When he was a child, Shouta had wanted to be a hero so badly that he'd dreaded growing up to actually do it. He feared what puberty would do to his body, and despite pleas made to his doctor, he had been told to basically go with the flow. As a child he'd been just as stoic as he'd later be as an adult, but whenever the thought of growing up entered his head he'd feel a swell of anxiety bombard him, heart pounding sickeningly wet in his chest. He couldn't make his parents understand why he felt the way he did, it would just break their hearts, and he could never do that. So he soldiered on, and as his voice changed and he grew taller, he waited for his body to change too. As the youngest of seven, he knew it was an inevitability he couldn't change. Yet, besides a slightly thicker than average lower half, he made it through high school without his families "curse" ever truly being thrust upon him. It was a relief, but also a source of guilt for him later, as his family all deserved to be treated like the beautiful people they were. He'd come from an incredibly body positive household, and yet his own warped sense of self had created a sludge of hate in his mind that he had to shake the horrible thoughts from his head- because his family was perfect, he insisted they were wonderful, it was him who was always feeling all wrong and like he'd turn out all wrong if he slipped up. He never voiced that he considered his family genetics a curse. He's certain it wouldn't be received well, because you see, his family only came in one size: Large. Except, of course, for he and his dad- so far.
Hero work kept him physically fit, his strength had become monstrous as years waned on, and he survived off of nutrient packs for all fourteen years. There was the occasional visit to the bar where he devoured everything in sight, be he more than made up for the binge between it and the next one. At some point, he honestly stopped paying attention to his body at all, because as an adult it didn't matter anymore that he looked like he was drowning in a black trash bag. He was settled into his own skin and had evaded something he'd childishly thought to be a curse, and came out as Shouta Aizawa: Almost a fully functional adult!
By age thirty+:
- He had his own apartment- later a dorm in a building shared by most, if not all, the teachers of U.A.
- He owned a cat, soon to be two plus a Pomeranian if he managed to convince Nezu to allow Toshinori and Hizashi to move in.
- He could boil water.
- He paid all his bills on time. Thank goodness for automatic payments.
- He had two boyfriends!
- His phone wasn't cracked and he didn't even have a screen protector on!
So yeah, Shouta was doing fine! He was about to turn Thirty-Two, surrounded by his friends, coworkers, and lovers. One had already turned Thirty-Two and the other had just turned Forty-one. As the youngest of his lovers, he felt rather content with his own age change; he had everything he could possibly want and nothing could possibly go wrong. In fact, he was due for a date night to celebrate his birthday alone with his lovers. They'd have a nice dinner cooked by Toshi, then settle onto the couch for a movie, and later maybe they'd have a little. . .fun. His face flushed, he was so excited, and his heart was pounding with anticipation. Shouta glanced at the time on his phone and decided he should start getting ready.
He quickly showered- scrubbing every inch of his body down so he'd smell of. . . he squinted at the bottle, 'volcanic ash' okay. Whatever. He actually ran a brush through his typically messy hair, tossed on a comfortable button up shirt, and grabbed his favorite jeans he hadn't gotten to wear in months. Honestly, he usually just wore his uniform or sweats. Having a night truly alone with just his boyfriends had felt so rare lately with how busy the school year had been. He did note that the shirt was feeling a little tight, his arms were thick from muscle but had gained a softer layer as of late and his stomach wasn't as defined as it once had been. As he was pulling the jeans up, he noticed the ease in which he could usually get them over his thighs was replaced by the need to tug them forcefully up. They used to be baggy, comfortable, but now. . . He huffed and pulled them up his thighs only to be stopped at the hips, just under his bottom- which now that he was doing this, seemed more ample than he remembered. How had he not noticed? His heart started beating fast- he had to get these jeans on, he didn't have a lot of nice clothes, and these were his favorite and only pair of jeans! Taking a breath, Shouta forced the material over his backside and up his hips; relief settled back into his stomach. The only thing left to do was button the damn thing. He glanced down, noting the soft layer pudge sticking over the sides of the waistband, it wasn't enough to unsettle him though so he thought nothing of it. A little weight was surely fine. Grasping zipper of the garment he tried bringing it up, only for it to be forced back down by a not exactly flat stomach. He was certain the fact he was stuffed into them like a sausage didn't help. Okay, Shouta was sweating a little now, he glanced at the clock and grimaced, he didn't have a lot of time left. The dark haired man sucked in as much as he could and brought the zipper up, then quickly buttoned the jeans. He released the breath and winced at the tightness. The botton was straining and there was a slight gap below where the zipper was being pushed down with every breath. "Maybe I'm bloated? That's probably it." Too big a breakfast. Toshi spoiled him after all.
Shouta made his way to the bathrooms full length mirror, hyper aware of his thighs rubbing with every step and the creases of the jeans digging into his groin uncomfortably. Looking in the mirror he was shocked by his appearance. He didn't look bad. . . but there was a soft bit of noticeable muffin top resting over the waist of the pants, and the pants themselves were incredibly tight. He was almost bulging out of them. The seams were digging into his thighs so tightly they made noticeable indents, the material was wrinkling- straining; he didn't recall noticing them look quite so thick before, they jiggled a little when he moved closer to the mirror to inspect himself. His hips flared out and as he turned to the side he noted just how large his bottom really was- a sliver of skin pushed over the top of the fabric, he couldn't pull his shirt over it. He ran a hand over his backside, he supposed he had noticed his sweats and underwear getting tighter, but didn't think much of it. He grabbed the waistband and tugged until he felt the material practically crawling up his ass. If he entered any room, his butt was sure to enter a minute after. Had he really been so oblivious to his own weight? What would Hizashi and Toshi say? Surely they had to have noticed. When's the last time they had sex? They hadn't seen him in anything other than his jumpsuit in months, but he'd been naked in front of them plenty of times. Maybe they just hadn't noticed so hadn't mentioned it. . . Shouta shook his head, "It's not that bad. I'm just overthinking it. After today, I'll get this under control." He knew they'd love him no matter what, but the anxiety he felt over these changes he hadn't noticed was an itch with no relief. He made a compromise on the outfit and grabbed a black t-shirt to throw on instead, covering himself a little better in order to ease his insecurity.
"Sweetheart! We're here!" Called a deep familiar voice rumbling throughout the dorm apartment. The darker haired man forgot his worries for the moment and left the bedroom, peaking out into the main room. Toshinori smiled at him as he set bags upon the table. Hizashi came in a moment later with a lidded glass cake container, gently placing it onto the counter. Shouta padded more into the room, trying to ignore the uncomfortable tightness of his clothing. Toshinori pulled him into a warm hug, kissing his forehead and letting his large hands rest on his backside. Shouta flushed, but it did help him feel more desirable than he had moments prior. Obviously his taller lover had absolutely no problem with his body from the way he was squeezing the flesh. It probably wasn't as bad as he was seeing it. He swatted at the giant, "hey now. Wait until later to grope."
