Toshinori was nervous. Excited. Terrified? One or all of those.
A new doctor with an astounding healing Quirk had finished med school and was accepting new patients. The woman had the ability to grow a replica of nearly any part of a person's original body, including long lost organs, just by touching them. And these replicas could be implanted without needing any sort of anti rejection medication or long term after-care.
So Toshinori was getting his lung and stomach back. The organs in question had already been grown and removed from the doctor, and were only waiting on insertion. Recovery Girl was standing by as a personal favor to speed along the healing process, so by the end of the day, Toshinori was looking at being able to process food and breathe normally for the first time in years.
Presently, he was laid out on a hospital gurney, awaiting transport to the OR. Shouta stood stalwartly beside him, a bastion of strength against the nervous energy tingling through his mangled guts. Every so often, the taciturn man would pin him with a look that silently demanded he stop worrying and fidgeting, and Toshinori would attempt to do just that, before the anxiety clawed its way back up his throat and the process repeated itself.
Finally, the nurses came to move him back. Which was both a curse and a blessing, as Shouta wasn't allowed to accompany him further. He swallowed another bubble of nervousness and filled the time it took to get him prepped with eager, idle chatter and a smile he didn't feel. Old habits died hard, it seemed.
Toshinori startled awake to the steady sound of a heart monitor. He took a moment to take stock of himself, and noted that his torso felt almost uncomfortably full. This feeling was accompanied by the strangest sensation. A yearning almost, that took several seconds to place after having lived without it for so long. He was hungry.
A smile split his gaunt face. He looked over to see his ever vigilant partner had succumbed to sleep on the nearest chair. The dark haired man's bristled chin was tucked against his chest and his arms were crossed and wrapped around himself in support. He was cute like that, Toshinori decided.
He tentatively stretched his long limbs, tensing his newly healed abdominal muscles against the lingering soreness to sit up on the bed. He'd certainly had worse on the pain scale, so he ignored it in favor of getting his bearings. He wondered if he could find the hospitality room and get a snack there to put his new stomach to the test. He'd barely thrown a leg off the bed when he was interrupted.
“You should have woken me.” Shouta said, alert now, and looking him over with a critical eye.
“You looked tired.” Toshinori answered cheerfully.
Shouta narrowed his eyes. “I always look tired. You were planning on sneaking off again.”
“Ah, you caught me!” Toshinori cried dramatically, falling back onto the bed. “My evil plans have been thwarted by the hero, Eraserhead!”
“Ridiculous.” Shouta scoffed, but his tone was more fond than exasperated. “How're you feeling?” He asked after a moment of silence, reaching out to claim one larger hand in one of his own.
“Not too bad, actually.” Toshinori answered. “I’m honestly surprised. I was expecting much worse.” He pulled the hospital sheet down with his free hand to look at his bandaged torso. He wondered if he'd have a few new scars there or if Recovery Girl's healing had removed them. He'd spent the two weeks before the surgery resting and eating as much as he could stand to stockpile resources for her Quirk to utilize, and it looked like it had paid off.
“They said you should be able to go home tomorrow.” Shouta told him. “They want to make sure everything is functioning correctly.”
“That's fair, I guess. So far I think it feels normal. Everything hurts a bit, but that's par for the course with these things.” Overall he was pretty satisfied with the experience so far. Although that nagging feeling in his stomach-hunger, he reminded himself- was awfully irritating. “Do you think they'll let me eat anything yet?”
“Clear fluids.” Shouta answered curtly. Toshinori tried not to be dissapointed. He really did. But it was difficult. That nagging feeling lingering in the pit of his new stomach was very difficult to ignore. Hopefully they'd let him eat soon.
Toshinori tried very, very hard to be a positive person. His life might not be perfect, but he had a lot of good things going for him on any given day, and he tried very hard to remember that.
Right now he was hard pressed to remember anything good.
He'd been sent home with strict orders from the doctor to stick to fluids for at least a week, so his new stomach had time to adjust.
A week! Seven days of jello and bland broth and juice when all he wanted was a full course meal for once in seven years! Was it really so much to ask? Surely it wouldn't be that bad?
