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Deku is a (football) player.

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Izuku’s going to have a great day, he just knows it.

 

U.A’s campus is even better than he could have imagined. The pictures he’s seen did not do it justice. Somehow, someway, the greens seemed even more vibrant, the blues even more bright and beautiful. It was like the world had been in black and white, and suddenly everything is in technicolour. 

 

Stars in his eyes, he walks down the stone path, passing ornate fountains and gardens full of flowers. He passes the different buildings as he walks further down the path, headed to the main building in the centre of the campus.

 

He stops in front of a large open space, surrounded by bleachers. People dressed in blue jerseys sprint around the field throwing a ball back and forth. Izuku watches, mesmerized. 

 

He’s so lost in the game, that he doesn’t notice when the ball swerves off course, suddenly heading for him.

 

“WATCH OUT!” The panicked shout barely registers in time for Izuku to notice the football.

 

His eyes widen, arms coming up a second too slow to protect his face from the incoming collison. He hits the ground hard, scraping his cheek on the concrete. The world spins, black dots dancing in his vision. Izuku gently traces the edges of his throbbing eye socket with his fingers. That’s going to bruise.

 

“Hey man, you okay?” A red-headed football player says, holding his hand out.


Izuku takes the hand, dusting off his clothes as he stands up.

 

“Yeah, I’m okay.” He says, covering his eye.

 

“Don’t waste your time on nerds like him.”

 

Izuku looks at the figure walking up behind the red-head. He flushes. In his vision is probably the most handsome man he’s ever seen, all tanned skin and blond hair. He pulls his teammate back towards the field, an irritated expression on his face.

 

“Uh, sorry! The main office is that way!” The red-head apologizes, pointing to the central building on campus.

 

Izuku nods, hissing when he brushes his cut with his hand. 

 

Well, that’s one way to start your day.


Izuku spins his keys on his pointer finger, navigating the campus. He pauses, standing in front of a building. He checks the address with the one written on his map. 

 

“So, this is where I’m living, huh?”

 

Izuku grins, pulling his 50-pound All Might suitcase through the door. He lugs it across the room, to the bright red elevator. He presses the button to go up and waits. For 5 minutes. Confused, he presses the button again. No elevator this time either. He assaults the button, trying to push it as hard as he can. 

 

“Uh, the elevators broken, sorry.” A purple-haired girl says, coming out of the stairwell.

 

“O-oh, thanks.” Izuku rubs the back of his head.

 

Wearily, he looks at the stairs, then his suitcase, and back to the stairs. He takes a deep breath, mentally preparing himself. He puts on a brave face, pulling his suitcase into the stairwell. 

 

The first step is always the hardest. He heaves and pulls, face turning red with exertion. The suitcase refuses to budge, caught on the edge. Izuku grits his teeth, putting his weight into pulling the suitcase. After what seems like an eternity, the damned wheels finally make it over, balancing it on the first step. 

 

With every step he takes, Izuku loses 1 pound. His face pales, only at the 2nd floor after a full half-hour of this. He wheezes, gasping for breath. At this rate, he was never going to make it to the top. 

 

Through some miracle, Izuku’s still alive when he makes it to the landing on the 4th floor. He hasn’t done this much physical activity since middle school. And even then, he wasn’t the most athletic of children. His feet drag wearily on the carpet, slowly taking the last few steps to his door. He wipes his brow, soaking his shirt with sweat. The keys slip in his hands, and Izuku almost drops them. His hands shake, attempting to insert the key. His muscles ache, begging for rest. 

 

He opens the door and promptly collapses onto the bed, falling into a deep sleep. 

“I don’t understand this shit! Fucking x and y…”

The loud thud of a fist hitting a desk startles Izuku, effectively snapping him out of his nap. He blinks his eyes, getting rid of any residual sleepiness there might have been. 

 

“Shut up, Shitty Hair. I don’t need your help, I can figure this shit out on my own.”

 

Izuku sits up, his green hair a hideous, tangled mess. He yawns, looking to the side, where a small table lamp lights a desk. His eyes, still faintly aching, focus on the blonde haired man hunched over the desk, aggressively erasing a piece of paper. Izuku can tell he’s stressed out, from the multiple text books to the papers strewn all around him. 

 

“Uh, hi.” He tentatively says, waving his hand. “I’m Izuku Midoriya, your roommate.”

 

The man leans back in his chair, spinning around with a loud creak. His thin red eyes take in Izuku’s unkempt appearance, eventually coming to rest upon his face. Izuku’s eyebrows raise, and his mouth contorts into soundless words. He stutters for a moment, before a single coherent sentence comes out.

 

“You’re the guy from this morning!” He says, pointing a finger at him in shock.

 

“Wow, no shit. Look, I’m Katsuki. And I don’t like you, nerd.”

 

Izuku’s shocked face droops into one of weary disappointment, a pained smile on his face. Of course he’d get Katsuki as his roommate. Of course he’d get possibly the biggest asshole on campus as his roommate. 

 

“Yeah, yeah, I’m back. What—nah, the Deku just woke up.” Katsuki holds a phone up to his ear. “Chapter 10? But we didn’t study any of that in class.”

 

Katsuki scribbles something down a piece of paper. It almost tears under the sharp strokes of his pen, deep indents and scratches left on the sheet. Izuku leans to read whatever Katsuki seems to be writing with such force, straining his neck to see. It’s a formula, a simple one, but he winces when Katsuki mixes up two variables. Even though Izuku thinks he’s a complete ass, he cannot simply stand by and watch this. He’s always been told that he’s too empathetic. A “Hero Type”.  It pains him to watch as Katsuki angrily slams a book shut and throws it towards the bed, just barely missing Izuku’s face.

