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Love is (color)blind

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“Hello, everyone, it's your favorite hero Present Mic, here to chat your ear off for the next few hours during this quiet night. Tonight on talking points… well, we’ve got quite a few! I wanted to start off the night with a nod to some of our listeners out there, because today is unofficially about being aware of the issues our quirks may cause us in our daily lives! Some of us were blessed to where our quirks really don’t have any impact on our day-to-day business, and those people are lucky! To those of you, though, who find that some things about your quirks make it difficult to navigate certain situations? Just know that there’s always someone going through something similar, and you’re not alone! Find a friend and sit, make tea with your parents, maybe even find an animal cafe and just exist in the moment for a few hours! Whatever you can do to remember that you’re still important, well, then that’s enough!”

 

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There are things in the world that cannot be explained. To date, there has yet to be any credible scientific study to explain why human beings suddenly developed quirks. This is one such truth. There are, of course, truths within these roadblocks, things that can be explained and answered. Science finds comfort in this sort of research, especially concerning quirks. For example, the truth that quirks can be described as and placed under one of three distinct categories. The fact that some quirks come with limitations and drawbacks? Another truth, one that’s heavily focused on so as to provide the best quality-of-life to all.

One such drawback of some quirks is the link between emitter-type quirks with a visual focus, and color-blindness, and how the two together have seen an increase in reported cases since the first occurance of quirks.


This is true in the case of one Aizawa Shouta. 

 

Most children are able to tell apart colors from a young age. Sure, there is a learning curve, and some children take longer than others. Under the second category falls the Aizawa family, and Shouta follows right along in their footsteps. Colors do not make sense to him. He tells this to his parents the same day he tells them he wants to be a brother instead of a sister. Both his mother and father are okay with both of these statements. They don’t question either of them, which is a relief to Shouta. In fact, with the issues of colors, they assure Shouta that it runs in the family; his own sister had issues with colors, and she’s already ahead in her classes, may even skip a grade next year if she’s lucky.

Shouta does not, in fact, share that same sentiment. He tries so much harder than his class to see the nuances in his world, and still fails. He’s assured that he’ll figure it out, and it makes him frustrated. He asks his sister about it, and she proves to be less than helpful. Shouta lives in his bubble of anger, stews in it, and decides to keep trying his best. If he can fake it enough, then maybe it’ll get easier and no one will notice.

 

Two weeks before his birthday, someone notices, and that someone is none other than his mother. Shouta’s been promised a fun 4th birthday, with a big cake shaped like the family cat, and he accompanies his mother happily to shop for party supplies. 

“Baby Sho, which one do you want? Red or Yellow?” his mother asks. Shouta looks up from his spot in the cart basket, stares back intently at the two packaged streamers she’s holding.

“They’re the same color, mama, that’s not a funny joke.”

Shouta’s mother stares back at him for a second, frowns as she looks down at him. Doesn’t say anything about it as she continues shopping, doesn’t ask Shouta about what color he wants for his birthday party. Shouta almost wants to be upset, but he’s more relieved than anything to not have to answer questions.

He catches bits and pieces of a conversation his mom has when they get in the car. He doesn’t understand most of it. They drive a different way home than usual; Shouta recognizes the dusty grey of the building where his doctor works, and deflates. He has no time to protest as his mom pulls him out of his seat and carries him into the office. The lady behind the desk, the one that gives Shouta lollipops every time they’re here, calls for someone over her shoulder and asks for the pair to follow her into one of the rooms. Someone offers him a chair. He sits. The lollipop lady sits next to him; she’s holding a stack of papers.

“Good afternoon, Shouta! Do you want to play a game?” she asks. 

Shouta is no fool. He is a child of the tender age of almost four . He loves games- he nods enthusiastically.

“Good! I’m going to show you the pictures on these sheets. They have hidden numbers on them. I want you to tell me what numbers they say, okay? If you don’t know what the word is, you can draw it, or you can tell me to do the next one, alright? It’s kind of like a puzzle.”

Shouta nods again. He is good at numbers, and he’s also good at games, too. He’s not good at puzzles, but he figures the other two will make it fun regardless.

 

The game is not fun. Shouta finds himself staring angrily at the first 3 pictures. He can’t see anything in any of them.

“I can’t see anything in any of them.”

The lady nods thoughtfully. The fourth one, Shouta can read instantly. Such is the case for the next few, and then the pictures have no numbers again. He doesn’t like when they don’t have numbers. Occasionally, he can see numbers, but he isn’t sure what numbers he sees. They’re hard to make out. The pattern of seeing numbers and then not seeing them continues for a bit. He can read the last picture, at least, and that makes him feel better. The lollipop lady takes him and his mom into a different room. 

 

Shouta’s doctor comes in after a few minutes.

“Shouta, do you have issues looking at colors?”

Straight to the point. Even as a child, Shouta can respect that.

“Yes.”

“What’s hard for you?”

“A lot of them look the same. Yellow and orange look the same, and red looks like a darker yellow, and sometimes green looks like blue and sometimes it looks like orange, and I don’t ever know when something’s purple,” he whines, swinging his feet. His doctor nods.

“Shouta, what if I told you that there’s a reason why other people can tell colors apart and you can’t?”

Shouta looks up at him, shocked. The woman chuckles.

“Mrs. Aizawa, you mentioned that both you and your husband have quirks, as well as your daughter, correct? And that all three are vision based?”

Shouta’s mom nods. The doctor is quiet for a minute, turns back towards Shouta.

“Now, Shouta, the puzzles we showed you earlier were actually medical tests. We wanted to get a better understanding of what’s going on with your eyes.”

 

Shouta’s heard of tests. His sister has them in school, sometimes, but she says they’re easy. 

 

“I didn’t like the puzzle tests. They were hard,” Shouta grumbles, then pauses. “What did the tests say?”

“Shouta, I think you might have something called Protanopia. Do you know what that means?”

Shouta shakes his head.

“People have these things in their eyes that are kind of like little bottles. When we look at things, these little bottles have to tell our brains what it looks like so we don’t get confused. One of the tiny bottles in your eyes doesn’t work right, so when you see things, it can’t tell your brain what it looks like.”

Shouta watches as she pulls down a chart from the wall. She points to one of the lower bars.

“Can you tell me, where does the color change on this bar? Come point to it.”

Shouta stands up, studies it intensely.

“Well, it starts dark on the left, and then it gets really bright,” he says, and traces over the bar softly. “It swaps right here, now it’s a different color, and that one gets darker at the right end. It only looks like two colors.”

The doctor nods again. She crouches down to Shouta’s level.

“Shouta, the bottle that sees red in your eyes doesn’t work. The two colors you’re seeing are yellow and blue. While that’s not the best, it does mean that you’ll most likely end up with a quirk similar to your parents.”

 

Shouta is quiet during the rest of the impromptu appointment. He doesn’t pay attention to what either adult says; he stops paying attention sometime around when they say he’ll have to take future tests just to confirm it. He thinks he should be concerned about the whole situation, and is instead surprised to feel relief that it isn’t his fault. He wears that as a badge of honor as he walks into his kindergarten class; he’s not dumb, his eyes are just different than everyone else’s. His teachers help explain it to everyone else, with Shouta in the middle feeling indestructible. The questions roll in immediately, a lack of understanding how anyone could just not see red or green or purple tainting their words. Shouta can’t answer their questions the way they want him to.

As children are apt to do, Shouta is almost immediately outcasted for being different. The kids in his class openly pity him, or ask questions he can’t answer. Some of the mean boys make fun of him for not knowing what colors the dodgeballs are outside on the playground. The sorrow leaves a sour taste in his mouth, long after his quirk shows and no one wants to be his friend even more. The knowledge about his eyes, naturally, follows him with a vengeance and turns itself into its own issue. It’s not like he’s treated too meanly, since his sister pretty much threatens everyone against it, but nevertheless it’s still considered Something Different, and children can be extremely cruel in very creative ways in school. There’s a level of separation that he feels almost physically, and it steels him.  

When it comes to the months that he’s applying to hero schools, he’s almost numb to the feeling.



UA is the first place that being colorblind is not an issue. He meets with the principal- Nedzu, he thinks, is his name, and he is some sort of small mammal- before starting the semester. Discusses his intentions with joining the hero course after only barely failing the entrance exam, asks about changing his name in the school records, and brings up the issue of his sight. Nedzu assures him that the materials provided by UA are tested thoroughly before being passed out to students, so that everyone can see it to the best of their own ability. He tells Shouta that name changes are simple, gives him a form to fill out, and even explains the requirements for transferring. This is a relief to Shouta, who thanks the man’s hand- or paw, Shouta doesn’t know- and leaves without much else to say. 

 

By the time he's made it into the hero course, halfway through the year, no one looks at him with that same pity he’s grown up with, although that’s because he hasn’t mentioned being colorblind to anyone. No one looks at him at all, really, except for the loud boy who for sure has yellow hair - Shouta knows this, because the guy had been called blonde during the festival by another classmate and Shouta had, of course, squirrelled the information away. His sister teases him about his unexplained need to remember the weird facts about Hizashi quietly at first, much to his horror. There’s an unspoken rule between them that prevents her from talking too loudly about it, which is comforting in its own right, but the way she looks at him when he mentions the blond is enough to have Shouta on edge. 

(By the time he’s crushing on his friend, and subsequently “a bit in love”, it’s all he can do to make his sister not announce it to anyone who’ll listen.)
Hizashi Yamada ends up being his name. He is the loudest boy Shouta has ever met, vibrant and colorful- he wears a myriad of colorful pins and buttons, which pop from the grey of his jacket-  and always smiling. Shouta’s relieved that the boy is no different in his personality that he displayed at the sports festival. There’s a tenacity that lies in the endless chattering, some level of passion as he bothers Shouta enough for a friendship to bloom in the cracks of a wall Shouta doesn’t remember putting up but has no intention of tearing down any time soon. Shouta is a weak man, anyways, and lets him.

