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While You Were Sleeping

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AFTER SLEEPING

 

If Todoroki Shouto was asked to explain what happened while he was sleeping and how it led to this wedding, he honestly wouldn’t know where to start.

Shouto looked through the merrymaking that surrounded him, seeing his friends in happy celebration, clinking glasses and dancing with varying levels of skill as colorful lights shifted in the dark. Somewhere in the room, there was a photographer and members of the press.

A wedding. Marriage. Between Bakugou and Agent Deku – Izuku. And here Shouto stood, in the middle of it all.

Who would have thought?

The truth was that of the many things that Shouto struggled with in his life, Marriage was the most troublesome. His own issues aside, he couldn’t help but reflect on it was marriage that had trapped his own mother into the orbit of his oppressive father –another issue that he wasn’t even ready to get into.

Perhaps that was why he had chosen to join the Illegal Quirk Marriages mission months ago. Shouto just didn’t understand how anyone would leave themselves open in such a vulnerable position like that, when he’d seen how badly it could go wrong; couldn’t fathom trusting or letting somebody in that much.

Of course, that had all begun to change when he met Agent Deku during the operation.

He had been nothing more than a voice at first, a warm and steady presence in his ear. He was both reassuring and compelling, enabling him to face the mission, but never backing down when he believed Shouto could do better. Deku’s voice had shown Shouto how to understand quirks and discover secret passages; it kept him company during stakeouts with stories about the antics of his cat; it gave him no bullshit when it came to his quirk, both ice and fire.

And Deku’s voice had braced him and kept him standing when he finally saw the people that their operation saved: victims of forced marriages, all brokered for the sake of their quirks.

Yes, Deku had been nothing more than a voice at first, but he had become the most human interaction that Shouto had, the only one who was there when Shouto was left raw, open and uncertain. And that was before he had even met the man.

So it was a particular shock for Shouto to wake up to the unbelievable news that not only had he been in an accident and a coma, but that he was also engaged to be married to Deku.

 

It was enough of a surprise to put a face to Deku’s voice – to be introduced to this wide-eyed green-haired boy with a bright smile that you couldn’t look away from; whose voice still told him, ‘You’re okay now. You are not alone’ as he touched Shouto’s hand.

But to find out that he had only agreed to an inexplicable engagement in order to protect Shouto this whole time?

(Why would anyone do that? And why me?)

It had been Bakugou, of all people, who surprisingly gave Shouto the answer that he should have known from the very start.

His most inscrutable classmate, both his rival and his equal – accomplished, talented and ambitious, explosive yet impassive. He gave his all for the things he cared about, but in some ways, he was just as removed from his deepest emotions as Shouto was. And yet, when it came to Deku—

“Say what you want about Deku, but he is just as much, if not even more of a hero than anyone else I know.” Bakugou had said when Shouto was trying to come to terms with the engagement. “Anyone can see it. And even if you don't remember him, if you could see even a small part of what even our dumbest friends took only seconds to see in him, then you should marry him now, regardless of everything else.”

“Even I,” and here, Bakugou seemed to choke on his own words, “even I can see it.”

“I see him.”

Shouto remembered the look on Bakugou’s eyes as he said those words. Remembered thinking, Bakugou, of all people, even he had become changed by this.

Remembered thinking, he at least had to try with this man who had done so much for him, even though he didn’t understand his own heart – knew at least, that it was far from ready.

Yet somehow, it all finally fell into place when Deku spoke to him – when it was him who offered to not marry Shouto despite what everyone else was saying, because he understood, more than anyone else, what Shouto felt.

“You and I both know how hard it is to live up to an idea.”

And that was an enormous relief: that deepened breath that Shouto had not even known that he was holding until he could surface for air, like a new lease at life. The kindness from this man, who knew Shouto’s heart even better than he did, who instinctively put others first before himself.

And Shouto remembered understanding what it was that Bakugou was talking about, when he said that this man was a hero.

He remembered vaguely making the connection, Bakugou would marry this man himself if he had the chance – then dismissing it, not realizing how close to the truth he actually was.

“My name is Midoriya Izuku,” Agent Deku had said, at the last. “It’s nice to finally meet you.”

The irony of it all was that it was in that moment that Shouto fully realized how truly special Midoriya Izuku was – this voice, this person, who had been kind to him, who understood him from the start. It was through him that he began to realize that there were people whom you could trust, who you could afford to open yourself up to, because they wanted nothing more than what’s best for you.

It was through Izuku choosing to not oblige Shouto into marrying him, that he understood why he could want to marry him.

Maybe it was linked to that other inexplicable thing that Shouto was also only beginning to understand: love.

And for all that Shouto had yet to learn about love, it wasn’t hard to recognize it, once he had his first inklings of it – not just in the friendship that Izuku, Yaoyorozu and his classmates had shown him throughout this whole episode, but in how Bakugou had denied his own heart to Shouto for the sake of Izuku’s happiness, how Izuku in turn wanted to tell Bakugou the truth even though it hurt; in how Izuku kept waiting for Bakugou to come back when the man walked away from him.

I need to do it this time, Shouto-kun. To do what makes me happy; and to be with the person I love.

And what else could Shouto do when he realized that Izuku was also in love with Bakugou, but return the favor and put their happiness first?

 

His thoughts were interrupted by applause. At the wedding, people were turning towards the side as the men of the hour came up to the dance floor: Bakugou Katsuki, looking as happy as Shouto had ever seen him, smirked as he allowed a giggling Midoriya Izuku to pull him into a slow dance.

Shouto was unable to help a smile himself when, after all of the fanfare, the awkward dance moves and the teasing, Bakugou enfolded his new husband into his arms and tucked his head under his chin, a rare tender look on his face as he closed his eyes and whispered softly to Izuku.

Here, Shouto remembered what happened months ago, when he had staged an intervention and finally got Bakugou to finally recognize the truth about Izuku’s feelings for him. Kirishima, who had been waiting outside the whole time, then eagerly joined them and asked.

“So, are you finally going to ask Midoriya out?”

“Ask him out?” Bakugou had given him an incredulous look. “I’d known him ever since we were kids. I’d met his cat, seen his embarrassing videos and watched his fanboy antics. I'd hurt him and seen him stand back up again. I've seen him cry, and I've seen him fight back.”

His voice suddenly fell soft, “And now, I have the opportunity to fix the things I messed up, when I thought I'd fucked up my chances forever. Now, I know that despite everything, I might actually have a shot at being with him, because that idiot hero of nerd is stubborn enough to actually love me back.”

“Of course, I’m not asking Deku out.” He spat out the last word, shaking his head as a determined gleam began to light up his eyes.

And for once, Shouto understood.

“I’m asking him to marry me.”

 


 

3 MONTHS AFTER SLEEPING 

Being surprised was something Mei should already be familiar with.

She made a good living out of discovering things, and frequent epiphanies were kind of Her Thing. However, there were moments in her life when she would suddenly pause and realize that something she never would have predicted was actually happening before her very eyes.

Like here, now. Standing in her lounge, surrounded by more guests than she’d ever welcomed to her place before – playing host to her friends in a long-anticipated ‘Showdown of the Ages’ to show who had ‘true gaming superiority’ between Monoma and Uraraka tag-teaming on the one side, and Iida on the other, with Izuku as support.

On a taiko drum video game.

“Prepare to meet your Master, A-gumi class Rep!”

“So… we’re at the mandatory bad trash talking part.” Mei sighed with mock seriousness as Monoma waxed on. “How exciting. I should make myself comfortable with some popcorn

“I still can’t believe we’ve never chilled out here before!” Kaminari confided next to her as he stared at Mei’s multimedia setup. “Your place is amazing, Hatsume.”

