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Boyfriend (Steal You From Him)

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Shōta’s not even sure why he’s here.

Here, of course, meaning at this godforsaken HPSC sponsored Hero’s Gala and not like here in an existential sense.

Shōta had determined he was only alive out of universal spite years ago.

Regardless, events had still led him to where he is now, settled at one of the few tables with an actual full view of the entire ballroom.  It also happens to be the one table close to but not directly in front of the balcony doors so Shōta’s back is against an honest-to-gods wall instead of a window.

It’s one of the more coveted spots in this particular ballroom and he’d dead stared Kamui Woods into giving the table up within fifteen seconds of arriving.  Which was surprisingly smart of him because Shōta had been more than ready to use actual force if necessary.

Especially since the only other acceptable table was across the hall and directly beside where Joke is currently holding court.  Fukukado is an excellent hero and teacher and while Shōta respects both of those things about her he’d also rather piss glass than spend the next two hours fending off her never-ending marriage proposals and insistent laughter.

Actually, faking a sudden and debilitating kidney stone sounds like an excellent way to get out of this entire thing now that Shōta’s thinking about it.  That or breaking one of the glasses on the table and giving himself a very real stab wound.  Either would work.

Although a stab wound in the right spot would get him out of wearing the suit Hizashi and Nemuri had practically shoved him into ever again.  Though he had, thankfully, managed to get away with loosening the crimson tie that had come with it once the drinking and dancing portion of the night had officially started.

Either way he’s about five seconds and one more braying laugh away from slingshotting himself directly out the window.

“There’s your boy,” Hizashi speaks up from beside him, voice low and smooth in that way it normally only is in private conversations or during rescue situations.

“He’s not a boy,” Shōta cuts back without thinking, unable to help the way he sits up just a bit and starts automatically scanning the room.

“Funny how you didn’t even need to ask who he meant,” Nemuri purrs from the other side of the table where she’s practically draped across her chair, the whisper masquerading as a dress she’s wearing somehow defying all known rules of gravity.  “But you’re right, he’s all man, Sho-chan.  Though I’m sure he’d be more than happy to be a ‘good boy’ for you.  And he’d look delicious doing it.”

Nemuri,” Shōta warns tightly.  She knows better than to head in the direction she’s currently going.

Not with Shōta.  Not now and not like this.

The one time she’d failed to heed his warning signs in this kind of situation it had ended in blows outside of a particular club Shōta no longer frequents.  Which had, of course, led to Hizashi wearing his most disappointed expression when he came to bail the both of them out of jail again.  He’d also made the both of them make a blood pact never to do it again and currently has the contract he’d forced them to sign framed in his office at UA.

“Fine, fine,” Nemuri waves him off, something like an apology in the dip of her head.  “I’ll keep my thoughts and everything else to myself.  For now.”

“Notice how he didn’t argue about him being his either,” Hizashi points out, shit-stirrer that he is despite his mother hen tendencies, one expertly polished nail tracing the rim of his martini glass.

“He’s not,” Shōta tells them all in what he knows is a futile attempt to nip this conversation in the bud even as his attention finally locks in on who everyone at the table knows they’re talking about.

He does his best to ignore the way those words taste thick and sour on the back of his tongue.

Because the truth is …

Sweetie,” Nemuri sighs at him, a more genuine and fond sort of exasperation in her voice as she sips her drink.  “He’s been yours since the day you met.  We all saw it, Sho-chan.  There are only two people in this entire room who’ve seen you two within ten feet of each other and still think otherwise and neither of them are sitting at this table.”

“If he was mine,” Shōta grits out, hand tightening around his own glass, “he’d be here instead of over there with him.”

“Well from the looks of it he’s not sitting with anybody at the moment and he’s just as miserable about that as you are,” Hizashi speaks up again as he peers at Shōta from over the top of his rose-colored glasses.  “I’m pretty sure the only reason why he’s not sitting over here with all of us like he should be is because you haven’t walked over there and straight up told him it’s an option yet.”

Shōta goes still.

Because the truth is …

“Sho,” the hand Hizashi lays on his arm is gentle but firm, “get off your ass and go get him before he slips through your fingers for good.”

