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lions in cages

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“You should really be more careful.”

Izuku lets out a hiss as Shouto presses an alcohol soaked cloth to the graze on his forehead. “I should,” he agrees, swinging his legs from where he sits on the counter, his heels bouncing off of the cabinet behind them. His thighs press into Shouto’s hips on each side as Shouto stands between his legs, one hand dabbing his face with the cloth and the other tilting his chin upwards.

The lights in their shared apartment bathroom are almost faint; one of the bulbs occasionally flickers over their heads. Izuku’s gaze shoots to it when it flits, and he begins to worry his bottom lip between his teeth. Shouto can practically hear his thoughts as he stares at the winking light, and when he opens his mouth, Shouto interrupts before he can speak.

“I know,” he says, setting one of his hands on Izuku’s thigh and giving it a light squeeze before he reaches over to grab a patch of gauze. “We should fix that.”

Izuku attempts a nod as Shouto fastens the patch to his forehead, fingers lingering over the afflicted area for a moment before they drop away and drum at the countertop next to Izuku’s hip.

Their apartment isn’t quite the same as what Shouto is used to living in, having resided in Endeavor’s mansion for the first fifteen years of his life and then the U.A. dorms for the next few. Shouto supposes that this is just what happens when one excommunicates their insanely rich, number-one-hero father. But, it’s whatever. Izuku’s here, so it’s fine.

“Go sit on the bathtub ledge,” Shouto says, then, nodding over to the tub as he rinses the used cloth under the sink faucet.

“I can take care of the rest myself,” Izuku replies, looking down at his dirty arms and bruised knuckles. (Bruised—Bruised and distinctly not broken. At least Izuku has trained out of that habit.)

“I know you can,” Shouto states simply, but makes no move to leave Izuku alone. “Sit,” he says again instead, with another sharp nod towards the tub. He wrings the washcloth out over the sink as Izuku complies, hopping off the countertop and taking the few steps over to the bathtub ledge.

The skirmish Izuku had been involved in today had left him relatively unscathed. The perpetrator was a new up-and-coming villain with an earth shaping quirk, and while Izuku promptly shut the villain down after one encounter, he hadn’t managed to escape without a few nicks and bruises or without a few repairs needed to his hero costume.

They can deal with the costume, though, later. It sits crumpled back on the bedroom floor, tossed there haphazardly when Izuku got home and changed into a light tee shirt and shorts so that his wounds were accessible.

Shouto lowers himself to his knees and leans over the bathtub ledge to turn on the faucet, letting it run for a moment before he tests the water temperature with his hand. Satisfied, he uses a new cloth and puts it underneath the stream, soaking it. Izuku watches him, his fingers fiddling restlessly together in his lap.

“Come here,” Shouto says, patting the ledge nearer to him.

Izuku slides over until his knee nudges Shouto’s arm.

“Now, let’s…” trails Shouto, taking Izuku’s wrist in one hand and maneuvering his arm over the tub before he starts to press the lukewarm cloth to one of Izuku’s cuts on his inner forearm. Shouto watches Izuku’s expression carefully, his eyes flickering back and forth from Izuku’s arms to his face in time with the faulty light. But Izuku’s built up an insane pain tolerance, so there’s not really much to observe, besides that he intently watches Shouto right back.

It’s not too long before Izuku’s all cleaned and patched up with far too many bandages for his liking—“Shouto, do you know how much these will hurt to rip off?”—one placed delicately on top of every place where skin had been broken.

There’s a searing pain in Shouto’s left leg, almost like someone’s shoved a hot metal rod into the muscle of his calf. Except it’s definitely not a rod. It’s a—It’s a bullet, probably.

A villain charges at him to his right in his brief moment of vulnerability and Shouto vaguely hears a couple of shots before he sends out a wall of ice, which shoves the villain off of the edge of the building.

Shouto breathes raggedly, leaning down to press a palm to the wound in his leg. For now, it’ll be okay. For now—he just has too—


His head whips towards the voice, and a moment later Izuku lands hard beside him. The building trembles beneath their feet.

“This building is going down, Shouto—We have to—Are you—?”

“I’m fine,” Shouto grunts, straightening back up and shifting to hide the wound from Izuku. It pounds like the beat of a bass drum, and the edges of Shouto’s vision begin to fade along with the beats.

No, you’re—We have to get out of here.”

Shouto goes to take a step towards Izuku, but his leg gives out beneath him. Before he can crumble to the ground, Izuku is there—somehow he’s always there—and he takes a leap off of the building, launching them to somewhere safer.