“Yeah, I’m still amazed that you have three-floor loft.” Ashido gushed, awed. “I guess that’s what being a genius inventor gets you!”

“I told you,” Shinso drawled as he came to them, handing them glasses of raspberry cooler. “Her place is a cave of wonders. You haven’t even seen her mini-workshop upstairs yet. This is why Midoriya and I always prefer to hang out here instead.”

“Huh.” Mei had to pause at that too. Making friends hadn’t always been easy for her, and it hadn’t even occurred to her when she began to let her two closest friends into her private sanctuary – they were just there before she knew it; Shinso and Izu singing and dancing along to videos on her TV (which she then upgraded into a custom-built entertainment and gaming system, because she was just kickass that way), making a mess of her kitchen (Izuku was the least disastrous cook of them all, but she mixed the meanest cocktails) and testing her pet projects in her home workshop.

It was therefore surprising, how natural it was to then extend her world to the growing number of people in their lives, now that they were getting to know them more.

“Well, who else do you think could have set us up for this Epic Battle, if not for me?” She grinned.

She then turned to give Iida a word of support, and was surprised to see him already smiling at her, his lips quirked in a determined grin.

“We’ll make sure to give you a battle to remember then.” His brow rose rakishly as he gave her a blink-and-you’ll miss it wink, and he turned back to his competitors with a glint in his eye.

She was surprised to find herself breathless all of sudden. Oh.

“Show me what you’ve got, Monoma-kun, Uraraka-kun.”

“Let’s go!” Uraraka yelled as the song in the game started, and a quick rhythm started playing.

Mei found herself watching as Iida’s steely gaze went to the screen, the muscles in his arms straining as he confidently hit each note. She watched the sharp angle of his chin as he bounced to the beat in minute movements, his dark hair swaying in a subtle dance. She swallowed.

Mei had met all sorts of boys before, and was hardly surprised anymore by what she found attractive. Her approach to dating was the same as her nature: daring and experimental. From enigmatic pretty boys and egocentric geniuses to wild adventurers, she’d pretty much had a handle on how to deal with them (or to deploy her boys as backup if needed).

Iida Tenya, though, was in many ways the most surprising person she had ever met.

He had a reputation for being upright and highly principled to the point of stubbornness. But Mei could never forget how it was him who let her get away with taking advantage of their First Year Sportsfest match to advertise her then-unknown Babies. She also knew that he was one of the UA students who were unofficially involved in taking down the Hero Killer Stain, before he even had his provisional hero license. As Re-Ingenium, he had become one of the youngest (and most beloved) Agency heads, leading Team Idaten as soon as he graduated, yet here he was Living His Best Life while playing a simple arcade game. He was also one of the first people in class 3-A to accept and forgive Izu after the deception of his engagement to Todoroki was revealed. He was a walking contradiction.

This was a man who was amazing and remarkable, but was strong enough to take on any challenge and break all the rules when needed. 

That was partially why Mei had said ‘yes’ when he asked to be her date at Izu’s wedding.

She had been surprised that he’d even asked, given the way he used to complain about her infamous single-mindedness during their school days. Nevertheless, he seemed genuinely interested in getting to know her more, and he had been nothing but gentlemanly during the wedding, where he was a class act in how he effortlessly stepped in to support her whenever she was distracted by her Best Woman Mission to Deliver the Best Wedding Ever. And at the end of the night, when she’d been dead on her feet, he had even managed to coax a dance or two out of her. (“Hatsume-san, even Todoroki is dancing right now with Yaoyorozu-san. It’s your turn to enjoy. Now, shall we dance?”)

(She may or may not have tried to kiss him that night, after a glass or two of champagne. Part of her wondered if it all had all just been her imagination.)

“How’s it going, Monoma-kun?” Iida let out in a deceptively casual voice as the song began to escalate in its rhythm. “Suddenly finding it hard to keep up with the Class Rep?”

…and for some reason, he looked really good while hitting the drum with those sticks.

Yes, Iida Tenya was also physically attractive. Objectively speaking. Even out of his hero costume, Mei had seen others pausing to get an eyeful of Iida’s tall, broad shoulders, that chiseled body… and she wouldn’t even know where to begin with those thighs.

Her sudden thirst surprised even herself.

Have I really only been on one date with this guy?

“Like hell!” Monoma gritted out in response. “I’m not letting you win!”

“This is my videogame protégé you’re talking about!” Izu bragged next to Iida.

“Please tell me,” a dry voice suddenly interrupted Mei’s thoughts, “that that idiot jumping around like a mad bunny isn’t the man I just married.”

Mei whirled around to see Bakugou Katsuki, who, clad in his usual tank top and jeans, looked like he had just come straight out of his latest patrol at work, followed by a grinning Kirishima Eijirou. He was frowning at Izuku, who just waved cheerfully at him. “Kacchan!”

“Ah,” Mei grinned as she welcomed her best friend’s new husband with a hug. “You know how proud Izu is of Iida-kun. I think he’s there to provide moral support versus Team Trash Talk on the right.”

“Iida-kun will defend my honor!” Bakugou rolled his eyes at Izuku’s passionate declaration.

“Screw that, we're gonna wipe the floor with your 'honor'!” Uraraka responded with a frighteningly bright smile. Wow. She really could take heckling to the next level when she wanted to. Next to her, Monoma looked like he had died and gone to heaven – he had so lucked out when she agreed to go out with him. “You go, babe!”

That caused Monoma to stumble and miss the beat, his cheeks going red. Mei blinked. Huh.

Iida and Izu hadn’t missed out on that either – they exchanged glances, and a grin slowly grew on Izuku’s face as he mouthed, ‘Green Boy Effect.’

Mei started. Huh. The last time she heard those words were in the Floor Bar months ago, when they were all competing at Dance Combat, and Izuku lost because of a random cat-caller's proposal.

Iida just nodded however, before clearing his throat. “Uraraka-kun, it looks like things are going really well with ‘Babe.’ You must really like him.”

Monoma paused at the word, almost losing his beat, and Uraraka choked. “What?”

“I don’t blame you.” Izuku said lightly. “I mean, Monoma-kun is attractive.”

At that, Monoma literally stumbled in his performance, even as Bakugou muttered an offended, “Oi!”

Mei’s eyes grew wide, remembering how Izuku reacted the same way when someone gave him an unexpected compliment. Was this what they meant by the Green Boy Effect?

Iida’s eyes gleamed as he continued, “Let’s be honest, how many people here found Monoma-kun attractive…” and when silence met his question, he cleared his throat, “…before he opened his mouth?”

Mei laughed when Ashido, Kaminari, Shinso and Izuku raised their hands the same time she did. Uraraka’s blush was telling enough.

“Seriously?” Kirishima choked out.

“Well, he is quite pretty,” Ashido agreed, “Right Ochako-chan?” causing Monoma to miss another beat on the game.

And this was Monoma, who antagonized people like it was second nature, and most likely never received any praise himself - at least, this side of their classes.

Green Boy Effect indeed. Genius.

Then Izuku shrugged, as if it was obvious. “I even found him attractive after he first opened his mouth.”

“What.” Bakugou did not sound pleased by this revelation. Monoma looked dazed.

“That’s right, you did!” Mei crowed, struggling not to laugh as she remembered. “Until—until—”

“Until we realized that it was only because he reminded you of your ex.” Shinso chuckled over his drink victoriously. “And that turned you off immediately. Remember how horrified you were when we found out they even had the same birthday?”

“What?” More than one voice raised in alarm, although Bakugou’s was the loudest.

