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Warm Nights

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1.

The first time Hizashi shares a bed with Shōta, they’re seventeen years old.

It’s just before New Year’s, and Shōta’s father is in Singapore on business. It hadn’t taken much convincing for Hizashi to get his mom to let Shōta stay over for winter break, because, really, no one should be alone on New Year’s. Of course, the selfish part of Hizashi is just happy to get to see Shōta everyday even though school isn’t in session right now.

“I wish we had a kotatsu,” Hizashi groans, wrapping himself tighter in his bedsheets. The lights in his room are all off, but he can tell from the pattern of Shōta’s breathing that he’s not the only one still awake.

“You shouldn’t sleep under kotatsu,” Shōta grumbles, head poking out from under the blanket of the futon spread out on the floor. “You move around too much in your sleep. You’d end up burning yourself on the heater.”

“I guess,” Hizashi sighs, trying to burrow even deeper into his blankets. “I wish my mom would at least turn up the heat a bit, though.”

Shōta lets out a little grunt in response, which Hizashi takes as a confirmation. It’s been a colder winter than usual, but Hizashi’s mother always just tells him to put on an extra sweater if he’s cold, which, admittedly, works well enough most of the time, but today it doesn’t feel like enough.

Hizashi sticks his hands under his pillow and wonders if Shōta’s wearing as many layers as he is right now.

For a minute or two, Hizashi squeezes his eyes shut and tries to sleep, but then he hears the windows rattle with another gust of cold air and lets his eyes fall open again, sighing. He glances over the edge of his bed, sneaking a peek at Shōta.

However, he pauses as he sees the futon blankets trembling a little.

“Are you cold?” Hizashi blurts out, moving closer to the edge of his bed and loosening his blanket cocoon.

“I’m fine,” Shōta grumbles, but Hizashi can hear his teeth chattering.

“Oh my god, seriously, get up here before you freeze to death,” Hizashi huffs, reaching down to tug at the edge of Shōta’s blanket. “I’m cold anyway and two blankets is better than one.”

For a moment, Shōta doesn’t reply, but then his head pokes out from under the futon blanket, and mumbles, “You better not kick me in your sleep.”

“I can’t make any promises,” Hizashi snorts, but when he lifts up the edge of his blanket, Shōta doesn’t hesitate to crawl underneath it, dragging the futon blanket along with him.

It’s certainly warmer with two blankets and Shōta’s added body heat, but Hizashi frowns as Shōta shifts around a little, trying to find a comfortable position. Without really thinking about what he’s doing, Hizashi reaches out to grab one of Shōta’s hands.

“Holy shit,” Hizashi squawks as he registers how cold Shōta’s fingers are. “You should have told me that you were that cold!”

“It’s not that bad,” Shōta mutters, but he doesn’t try to pull his hand out of Hizashi’s grasp.

“Uh huh,” Hizashi replies, unconvinced. He brings Shōta’s hand up to press it against his chest, and uses his free hand to take Shōta’s other hand, trying to impart as much body heat as he can. Shōta doesn’t protest or pull away.

It’s not until Hizashi has both of Shōta’s hands tightly in his grip that it occurs to Hizashi how close the two of them are. He feels his heartrate increase slightly, and he wonders if Shōta can feel it, now that his hand is pressed up against Hizashi’s chest.

The room is dark enough that Hizashi can’t see much, but with how little space there is between the two of them, Hizashi can make out Shōta’s dark eyes and the curve of his jaw. Hizashi freezes as the two of them make eye contact, though, and he desperately hopes that Shōta doesn’t make anything of his staring.

After all, while Shōta might only think of him platonically, Hizashi can’t say that his own thoughts about Shōta are entirely pure.

Hizashi doesn’t know if having Shōta in his tiny twin bed is a dream come true or a nightmare.

“I think my hands are fine now,” Shōta says, breaking Hizashi abruptly from his thoughts.

“R-right,” Hizashi sputters, releasing Shōta’s hands a little quicker than is probably necessary. “Right, we should – sleep. Sleep would be good.”

“Are you still cold?” Shōta asks, frowning slightly. He moves a little closer to Hizashi and Hizashi has to concentrate to keep his breathing from quickening. “Your voice sounds weird.”

“No, I’m, uh, I think I’m okay now,” Hizashi manages. To be entirely honest, he almost feels too hot now, but that doesn’t have anything to do with the actual room temperature.

For a moment, Shōta’s quiet, studying Hizashi’s face for confirmation. Finally, though, he says, “Okay,” and looks away.

Hizashi lets out a quiet, relieved sigh, and then closes his eyes, willing sleep to overcome him quickly.

It’s going to be a very long night.

