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Reparations

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Childish laughter filtered through the trees as Izuku ran through the brush. His mother had told him not to wander too far from their village, but he was four, curious, and there was a very colorful butterfly leading him into the unknown. He stumbled after it, catching himself on a fallen tree trunk as it fluttered over and out of sight.

 

He reached up and struggled to pull himself over the trunk. Curious emerald eyes met intense ruby and he let out a small yelp of surprise. Another young boy, on the log’s opposite side, teetered backwards and fell, landing on his butt.

 

Izuku stared down, over the trunk at the top of the blond child’s head.

 

The boy glared up at him, eyes alight with a fiery anger Izuku had never seen in a person before. “What the fuck are you doing here?!”

 

Izuku covered his mouth and then quickly moved them to his ears, scandalized by the sudden foul language. “Y-You aren’t supposed to say words like that!”

 

“Says who?” The other boy stood up and dusted off his pants. He must not have expected an answer because he kept talking, “Get down here.”

 

Izuku put one leg over the log and hung, suspended in the air for a moment before dropping completely down.

 

He stumbled, but the other boy grabbed onto the back of his shirt, righting him.

 

“You’re in my territory and you knocked me down! I demand reparations!” The younger boy held out a hand, expectantly.

 

Izuku, confused by the foreign word and the gesture, placed his own hand in the boy’s. He stared at him, waiting to see if that had been the desired response. The stranger’s cheeks filled with a little color, but his hand still closed around Izuku’s. “That’s wrong. Well, whatever... My name is Bakugou Katsuki. I’m from the Myastan Clan to the north.”

 

Izuku’s eyes widened in excitement. “You’re a dragonborn?!” He peered behind Katsuki. “But where’s your tail and wings?” He leaned in closer to examine his face. “Do you have scales?”

 

Katsuki’s face reddened. “I don’t have any of that stuff! My clan is far enough removed from our dragon ancestry that nobody has any of those physical features. Well, not unless they want to... Also, you didn’t tell me your name yet, dumbass. You’re really rude!”

 

Izuku smiled and pointed to himself. “I’m Midoriya Izuku! I came from the human village in the valley.”

 

“Yeah, no shit.” Katsuki looked around warily. “You really shouldn’t be here. Hasn’t anybody warned you about this place? I mean, they must have, since you knew I was a dragonborn and all.”

 

Izuku’s face lit up with remembrance. “Oh yeah! The butterfly!” He started looking around, eyes skimming the trees. “I was chasing a really pretty one and I guess it got away.”

 

“You sure it wasn’t a fairy or something? They’re pretty good at luring people in here to die.”

 

Izuku tilted his head, thoughtful. “I wouldn’t know. I’ve never met one before.”

 

Katsuki turned around and pulled Izuku forward by the hand. “You have no experience with any of the dangers you might meet in these woods, so it’s impossible for you to stay. I’ll take you to the edge of the forest and then send you home.”

 

Izuku whined, “But I just got here! And I just met you! You have experience with the dangers. Can’t I just stay with you?”

 

Katsuki paused and looked back at him. He seemed to be mulling it over. “Well, maybe for a little bit. But I’m sending you back before the sun starts to go down.”

 

Izuku beamed at his new friend, bouncing over to pull him into a hug. “Awesome! What do you want to play first?”

 

Katsuki took a step back, pulling himself out of Izuku’s grasp, a little stunned at how overly familiar the human boy was being. But the moment did nothing to deter him from coming up with a suggestion, “How about hide and seek?”





The boys spent the rest of the day running about, ducking into hollowed out trees and hiding in bushes. Katsuki’s keen scent made it all too easy to find Izuku’s location.

 

He almost missed him once, when his green hair made him seamlessly blend into some shrubbery. It was an odd but not unpleasant color. Katsuki wouldn’t be surprised if some of the humans from Izuku’s village were long descended from fae or elven folk.

 

When Katsuki saw the first few signs of the sky dimming, he paused their game. “It’s time for you to go home, Izuku.”

 

The boy emerged from under the tendrils of a weeping willow. A healthy amount of the tree’s thin leaves stuck out from his hair. He looked like some sort of forest spirit or dryad.

 

“But, Kacchan,” Katsuki didn’t mind that he had shortened his name. It was a little endearing. Plus, he couldn’t really pronounce ‘Katsuki’ correctly just yet, “I still want to play.”

 

Katsuki pinched Izuku’s nose. “No. I said I’d take you back before the sun starts to go down. You need to leave now.”

 

Izuku rubbed at his nose. “Then… Can we play again?”

 

Katsuki looked at his green eyes, watery with the beginnings of tears. It was like stumbling upon a river in the forest. While it was pretty to look at, Katsuki had been warned not to fall in. He sighed and took his hand. “Okay, but we need to be secretive about it.”



 

Izuku followed his usual trail up and into the woods. He made his way to the fallen log, taking note of how much moss had grown on its back since the first time he’d been there and waited for Kacchan.

 

He tried to recall just how many times they had met up like this already. None of the other kids in his village ever wanted to play with him, so the times he was allowed to sneak away and play with Kacchan were the times he looked forward to the most.

 

He didn’t understand it.

 

Why his mother was so upset.

 

Why his father wasn’t around as much anymore.

Why the other villagers ignored him or even made fun of him.

 

All because of some strange o-word.

 

He shook his head, to clear his thoughts. He leaned on the log and looked up, startled to find that Kacchan was peering down at him overhead, watching closely from above.

 

Izuku smiled up at him, but Kacchan didn’t return the gesture. Instead, he leapt down and stood in front of him. “You need to leave. Now.”

 

Izuku frowned. “Is today no good?”

 

Kacchan’s eyebrows knit together and he shook his head. “No. You need to leave and you can’t come back.”

 

Izuku’s legs trembled.

 

What did he mean?

 

Weren’t they friends?

 

Had he found out?

 

“Is it because…” Kacchan looked at him a little unnerved by his indignant tone and the warble in his voice, “Is it because I’m an omega?”

 

Kacchan’s face contorted. “That certainly doesn’t help.” Something smelled like smoke. Izuku looked down and caught sight of flashing lights coming from the hands at Kacchan’s sides. “But it has more to do with what I am.” Kacchan looked at him with resolve. “I’m an alpha and a dragonborn. You aren’t supposed to be in our territory. I shouldn’t have let you in here.”

 

“But I already knew you were a dragonborn. I don’t understand. What does being an alpha mean?”

 

“It means I’m destined for greatness.” The sparking noise Kacchan’s hands were making grew louder. “And if I want to achieve greatness, I can’t have any distractions or break any clan laws. So you need to leave. For good.”

 

“But… Kacchan,” Izuku reached out and tried to take his hand.

 

“Get away, Deku!” A small explosion erupted from Kacchan’s palm, pushing Izuku backwards. He collided with the log and cradled the affronted hand in his lap, the blast having left a small burn.

 

Tears welled up in his eyes as he got up and raced past Kacchan, sprinting for home. His legs pumped as fast as they could carry him.

 

Kacchan had called him Deku .

 

With what little dragonborn speak Kacchan had taught him, he knew it was an insult. He had been called useless. A person who can’t achieve anything.

 

The moment continued to flash through his head as he tried to process what had just happened.

 

Kacchan’s hands had sparked and had made explosions.

 

Kacchan could use magic.

 

Kacchan had turned that power against him.

 

Kacchan was a dragonborn.

 

What that truly meant finally dawned on him, but it wasn’t as painful as the next realization.

 

Kacchan no longer wanted anything to do with him.

 

Chapter Text

“Are you sure you’re going to be alright?” Izuku’s mother clutched his hands firmly, her eyes seeking comfort in her son’s face.

 

Izuku kept his gaze steady and locked onto his mother’s, thinking about just how tall he was now that he had to peer down at her. Compared to other families in the village, they were both rather small, but the realization that he towered over her, made his heart sink in a weird way.

 

He pulled her into a hug, running his fingers through her hair and taking in her scent one last time. “I’m going to be fine. I’ve packed plenty of supplies and I was fairly persistent in asking the huntsmen in town for survivalist tips.”

 

Inko flushed a little. “I know. I received quite a lot of complaints about my cheeky omega son thinking he can learn alongside their best alpha and beta students,” she teased him a little pulling at his cheek. Her face saddened, “But, I guess, when you didn’t present they just sort of gave up on treating you like an omega.”

 

That was a softer answer. Izuku would never tell her about all the times he had to learn from the herbalist by eavesdropping on the lessons she gave her apprentices, or every time the village’s top fighter threw him out of the training ring where he toughened up the most promising alphas.

 

Most of his training had actually been done through observation and self-practice. But that wasn’t information he’d ever burden his mother with. She had a hard enough time raising an omega son, let alone one who never presented.

 

At age twenty, Izuku still hadn’t received his first heat, causing many of the alphas in town to become off put by him. He was considered defective and the counsel that governed their small community had deemed him a bad omen, highly encouraging him to leave, although never outright stating it. An omega that never went into heat couldn’t possibly mate and was considered barren.

 

But it wasn’t a terrible idea to leave the village. He would definitely miss his mother, but at least his father might visit her more often if he wasn’t around.

 

And he didn’t really fancy coupling with anybody in their village anyway. The alphas around his age were constantly wearing him down with abuse and the ones that might have fancied him took offense to his heat never reciprocating their intentions to mate.

 

He gripped the straps of his backpack a little tighter and took a deep breath. He couldn’t cry in front of his mother. She was already stifling sobs and this parting couldn’t handle anymore tears. She stood on tiptoes and kissed him on the cheek. “You be careful, okay? And, maybe if it isn’t too much trouble, send a letter? We don’t get post here much, but some other villages have a system for that sort of thing. Or tame a falcon and have it deliver it... or...Oh, Izuku!” She wrapped her arms around him again and he patted her head.

 

Eventually, her muffled sobs came to an end and she pulled away.

 

“I’m sorry,” Her guilty apology sent a painful jolt through him. He didn’t want his mother to think this was her fault.

 

“Mom,” He made sure they were looking into each other’s eyes. “I love you. Thank you for everything.” The words seemed to soothe her guilt, understanding that he truly meant it.

 

He stepped away from her and with a final farewell wave, Izuku turned into the forest, trying desperately not to look back.





It had been some time since Izuku had last entered the woods. He had been ten when he finally stopped coming to search for his childhood friend. He hadn’t even known him a full year and the trauma of their final fight had left a huge mark on his heart. But that didn’t stop Izuku in his youth from entering the foreign territory every now and again to see if he could catch a glimpse of sunlit hair or fiery red eyes.

 

He sighed, pushing the thoughts back, as he carefully stepped over an old rotting tree trunk. He began wondering how far he could get from the village before nightfall. Just as he was solidifying the distance he planned to travel before he would need to set up camp, a small glowing light dancing between the trees caught his eye.

 

He squinted, transfixed, and saw the outline of wings.

 

A butterfly?

 

He moved closer to it, curiosity getting the best of him. The light’s dance came to an end as it noticed Izuku’s intentions to approach and it quickly fluttered deeper into the woods.

 

Having no particular direction, he was heading in, Izuku decided to simply follow the path the light had carved out.

 

It was simple at first, following its movements from his peripheral, but soon the light picked up speed and darted among the trees faster and faster. Izuku found himself chasing after it with reckless vigor, stumbling into brooks and haphazardly knocking into low tree branches as he went.

 

Eventually, the trees thinned out and he found himself panting in an open clearing. He dropped to his knees, exhausted with the pursuit.

 

Why had he felt the need to expend useless energy on that endeavor again?

 

He wiped the sweat from his brow as he mumbled a scolding to himself. A rustle behind him made his lips stall and suddenly the grove was all too quiet. He stood up and looked around with caution, his eyes darting to a fro.

 

He opened his mouth and tried to pick up any nearby scents. Without a heat, his sense for it was weaker than most, but he could feel someone’s presence, watching him and waiting.

 

There was a loud explosion to his right and a snarl as a body torpedoed through the air and rammed into his side. Izuku felt the air leave his lungs as he was thrown down by the force of his attacker slamming him to the ground.

 

He choked on gulps of air as his lungs reacquainted themselves with breathing again. The person above him had one of his arms pinned against his back. His other hand was at the back of Izuku’s head, pushing his face into the dirt. “What the fuck are you doing in my territory? Huh!?”

 

Panic welled up in Izuku as the stranger pressed a knee painfully down into his back. “I’m just passing through!”

 

“Bullshit! I’ve been tracking you! You could have gone straight through, but you just barreled closer towards the center. You looking for a fight? You wanna get yourself killed?”

 

“No! I-” Izuku’s explanation caught in his throat as the stranger’s dominating and threatening alpha scent filled his nose. He gasped and went limp, shuddering and stifling a moan.

 

What was this?

 

What was happening?

 

The man seemed to notice the change in posturing, stiffening. “Are you… Are you going into heat?” The stranger pulled his hand back from Izuku’s head to cover his mouth. “What’s a human omega doing out here alone?” He grit his teeth. “Whatever. Going into heat isn’t gonna stop me from kicking your ass.”

 

Izuku felt his whole body start to boil with a fever he had never experienced before. He turned his head to look up at his captor. “Please, I don’t know how… I don’t know what to do. This has never happened before. I’m-”

 

“This is your first heat?” The man’s voice sounded surprised. Izuku felt his attacker shift above him so that he could turn Izuku over and look at him better. The glow of the sun outlined the stranger, keeping his face darkened and unseen.

 

With the remaining strength and will he still possessed, Izuku reached an arm down and unsheathed a small dagger he kept at his waist. He swiped it blindly at his opponent. The man avoided the full brunt of the flailed attack, grunting at a small gash opening up on his abdominals. But, in avoiding the full swing of the dagger, he released Izuku from beneath him.

 

Izuku stood up and turned to flee before something heavy once again crashed into him from behind. His battered body flew through the air and collided into a tree. Fearfully, from his position at its roots, he watched the man approach him, his hand clenching around the small scratch Izuku’s dagger had made.

 

His dagger!

 

Where had his dagger gone?

 

Did he drop it just now?

 

“You trespassed in my territory and drew my blood.” He held out a hand with a little of the offended, red liquid smeared on his palm, as if demanding Izuku’s attention. “I demand reparations or at the very least your head on a pike or something!”

 

Izuku’s hazy mind caught a glimpse of the stranger’s hair, gold with the sunlight dancing around his crown, and eyes, a vibrant, furious ruby.

 

Quickly losing the ability to think clearly, Izuku reached out and took the man’s hand, barely registering the blood sliding uncomfortably onto his own palm, “Kacchan?” He asked.

 

The man froze at the contact and made an indiscernible face at the name. “Deku?” was the last thing Izuku heard before closing his eyes and falling forward into Katsuki’s awaiting arms.

Chapter Text

Katsuki shifted the weight of Deku on his back as he climbed up a small but slippery slope.

 

There was no way he could take Deku into the heart of his clan’s territory right now, given that Deku had just claimed he was entering his first heat. And Katsuki wasn’t so heartless that he would just leave him where he’d fallen.

 

So, he lugged Deku’s unconscious body to a cave he frequented on occasion. It stood, embedded in a small outcropping. He used the place for shelter on hunting excursions. It was in a good position, close in proximity to a slowly moving stream where he often stopped to refill his watersack.

 

Once inside the cave, he gently laid Deku down on the cold earth. He shivered in his sleep, the floor’s temperature most likely a comfort to the fever overtaking him now.

 

Katsuki quietly exited the cave and started to pace atop the small precipice. He ran a hand through his hair, pausing once he reached the edge, “What the fuck.” He strode to the other side and paused again, “What the fuck ?” He ambled back to the mouth of the cave, stopping in his tracks for a third and final time, “ What the fuck!

 

Why was Deku passing through his clan’s territory?

 

Why was he still chasing after fairies at his age?

 

And, most importantly, why was his scent triggering Katsuki’s own rut?

 

He shifted on his feet, painfully aware of how tight his pants felt. None of his clanmates’ scents had ever aroused him this much, had made his mind this muddled and fixated on satisfying the needs of a desperate and distressed omega.

 

But he wasn’t an asshole and he prided himself on the discipline he had instilled in himself through intensive training. Even if he wasn’t thinking as clearly as usual, he was certain he could resist all of the primal urges that Deku’s heat was provoking in him.

 

“H-Hello?” Deku’s nervous voice reached his ears and he almost swore at how quickly his head spun, instincts naturally tuning into whatever his omega-

 

what the omega-

 

what Deku was feeling.

 

He reentered the cave and glared down at him. Deku’s body trembled under his gaze and Katsuki had to keep a firm grip on his own tensing muscles, so ready to release a swath of reassuring pheromones to quell the ensuing panic that lit up on Deku’s face. He tried to settle his nerves with words instead, “Calm down. I ain’t gonna do anything.”

 

Deku wrapped his arms around himself and shivered. “That’s a little hard to do right now, since my body doesn’t seem to be listening to me.” He wore a dazed expression. Katsuki had expected a thousand questions to pour out of Deku the moment he walked back into the cave. He was always too inquisitive for his own good. But he didn’t press for answers. The pain of his heat must have been the only thing occupying his mind. It didn’t really leave room for any type of happy reunion, not that Katsuki was gunning for that sort of thing anyway.

 

Katsuki huffed and plopped down in front of Deku. He leveled with him, “You know you can’t walk around like this, right?”

 

Deku flushed, not meeting his eyes. “I’m aware.”

 

Katsuki’s doubtful gaze lazily traveled the length of Deku’s spent body. “You really aren’t.” His eyes settled on Deku’s face. “What the fuck made you think it was an okay idea to just wander into the woods? You, an omegan human , going off on your own, without a pack or even a mate to watch your back? Do you realize how stupid that is? How unguarded that makes you?” Deku’s only response was his breath hitching. Katsuki changed his line of questioning, “How long does your heat last?”

 

Deku’s face scrunched up, stress and frustration coming off him in waves. “I don’t know! I’ve never had one before! Nobody thought I could get one!” He bared his teeth. From the look in his eyes, Katsuki could tell Deku was most likely unaware he was beginning to display aggressive behaviors.

 

Still, he was taken a aback by the outburst, and, not one to back down to anybody that showed him such brazen hostility, was quick to release his own pheromones to reestablish his dominance. He growled, his scent lashing out on cue, “Watch your tone!”

 

It backfired almost immediately, as Deku’s face twisted in pain, his legs curling up and into himself. His body released another wave of scent in response to Katsuki’s, the smell of grassy earth and the subtle hint of a storm before it breaks. It was comfort and it was pain. It was daylight and it was rain. It was a promise of something exciting. Katsuki’s mouth watered.

 

Startled by his body’s own reaction, he took out his frustration on Deku, “Stop that!”

 

“Stop what?” Deku’s pupils were dilated,  heavy with confusion and the desperate need for relief. Katsuki’s eyes widened as he realized his once-upon-a-time childhood friend really didn’t know what was happening to him or how to stop it.

 

Katsuki opened his mouth and breathed in deeply, trying to get a better gauge on Deku’s emotional state. Aside from the obvious initial wave of arousal, there was an unmistakable undertone of fear.

 

“You really don’t know how to quell it?” Katsuki prodded.

 

“If I did, I would have already done so.” Deku rested his head on his knees, tired and forlorn.

 

“Why didn’t your human village ever teach you how to deal with this sort of thing?”

 

Deku’s flared up, letting loose another outburst, “If I have to tell you that this is the first time I’ve ever presented one more time, I swear I’ll-”

 

Katsuki let out a low, cautionary rumble that made Deku shudder. “You’ll what?”

 

Even in his current state, Deku was stubborn. He let out a short snarl and finished his thought, “I’ll-I’ll combust or something! I don’t know.” He rubbed at his eyes. “Gods, it feels like I’m combusting from the inside out. I can’t even think right now. How do I stop this?”

 

Katsuki felt a twinge of pity for him. “Medicinal herbs are the best suppressors, but, I can’t take you to the heart of my clan, especially not like this. We’d have to worry about possibly encountering some unsavory individuals as soon as we got within one hundred feet of the city gate. It’s dangerous for you to be in heat in such a densely populated area.

 

“There’s one other option. You could form a bond,” Deku’s hand shot up and covered the back of his neck, eyeing Katsuki with renewed fear, “but I’m not willing to mate with just any old omega that throws its heat at me so you can relax already! ” He finished, bristling at the unspoken accusation.

 

Deku’s hand went down tentatively.

 

They sat there in silence for a good while, Katsuki, keeping occupied with all sorts of possible solutions running through his head, and Deku, panting rapidly, lashes fluttering, and cheeks growing red. Katsuki eyes followed him as Deku lied down, pressing his face to the cool surface of the cave floor once again. “What am I gonna do?”

 

There was another option, Katsuki knew, that wouldn’t completely get rid of the heat, but still make it bearable. If Katsuki decided to nest with Deku, it would, at the very least, make him less miserable, tricking his body into the promise of a future mate.

 

But it would also mean Katsuki would have to wrestle with his pride. He had never tried to nest before and he wasn’t completely confident that he’d be able to pull it off well enough to make much of a difference. He wasn’t exactly the nurturing type.

 

“Kacchan..?” A gentle touch jolted him out of his thoughts and he looked down to see Deku’s fingers lying over his clenched fist. The look on his face appeared distant, as if being awake for the past few minutes had finally woken up his heat again too. Honestly, Katsuki found it surprising Deku had even managed to stay semi-lucid enough to argue with him at all.

 

He pulled his hand away and nervously replied back with his own prompting, “Deku?”

 

Deku’s stare remained fixed on his face, but he didn’t move, his eyes possessing a glassy sheen that clued Katsuki in to his current mental state.

 

Deku was completely out of it.

 

Alright.

 

Well that settled it.

 

If Deku wasn’t going to be cognizant for the nesting, then he wouldn’t remember it. Ergo, there was nothing for Katsuki to worry about.

 

He allowed his heart to soften and started to slowly fill the enclosed space with a strong scent, laying a blanket of warmth and security over the inside of the cave. Deku’s body trembled against the floor, but his breathing slowly began to even out. He closed his eyes as if he was reveling in the ensuing calm.

 

Katsuki stood up and laid out his cape to be used as a blanket. He resituated Deku on top. He ran his fingers through the green mop of curly hair, undeterred by the growing layer of sweat soaking the strands. Deku instinctively tried to rise up a little into the caress. Katsuki felt the tug on his inner alpha’s heartstrings from observing the gesture. He allowed that feeling to take him over some more, providing him with a clearer understanding of what he needed to do. “I’ll be back with water in just a second,” Katsuki promised him, leaning down and leaving a small peck on his forehead.

 

He’d berate himself for his current behavior later, when he wasn’t on some sort of hormonal high.

 

Despite Deku’s whines of protest and the natural, instinctual pull that begged him to stay, he stepped away from the cave and headed down the slope to the riverside.

 

Katsuki inhaled the fresh air of the forest. He could still smell Deku’s scent lingering outside the cave’s entrance and briefly wondered how far his omegan scent radius stretched.

 

Would they be in danger if a creature or person lurking nearby caught wind and attempted to investigate?

 

Katsuki had purposely chosen this shelter because it was downwind from the clan, but other races called the forest home. While he was confident in besting anyone who tried to pick a fight, he still wouldn’t be able to stray very far for very long if he needed to hunt. It seemed like Deku had made preparations for a few days, but that wouldn’t last one person for very long, let alone two.

 

He sighed and dunked a watersack into the river.

 

First things first.

 

Deku needed water.

 

With the amount he was sweating out, he would die of thirst way before hunger or a nasty predator came a'scouting.

Chapter Text

Deku didn’t seem to notice the water being force fed to him in the slightest. Katsuki had pressed his lips to the rim of his watersack, but he didn’t seem inclined to drink any. He grit his teeth, frustrated at Deku’s current state of helplessness.

 

It wasn’t his fault.

 

He knew that.

 

But the small seed of worry that sprouted up every time the pleading omega pheromones lashed at his nose were choking him.

 

He knew he wasn’t cut out for this nesting thing. Bakugou Katsuki didn’t care for people. Bakugou Katsuki didn’t nurse people. More often than not, he was usually the one who sent people to fetch the aid of a cleric. Nesting required alphas to be delicate and empathetic and a whole lot of things he clearly was not.

 

He growled deep in his throat, as his eyes searched Deku’s sleeping face for an easy answer to the solution. The alpha in him craved to just coddle the man in his arms. But letting go of the control he had already been holding at bay seemed to be a very stupid decision to make. If he let instinct take over completely, and, rather than nesting, did something even remotely inappropriate...

 

He didn’t even want to think about it.

 

Deku’s hand came up and clenched the front of his shirt, startling him out of his thoughts. He pulled Katsuki downward with a surprising amount of strength for both an unconscious person and an omega. His face was so close.  He could feel Deku’s breath on his lips. His eyes widened in a feral understanding of what needed to be done.

 

He sipped from his watersack and brought his mouth down on Deku’s. The fist clenched in his shirt tightened as Deku gulped it down gratefully. Once empty, Katsuki tossed the watersack aside and laid down next to him, carefully sliding his arms around Deku’s waist and pulling him into his chest. Deku inhaled deeply, nose pressed against his collar. His body instantly relaxed against Katsuki, his hand unfurling but not pulling away.

 

The alpha inside Katsuki instructed his body on what to do next.  He settled his chin up against the juncture between Deku’s throat and shoulder, and nuzzled the space, purring against it soothingly. A sigh escaped Deku’s lips and Katsuki noticed in bewildered amazement as his shivering came to a complete stop.

 

Relief washed over Katsuki too as he settled in, closing his eyes to rest but not sleep. He still had to be wary against possible dangers approaching.





At some point, a shift in positions prompted Katsuki to open his eyes. The start of a new day was already sending streaks of light into the open mouth of the cave.

 

Deku was already sitting up next to him, his exhausted, detached expression staring out into the sunlight as if he resented the concept of day.

 

Katsuki turned into his hand and suppressed a snort.

 

Deku’s bed head was atrocious .

 

Startling at the noise, Deku’s eyes flicked over to him. He didn’t look particularly shocked or even interested in the fact that Katsuki had slept next to him all night, cradling him in his arms. He just looked… zoned out and incredibly drained.

 

“Uh…” Katsuki started to address him, “You good?”

 

Deku’s eyebrows bunched up a little, as if the language of Common was foreign to him. After a moment, his features smoothed out again and he just simply nodded.

 

“Are you usually like this in the morning or is this a heat thing? None of the omegas in my clan ever act like this,” he brushed aside a loose strand hanging over Deku’s face, “not that any of them ever leave their houses when they’re only the second day into their heat.”

 

As if he had finally finished fully processing Katsuki’s words and his intimate gesture, Deku gasped and pulled out of reach, scuttling backwards until his back rested against the wall of the cave. His hand went up to the back of his neck, checking his scent gland for any signs of blood.

 

Katsuki felt the cool chill of the morning replace the personable warmth of Deku’s face in his empty outstretched hand. He snarled and glared at him. “I told you, I won’t mark you!”

 

Deku looked at him in a panic, as if he was assessing a stranger, before recognition finally flickered deep in his eyes. “K-Kacchan?” he asked hesitantly.

 

Katsuki glared at him, propping his chin up on an elbow. “Who the fuck else?”

 

Deku shook his head. “Uh, nobody else! Um, I just had some strange dreams. That’s all. So it really is you...” His eyes came up to hold his gaze and the amount of determination Katsuki saw there made his heart skip a beat. “Of course, it couldn’t be anybody else.”

 

The amount of time Deku’s eyes bored into his would normally be considered a hierarchical taboo. Katsuki’s biology told him an omega was supposed to look away and know their place. But he found, contradictory to this, that his inner alpha seemed to really like Deku’s attention. It was preening, although he absolutely refused to show it.

 

Interest peaked, Katsuki experimentally let out a short but dominant noise, expecting Deku to flinch. He was both annoyed and intrigued to find his stare unwavering, as if he hadn’t even noticed Katsuki’s meager attempt at making him submit. Katsuki was beginning to understand just how ignorant Deku was to the most basic of alpha-omega body language.