Mei wiped the tears crowding her eyes at the memory. “Come on guys, even you must all know how Shindo-kun was a class act in scheming and trolling behind that famous charming smile.”

“He was good at being an asshole.” Shinso agreed. “Where else do you think the kid learnt it from?”

As if on cue, Izu’s shit eating grin grew, “And no offense, Monoma-kun, but you’ve got nothing on Shindo-kun. He’d have you for breakfast. Either way, I wasn’t going to be dating anyone like my ex ever… so unfortunately, you lost me then too.”

“Take me away from here. Now.” Bakugou demanded with a hand to his face, looking both disturbed and traumatized.

Mei tried to hold back a laugh as Monoma gawked at them, still taken aback as he tried to resume his rhythm. “Where is this all coming from?” he asked desperately.

“Well, Uraraka’s agreed to date you many times even after all that,” Izuku concluded with a gesture at Monoma, “so she must really like you, then.”  

“Deku-kun!” Uraraka shrieked, blushing furiously.

“Of course, and it looks like it’s getting serious,” Iida smirked as he emphasized the word, and his eyes glinted mischievously as he added.

Team Monoraka.”

This time, the whole room froze.

“What. Was that?” Monoma choked out with a strangled voice, even as Ashido squealed.

Izuku looked like he was trying not to laugh. “That’s your ship name – am I the only one who keeps an eye on online hero fan forums? You have fans, guys!”

“No way!”

“Team UraviThief.” Iida added solemnly, smirking, even as he kept his perfect pace on the drums. “We will always support you.”

And here, he added his what Mei would eventually come to recognize as his ‘class rep’ smile.

“Just remember... to always be responsible and use protection!”

Mei froze, and Ashido choked on her drink.

"WHAT." Monoma looked like he was about to faint.

“Take me away from here. Now.” Bakugou repeated, and Kaminari howled with delight. 

Ladies and gentlemen: Iida Tenya as a savage beast.

Monoma dropped the sticks completely, flushed; Uraraka covered her face, and it was no competition as Iida finished the set.

“Yeees Team Iideku!” Izu jumped around and high-fived Iida.

“Go, Class Rep!” 

Mei felt like doing a slow clap herself. She wasn’t even sure what the contest was about anymore – all she could see was the secret, satisfied look on Iida’s face at destroying the competition.

Mei suddenly found throat dry.

They were all interrupted however, when Bakugou suddenly snorted. “All right.” He stepped towards the stage, pointing at Iida. “Me versus you, now.”

“Kacchan?”

Bakugou looked at them. “I’ll show you losers how to win, without all that heckling, trolling, scheming bullshit.” And Mei frowned, was this because of their comments about Shindo?

Izu looked like he was about to protest, when Iida just smirked, all sexy.

“Bring it on, Bakugou.”

Forget the popcorn, Mei needed water, dammit.

 

Round Two of the competition started between Bakugou and Iida.

Izu’s eyes literally bugged out when his beloved Kacchan chose the highest level of difficulty, without ever having tried the game before.

“What?” Bakugou sneered, “I have other talents too, you know.” And he suddenly slammed into the beat when the song started, like it was as easy as child’s play.

Hatsume whistled, impressed. “How the hell?” Monoma demanded, and Uraraka shook her head, “So your performance in the class rock band wasn’t a fluke then!”

“What performance? What band?” Mei heard Deku’s faint but frantic voice before the sound was drowned out by the bombastic rhythm of the song, but her attention was elsewhere.

On Iida, who look unruffled by his opponent’s impressive playing, looking just as hungry as he bit his lips red while competing.

Mei smiled, unable to help herself. “You rock, Tenya-kun!”

Iida blinked.

And his hand missed its rhythm.

“Mei!” Izu gasped, horrified. “Why, why would you do that to my precious student?”

Mei started.

“Ha!” Monoma cried out, “How do you like it, having a taste of your own medicine?”

Oh. The Green Boy Effect.

 “I—” Iida gave Mei a quick look as he resumed his efforts on the drum. “I know we’ve been busy, but I was going to ask you today, Hatsume-kun. After all this.” He cleared his throat. “If I could take you out for dinner.”

Mei was surprised to find her cheeks hot.

She had met all sorts of boys before, and was hardly surprised anymore by what she found attractive, but for the first time in a very long time, she found herself –shy, and unaccountably charmed.

“Sure.” She cleared her throat, and her smile went wider than usual. “I’m surprised you didn’t just ask me sooner.” She paused for effect. “Tenya-kun.”

Iida adorably missed his beat again as he coughed. “I will.” He tried to recover. “Next time.”

“Really, Iida-kun? Your name?” Uraraka covered up a laugh. “And I thought we were bad.”

Izuku shushed them, even as he kept his gaze on Bakugou, who was now scowling. “Don’t worry, Iida-kun.” He whispered. “I’ve got your back.”

Mei knew Izu’s Thirsty Look well enough at this point, and they all watched with interest as Izuku sidled up to Bakugou.

“Kacchan…” he let out in a soft husky voice that even Mei had never heard before. “You didn’t tell me you could actually play the drums.”

And Bakugou grew prickly, very quickly.

“SHUT UP, NERD!” His hands didn’t waver on the taiko though.

“But Kacchan,” Izuku continued when he refused to take the bait. “I love seeing you so… capable, and have you seen your arms? I mean, online fan groups exist to worship those biceps. And now, you add music to the equation…” 

“Hah.” Bakugou scoffed, undeterred. “You’re too easily impressed any way. Seriously, Monoma? And because of that smug smiling ex of yours? Was there ever any hero that you didn’t hero worship?”

But Izuku then lowered his voice, and Mei was again reminded why Izuku was good at this. “Sure, I’m a fanboy nerd, and I will always freak out over heroes. But I’d never marry any of them.” He heaved a breathy sigh. “You’re the only one that I’d call Husband.”

Mei paused at the way he said the word. Uraraka’s eyes grew wide. Ashido slurped loudly on her cocktail straw. Monoma groaned.

Bakugou suddenly threw his drum sticks aside. Mei swore she heard an explosion somewhere.

“Fuck this game. You win, Four Eyes.” Bakugou swore at Iida as he grabbed his husband, who only looked too happy to be manhandled. “I’m taking this one home.”

“Go get some action, Kacchan!” Kaminari cheered under Shinso’s arm.

Husband, eh?” Mei chuckled. She supposed they all had their own kryptonite, Green Boy Effect or otherwise.

“You’re welcome,” Izu mouthed as Bakugou dragged him away. “Enjoy your second date,” he winked, “Team IidaMei!”

That shut Mei up, and she was surprised to find cheeks warm.

She looked up to see Tenya smiling down at her, victorious, a hand behind his head. From behind them, the rest of their new friends began to whistle with exaggerated cheer.

Uraraka took a look at them and grabbed both of their hands, linking them together.

“And whatever happens,” she grinned vindictively, “remember to always use protection.”

 


 

6 MONTHS AFTER SLEEPING 

Shinso Hitoshi deserved this.

He was never one to back down from supporting anything or anyone, if he believed they deserved it. He wouldn’t be the hero he was today if he didn’t believe he deserved to be one.

Of course over the years, he also thought that many questionable activities, such as blindfolded mini-golf or that one time they did an escape room challenge drunk with three overly-analytical friends (Mei, Midoriya and surprisingly Kendou) and two hecklers (himself and Shindo) also deserved to be done, but that’s neither here nor there.

The fact was that Bakugou Katsuki owed him one, and he deserved this.

“Eh?” Lord Explosion Murder scoffed the first time Hitoshi asked. “Why should I be the one to convince Deku to go along with this? He’s still so embarrassed by your other Purple Rain karaoke videos that he needs to blow up a few things each time he sees them.”

