Shouta came home drunk enough to collapse on the couch that night and in the morning, the muffled noise of the door slamming down the hall told him that All Might was gone. Thus, the sun had set on the day after All Might’s revelation by the time Shouta rang his doorbell.
It had never really occurred to him not to do so, though his pride pushed against the idea. Whatever else he had lied about, All Might had not faked his affection for Shouta – there would have been no benefit in doing that. And because Shouta could not easily shelf the feelings that had taken root against his will, either, there was no other sensible option.
He was greeted by a deflated All Might in another vastly oversized suit that made a whole lot more sense now that Shouta had some context.
“Aizawa.” All Might looked at him with wide eyes, halting a moment before he stepped hastily aside. “Please come in.”
His demeanour hadn’t changed, Shouta noticed. His expression was fraught by confusion and insecurity that seemed alien to the image of the Number One Hero and he carried himself with a lot less tension than he did when he was his alter ego.
“Are you feeling better?” Shouta asked as he closed the door behind himself. He wouldn’t be having any discussions about their relationship while All Might was mostly focused on his body breaking down.
Maybe he was also looking for an out.
“A bit. I overdid it, but I will be fine.”
Before he could talk himself out the door with some excuse, Shouta walked over to All Might’s couch and sat down. It was rude to invite himself further into the living room like that, but he didn’t much care because it was rude to kiss someone under your secret identity, too, and he didn’t want to have this conversation standing by the door. All Might followed him and sat down. There was distance of a couple feet between them.
“I wish I’d actually gotten to tell you before you found out,” All Might said after a moment, the first to speak. “But I was late, I…” He heaved a sigh. “I try not to make friends as Yagi at all, since I have to lie so much, but I got carried away. You were nice and I really didn’t think I was in any danger of something more happening between us, the way I look now. I didn’t see it coming almost up until you kissed me and when I did, I was too selfish to stop.”
Shouta considered him briefly, wondering if he was fishing for compliments. No, he decided. Especially in comparison to All Might, he wasn’t handsome at first glance. Sickness never was. There was still a lot to like once you discounted the marks of the injury that ate him up from the inside. There was no denying it, Shouta had been attracted to him almost from the start, even if All Might thought that impossible.
“Are you actually called ‘Yagi’?” Shouta asked, remembering his conversation with Hizashi.
“Yes. Toshinori Yagi. Barely anyone knows All Might’s name, so I thought it was fine if I just used my real one.”
It made sense, Shouta supposed. All Might didn’t really have a civilian life that anyone knew about and Yagi came out when he couldn’t be a hero anymore. Each of them only needed one name. He wondered if there had ever been a balance or if there hadn’t really been a Yagi before All for One. With the workload All Might was known to take on, maybe he simply hadn’t paid attention to anything outside his hero duties at all before his body forced him to.
“Alright, Yagi. Now what?” Shouta asked.
Put on the spot, All Might looked deeply unhappy.
“You don’t like All Might and I know that, so –”
“Obviously I was wrong about All Might because I lacked some crucial information,” Shouta said impatiently. “Or, I guess, I knew much more about All Might than I was aware of. Now,” he gestured at All Might’s emaciated form, “things have changed.”
Looking down at himself, All Might gave a wry, humourless smile.
“I never thought that this would count as a point in my favour,” he said.
“This, as in, what? You?”
The other man remained silent.
“If you want anything to happen between us, you will have to be honest,” Shouta told him. “I don’t demand you tell me anything as things are now, that’s not my place. It would be if I were to become your partner, though.”
All Might coughed once into the crook of his elbow, leaving red spots on the shirt, and looked startled.
“You would still consider...”
“Under that condition,” Shouta warned.
For a moment, All Might hesitated. However, he let his shoulders sink.
“Yes. I mean... you really should have heard all of this before I kissed you. It’s the reason I don’t get involved with people. You just...” He shook his head. “Not that I mean to say it was your fault. It wasn’t.”
“You certainly go to great lengths to protect your identity,” Shouta noted. “You could have gotten hurt toying with that knife-wielding idiot I pulled off of you.”
“Well, that’s why I’m grateful you came to save me before I had to think of some more complicated way to get out of the situation,” All Might said with a small smile.
It did explain the strange unaffectedness after the attack, Shouta thought, slotting the information into its proper place. Someone who had faced All for One was bound to be unimpressed by a common robber.
All Might grasped his own hands tightly.
“I should start,” he said. “I didn’t lie about my health. I don’t have a stomach anymore and my lung will have to be removed. However, that won’t fix the damage done to the rest of my respiratory system. The operations had their own complications. I’m getting worse. In fact – you know Sir Nighteye?”
All Might frowned at his lap.
“He said I’ll die in three years. In a fight, at least... not in a hospital bed.” That brought a look of grim determination to his face. “If he looks that far ahead, his predictions can be off so maybe there’s time for me to change the future. I don’t know. I can’t promise. I just know he’s never been wrong before.”
