Actions

Work Header

Alexithymia

Chapter Text

“So, what are you going to do now?”

Inko brushes at her eyes, fingernails painted a healthy gloss and chipped around the edges. She cradles the teacup in her hands, thumbs brushing the golden swans dancing on the porcelain surface. She ponders the question as if it’s boarded on a timid rollercoaster, tracing the numerous possible answers she could give.

Her lips purse tightly, her grip loosening on the cup. It sits tentatively upon her lap, bunching the knitted fabric of her skirt. She blinks from staring ominously at the peeling paint on the wall, flashing a crooked, wavering smile towards the blonde woman across the coffee table.

“I really don’t know, Mitsuki.” Inko sighs shakily and sets her cup on the glass. Sunlight filters through the windows, warming her sleeves. Her eyes are heavy, swollen red around the rim. “He didn’t have to… just leave like this.”

Mitsuki’s grip tightens on the cup in her hands. She cards one hand through her wild blonde hair, the spiked ruffles fluffing at her touch. Her lips are as red as wine, figure clad in a sweater dress that extends to right above her knees, her legs long and lean and envied. She’d rushed here as soon as possible, her toddler keenly nibbling at her heels even after the moment she answered her missed call from Inko Midoriya.

“Inko, you’re such a dear friend to Masaru and I. We would gladly help in any way you’d want.”

Inko sniffs, releasing a small, trembling sigh. “You’re too kind. I just—I worry for Izuku. He’s only two years old, but… to think that he would have to go through those stages, to come to terms with his presenting at that age. A father is needed for that discussion, and I won’t be of any use to him. And if protective services come and take him away…” she trails off, hiccuping at the growing uncertainties building like cinderblocks in the back of her throat.

Mitsuki sets aside her teacup and comes to Inko’s side, her manicured fingers tenderly wrapping around Inko’s thin, starved wrists. She’s wafer-thin, starved to the bone, and Mitsuki can read the pain in her longtime friend’s eyes more clearly than anyone else.

“Those bastards would have to pry him out of all our cold, rotten, dead fingers before your baby is taken from you. God, I don’t even know what I’d do if some snobby asshole tried taking my bratty baby away from me.” Mitsuki shakes her head, nose scrunched up and eyes focused.

Inko holds back a laugh. “You always know what to say, Mitsuki.” She sniffs, her smile gentle and understanding as the blond nods and reclines on the couch. “This is going to be so hard, now, given that the laws keep changing. It’s hard, explaining, but I’m sure you understand, with you and Masaru being primarily alphas…”

Mitsuki hums in thought, dipping her head. “I was lucky to choose Masaru, back in high school. I wouldn’t worry too much about your kid, Inko. He may turn out to be an alpha like his father, or even beta, like you.” She bites her lip, pondering over her own words, and Inko’s glassy stare seem to shrivel her up even more, like water soaking up and crinkling a wad of newspaper. “I’m sorry that this happened now. I want to choke that bastard for leaving you high and dry like this.”

Inko sniffs, wiping at her nose. “Forgive me for crying so much—”

“Oh, shut up, Inko. You’re much too kind for your own good. Let yourself get angry once in a while, you angel-faced badass.” Mitsuki sighs, grabbing the tissue box on the coffee table and handing the entire container to the Midoriya mother. “And if Izuku does turn out to be… that, it’s such a rare tradition in the books. I doubt that such an uncommon marking would set him up for a cruel future like that. And you have so many years before you have to worry.”

Inko tucks a strand of hair behind her ear. Her tongue is dry as chalk, yet her eyes have felt wet and as heavy as cement for weeks, ever since the moment her husband became a silhouette at their doorstep, suitcase trailing behind him as he tipped his hat with not one uttered word left for his wife or son.

“I’ll be strong for him. I have to.” Inko dabs her eyelids, grimacing at the smudged makeup appearing in the wads of cloth. Beside her, Mitsuki lopes one arm around her, the protective instinctive cage that Inko craves from her friendship with this beautiful, powerful woman in her weakest moments.

“You already are,” whispers Mitsuki. “We’ll have weekly dinners, then. Or, just more get-togethers with you and good ol’ Masaru. You can bring your little Izuku, and I’ll make sure my own damn kid behaves before long. That little twerp has alpha written all over him—”

Inko laughs, though it’s a sound that rivals the chime of broken bells.

“You never fail to make me smile, Mitsuki.” She chuckles. “It must be the protective alpha in you. You’re always so headstrong about these things. I will be fine.” She bundles the cloth in her hands, clutching it tighter as she recalls her husband’s shadowed face, his parting words barely a whisper under his breath. “It’ll be okay, when the time comes… you’re right, I won’t have to worry about it for years.”

Yet, the concern swelling in her stomach is too distracting for her to not think about.

“Who knows,” says Mitsuki with a thin-lipped smile, “perhaps the laws will change again, and your little Izuku will have a good mate set up for him. Maybe the doctors won’t even be right about their diagnostics. Mistakes like that can happen all the time.”

Inko dips her head in acknowledgement, though she wears her concern as an obvious mask. She hums and giggles as her longtime friend continues reassuring her with stories and whimsical theories on her son’s future, and all the while she wonders if she’s truly thinking in the right place. Yet, as she draws her eyes forward to the opening in the kitchen and observes the two little boys stumbling onto the carpet, wrestling and mimicking each other’s actions as if they hadn’t met only two hours ago, she suspects she’s in good hands.

“He looks so much like you,” Inko says.

Mitsuki blinks and follows her gaze to the blond, aggressive toddler making animalistic groans in the corner of the room, pulling at the curly hair on his new companion’s head. Mitsuki stiffens at observing this, her eyes narrow as she scopes her son’s wary crimson eyes. The intelligence and knowing instinct behind such a glare petrifies her, for she’s experienced that same look many times before with other families.

“He takes mostly after me,” she says with a smirk, her eyes not leaving the two boys.

Upon observation, Mitsuki notices that Izuku undoubtedly resembles his mother, even at such an early age. He whines and bursts into tears at the simplest of interactions with the other boy, yet he’s almost always calm and collected around adult figures. The brightly colored shirts and pajama pants he wears as he crawls and wobbles around Inko’s cramped apartment complex scream his notable traces of unwavering innocence and frazzled attention span.

And her son, her blond toddler, despite his consistent poking, grabbing, yanking and unintelligibly screaming at the other child, is stuck to him like glue. His gaze never leaves Izuku as the black-haired toddler watches with shining, inspired eyes. The taller and stronger of the two maneuvers around the carpet, drawing circles and other shapes with broken crayons into paper and challenging the other to do the same.

Even when Izuku fails to follow the example, her son—Katsuki, named after her own grandfather—only grins with far too much snark for his age, and continues demonstrating his natural ability.

Mitsuki recognizes these actions, though the paling tone to her skin and the concern roaring in her blood seem to go unnoticed by her friend beside her.

Calm down, Mitsuki, she thinks, they’re too young to tell.

Yet from the numerous college courses she’d taken to become an expert in this exact area of study, she can read the subtly growing changes in the two boys from only an hour or so of interaction between them. She continues whispering soothing words to Inko and listening to her label her distresses about her despicable husband, yet Mitsuki’s glare never wavers from the toddlers.

She watches as Katsuki practically drags Izuku by his shirt across the carpet, displaying his masterpiece of popsicle sticks and plastic blocks. The wobbly towers are nothing to be impressed by, yet the sparkle in Izuku’s deep green eyes are enough to melt the insides of any passersby.

“Say, Inko,” says Mitsuki.

Inko blinks, tilting her head. “Is something wrong, Mitsuki? Oh, I’m not keeping you, am I?”

“No, no, not at all.” Mitsuki’s smile is genuine, laced through with a tenderness she has only reserved for a select few in her life. Inko Midoriya happens to be blessed with this special treatment with possibly the most fervor available. “How about Katsuki and I stay the night here? Or, better yet, you can stay with us for a while? Anything to help you get through this.”

Inko hesitates, bunching the cloth of her faded pink sweater. “I would hate to impose… and—I should really make sure that Izuku is taken care of here, since I still have to clean out Hisashi’s space…” she holds back a choked sob, scratching her neck.

Mitsuki frowns. “Inko, I insist. You know you’ll have to try harder for me to leave. And it seems like our boys are getting along just fine.”

Inko laughs, more like lavender in summer than the cracked church bells. Mitsuki would gradually take this version over the last, hoping that her protective urges subside long enough for her to understand and see clearly to handle the needy pheromones wafting from her friend. She wonders if Inko ever notices just how difficult it is for her alpha companions to withhold encaging her in a cloud of comfort.

Hisashi, you fucking bastard. Mitsuki’s throat rumbles with a growl. Thankfully, Inko is too distracted and gushing at their children to notice this. If you ever show your face around here again, I’ll rip off your dick and feed it to you.


 

 


Mitsuki Bakugou is, understandably, the first to notice the peculiar relationship between her son and Izuku Midoriya.

Inko finds herself arriving at the Bakugou household often, at least twice a week between her shifts at work. By the time it’s Katsuki’s sixth birthday, Inko is adamant that the two boys are put together as often as possible, claiming that the other children in preschool simply refuse to talk to Izuku or even acknowledge him.

“Oh! Izuku, sweetie, where’d this mark come from?”

Masaru glances up from his newspaper, squinting through his reading glasses as his wife bends down to the curly-haired boy’s level. Izuku regards her with a confused stare, impossibly wide green eyes glittering with summer’s warmth and the gentle current of birdsong. Even now, Masaru can read the beginnings of natural scent in the air, fragrant and resembling something more akin to some sort of spice. It’s faint, due to Izuku’s age, yet he can pinpoint his possible presentable gender years before puberty.

“A mark?” Izuku blinks, his lips curling into a pout.

Mitsuki’s smile is crooked and playful as she ruffles Izuku’s hair. “Yes, sweetheart. You have a bruise on your shoulder. I can see the edge of it from the couch.”

Izuku follows her stare and pulls back his short sleeve. Masaru’s eyes widen at the particular lines imprinted on freckled, tanned skin. It resembles a crown of teardrops, almost in the shapes of a blooming rose. Mitsuki maintains her optimistic expression, yet Masaru can detect the concern and secretive bliss simmering beneath her like an extra skin; he knows his wife and mate of ten years better than anyone.

“Oh! I don’t know what it is,” Izuku mutters, his cheeks staining pink. “Kacchan says that he doesn’t have one yet.”

Mitsuki nods. “Hm, well, maybe he’ll get one someday. But that’s very special, to have one! Think of it as a birthmark of some kind, but it’s a special one that no one can copy.”

Izuku’s jaw drops. “L-like a fingerprint?”

Mitsuki chuckles. “Yes, sweetie. Exactly like a fingerprint.” She scrunches her nose and lifts herself back up, placing her hands on her slender hips. “Now where is that little brat?”

“Kacchan told me to wait here.” Izuku sighs. “I don’t know why though…”

Mitsuki raises an eyebrow at this. “I’m sure he’ll be back soon.” She sighs at the thought of Katsuki tearing through their vegetable garden in the back, the little demon child often insisting that it was necessary to only pluck the correct cucumbers whenever she made a special salad for Inko and her son.

It would have been endearing, really, of any alpha mother noticing her naturally inclined child caring enough about a salad of all things to find the most pristine ingredients for his friend, yet the way Katsuki approaches gifts for Izuku teeter on borderline exhausting.

“Izuku, honey, are you ready to go to the park?”

Izuku perks up at the sound of his mother’s voice. Mitsuki smirks and waves at her friend, standing at the gateway to the living room from the kitchen. Inko is fresh-faced and smiling as if the world has finally lifted from her shoulders, her purse loose on her shoulder and blazer and pencil skirt releasing an image of new and professional.

“Mama!” Izuku chirps, rushing to his mother’s side and tackling her legs. She smiles warmly and ruffles his curls.

“Well you look hot, Ms. Midoriya!” Mitsuki says, fanning herself.

Inko blushes and rolls her eyes, yet her smile is genuine. “You’re too much, Mitsuki. And good afternoon, Masaru.” She dips her head, and the slender, kind man nods and smiles in greeting.

“It’s always good to see you, Inko. And you look great, as always.”

Inko laughs. “Oh, stop it. You’re too kind, just like your wife. I honestly am too blessed to have you both.”

Even now, Masaru’s demure behavior mirrors his beta instincts, stronger and more primal than the extremely uncommon omega gender, and Inko reacts to it with warmth and gratitude. He’s a grand example of a husband who lovingly supports his strong-willed, alpha wife and presumably alpha son while maintaining authority and respect in his own line of work.

“Likewise, Inko. And we’re always glad to have your son over. He behaves just a bit better than our firecracker,” Masaru says with a calm, complacent laugh.

Mitsuki snorts. “Oh, that’s an understatement. I don’t even know where the little brat is—”

“Deku! Where’d you go, loser?!”

Inko blinks and looks up as a familiar younger boy wanders into the area. The blond is covered head to toe in filth and grime, his shorts mudded at the ends and his shoes caked in soil. He’s at least three inches taller than Izuku, already building natural athletic ability and girth that come naturally to one specific category of the secondary genders, though to think that he would take after Mitsuki even now…

“Kacchan!” Izuku beams, and then stops at the state of dress his friend currently appears. “K-Kacchan, you’re all muddy! Are you okay?”

Katsuki marches over to him, glaring sharply towards Inko with a furrowed brow.

She weakly smiles, though the tremble in her knees is mostly instinctive. She’s seen this primal glare before, and the familiarity behind it chills her blood to ice.

“You’re not supposed to leave yet, Deku,” growls Katsuki, though there’s hardly bite to his words. He looks tempted to stomp on his sneakers and cause havoc in his house, his fists tightly clenched around wads of mangled flowers.

“I wasn’t gonna leave until I saw you, Kacchan,” says Izuku, his smile weak and far too disarming for Katsuki to resist. Despite the tenseness in the blond’s thin shoulders, he seems satisfied with this answer, glancing feverishly between every single adult eyeing him as if he’s grown another head.

Mitsuki blinks, too distracted by the numerous flowers grasped in her young son’s fists to notice the muddied footprints trailing her carpet. “Hey, you little brat! You’re filthy as hell! Were you stealing from the neighbor’s garden again? What the—?”

“Now, now, dear,” Masaru says, sighing as he sets down his newspaper and sits up from his chair. “Katsuki, we talked about this, little man. You can’t steal flowers from the garden.”

Katsuki snorts. “We don’t have the right ones!”

Izuku frowns. “Kacchan, stealing is bad…”

“Whatever, Deku.” The blond thrusts the flowers into Izuku’s face—the petals a bright, rich red striped in sunburst yellow. Mitsuki’s brow furrows at noticing these particular colors, watching as Izuku brightens at the display and hesitantly takes the flowers, as if insure. “Stupid Deku, you’re supposed to smell them first!”

“They’re so pretty, Kacchan!” Izuku’s smile is broad. Relentless.

Katsuki, for once, only grins and nods, quite pleased with himself.

Mitsuki’s jaw drops.

Inko’s eyes find hers, and the silent word the blonde woman communicates hardly goes unnoticed with the simmering tension between their own young children.

Shit


 

 

 


“Are you sure that we should do this?”

Inko steadies her hands on the table.

“If you’re right about your son, then this may be the best option. But, I don’t want to sign anything without knowing for sure.”

She glances over to her son, the freckled boy gradually meddling with the plastic action figures and matching masks he shares with his inseparable companion, Katsuki Bakugou. It’s the fourth day in a row that Katsuki has requested to stay at their apartment complex after preschool hours, mostly with him quietly observing the black-haired, freckled boy mumbling incoherent phrases about his television icon, All Might.

Inko is optimistic, but not foolish. She has paid more attention to the careful behaviors displayed between her oblivious son and the child of her longtime friend.

In five years, they would reach the point of their young lives where they would present their secondary genders. A rush of heat waves would plummet into their bodies and command their attention, along with countless new senses that changed and differed depending on the personality and intelligence factors. Katsuki was one of the most brilliant young boys Inko had ever met, taken directly after both of his parents in his relentless knowledge of his surroundings and astute awareness that was far more focused than her own scatterbrained son.

Izuku, to Inko’s lack of surprise, adores Katsuki.

“I have little doubt at this point… and we still have a few years.”

Inko rubs her eyes, glancing over the two Bakugous sitting beside her. Masaru is pouring over the paperwork in front of them, his pencil tapping the tablecloth with an inquisitive expression pouring through his glasses.

“Besides,” she continues, “I would want my Izuku to be in good hands when the time comes. If he… if he really presents as omega, I would much rather he be arranged with someone I can trust, before an alpha marks him that none of us would know about. And, I know that this is your decision too. I wouldn’t want to impose, or make it harder for you. And Katsuki…”

She trails off, watching at the corner of her eye as the blond child sits beside Izuku in front of the television screen. Izuku is unable to keep still, singing along to the loud, colorful theme song as Katsuki pretends to punch the screen. Katsuki is leaning back on his hands, and Izuku is tentatively bunching the blanket draped across the both of their laps, yet the protective hand sliding around Izuku’s back is subconscious and undoubtedly territorial.

None of this is surprising to her, yet the concerned weight in her chest grows.

“Inko.” Mitsuki sighs. “Izuku… he already has a mark. The mark. Only omegas have those.”

Inko places one hand over the other, suppressing the nervous shiver in her body. Masaru sends her a pitying, understanding glance across the length of the table. It’s strange, having all of them in her apartment at this late hour, talking about their children’s futures without them being aware, yet she knows that she will think of this decision for years to come.

“I know.” She holds back the desperate sob breaking into her throat. The thought of her little boy being forcefully handed off to a greedy alpha family who would react to his scent and nothing more made her ill. “It’s a lovely mark, too. His preschool teacher pointed it out, was almost in disbelief that he could have one so early.”

She, ultimately, was not surprised at Katsuki’s closeness to Izuku. She and Mitsuki had bonded almost instantly in their high school years, trading phone numbers in the first two hours and becoming inseparable in the years that followed.

She and Mitsuki collectively received countless phone calls from preschool teachers, each one almost always claiming that Katsuki was shoving, pushing or even recklessly tackling and hitting other children for going near Izuku. Mitsuki was not at all surprised, brushing it off as typical territorial alpha behavior, though Katsuki’s mannerisms with Izuku were greatly amplified.

Inko could hardly pet Izuku’s head in her own home before earning a snarl from Katsuki. The little boy was far too aware for his own good, yet a personality as temperamental and angry as his would have to slowly adjust to the realization of his own actions past the point of presenting himself as the next of many Bakugou alphas.

“We’ll talk about it more,” says Mitsuki, soft and strong, like silk billowing in winter winds. “We know our kids, Inko. The time will come when it comes, and if Izuku presents as omega, maybe he will end up being Katsuki’s choice, anyway.”

Inko can barely stomach the thought of her child being subjected to such a ridiculous law in the first place, and primal alphas were so rare to come by in these modern times. Yet, Mitsuki had always held a territorial, naturally predatory air about her, and Katsuki undoubtedly reflected those mannerisms with not only his family, but her own son.

“Let’s have a few nights to mull this over.” Masaru reaches out a hand, tenderly placing it over his wife’s.

Mitsuki turns to him, eyes focused and shining with admirable warmth for her husband and mate. Inko almost smiles at the vulnerable display, subconsciously wondering if her son would ever be able to experience this relationship with any type of alpha once he became of age for presenting.

“Does that sound alright to you, Inko?” Mitsuki asks.

“Of course. This is… a lot to take in.” Inko bites her lip. “I never thought I would have to worry about this. But, if Izuku’s mark is already there, I guess there’s no room for questioning.” She hesitates, rubbing the back of her neck. She grimaces at the fresh sheen of sweat caking the nape. “It will be hard, talking to him about this, and how much harder it will be for him to get into the schools he wants. Being an omega in this day and age is so hard…”

“No worries, Inko,” says Mitsuki, “we’re here for you. And even though that hellish brat can’t stand you or us, damn, he would give his life for your son. I can see it now.”

Inko blinks away the tears and smiles softly. “Thank you, Mitsuki.” She nods to both of the Bakugous, so sincere and so kind. I’m so lucky. “And you too, Masaru. For everything.”

It takes more than half an hour for Mitsuki to successfully drag her kicking, screaming son away from Izuku, the two of them having fallen asleep in front of the television screen. Inko is content leaving her little boy bundled in his blankets, murmuring the name of the blond child who’d been dragged out the door against his will only minutes prior.

The following morning, Inko stumbles into the living room where Izuku sleeps, drooling into the couch cushions with his curled hair wild and untamed. She drops her coffee mug at the sight of the fresh, toothy bite mark ingrained in his neck.

She cries silently in the privacy of her bedroom, her husband’s name loose between her fingers.

Chapter Text

Mitsuki’s hand grips tighter on her sleeve, her teeth sinking into her bottom lip as she directs her frigid glare towards the clock hanging on the wall. The stacked bookshelves and notable diplomas depicting grand academic success would have impressed any other mother called into the principal’s office, yet she would rather yank off her pearls and scream profanities into an incandescent black hole than admit her frustrations in the current situation.

She wishes her mild-mannered husband were here, whispering sweet nothings to her while remaining confident and firm in his stance, all while forming the impressive cage of indifference and protection around his family that he had provided alongside his wife for so many years. Yet, she did not have access to this, and beside her, scowling heatedly towards the ruffled green carpet beneath him, is the angry walking time bomb that she, at times, regretfully notes as her own biological son.

A child who is trembling with his fists clenched so hard she knows his nails will break through the skin of his palms and bleed over the armrests of his chair—

“… does this all make sense, Mrs. Bakugou?”

Mitsuki blinks. She tilts her head, eyeing the elderly, balding gentleman sitting across from them. The wiry man seems far too thin and bony beneath the fringed gray suit draping over his frame like a skeletal blanket. He raises one caterpillar eyebrow towards her as she opens her mouth—yet, even now, she’s unable to formulate the words she wishes to convey.

“I know that this little brat has a lot of issues.” Mitsuki shoots a sideways glare at Katsuki, who abruptly snorts and turns his head. Even at eight years old, he acts as if the world owes him everything, including the ever-present gifts that he can never seem to be thankful for. “What do you recommend we do, then, for moving forward? If he really has these issues, I’m willing to seek help for him. Therapy, all that shit. Anything you can throw at me.”

The principal’s brow furrows at her cursing, though she dismisses this with a firm wave of her hand. She’s been relocated to this office one too many times to actually care about the words that leave her tightened lips. Katsuki is lucky enough that, this time, he’s arrived at the office with only a few bruises and without a trail of unconscious students in his wake.

“I’m aware that your son is set on presenting as an alpha, when the time comes. This type of behavior is very typical of the more primal subgenders—a rather rare occurrence this day and age. Though, in all the years I’ve studied and worked with children who present as alpha, I have yet to come across one with your boy’s aggressive tendencies.” The old man sighs, pricking up his glasses. “I’m not about to discriminate young Katsuki for violating these rules, yet parents have demanded that repercussions be made due to his actions. He’s had one too many fights on school grounds over trivial matters, and because of this, I would recommend firmer treatment for his case.”

He pauses, glancing towards Katsuki, who stares out the window with a sharp scowl marring his features, twisting up his lips and causing a vein to pop in his forehead.

Mitsuki pinches the bridge of her nose, steadily releasing a long-suppressed sigh. She knew this was inevitable from the moment Inko had called her two years ago, sobbing over the phone and telling her that Katsuki, instinctively, had attempted to imprint on her six-year-old son.

It took her over an hour to explain to Inko that alphas could only successfully mark their chosen mates after they hit puberty, and even then, it was a much more complicated process that required more than the scentglands being pierced by more dominant fangs. The evolution between the three secondary genders were so advanced with the lack of omegas that the biological components had changed and warped over centuries.

And apparently, Katsuki is exhibiting alpha characteristics that were also thought to be long-buried, and she’d been concerned the first phone call she received when Katsuki attempted to justify breaking another boy’s nose for attempting to smell Izuku’s neck.

They were four years old at the time.

And it was only the beginning of many confrontations Katsuki and Izuku were both roped into, often with Izuku defending Katsuki with tear-strewn eyes, desperately conveying his desire to protect and guard his only friend.

For someone destined to present as the incredibly rare omega gender, Izuku’s protective instincts and unabashed willingness to defend Katsuki as if he was an extension of himself proved to resemble the more stable characteristics of alphas and betas.

Mitsuki had known from the beginning, similar to how she was drawn to both Masaru and Inko in high school, that Katsuki would latch onto those admirable qualities in Izuku and never let go.

Damn it all. Mitsuki groans.

He really was her son.

Clearing her throat, her eyes flash with newfound determination as she brushes her hand over her purse strap and eyes the principal.

“I understand all of those things, as Katsuki’s mother. I’m a little ahead of you on this particular topic, Mr. Brockmeyer. I came here to talk to you about my son’s shitty behavior, but I also came to talk about a solution. I’ve spoken to all kinds of doctors, experts, whatever. They all tell me that I need to medicate him or some bullshit like that. Those types of treatments don’t work.”

Mr. Brockmeyer nods, tapping his fingers on his desk.

Katsuki releases a low, rumbling growl.

“Quiet, brat,” growls Mitsuki, roughly cuffing the blond boy in the back of the head.

The animalistic noise that rumbles in her throat betrays her motherly instincts, and Katsuki whips around to return her glare, his eyes wild and reminiscent of the growing instincts associated with not only his biology, but the connection to his own Bakugou blood.

To her surprise, he grits his teeth and glares forward into the desk, his fingers tightening around his chair’s armrests. He’s shaking as if he’ll combust in any moment, the continuous growls slipping over his tongue and dispersing into the air so unfamiliar and feral that Mitsuki turns to Mr. Brockmeyer with widened eyes.

“Is he like this during class?”

The principal clears his throat. “Well, according to his teachers, this is often how he acts if he’s separated from Izuku Midoriya.”

At the sound of the freckled boy’s name, Katsuki’s glare shoots to the old, bony authority figure, a sneer curling his lip.

Mitsuki sighs. “Ah. That would make sense. They’ve been friends since they were babies.”

She rolls her eyes, though her heart backflips at the thought of Katsuki acting in such a way. She could name off at least ten different textbook examples of extreme alpha behavior, and since Katsuki was so young—before he even properly presented—this was only more concerning. From the genuinely concerned and hopeful glances Mr. Brockmeyer continues sending Katsuki, she knows that she’s not the only one with these musings.

“Please, as much as I would love to talk about this some more, I would really just love a number I could call about this.”

Mr. Brockmeyer nods. “I have many people I could refer to for this type of behavior. I will give you a call later this evening.”

Mitsuki shrugs. “Fine.”

She shakes the principal’s hand and bids her goodbyes, silently hoping that the parents she will need to apologize to on her son’s behalf will have at least one fragment of patience.

Katsuki begrudgingly bows his head and snarls beneath her weighted stare, her pheromones surely amplifying tenfold with her parental imprint on her son. She guides him to the door with one hand grasping the nape of his neck, the blond child growling every five seconds and still refusing to say a word—a stark contrast to the loud profanities he often exclaimed while stuck in their house, notably separate from one curly-haired boy.

The door opens to the emptied hallway of the building, though instantly, Mitsuki’s eyes widen at the sight of a familiar, smaller boy hunched over on one of the benches. His knee is bobbing up and down in steady, broken patterns, his face flushed with nervousness and hands clasping and unclasping on his knees. He looks more and more like his mother the older he gets, and at eight years old, he resembles his parents with unmistakable vigor.

Both of them, much to Mitsuki’s chagrin, yet his freckles and kind heart are unmistakably Inko.

As if a switch is flipped off, Katsuki’s growling ceases, and the blond straightens in her hold.

Izuku’s head lifts, and his eyes sparkle with relief.

Mitsuki’s chest swells with silent guilt and concern. The looks these two are sending each other… they should not be acting this way, not this young.

God, Inko, what have we done?

“Kacchan!” Izuku says, running over to the blond and eagerly enveloping him in a hug.

Mitsuki steps back, watching as the taller blond boy instantly relaxes in the embrace, yet roughly shoves Izuku away with a sharp click of his tongue. His crimson eyes are narrowed like bloodied crystals, glistening with hidden mirth that only another Bakugou could notice, assessing every detail of Izuku’s frumpy, clumsy frame; as if inspecting if the other boy is truly in one piece.

“Stop worrying about me, Deku. It’s fucking stupid.” Katsuki snorts. “What are you doing here, idiot? I told you to not worry about it! It’s not your job!”

Mitsuki opens her mouth to scold him, though Izuku shakes his head with so much energy that it almost snaps her tongue back in place.

“You can’t say things like that, Kacchan! I was so worried about you! And what those kids were saying to you… it—it wasn’t okay, and even though you shouldn’t have hit them, I guess I understand too? I mean, I know it wasn’t just a one-sided thing. It was weird, and strange, and it was my fault. Yeah, um, please don’t get mad Kacchan; we all know that it was my fault, anyway—”

“Stop, you’re so annoying,” growls Katsuki, flicking Izuku’s forehead and earning a whine from the shorter boy. “Shit, you’re so dumb! Why are you always so stupid, Deku? You need to stand up for yourself! You’ll never get strong if you let those idiots push you around!”

Still, despite his yelling, he’s standing close to Izuku, tracing his glowing, happy features, discrete and aggressive with his tone and words. Mitsuki knows the strategy all too well, and it seems so strangely familiar watching it occur.

“Izuku, honey, your mom will be worried about you if you just hang around school like this after classes are done.” Mitsuki’s smile is warm, though she glares at her son, who returns her stare with equal irritation. “Come on, brat. You’re not getting out of this just because little Izuku is being nice to you. It doesn’t work that way!”

“Wait! He—Kacchan was only trying to help me, Aunt Mi!” Izuku bites his lip, glancing desperately between Katsuki and Mitsuki, at least a dozen jumbled thoughts clearly rolling around in his mind. “And I started it…”

“Stop saying that, stupid Deku!”

“But it’s true, Kacchan!”

“You’re so dumb, Deku! Taking the blame isn’t going to solve anything!”

Mitsuki sighs. “Ugh, shut up, brat. Izuku, sweetie, it’s admirable how much you want to defend my crazy little bitch of a son, but honestly, you don’t need to. He attacked some kids today and this hasn’t been the first time. I’m sure you know this.”

Izuku’s mustered smile drops in an instant.

Katsuki glares daggers towards his mother. She rolls her eyes.


 

 

 


Mr. Brockmeyer does refer Mitsuki to one particular doctor, though she doesn’t bother even paying attention to the name from the impending migraine throbbing in her temples.

She doesn’t listen to Katsuki’s incessant wailing and horrific tantrum in the back of her car as she drives him to the clinic, a tiny brick-walled hovel off the corner of the block where Masaru used to work in their high school days, swiping cartons of milk over scanners and bagging protein bars for greedy customers.

She’s tired of waiting in offices, and this is the second time she’s done so in four hours.

So fucking done with these errand runs, she thinks, grumbling as she fumbles in her purse for her phone. She stares at the door to the room where Katsuki remains on the other side, pleasantly surprised to hear a lack of screaming, cursing or projectiles being thrown into the walls with demands to see Izuku Midoriya.

Once the hour is over, she sees Katsuki being allowed to vacate the room first, a scowl firmly etched onto his lips and tears of frustration suppressed and rimming around his eyelids, though he seems more or less normal. Mitsuki regards him with a stern frown, and he dips his head, instinctively tilting it to allow the nape of his neck to be bare for her.

She snorts.

“Wow, one hour with a professional and you’re already doing the basics a toddler understands.” She rolls her eyes, yet grips the back of Katsuki’s neck as a sign of acceptance for his gesture. He shrugs off her hand, silently growls, and stares heatedly into the wall.

“Old hag,” he says with a firm growl.

“Mrs. Bakugou?”

Mitsuki glances up, eyeing the slender, bespectacled woman eyeing her with a tender smile. She’s donned in a cashmere sweater and heels that are too tall for any sort of therapist, in her humble opinion, though Mitsuki returns the sunny gesture as vividly as she can. Even with possible suppressants and pheromones, she can detect the clear, inferior traces of beta lacing this woman’s clothes and underused sex drive.

“How’d it go?” she asks.

The woman nods. “It went well. We do need to go over some things, though. Privately.”

Mitsuki frowns. “Right now?”

The therapist seems sympathetic for a moment, and for reasons she can’t explain, Mitsuki’s stomach drops to her toes.


 

 

 


“He’s under medication now?”

“And extensive therapy. The education board is making me place him under a pretty strict regime and they’re paying for half of it. I guess this’ll be the only time I thank the fucking government for covering ridiculous expenses.”

Mitsuki huffs, yet the tearstains marking her cheeks are vivid enough for Masaru to reach across and tenderly brush them away. She smiles softly at him, and maintains her stable voice against the phone’s mouth.

“Oh, Mitsuki… I’m so sorry. Is there anything I can do?”

Mitsuki grins despite herself. “Silly Inko, that’s my line. You’ve been there for my family more times than I can count.” She chuckles and leans further into her husband’s barrel chest, humming softly as he cards his fingers through her ruffled chair. “I am calling you for a reason, though, Inko, other than the obvious need to chit-chat. With Katsuki’s… issues, they suggest that it’s mandatory for him to remain apart from the, quote on quote, object of his overextended attachment, for an extended period of time.”

She hears a rustling on the other line, something akin to slippers muffling carpet. She recognizes Inko’s voice disappearing and returning, answering another, lighter voice in the background with a clear masculine lilt to its edge.

Mitsuki sighs shakily.

Everything she needs to tell Inko tonight will be nowhere near as devastating to what she will need to relay to Izuku. It was devastating enough, having to inform Katsuki that he was about to be ripped away from his chosen anchor to the world, and watching the absolute bafflement, rejection, and hatred that liquefied his glare into palpable red pools.

He’d shattered their windows and tossed around furniture as if everything weighed no more than a feather. He’d screamed until his throat bled, unable to bypass the strength of his parents and ignoring the facts being presented to him. He’d refused to take anything resembling a pill from the capsule Mitsuki had begrudgingly accepted, yet the diagnostics recorded from only one session with Katsuki was proven to be entirely accurate in her discussion with the therapist.

EPBOD. Extreme Primal Behavioral Obsessive Disorder.

A rare natural-born diagnose that affected less than three percent of the population and even less so when solely concerning alphas. It was an ancient, bred trigger that only occurred in rare biological components within alphas that was usually made apparent after puberty. It was often characterized over traits of extreme aggression and violent territorial behavior that traced back to their ancestral roots, and over the last few centuries and incredible depletion of omegas, it was difficult to come across an alpha with these characteristics.

Yet Katsuki—her own little boy, her destructive red-blooded son whom she loved more than herself—exhibited these characteristics and so much more. His temperament was a horrible addition to such a rare and extreme diagnosis, and the more Mitsuki thought about it, the more foolish she felt for even considering allowing Katsuki to be this close to Izuku so young.

Katsuki was only six years old when he’d attempted to imprint on Izuku. And under the eyes of professional doctors and therapists whom Mitsuki had once never listened to until now, the little blond spitfire was labeled as potentially dangerous—deadly, even—especially to the person he potentially already viewed as a mate, whether he was aware of it or not.

Hearing the words repeated back to Mitsuki made her heart shatter into a thousand glass pieces, and for a few minutes she wasn’t sure if she was going to be able to glue the shards back together. Masaru had listened to her scream and cry for hours after successfully containing Katsuki in their own home, and even now, the boy is yelling and pounding his fists into the bedroom wall, desperate and wailing and unable to believe what she’d told him.

“I fucking hate you! I hate you! I hate you! I hate Deku too! I hate you for taking him away! I hate him for leaving me! You can’t take him away! I hate you, I hate you, I hate you…”

“We will get through this,” Masaru whispers, yet he, too, is strained beyond his control.

Mitsuki groans and rubs at her eyes, frustrated. “Damn these emotions. Honestly. Sometimes I wish we didn’t have them. God.” She quakes with each breath she takes, grumbling slightly until Inko’s voice reappears on the other end of the line. “You there, Inko?”

“Of course.”

She sounds stiff. Unhappy.

“Did something happen?”

“… Izuku is just upset. He’s worried about Katsuki.”

Guilt stabs Mitsuki in the stomach.

“We are too.” She shakes her head. “But this… is the best choice.”

She holds her breath, Masaru’s fingers interlacing with hers.

“Inko, this is going to be hard for Izuku to understand, and if we have to, I’ll talk to him as well. But… Katsuki isn’t permitted to have contact with Izuku at all until further notice. I don’t know how long the therapy will last, or if they suggest something else, but if Katsuki isn’t given treatment…”

It’s too risky for Izuku. For Katsuki.

For both of them.

Inko pauses. Another rustle breaks apart the silence.

“How long?”

Mitsuki swallows. A painful lurch develops in her chest, reminding her so quickly of how painful it would be to be torn away by the person chosen to be your mate, regardless of whether or not that person was marked. Whether her son realize it, whether he would admit to it, his instincts and erratic behavior around Izuku confirmed enough of her suspicions to concern both parents in the situation.

The pain that both children will go through is sympathetic and horrible, even without any official bond being made. Mitsuki was almost convinced that the moment the two boys met as toddlers was the second she and Inko had unwittingly begun a chain reaction of brutal aggression and forgiving, thankful smiles.

It was heading for destruction, and yet, if Katsuki came of age and chose Izuku to be his mate, it would be out of their control and solely in their hands.

But now, in this moment, she still had control.

As a mother, as an alpha, she would protect her son and her best friend’s child with every fiber of her being. Even though the pain each and every person involved would suffer through would rival the strike of lightning upon mountaintops.

She finds her voice once more, mulling over Inko’s hesitant question.

“The doctor insisted that they need to be apart with Katsuki in extensive therapy and care at these… facilities, for at least a year.”

She recognizes the distinctive snuffle, even over the phone. She’s known Inko too long to not notice these subtle hints and actions.

“Oh, Mitsuki…”

“It will be okay.” Mitsuki groans and suppresses the sob choking her throat.

Masaru tenderly pets the nape of her neck, brushing over the beautiful mating-bond tooth marks on her collarbone.

“This will just… Izuku’s heart will…”

Mitsuki buries her face into one hand, lips pursed. “I know. I know.”

“It’s alright,” Masaru says. “It will hurt for a while, but it won’t be forever.”

No, Mitsuki thinks, sighing angrily, but it will feel that way to them.


 

… Seven Years Later …

   


The crown of teardrops marking his skin are solid and untouched, just as smooth and developed as the day they first appeared. A blooming flower of blackened charcoal.

