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Devils and Knights

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The day Tenya Iida died was not a special day. It was a normal late April Tuesday, the third since the start of his third year in high school. It did not dawn overly bright and warm nor was it gloomy or dark, with some manner of foreshadowing to give away that something terrible would await him later.

His alarm woke him up at the same time it always did, shrill and demanding, and he knocked on the bedroom doors of his younger brothers on his way to the bathroom. True to form the twins were sleepily spilling out into the hall from the room they shared by the time he finished his shower but Tetsuya needed someone to actually poke their head in and call for him and then check on him again to make sure he hadn’t tried to go back to sleep. He was used to it, they’d shared a room for most of their lives until Tensei had moved out and Tenya had ‘upgraded’, and had a variety of ways to accomplish the task.

That day had involved snatching his blankets and rolling him onto the ground then out into the hallway.

The TV was on and breakfast was ready, left in the oven to stay warm by their father, when he came downstairs. He listened with half an ear to the news as it promised warm, dry weather, gave sports scores, and solemnly informed the city that another murder victim had been found a prefecture over, and dished out breakfast and poured what remained of their mother’s coffee for himself and a blurry eyed Tetsuya; if he tried to let his younger brother do it himself there would be a mess to clean up and there wasn’t time in the morning for that. Lunches were pulled from the refrigerator and lined up by their bags near the door and, gulping down the last of his coffee and snagging a piece of toast, Tenya left.

He had club duties to attend to and was always one of the first on campus, while his brothers were still in the junior high building of UA and would leave later. It was still dark as he made his way to the station but the sky was considerably lighter when he arrived at school fifty minutes and two train transfers later.

Track and Field practice went fast and was pleasant enough. Meeting with Yaoyorozu and the class representatives was quick, there was nothing of particular importance happening in the near future and the chaos of the beginning of the year, and corresponding festival event, had settled. After that it was a matter of checking in with the other hall monitors, already in their stations for the morning, and waiting for school to start.

It was a nice day, was what he’d remember when he thought about it later. Much of the spring chill had been burned away by the sun by lunchtime but it wasn’t hot by any means, the sky was blue but a touch overcast. Not perfect but nice enough to ear outside with Uraraka and Yaoyorozu for company, comparing class notes and talking about a dance recital Urakara had coming up.

It was here, out in the grassy courtyard between the three main school buildings, that the first noteworthy thing about the day would happen, in the form of noticing members of the Occult Club passing out fliers. This in and of itself wasn’t so strange, lots of clubs passed out literature at the beginning of the year to try and bring in more members or start fundraising for trips and supplies. What was strange was the club doing it.  

The Occult Club was an odd one, not just in theme but in set up, with just enough members to be official but never seeming to be trying to recruit more. They didn’t fundraise or use even their school granted funds They participated in mandatory events but otherwise kept to themselves, spending most of their time in their clubroom over in one of the older, and otherwise unused, buildings on the side of campus no one bothered with anymore. Tenya couldn’t figure out how they’d gotten permission for such a thing, or how they managed to skirt around not having a faculty advisor, but he’d given up trying to look into it in his second year.

Catching sight of any of them outside of class was a rare thing indeed.

In spite of that their president was considered to be popular, lauded as a ‘Mysterious Prince’ and admired for his grades, politeness, humbleness despite his apparent wealth, and unique looks. In a sea of darker hair and eye colors, Todoroki Shouto’s eyes, one gray and the other blue-green, and strange two toned hair stood out and contributed to his mysterious air.

Add in that he’d come to UA in his first year of high school, while most of them started in elementary school, and there was a lot about Todoroki that people didn’t know. It was to be expected, since he hadn’t grown up alongside them, but it still made people talk.  

As did his choice in clubmates. Tenya watched Todoroki, along with Bakugou Katsuki and Kirishima Eijirou, all wearing their club armbands, moving from one clump of starry eyes students to another. He wondered, not for the first time, what he saw in the pair often described (and discussed among the Student Council) as delinquents. He couldn’t imagine what Todoroki could have in common with known violent hothead Bakugou or the academically struggling Kirishima. Was it just the club that held them together?