There’s a moment of thick silence.

Shōta tosses back the rest of his drink.

He gets up.

“Don’t use protection,” Nemuri chimes in mischievously, drink already raised in his direction

Shōta flicks a rude gesture in her direction but, more importantly, he goes.

Because the truth is, they’re not wrong.

~~~

Standing just inside the ballroom doors, Izuku knows exactly why he’s here.

He’s here at this godsforsaken HPSC sponsored Hero’s Gala for a number of reasons.

One is because Nedzu himself had asked Izuku to attend during their last lunch meeting.  Izuku, who admires, respects, and fears Nedzu like any rational person should but also genuinely likes him as a person, hadn’t been able to turn him down.  Even if he’s beginning to believe he’s somehow been duped since he’s seen neither hide nor hair of Nedzu the entire night.  And likely won’t be judging by the telling lack of screaming or people rushing out of the ballroom in tears or terror.

There’s sure to be an excellent explanation for his absence though.  Izuku can’t see why Nedzu would have gone through the trouble of making sure that Izuku would come only to then not show up without a good reason.  Especially since Nedzu had gone as far as having a brand new and obviously perfectly tailored suit delivered to Izuku’s supposedly secure house this morning just for the occasion.  Including a pair of brand new dress shoes that Izuku has already cried over more than once.

They’re a deep, rich red in color and wide enough that they don’t pinch Izuku’s toes.  Just looking at the Primordial™ logo that’s been embossed on the heel had been enough to send Izuku into fresh hysterics.  He’s more than aware of the kind of price tag those shoes carry and he’s never been able to justify the cost of them, not even with the kind of money he’s making nowadays.

A leftover behavioral trait from a childhood where money had always been tight, no doubt.  From the days when being able to afford the sneakers he’d grown up in had been enough of a burden on his mom’s budget that Izuku had worn every single pair until they’d literally fallen apart.  In those days something as frivolous as dress shoes that actually fit him had never even been a dream.

So, yeah, Izuku absolutely plans on dropping by UA tomorrow to visit Nedzu in person to get an explanation and to drop off a fresh batch of his homemade cheddar biscuits as a thank you for the gifts.  Of all the baked goods Izuku has taken to bringing to their lunch dates, those are obviously Nedzu’s favorites even if he’s never outright admitted it.  Just like Nedzu has a particular chocolate tea blend Izuku would do unspeakable things for.

The second reason for why he’s currently stuck in this ballroom is because Izuku had skipped the last three Galas in a row.  Hifumi-san, his PR manager and the scariest woman Izuku has ever met, has been threatening to hunt him for sport if he skipped this one too.  He’s had at least two messages from her about this thing every single day ever since the invitation had arrived in the agency mail six weeks ago.

And the third reason …

The third reason is a little more complicated than Izuku wants to admit.  

Okay, a lot more complicated if he’s actually being honest.

Because the third reason is a person.

A person who is very much not Izuku’s actual boyfriend and supposed current date but whom Izuku had found himself searching for the moment he’d stepped inside.  Someone who the very thought of makes a part of him almost vibrate in anticipation.

Which is a fact that makes a certain sort of guilt swirl to life in Izuku’s stomach as he forces himself to turn his eyes back to his phone instead.

Because Izuku and Kacchan have been dating for a little over two years now but for the last six months …

For the last six months Kacchan hasn’t been the man Izuku’s mind keeps getting caught on.

No, that honor goes to someone else entirely.

Someone like Aizawa Shōta, the Eraserhead and Demon-sensei of UA himself.

The man that Izuku is pretty sure he’s actually in love with.

~~~

Shōta weaves his way through the crowd around the dancefloor, unable to not be pleased with the way so many people take one look in his direction and immediately scatter.

His target is exactly where he’s been since he walked all the way into the ballroom, sitting alone at a corner table, shoulders slightly rounded as he swipes half-heartedly at his phone.

The sight makes Shōta want to break something.

Or, more accurately, someone.

“Sensei,” a smooth voice calls out just as familiar purple hair steps into Shōta’s line of vision.  “Can I have this dance?”

Shōta just stares at Hitoshi who, little shit that he is, just stares right back.

