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A Place to Be

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"HA! Take that!"

The smack of rubber hitting rubber reached their ears, followed by a familiar crackle. Kirishima swat the attack away and swerved around the table to avoid a follow-up, eyeing the other's weapon with a grin.

"Dude," he said, "that is so cheating!"

"It's not my fault your quirk can't do something like this." Kaminari taunted, waving his static-cloaked hand.

His hand tightened around the legs of the toy. "Well, if that's how you're playing..."

Kaminari yelped as Kirishima launched himself over the table, ducking beneath the swipe and skittering back while batting away the second hit with his rubber chicken. Sparks flicked from his fingertips and Kirishima laughed, rearing back and shaking off the pinpricks of electricity. Around them their classmates cheered, egging the two on as they duelled.

"GOOOOOO KAMINARI!" Hagakure shouted, arms waving wildly.

"You've got this, Kirishima! Win!" Ashido whooped. The two boys grinned at their audience and Kaminari drove forward, sparks again flying. People came down the elevator and the stairs, attracted by the noise and the temptation of a meal, and most either sat on the sidelines or headed for the kitchen. Toshinori peered into the living room, took one look at the clamor, and sighed. What his students wouldn't do for a bit of amusement around here....

It was a serious fight for all intents and purposes, the duo giving their all as they dove beneath the other's strikes. A blow to Kirishima's arm was swatted away and followed by one headed for Kaminari's leg, which was carefully dodged and redirected by a burst of electricity. They both swung once more time, one chicken aimed for the shoulder and the other aimed for the side, everyone holding their breath with anticipation for what could possibly end this...

"Break it up, everyone," Inko called. "Lunch is ready!"

They all paused, Kirishima and Kaminari comically frozen in mid-strike. For a moment there was nothing but the clatter of dishes and the quiet tap of feet on the floor as Toshinori moved past, but soon they began to trickle towards the dining tables. All the tension from the mock-fight dissipated, replacing the serious air with laughter. The chickens were dropped on the couch as per Inko's orders, plates were passed out and set down, and soon the food was laid out, handed around and finished amid eager conversation.

"OK, but seriously." Kaminari leaned forward. "Between us, who do you think would've won that?"

"Sorry, Kaminari, but I think Kirishima had it," Yaoyorozu said. "He knows a lot more about hand-to-hand combat than you do, and even with your electricity, you can't aim it properly enough without your equipment for it to be a real advantage."

"Woo-hoo!"

"Aw, really?"

Hagakure seemed to tap her chin. "You could have tried shocking him through the chickens, but I thought rubber wasn't good for electricity?"

"It isn't," Jirou said, popping a sausage tip into her mouth.

"I don't know, I think Kaminari was doing pretty good back there!" Ashido said. "If the fight went on a little longer, he could have won."

"Either of them could've won if they kept going any longer, Ashido-chan," Tsuyu said. "That's why we're debating about it. If I have to give my opinion, though, I think they would've tied."

"Whaaaa- you expected such an anticlimactic ending?! No way, no, at the very least it should have gone something like this..."

Ashido nearly knocked a pitcher over in her exuberance as she animated how the fight could have gone and Inko smiled, turning away from the antics. "A co-worker needs me to fill in for them today, so I'm be leaving after lunch. I'll either be coming home late tonight or early tomorrow morning," she said, passing a plate of pancakes to a groggy Tokoyami. "You'll all be fine without me for the afternoon, right?"

"Of course!" Iida said, his arm narrowly avoiding the glass of juice in front of him. "Not a thing will go wrong, I'll make sure of it myself. You can go to work without a worry on your mind."

"Aizawa wants them in for training later anyway," Toshinori said. He gulped down more tea, clearing his throat. "We'll be fine for one day, Inko. It's as Iida says - no need to be concerned about us."

She smiled, piling some of the already empty dishes together with her own. "It's hardly my fault for that, considering what happened last time I picked up a shift on a free day." The cry of "we swear we didn't mean to!" was teasingly ignored as Inko stood up. "But if Aizawa and Toshinori are both here to look after you all, I'm sure you will be fine."

"Nobody tell her about the wrestling incident," Sero whispered when she turned to wash up. Everyone nodded in unison.

It was as quiet as the dorms got during lunchtime after that, Ashido still doing her dramatic reenactment of the chicken fight and roping the others into sparring with their forks. Kouda and Todoroki rose to help Inko clean while the rest lounged or stood to get changed for later.

"Before you go," Toshinori called out, "someone left the equipment out in the courtyard, and I'll need some help moving everything back into the storage shed."

"Oh!" Uraraka shot up from her seat, the chair teetering on its back legs. "Don't worry about it dad, we can handle it!"

"It's quite alright, Uraraka my girl, I just need a few extra hands is all. I can manage this much."

"Who forgot to put the stuff away again?" Mineta whined, following the slow-moving group towards the back door. "This is the third time this week!"

"We can figure that out later, Mineta." Tsuyu hopped past. "Right now, we have a job to do."

"It is starting to get a little old, though, you've gotta admit."

"Let's go put everything away for dad. Come on guys, chop chop!"

"Ah, wait for me!" Izuku swallowed the last of his lunch, shooting after them. "Sorry about the mess, Toshinori-san."

Toshinori ruffled his hair and gently pushed him towards his classmates. "Don't worry about it, my boy. Let's get going before they finish without us."

 


 

 

"Thank you for helping me; I'll finish locking up. You can all go clean up and get ready for training now. I won't ask who did it this time either, but do try to remember to clean up when you're finished the next time, alright?"

"Yes, Toshinori-san!"

"Yes, dad!"