Unfortunately his partner had no intention of letting him find out. He'd come home to empty cupboards and a pitifully stocked fridge, filled only with the few things listed as allowed on his discharge papers. He really should have seen it coming, Shouta took his responsibilities very, very seriously after all, and considered Toshinori's welfare top priority after taking care of his students.
He admired that about him. He really did. But now he was stuck in an apartment with no real food and the gnawing urge to Detroit Smash something into next week. Pity the embers of One For All had deserted him. They'd be incredibly useful right now. He could just climb out the window and bound over to the nearest food shop, over-protective partner none the wiser.
His food-filled power fantasy was soon interrupted by the arrival of said partner through the front door with a small container in tow.
“I brought you some broth.” He said in lieu of a proper greeting.
Toshinori flashed a hollow smile as the broth was placed in front of where he sat on the couch. Unfortunately the underground hero had always been too good at spotting the fakes.
“Are you okay?” Shouta asked.
“Why wouldn't I be?” Toshinori snapped, and instantly felt nauseous with regret(and hunger, his mind supplied unhelpfully.)
Shouta shrugged. “You tell me.”
Toshinori sighed. “I... it's nothing major.” He lied. “Thank you for lunch.” He pulled the container towards him and drank it slowly, hoping to make it last.
He hated this feeling.
Like he'd never hated anything in his life aside from All for One.
He'd thought, mistakenly, that he'd be in the clear once the week of fluids was up. That the ever-present hunger would fade once he was able to eat normal food.
He was wrong.
If anything, it was worse now. Once his new stomach had gotten a taste of real food, there was no going back. He was so hungry all the time, a near constant hum in the back of his mind, and it was incredibly annoying after living so long without it.
The feeling grated on him, fueling flames of aggravation that were slowly bleeding over into too many aspects of his life. Little things he'd never minded were annoying him to no end right then, and he was often reminding himself to calm down and think rationally.
Today was no exception. It was four o'clock in the afternoon. Shouta's classes should have ended thirty minutes prior but he still wasn't home. Toshinori spent an agonizing thirty minutes glaring daggers at their apartment door before it finally opened.
“You're late.” He told him. He hadn't meant for that to be the first thing out of his mouth. He really hadn't.
"A little." Shouta agreed. "Went over some lesson plans with Vlad."
"Well I missed you!" He shouted petulently. "Could you at least call if you're going to-"
Shouta paused in the process of toeing off his shoes. “Have you eaten anything?” He interupted.
“Yes!” Toshinori snapped, throwing his hands up and starting to pace. “All I do is eat. This is terrible. Can they take it out again?”
Shouta huffed out a breath of laughter. “Toshi,” he began chidingly. “No credible doctor is going to remove your stomach because you don't like feeling hungry.”
“I could visit All For One in Tartarus. Bet he'd do it for fun.” he muttered darkly.
“Toshi,” he heard again, the other's voice sounding curiously strangled. He glance up in time to realize his-apparently terrible-partner was biting his own lip against the silent laughter shaking his frame.
“Are you-it's not funny!” He declared. “Quit laughing. No one should have to eat this much. I had a huge breakfast! I shouldn't have to eat again already.” He was used to sneaking in a few bites of food here and there as he felt tired or weak. It had been enough. It should still be enough.
The silent laughter ended abruptly. “That was ten hours ago.” Shouta said, dark eyes narrowing into a glare. “You have to eat more often than that.”
Toshinori made a sound somewhere between a growl and a moan of agony, and stomped his way towards the kitchen.
Shouta was resting in his yellow sleeping bag in the teacher's lounge, listening to Hizashi chatter away about nothing he found particularly interesting or important, but made sure to listen and hum along at appropriate intervals to so his best friend wouldn't pout about his lack of attention.
He'd dealt with more than enough pouting out of Toshinori lately, and as humorous as it was, he didn't think he had the mental energy to handle two pouting balls of sunshine at once.
Which is why he was resting. Not so much out of being physically tired-Toshinori was as cuddly as ever and did a spectacular job of helping him sleep at night-but out of sheer mental exhaustion from the amount of social interaction he'd had in the last two weeks.
He'd devoted much of his time lately to keeping Toshinori from self destructing in the wake of his surgery. This entailed meeting covertly with several nutrition experts and the doctor that performed it. She'd informed him that after living so long without one, his body might respond to having a stomach by continuing to not feel hunger, or by feeling it constantly until his new stomach could consistently send the signals indicating fullness. Evidently he was experiencing the latter.