The blond grinned widely, "you're just so irresistible, can't keep my hands off you!"
"Dirty old man. You look nice." Shouta let a hand pat against the others chest, smoothing the fabric of the white dress shirt.
"Well, I'm your dirty old man," Toshinori gave him one last squeeze and released him to Hizashi's endless kisses. Of the three, Hizashi was the most physically affectionate. Toshinori was the least, and Shouta had his days of both. They made it work for them. "Alright you two, out of my kitchen, I need to get started." The tallest blond swatted both his lovers butts and shooed them from the room.
Hizashi plopped himself into the couch and his darker lover found himself gazing at him with a smile. His hair was up in a high ponytail, his glasses were low on his long nose, and his long body was wrapped neatly in the most pastel romper Shouta had ever seen. His arms were adorned in neon bracelets and his hairy feet were clad in jelly sandals. God. He was so perfect. He did note some changes in his lover as of late- a little softer all over. It seemed Toshinori's cooking had some effect on both of them. Somehow that eased some of his anxiety. The softness looked so good on Hizashi though- barely noticeable, easing some of the roughness that had taken him over throughout the years as he worked himself to the bone.
'Blessed. I'm truly blessed. Thanks Buddha or God, whatever.'
"SIT SHOUTAAA, SIT!"
He slowly sat beside his lover, hyper aware of how his pants slipped down his bottom and how the couch sunk under him more than he remembered it doing, Hizashi was jostled into his side by the extra weight. Hizashi seemed happy though, after all- Shouta had always been heavier than him anyway, content to practically crawl onto his lap, so maybe it was okay. He tried his best to just enjoy the time with his lover, watching silly things on the television until dinner. Dinner itself was a large spread of all Shouta's favorites, made lovingly by Toshinori's damaged yet gentle hands.
The tall man offered one of those precious hands to each of his lovers in order to assist them off the couch and to the kitchen, what a gentleman. Face flushed, Shouta hesitantly gave the sunflower haired man his rough grasp, "be careful, Toshinori," he gasped as he was pulled up with an ease normal men shouldn't have had. Toshi was always special though, quirk or no, wasn't he?
"HELL YEAH! GLAD I WORE MY COMFY OUTFIT!" cheered Hizashi, patting a his stomach. Toshinori laughed and pinched the loud blonds tummy, "me too." Looking between his two lovers, Shouta supposed they were all a little more filled out than they had been. How had he missed all this? Toshinori was no longer just bones either. If Hizashi was starting to soften around the edges and Shouta was. . . something he didn't want to think about, Toshinori himself was looking downright healthy. His face was no longer gaunt and while he was lean, it was no longer a frightening leanness. He smiled, so he'd been oblivious, that was okay. They were all just full of love. They headed into the kitchen, Shouta pulling his pants back up as best as he could, to sit for a large meal.
It was a large dinner and large cake and he ate seconds and thirds- by the time he deposited himself into the couch between his full lovers- sinking them into his sides, for a Ghibli movie or two, he felt out of breath. Even just sitting on the couch it felt like he'd run a marathon, hands on his stomach that now bloated over the waistband. It was just one heavy meal, so what could it hurt? Hizashi fell asleep halfway through the movie, head pillowed on Shouta's plump thighs, face pressed into his settling stomach. His long arms wrapped around the darker man's middle; his breath tickled the skin of the darker mans belly, his indulgence causing the shirt to ride up. Meanwhile Toshinori had an arm wrapped around Shouta's shoulders, lips pressed along his temple, unaware of his lovers focus.
"Good birthday, beautiful?"
If only the feeling of that night could have lasted.
As months went on he thought he'd lose the weight he gained staying as busy as he was with hero work and teaching, but through all the birthdays and holidays, by the time he pulled his favorite jeans out again he absolutely couldn't get them over his thighs. He struggled, rolling on his bed and jumping, feeling himself jiggle with every move, trying to force them on, but the waistband was just too small and he supposed he'd just. . . grown large. He sat on his bed with a huff, hand on his belly and large bottom sinking the mattress. Nobody had said anything about his weight gain, and it surely had to be a lot to be showing on his tall frame. Even his favorite pink sweats were straining and uncomfortably tight now a days- okay, more than uncomfortably tight. He'd bent down to give his cat some food a while back and they'd split in the back. He kept telling himself it was okay, 'just a little more weight than usual,' but slowly but surely his lower half thickened to the point he'd had to buy larger sizes, smaller clothes that had survived his thighs chafing and expanded bottom tossed into the back of his closet. But it was fine, he had told himself he was the same size he'd been at his birthday, he just hadn't bothered to go shopping after that day- but now he knew the truth.
There was no way he could put on more weight. This had to stop. Why hadn't he done something sooner? Now that he was thinking about it, he supposed his uniform was getting a little tighter by the day. And at the lunch table in the staff lounge he did suppose he'd noticed how the seats were getting too small, his bottom pushing over either side; they were uncomfortable too, the arms digging into him harshly. Maybe that was why his lovers had opted for eating on the campus lawns as of late, or they were being their usual sappy selves. He did recall his chair in the lounge no longer having arms to it, but took it as a blessing instead of someone realizing he was expanding. Shouta supposed he was hitting things with his hips more and spaces he used to be able to get through were requiring a little more effort to pass. Had things in his apartment been moved to account for his growth? Now that he thought about it, his kitchen table had been moved, hadn't it? Who had done that? It certainly wasn't him. Okay, so this time around he wasn't completely oblivious, but he'd honestly thought he was eating healthy and moving enough where there was no way he was putting on as much weight as he had to have been to get to. . . this point. Shit. Now he knew why he was getting dark looks from people on the train or when out shopping- it was because his ass was knocking things off shelves and taking up room that those crowded places really didn't have to spare. He'd already been a larger than average Japanese man before. . .now though, he was large in other ways. Okay, it wasn't that bad, surely. As long as he wore his uniform, it still wasn't super noticeable, it would be fine and buy him enough time to lose the weight.
Hero work seemed to be going fine. He did recall some things not handling his weight as well as they used to, and he couldn't go through tight places anymore, but he had his strength and skill to fall back on. But what if eventually he couldn't do it anymore? What if it slowed him down? He didn't want to be returned to his lovers in a body bag just because he couldn't control whatever this was.
Maybe a diet was in order.
He had a few weeks before he had to go visit his parents for several weeks, damn school break, and he'd promised them so there was no getting out of it. He sighed and rubbed a hand down his face, well. . . he'd just have to control himself despite his pushy family and until the visit he'd beat himself into shape. 'Maybe just stop eating entirely,' he thought darkly. He just had to eat less. A lot less. One meal a day? He could probably get away with that. Longer hero shifts? That'd work. Surely he could do this without alerting his lovers that something was wrong.
Or not. . .