Izuku wipes his mouth with a towel after setting aside his toothbrush and floss, admonishing his reflection with a shaky sigh. He adjusts his collar, straightening the edges and finishing the top buttons of his new uniform shirt. He squints his eyes into the fogged mirror glass, heat clouds from his shower dusting the countertops in a light mist.

He swallows. He knows of the pressure he’s already placed on his shoulders from years of studying under his mother’s watchful eye, taking extra time to appeal his case to doubtful teachers and a reckless student body who couldn’t stand the idea of a potential omega actually achieving his dreams.

He understood that not one omega attended Yuuei Academy—his potential secondary gender was often considered far too weak or focused in trivial, ancient mannerisms expected of omegas to ever achieve any prime standing in such a prestigious school.

You’ve earned this, Izuku.

He swallows, dipping his head at his own reflection and attempting to steady the racing organ in his chest. He needs to remain confident as he steps through the front doors of the private academy he’d slaved to gain entry to for years. If he presents as an omega by the time he turns sixteen, he knows that he will have made history for both himself and the school that almost blatantly refused him entry until he promised to work harder than any student they allowed access to before.

Yet, as he applies concealer to the flower on his shoulder, a startling shiver spreads under his skin, humming in a weak trail of heat that vaguely reminisces the sensations he’d feel under the weight of arresting, angry scarlet eyes.

Kacchan…

He wipes at his eyes, lips setting into a determined line.

“I did it, Kacchan,” he whispers, a weak smile overtaking his façade. “I did it, and I hope that, if you’re still getting treatment, that you’re doing what you want, too.”

It pains him to think that he’ll be walking through the front doors of Yuuei Academy without Katsuki Bakugou snapping at his back and remaining close to him like a detached shadow.

Warmth bubbles in his chest at the thought of the blond boy. It’s been years, since they were allowed contact. Distant emails over scattered months and lost letters hidden by their own mothers would carry such distinct scents and pulls to them, as if sprayed with cans of pheromones, though Izuku would not notice these peculiar smells until he’d grown old enough to develop his scentglands.

The day his mother informed him over two cups of tea and a brokenhearted smile that Katsuki was being admitted into an extensive care facility caused Izuku's world to stop turning.

It felt as if his entire being was brutally ripping apart beneath his mother’s glassy, swollen eyes and the quake of his own confused heart. Katsuki was his dearest and only friend, someone he treasured more than he would ever be able to understand. He was prickly and angry and volatile, yet he pushed Izuku to reach goals that he never believed possible unless the blond was nipping at his heels and incessantly commanding him to change his mind.

Despite his inflated ego and even stronger levels of pride, Katsuki’s insecurities, for some reason Izuku could never understand, were somehow rooted in him. The blond would never tell him the reasons behind his bloodied fists and swollen eyes or why he’d instigated fights when Izuku wasn’t in earshot, claiming that it “wasn’t for him to worry about.”

Yet, if Izuku had paid more attention, would have listened past his stubborn friend's demands, would Katsuki still have been sent away?

“Izuku! Honey! Are you ready to head out? You’ll be late for your first day!”

Izuku nearly jumps out of his skin and bolts out of the bathroom, fluffing up his hair and mustering a wobbly smile towards his mother. He finishes buttoning his blazer and trots to the door.

“Right, sorry Mom!”

His mother looks exhausted, shadowed bags under her eyes and numerous folders and documents pressed to her chest. She musters a bright, genuine smile for her son, however, as she hands him a plastic box with clickable lids.

“I know that you like your Japanese cuisine from time to time, like your father did.” Inko winks. Izuku blushes at the attention and sighs.

Mom, you didn’t have to—”

“What was that? Not listening over the pride I have for my baby boy!” Inko sets down the folders in her arms and crushes Izuku in a hug, the curly-haired boy gasping and awkwardly patting his mother’s back. He pulls away from her, even after she forcefully delivers a smothering kiss on his tanned cheek. “Oh, wait, I almost forgot!”

Izuku blinks. He wipes his clammy palms on his blazer, and nearly trips over his own feet as a rather distinctive red capsule is shoved under his nose. He wrinkles his brow to further observe the tightly wound cap and the clear label stretched across the front, and his heart leaps in realization as he stares at his mother with wide, shocked eyes.

“M-Mom, these aren’t—”

“They’re just for emergencies, sweetie.” Inko steadies her breath, taking Izuku’s hands and placing the capsule in his palms. “I know that you haven’t presented yet, but sometimes your symptoms can come early, and you have always been a bit of a late bloomer.” She bites her lip, reaching out to tenderly caress her son’s freckled cheek. “Just stay safe, alright, honey? You probably don’t realize it, but your scentglands will get even more traceable each day, even before you present.”

Her smile is warm. Tender. Worried.

Izuku forces out a nod, suppressing the unsureness twisting his chest into knots.

“I… I won’t let you down, Mom. You don’t have to worry.” He grins. “Kacchan wouldn’t want me to worry, either. He’d probably tell me to not be a coward, or something like that. Y-You know, relying on suppressants or… other weird quick fixes to hide my identity.” He shrugs, and almost misses the look of utter guilt and sadness that flashes through Inko’s eyes, yet it disappears once he smiles brightly in return.

“Of course.” Inko runs one hand through Izuku’s locks. “You look so much like your father.”

Izuku frowns, tenderly taking her hand in his and squeezing the tender, smaller ligament. It’s strange, knowing that his callouses are rough and obvious on his mother’s soft skin.

“Mom?”

Inko blinks and giggles. “Oh, this is just a lot for me, Izuku. You’ve worked so hard to get into that school. So many years of planning and practice. You make me so proud each and every day.”

And more worried. Izuku hums slightly at her words and allows his smile to grow.

“Of course, Mom.”

Despite the way he feels his mother tremble beneath his embrace, Izuku knows that she’s happier above all else. Her concern for his unlucky biological circumstances are a different story entirely, and years of tutoring and therapy with various counselors and understanding teachers would never erase the worry a mother feels for an omega child.

Izuku bids his goodbyes, his mother’s lunchbox shoved into the largest slot of his backpack. It should take him less than ten minutes on the bus to reach the incredibly tall, looming spectacle of a building he’d only come to know through newspaper clippings and passing windows. The significant bounce in his step aids him in his desperate need to arrive as soon as possible, the faintest glow of a smile stretched across his lips.

Yet, like always, he can’t ignore the sense of incompletion that settles in his stomach. 


 

 


Izuku, panting, sweating profusely and nearly doubled over on the sidewalk curb, glances up the massive building set in front of him with its looming glass window walls and smooth cement. He adjusts his backpack on his shoulders and resumes sprinting through the front doors, momentarily awestruck and trembling like a leaf caught in a storm.

Why did the bus have to leave right before I got there? He inwardly rolls his eyes and continues dashing as far as his red sneakers will allow, frantically darting between room after room and struggling to pinpoint exactly which one matches the criteria etched into his notebook. He scrambles along the tiles and whips out his notebook, sweat beading along his temples and tracing his skin underneath the uniform layers.

“Oh—hello! Are you lost?”

Izuku blinks and turns on his heel, relief flooding through him at the sight of another student wearing a similar uniform to his own. She’s rather petite and whimsical down to the bounce in her dark brown hair, curled right above her shoulders, and rosy cheeks and large doe eyes. She waves in a friendly manner and quickly jogs over to him. He notes the clipboard held close to her chest, chained with a ballpoint pen and clearly in companion to the orange bracelet clamped around her right wrist.

Izuku stutters and bows at a ninety-degree angle. The girl squeaks and jumps back at this, her hand flying to her mouth to suppress a giggle.

“I-I’m so sorry to bother you! This is my first day and I’m kind of lost, but it’s because the bus left early and I tried my best to get here on time even though I knew that I wouldn’t have a chance to get out of it, a-and… I’m so sorry, I wish I had better things to say—um, please, tell me if I’m talking too much or bothering you or anything like that…”

The girl’s laughter snaps him out of his stupor. Flustered, Izuku glances up and rubs the back of his neck. He hopes, to the highest heavens above, that his scentglands aren’t reacting to his overriding emotions. His mother had complained on several occasions that his stressful episodes would cause their entire apartment to smell like nervous omega pheromones.

“Oh, you’re totally fine!” Izuku blinks, sighing in relief at the gentle, genuine expression this girl holds on her pretty features. “My name is Ochako Uraraka. But you can call me Ochako.” She grins and holds out her hand, her smile blissful and wide.

Her happiness is infectious. Izuku finds himself smiling against his will as he gradually takes her hand, the gesture seemingly so rare when betas and alphas in his childhood refused to even glance his way upon learning of his destined gender. He welcomes it tenfold, excitement and warmth stirring in his chest as he gradually shakes the other’s hand.

Ochako smiles wider at this and takes out her pen.

“I can help guide you to your class. What’s your name?”

Oh, right. He hadn’t even introduced himself yet.

Clearing his throat, Izuku nervously stares off to the lockers on the other side of the hallway, clicking his tongue.

“I-Izuku Midoriya.”

Ochako hums at this, tracing her pen down the list. Izuku is not surprised the moment she glances up from her clipboard, disbelief etched into her expression.

“O-Oh! You’re…” Her smile deflates, though, it is not condescending or judgmental. Izuku welcomes this, yet he understands the flicker of concern that dances in this friendly girl’s eyes. “You’re the first omega who’s been admitted to Yuuei in decades! That’s so amazing!”

Izuku blinks. “I…” He trails off, bashful. “Thanks. Um.” He can tell from glancing over this girl and her demure, yet stable mannerisms, that she’s most likely destined to present as a beta. She carries the trademark, faded scent of something woodsy and floral. “No one’s ever really said that about… those, details, before.”

Ochako’s beaming smile radiates a thousand suns. “Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone. But, when we present I can’t really stop anyone from reacting the way they normally would. Don’t let it get to you, though.” She shrugs. “Our teachers are all impressed that you were able to get the credentials you need, since omegas aren’t really given those opportunities. And I’ve never even met one before! You’re so adorable!”

Izuku blushes. “I—um, thanks, I mean, I don’t know, you too?”

Ochako giggles. “Come on! I think we’re in the same class! I’m the hall monitor right now but normally I’ll be in the same homeroom as you. Follow me.”

Izuku eagerly nods, yet the strange sensations he’d felt flooding through his system upon entering the front doors to this building still nag him in the back of his mind. He trails behind Ochako, listening to her give instructions on the layout of the large, complex building structure, comprised of multiple classes divided into numbers and ranks. He can hardly believe how he’s going to be able to squeeze into a system that was once exclusively permitted for alphas and betas.

Izuku clenches his fists, blinking at the sudden barrage of smells wafting through his nostrils. He recognizes this musky scent, something akin to the scent of copper melding into water, or oil ripening in a glass of wine. He wrinkles his nose and follows Ochako, her tiny, yet undeniably steady, hand gripping the silver doorknob to their classroom.

“This is where Mr. Aizawa teaches. He’s probably in the middle of introducing the new class, so maybe you’re just in time.” Ochako grins mildly, yet Izuku can hardly muster the ability to return such a gesture.

She tentatively cracks open the door, nodding towards him as the indicator to move forward. Swamped with nervousness, Izuku hesitantly steps forward and glimpses into the spacious, wide-walled classroom that he’d been dreaming of for years.

Students are socializing, talking amongst themselves, their sizes and scopes ranging in appearance so vividly and obviously that Izuku mentally reminds himself that he’s the only to-be omega present. Even given his luck and hard work into allowing himself entry into this school, he knows he must tread the borderlines of these students in terms of social norms.

One wrong move and he could be expelled, simply for regulations regarding the aged, tired dynamics of the alpha, beta and omega secondary gender system.

“Eh? What the heck did you just call me? Damn, bro, you’ve got some guts!”

Izuku follows the direction of the voice, settling on a group of curious, uniformed students crowding around one sitting in their desk. The one speaking is tall, broad-shouldered and clearly strong enough to eventually stop a pickup truck with his bare hands if he pleases, his spiked hair reminding Izuku of sizzling candies he’d chew on when he was little.

Kacchan hated those candies.

He shakes his head. He needs to focus. Preferably, keep his head low and maneuver to his desk without drawing attention to his scent. He’s not sure if his glands are developed enough for the other students to notice, or if they’re too distracted to care, but caution favors itself in his mind as he weaves and tangles himself through the large, spacious room. His breath hammers in his throat, drawing blood to his ears as he focuses his panicked attention on the one empty desk in the back of the classroom.

“What the fuck did it sound like, Shitty Hair? Get the fuck out of my face, all of you extras! I don’t have fucking time to deal with bullshit!”

Izuku freezes.

Impossible…

Izuku turns around so quickly from his subdued trailing to the back of the classroom that he fears he’d whiplashed his neck bones. He winces, and observes the snorting, laughing classmates as they crowd around a tall, slender teen with his legs kicked up on his desk.

He’s leaning back, slender, strong shoulders clear and memorable beneath his uniform jacket. The top two buttons of his uniform are undone, leaving an extra trail of familiar fair skin hinted with just a touch of summer’s heat. His lips are twisted into an annoyed scowl, the crown of ash-blond hair just as wild and untamed as it had been when they were children. His ferocious almond-shaped eyes are narrowed and rivaling the shade of bloodstained glass, liquefied in heated anger and as devastating as volcanic shards. The distinctive slope of his nose, the strong set of his jaw, unmistakable scowl and strength and animalistic waves that roll off his body assault Izuku’s senses like a jackhammer.

Izuku subconsciously reaches for the concealed mark on his own shoulder. His backpack slips off him, unnoticed, and loudly clatters to the floor.

At the front of the classroom, the teacher—a tall and paper-thin man who looks like he hasn’t slept in a century—barely gives off the attendance wave as his students react to the abrupt noise before even he does.

“Ah, Midoriya. You’ve finally decided to show up.”

Izuku freezes, bearing the weight of at least a dozen stares burrowing into him. As if a crashing tidal wave has been released onto him, his thoughts barrel into a cataclysmic force and disappear in the back of his mind, all in favor of the immediate onslaught of scents that collect in his mind.

Yet Izuku, for once, does not choose to document what he smells from these strangers. He’s too focused, too awed, too shocked, to allow his eyes to leave the one person he’s spotted in the classroom whom he’d feared he would never see again.

The ash-blond in his desk stiffens and pauses in his tempered yelling at the sound of his name. He turns, as if unbelieving, and those beaming red orbs find Izuku’s in a heartbeat.

The first thought that runs through Izuku’s mind almost makes him feel ashamed.

Alpha. Alpha. Katsuki has to be an alpha.

And oh, does Katsuki Bakugou look more handsome than he ever did in Izuku’s dreams.

Wait—no, what am I thinking? It’s wrong—

Unable to stop the warm, incredible—confusing, frightening, earth-shattering—chill that transforms into subtle warmth in his blood, Izuku musters a surprised smile as he cards one hand through his hair. He’s not paying attention to the world around him—as if he’s under some strange spell, all five of his incredible senses focusing on one person and one person alone.

He’s not the first to break the silence.

Deku?”

Chapter Text

The castle collapses and slips between his fingers in sandy rivulets.

Izuku’s brow furrows, glaring at the tumbled pebbles and mismatched plastic shells he’d carefully placed on top of the towers that he’d sketched out with his blond companion. After fifteen minutes of meticulous observation and glancing over the penciled doodles that Katsuki had written into the margins of his homework he’d tried to articulate on his lonesome, he’d hoped that he could mimic Katsuki’s brilliant sand castle the same way.

It was silly, really. They were both eight, a solid few years after the age where children would even consider touching the sandbox, but Izuku’s fascination with Katsuki’s occasional drawings and his friend’s secret admiration for his father’s architectural diagrams made Izuku want to somehow enter that same area. He could never correctly explain why he wanted to please Katsuki’s interests, as distant and unmanageable they seemed at times.

He glances around him at the other students, some dangling off of monkey bars and others leaping in muddied shorts and frilly dresses, laughing faces stained with grime and the imprints of flying grass and tetherballs. Izuku returns to his broken castle, sniffing and wiping furiously at his eyes to prevent another teardrop from falling.

If Katsuki sees him acting like this, what will he say?

“I told you to wait for me, Deku!”

Izuku jumps up, cheeks flustered and hot.

“S-Sorry, Kacchan. I was just… I wanted to surprise you…”

He turns to acknowledge the taller, prouder form of his one and only friend. Katsuki’s sunburst hair is wind-whipped and ruffled, his hands sunk into his pockets as he regards the collapsed sandcastle with a sneer.

“With what?” Katsuki growls, yet the action is subdued. Quieter.

Izuku has taken notice of how the other boy is almost always snarling and regarding other students with either complete disinterest or lack of acknowledgement, or bitter anger. Izuku has never understood his friend’s insatiable need to be standoffish and coiled up like a starved porcupine, but he exhibits similar characteristics when around him, but…

It always seems different, somehow. Ever since they met as toddlers, it’s been this way, yet the hidden glints in Katsuki’s wine-red irises never seem to fade or turn brilliantly bright with the same way it does when he glares at other children.

“I wanted to build something that you would like. I tried copying your drawings, but, it didn’t really work. I even tried putting rocks and shells in it to keep it from falling, but it still didn’t work.” Izuku sighs. “It’s so dumb, Kacchan. You always do cool things for me and I can’t—”

“Hey! Shut up, nerd! Obviously you can’t replicate what I fucking do. You can’t build a tower like that out of just sand and rocks, stupid Deku.”

Katsuki snorts and sits down beside Izuku, crossing one leg over the other. He squints, staring hard into the plastic buckets that were once filled with hundreds of sand particles that Izuku painstakingly collected to impress him. Katsuki turns towards the curly-haired boy with a risen eyebrow.

“What was this even for?”

Izuku flushes and turns away.

“Um…”

He can feel Katsuki’s aggressive, heated stare burrowing into his neck, demanding an answer. Some sort of explanation. Butterflies hum and rise in his stomach and cloud his chest, desperate for his attention. For his answers.

Katsuki had an astounding effect on Izuku’s ability to provide answers to his demands. It was almost upsetting, being willed into communicating in a way that he didn’t always approve of, yet their arguments were few and far in-between. He had come to an understanding when they were even younger that it was simply in Katsuki’s nature to be loud and boisterous and constantly flourishing on the heat of his own temper.

His mother explained to him that it was both biological and hereditary. Upon becoming close with Mitsuki Bakugou, Izuku knew that this was a believable case.

“Hey! Bakugou!”

Izuku blinks at the approaching figures to the sandbox. Three boys and two girls that often grouped together in the classroom, cautiously avoiding the natural, tight air that wound around the two other boys. Izuku never understood why the other children were always so hesitant to interact with him, why they were so keen on avoiding him.

It was only when he’d overheard one of the other children muttering the word omega under their breath as if it was the vilest term to ever be declared, that Izuku understood.

And now, Izuku can hardly look into the burning, accusatory eyes of one older boy in particular. He was two years their senior, and would have seemed even more intimidating if not for the fact that Katsuki was standing tall and proud beside Izuku, having forgotten his previous question in demanding for the reasoning behind a sandcastle.

“K-Kacchan?”

“The hell do you idiots want?” Katsuki growls, his voice tempered and low. Feral.

Izuku’s eyes widen. This will not end well. He begins to stand up, and stops as soon as Katsuki tilts his head, a gesture with a curled sneer in his lip that silently orders Izuku to remain silent. Perturbed at being told to remain where he is yet finding it pointless to do anything otherwise, the smaller boy begrudgingly obliges.

“Tell that omega kid that he stinks up the place. No one likes being around him. And you’re gonna be an alpha, right? So what the heck are you doing hanging ‘round him?” The older boy snorts, earning a collective chorus of agreements from the children tagging behind him like goslings.

Katsuki’s fingers twitch.

Oh no.

“Get the hell away from us if you know what’s good for you,” Katsuki says.

The way Katsuki says the word us delights Izuku in a way he doesn't understand, but he needs to pay attention in this present moment for both of their sake

“Kacchan! It’s okay, we can just—we can go somewhere else.” Izuku stands up and tentatively steps forward, carefully bridging the gap between the blond boy and the taller, older bully whom he’d sworn he’d seen before on other occasions.

The other boy raises an eyebrow at this, tilting his head high in a displaying gesture that Izuku notes as instinctive and normal for boys and girls their age. He was probably destined to become an alpha like Katsuki, even with his easy pull to the beta girls and boys trailing after him with ease.

Katsuki is too focused to acknowledge Izuku. His gaze is locked with the other boy’s.

One of the presumably to-be beta boys behind the leader tilts his head back and sniffs the air. Immediately, Izuku flushes at this gesture—he’s used to this form of teasing, and his scent has always been embarrassingly easy to detect, especially with strong-nosed betas.

“Hey, Reed, that kid smells…”

“Kind of sweet?” one of the girls chimes in, her pigtails flopping as she turns this way and that.

“Yeah. Sweet.” Reed’s eyes widen slightly. “Is that all a weak Deku omega smells like…?" 

Katsuki’s breathing through his nose, his jaw barely slacking as an entirely new cloud of emotion swirls through his dark red eyes.

“The hell are you saying, Big Nose?”

He’s walking on a tightrope that Izuku knows is only seconds away from snapping in half.

Izuku panics and quickly steps between him and Reed, pressing both palms into both boys’ chests to keep them from moving forward.

“G-Guys, really, we shouldn’t fight here. Kacchan, we should go, okay?”

However, as he does so, Reed grabs Izuku’s shirt and pulls. The green-eyed boy releases a short gasp as the other boy’s pupils dilate, his nose instantly diving into the crook of Izuku’s shoulder. He squeaks, shocked and angered at the intrusion into his space and the feeling of the other’s nose on his skin. It’s an invasion of privacy, of intimate boundaries that should never be crossed unless given permission, and now, Izuku feels strangely affronted—

“No wonder my pops always talks about omegas…” Reed almost purrs, and Izuku quickly yanks himself away, flustered and trembling with his own bottled anger. “Aw, come here, good little omega Deku, let me have another whiff at your neck—”

Katsuki tackles the other boy before he can finish his sentence.

Izuku’s jaw drops, his anger forgotten in place of concern and horror as the blond brutally screams and punches the older, taller alpha-destined boy with recklessness and little humanity left in his widened red eyes. It lasts for what feels like an eternity before the panicked, screaming beta girls and boys flee to grab a teacher and tell them what happened, while Izuku desperately yelled for Katsuki to stop.

The way Katsuki screams and kicks and punches at air at being dragged away to the principal’s office, sweaty and hollering at the top of his lungs, teeth snapping like an outraged wolf… it’s ingrained in Izuku’s memory like a tattoo that stings far more than even the crown of teardrops permanently marking his shoulder.

Izuku would never come to expect that this would be the last time Katsuki would fight for him for seven years to come.


 

… Seven Years Later …

 


He knew as soon as the scent in the air changed.

The distinct aroma of cedar and apples, woven through with traces of cinnamon and other subtle spices, wafted and drifted in the air like a crackle of lightning. The door had opened only slightly, yet the scent was unmistakably familiar and definitive as soon as it flooded Katsuki’s nostrils and caused his fingers to tighten desperately around his knees.

Only one person carries this scent. This fragrance he’d craved for years with hopes of never encountering again.

His teeth had grit to an unsubstantial length, his memories over the past few years collecting in vivid, terrible harmony, remembering those infuriatingly kind green eyes, those soft ebony curls and the dash of freckles lining that strangely elegant nose—

Izuku’s shocked eyes and smile find him in the classroom, and it’s too fucking much.

The denial that gripped his stomach and jolted through his heart upon recognizing the stuttering mumbles, that same infuriating smile that lifted stone hearts and melted through frosted souls should have been branded illegal as soon as he drew his first breath.

Katsuki had been told for years to quell his temperamental outbursts through external means, though the several beds he’d broken while being contained in the facility were stained with his drowned out memories of his childhood friend—the boy who never once shied away from him like the others, who welcomed his instinctive desire to protect and shelter and barricade like he was the most fragile thing in the universe—writhing beneath him, desperate for him, aching for him, yearning for him, calling and calling and moaning and gasping

Izuku Midoriya’s presence is a spell that befalls him, twisting apart his defenses and building them back up as old emotions resurface. It’s equivalent to his hidden fears, behind the angry screams and tortured yelling and hundreds upon hundreds of evaluations, that the promises he’d made to keep distant from the sweetest poison to his senses and mind would somehow erase all of the progress he’d made.

He’s elated. He’s horrified. He’s livid.

Deku?”

Izuku falters beneath such a declaration, as if snapping out of his own stupor. His scent grows stronger by the minute, and Katsuki’s grip on both his knees and his growing temper are never going to take a backseat to what he wants to say.

He feels like an idiot.

Of course, stupid fucking perfect amazing Deku would be the only omega to be accepted into the prestigious Yuuei Academy for Motivated and Gifted Students.

“Well, as dramatic and glorious as this apparent reunion is, I don’t care about the emotions behind it. Class, meet Izuku Midoriya. Izuku Midoriya, this is your new class. Now, all of you stay quiet and listen. Or not. I don’t really care.”

The cryptic teacher at the front of the classroom resumes to his lazed state in his spinning chair, long, bony fingers reaching up with chalk to scrape into the blackboard.

Katsuki’s chest feels light and heavy at the same time. He whirls around in his desk, teeth grinding furiously at the presence of the other boy. He should have been prepared for anything, even for the incredibly unlikely possibility that his childhood friend—the object of obsessive instincts and behavior that he never deserved—would appear in this school. In his own fucking classroom.

Stop it…

He shakes his head, barely able to concentrate into his first paper assignment as it’s passed to his desk. He glares sharply towards the clearly beta student beside him—Shitty Hair, he recalls slightly, the name quite fitting given the spiked style and obvious red dye, though the smile he receives in response only prickles his skin. At the corner of his stare, he spots Izuku pouring diligently into his scattered notes already, panicking at the slightest slipups and dropping his books with far too much care for one person.

Katsuki resists every instinctive pull that makes him want to go over, slam his chair next to Izuku’s and bury his nose into the other’s neck. He wants to inhale that sharp, sweet and masculine scent, trace his teeth over the crown of teardrops he knows must still be engraved into the other’s shoulder. He wants to—

“Fucking dammit!” He slams his hands on the table.

Dozens of heads turn towards him. Some eyebrows risen. Some snickers gather in the classroom.

Though he knows, above all else, that the green-eyed, curly-topped symbol of his greatest torture and ultimate pleasure is regarding him with nothing but concern.

Quit fucking looking at me like that! You’re not the fucking alpha! I am!

“It’s your first day, Bakugou. I would refrain from causing a ruckus in class while your pheromones leek into the classroom. If you need to vent, take it into the hallway.”

Mr. Aizawa doesn’t even turn as he writes further letters into the blackboard.

One girl with long, greenish hair and bulbous eyes writes her name into her paper form with elusive style. “What a drama queen.”

A taller, curvaceous female student with spiked hair swept back in a ponytail who exudes clear alpha pheromones and an unusually timid nature, stares back at Katsuki with one risen eyebrow. He instantly wants to break her neck for even regarding him as if he is in a weaker state than her, as if he is subjected to her mismatched curiosity.

“Wonder what his deal is…” she mutters.

A rather bubbly and positive student Katsuki reluctantly recognizes near the front of the class tosses her pink-dyed hair over her shoulder and grins towards the girl with the long green hair. The swivel in her chair is distracting, though not enough to properly direct Katsuki’s thoughts away from snapping every pencil and pen he owns in his possession.

“That curly-haired new kid is so adorable, though. Don’t you think, Tsuyu?”

Katsuki’s head snaps upward. He locks eyes with the pink-haired girl, who finds his stare in return, and instantly shivers at the withering glare he sends her.

Keep your fucking eyes to yourself, pink bitch.

She instantly turns around, huffing.

“Gee, both of the new kids are on opposite ends of the spectrum…”

He mentally kicks himself. Seven years of extensive, extreme therapy, and he’s already reverting to thoughts and actions he hadn’t thought of since over a year ago. He passed the program with a monogrammed certificate under his primary therapist, and he’d promised to himself that he wasn’t worthy of Izuku Midoriya’s life if he couldn’t refrain from his primal, unnatural characteristics.

“Alphas who display your characteristics are admitted into this program out of experience and biological factors, Mr. Bakugou. It is not a matter of whether or not you are subjected to actual danger. However, your levels are definitely… on the more extreme side. The object of your extended attachment could very well be in physical and emotional danger unless you receive treatment. And that’s why I’m here to help.”

It was one of the first statements Katsuki had heard upon being admitted into a facility that he’d damaged in numerous ways, subjected to sit in extensive therapeutic examinations and exercises to forcefully quell his mind and behaviors as if he was some sort of guinea pig. Though, these words never left him—they motivated him, guided him, towards a goal where he could find solace from the horrifying nightmare of accidentally hurting or killing his Deku.

Fuck.

No. No. Izuku is not… his Deku.

Not yet.

He bites his lip. He wants to yank out every individual strand of hair on his head, hoping that the scent fades—though, he knows that he’s not the only alpha in the classroom. He cranes his neck, surveying the classroom and admonishing the distinctive scents wafting through the room in easy gusts. He’d accumulated several alpha mannerisms and skills before presenting, though he can pinpoint the students he should watch for.

He was stronger and more capable than any of these bastards, and he would make that especially clear to the alphas.

He scopes the vicinity, discrete and releasing only affirmative growls under his breath to vocally confirm his suspicions, one at a time.

One boy—Tokoyami Fumikage—Bird-brain, whatever… he’s clearly some strange hybrid between a raven of sorts and a regular human, exudes the slightest traces of alpha pheromones. His scent is bland and uninteresting, which is the case for every other person Katsuki has scented aside from Izuku. The girl with a clear manner of intelligence and spiked, ponytailed hair—Yaoyorozu Momo—shows typical alpha girth and strength and mannerisms that Katsuki often identifies with female alphas. Though, she’s nowhere near the extent of his own mother’s behaviors.

The bell rings before Katsuki can finish his assessment, growling under his breath and shoving his books into his backpack. He knows that the cafeteria will be flooded with an assortment of many different students from various classes, all separate from Mr. Aizawa’s very own 1-A. He shifts, just slightly, to catch sight of Izuku gathering his supplies as well, tripping over his shoelaces and rushing to the door.

Katsuki considers between waiting behind to listen to the inevitable spilling of his thoughts and the desire to dash out of the school and change his identity somewhere to successfully escape this annoying beacon of his aggravated instincts.

Already, his chest and senses flare with the desire to inhale Izuku’s scent, and it’s enough to make him wild with suppressed anger. He keeps his head held high, growling slightly as students bypass him, yet as he turns to glance towards Izuku’s undoubtedly beaming face, the scene before him is enough to momentarily freeze his world.

“Oh—Oh my God! I’m so sorry! Are you okay?”

The student Izuku had unceremoniously trampled into stands up with ease, brushing down his uniform and turning towards the curly-haired boy with a risen eyebrow. He seems familiar, with his rather tacky dye-job of half-crimson and half-white, reminding Katsuki vaguely of his father’s poker chip collection. However, this student’s monochromatic eyes are focused entirely on the stuttering, flushed boy, who is waving his arms around him like some over-exaggerated cartoon character.

“You really don’t have to apologize—”

“I’m so, so sorry! Really, um, are you sure you’re okay? I didn’t mess up your uniform right? I’m so sorry, it’s my first day here and I’m just a nervous, bumbling mess…”

Katsuki’s lips curl back into a sneer, his fists slowly clenching at his sides. Even after all these years not seeing him, Izuku is distracted by the presence of some half-red, half-white student whom he’d just met? Why isn’t he pushing him away and immediately marching over towards Katsuki?

“You’re Midoriya, right?”

Katsuki snaps out of his stupor. He watches as the other student observes Izuku as if he’s a problem he was interested in solving—too fucking interested, as far as Katsuki is concerned. Though, the ash-blond is barely able to hold back the rumbling growl rising in his throat as he pinpoints the undeniable scent from this student.

Alpha.

Another alpha is, whether Izuku is aware of it or not, attempting to step on his territory.

“Do you often find yourself angry when other alphas or betas interact with this person?”

His former therapist’s question is pushed to the back of his mind in favor of the instinctive rage bubbling up in his chest. He remembers this conversation, but it’s fiercely overshadowed by every distinct memory of the freckled weakling being shoved into the sand, his arms pulled against his will, too many humans pressing their necks into his skin and inhaling his scent and unable to control themselves…

Get away from him. Get away from him. Get the fuck away from Deku—

Yet, with the last ounce of self-control he has, Katsuki whips away from the sight of the two students and storms into the hallway. He avoids the questioning glances, keeping his fists burrowed fiercely into his pockets, a firm scowl etched onto his lips. He wants to turn around and ram his fist into that pompous alpha’s jaw and listen to the bones crackle, yet the incessant voices he’d been coached to listening to are telling him to stop.

Izuku is still, for all Katsuki knows, still talking to that other alpha like the piece of over-helpful shit that he is—

“Kacchan! Wait!”

Katsuki stops, a lump lodged in his throat. It would be foolish to assume that seven years wouldn’t alter or change a boy’s voice, but even though the childish, determined innocence is still there, the growing huskiness and maturation that filters through Izuku’s syllables as they release into Katsuki’s eardrums are enough to solidify his opinion. He hopes that his grinding teeth, clenched fists and heated skin are not as obvious as he believes them to be.

Stay fucking calm. Don’t fuck this up.

He’s angry at Izuku. At himself. At everything.

Don’t. Fuck. This. Up.

He turns around, suppressing every conflicted emotion he knows as they batter and brutally charge through his system in tightly wound ropes.

Though, upon seeing Izuku coming towards him and abruptly stopping only a few inches away and beaming at him as if the sun is hidden beneath his freckled features, Katsuki is barely able to hold on to what’s left of his control. Izuku is still the bright-eyed youth he remembers, his curly hair flipping in green-tinted black currents, lips naturally pink and healthy, body fidgeting and awkward, and his scent—

Katsuki holds his breath. He hopes the to-be omega doesn’t notice how quickly he shifts, his brow twitching and the desperate need to cover his nose flourishing through his body. He’d envisioned Izuku like this many times, listening to the other’s whispers across his skin, those sweet, summery green eyes finding his, those perfect lips opened and calling his name and his back arching with pleasure—

Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck!

The anger, the hurt, the confusion that coils and springs in Katsuki’s insides are tearing him apart from the inside-out. He steps backward, and instantly loathes the sight of Izuku’s eyebrows shooting to his hairline, his delighted smile fading into a troubled, hesitant frown almost instantly.

“Kacchan, were you…” Izuku hesitates, his hands tightening around the straps of his backpack and his teeth nibbling on his bottom lip. Katsuki can feel his dilating pupils latch onto him as he does so, shame and guilt swelling into torturous clouds inside his chest. He begins counting, recalling one of several exercises, though he knows it will be fruitless as long as Izuku is around him, as long as he’s present before him like this. “Were you avoiding me?”

Katsuki blinks and growls. “Maybe I fucking was.”

It’s the wrong thing to say. It tastes like acid and gunpowder on his tongue, ammunition leaking into his words as they spill into the open and nearly cause Izuku to stumble backwards. The smaller boy flinches as if he’d been slapped, something akin to frustration and hidden sadness colliding together in a fusion that Katsuki desperately wishes to remove as easily a stain.

“I just thought…” Izuku ponders, his brow furrowing in speculation. “We haven’t seen each other in… it’s been years, Kacchan! I’ve been,” he pauses, his face flushing almost instantly as he tracks through what he’s saying and immediately clamps his mouth shut.

Katsuki snorts. “You’ve been… what? Are you going to say something fucking stupid like you usually do?”

His scowl deepens as Izuku turns towards him with a look that Katsuki has never seen in him before—it’s something akin to fiery gusto, leaked through with the trademark determination and stubbornness that had drawn Katsuki to Izuku when they were only toddlers.

“I was going to ask how… treatment, was… and I wanted to tell you that I was excited to see you here. Our moms didn’t say anything about it. I—I just thought…”

“Alphas with EPBOD have been recorded in accounts of murdering their chosen mates out of their instinctive actions, whether accidental or purposeful—”

Katsuki steps back and glares off to the side, silently fuming with his fists clenched and achingly reaching for some sort of physical relief. He ignores the dreaded statements circulating through his mind, and the heated, worried stare from his own childhood friend burrowing into his skin and lighting up his insides like a match.

“I’m fucking here, aren’t I?” Katsuki growls.

“Yes. You are.” Izuku remains steadfast.

The blond inwardly snorts, despite the competitive pride that surges through his gut at the thought. There was a reason he’d been so determined and drawn to Izuku at a young age, and here, years later, he’s watching his potential bloom, though the fact that he’d been torn away from the other because of how he was… because of the potential danger he could place the to-be omega in—

“You shouldn’t fucking be here. You’re an omega.”

Izuku, once again, allows his strength to crumble for a moment. Shock ripples through his deep green eyes, a sight so tantalizing and hypnotic that Katsuki realizes he could absorb how the other speaks and moves without stopping for hours on end. It simultaneously enrages him and sickens him, yet the idea of laying down himself for this eventual omega makes him want to curl in on himself and remember the promises he’d made.

You’ll fucking kill him.

Izuku, whether he realizes it or not, is still a weak omega.

“What’s that supposed to mean, Kacchan?”

Katsuki focuses on the shorter boy once more, a sneer twisting up his lips. He steps slightly closer, one knee projected forward in a menacing position as he tilts his head, showing his clear status as an alpha to a determined omega who, against all stereotypes, braces himself and glares straight back into his beaming red eyes anyway.

“It means, fucking omegas shouldn’t just waltz into schools that have only alphas and betas on the fucking admissions list. You understand me, shitty Deku?” Katsuki growls out.

Izuku’s jaw clenches tighter, prickling water surrounding his eyes.

Katsuki almost crumbles instantly upon seeing the beginnings of Izuku’s tears. He’s going to make Izuku cry, though it’s not out of sadness or even whining about the most inopportune things. Izuku had only cried when it concerned his mother, or Katsuki when they were children, or, in Katsuki’s conflicted emotional mind, whenever he was placed in a situation that separated them both.

Katsuki’s tantrums and Izuku’s tears were often regarded as insufferable parallels.

“I know you better than anyone, Kacchan.” He pauses, collecting his thoughts, and Katsuki opens his mouth to cut him off before the smaller one can do so, though this plan is shoved off to the side as Izuku stares straight into Katsuki’s eyes and takes one bold step forward. “I know you, and—and it’s always been hard, with your pride and you pushing others away before even asking me. You did that even before you left, and… I was stuck, too. I had to wait and wait and wait, and I accepted that I probably wouldn’t see you again. It was hard. You were my only friend. And I missed you. I still do.”

Izuku says these words carefully, painfully, through a wobbling jaw and the slightest traces of water lining his eyelids and framing his long lashes.

