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Talking Points

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Present Mic had always seemed like a really nice guy. He was a hero, for one thing, so obviously he was morally upstanding. And he was extremely likeable, always ready with excitement and encouragement and endless hype. Most of the time he even seemed kind; he wouldn’t stand for people to be sad or upset if there was anything he could do about it, and he was always treating his co-workers and employees to casual gifts. He was fun to be around.

But he was also a life-ruiner.

Izuku considered himself a simple person. The grand dreams he’d had of being a hero when he was a kid had faded with time, melting into something more realistic and all the more precious for being attainable. Instead of being a hero, he’d decided instead to work with heroes-- or for them, anyway. He’d graduated from UA (general studies, but still no mean feat) and quickly accepted a position working at a radio broadcast station. The media was almost as important to heroes as the deeds they accomplished, because how was anyone supposed to hear about their daring rescues otherwise?

It was a stroke of luck that he got to work for Present Mic-- Yamada Hizashi, as he introduced himself on Izuku’s first day. He’d expected the available internship to be with one of the smaller news companies, so being able to work up-close and personal with a man who had first hand experience in the hero industry was deliriously exciting.

“Thank you for this opportunity!” Izuku said, shaking Mic’s hand and hoping his palms weren’t terribly sweaty. He didn’t want to gross out his new employer. “I’ve always been a big fan of yours!”

“Happy to have ya, Midoriya,” Mic replied with a grin and a firm, energetic handshake. “I hope ya like working here. It’s a pretty laid-back environment, so just make yourself at home.”

Izuku did like working there; as Mic had said, the environment of the studio was care-free and friendly. He wouldn’t exactly call it homey, since his own home was never ever that loud (not counting when his mother bawled over his achievements), but it was nice. It was very much the embodiment of Present Mic.

His job wasn’t glamorous, but he enjoyed it. He was little more than a glorified coffee-runner at first, while he adjusted to the studio’s pace, but before too long he was taking down notes for Mic or the producers when they had their hands full, and answering off-air phone calls. Within a couple months he was handling pretty much anything anyone asked him to, and within the year that included technical work like audio leveling and juggling on-air phone lines. This meant he got to spend more time in close proximity to Mic, which was how he started learning the dark truth about the man.

Admittedly, Izuku had always been a little bit shy. He wasn’t friendless, but he chose carefully who he opened up to, and the people he’d ever told his deepest secrets to numbered in the single digits-- the smaller half. He didn’t think he could ever be like Mic, who either didn’t understand the concept of secrets or thought they only existed to be told. ‘Telling’ was his job, after all (his second job, anyway). If there was something juicy to discuss, he was bound to discuss it.

On air.

That might have been part of why he was so popular; he treated his listeners like old friends. There was nothing he wouldn’t tell them, as long as it wasn’t an actual public threat.

Izuku’s mortification was no threat to the public though, just to his own blood-pressure.

The initial problem was that it was so easy to let your guard down around Mic and the other studio workers. They were all so friendly, and you never got the feeling that they might betray you. That didn’t mean that Izuku told them… much of anything, really, but he wasn’t defensive and guarded like he would have been around, say, Kacchan. So he didn’t think it was a problem to casually mention in conversation that his favorite hero was All Might. And he didn’t (couldn’t) stop himself from going a bit starry-eyed when Mic casually mentioned that he knew the guy, and then go off rambling about the times they’d worked together and how they’d gone out for drinks a few times (even though All Might didn’t drink alcohol; he liked mint iced coffees and hazelnut syrup-sodas), and of course Izuku had mumbled that data to himself so he wouldn’t forget it and could write it down in his notebook later.

He hadn’t really thought that it might be a bad idea to bring his notebook to work, but after the first time Mic had gone off with more miscellaneous info about All Might than you could possibly hope to find on the internet, Izuku had been unable to resist bringing the book along in hopes that he could gently goad Mic into dropping some more trivia. He didn’t carry it in front of him like a reporter (though journalism was sort of where he hoped this job might eventually lead; that was not related to this. This was personal), but of course someone noticed when he took it out of his backpack to scribble down some new details, later that day.