Mei first tried the diplomatic approach. “Because we want to have a good show, and it’s not Purple Rain without Queen Inventoria and Fit Awkward Bunny, and the only way we could ever get Izu to join us on stage again is if he really owes Shinso. The last time he really messed up was when he accidentally let Shinso’s ex in and the guy ended up kidnapping Merlin, and that was ages ago…”

Hitoshi’s brow still twitched over that.

“…And really, the only way we could get Izu to do things these days is through: one, guilt-tripping him when he owes us; two, using his adorable need-to-try-everything-once thing against him—”

“That’s Mei.” Hitoshi had to point out. “That’s how she tricked him into getting a piercing, so it doesn’t really work anymore.”

Mei beamed, not even guilty, “Three, using a smugface and telling him ‘Bet you can’t do it’—”

“That’s me.” He smirked, “Works only 50% of the time though.”

“—And finally,” Mei pointed at Bakugou with a sweeping flourish, “Through you.”

Bakugou scoffed. “What?”

“Come on, because Husband? We all know that you’re his red button… or some kind of love kryptonite and arc reactor at the same time.” Mei nodded for emphasis, “You’ve even overtaken All Might as his favorite topic. Just say ‘Kacchan’ and he’d drop everything and come running – including his pants!”

Hitoshi rolled his eyes as Bakugou’s eyebrows rose progressively through Mei’s enthusiastic monologue. “Did… you just call me… a love kryptonite?”

Hitoshi put his hand down on the table before they got carried away. “Look, you’re gonna have to do this. Why? Because you owe me. Yes.” He cut Bakugou off before he could retort.

“I was one of the first ones to say ‘aye’ and support your mad plan to propose to your Deku because I believed that he was crazy enough to say ‘yes’, way before everyone else did. I was the one who got Mama Midoriya to meet with you again so that you could apologize and get her blessing.”

Bakugou shut his mouth at that, no protest left on his lips.

Hitoshi wasn’t done however, “And I was the one who had to watch over Small Might Junior all those weeks before the wedding, just so you two could bang out all that sexual tension on what I assume is every conceivable surface in your apartment. And I had just started seeing Denki at the time – so you know what that took.” He smirked as Bakugou coughed unexpectedly. “So yes—"

“You owe me.” His steepled his fingers under his head as he finished. “And I deserve this.”

Bakugou could only gawk at him after that. So of course, Shinso decided to use his trump card:

“Also, I was the one who had to walk in on you two getting it on while he was wearing that skirt, and I have pictures.”

“Wow.” Mei whistled, impressed, as Bakugou went various shades of red, white, and then purple, all in the space of a few seconds. “Is that why Izu took his spare key back from you?

At Hitoshi’s proud nod, Mei laughed. “Have you forgotten that Izu’s a competent hacker? He could just delete those photos permanently when he finds out.”

Midoriya would delete them immediately.” Hitoshi smirked, before pointing a thumb at Bakugou.

Kacchan would want to see them before he does.”

Taking Bakugou’s strangled choke as confirmation, Mei’s eyes widened in delight, and Hitoshi crossed his arms, satisfied at his victory.

“Midoriya was wearing a Sailor Pluto cosplay, and that skirt? Absolutely worth it.”

 

And so now here they were, backstage, Hitoshi settling into his shades and leather trousers like coming home. This time, he was wearing a cut-off crop top instead of his vest, which Mei had approved of (“Still shows off those V-lines, so no complaints here!”). Mei had continued their homage to glam rock by combining steampunk-style black goggles and trousers with a military jacket, complete with brass buttons and striped epaulettes.

“I still don’t get my costume.”

They both turned to Midoriya, who was wearing a black bowler hat with rabbit ears, a black leather eye mask, a Mei-approved white muscle top with a loose burgundy bowtie dangling from the neck, and tight dark leather jeans.

“I feel like a cross between a male playboy bunny and a waiter. Aren’t we supposed to go for full glam rock this time?”

Mei lifted a hand airily, “Well, it’s not my fault that you somehow chose to interpret All Might’s hair as bunny ears the first time we did this, and that it’s become your signature look. Or that you can’t wear your old green suit because it’s too close to your current hero costume and people might make that connection. That, my friend, is all on you.”

Midoriya put a hand on his head as he groaned. “Ugh. Why, why did I do that? Brain, where were you when I needed you two years ago?”

Hitoshi smirked he gave an awkward pat on his bunny-ear clad head. “There, there. At least we’ve had practice with this song before. You can even use that speak-singing thing you do to pull this off.”

Midoriya choked, and he immediately grabbed the shot of tequila that Mei handed him.

“Don’t forget to use that ‘voice of a dancer’ and give us those moves.” Me added gleefully. “That’s like, 90% of the reason that Fit Awkward Bunny has fans.”

“Take a bottle, shake it up; break the bubble, break it up.” Hitoshi quoted with a shit-eating grin.

Midoriya’s horrified look morphed into one of defeated resignation. “You two. I can’t believe we’re here again, doing this.” He downed his shot with a flourish.

“And I’m still wondering how you actually got Kacchan to convince me.” Midoriya continued as they grabbed their mics and took their positions at the center of the stage behind the curtain.

“He said, I quote, ‘I’m no longer surprised that you’re such a vicious little shit, now that I’ve gotten to know your friends better.’ I feel strangely proud but also scared. What did you guys do?”

At that, Hitoshi decided not to mention that he and Mei deliberately chose the elements of Midoriya’s costume as a homage to Sailor Pluto, just to bring the point home to Bakugou – from the white muscle shirt to the bowtie that looked like a ribbon; or how Midoriya was actually lucky that he Mei had stopped short of getting him a skirt.

He shrugged artfully as he spread his feet and took his starting pose for the song.

“We just used our powers of persuasion.”

“And,” Mei made sure to add, winking. “Shinso deserves this.”

 

The curtains parted, and the sight of the audience no matter what size, always took his breath away – this small act of exposing themselves, in a world where it was best for him to keep his identity secret.

This time however, before the stage lights glared before their eyes, Hitoshi caught a glimpse of the table near the front. Bakugou was there, his eyes comically wide at Midoriya’s appearance; Iida immediately stood up to whistle his support at Mei; Shouto waved as he held a video recorder, and Ashido, Kirishima and Uraraka all held up a ‘We heart Purple Rain’ sign. These people who, for once, knew them, behind the masks.

And at the very front of the group was Kaminari Denki, who had begged to see Hitoshi in a live Purple Rain performance for ages, who even now had an idiotic but weirdly endearing lovestruck look on his face as he yelled: “Go, gorgeous! I love you, Purple Rain!”

It was him who deserved this show from Hitoshi.

He took a deep breath as he lifted the mic:

“Step inside,

Walk this way,

you and me, babe.

Hey, hey!”

 


 

8 MONTHS AFTER SLEEPING 

There were days when Kirishima Eijirou realized just how far they had come from their high school days.

Objectively, there was no way to forget that fact: they were now professional heroes in their own right. Most of them had joined groups and agencies (or even led them in their class rep Iida’s case), holding responsibilities that sometimes put their own lives at risk. They also had their public track records and reputations to cultivate. And among all those, there was ‘adulting’ in their personal lives to pursue as well.

He supposed that participating in this Hero Convention was a good compromise between all of them. After all, it wasn’t every day that they got time out of work to reflect on their hero careers and to share their insights with their fans.

It was also a great opportunity to check on his friends’ panels.

