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Nestled into the six blankets on his bed with a cat curled on his pillow next to his head, Shouta slept soundly until the shrill ringing of his phone tore him from his rest. He tried to ignore his phone, hoping they would just leave him a voicemail when he didn’t pick up. It stopped for a few glorious seconds, allowing him to almost slip back into his dreams when it started up again. Groaning, he aimlessly dug around the bed for his phone, only succeeding in scaring his cat off his pillow. He had a feeling he knew who was on the other line. Ignoring his calls weren’t going to deter Hizashi from calling until he finally received an answer.

Shoving all the blankets off him, he huffed in irritation before snatching his phone off his nightstand. His phone was already lit up with the third consecutive phone call, Hizashi’s smiling face displayed clearly on the screen. His cute face was almost enough to make him forgive Hizashi right then and there. Almost.

“What could you possibly need this early in the morning?” Shouta snapped, resisting the urge to burrow back in his blankets. He most definitely would fall back asleep if he let himself slip back into the warmth of his bed, letting Hizashi’s voice lull him back to dreamland. It was as if he were right next to him instead of on the phone; a typical fantasy for him, one that he tried to ignore. Instead, he pulled himself from his bed and found a clean pair of sweatpants to pull on.

“SHOUTA!” Hizashi shouted from the other end, static crackling at the end; Shouta could hear that his quirk was slipping from the pitch of his voice. Without waiting for a response, Hizashi continued on, “I have a major issue and I need your help NOW! Please come over! It’s a huge problem!”

All irritation melted out of Shouta at the panic in his friend’s voice. “Okay. I’ll be over soon.”

“Thank you!” Hizashi hiccupped loudly. Shouta realized he must be crying and pulled on the nearest shirt without even checking if it was clean. “I’m just, okay, yeah I’ll be waiting. See you soon, Shou,” it was almost a whisper and then the call ended.

Nothing worried Shouta more than Hizashi being quiet. He was only ever quiet when he was really upset. Something serious must have happened then. 

He quickly brushed his teeth after a short debate if it was really worth it – and it was, because what if today was finally the day he kissed Hizashi? – and he was out the door, barely pausing to slip on his shoes. 

On a normal day, he could walk to the Yamada’s house in twenty minutes. But today wasn’t a normal day, so he ran to it in eight minutes flat. He didn’t even bother with knocking like he usually would despite the entire Yamada family giving him permission to come and go as he pleased, instead unlocking it with the spare key he had been given. 

The house seemed empty, so as he slipped off his shoes he called out, “Hizashi?”

“Finally!” An annoyed voice groaned from the second floor. “He’s been locked in the bathroom for, like,  the last two hours. Can you please get him out? I need to shower,” Kaori, Hizashi’s youngest sister and still in middle school, appeared at the top of the stairs. Despite how late in the day it was, she was still dressed in a bright pink matching pajama set with unicorns on it. Her pjs were as loud as everything else the Yamada’s did.

Shouta could feel her anger even with the stairs separating them. He gave her a terse nod before taking the stairs two at a time, making a beeline for the bathroom. The door was locked, so he knocked on it twice before softly asking, “Zashi?”

The door flew open and he was yanked into the bathroom by his arm. Quickly, it was slammed and locked behind him. Before he had a chance to figure out what was going on, Hizashi had thrown his arms around him and began sobbing onto his shoulder. 

“Shou, its awful. I messed up so bad. I can’t ever be seen outside this house again,” He wailed, leaning all his weight onto his shorter friend .

“Hizashi, what happened? Are you okay? You said it was an emergency,” Rubbing his back in soothing circles, Shouta noticed a flash of color out of the corner of his eye. That in itself was strange, but he filed it away for later, for when his best friend wasn’t busy sobbing into the front of his shirt.

Hizashi finally pulled back after another minute; he held Shouta by the shoulders and looked utterly miserable. “Shouta, look at me! I’m hideous!” He sobbed, tears still streaming down his face. “I’ve completely ruined my hair! I’ll have to shave it off! There’s no fixing this!” Hizashi tilted his head forward so he was staring at the ground, trying to give Shouta a better look at the top of his head. Where normally dark grey – a warm chocolate brown from what he’s been told – hair usually sat gelled up on the top of his head, now a bright, almost blinding, yellow hung loosely in a curtain around his face. Shouta was in awe of the color, not just because of how different it was, but because of how clearly he could see it. He found his hand reaching out to touch the soft tendrils before he even realized he had lifted his hand.