Shouta holds this friendship dear to him, if only because he’s decided he’s been too interested in Hizashi since they first spoke before Shouta had destroyed him in their first fight to deny it. He tucks that sentiment away in small laughs and gentle shoves. If anyone notices, they don’t say anything, mainly because Shouta does not have many friends and there’s not much to turn back and use for reference. 

 Shouta is adopted into Hizashi’s circle despite this, and he does his best to not lean into the casual side hugs and squeezes during lunch while he meets Hizashi’s other friends; Tensei Iida and Nemuri Kayami, top students who are surprisingly similar despite their obvious differences. It’s surprisingly easy to fall into the habit of accompanying them to lunch, so much his normal that anything else feels weird to him now.

 

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“... now, there’s definitely a couple I could complain about! Couple as in a few, not as in a relationship, which reminds me! Listeners, have I talked about my boyfriend on the show? I don't think so. I don't think I’ve ever mentioned him at all, actually. Someone thought I was straight the other day, and that's not true. This leather jacket is not for heterosexuals, I’m sorry.  Let's try this introduction again, just gonna do the whole thing in case I haven't before. Hello, listeners, I’m Present Mic. I’m a bisexual man and I am dating another man. We are in a relationship. I get to kiss this man a lot, as part of our relationship, and he doesn't think my moustache is weird- well, okay, he thinks it’s a weird mustache and he makes fun of it, but he’s also got permanent stubble, looks a bit scruffy actually, so there's that. I wanted to specify that, because I told someone I was in a relationship with this guy and they thought it was platonic. Nope, his butt is nice and I enjoy smooching him, so it's serious I guess. 

“Anyways, someone asked me recently if I was planning on buying Christmas sweaters this year and taking pictures. Specifically, the R-Rated Hero: Midnight. She wants me to send sappy Christmas cards, since she does it every year. We're good friends when she isn't forcing me to get more sleep, so this is not a weird request coming from her. It’s a bit early, since Christmas is far away, but she likes to plan things out! And as I contemplated it- my plans today were actually to complain about how hard it is to shop for acceptable Christmas Sweaters for my boyfriend-, I realized I’ve never mentioned him. And if I’m going to talk about him, then I have to talk about how I asked him out, which involves a Christmas sweater, funny enough…”

 

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Hizashi finds out about Shouta’s vision issues in the winter of their first year; he hands Shouta a soft parcel wrapped in brown paper, hands shaky.  Shouta stares blankly at the package, then moves his gaze over to Hizashi, who looks equal parts excited and nervous. He thinks about the date, decides his birthday definitely isn’t today, and draws a blank.
"What is it?" 

“It’s a surprise! A friend gift, for you, since you’ve never gotten one!”

Shouta opens it cautiously, ends up holding the paper in one hand and a large sweater in the other. Hizashi takes the paper from him, shoves it into his backpack- Shouta makes a note to remind him to empty his backpack later- and holds up one side of the sweater, looking at Shouta expectantly.
"Well? Whaddya’ think? Realized I don’t know if you actually, y’know, celebrate Christmas, but I saw it the other day when I was out and knew you needed it in your life!"
Shouta stares at it, frowns, and resigns himself into playing a color guessing game. There's a cat on it -specifically a white cat, which Shouta can pick it out easily- and he sees a brown rectangle with small circles scattered above it; possibly a Christmas tree. Two large pockets sit on either side, visibly brighter than everything else. Slight color differences weave through the rest of the sweater -stitching, probably- but nothing else sticks out. He’s never encountered such a pitiful case of designing; seriously, it all looks the same. Shouta knows the sweater has to have something more than a cat and probably a tree, but if there is then he can’t see it.
"It has a cat on it. That's nice."
Hizashi frowns, lets go of his side of the sweater and slaps both hands to his face.
"Aw man, was it really that bad? I was hoping for more of a reaction to the pun on the front. "
Shouta tries looking at it from a different angle subtly as he adjusts his grip on the shoulder unoccupied by Hizashi’s hand, and still doesn’t see anything different. Whoever designed this sweater has some harsh words coming their way, if Shouta has any say in the matter.
"Oh, right, sorry. I didn’t notice it because I saw the cat?" he offers, and even to him it sounds flat. If Hizashi bought it with a pun in mind, then he was probably expecting the inevitable way Shouta rolls his eyes at whatever bad joke gets thrown his way, may have even hoped for the less-common hidden grin if it's good enough. Hizashi quirks an eyebrow.
"Dude, really? It's kinda obvious," and he gestures to some of the color distortion Shouta was investigating moments earlier. Definitely stitching, although it’s not definitive enough to suggest shapes.
"I mean, come on, Meow-ry Paw-lidays? That's a two-in-one right there!"
Shouta snickers at that one- shit, it’s so bad, but the effort is so much there in Hizashi’s thinking and his face that Shouta can’t not laugh- and tries to make out the words once again with no luck.
“You’ve got me there, that’s not bad,” he says with an actual genuine smile as he notices Hizashi’s face lighting up. It’s got to be the laugh because of the joke, he ventures, which has happened only once prior to now, and only because of a teasing joke towards Tensei. 

 

Shouta takes the distraction in stride, relieved that he’s thrown Hizashi off long enough to forget about it as he looks back at the sweater to find the text. Something in his face must betray the disappointment in not seeing it, though, while he's investigating it, because Hizashi’s face drops, looks confused. He opens his mouth to speak, and gets cut off by Tensei, who greets the pair as he eyes the sweater. Behind him, Nemuri strolls up leisurely, for once wrapped up in actual clothes. A jacket, even.
"That is the most garish-looking sweater I’ve ever seen, and that's an awful joke," Tensei says in mock horror.

“You have no taste, my dear Iida, it’s perfect,” Nemuri chides as she investigates it. He shakes his head, shoves her only enough to be friendly. “And ugly, but that’s starting to be all the rage from what I hear.”

"You'll never see him in that, you realize this, right?"

“Nah, he’d totally wear it! Me and Shouta are on an exclusively first-name basis, which means we wear ridiculous clothes that we buy for each other.”

“We’ve been on a first name basis almost as long as we’ve been friends, Hizashi. I don’t think that carries into fashion choices,” Shouta says dismissively. Hizashi laughs, loud and bright, and there’s a level of nervousness to it that’s interesting , but Shouta has taken to not really understanding that as of late. He tries not to dwell on it, because thinking about it makes his chest ache hopefully.

“Shouta didn’t even read the pun when he saw it, he just saw the cat and tuned it out,” Hizashi says when he’s done; Iida and Nemuri turn towards Aizawa in surprise.

“Really? I would have thought it was right up your alley,” Nemuri says thoughtfully.

“And that’s what I said! It’s a cat sweater with a cat pun, but I guess he just ignored it.”
Shouta shrugs, winces internally as he sees Iida inspecting him a bit harder. He takes one good look at the stitching he can barely make out, panics, and wishes for an ounce of luck that comes from his knowledge of Christmas sweaters.

"To be fair to me, though, the cat was cute and I had trouble making out the font. Too much cursive.”
Tensei stares at him in surprise. Nemuri mirrors it. Shouta’s stomach sinks.
"Aizawa, are you feeling okay?"
"Yeah, why?"
Hizashi looks at him, frowns with something that’s definitely concern, but whatever emotion is mixed with the glance is foreign to Shouta in the moment.
"Dude, it's not even fancy scrawl. It's normal lettering." 


Crap.

Shouta knows he's been caught in a lie, curses his knowledge of holiday decor for not helping him. Tries to play it off like a joke.
"I was joking?" He offers. The three stare back at him; the half-assed excuse does not, in fact work. He sighs in defeat.
"I... can't read it, actually" he admits quietly. Tensei looks surprised. 
"What do you mean?"
"I don't see red... or green... Actually, really all I see is blue and yellow, and grey I guess. It's called Protanopia, I’ve had it since I was a kid? It’s common in emitter-type quirks that have to do with vision, I guess. I see the sweater, but it's a solid mess of grey and yellow apart from the cat. I think there’s a Christmas tree there too? I see some circles and what could be a stump, but I’m not sure. Usually I can make out a difference, but I guess I’m just unlucky today. If you hadn't said anything, I wouldn't have known it had words on it in the first place," he says, and is surprised with how easily it spills out. Has he explained it in that much detail to this many people before? He thinks maybe, when he first found out, but he also was a kid and didn’t have all of the words to explain it properly, so probably not, but most of it is really directed towards Hizashi anyways; Tensei and Nemuri just happen to be there to hear it. “Sorry that I can’t see it. I’m sure it’s a cool sweater.”

Hizashi looks taken aback for a second. 

“Wait, so you really can't see other colors? What looks like what? Doesn't it bother you?”

Tensei’s hand flies out to smack the blond in the shoulder. Hizashi jumps back, face twisted in hurt only slightly.

“Don't be insensitive, Yamada!”

“No, it's fine, I’m used to it. I’ve always only seen just the two, so it doesn't bother me much. Doesn't come up too much, and I try not to draw attention to it. On a standard color spectrum, everything up to green looks yellow, and everything else is blue.”

“So my hair is yellow?”

“It’s yellow for me, yes, but I know you’re blonde anyways. Heard it at the festival. You wear a lot of yellow. The pins on your jacket are blue, though.”

 

Hizashi considers the information, nods thoughtfully before grinning wide. 

“Hold up the sweater real quick, I wanna show you what it looks like,” he announces as he pulls out his phone. Shouta complies, eyebrows raised as his friend snaps a picture and starts tapping away at his screen. Tensei shakes his head.

“Thank you for telling us, Aizawa.”

“Sucks to hear about the eye stuff, scruffy boy, but now we know there’s a legitimate reason to why you can't dress for shit.”

Shouta attempts a blankly neutral glare, but it comes out more of a grimace as he eyes Hizashi curiously. The silence, of course, isn’t lost on Nemuri.

“Meet us in the lunchroom? Bring the human boombox when he’s done, too,” Nemuri offers as she grabs a hold of Tensei’s sleeve and pulls him down the hall. Tensei attempts to argue, but whatever he says to her is lost to the hallway.