 

“Do you want some help?” He asks, pointing at the textbooks.

 

Katsuki turns back violently, angrily glaring at Izuku.

 

“Hah? Fuck off, I can do it myself.”

 

Izuku recoils from Katsuki’s outburst. He puts his hands up defensively, ducking his head slightly when Katsuki tosses a pen into a wall. It shatters from the force, breaking into small plastic shards. Alright, Izuku needs an excuse to get out of this room before Katsuki explodes. He stands up, slipping on a pair of sandals.

 

“Uh, I’m going to go get dinner. Do you want me to bring you something?” He asks, trying to keep his voice calm and steady.

 

“FUCKING LEAVE, SHITTY DEKU!”

 

Izuku quickly shuffles out the door, hearing the comforting click of a lock behind him. He lets out a sigh of relief, closing his eyes and putting a hand over his chest. He’s going to be okay. Katsuki just needs to calm down. A little food and time apart would be good for everyone anyways.


Izuku had taken an embarrassing amount of time to find the cafeteria. And when he’d arrived, he had rejoiced at being early enough to beat the lines, only for a kind stranger to inform him that no, he was not early, and that it was actually 11 in the night.

 

“I’m so embarrassed.” Izuku mumbles into his arms, hunched over the table.

 

“Relax Izuku! It’s not a big deal, nobody was around anyways.”

 

“I know! But, well, ugh.”

 

Ochako clicks her tongue, popping a bright pink piece of gum into her mouth. She grabs Izuku’s shoulder, turning his body to face her.

 

“Look, just don’t think about it. What class do you have tomorrow morning?” She says, trying to distract Izuku.

 

Izuku lifts his head slightly, searching his blank mind for an answer. He squints, twisting his lips.

 

“Uh, I think it’s English.” He says, bits and pieces of information returning to his head. 

 

A twinkle lights in Ochako’s eyes. She leans forward, an interested look on her face.

 

“Really? Me too! Hizashi’s class, right?”

 

“Yeah,” He says, sitting up a little straighter. “You’re really informal, Uraraka. Do you call everyone by their first name?”

 

She smiles, ignoring his question. She pulls Izuku up from his chair. He stumbles, almost bumping into a janitor wiping down the tables.

 

“Call me Ochako! We’re friends now, right?” She says, taking their trays and putting them in Izuku’s hands. “Anyways, you should get back to your room. They lock this place up in 15 minutes.”

 

She waves goodbye, already chatting across the room with a green haired girl by the door. He goes to wave back, but he’s suddenly reminded of the trays in his hand, and by the time he’s noticed, Ochako’s already gone,

 

“Uraraka! You left your tray… ah, never mind.”

 

Izuku’s going to consider this a win, even though Ochako seems a little over energetic, to put it nicely. It’s probably the best thing that’s happened to him today.


The cool metal of the bleachers rattles with every shiver of Izuku’s legs. He fumbles with his scarf, wrapping it around himself a little tighter, hiding his face from the cold autumn wind. Why is he here again? Something about his mom’s family picnic? 

 

Izuku furrows his brows. That doesn’t make sense. His mom never has family picnics. There’s no family to invite to the picnic. And more importantly, why is that tree by the benches saying his name?

 

“Deku.”

 

He squints, eyeing the tree with suspicion.

 

“Deku!” Izuku hears, louder than before.

 

“For fucks sake, wake the hell up!”

 

Izuku’s eyes snap open. The yelling comes to an abrupt stop, Katsuki clenching his jaw shut. Izuku glances at his bedside clock. It’s 3 in the morning, a time when he should definitely be asleep. He sits up, rubbing his eyes with his palms. The whole room smells vaguely of coffee and energy drinks. He looks up at Katsuki. His eyes are narrowed, and they flit around the room, never focusing on Izuku. 

 

“What is it?” Izuku asks, voice rough.

 

Katsuki stares for a second, biting his lip.

 

“Explain this.” He mumbles, too quiet for Izuku to hear.

 

“Sorry?” Izuku says.

 

Katsuki visibly inhales, crossing his arms.

 

“Fucking help me with this shit math.” He says, curling his lip in a sneer.

 

Izuku blinks, a dumb expression on his face. 

 

“You think I’m stupid, huh, Deku?” Katsuki spits. “Forget it, I don’t need your fucking help.”

 

Izuku snaps out of his stupor, putting his hand out.

 

“No, wait—” Izuku says. “I’ll help you.”

 

Katsuki doesn’t respond, furiously scribbling something out. Izuku pulls a small stool out of the corner, taking a seat beside Katsuki. He picks up a neon yellow highlighter, rolling it between his fingertips. Wordlessly, Katsuki slides him a sheet. It’s like a switch flips in Izuku, as he begins to enthusiastically explain the concepts, highlighting important paragraphs and sentences, occasionally stepping in to correct Katsuki’s work. Crushed energy drink cans pile up on the desk, spilling onto the floor. Highlighted sheets sit in messy piles, and sticky notes litter the wall. Sometime before Izuku’s alarm, the sun must have risen, without either of them noticing.

 

“I’m fucked.” Katsuki groans.

 

Izuku puts down his highlighter, resting his fingers. He looks at Katsuki, finally seeing the dark circles under his eyes in the early morning light. 

 

“I’m sure you’ll do great!” Izuku says, standing up, stretching his back. “You’re not that dumb.”

 

“Wanna say that again, shitty nerd?” Katsuki’s eyes light up with rage.

 

Izuku may have gone a little too far with that one. He grabs a random set of clothes off the floor, carrying the heap in his arms. 