“Iida, Yaoyorozu, Urakara.” Todoroki greeted them, smiling faintly.

Yaoyorozu nodded back. “Shouto. Is your club planning something? You haven’t cleared anything with the council.” There was something strange to her voice, a hard edge Tenya had never heard before and her usual open and friendly expression had soured considerably.  

People did occasionally forget to go through proper channels for events but Yaoyorozu had always, as far as he knew, been accommodating in those situations.  

A chilly blast of wind ruffled Tenya’s hair; he pulled his blazer tighter around himself and thanked his foresight in wearing a sweater, in spite of how nice a day it was. It was always better to be safe than sorry.

Todoroki shook his head. “The club is stepping up our community outreach this year, and we wanted to make ourselves a bit more...known. If any of you find yourself in need of anything I hope you’ll consider asking for our help.”

Todoroki handed them each a flier as he spoke; Tenya reached for the one offered to him, unthinkingly meeting Todoroki’s eyes as he did. A tingle ran up his spine. His fingers brushed warm skin; he jumped, less in surprise than from the shock of cool electricity that jumped between them when their fingertips touched.

“Ahh. S-Sorry Todoroki.” Tenya sputtered, yanking his hand and the flier back.

“No problem.” With another slight smile, the other boy moved on to the next eagerly waiting ground; the sound of cooed greetings filled the air.

Tenya watched him go, still tingling fingers flexing around the flier, then dropped his eyes to the paper. His eyebrows lifted as he looked it over. It was on sturdy beige paper and on one side was a large pentacle, done in deep red ink. It was glossy and slightly raised from the paper. Under it, in small black print, were the words ‘Your wish will be granted’. On the back was ‘United Academy Occult Club’ in bold black and the club’s school issued email address.

Tenya flipped it back to the pentacle. Granting wishes? A creative way to describe helping around the community but attempts at good citizenship, no matter how odd, were to be encouraged. He couldn’t think of anything he needed personally, or would be needing anytime soon, but it wouldn’t hurt to hang on to.

He tucked the paper away into the pocket of his blazer and, by the time he was settling in for his afternoon classes had forgotten about it.

The second thing of note happened much later in the day. He often left the campus late in the day, after helping to clean the classroom, attending to anything that needed done with the hall monitors, and evening track practice, and so he thought noticing of doing as he’d always done that night. It was well past dark when he got off his last train and started the trek home, cutting through a well lit park just as he had the day before and nearly everyday since he was ten, and Tensei became too busy to walk with him, without incident.

The paths were as familiar as his home was to him, transversed by memory more than sight, attention on his phone and an article on sustainable farming he was considering referencing for an essay. He passed under four lights, turned left towards the sound of falling water, passed under five more, turned right to walk around the fountain at the center of the park, and collided with someone else.

Pain blossomed in his chest. It was sharp and deep, and for a second he was reeling, unable to form the words to apologize for not watching where he was going.

When Tenya was twelve he’d broken his leg in a poorly thought out game with his brothers that had involved jumping off the second floor balcony into the pool. Tenya hadn’t completely made it to the pool, one of his legs ended up slammed onto the stone deck. That had hurt so badly he’d gotten sick right then and there, and then screamed until he went into shock. The break had been a bad one, with talks of a permanent limp at the very least, but he’d ended up healed in record time and stronger than ever.

A miracle, his mother had said after his first track meet. Tenya didn’t believe in miracles and had always been content to chalk it up to good genetics.

The pain in his chest was mild compared to that. And yet he couldn’t breath and his legs refused to corporate, buckling under his weight and sending him crashing to the ground, but he didn’t feel the impact. He tried to breath in, to pushing himself up from his knees, gasped around a wet tickle in the back of his throat and clinging thickness on his tongue. The person he’d bumped in to stepped closer, into the halo of the light Tenya was under. He didn’t look normal. His face was too long, the manic smile his mouth was curved into too wide, with too many teeth, the tongue lolling out of it obscene.

He was holding a sword.

Blood was dripping down the blade.

Tenya opened his mouth but all that came out was a wet rattling. He reached up to place a hand on his chest and felt warm liquid soaking into his shirt. He held it up, in front of his face. His vision was going dark and hazy, softening around the edges, warping. His hand was dripping, warm and red.