“But, if you really want nothing to do with an omega like me,” says Izuku, “then fine. I’ll… stay out of your way.” He draws in a long, agonizingly slow breath, his shoulders trembling with each movement.

Katsuki is speechless even after Izuku brushes by his arm and disappears down the hallway.


 

 


The cafeteria buzzes with too many voices to count, humming and ripping through the air like clouds of wasps. Izuku refrains from sticking to the curious students from his own class who bump shoulders with him and ask him casual questions. He flashes the occasional smile and gestures with friendly waves towards some of them who actually bother to interact, though his growingly obvious omega scent creates a rift between him and other teens in the vicinity who recognize his gender.

It’s overwhelming, and incredibly exhausting. He wants to leave the area and enjoy some kind of meal in silence, hoping that the irrepressible anger and insulting sadness that weaves through his insides and chokes his throat will disappear in a few hours. He’d kept his tears at bay upon confronting Katsuki, so intent on voicing his concerns and finally being able to speak to him after all these years, though the handsome ash-blond regarded him as if he was a fly on his back. An ant waiting to be stepped on.

Yet the anger and hurt that clashed in those breathtaking red eyes were enough to confirm Izuku’s suspicions that, even after years of extensive therapy, Katsuki’s pride was still a staple of who he was. It was understandable, he had thought, knowing that seven years is too long of a gap in time to reflect on a past companionship and believe that everything would be sewn back neatly together.

His hands grip tighter on the steel tray in his hands. He surveys his surroundings, and immediately brightens at the presence of the kind girl from before, Ochako Uraraka. She is waiting fervently in his direction, seated at an ovular, chrome table with one student Izuku recognizes from his class. He’s tall and strong and bespectacled, carrying an air to him that is intelligent but far less superior. Almost instantly, Izuku recognizes the distinct scents of interwoven beta.

“Izuku! How was your first class with Mr. Aizawa? He’s our homeroom teacher, so I wish I could give you a better heads-up before it started, but I wanted to be sure to ask you!” Ochako’s smile is radiant and warm.

Izuku grins despite himself, scratching the back of his head.

“It was good,” he says, with very little truth to it all. The class was fascinating and he enjoyed listening to lectures, jotting down notes as he went along, though the thought of being trapped in that same vicinity for too long without speaking to Katsuki had left him distracted enough to bulldoze into another student.

He was thankful that Todoroki Shouto was kind enough to brush off the incident, even with how embarrassed and mortified Izuku was.

Ochako simply grins, and Izuku nearly jumps in surprise as the tall, bespectacled boy dramatically bows at ninety degrees and then extends his hand as greeting. Izuku blinks, unable to suppress the amused twitch to his lips at the robotic movements of this other boy.

“Pleased to make your acquaintance, Izuku Midoriya! I am Iida Tenya!” he says with robotic carefulness, shaking Izuku’s hand and leaning back straight. “I have to say, it’s impressive that you were able to pass the exams and enter this academy with such eloquence! I have never heard of such incredible details regarding the gender system! To think, such a mark would be considered almost historical!”

Izuku blushes and sighs. “It’s… no big deal.” He grins softly. “Thanks, though. Um, I guess. You really don’t have to praise me at all. I just… had to work a little harder? Ah, actually, no, forget I said that—”

He stops, pausing in his awkward rambling to see a familiar shock of ash-blond hair, that trademark scowl and those gleaming red eyes unmistakable to him. The other teen is grumpily biting into his sandwich, clearly angry above all else and hissing towards students who even bother to instigate conversation with him.

Izuku can read the lines of worry and clear regret that furrow Katsuki’s brow even from this distance. The conflicted emotions that rise in his stomach are enough to remind Izuku of how betrayed and angry he felt only minutes before in the hallway.

But it would be wrong. He swallows down his own thoughts.

It’s not on his nature—or Katsuki’s—to abandon those precious to him. He’s not completely sure what the blond is hiding from him or why he’s become even more temperamental and distant, though on his first day entering Yuuei Academy he will not allow his closest childhood friend to suffer, even if it’s as a result of harming him in the process.

“Ochako, Iida, thank you for inviting me to eat with you.” Izuku’s smile is gentle, yet strained as he regards the aggressive blond over Ochako’s shoulder. “But I need to take care of something important first.”

Ochako blinks. “Oh—is everything alright?”

“Y-Yeah! Of course!” Izuku stutters. “Um, it’s just something I have to take care of. I’ll come find you guys later, probably. Thank you again.”

He nods towards them, skirts around the table with his tray, and quickly bypasses the other tables. He knows several curious stares are burning into his back, but he pays them no mind, walking the length of the cafeteria until he’s right beside the huffing, snarling blond, who stabs his fork into a rather unimpressive wad of buttered rice.

He places his tray down on the table. Katsuki lifts his head, his shock evident through the hints of a scowl and the confused twitching in his left eye. It would be amusing and endearing, almost, to see Katsuki react this way, as he did when they were children when Izuku found ways to make the other blush when he was distracted, lost in his own little world.

“Kacchan,” says Izuku, standing with his hands balled into fists. “I’m going to sit here and eat with you, and you can’t stop me!” He doesn’t exactly mean to raise his voice this much, and Katsuki’s incessant, surprised blinking is enough to remind him of how exactly loud his voice is traveling, yet his resolve remains strong as he continues with whatever comes to his mind. “Even if you don’t want to be associated with me after all these years, I still want to be your friend. I want to be back in your life. So, I’m not going anywhere.”

With that, he gradually takes a distant seat across from Katsuki at the table. An instant chorus of mocking laughter, whistles and cheers reverberate through the cafeteria. Izuku flushes beneath the attention, tempted to bury his face into his hands, though he remains steadfast as he flashes a genuine, pearly smile towards the blond, who stares at him as if he’s grown another head.

“Wow, Midoriya’s so manly!”

Katsuki finally clicks back into reality and glares at the red-haired boy from their class.

“Shut the fuck up, Hair-For-Brains! You’ve known shitty Deku for one fucking hour! So keep your damn annoying thoughts to your fucking self!” He snaps out, his figurative claws and teeth already unfurled once more.

As he settles back down, Izuku bites into his sandwich and refuses to move.

Katsuki watches him, contemplating something with clear depth and attention for a solid minute or two. Izuku pretends to ignore his stare, keeping his smile on his face as he samples his first taste of Yuuei Academy’s cafeteria food.

Izuku jumps when a tray is roughly slammed down next to his, and Katsuki plops himself beside him with the aggression of an angry cat. He snarls towards the muttering, gossiping students swarming by them in distorted rivers. He ignores the way Izuku gapes at him, the strange tension threading through his muscles and coiling the air in a thick, scented embrace reminding him of just how pulling and admirable his childhood friend’s presence is.

He resumes eating, the fluttering in his stomach soaring to new heights.

He doesn’t notice the anxious bobbing of Katsuki’s knee, or the desperate tremble of the other’s fingers as he suppresses every instinctive urge to allow them to reach over and touch the spot on Izuku’s shoulder where his mark still remains.

Chapter Text

Even after a few years, the windows gather the same amount of grime.

Gritting his teeth, Katsuki paces along the carpets, fists clenching and unclenching in calculated rhythm. Callouses have formed along his palms, tracing about his secrets, his memories, his demonstrations of raw innocence and outbursts that have rendered him excused from his own parents’ household. From his life attending school regularly.

From Izuku Midoriya.

He glares pointedly into the shelves lined along the walls. Old textbooks, thick and thin, some harboring stylish cobwebs and some pristine and printed within the last five years or so, shine in skins of embossed leather and brightly hued prints. He keeps his distance between them, burrowing his fists into his sweatpants pockets and sending a sharp stare to the clock mounted on the wall. He counts the seconds as they tick by.

The door opens. Katsuki doesn’t move from his spot on the carpet, switching his attention from the clock, to the window, and to the empty chair positioned in front of the crookedly aligned sofa. It had always patronized him, how the printed cushions offered him a seat, as if it was required of him to do so and he truly had no say in the subject matter. It enraged him when he was eight years old, and it still irked him at thirteen.

“I apologize for being late, Mr. Bakugou.”

Katsuki quirks an eyebrow, snarling. He doesn’t recognize this voice.

“Doesn’t matter.” His tongue feels dry without cursing.

“Of course it matters. You’re more than just a patient, young man.”

Katsuki rolls around the accent in his mind, finally turning to assess the tall, lanky man waltzing into the office space. He looks fairly young, especially in comparison to the other doctors whom Katsuki had berated and chased away with what his vocal cords would allow, seconds before it came to the point of ripping his own voice apart. They had all said enough to wire him in the opposite direction from what they wanted, dropping keywords that he simultaneously missed with bated breath and despised down to the bare bones.

Family. Alpha. Omega. Izuku. Mother. Father. Auntie.

Katsuki steps back instinctively, temporarily avoiding the crawling depths of his thoughts as he stares into the open hand extended towards him. He notes the weathered lines in the chalk-white palm, tracing back up to survey the tousled dishwater blond hair and large, thick-rimmed glasses. The plaid, collared shirt is haphazard in its button arrangements, and Katsuki deduces that he does recognize the accent, after all: someone of Polish descent, possibly.

It’s a worthy distracting to observe potential enemies, to focus on the smaller details of people he’d rather push aside and forget instead of dwelling back on his growing, raging instincts.

“It’s very nice to finally meet you, Mr. Bakugou. My name is Dr. Edward Woźniak. Is it alright if I call you Katsuki?”

The blond teenager snorts and turns away from him, scratching his neck with little more than a huff as a response. He ignores the outstretched hand, tilting his head and watching the way the therapist simply shrugs off this gesture with a smile. Reading his mannerisms, Katsuki isn’t sure what gender this man is, and can’t pinpoint his cloaked scent past layers of laundry detergent and the faintest traces of lemon and cucumber.

“I don’t give a flying fuck.” Katsuki emphasizes the curse word.

This therapist, far unlike the others he’d promptly dismissed with his cold shoulders and stubborn attitude, nods in response to this and folds his hands in front of him. He pulls out a notepad and pen, scribbling onto the surface already and eyeing Katsuki from head to toe as if he’s expecting him to move.

“Please, have a seat, Katsuki.”

Katsuki snorts. “The fuck makes you different from the others?”

“I may not be.” Dr. Woźniak shrugs and quirks a small smile. “You’re already demonstrating some pretty strong alpha behavior. Though, I’m not going to tell you to suppress it, Katsuki. There are many good things that came out of being an early bloomer.”

The blond raises an eyebrow, a hesitant growl rumbling inside him.

“The fuck are you talking about?”

Dr. Wozniak’s smile is genuine and tender.

It’s irritating, sparking several nerves within Katsuki that drives him to gnash his teeth. He’s accustomed to this routine, often being forced into examinations if need be for recklessly throwing things out windows or attempting to escape by climbing down the massive walls that barricade the place. Though, he has more self-control now than he did at eight years old, despite how big of a gap his progress truly had.

“You can trust my input, Katsuki. I know that one of the primary reasons you were placed here was more important than your parents’ concerns on your anger issues. Though, those are connected to a particular situation, are they not?”

Katsuki growls. “You’re like all those other fuckers.”

Dr. Wozniak laughs. “Heh, again, you could be right! But, who I am doesn’t really matter, Katsuki. What matters is whether or not you want me to help you.” His features soften slightly, and even behind his enormous glasses, Katsuki spots something strangely calming about this man. “You seem more relaxed, now.”

Katsuki clicks his tongue. “Don’t flatter yourself.” Cocky fucker.

“Oh, that’s not my intention at all. Please sit, Katsuki. I would love to hear about what’s been on your mind, lately.” He then directs his attention away from the blond teenager, as Katsuki is fixated squarely on the carpet beneath his feet. “If it helps, I’m not an alpha. Most of the counselors here are trained in the field of being an alpha-specific therapist, which is why I’m here. I’ve never had the opportunity to have a full test session with someone with your development.”

Katsuki rolls his eyes. He doesn’t want to be here.

The therapist senses this. He chuckles and gathers his documents in his hands, rearranging them in a neat square before setting them aside on the coffee table.

“I’ll make us some tea. I hear you like rooibos.”

“They’re just fucking guessing. They don’t know what type of fucking bitch-ass tea that I like.”

Katsuki growls as each word leaves his tongue, leaving a trail of palpable smoke and steel behind. He wants to assert his dominance until the ends of his days, and break out of the chained hold his subconscious has on him with images of his smiling, innocent, freckled childhood friend.

Dr. Wozniak laughs, shaking his head. “I knew I was going to like you, Katsuki. And that’s alright if you hate me in return. I’m looking forward to a better talk.” He clears his throat. “Would it help for you to know that I understand where you’re coming from? EPBOD is a rather rare and speculative disorder—”

“I don’t want your fucking help!” Katsuki yells, quickly fraying on the ends of his patience. “I’m fucking here because I couldn’t fucking stand other people trying to steal my—”

He halts, and quickly clamps his jaw shut. No, that was far too close.

The therapist’s eyebrows shoot to his hairline. Slowly, he leans forward, loping one leg over his knee and taking a careful bullet point.

“Do you mind if I take notes?”

Katsuki forces a nod. He’s been goaded to answer positively regardless of what he wants. Constantly telling therapists “no” and “fuck off” never worked in his favor the way he desired.

“Tell me about where this… unbridled anger, comes from, Katsuki.”

Katsuki snarls and is tempted to rip out every strand of hair in his skull. He wants to release his emotions and roar loud enough to break the ceilings and watch the cracks form in every crevice and tile that make up this despicable place. He wants to yell in his mother and father’s faces and watch them cry out of guilt and shame, even though he (while never admitting it) misses them terribly. He loathes how Izuku would look at him now, reprimanding and supportive and not at all understanding the danger he’d placed himself in by letting Katsuki yank him around—

“You wouldn’t fucking understand,” whispers Katsuki.

Each word tastes like needles in his throat, tipped in some sacred poison that he can never transform into something he could enjoy. Could relish and taste with reckless abandon and drink like the oasis presented before him in his dreams, where he was alone. Where he was free to think away his irrational anger and incessant twitches that always reach to throw, punch, break, maim.

“I would very much like to hear anything and everything you have to say, Katsuki.” Dr. Woźniak’s smile is weaker, almost pitying, but he remains steadfast in his position on the chair. Katsuki notes him fidgeting, his scent becoming more prominent the more he rustles. “If you would prefer, I don’t even have to say anything. You can just yell, scream, rant, whatever pleases you. I can be a soundboard for you to use.”

Katsuki considers this. He hums and rolls his neck, listening to the satisfying ricochet of popping bones down his back and through his shoulder blades. His muscles coil and release with new tension, and he wishes he could grind them out with his own fingers instead of wishing for people he can no longer see every day do it for him.

He’s never been one to bend a knee to his own pride. And today would not be that day.

Yet…

“Katsuki, I can’t possibly relate to your situation. You’re right about that.” The therapist dips his head, sighing. “Though, I’ve been on the receiving end of this.”

Katsuki then snaps his head towards his new doctor with a demanding glare.

Smirking bemusedly, the adult of the situation holds his breath before answering.

“I could be of great help for your perspective, to hear from the other side. I know you fear what your desired partner will feel about you, or could feel about you now that you’re here. You’re afraid, and that’s completely normal, Katsuki.” He clears his throat. “I know because, as an omega, I went through a very similar period with my mate.”

Katsuki’s eyes widen.

An omega therapist?

“So, whenever you are ready to proceed,” says Dr. Woźniak, eyes soft and glistening like gemstones, “please do so. I will help in any way I can.”


 

… Two Years Later …

 


“Alright, pay attention, because I’m only going to give this lecture once. So, you, Mr. Kirishima. Mr. Kaminari. Enough flirting and go back to your desks. If I see that type of behavior in this class, at least take it outside where none of us have to see it… good. Glad that’s covered.”

Mr. Aizawa is patient and persistent as he scribbles another diagram onto the blackboard. The white letters formulate a large chart, underlined beneath the phrase:

 

COURTING, MARKING, MARRIAGE – A / B / O

 

 In the far back of the classroom, Izuku stiffens. He’d been carefully penciling in his notes in the margins, occasionally doodling to pass his resting brain. Yet, the sight of these bold, proud letters on the board causes a sharp shiver to race down his spine. He turns to his right, briefly catching the eye of Ochako, who smiles warmly at him and points. He follows her gesture to the rather irritated, lounging form of his childhood friend—blond hair and scowl perfectly assembled beside his long limbs and petulant expression.

Izuku sighs and glances at Ochako with an exaggerated frown. She giggles under her breath and continues with her own note-taking, all the while sending him a teasing glance every now and then. Izuku flushes and turns to his notebook, before lifting his eyes and finding Katsuki’s frazzled blond hair.

The other student, despite his lazy appearance, is one of the hardest-working people Izuku has ever known, and with his ferociously bobbing knee and angry scowl and rather vicious slandering of his own papers with highlighters and pencils alike, these habits have apparently remained unchanged. Even Katsuki furiously scratching at his hair and growling are habits that Izuku can easily pinpoint from when they were children.

“Open your books and turn to page ninety-five.”

Izuku follows this instruction, his eyes nearly popping out of his skull at the chapter header, image and title.

Marriage, Courting, Marking and the Secondary Genders: Part One.

The title is already disconcerting, even though Izuku had mentally prepared for something like this. He knew that he was predicted to present as an omega, and even the strange marking on his shoulder indicates something along those biological traits, yet glimpsing over this title makes him unsure of what’s to come.

The painting illustrated on the page is of a feeble, small male being chained and whipped by wealthy lords bearing symbolic armor and crowns. His stomach churns uncomfortably, yet he swallows his bile as he glances over the text and additional pictures. He can only assume these are ancient, historical icons displaying the dominance, and lack thereof, of their secondary genders.

“As you can see, this is a rather topical chapter. Even today, the government is questioning the validity behind the tradition of arranged marriages and the rights between alphas, betas, and omegas. As you can see, omegas, since the beginning of time, have been labeled as the least regarded in this category.”

Katsuki pauses in his note-taking. He lifts his head, scowling at the blackboard.

Izuku looks down before the blond can feel him staring into the back of his head. They weren’t able to properly talk after lunch, quickly bolting off in opposite directions with heated blushes to their cheeks, though Izuku knew he was still owed an apology.

Yet, to have this lesson on their first day makes him uncomfortable and unconsciously reach for the mark on his shoulder.

“Marriage contracts are usually formed between parents of presented alphas and the omegas and betas, and even sometimes other alphas, whom they choose to take as mates. While this is considered medieval and even barbaric by some, it’s a tradition that has placed many on higher standings. If you bother to ask some of your other classes, especially the upperclassmen, you’ll notice that many of the alphas are already engaged, marked, mated, married, or all of the above.”

Marked. Arranged. Married.

“Although, these incidents regarding omega suppression has been around for centuries as well. Some would consider omegas to not have the same level of consent as alphas and betas, due to their perceived lack of control on their hormonal balances by comparison.”

Izuku’s hands grip his pencils tighter.

Omegas with no choice…

It was because of this system that those who were destined to be omegas would never have the opportunity to hail the same reputations and careers as alphas and betas. The fact that alphas were given the right to choose their mates, and that marking and documentation of arranged marriages were not only expected but supported, causes Izuku’s blood to chill to ice.

No one would ever desire him in that way, so perhaps he was safe in that regard. Yet, to think that other omegas—as rare as they were—would be forced to be taken away from their families if an alpha chose them with or without their consent…

Izuku hesitantly raises his hand.

Mr. Aizawa pauses in his lecture, masking his curiosity with a look of detachment.

“Yes, Midoriya?”

Several heads turn towards him.

So many people.

He carefully avoids looking in Katsuki’s direction, yet even from this angle he can tell that the blond’s back has grown considerably stiff.

“What if the omegas refuse?” Izuku asks.

Mr. Aizawa nods at this. “Ah, good question. Since the omega gender is significantly rare, especially in your generation, studies have resorted to claiming that most omegas do not fight against the marriage contracts when requested for courtship and mating by alphas. Betas have similar rights to alphas, yet they are often not given consensual contracts distributed by both families. Most of the time, especially in the first few thousand years of this phenomena, omega families have been given the ultimate right to respond to the contracts, though even then the idea of consent has fallen flat.”

The words are chilling. Poisonous.

Izuku’s tongue is dry as chalk. Through the rest of the lecture he can hardly focus, the words replaying so steadily in his mind’s eye. He wonders what his father would have said if he was here, worried with a son who happened to be destined to become an omega. Was that part of why he’d left his mother alone all those years ago? Why his mother was so devastated upon learning from his one crucial visit to the doctor that his symptoms were already heading in that direction?

It almost feels like an omen. As if he’s destined for a fate he could never want.

Calm down. You already know that no one wants you like that.

In this case, he considers it a blessing.

“Alright, now read the chapter in groups of four. Come up with a list together. Then, decide on what you want to write about for your first official paper. Since you’re all first-years, it would be recommended that you prepare for your annual presentations, as well.”

A resounding series of groans swamps the classroom. Izuku blinks as several desks are immediately rotated to face each other. He stands up to gesture for Ochako, who is already making her way towards him. He finds himself crawling into a group with the kind, smiling girl, with both Tokoyami Fumikage and Tsuyu Asui.

As Izuku shifts over his backpack from one desk to another, he catches Katsuki’s searching look. The blond blinks and immediately turns away with a snarl and a huff, stomping off in another direction with his hands almost aggressively shoved into his pockets.

Izuku shakes his head. He’ll have to ask Katsuki about what’s specifically bothering him later. They have too much to talk about for him to dwell on it for only a few minutes before turning back on his brain to focus on a rather uncomfortable group assignment.

“Right! So,” Ochako says, grinning broadly. “Let’s come up with something together. This shouldn’t be too hard, right? How bad can this chapter be?”

Tsuyu ponders this over, tapping her chin. “To think of presenting this early on top of reading and breaking down this chapter seems…”

“Unorthodox,” Tokoyami finishes, his arms crossed firmly over his chest. He regards Izuku with a tilted head, as if surveying his disgruntled expression. “You seem troubled, Midoriya.”

Izuku blinks and laughs this off with a quick rubbing of his own neck. “Ah, no, no. It’s just… intense, I guess. And, yeah, presenting. Seems a bit early to think about it. Maybe.” He bites his lip and carefully keeps his attention squared in on the open textbook. He wishes they weren’t discussing these matters on their first day.

“Would you pick a mate this early, Tokoyami?” Tsuyu asks.

Tokoyami hums at this thought. “Not this early. Even if I turn out to be an alpha, as predicted, I would wait until eighteen, at least. The contract system seems a bit dated, if one were to be honest. I doubt I would seek any mate at all unless they wanted it equally.”

Ochako discretely eyes Izuku. He knows that she’s concerned, given that she was, so far, the only person to properly know that he was marked as an eventual omega upon entering Yuuei Academy, the first to do so in decades.

Yet, the accomplishment feels empty. Lacking.

Their conversation drowns out, with Izuku interjecting once in a while to alleviate the tension. He suppresses his frowns with twitching, weak smiles, the usual determination and righteous attitude he often presents in public seeming so unconvincing after reading the text and listening to Mr. Aizawa’s words. He’d said everything so matter-of-factly, as if there was no chance in changing such a corrupted, elitist system.

Alphas were ridiculously privileged. Izuku, even after flipping through the chapter on his own accord and muttering incoherent discoveries under his breath through the remainder of class, could not find a single solitary indication that omegas were given equal recognition to alphas. At times, omega activists were mentioned in passing, as if their efforts were not even worth the recognition, as if they were not meant to be historical symbols at all.

Generals. Emperors. Lords. Mistresses. Men and women of power and poverty from thousands and thousands of years, subjected to various lenses and cobbled together through countless articles that Izuku had never seen himself.

Each chapter, something about marriage contracts and marks were mentioned. The first law of any kind depicting omegas as being completely stripped of their rights and succumbing to the desires of the alpha traced back to Egyptian times.

Alpha pharaohs. Hundreds, no, thousands of omega slaves.

It’s barbaric, yet Izuku knows that this prejudice has faded immensely by comparison. Still, the fact that he knows he’s barely protected by the law has affected his family for years. If he presents as an omega, his mother will solidify her devastation and struggle to overcome a fear she’d contained for years. If he resorts to keeping his opinions silent, what would his purpose be as an omega? Surely no one would desire him in that way, yet, being subjected to it all the same would place both him and his mother under legal obligations that neither of them deserved—

He can hardly stomach the rolling sensations in his gut, especially when he knows just how small and insignificant he feels in a room where he is potentially the only one of his kind.

“Midoriya. Your muttering is rather… loud.”

Izuku flushes red at the implication, regarding Tokoyami with a tight jaw and widened eyes. He scans the vicinity, watching several shocked, curious stares cast in his direction. Thankfully, very few seem too interested, and from his vantage point he can spot Katsuki gritting his teeth and grabbing onto the edge of his own table as if his own life depends on it.

“I—right. Um. Sorry. About that.” Izuku stammers. “Let’s just… read the chapter.”

If he tries to talk to Katsuki about his concerns, would the blond alpha-to-be even listen?


 

 

 


“I would try not to worry about it too much, Izuku. After all, it’s just your first day! Maybe you’ll present as something totally different!”

Izuku smiles at Ochako’s encouraging words. They are walking together under the faded stripes of sunlight receding over the horizon, casting a gentle halo over the steel and glass building that forged the foundation of Yuuei Academy. He looks up to the clouds rolling overhead, his words becoming sloshed around like alcohol in a mixing bottle.

“Thanks, for not telling anyone.” Izuku sighs. “I don’t know what will happen if… everyone finds out I’m an omega. I think they’re all great, and to think that being this way, at least possibly, could cause an entire viewpoint to change—”

“Izuku.”

He blinks at her.

Ochako’s brow is furrowed, her nose scrunched up in determination. She playfully nudges his shoulder with a small, wary smile, as if she can discern what’s troubling him without even hearing the rest of his rambles.

“We’re not some crazy slavemasters in a history textbook. You’re our classmate, and, definitely my friend! Or, at least I hope so.” Izuku holds back a bashful laugh at the twinkle in her eyes, yet Ochako smiles with nothing but radiance and genuineness that Izuku has not experienced before becoming a student at Yuuei. “Omega, alpha, beta, whatever. We’re not going to judge you. I mean, the legal system is screwed up. Everyone who’s not some weird alpha elitist knows that. Sometimes, though that’s just built in their genes.”

Izuku stiffens at this declaration.

Built in their genes…

That phrase sounds so familiar, like faded water on the tip of his tongue. He ponders over it, wonders where he could have heard of something similar to this. Yet, he doesn’t have the chance to consider it for long, as when he looks up he catches the silhouette of a familiar blond teenager in their path.

Katsuki appears as a shadow at first, the sun’s dipping rays sliding over his uniform in rivulets. He’s leaning against a tall wooden fence blocking off townhouses, his scowl firm and brimming with speculative thinking. His pants are hanging low on his waist, as per usual, one hand buried in a pocket while the other mindlessly shifts through updates on his touchscreen phone.

Ochako follows Izuku’s eyes to the blond, and shoots him a knowing smile.

“He’s a good friend of yours, right?”

For some reason, the word friend seems almost mythical to behold. Izuku shakes his head rapidly and smiles awkwardly at Ochako, desperately attempting to quiet the cautious wavering in his muscles and the unsure way his throat dries.

“We were best friends, a long time ago,” he says.

Was that what they were? Best friends? Something about the title seems balanced between far too light and whimsical to be true and too heavy and distant to resemble anything close as to what they had.

Yet, seeing him now…

Katsuki had brushed him off during their awkward lunch period. Was it possible, still, that he had waited for him to cross on this very sidewalk?

“Hey, Deku!”

Izuku stiffens. He’s still not used to that rough voice calling his name again, after so many years of repressing his early memories of the sandbox and an angry, huffing eight-year-old blatantly claiming that he simply belonged where he was. At Katsuki’s side. Always at his side.

Ochako opens her mouth as soon as Katsuki angrily stomps over to them, easily towering over both Izuku and Ochako by several inches. Izuku’s nose wrinkles as a rather… thick, and unfamiliar musk tackles his nose. It resembles Katsuki’s usual scent from when they were children, yet it’s far more prominent, far stronger than it ever was before.

And Katsuki’s smoldering red eyes are burning with heated emotion and conflict that Izuku had seen enough times to know exactly what they could be about. Ochako remains at Izuku’s side, as if concerned for him, though he knows that he’s told her enough to allow some form of trust to bridge the gap between them.

At the almost accusatory look Katsuki gives Ochako, and then Izuku, the latter can firmly read the clear line of hurt that flashes in the blond’s eyes and causes a curling sneer to take over his lips. Izuku gently nudges Ochako, who sighs, bids her goodbyes, and takes her leave before the blond walking time-bomb can say or do anything else.

He was being abnormally quiet, though Izuku is not prepared to say exactly what he wants to.

Not yet, at least.

“I think you owe me an apology, Kacchan,” whispers Izuku.

The blond’s head raises at this. He twitches, just slightly, cursing at the sidewalk as if the cracks in the ground were raising metaphorical fists to oppose him. He snorts, running one hand through his spikes and glaring hotly into Izuku’s determined, frowning face.

“I don’t fucking do apologies, Deku.”

“Hm. Well, I guess I can just walk home alone, then, Kacchan.” Izuku sighs and begins to step around him, yet the blond quickly reaches out and grabs his forearm, effectively holding him in place before he can dare move forward. A lump lodges in Izuku’s throat as he turns and stares directly into Katsuki’s enraged face—raised eyebrows, flared nostrils, gritted teeth, dilated pupils.

“You take another step away from me and I’ll fuck you up, nerd,” says Katsuki, low and dangerous.

Izuku tilts his head and studies him quietly. Katsuki hesitantly releases his arm, caught between continuous mutterings and growls that remind Izuku more of a frustrated cat than anything. It would be endearing, but his frustration over Katsuki’s behavior is still preventing him from enjoying it fully.

“That’s an interesting apology. I’m afraid I’m not familiar with the type,” Izuku mutters, grinning with a mischievous twinkle in his eye. Katsuki blinks, clearly perturbed before allowing a begrudging smirk to appear.

“Fuck, you’re a cocky bastard. Most people wouldn’t consider scrawny omegas as snarky little shits, Deku. You better watch your fucking back.”

Izuku holds back a laugh. He can read the undertone, the playfulness that appeared so rarely when they were children.

Katsuki’s eyes are still wild, still animated, as if Izuku is the most interesting thing he’s seen in years.

The thought alone makes his heart sink to his toes.

The facility… treatment…

He needs to pace himself. He wants to know about all those years, how they affected Katsuki, how they turned him into the person he is today.

Izuku is more relieved than anything that the blond spitfire is still very much the same person, albeit stretched into numerous other directions and carrying far more complexity in his stares and posture. He strides with egocentric confidence, though it fades, just slightly, when they’re around each other, even now after seven years of absence.

Being able to address Katsuki’s physical changes, as well as emotional and mental, feels akin to glimpsing the memories of yesterday and enjoying childhood candies he loved and hated at the same time.

He relishes the change, yet misses the familiarity.

“You going to keep muttering like some psychopath or are you going to let me take you to the fucking bus, Deku?” Katsuki snorts.

Izuku flushes instantly at this and sputters. “K-Kacchan! I’m still trying to handle it! I can’t really help it sometimes…”

“Shut up. Just walk with me.”

Izuku beams.

Smiles, pearly teeth and all. 

He's oblivious to the reasons why Katsuki screams at him to stop making these expression as they walk side-by side, the sun dipping beyond the trees in their path.


 

 

 


The bus is a new location, a new place for many memories Izuku wishes to make possible for his future years attending Yuuei Academy. He had never believed he would be able to take a seat besides Katsuki Bakugou, though, as the blond situates himself on the cushion and shoves their backpacks together in the empty seat next to him.

Their knees brush. Izuku folds his hands in his lap, swallowing quietly and attempting to focus on anything in particular in the bus that isn’t Katsuki’s wary, exhausted eyes.

“Quit fucking doing that, nerd!” Katsuki barks.

Izuku stutters. “Wait, which thing this time?”

“Fucking—just thinking, dumbass! Your mind is as fucking loud as a goddamn popcorn machine.”

Katsuki huffs and leans back against the chairs, staring up at the ceiling. The bus lolls and rumbles over bumps and cracks in the street, though the meandering scents in the vicinity are not enough to block out the occasional stench of alphas and betas.

“I can’t really help it. Sorry, Kacchan.” Izuku turns to his companion. Even now, he can hardly take his attention away from just how… oddly attractive Katsuki is.

It’s never been a mystery to him. He’s always been fascinated with the unruly sunburst hair, the spikes resembling cords of dandelions or even the tufts of a city block after a tornado. His scowls are suiting for his strong, sleek jaw, yet his smirks are chilling and disarming. His teeth are oddly sharp and formed into canines, though this was a rare occurrence in other alphas as well, and even the occasional beta with similar hormone balances.

Katsuki is fascinating, down to his temperament and wicked, aggressive nature. Down to the strangely marble tone to his skin and the scars he still wears both on his surface and underneath, and Izuku has never understood his pull to the other. Was it the natural alpha musk he wears on his sleeves with egotism and pride?

Izuku flinches as Katsuki turns to him with a risen eyebrow.

“Kacchan,” whispers Izuku, sighing. He’s not sure if he should ask this yet. If at all. “When you were… taken away,” he pauses, “I didn’t really get to hear about what happened. Or, what you were even diagnosed with. I-I mean, you don’t have to talk about it! You definitely don’t have to, I just… I just wanted to ask in case you wanted to talk about it or needed someone to talk to because, you know, I’m always here for you and… oh gosh that was really embarrassing—”

Izuku squeaks, blinking as he suddenly finds his nose buried into Katsuki’s shoulder. He’s never been this close to another person, let alone Katsuki Bakugou, and the brush of fabric beneath his nose and the hand looping around his shoulders and sealing on his right forearm makes him blink at light-speed. Should he look up? Should he acknowledge Katsuki?

Then, the blond adjusts his seat, far more casual, yet his pupils are large and black against his warm red irises. He doesn’t say a single word to Izuku, simply letting his encasing, rough, possessive fingers and arm remain looped around Izuku’s shoulders. The freckled boy swallows, wondering if he should say anything at all, yet he stops as Katsuki leans up and barely drifts his nose over his neck.

As if a new set of signals blare in his mind, Izuku subconsciously tilts his neck. A shudder spreads through him as the other’s nose hovers over him, searching and inhaling.

For a brief, heart-stopping moment, Izuku suspects his mouth to lower onto the mark he’s kept hidden with concealer—

“You fucking smell,” says Katsuki.

And, with that, he turns away, still keeping his arm around Izuku, yet calmly checking his phone with the other hand. He doesn’t move or even allow Izuku to shift away from him, as if the seven years that bridged the gap in their friendship is tempted to repeat itself.

Izuku swallows. He can’t think of any more questions with the confused thoughts and endless amounts of shame and expectation that race through him in divided rivers.

The rest of the bus ride is an odd mix between absolutely torturous and bittersweet.

He supposes he will have to figure that out when his mind is actually clear and he's not pressed flush to Katsuki's side like a flustered schoolgirl.

Chapter Text

“So, Katsuki, how has your medication been? Feeling any new changes to your symptoms?”

A pause.

“Does it fucking look like it?”

A grin.

“I’m afraid, with all of my education, I’m still unable to read your mind.”

A snort.

“Then fucking don’t fucking ask, fucking Big-Ass Glasses motherfucker.”

The therapist suppresses a rather amused grin by biting the inside of his mouth, though Katsuki can’t bring it in himself to care.

Said therapist—Dr. Woźniak, the blond teenager recalls reluctantly—checks off something on his notepad. Katsuki watches the motion with a furrowed brow and curled sneer, his fingers interlocked in a combined fist on his bobbing knees. He surveys the wallpaper around him, glaring into the books on the shelves, and pointedly avoiding the curious, yet kind, stare that the omega therapist allows to pass between them, from couch to chair in vivid fervency.

Katsuki’s forehead creases. A vein throbs under his nose, distracting and reminiscent to a pummeling jackhammer beneath his skin. He rubs the spot with his left hand, growling as the pain only increases and refuses to recede, even after turning his focus from his current therapist’s crooked glasses to his own shoelaces.

“Would you like some water?”

Katsuki grits his teeth. “Mind your own business.”

He looks up to see Dr. Woźniak tapping his pencil against his notepad. It becomes so quiet that Katsuki gradually absorbs his surroundings, pinpointing the slightest dusting of cobwebs in the corner, the sound of his leather sole hitting the carpet in muffled spurts. He wonders, if he focuses long enough, if he can detect the fluttering of moth wings, his dark red eyes gluing to the guilty insects hoarding over the window drapes.

“You seem distracted, Katsuki.”

Katsuki snorts. “Isn’t that the norm?” He grins crookedly and leans back in his chair, kicking one leg over the other and shrugging. “You’re the fucking expert, aren’t you, Doc? Wouldn’t you expect these weird quirks from a messed up fucker with EPBOD?” He growls and snaps his jaws, the hair along the nape of his neck standing on end. “Or, let me guess, I’m different because you care about me or some shit? Or, since you’re a fucking bitch-ass omega you can understand what Deku’s fucking going to think when he finds out?”

He hadn’t meant to say those last few words. They were forced, rippling across his tongue like static lightning. He recoils and snarls into the wall, bristling from head to toe and shaking with condensed rage. His anger swells inside him like flames, building and rising to a breaking point that can easily shatter the glass surface of what’s left of his control.

“Ah. Deku.” Dr. Woźniak nods. “Is that the name of the person you find yourself drawn to the most?”

Katsuki stands up from his seat, fists clenched as tight as possible. He comes dangerously close to the therapist’s desk, his brow twitching with every muscle constricting and wiring at the thought of someone who’s never even met Izuku Midoriya before to talk about him like he’s meant to be integrated into the discussion.

His teeth are grinding so hard he tastes blood.

“Deku is not,” he breathes, eyes wild, deadly, “fucking part of this, Doc.”

Dr. Woźniak simply releases a low, tentative sigh. His shoulders loosen and he scribbles another bullet point into his notes, unfazed by Katsuki’s towering posture and desperate preening, his nostrils flaring as if his insides are set on fire.

“You have a very strong emotional attachment to this Deku character. Have you bothered speaking about your feelings towards them with other doctors?”

“I said, Deku is not fucking part of this discussion, asshole!” Katsuki barks, panting like a rabid dog. He turns away from the other’s desk, raking his fingers through his wild hair and stomping in vicious circles around the room.