At the point where his hand touched hair, he realized that the emergency he had ran over to Hizashi’s house for was really just a hair dye mishap and he fisted the hair he was lightly touching, giving it a sharp tug. Hizashi yelped and tried to jerk his head away from Shouta, but he kept a good grip on his hair and pulled his head close so they were eye to eye, faces only centimeters apart. “Hizashi, did you wake me up at 9 am on a Saturday just because you accidentally dyed your hair the wrong color?”

“What?” Hizashi squeaked out, his face flushing. “This is a travesty, Shou! I grabbed Eiko’s hair dye this morning instead of mine! It’s not even a proper shade of blonde! I have yellow hair, Shouta! I’m supposed to have brown hair! I can’t pull off yellow hair!” 

Shouta’s neutral face gave way to a deep scowl, looking particularly nasty even for him. His eyes narrowed into slits, and he leveled his now-yellow-haired friend with a cold glare. Hizashi gulped and laughed nervously, trying to play off his terror, “Come on, Shou! This is a big deal to me. You know how much I love my hair and I ruined it forever!”

Shouta sighed deeply and dropped his hand from his best friend’s hair. “It’s just hair, Zashi. It’ll be okay,” He murmured, all of his anger giving way in lieu of Hizashi’s watery eyes. He never could stay mad at Hizashi for more than a few seconds because of the convenient crush he developed sometime during their first year.

“No, it won’t just be okay! I’ve ruined my hair! I can’t re-dye it right away! I’ll already have horrible split ends and probably chemical damage since I bleached it like an idiot!” He lamented, burying his face in his hands. “I know you can’t see how bad I messed it up, but Shou, trust me, it’s awful.”

Shouta peered up at Hizashi’s hair, once again in awe of the bright color. Over the course of the last seventeen years, Shouta’s color vision had worsened as a side effect of his quirk.  He still had perfect vision, as long as no one asked him what color anything was. Only a few things remained vibrant enough that he could see them on a good day: lemons, sunflowers, canaries. In a world full of grey, black, and white, yellow had been the sole color that had remained with him, but even then it was still subdued for the most part. And now, his best friend and crush of two years stood before him with bright yellow hair, a color he could actually see.

 “It’s not so bad,” He mumbled.

Hizashi moaned in dismay, still not looking up, “Shouta, don’t just try to make me feel better, okay? I know it’s bad.”

“When have I ever said something to just to make you feel better if I didn’t believe it?” He snorted, eyes still glued to the only pop of color in the room for him, “I can see it, Zashi. It looks good.”

Hizashi’s head whipped up, shock on his face. “Did you just say you can see it?” He whispered.

Shouta gave him a small smile, “Yeah. I can see some yellow, not much anymore, but I can definitely see your hair. I like it. It means I’ll never be able to lose you.” Once he realized what he had said, he looked down towards the ground as he felt a blush creeping up his cheeks.

Hizashi was quiet while he moved towards the mirror to admire his hair. Shouta lifted his gaze to watch his reflection. It was silent for a couple minutes while a myriad of emotions flashed through Hizashi’s face until it finally settled on something akin to acceptance. “I suppose you’re right, it's not that bad. I could totally pull off yellow hair,” He grinned, making finger guns at Shouta in the mirror. His eyes were still red-rimmed and puffy from crying, but Shouta was struck by how attractive his friend was. He has always thought he was gorgeous with his emerald green eyes and his perfect teeth, but the blonde hair really did suit him.

Smiling again to himself, Shouta snorted, “You’re still lame though.”

“And yet you never wanna lose me,” Hizashi countered, spinning around to face Shouta, grinning and giving him an exaggerated wink.

They stood there a foot apart from each other, staring at one another, both their smiles melting into something more fond. Shouta sucked in a deep breath, throwing caution to the wind, “Zashi, I-,”

“HIZASHI, YOU GET OUT OF THE BATHROOM RIGHT NOW OR SO HELP ME I’M CALLING MOM,” Kaori screeched from the other side of the door, banging on it for good measure. Both boys jumped at the sudden disruption.