(The next morning, after coming to wake the two of them up for breakfast, Hizashi’s mother pulls him aside and tells him to keep the door to his room open at night. Hizashi doesn’t think he’s ever been more embarrassed in his life.)

---

2.

It’s Shōta’s twentieth birthday.

It’s Shōta’s twentieth birthday, which means the both of them are now of legal drinking age, which means that Hizashi is currently very, very drunk.

Of course, it’s not like Hizashi’s never had alcohol before, but he’s pretty sure he’s never gotten quite this smashed. He feels like he should be walking in a straight line right now as they enter Shōta’s apartment, but he keeps tripping over things: the coffee table, the carpet, his own feet. Shōta’s next to him, though, so he does the logical thing and slings his arm over Shōta’s shoulders.

“Heavy,” Shōta mumbles, listing to the side a little, his shoulder knocking against the wall.

“’m not heavy,” Hizashi protests, making no move to let go of Shōta. Shōta feels so warm and sturdy and Hizashi kind of just wants to bury his face in Shōta’s neck and pass out.

Shōta lets out a little grunt in response that certainly doesn’t sound like a confirmation to Hizashi. Before Hizashi can protest, though, Shōta says, “We should – bed.”

“Bed?” Hizashi sputters. Even though the lighting in the apartment is dim, he can tell that Shōta’s face is a little red from the alcohol in his system and it doesn’t take much for Hizashi’s mind to leap to what Shōta would look like flushed and sprawled out on the bedsheets.

“You can’t – ” Shōta starts, tilting away from the wall and listing against Hizashi instead. “ – get home. Like this.” Shōta groans. “’m gonna throw up.”

Somehow, Hizashi manages to help Shōta stumble over to the bathroom before he actually loses his stomach contents. Hizashi wrinkles his nose and his own stomach starts to protest at the vile sent, but he finds the wherewithal to pull back Shōta’s hair out of his face.

Hizashi twists his fingers in Shōta’s hair idly and can’t help but marvel over how long it’s gotten. Before he can think about it too hard, he leans forward to press his face against the back of Shōta’s head, breathing in Shōta’s scent, trying to block out the stench of vomit in the bathroom. Shōta smells like booze, which is hardly a surprise, but underneath there’s the smell of soap (bar soap, generic) and something else that Hizashi can’t quite place, but which his mind inexplicably links with Shōta.

“You can’t pass out yet,” Shōta mumbles, finally breaking Hizashi out of his daze.

“Mmm,” Hizashi replies, somehow managing to stumble to his feet. He watches as Shōta flushes the toilet and then rinses out his mouth in the sink, before careening back towards the doorway. Hizashi manages to catch him before he falls against the wall, but it’s a near thing, and Hizashi nearly loses his balance too.

“Thanks,” Shōta mumbles, slumping against Hizashi’s chest, and Hizashi tries to ignore the feeling of Shōta’s body heat against him.

The two of them manage to make it to Shōta’s bedroom, but only barely. They collapse onto Shōta’s messy, unmade bed, and Hizashi lets out a groan, twisting his fists into the covers and burying his face in one of the pillows. It smells like Shōta – like bar soap and that other unidentifiable scent.

Hizashi wants to burrow into Shōta’s bed and stay there forever.

“My side,” Shōta grumbles, pressing against Hizashi’s shoulder, shoving him over a little. “That’s my side.”

Hizashi groans, but does his best to move over a little bit – not that he actually gets that far. His limbs feel surprisingly heavy all the sudden and it seems like a whole lot of effort to get all the way to the other side of the bed. Apparently the small bit of space Hizashi frees up is enough for Shōta, though, because he doesn’t make any further protests, instead crowding as close up into Hizashi’s personal space as possible.

If he were more sober, maybe Hizashi would have been able to hold himself back, but as it is, he’d drunk enough that he doesn’t hesitate to wrap an arm around Shōta. Not that Shōta seems to mind, wiggling closer to Hizashi and pressing his cheek against Hizashi’s chest.

Vaguely, Hizashi thinks that his high school self would have probably exploded from this much contact with Shōta. As it is, though, all he feels is a strange warmth in his chest, which might just be from the alcohol anyway.

Hizashi’s eyelids droop and the next moment he’s out cold.

(When Hizashi wakes up the next morning, he feels like death warmed over and no amount of Shōta still clinging to him can fix that. Although, admittedly, Shōta’s cheek pressed against his chest does make the morning a little less shitty.)

---

3.

The first thing Hizashi registers as he regains consciousness is that he feels very warm.

It’s midsummer so it’s not exactly unusual to wake up a little overheated, but the warmth enveloping his body seems more extreme than usual. Still, he wouldn’t really call it unpleasant. He can’t remember what exactly he was dreaming about, but it must have been good, because he’s still half hard in his pajama pants.

