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Claim Me

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The text came in at 12:14 a.m. Bakugo knew the exact minute because the first thing he did when he heard that god-awful tone from his phone was check the time. He didn’t check who it was from, however, because that he already knew. Only one person lacked even the most fundamental means of self-preservation and would be willing to text Katsuki after 10 pm.

A message from Deku could only mean one thing.

Without a sound or complaint, Katsuki slipped out of bed and onto leaden legs. The phone clutched in his hand gave off just enough light to illuminate a path, but Bakugo didn’t need it. There was nothing on the floor of his immaculate one bedroom apartment to trip on in the darkness. Nevertheless, he kept it lit until he flipped the switch of his bathroom lights.

Pain shot to Katsuki’s head as the sudden light overwhelmed his senses and he shut his eyes as quickly as possible. Eventually he opened one eye, but only wide enough to see where the toothbrush and toothpaste were. He grabbed them and began brushing his teeth with his eyes still closed. As he did, the light became less intense.

His senses had always been overly sensitive. “Good Alpha traits! You get those from me.” His mom had teased when he complained about them as a child. As soon as he’d presented at the age of 14, Katsuki had to deal with the headaches that were pheromones and ruts. And for what? Being an Alpha did nothing for him. Well, nearly nothing. He had to admit that the keen reflexes and enhanced ability to put on muscle mass were some useful perks for a Pro-Hero like himself.

Gonna come in handy when he beat Izuku’s ass tonight.

At that thought, Katsuki spit out his mouthful of toothpaste, replacing it with water before spitting that out too. He turned to leave, pressing on his phone as he flipped out the lights again. This time he clicked on the message alert.

 

text

 

Katsuki didn’t bother responding. Once Deku saw the “read” alert, he’d know that Bakugo was on his way.

Ever since that night during their first year when Katsuki had challenged Deku to a fight on Ground Beta, these “training sessions” had become their thing. They weren’t often, certainly not regular, but consistent enough that they had a system in place. No matter who called who, no matter what time of the day; if they were in the same town and not on duty, the other showed up.

After pulling on a pair of sweats, grabbing his wallet and keys, and slipping on his shoes, Katsuki walked out of his apartment and started a steady jog toward the agency.

Who would have fucking believed that he and Deku, of all people, would end up working at the same agency? Of course Katsuki would be employed by the biggest and most popular Hero Agency run by none-other but the current number one, Hawks. But Deku? He supposed it was easier to believe nowadays. The nerd was his fucking rival, after all, so he better be good enough to get into the best agency if he was meant to compete with Katsuki. But it still pissed Bakugo off that Pro-Hero Deku currently ranked higher than Ground fucking Zero.

Two spots kept Katsuki from his ultimate goal of number one and that crybaby was one of the people in his way. Hawks would retire soon enough—the old man never stopped complaining about how he wanted a day without crime so he could sit around and do nothing—and when he did, Bakugo would sweep in and take the top spot. As long as Deku stayed out of his way. …Better keep an eye on that fucking Todoroki, too, since he occasionally beat them both out for number two.

That’s why these training sessions were so important to them both. They’d made a promise back on Ground Beta. They were going to surpass each other, no matter what. That meant they had to know where the other stood...and that they needed to keep their heads clear.

Never would Katsuki admit this aloud, but these training sessions weren’t only to prove their physical strength. Being a Pro-Hero took a lot out of a person. He and Deku weren’t fucking friends; they had other people to talk with about the bullshit of life. ...But sometimes talking didn’t work. Sometimes there was shit in Katsuki’s head that couldn’t be put into words, at least not words he could tell someone else. Sometimes he just needed to focus on pushing himself to his limits, and then beyond, in an all out fight.

Deku must feel the same way because he texted just as often.

Katsuki arrived at the agency already sweating slightly. His muscles twitched in anticipation for the upcoming fight; the run over serving as a great warm-up. He knocked his wallet against the keypad, the card inside turning the pad green so that Bakugo could then press his thumb to it. That triggered the doors to sound as the locking mechanism opened and Katsuki walked in.

Hawk’s Agency, which the asshole called “The Nest,” consisted of a massive 20 story building on the edge of the city. Hard to believe that the Agency had grown so much since that other Bird Brain had interned with the number one hero. But hey, that’s what the number one spot could do.

The training facilities were located in the basement of the building. Each room was surrounded in thick concrete walls with layers of steel embedded on both the outside and inside. Perfect for going all out without having to worry about the integrity of the building or their surroundings.

Entering room One, Katsuki saw that Deku was already there.

Izuku-fucking-Midoriya had changed a lot since Katsuki had first met him. Made sense considering the nerd’s starting point. He never quite bulked up like Bakugo; his strength came in the form of lean muscles that grew whenever One-For-All pulsed through his veins and he was surrounded by his signature green energy. Only his legs beat Katsuki in terms of bulk; thighs thick and toned enough to stretch the fabric of his supposed-to-be baggy basketball shorts. Side effect of his famed Shoot-style, no doubt. The pipsqueak had gained some inches in terms of height, too, despite never reaching Katsuki on that front, either. The height plus the new hairstyle— hair cut short on both sides and on the back but wily curls left untouched on the top— finally made the dork look more his age, save for the dumbass freckles and chubby cheeks. Couldn’t fight the Omega genetics there.

“Ready?” Katsuki grunted, pulling out his phone, wallet, and keys to toss them in the box for valuables near the reinforced door.

“I didn’t ask you here to train.”

Bakugo tensed at that but continued to put away his items as if unconcerned.

“Then why the fuck did you text me?”

“I need you to Claim me, Kacchan.”

Katsuki’s head shot up, his eyes locking on Deku’s. There was no way he’d heard what he thought he’d heard. ...But Izuku’s green eyes were hard, serious...certain.

“What the fuck?”

“I said, I need you to Claim me.”

Claiming wasn’t a thing. Not anymore. Back before quirks, Secondary Genders mattered—they mattered a lot. Before society got its shit together, they’d thought Alphas were the strongest of the Secondary Genders, meant to have large litters with Omegas, the more docile, weaker class designed for mothering no matter what their Primary Gender. Betas, otherwise unaffected by their Secondary Gender, were meant to maintain the peace and keep society going.

All that bullshit went out the window once quirks appeared. Everything people once believed about what “Nature intended” didn’t seem as clear when a mutation resulted in a wide-range of abilities. Especially when those abilities didn’t match the roles society had attributed to Secondary Genders. After all, when an Omega inherited a quirk that could level a building and an Alpha inherited a quirk that made their skin turn into soft, cuddly fur...it was hard to believe the stereotypes.

After an adjustment period, Secondary Genders got pushed aside, similar to the way Primary Genders stopped limiting what men or women could or could not do before that. As a result, most of the special rituals related to Secondary Genders stopped being popular. Some people still got mated—a process where both partners Claimed each other by biting on each other’s scent glands—but a legal marriage was much more common. And less permanent.

“I’m not asking to Claim you back,” Izuku responded quickly, as if reading Katsuki’s mind. “I’m just asking that you Claim me.”

Katsuki uncoiled his back from where he’d remained bent over his belongings. He stared at his rival, eyes narrowed in suspicion.

“Why?”

The Omega straightened his shoulders, puffing out his chest and keeping his head held high. “If I want to be the Symbol of Peace, I can’t let anything hold me back. That includes Orders.”

That was...unexpected.

Orders, like Claims, still existed, even if rare. They’d become illegal over 100 years ago; hard to believe that they weren’t before that. The thought that an Alpha could force an Omega to do whatever they wanted with a mix of inflection and pheromones pissed Katsuki off. Supposedly they existed as a way for Alphas to calm down their mates and technically it was still legal to use an Order on your mate under specific circumstances. But the world was a fucked up place and every power has the potential for abuse.

Villains used Orders now and again, usually on civilians and not Pro-Heroes. Small fries tended not to, seeing as the possible jail time tied to giving an Order was usually worse than whatever crime they were committing. But...every once in a while...it happened.

Still, Bakugo scoffed.

“Like those mean shit to you.”

All Omegas who got Pro-Hero training learned how to fight Orders. It was a crucial and useful tool on the battlefield. At the very least, a Pro-Hero Omega could fight an Order long enough to get out of harm’s way, but Katsuki knew for a fact that Deku could do more than that. The man didn’t so much as blink at an Order; Bakugo had seen that first hand.

“But they could,” Izuku whispered, his voice barely carrying across the training field.

Ground Zero didn’t know why, but the way Deku said the phrase sent white hot fury through his veins. He didn’t know what happened, but something had. Katsuki did his best to hide his anger, but he must have done a shit job of it because Izuku let out a frustrated sigh as he ran a hand through his curls.

“Please Kacchan, I—I know this is a lot to ask of you. I get how crazy this all sounds. But you know... you get how important it is for me to live up to…”

Deku cut off, but Katsuki finished his sentence in his head. Ever since All Might’s unexpected death two years ago, Izuku had become even more obsessed with his duties as a Pro-Hero. It was the reason he’d come back to Japan after training abroad like his mentor. It was the reason he was ranked number two.

It was also probably the reason why they’d been having more training sessions lately.

“Why me?” Katsuki responded after a moment’s pause. He stuck his hands in his pockets to hide how he clenched them into fists as he walked closer to Izuku. “A Claim doesn’t just go away. You can override it with a new one, but the bite stays.”

“That doesn’t bother me.”

“It bothers some people. What if it bothers your future partner?”

“Then that’s not the person I should be with.”

Katsuki wanted to smirk at that statement, but now he was only a few feet away from Izuku. He stopped suddenly, tilting his chin upward while maintaining eye contact.

“Answer the question then, why me?”

The room fell quiet. Izuku didn’t look away from Katsuki’s eyes, but he also didn’t answer. Once upon a time, the nerd would have withered under Bakugo’s intensity, given him more information than the Alpha had asked for, but that was a long time ago. Now, it was Katsuki who folded first.

“Hah? You’re not going to answer me? Why the fuck should I Claim you if you won’t tell me why.”

“I need someone I can trust.”

“Then go ask fucking Half-and-Half or that creepy purple bastard you hang out with.”

Izuku shook his head vigorously. “Shinso has been undercover for a while now, I can’t ask him to do it. ...And I can’t ask Shouto.”

“Why the fuck not? Didn’t you two fucking date?”

“This isn’t about being in a relationship.”

“Then ask Mina.”

“She’s with Kirishima.”

“Thought this wasn’t about being in a relationship.”

“It’s not!”

“Then what’s the fucking issue?”

“Kacchan, please!” Izuku threw his hands out by his sides. “Do you think I haven’t thought this through? Do you think I haven’t considered the other options? I’m here, I’m asking you.

“And I don’t get why. ” Katsuki brought one foot forward, eyes twitching downward as the Omega took a step further away. “So you either fucking explain properly or I ain’t doing shit.”

Deku’s mouth slammed shut and a chill ran through Katsuki. What the fuck wasn’t the nerd telling him? But rather than allow that thought take hold, another thought came to him. He brought his legs back together, putting distance between them once again and crossed his arms.

“Alright, fine.”

Izuku started; his eyes widening in shock. “What?”

“I said fine. I’ll Claim you.”

“Re—”

“Depending on this fight.”

“What?” Izuku asked with furrowed eyebrows.

“If I win, then I’ll go ahead and Claim you. But if you win, you drop this bullshit and never bring it up again.”

Izuku’s mouth fell open making Katsuki smirk. “Kacchan, that makes no sense. Why wouldn’t either of us throw the fight then?”

Katsuki unfolded his arms, letting them fall to his sides with his palms facing Izuku as he fell into an offensive stance. “Like that would ever fucking happen.”

After a moment of tense silence, electricity started to crackle through the still air. The second Izuku’s green eyes glowed from the added light, Katsuki’s smile grew. He hardly waited for the other man to nod to their arrangement before Bakugo took off.

Explosions propelled Katsuki forward preventing Izuku from taking the offensive first. The two danced around one another; each side-stepping explosions and super-powered hits with ease. Both of them had gotten faster and stronger since they’d first fought, but the years of training together made their moves easier to read. Each twitch of a muscle or tilt of a head warned of the person’s next move and the rival responded perfectly. Left kick. Right hook. Explosions from above. Dodge the tackle from the back wall.

New combinations but no new moves. They knew each other too well. So Bakugo knew Izuku would not expect this.

“Oi, Deku!”

His rival tilted his head in Katsuki’s direction as he slid underneath the blonde’s kick.

“Give up.”

Bakugo had never given an Order and he was a little surprised how naturally it came out. There was no question he’d done it right though; the words felt different in his mouth.

But Izuku didn’t so much as flinch.

Instead, he bent backwards into a flip to bring his flickering foot down toward Katsuki’s head in a potentially devastating blow. Bakugo pulled his body out of the way just in time, grabbing Izuku’s foot to toss him. Unfortunately, the Omega twisted himself out of the hold while also sending another punch Katsuki’s way.

The Alpha smirked. “I thought I told you to STOP.”

The second Order worked as well as the first. Izuku continued to come at Katsuki with kicks and punches, and so Katsuki continued to send out Orders.

“What was that bullshit about Orders, Deku? Didn’t you say you have to follow my Orders? Shouldn’t you stop? Or maybe you still want to throw the fight?

Even after the 6th Order in a row, Izuku didn’t falter. However, with so much of his focus geared toward sending out Orders correctly, Katsuki got distracted.

With one lucky sweep at Katsuki’s leg, Ground Zero went down. Hard. Instantly, Izuku was on top of him, holding Bakugo palms facing each other with one hand, his other hand wrapped in Katsuki’s tanktop while Izuku’s One-For-All powered knees dug into Katsuki’s thighs. The Omega’s face was only inches away from Katsuki’s own as he leaned forward to keep Bakugo’s hands above his head. And maybe that’s why Katsuki said it.

“What are you doing nerd, you gonna kiss me?

Suddenly, Izuku’s lips were on his own. Bakugo’s eyes widened impossibly large but he didn’t miss the opportunity this afforded him. In one swift motion, Katsuki flipped them both, knocking Deku’s head into the hard concrete and pulling their lips apart in the process. Izuku gave out a gasp of pain that turned strangled when Katsuki wrapped a palm around his throat.

“Match.”

Both men held their positions, panting harshly. They stared at each other, their eyes locked but neither saying a word. As if Izuku just realized what had happened, his eyes widened and he quickly began to struggle under Katsuki’s grip. Battle over, Bakugo removed his hand and allowed Deku to push him off without having to use One-For-All. The Omega quickly stood up and was headed to the door with long, fast strides.

“Oi! Where the fuck are you going?”

Izuku didn’t respond and the door slammed shut behind him. Katsuki stared at the door before he fell backwards onto his butt, resting his arms on his raised knees. He closed his eyes and tilted his head back as he tried to steady his breathing.

What the fuck happened tonight?

Chapter Text

“You asked him to do what?"

Izuku flinched at his best friend’s screech of disbelief. The urge to hide behind his hands caused his muscles to tense as his eyes darted to the curious and annoyed stares of the fellow Pro-Heroes passing by.

It wasn’t Izuku’s plan to tell Uraraka about what had happened last night and he certainly had no intention of doing so in the middle of their busy cafeteria at the Nest. Unfortunately, Ochako knew him too well. One look and she was instantly questioning him about his troubles.

He’d barely started and he already regretted saying anything.

“Uraraka, please.”

“What were you thinking, Deku?” The other Pro-Hero slammed the palm of her hand to her forehead, her elbow sliding against the smooth tabletop bringing her head closer to their forgotten food. “Why on earth would you want to be Claimed of all things? Is something wrong? Is it your heats? I know you’re on suppressants, but are they not working? If that were the case, you could have asked me or Iida to scent you!”

Midoriya’s face tinged pink with embarrassment at the mention of his heats and the thought of his best friends scenting him. He tried to shake the image from his brain with a firm jerk of his head. “It’s nothing like that Uraraka. It’s just...It’s hard to explain.”

Ochako looked up at Izuku from the arm that propped up her heavy head. “Try me.”

Izuku hesitated.  

Despite having been so certain about asking Kacchan to Claim him, Izuku was not prepared for so many questions. He’d assumed Kacchan would ask why, but Izuku was also certain that he’d understand better than anyone else. Being an Omega had never bothered Izuku. Compared to his quirklessness as a teen, he’d never thought of his Secondary Gender as a detriment. There were plenty of Omega Pro-Heroes, with some taking up the highest ranks. After Izuku accepted One-For-All, he hadn’t really thought of how his Secondary Gender would interact with his identity as a Pro-Hero until he and his Omega classmates had to train in fighting Orders.

Before that, Izuku had never been Ordered. Even though Present Mic only Ordered the group of teenagers to do silly things like dance or bark like a dog, the sensation was unnerving. The pulling sensation in Izuku’s mouth and muscles was like nothing he’d felt before. It was as if someone had reached inside of him and taken control. Didn’t help that Izuku sucked at fighting Orders. At first, he always performed the worst in his class. It took an extraordinary amount of time practicing one-on-one with All Might to get to the point where he didn’t so much as blink at an Order.

Or at least he thought he’d gotten to that point.

The fact that he kissed Kacchan only solidified Izuku’s resolve that no amount of training would make him entirely immune. Only a Claim could do that.

“I can’t be Ordered by any Alpha other than the one that Marked me if I’m Claimed,” Izuku finally answered with certainty. He’d made his decision and he’d known others would balk at it. If this was what he had to deal with, so be it.

“Well, yeah, sure. But it’s not like Orders work on you.”

“Why does everyone keep saying that?” Now it was Izuku’s turn to groan. He ran a hand through his curly hair in exasperation as one of his eyes twitched. “An Order’s still an Order.”

“I get that Deku—”

“But you don’t, Ochako,” Izuku cut her off a little too suddenly. Uravity raised her head with a start, her eyes widening in surprise, and Izuku cleared his throat, instantly guilty. “Sorry, I just mean that it’s hard to explain what it feels like. I—I just need some security, ok?”

His best friend smiled sympathetically although the edges of her mouth looked tight. As a Beta, she could try to empathize all she wanted, but what Izuku said was true. She could never really know.

“Okay, okay. But why Bakugo? Why didn’t you ask Shinso or someone else?”

“Kacchan asked that too,” Izuku admitted with a sheepish smile. “With Shinso being undercover and all, no one knows when his mission will end. I can’t risk waiting around. Other than that...I honestly thought Kacchan was the easiest.”

“Are we talking about the same person?”

Izuku rubbed his tired eyes holding back another groan. This was why he was never going to tell anyone that he’d been Claimed. If everything had gone as he’d hoped last night, then he would be Claimed and no one would be the wiser. Kacchan wasn’t the type of person to talk about such things and Izuku had plans that spanned several continents to keep the Mark itself hidden.

But after the unexpected turn of events, he had to tell her something. He decided to go with the easier stuff to explain and keep it brief. He peeked at her from behind his fingers.

“I thought it wouldn’t matter to him! Kacchan isn’t the kind of person to overthink things. I’d hope he’d see my request for what it is.”

“Which is what, again?”

“As a way to make sure nothing comes between me and being the Symbol of Peace.”

Ochako raised one eyebrow in suspicion. “And that’s all this is?”

Izuku fully removed his hands from his eyes. “Huh? What do you—”

“Hey Midoriya!” The scratch of chairs against the tiled floor and the sound of his name pulled Izuku’s attention away from his conversation in time to see Kirishima take a seat next to Uraraka and for Mina to take a seat next to him. Uraraka waved at the two of them and Mina waved back to her. Kirishima, however, was too busy pouting at Izuku to notice. “How come you get to have late night trainings with Bakugo?”

Instantly, Izuku blanched.

“Yeah Midori,” Mina turned her body in her chair to face Izuku with a big smile on her face. “I texted him the cutest bunny picture once and he chewed my head off for a week! But you somehow get him out of bed despite his old grandpa habits. What’s your secret?”

“Secret? What secret? There’s no secret. Why? Did he say something?” The words tumbled out of his mouth, his voice a whole pitch higher than normal.

“No, but you had one last night, didn’t you? He’s always so cranky without his beauty sleep and he’s extra pissy today.”

Oh god, someone kill him now.

“Do you think I could come train too?” Kirishima jumped in, his eyes now shiny to join his jutted lower lip.

Mina reached across the table to playfully swat at her boyfriend, seeming to not notice how Izuku sunk in his chair. “Stop begging, you get plenty of time with your best bud! Let ‘em have some alone time.”

“But secret late night trainings sound super manly!”

“Then we can have secret late night trainings!”

“Now they’re not secret!”

“Hey, I have a question for you two.” The couple stopped their bickering to turn to Ochako. Izuku turned to look at her suddenly overwhelmed with a bad feeling based on her composed smile. “Would you ever Claim each other?”

“No way.” “Sure!”

The Alpha/Omega pair’s heads whipped back to stare at each other.

“What do you mean by ‘Sure’ Ei?”

Kirishima tilted his head to the side. “Whatcha mean what I mean? If ya wanted to Claim me, I’d be down! Do you not want me to Claim you?”

“No way in hell!” Mina shook her head in disbelief. “Marriage is scary enough, why on earth would you be okay with something so...permanent, ew.”

“It’s romantic, A! Plus,” the other Omega wiggled his eyebrows, “it’s kinda hot.”

The only Alpha at the table grinned as she leaned forward on the table. “I’ll give you that, but if I Marked you for real then you’d have to follow my Orders. Where’s the fun in that?”

“Wait, Mina you give Kirishima Orders?” Izuku interjected, his voice obviously surprised. “What do you Order him—”

Ashido gave Izuku a smug smile with a suggestive glint in her eye. Izuku shut up immediately.

“Soooo,” Ochako pulled their attention back to her. “Hypothetically, what would you think of someone asking to be Claimed outside of a relationship?”

Uraraka wasn’t looking at Izuku but her smug smile let him know that she was clearly aware of the glare he sent her way.

“What?” “Woah, really?” The pair answered at the same time before Mina added, “Who on earth would do that?”

“Hypothetically!” Izuku cut in before Ochako even finished opening her mouth. Mina leaned back in her chair, crossing her arms, while Kirishima’s face scrunched up in concentration.

“I don’t really see the point of that, dudes.” Red Riot broke the contemplative silence first, bringing up a finger to scratch his face. “Why else do people asked to get Claimed if not for love?”

“Maybe that way only one person can Order them around?” Uraraka added helpfully.

“But then you have to trust that person that you’re not even with to not ask you to do anything weird because you have to follow their Orders.” Mina shook her head. “I love you guys, but I ain’t asking any of you to Claim me just ‘cause.”

“I’d trust you, A!” Kirishima jumped in. “Or Kami. Or Bakubro.” The pair looked at each other at the last name and laughed. “Okay maybe not Bakugo.”

Izuku and Uraraka exchanged expressive looks unseen by the couple.

“Could you imagine if Bakugo Claimed you? He’d be Ordering you all the time!”

“‘Shut up!’”

“‘Go away!’”

“‘Never call me again!’”

Hearing his fellow Pro-Heroes joke about the types of Orders Bakugo could give made Izuku's stomach twist uncomfortably. It wasn't that Izuku hadn't thought that Kacchan would be willing to dole out Orders. Actually, Izuku knew the Kacchan could and likely would use them. He knew that from experience.

But the jokes the couple shared warped into Bakugo’s voice ringing through his head.

"Kiss me.”

“You okay, Deku?”

Uraraka's tentative voice jolted Izuku back into reality. Three sets of eyes stared at him with expressions ranging from confusion to concern.

“Yes? Yes. I'm fine. I just remembered I have some reports to write. I'll see you guys later!”

“Hey! Wait, Deku!”

He knew Ochako would be angry later but Izuku opted to ignore her for now. He needed to keep a clear head. He needed to regroup.

He needed to figure out what he'd say to Kacchan.

 


 

There was a war going on in Izuku's head. On the one hand, his need to be Claimed demanded his attention. After all, he needed the Claim to happen not soon, not later, but now. Every day he went without being Claimed was another patrol or another mission where he was putting people at risk due to his status as an Omega and Izuku couldn't live with that guilt.

The embarrassment of how their fight had ended, however, had Izuku actively avoiding the Alpha.

Izuku had changed a lot since high school. His confidence had skyrocketed until right before graduation and, after a dip of self-doubt when he'd first started out being a Pro-Hero, that confidence had continued to grow. America had taught him a lot of things but the skill Izuku valued most was the ability to always smile in the face of danger. Just like his mentor.

At least until he died.

The death of Toshinori Yagi hit Izuku harder than the fall of All Might ever could. He’d rushed back to Japan feeling compelled to take up the mantle his mentor had left for him. Izuku still beat himself up for waiting so long to come back. He’d always thought he'd become a Symbol of Peace that All Might could be proud of. Now he'd never know.

Something changed after he came back to Japan. The smile Izuku wore while out on duty was no longer backed by the strong wall of confidence he’d built. Instead, it hid the slow but sure decay of his inner strength and resolve. The shadow of doubt hung behind every bright declaration he made on the battlefield. Even if no one else seemed to notice. It didn’t matter to Izuku if he shot up the Japanese ranks in record time. Popularity meant nothing if Izuku couldn’t save the people within his reach.

That loss of confidence in his ability to be the Symbol of Peace began to seep into all aspects of his identity. If he wasn’t the best hero he could be, then who was he? Izuku tried to keep up the appearance of strength he’d adopted since high school, but he found his anxious tendencies reemerging.

Unfortunately, the casualty of this inner battle between wanting to be Claimed and the fear of facing Kacchan was two days. Two days wasted as Izuku fell back on old habits of avoiding Kacchan and the conflict he represented. Two days of patrols where he put everyone at risk for his selfishness. Two days spent wondering what happened next.

If—when—Izuku finally confronted Kacchan, what was going to happen? Technically, Izuku had lost, hadn’t he? Midoriya wasn’t proud of that fact, especially not how it happened, but that meant that he’d get what he asked for. Kacchan had said he’d Claim him. Would Bakugo have Claimed him if he stayed?

Izuku didn’t know. At the time, he just knew he had to leave. The second the realization that he’d kissed Kacchan dawned on him, Izuku’s world had tilted. His heart had seized, his face had burned, and a fire burned in his gut. A fire of white hot anger. None of the other Orders had worked on Izuku, but, just like before, he’d dropped his guard for a brief second and the consequences were disastrous.

How was he, Pro-Hero Deku, supposed to face Ground Zero again after that?

That moment came when Izuku least expected it. He’d been doing so well avoiding Bakugo, especially considering that they worked at the same agency, but on the third day, he’d slipped up. Again.

“You avoiding me, nerd?”

The Omega froze where he stood, manilla folder still in hand, as the all too familiar Alpha entered the small conference room with staggering authority. Once a month, Pro-Heroes with potentially difficult missions had the option of opening the case to other interested parties. Redacted files were printed and locked in a back room that required a certain level of clearance to enter and Pro-Heroes had a day to stop by and sign up for those that interested them. Izuku had stopped by late into the evening, well after the daytime to nighttime patrol switch, with the intention of going through the cases alone.

Apparently that was not going to be the case.

Izuku looked up at Kacchan and he couldn’t help but hold his breath. Bakugo looked as he always did. Tall, angry, but perfect in a way Izuku couldn’t hope of achieving. His spikey blonde hair was a little wilder than he normally styled it nowadays, probably due to a fight with some villain on patrol, but it was still much more controlled compared to how it looked when they were kids. Ground Zero’s hero outfit hadn’t changed too much, even though it was obviously different to Izuku who’d memorized everyone’s costumes and the evolutions they went through with time. The gauntlets on his wrist were much more streamlined, far more inclined toward function rather than style as they’d been in high school. His belt still had the small grenades attached to one side, but the other side sported a variety of tools that worked synergistically with his explosive quirk. The hero’s colors had stayed the same, black spandex clinging to Bakugo’s defined pecs which flexed as he crossed his impossibly muscular arms across the orange X emblazoned on his chest. His strong chin and sharp cheekbones accentuated the pissed-off scowl on his face while those red eyes scrutinized Izuku, dissecting the layers of tension between them to leave Deku raw and vulnerable.

The shorter man swallowed before straightening his back.

“I’m not avoiding you.”

Bakugo scoffed, taking several steps toward Izuku before turning toward the table at the last second to pick up a file himself. “Coulda fooled me.”

Midoriya felt his shoulders drop slightly as he let out the air somehow still stuck in his chest. He turned to look down at the folder in his hands but his attempts at reading were useless. Kacchan was standing right next to him. He couldn’t put it off any longer.

“I lost the fight.”

If that statement meant anything to Bakugo, he didn’t show it. Without a response he flipped up a page of the case file he held before letting the paper drop back down. He slammed the folder shut and tossed it across the table before picking up the next. Izuku gave him another moment to respond but Ground Zero kept his eyes on the next file.

“Did you mean what you said that night?”

“I don’t say shit I don’t mean.” Katsuki closed the next file and picked up another one. But this time he didn’t open it. With his body still facing the table he turned his head toward Izuku with narrowed eyes. “But considering how you left, I figured you’d come to your senses and decided to drop it.”

Izuku held the Alpha’s intense gaze, his face as flat and with as little affect as possible, despite how hard his heart was pounding in his chest. “I still want it.”

The “it” was implicit but understood.

“Tch.” Bakugo’s mouth twitched on one side as he clicked his tongue to the roof of his mouth. With a slam that made Izuku flinch he pressed the folder he was holding into the table with one hand, pivoting his body to properly face Izuku.

“I don’t know what the fuck you’re playing at, Deku, but a deal’s a fucking deal. If you want me to Claim you, I’ll do it, alright?”

An enormous weight lifted off of Izuku’s shoulders. “Really?”

“The fuck did I just finish saying? I don’t say shit I don’t mean.”

“Right, uh then when can we--”

“Next week.”

Izuku gaped at the Alpha. “Next week ? What, why? I can't wait that long, Kacchan!”

Ground Zero turned back to the table of files with an eye roll. “Should of thought of that before you started avoiding me.”

Frustration pooled in Izuku’s veins, melding with the stress of the last few days until molten anger burned him from the inside out.

“I wouldn't have avoided you if you hadn't Ordered me to kiss you! What were you thinking? Did you realize you couldn't win without Ordering me around? Did you realize how I've finally surpassed you?”

“You, surpass me?” Katsuki's upper lip quirked up to show off his canines in a snarl. “Who the hell do you think you're talking to? I could beat you with my eyes closed!”

The Alpha stepped closer to Izuku coming to full height to stare down at him but the Omega didn't back away.

“Then why else would you Order me to do something so ridiculous! Where do you get off Ordering me in the first place?”

“For your information, idiot, I used those Orders to fucking remind you of how stupid you were being. I knew they wouldn't do shit to your fighting and once you realized that then I expected you to back off this crazy plan of yours, whatever it is.”

Izuku tried not to react to that revelation but Katsuki obviously got some response out of whatever he saw in Izuku's eyes. Without a word, Ground Zero leaned past Izuku to write his name on one of the files behind him. He was so close that Izuku could smell a hint of pheromones that were no longer masked by the fading scent blocker they all wore. The smell tickled Izuku's nose, filling his nostrils with a disorienting mix of sweet cinnamon and acrid burnt chemicals.

When the Alpha pulled back, he didn't look at the Omega as he turned to leave. “But I guess I was wrong...for once.”

Those words hit Izuku like a stab in the gut. He wanted to respond but there was nothing to say. There was no excuse for his weakness. But that only made him more certain in his decision that it had to be Kacchan that Claimed him.

“Next week is too late Kacchan.” He called out to the other Pro-Hero just as the man reached the door.

“Then find someone else.” Ground Zero answered carelessly, waving the Omega off with one arm. “They're forcing me to use vacation days this weekend. I'm going back home so I won't be around to Mark you, dumbass.”

As Katsuki walked out the door, Izuku was certain of two things. One, Izuku wasn't going to ask anyone else. Two, next week was too long to wait.

Chapter Text

When Katsuki mentioned going home for the weekend, he hadn’t meant it as an invitation. Upon opening the front door in response to the unexpected doorbell, there stood Deku. At his childhood home. Without warning. Right before dinner.

“Hi, Kacchan!” Deku smiled, his mouth tighter than usual and his body tense, probably because of the scowl on Katsuki’s face.

“What the fuck are you doing here, nerd?”

Izuku shifted his weight between his feet, leaning back on his heels as he gripped one of his forearms with his opposite hand. He was dressed in casual clothes, a nondescript green and grey t-shirt and loose jeans, and covered in a slight sheen of sweat. If Katsuki didn’t know any better, he’d think that Izuku had run all the way here after patrol with that insane quirk and stamina of his. But then if he’d done that he would’ve been at the Bakugos’ door earlier. He probably just sprinted from the station.

“I thought I’d make it easier for you by coming out here. That way we wouldn’t have to wait to...you know.”

Despite the awkward and hesitant posture, Deku’s emerald eyes were trained on his own with all the confidence that Katsuki was used to seeing during their training sessions. The look was enough to make his shoulders relax without conscious effort. Katsuki had no idea what was going on with his rival lately, but it was nice to see something familiar in that gaze.

Nevertheless, what the fuck was Deku thinking?

“I’m not doing that,” Katsuki whispered harshly, his hand already gripping the door to slam it shut on Izuku’s face, “here.”

The Omega’s mouth fell open as hurt, disappointment, and frustration whirled around in his transparent eyes. “But—”

“But what, Deku? Did you think I was about to Claim you in my childhood bedroom with my parents downstairs?”

“No!” Izuku’s face tinged pink even as he furrowed his eyebrows. “I thought we could go somewhere—it shouldn’t take long.”

Katsuki opened his mouth to respond when he felt movement from behind him.

“Izuku! Is that you?”

Even without turning around, Katsuki could picture the huge smile on his mother’s face as she drew nearer. It took all of his effort to not knock his head against the edge of the door. Now that Deku had been seen there was no way Katsuki could get rid of him. Izuku seemed to realize the same thing as his face suddenly went pale.

“Hello, Mrs. Bakugo! I’m sorry for the intrusion.” Izuku gave a short bow, completely missing how Mitsuki practically body checked her son out of the doorway. Katsuki scowled as he dug his heels into the floor to keep from losing his balance, crossing his arms now that his spot in the doorway had been stolen.

“Oh look at you! You’ve grown so much, but you’re just as polite as ever. Those interviews on the television don’t do you justice, is this a new haircut?”

Once Izuku lifted his upper body straight, Mitsuki reached out to run her hand through the Pro-Hero’s curly hair causing him to shoot a shocked and nervous look Katsuki’s way. Katsuki smirked behind his mother’s back, knowing first hand how uncomfortable her touchiness could be. She constantly poked at his arms and fucked with his hair whenever he came home after an extended period of time. Served Deku right for marching in unannounced.

“Are you in town visiting your mother?”

“Um—No, not exactly.” The hand in Izuku’s hair turned into a fist and knocked against his skull with a small rap.

“You did not come all this way out here and were planning on not visiting your mother! Inko would be so disappointed in you!”

Izuku’s green eyes widened further, his head now turning back and forth from Mitsuki to Katsuki. “I—No, you’re right, um, I’ll go visit her after—”

“After you sit down for dinner with us.” Now both Katsuki’s and Izuku’s heads swung to Mitsuki who’d already turned her back to the boys. “Masaru! We have company! Set up another plate!”

“That’s really not—” Unfortunately for Izuku, and by extension Katsuki, the matriarch was long gone. The two Pro-Heroes shared a look of angry disbelief and apologetic fear.

Damnit, Deku. Only that idiot could get them in this awkward situation. Katsuki wasn’t stupid enough to think he could change his mother’s mind, so he too turned to head down the hall, certain that Deku would follow without further invitation. Sure enough, the door clicked shut behind him and when the youngest Bakugo took a seat to the right of his father, Izuku took the seat across from him.

“Izuku!” Masaru smiled from his seat, reaching across the table to grab the pitcher of water to pour their guest a glass. “How wonderful that you could join us today.” As if he’d be given a choice. “It’s been so long since we last saw you, what? Five? Six years?”

“Seven,” Izuku supplied, bowing his head slightly in thanks as he picked up the now full glass. “Graduation was the last time, I think.”

Masaru whistled. “Has it been that long already?”

“Feels like just yesterday that you were taking baths together after daycare.” Mitsuki mused as she placed the last plate, stacked high with fried fish, on the table and took her seat.

Deku sputtered, choking on his water and causing him to cough harshly. Katsuki didn’t bother acknowledging his mother as he began to place pieces of fish on his rice. Like hell he’d give her the satisfaction of a reaction.

“You went abroad after UA?” Masaru continued.

It took a second for Izuku to clear his throat, but then he nodded. “Yes, I went to the United States directly after graduation. I only returned two years ago.”

“So long!” Mitsuki shook her head. “Inko must be so happy that you’re back now. I know the three years Katsuki traveled the world for his ‘hero training’ added several wrinkles to my face, not that he cared.”

Izuku’s chopsticks paused mid-reach for the fish. “Oh, Kacchan, I forgot that you had left Japan, too.”

Katsuki grunted as he finished smothering his food in hot sauce before stuffing a piece of fish in his mouth. As nonchalant as he acted, the fact that Izuku hadn’t remembered that Katsuki had taken three years to work in six different countries to get certified as an international hero pissed him off. At what point did Izuku stop watching him? Did that asshole think that Bakugo would let himself get left behind? And how was the nerd supposed to analyze him if he didn’t keep up with what Katsuki was doing with his hero career? He definitely didn’t miss Deku’s wins and losses.

“Oh yes he did! And let me tell you, he almost never called. Didn’t even email us to let us know he was okay! Poor Masaru and I had to scour the internet for updates. But enough about work,” Mitsuki grinned to show off her sharp canines. “Have you found yourself a girl yet?”

This time Izuku dropped his chopsticks all together. “Wh—”

“How about a guy?”

“Ah—"

“You must at least go on some dates, a handsome hero like—”

“How come you guys never Claimed each other?” Katsuki’s voice cut through his mother’s sentence like a hot knife, leaving her and his father stunned by its sudden heat. Izuku, who should have been fucking thankful for Katsuki’s rerouting of the awkward conversation instead gaped at him open-mouthed.

“Katsuki! That’s hardly a question to ask when we have a guest, you brat.”

“What are you fucking talking about, it could do Izuku some good to hear the answer, too.”

The mentioned Pro-Hero shut his mouth with an audible snap, his shock quickly turning into a pointed glare. Mitsuki turned from one Pro-Hero to the other, her frown more set on her face.

“Why? Is there someone in your life after all, Izuku?”

“No,” Deku firmly responded. Mitsuki turned to him.

“It better not be you, brat.”

“Fuck no, it’s just a question.”

“Then if it’s just a question, we don’t have to res—”

“No it’s fine, ‘Suki,” Masaru interrupted his wife, surprising both her and Katsuki. “Well, Izuku, as Katsuki already knows, I already have a Mark from a previous Claim.”

Izuku’s green eyes widened and his response of “really?” was so quiet that Katsuki could barely hear it.

“Yes, I know that must come to a surprise to you. Claims were as uncommon when I was your age as they are now. However, when I was in high school, there was a resurgence among the youth about reclaiming Secondary Genders. By which I mean, there was a movement where people began to think that Secondary Genders and traditions like Mating and Claiming were part of our nature as humans and should be celebrated again.” Masaru shook his head. “Looking back on it now, I should’ve seen the whole things as just another phase, but I was young and in love.

“I’d been dating my girlfriend at the time for all three years of high school, but we’d been accepted to universities that were across the country from each other. Nevertheless, we were certain that after we finished we would get married. And we thought, what better way to cement that promise by Claiming one another?

“Luckily, it didn’t work out between us, because, if we had stuck to that promise, I would never have met Katsuki’s mother, who happens to be my one true love.”

“Masaru, stop it!” Mitsuki put one hand to her cheek and flicked her other hand in a dismissive motion at her doting husband. “Not in front of the boys!”

“If you love her so much, why not override the Claim then.” Katsuki stated rather than asked, purposefully ignoring the green eyes that bore into his forehead as he continued to shove food into his mouth.

“Claims are very complex, Katsuki. It’s hard to explain what happens, what if feels like. I love your mother more than life itself, but…if a Claim was something she truly wanted, I don’t know that I could agree to one.”

Without warning, Izuku pushed his chair away from the table and stood. “I’m so sorry for having to leave so soon, but I really ought to go visit my mom while I have the time.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, Izuku, did this conversation make you feel uncomfortable? We could talk about something else instead.”

“No, no, it’s not that at all. I unfortunately have very little time here in town, so I really need to get going.”

Katsuki shoved the last bite of rice into his mouth and stood as well. “Then we better talk about that case on your walk home.”

The two Pro-Heroes exchanged a knowing glance before Izuku nodded in agreement. “Yeah, that sounds great.”

“I didn’t realize your visit was work related, Izuku! And here we are taking up your precious time with gossip.” Mitsuki shook her head. “Hopefully next time you can stay a bit longer. Don’t be a stranger, ya hear?”

“Thank you for having me for dinner.” Izuku bowed before picking up his bowl. Katsuki pulled it from his grasp, taking it and his own bowl to the kitchen. Less than a minute later, they were outside his front door staring at the sidewalk.

“Where to, Deku?”

“Your choice, just somewhere we can talk.”

Katsuki rolled his shoulders before shoving his hands into his pockets and taking off down the sidewalk. Izuku kept pace and they both walked in silence until they reached the beach not even a mile away. As expected, the place was deserted. The beach had seen better days, large pieces of trash in the form of old appliances and other useless hunks of metal littered the sand. Katsuki had watched the state of the beach wax and wane. At some point the beach had been cleaned, but that only lasted for so long. Without upkeep, the beach had become a dumping ground once again.

After weaving through the rubble, Katsuki finally found a spot clean enough that he felt was safe to sit without having to worry about needing a tetanus shot afterwards. Once Bakugo had plopped onto the sand, Izuku slowly lowered himself to the ground alongside. He turned his head this way and that, surveying the beach around them with a disgustingly sad look on his face.