 

Nevertheless, a flame lapped at the inner walls of his chest and he was surprised at how much he liked the idea of teaching Deku’s body to submit to him.  If there was one thing that Bakugou Katsuki liked in this world, it was a challenge.

 

“Oh!” The moment passed as Deku came to his senses turning away and blushing. “I should probably freshen up a bit. I think I’ve been sweating all night and…” He trailed off. He stood up shakily and pulled his jacket close to his nose. The faint red on his cheeks went a shade darker.

 

Katsuki’s scent was all over him.

 

Soaked into his hair and clothes. It was dulling his own scent very effectively, just as Katsuki had intended it to. He peered over and Katsuki made a smug face, pleasantly aware why Deku couldn’t finish his sentence. “If you want to freshen up, river’s that way.” Katsuki hitched his thumb towards the exit of the cave patronizingly.

 

“Of course it is,” Deku answered him with an equal amount of sass, “Technically, everything is, relative to us being inside the cave.”

 

Deku braced himself, like he half expected Katsuki to snap at him or growl in his usual surly manner, but, instead, Katsuki remained oddly stoic, “Not everything. Yours truly is right here.” He gestured to himself, causing Deku’s eyes to wander over his open chest, chiseled abs, and lower to the dipping v-shape of his pelvis, which in turn led to his…

 

Deku snapped his eyes back up to match Katsuki’s. “I-I’m going to bathe then!” He quickly declared and hurried outside, very obviously aware of Katsuki’s eyes trailing him from behind.

 

“Don’t drown!” Katsuki rolled over and wrapped himself up in his fur cowl, trying to seek out some semblance of that nice warm feeling Deku had taken with him.





Izuku stepped out of the cave and made his way down the small slope, careful as he went. The stone beneath him was cold, but it came as a relief to the fire still lapping at his skin. He reached the edge of the bank and began to remove his clothes, carefully folding them and placing them to the side.

 

He paused in unbuttoning his shirt, pulling it up to his nose to smell the garment. Kacchan’s scent washed over him again, making his head light and fuzzy. His eyes drooped and he felt his face burn.

 

His dreams had been all over the place and didn’t make a lick of sense.

 

It started off as a nightmare, fighting off alpha after alpha in a heightened, almost paranoid, state of awareness. So many hands tried to grab at him. Some merely tried to push him down. He clawed and snapped his jaws, fighting tooth and nail until everyone thought better than to approach him.

 

After all the alphas had been kept at bay, Izuku snarled triumphantly, baring his fangs. His eyes darted warily, ferally around, waiting for the next one to try their luck.

 

He was exhausted but he couldn’t show it. Couldn’t let down his guard.

 

Not for a moment.

 

Not for anyone.

 

Finally, another stepped forward, breaking the tension that hung so heavy in the air that, at times, it threatened to choke him. Izuku’s shoulders relaxed only a fraction, but, still, nervously, he let slip a low warning rumble from his throat.

 

The alpha that approached him didn’t slow or flinch, but merely growled at Izuku for even daring to show him his canines.

 

The sound had Izuku reeling, and he tilted his neck in submission, a feeling of relief and excitement washing over him.

 

The alpha grabbed his waist and pulled him in tight. Izuku’s eyes fluttered close and he buried his nose in the man’s deeply dominant scent. The alpha breathed against the back of his neck, coating his scent gland in warmth.

 

And then sharp teeth pierced his skin.

 

And he shuddered with euphoria.

 

His hands gripped the man’s forearms in an attempt to keep himself standing, as pleasure continued to wash over him. The alpha looming over him slowly withdrew his fangs and swept his tongue gently over the inflicted area. When the alpha drew back, Izuku saw his face and inhaled sharply.

 

Kacchan smirked down at him, Izuku’s blood staining his jaw.

 

And then he had woken up.

 

And now, in the present, he was catching himself subconsciously rubbing his face in his own shirt, absorbing what he could of Kacchan’s scent.

 

He gasped and threw the shirt down in the grass next to his other clothes, surprised at himself.

 

How could his heat make him feel this out of it? Were all omegas like this?

 

He shook his head. Deciding not to dwell on it any longer, Izuku slipped into the shallow river, relaxing as the cool, refreshing water chilled his skin. He let out a deep sigh.

 

Now that his fever was lessening, he could think a little clearer. He tried to break down everything that had happened in the last twenty-four hours.

 

He had left home, had left his mother.

 

He very carelessly wandered through predominantly dragonborn territory and had been knocked around quite a bit by none other than his childhood friend.

 

The presence of said friend had also triggered his heat, which had laid dormant in him for an irrational amount of time.

 

His face dipped down into the water and he blew bubbles to hide his embarrassment from nobody but himself.

 

And just what did that mean? Sure, he could just be a late bloomer, but there was usually some sort of lead up to an omega’s heat. There were supposed to be tells that let them know it was coming.

 

Granted, Izuku didn’t think he would ever have to worry about that sort of thing, so he never learned what those tells might be, but he was pretty sure there hadn’t been any changes in his behavior or scent. It had come on so suddenly that Izuku was starting to think it had something to do with-

 

Oh.

 

Oh no.

 

Before he could fully grasp the entirety of why Kacchan would be the alpha that triggered his dormant heat, he was startled by some nearby rustling and the faint smell of foreign alpha.

 

Dread pooled into his gut.

 

Izuku quickly scooted up onto the bank and only had enough time to gather his shirt and throw it over his head before three human boys from his village, warriors in training, stepped out from the brush. “Ah! Found you!”

 

Izuku panicked as they stepped closer, standing up and taking a few steps back. “What are you doing here?”

 

A young man with a crooked nose answered him, “Thought you could just leave without saying goodbye to us first? I thought you wanted to train with the other fighters. That’s why we went through the trouble of tracking you down. We’re finally giving you that lesson you always wanted in getting your ass handed to you.”

 

A taller guy on the first man’s left spoke up, “You were always stepping out of place back in the village, trying to learn how to hunt and fight. And now, leaving before anyone can bed you. Who the fuck do you think you are?”

 

Crooked-nose took a step forward reaffirming his spot in the center, “Omegas should just accept the roles biology doled out.” The other two nodded beside him.

 

The one on the right sniffed the air, his expression becoming curious before settling into gleeful surprise, “Oh, but, boy, don’t you smell sweet! I thought you’d be defective and heatless forever, but I guess you’re just like every other omega, huh? Maybe your body was excitedly waiting for us? I bet you went into heat cause you knew we were coming. What a slut.”

 

Izuku swallowed a lump in his throat and shook his head. “You’re wrong.”

 

Crooked-nose moved in closer while the other two circled around Izuku, effectively trapping him against the river. Without another word, the taller one on the left made the first move, charging with arms outstretched, intending to grapple him down.

 

Izuku’s body reacted before he had time to think, his muscles lean and coiled with the memory of his secret training. He scooped up his discarded pants and threw them into the face of his approaching opponent. With his attacker momentarily blinded, he light-footedly skirted around him.

 

The man continued to barrel past, his inertia carrying him forward. Once behind him, Deku spun on his heal, kicking upward with as much force as he could muster, into his attacker’s groin.

 

The alpha shrieked and went down, curling up into a ball.

 

The other two men winced at the sight.

 

Izuku stood panting, eyes darting between them, waiting for the next one to move. He snarled and they flinched, clearly not expecting an omega to fight back.

 

Before Crooked-nose or his other crony could move another muscle, a heavy scent flooded the area, bringing them to their knees.

 

A dark and menacing roar erupted from above and suddenly Kacchan was blasting out of the cave and landing between Izuku and the villagers. He removed his cowl from his shoulders and casually dropped it over Izuku’s partially naked body.

 

There was a small tug at Izuku’s heart, some semblance of instinct, to also go to his knees and bare his neck, but he resisted, still too on edge to move.

 

Kacchan wasted no time after his lesser opponents had so readily submitted, ramming his knee into Crooked-nose’s face. The alpha screamed out in pain as blood gushed forth, spilling over the grass. Forgetting his friends, he pulled away and fled into the brush. Seeing such a gruesome blow to the ringleader, the one with his balls still intact got up and sprinted after.

 

Having removed two out of the three threats, Kacchan’s gaze flickered down to the one still reeling on the ground. He lifted the man by his shirt front and made a beastial noise in his face before asking, “What the fuck are you still doing here, huh?! You think tears are gonna stop me from murdering your ass?!”

 

Izuku, having been enthralled with watching Kacchan play the part of his hero, snapped out of his stupor. He reached out to still the arm that was shaking the poor fool. “Wait! Kacchan, stop! I kicked him really bad! I promise, he’s learned his lesson!”

 

“You kicked him so hard he started crying?” The shaking only continued. The man was starting to look a little green.

 

“I-I got him in the nads!”

 

The shaking stopped and Kacchan’s face went blank. He dropped the man and the other slowly got to his feet, ambling away awkwardly after his party, like a newborn fawn. Kacchan’s eyes watched him go but he addressed Izuku, “You… You shattered that guy’s balls…”

 

Slightly embarrassed, Izuku nodded. “Y-Yes.”

 

Finally, Kacchan turned to him, mouth open and ready to speak more on the subject. His gaze made one pass down and then up Izuku’s wet body under the damp shirt and loosely hanging cowl before he shut his trap and turned away. “Did you finish bathing?”

 

Izuku felt blood rush to his face. “Yeah, pretty much.”

 

“Then get some more fucking clothes on and get your sweet-smelling, insect-luring ass back in that goddamn cave, nerd!”

 

Indignation flared up in Izuku. “I didn’t purposefully attract them here! It’s not my fault.”

 

“I’m not saying it because I think it’s your fault. I’m saying it because that’s just the smart thing to do right now. Think rationally. Being in the cave, where I’ve scent marked, is going to mask your scent.”

 

Izuku folded his arms. “I don’t like the way you worded that... Like my heat makes me irrational or something. I’m in possession of all my faculties.” A small bit of heated haze was starting to creep back into his head, making Izuku believe his own words a little less.

 

Kacchan grunted and held  his glare. “Stop being stubborn! This isn’t something we need to argue over. Why the hell are you so mad?”

 

“I don’t know!” Izuku’s raised voice made Kacchan flinch. He wrapped the cowl tighter around himself and continued, “I’m just feeling really irritable right now. I don’t know what’s happening with my body, those assholes just interrupted my bath, and then they said some super shitty things.”

 

A sudden wave of Kacchan’s pheromones swept over him. His breath hitched and then came out more even. Kacchan’s voice was softer when he spoke, “You’re releasing distress pheromones.”

 

Izuku looked at him, confused and still holding onto some of his lingering frustration. “And?!”

 

Kacchan pulled at both sides of his cowl, tugging Izuku to his chest and wrapping his arms around him. “You were scared.”

 

Izuku didn’t notice he had been shaking until the tremors had actually stopped. Kacchan dipped down and nuzzled at his hair, rubbing his face against Izuku’s soft curls. He felt Kacchan’s nose trail against his ear and then suddenly his mouth was pressed against the juncture between Izuku’s throat and shoulder. Kacchan hummed against his skin and Izuku stilled.

 

Bite.

 

Izuku’s eyes widened. The innate need for Kacchan to clamp down on his scent gland overwhelmed him, and, suddenly, he was being pulled into his hazey, heat-addled dream.

 

Alphas had tried to claim him and he had refused them. He was an omega, but even the omega inside of him didn’t want to bow down to just anyone. He wanted a very specific alpha. He wanted this alpha.

 

“Your fever’s coming back.” Kacchan’s voice sent vibrations down his spine. Izuku pulled away and the omega inside him screamed and lashed out in displeasure. “Looks like your heat is flaring up again. How are you feeling?”

 

“Tired. Hot.”

 

Kacchan huffed. “Yeah, that dazed look in your eyes is back. Let me get you back to the cave.” He tugged at Izuku’s wrist.

 

Izuku’s eyebrows contorted.

 

Why?

 

They weren’t done yet.

 

This wasn’t how the dream was supposed to go.

 

“But you haven’t bit me yet.”

 

Katsuki stopped and Izuku collided with his back. “Hah? What the fuck are you going on about?”

 

Izuku tilted his head and tried to show his neck. “You need to bite me or we won’t be bonded.”

 

“What?! We are not bonding! I took you here to keep you from getting into trouble while you endure your first heat, but after that you’re leaving this area. You got that? Deku?”

 

Izuku swayed on his feet, confusion lining his features. “But, we’re soulmates aren’t we? You triggered my heat.”

 

Kacchan’s hands shot out to steady him, but, instead, ended up catching Izuku right before he fainted.

 

Kacchan’s concerned curse of, “Oh shit!” Was the last thing Izuku heard as he drifted into another fitful slumber.

Chapter Text

Izuku jolted awake, panting and covered in sweat. He looked around in a panic, but found the cave empty. A cold lump began to form in his stomach, but it dissolved as quickly as it appeared when Kacchan walked in through the mouth of the cave, cooked rabbit on pits in his hands.

 

“You woke up,” He commented nonchalantly, “You were out for two days.”

 

“What happened?”

 

Kacchan shrugged. “You said something about being soulmates and wanting me to bite you and then you died or something. I had to haul your ass back here and you’ve been sleeping ever since, but you also kept mumbling stuff.” He handed a rabbit to Izuku.

 

Izuku felt his ears catch fire. “What kind of stuff?”

 

“Stuff about babies, alphas, and sex.” He tore a piece of meat off of the hare, sharp canines glinting in what little light reached them from the caves entrance. “And my name a few times.”

 

The cave went quiet, Kacchan’s continued chewing and Izuku’s contemplation the only two things filling the silence. Finally, Izuku decided to disturb the false sense of peace, “I think we’re soulmates.”

 

Kacchan paused mid bite. He clicked his tongue in distaste. “Not this again.”

 

“But Kacchan-!”

 

“You were practically delusional when you were spouting all of that! Besides, soulmates are a myth. There’s no evidence that actually supports two people being perfect biological matches for each other. Everyone’s DNA is too unique. And there’s no need to take what you said in heat so seriously. It was just your biology talking.”

 

“But I don’t think it was!” Kacchan surprisingly didn’t interject, instead, letting him continue. “I presented late, but it only happened after meeting you again. You don’t think that’s a little odd?”

 

Kacchan set down his rabbit. “Not really. I’m a dragonborn. My alpha pheromone potency is greater than that of a humans’. You probably imprinted on me when we were younger and your  inner omega just didn’t want to come out and play with any of the weakass human alphas that surrounded you, because it had developed higher standards.”

 

The explanation made sense, but Izuku didn’t want to relent, “I… don’t think that’s right.”

 

“Well, it is. Stop trying to make meaning where there isn’t any. I’m flattered, but I already told you when we were kids. I’ve got a destiny and you aren’t meant to be involved in it.” His eyes flashed icy cold behind fiery red.

Stubbornly, Izuku ripped a piece of his rabbit off and chewed on it. “You keep mentioning your destiny . What the hell are you saving yourself for?”

 

Kacchan growled and pointed the end of his pit at Izuku. “It’s not anything a human needs to concern themselves with.”

 

More than likely, the heat was fueling Izuku’s mood swings, but the rage he felt was overwhelming, burning away any reason that might have quelled his hurt. He stood up, tears pricked at his eyes. “I couldn’t receive schooling, hunt, or train with anyone in my village because I was an omega. And, now, just because I’m a human, I can’t get involved with you, but you sure as hell have no problem getting involved with me!”

 

Kacchan got to his feet too and clashed his forehead against Izuku’s, an alpha rearing up at an obvious challenge. “If you are implying that I am just as bad as those assholes that discriminated against you and tried to practically hunt you for sport, I swear to the gods-”

 

Izuku didn’t back down, his own hormones driving him from noticing any kind of oppressive scent Kacchan was releasing. “Fucking try it! Don’t give me empty threats! Go ahead and do something about me challenging you, Mr. All Powerful Alpha Dragonborn!” He hated how his sentence was punctuated with a sob. He was never really good at arguing without getting emotional normally , but the heat was making him feel even more unstable.

 

Kacchan’s teeth ground against each other as he snarled in frustration. He turned away from Izuku and threw his rabbit at the cave wall. “What the fuck is with you?! Why are you like this?! None of the omegas in my clan ever act like this, even during their heats! You’re so frustrating to deal with and so fucking persistent! Can’t you just listen to me when I say it doesn’t concern you and back down already?”

 

Izuku started gathering his garments.

 

“Now what are you doing?” Kacchan looked exasperated.

 

Izuku pulled his pants on. “I’m going for a walk.”

 

“You can’t go for a walk! Did you literally forget what happened to you two days ago? You are a walking target. Hey! Get the fuck back here!”

 

Izuku turned around just once more so he could stick his tongue out at Kacchan before sprinting out of the cave. He heard aggravated roars behind him as he made his way down the slope.



The sun was starting to set overhead. Cool forest air washed over Izuku and filled his lungs, calming his raging heart.

 

How dare Kacchan interject himself into Izuku’s life again! How dare he trigger his heat and then want to wash his hands of Izuku completely, just like he did when they were kids!

 

Izuku stopped marching. He remembered that first feeling of fear and betrayal, when Kacchan’s hands had glowed with that strange arcane fire, how he had turned that magic on Izuku and used it to chase him away.

 

And, now that they were older, the feeling that came with those warm, glowing hands was so different. He imagined them touching his skin, setting his flesh on fire as they held him down...

 

He shivered.

 

Asshole.

 

Kacchan had always been a bit of a dick. So it wasn’t too big of a surprise to see that he hadn’t grown out of his arrogance. But these last few days, being spent by his side again, wrapped up in that spicy, warm scent had felt, well, it had felt oddly right.

 

Izuku bit his lip and squatted down in the grass. He ran a hand through his curls and groaned. His head felt so messed up. Were the thoughts he was having his actual opinion on the matter or were some of the things resonating with him from his biology? Where did the omegan heat feelings end and his own begin?

 

He took a steady breath and tried to work through his thoughts.

 

Surely, the parts about finding Kacchan attractive were not originally his?

 

Well, thinking about Kacchan objectively, the man was good-looking, and Izuku would be lying if he said he didn’t always have a kind of ethereal handsomeness about him since they were kids.

 

Okay, so what if Izuku found him a little appealing outside of his instinctual omegan desires?

 

He swallowed, his mouth suddenly going dry.

 

Gods, Kacchan was just so unfair! Being so strikingly handsome and deciding to just show up in Izuku’s life again. Especially when he had almost forgotten him and had declared he was finally going to move on.

 

And that was another issue.

 

What was he going to do now that his heat had come? Kacchan, the only alpha who had ever been able to trigger it, didn’t want him. He couldn’t go back home, or risk being mated to one of the shitty alphas there.

 

And, what if he just left like he had intended?

 

Where had he even planned on going again?

 

Did he even have a plan before?

 

He knew he could be reckless, but, in retrospect, his decision to just wander the outside world aimlessly and without purpose now seemed a tad like asking fate for a better death than the life he would have had in his village.

 

He blinked and realized his eyesight was a little blurry from the tears that had started to spill over. He brought up his sleeve and tried to wipe them away. Through the film of wetness, he spotted a faint glow in the distance. He wiped at his eyes again to clear the image away, thinking it a trick of the light.

 

To his surprise, the glow remained. It danced about to and fro over a briar bush before flicking out of sight.

 

Izuku stood up, startled. “Wuh-” He gave himself no time to think, his feet giving immediate chase.

 

Stepping deeper into the bracken, he caught the tail end of the small light zipping through the trees. Almost entranced, he followed closely behind, ignoring the low branches that snagged his clothes and the thorny vines below that carved up his calves and tore at his pant legs.

 

Eventually, the light remained still and he stopped, watching as it hovered in place in a clearing. Izuku’s eyes widened in amazement as he realized the glow had been joined by others.

 

Floating little lights spun around a more open part of the forest, swarming around above his head. Tiny, bell like giggles drifted down and he found himself smiling wondrously at them. They beckoned him forward, some pulling at his sleeves and others twirling in his line of vision. His eyelids drooped, and, smiling sweetly at them, he took a step forward.

 

He intended to try for another before a loud voice boomed in his ear, “You absolute moron!” A hand grabbed his collar and pulled him backwards. The little lights buzzed around him more panicked than jovial now. Kacchan glared down at him, outrage clear on his face. “Are you trying to get yourself killed?”

 

Izuku blinked up at him dumbly. “Am I what?”

 

Kacchan pointed to the center of the small clearing. “You almost stepped into a fairy ring, dumbass!”

Some of the so-called fairies paused their flittering about to stop in front of the men and hiss, revealing sharp little fangs. Izuku reeled back, grabbing onto Kacchan’s forearm for support.

 

Their charm was starting to wear off. Izuku realized the fairies had bewitched him. A great wave of relief wracked its way down his frame, leaving him unsteady on his feet. They had almost taken him to their realm where surely he would have been made into a slave of their court.

 

But Kacchan had stopped him.

 

Wait.

 

“What are you even doing out here?” Izuku pushed out of his hold.

 

Kacchan looked unrepentant when he answered, “I followed you, duh.”

 

“You followed me?” Izuku’s forgotten rage suddenly boiled back up. “How dare you!”

 

The fairies hummed excitedly around them, interested in the change of atmosphere.

 

“It was a good thing I did! Look what could have happened!”

 

“So what if I was stolen by the fae?” Izuku’s voice shook. “What do you care?”

 

The ring of fairies echoed with raucous laughter. One of them came to stand on Izuku’s head. “Child of fae! Child of fae! You are good for a laugh! Why don’t you join us? Come back to your home land! We will treat you right! We will care for you like no other.”

 

He tried to wave the fairy away. “No thank you! You can sit back and take whatever sick amusements you get from this, but you can’t have me.”

 

“Can’t we at least have your name? Can we have the name of a long lost brother?”

 

“My name?” Izuku raised a brow. He opened his mouth again, but Kacchan quickly clamped a hand over it. With the other, he let loose a burst of small explosions, some form of an evocation spell, startling the fairies nearby into taking cover.

 

“You can’t have his damn name and he’s too far removed from his lineage to be able to spend any prolonged time in your realm. Just leave him alone and return to your eternal partying, shitheels!”

 

The fairies groaned and booed. A few exclamations of “Aw!” and “No fun at all!” came from various persons around them.

 

Kacchan dragged Izuku out of their sanctum, following the path he had carved out to get there. Izuku tripped and winced. In his bewitched state, he hadn’t noticed how much he had torn up his legs trying to move through the underbrush. Kacchan immediately took note of his stumbling and turned around to face him. His scrutiny bore into Izuku as he inspected all the scratches and welts. “That looks like it hurts.”

 

Izuku moved past him, flinching at the pain that shot up his leg. “It’s not really any of your business if it does, is it?”

 

Kacchan’s hand shot up and caught his wrist, tugging him back. The unplanned movement put pressure in areas that Izuku was trying to avoid using and he whimpered. “If it hurts, just say so.”

 

“No! I can walk by myself, just fine! You don’t have to get involved!” He stubbornly and, admittedly, childishly pulled away.

 

Kacchan bared his teeth. An angry rumbling noise rolled from his throat and he stared down at his hands, currently clawed and tensed up in a state of barely contained frustration. Izuku watched as one of those hands curled into a fist before slamming into the bark of an old oak. An explosion followed, causing the trunk to buckle inwards, a scorch mark now clearly engraved on its surface.

 

Kacchan turned back to him and growled. “Just let me carry you back, you stubborn prick!”

 

“Stop getting involved with me if you’re just going to abandon me again, you selfish ass!”

 

Kacchan snarled and ducked down, surprising Izuku with how quickly and effortlessly he had swept him up and over his shoulder.

 

“Hey! Put me down!” Izuku tugged at his ears.

 

“Shut up and be obedient for once!”

 

“Or what?!”

 

“Or I’ll release my alpha scent enough to order you!” It had been an underlying threat for most of their encounter. Something Izuku was impressed Kacchan hadn’t brought up in their arguments yet. But now it was out in the open. He figured Kacchan must be standing on his last leg of patience.

 

But Izuku refused to let up, “If you do, I swear, I’ll release more distressed omega pheromones to counter it! I’ll make you want to stop!”

 

Kacchan huffed. “You don’t know how to do that! You don’t have any control over that shit yet!”

 

“I’m a fast learner! You know I am! I’ll figure it out!”

 

“Yeah? And then what? You’d release more of your heat scent in the process. You tryin to make me lose all reason? You want to fuck like rabbits until we’ve got a brat out of the ordeal? Is that what you want?”

 

“No!” Izuku’s cheeks felt wet again. Dammit. Why was he crying so much? His eyes were going to be so swollen.

 

Kacchan went quiet. They trekked through the woods for a little while before he finally broke the tension with a sigh. A pleasant scent drifted up and over Izuku and he felt his rapid heartbeat stutter, calming its frantic pace. “I’m sorry I got you so upset while you’re dealing with your first heat.” The apology was mumbled and reluctant, but it still reached Izuku’s ears.

 

He sniffled. “You shouldn’t be so nice to me if you aren’t going to take responsibility for what happens after.”

 

Kacchan’s voice answered him, knowing, teasing, “And what happens after?”

 

The words were lodged in Izuku’s throat.

 

Kacchan knew what came after. The jackass. He knew what was happening to Izuku, what he was doing to him. There was something there that had always existed between them, but, like always, he was pretending it wasn’t real.

 

“You’re a bully.”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“You’re cruel.”

 

“Yeah.”

 

But, I love you.

 

Yeah.

Chapter Text

Izuku stretched in the fresh morning air. He watched a cloud move lazily across the sky, keeping the sun’s warm rays all to itself. Kacchan stepped out of the cave behind him and grunted to make his presence known. Izuku grinned up at him as he came out to greet the day. His pack hung from Kacchan’s hand and Izuku gratefully took it from him.

 

Five days.

 

Izuku’s heat had lasted five days in total. But, now it was over. And he had to leave.

 

Kacchan eyed him warily. “What are you going to do now?”

 

Izuku shrugged. “Now that I have my heat, I can always return back to my village and find a mate.” He relished in the way Kacchan’s face scrunched up in disgust. “But, most likely, I think I’ll just cut across your territory and map out the area to the west like I had originally planned.”

 

Kacchan put his hands on his hips. “Alright. Well, good luck with that.”

 

There was an awkwardness in the air that drew expectancy from the both of them. It was written clear as day on both of their faces, and yet, neither of them moved to fulfill those expectations.

 

Kiss me.

 

Pull me close.

 

Tell me not to leave.

 

Anything.

 

Izuku settled on a sad smile and waved his farewell. “Well, thanks for everything! It was nice to see you again before I left the area for good… Goodbye!” He turned around and took a deep breath.

 

Then he walked away.

 

He refused to look back at Kacchan. It was hard to make himself face forward and keep his mouth shut, but he managed. After Izuku was past the treeline of their temporary encampment, out of sight from the cave and the nearby stream, he hastened his pace.

 

He needed to be resolute. He needed to be determined.

 

The sun had reached halfway to the midway point in the sky, still morning, when he made it to the border of Kacchan’s territory. He paused just before stepping past the gnarled dead tree that Kacchan told him signalled the border. He closed his eyes and inhaled deeply through his nose.

 

Kacchan’s scent was no longer trailing him.

 

He smiled.

 

For their last few days together, Izuku had been determined to enhance his ability to detect Kacchan’s alpha scent. He knew Kacchan would follow him, watching and waiting until he had just about crossed out of his territory safely.

 

But Izuku had been prepared for that. Had calculated it. He turned around and started to walk back the way he came. He opened his mouth and breathed in, trying to catch more of the fresh, lingering scent left in Kacchan’s wake.

 

“This way,” he mumbled to himself and began to track his alpha. Izuku made sure to stay downwind as he pursued the path Kacchan had taken, letting his animalistic senses take control of the hunt.

 

He was in a reasonable mindset, he told himself. His heat had ended and Izuku had promised that if he still felt the way he did about Kacchan after, he would chase after him.

 

He snickered. An omega chasing after an alpha. Now that was something not often heard!

