One thing that most normal people don’t realize is how much V.I.P.s simply don’t have enough hours in their days. Big name celebrities, CEOs of conglomerates, high rank pro heroes: they all have, very literally, better things to do than stand around and wait for things to happen.
That’s what they pay other people for: to do the waiting for them. And the running, the lining up, the picking up, the ordering, the paying, all the little tos-and-fros that regular people need to do to get through their day.
Katsuki wakes up and his coffee is waiting for him, nice and hot, breakfast already prepared. Low carb, high protein, no dairy, fruits for dessert. He reads through hero bulletins of the evening shift while eating, and pours himself a second cup of coffee that is also ready for him.
He manages to take a shower by himself with no help, but his body wash (hypo-allergenic), shampoo and conditioner (for his surprisingly soft delicate hair), shaving foam, aftershave and razor all get replenished like clockwork before they can even run low.
He picks his own clothes to wear—he’s quite particular about that—but they get laundered, ironed, folded and hung according to kind, then color, in his impressively large walk-in closet without him having to lift a finger. His leather shoes are always polished, even if he doesn’t wear them often, preferring combat boots for work days and sometimes sneakers on the weekends.
His watches, some of them worth more than most of the cars plying the streets, are all sent to be cleaned regularly by professionals and are sitting prettily in their glass display cases. He also rarely wears them as they’re useless in a fight, and he has a hero-issued wrist device that’s a combined communicator/GPS tracker/and bio-monitor, but he’s being paid handsomely to wear them on his days off and non-hero uniformed events. One of his most talked about billboard ads has him wet from being in the ocean, conspicuously wearing a diver’s watch and not much else. Why was he not wearing a diving suit and gear?—probably not that many people asked.
Katsuki used to exit the elevator at the garage level and have the car already running and waiting for him. But he’s done away with a driver almost two years ago, and these days, Katsuki enters the elevators with familiar, cheerful prattling in the air, and he walks to the car with Izuku beside him hurrying along on his much shorter legs.
There’s a driveway by the building lobby where cars can pick up and drop off residents of this expensive, exclusive high rise, but there is less chance of enterprising paparazzi in the secure-gated parking garage. Any other VIP would normally have a personal security or four but that, of course, is ridiculous for someone like Katsuki—Japan’s #1 ranked hero 4 years running.
Izuku drives. They avoid rush hour traffic by being early but it still takes 20 minutes to get to the hero agency. He gauges Katsuki’s mood. Sometimes Izuku talks, most times he leaves him to his calls. The sun is already up and everyone in his team and staff know hero Dynamight is already on the move, and they all have their phones in hand, ready. No one wants to be the one he calls and not be able to press that ‘accept call’ button in time.
Izuku drops him off at the front doors of his hero agency with a “Be safe, Kacchan!”, where someone young and equally low in the totem pole as Izuku is already waiting for him—to open doors, push elevator buttons, brief him on the way up, take him to his office or conference room or wherever he needs to be. Katsuki’s doing hero work now, and that’s not Izuku’s purview.
Izuku is driving a car that he’ll never be able to afford in his lifetime. He’d had a near panic attack when he was first told to get behind its wheel and drive, but it’s been two years and he’s used to it now. There was a throwaway comment of ‘look into buying a new car, will you?’ last week that has Izuku feeling nervous but excited at the same time.
Price of the car and it’s drool-worthy aesthetics aside, Izuku just uses it for errands. He drops off and picks up Katsuki’s dry-clean-only laundry. Then to the grocer for fresh ingredients, as well as food for the cat—incongruously named Chibiusa—and a big pack of kitty litter.
Izuku stops by the lobby to pick up Katsuki’s personal mails—all fan and work-related ones are addressed to the agency. He gets back to Katsuki’s house just in time to let the twice-a-week cleaning service in. There’s not much for them to do honestly: dust surfaces, vacuum all the cat hairs, clean the bathrooms, change the sheets of the only bed actually in use in the entire multi-roomed penthouse—there are no kids, Chibiusa would rather die than pee or poop anywhere other than her litter box, and Katsuki is a neat person.
Izuku usually helps in between cleaning days, picking up clothes and other items that are hastily strewn about, not so much because Katsuki is lazy or a slob, but because he’s often in a hurry. Izuku cooks and he does the dishes as he goes along. The cleaning staff does the laundry and any ironing that needs to be done, but Deku folds everything else, doing a particular style of creasing that Katsuki prefers, and stacks them all neatly in the walk-in closet.
He consults his notes and cooks a low carb, high protein, no shellfish meal; bakes a batch of macadamia chocolate chip cookies and packs just a single one with the rest of the meal.
He keeps the TV on the news and his phone with him the entire time. Pro hero Dynamight is spotted with another pro hero in downtown Roppongi, and Izuku actually sees him on TV calling someone when his own phone rings.
‘My Boss’ flashes on the phone display.