Whatever moment that had happened between them had passed and both boys looked away from each other. Shouta’s eyes widened when he realized how close he had come to almost confessing his feelings. He thanked every deity he could think of that he had been interrupted.

“Well, I guess I can face the day like this. Promise to defend me if someone makes fun of my hair?” Hizashi joked, bumping shoulders with Shouta on his way to the door.

“Of course,” Shouta murmured with a small, nervous smile on his face, happy to see Hizashi back to normal, even if he had panicked over something stupid. Shouta would just have to panic about his own stupidity now.  

2

Hizashi kept his yellow hair. In fact, he even seemed to like it by the end of the first week. Eiko made him buy her new hair dye, but other than that, the hair dye mishap had all but blown over. He even had Nemuri start touching up his roots whenever they began to show.

Shouta loved it. Shouta loved everything Hizashi did because at some point he realized he loved Hizashi, but that was beside the point. He could see Hizashi no matter how far apart they were in a room. He never failed to pick out the bright yellow hair gelled up from a crowd. It was a ray of sunshine in his otherwise drab, colorless world.

He just wished all things were as easy as loving Hizashi had become.

A blow to the temple from Takahasi sent his goggles flying off his face and into the dirt, where they blended in all too well with the rest of the dark gray and black mess that was the ground. Shouta groaned but he was able to duck the fist swinging for his face again. At the same him, he swiped his opponent’s legs out from under him. Takahashi’s back slammed onto the ground and knocked the air out of him, allowing Shouta to quickly handcuff him to end their simulated battle.

After helping Takahashi up, Shouta began looking through the dirt for his goggles. Having black goggles seemed like a good idea at the time, to match the rest of his hero costume design, but once they got knocked off his face, it was nearly impossible for him to find them again. “Where are they?” He grumbled, scanning the ground once more but still coming up empty.

“Shouta!” Hizashi’s chipper voice called out to him from his left, “You’re looking for your goggles right? I got them right here!”

Turning, Shouta was graced with the sight of Hizashi bent over at the waist, picking up his goggles from the ground. The growth spurt he had recently left all of his clothes too tight, meaning his pants were clinging to his hips and his legs in a way that a school issued track suit really shouldn’t. His shirt was riding up just a bit, revealing a silver of exposed pale skin that made him lick his lips before he realized he had even done it. When Shouta realized he was ogling his friend, his face flushed and he averted his eyes in embarrassment.

Righting himself, Hizashi offered him a grin. “I have an idea. Can I give you your goggles back tomorrow?”

Shouta met his friends excited gaze with a confused one, but shrugged and said, “Sure,” with as much nonchalance as he could muster in that moment to play off the blush spreading across his face.

They didn’t have anymore time to talk as their teacher called them all to gather together for the end of their lesson. The rest of their lessons flew by in a whirl as they so often did when Shouta slept through half of them. As soon as the final bell rang, Hizashi darted out the door without a word to anyone, so Shouta walked home alone and pondered what he could need his goggles for.

The next day, Hizashi didn’t beat Shouta to school. He started to get worried when the first bell was only ten minutes away; Hizashi always came to school early so he had time to socialize with as many people as possible before the first bell. However, as soon as he pulled out his phone to text him, Hizashi came strutting into the classroom beaming and headed straight for Shouta’s desk.

“Shouta! I have some great news. My idea totally worked,” He shouted as he rummaged through his backpack for something.

Shouta nodded, his face scrunching up in confusion. “And what exactly was your idea?”

Momentarily forgetting about his hand in his backpack, Hizashi’s gaze darted to his friend’s face, his smile getting wider somehow. “Look, Shou, you know how you told me it's so hard to find your goggles because they just blend in to the dirt right? Like how everything is too dark for you to make it out properly and all?” At Shouta’s nod, Hizashi continued, “Well, I was thinking, what if your goggles weren’t black? They would be easier to find, right?”

Nodding again,  Shouta sighed.

 He didn’t want to ruin Hizashi’s good mood this early, but he was going to have to tell him that even if his goggles weren’t black, he still wouldn’t be able to see them very well. But just as he opened his mouth to let his friend down as gently as he was capable of, Hizashi gave a little cheer as he found what he was looking for in his bag. With a dramatic flourish Shouta had come to expect from Hizashi, he produced Shouta’s goggles from his bag. When Shouta’s eyes landed on them, the words froze in his throat.