 

But he was trying to be assured in his decision. There were still some doubts in the back of his mind, but his flesh and blood told him they knew better. Kacchan and him were destined to be together.

 

Now that he was outside of his heat, Izuku knew better than to say he was in love. Because how could that be? He hadn’t seen Kacchan in years. But his body played catch-up faster than his heart. His instincts were pulling him forward.

 

At least, he was pretty sure it was his instincts. They were fated mates. Kacchan was just being stubborn about it, much like he was with everything.

 

The trees began to thin the farther north he went, the tell-tale signs of an approaching village or town. When the dirt beneath his feet turned to a cobblestone path, he excitedly picked up the pace.

 

Upon approaching the town, Izuku was stunned into slower steps. He had never seen a village so large! A network of stone roads with close together, professionally masoned houses dotting the sides. It was nothing like the dirt paths and small cottages from his home.

 

He followed the street he was on until he arrived at a glorious little fountain in the center of what looked to be the town’s main hub. Minstrels performed around the edges, drawing in large crowds. A few children held hands and danced and a handful of adults clapped along to the bards’ cheerful tune.

 

He looked around at the faces of passerby, surprised by the numbers and diversity of the town’s occupants. Most of them appeared to be dragonborns, some possessing scales or horns. There were scarcely any humans, but none of the other residents in the square seemed to pay him any mind, which he inferred to mean they received numerous and varied visitors each day.

 

Overwhelmed, he took a seat on the edge of the fountain and just people watched for a few minutes. The town was predominantly dragonborn, but he spotted quite a few elves by their long, pointy ears and regal heights, dwarves, with their ruggish facial hair and sturdy, small bodies, and even some halflings, their feet unshoed and furry, milling about.

 

Then everything snapped back into focus.

 

He jumped to his feet.

 

Kacchan’s scent! Did he lose it?

 

He quickly sniffed the air, but was instead both intrigued and upset to find the scent of baked ginger flooding his senses and making his mouth water. An elven man stepped out of a bakery and set a plate of goods down on a cooling rack, tempting passerby and Izuku’s stomach. He watched as someone traipsed up to the man and pointed to the goods before exchanging a silver piece for it.

 

Izuku’s village, like many of the other secluded human villages in his neck of the woods, had been dependent upon the barter system. He knew of monetary based economies through caravans of merchants that would sometimes rest for the night just outside his village, but to see it in action was still strange. He shook his head and tried to clear his thoughts and nose of the damning scent.

 

Focus on Kacchan! What did he smell like again? There was a hint of campfire at dusk… Mixed with the earthy tones of the forest in summer… and baked ginger…

 

Dammit!

 

No wonder that scent was drawing him in. He had to get away from it. Maybe he should walk back to where he had come from and try to trace the scent again? While he was musing, something tapped at his back. He spun around and startled.

 

A dragonborn man was looking down at him questioningly. “You okay? You’ve been mumbling to yourself and I’ve been trying to get your attention for a while now.”

 

Izuku regarded him. He looked mostly human in the way that Kacchan did, but his skin appeared more rugged, clearly hardened with flesh that resembled scales. His hair was pointy and red and his teeth were sharp, clearly draconian. “Oh, sorry. I, uh, I’m not really from around here.”

 

The dragonborn man smiled at him with a wide, toothy grin. It was goofy, almost endearing, even though it should have been frightening. “Yeah, I figured! You stick out like a sore thumb. You’ve also been glaring pretty hard at the baker. You aren’t thinking of starting trouble, right?”

 

“Oh, no!” Izuku shook his head and waved his arms, embarrassed. “It’s just- I was looking for someone! Or, well, I was following their scent, and I got a little distracted. That baked ginger kind of smells like him. Wait, that sounded weird! Uh…”

 

The dragonborn man observed him fondly, unfazed by Izuku’s ramblings. “This person smells like gingerbread cookies?”

 

“Cookies?” Izuku echoed, the word foreign to him.

 

The man’s face lit up. “Oh my gods! I’m about to rock your world!”

 

He grabbed Izuku’s wrist and pulled him to the front of the shop, without providing Izuku any time to protest. The elven baker gave the man a look up and down. “Kirishima, What brings you to my humble shop today?”

 

Kirishima pulled Izuku’s wrist and raised his arm high above their heads. “This guy doesn’t know what a cookie is! I’m going to need three of your warmest ginger snaps fresh from the oven at once, please!”

 

The baker chuckled, but retrieved a small bag from his apron and began filling it. He handed the bag to Izuku while Kirishima tossed him three silvers. “I put an extra chocolate one in there, on the house.”

 

“Chocolate?”

 

The baker’s eyes lit up. “Oh this will be a treat for you! Please enjoy it!” He bowed his head a little and then wandered back into his shop.

 

Kirishima eyed him expectantly.

 

Izuku jolted to attention, mind finally catching up with the situation, “Oh! Thank you very much! You didn’t have to go through all this trouble! I-”

 

Kirishima waved away his thanks. “Dude, just eat one already! The suspense is killing me.”

 

Izuku nodded and sheepishly dug out a ginger snap from the small sack. He bit into it and it broke in half. As he chewed, the flavors coated his tongue, sending pleasant little sparks through his mouth. “How?!”

 

Kirishima smiled at him, knowingly. “Uh-huh!”

 

“It’s so!”

 

“Yep!”

 

“Wow!” He shoved the rest of it inside. He had never tasted something so delicious! He sent a silent apology to his mother for having such thoughts, but dug out another one and scarfed it down too. The second cookie made his throat a little dry and he coughed, choking on the crumbs he accidentally inhaled.

 

Kirishima patted his back. “Take it slow and enjoy them!”

 

“Right!” Izuku made sure to swallow before he spoke, “Thank you so much! Um,” He held his hand out, “My name is Izuku Midoriya.”

 

Kirishima took his hand and shook. “Nice to meet you, Midoriya. My name is Kirishima Eijirou.” The smile slipped from his face and he froze. “Ah! Wait! I got distracted. Or, well, that is to say, I ended up distracting you . Didn’t you say you were looking for somebody? Sorry, I got you sidetracked!”

 

“Right! Kacchan! I forgot I was tracking Kacchan! Ugh… I was going to go back to where I last caught wind of him, but his scent is probably faded now.”

 

“Kacchan?” Kirishima tilted his head. “Who?”

 

“Oh, that’s the nickname I gave him when we were younger. His actual name is Bakugou Katsuki.”

 

Kirishima’s face lit up at the name. “Bakugou?! You know Bakugou?! Wait. Bakugou has other friends?”

 

Izuku couldn’t suppress the small snort. “You know Kacchan?”

 

“Yeah! We’re friends!” Kirishima suddenly looked a little unsure. “Or, at least, I think we are? He’s never really confirmed or denied it, so I take his silence as acceptance usually. If you’re looking for him, I can take you to him! He’s probably training in the colosseum for trials!”

 

“Trials?”

 

Kirishima’s eyes widened in shock. “He hasn’t told you about the trials?”

 

Izuku shook his head. “Is that what he means when he talks about his destiny ?”

 

Kirishima’s megawatt smile twitched. “Wow, he’s something else. He’s so confident thinking he’s gonna come out on top. You know, I’m also participating in the trials and when he talks about it like that, it kind of feels like he’s belittling everybody else’s efforts.”

 

“Wait, back track. What are the trials?”

 

“Oh, simply put, the Myastan Clan of dragonborns is finally in need of a new ruler. We compete in the trials to decide who’s going to take over from the old rulership. Dragonborns aren’t like humans or elves in deciding rulerships based on lineage. You have to prove yourself if you want to lead.”

 

Izuku’s legs trembled. Kirishima, quick to notice, wrapped an arm around him to hold him up. Izuku let himself lean against him. “I didn’t realize he was trying to do something so big.”

 

Could he get in the way of that? If this is what Kacchan wanted, should he?

 

“Hey, uh, I don’t really know what’s going on between you two, but your goal in coming here is still the same right?” A curious look crossed his face and he dipped down to take a whiff of Izuku’s hair. His face reddened. “Oh, wow! I did not realize you and him had that kind of relationship!” He quickly pulled his hands back.

 

“We-We don’t!” Izuku felt his own face heat up. “I mean, there were some complications that led me to currently smell like him and also reasons for why I’m here now to see him and AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!”

 

He was screaming. He was just full on, panicked screaming in a crowded market place.

 

Kirishima threw a hand over his mouth and picked him up by the waist, carrying him out of the busy market street over his shoulder. With the dizzying noise and bustle of the town behind them, Izuku snapped out of his babbling. He reacquainted himself with his new surroundings. They stood under a tree just outside of the town’s wheat field.

 

Kirishima moved around him worriedly, his hands hovering, unsure how to comfort him. “Are-Are you done freaking out now?”

 

“Um, yes. Sorry. I get a little overwhelmed sometimes. I’m not used to crowded spaces.”

 

Kirishima scratched at the back of his head. “No, it was my bad. I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable. I also didn’t realize you were an omega. You had every right to be upset when I made those assumptions and got a little too close.”

 

“I am. An omega, I mean. But, that’s not what upset me. It’s just…” He put his face in his hands. “This is going to sound so stupid and I’m sorry in advance, but I came here because I think Kacchan and I are soulmates, because I only just presented like a week ago, and that only happened because we met again, so, technically, he triggered my heat, and I was pretty sure I was never going to get it, until I saw him again, and this and that happened while I was out there presenting and-”

 

“You’re rambling again. Why don’t you make it a little simpler for me? Let me ask a question and you have to answer it with just one sentence, okay?”

 

Izuku nodded.

 

“Why did you follow Bakugou here?”

 

Izuku stared at the ground and said the first thing that popped into his head, “I love him,” The words were strange to say aloud, mostly because Izuku didn’t think he’d ever get a chance to. It wasn’t something Kacchan would ever let him confess, and he honestly had a hard time even admitting it to himself for that exact reason. It was dawning on him that the notion of soulmates that he had latched onto might have been a scapegoat for his actual feelings on the subject just to avoid any hurt that would follow a rejection from Kacchan.

 

But there was something comforting about Kirishima. Izuku could tell he was an alpha, but he was still so easy to confide in. “I love him, and I want to be with him so I chased him here,” He stated boldly, feeling the heat rise to his face.

 

Kirishima’s hand came down on his head and he tossled his curls “That’s definitely a lot easier to understand than whatever else you were just saying. So what are you going to do now?”

 

Izuku’s brain was quiet. For the first time since he stepped into the town, his mind felt clear and he was able to think his next moves through. An idea struck him and shook his core. He smiled wryly as he came to a conclusion, “I’m going to participate in the trials.”

 

Kirishima guffawed. “Sorry! Sorry! Hold on! I know it’s not a joke! I just need a moment!”

 

“Take your time.”

 

The laughter teetered off, “Okay. Okay. I’m good. It’s just, you guys seem really well suited for each other. I’ve never spent any thought on what the guy would need in a mate, mostly cause I don’t think he has a romantic bone in his body, but I think I could see why you might work.”

 

A small dusting of pink covered Izuku’s cheeks. “Thank you. But, would that be okay? Can I even enter the trials?”

 

Kirishima hummed to himself. “Well, it’s for rulership of a dragonborn clan, ya know? I don’t remember anything in the lengthy preamble they read in the beginning of the trials that says it excludes other races. Just a whole lot about perseverance and strength. I don’t think anyone has ever considered a nondragonborn would ever enter so it might just be an unspoken assumption.”

 

“Will it matter that I’m an omega?” Izuku bit his lip.

 

“Why would that matter?” Kirishima asked without reservations. His eyebrows scrunched up after the words left his mouth. “Oh, right. Sorry. Uh, dragonborns don’t have as many issues with the secondary genders as other races, aside from a few stray assholes, so I sometimes forget what you guys go through. You omegan elves sure have it rough, huh?”

 

“I’m a human.”

 

Kirishima regarded his hair. “You sure you aren’t, like, half-elf? At least?”

 

Izuku threw up his hood self-consciously. “You aren’t the first person to say something like that... As far as I know, I come from a strictly human lineage.”

 

Kirishima pulled his hood back down. “It’s nothing bad! I think your hair looks neat! And, if you are part fae, maybe you can learn some arcana?”

 

“Me? Perform magic?” He huffed. “I doubt it.”

 

Kirishima shrugged. “It’s not too far fetched!”

 

“When are the trials supposed to start?” Izuku tried to change the subject, obviously uncomfortable.

 

Kirishima answered him, unfazed by the topic avoidance, “It’ll take place in about a month. You can stay with me while you wait, if you want. I don’t mind.”

 

“What should I do to prepare? I need to do more muscle training than before. I’ll go for runs in the morning again. How about combat? I’ve never had a sparring partner before, so I don’t know how well I’ll actually do in a fight. I mean, it didn’t go so bad when I was cornered in the forest by those three guys…”

 

“You’re mumbling again…”

Chapter Text

Kirishima was an excellent host. He made his living as a stonecutter, a job that Izuku was more than happy to help with while he made himself at home. He would let Izuku help by carrying heavy boulders into his work room from a heap out in his plot. It was a good way to build up upper body strength. Then Izuku would watch as Kirishima’s hands hardened, his skin shifting into brownish-red scales, before he smashed the boulders with well-placed chops.

 

Izuku excitedly praised his remarkable talent and Kirishima was quick to become bashful. “Can all dragonborns do that?” Izuku asked like he was taking mental notes.

 

Kirishima shrugged. “Well, I mean all dragonborns can shift, but not all of them have the same attributes. My skin just happens to be rougher than most others and I’m more suited to this kind of work.”

 

“What do you mean by shift ?”

 

“I mean, we can basically look more dragon than human if we want. That’s probably what most people think of anyway when you think of dragonborns. But, for the most part, a lot of us prefer to walk around presenting as human or somewhere in between.”

 

Izuku made a thoughtful face. “Can Kacchan shift?”

 

Kirishima nodded. “Oh, definitely. He doesn’t do it often, mostly because he doesn’t need to, but he’s really cool when he does.”

 

Izuku felt a twinge of pain in his chest. Yet another side of Kacchan that he didn’t know. It kind of hurt to realize he had been keeping this part of his life so secretive from him. Even as children he would avoid divulging information about his ancestry or clan.

 

Kirishima started to clean up his work station. “You wanna spar again before dinner, right? You should go get changed.”

 

“Yes sir!” Izuku smiled and then ducked out of Kirishima’s work space.

 

His host had cleaned up a spare shed in his back fields so Izuku could occupy it. It was a good idea, since, when his heat came again, Izuku would want to be secluded and nest.

 

He changed into the spare clothes he kept for training and hurried to meet Kirishima as the dragonborn walked out to the field to greet him again.

 

As far as combat training went, Kirishima was a strong opponent. His skin was too hard to penetrate or really affect with blows, as Izuku had learned their first day fighting. Instead, Izuku found he could just tire him out in an endurance contest. He was smaller and faster and could dodge easier than he could land blows.

 

Today was no exception to how their fights usually went. Izuku had ducked under Kirishima’s right cross and quickly got behind him, kicking him in the butt.

 

Kirishima, who had already set himself in motion, couldn’t stop from face planting in the dirt.

 

“Ow! Okay! I give! That’s all for tonight!” Kirshima got up and smacked the dirt from his front. “I miss the first few days, when I could just laugh at your punches, throw you to the ground, and sit on you.”

 

Izuku’s face glowed at the topic of his progress. “Do you think I’ll do well in the trials against other competitors?”

 

“You’ll be able to handle the more physical guys for sure. But what you should really be worried about are the ones that know how to use innate magic, like Bakugou’s evocation abilities.”

 

That was something he just couldn’t figure out a proper countermeasure for just yet.





The days passed on like that for some time. Running, working, sparing, eating, enjoying the company of a friend for the first time in a long while.

 

But, eventually, that familiar fever was returning and Izuku became aware of his heat approaching. Kirishima had provided him with seven days’ worth of rations, just in case his heat went on longer, and a decent amount of water. By the time Izuku was ready to hole himself up in the shed, he was well prepared.

 

The first day arrived while he was still in the shed. He felt his slick soak his inner thighs and, while he was still in his right mind, left a note on the door for Kirishima so he knew to stay away. Then he replenished his water levels and braced himself for what was to come.

 

The second, third, and fourth days were all a painful, unsatisfying blur. He wasn’t dazed like his first heat. He was aware of his condition and had enough strength to eat and drink when he needed it, although, on occasion, he experienced moments of nausea and shakes.

 

The shakes were the worst, he decided. His body felt cold and empty and he constantly craved to be scented or held. Without something to quell his heat, his insides clenched around nothing, the painful contractions and cramps sending terrible tremors through his body.

 

In those moments, all he could do was wrap himself up and pretend he was in Kacchan’s warm arms. He would periodically bring the clothes from his time in the cave to his face and try desperately to find some lingering remanence of Kacchan’s scenting. It danced around the edges of his sense of smell, but never fully sated him.

 

The fifth day was just pure irritation. Izuku was cognizant enough to be hot and bothered. The inside of his legs itched and burned, his groin pulsating with need. He would pace around his small room to distract himself from the feeling , but it never kept the heat at bay.

 

He was also keenly aware that the entire shed smelled like sweat and sex. All of his blankets were stacked into a little pile in the corner of the room, exuding the most of his scent, and, although he found solace in maintaining the nest, it was still damp and uncomfortable from the slick that slipped out in his sleep.

 

On the sixth day he woke up and felt absolutely spent. But, in his exhaustion, he knew his body had finished its monthly fight.  He aired out the shed and cleaned his clothes and blankets in the wash bin, freeing himself from his own oppressive odor. It was therapeutic to be able to breathe in the fresh air of the early morning.

 

The sky was still dark when he finished his work. Kirishima wouldn’t be up for about another three hours. Being cooped up for almost a week had made him a little restless and he knew exactly what he wanted to do now that he was free to roam again.

 

Izuku changed into his still damp training clothes and wandered off into the thicket at the edge of Kirishima’s plot of land. He had explored a lot of the backwoods area in the last two weeks and, therefore, had no difficulty relocating a small lake he had stumbled upon previously.

 

He waded into in, opting to leave his clothes on, and dunked his head under the water, trying to remove the heavy scent that still lingered on his skin and in his hair. It was blissful, the sticky layers of sweat peeling away, leaving him cool and refreshed.

 

A startled, “Oh!” met his ears.

 

Izuku jumped at the sudden exclamation, turning to face the owner of the voice.

 

“Who’s there?” His eyes skimmed the treeline warily.

 

An older gentleman stepped out into the clearing, his hands raised in a placating gesture. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to disturb you. I usually come here once a week for a dip myself.”

 

Izuku lowered his hands, just now realizing he was poised to fend off an attacker. He scurried out of the water. “Sorry, Sir. I was just washing up a little bit. The lake is all yours.”

 

The man regarded him quizzically. “I haven’t seen you around before. Are you a child of fae blood?”

 

Izuku sighed. “It’s my hair, right? Everyone keeps saying that I must come from fae lineage because of my hair.”

 

“No, I mean, that certainly is an interesting trait. I didn’t mean to come off as rude. I just meant that you seem to possess innate magic.”

 

Izuku froze at his statement. “I… What?”

 

“You have arcanic energy,” the man stated again as if it were obvious.

 

Excitement was starting to bubble up inside of Izuku’s chest. “How can you tell? What kind is it? I mean, I’ve never been able to perform magic-”

 

“Oh, I’m being rude again, saying things without explaining in more detail,” The man interrupted his ramblings, “Let’s sit down, young man, and have a chat.”

 

He gestured to a felled tree. Izuku took up his offer and waited patiently for the man to answer. The man sat himself on the trunk with a painful sounding grunt.

 

“It may be hard to tell, since my health is fading, but I’m of the Myastan dragonborn people that live in the city nearby. I used to have a pretty important standing among them, but I decided I’m just not fit for continuing my duties, so I’m readying myself for retirement. Nowadays if I shift, my golden scales end up digging into old battle scars and I suffer some serious pain.” He gripped at his stomach.  Izuku absorbed his little preamble politely, but still didn’t see how, if at all, the man had answered his questions. “I can tell you are growing impatient with me, so I’ll answer you now. Simply put, I’m a druid.”

 

“I’m sorry,” Izuku tilted his head, “I don’t quite follow?”

 

“Well, I suppose you are aware that most magic users tend to draw their arcana from gods or innate abilities provided to them by their race. Druids, however, draw upon nature. So, young man, I was able to very easily connect your flow of energy and trace it back to the arcana of the forest. If I had to guess, I’d say someone in your lineage was a dryad. It would definitely explain your appearance and your demeanor. But you say you’ve never been able to perform magic?”

 

“Well, I’ve never tried. Mostly because I wouldn’t know where to start. Nobody’s ever taught me how to do it.”

 

The man shook his head. “It’s not something that needs to be taught for your kind. It just exists. But if you would like to tap into your ancestral roots, I would be happy to try and help. Since I’m retiring, I’m about to find myself with a lot of free time on my hands and you seem like good company.”

 

“Would you please! Um…” Izuku fumbled for a name.

 

“Toshinori Yagi,” he provided.

 

“Toshinori-san,” Izuku repeated.

 

Toshinori smiled at him. “Then we’ll start meeting here early in the morning every other day starting tomorrow. Is that alright with you?”

 

“Yes! Thank you so much!”





His meetings with Toshinori started after Izuku finished his morning runs. He kept them a secret from Kirishima, only because this wasn’t something he wanted to expose to his competitor. Nobody was expecting Izuku to perform magic. It had to be the ace up his sleeve, to be revealed only when he deemed himself in dire straights.

 

Their first session was spent discussing the class of magic Izuku would try to emulate. “Druidic magic is nature based, but, as a human, you might find tapping into that sort of thing a little too difficult. So we might have to find something your arcanic levels would be better suited for, say, Ranger magic? It’s still very nature oriented, and there’s a lot of overlap between what we both can do.”

 

He pointed to a squirrel seated on the log they had their first discussion on just yesterday. “Cast Animal Friendship over that creature.”

 

Izuku blinked up at him. “You want me to just… to just do it?”

 

“Yes. Keep in mind that the energy that flows from the world and into you also flows into the squirrel. We are all on the same plane of arcana and drawing energy from the world. On the other hand, it’s a squirrel, and clearly you possess more wisdom than that tiny furball only obsessed with acorns. This is also a battle of minds. Are you smarter than a squirrel or not, young man?”

 

“I am!”

 

“Then get to it.”

 

“Okay.” Izuku took a deep breath and began to observe the squirrel.

 

Feeling eyes upon it, the squirrel turned to catch Izuku’s gaze. They stared at each other for a good long while before Izuku took a tentative step forward. The squirrel didn’t move. He took another and then another until he was standing above the creature.

 

When neither of them moved for a solid minute, Izuku finally broke the silence, “I have no idea how I’m supposed to tell if this worked.”

Toshinori chittered behind him. The squirrel peeked around Izuku and listened before bounding over to the druid. It chittered back and Izuku watched in amazement as he continued to cast Speak with Animals to hold a conversation with the squirrel.

 

When Toshinori finally looked up at Izuku, he smiled. “He said that was good for your first attempt. He almost felt something, but you scared him a little bit because your expression was so serious.”

 

Izuku bowed to the squirrel. “I’m very sorry.”

 

Toshinori bonked him on the head. “What did I say about wisdom? You are smarter than the squirrel. You shouldn’t be apologizing to it.”

 

“Sorry…” Izuku’s eyes bored down at his boots. He didn’t like disappointing Toshinori. There was something oddly parental about the man.

 

“Don’t mind it!” Toshinori waved away the self-doubt that had started filling his head. “You just need practice, and I think I know how to draw out all that untapped potential.”






Magic lessons started becoming games of hide and seek. It reminded Izuku of the times he had played as a child with Kacchan, only now he was blindfolded and stumbling around the forest looking for a magic man instead of his childhood friend. “What is this supposed to teach me again?”

 

“How to Detect Magic ,” A voice called from his left.

 

Izuku moved towards it, tripping over vines as he went. He tried to focus on the forest and the way that things were connected. In his immensely focused state, his breathing subconsciously slowed until he could no longer hear it. Even his own heartbeat echoed dully in his ears. His outstretched palms felt tingly, but not numb, thrumming with hyperawareness.

 

And then, he felt it.

 

There was something. He didn’t know how exactly to describe it, but it was definitely there and it was... strangely warm? Was magic warm? He followed it, like it was a string connecting him to an unknown force, arope tugging him forward.

 

Too focused on following the feeling, he didn’t notice how assured his footing became, how he no longer stumbled when he walked. He was standing in front of that feeling now. He was sure. Izuku lifted the blindfold and gaped.

 

He was in front of the squirrel.

 

He went to his knees and groaned. “Why? I thought I had it!”

 

“You do.” Toshinori’s voice answered him.

 

Izuku looked around, “Toshinori-san?”

 

“Right here.” Izuku turned back to the squirrel. “You found me.”

 

Izuku shrieked in surprise, stumbling backwards and falling on his ass. “Y-y-y-y-y-you!”

 

“I shapeshifted. I can do that as a druid. However, while I am in this form, I cannot speak Common, which means…”

 

“Am I using Speak with Animals , right now?”

 

“Yes! You’re a fast learner. I guess you picked it up when you heard me using it the other day. Squirrel is a pretty easy language to learn. Not a whole lot of sounds. Mostly everything is in the pitch.”

 

Izuku got to his feet. “This is insane! I-I can perform magic! Ah! Toshinori-san, would you mind shapeshifting back? I really would like to hug you right now.”

 

“I think that can be arranged.”






By the end of the month Izuku knew a handful of spells and he thanked Toshinori profusely for his guidance, “Thank you so much, Toshinori-san! I’m sorry, but this is the last time I can be here for a while.”

 

Toshinori rested a hand on his shoulder and looked at him fondly. “How funny. I was about to say something very similar. The trials are going to start tomorrow and I need to oversee them.”

 

“Oh, you’re going to watch the trials?” Izuku asked innocently.

 

Toshinori chuckled. “Young man, I’m not just watching them. I’m officiating them. I’m the old sovereign.”

 

Izuku stood, mouth agape. “You-!” He tried to get a hold of himself and spoke honestly, “Then I will see you at the trials, Toshinori-san because I intend to enter them.”

 

Toshinor’s brow furrowed, confusion clearly written on his face. “You want to become the next dragonborn sovereign for these parts?”

 

“Well, no.” Izuku felt his face heat up and he rubbed at the back of his neck sheepishly. That’s not exactly why I’m entering. I don’t entirely plan on coming in first. I’m trying to get someone to acknowledge me.”

 

Toshinori thought this over. “You know it will be difficult for you given that you aren’t a dragonborn and people may treat you differently because of your gender.”

 

“I know.”

 

“Then, I wish you the best of luck.”

 

Izuku felt tears prick the back of his eyes. Nobody had ever given him the time or means to prove himself like this. He thought of his home village, with its warriors and medics who barred him from even trying to learn their crafts, how nobody would apprentice him so that he had to observe and take notes from afar. But Toshinori-san wasn’t anything like them. He was the first person who truly believed in Izuku and was willing to teach him.

 

He threw his arms over the old dragonborn ruler. “Now, now!” Toshinori chided him, patting his back. “If you’re going to be a crybaby, you’ll make me worry.”






Kirishima’s loud knock echoed throughout the shed. “Wake up, sleepy head! It’s trial day! I made biscuits for breakfast. I thought we could eat them while we walk over together.”

 

Izuku pushed open the door, already dressed and feeling prepared. He stepped out into the dawn of a new day.

 

Kirishima grinned down at him. “You ready to take on the world?”

 

Izuku nodded, tightening the work gloves on his hands. “Readier than I’ll ever be!”

 

“Excellent!” He slapped Izuku cheerfully on his back. “Let’s get moving then!”

Chapter Text

They arrived at a stadium on the outskirts of town just as the sun was making its way over the horizon. Izuku tried to follow the crowd inside, mesmerized at how such a large building even existed, but Kirishima yanked him back by his hood. “That’s where audience members enter. We go in through a different entrance.”