 

“Bye, see you later!” He says, quickly running out the door before he has to face Katsuki’s wrath. 

 

Izuku stumbles out into the busy morning corridor. He can feel everyone’s eyes on him, standing outside a dorm room in nothing but his boxers, carrying his clothes in his arms. He flushes, resisting the urge to curl up into a ball and die.

 

“Oi, nerd.” Katsuki opens the door behind Izuku. “You left your shoes.”

Silently, Izuku takes the shoes. He looks down at the floor, cheeks burning with embarrassment. What a wonderful way to start the day.

 

“Uh, where’s the bathroom?” He asks, straightening up, refusing to let it get to him. 

 

And just like the comedies Izuku used to watch with his mom when he was little, everyone silently points to the right, making a small path for him.

 

“Thanks.” He says, with a small nod of his head, before promptly dashing down the hallway.

 

The crowd lingers, chatting in hushed whispers.

 

“What the fuck are you looking at, huh?” Katsuki shouts, glaring at each person. “Huh? Scram!”

 

Well, that’s one way to disperse a crowd.


Izuku exhales heavily once the bathroom door locks behind him. 

 

“Okay. It’s all okay.” He says. “I just need to act normal and not do anything stupid.”

Izuku’s having a hard time believing himself based on the fact that he looks like a strange mix between goth and All Might fanboy, from the ripped jeans that refuse to stay on his hips and the limited edition All Might t-shirt. He’s not even going to think about the fact that neither of the articles belong to him. The dark circles marring his face only add to the crackhead student aesthetic. He can’t really do much at this point though; he’s only got enough time to run to class and pray he isn’t late.

 

His phone buzzes in his pocket. It’s an unknown number, but Izuku’s sure he has a pretty good guess who it is.

 

“Hello?” He says, pressing the green answer button.

 

“Where are you Izuku? Class starts in 10 minutes!” Ochako’s voice assaults him through the speaker.

 

“I’ll be there soon, I promise.” Izuku says, packing his backpack. “Why do you have my number anyways?”

 

He hears Ochako huff in irritation and make a comment to someone, but he can’t make out any words.

 

“It doesn’t matter! Just hurry, Hizashi gets really upset if people are late.”

 

Izuku hears the dead tone of the call being cut off. He presses the disconnect button and runs his hand through his hair one last time, trying to make himself look as presentable as possible. 

 

Izuku’s ready to face the world. (Not really though.)


“I didn’t think you were the type to dress like, well, this ” Ochako says, gesturing to Izuku’s hodgepodge of an outfit.

 

“I’m not! These aren’t even my clothes anyways.” Izuku exclaims, only adding the last part as an afterthought.

 

“What? Then whose clothes are they? Oh my gosh, did you hook up with someone? Tell me everything!”

 

Ochako leans into Izuku’s desk, eyes sparkling with curiosity.

 

“It is quite improper to ask these sorts of questions, Uraraka-san.”

 

Izuku turns in his seat towards the source of the voice. 

 

“Oh come on, it’s just harmless gossip! And didn’t I tell you to call me Ochako? You should stop being so formal, Tenya.” Ochako rolls her eyes.

 

Tenya removes a small cloth, polishing his glasses. He places them back on his face with robotic movements.

 

“Um, hi. I’m Izuku Midoriya. I don’t think we’ve met?” Izuku says, extending a hand.

 

“A pleasure to meet you Midoriya-san.” Tenya shakes the offered hand with vigor. “I am Tenya Iida. I sincerely hope to become good friends.”

 

“Same here.”

 

Izuku turns forwards, feeling slightly confused and concerned. Ochako stares at him expectantly.

 

“Please, Izuku? Tell me?” She pleads.

 

It’s then that a blond-haired man walks into the class. He takes a seat at the desk in front, dropping a tall stack of papers on the desk. Izuku presses a finger to his lips, whispering quietly in Ochako’s ear.

 

“I’ll tell you later, okay?”

 

The man at the front clears his throat. He stands up, boots clacking on the floor.

 

“Good morning dear listeners!” He flashes the class a blinding smile. “Today is a wonderful day for a… Pop Quiz!”

 

The class groans with disappointment. Everyone, except for Izuku. You kind of have to learn English if you’re living in America.

 

“Not again! Didn’t we have a pop quiz just last week?” Ochako says.

 

“Do not look so down everyone! I believe this will be a wonderful chance to assess our knowledge!” Tenya straightens in his chair, adjusting his glasses.

 

“But English is so confusing, right Izuku?” Ochako says, pouting.

 

“Uh, I used to live in America, so I’m fluent.” Izuku replies.

 

“You lived in America?” Ochako exclaims. “And you’re fluent? What secrets have you been keeping from me?”

 

The class directs their attention towards Izuku, hushed murmurs rippling through the desks.

 

“Hey, aren’t you the kid who hooked up with Katsuki?” Someone says, pointing at Izuku.

 

“Katsuki? Like, Katsuki Bakugou, the football team’s captain? No way, that’s bullshit.”

 

Ochako looks like she’s about to explode, practically vibrating in her seat.

 

“You hooked up with Katsuki Bakugou? Oh my gosh, really? Are you a player?” She shakes him back and forth.

 

“W-wait guys, that’s not—”

 

A different person stands up, holding out their phone with a picture.

 

“It’s true! I saw it myself, and I have a picture to prove it!” They pass the phone around, people crowding to get a view.

 

The teacher at the front of the room claps their hands, quieting down the class. 

 

“While I have no interest in my students’ love lives, what a pleasure it is to have a fellow English-speaker in the class with us!”