Blood he realized.

Another breath, gurgling, sucking pressure in his chest. His hand dropped, arm gone heavy and numb. His chest burned, under his skin, spreading out.

The man took another step, stopped in front of him, and brandished a smaller, ornate blade. “I release you, from the curse given to you. Be grateful I’m setting you free before you could be tainted by the unclean relic He has set inside your soul.” He leaned closer, bright eyes burning with fervor, and put a hand on Tenya’s shoulder.. “That is who you should blame.”

What? Was Tenya’s last thought before man’s hand flashed forward and down and-

This time it hurt. Really hurt, burning as it pierced him between his ribs then jerked upwards. He coughed, blood splattering his attackers face. Another jerk, deep in his chest and Tenya realized, with startling clarity, that he was going to die.

“Release your burden unto me.” Was whispered into his ear.

Burdens? He saw, in flashes of memory so strong it hurt, his brothers; Tensei (he was supposed to visit soon, spend a weekend in the city with his older brother.), Tetsuya (who would get him up in the morning?), the twins (would they be okay without him?). His parents (would they cry? His father was a crier but his mother was more stoic, more apt to become angry than shed tears. Would she be angry with him, or herself, or-). He thought about the track team (who would take over as anchor?) and his class and friends and

He breathed in, choked, and oh, he was on his side, the ground cool and wet beneath him. White light, so bright he had to squint, swallowed the world.

There were a hundred things he hadn’t done yet. Hadn’t seen. He’d never even left the prefecture, never stayed a night away from home, never hung out with classmates (he was, suddenly, unsure if he had any true friends and an empty, lonely feeling set in, stronger than the pain in his chest),  never let himself be not busy with school and clubs and family.

He hadn’t even started to do all the things he’d wanted to do, to help all the people he wanted to help (naive, maybe, to want to follow his father and brother into medicine, to save people with his own hands, but he’d never imagined himself doing anything else.)

No first kiss. Not even hand holding or a confession or...anything.

He closed his eyes and saw different colored eyes behind a fringe of white and red. His fingertips tingled.   

He didn’t want to die. He wanted...he wanted to live.

Red light burned the back of his eyelids and heat swept over his body. Something pulled, caught, cracked, and then came free with a gush of fluid. He heard a thud, something hit the ground, metallic clanging and then wind, strong, rushing over him.

“Katsuki, after him.”

“Yeah yeah.”

Something cool stroked his cheek, trailed down his neck to his chest. “Tenya Iida, you summoned me and I have answered. I will grant your wish, if you pay my price and become my Knight.”

Tenya opened his eyes and saw red and white. Nothing hurt. He was numb.

He wanted to live. Whatever it took, he wanted to live.

“Live your next life for only me.” Pressure, on his chest, something inside of him, a spark and

Tenya screamed and screamed and screamed, ice shards tearing him apart and fire swallowing him whole, and then knew nothing.

Chapter Text

Tenya floated for a long time. He was aware of his body, of his own breathing and that he was very very still, but it was as if his mind were distant from it. Floating, untethered to his form, and surrounded by soothing warmth. It was strange, being barely there like he was, but it didn’t bother him any. He didn’t want to move, he decided once he became aware of being unable to do so. He was fine like this. It was nice.

He was relaxed. Warm. Safe.

“Can you hear me Tenya?” A voice he knew asked. It was quiet, breathy, right on the edge of everything, beckoning to him. “Are you back yet?”

Back? Back there? No, he wasn’t and he didn’t want to be. All that waited for him was more pain, right? Hadn’t he...hadn’t something...hurt before?

There was a loud noise, a bang and then heavy footsteps getting closer and closer. Angry voices, two of them, overlapping and biting at each other, barely making any sense as every word become a fight.

“It was your fault-”

“My fault? You’re the one who got cut-”

“Only because you tripped over your feet, fuck-”

“Did you find the Fallen?” The voice asked. Something touched his face, swept up over his cheek then pushed back his hair.

Someone scoffed. “No. Bakugou got hit with a paralyze spell and I didn’t want to leave him-he’s alive? Bakugou said that freak tore his heart out.”