 

He took Izuku behind the structure and down a ramp. Further down, they were confronted with an iron wrought door. Kirishima creaked it open and ushered him inside. The stretch of tunnel before him was dark, but he was able to navigate it with surprising ease.

 

He supposed his Dryadic blood might have provided him with some darkvision, but it probably paled in comparison to Kirishima’s. He watched his companion’s pupils fan out as he guided them onward.

 

The tunnel eventually opened up into a dimly lit room where other dragonborns were milling about and chatting. They took their first few steps inside.

 

Izuku stopped

 

His nose flooded with that warm ginger scent and a fire pooled in his gut. Kacchan stood leaning against the far wall, arms crossed. His face looked disinterested in fraternizing with the other competitors as some of them attempted to bring him into conversations.

 

Suddenly, Kacchan’s eyes lit up, his mouth parting in a silent intake of breath. His head swiveled back and forth, his brow furrowing in both confusion and concentration.

 

Izuku ducked behind Kirishima.

 

Kacchan could smell him! He was looking for him!

 

There was a cold sweat running down Izuku’s back as he tried to calm his breathing. There was no going back now. He had to see his plan through. No matter how badly Kacchan reacted, Izuku had no intention of backing down.

 

“Yo, Bakugou!” Kirishima waved to him and Izuku went into panic mode. Kacchan caught sight of his friend and started to make his way over.

 

“What do you want, Hair-For-Brains? Haven’t seen you in a while. You used to come to my sparring matches every week and then you just up and disappeared for a month. Your stone-cutting business start doing fucking amazing or what?”

 

Kirishima rung an arm around his neck “Aw! You missed me?”

 

Kacchan batted the arm away. “What the fuck gave you that idea?”

 

Kirishima barreled on without answering his friend’s hostility, “I was a little preoccupied with a house guest.”

 

Kacchan lifted a brow trying to prompt him into extrapolating, but Kirishima didn’t answer him.

 

“Competitors, if you would please line up and walk out into the stadium through this ramp!” Someone called from further in the room.

 

“Whatever,” Kacchan flashed Kirishima a grin and pushed past him. “Get ready to eat shit during the trials.”

 

“That’s a weird fetish!” Kirishima received a swift punch to his arm for his comment. He looked over his shoulder and winked at Izuku, still hiding behind the larger man and the anonymity of his hood.

 

The competitors walked up a plank and poured out from below the ground, lining up to face a small wooden stage. On it sat a consul of dragonborn men and women. In the center, Izuku spotted Toshinori.

 

When everyone was standing at attention, Toshinori stood up and stepped forward to the center of the stage. He cleared his throat and began to speak, “Dear, competitors, I welcome you to the Myastan Clan trials for rulership and pray for your success! As always, we ask for a proclamation from each of you on this stage before we declare what tomorrow’s first trial will be. May these proclamations drive you to give your all as you represent your clan and yourselves.”

 

The audience clapped respectfully. Izuku picked up a few admiring whispers of, “It’s the golden king All Might!” among the trial participants surrounding him. Kirishima looked starstruck.

 

The first person took to the stage and declared themselves a competitor and, one at a time, others followed. They stated their reasons for participation. Rulership, family, honor, glory, love.

 

Love?

 

Would Izuku’s reason for doing this be love?

 

No, it would have to be something more . Something that would make Kacchan look at him. It couldn’t be something as simple as that.

 

Even if it was the real reason.

 

Kirishima took his turn on stage. He puffed up his chest and drew in a deep breath before declaring, “I’m going to complete in the trials to prove my manliness!” This earned him some cheers of approval and even a few swoons.

 

Apparently, Kirishima was well-liked.

 

Kacchan followed immediately after. He stared out across the rows of other competitors, eyes judgmentally raking them over. He smirked something wicked. “I’m going to come out on top here, so you extras who think you’re going to be the next sovereign can just go home!”

 

There was a chorus of boos and an excited buzz from the audience in the stands as he delivered his proclamation and started to walk off the stage. Izuku felt himself get yanked forward and pushed to the stairs as Kacchan took his first step down.

 

They passed each other and Kacchan froze, eyes finding and locking onto Izuku’s. Izuku smiled and turned away from him, quickly finishing his climb onto the stage. He withdrew his hood and stared directly down at Kacchan, who still stood frozen in place on the steps. Izuku’s declaration was only meant for one person, “I’ll be the one coming out on top, so prepare yourself!”

 

The audience members who couldn’t quite see him, found this exhilarating. The consul members behind him and the competitors before him murmured in hushed tones of indignation and confusion.

 

“That’s not a dragonborn!”

 

“Is that a human ?”

 

“I think he’s part elf.”

 

“What’s he doing here?”

 

“He smells... omegan?”

 

A hand came down on his shoulder and he looked up to see Toshinori placating the crowd. They went silent and respectfully waited for their old sovereign to speak, “The trials never had any prerequisites concerning race or gender. You will all abide by the rules of these trials and respect him as any other competitor. I will vouch for his entry.”

 

The murmuring returned with a new atmosphere of gleeful scandalization. Izuku climbed down the stairs and took his place next to Kacchan and Kirishima. He didn’t need to peak over to know Kacchan was glaring daggers at him.

 

The rest of the opening ceremony passed by without concern and Toshinori finished with an explanation of how tomorrow would go, “The first trial will be a race through the Plain of Accent. You will all meet there by daybreak. Those who finish in the top twenty will continue onto the second trial. Get a good night’s sleep.” He stepped back and rejoined his fellow consul members, signalling the end of the opening ceremony.

 

As soon as the competitors started to disperse, Kacchan gripped Izuku by his shirt collar and pulled him into his face. “What the fuck are you doing here?!”

 

Izuku could smell the threatened alpha pheromones coming off him in waves. Izuku must have really shook him up. “I’m here to compete in the trials. It’s no concern of yours, right? Just think of me as an extra.”

 

“Oh, wow! You guys really do know each other!” Kirishima’s friendly voice broke through their staredown.

 

Kacchan let Izuku’s shirt slip from his grasp. “You knew about this?”

 

Kirishima, who clearly had a death wish, answered jovially, “Yeah! He was the house guest I mentioned! Surprise!”

 

Kacchan’s eyes bounced between the two of them. “You shacked up with Kirishima?” An emotional scent wafted from him. It was something Izuku had smelled before, but he couldn’t quite place where. “So that’s it, huh? You just really wanted some dragonborn dick, and, if you couldn’t have mine, you were happy to settle for anybody’s? Slut. ” His words cut Izuku like glass.

 

“Bakugou! That’s uncalled for!” Kirishima reached out to console Izuku, but quickly snapped his hand back when Kacchan growled at him in warning. Kirishima frowned. “If you aren’t going to let me comfort him after you went and said something so cruel, then you shouldn’t have said it in the first place! Or, at the very least, apologize and comfort him your damn self!”

 

“Why the fuck would I do that?”

 

Kirishima sighed. “Because you are very clearly posturing between us.” He pinched his nose. “Also, your jealousy stinks! There’s no need to be so territorial!”

 

Ah.

 

That was it.

 

It was in the forest, when Izuku and Kacchan had fended off the three men from his village. Kacchan had smelled like this then too.

 

Izuku stepped out from behind Kacchan and stood next to Kirishima, facing the man he had come here to pursue. “Stop picking fights with your friends over an omega you refuse to officially claim.”

 

Izuku could almost laugh at how offended he looked.

 

Kirishima snorted. “You heard the man. Shoulda put a ring on it!”

 

Kacchan growled at him before taking Izuku by the wrist and pulling him away.

 

“Hey!” Izuku protested, trying to twist himself free. But Kacchan continued to tug him along. “Let go!”

 

“We’re going to talk.”

 

“I have nothing to say to you right now!”

 

“Like hell you don’t! You wouldn’t come all the way here for nothing!”

 

They exited the back of the stadium. A few of the other dragonborn competitors still lingered nearby. One of them called out to Kacchan, “Hey, Bakugou! What are you doing with that little Elven guy? All Might isn’t gonna be happy if he turns up dead somewhere. Especially after he publicly announced his approval for the guy!”

 

Kacchan didn’t bother responding to the taunt. He continued his hurried pace. He didn’t stop until they were a ways off from the town and had made it to the treeline of the surrounding woods. Izuku felt himself get yanked forward as Kacchan spun him around and pressed him up against the trunk of a tree. His forearms came up on either side of his head, blocking his peripherals and forcing Izuku to look at Kacchan directly.

 

Izuku glared up at him defiantly. “What?”

 

“How did you get here?”

 

“I walked.”

 

“No shit. I meant, how did you find this place?”

 

Izuku crossed his arms, swelling with a little burst of pride. “I followed your scent and tracked you back here. You didn’t notice me following you?” he asked, his voice dripping with false innocence.

 

Kacchan looked dumbstruck.

 

Point Izuku.

 

Kacchan shook his head. “Why would you do that? There’s nothing here for you. As you can see, I’m planning my future and you clearly have no part in it.”

 

“Ah! But I do!” Kacchan’s eyebrows bunched together at Izuku’s sudden interjection, “You see, I’m actually a competitor in the trials. Toshinori-san already approved of me entering so-”

 

“Toshinori-san? All Might? When did you get chummy with the fucking Myastan Clan leader?”

 

“After he taught me a few tricks in the woods,” Izuku answered smugly.

 

“What, so you’re just turning tricks for everybody now?” Kacchan called his smug and doubled it.

 

Izuku pushed at his chest, upset. “Stop saying stuff like that! Toshinori-san and Kirishima are my friends. I owe them a lot for all the kindness they’ve given me this past month, but we would never do that sort of thing.”

 

“It’s been over a month since I last saw you. You’ve already had your second heat, right?”

 

Izuku felt his cheeks burn. “What about it?”

 

“I heard through the grapevine that for a little less than a week this past month, Kirishima unexpectedly closed up his shop. I think your close proximity might have unintentionally triggered his rut. Kirishima might not think of you like that, but his other head certainly has another opinion.”

 

“Stop being gross!” Izuku covered his ears. “I will not stand here and let you slander our mutual acquaintance!”

 

Kacchan chuckled. “Yeah, well, good luck sleeping next to that douchebag now without thinking of him getting his rocks off to y-.”

 

“AAAAAAAAAAAAA!” Izuku’s face was on fire. “I slept in his work shed! There’s no way I’d live in the home of an alpha I wasn’t going to bond with!”

 

There was a pause, “...Really?” Kacchan’s eyes searched his face. A hint of genuine concern laced his features.

 

“Yeah.” Izuku observed his reactions carefully. “Of course. I’m not an idiot.”

 

Kacchan huffed. “No, you’re still very much an idiot. What kind of omega are you to chase after an alpha and then peacock for him? You know this is backwards, right?”

 

“You’re really full of yourself! What have I done so far that makes you think any of this was a declaration of courtship?” he bluffed.

 

Kacchan’s eyelids lowered and he pressed his forehead to Izuku’s. “It isn’t a declaration of courtship by normal standards, sure. But, you know me, and you know what I might find interesting in a courtship. You also know exactly what to do to press my buttons, and whether this is pissing me off or turning me on is anyone’s guess, but it’s not going to work, Deku.”

 

“Why not?” Izuku looked up at him pleadingly.

 

“Because I can’t have anyone distracting me and I can’t have any of the other competitors thinking I’ve got weaknesses to exploit”

 

“Oh, well, that’s too bad. Since I plan on distracting you quite a lot, and I’m also the only one who knows all your weaknesses.” He batted his eyes up at Kacchan and felt a rush of superiority as a blush reddened the tips of his alpha’s ears.

 

“I don’t have any weaknesses,” He stated flatly.

 

“You do! After watching you fight now and remembering our fights when were kids, I can tell that you still always lead with a right hook. And sometimes you get too confident and start to focus on the end result rather than the small details. And-” Kacchan covered his mouth.

 

“If you don’t stop spouting nonsense, I’ll break both your arms. Gonna be hard to participate in the trials like that.”

 

Izuku smiled up at him when Kacchan’s hand slipped off his face. “That would slow me down, but it wouldn’t stop me.”

 

An exhausted, breathy laugh fell from his lips, “You’re a fucking disaster.”

 

“And your future mate.”

 

Kacchan regarded him, a twinge of something mischievous in his eye. He lowered his mouth to Izuku’s ear and spoke low, his voice reverberating down Izuku’s spine, “You really think you can seduce me into a bond?”

 

Izuku shivered, his senses filling to the brim with Kacchan’s heavy alpha scent. It wrapped around him like a blanket, making him excited and relaxed all at once. He couldn’t help the small whimper that left his lips.

 

“Izuku…” Kacchan nibbled at his earlobe.

 

Izuku’s legs gave out.

 

He slid down the tree until he found himself on his ass, breathless and staring up at the alpha in shock. Kacchan peered down at him. He wore a self-satisfied and victorious expression “You’re one hundred years too early to think you can challenge me.”

 

Izuku’s throat felt dry.

 

Point Kacchan.

Chapter Text

“What a genuine asshole!”

 

“You can say that again!”

 

“And he just fucking walked away after that! He left me there! Just! Like! That! ” Izuku slammed a tankard down on Kirishima’s table.

 

Kirishima swallowed three more large gulps before doing the same. “He’s despicable!”

 

Izuku fiddled with a loose chip of wood on the table’s surface, pouting. “What’s his problem, anyway? It’s not like having a mate would ruin his chances at becoming the dragonborn king or whatever. And who does he think he is teasing me with my actual name like that? Why the hell would he even give me that small hope if it was pointless?”

 

Kirishima nodded sagely. “He’s definitely a complex guy. Are you sure you were seducing him though? I thought you entered the trials out of love, but your declaration sounded like you had a vendetta against him.”

 

Izuku pointed an unsteady finger at Kirishima. “ That! That is exactly the kind of bullshit I have to stoop to when he’s running me through all of his ridiculous mind games!”

 

“Mind games?” Kirishima inspected the bottom of his now empty mug.

 

“Yeah!” Izuku’s hands wove frustratedly through his hair. “He doesn’t play by normal standards. He just walks around like he thinks he’s above all this!” Izuku’s hands waved around, gesturing to everywhere at once. “But actually! He’s not as great as he thinks!”

 

“So, your plan is to take him down a few pegs by winning? So, what? He’ll lower his standards or something?” Kirishima scratched his head, bewildered.

 

“Wuh-No!” Izuku shook his head. “I’m getting in his way because I… He’s so frustrating. He talks about destiny all the time, but doesn’t want to acknowledge that we’re soulmates. He avoids anything romantic, but he still teases me. I hate him.”

 

Kirishima watched him thoughtfully, head on his hand and a small unbelieving smile on his face. “Yeah?”

 

Izuku’s nose and eyes stung with the beginnings of tears. “Yeah.” He sniffled. “He’s the worst.”

 

“And that’s why you came all this way, huh? Because you hate him.”

 

Izuku finished off his drink. He had never had alcohol before, but Kirishima had insisted on having a large drink of ale when they got back. He stared spitefully at the empty cup. “Yes. I hate him.”

 

Kirishima got up and tugged at Izuku’s hand, pulling him to his feat and guiding him through the back door, starting their trek to the work shed. “Seems to be an awful amount of work to put in for someone you hate.” He pulled out a hankie and wiped at Izuku’s cheeks. The hankie pinched his nose and he said, “Blow.”

 

Izuku obeyed. The hankie disappeared and Izuku leaned into Kirishima as they walked down the path. “Thank you.”

 

Kirishima patted at his shoulder. “It’s okay, man. Bakugou can be hard to deal with and even harder to understand. Mostly, I have to interpret everything he doesn’t blow up at to mean he’s okay with it, and that can be kind of upsetting. For instance, you know how you call him Kacchan?”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“If anyone else tried to do that, I think we’d find a corpse displayed in the town market as a warning to discourage others so it never happens again. He’s the type who lets you know when he dislikes something, but when he likes something, he’s suddenly very quiet. And, from what I observed, you can make him pretty quiet.”

 

Izuku sniffled again, standing outside the shed door. “Kirishima?”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“What do I do?” Izuku looked up at his friend. “I really love him. And I don’t think it’s just because my biology says so or that I think we’re cosmic soulmates. I think I’ve been using those as excuses. I think I really really love him.” He shook his head. “But Kacchan doesn’t love me.”

 

Kirishima ruffled his hair, leaning down and speaking to him as if he were a child, “You are so drunk! You couldn’t comprehend a single word I said, could you?”

 

Izuku shook his head.

 

Kirishima’s smile was unwavering. “That’s okay! We need to get you to bed anyhow. We’ve got our first trial in the morning.”

 

Izuku nodded in understanding, rubbing tiredly at his eyes. “Okay. Goodnight Kirishima.”

 

“Goodnight, Midoriya.”





“Wake up, Midoriya!”

 

Izuku’s head shot up. “What?”

 

“It’s time to get ready for the first trial!” He threw Izuku’s clothes at him, carefully turning his face away. When had Izuku undressed himself during the night?

 

Kirishima jogged in front of him as they made their way to the supposed ‘Plains of Accent’. Apparently, today’s trial was a run across the long stretch of land, located a half mile from the town. It seemed fairly simple, and, with how often Izuku had been running, he was sure he could handle it.

 

It was only when they arrived at the Plain of Accent that Izuku began to doubt his abilities. He froze, grabbing Kirishima’s shirt and making him stop in place too. “What is happening to the earth there?!”

 

Kirishima followed his line of sight. “Oh! The geysers? It’s just hot water that’s been bottled up under the earth. It breaks through and shoots up like that!”

 

“And we have to run across it?”

 

“Yeah! It won’t be so bad! As a dragonborn, I can easily avoid getting burned by the- Oh, wait. Shit. You could die .” Kirishima gripped both of his shoulders and stared down at him. “You don’t have the kind of resistance to heat that we have. What are you going to do?”

 

Izuku’s eyes darted back and forth, from the field to Kirishima’s worried stare to all the nearly dead trees skirting the outskirts of the plain. His eyes settled back onto one of the trees and he smiled. “I have… an idea.” He turned back to Kirishima. “Don’t worry about me. Just do your best with the trials and good luck!”

 

Kirishima’s worried expression didn’t fade, but he nodded. “You too.”

 

They both took their places at the start of the plains. Izuku braced himself.

 

“On your marks!” Toshinori’s voice called out over the crowd. “Get set!”

 

Izuku licked his lips.

 

“Go!”

 

The dragonborns bolted forwards, some taking flight in dragon form, others running over the plains and dodging steaming water shooting up from below. And then there was Kacchan, heading the pack, fire torpedoing him through the air.

 

Izuku watched as they all struggled through. And then he took a step back from the starting line and turned to race for the closest tree nearby. “Young man?” Toshinori called out to him as he left, but Izuku remained too focused to answer.

 

He inspected the bark of the tree thoroughly before nodding and ripping a large, hefty chunk from its trunk. “Yep. This’ll work.” He closed his eyes. Toshinori watched as Izuku mumbled something, a soft glow transferring from the boy’s hands to the bark. Toshinori recognized the spell Absorb Elements from even a distance away.

 

Izuku brought the piece of bark back to the starting line and carefully eyed up the plains. After a second, he yelled, “There!” And sprinted forwards. He jumped over a geyser, pulling the large and enchanted piece of bark under him just as the water boiled up, shooting him into the air.

 

The onlookers gasped. Toshinori hollered after him, “Clever, young man! Clever!”

 

Most of the participants were halfway through the Plains of Accent, as Izuku soared overhead, passing even those that used their wings. He gripped the edge of the bark and cheered. He had done it! He was going to make it across the plains! He could continue the trials and his courtship! He was-

 

Dropping really fast.

 

Shit.

 

How did he not think of a way he was going to stop?

 

He looked below and saw Kacchan, blasting forward a good way from the pack.

 

Ah.

 

That would work.

 

Izuku angled himself so that he would come right above the alpha. He pulled the bark out from under him and felt his feet rest on Kacchan’s back. “Hah?!” Izuku heard him shout in surprise and anger. Then he dove down with his piece of bark outstretched, slamming it down on the ground in front of Kacchan.

 

A small bout of water burst forth from the disturbed earth, startling Kacchan and giving Izuku that extra push he needed to glide across the rest of the plains. He tumbled near the end, getting up and sprinting to the finish line.

 

When he reached the end, his knees gave out and he went down, panting and clutching at his shirtfront.

 

Then Kacchan came in second, hot on his trails. “Deeeeeekuuuuuuu!” Izuku had no time to brace himself as the full weight of Kacchan barreled into him, knocking him to the ground. He held a hand up threateningly overhead, sparks forming in his palms. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing you-!”

 

Izuku stared frighteningly up at Kacchan’s hands, making tiny explosions. Recalling how it felt to be on the receiving end of one of those blasts from long ago, he brought his arms up, protectively.

 

“What the fuck did you do to yourself!” Kacchan’s voice sounded panicked, grabbing his right arm and pulling it out of Izuku’s face to inspect it.

 

“What? What’s wrong?” Izuku followed his gaze and saw that his arm had not escaped his last geyser joyride. The water had scalded him, and, now that it had been brought to his attention, it burned like a motherfucker. He winced and a small whimper of pain left his lips. Kacchan let his scarred arm go, concern clouding his eyes.

 

“Midoriya? Bakugou? What’s going on? Oh dear! Does he need medical attention?” Izuku watched as Toshinori came running up.

 

Kacchan surprised him by getting off of Izuku and growling at the old sovereign. Toshinori didn’t seem offended by it in the slightest. He waved his hands, warding off the threat. “Bakugou, we need to get Midoriya looked at. He needs ointment as soon as possible.”

 

Kacchan’s growling subsided. He turned back to face Izuku and startled him, as his strong arms swooped down, one arm moving under his knees, the other around his back, pulling him into a carry. “Where is lady Chiyo?”

 

Toshinori pointed down the plains. “She is positioned halfway down the sides of the trial area.”

 

Kacchan nodded. Izuku tried to catch his eye from below, but he seemed determined at keeping his gaze forward-facing. “Kacchan?” Izuku called for his attention. Kacchan refused to give it.

 

They silently trekked up to the small medical station this lady Chiyo had set up to nurse the injured who couldn’t make it through the geyser field. Kacchan plopped Izuku down in front of her and pointed down at him. “Fix this fucker, you old hag!”

 

“Kacchan!” Izuku looked at the old woman apologetically.

 

She chuckled. “How unusual that both the first and second place winners of the trial require medical attention.”

 

“Just him! I came out unscathed.” Kacchan folded his arms.

 

“Did you really? You seem like you could use some tea to calm your nerves.” She pulled Izuku’s arm up and began applying a salve. “Help yourself to the pot in the fire pit there.” She ran her hands over the inflicted area, casting a competent and experienced Cure Wounds spell. Izuku watched as a blue glow traveled over his arm, cooling the burn until the ugly, searing red color drained from his skin. Scars remained across the length of his limb and he eyed them with dissatisfaction.

 

“I’m afraid I can do nothing to address the leftover distortion. But they’re a good reminder to stop being so reckless!” He looked up at Kacchan gauging his reaction. He just stared back at him levelly from behind a cup of tea.

 

Chiyo finished his treatment by bandaging his arm and patting him on the head. “Um, thank you ma’am.”

 

“Don’t fret about it! Just don’t be paying me another visit so soon, okay?” She turned towards Kacchan. “Bakugou, would you mind escorting him back to the crowd? They’re about to finish up and I assume you’d both like to hear the results.”

 

Kacchan clicked his tongue, but walked out of the medical area. Izuku quickly clambered to his feet and followed, lengthening his stride to keep up. “Kacchan! I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for you to have to worry about me.”

 

“I was not worried!” Kacchan refused to look back at him.

 

Frustrated, Izuku stepped on the hem of his cape, watching with satisfaction as Kacchan was jerked back, before he whipped around to glare at him. “Thank you.” Izuku returned his glare as he offered his sincere gratitude.

 

“You’re fucking welcome!” Kacchan shouted back at him. He turned back around and continued moving through the gathering crowd of participants.

 

“Ah! There are our first and second place winners.” Toshinori pulled them to the front, positioning them next to an excited Kirishima, who waved sheepishly at Izuku and Kacchan. “Please stand next to our third place winner.” He addressed the audience, “These are the faces of our top three competitors thus far! Will you be able to overtake them in the second trial?”

 

Half of the participants clapped. The others remained silent. Izuku felt a great deal of hungry eyes upon him and the position he now held.

Chapter Text

“The second trial will be The Retrieval of Life from Mount Greypeak!” Izuku listened intently with the rest of the crowd, as Toshinori spoke. “You will travel up the mountain and bring down proof of the Life before the day’s end. The first eight to make it down will move on to trial three! Rest well participants!”

 

As soon as Izuku heard his closing remark, he felt himself getting yanked back and dragged through the crowd. He allowed himself to be pulled, already expecting to see Kacchan gripping his wrist. He was surprised to find the grip as strong as it was, a twinge of pain radiating from the newly healed area of his recently burned arm.

 

Finally, the crowd thinned as they moved towards the edge of the plains and the person’s hair came into view. It wasn’t the sunlit blonde he had been expecting, but a raven black.

 

Izuku’s pulse quickened.  He tried to dig his heels in and pull back, but the pain from his arm being locked in the man’s tight hold made him yelp instead. He reluctantly kept pace until he was pulled behind a large outcropping of rocks, just outside the sightline of the dispersing dragonborns.

 

The man threw him against the jagged surface of the rocks and growled at him, baring his teeth. Izuku flinched, smelling the dragonborn’s alpha scent spreading over him. It was nauseating and intimidating, sending his mind racing for a way to make it stop.

 

“Fucking elf!” The man’s skin began to shimmer with an oily black sheen as scales peeled their way across his face and arms, nails growing longer and sharper, upturned towards Izuku’s face. “Where does an omegan elf get off joining the trials? What right do you have to be here when you know nothing of our clan?”

 

Izuku brought up a hand to struggle against his captor’s hold. He opened his mouth to talk back, but found the alpha’s pungently aggressive scent prevented him from getting a single word past his lips.

 

“How did you get on All Might’s good side?” He continued, “Did you wag your backside at him? Present and show him your scent gland? How would an elf manage to sneak his way in otherwise?”

 

The dragonborn took hold of his hands before shoving his weight into Izuku’s chest, pinning him harder against the outcropping of rocks.

 

He examined his neck. “You’re still unclaimed, so that ain’t it.” A wicked smile split his face as the realization crept up on him further. “You’re still unclaimed? And here I thought either All Might or Bakugou was your alpha. Hmm… But that would be just like Bakugou, wouldn’t it? He’s so overconfident that he’s kept you on a long leash. Isn’t that right?”

 

Izuku choked out an answer, finding the will to push through his body’s tendency to submit, “I’m not an elf and he doesn’t keep me on any kind of  leash!”

 

“Really? So then you’re both unclaimed and unbonded? Doesn’t that mean you’re up for grabs?” A chill swept its way down Izuku’s spine as the dragonborn eyed him up and down. “You’re kind of pretty. A little disobedient. But that usually changes after you’ve been broken in.”

 

Izuku withdrew a sharp intake of breath before kicking out, aiming high and sticking the toe of his boot directly into the dragonborn man’s crotch. The awful feeling of getting one’s nads kicked in seemed to be a consistently terrible experience no matter the race because the alpha went down like a sack of bricks.

 

The sound of his own heartbeat and heavy panting filled Izuku’s ears. In a frenzied state, he took the opportunity to escape. He leapt over the the now fidgeting body of the alpha and sprinted around the outcropping. As soon as he turned the corner, his face met Katsuki’s wide chest and he bounced back, startled, his arms up and ready to fend off another attacker.

 

“Hey! Where the fuck did you wander off to?” Kacchan’s eyes scanned him over. “And why do you look so out of breath?”

 

Izuku took a moment to steady his breathing. It was difficult, since he felt so close to hyperventilating. He cleared his throat and wiped the sweat from his brow, attempting to feign normalcy.

 

He was okay.

 

Everything was alright.

 

He could handle himself just fine.