“I will hurt you,” Shōta tells him evenly.

“Physically, financially, spiritually, or emotionally?” Hitoshi tosses back.  “Clarification is only logical right?”

“All of the above and then some if you don’t move,” Shōta clarifies.

“Fair enough,” Hitoshi bobs a slow nod at him but very tellingly doesn’t actually move out of Shōta’s way.  Instead, he just stands there, slouching in his obviously thrown-together suit with his hands in his pockets.

“What. Do. You. Want?” Shōta bites each word out slowly.

“In general? A medically induced coma for at least seventy-two hours, a swimming pool of money, and the ability to pet every cat,” Hitoshi shrugs just a bit.  “But right now I’m pretty sure the same thing that you do.”

Considering what, exactly, Shōta wants right at this minute he feels justified in the way he feels his quirk flare, heat building behind his eyes.

Woah,” Hitoshi’s suddenly a lot more active, hands coming out of his pockets to wave in front of him as he takes a single but very telling step backward.  “Put the demon eyes away, Sensei.  If you’re gonna kill me please don’t let me die in an actual suit.  I wanna go out as I came into this world, naked and with a cup of coffee.”

Hitoshi,” Shōta grits out.

Yeesh,” Hitoshi finally huffs.  “You’re so uptight.  Glad that’ll be fixed soon.”

Shōta is about five seconds away from revisiting Hitoshi’s UA days.  By which he means he’s going to show this little shit just how easy it is for Shōta to strangle him with his own arms since the lesson apparently didn’t sink in the first seventy times.

“So you’re finally gonna make a move right?” Hitoshi asks then.

The question cuts across the air between them.

What.”

“Look,” Hitoshi sighs, something serious settling in his expression, “Zu’s my friend.  My best friend.  Getting arrested with him at that rally was literally one of the best things to ever happen to me.”

Shōta finds his attention zeroing back in on his former protege because this is a level of absolute seriousness he’s only ever seen from Hitoshi when they’re both working a case.

“I don’t like Bakugō,” Hitoshi keeps going.  “Never have, never will, and I’m not gonna pretend otherwise.  He’s an entitled bastard and even if I don’t know all the details, what I do know is that he doesn’t treat Zu right.  I knew it from the first time I saw the two of them together and that hasn’t changed.  I’m not saying he’s abusive or anything but … it’s toxic, whatever it is that’s between them.  Zu deserves better than that.”

Shōta can’t help but nod his head just a bit because those are all points he absolutely agrees with.

Seeing those two interact never fails to set off red flags of various kinds in the back of Shōta’s mind and not all of them are related to his more intimate feelings.

“But, well, you know Zu well enough by now, you know how loyal he is,” Hitoshi grins just a bit, a small wiry thing practically dripping in fondness.  “Even when it isn’t necessarily good for him.  Especially then, really.”

Shōta does in fact know.

Hell the entire hero community does by this point.  Endeavor getting his nose broken in the middle of a police station over one off-the-cuff remark towards Shōto had been rather telling and the gossip had spread fast and far.

Shōta might have been the one to restrain Dekiru that evening but it hadn’t honestly been because he’d wanted to.  In fact, he’d ended up spending the rest of the evening having a rather detailed and entertaining conversation with Dekiru about everything from his capture scarf’s construction to the migratory patterns of certain seals.

Shōta still isn’t sure how they’d gotten from one topic to the other and he’d actively participated in the conversation for once.

All of that aside though, Shōta isn’t afraid to admit that that day, seeing the way righteous and protective fury had lit those green eyes up so brightly and then getting to watch one-on-one as that quicksilver mind darted around from topic to topic, had been the precise moment his attention had been thoroughly captured.

“He makes himself less when he’s with Bakugō,” Hitoshi tells him carefully, expression twisting briefly in displeasure.  “He does that with a lot of people, with most people really, at least in the beginning, but with Bakugō … with him it’s somehow more.  Deeper.  And it’s just getting worse.”

Shōta knows that too and he has hated it, has hated the way Izuku always seems to fold into himself just a bit whenever Bakugō is around, from the very first time he’d seen it happen with his own eyes.