“What’s that?” one of his slightly less nosy coworkers asked from their desk, as Izuku jotted down something Mic had mentioned earlier about All Might’s tendency to sign extra things for his fans so they could share them with their friends. That was a rumor he’d heard before, of course, but hearing it from another hero was different.

“Oh, I just, um, keep some notes in it. About heroes.”

Not that Mic wasn’t always obsessively listening to everything in the studio (his super voice apparently came with super hearing), but his head popped up when he heard mention of heroes. It was a favored topic on the talk-show, of course, and always something Mic was happy to chat about.

“Whatcha got there, Midoriya?” he called from across the room, following after his inquiry so fast he arrived almost at the same time. “A notebook, huh?”

It was out of Izuku’s hands and into Mic’s before he could react, and before Izuku could have any war flashbacks to middle school bullying, Mic was flipping through it and making appreciative noises.

“These are pretty detailed, aren’t they? Lots of All might, I see.” He grinned, the expression holding more than a hint of trouble. “I see you’ve been making good use of my stories!”

“I, um,” Izuku said. He didn’t really know how else to respond.

But Mic just laughed. “Hey, no shame in having a crush on a guy like that. He’s a great guy. Nobody could fault ya!”

Izuku stammered. “I, I don’t--!” But he couldn’t, in good conscience, lie to his employer, even or especially about something like this. After all, Mic himself had said there was no shame in it. So he just bowed his head, hoping to hide a little bit of the traitorous blush lighting him up like a Christmas display.

And somehow, Izuku had really expected that that would be that. Mic had gone back to his desk and resumed the show after the commercial break, and none of his coworkers brought any attention to the conversation that had been had just then. (They were all hard workers dedicated to their jobs; he could give them that, at least, even if they were maybe just a little too nosy for their own good. Izuku worried it was a side-effect of working with Mic.) The rest of the day had gone by without a hitch, and the next few days followed suit.

But then someone mentioned it-- his crush. It was a friendly sort of teasing, just mentioned in passing when the lot of them were discussing if they might try to get a hero on for an interview, since it had been a while.

“Let’s shoot for All Might,” someone had suggested brightly. “Ratings would be through the roof on that episode. And I bet Midoriya would be more than happy.”

The words themselves hadn’t been too bad, and for an outsider who didn’t know the studio gossip (if you could call it gossip when it was spoken freely) it might have just sounded like a simple fact: Midoriya was an All Might fan. But Izuku knew his coworkers well enough by now to tell that this innocuous statement was dripping with suggestion.

Oddly enough, Mic didn’t run with the teasing-- not today, at least. “Nah,” he replied to the proposal. “He’s not really a radio kinda guy. Prefers TV, so he can show off his muscles. Eraserhead, on the other hand. You wouldn’t catch him dead on television. And he owes me a favor.”

Crisis averted, Izuku thought, his heart rate slowly returning to normal after the panic of thinking he might be stuck in an office for an hour with his celebrity crush and thirteen other people who knew , and didn’t know how to keep their mouths shut.

So they had pro-hero Eraserhead on the show the next week, which was still a treat despite the man’s taciturn nature. After all, Izuku might have been a little bit fixated on All Might, but there wasn’t a hero in the world that he wouldn’t be happy to meet. Also, Eraserhead seemed to know All Might about as well as Mic did, which they mentioned briefly on air as the two of them recounted the time they’d teamed up to catch a group of bank robbers.

“I remember,” Eraserhead said, sounding as long-suffering as he had the whole time thus far, “because you pestered him to go out for drinks with us afterward. One of the robbers escaped just after we’d sat down, and you spit your Morning Glory all over him when you saw it on the news.”

“Hey, at least he smelled lemony fresh when he handed the guy back in!” Mic laughed raucously over the rest of the studio-workers’ chuckles, and then turned to Izuku, who was currently handling transcription. “Anyway, that’s probably why he has an aversion to absinthe. That’s a good detail for your book, Midoriya!”