Behind them—an explosion—and another.

“I’m taking you to the medical station,” Izuku states, and his tone leaves no room for argument.

Still, Shouto tries: “I’m fine.”

Izuku either doesn’t listen or doesn’t reply. He simply takes off, Shouto in his arms like a bride. What a horrible fucking wedding, Shouto thinks offhandedly. A bride isn’t supposed to have a gunshot wound—is that two? Shouto’s promptly aware that his arm pounds the same as his leg.

So maybe Izuku’s decision is justified.

Shouto counts the pulses. He can only remember getting to twelve before he’s suddenly blinking up at an obnoxiously white ceiling, his foot elevated and arm wrapped. His torso is wrapped, too, underneath his hospital gown. A ghost of pain lingers, though he’s sure a healing quirk has been used on him. Three shots hit him? God, that’s—that’s pathetic.

Nurses and doctors flow in and out of the room like schools of fish, though Shouto can’t bring himself to do anything more than hear what they have to say. He certainly can’t register anything that comes out of their mouths, anyway.

Izuku—he undoubtedly went back out into the fight. Is that still going on? Shouto vaguely recalls a nurse mentioning anesthesia, so he couldn’t have been out for too long.

But before he can wonder for too long, a familiar and refreshing face walks in the hospital room door. He still dons his hero costume, hood down and mask hanging around his neck. He’s taken off his bulky gloves, though, and they sit tucked in against his red belt.


“Hey,” Izuku says, tone gentle as he pulls a chair away from the wall and closer to Shouto’s bed. He leans forward, his elbows pressing into the mattress and chin resting in his hands.

Shouto’s gaze dances around Izuku’s face, which is thankfully unharmed, not unlike the rest of him. There’s just a smudge of something underneath his right eye.

As Shouto reaches forward to rub away the smudge with his thumb, Izuku says, “You know, you should really be more careful.”

He almost scoffs, opening his mouth to say That’s my line.

Izuku reads his mind, apparently, and beats him to the punch, “You were shot three times, Shouto. I think that grants me the right to say it.”

Shouto swallows and diverts his gaze. A digital clock on the wall blinks at him in bright red numbers: 15:47.

“Is the battle over?” he asks, surprised. It’s only been what Shouto figures an hour and a half since he’d been temporarily put out of commission.

Izuku nods. “Kaminari called for more backup. The fight was practically over as soon as—” he pauses, purses his lips for a moment, “—as soon as Endeavor showed up.”

“Hm,” Shouto grunts. “Well, that’s good.”

It’s mostly just good that Endeavor hadn’t been there to see Shouto get shot by some unnamed villain, but for now, Shouto just hopes he hasn’t heard the news. Not that he could really do anything about it, though, anyway. Shouto is no longer a child quivering under his fiery scrutiny, even if his voice still rings in the back of Shouto’s mind—that’s pathetic.

“Hey,” Izuku says, then, reaching forward to set his hand on Shouto’s uninjured bicep. “I’m glad you’re okay.”

“Me, too.” Shouto breathes out. “I’m glad you’re okay.”

Izuku shudders in his sleep. He grips fervently at their sheets, his scarred knuckles turning white as they hold tighter, tighter, tighter.

Shouto’s been awake an indiscernible amount of time; he remembers waking up jarringly after a dream he doesn’t remember, and since then, he’s been staring at the ceiling. The streetlights outside glow relentlessly, casting slanted light onto the ceiling through the blinds.

He sits up and shifts to face Izuku, whose head keeps twitching to the side. His mouth is pulled into a crooked, wavering line, and his eyebrows push together as his eyes clench shut. Something akin to a whine emits from Izuku’s throat.

“Izuku,” Shouto tries, setting his right hand on Izuku’s shoulder. “Izuku,” he repeats, nudging Izuku gently. “Hey, wake up.”

Izuku unconsciously rolls away from the touch, his back facing Shouto as he curls in on himself, tucking his knees up to his chest.

“You’re having a bad dream,” Shouto says, as if Izuku can hear him. He nudges him a bit harder, and begins to raise his voice, “Izuku. Hey.”

Gasping as he wakes, Izuku unfurls himself and flops back onto his back, looking up at Shouto. A sheen of sweat mats his hair to his forehead, and—there are tears and fear in his eyes all the same.

“You’re okay,” Shouto murmurs, taking his right hand and moving Izuku’s hair from his burning forehead. He presses the back of his hand to Izuku’s forehead to administer a bit of cooling.