"Are you alright sweetheart? You've hardly touched your meal." Toshinori frowned at Shouta over dinner, their third partners voice filtering through the radio on the counter. Shouta shifted in his seat uneasily, hyper aware of the groaning wood beneath him and how heavy he felt as his sides spilled off, his back unable to touch the backrest as his ass ballooned behind him.
"Ah. . . I'm fine." Should he be honest? Maybe. . . "I just think I should. . .uh, diet."
The blond blinked in surprise, "whatever for?"
So maybe Toshinori hadn't noticed. Well, as relieving as it was that is partners were oblivious idiots, still. . . "just to be healthy. I think I've been overdoing it."
The blond laughed, "I'm pretty sure Hizashi eats worse than you." He reached a long hand out and laid in gently on Shouta's, "Hizashi and I love you and find you sexy no matter what. You know that, right?"
Shouta felt his heart hammer in his chest, face flushed, he grinned. "Yes."
Despite Toshinori's words, he continued trying to trim himself back down, severely limiting his food intake and working out- even taking extra shifts. Limiting food was the worst, especially with a boyfriend who was such a good cook. He wanted so badly to enjoy his lovers food, but the only thing on his mind was trying to slim back down. It was all well and good to work hard to get the body he wanted, but he was even more tired than usual and his feet and ankles were so sore one night that when he pulled off his shoes he collapsed onto the couch and didn't get back up until well into his day off. His lovers peaked in on him after a little too much radio silence- Shouta slumped on the couch, a leg and arm dangling over the edge while his sleeping face squished into a throw pillow.
"Sweetheart?" Hizashi tried, squatting beside the couch to gently shake the darker mans shoulder.
Toshinori was moving about the kitchen, feeding Shouta's cat, while Hizashi kept trying to wake their sleeping lover. Miraculously, he got Shouta into a sitting position, though the man was still looking bleary eyed and scruffy. The two of them hoisted him to his feet and ushered him to the bathroom to shower and change into clean clothes. His uniform smelled of sweat, blood, and dirt; "we're going to have to spray the couch down, good Lord, Shouta." Sighed Toshinori, going to sanitize the couch. The louder blond headed to the kitchen to fix coffee. Shouta emerged from the bathroom with his long black hair curling frizzly out of his head, freshly shaved, and wearing a baggy T-shirt and the tightest shorts Hizashi had ever seen him in. They barely covered his backside, never mind his thighs. It was a wonder he got the things on with how they rode up him. The long shirt helped keep some of his modesty.
The homeroom teacher laid himself back on his couch, scowling in pain as his feet throbbed. Toshinori ran long fingers against his scalp, "are you doing okay?"
The shorter man gave a nod, "feet are just sore."
"I can fix that!" Exclaimed a delighted Hizashi, placing a steaming cup of coffee on the coffee table. Shouta shimmied into a sitting position and took to sipping the dark beverage with relief while Hizashi sat on the opposite end of the couch, his lovers feet in his lap, massaging them with deft hands. It was Heaven. "Shouta. . . your feet are really swollen, you should stay off them today. You really need to take it easy with all the work, you're going to hurt yourself." Hizashi eyed his lovers legs and then trailed up his body, face pinched with concern. He wasn't stupid, he did realize that Shouta was changing and possibly wasn't taking it very well. All he could really do was hold his tongue for once and support his dark haired love.
"I promise, Hizashi, I'll take it easy for a while."
"Good enough, I suppose."
That day off he didn't get off the couch except to go to the bathroom, and with his boyfriends doting on him the whole day he really didn't have to lift a finger; not that he felt as though he deserved it. By nighttime they retired to the bed to sleep; Hizashi spooned Shouta who in turn spooned Toshinori- he felt the radio hosts hands caressing his stomach and trailing down his hips comfortingly until he fell asleep- little kisses pressed into his neck. There was no better way to end a day.
The dark haired man left for his parents home much more content and confident than he had originally felt, and had managed to cut his meals to once a day fairly consistently, much to the disapproval of his partners who were concerned for his health- worried their partner was starving himself. Maybe he was. After years of never truly caring about his appearance, Shouta figured he'd earned his breakdown. He was allowed to feel this way. Shouta did think about either of his lovers going through the same thing, or even his students, and knew deep down that he was being hypocritical- because he absolutely wouldn't stand for them hurting or belittling themselves like he was. Honestly, he didn't want to think about any of this anymore.
His lovers had more or less seen him off with a lot of crying, kissing, and groping before going their separate ways. He had wanted them to come along to meet his crazy parents, but Hizashi himself also had to make a trip out to see his folks on a train going the opposite direction and Toshinori had decided it would be a good time to pack up his truck and visit his no longer estranged birth mother and her parents in the countryside. The three promised to video chat every night and to text as often as possible. Meanwhile, Nemuri had been entrusted to take care of their pets, so hopefully they came back to all of them alive.
Shouta scanned his train card and made his way through the gate, his hips brushed the sides of the frame, but he made it through gracefully enough- if he said so himself. The train ride itself wasn't too bad. He managed to get a seat, though he would have preferred a bench seat as the smaller ones were uncomfortably hard and tight, plus it wasn't too crowded so nobody could really get mad at him for taking up space. The ride wasn't too long, though he felt uncomfortably numb the longer he sat, but standing too long made his feet sore. 'I need better insoles.' Before he even made it to the door of his parents home, his steps alerted his mother on the porch and she rushed outside, throwing her arms around him. "SHOUTA! I MISSED YOU SO MUCH. YOU'RE SO THIN!" the woman ushered him into the house and straight to the main room. Shouta paled, this visit was going to be the end of him.
His mother was a good few inches taller than him, voluptuous, and wider than him in the hips with arms like iron bars when wrapped around him. She had always been a source of awe, her beauty had garnered her a lot of attention throughout the years. She'd grown chubbier by the child, but that didn't stop her from being a complete knockout, according to his father. His mother never seemed to have a problem being so tall and demanding so much space, Shouta wished he could have that confidence too. He knew it was wrong to constantly think about how much room he took up, that his mind wasn't considering himself in the best of lights, but he didn't know how to shift his perspective. His mother used to model herself despite backlash for having a larger frame for a Japanese woman- she even became famous for it up until she retired from the modeling business when she decided to focus on her family and main career. He idolized her a bit, even if she did drive him insane.
"Mom, I'm the opposite of thin right now. . ."
His tiny father, short and waif like, sat at the kotatsu doing a crossword with ink wiped along his forehead. He looked up when Shouta was ushered in and beamed at him. "My lovely boy!" He adjusted his glasses, "my. . . You're looking more and more like your mother every time I see you." His father was perhaps one of the most openly affectionate people he'd ever met, and compared to his mother, very sensitive. He was also, at times, painfully honest. He'd supported Shouta readily when he'd wanted to become a hero, while his mother had tried to discourage him- terrified of burying one of her children, yet it was his father who sobbed openly upon his graduation.