Because everyone was still laughing about the rest of the story, Mic’s new comment got mostly passed over, and Izuku counted his blessings. But just because nobody mentioned it that day didn’t mean that several hundred-thousand people hadn’t heard it, and the next day, when they didn’t have any special guests, one of the call receivers (unfortunately not Izuku, because he could have nipped it in the bud there) passed a curious listener’s question on to Mic.

“Yesterday, when you were talking to Eraserhead, did you say something about someone writing an All Might book?” the young woman asked, sounding politely excited.

Izuku’s head snapped up like a whip.

“Not a book book,” Mic explained. “More like a notebook. It’s pretty detailed though. If I didn’t know better, I might be worried Midoriya was a villain, trying to find All Might’s weakness! Not that he has one, of course.”

“I’d buy that!” the caller said with a laugh.

Mic responded in kind, and tossed a grinning glance Izuku’s way. “Hear that, Midoriya? You’ve got your first buyer lined up!”

But Izuku could hardly hear him over the mortified pounding of the blood in his head. Almost a million people listened to this show! And now they all knew that he was that guy, who took obsessive notes about their favorite hero. He wasn’t going to live this down, especially if Kacchan happened to be listening. Mic’s show was pretty popular among heroes, after all.

...No. No, it didn’t matter if Kacchan heard that he was still keeping his fanboy nerd notebooks. What if All Might heard? Izuku quickly excused himself to the bathroom to be nervous in relative peace, and stayed there until he could be sure that Mic’s short attention span had shifted to a different topic.

The next day, Izuku didn’t consider calling in sick to work. But he would have, if he’d known what he was going to have to deal with. Ten minutes into the show, someone called in with more questions that pertained not to Mic, but to his newest assistant.

“Who’s that Midoriya guy?” the person asked. “The one who’s writing the book. Is he one of the show producers?”

“Nah, he’s just my best intern,” Mic said, causing Izuku’s embarrassed blush to darken. Why were people talking about him on the radio?! But Mic was always more than pleased to extol the virtues of his employees, and since he treated his listeners like friends, it only made sense to do it on air, apparently. “Graduated salutatorian from the General studies program at UA last year! Right, Midoriya?”

“Y-yes sir,” he called from several desks over, though his voice wavered quietly in a way that Mic’s probably hadn’t since birth.

The guy on the phone piped back up. “What’s your book like, Midoriya?”

“It’s, it’s really nothing!” Izuku squeaked, feeling like he was about to choke on his own tongue or vocal cords.

Mic waved a hand dismissively, even though the caller wouldn’t be able to see him. (This was normal.) “He’s just shy ‘cuz he has a giant crush on All Might,” he said, live on their national broadcast, with the same air of secrecy that one might talk about the weather. Which was none.

“Ooh,” the caller said, the same teasing but friendly tone as all of Izuku’s coworkers. "Well I bet it’s cool!”

Whether his notebook was cool or not was not really an issue to Izuku, because he was going to die of a burst blood vessel (and probably set a record for youngest death by hemorrhage). A little tiny, “ah” was all he could manage in response.

And that wasn’t the last time people called about him and his book and his obsession with All Might. Clearly, the show’s listeners considered Mic (and by extension his employees) to be friends the same way that Mic did, and they were curious to know more about the shy young man whose voice pitched up about a hundred and two octaves whenever he or All Might were mentioned. The fact that his notebook was just a personal thing was properly established a few days later, after Mic had had to sadly tell multiple people that no, there were no pre-orders available. But even then people didn’t quit calling. Some of them were All Might fans too, and they wanted to know Izuku’s opinions on things like, say, which era of All Might’s costume was the best, what the coolest fight he’d ever had was, and who should portray him if they ever made a movie about his life.

Amused by the whole thing, Mic graciously allowed (encouraged, actually) Izuku to answer these questions when they arose. Izuku didn’t mind talking about All Might on air, he found, because when it was time for trivia and opinions and analyses he could get into a groove and almost forget that this one-on-one conversation with a fellow fan was being listened to by six hundred and thirty seven thousand other people on a Thursday evening on their way home from work.

