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A Change of Pace

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Once All for One was put away, everything became too calm for Toshinori.

His whole life had revolved around being All Might up until now. He always wanted to be a hero when he was a child. His teenage years were dedicated to his training to become All Might. His adulthood was filled with his responsibilities as All Might and to try and help as many people as possible. Even when his last years of being a pro hero had been so hard, he kept on going.

But now?

Now he was simply Toshinori Yagi, retired pro hero and teacher at UA. He wasn't All Might anymore. He couldn't be All Might anymore.

And this left him too much free time, time he wasn't sure how to fill, as he never had that in the past decades. At first, he tried filling it with his work as a teacher, before being stopped by everyone as he was going to overwork himself. That, and his body wouldn't let him do that either.

Another thing he had noticed in the couple of months that had passed since One fo All had left his body was that said body hurt. A lot. It had been there in the past, the lingering pain, but he always managed to push it aside, having too much to worry about to care about it. But now, some days were nearly extremely painful.

Maybe he had overworked the entirety of his body too much. His injury was most likely not helping in any way either. All those years of being All Might had worn out his joints, his muscles, his bones, overall every part of his body. So there was always this lingering pain in his body.

And some days were hurting more than others.

Of course, he decided to not ask for help, at least not outside of asking Recovery Girl for some pain killer. She couldn't do anything more for him, but he was already glad enough that she would give him what she could.

But he wasn't as good at hiding it as he did in the past. The other teachers had caught up rather quickly. The 1-A students ended up noticing the days where it was worst. Shota and Hizashi were the first to notice as they were seeing him every day.

On those days, where every part of his body seemed like they were trying to separate from each other he still went to class. This was all he had, he couldn't give that up for some pain. The students would see immediately the signs in his slower movements, the way he was trying to move as little as possible and those fraction of second where his expression would slip up a little and show his pain.

A mutual and silent agreement was made between every student on those days, taking off as much work as they could from the man's shoulders. They would volunteer to pass around papers, erase what was on the blackboard, maybe even write the notes on it for him or collect documents from everyone. They would all try to cause as little problems as they could, at least the time of his lesson, even Bakugo would keep in touch his bursts of anger.

Of course, Toshinori had caught up on what his students were trying to do, he would try to gently refuse even if he always ended up accepting the help. He still enjoyed how considerate his students were, letting them help him around the class as he could recognise when he couldn't do it. He just couldn't bring himself to ask directly.

The easiest to caught up to was Shota and Hizashi taking turns to help him carry around his documents once his classes were done, alternating depending on who had a free period at the time. He could maybe convince his students that he was fine, but he could never win against the two men who were always taking care of him the most.

He could see how helpless they felt at the idea of not being able to ease his pain, he hated how worried he was making them. So he was letting them do what they could to help him around, knowing it was making them feel less anxious about how he was. They had a good idea of what were the lines they couldn't cross unless asked directly by him, since there were things he was dead set on doing himself.

As hard as it was to work through the pain, for now, Toshinori was still relieved that those days were coming and going with large gaps in between. For now at least. Even if those painful days were rendering him rather immobile when he wasn't working, all the others he was still stuck with too much free time.

He had picked up on reading and watching movies when he was alone or when Shota and Hizashi were too occupied with marking grades for their students. It was easy enough to do and wasn't asking too much energy either. He had picked up the habit of reading aloud for them when they were around after Hizashi had asked if he could read for him a couple of times. He would sometime pick the habit when still in the teacher's room, Nemuri gently teasing him about it, rendering him fluster as he apologises for the distraction.

But doing only that and all the time was becoming boring by time.

When Shota and Hizashi were back from patrol, they would generally tell him how things went and if they fought anyone. At first, neither of them were sure if it would bring something bad from their tall blond, but upon seeing how Toshinori seemed to enjoy listening to their stories, they made it a habit of telling him over diner or breakfast. Something was shining in his eyes when he heard their heroic exploits, whether it was small or big, clearly proud of their good work.

They both found ways to occupy him and make him go out a little, otherwise, he would always be stuck inside their apartment. Once a week Hizashi would bring Toshinori to the radio station for a special segment, always if the man was feeling good enough for it. He had created it after dragging him on air one day when the man had expressed curiosity about his third job and his listeners seemed to have really enjoyed the presence of the retired pro hero.