“What?” Katsuki finally asked, despite himself.

“Oh, it’s just…it’s sad to see how dirty it’s gotten again.”

“Well, yeah. People are assholes.”

Izuku hummed sadly. After a pause he spoke again, “I don’t think I ever told you, or anyone else for that matter, but cleaning this beach was part of my training to ready my body for One-For-All.”

“What the fuck?”

“Yeah,” Izuku laughed. “All Might made a whole training program for me. We used to run together and come here to do strongman training in the form of lifting all the oddly shaped and heavy pieces of trash.”

“When was this? Fucking middle school? You were a weak-ass shrimp, surprised you didn’t get yourself killed.”

“Hey, I did it, didn’t I? I cleaned up the whole beach in just the ten months we had before the UA entrance exam.”

At first Katsuki didn’t respond. He had figured that Deku had to have undergone some serious training to get the muscles he had when he started at UA. It had never occurred to him that the training had come before he’d gotten All Might’s enhanced strength. It was almost impressive.

“I could’ve done it in five months.”

Izuku scoffed and shook his head in disbelief. “Knowing you, Kacchan, you could’ve done it in less than that.”

Bakugo nodded sagely and then the only sounds around them were those of the waves hitting shore. Eventually, Izuku began to fidget.

“So.”

“So what?”

“I’m here, aren’t I?”

“And?”

“And…well, then we don’t have to wait until next week.”

“You seriously came all the way out here so I could fucking Mark you?”

“Of course I did.”

“Why the fuck—”

“I told you, Kacchan, I can’t wait.”

Katsuki growled and kicked at the sand with his foot. “Why do you care about getting Claimed so badly? What the fuck could the rush be?”

“I already said—”

“You didn’t say shit, Deku.” Katsuki turned, locking eyes with his rival in an intense stare. “I intend to keep my promise and Claim you, but you need to tell me something, damnit.”

“Like?” Izuku whispered.

“Like why the fuck you wanna be Claimed. Or at least why you asked me of all fucking people.”

The two Pro-Heroes were so close to each other that Katsuki could feel the air in front of him get stolen by Izuku’s sharp intake of breath. Deku’s following breathless words didn’t make sense to him.

“What if both of those questions have the same answer?”

Katsuki’s heart skipped a beat. “Then all the more reason to answer.”

They stared into each other’s eyes for a moment longer and Katsuki had no idea what Izuku was thinking. Only once the other man had looked away did he finally speak.

“A few weeks ago, I was on patrol when there was a fire in one of the older buildings on the edge of the city. By the time I got there, the roof had already collapsed and it was only a matter of time before the whole place came down.

“There were Heroes there taking care of the fire, keeping it contained until the firemen arrived, but not everyone was evacuated yet. Of course I had to go in and see if I could help. I got to the fifth floor where another hero was trying to drag out a middle-aged man who refused to leave. Turns out his daughter had gotten trapped in one of the side rooms and the other hero couldn’t get to her. I rushed to her, lifting the part of the ceiling that had blocked her in.

“She was so young, Kacchan, and so scared. I tried to coax her out, but she wouldn't move. Time was running out, but I had to figure out a way to both hold up the rubble and reach her without making her run further into the room.” Izuku took in another sharp breath. “The father apparently had gotten out of the other hero’s hold. I was so focused on the girl that I didn’t even realize he was back. All I remember was hearing, ‘Grab her!’ and so I did.”

Izuku stuck his hand into his hair as he stared off blankly into the waves. “The man—her father—he didn’t mean to—he was just scared, but I followed the Order. I lunged forward, gripping her arm with the same strength as I was using to hold up the ceiling. Kacchan, I—I broke her arm. It just—it snapped. Right in my hand.” The Pro-Hero closed his eyes. “She was screaming in my ear and I couldn’t do anything but get her and her father out of there because the damage was already done.

“Her father wasn’t mad; he was just happy she was still alive. He didn’t—he didn’t realize that it was my fault. I—I should’ve—I shouldn’t have—she looked so betrayed. So afraid of me. How am I supposed to be the next Symbol of Peace when the people I’ve sworn to protect are afraid of me?

“And worst of all, they should be!” Izuku opened his green eyes and Katsuki wasn’t surprised to see that they shone with tears. “You’ve seen it yourself, I could mess up at any time. What if I slip again but next time it’s a villain giving me an Order? It may seem like I have One-For-All under my control, but just because I’m not destroying myself anymore doesn’t mean it doesn’t still take my focus to change the power level. I could level a building if I so much as stepped with too much power.”

“Then don’t.”

Izuku’s head turned to Katsuki, shock clear across his face. Katsuki did his best to keep his face bored, but he was sure his voice gave away his true feelings. “You’ve been doing fine this far. So you made a mistake one time under intense circumstances, whatever. You think I haven’t done the same? You think All Might didn’t? Hate to break it to you, Deku, but you’re fucking human like everyone else. Mistakes happen. No one fucking died, and even if, if, there’s a next time and if someone did, then you’d make sure it never happened again.”

“Like I am now.”

Katsuki didn’t respond to that, so Izuku continued.

“If I was already Claimed, then that wouldn’t have happened. No civilian, no villain, no friend, no one could Order me to do anything.”

“Except me.”

Izuku stared at Katsuki before he nodded. “Except you.”

“And how does this story make it so I’m the person you asked to Claim you?” Izuku hesitated and the pieces slowly came together in Katsuki’s head. “It’s because of One-For-All, right? You wanted someone who knew about your quirk.”

“That’s part of it.”

“And the other part?”

Deku bit his lower lip before he looked away. “I also wanted someone who wouldn’t be afraid to Order me to do something if push came to shove.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Izuku didn’t answer and that pissed Katsuki off. “You think I’m the only one who’d Order you around? You think your friends wouldn’t if you asked?”

“No, they might...but no other Order has ever felt as strong as yours do.”

That statement gave Katsuki pause. The beach was quiet again save the ever present waves and the sound of a passing car every once in a while.

“You asked me before I starting giving you Orders in the gym.”

Izuku’s eyebrows furrowed, his eyes clouded by confusion. “Those weren’t the first Orders you’d given me, Kacchan.”

His gut reaction to those words was anger and a familiar scowl crossed Katsuki’s face. “What the fuck are you talking about, Deku?”

“You—you don’t remember?”

“It’s not that I don’t remember, it’s that I never gave you a fucking Order before. I’ve never Ordered anyone until the other day.”

They both stared at each other, anger to confusion until Izuku’s eyes widened in realization. “Oh…you didn’t know.”

“Didn’t know what.”

“The night you were kidnapped.” Katsuki’s gut twisted against his wishes. “During our first year. You said, ‘Stay back.’ Only, you Ordered it. And, despite the trainings we’d already had to fight Orders, I couldn’t fight yours.”

Izuku looked away. “I still think I could have sav—stopped them or maybe switched places with you if I’d been stronger back then. Sorry, I thought you’d done it on purpose.”

“I didn’t.”

Neither of them responded to that. Honestly, Katsuki didn’t know what he could say to that. With such simple words, his whole world axis tilted, if only a degree or two. That was enough to change everything.

“Tomorrow.” Katsuki lifted himself to his feet without using his hands.

“What?” Deku looked up at him, still seated in the sand.

“I’ll Claim you tomorrow when I get back to the city.”

Immediately Izuku shot up. “What, why? I’m here now, can’t we—”

“I don’t know about you, but I don’t know shit about Claiming someone. It’s not like it’s something they taught us back in school.”

The other Pro-Hero stopped his protesting and frowned.

“I’ll look it up tonight,” Katsuki went on, “and then tomorrow night meet me in Training Room One at midnight, got it?”

Slowly, Izuku nodded. He waited a second longer before turning to make his leave. “Thanks, Kacchan.”

“You better go see your mom or Auntie will tell my mom and I’ll never hear the end of it.”

“Will do.”

With that, Izuku jogged off the beach. Katsuki, however, stayed until the moon was high in the pitch black sky.  

 


 

When he made it back home, it was obvious he wasn’t the only one still awake, despite how late it’d gotten.

“What’s wrong?” Katsuki voiced aloud, his voice carrying down the hallway. A moment later, his father appeared in the doorway.

“Your mother already went to sleep, but I wanted to speak with you before I joined her.”

Katsuki shifted his weight from the balls of his feet to his heels, leaning into a fake relaxed stance. “What about?”

“I wanted to be clear that Claims are complex affairs.”

At that, Katsuki actually relaxed, going as far as to roll his eyes. “Yeah, yeah, I’ve got that.”

“No, I don’t think you do.”

The seriousness of his father’s voice caused Katsuki’s shoulders to tense again. This time he didn’t respond.

“I don’t know what spurred you to ask about Claims tonight, but you don’t bring up needless topics. Whether it’s you or someone you know who’s considering a Claim, I want to stress that they should not go through with it.”

“Why?”

Masaru paused, his normally jovial face weary and older than Katsuki was used to seeing. “Claims create…connections. Even one-sided ones create a bond between the two people involved. Most people are aware of the physical effects, such as the Mark itself and Orders, but the intangible effects are harder to describe. I, myself, can’t explain exactly what it’s like. It just is.”

“Then what does that mean for you?” Katsuki practically whispered.

“…Sometimes it’s just a feeling. Whether it’s mine or hers, I’m not so sure. There are times when the…pull, I guess you could call it, is unbearably strong, and other times I fear something has happened to her because it’s so weak. I can see how it can make Mates feel more connected, but, for us, it ended up driving us apart.

“Just, trust me, son, a Claim is just as it sounds. Both participants are agreeing to some large responsibilities, the half of which can’t be explained.”

The light in the other room went off as Masaru brought his hands down to his sides. As he walked down the hall, he placed a hand on his son’s shoulder and gave it a squeeze. “Good night, son.”

His father had already made it up to the top of the stairs before Katsuki responded with, “Good night.”  

Chapter Text

In the crowd of Pro-Heroes waiting for the agency announcement, Izuku felt watched. He tried to reason that the sensation was all in his head; everyone’s eyes were pointed forward, upwards toward the balcony, especially now that Hawks was walking out to their claps and cheers. Still, Izuku felt a slithering sensation beneath his skin from unseen eyes on his back.

Maybe they could sense what he could; the looming force of change waiting to crash down at any second. Only, why would anyone else feel it? Tonight Kacchan would finally Claim him, but no one else should know that.

Unless they did.

Izuku raised a hand to grip his other forearm, digging his fingers into the spandex of his hero costume to calm himself. Of course no one knew, especially not that it would happen tonight. He was just nervous about the Claim and projecting those feelings onto everyone else. He’d felt this way when he first received One-For-All, too. Eventually, he’d get used to adding another secret to his arsenal. Until then, he just had to calm down. Pay attention. Keep up appearances.

Besides, he wasn’t only nervous about the Claim. He’d been the one to ask for it, after all. And, sure, things were still a little awkward with Kacchan after the...incident. But he was still sure about wanting to be Claimed and he was glad it was Kacchan. Besides...it was nice to be able to talk to him like that on the beach.

He couldn’t remember the last time they’d sat down and talked. It felt...good.  

“Hello Heroes!” Hawks’ voice echoed through the atrium, somehow both feather-light and commanding. “I can’t believe how much we’ve grown! When I started this agency over 10 years ago, never would I have imagined having so many people working by my side. In fact, I’d probably have slapped myself upside the head for taking on so much responsibility.”

Laughter traveled through the crowd, the chuckles vibrating the feathers of Hawks’ wings. “I became a hero with one goal, and one goal only. To make it to the day where I could come into work, pick up a beer, and drink it knowing that there would be no villains to make me regret getting a little bit tipsy.”

Even from here, Izuku could see Hawks’ smile and recognized it for what it was. Izuku had smiled for the crowd enough times to see the strain at the edges and the tinge of sadness in it’s quirk.

“Well, the time has finally come for me to pick up a beer without worry. Unfortunately, the bad guys haven’t stopped coming. But what young me didn’t account for was that, one day, I’d surround myself with so many other capable, exemplary Pro-Heroes that I wouldn’t be the one running out to the field when those villains came.

“Today, I’ve asked you all to gather to announce my retirement,” a chorus of objections flooded the atrium, causing Hawks to pause. He raised his hands up above his head, before extending out his magnificent wings when that didn’t seem to grab their attention. Only then did the crowd settle down. The number One hero still waited a moment before picking up his speech.

“But don’t you worry, chickadees! I won’t be flying the coop just yet. I make my announcement now because, once I leave the Nest, I plan to leave it in the capable hands of one, or several, of you. My plan is to officially retire at the end of the year, leaving us all with several months, plenty of time, to find the next number One…’Least I hope so!”

The crowd mumbled amongst themselves, and this time Izuku knew he wasn’t imaging the eyes on his back.

“Think of this not as an ending, but a beginning, my chicks! It’s time you all learn how to fly yourselves! Boring patrols and successful missions all around today, you hear?”

Clapping and howls of agreement swallowed Izuku up as he watched Hawks walk away with a wave. It only occurred to Izuku that he should be clapping too after it was too late. Everyone was already beginning to walk away, some quickly filing out, others hanging back to converse. Izuku turned to leave to avoid the later, only to hear a familiar voice in his ear.

“He was talking about you, you know.”

Izuku’s head swung to the right, greeting Todoroki with a smile followed by a quick frown as his words sunk in. “What are you talking about? We both know he’ll leave this place to Tokoyami. He’s his right-hand man.”

Todoroki shook his head, strands of his dual-color hair mixing into the wrong color of his slightly too-long bangs. “Tokoyami works better from the shadows. I agree he’ll continue to do so, no matter what, but someone needs to be the face of The Nest.”

The frown on Izuku’s face stuck. Shouto began to walk forward in the direction of the door, knowing Izuku would fall into step. And he did.

“If you’re thinking like that, then you realize you’re just as much of an option as I am?”

“I doubt I’ll still be around by the end of the year.”

The Omega’s head snapped to stare at his friend with an open-mouth. “What? Why?”

The Alpha shrugged. “If I’m going to be in charge of an agency, it wouldn’t be this one.”

Izuku wished he could frown harder. He knew what Shouto was referring to, even if he didn’t understand his reasoning.

“Why are you suddenly willing to take Endeavor up on his offer now?”

Unlike Hawks, who was talking about retirement relatively early for a Pro-Hero, Endeavor was long-past his prime. The Flame Hero was closer to sixty than fifty and he’d long fallen from the top spots on the Hero charts. Still, the stubborn man held onto his position as the head of his hero agency. He’d reached out to Todoroki every year for the last five years to offer him the position, despite working at a completely different agency since his graduation. To hear Todoroki actually consider the offer now, after so long, threw Izuku off.

After all, Todoroki and his father had a...complicated relationship. And Izuku understood why. Shouto’s childhood had been hell because of Enji Todoroki. But when he was made number One, Endeavor seemed to undergo a change of heart. To which, Todoroki responded in many ways over the years.

Ambivalence, rejection, mild acceptance. Izuku had watched his friend tear himself apart in every way possible as he struggled to reconcile the Endeavor of today with his memories of the man. And Izuku had been there to pick up the pieces, when he wasn’t playing his own part in the pair’s game of chess.

“I’ve proven that my strength is my own long ago; there’s no reason to deny myself those resources.”

“Mmm,” Izuku hummed with a nod, before jokingly adding, “I wonder who told you that.”

“You,” Todoroki responded bluntly. “And Yaorashi.”

Izuku suddenly stopped walking, halting in the middle of an empty hall. “Inasa? When did you guys start talking about your father?”

The Alpha stopped walking, too, pivoting slowly on his heel to face Izuku. “A few weeks into our relationship.”

“Your—oh,” Izuku suddenly felt his mouth go dry, probably from the heat in his cheeks. “I didn’t realize—”

Shouto shrugged, turning back around to start walking down the hall. “We didn’t make it official online, yet. I can’t expect you to have known.”

“But you didn’t say anything to me, either.” The Omega quickly walked forward, half running to catch up. “Isn’t Inasa an Alpha too?”

“Yes.”

The word came out uncaring, but also pointedly. Acid began to claw its way from Izuku’s stomach to his throat. That was the only way to explain the words he said next.

“That to piss off your dad?”

Now it was Todoroki’s turn to stop, the blankness of his face only achievable by him. Izuku was already backtracking.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean it like that! I meant—I don’t know what I meant. I—I’m happy for you. I wish I had known though.”

Shouto studied him for a moment longer before moving forward, physically and conversationally. “I’m not the only one with secrets, I hear.”

“What do you mean?”

“Uraraka is looking for you.”

Izuku groaned, dropping his forehead into his hand. “She told you!”

“I would have agreed to do it.”

The hurt in his friend’s voice was obvious and it made Izuku grit his teeth.

“I know, but I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t ask. How would Inasa feel about it?”

“He likely wouldn’t care. It’s not as if we could very well Claim each other.”

“But knowing you, you probably wouldn’t have even asked first.”

“Should I have?”

“Yes!”

“Ah.”

Izuku shook his head with a small chuckle. “Sometimes you’re still as hopeless as you were in high school.”

“Aren’t we all?”

 


 

Training Room One was already lit by the time Izuku arrived twenty minutes to midnight. Maybe he shouldn’t be surprised; Kacchan was never late for anything, so what if he was a little early tonight, too. In this all too familiar setting with the person Izuku knew the best, a scene had never felt so foreign.

Bakugo must have been here for a while. In the very center of the room, he’d set up a blanket complete with throw pillows, water, and what looked like a plastic bag full of snacks. If Izuku didn’t know any better, he’d have thought the two were about to have a picnic. The second Izuku walked into the room, Kacchan looked up from the duffle bag his arm was buried in with a half-hearted scowl.

“You’re early, nerd.”

“I usually am.”

Katsuki clicked his tongue, dropping his eyes to his bag to pull out an old hoodie, only to toss it to one side of the blanket. Izuku walked over purposefully but a bit hesitant to interrupt whatever...this was. He got to the edge of the blanket before Katsuki had finished. He stood there, waiting for an invitation to his own Claiming.

“What the fuck are you just standing there for? Sit.”

Izuku lowered himself onto one of the pillows on the very edge of the set up, legs crossed underneath him. “What’s all this for?”

At that, Katsuki finally looked up, his red eyes shining under the fluorescent bulbs high above. “The Claim, idiot. The thing we’re here for.”

“Umm, and we need all of this?”

“The hell? Didn’t you research Claims at all?”

“Of course I did.” Izuku frowned. He’d looked up a lot about Claims prior to asking Kacchan to Claim him in the first place. Of course, he’d focused more of his energies and attention on researching the physical act of Claiming and hiding the Mark, but still. He didn’t remember all of this being necessary. He said as much aloud.

“Tch,” Kacchan clicked his tongue, finally tossing his bag behind him, “then you should know that some people experience side effects. A drop in blood sugar, feeling faint, passing out completely.”

Izuku stared at his life-long companion as if seeing a stranger sitting in front of him. “So you—”

“Brought shit to mitigate that, like any prepared person would. What the fuck, Deku. Did you seriously come in here bare-handed?”

“I’m not going to faint, Kacchan!”

“How the fuck do you know?”

“I’m a Pro-Hero!”

“So? Shit happens to Pro-Heroes too, damn Deku.”

The quiet restraint in Kacchan’s voice gave Izuku pause. He waited a moment, not expecting Katsuki to continue, but also showing that he knew the gravity of those words. Being Pro-Heroes had never protected them before. Both he and Kacchan experienced injuries, grief, pain like anyone else. They probably had more than their fair share over the years.

Izuku averted his eyes, looking anywhere but Katsuki. “Sorry, you’re right.”

As if the atmosphere hadn’t already been tense with nerves, unease now hung in the air, toxic and smothering. Eventually, Izuku broke through the silence with a low whisper.

“How do we start?”

Their eyes met each other at the same time, two sets of stars hot enough to power their own galaxies.

“Come closer.”

Even without Orders, Kacchan’s gruff voice had always called to Izuku with its confidence and control. Alpha or not, Katsuki was always meant to lead. He was one of the few people Izuku trusted to follow without thought.

The younger Pro-Hero scooted himself further onto the quilt with his hands, his legs coming slightly undone with the movement. They nearly bumped into Katsuki’s knees as the blonde pulled himself forward without warning. Izuku barely stopped in time for their heads not to hit each other at the mid-way point. As it was, their faces were only a few inches away; the fire in Katsuki’s eyes heating Izuku’s cheeks to the point that they nearly turned pink. It was hard not to remember what had happened the last time they were this close in Training Room One.

“Next?”

Katsuki didn’t respond, his gaze fixed but searching. Izuku didn’t dare break eye contact, his pride overriding his impatience for once in his life.

“Is this really what you want?”

Words slipped past Bakugo’s lips, but they didn’t feel like they were from Kacchan. “Yes.”

“You’re sure?”

“Of course.”

“And if this changes things?”

At those words, Izuku’s face finally transformed; his brows furrowed, and the left side of his mouth dipped into a half-frown. “What would it change?”

The other man didn’t respond again. Izuku’s eyes finally broke their staring contest, darting around his face for some hint of what he was talking about, before coming back to that fiery gaze.

“I still want this. No matter what happens, I want you to Claim me, Kacchan.”

Another pause and then, finally, Katsuki nodded. He re-adjusted his weight, leaning back on his shins to gain some distance between them. “It’ll help if I scent you first. ‘Supposed to make the Claim stick faster or some shit like that.”

Izuku just nodded, knowing at least that much. “That’s fine.”

Katsuki leaned forward just as Izuku stuck out his wrists, making them both pause. Before Izuku could say anything, the Alpha had already grabbed one of his hands and begun rubbing the scent gland in his wrist against Izuku’s own.

A familiar and comforting scent filled the air. The whiff of cinnamon and ash that Izuku had caught in the conference room was nothing like the pheromones that wrapped tightly around them, despite the wide open arena of the Training Room. It was as if they were sitting in front of a bonfire, a mug of cinnamon hot cocoa in his hands. Vaguely, Izuku wondered if this was because of his own scent mixing in, despite him not knowingly releasing any of his own pheromones.

While lost in that thought, Katsuki had finished scenting his other wrist and moved his hand toward Izuku’s neck. Out of instinct, Izuku snapped his head down to the side, blocking the incoming hand from his vulnerable neck. A soft growl vibrated through Katsuki’s chest, visible beneath his tight t-shirt. Izuku forced his shoulders to relax, rolling his head to the right side to reveal both his neck and the gland located on his left. Kacchan’s calloused hand wrapped around the nape of his neck, gripping without any strength as he rubbed his wrist into Izuku’s scent gland.

The world took a hard left and Izuku reeled. The scenting of his wrist was nothing compared to scenting of his neck. He could practically see the haze of pheromones twinkling around them, and Izuku had the urge to reach out to touch them. His whole body burned, but he’d never felt so calm in his life.

“Oi, are you alright?”

Izuku looked at Katsuki, or at least he tried to. He didn’t look like Kacchan. Katsuki Bakugo didn’t look so soft; his skin didn’t normally glow, his eyelids never drooped heavy over glassy ruby eyes. The only thing Izuku recognized was the hard set of the other’s lips.

“Hey, I’m talking to you.”

It took a hard shake of his head to push the fog out of his eyes. Kacchan looked more familiar now, his eyes just as bright as Izuku remembered.

“I’m fine,” Izuku croaked, his voice raspy for some unknown reason.

“Should I stop?”

That brought Izuku back to Earth with a grinding halt. “No! I’m fine, really.”

Katsuki studied him for a second longer before nodding. “Fine. Next is the bite. ...This’ll probably hurt.”

The Omega couldn’t help but tense his shoulders as he nodded. Izuku craned his neck even further toward his right shoulder, but Katsuki still had to pull at the neckline of Izuku’s shirt to reveal more of his skin.

Time waited hand-and-foot on Katsuki; speeding up the Alpha’s hesitation and slowing down the seconds before he latched onto Izuku’s scent gland with his suddenly sharp canines. And then it stopped.

Everything stopped.

Izuku felt his skin break, felt the prick of pain that came with it, but then he felt nothing. Until he felt everything.

Uncertainty, anxiety, worry, and regret. Words unsaid, words unheard, words that didn’t even exist yet. Izuku saw sunshine and rain drops and destruction. He felt electricity travel on his skin, the recognizable embrace of One-For-All, while heat seared without pain in his palms. But all he heard was Kacchan.

“Deku!”

“De-ku.”

Deku!”

The pitch and intonation changed, but the voice never did. His nickname surrounded Izuku until it became him, or he became it. Izuku wasn’t sure it mattered.

A wave of certainty, security, pulsated throughout his body, starting first at his neck before reaching out in all directions. And when it finished, he still only heard Kacchan.

“Deku! Oi, nerd, answer me! Are you ok? Fuck, Deku, what is going on?”

Izuku cocked his head, his eyes barely seeing beneath his half-closed eyelids. Katsuki was still right on top of him, his mouth twisted in a scowl, but his eyes frantic in a way Izuku hadn’t seen since high school. Kacchan shouldn’t be afraid. Izuku was a Pro-Hero; so he did what he always did when someone was scared.

A smile broke across his face, making Katsuki freeze. They were still so close. Kacchan’s face was only a few inches away. Izuku knew he wasn’t saying anything; he could see that his lips weren’t moving. But he heard the words anyway.

"You gonna kiss me?”

 

Chapter Text

You couldn’t see it after all. Bakugo watched as the camera panned in, focusing the frame on Pro-Hero Deku from the waist up. Even with the close-up, no one would know Izuku Midoriya was a Claimed man.

Katsuki wasn’t surprised. The Mark was never visible in his hero costume, with its high collar and face mask (that hung from his neck more often than not), but this was the first time Bakugo had seen him in civilian clothing since the Claim. Or...actually, this was the first time seeing him at all, besides a passing glance, in the two weeks that had passed.

Someone else had most definitely picked out his outfit. If left to his own devices, Deku would have picked out some gaudy three-piece suit in an obnoxious color for this type of prime-time interview broadcasted across Japan. Instead, a forest, near-black, green vest clung tight against his athletic chest over a three-quarter sleeved white dress shirt. Perfectly professional while still looking at ease. The outfit caught Katsuki’s eye for another reason. The collar of the shirt was open, revealing the blank expense skin of where Izuku’s neck met his shoulder.  

Of course Deku would cover it up, but it was still impressive. His skin looked flawless even in high definition.

“We’ve spoken quite a bit about your most recent missions, Hero Deku, and, having watched you since your days at UA, you’ve come a long way to become the Number Two hero. But what’s next for you? What do you see in your future?”

Emerald eyes shone under the studio lights, his small smile radiating on its own as he confidently responded, “The Number One spot.”

The television went dark with a quiet pop. Katsuki threw the remote onto the couch, walking over to his phone on the counter to put on some music. He didn’t see the point in staring at the nerd’s fake smiles. At least they seemed fake. They certainly weren’t the same as the one he gave Katsuki in Training Room One.

With a press of his thumb, music filled the apartment, but it wasn’t enough to drown out his thoughts.

Claiming Deku had been…an experience. Even after all the research and warnings from his father, Katsuki still hadn’t been prepared for the visceral response that came with the Claim. Secondary Genders shouldn’t—weren’t supposed to—matter, but Bakugo watched his rival’s entire demeanor change. After scenting, Izuku’s muscles had relaxed and his eyes had glazed over. It took forever for him to respond and that was nearly enough for Katsuki to call the whole thing off. Except, Deku had shook it off. He still seemed coherent and adamant about being Claimed, so Katsuki stuck to his word.

As soon as he’d Marked Deku, Katsuki had known he did it right. The hidden sweetness underlying their earlier scenting overpowered Bakugo’s Alpha pheromones, filling the air with the musty richness of cocoa and pine, reminding Katsuki of a cold winter night after a long hike. For a second, his blood chilled causing him to go numb before heat rushed through every one of his vessels, eventually focusing in his palms. He kept his quirk in check, but all his attention was on Izuku.

“Deku? Deku!” Katsuki reached out to grab the practically catatonic Omega by the shoulders to give him a single hard shake. “Oi, nerd, answer me! Are you ok? Fuck, Deku, what is going on?”

The panic that rushed through Katsuki was enough to make him regret this. All of it.

And then…

With the tilt of his head, Izuku smiled, blinding, invincible, and all encompassing. Katsuki froze. He’d seen that smile before. It was the smile of the Symbol of Peace. And for the first time, he realized he’d never seen Deku smile like that.

They were still extremely close and Katsuki couldn’t move even if he wanted to. But he wasn’t sure he did. He wasn’t sure what he wanted; the pull in his chest present but unclear. He wondered if this is what an Order felt like and couldn’t help but remember the last Order he’d given Deku.

“You gonna kiss me?”

Suddenly, Deku leaned away, his eyes opened wider but still glassy.

“Is it—” Izuku’s voice came out shaky and he cleared his throat. “Was that it?”

The spell over his muscles had lifted and Katsuki leaned back as well. “Yeah, think so.”

The Omega stood up so fast that Bakugo could only reach out to hold onto one of his legs to help steady him when he swayed on his feet.

“Watch it! You should probably sit back down, eat something too.”

Izuku shook his head. “I’m fine, really, I—I should get going.”

“Fine my ass. Wait ‘til you can at least stand normally.”

“I’m standing now, aren’t I? I could walk, too, if you let go of me.”

Katsuki growled, releasing his grip but then grabbing the plastic bag and hoodie from behind him. He stood, thrusting the items into his rival’s hands. Izuku looked down at the snacks and article of clothing with confusion comically obvious on his face.

“Eat something on the way home then. …I scented the hoodie, so take that too. Some sites said you might want it for later—for after,” he waved his hand around them, “this.”

Pink filled Izuku’s cheeks and he coughed loudly. “Thanks?”

“Damn straight.”

At that Izuku smiled sheepishly.

“I guess I have a lot to thank you for. So, um, yeah. Thanks for Claiming me, Kacchan.”

The Alpha grunted, turning to both signal that Deku was free to leave and to avoid the already awkward atmosphere. He was glad he didn’t have to watch that nerd skitter his way out.

Loud knocking followed by the stuttered buzz of his intercom being pressed multiple times brought Katsuki out of his memories and back to his apartment. He turned to the door a scowl already at home on his face as he thrust his phone onto the countertop. A quick jerk of the door revealed his band of idiot friends.

“Finally! You didn’t answer our text, so we brought pizza!” Mina held up her box while, behind her, Kaminari held two more boxes over her head.

“Yeah, dude,” Kirishima knocked his fist against Katsuki’s shoulder as he brought up the rear of the small line that made its through the door. “We were starting to worry that you’d forgotten you were hosting this month.”

“Like fuck I’d forget.”

“That’s what I said.” Sero added from the dining table where he was already opening the metal briefcase Katsuki had set out to begin pulling out poker chips. “Jirou said she was on her way in the group chat.”

“I hope she gets here soon; her music is way better than whatever Bakugo’s playing.”

“Watch it, Electro Dolt, or you won’t be able to hear anything soon enough.”

The beta squawked in protest and Mina laughed as she began to open the pizza boxes. “You know better than to insult Bakubro’s taste in music. Hey, hun, can you bring some paper plates?”

“Got it!” Kirishima responded, handing the box of beer to Katsuki without warning to fetch the requested plates.

Katsuki rolled his eyes. Kirishima had always been like a little puppy, but with Mina he was especially whipped. Sure, he expected that after a year of dating someone, but Kirishima had been that way from the get-go.

The Alpha touched the box of beer and upon finding it was already cold, he ripped open one side to pull one out. He walked over to the table to set out six, ignoring the way Sero comfortingly patted Kaminari’s head as the idiot fake cried into the slice of pizza in his hand.

“It’s okay, Denki, we wouldn’t let Bakugo actually kill you.”

“You’d protect me, right, Hanta?”

“Probably, babe.”

After placing out all the beers, Katsuki quickly turned away to put the rest in the fridge, happy to get away.

Fuck, those two were somehow more nauseating than Mina and Kirishima. If Racoon Eyes and Shitty Hair were the married couple that bicker all the time, Scotch Tape and Sparky were the old fogies who doted over each in their twilight years. With the condo and the dog and the Christmas cards, they had everything but the rings and the marriage certificate.

Katsuki had barely shut the refrigerator door when the intercom’s angry buzz demanded attention again. Bakugo rolled his shoulders as he went to answer the door. At least Jirou saved him from being the only single person with all these assholes. Earjacks turned out to be a pretty decent person and they’d gotten close after their band performance together their first year at UA. The Beta had good taste in music and wasn’t annoying like the rest of his asshole friends. That said, Katsuki couldn’t help but frown when he saw her standing next to Ponytail in his doorway.

“Hey, Bakugo. I hope you don’t, ugh, mind that I brought Momo. My girlfriend.”

Katsuki stared at the pair with a blank stare for a moment before sighing and stepping to the side. “Whatever.”

Jirou and Yaoyorozu’s expressions changed nearly imperceptibly as if they expected the interaction to go differently. It was enough to make Katsuki scowl as they entered. He wasn’t an asshole. Most of the time.

As expected, everyone else reacted to Momo’s presence with happy gasps of surprise, cheery welcomes, and teasing directed to Jirou about finally building up the courage to ask out her boss/crush since high school. It took quite a bit of prodding to get everyone to grab their food and take a place at the table to start their monthly Poker game. With the chips on the table and the cards in seven sets of hands, the conversation picked up where it left off.

“It’s seriously so good to see ya, Momo.”

“I agree, it’s been a long time.”

“You know it! I feel like I haven’t seen some people from UA in years. We don’t all get together anymore.”

“Did we ever, Mina?” Jirou asked as she upped the bet. “Even right out of UA, everyone had gone their separate ways.”

“She has a point there. I fold.” Sero dropped his cards to the table. “A good chunk of us stayed nearby, but there’s plenty in our year who joined agencies across Japan, not to mention those who went abroad.”

“Like Bakugo!”

“And Midoriya.”

“Hey, speaking of Midoriya, is everything cool with him, bro?” Katsuki turned to Kirishima’s concerned stare with a pointed frown.

“What the fuck are you asking me for?”

“You see him the most out of all of us,” Mina laid out her hand, grinning ear to ear at her flush, only to immediately frown at Jirou’s four of a kind. She huffed as she crossed her pink arms on the table. “What with those late-night spars and all.”

“Shit, you still do those?” Kaminari perked up. “Bet those would be badass to watch. Midoriya’s a monster nowadays.”

“And Bakugo’s not?”

“Yeah, but I bet Midoriya gives him a run for his money.”

“Like hell he does.” Bakugo threw in three extra chips into the pot after dealing out the next hand, instantly making Sero, Jirou, and Momo fold.

“But for real, dude, is he cool? I’ve barely seen him around the agency in the last couple of weeks.”

Kirishima folded then too, with Mina quickly following suit when Bakugo raised the bet again. She put her now empty hand up to her cheek to support her head as she thought.

“Now that ya mention it, wasn’t the last time we talked a few weeks back? In the cafeteria? He ran off without any warning and Uraraka seemed really upset about it.”

Kaminari stared at the pot, his tongue sticking out the side of his mouth and equations floating around his head, before eventually saying, “Midoriya was always like that though. Who knows what goes on in that dude’s head.” He met the ante only to groan when Bakugo raised it again. “I fold, what do you even have?”

“Gotta pay to see ‘em, dumbass.”

“Since when?”

“Since he was probably bluffing, and we all fell for it,” Jirou shook her head as she picked up Bakugo’s phone to change the song. “I don’t even remember the last time I saw Midoriya, it’s not like I’m at the same agency as you guys.”

“I saw him about a month ago.” Momo finally spoke up while also adding to the current bet. “I also found him to be acting strangely, but I attributed it to the call we were on. It was a pretty intense rescue mission, a fire in a residential building on the edge of town.”

Katsuki tensed, his red eyes snapping up from his cards to the Omega so fast that she visibly started under his intense gaze. “What happened?”

“Um, nothing out of the ordinary? No casualties, and only a few injuries, but the building couldn’t be salvaged. I didn’t see Midoriya enter but he seemed very tense—shaken, even—when we gathered for a final report.”

Bakugo looked back down at his hand, licking the front of his top teeth beneath his closed lips. He couldn’t help but be a bit disappointed in the lack of new information. Though he supposed it only made sense. Deku was never one to worry the people around him with concerns. At least, not on purpose. The idiot would rather handle that shit himself.

“So?”

Katsuki looked up again briefly, this time at Kirishima, before looking back down. “So, what?”

“Do you know what’s up with Midoriya?”

“I’m not his fucking keeper. Now can we play the fucking game and stop gossiping?”

“Aww, but talking’s the best part! Like, when’s the wedding, Kami?”

The blonde Beta turned bright red. “What wedding?”

“Yours and Sero’s, silly.”

“What?!”

The familiar conversation brought out a round of laughs from everyone but Momo who only awkwardly smiled and Bakugo whose mind was still elsewhere.

 


 

Katsuki wouldn’t fucking admit it aloud, but he was relieved when he finally saw Izuku nearly a week later. The Alpha hadn’t noticed it at first, but he’d been increasingly more preoccupied with the nerd’s condition since the Claim. Which was a fucking waste of time. Deku could take care of himself, and he obviously was if the mission reports and news interviews were any indication. So what if Deku hadn’t reached out to train? It’d only been a few weeks. They’d gone years between spars.

But Bakugo wasn’t stupid. Deku was avoiding him, again, and he knew it the moment their eyes met in the conference room for briefing on the special mission Katsuki, and he guessed Deku, had signed up for. He therefore wasn’t surprised when the Omega walked around the small table to sit at the very opposite corner from where he sat. Nor was he surprised that Deku kept his eyes focused on his phone, even when they were the only two people in the room. They sat like that for over five minutes, each second irritating the Alpha more. He nearly snapped at his rival, but right before he could, a couple of interns made their way into the room, all starry-eyed and whispering at the sight of the two top heroes.

It was not much longer before other Pro-Heros started to show up. The first of the two women to enter was one Bakugo recognized from his UA days, ranked in the top 30 but whose name escaped him, who took the seat closest to Izuku without much thoroughfare. Next was Camie Utsushimi, rank 13, who immediately smiled and took the seat next to him. Katsuki didn’t blink as she rolled her chair closer to him and leaned her head sideways into his space.

“Hey fam, long time no see? ‘Sup with you?”

Katsuki grunted a low “hey,” but otherwise kept his eyes trained on Izuku, who continued to stare at his phone. Camie waited for a second before whistling. “That all I get? You gonna ghost me when I’m right next to you? Savage.”

Thankfully, Katsuki didn’t have to respond to that before Itsuka Kendo arrived, although she literally stopped in doorway. She stared at the table of heroes in front of her before leaning out of the doorway to double check the room number and then walking in.

“Wow, okay. I have to say I didn’t expect this type of turnout when I put this mission out there for an Agency Call. Especially not so many high-ranking heroes. I suppose I shouldn’t waste your time.” She set her laptop down, quickly plugging in cords and clicking on the screen to pull up a presentation.

“You’ve all read the case file,” Katsuki kept a blank face as he realized he wasn’t sure that he did. He was pretty sure he just signed up for a random case after Izuku pissed him off with that talk about needing Orders to beat him and all that shit. He hadn’t realized that Deku had already signed up for it, too. “But I’m going to spend a couple of minutes reiterating those points as well as some updates that have come up in the last few weeks.

“About three months ago, there were a couple of cases of what were originally reported as ‘trespassings’ in the west side of the city. The two stores in question had nothing in common other than being clothing stores that were both broken into in the middle of the night and had their clothing strewn about the store. From what the owners could tell, nothing was stolen, except the digital surveillance video had been corrupted.

“I found out about these cases about a month and a half ago when I connected it to a robbery in progress that I happened to stumble upon on in my patrol district around the same time. The scenario was bizarre to say the least. I’d been pulled aside by a civilian who said they saw several people walk out with boxes and boxes worth inventory from a small gas station down the block. When I arrived, the place had definitely been ransacked, but when I tried speaking to the owner, he was angry at me. I mean, belligerent, demanding I get out of store, waving his cane at me, aggressive. He was adamant that nothing had happened, but his responses seemed slightly sluggish and addled. I called in an ambulance, but they determined he was fine, and a blood test later confirmed that he wasn’t under the influence of any drugs that we know of. Unfortunately, the owner refused to file a report with the police later, but the event stuck with me.

“The week I submitted this case, Setsuna—" Kendo gestured toward the other female Pro-Hero who waved from her seat at the table,"Hydra, was telling me about a similar case where she stumbled upon an apparent robbery in a back alley on one of her patrols, where the victim was very adamant that nothing had happened.”

“Were they also aggressive?” Camie raised her hand and asked before being called on.

“Uh, no, but—”

“Then how the hell do you know that the cases are connected,” Katsuki growled, “and how do these connect to the trespassing cases?”

“I was getting back to those! When Hydra told me about her similarly strange scenario, I had to go see if there were any other similar cases. I found the trespassing cases because, when they’d questioned the night shift employees, they’d been adamant that nothing strange had happened. But the last bit of footage that was not corrupted showed the employees going toward the security system controls.”

“You think someone’s controlling them.”  

Hearing Deku’s voice immediately caused Katsuki to look his way. His eyebrows were furrowed, his mouth pulled down on one side in a frown.

“I’m not sure. It could be a quirk, a drug, but something is definitely affecting these people’s perception of the situation or their memory of the event. I’ve been keeping up with incoming cases as well as digging through old files for the last few weeks and I’ve found seven more cases that could fit the bill. The concerning part is that these cases span the last two years.

“Two years and no one noticed?” One of the interns asked incredulously.

“A lot of those cases had no heroes involved, and they vary so much that it’s no surprise they weren’t connected. Plus, it’s hard to follow a case if no one is saying anything bad happened.”