The only thing that really disrupted the relative comfort of this All Might Power Hour (or Power Ten Minutes, anyway, since there was other stuff to talk about) was when Mic would eventually want the spotlight back and unceremoniously popped into the debate with something like, “Alright, Midoriya, I know you think All Might is the greatest thing since sliced bologna but we’ve got other topics to cover!”

Or, “I get that All Might is your dream date, but we gotta move this along.”

And sometimes, “Just because you’ve got the hots for All Might doesn’t mean we can make the show all about him. I’ll help ya set up your own show and you can go on about his sexy bod all day.”

And every time Izuku could feel the acute embarrassment welling up in every pore on his body, ready to burst forth in a torrent of sweat so intense it might be confused for a quirk.

“Mic-san!” he would cry, heedless of the way he probably sounded like someone was stepping on all his toes. “Please don’t say things like that on the air!”

Of course Mic would just laugh (and the only reason Izuku wasn’t put instantly in mind of the way he was bullied back in middle school was because Mic obviously held absolutely no ill intent; he was just too carefree). “Don’t worry!” he’d say, drawn out and utterly dismissive of Izuku’s supposedly unwarranted fears. “All Might doesn’t even listen to this show! He’s too busy fighting crime to care what anybody might be saying about him on the radio! Your secret’s safe with me.”

‘Me, and a million other people,’ he didn’t say. But that wasn’t the point. The point was that the object of Izuku’s embarrassing ‘secret’ was not one of them, and that was all that mattered.

The thing about Present Mic was that he was actually usually right about things. He had a natural intuition, and despite the fact that he ran his mouth like it was on fire, most of the stuff that came out of it had at least a strong thread of truth and reason. That was why he didn’t bother thinking it was important to keep secrets, because, to him, if it was true then it was worth saying.

But he couldn’t be right all the time. And Izuku supposed he couldn’t exactly blame the man that one of the few times he was absolutely dead wrong about something was when it affected Izuku’s likelihood of surviving into the next month and not blowing up like an over-inflated helium balloon. 

He wouldn't be sure until… later, but at the time he thought the catalyst was probably the person who called in to suggest that Mic set up a meeting with All Might, so that Izuku could finish this notebook of his. (The listeners got that it wasn't something he planned to publish but they didn't all seem to understand that it wasn't likely to ever really be finished, as long as All Might kept capturing villains and etc. It was fated to be an ongoing project.) Mic was a little dismissive of the suggestion, not because he didn't want to do something nice for his best intern, but because he knew how futile it was to try to wrangle a hero as busy as All Might for anything less than a matter of public safety. As his friend(ly acquaintance) he could attest that the man was difficult to pin down for friendly gatherings. 

"Sorry, Midoriya," Mic said after he shot down the caller's idea. "Maybe you'll have a chance to meet your idol another time, after he stops being a workaholic." 

For the first time in all his teasing, he actually did sound apologetic. And maybe it was just because of Mic's quiet sincerity but for the first time, Izuku actually was a little bit disappointed that Mic wasn't taking the opportunity to try to force him into an embarrassing situation. It was fine though. It wasn't like Izuku ever really expected to meet All Might anyway. 

A day passed, normal in every way until it wasn't. Izuku went home, skirted around the issue when his mom asked how his day was (she'd listened to the show once or twice when he first got the job, but she didn't make a habit of it), and went to bed. In the afternoon, he went back to the studio and settled in to edit the previous day's show for archiving on the website. When the time came to get on-air again, he manned one of the phone lines. 

Their first call was an all-too-familiar voice, but one he'd never heard live before. 

"Hello!" the caller said in his deep, strong voice. Izuku could just about hear his smile. "Is this Present Mic's radio show?" 

"Uh, yes," Izuku replied, trying to keep his voice even, because damn if this guy didn't sound just like All Might. But… it couldn't be… 

"Wonderful! Could I speak with him please?" 

