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lingering gazes

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It’s hard not to notice the where Midoriya’s eyes linger, especially as of late. Tenya has had a hard time coming to terms with his own feelings, where Midoriya and Uraraka are concerned, but between the two of them, it’s become easier. He wasn’t looking for a relationship, but one found him, in the form of his two closest friends, and now, it’s hard not to notice where Midoriya’s eyes linger.

When he thinks about it, he supposes that it’s always been obvious, but he’s always been dense. After all, he had a hard time understanding his own feelings, so it’s no wonder it’s taken him until now to figure out that Midoriya has feelings for Bakugo. The two of them have known each other for so long, and have a complicated rivalry, and everyone has questioned, from time to time, why Midoriya puts in effort still, and why Bakugo can’t stay away, despite trying so often to push Midoriya away.

Now, Tenya is starting to figure out that Bakugo might return those feelings.

Uraraka asks him one day, “What do you think about Deku and Bakugo?”

Because he doesn’t know what to think, he only says, “I think that’s something between the two of them, and that it’s something they have to work out.”

“But what if they do? Do you want to date Bakugo?”

“Wh-what kind of question is that?!”

What kind of question, indeed. Tenya is dense, and has a hard time understanding the feelings of others, and understanding his own feelings. He never allows his thoughts to linger on Bakugo for long.

~X~

Mei Hatsume invites herself in like it’s the most natural thing in the world, approaching Tenya, of all people, to let him know that she’s interested in him.

“Not just you, though,” she says. “The floaty girl and the almost-champion, too!”

“Wh- don’t you at least know our names?” He stammers, thrown off both because he’s never met someone as forward as her and because he’s reminded of someone when she doesn’t call them by name.

“‘Course I do, but that’s more fun. So, what do you say, Legs?”

Because he doesn’t know what to say, he lets her talk with the others, and because he admires her forwardness more than he cares to admit, and because she’s attractive and he’s slowly growing more bold, he agrees to date her, and the three of them become the four of them, and Midoriya’s eyes still linger on Bakugo.

~X~

Despite not being in their class, Hatsume fits right in, and she takes notice of the problem at hand fairly early on.

“He’s in love with the angry, explodey boy, isn’t he?” she asks bluntly, one day when Midoriya isn’t around.

“You can’t just ask questions like that!” Tenya exclaims, but Uraraka just laughs.

“It’s pretty obvious, huh? They’ve known each other since they were kids, but neither one of them wants to make the first move,” she says. “I guess it’s pretty complicated.”

“Why don’t you guys just ask him out?” asks Hatsume. “Or, wait, do you guys not like him at all? Not gonna lie, that wouldn’t surprise me.”

“Well, we mostly want to let them figure things out. Plus,” she says with a grin, “I don’t think Tenya is ready for that yet!”

“H-huh?! Uraraka, I don’t-”

“Ooh, I get it!” Hatsume mirrors Uraraka’s grin, and no matter how he protests, neither will listen.

~X~

Tokoyami and Asui are next. The two of them begin dating, almost discreetly, if only because neither of them are big on making spectacles of themselves, though it’s not a secret. But the two of them have something else in common, something that they discuss amongst themselves when they begin dating and decide to pursue- a mutual attraction to Midoriya. Asui does most of the talking when they approach him, but Midoriya doesn’t make a decision without talking to the others. At this point, the group is all too used to sharing, and even Tenya is growing comfortable with this kind of relationship.

Even though the two of them are only going out with each other, and Midoriya, they fit in well, and nothing feels off, even when Midoriya isn’t always with them. Now, Midoriya has five people who adore him, and the four of them become the six of them, and his eyes still linger on Bakugo, and Tenya still doesn’t know what to do. He knows, at least, that when Bakugo looks at the group, he’s really only looking at Midoriya.

~X~

“So, are we ever going to talk about Bakugo?” asks Asui one day, when Midoriya is not around, and Uraraka lets out a sigh.

“See?” asks Hatsume. “Even they’ve got it figure out.”

“The two of them do make it obvious,” says Tokoyami.

This time, when Uraraka gives them the rundown of what’s going on, she doesn’t tease Tenya about anything, or make any remarks that leave him stammering as he tries to defend himself. Asui nods and says, “I guess that makes sense. If either of them want something to happen, they’re going to have to make it happen themselves, huh?”

“Even if it would be easier if one of us just made it happen!” Hatsume adds.