Hizashi groans as he registers a solid weight pressing down on top of him and he can’t help the way his hips twitch up a little, seeking friction.

However, as soon as Hizashi cracks his eyes open, he freezes.

Shōta’s sprawled out on top of him, half on top of Hizashi’s chest with his face resting against Hizashi’s collarbone. His thigh is settled between Hizashi’s legs, pressed up against Hizashi’s hard-on, and Hizashi feels like he can’t breathe as he fully registers the situation.

It takes Hizashi a moment to remember why Shōta is in his bed. The two of them had been out late tracking down an armed robber who had managed to escape a bank heist Hizashi had stopped earlier that day, and tracking down the guy had taken longer than anticipated. By the time they’d finally finished up, both of them were exhausted enough that they’d decided to crash at Hizashi’s apartment, and setting up a futon for Shōta seemed like far too much effort at the time.

A simple reason. Innocent, really.

Right now, Hizashi isn’t feeling so innocent.

He shifts a little, trying to figure out how to wriggle out from under Shōta, but that only creates more friction, and Hizashi has to bite his lip to keep from letting out any embarrassing sounds. In response to Hizashi’s movement, Shōta stirs a little and Hizashi freezes, holding his breath and waiting for Shōta to open his eyes.

Shōta doesn’t actually wake up, though, and Hizashi doesn’t know if he’s relieved or dismayed. While Shōta’s mastered the art of light sleeping when it comes to his frequent naps, when he’s truly under, it’s hard to wake him.

Hizashi lets out a slow breath and tries to figure how to get out of this situation. There’s a small, depraved part of him that just wants to rub off against Shōta’s thigh, to savor the feeling of Shōta’s body pressed against him and give in to his more primal urges. He could always just blame it on being half asleep, could claim that he was dreaming and didn’t realize that it was Shōta in his bed.

Just considering it makes Hizashi feel vaguely nauseous, though, and he firmly dismisses that train of thought. But then Shōta shifts in his sleep again, thigh dragging against Hizashi crotch, and Hizashi can’t quite help the needy whine that escapes his throat.

Slowly, Hizashi tries to get out from under Shōta. Most of Shōta’s weight is on his right side, so he tries moving left, shimmying his torso a little to shift himself out from under Shōta’s chest. That seems to work a little, so Hizashi tries the same movement with his lower body this time.

It’s much less successful.

Shōta lets out a little sound that goes straight to Hizashi’s dick, and Hizashi’s suddenly aware of something hard pressing against his own hip. He sucks in a sharp breath and stares at the ceiling, willing himself to calm down and not think about how his squirming has caused Shōta to start getting hard too.

Shōta shifts again, his lips grazing Hizashi’s collarbone and his unruly stubble scraping against Hizashi’s skin. He shifts his hips a little, rubbing against Hizashi’s hip lazily, his thigh pressing harder between Hizashi’s legs.

Hizashi bites his lip to stifle a whimper. Any more of this and he’s going to come all over himself like a trigger-happy teenager. Shōta feels so good, though, and Hizashi would be lying if he said he hadn’t ever fantasized about this sort of situation.

Well, maybe not this exact situation. Because in his fantasies, Shōta actually reciprocates his feelings and doesn’t mind waking up to lazy morning sex.

Shōta nuzzles Hizashi’s neck sleepily, rocking his hips, and Hizashi decides that trying to gently get himself out of this mess isn’t going to work. Mentally, he apologizes to Shōta, before struggling into an upright position and shoving Shōta off him.

Shōta lets out a surprised grunt, his eyes fluttering open, endearingly sleepy and confused. Hizashi bites his lip, grateful for the blankets covering his lower body, because his hard-on hasn’t dissipated at all – not with the way Shōta’s shirt is riding up, revealing tantalizing glimpses of bare skin.

“Bathroom!” Hizashi blurts out. He’s sure his face has flushed bright red by now. “I need to – bathroom.”

He practically tumbles off the edge of the bed in an effort to escape. Of course, it’s not until he’s no longer in bed with Shōta that it occurs to him that he has nothing to cover up his arousal anymore, the outline of his cock obvious through his sweatpants. Shōta’s eyes catch on his bulge for a split-second and Hizashi’s face heats even more as he mutters, “I have to – ” and then darts out of the room before he can even finish his sentence.

Once he’s safely locked in the bathroom, away from Shōta’s prying eyes, Hizashi shoves his hands down his pants. With how keyed up he is, it only takes a couple of strokes before he’s coming with a muffled moan, making a complete mess of himself.

It takes him a few moments to come down from his orgasm.