 

“I’m fine.” Izuku tried to push past Kacchan, absolutely fed up with alphas for the day.

 

“Hey!” Kacchan caught the wrist of his uninjured arm. “Hold on a sec!”

 

Izuku tried to keep his voice even when he asked with irritable impatience, “What?”

 

Kacchan appeared thrown off by the distressed pheromones coming off him in waves, but he persisted, “I came to warn you about the next trial. I want you to consider dropping out.”

 

Izuku laughed, something painful and broken. “You too, huh? Why? Can’t handle an omega beating you? Or is it because I’m not a dragonborn and I shouldn’t think so highly of myself?”

 

Kacchan shook his head, blinking away confusion. “Me too? What? No. None of that has anything to do with what I came to tell you.” He huffed. “Look, there’s even some other competitors dropping out this year. It’s pretty rare that they perform the Retrieval of Life as the second trial.” He shifted on his feet uncomfortably. His stare met Izuku’s. It was unwavering. “I don’t think you’ll be able to handle it.”

 

Izuku easily shook off his hand. “Well, thanks a bunch for your input! I don’t really care for it, but thanks anyway!” He tried to storm off again but Kacchan let out an upset rumble in the back of his throat and swooped around to stand in his way.

 

“What’s wrong with you all of a sudden? Why are you acting like this?”

 

Izuku growled at him, animalistic and threatening. Kacchan had the presence of mind to at least take a step back. “I’m sorry, but how do you want me to act? Do you think I should be happy in this moment, knowing you think that I can’t finish the second trial? Do you think I should be happy that you act like you hate me and don’t want to have anything to do with me? How should I act?”

 

Izuku’s vision went blurry and he rubbed at his eyes.

 

“Dammit! Just once I’d like to be angry without resorting to tears!”

 

Kacchan sighed. “You can’t help it. That’s just how you are. You’re emotional, sensitive, and a bit of a crybaby. That’s why, I’m begging you, Izuku,” Izuku’s eyes widened at the pleading tone in Kacchan’s voice as he called his name, “Don’t do the second trial.”

 

More tears started to fall. “Goddammit! Don’t do that!” Izuku took a step back from him. “Don’t pretend you care when it’s convenient for you!”

 

Izuku gasped. He took another step back as a whiff of Kacchan’s calming alpha scent tried to reach out and lull him. More than likely, it was an instinctual response triggered by Kacchan smelling the distressed omegan scent rolling off of him.

 

But he was so not in the mood to have his emotions manipulated by his biology. If he wanted to feel sadness and indignation then no one would take that from him.

 

Kacchan tried to take a step forward, a hand outstretched. “Izu-”

 

“No!” Izuku stepped further from his reach. “I’ll see you at tomorrow’s trial.” He turned around and bolted for the town.





“Hey, knock knock…” Kirishima pushed open the work shed door and poked his head inside.

 

Izuku let out a low warning growl, but quickly covered his mouth to stifle it. “Sorry, Kirishima. I didn’t mean that.”

 

“It’s fine. I probably shouldn’t have entered with your whole, uh, pheromone barrier in place.”

 

“Pheromone barrier?” Izuku questioned as Kirishima stepped into the space fully, a plate of food and a mug of warm ale in his hands.

 

He set Izuku’s dinner down on the floor, a reasonable distance from the nest of blankets Izuku had made in the corner of the shed, a nest he was currently wrapped up in.

 

“This whole place smells pretty strongly of distressed omega. I honestly had a hard time even getting myself past our little makeshift dueling pit.”

 

That was halfway between the house and the shed! “I’m so sorry! I didn’t know it was that bad!”

 

Kirishima waved off his worries. “Don’t mind it! I made it over just fine, didn’t I? And I brought you dinner!”

 

Izuku lifted a blanket out of his way so Kirishima could see him. “Thank you.”

 

“You’re welcome!” Kirishima brightened at having caught a glimpse of his face. “So, uh, would it be bad if I asked what happened today? Cause, I would have assumed after you came in first that you’d be in a much better mood.”

 

Izuku flipped the blanket back over his face and groaned.

 

“Uh-oh. Is this Bakugou related?”

 

Izuku let loose another long and drawn out groan.

 

“Midoriya… What happened?” A smooth, earthy scent wafted around Izuku, cradling and coaxing him, trying to get him to relax.

 

Izuku pushed the blankets off and glared at Kirishima as the overwhelming anger and the fresh memories of alphas trying to manipulate his feelings came rushing back to him. Kirishima startled, his scent retreating as the smell of distressed omega overtook the room once more.

 

Izuku swallowed, his brow furrowing apologetically at seeing his friend’s unnerved face. “I’m sorry. I just- I don’t get it. Didn’t you say dragonborns were more accepting of omegas?”

 

Kirishima’s eyes widened. “For the most part, yeah. We prove ourselves through strength. But there’s always going to be bad eggs in every hen house, you know? Is that what’s bothering you? Did someone mess with you?” Kirishima’s eyes darkened and Izuku felt a shiver run up his spine. He hadn’t yet seen the thick skinned dragonborn display any malicious intent thus far, and Izuku found he didn’t like the look on his friend at all.

 

“Uh, no,” he lied and tried to focus on the other thoughts he was dwelling on, “I just noticed that it isn’t as equal as you led me to believe.” Izuku took a deep breath. “Kacchan told me he doesn’t think I’ll be able to complete the trials. He thinks I’m too sensitive. How am I supposed to prove my worth through my strength, if he keeps dissuading me from trying?”

 

Kirishima let out a shaky breath. “Oh, is that all?” Izuku must have given him a deadly look because Kirishima quickly mended his statement, “I mean, yeah, all dragonborns want to prove their strength, but obviously we’d also be reluctant to see someone we care about get hurt in the process. It’s not that he thinks you’re weak and I don’t think it actually has anything to do with you being an omega. He just doesn’t want you to get hurt.”

 

“I don’t need him to protect me,” Izuku argued, temper flaring again. “I need him to acknowledge me.”

 

“Okay, I can’t really blame you for taking his concerns the wrong way since Bakugou is, well, Bakugou,” Kirishima stood up to leave, “But don’t you think if he’s showing you that much concern then he might have already acknowledged you?”

 

Kirishima gave him one last wave and slipped out of the workshed. Izuku curled back up in his nest of blankets with nothing but silence and his tumultuous thoughts.

Chapter Text

Eight.

 

That was the number of participants, Izuku included, who remained in the trials.

 

He couldn’t understand it.

 

Out of twenty people, twelve had dropped out. There would be no need to race to keep up with anybody. No time limit. Apparently, all he had to do was make it up the winding spirelike mountain and then back down with what Master Toshinori had called the Proof of Life before dusk.

 

But why?

 

Why had twelve of the strongest dragonborn competitors from the Myastan Clan bowed out? The climb didn’t even seem that difficult. There was even a path that guided them upwards. The climb would be easy.

 

Master Toshinori signaled for the trial to begin and Izuku watched as Kacchan immediately blasted forward without any hesitance, shooting himself up the side of the mountain. Kirishima followed after, digging his claws into the rough rock, intent on scaling it. Some of the other competitors, including the dragonborn alpha who had given Izuku a hard time the day previous, had taken to the air. Izuku stuck to the trail, keeping a slow pace with two reluctant stragglers who continued their ascent on foot.

 

The climb was quiet. No one spoke and Izuku was wary about breaking the silence. Something heavy hung around them. A feeling of unease that he just couldn’t pin down.

 

Halfway up, Izuku paused as a shape came barrelling back down. His eyes locked onto two red focal points in midair, and they in turn found him. Kacchan held his gaze for not even a second before turning away with a solemn face and continuing his descent down the mountain.

 

Izuku swallowed, nerves lighting up over his entire body. Something was wrong here. What did Kacchan face at the summit? What made his expression so stoney-faced and cold? Izuku’s heartbeat pounded in his ears.

 

When the sun rose to the highest point in the sky, Izuku finally reached the summit of Mount Greypeak. In the center of the mountain’s top sat a large winding wall of caverns. The dragonborns that had been walking just ahead of Izuku were already ducking into the crevices, seeming to search for something. One of their eyes lit up and they entered. Then the other found their own tunnel and did the same.

 

Another participant, a beta girl with her hair in a ponytail, exited one of the caverns. She clutched something in her hands, holding it to her chest as if it was something precious. Whatever it was, she quickly pocketed it. She caught him staring and he flinched at her unwavering expression. She simply nodded at him and unfurled large, scaly wings behind her, taking to the air and gliding down on the wind.

 

Whatever this Proof of Life was, he assumed he would have to find it in one of the small caves. Izuku walked around the wide pillar of caverns. They were too dark to really see into, for his eyes, at least. He blindly took a step into a random one, the darkness quickly swallowing him as he progressed. He picked up a rock and cast Light , delighted when he could once again see where he was walking.

 

He came to the end of the small tunnel and stuttered to a stop.

 

Before him appeared to be a nest, made of straw, sticks, leaves, bones, and wool. On it, sat two eggs, snuggly curled up together. He brought his illuminated rock up to the eggs and saw the shadows of two creatures slumbering inside.

 

He inhaled sharply, his head whipping around, eyes alight with terror.

 

He was in a dragon’s nest ! Where was the mother? Would she be hanging around guarding the eggs? It didn’t look like the other competitors had to battle any. Everyone that he’d seen come out had been unscathed.

 

The cave remained quiet, aside from his own rapid breathing, and he settled down next to the nest.

 

Izuku reached out a hand and touched the surface of one of them, surprised at how warm it was.

 

What was he meant to retrieve here? What had so many dragonborns shied away from?

 

And then everything clicked into place.

 

He knew exactly what Life he had come here to take.

 

He shook his head, the palm of his hand scrunching up on the egg as he stared at it.

 

Oh no. No no no. Could he do that? Did he have that in him? To kill a baby?

 

It was so defenseless.

 

It was so warm beneath his fingers.

 

He tried to think things out logically.

 

Of course this wouldn’t have been an outlandish request of the dragonborn people. This was almost a telling of their people’s history. The dragonborn were originally made to be enslaved to the dragons of old, creatures known as The Ancient Ones, until a rebellion disrupted the hierarchy, banishing The Ancient Ones away from this land.

 

These dragons before Izuku were nothing like The Ancient Ones. They were animalistic and retained no higher intellect. A dragon would have to live for a millennia before it reached a wizened age.

 

But the dragons around these parts could still be a nuisance. Culling some of the young while the nest was empty would prevent overpopulation. In theory, it was something Izuku could understand and even respect.

 

But, could he practice it? Was he capable of taking its life?

 

He rested his forehead on the top of the egg and lost himself in contemplation.





The sun had almost set. Katsuki kept his eyes pinned to the path of dirt that led up the mountainside. All the other competitors had already come down and had presented their piece of egg shell.

 

Everyone except for Deku.

 

All Might, with a reluctant look on his face, stepped forward. He appeared ready to call an end to the second trial, when the Deku slowly made his way around the first bend, dragging his feet down the slope. His eyes were downcast, his hair hiding his expression from view.

 

Look up already. Katsuki felt desperate to see his face. Look up.

 

Toshinori approached him and Deku reached into a satchel at his hip, pulling out a piece of shell.

 

Toshinori took the piece and pulled Deku into a warm embrace. Katsuki couldn’t hear what words of comfort the mighty golden king tried to offer him, but it didn’t seem to lessen the tension in Deku’s shoulders.

 

Toshinori left him and moved back towards the crowd of patiently waiting dragonborns to declare the second trial had officially ended, “Tomorrow, the third and final trial will begin. You will fight each other in one-on-one battles in the colosseum, displaying your honor and strength before your fellow clanspeople. Get some rest, weary combatants.”

 

Katsuki followed Deku in the crowd, moving around people as stealthily as he could to get to him faster.

 

He reached out and clasped a hand over Deku’s wrist, moving past him to pull them both forward.

 

“Kacchan?” Deku’s voice was small and horse as it reached Katsuki’s ears.

 

“Fuck,” Was all Katsuki could manage to get out, “ Fuck.

 

He pulled Deku all the way back into town and through the streets until they arrived at Katsuki’s home. It was a little more comfortable looking than Kirishima’s place, no extensions on the dwelling that indicated his craft or occupation. He made his living hunting and only needed the shelter to have a home he could come back to on occasion.

 

Katsuki pushed his way inside, bringing Deku with him. He released his grip on his wrist, leaving Deku standing in the middle of his living room as he finished closing the door. When he turned back around he finally caught sight of Deku’s eyes.

 

They weren’t rimmed red, as he had been expecting. His cheeks weren’t wet and he didn’t wear a frown.

 

He was just…

 

Lost.

 

All the color was drained from his face, and his eyes stared listlessly at the floor. It was as if he had detached himself emotionally from the deed he had to perform in the trial and had never thought to turn those emotions back on.

 

“Izuku.” He took a step forward but Deku didn’t back away or even flinch. Katsuki reached out and pulled him into his arms. “Gods. I told you not to do it. I knew you couldn’t handle it.”

 

“But you were wrong.” Deku’s voice reached close to his ear. His sentence broke in the middle and the noise had Katsuki feeling a pinch of pain in his chest, as if he had a splinter in his heart. Deku’s hands shakily came up to find a grip on Katsuki’s back. “I did do it.”

 

“That doesn’t mean you should have, idiot. You shouldn’t have done it if you were going to regret it this much.”

 

Katsuki pulled away to peer into Deku’s face. He watched as the light slowly reentered Deku’s eyes, dark pools of emerald finally stirring beneath a dark, still surface.

 

Then the tears finally came, flushing out that murky darkness and spilling forth over stained, freckled cheeks. Deku’s knees buckled and Katsuki held him up, cradling him in his arms as Deku began to wail into his chest. He held Deku as he cried, rubbing his back and shushing him gently.

 

Was Katsuki ever this gentle? Was he being gentle enough? Despite every flaw he had, he hoped to all the Gods in the world that he could be for just this moment at least. It’s what Deku needed most right now.

 

Deku’s body continued to rack with sobs, his frame shaking with the effort of all his bottled-up emotions coming back and hitting him at once.

 

And Katsuki held him through all of it, gently weaving his fingers through his hair, enveloping him in a safe scent.

 

Deku let out a few hiccups and sniffles as the crying started to peter out, little bouts of silence filling Katsuki’s den, only interrupted by an occasional whine or Katsuki’s whispered words of comfort.

 

Katsuki sighed and held Deku’s head to his chest. He let out a low purr, feeling his torso vibrate with the calming noise. Deku’s breath hitched and his body relaxed, melting against him. He let out his own sweet, soft sigh, rubbing his head against Katsuki’s chest, earthy omegan aroma washing over Katsuki as he allowed Deku to scent him.

 

Suddenly Deku went rigid in Katsuki’s arms and he jerked back, not far enough to escape Katsuki’s hold, but enough to look up into his face. His cheeks were blotchy red and damp as he cleared his throat, “I, uh, I don’t really mean to ruin the moment, but, I-I think I might be having deja vu...”

 

Katsuki lifted an eyebrow. “Why do you think that?”

 

Deku swallowed. Katsuki found himself hyperfocusing on the movement in his throat. Deku’s face lit up in flames. “I’m beginning to recall a bunch of stuff about my first heat. More of the things that happened while I was out of it. Did we, um. Were we ever… intimate … like this?”

 

Katsuki let out a huff of air and bent down to rest his head on Deku’s shoulder. The smell of his scent gland so close made Katsuki’s mouth water. He laughed, exhausted. “Ugh. I hoped you wouldn’t remember that. I nested with you. It was all I could think of to sate your heat without claiming you.”

 

“N-nested?” Deku’s hands braced the back of his cape in apprehension. “What exactly does that entail?”

 

“... What do you remember?”

 

“I remember you holding me, scenting me, making the same sort of rumbling sounds you’re making now. It’s… soothing, really distracting, but in a good way. I remember you being so close and also-” Deku trailed off. Katsuki turned in his shoulder to catch a glimpse of his embarrassed face.

 

“You, um.” One of Deku’s hands left Katsuki’s back. He rubbed fingers lightly over his  own lips. “You forced me to drink water when I was too weak.”

 

“I kissed you.”

 

Deku’s wide eyes turned to him. “You..?”

 

“You can say it. I’ll own up to it.”

 

Deku’s words came out as a heavy exhale of emotion, “You kissed me.”

 

“I had no other way to make you drink, but, yeah. I kissed you.”

 

Deku’s brow furrowed. Katsuki could practically hear the engine in his brain running at full speed. After a pause, a hopeful glance was sent his way. “Would you ever do it again?”

 

Katsuki let out a primal noise in the back of his throat, a strong feeling of possessiveness and protectiveness filling him with no clear path leading back to its source. It scared him. Overpowered him. He found himself unable to do anything, but pull Deku in and press his lips against his omega’s.

Chapter Text

Kacchan cupped Izuku’s face, drawing his mouth in closer. He felt his breath catch in his throat, as he blinked away the last few remaining tears still hanging from the corners of his eyes. Slowly, his eyelids lowered until he saw nothing but stars.

 

A deep hungry scent flooded his nose and something ignited inside him, a primal need to be comforted and held. Izuku felt warmth pool in the pit of his stomach, making his toes curl and the hairs on his neck stand up straight. Kacchan’s lips parted and Izuku sighed, opening his mouth just a little, but enough for Kacchan to slip his tongue inside.

 

Kacchan’s hands wove themselves into his curls, tugging him closer, pulling him in for a deeper kiss. His tongue was tentative at first, tracing in between his lips before delving in deeper to brush against his palate. Izuku was finding it difficult to breathe, his senses becoming overwhelmed with the spicy cinnamon scent that was Kacchan.

 

He let his fingers trail up Kacchan’s arms, admiring the way his muscles felt, taut and powerful underneath smooth skin. He discovered that his hands had found their way behind Kacchan’s neck, needy, tugging him down for more more more .

 

All too soon, Kacchan broke away, lips glossy and wet. Izuku stood on tiptoes to chase after the kiss, letting out a strangled whine at the loss of contact.

 

Kacchan growled down at him, his pupils blown large and black against a small sliver of a red rim. “Deku…” He released a warning.

 

Izuku pulled himself flush to Kacchan’s body, trying his damndest to make sure every part of them was touching. “Kacchan, please . Don’t stop.”

 

Kacchan’s rumbling continued and he bared his teeth.

 

Izuku didn’t flinch.

 

The sound died down as Kacchan stared down at him, contemplating. “You’re really something.”

 

Izuku tilted his head, perplexed.

 

“You just don’t back down from me. Even when you were in heat. I growl and you act like you don’t even notice. Do you have any idea what you’re doing to me?”

 

Izuku felt a little emboldened. He took a step closer and brushed his fingers over Kacchan’s belt buckle. “I might have an inkling.” He bit his lip, a bashful upturned smile spreading over his face.

 

Kacchan huffed. “You really want to be my mate?”

 

“I’ve always wanted to stand by your side.” Tears pricked at the back of Izuku’s eyes. He cursed the desperation that rung out in the warble of his voice.

 

Kacchan hummed. He brought his mouth down and pressed his lips to Izuku’s throat. Izuku gasped and made a very conscious decision to tilt his head just right, giving Kacchan the optimal position needed to bite down if he so chose.

 

“Are you submitting to me?” Kacchan whispered in his ear. His breath was hot. Izuku pinched his eyes shut as the feeling sent a shiver up his spine.

 

He froze.

 

A smile slowly crossed Izuku’s face.

 

“I’m not submitting.” Kacchan peered up at him from his lowered angle. “It wouldn’t be any fun like that, right?”

 

Kacchan’s own feral grin mirrored his. “Is that how you plan on wooing me? Still pretending that you’re playing hard to get?” Kacchan swept him off his feet and tossed him down against a plush sofa covered in furs. “How do you expect me to believe that when you’ve been serving yourself up to me for the past month?”

 

Izuku batted his eyelashes. “I think it might be working.” He gave a long, hard stare at the way Kacchan had him pinned as if to bring the alpha’s attention to it. “Don’t you think?”

 

Kacchan bent down and licked a stripe over his neck. Izuku’s heart pounded against the walls of his chest, like a caged animal begging to be set free. “You’re not going to regret it?” The words were steamy puffs of hot air against his throat.

 

Izuku peeked up at Kacchan. He met his eyes levelly. There was no beast hovering above him right now. No alpha. Just Kacchan. His Kacchan.

 

“I won’t regret it.”

 

Kacchan pressed down into him, smothering Izuku’s body with his own. Every fiber of Izuku’s being filled up with cinnamon and brown sugar.

 

Kacchan gently kissed his cheek.

 

“Then make sure you win the trial tomorrow.”

 

Izuku stared dumbstruck up at him. Kacchan had a wolfish smile on his face. The expression didn’t last long. Izuku wrapped his legs around Kacchan’s torso, pressing him down further, bringing Kacchan’s pelvis down to rub against Izuku’s. The smile deliciously fled from Kacchan’s face and he let out a hiss at the sudden friction.

 

Izuku let out a short snarl, “If you’re going to tease me, I’ll repay you with interest.”

 

“Deku…” Kacchan tried to tug his hips back, but Izuku tightened his grip.

 

“Why won’t you claim me? Is it because I’m human ? Is it because I’m scarred now? Am I tainted or dirty in some way?”

 

“What? No! Why the hell would you think that?”

 

“Because you always come out of everything so clean!” Izuku’s fingers ran up Kacchan’s arm. “Your skin is smooth and unblemished. And you didn’t hesitate in the slightest when it came to crushing those dragon eggs, did you?” Izuku swallowed, trying to fight off more tears. “You always do everything so perfectly, so completely. Even if I’m racing to catch up with you, it feels like it’ll never be enough. Am I just never going to be good enough for you?”

 

Kacchan grit his teeth, a loud growl emanating from somewhere deep in his chest. He pulled away, this time too strong for Izuku to keep him in place. Izuku watched him back away, expression hurt and animalistic.

 

Desperation.

 

Izuku quickly placed the emotion crossing his face. Kacchan was very clearly fighting back his alpha instinct to claim and to comfort. The realization burned a hole through Izuku’s heart. He sat up on the sofa and brought his legs close to his chest, hugging them close. He set his head down on his knees.

 

“You don’t have to go so far to reject me. I never wanted you to feel so hurt over this, Kacchan. I didn’t mean to put you at odds with your nature. I just thought they would have been in alignment, since my heart and instincts match up just fine.”

 

Izuku lifted his head. Kacchan didn’t move, just continued to stare at him with his teeth bared, the growl turning into a low rumble.

 

“I guess I was projecting a little. I got so caught up in my own feelings that I didn’t really stop to see how much I imposed on yours. I’m sorry, Kacchan. I’m sorry that I fell for you,” Tears rolled down Izuku’s cheeks and he hiccuped to clear his throat, “I’m sorry that I...”

 

He stood up, bolting for the door. Before he could betray his own resolve and turn to see Kacchan one more time, he closed it behind him.

 

Izuku ran.

 

He didn’t know where his feet were carrying him and he didn’t care. On some level, he was aware of the low hanging branches that whipped at his face and brambles that nipped at his ankles, but, physically, he was numb to it.

 

Before he really knew it, he had arrived at the lake in the woods behind Kirishima’s property. A tall, lanky figure with golden hair sat waterside in silent contemplation. Izuku sniffled and wiped his nose with his sleeve, approaching cautiously.

 

He sat down on the bank of the lake next to Toshinori.

 

Toshinori didn’t stir, wasn’t surprised to see him. Both the lake and Izuku’s teacher remained serenely still as moonlight washed over them.

 

Eventually, Toshinori let out a shaky sigh. “A lot of things are going to end tomorrow.”

 

“Some things ended tonight.” Izuku wiped at his cheeks.

 

Toshinori turned to face him. “But, you know, when something ends, that means something else begins.”

 

Izuku shook his head. “But... I don’t know what’s going to happen. Master Toshinori, when your reign ends, you know that someone else will take your place. I don’t know what to do now.”

 

“Just do what you’ve been doing.”

 

Izuku flinched. “You want me to continue with the competition? Even though...”

 

The sovereign nodded. “For you, the outcome of the trials hasn’t been much of a priority, I know. But, you’ve already ended one thing tonight. If you end another, without knowing what’ll happen next, you might end up even more lost. Don’t close so many doors at once or you’ll find yourself stuck in place with no means of escape.”

 

They sat in silence as Izuku contemplated his words. After a while Izuku cleared his throat and spoke up again, “So, about the second trial… When did you-”

 

“As soon as I announced it.” Master Toshinori ruffled his hair. “I haven’t known you for long, but I’m a pretty good judge of character. What I didn’t expect was that you’d learn how to multi class in such a short amount of time. You never stop surprising me.”

 

Izuku exhaled a large, calming breath. He chuckled but his heart wasn’t really in it. “Well, there’s some pretty useful spells Rangers can’t learn that Druids can.”





Katsuki slunk down, back against the wall. He sat on the floor of his den. He took deep, labored breaths, steadying his nerves.

 

He was so close to letting go, to just letting his alpha take over. Something had shifted. His vision had swam until the world was in sepia, Deku’s distressed omegan scent filling his home and invading his senses. He wouldn’t allow himself to move, to go to him in such an excited state.

 

He had allowed his alpha to dominate him before, when Deku was in heat, but he had been careful to reign it in, to only use his instincts to comfort. But, seeing Deku in so much pain, feeling his hurt so raw, without the lust driven pheromones underlying his emotions was too jarring.

 

Claim. Bite. Mate.

 

He had stepped back. Grit his teeth. Rejected his desires, and, in doing so, had prompted Deku into releasing more painfully blaring signals of hurt and distress.

 

When the door had slammed shut, Katsuki had never known such relief and such anguish at once.

 

He wove his hands through damp hair, sweat beading along his scalp.

 

Almost.

 

He had almost been thrown into a rut.

 

When his heartbeat steadied and his senses returned, he stood up, panicked once more. “Deku?” He looked towards the door, moving to open it. He stepped out into the dusk laden streets.

 

Katsuki scented the air. Fresh grass and earth in sunshine met his nose. He took off, following it through town. It led him to the market district.

 

He hesitated in front of Kirishima’s house. The scent wafted around and behind the property. He thought better than to enter the territory of another alpha without making himself known and went to knock on Kirishima’s door.

 

Kirishima answered promptly. Upon first seeing his friend, he smiled goofily and leaned on the doorway. Then his nose wrinkled, clearly detecting the smell of upset omega in the air.

 

Katsuki frowned. “Can we talk?”

 

Without a word, Kirishima stepped aside and gestured for Katsuki to enter. He led Katsuki to his dining table, and went about getting the two of them pitchers of ale. When they settled down, each with a mug, Kirishima finally broached the subject, “What happened?”

 

Katsuki sighed, staring distantly into his mug. “I lost control of myself.”

 

Rather than assume the worst from that statement, Kirishima laughed. “I don’t think so. Knowing you, it’s probably the opposite.”

 

Katsuki snarled and slammed his mug down. “Well, you’re wrong!”

 

Kirishima took a swig, his expression bored and looking unperturbed with Katsuki’s outburst. “So what really happened?”

 

“He was upset.”

 

“Yeah, I gathered that.”

 

“So I brought him back to my place.”

 

“Uh-huh. We all saw you pull him away after the trial.”

 

“And, we had some sort of moment.”

 

Kirishima’s eyes widened. “Oh? Hold up. What does that mean exactly?”

 

Katsuki felt his face heat up. He blamed it on the booze. “I tried to comfort him. The trial… I knew it was gonna be too much for him. He’s not like that. He’s a goddamn bleeding heart. He wouldn’t do it. I still can’t even believe he did it.”

 

“I mean, when it comes to you, I think he’s capable of almost anything.”

 

Katsuki hummed, eyes fixed on the reflection in his ale. “I upset him.”

 

“More so than usual?” Kirishima prompted.

 

“I tried to comfort him, but I felt myself getting dragged too far in. It would have been bad. I had to pull back.”

 

“Ah. So that’s what happened.”

 

Katsuki looked up at him puzzled.

