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You’ve known Izuku for eight years. You’ve known about his crush on you for seven, acknowledged it for five. You’ve only just discovered in the last four months just how much he loves you, but even that’s enough time for it to suffocate you.

You dance around the fact, hoping that he’ll lose interest. He doesn’t. You start to avoid him, hoping that he’ll get the point. He doesn’t. You turn down every one of his efforts to interact with you, hoping that he’ll hate you for it. He doesn’t.

It’s obvious that none of your ideas are working, which is why you blame fate for the current predicament you’re in. You, backed into a proverbial corner and trying to avoid a literal one as Izuku desperately tries to ask you out for the hundredth time and you finally snap and tell him to leave you alone.

It’s a fucking nightmare.

_____

“But I love you!” You shift uncomfortably, arms crossed.

“You say that like I owe you something. Look, I’m flattered that you feel this way about me, but I can’t reciprocate the feeling and I have no obligation to do so.” His lower lip wobbles, and you have to remind yourself that this the person standing in front of you has made your life a living hell for the past couple weeks.

“Look, Izuku, if you really loved me you would have respected my decision the first time I told you no. You wouldn’t have continued to ask me, and you definitely wouldn’t have tried to drive away all of my other friends. What you have right now-” you wave you hand in his general direction,

“-is a sickness. You’re obsessed with this idealized version of me and it’s preventing you from forming healthy relationships with other people in your life. At this point, the best thing I can do for you is to cut off contact because clearly rejection isn’t doing the trick.”

There are tears rolling down Deku’s cheeks at your words, and a bit meanly, you wonder how he ever got to be the number one pro hero. He looks so crushed, so much like a child, that you have to turn around before you reach out and comfort him.

As you walk away, you wonder whether you’ve made the right decision. You’ve essentially cut out one of your closest friends from your life, telling them to literally go fuck themselves because you’re not interested and frankly, have never been.

Izuku’s not a bad person at all; quite the opposite, in fact. Aside from stalking you and trying to drive all of your friends away, both things you don’t have substantial evidence for, he’s been nothing but gentlemanly. His constant attempts to ask you out could just be his persistent and hard-working personality manifesting.

Despite your rationalizations, something deep in the pit of your stomach rolls, and you know to trust gut instinct. Something’s terribly wrong with Izuku Midoriya, and you’re not sure you want to find out what is is.

_____

After your deeply uncomfortable confrontation with Izuku, you don’t see him around anymore. At first it’s a relief; you can do your job and live your life without having to worry about running into him and having to turn him down yet again; but at the same time you almost miss his overeager presence.

Sometimes you forget that the two of you were friends before he decided that he was in love you with you. You muse that the past couple months have felt like an eternity. Your friends are overjoyed to be able to talk with you uninterrupted, and to be able to hang out with you without a certain green-haired individual popping in and interrupting.

A month in to your reprieve, you run into Midoriya at the scene of some low-level villain causing a ruckus, and you’re surprised when all he does is greet you by your superhero name before letting himself be dragged into answering questions for the press.

You’re genuinely happy when a couple days after you see him out for lunch with Uraraka. You know it’s probably the first time he’s hung out one on one with any other female besides yourself, and while his relationship with Uraraka is probably more platonic than romantic, you let yourself hope that he’s managed to move on from you.

Slowly, you adapt to life without Izuku’s constant presence, and you watch as Izuku adapts to his life again. There’s talk of him collaborating with Iida’s company, more rumors of him partnering with Todoroki’s agency for a bit, and you’re excited that he’s pretty much got his life back on track again.

You’re so excited, in fact, that a couple months after the whole confession incident, you call Izuku up while you’re drunk. You register somewhere in the back of your mind that he no longer picks up on the first ring, and you can’t tell what the knot in your stomach means.

You’re almost about to hang up, having convinced yourself that this is a bad idea, when he picks up.

“Y/n?” His voice is calm, a tinge of surprise colouring it, and you realize that you have no idea what you’re going to say.

“Uh, yeah, that’s me.” Your drunk ass decides that humor is the way to go, and almost immediately afterwards you want to hit yourself. Deku’s slightly concerned, but otherwise completely level-headed and you marvel at what a difference three months apart has made.