“But,” Hitoshi rolls his shoulders, seemingly shaking off his heavier thoughts, “the one person I’ve never seen him do that with is you.”

Shōta can’t help the way something preens just a bit in the back of his head even as his heart twists.

“He’s been unhappy for a long time,” Hitoshi says softly.  “But I’ve never seen him smile brighter than when the two of you are talking or when he’s talking about you.  Never seen you happier either, you know?”

Hitoshi grins then, a wide and teeth-filled thing.

“We’ll buy you as much time as we can,” he tells Shōta as he nods his head towards the left. “So get him out of here.  And Sensei?  Once you’ve got your hands on him?  Don’t let him go.”

Shōta looks in the direction Hitoshi had nodded and a part of him isn't all that surprised to see a determined looking Todoroki Shōto cutting a path through the crowd.  He’s striding directly towards the opposite end of the ballroom where Bakugō, back to Shōta’s current position, is busy holding court with Kirishima and a few more of Shōta’s former students.

What does surprise him is the way that more than one of Shōta’s former hellions take the time to subtly raise a glass or nod in Shōta’s direction when Bakugō isn’t paying attention.

Shōta would almost be proud of them for pulling off what looks like a full-scale operation in the middle of an HPSC Gala if he, and the lovelife he still can’t believe he’s attempting to have, hadn’t somehow ended up being part of it without being informed.

Brat,” is all Shōta bothers to mutter as he takes a step forward and cuffs Hitoshi lightly on the back of the head.