 

“I don’t think you have to hold yourself back. Midoriya would probably be happy if you lost yourself in him. He wants you to want him. So why can’t you just let go a little bit?”

 

“I can’t have weaknesses. I have to stay focused.”

 

“Bullshit. There’s never been any sort of rule saying a sovereign can’t take a mate and the easiest way to protect a weakness is to keep it close. What the fuck are you afraid of? Why don’t you want to get close to him?”

 

“Because I don’t want to hurt him!” Katsuki stood up, rattling the table and spilling a little ale. “I’ve already done it once, when we were kids, and I could do it again. I’m not a gentle alpha and I’m not a gentle person. I can’t give him what he wants!”

 

Kirishima reared up, slamming his hands down on the table. “He doesn’t want a gentle mate! He wants you , asshole!”

 

There was a quiet stillness that hung between them as Katsuki’s chest rose and fell in a steady rhythm, the flurry of emotions slowly leaving him exhausted. He bit his lip and hung his head. Katsuki reached for the mug of ale and downed the remaining drink.

 

Kirishima held a hand out warningly. “Dude, take it easy...”

 

Katsuki slammed the mug down and wiped at his mouth. He strode to the door.

 

“Where are you going?”

 

“Home.”

 

“What are you going to do?”

 

“Sleep.”

 

“Not what I meant. I was asking what you planned on doing about Midoriya.”

 

Katsuki shook his head. “I don’t know.”

 

Kirishima smiled and blew air out through his nose. “Well, that’s some progress.”

 

Katsuki opened the door, but peeked over his shoulder. “How do you mean?”

 

Kirishima beamed at him, sharp teeth splitting his mouth wide. “You always know what you want and what you plan on doing to get it. It’s about time you struggle for something, you damn prodigy!” Katsuki huffed and walked out the door. “Get a good night’s sleep, Bakugou!”

 

Katsuki lifted his hand up to let Kirishima know he’d been heard.

Chapter Text

Izuku walked with Kirishima to the stadium. Dragonborns were already lining up outside the various access points to flood the stands. A few vendors walked the lines with carts calling out the names of their wares and goods.

 

The smell of seasoned meat reached his nose. Although it was most likely very delicious, Izuku felt nauseous. He gripped the shirt over his stomach, attempting to keep down his growing feeling of unease.

 

Toshinori said it would be alright for him to participate.

 

He was allowed to be here.

 

He would be fine.

 

Izuku took a big breath to steady his nerves. Kirishima smacked him on the back mid-inhale, causing him to choke. “Oh, shit! Sorry, man! You looked kind of frazzled and I just wanted to show some support. You good?”

 

Izuku cleared his throat. “Yep! I’m fine! Just, uh, just some pre-battle jitters. Don’t bother me, I mean- don’t mind me! I don’t want to be a bother to you . I’m sure you’re trying to get into your own headspace for the tournament, and I don’t want to get in the way of it… Sorry. I’m rambling.”

 

Kirishima frowned down at him. Izuku felt a calloused hand flop onto his head before rustling his hair around, probably roughing up his bed head to an even more uncontrollable degree. “Don’t worry about it, man. I don’t really know what’s going on between you and Bakugou right now, but I feel like my attention has been somewhat unfairly divided. I’m supposed to be a friend to both of you, so I’m sorry if you’ve been letting your worries pile up. You can always talk to me, okay?”

 

Izuku bit back tears.

 

What was he doing? Making Kirishima feel guilty just because he was getting depressed over the feelings he had tried to wrongfully force onto Kacchan? Feelings that obviously weren’t reciprocated. He had to focus . At the very least, he could still make Toshinori proud.

 

He wiped away any dampness building up at the corners of his eyes and sniffled. His mind felt a little clearer when he looked back up at Kirishima’s concerned face. “I’m fine! Let’s just both do our best, okay?”

 

Kirishima didn’t press him further.

 

They continued towards the participant entrance. Rather than the underground waiting zone, they would be able to observe the fights from their own designated seats in the stadium.

 

Izuku looked over the bleachers and made unintended eye contact with Kacchan. He withdrew his gaze, a shameful heat burning through his body and crawling its way up into his face.

 

“Oh, speak of the devil. Should have guessed that he’d be the first one to arrive. Shall we sit with him?” Kirishima whispered down to Izuku.

 

Kirishima took one step towards the seats before Izuku tugged him back by the hem of his shirt. Kirishima looked down at him, a question clear on his face.

 

“Uh… I’m, well, I’m probably going to sit in the third row on this side, okay?”

 

There was no way Kirishima wouldn’t notice that the seat was the furthest possible spot Izuku could have picked from Kacchan’s. But Kirishima just smiled and nodded. “Okay! We’ll both sit up there then.”

 

Izuku let out a big sigh of relief. Kirishima was really much too accommodating to his anxiety. Yet another thorn of guilt prickled at Izuku for making Kirishima have to choose between him and Kacchan.

 

They took their seats and waited for the audience members and other participants to arrive. Every so often, Izuku would sneak glances down at Kacchan and he’d watch the alpha jolt, clearly aware of Izuku’s eyes on his back.

 

There was no preamble to the one-on-one tournament. Just a list of names brought out and attached to a large wooden board. Izuku squinted to find his first match up. “Fujimoto Kuro...” He spoke a little too loudly. A familiar head of raven black hair turned from the first bench and caught his eye.

 

A cold dread swept through Izuku.

 

It was the man who had confronted him after the first trial.

 

“Oh? So I get to have a little taste of you after all, huh?” his gold eyes shimmered with something dark. “Don’t bore me out there.”

 

Izuku swallowed and said nothing. He focused on keeping his breathing even. Kirishima threw an arm around him. He stared Fujimoto down. His usual smile concealed just how much he was actually bristling next to Izuku. “Yeah! Let’s show some sportsmanship and have a couple of decent matches out there!”

 

Fujimoto scoffed and turned back around.

 

Kirishima leaned down to whisper in Izuku’s ear, “That guy is bad news. I’ve seen him hanging around with some shady folk of varying races. Pretty sure he visits the Underdark every so often.”

 

And he gave Izuku such a hard time for having fae ancestry! What a hypocrite!

 

“Kirishima.”

 

“Yes?”

 

“I’m going to crush him.”

 

Kirishima gave Izuku a thumbs-up. “Hell yeah! Can’t wait to see you do that bastard in!”

 

The first two participants were called into the waiting wings. Kacchan and a beta girl with a brown bob and round cheeks rose from their seats. Kacchan’s gaze lingered on Izuku in passing. Izuku quickly slid his eyes down. Kacchan’s eyes narrowed. Biting into his bottom lip, he said nothing and kept moving.

 

A few minutes later Izuku watched Kacchan step into the arena. He removed his cape, entering shirtless, his skin glistening with a golden sheen in the morning sunlight.

 

“He doesn’t need armor?” Izuku whispered to Kirishima.

 

“Well, we’re allowed to bring whatever kind of protection we want into the ring, but some dragonborns see extra armor as a sign of weakness. Theoretically, scales should do just fine.”

 

Kacchan’s opponent stepped into the arena soon after. Izuku read her name on the bracket board. Uraraka Ochako.

 

Upon seeing Kacchan bare chested, she removed her shirt as well.

 

Izuku flushed and looked at Kirishima. “I-I admire her for meeting Kacchan head on like that!”

 

Kirishima scratched at his cheek bashfully, a red tint to his own cheeks. “Yeah, well, she’s probably going to be shifting during the fight anyway, so the clothes will just restrain her as the match goes on.”

 

Izuku watched as the start of the match was signalled. Kacchan didn’t move. Uraraka immediately shifted, just as Kirishima had predicted.

 

Vibrant iridescently pink scales spread across her face and down her body, unfurling down her back until two huge wings flared out behind her.

 

Izuku leaned forward, mesmerized by the display.

 

“I’ve seen her practice,” Kirishima spoke fondly of her, “She specializes at aerial warfare.”

 

The dragon’s wings came down hard, sending out a rush of wind over the stands in her corner. Izuku blinked away flying sand to see she had managed to launch herself a few yards into the air already. Just as quickly as she pulled herself up, her wings pulled into her body and she dive bombed in Kacchan’s direction.

 

Kacchan rolled out of the way, as she swooped by, curving back up into the air, before almost colliding with one of the four columns in the arena.

 

“This is gonna be tricky for Bakugou. If she pulls him into the air, she’ll have a tactical advantage. He’s being smart, making himself a small target and staying low to the ground,” Kirishima muttered.

 

Izuku watched the same scene play out a few more times, with Uraraka diving in low and nearly colliding with the walls and pillars and Kacchan just narrowly avoiding her open claws. Eventually, the beating of her wings slowed and she lowered herself to the ground.

 

She panted, puffs of hot air sliding out between sharp teeth. She flared her wings again and roared. Kacchan smiled. He lifted his hand and beckoned her forward.

 

She charged him.

 

Izuku sat on the edge of his seat, waiting for the two to collide.

 

But, before she could reach him, Uraraka’s front legs gave out. Her head fell to the ground and her body skidded through the dirt, stopping just in front of Kacchan.

 

She shifted once more, scales falling away and body growing smaller, more human. Izuku watched the rapid rise and fall of her breathing from her back.

 

Overexhaustion.

 

Izuku imagined holding herself in the air for so long might have been more draining than the actual fight.

 

Kacchan stepped away from the girl, retrieving his cape. He made his way back over to his opponent. She sat up and he dropped his cape over her shoulders as Toshinori declared him the victor of the first match.

 

Izuku was so focused on the small display of respect that he almost didn’t hear his name getting called for the next match. Kirishima smacked him on the back. “Go get him, Midoriya! Show him what you’re made of!”

 

Izuku imagined his competitor shifting into something as ferocious as Uraraka’s dragon form. “What I’m made of is squishy flesh and brittle bones and I’d rather not show him all that.”

 

“Then show him what he’s made of!”

 

Izuku stood abruptly from his seat, a flicker of resolve sparking in his chest and spreading like wildfire through his body. He nodded. “I’ll do my best!”

 

He followed Fujimoto out of the stands and down the corridors, through the skeletal system of the arena. They met Kacchan and Uraraka walking back to the participants’ seats together. The beta girl smiled at Izuku and waved. “Good luck out there!”

 

“O-Oh, yeah! Thank you and nice match! Um… you did amazing too, Kacchan,” Izuku quickly added before dashing to catch up with his competitor.

 

Said competitor had been hanging back, obviously eavesdropping on the exchange. “Uh-oh. What’s this, omega? Trouble in paradise?” He leaned back to peek at Izuku’s scent gland. “Bakugou still hasn’t claimed you? Did he reject you?”

 

“That’s not any of your business,” Izuku kept his voice cold and his expression stoic.

 

“It might be my business if I win this match. You know how pairs formed in the olden days, don’t you? Alphas would make their omegas submit. It wouldn’t be such a tragedy if you lost this match. I can claim you right after I pin your stubborn ass to the ground. Bet you’d even like it on some level. Omegas are just wired like that.”

 

The embers coursing through Izuku’s body lashed out. He felt a great anger bubbling inside him. It was something feral and cruel. Something that he’d only ever really experienced while staring into Kacchan’s eyes. It was the same hot red fire that burned in those twin hearths. Izuku borrowed a little of that fire and fight now.

 

He grabbed Fujimoto’s shirt collar, pulling him down to eye level. “After this omega kicks your ass to the curb, he’s gonna cut your dick off and mount it on the inside of his next nest.”

 

Izuku released the stunned alpha’s shirt collar and walked with his head held high into the arena. The crowd applauded uproariously as he took his place on the far side. Fujimoto stepped out moments later, sneering maliciously, a forked tongue slipping out from his mouth every few seconds.

 

Izuku felt sweat trickle down his back. The hairs on his neck rose.

 

Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to antagonize his opponent right before the match.

 

Fujimoto looked only a few seconds from bursting into his dragon form, slick black scales prickling out over his arms and in patches on his face. He glared at Izuku intently, sliding his long tongue over his jowls.

 

Blood rushed to Izuku’s ears as adrenaline began coursing through his whole body. He could barely hear anything except his own breathing, a whirring noise filling his head. His fingers thrummed with the buzzing of nerves.

 

“Begin!” With Toshinori’s signal, Izuku’s hearing returned and he focused back in on the match.

 

Fujimoto shifted right from the the start, muscles growing larger. His wings were much smaller than Uraraka’s, but his tail was longer, ending with some painful looking spines at the end that would impale Izuku for sure if he came into contact with them.

 

The black dragonborn shrieked. Izuku couldn’t help wincing at the horrid sound.

 

Then Fujimoto charged him. Izuku barely ducked underneath the large creature to avoid his claws. Izuku gasped as he found himself ducking down again, this time dodging Fujimoto’s spiked tail.

 

Think, Izuku! Think! He’s so much larger than you, so you have to think! Use your wits!

 

Izuku’s eyes focused in on a small vine growing up and out of the ground at the base of one of the columns. It was browning, dry and clearly showing signs of wilting.

 

Izuku smiled.

 

You’ll do just fine!

 

He reached out a hand and cast Grasping Vine . The vine immediately thickened. It grew greener and healthier shooting up from the ground and wagging in the air a few feet before skyrocketing over Izuku and latching onto Fujimoto’s neck like a dog being collared.

 

Fujimoto struggled against it, still too strong to be properly held back by the plant. He continued to chase after Izuku, but Izuku was already forming his next plan of attack. He ducked behind another column, waiting for Fujimoto to follow him before sprinting to duck behind the next one.

 

Fujimoto, in his anger, continued his rampage, barrelling around every pillar Izuku led him behind. After the fourth turn, the vine pulled taut against his throat and Fujimoto was jerked back, held in place by the combined strength of the pillars. He tried to rip himself free, but the tugging only choked him further.

 

Izuku stopped running and faced his opponent, a safe distance away from any potentially ranged attacks. He took a deep breath and cast Speak with Plants . The vine, already pleased with it’s renewed life was more than willing to comply with Izuku’s requests.

 

It moved itself accordingly, tangling around Fujimoto’s legs, pulling him down to restrain him. Fujimoto struggled in vain, wasting his energy as he further complicated his position among the vines. He gave one more frustrated roar before his head fell to the ground. A few vines wrapped themselves around his muzzle and held his mouth shut tight.

 

Izuku panted, standing in place as the arena finally went quiet.

 

He fell to his knees, managing to catch himself from toppling forward by bracing his hands on the dusty ground. He wiped his brow of sweat and forced himself to rise back up on shaky legs. Izuku lifted up his fist victoriously.

 

The crowd cheered.

 

Toshinori stood up on his stage. He stared down at Izuku with pride and declared him the winner of his first match.





Katsuki watched Izuku hobble out of the arena. As soon as he was out of sight, the vines started to recede from the loser, finally freeing him. He watched the dark dragonborn alpha shift down into human form, or as human as he was able to be while very obviously upset at the loss.

 

The dragonborn’s nostrils flared and he took long purposeful strides to exit the arena.

 

An awful, gut wrenching feeling made Katsuki bristle with concern.

 

Something was wrong.

 

“Bro, are you okay?” Kirishima’s hand on his shoulder shook him from his intense focus. He looked up into Kirishima’s face. “You look a little pale. I asked you to wish me luck just now and I was sort of worried you were ignoring me, but actually... you don’t look so good.”

 

Katsuki stood up. “I’m not going to be able to watch your match. Sorry… and good luck.”

 

“What? Why?”

 

“It’s nothing I can’t handle by myself. Just go kill that silver haired bastard you got matched with and I’ll see you in time for the next match.”

 

Katsuki left before he could hear Kirishima’s response. He traced his way through the inside of the arena, back down to the ground level. He sniffed the air and caught hold of Deku’s grassy scent. It drifted out from the entrance leading into the arena, the way they would have come. But he hadn’t run into the two participants on his way down, so they had to have gone another way.

 

He followed Deku’s scent further down the hall, in the direction leading out of the stadium. Katsuki chased after it.

 

As soon as he made it outside, Katsuki cupped a hand to his face.

 

Distress pheromones.

 

Deku’s.

 

And it was all over the damn place.

 

Katsuki felt his breathing pick up and a growl rose in his chest. He moved closer to the source of the smell, finding himself in front of the door leading down into the waiting pit, the cellar-like room where all the participants had been held before the opening ceremony.

 

He kicked the door in and paled.

 

The dragonborn alpha had Deku’s neck in his mouth, his wrists pinned to the ground beneath his clawed hands. Deku’s expression was strained, his head turned away from the alpha, less in submission and more in rejection.

 

Katsuki saw red.

 

He seized the alpha by the neck and ripped him off of Deku, throwing him against the back wall and holding him up. He dangled there, claws clutching at Katsuki’s arms ineffectively to loosen his grip.

 

Katsuki barely registered the blood red scales beginning to peek out over his skin, or the faint heating of his palms as fire rose from his fingertips, mere seconds from bursting into furious explosions.

 

The dragonborn tried to speak, but Katsuki’s forearm shoved against his windpipe made his voice come out choked and garbled. His eyes were wide with fear as he struggled to breathe, slowly suffocating.

 

Good.

 

“Kacchan! No! You’ll kill him!” Deku’s arms wove around his midsection and Katsuki hissed, enraged that Deku would even think of stopping him.

 

“This guy…!” Katsuki could barely get words out in the common tongue, “He bit you! He claimed you!” He heard his voice break in the middle and Katsuki winced at how pained it sounded.

 

Someone had claimed Deku. No. Not just someone. This asshole had claimed him, while Katsuki had been dragging his feet and was stuck feeling fucked up over his own emotions.

 

It was all his fault.

 

But he was still gonna make this fucker pay.

 

“He didn’t claim me, Kacchan! I promise, he didn’t! I cast Stoneskin ! Look!”

 

Deku grabbed both sides of Katsuki’s head and pulled him down to look at him. After inspecting his tearstained face more clearly, Katsuki took note of the rough, rocky pattern of his skin, his freckles hidden beneath an impenetrable layer of the spell’s craggly coating.

 

Katsuki’s eyes flickered down lower to observe Izuku’s neck. There were no puncture marks. No claiming bite.

 

Katsuki felt a great wave of relief wash over him. His hold on the dragonborn alpha loosened, but he still didn’t let go. Calmer and more in control, Katsuki looked back at the bastard. “You’re going to leave this town and never come back. If I see you in my territory or my Clan’s territory ever again, I will not hesitate to kill you.”

 

He dropped the alpha to the floor where the man spluttered and rubbed at his abused throat.

 

Go.

 

The alpha scurried to his feet and fled the room at the command. Katsuki waited until his putrid scent drifted out after him before he fully relaxed. When he was sure they were completely alone, Katsuki slumped to the ground, pinching the bridge of his nose.

 

“Kacchan, I’m sorry, I-”

 

“Why are you sorry?” Katsuki found himself interrupting Deku. He stared up at him and another fire lit up his insides.

 

He was angry again. Why was he always so angry? Nothing he ever said came out right when he was angry, “What the hell were you doing down here with a guy like that? Did he pull you in here or did you follow him? Why didn’t you scream for someone? What were you thinking?”

 

Deku flinched with each accusingly-toned question. “That… That’s a lot to answer. I, um, I was pulled in here. I didn’t scream because I didn’t think anyone would hear me. Plus, Stoneskin has a vocal component and I was too focused on casting it to scream for help right away.” He grabbed the edge of his button up, ringing the hem in nervous hands. “I’m sorry, Kacchan. I didn’t mean to bother you again.”

 

Shit .

 

Is that what he thought? That Katsuki was annoyed with him right now?

 

“No. Deku, I-”

 

“B-but thank you for being here at the right place and the right time. Seems like you’re still saving me when I end up in trouble, huh?” Katsuki watched Deku’s hands as they curled around the fabric of his shirt. They trembled with lingering traces of fear.

 

Katsuki rose to his feet. He reached out a hand.

 

Deku looked up. The trembling came to a full stop and he stared firmly up at Katsuki, his eyes green and resolute. “Anyway, I’m sorry if I’ve inconvenienced you again, Kacchan. Good luck with your next match!”

 

Deku turned around and bolted for the exit.

 

Katsuki pulled his hand back and stared down into his empty palm. It began to glow a burning orange as he clenched his hand into a fist and slammed it against the wall.

 

Dammit!

Chapter Text

Izuku kept his head down as he made his way back into the arena. His forehead pressed into something hard and he jolted back, throwing his arms up defensively.

 

A scrappy looking Kirishima stood before him, shirt collar shredded and body covered in small scratches. His hands were up in a pacifying manner, concern pinching his brow.

 

“Midoriya? You okay?”

 

Izuku swallowed, “Not really. I- I messed up again. I bothered Kacchan. I-” He shook his head, trying to rein his emotions back in. “I’m sorry, Kirishima. I can’t really talk about it right now... How did your first match go?”

 

Kirishima clearly wasn’t fooled by the subject change. He grimaced, but respected Izuku’s decision to keep quiet. “I won my match! It was hard, but I pulled through... Where’s Bakugou? Didn’t he go looking for you? He looked upset when he left.”

 

Izuku was doing a poor job of stopping himself from shaking. “He’s somewhere back outside of the arena,” He took a deep breath. “I would just give him a minute. He’ll come back in a little bit.”

 

Kirishima nodded. “Well, I wanted to let you guys know who your next matches are.” Kirishima clapped his hands together and bowed his head. “I’m so sorry, but I won’t be able to cheer for you during your next match, Midoriya! You’re going up against this Alpha named Ashido Mina and I’m sort of trying to, well, um…”

 

Izuku’s eyes widened. “Kirishima, are you interested in her?”

 

Kirishima’s cheeks grew a rosy red, almost as bright as his hair. “I want to court her, but it’s hard even trying to get noticed. I don’t even think she knows I exist, but if I cheer for her opponent, I’m afraid it’ll look kind of bad, and I won’t ever have a chance with her…”

 

Izuku waved his hands around. “You don’t have to worry or apologize or anything! You’ve been a really good and supportive friend, Kirishima! I wouldn’t have gotten this far without you!” Izuku clasped a hand on Kirishima’s shoulder. “Cheer for your future mate! I’ll handle this one by myself!”

 

Kirishima gave him a bashful smile. “I’ll do my best! I plan to ask her out after the closing ceremony, so we’ll see how things turn out, yeah? Now, you better go find yourself a good seat. Bakugou’s next match is going to be quite the spectacle.”

 

Izuku tilted his head at the strange wording, but didn’t question it further. Shrugging, he made his way back to the participant box seats.





Katsuki growled upon smelling fresh alpha scent when he walked up to the entrance of the arena. His hackles lowered when he recognized Kirishima leaning against a wall, waiting for him. He waved. “Yo!”

 

Katsuki tried to ignore him. He strode by, but a hand on his shoulder quickly spun him around and brought him into a tight hug. “What the fuck are you doing?!”

 

Kirishima’s arms hardened, preventing escape. “Just testing out a move I plan to use on you during our next match.”

 

Katsuki paused his struggling. “... We’re paired up in the next round? Guess I should congratulate you on your win.”

 

Kirishima chuckled, “Yeah, you should, but you won’t, you competitive ass.”

 

“You gonna let me go now?”

 

“Nope! I want to know what happened first!”

 

Katsuki snarled and tried to wiggle free. Kirishima’s rock-like skin kept him in his friend’s solid arms. “You dickhead! Why didn’t you just grill Deku, huh?”

 

“He’s going through enough right now I think. Now what happened?”

 

Katsuki grit his teeth. He took a deep breath and sighed going almost completely slack. “That sleazy alpha he was up against in the first round… He tried to claim him.”

 

“Oh shit! Did you kill him? Where’s the body? Do we need to hide it?”

 

“I didn’t kill him!”

 

Kirishima let his grip slacken. He let go of Katsuki and braced himself against the wall. “Oh, thank the Gods!”

 

“Deku stopped me from choking him out, but I scared him off. Doubt we’ll see him around these parts ever again.”

 

“So, what happened after? You confess yet?”

 

“I- Wait! What?!”

 

Kirishima stood up and swatted dust off of his ripped up shorts. “I mean, you should have realized it by now right? You like him. You almost killed a man for him. Not the most romantic gesture, but you’ve never been one for the softer side of courting. Midoriya was definitely right to court you the way he did.”

 

Katsuki stared blankly at him.

 

That couldn’t be right. Because if it was right, that meant Deku’s courtship had succeeded. Fucking Deku had seduced him. Had enticed and provided the perfect challenge that his alpha side would finally feel worthy to take up.

 

Katsuki frowned.

 

“But I can’t like him.”

 

“Why not?”

 

“I told you already. I hurt him before.”

 

“You were both kids. You didn’t know any better.”

 

“Nothing’s changed!” Katsuki raised his voice, “I’m still hurting him! You didn’t see his face in there! After I chased off that bastard... He looked miserable. I did that to him.”

 

“Yeah, you did. Midoriya chased after you and stopped as soon as he thought you rejected him. Now it’s your turn to chase after him . And you can start by being the only person in his corner for the next round.”

 

Katsuki squinted at Kirishima. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

 

“He’s up against Ashido.”

 

Katsuki snorted. “Got it. Enough said. You and your hopeless puppy dog crush.”

 

Kirishima threw an arm around Katsuki’s neck and led him back towards the center of the arena. “Replace you with us , buddy, cause from where I’m standing, you’ve got it just as bad if not worse!”

 

“I’m gonna crush you out there.”

 

Kirishima slapped him on the back and started walking ahead. “Save some of that fight for when you need to cheer on your man!”





Izuku watched as Kirishima bounded back into the arena, kicking up dust and waving to the cheering crowd, still feeling the high from the first match he’d given them. Kirishima was definitely a fan favorite at this point.

 

The girl from Kacchan’s first fight, Uraraka, sat down next to Izuku and turned to speak with a pink-skinned alpha girl, “That’s the guy you’ve been telling me about, right, Mina?”

 

Izuku gasped, but tried to keep his eyes facing forward. He didn’t really want to eavesdrop, but it was kind of unavoidable in his current position.

 

“Yeah!” Ashido smiled. “He’s the one who helped me fix up my old man’s sword when I accidentally chipped it. He’s a skilled blacksmith… Kind of cute too.”

 

Kacchan made his way into the ring next.

 

Ah. So Kirishima was facing Kacchan then.

 

“Bakugou is the person you’re trying to court, right?” Izuku startled, turning to lock eyes with Uraraka on his right.

 

Ashido peered over her and beamed. “Oh! You’re that little elf guy! I’m fighting you in the next match!”

 

“I-I’m not an elf. I’m part dryad… It’s only a small part though,” Izuku was growing increasingly flustered. He didn’t have friends back in his village and lately all of his interactions with people had been one on one. This was something new. He didn’t know if he liked having two sets of eyes looking him over curiously. “And I’m not courting Kacch- I mean, Bakugou… Not anymore anyway.”

 

“Oooh! I smell gossip!” Ashido set her hands down in Uraraka’s lap and leaned over. “Give me deats!”

 

“Mina!” Uraraka stuck a hand over her face and pushed her head back. “Sorry about that! She’s not rude, just abrasive.”

 

“It’s okay. A lot of the people I surround myself with have that trait in common.”

 

Ashido and Uraraka sputtered out a few laughs, “Man, you really know Bakugou well, huh? Not sure I like any of my personality traits being compared with his though.” Ashido rested her head in her hand, watching Kirishima crackle into his craggy brown dragonborn skin.

 

“I meant it more as a compliment than an insult,” Izuku clarified, “He may come off a certain way, but he’s really an amazing person at his core.”

 

Uraraka turned to watch the match. Her eyes followed Izuku’s line of sight and settled on Kacchan. She appraised him, “Yeah, he was a lot kinder than I first thought. Definitely not what I expected.”

 

Izuku caught her smiling out of the corner of his eye, hands going up to tug at a poncho someone must have brought or lent her.

 

Izuku fidgeted in place. He tried to quell the feeling of unease bubbling in his gut.

 

You have no right to be jealous! Not anymore!