Hizashi leans over, a welcome distraction from their sudden exit, and offers Shouta his phone screen as he bumps into his shoulder. 

“Here, this may help a bit.”

Shouta looks down at the screen, and almost gasps. 

 

It's easier to see the sweater in the picture, the contrast boosted and in sepia. He can make out the letters easily, the chunky font standing out immediately. The Christmas tree even pops, the blue circles no longer floating around aimlessly in space. Shouta looks back up at Hizashi, who looks hopeful. He offers a soft smile, hands the phone back.

“Iida was right, it's terrible. I love it,” Shouta whispers, grinning. Hizashi breathes a sigh of relief. 

“I’m glad. Hey, do me a favor? Open the right pocket.”

Shouta frowns and starts reaching for it.

“Not now, Shouta!” Hizashi yells, quirk very much active. Some of the stragglers in the hall shoot him dirty looks, which he winces at. Shouta cocks an eyebrow up; Hizashi’s usually got a pretty good handle on his quirk.

“Why?”

“Because… listen , okay, can you just open it later, like when you’re at home, maybe around no one else?”

Shouta stares at his friend, feels nervous energy rolling off of him in waves.

“Alright?”

Please , Shouta,” he pleads. Shouta nods, very confused and partially suspicious.

“I heard you the first time. If it’s so important that it requires my attention and mine alone, then I’ll respect that.”

 

Hours later and long after school has ended for the day, Shouta opens his phone and sends a picture of some words written shakily on a yellow sticky note, the sweater underneath. He grins as he reads over it again, shaking his head as he picks it up and holds it. Pauses a moment, then texts “You should have asked in person. I think we both would have been more enthusiastic when I said yes.”

Shouta receives five hearts back, in blue and yellow, and he grins. Something settles in his stomach, maybe the apprehension of admitting that Hizashi is now his boyfriend, but it’s nothing compared to the excitement that he feels for Monday morning.

 

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“...I’m broadcasting to you today on the most romantic night of the year and I’m in agony, listeners. Somewhere out there, there’s a super cute guy with big brown eyes and soft shaggy hair who’s sending me pictures of cats wearing pirate hats, and I’m in love . Whoever said romance was dead has never seen the world's fattest tabby kitten in a cardboard boat with a tiny cat eyepatch. This is the height of luxury, I can feel it. True love is kitty pictures in your inbox when you miss your partner. I know, I know, some of you all are probably concerned right now. ‘ Present Mic, why aren't you spending Valentine's Day with this catch of a man?’ Well, I’ve got to work, and he does too, so we're engaging in tradition. What tradition, you ask? Is me telling you all possibly leading to more physical information about the man I’m hopelessly head over heels for? Alas, no, you don't get to know more about what he looks like, because I like going out when I’m not all dolled up and kissing him when we get tea, but I do have permission to share a story. 

“Everyone knows that Valentine’s Day is on the 14th, right? He thought that Valentines was on the 15th when we were first dating. I was so worried he hated me that whole day, since he had been sick and we didn't text at all, and he shows up the next morning in a nice suit with flowers and chocolate and tries to impress me in front of the entire class. I was touched, and I won't lie when I say that I cried, but I was so worried over nothing. This, from the same gorgeous man who routinely forgets his birthday. 

“I can feel him texting- he’s listening right now, actually, so he can make fun of me-, and I know he's probably saying something along the line of how he’s getting bett er, but I love it. He’s such a disaster sometimes, but he balances me out so much. Did I mention his favorite color is yellow? Says it's because that's all I wear, which is false since I’ve taken to wearing blue more so his eyes don’t get tired me, but he loves how bright my clothes are and says I remind him of those birds, the white ones with the feathers? Cockatoos! He says I remind him of a cockatoo! It's sweet and ridiculously gay and I’m so excited to see him when I get off, because we're gonna sit in the couch and be dumb and sweet, and I just remembered I’m supposed to do an ad break, so I’m gonna fawn over my gorgeous boyfriend while you listen to our sponsors! It’ll be just a minute, I promise...”

 

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Shouta relishes in the way his stomach flips as Hizashi curls into his chest, blonde hair pulled into a loose bun- casual Fridays mean no hair gel- as he chatters aimlessly about his shift at the radio the day prior, now that the two are in the same place for once. The voice hero is content as well, hand occasionally pulling away from it's home tangled in Shouta’s to gesture wildly before grabbing it again. Shouta allows it, if only because every time Hizashi does so, he shifts just far enough back that Shouta gets hair in his mouth. It’s annoying, of course, but it’s accidental the first few times it happens, and the other subsequent times it happens follows with Hizashi angling his head back to press a kiss to Shouta’s jaw as an apology. Somewhere nearby on a bedside table is a half-eaten plate of chocolate-covered strawberries, a card with loopy black scrawl, and a bouquet of flowers. There’s also a new cat bed pushed into a corner, empty, it’s intended user snuggled up into the small of Shouta’s back. 

It’s really domestic, and Shouta finds himself suddenly aware of how comfortable this actually is.

“So, after we had to settle the tech issues, which is going to be another visit from our resident technician since the rookies can’t quite fix it themselves and the problem went largely ignored, I-”

“Zashi, what do you think about when you think about the next ten years?”

Hizashi pauses mid-tangent to look down at his boyfriend, frowns.

“Whaddya mean?”

“I mean, what do you think about when you think about what’s next?”

Hizashi is quiet for a minute. He stretches, wincing at a pop from somewhere in his shoulder.

“I dunno, Shouta, I mean, I figured if you weren’t tired of me yet then maybe we’d have a small house? Something with a stove, so we can cook together and inevitably kick each other out of the kitchen when it gets to be too difficult to navigate around each other. Why?”

Shouta moves the blond out of his lap, faces him and looks over the confused face staring back at him. He takes a breath and is surprised to find his fingers digging into his hands, which is weird. Shouta’s never felt nervous about talking to his boyfriend about their relationship, and yet here he is.

“I guess I’m just curious about what’s going on with us, I don’t know.”

“Well, you’re stuck with me, no matter what happens.”

 

Shouta swallows the lump in his throat, decides he might as well get things over with.

“What do you think about getting married?”

Hizashi’s breath stutters as he gapes, then smiles softly. The blonde closes his eyes and shakes his head.

“And here I was worried you were leaving me, you’re trying to have a heart to heart.”

“I’m serious, I want to know.”

“Well, honestly? Me, personally, I’d want something fun. I always thought I’d get married in some big flashy ceremony as a kid, and I kind of still want that, but smaller. Still just as cool, but not a lot of people we don’t like, you know? Like, maybe just our families, and a few friends. I like the idea of it, I want pictures of you in a nice suit and I want to do those things with you, cutting cake and drinking champagne and listening to our friends tell embarrassing stories about us, having our first dance as official husbands and doing some funky routine. Hell, I want to call you my husband, that’s the most exciting thought about it all.”

Hizashi pauses for a second, and then his voice comes out unsteady, curious and unsure.

“Why, what’s up? You’ve never mentioned it before, why now? You planning on proposing?”

“I thought about it recently, I guess. It feels like a lot of the people we know are settling down, you know? It feels like there’s pressure on us to do the same.”

Hizashi frowns, tries to catch Shouta’s eyes as he looks at him seriously.

“Shouta, what’s up?”

Shouta untangles himself from Hizashi, flops ungracefully onto his side of the bed from their shared middle, and sighs as he closes his eyes. The newly-christened Costello meows indignantly at the movement, and while the cat doesn’t seem too pleased with the sudden shift, she does butt her head against Shouta’s arm. 

 

“I… figured… that you’d want to get married. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but I’ve never really been interested in it, I guess? I think I went to someone’s wedding when I was little, and it was just after my quirk showed up, and I just remember being so miserable. Weddings aren’t fun already when you’re a kid, but none of the kids there wanted to hang out with me because I hadn’t quite figured out how to control everything yet, so while they were all playing in this big garden, I was left to myself because no one wanted me turning their quirks off. I just remember being in a stuffy suit, bored and alone, and wanting to go home because everything sucked.”

“And what does that make you wanna do, babe?”

Shouta takes a breath, rolls back over to look at Hizashi. He looks concerned, and there’s something small and scared in the way he’s watching Shouta, but there’s an undercurrent of trust in his face.

“I guess… I don’t want to get married? I mean, I love you, but it seems like a lot of extra effort and money to prove it. I keep thinking about it, it’s on repeat in my brain constantly , and I want to still love you and be with you, but I just don’t think I’m cut out for what everyone says is next…” Shouta trails off. Hizashi nods, exhales heavily. He’s frowning, but it’s gentle.

“I won’t lie, I’m not... excited about that, but I’m also not surprised. Shouta, I’m fine with the fact that it’s not what you’re wanting. I’m not going to stop thinking you’re amazing because you don’t want to get married.”

 

Shouta’s stomach drops. He feels bad, seeing the look on Hizashi’s face, but it’s a relief to get his thoughts out of his head.

“I’m sorry, Hizashi, I know it’s hard-”

“You don’t have to apologize!” Hizashi says quickly. He scoots himself down to eyelevel with Shouta, and offers a genuine smile. “I mean, shit, we’re adults, I can live with that. We’ve been dating, what, five years ? We graduated halfway through that. Even if you were on board with getting married, I wouldn’t want to do it right now, or any time soon. We’re still young, and trying to make a name for ourselves.”

Shouta relaxes, scoots closer when Hizashi gently pulls him closer, eyes closing as the blond pulls him close and presses a kiss onto his head.

“Thank you, ‘Zashi.”

“I can be okay with not marrying you, Aizawa Shouta, no strings attached. Well, on one condition . Maybe two.”

Shouta quirks an eyebrow, pulls back and cracks an eye open to look at his boyfriend.

“I’m listening.”