He kicks against the walls, snapping and fuming with vivid, guttural pants. It’s almost as if someone is consistently punching him the chest, goading him, taunting him, dangling the image of Izuku Midoriya’s stupid, innocent, wide-eyed freckled face in front of him and commanding him to keep his distance.

Books tumble off the shelves. The carpet soon becomes riddled in scuffs and torn threads. Katsuki pants, sweat spotting his forehead. He rears back his fist and slams it into the shelves, growling darkly as his knuckles blossom with bruises and cracked bone.

Dr. Woźniak, through the entire ten-minute tantrum, remains silent. It’s only when Katsuki grabs his own chair and tosses it to the other side of the room, watching as the legs snap off on impact, that the therapist chooses to open his mouth.

“Fuck everything! Fucking Deku! Fuck my stupid fucking parents! Fuck these goddamn pills and these fucking stupid dreams and Deku’s stupid face and other fucking alphas walking all over my fucking territory! Fuck it all! Fuck it! I’m fucking done! I want it to stop—”

“Katsuki.” Dr. Woźniak pauses as the blond whips around towards him, his irises blacked out with dilated pupils. He’s shaking, trembling, ripping into the walls, the carpet, the textbooks like a deranged animal. “Direct your thoughts at me. I’m here to help you. You are welcome to tell me everything you’d like to say about Deku.”

The blond simmers, snarling as the immediate, knee-jerk reaction to resist and enact destruction breaks into the open. He wants to storm into the hallways and break something else, something preferably stronger than what’s present in this room. He doesn’t want to push aside the scent of Izuku, even though it’s been so long.

Years have passed, and it lingers on his mind, in his senses, in his dreams, beneath his hands, under his tongue—

Was Izuku still being bullied? Were other students still trying to intake his scent? Were alphas still attempting to imprint on Izuku with Katsuki being away from his side?

Would Izuku let another alpha near him?

No.

No.

No. No. Fuck no. Fuck that. Fuck him. No.

“No…” Katsuki’s growl is low, shriveled and primal. He flexes his fingers, a subtle twitch in his throat as it bobs and soars to the roof of his mouth with a new trace of bile and disgust.

He can barely handle the image of Izuku even walking through their school, alone, fidgeting awkwardly and stumbling over his own words and avoiding those fucking mouth-breathing assholes who either chose to try and smell his neck or raise their fist to him when Katsuki wasn’t around.

Yet, the thought of Izuku somehow filling the void Katsuki is leaving behind is far worse than any of those other fears. It chills him to the bone, ripping apart the wishful images he wants to return to, and none of it is possible with him being enclosed behind these walls. Being monitored without permission to contact Izuku.

“Katsuki,” Dr. Woźniak begins, thoughtfully, “does it anger you to think of your desired partner being in the same vicinity as other alphas and betas?”

“What the fuck do you think, omega therapist?” Katsuki snaps. “Deku’s fucking mine!”

This statement alone is enough to cause the therapist’s eyebrows to shoot to his hairline.

The sight sickens Katsuki, causing his stomach to tumble and somersault into a depth he doesn’t entirely understand. He expects the doctor to stand up and immediately leave, probably requesting instantly for another therapist to take his place.

Instead, Dr. Woźniak writes another bullet point into his notepad. He glances up, pushing his glasses as they begin to fall off the bridge of his nose.

Katsuki studies him, his tantrum slowly receding.

“Have a seat, Katsuki. I’ll make you some tea.” He clears his throat as the blond’s shoulders begin to droop, hesitation and suspicion glowing brightly within those dark mahogany depths. “I believe I have some answers for your predicament. Though, first thing’s first…” He pauses, reaching over to grasp the handle of his ceramic mug, coffee still warm and steaming. “None of this—any of it—is your fault.”

Katsuki stares. Yet, it’s the first moment where he allows himself to be quiet.

“You feel immense guilt for your aggressive reactions towards Deku. Is this correct?”

Katsuki snorts. His heart skips. “You don’t fucking get it.”

“Perhaps.” Dr. Woźniak’s smile is aggravatingly sympathetic. “However, I can guarantee, Katsuki, that if you are unable to convey your emotional conflictions to someone while you’re still young, these symptomatic reactions will remain attached to you for the rest of your days. You won’t be able to find relief.”

He hesitates, clearly stepping far past the boundaries of any traditional therapist.

“I want to help you, Katsuki. I am not your enemy.”

Katsuki holds his breath. Considers it.

Seconds turn into minutes. They may as well be centuries.

The blond releases a low, breathy growl. Defeated.

Scared.

“… Fine.”


 

 … Two Years Later …

 


Warmth snakes and slips along his skin. Green eyes flicker open, confusion left behind for the sudden, insatiable fire burning in his stomach, trailing low and seeping into depths unknown. His mind is fogged, delirious, distracted, encompassed in heated mist that curls his toes and sets his vision ablaze.

He quivers beneath a phantom touch, fingers pressing into his skin, prodding along his bones—feather-light and wistful. Pressure builds and slips along him, traveling along his arms, hands that are not his own encircling above his chest and pressing into his shoulders. He whimpers through it all, the shadows dancing in pillars of heat and pure electric something that he cannot decipher.

Izuku.

He’s sweating. Panting. His hands quiver, grasping the bed sheets beneath him. He dares to adjust and blink through the tunneled vision, his lips parting to respond to the husky, arrogant calling of his name. It slips into his mind and filters out, smooth as water and soft as cotton. The clothes on his body are pushed aside, and he feels.

It’s a presence he’s witnessed, one he’s familiar with upon first glance. First scent. It draws him in, drinking him up like an addictive drug. He breathes into the comforting shadows as they envelop his skin, the strong, calloused hands tracing his every curve, sloping along him and leaving goose bumps behind.

He shivers and trembles and craves more, more, more.

“K-Kacchan…”

He understands this presence. He envisions a smirk, slanted in the corner, rows of normal teeth leading into a glimpse of hidden canines. Eyes smoldering and deep crimson, like the deepest summer sunsets, molded into honey-sweetness and predatory hunger.

Lips press above his navel, following the trail of fire. Strong hands brush over him, comforting him, coaxing him, as the whispers stir and travel and glide through his mind’s eye. He tilts his head back, listening, relishing, living as he follows the other’s mouth with his hand. He reaches beneath the waistband of his boxers, his back momentarily arching as the heat gathers and pools in his stomach and rises all the way to his head.

Izuku.

A jolt races down his spine. It’s pure and raw and roars music into his blood.

“Kacchan,” he whispers, sweaty and desperate as he runs his hand low and ready along his own, warm skin.

Mine. My omega.

It’s unfamiliar, frightening, even, yet he feels the weight of the other’s silhouette. He pictures the wild blond hair, that mischievous smirk, imagines the other’s tongue swiping over his lips as he bends his head low between his legs and abides by his silent command.

You’re mine, Izuku.

Izuku’s knees shake and collapse onto his bed—


 

 

 


Izuku’s eyes snap open.

His vision clears, sweat glistening on his skin. His buttoned pajama shirt is damp with perspiration. He runs his left hand through his locks, grimacing as the realization of what he’s just witnessed crashes down on him like a ferocious tidal wave. He gulps, grimacing at the newfound coolness and wetness staining his bedsheets. He blushes, shakily pulling aside his blankets.

A dream.

About… that… with Kacchan?

Guilt. Shame. A dozen emotions drop into him and pull him away from the impending reality of his bedroom. His superhero action figurines smile dutifully at him from their pristinely kept shelves. His computer screen blares with unread documents.

He squints down at his phone, the glass screen lit brightly with one specific notification.

 

Alarm Setting: Morning Run at 6:00.

 

Izuku groans, running his hands through his wet curls. He holds his breath, kicks his legs forward, and hesitantly removes himself from the bed. The mark on his shoulder seems all the more prominent at the dream—a vision so forbidden and intangible he wishes he hadn’t seen it. Yet, to feel the other’s ghostly mouth press on his skin, those sinfully powerful hands grasp his body in rough and meandering ways… it shocks him, that even in the privacy of his dreams, he relishes such a sensation. Such a series of touches he’d never believed he’d crave.

He’d never had a dream like that before. Wanting another’s touch, listening to the way they would say his name on a wavelength that only he and someone else could understand. Was this an omega thing, solely?

Was it normal for omegas—boys, anyone, to have dreams like this about their friend? About their childhood friend, no less?

He’d only seen Katsuki for one day after the seven years they’d been apart, somehow winding up in the same classroom at the school where their mothers knew they were attending. The fact that Mitsuki and Inko both wanted their sons to experience reuniting for themselves still seemed odd to Izuku, considering the circumstances in which Katsuki was taken away—from them, from their neighborhood, from him—yet those thoughts will have to wait.

He’s still processing, his tongue numb. Body still flushed with heat.

He’s disgusting.

Clenching his fists, Izuku stomps to his closet, yanks the door open, and pulls out several articles of clothing suited for his morning runs. He removes a dark red sweatshirt, running shorts, and jogging sweats to place over them. His hair is an absolute mess and his eyes are bruised purple, wrinkled with exhaustion.

He slips on his tennis shoes and rubs his face, groaning a the obnoxious, dry stinging in his eyes that he knows will be forcefully whipped away as soon as the cool temperatures of the weather during this time will yank him into clarity.

He carefully slides through his apartment complex, using a spare key to unlock the door. He twists it, listening as the satisfying clinks of chains and locks tumbling allow him access to the outside world.

He steps past the threshold, closes the door calmly behind him, and turns to find Katsuki Bakugou—

Ah!”

Izuku squeaks and falls back to the door, just as the other male’s hand reaches out, grabs his wrist, and quickly yanks him back to his feet.

He stutters, a firm blush rising to his cheeks.

“K-Kacchan? What are you—what are you doing here? It’s so early!”

As he’d expected, his questions aren’t answered.

“Fuck, you’re so fucking loud, shitty Deku! Do you seriously want to wake up your mom and make her think you’re getting fucking kidnapped?” Katsuki snaps, his words low and harsh, yet not at all carrying the serious overtone that one would expect.

Izuku frowns, blinking to adjust to the darkness enveloping the outside stairwell that leads to his apartment.

The blond is wearing a windbreaker and jogging sweats, tennis shoes battered and somewhat hideous. Yet, his lips are pursed into a firm frown, wild hair even more tousled and unruly than before, and his wine-red eyes are dark, sunken, exhausted.

He hasn’t slept…

Izuku instantly turns from his defensive, confused state of mind to one of solid worry.

His heart slows to a steady pace. Despite his initial hesitation and the clear anger and impatience that shines on the other’s handsome features, he takes a cautious step forward and squints his eyes to further read the other male’s furrowed expression.

Katsuki’s brow twitches, and he glances away, firmly clearing his throat with his hands firmly shoved into his pockets.

“Kacchan, what are you doing outside my house? At six in the morning?”

He bites his tongue, watching as Katsuki shifts in his own shoes and glares harshly into the ground. As much as he enjoys seeing his childhood companion, the fact that his plan for his morning run would have helped take his mind off of his explicit dream about this very person won’t happen, definitely frightens Izuku.

He swallows the dryness in his throat. The winds pick up, rustling through their sleeves.

“You used to go on runs at freakish hours in the fucking morning when you were anxious.” Katsuki dips his head, growling as another sneer twists up his mouth. He bites and murmurs something else under his breath, his fingers flexing in the warm fabric of his sweats. “You don’t break out of your habits easily, shitty Deku. And it’s fucking cold so let’s just get going already.”

Izuku blinks. “You… want to go on a morning run with me?”

Katsuki raises an eyebrow. “The fuck does it look like, fuckface?”

Warmth settles in Izuku’s stomach, humming gently beneath his skin. It’s gentle and vibrant, akin to the feeling of caressing sunflower petals in summer. He allows a smile to bloom across his features, the winds picking up and tousling apart his green-tinted locks. He nods his head towards Katsuki, and, despite the racing of his own heart against his chest, gestures to the stairwell.

Katsuki grunts and follows the gesture, zipping up the rest of his windbreaker and kicking up his heels. Izuku follows him, and soon, they are both matching one another in swift strides down the sidewalk.

The neighborhood is tender and quiet in the blissful hours before dawn breaks. Izuku relishes the occasional sound of tires hitting asphalt as a lone car or two pass by, lights flickering through the shadows under the thin veil of cool, gentle mist. His skin burns beneath layers of frosty currents, yet he can’t help but glance sideways towards Katsuki as the blond easily paces alongside him, his strides long and powerful, his strong features always narrowed in concentration.

Even in the shadows and the tender, slow building of sunlight in the far horizon, Izuku can detect the smallest traces of Katsuki he’d never noticed before. His jaw is narrower, slanted, blond hair disheveled yet clearly washed through with upmost care and attention. The scent wafting from him is a clear cologne of sorts, meant to mask far more than just overnight sweat.

Izuku turns away, gulping silently at the thought. The Katsuki running beside him—Kacchan, his own distant friend, who seems so close yet still so far away, lost in his own, frightening little world—resembles the fleshed-out shadow of the Katsuki in his dreams. He’d begged for the other’s touch, said his once-innocent name he’d given him as a child on his tongue, slipping like forbidden silk between his lips. He recalls the moments, pursing his mouth together.

If Katsuki found out…

He won’t know.

He couldn’t imagine how Katsuki would react. Would he be disgusted? Embarrassed? Would he willingly walk away from Izuku as the superior alpha to his omega, fully climbing into his status as a member of the most esteemed social class in society? Would Katsuki even regard him as a person at all?

He can’t know…

“Deku!”

Izuku blinks and squeaks as the blond’s hand reaches out and snatches his arm, roughly pulling him back from the cutoff end to the sidewalk. Ahead of them, a large semitruck plows through a yellow streetlight, horns blaring in the receding morning quietness. Izuku swallows and turns away from Katsuki’s livid, disgruntled expression.

The fingers around his arm viciously tighten.

“What the fuck is up with you? You could’ve gotten fucking squashed like a squirrel! The fuck is wrong with you? Why are you so—”

“Kacchan,” says Izuku, wincing at the clear bruising in his flesh. “You’re, um, I’m sorry—it hurts.”

Instantly, Katsuki’s pupils dilate and he releases Izuku’s arm. He steps away from him, burrowing his hands into his pockets and glaring into the ground, his jaw clenching tight.

Izuku hesitates. “I’m sorry, Kacc—”

“Fucking save it.”

Katsuki runs one hand through his hair. Izuku watches the movement with bated breath, incredibly ashamed of the slight flutter in his chest at the thought of carding his own fingers through those wild, ash-blond tufts.

Izuku can feel the uncertainty radiating from the other male in waves.

“We’re not fucking kids anymore, Deku! If I fucking—if I hurt you…”

Katsuki trails off, shaking his head. He turns towards Izuku with a blistering fire in his darkened irises. He jabs a finger in Izuku’s chest, teeth baring as Izuku slightly stumbles over his own shoes. The wind ripples through their clothes, causing the zipper on Katsuki’s windbreaker to snap back and forth like a tail.

“If I fucking grab you like that again, punch me in the fucking face. You understand me, you piece of stubborn, crazy motherfucking snarky shit? You’re not going to fucking hurt my feelings or whatever. I just—just fucking do it, alright? And don’t fucking apologize! It pisses me the fuck off!”

Izuku blinks owlishly. He glances down at the finger pressed to his sweatshirt, then back into Katsuki’s eyes with a slow, deliberate nod. His gesture seems to relax the other male, just slightly, as Katsuki retreats to a position several feet away from Izuku at the end of the sidewalk. He snorts, readjusts his position and jobs in place.

Izuku softens. “Kacchan.”

What?” Katsuki snaps. He refrains from looking at Izuku, shivering from head to toe. It reminds the other boy of an upset tiger cub, frustrated and enclosed in a small space.

Izuku considers the moment of silence between them. He slowly walks over, and tentatively bumps shoulders with the blond.

Katsuki braces himself easily, raising an eyebrow towards the other, yet the hard angles that make up his features seem to soften ever so slightly at the small, peacemaking gesture.

Izuku smiles, bright and joyous.

“I’m really happy you’re back, Kacchan.”

Even in the dark, Izuku can scope the faintest blush streaking Katsuki’s cheeks. He splutters and snarls, fists reaching out of his pockets and flexing repeatedly, as if struggling to not grasp onto anything and carefully refraining from laying a finger on the omega-to-be.

The sight is endearing, but it also strikes Izuku as something… more complex, than what he’s grasping. He wonders just how many exercises his friend had to endure while being subjected to intensive therapy. Was he able to actually adjust to those lessons? Was he able to freely accustom to those new traditions that he never once considered beforehand?

The thought of Katsuki actually adjusting to a routine that wasn’t suited to his needs somewhat amuses Izuku, reminding him of the much smaller, younger blond boy angrily arguing with his own teachers for not agreeing with his methods on handling Izuku’s bullies.

“Race you to the police station and back?” Izuku quips.

Instantly, Katsuki’s hesitance is replaced by a wide, crooked smirk and flashing red eyes. He turns towards Izuku, that challenging glint—that ferocious, spurring fire that moves straight from the blond’s fierce irises to Izuku’s core—sends the freckled omega into a mental frenzy.

“You’re fucking on, Deku.”


 

 

 


“You fucking cheated.”

“Kacchan, I didn’t cheat! We started running at the same time, and—”

“You. Fucking. Cheated.”

“Kacchan, we’re in gym class. Maybe we can talk about this later?”

“I’ll fucking call you out whenever the fuck I feel like it, shitty Deku!”

Izuku bites his lip to prevent another smile from breaking out across his lips. He scans the weight room around them, watching as their fellow students adjust to their dress-code-accommodating outfits, ranging from short-sleeved T-shirts to long basketball shorts and elastic spandex for girls.

He inhales a slow, steady sigh, frowning at the thought of their first official P.E. class, and desperately trying to ignore the unsure rhythm in his chest that betrays his outward indifference. Currently, he and Katsuki are one of the few remaining students stretching out their limbs before they go through their scheduled, individual workouts.

The bulleted lists were constructed to specifically accommodate for their personal goals, which was a rather construed approach from what Izuku had expected from entering the front doors of Yuuei Academy.

Before long, Katsuki pulls his legs back and stands up, stretching his arms above his head before allowing them to fall limply at his sides. Izuku glances up, blinking at the clear, firm lines of Katsuki’s bulging, strong arms and powerful muscles rippling through his back. The black, sleeveless muscle tank and basketball shorts do very little to hide anything, and from what Izuku can gather from his classmates, Katsuki’s appearance is not at all going unnoticed.

Something dark and unfamiliar twinges in his stomach as Katsuki moves forward to the barbell on the opposite end of the room. From his vantage point stretching calmly on the matted floors, Izuku spots Denki Kaminari and Eijirou Kirishima, both of whom have gravitated towards Katsuki easily since the first day. Whether it was due to the fact that they were both betas, or just because Eijirou apparently had a fascination for definitive masculine traits, Izuku wasn’t sure.

Yet, the glimmer in Eijirou’s eyes spark something within Izuku that he finds both shocking and unfamiliar. It’s instinctive, almost, spurring from the concealed mark on his shoulder to spreading through his muscles. His senses become heightened, his awareness of the combined stench of sweating alphas and betas flooding through the vicinity, ranging in various different scents from numerous angles. He traces flower petals, cinnamon spice, cucumber hues, spearmint, berries, wheat, grass, freshly fallen snow—

It’s overwhelming.

Izuku shakes his head, nose wrinkling at the subtle barrage of scents. He wills his brain to focus on his own tasks, extending his legs in a straddle as he lowers his upper body to the floor, sweat already dripping from his concentrated brow.

Then, once he lifts his head from another stretch, he spots Katsuki bent midway, his back towards him, with the barbell balanced on his powerful shoulders and rippling back. His muscles and veins boast a fresh sheen of sweat, the crown of blond hair not even wavering as a concentrated, ferocious glare is burned into the glass mirror a few feet away from him. He checks his posture, breathing in timed intervals as he lowers and straightens in smooth, solid, powerful motions.

Izuku’s throat runs dry. His eyes trace over every curve, every muscle, every definitive, rough definition of Katsuki that so viciously contrasts with his own—all the rough edges, the scuffed corners of some statue brought to life through some visage of strength and virtue. He clamps his jaw tight, his eyes wide and focused, as he lowers and observes the muscle in Katsuki’s legs, his bulging back, biceps, shoulders, and the robust contour of his rear.

“He stares at you too, you know.”

Izuku blinks dumbly over to the intruding voice. “Uh—wait, what?” He splutters and flushes red instantly, recovering from his position and waving his arms in frantic, spurred motions. Ochako Uraraka smiles down at him with a brief wink, her own brunette hair swept back in a bun. She’s already sweating, her beta scent wafting unceremoniously through the air in trails of toasted sugar and a woodsy, ashen undertone.

“I—was just…” Izuku scratches the back of his head.

Ochako giggles. “No worries, Izuku. Don’t stare too hard though or you’ll start drooling.”

Izuku turns away from her, unable to smile only due to the incredible shame that twists up his insides into knots. He glances up, and almost blinks in surprise at the fact that Katsuki is staring at him, or at least, in his direction.

Those mahogany eyes are observing him, scrutinizing him.

Picking him apart.

Izuku gulps. They make eye contact, and he is the first to break it.

He’s unable to acknowledge his friend for the rest of the period.


 

 


What’s wrong with you?

Izuku bites his tongue, releasing a slow, shaky sigh as he enters the shower stalls. The tiles are slick and wet with leftover soap bubbles. He tentatively sheds his clothes, glancing around him in hoping that no one else will enter. He’d waited patiently for the other students in his class to take showers and leave, all the while avoiding Katsuki’s overwhelming glare. He couldn’t face Katsuki after blatantly ogling him in the gym.

You can’t do this to him.

He sets his gym bag on the floor, rifling through for his uniform to wear after he’s done washing. He unzips the pockets facing him, pulling out the small, traveling bottle of conditioner that his mother insisted he take with him, despite his ability to take care of his own hygienic needs. He smiles slightly at the thought, yet it wavers in remembering his embarrassment in coming into the shower stalls alone, hoping to the deepest core of his being that no one else will walk in.

He’s slender and toned, but not nearly as strong or dedicated to the practice as the clear alphas and betas. Absorbing those powerful pheromones in the vicinity was too much for him to handle. Every second, his nostrils would flare with the incoming wave of strong, heady scents, amplified by the competitive aura that spiked in the air, especially with alphas unconsciously preening towards unsuspecting betas, and vice-versa.

Yet, through the haze of powerful betas and alphas, Izuku’s sights had solely settled on Katsuki.

He was unable to look away with every movement, each inch of sweat trailing down the other’s skin, and could hardly handle even the simplest gestures. Katsuki tipping his water bottle back and his throat bobbing at the intake of liquid, his waist narrow and so powerful. To Izuku, it was akin to glimpsing a statue presenting his brilliance for the world to see.

And in the presence of other betas, Izuku felt greatly inferior. He loathes how his body is reacting towards Katsuki, towards the alpha characteristics and musky scent that he’d realized he’d loved even when they were both so young and still building competitive castles together in sandboxes.

It’s just instinctive. He bites his tongue. You have to bear it.

He can’t lose his friendship to Katsuki over this.

With that thought, Izuku grasps the shower handle, and gives a firm twist. He sighs, running his hands through his hair as water droplets soak through the curls and wash along his skin. He cleans himself thoroughly and quickly.

Then, his nose wrinkles, his hand stopping at his thigh. He hesitates, an unfamiliar pressure suddenly building within his stomach. He grimaces and bites his tongue, and as the pressure builds, his vision becomes blurry as an onslaught of pure alien pain surges through his body and cramps up his thigh muscles. He collapses against the tiled walls, panting, confused, as his vision swirls into disoriented patterns. He grasps at the wet floors beneath him, forcing his concentration to remain intact as he traces his fingers through the water and—

Something warm, wet, and thicker than water slides over his hand.

His pupils dilate, wide enough to black out the greens in his irises, as he lifts his hand to inspect the new substance. His mother’s worried voice careens through his mind, demanding him to take that ridiculous orange capsule with him at all times, that label bright and clear as day now more than ever, and he knows—

This liquid is…

Slick.

Izuku’s first slick.

The signs of his first heat.

“No—no, no, no, no, no—”

This can’t be happening!

Izuku gasps and convulses in the same spot, desperately pawing at the ground and shutting his jaw tight to keep him from groaning in frustrating pain into the world. These sensations are cruel and overbearing, slinking through his bones and quaking his muscles in patterns he’d never before experienced.

He’s unable to control the thrashing movements and the desperate need to cling to something stronger than his own scent—something powerful enough to abate these senses. He craves pressure. He craves a deep, vicious bliss that is unattainable through normal means. Panic races through his heart and propels it into overdrive.

I haven’t even presented yet!

He releases a guttural, unrecognizable moan into the vicinity. He refuses to glance down at his lower half, bracing desperately against the incredibly painful curling in his stomach and the slick that pools from his thighs and drains into the water. He can barely move a muscle, solely concentrated on the signs of his body’s reactions to an invisible force that he will never have control over. Not now, not even with those pills he’d conveniently left on his own desk in his bedroom.

The one day he forgets the emergency capsule, never having to use it until now.

Why is his first heat so early? It was extraordinarily rare for his to happen, before omegas were called for presenting. It should be close to impossible to experience this unless he somehow presented beforehand.

If anyone walks in—

“No…” Izuku shakes his head. That can’t happen.

His nose flares upon realizing that his scent has undoubtedly completely flooded the shower stalls. Is the door open? Is it spilling into the hallways? How many people can smell the traces of the only suspected omega in the Academy? He’s undoubtedly late for his next class, and he could hardly come up with an excuse to draw attention away from what’s happening to him in this very moment.

He can hardly decipher the slamming of a door against brick, hard enough to shatter tile. It echoes loudly in the stalls, just barely enough to eclipse the running water beside his ear. He grimaces, grinding his teeth to prevent his urges from propelling his hands downward and relieving himself. He can’t do that, not now, not with the sudden, strong presence that he recognizes quicker than anything else.

His eyes snap open, pupils flickering wildly.

Kacchan.

Katsuki is panting as if he’d run a marathon, though Izuku, even in his misted state of mind, has never seen his childhood friend look like this before.

The blond is bracing his weight on the curve of the lockers leading into the showers, his arm bulging with muscle as he forces every ounce of his strength into gripping the metal. His right fist is clenched, his breathing abnormally heavy and solely passing through his open mouth and sharpened canines.

His eyes are wild, furious, engulfed with the presence of the scent as it tackles him. The blond then shakes his head, as if a dog removing water from its pelt, snarling and growling and desperately glancing away from Izuku’s quivering, shaking and naked form on the tiles.

“Deku, fuck, shit, what the fuck…” he turns away from him, fists clenched so tightly that the flesh turns white. “I fucking smelt it from—fucking two floors up… shit, Deku, get your fucking clothes on and get the fuck out of here—”

Kacchan… felt my scent first?

As oddly thrilling as this is in his mind, Izuku is barely able to make out the fact that the blond is suddenly at his side, his eyes still wild and body still shaking. He’s never seen Katsuki like this, clearly holding every urge back with each gritted motion and clenched fist.

“Fuck—are you—are you even...” Katsuki shakes his head.

“Kacchan…” Izuku pants. His body emits another wave of scent, and he watches, in strange, sick delight, as the blond’s head snaps towards him and his mouth pants again. Katsuki’s skin flushes with heat, his pupils blacking out the jaw-dropping reds of his eyes, and Izuku wants to feel the other’s touch on his skin. He wants so much, and he can have none. “Kacchan, I… can’t even move. I, I’m so sorry, please…” He moans and tilts his head back, desperate.

Katsuki is too close.

Fuck, you’re fucking exposed and…”

Then, Katsuki backs away from him as if burned, his features transforming from desperate composition to wild and untamed. His head is tilted, nose flaring, fists mercilessly tight as he releases a low, animalistic growl, his body twitching as the door to the shower rooms opens. As if immediately sensing the threat to Izuku’s presence, the blond rapidly disappears around the corner, propelled solely by what the exhausted omega could only see to be instinct.

Izuku whines, needing his friend by his side, desperate to have him next to him, but what he hears surprises him more than anything.

Stay the fuck away from here! You fucker, if you take one step closer—”

“Wha—Katsuki, what the hell are you talking about? Just wondering what that smell is—”

Izuku tilts his head, struggling to regain his composure. He blinks through the flashing lights overhead, and winces as an echoing smash reverberates through the lockers, and as he fumbles and finally turns off the shower nozzle, he hears Katsuki’s voice.

It’s low, deep. Primal. And it sends shivers down Izuku’s spine.

He’s never heard anything like it.

“I said,” and there’s a pause, just as another incredibly loud smash echoes in the bathroom, “back. The fuck. Off.

 Izuku folds in on himself, panting, tugging at his own matted curls as he hears Katsuki’s pants on the other side of the lockers.

“You want to fight, motherfucker? I’ll fucking tear you to fucking shreds! No one is fucking taking a single step in this room. You even take one more whiff of this scent and I swear to fucking God I will rip your balls off and stuff them down your throat, alpha motherfucker.”

The dreadful pause that follows is almost louder than the definite bleeding holes that Katsuki has burrowed into the walls.

“… You’re acting crazy, Katsuki—”

Back the fuck off!”

Another snarl. A heady growl. A shuffling of feet, and Izuku can almost imagine it—Katsuki bracing himself at the door, guarding the entire vicinity as Izuku’s scent floods throughout and threatens to alert every single alpha and beta in the school that he is officially an omega. An omega in heat, and witnessing this, even with his brain half-fogged, Izuku revels in the fact that Katsuki is undoubtedly, unequivocally, protecting him.

Katsuki snaps his jaws, and the sound rips through the momentary silence, and Izuku can tell that it startles the intrusive male long enough to send him running into the halls. Izuku collapses, grimacing as he struggles to reach over towards his bag.

“… Kacchan?”

His voice is soft and so, so weak. So strained. It’s infuriating, yet, he hears Katsuki respond to his whisper as if it’s the most important call he’s ever heard. He can’t bear to look Katsuki in the eye, even as the blond immediately grabs a spare towel and wraps it around his shoulders, quickly backing away and running both hands through his hair to calm himself down.

Tears build in the back of Izuku’s eyes.

“I… I’m sorry, Kacchan…”

Katsuki snarls and glares into the wall, unable to even turn back towards Izuku.

“Fucking clean yourself, Deku. Until it stops. And don’t fucking move.”

Once again, his voice is unrecognizable. What does he look like now? Even as an unpresented alpha, Katsuki’s own scent is heavy, dangerous, territorial, primal. It thwarts the air and mingles with Izuku’s scent, a blissful combination that he records and wishes to memorize with certainty. He watches as the blond stiffens even more, his jaw still unhinged, pants leaving him like an exhausted, hungry wolf.

“Kacchan, you—”

Shut up.” Katsuki’s growl is dangerous, and Izuku, despite his insistence in combating the stance of the much stronger alpha student, wills his reaction to remain suppressed. “No one’s coming in here. Stop fucking worrying. Clean yourself.”

It takes an entire hour for Izuku to wait out the incredible pain of his first heat. He quivers, unsatisfied, even as he realizes that Katsuki had not budged a single muscle, standing as a barrier between the shower stalls and the door on the other side of the lockers, constantly alert and at attention like a vicious soldier.

Izuku slowly slips on his uniform, the sounds vivid and uncertain in the newfound quiet of the shower stalls. He slips on his pants and buttons up his shirt, embarrassed and mortified. The heat that creeps up his neck and floods his freckled cheeks are not enough to display how horrified he feels at Katsuki being witness to something like this—to not only coming across him naked in the shower rooms at all, but witnessing him experience a far too early first omega heat.

Izuku stands up, his curls now dry and the same haphazard mess as they usually were. He balls his fists at his side, listening to the steady ticking of the clock on the wall. He stares into Katsuki’s back, his blazer missing yet his strong, slender form still visible through every line and prominent curve in the outline of his collared uniform shirt. His fists are still tight, knuckles white with constant pressure. Yet, Izuku can tell with the receding smell that Katsuki’s breathing normally at this point, his stance still unmoving as a wall between Izuku’s temporary prison and the outside world of the school hallway.

How many classes did Katsuki miss during this?

I’m such a burden… Izuku shakes his head.

“Kacchan, you didn’t have to—”

“Are you dressed?” Katsuki says, barely above a whisper.

Izuku startles, blinking. “I—yeah, I am.”

The blond relaxes, shoulders drooping and the sneer and growl on his lips vanishing. A scowl is firmly placed on his mouth. He turns, and locks his eyes onto Izuku.

Something electric passes between them. Unseen, but felt, and the omega can no longer ignore just how powerful and sensual Katsuki’s definitive alpha scent is.

Then, Katsuki begins to move.

Instinctively, Izuku steps backward.

“I’m not going to fucking do anything to you.” Katsuki growls and comes close to Izuku, and lowers his nose along his skin, sniffing and drifting about him like a thunderstorm cloud.

Izuku flushes red from the close proximity, unable to focus on anything but the other’s breath over his throat and partially exposed shoulders. After what feels like an eternity, the ash-blond steps back, his glowering, deep red eyes trailing from Izuku’s still-bare feet, to his waist, stomach, and then his eyes.

Izuku, once again, feels incredibly naked beneath the other’s stare.

“Come on. I’m taking you to the nurse.”

Izuku frowns. “I can go myself, Kacchan. You don’t have to—”

He squeaks as Katsuki grabs his chin and forces him to look into his eyes. The omega’s stomach drops to his toes, uncertainty building onto other hidden emotions he’d desperately kept concealed for what seems to be so long. Yet, feeling Katsuki’s calloused fingers wrap around his jaw, and suddenly lightly caress his skin like feathers across paper, Izuku reads another sensation flicker in those wine-colored orbs.

“You’re fucked in the head if you think I’m letting you walk through the halls alone. You still smell like a fucking spice garden or some shit, and it’s fucking all over the school, Deku. You’re lucky I was the first one to recognize it and show up. So quit talking and stay close to me and let me fucking take you to the goddamn nurse.”

Izuku, despite his insistence that he can certainly take care of himself with the abated heat, slowly nods his head and ignores the urge to roll his eyes. Katsuki releases him, yet does not move a single muscle until Izuku keeps his pace alongside him.

Before they leave the showers, Izuku glimpses over towards the blond’s hands.

They’re both blackened with enormous bruises, bones undoubtedly broken. The skin is snapped and bleeding, like red rivers dipping into powerful stones.

The guilt inside Izuku is steadily balanced with the realization that Katsuki had nearly broken his hands with punching holes in the wall.

Chapter Text

Izuku’s thoughts buzz loudly in his ears, deafening and scattered.

How could you make such a stupid mistake?

He stays lingering behind Katsuki, watching his companion’s taut shoulders and abrupt growling towards each student that walks by them, all while ignoring the pressing mortification crawling up his neck and spreading through his exhausted, tired muscles. His own clothes feel heavy on his body, draped in wrinkled layers after haphazardly slipping them on during his panicked state in the locker rooms.

His thighs are still trembling from the aching sensations sprawling up his spine from his first heat, and even as their steps echo in the hallways, Izuku hangs onto every look and glare cast in his direction.

They know. He holds his breath. They know. It’s your fault. You should have paid more attention. You should have checked your bag before you left. You should have been more prepared.

“Deku.”

Izuku freezes. A shiver jolts through his fingers, tingling beneath his skin in a heated river. Katsuki has stopped walking, his body half-turned towards him with a pensive scowl. He stays close to him, his anger and instinctive alpha mannerisms drifting from him and enveloping Izuku in a cloak.

It’s oddly comforting, yet disarming. He wants to remain encased in this ethereal fragrance and presence for hours, to feel the weight of Katsuki’s stare and abrasive posture.

“You’re muttering again, idiot,” says Katsuki.

“Sorry, Kacchan,” whispers Izuku. He turns away from Katsuki and glances at the door in front of them. “You should—you should go to class, Kacchan. I can see the nurse myself—”

“I’ll go to fucking class if I choose to, Deku. It’s not hard to make up assignments in the first damn week.” Katsuki snorts. “If you think I’m leaving your pathetic ass behind to deal with this on your own, then you don’t fucking know me at all.”

His sneer is crooked and toothy, a secretive mirth sparkling in his eyes.

Izuku flushes at this expression. “I…”

He needs to choose his words carefully. The past few minutes have blended together in a harsh blur; a tunnel of abstract sounds and colors that evaporate and meld back together in a strange cacophony of images and scents he’s not able to process just yet. He’s not sure if it’s because he’s in Katsuki’s presence or not, but the steadfast approach his friend is taking makes Izuku squirm with guilt and inwardly delight at the thought.

He should be ashamed, feeling this way, reveling in the attention Katsuki is showering him with.

Focus.

“Thank you, Kacchan,” Izuku mutters.

Katsuki’s glare hardens. “Don’t fucking thank me,” he whispers, growling. “The nurse should be in there. I’ll wait out here.”

Izuku frowns at this, yet nods. “I—thank you—”

“Quit thanking me. Just go do it.”

Katsuki dips his head, dropping his backpack onto the ground and turning to lean back against the wall. He folds his arms across his chest, a gesture so territorial and standoffish that it exudes Katsuki’s personality in waves. It’s a simple image, though it’s a position that Izuku has seen numerous times on his companion, long before the blond was ruthlessly taken out of his life and subjected to intensive therapy.

Izuku bites his tongue. I need to ask him about that later.

“Okay, Kacchan.”

The blond grunts as Izuku opens the door and disappears inside.


 

 


How long does it fucking take to go see the fucking nurse?

Katsuki growls, his foot tapping on the waxed floors. He tilts his head every so often, regarding students—strangers and classmates alike—as they pass by him and take in his defensive stance next to the nurse’s office. He detects the lingering, curious scents of alphas whom have already detected Izuku’s heat. He spots several familiar and unfamiliar faces attempting to track the spicy fragrance, their nostrils flaring and irises blacking out under the spell of an omega’s heat.

An unbridled surge of instinctive rage pools in Katsuki’s gut, unleashing a vicious storm into his mind and organs. He immediately flexes his fingers and steps forward in the presence of alphas who pass by the office. Each inquisitive, curious and confused glance towards the closed door next to him makes the blond want to step in front and yell at the students in question until they leave with fright in their eyes.

“Any particular reason you’re blocking the nurse’s office?”

The hairs on the nape of Katsuki’s neck raise. He prickles beneath the weight of this voice, this chilling, monotone sentence that enables him to cock his head to the side and admonish the challenging individual encroaching on his territory.

“None of your fucking business, Half N’ Half.” He growls lowly through clenched teeth, addressing the other student who’s been the first one brave enough to bother stopping in his tracks and talking to him.

