’s Hero uniform sitting in the crib. He had a feeling the Alpha parent had bought that, but it looked cute all the same.

“It’s really not that exciting,” Katsuki said, leaning on the doorway. He had his arms crossed and it pulled the shirt against his chest which made the hidden bump more obvious. “Did you really come over here just to see it?”

“You got me!” Kyouka exclaimed. She threw up her arms in surrender and stuck out her tongue. “I wanted to see you and thought it’d be fun if we all hung out together.”

“And you needed the nursery as an excuse for that?” Katsuki asked, snorting.

“Not really,” Kyouka said. Tamaki crossed his arms as the woman put a hand on her hip and waved the other one out to indicate the room. “But I did want to see how things were going setting up for the babies. You barely tell me anything about them. I didn’t even know you were going to have a litter of three until I saw the crib!”

Katsuki had barely told anyone about his litter.

Eijirou knew that Katsuki was pregnant and had morning sickness bad enough that he’d turned away his friend’s offer of company the few times he’d asked to see him.

Aside from that, Tamaki and Eijirou had been told nothing: no due date, no updates on his check ups, no name choices, no nursery decorations, and no mention of future babysitting plans.

Tamaki felt better than Kyouka hadn’t been told anything either, but most Omega couldn’t shut up about their litter, both before and after they came into the world.

He knew Katsuki wasn’t a typical case for their Class, but the utter silence on the topic gave him cause for concern.

The well stocked and prepared nursery provided hope those fears had been unwarranted upon first inspection, but for all Tamaki knew, the Alpha of the family had done it all himself.

A feeling of unease settled in his stomach.

The pregnancy had come as a surprise and Katsuki had not exactly shown enthusiasm about his mating, let alone the thought of bearing Deku’s children.

“Taking into account new parent nerves, are you excited about the litter?” Kyouka asked, putting her hands on the hips. “You’re due soon, right?”

“In seventeen weeks,” Katsuki said. He dropped his arms and straightened his shirt back down. “If you want excited, you should talk to Deku. That Alpha’s got it covered for the both of us.”

“You aren’t excited yourself?” Momo asked, voicing Tamaki’s own internal question. “That’s surprising.”

“I spent nearly an entire month so nauseous I threw up every time I attempted to stand,” Katsuki said, narrowing his eyes with a shiver. “And now my back hurts, I have cravings at odd hours of the day, and Deku won’t stop trying to sneak pictures for his pregnancy documentation notebook. At this point, I just want them out of me and in that crib as soon as possible.”

At least Katsuki was honest.

That too, added a small hint of comfort to Tamaki’s worries. If the other Omega were trying to hide more dubious intentions toward his litter, he would have faked the cheer after being put on the spot.

He may have been worried over nothing.

Tamaki could give Katsuki the benefit of the doubt for now and prayed his worries were just that: worries.

“Yeah, it’d be weird if you were the glowing type,” Kyouka said, laughing. She held her stomach as she chuckled and put her hands out and mimicked what a “cheery, glowing” Katsuki might have sounded like. “Look at my darlings! Can’t you just wait for them to say hello to the world?”

“That’s not funny,” Katsuki said.

Kyouka and Momo disagreed with their giggles.

“Enough,” Katsuki said, grabbing Kyouka and Momo by the sides of their shirts. He dragged them out of the nursery and pushed them toward the living room. “If you two keep this up I’m kicking you out.”

“Okay, okay! No more making fun of you,” Kyouka said, calming down for her giggles. “But can you blame me? Seventeen weeks are going to fly by and I won’t get to make those sorts of jokes anymore. Your litter will be here before you know it and you had best believe I’m going to babysit!”

“You’re going to have to get in line behind Kirishima,” Katsuki said, collapsing into an arm chair. He snorted and slumped back, rubbing his temple as a headache formed. Why did everyone care so much about his future kids? Couldn’t those three get kids of their own and leave him out of it? “I’m pretty sure he called dibs.”

Tamaki wrote “he did” on his notebook and held it up to confirm.

“I think I can fight him on that,” Kyouka said. She elbowed her friend and winked. “Don’t you think so, Momo?”

“I’m sure you two can work something out without coming to blows,” Momo said. She put her hands in her lap and looked over at Katsuki. “Speaking of help with the litter though, are you and Deku going to hire a nanny of any sort? I haven’t had a need for such a service yet myself, but my parents can recommend a few highly qualified Omega for the job if you need one.”

“No, we’re not hiring a nanny,” Katsuki said, sinking into his chair. Deku had brought it up a few times himself, double checking that Katsuki didn’t want the help. “I can raise my own damn kids.”

Katsuki didn’t know if he could love them, but he could make sure they were healthy and taken care of.

Deku would pick up the rest of the slack when it came to childcare.

“It might make things less stressful, though,” Kyouka said. Tamaki and Momo looked at her as she plopped down on the couch and put her hands on her knees. “Don’t take this the wrong way, but you’re still figuring things out after that whole getting arrested nightmare. As happy as I am for you, kids are a huge responsibility and a lot of stress on their own.

“Red Riot and I are both happy to babysit, but having full time help would be a huge weight off your shoulders.”

Katsuki’s therapist had said the same thing after hearing that Katsuki vetoed any form of hired help Deku suggested.

The last thing he and Deku needed was some third person hanging around all the time who wouldn’t understand how things worked when it came to Katsuki and Deku’s odd relationship.

Or they might overhear something they shouldn’t.

There were too many secrets between them, including Deku’s Quirk, the kidnapping, and whatever else they might stumble upon—like Deku’s healing burn wounds or the stab in his shoulder.

“I don’t want to hire a nanny,” Katsuki repeated. “I don’t care how useful one would be.”

“What if Deku found a second mate,” Momo offered, sincere and with not a hint of hesitation in her voice. She sat next to Kyouka and put her hands on her lap. “It’d offer the same amount of support, with the benefit of permanent company if the temporary nature of a nanny is what bothers you. A mate would also be much more trustworthy if you were concerned about a stranger handling your litter.”

“She’s got a point,” Kyouka added. “That might be even more helpful than a nanny and you know most Omega would jump at the chance to be Deku’s mate. You might even like having the extra company around.”

Katsuki couldn’t believe what they were saying. He’d joked about Deku getting a second mate if he wanted more kids, but he’d never thought that would actually happen.

Their relationship was already tense without trying to juggle a third person into the mix.

“Deku would never get a second mate,” Katsuki said, staring in disbelief. He couldn’t picture Deku sleeping with anyone else. Katsuki literally could not see it happening. “He’s obsessed with me.”

“Which is why if you’re the one that asked, he’d probably do it,” Kyouka said. Tamaki nodded in agreement as he moved to stand behind her. He looked equally as contemplative. Kyouka held her finger up and leaned forward. “I’d bet anything that if you told Deku you were lonely during the day and wanted another Omega around all the time to help with the litter, he’d go to a Matchmaking House before you finished asking.”

Katsuki squeezed his hands over his stomach.

He could honestly believe that.

Deku would suffer silently and screw some other Omega through their Heats if he thought it would make Katsuki happy.

But hell if Katsuki was going to have another Omega in the house to compare himself to at every hour of the day or raising his future brats for him.

“No,” Katsuki said, shaking his head. He stood and went to the kitchen to search for the leftovers of the mochi. He cut off a small piece and threw it in his mouth to chew. “That is never going to happen. I don’t need a nanny, Deku isn’t getting another mate, and we are dropping this topic or you can forget about babysitting.”

“Sorry,” Kyouka said. She tugged on her ear jacks. “I didn’t realize that was such a sensitive topic.”

“I apologize as well,” Momo said.

“It doesn’t matter,” Katsuki said. He reached for another piece of mochi, but the plate was empty. He dropped his shoulders and ran his hand through his hair. “The topic is dropped.”

“Right,” Kyouka said.

The four of them stood in awkward silence and listened to the clock on the wall tick before Tamaki saved the moment by writing “Who wants to go to the movies? One came out this weekend I want to see.”

“Good idea! That’s just what we need,” Kyouka said. She grabbed her phone and typed as she trotted toward the door to get her coat. “I’ll text Kaminari to know where we’re going if they get back early.”

“A movie would be nice,” Momo said. “Thank you for the suggestion, Tamaki.”

He nodded in thanks and went to gather his things as well.

Katsuki watched them get ready and stared at the kitchen counter.

“Are you coming?” Kyouka asked, the other two already out the door. “We found a showtime in thirty minutes.”

“I’ll pass,” Katsuki said. He held his hand up and shook his head. “I’ve reached my limits for being social.”

Kyouka frowned and squeezed the doorknob. “If you’re sure.”

“Get going,” Katsuki said. “I’ll catch one with you next time.”

“You better,” Kyouka said. She licked her lip and breathed out. “And Katsuki, if you do need help, please make sure to tell us. Okay?”

He couldn’t promise that.

Katsuki couldn’t even promise that to Deku.

“I’ll see you later, Kyouka,” Katsuki said, seeing her face fall at the answer. He swallowed and knocked his pride down a peg to give her something. “I appreciate the offer, though.”

“We’ll see you later, Katsuki,” Kyouka said.

She shut the door and Katsuki picked up the empty dishes and cleaned the table. He tossed the leftover wrapped snacks that Tamaki had brought in a basket and set it on the counter.