“I put it back.” The voice stated blandly.

“The fuck did you do to keep him from bleeding out?”

The fingers in his hair wiggling deeper to let blunt nails scratch along his scalp. “I didn’t stop it. I brought him back.”

Brought him back.

Oh! Brought him back, they were talking about him, weren’t they? Where had he come back from? Somewhere cold, right? And it hard hurt so much. Why had it hurt? Who had- he should thank them. Because it was peaceful here. Perfectly peaceful and wonderful and nothing hurt. Not like before when...when what? What had happened before? Why couldn’t he remember it?

Did it matter? Part of him wanted to push it away, to sink down and be lost forever, but another part wasn’t satisfied with that.

He frowned, felt his lips turn down and brows knit together, unhappily. He didn’t want to think about it. He wanted to stay here, where it was warm and someone was petting his head and everything was okay. He didn’t want to wake up.

“You.” Silence and then something moved, scrapped across the ground with a ear splitting squeal, and then rattling and clunking, like a lot of things hitting and bouncing off of something. Someone snarled. “Both the knights are gone! You used two pieces on a human? On *that* whiney ass human?”

“Bakugou.” The third voice said, pitched in a way that Tenya read as ‘calming’, or at least an attempt at it. He used that same tone with his brothers sometimes, when breaking up their fights or getting them to explain what had them upset.

Ah. His brothers. It was late wasn’t it? He needed to check their homework and make sure they got into bed. He needed to-

“I am free to use my pieces as I see fit.” Ice. He had a voice like ice. “Pick those up.”

“What do you think is going to happen, Todoroki? He’s going to wake up and you’re going to go ‘So, sorry, you died but then I shoved some magical chess pieces into your chest, replaced your heart, and, also you’re now a demon’ and that’s going to be fine?” An echoing thump. “Humans can’t handle that. He’s going to fly off the handle, or try to expose you. It’s a waste of your pieces.”

Died. Had he died? He didn’t feel like he was dead. But then how would he know, he didn’t have any experience to base it on.

His chest throbbed, a dull ache under his skin. It was right between his ribs, where he’d been...been-

“He has a relic in him. That’s worth having on our side.”

“Bull-”

Tenya opened his eyes, hands flying to his chest. He could see nothing but light, blinding light, for a moment but he didn’t need to see because he could feel. Under his fingertips, the tattered remains of his shirt, stiff with dry, crusted over blood and under that his skin. No gaping wound, spilling more blood out. Just smooth skin-

No, not totally smooth. He felt a bit of raised flesh, a thin line of uneven skin that trailed from the top of his ribcage to near his belly button. A scar? A scar he hadn’t had before, that couldn't be there now, not so soon, not when he’d been cut open (and he remembered it now, perfectly, the feel of the blade sliding through him, tasting blood in his mouth, slowly going cold and then nothingness) what couldn’t have been that long ago, not if he was in the same clothes. It didn’t make sense! He pressed harder against the scar then gasped, electric pain rushing over him in a stomach churning wave. Every nerve was suddenly alight, fire dancing over them as his muscles spasmed and twitched.

It was like his body had come to him and all the pain that had been kept at bay was there, piling on all at once.

“Stop!” A hand snatched his own, forcing him away from the scar. The pain stopped, cut off like it had never been there at all. Tenya’s body lost all of it’s tension, going limp as his eyes slipped shut. He realized fuzzily that he’d curled in on himself and that his face was pressed against fabric. Shifting fabric, rising and falling rhythmically like...like with someone’s breathing. And, now that he was focused on it, under him wasn’t a flat surface, but something warm and yielding, uneven.

Hands drug through his hair again.

He blinked rapidly, vision clearing as he turned his head to look up. Mismatched eyes, a sharp featured face that gave away nothing, red and white hair falling into his field of vision in waves, haloed by the light coming from overhead. Another blink and his vision expanded enough for him to realize Todoroki was hunched over him, one hand tight around Tenya’s wrist and the other stroking his hair. His shirt was close enough to brush against Tenya’s cheek.