When he’s finally coherent enough to think straight again, though, he lets out a frustrated groan, knocking his head back against the wall. There’s no way Shōta doesn’t know what he just did in the bathroom and Hizashi has half a mind to just hide out here for the rest of his life, if it means avoiding further embarrassment. Shōta probably thinks he’s a creep now.

Not that he was the only one who participated in their little grinding session, of course. Briefly, he wonders if Shōta’s dealing with his own hard-on right now, but he cuts off that train of thought as quickly as he can.

Hizashi sighs and turns on the sink to start cleaning himself up.

When Hizashi finally reemerges from the bathroom, he’s a little surprised to find Shōta still in his apartment, sitting at the kitchen table and nursing a cup of coffee.

“Uh,” Hizashi starts, freezing in the kitchen doorway.

“There’s extra coffee,” Shōta replies casually, nodding towards the coffee pot.

“Right,” Hizashi says stiffly. “Thanks.”

Shōta sighs, putting down his own mug and turning to face Hizashi fully. Hizashi feels his shoulders tense involuntarily as he waits for Shōta to start whatever awkward conversation they’re about to have.

“It was a perfectly normal, biological reaction for two men our age,” Shōta says, his tone almost bored. Hizashi blinks at him owlishly, caught off guard.

“Right,” Hizashi says awkwardly.

“Stop acting weird,” Shōta huffs, and he looks like he’s barely resisting the urge to roll his eyes. “It’s not like we fucked.”

“Yeah,” Hizashi replies weakly.

He thinks he’s going to need something stronger than coffee at some point today.

(The next time he jerks off, he can’t help but recall the feeling of Shōta grinding against his hip. He really hopes it doesn’t become part of his usual masturbation routine.)

---

4.

Hizashi does know if he’s exhausted or energized.

He’s been awake for over forty-eight hours straight now, and although logically he knows he should be on the brink of passing out, he just doesn’t… feel it. There’s too much he has to do anyway, between grading his students’ mid-term exams, running the radio station annual fundraiser, and dealing with the recent spike in petty crime near his neighborhood.

Sleep can probably wait a little longer.

“Hizashi.”

Hizashi startles as he feels a hand come down on his shoulder, but he relaxes again as he realizes it’s just Shōta. He blinks as he takes in the rest of the staff room, though, now almost completely devoid of people.

Before he can look over at the clock to find out what time it is, Shōta says, “What is this?”

Shōta reaches down to pick up the essay that Hizashi was just grading, his lips turning down into a frown and his brow furrowing as his eyes dart across the page.

“A student’s essay,” Hizashi answers, leaning back in his chair and taking a moment to stretch, cursing how stiff he feels. He really needs to get out and move around for a while, maybe track down a villain or something.

“Your comments are barely legible,” Shōta says, breaking Hizashi from his thoughts. “I can barely read half of what you’ve written.”

“Really?” Hizashi asks, his own lips turning down into a frown now.

Shōta eyes turn to fix on Hizashi now, instead of the essay, and Hizashi feels his skin prickle a little as Shōta examines him.

“How much sleep did you get last night?” Shōta asks, narrowing his eyes at Hizashi.

The questions catches Hizashi off guard, and he hesitates for a moment, which only makes Shōta look more suspicious of him. Finally, Hizashi says, “I’m not tired.”

“That’s not what I asked,” Shōta counters, and Hizashi has to suppress a grimace. He much prefers fretting over Shōta’s poor sleep schedule than letting Shōta pester him about his.

“I didn’t sleep,” Hizashi finally sighs. Shōta knows him well enough to see through him if he were to lie. “I’ll catch up on the weekend.”

“That’s not how it works,” Shōta snorts. “Or at least that’s what you tell me every time I skip sleep.”

Hizashi scowls in response.

“Look, it’s affecting your work,” Shōta sighs, waving the essay in his hand. “You’re just creating more work for yourself at this rate. Go home and get some rest.”

For a moment, Hizashi hesitates, wanting to protest. Shōta’s expression books no argument, though, so instead Hizashi finally admits, “I can’t sleep.”

Shōta’s frown deepens, and he narrows his eyes, like he’s trying to tell if Hizashi is just making up excuses or not. He must see something in Hizashi’s expression, though, because after a few moments of silence, he asks, “What do you mean?”

“I don’t know,” Hizashi groans, rubbing his eyes with the heels of his palms. “It’s just that whenever I try to sleep I just end up staring at the ceiling, thinking about all of the things I need to do. I wasted four hours just lying around in bed last night until I finally got up to do some work.”

“Then lie in bed longer tonight and maybe you’ll finally pass out,” Shōta snorts, but there’s a certain undercurrent of concern in his expression.