 

Ochako leans in closer to Izuku.

 

“So they’re Katsuki’s clothes.”

 

“Ochako!”


Katsuki’s half a centimetre away from murdering Eijiro. He’d almost gotten both of them an automatic fail for copying, and now he’s sitting on a cold-ass metal bench, watching some freshman class run laps. 

 

“I’m gonna kick you off the team.” Katsuki grumbles. 

 

Eijiro laughs. He smiles brightly, putting an arm around Katsuki’s shoulders.

 

“Aw, come on bro, Denki said he was gonna ask that girl to the dance!” He points to the corner of the field. “See, look! He’s our friend, we gotta support him!”

 

Katsuki squints, watching Denki awkwardly approach a purple-haired girl.

 

“I will blow you up if you shove this romance bullshit down my throat again.” He threatens.

 

Eijiro jumps out of his seat, excitedly pointing at Denki. 

 

“Look, look! It’s a yes!”

 

The small blond figure jumps up and down, flashing a thumbs up. Katsuki resists the urge to facepalm. Honestly, his team was full of idiots.

 

“Great.” Katsuki said. “I’m so happy for him.”

 

“Hey, isn’t that your roommate? The one with green hair?” 

 

Eijiro points to the green-haired boy standing awkwardly in the goal. A classmate kicks a ball into the goal, Izuku letting out a small squeak.

 

“That’s the nerd.” Katsuki sighs, watching Izuku stumble over his feet. “Shit, he’s actually pathetic. Tch.”

 

Eijiro smirks, wiggling his eyebrows. He looks at Katsuki, his eyes following Izuku’s movements.

 

“Are you worried about him?” He elbows Katsuki in his side.

 

“Hey, wanna die, Shitty Hair?”

 

Katsuki’s got a malicious grin, rolling up his sleeves. His eye twitches dangerously, zeroing in on Eijiro. 

 

“No, no! But you should probably check on him, he doesn’t look too good, you get what I’m saying?” He puts his hands up defensively, shielding his face.

 

Izuku’s knees tremble, his whole body going rigid as one of his classmates lines up for a kick.

 

“Uh, no.”


Katsuki grumbled, stomping through the boys’ change room.

 

“Isn’t that Bakugou?”

 

“Damn, who messed with him this time?”

 

“Shut up, he’ll hear you! You know what happened to Mineta.”

 

Izuku stands in the corner, fiddling with the zipper on his bag. It probably wasn’t the best idea to use that old hand-me-down, now that he thinks about it.

 

“Oi, nerd.”

 

Katsuki roughly grabs Izuku’s shoulder, turning the scrawny boy to face him.

 

“Eep! Katsuki, you scared me! And now look what you did!” Izuku angrily held out his bag and the broken zipper.

 

The change room goes quiet, wet footsteps shuffling around the tiled floor to hear their exchange.

 

“So Bakugou actually fucked the new kid.”

 

Katsuki subtly tightens his grip on Izuku’s shoulder, gritting his teeth together. He exhales audibly, taking Izuku’s bag from his hands.

 

“Shitty Hair made me come check on you.” 

 

Izuku purses his lips, fiddling with his fingers.

 

“He’s an...acquaintance.”

 

“Uh, thanks?”

 

Izuku gently pries Katsuki’s hands off his shoulder, turning around to remove his sweaty gray shirt.

 

“Look, he wants me to thank you for something. I dunno what.”

 

Izuku stops with his shirt halfway off, letting it hang from his arms. He raises an eyebrow, motioning to his dark circles.

 

“Wanna explain where these came from?”

 

Katsuki chews on his lip.

 

“Fuck—fine, thanks. Happy now?” Katsuki says. “Don’t get all smug about it! You do what I want you to, get it?”

 

Izuku pouts, putting on a clean. The hem catches on a spike embedded in his ripped jeans, and he picks at it.

 

“Fine, fine. Can you leave now, please?”

 

Katsuki looks down at Izuku’s outfit, recognizing pieces of his own clothing. He has the urge to beat up the nerd, but he’s one incident away from suspension, after what happened with Mineta. And if he’s being honest, the nerd doesn’t look half bad.

 

“That’s my shirt. And my jeans.” He nods his head towards Izuku.

 

“A-ah! You can have it back, I can wear my gym—“ Izuku says, a blush rising on his face.

 

“Nah, keep it.” Katsuki surveys the onlooking faces. “It looks...cute.”

 

Katsuki turns his back to the crowd, walking behind the wall to the door. The changeroom is dead silent, his steps echoing throughout the room. The door creaks open, but the sound of it closing doesn’t follow. A pause fills the room, Katsuki hesitating in the doorway.

 

“See you tonight, Deku!” He teasingly calls, before slamming the door shut.

 

It’s pandemonium after that, classmates assaulting Izuku with questions. You could liken it to a press conference, too many questions, too little time to answer any. Or perhaps it was more like paparazzi ambushing a celebrity, in this case, Izuku.

 

“Y’know, I heard Mineta goes to therapy now.”

 

“What, mental or physical?”

 

“Both, obviously.”

 

“I’d be surprised if he doesn’t end up needing therapy too.”

 

“Damn right.”

 

Izuku’s willing to agree. There’s a lot of shit he needs to work through, starting with Mr.Pain-in-the-ass, Katsuki Bakugou


Ochako closes her textbook, taking a bite out of her donut. The cafeteria bustles with dinnertime chatter. Thankfully, Izuku made it to dinner at the correct time today.

 

“So, Izuku, did anything interesting happen today?” She asks, mouth full.