The segment time varied depending on the day, listeners calling in to ask questions to Toshinori about his career as a hero, asking for some battle stories and other question of the likes. The man would rarely refuse a question unless it was touching his personal life too much or would be a little too violent and dark to be retold on the radio.

The only times Hizashi would cut off calls were the one intended to attack directly Toshinori. He had made it clear rather quickly that anyone coming on air to insult the man would be put on their blacklist. He couldn't care less if the person was their number one listeners or just someone coming on for the first time, he wouldn't allow it. Toshinori would always gently reach for the hero's hand, smiling to him as a way to tell him he was alright and didn't mind it, knowing he would get fired up otherwise.

It was something he had learned to simply ignore. He had been used to the media being around him and of course some would have things to criticise of him, but it couldn't compare to what he received after that last battle. The public opinion seemed to be unsure, many thanking him and praising him for all he had done for them, other being way more critical of him, some even purely attacking what he was looking like now.

This was something Hizashi simply couldn't accept. This man had held the world on his shoulders, he shouldn't be shame in such a way for something he couldn't help. They shouldn't have relied this much on one man, of course he was bound to fall one day, no one could stay at the top for eternity.

But those moments of anger would generally quickly fade away once the next question would come in. The look on Toshinori's face when he was retelling stories or talking about being a hero was priceless. He couldn't help himself but sneakily take pictures sometimes, sending them to Shota who would most likely have the radio one somewhere in the background if he could.

At first, he hadn't been sure if the man would enjoy doing radio with him, but he had been wrong to worry like this. It did take some time for him to feel fully at ease on air, but once he had gotten used to it he was clearly enjoying his time.

Shota's ways to occupied him were involving much less talking, but it was expected from him. Toshinori knew his two partners had very different personalities, but both suited him very well and he could easily enjoy both of them. Where Hizashi was much louder and energetic, Shota was more quiet and calm. It was a wonder how these two could go so well together.

Toshinori had taken on walking with him, taking care of stray cats around their apartment area or simply going to take a coffee down the road. The blond was most likely doing most of the talking, but it didn't seem to bother Shota. He would tell him about how the radio segment went, would talk about the latest book he read or movie he watched, might complain a little about 1-A class causing problems. Some days Shota was the one doing the talking, especially when something had happened and he needed to let it out. Toshinori would always listen carefully, giving advice if needed, leaving comments here and there or simply laugh when it was a more silly event.

He had also discovered his love for cats. It wasn't as big as Shota's one, although he doubted anyone could surpass him, but it was still there. It did take a little while before the strays were coming to him and he was really excited when they finally let him pet them, turning to the underground hero with a large smile. Even Shota, who wasn't really one to take a lot of pictures, couldn't help sometime but take one, of course sending it to Hizashi or he would be mad at him for not doing so.

One thing Toshinori could see in common in the two men was how they didn't appreciate anyone bad-mouthing him. Where Hizashi would go off on air until he was muted by the tall blond, he had learned to do that, Shota had a more direct and confrontational way of doing it. If he were to hear even as much as a bad comment towards him it would set him off. He was a little harder to calm down, Toshinori needing to let him argue sometimes as his own words wouldn't stop him.

“They should show more respect for someone who worked his body to utter exhaustion for them” he had mumbled one day, not believing what he could hear sometime. Nor was he understanding how Toshinori could be so calm about people talking in such ways about him.

Those were the days he felt good enough to do anything. When he was going through a rough time, if off duty, either or both of his partners would stay at home with him. They would make sure he was comfortable and wouldn't worry about anything, watching movies he enjoyed or simply laze around in bed with him, leaving him the space he needed to not pain him more. There was less talking from him, but hearing the two other talking was making him feel more at ease, knowing at least he wasn't alone.

Once he was feeling better the two young heroes would be back to cuddling with him and sometimes showering him with love if the day had been a little too bad. Toshinori would often be the one at the centre of the bed, in a sandwich between Hizashi and Shota. He had been surprised by how comfortable it could be to sleep with other people, especially people he loved and cherished.

He wasn't yet used to this new life, but he could definitely get used to it, especially if it included being loved this much by these two men.

He couldn't be All Might anymore, but if he could be Toshinori Yagi who loves and is loved by Hizashi Yamada and Shota Aizawa, maybe it wasn't so bad.