All Might fell silent and Shouta let the information settle. Sir Nighteye was a seer with an exceptional success rate who could seem almost mythical despite the biological origin of the quirk; however, he was only human and fate did not exist in Shouta’s world. With a slow nod he prompted All Might to go on.
The man only looked at him in confusion again.
“I thought that would be the dealbreaker,” he admitted.
“Regardless of Sir Nighteye’s quirk, I don’t believe in predetermination,” Shouta said. “And I think more importantly... you were Yagi to me before and no offence, I think I already got used to the idea that you might not live to ninety. I don’t like it, but I’m a pro. I can’t promise you not to kill myself on the job, either.”
Life was fragile, he had come to terms with that. Shouta couldn’t say whether a villain would smear him across the pavement tomorrow or if a flower pot falling off a twenty story building would take him out. He had come too late to too many incidents, had pulled too many mangled corpses out of too many mountains of wreckage to think the next day was always guaranteed.
All Might turned his gaze to look out the window.
“You’re right, I guess we’re all playing fast and loose with our lives in this line of work. Still, you’ll always be a hero, but in the end, Yagi is all I am,” he said quietly. “The quirk I have... well, this is a secret for obvious reasons, but I trust you.” He sighed. “My quirk can be passed on. I won’t die with it, I want a successor like I was one who can push it to even greater heights than I have. When it has left me, I’ll be quirkless like I was before. I’ll be without any power and I have no idea if I will still manage to twist my fate then.”
For someone who had seemed like the most ordinary person in the world before when he had just been Yagi, All Might sure knew how to pull out the surprises. Shouta had never before heard of a quirk that was transferable, but considering all the odd shapes they could take, it was no more strange than many other quirks he had encountered.
“So? That’s just your strength gone,” Shouta said, surprised All Might didn’t seem to see that himself. “That’s not you gone. It takes more than just raw muscle to work up the nerve to hold up a bridge that could collapse on you.”
That was not to mention a lot of the other feats that All Might had done in his lifetime. Even Shouta would admit, quietly, to himself, that All Might was exceptional.
The skinny man lifted his head to look at Aizawa with a careful smile.
“That’s nice of you to say. I hope so.”
“It’s not nice, it’s true.” Shouta regarded him for a moment. “Anything else?”
“Ah... no, not really. That’s all. Maybe that, uh, I’d make a bad secretary because I actually hate paperwork.”
He gave a strained chuckle.
Shouta remained quiet. There was a lot he hadn’t known, to a point that the person who sat here and the one he had kissed on their movie night really were too different to call them the same still. On the other hand, now that the puzzle pieces were fitted together, he realised that the incongruencies were not as big as he had previously thought. The lines that bound Yagi and All Might showed brighter in his mind as he allowed himself to listen and try to find one person in the other.
He extended his hand towards All Might – Yagi, he amended in his mind. He was still Yagi. When he grabbed Shouta’s hand with his expression full of hesitant hope, it didn’t matter so much that he could pump himself up to All Might because when it came to their relationship, he seemed to be honestly anxious, doubtful and drawn to Shouta nevertheless. All Might’s ego, always Shouta’s biggest gripe with him, had obviously long been tempered.
Pulling him close, he kissed him again. It didn’t taste too much like blood and so he pushed his tongue into All Might’s mouth and noticed his large hands scrambling at his sides.
This felt as good as he remembered it.
Toshinori broke the kiss after a long moment to draw in air, then turned away and coughed, winced, and coughed some more. Shouta waited for him to recover.
“Sorry,” Yagi rasped. “I’m still a bit short of breath.”
“Did you go to see a doctor after we left?” Shouta asked.
Yagi nodded his head.
“I had trouble breathing in the night. It’s okay, though, I just need to take it easy for a couple of days. Transforming should be fine, but no hero work,” Toshinori said sheepishly. “My doctor’s also been looking to prepone my surgery.”
“For someone who is trying to avoid a death sentence, you’re very irresponsible with your health,” Shouta said. It was not an accusation, but a statement.
“There are still things more important than whether I live.”
“In that instance with the bridge, we had no choice but you,” Shouta admitted. “But usually there’s other heroes who can tag in if you’re not at your best. If you want something to happen between us, you can’t expect me to sit by and watch you burn yourself up needlessly.”
“No,” Yagi said, reluctantly but with a nod. “I would have a responsibility to you, too.”
Why that responsibility did not exist to his own survival instincts, Shouta didn’t know, but a little bit of that tendency needed to exist to become a pro in the first place, he supposed. Still, there was a difference between necessary risks and reckless abandon.
Shouta placed another brief kiss on his lips.
“Our bedrooms are next to each other. Bang against the wall if you can’t breathe tonight,” he told him.
Yagi nodded his head.
He brought Shouta to the door and made to say something just as Shouta opened it, hesitated, and finally just pulled him into a hug, his long arms squeezing him until Shouta couldn’t breathe, either.