Shouto Todoroki presents himself as an alpha with privileges. Someone with pockets full with cash and an air of traditional manipulation that would place him above all else, particularly with his manner of speech and his subtle, yet powerful, presentation of his secondary gender. Katsuki detects the underlying traces of curiosity, of invasive interest that has lingered in the breadth of their classroom and directed towards Izuku Midoriya with hardly any restraint.

“You’ve been incredibly hostile towards me, and I believe we haven’t had a single proper conversation.”

Shouto quirks an eyebrow, his stance annoyingly relaxed and rigid at the same time. Katsuki can hardly wrap his head around the other male’s presence at all, not when half of his brain is focused on the fact that his friend—an official omega—is riddled with distracting waves of heat on the other side of this door.

“Doesn’t take a genius to figure out when I hate someone’s fucking guts.”

Katsuki growls lowly and takes one step forward, rolling back his shoulders and tilting his head upwards. Shouto’s brow furrows, though he doesn’t retreat or walk away like the other to-be alphas and betas walking in the vicinity. Much to Katsuki’s chagrin, this eventual alpha’s girth matches his in different spades, though he will be damned if he allows this pompous bastard anywhere near his Izuku—

No. Fuck. Shit.

Katsuki blinks, calmly rolling through his thought process and avoiding the perturbed look Shouto is sending him. The dozens of phrases broiling in the back of his mind, that prompt him to burst through this door and succumb to the spurring sensations of Izuku’s heat, are sprawled and disorganized and begging for his attention. One half is drawn to his desire to go against his years and years of therapy and satiate his desires, while the other wishes to stand in front of this door and keep Izuku Midoriya locked away from potential competition.

Shouto’s mismatched eyes flicker to the door.

Katsuki steps to his left, both hands in his pockets, a low, guttural snarl vibrating in his throat.

“What are you protecting?” Shouto frowns. “You can’t block everyone from seeing the nurse, of all people.” He pauses, considering. “Just about everyone can smell that weird fragrance from the locker rooms. Yet…” He tilts his head back, drawing in each lingering scent. He regards Katsuki with a risen eyebrow, as if coming across some intriguing discovery. “Midoriya. He’s in there.”

Katsuki steps forward, inches from Shouto, his entire body shaking with barely controlled rage. His hands ball into fists at his sides, sweat pooling in his palms and tracing the tips of his fingernails. Even hearing Izuku’s name roll off this bastard’s tongue makes something within Katsuki simmer with contempt. With anger.

“Back. Off.”

Stay away from my territory.

The message is clear.

He knows his pheromones are flooding these halls like a giant cloud, and he doesn’t care. He doesn’t care if other alphas and betas notice how strong his scent lingers, how it is instantly drawn towards the only omega on school grounds who was stupid enough to forget his emergency suppressants. Even this was a fact that hadn’t gone unnoticed with Katsuki when he’d spotted his companion placing the capsule in his backpack the other day.

“I believe it was Midoriya who claimed that it was unbecoming for omegas to be chosen as mates against their will. One would think, with you being close friends, that you would agree.”

Shouto backs away, but only slightly—it’s not nearly a great enough distance to satisfy Katsuki.

“If I were attempting to impress someone like Midoriya, I doubt that forcefully keeping him caged like some common animal would do him any good.”

What?

Fuck you! You know fucking nothing about Deku!”

You don’t know anything about me. I can take care of Deku.

No. No. Those were dangerous thoughts. Those were against what he was supposed to think. He pushes away these devastating phrases as quickly as they come, ignoring the tremors running in his brain and the startled shivering in his bones.

Shouto hums at this.

“Perhaps that’s true. But, I do know one thing.” He eyes Katsuki thoughtfully, a secretive storm brewing in his powerful, steely gaze. It would be unnerving if Katsuki weren’t so determined to be on the same level as this pretentious asshole. “As an alpha, courting requires both parties to reciprocate. I wonder, would Midoriya be more willing to acknowledge an alpha who allows him to make his own decisions?”

Katsuki’s eyebrows shoot to his hairline.

Shouto’s eyes are narrowed, like twin shards of colored ice.

It takes every ounce of self-control Katsuki has for him to not punch this boy in the jaw and watch him fall back at his own words. The thought of anyone questioning his relationship with Izuku, of immediately painting him as a sick, deranged alpha who placed his curly-haired friend behind invisible iron bars made him want to vomit. Sparks of heat trail under his skin and waft in heavy waves through the area, reeking with the anger of a threatened, insulted alpha.

Shouto, despite this, does not waver.

“Was that a threat?” Katsuki growls, low and frigid.

Shouto’s lips are set in a firm line. He adjusts the strap of his backpack, only hanging on one shoulder, as he eyes the door with a brief nod of his head before turning back to Katsuki.

“Anything I say would be a threat to you, it seems.”

Katsuki’s eyes sweep the other to-be alpha from top to bottom. He can tell the other is reasonably strong, and his confidence is etched into his features like watercolor filling in stencil lines. He wants to rip away the secret smugness behind the other male’s expression and watch him crumble.

“I’ve seen the way you talk to him. The way you look at him.”

A spurring fire builds in Katsuki’s chest, willing his muscles to constrict and another growl to rumble. He wants to instill a more physical message in the other teen’s face. He wants to watch him crumble beneath the weight of his glare and take back his claims.

“I’ve only known Midoriya for a couple days.” Shouto shrugs. “Yet you seem intent on singling me out from the rest of our class.”

Katsuki rolls his eyes.

He knows that Izuku is well-liked in their class, much to the freckled student’s denial. When the stupid omega speaks, he lights up the room with little to no effort. His smile radiates almost blindingly, igniting embers in Katsuki’s stomach and causing his brain to short-circuit when he’s in the other teen’s presence for only so long.

“You’re fucking lying to yourself, you pretentious fucker. The only reason you’d be standing here right now and talking to me was if you wanted to see Deku.”

Shouto stiffens just enough for Katsuki to notice. The victorious smirk that spreads across his lips feels elating, joyous, even. He wants to revel in Shouto Todoroki’s moments of misery and firmly recall each memory he holds close with him and Izuku—those fleeting images of him and his friend whom he’d known was destined to be his and only his since they were toddlers.

“Midoriya is unique. He’s genuine and kind. Of course, it’s difficult to not be drawn to that.” Shouto considers his own words. “Though I have no intention of talking to you about him any longer. Take this moment as a form of advice.”

“I don’t need your fucking advice,” says Katsuki.

“If you say so.”

With one last look at the nurse’s office door, Shouto leaves.

Stupid tacky dye-job motherfucker…

Katsuki wills the storm inside him to calm, glaring pointedly towards the lockers across the length of the hallway. He leans back to the space between the lockers beside him and the door, arms folding over his chest.

For now, he would have to keep better watch of Shouto Todoroki.


 

 


Izuku rubs his palms together, his skin still flushed with leftover sensations from his heat.

He glances towards the nurse—a small, elderly woman with large glasses and a rather pointed series of expressions that ranged between overly motherly to ornery and critical—and then back to his shoes. He’s already untied and retied his shoelaces at least a dozen times, and even then he wonders just what he should be prepared to listen to with Katsuki on the other side of the door.

The clock ticks ominously above the hospital bed. He swings his legs, biting his lip and resisting the temptation to find his phone in his backpack and text Katsuki. He wants to tell the blond to forget about this whole thing and go to class before the bell rings—they’ve already wasted far too much time for any of it to make sense.

“Goodness. Dearie, you’re shaking like a leaf. There’s nothing to be ashamed of with this process, you know. It’s simply the way of life.”

Izuku blinks at the older lady. “I—I’m sorry. I never wanted to cause any of this trouble.”

He runs one hand through his curls, annoyed at the damp presence of sweat snaked through his hair and still trailing under his clothes. He’s not sure how long these side-effects will last, but the constant burning and sweating are enough to irritate him.

“Well, you’re the first omega to be admitted into Yuuei in quite some time.”

She nods her head, printing out a slip of paper with various rectangles and squares on the surface. Izuku squints, curious about the numbers and graphs, but shrinks back when the nurse turns back to him with a quizzical expression.

“Do you have prescribed suppressants, dearie?” She pushes up her glasses.

“I—no.” Izuku scratches his cheek. “I didn’t even predict that my first heat would happen today.” His nose scrunches at the thought. “I’ve never experienced anything like that before. I mean, these weird symptoms. The slick and… the other things.”

He’s too ashamed—and horribly embarrassed—to admit how much he desperately wanted to feel another’s touch, how he’d wanted his sensations to be cleared by way of another person’s skin.

And Katsuki, his childhood friend, the person he’d always admired from up close and studied with nothing but glittering warmth in his eyes, had witnessed everything.

“Hm, well, we can certainly set up an appointment for you to get a prescription. It is a bit unusual for you to experience your first heat this early. Most teenagers don’t present until they’re at least sixteen years of age.”

The nurse’s brow furrows as she scans her documents. Izuku fumbles during the awkward silence that floods the office, trying to distract himself with looking over the posters along her walls.

“Izuku?”

He jolts at hearing his name.

“Yes?” He inwardly rolls his eyes at how high-pitched his voice had become. He clears his throat and acknowledges the nurse with a tentative nod. “Sorry. Just, that startled me, I guess.”

Her lips twitch, shadowing a grin.

“That’s quite alright, dearie.” She grabs a paperclip and pinches it over the creased corner of her stack of documents. “I’m going to have to call your parents. I think we should have a discussion with your homeroom teacher about this. Some of what I’ve observed prompt some questions I have.” She taps her chin, bewildered. “Have you been sexually active?”

The question shocks Izuku. He blinks. Slowly.

“I—no, never!” He suppresses the paranoia rising in his gut. Wouldn’t she be able to tell? He’s an omega, so clearly his scent would be different if he’d engaged in sexual activity with anyone. Still, the thought alone was mortifying and embarrassing enough for his skin to tingle. “N-Never have, and, I don’t think that ever will happen? It’s not, exactly, a big part of my future. Or, what I want to be a part of my future? I—no, that doesn’t make sense…”

The nurse barks out a laugh. “That’s quite alright.” She then turns to the door. “Your friend escorted you here, correct? I can tell that he’s still waiting outside.”

Izuku stifles a nod. He can detect Katsuki’s earthy, intoxicating scent like a thread in a veil of mist.

“Yeah. He’s… still out there, I guess. Kacchan was just trying to help me.” He frowns, pondering. “I—is it possible for him to be excused for my mistake? We have the same homeroom teacher, and it wouldn’t be fair for him to be punished for my faults. He was trying to help me and, I’m not sure what would have happened if someone else found me like that.”

The nurse blinks at this.

“I’m afraid I don’t have a say in the matter. Your homeroom teacher will have to come to that conclusion on his own.” She tilts her head, just enough for Izuku to notice. He squirms under her stare, especially at how much her eyes are amplified through her glasses. “You haven’t been sexually active at all? It’s alright to be honest with me, my dear.”

Izuku’s frown deepens at this. Why is she still asking this particular question?

He shakes his head. “No. I… I never have.” His brow furrows. “I don’t understand. Is… is there something that makes it seem like I have? Somehow?”

She slowly raises an eyebrow. “Well. That mark. On your shoulder.”

Izuku instinctively reaches for the crown of teardrops painted into his skin since he was little. Sensations of warmth and safety spread through him all at once, as if some supernatural force is squirming through his senses and weaving through his fingers upon contact. He wrinkles his nose, considering the underlying implication in her words and wondering how he hadn’t noticed that the concealer he used was washed away in the showers.

“Do you know that kind of mark that is?”

Izuku hesitates. “My mother… she told me, a long time ago—um, I think I was four, or five—that some omegas have them. It’s a rare thing, I guess? But, it’s just a birthmark. She’s just been telling me to conceal it for years. And, since I’m in Yuuei, she made it especially clear that I had to keep it covered from alphas and betas. I thought it was a societal custom.”

In fact, he knows that markings on any omega, no matter the type or pattern, were often seen as potentially distracting for alphas and betas in public. He’d heard stories of omegas pulled off the streets and reprimanded by police, given warning for their lack of attention on the patterns ingrained into their flesh. It was a rare phenomenon with secondary genders, and with the incredibly low percentage of omegas, it seems almost mythical for Izuku to have one at all.

Yet, the way the nurse studies him makes him reconsider what he’s studied and researched for years. He remembers his mother’s voice, so calm and gentle, telling him to never forget applying an exact layer of shielding makeup onto the junction between his shoulder and neck. She’d never added emphasis onto it other than the hidden sternness in her words.

A secret he’d never considered asking more about.

“Those marks are very rare, indeed. Though, traditionally, from my own experience with omega students from… goodness, years ago,” says the nurse, pondering, “it’s been a long time. But, usually, those markings are often spotted on omegas who are imprinted and legally claimed from an early age. Can you think of a time where you’d seen a similar pattern before?”

Imprinted? Claimed from an early age?

Imprinting. Claiming.

Izuku pales. Why—no. It’s not possible.

“I don’t… think so?”

His chest feels as if it’s about to rip in two, a steady rhythm building beneath his skin, matching the tempered racing of his heart. He needs to trace back through his memories, through the layers of fog and sadness that gripped his childhood the moment Katsuki Bakugou was taken out of his life—

Wait.

Kacchan.

Izuku holds his breath.

His fingers graze the marking on his shoulder. His memory falls back, years and years ago, to those spare moments where he’d clung to Katsuki’s shirt. In a time where he’d observed the other boy, watched him as he traced rainbow colors into various scraps of paper, discarding each draft that couldn’t match what he wanted to see.

Though there was always one particular pattern that struck Izuku. A blooming crown of teardrops, formed in the shape of a rose, colored greens and golds and vibrant reds yet shown as black and dark on Izuku’s own skin.

His stomach viciously twists into knots, his thoughts running a marathon inside the deepest fathoms of his conscious. He needs to pluck out each instance and inspect the pieces. He needs to remember each time he’d seen the pattern adorning his childhood friend’s sketches. He needs to remember each moment he’d pointed out his suddenly appearing marking to his friend and observe the way the other’s features would become pointed and angry, unable to figure out why his only friend could possibly wield a marking that wasn’t on his own skin as well.

“I have… seen it before.” The words feel detached as they fall from his lips. A cold sweat finally pushes aside his leftover heat, twining along his veins in an icy current. “A long time ago. We—we were just kids though, and, were way too young to… to do anything like that.”

The nurse’s expression changes into something far fonder, far kinder. It’s almost pitying.

“It’s rather rare… though, recent studies have shown some people being subjected to certain hormonal and pheromone-related defects that alter the chemicals in their brain. As a result, the characteristics of an alpha who may or may not be presenting at the age of sixteen could possibly still have the chemicals that allow him or her to imprint on a potential mate. Perhaps, you being in the vicinity of the alpha who did this could be the reason why your heat came early.”

It’s as if the air has been stolen directly from Izuku’s lungs.

He stares briefly at the door, picturing Katsuki on the other side, growling and snarling at other students as if each one were still attempting to threaten him like his bullies when they were in middle school. He wonders, through each claim his mother had cycled through growing up, if what she’d ever told him was remotely true. Was she just trying to ignore the inevitable? Was she intent on pushing aside the possibility that the mark on his shoulder was much more than the typical symbol ingrained into an omega’s skin?

An overwhelming flurry of emotions swarm him in a blanket. He feels nauseated, tempted to throw himself over a trash bin and empty the anxieties and desperation from his own stomach. His mind lulls with the dreadful dog plaguing his memories, calling towards him with outstretched fingers and kind, loving words from adults who had told him there was nothing for him to worry about.

“Oh—Izuku. I apologize. I didn’t know that you were unaware of this entirely.”

Izuku blinks, wiping at his eyes. He should have expected to cry at a time like this. Disgust etches into his skin and burrows into his stomach and chest. He resists every urge to release an earsplitting, frustrated scream.

What part of his future was going to change because of this?

“Does this mean…” He closes his eyes, hands gripping his knees with a new bout of strength. “Does this mean that I’m… that I’m claimed?”

There would be no way to scrub away the marking on his shoulder. There would be no way to deconstruct the accidental occurrence of an alpha claiming him as his own. The law permitted alphas to choose their mates and bind them to marriage by contracts. Were his parents aware of the risks? Was his mother ever going to plan on telling him?

He’s only presented less than two hours ago. He’s just experienced his first heat, his first inner desires, his first explosion of burning emotions and dangerous cravings that brought is instincts to the forefront. He’s only now grasping the understanding that he’s officially an omega in Yuuei Academy, a school populated with only alphas and betas and normally restrictive of the stereotypically weak omegas from ever having the opportunity to enter.

He’s only experienced being an omega for not even a day, and already his rights can very well possibly be taken away from him.

It’s not right. His teeth grit. And he—if Kacchan—

If Katsuki has unintentionally wasted his scent, his mark, his claim, on Izuku, wouldn’t his rights be taken away as well? Would the law force him into a marriage with Izuku?

I can’t do that to Kacchan. I can’t.

Izuku rubs his nose, frustrated.

“I need to call my mom. If that’s alright.”

The nurse blinks at this, and he can tell with the slight shifting of her shoes that she’s possibly guilty for enclosing such heavy information on him.

Even now, the mark burns and distracts him. It’s disconcerting, knowing the possible circumstances that have circulated from its presence on his skin.

“Hey, Deku!”

Izuku blinks, holding back a shocked squeak at the door swinging open and his childhood friend stomping into the area. A vein is popping in his forehead, his sharp canines visible behind his sneering, curling lips. As soon as his dark red eyes turn towards Izuku, the omega shivers beneath his glare and abruptly turns away.

Has Katsuki seen the mark? Does he know what they’ve both done to each other?

“Young man, this is a private conversation—”

“I brought him here.” Katsuki growls, glaring pointedly at the nurse. “He’s been in here for fucking forever. Why the fuck isn’t he cleared yet—”

“Kacchan.”

Izuku’s hands are closed into tight fists. Katsuki glances at him with widened eyes and a firm jaw, a questioning look present in his irises. It makes Izuku fidget in his own shoes and second-guess what he’s about to say. He hates seeing such genuine concern and frustration in on the blond’s face—he doesn’t deserve that amount of care, not for something that’s technically his fault as an omega.

“I’ll call you after school. About this.”

Katsuki blinks. “The hell? Fucking why—”

Kacchan, can you just listen to me?”

Immediately, Katsuki’s brow furrows. A reluctant snarl spurs through his teeth, but he nods regardless, stepping back and letting his arms drop to his sides. With each tightly wound movement, Katsuki seems tempted to remain in this very room and watch Izuku until the school day ends, despite the responsibilities that they’re both pushing away.

“I promise. I’ll tell you later.” Izuku nods, flashing a broad smile. “Okay?”

As if he’s snapped his fingers, Katsuki’s glare dissolves.

“… Fine.”

Thank you.

Izuku dips his head, hoping that he can communicate the message well enough for the blond to receive it. As if the other male senses his intentions, Katsuki draws upwards and straightens his back. He glances briefly over Izuku’s form, as if assessing him for any physical changes or injuries, before he very reluctantly turns and begins heading towards the door.

The scent that curls and strokes through Izuku’s senses is alarming and enticing. He wishes to bask in this amorous cloud of ash, cedar and pine, so intricately threaded together in harmonious unison. As if he’s being held and constrained in ghostly hands, Izuku feels and revels in the blend of startling sensations that jolt him back and forth between planes of euphoric consciousness.

Izuku doesn’t understand what’s occurring, but the way Katsuki tenses—his hand gripping the doorknob so hard his knuckles turn white—and turns his head to lock eyes onto him once more as if he’ll disappear…

It’s all Izuku needs to know he’s not the only one being effected.

It takes one look. One flash of understanding from the deep wine reds of the blond’s eyes. Like sharp daggers piercing Izuku’s soul and challenging it to fight back.

Just one look. And Izuku knows.

It’s both devastating and the most wonderful thing he’s come to know thus far.

And he hates how it makes him feel. He hates how it makes his insides squirm with delight that seems so forbidden, how recklessly he wishes to run over and take Katsuki’s hand and allow the blond to drag him through the hallways.

He wants Katsuki’s musk to cling to him like a shadow for the rest of his days, to match the tornado of emotions flicker in the other’s eyes as fiercely as his own—

Oh my God.

This can’t be real.

Before he can open his mouth, Katsuki yanks open the door and bolts.

The silence that drapes the nurse’s office in a curtain is almost palpable.


 

 


Even after Katsuki sets his tray on the table, the clang of metal on metal is not enough to wring him out of his storming thoughts.

He can’t stop thinking of the way Izuku glanced at him, at the way the other’s mouth opened just ever so slightly, a strange glimmer in those leafy green eyes. He’d never seen Izuku’s freckled, flustered face so alive with intrigue, so heavily brimming with unadulterated desire that spiked both of their scents into rockets.

His hands tremble, barely able to leave the edges of his tray. The salad, metal can of off-brand orange soda and potato mush silently scream in his direction and remind him of the odd emptiness he feels without Izuku at his side. He has hardly bothered talking to the rest of his classmates, with a few exceptions in-between, yet the detachment he recognizes at the lack of Izuku’s presence warms his blood in an uncomfortable, hostile manner.

“Hey Bakugou!”

Katsuki’s scowl deepens. He recognizes this voice, not even bothering to turn his head to survey the two male students coming over to his table. He recognizes their joint beta scents in a rather direct and invasive cloud. His nose wrinkles and he growls at the familiar presence of Izuku’s scent being invaded by the curious, prodding presence of beta pheromones.

“Fuck off, Hair-For-Brains.”

Eijirou Kirishima pouts at this, coming over to his line of vision and plopping on the opposite end of the table. His companion—blond, smirking ridiculously as if he’s just told the most amazing joke in the world—sits down beside him. They’re both brushing shoulders and elbows, too close for normal interactions between typical betas.

Katsuki quirks an eyebrow at this. He supposes, at the moment, they’re harmless.

“Don’t be like that, Bakugou! We just wanna talk and be better bros!” The blond who oddly reminds Katsuki of a walking lightning bolt grins and matches the eagerness in the red-haired beta beside him.

Katsuki rolls his eyes. “I don’t remember ever giving off that fucking impression.” He grabs his fork and hovers it over his food, grimacing. “This fucking food is a joke.”

Eijirou shrugs. “Yeah. It’s not the best.”

Katsuki grits his teeth. The air feels heavier, emptier, almost. With each second that passes he wonders about Izuku, thinking of how… distressed he clearly was before he’d even opened the door. The concern that bloomed in his chest like some invasive flower had prompted him to act on his instincts and be sure that his omega—

He shakes his head.

Fuck…

These thoughts are dangerous.

“Hm. I wonder who’s scent that was earlier? I mean, it basically flooded the entire first floor!”

Katsuki freezes. He slowly turns his head, acknowledging the group of upperclassmen strolling through the cafeteria. Their uniforms are colored dark slate in comparison to their own blazers, snickering and carrying their postures in a way that immediately radiates degradation and judgment. Katsuki refrains from twitching, breathing slowly inwards and outwards to control his desire to silence their unimportant opinions.

“You need to learn how to vent your emotions in a different way, Katsuki. It won’t help you or Izuku to lose control each time he is insulted. It’s how humans function.”

“I know, must be a horny beta or something. Who knows what happens in the locker rooms.”

One of the students—a girl with wild pink-dyed pigtails and doe eyes—giggles behind her hand and runs one manicured nail down the collar of her blouse. She reeks with a heavy, rosy scent, one that floods Katsuki’s nostrils in an uninviting way. A typical female alpha scent, hidden behind layers of misted perfume.

“What do you think, Kelso? Do you think the rumors are true?”

The tall, lanky teenager that the pigtailed girl is addressing leans back in his seat. He exudes confidence and charisma, similar to the reserved yet powerful stance that Shouto Todoroki also wears. Katsuki studies this teen with narrowed eyes, reading the typical alpha signals that engulf the cafeteria without shame.

Kelso props his chin on the upturned palm of his hand, his leather jacket firm and slimming over his blazer. His lips quirk into a grin as he stabs his fork into a slice of chicken and raises it for the pigtailed girl. She giggles at the gesture and gradually takes it, her movements oddly obscene and completely noticeable to every alpha and beta in the vicinity who are drawn to her large, seductive eyes and sloping curves.

“You okay there Bakugou?” Eijirou asks, blinking.

Katsuki growls. “Quiet.”

“I think there’s a possibility there could be a secret omega here. Wonder who it is.”

Kelso’s dark eyes flash through tacky contact lenses, a gesture that Katsuki reads as pathetic to his own. He subconsciously rolls back his shoulders, as if the need to posture in this fool’s presence is already taking over his instincts.

“Whoever it is,” the pigtailed girl mutters, “they’ve got a sweet-ass scent.”

Katsuki’s utensil bends in his hand. His breathing leaves in laborious, patterned lengths.

Calm the fuck down. They don’t even know it’s Deku.

He needs to stay calm. Needs to reason with himself.

“Hm, an omega at Yuuei.” Kelso taps his chin. “If that’s true, whoever’s walking around with that kind of scent won’t be safe on the streets for long. Hell, all omegas want are a good fucking time. I bet they taste sweet like their scents. Fuck, could you imagine?”

He groans, a sound that almost echoes in a lewd manner through the entire cafeteria, causing several students to blink and turn their heads. Some squirm uncomfortably in their seats, ignoring the rather odd pair of upperclassmen and their topical conversation.  

“An omega with that scent would just beg me to fuck ‘em. Maybe we should go looking—”

Katsuki slams his hands on the table, stands up from his seat and moves before he can stop himself.

Eijirou and Denki had barely moved from their seats, too shocked at the clear anger and heated temperament wafting from Katsuki in a storming wave. Several students freeze as he stalks by them, his expression entirely unreadable except for the way his pupils are blocking out the whites of his eyes.

“Oh, man, he’s going to kill someone,” whispers Eijirou.

At his words, several students turn their heads.

Kelso blinks and turns, his nose wrinkling.

“The fuck? What kind of stench… oh.”

He smirks as Katsuki comes over to them, the blond resisting the urge to let his jaw loose and pant like an angry wolf. “Damn, kid, you reek of an alpha in a rut. What the fuck is up with you? You wanna go find the omega too?”

Katsuki tilts his head to the side.

Stay calm stay calm stay calm stay calm—

No. No. Fuck that.

Izuku Midoriya—indirectly or not—was being insulted.

And that, no matter any circumstance, was unacceptable.

“Shut your fucking mouth.”

His voice has lowered to a tone he doesn’t even recognize. As stiff as iron and traveling like lava. It strings through the air like fire through a cloud of smoke.

Kelso reels back, and stands up. He’s a solid four inches taller than Katsuki, a sneer curling on his own lips and his ridiculous jacket already slipping off his shoulders from how coiled his muscles have become. The pigtailed girl shrugs and remains in her seat, popping a wad of bubblegum between her teeth.

“What the fuck did you just say to me, first-year?” Kelso growls, tilting his head to mirror Katsuki’s glower. “You think you’re some bigshot alpha? What got your panties in a twist, you little bitch?” He clicks his tongue. “What, do you know the secret omega?”

Katsuki steps closer.

“Don’t fucking talk about him,” he snarls.

He is entirely focused on this asshole. No one else around him matters. None of the invasive colors, scents, and prodding voices are going to take him out of this moment. He has one mission and one mission alone, and he would be damned before his years of intensive therapy took him away from defending Izuku’s name.

Him?” Kelso barks out a laugh.

Katsuki’s stomach backflips at the sickening smirk that spreads apart Kelso’s mouth. He can glimpse familiar sharp canines partial to matured alphas—a triat he already possesses—as they glint beneath the cheap lightbulbs overhead.

“An omega boy, huh? Well that narrows it down…” Kelso drawls out. “Listen, kid, you seem like you think you own this place. No one fucking owns Yuuei, punk. You may be an alpha, but you don’t own every piece of ass that walks through here. If there’s an omega here, you know what the regulations are.”

His grin sidles slightly to a halt, as he lowers his head enough to whisper in Katsuki’s ear.

Omegas can’t say no.”

It’s the first time in years in which Katsuki sees nothing but red.

Chapter Text

“Are you in love with Izuku Midoriya?”

The question zaps Katsuki out of his momentary concentration—the written puzzles and mathematical equations only forming as temporary distractions—and causes a shocked red flesh and a menacing sneer to curl back his lips. Frantically holding the urge to scream into his therapist’s face, the blond huffs and furiously scribbles onto the pieces of paper in front of him.

The shiver spreading throughout his body in a vicious tidal wave barely lulls him out of his brief lapse in concentration. He is halfway tempted to shoot a glare towards his smug therapist, who acknowledges his quick redirection to his task with little consequence.

Dr. Woźniak grins, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose.

“You’ve gotten better about responding without breaking everything around you.”

“Fuck off.” Katsuki snorts, leaning forward with his chin on his hands, elbows propped on his knees. He glares pointedly towards Dr. Woźniak, clicking his tongue when he receives a curious look in response. “You use that stupid question so much that it doesn’t even work anymore.”

“Well, you’ve never answered it.” Dr. Woźniak shrugs. “I would assume you would come to a conclusion about it at some point. Though, as we’ve made pretty clear in our sessions together, there’s no pressure to talk about it. Or even come to a conclusion it, considering how young you are.”

Katsuki growls, bristling.

“Doesn’t fucking matter, anyway.”

He wipes at his eyes. He keeps his head turned away from the prying, curious eyes of his therapist, scratching absentmindedly at his cheek. The hot blush glowing beneath his skin makes him squirm uncomfortably in his chair.

He tugs at his sleeves and grimaces at the bottled urges to rip every book out of this glasses-wearing bastard’s shelves and watch him stare disappointedly at the mess on his carpet. Again.

It would certainly brighten his afternoon after a sleepless night.

“You seem rather tired.”

Katsuki quirks an eyebrow. “So? I can’t fucking sleep sometimes, shitrag!” He snaps, recoiling instantly and glaring harshly into his conjoined hands as soon as he says so.

He hopes, to the deepest core of his being, that he will be able to keep his nightly escapades to himself and out of the strangely perceptive eyeshot of his therapist.

“Ah. I understand.”

Katsuki can feel the smirk in the older male’s voice.

The blond huffs and leans back in his chair, crossing his arms behind his head. He turns his attention to the clock on the wall, then back towards the papers spread out in front of him with tentatively scrawled answers—ingenious ones, if he says so himself—scattered on the surface.

“Is that how you normally cope with your pre-ruts?”

Katsuki blinks. Dr. Woźniak has already turned back to his notepad—switching from the black pen to the red pen, Katsuki notes silently—and has begun writing some unseen spattering of thoughts and analytical ramblings that Katsuki would never be allowed to see.

“My... what the fuck?” Katsuki snorts. “The—the fuck are you talking about? You don’t know shit, old man!” He’s halfway tempted to grab the diploma positioned haughtily on the wall and toss it out the closest window.

“Hm. Well. For most young alphas, especially those with EPBOD, it’s rather common to have abnormally frequent ruts before the age of presenting.” Dr. Woźniak dips his head. “My own mate, actually, had suffered through them quite frequently even while we were courting.” He shrugs. “It’s nothing to be ashamed of, Katsuki. It’s a way of life, and incredibly normal for boys in general to experience puberty and other changes this way.”

Jesus fuck, do you have an off-switch?” Katsuki’s insides feel as if they’re about to combust into flames. “It’s not, it’s not like that, fucker…”

He trails off, running his hand through his hair. He hadn’t expected to be talking about something as private and admittedly embarrassing as this. Placing any attention whatsoever on what he’d kept hidden behind the closed doors of his bedroom in this very facility should be kept to him and him alone.

“I won’t make you talk about it.” Dr. Woźniak smiles softly. “I will respect your privacy. I’m simply saying, there is nothing to be ashamed about it. I understand, also, that you miss your friend quite a lot. And you care about him very much, don’t you?”

Katsuki snarls, his ears turning pink. “Shut up!”

His therapist holds back a laugh, biting the inside of his cheek.

“Alright. One more thing before I let you go for the day.”

Fucking finally.

He grunts as a verbal response, kicking one leg over the other and leaning back in his chair. He surveys his therapist with a sharp scowl and unreadable glare.

“Now, Katsuki, are you in love with Izuku Midoriya?”

Katsuki stiffens. His heart abruptly lodges in his chest, barred behind the taut bones of his ribcage and commanding his emotions to an abrupt standstill. He watches his therapist, eyebrows risen to his hairline, his fingers tightening around the armrests of his chair.

There’s something quite different about the other’s tone this time, and the rather drawn, black expression on the esteemed doctor’s face breaks down what’s left of Katsuki’s doubts.

His throat is dry, craving something far more unobtainable than water.

He stares at the carpet, lips set in a firm line. A few moments of silence pass between them, until he finally lifts his head and stares into his therapist’s eyes, watching as a strange lightness overcomes the male’s features as if he suddenly decided to bathe in a ray of sunlight.

Slowly, Dr. Woźniak smiles.

“I’ll take that as a yes.” 


 

 … Two Years Later …

 


The moment Izuku turns the doorknob to the nurse’s office, he knows something is amiss.

The hallways are quiet, strangely so. His backpack is heavy on his shoulders, the mark on his skin burning with subconscious weight as he turns his head this way and that through the dark, dimly lit area. The lockers are pristine, steel rectangles swathed in green for what seems to be miles on end, even in a large structured building heralded for housing numerous grades and areas of study.

Yet, the normalcy of Izuku’s surroundings become drowned in something unfamiliar. He wrinkles his nose, his heart leaping against his chest. He knows this scent, this angry, aggressive musk wrapped in the comforting, blissful scents of aged flowers, ash and pine—

“Kacchan?” He asks aloud. His palms burst into sweat, concern drilling into his temples. He check his watch, nearly stumbling at realizing the numbers staring back towards him through the glass. “T-Twelve-thirty? Is everyone at lunch? And if Kacchan is…”

As if dunking his head in a bucket of ice-cold water, Izuku’s mind and senses open. All at once, he receives an onslaught of desperate, throttling energy, forceful enough to knock him off-balance and force him to readjust to his current vision and blink his way through the hallways. His heart jumps into overdrive, kicking aside his worried thoughts and ramblings about calling his mother and demanding answers from her, even after he drops his backpack and bolts in the direction of where he presumes Katsuki could be.

“Izuku! Wait!”

Izuku stops, halting in the presence of Ochako Uraraka—the kind, friendly girl looking as disheveled as he currently felt. Bristling, Izuku stands waves his hands and gestures about him in windmill motions, unsure of how to convey his concerned thoughts. They tumble in desperate waves, assaulting his senses and cloaking what little concentration he has.

“Izuku, if you’re looking for him—the cafeteria—I’m going to go grab Mr. Aizawa because things are getting crazy in there—”

Izuku swallows nothing but dryness on his tongue. He reads Ochako’s lips, unable to focus through the growing haze cast over his eyes.

He doesn’t understand these tracing sensations spurring through his bones and chilling his blood. Yet, the incredible pain that rams into his skull and forces his gaze to waver from Ochako and her wide, desperate brown eyes. He shakes his head and suddenly lurches forward, grasping her shoulders and forcing them both to remain still in their separate forms of panic.

“Where, what’s happening? Where’s Kacchan? Can you tell me where Kacchan is?”

Something’s wrong. I need to find him. I need to find Kacchan right now—

Ochako tenderly, slowly, takes his wrists and removes them from her shoulder. The panic that flashed through her warm features smoothens out, replaced with a tenderness and fondness that Izuku recognizes from his first day walking through these doors. She holds his hands close, pursing her lips together and brow furrowing in observation.

“Izuku, you’re… you’re shaking. Are you okay?”

Izuku breaks away from her grasp, stuttering.

“I—I, I’ll explain later. I can’t—I need to find him. Thank you, Ochako. I—I’ll come find you later. I promise!”

With that, he bolts past her. The sounds and colors around him become warped and static, swimming through his mind with the worst possible scenarios that have plagued him since leaving the nurse’s office. The tears streaking the corners of his eyes feel even heavier now after latching onto another reason, one that’s even stronger than the hurt and painful acceptance of the mark ingrained into his flesh.

Kacchan is hurt. Kacchan is hurt. Kacchan is hurt.

He registers the noise, the stench, the screams and the cheers and the sickening crunching of bone beneath pressure, before he even turns the corner to finally enter the crowded cafeteria. He recognizes the heads of his classmates, the shocks of red and striking golden hair that resemble Denki Kaminari and Eijirou Kirishima from his own class, and knows he’s in the right place.

In front of him, a small circle has formed, their backs pushing Izuku out of the premises. He raises his hands to his mouth, attempting to block out the distracting myriad of scents clashing with his senses like distorted streams of perfume. He wills his troublesome thoughts away, desperately shoving past the taller, thicker uniformed people around him as he steps into the circle—

He stops, eyes widened to the size of dinner saucers, as his breath escapes him in one fell swoop. In front of him, Katsuki Bakugou—his childhood friend, his best friend, the most important person in his life, his possible legal mate—is screaming at the top of his lungs like a deranged banshee and rolling on the floor with a much taller and leaner alpha student.

Why are they fighting? What’s going on? Why are both of their scents so wild? Why is—

Katsuki’s temperament—his boiling rage, painted as red as the startling outbursts he would have when they were children—rides on heavy waves and gathers in the back of Izuku’s mind. He once relished this sensation, this understanding of the person at his side who swore to protect him and told him to learn how to defend himself when they were caught in the worst situations. He’d welcomed the alien emotions prickling beneath his skin and the promise of a sense of togetherness that could never be separated.

Those thoughts wash away as soon as his eyes fall on the rough, tumbling figures of two reckless teenage boys emitting powerful, territorial alpha pheromones. Their scents are rough and clashing, completely unlike the other yet mirroring the musk of angry, viciously hypnotized alphas.

The older student flips them over—his face already bruised, battered beyond belief, bloodied to the point where it’s shocking that he could even be conscious—and slams his knees into Katsuki’s chest. Katsuki’s breath leaves in a painful gust, his teeth grinding viciously and eyes wild and flurried and redder than ever before, but when he raises his fist to hit the other student again, his wrist is grabbed and brutally twisted off to the side.

Izuku’s knees nearly buckle at the sound of Katsuki’s painful, echoing scream. The students around them begin to disperse, some panicking, some leaving to grab another teacher who hadn’t fled the scene to alert the school authorities, and all Izuku can do is wait and stare and process what in the world he’s witnessing.

The cheers and jeering around him from the few students who actually want to see two alphas beat one another to a living pulp is more than disgusting to Izuku. Though, his eyes never leave Katsuki’s form as the other student pinning him down pins him to the ground by his neck and brutally, swiftly, slams his fist into his cheek.

Again. And again. And again. And again.