“I don’t know if I can do that,” Hizashi huffs, his expression dangerously close to a pout. “I just can’t relax.”

For a moment, Shōta’s quiet.

Then he says, “Come on. I’m taking you home.”

Apparently Hizashi’s brain is a little more sleep addled than he thought it was, because for a moment he almost misinterprets what Shōta means about ‘taking him home.’ There’s no use arguing with Shōta, though, because Shōta can be incredibly stubborn when he wants to be, so Hizashi sighs and drags himself out of his desk chair.

The drive back to Hizashi’s apartment is quiet. Shōta doesn’t actually own a car, but he’s driven Hizashi’s enough times that he navigates it with ease. Hizashi, meanwhile, occupies himself with fiddling with the car radio, skipping from station to station, getting a little agitated when he can’t find any songs he likes. Eventually, he just turns it off and slumps back into his seat.

“Almost there,” Shōta murmurs when they finally arrive at Hizashi’s apartment building.

Hizashi grunts in reply, but manages to drag himself out of the car.

The elevator ride seems to take forever. Hizashi feels jittery, impatient, and he finds himself crossing his arms over his chest and tapping his foot against the floor, his eyes tracking the lights on the elevator as they ascend from floor to floor. Briefly, he wishes they’d taken the stairs instead.

Finally, though, they get to Hizashi’s apartment. Shōta unlocks the door with the spare key Hizashi had given him a few years back, not even bothering to wait for Hizashi to dig out his own key. And, when they step into the apartment, Shōta says, “Bed.”

“Yes, mother,” Hizashi snorts, but he kicks off his boots and starts heading in the direction of his bedroom.

However, instead of turning to leave, Shōta takes off his shoes too.

“I thought you wanted me to sleep,” Hizashi says, his lips turning down into a frown.

“I’m going to stay for a while to make sure you actually fall asleep and don’t just start working again as soon as I leave,” Shōta replies, following Hizashi into the apartment.

“Right, well, at least let me get changed first,” Hizashi sighs, heading back towards his bedroom.

It doesn’t take Hizashi too long to get into his pajamas, and only a couple more minutes to brush his teeth and rinse the gel out of his hair, so that it falls loose and damp around his shoulders. Shōta’s waiting for him when he gets back out of the bathroom, leaning against the far wall of Hizashi’s bedroom, arms crossed over his chest.

“You’re seriously not planning on standing there all night, are you?” Hizashi asks, arching an eyebrow at Shōta.

“Just until you fall asleep,” Shōta replies, and Hizashi lets out a sigh.

“Didn’t I just tell you that I couldn’t get to sleep for four hours last night?” Hizashi says, pulling the covers back on his bed on both sides. “You’re going to be standing there for a long time. All night, maybe.”

“I’ll be fine,” Shōta grunts, a certain stubbornness to his tone.

“Look, at least sit on the bed or something,” Hizashi sighs, getting up onto his side of the bed and patting the empty space beside him in invitation. “I promise not to bite.”

Shōta hesitates, and briefly Hizashi wonders if Shōta’s worried about what happened last time they shared a bed. After a couple moments of indecision, though, Shōta comes over to the edge of the bed and sits down, back resting against the headboard.

“Not going to lie down?” Hizashi asks, frowning slightly. His heart is beating fast in his chest, but he does his best to ignore it.

“I’ll fall asleep before you if I do,” Shōta snorts, and Hizashi supposes he can’t argue with that.

“Can you get the light?” Hizashi says instead, and a moment later the room is plunged into darkness.

With nothing else to do, Hizashi closes his eyes and tries to fall asleep.

In the end, he manages to go a couple of minutes without moving, before he finally can’t take it anymore and wriggles around to lie on his other side. Of course, that position doesn’t seem to help him sleep any better either, and Hizashi tugs at the blankets, trying to rearrange them around his body.

Five minutes later, Hizashi decides he’s too warm and kicks the blankets back off again.

This cycle of tossing and turning continues for another fifteen minutes or so before Shōta finally says, “Stop squirming,” his tone vaguely annoyed in a way that makes Hizashi stiffen up, going still.

Of course, even this stillness only lasts a couple of seconds.

“I can’t,” Hizashi finally whines, turning back around to face Shōta again. “I just – I feel like I should be doing something.”

For a moment, Shōta’s quiet, but then he says, “Come here.”

Hizashi blinks at him for a moment. (Or, well, he blinks at what little of Shōta he can see in the darkness.) However, after a brief moment of hesitation, he scoots a little closer to Shōta.

What he isn’t expecting Shōta to do, though, is guide his head into his lap. As soon as Hizashi registers what’s happening, he tenses up, his mind running at a mile a minute as his head rests against Shōta’s thighs.