Izuku attempts to blink the tears back but fails as they roll over his waterline and trail down his cheeks. He lifts his hands to his face to wipe them away. His chest heaves as he breathes heavily, the afterimages of his dream leaking into the bed with them.

“You’re okay,” Shouto repeats, and Izuku sits up, throwing his arms over Shouto’s shoulders. He buries his face into the crook of Shouto’s neck, and Shouto’s arms snake around Izuku’s torso, his blunt fingernails scraping lightly at the fabric of his shirt between his shoulderblades.

Izuku’s breathing slows in increments until his long exhales leave Shouto’s neck feeling hot. Izuku pulls away, then, but lets his hands sit on Shouto’s shoulders. Izuku’s face is puffy, both from sleep and from crying, and Shouto doesn’t bother resisting pressing a palm to Izuku’s cheek, stroking his thumb against the red skin under Izuku’s eyes.

“I’m…” Izuku trails, lifting his gaze from where it’d prior been focused on their laps to look Shouto in the eyes. “I’m sorry for waking you.”

“You don’t need to worry about that.” Shouto shakes his head. “I was already awake. But even if I wasn’t—You never need to worry about it.”

Izuku swallows thickly, running his hand along Shouto’s arm to take Shouto’s hand that had before rested on Izuku’s cheek, and he intertwines their fingers before letting the hands fall together into his lap.



“I love you. I’m so glad you’re here with me.”

Shouto’s breath catches, and he leans forward to press a kiss to Izuku’s cheek. “I love you, too.”

As soon as Shouto and Izuku get home, Shouto flops onto the couch, his arm hanging off the side and hand laying limp on the floor. He lets his eyes flutter shut and exhales deeply, the events of the prior day ebbing away like waves. (Two villains, a cloning quirk, a whole lot of confusion, a separation, and an eventual success. All’s in a day’s work.)

“Don’t lie on the couch in that,” Izuku half-scolds, undoubtedly referring to Shouto’s filthy hero costume. He plays idly with the hem of one of his gloves, which he has yet to take off.

“Mm,” Shouto hums his half-hearted acknowledgment, making no move to open his eyes or get off of the couch. “Tell me when you’re done in the bathroom so I can bathe.”

“Sure,” Izuku responds, and, choosing his battles, he casts a final chastising glance at Shouto on the couch before continuing on his way to their bedroom.

Shouto ends up dozing on the couch while he waits. He can’t be sure how long it’s been since he heard the bathroom door shut, but he does know that he just heard something clatter to the floor in there.

He sits up and calls: “Izuku?”

When he’s met with no response, Shouto swings his legs off of the couch and promptly stands, padding across the floor until he’s just before the bathroom door. He raps his knuckles softly on the door.

“Izuku? Alright in here?”

In the few moments when there’s no semblance of a reply, Shouto’s blood runs cold. But then—

“I’m—It’s fine.” There’s a brief pause, and Shouto lets out the breath he’d been holding. “Wait, actually—can you help me?”

Shouto opens the door to see Izuku standing before the sink, used bandaging sitting crumpled in a pile on the countertop and a first aid kid strewn across the floor. Shouto’s most drawn, though, to the bright red dripping from Izuku’s hand and into the sink, a stark contrast to the white of the counter.

Izuku only offers a pained, sheepish smile as Shouto takes in his surroundings.

“Why didn’t you tell me you were hurt?” Shouto questions, but wastes no time before he begins to gather the medical supplies off of the floor.

“I had it under control.”

“Obviously not.”

“Emphasis on had.” Izuku grimaces. “I wrapped it quickly just after I captured that blade villain, before I ran back into you. I was just going to rewrap it here, but I…” Izuku trails, his eyes flickering down to the blood that drip-drops into the sink. “I reopened it by accident.”

“You should tell me next time,” Shouto says, taking Izuku’s wrist to turn his hand and assess the damage.

The gash runs down Izuku’s palm from between Izuku’s pinky and ring fingers about a centimeter. It’s not a horrible cut, respective to things they’ve dealt with in the past, but the blood that pools in Izuku’s palm as Shouto inspects the cut is far from ideal.

Shouto clicks his tongue, grabbing a towel and setting it on the counter before placing Izuku’s hand atop it. He then grabs gauze from the first aid kit he’d just picked up to apply pressure to Izuku’s cut.

They’re quiet for a minute or two, as Shouto presses down on Izuku’s hand, until Izuku lets out a breathy sigh. Shouto tilts his head curiously at the noise.

