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give me truth, give me a way out

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Izuku was startled out of his nap by a door slamming. He shuffled out of bed, yawning. Being a hero was hard work, harder than he had expected. Well, he always intellectually knew, and tried preparing himself for it, but knowing and living it were two different things. And it was partly his fault, he had to admit. He had regular hero hours, hours that he clocked in the agency he was in, hours like any other working adult. However, he liked helping others as much as he could so those hours kept getting longer and longer. But, he didn’t regret it. Being a hero was his dream, and helping people was his passion. Being a little sleep deprived from time to time was a small price to pay.

Shaking himself out of his thoughts, he hurried towards the door. After finishing high school and getting jobs in agencies, Izuku and Shouto had decided to move in together. They had been together for a while in school, so it had seemed like a logical next step. And it was nice. Izuku loved getting home and sharing his free time with the person he adored. It hadn’t even been that big of a change, since in their last year at UA he had practically moved into Shouto’s room.

But the effect of that was that Izuku knew Shouto very well. He knew all of his little quirks, all of his personality traits, his many moods. And he knew that Shouto very rarely slammed the door.

Finally reaching the front door, and Shouto, his worries were confirmed. Shouto seemed agitated, his movement jerky as he angrily took off his shoes. Izuku could even see his left side steaming a bit.

“He approves,” Shouto said, his tone measured yet icy. He had apparently noticed Izuku approaching, although he didn’t look up.

“Who approves?” Izuku asked slowly, although he was pretty sure he already knew the answer.

“My father,” Shouto practically spat. He finally looked up and met Izuku’s eyes. “He found out about us, I’m not sure how. Maybe one of his interns saw us and talked about it where he could hear, or maybe one of those awful rags finally caught a picture of us. It doesn’t matter.”

While Shouto was talking, Izuku approached him and took his hand, gently steered him towards the living room. Izuku was a pretty mild person, he firmly believed in second chances, in good in everyone and all that, but if there was one person that he truly hated, it was Shouto’s father, Endeavor. What he had done to Shouto was inexcusable and Izuku hated him for it. And what he hated even more was that it seemed that Shouto could never truly escape his influence. Whether it was nightmares, or the way Shouto still had to visit his mother in the hospital, or that he still didn’t have as close a relationship to his siblings as he should, or something else, Endeavor’s shadow seemed to hang over them at times. Each time Shouto flinched at a loud noise after lowering his guard, Izuku wanted to track down Endeavor and shout at him, at least. The only thing that really stopped him from going somewhere public and making a scandal that Endeavor could never escape from was the fact that Shouto didn’t want him to. Shouto wanted to try and move past it, which Izuku respected, so he refrained from doing anything. No matter how hard that was sometimes.

“We can talk about something else, if you want,” Izuku said gently, after sitting down next to Shouto on the couch.

“No, I need to get this out,” Shouto said, his fists clenched. Izuku bumped his shoulder into Shouto’s for comfort, and Shouto’s shoulders imperceptibly lowered. He sighed, and continued.

“He cornered me at work today. It was in public, so I couldn’t really escape him. He told me he knew about our relationship, but I didn’t really care. I thought that I wouldn’t care how much he hated it, and it was high time he knew. But he told me he approved.”

“What?” Izuku asked, his voice sounding weak even to his own ears.

“Yeah,” Shouto said, grimly. “He congratulated me, even. And do you know why?”

“I’m not sure I want to know,” Izuku muttered, but nodded at Shouto to continue speaking.

“He thinks I’m using you. He said it was a smart move, to have my main competition close to me. That I’d be able to see what you’re up to, and learn all your tricks. ‘Keep your enemies close’, he told me.”

“Oh, Shouto,” Izuku said, scooting closer to him, and hugging him. He hated seeing Shouto’s face so downcast.

“He told me I’m finally being my father’s son,” Shouto whispered.

Izuku’s arms tightened around Shouto, and he found himself having to hold his quirk back. He fought to calm down, for Shouto sake. Shouto didn’t need him angry, Shouto didn’t need him angry, he kept repeating to himself. Shouto needed him calm, and supportive. That, that piece of… didn’t deserve his attention.

Shouto hid his face in Izuku’s neck, his anger from before fading. He needed comfort now, Izuku knew. That was something he could provide at least.

“Do you remember our first fight, our first serious fight?” Izuku started. He could feel Shouto nodding into his neck, so he continued.

“You were so beautiful, even then. I remember being awed by you. By your ice and your fire. Do you remember, what I told you then?”

“Of course I do,” Shouto whispered, “that… that my power was my own.”

“Yes,” Izuku said, carting a hand through Shouto’s hair, “and I am yours, too. Yours and only yours. People can think what they want about us, let them! They don’t matter.”

He held Shouto’s face in both of his hands, and slowly raised it until they were looking at each other. Shouto’s eyes were a little bit red-rimmed, but dry. And beautiful.

“Only you and I matter! We know the truth. That’s the only important thing,” he said, resolutely. “Don’t ever forget that.”

He could feel one of his hands getting warmer, while the other got colder. The difference in temperature was always a comfort to him, confirming that yes, that man he was holding, that was the man he loved. And oh, how much Izuku loved him.

Shouto nodded, and Izuku could feel some of the tension leaving him.

“I won’t,” Shouto said, softly. “Thank you.”

Izuku smiled, then slowly brought their lips together, whispering “I love you” into Shouto’s lips before kissing him.

He could feel Shouto’s lips slowly forming into a smile against his own, as he returned the kiss.