 

Izuku shrugs, running through the day in his mind. He scribbles down a few notes in his notebook, flipping back and forth between 2 pages in his textbook.

 

“No, not really. Not unless you count Katsuki—” 

 

“Katsuki? What did he do?” Ochako cuts him short, interest piquing at the mere mention of his name.

 

She leans over the table, curiosity lighting up her eyes. Izuku can tell this conversation is about to go somewhere weird, somewhere he would not like to go.

 

“Nothing!” Izuku blurts. “Really, he did nothing. He just thanked me for helping him study. Honestly, it seems kind of weird. He doesn’t seem like he thanks anyone for anything.”

 

Izuku takes a mouthful of noodles, the soup dripping down his chin. Reaching over the textbooks, Tenya passes him a napkin. He holds it up to his chin, soaking up the drips running down his face.

 

“You helped him? And more importantly, he thanked you for it? Ochako says, disbelief evident. “Izuku, you’ve been blessed by a god. Nobody gets away with helping Katsuki, and nobody gets ‘thank you’s’ from Katsuki. I mean, we all know what happened to Mineta.”

 

Izuku cocks his head to the side, eyebrows furrowed in confusion. He swallows audibly, putting the napkin down in exchange for a pencil.

 

“Actually, I don’t. Y’know, everybody’s been talking about Mineta. What happened?” He asks, unconsciously flipping to a blank page in his notebook.

 

Ochako looks around uncomfortably. She opens her mouth, and closes it, going through a variety of facial expressions, ranging from disgust to fear to confusion.

 

“Ah, well—you see, uh—”She chokes on her words.

 

Tenya looks up from his worksheet, wiping his glasses. He puts them back on his face, slightly crooked. Izuku knows by now that Tenya fiddles with his glasses in uncomfortable situations.

 

“What Uraraka-san is meaning to say, is that we do not discuss this topic, Midoriya-san.” Tenya says, changing the topic. “Please excuse my bluntness, but when exactly did Bakugou-san thank you? I am curious, as that is quite the unusual event.”

 

Ochako wiggles her eyebrows, nudging Tenya with her elbow. She pushes her tray onto the next table, ignoring the protests from the people sitting there.

 

“Oho, so you do like to gossip!”

 

“Uraraka-san! That is quite the accusation! And I am simply following your advice to…’loosen up’.”

 

Izuku takes Ochako’s tray from the other table, giving a small apology to its occupants. He stacks her empty bowls under his own, clearing room on the cramped table.

 

“It was after P.E., in the change room. Weren’t you there, Tenya?” Izuku says, gesturing with his pencil. 

 

“Whoa, whoa, wait.” Ochako stands up, knocking her bench over. “The change room? Izuku, you do realise you’re basically living the life of a fanfiction character, right? First, you hook up with your roommate, who happens to be the school bad boy, the captain of the football team—”

 

“For the last time, we didn’t hook up!” Izuku slams his hands on the table. “You know what? I’m leaving.”

 

Izuku gives Ochako an angry glare, ignoring Tenya’s calls for the both of them to calm down. He shoves his papers into his bag. Huffing, he storms away from the table. Ochako climbs onto the table, calling out to Izuku in the crowded cafeteria.

 

“Don’t forget to text me all the juicy details!” Ochako yells, waving her phone.


Izuku flops onto the bed face-first, mumbling into the pillow.

 

“Why does the world hate me? Is it because I accidentally stole that taiyaki when I was 5? I apologized!”

Izuku sighs angrily, kicking the mattress with his feet.

 

“Had a shitty day, huh nerd?” 

 

Izuku snaps his head to the side, coming face-to-face with a pair or striking red eyes.

 

“Ack! Katsuki, what the heck?” Izuku sits up, leaning against the headboard.

 

Katsuki’s lying on the bed, nestled under the covers. He rubs his eyes with one arm, using the other to prop himself up.

 

“So how long is it gonna take you to figure out that there’s only one bed in this damn room?” Katsuki deadpans.

 

“Huh?” 

 

Izuku looks around the small room. There’s a desk in one corner, and his suitcase in another. The door takes up the majority of one wall, and he’s not sitting in a bunk bed right now.

 

“Why didn’t you say anything?” Izuku says.

 

Katsuki rolls his eyes, absentmindedly cracking his knuckles.

 

“I have bigger problems than you, believe it or not.”

 

“Ok.”

 

Izuku fiddles with his fingers, awkwardly trying not to make eye contact with Katsuki. Each tick of the clock on the wall only adds to the uncomfortable aura in the room. Izuku risks one glance at Katsuki, but quickly snaps his eyes back forward when he sees Katsuki staring back at him.

 

“Are you gonna sit there like an idiot for the rest of the night?” Katsuki says. “Go to sleep, shitty Deku.”

 

Izuku simply nods, taking a pillow from the bed. He stands up, gathering the items to create a makeshift bed on the floor. He sweeps aside a pile of clothing with his foot, making room on the floor.

 

“Oi, what are you doing?”

 

Izuku peeks over the pile of blankets in his arms.

 

“Making a bed?” He replies, voice cracking.

 

“Tch. You’ll get sick if you sleep on the floor.”

 

Katsuki turns towards the wall, wrapping himself up in the blanket. He wiggles, making a small space on the bed. Cautiously, Izuku eyes the space. He lowers himself onto the mattress, as if sleeping on a live minefield. Slowly, he slips one leg and the other under the blanket, sinking into the mattress. 

 

He lies there, the flickering of the cheap table light casting dramatic shadows throughout the room. His body is rigid with tension, arms glued to his sides. Slowly, he shifts, trying to find a more comfortable position.