“The old hag is up my ass wanting me to come visit again,” Katsuki launches directly, without even a ‘hello’. “The dinner tonight. I can’t make it, something came up. Take care of it, will you?”
“What?,” Katsuki asks, even though Izuku knows he heard him from the red he can see on TV creeping up his ears.
“It wouldn’t hurt you to say ‘please’ every now and then, you know.”
Katsuki groans; his image on TV rubs his face with his free hand. Izuku almost pats himself on the back and settles for a smile: he’d judged his mood correctly.
“Don’t fucking sass me right now, Deku. I’m up to my eyeballs in this shit.”
“Bad?” Izuku rarely asks; that’s not his job. What is part of his job is to keep Katsuki’s life as even-keeled as possible. And sometimes, that meant letting the air out of the balloon so it doesn’t blow up with the pressure.
“Not—not bad. Just a lot of extra work because someone got stupid.”
That meant no casualties, no active threat. Katsuki goes full don’t-fucking-mess-with-me hero mode when that happens. Especially when there are kids involved. Probably just more meetings and paperwork. He hates those, considers most of them a waste of his time.
“Okay, Kacchan. Should I send flowers over?”
Hero Dynamight on TV scowls at a small group of fans, but takes the marker anyway and begins signing, keeping his phone between ear and shoulder. While he’d ignore a huge crowd—making people call him arrogant and uptight, but conversely keeping his autographs much sought after—he’d sometimes stop for a few. Personally, Izuku thinks he doesn’t like having to sign only a few, and because he really doesn’t have time, leaving the rest disappointed.
“Ah, hell. Why not! She knows it’s from you anyway.”
“She knows I always ask you first. So it is from you. I just place the order.”
“Yeah, yeah, nerd. Get her some. And tell them we’ll try to visit next week. I gotta go.” He had finished signing things.
“Be safe, Kacchan.”
“Later.” And the line is cut.
Izuku’s next call is not to Bakugou Mitsuki but to Katsuki’s Administrative Assistant. While Izuku is being paid to make Katsuki’s personal life as kink-free as possible, his AA is Izuku’s counterpart, tasked to keep Katsuki’s schedule straight and his work life as smooth-running as possible. Everyone and their mothers want a piece of Japan’s #1 pro hero.
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy dealing with the volatile hero Dynamight and this is the fifth one Izuku has met in the two years he’s been working for Katsuki. It had become so bad at one point that Izuku has already taken over some of the things his AA is supposed to be doing. Izuku is now managing hero Dynamight’s professional social media accounts, answering his public emails, and dealing with his Public Relations team. It’s the part of his hero work that Katsuki hates the most and where his temper is usually at its shortest.
Izuku reads Dynamight’s endorsement contracts now and all requests for appearances, and then summarizes them for Katsuki, telling him which ones he thinks he should accept. He doesn’t always listen, but sometimes, when Izuku catches him in a rare good mood, Izuku can miraculously get him to agree. He always pushes for special campaigns like anti-bullying and school visits. He knows Katsuki enjoys those anyway but would never admit it.
“Hello, Tanaka-san!” Izuku chirps when the AA answers. “I was wondering where I could bring the boss’s lunch today.” Izuku didn’t ask Katsuki earlier where he’d be for lunch because it’s not Katsuki’s job to tell him that. It’s on Izuku to find out.
The hero agency knows, down to the meter, where all their heroes-on-duty are, and their status is constantly updated as to schedule changes. Izuku doesn’t have access to that information but he’s on file as allowed to know certain things about the #1 pro hero.
“He’s out at the moment but should be back here at the agency in forty minutes.” Izuku didn’t need to know the who, what and why; he just needed the where and what time exactly.
“Great! Thanks. I’ll be leaving from his house now and be there in thirty. Text me if there are changes, and I’ll divert.”
Izuku grabs the bento, neatly wrapped in subdued-colored furoshiki, and calls Mitsuki while driving. He drives this car so often it’s his work phone that automatically connects to the bluetooth instead of Katsuki’s.
“You’re calling. This can’t be good news,” Mitsuki says. Izuku wonders if they realize mother and son have the same habit of not greeting first in phone calls.
“Hello, Aunt Mitsuki. Yeah, unfortunately, Kacchan asked me to call and cancel dinner. He said something came up.”
He hears Mitsuki sigh. That phrase at least means that it’s work. Katsuki is not blowing off his parents to get drunk with his friends or go on a date. Although Izuku suspects his parents wouldn’t be opposed to some news that their only son is actually seeing someone. From what Izuku knows—and if there’s anyone who’d know, he would—there’s no one.
“He asked me to send you flowers.”
Mitsuki snorts this time. “He never used to send me anything until you came along, Izu-kun.”
Izuku grins, knowing it would be heard in his voice. “He also said he’s sorry for cancelling.”
Mitsuki laughed at that one. “He absolutely did not!”