"Hi Dad, it's good to see you again." He sat down on the opposite side of the table and sighed, glad to be off his feet. The walk from the station had been long and his parents didn't own a car. Their places of work never took them far from the house, with seven kids it just hadn't been feasible and now that they lived further away from Musutafu they still hadn't bothered getting one for whatever reason. Too much effort to learn how to drive perhaps. His father was an office worker and his mother was a radio host, both their jobs were within walking distance. Much like Shouta, they didn't want to expend more energy than they had to.
The teacher took after his mother the most, but his complexion and coloring came from his father. His mother's curly hair was chestnut, his father's shorter hair was straight and raven. His mother had brown eyes, his father yellow. His mother's skin was dark, while his father's was pale. He'd always looked up to his father's calm and honest demeanor, rather than his mother's harshness and stubborn disposition- but he could definitely see both of them in his personality. His father was only a little over five feet tall, while his mother towered somewhere over six feet. His father was thin, his mother was not. It was a wonder how such different people came together to form such a loving marriage. He hoped he'd be so lucky someday.
"Anyone else coming?" Shouta questioned as his mother set a cup of tea in front of him before depositing herself beside her husband, cuddling up to him and making the smaller man smile shyly.
"Nope, just you! We can shower you with all our attention!" His mother exclaimed jovially.
"Now dear, don't scare him off. Shouta, why don't you tell us how you've been lately? Haven't heard too much out of yah, and after all those hospital visits you have us worried." His father rested a hand on his mothers lap and leaned into her contentedly, it made Shouta envious and lonesome- he missed his boyfriends.
"I'm okay, hero work has me busy most nights and teaching has me busy most days. As I said on the phone last time we talked, I've mostly just been spending time with Hizashi and Toshinori."
He would never admit it, but the majority of his visit was him gushing over his boyfriends, his parents didn't exactly understand how a three person relationship worked, but since it made their boy happy they rolled with it. The visit was far more pleasant than he had imagined it would be; he'd gotten to spend time with his parents, playing board games and helped fix up their home. For the most part, he was rather sedentary though. Despite his protests of dieting, his mother was often plying him with snacks and meals like any other mother, and while he could refuse most of the snacks, he knew better than to ever waste a meal. By the end of the first week of eating three meals again, all his clothing was tight, he could get his shirts on fine despite his stomach becoming a bit puffy- his upper half was slightly softer than usual at the most, but since all his weight typically went to his lower half it became a struggle after week one to pull any of his pants up his thighs. He resorted to only wearing his yoga pants, which in hindsight might have been a poor choice on his part as he wouldn't be able to gauge whether or not he was putting on weight for the next three weeks. By the end of week two he'd had to pick up larger sizes of yoga pants, the ones he kept wearing were at their limits and he didn't think his parents would appreciate a show. He kept giving himself smaller portions, refusing snacks, and tried to run as much as possible; it did help keep him sane for a few days, but the more he pushed food away, the more his parents grew concerned and felt hurt- maybe even scared. It wasn't like the meals were even large, and the snacks weren't necessarily unhealthy, it's just that everything that passed his lips seemed to settle on his body just to upset him. By week three he gave in and ate everything given to him and then some- giving up for the time being. By week four he'd split his largest pair of pants and his belly finally started to look visibly distended just from overeating, which wasn't necessarily his mothers fault; he started doing his nightly crunches, push ups, and squats with more vigor than he had been- but if anything he felt the muscle beneath the fat just made him appear larger and that just upset him more. By the end of week five he felt out of control and started ignoring his lovers calls.
Every inch of him felt bloated and soft; he couldn't stand how his stomach seemed to swell now, even if the extra exercises were helping to tone it down some. He absolutely hated how he swayed when he so much as walked across a room- his thighs squished together with no space between them so his hips had no choice but to roll and shift, swaying like he'd seen actresses do on TV in heels. But his walk had nothing to do with heels and had everything to do with having plump legs. Nothing he owned lasted very long as long as the chafing either wore holes in the fabric or a seam couldn't hold through the strain. Every piece of furniture he sat on sagged helplessly under his bulk- thankfully quirks had the benefit of some things being made larger to accommodate larger than life beings, which definitely helped when it came time to eat out or go shopping. He would have to start shopping at more popular stores back at musutafu that actually designed themselves with differently shaped people in mind. The problem with small towns was the lack of accommodations for more interesting quirk users- and apparently, plus sized people. He didn't get why his mother put up with it.
The train ride back to Musutafu was perhaps the most uncomfortable train ride of his life. He was wearing his mothers largest pair of pants, the store in his parents town didn't exactly stock sizes for people like him in the fitness section- damn tiny town. So he ran out of options. It was disheartening to know that he was officially larger than his mother, something that not even his similarly bodied siblings had accomplished. His ass and hips were so large he had to stand as the larger bench seats were A) All taken and B) He'd take up too much room, which wouldn't be fair to others who actually needed to sit. The smaller seats would absolutely not fit him anymore either- not even as well as the first day of vacation; and he knew it would be rude to take up multiple seats. So he stood, and tried not to think about people crowding around him or how much space he was taking up just by existing. Shouta's thoughts were dark, hateful, he hated himself so much right now. Even his parents kind words and reassurances weren't enough to calm him down. They never understood why he had a problem with putting on weight or the possibility that he'd get his families seemingly absurd proportions, but that he was upset at all made them highly concerned. His mother did wind up apologizing for not helping him stick to his diet better, though he did acknowledge that her meals and snacks had all been healthy and irregardless it didn't seem to regulate his weight. He knew eventually his body would settle where it wanted, no matter what he did, but he was worried it wouldn't be until he was as big as a house or until he had to have surgery to control the genetic issue. He hoped he wouldn't come to that. His family had been lucky enough where the problems their ancestors had no longer effected them with the developments of quirks and the ever evolving to adapt human body; but what if he became the odd one out? What if this became more of a medical condition than just being extremely bottom heavy? His father had simply hugged him and told him everything would be alright. But it wouldn't, would it? He couldn't do hero work like this, right? God, he didn't know how larger heroes did it. His lovers weren't going to even want to touch him anymore. He felt absolutely grotesque.
The train got into Musutafu and he fought to waddle off without getting in anyone's way; then came the struggle of getting back through the other side of the station- he'd have to go through a revolving door and feared he'd just get stuck. Thankfully, and embarrassingly, before he could even attempt to go through a guard stopped him and ushered him through the door for the larger quirk users- which he should have realized existed in the first place. Shouta supposed he was in his own little world right then. He could hear people chuckling and automatically assumed it was at his expense, but everyone in Musutafu was different and weird and fantastic- so of course they weren't really. Nobody was actually glaring at him or treating him differently, it was all in his head. . . why couldn't he make these thoughts stop? His face red, he marched through the crowd, adjusting the stretchy fabric of his pants back over his backside- the material not quite able to keep it covered- the material was leaving very little to the imagination. Unfortunately, he had to turn back to grab his scarf that had more than likely fallen off in the rush to get off the train, and was made to go through the card scanners, but his lower half was just too large to fit through the gate no matter how he turned. The guard from before kindly brought him his garment once he noticed him and even helped push him back through. He was absolutely humiliated, but the guard just smiled and waved him off pleasantly.