Eijirou grinned as he jammed his head under a dark ballcap and snuck through the back to join the tail end of a panel discussion on Hero Image and Brand Management. He kept his eye out for an All Might Hoodie, and was pleased to see Midoriya waving back at him near the back.

“Hey man, thanks for saving me a seat. It looks packed in here.”

Midoriya beamed at him. “It’s a great topic. Hawks, Edgeshot and Kacchan have many fans.”

Kirishima whistled as he surveyed the crowd. He knew that this panel was a popular one. Bakugou was on it, perhaps due to the fact that he remained stubbornly popular despite his explosive interactions with the media. It really was a rare opportunity to see his friend in action.

Midoriya quickly launched into a keen analysis when he sat down.

“I saw your panel earlier, Kirishima-kun and it was amazing! I’ve always admired your work, but it was great to see how well you have integrated with civil agencies. Even when I was in Intelligence, your team with Fatgum always had a great reputation for being perfect to work with!”

Eijirou fought a blush. “I’m glad you enjoyed it!”

Fatgum had sent him out to join a panel earlier on how hero agencies compliment the work of other organizations, and it always gave him joy when people like Midoriya showed the same passion for their proud work, regardless of how Bakugou had put it down to his ‘rabid hero fanboyism’.

His thoughts were interrupted by applause as the panel ended, and people stood up to show their appreciation for the panelists. Eijirou sighed as he watched Hawks, Best Jeanist and Bakugou exit to the side of the stage.

“Damn, my mind wandered there for a moment and I missed the rest of their panel.” He placed a hand at the back of his head. “Never mind, you can catch me up!”

Midoriya nodded eagerly, “Well, Kacchan’s pretty much explained that his public image has always come second to how he sees himself – all he can do is try to improve, so how the public sees him after that is up to them, but I personally think that he naturally attracts attention…”

They continued to talk about the panel as they joined the crowd of people lining up to exit, closely following others who were also discussing themselves.

“I can’t believe we got to see Ground Zero in person!” the guy in front of all but squealed. “He just has that presence, doesn’t he? He has no need to manage his public image when he’s just naturally electric.”

Eijirou gave Midoriya a look and snickered at all the overt hero worship. Midoriya placed a hand on his mouth to cover his smile.

The girl next to the guy sighed. “But he’s married now, isn’t he?”

This was another unique development in their lives, Kirishima suddenly realized – the fact Midoriya was Bakugou’s husband, which meant a level of commitment from his friend that many of them were not ready for yet. Shocking enough to acknowledge that it was ambition-driven Bakugou, of all people, who got married first.

Although Midoriya had come into their lives first as a savior and a fiancé to Todoroki (which was another bizarre story in itself), Bakugou had later confided how he also saw Midoriya as his unforgotten mistake from his childhood that he needed to fix. And then later still, the one person that Bakugou was certain that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with.

He wants it all, where he is concerned.

The third person in their group placed a hand under his chin. “Yeah, I heard about that, to that new quirkless hero, can you believe? He could get anyone he wanted, yet he went for a guy who is nowhere near as flashy or as powerful as him.”

Eijirou watched as Midoriya stilled at that.

“He’s never been seen with anyone before, and it’s strange how’s suddenly settled for someone so far from his level. Let’s face it: quirkless people never have it that easy.”

“Sounds like a publicity stunt! He deserves better, surely.”

“Hey,” Eijirou said out loud when he saw Midoriya wince. “I don’t think it’s fair to judge people based on their quirks.”

At his words, all three suddenly turned to him, their gazes irate at his unplanned interruption. “Excuse me, don’t you know that it’s rude to join other people’s conversations? We weren’t talking to…” and here their eyes widened as they saw Eijirou’s distinct hair, “…you.”

“Don’t worry about it, Kirishima-kun.” They all gasped as Midoriya turned to address him with a strange, stretchy smile.

“I’ve heard comments like these all my life, and I wouldn’t be where I was today if I let them get in the way.”

(Shit, he heard the trio whispering among themselves. It’s Red Riot, and I think that’s Ground Zero’s husband, Deku)

Still, Kirishima couldn’t let it go. He himself had gone through a period where he had issues with his own quirk, just because he wrongly thought that it would define how he was perceived as a hero. It had taken him a long time to realize the truth.

“Not all quirks are made equal, yes, but we both know that the ability to be a good hero is not down to how flashy or exciting the quirk is, but to how it’s used.”

Midoriya started at that, and he turned back to him a small but genuine smile. “Yes.”

Eijirou could hear a rustle of dissent from their unwitting audience, and he could tell that they were about to argue back, when they were interrupted by an irate voice behind them.

“What the hell,” Bakugou’s trademark husky voice cut through them, “are you two still doing here?”

Ground Zero! someone meeped.

“Didn’t we agree to meet outside? What’s taking you so damn long? Was the damn nerd fanboying too much again?”

Eijirou’s eyes narrowed as he remembered their conversation, and he suddenly couldn’t help himself. “Oh. I rudely interrupted your fans’ conversation about how there’s no way that you could be would be with Midoriya cause he’s quirkless and far from your level,” he quoted, ignoring the nervous glances from the others, “Apparently it’s all a publicity stunt.”

“Kirishima-kun,” Midoriya warned.

“Wait.” Bakugou’s eyes narrowed. He turned to the three speakers. “Is this true?”

The group began to back away, and Eijirou could understand why. There was no way to tell how Bakugou would react sometimes. They’d all seen the fireworks and explosions.

But Bakugou gave them a careful look, and instead of raising his voice, he just took a deep breath. “Listen, I’ve been there before, I know how you think. It’s easy to fall into the thinking that only large and powerful quirks matter, and the rest is extra. I was young and stupid once too.”

He then pointed at Eijirou. “This guy is one of the strongest people I know. He’s so fucking outstanding, dedicated and determined as a hero that even the police and law enforcement prefer to work with him. I trust him with my life.” Eijirou almost stepped back at the sudden proclamation.

“And yet he had to rebuild his identity and color his hair when he was a teenager to stand out, just because for some idiotic reason, he was like you and believed that he would only be worth looking at if he stood out, if he was somehow flashier… when that had nothing to do with how strong his will actually was.” He shook his head. “I wouldn’t have known what true power was, if I hadn’t met him.”

Eijirou started at that. That was all true, but he had never expected Bakugou to have paid that much attention to his experiences and doubts over the years. He was surprised to realize their friendship had produced that much of an impact on Bakugou’s sense of others all this time.

“Bakugou.” He choked out.

But then Bakugou moved his finger to point at Midoriya next. “And this one. He’s a ridiculous nerd who’s become a damn amazing hero even though he was quirkless. He brings out the best in other heroes, always puts others first, and he never gives up. He fights like he's dancing and he never stops coming up with ideas. He’s better than anything I ever expected. I didn’t see him at first either,” his voice went soft, “but once I did, my life was never the same. That’s why I married him.”

“Kacchan…” Midoriya looked like he was about to cry and swoon at the same time. Eijirou genuinely wouldn't be surprised if he managed both.

But then Midoriya turned to one of their three original speakers. “I also wanted to say this: it’s okay to be quirkless too. I know we end up being our worst enemies sometimes, because we think it hurts less that way… but that doesn’t automatically mean that the world is against us, or that any good thing that happens to us must be fake. We deserve it just as much.”

Eijirou started at that, because he hadn’t realized. One of their naysayers was quirkless too.

Bakugou nodded before continuing. “So no, I’m not lying, and no, I know better now than to consider these heroes ‘far’ from my level.” He exhaled. “The truth is that I’d just grown up enough to get my head out of my ass to see that it's not the quirk that makes a person - or a hero.” He gave them a considering look.