“Well, first, I don’t want you to completely rule it out, like permanently . I’ll always want to marry you, I love you, but I understand that you should also be comfortable with it. If you ever change your mind, I want you to know I’ll support you, even if it’s out of nowhere and on a whim.”

 

Shouta considers it, opens his mouth and closes it again. He’d like to say he’d never change his mind, but Hizashi brings out more good in him than he would like to admit, and it’s very possible that he’d be willing to compromise on a wedding of sorts further down the line, when they’re older and in a good position to do so.

“Okay, I can do that. What’s number two?”

Hizashi grins.

“I want to be able to call you my husband sometimes. It sounds so much more official, and cool, and it makes me seem more adult-like, you know? Like, That’s my husband you’re talking to, bucko!

Shouta laughs despite himself.

“Bucko?”

Hizashi huffs, flicks Shouta’s ear.

“Hey!”

“It sounded better in my head, okay? Like I was being threatening to some bozo giving you a hard time!”

“Bozo’s even worse!” Shouta groans, although the effect is lost a bit as he snickers. 

“I’m trying, Sho! Let me live my fantasy where I get to swoop in and save you using bad insults that make me look like a dork, yeah?”

“That’s fine by me. If you want to call me your husband, then go ahead,” Shouta says between fits of giggles. “As long as you don’t call anyone bozo ever again.”

“Bullied in our own apartment, I see how it is,” Hizashi whines as he rolls his eyes.

“It’s not bullying if you really are a dork,” Shouta whispers. Hizashi doesn’t comment.

“You can call me your husband too, if you want,” Hizashi whispers seriously, mood shifting as he presses another kiss to Shouta’s forehead and hugs him tight. “I wouldn’t mind if you wanted to do that.” 

 

The room is silent again, save for Costello, who at some point grew tired of the constant movement and settled down in her cat bed for a nap, her small snores carried softly over the quiet atmosphere. Shouta pauses, feels a bit of tension as his mind replays Hizashi’s words over and over again, knows there’s something hidden in how he phrased that comment.

“I know it isn’t the same, but if you want, we could still get rings? I’ll probably keep mine on a chain, just because it’s safer that way when I’m patrolling, but-”

“Yes, please, god yes. ” Hizashi whispers breathlessly as he kisses Shouta, who kisses him back with a smile.

 

-------------

 

“...For the little listeners out there in my English class at UA, you got me in trouble today! I’m in the doghouse, and it’s cold out here! I’m not upset, but I thought I’d tell you now; that way, when you see me half-frozen, you know why. For the other listeners, who don’t have my English class, I have made a mistake. You see, I have smart students who scheme and conive and are decently good at it. Yes, these are the same students who, weeks ago, accidentally called me without realizing and I was subjected to some of their more dastardly schemes to get me into a relationship with a colleague, despite the fact that I’m happily in a relationship. I still hold my stance when I say that it was well-thought out, and if they hadn’t been so keen on having their peers charge their phones for them, as well as the fact that this colleague and myself constantly stay informed with each other, I might have been abruptly surprised. We were in the same room when it happened, so of course he heard it all with me, and we chided them the next day, but it was endearing and we let it slide with the condition that they’d stop trying to play matchmaker.

“Anyways, these kids are smart. So smart that they exposed an accidental lie with someone I care about. You see, there’s someone out there who I’m very close with, and it’s that same colleague. We’ve known each other for what feels like a lifetime, and one day this man asked me a simple question. He’s colorblind, listeners, and he wanted to know what color my eyes were. I misheard him, wasn’t paying attention since I was too busy daydreaming about me then-boyfriend, and answered in a manner I assumed correct, which was my current tie color at the time. He seemed okay with this response and continued about his day. Shortly afterwards, I realized the error of my ways, and now over a decade later I haven’t corrected myself. Through some unsavory happenings at UA concerning parent complaints, my lie was exposed by this brilliant class! Over two hours, he didn’t speak to me! Refused! I was so upset, and while I know he’s not furious, this man is definitely hurt by the fact that I didn’t speak up sooner. He’s jokingly said that he would never pine for full vision of colors, because he knows what I look like and that’s enough, but I think he may be upset that there’s still something that he doesn’t know about me.

“That being said, usually I am the one who’s giving advice, but tonight I ask the opposite! Please, if I could have any tips on how to fix this! I care a lot about this man, and I don’t want him to think I don’t! Any form of communication; in person, calling the station, even an email? It would be greatly appreciated...”

 

-------------

 

“Thank you both for agreeing to meet with me. I wanted to discuss this with just you, Aizawa, but I figured that the situation as a whole might be a bit less tense if there was a familiar face in here as well. I hope I assumed correctly and didn’t overstep by inviting your husband.”

Shouta’s hands twitch in his pockets. Nedzu is holding a stack of papers away from his sight, face purposefully neutral. Off to his right, Hizashi is already sitting on one of the couches, posture stiff with a smile that’s almost forced on. It puts him at ease to see the blond there, but the lack of information about the contents of this impromptu meeting still makes him uneasy. At least Hizashi’s heading into this with the limited amount of information he has as well.

“Yeah, it’s fine, I trust him. He won’t tell anyone what happens in private, as hard as it is to believe.”

“Hey, I could have been grading tests! I didn’t have to come and support you, you know,” Hizashi snaps playfully. Shouta rolls his eyes.

“Like you didn’t grade them all during dinner because you wanted to lounge around with Costello and be lazy,” he counters. Nedzu cracks a smile.

“I appreciate that even in times like this, what with all the trouble we’ve had lately, that nothing has managed to crush your banter. That’s good. Please, sit.”

Shouta thinks about apologizing- Nedzu didn’t invite them here to tease each other, whatever he’s called him in for has to be serious- but doesn’t. There’s no malice in Nedzu’s words, so there’s nothing to be sorry for. 

“After some of the recent happenings, a few parents have expressed feeling… uneasy , knowing that one of the mentors for the hero course is color blind, especially since we’ve moved to a dormitory system. There’s concerns that your vision is reason for incompetence,” the mammal says as he sets down the stack of papers on the table, spreads them out. Hizashi picks one up and looks it over, grimacing. They’re assorted complaints; emails and letters, and a few transcripts from phone calls/

Shouta feels his stomach drop and his blood pressure rise. He distantly notices Hizashi’s hand find his and squeeze it comfortingly, but he can’t pay attention to it over the rush of noise in his ears.

“Nedzu, I-”

“Please, allow me to finish. I heard them out, and while I can understand their concern, I assured those who spoke up that you were plenty capable as both a teacher and a hero, that your experiences are more useful to the hero courses. As we see more and more quirks popping up, we’ve received more students who interact with the world around them in a way different from their more able peers, something I’m sure that both of you are aware of.”

Shouta nods.

“It would not be fair to have people who our heroes-in-training cannot look up to. You’ve willingly put yourself in the way of danger multiple times for these students, and you’ve suffered permanent injuries as a result. Despite what others may have preconceived notions about, your vision does not impact your ability to be a competent teacher. If anything, it serves as a reminder that anyone can be a hero if they’re truly prepared to put in the effort in the practice. It’s this sentiment that ended up being what I told them. I wanted you to be aware of this situation, though. Some parents are uncomfortable because their children are not in a typical classroom setting, and that is very understandable. There are others who are used to the type of schooling where accessibility for others is limited, but UA trains heroes of all kinds, regardless of where their starting points and limits may be. There shouldn’t be a need for concern regarding your likelihood of remaining here as a teacher; As long as you’re willing to stay with us, you’re more than welcome to teach here. It’s only fair I warn you about the pushback you may experience.”

There’s a tension in the room that’s thick and constricting. Shouta lets out a breath he doesn’t realize he’s been holding, winces with how it feels shaky and forced. 

“Thank you, Nedzu, for your support. I’ll get us situated back towards our respective classes,” Hizashi pipes up, and he’s standing up, pulling Shouta up with him, the latter of whom who struggles to thank the principal as the pair walk out. 

The halls are empty. Shouta takes advantage of that and leans into Hizashi, who doesn’t judge as he takes a shuddering breath once they’ve made it back in front of 1-A. 

“We’re okay, Shouta. Nedzu has our backs, and he wouldn’t do us dirty like that,” Hizashi offers as he pulls the man in for a hug.

“It’s bullshit,” Shouta whispers. He knows he should pull away before someone sees, since their relationship is supposed to be secret to the student body- even though 1-A has attempted twice now to get the two to date, Shinsou’s commented on it casually, and most of the third years know now since Eri started calling them both some variation of “Dad” - but he wraps his arms around the blond and focuses on the feeling of Hizashi’s leather jacket between his fingers.

“I’ve got you. I love you.”

 

Shouta relishes in the moment of holding his husband, feels the tension in his back release a bit. The sound of distant footsteps rouses him from his trance, however, and he pulls away reluctantly.

“I love you too. Thank you.”

Hizashi offers him a grin as he places a hand on his husband’s shoulder, squeezing it reassuringly.

“We’ll get through this. Go teach, we can do something fun after class ends.”

Shouta nods, turns around and walks himself back into the classroom. He glances at his sleeping bag, the idea of taking a nap tempting, but decides against it.

 

1-A trickles through the doors slowly, before arriving finally as a large group. They chatter for a bit, seemingly undisturbed by the sour attitude that Shouta finds himself in. He tries to ignore the bile in the back of his throat, but relishes in the anger anyways. Damns the parents who could look at what he’s put himself through for this class, the first to not have any expulsions from him in his entire teaching career, and sees fault.

Something must give away his emotions, because 1-A singles in on it immediately. Iida is already standing, arms gesturing in the same back-and-forth motion he’s maintained steadily during his career at UA.

“Mr. Aizawa, it is unsightly of a teacher to hold such a scowl while contemplating his thoughts! Something is wrong!”

“Iida, just because I’m friends with your brother doesn’t give you permission to sass me.”

“Yeah, but you usually aren’t this sour in the afternoon, so something’s up,” That’s Tsu speaking up, timed so perfectly that it stops Iida from sinking in his seat.