Hitoshi just grins and finally steps out of Shōta’s way. 

~~~

Izuku does his best to tamp down the loneliness and the small burble of resentment that rises up inside of him as he sits alone at the table he’d chosen.

Kacchan had already been inside the ballroom and fully occupied when Izuku arrived.  He’d only replied to Izuku’s arrival text by telling him to ‘hurry the fuck up and get inside, you’re always fuckin late’ before ignoring every text Izuku had sent him afterward.

Instead of moving immediately to Kacchan’s side as he normally would have, something had prompted Izuku to hold back.  And from where he’d been standing earlier he’d had a perfect view of the way Kacchan had checked his phone, rolled his eyes, and then stuffed it back into his pocket without bothering to reply.

The next two times Izuku had texted him after that Kacchan hadn’t even bothered to do that.

It hurt a lot more than Izuku thought it should have and yet less than it used to.

Kacchan had been giving him the cold shoulder for the past week.  Just as he did the year before when the new rankings came out.  At least they hadn’t outright fought about it this time but a part of Izuku can’t help but almost wish they would have.

Even the screaming match they’d had the last time Dekiru had placed higher than Ground Zero in the ranking would have been better than the oppressive and yet somehow derisive silence Kacchan has been treating him to this week.

Izuku can’t help but wonder if, maybe, that very first argument they’d had over hero rankings might be one of the reasons why he’s feeling the way he is now.

If that flare of rage and resentment he’d seen in Kacchan then, so reminiscent of their younger years, might be why Izuku hasn’t allowed himself to take the next step in his relationship with Kacchan no matter what hints or demands he might drop.

If maybe, just maybe, that might be the real reason why Izuku hasn’t told Kacchan the truth about the torch Toshinori-sensei had passed down to him.  Or about any of the more grizzly and unpublished details of the three-year apprenticeship Izuku had served under All Might while Kacchan had been at UA.

Maybe that’s why, in the two years that they’ve been dating, Kacchan still hasn’t spent the night at the house Toshinori-sensei had left Izuku before he and Inko had moved to one of the richer and more relaxed wards to live out their retirement years together.  Why all of their dates and sleepovers and time spent together privately have always been in Kacchan’s apartment instead.

Izuku, despite how happy he’d been in the beginning to finally have Kacchan back in his life in a way that seemed more equal than it had ever been, has never been able to take those final steps.

He thinks that maybe, at the very core of the matter, that might be why.

Those flashes and bursts of temper that Kacchan couldn’t, wouldn’t, always control, the ones that showed Izuku that, in a lot of ways, Kacchan still hasn’t grown up in all of the ways that Izuku has over the years.

Still hasn’t learned all of the lessons Izuku has as both a hero and a person.

So maybe, when it really comes down to it, all of that might play into how, despite the way loyalty has always been something he’s valued so highly, Izuku had found it almost easy to fall in love with someone else.

Which really just brings Izuku back around to what he knows he needs to do.

He’s been putting it off for months now, ever since he’d realized that what he was feeling for Aizawa Shōta wasn’t just admiration or friendship.

He should have stepped up and broken things off with Kacchan the very moment he’d realized that the one he really wanted to be kissing was someone besides his boyfriend.

But Izuku hadn’t.

He’d thought …

Well he’d thought maybe it was just a crush, some leftover hero-worship exacerbated not only by Hitoshi’s tales but by all the extra time he’d recently found himself spending with Aizawa.  He’d been sure he’d be over it before too long and would, instead, settle into a friendship with Aizawa just as smoothly as he had with Shōto and the others after Hitoshi had introduced them all.

Hell he’d even ended up meeting Aizawa for the first time in a similar way as he had with Hitoshi.

But every lunch or tea invitation Nedzu had sent out that had, somehow, ended up with Izuku in the UA staff room talking with Aizawa afterward had just made it worse.

And then those afternoon talks had quickly moved into Izuku going out for drinks with him, Yamada, and Kayama after their classes had ended and, for once, not feeling some level of awkwardness.  Or he’d somehow end up at a cat cafe or back at one of their apartments for takeout and movies, always inevitably squished onto the couch right beside Aizawa himself.

Before Izuku had really been aware it was happening he’d found himself comfortable with the three of them.  So comfortable that it had almost seemed natural when Yamada had become Hizashi, Kayama had become Nemuri, and Aizawa had rather firmly and insistently become Shōta.

So comfortable in fact that, on one particularly memorable occasion, Izuku had found himself cooking dinner for the four of them at his own house.  Something that had previously been a thing Izuku had only really done for himself, Shōto, and Hitoshi.

Izuku has always been a clingy, yearning type of person for all that he’d spent his entire childhood some type of lonely, and even though he knows Shōta only sees him as a friend, before he knew it, Izuku was just gone.

And, for the first time in his life, it was Izuku who was in the position to turn to look at Kacchan and find him wanting.

The fact that Izuku hadn’t ended their relationship then and there is a certain type of guilt that he’ll have to deal with on his own.

One way or another.

Either by finally breaking things off with Kacchan altogether or by forcing himself to set his feelings for Shōta aside and finding a way to make things work.

But, for now it’s probably time for him to stop feeling sorry for himself and finally go mingle a bit instead.

Only, when Izuku pushes himself up from his chair and slips his phone into his pocket so he can make his way to Kacchan, a familiar hand wraps itself around his wrist and stops him in his tracks.

“Don’t,” Shōta, looking almost too good in a fitted suit with his tie loose around his neck and his top two buttons undone, is suddenly in Izuku’s space.

The hold he has on Izuku’s wrist is firm but gentle and, unlike with almost literally everyone else, his hold doesn’t make Izuku want to come out of his skin.

Having his wrists and throat touched is something Izuku’s never been able to handle, not since the nightmare that was middle school, but with Shōta

Well he’s already proven to be an exception to a number of Izuku’s other rules so what’s one more in the scheme of things?

“Shōta?” Izuku tilts his head back a bit to look him in the face.

Don’t,” Shōta repeats as he steps even further into Izuku’s space.

“I don’t …,” Izuku trails off, brow furrowed just a bit in confusion because he’s not really sure what, exactly, Shōta is talking about.

“You were about to go over there, to Bakugō,” Shōta nods his head in the direction where Kacchan is currently in what looks to be a heated discussion with Shōto while everyone else around them watches with surprising intensity.  “I’m asking you not to.”

Oh,” Izuku nibbles at his bottom lip, unable to hold eye contact.  “He’s my … and we haven’t … I should-I should go see him.”

“Is he really?” Shōta asks then.

“What?”

“Is he really your anything?” Shōta clarifies.

The question is enough to have Izuku’s head jerking up in surprise.

Of course he is,” Izuku practically squeaks out.  “We’ve been together for two years, Shōta.  You know that.”

“Maybe,” Shōta shrugs just a bit.  “But the way I see it, if you were really with him, if you were really his and he was really yours, I wouldn’t have found you over here all alone in the first place, glued to your phone and looking miserable.  He wouldn’t be ignoring you like the petty little asshole we both know he is.”

Izuku can’t help the way reflexive tears spring up in his eyes at hearing what he knows has been happening be confirmed from someone else.  Especially since that someone is Shōta of all people.

“Hey now,” Shōta’s voice softens then, free hand coming up to brush his knuckle across the arc of Izuku’s cheek.  “Don’t do that.  Not over him.  Not anymore.”

“Sorry,” Izuku mumbles.  Being a bit of a cry-baby is something that Izuku hasn’t been able to grow all the way out of so far and looking at Inko his future’s not looking too good either.

“Don’t be,” Shōta tells him.

For a short moment they just stand there together.

“You deserve better,” Shōta finally breaks the silence.  “Better than him, better than how he is with you.”

“I-” Izuku isn’t sure what, exactly, he was going to say but it doesn’t really matter because Shōta cuts him off.

“I’m not gonna stand here and tell you all the ways he’s not good enough for or to you,” Shōta presses.  “You know them by now even if you haven’t admitted it.  But I am going to give you some advice and an offer.”

Izuku is riveted, body frozen and heart pounding fit to burst in his chest.

“I could be a better boyfriend than him,” Shōta says as he presses even further into Izuku’s space, their shoulders touching and the wrist he’s still holding onto pressed between their hips.  “If you want, if you’ll let me.  So leave here with me tonight instead.”

Izuku’s breath catches in his throat.

Shōta bends down enough that his lips brush against Izuku’s temple before he’s whispering directly in Izuku’s ear.

“Everything he won’t do for you or with you,” Shōta pauses, presses a kiss against the shell of Izuku’s ear, “or to you, I’ll do it instead.  Trust me, kitten, I can keep up with you.”

Shōta pulls back enough to bring his free hand up so he can cup Izuku’s chin in his palm, his thumb brushing lightly over the slight pout of Izuku’s bottom lip.

“Let me steal you from him,” Shōta grins then, a sharp slash of teeth.  “I’ll even let you wear the scarf.”

Breathless, Izuku gives himself a split second to just exist in this moment.

And some part of him decides then and there that for once, he's going to be completely and utterly selfish.

Izuku’s phone is in his hands before he really has to think about it as he sends a text that’s been haunting his drafts for months now.

“I’m all yours,” Izuku tells Shōta, a small smile finally beginning to blossom across his face.  It feels as if a weight he hadn't even been aware he was carrying has been shed from his shoulders.

“Oh kitten,” Shōta laughs just a bit, deep and husky.  “Better be careful saying things like that, because I’m absolutely going to hold you to it.”