His once black goggles had been painstakingly painted a bright yellow, bright enough for him to see it. As carefully as he could, he took them from Hizashi’s hand to admire them closer. The yellow of his goggles was familiar and it made his lips quirk up into a soft smile, realizing where he had seen this dazzling shade of yellow before. It was the same shade as Hizashi’s bright, gelled up hair.

“Thanks,” he murmured softly, his smile widening, “I love-,” he coughed out loud to cover up the fact that his next word was going to be ‘you’. Swallowing, he managed to put a nervous smile back on his face, “I love them.”

Hizashi was already moving to perch on Shouta’s desk as he did most mornings, grinning proudly and blissfully unaware of Shouta’s almost confession.

3

Graduation came before either of them realized it. That night, after their ceremony and the celebration they had with all their friends, Shouta slept over at Hizashi’s house for what felt like the last time. It very well could be the last time. They were graduated now. They were going to both move out from their parent’s homes and become professionals.

It hadn’t occurred to Shouta before but what if this was it for them? What if they lost contact after they moved because they ended up too far from each other? What if this is where their friendship ended?

Shouta could feel his thoughts spiraling out of control, panic starting to weigh in his chest. Normally whenever he could feel negative thoughts like these creep up on him, Hizashi would chase away the dark thoughts effortlessly. Thinking about that only made Shouta feel worse as he realized he might lose that after tonight.

Before he could fall completely into hopelessness, he heard Hizashi push the door open to his own room and stumble in with a towel wrapped around his head. “Man, today was fun right? I can’t believe we convinced Tensei to dance on the table at dinner,” He chuckled to himself, still oblivious to Shouta’s internal struggle.  

Except the chorus of negativity in his head didn’t subside with a few words from Hizashi like it would normally. Shouta could have sobbed in frustration at how this may be his last night with his best friend and long time crush, but all he can do is think of what tomorrow may bring. He should have been cherishing this moment. He opened his mouth to give a response, but he was beaten to it by his friend.

“So, um, I got you a gift for graduation,” Hizashi murmured quietly, pulling a carefully wrapped box from the side of his bed and held it in his lap for a moment, “I hope you like it.” With that, he handed it over to Shouta almost shyly.

Shouta took it wordlessly, confusion written all over his face. He carefully pulled back what he assumed was colorful wrapping paper to reveal a brand new, state of the art sleeping bag that he had been keeping his eye on for the last few months. His happiness at the gift drowned out any sadness or frustration that was lingering in his mind. Hizashi always did manage to pull him back out of his head in the end, after all. “Thanks, Zashi,” He whispered fondly, gaze still locked on the box in his arms.

“No, Shou! You gotta open it!” Hizashi insisted, no trace of shyness in his smile anymore. “I mean, I noticed your sleeping bag had a tear in it last week and, let’s be honest, we both know you barely fit in it anymore since you hit your growth spurt.” Rolling his eyes at the rambling, Shouta pulled the dull colored box open to appease his best friend, but he gasped in surprise at the sleeping bag itself.

Bright yellow. The same shade his goggles were painted earlier that year. The same shade as Hizashi’s hair. A bright yellow that he could still see despite his colorblindness. The color warmed his heart and caused a tender smile to grace his lips as he stared at one of the two colored things he could see in the room. “Well, now we know I’ll never lose it at least,” He said wryly, trying to cover up the overwhelming love he felt for his friend at how thoughtful the gift was.

“I’m so glad you like it, because it was actually a bribe,” Hizashi declared, his smile tinged with nerves again. Shouta frowned and quirked an eyebrow to prompt his friend to continue. “So you know, the area you want to work in is going to be really expensive plus you won’t know anyone there so you’ll probably get lonely and don’t even get me started on how you barely function without someone to remind you to eat and sleep,” He rambled. Shouta felt his frown deepen with every word from his friend; it was all true but none of it was what he wanted to focus on tonight. He just wanted to enjoy his last night with Hizashi without panicking about what comes next. “So I was thinking, if I’m going to get a job at a radio station, the best place to be would be in Tokyo as well since that’s where the best stations are, and, well, I guess I just mean, we should live together, to save money and... stuff,” He finished lamely.