Shouta feels something small snap inside of him, scoffs angrily and is almost surprised by how quick he is to entrust twenty teenagers with the information he’s been given. He’ll reflect on this later, of course, and smile that they’ve grown so much so fast, but decides in this moment to explain the situation.

“I’ll tell you what’s wrong, it’s that I’m apparently ‘ not qualified ’ enough to teach you because of my eyesight.”

“What does that mean? You can see just fine, can’t you?”

Shouta levels his gaze towards Mina, who’s frowning. He shakes his head.

“If you all paid attention when we were going over it earlier this year, then you’ll remember that emitter-type quirks with a focus on visual skills are more likely to have issues with how they process sight. A prime example of this would be color blindness. Before quirks, cases were more common in men and rare in women, although the cases per year that are reported now seem to have evened out a bit more on that spectrum now that we’re seeing more accounts of it. There’s no exact reason as of yet, and there probably won’t be one for a while, but I’m one of those cases. I don’t see red or green.”

 

1-A is drawn in collected surprised gasps, for the most part. There’s a cacophony of noise for a moment, which is levelled instantly as Shouta stares them all down. 

“So, like, you can’t tell the difference from… I dunno, Tsu’s hair and Kirishima’s?” Kaminari calls from his seat. Shouta nods.

“Technically, yes, but I know regardless. They look like similar shades of yellow, but Tsu’s is green and Kirishima’s is red. I read all of your files; it’s easier to remember information like that than to have to ask every time.”

There’s chatter again, but at a much more manageable level. Uraraka’s voice carries out over the noise.

“Sir, doesn’t it bother you that you can’t see everything like we do?”

“It did when I was young, since I had issues telling colors apart, but it doesn’t bother me anymore. Besides, the only constant colors in my own life are things I can see well. I wear all black, my goggles are yellow. I have a cat that’s black and white. Eri’s favorite color is periwinkle, and her favorite shoes are light blue. When Present Mic has to have serious conversations with me, I can look him in the eyes and I don’t have to wonder about a thing, because they’re grey.”

 

There’s silence in the room. Shouta picks it up, twenty separate teenagers suddenly confused and a bit uncomfortable is not hard to miss.

“Actually, sir, Present Mic has green eyes,” Midoriya says sheepishly. Shouta looks at him.

“No? I think I’d know if my h- if my friend has green eyes,” Shouta grumbles, silently hoping no one comments on the word stumble.

“You really wouldn’t. Deku’s telling the truth,” Bakugou grumbles, and Shouta frowns. One student playing a practical joke is expected, but for Bakugou to agree with Midoriya? It’s unheard of. He looks over the room, and makes an executive decision. 

Someone is lying.

Instead of doing the reasonable thing, which would be to meet with his husband in a neutral space and ask him sincerely about his eye color, or to chide his class for pulling a prank on their teacher when he’s come to them honestly with personal information, Shouta allows himself to be childish and immediately heads for the door.

“Mr. Aizawa, where are you going?”

Shouta doesn’t turn towards Iida, intent on finding the truth.

“Either you all are playing a practical joke, which you better not be if you enjoy the level of comfort you experience in this class, or I’ve been lied to consistently for the better part of twenty years. I’m finding this out right now, so you can either stay and wait, or you can watch.”

 

Twenty two sets of footsteps- all 21 students in Shouta’s class and Shouta himself, although the students follow behind at a distance- march down the hall towards 1-B, where one Present Mic is currently teaching an English lesson. There is no calm way to open the door and confront this issue, Shouta reasons, so he decides to slam it open. The classroom jumps in their respective seats; Hizashi turns to face Shouta with a startled grin.

“Can you come meet me in the hall for a second? There are some… questions , I guess, that I need answers to,” Shouta says, leaves an underlying message of Somebody-Is-In-Trouble in his words. Hizashi cocks his head to the side. He is not a dumb man; Shouta can see the way his discomfort fizzles out into his posture as the blonde bounces on his feet.

“Ah, Eraser, a pleasant surprise! Give me a minute so I can finish this lesson?.”

“No, this is serious, Hizashi, right now .”

Hizashi winces in the tone in his voice. Shouta doesn’t like to use his name in front of students, doesn’t want to give them anything else in their schemes, but it slips out and he owns it.

“If it’s not too confidential, I don’t mind you asking now, although it must be important if we’re using first names, Shouta.”

The two separate classes let out strangled gasps. First name basis is expected among some of the teachers, but Shouta and Hizashi have almost exclusively chosen to avoid this in their professional lives. It’s always Mic and Eraser in speech. This is new .

 

Shouta musters all of the courage he can in that moment, takes a breath, and stares at Hizashi intensely.

“Hizashi, what color are your eyes.”

“Green, why?”

Shouta watches Hizashi’s face cycle through so many emotions in an instant (confusion, then realization, and then shock), hands slapping over his mouth in horror. Shouta stares at him and, for the first time in a long time, looks at him with detached hurt and dismay.

“Shit, Shouta, wait, I can explain!”

Shouta does not, in fact, wait. He turns on his heel and stalks back to his class, anger boiling in his stomach. 

 

No footsteps follow. Distantly, he hears one of the students from 1-B -Monoma, probably- start to speak in the obnoxious way he does, excited about “1-A drama”, but someone must stop him from speaking quickly, because his voice doesn’t carry anymore.

 

“You all have free time to work on homework,” Shouta calls over his shoulder, cold and emotionless, to the students who have now started jogging their way back towards class. “If you need me, I’ll be grading papers.”

 

When class ends for the day, Shouta gets a text from Mirio. It’s a bit confusing to understand, but the underlying meaning behind the paragraphs of text simply says that Eri is eating dinner with their class and will probably spend the night in their dorms. He doesn’t offer more than an “okay”, puts the brief distraction to the back of his mind as he stretches.  It’s fine, Eri doesn’t really need to see him when he’s feeling cagey and frustrated, because it makes her nervous. She especially doesn’t need to see this side of Shouta, as the particular mix of emotion he’s feeling leads to the zeroed-in focus he holds on his work that’s infamous for him ignoring everything around him as he works wordlessly, something he’s doing right now. He’s made considerable amounts of progress in paperwork he’s neglected; 1-A’s homework is all caught up grading-wise, stacked neatly on one corner of his desk. Assorted case files line the rest of the available surface, where Shouta’s been organizing them to the best of his ability. Some have been finished for a while and he’s just been lacking the time to write up a full report, while others have scribbles of notes tucked into their respective folders. There’s already a small stack of finished files as well, but Aizawa pays them no attention; they’re insignificant to him already, of course, and he finishes that particular thought with a grateful stretch in his chair. 

The door into the lounge opens; Shouta’s just distracted enough from Mirio’s text that he glances up, and upon seeing Hizashi’s eyes land on him, immediately he curls back into his seat to work on files again. His husband plops down next to him- Shouta wishes for once that they hadn’t chosen desks next to each other when they started teaching together- and starts chatting about lessons, tone light and forced. The unspoken tension about their earlier squabble thickens. Shouta doesn’t say a thing. Hizashi pouts, mumbling something about Shouta ignoring him being “uncool”. In another universe, where Shouta isn’t incredibly upset, he laughs.

 

Three hours and forty-seven minutes into Shouta’s very-serious silent treatment towards his husband, where Hizashi has tried no less than eight times to engage in casual conversation, Shouta’s phone lights up. He ignores the way Hizashi jumps beside him at the vibration, tries to push aside how much he’d love to go home and watch a movie over takeout while he leans against the man and fell asleep, and opens his phone.

 

NEW TEXT

Jukebox Hero

hey i’m really sorry about earlier, let me explain?

 

Shouta looks over to Hizashi, who offers an apologetic smile, and turns back to his phone, rolling his eyes.

 

CONVERSATION WITH 

Jukebox Hero

 

And what makes you think that I want to talk to you right now?

 

because i majorly messed up?
and because you’re txting me
right now, which is kind of like
talking?

I’m listening.

 

listen, okay, i should have told you already.

the eye thing was years ago, and there’s no
good excuse for not correcting you, but...

when you asked me? i uh,

may have been thinking about the sweater pics 

that you sent when i asked abt it.

you see,

i am but a poor weak man!!

its because i am weak and was pining that i

completely didn’t hear you right, so when uh...

when you asked...

i thought you said tie, not eye.

 

Okay?

Where are you leading me with this?

 

my tie was grey. 

may have realized afterwards that you had said 

eye instead, but it was early on in everything! 

i didn’t want you to hate me for lying!

and decide i wasn’t worth the trouble

so i just never said anything 

 

So you got nervous I’d break up with you

And as a result, proceeded to lie

about it for the rest of our relationship?

 

well

shit when you put it that way i uh

i do not sound very smart...

i really am sorry, sho, okay?

i love you



Shouta leans over and rests his head on Hizashi’s shoulder, grimacing as his cheek meets the hard plastic on his shoulder pad. He sighs loudly and lets his head fall into the crook of Hizashi’s arm.

“I’m still mad at you, and a bit hurt that you thought I’d break up with you because you misheard me, but I love you too. You owe me dinner. Something nice, since it’s just the two of us tonight.”

“Wherever you want, I’m going to make it up to you, alright? You’ve gotta let my arm go first, though,” Hizashi says fondly. 

 

-------------

 

“..An addendum to my issues I discussed last time we spoke, listeners. So many of these kids came to me, having done their research, and were so helpful! I must confess, they all had the same information, so by the fifth student I had to feign surprise at the knowledge, but the fact that it was all so helpful? I’m touched! I had never considered things like what they told me, and it took me hours to find what they did, so to have so many young spirits who care? It makes my heart swell! I won’t discuss specifics, since my daughter is listening right now with my husband, and knowing my luck she’ll ask me lots of questions in front of the specific person I’m alluding to despite her best intentions, but just know I’ve heard your voices, and I’m taking your advice! This is also not anything mean towards you, my sweet girl! Your Papa Mic loves you so much, but I’m planning a surprise, and we need to keep it secret! Promise me that while I take you, and all of the other listeners, into a short commercial break...”