“Shouto,” Izuku starts, “What would I do without you?”

A hint of a smile tugs at Shouto’s lips. “Die, probably.”

Izuku hums in agreement. “Probably,” he says, and then he laughs.

For the first time that Shouto knows of, Endeavor loses a fight and ends up in critical condition at the hospital.

Shouto hears about this on the news. Izuku worries his bottom lip between his teeth as he watches Shouto watch the news, the television muted but Endeavor’s face repeatedly flashing over the screen, bright red headlines declaring him UNFIT FOR SERVICE and on an INDEFINITE LEAVE.

“No one told me,” Shouto deadpans, mostly to himself. His eyes don’t leave the screen. “No one thought to tell me. Not the hospital, not Fuyumi—no one.”


Shouto’s jaw clenches. “I feel like I have a right to know this kind of thing.”

For a moment, they’re silent. There’s a foot of space between them on the couch and the television buzzes almost inaudibly.

“Would you have really wanted to be the first to hear?” Izuku asks, tentative.

A cruel kind of feeling twists in Shouto’s gut. “I don’t know,” he says truthfully.

The quiet returns. The news story changes for a moment to the weather. It’s supposed to be windy tomorrow, from the east.

Izuku folds his hands together in his lap. “Do you want to visit him?”


“Okay.” Izuku breathes out. “That’s fine.”

“Izuku,” Shouto says, then. “I’m going to say something, and then you’re going to pretend you never heard it.”

Izuku blinks. “Okay.”

“I hope he dies.” The words feel like poison leaving Shouto’s system, a poison that’s been circulating just under Shouto’s skin since he first saw the news. “I hope I never have to see him again.”

And then he’s crying, and he doesn’t know exactly why he’s crying, but Izuku closes the one foot gap between them and pulls Shouto in closer, closer to him, and presses an uncountable number of kisses to his wet, salty cheeks.

Shouto isn’t on duty, actually, when it happens. Yaoyorozu calls him, her voice subdued and cautious as she says, “Midoriya hasn’t come back. All the villains are apprehended, but Midoriya hasn’t come back. Kyouka was with him, but she didn’t see him go down, just knew that suddenly he wasn’t there. His headset is disconnected.”

Shouto’s out the door before he even hangs up the phone.

“Where are you now? Where was he fighting?”

“Todoroki… I just wanted to let you know. There’s already a team looking for him.”

He ignores her statement. “Where was he fighting, Yaoyorozu?”

“Shouto, listen to me. You aren’t prepared. Are you even in your hero costume? I know you’re panicking, Shouto… but you can’t hinder the search. That’s what you’ll do.” Yaoyorozu’s words are harsh, but her tone is soft, light.

Shouto’s throat tightens, and his blood boils beneath his skin. “Tell me where he was fighting! I can’t just fucking sit around and do nothing while he’s missing!”

The address comes from Yaoyorozu, begrudgingly, after Shouto agrees to change into his hero attire.

He’s arrived where Yaoyorozu had told him to go before fifteen minutes have passed, and surrounding him are a variety of heroes. Yaoyorozu approaches him from the crowd, setting a hand on his shoulder. She’s leaning on a crutch, her left ankle temporarily splinted.

“I wanted you to come here, first,” she says, and her mouth pulls into a thin line. “I’ll fill you in, okay?”

Shouto swallows hard. “Make it quick.”

She tries her best. As far as they’re aware, there wasn’t a villain with a warping quirk, so Izuku is likely still nearby. Jirou had last seen him about a block away, fighting a villain with an enhanced speed quirk that Jirou later apprehended herself. His headset is probably broken, Yaoyorozu says, but the real source of worry sprouts from the fact the villain he was fighting managed to escape him and that he hasn’t returned back to the safety checkpoint, where they are now.

Shouto’s having trouble breathing, and more trouble listening. His eyes are frantic, scanning the faces around them like somehow Izuku will be among them. But he’s not, he’s not and he’s out there somewhere, and Shouto’s brain is starting to pile worst-case scenarios on him, one on top of the other. He’s alive, he repeats to himself to fight them. He’s alive. He’s alive. He’s alive.

“I have to go look,” he chokes out, but Yaoyorozu grabs his wrist before he can get anyway. He yanks himself free. “I’m sorry,” he says, “I have to go look.”

Yaoyorozu calls out after him, but all he can hear is blood rushing in his ears. He runs into a few members of Izuku’s search party on his way over to where Yaoyorozu had said Jirou had last seen Izuku, and they hurriedly fill him in on where he should specifically search. He’s assigned a four story building nearby, and one of the heroes lends him their headset, to report if he finds anything.