 

Uraraka was a nice dragonborn girl and a strong beta. She’d make Kacchan happy, if he decided to become mates with her. It wasn’t as if she had shown any romantic interest in him to begin with anyway.

 

Kacchan and Kirishima’s match was even shorter than his match with Uraraka. Unsurprisingly, Kirishima was on the defensive for most of the fight, using his quirk to negate some of the damage done by Kacchan’s explosions.

 

But Kacchan didn’t give Kirishima any time to recover from the blows. Cracks began to form in his craggily hide. A few more well placed hits and Izuku figured he’d go down.

 

Without warning, Ashido stood up on her seat and shouted out loudly, “Come on, Blacksmith Boy! You can do it!”

 

Kirishima’s head immediately swiveled to look her way. A big smile stretched across his face, his eyes lighting up with pure mirth. Just the absolute picture of a young man in love.

 

Then Kacchan’s palm pressed into his cheek, unleashing a barrage of fiery detonations while he was thoroughly distracted.

 

The audience “Ooo”-ed sympathetically at the painful hit.

 

Through the clearing smoke, it looked like Kacchan might have yelled something. Izuku could barely make out something about how Kirishima’s ‘weakness was showing’ before the redhead hit the ground and failed to get back up.

 

Ashido plunked herself back down in her seat looking frustrated. “Darn! I was kind of hoping we’d get a chance to meet each other in the final. Wouldn’t that have been romantic?”

 

Uraraka nodded. “You should still ask him to hang out some time!”

 

Ashido shook her head. “I can’t do that! He probably doesn’t even remember me! Or, if he does, I’m the klutzy girl that broke her dad’s sword and made him lose his match! No way!”

 

“I think you should do it,” Izuku interjected himself back into their conversation as he watched Kacchan help pull Kirishima to his feet. “Kirishima is a nice guy. He’d really like it if you asked him to hang out.” His eyes lingered on the mischievous grin Kacchan wore, his bright red eyes still alight with the heat of battle. “You might regret it if you don’t at least make an attempt.”

 

The girls were quiet. Izuku put a hand to his mouth, aware of what he’d just let slip.

 

Behind his muffled hand he tried to backtrack, “Ah, sorry! I sounded pretty high and mighty just now, didn’t I? And I was being way too serious. I’m so sorry!”

 

“It’s fine.” Uraraka put a hand on his shoulder. They both looked at him with small knowing smiles. “Just do your best against Mina out there okay?”

 

Ashido stood up and ruffled his hair in passing. “Yeah! Don’t hold anything back, shortstack! How else are we gonna properly peacock for our respective unrequited crushes?”

 

Izuku stood up and shuffled after her. “My name’s Midoriya, and I do not have a crush… anymore.”

 

He hoped.





Katsuki took his time getting back to his seat, waiting for Kirishima to leave so he could stealthily wait for Deku before his next match.

 

Deku came down from a set of stairs, strolling next to Ashido, the alpha girl, Katsuki recognized, that Kirishima often mooned over. They looked pretty deep in conversation and Katsuki found it hard to approach.

 

When Deku caught sight of him, his laughter immediately cut off, his eyes going to the floor.

 

Ashido seemed to notice his change in demeanor. Her big black eyes stretched wide when she saw Katsuki. She gave him an impish smile before throwing her arm around Deku’s neck and leaning in close to whisper something.

 

Deku looked confused by whatever she had said.

 

Katsuki growled. The instinct to chase away this other alpha getting her scent all over Deku was starting to creep up on him.

 

The next pair of combatants were almost at the edge of the ring when Katsuki found his voice, “Deku!”

 

Deku broke out of Ashido’s grasp and turned to give Katsuki his full attention. He looked genuinely surprised that Katsuki was even choosing to speak with him.

 

Katsuki’s hands curled into fists by his side. “Don’t lose.”

 

He quickly spun around and started walking at a brisk pace.

 

Don’t lose? Don’t lose?

 

What the fuck was that? Obviously Deku knew not to lose. Well, what was he even supposed to say? What did he want to say? Could he have said something more meaningful if Ashido wasn’t standing right behind Deku, snickering behind one of her hands like she knew Katsuki was struggling to get anything important at all out of his stupid fucking mouth?!

 

He got back to his seat. He plopped down and hung his head, weaving fingers through his hair. Kirishima patted his back. “How’d it go?”

 

“I told him not to lose.”

 

“Words of wisdom that I’m sure he’ll take to heart. Oh! They’re entering!”

 

Katsuki’s head snapped up.

 

Ashido entered waving to the crowd.

 

Deku entered looking dazed, eyebrows scrunched up in a look of maddened confusion.

 

“Wow. You really did a number on him. I can practically see steam coming out of his ears!” Katsuki shoved Kirishima for the teasing remark.

 

He stood up and leaned over the rail. He used both of his hands, cupping them around his mouth to amplify his voice, “Deku! Get your goddamn head out of your ass and into the game, you big nerd!”

 

A few people in the audience chuckled nervously. Deku looked even more unsure of himself at the outburst. He raised a shaky thumb up into the air to let Katsuki know he’d been heard loud and clear, although, why the outburst had been necessary was clearly beyond his limits of comprehension.

 

The match started and Ashido went on offense, neon pink scales spreading out and leaking a potent acid.

 

Deku spent the first few minutes dodging and observing her acid glob throws as they dissolved pieces of a pillar he was using as a shield.

 

Kirishima whooped loudly, “Go get him, Ashido!”

 

“Fucking traitor…” Katsuki muttered.

 

“If you’re upset about it, you cheer for him some more!”

 

Katsuki grit his teeth but stood up, competing with Kirishima so he could be heard, “Deku! Get the fuck out from behind that pillar, and do something already! You gonna run and hide through all your matches, you dipshit?”

 

Even more audience members laughed at that jive.

 

Katsuki looked around at them and grimaced. He honestly seemed to be doing more harm than good. Deku probably thought he was making fun of him. Why couldn’t he just spur him on like a normal person?

 

Kirishima smacked him on the shoulder. “Don’t stop now, man! Look!” Katsuki followed Kirishima’s outstretched index finger and spotted Deku rolling out from behind the column. He snarled, baring his small set of omegan fangs.

 

Ashido flinched at the sight, the alpha in her not expecting the threat from an omega, but continued her assault, chucking more acid in Deku’s direction.

 

Katsuki had a vivid image of what might happen if Deku was struck by one of her projectiles and suddenly wished he hadn’t told him to come out of hiding.

 

“Dek-!” Before he could take it back, Deku surprised Katsuki by expertly rolling out of the way.

 

Damn. Was he always that fast?

 

He moved low to the ground, zig zagging his way over to Ashido. She grew more frantic and it showed in her frenzied aim.

 

Then Deku was upon her. He threw himself, whole bodily, at her torso, knocking her to the ground.

 

“Oof! Geez!” Kirishima winced, “I didn’t realize it until now, but a move like that really does knock the air out of you, huh? Glad I never had to worry about taking the brunt of his whole weight to my gut when we spared. Not with my extra layer of thickness, anyway.”

 

That’s right.

 

In a place Katsuki couldn’t see, Deku had gotten stronger, not just in the ways of magic, but physically too. His body was well defined. He recalled how those tight, muscular thighs wrapped around his torso just last night. The way his biceps bulged when he had tried to pull Katsuki closer.

 

Deku may be short, but he was built like a brick shithouse.

 

Ashido was going down hard.

 

Katsuki’s assumptions were proven correct a few seconds later, as Deku hauled himself up, a sporadic pattern of holes forming in his clothes from pressing up against Ashido’s acidic skin.

 

His opponent, meanwhile, barely held herself up on trembling hands and knees, desperately trying to get air back into her lungs.

 

She was in no condition to finish the fight.

 

The realization of what that meant finally dawned on Katsuki as he and Deku locked eyes, a set of rubies in the stands, a pair of emeralds in the arena.

 

They would have to face each other in the finals.

Chapter Text

The ten minutes Izuku had to rest before the final match dragged. He stood in the opening to the arena, waiting to enter. He leaned against the hallway wall and sighed. With nothing left for him to do but wait, he brooded, mulling over his thoughts.

 

He’d already made his decision last night. No matter the outcome of this match, he’d keep to his resolve.

 

He closed his eyes. A mourning for a love lost rested heavy in his chest, making it hard for him to breathe. Despite it, he inhaled deeply.

 

The scent of cinnamon and spice filled his nose, entrancing his senses as it always did.

 

Steady footsteps echoed down the corridor. He looked up and saw Kacchan making his way toward him. He stopped before entering the arena, leaning against the opposite wall and facing him, arms folded over his chest.

 

“Hey, Kacchan,” Izuku gave him a smile that felt weak and ingenuine on his lips.

 

“Deku,” Kacchan’s response was terse.

 

They stood like that for a few minutes. Izuku’s eyes travelled up the alpha’s body, strong arms, broad shoulders, a face as handsome as it was cruel. Izuku wanted to burn every detail to memory, but he didn’t know if that would make his resolution more or less painful to keep.

 

“I hoped it would be you,” Kacchan’s voice startled Izuku out of his own head.

 

“Pardon?” Perhaps Izuku had heard him wrong.

 

“This final match, I wanted it to be you.”

 

Izuku blinked at him. “Oh, I, uh. I did hear you... cheering? Sorry if it sounds bad, but it was hard to tell if you actually meant it.”

 

“That’s… fair,” Kacchan tightened the hold on his arms. He went quiet again.

 

Kacchan’s face was turned towards the arena entrance, profile illuminated by the light filtering in from outside. His hair was practically gold in the sunlight, his eye that wondrous twinkling ruby Izuku had first encountered in the forest as a child peeking over a log all those years ago.

 

Kacchan looked proud and noble. A strong and intelligent dragonborn that would make an excellent sovereign. Although ornery at times, he’d serve his people well.

 

Something pricked at Izuku the more time winded down. His throat was dry and his nerves were frayed with the thought gnawing at him. Still, he couldn’t help but voice his question aloud, “Why?”

 

Kacchan turned to look at him, brow furrowed. “Why what?”

 

“Why were you hoping it was me you would face in the final match?”

 

The question hung between them. It was so quiet. Just the sounds of their collective breathing and the thumping of Izuku’s heart in his own ears.

 

“I-”

 

A loud horn blared out, jolting them both from the moment. Izuku could hear the raucous cheers of the audience as Toshinori’s voice boomed out, calling them forth.

 

Izuku pushed off the wall, following right behind Kacchan, just as he’d always done.

 

But this is the last time. He thought to himself. After this you won’t chase after the image of this back ever again.

 

“When the match is over,” Kacchan didn’t turn around when he spoke, head trained forward as they entered the arena. “I’ll answer your question.” He peeked over his shoulder, a wry look in his eye. “Don’t die before the end of the match.”

 

The fire that always blazed to life inside him whenever Kacchan was involved engulfed Izuku. The trepidation and nerves from a few seconds ago dissipated. He held Kacchan’s stare, unwavering.

 

“Sure.”

 

Again, he told himself, no matter the outcome of this match, he’d keep to his resolve.





Katsuki stared Deku down from his corner of the ring. He’d already decided how he planned to start the match. So far, he’d kept his shifting in fights to a minimum. If he could beat his opponents without it, it was usually a good measure of his abilities. He aimed to show his people how much stronger he was than his opponents.

 

This match would be different. He doubted Deku would get the subtle social implications of his shift at the start of the match, but Katsuki wanted everyone else to know.

 

Deku was his equal. He was a force to be reckoned with. And Katsuki planned to go all out as a gesture of respect.

 

Not a moment after All Might’s call to, “Begin!” was uttered, did he start to experience the change. Red, shiny scales dragged over his skin and down his body as his frame grew to a much larger size. The effect was dazzling. When he moved, the sheen on his scales danced like a wildfire.

 

He felt horns pull upward from his skull and mighty wings unfurled from his back. He opened his mouth and let out a few small detonations as he tested that his nitroglyceral glands had shifted from his hands to the back of his throat.

 

He fell forward on a set of four taloned claws, body lithe but well balanced in muscle. Katsuki let out a battlecry, a boisterous roar loud enough to pierce the heavens.

 

Deku stood before him, looking small and meak, while Katsuki knew he was anything but. A smile played at his lips. Katsuki recognized the way his eyes groomed over his dragon form, analyzing, taking in every little detail and assessing it for weaknesses and strengths.

 

Deku mimicked his stance from the start of the match, hunching forward, arms outstretched. Katsuki froze in place as he watched glittering green scales break the surface of his skin, traveling down his body.

 

Deku’s curly full head of hair receded into a bushy mane and antlers grew from his forehead, reaching toward the sky. A tail trailed behind him, swishing from side to side, similar to Katsuki’s. When his smaller pair of vibrant green wings trailed out behind him, the picture was complete.

 

Deku had used Shapechange , taking on a perfect dragon form after carefully looking at Katsuki’s only once. It was a spell that even the most powerful of druids took decades to master. It confirmed for Katsuki everything he already knew.

 

Deku was his equal.





“Toshinori…” Gran Torino leaned over to whisper covertly in the sovereign's ear. “There’s something odd about this match, don’t you think?”

 

The question was leading. Both Yagi and the older consul member could see plain as day what was playing out before them.

 

He rested his head in his hand and grinned. “I should say so.”

 

Gran Torino rubbed at his beard curiously. “This seems more like a mating dance between two dragons than a battle for rulership.”

 

Yagi chuckled, earning him a few pointed glares from some of the more uptight consul members. “They’re quite the spectacle, aren’t they? Makes you feel good about leaving our Clan to the next generation.”

 

“Hmm. Well, but one of them still has to lose. It’s a pity, but there can only be one sovereign.”

 

Yagi stifled another chuckle. It was easy for him to feel confident about the stakes for the next in line of rulership when he had a pair of kings up his sleeve.





Izuku crackled with the energy of magic coursing through his veins. The dragon shift had been painful and he didn’t know how much damage the form could take before it finally left him.

 

But Kacchan seemed intent on helping him find out. The match had started off slow, as they circled each other.

 

Then Kacchan dove in at Izuku’s right, teeth barred and ready to clamp onto his leg. Unused to the control he now possessed over a pair of fully functional wings, instinct took over as Izuku pushed himself off the ground, soaring into the air.

 

Kacchan was quick to shoot up after him, chasing him through the sky as Izuku ducked and weaved around the simple movements of his opponent lashing out.

 

A small pouch at Kacchan’s neck inflated, and this time, when he opened his mouth, Izuku was less mindful about his teeth and more concerned with the ranged explosion propelling towards him. The blast nearly took out his wings.

 

Izuku snarled, deciding it was high time he put himself on the offensive. He didn’t have Kacchan’s girth and firepower, but he was smaller and faster, able to dodge attacks and zip behind him seconds before he could turn around.

 

Izuku seized one such opportunity, ramming his body into Kacchan’s back, perfectly out of the line of fire from one of his explosions. They both tumbled to the earth, rolling on the ground of the arena, bodies coiling around each other, wrestling for the upperhand.

 

In a contest of strength, Kacchan came out on top, latching his mouth onto Izuku’s tail and dragging him until he was beneath his body. Izuku struggled to escape the hold, kicking out sharp claws to rake up the other dragon’s underbelly.

 

Kacchan shrieked furiously, but refused to let go of Izuku’s tail, sharp teeth sinking in deeper, breaking through the protective layer of scales. Izuku hissed, his concentration on the spell waning.

 

Kacchan let the bleeding appendage fall from his mouth. Lips red and dripping, he lowered his mouth and set off a barrage of explosions underneath his own body, unaffected by the years of resistance he had built up to his own magic.

 

Izuku had no such immunity, wincing as the heat made its way under his scales and scorched his flesh raw. A growl rumbled deep in his throat as he finally managed to slide out from under Kacchan to face him, catching him on the flank with his antlers in passing and taking a few scales with him as he carved up his skin before gaining some distance.

 

Kacchan’s hindquarters buckled a bit from the wound. He whipped around, pausing. They stared each other down from either side of the arena, bleeding, panting, beat to all hell and back but feeling alive in a way that neither of them had ever truly experienced before.

 

But Izuku could feel the magic of his spell draining from him. This was all his dragon form could bear. He felt the shift take him once more, body shrinking, antlers falling off before melting into patches of wildflowers wherever they touched down.

 

His dragon form might be down for the count, but Izuku could still continue the fight.





Katsuki watched Deku shrink, the green scales peeling off into the air, shrouding him in a soft glow before leaving him a tiny speck against the ground. The alpha in him felt a little disappointed at having its beastial companion leave him so soon.

 

Their dance had been so fun!

 

The disappointment faded back into excitement when Deku calmly wiped the sweat from his forehead and smiled. He raised a hand and beckoned Katsuki forward, taunting him. His inner alpha purred at the challenge.

 

His omega was so strong! So cheeky! So brave!

 

Katsuki didn’t shy away from the gesture, tilting his horns down and barreling towards Deku at full throttle. He watched Deku’s lips form words he didn’t recognize. His magic tapered off at the ends of his fingers, the radius of light emitting from it growing and growing as he continued to chant.

 

Deku stretched his hands out. The light from his fingers shot forward, wrapping around Katsuki, pulling him into its warmth. He felt the magic seep into his mind, urging him to stop, to listen.

 

When Deku spoke next, the words echoed inside his head, “ Yield!

 

Katsuki braced his claws against the ground, abruptly coming to a full stop. In a small corner of his mind that was left untouched by the magic, he placed the spell he was under as a dead ringer for Dominate Beast .

 

Kneel ,” Katsuki fought his damnedest against the pull, rearing his head up. But his legs still listened and he went down to his knees.

 

Deku looked at him fondly, holding out his hands. “Come here, Kacchan!”

 

Katsuki didn’t even try to fight the urge that overtook him, lowering his long neck and placing his large head in between such small hands. He huffed out an irritated puff of smoke. Deku coughed out a laugh. Katsuki nuzzled at his palms.

 

Warm, magically charged hands pet along his snout as Deku looked into his eyes, gentle but steady, happy but sad. “Please don’t hate me for this.”

 

Hate him? How could he ever? And for what? Winning the match? Sure he was a little chuffed, but his alpha was so damned proud. Even without the charm spell resting over his consciousness, Katsuki could never hate him.

 

“The match is over! We have a winner!” The old sovereign declared.

 

The uproar of the audience faded into the background as Katsuki continued to hold Deku’s level gaze. The smile fell from his freckled face, a sharp frown that had no place being there gracing his otherwise pleasant features.

 

Katsuki closed his eyes and shifted.





Katsuki walked back into the arena with Kirishima at his side. There had been a break period after the final match before the closing ceremony was to take place. Deku had run off shortly after their match, claiming he needed to use the restroom.

 

Katsuki had given him space. Whatever he wanted to say he could save for after the ceremony. But now they were being called forth, before the consul and the entire clan and Deku was still nowhere in sight.

 

Did they bring him back behind the consuls’ special stage? Katsuki thought he would still have entered with the rest of them.

 

He nudged Kirishima, “Psst! Hey, where’s Deku?”

 

“Hmm?” Kirishima looked around. “Oh, sorry man. I don’t know. He didn’t come find me after the match. I’ve been a little distracted with Ashido so close. My senses are all hyperfocusing on her, ya know? Still, it’s odd he isn’t here…”

 

Their whispers died down as the consul members walked back to their stage. One by one they took their seats, until Toshinori was the last to file in, taking his place in the center to address them.

 

He cleared his throat, “Thank you for your participation and your strong desire to serve your clan. We’ve been blessed with such strong members. I’m proud of the abilities you’ve shared with us today and you should be too.” He took a moment to sigh, “Now, it’s time to crown your new sovereign. Bakugou Katsuki please step forward.”

 

Katsuki froze, unable to bring himself to the stage. “ What?

 

Perplexed whispers filled the arena. It had been painfully clear who had won the final match. What was the meaning of this?

 

Toshinori raised his hands to pacify the sounds of confusion. They quelled under his instruction. He started to explain, “Midoriya Izuku, the winner of the final match, has been disqualified from the competition.”

 

“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?!” Katsuki finally strode forward, fists shaking with barely contained rage. He had lost fair and square. His inner alpha took offense to this hollow victory.

 

“Midoriya Izuku,” Toshinori focused all his attention on Katsuki, “cheated during the second trial. The eggshell he handed me had a Minor Illusion cast on it. After the trial ended, it turned back into a rock. Therefore, he has been disqualified.”

 

Deku hadn’t crushed the dragon egg.

 

And he had multiclassed in another type of magic to get away with it. Katsuki was aware he had experience in both Ranger magic and Druidic magic, but to acquire another class of arcana…

 

And, Gods, of course Deku couldn’t bring himself to crush the egg. He was far too empathetic. Katsuki was a fool for believing it for even a moment.

 

But frayed emotions still sprung from the edges of his agitated body. He still lost to Deku in the third trial. This revelation changed nothing. “This is bullshit!” Katsuki yelled up at him, “I won’t accept it like this!”

 

“You must. If it’s any consolation, young Midoriya has already given his blessing.”

 

The color drained from Katsuki’s face. “Where is he.”

 

“I spoke with him immediately after your match. He said his goodbyes and took his leave of us.”

 

Deku knew.

 

He knew the whole time this was rigged out of his favor.

 

The outcome of the match didn’t matter at all.

 

He planned to leave the whole time.

 

Katsuki turned around and started to wade through the throng of participants.

 

“Bakugou? Where are you going? The ceremony hasn’t concluded yet,” Toshinori’s voice called after him.

 

“I’m bringing that idiot back here, even if I have to drag him!” Katsuki whipped around and pointed up at the old sovereign. “You keep that throne warm until my return!”

 

The corners of Toshinori’s mouth rose in amusement. “Certainly, your majesty.”

Chapter Text

Izuku sprinted out of the arena and down the cobbled streets of the Dragonborn town he’d known for only a month. But everything here had felt more like home than anywhere else.

 

He ran past the baker’s hut. Despite the shut door, darkened interior, and “Closed” sign hanging from the window, the phantom smell of his delicious cinnamon pastries was able to hit Izuku with the power of its sacred memory alone.

 

He ran past Kirishima’s stone cuttery, where he’d made his first real friend in a very long time. Had spent happy days, working hard and building both character and strength. Had gotten to know one of the nicest and most caring individuals he’d ever met. A person with a bright smile and an even brighter personality.

 

And he ran past Kacchan’s place, feet moving faster, not wanting to slow down and have time to think about the way he’d felt crowded by Kacchan and his scent that one night he’d been allowed in. How Kacchan’s arms went around Izuku. How his warm lips and body felt against his.

 

Now he’d never know that feeling, would never know any of this brief but monumental happiness, ever again.

 

He bit his lip and kept running, heading into the woods, past an old playground for two mischievous children and fae, past a cave full of pheromones and all the embarrassing but still cherished memories that went with it. And past the field where they had met a second time, where Izuku had first been afflicted with his stupid heat. The heat which had made him so dazed and delusional, that he might ever think he could be worthy enough to be Bakugou Katsuki’s one true mate.

 

By the time he reached the Myastan Clan’s border, his legs felt like jelly. His back was coated in a thick, slimy layer of sweat and regret; his heart was heavy with the awful stuff too.

 

He stood panting, collecting himself. He’d come so far in such a short amount of time. So much had happened.

 

Too much for him to ever go back to the small world he’d previously known. His fretful mother and a close minded village. Although, he’d miss the former for sure.

 

This was his only option. His only out.

 

To leave the territory and never look back.

 

To leave Kacchan and never come back.

 

There were so many things tugging at him, so many words left unsaid and things left undone.

 

He never said a proper goodbye to Kirishima.

 

It was intentional, so he wouldn’t tip Kacchan off.

 

He did regret that.

 

Toshinori was the only one who saw him off, the only person he’d hugged goodbye. Although he didn’t look too upset. The wry, old sovereign was probably used to holding his head high and keeping himself pulled together. He looked at Izuku with such fondness, like a father, that Izuku had almost wished he’d been born as a sun under a different sky.

 

Izuku took a deep breath, his ribs rattling in his chest as he steeled himself to cross over.

 

He had made his resolution. This was for the better. He’d carve out his own path and make it so. Even though the world felt like it was ending, he knew the next day would come. Whether his heart was ready to move on or not was irrelevant as long as his feet could carry him.

 

With that small consolation, he took a step forward.

 

A loud booming sounded from the direction he had come from. It shook the earth beneath his feet and swayed the trees. It misplaced his steps and he caught himself in a backpedal.

 

He turned his head, startled, as panicked squawking and frantic birds flew from the canopies in the distance, back a ways from where he’d just come. They took to the air and clouded over the blue of the sky with hundreds of black silhouettes before continuing on their way, searching for peace they wouldn’t find here.

 

What was that?

 

It went quiet again. A chilly silence that made the omega in him look around for the cause of the sudden and unnatural stillness.

 

A few more booming noises grew in volume and proximity.

 

He had no time to question where they were coming from or what might have been causing them before a familiar voice was angrily screaming his name, “DEKUUUUUUUUUUU!”

 

It was a moment frozen in time. Izuku’s brain was unthinking, fogged over with shock.

 

Kacchan propelled himself toward him, grabbing Izuku by the collar of his shirt and swinging around his body like a flagpole while holding on to slow his own momentum.

 

Izuku was too shaken to react, legs going out from under him at the sudden spinning movement. He was dizzily dragged to a stop.

 

Kacchan held him up by his shirt front and glared down into his face.

 

What the fuck do you think you’re doing?! ” He spat out at him.

 

Izuku blinked, watching Kacchan’s chest rise and fall with the exertion of his chase. Leaves were sticking out from his hair and there were scratches on his handsome face and littered along his poor exposed arms.

 

When he realized Kacchan was actually waiting for a response he choked out, “W-what?”

 

“I said,” Kacchan repeated, “what the fuck do you think you’re doing? Did you think I’d accept that sort of bullshit way of winning just like that?”

 

Ah.

 

That made more sense.

 

Izuku had underestimated Kacchan’s pride.

 

How it wouldn’t allow for a win that didn’t prove his abilities over his opponent’s perfectly and ultimately.

 

But Kacchan shouldn’t have to worry about that. “Kacchan, it’s okay. I didn’t technically win the last trial. I shouldn’t have been in it at all. I cheated,” He looked away shamefully, not wanting to meet his eyes. “I don’t deserve the sovereignship.” And he definitely didn’t deserve Kacchan, his traitorous mind tacked on.

 

“You think I’m here because-!” Fury beyond measure flickered across his face. A few red patches of scales rose and fell back from the surface of Kacchan’s skin as he kept a shift at bay. Then he clicked his tongue, not knowing how to vocalize his displeasure.

 

Kacchan dropped his hold on Izuku’s collar abruptly. Being the only thing holding Izuku upright, he fell back on his ass. Disoriented and mind reeling, Izuku barely registered the hand splayed out before him.

 

Kacchan’s face was less angry than Izuku expected it to be when he looked up. His brow was still pinched and his mouth had spiralled downward into a frown, but there was something calmer, more resolute in the way he held himself.

 

He was regal.

 

He was determined.

 

He was a sovereign who knew exactly what he wanted.

 

“What?” Izuku tilted his head to the side imploringly.

 

“Reparations.”

 

The word sent a flurry of emotions whipping up inside of Izuku. Tears he had been holding back were starting to finally push free, cascading down his cheeks.

 

Reparations? But for what? For robbing Kacchan of his ultimate victory? And, at this point, what more could he give that Kacchan might reject?

 

“Reparations,” Kacchan stated again, “for making me feel the way I do about you.”

 

What?

 

“Reparations, for seducing me and then just taking off to go the fuck knows where, leaving me behind.”

 

How?

 

“Reparations... for stealing my heart and then not remembering to leave yours in its place.”

 

His last words were spoken with difficulty, choked out through ragged breaths and the scent of distressed alpha.

 

Izuku instinctively cooed to him, the tears an unending waterfall of emotions now that the dam had been cleared away. It felt like everything was breaking through at once. He took Kacchan’s outstretched hand and was promptly pulled to his feet.

 

And directly into a hug.