Izuku laughs with her. “He didn’t. But you know he is.”
“We’ll try to come next week. I’ll call again when his schedule is more fixed.”
“Okay. How is he?”
Izuku thinks about that. “He’s… good.” He doesn’t want to give particulars as that would be disloyal to the one who signs his paychecks, but a little reassurance to his parents would go a long way. “He’s really good these days.”
“Thank you for taking good care of him, Izu-kun. I know he can be a handful.”
Izuku couldn’t honestly say ‘it’s my pleasure’ so he settles for “Kacchan’s not that bad. He’s changed a lot from when we were kids. In good ways.”
“Okay, I need to go tell Masaru the bad news now. The poor man is already in the kitchen marinating stuff. I’ll see you boys next week.”
“Bye, Aunt Mitsuki.”
“I think some white lilies would be nice this time of year.”
Izuku smiles. “I think white lilies would be perfect.”
They know Izuku in the agency even if he’s not employed there. He has his own pass, dangling on an All Might lanyard around his neck. It wont give him access to all the floors of the building but more than a visitor’s pass would provide.
Basically, it gives Izuku access to all places hero Dynamight could potentially be—all the public places, of course, like the commissary and coffee shop, but also the full gym on the 8th floor, the locker areas, Katsuki’s office up top, offices of other heroes he works closely with, briefing rooms, and the truly calming zen garden up on the roof. Katsuki would sometimes stand there, when he could catch a few minutes free here and there. Not that he’s ever truly calm—his silences are more like calm before the storm—but every little bit helps.
Izuku smiles at the uniformed guard as he scans his ID pass. He smiles at the receptionist, everyone else in the lobby, and all those with him in the elevator. He doesn’t miss the elbow-nudging and the eyes staring at him in awe. He is something of a living legend here.
They think he’s somehow tamed the beast. No other PA has ever lasted more than a few months working for Bakugou Katsuki, much less the two years he’s been with him.
But he hasn’t; not really. He needs this job. Mitsuki is right: Katsuki is a handful. If anything, she’d downplayed it. Izuku has just learned to let it all slide off his skin—like water off a duck’s back. He’s received so many stings and zingers, he tells himself he’s become immune to it. It’s either that or quit. And he can’t quit.
‘Kill them with kindness’, his mom had told him once. If that were true, Bakugou Katsuki would be stone cold dead by now.
Izuku heads straight to the top floor where Dynamight’s offices are.
He stops by Tanaka’s desk and hands him a brightly-colored sack of fresh baked cookies with a ‘good luck, you can do this’ thumbs up sign. People from the other desks are already converging on Tanaka—who’s hugging the sack close to his chest—by the time Izuku pushes open the heavy door to Katsuki’s office.
It’s pretty big. Right by the wall-to-wall view of the Tokyo skyline, there’s Katsuki’s steel-and-glass desk that dominates the far end of the room, with two uncomfortable-looking chairs in front for those unlucky enough to be called to this office. By the truly intimidating shelf of plaques and awards, there’s a small round table that seats four; it doubles as a conference table for quick meetings with ‘the boss’. There’s also a wide-display TV on one wall to check the news, reports, and do multi-party video calls.
And then there’s the ante-room, with an expensive but really quite comfortable couch and low table, that someone optimistically designed for when Dynamight might want to entertain visitors. As far as Izuku can tell, the only use the couch has ever seen is Katsuki eating the lunches that he brings.
He first texts Katsuki that he’s in his office with his lunch ready and waiting—it won’t be good if Katsuki unknowingly heads up here with others in tow, intending to have a meeting. Or worse, bellowing at people asking where the fuck his lunch is.
Then he arranges a large bento and chopsticks on one side of the low table, and another smaller bento on the other end with his own chopsticks.
There’s a commissary in the building that serves pretty good food. Most meetings and events also provide meals for their pro hero guests. Katsuki always has someone prepare his meals separately anyway. It’s not technically a secret—the chefs at the second floor canteen know about it, for example, and some of his friends and colleagues know to varying degrees—but it’s certainly not public knowledge.
Katsuki has a lot of food allergies. Eggs; all kinds of crustaceans and shellfish; and certain kinds of fish like anchovies (which is used a lot in sauces and salad dressings!)— all of which rule out oyster sauce, fish sauce, and mayonnaise. And finally—unfortunately for him as it’s prevalent in Japanese cuisine—soy sauce. It’s not so bad that it’d kill him, but his delicate skin comes out in a mild form of hives, and he would need antihistamines. He hates itching under his hero uniform.
That’s restrictive enough, but he also has hyperacidity and acid reflux from all the stress, and he’s medically advised to avoid tomatoes, citrus, deep fried foods, and spicy foods. That last one is a struggle, and he also still stubbornly drinks his coffee in the mornings. He takes medicine for it, which helps, but his doctor keeps telling him it requires a lifestyle change; Katsuki retorts with ‘find me a pro hero who isn’t stressed and I’ll show you someone who’s not really a pro hero’ and that’s usually the end of that.