~~~

Arm planted firmly around Izuku’s shoulders, fingers tapping idly at his collarbone, Shōta takes the time to shoot an eye roll and a little two finger wave in Hizashi and Nemuri’s direction as they head towards the exit.

The two idiots, still at the table from earlier, are busy cheering, glasses raised, in Shōta and Izuku’s direction.

Shōta hears a loud and familiar angry screech somewhere behind him but doesn’t bother to turn back around.

He has better things to keep himself occupied with now.

And just like Hitoshi had said earlier, Shōta has no intention of letting Izuku go now that he’s got him.

~~~

Later, sweaty and dazed and feeling more blissful than he’d honestly ever thought possible, Izuku blinks up at Shōta as he helps him take small sips of water from a bottle.

“Thought you said I could wear the scarf,” he finds himself rasping out once he’s had his fill.

“I guess I did say that, didn't I?” Shōta asks as he sets the water aside with one hand even as he flexes the other.

The scarf tightens around Izuku’s wrists and ankles, holding him in place with a delicious sort of pressure he’s pretty sure he’s going to be craving for the rest of his life.

“And technically,” Shōta grins then, all heat and bite, as he moves back over Izuku, “you are.”

All Izuku can do is huff out a laugh and give himself over to Shōta’s tender mercies again.

Somewhere in the room Izuku’s phone keeps buzzing just like it has for the past couple of hours.

But neither of them notice.