Generally there was a process they had to go through before callers were transferred to Mic, but Izuku had a feeling about this one. He just oozed confidence; he felt like someone you'd hate to disappoint. 

"Uh, of course," Izuku said, and put the man on hold to be transferred. 

He tried not to listen as Mic picked up the call, but it was immediately obvious from the slightly more friendly tone he used that this caller was someone that Mic actually knew. And who did he know that sounded just like All Might? There was one obvious answer…

“Shit, we’d love to have ya!” Mic crowed to the phone receiver. “My intern’ll have a field day! Tomorrow? I’ll hold you to it!” Practically glowing, he hung up the phone and then shot a grin in Izuku’s direction. It had to pass three other employees to get to Izuku, but they wisely ducked out of the way. “Midoriya! You’ll never guess who wants to come on tomorrow!”

Izuku most certainly could guess, but he didn’t say that to his boss. He thought if he opened his mouth, the entire contents of his stomach might come out instead.

He didn’t sleep that night; couldn’t force himself to get some shut-eye even at the thought of looking like an unattractive raccoon in front of his crush. It’s okay, he told himself as he laid in bed and stared wide-eyed at the ceiling. I’ll just work like normal, and he probably won’t even look at me. It’s fine.

It was not fine. All Might was already there when Izuku got in the next day, chatting with Mic like the old friends he supposed they actually sort of were. They both looked up when he walked in, and roughly half of Izuku’s soul vacated the premises, leaving him with just enough life force to find his seat (on the far other side of the room) and pretend to be very invested in audio leveling. It was very likely that other things happened between then and when the show began, but Izuku went into some sort of fugue state in the meantime. 

He dragged himself back to the world of the living as the show started and Mic excitedly introduced their guest: 'everyone's' favorite hero, All Might. Izuku's nerves calmed considerably as they got into the swing of the interview and his fanboyish tendencies overrode his anxiety. It was instinct to forget everything else and hang on All Might’s every word. 

"So what made you decide to come on the show?" Mic asked, curiosity clear in his voice , like he’d neglected to ask the really interesting questions until he could get a juicy, live answer.

All Might laughed, something of a smirk on his face, though he still looked friendly. Izuku didn’t think it was possible for him not to. “Well, I heard that you thought I didn’t listen to the show.”

‘I freaking told you!’ Izuku thought at Mic, practically vibrating in his seat with self-righteousness.

Mic laughed heartily. “Well, I guess even I can be wrong from time to time!”

“To be honest,” All Might began, “I don’t listen as often as I should. I just happened to tune in that day.”

The admission put Mic back to his usual level of comfort, which had been very slightly disturbed by learning he’d inadvertently lied to his intern. Now he seemed to have already forgotten the chagrin. “Huh, well isn’t that fortuitous! So I guess that means you heard about how my intern collects notes on you.” Mic, luckily, did not gesture in Izuku’s direction, so it was possible, just possible, that All Might didn’t know which of the assembled employees was responsible for such an embarrassing thing. Even so, Izuku slouched down at his desk, hiding his face behind his computer screen, thanking god his hair couldn’t blush. But Mic didn’t even let All Might answer the question. He used it as a springboard for a conversation about amateur publications. (In the distant, non-mortified part of his brain, Izuku noted  the titles of a couple of intriguing doujinshi.)

“I’m flattered that anyone would spend their precious time trying to know me better,” All Might said, in a way that was half practiced and half sincere, and probably the nicest thing he could say without his manager getting on him for encouraging publications that might not strictly be legal (or actually flattering, if he knew the content; Mic hadn’t gone into detail).

The two heroes talked for a little while about various things, and then, as planned, they opened the phone lines to let listeners ask their guest some of their burning questions. Of course the callers were all vetted first; they couldn’t have someone saying anything really risque on air, but that didn’t stop them from being god-awful embarrassing. The very first caller apparently had it out for Izuku.

“Hi, All Might!” the girl said, sounding like she was just checking in with an old friend. (This was normal for Mic’s regular listeners. They all seemed to adopt his ultra-friendly demeanor.) “I was wondering if you got to meet Midoriya yet.”