Anything, they say, as if insinuating he may not find Izuku breathing. As if he may report on a dead body instead of—

Time is of essence, and Shouto can’t afford to spend any of it dwelling on ifs. He leaves the others with a curt nod, and starts towards his destination. Izuku is somewhere nearby, nearby and so far…

Shouto’s on the third floor of the building before anything in particular catches his eye. The ceiling of this story has a hole in it, wooden support beams sticking out of their places and debris piled on the floor underneath. Shouto swallows thickly, approaching the debris. He shoves a rather heavy piece of rubble aside, and lets out a breath when there’s nothing but more debris underneath it. This could be the result of a different hero-villain skirmish, but Shouto’s pulse quickens regardless as he ascends the stairs to the fourth floor.

It’s completely trashed, all furniture knocked around and the hole gaping in the floor. But there’s no Izuku. A window is smashed near the back of the room, and Shouto walks towards it with caution, as if the floor will give out beneath him. It creaks underneath his boots, but holds.

Shouto takes a breath before he sticks his head out of the shattered window, and the breath catches in his throat as he looks to the alleyway four stories down.

Izuku’s green and red hero attire is unmistakable, and he lies slumped against the wall of the building as if he dragged himself there. At least, that means—

Wasting no time, Shouto shoots a steep incline of ice down the side of the building and slides down it, his left side slicking the ice to make the trip downwards faster.

“Izuku,” Shouto blurts as he crouches over Izuku’s figure. “Izuku, Izuku…”

His legs are bent at unnatural angles, likely a result of the four-story fall, but it takes Shouto only a moment longer before he notices a far more pressing issue—the entire front of Izuku’s formerly green attire from below his chest and down is soaked red. An object Shouto can’t identify protrudes from just under Izuku’s ribs, and Izuku’s chest heaves with quick, desperate breaths.

He’s breathing.

“Izuku,” Shouto presses his palm to the side of Izuku’s face. “It’s okay. You’re okay. I’m going to…” Shouto pauses, adjusts the headset he wears, “I’m going to tell them that we’re here, and they’ll be here in a second. Okay? You’re okay.”

Izuku’s eyes crack open, only a touch, and he looks at Shouto with heavy eyelids, his head lolling against the wall behind him.

“You just have to stay awake until then. You can do that for me, can’t you? Izuku.” Shouto turns away to speak into his headset, hastily informing the others of their whereabouts.

“You’re supposed to be…” Izuku speaks up, voice hoarse. “...home.”

Shouto blinks at him, cups his hands around Izuku’s face. “Don’t worry about that.”

Izuku coughs, and blood spatters onto Shouto’s chest.

“And don’t speak,” Shouto commands. “Just focus on staying awake, okay? I’m here.”

“You’re crying,” Izuku states. Blood trails from the corner of his mouth and down his chin, disappearing under his mask.

Shouto hadn’t realized it, but now the tears burn in his eyes, blur his vision, and roll hotly down his cheeks. “It’s okay,” he assures, and his voice cracks. “You’re okay. We’re okay. Don’t speak.”

Izuku opens his mouth, and Shouto cups his hand over it.

“Shh,” he says, tears and blood mingling together on the front of Shouto’s costume. “Shh…”

It’s an indiscernible rush when the others arrive. Shouto is torn away from Izuku’s figure, and several people huddle around him, doing things that Shouto can’t see. Jirou is there, and she stands silent at Shouto’s side, her grip light just above on his elbow. Her presence is grounding, somehow, while Shouto feels like all he’s doing is floating away.

He doesn’t know how long it is before he’s sitting in the hospital waiting room, hands stained with dried blood clasped together in his lap. He doesn’t remember exactly how he got here or who brought him. There are people around him, and their gazes stick to him like he’s coated in double-sided tape. He’s far too familiar with hospital waiting rooms for his liking, and this one seems to be an exact culmination of all the ones he’s sat in in the past. It taunts him, almost.

But Izuku is here somewhere. He vaguely remembers hearing the word “surgery.” Someone’s hand is on his shoulder, suddenly, touch light as a feather. She’s talking, now.

Shouto can’t register a word Uraraka says, and can’t pretend like he can. Uraraka offers him a sad smile, and he stares at the delicate, red skin underneath her eyes. Her cheeks shine with shed tears and her eyes with unshed ones.