 

“So, Katsuki, how was your day?” He asks, trying to break the awkward silence.

 

Surprisingly, Katsuki answers.

 

“Absolute bullshit.” Katsuki grumbles. “My stupid ass teamate went and sprained their wrist, and now they’re out for 3 weeks! Great job, couldn’t have even waited for prelims to pass, huh?”

 

“Oh. That’s sad.” Izuku says. “You know, everyone thinks I hooked up with you.”

 

Izuku turns to face Katsuki’s back, mild annoyance visible on his face. He puts an arm under his head, lazily draping the other over his hip. Slowly, the tension begins to melt out of him, draining out his shoulder and into the mattress.  

 

“Oh yeah, I’ve heard plenty about it.”

 

“You should do something about it.”

 

“Nah. Fuck ‘em.”

 

Izuku lets out a small laugh. His eyes flutter. The warmth under the covers seems to be pulling him into the throes of sleep. It’s addicting, like a drug. He struggles, trying to keep them open.

 

“I’m asleep now. Don’t talk anymore.” Katsuki says, although it’s muffled by the covers.

 

“G’night Katsuki.” He slurs, before giving into his body’s calls for sleep.


Izuku awakes to the monotonous beeping of an alarm. The curtains let in the first few rays of morning light, illuminating the dust particles floating in the air. He yawns sleepily. 

 

“Deku. Get off my arm.”

 

Katsuki’s voice rumbles, deep and scratchy. Izuku can feel his breath on the back of his neck. 

 

“A-ah, sorry!” Izuku says, blushing.

 

“It’s fine. Stop apologizing for everything. It’s annoying.”

 

He uses his arms to push himself up, his spine letting out a few cracks and pops. The alarm’s beeping stops abruptly, Izuku taking the liberty to press snooze. He glances at the time on Katsuki’s screen. 

 

“Why are you getting up now? It’s 6am.” Izuku hands the phone to Katsuki. 

 

“Practice.”

 

Katsuki climbs over Izuku’s body, stretching in front of the window. He picks a few pieces of clothing off the floor, assembling a  football uniform.

 

“You’re really dedicated! You even have practice on the weekends.” Izuku smiles.

 

“Yeah, well it’s fucking useless now, since we can’t even compete this season.” Katsuki tosses the uniform into a gym bag, along with a water bottle and an energy bar.

 

He zips the bag shut. Izuku moves his legs to sit on the edge of the bed. He slips on a pair of slippers, taking his own phone from the nightstand. His thumb swipes through the notifications, all 43 texts from Ochako.

 

“Right, right. Maybe I’ll come watch your practice, since I’m up already.” Izuku says.

 

“Whatever, nerd.”

 

The bathroom door locks with a click.  Izuku gets up, doing a few stretches of his own. He unzips his suitcase, picking a simple pair of old worn-out sweatpants and a blue t-shirt. He should really get a dresser to store his stuff. 

 

He changes quickly, tossing his old clothes into the laundry pile in the corner of the room. The bathroom door unlocks, Katsuki coming out just as Izuku pulls his shirt on.

 

“Let’s go together! Wait for me, I promise I’ll be quick.” Izuku says, taking the bathroom.

 

“I ain’t making any promises.”

 

“Oh, come on! I’ll be 5 minutes.”

 

“Tch. Fine, I’ll wait.”


The metal bleachers make an unpleasant clang with each step Izuku takes up the stairs. The cool autumn wind wakes up his sleepy mind, refreshing in its biting coldness. He smiles and waves at the black-haired man already sitting on the bleachers, one arm in a wrist brace.

 

“Hi! You must be Katsuki’s teammate, the one with the sprained wrist.” Izuku says, taking a seat next to him

 

“Yeah, that’s me!” He says, giving a wide grin. “I’m Sero, but Katsuki likes to call me Soy Sauce, or some variation. Uh, sorry if I’m being rude, but who are you?”

 

“Oh, I never introduced myself! I’m Izuku, Katsuki’s new roomate.” Izuku sheepishly scratches the back of his head, a mild blush dusting his cheeks.

 

Sero leans over to the side, flipping the numbers on a scoreboard. He puts the score down on a white board, making a neat line of numbers.

 

“Damn, I feel sorry for you! Bakugou’s an ass to us, and we’re supposed to be his friends.”

 

Izuku chuckles. He thinks about it, rolling Sero’s words around in his mind. Sure, maybe Bakugou was a bit of an ass when they first met, but he didn’t seem to be as bad as everyone seemed to think he was. He’d even been nice to Izuku! In a grumpy, aggressive, typical Bakugou-esque fashion.

 

“It’s really not that bad. Katsuki’s an okay roommate”  Izuku says, watching the football players sprint around the field. “I still want someone else though.”

 

Izuku pouts. He focuses on Katsuki’s figure, tracking his movements from the bleachers. The small details, from the way he smiles when he catches a pass just right, to the slight bend in his knees when he gets a touchdown. 

 

“You know, I get the feeling I’ve seen you somewhere.” Sero says, before the realisation dawns on him. “Wait, wait, you’re that guy everyone’s saying hooked up with Bakugou! Damn, you got balls!”

 

“IT’S NOT TRUE GODDAMNIT!” Izuku exclaims. “Ugh, why does everyone think I—ah, nevermind.”

 

Izuku buries his face in his hands. Honestly, it would be a dream come true if everyone could just forget it ever happened.

 

“Hey man, it’s cool! If you say you didn’t, then you didn’t.” Sero pats him on the back. “Besides, I didn’t think you were the type anyways.”

 

Well, at least someone believes Izuku.