Gasps and shouts erupt around them in heavy clouds. Katsuki’s flailing limbs recede, bloody welts blooming quickly on his twisted, angry features.

An unidentifiable, unquenchable rage spurs within Izuku. The heat storms and trails through his muscles and charges through the corridors of his mind with icy claws. He yields to the new grasping heat, throttling what’s left of his sense of understanding with the scene before him. He doesn’t notice how hard his fists clench at his sides.

He doesn’t notice how fierce and powerful his own omega scent becomes as it wafts through the area—though, unbeknownst to him or the two alphas tearing each other apart on the cafeteria, his scent becomes embroiled in another layer of musk so strikingly similar to Katsuki’s one would think they were intertwined. It engulfs the cafeteria and swarms the minds and meandering senses of watching students, some of them immediately turning towards Izuku with confusion evident in their expressions.

Izuku trembles. His entire body is shaking, his jaw loose and his fingers curling ferociously into his palms. Nails break skin, blood welting into crescent moons, hidden to the world yet stinging and reminiscent of a pain only he understands.

His mind is clouded. Disjointed.

The student is still punching. Katsuki is barely moving, struggling to regain balance as his head is continuously shot to the side, his left fist suddenly rising to punch the other male in the face and allow them both to fight for another round of dominance.

Izuku’s jaw loosens. His chest bursts with torturous electricity.

“G-Get away from him…”

He doesn’t recognize his own voice.

“Get away from Kacchan—get away from him, get away from him right now…”

Izuku doesn’t know how it happens. One moment, he’s standing at the edge of the circle watching his most precious friend bearing the weight of a dozen punches before finally retaliating.

And then the next, he is standing, panting, hovering and posturing an entirely new presence in front of a shocked, bewildered Katsuki Bakugou.

The blond is still on the ground, his eyes wide, unbelieving, at the sight of the teen standing in front of him with one bloodied fist dripping at his side. He’s shaking with every fiber of his being, his breath leaving in loose pants, eyes wild and blank and brimming with an anger that no one but the strongest alphas can detect.

Deku?”

Instantly, Izuku blinks, and returns.

His left hand is warm. It’s the first thing he notices, before he assesses the shocked, dozens upon dozens of expressions watching him. He stiffens under the attention, a hot blush crawling up his neck. Sweat slicks his uniform to his skin, similar to the leftover tremors he’d felt from his first heat only hours before. And now, he bears the sight of the shocked alpha student tossed aside from his friend, clutching his broken nose and wailing in pain.

“H-Holy shit…”

“D-Did Izuku Midoriya just break that guy’s nose?”

“No way…”

Izuku’s jaw drops. He can feel Katsuki’s burning, confused stare burrowing into his back, assessing him with the scrutiny of a hawk. He doesn’t want to turn to see the certainly ashamed alpha’s expression now. He can sense the territorial waves coming from Katsuki’s body, as easily traceable as a firm gust of summer wind.

He lifts his right hand, slowly covering his mouth and shaking beneath his own touch. He can feel the stunning pain in his left fist, the blood coloring his skin an entirely new shade. He can read the shocked looks around him, can read their simultaneous admiration, disgust, and utter confusion.

He looks towards the trail of blood leading from his defensive stance to the older student moaning in pain across the length of the cafeteria, desperately holding onto his nose as his friend—a pigtailed girl, Izuku notes—tends to him. She glares towards Izuku sharply, yet she seems more shocked than angry.

Is Kacchan alright?

“Kacchan—”

However, as he turns to read the surely angry scowl on his childhood friend’s face, Izuku finds himself pulled back by a rough, sturdy hand. He yelps, watching as the same happens to Katsuki, and both boys are yanked to face one another on opposite ends.

“M-Mr. Aizawa!” Izuku blushes hotly. “I—”

“I take a nap during the day and this is what happens.” Aizawa raises one cryptic eyebrow towards both of them, glaring pointedly at Katsuki with a furrowed, cautious frown. “You seem to be the one responsible for this mess, Mr. Bakugou. I’ll be taking all three of you in to the principal’s office to talk about this. Your parents will be phoned in as well.”

Izuku splutters, avoiding Katsuki’s wordless expression, lips set in a tight line.


 

 


“What. The fuck. Happened?”

Mitsuki Bakugou and Inko Midoriya have never looked more righteous than in this moment, storming into the office of the principal of Yuuei Academy. Inko is flushed and breathless, remaining closely glued to Mitsuki’s shadow as the more aggressive woman slams her hand on the principal’s desk and glares daggers towards the three boys sitting in chairs opposing him.

“You should take a seat, Miss.”

Izuku buries his face into his hands, still unable to shake away the image of what just happened from his startled, meandering thoughts. He turns every so often to acknowledge Katsuki’s unreadable expressions, yet the blond, for once, is not saying a single word to him or anyone at all. He is glaring harshly into the carpet, eyes narrowed and focused.

Kelso, the other alpha in the vicinity, however, cannot stop glaring icily towards Izuku with his horrifically bandaged nose. Izuku stiffens under the look and reluctantly glances back forward towards the principal’s desk, where a tall, frail man—honestly, he seems to resemble more of a walking corpse with blue eyes and blond hair than anything else—glances back towards the livid mothers with a risen eyebrow.

“Please, Mrs. Bakugou. Ms. Midoriya. Have a seat. I believe we should talk about this openly, with all three of the boys here. Mr. Aizawa informed me of the incident.” He tugs at a golden lock of hair, so strangely pristine and almost metallic under the glare of his office desk light.

Izuku avoids his mother’s confused, penetrating stare.

“Please, Principal Toshinori. Please tell us what happened.”

Mitsuki snorts, her glare vicious and perturbed. For a moment, she looks exactly like her son, even now when the two of them have not even close to the same amount of experiences.

“You’re way too polite, Inko. Come on. What the hell did these stupid kids do? It’s the first week of school and, what, they’re already involved in a fight on school property?”

Izuku swallows. He wonders, oddly enough, with how angry Mitsuki is, just how elevated his mother’s temper could become just from being in the blonde woman’s presence.

He doesn’t have to acknowledge her presence to know how angry and devastated she is. He’s seen his mother angry on numerous occasions, yet the stern glare she’s directing towards him now would be strong enough to cripple him permanently and leave him stationed in a hospital.

Then, Izuku holds back a startled squeak as a hand grabs his own. His breath hitches in his throat, sweat building on the nape of his neck as he feels calloused, strong fingers interweave through his and pull his hand to rest between the armrests of their separate chairs.

A gentle, calming current drifts through the contact, enlightening Izuku’s senses.

Katsuki’s face is furiously red, even beyond the brutal swelling of his black eye and vicious bruises marring his jaw.

“Quit fidgeting,” he whispers.

Izuku slowly nods. “I’m sorry—”

“If you apologize again I’m beating the shit out of you.” Katsuki grits his teeth. “You’re fucking reckless, you know that?” He shakes his head. “Idiot.”

Izuku frowns at this, puzzled. “I don’t understand—”

Principal Toshinori clears his throat. Izuku squeaks and straightens his spine, sweating profusely beneath the steely blue-eyed glare of their superior. He bows his head on an instinctive motion, and beneath the weight of such powerful alphas and betas in the vicinity, he’s not sure if he’s meant to counteract them or absorb their resolve.

Katsuki, rather than release Izuku’s hand, tightens his grip and tilts his chin upwards towards the principal as if offering another challenge.

Not now, Kacchan, thinks Izuku.

“Why am I here, then?” Kelso’s voice pipes up amidst the stirring cloud of conversation.

Katsuki’s eyes blaze like fire as he turns in his chair to scream, but is stopped with an abrupt smacking of his mother’s hand upside his head.

“I can answer that for you, Mr. Bruckner.” Aizawa lifts himself from Principal Toshinori’s assorted bookshelves, his form moving back and forth like a tentative, liquid shadow. “Ms. Ochako Uraraka came to me with the information that you not only instigated the fight to begin with, but openly caused disruption in the cafeteria with threatening remarks towards another student, including those outside of your confrontation with Mr. Bakugou.”

Izuku frowns at this, his brow furrowing in contemplation. He still wasn’t sure what could have transpired between Katsuki and Kelso.

“Stupid…” Kelso grunts. “Whatever. This blond alpha asshole told me to, what, stay off his territory or whatever, and punched me first. I was defending myself.” He tilts his head, shooting a sideways glance towards Izuku before rolling his eyes. “Then the freckled punk clocked me in the nose. Whatever. How come they’re not being punished for it?”

“Oh, there will be repercussions. However, concerning these two in particular, Mr. Bruckner, you will not be present for that.”

Principal Toshinori’s blue eyes flash as his words flow into the room. He turns to the two mothers at the left side of his desk, both women stiff and admonishing their sons with quivering, focused glares.

“I think that we should talk privately about the matter, Mrs. Bakugou. Ms. Midoriya.” He clears his throat. “And, of course, privately between both of you and Mr. Aizawa and I. We should get together about this.”

Inko stiffens at this. “Of course. We…” she trails off, her hands nervously intertwining and collapsing with each second that passes. It pains Izuku to watch her process the news. He feels her emotions drift from her like an extra layer of cologne, spiking his senses to new heights with an oddly unfamiliar twinge.

“However, with all of you here, in this moment, we need to discuss what happened.” Toshinori clears his throat, his gaze passing between the three boys across from him.

Inko and Mitsuki share a discrete glance before taking their seats as well.

Izuku squirms in his seat, ignoring the incredible temptation to lean into Katsuki’s space and somehow comfort him—the distressed alpha is reeking with irritation and contempt. The blond’s grip on his hand tightens with each second that passes, the strange cloud swallowing up the office only recognizable to Izuku.

“It is to my understanding, Toshinori, that while the verbal instigation was, indeed, from Mr. Bruckner, Mr. Bakugou was the one to throw the first punch. It was also what Ms. Uraraka relayed to me when she found me.”

Toshinori nods at this. Despite how frail of a man he appears to be, there’s an undeniable girth and strength that holds him together, far more palpable and noticeable beneath the layers of his clothes. His tanned, narrow features focus on Katsuki, his eyebrows raising.

“Very well. We will go over more about what happened—”

“Is this a fucking joke?”

Mitsuki groans and buries her face into her hand, her entire body trembling from the frustration that she refuses to hide any longer. Inko reaches one hand out to console her, tenderly resting on her shoulder while she glances at Izuku and the fuming, trembling blond beside him.

Izuku blinks, watching Katsuki’s grinding, sharp canines become more and more prominent with each second that passes.

“Kacchan—”

“Come on, answer me! Do you think this is a fucking joke?” Katsuki stands up from his seat, ripping his hand out of Izuku’s grasp and pointing towards Kelso in the chair next to him. “I clocked this fucker in the face first because he was threatening to rape another student! He was harping on and on about how he liked how omegas smelled and he was planning on finding him later! I did this school a fucking favor!”

Inko gasps, her hands flying to her mouth. She glances at Izuku with watering eyes.

Izuku pales and stares briefly towards Kelso, who catches his glare with an irritated frown. Blushing, Izuku turns away and ignores the stirring sensations in his gut, so conflicting in the colliding warmth and desperate need to understand the lengths in which Katsuki was willing to go to protect him, even after being subjected to years of therapy that told him otherwise.

Kelso reels forward, waving his arm to grab a rather blank-faced Principal Toshinori’s attention. “I—I didn’t say, that I would rape—”

Katsuki whirls and glares harshly towards him. Suddenly, the clear difference in alpha temperament forces Kelso to reluctantly submit and turn away, his knuckles turning white from the growing pressure around his kneecaps.

“You said, and I fucking quote, motherfucker,” Katsuki growls, leaning over with his head tilted high and a sneer on his lips, “omegas can’t say no.”

A chilling silence floods the office.

Izuku swallows. The declaration shocks him, but it angers him more than anything. Suddenly, the punch he’d delivered earlier that led to Kelso’s broken nose feels all the more invigorating knowing how the fight started in the first place. He keeps his posture straight, encouragingly nodding his head as Katsuki returns to his seat rubs his temples, the aching clear in how tightly he shuts his jaw and closes his eyes.

“This,” says Toshinori, clearing his throat, “is a very serious accusation. Though, it appears that Mr. Bruckner is not denying it.” Kelso turns away, completely quiet and trembling with unvented rage. “We’ll contact Mr. Bruckner’s parents as well and have a separate meeting regarding… that. Though, there are regulations and approaches to this that we’ll have to go over with you, Katsuki and Izuku, and your parents.”

Izuku shakes his head. “Wait, Kacchan was…” He shakes his head. “I don’t know what happened, but I don’t regret going into the fight. I didn’t do it consciously. But, Kacchan was hurt, and I had no idea that it was because I—because an omega was being threatened.” He scratches the back of his neck. “I know that… the omega in question, would have been thankful for what he did.”

Aizawa dips his head. “That may be so, but we can’t ignore the problems that come with this type of disruption on school grounds. This is only your first week in classes, and already a massive fight has taken place in the middle of the cafeteria, with relatively severe wounds for a light confrontation.”

“It’s not his fault,” whispers Izuku. “He was just—”

“Shut up, Deku!” Katsuki snaps, harsh and grating.

Izuku shuts his mouth, irritation seeping into his gut. However, he lets it simmer in silence, carefully avoiding Katsuki’s scowl as the blond turns back in his chair.

Mitsuki sighs into her hand, her thumb rolling against the bridge of her nose. Her dark, searing glare drifts from her son to the staggered, poised expressions of both Aizawa and Toshinori.

“We’re getting nowhere with this. Obviously there’s a lot we need to talk about because Izuku smells like a spice garden, and any alpha in this room can tell what that means.” She shrugs. “Think this conversation has been long overdue, right? Fuck, Inko, why did we even do this to our kids…” She shakes her head.

“Wait—what the fuck are you talking about?” Katsuki bristles. “Old hag, you can’t just say something like that and not explain—”

“Enough. Don’t yell in this office,” says Aizawa, carefully stepping beside Toshinori’s desk and addressing Katsuki rising from his seat. Immediately, the blond snarls and lowers back down, keenly avoiding his mother’s expectant stare.

Yet, the questions that reverberate through the air are enough to send both Katsuki and Izuku’s thoughts into haywire.

“There are more…” Toshinori clears his throat. “Important matters we need to talk about. But, at the moment, we’ll focus on what happened in the cafeteria.” He fixes his stare on all three boys, each of whom stiffen beneath his weighted presence. “One at a time. Go through what happened. And if you lie, I’m sure you understand the repercussions to your actions.”

Chapter Text

Rooibos tea, Katsuki decides, loses its cinnamon edge the more he drinks it.

Fuck it all. He sniffs, rubbing his sore jaw and clanking his teeth together, gaze burrowing into the carpet while he settles into the couch cushions beneath his body weight.

The mauve, golden-striped wallpaper framing the living room seems all the more out of place and muted, even after unpacking boxes in his own bedroom and ignoring the strange thoughts in the back of his head telling him to return to the facility. That same, strange and dastardly familiar place of concrete walls and unlabeled textbooks, where the omega therapist would remain with thousands of scribbled notes and spicy pastries made especially for him.

Inko Midoriya’s hands tremble around her cup. She’s fixated a soft, pitying stare onto him for the last fifteen minutes, unable to move from where she’s placed herself next to his mother, who’s grim and tight-lipped frown is offset the more she tips the pitcher and refills emptied cups.

The tea smells rich and warm even from his position on the couch, yet his thoughts continue to drift over to where Izuku has finally returned from the bathroom with trembling, bruised hands, a shaky series of comments leaving his lips as his mother politely offers him Earl Grey and classic rooibos, “freshly imported,” because his father is unexpectedly pretentious with his tea preferences.

Izuku’s freckled face is drained of color. He glances between their mothers, yet ultimately chooses to take a tentative seat besides Katsuki, those sharp green eyes refusing to even acknowledge his presence. Despite the lack of contact, however, the strange sensations that drift from Izuku’s hair, his skin, his each and every movement and drawn breath—

It fuels an alien sensation within Katsuki, crawling over his insides and swarming his mind in an effervescent cloud. His nostrils flare, pupils widening only slightly as he quickly scoots over next to Izuku, his arm slipping behind him and resting just a few inches away from the omega’s outer thigh.

Izuku swallows, yet Katsuki’s scowl only creases further. He can feel his mother’s frustrated stare on him, and Inko’s trembling hands give off the impression of a startled rabbit.

“So. We promised Principal Toshinori that we would discuss this honestly and openly with you boys.” Mitsuki clears her throat. “We… were hoping that our fears wouldn’t be confirmed, from when you were just little kids. And, with all that’s happened, your principal advised us to keep you from school grounds until we have a contract sorted out.”

Katsuki stiffens.

Contract?

“Why did you wait this long?”

Katsuki blinks and acknowledges the subtle glassiness in Izuku’s eyes, even before he chooses to stand up and furiously brush his hands on his uniform pants. The green-haired teen’s shoulders are shaking, his teeth visibly gritting and a dozen unsaid phrases burning on his tongue.

The overwhelming desire to calm the omega before something transpires shocks Katsuki, yet he instinctively remains tense and coiled, ready to move if his companion chooses to do so.

Inko wipes at her eyes, a stutter falling from her lips.

“We… listen, Izuku. Katsuki. Mitsuki, Masaru and I struggled to even come to terms with all of this when you were young. We couldn’t even get a legal confirmation without putting Izuku in danger as being eligible for alpha families who would want to arrange a marriage between their own alpha heir with my baby boy.” She shakes her head. “We were at a loss. Izuku—I’m so, so sorry… we—all of us are. That mark on your shoulder was a symbol of something far greater than we expected, and—”

“So you decided not to tell us? To tell me?” Izuku slaps a hand on his chest, his voice rising, cracking through the atmosphere as Katsuki’s own parents watch him with blank eyes. “I didn’t—I didn’t want this! I didn’t choose to be… this.”

The grief, the anger, the frustration pouring off of Izuku sparks the crawling urges beneath Katsuki’s skin. He wants to hold him close and soothe him with his scent, to press his lips to his neck and inhale his fears and quell them with one sweeping touch—

Not that fucking simple.

“Izuku, honey—”

“Inko.” Mitsuki glances at her friend, her heated mahogany irises swimming with softness. “Let him speak.”

Inko’s cheeks redden, just enough for Katsuki to consider Izuku’s mother actually being willing to protest and jump out of her chair, but the urge is gone as soon as it comes.

“Kacchan didn’t know.” Izuku hiccups, scrubbing away the threatening tears slipping in the corners. “And that’s… that’s not just unacceptable. That’s—it’s unbelievable. You both sent him away and no one told me why, and, and I lost my best and only friend—”

Katsuki grits his teeth and balls his hands in his lap, struggling not to break out into a rage and throw something against the wall in retaliation for the omega’s vapid, intense emotions. They cloak him like a layer of paint, seeping into his skin and colliding with his every thought and every sense.

“So you’re saying now that I have to be… that I’m legally claimed and Kacchan doesn’t have a right to get out of it either? We both don’t have a choice? Because of this stupid mark on my skin, we both can’t just be who we are and start over like we were supposed to?”

Katsuki blinks at this, his brow creasing in the middle.

Masaru leans forward beside his wife, pushing up his glasses. His jaw is tight and his deep, friendly eyes are swollen red with exhaustion. He takes Mitsuki’s hand in his while the blonde woman huffs through her nose and fiddles with the fabric of her blouse.

“Legally, yes, we would have to bind you through a contract now that it’s publically made clear that the mark is because of Katsuki’s imprinting. It’s a rare phenomenon and doesn’t happen often, but due to Katsuki’s condition and the reasons we had to send him away in the first place, it was the only decision we could make at the time that wouldn’t immediately take your rights away.”

Izuku eyes him stonily.

“It’s not just my rights, though.” Izuku shakes his head, facing Masaru with a strange intensity that fills the room like a torrent of sparks. “Kacchan’s a part of this, too. And… it’s my fault.” He swallows a growing lump in his throat, and turns away from Katsuki with his hands viciously gripping his blazer. “I want to think… about all this.”

Katsuki straightens. “Deku—”

“Let him go, Katsuki. There’s something we need to talk to you about, too.” Mitsuki rubs at her nose, her lips quirked into a frown. “We don’t like how this is arranged, either, you two, but because of you both officially presenting this early… even earlier than we expected, we can’t ignore the risks that would’ve been taken if we—”

“If what?” Katsuki snorts, his anger palpable in the air. “If you fucking told us before all this shit happened? If you told me before you took me away from Deku?”

He spits out the last word, and shivers beneath the weight of the stare Izuku sends him. He can feel the radiating shock, the subtle flames of denial and unsureness and shame attacking him through both mind and spirit.

Mitsuki stands up as well, countering and hovering over her son with a straightened posture and flared nostrils. Her fists are clenched at her sides, teeth grinding to a point where it becomes almost audible. As if sensing her movement, Katsuki stands as well and braces himself in front of the couch, a heated snarl ripping through his throat. He remembers the bottles of medication in his bedroom, wondering if the tablets themselves would have blocked his current reactions as easily as a brick wall.

“We separated you both because you were under serious stress, Katsuki Bakugou!” Mitsuki steps back, trembling. “You have—you insufferable brat, you have no idea how afraid I was for you. You have no idea how scared Inko was about the possibility that we fucked up as parents and you had claimed Izuku as a fucking toddler. And then later, when you bit him at six years old.” She cards one hand through her hair, huffing. “We didn’t know what to do. Either way, it was a losing situation. Keeping you both together would have made things even worse, and Izuku would have been separated from you indefinitely.”

Izuku bristles and immediately returns to Katsuki’s side.

“Kacchan wouldn’t hurt me—”

“No, not intentionally. This brat has been glued to your hip since you met.” Mitsuki shakes her head. “But his condition… what Masaru and I went through to make sure he got the fucking help he needed—believe it or not, we did it so that you could reunite and all of this would be pushed behind us. We hoped that the mark would mean nothing, but here we are.”

Katsuki’s chest flares with sudden heat.

“Don’t fucking blame that mark. It’s my mark.” He clicks his tongue, once again ignoring the shocked, disbelieving look Izuku sends him from the corner of his eye. “Maybe it was fucking supposed to be that way, old hag! Why wait to tell us this shit? We could’ve figured something out if you didn’t hide any of these, oh, I don’t know, really fucking important details! I was in that facility for seven fucking years, away from Deku, and even after I come back you keep your mouth shut? We’re fucking teenagers—”

In a flash, Masaru has Katsuki pinned back to the couch, his hand wrapped firmly around the nape of the other’s neck. Instantly, Katsuki’s pupils dilate and he squirms, groaning like a rabid animal beneath the firm, caging fingers holding him in place. He dips his head, snarling and suppressing every nerve and muscle that tempts him to glance towards Izuku.

He can feel the omega’s distress, the worry, the comfort and the desperation to reach out towards him and somehow help him against the grip of his own father—

Don’t. This is my fucking business, Deku.

“Let’s all calm down,” says Masaru. He regards his wife with a risen eyebrow. “Mitsuki. We can’t go through this very… difficult, situation unless all of us are calm. We can talk about the more prevalent matters now, and focus on what we need to sort through individually later.” He nods his head at Inko. “I’m sorry for this, Inko. Would you mind staying a little longer?”

Inko shivers even after setting the cup on the coffee table. Her large eyes flicker between her son—frozen, stiff as a board, watching the entire scene with bated breath and a partially open mouth—her best friend, Masaru and Katsuki.

“Of course.” She sighs. “I think… we all need to be here anyway. For what’s to come.”

“Fuck this!” Katsuki smacks his father’s hand away, wriggling out of the esteemed beta’s grip and stomping past his furious mother. He brushes past Izuku and makes his way to the door, screaming over his shoulder. “Fuck all of you! And don’t fucking follow me, Deku! This is all fucked up!”

He slams the door behind him.


 

 

 


Maybe it was fucking supposed to be that way, old hag!

Katsuki’s words ring like a gong in Izuku’s mind. He scrambles for the possible answers to such a loaded statement. Was Katsuki aware of what he sounded like? Was it only because Izuku was close in his vicinity and reeking with omega hormones? Technically, his heat would still be affecting the alphas around him to some capacity, as Katsuki had barely been able to breathe normally in the car ride on the way to his own house.

Yet, something about the way Katsuki refused to look at him, how his ears and cheeks were tinted the slightest shade of crimson, how he’d refused to even acknowledge Izuku’s presence through his angry shouting made Izuku wonder just how meaningful those words were.

He’d felt the familiar twinge in his stomach that stemmed from the first time Katsuki held him close on the bus ride home from their first day at Yuuei Academy, and now he recognizes the tremors building inside his heart as easily as his own scent. Does his mark affect Katsuki at all? What exactly does his alpha friend see in him that triggers his outlandish reactions?

He was struck speechless moments before Katsuki stormed out of the house. He’d watched those angry lips morph into a scowl—lips that always seemed so soft, so curiously enticing to Izuku since they were just children—that brow furrow into an indecipherable mask that could only exude the most extreme moments of anger. He’d watched his features change, even after he was subdued beneath his calming father’s grasp, only to quickly wrench himself out of it, scream and refrain from kicking objects over in his home, and left.

And don’t fucking follow me, Deku!

Izuku holds his breath.

As if, Kacchan.

He nods at his mother.

“I’m going to go find Kacchan. I probably know where he is.”

Inko blinks and stands up from her seat. Tears are running down her face. Izuku hesitates only slightly, inching across the carpet to the door.

“Izuku, wait—there’s, I have so much I still need to tell you, sweetie. Please stay.”

Mitsuki snorts. “Inko, really? We’ll talk more about it when they’ve both simmered down.” She glares at Izuku, yet the fire burning in her eyes reminds Izuku so much of Katsuki that it’s more comforting than threatening. “Go after him, Izuku. As far as I’m concerned you’re the only one he’ll listen to.”

Izuku’s eyes narrow. “I wasn’t planning on not talking to him.”

He cards one hand through his curls, his vision turning blurry with his own tears. Huffing, he wipes at his nose, grimacing at the sudden wetness dressing his sleeve, before he turns on his heel and allows his back to speak more for him than his words ever could.

“Kacchan suffered even more for this, because of how I am. I’m an omega, and he… whatever happened, his future is even more ruined because of my stupid biology.” He shakes his head, clenching his teeth to prevent the angered sob from breaking out. “I’m going to talk to him, and, maybe we can figure out a way to get past this and not…”

Go through a contract. A marriage contract.

One that would seal both of their futures and tie them together when Katsuki Bakugou could have anyone fall in love with him in a heartbeat. He deserved equal strength, equal fervor, the opportunity to give himself fully to someone who valued his temperament and aggressiveness with even more acceptance than Izuku. Katsuki deserved the most beautiful girl or boy, someone who treasured his spirit more than the depths of heaven itself.

Someone who isn’t me.

Yet, because of this, because of a mistake made when they were young, whether Katsuki or Izuku were aware of it or not… their futures could very well be taken out of their hands and thrust into a corrupted arrangement of distorted laws and customs that placed omegas in an unfair corner whether they desired it or not.

He’d heard of stories of other omegas in his own state who couldn’t choose their mates and were often betrothed before they were even born to alpha families who wanted healthy children or heirs in future generations.

He’d heard of the oddly glorified tales of celebrity alphas modeling in magazines and answering interviews, regarding the state of omegas being treated as little more than either fickle eye candy or “too distracting to operate in a higher field of work.” World leaders in his history textbooks, disregarding betas and omegas with little appreciation for their contribution to society beneath the overarching presence of the alphas.

The concept of being forced into a marriage contract with his childhood friend—someone who he adored in ways that Izuku could never describe outside his shortness of breath and strangled heart—makes Izuku’s skin blush red and his thoughts run into a concrete wall.

It’s exhilarating, frightening, and ultimately wrong.

If Katsuki weren’t an alpha when they were children, he wouldn’t have imprinted on Izuku. If Izuku had bothered staying away from Katsuki, and not placing the burden of being an omega in a to-be alpha’s presence, neither of them would be caught in this predicament. He wouldn’t be forced to negotiate his status as a fifteen-year-old omega with an alpha friend who were legally bound through a mark that should have never come to exist in the first place.

“Izuku.”

Izuku snaps out of his meandering thoughts, skin flushing beneath the three combined stares forced onto him. He ducks his head instinctively beneath the powerful presence of the one mature alpha in the room, even in combined essence with Masaru and Inko’s gentle currents.

“Go talk to him, kiddo. You’re… really special, to my son.” Mitsuki shuts her eyes tight, a shaky sigh leaving her body and causing her entire form to stiffen and tremble. She rolls her neck and pops a few bones, an action that makes Izuku blink. “So what are you waiting for, hm? We’re not going anywhere. None of this will get resolved and we can’t help you boys without him here.”

Izuku reads the honesty, the genuine encouragement on Mitsuki’s features, and notes his own spirit lighten as a result. He calmly ducks his head, flashes his mother the faintest smile, and jogs out of the house with a far lighter closing of the door behind him.

Instantly, the suburban neighborhood streets almost blind him with the pristine cleanliness. He wrinkles his nose, inhaling the sweet, supple greenness of the trees flickering and billowing around the clustered houses. The sun is dipping beyond the horizon, blending into a crisp halo of orange and fading gold.

Okay. Find Kacchan.

He pumps his arms as he drifts in a slow run, checking the corners of each street with bated interest. Convenience stores and antique shops blur by in a gentle flurry, a myriad of pastel colors washed out in eventual grayish hues. The buildings sweep behind him to allow the wide expanse of green, tree-laden fields to speckle the remainder of the neighborhood. The sidewalk loops into a circlet around a familiar playground, where Izuku spots several children running in patterns along patches of bark dust and throwing water balloons at each other.

A small, steady smile quirks at his lips. Slowly, Izuku slips his hands into his pockets and makes his way across the street, admonishing the park with wide, speculative eyes. He waves and grins towards the children running by him, and he relishes the slight flutter in his chest at the peaceful atmosphere.

I… we used to come to this park.

Izuku avoids the sandboxes and the jungle gym, yet the memories of Katsuki pushing him down the slide on numerous occasions and rolling him in layers of sand brings a slight giggle out of his throat. He hums under his breath, a small bounce in his step as he makes his way around the jungle gym, caught between this pleasant warmth filling his gut and the impending worries that had driven him out here in the first place.

Then, Izuku halts, quickly retreating to the monkey bars jutting out of the structure. His palms burst into sweat, a familiar scent wafting through his nostrils and consuming his entire being from the inside-out. He calmly blinks through the sudden haziness, drawing his eyes over the form of his childhood friend, who is sitting cross-legged on the bark dust and carving angry patterns into the ground.

Izuku bites the inside of his cheek to prevent a loud, boisterous laugh. He would recognize the crown of wild blond hair from anywhere, yet the way Katsuki tenses with each movement, how he growls and snaps at children running by as if they purposefully wanted to ruin his angry drawings in the bark dust, are all too familiar to Izuku.

“Hey, Kacchan,” he says.

Katsuki stiffens. It’s a motion that stills for a solid few seconds, all of which cause Izuku to hold his breath and count the distant unsettled emotions in his stomach. Katsuki brushes his hands down his knees and pushes himself to his feet, slipping his own hands into his pockets and spitting a wad of saliva into the grass.

“Told you not to follow me, Deku,” he whispers, hoarse and unusually strained.

“Mm. Well, you should know better than to expect me to let you walk away like that.”

Izuku smiles softly as he comes over to the blond’s side. He reads the angry frown dressing Katsuki’s handsome, angled features, and the way the receding sun tenderly touches his companion’s hair turns the strands into flurried sparks.

“Fucking nerd,” whispers Katsuki.

Despite his words, the slightest smirk remains, a ghost of a more powerful expression that has only been witnessed a handful of times during their years spent together as children. Long before Katsuki was ripped away from Izuku’s life and forced into a program to change him, to allow him access to him as a normal friend when they were older—he doubted that Katsuki expected them to be legally bound as—

No.

He doesn’t want to think about those details. Not now, in the middle of the playground where he and Katsuki played together as children, without one worry for alphas, betas or omegas placed in their futures. Not now, when he wants to simply bask in his friend’s hidden smirks and playful jabs and have the secret opportunity to call these sacred moments his and his alone.

“What did you mean back there, Kacchan?”

Katsuki rolls his eyes. “Be more specific, shitty Deku. I said a lot of fucking things that needed to be said. This is all bullshit.” He scoffs. “Them not telling us jack shit, making us find out on our own. Whatever.”

Izuku nods. “Yeah. I’m angry, too.”

“Didn’t seem like it.”

“I don’t express it the same as you, Kacchan.” Izuku scratches his cheek. “We’ve never been the same, when it comes to that. I missed you, when you were gone, and… I didn’t really have a way of expressing that around my mom without making her cry too. I didn’t want her to be sad, and all I wanted to do was call you and see if you were okay.”

Katsuki’s shoes shift back and forth at this, his jaw tighter and eyes narrowed.

“I just… don’t want you to be chained to this, because of what I am.”

Izuku holds his breath, struggling to hold back the devastating wave of remorse and guilt that slaps against his insides and consciousness like a pair of brass knuckles. He swallows back the sobs and shakes his head rapidly to be rid of the growing tears.

“Kacchan, you—you’re the most amazing person I’ve ever met, and… and because of this stupid mark on my shoulder, you’re basically in the same boat as I am. Y-you won’t get to have a s-say in who… in who you actually want to be with. I don’t want that for you, and it’s all unfair, and I’m so, so sorry, Kacchan.”

He trembles, tears slipping down his cheeks and dripping onto his shoelaces. He can’t bear to read his friend’s features, worried for what Katsuki could say, how angry and frustrated he probably is over his rights as an alpha being taken away because of Izuku

Izuku squeaks, taken completely aback as he is slammed into something warm and soft. Cotton. A blazer. Their school uniform. Arms wrap firmly around him and crush him tight into the other male’s form, so strangely warm and riddled with an intense, ethereal fragrance that swarms through Izuku’s senses and threatens to lull him away into an endless dream.

Katsuki’s nose is buried in Izuku’s neck, his fingers sharply delving into Izuku’s clothes and palms flat and sturdy. He breathes shakily, razor-sharp canines threatening to peel out beneath his lips the longer he remains this close to the omega’s side. Yet, the way he pants, the way he struggles in holding Izuku so close to him, causes Izuku’s heart to leap in his chest and sweat to burst out and flow across his skin.

“Stupid, fucking nerd. So fucking dumb, all the fucking time. What the hell…” Katsuki snarls. “This isn’t your fucking fault, Deku. Don’t fucking talk about yourself like that. Shit.”

He growls and pulls away from Izuku, the freckled teen struck breathless at the sight of the alpha’s taller, looming form. The scowl and boiling red eyes are sharp as glass shards, penetrating Izuku’s defenses and scouring for answers while he keeps him dangerously close.

Izuku presses his palms to Katsuki’s chest.

“K-Kacchan, you don’t—”

“I don’t what, Deku?” Katsuki snarls, yet reluctantly releases his companion.

Izuku’s heart is rapidly slamming against his ribcage.

“You don’t have to…”

Protect my feelings. Make yourself unhappy. You don’t have to do this for me.

Yet Izuku isn’t entirely sure what he wants.

“You keep putting fucking words in my mouth,” whispers Katsuki, a sudden sharp lilt overtaking his words.

He steps back, sweeping Izuku from head to toe with a wild, tempered gaze.

“You always—fuck, Deku! Quit looking at me like that! Like you’re pitying me or some shit! Do you think I would fucking keep you around if I didn’t want you to be in my fucking life?”

Izuku’s eyes bolt wide.

“No, no, Kacchan, that’s not—”

“Do you know how fucking hard it is?”

Katsuki’s hands ball into fists at his sides. He huffs, glaring icily into the bark dust gathering around his sneakers.

“I just… I sense you all the time. I just know when you’re around, and all these other alphas look at you like you’re even open to be with them and you just play into their games and you have no fucking idea.” His eyebrows raise to his hairline, matching the ferocious flaring of his own nostrils. “That Half and Half motherfucker has been eyeing you since you first popped up in class like some fucking fairy and I’m sick of you reciprocating it.”

What…

Izuku slowly shakes his head. He doesn’t understand what Katsuki is telling him, where this sudden outrage came from. He must be referring to Todoroki from their class, but the boy has only been kind to him and has never threatened to even step forward and mark him or do anything outlandish as some forceful, entitled alphas normally would.

“Kacchan, what are you trying to say—”

“Let me fucking finish!” Katsuki drags one hand down his face, his skin flushed red with bottled heat. “You fucking presented in the showers and Deku, fuck, I was…” He shakes his head. “I was this fucking close to just… losing it. I can’t—Deku, I was sent away because I was a fucking danger to you! Not because of your omega shit! I was fucked up and had to be sent away, you dipshit! If I stayed I could’ve…”

He trails off, scratching at the nape of his neck. Tension rolls off his heated words, lingering in the air between them.

It’s as if an ice-cold ocean tide has washed over Izuku, silencing each prodding question threatening to come to light. He watches his friend shake with each word he screams into the playground, notes each twitch and bulge of Katsuki’s veins as he bellows with sensations of hurt and anger that Izuku hasn’t witnessed in years.

“I haven’t been able to not think about you for seven years, Deku.”

Izuku’s tongue turns dry. His chest erupts into a torrential outburst of butterflies. He watches Katsuki’s expression as the blond takes long strides. Izuku holds back a squeak, instinctively stepping backwards with each movement as Katsuki inches closer, his taller friend eyeing him with an intensity that he hasn’t experienced yet.

“Seven fucking years, Deku,” Katsuki growls, “and it’s still torture.”

Izuku’s back presses against the jungle gym.

Cold metal slides through the cloth of his blazer. Sweat builds at the nape of his neck. He glances up, warmth spreading from his heart to his belly and gathering in a storm.

Izuku is unable to speak or form a coherent thought as Katsuki leans forward and cages him between his hands, both palms pressed to each side of his head on the metallic, colorful structure supporting their childhood memories and dreams.

“Kacchan?” Izuku swallows. “What are you…?”

“Not done yet, Deku.”

Katsuki’s breath is hot and dismantling as it slithers over Izuku’s skin. He trembles beneath the pressure, and the whirlwind of scents barraging his nose that harken back to the distinct traces of cedar and ash that usually encase his friend in a tender shroud. Yet, now, the scent is elevated, almost deafening in its loudness and thickness, swarming into Izuku’s senses and claiming his entire body in ways that scream intimacy.

He’s dreamt of this before. He’s dreamt of Katsuki’s sardonic smirks in the comforting blackness of his most forbidden escapades. He’s envisioned being held in these powerful arms and relishing the other’s scent as they lose themselves to each other, wrapped in a sensuous embrace that Izuku has never claimed to understand but has always dismissed as being the seeds of his guilt.