When he ran out of things to clean, Katsuki found himself left alone with three tiny heartbeats and the thought of Deku fucking some other Omega.

The feeling that bubbled up in his chest and made it hard to breathe wasn’t jealousy, but it did remind him far, far too much of his worst days in U.A. wondering if he was good enough.

Chapter Text

“Go home, Deku!” Katsuki shouted, slamming the door shut. It had been bad enough in the dorms when they were a stone’s throw away from each other, but Katsuki and Deku had to live near each other too. Katsuki couldn’t even escape him over summer break. He dropped his workout bag next to the door and glared at his smirking father. “What’re you laughing at?”

“Sorry,” his dad said, covering his mouth as he read from his chair. He looked at Katsuki over the top of his glasses and chuckled. “A pursuing Alpha can be a force to be reckoned with.”

“You would know,” Katsuki said. He peeked through the curtains to make sure Deku had actually gone home. The boy was determined to make the most of their last summer break before they started Hero work when they graduated. Katsuki had made the mistake of agreeing to work out together, forgetting Deku would want to do something afterwards and hell if he was going to be alone with that Alpha after Deku had officially started courting Katsuki. “How’d it go again? Mom doggedly pursued you until you caved and said yes?”

“Alpha are famous for being persistent,” his dad said. He cleared his throat, his cheeks blushing red. Katsuki’s father looked at his wife sitting on the couch. “Wouldn’t you say that’s correct, dear?”

She returned the look with a smirk and leaned back, crossing her legs. “You loved it.”

“Well I don’t,” Katsuki said. He breathed out and closed the curtain once he was sure the Alpha had gone home. “I’m not complaining, but was getting Alpha supplements or something not an option? Did my cover have to be a Beta? With that Class we still gave Deku a courting green light and if I wanted that, I could have avoided the act all together and just stayed an Omega.”

Deku hadn’t even waited a week after Katsuki had presented before he asked him out.

Katsuki would have been more annoyed, but he saw it coming.

“I’m not sure being an Alpha would have stopped him if what his mother has said about it is any indication,” his mother muttered. She picked up the remote and turned on the television. “Besides, Alpha supplements would have just made you moodier than normal. They don’t change your Scent or stop your Heats.”

“She’s right. They’re more steroids than anything,” his father added. He put down his book and adjusted his glasses with a soft, sad smile. “They boost aggression and strength, but not much else.”

“They’re for weak Alpha and Beta that want to look tougher,” his mother said. She snorted and tapped her foot against the coffee table. “They’re a joke and I’m shocked that people would risk an arrest to get their hands on them.”

Katsuki grunted and sat next to his mother on the couch. “So how should I handle this Deku thing?”

“Keep turning him down and he’ll take a hint soon enough,” his mother said. “Or at least hold him off until he turns twenty and steps foot in a Matchmaking House. Once he’s around Omega, he’ll find a new mate to focus on.”

“Like you did?” Katsuki asked. He pointed at his father and tilted his head. “Because you sure didn’t listen to him when he said no and I don’t see an Omega mate around here, do you?”

“Shut up, brat,” his mother said. She whacked him in the back of the head. “That was entirely different! Your father liked me and I knew it! He didn’t have any confidence in himself and I had to make it clear my interest was genuine.”

Katsuki snorted. “You sound like Deku.”

“Even if that may be,” his mother said, gritting her teeth. “Your father said ‘yes’ on his own. As long as you don’t say yes, there’s no problem. Beta can turn down Alpha, Omega can’t. So as long as you keep taking your suppressants and he thinks you’re a Beta, the worst you’ll have to deal with is Inko’s kid hitting on you every so often.”

“And I’m sure things will calm down once you’ve graduated,” his father added. “He’ll have Hero work to keep him busy and hormones tend to settle once you’ve gotten out of your teen years. This won’t last forever.”

Katsuki slumped into the couch. His mom patted his hair and he leaned over, resting his head on her shoulder.

The rest of the year wouldn’t pass fast enough.

“I know, baby,” she said, reading his mind. His mother kissed his head and put her hand in his hair, brushing it back. “It’ll all work out. You’ll see.”

He believed her.

“Are you even listening to me, brat?”

Katsuki jerked, dropping his chin out of his hand. He placed both arms on the old familiar table in his parents’ kitchen and huffed as his mother glared down at him. Katsuki glanced around for his father to help diffuse the situation, but the man was absent and Katsuki hadn’t noticed the Beta leave.

He’d zoned out.

“Sorry,” Katsuki said. He rubbed between his eyes and breathed out. Katsuki pulled his arms off the table and crossed them over his stomach. In a week, it’d grown more pronounced and his shirt no longer hid it entirely. “It just hit me that Deku and I ended up just like you and dad in the end, regardless of everything that I did to avoid getting caught.”

“Don’t you dare compare your situation to your father and I,” she snapped back. “It is nothing alike!”

“I beg to differ,” Katsuki muttered under his breath. Sure, his dad had said “Yes” at some point during the courting, but did saying “Yes” under duress really count? Katsuki looked back at his red-faced mother and chose to tackle that battle another day. He was too tired to fight with the old hag. “What were you saying?”

“I was asking how bad things are,” his mother said. She crossed her arms and curled her lip. “Because I don’t care what is Quirk is—I will rip that Alpha apart if he’s hurting you.”

Katsuki dropped his head back. He knew he had gotten his stubbornness from his mother, but there had to be limits. “Deku is not the problem. Deku is not hurting me. What’s hurting me is the law and there’s shit we can do about that. And even if there was a way to get my Hero license back, I’m not going to do it while I’m pregnant.”

“That might be the best time to do something,” she said. The hag put her hand on her hips and pointed at him. “No one would suspect it.”

“Because it would be moronic,” Katsuki shot back. “Be happy you’re going to be a grandmother and just drop it.”

His feelings aside, if anything happened to get Katsuki arrested for breaking the law or endangering the litter or—lord help them all—something happened to the litter during his attempts, Deku would go ballistic. The memory of those dark eyes and cold fury send a shiver down his spine. Katsuki had stopped Deku once, but he didn’t know if he could do it a second time. Not over this. It wasn’t worth the risk.

“Drop it?” His mother threw her arms out and held them up. “Am I hearing you right? The stubbornest person I know is giving up? You’re really going to be happy being a little house Omega?”

“I did not say that,” Katsuki said through gritted teeth. He stood up and pointed at his stomach. “As much as I hate to admit it, there’s something a little more pressing that needs my attention than getting my job back.”

“Since when did that Alpha’s spawn take over your life?” His mother asked. She slammed her hand on the table and leaned across it. “Deku can keep the kids. What matters is you and figuring out how to get your license back.”

Katsuki put his hands in his hair and stared at the table. His chest and head both hurt along with his back. He whispered a truth he’d accepted, but hadn’t admitted aloud: “I’m not getting my license back.”

“Don’t say that!” She breathed harder and put both hands on the table. Her arms trembled and he heard the grind of her gritted teeth. “I know it seems bad, but if anyone can do it, it’ll be you. We’ll figure this out.”

“Please, mom,” Katsuki said. He shook his head and dug his fingers harder into his hair. “They’re never going to give me my license back.”

“Then take it!” His mother yelled. Her eyes watered and she dragged her fingers in toward her palms. His mother’s arms continued to shake. “Tear them all apart if that’s what it takes. Fuck them!”

“And then do what when that fails?” Katsuki asked, his voice raising. The anger burned in his chest. Old wounds were ripped open after months of trying to move on. “I get myself arrested again? Or maybe I’ll run away and live on the streets forever looking over my shoulder for an angry Deku wanting his mate and litter back? How is that any way to live?”

“Stop giving up before you’ve tried!” She yelled back. “I refuse to watch you waste away like this!”

“Mom,” Katsuki said. He exhaled and put his hands on the table, mirroring her pose. Dad always said they were exactly alike and he felt it—they were both too stubborn. “You’re not helping. Leave it be and let me take care of this.”

“No,” she said. She shook her head and her hair fell in her face. Her arms trembled harder and her voice choked. “No, I won’t leave it alone. I can’t let you give up. You have to be a Hero, Katsuki!”

“Mom, I know—”

“You don’t!” She yelled, cutting him off. His mother looked up and Katsuki held his breath. Tears poured down his mother’s cheeks and her eyes pleaded with him. She sobbed, every word thick and forced. “If you’re not a Hero I hurt you for nothing!”

“Hey, hag.”

“Yes, brat?”

A pause.

A thick voice.

“Are—Were you disappointed I'm not an Alpha?”

A warm hand on his head.

“Never, baby.”

His mother dropped to her knees, holding onto the table above her head to keep her balance. “I’m so sorry.”

Katsuki swallowed, his own voice thick. “Mom?”

“You were so distressed. The fear was all over your face and I knew in a heartbeat how scared you were of losing it all,” she said. Her breath shuddered as she breathed in. “It’s the only way I kept my resolve. As long as you became a Hero, it was worth it.”

She paused and dropped to the side, sitting against the table leg. “You were in so much pain. I still have nightmares of you begging me for help. I—I couldn’t even stay in the house to support you. Between your cries and your Scent, it was all I could do to get out before I did something even worse to you trying to stop that pain.