 

-------------

 

Hizashi’s already started the day with the usual loving declarations, waking up Shouta up with hot coffee and a danish from a nearby cafe, with whispered promises of a nice family breakfast. Shouta stretches thankfully, appreciative of the warmth leaking into his fingers as they curl around the to-go cup and sighing. Hizashi presses a kiss to the top of his head, mumbles something sweet into his hair, and is gone. Shouta sips his coffee and stares out the window, revelling in the gentle noises coming from their window as the sun rises. Costello leaps onto the bed, rubs her small black head against Shouta’s elbow and sets herself on the man’s lap.

Banana pancakes, to Shouta’s surprise, is what’s on the menu for the day. He can smell it through the crack in the door, and the idea of Hizashi’s pancakes are good enough to have him wrapping a blanket around his shoulders and getting out of bed, even despite Costello’s indignant yells at being displaced. Eri’s already at the table when he finally shuffles out of the bedroom, chatting about her newest school escapades to Shinsou, who nods thoughtfully as he helps her brush her hair. He looks up at Shouta, offers a smile around the bobby pins tucked into his mouth. Eri grins as she spots him, wiggles happily slightly in her seat, which Shinsou whines about loudly. Hizashi peeks around the corner, hair pulled up and batter already staining his apron.

“If you want to make yourself useful , Sho, I could use help with breakfast.”

“You’re already done cooking, you just want to kiss me where the kids can’t see you,” Shouta sighs, but follows along anyways. Eri helpfully supplies a few dramatic gagging noises, with support from Shinsou, of course. Not to Shouta’s surprise, the second he walks into the kitchen, Hizashi is already pulling him in.

“Of course I didn’t need help with breakfast, your eyesight is terrible. Can’t even read your mom’s recipes anymore; which reminds me, we need to visit her soon.”

“I’m not sure what message you’re trying to convey when you’re kissing me like that, it’s a little weird,” Shouta chuckles as he shifts in Hizashi’s grip.

“The message is that I love you, and your mom bakes the best damn cookies I’ve ever had. You can help me bring everything out,” Hizashi says between kisses. Shouta shrugs him off with a grin, slides his hands under two plates and walks back towards the table.

“...and he said that it wasn’t allowed! Daddy, girls can marry other girls, right?” Eri asks, turning her attention towards Shouta as he sets the plates down. He raises an eyebrow up at Shinsou. The teen, now free of bobby pins and hair ties, shrugs in response.

“Yeah, Eri, they can. Why, what’s up?”

Hizashi walks into the room with the other two plates.

“I’m gonna marry Emma, the transfer girl in my class. She’s pretty and nice and she doesn’t smell bad,” Eri says, determination flashing in her eyes. Shinsou gasps in mock horror.

“And what if I don’t like her, Eri, are you just going to marry someone without asking your dear older brother about advice first?”

Eri glares at Shinsou.

“Why would I ask you, you’re a big dumb boy mess,” she grumbles.

 

Hizashi almost drops the pancakes as he laughs. Shinsou, rightfully, looks shocked and offended. Shouta hides a laugh behind a cough.

“Eri, you can’t go around calling people dumb boy messes, say sorry,” Shouta chides. Eri frowns and turns towards Shinsou.

“I’m sorry that Daddy won’t let me call you what you are, Shin,” she says solemnly, serious again as she looks him in the eye. He shakes his head and grins softly.

“That’s fine, Eri, because unlike some people, I don’t have to go to school today.”

“Yeah, but I’m getting married to a pretty girl, meanwhile you can’t even talk to boys, and I’m seven!” she argues back, sticking her tongue out as she leans forward. Shinsou mimics the action, puts his hands on either side of his head and wiggles his fingers. Shouta shakes his head at their banter.

“Oi, oi, I didn’t get up early to grocery shop for a nice breakfast just to have you two bicker at the table about your respective relationship problems. Eri, at least bring the girl over to the house before you get married, somebody has to give her a shovel talk appropriate for a child. Shinsou, stop pining over your classmates and do something about it,” Hizashi grumbles, shock passed and forgotten, as he plops down in a chair. 

“Yes, Shinsou, by all means, take advice from this one , who’s idea of romantic confessions was shoving a note into a dumb Christmas Sweater asking me out and being too chicken to talk about it in person for days afterwards,” Shouta snarks as he squeezes Hizashi’s shoulder affectionately before sitting down next to him. Hizashi scoffs in mock hurt.

“If I remember correctly, it worked , so there’s something to be said about going the classic route. Fifteen years isn’t bad for my efforts,” he whines. Shouta raises his eyebrows at him and shakes head.

“I concede, although it will be bad if you keep opening your mouth on the radio to talk about me. Midoriya’s put way too much together already. There’s a fifty-fifty chance every time he talks to me that it’ll end up becoming an interrogation.”

“Ten says Mic spills everything next week during your actual anniversary,” Shinsou says casually as he pulls pancakes onto his plate before scooting the dish over to Eri. Hizashi laughs.

“As if. You’re going to be giving me the money, because Shouta’s definitely gonna let it slip.”

Hizashi and Shinsou glare at each other, a showdown that would be threatening if Eri wasn’t in the middle of it, making faces at the two of them.

“Eat your breakfast, kids, all three of you . Eri, you still have to go to school, Shinsou, you promised you’d be available in the dorms for Iida’s study group at 10, and I’m pretty sure you have tests to grade for a few different classes, Hizashi .”

 

-------------

 

“...Have I mentioned that sometimes I forget that I’m part of the most unorthodox family in existence? It really feels normal sometimes, this life I’ve built with my husband! I brought him coffee in bed, and we got to eat breakfast with our kids like a normal family! Granted, the bickering between the kids lasted through breakfast and then during the ride to drop our youngest off at school for the day, followed by me almost making my son late for an out-of-school thing he’s started doing with friends because a villain decided to cause a ruckus in traffic, but ah, it’s all just so domestic! I love this little family so mismatched pieces, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. 

“Oh, speaking of change! Listeners, I’ll be gone next Friday, just thought I’d give you a reminder. I’ll be back the day after, I promise, for a special show with yours truly. That man of mine, the one I so dearly enjoy raving about to you all, that told me I’m not allowed to talk about him on the radio since people are starting to connect the pieces? Well, we’ve kinda got eternal plans that day, and I’m not changing those either. These plans predate me owning the radio, so there’s really no getting around it. Not that I want to get out of them, because a nice evening with this guy sounds great after all of the craziness that this year’s thrown at us. I’ll miss you all next week, but just know that I’ll be excitedly waiting to tell you what new things are happening.

“Geez, look at me. Here I am, acting like I’ll never speak to you again, how foolish ! We’ve still got some time left this morning, and it’s really only a day of delay. We have to be strong, dear listeners!”

 

-------------

 

Shouta tries not to appear too excited, fingers twitchy and nervous as he writes on the chalkboard in preparation for class. Today marks a solid fifteen years with Hizashi, and the two have classy dinner plans after school, courtesy of Shouta having connections with people. While the pair try not to advertise their anniversary too loudly, it doesn’t stop them from a softer, more quiet routine for the day. 

The same cannot be said for his children, however; a few lumpy hearts are taped to the door of 1-A, pictures of Shouta, Hizashi, Shinsou, and even a cartoonish Eri scribbled on some of the lower hanging hearts. A few more detailed pictures are higher up, although they’re not entirely devoid of shaky crayon markings. Shouta narrows his eyes at Shinsou when he strolls through the door, the teen shrugging with a devious smile as Shouta tries to reach one of the higher cutouts. He leaves it be after a few minutes, silently resolving to get help with it later. It isn’t like anyone will be purposefully looking for information in them, anyways. Eri’s always leaving drawings on the door.

All in all, Shouta finds himself a bit more relaxed today, and 1-A picks up on it quickly.

 

“You’re in a pleasant mood today, Mr. Aizawa,” Tsu comments as things settle down, shrugging as someone yells at her from the back of the classroom to not mention it. “That usually never happens, who’s got you so nice all of a sudden?”

Shouta starts to give an empty excuse, not really wanting this to know quite yet about his relationship- this is, again, information that has only recently been given up to the rest of the third year students, to his dismay- when the door of the class is opened slowly. He levels his eyes at the general range of height for the school and frowns as the door opens and is empty. His eyes drop downwards; he grins as Eri walks in, smile wide as she’s accompanied by Mirio and a more reluctant Tamaki, who offers a nervous wave as he lingers by the doorway.

“Sorry for interrupting, Eraserhead, but we had an important errand to run,” Mirio explains. Eri looks up at him- Mirio nods down at her- and runs towards the front of the class. Shouta crouches down, adjusts himself to her eye level. She smiles. 1-A coos; most of the students are fiercely protective of this child.

“This is yours,” Eri announces, and thrusts a small yellow package from behind her back towards Shouta. He grabs it warrily; Eri backs up a bit, bouncing on her heels. “It’s from Papa Mic, and he wanted me to give it to you to open.”

Shouta ignores the confused whispers from his class, puts a hand on his knee as he stands up. He turns the package over in his hand once before tearing open the wrapping paper carefully, revealing a black glasses case. Inside is a pair of glasses with tinted frames, and a small note.

 

Happy 15 years! We’re both getting old, and your vision hasn’t gotten any better. Figured a pair of glasses may help you, so now both of us can read recipes. Come see me when you try them on.

-YH

 

Shouta eyes the glasses cautiously. Eri looks up at him, a small smile on her face. Cryptic wording aside, glasses were recommended to him after the incident with USJ for daily use. He pulls them out of the case and turns them over in his hands.

“Did Papa Mic get you glasses, daddy?” she asks curiously. She reaches her hands out, fingers wiggling as she grabs for them. “I wanna try!”

Shouta hands them over wordlessly, chuckling as Eri shoves them on. Her face scrunches up as she frowns, taking the glasses off and handing them back.