And as if all that isn’t enough—Katsuki is terribly lactose-intolerant. He cannot tolerate dairy of any kind. Not butter, not cheese, and certainly not milk. And while Katsuki absolutely hates itching, he’d take it over the bloating and gas, and the potential runs while he’s out on patrol.
All of which is to say that Katsuki is severely limited in what he can eat. It’s doubly complicated because he needs to eat a lot to keep his pro hero bulk.
Izuku had despaired over this issue the most, as Katsuki’s PA. There used to be a private chef, just as there had been a personal driver, but she’d quit just as Izuku was hired, and he had to take over preparing Katsuki’s meals. He had pored over cookbooks and recipes, had stalked food blogs. He met with chefs, dieticians, and nutritionists—on Katsuki’s dime—all to get a working idea on how he can feed Katsuki without potentially poisoning him, and inadvertently causing his own maiming and death.
Or worse, his firing.
It had been a few months of trial and error—Katsuki had not been patient, but neither had he been too excoriating with his comments, which Izuku counts as a definite win—but they have a system now. Izuku’s cooked meals are turning out pretty good these days, as witnessed by Katsuki eating them without saying anything anymore.
Dynamight’s arrival is heralded by commotion from the outside, everyone snapping to attention, trying to look both ready and somehow still busy at the same time. That and surreptitiously ogling the man.
Bakugou Katsuki is a very attractive man. The gods went overboard on the day they designed him. You can’t be faulted if you are to call him beautiful—those lips, almost always quirked into a smirk, or a scowl, are positively sinful, and his eyelashes are wasted on someone who would never flutter them to get his way—but there is nothing effeminate about him. His cheekbones, the cut of his jaw, the lines of his body, the way he carries himself—he’s a grade-A alpha male and even half-blind great grandmothers can sense it.
He stops at Tanaka’s desk to say something, his eyes having already flicked through the open door of his office and seen Izuku waiting inside. Izuku had done a quick wave which, of course, Katsuki didn’t acknowledge. Izuku fusses with the bento placement but everything is already perfect; even someone with OCD would approve.
Katsuki comes in and shuts the door behind him, effectively cutting off all sounds from the outside. Sensitive information are often discussed inside this room. If his AA needs him, he will knock or use the intercom system.
Katsuki grunts in reply. He slips off the across-the-body bag, drops it on the floor, and settles down on the couch in a graceless thump. A tired, savoring groan leaves his lips as his body conforms to the couch. It really is comfortable. Izuku feels a twinge of sympathy for him—the day isn’t even half over and he looks ready to fall asleep right then and there from exhaustion.
He doesn’t ask if Izuku was able to call his mom and cancel dinner; he knows Izuku did. He doesn’t ask if Izuku has done all the other tasks he is supposed to do. Nor did Izuku report what he’s done so far. Those are the exact details that Katsuki is paying him to take care of so he doesn’t have to think about it. Katsuki expects his PAs to do things as they are supposed to be done. So far, Izuku seems to be the only one who’d been able to do them perfectly.
Katsuki finally straightens from his slump and reaches for his chopsticks and bento. Izuku takes that as his cue to reach for his as well. Katsuki’s chopsticks is a deceptively simple brownish-black pair. Like all his other things, it’s hand-crafted and expensive—this particular pair of chopsticks took two months to make, with 20 layers of lacquer, each one applied then sanded almost all away, over and over, until you get that perfect elegant finish. Izuku’s is a pair in All Might Silver Age theme.
Izuku hadn’t always eaten with Katsuki. He used to only prepare his meals, set the table for him, then make himself scarce while still being within hollering range should Katsuki need him. He used to use the time Katsuki ate breakfast doing small tasks, like feed Chibiusa and make Katsuki’s bed, then clear the table and wash the dishes when Katsuki took his shower.
One morning, a few months after he started, Katsuki had come out to the breakfast nook, looking his usual sleep-rumpled self, pajama bottoms riding low on his hips. Izuku had sorted and folded Katsuki’s pajama bottoms hundreds of times by then, but he had yet to see if the matching tops even saw any action. They all stay perfectly folded, their 100% Italian silk selves languishing in a drawer. Seeing watches that cost more than his annual rent everyday didn’t even make Izuku blink. But he’d been sorely tempted to liberate the pajama tops a time or two for his own use—surely Kacchan won’t miss what he doesn’t use, right? Right??
Izuku had just been setting the fresh pot of coffee on the table, Katsuki’s meal already laid out.
He has learned to tone down the exclamation points until at least after Katsuki has had his first cup of coffee. Izuku is not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination, but he’s usually been awake an hour and half by the time Katsuki comes out for breakfast, and has already had his second, if not third, cup of coffee.
