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Kayama invites herself along to Aizawa's New Years Eve patrol, which is a gesture of benevolence on her part typically reserved for when she wants to cadge a favour.

“Don’t you have better things to do?” Aizawa asks, disparaging but ultimately toothless.

“Better than spending a night on the town with my favourite kohai?” Kayama quips back, falling into step as they make their way down the alley. The click of her heels ricochets along the tightly-packed brickwork, serving as a block-wide warning to anyone they might’ve initially had the hope to approach unawares.

It’s not the worst night for it: his route largely paths through the wind of the market districts. They’re unlikely to get roused on by more than sloppy drunks, and throwing hands with civilians is always a bad look, no matter how much of a liquor-lit firebrand they are. Easy shift.

“I thought Yamada was your favourite kohai.” It’s acquiescence and she knows him well enough to see it, because she laughs and slings her arm around his shoulder, thumb winding beneath the rope of his capture weapon.

“I have two favourite kohais,” she replies, lips brushing the shell of his ear.

“Right,” Aizawa says, slipping his hands into his pockets.

They round the corner and step into the street proper, and beneath the glare of the lights Kayama carefully retracts the curl of her arm, patting Aizawa between the shoulderblades. “Square up, Eraserhead,” she tells him, “it’s time to greet our adoring public.”


It’s two hours before Kayama is thrown up on by a soba bar patron that they’re trying to coax towards the train station. She barely has a hand beneath the man’s armpit when he’s retching, a half-second spittle-ridden prelude before he upends a gutful of buckwheat and sake over her right heel.

“Oh, tsk tsk, my dear,” she tells him, lips a rouged moue.

Aizawa breathes through his mouth, air whistling through his teeth in a frustrated huff. The smell is awful, warm and acrid. Kayama is, at least, taking it better than he would have.

Kayama catches the poor fool around the middle when he tries to sink to his knees to clean it and waggles a finger at him. “Oh, no, you haven’t earned that.”

Aizawa swaps places with her on the walk to the station, where they promptly dump in the direct line of sight of the kōban and make for the nearest vending machine.

“This is rank, sweetheart,” Kayama complains. “Of all the fluids to get covered with tonight.”

“You wanted to come.” Aizawa doesn’t need to look up from feeding yen into the machine to know she is glaring at him; the heat of it pricks at the bare skin of his shoulders beneath his uniform.

“Don’t backchat.”

“Sorry.” He’s not, but she seems to let the lie slide, and they fall into a cursory but companionable quiet as the vending machine works its money-prompted wonders. A water bottle drops into the tray with a loud clatter, and Aizawa squats down to retrieve it. “Come on.”

He leads her to a laneway behind a nearby convenience store, angling the pair of them until they’re obscured behind a dumpster, Kayama’s back to the nearby staff door. Her eyelids hood, wicked and warm, as he sinks to his knees.

“It’s an improvement,” she remarks.

Aizawa huffs, uncapping the bottle. Kayama cocks her knee, planting her foot on the meat of his thigh. He holds the bottle in one hand, the fingers of the other curling around the hill of her ankle and turning it, gentle, so he can guide the stream of water over the worst of the damage. The walk has rubbed the leather free of the chunks and thicker sludge, at least.

“So,” Aizawa starts, when he’s set the bottle aside and scrounged up some tissues from one of his utility pouches, “you wanted something.”

“Me?” Kayama replies, making an exaggerated show of touching her fingers to her collar like a faint-happy damsel.

“Yes. You.”

Kayama laughs, guiltless, shifting her weight as Aizawa polishes the tip of her heel in slow circles. “Golden Week. You’re free, aren’t you?”

That’s months away. Aizawa lifts his chin, pushing Kayama’s foot from his lap as he meets her gaze. “Probably.”

“Then it’s a date,” she says, smirking. “You, Mic and I. Odake. Three days.”

“Odake.” Aizawa hauls himself to his feet, dirty tissue crumpled up in the loose grip of his fist. “Mic hates camping. You hate camping.”

“And you don’t care,” Kayama interjects sweetly, “I know. But you and Mic can fish, and I can always take the bus back to Akiruno-shi for the day if I’m bored.”

“Hmm.” The fact that she’s put so much thought into it tells Aizawa there’s a catch, but he can’t pick it out just yet.

“You boys never indulge me,” Kayama adds, sulky.

It’s a trap and Aizawa falls for it like the stubborn fool he is. “Fine,” he concedes, the shift into regret immediate as Kayama’s features turn devilish.

“Oh, Eraser,” she adds, catching him by the wrist when he makes to lead them back out into the street, “come.”

He does, rigid with suspicion, and she chuckles before lifting her thumb to her lips, tongue lapping briskly at her fingerpad. She massages at the flicker of his pulsepoint until he leans down close enough that she can, indulgently, card her fingers through his hair, damp thumb coming to wipe at the shell of his ear.

“You had lipstick on you,” she clarifies, giving his scalp a playful scritch with her nails.

“Yours.”

Kayama winks, stepping back to straighten out, the small of her back bumping against the corner of the dumpster. “I should hope so. I’ll mark you later, if you miss it.”

“I don’t,” Aizawa says, “really.” He rubs at his cheek, willing the first lick of heat beneath his skin to disperse. Kayama is intolerable as it is without the ammunition of a provoked blush.

“Silly me,” she hums, unconvinced, offering him her arm. “Shall we?”

“Our public,” Aizawa says, wry, sliding his fingers through the hinge of her elbow and curling them, tight. In the dark of the laneway, it’s a harmless enough touch, giving without telling. “Right.”