 

Izuku’s body wracked with soft sobs and shudders as his alpha stroked his hair and left soft but desperate kisses among his curls.

 

My alpha. My Kacchan.

 

That thought echoed through his head and flew out through his pores, cradling them both in Izuku’s happy, grassy scent.

 

Kacchan’s responded in kind as they scented each other.

 

My omega. My Deku.

 

Kacchan held him close. Kept his embrace tight so that his arms were as full of Izuku as his heart felt. Eventually, Izuku’s cries tapered off to slow steady breaths. He was so utterly exhausted, both emotionally and physically from his run and the trial matches.

 

When the initial pheromone high of being in his alpha’s arms was wearing off, he cleared his throat, the proximity now being awkward and a little too forward for an outside space, “... Kacchan?”

 

Kacchan didn’t let him go. “Hmm?” He hummed over his own rumbling noises of content.

 

Izuku cleared his throat again to try and jolt Kacchan into finding some decency to no avail.

 

This wasn’t a conversation he wanted to have where he couldn’t see his partner’s face, but he broached the subject anyway, “Kacchan... Why did you push me away the night after the second trial? I thought you didn’t want me. That I was bothering you.”

 

Kacchan pulled away enough to peer down at him. “You were right about your seduction attempts. I hate to admit it, but you do know me. Way too well. My inner alpha was highly entertained by your courting. But I was…” He rolled his eyes, “I was scared ,” He grit the admittance out through his teeth, “You should know, since you apparently know me so fucking well, but I’m not the best at communicating and I hate losing control.”

 

“And?” Izuku greased the wheels so Kacchan could push past his embarrassment.

 

“And your scent calling out to me and the way your body was responding to my touch made me lose control. I felt like I was going absolutely feral. I didn’t want to let it loose. I’ve hurt you so many times in the past. Purposely at that. I didn’t want to hurt you again. Even if it would be an accident this time.”

 

Izuku closed his eyes and found his way into the crook of Kacchan’s neck where he nuzzled and let out a soft rumbling purr. He felt Kacchan’s pulse quicken against his nose and lips. “Well, you shouldn’t have to worry about that anymore. I want you, Kacchan, and I know your inner alpha wouldn’t hurt me.”

 

“How can you be so sure?” He still sounded hesitant to relax, to let go.

 

“You let it take over in the cave, remember? During my first heat? You’re so caring and gentle, Kacchan. You’re a wonderful alpha.”

 

Kacchan preened at the praise, looking startled at the sound that started from somewhere deep in his chest. Izuku would have to explore that later.

 

An unexpected wave of heat swept through him.

 

Or maybe they’d have to explore that right now.

 

“...Kacchan…”

 

Kacchan’s pupils dilated once Izuku’s scent reached his nose. “Are you..? But you shouldn’t be for at least another few weeks.”

 

Izuku slumped against his alpha, breathing his scent in and letting it out with a sigh. “Unless, I’m responding to the scent of your rut.”

 

Kacchan held his mirthful gaze with one of shock. “I can’t believe it. You little shit. How could you possibly induce my-”

 

Izuku’s fingers found their way over the waistband of Kacchan’s pants, pulling his alpha in closer. But his tone was innocent enough, “You know, I recall you helping me through a very terrible heat. I think it’s only fair that I repay that favor. Pay you the reparations that you’re due and all that.”

 

His eyes followed the bob of Kacchan’s adam’s apple as he swallowed. He nodded. “Yeah, that sounds only fair.” Kacchan lifted him up, cradling him in his arms. “If we move quickly we can probably get to the cave before nightfall.”


“Then best not waste any mor- Oh! ” Izuku’s words stopped short at the exclamation as Kacchan took off through the air without a second's notice, laughing maniacally at the face he had caused Izuku to make.

Chapter Text

Katsuki slipped inside the mouth of the cave where they had spent Deku’s first heat. The alpha in him didn’t want to relinquish his omega from his hold, but the instinct to help Deku build a nest was strong. He growled in frustration as he eyed up the inside.

 

“Kacchan?” Deku looked up at him through hazy eyes. “What’s wrong?”

 

Katsuki cuddled him closer, scenting him. “Don’t want to put you down until we’ve got adequate bedding.”

 

Deku reached down and pulled his cape up to rub against his cheek. “I don’t need anything else to nest. My nest is wherever you are.”

 

“Didn’t take you for such a sappy romantic.”

 

Deku huffed, “I’ve waited long enough for this, Kacchan. I’m allowed to be a little sappy.”

 

“Touché.” Katsuki took off his cape and laid it down before setting Deku on top. “But we’re still going to do this right.” He leaned forward to set a kiss on Deku’s forehead. He went to turn away, but Deku grabbed his shirt. Katsuki grumbled out, “Don’t worry. I’ll be back soon.”

 

Deku nodded, releasing his hold.

 

Katsuki took off, searching for anything soft he might find.

 

Piles of dead leaves.

 

Fallen branches with heavy bows of foliage.

 

Nothing was appealing to him. He blasted his way above the treeline, moving from limb to limb, until he picked up the scent of a village nearby.

 

Katsuki didn’t consider himself a thief, but desperate times called for desperate measures.

 

The closer he got to the village, the more it enticed him. Something about it reminded him of Deku’s scent. One direction in particular, he felt like he might have interpreted the smell as his omega’s pack.

 

Whether his nose was playing tricks on him or not, he chased after it, aware now that he was nearing the place where they’d met as children. When he came upon the edge of the treeline, he stopped to inspect the village.

 

The nearest cottage to his position had an array of blankets hanging out to dry. A woman with long, straight, green hair moved along the row, collecting the laundry in a basket as she went. A breeze from downhill blew up and reached his nose. Her scent made his pupils dilate.

 

She was Deku’s pack.

 

This was Deku’s old home.

 

He crept closer down the line of trees to settle himself up against the house. He peeked around the corner and came nose to nose with the woman. She was unsurprised to see him, but Katsuki jumped back, startled.

 

Her eyes were the same soft green as Deku’s as she smiled at him. She lifted up her basket of clean laundry and offered it. “I smelled you coming.”

 

Katsuki slowly accepted the basket she was pushing into his arms. “How-?”

 

“I can smell my boy from a mile away. And you’re covered in his scent.”

 

She picked up a red blanket off the top of the pile and rubbed it against her scent glands. The calming beta scent coated the soft article in her hands. When she was satisfied with it, she set it back down in the basket.

 

“That one was his favorite.”

 

Katsuki nodded, taking a step back. “Um, thank you.”

 

“Oh, wait!” The woman’s voice made Katsuki freeze in his tracks. She tilted her head curiously. “I know your scent too, although I haven’t smelled it in some time. Does that mean he found you again?”

 

So she knew about him. He wondered if Deku ever told her or if she had figured it out herself.

 

“Yes... We found each other.”

 

The woman’s smile stretched so far, it made her cheeks bunch up at the corners of her watering eyes. “Good!” She said with vigor, “That makes me tremendously happy.”

 

Katsuki’s hold on the basket tightened. “We’ll be back to visit.”

 

She wiped away a stray tear and laughed. “That’s more than I ever thought I’d deserve,” Her smile was wistful, “But I like that idea. Take care of him.”

 

“Always,” Katsuki wasted no more time, blasting up the hillside and back into the line of trees. He gave one more look behind him, saw the woman’s skirt and hair fluttering in the wake of his explosion right before turning away and sprinting full throttle for the cave and his mate.





Izuku writhed against Kacchan’s cape on the floor of the cave. He had one hand fisted in the fabric, pulled against his nose. The other was below his waistline, fingers slipping in and out of his greedy hole.

 

He had taken his pants off at some point, the heat that had spread over his body too much too bear. Some sane part of his mind told him it wasn’t good to be going at it so unashamedly, soaking Kacchan’s red cape with his slick, painting it a deep maroon instead.

 

He was just so wet!

 

He’d never been this needy and desperate before in his whole life.

 

His first heat with Kacchan had been tame, controlled with his alpha right nearby, calming his body with the promise of knotting with his presence alone. His second was slightly worse. With no Alpha scent in sight, it was just unending horniness and rutting against anything that fit nicely between his legs.

 

Now, with the taunt of Kacchan’s scent, but no warm body to envelop him, Izuku was a whining, blithering mess, struggling to find any sort of release as his fingers fucked into him with little to no satisfaction given.

 

Slick still continued to pour out of him, the scent wafting up and making him shiver with the smell of his own arousal. Tears blurred his vision when the realization that he wasn’t going to be able to reach far enough inside to get himself off hit him.

 

Izuku brought the damp fingers up to look at them, the fingertips pruning with how long he had tried to work himself open. He growled, small canines gnawing at the cape. His hips jutted forward as he rubbed his erection on the one piece of Kacchan he still had with him.

 

The friction was pleasant, but he still couldn’t cum. After a while, the pleasure turned to pain and his dick felt sensitive. It was flushed, red, raw, and leaking. At the very least, he could enjoy the smell of Kacchan’s scent mingling with his.

 

“Deku?” After what seemed like an eternity, Deku looked up and saw his alpha silhouetted against the mouth of the cave, moonlight outlining his features.

 

He opened his mouth to call for him, to call for his alpha, but the sight of Kacchan’s red, worried eyes provided Izuku with some lucidity. He sniffled, arms wide and inviting, calling for him, “Kacchan…”

 

Kacchan wasted no time, moving in to embrace him, throwing a large basket full of blankets to the floor. Kacchan panted against his neck, warm puffs of air making his already heated skin feel flushed. His cock strained against the outline of his pants and his alpha canines were enlarged, obviously itching to claim.

 

But, even in the throes of his rut, Kacchan remained in control, “Want to do this properly. The nest…” He leaned over Izuku, reaching for a blanket.

 

Izuku grabbed the hand that had left him and pulled it back to cup his face. Kacchan looked down at him, wide eyed, nervous. “It’s okay, Kacchan. You’re such a good alpha.” Izuku pulled him down by his neck and gave him small, sweet pecks on his lips, his cheeks, his chin, anywhere he could reach. “You’re so good. It’s okay. I don’t want a nest right now. Just want you.”

 

The low rumbling resonating from the alpha’s chest as Kacchan caved to Izuku’s pleas confirmed Izuku’s earlier assumption that Kacchan was weak to praise. He continued to pepper his alpha’s face with light kisses, urging him on until he broke.

 

“Deku…” His raspy voice, laced with barely held back excitement had Izuku going pliant in his arms.

 

He felt his body, naturally spread its legs for Kacchan to get in between. In a daze, his head tilted back, revealing his neck to his alpha, submitting before him.

 

Rather than clamp his teeth down immediately, Kacchan’s behavior surprised him. He bared his own neck, rubbing their scent glands together. The omega in Izuku released encouraging words in Izuku’s head.

 

Alpha is so soft, so gentle, and so kind!

 

Too soft! Izuku tried to fight back. Want him faster, harder.

 

His inner omega lashed out in rebuttal. Must be patient. Must do as alpha wants. Must please alpha.

 

The intrusive thoughts telling him to be submissive and lie there were starting to grate on his nerves. With sudden force and swiftness, Izuku pushed Kacchan off. Kacchan was too surprised to fight against it. Izuku straddled the alpha’s hips.

 

Need him now . Izuku demanded and the omega voice in his head shrunk away.

 

Kacchan made a move to sit up and Izuku hissed at him, making him still. He brought his mouth to his neck and sunk his small fangs in, leaving bite mark after delicious bite mark. His hands fumbled with Kacchan’s belt and pant buttons. He released a frustrated noise in the back of his throat as he clawed at them.

 

Kacchan’s calming scent blanketed him. He lifted a hand up tentatively, and pushed Izuku’s head down to encourage another bite. His teeth were pressed into his skin, drawing blood. His tongue lapped up the iron taste and Kacchan took advantage of the distraction, pushing his hands away and sliding off his trousers.

 

The scent of his alpha’s exposed cock made Izuku’s insides coil and tighten. Fresh warm slick dripped from his hole, wetting Kacchan’s abs. He purred into Kacchan’s neck, feeling the sound travel through his teeth and into his alpha’s body.

 

Kacchan quivered beneath him. His hands went to rest at Izuku’s hips. He hoisted them up, aligning the tip of his dick with Izuku’s entrance. Izuku released his hold on Kacchan’s neck, pulling back. A strand of blood and saliva connected the spot they’d been conjoined.

 

Izuku could feel some of Kacchan’s blood dripping down his chin as he stared hungrily into his eyes. Kacchan’s pupils were bold and black, eclipsing the red that encircled them until it was a thin sliver.

 

Then Kacchan pulled him down on his cock.

 

Izuku gasped, nails gripping Kacchan’s shoulders as he sunk down. It was ecstasy. After all the time Kacchan had spent with the agony of gentle foreplay and soft caresses, Izuku moaned in delight at the rough feeling of being stuffed full.

 

Kacchan pulled his hips up and then snapped him aggressively back down, timing the motion with his own thrusts. Izuku slumped forward against his chest, no longer able to keep himself upright at the pace Kacchan was fucking into him.

 

His mouth found Kacchan’s in the chaos, colliding against his lips with enough force to bruise. He tongue slipped in and devoured small traces of Kachan’s claiming venom. Cinnamon, spice, and everything nice. It sent off little sparks against his palette, giving Izuku a taste of what it would be like to be claimed. To be Kacchan’s.

 

Izuku pulled away and tilted his head again. He pulled Kacchan’s mouth flush against his shoulder, preventing his alpha from trying to scent him again instead of leaving his eternal mark.

 

“Claim me!” He panted out, the thusting of Kacchan’s hips making it hard to form words, “Claim me, alpha!” He begged, “Make me yours, Kacchan!

 

Kacchan bit down just as his knot slipped inside and stuck. Izuku choked on a deep breath he had been in the middle of taking. He trembled in Kacchan’s tight hold. Some blood pooled at his throat, steaming in the cool night air of the cave.

 

He ran his fingers through Kacchan’s hair as he came, clenching around his cock and knot, milking out the alpha’s own orgasm as his insides spasmed.

 

The scent in the air between them changed, a subtle shift that implied they weren’t wholly belonging to themselves anymore, but to each other. Their scents had truly mingled.

 

Izuku chittered and chirped, happy little tears running down his face. Kacchan slowly pulled his teeth out, licking the indents he had made to clean and sooth the scarred flesh.

 

Although the waves of heat coming off Izuku were starting to lessen, Kacchan’s knot probably wouldn’t go down for some time.

 

He could still feel his cock pumping hot cum into him, flooding his insides and keeping it plugged up with the intention to impregnate.

 

Kacchan brushed the sweat dampened curls from his face. He hummed contentedly into Izuku’s hairline and, with a tender touch, swiped a thumb under each eye to clear stray tears. He reached for the discarded basket of blankets and pulled the top one from the pile. He hooked it around Izuku’s frame.

 

The smell that hit his nose was so familiar and carried with it such safety. He fell to pieces in Kacchan’s arms. Kacchan rocked them back and forth as he cried. He felt like a small child again, in need of his mother’s comfort.

 

He didn’t know he had missed her so much. It was hard for an omega to be without pack for so long. They weren’t meant for that kind of isolation or loneliness. But now he was surrounded by the scent of his forever mate and the pack scent of his mother and the emotions that hit him post coitus were scarily happy.

 

A person wasn’t meant to be this happy. And if they could, certainly he wasn’t allowed.

 

“You’re allowed,” Kacchan’s whispers were pressed against his temple. “You’re allowed to be this happy. I’m happy too.”

 

“Did I say that out loud?” Izuku’s voice sounded shaky, ragged.

 

“No,” Kacchan tried to clear his throat of purring, “But I heard your voice.”

 

Izuku smiled, tired and spent. “That means we’re bonded now, right?”

 

Kacchan nuzzled even closer, if it were even possible. “More than that. We’ve claimed each other. And, surprisingly, you initiated it.”

 

Izuku’s mind blanked at that. Omegas from his village never claimed their alphas. He never knew it worked both ways.

 

“This is quite possibly the quietest your brain will ever be, I think.”

 

Izuku snorted and smacked Kacchan on the chest. “Enjoy the peace and quiet for now. I almost never stop thinking.”

 

“I know. I have a lifetime of brain chatter to look forward to.” Something about Kacchan addressing their future together made Izuku melt. “Only way I’m ever gonna get a moment of silence again is by dicking you down.”

 

“Kacchan!” His alpha just had to ruin the moment.





Katsuki made sure to carry Izuku out to the river and bathe him clean before he let him work on the nest. He seemed embarrassed by the act, as if he hadn’t just rode Katsuki’s cock for all it was worth right before.

 

But Katsuki didn’t need to address it verbally. He could tell by Izuku’s pout that his thoughts had been relayed through their link. Despite his complaints, Izuku allowed himself to be coddled in the afterglow, even chirping needily when he wanted more attention, like a brief kiss or to ask for Katsuki to hug him close.

 

Katsuki denied him nothing.

 

Even when Izuku became hyperfocused on building his nest and was doling out instructions, Katsuki listened intently. He didn’t like to think he was whipped exactly, but it was hard to say no to the omega when he was walking around in nothing but a button up and Katsuki’s cape, smelling of sex and the outdoors.

 

He seated himself in the center of his blanket pile, swaddled in both Katsuki’s cape and the red of his mother’s blanket. It did things to see his omega wrapped up in such a provocative color.

 

“It reminds me or your eyes,” Deku answered his thoughts. “I like red because when I see it I think of you.”

 

He opened the blankets he had wrapped around himself and let Katsuki crawl inside with him.

 

Because of the knotting, in two to three days Deku’s heat and Katsuki’s rut would officially subside and they would walk back home. Until then, Katsuki would hunt for and cater to Deku, making sure he felt safe and secure.





After the third day of rest, Izuku stretched and rolled out from under his nest. Kacchan was already up, putting out a fire. He held the meat of some poor creature on a stick out to him and he gratefully took it. His heat made him so famished, but Kacchan was an excellent provider.

 

He helped clean up the cave, putting the blankets back into the basket and arguing with Kacchan when he tried to take them so Izuku wouldn’t have to carry it.

 

They started on their way back. Izuku reached a hand down and interlaced his fingers with Kacchan’s. Kacchan said nothing, merely turning his head away, his ears tinged with red.

 

Something that didn’t feel at all like Kacchan resonated through the bond.

 

At least, he thought it was the bond.

 

“Did you say something?”

 

“Hmm?” Kacchan’s attention quickly went back to him. “No, why?”

 

“Not aloud. I meant through the bond.”

 

“I didn’t.” He looked at Izuku curiously. “What did it sound like?”

 

“It-it didn’t really sound like anything. More like a feeling, I suppose. It was sort of faint.”

 

Kacchan shrugged. “I didn’t send any signals, but, if I did, it wouldn’t have been faint.”

 

“Strange…”






While Deku was distracted by the event, Katsuki slipped the basket of blankets from his mate’s hands, a knowing smile on his face.

 

It was bad form to let pregnant people carry anything too heavy.

Chapter Text

Kirishima squinted up at the sky. Judging by the slowly ticking shadows cast over the town, it was almost midday.

 

“Kirishimaaaaa!” Mina’s sugar sweet scent hit his nose before he could turn to see her. She jumped onto his back and thrust her chin over his shoulder. “Sorry! Did I make you wait long?”

 

It was still a surprise that someone so amazing was dating him. She was certainly brave, much more so than him, coming to find him after the trials to ask him on a date. Midoriya had urged her to apparently. He was still so grateful to his friend.

 

Kirishima ran fingers through her vibrant pink curls, pointed teeth grinning as wide as his smile could stretch. “You’re fine! It’s not like Bakugou’s gonna let us inside or even close to their house right now.

 

She dropped down next to him, sliding a hand into his as they started walking. “How many did the old healer lady say they were gonna have?”

 

“Two!” Kirishima proclaimed proudly.

 

Midoriya was sure something, being able to carry a litter of twin dragonborns with his tiny stature. He never even complained while he was pregnant, the martyr. But Bakugou compensated for him plenty, hovering next to him, keeping a hand on his hip at all times. Kirishima had never seen his friend so nervous and fidgety in his whole life.

 

“Serves him right,” He whispered under his breath. About time Mr. Natural struggled with something in his life. Midoriya really did humble him in more ways than one.

 

“What was that?”

 

Kirishima rubbed the back of his neck. “Oh, nothing! Just excited to see them. Do you think they'll look more like Midoriya or Bakugou?”

 

“Hmmmm, I don’t know. But isn't there an old dragonborn saying that they’ll resemble the more dominant of the two?”

 

“They’re green haired curly babies for sure then.”

 

Mina had a good snicker at their whipped friend Bakugou’s expense.

 

There was a beat of silence as they kept pace with each other, breathing in the pleasant day, enjoying the warmth on their skin and scales.

 

“Hey, Eijirou…”

 

Kirishima took a sharp intake of breath. He looked down at Mina as her eyes followed the path ahead of them. “Y-Yeah?”

 

She peered up at him and smiled, the expression rounding her high cheekbones. She was too cute for words. “Kind of makes you want to have a few of your own, right?”

 

Kirishima pulled her into his side, resting his absolutely beet red face on top of her head. “We’ll get on that as soon as we get home.”

 

She cackled wildly in his arms.





Toshinori wrung his hands. He was being mindful of his claws, his tightened nerves making it hard to control his shifting. Midoriya had personally requested his presence at the birth! But, alas, his alpha counterpart was sending daggered stares at him in front of the door.

 

With every noise from inside, young Bakugou twitched and grit his teeth in frustration, fists clenching and unclenching as he eyed everyone who walked by.

 

“It’s been a while now, hasn’t it?” Toshinori asked one half of the inheritors of his throne.

 

Bakugou bared his teeth and whimpered, leaning back against the door with a loud thump. “It’s driving me crazy. I’m so wound up. I can’t even ask you for advice on how to calm down, cause it ain’t like you ever had any damn kids.”

 

Toshinori smiled. “You know, I consider Midoriya something of a son.”

 

Bakugou paused. “Oh, then you definitely know how I’m feeling. Nobody makes you worry over another person more than Deku.”

 

“He does have a tendency to try his best no matter the cost.”

 

“That’s an interesting way of saying he has no self preservation whatsoever. It’s okay to speak freely in front of me. I get it if you want to rip into him. As his mate, nobody gets that more than me.”

 

Toshinori relented a little, “Alright, yes, actually. He was surprisingly more of a handful than usual while he was carrying. ‘What trouble can he get into while he’s pregnant?’ is a question I asked myself when you both officially announced the news. But he was ruthless, didn’t step away from the office buildings in town for even a day. Always on his feet, pouring over legal documents, reorganizing the treasury and finding more in the budget to fund public work projects. I knew I picked the right heirs to take over after I left, but I almost wished he would collapse at some point just so he’d be forced to take a moment of rest.”

 

Bakugou crossed his arms. He looked proud. “That’s my mate.” His smile soured. “...unfortunately. Do you think having the kids will slow us down some? Maybe keep him tired enough to sleep more?”

 

“Oh, if there’s one thing I do know about having kids, young Bakugou, it’s that they make their new parents covet nothing but sleep.”

 

“Well… hopefully he plans to covet more than just sleep.”

 

“Careful! New fathers have to watch what they say in front of children. Babies are very impressionable,” Kirishima and Mina walked up to the house. Kirishima held up a small parcel. “For you, my surly sovereign!”

 

Bakugou took the clothed bundle suspiciously. He unwrapped it and his eyes lit up, pupils dilating black over the red. He was obviously pleased.

 

Two tiny bowls sat in his hands.

 

“Made ‘em myself!” Kirishima pointed to his chest proudly.

 

Bakugou rustled around in his pocket. “Payment…”

 

“Don’t you dare!”

 

“It’s your craft! You used materials you would otherwise sell! Just let me pay you for them!”

 

“It’s a gift, idiot! Just make me the kids’ godfather or something and we’ll call it even.”

 

The tension slipped away from Bakugou’s shoulders. “Thank you...”

 

The door behind him creaked open a smidge. Bakugou startled and jumped out of the way.

 

A small, stout woman with long dark hair stepped out, wiping her hands in a now less than clean apron. Her face was all rosy smiles and big green eyes. “He’s ready for company now!”

 

Bakugou rushed over and brushed his cheek against Inko’s, scenting her as alphas were known to do with their pack mates.

 

She patted his cheek and looked into his face with a giddy smile, smelling of fresh spring and new life. “He’s so excited to show them to you.”

 

She stepped aside and gestured inward. Bakugou wasted no more time, as he pushed open the door.

 



Izuku heard soft footsteps down the hall and quickly hid a notebook behind his pillow. One of the two small bundles of joy he cradled was fast asleep. The other stared at him with entranced red eyes.

 

Izuku put a finger to his lips. “Shh! Don’t tell your sire that I’ve been working.” The baby smiled, toothless and pink. This one was gonna be trouble. Perceptive and bubbly. He’d probably rat him out to Kacchan whenever he could.

 

The footsteps stopped outside the bedroom door. “Deku?” Kacchan’s hesitant voice made little tremors ripple in his chest.

 

He felt his heart call out to his mate through the bond. Still, he opened his mouth to make the wish verbal, “Come in, Kacchan.”

 

The door slid open cautiously. Kacchan stood agape in the entrance, eyes wide and excited. Izuku could feel his happiness as well as his trepidation.

 

“Don’t just stand there. I put in all this work and you don’t even plan to take a closer look at them?”

 

Kacchan fidgeted in place. “They’re so small. And I’m… not.”

 

“You had no problem sticking to me nonstop when I was carrying them, but now that they’re out you’re keeping your distance. Get the hell over here before I toss one at you.”

 

“Don’t even joke about that.”

 

He sulkily made his way to the bedside. He knelt down on the ground to get at eye level. The awake one cooed at his sire.

 

“He has my eyes,” Kacchan stated.

 

“They both do,” The other one stirred, blinking bleary eyes and squinting out at them. Her freckled cheeks set her apart from her brother. It was one of the only noticeable differences right now, since they both had full heads of curly green hair. “Hers are shaped more like yours though. Cat-like and slanted.”

 

“Can I hold one?”

 

Izuku made a face and rolled his eyes. “You can hold both of them, idiot.”

 

“I’d prefer one at a time.”

 

Izuku hummed, “How about I scooch over and you hold me. And I’ll continue to hold them both?”

 

Kacchan nodded, clearly much more comfortable with that suggestion.

 

He slid under Izuku, hoisting him up by the waist and setting him gently down onto his lap. Izuku leaned back into his chest and sighed out blissfully.

 

“You’re not wearing pants.”

 

“That would have been counterproductive to the birth, I think.”

 

“Wiseass.” Kacchan nuzzled against the top of his head, his warm, cinnamon scent drifting over him. He felt a light kiss at the back of his neck, atop the claiming bite, and shuddered.

 

So this was happiness. Not something temporary, not a counterpart up to a future down. But something permanent and everlasting.

 

“You think I’ve paid you back your reparations in full now?” He looked up into Kacchan’s eyes, smiling sweetly.

 

Kacchan brushed his bangs away and laid a kiss on his forehead. “Full and then some. You’ve given me the world, Izuku.”

 

They sat there in that moment of peace, wrapped up in the scent of their newborns. A space where only the four existed.

 

“Your visitors are waiting politely outside,” Kacchan whispered against his temple.

 

Izuku sighed. He was sure his friends and family were getting antsy waiting. “I can already tell it’s gonna get rowdy in here.”

 

“Your mom told everyone to enter calmly.”

 

“You think they’re capable of listening?”

 

Kacchan reached under the pillow behind his back and pulled out the hidden notebook. “Not any less capable than you, apparently.”

 

“Haha. How did that get there?”

 

Kacchan threw the book to the floor. “I’m keeping you bedridden for a week, no work.”

 

Izuku batted his eyes up at him. “Bedridden for a week sounds like it could be fun. Do you plan to stay in bed with me?”

 

“Don’t try to act cute.” Kacchan tweaked his nose, looking proud of himself. “I’m growing an immunity to your seduction techniques.”

 

“Dammit.”