For a moment, Shouta was sure he heard him wrong. He’d been so worried about what comes next without Hizashi, it didn’t occur to him that he wouldn’t have to be without Hizashi yet. Still trying to process how he could have gotten so incredibly lucky, he almost missed Hizashi’s nervous smile start to crumple into a sad one. “Hizashi, you didn’t have to bribe me. You could have just asked,” He sighed, trying to keep the excitement out of his voice and laying disinterest on thick.

It didn’t matter, Hizashi saw through it just like he always did. “Does that mean that...?”

He let the ending of his question hang in the air, for Shouta to finish. Staring down at the bright yellow sleeping bag in his arms, he found all the love he’d kept to himself bubbling up to the surface. He could already feel the words ‘I love you’ on his lips, but managed to catch himself just in time. Instead, he settled for a smile and replied, “Of course I’ll live with you, Zashi.”

“Okay, good, because I was totally already thinking on how we should decorate and everything is going to be yellow.”

4

They were doing anything but living the dream as fresh faced heroes trying to make ends meet, but they had each other to pick up the slack where the other one lacked. That was enough to make up for their meager salaries and horrendous sleep schedules. Two years living together had only served to make them closer.

It also, incidentally, had made Shouta fall even more in love with Hizashi than he already was. But then, everything made him love Hizashi a little more, from the awful pop music he played when he cooked, to the notes he would leave pinned to the fridge for Shouta to find later, and even the ridiculous mismatched socks he would wear around the house when his feet got cold. And of course, every time he saw the bright yellow of his best friend’s dyed hair he felt his love grow stronger.

Despite the wonderful feeling of living with the one he loved, work had been less than ideal quite often. Patrol that night had been boring, only one incident cropped up and he ended up thrown in a dumpster so he now smelled like rotten produce. He was actually technically done with his shift and on his way home, only to be interrupted by a building lit on fire. And of course, he was the only hero around to respond. Taking care of the incident itself only took just over an hour, but the paperwork for arson was so much longer than the paperwork for the typical brawls with minimal property damage that he was used to.

So, two and a half hours late, Shouta was finally on his way home again. Normally a late night wouldn’t bother him at all, but tonight was one of the rare nights that he and Hizashi both had free. They had made plans to get takeout and stay up late watching movies like they used to in high school; it was going to be the first time they really hung out since his birthday two months ago. Instead, Hizashi had probably gone to bed when Shouta didn’t show up on time.

He checked his phone, smiling in spite of his irritation at the three most recent notifications: all from Hizashi, who was clearly drunk. He snorted when he saw the most recent one, just minutes ago and in all caps, barely decipherable from all the spelling errors. He was pretty sure it said something about a surprise and to hurry home, but he couldn’t be certain. Shoving his phone back into his pocket, he picked up the pace back to their apartment now that he had something to look forward to again.

Reaching their apartment in record time, Shouta threw the door open. Even if he didn’t like surprises usually, he was sure he was going to enjoy whatever Hizashi had planned. Hizashi always knew just what to do or say to lift his spirits. “Zashi?” He called out to their living room, taking note of the several bottles of beer on their coffee table.

He didn’t receive a response. He looked in the kitchen before his mood took a turn for the worse, assuming Hizashi had gone to bed already. He didn’t blame him. It was late, already past midnight. He sighed and headed to the bathroom for a shower before he went to bed himself. As much as he would have liked to stay under the warm water for longer, his exhaustion caught up with him and he showered quickly, eager to be off his feet.

His laziness came in handy for once, as he’d forgotten to take his pajamas back to his room when he changed that morning. Once he was dressed, he pushed out of the bathroom and walked directly across the hall to his bedroom. The door was closed, even though he was fairly certain he had left it cracked for their cat, Simba, but he shrugged it off and pushed his door open. Suddenly, he had a feeling he knew what the surprise was.

His room was lit with dozens of strands of fairy lights that had been strung up haphazardly all around the room. Some hung across the ceiling, some draped around his bed, and even more stretched across his walls, bathing his room in a warm glow that almost mimicked the night sky being lit with stars.