“Just relax,” Shōta says, his voice soft. He threads his fingers through Hizashi’s hair, stroking it gently, and Hizashi’s eyes slide shut on instinct as he basks in the sensation.

In fact, Hizashi actually feels the tension start to drain out of his body as he rests his head in Shōta’s lap.  Normally his mind is crowded by thoughts of all the things he has to do in the next few days, but right now all he focus on is the sensation of Shōta’s hands in his hair and the feeling of Shōta’s thighs under his head.

It’s more comfortable than Hizashi would have thought, and before he knows it, he’s slipped into unconsciousness.

(When Hizashi finally wakes up again the next morning, he finds Shōta asleep, slumped against the headboard with his fingers still tangled in Hizashi’s hair.)

---

5.

Shōta looks like death warmed over.

Hizashi isn’t exaggerating. He honestly doesn’t think he’s ever seen Shōta this beat up, even back when they were first starting out as heroes and struggled to avoid getting their asses kicked by the villain of the week. Part of Hizashi wants to go on a rampage and scream until he’s deafened every single villain involved in that attack on Shōta and his class, but, well, with the current state of things, that would be unproductive at best.

Not that sitting by Shōta’s bedside like a sad puppy is any more productive, Hizashi supposes. Still, he wants Shōta to at least be able to wake up to a familiar face.

Then again, Hizashi’s not doing too good of a job keeping himself awake. He’s lost track of how many hours he’s spent sitting in the uncomfortable hospital chair next to Shōta’s bed now, and he can see through the window that the sun’s already starting to set. He’s been doing some grading to pass the time, but that’s certainly not helping him stay awake, and at this point he’s pretty sure the only reason he hasn’t dozed off yet is that he wants to be awake when Shōta is.

Briefly, Hizashi wonders if it would be okay for him to just rest his head against the hospital bed for a little while.

Hizashi hesitates for a moment, but then pulls his chair up closer to the hospital bed, until his knees bump against the side. He takes a while to just examine Shōta, to take in the casts covering his arms and the pattern the bandages make as they crisscross his face.

Hizashi’s pretty sure he has it memorized by now.

Finally, Hizashi sighs, leaning forward to set his forearms on the bed and then resting the side of his head on top of them. It’s not a terribly comfortable position and it reminds Hizashi a little bit of trying to sleep on an airplane tray-table, but it’s good enough for now.

Hizashi doesn’t close his eyes quite yet, though, instead continuing to gaze at Shōta. The angle is a little awkward and he’s sure that his neck is going to hate him later, but right now he can’t muster the strength to find a more comfortable position.

Eventually, though, his eyes slip shut.

“Hizashi.”

Hizashi’s eyes flutter open as he feels something nudge his shoulder. He groans, wondering how long he dozed off for, and his eyes drift over to the window, where the sun is still just peeking out over the horizon. Not too long, then.

“Hizashi.”

Finally, the voice registers in Hizashi’s mind and he bolts upright, suddenly wide awake as he looks down at Shōta, who’s looking up at him from the hospital bed.

“Shōta!” Hizashi exclaims, unable to hide the relief in his voice. “You’re awake! How are you feeling?”

“Students?” Shōta asks, his voice a little hoarse.

“They’re fine,” Hizashi replies, his lips turning up in the ghost of a smile. Sometimes he wishes that Shōta would prioritize his own health and safety over others’, but he knows that it’s not in Shōta’s nature. “Midoriya overused his quirk and got injured again, but he’s been treated, and no one else was significantly injured. I’m sure they’ll be sending you Get Well cards soon.”

Shōta lets out a small, derisive snort. Hizashi can’t quite suppress the smile that tugs at his lips, though, because he knows that as much as Shōta pretends not to care, he would definitely keep every badly made card given to him by his students.

“Here, have some water,” Hizashi says, grabbing a water bottle off of Shōta’s bedside table and cracking it open, before sticking a straw in it.

Amazingly enough, Shōta doesn’t protest, instead just letting his mouth fall open so that Hizashi can guide the end of the straw into his mouth. Briefly, Hizashi wonders how long Shōta’s arms are going to be stuck in those casts, and how long he’s going to have to spoon-feed Shōta because of them.

Not that Hizashi minds taking care of Shōta.

Shōta gulps down half of the bottle before finally pulling away, letting Hizashi put the water back down on the bedside table. However, then he turns his intense gaze on Hizashi. Even though Hizashi knows that Shōta can probably barely see ten centimeters in front of his face, due to the damage to his eyes, it still feels like he can see right through Hizashi.