“They took me away because I’m fucking disgusting.”

Katsuki breathes through both his mouth and his mind, sharpened teeth peeking beneath his curled lips. He resembles a hungry wolf, inhaling Izuku’s scent and pressing himself closer to Izuku’s body.

“Kacchan,” says Izuku, caught between the intense desire to feel more of Katsuki and the need to push him away and remind him that he’s not being rational, “you don’t… know what you’re saying—”

“Don’t speak for me, Deku…” Katsuki’s pupils black out the maroon depths of his irises.

It’s a tantalizing, hypnotic expression, one that is only missing the secretive, sly smirk Izuku favored on the dream Katsuki who pleasured the both of them in the darkest depths of his subconscious.

No, no, no, snap out of it, Izuku!

He couldn’t possibly want this—want him, not when he has his entire future, his life spilled out in front of him. If he gives in now, they will both lose themselves to their instincts, and neither will have a say beyond the borders in which they already cannot cross.

“Let me see it.”

Katsuki’s demand is sharp and heavy, lacking any fluctuation that shows conscious awareness. He’s close to Izuku now, searching with a sniffing nose and open mouth for something concealed beneath Izuku’s clothes.

Despite the dark blush tainting his skin, the thought of showing the mark to Katsuki, to the alpha who bestowed the mark upon him without the both of them aware in the first place, makes Izuku squirm with uncertainty. He presses back further, pain boiling in his bones and spreading through his skin. He steps to his left, only for Katsuki to move alongside him, shadowing him with the guise of a predator.

“Why?” Izuku swallows. “Why do you want to see it?”

Katsuki’s glare finds Izuku’s confused features once more, his expression unreadable.

“It’s mine. I put it there.”

Another surge of ethereal, uncomfortable heat swarms in Izuku’s stomach. It’s delightful, energizing, absolutely enthralling for Izuku to hear those words fall from Katsuki’s lips, even if the both of them are trapped in the realm of instinctive desire. He wants to peel back Katsuki’s blazer and inhale his own scent, to revel in the presence of a powerful alpha whom has shown an overwhelming sense of possessiveness and ownership that he’s craved unknowingly for so long.

“I won’t make you. It’s—it’s fucking your choice.” Katsuki dips his head, tilting it just slightly. “We’re already bound, Deku.” He growls lowly. “Let me see it. Let me feel it.”

Present yourself to me.

The effect those words have on Izuku should be branded as otherworldly, as completely illegal, because he’s not sure if he can retort with any sort of claim that would cause the other teen to back off.

Though Izuku knows in his current mindset that he wants to feel Katsuki in more ways than one, and it both frightens him and urges him to continue with this strange game they’re playing.

Be my mate.

Izuku reads it on Katsuki’s body, his face, his smoldering crimson eyes that have rendered him breathless since they were six years old. He remembers the glow of the television screen, Katsuki’s protective arm loped behind his back as they snuggled under the blanket together. He remembers feeling the blond’s lips and sharpened teeth sinking into the juncture between his neck and shoulder blade, so oddly calming and strangely enflaming

Oh.

Katsuki kicks his shoe against the bark dust, snapping Izuku out of his reverie.

He’s losing his patience. Izuku reads the desperation in Katsuki’s trembling arms and body, his pants turning more eager, more desperate as they waft around him in a heavy gust.

Izuku gulps.

Slowly, he nods, and the gesture is enough for Katsuki to step backwards, hands flexing and un-flexing at his sides as he addresses Izuku’s form with a blank, focused expression.

This form of patience on his friend is overwhelming in how uncharacteristic it seems, yet the fact that Katsuki’s pupils have blown wide to completely morph the color of his eyes seem all the more understandable.

The sun has disappeared over the edge of the world already, and neither of them have noticed until this very moment.

Izuku holds his breath, drinking in the first breeze of nightfall drifting over the playground and suburban neighborhood, and begins to shrug off his blazer.

He remains steadfast, keeping his gaze focused and strong and level with Katsuki’s, even as the blond’s glare follows his movements in removing the jacket. A chill dances through him beneath the way Katsuki’s eyes glow with sudden interest, traveling back over his rumbled, collared shirt and resting on his features. He scoffs and releases a low, rumbling growl, as if asking for more.

Izuku reads the silent gesture—feels it in the rise in invisible alpha pheromones—and moves his hands towards the top buttons of his shirt. He shakes with each movement, biting his tongue to keep his concerns abated as he finishes his task and pulls aside his right sleeve, leaving the skin bare and proudly displaying the mark.

“Fuck.”

Izuku flushes with heat as Katsuki returns to their close proximity, hovering and growling and purring with newfound curiosity and fascination that would be all the more endearing if they were in any other time or place. Katsuki’s nose drifting over his mark, his lips just barely parted and ghosting over the symbols, makes Izuku’s heart race.

“It’s really mine…” he trails off, and stops, retreating to fixate another widened glare onto Izuku’s flustered features.

Izuku’s voice leaves him in a shaking breath.

“Kacchan, we… you can’t want me like this. You could have so much better—”

“Shut the fuck up.” Katsuki’s lips ghost over Izuku’s shoulder.

Izuku shudders beneath the pressure, holding back the desperate moan that fills the peaceful quietness between them. Katsuki’s body heat, his increasing, intoxicating alpha scent, his willingness to be around him and to even desire him in some capacity causes each bone in Izuku’s body to tremble as if caught in an earthquake.

Does he…

Izuku can scarcely believe it.

An alpha wanting to prove himself.

He balances each wish, each impending thought in his mind as he reads the cataclysm of desire and pain and anguish written onto Katsuki’s features like a spilled bottle of paint.

Is there really no way out for either for them? Is this the dead-end where they are forced to turn and acknowledge where they lie in each other’s roles?

If that is the case, then…

No other choice remains.

They need to move forward, one way or another.

“Katsuki.”

Instantly, Katsuki’s head snaps upwards and the growl that rumbles in his throat is positively feral and electric and horrible and amazing to hear at the same time.

Izuku licks his lips, hesitating.

Mark me.”

In a flash, Katsuki’s right hand grabs the back of Izuku’s head, fiercely grabbing through his curls and tilting his head to the side. His teeth, so sharp and pronounced and so purely alpha, sink into the spot where Izuku’s mark remains. Pain spreads from his head to his toes, coupled with an endless electric shiver that paralyzes his instincts and flows alongside the moan he breathes out through parted lips.

Feeling an alpha’s teeth—his legal mate’s teeth—carving a new mark into his flesh is the most incredible and exhilarating sensation Izuku has ever felt. Cold and heat stream and intertwine beneath his skin, taking complete claim of his senses and mixing and melding their scents together.

He grits his teeth as Katsuki’s grip intensifies on his hair, the blond’s body pressing against his to the metal beam behind him. His eyes bolt wide and he loosens as Katsuki’s hands lower to his hips, pressing and exploring until finally his fingers hook beneath his rear and hoist him up. He presses him to the metal beam, his heavy, panting growls deafening in Izuku’s blurring mind.

Then, Katsuki rolls his hips forward, snapping against Izuku’s body with aggressive force.

“Ah—Kacchan!” His protests die on his tongue as the friction becomes relentless.

Izuku’s hands snake around Katsuki’s neck and burrow into him, frustrated at the blazer separating his touch from the blond’s own shirt, or even his powerful, muscular back.

Mine,” Katsuki growls, and then, he reels back and shoves his mouth onto Izuku’s.

Katsuki is kissing him.

“Fuck, Deku, so perfect, so gorgeous, smell so fucking good—”

Izuku opens his mouth and receives the gesture, swallowing up whatever Katsuki is willing to give him in this very moment. The other male’s lips are soft and his movements aggressive and undeniably attacking Izuku as if he were an opponent in a sparring match, their scents mingling and thwarting each other’s sensual defenses with utmost ease.

The blond moans and pants into him, the two melded into one as the blond grinds and rolls with each friction-heavy snap of his body onto Izuku’s. The pressure builds in Izuku’s lower stomach, surges of newfound desire squirming within him and taking hold of his mind and body.

Katsuki’s grip on Izuku’s body intensifies, his hands so viciously invasive on his skin through his pants and keeping him steady while he rolls and moves forward, breathing harshly with each second that passes and snarling through each kiss. It’s wet and energetic and built on pent-up emotions and sensations Izuku had never dreamt could possibly made real until now.

Izuku bites onto Katsuki’s lower lip, pulling and demanding his attention even more. The blond moans at the gesture, smirking into their mouths as he lowers his body to the ground. He remains close to him, though Izuku’s disappointment, and dizzying senses, are forced wide awake as Katsuki yanks off his own blazer and throws it off to the side.

Izuku releases a growl of his own. The gesture instantly shocks the alpha still. Katsuki turns to him, and the smirk that engulfs his mouth shows all teeth and fiery eyes.

Apparently, this is the hottest thing Katsuki has ever heard, since the blond wastes no time in grabbing Izuku again and pulling him into a ferocious kiss. His hands roam every inch of Izuku’s body, fiercely grabbing his thighs, his rear, snaking beneath Izuku’s shirt and crawling over his heated, flustered skin, until finally his hands lower to the waistband of Izuku’s uniform—

Wait.

As if struck by lightning, Izuku’s mind opens.

Katsuki. Kacchan. Me. Kissing. Marking. Mate. Mate. Mate. Mate.

“W-Wait, Kacchan—we can’t—”

“Shut up, Deku—”

“I can’t, Katsuki!”

Katsuki blinks, and pulls back, his lips swollen red and eyes narrowed with nothing but confusion clouding his breathtaking features.

“… Shit.” Katsuki steps back, raking his hands through his hair. “You—fuck, Deku, I…” He swallows. “You should’ve said something. That—you’re already claimed—”

“Kacchan, no, no, calm down, please.” Izuku steps forward and takes Katsuki’s face in his hands. Instantly, his presence seems to calm the distressed alpha, since Katsuki’s tension immediately begins to resolve within seconds. “Just… not here. We can’t… we both… were caught up, in the moment. We—I need to think, about this. And you do too.”

Katsuki searches him, unbelieving.

“I mean it.” Izuku bites his lip. “I wanted that. I just… didn’t think you would.” He shakes his head. “We need to head back. I don’t know how long we’ve been out here…”

Granted, the heavy stiffness in his body and the incredible desire to feel more of Katsuki’s passionate touch is enough for him to reconsider his words, but the instincts need to abate before he can properly digest Katsuki’s apparent confession.

Confession…

Was that what it was?

“Are you fucking serious?” Katsuki growls. “What difference does it make, Deku? You can’t tell me that you don’t want me. You told me to mark you. I obeyed my omega.”

He huffs and rips himself out of Izuku’s grasp, confliction and anger broiling in his dark, beautiful eyes.

“Fine, then, Deku, whatever. We’ll fucking go back and get lectured again about how we have no choice, and all that garbage.” He snorts. “Doesn’t change anything.”

Izuku winces, instinctively reaching for the searing, burning mark on his shoulder. Katsuki’s teeth marks are prominently ingrained into his skin, now overlaying the imprint tattoo that he’d once considered to be a common omega occurrence.

Katsuki lifts his head, smug and shameless.

“… Kacchan.”

The blond turns away, scowling.

“We both…”

Izuku holds his breath, resisting the urge to completely break down and collapse in front of the most important person in his life. Because of his weak instincts, he’s imprisoned them both.

“I can tell you still don’t think I want you.”

Izuku rolls his eyes, almost laughing at the ridiculousness of it all.

“If you tell me that I don’t fucking know what I want, Izuku, then you don’t know me at all.”

Izuku is struck speechless as Katsuki takes the lead in heading back towards his own house. He watches the blond as he gathers their blazers together, tossing his larger over to Izuku and gesturing for him to put it on.

“Why—”

“Just put it on.” Katsuki rolls his eyes. “Come on. I’m not waiting for you.”

Despite how incredibly intense and exhilarating it was to have Katsuki hold him and kiss him like a true alpha should, the nausea stirring within Izuku is enough to convince him that he’d just done something horribly, unspeakably wrong.

Chapter Text

“Are you insane?”

Mitsuki’s voice trails on thin ice.

Katsuki sits across from her at the dining room table, his hands clasping over his knees, knuckles blanching white from the pressure. His father looms behind him, his beta pheromones clouding the vicinity and caressing his own glands, attempting to soothe him from lashing out at his own mother.

“You didn’t have to send him away,” says Katsuki, his throat hoarse.

The immediate screaming that ensued once he’d entered his home with Izuku behind him had led to all three adults watching them with wide eyes and slack jaws. Izuku’s protests died quickly beneath Mitsuki insisting Inko leave with her son, and even in that moment Katsuki resisted each compulsion to snap his teeth at his aunt and keep Izuku glued to his side.

Izuku Midoriya—Deku—the person he’d imprinted on unintentionally when they were children. The person who now bore two marks, one sealing the bond and preparing for the inevitable. The person who was the subject of seven years of intensive therapy, the cause to his mindless pre-ruts and inability to control his internal reactions in and out of the facility.

“Well, obviously it won’t matter since this contract is going through no matter what.” Mitsuki pinches the bridge of her nose, her entire body trembling. “We asked Izuku to leave to talk to you, and you’re telling me he was the one who asked you to mark him?”

Katsuki’s glare lifts from the table. His eyes lock with his mother’s, broiling dark brown and heated lava glass.

“As fucked up as I am, old hag,” he says, “it’s pretty fucking low for you to think I’d force Deku to accept a sealing mark.” His mother dips her head, searching him for answers he doesn’t wish to give, though he relents with his own unwavering stare. “You knew, all this time, and you didn’t tell me. You didn’t even tell Deku.”

Mitsuki’s lips purse. “We should’ve handled it better, yes.”

Masaru clears his throat from behind Katsuki. He places a hand on the teen’s shoulder, who tenses considerably beneath the unexpected touch and glares over his shoulder at the only beta in the room.

“I think we all need the rest of the night to process this, and give each other some space.” He smiles gently towards his wife, who regards him with a snort. “Mitsuki, this is a hefty event for both boys. We’ve known it for many years, but because of this we’ll have to keep them out of school for the next few weeks while arrangements are made.”

Katsuki stiffens and jumps out of his chair. “What—why are we being taken out of school, you old geezer? Are you joking—”

“It’s very common for students your age to be arranged this early.” Masaru sighs. “We just… didn’t expect you to mark Izuku this soon. It will take extra time, and the process will be a bit overbearing, and because you’re technically underage, still, your mother and I have signed permission in your contract.”

Katsuki’s brow furrows at this. A steady roar builds in his chest, tempered into a wildfire he knows he can unleash in a heartbeat. The subtle questions he’d wanted to ask only hours before begin to trickle through his temples, tempting him. Prompting him. Demanding some form of release.

His teeth grit.

“… You already have the contract.”

Mitsuki stiffens. She and Masaru share a glance, one so quick and fleeting that no one other than their own son would notice. His mother remains on the other side of the table, her arms folded over her chest and her stance as grim and polished as a marble statue.

“We considered signing a betrothal contract after you bit Izuku. When you were both just six years old.” Mitsuki locks onto him, steady. “Your father, Inko and I thought about it for a long time. We almost went through with it—hell, Inko probably still has that damn piece of paper. But, it would be void at this point, since you’ve already gone through with the marking.”

“We didn’t mate,” says Katsuki. His heart stalls and then leaps forward, stuttering and rampant. “He stopped me. I listened to him. But I wanted to,” he trails off, running one hand briskly through his hair. He breathes through his nostrils, mouth tightly closed. “I wanted to. His scent was reacting to mine and he wanted me too, and—fuck! I thought, I thought this shit was supposed to stop with the pills—”

“Katsuki,” Masaru begins, slowly lifting from his seat, “you’re panicking—”

“Shut up!” Katsuki snaps. “Shut the fuck up!”

You’re a monster.

EPBOD. The many therapists moving in a continuous cycle. Dr. Woźniak insisting he was anything but abnormal. The sleepless nights tossing in his bed and struggling to abate his ruts with Izuku Midoriya’s name on his lips. His anger reaching a new threshold through each session. His inevitable shaking and convulsions in his first weeks of adjusting to his medication—

It’s too much. It’s too much. It’s too much.

He glances between his parents and steps backward, his socks sliding over the carpet in the adjacent living room. He wants to turn and bolt out the door, or run up the stairs to his bedroom. He wants to avoid this situation and inflict his fists onto something that weren’t his parents’ faces.  

Mitsuki’s disappointed frown melts away in a millisecond. Masaru stands up, both adults heavily engrossed in the panic that erupts and takes over their son’s body. Katsuki growls and regards them with endless snarling and a clear air of hostility wafting from him in waves. He continues backing away, furiously rubbing at his eyes and nose.

And then, he’s pulled into his mother’s warmth.

Her arms enfold him, a barrier protecting him against his own thoughts, against the desperate memories that bubble up to the surface after so many years working on how to be rid of them. He stiffens in Mitsuki’s hold, yet being crushed against her like this, being close enough to inhale her alpha scent—vanilla, ground pepper and hydrangeas—makes his insides quiver and bumble.

Her nose is buried into his neck, her left hand grasping the back of his head and her tears, angry and hot and so very real, brushing by his cheek.

She holds him like it’s the last time she’ll ever be able to, her breathing labored and shaking like winter leaves.

Katsuki sinks his teeth into his tongue.

“We will get through this.”

Katsuki shakes, grasping onto what little sense he has left alongside his mother’s words. He feels Masaru’s warmth clouding over them both, smelling faintly of citrus and wood smoke, lingering like fog on their clothes and scent glands. He wrinkles his nose and instinctively crooks his neck against Mitsuki’s warming skin.

He stares straight ahead, tight as a rope, as Mitsuki brings her hands to his cheeks. She holds him close, and presses her forehead to his, her lips set in a firm line. He growls, yet resists the urge to move away from her and sprint to the door. His palms explode with sweat, his breath leaping in pace, though the sweet sensations of his father’s beta pheromones crowding around him and combating against his thoughts are enough to keep him frozen in place.

“You need to trust us, you brat,” says Mitsuki, her fingers combing along the hairs on the back of Katsuki’s neck. He groans and refrains from purring under the comforting touch, clenching his teeth unbearably tight. “I know you’re angry. You have a right, for once, to be frustrated with us, and yourself. But pushing us away and going through it on your own won’t solve anything.”

Katsuki refrains from cursing or pushing her away. He squirms under her hold, yet wishes to welcome it without struggle at the same time.

“Deku should be here,” he says, and instantly wants to rip out his own tongue.

Weakling.

“He’ll have to be present tomorrow,” says Masaru. His face is downcast, drifting over to his wife and son with a shade of pensiveness furrowing his brow. “Legally, we can’t wait more than forty-eight hours to have you both registered, which is why you need to be taken out of classes for a short period of time.”

Katsuki rolls his eyes, and peels himself out of his mother’s gasp. He stares between both parents, the alpha and beta adults eyeing him as if he’ll attempt to bolt out of the room at any given second. He bristles from head to toe, and inches closer to the staircase with one last narrowed glare from his father.

“You should rest, firecracker,” says Masaru with a soft smile.

Katsuki looks away with a huff, his skin prickling. “Whatever.”

He evades his mother even as she opens her mouth to address him, her fists balled up and eyes watering with another cascade of tears. Katsuki glowers and stomps up the stairs, hiding every impending growl behind his teeth and allowing his words to simmer on his tongue. He catches the fleeting wisps of Masaru’s beta scent, wrapping tenderly around his senses and caressing his amplified adrenaline.

He storms into his room, slamming the door shut behind him and ramming his elbow into the frame.

It rattles on impact beneath him, just barely muting out the sudden outrage he hears in his mother’s voice booming from downstairs,


 

 


 “Does it burn?”

Izuku stares straight into his mother’s face. Tearstains run dry on her cheeks, exhaustion forming shadows beneath her eyelids. Her voice is trembling, unhinged like a swaying branch, and it strikes Izuku’s chest like outstretched claws. He bunches his hands in the hem of his shirt, and skims his fingers over the glass of water Inko had rather painstakingly grabbed for him.

A last-second attempt to keep him from shutting himself off in his room while his urges were still prevalent and rich, strung up in a flurry with Katsuki Bakugou’s unbridled emotions.

“A little,” he says, quietly. “I don’t… know why—”

“Did you…?”

Inko bites her lip, tucking her hair behind her ear and staring at the coffee table separating them. The strange cloud of formality bridging mother and son feels so abnormal, so incredibly off-putting, and Izuku would much rather sprint miles and miles away from this complex than be forced to come to terms with his impulsive decisions.

“No. I stopped us before… before we could do that.”

His skin heats, his thoughts flickering back to the warmth of Katsuki’s breath over his lips, those lips pulled back to reveal a predatory, daring smirk, those hands viciously grabbing and holding each part of him with reckless want

“Izuku, what were you thinking?”

Izuku blinks, rubbing beneath his eyes to prevent the slightest traces of water from escaping. He straightens his back and slowly lifts his head to meet his mother’s livid gaze. Despite her tense frown and the way she clutches the ends of her skirt like a lifeline, her fury is as palpable as water sliding over his skin.

“Mom, I—”

“Do you have any idea what’s going to happen now? Do you know just how stupid of a choice you made? That mark, both of them, shouldn’t be on you! You’re so young…” Inko huffs and inhales shakily. Her eyebrows scrunch together, nose puckering. “None of this was supposed to happen. None of this should have—oh, Izuku, I should have… I should’ve known, even before your father…”

Izuku grits his teeth and breaks away from her watered stare.

“This isn’t Dad’s fault.”

“Your father—”

“Dad didn’t want to stay with us, yes. He didn’t want an omega son, I get that. It’s something we’ve understood for a long time. But, there’s no point in blaming Dad for this.”

Izuku wipes at his nose and stands up from the couch, brushing his sweaty hands over his legs. Something dark passes through him, unrecognizable and vicious as it sprouts through his senses and demands further attention.

“It’s not Dad’s fault that my biology lured Kacchan in… like—like he’s some animal.” Izuku shakes his head. “I can’t accept that Kacchan doesn’t have a choice now, that I’ve ruined this for him. I have both marks now, and I want to help him because I care about him and there’s nothing else left to do. My mark… this, flower, on my shoulder… I don’t know how to explain it, but it was almost like it was calling to Kacchan.”

Inko follows every move he makes, each step he uses to make his way from their front door to the crawlspace they refer to as their kitchen, though he refuses to look towards her when the tooth marks ingrained into his shoulder pulse with electric heat.

Then, his mother opens her mouth, as if to say the first thing that flashes in her mind. A second passes that feels far too long for Izuku’s liking, even as Inko closes her mouth and studies him, watches him, with a sudden intensity to her gaze that holds him in place in invisible shackles.

“Do you… Izuku, honey, do you have feelings for Katsuki?”

Izuku’s mind halts at the question. His mouth opens, every impending motion he was about to commit suddenly freezing in place. He stares at his mother’s expectant, yet sympathetic, gaze, as if she had known this conversation was going to take place in their home. Perhaps under different circumstances, nevertheless about the same subject. About the same person.

Me? Have feelings for… for Kacchan?

Katsuki was the one to kiss him first, to ask to see his mark. He’d pressed against him, moaned into him and growled like a hungry animal, his name slipping through those sharp canines without restraint. He’d wondered, in those fleeting moments of being encompassed in soothing, territorial warmth, if he would ever blink out of his stupor and stop the both of them before they went too far.

But that was instinctive. An alpha and omega thrust into the same vicinity, their hearts and stomachs exploding in butterflies and their mutual physical desires cloaking the air. Izuku’s throat dries at the memory, of noticing little individual things about the Katsuki he’d known for so long, and yet for so little. The years that spread them apart felt ghostly; alien, almost.

“It’s okay, Izuku.”

Inko’s hands are clasped together, her smile weak and defeated.

Izuku cards one hand through his hair, his nostrils flaring. His heart paces relentlessly at those vicious images and thoughts, and all he wants at this moment is to run to Katsuki and apologize for what he had instigated in the park where they grew up. Those bruised hands coasting along his bare skin, igniting gooseflesh both above and beneath senses he’d never come to recognize until that moment…

“I don’t know,” he whispers, brow furrowing. “I—wouldn’t that… Kacchan—we both, um, we reacted instinctively. I think. An alpha and an omega. Right?”

Inko tilts her head to the side, scrutinizing him. Her desperation has fizzled away for something more favorably compliant, as far as Izuku can tell from observing her. Her calming pheromones are thick and sugary sweet, threading over his nose and slipping through his muscles like invisible, coaxing hands.

“He said he was angry. That, he couldn’t stop thinking about… me, for all those years he was getting treatment. Seven whole years, and, he sounded so angry but… I don’t know. It was different. But, I’m not sure if it was because of our biology, or—or if Kacchan may have actually meant it…”

He swallows, pushing back the threatening need to expel increasing emotion building behind his eyelids. He will pull back his tears; crying was the last thing he wanted to commit to when, even now, it would solve absolutely nothing. The thought of Katsuki developing romantic feelings for him borders on the line of inconceivable, yet the way he was drawn to him despite the two marks engraved into his skin make him want to believe that something else is there.

But is that the same thing?

“I’m not asking about Katsuki.” Inko keeps her distance, thoughtful. “Izuku. There is nothing to be ashamed about, if you do have feelings for him. Only so much of that can be formed out of instinct. And, as you’re both committed to one another now, it would be easier for you to develop those feelings earlier than later.”

She sniffs, holding back a chorus of sobs and hiccups.

“You’re—Izuku, you’re my baby. My only child. You’re my world, and to think that I failed you, or could have failed you like this, is unbearable to me. But, this is your contract, now. You and Katsuki are legally bound, now, and aside from the Bakugous and I arranging your marriage certificate and having you approved through the court, what happens now is up to you both.”

Izuku wipes at his nose, breathing shakily. He wants to lend her his care, his time that would guarantee his mother some peace. He wants to let her borrow his entire self so that she would end with dried tears and hopeful smiles. He wishes he could take everything back, that he could somehow change his biological components and save Katsuki from that fateful moment when they were children that caused the imprinting to take place.

“How did he imprint on me?” Izuku asks, cautious.

Inko’s eyelashes flutter, though she hums and closes her lips in thought. She coasts across the carpet, her movements sluggish and detached, yet her hands are soft and tender as they brush through his hair and down his left cheek.

“Imprinting is a very rare occurrence, even more so in the last twenty years since omegas are getting more and more uncommon.” She steadies herself with a quick clearing of her throat, her sleeve drenched with water. “It’s not a physical action. It’s caused by a steady increase in pheromones, and is usually only prevalent in genders who have already presented. It was part of why we were so concerned when you had an imprint mark so young, and that Katsuki was most likely the cause.”

Izuku subconsciously rests a hand over the mark in question. It feels heavier with each word his mother says, as if her syllables are folded in metal and stone.

“Is it because of his condition? That he could do it?”

Inko hesitates, drawing her hand back. “I’m not at liberty to say. I didn’t—even Mitsuki and Masaru aren’t exactly sure about the extent of what Katsuki had gone through in the facility they chose. They did receive letters from a therapist who remained with him for two years until his graduation from the program.”

Izuku’s eyes widen at this. Someone had been able to communicate with Katsuki and actually earn his respect, to an extent that lasted two years. His chest sparkles with mirth at the thought, wondering if Katsuki would be able to relent those details if he ever wished to talk about his experiences with Izuku when they had the time—

He bites his tongue.

Married.

As soon as possible, as required by law, they would be sitting across from a counselor, both just a few years beneath the normal age of contract exchange and signing between alphas and their chosen mates. Their names would be dashed across the certificates, bonds applied to their names, and negotiations shifted to pinpoint where they would be living. Together.

It was hardly glamorous, and Izuku had never believed he was going to end up mated to anyone. He’d considered the longing looks he’d granted Katsuki on more than one occasion when they were children, always hoping to impress the other while the blond effortlessly coasted about with his strength and intelligence. Katsuki walked on hot coals and challenged them all the same, while Izuku danced around glass shards and observed the situation from afar with countless solutions.

The possibilities of them being bonded now, instinctively and legally, shocks Izuku’s system with each second that passes.

Whether Katsuki’s declaration at the park of wanting Izuku had stemmed from his instincts or emotions or both, Izuku had expected little to transpire from those spare moments. He never perceived Katsuki to initiate such intimacy, even when Izuku had vocally granted him permission—no, no, he’d demanded it—to mark him officially. To seal the unspoken agreement between them that had lingered like an addictive cloud since they were toddlers.

And in the last few moments, those precious seconds with Katsuki’s fingers threatening to dip below the waistline of his pants, Izuku had stopped him. He’d snapped both of them out of their hypnotic motions, and resisted drowning in those breathtaking mahogany eyes with what little self-control he could muster.

Katsuki had never looked more furious.

Izuku bites his lip. Guilt seeps into him. It would have been ludicrous for them to be even more reckless and go to those lengths, especially in public, and with little protection offered to them.

His rejection hurt Katsuki.

He felt it even after they returned to the Bakugou household, and it only dissipated when he’d engaged in a screaming battle with his mother who immediately noticed Izuku’s enhanced scent.

“I think…” Izuku considers, waving his arms about as he attempts to figure out exactly what he wants to say. “I think, I should call Kacchan. And talk to him.”

Inko watches him closely. “Izuku—”

“I won’t sneak out, or anything.”

He bites his lip. Truthfully, it would be incredibly easy to do just that, especially since the Bakugous lived so close and he would rather have this conversation in person, yet the paranoid thought that both of their pheromones could react makes him hesitate. He smiles crookedly at his mother, and hopes she reads his uncertainty as easily as he feels it.

“I guess, it would be a good thing for you to talk.” Inko dips her head, sighing. “Okay. I’ll leave you alone. But, this conversation will continue tomorrow before we meet the Bakugous at the city hall.”

Izuku’s palms burst with sweat. He can hardly picture what the commotion will be like in the city hall when he and Katsuki will surely be the youngest partners registering their mark certificates. The many steps required for marriage between an alpha and their mate seems all the more daunting with the fact that it will surely become a reality.

It already is, he muses.

“Thanks Mom.”

He smiles thankfully before retreating to his room. The door shuts tightly behind him, a welcome echo of silence draping throughout his room and sweeping over his body. He relishes the sensation and walks cautiously over to his bed, fumbling with his clothes along the way. By the time he hits the bedsheets, he’s donned in an All-Might-branded T-shirt and a pair of shorts.

Being separated from the commotion outside his bedroom door, the impending doubts, worries and frightful concerns that will surely devour him the next morning, is nothing short of blissful. Izuku hums and smiles to himself in the quiet, folding his arms behind his head and releasing a long, steady breath.

Just be calm, through all of this. You already know it’s complicated.

Hopefully Katsuki will be willing to answer his phone.

Izuku takes out the device, flipping it open and calmly pressing in the required numbers. Within seconds, he has it pressed to his ear, staring up at the poster strung across his ceiling with All-Might’s blinding smile in place.

Izuku’s heart slams into his ribs, recognizing the fading of the buzzing noise on the other end of the line. He waits, patiently, as the silence fumbles through static, and becomes broken with the sound of something—or someone—landing on a stable structure. Izuku bites back a smile and wonders if Katsuki is in the same position he’s in.

“… Hello? Kacchan?”

Another rustle. He hums patiently, and suppresses the subtle stirring of heat in his chest.

“’Bout time you called, Deku.”

Izuku sighs, his guilty smile unseen.

“I’m sorry, Kacchan. I just, wanted to see if you were okay. After, all of that. And, I wanted to say that I was sorry, and… other things, of course, but, we don’t have to talk about that now. I mean, tomorrow things are going to be so different, and I’m not sure how we should go about it? I mean, all of this is a little crazy, right? We’re about to be…” he pauses, testing the waters, “married? I mean, tomorrow we’ll be registered, I’m guessing, since we’re legally marked, and…”

Shit, Deku. Shut up. Don’t have to sound so fucking disappointed.”

Izuku pauses in his rambling. His heart stills as his mind records and dissects each word that Katsuki whispers, so deep and husky even over the phone. Hearing it like this, pressed to his ear, feels like a false imitation of what he knew Katsuki sounded like when his mouth curved over his ear, teeth sharp and tongue searching.

“I’m not…” Izuku frowns. “I’m not disappointed.”

Sure, whatever.

Panic seizes Izuku’s heart. He leans up in his bed, brow furrowed and focused. “Kacchan, no, it’s not what you think at all! Why would I—no, of course I’m not disappointed! With everything that happened, I don’t—”

So you’re saying you don’t regret it? That you don’t want to erase that mark I gave you?

Izuku slowly shakes his head. “No, Kacchan, don’t say that. It’s not like that at all.” He needs to hold his tongue and think of a better response, one that properly communicated what he wanted to say to Katsuki. He can picture the blond on the other end of the line, huffing and containing his rage with little restraint left in his system.

It’s a relief for Izuku, that Katsuki hasn’t bothered hanging up on the call. Minutes pass, the freckled omega sitting in festering silence and struggling to keep his blood pressure in check.

When Katsuki’s voice returns, he nearly bolts off of his bed in shock.

You rejected me, Deku.

Izuku’s heart tightens. He immediately wants to punch himself in the face for being the one responsible for the poorly hidden pain and anger slipping like poison through the other male’s voice. He needs to listen to Katsuki and talk to him, but the fact that the other male is clearly angry with him, still so hurt over what transpired, throttles his organs and chills them to ice.

“I didn’t want us to regret it,” whispers Izuku. “And, Kacchan, it was a public place, and we couldn’t have even if we wanted to. There was… you deserve better than that!”

You deserve better than me.

Katsuki hums audibly, a rather rare expression from the alpha.

Didn’t know you were still a coward, Deku. Don’t lie to me.” His growl seeps through Izuku’s phone and snakes into his eardrums. “Just admit you don’t fucking want me. Not like we have a choice, now. I can’t change how I feel, and now you have both my marks. Fuck, we’re getting registered tomorrow, you piece of shit!”

Izuku clamps his jaw shut. He can feel Katsuki’s control breaking.

Then, his eyes widen.

“Wait, Kacchan—”

“What, you can’t shut the fuck up for one fucking minute—”

“What do you mean you can’t change how you feel?”

The quiet that stretches out between them rumbles like thunder. Izuku inhales, tempted to ask another question, anything to disrupt this awful silence. He keeps the phone close to him, and wonders if he’d heard correctly. His skin is hot and his eyes are prickling with water, responding to something he’d never considered in the past.

His right hand crawls up to his shirt, bunching up the cloth in a fierce grip. His breaths are shallow and distant, longing for stable ground. He hears Katsuki’s frustrated growls returning, shattering the discomfort Izuku felt swirl up inside him like a fiery hurricane.

Izuku straightens. “Kacchan?”

“Fuck, Deku. I—did you hear anything I said?”

Izuku nods. “Yes, Kacchan. I did. And, it meant…”

It meant a lot to me.

It was euphoric, almost, for him to hear Katsuki praising him in the midst of their heated interactions. It was enthralling, to understand the weight of his presence in Katsuki’s life, that he’d been lingering on the blond’s mind for years and years.

It was aggravating and painful as well, to doubt that any of those thoughts and emotions could have possibly been linked to something aside from their instincts and biological components.

The alpha and omega blood within them would constantly be at war for varying reasons, and Izuku knows this more than Katsuki seems to understand.

“I just, don’t want to keep you linked to me because of our instincts, Kacchan!”

Izuku holds his breath, wiping sweat from his forehead.

“None of this was your fault. It’s because of my pheromones when we were kids that you reacted to me and imprinted, and—I’m sorry. I’m so… Kacchan, I’m s-so sorry.” His hand trembles around the phone, quaking and desperate. “I care about you so much, Kacchan. I just don’t want you to suffer with someone like me. You could have anyone you want, a-and it’s not fair for you to be stuck with me of all people. I’m just weak, and, an omega—”

“Deku, if you don’t shut the hell up, I’m coming over there and decking you across the motherfucking face. What the ever-loving fuck, you stupid, shitty moron—”

“I-I know! I am! I’m sorry!”

Izuku’s tears and ugly sniffles are impossible to keep hidden now. He’s wrecking himself from the inside out, closed off in his bedroom and wailing about his problems to an alpha on the other side of the line who’s probably tempted to hang up this very moment. This thought alone only frustrates Izuku more.

“I’m not gonna say jack until you stop crying, shitty Deku.”

Katsuki’s voice sounds tired. Weary. Like silk dragged over pebbles.

Izuku sniffs, and nods his head, as if Katsuki can somehow see him. He allows his tears to drown out the silence of his room, and water to stain his cheeks in awkward patterns. He stiffens, drained beyond relief, and tentatively rubs his eyelids to be rid of the distracting wetness lingering behind his exhausted facial muscles.

“Done?”

Katsuki’s tone is stronger. Sturdier. Reeking with natural strength and vigor so traditional of the alpha stereotype. Izuku almost laughs dryly at the realization, and calmly wipes at his nose.

“Y-Yes. Sorry.”

“Good. Shit. That’s been annoying since we were kids. Thought at least you’d get out of that dumbass habit after I left the program.”

Izuku snorts. A cloud of understanding and gentleness enraptures his soul and propels him to another plane of reality, one he would very much like to stay in while in this conversation with his childhood friend. A friend whom he adores more than himself.

“Well I thought you’d stop cursing, yet here we are.”

“The shit? You were just bitching and crying a minute ago! The fuck’s this sass coming from?”

Izuku chuckles. He can picture Katsuki staring up at his own bedroom ceiling, his jaw stubbornly set yet his lips twitching into the faintest smile. He recognizes the other male’s voice and inflexions so well, even after all these years. He detects the slightest notes, the most considerable changes worth recognizing, and he wonders, for a fleeting moment, if Katsuki is wondering the same thing.

“I learned from the best,” says Izuku.

“Damn right I’m the best,” says Katsuki, lower now. Huskier.

His vocal tone slithers down Izuku’s spine like a crackle of embers. He stills, his toes slightly curling in remembering where that voice had traveled, so close to his skin, with lips soft and expectant pressed to his nose and coasting around his collarbone.

“Y-Yeah. You are.” Izuku’s free, sweaty hand grasps the bed sheets. “And, um. We…”

He hesitates.

“We marked, but, you kissed me. In the park. And said those things.” Izuku dips his head, as if considering the scientific backbone to his own words. His jaw slowly drops, a subtle possible understanding returning to his senses. With the lack of response on the other side of the line, he wonders if he’s finally rendered Katsuki speechless in some way.

“Yeah? What, did that just fucking occur to you?” Katsuki snorts. “We almost had sex, Deku. I wanted to mate with you, and you stopped me. You asked me to mark you, and kissed me back.”