Speaking of stars, the fairy lights were covered in them. Simple, paper stars adorned each bulb; each one had been carefully cut out and hung with care. Shouta gasped when he got closer to the nearest strand of stars and realized they weren’t just lit up with a warm yellow light, every single one of the hundreds of stars adorning his wall was bright yellow. He could see the color in each star, backlit by the fairy lights they were hung. It was so beautiful, so warm, so Hizashi, that he let out a small chuckle at how it warmed his heart. Even without seeing him, Hizashi had still somehow found a way to turn a bad day into a good one.

He admired the stars for a few more moments, smiling openly at his friend’s handiwork, before deciding to call it a night and thank Hizashi properly in the morning. Turning on his heel, he marched himself to his bed and pulled back the covers before realizing there was a person already in his bed. Hizashi was curled around one of the numerous pillows Shouta had on his bed with his back to Shouta, sharing the pillow his head was on with Simba. Gently, he grasped his shoulder and gave him a soft shake, murmuring, “Zashi, it’s time to go to bed.”

“Mmmmm,” Hizashi rolled over, not any more awake, “Gotta wait for Shou. He’s gonna love his stars.”

“I do love it,” He whispered, brushing some hair out of Hizashi’s face, smiling tenderly since he knew his friend wasn’t awake enough to see it.

Hizashi didn’t budge, which made Shouta sigh. He slid an arm under his friend’s back, intending to carry him to his own bed, but that plan was cut short when Hizashi grabbed a fistful of his shirt and pulled him closer, muttering in his sleep, “Mmm warm.”

Shouta groaned inwardly, torn between following through with his plan and giving up and sleeping on the couch. “Hizashi, you’re drunk. Let me take you to bed,” He tried to pry Hizashi’s hand off his shirt, but Hizashi merely took it as an invitation to wrap their fingers together and look smug about it, even in his sleep.

“’m already in bed, silly,” Hizashi giggled and cracked an eye open, pulling Shouta closer by their intertwined hands. “You should go to bed too, Shou,” He slurred out, eyelids already sliding shut. Shouta snorted in amusement at his friend’s drunken state, already having forgotten he was talking to the person he was supposedly waiting for.

Once Hizashi’s grip went slack, he pulled his hand free and asked, “Am I at least allowed to sleep in my own bed?” The only response he received was a snore so he rolled his eyes and took that as a yes.

Hizashi had taken up Shouta’s preferred side of the bed, but he supposed he could forgive him this once. He slipped under the covers next to his best friend and tried to ignore the very small amount of space that separated them. That became infinitely harder when Hizashi rolled closer and threw an arm over him, nuzzling his face into the back of Shouta’s neck. “I love you,” He felt Hizashi breath onto his neck with the words, sending shivers down his spine. His heart started beating in double time, hammering into his chest from something between excitement and apprehension. Shouta took a deep breath to steady himself and opened his mouth to respond with his own confession when Hizashi cut him off, “Mmmm I love you Simba.”

Shouta heart ached. He laughed bitterly before responding with, “Yeah, I love Simba too.”

5

It wasn’t very often that Hizashi’s agency reached out to Shouta’s for help due to his disdain for publicity, but it did happen on occasion. Mostly when his quirk would be invaluable to the mission or the mission included stealth, which Hizashi did not excel at.

That particular mission was a raid on a known villain’s hideout in the dead of night since Sunstrike – the main villain in question – had a quirk grew stronger in the daylight. Despite the fact that several other villains were known to hang around him, only Hizashi and Shouta had been sent on this mission. It was probably on purpose. While Present Mic was known for being extremely cooperative and easy to work with, Eraserhead was known for his bad attitude with people he wasn’t already close with and his penchant to argue with anyone. It was rare another agency would call him to work with anyone unless Hizashi was also going to be there.

They started with a stake out the night before the raid. Shouta made his way to the building after his patrol, ten minutes early. Hizashi showed up five minutes late with coffee and snacks. “Hizashi, we’re on a stake out. This isn’t us hanging out on a Thursday night,” Shouta chastised, rolling his eyes in an attempt to hide the humor he actually felt.

“Fine then, I’ll keep your coffee then,” Hizashi shot back, dangling a paper cup in front of his friend’s face with a smug smirk on his face.

Shouta sighed, “Fine. But keep quiet at least.”