Katsuki frowned at him, worse than usual, making Izuku’s smile falter a bit. He’d only been working for Katsuki a few months and there were still many landmines he wasn’t familiar with.
“I hate people hovering when I eat.”
Which was… fair. Izuku would hate that too. Except he didn’t hover. He left the man to enjoy his breakfast while he did what he could tidying up the penthouse. Before Izuku could scramble for an explanation, an excuse, or drop to his knees and beg for another chance, Katsuki had pulled the rug from under him.
“Grab a plate and sit the fuck down.”
Izuku hurried to comply. He eyed the spread—and not the topless man sitting a few feet away from him. He had learned to keep his eyes averted during pre-breakfast encounters the hard way. Morning wood is a thing—telling Izuku his employer’s cardio-vascular functions are all A-OK—and silk trousers do not leave much to the imagination. But now it had the added dimension of Katsuki sitting there, eating—all pecs, biceps, and sleepy bedroom eyes.
The good thing was that there had been a lot of food to focus on: Katsuki eats like the big man he is. But Izuku had prepared this with Katsuki’s exact nutritional needs in mind. He filled his plate with the barest minimum, making a mental note to increase Katsuki’s lunch portions to compensate. They ate in silence. Izuku nibbled on his coconut oil-almond milk-unsweetened applesauce pancake, confused but grateful for the small meal—he hadn’t had time to eat yet in his rush to get to Katsuki’s place. He usually grabbed a curry or melon bread during one of his errands.
Izuku stuck to drinking water, mostly because he’s already had a cup of coffee at home and another from a vending machine at the train station, but also because he only prepared exactly what Katsuki needed—one cup for during the meal, and another to sip while he pored over the rest of the reports.
Izuku, in between slices of bananas, had wondered how many people in the Greater Tokyo Area would kill to be in his literal seat right then, and briefly toyed with the idea of doing a raffle for it—it would likely solve all his money problems in one fell swoop!—but then wisely remembered his Non-Disclosure Agreement. That, and Katsuki’s explosive fists.
“Make sure you bring your own bento later so you don’t piss me off standing around. And grab whatever the fuck you drink when you next do the grocery—milk or tea or whatever,” Katsuki told Izuku over his shoulder, on his way back to the bedroom for his shower.
It had left Izuku open-mouthed, staring at his employer's hard, beautifully ripped, and currently retreating back. Apparently, he’s supposed to join him for two meals a day now. It was a good thing his cooking has already improved considerably.
A week after that, Katsuki showed up for breakfast wearing an old UA shirt, now tight across his chest. Izuku almost dropped the plate of fruits in his shock. He still doesn’t touch the silk pajama tops—Izuku can still dream—but he doesn’t appear for breakfast shirtless anymore. Izuku is both grateful and disappointed.
Lunch that day is gorgeous slices of tuna, so expensive Izuku had to take a deep breath before clicking ‘BUY’. Eggplants as a side dish are generally glazed with miso or seasoned with a soy sauce mixture—both of which Katsuki can’t eat—and Izuku has had to be creative in preparing the vegetable.
Izuku can’t help the moan that leaves him as he savors the tuna practically melting on his tongue. He opens his eyes to see Katsuki looking at him, his chopsticks raised halfway, an odd look on his face.
“Sorry,” Izuku mumbles. But if he ends up embarrassed every time he’s made a fool of himself in front of Katsuki, he’d be forever the shade of a tomato, so he simply shrugs.
He talks to cover his faux pas, but in soft tones, because he can see Katsuki needs the down time. He keeps the conversation slow and undemanding, Katsuki nods or quirks his lips a few times, showing he hasn’t tuned Izuku out yet. He does that sometimes, his mind focused on something—Izuku just trails off when that happens, leaving him to his thoughts. But today, Katsuki seems to want the distraction of Izuku’s mundane prattling. Low-stakes, no-risk, every day topics.
He finishes his bento clean. Katsuki beside him is eating the cookie he made for him this morning. His own bento, double the size of Izuku’s, is also empty.
Izuku looks ruefully down at his tummy. He’s always been thin—scrawny even. Working two, sometimes three jobs, over the years didn’t help. But two good meals a day with Katsuki finally seems to be doing what years of convenience store-bought food haven’t been able to do: fatten Izuku up.
“What?” Katsuki asks.
Izuku looks up at him, smile still rueful. “I think I’m gonna need to buy new clothes at the rate I’m going.” He gestures to his full belly.
Katsuki instead looks him up and down. “You could do the world a favor and burn those clothes.”
Izuku’s cheeks pinken. “Sorry, I’ll try to look more presentable.”
He doesn’t go to any meetings but perhaps Izuku does represent hero Dynamight wherever he goes. He’s always in jeans, but he typically tries to stick to collared shirts, some short-sleeved button-ups. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have that many to rotate and they’re showing the wear of years. Perhaps it really is time to go buy some, he thinks with a cringe at how much that would cost.