“Two weeks, Katsuki. You were in agony for two weeks and all I could do was make sure you got the suppressants needed to keep it hidden,” she sucked in a breath. “So you could be a Hero like you wanted.”

“Mom.” Katsuki sniffed and crouched on the other side of the table. He watched his mother under the wood and rubbed his eyes. “You didn’t hurt me.”

“But I did, baby. And I knew deep down you only forgave me because it worked,” she said, turning her head. She put her hand over her mouth and dragged her fingers down, catching on her bottom lip. His mother dropped her hands into her lap and her chest heaved. “If you accept this life and become that Alpha’s little house Omega you were so afraid of becoming, then I hurt you for nothing.

“It would have been better if you’d gone to a Matchmaking House and skipped all the pain you’ve been through.”

His mother’s breath skipped, and she covered her mouth. She continued to weep and her puffy eyes and red cheeks ruined her beautiful face.

“It wasn’t for nothing,” Katsuki said. He crawled under the table until he could reach his mother. Katsuki held her cheeks in his hand and pressed their foreheads together. “If you hadn’t done what you did, I never would have graduated from U.A. I went to my dream school because of those two weeks.”

His mother put her hand over his and squeezed.

Katsuki forced every word out.

“Without that pain, I wouldn’t have been Ground Zero. I had my dream come true because of you,” Katsuki said. His chest heaved and he knocked their heads together. Katsuki wet his lips and fought his own sobs. “They took away my license and forced me to retire, but I was a Hero. I was an Omega Pro Hero in the top ten. I stood next to the strongest Alpha anyone has ever seen before and kicked their asses.

“That’s something they can never, ever take away from me,” Katsuki said. He exhaled and drew his mother into a hug. Katsuki put a hand on the back of her head and sucked in a breath when her hands clutched at his back. “I don’t know what I’m going to do from now on, but even if I never become a Pro Hero again, I will always be grateful for what you did for me. The pain was worth it. I could be a house pet for the rest of my life and it’d have still been worth it.

“I have never held that Heat alone against you and I never will.”

His mother pulled back and touched his cheek. She kissed his forehead and held the back of his head. “You should have, you stubborn boy.”

“And where’d I get that from?” Katsuki asked, choking out a laugh.

She rubbed her hand on his cheek. “You’re such a brat.”

Katsuki snorted and leaned against his mother. He dragged his sleeve over his hand and reached up to wipe his cheek. His mother left hers wet, leaving her head against his.

They sat together with soft breaths and their thoughts as they calmed down.

Katsuki grabbed his mother’s hand and squeezed.

“Mitsuki? Katsuki? Where did you—why are you two under the table?” His father stepped into the kitchen, dropping the grocery bag he held on the floor next to him. His eyes widened and he held his hands out. “What happened? Why are you two crying?”

“Did you get what I asked for?” Katsuki’s mother asked, standing up. She sniffed and wiped off her cheeks. “I’m starving.”

“Yes,” his father said. His brows drew together and Katsuki threw him a bone, mouthing “I’ll tell you later” when the man looked his way. His father took the hint and nodded to himself, blowing out and steeling himself. “I’ll get started on dinner now. Do you want to help, Katsuki?”

“Sure,” he said. He got off the floor, wincing as his back ached from the movement. Katsuki huffed as he stood, glaring down at the excess weight. He patted the side of his stomach before following his dad to the stove. “What’re we making?”

Dinner turned into a quiet affair with only cooking instructions passed back and forth as conversation.

When Deku showed up a couple hours later to pick him up, Katsuki hugged his mother and promised her he’d be okay.

He vowed to make sure that wouldn’t be a lie.

Chapter Text

“That’s not what I wanted to see today,” Katsuki said, staring at the DVD cover. He’d pulled the disc from the shelf tucked in the corner and smacked his dusting rag against his thigh. “Now I know how his mom felt.”

Katsuki had been cleaning to clear his mind after his conversation with his mother the other day and the insecurities about his future parenthood that still lingered from his talk with Kyouka and the others, but he’d ran out of things to clean in the small apartment.

So he had decided to tackle the closet—a realm he’d been avoiding since he moved in because it was where Deku had been storing the sex toys.

But now that Katsuki had used one or two, he had no reason to avoid the tub at all costs, which meant the closet was fair game for his cleaning frenzy.

He should have guessed it was also where Deku stored his adult film and magazine collection.

Katsuki took a seat in front of the shelf and narrowed his eyes at the cover of the movie in his hand.

Plastered across the front were two Alpha, both wild with slitted eyes, grappling on the cover with torn clothes. For something that charged money for adult content, they put enough of it on the cover to leave little to the imagination. The dominant one had the other shoved in a traditional submission pose, where the submitting Alpha had been placed on his hands and knees with his face pressed into a pillow by the back of the neck as he was taken from behind.

Katsuki clutched the case tighter.

The first time Deku had suggested that position to shake things up in their bedroom life, Katsuki had been worried it’d remind him too much of that asshole who’d claimed him after his arrest, but he hadn’t said any of that aloud. He’d agreed to prove to himself that Alpha had no hold over him, but if worse came to worse he knew Deku would stop if Katsuki asked.

In the end, Deku’s praises, touch, and Scent had been worlds apart from that first awful experience. He’d felt warm with Deku’s chest against his back and breath along his neck. Katsuki bit his pillow and clutched it to his head with each gentle rock, coming twice before Deku finished.

He hadn’t thought of that first Alpha once during the entire time, surprising even himself after they were finished. He breathed easy with Deku asleep and tucked into his side, relieved and proud of himself.

The fact he’d taken that position willingly may have made the biggest difference.

Katsuki turned the case over and read the back text, skimming over the summary of the “story” for the footage. He shoved it back on the shelf and pulled out the next one, snorting at the similar cover, but this time the dominant Alpha’s sharp canine teeth were lodged in the shoulder of the other, but at least the submitting partner looked like he was enjoying himself.

Curiosity got the best of Katsuki and before he knew it, he’d looked through the entirety of Deku’s smut collection.

The Alpha on Alpha material had been a smaller selection than he’d expected with a total of six films and a handful of magazines with crinkled edges.

The rest was more predictable Alpha on Omega content.

Katsuki had expected to see something with Beta in it, considering his old cover, but either there wasn’t much to be found in that industry or Deku hadn’t bothered with it—which was amusing considering how many of the Omega featured in his collection were sandy blond.

He stared at the neatly organized smut and licked the side of his teeth. Katsuki could picture Deku sitting in his room with one of these playing, pretending the people on screen were himself and Katsuki. How many times had Deku pleasured himself without Katsuki there?

What had Deku fantasized about?

Katsuki had always avoided that topic, both embarrassed and weirded out by the thought of someone thinking of him that way.

But sitting alone in a closet, staring at a case of smut with a box of toys next to him made it impossible to not wonder about.

He smirked and sat up enough to get his phone out of his back pocket. Cleaning had failed as a distraction and physical pleasure had worked well enough the past few months to get his mind off the things that bothered him. Besides, Katsuki had been embarrassed enough about sex in his life.

It was Deku’s turn to turn red.

Izuku hated paperwork. Every Pro Hero he knew shared this opinion and yet somehow none of them had found a way to weasel out of doing it. He checked the clock, willing the time to move faster so that he could go home. Izuku smiled at the interns and other Pro Heroes that shared the open office space as they passed, attempting to maintain his cheer. The act got exhausting from time to time, but Izuku had forgone having a private office to feel more connected to his peers.

Being the number one Hero didn’t mean he should be untouchable or unapproachable.

As his eyes drooped despite his best efforts filling out an incident report, his phone rang with Kacchan’s ringtone. He stopped and pulled out the slim device, confirming the caller identification.

“Kacchan?” Izuku answered immediately. His Omega never called him. If he wanted Izuku to pick something up on the way home or needed an errand done, he sent a text. “Are you okay?”

“I found your collection in the closet.”

Izuku stopped, sitting up in the chair. Kacchan’s voice dripped with satisfaction and the teasing tone felt like it had come straight out of their high school days. Izuku glanced around, making sure no one was paying attention to his phone conversation. “You did?”

“Which one of these have you watched the most?” Kacchan said. He heard a shuffle as things were moved around in a plastic tub. Izuku’s eyes widened as he put two and two together—Kacchan had his smut and the toy box out. He wouldn’t. Not Kacchan. The Omega spoke up again, pressing for an answer. “Come on, Deku. Spill it. Which one of these is your favorite? What gets you off the fastest?”

“Kacchan,” Izuku hissed into the receiver. “I’m at work.”

“I know, that’s why I’m asking. I’m randy and you’re not here,” Kacchan said. Izuku seriously contemplated leaving work early. In the next five seconds might be soon enough. But he’d already conned his way into getting an afternoon off every week and this paperwork needed to get done. If he could concentrate with the images going through his mind. Katsuki crooned into the phone line, his voice too seductive to be real. “You have to have a favorite. What was your go-to before you started taking the real thing to bed?”

Izuku was going to have a heart attack.

Or he was asleep.

No, that wasn’t the case either.

Never in his wildest dreams had he ever pictured Kacchan this bold and this teasing. When Kacchan instigated sex, it was always spontaneous and wild—or embarrassed and shy. This playfulness made Izuku wonder if he’d already watched a few films for ideas.