Unfortunately, one of his lovers were waiting for him outside, and he brought the truck. The tall gangly blond rushed at him when he caught sight of him- 'not that he could miss my fat ass,' groused Shouta unhappily- Toshinori wrapped his arms around his lover tightly. "I missed you so much, beautiful."
"I'm not beautiful," he snapped back, startling the taller man who pulled away with a gasp. Toshinori looked him up and down slowly and tucked a strand of dark hair behind Shouta's ear thoughtfully, brow furrowed.
"You're right, you're gorgeous." Suddenly the mans large hands were on either side of Shouta's cheeks, thumbing the ever present stubble along his jaw, "and absolutely adorable. Oh my gosh, look at these cute cheeks," He squeezed the slightly softer face in his palms and grinned, hands sliding to his bottom, "and these cute cheeks!" Admittedly, that did make the shorter man smile a little. "There's that smile. Now c'mon, Hizashi is waiting at home for us."
Getting into the truck was a little bit of a struggle as there was so much more of Shouta to hoist around, but Toshinori was there to keep him stable as he got in after he'd tossed Shouta's things in the back. Fitting in the seat was more comfortable than he'd thought, but then again, Toshinori had been using this truck most of his life- if All Might could fit in the thing, then Shouta obviously could. Yet, his heart sank, he didn't know how to fix this. To fix himself. His thoughts were all murky and all he wanted to do was lay down and not get up again. Was he just going to keep getting bigger and bigger until they had to use a forklift just to get him anywhere? As they drove he felt his eyes water, he forced himself to stare out the window, lips quivering. "Toshinori, aren't you repulsed by me?" His voice cracked and he sniffled wetly. The car swerved roughly, startling the fuck out of the dark haired man, and came to a screeching halt on the side of the road. This was it. . . this was where his lover kicked him out and confirmed his fears.
"Absolutely not!" Turning to look at Toshinori, the man looked furious, "I don't know who put it into your head that you had to be thin to be beautiful or that you are even remotely 'repulsive,' but I am absolutely not having it! You are handsome, you are fantastic, you are absolutely sexy in every shape I've ever seen you in. I'll support you no matter what- you want to lose weight, fine, but I'll only support you, but not because you need to be thin- because you don't. You want to stay this size? I'll help you maintain it then. You want to get bigger? I'll support you in that too! All I want is for you to be happy. Weight or size does not determine health, nor beauty, and it does not determine how I feel when I look at you. Which is to say. . .I feel overwhelming love and affection when I look at you."
Shouta was stunned, his heart hammering in his chest, he sniffled and felt tears rolling down his face hotly. "I'm scared. I feel out of control and I don't know what to do. I'm scared I'll just keep getting bigger and there will be no space for me, I won't be able to continue my work, and I'm scared you and Hizashi will leave me." The blond reached over and hugged him tightly, "We will never leave you, Shouta. There will always be space for you in this world. I was once a five hundred plus pound man, Shouta. If there's not enough space, we'll make space. If hero work isn't safe, we'll make it safe or figure something out. We'll help you in whatever way we can Shouta. We love you so much." Shouta wrapped his arms loosely around his lovers waist, sobbing for a good ten minutes before it slowed into shuddering breaths. He'd never felt so out of control in his life. When Toshinori finally started driving again he left a hand on Shouta's thigh in a show of comfort, brow pinched and face worried. When they pulled into U.A., Nemuri and Hizashi were there to greet him. Nemuri was about to wolf whistle at his new look, eyes raking up his figure and the sliver of skin peaking over the waist of his pants, but upon seeing his face and Toshinori's visible concern, she abstained and just offered a comforting 'Welcome back,' to her longtime friend. Hizashi said nothing as he headed back inside, and that unsettled Shouta more than anything else he'd experienced in the last several months.
Upon entering his apartment, Shouta's eyes widened as he saw his lovers belongings now decorating the place as well. They'd moved in, to surprise him. . .and in return he surprised them by getting. . .like this. Something he could barely recognize anymore. Hizashi came out of the bedroom with a large throw and some movies. He tossed the blanket onto the couch and put the movies on the coffee table. He still wasn't saying anything. Toshinori gave him a squeeze around his arms and went over to the usually loud blond, they were whispering to one another. Shouta couldn't stand not knowing what his lover and best friend were thinking- he'd never restrained his thoughts before and now he suddenly was, it was driving the dark haired man mad.
"Are you angry with me?" It was meant to come out far more confidently than it sounded, but Shouta was upset, so couldn't quite find the energy to care.
"Why would I be angry with you?" Hizashi asked, surprised.
"Because I'm fatter than when I left. . . because I'm. . ." he shook his head, "if you don't want me like this I'll understand."
The radio host sighed and walked slowly to the heartbroken man and flicked him on the forehead.
"Hey!" Snapped Shouta, swatting the others hand with a scowl.
"Hey there yourself, listener," whispered Hizashi, "you know I don't buy into that jazz."
The darker haired man burned a hole into the floor with his gaze only for manicured fingers to grip his chin and lift his face to look into vibrantly shadowed eyes, "you've known me for a long ass time, you know you could be the size of the moon and I'd worship you and every hole."
"Hizashi, no. . .what the fuck. . ." whispered Toshinori from the side, pressing a large hand to his face in exasperation.
Shouta snorted and burst out laughing, something he honestly hadn't felt like doing in a long time, his blond lovers joining in.
Once they were calmer, Toshinori and Hizashi cocooned their lover on the couch and plied him with water to re-hydrate, each sitting on one side of him. "Alright, so spill Shou- what in the world is going on with you? Yeah, you're not exactly thin anymore, but I didn't think that shit bugged you. I've met your parents and your siblings enough to know you weren't raised to be fat-phobic in the least. And yah know Toshi and I still find you sexy as fuck, so what's going on in that head of yours?"
Shouta shrugged, "I don't. . .I don't hate fat people. I just don't feel like myself anymore, or like I have control. I'm worried about losing everything I've worked so hard for- what if I can't protect the kids like this? And I was also worried you two wouldn't want me anymore. . . but I guess I really had nothing to worry about there. You both have terrible taste."
"Stop belittling yourself," Toshinori gently pushed the other lightly, sitting down beside him on one side.
"In my defense, I was belittling both of you too."