It’s hard to tell how many people are here for Izuku. It’s hard to focus long enough to count them, to identify them, to tuck their devastated expressions away into an old, wooden chest and throw away the key.

Hours pass between Shouto’s every blink. The sun goes down, the moon comes up, and the stars peek through the veil of the night. People come and they leave, but Shouto can’t recognize them, even if he’s known them for years. They seem to understand, anyway.

A nurse comes out with news, beckons Shouto to follow her. When Shouto stands, a blanket slides off of his shoulders and he wonders how long it’s been there.

She says a lot of words, but the ones that stand out the most are “stable condition” and “full recovery.” Shouto feels an immense weight lift from his shoulders, so much so that he could probably melt to a puddle on the ground and seep into the cracks in the tiles.

“Thank you,” he says to her, the first words he’s spoken in hours. “Thank you.”

She smiles at him, and she says, “Don’t be thanking me. He’ll be fine, now, but I won’t be able to say the same about you if you don’t get some rest.”

“Can I see him?” Shouto disregards her statement.

The nurse purses her lips. “I’m afraid not.”

Shouto clenches his jaw and nods sharply in acknowledgement.

He sleeps on Yaoyorozu’s couch that night.

Izuku and Shouto become well acquainted with that hospital in the three days that Izuku has to stay. They take many walks down the sterile, white hallways in an attempt to ease Izuku’s restlessness, but Izuku’s in a wheelchair so it doesn’t help much. Izuku seems to have a new visitor every hour, and they never quite find time to be alone.

On the fourth day, though, Izuku is released and Shouto takes him home.

“Shouto,” Izuku whines as they stand at the front door of their apartment complex. “I am not going up the stairs on these crutches.”

Shouto opens the door, and both of their gazes trail up the aforementioned case of stairs. And, well, for Shouto, the solution is a no-brainer.

“Come on,” he says, reaching up and patting the backs of his shoulders.

Izuku grins at him with the giddiness of a child, and Shouto shakes away the flashing image of blood seeping out through Izuku’s teeth.

Recklessly, Izuku flings himself onto Shouto’s back, wrapping his legs around Shouto torso and throwing his arms loosely over his shoulders and around his neck. The crutches clatter to the floor beside them, and Shouto lets out a bit of a grunt before he snakes his arms under Izuku’s thighs.

“You really need to be more careful,” Shouto says, eyeing the crutches before starting up the stairs, leaving them to lie on the floor to be retrieved later.

Izuku sets his head on Shouto’s shoulder. “I know,” he answers.

“If you know,” Shouto grumbles, taking step after step up the stairs, “when will you start?”

Izuku clicks his tongue, but doesn’t answer. “Heroes get hurt, Shouto. It’s practically in the job description,” he says instead.

Shouto sighs as he rests his hand on the knob of their apartment door. “I know,” he says. “I know that, I do. But couldn’t you try a little harder not to get hurt?” He opens the door and walks Izuku over to the couch before he sets him down on it. “I think it’s bad for my health.”

Izuku scoffs. “Bad for your health?”

“Really bad.”

“I’m no doctor,” Izuku says, “but I feel like it might be a little worse for mine.”

Shouto’s mouth quirks into a slight smile. “Debatable,” he says, before, “I’m getting your crutches now.”

As Shouto turns on his heel to go on his way, Izuku exclaims, “Wait!”

Shouto looks back over his shoulder. “What?”

“I never thanked you.”

Shouto blinks, confused. “For carrying you up the stairs?”

“Well, that either, but no.” Izuku pauses, looks down at his hands that thread together in his lap. “For… for finding me.”

“You don’t need to thank me for that,” Shouto states, turning back towards the door and setting his hand on the knob.

“Does anyone ever need to do anything?”

Shouto swallows thickly and shakes his head. “I guess not,” he says, looking back to Izuku again.

Izuku casts him a closed-lip grin before he says, “So, thank you. Thank you so much, Shouto.”

“I’m just glad you’re okay.”

“I’m glad that you’re okay, too.” Izuku pauses. “And, hey, Shouto?”


“I love you.”

“I love you, too, idiot. I love you so much that my stupid heart can’t hold all of it.”

Izuku gasps, blush spreading over his cheeks. “You’re a sap!”

Shouto blushes the same, but clears his throat. “And you almost died. So, shut up. I’m getting your crutches now.”

“Hurry back,” Izuku requests as Shouto opens the door. “I really want to kiss you.”

Izuku doesn’t have to know that Shouto went down and back up the stairs two at a time.