Izuku got up from his desk and walked as quickly as possible to the restroom.

His cheeks felt heated and he knew he was turning red.

“I hear chatter,” Kacchan said. “You must be on the move.”

“I’m going somewhere private,” Izuku said. He ducked into an empty conference room and shut the door, locking it. “You really couldn’t have sent this in a text?”

“No,” Kacchan said. He clicked his tongue, “But if you’re somewhere private, that changes my plans a bit.”


“I was just going to tease you, but how about you stay on the line while I watch one of these? I can give you the play by play.”

“That’s just mean, Kacchan.” Izuku shivered. He reached down and tugged on his uniform, breathing harder. “I really have to do paperwork and then I’ll be home as soon as possible to show you in person.”

“Which is your favorite, Deku?”

Izuku whined into the receiver, his face turning red and his hands shaking. He had a title in mind, but it wasn’t something Kacchan would like. “Do I have to be honest?”

Kacchan paused and snorted into the line. “What? Is it that bad?”

“For you, maybe,” Izuku muttered. He slumped against the door, his arousal calming down. Not everything in his collection had been picked out based on Kacchan. “Can’t you wait until I get home and we can role play or something instead?”

“The title, Deku.”

He blurted it out and hung up the phone.

Izuku smacked his hand into his head and held the phone near his chest. He collected himself and raced back into the office. He had to get his work done as soon as possible and get back to Kacchan.

The Alpha with broad shoulders and muscles for days helped himself to the slim, delicate Omega half his size. The Alpha licked his lip, his hands locked around the Omega’s waist to keep him trapped in place.

The submissive Omega never looked up once, keeping his head down. He moaned into the sheets with glazed eyes.

The Alpha flipped the Omega on his back and thrust harder. Each wet smack was amplified by the boom mic hovering over their heads.

No dialogue. No story. No setting.

The “movie” consisted only of an Alpha the size of All Might plowing an Omega into a mattress with light blue sheets. It had been split into six parts with the Omega giving the Alpha head in the first section with the other five being variations on the Alpha taking him every way possible.

Despite the lack of dialogue, the body language of the two spoke mountains. The dominance in the scene needed no explanation.

The Alpha didn’t need to say “I own you and you’ll do whatever I say” when the Omega dropped to his knees with a hand wave or allowed himself to be moved and manhandled without the slightest hint of hesitation, fight, or struggle.

Total and complete submission.

Katsuki paused the footage on a screen of the Omega’s face and rested the remote on his thigh. The back of the case had said the two in the film were a mated pair. They had a long history of adult films and this was their “home movie” collection. A supposed glance into their domestic life.

The pleasure and bliss on the Omega’s face as the Alpha owned him had to be faked for the camera.

It had to.

Katsuki started the movie over and watched it again.

Izuku cracked open the door to the bedroom and bit his lip.

Kacchan sat on the edge of the mattress, fully dressed and staring at the television with a heavy frown. He recognized the scene playing on the screen from his admitted favorite title and pushed the door open wider. Kacchan didn’t turn around or move, but he did speak up:

“What makes this one your favorite?”

“There’s no talking,” Izuku said, taking a few steps closer. “Those two know each other so well they don’t need to say anything. The intimacy is really nice and it’s different from a lot of the other ones.”

Kacchan turned the television off and looked over his shoulder. “Did you ever pretend those two were us?”

“Yes,” Izuku said, gritting his teeth. He sat on the mattress next to Kacchan and put his hands between his legs. “And before you get mad, they were just fantasies. I’ve never expected or believed you’d ever act like that for real.”

The Omega looked away. “But you fantasized about it?”

“Wouldn’t you?” Izuku asked. He gripped the sheets and huffed. “You took charge so much when we were kids and in middle school, it was fun to think about what it’d be like if our roles were switched.”

Kacchan didn’t answer immediately.

Izuku leaned against Kacchan’s back and waited for him to collect his thoughts.

“Do you think I’m like the Omega in that video when we have sex,” Kacchan asked. His voice sounded hollow. “Is that what I look like?”

Deku snorted.

Katsuki looked over his shoulder and the Alpha had to bite his lip to keep from laughing. “What?”

“No, Kacchan, you’re not like the Omega in the video,” Deku said. He hopped back onto the mattress and grabbed Katsuki’s side as he tumbled over. They hit the mattress with a thump and Deku spooned his back with a laugh, rubbing his hand up and down Katsuki’s bump. “Well, except during your Heats. Then you’re pretty close, but even then you’re much more active.

“The Omega in the video is sexy and nice to look at, but he’s like a lifeless doll.” Deku nuzzled into Katsuki’s shoulder, squeezing him tighter. “He doesn’t make faces when he’s embarrassed or unsure, or have that little frown you get when you don’t want to admit you like certain things, and he definitely doesn’t smile like you do when you’re feeling confident.

“You’re expressive, Kacchan,” Deku finished. “You’re better than that video or any daydream I’ve had.”

“Do you practice lines like that?” Katsuki asked. He rolled over in the embrace, fidgeting until he could get comfortable again with the bump in the way between them. “Because I refuse to believe that sap comes naturally from a nerd like you.”

“I’ll have you know that was all me.” Deku dropped his head onto Katsuki’s shoulder kissed his Mark. “Don’t you know what a catch I am? I’m the most coveted and wanted Alpha in the country for a reason.”

“Because no one knows what an actual dork you are,” Katsuki said, breathing harder as Deku kissed his way up his neck. “If the truth got out, your fans would be shattered.”

“Then it’s a good thing you’ve got me all to yourself and can keep my secret,” Deku said. He put his hand on Katsuki’s cheek and kissed the side of his mouth. “You won’t tell anyone, will you?”

“Who’d believe me?”

“That’s beside the point.”

Katsuki exhaled and tugged on one of the Alpha’s curls. He let Deku kiss him properly and closed his eyes.

He felt wanted more than owned and he could live with that.

It was a kind reminder that Deku wasn’t anything like the Alpha in that video either.

Chapter Text

Three months.

Katsuki sat on his couch and stared at the blank screen of the television. Deku went to work. His friends were all busy with their own lives.

He had the quiet.

Everything in the apartment shined, clean and spotless. He didn’t need to start dinner for another hour. He wasn’t in the mood for a game or movie. Katsuki noted the date on the calendar and felt his chest twist at how many days had passed.

It couldn’t have been that long, could it?

Somehow, three months had flown by with no major upsets. No arrests, home or otherwise. No fights with his family. No issues with Deku. No League of Villains. Katsuki rested his head on the back of the couch and breathed out.

Aside from the usual brief moments of doubt and panic Katsuki had in private, things had been going fairly well.

Too well.

His check ups with the Doc had all been good and Deku had more ultrasound photos for his book. There had been some initial concern that the babies were on the small side, but Doc said it shouldn’t be anything to worry about after a second appointment. In addition to that good news, Deku and Katsuki’s weekly therapy sessions had been reduced to once a month, by the recommendation of Specs herself, and it had been approved by Deku’s agency.

Katsuki had even been marginally more social than usual. Nearly all of his friends made a note to either call or visit at least once a week, which Katsuki appreciated, even if they only wanted to talk about the upcoming litter while they were there.

Kirishima worst of all.

“I can’t help it,” his friend had said, rubbing his arm as he set on the edge of the mattress. Kirishima set the game controller down and fiddled with it. “I’m excited for you and I love kids.”

“I know.” Katsuki flicked him in the side of the head. “But let’s talk about something else, okay?”

“You’ve got it, Bakugou.” Kirishima rubbed under his nose and picked the controller back up. “Did you know Tamaki’s Quirk works with anything he can digest? It’s freaking awesome.”

The Alpha had cut down on the baby chat when they had their visits, replacing it with gushing over Tamaki, but Katsuki could tell it burned the tip of his tongue.

But still, those awkward moments of annoyance were nothing compared to fighting Deku in a dusty warehouse or finding himself in shackles once more.

Katsuki had three months of quiet.

And only one left before the litter arrived.

“Stop kicking,” Katsuki said, getting up from the couch. He pressed his knuckles into the side of his stomach, frowning at how tight it felt. Katsuki received two extra kicks as his litter ignored him. “You’re going to be as stubborn as Deku, aren’t you?”

Or himself.

Katsuki went to the kitchen and opened the fridge, pulling out a package of chicken to cook for dinner. Heaven help them all if the litter inherited a mix of Katsuki and Deku’s stubborn streaks.

He snorted, dropping the food on the counter. Katsuki didn’t know who he was kidding. The kids were going to be trouble. They couldn’t be anything less with parents like Katsuki and Deku. As much as he kept telling himself that he had it handled and could manage basic tasks, Katsuki had visions of his own childhood and how crazy he drove his own mother.

Deku might have been a perfect child, but Katsuki remembered many a screaming match roaring through the house and his poor dad hiding from his explosive family.

Should he handle things the same way his mother did? Yell back? Did he take his father’s approach and duck his head down to let the Alpha handle it? Katsuki couldn’t see Deku handling his kids screaming “old man” at him well.

Screaming should be a last resort.

“Shit,” Katsuki said. He held the counter, rubbing his stomach. One of the brats kicked harder than usual and that smarted. He breathed out and put his head down to rest on the counter as the kicks continued. “This is a sign of things to come.”