Hizashi sighed, "usually I enjoy witty banter. . . but I'm worried as fuck, Shou. Not to be a debbie downer, but you gotta contact your therapist on this STAT. Your thoughts about yourself are super worrying. Toshi texted me that you called yourself un-beautiful, I'm an English teacher and that's totally a word so don't look it up. I also want you to see your doctor, or at least Recovery Girl. I think if you at least see if you're healthy, it'll really put your mind at ease. Your mom and siblings all have some type of lipedema, right? Just make sure nothing funky is going on that'll hurt you and you're gold, sweetheart. As for your hero work, test yourself and see if you still feel up to it, if not then see what a doctor has to say- but in my opinion you're a fantastic teacher and that's not going anywhere and the kids will still respect the shit out of you no matter what, so don't sweat it if it's time to hang up the old yellow goggles. I'm personally thinking of retiring soon too- three jobs is nuts, yo. Don't know if you noticed, but my eye bags are ginormous and I have nightmares from all this shit piling up. Shit piles lying around aren't good for people. We were never going to be heroes forever, and I'd rather see you retire from it alive and having done so much than dead and having done too much. Ya dig? As for being fat- well who the fuck cares? Though, honestly, any weight you have put on is sticking to your lower half, I'm barely getting a belly out of you- but even if you do get rounder it's just more of you to love. And that adorable face? My god, I want to bite your cheeks." The blond pouted and poked Shouta's stomach, and oddly enough, the darker haired man didn't feel ashamed. It helped, he realized, that his lovers loved him so much and still found him attractive.
"Shouta, would you find me unattractive if I went back to my old All Might body?"
"Wha? Of course not. Though we'd have to get sturdier furniture."
"What if Hizashi went fat and bald? Would you still want him?"
Shouta smirked, knowing where Toshinori was going with this, "of course I'd still want him. Though the bald part might come sooner rather than later if he keeps putting all that hair-gel on."
"Hey! I'll have you know I'm using the good stuff, none of that dollar store crap made from dangerous chemicals. I'm classy."
Talking about it. . .helped, and he didn't know why he hadn't tried sooner. He didn't know why he'd let it all build up until he broke. His lovers had done nothing but surprise him tonight, and it did in fact warm his heart and set him at ease. The homeroom teacher wiped at his eyes and stared at the water-bottle wedged between his thighs. Maybe, it wasn't so bad. . . maybe he could deal with everything tomorrow. Call his therapist. Go to a doctor or recovery girl. Maybe it would all be fine. He let out a breath that he felt like he'd been holding in for months, tummy disturbing the bottle a little until he reached forward to place the water on the table. The couch creaked below his weight and his lovers hands rested on his knee and back until he could lean back on the couch more. "Tomorrow?" he whispered.
"Tomorrow sounds good, dear." Toshinori said softly.
"I'm holding you to it," promised Hizashi.
They flipped on the television and settled into the couch. There was some shifting and adjusting, but eventually they all found comfortable positions sprawled half on top of one another. "We need a bigger couch," Shouta groused.
Hizashi shrugged, "tomorrow."
"You should have come to me sooner, young man!" Shouted Recovery Girl, threatening Shouta with her walking stick furiously. "What if this had developed into Lymphedema!"
"Lymphadema doesn't run in my family anymore since the arrival of quirks. I'm not even sure if our condition can even properly be considered lipedema anymore."
"I don't care! If you see advancing, rapid, changes in your body you need to come to me! And don't pretend this hasn't been a quick progression, I'm not blind! I've seen you go from the size of a toothpick to squeezing yourself through my door within a few months, that is not a normal progression for anyone, overweight or not. If you were just overweight, fine, I wouldn't be as concerned- but this condition is not as simple as that. Did your mother not teach you anything about it? I've met your mother, young man! I know she went through the same thing and had the sense to go to a doctor!" She grit her teeth, "don't you understand how important you are to people?!"
Shouta bowed apologetically, "I'm sorry. I'll come to you next time."
"You've been saying that since you were a child. Pfft." The woman sighed, "alright, hold out your arm, I'm taking blood."
One painful stick of a needle later, he was left sitting on one of the hospital beds, alone in the room as Chiyo went to the back room to test the blood. He heard a click and looked up, Problem Child walking into the room to deposit paperwork on Recovery Girls desk. Probably his physical report that was due before school started back up again. Izuku bowed to him, "h-hey Mr. Aizawa! How are you!?" The boy was looking taller than last Shouta had seen him, and a bit thicker around in muscle, he wondered just how hard he'd been working himself over the break.
"I'm doing fine. How has your break been?" He could make small talk. . .he wasn't that inept at it.
"It's been okay, a little boring without all the teachers and students around. It'll be nice to move back into the dorms again."
"Boring? You look like you've been in the sun a lot." If possible, the boy was more freckled than before, sporting a dark tan.
"Ah. . .y-yeah. I've been swimming a lot, it's good training."
The teacher smiled, unnerving for most people, but Problem Child seemed to take it better than the average student and smiled back brightly. "Your break is almost over. Do something fun. I expect something interesting out of you by the first day back."
Green eyes shined brightly, "Yes! Will do, Mr. Aizawa!"
"Young Izuku, are you bothering my patient?" Recovery Girl hobbled back into the main room, brandishing papers in one of her tiny hands. The boy stuttered, apologizing nervously. Shouta rolled his eyes, "he's fine. I don't mind him staying," -"A-are you sure Mr. Aizawa?" -"So what's the news?" He didn't want to keep anything from the students, who would obviously be dealing with his condition when classes began. He prayed that he'd really be okay.
"Well, you're going to be fine. No Lymphedema, cancer, or serious conditions outside of some form of lipedema. I want to have you come in for monthly checkups so we can keep making sure. If you feel things progressing out of control again though you need to come see me right away. My technology is advanced enough where we don't have to miss anything so long as you're open and honest with me. I do want you to come to me for massages if you start to feel sore anywhere. You are rather overweight, which contributed to your size, I'm sure your metabolism has changed rather rapidly- but we can get you back under control for the most part. You're otherwise healthy as a horse and not in danger- just keep eating right and exercising to keep you regular, you don't necessarily have to lose the weight if you don't want to, but I expect you may be a tad uncomfortable at the moment with the swelling. I'll be prescribing you some things that should help. I'm going to give you a list of exercises, but I know you already do your own, I'll give you a list of a few that I would like you to stop at this point; I'll also be ordering you some compression garments. You need to take it easy on your body as well, I heard about your stint of non-stop work before break began. I don't want you to aggravate your condition and no more of this one meal a day nonsense, an eating disorder will not remove lipedema, so don't try it. Don't let me catch you doing that again or I won't be so nice. Let me just get everything typed out and you can go."
Shouta felt relieved, though surprised this was Recovery Girl being. . .nice. He had one more question, "can I still be a hero?"
Recovery Girl just shrugged, "you aren't the first overweight hero, Shouta, and you wont be the last. Hell, you aren't even the first one with lipedema. There's no reason why you can't keep being a hero. Like I said, just go easy on your body- you're fairly healthy. Healthier than you were when you survived off of gel packs and kept having narcoleptic episodes to catch your body up on rest. Honestly, your numbers haven't looked this good in a long time. You're just going to have to get used to being larger, even if only for a while. Get some support gear from the Support Department and try to relax some." She finished typing out his release instructions and passed them on, shooing he and Izuku from her department.