“But that’s where we come in.” Setsuna’s sharp teeth shone.

“Exactly.” Kendo smiled back. “As a special mission, this shouldn’t interfere with your normal patrols, but the next case we find, we’ll get a full work-up and follow-up with the victim, like it or not. We as a heroes need to work harder on preventing future issues instead of only responding when someone gets hurt. I hope you agree because I think we have a great team here! That’s all I have for today’s meeting, but I hope that we can continue to meet once a month for updates until we get a lead.”

Everyone made noises of affirmation, including a small round of applause from Setsuna and the interns. Kendo beamed before giving them all a curt salute. With that, everyone began to stand to leave, but no one was faster to get out the door than Katsuki. In the hallway, he waited just outside of the door until Deku finally walked out last, obviously having lingered as long as he could without being suspicious. Katsuki blocked the doorway at the last second, pushing the other Pro-Hero back inside the room with his body and closing the door behind him.

Bakugo crossed his arms, his biceps flexing as he did. “What is it?”

Deku’s mouth twitched in what was the hint of a smile before sticking as a frown. “Shouldn’t I be the one asking you that?”

“Don’t fuck with me. You’ve disappeared since.”

Katsuki didn’t elaborate that he meant “since the Claim” and he didn’t need to. Izuku stared at him with green glass eyes; hard and cold to the touch but too easily broken.

“I’ve been around.”

“But not around me.”

“…No, I guess not.”

The Alpha growled, the vibrations starting in his chest but eventually making his throat warm to the touch. “Why the fuck not.”

“I—I don’t know. I just—I didn’t know what to say.”

“What is there to say?”

Izuku didn’t respond, but a whirlwind of emotions traveled through his eyes too fast for Katsuki to place before he averted his gaze. After another few seconds of silence, Katsuki spoke again.

“We don’t have to talk. About that or anything else, but fuck if I’m gonna lose my rival over this. Got it?”

The Omega looked back into his eyes, this time with an infuriating smile. “You didn’t lose me Kacchan.”

“Could’ve fooled me, dumbass. You’ve been MIA...enough that other people are beginning to notice.”

Again, Izuku’s smile easily fell into a frown. The image of Izuku’s indestructible smile from the Claiming flashed behind Katsuki’s eyes and caused his palms to warm in his closed fists. “What do you mean by that?”

“People have been asking if you’re fine.”

“Asking you?”

“Asking in general.”

Izuku ran a hand through his curly hair. “Noted. Is that all?”

Katsuki stared at him, Izuku staring back without conceding.

“Yeah,” the Alpha finally responded gruffly. “Our previous understanding is still in place; you show up if you can to the spars.”

“Wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

Bakugo nodded once, before turning to leave.

“Oh! Kacchan, wait!”

Katsuki paused, turning his head over his shoulder as Deku slipped his disgustingly bright yellow backpack that was somehow still intact after all these years off one shoulder. A second later, the Omega had retrieved a black hoodie and held it out to Bakugo.

“I’ve been meaning to return this to you.” The rivals stared at each for a second, before Katsuki tore the piece of clothing out of his hands with another quick nod. Izuku smiled. “See you soon, Kacchan.”

Only after gaining plenty of distance between him and the conference room did the Alpha bring the jacket up to his nose to smell. He definitely was not checking to see if he could smell dark chocolate or pine trees. And he was obviously not disappointed that the nerd had washed it before giving it back.

Chapter Text

Everything was going according to plan.

Between the extensive notes and practice sessions, Izuku covered the set of teeth marks on his neck with relative ease. With a relatively small amount of silicone and some blending, the scars completely disappeared. Ironically, his neck became one of the few areas of his body without any scars with this treatment. With time, the scar would naturally lighten and then Izuku could cover it with regular foundation. Until then, he could definitely keep up this new routine. In fact, Izuku felt so confident in his ability to hide his new Mark that he went ahead and accepted the interviews he’d been putting off ever since he decided to ask Kacchan to Claim him.

There hadn’t been an opportunity to test whether or not Orders worked on him anymore but he knew they wouldn’t. He couldn’t explain how he knew. The knowledge, however, filled him with calm and renewed his confidence as a Pro-Hero.

So far, the Claim seemed to working just as Izuku had intended.

Except something was definitely wrong.

The Claim came with some unforeseen...side effects.

He doesn’t notice anything different at first. His patrols were boring; his missions went off without a hitch. But something else had slowly begun to grow inside him.

The sensation started in his throat, an itch that made him want to cough. Eventually, he realized it was like a vibration; pure electricity surging through his vocal cords. The feeling was so strong that sometimes it escaped from his mouth in a small growl or a whine. He had no idea what caused the weird sensations, but it was honestly the least of his worries. Especially compared to his other...issue.

Four days post-Claim, Izuku walked into his apartment after a long day of patrols on auto-pilot. That was normal enough. Except, when he plopped himself on the loveseat in his small studio apartment, his arm immediately reached for the piece of clothing splayed out on the armrest. He didn’t even realize he had Kacchan’s hoodie pressed into his face until a full minute later. As soon as he did, Izuku turned pale. With a yelp, he flung the offending garment straight across the room.

But the hoodie’s new location on his apartment floor didn’t stop the familiar scent of cinnamon and ash from beckoning him with its siren call. Izuku stared at it until he stood up abruptly, turned on his heel, and marched straight out of the apartment.

When the door slammed behind him, Izuku was jostled to his senses. Where did he think he was going? He’d just let a hoodie run him out of his own apartment. There was no way he could let Kacchan’s scent keep him from his own home . He had to go back eventually.

...He still decided to eat dinner out that night.

When he finally returned, Izuku couldn’t even smell the hoodie. Even when he held it up to his sensitive nose, the weak scent didn’t garner the same reaction in the slightest. He was so relieved that he laughed out loud. Whatever had happened must have been a fluke; the result of an exhausting day.

Only it happened again the next day.

And the next.

And the next.

Of course, he began to freak out. Day 7 post-Claim, Izuku spent three hours researching Marks and Claims, again, mostly scrolling through stories about people being able to feel their Mate’s emotional or physical state. Even with this crazy new need for Kacchan’s scent, Izuku read these stories with more than a bit of skepticism. Izuku had yet to feel any of Kacchan’s signature anger or any of his injuries on the job. (Although there was that one time his ankle felt a little sore and Katsuki had walked in with a limp the next day, but that seemed like a stretch.) Still, he jotted note after note in a new notebook, until he found something that put him at ease.

Apparently, it wasn’t the Claim that had attuned Izuku to Katsuki’s scent, but the scenting before the Claim that had heightened his awareness to that very particular and enticing— Oh god, what was Izuku just thinking?

Lucky for him, the internet gave him an easy fix. Avoid the scent for a few days and the effect would wear away.

After five tries, Izuku finally managed to force himself to throw the hoodie into the washing machine. Once clean, all Izuku had to do was avoid Kacchan at the agency too. Which was, honestly, easier than washing that stupid jacket. He and Kacchan rarely interacted at The Nest and all it took was a little extra distance to avoid his scent. The internet didn’t say exactly how long it took for the scenting to wear off, but by the time Katsuki had cornered him after the special mission meeting, Izuku was happy to note that he was no longer craving cinnamon or glycerin. Plus, he finally got the chance to get rid of the hoodie that had mocked him non-stop until he’d buried it at the bottom of his backpack.

He thought that life could finally go back to normal. Kacchan started texting him to spar again (perhaps more than usual, but that was Izuku’s fault for pissing him off by ignoring him). Patrols continued, missions continued, life continued.

Only now Izuku had an entirely new problem.

Izuku Midoriya was frustrated. Very, very frustrated. And not the angry kind.

As a teenager, he’d been very awkward when it came to his sexuality. He had no idea how to talk to girls and no clue how to approach the realization that he was into boys, as well. However, as his confidence in being a Pro-Hero grew, so did his sex-confidence. He never really talked about his sex-life (not even with Ochako who was more than happy to give Izuku way too much information about hers), but he also wasn’t afraid to satisfy his needs.

Only, Izuku hadn’t thought about sex in a long time. Two years, in fact. He’d been so focused on becoming the new Symbol of Peace that there’d been no mental space for any other thoughts or desires. For some reason, though, the Claim made Izuku relax enough to feel those needs again.

Unfortunately, he didn’t really have time for horniness right now (not that he ever did). He could revert to his old ways of random “first” dates that ended in someone’s bedroom (or sofa or the occasional car), but, between his individual training and Kacchan’s spars, his evenings were booked.

The result of night after night of sexual frustration? A brooding Omega staring at the casual ease of Inasa’s arm around Todoroki’s shoulder from his stool across the bar as he sipped the same tequila sunrise that Ochako had ordered for him over an hour ago. He sighed, letting his head droop over his drink as he stared into the now nearly-empty glass. Bars had never been Izuku’s thing, but he couldn’t very well skip out on his own birthday party. His and Mirio’s.

Izuku lifted his eyes to land on the number thirty-two hero chatting animatedly amid a throng of fellow Pro-Heroes. His former upperclassmen looked right at home as the center of attention. If the circumstances had been different, Mirio could have been the one vying for the number one spot, not Izuku. He could have been the holder of One-For-All and then maybe he wouldn’t have lost his quirk in the fight with Overhaul. Then he could have graduated with a position at a Pro-Hero agency instead of falling out of the public’s eye while he waited for Eri to learn how to control her powers. By the time she was able to restore Mirio’s quirk, it’d been five years since Lemillion’s last appearance as a hero. It was another year before he could control his quirk well enough again to join Hawk’s agency. But it was too late. He’d lost all the momentum he’d garnered as one of UA’s Big Three and suffered in the ranks from that lack of popularity.

But Mirio was still Mirio. The process was slow going, but he was winning hearts across Japan one mission at a time. Someday, he’d get to the top 10. Still...Izuku couldn’t help but feel guilty from time to time. If he’d gotten to Mirio and Eri sooner…

“What do you think you’re doing over here by yourself?” Ochako slipped into the stool next to Izuku, blocking the blonde from view. “This is your party, you know.”

Izuku smiled sheepishly. “It’s not like I’m hiding.”

“Yeah, but you look so down, I wouldn’t be surprised if people were giving you space on purpose. What’s wrong, Deku?”

“Nothing.”

“Liar.” The Beta raised her arm to gain the bartender’s attention. “Two gin and tonics please.” She turned to Izuku with a sly smile. “I’m trying to get Iida drunk tonight.”

“How’s that going?”

“He didn’t notice the alcohol in the last three!”

They both turned to look at their friend doing the Running Man on the dance floor with Mina before making eye contact with other and laughing.

“You’re such a good girlfriend, Ochako.”

“I like to think so. Speaking of which, did you see Todoroki with Inasa? When did that become a thing?”

Izuku pressed his lips together in a straight line as he stared at his drink again. “Apparently a while ago. He didn’t mention it to you either, huh?”

“Nope, but, wait. He didn’t tell you right away?”

“No.”

“Really? Wow, you used to be so close back in—” Uraraka cut herself off with a quick glance at the far-away look on Izuku’s face. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to—”

“It’s fine, really. We just haven’t had a chance to talk much nowadays. Things change. ...I was gone for a long time, after all.”

The bartender thankfully brought over Ochako’s drinks at that moment, giving Izuku a chance to finish the rest of his beverage in one large gulp. He winced at the strong aftertaste of alcohol. Uravity quickly changed the subject with a sharp elbow to Izuku’s arm.

“Ow! What was that for?”

“For never telling me why you asked Bakugo to Claim you!”

Izuku moaned. “Ochako! Not here.”

The female Pro-Hero brought up a finger to wag in his direction menacingly. “Oh no you don’t. You’re lucky he said no! I would’ve killed you if you ran off and I found you with a Mark the next day without saying anything.”

Heat rose to his cheeks.

“Now, spill, tell me ev—”

“Ochako! Midoriya!” A stiff arm chopped the air in between their faces and the two turned to a red-faced but grinning Iida. “What are you waiting for? Please join me on the dance floor immediately! You must witness the new dance Mina taught me. It looks nothing like cleaning one’s teeth but it’s very fun to do!”

Uraraka gaped at her boyfriend in horror as Izuku choked on a laugh. Izuku quickly jumped on the opportunity to get out of the previous conversation. “You two go ahead, I need to order another drink.”

“Very well!” Iida wrapped an arm around Uraraka’s waist, pulling her off her stool so suddenly that she barely had time to grab the drinks she’d ordered earlier.

“We’re finishing this conversation later!”

Izuku waved his friends goodbye before dropping his head with a heavy sigh.

“I’m so dead.” He mumbled to no one in particular.

“Tell me something I don’t know.”

The Omega lifted his head with a jolt that hurt his neck. Katsuki cast him a sidelong glance before looking toward the bartender who was busy with another person’s order. “What the fuck are you moping about?”

“I’m not moping.”

The Alpha snorted. “Could’ve fooled me.”

Finally the bartender lifted his head and Bakugo caught his attention with a quick nod. As the burly man came over, Katsuki called out “Old Fashioned, on the rocks,” before turning to Izuku. “What are you drinking?”

“Um,” Izuku looked down at his empty glass, suddenly forgetting the name of his beverage. Katsuki shook his head.

“Make it two.”

Izuku didn’t say a word, but the slight scrunch of his nose must have given away his distaste because the Alpha smirked.

“What, not girly enough for you, nerd?”

“I didn’t say anything.”

“Didn’t need to, you’re that easy to read. If you don’t want it, I’ll drink it.”

“I’ll drink it.”

Katsuki only grunted in response, but the corners of Izuku’s mouth twitched with a smile. Kacchan was pretty easy to read himself.

When the glasses of bourbon were set in front of them, Katsuki grabbed his, clinking it against the side of Izuku’s unclaimed beverage before finishing the whole drink in three large gulps. Izuku stared at the man in awe, but as soon as Bakugo looked his way he did the same. He coughed when he finally lowered the glass, hating the burn that stayed in his throat. Sharp teeth and even sharper eyes shone Izuku’s way as Katsuki lifted his empty glass to get the bartender’s attention.

“Two more.”

“What? Kacchan, no.”

“Still a lightweight, Deku?”

Izuku glared into Kacchan’s taunting eyes until a new Old Fashioned was available for him to grab. He chugged that one, too, before standing up. “Happy?”

“I don’t give a fuck if you drink or not.” Katsuki took a sip of his drink, his eyes now directed ahead as the rest of his expression fell into a classic poker face. “But if you’re going to have a party at a bar, you might as well.”

“I’m not the one who planned this, but I couldn’t not come to my own party.”

“You showed up. Now what?”

“Now…” Izuku looked around the room with a frown. Now that Katsuki mentioned it, what did Izuku want to do next? Everyone seemed occupied with conversations or dance sessions. No one would notice if he left.

Katsuki set down his drink before pushing off the bar. He pulled out several crisp bills to leave on the counter before he turned his back to his rival. To Izuku’s surprise, he didn’t leave right away.

“I’m headed out. You fucking coming or what?”

The Omega didn’t say anything but Katsuki still waited for him at the bar’s exit. When Izuku stepped outside, the summer air was stagnant and uncomfortable on his already hot cheeks. Izuku hesitated just outside the door, unsure if he should head home or if Kacchan was going to say something else. Kacchan was full of surprises tonight because he began to walk in the opposite direction of his apartment. Izuku immediately fell into step alongside his rival.

Their walk was silent, save the sounds of a tired city around them. Enough time had passed that the moon hung high in the sky and the streets had cleared out. Which was probably a good thing for two Pro-Heroes walking the streets without their usual gear to hide from the paparazzi. Izuku had no clue where they were going. He also didn’t care. His mind was still clouded with thoughts about how Uraraka would act when she found out about the Claim, about how Mirio could have had a much more lucrative hero career, about how happy Todoroki looked with his new boyfriend.

Izuku was so checked-out that he nearly tripped over Katsuki’s outstretched legs.

“Where the fuck are you going, dumbass?”

Said dumbass stopped and blinked a couple of times in confusion. Only then did he realize that they were in a park and that Bakugo had taken a seat on one of its park benches. “Uh, sorry.”

Katsuki grunted as Izuku took a seat next to him. The Alpha brought his arms up above his shoulders, resting his head in his hands as he stared up at the sky. Izuku leaned his elbows on his thighs, clasping his hands together between his knees. He squeezed his eyes shut, wishing there was some type of breeze to provide some relief from the heat, from his thoughts, from his sudden awareness of how close Kacchan’s thigh was to touching his own.

“Can you think any louder?”

Izuku opened his eyes and frowned when he saw that Kacchan wasn’t looking back. “Sorry, am I annoying you?”

“You always annoy me.”

“Then why are we here?”

“Because your pity party back there was even more annoying.”

“What? What ‘pity party’?”

Katsuki turned his head toward Izuku with a scowl. “What else would you call it?”

Izuku turned his head as well, ready to give an angry retort only for heat to rush from his neck up to his cheeks. Their faces were so close like this, closer than they’d been since the Claim, even with all the blows they’d exchanged in the training sessions since then. There were no Orders, no pheromones, no excuses for why Izuku felt drawn to Kacchan the way he did now.

Izuku couldn’t deny that Kacchan was attractive. He always had been. And he was right here.

Bakugo frowned, dropping his arms from behind his head to lean forward a bit. “Oi, nerd, what’s wr—”

Before Izuku knew what he was doing, he’d leaned forward and claimed Katsuki’s lips with his own. The Alpha froze, his body stiff and lips tight against Izuku’s. Alarm bells went off in Izuku’s head and he quickly leaned away.

“Shit. Uh, I mean, I’m sorry, Kacchan. I—crap, I don’t know wh—”

Katsuki’s hand shot out, wrapping behind Izuku’s neck to drag him back into another kiss. The alarms in Izuku’s head got louder as he began to move his lips in response to Kacchan’s, his hands still grasping each other tightly in his lap to avoid wrapping them in the Alpha’s hair. He still had no idea what the hell was happening, but if Izuku wasn’t careful he’d be on top of Katsuki in a heartbeat.

The thought sent more heat to the Omega’s cheeks and just as he began to instinctively open his mouth to welcome the slick tongue tracing his lower lip, he pulled himself away again, this time jumping to his feet. Izuku gasped for air, suddenly light-headed and aware of the scent of a bonfire in the air. He couldn’t even look at Kacchan as half-walked, half-ran out of the park.


Chapter Text

The mattress conformed to Katsuki’s tense back about as well as concrete. After a long but boring patrol and a small mountain of paperwork, the Alpha had made the stupid decision to sleep in one of The Nest’s sleeping rooms rather than waste time going all the way home. His reasoning was that he’d get more time for sleep staying put, yet the uncomfortable lower bunk of his agency’s bunk bed seemed to suggest otherwise.

Red eyes glanced at the digital clock on the wall that taunted him with the fact that it was 11:17 pm. Once again, way past his fucking bedtime. But Katsuki wasn’t stupid. A hard mattress and a thin pillow weren’t the only obstacles keeping him from sleep. His mind had been elsewhere all day, making his patrol feel faster than normal and dragging out his paperwork until it was too late to warrant going home. Instead of focusing on what was in front of him, Katsuki was thinking about what wasn’t. Or more specifically, who wasn’t.

What the fuck was wrong with him? Of course Deku was nowhere to be seen. He didn’t have any patrols scheduled for the day; company policy following a Pro-Hero’s birthday due to previous...incidents. Not that it mattered if he did. The Omega was certain to be avoiding him again after that.

Katsuki lifted his forearm to press it against his closed eyes. He’d never expected to kiss Deku again. That nerd always seemed to catch him when he had his guard down. Deku had looked so pathetic sitting at the corner of the bar, obviously out of place, that Katsuki couldn’t stand it. When loosening him up with liquid courage didn’t work, he figured there was no point in the other Pro-Hero hanging around when he wasn’t in the mood. The night should have ended there. To be fair, he never told Deku to follow.

Something had been off since the moment they sat down. The night had been too clear, too sharp, especially for having as many drinks in his system as he did. He could feel every one of Deku’s movements. He could hear the nerd’s heartbeat as easily as if it were his own. And then the nerd kissed him. And, without Orders or pheromones hanging in the post-Claim air for him to hide behind, Katsuki realized something crucial and infuriating. He didn’t mind one bit.

What the fuck was happening to him? Ever since they started talking about Claims and shit, everything had gone to hell. Why couldn’t he stop thinking about that nerd? It was as if he was waiting for something like last night to happen, as if he knew that the other shoe was about to drop.

No, this was just all in his head. Deku was a fucking light-weight and two bourbons plus whatever girly drink he was drinking before that had knocked what little sense he had out of him. He should just chalk their lip locking up to alcohol impairment and leave it at that. ...Yet Katsuki had kissed back.

That was harder to explain away.

Compared to the last time they’d kissed, Katsuki was much more aware and in control of himself than he cared to admit. Even when he was tipsy, Katsuki wasn’t the handsy type. He didn’t make out with extras or fuck for free. If he was going to get into it with someone, Katsuki prepared for the long haul. What was the point of relationships or people in general if they were just going to waste his time?

The result of this way of thinking was very few dates and even fewer relationships. It didn’t matter if he’d just met the person or if they’d been together for months, the minute Katsuki realized that a relationship wasn’t going anywhere, he called it. Bakugo didn’t see the point in wasting his time, for what? Companionship? Sex? He’d always done fine by himself. So what if it’d been…

Shit, how long had it been since his last relationship? The more he thought about it, the harder it was to remember. Well, no wonder why he was so quick to kiss back. Maybe he was a little more touch starved than he’d care to admit.

He’d been so deep in his thoughts, he felt the presence too late.

Before Katsuki could even react, the door opened and closed with a snap. The lock turned soon after with a click. Bakugo quickly removed his arm from his eyes and stared at Izuku, working his red eyes up from the man’s worn red sneakers up his thin frame that somehow filled the door frame, before finally settling on green stone. Unlike Katsuki, the Omega didn’t seem surprised to see him.

Izuku didn’t move at first, his eyes blinking rapidly to adjust to the dark room. But then he spoke.

“What are we?”

The Alpha sat up, his hair just barely scraping the metal bars of the upper bunk. His shoulders tensed and biceps flexed. “What the fuck are you talking about?”

Despite his casual clothes and messy hair, Izuku was all business. The aura filling the room spoke of confidence, of skill, but in the comforting way only a Pro-Hero could manage. But Katsuki wasn’t some civilian and this wasn’t a battle. At least, not yet.

“I’m talking about last night.”

For whatever reason, that sentence put Katsuki’s mind at ease. He let his body relax and sent Deku a sloppy smirk.

“What about it, nerd?”

For a brief moment, the facade slipped; Deku’s eyes flashed bright with a nervous glint before falling cold again. The other man shifted his weight to one side, his hand coming up to the short hair on the side of his head.

“Well...you kissed me back.”

Katsuki’s skin bristled. “So?”

“So, I’m here.”

They both stared at each other for a moment, both seemingly waiting for the other to say something. Katsuki had no fucking clue what Deku meant by him “being here.” Last night hadn’t meant anything; an alcohol fueled lapse in judgement if it was something at all. That was what Katsuki had decided had happened and he was fucking sticking to it.

But that’s not what he said. Instead, he turned his body, setting his feet flat on the ground, and asked, “Why are you here, Deku?”

The man’s weight shifted back to center before he started to walk toward Katsuki. When Deku reached the bunk beds, he set one hand against the metal of the top bunk to lean forward, lowering his head toward Katsuki. This close, the Alpha could smell Deku’s scent of dark cocoa and pine cutting clear through the air. The nerd obviously wasn’t wearing scent blockers yet.

“Did you mean anything by it? The kiss?”

Katsuki tilted his chin upward. He stared into Deku’s eyes, being sure to let the other man know that there was no looking down on him.

“No.”

“Good.”

A growl rumbled in Katsuki’s chest, but before he could get a word out, Deku leaned away, his face blank but eyes lit with nervous energy.

“I had to make sure—that it was just—that—I just had to ask. But, um, since you said it didn’t mean anything, then we—I mean, I can ask if—that maybe you’d be open to hearing me out and—”

“Stop muttering and spit it out, nerd.”

“Would you be open to having sex? With me?”

For a moment, all proper brain function stopped. Katsuki stared straight ahead with a dazed expression as the words slowly translated themselves into the nonsensical sentence that they formed.

“...What the fuck?”

Even in the dark room, Katsuki could see the red that flushed Izuku’s face.

“I—I know I’ve been asking a lot of you lately, but, after you kissed me back last night, I thought maybe…” Deku trailed off, letting the implication hang in the air.

Katsuki grit his teeth. He sent a fierce glare at the man not an arm’s length away from him. “It’s a big step from a drunk kiss to fucking.”

And suddenly, his chin was between two scarred fingers and a familiar soft pair of lips was on his. In seconds, their mouths were moving on their own, melding against each other until they naturally opened to allow their tongues to mingle. Without the afterbite of alcohol, Katsuki realized that Deku tasted a lot like he smelled, sweet in a subtle and organic way. But, just like before, the kiss was over as quickly as it’d come. Only, this time when Deku pulled away he stayed close, with his fingers still on either side of Katsuki’s jaw.

“We aren’t drunk now.”

The Alpha stared up at the Claimed Omega before tearing his head out of the other’s grip. Deku’s hand lingered in the air as hesitant and insecure as his eyes. That alone made Katsuki grin.

“And was that supposed to convince me somehow?”

Deku pulled his hand away with a visible flinch. Katsuki leaned back, resting his palms on the mattress and tilting his head back just a touch.

“It seems obvious to me, Deku, that you’d be getting something outta this, since you’re the one asking. But what about me, hah? What do I get out of us fucking that I can’t get elsewhere? How would you make it worth my while?”

As soon as Katsuki issued the challenge, he knew he’d fucked up. Because today’s Izuku was nothing like the middle schooler he’d bullied; Pro-Hero Deku never backed down from a challenge.

Izuku’s hands moved from his sides to Bakugo’s knees as he situated himself in between Katsuki’s legs. The Alpha’s skin rippled at the touch of heat radiating through his pant’s legs from Deku’s finger tips. He didn’t dodge Izuku’s lips as they met his again. Their mouths moved against each other, pulling together and apart with a quiet smack each time. Only minutes into the kiss, one of Izuku’s hands had moved to press into the mattress close to Katsuki’s hip, while the other slid under the waistband of Bakugo’s pants and boxers.

A rough hand grasped Katsuki’s half-hard cock, sending a jolt of electricity up his spine. Even the small strokes at their awkward angle were enough to make Katsuki’s dick harden to its full length. His pants were unbearably tight, pressing Deku’s hand flush against him. All the while, their lips moved as in sync as their movements during their sparring sessions.

As an Alpha, Katsuki was used to taking lead when it came to sex. He wasn’t one to give up control in bed or the battlefield. But here he was content to let Deku prove his point, if he could. Katsuki had no clue how far this would go and he had no plans on stopping it.

Still, when Deku pulled away from their kiss, his lips shiny with shared saliva, Bakugo expected that to be the end. The Omega’s hand slipped back out of Bakugo’s pants leaving Katsuki’s cock aching at the loss and his heart beating in his chest.

But Deku wasn’t done. Izuku sunk down the edge of the bed, falling to his knees between Katsuki’s thighs with a quiet thump. Crooked fingers hooked into the top of Bakugo’s pants. The Omega looked up, a question clear in his always-honest eyes and the Alpha hitched his hips up into the air in reply.

Hesitation fell to the wayside after that. As soon as Katsuki’s dick sprung free of his clothing, Izuku’s hand was wrapped around the base. Izuku leaned forward, his hot breath causing Katsuki’s cock to twitch, before he took the thick head into his mouth with closed eyes.

Shit. Katsuki watched his childhood friend-turned-rival swallow his dick like it was water. The Omega had half of his length down his throat before Katsuki could even push himself up for a better view. Saliva dripped down from the edges of pale pink lips as Izuku bobbed his head up and down in symphony with the strokes of his hand. Familiar fire burned in Katsuki’s gut as arousal took over every one of his cells.

Instinctively, the Alpha stretched a hand out to land on Deku’s neck before slowly sliding his fingers up short green hair to twist into his loose curls with a light grip. Izuku paused briefly, his mouth still hallowed on Katsuki’s cock. Katsuki’s fingers twitched. Fuck. Was Deku not into his hair being touched?

Before Bakugo could disentangle his hand from Izuku’s hair, a hand fell on top of it, keeping it in place. Deku’s eyelids fluttered open, his bright green eyes tilted upwards beneath long black lashes. The scarred hand squeezed his and Katsuki understood immediately. His grip tightened on the curls in his palm and he gave a small but sharp tug.

Vibration traveled through his dick as Izuku gave a soft moan. The other Pro-Hero’s eyes fell half closed and Katsuki couldn’t help but smirk. Of fucking course Deku wouldn’t be shy about a little pain; seemed like the nerd downright enjoyed it.

Katsuki could work with that.

“Is that all you’ve got, Deku?” Bakugo’s low voice teased.  

The Omega’s eyes opened again, his eyebrows furrowed in reproach, but his jaw already opened wider to allow for more of Katsuki’s dick. Katsuki’s eyes flickered at the tightness of Deku’s throat around his head, but he couldn’t let them close. He wanted to watch every second of this moment for prosperity’s sake.

Katsuki added pressure to Izuku’s head with his palm, pushing the other further onto his dick. Deku’s throat spasmed around his cock and Katsuki expected Deku to push upwards against the pressure to make him stop. Except he didn’t.

Instead, Deku swallowed him deeper. The wet heat broke Katsuki’s cool detachment with a snap. He moaned at the pleasure before letting out a deep and guttural growl. Katsuki begin to pump Deku’s head up and down on his dick, his hips thrusting up into the other’s mouth as pheromones began to flow from him beyond his control.

Izuku let out a sound somewhere between a mewl and a moan. Either way, the noise was muffled by the cock in his throat, which had somehow relaxed even further to allow for more depth. At this point, Deku was taking him nearly to the hilt, a feat never achieved by any of Katsuki’s previous lovers. Fuck. He wasn’t going to last much longer at this rate.

Rattling cut through the sounds of sex like a burning knife. Two sets of eyes shot to the door where the knob jangled in its futile attempts to turn.

“Damnit, again?” Katsuki didn’t recognize the voice outside the door, but he recognized the tone well enough. The stranger pounded on the door. “Hello, can you hear me in there? The sign clearly says not to lock the door. You can’t take a whole room to yourself, jerk!”

Well fuck him. Katsuki had half a mind to yell back at the asshole on the other side of the door, especially since he’d just stopped a fucking amazing blowjob. Only, a hard suck on his dick took the air right out of his lungs. He looked back down at Izuku, his face heating up at the sight of the man who continued as if nothing had changed. Damn.

The pounding on the door only lasted another minute, but Katsuki’s own heartbeat had drowned out the sound immediately. He didn’t even know if the stranger was still out there when the Alpha felt his balls clench.

“Deku,” the Pro-Hero rasped in warning. Deku pulled his head upward, as if he was going to let go of the cock in his mouth. At the last second, he gave a hard suck.

Lights danced across Katsuki’s vision like the small sparks he let off his palms as a child as he came into Deku’s mouth. He watched as the Omega swallowed as best he could, but Katsuki didn’t see anything but the other’s hesitant eyes. Once Deku came off his dick with a quiet pop, he coughed while leaning back on his shins. They stared at one another, both of their breaths shallow and quick.

Eventually, Deku spoke first with a small smile.  

“How’s that for worth it?”

Katsuki stared at the other man and barked a curt laugh. Izuku’s smile faltered, red creeping up his neck as he began to push himself up to his feet, muttering under his breath all the while.

“So how’s this gonna work?”

Izuku paused, having just finished standing. He blinked blankly. “What?”

Bakugo reached down for his boxers and pants, pulled them up with a sharp tug. “When did you want to fuck?”

“Ah! Does that mean—? So, um, well, if you’re agreeing, we, uh—” The Omega began to sputter and Katsuki stared up at him with narrowed eyes.

How the hell could this nerd suck his dick with so little hesitation and then get embarrassed when he agreed to what he’d asked for?

Izuku suddenly took in a deep breath. He squared his shoulders as if preparing to battle. “I figured it could be the same set up as our spars. The interested party could text the other person and, if we’re free, we’ll show up.”

“Like a booty call.”

“If—If that’s what you want to call it.”

Katsuki stared at Izuku for a second longer. He honestly still didn’t get it. Obviously, his rival knew what he was doing when it came to sex, so why the fuck did he come to Katsuki? Couldn’t he find someone else if he was just looking for sex? A fuck-buddy was the last thing Bakugo would normally agree to, as it was the very definition of a relationship that had nowhere to go. Especially with Deku.

Then again...Katsuki couldn’t remember the last time he felt this relaxed. Despite lying awake for so long earlier, he knew he could fall asleep the minute he shut his eyes. Maybe there was value in sex with no strings attached.

“Fine.”

Izuku deflated.

“Yeah?”

“Why the fuck are you always questioning what I say? I said, ‘fine,’ idiot.”

The smile on Izuku’s face was enough to twist Katsuki’s gut, probably a remnant of his previous arousal. Then the Omega’s eyes glanced toward the clock on the wall and he gave out a quiet yelp.

“I’m sorry, Kacchan. I really have to go, I’m going to be late.

He turned, quickly running to the door and fumbling with the lock.

“What the fuck are you talking about?” Katsuki called out to him, a growl to his voice, as he looked up at the clock himself. “Where the fuck could you have to go at a quarter to midnight?”

“I have a patrol shift.”

“Hah? You can’t pick up a patrol the day after your birthday.”

“Right, I picked up the graveyard shift. It’s about to be the day after the day after my birthday.”

The door swung open letting in a piercing light that caused Katsuki to hiss as his sensitive eyes stung. He could barely open them enough to see Izuku’s shadowed figure in the doorway.

“Call me when you’re ready, Kacchan.”

And then the Omega was gone, the door shutting behind him. Katsuki stared at the door for a moment longer before flopping back onto the bed. He was asleep in seconds.

 

Chapter Text

Izuku had told Kacchan to call him when he was ready. Two weeks later and that call still hadn’t come.

Perhaps he was being a little dramatic; it wasn’t as if Bakugo was avoiding him. There’d been more than one text to spar and they’d seen each other at the most recent special mission meeting. (And Izuku swore he was paying attention to the fact that they’d connected four more crimes to their case and not how close Kacchan was sitting to Camie.)

Still, Izuku waited for the text. The one that asked him to come over. For sex.

His metal locker echoed in the empty changing room when Izuku knocked his head against the cool metal. Waiting for Kacchan to call him was worse than when he was actively craving his scent. Undirected horniness could be ignored or kept at bay with the right supplies in the middle of the night. It was a completely different experience to actively be waiting for something that may or may not come.

What if Kacchan wasn’t actually interested in having sex with him? Izuku thought he’d convinced him, but maybe the Alpha was just going along with it for Izuku’s sake. Knowing Kacchan, he was waiting for Izuku to come to him first.

That was not going to happen. No matter how horny Izuku was, he needed Bakugo to come to him this time. He needed to know he wanted this too.

Izuku changed into his workout clothing on autopilot, his mind still stuck on whether Kacchan was really okay with their agreement. When he was completely changed, he paused by one of the many mirrors to check his Mark. He smiled at his reflection when he saw that it was still properly covered.

The rest of the gym was as empty as the locker room. Just how Izuku liked it. With the structured patrols and people naturally being creatures of routine, he could always predict when the Nest would be relatively empty. 10 pm was just late enough that it was well past the end of day patrols and early enough that the heroes on night patrol had not returned yet.

That’s why he was surprised when he saw Kirishima sitting on one of the metal benches in front of Weight Room 4.

Immediately, Izuku tensed. The look on his old classmate’s face was wrong. Kirishima—normally so full of life and manly energy—looked hard, his face frozen as he stared forward. As Izuku neared, movement caught his eye in the room to his right.

Katsuki looked so wrong pounding into the heavy punching bag in formal wear. His light gray dress shirt had turned charcoal as his explosive sweat soaked the cotton. His silk red tie swung with each punch, barely hanging on around his neck by a very loose knot. The bandages around his knuckles were tinged with blood. Izuku watched him for a moment, still standing a few feet away from Kirishima, before he finally spoke.

“How long has he been in there?”

If Kirishima was startled by Izuku’s presence, he didn’t show it. “Early afternoon? He’s been here since I got off patrols at four.”  

Izuku walked over to the front of the bench and took a seat next to his fellow Omega. They watched Bakugo continue his brutal pace, the punching bag silently swinging from the momentum of each impact as the sound couldn’t penetrate the thick glass separating them.

“Do you know what happened?”

“A few months ago he got involved in some domestic abuse case while on patrol.”

“Oh.” Izuku tried to keep the surprise from his voice only to fail miserably. Hero cases usually involved the villains that people could see. Illegal quirk usage, robberies, violent assaults in dark alleyways; those were the cases that attracted Pro-Heroes. The nuanced crimes hidden behind closed doors and fake smiles usually fell to the police.

“I’d forgotten that the trial was today.” Kirishima brought one arm up to the back of his neck to rub at his still tense muscles. “I would’ve gone with him if I thought he’d go. But Bakubro isn’t the kind of guy to tell us what he’s gonna do ahead of time, ya know?”

Izuku gave the other man a small, reassuring smile. “I know.”

“Well, it didn’t go too well, apparently. The girl didn’t show up to testify and the rest of the evidence wasn’t strong enough on its own. Guess they dropped all the charges.”

They watched Katsuki in silence, all too familiar with what he must be feeling. Even the Symbol of Victory lost sometimes. Izuku put on a smile and gripped Kirishima’s shoulder.

“You should head home, I can watch him from here.”

The other Omega turned to him with wide red eyes. “Huh? What? No, I’m cool, dude.”

“You’ve been here for over six hours. Go home. Get food. I’m sure Mina’s worried about you.”

At the mention of Mina, Kirishima gave Izuku an embarrassed grin. “We were supposed to go on a date tonight, but I might’ve blown her off.”

“Then you definitely should go. You don’t want to make your Alpha Girlfriend angry on date night.”

Kirishima laughed, his voice a little less hollow and a little more like himself. “You’re right about that! Okay, you sure you’ve got this?”

“Yeah, I’m sure. I’ll make sure he doesn’t do anything too stupid.”

“You know all about that.”

“Hey!” The pair laughed together this time before Kirishima stood with a short wave.

“See ya.”

“Have a good night, Kirishima.”

After the last echoes of Kirishima’s footsteps died away, Izuku stood up himself. He stared at Katsuki a moment longer before heading toward the door. Izuku had barely wedged his body inside before he was throwing himself to the right to avoid the controlled explosion headed his way.

“I said stay the fuck away from me Shitty Hair!”

“Kirishima left.”

The jangle of chains that filled the room stopped suddenly as Katsuki caught the bag mid-swing. Silence hung heavy in the air mixing with the sweet scent of nitroglycerin and sharp spice of cinnamon.

“What the fuck are you doing here, Deku?”

The Alpha released the bag and began punching it once again. Izuku paused before deeming it safe to enter the room further. The closer he got the more he realized how exhausted Kacchan looked. Finally he was right beside him, close enough to feel the vibrations of each punch cutting through the air. He curved around the bag, bracing it with his own body to keep it from bouncing with each hit. Crimson eyes flicked his way, but the blows kept coming. They continued like that in relative silence except for the sound of each impact.

“You could’ve texted me to spar.”

“You had patrol.”

“Afterwards.”

Bakugo grunted but his fist paused against the smooth plastic. Izuku waited for him to speak, but the words didn’t come. Instead, the Alpha pushed himself away and began walking toward the door. Izuku stared after him, his top teeth digging into his lower lip. He followed soon after.

The locker room was just as empty as he’d left it, only now it echoed with sounds of metal on metal as Kacchan moved about a little too violently. Izuku sighed. Guess he could skip the workout tonight and go straight for the showers. After making a quick stop at his locker for a fresh towel, he walked that way. But first he had to pass Kacchan.

Izuku stole a glance toward the Alpha only to connect with a fiery stare that brought him to a halt.

“Why don’t people fucking get it?” The intensity of Katsuki’s eyes made it difficult to understand his words. “How the fuck is shit supposed to change if you don’t hold them accountable? Assholes need to be woken the fuck up. They can’t—you can’t let—”

The Alpha let out a loud snarl as he turned to his locker and slammed it shut. His breath came out in loud pants and a feeling Izuku couldn’t pinpoint traveled through his veins. He could feel a strong urge to reach out for the other man, but Izuku didn’t dare move.

Katsuki grabbed his towel from the bench behind him and stormed past Izuku. Their shoulders knocked in the process, but that wasn’t what left the Omega off balance. He dropped his eyes to floor. Seconds later, the sound of water bursting through old pipes reverberated off the shower tiles.

It took too much energy to drag himself in that direction. Why didn’t Izuku ever know what to say in situations like this? On the battlefield, he moved without thinking. But when it came to finding the right words, he froze. Every time.

The warm water that rained down from the showerhead didn’t calm him like he’d hoped. Izuku closed his eyes and pictured the look on Kacchan’s face. He wondered if Kacchan knew how pained he looked beneath his anger.

Izuku tensed when he felt a presence behind him but forced himself to relax as soon as he realized who it was. Calloused hands gripped his waist, fingers slotting into the dip of his hip as Katsuki’s thumbs rubbed across his scarred skin. Cinnamon and smoke cut through the shower mist and suddenly the fingers pressed harder into his skin.

“Tell me to stop.”

A shiver went up Izuku’s spine. His hand automatically reached up to press against the tile of the shower stall to keep him upright and away from the wall as he tilted his head back in an attempt to look at the other man. Unfortunately, he couldn’t see the Alpha’s face as he now began to nip at the skin of Izuku’s shoulder, just to the left of the silicone hiding his Mark.

“Why?”