Hizashi wasn’t as quiet as Shouta would have liked, but the stake out went off without a hitch. They came up with a course of action for the next night when they would actually apprehend the villains before walking home for some rest.

All too quickly they found themselves outside the same warehouse the next night. The heroes’ plan started off well: Hizashi gained the attention of the six villains in the hideout to allow Shouta to erase quirks from the shadows and them off one by one until they caught on. With Hizashi distracting them, Shouta managed to take down three before he was noticed. With only three left, they both thought they would have this taken care of quickly.

Sunstrike himself was subdued; the three left had unknown quirks but were all supposed to be low level villains. Shouta engaged one while Hizashi knocked the other two off their feet with the force of his quirk. Shouta’s opponent brought out a knife, which he took to mean they were unsure in their quirk’s abilities. He sent an end of his capture weapon to latch onto his opponent’s wrist, yanking him forward and causing him to release the knife.

With his quirk activated, Shouta pulled his opponent close enough to handcuff him when he heard a yelp that sounded like Hizashi. His eyes flit to his friend on instinct, dropping his guard down and allowing his own opponent to slip out of his capture weapon. Hizashi seemed fine against his opponent so he turned his attention back to his own. The man pulled a lighter out of his pocket this time and drew in a large breath. Shouta activated his quirk quickly, ready to stop whatever it was this man had planned, however, something hit him over the back of his head and he crumpled to the ground.

In the next few seconds, the warehouse came to life with a resounding bang and a bright light that burned even through his eyelids. Shouta’s ears rang, drowning out any other noise. He attempted to push himself up but he couldn’t feel his left arm and the movement just made him nauseous. Prying his eyes open, he was met with the sight of the warehouse partially collapsed and burning.

He thought he heard a voice near him but there was a sharp ringing in his ears didn’t allow him to understand it. Groaning, he managed to slowly turn to his left to see a beam from the ceiling had fallen on him and pinned him to the ground, accounting for the lack of feeling in it. It was most definitely broken. He was almost glad he couldn’t feel it at the moment, since his head alone was enough to put him out of commission.

Shouta’s thoughts began to get jumbled. His head was swimming, the grayscale fire blurring and causing him to blink to clear his vision. Panic began to set in when he realized there was a strong chance he would die there at the tender age of twenty-five. He frantically looked for something, anything, to help him out of his situation. There was nothing within his reach. His throat ached from the smoke and he could feel his breathing quicken from panic.

Something moving to his right caught his attention: a flash of color that grounded him, made him feel safer. Vision still blurry, all he could make out was a spot of yellow making its way towards him. He felt like he knew that color, would know that color anywhere, but he couldn’t put his finger on it when his head throbbed with his heartbeat and he knew he was losing blood.

The yellow shape knelt close to him and he could make out that it was hair, attached to a person who he knew but he couldn’t remember just who it was. It didn’t matter if he wasn’t sure who the man was, he made him feel safe regardless. The blurry man shoved the wreckage off his arm and pulled him into his arms gently, as if Shouta were precious. He could see his mouth moving but no sound could drown out the shrill ringing.

They were moving now; he could tell because with each step forward, his arm was jostled, which sent an intense pain shooting up it. He felt himself cry out in pain, but it fell on deaf ears. The pain did gave him a sudden clarity over his concussion, enough that he was able to put together who the bright yellow hair belonged to: Hizashi.

Between the overwhelming pain of his arm and head, the panic and dread rushing through his veins at being forced to face his own mortality, and the pure, unadulterated swell of comfort and love he felt when his eyes laid on the yellow in front of him, Shouta felt the need to say something, anything , that would convey his feelings for his best friend. He could feel his vision begin to narrow as his head went fuzzy again, but he managed to gasp out, “Hizashi, I lo-,” before choking on smoke in the air.

He couldn’t make out his friend’s words and the terror in his eyes were making his own panic worse, so he settled his gaze on the comforting sight of the yellow of his hair as his vision narrowed and tunnel vision set in. It was the last thing he saw before he lost consciousness completely.

+1

Hizashi was fussing over him. He always fussed whenever Shouta was injured, but this time, Shouta let him without a fight. After all, he usually hasn’t had his arm broken in seven different places, a cracked skull from a bat being taken to his head, third degree burns on various parts of his body from the fire, and lingering damage to his hearing from being so close to the explosion. It might be hard to do much when he was wrapped from head to toe in bandages and his dominant arm in a cast, so he let Hizashi fuss.