The two walked down the hall together and a leisurely pace, the boy beside him smiling up at him, "thank you for trusting me to stick around sir. Um, if you don't mind me asking. . ." here it comes, thought Shouta, the kid was going to ask all about his condition. Chiyo did give away a lot already though. . . but it was his fault for saying it was okay. "How was your break?" Oh.
"Long. I went to see my parents. Then I had to come back and deal with my health."
The boy nodded vigorously, "you should do something fun too!"
The man snorted out a laugh, "is that an assignment?"
"I'll have to get on it then."
They walked down the steps of U.A., Shouta going slow until he could get used to his larger size, with the green haired boy kindly keeping his pace and staying alert in case his teacher stumbled. He'd have to deal with his own personal training to get used to this before stepping foot back in the hero field. What a pain.
Inko was waiting for her son at the bottom, she looked a little surprised to see him, he couldn't really blame her. He nodded towards her, she smiled back, "it's good to see you again, Mr. Aizawa!" She smiled, her own plump face looking pleasant and her overall appearance seemed different than last he'd seen her. She'd cropped her hair and was wearing light makeup now, it suited her, though he did think she was pretty regardless. They'd met several times before, usually when invited over for dinners with his two partners, it seemed she'd developed some sort of sisterly bond for Toshinori, which he was glad to see. The man needed more people on his side. She wasn't wearing her usual homey clothes, instead opting for a nice blouse and pants. They suited her, he didn't know why she kept so covered before, but he was sure it had something to do with her rotten Ex-husband. Toshinori had breathed his own sort of fire due to that mans treatment of his family, particularly his wife that he'd blamed for every failing- the blonds anger was a fire he hoped he never had to be on the receiving end of.
"It's nice to see you too, Inko. Been a while." He scratched the back of his head nervously, feeling more self conscious than he had with Chiyo or Izuku. He had gotten new clothes, but even still he felt so big and out of place, the pants were made to stretch- but were still far too snug. He thought the mall would have more variety, since they had to carry so much for so many different quirk users, but most pant sizes didn't go over a 46" hip, and he needing something larger. . . preferably his whole wardrobe wasn't going to be reduced to yoga pants for the rest of his life. They kept a very low supply of items for people over a certain size. It was exhausting to search for clothes in stores; online orders were pricey and had too much room for errors, he was a little fed up.
"It certainly has! It's nice to see you again. You and your blonds really need to come visit again sometime, you're all family now, after all. Tell that ridiculous giant to give me a call too."
Shouta smiled, "I'll pass on the message. You always cook for us though, make Toshinori cook for you for once. Come visit us, you can always get a pass to come on campus anytime- as long as you have the blood available for their DNA tests. That was a joke. . . but no, seriously, I guess you really do need to be able to do that." He adjusted the waist of his pants uncomfortably, hoping she didn't notice, but Inko wasn't stupid and pursed her lips.
"Y'know. If you're interested, we could go shopping sometime. I know a little store that sells a wide variety of plus sized clothing for every size and shape."
"Dear God, yes."
Izuku was playing on his phone, trying very hard not to eavesdrop on his mother and teacher. . . step-uncle? Whatever, they were adults. He tried not to appear too obvious when he looked at his teacher, but he did look surprisingly different. Before classes had let out for break he'd been looking a little larger, but under his uniform nobody really seemed to take much notice. Izuku had a keen eye and high intelligence, always able to track differences in everyone, he supposed it came with advantages. Now though, he knew the man wouldn't be able to hide in his uniform anymore, and decided to support him as much as possible. Kids could be hurtful, he knew that better than most, and while Mr. Aizawa was a very bland and harsh man at times, he was also painfully kind and caring. He didn't deserve cruelty.
After exchanging cell numbers it was time to head to their respective homes. Izuku got into the car with his mom and glanced at her from the passenger seat, "I'm going to watch out for him mom, don't worry." She let out a laugh, her face must have given her concern away, "thank you dear. He's a very capable man, but then again, I've heard stories of his clumsiness from Toshi and how sensitive he can really be. I just hope nobody hurts him in any way and he doesn't wind up hurting himself while trying to get back on his feet." She sighed, "I've been overweight now for most of your life. . . I'm okay with myself now, but I won't lie, sometimes it's hard. Sometimes people are cruel. I know I'm beautiful and I do my best to be healthy, but people look at size and assume every fat person is laying around all day eating." Inko gripped the steering wheel tightly, "it's. . . it's. . . bullshit."
"I know mom." He thought about Uraraka, who was growing into a plump and muscular young woman. He thought of Momo who was happily discovering the quirk benefits to having a chubbier physique. He thought about Koji, larger than the majority of the other boys, but capable and gaining confidence every day. They were tough, hard working, and beautiful in every way; if someone ever dared to say otherwise he was prepared to step up and throw down. Fat and beautiful did go together, regardless of what tabloids said. They pulled into the parking lot of their apartment and headed in, "we're home!" they called out in unison. Fragrant smells wafted throughout the small home, it was heavenly.
"Welcome back!" greeted Suzue, coming around the kitchen island to wrap her tan arms around Inko, planting a delicate kiss on her forehead. "You're so short, my knees are going to be sore if I have to bend down like this every day." She whined, but Inko just chuckled, "get me a ladder then." Inko brushed her fingers along the slender woman's dark hair thoughtfully. "Something wrong?" The taller of the two asked. The shorter shook her head, "we'll talk about it later. What were you making?"
Back in the teachers dorms, Shouta was wondering if he'd walked into the wrong living quarters. He checked the letter on the door. . .yup, this was the place he shared with his boyfriends. He looked back in and hesitantly stepped towards what appeared to be a rather roomy couch. . . with no legs. On the floor. He glanced around the rest of the apartment, a lot of furniture had been stealthily and quickly replaced. The kitchen table was gone and in it's place was Toshinori's large old chabudai and some tatami mats. There were no chairs. . .anywhere in the house. Not that they were very comfortable, but he didn't expect to be gone for the afternoon only to come home to. . .whatever this was.
"Toshinori! Hizashi! What the hell are you both doing?" He wandered into the bedroom and watched them both struggle with the mattress for a few minutes, clearly about to replace it with futons, before sighing, "okay. Idiots. What are you doing to our home?"
The blond men glanced at him like deer in headlights. "Decorating?" Squeaked Hizashi.
Shouta tossed up his hands, "did either one of you think that maybe we should talk about this first?"
The men looked sheepish, Toshinori tugged a bang a little, "we can. . .put everything back the way it was. We have the legs for the couch."
"Keep the chabudai and tatami, I like it, I know Toshi loves it too. But yeah, please put everything else back and then we're going to have a talk." Shouta stalked out of the room, arms crossed, leaving his lovers feeling nervous in his wake. The futons were put back in the closet, bed put back where it belonged, and legs attached to the new couch. Shouta was sitting cross legged in the kitchen, ignoring their movements, sipping coffee and reading a magazine about cats with their Pomeranian in his lap. The cats were squinting at the two blonds from under the chabudai, lingering on Shouta's ankles. When the two were done re-righting the home, they stood in the entrance to the kitchen like a couple of scolded dogs.