 

“Thank you!” Izuku says. “I’ve been trying to get people to listen, but nobody wants to believe me!”

 

“Hey buddy, you might wanna be quiet for a little.” Sero says, pointing to the two people approaching them.

 

Izuku quickly shuts up. He watches anxiously, two people making their way up the bleacher’s stairs.

 

“Who’s the kid?” The blonde-haired man spits.

 

He nods his head at Sero, a menacing snarl on his face.

 

“Monoma, just go—” Sero starts.

 

“I’m Izuku. I’m Katsuki’s roommate.” Izuku says, a defensive expression on his face. “What do you want?”

 

Monoma laughs, elbowing his black-haired companion. He smiles, leaning down towards Izuku.

 

“You hear that, Shindou? It’s Bakugou’s roommate.”

 

Shindou bites the inside of his cheek. He jabs a finger at Izuku, glaring at him.

 

“So you’re Bakugou’s roommate, huh? Well then, let’s have a challenge.” Shindou motions to the field. “5 versus 6. First team to score a touchdown wins.”

“You don’t have to do it Izuku.” Sero says, trying to defuse the situation.

 

“A-ah, Football? Um, how about we just talk this out?” Izuku desperately tries to think of a way he could have made them mad.

 

“What, you pussy?” Monoma says.

 

“N-no! No I’m not.”

 

Izuku waves his hands, trying to get out of this mess, but failing.

 

“Hey, Bakugou!” Shindou yells. “5 against 6, let’s test what your roommate’s made of!”

 

“What the fuck? Goddamnit, you shitty Deku! Don’t you know how to shut up?”

 

Izuku winces. He’s probably about to die, but at least it won’t be his fault.

“Okay, I wanted to avoid this, but it’s okay!” Sero says, trying to make light of the situation. “You know the rules, right?”

“Nope.”

 

“Oh. Well, all you have to do is catch the ball and run, okay? And don’t let anyone tackle you.”

Sero unzips his backpack, handing Izuku his helmet.

 

“Wear this, okay?”

 

Izuku’s always had a knack for getting himself into stupid situations.


“Do you get it?” Katsuki says, putting his hands on Izuku’s shoulders. 

 

“Uh, can you say the whole thing one more time?”

 

He sighs, shaking his head. The football spins between his palms, Katsuki swiftly tucking it under his arm. 

 

“Fucking Deku, you make everything hard for me.” He points to the far end of the field. “Don’t do anything. We’ll take care of it. Now, if you do get the ball, just fucking sprint for the big metal poles. Got it?”

 

Izuku nods, face set with determination. He could do this! He just had to ignore the fact that he was completely useless when it came to sports, and had no idea of how the game even worked. It couldn’t be that hard to stand around and do nothing, right?

 

“Ready, Bakugou?” Shindou yells, standing in the center of the field.

 

Katsuki puts his helmet on, irritation behind his movements. He slaps the football into Shindou’s outstretched hand, a scowl on his face.

 

“You should ask yourself the same question.” He spits, words filled with confidence.

Bakugou takes his place on the field. He bends his knees, shifting his weight to the balls of his feet, ready to react.

 

“You better not fuck this up, shitty Deku.”


Now, Izuku may or may not be ignoring all the laws of science when he says this, but his face has a magnetic attraction to footballs.

 

Izuku clutches his nose, blood dripping between the cracks of his fingers. He cradles the football under his left arm, standing in the far corner of the field. It’s not just him though—the entire field seems to have come to a stop.

 

Izuku wipes his nose with his sleeve, leaving a red stain on his face. He looks at the football in his arms, feeling the pieces click into place.

 

“What the fuck are you doing, Deku? Fucking run!” Katsuki’s voice cuts through the fog in Izuku’s mind.

 

The field bursts into action, like a tornado, and Izuku is the eye of the storm. His cheap, worn-out sneakers skid on the grass as he sprints for the end zone. His heart thrums wildly, accentuating every panicked step. He hugs the football to his chest, head down in a dash to the other side of the field.

 

“You’re dead now, kid!”

 

Izuku’s eyes snap to the side, only catching a blond blur as Monoma slams into his shoulder like a brick wall. He hits the ground hard, rolling away with the ball still clutched to his chest. His lungs scream at him, taking in ragged breaths between coughs. He can’t stop here though, he thinks as he scrambles to his feet, barely avoiding another tackle. 

 

His legs burn, and his heart feels like it’s going to leap out of his chest. It’s only through sheer willpower and the shouts of his teammates that Izuku keeps going, forcing his legs to keep moving, forcing his body to swerve away from tackles.

 

He can see it, the blurry vision of the end zone. He puts everything he’s got into his legs, sprinting as hard as he can. 

 

“What the fuck?!” Katsuki exclaims, voice echoing the thoughts of every person on the field.

 

Izuku’s legs give out, body falling onto the grass in a lifeless heap. He coughs, trying to take in air.

 

“How’d the nerd score a goddamn touchdown?”

“A touchdown?”  Izuku thinks, letting the words roll around in his mind

 

“I did it!” He says between gasps, a blinding smile on his face.

 

“Damn right!” Katsuki says, looking down at Izuku’s exhausted form on the grass.

 

Izuku’s never going to forget the way Katsuki looked at him, with that blinding smile full of pride.


“Ochako!” Izuku slams his lunch tray down on the table. “You’ll never guess what happened!”

He sits down at their usual place in the cafeteria, shoving Tenya over to make room for himself. He’s buzzing with excitement, his eyes wide. 

 

“What is it! Oh my gosh, Katsuki finally asked you out, didn’t he? You said yes, right?” Ochako says, an equal amount of enthusiasm in her voice. 