Maybe he would need help.

“No.” He straightened and grabbed the chicken again and dug out the ingredients needed to fry it. Katsuki growled to himself. “You don’t need help.”

He didn’t.

“You read the damn books.”

Out of boredom and made it one chapter into the pregnancy process before slamming it shut and putting it back on the shelf.

“You took the birthing class.”

A mortifying experience that had been a private lesson one on one with an Omega that clearly did not want to be there and Deku with zero idea how to get rid of the tension.

Katsuki sucked in a breath, wincing as another pain laced through his stomach.

“You have this,” Katsuki said again. “You can fight Villains. How much worse can being a parent be?”

A sharp pain shot through him again, far more intense than the last few jabs near his spine.

“Shit,” Katsuki said. He grabbed the counter to steady himself as the pain pulsed again, aching and focused. The kicking increased and he shivered as he felt something wet soak into his track pants. Red stained the white stripes along the side and he breathed harder. “That’s not good.”

The pulsing pain continued and the birthing instructor’s words about contractions flashed in his mind.

He was having contractions.

Another cramp attacked his insides and he gritted his teeth hard enough to chip the enamel. He ignored the increased blood and water running down his leg.

“Fuck.” Katsuki stared ahead as the next wave of contractions hit and he sucked in another breath. The litter was early. Those stupid ankle biting brats were early. He inched along the counter to get to his phone on the bar top and cursed with every step. “When I said I wanted you out as soon as possible, this isn’t what I meant.”

Katsuki grabbed his phone as the pain continued and dialed.

It wasn’t until the second ring that it hit him he’d called Deku instead of the Doc.

“Kacchan—no, wait. Katsuki Midoriya. Where is he?” Izuku asked, slamming his hands on the counter at the hospital. “He’s here, right?”

He breathed hard, catching his breath after his sprint from one end of town to the other. Izuku had answered Kacchan’s call on the other side of town at a guest appearance. He’d convinced his mate to hang up and call an ambulance before dropping everything to get on the fastest train back home.

But that still wasn’t fast enough.

“Yes, sir,” the assistant said. Keeping her calm in the face of the panicked Alpha, she picked up the phone and checked in with a doctor. Izuku pushed his hood back and ripped down his face mask while she nodded. The assistant hung up the phone and addressed Izuku. “Your regular physician is waiting to meet you outside the surgery suite. He’ll explain everything.”

Izuku got the room number and fought the urge to run down the hallways.

He found their doctor standing in front of a glass window with his arms crossed. The older man heard Izuku’s approach and turned his head with a flick of his snake tongue. “Deku.”

“How’s Kacchan?” Izuku asked, putting a hand on the window. The surgeons and nurses were in the way, but he could see the top of Kacchan’s head every so often as they moved. Kacchan’s eyes were shut and a breathing mask had been settled over his face. “What happened?”

“Premature birth,” the doctor said. He went back to watching and hummed under his breath. “The most likely cause is stress, though we’re not sure what caused it.”

Izuku put his hands on the glass and shifted to better see his mate. He saw the knives in the surgeon’s hand and frowned. “A c-section?”

“At least two are turned the wrong way,” the doctor said. “They decided on this as the safest option for both Katsuki and the litter.”

“And he’s unconscious, because?”

“They gave him the choice of general anesthesia and he took it.”

Izuku snorted and laughed, though it felt forced. “That sounds like him.”

“Breathe easy, Hero.” The doctor patted Izuku on the back. “Katsuki is in good hands. That’s one of the best surgeons in the country.”

“Kacchan’ll be fine,” Izuku said to himself. He stood on the other side of the glass, swallowing as he felt helpless for the first time in years. “He’ll be okay.”

The doctor rubbed his back and Izuku could do nothing but wait.

Katsuki stared at the white ceiling and listened to the beep of his heart monitor. He smelled Cedar and turned his head to the Alpha a few inches away, holding his hand on the bed. He followed the Alpha’s gaze across the room to the small television playing in the corner. Katsuki didn’t recognize the show and squeezed Deku’s hand.

The Alpha turned to him and revealed the bags under his eyes and the pale coloring. He’d been awake too long. Deku exhaled, squeezing Katsuki’s hand back just as hard. “How are you feeling, Kacchan?”

“I feel like shit.” Katsuki reached up with the other hand, jerking the IV tube against the side of the bed, before rubbing his forehead with the side of his thumb. He looked around the room and felt his chest tighten. “What happened to the litter?”

“They’re okay,” Deku said. He pulled Katsuki’s hand over and held it with both of his own. “I saw them a little earlier while you were sleeping. It’s sort of scary to see them in the incubators, but the doctors said they’re doing very well.”

Katsuki nodded.

Those little brats had better be okay after all of that.

“Let’s not do that again,” Katsuki said. He pressed his palm into his closed eye, fighting off a headache. “Ever.”

“Let’s not.” Deku rubbed the back of Katsuki’s hand and leaned his head forward. “You really scared me. I’m so glad you’re okay, Kacchan.”

The Scent of cedar continued to calm and Katsuki lifted his hospital gown to see the bandages on his stomach. Of all the things to give him his first major scar, that hadn’t been on his list of predictions. He scooted back and hissed at the sting of the movement. He gave up and settled back into the bed.

“They said the scarring shouldn’t be bad,” Deku said, guessing what had Katsuki’s attention. “But you do have to take it easy the next couple of months.”

Katsuki went back to staring at the ceiling.

He felt numb.

“Did you want to go see them?” Deku asked. He looked down, rubbing Katsuki’s fingers between his hands. “They said you should be well enough for a short trip with assistance.”

“Maybe later,” Katsuki whispered.

It felt kinder than the “No” that his brain shouted immediately. He didn’t want to see them yet. Dread welled in his empty stomach.

Somewhere in the hospital was his litter.

Deku had seen them.

But Katsuki hadn’t yet.

He’d been out cold when they’d been born.

Katsuki had missed their first cry. Their first breath.

He clutched Deku’s hand and squeezed too tight.

If Katsuki saw those kids, they’d be real.

He wanted to pretend none of it had happened for a little longer. It could all be a bad dream for a few more days. Katsuki didn’t want to acknowledge that he’d been terrified of losing everything or admit he’d been cut open and exposed. Katsuki could lie to himself and hide that he’d cried when it hit him Deku wasn’t going to make it in time.

“I want to go back to sleep,” Katsuki said. His voice felt too thick and his chest burned with each breath. “I’ll see them later.”

“They said the litter should be well enough have their incubators moved into your room in a week,” Deku said, still soft and gentle. He pressed his lips together and sniffed. “Will that be okay?”

“Yes,” Katsuki said. A week to think would be perfect. “That’s fine.”

He couldn’t pretend they didn’t exist forever.

“I’d like that,” Katsuki lied. “I’ll be okay by then.”

Deku believed him and kissed his forehead.

Izuku’s Alpha Class and Hero status combined with Kacchan’s celebrity to bless them with a large, private room in the hospital for Kacchan to heal.

By removing the second bed, it also gave them plenty of room to move in the incubators and allow their litter to be closer to their Omega.

Kacchan hadn’t touched or gone near them yet, but Izuku caught him staring at the incubator every so often with a look of longing confusion that gave him hope Kacchan would come around to love them, too.

Izuku appreciated the litter’s closeness, at least, because it meant he could see them and be with Kacchan. He’d felt awful leaving his mate alone to see the litter when Kacchan was in such a somber mood.

A tiny hand tapped against Izuku’s finger and his eyes watered again. It rested against his nail and he gently raised the arm up and down as the baby stared at it him with half-open eyes.

His litter was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen in his life and he was so glad they were there, even if they had so many tubes and lines supporting them.

There was one thing missing, though.

Izuku brushed his hand against the fine hairs on his child’s head. “Kacchan.”

His Omega looked up from his phone and glanced across the room. Kacchan had more color in his face, but retained that tired appearance he'd acquired after the surgery and birth. “What is it, Deku?”

“They still need names.”

Kacchan stared at Izuku’s hand hidden behind the incubator wall and held his breath. He put his phone down and rubbed his face, sliding down into the bed. “They do.”

“Are you going to help me choose?”

“Sure.” Kacchan licked his lip and sat higher again. “I can do that. You give options and I’ll say yes or no.”

“So just like picking out the nursery decorations?” Izuku asked.

Kacchan snorted and covered his mouth. He smiled for the first time over the past week. “Yes, Deku. Just like picking out the nursery decorations.”

Izuku moved his hand from the first born and switched to the second, picking up his little hand, too. Kacchan stayed on the other side of the room, but he helped like he said he would.

It took them the rest of the night to pick out three names, but Izuku cherished every minute.

Chapter Text

Katsuki felt fingers in his hair. The slow brush drew him out of sleep and he cracked his eyes open in the dark hospital room, lit only by the emergency night lights near the incubators. “Deku?”

“Nope. Try again.”

“Dabi,” Katsuki’s eyes shot open. The other Omega sat on the edge of his hospital bed. He pulled his hand away from Katsuki’s hair and put his hands in his lap. His relaxed shoulders hung low and Katsuki couldn’t read the expression on his face. “What’re you doing here?”

“What can I say?” Dabi tilted his head, knocking his hair in his face. He licked the side of his lip, catching his tongue over a stitch. His eyes slid to the side toward the sleeping litter. “He wanted to see the babies.”