Katsuki frowns at that, bordering on a scowl. “I couldn’t care less how you appear. Do the fuck you want. You think I’d be in uniform all the time if I didn’t need to be?” He flicks the edge of Izuku’s collar, the movement making his upturned finger look like a ‘come here’ gesture. “Get your clothes from one of my old man's shops.”
Izuku’s eyes are about to bug out. Bakugou Designs is a hell of an expensive brand. Given the choice, Izuku would rather make rent than buy clothes.
“T’ch. I’m not telling you to get a 10 million yen kimono. They got the Bakushinchi brand. All streetwear. Tell them you work for me and they’ll give you an employee’s discount.”
“But I don’t work for them?” Izuku says, a bit stupidly, now that he thinks about it. “Ahh, you mean, I’m yours.”
Katsuki holds his gaze. He does a slow, audible inhale, his nose flaring. “Yeah, that.” Then he smirks, red eyes lighting up with rare humor. “Go to any branch, tell them…. Tell them you’re mine, and they’ll give you 80 percent discount.”
“Sure, why not,” Katsuki says, with a shrug, still amused.
“Oh, wow. That’s really great! I’m gonna go get a few shirts. Thanks, Kacchan!”
Katsuki leans back on the couch, half-turned to face Izuku, red eyes fixed on him. “No problem, nerd. Knock yourself out.”
“Oh, wow,” Izuku repeats, practically bouncing on his seat. He can’t remember the last time he went shopping for himself. Sometimes, working for Bakugou Katsuki really does have its perks.
“Do you need me for anything?” Izuku asks, as he’s packing away the used bento.
Instead of answering, Katsuki gets up from the couch and tosses over a couple of folders he got from a pile on his desk. Izuku is familiar with them. If not the actual content, then a broad idea of what it would be. The folders are beautifully designed things: one bright and colorful, the other luxuriously elegant, all with logos and taglines he’s sure the companies paid someone handsomely to create.
Izuku settles himself on the meeting table. They’re endorsement proposals. The hero agency has a lawyer on retainer for this, to make sure it’s not damaging to the agency’s vision and reputation. They also have a PR team for the whole cadre of heroes under their wing—Dynamight being the brightest star. The PR team sometimes clashes, sometimes joins forces, with the outside marketing agency who represents Katsuki. All this on top of Katsuki’s personal lawyer from a distinguished old firm that’s been in charge of looking after the Bakugou family’s legal concerns for years. Like it or not, pro hero Dynamight is a brand; and he’s one of the biggest names currently out there.
It used to be that proposals were screened before they even got to Katsuki. He likes it that way. It’s Izuku's big mouth that had landed him in this mess over a year ago.
“But if you never see all of them, how do you know they’re not turning down things you’d probably have fun doing? And doing it in your name, too!”
Katsuki scoffed. “What on earth do you think I’d want to do? I wanna get away from all this crap as much as I can.”
Izuku hummed, looking down on his bento. “Remember when we were kids? Crimson Riot went to our school? He was only beginning then, I think he just broke Top 20. But he spent an hour with us, we were all sitting on the gym floor and he answered questions, and that—that was pretty nice. It’s one of my best memories in grade school.”
Katsuki paused, clearly thinking of the same memory. They’d been in third grade, just as school started. Katsuki already had Explosion and was one of the most popular boys in school. Izuku, of course, had always been quirkless.
“You always did like heroes, even back then,” Katsuki said.
Izuku smiled. “I always had you in front of me, Kacchan.” That earned him a startled glance, and it made his smile widen, amused at the reaction—as if Katsuki hadn’t known how much Izuku admired him, even when they were kids. He had never hidden it. “I imagine other kids would love to have you in front of them, too. Don’t you get invites from schools? Uradera was such a nowhere school but even we got some heroes every now and then.”
Katsuki frowned. “Stop by the 10th floor on your way out, Deku. Check with PR on this.”
The PR team’s response... had not been good. Perhaps Izuku could have presented it to Katsuki more diplomatically when they were next alone together. Maybe Izuku could have dealt better with the hapless PR person who had been there that day and was unlucky enough to answer smiling Izuku’s questions. But he had been angry. Furious. Thoroughly offended on behalf of his erstwhile childhood friend and now employer.
Izuku told them, in words so formal and excruciatingly polite there could be no doubt he was insulting them, that they were wrong about pro hero Dynamight, and they should be ashamed for doubting where his heart is when it comes to being a true hero. Then he stomped back up Katsuki’s office, and snapped a question at his then AA, asking whether Katsuki was free to see him. He had looked so fierce, his sunny smile uncharacteristically missing, that the poor AA buzzed him inside without even checking with his boss.
Katsuki looked up when he entered, saw his face, and leaned back on his leather seat. "That bad?" he asked, his jaw already clenching.