“How long have you been here?” Shōta asks, and Hizashi has to bite back a sigh. He knew this conversation was coming.

“A while,” Hizashi admits, but he does his best to keep his answer vague. Shōta looks unsatisfied with his reply.

“Are you even allowed to be here now?” Shōta questions, trying to struggle up into a sitting position. Hizashi presses his hand gently to Shōta’s chest, though, keeping him down.

“Hey, take it easy,” Hizashi says, not letting Shōta up. “But yeah, apparently you’re stable enough for visitors, although you certainly don’t look like it, with the amount of bandages you’re wrapped in right now.”

“Mmm,” Shōta replies with a noncommittal hum. “What time is it?”

“Only about half past eight,” Hizashi answers, glancing at the clock. “It’s not that late and this hospital doesn’t have set visiting hours anyway.”

“Watching me sleep can’t be that interesting,” Shōta snorts, giving Hizashi an unimpressed look. “You should head home and get some rest and something to eat.”

“I got something from the cafeteria earlier,” Hizashi protests. “And I was just napping a few minutes ago.”

“Is there any way I can convince you to leave?” Shōta asks, and Hizashi can’t help but smile.

“Nope,” Hizashi answers. “You’re stuck with me.”

Shōta sighs.

(Shōta falls asleep again an hour later and Hizashi follows suit shortly after, his arms and head resting on the side of Shōta’s hospital bed. The next morning Hizashi’s back feels stiffer than it did after that time he took a plane flight all the way to New York City, but he can’t bring himself to regret it.)

---

+1.

Hizashi’s at Shōta’s apartment when the snowstorm hits.

“Wow,” Hizashi says as he peers out the window, looking at the heavy snowfall. “How long do they say this is going to last?”

“It should let up early tomorrow morning,” Shōta answers as he flips through different weather reports on the TV. “You’ll probably have to stay here tonight, though.”

“You’re not going to kick me out into the cold?” Hizashi teases, shooting Shōta a grin. Shōta gives him a flat look in reply, and Hizashi can’t help but let out a little laugh.

“We’d need to find another English teacher if you died,” Shōta says dryly.

“Wow, Shōta, that’s cold,” Hizashi sighs overdramatically, flopping back down on the couch next to Shōta. “Does our friendship mean that little to you?”

“I’m not sure I can be friends with someone with such terrible taste in television,” Shōta snorts, but Hizashi can see a smile tugging at the corners of his lips.

“Hey, game shows are hilarious sometimes,” Hizashi huffs. “If it were up to you, we’d just watch weird, sad dramas all the time.”

“I sincerely thought that movie was going to be about actual cats disappearing, not some guy with a brain tumor,” Shōta protests, shooting Hizashi a glare.

“And this is why you should read the whole movie description, not just the title,” Hizashi replies. Truthfully, he hadn’t minded the movie that much, but it’s fun to tease Shōta about it nonetheless.

The two of them bicker for a while longer as Shōta continues to flip through channels, but eventually they give up on the search and Shōta turns off the TV. For a moment, the two of them just sit in silence, but then Shōta stands up from the couch, stretching languidly. Hizashi can’t quite help how his eyes are drawn to the way Shōta’s shirt rides up, revealing a sliver of skin.

“I’m getting ready for bed,” Shōta announces, letting his arms fall down by his sides. “You can borrow some pajamas if you want.”

“Sure,” Hizashi replies, dragging himself off the couch too and trying not to think about wearing Shōta’s clothes. It’s not like they’ve never borrowed each other’s clothes out of necessity before, but somehow it always feels intimate to Hizashi, even though he knows there’s no romantic intent behind it.

He follows Shōta back to the bedroom, watching as Shōta rummages through a drawer before finally handing Hizashi a pair of sweatpants and a worn t-shirt. Hizashi excuses himself to the bathroom to change, stripping out of his dirty clothes quickly and tugging the borrowed clothes on.

However, once he’s finished changing, Hizashi takes a moment to just bury his face in Shōta’s shirt, drinking in Shōta’s scent. Shōta still smells like generic bar soap and something else that Hizashi’s unable to place, and briefly Hizashi wonders if there’s any way for him to steal this shirt, just so he’ll be able to wear it around and think of Shōta.

That would probably be creepy, though.

Hizashi banishes those thoughts from his mind and busies himself with washing his face and getting ready for bed. When he finally reemerges from the bathroom, though, Shōta is waiting for him.

“It’s supposed to get pretty cold tonight and I don’t have any blankets that are very thick, except for the one on my bed,” Shōta says without preamble.

“Don’t worry about it,” Hizashi replies, waving off Shōta’s concerns. “I’m sure I’ll be fine on the couch, considering how cold my mom liked to keep the house when I was younger.”