Katsuki turned his head with a hitch in his breath.

Tomura Shigaraki stood in the dark with a small wriggling thing trapped within the curled fingers around his palm.

“Surprised me, too.” Dabi stared at his Alpha, very still.

Katsuki held his breath, eyes locked on the mask covering Shigaraki’s expression. Dabi had no smirks or teasing light in his eyes. The room felt ten degrees colder. Katsuki’s hand shook.

“Put him down,” Katsuki whispered. Shigaraki did not grace Katsuki with his attention. The Alpha stayed focused on the baby in his hand, tilting it back and forth. The breathing tubes stretched and moved as they hung limp and stretched from the incubator to his hand. Katsuki’s breath picked up. “Shigaraki. Put him down.”

The man ignored him.

Katsuki’s child remained in Shigaraki’s hold.

His stomach twisted.

Katsuki hadn’t touched his children once since they had been born and Shigaraki was the first to hold one.

His chest constricted.

It hurt to breathe.

He had to get it together.

“Hey,” Katsuki said, louder. The baby squirmed and threw its fist into Shigaraki’s finger. The Villain shifted his hand and turned him a little. Shigaraki brushed his thumb over the baby’s head. Too many fingers. Too close. “Don’t ignore me and put him down.”

Shigaraki ignored him again.

Katsuki’s Quirk smoked at his palms and he steadied himself. Moving too fast could reopen his healing incision, but he’d have to risk it.

Dabi grabbed his shoulder and dug his fingers in. His nails scratched his skin and Dabi snarled under his breath. “Don’t be stupid, Bakugou.”

“Let go,” Katsuki said.

“To let you do what? Even if we ignore that I can light this whole room on fire in a snap, do you really want to startle him while he’s holding the brat?” Dabi asked. He tilted his head toward Shigaraki, who continued to look transfixed on the small child with little care for the two Omega on the bed. Katsuki looked him over with more care and noted the Alpha’s odd demeanor and intense focus. Dabi released Katsuki’s shoulder and went back to watching his Alpha with a blank expression of his own. “Save the explosions for outside, tough guy.”

“Then you tell him to put the baby back in his bed,” Katsuki said through gritted teeth. His palms continued to smoke and the blanket under his palm smoldered. It contrasted the freezing room. “Now.”

“I’m a little surprised you seem to care so much,” Dabi said, his voice still quiet. He threw an arm around Katsuki’s shoulder and leaned in. The lazy slump weighed Bakugou down and insured he couldn’t make a move fast enough to stop Shigaraki if his finger twitched. “I mean, you’ve got such a great opportunity here.”

Katsuki kept his gaze on Shigaraki. “Opportunity?”

“One simultaneous tap of five fingers gives you an easy out, doesn’t it? The odor neutralizers Shigaraki is using to hide his presence mean there’s no trace of his Scent around and the leftovers of Shigaraki’s Quirk are awfully easy to clean up,” Dabi said. His lips stretched in a cruel smile. “No one would blame you. You’d have been asleep the whole time and have no clue what happened to the missing brats. You’d be free with a single touch.”

Katsuki shoved Dabi off and growled under his breath.

He considered the temptation for a second too long and for that Katsuki would never forgive himself.

With wet eyes he grabbed Dabi by his coat and twisted his fingers into the fabric until it burned. Katsuki growled, “I will not sit here and let you kill a baby.”

“A baby?”

Katsuki and Dabi flinched at the intruding voice.

The Alpha stared at Katsuki, one eye visible through the fingers of his mask. The little one kicked and wriggled in his hand, but it was the child’s turn to be ignored in favor of the parent.

Shigaraki’s eye widened, showing the red lines that clung to the edges of the white as dark as his iris. “Not your baby?”

“You know damn well whose litter that is,” Katsuki said. His chest burned as it struggled to suck in oxygen. The sheet beneath his hand smoldered. “Put him back. I’m not telling you again.”

Shigaraki turned back to the baby and pushed aside a few light strands of green hair. “What’s his name?”

“None of your business. Put him down.”

“Do you not know?” Shigaraki asked. His fingers curled in and put his other hand over top of him. Katsuki jerked up, only stopping when he heard a small whine from inside Shigaraki’s hands. “Interesting. Maybe this is the expendable one.”

Shigaraki’s hand shifted.

Katsuki’s voice choked as he tried to scream out the answer. His mouth hung open in shame and his arms shook as he held the edge of the bed.

He didn’t know which one it was.

Deku picked the names.

Katsuki had agreed to three random ones.

He knew the names.

But—think! Think. Which was which?

Katsuki looked away from the hands covering the child and he dropped his gaze to the breathing tube. It led to the center of the unit—the middle child.

“Nori!” Katsuki yelled as Shigaraki’s finger twitched. He sucked in air and said it again. “Nori. That’s Nori. Put him down.”

Shigaraki lifted his arm and revealed Nori. The baby made small cries with lungs that weren’t finished forming. He spread his fingers wider, farther from the child and Katsuki did not relax.

He would not until Shigaraki put Nori down.

“Nori,” Shigaraki repeated. He petted the babe’s head one last time before he stretched his arm and leaned over, setting him back into the incubator. He tapped the top of the unit with his finger over Nori’s head once and his hand went to scratch at his neck. Shigaraki strode away from the machine and paused near Katsuki’s bed. He stared straight ahead, still not entirely there. “I’ll remember that.”

The anger burned in his chest. Katsuki threw himself forward, using the back of Dabi’s shoulder as a brace and grabbed Shigaraki by the sleeve. “Why are you really here? To scare me? A show of force? What is it?”

Shigaraki’s expression remained hidden behind his mask. “I wanted to see the babies.”

Katsuki let go of his sleeve and dropped his hand in his lap. His voice cracked. “What the hell?”

“Let’s go, Dabi,” Shigaraki said.

Kurogiri’s portal opened and the Villain leader walked through without another word.

Dabi got off the bed and put his hands in his pockets. He looked over his shoulder at the incubators. His face was impossible to read, having returned to a blank stare that presented boredom. “We’ll be seeing you, I’m sure.”

The two disappeared behind the flash of the Warp Gate.

Katsuki grabbed his pillow and screamed into it.

When he caught his breath he stumbled out of bed and hissed as his stitches stretched across his belly. His bare feet hit the freezing floor and he crossed the distance to the waiting incubators.

Every breath hurt.

But all three of the babes were in their place.

Nori scrunched his face, awake and irritated. Katsuki put his hands on the side of the incubator and looked at his siblings. Toshihiro, the oldest, slept with shallow breaths. The youngest, Youji, had woken during the fuss but stayed quiet. He watched his wriggling brother Nori, attracted to the flinging limbs.

“We’re off to a great start, aren’t we?” Katsuki whispered. His fingers twitched and pressed his hands flat on the glass top. “What sort of parent lets a monster hold his kid before he’s even touched them?”

His knees failed him and Katsuki dropped into the chair Deku used.

Nori continued to shift with a frown plastered on his face. Shigaraki had put him down on a bump in the blanket and Katsuki bit his lip.

He reached into the warm heat of the incubator and hesitated over the baby. Katsuki’s hand hovered and he closed his eyes and counted to ten. His fingers drew closer and nudged the little body back into the dip of the blankets with the tip of his finger. Nori settled on his own with a twist and Katsuki took his hand back.

Katsuki’s fingers tingled where they’d touched Nori’s skin, warm and delicate.

“Fuck I’m glad Deku has his act together,” Katsuki said, laughing—the sound harsh and grating to his own ears. “And why wouldn’t he? He’s living his dream.”

Nori smacked the blanket with a fist. He made little grunts turning his head toward Katsuki.

He was listening.


Katsuki kept talking.

“Yeah, if I didn’t know him, I’d think he planned it. Maybe it’s the universe trying to make things up to him after eleven years of being Quirkless,” Katsuki said. He hung his head and put his hands in his hair, the adrenaline from Shigaraki still humming in his veins. The bitterness came back easy, forcing itself back to the surface and sticking in his throat. “It gave him everything he’s ever wanted. Deku got the mate that he’s been chasing since he presented. He got the kids he’s wanted for just as long.

“Fuck, he even got rid of his major competition for the number one spot.” Katsuki growled under his breath. “No one else wants to take it from him.”

A cry came from his left.

He felt his eye twitch and jerked his eye to the side. Toshihiro woke up—he’d been talking too loud. It was late. What was Katsuki thinking? They needed sleep and they’d already been interrupted by Shigaraki.

“Don’t do that,” Katsuki said. He rested his head against the side of the incubator, staring down through the tinted glass. Toshihiro heaved and made small cries, muffled by the breathing tube and struggling though his still growing lungs. “But I should get used to that. With parents that cry as much as Deku and I do, there’s no way you three won’t be crybabies, too.”

Toshihiro whined and Nori followed his example. At least Youji stayed quiet, still content to stare at his brother.

“Maybe if you’re lucky you’ll be like me and only one person will ever catch you doing it, instead of like Deku who loves wearing his feelings on his sleeves.”

The eldest of the three cried louder, straining his undeveloped lungs.