Izuku paced the entire time, back and forth in front of Katsuki’s desk, hands slicing through the air before him in agitated gestures as he questioned the intelligence and parentage of everyone involved in the agency’s PR team—some of whom he has met before—and Katsuki’s marketing team—whom Izuku still hasn’t.
“What did they expect you to do? Eat children?!”
“The audacity of people to presume that your lack of patience at their incompetence in any way extends to your treatment of actual, literal kids!”
“So you’re not All Might! Why does that matter? No one else can be All Might! He’s retired and gone! You’re #1 pro hero Dynamight! How are you in any way, shape or form incapable of following the footsteps of the one person I KNOW for a fact you admired since you were FOUR!!”
“So you’re not the Symbol of Peace. Boo-hoo! Kids are HOOLIGANS! They love how vicious and feral you are and how you always WIN!
“Why on earth do they think schools and educators keep asking for you, if they didn’t think you’d do their children any good?? Do they think middle school PE teachers worry about the kind of truthful crap that comes out of your mouth or maybe they’re more concerned about whether you can motivate their students to focus on sports and maybe get scholarships for university??”
It went on for a while. Katsuki didn’t say anything until Izuku ran out of breath, but not quite of things to say. He finally stopped in the middle of the room, huffing, green eyes blazing with righteous fire.
“I take it, they have been getting invites for me to appear in schools?”
“Yes! Dozens and dozens every term! They all turn them down. All sorts of campaigns too! Anti-bullying. Women empowerment. Some farming cooperative that wants you to help them draw attention to a new kind of super beans that will save their industry!”
It suddenly occurred to Izuku that he may have stepped over the line with his boss. Katsuki was just looking at him. “Aren’t you mad?” Izuku asked. He was still on the edge of righteous ire, but calming down.
“You seem angry enough for both of us.”
Izuku flushed. “I hear what your detractors say about hero Dynamight,” he said, as if the person in front of him is different from the #1 hero. Too reckless. Too arrogant. Too concerned about numbers to actually care. “They don’t know you at all.”
Katsuki leaned forward, placing his hands on top of the desk, fingers interlaced together. “And you do?”
Izuku felt something in his stomach roil in mortification but he stood his ground. “I know you more than you think, Kacchan. I'll bet I know you more now than anyone else does.”
And the rest, as they say, is history.
The following day, there was a hastily arranged meeting between Katsuki and everyone involved in handling his image and likeness. Izuku had come with him. While knowing down to his bones that he was in the right, Izuku had been brought up too well by his mother and opened the meeting by bowing in apology to the agency’s PR team. Or at least, he had begun to. He found himself suddenly hauled upright by the scruff of his shirt and summarily shoved behind an obviously irritated Katsuki. Izuku has received many glares from him over the last two years—that one is still one of the worst he’s ever gotten.
Now, Izuku is charged with going through all requests for Bakugou Katsuki and/or pro hero Dynamight’s presence, be they actual event appearance, or ads, photoshoots or interviews. He’s not privy to the entirety of Katsuki’s work schedule. There are legal issues he cannot resolve on his own. But that’s not what Izuku is being tasked to do. In fact, both the folders in front of him already have a one-page summary from Legal okaying the terms as they are currently written, with notes on how some provisions could be better re-written for Katsuki’s protection.
Izuku is simply there to provide perspective: which of these many demands on Katsuki’s extremely limited, very valuable time is worth pursuing? Completely without meaning to, Izuku has successfully positioned himself as primary custodian of the ‘Bakugou Katsuki, pro hero Dynamight’ brand. Izuku would be very shocked to know how important he has suddenly become. Fortunately, or un-fortunately, for everyone—Izuku thinks he is simply doing his job.
Both endorsement contracts seem fairly straightforward. Both are lucrative, both non-controversial, both would benefit greatly from association with Bakugou Katsuki, and equally elevate his own status. Izuku didn’t particularly care for either company though, so he will leave it to Katsuki to decide—his own schedule permitting.
Izuku looks up from the folders and sees Katsuki standing behind his desk, looking out at the panoramic view of downtown Tokyo. His profile is exquisite. No wonder companies are knocking down his door trying to sign him up.
Izuku silently opens the camera bag he’s seldom without when there’s a chance he’ll see Katsuki, and manages to take a few candid shots before he notices and turns to face him. Izuku checks the display. They’re good. He needs to fix the lighting some but he can work on the raws later and post it on Katsuki’s social media—after he’s vetted it. Action shots are normally not a problem but a photo taken inside his office where sensitive information could be deduced by determined individuals requires stricter screening.
“You take really good photos,” Izuku says, still scrolling through the shots. “But then you already know that. You’re very handsome.”
Even before he was Dynamite, he had already modeled for his parents’ fashion brand. Izuku remembers him modeling even in grade school. It was never a job for him—he was too focused on being a hero—but he had sometimes been cajoled to appear in some photoshoots. The more he scowled at the camera, the better his photographs came out.