 

Izuku rolls his eyes, but the smile doesn’t leave his face. He takes a deep breath, gathering his thoughts into sentences.

 

“No, no! It’s even better!” He waves his hands, gesturing wildly. “So I was at Katsuki’s practice, and then there were these two scary-looking people who came up, and they challenged me to a football match, but I don’t know how to play football, and…” His speech trails off, devolving into incoherent muttering.

 

“Wait, wait, wait. So what’s the main part of the story?” Ochako holds a hand up, stopping Izuku short.

 

“Uh, well-you see,” He stutters for a second, “I got a touchdown against the football team!”

 

Ochako gleams with excitement. She leans over the table, high-fiving Izuku’s hand.

 

“I didn’t know you played football!” She says, sitting back in her seat.

 

“Nor I, Midoriya-san. Football is a dangerous sport. As your friend, I cannot help but be worried for your safety.” Tenya says, changing the conversation’s tone.

 

“Tenya’s right, Izuku. Are you sure you didn’t get hurt anywhere?” Ochako asks.

 

“I’m fine, don’t worry! I just scraped my elbow.”



Izuku waves his arms, showing the bandaid on his elbow. He takes a bite of his lunch, asking Ochako about the latest gossip. They make idle chatter, with the occasional comment from Tenya. 

 

“So then Jirou was like…” Ochako trails off, eyes focused on the front of the room.

 

Izuku follows her gaze. He looks around the cafeteria, trying to spot what caught her attention.

 

“Oi, Deku.” A heavy hand falls on his shoulder.

 

“Eep!” Izuku snaps to the side, coming face to face with Katsuki. “Katsuki? What are you doing here?”

 

“92.” He says.

 

Izuku cocks his head to the side. He raises an eyebrow, confused.


“What do you mean?”

 

“I got a 92 on the test.”

Izuku’s mind clicks, making the connection.

 

“Really? That’s great! I knew you would do great!” He says, a bright smile on his face.

 

Katsuki grins.

 

“Ha! I’m not a fucking idiot, Deku.” He pauses, taking a paper from his bag. “Here. Take it.”

 

Izuku takes the paper, unfolding it carefully. He scans the words on the page, an excited expression slowly forming on his face.

 

“Practice starts at 7.” Katsuki says.

 

He turns, leaving the cafeteria. Izuku refolds the paper, tucking it away in his bag.

 

“Uh, want to explain what just happened?” Ochako taps him on the shoulder.

 

“I’m going to be a football player.”


Everything hurts.

 

Izuku’s legs burn, and his lungs can’t take in any more air. The stadium lights are blinding, and he’s going to go deaf from the cheers of the crowd. He’s never felt adrenaline like this before. He sprints down the field, trying to get in a better position to receive, but he can’t. There’s too many people on the field, and he can’t get around the people guarding him.

 

The football soars across the field, landing neatly in Monoma’s hands. He runs forward, only to toss it right back as he takes a hard tackle. Izuku’s getting dizzy, trying to follow the path of the ball is almost impossible. 

 

“Izuku! Pay attention!” Shindou yells, bringing Izuku’s attention to the brown ball soaring above his head. 

 

He jumps, barely catching the football. He can’t run anymore, his legs exhausted and ready to give out, but he pushes forward anyways. His feet thump rhythmically on the grass, a desperate sprint for the end on the field. 

 

And then he trips.

 

He scrambles back up, but his ankle can’t hold his weight. He hobbles forwards, but he won’t make it. He frantically scans the field, looking for someone open, but no, everyone’s being guarded. 

 

“DEKU!”

 

Izuku’s vision snaps to the blond figure making a mad dash down the field. He holds his hands out, ready to catch.

 

“KACCHAN!”

 

The ball leaves Izuku’s fingertips, just before he goes down, legs unable to support his weight anymore. He takes heaving breaths, lying on the grass. He can’t see anything over the glare of the stadium lights, but he can hear the cheers of the crowd, feel the frantic energy in the air. The knot in his stomach tightens.

 

Suddenly, the stadium goes quiet. Izuku’s anxiety comes back full-force. Thoughts race through his mind, his eyes shifting nervously. 

 

What? What is it? Did something happen?

 

He breathes heavily, heartbeat giving the silence a steady pulse.

 

Oh my gosh, what is it?

 

The stadium erupts into cheers. It’s deafening, really. People jump out of their seats, screaming at the field. Arms hook under Izuku’s armpits, pulling him up. He steadies himself, turning to face his teammate.

 

“Katsuki?” He asks, a lopsided expression on his face.

 

“We won, Deku.”

 

“What?”

“We won!”

Katsuki takes Izuku’s face in his hands, a radiant smile on his face. His eyes crinkle, and his chest heaves with every deep breath. There’s a dirt smudge on his left temple. Izuku’s never seen someone more beautiful.

 

“Really? I can’t believe—”

 

Izuku’s cut short by Katsuki, pressing his lips to Izuku’s. Izuku’s eyes widen. He closes his eyes, smiling against Katsuki’s lips.

 

“YEAH! I KNEW IT!” Ochako yells over the cheers of the crowd, loud enough for the both of them to hear.

 

Izuku pulls back, turning to the ecstatic stands. He waves, garnering a loud cheer from the crowd. Katsuki puts his arm around Izuku’s shoulders, pulling him close.

 

“Nerd?”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“Who the fuck is Kacchan?”

Izuku slaps Katsuki on his arm. He laughs, pulling Katsuki in for another kiss.

 

“Does it matter?”

 

Katsuki grins, giving a small chuckle.

 

“Nah, not really.”