“Did you want something or?” His voice is just the right amount of curiosity and prompting to make you blush, and you scramble for a believable excuse.

“Oh, I, uh,” you look frantically around the room as if the answer will magically appear on your couch. It doesn’t. You’re panicking now, fully realizing how bad of a plan this was, and just say the first thing that comes to mind.

“I just wanted to see if you wanted to come over for a drink or two… As friends-“you finish lamely. You don’t hear anything from Deku, and after a couple seconds you sigh in embarrassment.

“You know what, forget it, I’m sorry that I interrupted your night for this. Please just forget that I called, and-“

“I’ll go.” The sound of Deku’s voice startles you, and you have to double check.

“You’ll go? You’re coming over?” You can almost see the teasing grin he most definitely has on right now, and you want to die.

“You don’t have to, this was a stupid idea to call you but I mean if you really want to my door’s open and I am alone right now.” You don’t know why you add the last statement, but you think it has something to do with you not being laid in well over five months. The thought of hooking up with Deku makes your face scrunch, but then Izuku laughs, low and deep, and you’re surprised by the jolt it sends down your spine.

“I’ll be over in five.” He hangs up, and you’re vividly reminded of all the times you’ve hung up on him like that. Oh, how the tables have turned.

_____

When you finally hear the dreaded knock on your door, you’re basically just a vibrating bundle of nerves. You open the door to see Izuku, one hand shoved in a pocket and another holding a bottle of sake.

Belatedly, you notice that he’s wearing a new coat, a tailored navy-blue wool that nips in at all the right places. Around his neck is the scarf you got him a couple years ago; a soft cream cashmere that you had bought with your first paycheck as a pro hero.

“Are you going to invite me in or are we just going to stand here all night?” His tone is teasing, but you blush furiously anyways and step aside.

“Sorry, I just got a little caught up-“ You don’t know how to finish that sentence in a way that won’t make you look creepy or desperate.

Staring at you? Wondering why you still wear the scarf I gave to you five years ago when you definitely have countless other newer, better ones? There’s no good answer.

Fortunately, Deku doesn’t seem to notice, and as he slides his shoes off you stand off to the side quite awkwardly. You don’t even realize that he’s just standing and staring at you before he says,

“Well? Should we crack this open?” You cough, looking down, and practically sprint for the kitchen. God, what is it about this situation that turns you into such a dim-witted idiot?

You move to grab a couple of shot glasses but Izuku grabs your wrist gently and you literally jump in surprise. He backs away, hands raised and face apologetic.

“Hey, sorry, sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. You don’t have to get out any glasses- I don’t want to make you do more dishes than necessary. We can just drink straight from the bottle.”

You’re pretty sure that it’s a horrible idea, but he’s right; you don’t want to do any dishes, and besides, you’re pretty good at self-regulating your alcohol intake.

“That sounds good. I have some whiskey in the cabinets over there,” you gesture in the general direction of what you hope is the right unit of shelving, “so if you get tired of sake I can open that up.”

Izuku just smiles at that, and your heart stutters a beat. You ponder on how hard it’s been to cut one of your closest friends out of your life for the past couple months, and the two of you take your first swig in silence.

“You know, I’m surprised you invited me over.” Izuku’s voice cuts through the silence and you look up from the bottle of sake. He makes a grab for the sake, and you pass the bottle gladly; you want to be relatively sober for this conversation.

“The past couple months have given me plenty of time to reflect on my actions, and you were right. It was unfair of me to keep foisting my affection on you, and I should have listened to you and respected your decision.” He reaches out; his hand a comforting presence on your arm as he stares deep into your eyes.

“I’m sorry, y/n. I drove you away and made your life miserable when all you were trying to do was be a good friend for me, and I was too blinded by my feelings to see that. I sincerely hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive me for how I’ve treated you.” Izuku starts to blur and you don’t realize why until a hot tear rolls down your cheek. You scrub furiously at your eyes, trying not to make a fool of yourself.

“No, it’s okay. I’m sorry too, Izuku. I should have been more clear with you in the beginning, dealt with this head on instead of constantly avoiding you and making excuses. Its just that-“ your voice cracks and you take a second to compose yourself.