His elbow buckled a little as Katsuki pressed his body flush against his back. Izuku could feel a hard dick naturally slotting itself between his ass cheeks. The heat of the shower was nothing compared to that in his gut. The Omega could feel himself already producing slick. But something was wrong. Even as Kacchan began to rut against him, his throbbing cock only teasing against Izuku’s ass, Izuku couldn’t shake the feeling of pain in his chest.

That’s when he realized the problem.

“Kacchan,” Izuku paused to stifle a moan as one of the Alpha’s hands reached around to fist his cock. “You don’t have to worry. You’re not going to hurt me.”

Everything stopped. The stroking of his dick, the pressure against his ass; it seemed like even the water droplets falling overhead froze mid-air. Then Izuku was falling forward, his arm once again the only thing keeping him from hitting the wall in front of him. He spun as quickly as he could, Kacchan’s name stuck in his throat but the Alpha was already gone. Izuku closed his eyes, his ears straining to hear any sign of the other Pro-Hero. He heard nothing.

He groaned, turned his head back forward to lean against the cool tile in front of him.

Izuku never had the right words.

 


 

The text he’d been waiting for arrived the following day. Izuku stared at the phone in his hand for nearly an hour before he agreed to meet later that evening. After what had happened yesterday, he wondered if he should’ve said no. But after what happened yesterday, Izuku couldn’t say no.

Instead, he stood in front of Katsuki’s door ten whole minutes early and took in a deep breath. The straps of his backpack dug into his shoulder as he reached forward and knocked on the door.

Every thought, every fear, every plan went straight out the window the minute Katsuki Bakugo opened the door with no shirt on.

Izuku had grown up with Kacchan; they’d been in the same gym class and locker room since they could walk. Yet, the sight of Kacchan’s chiseled abs and powerful pecs combined with the knowledge that this man was about to fuck him short-circuited Izuku’s brain.

Katsuki obviously noticed. The Alpha’s scowl warped into a knowing smirk as his red eyes severed the very tendons that kept Izuku standing upright.

“You gonna stand there all day?”

The Omega straightened himself with a snap. He stepped into the apartment on robotic legs and forced himself to look at his surroundings (and everywhere but Kacchan). Izuku had never visited Kacchan before, but the apartment was exactly how he pictured it. Modern, sleek, immaculate. While Izuku’s studio looked like an amalgamation of every phase of his life, Katsuki’s apartment could’ve come straight out of a magazine.

“Strip.”

Izuku turned, his face inexplicably hot even before he caught sight of Katsuki untying the string of his sweatpants.

“Wait!”

Bakugo froze, his thumb hooked into his waistband. His brows furrowed. “Hah? Now what?”

Izuku clenched his eyes shut, willing the image of Kacchan out of his head, just for a second so that he could remember the words he’d planned to say. Crap. He hadn’t realize this was going to be so difficult.

“If this is going to be a thing, then I thought we should set some ground rules.” Izuku opened his eyes and purposefully met the other Pro-Hero’s annoyed glare. “You know, so we’re on the same page.”

Tension connected the two men, Omega to Alpha, strung so tight that Izuku could hang from it. Izuku pressed his tongue into the sharp edge of one of his upper teeth. He refused to back down on this.

Eventually, Bakugo looked away, clicking his tongue to roof of his mouth with an annoyed “tch.”

“You fucking talk to much. But, whatever. This is all your idea, after all.”

The Alpha walked past him, his temporary closeness raising Izuku’s internal temperature a few more degrees, before he dropped his body onto the couch. He raised his arms to rest them on top of the back of the cushions, taking up an inordinate amount of space in the otherwise open room. Kacchan tilted his head back and smirked again.

“So?”

With no more time to hesitate, Izuku forced himself to swallow the saliva clogging his throat. He walked over toward the couch, dropping his bag to the floor, but remained standing in front of Katsuki.

“No cameras. No pictures, no videos; there can’t be any record that someone else could access.” Izuku paused for a response, but Kacchan just stared expectantly. The Omega continued. “I’m on suppressants and birth control, but I prefer that we use a condom. Um...at least at first.”

As he added that last bit, Izuku had to look away. Not that he didn’t still see the sharp smile Katsuki sent him in his periphery.

“Marks are fine, but not anywhere that can’t be easily covered. I don’t mind trying something new, but you have to warn me first. I prefer knowing what’s going to happen ahead of time.” Izuku brought his hand up to his forearm. After yesterday, maybe he should hold back on this part, but he rather they have everything out in the open from the start.

“I—uh—like a little pain, rough is usually better. But we can always have a safe word or just say stop, or—”

“You done yet, nerd?”

This time Izuku looked back, Katsuki was leaned forward, his forearms resting on his knees. His eyes burned into Izuku’s, somehow more predatory than usual. Izuku’s next words came out much quieter than he intended.

“What do you like, Kacchan?”

Without breaking eye contact, the Alpha pushed himself up with his hands against his knees. It only took one step to close the distance between them. Katsuki’s hand carded through Izuku’s hair, twisting his curls between his fingers. He pulled Izuku’s head in close, putting his lips against his ear.

“How about I show you?”

A quick tug on his hair pulled Izuku back far enough for Katsuki to bring him into a hard kiss.

Part of Izuku wanted to point out how that was the exact opposite of “warning him first” but another, more all-consuming, thought was that he’d never imagined this. Kacchan kissing him. The kiss deepened but Izuku’s brain was still running a mile a minute.

Is this really what Kacchan wanted? Did he actually want to have sex with him, Deku? Deku could act confident; he wasn’t exactly inexperienced and knew from years of putting practice to action that sex with him could be good. Still, this was Kacchan. He had doubts. The Alpha had pulled away once, what stopped him from doing it again? If only Izuku knew what he liked, then he could—

Izuku hit the wall hard, giving out a gasp of surprise. He hadn’t even noticed how he’d been maneuvered to the opposite side of the room.

“Shut the fuck up, nerd.” Katsuki’s hot breath tickled Izuku’s neck as he growled against his sensitive skin. “The only shit I wanna hear are the sounds I’ll have you making.”

“Bu—ahh,” the teeth sinking into bare skin stole the air from his lungs and the words from his lips.

Just like that, it all stopped. Kacchan, with nothing more than his talented tongue licking a trail up his throat and rough fingers still tugging at his hair, had finally done what countless one night-stands and his own horny hand could never manage. Izuku’s brain stopped thinking.  

Katsuki Bakugo’s fingers were electric prongs sending every one of his synapses alight to the point of overstimulation. Every villain, every concern, every regret combusted in a burst of nitroglycerin fueled lust. Kacchan’s pheromones muddled Izuku’s brain in a way no other Alpha had managed before, bringing out the most basic, carnal, primal instincts within him. So when their lips met again, Izuku focused on his own hands wrapping around broad shoulders to leave small crescents in the Alpha’s skin.

By the time Katsuki’s hand had slipped into his jeans to grip his ass, Izuku was already wet with slick. The Omega cracked an eye open just in time to watch the Alpha’s pupils grow wide. The scent in the air changed. Cinnamon gave way to smoke, heady and thick. But rather than smothering, the smell invigorated him. Immediately Izuku was fumbling with the button and zipper of his jeans, tearing them downwards, before using his legs to kick the denim off.

He’d barely gotten them off before another warm hand gripped his other ass-cheek, lifting him up in the air and against hard abs in one smooth motion. Izuku wasn’t tall or broad shouldered like the Alpha Pro-Heroes at his agency, but he was still nothing but lean, heavy muscle. It’d been a while since someone could pick him up and fuck if it wasn’t hot.

Izuku moaned under his breath, rutting his hips up and down washboard abs to the approving growl of the Alpha once again nipping at his neck. They were moving again, this time Izuku knew, but he didn’t care. He was removing his shirt, secure in the knowledge that Kacchan could handle the extra movement with his strong hold. His shirt didn’t even hit the ground before his back was bouncing against a mattress.

“Turn around.”

The Pro-Hero looked up to blazing eyes tracing his body in a voracious leer. His throat seized as a whine threatened to rip itself free. Instead, Izuku turned as instructed, instinctively propping himself up on his hands and knees. He waited for the mattress to dip under Kacchan’s weight, waited for the electricity from the other’s touch to make him weak again. He waited, and waited, and waited.

Just as he was about to turn around to see what had happened, a hand gripped his hair and his head was pulled back against his shoulders. Two fingers pressed against his lips.

“Suck.”

Izuku glanced up and saw that Katsuki’s face was deadly serious. The Omega opened his lips. He couldn’t move his head away as the fingers were thrust into his mouth down to the knuckle. It caught him by surprise, but Izuku kept his gag reflex at bay. Instead, he made sure to hold Kacchan’s stare as he began to suck on the digits, his tongue expertly massaging them in a way he hoped would remind the Alpha of what else he could be sucking.

It seemed to be working because the number three hero’s eyes fell half-lidded with lust. Without warning, the fingers in Izuku’s mouth trapped his tongue, pressing down on it with a pressure that suddenly made him weak. This time, he had no control over the sounds that escaped his mouth although they came out muffled. Kacchan growled, less than pleased. Right, Kacchan wanted to hear him, didn’t he? Izuku could do that.

The fingers in his mouth removed themselves with a pop, his hair released at the same time so that his head dropped to his chest. Izuku’s eyes flicked to his right, watching with a hungry expression as Bakugo finally ripped off his sweatpants.

Anticipation clenched at Izuku’s gut, his cock twitching as he felt Kacchan finally climb onto the bed behind him. He felt one of the saliva-slicked fingers trace its way down his back. He shivered from the touch, begging in his head for Kacchan to get on with it.

But the finger stopped right at the top of his ass, situated right between his ass-cheeks.

“Say it, Deku.”

“Say what, Kacchan?” Izuku tried to sound aloof, but it came out as airy.

The finger on his ass pressed into his skin as the Alpha’s free hand game up to squeeze his hip. “Say it.”

Izuku bit at his bottom lip as the fire in his gut grew, its flames now licking at his heart.

“Touch me. Fuck me.” Izuku hesitated, drawing in as much air as possible. “Please, Kacchan?”

He’d said the magic words because all at once the finger was inside of him, sliding in easily because of his own spit and slick. Izuku gasped as Katsuki pressed into him, his finger exploring him with a casual ease. As if it wasn’t setting him on fire from the inside out.

The second finger joined soon after that and Izuku stopped fighting the instinct to rock back into the touch. As Katsuki began to make a scissoring movement with his fingers, Izuku felt himself stretch, a slight burn he hadn’t felt in a long, long time. Had it really been that long ago?

Katsuki hooked his fingers in just the right away to graze Izuku’s prostate and his only thought was YES. It’d been too long.

He needed this. He needed to feel this again. He needed more. He needed—

“Kacchan!” Izuku cried out. His voice cracked as the pressure inside of him was suddenly gone. He bucked against the empty air, his arms shaking in despair and want.

Every one of his senses reached out for Alpha; his tongue dry, his eyes open but unseeing. He heard the crinkle of plastic, smelled cocoa thick in the air. And then he felt it; the thick tip of Kacchan’s cock against his ass, hot despite the thin bit of latex between them.

This time the Omega was the one giving the commands, whiney and broken as they were. “Ahh-f-fuck me.”

Five sets of nails dug into his hips as Alpha cock pushed into him with slow and deliberate motions. If this was supposed to be teasing, Izuku didn’t feel it. Every sensation had been set to max and he choked on his own pleasure and moans. Katsuki’s movements picked up, his thrusts purposeful but harsh. Suddenly, Izuku saw sparks, thousands of small red and orange x’s, across his vision as Kacchan hit his prostate again.

“Ka- nngh” he cut himself off again with a mangled groan as Kacchan continued to hit the same spot over and over and over. “W-wai—”

Katsuki’s hand wrapped around his previously untouched dick and instantly he came, sending thick white liquid onto his stomach and the bed.

“That quick, Deku? ” The Alpha whispered as he leaned his chest against Izuku’s back to get closer to his ear. Izuku’s arms shook again. He could hold up an entire building with his hands, but he couldn’t hold up the devil on his shoulders. “Shoulda known you’d be fa—”

The Alpha cut off with a growl as Izuku pressed back in time with one of his thrusts.

“What the— fuck,” Katsuki dropped his forehead into the dip of Izuku’s shoulder blades, his breath hot and ragged. “Fuck, Deku, you’re so damn tight. How the—fuck, it feels—”

Izuku felt hot again, the heat spreading all across his face until it burned through the last of his control. He was panting, too, his thick thighs still strong where his arms were weak, propelling himself backward into each thrust. The hands still on his hips tightened just to the point of pain and Izuku screamed out Kacchan’s name as the Alpha came.

They held their positions, both struggling to breath through the forest fire of pheromones they’d created. When finally Bakugo pulled out, Izuku allowed himself to fall onto his elbows, as much as he didn’t want to. Still, he couldn’t help but try to save face.

He turned his head over his shoulder, ignoring the flush of his face and the curls sticking to his forehead with sweat.

“Is that what you like, Kacchan?”

Chapter Text

Ground Zero was the number Three Pro-Hero for a fucking reason. On the job, he acted quickly and with deadly precision. He struck fear into villain’s hearts with his reputation for brutal dominance. Fuck, he wasn’t half bad at rescue missions either.

Katsuki was not, however, a fucking babysitter.

“I swear, I had nothing to do with whatever the hell happened! Now would you PLEASE let me go home already!”

It took all the control Katsuki had cultivated over years and years of training to not punch the idiot branch manager of the bank that had just been robbed in his whiny Alpha mouth. The investigation-in-progress had been caught by an alert-system Kendo had created for cases potentially connected to their special mission. Of course, Ground Zero just so happened to be the only other person on duty at the time. He’d heard second-hand that the victims of the “No-Crime Criminal,” as Camie had named their villain, were difficult to handle. He hadn’t expected to deal with such a crybaby of an adult man who exuded disgusting amounts of aggravated Alpha pheromones.

“You can leave when we’re done.” Katsuki folded his arms over his chest and leaned against the wall closest to the glass door when the man began to eye the exit. He’d like to see this idiot try to escape past him.

“But it’s been over an hour!”

Holy shit, Katsuki was going to kill this man. Thankfully, the manager sat himself down in a huff before Katsuki got the chance and began to busy himself with the stacks of papers on his desk. Bakugo closed his eyes and switched to breathing through his mouth. He seriously hated pheromones.

“Hey,” Kendo’s voice came muffled through the door from the lobby. Her change of tone from business-like to surprise caught his attention. “I thought you weren’t on duty, Deku.”

Katsuki’s eyes shot open despite himself. They flicked to the door, just for a moment, but they stuck when they caught sight of Izuku himself.

Bakugo had known Deku since they were kids; he thought he knew all there was to know about the nerd. Yet, after only fucking each other two, maybe four times a week for over two months, Katsuki started to see details he’d evidently glossed over for years.

Like the way Deku tilted his head to the right, exposing his neck ever so slightly every time he greeted a friend. Or the way his freckles bunched together when he gave that damn fake smile of his. How his specialized gloves waved clunkily as he talked with his crooked fingers and scarred hands. The spandex of his hero suit fit more snugly than Bakugo remembered, practically melding to the shoulders Katsuki had marked three nights ago. Each step Deku took caused the destruction-resistant material to stretch to its limits thanks to the Omega’s powerful thighs that could take the full brunt of Katsuki’s thrusts, and the way it clung to Deku’s ass—

Deku’s eyes suddenly shifted to him. Katsuki attempted to avoid his gaze a moment too slow and their eyes locked. Disapproval overtook Deku’s features, but Katsuki only smirked in return. Yeah, he was imagining the other man naked, what was the nerd gonna do about it?

It seemed like he was coming over. The number Two Pro-Hero entered only seconds later, Kendo right on his heels.

The pheromones in the room had to hit them both like a freight train, but only Kendo scrunched up her nose in distaste. Deku merely smiled at the branch manager before giving a small bow of his head.

“Hello sir, I’m Pro-Hero Deku and this is—”

“I know who you are. Can I finally leave?”

Again, Deku seemed unperturbed. “I’m sure we’ll be able to release you soon. First we have a few questions.”

“Look,” the Alpha blinked rapidly, showing off his unnerving second eyelid thanks to his quirk of cat-like eyes. “I already told her,” he pointed to Kendo, “and him,” he jabbed a finger in Katsuki’s direction, “that I had nothing to do with any of this.”

“Several tens of thousands of bills have been stolen, sir.” Kendo cut in now, her face not quite as composed as Deku’s. “The police were alerted when the bank vault’s alarm system was deactivated after bank hours, per protocol, but you were the only person here when they arrived. What’s more, the security footage starting an hour before the alarm was turned off was mysteriously erased. Are you absolutely sure that no one else was here?”

“Like I said, bank closed at noon since it’s a Saturday. I went to lock up at 1:30 like normal when the cops came busting in!”

“You didn’t notice the money missing from the vault?” Deku asked and the Alpha responded with a growl.

“No! It was all accounted for when I did my check at 12:30.”

“And the alarm was deactivated at 1:00.”

“I never deactivated the alarm.”

“Look asshole,” Katsuki pushed himself off the wall with a scowl. “If you don’t have anything fucking helpful for us, we’re gonna assume you stole all the money.”

The branch manager blanched at that. Suddenly, the man was on his feet. “What? No! No, I had nothing to do with this!”

“We understand,” Deku responded soothingly, taking a step forward before stopping suddenly. He blinked and Katsuki barely caught the confusion in his eyes. “Did you have anyone else in your office today?”

“A few.”

“Um, were any of them also Alphas?”

The banker scoffed. “How should I know? None of my employees on shift today were, but I don’t go asking clients their Secondary Gender. I can get in serious trouble for that, you know.”

“Of course, I’m sorry. The police are going to take your official statement, this is the last time, I swear. Then we’ll need to get a blood draw. Please understand that we will need to speak with you again very soon and that failure to respond to our future inquiries can lead to your arrest. Thank you for your time!”

With another small bow of his head, Deku was walking toward the door. Katsuki shared a glance with Kendo before they followed him out of the room. The Omega was already speaking to the police when they’d exited. While Kendo went over to join them, Bakugo hung back. He crossed his arms again, looking around the lobby before finding a private corner to stand in. They’d come back when they were done.  

Come they did a few minutes later.

“Did either of you smell something weird in the manager’s office?” The Omega asked immediately.

“Besides the rank pheromones that asshole kept pumping out like a teenager without scent blockers?”

“Yes, beneath that.”

“You could smell something other than that?” The female Alpha scrunched her nose. “It was hard enough to focus on anything other than that disgusting scent.”

“First of all, it wasn’t that bad,” Katsuki bristled at Deku’s statement, but if the other noticed, he didn’t react. “Second of all, could you really not? Pheromones are different for each person and different still when an Alpha gives out an—”

Izuku cut off. Katsuki could tell he was doing that thing with his tongue against his teeth like he always did when he started thinking too hard.

“Spit it out nerd.”

Still, Izuku hesitated. Eventually, he slowly started. “Well, what if our victims were Ordered not to remember anything that happened? What if they were Ordered the whole time?”

The question hung in the silence for a few moments before Kendo shook her head. “But only Omegas are affected by Orders. Our guy today was definitely an Alpha, and I’m pretty sure our other victims have been a mix.”

“I understand that, but maybe…”

“You thinkin’ it’s someone’s quirk?” Katsuki met Izuku’s eyes. He could practically see the connections forming as bright spots of electrical impulses behind green stained-glass eyes.

“Possible! Or maybe a separate mutation all together? But if it can affect Alphas, it doesn’t explain why you and Battle Fist can’t smell it too.”

“Well it’s been a while, so the scent’s probably faint now. Maybe we could have smelled it if the person was still here?” The female Alpha seemed to perk up too. “Maybe because you’re aware of what they smell like, you can pick it up? You think Glamorous could smell it, too? We can make sure there’s an Omega with us every time we come to a scene. This could finally be a lead!”

“If that’s what this is,” Izuku hesitated. “I mean, it is unheard of. For all I know, the branch manager could have given out an Order earlier and that’s what I could sense.”

“But what are the chances? It’s not like normal people are throwing around Orders.”

Deku didn’t respond and Katsuki wasn’t surprised. Instead, the Alpha changed the subject. “So what now?”

Kendo’s shoulders dropped again. “I guess we’ll still get a blood test done on the manager. I don’t know if there’s a way to check if someone’s been Ordered, but I can look into it. Maybe I can get the paramedics to take a sample of his scent glands too?”

Katsuki scoffed. “Good luck with that. If we’re done, I’m gonna head out.”

“I should get going, too. Evening patrol starts soon.”

“Take the back if you wanna avoid the reporters. We tried to keep it quiet, but you know how well that works.”

“Thanks, Kendo,” Izuku called out as he ran to catch up with Katsuki who was already halfway to the back door. The Alpha pushed the door open with his elbow, enjoying the breeze from the fall air after being stuck in that god-awful room for so long. He was nothing but pent up energy at this point and there was one easy way to handle that.

The door had barely closed behind Deku before Katsuki had the Omega pinned face-first against the brick wall.

“Kacchan!” Izuku hissed. “Here?”

“Why the fuck not, Deku?” Katsuki practically purred as he pressed the forearm of one arm harder into his fuck-buddy’s shoulder blades.

If he wanted, Izuku could easily activate his quirk and push Kacchan off. Hell, if he said back off, Katsuki would step away in an instant. Instead, Bakugo took pleasure from the knowledge that Izuku allowed the rough clay of the brick building to dig into his palms as he held all of his and Katsuki’s combined weight to keep his face from hitting the wall. Katsuki put distance between their upper bodies, leaning his chest back while slotting his hips flush against the curve of Izuku’s ass. With his free hand he traced against the smooth fabric of his fellow Pro-Hero’s costume until his fingers flicked at the zipper hidden at the back of Izuku’s neck under his mask.

“There’s reporters...”

Katsuki hummed under his breath. He’d be more convinced that this was an issue if Izuku’s voice wasn’t already so airy. “Guess you better be fucking quiet.”

The zipper slid silently down its track, stopping just at the top of Izuku’s ass cheeks. Katsuki removed his forearm to instead press both of his palms against the exposed scarred back of the Omega in front of him. The man’s skin was littered with scars, many self-inflicted due to the strength of his own quirk. Not that Katsuki would admit it aloud, but Deku’s scars were his favorite part of fucking Deku. They were proof that Katsuki had nothing to fear. Izuku was strong; he could take whatever Bakugo gave him.

He always had.

And so there was none of that hesitation he normally had with his partners. He ran his rough hands down Izuku’s strong muscular back without care. He didn’t bother carefully managing the strength with which he pressed or check to see if he’d caused too much friction with his naturally heated palms. No, Deku took whatever Katsuki dished out and fuck if he didn’t love how that felt. He only loved it more when Deku pushed back.

Like he did when Katsuki’s hands made their way into Izuku’s suit to grip at his ass. At that, the Omega pushed himself away from the wall and the back of his head connected with Katsuki’s forehead with a hard thump. The Alpha growled at the unexpected strike, leaning forward to press Deku harder against the wall.

“Patrols.”

Damn. Right. The nerd had somewhere to be. Better make this quick.

“Whatever.” Katsuki bit at the skin at the top of Izuku’s spine as his hands got to work. While one hand began to work on his own Hero costume to free his dick, the other made its way deeper into Izuku’s suit to rub in between the Omega’s ass cheeks. “Already producing slick, Deku? Shoulda known you get off fucking in public.”

Izuku opened his mouth, maybe to protest, maybe to give one of those snarky comments that made Katsuki’s cock twitch. Bakugo would never know because he turned those words into a stuttering moan with three fingers suddenly thrust knuckle-deep into Izuku’s wet asshole.

“Ka—acchan—nngh—shit.”

Katsuki’s vocal cords vibrated in his throat as his body reacted to the Omega’s whines of pleasure with its own arousal. His own dick was free now, but he waited, watching Deku grind against his still fingers. He could tell the other Pro was already frustrated. But Bakugo wanted to hear it. Eventually he did.

“Please move, Kacchan, just, please, just, fuck me already.”

And even when Izuku whispered, his words stole the air from Katsuki’s lungs and the fire from his explosions.

He pulled his fingers out, ignoring Izuku’s quiet groan of protest. He rubbed his slick covered fingers up and down his cock as he pulled at the edges of Deku’s costume to reveal as much of his ass as the unwilling fabric would allow. Katsuki had his dick all lined up when the thought occurred to him.

“Fuck.” They didn’t have any condoms. Of fucking course they didn’t. It’s not like it was something either of them carried on their Hero selves. And now they were both fucking hot and bothered and Katsuki wanted to fuck that tight ass so fucking bad—

“It’s fine Kacchan.” Katsuki looked up from Deku’s ass to meet Izuku’s eyes. With his neck tilted back and his pupils blown-wide so sensually, Bakugo almost missed the other man’s words. “We don’t need one. Pull out or something. I don’t care. Just, please.”

And like fuck was Katsuki going to say no. With one good push, the head of his cock had cleared the rim of Izuku’s ass, and, with another, he was completely sheathed inside Deku’s tight heat. After that, there were no thoughts. Katsuki let his body move freely, relinquishing control in a way he never allowed himself. His thrusts brought out soft grunts from Deku that almost sounded like sighs of relief. Bakugo wanted nothing more than to shut his eyes and enjoy the moment but there was too much to take in. The curve of Izuku’s back, the reciprocating thrusts of his hips, the way his curls flopped in front of and out of his eyes. Katsuki had a mental record of every moment they’ve spent like this and he couldn’t fuck that up now. He refused.

No matter what the clocks said, their fucks never lasted long enough. Katsuki could tell he was coming close to climax and he reached forward to help Izuku get there too. Suddenly, Izuku’s hand knocked his away.

“I’m fine! Patrols!”

Katsuki growled. “So fucking what? You’re not gonna finish?”

“No—Ah—I just, hngn, needed to feel you.”

Fucking hell. Katsuki wanted to pull out right then, not finish himself, but with each word Izuku’s walls gripped around him. He knew he’d lost.

When he reached his peak, the Alpha still pulled out, barely having enough time to stuff his dick back in his pants before he came. He scowled at the disgusting feeling, but luckily nothing was obvious through his black bottoms. Izuku turned his head over his shoulder, his face so obviously surprised and innocent considering they’d just fucked in a back alley.

“Oh! You pulled out.”

“Damn straight I did, you said so.”

“I didn’t say you had to!”

“But you have fucking patrols. My shift’s about over.”

The way Deku’s eyes widened, his telling eyes so obviously grateful, pissed Katsuki off.

“Don’t you dare say shit Deku. You better come to my place after your shift so I can make you pay for not getting off yourself.”

Without warning that calm look disappeared from Izuku’s face. “I can’t.”

“Tch” Katsuki clicked his tongue. “Then tomorrow.”

“I can’t tomorrow either.”

“Hah? You take a double or something?”

“No,” Izuku stressed as he began to zip his uniform closed. “I just can’t. Another day.”

Katsuki waited, but no further explanation came. What the hell? Yeah, sure, they didn’t fuck everyday, but their agreement followed sparring rules. If you were in town and not on patrol, you fucking showed.

Yet, the Omega wouldn’t meet the Alpha’s eyes. Eventually, Katsuki conceded.

“Whatever. Text me then.”

“Uh-huh. Of course Kacchan. I’ll see you later then.”

Bakugo let Izuku leave first, even though they were both headed to the same place. Only after enough distance was between them did Katsuki follow.

 


 

He should reiterate. Katsuki did not mind that Izuku had turned down his request—his offer—to come over tonight. The fact that the nerd had no patrols until tomorrow evening, he'd checked, did not bother him at all. He was not pissed that his text suggesting they spar instead went unread. And, most important of all, Bakugo definitely did not fucking check his phone every few minutes to see if that last point had changed.

Something was up with Deku. That much Katsuki knew. He couldn't explain how he knew but he woke that morning with that knowledge and a deep ache in his chest that filled him with emptiness.

His own patrol finished without any action. For once, the Alpha didn't mind. Normally he was itching for a fight, but today he wanted nothing more than to be done. He'd barely changed and finished packing up before his phone was back in his hand.

Still unread.

Katsuki stared at the screen as he walked. As if that would change read status. The reality was that Deku wasn't going to text back. And all Bakugo felt when he exited the Nest was the cool October breeze and that unfamiliar void in his chest.

He clicked his phone screen off with a scowl but he hadn't even finished putting it in his pocket before he had it in front of him again. Maybe he should call the nerd. Maybe he should just forget about the whole thing.

Only, this time Katsuki clicked the phone to life something else clicked in his head. He stared at the lock screen, stared at the date. Oh.

The next text he sent was not to Deku.

 


 

Bakugo knocked on the door in front of him and waited. When there was no response, he knocked again with ten times the force. He didn’t need to double-check the address Kirishima had sent or worry that Deku wasn’t home because Katsuki was standing on an All Might themed doormat and he could fucking hear the muffled noises of a television playing just on the other side of the door. Still, Deku didn’t answer.

“Open the fuck up or I’ll break the lock.”

Again, there was no doubt in Katsuki’s mind that the nerd had heard him. After another minute of silence, he raised a hand to follow through on his threat just as the door fell open.

Deku had aged 20 years in the 24 hours since they’d last seen each other. The number Two Pro-Hero wore his exhaustion like it was the weighted comforter that hung around his neck. Every emotion seemed etched into his skin, black tattooed kanji that read “regret,” “guilt,” “grief.”

“What do you want, Kacchan?” Even Deku’s voice felt heavy despite its quiet and airy nature. It made Katsuki clench his fists in his pockets.

“You gonna mope around all day.” That wasn’t a question. He knew that was the other hero’s plan. Katsuki pushed himself through the doorway without any resistance from Deku. For having inherited the willpower of eight other One-For-All users, the man didn’t even seem to have enough energy to put up a fight.

Now inside, Katsuki could tell the apartment wasn’t doing much better. Paperwork and mail littered the small table in front of a loveseat covered in clothing. Used bowls dotted the room; one on the nightstand, two at the bar, one on the barstool itself. The bed had no pillows as those sat in a pile at the edge of the bed and the sheet was tangled into a ball against the wall. A quick glance to the kitchen made Katsuki grimace. The dirty dishes that had made it to the sink had piled up days ago.

“How the hell do you live like this?” Katsuki turned to catch Deku’s eyes but they were fixed on the ground.

“‘S not always this bad.”

Before the Alpha could argue, a familiar voice boomed from the television.

“It’s fine now, why?”

Both Pro-Heroes turned to the screen to see their former teacher, Deku’s fucking mentor, smile to the camera.

“Because I am here!”

Laughter filled the room like water quickly filling a closed glass case. Only there was no magic trick here and Katsuki wasn’t chained down. Even if Deku was.

“...when was the last time you ate?”

The Omega didn’t respond at first. Eventually he shrugged and waddled his way to the loveseat, the comforter dragging along the floor as he did. Katsuki rolled his eyes and walked over to the hell that was Izuku’s kitchen. When he opened the fridge, the Alpha swore under his breath. Three different boxes of half-eaten probably week old take out. Half a case of eggs. A green pepper; were those mushrooms still good?

Half an hour later the dishes were done and Bakugo was shoving an omelette into Deku’s hands.

“Eat it.”

Izuku stared at the food before slowly picking up the fork and taking a bite. Only then did Katsuki go grab his own plate and take a seat next to the other Hero. There was hardly any room what with all the clothing, but he’d rather be sandwiched between the pile of laundry and the lump of living comforter than sit on the floor.

They ate in silence. Until Deku had to go and ruin it.

“I’ll be better tomorrow.”

Now it was Katsuki’s turn to not make eye contact. He felt Izuku’s stare, but chose to focus on the montage of All Might’s greatest hits.

“It’s just...I can’t today.”

Yeah, he got that. Anniversaries are hard and it was even harder to comprehend that it had already been three years since All Might died. Katsuki still didn’t respond. There was nothing for him to say. He had no words of reassurance or comfort. He never has. What good were words? They couldn’t bring back the dead.

The best he could do for Deku was hold out his hand for Izuku’s empty plate. The other man handed it over and Katsuki went around collecting the other dishes that had escaped his first round of washing.

“You don’t have to do that Kacchan. Really, it’s—”

“Say ‘it’s fine’ and I’ll rip your fucking head off. This place is disgusting.”

Anyone else would protest or feel embarrassed by that statement, but Deku just smiled. “Thanks, Kacchan.”

Again, Katsuki didn’t respond. He just continued cleaning as Izuku stared blankly at the television. Eventually there was nothing more for the Alpha to clean so they stared at the screen together. When Deku fell asleep on his shoulder, Katsuki didn’t move him.

Instead, he looked down at him and saw the details he’d somehow missed. Like how long Izuku’s eyelashes were or how his lips fell open when he slept. Katsuki didn’t know when he fell asleep too, but it was the first time that they’d wake up together having slept side-by-side all through the night.

Chapter Text

Izuku couldn’t have predicted this.

He expected to grow tired of his arrangement with Kacchan the same way he’d never felt the need to return to his one-night stands. He thought he could just wait for the day that his strange bout of horniness passed as it always had. Or maybe it’d be Kacchan who would finally call it quits. Either way, the situation would resolve itself.

Now he hoped that didn’t happen.

The Omega had slept with Alpha before. He’d slept with men, women, betas, even another Omega. He enjoyed sex, even if he went through partners a little faster than he was comfortable telling others. But none of them were Bakugo Katsuki and he didn’t think he could go back to random sex.   

Because Izuku was addicted.

He was addicted to the scent of cold winter nights curled up in front of the fireplace, to the scent of sweet glycerin and burnt cinnamon. Izuku wanted nothing more than to live in a haze of Katsuki’s pheromones and bottle the scent to spray on everything he owned.

He was addicted to the sounds of Kacchan’s taunts, somehow always new despite being played on loop in his head. How during sex those challenges always melted seamlessly into praise so raw and genuine that Izuku couldn’t help but shiver.

He was addicted to the feel of hot palms on his waist, his ass, his shoulders. Of his insides being stretched by Kacchan’s cock in every position, no matter how many times they’ve fucked. By now, they’ve tried most of the positions he could think of and then some thanks to the internet. They still had favorites, of course.

This one was one of his. Izuku’s back straight with his head flung back as he rode the Alpha’s dick in a Reverse Cowboy position. He put his powerful thighs to work, lifting himself up, practically off, Kacchan’s dick with each movement; over and over and over again. The Omega could feel crimson eyes setting fire to the skin of his back with their intensity.

Nails dug into Izuku’s arms as Katsuki pulled them back toward him. Izuku leaned forward to put just a bit more strain on those abused, one-too-many times broken limbs. He moaned in pleasure at the burn of his muscles, at the angle of each thrust, at the fact that Kacchan got harder inside him every time Izuku called out his name.

Yes, Izuku was addicted to this feeling. Only, he knew it couldn’t last. He was at his limit, had been for minutes, but he held off his orgasm to the best of his ability. It was an unspoken rule when time was plentiful to not cum first.

“Fuck, ride my cock, Deku. Shit. You feel so good, you take it so well. So tight you piss me off.”

Luckily, Kacchan was close, too.

Suddenly, Deku fell forward, the grip on his arms released without warning, but was caught by his hair at the last second. The Omega hissed in surprise, only to be dragged back against Kacchan’s chest. He’d sat up, held upright by Pro-Hero powered abs so that he could stay tightly pressed into Izuku’s asscheeks and catch the other’s lips.

Izuku squeezed his eyes together, following the kiss on autopilot. He was distracted by Katsuki’s free hand, the one not still tangled in his hair, that had reached around to grab his throbbing cock.

Kacchan had begun doing this a lot; kissing him right before the Alpha came. So, Izuku relinquished control and let himself moan against perfect lips. As expected, Katsuki came only moments later, his entire chest vibrating with more of a purr than a growl. Izuku couldn’t help but whimper as his own climax tore him apart one nerve at a time.

They didn’t fall apart right away. Their lips parted to take in gasping breaths, but they held their positions. Neither was comfortable; Katsuki’s abs shaking now that the post-orgasm fatigue had set in and Izuku still half-twisted to face Katsuki.

After they caught their breath they flopped onto Bakugo’s bed without ceremony.

Izuku sat up first. He was always the first to move after sex. He doubted that this was their last fuck of the evening, considering neither of them were on duty the next day, but he also hated lying there completely naked.

The Omega frowned as he opened the lower drawer of Bakugo’s left nightstand. Crap. He was down to only two pairs of underwear. He would have to bring more clothes from home again. He grimaced at the realization that he hadn’t been home long enough to do laundry. He’d been here, at Kacchan’s apartment, basically every night for the last two and half weeks. Ever since the anniversary of All Might’s death, the Alpha had refused to go back to Izuku’s “hell-hole” of an apartment. So, they’d been having sex here.

Every night.

And, at first, Izuku had insisted on going home afterwards, like they had been doing for months prior. But with the increase in “visits” came the annoying realization that going back home simply wasn’t practical. Besides, Kacchan lived closer to the agency. All Izuku really needed was the small drawer of the nightstand and a toothbrush and it was fine.

Since he still assumed they weren’t done for the evening, Izuku closed the lower drawer and opened the upper one. He grabbed one of Katsuki’s larger t-shirts and slid it over his head.

“Did I fucking say you could wear my shit, Deku?”

Izuku rolled his eyes as he rolled his neck. “No, but I’m nearly out of clothes. I’ll wash it for you.”

“Do you even know how to do laundry?”

“Yes, Kacchan. Yes I do.” The Omega sighed, reaching up to rub against the Mark on neck. Without his usual silicone and makeup, Izuku could feel the raised ridges of the scar.

“...Hey, Kacchan?”

“What now?”

“Can you Order me to do something?”

Tension filled the room, the scent in the air turning away from sweetness toward ash. The Alpha didn’t answer right away; maybe he wouldn’t say anything at all. Then,

“Get off the bed.”

There was no time to comprehend. The words barely hit Izuku’s ears before he was on the bedroom floor, having just thrown himself off the bed with no other muscles commanded to catch him.

“Shit, what the fuck was that, Deku?”

Izuku looked up to the blond who was now leaned over the edge with a grimace. “Again.”

“Stand up.”

Even knowing it was coming, Izuku couldn’t slow the speed at which he shot upwards. He hit Katsuki’s head with his own making them both groan and swear, respectively.

“The fuck Deku!”

“Again.”

“Fuck no.”

“I said, ‘again!’”

“Fucking, SLOWLY sit down on the bed.”

The “slowly” helped a bit, but even with his gritted teeth and straining muscles, Izuku sat on the edge of the bed. As soon as he was seated, the Omega gave out a frustrated sigh. Everything he’d read had been right. It was impossible to fight an Order from the person who Claimed you. Whereas normal Orders felt like a pull he could fight, an Order from a Claim seemed to bypass his brain all together. His body just reacted. Like it or not.

“Another.”

“That’s en—”

“One more.”

There was a pause again and Izuku nearly repeated himself.

“Who’s the best fuck you’ve ever had?”

Again, there was no stopping the words. “You.”

The smug look on Katsuki’s face made Izuku grit his teeth and tear his eyes away. Seriously?

“...You done?”

Izuku looked up, his irked green eyes meeting Katsuki’s cocky stare.

“Yes,” the younger snapped. “I’m done.”

“Hah? The fuck is your tone. I did what you asked, didn’t I?”

“Yeah, thanks so much.”

The Alpha growled at Izuku’s sarcasm. “You asked for this, all of it, remember? You wanted me to Claim you, so here we fucking are. You can’t fight an Order from a Claim. Why the hell do you look like a kicked puppy?”

“I don’t!”

“You do!”

“I get it, okay, I can’t fight your Orders, but you don’t have to be an ass about it.”

“If you don’t like how I do shit, you should’ve asked someone else!” Katsuki smirked again. “Then again, if I’m the best lay you’ve had, I can understand why you didn’t ask Half-and-Half.”

Izuku grimaced before lowering his forehead to his palm to prop his head in one hand, his elbow digging into his thigh. “We never had sex.”

“The hell? You dated for nearly a year. What? Can he not get it up or—”

“We never even dated, ok!”

The silence spoke volumes. Izuku waited for the follow-up questions, but the heat from Katsuki’s stare was more than enough to prompt him forward.

“It’s kind of a long story…” he started, but that was a lie. The story was very short indeed.

Because one second, Izuku was just a great friend and the next he and Shouto were fake boyfriends. The night it happened, they were both extra tense. Shouto had decided to come out as gay to Endeavor and, needless to say, neither he nor Izuku expected it to go well. Of course, Izuku offered to go with his best friend as support. He’d do it for any one of his friends...but especially for Shouto.

The Todoroki family dinner was a quiet affair. Despite all the changes Endeavor had undergone since their first year, he still didn’t care for Izuku. That much was certain from the disapproving glances he sent the third year throughout the evening. They were practically finished when Shouto finally dropped the reveal.

“I’m gay.”

The “kids” were all frozen, waiting for flames and searing words to be thrown their way. Only, they never came.

“I see.”

Two words. Two words and Endeavor continued with his meal. He finished his last plate before the rest of them had even grabbed another bite of food. But that was good, no? Izuku had begun to relax as the number One Pro-Hero stood to leave the table.

“Midoriya is my boyfriend.”

If Izuku had been eating, he would have choked. Now that got a reaction from Enji Todoroki. Flames shot to life only to calm down again. The reaction was obviously involuntary, but the words that came from the Pro came through clenched teeth.

“Very well.”

Then the man was gone, probably to be angry elsewhere, away from the son he’d been trying to win over for years. With his stifling presence gone, Shouto’s siblings came to life. They had questions, so many questions, but Izuku felt as if he’d just had an out-of-body experience.

Honestly, he was on cloud nine. After all, he’d loved—he’d been in love with—Shouto for years. Now here was the chance of a lifetime.