“Don’t make the same mistake that I did.”

Silence followed his statement. Eijirou looked around to see the shocked, rueful looks on the fans’ faces. Around them, other people were also listening with various looks of awe and amazement on their faces. He hadn’t realized how big their audience had grown.

There were times when he was surprised by just how much they’d grown as individuals. This, here where they stood among a public audience, speaking about their mistakes and how they had changed their lives – this was one of them.

Midoriya looked like he was about to cry; Eijirou was halfway there already.

Before anyone else could speak however, Midoriya just shook his head and quirked a bright smile at them.

“And that’s why I married him.”

 

“Starboy” Fan Video of All Might Agency Heroes Goes Viral

Hero Watch Weekly

A video compilation of All Might Agency (AMA) heroes Deku, LeMillion, and Bubble Girl's successful takedown of a motorcycle gang set to the music “Starboy” by The Weeknd has been making the rounds in social media, already getting over 2 million views within a few days

When vidtube user dekuFanboy23 posted a fan music video of Quirkless Wonder Deku apprehending a motorcycle gang last week, it initially had no more than a few thousand hits. They were mostly from existing followers and Team AMA fans, who praised the song choice because it matched the heroes' movements from the footage really well.

However, people realized there was more to this song choice when another fan unearthed a clip from the day of the heist with LeMillion pointing to their shared earpiece with a raised brow, asking, “Really, Starboy?” and Deku apologising “I can’t help it, I fight better with good music. You liked it too!”   

Now the internet is collectively losing its mind over the fact that today's most popular agency actually fights to music, delighting fans everywhere. This is also aided by the fact that new hero and social media darling Deku is known to have a background in dance.

Deku himself has taken the social media world by storm ever since his hero debut, not just because he is the first quirkless hero in a generation (and married to popular Top 10 hero Ground Zero on top of that), but because of his refreshingly humble and honest personality as well.

dekuFanboy23 wasn't the first fan to create videos of him based on amateur and professional footage, and they certainly won't be the last.

 

All Might Agency heroes Deku, LeMillion and Bubble Girl taking down motorcycle gang set to Starboy

By dekuFanboy23

You asked for evidence that Team AMA listens to music during fights, and I am delivering: have a compilation of footage from when they took down the motorgang last week, set to Starboy by the Weeknd

Edit: I didn’t realize that this video would go viral, or that the Hero News Network and Ground Zero would post links. Seriously! Have a look at my other Deku videos here!

2.3M views 

crawlerHero Super prodigy LeMillion + quirkless wonder Deku + orb of justice Bubble Girl…Team AMA FTW

UravityFloatsMyBoat AHH the clip of Deku-san rolling his shoulders before jumping down towards the street at the beginning asgdjfjsljsgljlfe 

maleficiantgirl Thank you for blessing us with the sight of LeMillion grooving. Bby just won my heart all over again

HawksHead2022 Pro Hero Deku knows how to bounce them hips, while smash stepping on those gang members from above!

ZerosNo1Fan That aerial move was so Ground Zero's style and I am living for it. GO hero husbands! #somarried

CreatiReactive That moment you realize that BubbleGirl and LeMillion pushed those thieves on the ground in time with the beat

Chanchan Not only are they good, they do it with style

1MilLover this is epic! The music matches their moves perfectly!

Chargeboltboi That's because they really do fight to background music, if it wasn't obvious yet

dekusCat I bet OP took his inspiration from that cutaway clip where LeMillion asked Deku “Really, Starboy?” after they took down the gang last week. 

ShhhootouBaby Bet it was Deku who started streaming that song on their comms line

DekuStan00001 Team AMA only brought in those fancy earpieces when Deku joined. They had no idea what was coming

KickerBoxer Deku #living every hero geek's dream action scene

xHeroSongTwistrx wanna see em fight to Power by Kanye!

nerdidolchan Inb4 someone brings up how Ground Zero said ‘he fights like he's dancing’ from the Hero Panel footage

artiFishalSwimmer I knew there was a reason why Team AMA always moved like just they stepped out of a music video. It’s all fake and choreographed!

GreenEyedFollower If it looks good, it’s just because they are heroes who KNOW HOW TO coordinate, ffs

AllMightGoMight Please, those who really follow Deku know that he trained with Dance Combat, jujitsu and other martial arts. It only makes sense that he fights that way too.

ZeroisOne The quirkless hero of our time! 

 


 

10 MONTHS AFTER SLEEPING  

 

Small Might Junior’s Adventures Vol 5.doc

 

Small Might Junior loved his human

Daddy fed him, cuddled him, brushed his hair twice a week, cleaned his toilet, and always rubbed his fur down to that spot at the base of his spine. Daddy let him jump up his high bed to sleep next to him, and even let him climb up onto his shoulders whenever he wanted, no matter how big he got.

(And Small Might Junior loved Daddy’s shoulders)

Daddy also introduced Small Might Junior to Friends, such as their neighbors Merlin, who was his Best Cat Friend; ‘God Daddy’ Shinso, who always watched after Small Might Junior when Daddy was away; and Godmother Mei, who always made them nice toys and puzzles to chase around.

Daddy also introduced Small Might Junior to many new Friends recently, and that’s how he met his new Cat Friend, Scratch, who was a bit shy at first, but liked rubbing her fur against those she liked once she got to know them.

(And Small Might Junior liked Scratch. A lot)

And then there were all his new Uncle and Aunties, such as Scratch’s human Uncle Shouto, who he adored because he loved playing with him and Scratch. He also met Auntie Uraraka and Auntie Mina, who loved spoiling him with hugs, and Auntie Hagakure, who always looked surprised when Small Might Junior found her immediately. Small Might Junior also loved Uncle Kiri and Uncle Kami because they always fed him scraps of chicken under the table.

Merlin always complained that Small Might Junior was more like a Dog than a Cat because he was too hyperactive and liked too many Uncles and Aunties, but Merlin was just Lazy, and Small Might Junior really did enjoy meeting new Friends. Daddy was always laughing whenever he was with them. 

But then he met Uncle Kacchan.

Small Might Junior liked Uncle Kacchan at first, because Daddy always smelled different whenever he was around, like he was getting his own new squeaky toy to play with. Uncle Kacchan also made sure to say hi to both him and Scratch whenever they were in the same room. Not many people said ‘hi’ to Scratch at first, and Scratch loved Uncle Kacchan

The problem was that Uncle Kacchan was always around.

Daddy always paid more attention to Uncle Kacchan whenever he visited, and he visited them Almost. Every. Day. And in Small Might Junior’s mind, Uncles and Aunts were only supposed to be around once a week, more if it’s Uncle Shouto or God Daddy Shinso. Little did he realize that this was only the beginning of his woes.

Because then Uncle Kacchan took Daddy away.

For some reason, Daddy had to spend every day with Uncle Kacchan for a long time, and they had to send Small Might Junior away to live with God Daddy Shinso.

Small Might Junior adored God Daddy Shinso, but he wanted his own Daddy to come back for him, and he waited every day.

Merlin wasn’t very helpful.

“Maybe your Daddy got stolen.” He chirped. “Did you know I got kidnapped once?”

Merlin liked talking about the time that he was abducted from home. It was an adventurous tale that involved Daddy, God Daddy and Godmother Mei, and they needed to rescue him. It was very daring indeed: they had to go through the windows.

(Small Might Junior may or may not be sick of the story, but this reminder was the worst)

“No!” Small Might Junior meowed loudly. “That can’t happen! Nobody could steal my Daddy!”

“Oomph,” Uncle Kami came running when Small Might Junior started crying, making sure to lift him onto his chest. “I think he misses Midoriya.”