For a moment, Shōta’s quiet, but then he says, “There’s enough room in the bed, if you don’t mind sharing.”

“Oh,” Hizashi replies, a little caught off guard. “Yeah, that’s fine with me.”

“Pick whichever side you want,” Shōta says, before pushing past him to get to the bathroom, the door closing behind him with a soft click.

Hizashi makes his way to the bedroom, but once he gets inside, he finds himself hesitating. It’s not like he and Shōta haven’t shared a bed before. Then again, not all of those times went terribly smoothly, and Hizashi’s face flushes a little as he thinks back to the time he’d woken up with a hard-on and Shōta sprawled out on top of him. Still, some of those other times were pleasant.

The thing is, Hizashi likes having Shōta in his bed probably more than he should.

Eventually, Hizashi sighs and flops down on the left side of the bed. From what he can remember, Shōta prefers the right side.

Hizashi burrows under the covers, letting out a soft, pleased sound at how warm it is. He turns his head a little to press his face up against the pillow and once again finds his senses flooded with Shōta’s scent. It’s stronger than it was on the shirt, Hizashi thinks, and part of him just wants to lie here like this forever.

Before Hizashi manages to do anything truly embarrassing, though, Shōta comes back into the room. He pauses for a moment as his eyes land on Hizashi, curled up in the bed, and for a moment an expression flickers across his face that Hizashi can’t quite interpret. But then Shōta averts his eyes and turns off the lights, leaving the room too dim for Hizashi to see his face clearly.

The bed dips a little as Shōta crawls under the covers. There’s a reasonable amount of space between them now, but not enough that Hizashi couldn’t just lean over and press his lips to Shōta’s.

Hizashi averts his eyes and tries to think about anything else.

For a moment, the two of them are quiet, but then Shōta says, “Do you remember that time in high school I stayed over at your house for New Year’s and we ended up sharing your bed because it was so cold?”

“Yeah,” Hizashi replies, his heart beating rapidly in his chest as he wonders where this conversation is going. “Your hands were ridiculously cold. It’s amazing your fingers hadn’t turned blue or anything.”

“I think my hands just naturally run cold,” Shōta snorts.

“Really?” Hizashi asks, skeptical. “Because your hands were pretty damn cold.”

“Here,” Shōta says, and a moment later Hizashi feels Shōta’s hand against his.

“I guess it is a little cold,” Hizashi replies, twining their fingers together. He tries to convince himself it’s just to pass on some body heat, but he’s not that good at lying to himself.

For a moment, Hizashi hesitates, but then he guides Shōta’s hand up to his chest, holding it there like he did the last time they’d shared a bed for warmth. It’s an intimate gesture, and it makes something deep inside Hizashi’s chest hurt, a feeling boiling up in him that he’s been doing his best to suppress for far, far too long.

“Shōta – ” Hizashi starts.

But before he can finish, Shōta presses their lips together in a soft kiss.

It takes Hizashi a moment to register what’s happening, but then he starts kissing back, slow and a little tentative. Part of him is still having trouble processing this, can’t quite believe that Shōta’s actually kissing him, lips moving against his and body pressing closer as each moment passes.

Finally, though, Shōta pulls away.

“W-what…” Hizashi stutters, at a loss for words.

“If you’re uncomfortable now, I can sleep on the couch,” Shōta mumbles, and he tries to drag his hand back out of Hizashi’s grip, but Hizashi holds tight.

“I’m not uncomfortable,” Hizashi says, licking his lips, a nervous gesture. “But why…?”

Hizashi’s heart thumps hard in his chest as he waits for Shōta to say that the kiss was on impulse, that having Hizashi in his bed like this is convenient.

Instead, Shōta says, “I just wanted to.” He pauses. “I’ve wanted to for a very long time.”

Hizashi’s breathing hitches and he leans in to kiss Shōta again, harder this time. It catches Shōta off guard, apparently, making him let out a little whine, and Hizashi doesn’t hesitate to deepen the kiss. He brings up his free hand to thread his fingers through Shōta’s hair, crowding closer to Shōta and kissing him as passionately as he knows how.

Eventually, though, he has to come back up for air.

“Me too,” Hizashi says around heavy breaths, squeezing Shōta’s hand tight. “I’ve wanted this too. For a very long time. You in my bed, every night.”

“Well,” Shōta snorts, his lips quirking up into a small smile, “I’m not quite sure I want to move in with you right away. I’d like at least one date first.”

Hizashi laughs and kisses him again.

(When Hizashi wakes up the next morning, he feels like he’s being suffocated by a furnace, cocooned in blankets with Shōta draped over his chest. He couldn’t be happier.)