“It’s just that you were such an important person to me, and I didn’t want to lose you like that. I know now that I was only causing you more pain, but at the time I truly hoped and believed that if I just kept dropping enough hints eventually you would get it and things could go back to normal.” Your lower lip is trembling now, and you pull your hands free to press your palms into your eyes.

“I’ve missed you.” Your voice is soft and unsure, and you miss the way Izuku’s face lights up at your statement. You hear footsteps, then feel sturdy arms wrap themselves around you. He tucks your head into his chest, holding you tight, and you revel in the comfort you feel at that.

“I’ve missed you too, y/n.”

_____

You wake up the next morning with a splitting headache, carelessly throwing an arm over your face to try and block out the sunlight. Someone beside you grunts as your hand smacks them across their face, and you jolt up, twisting around to see who it is.

It’s Izuku; face down in a pillow with an arm slung carelessly over your waist. You take a moment to admire how sculpted his back is, before noticing abruptly just how shirtless he is. Tentatively, you lift the bed sheets and yup- he’s just as naked underneath.

Looking down, you realize that you are equally undressed, and you pull the bedsheets up with a yelp before shaking Deku awake.

“Izuku, Izuku wake up!” He mumbles something into the sheets, not even moving, and you shake him just a little harder.

“Izuku!” He’s unresponsive, and as you look for something that might help you wake him up, you see the golden band on his left hand. The blood drains from your face, and reluctantly looking down at the hand you have on his back, you see a matching ring, this one with a single, brilliantly flashing diamond on it.

“IZUKU!” Your high pitched screech finally brings him back to consciousness, and he rolls over, annoyed.

“What? Why can’t you let me-“ His voice stops abruptly as he too takes in the situation, and he’s up in a flash.

“Why are you naked?” You look at him in confusion and horror.

“Why are you naked?” At this point it’s clear that neither of you have any idea what’s going on, and you try and rack your brain for how this came to be. You remember making up with him, drinking to celebrate that, drinking to celebrate the fact that you were celebrating that, and then nothing. All black.

Izuku’s looking at your wedding ring with a strange expression on; it almost looks like satisfaction, but when he glances back up you see that he’s just as panicked as you.

“Maybe, maybe these are just for show? Nothing actually happened last night?” You’re busy taking long, shallow breaths as he rambles on.

“I mean, there’s no way we could’ve gotten a certificate or permission from a judge so soon, and it’s possible these are just engagement rings. Yeah, engagement rings sound right.” He’s scrolling through his phone, and something he sees makes him groan in disappointment.

As he shoves the screen towards you, you see a selfie of you and him together, obviously drunk out of your minds, holding a marriage certificate in front of an unimpressed judge.

“Shit. This is bad.” Izuku just sits there motionless as you try not to have a full-blown panic attack. Shit? Yeah, no fucking shit it’s bad. This is catastrophic, life ruining, earth shattering, mind blowing, and-

Oh my god. You have a very vivid flashback to last night; you clinging breathlessly to Izuku as he snaps his hips forward with inhuman strength and speed and you rake your nails down his back.

“Turn around.”

“I-what?” Izuku looks completely bewildered and growing increasingly panicked, you spin him around yourself.

Just as you suspect, all down his back are angry red welts, multiples lines criss crossing in certain areas, and you want to die. You see a red and purple hickey just below his jawline, and you’re almost impressed with yourself at how defined it is.

Then you have the bright idea to check your reflection, and you’re left completely speechless from the sheer amount of bite marks and hickeys littering your neck, shoulders, and even your chest. You shift in distress, feeling just how sore you are down there, and looking down you see a couple more love marks on your thighs and hips.

“Holy shit.” Izuku sure has some issues with possessiveness and marking people, but it’s not like you didn’t know that already. Your mind instantly kicks into crisis management mode, and you start spitting out possible ideas.

“Okay, so assuming that no one else besides the judge knows that we’re married, this is completely salvageable. I just have to call Jun from PR and have him-“

“Y/n.” The sound of Izuku’s voice cuts you off and you turn to face him.

“You should check your phone.” You turn your phone on and sure enough, there’s well over a hundred messages from everyone you know. The longer you scroll, the more the pit in your stomach deepens, and when you open up the news app, the first thing you see is a grainy photo of you and Izuku kissing in front of the courthouse.

“Fuuuuckkkkkkkk.” You drop your head into your hands, already feeling a headache gathering in your temples.