Izuku swore to himself that he would kill whoever let this caller on the air.

“My admirer, you mean?” All Might asked, his smile so damn charming as he pointedly didn’t look around the room. “He hasn’t introduced himself to me yet, no.”

“Oh my god,” Izuku quietly muttered to himself, and then jumped straight out of his chair and almost fell to the ground when he heard his voice echo. Someone had turned his mic on and boy, there was going to be so much bloodshed today. His resulting squeak was heard across the country.

“Ah, I suppose that’s him then,” All Might said, and out of the corner of his eye (in the part of his vision that hadn’t gone red) Izuku could see him give a casual wave. “Nice to meet you, Midoriya.”

“S-same,” Izuku said, speaking up just enough to be heard across the soft rumble of his coworkers chuckles.

The caller pitched in again then. “You know,” she started, and the conspiratory tone of her voice filled Izuku with dread. “I was thinking, you should take Midoriya out to lunch or something, to pay him back for the way Mic and everyone teases him all the time.” She sounded so proud of herself.

Everyone in the room perked up at that, even Izuku (entirely against his own will). “Now that’s not a bad idea,” All Might replied, and the way he said it was so simple yet resolute that the listeners apparently took it to mean that he was actually going to do such an absurd thing, because they stopped calling in to pester him about it and got on with the Q&A in a more normal fashion.

Izuku’s heart rate slowly returned to normal, as people stopped looking at him or implicating him with their commentary. By the time the show was over and things were winding down, he’d convinced himself to buck up and actually properly introduce himself to All Might, since it would probably be his only chance. He’d just do the usual spiel of ‘I’m a big fan, thank you for all your hard work, yadda yadda’ and then be done with it.

But the hero approached him first, looking like nothing in the world ever bothered him. “Sorry to drag you into the commotion, Midoriya,” he said, offering his hand to shake even though they weren’t going the traditional introduction route. (Izuku took it, of course.) “I know the spotlight can be stressful if you’re not trained to handle it.”

“It, it’s, uh, it’s fine,” Izuku stuttered. “I’m getting used to it.”

All Might laughed, and Izuku’s heart skipped probably the seventeenth beat of the day. “I imagine working with Yamada is a crash-course in dealing with celebrities. He’s a model of energy among heroes.”

“I’ve… definitely learned a lot,” Izuku admitted. He was proud of himself for speaking several whole sentences without fainting. Maybe he could really do this.

Of course Izuku wasn’t surprised that All Might didn’t have the time to stand there and small-talk with him all day. He was surprised, however, at what important plans he apparently had lined up next. “I’m aware that most people probably consider the situation a joke, but I like to keep my promises. Would you like to join me for lunch this afternoon?”

“What,” Izuku said.

“Some place where people won’t stare, of course,” the hero amended, folding his hands behind his back in a stance that maybe was supposed to evoke military but actually looked a bit shy.

“I.”

Izuku stared the long way up at his hero, searching the depths of his eyes, waiting for him to call sike. But several long seconds passed, and the man just waited patiently.

“I… I still have work…” Izuku eventually said. (He didn’t, at the time, realize that he was staring at All Might as if he was terrified of him, like he might be an axe murderer; one of his co-workers would tell him later.)

But Mic was at his side in under a second, proving that he had (of course) been eavesdropping. “Nah, we got it handled here!” he said with a cheesy grin. “You take the rest of the day off!”

“But--!” Izuku tried to protest.

Mic just shook his head. “That caller was right. You totally deserve it for all the tormenting.” Izuku half expected that Mic was going to actually apologize then, but he later realized that he should have known better. “Anyway,” he added. “It’ll be a great story for tomorrow! Betcha anything we’ll get a dozen calls about it.”

And that was that. Izuku was left with no choice, unless he wanted to run screaming (which he did, but couldn’t possibly manage with All Might’s piercing gaze locked on him like that).

“Just have him home by midnight!” Mic called, cackling, as Izuku followed All Might down to a cab, completely lost in a daze.