They’d barely left the compound before Izuku opened his mouth to confess. Shouto beat him to it.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have dragged you into the situation without consulting you. I—I’m not sure what came over me, to be frank.” Shouto sighed but it was Izuku who felt like all the air had been stolen from his lungs.

“After what happened tonight,” the Alpha continued. “I have no right to ask this of you...but would you consider not correcting the situation? At least for a time? The last thing I want is for him to know that I lied tonight or, worse, that we ‘separated’ because of the night’s events. I consider you a great friend Midoriya. If this is too much—”

“It’s fine.”

And again, it only took two words to turn his whole life upside down. Because it wasn’t fine. Izuku suffered nearly an entire year of good-natured teasing from his classmates, double dates built on lies, and the soul-crushing realization that Shouto was completely unphased by the situation.

“Shouto and I were just pretending to date, to keep up appearances for...certain people. Really, we were just friends. That’s all,” Izuku finished for Kacchan, still ignoring his dissecting stare.

There was nothing but silence again. Silence and painful memories too close to the forefront of Izuku’s mind.

“And let me guess, you never told him that you loved him.”

Now Izuku looked up, meeting Katsuki’s perfectly flat expression with bewilderment.

“What? No—”

“Please, everyone believed you two were dating because it was obvious how you felt about him. But I guess the bastard’s actually that dense.”

“Don’t say that—”

“The real fucking question,” Katsuki leaned back against the headboard of his bed. “Is why you never told him later. Or now.”

“Because he has someone else.” Was the fast answer. The easy one. But it wasn’t the whole one.

Izuku’d decided not long after leaving for America that things were better this way; the Symbol of Peace couldn’t have a partner. Being a hero should always come first for the Pillar of Hope. It wouldn’t be fair to his future significant other if he came home at late hours or not at all. At least, that was what Izuku told himself time and time again.

Besides, there was so much Izuku couldn’t share with a partner. He could never share the truth of his quirk, of his connection with All Might. One day, he’d become Quirkless and would be unable to explain that either.

No, it was better this way. He could surround himself with friends, satisfy his needs via other means. This way there was less hurt. For both of their future selves.

Actually, now that he had imagined this scenario, one he’d run through a million times in his head, Izuku realized he no longer pictured Shouto by his side, anyway. In fact, if he tried to imagine confessing to the man, he could no longer remember the words he used to practice every night before falling asleep…

“Guess it was for the best.”

Izuku looked at Katsuki again, taking in the Alpha’s smirk as he continued.

“If he’s with Inasa, he’s obviously a bottom. Dunno if you could give him what he’s looking for.”

Nothing but flabbergasted noises left Izuku’s mouth as he felt his cheeks heat up. Katsuki laughed, low but loud. Eventually, Izuku got his words together.

“I could have if he wanted me to! I can totally top!”

“Sure,” Katsuki turned to the right nightstand, quickly opening then closing the top drawer. He tossed a bottle which Izuku instinctively caught. “Then put your money where you mouth is.”

The Omega watched as Katsuki, still completely naked opened up his legs, letting his knees fall to either side. His cock twitched as he looked down at the bottle in his hand and realized it was lube.

“Show me what Half-and-Half missed out on, Deku.”

Izuku’s brain processes stalled. He stared blankly at the Alpha, at Katsuki, with lust glazed eyes and a heavy helping of fear.

Was this really happening? Izuku would never have expected such an offer from Kacchan of all people. Everything about the Alpha screamed dominance and the thought of him being beneath Izuku in such a vulnerable way... Shit.

Pulled in by a force greater than any Order, the Omega crawled across the bed and slotted himself between Katsuki’s legs. Their lips followed suit. Despite the ferocity of their kiss and the ever-shocking touch of Kacchan’s fingers against the bare skin of his scarred arms, Izuku felt himself fall into a familiar loop of anxious thoughts.

Had Kacchan done this before? Would Izuku be his first? Sure, he’d topped before, but only with the girls and a male Omega he’d been with. What if he did something wrong? What if he just wasn’t any good?

Yet, already Katsuki reacted to his touch. He tensed as Izuku briefly rubbed his way over his pecs. His whole body vibrated beneath him when Izuku’s hand came back up to flick at the hard nub of his nipple. The more he played with Kacchan’s chest, the harder he became. He could do this all night.

Of course, Kacchan didn’t let him. The Alpha pulled Izuku off of him by the back of his shirt with a snarl that showed off his sharp canines. “Stop fucking around and get to it, nerd.”

Right. Kacchan was never much into foreplay. Still, Izuku needed to prepare him. Alpha didn’t make slick like Omegas did. Izuku poured a healthy amount of lube on his fingers before hitching Katsuki’s right knee over his left shoulder. He mouthed sloppy kisses and bites down flawless skin, leaving trails of where he’d been with his tongue along the crevices of each toned group of muscles. When he reached Kacchan’s hard dick, Izuku didn’t hesitate to take the head into his mouth.

Bakugo’s breath stuttered and Izuku flicked his eyes upwards to catch how the Alpha let his eyes close. As he filled his mouth with more of Katsuki’s cock, Izuku brought his fingers up to the other man’s ass. Slowly, painfully, painfully slowly, he pressed the first finger into Kacchan’s entrance. The Alpha tensed beneath him causing Izuku to pull off his dick.

Izuku held his breath. Did that hurt? Would Kacchan stop this? Was he doing okay?

Then Katsuki Bakugo opened his eyes. With the Alpha’s pupils dilating and contracting beyond his control and the strong burst of burnt cinnamon heavy in the air, Izuku finally understood. It didn’t matter what happened. They both wanted to try this.

So what the fuck was he waiting for?

Instinct kicked in after that. Izuku leaned over Katsuki’s body to take his lips into another rough kiss. He pumped his finger in and out before adding another then another. This was nothing like their sparring matches; no coordination or reaction involved. Sensations came one after another in rapid succession with no time to actually respond.

Izuku bit Katsuki’s lip. Kacchan ripped his own shirt off of Izuku’s body. Izuku removed his fingers and covered his cock in lube. The Alpha dug his teeth into the Mark on Izuku’s shoulder, into his Claim. The Omega pushed into the other’s ass without restraint or hesitation.

“F—f—fuck!” Bakugo ground out through the clenched jaw that Izuku was currently kissing.

Already Izuku was moving, just stutters of his hips to rub his cock along the Alpha’s inner walls, but he kept the movements small to allow Kacchan time to adjust. But Katsuki was as impatient as ever.

In seconds he was grinding his hips upwards, pulling Izuku inward with the knee still on the Omega’s shoulder. Izuku moaned Kacchan’s name. He let his head fall forward as he began to move back and forth, nearly pulling his cock all the way out before thrusting back in to the hilt.

Slick had begun to pour out of his own hole. It slid down between his ass cheeks and filled the air with the scent of melted chocolate. This time it was Katsuki’s fingers digging into his back and Izuku was gone. He was high on the heat, on the scent, on the very fact that he had such raw power under his hands as he held onto Kacchan’s shoulders to pull him into each thrust.

But Izuku still had a little bit of his mind intact. Enough to move one hand to fist Katsuki’s cock. The Alpha growled as his back arched and his head dug into the pillow below him. Then there were teeth against Izuku’s skin, dragging against wherever Katsuki could reach, until he suddenly pressed his forehead into Izuku’s shoulder.

“De—Izuku.”

Izuku didn’t care that he finished first. He didn’t care that his body practically collapsed onto Katsuki, clearly overpowered by the strength of his orgasm. He was just glad that he felt Katsuki cum soon after in his weakly pumping hand.

To Izuku’s surprise, there were no anxious thoughts waiting for him on this side of sex. He pulled Katsuki’s leg off his shoulder, buried his head in the crook of Kacchan’s neck, and sighed with content. He expected Bakugo to say something, to tease him or comment on the fuck. But he was quiet too.

The only thing the Alpha did was pull at the comforter they’d tossed to the side hours early, covering both of their naked bodies. How they fell asleep like that, Izuku had no clue.

Chapter Text

Paperwork was a fucking waste of time. Katsuki typed as fast as the best of them, his fingers hitting the keys swiftly and with a bit too much force, and it still took him a good hour and half to report a boring ass patrol. Heroes shouldn’t have to waste their time on boring shit like this; he’d rather have a longer shift.

Katsuki’s gaze slowly shifted from the computer screen to his phone, still sitting dark on his desk. His eyes flicked back to his report but his jaw was clenched.

The hell was he upset about now? So what if Deku hadn’t returned his text this morning? Fucker probably hadn’t even changed out of his uniform from his own patrol yet. Deku always ran late after a patrol. Bakugo certainly wasn’t pissed that the nerd hadn’t been at his apartment when he returned from poker last night. After all, Katsuki had warned the Omega that he’d probably be gone until late. He hadn’t texted Deku to say he’d left early or that he waited up for him in case the other had chosen to take on another patrol.

Deku had probably just stayed the night at his own apartment. Nothing fucking weird about that.

What was weird was the fact that he hadn’t responded to Katsuki’s text, though. Deku always had his phone handy, often responding only minutes later.

Again, it was fucking fine. He’d text back soon. No way in hell was Katsuki gonna send a follow-up text and risk looking desperate. Especially since he didn’t care either way.

Katsuki growled to himself when he realized he’d typed the same sentence twice. He deleted the words one character at a time, slamming the delete button over and over again with his middle finger.

“Bro, don’t let Hawks catch you typing like that again! He was so mad when you broke the last two keyboards.”

Bakugo didn’t even bother looking up at Kirishima who took a seat in the desk opposite his own.

“Like I give a fuck. The Old Bird can spare the cash for a couple of new keyboards with all the villains we bring in.”

“Whatever you say, dude. What has you so agitated today? Get stood up at your date last night?”

Katsuki jerked his head upwards, his mouth pulled into a tight scowl. “The hell you talking about, Shitty Hair?”

Kirishima grinned, all sharp teeth and glitter in his red eyes. “Oh shit, was A right? It was the talk of poker night, ya know, after you practically ran out of there an hour in. I was sure you had another spar with Midoriya or somethin’ but I guess Mina wins the bet pool after all.”

“No,” the Alpha ground out through gritted teeth before looking back at his computer screen. “There was no fucking date. You idiots keep me out of your gossip.”

The Omega dragged his rolling desk chair around the edge of the desk and pulled it closer to Katsuki. Suddenly, he looked serious. Well, as serious as the puppy-dog of a man could look.

“Dude, you know you can tell me anything. I won’t even tell Mina if you don’t want me to. It’d just be between us, man-to-man.”

Katsuki rolled his eyes and kept his head facing forward. “Too bad there ain’t shit to share.”

“You sure? I mean, you’ve been like a whole other person lately. Not that that’s a bad thing! Actually, you’ve seemed pretty happy, bro. Happier? Less angry?”

“The fuck you trying to say?”

Kirishima grinned again. “I’m trying to say that you haven’t been like this for a while now. If you have someone special, you can trust me. And it might help to talk about the situation if they’re pissing you off.”

This time, Katsuki tilted his head back and clenched his eyes closed in frustration. Why the fuck was Shitty Hair always like this? How the hell could anyone be so persistent and annoying and fucking sincere?

“For the last time, no. I don’t have someone special.” Bakugo put in as much disgust and annoyance into the last word as he could manage.

And technically, he wasn’t lying. Because even if you could call his and Deku’s arrangement as “having someone,” it definitely didn’t mean that Deku was special. They weren’t dating. A “relationship” didn’t describe their situation at all.

They were fuck-buddies. Rivals-with-benefits who stayed the night together. And if they didn’t fuck one night or two, despite sharing a bed, it didn’t matter. Eventually, they’d call this arrangement off and Katsuki would be fine with that.

He meant that.

It would be fine.

“Whatever, Bakubro.”

Katsuki ignored the sad tone to Kirishima’s words. He didn’t bother watching him scoot his way back to his desk. Instead, he made sure to keep his eyes focused on his computer screen and away from his phone.

“What are you doing here anyway, Shitty Hair?” The Alpha asked flaty to further distract himself. “Thought you normally took the day after poker nights off.”

“I do, did you not get the email? Oh, I guess you wouldn’t. You never take days off until the higher-ups force ya. They sent out an email to everyone who took a day off this week asking us to pick up some of Midoriya’s patrols. Do you know how many the dude has on schedule? The man is nut—”

Katsuki was standing before Kirishima could finish his sentence. The Alpha glared at his best friend over the tops of their computer screens and left scorch-marks on the surface of his desk where his palms pressed into the wood.

“What the fuck did the nerd do?”

“Bro, chill!” Kirishima looked up with concerned eyes and his hands raised. “He’s fine now! He got pretty hurt on patrol yesterday, something like a broken leg and five broken ribs. But they sent him to that hospital over in Shibuya, you know, the one with that doc whose quirk fixes broken bones in a snap? Midoriya’ll probably be let out in a day or so, but you know policy.”

Bakugo pushed away from the desk, grabbing his phone with his still-hot hands. Company policy stated that any hero who earned themselves an overnight stay in a hospital was required to take a week off of patrols.

“Hey, you okay Bakugo? You gonna go see him?”

“Why the hell would I go see him?” Katsuki bit out as he made his way to the elevators. “I’m going home.”

“Oh, okay. Hope you make-up with your person soon!”

Katsuki purposefully ignored that last comment.

 


 

Bakugo made it all the way to the hospital lobby before he forced himself to stop. He turned at the last second to take a seat in one of the uncomfortable waiting chairs, his head bowed and cap pulled low to cover his eyes and face mask.

The hell was he doing here? Obviously that damn Deku was fine or else he would’ve heard an earful about it. Right?

Katsuki clicked his tongue as he dug his phone out of his pocket. He turned on the screen and it immediately opened to his and Deku’s messages after he put in his password. Still no response, but now the last message said “read.” He typed a new message without thinking.

 

text 1

 

He paused. Slowly his finger pressed into the back arrow until the words disappeared. Then he typed a completely different message.

 

text 2

 

The ball was in Deku’s court now. Katsuki had no idea how long he’d have to wait, but the message came in almost immediately.

 

text 3

 

Katsuki stared at the message, rereading the lie with increasing anger. Eventually, he couldn’t read the text again and turned the screen off. He stood, his hands clenched into fists, one still around his phone, which he stuffed into his pockets.

If Deku didn’t want him around, fine. Fucking fine.

The uncomfortable ache in his chest meant nothing because it was fine.

 


 

Izuku relaxed into the seat of the car he’d called to pick him up from the hospital with a sigh. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been this exhausted. Physically, he was fine now; the doctors had seen to that. Despite being carried into the hospital on a stretcher after falling unconscious once he was sure everyone was safe, Izuku now left with nothing but the mottled bruises coloring his ribs and left side like a preschooler’s painting. Sure, he was sore, but he’d dealt with far worse.

No, Izuku was exhausted for another reason entirely. Ever since he’d woken up, his emotions had been a mess. Anxiety, anger, hurt. The hurt was the worst of the bunch. He wasn’t even sure what he felt hurt by, only that the feeling filled his veins like molten lead.

Even deep in thought, Izuku caught the driver’s eyes staring at him through the rearview mirror’s reflection. He gave a smile at the recognition in the man’s eyes. The driver took it as an invitation to speak.

“Wait, aren’t you Pro-Hero Deku?”

“Yup!” Izuku answered, hoping he didn’t sound as tired as he felt. “That’s me.”

“Oh, wow! You’re like the number—” The Pro-Hero followed along with the carefree man’s happy banter with nods and responses in all the right places, but his mind was already ten steps ahead.

He flipped his phone between his crooked fingers. He’d already texted Ochako letting her know he’d gotten a ride home. She’d be mad about him going home alone when she read the message after her patrol. They’d argued about it last night, but Izuku didn’t need a babysitter. It was bad enough that she’d been at the hospital the whole night he’d been unconscious and late into the evening when he finally woke up.

At least they’d agreed he’d be fine on his own once he got released. He hoped Uraraka kept her word that she wouldn't come to check up on him every night...even if Izuku hadn’t kept his promise to wait for her to get off of patrol before he left the hospital. Besides Ochako, Tenya and Shouto had both stopped by to visit, but he hadn’t told anyone else about his injuries. Not even his mother.

Izuku worried his lip between his teeth at the thought of his mother. He’d tell her soon enough, but there was no point in worrying her for no reason. He was fine. And then there was Kacchan…

He didn’t know why he lied about going home for a visit. Honestly, there was no reason to do so. What would Kacchan care if he was in the hospital? He’d probably just scoff and say something about how Izuku would never surpass him if he kept ending up on a stretcher. Which was true. So then why did he lie?

The car arrived at his apartment and Izuku gave a final cheery farewell to the driver. Only when he’d entered his apartment did he let himself slump forward with a sigh.

Now that he was back home, he should text Kacchan. There was no point in putting it off. The Alpha had never responded to his text about visiting his mom. He hoped he wasn’t too angry about the last minute decision. Kacchan hated not knowing about things like that.

In seconds, Izuku had sent off the message stating he’d returned and that he would drop by Katsuki’s apartment later tonight. That way Izuku would have a few hours to get his story straight.

He had to tell Kacchan the truth. Better to deal with the fallout now rather than later. After all, it wasn’t like they could have sex when Izuku was covered in bruises. He liked pain, but not that much. But just because he knew he had to tell Kacchan the truth didn’t mean he knew how.

Izuku sighed again and took in his apartment. Still a mess, just as he’d left it. He started with the pile of mail left unopened on the coffee table.

Forty-five minutes in and Izuku still had barely made a dent in the cleaning. He’d barely collected another load of heavy laundry to carry down to the suddenly unreasonably far laundry room on the second floor when he heard the knock at his door.

Oh boy. Uraraka must’ve been more angry than her text response had made it seem. Izuku walked to the door, apologetic smile already in place. It quickly turned into a look of surprise, mouth open in a wide “o,” at the sight of the Alpha in the hallway.

“Kacchan? What are you doing here?”

Katsuki didn’t answer as he let himself in, his shoulder turning just enough to avoid hitting Izuku.

Izuku closed the door.

“I thought I said—”

“How was visiting Auntie?”

The Alpha’s voice was low, rougher than normal. The sound sent electricity through the air, but the words hit Izuku and only Izuku as if he was a lightning rod in a desert. And then Kacchan was close, too close after the days they’d spent apart. The Omega couldn’t help the pheromones he gave off, filling the air with bittersweet chocolate in response to the embers in Katsuki’s fire-red eyes.

“Good,” Izuku whispered without thought and without air.

Kacchan didn’t respond, only continued staring into his eyes.

Izuku hit the wall with a gasp. He hadn’t been aware that he’d been moving at all. The Pro-Hero went to move away, but Katsuki was still too close. The Alpha had him cornered and pressed the Omega flat against the wall with his own body. Izuku dug his upper teeth into his lower lip to silence the hiss of pain on his tongue thanks to the sudden pressure on his bruises. Then his lips were taken into a kiss. Only it was all wrong. Even for Kacchan, there was too much pressure and teeth and force.

It only took a push to get Katsuki not only off of him, but under him as they switched places. Izuku pressed Katsuki into the wall gasping for air. “Wait, Kacchan, I—”

“The fuck are you lying to me for, Deku?”

Everything stopped.

“Wha—”

Katsuki pushed Izuku away from him but remained in his space. “You think you can stand here, look me in the eye, and feed me bullshit? Who do you think you are?”

Guilt settled heavy in Izuku’s gut. He swallowed up the suddenly overwhelming sensation of betrayal clawing at his throat. “I didn’t—”

“You didn’t lie?” The Alpha pressed forward, his hand coming out to grab at Izuku’s injured side in a crushing grip.

The Omega hissed in pain, his eyes falling shut in a wince.

“Then why the fuck does this hurt?”

Izuku didn’t respond other than to open his eyes. Their stares met and Izuku couldn’t find the words that would blow out the fire in Katsuki’s eyes. But he had to try.

“I’m sorry, I should have told you.”

Katsuki released his grip and took a step back. “Damn straight you should have! Did you think I wouldn’t find out that you landed yourself back in a hospital bed? Do you think I don’t have a right to know that?”

At those words Izuku took his own step back, his eyes narrowed and his muscles tensed. “What are you talking about Kacchan?”

“What am I talking about?” The Alpha growled and the room became heavy with the scent of burning gasoline. “I’m talking about you,” Katsuki stepped forward and Deku stepped back. Red eyes glanced down at Izuku’s feet before snapping back up with even more anger in their gaze.

“I’m talking about you thinking you can keep shit from me. What else are you hiding from me, hah? What aren’t you going to tell me in the future?”

“I don’t have to tell you anything, Kacchan.”

“The hell you don’t.”

“I don’t!” Izuku yelled too loudly and had to avert his eyes. He snapped his mouth shut; his brain, however, couldn’t be louder. He took in a deep breath.

“I don’t have to tell you anything, Kacchan. I don’t owe you anything. We’re rivals and I like to think we’re even friends, even if you don’t. But it doesn’t matter if you’ve Claimed me, you don’t own me,” Katsuki opened his mouth and Izuku cut him off, “I know you don’t think that either, but you sure are acting like it. And I...

“I think we need to call off our deal for a little while.” Izuku still couldn’t look up but he continued to speak nonetheless. “The bruises have to heal anyway...and I think we could use a little space.”

The silence in Izuku’s small apartment made the room shrink. Kacchan felt too close and the hurt feeling from earlier had Izuku extra sensitive to the tension in the air.  

“Space,” was Katsuki’s eventual response.

Izuku drew in another breath, his eyes trained on the edge of his couch. “Space.”

Another pause.

Then,

“Fine.”

Katsuki’s footsteps were loud against the carpeted floor, the slam of the door even louder behind him. Only then could Izuku breath normally. He ran a shaking hand through the wild curls on the top of his head before settling his hand on the back of his neck.

This would blow over eventually. Izuku knew Kacchan and he was mad that he’d been lied to. That was Izuku’s fault, but that was all this was. Space would do them some good and then they could go back to their arrangements. Sparing and sex. That’s what they’d agreed to. That was all they ever wanted.

They were fine.

Izuku looked around his apartment again, his eyes falling on the load of laundry where he’d left it. He picked it up with a sigh and got back to work.

 


 

It took him nearly two days, but the apartment was finally clean. Izuku smiled down at the bag of goodies he’d picked up from the corner store; packaged cookies and chips that Kacchan never kept at his apartment. Izuku didn’t normally indulge in these foods either, but he definitely looked forward to the pint of ice cream he’d bought. He’d probably eat it as soon as he got home, even if it was close to midnight by now.

He was so focused on the food that he didn’t notice the person until he’d walked right into them.

“Oh! I’m sorry!”

Izuku looked down at the purse the woman he’d run into had dropped. He bent down to pick it up, his eyes about to flick upwards and mouth half open in another apology when he felt the needle stick into his neck.

His eyelids flickered, gaze already blurred in a shockingly instantaneous effect. All he could make out was brown hair and green eyes before he hit the concrete.

Chapter Text

Four nights out and Katsuki still had difficulty sleeping. Normally, strict routine and pushing himself to exhaustion did wonders for the Alpha, allowing him to push past even the most difficult days on the job. And when that hadn’t worked, there had always been sparring with Deku.

That last part was no longer an option.

Instead, he found himself awake at four in the morning gasping for air as crushing anxiety squeezed around his ankles, his wrists, his waist, his neck. The weight felt like literal bonds holding him down to the bed. So, of course, Katsuki forced himself to sit up.

The effort made him swear under his breath and he had to stop the urge to grip his throbbing head. His hands were soaked with his nitroglycerin-laced sweat, seconds away from catching fire, Katsuki’s will be damned. Only years and years of honing his quirk allowed the Alpha to keep himself from accidentally setting his bed alight.

Katsuki forced out a long shuddered breath. What the hell was this? Not being able to sleep and this were completely separate beasts. He couldn’t help but growl at himself, at this intangible sensation that brought him to his metaphorical knees and left him as weak as he’d ever been.

Worst of all, Bakugo couldn’t help but think that this had something to do with Deku. The nerd took up enough of his mind during the day; their last encounter replaying in Katuski’s head without warning or his permission. Every time he thought of the Omega’s words, he got angrier. After all, Deku had lied to him. Katsuki wasn’t acting like he owned Deku; was it so crazy to expect the asshole to be straight with him?

Then again, Deku wasn’t honest with anyone. His so-called friends lived in ignorance about most things without even knowing it. Sometimes for good reason, like One-for-All, and sometimes simply because that was Deku. Self-destructive and self-sacrificing to a fault. In the end, Deku was just selfish, acting like his actions were to keep others from worrying when he didn’t trust anyone else.

Katsuki knew the truth because he was the same way. At least he was fucking honest about it.

What Bakugo didn’t understand was why the ordeal bothered him so much. At the same time, this was how it’d always been with Deku. The nerd always seemed to push his buttons, rubbing him the wrong way without effort. None of that should’ve mattered though because Katsuki wasn’t a fucking kid anymore. He could keep himself in check.

If Deku wanted space, Katsuki would give him space.

Suddenly the anxiety lifted.

And everything went to hell.

It started with a scream in Katsuki’s head in a voice that wasn’t his own. The wordless sound felt like a pair of hands gripping at the sides of his head. Katsuki wanted nothing more to scream back.

But his own voice caught in his throat as another feeling ripped through him. Toxin tipped needles just beneath his skin threaded through Katsuki’s veins as fast and efficient as a master seamstress until suddenly the very stitches that kept his body together came untethered as if cut by invisible scissors.

Then...nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

Katsuki took in the surrounding air in big gasping breaths and he still felt lacking. He felt like something, some part of him, had gone missing. Something was wrong. Something was fucking wrong.

Again, Katsuki couldn’t help but think it had something to do with Deku.

Despite himself, Bakugo yanked his phone from his nightstand, pulling the charger straight from the wall with it. His fingers couldn’t type the password fast enough and it took too long to scroll to Deku’s contact. Against his ear the phone didn’t even ring.

“Hi! You’ve reached Izuku Midoriya, I can’t—”

The Alpha snarled at the pre-recorded message, already hanging up with a tap of his finger. His fingers flew across the keyboard as he typed out a message demanding that Izuku call him immediately. And then he waited.

And waited.

“Fuck!”

Katsuki stood from the bed, throwing his phone down onto the mattress as he did. He ran a still sweaty hand through sleep-tousled hair while he considered his options. Deku always had his fucking phone, always. Four am or not, he normally would’ve responded. The only times he had not responded to Katsuki had been on the anniversary of All Might’s death and when he’d been unconscious at the hospital. Fucking hell. Did the idiot get himself hurt again?

Then Bakugo paused. But that had been before Izuku had asked for space. Was it possible that the Omega wasn’t picking up because it was Katsuki who called? He paused at that before grabbing his phone again. Pride rumbled in his gut as he started with the lesser of two evils. It took five rings for Kirishima to pick up.

“Ba Bakugo? Why are you awake, man?”

“Call Deku.”

“Wha?”

“Who’s that Ei?” “It’s Bakugo.” “What? Does he know what time it is?”

“Oi, Shitty Hair! Did you fucking hear me? Call Deku, now.”

“Bakubro, it’s like four in the morning, he’s probably asleep.”

“Then wake him the fuck up. Call him and then call me back, got it?”

“But why

“GOT IT?”

“Okay.”

Katsuki hung up then. He began to pace back and forth, his heavy footsteps leaving no trace against the hardwood floors. His phone began to ring too soon.

“Anything?”

“No, voicemail. Is everything okay?”

Without responding, Katsuki hung up.

Fuck. So it wasn’t just him. It was possible that Shitty Hair was right, that Deku was simply asleep like any reasonable person this early in the morning. Yet, Katsuki knew that this wasn’t true. He knew despite being unable to explain how he could be so certain. The Alpha turned on his heel, stalking over to his dresser to pull on a long sleeved shirt over his tank top.

Leave it to fucking Deku to make Katsuki go check up on him in the middle of the night.

 


 

With trains on their limited schedules and so few cars available in the middle of the night, it took Katsuki a ridiculous amount of time to reach Deku’s home. By which he meant a whole fucking thirty minutes.

When he arrived at the nerd’s front door, however, someone was already there.

“What the fuck are you doing here, Round Face?”

The Beta turned to face him revealing a flushed face and unkempt hair. “Oh, Bakugo. I should’ve figured you were on your way here, too.”

“Hah? Why the hell do you say that?” As soon as he’d said the words, Katsuki put the pieces together in his head and growled. “Did fucking Shitty Hair call you?”

“Well, yeah. Kirishima called me asking if I’d heard from Izuku. Something about you calling him at four in the morning to get him to call Deku and how there was no answer.” Uraraka bit her lower lip. “Izuku always picks up his phone though. Especially if it’s from a Pro.”

Katsuki’s scowl twitched briefly into a frown. “And?”

“And what?”

“When did you last hear from the nerd?”

Uraraka’s eyes turned anxious. “Not since he was discharged from the hospital. He promised to take it easy and I promised not to bother him every day. I—I thought he was fine. He’s supposed to start up patrols again tomorrow, or I guess later today, he’s signed up for the morning shift.”

“Tch.” Katsuki clicked his tongue before approaching the door in five long strides. He pounded against the door with his fist. “OPEN UP, DEKU.”

“Quiet! People are sleeping! Besides, do you think I didn’t already try that? He’s not answering. But…” The Beta dug her hand into her pocket and pulled out a pink lanyard with a full key ring. “Good thing I’ve got a spare key.”

The Alpha growled. “If you had a fucking key, why are you just standing out here?”

“Hey! I just got here a couple of minutes before you.”

“You’re wasting time!”

“I didn’t want to barge in unannounced.”

Katsuki clenched his eyes closed to keep himself from screaming. How the hell did she not get it? Something was wrong. And while Bakugo was glad he didn’t have to break open the lock, he would have done it in a heartbeat. Thankfully, Round Face found the key quickly enough but she still opened the door at a glacial pace, barely sticking her head through a gap in the door to tentatively call out, “Deku? Are you here?”

Without waiting for a response, Katsuki pushed the door wide open. The apartment was pitch black. Uraraka flipped the switch and Bakugo was certain now that something was fucked up. The place was spotless. More than that, everything looked untouched.

“Wha—what?”

Apparently, the Alpha wasn’t the only one shocked to see a clean apartment. Katsuki let the Beta push forward first, watching her tear across the room obviously searching for something. She stopped after a minute, her body twisting to face him with a battle-hardened expression. “His phone and wallet are gone, but his backpack and pills are still here. Even if he was staying elsewhere, he would’ve taken those with him.”

Katsuki stiffened, a growl rumbling in his chest.

“We need to activate the tracker.”

Bakugo turned, already ready to leave when slender fingers wrapped around his wrist.

“How did you know?”

The taller Pro-Hero twisted his head to look over his shoulder at his co-worker. She returned the look with chocolate eyes filled with resolute conviction.

“How did you know Izuku was in trouble?”

Katsuki held the stare. He didn’t know what he was going to say until he said it. “Because I Claimed him and I felt something happen.”

The fingers around his wrist tightened even though Uravity’s expression never changed. “When?”

“Five months ago.”

At that, pain overcame Uraraka’s soft features. Her grip strength dissipated, her fingers falling away one at a time.

“Oh. I—We can go together. I drove here.”

At that, she breezed past him and Katsuki followed wordlessly, closing the door behind him. The autolock clicked into place.

 


 

Every Pro-Hero had a tracker put in when they joined an agency. It was mandated by the Pro-Hero Association, although every agency had its own policy regarding its activation. After all, knowing the exact location of a Pro-Hero, while great in times of dire circumstances, could spell disaster if that information fell into the wrong hands.

The Nest’s policy remained one of the most strict in the city. Each Pro chose two delegates, also Pro-Heroes, who both had to agree to activate the device prior to metaphorically flipping the switch.

And of course fucking Deku chose fucking Half-and-Half as his other proxy.

“Shouto? Hey are you there?” Katsuki sat quietly as Uraraka talked into the air using the hands-free calling of her car.

“Yes. What’s wrong? Something must be wrong for you to be calling so early.”

“I need you to come into the Nest immediately.”

“Who’s hurt?”

Uraraka bit her lower lip and Katsuki rolled his eyes.

“Stop asking stupid fucking questions and get your ass to the Nest now, Half-and-Half.”

“...Bakugo?”

Katsuki opened his mouth to give a snarky response but Round Face cut him off. “Yes, Bakugo’s with me, but, please Shouto, I need you to hurry alright?"

“I’ll be there shortly.”

The car beeped as the call ended and the pair fell into silence. Katsuki preferred it that way, but apparently the Beta couldn’t keep her mouth shut.

“Why didn’t he tell me?”

Bakugo could feel her eyes staring at the side of his head, but he kept his red eyes trained out the window. He didn’t respond.

“He told me he’d asked you, but you said no, didn’t you? Did he ask you again? Did something change? Is that why he has been happier these last few—”

“It doesn’t fucking mean anything.” Thankfully the brunette shut the hell up so Katsuki continued. “He did it to avoid Orders, and that’s that. He probably didn’t tell you because he knew you’d do this shit, hounding him with questions or whatever. We need to focus on finding him and that’s it.”

Again, the car fell quiet and Katsuki clenched his hands into fists against his thighs. His heart was pounding in his chest as he thought of Deku. Damnit. Why hadn’t he just told his friends? Why hadn’t he told them about everything? Sure, he would’ve fucking murdered the Omega if he’d told his friends that they were fucking, but at least then Katsuki wouldn’t be the one stuck biting his tongue, unable to explain all the possibilities running through his head.

The silence didn’t last long enough.

“It obviously meant something. At least to you.”

Katsuki’s head whipped to stare at the Beta whose eyes were now straight ahead, looking out at the slowly building traffic as people left for work.

“The hell are you trying to say, Round Face?”

“You felt something through the Claim, even though it’s one-sided.”

“So?”

“So, that’s not usual. I had an Aunt once with a one-sided Claim, the result of a stupid domineering Alpha. She could feel him all the time, but she said he didn’t ever feel anything himself. That guy was a jerk though. He didn’t actually love my Aunt.”

The Alpha clenched his fists harder, gritting his teeth so hard his jaw ached.

“And maybe that asshole just lied about not feeling anything.”

“Maybe,” Uraraka nodded her head. “Or maybe you care about what Izuku is feeling enough to notice.”

Like hell was Katsuki going to respond to that and finally the car ride remained quiet. They got to the Nest later than they could afford and still had to wait for Half-and-Half to arrive. Bakugo watched as the clock hit seven and then kept going. Finally, fucking finally, the other Alpha arrived.

“I’m sorry, I’d gone home to visit my mother in the hospital this weekend. What happened?”

Uraraka seemed to crack, a pressurized stream breaking through the dam she’d built up. “It’s Izuku, he’s—he’s missing.”

The other Alpha stiffened immediately. “For how long?”

“We’re not sure, but his house is clean and his phone and wallet are missing, but nothing else. And…” She trailed off, her eyes darting back to look at Katsuki.

“And I felt something happen. Through my Claim.”

Mismatched eyes locked onto Katsuki’s red ones, the barest hint of menthol cutting through the air. Bakugo growled, the sound low and challenging as he released his own pheromones. The only Beta stepped in between them, her own nutty scent clearing the air.

“Stop it! Now’s not the time! Please, Shouto, we need to activate Izuku’s tracker immediately.”

Todoroki nodded without breaking eye contact, only looking away when it was time to follow Uraraka. The trio made their way to the nearest control room, pulling up the correct protocol on the built in console. Katsuki turned away as they both typed in their respective code phrases. That’s how they saw it first.

“What?”

“Is this correct?”

Katsuki’s head snapped back. “What does it say?”

Uraraka lifted her head, her eyebrows furrowed. “It says he just walked into the building.”

 


 

Bakugo reached him first. “OI, DEKU!”

Sure enough, Izuku Midoriya stopped mid-step in the middle of the lobby, turning his head so Katsuki could see the man’s wide green-glass eyes. “Kacchan? What’s wrong?”

“What’s wrong? Where the fuck have you been!”

The Omega flinched and sent the passing Pro-Heroes who’d paused to watch a weak smile. “Um, can you stop yelling?”

Now Katsuki was close enough to reach out and grab Deku by the collar of his jacket, and he did just that. “Answer the fucking question. Where were you?”

“Bakugo, let him go.”

Katsuki turned to Todoroki, his upper lip curling to show off his sharp canines. “I’m not fucking hurting him.”

“Shouto?” Deku tilted his head to catch sight of Uraraka as well. “Ochako? What’s going on?”

“Deku, are you alright? Bakugo—you weren’t answering your phone so we stopped by your house this morning and we couldn’t find you.”

“Ah, my—my phone’s dead. It died on my early morning run. I—I couldn’t sleep so I figured I’d train before patrol.” The Omega turned his eyes back to Katsuki, still as anxious as they’d been when the Alpha had originally screamed his name. The other’s words came out in a whisper. “Put me down, Kacchan.”

The two held eye contact until finally Bakugo dropped him. As he did, however, he leaned into Izuku’s space. “Training Room One. Twenty minutes.”

Katsuki stuffed his hands into his pockets and began walking toward the nearest staircase. He could hear Deku speaking to his friends, but warning bells were still going off in his head. The emptiness he felt hadn’t gone away.

 


 

Izuku was already waiting for him when Katsuki arrived. He’d changed into his hero uniform, just as Bakugo had, but he still looked anxious.

“Did you want something, Kacchan?”

Katsuki continued to walk forward until he was only a few feet away. He stopped suddenly.

“I felt something.”

Izuku blinked, his face finally morphing into an emotion other than anxious. “Huh?”

“I felt something through the Claim.”

Finally, Katsuki saw the real Izuku. Emotions fluttered past his eyes too fast to be faked; shock, relief, desperation, before settling on anxious once again.

“Oh, I don’t know—”

“What the fuck is going on Deku?”

The Omega looked away, his eyes focused on the ground. Katsuki growled.

“Look at me when I talk to you!”

“Back off, Kacchan!”

Katsuki startled at the sudden outburst but he didn’t let up.

“Not until you tell me—”

“I don’t have to tell you anything, remember? I asked you for space.” At that, Katsuki finally paused. The Alpha stared at the Omega who returned the look with tear-filled eyes. “Now, back off and leave me alone, Kacchan.”

Izuku looked away before he began to walk toward the exit, giving Katsuki a wide breadth as he did.

“Your friends know about the Claim.”

That made the Omega pause, the number Two Pro-Hero’s hand resting on the handle of the door. He didn’t say anything, however, and a second later he was gone.

Katsuki stared at the exit before screaming in frustration. He cut through the air with one of his grenade-bound arms before forcing himself to walk out of the training room. He had a patrol to get to, after all.

He had no idea what would happen at noon.

Chapter Text

Izuku woke but didn’t dare open his eyes. He couldn’t remember falling asleep, but he hadn’t slept sitting straight up like he was currently since late night study sessions at UA. He most certainly never slept bound.

His hero training kicked in immediately. Eyes still closed, he moved his body limb by limb, muscle by muscle, no more than a centimeter at a time. He didn't hear anyone or feel a presence in the room, but he wanted to appear asleep for as long as possible.

He was bound, alright; metal rings digging into the bare skin of his wrists and ankles and chains so tight across his waist and neck that he couldn't take in a deep breath let alone twist in his seat. His arms, laid flat against cool steel, palms to the ceiling, felt strangely bare. Izuku twisted one and felt a prick of pain at the elbow. They probably had him connected to an IV.

Someone was holding him captive and pumping him full of unknown drugs. The thought made Izuku nauseous. He had to get out of here. The Pro figured the chair was bolted to the ground, but with One-For-All—

Izuku's eyes flew open.

He couldn't call on his quirk. He tried again, memories of Overhaul and the League scratching at his eyes, but still nothing. No familiar electricity or shocks through his veins. And just as he was about to freak out, he looked down and froze.

Were those...quirk nullifying cuffs?

Not the old ones that covered a villains whole hands or the kind found off the black market either. The cuffs around his wrists and ankles were indestructible, quirk-nullifying, and most importantly, distributed to Pro-Heroes. Only. Every hero received a set that only worked properly when used by the designated owner. How would a villain get—

“Mornin’, sleeping beauty!”

Quirk or not, Izuku looked up with his body tensed to fight. A woman, almost young enough to be a girl, sat on the lone metal table at the far side of the desolate concrete room. Izuku looked her over, taking in her baggy pink sweater, short black skirt, and her all too-forgettable features. Only, the sight made him remember something very important.

“You’re the one who drugged me.”

The woman, the one he’d run into on the street, grinned. She pushed herself off the table, landing lightly on her feet.

“Ooo, you do remember! Glad I went with the familiar face. Though,” she began to walk closer, a slight bounce to her step, “I hope you would’ve recognized me either way. We used to be so close.”

At the last word she draped her arms on either side of Izuku’s bound shoulders, her face eerily close to his. He stared into her green eyes and he couldn’t help but feel like she was familiar, despite knowing they’d never met before. One thing was for certain, she was dangerous. She leaned in even closer. Izuku wished he could back away.

“I’m so happy to meet again, Deku baby.”

Those words gripped at Izuku’s chest, too similar to something someone had said to him years and years ago.

“Himiko Toga?”

The stranger’s smile grew and she pushed away with such force that she rocked on her feet. She brought her hands up in front of her chest to make a heart with her fingers.

“You recognize me! It really is true love! I shouldn’t have doubted you.”

"How are you here? Weren't you locked up in Tartarus?"

"For a bit," the Alpha shrugged. "You Pro-Heroes put me away, but I guess there were some people's rights groups who didn't like the idea of locking up a 'child.' I was only 17 at the time. But don't you worry Deku baby, I went through all their rehabilitation programs, rejoined society, and now look! I'm totally new!" She chuckled as she twirled in a circle at her obvious joke.

“What do you want with me, Toga? Why did you kidnap me?”

Himiko tilted her head to the side, smile wide enough to show off her pointed canines. Izuku didn’t blink and he still didn’t see how she’d suddenly moved behind him to press the back of a sharp blade against the side of his throat. He kept his face flat as she leaned her head in close on his opposite shoulder.