Shouta sat in his bed with his mountain of pillows situated around him while Hizashi pulled out pajamas for him. Hizashi had turned his light on so they could both see, but the overhead light was too bright. It caused him to squint at the pinching pressure building up behind his eyes. He groaned and shifted, trying to pull a pillow over his eyes but not making it far before he winced at the ache that it brought to a burn on his side. “Hizashi,” He whimpered, “Can you turn on my stars instead? ‘S too bright.”

Hizashi complied with a fond smile, switching off the overhead light and turning on the fairy lights strung around the room. Each bulb was still covered by a bright yellow star, the same ones from five years ago. He never took them down, never moved them, never even thought to. How could he? Hizashi, the man he had been in love with for the last ten years, had done it specifically for him.

Shouta watched as Hizashi chattered away, tidying up around his room since he knew Shouta wouldn’t even if he weren’t injured. As his eyes tracked across the room, he noticed a pattern. Tucked into every corner of the room was a bright pop of yellow that lit up his normally colorless world. From his stars scattered across the ceiling to his cat plushies stashed around the room, his sleeping bag set neatly by the closet to sticky notes posted across his walls with silly messages on them, his goggles shoved onto his desk to some of the t-shirts hung in his closet. Every single one was a bright enough yellow that he could see it and every single one of them came from Hizashi. He felt all his love and affection from the last ten years swell and bubble up in his chest as it so often did, demanding to be let out when he realized his best friend had slowly been filling his life full of the color he thought he had lost in his early teenage years.

The words he had wanted to say for years came to his lips again and this time he couldn’t think of a single reason why he shouldn’t say them. “Hizashi,” He murmured softly, confident Hizashi would hear him. He always did. Hizashi nodded for him to continue but didn’t stop in his mindless cleaning. He took a breath to steady himself, but found that this time, he wasn’t nervous. He’d loved Hizashi for ten years now. Loving Hizashi had been the easiest thing he had ever done and confessing at this moment felt more right than anything he’d done in years, “Zashi, I’ve been in love with you since I was fifteen. I can’t imagine my life without you.”

Hizashi finally turned to him, eyes wide and face slack in shock. The armful of dirty clothes he had slid to the ground and he whispered, “Oh, fuck.”

Blinking, Shouta frowned at that response. It wasn’t exactly what he had been expecting. He’d thought either Hizashi was going to throw himself into his arms and proclaim he felt the same way or he would politely decline his feelings. He never imagined he would stand in the middle of his room, stock-still and silent while he studied Shouta’s face. He felt his face flush in embarrassment and the moment of clarity he had regarding his feelings dissipated. Panic began to set in. He had just ruined his friendship with Hizashi, hadn’t he? He had ruined everything over a stupid moment desire to lay his feelings out in the open. He felt raw and exposed, tears that so often eluded him welled up in the corners of his eyes. He opened his mouth to come up with an excuse, anything to try to fix the damage he had done, but Hizashi beat him to it.

“You’re not just saying that because you’re on really good pain killers, are you?” He whispered, taking a hesitant step towards his best friend before freezing in place once again. Shouta’s voice failed him; he gave a quick shake of his head. Suddenly, Hizashi was crowded in his personal space, murmuring I love you’s, kissing all over his face, hands smoothing hair and leaving featherlight touches on his skin. Shouta’s head was spinning, but he couldn’t bring himself to care. He brought up his right arm to hook it around Hizashi’s neck and pull him into a proper kiss, ignoring the throb of his head when he tipped it to get a better angle. Their first kiss was slow, as if they were trying to cram ten years’ worth of unvoiced affection and love into it.

The dull ache at the back of his skull turned into a burning pain, making him pull away. Hizashi rested his forehead against his, smiling, “I love you so much, Shouta. I always have.”

Later that night while they were wrapped up in one another’s arms together in his bed, Hizashi already snoring, Shouta looked around his room again and realized that Hizashi hadn’t exactly kept his love to himself as well as either of them had thought. After all, he had spent the last ten years filling Shouta’s bland world full of color.