It wasn't helped by the fact that Toshinori seemed to resent eating. He would go for hours without (and was evidently used to this, something Shouta found very concerning) and get progressively grumpier the entire time. Not that his 'grumping’ was ever all that bad. Mostly he tended to rant about the economy and villains going free and lack of disaster relief funding. Yesterday he'd complained that Shouta's track suit hid too much of his figure.
Trying not to laugh at him was incredibly hard sometimes. He was doing his best, but watching a fully grown man stomp around like a toddler and shout angry compliments was tripping every one of his half-dead humor triggers. A man could only take so much.
So he was carefully responding to Hizashi's yammering about new English course books when an irate Toshinori strode through the staff-room door. He'd finally been given the all clear to work again and had seemed happy about it this morning, but now he looked thunderous.
Shouta eyed him balefully, waiting for the explosion.
“Whoah, big guy. What's eating you?” Hizashi asked, jumping up from his perch on the arm of the couch.
“It’s not important!” He decreed, looming over the suddenly terrified blond. “And how can you even ask me that? You're too nice! You have three jobs and you're constantly busy, but you still find time to spend making sure everyone is happy. When do you even sleep? It's disgusting how overworked you are. I'm telling Nedzu to give you a paid vacation!” he ranted at a stunned Hizashi, who could only gape in disbelief.
“And you!” He rounded on Shouta, scowling down at him with his hands on his hips. “Are you getting enough sleep? You're not, are you? Don't you dare grade any papers tonight. I'm making dinner, and you're going to sleep on time, and I'm grading young Midoriya's essay which is probably five pages too long because he puts so much effort into his schoolwork!”
Shouta resisted the curl of a grin until Toshinori was safely turned away, grouchily throwing a sandwhich together from the contents of the staff fridge. Mic was side-eyeing him with wide eyes and a hand clamped desperately over his own mouth. The two watched in tense silence as Toshinori shoved the sandwich in his mouth and flounced out of the staff-room with it held between his teeth.
Shouta's chest shook.
He was not going to giggle.
He was not going to-damnit! The flabbergasted look on Hizashi's face was his downfall; he let out a peal of breathless laughter.
“I...I think I'm missing something?” Hizashi stammered.
Shouta huffed. “He's fine. Probably forgot his snack again earlier. He gets like this when he forgets to eat.”
“That's...pretty harsh, man. I hope he feels better soon.” he paused for a moment. “Is that hard to deal with all the time?”
Shouta waved a hand dismissively. “I’m still trying to figure out how to get him that aggressive in bed.” he answered, eyeing the door fondly.
“Shouta!” Hizashi choked, looking red and scandalized.
He was interrupted from further outburst when door opened, and Nemuri poked her head in with a confused expression.
“Is everything alright with Toshi-kun?” She asked Shouta. “He just yelled at me to stop fussing with my hair because it already looked great.”
Shouta cackled. Ah, this was going to be the death of him. How was he supposed to keep a straight face around Toshi now?
"I hate this." Toshinori said. They were snuggled up on the couch of their apartment. Shouta'd been carefully petting the man's hair for at least ten minutes while he did his best to fit all over seven feet of himself in the smaller man's lap.
"Hate what?" He asked, already pretty sure what the topic would be.
"Feeling this way. I've been so mean lately and-why are you laughing at me again?" He demanded. "I'm serious!"
"Toshi..." Shouta began carefully, grasping for words around the sordid laughter. "Trust me. You aren't being mean."
"How can you say that? I've been angry, and yelling at everyone, and-"
"You've been yelling compliments at everyone." Seriously, he thought that was mean? "Which is rude, maybe. But not mean."
Shouta pulled him closer. A feat, because he barely fit on the couch as it was with his insane height. "Look, if it makes you feel any better, apologize to everyone on Monday, but trust me, no one minds. I think I saw Midoriya crying happy tears when you shouted at him that his latest essay was excessively well researched."
Toshinori huffed. "Well it was. Who has that many refferences listed?"
"Midoriya." He deadpanned, just to see the blond crack a genuine smile. "Either way, don't worry about it. Just make sure you're eating."
"Fine." His partner answerred, and if it was a bit sour, he could over look it.