“What do I want? Honey, if it was up to me we would’ve been having fun long ago. But Boss was pretty adamant, ‘no marks,’” Toga mocked before she whined, “how can I resist tasting the blood of the one I love?”

“What does your Boss want then?”

“You’ll seeeee. You really put in a dent in the plans, you know.” The villain’s free hand pulled at his collar and even though he couldn’t see it, he froze when he realized they’d discovered the Mark. An abrupt gush of Alphan pheromones, noxious copper that cut through the his chest, filled the air and then disappeared. “Couldn’t wait for me, Deku Baby?”

“Enough, Toga.”

Both pairs of green eyes shot upwards to see a small group of people walking toward them. Two large men, obviously Alpha with mutation-type quirks that made them look more beast than man, flanked a petite woman but Izuku could only focus on her.

Straight shoulder-length black hair, chocolate eyes, and a soft round face. The villain (she had to be, didn’t she?) smiled at Izuku and, in any other situation, Izuku’s first instinct would be to smile back. She seemed kind, friendly, reassuring.

“Hello, Pro-Hero Deku.”

Ice traveled through Izuku’s veins and he couldn’t hide his flinch. Despite her appearance, the sharpness of her eyes as she said those words displaced any doubts about her intentions. She was the boss; she had to be. She was the one he had to defeat to get out of here. His body still tensed, Izuku opened his mouth to respond.

Suddenly, he felt calm. His muscles relaxed and his mind stopped racing. He could feel his heartbeat slow. If he closed his eyes, he surely could sleep.

Wait, what had he been thinking? What was he going to say?

“I’m sorry for the delay,” the villain’s voice came out smooth and soothing. “Our intention was never to keep you for long. Unfortunately we hadn’t accounted for,” her eyes flicked to his shoulder, “all the variables like we’d thought. At least now we will have more data. Toga?”

The Alpha stepped forward, twirling on her heel to face Izuku with that same grin. “Blow me a kiss Deku, baby.”

Izuku felt the calmed confusion clear at the Order, but nothing else. No pull in his chest or twitch to his lips. He didn’t have to even think about fighting it with Kacchan’s Claim in place. Instead, he kept his eyes on the dark-haired woman, once again tensed. Was that sense of calm her quirk? The villain stared back in turn, her smile twitching at one edge ever so slightly.

“To be expected with a Claim. No response. Alright, Ito?”

One of the Alpha, the giant to the left with a wild mane of spikes, stepped forward. His hand came to his mouth and when he lowered it, he spoke. “Nod your head.”

Izuku gasped in surprise. He’d felt that; felt the pull of the Order at the muscles of his neck. Not strong enough that he couldn’t fight it, but he’d still felt it. But how? Orders weren’t supposed to—

“Hmm, still not enough.” The lead villain finally frowned.

She turned away and began to run a hand absentmindedly through her hair. The rest of the villains stood still, silent while Izuku was frantic inside his head. Why could he feel that Order? What was so different about it? He waited and waited for someone to say something, but everyone maintained their positions, waiting on their boss. Izuku couldn’t handle the silence any longer.

“How did you do that?” The boss paused, her fingers mid-way through her hair. Izuku continued. “What do you want with me? What’s your plan?”

She glared over her shoulder. “Quiet, I’m thinking.”

Izuku didn’t care. “It’s you, isn’t it? You’re the one who’s been behind the string of cases that leave people with no memories of the crime. You’ve been Ordering them, haven’t you?”

“Oh, you heroes have gotten that far have you?”

“How are you doing it? Is it his quirk?” Izuku looked at the man behind her, even though he doubted that was true. It was unlikely for him to have two such separate quirks as the ability to Order anyone and the obvious one that caused his ghastly appearance. He looked back at the boss instead. “Or maybe it’s yours?”

“I said to be quiet.”

“Make me. Or maybe, you can’t. Whatever you can do, it didn’t work on me. Whatever you had planned—”

“Bring him in.”

Behind him a door opened, but Izuku couldn’t turn his head far enough to see who’d entered so he kept his eyes focused on the villains in front of him.

“Whatever you plan on doing to me, it won’t matter. Eventually someone will come looking and then what will you—”

“Hey.”

Izuku’s neck nearly snapped at the speed with which he turned to the voice. “Hitos—”

A cloud fell over Izuku’s eyes as he felt the uncomfortable but familiar lull of mind-control. He stared ahead with a blank look, aware of his friend’s form standing in front of him, but unable to finish his response.

“Mark or not, quirks still work, it seems.” She paused, moving her jaw as if thinking or grinding her teeth. When she spoke again, her words held weight. “Make him look back this way.”

Shinso reacted instantly. “Turn to her.”

Izuku’s body did as it was told. He could already feel the vestiges stirring within him but they were of no help to Izuku now. With the quirk-nullifying cuffs still in place, there was no way for them to activate One-For-All for him and break him free from Shinso’s hold.

The villain smiled at Izuku. “I asked you nicely to be quiet, but now I had to bring out my trump card. Are you surprised to see your friend? We didn’t appreciate you sending a hero to spy on us. Thankfully, Mr. Inquisitor has been malleable enough.”

Izuku didn’t understand. His theory had been right; Shinso was an Alpha and yet the Order she gave worked so easily on him. He seemed completely unable to fight them or unaware that he even could.

“Since our first plan no longer seems feasible, we’ll have to take another route. Such a shame, really. You aren’t the perfect Poster Child after all. Inquisitor?” The Alpha turned to look at her. “Claim him.”

The Omega’s heart seized. No, no! Shinso couldn't Claim him! Claims only stuck if the two involved could connect somehow, on some level, but certainly Izuku would connect with his friend. Shinso turned and finally, finally Izuku could see some kind of recognition in his friend’s eyes. He could see pain so evident in the grimace on his face, surely he was aware and fighting the Order. And yet he stepped closer and closer and Izuku couldn’t even call out to him. He had no choice but to sit there and wait to have Kacchan’s Claim overwritten. Then the villains would have him. For what? He still had no clue.

Shinso stood close now, he leaned forward, his hand reaching up to pull on his collar.

“Sorry, Izuku.”

Izuku couldn’t even close his eyes but his anxiety was at its max.

“Stop.”

If he could, Izuku would let out a breath of relief. Shinso had frozen just inches away from the Mark on his neck.

“Did you really think we’d let your fellow Pro-Hero Claim you? And allow you to connect via the bond? Hardly.”

What was she talking about? He watched Shinso pull away.

“The last thing we’d need is for you to sway him between Orders.”

Sway him? What was she talking about? Did she mean via the bond? Was what Izuku had read online actually true? Did a Claim really connect an Alpha and Omega? Did that mean Izuku could contact Ka—

“You do it, Toga.”

“Got it boss!”

Just as he tried to connect with Kacchan, as Izuku screamed for the Alpha in his head hoping it somehow could reach him through the Claim, a sharp set of canines covered the Mark on his neck. Unlike with Kacchan, there was no dizzying pheromones in the air or calm in his brain. Izuku felt the villain’s canines pierce his skin. Then he felt the true pain.

He could feel every droplet of blood in his veins, taste is as it filled his throat and coated his tongue with thick metallic sludge. Giddy laughter bubbled in his chest but he felt so desperate, so much longing for something he couldn’t recognize. There was no thrum of One-For-All, no foreign quirk let alone his own. The world felt fake, unreal, and certainly not for him.

“Why can’t you just be normal?”

“Deku!”

“Baby.”

Cold settled just beneath his skin and Izuku knew the Claim had stuck. Shinso’s quirk had been broken; he could tell because he could move of his own volition once again. He slumped forward, his chin on his chest because he had no energy left. He didn’t even look up as the lead villain moved in closer, the clack of her shoes echoes of despair against concrete walls. He felt a hand in his hair and was surrounded by the calming scent of ocean waves and lavender.

“Let’s get started.”

 


 

Izuku burst into the bathroom and headed straight toward the sink. He gripped the porcelain edges with his fingers as he wretched into the basin. There was nothing for him to vomit, just spit hanging from his lips. He looked up to meet his own gaze in the mirror and the sight made him sick.

There was no sign of fatigue, no bags under his eyes. No scratches, no marks, save the one hidden by his usual means on his neck. He looked so fine, so normal. Izuku nearly gagged again.

His friends couldn’t tell. Shouto and Ochako stared at him with concerned eyes and furrowed brows.

“Are you alright?”

“Are you sure there isn’t anything you want to tell us?”

He’d thought they’d known something had happened to him, but after talking to Kacchan, Izuku realized they’d been asking about the Claim. They had no clue what the villains had done; the sadness in their eyes was of his doing. And Kacchan, oh god, Kacchan.

Izuku had been shocked to hear that he’d felt something through their bond after all. He’d known something was wrong. So, so very wrong. He’d told people about their bond. Kacchan would never had done that if he didn’t understand how terrible the situation must have been after whatever it was that he felt. Kacchan knew, but he also didn’t know. And the fact that he didn’t really know is what made this all okay.

“Act like everything’s normal, Deku baby. Lie to whoever asks, something believable too. Because if they seem to know something’s up, kill ‘em immediately. Okay?”

Toga’s smile infected his mind like her Claim still left a septic feeling in his blood. His friends didn’t know anything was wrong, though. They’d believed it. And Kacchan had dropped it, he would drop it. No one was the wiser. They were safe.

At least they were safe.

Izuku pushed himself away from the sink and turned away from the mirror. He couldn’t bear to look at his pathetic self in the mirror for a second longer.

He had to start his patrol.

And who knew when the other event would start.

 


 

Izuku had been on patrol for hours now. He walked the familiar streets of Shibuya more on alert than if he were on an active mission. The Pro-Hero made eye contact with every person he passed, his body tense and ready to run. He didn’t know when they would come or in what form they would appear, but he knew that it was only a matter of time. He had to be on patrol, the Order had been clear. But if he could avoid them—

“Start us up.”

Izuku didn’t even know who’d said it; Toga passed by in the skin of someone else and fit seamlessly in the crowd. The Omega never stood a chance.

He turned on leaden legs and walked back the way whence he came.

It took him minutes, but it felt like hours of pain as he fought against his muscles. Please, stop. Don’t do it. He didn’t have to do it!

But he did.

He walked past the Hachiko exit and waited at the light of Shibuya crossing with the rest of the pedestrians. While there weren’t as many people now as there would be in a few hours when the work day ended, the streets were still full of people out for lunch, tourists from all around the world, children still too young for school with doting parents.

His heart pounded against his chest as the light changed. Everyone pushed forward, eager to cross before the time expired. He walked straight ahead, step by step, until he stopped halfway across. Izuku could only take in a breath as he took the next step, this time with green lightning cackling along his leg.

The ground cracked beneath him and screams split the air.

Izuku had no choice.

Chapter Text

Katsuki knew something had happened before he’d received the call. While everyone being on their phones was hardly strange, a buzz arose in the streets of his patrols. People began to stop in the middle of the sidewalk to whisper in their companions’ ears, to gape at their screens. Ground Zero heard a woman gasp as he passed and he quickly walked toward a small group of teenagers holding their phones out for each other to see.

Over their shoulders, Bakugo saw it.

Live-streamed from someone else’s phone, he watched the chaos. Shibuya Crossing had cracked. An earthquake, probably, surely, had caused huge fissures to spread in all directions. A spider web of destruction that had tens if not hundreds of people trapped. Katsuki clicked his tongue to the roof of his mouth as he turned away and readied explosions in his palms to get him to epicenter quickly. What was taking headquarters so long to get help over there?

“Is that the Number Two Hero, Deku?”

Bakugo’s head snapped back to the group of teenagers. He couldn’t help but step in closer, pulled in by the phones in their hands.

Whoever was filming was doing a shitty job or was farther away than it originally seemed. The image shook worse by the second; the camera never held a shot long enough to see what was actually happening. A boom echoed through crappy phone speakers and finally, finally Katsuki saw what the teens had seen. His stomach dropped.

There was no mistaking that green jumpsuit. And even if he had, the burst of air that shattered the windows of the surrounding buildings looked too similar to something Deku had done back when they were still kids at UA.

Katsuki was in the air before the camera pulled away again.

Even propelling himself forward with explosions, Katsuki felt like he wouldn’t reach Shibuya fast enough. His heart pounded in his ears louder than his explosions. What the fuck was happening? Damn it, damn it! He’d known something was wrong. He knew it. And he’d still let Deku go.

A voice echoed in his head, but it wasn’t his own. Headquarters had finally gotten in touch.

“All available Pro-Heroes please report to Shibuya Crossing. Massive damage reported, unknown number of civilians hurt and in need of rescue. Mission is to evacuate and rescue civilians. Do not engage with target, repeat, do not engage with target.”

Target? They must’ve meant Deku. Part of Katsuki was relieved they didn’t call him a villain, but why the fuck were they told not to engage? Why was no one stopping him!

“I also wanted someone who wouldn’t be afraid to Order me to do something if push came to shove.”

Fuck.

By the time Katsuki arrived on the scene, there was hardly anything left. He propelled himself between skeletal skyscrapers above streets of shattered glass. Confusion and cries of help filled his ears, somehow still audible over sirens and ongoing destruction. But Ground Zero couldn’t look for people. Not yet. His eyes were glued to the sight in front of him because it didn’t make any sense.

Like the eye of a storm, Deku stood in the middle of hell completely untouched. With one arm up, propped up by his other like a gun ready to be shot, Izuku’s head twitched back and forth as if he was unsure where to look. Or where to aim. Katsuki wasn’t close enough to see the expression on his face, but he knew, he thought he’d understood, Deku. His body screamed anxiety, fear, pain. Yet that wasn’t the sight that confused him.

Between him and Izuku stood a wall of heros, most shoulder-to-shoulder, though some unevenly spaced. All as still as statues. Katsuki didn’t understand what he was seeing. What the hell were they doing? Why they fuck were they just standing there!

As he moved closer, Bakugo could pick out recognizable faces. Round Face, Half-and-Half (not even in his hero costume), Ashido, Jirou, Kaminari, too. He landed, his body leaned forward to run straight toward his fellow Pros, his friends, when a hand clamped down on his shoulder.

“Ground Zero, you mustn’t get closer!” Iida screamed over the chaos. “We have to evacuate the civilians!”

Katsuki growled at the Beta, shrugging off the grip. “Who the fuck do you think you’re talking to! You’re not my boss.” The Alpha moved forward, but Ingenium continued to block his path. “Back off, Glasses!”

“People need help!”

“What the fuck do you think I’m trying to do? Wouldn’t it be more helpful to stop him, idiot! Why is no one—”

“I’m trying to keep you from becoming one of them!” He yelled as he threw his arm out behind him to motion to the stock-still Pro-Heroes. For the briefest moment Iida’s hard expression morphed into something closer to pain as his gaze lingered on the figures closest to Deku. It occurred to Katsuki that Glasses and Round Face were mates. His brow furrowed again as he looked back to Katsuki.

“Listen to me! I don’t know what’s going on with—no one can stop him. They’ve all tried. We don’t know how he is doing it but—he tells them to freeze and they do. We can’t afford to lose anyone else. People need help!”

The Alpha opened his mouth in retort when the windows of one of the remaining buildings shattered in a storm of glass. More screams echoed from somewhere to their right and Katsuki was shocked to hear Mr. Goody Two-Shoes swear.

“You can’t stop him, Ground Zero! Help the citizens!” He was gone before he’d finished the command. Before Katsuki could tell him the truth.

Katsuki could stop Deku.

This was what the Claim was for.

Bakugo neared Deku and the epicenter of his destruction. He didn’t recognize the man in Deku’s form. Katsuki clenched his fists closed. What did they do to him? What could those fucking villains have threatened him with or done to make  him hurt innocent people? That empty feeling in his chest from earlier expanded as he took in a deep breath and dark thoughts twisted Katsuki’s gut into knots. Neither could stop him, though. Katsuki blasted himself upwards, screamed at the top of his lungs, “Deku!”

Izuku looked up. Eyes of glass shone with pain that Katsuki couldn’t connect to, something foreign but too real and scary. His—his— his Deku begged Katsuki wordlessly with those damn eyes. Don’t come closer, Kacchan. Please stop this. Help.

What else was he here to do?

“Oi, stop, Deku! Get down on the ground!

He sent out the Order; the words, the pheromones pouring out him stronger than ever and most certainly close enough to affect Deku, especially with the Claim.

But Katsuki only felt emptiness as he watched Izuku slowly shake his head. Tears dripped from Izuku’s eyes as he called out in return.

“Get away from here, Kacchan.”

The words hit Bakugo like scythe; his muscles practically tearing themselves to shreds as his body threw itself to one side without his permission. He screamed as his body hit crumbled and crushed concrete, his breath heavy as he rolled straight off a raised ridge. His hand barely caught the edge of the crevice before he fell into one of Deku’s pits. Katsuki pulled himself upwards, but stayed low to the ground. His mind reeled.

The hell was that! The fuck just happened! Was that a fucking Order? He was an Alpha; Deku was an Omega. Katsuki couldn’t be Ordered.

And why hadn’t Katsuki’s Order worked first?

Truth hit him as hard as the Order had. The only way Katsuki’s Order could fail, could feel as empty as it did, would be...if the Claim no longer existed. The emptiness in his chest that had lingered since that life-altering pain he’d felt that morning suddenly made too much sense.

Katsuki’s body began to shake. Those—those monsters, whoever had fucking done—done this to his Deku had fucked with his, their, Claim! But fucking how! Strangers couldn’t Claim one another, and even when people knew each other, not every Claim took. Katsuki had fucking done his research to insure his worked when Deku asked. How the hell would a villain overwrite the fucking Claim!

And then, what? Order him to do this?

How the fuck?

“Bakubro!”

Katsuki looked up and saw Kirishima running towards him, skin hardened but with deep scratches littering his chest and arms. The Omega held out his hand and the Alpha took it without hesitation. Once on his feet, Kirishima stared at him with anxious eyes.

“Are you nuts! Didn’t you hear what they said, you can’t get near Midoriya! How are you even still able to move?”

“Do you know how he’s Ordering people?”

Kirishima scrunched his face. “What? What do you mean Ordering people?”

“Isn’t that what he’s fucking doing?”

“Is it?”

Ground Zero growled. “Only the people closest to him have been affected, right? Only the people he’s spoken to?”

“Well, shit, yeah. But Midoriya’s an Omega, how—”

The ground began to shake and as if on cue, more screams rumbled up from the ground below them. Kirishima knelt down at the crack in the earth where Bakugo nearly fell moments earlier and screamed into the darkness. “Hold tight! We’re coming.”

Shitty Hair looked to him but Bakugo shook his head. “I gotta stop him.”

“Bakubro, you can’t—”

“I have to.”

Kirishima stared at him before grinning. “Got it! I’ll keep getting people to safety, unless you need back up?”

Katsuki shook his head, his eyes already scanning the area and sparks crackling in his palms. “Those people need you.”

“And Midoriya needs you, huh?”

That fucking idiot was lucky he was gone before Bakugo set off an explosion in his face. Besides, he had bigger issues to deal with.

Apparently, Deku’s Order still had some effect because anytime he tried to get closer to Izuku, his body pulled away. Katsuki growled under his breath and began to scan the area. How Deku could give Orders aside, if someone was Ordering him then they’d have to be fairly close. Orders didn’t work via headphones or even a mind link; they needed both pheromones and intention to translate. Of course, Orders could last for some time depending on the original strength, but any decent villain would remain close in case things started going wrong.

Katsuki couldn’t see anything. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, even though it was difficult to tell. The villain could be pretending to be an injured civilian hidden somewhere in the destruction. But if that were the case, then they risked getting evacuated.

He froze and stared at the wall of heroes. One in particular. While the rest of the heroes, in their costumes or plain clothes made some degree of sense, one familiar face simply did not.

Dressed in his hero outfit with his usual shock of purple hair, Shinso caught his eye. When had he returned from being undercover? And what the hell was an underground hero doing in the middle of a scene like this?

He felt himself walking toward a still-motionless Shinso.

On the other hand, the insomniac was Deku’s friend. Maybe he had heard what was going on after having just returned from his previous mission. Maybe he thought he could help Deku. Maybe he was just being a Pro-Hero.

And maybe he just saw the asshole twitch. If he were really Ordered to freeze like the rest of the Pro’s, why the fuck was he moving?

In a risky move, Katsuki sent an explosion careening toward the mind-controller. Bakugo couldn’t help but grin when the The Inquisitor jumped backwards out of the way. Jackpot.

Ground Zero didn’t hesitate. Three more explosions forced the other Pro to maneuver himself farther and farther away from Deku. One more had the man backed into an alley half-collapsed from the outside damage. Katsuki landed in front of the only entrance and snarled when Shinso smiled eerily at him.

“How did you figure it was me?”

Katsuki raised his palms in front of him. “Is someone controlling you too? Are you even him?”

Shinso’s stance changed, his weight shifting completely onto one side so his hip jutted out. “Yes, and no. In that order.” Shinso or, he guessed, not Shinso, giggled. Fucking giggled.

“Who the fuck are you, then?”

Fake Shinso pouted, which looked so wrong on his usually-impassive face. “Come on, Blasty. Deku baby recognized me pretty quick. I thought we were pretty close, too.”

A growl rumbled in Katsuki’s chest as the hair on the back of his neck raised. “Don’t call Deku that!”

That fucking smile got wider. “Ohhh, are you jealous? Wait! Is it you?” The fake’s voice took on a sharp edge. “Are you the one who put a wrench in the boss’ plan with that Claim?”

Pheromones filled the air and Katsuki was only half-surprised that they were his own. His blood boiled beneath his skin at the mention of his Claim, the one that had been erased. Shinso’s upper lip curled to reveal sharp canines but Katsuki couldn’t see anything but his own rage.

He barely dodged the blade that sailed past his ear. The movement was enough to jolt him from his anger. He returned the favor with an explosion. Fake Shinso easily dodged while throwing another weapon. Katsuki could see it this time. He saw the blade. He moved. Straight into the line of a blade hidden in the first’s shadow.

Another explosion saved him, knocking the blade off course. Suddenly the fake was behind him. Katsuki took the hit of the other’s elbow and used the opportunity to grab the stranger. He twisted them both, knocking the other off balance. But only for a second.

Fake Shinso moved like a dancer, lighter than air in the Alpha’s heavy body. In his body? It was more like this body was the Fake’s. An illusion but nothing more. Knives. Body stealing.

“You’re that fucking League girl, aren’t you!”

The villain growled and through whatever scent blockers she used Katsuki smelled a vaguely familiar scent of iron. “You don’t even remember my name?”

Katsuki grinned. “The fuck would I remember the name of an extra like you?”

Apparently that pissed her off. She was faster now, every hit followed by the edge of a blade. Even relying on his explosions to maintain distance between them, Katsuki struggled to keep up with her insane speed.

Blood girl, if he remembered how her quirk worked correctly, seemed to notice.

“What’s wrong Blasty? Can’t keep up?”

Bakugo shot a perfectly placed explosion that missed the villain by a foot.

“You’re giving us Alpha a bad name!”

The next blade hit his shoulder. Katsuki didn’t flinch. He felt her by his ear.

“Maybe that’s why my Claim stuck so easy, huh?”

Ground Zero let out a snarl unlike any other. He rounded on the villain, no precision or aim to be seen. Explosion after explosion, so hot that for once he could feel the afterburn. The noise was deafening but they had to hit, they had to hit.

But another boom shook the alley and it wasn’t from Katsuki’s explosions.

The Pro stopped firing, his breathing fast but weak. His arms ached, his shoulders practically obliterated by the blow-back of his own explosions.

Then the dust cleared.

Naked, save for the blood-tinged gray sludge that slid down her body, Himiko Toga stood with a grin on her face. Because in front of her stood Pro-Hero Deku, his arms outstretched as if to protect the villain.

“Awww, Deku baby. My hero~”

Katsuki stared into Izuku’s eyes, hyper-aware of the empty feeling still lingering in his chest. This time when he saw the hurt and desperation in Izuku’s eyes, he finally got it.

Claim or no Claim, it didn’t change how Katsuki felt about Izuku. He would always look into this man’s eyes and feel more connected to him than he had ever felt about anyone else in his life. More than his friends, than his lovers, than himself. He looked into Izuku’s eyes and understood, even when he couldn’t make sense of the Omega. Even now when Izuku raised a broken and scarred hand and sent Katuski flying backwards.

He hit the wall with a crack. The world twisted and turned like it was laughing at him. He most certainly heard laughter. Katsuki’s brain felt muddled but instinct screamed at him to stand. Get up. Get up! His feet responded first, slowly bending so that they held his body weight. Somehow, he managed to stand, blurry vision and pounding head be damned. And even though he couldn’t process what was going on, he heard the sing-song words echoing down the alley.

“Look at him stand! So cute! But Deku baby, this was only phase one of the plan. We gotta get back out there and get to work. Why don’t we just finish him, right? Kill him, baby.”

Katsuki forced his right arm up, his left hand on his shoulder to keep it steady on the blurry figures in front of him. He only had enough sweat for one more explosion and any second now Deku would come for him. He couldn’t fuck this up. Any second now, the Order would hit.

Any second.

Only, Orders from a Claim didn’t take a second.

That night in Katsuki’s bedroom had proven that pretty definitively.

His vision clearing slightly, Katsuki realized Deku’s body wasn’t moving. It seemed like Toga realized it too.

“Kill him, Izuku.”

Deku began to move, his body jerking like a child pulling on a puppet’s strings with too much force. But when he finally stepped forward, he spun on his heel. The villain gasped as Izuku gripped her body with arms crackling with green electricity that lit up both their faces. Finally, Katsuki could see and what he saw was certainty in Izuku’s eyes.

“Shoot!”

Katsuki opened his mouth to scream for Deku to move but the other Alpha began snarling and screaming as she twisted in the Omega’s arms. “Let go of me. Kill HIM! Release ME!”

Deku didn’t move except to grind his teeth.

Out of nowhere, lavender and sea salt filled the air, covering the entire alley in a blanket of warmth and comfort. The villain stopped struggling, half-limp in Deku’s arms. The urge to relax was so strong that Katsuki nearly dropped his arm. Only a familiar voice kept him from doing so.

“Kacchan! Please, do it now!”

Bakugo wasn’t quite sure what he was doing when he let off the largest explosion he could manage straight at Deku and the villain.

Chapter Text

“They’re pills.”

Izuku unclenched his right fist and pushed a small object across the metal table with his fingers. With his wrists tightly bound with Pro-Hero-grade quirk elimination cuffs that were chained to the table’s surface, this movement was as much as he could manage.

Katsuki watched the sequence of events unfold on his computer screen for the fifth time; the nod Old Man Tsukauchi gave Hawks, Hawks reaching across the table to grab the offered pill and holding the small rounded capsule up to the ungodly bright lights of the interrogation room making it clearly visible to the camera.

“That’s the only one I have left, though I think Toga might’ve had more on her. They gave me one of each, an Alpha, a Beta, and that’s the Omega.”

“What do you mean by that?”

Deku rolled his shoulders and bent his neck one way then the other. The other two men in the room tensed and Izuku froze. At the time of the interrogation, everyone had been afraid that Izuku was still under a set of Orders. Regardless of the fact that both he and Toga had been knocked unconscious, worse, severely injured by Katsuki’s explosions, both had been immediately bound and imprisoned following their treatment. Katsuki still hadn’t seen either of them since.

“Sorry,” Izuku muttered, his eyes glancing down to the table. “I—I’m not sure how the pills work, but from how they explained them, they’re some kind of concentrated pheromones? Break one open and it doesn’t matter what the user’s or target’s Secondary Gender is, the Alpha pill will allow you to use Orders regardless. The Beta pill creates an overwhelming calming presence, and the Omega pill is supposed to simulate Heat pheromones to either push a target to be protective towards the user or force them see their allies as competition. I was Ordered to only use the last one if we needed a quick escape, to create chaos.”

“Is that all they told you?”

Izuku began to nod before stopping suddenly. He looked up and shook his head.

“They didn’t tell me anything else about the pills, but I know that they’ve been planning this for a while. The other cases, the ones we’ve been investigating for Battle Fist’s special mission, those were just test runs for the pills. I was thinking it through when they had me—before I—” Izuku cut off and squeezed his eyes closed.

“It’s alright, Midoriya.” To his character, the detective didn’t hesitate to reach forward to touch Izuku’s hand reassuringly. “We understand the circumstances, can you please continue?”

Deku let out a shaky breath before he went on. “The previous cases were tests for the pills, mainly the Alpha but the others too. I think they were testing who they could be used on and the best way to use them. The Alpha pills, I was told, must be bitten into and the Omega pills work by crushing them against a scent gland so they taped it to my wrist. But the Beta could be broken open in any way.”

“Do you know how they’re made?” Hawks prompted.

“No.” Izuku shook his head.

“And the woman in charge?”

“I don’t know anything more than what I’ve told you. What about Shinso, you said you found him and he’s safe right?”

Hawks nodded with a frown. “We found him once you and Charge Bolt activated his tracker and he’s fine. But he was found seated at Tokyo Tower with very limited memory of his time with the villain. His sketch was identical to yours and he was able to describe some of her other associates, but he couldn’t name any of them, nor could he tell us how people were being Ordered.”

Izuku chewed on his lower lip. “It’s possible he was never told or—”

“Or Ordered not to remember.”

The Omega slumped a bit in his chair, his lowered shoulders revealing a hint of the bandages under his t-shirt, especially on his left side. The side where Katsuki’s Mark once was.

Katsuki paused the video and leaned forward to stare at the bar at the bottom. He moved the mouse to click on the tracker, fast-forwarding the next ten minutes. He’d seen the interview enough times to know that his questions would remain unanswered but he couldn’t help but to rewatch the same scenes again and again.

He stopped the video and resumed playback just in time.

“Then, Deku,” Hawks began, his voice as light and playful as ever but clearly calculated and careful with his following words. “Can you talk to us about the Claim?”

Ground Zero froze the video.

Every time he watched, Katsuki cursed the damn camera angle. For the majority of the video, Katsuki could only see Izuku’s profile, but on this frame and this frame alone, Katsuki could see his face. Just before Deku flinched, Katsuki could see pain-filled glass eyes and a furrowed brow. Bakugo leaned in even closer, as if that would give him more information. Because he had nothing but fucking questions.

How could that damn villain’s Claim override his? What the fuck could two vastly different people connect on? And why didn’t the damn nerd tell Hawks and the Detective the truth about them?

Katsuki pressed the spacebar and the video resumed.

“It—they were going to have Shinso do it first. But—but the villain said something about not wanting me to affect him through the Claim? Even the pills can’t override a Claim, but they were afraid I could affect their hold on him if he Marked me. So they had Toga do it so they could—so they could Order me to—”

“Midoriya, you don’t have to say anything more.”

Izuku shook his head hard.

“They picked me out especially, I know that much from the way Toga spoke. But whether they wanted a Pro or it was because I’m an Omega, I’m not quite sure. I think both. They never told me what Phase Two of the plan was, but I think they wanted it to be obvious that I was under their control and that I could put others under mine. I—I should’ve been able to do something! I should’ve fought it.”

“You did, according to Ground Zero.”

Bakugo paused the video again and sat back. He let his eyes fall closed, the lateness of the evening and the fact that he should probably be asleep weighing on his eyelids. Yet the last image of Izuku had been burned into his mind.

Five days had passed and Katsuki still hadn’t gotten his shit together and visited the nerd. Despite being kept in a jail cell the last few days, Katsuki was well aware that basically everyone had stopped by to visit him. The lock-up was more a precaution than anything else; a show for the public.

After Katsuki had set off the explosion that put both Deku and Toga out of commision, he’d fallen to his knees, too. He could only stare at Izuku’s limp and unconscious figure, call out to him with a cracked and crumbling voice, until Glasses found them. Help came fast, fast enough that with the right quirks, all of them were stabilized and healed to the point that only the scars likely covering Izuku’s back from taking the brunt of the burns remained.

That and the all-encompassing realization that Katsuki loved Deku.

Fuck, how the hell did that happen? When did it happen? That was the part that ate away at him bit by bit. Because no matter how hard he tried to pinpoint the moment things had gone to shit, he couldn’t figure it out. The fucking probably had something to do with it, maybe the Claim? But Katsuki was honest if nothing else, even with himself. On some base level, being in love with Izuku didn’t change anything about how he felt about Izuku.

Deku had always been there, like it or not. Katsuki had gone from pissed off to begrudging acceptance to eventually even seeing him as a worthy rival. They’d always been stuck together, known everything about each other. And when it came down to it, the only person Katsuki thought about more than himself was Deku.

Which left Katsuki with another grating question: now what?

Should Bakugo fucking tell that asshole? Should he let things continue as they are until that idiot admitted it first? Deku had to feel the same way, didn’t he? There had to be a reason why Katsuki had been the one he asked to Claim him. Right?

Fuck, but Deku was a dumbass. He’d probably never say shit, which meant Katsuki would have to say something first. The very idea made him want to vomit.

“Hey, Kacchan.”

Katsuki’s eyes flew open and he spun in his chair fast enough that he nearly hit Deku with his arm. Izuku barely had time to hop backward in surprise and had to steady himself on another desk.

“Sorry! I didn’t mean to surprise you!”

Bakugo growled. “What the fuck are you doing here so late nerd?”

“They just let me go.”

“And you came to fucking work?”

“Well, yeah. There’s so much for me to catch up on.”

“Dumbass, couldn’t that wait for morning?”

Izuku shrugged before turning in the direction of his desk. He stopped mid-step and turned back with a nervous look on his face. Katsuki kept his face flat, but his heartbeat quickened as he watched Izuku take in a breath before speaking.

“Thank you.”

The Alpha’s brow furrowed. “For what?”

“For stopping me.”

Bakugo turned away at that, his fingers tightly gripping the armrests of his office chair. What the hell was the nerd thanking him for? He hadn’t been able to do shit. That damn chick had gotten the best of him and then fucking Deku...if Izuku hadn’t fought off that Order, Katsuki didn’t know if he would’ve been able to stop him. Meanwhile, Deku had fought off the Order with a fucking Claim like it was nothing. And despite all the destruction he’d caused, somehow no one had died. Injuries, sure, but somehow Deku had kept a level enough head to avoid harming civilians with his blows. That was a hell of a lot more than Ground Zero had done and that truth sat toxic on his tongue.

“Don’t thank me.” The Alpha clicked the video on his screen closed and began to type as if busy with another case. “Shit’s over, I guess. If they let you go, I’m sure they finally figured out how to spin it?”

Without looking, Katsuki could feel Deku nod, but something felt off. He turned with a raised eyebrow. “Well?”

Izuku cleared his throat. “Um, yeah. They—they decided to tell the public the truth. That Toga Claimed me and Ordered me to do...all of that.”

It took all of Katsuki’s self-control to not explode his damn keyboard beneath his palms. As it was, the hair on the back of his neck stood on end and a full Alphan growl rumbled in his throat.

“What the fuck is that? They’re basically throwing you under the bus.”

“It’s the truth.”

“A half-truth at best, what the hell are they gonna say about the pills?”

“Nothing,” Izuku frowned. “Kacchan, they can’t mention them, you realize that right?”

“The hell not?”

“If people knew that there was a pill that could let you Order anyone, the villains would go nuts trying to get it and the general public would be suspicious and scared of everyone. That’s probably what the villain in charge of everything wanted in the first place.”

“So, what, you’ll just be a martyr?”

“I’m hardly innocent.”

Katsuki grit his teeth as he turned back to his computer without really seeing it. The regret in Deku’s voice made him want to scream, but he was hardly the one to sooth anyone else’s wounded ego and insecurity. Not when he already had his own to fucking deal with. Damn it, why did he never have the right words?

“Whatever Deku. If you’re so fucking fine with it, then accept their bullshit. When do you want me to Claim you again, then?”

The empty agency fell quiet and Katsuki felt the air disappear from his lungs. The muscles in his arms twitched but he didn’t dare turn around. Why the fuck wasn’t Deku responding?

“Kacchan,” the Omega began slowly, too damn slowly. “I, uh, I wasn’t planning on having you re-Claim me.”

Blood rushed through Katsuki’s veins straight to his brain in an overwhelmingly dizzying sensation. Right. Of course. Why—why did he think, why did he assume Izuku wanted him to— Katsuki couldn’t think, much less make sense of the words Deku continued to speak.

“They’ve got Toga in Tartarus now, for real this time. And I’ve been thinking about it a lot, but it makes the most sense, especially with the existence of the pills, to keep her Claim. The pills won’t work on me so long as I’m Claimed and they’d have to get her out of jail to have her Order me again, which I’m sure we’d find out about right away. It honestly works out best this way, doesn’t it? I know I can fight her Orders and I haven’t felt anything through the Claim.

“If—if this is about the, ah, other thing, we could go back to our previous arrangement. I, um, I think we had a good thing going and I’d like to continue with it if you do. The sex, if that wasn’t clear. Kacchan, please say something?”

Finally, Katsuki forced himself to turn around. He stared at Izuku’s flushed and anxious face, at the other’s tense shoulders and the way he gripped at his arm. Still, he didn’t say anything, couldn’t say anything until the words came out on their own.

“What the fuck are you muttering for? Like I give a shit what you do.” Deku began to relax so Katsuki turned away. “Think you were right before. We need space.”

Izuku took in an audible breath of air but he sounded breathless. “What, what do you mean?”

Katsuki shrugged. “The fucking was fun, but it’s almost time for that fucking Bird to retire. I ain’t got time to mess around. Text me if you wanna spar, but I’m done with that other shit.”

He logged out of his account and pushed himself away from his desk. Katsuki didn’t look at Izuku, just twisted his shoulder out of the way so they didn’t touch as he walked past. “Night, nerd.”

Deku didn’t respond and Katsuki didn’t wait for him to either.


 

Izuku fidgeted in his seat. It wasn’t that he was uncomfortable during his mandatory therapy session; he’d been coming three times a week for the last two and a half weeks. It seemed excessive, but he couldn’t deny that they were the reason he was able to start back on patrols so soon. No, Izuku couldn’t sit still because he had a million things on his mind.

“Izuku, wanna talk about it?”

Izuku looked up at the wide, infectious smile of his therapist, Ragdoll, actually Ms. Shiretoko since she’d retired. He couldn’t help but give a shy smile back.

“I’m just a bit nervous.”

“About starting patrols today?”

“Yeah,” he nodded and brought a hand up to rub at his neck where his Mark was covered by his hero costume. “I’m really glad to go back to work. Paperwork hardly feels heroic and,” he swallowed, “it would be really nice to feel normal again.”

Ms. Shiretoko nodded. “It most definitely will, but don’t forget that normal is subjective. Things might be different now than they were before, but that’s okay. We’ve talked a lot about what you might experience or ought to expect when you step back on the field and in the public eye again.”

“I know. It might not be the same but I’m still excited to help people again.”

“Of course! You’re a hero! It’s what we do!”

Izuku smiled for real this time but tensed when the Beta’s eyes flicked over to where he still gripped his neck. Her eyes were back to his face in a second, her smile as exuberant as ever.

“Would you like to talk about anything else, Izuku?”

She meant, of course, the Claim. Eight sessions and Izuku still hadn’t said anything about that part of his kidnapping in particular. It’d been mentioned in passing a couple of times, but he never said much about it. The most he’d talked about the Claim had been at his original interrogation and with Kacchan. Ragdoll sensed his hesitation.

“You don’t have to say anything now, but it can often help to put words to a trauma. It fosters understanding and recovery. I understand how hard that can be.”

Yes, yes she did. Izuku knew that. In a lot of ways, Ragdoll had been in his position too, but worse. She’d been held captive, had even lost her quirk at the hands of All-for-One. At their first session, she’d talked about that experience and how it led her to become a therapist who works with Pro-Heroes, even if she couldn’t continue being one herself.

“No offense to my amazing colleagues out there,” she had grinned with bright round eyes, “but no one knows how stubborn and bull-headed heroes can be besides another Pro!”

With her past, Izuku did feel comfortable with her, but comfort-level wasn’t the reason he hadn’t talked about the Claim.

He’d spent hours, days thinking about the Claim almost constantly. Why it happened to him, why it stuck, why he could eventually fight against it. But his thoughts always circled back to one thing.

Kacchan.

Now that he’d been Claimed by someone else, Izuku had come to realize that Kacchan’s Claim hadn’t felt like this Claim at all. At the back of Izuku’s mind, he could feel his current Claim like a box he could walk up to and open at will. He knew where it existed within himself at all times and because of that, he was able to ignore it. When Toga had Ordered him to kill Kacchan, he realized he could snap that box shut even if it took all his mental effort to keep it closed at the time. Now that he knew he could, the task hardly felt daunting.

None of that had been the case with Kacchan.

There was no box; no connection whatsoever. Besides Kacchan saying he’d felt the Claim being overridden, Izuku wasn’t sure that they could even communicate through the Claim like Toga now tried to do from time to time. (He easily shut those attempts out.)

Izuku thought about Kacchan’s Claim with a constantly growing sense of dread. Did—did Kacchan really care so little? Was he wrong to think that their history was enough to make a strong Claim? His Orders had always felt so unavoidable, but that was probably because there were few people, if any, who’s words meant more to Izuku. Izuku still idolized Kacchan but he had obviously made a huge mistake in choosing Kacchan to Claim him. He’d basically forced Kacchan to do something that he probably never wanted to do!

And, oh god, he still cringed at the thought of his rejection of continuing their arrangement as friends-with-benefits. For a while there, Izuku had thought that maybe Kacchan had been making more out of their relationship than Izuku was comfortable with. Now it was clear that it was Izuku who had misinterpreted their situation.

These were the things Izuku thought about constantly, but it wasn’t a conversation he felt at leisure to share, even with his own therapist. Instead, he shared what he figured she wanted to hear.