“They make everything look weird, like sunglasses but also not like sunglasses. I don’t like them,” she mumbles. Shouta quirks an eyebrow up at her. 

“I’m sure they aren’t broken. Here, I’ll try them on,” he tells her as he places them on his face. “See, there’s nothing-”

 

Shouta’s words die mid-sentence as he looks at Eri. When he had helped her get dressed this morning, she had chided him because he had grabbed- what he had assumed to be- her favorite shoes, although she explained to him with a grin that they were two separate colors. He shrugged, told her that they looked the same color as her dress to him, and carried on about his morning trying to get her ready.

Now, as he stares at her, he has to blink back tears. Her shoes are bright against silver leggings. Her dress isn’t the blue he’s used to as well, and he does a double-take. They’re entirely different colors. He removes the glasses, frowning as he sees them as the same color, and puts them back on. Stark difference again.

“I don’t…” he whispers in confusion and whips around to face his students. A sea of color greets him, and he gasps.

“Are you okay?” Mina asks, and holy shit Shouta has to do everything he can to not stare at her. Glasses off, the same muted dull he’s become used to, glasses on and she’s bright and warm and definitely something

“You’re… you’re so bright, holy shit , what color is that and why is it so loud?” he chokes out, and 1-A collectively loses their shit with yelling. Mina manages to choke through her grin that she’s pink , and for the first time in a long while Shouta truly feels just as light as they do. 

 

Shouta looks over the classroom, picks out Shinsou’s hair so much faster from the crowd when it doesn’t blend into everything, narrows his eyes as he tries to confirm it is his adopted son. Shinsou catches his eye and grins, tired but soft. Purple , he mouths, and Shouta tries not to cry, but it’s not working. There’s darker, more purple-y colors in the class, but this one is so soft and gentle and it just fits his son so well .

“Are you okay, Daddy? Are they broken for you too, is that why you’re crying?” Eri asks, and Shouta looks back at her, tears in his eyes. The clip in her hair is the same color as her eyes, brighter but unmistakably similar, and he smiles gently.

“The glasses aren’t broken, they’re special glasses so I can see better,” he explains. He looks back over the students, who are almost buzzing. 

“How do you guys not get lost looking at everything,” he says half to himself, but loud enough for them to hear. “Why’s everything so bright, why is purple and red and green like that ,” he adds as he stares at particularly Todoroki and Midoriya, who are both close enough in distance that he can look at the colors of their simultaneously, the color so intense that he has to double check he isn’t dreaming. A few people laugh. He glances towards a window and gasps. Even the trees outside pop out from their surroundings, and he can see specks of color dotting a field nearby.

“I didn’t even know there were other things in that field,” he breathes, and 1-A is yelling again.

 

Shouta does a pretty good job of trying not to cry as he looks back over the room again, and his eyes catch the handwritten note he’d set down haphazardly, color almost painfully bright against the podium. His eyes read over the note again, and suddenly everything clicks into place with the note, the hidden meaning behind the fact that the wrapping paper is grey and the bright green of the note. The twitchy feeling is back in his fingers as he looks desperately towards Mirio, tries not to gape at how much brighter him and Tamaki look.

“What class…” he asks suddenly. Mirio grins.

“He’s in 1-B,” Mirio says cheerfully, and Shouta’s heart aches. He looks towards his class again.

“I’ll be right back, I’ve gotta see something real quick,” he rushes, and nearly bolts out of the classroom. 

The halls are filled with footsteps, uneven and frantic, as Shouta makes his way to the other classroom. He hesitates for a moment when he sees the door, ignores it all, and throws it open. 

 

Earlier this morning, Hizashi had announced while shrugging of his jacket that, since it was Friday, he was going to dress casually at UA for a change. Shouta hadn’t paid him any mind as the blond looked over their closet thoughtfully, too invested in the coffee.

“What do you think about this, Sho?” Hizashi asked.

“It looks like the same color,” Shouta had grumbled as he glanced up. A cardigan and a plain shirt, both similar shades. “I’m sure you look lovely, as always, but I can’t tell either way, ‘Zashi.”

 

Shouta wants to take everything he’s ever said back about assuming how his boyfriend looks amazing. His heart stops in his chest, and Shouta feels like he’s looking at the blond for the first time again. Hizashi hasn’t noticed him yet, blissfully unaware of everything happening as he reads from a book. Clear glasses are perched up on his nose, brushed lightly askew as the blond brushes hair back behind his ear. Shouta wants to take this moment, what Hizashi looks like as he sits in his dorky civilian clothes, and burn it into his brain. The cardigan is green, flat and slightly yellow, but not quite. The shirt he wears beneath it  is similarly muted, however in a soft red. He looks up at the class, eyes serious as he starts to ask a question, and then his gaze gets sucked into Shouta and the words die. There’s a soft smile that sprouts on his face as he sets the book down. 

“Hey,” he says quietly, and Shouta’s feet are moving before he can process it, not-quite running to the front of the room. Hizashi meets him in the middle, wraps his arms around Shouta as the latter buries his head into the other’s neck and lets out a sob. There’s concerned murmurs from everyone in the room, which goes mostly ignored.

“How…?” Shouta manages to choke out into Hizashi’s neck. He lets out a short laugh as one of his hands reach up to tangle in the man’s hair.

“Happy 15, Sho,” Hizashi whispers, and Shouta feels his heart slam back into his chest with such force that he almost wants to crumble. Shouta steels his nerves, relishes in the feeling of Hizashi pressing the smallest kiss onto his head, and breathes, a stream of wordless thank you ’s dripping out of his mouth, hoarse and soft. He pulls back from the man as he tries to laugh through tears. He looks up, focuses on the speckled ceiling, and wills away the dampness from his eyes. Hizashi’s still holding onto him despite this, thumb squeezing in between the gap in the glasses to brush tears aside.

“You’re the worst, and I hate you,” Shouta manages somewhat calmly, causing Hizashi and a handful of students to laugh.

“If you truly hated me, you wouldn’t have booked it here to come look at me with your fancy new old man glasses,” Hizashi teases. Shouta smacks his arm, looks back down as he levels a glare at his partner. He tries to be angry, readies a retort and opens his mouth. The words die in his throat as he looks at Hizashi’s face.

“Your eyes are green,” he whispers instead, somehow so broken and awed at the same time that Shouta almost doesn’t recognize his own voice.

 

Whenever someone has described green to Shouta before, it’s always been soft and heavy, like trees in a forest. Shouta’s daydreamed about this color before, has allowed his mind to drift into thinking about it a few times over the years. Thinks about gardens in the summer, or the way that his mom owned a small herb planter when he was a child. There’s a comfort people discuss when they talk about the color, fond and gooey.

 Hizashi’s eyes are green, yes, but they’re so far from what people describe; they’re bright and loud and filled with love, and Shouta wants to pull this picture into his brain as well.

 

“‘Zashi, quick question, what the fuck, ” Shouta manages, completely captivated, and the blond laughs. He cups Hizashi’s face with both hands, squinting as he stares at them, trying to memorize every detail. “Your eyes are green.”

“Yeah, Sho, they are.”

“No one said green could be like that,” Shouta whines, frustrated. He feels eyes on the back of his head, is suddenly aware that he’s not alone and is instead surrounded by two classes of teenagers, and becomes painfully aware of how soft and gentle he’s holding on to Hizashi, how Hizashi is holding on to him, how this casual intimacy between them is something that’s never been public towards the students. 

“It’s kind of intense, right? The colors?” the blond offers. Shouta takes a shuddering breath.

“Yeah, it’s hard to look at. You guys see color so much more , it’s almost giving me a headache,” he admits, releasing Hizashi’s face as he rubs the back of his head awkwardly.

“I’m glad you like it, I’ve been stressed this entire time that they wouldn’t work, and there wasn’t anyone I could ask about it without worrying someone’d snitch me off to you. I wanna know everything, what’s it like seeing everything different? Does it look like how you expected?”

“Hizashi,” Shouta starts, and distances himself to a casual, platonic level of contact. “We can talk about it later, after class. It was inappropriate to disrupt your class for it, staying to chatter would be even worse.” 

Hizashi rolls his eyes, winks as they settle back on Shouta. They’re settling back into work etiquette, naturally.

“Yeah, sure thing. As long as it doesn’t make dinner late, that’s fine.”

“Alright, love you, thank you again for the glasses. It’s definitely the best anniversary present-slash-surprise you’ve pulled off, nothing against Costello.”

 

There’s a beat, one moment of silence as everyone collectively processes what’s just been said.

1-A and 1-B erupt into hysteria. 

 

Shouta stares at Hizashi, and then his eyes are widening in horror as he realizes what’s just come out of his mouth. Hizashi grins.

“You broke first! You spilled, and it wasn’t me, so I win!” he laughs, then spins towards Shinsou. “You’re in debt an extra 10, kid!”

Shouta feels dread settle into his stomach, knows that the next week is not going to be productive as far as 1-A is concerned. He turns on his heel, face hot, and marches back to his classroom as he tries to ignore the noise. There’s footsteps that echo his own; Shouta turns around, fully expecting his partner, and instead finds Shinsou with a grin on his face. The teen pats a hand onto Shouta’s shoulder reassuringly.

“You’ll get him next time, Dadzawa,” he offers. Shouta narrows his eyes.

“I’ll ground you and your bets, don’t even try me.”

The threat falls flat as Shinsou laughs, shaking his head. Shouta scoffs indignantly and turns around, stalks back to class grumbling.

 

-------------

 

“...Listeners, it’s time . I’ve been beating around the bush this whole time, and I’ve been purposefully ignoring what’s on everyone’s mind, so with only a few minutes left, let me address the elephant in the room. I know you already knew about it beforehand, but I’m sorry for skipping out on you yesterday. I know I always do the show on Friday mornings, but I had specific circumstances that kept me from it. You see, yesterday was my anniversary with the one man who matters most to me, and I didn’t want to leave bed when it was warm and he was actually, y’know, sleeping, which never happens. I planned to not be doing the show anyways , but nothing changed. We try to be lowkey about it every year now, since he’s not as much of an extrovert compared to yours truly, and especially since we’ve started teaching at UA, but I couldn’t help myself this year. Fifteen years is a long time to spend with someone you care about! He’s worth it!