“Well, he’s never had to share him before,” God Daddy scratched him on his favorite spot behind his ears, then rolled his eyes as Merlin sniffed and padded away in jealousy. “He’s always been the Number One Boy in his life.” He gave Uncle Kami a look, and they exchanged grins.

“They’re gonna have to learn to share.”

He started calling evil Uncle Kacchan ‘Daddy Stealer’ from then onwards.

 

It didn’t help that when Daddy finally returned to pick him up, Daddy Stealer was right there next to him. They both smelled of satisfaction, like they had catnip all to themselves to play with, and they both had shiny new toys on their fingers. Small Might Junior felt like he had been left behind.

“No!” He yowled when Daddy picked him up, “I am not happy about this! He was supposed to give you back!”

But Daddy just buried his nose into Small Might Junior’s side (which he may or may not have a weakness for) and just said, “Oh I missed you so much too, Baby!”

Daddy Stealer’s eyebrows twitched at that. “Am I the only one who finds the nerd’s whole cat ‘Baby’ thing weird?”

Uncle Kami only sputtered a laugh at that. “You’re just jealous that you’re not Midoriya’s baby.”

“I was first!” Small Might Junior meowed, although as most humans tended to, nobody really understood him.

“Small Might Junior was just saying that he was here first.” God Daddy translated, easy as you please. “He’s Number One.”

This was why Small Might Junior loved God Daddy. He was going to reward him with kitten licks and mice offerings next time.

Daddy Stealer looked very Insulted by all of this, and Small Might Junior was Pleased, especially when Daddy just kept nuzzling into Small Might Junior’s fur. “Of course, you are. You’ll always be my Baby and my Sidekick.”

But then Daddy Stealer only gave a nasty smirk. “Fine, he might have been first, but his ‘Daddy’ married me. So, take that!”

And for the first time in his life, Small Might Junior, who had always been so Good and so Happy that his own Best Cat Friend said that he was more like a Dog, looked at Daddy Stealer.

And hissed.

 

Daddy Stealer wasn’t going away.

It was the greatest trial of Small Might Junior’s almost two year-old life.

They had to move to a new home, and while it was bigger, with more rooms for Small Might Junior to explore, the rooms didn’t smell familiar, like their old home. Daddy Stealer also tried to replace his old play tower with a new taller one, which he didn’t like very much. There was also a kitchen which had many new scents, spicy, fascinating and sometimes disgusting, yet Daddy Stealer didn’t like it when Small Might Junior came to investigate the food or the food-making process.

But worst of all was how Daddy Stealer kept trying to steal Daddy’s attention! He gave Daddy strange kinds of kisses, and he was always grooming with Daddy, licking into each other’s faces and mouths. He was always scenting Daddy as well, putting his horrible nose on Daddy’s neck – sometimes even biting Daddy, but Daddy never complained!

Whenever Small Might Junior watched them and yowled about the injustice of it all, they always went red and ran off to the bedroom – and Small Might Junior wasn’t allowed to join them for hours, no matter how loudly he meowed or scratched on the door. Daddy always opened the door later, but Small Might Junior hated having to wait, and the room always smelled funny afterwards! They even did the same thing with the kitchen and the living room a number of times!

But Daddy Stealer’s biggest crime was how he always blocked Small Might Junior from climbing on Daddy’s shoulders

That had always been his favorite spot in the world!

He would always try to pull Small Might Junior off whenever he wanted to groom Daddy’s neck. He also complained that it was hard to kiss Daddy with Small Might Junior staring up at him and ready to pounce.

So Small Might Junior also slept by Daddy’s head in the mornings, just so he could stare angrily at Daddy Stealer when he woke up. This was also when Small Might Junior decided to attack Daddy Stealer’s clothes in the laundry basket - it was easy enough to get to.

He wasn’t giving his Daddy up without a fight!

 

---

 

‘He wasn’t giving his Daddy up without a fight?’” Kacchan repeated. “Okay, this ridiculous story has gone on for long enough!”

Izuku paused from reading the story on his tablet. “But Kacchan, I haven’t even gotten to the part where Small Might Junior tore up your tank top yet.” He then eyed the holes on Kacchan’s shirt. On his shoulders, Small Might Junior looked smug about his proud work.

“Deku. Did you seriously write a story from Small Might Junior’s point of view?”

“Well…yes?” Izuku pouted at the incredulous look on Kacchan’s face. Surely, he wasn’t the only one writing stories to about their pets’ adventures?

“It wasn’t just me though! Shinso-kun helped a lot!”

“Oh, so is that why there was such a lot of ‘God Daddy’ love in that tale, while I was called ‘Daddy Stealer’? I bet he must have come up with that name!” Kacchan scoffed. “And I can’t believe you included that part about us ‘grooming’ each other’s faces, and how we have to move things to the bedroom because your cat keeps watching us all the time…”

“Actually…” Izuku hedged, “Shinso-kun added that part.”

Kacchan went stock still. “How the hell? Was he spying on us?”

Izuku’s brow rose. “Of course not!” And at the tick on Kacchan’s forehead, he relented. “All right. While it wouldn’t be outside the realms of possibility, I would have known if he was!”

Kacchan glared at him. “So what, are you telling him that Small Might Junior communicated to Shinso about our sex life? In what, meows and growls?”

Izuku nodded fervently. “Shinso-kun is really good at reading cats. He’s always right about them, and he comes up with interesting stories. I swear it’s a talent. I even tried to test it once!”

Kacchan gave him a blank look. “Has anyone ever told you both how weird your friendship is?”

Izuku knew there was no point in being offended. “Well… you wouldn’t be the first one to say it.” He said slowly, deciding that now was probably not the time to disclose that they had also written 4 other volumes on their cats, including that time Merlin was kidnapped. (Or that Shouto was their third contributor on the volume on Scratch. He even wanted to commission a manga version of the story.)

He grinned cheerily. “But you married into our friendship... so tough.”

Kacchan snorted. “I wanted to look for a solution for your cat’s behavioral problems; not a crazy fantasy novel!”

“But Kacchan,” Izuku argued back. “This story is good advice! Can’t you see? Small Might Junior thinks you’re trying to take me away!” He rubbed at his baby’s rich fur, and the cat purred, happy about his pride of place on his shoulders versus Daddy Stealer.

“We just need to make Small Might Junior feel like he’s not losing his human.”

Kacchan gave him a dubious look, and he continued. “In fact, what we should do is to let him know that he’ll have one more Daddy!”

“Wait. What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Well,” Izuku’s smile grew, and he brought Small Might Junior down from his shoulders. The cat yowled loudly.

“He’s saying: ‘What are you doing, Daddy, where are you taking me?’” He interpreted with a chibi voice.

“What.” Kacchan said in a flat voice.

—And then and placed him solidly on Kacchan’s shoulders.

Kacchan blinked. Small Might Junior also froze, before he automatically had to balance himself around the man’s shoulders.

“He’s surprised,” Izuku translated. “Because your shoulders are quite nice and sturdy, and he's never been up there before.”

He watched as Small Might Junior began to comfortably settle around his husband’s neck. “Also because Daddy Stealer is warm.”

He watched as Kacchan’s mouth opened into an “Oh,” as the cat snuggled around him and started sniffing his neck. 

“He can probably smell your nitroglycerine scent better from up there.” Izuku hummed. “I think he likes it too.”

Kacchan tentatively lifted a hand to curl between Small Might Junior’s ears, and Izuku watched as his cat sniffed at the warm, caramel-smelling hand before letting out happy chirp, butting his head against the hand.