“When it happened, when Toga Claimed me, I felt like I’d failed, somehow. Like it was my fault that her Claim stuck. I didn’t want to have anything in common with a villain and it made me feel villainous, especially with—with what happened next.” He gripped at the Mark roughly.

“I’ve thought about it a lot since then, about what I heard and felt when she Marked me. I—I get it now. I’ve interacted with Toga a few times before it happened and she’d always been nicer to me. I thought it was because she has that weird crush on me, but it’s more than that. She saw me and instantly knew that we were the same. I grew up hearing that I could never be a hero because I didn’t have a quirk—yet, didn’t have a quirk yet.

“Toga had a quirk but...she felt like she couldn’t be herself either. She wanted nothing more than to be accepted for who she actually was and I—I always wanted that too. I wanted to just be me, even when no one else believed I could become that person. Eventually, someone else believed in my ability to become a hero too and I guess Toga found people who liked her for her as well. But—but that doesn’t mean I agree with her. She was willing to hurt people, kill them even to be happy and that’s not something I could ever agree with. I didn’t want her Claim.”

“It wasn’t your choice to accept it.”

“I understand that, but why?” Izuku finally moved his hand away from the Mark and clenched his hands against his thighs. “Why is it not? Why couldn’t I fight it? I can fight Orders, even hers with the Claim. Why wasn’t I strong enough to fight this?”

“A Claim isn’t about strength, Izuku. It’s not a reflection of you or your abilities. There are some components of our Secondary Gender, of life in general that we are not in control of and cannot change. Instead, it’s about understanding those factors that exist and taking appropriate actions and protections to ensure you can live your life your way.”

“Well, isn’t that what Toga wanted though? How can she live in a way that only causes hurt?”

“Unfortunately, life isn’t fair that way.”

Izuku chuckled a bit to himself. “Yeah, I’ve known that since I was four.”

Shiretoko’s smile faltered for a second, but only a second. “I’m sorry that you had to learn that so young. If you’re up for it, we should talk about that. Maybe even next time. For now, it’s almost time for your patrol shift. Is there anything you wanna discuss before we have to wrap things up?”

“Do you know if we’re going to keep meeting three times a week now that I’m starting work again?”

“I would like to,” she laughed at Izuku’s disappointed look. “Don’t look so sad to see me! But I get it, you wanna ‘catch up.’ I have my office here at the Nest for a reason. I’m flexible, so I’m more than happy to work around your patrols, even the doubles. So no excuses! Got it?”

“Got it.” Izuku smiled for real as he pushed himself to his feet and smoothed the spandex of his hero suit with his hands. “Thanks again.”

“See ya on Sunday, Izuku!”

“See ya!”

Izuku walked out of the office and stood in front of the elevator having pushed the down button. He shook out his arms and legs and hopped in place as the energy inside him began to reach a boil. This would be his first patrol in his new district (obviously it wasn’t the best idea that he patrolled the Shibuya area anymore). He hoped he could make a good impression.

That thought had him scrunching up his nose. His popularity ratings were understandably at an all-time low. The biannual hero rankings had just come out earlier this week. He’d fallen from Number Two to Twenty-Six, the largest fall in one ranking cycle in history.

He probably deserved to fall farther.

But it’d never been about the ranking to Izuku. All he cared about was helping people and being a Symbol of Peace. He definitely wasn’t the latter right this second, but he was determined to correct that. That was right, he was determined.

The elevator opened and Izuku walked in with his shoulders back and a smile plastered on his face. That smile faltered when he saw who else was on the elevator.

“Oh, hi Deku!” Uraraka smiled at him but he could see the slightest hint of strain in her cheeks.

“Hi Ochako.” Izuku smiled back just as forced. “How have you been?”

“Good! I’m good! You start patrols again today, don’t you?”

“Uh huh.”

The doors to the elevator finally closed and they began to descend at a glacial pace. Neither spoke right away, but when they did they both spoke at the same time.

“Did you—” “I’m sorry I—”

They stopped and Izuku quickly said, “You first.”

“Um, I was just going to ask if you just came from therapy?”

Izuku tensed a bit but nodded. “I did.”

“How’s it going?”

“Super.”

“That’s great to hear.”

“Uh-hm.”

The two best-friends fell silent again and Izuku couldn’t help but feel guilty. He hadn’t talked much to anyone since the incident, but especially Ochako and Shouto. They were still the only two that knew Kacchan had Claimed him prior to Toga and he didn’t know what to say to them about it. He knew they were hurt that he hadn’t told them himself, but he still didn’t want to talk about.

Especially considering his now non-existent relationship with Kacchan. They hadn’t spoken or even seen each other since that awkward night.

“Deku, you know you can talk to me about anything, don’t you?”

Izuku turned to the shorter girl and forced himself to smile even though it hurt. “I know Ochako, and I will. I promise. I—I just need some time?”

The Beta smiled too understanding to be real. “Take your time! I, we, just miss you.”

The elevator doors opened on the ground floor and people already were about to walk in. So Izuku simply nodded and pushed himself forward. He walked through the lobby without paying attention, still thinking about his own guilty feelings. He wasn’t prepared for the crowd of reporters waiting for him outside.

“Pro-Hero Deku, Pro-Hero Deku! How does it feel to be starting patrols again?”

Izuku startled at the sudden questions, but he smiled as wide as he could manage. “I’m very excited to be back in the field and I hope that I can help a lot of people today and every day to follow!”

“But Pro-Hero Deku, do you not think it’s too early to return?”

“Do you even deserve to continue being a Pro after what happened?”

“What about all the property damage you caused? And the injuries?”

“How do you feel about going from second in rankings to barely in the top thirty?”

“Are you aware that reports of attempted Claims have gone up following your forced Claim, do you intend to take responsibility for that?”

Izuku paled more and more at each question, his heart pounding in his chest. He wanted to respond, he really did, but his mouth had gone completely dry. Right, he hadn’t been out in public since he gave his official statement, a speech written for him by HR at the Nest. He’d been told to avoid social media and the internet in general, and now he finally understood exactly why.

“What the fuck did you just say, asshole?”

The reporters and Izuku all turned toward a very, very angry Ground Zero who seemed to be marching in their direction despite the protests of Red Riot behind him. Izuku's heart, already pounding his chest, picked up in speed. He hadn't seen Kacchan since that night, after all, and now the recently ranked number One hero was walking right for him.

“Listen here fuck-os. It wasn’t dumbass Deku’s fault that bitch Claimed him and it’s not his fault some other sick fucks are trying the same thing. He’s trying to get out there and stop ‘em and you’re here holding him up with asinine questions. You all talk about the shit that went wrong, but I haven’t seen shit about how Deku fought off MULTIPLE Orders while fucking Claimed. Even with his arms tied, he took down the villain. So why don’t you all shut the hell up and let him get back to work! If you still have shit to say, I’ll be happy to fucking put you in your goddamn place.”

Wisely, the reporters slowly began to disperse, although some of the braver among them sent a glare either Pro-Hero’s way. When they all were gone, Izuku looked to Katsuki with a hesitant smile.

“Thanks for that.”

Katsuki grunted and he turned to walk away. Izuku’s hand reached out as if to grab the sleeve of the other’s hero winter costume but he quickly forced it down with his other hand. Sure, Katsuki had stepped in to tell off those reporters, but Kacchan hated the media. This didn’t change anything. He probably still wanted nothing to do with him.

Izuku forced himself to turn away and walk off in the direction of his patrol. Today was a big day and he couldn’t afford to be distracted.

 


 

He barely arrived home in one piece. The second Izuku walked into his apartment and shut the door behind him, he fell against it with a whine. He was still in his hero outfit, having forgone changing entirely when he recognized his symptoms near the end of his patrol.

With wobbly fingers, he unzipped his spandex and took in a huge breath of relief when fresh air touched his hot skin. He peeled the rest of the outfit off bit by bit, slightly disgusted by how much he’d begun to sweat. Slowly he made his way to the shower, stepping onto the cool tile and turning the knob without so much as flinching under the sudden cold stream of water. Instead, he moaned and leaned into the line of ice.

Even on suppressants, Izuku experienced heats three to four times a year. This one felt like it had come on suddenly, early even, but, then again, he wasn’t one to keep track. Usually, he didn’t know it was that time of the year until pre-heat symptoms reared their ugly heads. Like today.

He reached one arm out to brace against the tile of the bathroom stall and closed his eyes, trying to focus on anything but the growing need in his gut. Great. Now he’d have to call off work. After just starting patrols again. If the press got ahold of that, they’d have an even bigger field day. But if that were the case, then maybe Kacchan would get involved again. Maybe he’d stand up for him and tell them off in his gruff voice. He’d scare them away and maybe they could finally talk again. Maybe Kacchan would look at Izuku like he used to with that knowing smirk and challenging eyes and maybe—

Izuku didn’t realize he’d grabbed his cock until his breath started coming out hot and heavy despite the cold shower. When he noticed, however, he dropped his grip and brought his hands up to cover his face. He screamed into his palms.

What was he doing? He couldn’t keep thinking of Kacchan that way! Not when he knew Katsuki no longer wanted him sexually. There was no point in pining over something he could no longer have. But it wasn't like Izuku could just forget all those nights they spent together or how hot and incredible it felt when they fucked. He'd probably never forget how well Kacchan split him apart with his cock and oh, what Izuku wouldn’t give to be knotted by the Alpha right now.

Izuku groaned and turned off the water with a harsh turn of the knob. He grabbed the towel hanging nearby and began to rub away the water, wincing at how much even that small amount of friction turned him on further. Outside the bathroom he stared at his empty apartment and sighed.

He walked over to his hero outfit and dug for his phone. Once he had it, he walked to his bed and sat on the edge. He stared at the screen, his fingers plugging in the password and opening windows without much thought. He shouldn’t do what he was thinking. Kacchan had said they were done with this but…

It was too easy to click on Kacchan’s contact and even though his heart beat so loudly in his ears that Izuku could barely hear the phone ringing on the other line, he kept it to his ear.

“Hey.”

“Kacchan—”

“You’ve reached Katuski Bakugo. Leave a message or don’t, I don’t care.”

The phone beeped and Izuku freaked out for a second.

“Hi Kacchan! Um, sorry to call you like this out of the blue, I just—I was—” Izuku stopped himself and took in a breath. “I wanted to apologize. For before. For lying to you about being in the hospital. I should have told you the truth. It wasn’t fair of me to lie to you, and then I—anyway, I wanted to apologize properly. I—I miss what it was like before. We should spar again soon. Call me back? Or text me. Whichever. Um, that’s it. Bye.”

Izuku hung up as quickly as possible and leaned back on the bed, suddenly exhausted. What on earth did he just do? Was he insane?

Maybe. Probably.

If he was smart, he’d just blame the pre-heat. But that was a worry for later, for after Kacchan heard that message. Oh no. Kacchan was going to hear that. At least he didn’t outright say, “please come fuck me at your earliest convenience.”

After the insane day he’d had and with his body still too hot for his liking, somehow Izuku drifted off. He didn’t wake up until someone was banging on his door.

“Open the fuck up, Deku! I know you’re in there!”

Chapter Text

What the fuck was Katsuki doing here? He pounded on the door only half in control of his own body.

“Open the fuck up, Deku! I know you’re in there!”

He didn’t actually. Katsuki had hardly finished his post-patrol workout when he noticed the message on his phone. He’d stared at the missed call notification for a full minute before he ignored the taunting voicemail icon and came straight here. To Izuku’s apartment.

Why the hell was he here?

On the one hand, Katsuki hoped Izuku didn’t respond. He hoped he'd knocked on the door of an empty apartment and that Deku never knew that Bakugo had stopped by. On the other hand, Katsuki needed the nerd to be home. The Alpha’s whole body vibrated with a sensation he couldn’t place. His nerves fired too quickly, his muscles twitched in anticipation; fight and flight instinct active without reason.

Only there was a reason. After nearly three weeks, three weeks, Izuku had called him. Fucker never called. It’d been clear to Katsuki that Deku had been avoiding him after their last meeting. He knew because he had done the same. Yet, here he was; unable to stop himself from pounding on the door once again.

This time he got a response.

“Just—Just a minute!”

Katsuki froze with his knuckles against reinforced wood. With his heightened senses, he heard heavy footsteps followed by a loud crash he probably could’ve heard from the elevator. Bakugo lowered his hand but kept it clenched into a fist.

Seriously, what was he doing here? He hadn’t even listened to the voicemail. He could still leave. Avoid seeing that damn freckled face for the second time that day, calm the heart slamming against his ribs. But he’d come this far. He could still hear Izuku doing who-knows-what on the other side of the door and could smell the faint scent of dark chocolate clinging to this spot in the hall. Katsuki took in a deep breath. Izuku's scent was sweeter than he’d remembered but just as addictive.

The door flew open and Katsuki opened his eyes.

Izuku looked better than he looked earlier that day. Less like a trapped animal in the middle of a circle of reporters and more like the man he’d somehow fallen in love with. His face looked skinnier, eyes darker around the edges, but his flushed cheeks made his freckles more pronounced. Lush rose lips fought emerald eyes for Katsuki’s attention but ultimately won his gaze when the barest hint of white teeth pulled at his lower lip.

“Kacchan?”

Spell broken, Katsuki pushed forward to step inside and tried to ignore the way his skin burned beneath his long-sleeved shirt where it touched Izuku’s bare arm. Inside the studio apartment, the Alpha scrunched up his nose. The place reeked of artificial flowers that could only come from a spray can. A quick glance around showed the place in a casual state of disarray, a normal amount of lived-in mess that was a better state than he knew Izuku usually kept the place. All that noise must have been the nerd trying to clean up or something.

“What are you doing here?”

Katsuki turned back around to look at Izuku standing in front of the now closed door. Even in a pair of basketball shorts and a ratty t-shirt, Izuku looked sinfully stunning. Nervous eyes and anxious fingers strumming against the opposite arm only made him look more enticing.

Bakugo wanted to kiss him. He wanted to turn him around and fuck him against the door. He wanted to tell Izuku that he was a dumbass for not letting him Claim him again because Izuku was meant to be his.

Instead, Katsuki crossed his arms and growled, “Well?”

Izuku blinked. “Well, what?”

“What did you have to say? You called me didn’t you?”

Green eyes widened and the flush in the Omega’s cheeks spread to his ears. “Did—didn’t you listen to the voicemail?”

“The fuck would I do that, hah? You haven’t said shit to me for three weeks and you think you could leave me a voicemail out of the blue? Bullshit. You tell me what you have to say to my face.”

Silence filled the apartment and again Katsuki was too-aware of his own body. He felt hot. Extremely hot. He was used to the burn of his heated palms, but now he felt as if someone had lit a match inside of him. He recognized this feeling; he’d felt it quite a few times with the very man standing in front of him. Only, it wasn’t the same. Because this wasn’t just lust licking at his throat, drying his mouth. It was worse than that. Katsuki was devoured by this damn thing he recognized as love, desire not only to fuck Izuku until the Omega said his name but to be the only person he ever called for again.

Katsuki stared at Izuku, hyperaware of how close he stood. They weren’t even five feet apart. If he reached out his arm, he could almost touch him, could almost bring him in and hold him close the way he’d longed to do for weeks. But he couldn’t. Because that’s not what Izuku wanted.

Then Izuku stepped forward.

One step.

Two.

He was so close; a hand’s length away at most. Katsuki’s nostrils flared instinctively, but he couldn’t smell Izuku’s scent amongst the fake flowers.

“I called to apologize.”

The words practically echoed in the air; they danced in circles in Katsuki's head at least.

"I was wrong before."

Yes, Izuku had been. He must want Katsuki more than for just sex. He must miss their Claim as much as he did.

"I shouldn't have lied."

Fuck. Izuku's eyes had always been honest, but staring into them now might just destroy Katsuki. After weeks of suffering from that empty ache of unrequited love, Izuku would say what he should've said then.

"I should have told you I was in the hospital."

Katsuki suddenly stiffened.

What?

Izuku shook his head, his eyes just as emotional as the moment prior but now obviously seeped in regret.

"I overreacted back then. You weren't trying to overstep, you were just concerned for my health and I lied to you. If I hadn't—if I didn't ask for space—"

Katsuki's shoulders sagged knowing what Deku meant. If that night had gone differently, maybe the rest of the bullshit with that bitch with the pills wouldn't have happened either.

"Yeah, you shouldn't have lied," Izuku stiffened and turned away but Katsuki continued. "And I shouldn't have acted like an asshole. We both fucked up, but it's the past."

The Alpha paused to make sure the Omega was looking at him before he spoke again. "You couldn't control what happened after that. There's no point in thinking of what-ifs. You did the best you could in a shit situation."

The heroes held each other's stare until Izuku relaxed too. His smile confirmed that Katsuki had been wrong to come after all and he shook the disappointment off with a roll of his shoulders.

“Since you’ve started up patrols again, we should pick up our spar sessions. Unless you’re scared?”

“Never.”

Katsuki’s sharp smile in return wasn’t fake but he didn’t plan on sticking around. He stepped ahead, eyes forward but lowered and hand raised in a half-wave as he headed toward the door. Izuku caught his wrist as he reached for the doorknob.

Red met green and it was hard to deny that Katsuki wanted what he saw in those eyes.

“You don’t have to go.”

The words were hardly uttered, a plea hidden in the whisper of a breath. But Katsuki got the message loud and clear.

Nothing had changed. Izuku only offered sex. His calloused and scarred hand clasped around Katsuki’s wrist only promised tonight and any other night that was just another fuck. And damn was Katsuki fucked. Because Katsuki Bakugo didn’t waste his time on relationships that weren’t going anywhere. At least that’s what he told himself.

But he couldn’t say no now and perhaps he never could. Not to Deku.

Not again.

Katsuki turned his hand against the hold on his wrist to grab Izuku forearm. With a hard pull, the other fell forward, his eyes half-lidded already prepared for the kiss that followed. Their lips moved on muscle memory alone, heightened by the sensation that only comes with time apart. Because Katsuki had forgotten this, even if his body didn’t. He’d forgotten the second-hand sweetness of Izuku’s tongue, the smoothness of lips that pressed as rough against him as he pressed back. He forgot about strong hands on his arms and soft hips in his hands. He forgot about the scent of ash in the air and—

The Alpha growled as he pulled away just far enough to show teeth. “Why can’t I smell you?”

Izuku didn’t pull back, meaning Katsuki could feel the heat of his cheeks. Crooked fingers gripped his wrist again. They lifted his arm up as the Omega tilted his head to the left. As soon as Izuku rubbed the scent gland of Katsuki’s wrist against his own on his neck, a wave of scent hit Katsuki. The scent of Omega in heat.

If Izuku normally smelled sweet in his earthy and grounded way, Izuku in heat was cotton candy dipped in fudge. His scent hung in the air thick as swamp water and sticky as sap. It poured into Katsuki through every bit of exposed skin and the Alpha took in as much as he could with deep breaths through his mouth. He could taste the air and Katsuki wanted more. So much more.

Pupils dilated and canines sharp against his gums, he rumbled with Alphan vibrato. He’d pulled Izuku in closer at some point, when he wasn’t sure because only seconds had passed since the scent’s release, and the Omega practically moaned at the second-hand sensation of Katsuki's growl. Katsuki leaned forward, his lips pressed against the other’s ear, teeth practically begging to nip at the exposed skin.

“Were you not going to tell me you’re in heat?”

This time Katsuki felt how Izuku shivered against his skin, a ripple of anticipation that had the hair at the back of his neck standing on end.

“I didn’t want that to be the reason you stayed.”

The husky rasp of Izuku's voice against Katsuki’s neck sent his body alight with miniature sparks not unlike the ones he made in his palm. In one swift movement, Katsuki had their bodies flipped in position, moving Izuku closer to the door and slammed him against it. Bakugo growled in approval at Izuku’s whine as he was pressed into the wood. Katsuki couldn’t hold back the urge to dig his teeth into the supple skin of Izuku’s exposed neck, though he was careful to keep his bites as nibbles, as much as he wanted to dig his canines in until he drew fresh blood. Izuku, on the other hand, didn’t hold back as his nails dug sharply into his biceps, sure to leave marks even through his shirt. The rough action was returned by Katsuki in kind with a thigh pressed against the hard heat of Izuku’s cock perfectly outlined in his baggy shorts.

“Kacchan!”

He pressed two fingers between Izuku’s supple lips to press down on the Omega’s tongue making the man gag just slightly. As much as Katsuki loved hearing his name in that debauched voice, he could feel Izuku’s mounting impatience. And if Izuku could make him wait three weeks for a lousy voicemail, the nerd could wait five minutes for a dick up his ass.

Deku didn’t seem too keen about that. The Omega rutted against Katsuki’s knee with increasing pressure and speed. Katsuki pressed his teeth rougher against scarred skin, making his way down the unclaimed shoulder on Izuku’s right side. He only paused to take in a sharp inhale when Izuku sucked on his fingers that were still wrapped in the wet heat of his mouth. Bakugo pulled them out with a pop before leaning back far enough to press his forearm against Deku’s chest while keeping their lower halves intertwined.

“Beg for it.”

Izuku stared at him as if he didn’t, couldn’t understand him. Eventually he got the message because he whimpered a quiet “fuck me Kacchan” that sent a jolt straight to Katsuki’s dick. That was all he needed. With a fistful of shirt in his grip, Katsuki pulled Izuku backwards, their lips locked once more as he moved them both somewhere more comfortable.

They were in a studio apartment and they didn’t even make it to the bed.

Instead, Katsuki spotted the couch. He broke off the kiss and pulled Izuku forward hard enough to make the Pro lose balance. One step to the side and Izuku had no choice but to catch himself with his hands on the arm of the couch. The position had the Omega perfectly arched, his ass out in the air. Katsuki didn’t even think as he slapped it with a resounding smack followed by a yelp.

“Kacchan!”

Again, Katsuki’s throat vibrated in approval, the sound practically a purr. He moved in closer, situating himself behind the Omega. His fingers slid up his lover’s bare back, his hand pushing up the soft cloth of Izuku’s worn t-shirt. He could feel new scars still soft against his slightly sweaty palms and the thought occurred to Katsuki that he may be the cause of these particular marks.

The Alpha slapped Izuku’s ass again. This time Izuku moaned. Katsuki pressed down on Izuku’s back to get a better arch before pulling down his shorts and boxers in one smooth motion. Already, slick had collected, slowly overflowing from Izuku’s heat to run down his exposed thighs. Katsuki rubbed his free hand up one of the sticky tracks, starting from Izuku’s knee all the way up until he could press a thumb against Izuku’s asshole.

Rather than press inward, Katsuki wedged it against the curve of Izuku’s ass. In seconds, his other hand slid down to the other cheek and together both hands pushed Izuku’s ass open.

“Ka—ahh!” Izuku cut off mid-question as Katsuki pressed his tongue against Izuku’s dripping asshole. The Alpha’s mouth quirked up at the edges as he continued to lap at the intoxicating slick that gushed from the Omega trapped by Katsuki’s firm grip on his ass cheeks.

At first Deku seemed to struggle. He squirmed and gave off sounds that could hardly count as words. But as Katsuki pressed his tongue inside Izuku’s stifling heat, the Omega keened. He pressed back against Katsuki’s tongue, his body otherwise puddy beneath his ministrations. If Izuku smelled sweet then his slick was an injection of sugar in the absolute best way. Katsuki had never tasted anything quite like it and he might develop a sweet-tooth even if no actual desert could compare.

He could continue eating Izuku out forever but movement caught his attention. Annoyed, Katsuki pulled back to see that the Omega had begun stroking his cock between panting breaths. He had to put a stop to that.

Deku whined when the Alpha caught his wrist and forced his hand back to grip at the couch.

“Did I say you could touch yourself?”

The look Izuku gave him over his shoulder, eyes alive with frustrated fire made Katsuki’s dick throb.

“Then let me touch you.”

Well fuck. Who was Katsuki to deny him?

As difficult as it was to push away, Katsuki did. Izuku’s shirt fell back down to reach his bare hips as he turned himself around. Hands still gripping the arm of the couch now behind him, he lowered himself to his knees to kneel in front of Katsuki as if in prayer. But instead his hands clasped the zipper of Katsuki’s jeans quickly followed by the undoing of his top button. Practiced hands pulled down the denim and there was no hesitation in the mouth that took in the head of his cock immediately after.

Izuku’s tongue was as skillful as ever, pulling sounds from Katsuki’s throat that he would never allow anyone else. The Alpha put his hands where they belonged in the Omega’s hair to move his head up and down on his cock, though it was obvious that Izuku was the one in control at the moment.

Fuck, Deku had always been good at giving head, but this felt different. The heat of his mouth competing with the surrounding heat of the pheromones still in the air was unreal. The scent sat on Katsuki’s shoulders, heavy and comforting, but also acted like a flame placed beneath his feet. He felt something bubbling up inside of him, recognizable but foreign in this context.

Katsuki had never gone into a rut when with someone else, most certainly never with an Omega in heat. The suppressants he used kept most ruts at bay, anyway, but he shouldn’t have been surprised that the fake hormones pumped into him by the patches on his arms were eventually overpowered by the pheromones heavy in the air. Surely Izuku noticed. because Katsuki’s scent had taken on a sweetness of its own: caramelized glycerin smoked to perfection from Izuku’s heat. His red eyes watched Izuku’s every movement, memorized the blissed out look on his face as he took the rest of Katsuki’s length into his mouth and down his throat.

Shit, it felt so good. Too good. The saliva dripping from the edges of Izuku’s mouth made the knot at the base of Katsuki’s cock begin to swell.

“Deku,” he ground out in warning through clenched teeth. He was getting too close, his knot pressing against Izuku’s swollen lips, catching a bit with every other bob of the Omega’s head.

But Deku didn’t stop. Green eyes looked up suddenly wide enough to show off blown pupils and thin irises that burned with an unsaid challenge of, “do it.”

Katsuki couldn’t stop himself. His knot fully formed, he jerked his hips forward, hand tangled in green curls to keep Izuku’s head in place. Izuku gagged as Katsuki felt the head of his cock dip down his throat once more, this time with his knot caught just behind the Omega’s teeth. That was enough to send the Alpha over the edge. He came with a moan down Izuku’s throat, his knot still locked in the other’s mouth, keeping all of the cum inside. And Deku took it. Katsuki watched his throat spasm as he swallowed as best he could. There was no way the nerd could breathe properly, but his face looked more orgasmic than panicked. Red eyes flicked to the ground and he nearly purred at the realization that Izuku had just cum too.

They stood locked cock to mouth for at least a few minutes. Whenever he could, Katsuki pulled his dick back, hoping that it allowed Deku to breathe a little easier. The issue was, despite his dick having gone soft post-orgasm, the sight of Izuku on his knees taking his knot like a practiced slut made him slowly get hard again.

When the knot had finally deflated, Katsuki was already half-erect. He pulled out of Izuku’s mouth and heard the cackle of electricity through the pheromone filled room. There was no time to react as Izuku stood with his hands gripping Katsuki’s thighs, lifting the Alpha into the air as he got to his feet. The unexpectedness of the maneuver meant he couldn’t let out a protest before he was tossed the five feet from the couch to the bed. He hit the mattress with a groan, echoing that of the springs beneath him.

He went to sit up only to feel a hand on his chest. Skin still glowing with the shockless green electricity of One-for-All, Izuku pushed him down. Deku had moved so he sat above him, Pro-Hero trained thighs on either side of his hips, shorts long gone. The same hand against his chest moved up toward Katsuki’s neck and the Alpha growled in warning, his sharp canines shining in the lust-filled green eyes of the Omega above him. Izuku didn’t grip his throat as Katsuki instinctually thought, however. Instead, the fingers gripped at the rounded collar of his shirt and tore it down with a long rip. The shirt had been expensive but the look of pure reverence on Deku’s dumb face made the sacrifice worth it.

At this point, Katsuki’s cock was completely hard again. It lay against the crack of Izuku’s ass and Bakugo could feel the slick gushing from the Omega. The Alpha went to grip the man’s hips only for his arms to be caught in Izuku’s scarred hands. Katsuki glared, a rumble forming again in his chest but Izuku wasn’t looking at his face.

The Omega was studying his chest, first his pecs then lower to his abs. He whimpered, his lower lip worried between his top teeth. His hips had begun to move, rutting back against Katsuki’s dick in a sinful manner. When Izuku dropped his grip on Katsuki’s arms, he didn’t move them again. He watched every movement the Omega made, every grind and every feather light touch with super-strength filled fingers.

There was no warning when Izuku finally lifted himself up and seated himself back down to perfectly impale himself on Katsuki’s cock.

They both groaned.

God, Izuku was in heaven. Or hell. He couldn’t tell. He’d had a lot of sex. So much sex. But never during his heat. He was never with someone long enough to cultivate the kind of trust he’d want before sharing his heat with someone, especially if he were to share it with an Alpha. Because the things Izuku wanted right now were not the kind of things he could ask of just anyone.

Izuku wanted to be wrecked. He wanted to be split open on a hard cock until he could no longer move. He wanted to be filled until he overflowed with cum, until he felt it still inside him the next morning. And he wanted it to hurt. Fuck, he wanted it to hurt.

But with Kacchan, he could get that. He knew how the Alpha already treated him so, so right when they’d fucked before. Maybe their Claim had something to do with that, but it was a dick he was willing to chase, Claim or no. When he closed his eyes alone at night he could feel Kacchan’s cock thrust inside him, feel him inside of him as if his body had been molded to fit the Alpha’s dick. Izuku wanted that sensation again.

So he took it.

With Kacchan deep inside him, Izuku moaned loud enough to make the neighbors complain. He shook from the feeling of being stretched, but didn’t allow himself time to adjust. In seconds, he lifted himself up to drop down on that divine dick beneath him again. His eyes fluttered closed as he gave out a breathy whine. He repeated the action. Again, and again. The sound of his own slick squishing between his ass and Kacchan’s groin would normally embarrass him. Now it just made his cock throb.

It was so good. So good. But he wanted more. Even more.

The Omega yelped at the sensation of hot sparks on his ass. His eyes flew open, instantly turned down to look at the smirking face of his childhood friend.

“Since quirks are fair game?”

Oh yes, please.

Izuku didn’t think he said that aloud but Kacchan’s smile turned predatory. This time, Izuku felt the heat of a perfectly controlled explosion at the base of his back and he screamed out his rival’s name.

“You like that don’t you, slut?”

The Omega purred as he leaned forward onto Katsuki’s chest to get a better angle to thrust back onto the dick inside of him.

“You like the pain, don’tcha? You like taking my dick like a good whore. Come on, say it Deku. Fucking say you want it. Say you were made to have my cock in your ass.”

“I want it Kacchan.”

“What do you want?”

“I want your knot. I want you to fuck into me so hard I break.” Oh shit what was he saying. “I want you to fill me up with your cum. Breed me, Alpha.”

His own words were too much. His eyes burned hot, hotter than the hand that slapped his ass as he spoke, making tears overflow from his long lashes as he came across Katsuki’s chest. Kacchan snarled beneath his shaking fingers and the second One-for-All fell inactive, he felt himself get flipped.

The Alpha loomed above him now; Kacchan’s perfect shoulders and hard pecs casting shadows on his own body. Izuku had to bite his lip to hold back the new whimper in his throat as Katsuki licked the tears on his cheek with a heady tongue. For a brief second, Izuku could feel those Alpha canines brush his supple skin and he didn’t even mean to crook his neck to the side the way he did. Luckily Kacchan didn’t notice, instead taking his lips with his own so they could share the most aggressive kiss they’d had all night.

Rarely did they fuck this way: facing each other, lips locked as Katsuki thrusted inside him with numbing force. Izuku preferred his dick from behind, but not tonight. Tonight, Kacchan hit him in all the right ways. His cock pressed against his prostate with each push. His fingers dug into his shoulders leaving new marks in the form of crescents on both sides. He could feel the heat of his slick sticky between them, covering both their groins even though his own cum had long dried. And the sweet air kept them going, pheromones urging them to fuck and nothing else.

They couldn’t last forever. Izuku knew that, even though he wanted it to never stop. He could feel another orgasm coming, feel his mind slipping between hypersensitivity and oblivion between each thrust. Kacchan had to be close too, because he could feel his knot catching just a bit more each time, begging for entrance, for bonding.  

“Izuku.”

His name on Katsuki’s lips, the way he breathed the word against his own sent him over the edge. Izuku hooked his legs around Katsuki’s waist, ankles crossed as he came. He tightened impossibly so on the Alpha’s cock just as the knot tore into him and locked into place.

“Kacc—ah!” He screamed as he felt cum fill him, spurt after spurt. He couldn’t move but he didn’t want to; he never wanted.

Katsuki was shaking, his eyes jammed shut as he panted. Izuku’s own eyes had fallen closed with his orgasm, but he wanted to see the Alpha now. His green eyes widened.

Was...was Kacchan crying?

Izuku shut his mouth, ignoring what he most definitely saw as the Alpha buried his face in the mattress beside Izuku’s shoulder. Izuku’s fingers twitched as he considered wrapping his arms around the Alpha’s back but reconsidered. They never really cuddled after sex. Accidentally falling asleep next to each other was as close as they ever got. Even though they were stuck in this position until the knot deflated, it didn’t mean they had to cuddle.

Luckily, Izuku didn’t have to keep overthinking things. He heard the softest snore from beside him and realized Kacchan had fallen asleep. He smiled knowing the other couldn’t see him. He pushed them both so that they could be on their sides and then carefully so Izuku was back on top of the sleeping man. Yeah, they were stuck together, but Izuku’s mind was still too active. He looked around the bed and began rearranging the pillows and comforter around his Alpha’s sleeping body. He bit his lower lip when it wasn’t enough and took off the shirt he was still wearing to add it to the pile.

“Are you fucking nesting right now?”

Izuku paused, unaware that he had woken Kacchan up with his movement. Katsuki looked up at him through one barely opened eye. Izuku felt his face heat up, but that was nothing compared to the heat that suddenly flared in his groin. He leaned forward on the Alpha’s chest again. The knot inside him had already began to deflate and the soft cock inside him only turned him on more.

“I’d stopped nesting if you fucked me.”

Katsuki’s eyes opened at that and Izuku felt the dick inside him twitch. It was going to be a long heat.

 


 

Four days of non-stop sex and Izuku was still awake. He’d slept at some point, he was sure he did, but now he simply couldn’t. Kacchan was asleep, his mouth wide open. No surprise; ruts didn’t give Alpha the same stamina that Omegas got during their heats.

Finally, Izuku could feel his heat coming to a close. He turned ready to grab his phone and text the agency that he could pick up the soonest open patrol. As fun as his heat had been, he was ready to get back out onto the field. He still had so much to prove.

His heat ended abruptly as it always did. The energy he felt drained for his body, his scent suddenly much lighter in his own nose. He no longer felt heat radiating from inside him, nor the longing to be filled. No, he felt filled on his own. Filled with content, comfort, with this sensation of being whole. He felt—

Shit.

Chapter Text

Katsuki woke up alone. Even without opening his eyes, he could feel that Izuku's spot in their nest sat empty.

Honestly, he wasn’t surprised. He’d gotten used to waking up alone over the last few weeks. It had felt so foreign at first, especially after everything that had happened. After Izuku had asked for space, after the villains did what villains do. After Katsuki said he was done with their arrangement.

Still, it felt strange waking up alone in Deku’s damn house. Katsuki lifted himself up and rubbed at his burning eyes. He’d said he was done with the meaningless sex and yet he’d jumped on Izuku’s offer to jump him. Fuck, and then Izuku was in heat. Katsuki never stood a chance.

That didn’t mean he could keep this up. As much as he fucking loved their fucking—as much as he still fucking loved Izuku—he couldn’t pretend that anything had changed between them. Izuku only wanted sex and that didn’t fly with Katsuki. Not anymore.

Not now that Izuku meant more to him than that.

Katsuki wearily opened his eyes and looked around the empty apartment. The studio was a mess, of course, but in Izuku’s usual way. That brought him a little comfort. Despite himself, Katsuki had been worried about Izuku after the “incident.” 

He’d wanted to—he didn’t know what he wanted to do, actually. Katsuki wasn’t great at talking, sucked at comforting, but he had still wanted to make sure Izuku was okay. He’d had memories of a defeated Izuku wrapped in a comforter on the anniversary of All Might’s death stuck in his brain and they wouldn't go away. Seeing how the apartment wasn’t that bad gave Katsuki hope that Izuku was doing at least that much better.

Shit. The door to the bathroom sat wide open meaning Izuku probably wasn’t in the apartment at all. Katsuki stretched his sore arms over his head and kicked away the remains of Izuku’s nest with his feet. He glanced at the clock and licked his teeth beneath closed lips when he realized it was almost noon. 

Damn. Katsuki wasn’t one to sleep in, but after four days of heat sex and being in a rut, could anyone blame him? How the fuck was Izuku up and about?

Speaking of which, did the nerd expect him to leave?

Like that was about to fucking happen. They couldn’t continue this. This—this fucking and leaving and then fucking again. They needed to talk it out for real this time. Katsuki was tired of avoiding and being avoided by Izuku.

Katsuki had to tell Izuku the truth. Katsuki wasn’t a liar nor was he a coward. He ought to tell Izuku how he felt. About this, about them. About how Katsuki was in love with him.

He growled to himself as he pushed himself off the bed. He searched for his clothes, finding them strewn half-hazardly across the room. His shirt was a lost cause so he had to settle for one of Izuku's. He grabbed the largest shirt he could find then put on the clothing as violently as possible. Then he proceeded to pick up everything else he could reach. The sheets, dirty clothes, empty glasses; anything to keep himself busy. He didn’t know how long it’d take for Izuku to return, but he couldn’t sit around waiting. He’d lose his fucking mind.

It was nearly three p.m. when the door’s lock clicked open. Katsuki looked up from the hero analysis book he’d borrowed from Deku’s bookshelf and locked eyes with a very haggard Izuku holding a plastic grocery bag.

The Omega paled instantly.

“You’re still here?”

Katsuki bristled. In one smooth move, he tossed the book in his hands to the side of the couch as he stood. “Yeah, where have you been all afternoon?”

Izuku’s eyebrows scrunched as he shook his head. “Nowhere. I—I'm really tired, Kacchan. Can you go home?”

The hell? Katsuki barely kept the growl in his throat down. Sure, they never were ones to hang around, but Deku had never outright dismissed him before. Not before asking for space. The Alpha clenched his fists then forced them to relax. His shoulders sagged as he let out a sigh and walked toward the Omega.

“I can leave in a second. We need to talk.”

“I really can’t—”

“It won’t take long, I promise. Here, give me the bag,” Katsuki reached for what he assumed were groceries, “I can make lunch, unless this counts as dinner."

The instant his hand gripped the plastic handle, Izuku tugged it back toward himself. Katsuki paused, looking up from the bag to meet Deku’s eyes. “What the fuck, nerd?”

“I—I need you to leave, Kacchan.”

Katsuki scowled and tightened his grip on the bag. “What the fuck is wrong with you? Just give me the damn bag and sit down. You look like shit.”

This time Katsuki tugged on the plastic only for Izuku to pull twice as hard. That did it.

Without warning, Katsuki pulled on the plastic as hard as he could. The bag tore and its contents went flying into the nearest wall, hitting it with a thump in perfect synchrony with Izuku’s choked gasp.

Deku rushed to grab the single box that had fallen, but Katsuki was closer.

He picked it up and froze.

It—it couldn’t be.

Izuku grabbed the box out of his loose grip and began to stomp past the Alpha before Katsuki stopped him with a hand on the Omega’s shoulder.

“The fuck is that?”

“It’s nothing.”

“Like hell it is. Are you—” Katsuki’s mouth felt dry. “Do you think you’re—”

He couldn’t say it but his eyes flicked down to the box in Deku’s hand and he couldn’t deny that it was a pregnancy test.

Izuku’s eyes followed his down to the box then he ripped his shoulder from Katsuki’s grip.

“Kacchan, go home.”

“Answer me first.”

“I said, ‘go home, Kacchan.’”

“I’m not fucking leaving until you tell me!”

“Tell you what! That I think I'm pregnant? Is that what you were waiting around to hear?”

“I waited around because—well fuck, that doesn’t matter now, does it? I thought you were on the pill!”

“I was! Am.” Izuku stuck a hand in his curly hair as he bit his lower lip. “But—”

“How the hell is there a ‘but?’ How fucking hard is it to know if you were protected or not? You either take the fucking pills or you don’t!”

“I didn’t really have an option when I was kidnapped.”

Katsuki froze again and he felt his heart drop. Well, shit, yeah. He had forgotten. When he came looking for Deku with Ochako, she’d said his pills were still there when Izuku wasn’t. He hadn’t even considered...fuck, he sounded like an asshole now.

“I swear, I started them again as soon as I got out of the hospital.” Izuku released his hair to stare at the leg of the nearby coffee table. “It’s been over two weeks and I’d only missed a few days, but I should’ve checked. I should’ve—”

Deku’s voice cracked as he cut himself off. Katsuki watched him, unsure of what to say in this situation. The Alpha felt tension ripple through his body until he physically shook.

“Well, fuck. Okay, so, we weren’t protected and you’re—are you sure? Did you take the damn test? Were you even going to tell me?”

That last question made his heart sink. The very thought that Deku might not have told him about his potential pups made him want to scream.

"I can't take the test yet." The Omega mumbled as he tossed the already beat up box onto the couch. "It says the earliest I can take it is two weeks after the last day of my heat. Otherwise it's not accurate."

"Then how do you know?"

"I—" Deku's eyes fell closed before they opened again with resigned certainty. "I could feel it. Can feel it. Ever since my heat ended."