“Okay, so now I have to divorce you publicly, which means that all I’m going to get for a couple weeks is hate mail, and then I’ll have to do damage control for any sidekicks at my agency, and-“

“Y/n.” Izuku calls your name again, voice soft, and you wonder why he isn’t muttering frantically like he normally does. In fact, this is the calmest you’ve seen him in a long, long time.

“We can’t get divorced.” You immediately lash out in defense at that.

“Izuku, this isn’t the time for your dick to raise its head, this is serious!” He shakes his head, gently grabbing your wrist as you gesture wildly.

“This isn’t about me. This is about my image as All Might’s successor. If the people knew about what happened between us, if there knew how drunk and careless we were last night, their faith in us would disappear. This is a human mistake, but we don’t have the luxury of being human. We have to be better to give them hope and lead them to peace.”

Izuku’s speech shames you, and you scold yourself for instantly assuming that his refusal was about you. You hate to admit it, but he has an alarmingly valid point.

“Maybe in a couple years we can go our separate ways; I can go off to America and you stay or vice versa, but right now, we need to provide a unified and secure front to the people.” You’ve calmed down completely, and all that’s left is a bitterness that one misstep could cost you your whole life.

“I understand.” You try to keep the bitterness from your voice; after all, it’s not really Izuku’s fault that you’re in this situation. You were the one that invited him over in the first place. Some of your bitterness must bleed through though, because Izuku’s face softens and he places a hand on your shoulder in comfort.

“Hey, I’m not that bad, I promise.” He’s got a wry smile on, and you kick yourself for not thinking of how he might feel. You sigh defeatedly.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t even think to ask you how you feel about this.” Izuku shrugs, face neutral and voice deliberately light.

“There are worse people to be tied to for the rest of my life. Better you than Bakugou.” You’re not really into a laughing sort of mood, but you appreciate his attempt to make you feel better. His face turns serious, and his other hand comes up as he meets your eyes with a determined stare.

“I’m fine; but if you want to go ahead and get a divorce, I promise I’ll do my best to shield you from the repercussions. You won’t have to worry about the impact this will have on your career, and if you want, I’ll explain everything. Everything everything.”

You want so badly to jump at this offer, to take him up on it and preserve your own happiness and freedom, but Izuku’s right. You have a duty to the people of Japan, first and foremost, and a hero’s life involves sacrifices you have to be willing to make. Besides, it’s true that Izuku’s gotten so much better over the past couple months, and you were once best friends.

Like he said; it could be worse.

_____

When you get married, properly this time, the ceremony is beautiful. It’s a small, private affair, with only close friends and family present and you’re eternally grateful that Izuku choose not to turn it into a media spectacle.

Despite the fact that this whole marriage is a façade to keep your reputation intact, no expense is spared, and you go through all of the traditional preparations. You and Deku plan the wedding theme, venue, music, seating, menu, and guestlist. You have a dress fitting and bachelorette party, and Izuku has his suit fitting and stag party.

For all of your reservations about getting married, it’s pretty fun. It’s almost like you and Izuku are two friends planning the biggest party of your life, and you appreciate the thought that he’s putting into the ceremony because you both know you’ll have no other.

For a while in the beginning, when you were still struggling to accept the reality of your situation, you briefly entertained the thought that this was all some master manipulation by Izuku to make it so that you could never run from him.

You very quickly laid the notion to rest because one; not everything revolves around you and to assume so is presumptuous and arrogant, and two; he seemed genuinely contrite and confused, just as much as you were, if not more.

Izuku sees you in your dress for the first time when you walk down the aisle, and the look on his face makes you feel like the most beautiful woman alive. It’s ridiculous how happy that makes you, and when you reach the altar, you think that maybe you can learn to love him.

The sunlight casts a golden halo around his hair, giving him an angelic appearance, and you push all of your nerves down and focus on that. He’s your guardian angel, and no one can escape the forces of heaven.

The priest begins to speak the vows, and you can almost feel the chains of matrimony constricting you.

“Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?” A hammer drives a stake into the ground, pinning the chain in place.

“I do.” You feel the cool metal of the cuff as you slide your hand in. It’s still open.

“And do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?” You take a deep breath in, then let it out.

“I do.” The cuff slams closed.