“No. Fucking. Way.” Kacchan breathed out, untensing his shoulders as he raised another hand to rub through Small Might Junior’s fur, and before they knew it, his baby was purring in satisfaction.

Izuku definitely did not feel tears crowding his eyes. His boys.

“See, you’re a natural at this.”

He took his phone out to take a picture. He wouldn’t give this up for the world.

“Small Might Junior, Kacchan is your new Daddy. He’s in our lives now for good. Be nice to him, okay? And he’ll let you climb his shoulders, give you treats and love you just as much as I do.”

Kacchan gave him an exasperated look, but continued to rub at the feline. Small Might Junior meowed in response.

“Small Might Junior says ‘Okay, deal, but only because you asked so nicely, Daddy.’” Izuku was convinced. “And he’s decided to call you ‘Sugar Daddy’ in his head from now on, because of how you smell.”

He grinned as Kacchan’s eyes went round with annoyance. “Deku. You’re not even funny anymore.”

Izuku smiled, leaning up to kiss Kacchan, who begrudgingly accepted one. “Sugar Daddy.” He repeated with a smile, placing another kiss between Small Might Junior's ears.

“Shinso’s going to love that one for the story.”

 

---

 

Small Might Junior liked that he had a new Sugar Daddy. He let Small Might Junior climb on his shoulders each time now. He liked it especially when Sugar Daddy was making food: he would let Small Might Junior smell every ingredient before chopping them.

Daddy liked it too – he would make sure to kiss both Sugar Daddy and Small Might Junior whenever he saw them together. He said they were his “Family”.

Sugar Daddy also made sure to open the bedroom door for Small Might Junior now. He also preferred to sleep on Sugar Daddy’s side now, just because it was warmer.

Daddy had become a bit jealous about that, and he tried to bribe Small Might Junior back with toys and an All Might cat onesie. Small Might Junior was sorely tempted: even though he didn’t like it, Daddy and Uncle Shouto also got one for Scratch, and he liked pairing with Scratch.

But when Daddy and Uncle Shouto weren’t looking, Sugar Daddy slipped him a new catnip toy: a small blond figure in a dark and orange costume. It looked like Sugar Daddy!

“You’re not going to let your Daddy and IcyHot bribe you back to his side of the bed, aren’t you?” He rubbed behind Small Might Junior’s ear, “Not when I suffered so much just to win you over.”

Small Might Junior chirped happily, and Sugar Daddy looked left and right before lifting him up on to his shoulder.

“Damn right, you terrible little demon cat, cause you’re my baby too.”

 


 

12 MONTHS AFTER SLEEPING 

Katsuki snapped out of his sleep with a jolt, gasping for air as his heartbeat continued to pound loudly in his ears.

“Kacchan,” a faint voice rumbled in his ear. “Are you okay?”

He turned to look. Deku was still there in bed next to him, his arms and legs tangled up in his as usual. To his right, Small Might Junior was still snoozing on the length of his side, his head mashed onto his waist while a paw extended onto his stomach.

Katsuki let out a deep breath. It’s been 12 months since Todoroki awoke from that life-changing coma; all had settled, and he was home with his husband.

Thank God.

“Are you alright?” Deku mumbled blearily.

Katsuki shook his head. What the hell was that? “Just a bad dream.”

“Do you want to talk about it?”

Katsuki closed his eyes and recalled his dream. “It was fucking horrible.”

“Huh?” Deku’s lids lifted to reveal sleepy green eyes.

He felt a shiver down his spine as he continued, “Everything was the wrong way around. Todoroki somehow chose to go after you in America instead, so I never got my act together, and you two eventually got married. I had to be there for your wedding.” He went cold at the thought.

He swallowed and looked at the feline next to him. “We didn’t live here anymore. It was IcyHot who was next to you whenever you got up to trouble with Shinso and Hatsume. Even Small Might Junior was happy because you were moving in with Todoroki and Scratch.”

Everything was gone. He placed a hand on his face. Fuck.

He was surprised to feel Deku’s hand on his.  He looked up as Deku pulled his hand towards his lips. “Kacchan… it was just a dream. None of that happened.”

Katsuki turned his gaze onto the ceiling. On the one hand, that was true, but, “What if that’s the point?”

Todoroki could have just as easily chosen to do things differently; Deku might have decided that marrying his childhood bully after hardly a month of meeting him again was just inconceivable. Katsuki could have just as easily missed the signs and messed things up. 

All of this could have just as easily not happened either.

He heard a shuffling noise and watched as Deku got up on his back. “A world where there’s no ‘us’… who’s to say whether or not that could have happened?” He sighed at the thought.

“Honestly, I think we’ll both be fine. We would have both carried on living our lives and trying our best. It’s just how we are.”

Katsuki took a deep breath at that, taking comfort in that truth, even as something in him ached inexplicably at the fact.

“It does make me sad though, thinking that we might have missed out on this.”

Katsuki started at that, struck by the simple truth of it.

Things weren’t perfect: there were many times when he had to question if this really was his life now, and there were days when their shenanigans drove each other insane; when people questioned if they had gone into this too quickly. 

But he wouldn’t give this up for anything in the world.

“So,” Deku turned to look at him, “Instead of thinking about what might have been, I’d rather just be happy about what is.” He laid back down next to him.

“I love that we got to meet each other again, even though it was only because you couldn’t believe that Shouto-kun would marry me. I love that you ate your own words and proposed to me, and that I was insane enough to say yes.” Katsuki snorted at that, even as he began to draw Deku back into his arms.

Deku sighed contentedly as he snuggled next to him. “I love that you let me drag you to the arcade, the workshop, and Dance Combat; I love how you turn into a caveman whenever I call you ‘Husband’. I love that you let Mei get her way every now and then, even when she’s being high-handed.”

Katsuki rolled his eyes, and Deku nuzzled his neck with a smile.

“And I love that secretly adore Small Might Junior, even when he gave you such a hard time. Don’t even deny it.” He nudged as Katsuki tried to protest. “You’ve bribed our baby to take your side.”

Katsuki shook his head with a sly grin as he ran a hand down the sleeping cat’s back.

“And I love that we’ve made our home here. I love that Shouto and Kirishima can drop by whenever they want, and that Shinso is here so often that I’ve had to take away his spare key.” Katsuki huffed at that. “And,” here he gave Katsuki a serious look. “I love that we’ve corrupted your superbike.”

Katsuki groaned at those words, suddenly remembering how Deku wanted to try certain things on Katsuki’s bike; things that Katsuki would never have agreed to, if he was thinking rationally, but that they ended up doing anyway, rather enthusiastically; that still occasionally gave Katsuki a hard-on whenever the engine rumbled between his legs.

“Most of all,” and here Deku placed a hand on Katsuki’s face to tilt it towards him. “I’m so very lucky, that in this world – in this life of ours – that I have you.”

And at that, Katsuki lifted his gaze to his.

Yes.

I have you.

“I’ve gone all-in with you, haven’t I?” He murmured as he lifted himself to roll over the nerd, wincing only minutely when Small Might Junior gave a meow of protest and hopped off to leave the bed.

Deku wrapped his arms around his neck, and Katsuki looked down at him – this nerd who mumbled all the time and indulged his friends ideas, no matter how ridiculous; this idiot who sang badly in the shower, who thought that he could win Small Might Junior over to his side again with an All Might pet onesie; this hero who fought like he danced – beautifully and passionately, and ruthlessly.

“Looks like you did.” Deku beamed as he pulled him closer. “Any complaints so far?”

Katsuki looked down at him. This amazing loser nerd idiot. His husband.

This life.

“No,” Katsuki whispered against his lips with a hidden smile. “None at all.”

 

END.