Katsuki gritted his teeth. The Alpha never claimed to be an expert on Omegas, but even he knew that Omegas could feel if they were pregnant at the end of their heats. His own father often recounted how happy his parents had been when he'd felt Katsuki's presence for the first time. An Omega's instincts didn't lie.

Well, fuck. Was...was Katsuki about to become a father? Was his pup growing inside Izuku right fucking now?

This wasn't how it was supposed to happen. Fucking hell, he'd barely reached the number One spot! How the hell was he supposed to keep his spot and take care of a newborn? Newborns? 

He'd lose his spot. There was no denying it. Even with Deku out of commission there were plenty of other heroes to take his place.

And Deku. Damnit. They'd have to find a bigger place. Katsuki's one-bedroom apartment wouldn't be enough for one pup, let alone multiple. They'd have to figure out finances and who would stay home for how long. Katsuki would have to find a ring and beg that they could elope to avoid the pain of a bunch of extras.

Shit. Katsuki was about to be a father.

"Kacchan, I need you to leave."

Katsuki's head snapped to Izuku. Having been so deep in thoughts moments ago, it took him a couple of seconds to understand what the other had just said.

"What?"

"Please, I need to be alone."

The Alpha's blood ran cold before it turned hot. "Like hell am I going to leave you here alone. You don't have to deal with this shit yourself."

"It's my problem."

“They’re ours.”

“No,” Izuku growled, so unfamiliarly coming from the Omega. “Until I’m sure that I’m—there is no problem. There is nothing for you to worry about. Just, please. Please leave, Kacchan.”

Katsuki stared at the other man, taking in his defensive stance but tired, pleading eyes. It felt so wrong to leave. How the hell could he just leave? But the scent in the air was nothing like Izuku’s. No chocolate nor pine. The air felt like mulch; damp, muggy, suffocating.

“Fuck, fine. I’ll leave.” Katsuki turned to the door then pivoted on his heel at the last second. “You don’t have to do this alone.”

Deku stared at him, eyes void of anything other than fatigue. Damnit! Why couldn’t the nerd understand?

“You’re not fucking alone anymore. You don’t have to wait ‘til you’re sure. Just—fuck, just show up, and I’ll be there, got it? Don’t lie about what you need and don’t shut me out. For once.”

Katsuki forced himself to leave after that, but he couldn’t force the image of Deku’s blank expression out of his head.

 


 

“Mom, I swear, I’m fine.”

“But Izuku, darling, I haven’t heard from you in days and your agency said you’d taken time off.”

Izuku stifled a groan with one hand as he leaned his head against the cell phone held in the other, propping his elbow on his desk at the Nest. After a deep breath, he removed the hand from his mouth and mumbled, “I was in heat, Mom.”

“What was that, hun? I can’t hear you very well.”

“I was in heat,” he repeated louder, more exasperated. “It came on suddenly so I couldn’t call you, okay?”

“Oh, is that all? You still could have texted.”

The Omega blushed at the thought of texting his mother during his heat. Especially with Kacchan reading over his shoulder and all the things they’d done—

“Izuku?”

“Hmm? What? I’m sorry, I got distracted.” 

There was a pause over the line.

“Are you okay, dear? I’ve—I’ve been watching the news and reading all kinds of articles online.”

Izuku’s stomach sank and he bit his lower lip. 

He’d been reading the articles all night, too. He hadn’t had time to catch up on public opinion after his hardly-welcomed return to patrols prior to his heat. But after Kacchan had left, Izuku had found himself in desperate need of something to focus on. He’d already spent the hours before finding Kacchan still in his apartment freaking out. He couldn’t keep thinking about being—so he decided to do some research on himself. 

The articles were...less than kind. The coverage varied. Some stated the facts; how much property damage he’d caused, how far he’d dropped in the rankings, how the agency handled the situation. Others sensationalized the situation, as papers tend to do. They speculated how fit he was as a hero, about what having a Claim from a villain meant. Whether or not Omegas should even be allowed to be heroes.

That particular article had made his blood run cold.

“I’m fine, Mom.”

The Beta on the other line took in a sharp breath. “O—okay darling. If you say so. I—I know you’ve never been one to tell me about your struggles,”

“Mom—”

“But I’ll worry about you regardless. I would rather you tell me what is going on so I could find a way to help. Even if there’s not much a mother like me can do, I am and will always be here for you. You’re my son first and my hero second.”

Izuku’s heart ached. She was right; he never told her how bad things got. He’d kept things from her for as long as he could remember. The bullying, All Might, his quirk, his injuries. And now this, being pregnant? Possibly being pregnant.

Would she be disappointed in him? Would she be happy to have a grandchild on the way?

Or would she just worry.

“I’m fine, Mom, really. I promise.” Izuku whispered the last words and he wondered if she even caught them. “I have to go now. Patrols start soon.”

“Are you already back at work? Izuku dear, maybe you should take another day off. Your heats used to be so intense! If you need me to, I can come up to visit and bring—”

“I said I’m fine. I’m okay to work and I really have to go. I—I love you.”

“I love you too, Izuku. Goodbye, dear.”

Izuku lifted his head and lowered his phone to click the “end call” button. He let the phone drop onto his desk with a clatter, quickly followed by his head as he face planted on the wood.

Patrols didn’t actually start up for another half an hour, but he couldn’t keep talking. Not with how devastated his mother sounded. He hoped he hadn’t hurt her too much.

The image of Katsuki’s upset face as he walked out of his apartment yesterday flashed across Izuku’s closed eyes.

Yeah, he’d been hurting a lot of people lately.

He didn’t know what else he could do, though. He didn’t want to talk about it. He didn’t want to think about it. He didn’t want to believe he was—he didn’t want to think about taking leave from hero work. Izuku had just started again! Being an Omega wasn’t supposed to affect his ability to be a hero, and Alpha didn’t have to take off work for pups if they didn’t want to. 

How was he supposed to be the Symbol of Peace if he had to stop hero work? There was a reason why All Might never had children or a family at all. Oh, god. Izuku could only imagine how disappointed his mentor would be to hear that Izuku would have to take off at least nine months from patrols and missions.

No, stop. He had to stop thinking about it. He had to keep moving forward. He couldn’t be pregnant. He just couldn’t. 

“You know we have beds that are much more comfortable.”

Izuku jumped at the voice right in his ear and only Shinso’s fast reflexes saved him from the hand that automatically shot out in his direction. 

“Hi—Hitoshi? Sorry! I didn’t realize you were there.”

Shinso slid easily into a nearby chair with a shrug of his shoulders. “Didn’t help that I was trying to sneak up on you.”

“Huh?” Izuku frowned. “Why were you trying to sneak up on me?”

“Because you’ve been avoiding me.”

The Omega swallowed before turning his head away. He picked up a random file as if it urgently demanded his attention.

“Does it count if I’m avoiding everyone?”

“Yes, yes it does.” The Alpha suddenly tensed as he straightened up from his lounging position to lean into Izuku’s space. There was a pause, the kind Shinso only took when he was about to say something serious. “We never spoke after what happened.”

Izuku kept his eyes on the folder in his hands even though the hairs on his arms raised.

“Figured that was how you wanted it.” Shinso waited for a response but Izuku couldn’t oblige. Eventually, the underground hero sighed. He relaxed into his chair again, letting his head fall over the back so that his wild purple hair fell out of his face. “I wanted to apologize.”

“What?” Izuku’s eyes shot up. “For what?”

“For almost Claiming you.”

“That wasn’t your fault! They Ordered you to.”

Shinso sent him an incredulous look. “You fought their Orders, didn’t you? Those assholes had me under their thumbs for nearly a year. There had to be a way for me to get out of it, too.”

“Those Orders aren’t like normal Orders, Hitoshi. If you could have gotten away sooner, you would have. You can’t blame yourself.”

“I’ll stop when you do.” Shinso snorted. Luckily, he rubbed his eyes and completely missed how Izuku flushed at the call-out. “If I could change how things went down, I would. But since we can’t...I wanted to make sure we’re okay.”

Shinso met his eyes again and Izuku felt numb. ‘Okay?’ Izuku didn’t even know what that word meant anymore, let alone how to answer his friend. He didn’t blame Hitoshi for what happened, not even in the slightest, but seeing him, seeing Ochako and Todoroki, even seeing Katsuki, reminded him of what had happened. How he’d failed them. 

How he’d failed everyone.

How would that ever be okay?

Shinso’s eyes widened in surprise. 

“Oh. I see.”

“Hitoshi—”

“No, I don’t know if I would want to see me after that happened, either.”

“It’s not that! And it’s not you.”

“It’s fine, Midoriya.” Izuku gripped the manila folder a little more tightly at the use of his last name. “I get it. I don’t like it, but I get it. But that doesn’t give you an excuse to forget your friends. They’re worried about you, waiting for you to come to them since you push them away so easily. Just remember, you’re not the only one who became something they’d always feared.”

Izuku watched the Alpha leave with a tight chest.

Yes. Yes, he had hurt a lot of people lately.

 


 

Patrols started calm. Too calm for Izuku’s buzzing brain. He wanted a distraction, needed one, but even concentrating on every civilian he passed didn’t help. Time and time again, his mind wandered back to one thought.

He couldn’t have a baby.

The thought popped up every couple of seconds, making his throat constrict every time he thought about it. He felt sick.

There’d been plenty of times where he thought about having kids. Once upon a time, he thought about how happy he’d be to have a family of his own. But then he dedicated himself to taking up All Might’s mantle. And maybe, just maybe, he could start a family after he passed on One-for-All. After he’d saved every person he could and lived up to All Might’s memory. But now? Right now?

Izuku couldn’t be a father. He could barely take care of himself.

A child would be career suicide. For him and Kacchan. Despite what the Alpha had said about it being theirs, he’d never drag Kacchan down.

Stop thinking about it!

The ground shook.

His feet moved before he even registered the danger. It only took him a minute or so to reach the source of the commotion; a building filled with smoke. Distraught people ran from the building, calling out for loved ones as they went. Izuku registered that the imposing structure was a museum, the kind full families and small children on field trips. His feet pressed against the concrete a little harder with each step, propelling him forward faster and faster. 

Inside the building, Izuku couldn’t see anything.

There was smoke but no fire.

Alarms but no evidence of what set them off.

Chaos but no damage.

He moved upstream in the throng of people trying to exit, slower than he’d like.

“Please remain calm!” Izuku shouted, but only the closest people paid him any mind. “Exit as quickly but as safely as possible!”

Some more people noticed the Pro. A path opened up around him, only for his space to be blocked again by those needing his help.

“My son! I can’t find my son!”

“They’re in the west wing, third floor!”

“No, the Renaissance exhibit!”

“I can’t find my parents!”

There was too much going on at once, but Izuku was a Pro.

“Backup is coming soon, we will find your loved ones, but please exit the building for now!”

Some people nodded and joined the crowds exiting the buildings, others hovered but Izuku eventually pushed them through. He remained in the foyer, directing people as more heroes arrived minutes later.

“Pinky here! What’s the scoop?”

Izuku pressed a finger to the comms in his ear, “Ashido!” He coughed, his voice hoarse from yelling and irritated from all the smoke. “The crowd’s almost evacuated, entrance hall seems clear. Some witnesses claim the assailants are in the west wing, another reported them as in the Renaissance gallery in the northernmost room on the second floor.”

“Roger that! And the smoke?”

“Seems like a diversion of some sort, no obvious fires or toxicity to it.”

“We’re on it and we’ll send you someone else to check for stragglers. Over and out!”

He dropped his hand and made the mistake of taking in another deep breath of smoke. It didn’t matter that his lungs burned, everyone was nearly out. Through the smoke he saw another hero, an intern whose name Izuku didn’t remember, enter the building. Izuku motioned to him, then at the crowd. When the intern nodded and began to call out muffled instructions through his mask, Izuku took off to check the other exhibits.

There were several civilians remaining; a few people hiding in bathrooms, a couple of kids too lost and confused to move. Izuku directed the ones who could exit under their own power and carried the ones who couldn’t.

The sounds of a distant fight echoed down the corridors before everything got quiet.

“Villain secured. Evacuation?”

“Third floor clear!”

“Second floor’s empty.”

“I’ve cleared the first,” Izuku answered.

“Just a few left in the foyer.”

“Good job, team!” Hawks’ voice echoed through the communication device so suddenly that Izuku startled. “Wrap it up and we can fly outta here.”

Izuku nodded to no one as he finished his sweep. When he finally exited the building, he closed his eyes and gulped in fresh air as if he’d forgotten how to breathe.

“Oi! Deku!”

Green eyes snapped open to take in the scene in front of him. Hawks was indeed here on the scene, standing next to a reporter and looking cool, calm, and cocky as ever while Kirishima and Ashido dragged four villains into the back of a police van. Behind them, Yaoyorozu and Jirou were speaking to police, the latter holding a large painting with an elaborate golden frame.

But his eyes were really on Ground Zero who was stomping his way up the stairs toward Izuku.

For a second, it looked like Kacchan was about to punch him. Instead, the arm that shot out in his direction grabbed his upper arm and Izuku felt himself get dragged around the crowds and toward a nearby alley.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing here?” The Alpha hissed when they finally reached a semi-private space between two older buildings. His grip remained tight on Izuku’s arm. 

“What are you talking about, Kacchan?” Izuku’s eyebrows furrowed. “I was on patrols.”

“You didn’t have to respond to the call.”

“I was the first responder!”

Katsuki growled at that. “You fucker. Let me guess, you just ran in there without knowing what was happening?”

“I ha-d to,” Izuku coughed again as the words stuck in his sore throat. Red eyes narrowed.

“Did you not even wear your mask in there?” Katsuki flicked the metal mask still hanging around Izuku’s throat with his free hand before giving Izuku a shake. “You fucking idiot!” 

Izuku tugged his arm free of Katsuki’s grasp. “I was just doing my job!”

“You could’ve gotten hurt! What about the—”

His heart stopped. Izuku’s eyes widened as he realized why Kacchan was so angry. He was worried.

About the baby. 

Izuku dropped his head and noticed his hands had begun to shake.

“Deku—”

“I can’t stop being a hero, Kacchan.” The words came out as a whisper. It was as loud as he could manage. “I can’t—I can’t do it. I can’t have—”

He could feel Katsuki tense in front of him, suddenly too close in the enclosed space. Izuku felt like there was no room to breathe; it was worse than taking in all that smoke.

“Breathe, nerd.”

A hand landed on his shoulder and Izuku tore his whole body away with enough force that he hit the brick behind him.

“Oi!”

“I can’t stop being a hero, Kacchan! I can’t be anything else but a hero. I can’t be a father.”

The alley was quiet except for the shuddering breaths Izuku struggled to take in. His chin was to his chest, body bent forward; his eyes shadowed by the few curls that had grown too long and now hung over his face. Izuku knew this would happen. He knew he’d break down if he stopped. He needed to keep going.

“Do you not want to be? A father, I mean. You,” Kacchan paused before he finally said, “You have options.”

Izuku froze mid-breath. His blood tingled beneath the skin of his arms and he suddenly felt faint. What was Kacchan saying?

“I’m saying, you don’t have to go through with anything you don’t want to do. I fucking told you, you’re not in this alone. I’m—fuck, I’m here no matter what you decide.”

Izuku squeezed his eyes shut. He didn’t understand what Kacchan was saying.

“Do you want kids?”

The question sounded so soft from the Alpha’s lips but they hurt worse than a bullet.

“I—I can’t have kids. I’m the Symbol of Peace.”

“So?”

“One-For-All. All Might.” Izuku couldn’t form sentences let alone complete thoughts.

“I don’t give a fuck about All Might. I’m asking what you want, nerd.”

“What I want?” Izuku repeated.

There was another pause.

“Deku, you’re not All Might. You’ll never be All Might.”

The words hurt. Of course, Izuku knew that. He could never hope to be half the man his mentor had been. A hand landed on his head and when Izuku opened his eyes, he saw that Kacchan had bent down to be eye-level with him.

“You’re Deku. You’re your own person. Stop trying to be him, and be you. You didn’t reach number Two because of All Might or his legacy, you got there of your own merit. If—if you don’t want pups, now or ever, that’s gotta be your decision.”

The hand on his head mussed his curls before falling away as Katsuki stood.

“I don’t like to fucking repeat myself. If you show up, I’ll be around. Door’s always open.”

He could feel Kacchan walking away. He could tell he was alone.

But for once, Izuku didn’t feel like he was.

 


 

Katsuki did his best not to think about it. He tried, but no amount of work or training or cleaning helped.

All he could think about was Deku.

He counted the days in his head, only nine left now, and kept a close eye on the Omega’s movements. Maybe it was just his Alphan instincts kicking in, but Katsuki had the incredible urge to protect him. But Deku wasn’t his mate.

He wasn’t his anything.

Fuck, he was an idiot. He’d hoped Izuku would take him up on his offer; come talk to him. Maybe even stay with him. Instead, nothing.

Katsuki had never gotten to say how he felt and with the stress of potential pups, he might not get the chance.

Then, on a quiet Thursday evening, Katsuki got an unexpected knock at his door.

When he opened it to a soaked Izuku standing on his doorstep, the Alpha didn’t react. He waited. He'd waited this long, he could wait a little longer. If Izuku was finally coming for him, not for more secrets, or sex, or lies, Katsuki wanted to know for sure.

Izuku looked up at him with curls dripping water in his eyes.

“Hi, Kacchan.”

Chapter Text

Thirteen days.

Izuku’s second day of patrol went smoothly. No villains, no reporters, no stress of any sort.

So why did he feel like he couldn’t breathe?

 

Twelve days.

The next day was the same. No villains, no reporters, no nothing.

But every second of every moment of every hour, Izuku waited. He could feel an internal clock ticking, a bomb ready to go off at any second. He could feel his world changing all around him.

He could feel something growing inside of him.

Tick, tock.

 

Eleven days.

“If I didn’t know any better, I’d think you were trying to get out of our meetings, Izuku.” Ragdoll—Ms. Shiretoko—wagged her tail. She was wearing her old Pussycat hero costume and Izuku couldn’t stop staring at the tail in particular. It flipped this way and that. Izuku wondered how she controlled it. The therapist noticed and smiled. “Sorry for the outfit; the Wild, Wild Pussycats have a meet and greet downtown today. I figured I’d stop by! I might not be part of the crew anymore, but I’m sure there might be some old fans who’d get a kick out of it! Won’t be long. Just a few pictures and all that jazz.”

The woman wiggled her pawed hands in front of her as she did jazz hands. Izuku tried to smile at the gesture but his chest tightened instead.

“Do you miss it?” he blurted without thinking.

Ms. Shiretoko’s paws—hands—froze but she kept on smiling.

“Do I miss what?”

“Being a hero.” Izuku looked down at his hands and realized they were shaking. He gripped them together, pressing as tightly as possible. “When you found out that you couldn’t be a hero anymore...I can’t imagine not being a hero. Even for a little while, even for—I can’t imagine it. How did you handle it?”

Izuku looked up then, and for the first time, his therapist wasn’t smiling.

“To be honest, I didn’t have a choice. I had to keep moving forward. Well,” she tilted her head to one side before bringing it back to center, “I guess I did have a choice. I could have stopped. I could have taken all that pain and regret and just...stopped. But I wasn’t done being a hero.”

Ragdoll overlapped her big paws on her chest. “I knew I wasn’t done being a hero. I’d be damned if I let this setback, albeit a major, major setback, stop me from doing what I knew I wanted to do. Took me a while, but I found the path toward being a hero, even if it wasn’t the way I’d originally thought. And, trust me, it was hard. There were lots and lots of times where I thought, ‘If I can’t be a Pussycat, why even try?’ But it was about getting through one day at a time.”

The sincerity and vulnerability in Ms. Shiretoko’s eyes forced Izuku to look away. He stared at his hands again and was frustrated to see that they were still shaking.

Why did he ask her that? She’d been so kind in waiting for Izuku to come to her with certain topics throughout their time together, and Izuku just blurted out the first question on his mind. What was worse, Izuku still wasn’t comforted by her answer. 

Their situations weren’t the same, not in the slightest. So what if Izuku was pregnant? He could return to hero work eventually, where Ragdoll never could. And yet—and yet it felt like Izuku didn’t have other options like she did. Since he was fourteen—since he first saw that video of All Might as a child, Izuku had only thought of being  a hero and then the Symbol of Peace. To leave hero work now, of all times, after causing all that damage and using his gift to hurt people. He couldn’t. That was not a choice.

“You have options.”

Why had Kacchan said that? Would he really be okay with Izuku not wanting their child? Would Izuku?

No.

Izuku froze at the realization.

“What are you thinking, Izuku?”

Izuku didn’t look up, but he could feel yellow eyes on him. His hands had finally stopped shaking but it still hadn’t gotten easier to breathe.

He couldn’t tell her he was pregnant. He wasn’t even 100% sure (even though he could feel the truth with every fiber of his being).

Instead, he looked up with a wobbly smile. “Sorry, I—I guess returning back to patrols wasn’t everything I’d hoped it would be.”

“Okay, let’s talk about that.”

 

Ten days. 

He was going to have to stop patrols, wasn’t he? Every sound made Izuku jump, heart beating in his chest as he waited for a villain to jump out onto the quiet streets of his district. Hawks had put him in an area of low crime, at least until the blowback from Shibuya passed. And yet, Izuku was more paranoid about a potential attack than he’d ever been. He wouldn’t let anything catch him off guard.

He wouldn’t risk hurting the baby.

“There is no baby,” Izuku whispered to himself, lied to himself, when he jumped for the fifth time at the sound of a car backfiring.

But a jumpy hero was a bad hero. Baby or not, he would have to take off patrols until he knew for sure.

Already his own failings were keeping him from doing his job, from being a hero. All Might would be so disappointed.

 

Nine days.

He’d handed in his request for vacation time before patrols and received the approval by the time he returned. Izuku stared at the email for nearly ten minutes. He should be happy; he was getting what he asked for. At the same time, he’d always thought he couldn’t take time away, even if he wanted to. Was it really so easy for them to dismiss him?

Izuku rolled a ways back and set his forehead to the desktop before closing his eyes. What was he going to do for the next nine days now? Think about being pregnant? Possibly pregnant. Possibly pregnant with at least one pup. Who he would have to carry for nine months and then somehow raise? How was he supposed to raise a kid as a Pro? How was he supposed to raise a kid in general!

What would his kids look like? Would they have his hair? His eyes? Or would they be blond like Kacchan? Maybe they’d have a mix? Green hair, red eyes, oh no, they’d be like little Christmas trees! And what would be worse: if they had Kacchan’s explosive quirk or no quirk at all? He couldn’t figure out which would be more of a hassle in the long run. Too much of him or too much of Kacchan?

Though, there were worse things than being a little too much like Kacchan. For all of his brash exterior, Kacchan always stepped up, didn’t he? Even when Izuku said he didn’t have to, even when he gave him an out, Kacchan still invited him in.

“If you show up, I’ll be around. Door’s always open.”

“Shinso was right.”

Izuku sat straight up, his chair bouncing from the recoil, but Todoroki took another bite of cake without concern. He was seated in a chair next to Izuku's desk, there for who knew how long. It took Izuku a second to understand what his friend had said.

“Shinso was right about what?”

“That you sleep at your desk. We have rooms for that.”

Tension Izuku hadn’t even been aware of released from his shoulders. He couldn’t help but smile. “So I’ve been told. Where’d you get the cake?”

“At the party.”

“Party?”

“Yes.”

Izuku stared at the Alpha, his brows furrowed as he did mental gymnastics before coming to a realization that made his stomach drop. “Your going away party! Shit, it’s your last day!”

Shouto nodded as he took another bite of cake. He then looked down at the plate before looking up again and holding it out to Izuku. The Omega shook his head at the offer.

“I’m sorry, I—I don’t know how I could have forgotten.”

“You’ve had a lot on your mind lately.”

Oh, if only Shouto knew.

“Still,” Izuku responded with a grimace, “what kind of person forgets their friend’s going away party?”

“Are we still friends, then?” Todoroki took another bite of cake as if he didn’t just stab Izuku straight through the chest.

“Aren’t we?!”

Shouto shrugged his shoulders. “I didn’t want to assume.”

Izuku sighed. “Look, I’m sorry. I really haven’t been a good friend to you, or to anyone lately.” Shouto hummed in agreement, but Izuku continued anyway. “It’s not your, or anybody else's fault, I promise. A lot has been going on lately and—and I’m still trying to figure out how to deal with it.”

“Why didn’t you tell anyone that you had Bakugo Claim you after all?”

Leave it to Shouto to get right to the heart of the matter. Izuku held his gaze, lips pressed tightly closed.

“Do you know that I had a huge crush on you?”

The Alpha startled, his plastic fork dropping to his plate, before he quickly reigned himself in again. “I’m sorry, Izuku, but I’m with Yoarashi.”

“Had. Past tense. I used to be in love with you.” Izuku paused, waiting, though he wasn’t sure what for. He was still surprised when he saw something click in Shouto’s eyes.

“When we were pretending to date. That’s when you loved me.” 

Izuku nodded. 

“Why did you never say anything?”

Izuku sighed again, moving his eyes to look away but then forcing them back to Shouto. He’d made it this far. He had to see it through.

“You’re an amazing friend, Shouto. You, Ochako, Tenya, Hitoshi, you’re all better friends than I deserve—let me finish—and before you all, I didn’t have any friends. Not friends like you have been. I would do anything for any one of you, so it was a no-brainer when you asked me to pretend to be your boyfriend. 

“But, with all that said, I’m not good at asking for things back. I—I feel like you all have done so much for me already, I can’t imagine putting more on you. My feelings? My worries? My problems...it seems unfair to add that burden, especially when there’s nothing you can do about it. I could tell you didn’t feel the same way about me the moment you asked me to keep pretending, and I agreed anyway. Even if it hurt. That was my choice. 

“It hasn’t really been until recently that I realized that not telling you guys everything has been hurting you, too. I’m—I’m sorry.”

Finally, Izuku looked away.

“You don’t have to tell us anything you don’t want to, Izuku.”

Izuku looked up as Shouto stood from his chair and set the remainder of the cake on Izuku’s desk.

“We worry about you, like it or not, so you don’t have to tell us anything. But, you have to tell someone. If you hold it in too long, you’ll end up pulling a stranger to the side before a sports festival match and telling him your entire life story.”

Shouto gave Izuku a small smile and the Omega couldn’t help but smile back. 

“I don’t know, that worked pretty well last time.”

“Did it? If I remember correctly, it resulted in you destroying your hand.”

“That probably would have happened anyway.” 

Shouto nodded sagely. 

“Hey! Don’t agree.”

“Good night, Izuku,” Shouto said as he turned away.

“Bye, Shouto. You better invite me to see the new agency once you’re all set up!”

The Alpha just shrugged, making Izuku shake his head. He turned back to his desk, to the email still open on his computer screen.

“You have tell someone.”

He did, didn't he?

 


 

Izuku could’ve done without the rain. The surprise storm caught him by surprise, especially considering it was winter now. Snow would be falling soon enough, but a single last thunderstorm had snuck in under the wire.

Either way, he was drenched by the time he knocked on Katsuki’s door. The picture of a kitten sitting in a cardboard box in the rain came to mind. Izuku could only hope he looked as pathetic and in need of a home. No, not a home. Just...somewhere to stay.

He’d tried going home first—he truly had. But he couldn’t bear the thought of sitting alone for nine more days, worrying about what could be (and probably was) true.

Izuku couldn’t keep living like this. He couldn’t keep bottling up his feelings. Not when he felt like he could burst at any moment. He wanted to scream. He wanted to know why this was happening. But most of all, he wanted to talk about it. Shouto had been right, he needed to talk about what was going on his head.

Yet when Katsuki opened the door, Izuku’s mind went blank. 

He stared at Katsuki’s shocked expression, not quite sure how to react either. Finally, he spoke.

“Hi, Kacchan.”

The Alpha looked at him, shoulders still tensed and body still blocking the entryway. 

Then he sighed, pulling the door wide open as he walked farther into the condo.

“Come in and stay there. Don’t need you dripping everywhere.”

Izuku nodded even though Katsuki couldn’t see him. He stepped in and closed the door behind him with a quiet snap before waiting for the other to return. His mind wandered as he took in the home. It hadn’t been that long since he’d last stayed the night here, but it felt different. Then again, Izuku felt different.

He almost didn’t catch the towel tossed his way. Only his reflexes as a Pro-Hero saved him from getting a face full of cotton.

“Dry up, idiot. You trying to catch a cold?”

The Omega shook his head as he began to dry himself, starting with his face. He did his best to avoid Katsuki’s eyes as he dried the rest of his body, but he couldn’t ignore the way the other man stared.

“So?”

Izuku almost said, “So, what?” before he stopped himself. Instead, he took in a deep breath before letting it out slowly.

“You were right.” Katsuki opened his mouth to respond but Izuku cut him off. “I know I’m not alone. I have my mom, my friends,” he hesitated, eyes briefly glancing up before looking away, “you. But I’ve never—I don’t—

“I don’t know how to talk about it. I always thought talking about it didn’t help, it didn’t solve anything. Bringing up being quirkless, about still becoming a hero, always made my mother sad. And she used to get so worried when I showed her my—whenever I got hurt.” Izuku swallowed hard, eyes still on the ground. “I thought talking about it just made things worse, so I stopped talking about it. It wasn’t hard back then when there was no one to talk to, either. Things got harder when there were more people who cared, but I thought, I really thought talking about it just caused more pain.”

Izuku paused to bring the towel up to his hair, rubbing the wet curls furiously as a chance to collect himself and stop the tears that were welling up in his eyes. To his surprise, Katsuki still hadn’t said anything. Izuku took that as a sign to continue.

“But it’s not that simple. I know that. Talking with my therapist has made that pretty clear. I—I don’t keep from talking about my problems because of other people, I do it because I don’t want to deal with them. If I don’t acknowledge them, I don’t have to face them. I can—I can get better, work harder, do something about the problem, without ever having to admit that I have a problem in the first place.

“It’s not fair, Kacchan.” Despite himself, Izuku’s voice cracked on the last syllable of Katsuki’s name. “It’s not fair to you, or my friends, or my mom. It’s not fair and—”

He felt like his chest was on fire. Like he couldn’t breathe. But he could feel the tears falling down his face. 

“It’s not fair! Why—why is all of this happening right now? What am I doing wrong? What am I supposed to do? I—I don’t—I just don’t want to think about it! I don’t want to think about being pregnant or having pups or how I’m supposed to balance raising a kid when I can’t even take care of myself, when I can’t even stop bad things from happening, when I can’t—”

Izuku couldn’t see Katsuki’s hug coming; his eyes were shut tight in pain. When he felt those strong arms pulling him in close, he froze. Then, he melted. He dropped the towel to the floor and brought his hands up to grip at the back of Katsuki’s shirt between his scarred fingers.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Izuku apologized again and again into Katsuki’s shoulder.

He was sorry that he’d pushed everyone away. He was sorry that he’d asked Katsuki to leave. He was sorry that he hadn’t been careful. He was sorry that he’d be keeping his pup and probably changing both their lives forever.

He apologized until he wasn’t quite sure what he was apologizing for. 

And the entire time, Katsuki just held him.

 


 

The sound of someone pounding on the door woke them both with a start. Explosions crackled in the palms of Katsuki’s hands before he tore the covers off and began to stomp toward the front door.

“Who the hell would be here this fucking early in the damn morning!”

Izuku watched him go as he propped himself up on his elbows. It wasn’t like he could answer the door. This wasn’t his home, and he was only wearing one of Katsuki’s shirts and a pair of his boxers. He brought a hand up to his eyes and tried to rub the sleep from them as best he could. They still burned, probably from all the crying yesterday. 

Izuku wasn’t sure what was going to happen once he “showed up.” Katsuki had said to come, but part of Izuku still doubted that he’d meant it. He expected the Alpha to yell at him after he finished crying, call him a baby or tell him how stupid he was being.

But Katsuki hadn’t done that. He let Izuku cry and then got him a change of clothes. After that talk (or more like Izuku’s breakdown), Katsuki had made them dinner and they’d eaten in front of the television. That was for Izuku. Katsuki didn’t watch television that often and he most certainly did not watch animated superhero cartoons, not since they were kids. But Izuku still loved those shows and they watched them late into the evening before going to sleep well past midnight.

“What are you doing here, Hag?”

The Omega stiffened and his eyes widened. Oh no. Was that...

“Can’t a mother come visit her no-good son? Since you never come visit us, you’ve left us no choice but to come all the way up here.” 

“What are you talking about? I just visited you.”

“Months ago! We shouldn’t have to call your agency to find out when you have off just to see you.”

“I would’ve seen you at New Year’s!”

“We’d know that if you called us for once! And what are you doing in this get-up? You weren’t still sleeping!”

“At this hour?” Izuku heard Mr. Bakugo say.

Crap, oh crap. Auntie Mitsuki couldn’t know he was here! What if she told his mother? His first instinct was to pull the covers over his head, but he pushed them off and jumped out of bed. It’d be a lot worse if they found him in Katsuki’s bed. He had to get out of here!

Clothes. He needed clothes. Izuku rushed over to the closet in search of pants, any pants.

“It’s none of your damn business—oi! Where do you think you’re going? You can’t just waltz into my BEDROOM, let go of me old man!”

Izuku froze at Katsuki’s loud “bedroom” before shooting a glance over to the bathroom. Too far, no time.

He jumped into the closet and shut the door on himself.

“Oh hush, brat. Is that any way to speak to your mother? I gave birth to you AND brought you clothes because we all know if it wasn’t for me, you’d be wearing the same outdated clothing. Look, I’ll even put them in your damn closet for yo—”

There was nothing Izuku could do.

He just stood there, hardly hidden by the clothes, as Mitsuki opened the closet door and stared at him in shock. Then her face twisted into a wicked smile that Izuku only saw when Katsuki was feeling extra cruel.

“It looks like you’re not the only one in need of some clothes, are you, son?”

Izuku swallowed hard and smiled meekly. “H—hi, Aunt—Mrs. Bakugo.”

“Hello, Izuku.”

“Fuck,” Katsuki swore from the bedroom doorway.

The two Pros shared a look of despair over Mrs. Bakugo’s shoulder as she bent her head and began to dig through her large brown bag.

“Here,” she said as she held out what looked like a shirt and some pants to Izuku. “The pants might be a little long, but they should fit. Hurry and get dressed.”

She turned and tossed the bag onto the bed. “You too, brat.”

“Why?” Katsuki growled.

“We’ve got a reservation for brunch, though I guess I’ll have to add a person to the reservation. Masaru! Call the restaurant!” she yelled as she walked out of the bedroom. “Izuku is joining us!”

“Oh, is Izuku here? Hello, Izuku!”

“Hello, Mr. Bakugo,” Izuku called out weakly before turning to Katsuki. “What?” he whispered when he saw his glare.

“The closet?”

“Would you rather she had caught me in bed!”

 


 

The drive to lunch was painful. Mitsuki kept the conversation flowing throughout the ride mostly with scoldings and mundane stories. Izuku and Katsuki were silent whenever they could be, hardly speaking up except when directly asked a question or when ordering food once they were seated at the restaurant. They may have been a group of adults, but Izuku couldn't help but think of breakfasts at the Bakugo house after sleepovers when Izuku was little. He felt like they were kids again.

When the food arrived, Izuku could have sighed in relief. At least he had something to focus on now. He wasted no time taking forkful after forkful into his mouth so no one would expect him to speak. He had a mouth stuffed with food when Auntie asked it.

"So, how long have you two been having sex?"

Izuku choked. He coughed loudly as he pounded on his chest and earned the attention of nearly half the restaurant before he could chug half his glass of water to properly clear his throat.

"We aren't!" Katsuki hissed, head leaned forward over the table as if hiding. 

Mitsuki leveled them both with one look. Katsuki flinched under the obvious “don’t lie to me” stare. Izuku just looked at the fearsome Alpha with big doe eyes.

"Please don't tell my mom," Izuku whispered desperately.

The woman shook her head with a sigh. "Can you believe these boys, Masaru? What ever happened to good old-fashioned courting? Or introductions to the family? Now it's all hook ups and friends with benefits, and honey, do you remember when we started dating, back when…"

After a few more tense moments, it seemed like Auntie had started on another one of her tangents, so both Katsuki and Izuku let out the small breaths they'd been holding. Breakfast couldn't end fast enough. 

Eventually, they finished eating and paid the bill. Just when they thought they were free, however, Mitsuki grabbed her son's arm and began to drag him in the opposite direction of where they'd parked. Katsuki pulled against his mother’s firm grip, but his feet slid along the concrete with no success.

"What the hell! Now what?"

"We did not come all this way for one measly breakfast!”

“You didn’t?”

“No! We are spending time with our son on his one day off of patrol. All day. C’mon, we’re going to the art museum next.”

Katsuki groaned loudly and Izuku hung back, sensing his chance to escape.

“Um, thank you so much for breakfast, Mr. and Mrs. Bakugo, but I would hate to impose on your—”

“You’re coming too, Izuku.”

“Right!”

And that was how Izuku ended up spending the entire day with the Bakugos. Crazily enough...it wasn’t that bad. 

Auntie was as loud and talkative as ever, and Katsuki seemed annoyed by everything she said, but Izuku also saw how she made him smile from time to time. Then Mr. Bakugo would chime in and they’d all be smiling or laughing, Izuku included.

It was strange but familiar, somehow. Easy, even. The dynamic felt completely different from his relationship with his own mom; they were never this loud unless they were crying together, and they rarely went out together. Yet watching the Bakugos interact and feeling like he was a part of those interactions gave Izuku this warm feeling in his chest. Eventually he thought, “Oh, this is what family feels like.”

How did he already feel so at home with the Bakugo family, even after all those years apart? It was something he could get used to.

When they finally neared the last exhibit, Izuku found himself sitting alone on a wooden bench, watching Katsuki argue with his mother about the piece of art in front of them instead of looking at the art itself. He couldn’t help but smile as he watched.

“Mind if I join you?”

Izuku looked to his left as Masaru took a seat next to him. “Not at all, Mr. Bakugo.”

“Please, Masaru is fine, Izuku. You two aren’t kids anymore.”

“Right! Masaru, then.” Izuku smiled as brightly as he could. The other male Omega smiled back, though he seemed a little sad.

“I’m glad you could come out here with us.” Masaru turned his head toward his family before reaching up and removing his glasses. He began to clean them on his shirt, but Izuku could tell that this was just a distraction. “You know, I’ve been thinking about you quite a bit lately.”

“Oh?” Izuku tried to keep his voice light but he clenched his right fist against his thigh where Mr. Bakugo couldn’t see.

“I have. I’ve been following the news. About you and Katsuki, and about that villain girl.”

Tension rippled through Izuku’s chest, heart tight and lungs static.

Masaru put his glasses back on and turned to Izuku, looking much more certain than he had moments ago.

“I told Katsuki this the night you had dinner with us, but Claims are complex affairs. People think they rely on connection since not every Mark results in a Claim, but it’s really the opposite. Claims create connections, connections that didn’t exist before. 

“When Aiko, my first mate, and I Claimed each other, we thought it’d strengthen our existing connection, but it didn’t. It formed a new one. One clearly so much stronger than our existing relationship that it began to consume us. We constantly felt each other at first, and it was too much for us. We began to shut each other out, which only resulted in distance and pain between us. It’s not supposed to be like that. They say that a Claim should feel like nothing at all when the Claim is True, seeing as the Marked pair would have been in tune with each other from the start. 

“That wasn’t the case for Aiko and I, and we broke because of it. The fear of that happening again keeps me from being Claimed by Mitsuki to this day. I know everything about my wife and I love her with all of my being, but I would hate for us to Claim each other, only to find that our current bond wasn’t as strong as we thought.”

“Do you understand what I’m saying, Izuku?”

Izuku didn’t respond. He couldn’t. He felt lightheaded.

What—what was Mr. Bakugo saying? That a strong Claim was one that went unfelt? It made sense if Izuku thought about Toga’s Claim; he felt it so clearly within himself that he had no problem setting it aside and locking her out. He’d even fought her Orders because he could sense her, sense their connection. Then sever it in that moment, for that moment.

But if what Mr. Bakugo was saying was true, then…

Izuku turned to look back at Katsuki with new eyes.

He hadn’t felt anything through their Claim at all. Not really. He hadn’t even been aware that he could connect to Katsuki through it until the villains had told him. Plus, Katsuki had heard him. Through a one-sided Claim. Everything that he’d read online had said one-sided Claims were mainly a one-way street when they talked about feeling their mate.

Their connection had always been strong. They’d been together their whole lives. Izuku knew that, he knew that but—it was more than that, wasn’t it? When Toga had Claimed him, Izuku felt nothing but fear and pain and hurt. But with Katsuki, Izuku had felt powerful. He’d felt safe and whole. He’d felt Kacchan and he’d loved it.

He’d loved Kacchan. 

He loved Kacchan.

The realization flooded him, filled him to the brim with so many emotions that he couldn’t hold them in. They filled his chest, climbed his throat, and shimmered behind his eyes. He tried his best to blink them away, pressing his eyelids shut for a few seconds.

When he opened them again, he wasn’t looking at Katsuki and Mrs. Bakugo anymore.

He was looking at Katsuki. With a child. In his hands was a little girl with curly green hair and bright red eyes. She was trying to touch the painting and Katsuki kept pulling her arm back with a shake of his head. They were smiling. They were laughing. They were happy.

Izuku was happy, too. He was really happy.

Then he blinked again and Katsuki was staring at him with a furrowed brow, concern painted across his face.

Something wrapped around Izuku’s hand, and he looked down to see Mr. Bakugo’s hand resting on his own. He turned to the man, who was as serious as Izuku had ever seen him.

“What I’m saying is that it wasn’t your fault. The Claim wasn’t your fault. It was never your fault, Izuku.”

Tears stung his eyes, and Izuku nodded back as words failed him. 

 

 Eight Days.