In the end, it was actually a very nice date. Not that it was a date, of course! Izuku had to remind himself that several times. All Might was just taking him to a late lunch at a fancy and very private restaurant because he was a super nice guy. And he was! He was so nice. Izuku was sure he was going to shake out of his skin at first, with All Might’s full attention on him, but the man was so ridiculously polite and attentive and indulgent of Izuku’s every whim that it quickly became difficult to be too nervous. He listened to Izuku’s rambling, encouraged all his questions, and asked a good few of his own about Izuku’s time at UA, about his family and friends. Of course he asked about the infamous notebook as well. Izuku thought he might die of embarrassment, but he was completely honest when he detailed how long and how obsessively he’d been cataloguing trivia about his favorite hero. The man deserved his honesty.

And against all odds, All Might genuinely didn’t seem bothered by it. He thanked Izuku for his continued support, like the absolute perfect hero he was.

When they parted ways, in the cab outside of Izuku’s apartment complex, All Might didn’t kiss him, obviously, because it wasn’t a date, but he did squeeze Izuku’s hand in a gesture that was still too intimate for words.

“Have a wonderful night, Midoriya,” All Might said sweetly, before the cab driver drove off.

Izuku laughed the soft dazed chuckle of someone who was no longer dealing with a simple crush, but a full-blown demolition. “I will,” he murmured, slowly blinking the hearts from his eyes.

Eventually he went inside. He probably even said something to his mother and took a shower, but the next thing he knew was a beautiful dream of his hero sweeping him off to anywhere and everywhere. He was still in a daze when he wandered into work the next afternoon.

“Well, you look like you had a nice night!” Mic said as Izuku sat down at his desk. “So the date was good, I take it?”

“It wasn’t a date,” Izuku mumbled. “He was just being nice.”

Mic smirked. “Real nice, from the look on your face.”

Izuku blushed, even though what Mic was suggesting had most certainly not happened. He steeled himself for further teasing, but in a stroke of good fortune his boss just hummed and went back about his business of getting ready for the show. Izuku was sure he’d ask again once they were on air, so he thought about what kind of answers he would give. There was no way either Mic or the listeners were going to let him get away without giving some kind of details, but if there was one moment in his life that Izuku wanted to protect and keep to himself, it was that one.

Showing some restraint, Mic didn’t launch into “Midoriya went on a date with All Might” right from the get-go, instead touching on various other daily news pieces first. In fact, he let a listener ask for details before he even brought it up at all.

“Well, Midoriya, you heard the caller! People are dying to know how your date went!”

“I told you, it wasn’t a date,” Izuku said into the microphone, speaking as clearly as possible to (hopefully) show that he wasn’t flustered, because there was nothing to be flustered about and now if people could stop pestering him that’d be swell.

“It wasn’t?” Mic asked, feigning innocence, like this was his very first time hearing that information. “That’s strange. So what’s with the flowers, then?”

“...What flowers…?”

Movement caught the corner of Izuku’s eye and he glanced over to the hallway, where one of his coworkers was carrying a big bouquet of mixed flowers with a blue bow and a card that Izuku couldn’t read from there. She set them down in front of Izuku with a self-satisfied grin. “Pretty, aren’t they?”

“Hey, what’s that card read?” Mic asked, a little overly loud, like he didn’t already know. “‘To Midoriya, thanks for a lovely evening.’ Ah, right, I can see why you thought it wasn’t a date. I send flowers thanking my friends for going out with me all the time. Hahaha!”

And there ends the story of Midoriya Izuku, who died right on the air. Or at least, any listeners would be forgiven for thinking so, considering the absolutely anguished noise that filled the airwaves then and his ensuing radio silence as his fanboy heart decided it had had enough. Maybe it was time to resign and try something new, he thought; something that wasn’t hazardous to his health. Maybe gardening. He buried his head in the flowers and inhaled deeply, thinking of growing something pretty and nice-smelling and sending it to All Might as a thank you. Yeah, gardening sounded nice.