Izuku, by all accounts, felt abandoned.
He had kind of known for a long time now, but this was the first time he was sure. He had thought his friend group hung out outside of school as a whole very rarely- turns out, they were hanging out as a whole group.
He just wasn’t part of it.
There they were, all together in a photo one of them had posted. Uraraka, Iida, Todoroki, Tsu, Momo, Tokoyami, and even Shoji. He wasn’t close with all of them, but some of his friends were.
And it hurt. Izuku was telling himself it didn’t, that it was actually a little bit funny, that they didn’t owe him their time. But in his chest, it still hurt. He still questioned what he did wrong, why nobody thought to invite him. He wondered if they forgot he could see photos they posted, or just didn’t care.
Izuku had online friends. He had Kacchan and his friends, and he had Hitoshi and Mei. He wasn’t alone, and if it ever got too hard with who he considered to be his closest friends, he knew he still wouldn’t be alone. Kacchan thought that it was unfair that he had been shut out from the group. Hitoshi, too.
Did Izuku really have a right to be upset, though? They had no responsibility to spend time with him. Nobody owed him anything.
He texted Kacchan.
can i come to your groups game night
Izuku tossed his phone down onto his bed. He didn’t need to prepare to cut his group off over this. There was probably a perfectly reasonable explanation. He was expecting the worst of everyone, and the only one preparing for these bridges to burn was him .
For that, he felt guilty. Izuku’s friends did not owe him all their time. What right would he have to terminate a friendship over some insecurity of his?
A knock sounded on his door. Izuku stood and opened the door, only to find Denki’s smiling face on the other side. They had a pint of ice cream and their laptop.
“Katsuki told me you were feeling down,” they told him. “I have ice cream and movies for you.”
Despite himself, Izuku felt a grin creeping up his face. “Come on in, Denki.”
Izuku acted normal in class with his friends. When game night rolled around, Izuku made his way to Kacchan’s room. He was welcomed in, and knew that if he were to establish himself here, they would take him in. Actually acknowledge him as one of them. Actually invite Izuku places with them.
Kacchan’s room had always been comfortable. Izuku brought his matching stuffed bear with him, since they always did when they visited the other’s room. It was tradition from back when they were having playdates booked for them.
He tossed it on the bed next to Kacchan and basically draped himself over the lap of his childhood friend. When Hitoshi arrived, he really did lay on Izuku. When Denki came next, they did the same. Sero chuckled as he pulled out his phone to take a photo of the four of them, and then a group photo: Izuku, Kacchan, Denki, Hitoshi, Jirou, Mina, Kirishima, and Sero himself squished into one big selfie, sodas and game boards strewn out around them.
When Sero posted the photos later that night, Izuku grinned. He had been included. He looked happy in the photos. Izuku hadn’t noticed Mina and Denki taking candid shots and selfies with everyone, which had been posted alongside the group photo. One showed Jirou, showing Kirishima how to hold her guitar properly. She had taken the time to teach everyone . Another was Izuku, shoving a fry into Kacchan’s mouth. Denki, chanting “chug, chug, chug!” to a very tired looking Hitoshi with a can of coffee. Mina and Kacchan, working together to stop him from drinking a third. Izuku, celebrating after winning a game. Him and Kacchan hugging.
It all seemed so safe . There was an unfamiliar kindness to it that wrapped Izuku in a blanket of warmth, and he managed to not think of what his other friends thought of him, if only for a few hours. He had a group that was watching out for him.
Izuku wasn’t alone.