Toshinori smiled as the kids scattered and filed back into the dorm building, friends bounding over to other friends and conversation springing through the air.

"Hey, Deku," Uraraka said, sliding up next to him, "do you mind if I ask you something?"

"Sure. What is it?"

"Well, I haven't really paid any attention to it before today, but I noticed you never seem to call sensei 'dad' like everyone else does."

Izuku blinked. ".......Huh?"

"You know... now that I think about it, you're right, Uraraka-kun," Iida said, glancing curiously between them. He slipped a wedge beneath the door, checking it was propped open before following them. "Though it's undoubtable there's a certain element of the relationship between you and sensei that the rest of us haven't yet achieved to the same extent, Midoriya, you've never seemed inclined to call him anything apart from his name, unlike the rest of our class."

"Exactly," Uraraka chirped, skipping ahead and walking backwards down the hall. "Now, Deku, you don't have to answer if you don't want to, but why don't you? I mean, I kind of thought you'd end up being the first one of us to, since you and dad are so close."

"Is it really that weird? Well..." Izuku paused, shoulders hunching slightly, "I don't think it's my place, really, if I just started calling him that out of nowhere. I mean, what if he doesn't want me to call him dad? T-that's not to say any of you guys are wrong or shouldn't do it!! But I don't want to impose on him by doing something like calling him that."

It was Iida and Uraraka's turn to blink at him now. "You've seen how happy he is whenever one of us calls him dad though, haven't you?" She asked, squinting at him. Her voice carried a hint of concern. "I mean, you'll never really know how he actually feels if you don't try it or ask him, right?"

Iida nodded. "Yes! I'm sure he'd be thrilled to hear you call him dad if you so chose to, Midoriya."

"I.... I just don't think I should. But I'll think about it. Later. Maybe." Izuku fidgeted, giving them a quick hesitant smile through the faint red growing on his face. "Come on, we should go get ready and head down to the gym before we're late."

Rounding the corner and all but sprinting through the doors, Izuku missed the look his friends exchanged with each other as they hurried after him, along with the quiet sigh that echoed between the others who had been listening to their conversation as they trailed behind.

"I don't think there are any two people more oblivious to each other's feelings than Midoriya and dad-sensei," Kirishima said, watching the three rush off.

Sero's shoulders sagged. "That feels like an understatement. I don't even understand how they've managed not noticing anything for this long."

"This whole thing is starting to drive me nuts," Hagakure piped up. "Do you think that we could convince them to just... say something?"

Tsuyu shook her head. "I doubt it. At this point, trying to force them like that would probably do more harm than good. You know how the two of them can be sometimes."

"All we can do at this point is try and get them to understand how they both feel about this and encourage them to be open about it with one another," Yaoyorozu said, brushing past them to pull the doors to the shared locker rooms open. The hall resounded with the quiet thump of the door against the far wall. "Until then, the best course of action would be to wait, alright?"

With the debate firmly ended the students were left to their thoughts as they filed inside, still lingering on the subject of their little makeshift family. How Izuku was the last one to realize Toshinori was already his dad in all but blood was entirely beyond them - really, could one person really not notice something so obvious? Idly, the class wondered what it would take for them to convince their classmate to see the look on their teacher's face whenever he was the last one left calling him 'Toshinori'.

 


 

The early evening air was round and crisp that day, cool enough to have a feeling but not so much to warrant a jacket. Still, the man strolling through the UA barrier with his temporary pass in hand barely seemed out of place despite the thick brown bomber he wore, clear smoke curling from his lips as he blew a short sigh. His hair was dark, sticking up in awkward lumps and spikes, his skin so pale it looked nearly white in the light despite the dusting of pink over his cheeks and the faint dots spattered across the bridge of his nose. As he moved towards the secretary in the main office, nodding in greeting, no concern in his actions or expression.

"Good evening!" He said, pleasant bravado in his voice and a charming smile on his face that failed to be out of place. "I'm here to visit someone currently living in the dorms, but I was informed I would need to check in with the main office beforehand?"

"That's correct, sir," the young man chirped, the name tag reading 'Florian' glistening in the fluorescent lights as his chair swiveled to face the computer. "Its simply a security measure we have in place for the students, don't you worry. If you'll please lend me your visitor's pass, I'll check you in and you can be on your way."

Handing the slip of paper over, he tapped absently on the underside of the desk, waiting as the click-clack of keys filled the near-empty room. He resisted the urge to bat at the stiff locks of hair poking at his cheeks and forehead in order to give his hands something more to do, instead settling to carefully blow them out of his face and dust off his jacket as the worker pulled up several files.

"Hmm, so you're...." Florian looked up, a smile curving on his lips. "Ah, your son gets most of his looks from his mother then, does he? She comes by so often it's rather difficult to miss the resemblance."

"Yes, he sure does! It's a shame my job has kept me so far from home, he looks in the mirror and finds his mom instead of me all the time!" They shared a laugh. "I heard she's been visiting him often, but I haven't had the chance to see him in such a long time so I thought I'd surprise both of them by stopping by today."

"I'm afraid the missus is out right now, but though I don't have their schedules I know the students haven't left the main grounds today, so you should be able to see him at least. You're aware of our policies on no quirk use on the grounds unless you require it in everyday life or unless you've been approved by UA, correct?" At the nod of affirmation, he slid the pass back over the desk, along with a small map. "Great! Just head outside this building from the front doors and take a right, then straight and turn on the second left. You'll come across the dorm buildings, which are labeled by class - 1-A's building is the first one."

"Thank you very much!" The man bowed, gathering the papers up and turning to leave.

"You're welcome!" Florian called after him. "Have fun visiting your son, Midoriya Hisashi."