But it seems as though it’s going to be impossible to make anything happen between the two of them. By now, those who were already interested in Midoriya have begun to come forward, and Bakugo still hangs off to the side, not doing a very good job of keeping it to himself that this bothers him. Even Tenya can tell, not that he wants to look so much, and as he continues to notice where Midoriya’s eyes linger, he realizes just how much his own eyes are lingering.

~X~

Nobody has any idea exactly what happens between Asui and Mineta, or how the latter even managed to get anywhere with the former in the first place. it comes completely out of left field, though Asui admits that this is something that’s been building for quite some time now.

Well, Tenya can’t say that nobody knew anything, as it seems that Tokoyami was, at the very least, aware of whatever was going on. But Asui explains it away as something that just “kind of happened” after spending far too much time trying to explain to him why he didn’t know how to talk to girls, and then trying to help him figure out where he went wrong.

“I can’t work miracles,” she says, “but we made some good progress.”

Some of the progress made involved getting Mineta to finally admit that he’s interested in Midoriya as well, and, even though he seems nearly terrified to actually come out and say something like that, he’s met with only support. It only makes sense, considering he’s in a group of people who are all also going out with Midoriya, but none of them would judge him for it anyway.

“Well, you know, I’m open to more!” he quickly assures them. “I mean, especially where girls are concerned.” Some progress is still progress, Tenya supposes, even if he still has a way to go.

Particularly, he latches onto Hatsume, since she’s new, but she takes a different sort of interest in him. “I want to learn more about you and your Quirk! You know, I bet I could do a lot with you, and if that’s the case, then who knows what I could make! Ooh, yes, let’s see just how useful you end being!” she says with a cackle.

Midoriya laughs and says, “You’re in for a wild ride with her.”

The six of them have become the seven of them, and it gets easier to welcome someone every time, and Midoriya’s eyes still linger on Bakugo, and Tenya isn’t sure why he keeps looking.

~X~

“I’m gonna say something,” says Mineta, one day when Midoriya isn’t around. “Seriously, if even I figured it out, I’m gonna say something!”

“No you aren’t,” says Asui.

“You’re right, but only because Bakugo is terrifying.”

“Still, this has been going on for a while,” she says. “I know you all didn’t want to interfere with it, but I’m starting to think that nothing is going to happen. Maybe they do need a push?”

Tenya opens his mouth to speak, but he doesn’t say anything, because he’s torn. He can’t even figure out what he wants to do, because he’s dense and he doesn’t understand his own feelings, much less other people’s feelings, and maybe he does like Bakugo, maybe he has for a while, but this is about Midoriya, not him.

“It’s totally crazy,” says Uraraka. “They can’t forget each other. Even with all of us around him, you can tell Deku thinks about Bakugo all the time. He’s doing his best not to show it, but I know it has to bother him. They’ve got so much history...I want to help them, but I just don’t know if it’s the right thing to do.”

“Well,” says Tokoyami, “why don’t we just ask Midoriya?”

Despite talking about it so much without him, they’ve never thought it appropriate to talk about it with him.

~X~

“G-guys, I…” A warm smile spreads across Midoriya’s face. “I really appreciate you guys thinking about it. I mean...yeah, there are feelings there, but I didn’t know...I mean, I didn’t want to mess things about, and I know Kacchan isn’t the most agreeable. I don’t even know if he would be okay with something like this, but if you guys really think I should go for it…”

“Well, you’ve been with him longer than any of us, and we just want you to be happy,” says Uraraka.

“It’s easier for everyone if you just go for it!” says Hatsume.

“I think that you should at least see what he has to say,” says Tokoyami.

“You and Bakugo have always seemed like you had something between you, so it’s not like I wasn’t expecting this,” says Asui.

“God, you’re such a player. Seriously, how do you even do it? Teach me how,” says Mineta.

“I think you should ask him,” says Tenya. He only says what is best for Midoriya, even though a part of him wants to say more.

~X~

In the end, before Midoriya even has the chance, Bakugo finally storms up to him and says, “Seriously, what the fuck?! Even the tiny guy gets a turn? Stupid fucking Deku, you think you’re too good for me? You’re gonna keep pretending I don’t exist?!”

And that, more or less, settles that. As for Bakugo settling into their group, that’s going to take a little bit more work, and it’ll take even more work to determine if he’s compatible with any of them, or if he’s only there because he and Midoriya aren’t able to let each other go.

The seven of them become the eight of them, and Tenya’s eyes still linger on Bakugo, but he’s going to be patient.