“We both promised that even if it was a milestone, we weren’t going to do anything too flashy. Dinner after work and grading tests, of course , but nothing intense, which has been our style for a while. I won’t lie, though, I sort of ignored that rule. You see, listeners, the man I’ve spent fifteen glorious years of my life officially dating is color blind, and apparently there’s companies in this world that make glasses to circumvent that. Fifteen years, and my dear sweet guy has never truly seen what color my eyes are. I got him a pair, they’re casual and perfect for his face. I had my daughter deliver it to him, as topping on the cake. Not even ten minutes later and he’s bursting into my classroom, he’s got tears on his face and he’s looking at me like I’m holding the world. I could go on about how much I love that look, but we’d run out of airtime.

“Anyways, it was super touching, one of my students definitely borrowed my phone and took way too many pictures, and I’m so glad. There’s a really soft one that’s my lockscreen right now. He cried, I may have cried a bit, he accidentally told both classes we were dating, which means I won a bet with my son, and he even called me pretty when classes were over...”

 

-------------

 

Shouta shifts in his seat uncomfortably. Hizashi rambles aimlessly across from him, oblivious to his discomfort as he pulls at his shirt collar. He looks down at his watch, grimaces, and back up to Hizashi. A waiter stops by their table and offers a sympathetic glance towards Shouta, which doesn’t ease his nerves any; the staff here is all in the loop, the last thing Shouta wants is for everything to be ruined. Hizashi doesn’t pick up on it, luckily, but the interruption as they’re asked about their meal choices has him drawn back to the table.

“I’m glad you chose dinner this year, Sho, this is amazing,” Hizashi croons as he leans over the table. Shouta offers a smile as he shrugs, looks at the lights overhead as he tries to avoid the soft grin his partner is wearing. He doesn’t manage to look away for long, of course, because he’s still wearing the glasses and is still a bit mesmerized by how vibrant Hizashi looks.

“Figured you’d like something showy, anyways,” he mutters. “Besides, you broke our rule earlier, so I had to one-up you somewhere fancier.”

Hizashi raises an eyebrow, smirks as he eyes Shouta.

“Oh? I think I may have won the cake this year, I fail to see how you could go any grander.”

Shouta takes a deep breath, pulls out a small wrapped package from his suit jacket and hands it to the blond, who eyes it in surprise as he takes it. He looks to Shouta, who nods. Hizashi’s ripping the paper immediately and undoing the tape from a white cardboard box, gasping as he peers inside it.

“I know it’s kind of silly, but you were complaining about Christmas sweaters a while ago on your show. I thought you might like to match with me one of these days,” Shouta says nervously as Hizashi pulls out a sweater. He cocks his head, turns it over and brings a hand to his mouth. “Besides, I can actually read this one without my glasses.”

In Hizashi’s hands is a red and green sweater with cat paws and a tree, Meowry Pawlidays written in big blocky letters on the front. Two bright pockets are stitched into either side.

“Sho…”

“It’s probably a bit too sentimental as a throwback gift, I know, but you were so excited when you gave me mine all those years ago, and I still feel bad about not giving you the credit it deserves. The colors aren’t exact between the two, since this one’s thread has different colors weaved in so you can actually look at it if you’re colorblind, but it’s the thought that counts, I guess.”

Hizashi wipes a tear from his eye, laughs as he smiles up at Shouta.

“No, it’s perfect , holy shit. The only way this could get better is if you pulled a me and hid a note in the pocket…” Hizashi says softly as he casually slides his hand into the right pocket, words trailing off as he frowns, glancing down at the pocket and back up at Shouta, confused. Something crinkles in his hand. 

“Sho, what’s going on...?” he asks, not really expecting an answer but leaving the question in the air regardless. Hizashi’s been oblivious to the situation this entire time, but he’s nothing if not brilliant , and Shouta has the nagging feeling he may be aware of Shouta’s end goals.

“I’m one-upping you. Read the note.”

 

-------------

 

“...Listeners, right about year five, this boy asked me if I ever wanted to get married. I’ll spare you the details, we’re on two opposite ends of the spectrum. I have permission to call him my husband and vice versa, but we’re not married. I’m okay with that, mostly, but it’s not important. He even got me a ring, a silver one, said he still loves me no matter what, and I’ve worn that silver ring every day for ten years except for today. Last night, at dinner, things changed, and I’m not sure if they’re for the better. I’m not wearing that ring anymore, and I don’t get to call this man my boyfriend anymore, listeners…”

 

-------------

 

Hizashi’s hands, now trembling, pull out a wrinkled slip of note card paper. He folds it open and looks over it, frowning, and then glances up, confusion painting his face.

“Sho, I don’t understand, what are you wanting me to say yes to-”

His words die in his throat, hands dropping the piece of paper as he looks at Shouta.

 

-------------

 

“...the ring I’m wearing right now ? It’s gold , and I get to call him my fianc é.. .”

 

-------------

 

In front of Hizashi, in front of the entire damn restaurant that’s filled with people, Shouta is on one knee, grinning nervously as he holds an open ring box. He clears his throat.

 

“Fifteen years ago, when you told me that you were intent on changing my mind about making friends, I wanted so bad for you to try. I hoped, probably a bit too desperately, that you were just going to be a pretty loud boy who’d lose interest in the weird quiet kid. I... hoped that , because it would have been so much easier to try and ignore how I already liked you just from how confident you were the first time we met. And then we were friends, and I don’t know when that started but it happened suddenly and then we were best friends, and we were using first names, and it was so fast that I was just starstruck.

“I was thinking, this is it , this is as good as it gets, because I was young and dumb and pining over this pretty boy who couldn’t quite stop himself from cracking windows when he got too excited, and I had planned to remain pining, because I thought I was the only one who was how I was, and then you told me that we had that in common, and that there were so many more people who were feeling the emotions I was feeling> I didn’t think it was possible to fall more in love with someone, but you proved me wrong. You always , always prove me wrong, every single day, and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever gotten to experience.

“And then, just when I was sure you’d meet my expectations, max out our friendship and we’d just sort of plateau, you asked me out with a note. A stupid, dumb, shaky note that you put in the world’s ugliest sweater, and I fell in love. Again. Harder. 

“I keep thinking you’re gonna give up on me, but you don’t. Every step of the way, you’ve been right behind me, there when I need someone to lean back on. When I told you I didn’t want the same things you wanted, you took it in stride and still loved me without reservations. I’m not sure if I ever told you, but if it was every physically possible to fall in love with someone more than that, I think I did.

“Hizashi, you make me a better person, which seems fake but it’s true. I don’t like when people say that their partner is their other half, because we’ve always been whole people before love, but I think I understand that sentiment when I look at you. Maybe not my other half, but my perfect compliment. You’ve always got a joke ready to throw out, or something nice to say, and you’re just so amazing and imperfect and it drives me nuts. I’m not ever going to be ready to get married, I don’t think, but nothing would bring me more joy then trying to do that with you, being official husbands.”

“Shouta, no , I’m gonna cry, that’s illegal ,” Hizashi whispers, grinning as tears stream down his face. 

“Hizashi Yamada, will you do me the honor of being my husband? I won’t make you fill out a box on a note, I don’t need you to text me your answer, and I definitely don’t plan on avoiding mentioning this for a week.”

Hizashi chokes out a laugh. He nods shakily, almost unsure at first and then suddenly like it’s the only thing keeping him in his seat.

“Yes, of course I want to marry you, but you didn’t have to roast me like that, holy shit!”

There’s applause, loud and overwhelming, as Shouta lunges forwards and wraps Hizashi in a hug, the latter who grips onto Shouta’s suit jacket like a lifeline and cries. They share in their moment, Shouta laughing as Hizashi holds on to him. Hizashi pulls back and offers a smile.

“You’re the worst and I hate you, Sho.”

“No you don’t. Give me your hand already, yeah? I’ve been holding onto this for months and I’m so paranoid about losing it that it isn’t even funny anymore” Shouta snaps back, although there’s no malice in how he says it. Hizashi holds his hand out, lets go of a sigh he doesn’t realize he’d been storing as Shouta slides a yellow band onto his finger.

“I kinda love you, Hizashi.”

“I kinda love you too, Shouta.”

 

-------------

 

“And so now here I am- sorry, give me a second, hold on.”

Hizashi chokes on a happy sob as he looks down at the ring on his finger, traces over the cursive script that promises a lifetime. Looks around the studio, dark save for a single light in the actual booth. There’s a chill in the air that bites at his face, but he can’t feel it from underneath the sweater and his jacket.

“Sorry, I’m just still a bit shaken. I didn’t think he’d ever do it, and he did , and I’ve just been crying, like, non-stop . It’s almost embarrassing, really. Listeners, I love him, I love him so much , and I’m excited that I’m getting to spend the rest of my life with him. I mean, of course I had already planned to, but now it’s official . It’s so… god, it’s so domestic , and that’s not something that you’d expect from two workaholic pro heroes, but here we are. I’m engaged to a wonderful man, to one Shouta Aizawa- I got permission to say his name on the radio, from him, because apparently it’s easier to deal with the media backlash if it comes from my mouth versus a paparazzi leak- and we’re going to get married, and I can’t physically wait for the day when we walk up to that podium, one last mission as separate people, and then walk down the aisle together as a team

“I’d cry more about it on air, honestly, and I hate to leave you all with such a cliffhanger , but it’s officially 5, so that means that we’re done for the morning. You’ll be joining your next host into the afternoon, and I’ll be joining a nice breakfast with my perfect family. We’ll be on a regular schedule for the foreseeable future, now. If this was your first time listening, or you’re confused what regular schedule means you can catch Put Your Hands Up Radio on Friday mornings from 1-5. Until then, this is Present Mic, and I’m setting my hands down.”