“Come on, you’re going to hurt yourself,” Katsuki said, hating the whine in his own voice. His stomach hurt, he had no idea what the fuck had been going on with Shigaraki and Dabi, his kids were upset, and it all happened on the one night Deku went back to their apartment to prepare the nursery for a preemie litter that needed extra care neither of them knew anything about. “Stop.”

Katsuki felt like crying himself.

“You’re going to make me do something about it, aren’t you?” Toshihiro and Nori both fussed, crying louder and thumping their tiny fists. Youji worried him, the only quiet one of the three. Did that mean something was wrong? Or was he just the easy one? Whatever he was, his two brothers continued to beg for attention. Katsuki deflated. “You are.”

He’d watched Deku calm them earlier. Gentle rubs on their head and arms did wonders to help. They liked being touched. Katsuki could do that. He wanted to make them stop crying.

Katsuki rubbed his fingers together on his sweaty palms and—sweat.

The babies continued to cry and he stared at his hands. His sweat contained Nitroglycerine. Premature babies had delicate, sensitive skin. Extended contact with Katsuki’s sweat was bad even for adults. Who knew what it would do to them?

Katsuki felt nauseous.

He shouldn’t touch the litter with his bare hands. What if he poisoned them or drugged them on accident? How had the doctors not thought about that? Shouldn’t they have warned him before he figured it out on his own? They stuck Katsuki in the room with his litter so he’d be closer and have all that close contact they thought he was doing.

How did they forget about Katsuki’s Quirk?

But then again.

Katsuki hadn’t paid much attention to anything the doctors had said since he’d woken up. It’d all been white noise as he looked their direction but let his mind wander. Deku had been listening. He was the only one that needed to pay attention.

And Deku hadn’t been pushy about making Katsuki touch the babies. The Alpha claimed he didn’t care if Katsuki hated them or wanted nothing to do with them, but he did that thing where he gently nudged Katsuki toward them—whether it was helping pick out decorations or names.

If he wanted Katsuki to touch the litter, he would have asked.

But he hadn’t and for all he knew, the doctors had warned them about the chemicals in his sweat.

He gripped his hand into a fist.

No sense worrying about it now.

He’d caught it in time.

Maybe his instincts were finally kicking in the way they were supposed to.

The babies continued to cry and Katsuki groaned into his hands while he figured out what to do. He couldn’t touch them directly, but that still left him other options.

“I’ll improvise,” Katsuki said. He swallowed and breathed out. “Don’t get upset if I screw this up.”

Katsuki used the blankets as a barrier between his hands and the children, cradling them tighter in the warm fabric. He bit back his fear and rubbed them as gently as he could until they settled, falling back asleep to the gentle rocking.

“That’s better.”

Katsuki put his hands on his knees and slumped in the chair, stretching his legs out. He looked down and winced at the red spotting on his hospital gown. He plucked at the top and spotted the torn stitch. It wasn’t bad enough for him to bother a nurse.

He watched his kids sleep.

A couple nurses stood outside Kacchan’s room. They giggled into their hands, pointing into the doorway.

Izuku approached slowly and shifted his new care books under one arm. The nurses were too caught up staring into the room to notice him. They both jumped when he asked, “Is there a problem?”

“Deku!” One of them shouted. She covered her mouth and lowered her voice again while her friend ducked he head into the room. The nurse whispered, “Sorry! It was just. Well, see for yourself.”

They stepped back and Izuku popped his head inside the doorway to see what had caught their attention: Kacchan had fallen asleep on one of the incubators with his head cradled in his folded arms.

“It’s so cute,” the nurse said. Izuku looked back at them and she cleared her throat. “We’ll just leave you to wake him up. Let us know if you need anything.”

Izuku stepped into the room and set the books on the edge of Kacchan’s bed. The books nudged the blankets aside and revealed scorch marks on the fabric. The unmade bed looked rough, like the sheets had been shoved aside in a hurry.

“Kacchan?” Izuku asked. He walked over to his mate in the chair and put his hand on his shoulder. He shook Kacchan. “Wake up.”

The Omega cracked an eye open and swallowed twice to clear his throat. “Deku.”

“Why’d you sleep over here, Kacchan?” Izuku asked, his eyes looking his mate over. He spotted blood on his gown and his heart skipped, but Izuku managed to keep his calm. “Did something happen?”

Kacchan stared at him for a long time. The bags under his eyes reminded him of Shinsou, heavy and full of weight.

It took him another minute to answer and Kacchan slipped away from the incubator. He stared at their children and mumbled, “They wouldn’t stop crying.”

“Why didn’t you call a nurse?” Izuku asked. He squeezed Kacchan’s shoulder. “They said they’d help in case the litter needed extra care.”

“I wanted to it myself.”

“Did you help them? Izuku asked.

“Yeah,” Katsuki said. He waved his finger at the crumbled blankets. “Rocked them til they stopped.”

“I bet they liked that,” Izuku asked. He tugged on Kacchan’s gown and swallowed. “I think you tore a stitch. We should get that looked at.”


Kacchan stood up, wincing as he held his stomach. Izuku exhaled and resisted the urge to hold his arm and help him walk to the wheelchair sitting next to the bed. He sat in the chair and smacked the nurse call button.

One of the two giggling nurses from before stepped inside and asked how she could help.

Izuku stood back and inched over to the incubators. He looked at the litter and couldn’t see anything wrong.

But the sheets had been burned.

Kacchan looked horrible.

What had happened?

Chapter Text

Deku waited a week before he asked about the burnt sheets.

Katsuki lied and said, “The crying startled me awake.”

He kept his eyes down and to the side while he said it, rubbing his fingers back and forth against his hospital gown. Katsuki snuck a glance at Deku’s scarred back hidden behind his shirt to reinforce the act of shame.

Deku’s sad smile said it worked.

The Alpha let the subject drop the same way he had every other time Katsuki’s Quirk sparked without his permission, which was for the best.

Whatever drama lingered over Katsuki, Dabi, and Shigaraki was best kept to the three of them.

And if the League did turn out to be a threat, he didn’t need Deku to protect his kids.

Katsuki would never be caught off guard like that again.

“Isn’t it exciting, Kacchan?” Deku asked, looking over his shoulder. Katsuki pushed Dabi and his Alpha to the back of his mind and looked at his own. Deku grinned bright so wide Katsuki’s cheeks hurt looking at him. “The litter gets to go home the same time as you do.”

The three brats had been breathing on their own without assistance for two days with no complications. They were still small, but they were cleared to go home with their parents. Deku had been beside himself in excitement when they were told and Katsuki counted down the minutes to his own discharge.

If he was going to sit around doing nothing, he’d rather do it on his own couch instead of in a hospital bed hooked up to monitors and nurses constantly checking if he was healing properly or if there was anything they missed from the rough birth.

Deku sat in the chair and scooted closer to the hospital crib the litter had been moved into after they confirmed they could support themselves. He reached his hand inside and plucked Nori out of the blankets.

Katsuki saw Shigaraki holding the boy in the dark for a flash before he replaced it with the comforting sight of Deku cradling the little one to his chest.

“I wish it was easier to hold all three at once,” Deku said, rubbing his hand across Nori’s back. The baby shifted and squirmed, nuzzling Deku’s collarbone. Nori blinked and looked around, waving his thumb in the air. “I don’t want any of them to feel left out.”

He didn’t know why Deku was worrying about things like that. They weren’t old enough to care and wouldn’t be for some time.

Katsuki dreaded the upcoming years where they would have to worry about favoritism and sibling rivalry.

The fact they both came from single child homes did not help them, either.

Katsuki turned away from Deku playing with the babies and pulled the blanket up over his shoulder. Happy to lie on his side again, he closed his eyes and did his best to stay comfortable on the hospital mattress.

“Are you going to sleep already, Kacchan? It’s only six.”

He grunted in response, pulling the blanket higher to hide him from the room. Katsuki covered his head with his arms. “Yes. Don’t bother me.”

Toshihiro woke up and cried for Deku’s attention as Katsuki drifted off.

He slept through it.

Kacchan’s postpartum depression hadn’t gotten better.

After nearly a month, the symptoms continued to strangle Kacchan until he was a gaunt shadow of his former self. He’d been more well adjusted and held together back after he lost his license than the exhausted, distracted Omega he’d turned into that spent most of his day half awake with a blank expression.

Staying in the hospital the entire time while he recovered from surgery and the premature birth had to have made it worse.

Izuku hoped they could get more information at their doctor’s appointment when they were discharged. Hopefully Kacchan liked his doctor enough to trust him if they recommended medication or a regimen to help work through it.

At the very least, going home to a familiar environment was sure to perk Kacchan up a little.

“Are you ready to go, Kacchan?” Izuku asked. He finished packing up the last of their things from the small hospital suite and threw the bag over his shoulder. Kacchan rubbed his stomach where the stitches had been removed and said he was done. “Great. I hope your appointment doesn’t take too long. I can’t wait to take our kids home this evening.”

“So you’ve mentioned,” Kacchan said, walking by Izuku and into the hallway with his hands in his pockets. He yawned wide without covering his mouth and shook his hair out. “Multiple times.”

“Because it’s still true,” Izuku said. He tapped fast after Kacchan after touching each of his children one last time before he left the room. Izuku caught up and grabbed Kacchan’s arm to tug his hand out of his pocket. The Omega rolled his eyes but held Izuku’s hand as they walked down the hallway. “They’re going to be home!”