When he looks up again, Katsuki has walked over and is standing before him. He holds out his hand for the camera.
“It’s because of the angles,” Katsuki says, surprisingly calm for what has been a busy, stressful day for him. “Cheekbones, jawline, chin, nose. They capture light better, show better contrast than rounded features which bounce light all over. Has nothing to do with being handsome.”
He peers through the viewfinder and takes a picture of Izuku before he realizes what he’s doing.
“Ahh!! Kacchan. Not me, please,” he waves his hands in front of him, preventing more shots to be taken. “Rounded features, you said! I’ll just bounce all the light.”
Katsuki looks down at the display. “Sometimes it’s not about the light at all.”
There’s a polite knock on the door and when it opens, a young pro hero peeks in. He nods at Izuku, who irrepressibly waves back. His eyes flick back to Katsuki. “It’s time.”
Katsuki nods. He hands the camera back. “You better not fucking delete that, Deku. I’ll end you.”
Izuku sighs in resignation and checks it. His hair is impossible as always, but he’s pleasantly surprised at the rest of the photo. He was sitting when Katsuki had taken the shot. It shows him looking up at the camera, a soft, almost absent-minded smile on his lips. His freckles show up clearly on his skin. His eyes are very green.
Maybe he can get a copy of this. He looks happy.
The rest of the day goes much as Izuku planned. More errands for Katsuki, then back to his house to use the penthouse’s secure WIFI for some online shopping and bills payment.
Izuku has access to one of Katsuki’s credit cards, handed to him on his first week on the job.
“How much can I charge on this?” he had asked, which was a perfectly valid question! He didn't want to go over the limit.
Katsuki had just opened a report and was barely paying attention to him. “Why, you plan to buy a car with it?”
Izuku paled. Something about Katsuki’s tone implied, yes, it could be used to purchase a car. Izuku barely made rent most months. If he loses this card or it gets hacked, how would he ever pay it back? Oddly enough, he’d never worried about being tempted to use it. Or that he’d be accused of using it for himself.
In any event, it’s been two years and the credit card now has a specific slot in his wallet and is linked to his work phone. He uses it to pay for groceries and all other household expenses, like utilities, condominium fees, and the cleaning service. Apology flowers to his mom. At the end of each billing cycle, he takes money from one of Katsuki’s bank accounts and pays off the card. The only thing Izuku doesn’t pay is his own salary. Probably Katsuki’s AA is in charge of that.
They were supposed to have dinner at the elder Bakugous’ house tonight. The cancellation means Izuku would have to prepare dinner for Katsuki to eat when he gets home later. But also, it means he could go home earlier than he expected. Which is nice. It’s not easy taking care of Japan’s #1 pro hero.
Izuku is getting ready to leave when the lock on the front door opens. He stands stock still, cautious, his head quickly running through who would have keys to the penthouse. But it’s only Katsuki. He looks exhausted.
“Welcome home, Kacchan,” he says, surprised.
“I’m home,” Katsuki replies in equal surprise. The words sound stilted, like he’s not used to saying them anymore.
That somehow struck Izuku as very sad. He still says the words—even if there’s no one to respond anymore.
“You’re still here?”
“I was just about to leave.” He hefts the yellow backpack over his shoulders, as if to emphasize the point. “I thought you wouldn’t be home until later.”
Katsuki takes off his bag and hands it to Izuku, then sits on the genkan to take off his boots. Izuku hugs the bag to his chest.
“Someone used their brain for a change and we were able to go through the mess sooner than everyone expected. We could have gone to my parent’s house for dinner, after all.”
Izuku checks the time. It’s too late in the evening; they’d get there only to need to return home again. And they probably aren’t ready to receive dinner guests anymore, even if it’s just their son and his minion. But Katsuki is not known for being reasonable.
“Don’t look like that,” he says with a quirk to his lips. “I’m too fucking tired to go and you need to go home.”
“Okay, then,” Izuku says, feeling relieved.
Katsuki takes his bag from Izuku and walks away, past the entryway.
“I left your dinner ready for heating up later. But since you’re already here, it’s still warm, if you wanna eat now!” he calls to the retreating back.
“Did you make enough food for two?” he calls back over his shoulder.
Izuku didn’t. And he really should go home. He needs to be up again for work in 10 hours. Katsuki stops and looks back at him.
Izuku smiles. He drops his yellow backpack on the floor. “You’re big enough. I’m sure you can spare me some food,” he says as he walks towards Katsuki.
He follows him to the kitchen. The food is already laid out but there’s only one place setting on the island. Katsuki opens cabinets and drawers to get out one more. There are vegetables Izuku can easily steam—they won’t take much time—and there’s a melon he had intended to serve for tomorrow, but they can share it now.
There’s more than enough for two.