The dark haired man turned to look at them, resting his rounded face on the palm of his hand. He silently reached beside him and produced papers, offering them out to the two with his free hand. Toshinori read it first and passed it on to Hizashi, they both looked suitably sheepish so Shouta gestured for them to sit. The loud blond helped ease the taller to the floor and moved to sit beside him; they bowed their head, "we're sorry!" Shouta rolled his eyes.
"You two have been moving furniture for a while, haven't you? I couldn't be sure, but it felt like things were being moved so I could get around them easier."
Hizashi sighed, "yeah. . .we just didn't want you to feel poorly of yourself. We wanted you to feel comfortable."
"I appreciate it. I really do. . . but if I'm going to be more honest and open about what I'm feeling, then I need you guys to be more honest and open too. We need to start communicating better. The surprise move in was great, I loved it, but if we're going to change things or make decisions we should really do so together. I don't think any of our backs will survive on the floor here for long and while floor couches are great. . . I'm not bending down that far every time I want to sit on the couch. You guys need to start talking about changes before diving right in."
"You're right. We were being thoughtless, we'll work on it since you're working on your stuff. Is there anything we can do for you though?" Asked Toshinori, hesitantly reaching out for his lovers hand, who took it much to his relief.
"I suppose. . . keep making healthy meals, maybe run with me sometimes. I don't think you guys can honestly do much. There are going to be things that are difficult for me now, but Chiyo said I'll be fine, so I wouldn't worry too much. We really don't need to change our whole lives around. Not only that, but Toshi, you have arthritis and tendinitis, were you thinking about yourself before making changes?"
The tall blond twisted a bang nervously with his free hand, "I suppose I wasn't. . . you're right. I didn't think about it to be honest. I've been having a lot of good days lately and got careless."
Shouta smiled and gently took the other mans nervous hand, "we'll work on it. And Hizashi, what were you doing moving that bed?" The dark haired man rounded on the other blond, "That thing probably weighs more than you do, didn't your doctor say you shouldn't be straining yourself more than you have to?"
"Hey, hey, go back to yelling at Toshi! I'm fine, I swear. I've been a good boy."
"You and Toshi moved yourselves in while I was gone, you're telling me you haven't been moving heavy shit for a while now?"
"Err. . . I'll do better?"
The eraser hero snorted and moved to ruffle the other mans hair, "sure. Sure."
The rest of break moved swiftly to an end, taken up by therapy visits and prepping for the new year, but at least there'd been one very romantic date in which the three terrorized a restaurant. The first day of school was awkward, as Shouta felt so different he didn't know how to face the staff or the students. He needn't have worried about his fellow teachers though, they treated him just as they always had, but he could tell they were treading lightly. The students were another story, none of them particularly good with change or censoring their thoughts yet, too immature he supposed.
"Holy shit." "Is that really Mr. Aizawa?" "He's gotten really fat." "Shut the fuck up, assholes, who the fuck taught you shits manners?!" "I agree with Kacchan."
He wouldn't lie and say the mutterings of the brats weren't hurtful, but he felt alright enough to manage. There were a couple coming to his defense and that was relieving in itself. "Sit down and shut up, it's time to begin homeroom." Class 1-A went silent, well. . .silent for them. He ran them into the ground, same as he always had, and at the end of the lesson he had the majority of the students invading his personal space to hug or bombard him- apparently they'd missed their grouchy teacher for whatever reason. "I missed you brats too." He'd have plenty of time with them now that they were back in the dorms.
He had to admit, he missed the nights he was on shift to patrol the dorms or the days he'd have to supervise. Hero work alone wasn't enough anymore, he needed the kids too in order to o be satisfied in his day to day. A full day of school later and he was happily terrorizing everyone again, making sure they were all run down and terrified of the future. It was his job, after all, to show them the harsh realities of hero work.
At the end of the school day Maijima asked Shouta to come to his workshop, shielding him from the exhausting Mei Hatsume who was overly intrigued by the idea of making support equipment for a teacher. Shouta would leave her experiments to the kids...
"Alright, so I fashioned you some all terrain boots that should ease pressure and absorb the impact of your landing's. They'll also offer more ankle support. You'll never want to take these things off, they're so comfortable." Power Loader handed the black shoes over and grinned widely from under his metal helmet, "if at any point you feel like you're not comfortable in them, bring them back so I can mess with them."
Shouta hugged the boots to his chest... He loved them. Black on the outside, pink on the inside, and sturdy- yet light. These were better than anything he could find at a store. "Thank you."
"Anytime. Now. I know you love your capture weapon as it is and have always asked me to make it the same way, but I've been dying to update it. I've made it exactly the same, but stronger and more durable." The small man presented an exact copy of Shouta's capture weapon, "I'm giving you a laser knife, because I have no control when I watch spy movies and your knife can't cut through the material as well now. Also giving you some new goggles to try out. Shatterproof, comes with some tech, read the guide I'm giving you to learn how to work them." The goggles were nothing like his old ones. They were solid, the frame looked metal, and the glass was a real he couldn't see through by just looking through the front. He put them on and things appeared normal. Weird. "Lastly, I have the new costume updates as well. Looks the same, but it comes with what basically looks like long underwear. The guy who made it basically said it'll wick sweat, keep you cool, and give you compression while not effecting your range of motion. Enjoy the goodies. Bout damn time you got some cool upgrades."
"Thank you, Maijima. I really appreciate it."
"Anytime, Eraser. We all just want you safe and comfortable. Your health's important and shit. These will help. If you have any issues, let me know and I'll fix them. I know you're going through some shit, just know people got your back."
Getting back into hero work was a lot like starting a new job; Shouta had to get used to his equipment again, get used to the hours again, get comfortable with the way his body moved, and get over new frustrations. He didn't take down as many villains as he used to at first, but once he got into the swing of things again he was able to send kids on the wrong path back home and hopefully onto the path for better lives; stop some gangs, and escort a few baddies straight to jail. He was worried, anxious, that he would fail or something would go wrong, but when it didn't he allowed himself to relax some.
Shouta did find himself working more reasonable hours, sleeping more reasonably, and listening to Chiyo which he was sure contributing to him feeling less like absolute shit all the time. . . but the anxiety didn't stop and the self hate kept creeping up. His therapist was helping, the prescription she'd prescribed would eventually help. . .in a few weeks, until then he had to just get through it.
Toshinori and Hizashi were no strangers to the difficulties of starting anew or body image or self hate and they peppered him with affection any chance they got. It soothed something inside of him, to be held by Toshinori after a long day and hold him in return. It eased his weary soul to paint nails with Hizashi. Eating together as a family comforted and lit up the darkness that threatened to smother him some days. He knew it would all be okay as long as he had his lovers.