Kacchan squeezed his hand but didn’t say anything.

They left the hospital together and headed to the doctor’s office in silence. Kacchan looked to have a thousand things on his mind and Izuku let him think in the fresh air.


The Doc handed a slip with the prescription to Deku and Katsuki felt an ugly laugh bubble in his chest. He barely caught it before it could slip out and give away the full extent of his disbelief.

The Doc shared the cosmic joke of Katsuki getting suppressants from him with a wry smile and the look in his eye as he caught Katsuki’s gaze.

He handled it like a professional and Deku was still none the wiser to their past history.

“Dealing with a full Heat after major abdominal surgery would be ill advised, so it’s a low dose designed to keep your Heat at bay until your incision heals. It won’t suppress your Heat entirely, but it will lessen the severity a great deal. You will still experience arousal, but if you take things slow, gentle sex should be alright should you two feel so inclined,” Doc said. He flicked his snake tongue out and patted Katsuki on the thigh. “But more importantly, the suppressants should also help with your postpartum depression by reducing the amount of hormones fueling it.”

Katsuki stared at the drug script.


It felt like a lifetime since he’d last used those.

He had spent years hiding in the shadows and visiting the worst parts of town undercover to procure that shit and now he had a prescription for it.

Katsuki’s mother would never believe him.

“Hopefully the combination of suppressants, rest, and a familiar environment will help manage the symptoms, but if you continue to suffer as badly as you have been, we may look into other medication,” the Doc continued. He reached over to a cabinet and opened it, pulling out a weekly pill organizer. “This should help make sure you remember to take the pills on time. It’s easy to miss doses when depression is severe enough.”

“Thanks,” Katsuki said, letting the displeasure show in his tone. He didn’t need a stupid box to remind him when to take the things. He had years of practice under his belt. “Can I go home now?”

“You sure can,” Doc said. He leaned back in his chair, his smile wistful. He patted the exam bed and flicked his tongue. “I want to see you back in a month to follow up.”

“We’ll make the appointment,” Deku said. He hopped out of the waiting chair and picked up the pill organizer. “Thank you again.”

“Take care of yourselves, you two.” Doc opened Katsuki’s file and pulled out his pen to jot down a few notes in the margins. “I’ll see you in a month.”

Katsuki hopped off the exam bed, glad he had been allowed to keep his clothes for the visit. “See you later.”

Deku filled the prescription over the phone and confirmed it’d be ready by the time they picked up the litter from the hospital.

Katsuki couldn’t wait for the day to be over with.

He wanted to sleep in his own bed and forget about the kids for one last night before he faced his new life as a parent.

There was no way to hide from it when it would only be Katsuki, Deku, and the kids in the house without any sort of hospital staff as a buffer.

The thought made his stomach twist.

Katsuki hoped the kids would forgive his mistakes when they grew older.

Izuku’s heart swelled with joy seeing his and Kacchan’s three little ones tucked safe and sound in their crib.

He took a silent photo with his phone and noted the file name in the journal open on the changing table under the entry “First night at home!” so he’d know where to stick the print later. Izuku bit his lip and stuck his head into the bedroom across the hall and risked his life to snap a pick of Kacchan asleep. His Omega had his hand resting on his bare stomach. Kacchan’s fingers touched the edge of his scar and his mouth hung open just enough to part his lips.

He looked adorable.

Kacchan scrunched his nose in his sleep and rolled over as if he knew his mate was sneaking photos.

Izuku bit his lip and turned the phone off. He checked the small heater in the room to make sure the temperature was correct. The baby monitors were also on and working, though he was sure with the open doors between the nursery and the master bedroom, they’d hear the litter when they woke up wanting their next meal.

He lingered another few minutes to watch them sleep, still in disbelief they were home and so very real.

Izuku had waited his entire life for this.

To have Kacchan as his very own.

To have a family.

The road had been rougher than anything he had predicted and he knew it there was a good chance it would never get any easier, but Izuku didn’t mind.

Izuku and Kacchan were meant to be together.

The proof slept gently in their crib.

Their litter, however, were not the only ones that needed their sleep. As much as Izuku would have liked to watch them all night, he needed to get his own sleep while he could. He and Kacchan would have short nights for another five to six months as the babies woke on their own every few hours wanting their parents. Sometime during Izuku’s week off for paternity leave, he and Kacchan needed to make a schedule to trade off who’d be getting up at the sound of their cries.

Izuku suspected he might be the only one on the list, but even that thought made him smile.

Kacchan wasn’t like other mates and Izuku wouldn’t trade him for anything.

The familiar, sugary sweet Scent of roses greeted him as Izuku slipped under the sheets and wrapped his arms around Kacchan.

His mate woke up from the gentle nudge and rolled over, still half asleep and lethargic. “What took you?”

“Had to tuck the kids in,” Izuku whispered. He nuzzled Kacchan and exhaled as he closed his eyes. He rested his cheek against his Omega’s head and spoke into his hair. “Let’s hope they stay asleep for a bit.”

“They won’t.” Kacchan nipped his neck and huffed. “Our stay in the hospital proves otherwise.”

“They cried a lot, didn’t they?” Izuku pressed his nose into Kacchan’s hair. “They take after us that way.”

“I said the same thing.”

Izuku snorted and hugged Kacchan tighter. “I don’t think it’s a bad thing.”

“Speak for yourself.”

“I am.”

Kacchan bit him again. “Go to sleep, Deku.”

Izuku would, but he had one more thing he wanted to ask in the safety of their shared bed with no one else to overhear the answer: “Hey, Kacchan.”


“Do you hate our litter?”

He squeezed Kacchan tighter as he waited on an answer.

“Does it matter?” Kacchan asked. Izuku felt his hot breath on his neck and Kacchan pulled his knees up as he got more comfortable. “You said you didn’t care.”

“I don’t.” Izuku put his hand in Kacchan’s hair and brushed his fingers through it. “But I am curious.”

Kacchan took so long to answer, Izuku had thought he fell back asleep, but the tiny whisper left his lips all the same: “No, I don’t hate them.”

Izuku smiled into Kacchan’s hair.

“I’m a little miffed none of them look like me, though,” Katsuki said. He pinched Deku’s side and the Alpha giggled in response, rolling away from him. Katsuki sat up on his elbow, more awake than he wanted to be. “We got two with green hair and one with brown. Three kids and not a single one is blond. How is that fair?”

“Don’t worry, Kacchan,” Deku said. He kissed Katsuki’s head and he could feel the smug grin stretch in the strands of his hair. “I’m sure they’ll take after you in personality to make up for it.”

Katsuki shivered and relaxed against Deku’s side. He could hear the screams of “old hag” from his own memories and covered his eyes with his hand to groan. “I sure hope not. I was a monster as a child.”

“You weren’t that bad.”

“I beat the shit out of you when we were like five.”

“I maintain my statement.”

“You would,” Katsuki said. He tapped his fingers against Deku’s chest and looked up to the open door. He could see the crib through the open door and licked his lips. “At least we have plenty of willing babysitters and grandparents to throw them at when we need a break.”

“We do.”

Deku sounded too smug when he’d repeated Katsuki’s slip of “we.”

“Go to sleep, nerd.”


He kissed Katsuki on the side of the head and relaxed into the sheets. His breathing evened out and the Alpha fell asleep.

Katsuki stayed awake and when he felt safe enough, he slipped out of bed and walked across the hallway.

The three brats were as fast asleep as their Alpha, swaddled in their blankets so they would stay on their backs through the night. Katsuki put his hand on the crib siding and watched them.

Toshihiro. Nori. Youji.

His kids.

“You three are going to be such trouble,” Katsuki whispered. He reached down and brushed the back of his thumb over Nori’s forehead. “But you’re not the worst thing to happen to me.”

How they were brought into the world was up there on the list, but he couldn’t say the same of the kids themselves.

“I can’t promise I’ll be a good dad.” Katsuki swallowed the knot in his throat and pulled his hand back. “But I’ll do my best not to hurt you and make sure no one else does either. I can do that much.”

It’s what Heroes did.

He stayed there and continued to watch the three sleep. It was no surprise when Deku woke up, sensing his mate’s absence. The sheets rustled in the other room as the sleepy Alpha crawled out of bed.

Katsuki smelled cedar and leaned back into Deku’s chest as the Alpha wrapped his arms around him. Deku rested his chin on Katsuki’s shoulder and rubbed his thumb across Katsuki’s flat stomach.

“They’re beautiful, aren’t they?” Deku whispered. He pressed his face into Katsuki’s neck. Deku kissed him over his mark. “I love you four so much.”

He meant every word.

Katsuki tapped his head against the Alpha’s and closed his eyes.

“Come to bed with me, Kacchan,” Deku whispered.

Katsuki turned around and put his hands on either side of Deku’s cheeks. He expected lust, but saw only affection. Katsuki kissed Deku’s temple. “Okay.”

The litter gave their parents peace for three hours before Youji woke up crying, inciting his brothers to join him.

Katsuki laughed to himself as Deku dragged himself out of bed with a groan to calm them down and stop their tears.

He settled back into the bed and fell asleep as Deku spoke to them with loving words.

When the morning came, Katsuki knew he would have a few of his own to share.