The bluntness is akin to a rocket slamming into Izuku’s gut.

He swallows, dry.

“Yeah. You’re right.”

Do you have feelings for Katsuki?

He grumbles and drags one hand down his face. The tension in his chest begs for that question to be answered, for some sort of revelation to occur in this conversation.

He wants to ask Katsuki directly how he feels. Even so, with his actions alone, Izuku has seen enough to deduce his own conclusion. The logical parts of his mind piece together the possibility that emotions outside of their instincts are certainly there, yet…

Why would Katsuki Bakugou want Izuku Midoriya?

“Fuck, Deku.”

Izuku blinks, his knuckles turning white around the phone next to his ear. Was Katsuki reconsidering his words? Was he about to take everything back and break off their friendship for good? Was there a way for them to somehow turn back from this without the law sealing their contracts and forcing them to remain together until they were old enough to consider mark-separation, bond-severing, or even divorce?

He opens his mouth, trembling, hoping that he doesn’t sound desperate in his need to beg Katsuki to be patient with him, to somehow let them both understand these strange emotions hurling them back and forth across this mental battlefield—

“I want to see you.”

Izuku’s panic quickly swan-dives into the pit of his stomach.

He blinks and gawks dumbly, heat rising to his cheeks and blossoming below his freckles.

“I…”

He hesitates, yet his answer is clear, threaded tentatively through the air and begging for a place to reside. He wants to understand the same way Katsuki does, or at least have a chance to address what’s happening—whatever this is—while facing him directly.

“Okay.”

Izuku grins despite himself, excitement bubbling up in his chest. He immediately jumps off his bed, tearing through his closet and pulling out worn sweatshirt and hiking on a pair of jeans. He hesitates, the phone balanced between his cheek and shoulder. “Hold on, Kacchan, I have to put the phone down for a second. I need to change shirts.”

Katsuki’s spluttering on the other end goes unnoticed as Izuku switches out his shirt for the dark gray sweatshirt. He pulls it over, frowning at the noticeably smaller, slimmer fit, yet shrugs off his brief moment of concern to yank on a mismatched pair of socks. He grabs the phone and smiles into it, his energy suddenly boundless, teetering on the edge of seeing the alpha.

“Did you just strip?”

Ignoring the fact that Katsuki sounds as if he’s just recovered from a less-than-manly squeak, Izuku frowns. “Ah—well, I was just in my boxers and shirt anyway when I called you—”

“W-What the fuck, Deku? Just, shut the hell up! Do you have any sense of modesty?”

“Eh? Kacchan, we’ve seen each other like that loads of times—”

“When we were fucking five years old, dipshit! I was literally dry-humping you in a park like three fucking hours ago and you tell me that shit?”

Izuku squeaks, positively mortified.

“I—Kacchan—”

“Wait, are you actually coming over here?”

Izuku splutters, rolling his eyes as he pulls on one sneaker. “Yeah. Fully clothed.”

“Fuck—hm. Shit. Is your mom awake?”

Izuku looks at his bedroom door. “She’ll be going to bed soon, pretty sure. I’ll just sneak out my window like normal. Like our sleepovers when we were little.”

“Fuck yes.”

Izuku’s smile is broad and unrelenting.

He hears Katsuki’s vindictive smirk, as if the satisfaction and eagerness wafting from the other blond is even easier to sense over the phone.

“See you soon, Kacchan.”

He closes his phone, and slips it into his pocket.


 

 

 


The fact that Mitsuki Bakugou and Inko Midoriya had never officially caught Izuku and Katsuki breaking into each other’s rooms and crawling through the windows is a bit shocking to them both. As teenagers, it seems equally ridiculous that Izuku would go to such lengths in order to see his friend—mate, soon-to-be husband—yet, for the moment, he cannot bring himself to care.

Wind whips through his sweatshirt sleeves and casts his hood about. He frowns in concentration, crouching beside the windowsill with the drawstrings flying like threaded noodles. He stretches out his legs, slowly creeps his head around the corner, and smiles at the sight of Katsuki lying flat on his back, thumbs twiddling and his ever-present scowl turning his lips.

Izuku taps on the window, grinning bashfully.

Katsuki sits up, glances once at his door, and calmly moves to unlock the barricades around his windowsill. His fingers fumble around the locks, and once the glass shifts open and Izuku is allowed entryway into the warm expanse of Katsuki’s room, the fact of the matter slams into him like a raging bull.

He stares, inches away from Katsuki’s face, absorbing each and every detail that forms the jagged smooth lines to his features. He resists the urge to reach out and stroke that powerful jaw and trace lines with his thumb under the shadows of his eyes. Katsuki’s frown remains, his gaze insistent, scrutinizing as he assesses Izuku’s windswept form.

Then, he takes his elbow, and yanks him.

Izuku squeaks, stumbling over and falling unceremoniously onto Katsuki’s bed. The blond huffs and shuts the window, firmly locking the glass in place and retreating to his position on the other end, crossing his legs. His scowl is firm and bears down on Izuku’s form, even as the freckled omega rolls his eyes and straightens his spine.

He raises an eyebrow. “You didn’t have to literally pull me inside, Kacchan.”

Katsuki snorts. “Whatever. You were taking too long.” He pauses, and in this moment Izuku is able to address the fluffy dryness to Katsuki’s hair, as if he’d just stepped out of the shower and fiercely blow-dried it at the same time.

He’s wearing a loose crew-neck shirt, dark black and worn at the seams. His sweatpants are more form-fitting and distracting than Izuku would prefer, with the material contouring quite easily to his powerful thigh muscles from his awkward angle across the length of the bed.

Oh.

He’s on Katsuki’s bed.

I’m on Kacchan’s bed.

He’s in Katsuki’s room.

I’m in Kacchan’s room.

“You ran here in jeans?”

Izuku snaps out of his trail of thinking, his smile awkward and wobbly.

“Um, well, yeah—”

Then, Katsuki leans forward, sniffing curiously. His eyebrows are pinched together, nose scrunched up as he drags his prodding mouth and nostrils over Izuku’s sleeves.

“Kacchan?” Izuku backs away, flustered. “I—um, should have… probably showered, before coming here…”

Katsuki’s eyes flick up to him, his smirk positively dangerous.

“You have something to hide, Deku?”

Izuku blinks at the implication. Then, Katsuki is closer, much closer, scooting up towards him with his crossed legs and knees bumping against his. The omega gulps, yet the need to combat against Katsuki’s alpha fire makes heat pool in his gut and stream through his leg and arm muscles, rendering him almost completely still.

“Maybe I do,” says Izuku.

Katsuki’s pupils dilate at this.

“I don’t… know, about my feelings, completely, Kacchan.” Izuku turns away from the other’s fierce stare, hoping that he can gather whatever else in his mind that allows him to concentrate. “But I do know that I want you to be happy. That I want to have your mark, but only if you want to give it to me in return.”

Katsuki growls lowly, assessing his words.

“I…” Izuku hesitates.

When he looks at Katsuki, he sees countless flaws and aspirations and dreams. He witnesses colors both bold and faint. He smells his own omega scent of cinnamon, cloves, apples and pine intertwining with Katsuki’s natural musk—rain-trodden grass, black pepper, lavender—and wants to see what they would be when intermingled. He envisions a possible light at the end of this dark, winding tunnel, filled with constant cornerstones and mishaps.

When he looks at Katsuki, he sees the most important person in his life. Someone he desires in ways he can label as only indescribable.

It’s unfamiliar. Frightening, even. But it calls to him all the same, to the wolf within the omega that begs to be recognized by an equal man of strength and emotion.

Izuku’s hands tenderly cup Katsuki’s jaw.

The blond’s straight-lined mouth curves into a scowl, his throat rumbling with a pleased purr. He leans into Izuku’s space, searching for the mark, yet Izuku keeps him pushed away with surprising strength. Katsuki’s brow furrows at this, displeased and snarling with a teasing flash of sharp teeth.

Izuku draws in a long breath. Katsuki’s hand snakes behind him and pulls the hood from over his head, unleashing the crown of wild, messy curls. Heat drifts between them, their scents building in intensity, swarming each other’s minds and grasping ahold of their eager instincts.

Izuku blinks through the haze, and runs one thumb over the alpha’s lips. Katsuki shudders, every powerful muscle in his body coiling and uncoiling at the slightest touch of Izuku’s skin.

Katsuki Bakugou has always been handsome.

Though seeing him now, patient, expectant, waiting for the omega to make a move of some kind, ignites something intense and powerful within Izuku. His legs tremble and fall to the bed beneath him. Katsuki eagerly enters the space between his legs, his hands falling on both sides of Izuku’s waist and hips.

“Stop torturing me, Deku,” growls Katsuki. It’s a threat, stable and barely on the edge of sanity. Izuku reads it, feels it, as easily as drinking water from a glass.

This is what he wants.

And so, he will take it.

He will give Katsuki what he can.

Izuku smiles—soft, strong, understanding, real—and presses his lips to Katsuki’s.

Chapter Text

Izuku’s lips are blustered with cold and sizzle with heat as soon as they connect with his.

Katsuki’s blood simmers at the touch, a growl rumbling in his chest as the other boy’s mouth forms a coherent pattern of movements, his head tilted as he allows himself to be the first to break the first barrier.

He feels the tension and tentativeness, doubtless even now, slither between them.

The tremors shaking Katsuki’s legs as they unfurl and cage Izuku’s body against the headboard of his bed, remind him that Izuku is not the only one nervous. He knows it, loud and clear, as obvious as leaves turning red and brown in autumn and snow falling in winter.

The hesitation, the apprehension, the imminent freefalling dip and rise in high arcs and valleys, cascading through Katsuki’s own senses as he drinks up Izuku’s emotions like liquefied sugar.

His muscles coil up and his body turns rigid, his tongue slipping through Izuku’s mouth and coasting where he pleases.

He resists panting, begging, for Izuku to move faster.

Slow. Slow. Slow.

He’s been waiting for this for too long.

The Izuku in his dreams, from years behind walls where he believed he could never experience the real thing—soft, lush curls, apple-tinted cheeks and freckles like stars in the night sky, a smile so tender and stable, a laugh so imperfect and sterling, skin hot with blossoming fire—would never compare to the sensations of allowing his fingertips to graze Izuku’s neck and his hot breath to wash over the other’s face.

He blinks through the darkness, and growls into the kiss.

His hands bunch ferociously into the sheets.

He can smell it—the flourishing of Izuku’s heat returning, reacting to the male who’s marked him and claimed him as his own.

Yet, Izuku is reaching for him too, his arms wrapping around Katsuki’s neck and pulling him closer, a purr rising and throttling the omega’s chest. Katsuki moans at the sound and smiles sharply in barely contained glee as Izuku presses their bodies flush together.

He shudders, instantly aware of the rapidly beating heart underneath those layers of cloth and skin. He inches closer to Izuku, his hands trailing down Izuku’s arms; marveling, memorizing each detail, each angle and dip that reminds him of when they were children—so lean and strong and toned, the mark of athleticism he hadn’t been able to witness while separated from the boy he’d marked.

Izuku.

He buries his nose into the juncture between Izuku’s neck and shoulder, muffled by the fabric of the other’s sweatshirt. He snarls and inhales the intoxicating aroma of his omega in heat, the calming scents of cinnamon and cloves flooding his nostrils.

An electric current races down his spine, Izuku’s hands running beneath his shirt, trailing experimentally over his abdominals. He purrs in pleasure and nuzzles into the omega’s neck, sinking his teeth and placing his mouth onto the supple flesh. He growls, his back arching as he bites, sucks, and altogether inhales the rush of Izuku’s euphoric scent ramming into his mind.

Fuck,” he drawls, drunk on Izuku. Izuku. Izuku.

Izuku groans and responds with an eager stroking over Katsuki’s stomach, fascinated with each curve of his ribs and the prominent juncture of his hip bones. Katsuki’s muscles flex under the other’s calloused touch.

He growls and breathes warmth onto Izuku’s neck, biting and dragging his tongue over the fresh spots marked with his growing alpha fangs. The other male shudders, a faint curve to his smile, responding with his hands lowering to the hem of the blond’s shirt. Katsuki crushes Izuku closer to him, absorbed in riddling Izuku’s partially exposed neck with his marks, frustrated at being blocked from the rest of his body with the hoodie in his path.

Izuku’s hands play with the hem, his whisper urgent, very near the edge of a growl that sends a shock of arousal through Katsuki.

Can—can I?”

Katsuki launches backward, yanks off his shirt, tosses it to the carpet, and grabs Izuku’s ankles. The omega blinks, perplexed, as Katsuki yanks him underneath him, having the omega splayed out across his sheets. He stares up into Katsuki’s eyes, throat tense and dressed in the alpha’s bruising bites and kisses, eyebrows furrowed in speculation, in awe, as his lips part and a tongue reaches out and draws across his lips.

His irises glisten under the spill of moonlight melting through the glass of the windowsill—twin oceans of moss and spring rain scanning Katsuki’s exposed upper body from head to toe.

The alpha shakes with resistance, lips curling back to reveal his canines, sharp and ready to mark and continue the pattern he’d started before.

Those eyes—so expressive and so green and so very Izuku—have always rendered Katsuki breathless. As children, they challenged each other to the end of one point and back, lost in the contests, in the promise of being around for just a little longer, for a moment where they could memorize each other’s presence over and over again.

“Kacchan,” whispers Izuku, his eyebrows lifted to his hairline and his mouth opened in an O, his hand reaching up and tracing the underside of Katsuki’s jaw.

The alpha bites back a long, pained whimper at the touch, craving far more than just the omega’s hands testing out his skin.

“You’re beautiful.”

Katsuki stills, frozen in time.

Heat rushes through his entire body, rattling his organs, fluttering around his heart and squeezing his lungs like an enclosed cave. He feels the rise in his blood and the startled realization blooming along his cheeks, tinting his skin a few shades darker.

He knows this feeling, this sudden onslaught of embarrassment and relief.

His ego had always felt empty, bolstered with his own compliments and insisting that he was too good for treatment, too good for medication, too good for an omega he’d begrudgingly fallen hopelessly in love with.

And Izuku—his stupid, insufferable, intelligent, wild, idiotic, imperfect Izuku Midoriya—has never looked at him like this.

He draws in each stumble in Katsuki’s breath, each swollen mark on his neck, and gazes so intensely, so meaningfully, that every remark Katsuki wishes to make and each instinctive move he wants to enact subside for the sake of the omega’s silent words.

Izuku turns his head, and buries his face into Izuku’s hand, inhaling his scent. His eyes never leave Izuku’s, red as wine and dark as aged oak.

The omega’s pupils blow wide and dark. He shifts, a growl tumbling through his lips and his mouth curling in response. Katsuki quakes at this, not expecting to feel Izuku’s strength as well as his own, to see the equal desire in those eyes and movements as fervently as his own need to mark and claim and mate.

Izuku’s touch both thrills and tortures him.

His self-control screams in his mind to yank off the marked male’s clothing and revel in his scent and slam himself deep and hard and raw into Izuku. His nose flares out, his tongue watering as cinnamon, sweet apples and cloves intermingle and dance over his skin, soothing his senses and clearing out each doubt and flicker of anger in his mind.

Izuku’s hand grazes the hairs on the nape of his neck.

Katsuki bites back a harsh, warning snarl as the omega pulls him downwards, determination flashing in the other male’s eyes. Izuku moans, his heat prominent and real, returning and melding with a scent that the blond recognizes to be one thing and one thing only.

Izuku tilts his head, breathing into the alpha’s ear, his teeth latching onto his earlobe.

“I want you, Katsuki.”

And just like that, Katsuki crumbles.

They undress each other in a whirlwind of crashing lips, nipping teeth and sweltering skin. Katsuki yanks off Izuku’s sweatshirt, cursing the piece of cloth and drawstrings as if it personally insulted him, and rushes to the waistband of Izuku’s jeans. The omega’s hands stiffen on his biceps, cautious yet eager, and he smiles at him once to allow him permission. Katsuki smirks, and wriggles off the pair of jeans, balling it up and shoving it onto the carpet.

Katsuki pauses to admire his work, the territorial satisfaction at the bite marks, swollen bruises from his own mouth and the claim he’d placed on Izuku’s imprint tattoo send another spike of heat through his gut. He moans, fire pooling in his lower stomach, aching and earnest. He lurches forward and smashes his mouth onto Izuku’s, who reciprocates just as fiercely, his body flexible and strong and stable beneath the alpha’s girth.

He had known since they were young, that Izuku would grow up determined. That he would be strong, and refuse to fall back to what his gender decided for him. He had known before even Izuku would, and had known the moment he’d come to terms with each explicit dream, with each memory of their childhood he’d longed for and hated in ways he never understood.

Izuku seeks his strength, and offers his own in return.

Katsuki’s teeth trail from Izuku’s lips to his chest, peppering the expanse of freckled, smooth skin with kisses and the occasional bite. He snickers at Izuku’s groans and scattered glares, as if indecisive on whether he wants to be completely covered head to toe in the possessive alpha’s marks.

Though, the way his eyelashes flutter and his hands ball into the sheets tell Katsuki that each and every thing he is doing must be something good.

Izuku’s knees are bunched up, his toned legs caging Katsuki’s head. His teeth fumble with the waistband of the other’s boxers, the material just the least bit offensive—the soft cotton conceals too much even now. He is barely able to suppress a single, longing touch, as he searches and, instinctively, allows his hands to reach up and grip Izuku’s hips.

The omega gasps, staring over towards him with blackened irises flooded with lust and confusion, eyebrows pursed together and nose scrunching up.

“Relax,” purrs Katsuki, his chest heaving. Ready. Desperate. “Gonna make you feel so good, Izuku,” he whispers, the name sounding like pure sin and silk rolling off his tongue.

His senses become overwhelmed with Izuku’s heat once more, a heavy wave of floral and pine scents slashing through his mind’s eye. He smirks arrogantly. Izuku shudders, unbelieving, hesitant once more, though Katsuki soothes him with a slow, experimental kiss on his right leg. His right hand draws back and bunches the cloth of the other’s boxers, thumb coasting over the soft flesh of his inner thigh.

His jaw hangs open, eyes wide and fascinated, his touch igniting a fresh stream of goosebumps on the omega’s skin.

His smirk curves a dark line over his mouth, dangerous and sleek.

Fuck.

“Gonna eat you up,” he murmurs.

He catches Izuku’s eyes, the omega leaning up on his elbows, studying him and reveling in the sight. Katsuki growls and lowers the garment, an instant rush of adrenaline coursing viciously through his system at the sight before him, flushed with heat and slick pooling along Izuku’s thighs in unison.

Driven by the instinctive, terrifying, need to please the both of them, he engulfs the omega in his mouth, his fingers delving into the flesh of Izuku’s hips. His nails break through skin.

He rocks back and forth, sucking, pulling, teeth daringly sliding over supple skin and tongue tracing new patterns and curves under this space that only he can see.

The thought of another person daring to even attempt, to even think, of seeing Izuku like this, makes Katsuki snarl and move faster, relentless and angry and primal.

“K-Katsuki, y-you—fuck—”

The omega shakes, his teeth biting back heavy moans and one hand clapping over his mouth.

Katsuki pauses, smirking and pulling back with an obscene pop. His spine tingles with the sight of his Izuku red and wanting, struggling to keep his balance leaning up and the shyest curse words slipping through clenched teeth and wobbling lips. He pushes forward, tracing his closed jaw and crooked grin up the other’s chest, until he rests on Izuku’s cheek. He presses his lips to the corner of Izuku’s mouth, growling lowly as if thunder clouds his chest.

“What’s the matter, Deku?” He grins as Izuku stiffens. “Can’t handle it—”

In a flash, Izuku’s legs clench around Katsuki’s waist, and Katsuki finds himself with his back flat onto the sheets, his omega perched on top of him with his elbows on either side of his face. Izuku’s clenched jaw and wide, hypnotized green eyes are now focused entirely on Katsuki, and the blond snarls and immediately attempts to sit back up.

Izuku leans down and clamps his teeth onto Katsuki’s neck. He lingers there, his body arching in a perfect bow and muscles coiling taut and visible in the freckled, milky stretch of his back.

The alpha shudders, rendered completely gobsmacked once more. His right hand is powerfully gripping Izuku’s left bicep, threatening and daring. His nails pierce through skin, his frustrated moans and growls melding into one as their scents intermingle. He feels Izuku’s slick close in around his sweats, skin growing hotter by the second.

Then, Izuku speaks, dripping with lust and an emotion Katsuki has never heard from the other boy’s mouth, and it sounds so unlike him yet so incredibly Deku that he can scarcely believe it.

Breathing against his hear, he whispers: “You’re not getting away with that, Kacchan.”

Oh, fuck.

Katsuki grins wickedly in response, anticipation building inside him, his competitive urges rushing to the surface as he feels Izuku’s mouth on him, searching and marking as he pleases. He lets out a gasp, teeth grinding impossibly hard as Izuku’s hand glides over his crotch.

“Fuck, Deku, stop fucking torturing me—”

Izuku pulls off his sweats easily, briskly, as if he’d never given it a second thought. He straddles Katsuki’s waist, and firmly slides himself over the other. His position screams innocence, determination shining bright and bold in those green eyes, and Katsuki finds himself lost in them once more. He locks onto Izuku’s gaze, the omega breathing shakily and adjusting to find the source that his heat and slick are reacting to.

Katsuki’s length finds Izuku easily, and the swell of the other’s naked rear enclosing over him sends his mind into blinding white euphoria. He heaves and pants, jaw hanging loose and his moans eager with want. His grip intensifies on Izuku’s arm, his neck straining with what little impulse he can muster in this state of mind.

Izuku carefully slips back the waistband of Katsuki’s boxers, and the sensation of his marked omega’s heat and slick fully coming into his own aching length makes Katsuki’s bones quake and his heart squeeze through his ribcage. He pants, wolfish and gnarly, snapping his teeth and shaking and bucking his hips against Izuku.

Izuku strains, leaning forward once more, his strong test, rounded shoulders, toned biceps and shaking, tense smile so genuine and real that the alpha can barely take the image as it is.

“I’m here, Katsuki,” says Izuku.

A handful of raven, green-tinted curls are stuck to his forehead, beads of sweat outlined by the moon and stars.

He’s trembling, a force so recklessly protective it mirrors Katsuki’s own.

He dips down, his smile remaining as best he can with each meet against Katsuki’s aching arousal and thrusting hips. He leans back, and releases a sharp gasp, moan and growl with each press of his body—dripping with want, oozing with lust, teeming with desire for his alpha, for his Katsuki—onto the other’s flexing groin.

Katsuki growls, threatening. Dangerous.

His instincts long for him to be pummeling into Izuku and make him scream his name until his heat abates and his knot releases inside him. He rejects these urges through deliberate motions, calling back to his lessons, to the many facts stirring about in his consciousness echoed from the words of the only therapist who tried to understand him.

His mind craves to bend and break his omega beneath him, to instill the thought in his mind that he only belongs to Katsuki, that he himself will only belong to Izuku in return.

A promise for a promise, an oath for an oath, a word for a word and two males seeking power and shelter in all the wrong places.

Izuku’s mark—the crown of teardrops, a flower meant for him and only him—catch Katsuki’s eye. It’s freshly swollen with the bruising of his own lips and teeth, purple and blue and soon will become red to signify the sealing of one’s mate.

Katsuki’s mind blasts white, crashing like lightning and roaring like thunder.

He lurches upwards, crashes his mouth against Izuku’s, and flips them over. Izuku blinks, stiff and reprimanding in his grasp, and yet, melts against the alpha’s aggressive, yet careful, touch. Katsuki positions him, his speech dropping to conjoined syllables of growls and eager, animalistic noises that disrupt the flow.

He breathes in, tastes Izuku’s flourishing heat-fueled scent, and readies his partner beneath him. He prods with his nose, lips curling, teeth searching, their bodies conjoining once more as he glides his back over Izuku’s spine, aligning their hips. His length seeks the source of Izuku’s sleek and blossoming heat, his adrenaline rushing to the forefront once more.

His hands drop onto the bed, Izuku stable and breathing shallowly beneath him. His fingers slide and clench the sheets behind Izuku’s wrists, seeking some sort of shelter outside of his haze.

He latches his teeth onto Izuku’s neck, eyes blown wide and scarlet.

Mine.

And thrusts.


 

 

 


It’s the most painful, exhilarating, exciting, heart-stopping and terrifying act Izuku has ever experienced.

As soon as Katsuki’s hips slap down onto him, his length seeking Izuku’s warmth, searching for the deepest, most sacred area of his body where no one else would dare cross, he shakes. He racks and gripes with the pressure and friction, holding back each scream just barely through one contained groan upon another.

He shakes and stirs beneath the alpha, stabilizing himself with his arms upright and his hips flexing back, instinctively reaching for his mate. Katsuki reciprocates, unmoving with his teeth sinking harder and fiercer into Izuku’s neck, an anchor into reality that goes deeper and deeper with each second that passes.

The pain, the pleasure, is mind-numbing and swift, sloshing about Izuku’s senses and mind in a flurry that sends his heart in a dizzy frenzy.

He growls and pushes back, only for the blond to push harder, as if responding to a challenge. Each slap of their naked, writhing hips and Katsuki’s length coiling inside him, encased in his warmth and ramming without restraint, sends Izuku’s soul into a torrential wildfire. He grits his teeth so hard his gums bleed.

Katsuki makes no other noise, never says his name.

Instead, Izuku feels each moment he knows the other male is thinking of him.

Each moment Katsuki spreads his fingers into the sheets, just an inch shy of Izuku’s sweating palms and knuckles, he feels his name on the other’s tongue. Each time Izuku rolls his shoulders back, Katsuki responds to him, bearing his weight down and thrusting even faster than before. Katsuki’s teeth on his neck never move once, and Izuku longs to see what Katsuki’s features could be like, twisted up in violent pleasure and the surge of primal emotions that are far out of their control.

He absorbs each second that passes, his scent melding with Katsuki’s. A rush of sweet lavender and ground pepper dance along Izuku’s nose, a gust of a fragrance Izuku has come to obsess over through the years. While pulled apart, he had never gathered the courage to ask to lean further into Katsuki’s warmth, in the rarest moments when they were closer than even the blond child would allow.

Katsuki Bakugou skipping the longest stone, building the tallest sand castle, running the fastest race, and proclaiming himself the strongest boy in the neighborhood, had seemed to distant an image to one like Izuku. He was blessed enough to be the only one allowed close, to be the one singled out as potentially good amongst the other children who trailed after Katsuki like trails of ducklings.

The many facets of Katsuki blend together in a cacophony of images, a carousel of rainbows and tinted glass in Izuku’s fogged mind. He growls and rolls back, Katsuki’s name trailing each breath he releases and each muscle he tightens and uncoils beneath the other’s powerful, broad and maturing body slamming into his own.

Then, Katsuki slows to a stop.

Izuku pants, sweat dripping from his forehead and dappling the sheets below him. Katsuki’s body tightens, as frozen as stone.

Izuku squirms, and squeaks as Katsuki’s teeth sink in even more, a warning, threatening growl ripping through his throat.

Katsuki is still inside him, resting in his pooling heat and slick. He feels the alpha adjust, only slightly, his teeth cautiously releasing their menacing hold on Izuku’s flesh.

He bites his lip, a shudder reverberating through his bones.

Izuku’s entire body molds into stone, his senses crashing headfirst into the essence of what Katsuki is presenting to him. In a violent, thunderous wave, he accepts the shattering, clashing visions of blinding white and streaks of color and shades between the darkest brown and brightest blue.

He feels Katsuki’s scent, his entire being, his soul clashing and thrashing violently in unison with another presence. His mind opens, scathingly so, like a door finally being entered with the correct key, and the answers pour into him as his mark reacts with a subtle burn and his entire self becomes alive.

He’s never dreamt of it being like this, of fully becoming one with his mate.

The sensations disperse, and Izuku finds it in himself to breathe once more.

Katsuki’s jaw hooks over his neck, mouth open and canines revealed and sharp as knives. His purrs and growls leave him in pants, his eyes fluttering to adjust to the aftershock of their mating.

“Kacchan?” Izuku whispers.

Katsuki shifts, his skin and muscles rolling over his back.

He blinks, the alpha turning his head only slightly to nuzzle into Izuku’s neck, seeking his warmth even now amidst the shock and stable tremors. The omega supports the both of them with surprising strength that renders even him speechless, though the sight of Katsuki like this, so vulnerable and willing to reveal this side to him that is both oddly endearing and intimidating, makes Izuku’s heart flutter.

“Can you speak…?” Izuku asks.

Katsuki’s lips press to his ear.

Mm. Izuku…” he drawls.

Izuku gasps as Katsuki arches his back and snarls, loud and predatory. He muffles a scream by sinking his teeth into his tongue, worried that any noise he makes could alert Katsuki’s parents, and releases a long, startled moan as Katsuki’s knot unfurls inside him and slowly, readily, pulls out.

He pants as Katsuki slides off of him, the blond collapsing onto his back.

Izuku follows suit, carefully spreading out his back in the narrow space between Katsuki’s warmth and the window. Moonlight wanes through the glass and spreads along Katsuki’s bare, powerful legs, though his vision is subdued as the blond pays no mind to the mess of slick and other fluids staining his bed.

Katsuki instantly comes closer to Izuku, wrapping one arm around his waist and pulling him towards him, eyes shut and his mouth curled only slightly to reveal his satisfied, ethereal smirk.

Exhaustion seeps through Izuku in a tender wave, enveloping the both of them with ease. He reaches up and strokes Katsuki’s jaw, noting the fresh blossoms of purple and blue peppering Katsuki’s smooth skin.

He smiles softly to himself—the angles and cut lines that have always painted Katsuki’s features as something too strong, too intimidating to obtain in any way, seem all the more special in front of him in this moment. To be able to scope the muscles of the alpha’s arms, his legs, his broad chest and waist, the robust contour of his rear—they were all aspects of Katsuki he had always admired from afar and wondered what they would feel like beneath his own hands.

It’s a privilege Izuku will never take for granted again.

Katsuki pulls him closer to him, his purr barely noticeable. Izuku smiles at the feel of Katsuki’s arms encasing him even further, crushing him to his chest. Protective. Territorial. He turns his head, marveling at the tender sound and weight of Katsuki’s heart thrumming under his chest. It lulls him into a gentle, blissful state, his mind reeling back to the moments before, and the current image washing over him.

He sighs. He can’t stay here for long.

“Kacchan?”

Katsuki’s right eye snaps open, scrutinizing him as if horribly offended.

He reaches up, presses his hand to the back of Izuku’s head, and pushes him into the crook of his neck. He hums and smirks teasingly into his skin, and Izuku struggles and attempts to push away—albeit reluctantly—from his alpha’s warmth. Katsuki snorts, tilting his head and allowing his lips to part ever so slightly into the fragrant atmosphere of his bedroom.

“Kacchan,” he groans. “I can’t stay—”

“Shut up, Deku. Jesus.” Katsuki adjusts himself, his voice hoarse, reaching over with his right arm and pulling his blanket over the both of them. “Stay.”

Izuku rolls his eyes, the fondness lingering on his curled lips and shining gaze.

His eyes are heavy, tired and drawn back through the haze of sex and bliss. He wants, more than anything, to curl up beside Katsuki and hold him close as much as the blond wants to do to him. His wishes to shield Katsuki in return, to offer the same sense of shelter that the arrogant male was always so willing to enact in their interactions, is enough reason for him to be tempted to stay here.

“I can’t, Kacchan. What if your parents find us here?” Izuku looks up, barely able to make out the inquisitive furrowing of Katsuki’s brow. “You’ll get in trouble, and, I don’t want to put you through that.” He pauses, blinking up through his lashes and observing the way Katsuki huffs in clear, unadulterated annoyance. “I can tell you know I’m right.”

“Fuck ‘em,” Katsuki murmurs. “Don’t care.”

“Well, you kind of need to.”

Katsuki’s grip around him impossibly tightens, his teeth bared as another low growl leaves his throat. It vibrates through his chest and snakes through Izuku’s toes.

“Not letting you out there, in the dead of night, smelling like this. Fuck that.”

Izuku blinks. He hadn’t considered the obvious dangers of walking back to his apartment complex in the dark, alone. He’d done so many times, usually with company, and particularly with Katsuki when they were younger, though that was long before Izuku had fully embraced his omega identity and came into his heat.

His first heat was met with Katsuki’s incessant desire to claim him, and now, he would wreak with the both of them for days, maybe even weeks.

“I’ll be fine, Kacchan—”

Izuku.”

Izuku’s words lodge in his throat.

He strains his neck back, and blinks as Katsuki brings up one hand, his palm caressing the omega’s cheekbone until his thumb brushes back a curl from his forehead. He watches a dozen emotions flicker through those wine red irises, noting the complexities, the deep, uncertain qualms that he instantly wishes to subdue.

The look Katsuki wears strikes Izuku like an ice-cold bullet.

“Stay.”

Izuku hesitates. His body, his mind, his soul longs to remain here, in Katsuki’s embrace, concealed in safe warmth beneath his roof. He knows his mother will be furious once she finds out, and she undoubtedly will, through his scent alone and his inability to somehow bathe before he sees her again.

He leans upwards, and kisses Katsuki on the lips. The alpha’s mouth curves into a victorious grin. Izuku pulls back, considering.

“I’ll leave right before dawn. Maybe five, or six. I can set… an alarm, or something. On my phone. It’s in my hoodie over there, on the carpet.” He nibbles on his lip. “I mean, I still don’t want you to get in trouble, and that way, it won’t be as dangerous? It’s not in the dead of night and maybe we can solve this problem before we all have to meet up again.”

Katsuki snorts. “Our parents are gonna know either way.”

Izuku groans. “I know, Kacchan, but—”

“So don’t worry about it. We’ll both take care of it or some shit. You’re still going to smell like this, like me, at five or six in the morning, idiot.” He rolls his eyes.

His jaw unhinges to release a long, drawn-out yawn, and it takes every muscle in Izuku’s face to prevent himself from following the gesture.

Izuku hums. “Kacchan, we’re going to be registered tomorrow. As married partners.”

Katsuki scoffs, his grip loosening from around the omega. Izuku leans back and quirks an eyebrow, even as the blond watches him with steady, unfiltered emotion.

“That’s tomorrow, Deku.” Katsuki’s jaw tightens, just for a second, though it was not in Izuku’s nature to miss a subtle gesture from someone he treasures more than himself.

I know.

Izuku bites his tongue and only nods as a response. Katsuki frowns, yet seems pleased at this gesture, resuming to allow Izuku to form his body to him, their bare skin tingling with leftover heat. Izuku knows his body had become a brutal portrait for the alpha to mark with his teeth, scent and attentive kisses, driven by something far more powerful than instinct.

Izuku smiles softly, and kisses Katsuki’s neck. The alpha grunts, and says nothing in response. Once his arms go lax around the omega’s frame, he knows his friend—mate—has fallen asleep.


 

 


Sunlight dresses the bedsheets and blankets in misted rivers. Izuku blinks open his eyes, sleep marring his vision just slightly as he scopes out the darkened, yet opening surroundings of Katsuki’s bedroom. He tilts his head, addresses the mop of frazzled ash-blond hair that belongs to his childhood friend and soon-to-be husband.

Izuku muffles a giggle behind his hand at the sight before him. The alpha is completely wrapped up in his blankets like a burrito, one arm stretched out of the top and resting on his headboard with a faint, twitching grip. His snores are audible and soft beneath the covers, the occasional twitch noticeable in his exposed nose and content, sleeping features. His jaw and brow are smooth and relaxed under this current state, like an expanse of marble Izuku refuses to harm.

Adorable.

Katsuki then rolls over, the blankets slowly rumpling from his bare, round shoulders. He breathes softly and shallowly, completely enraptured in a deep sleep. His pale lashes flutter with each breath he draws in and releases, his other arm unfurling from beneath his covers and searching the empty space. His nose wrinkles, as if searching for Izuku’s presence.

Tenderly, Izuku takes Katsuki’s hand. The alpha’s grip tightens around him, Katsuki’s momentarily furrowed features relaxing once more, the tip of his nose twitching like a rabbit’s.

Izuku’s heart races, an audible thunderclap against his chest. He stills, watching, awed, as if he’s seeing Katsuki for the very first time.

Oh.

Izuku’s skin bursts with heat, carrying the rippling sensations of the previous night, of their souls binding together, of their hearts beating in unison, of Katsuki’s teeth boring into his flesh, of Izuku returning the gesture. He feels each and every word spoken, each touch spread through hasty fingers and wandering mouths. He listens to the soft, quiet air, and basks in the gentleness that envelops him, that promises him into the hold of an alpha who trusts and cares for him deeply enough to claim him, mark him, and mate with him.

Is this…

Izuku swallows, dazed. 

He ghosts one hand along Katsuki’s unruly hair, the spikes soft and tender beneath his touch.

Is this what it feels like, Kacchan? He wants to ask, dancing on the edge of knowing.

“Katsuki…” he whispers, to himself openly as if to reconfirm that his thoughts being vocalized grand him some sort of anchored reality.

He leans up in the bed, rubbing at his eyes and scouring the room for his clothes. It takes him several minutes to successfully crawl around Katsuki’s slumbering form without disturbing him, and pull on his underwear, jeans, and sweatshirt. He removes his phone from the hoodie’s pocket, running one hand through his curls.

Five-seventeen. Okay. I still have time to get back.

Izuku maneuvers himself around Katsuki once more, his hand paused on the locks on the blond’s windowsill.

Carefully, he practices the pattern he’d learned when sneaking over to be in Katsuki’s company as children, marathoning cartoons and telling each other scary stories in the dark with flashlights as their only beacon. With a small smirk, Izuku cracks open the window, and turns back to face the sleeping blond.

Gently, Izuku pets Katsuki’s head once more, relishing the feel of the soft ash-blond tufts under his palm. He rests his chin in the palm of his hand, the chilly morning breeze coasting behind him and slipping like an echoed whisper over the private space. He runs his fingers back and forth, unable to look away from the unbridled handsomeness that make up Katsuki’s features, and yet, all he can recall are the emotions and intense rawness he’d felt.

“Kacchan…” He bites his lip, chuckling slightly with a hesitant dip of his head, as if he’s speaking to Katsuki directly. “Katsuki, I mean.” He steadies himself, nervous. “I’m sorry, it took so long for me to figure this out.”

His hand pauses in its motions as Katsuki stirs, grumbling in his dreams.

Izuku’s smile broadens. He shakes his head.

“Katsuki,” he sighs. “I think I’m in love with you.”

And with that, he crawls through the window, tenderly closes it, and retreats before he can possibly rethink his decision to say the words aloud.