His eyes cut to the side and yes, those did look like a set of jean clad knees under him. Past that there was a coffee table, with a chess board and a few knocked over pieces on it, and two more sets of legs. Tenya looked up, mouth pulling down at the sight of Bakugou Katsuki (scowling, arms crossed over his chest, face flushed a furious red) and Kirishima Eijirou (Wide eyed, anxious, with one hand clamped firmly on Bakugou’s shoulder as if to hold him back.)

The room itself he didn’t recognize. It looked big and was brightly lit, with warm colored wooden paneling on the walls, plush red curtains hiding away the windows

“You can’t touch your wound yet.” Todoroki said, grip on Tenya’s wrist tightening, calling his attention back to the other boy. Todoroki was, Tenya thought distractedly, stronger than he looked. “You aren’t completely healed. Interfering with the process might undo the magic.”

Healed? Magic?

Magic?!

Tenya sat up, just narrowly avoiding colliding with Todoroki. He tried to yank his hand back but found that the other teens hold was like iron, so tight and strong he couldn't budge it. Panic crawled up Tenya’s throat, thick and stinging and warring with growing confusion. His eyes flickered down to his ruined shirt and chest and the scar. It was there, it was real, long and jagged and ugly, flowing from just under his collar bone to between his ribs and ending above his belly button. He looked like he'd been cut open and then put back together and allowed to heal from it.

Because, his brain supplied, he had been. By some lunatic with a sword in the park and oh, he could remember it perfectly now, the pain and the blood and the crack of his own bones and-and-

The bucket that was thrust into his hands came just in time. He heaved, throat convulsing and eyes slamming shut, doubling over the bucket. There was only spit and stomach acid, rushing coughed out of him in painful lung rattling bursts. A hand rubbed his back, warm through his shirt and more comforting than anything had a right to be in the moment. His eyes burned, his nose burned, his chest was throbbing and his heart was beating hard, but steadily.

He straightened up again when he was done, wiping at his mouth with the back of his hands and setting the bucket onto the floor. Another look around, mind trying to pull together what he knew, and his fingers twitched with the need to touch again, to be sure of what his eyes were seeing even though he’d already done so. It didn’t make sense.

Even if he’d been saved shouldn’t he still be injured? How could a wound like that have healed up already, and not just healed but looked old even, the skin around it pale and unblemished instead of reddened and angry. Yet he was in the same shirt, which said time couldn’t have gone past to such a degree that he had scarred over, right? And even if it had why was here, in some common living room with schoolates he barely spoke to instead of a hospital?

“You okay?” Todoroki asked, drawing Tenya’s attention back to him. His mouth was pressed into a thin, pensive line, his eyes were wide and anxious, and as he waited for Tenya to speak his lip was pulled between his teeth; it was jarring, vastly different from the cold and aloof air the other had always had about him. In fact everything about him was different; he looked casual in dark jeans and a light blue sweater, with his hair loose and falling down to his shoulders in face framing waves of crimson and white.

Catching Tenya’s eye he smiled tentatively, more a slightward quirk at the corner of his lips that quickly smoothed back into uncertainty. He eased Tenya’s wrist down to rest on the cushion next to him and then let go, though his fingers lingered for a second longer than necessary at the inside, brushing against his pulse point before falling away.

His skin tingled, static electricity coming to life where fingertips had dragged.

Tenya’s heart squeezed in his chest and his stomach fluttered with warmth. It took him longer than it should have to unstick his too dry and too thick tongue from the roof of his mouth and push words out past a lump that lodged itself in his throat. This was not the time for *that* sort of reaction, not at all.

How inappropriate.

“What happened? Why am I here? Where is here? The man in the park, he- I need to...how long?” His eyes dropped down to his chest again. “I’m...alive?”

Bakugou snorted rudely. “Yeah, lucky you Robot, Todoroki decided that thing inside of you is worth bringing you back.”

Thing inside of him? “Bringing me...back?”

Todoroki glared past Tenya balefully as he nodded once, tightly. “You died. That man was a Fallen Angel, one of the four major forces of the Other World, and he pulled out your holy relic, like he’s been doing to people all over the country but when you summoned me we were able to stop him from destroying it. I placed it back inside of you and-”

“Fucking- Idiot, you’re just making it worse. He looks like his brain is going to explode.”

Tenya would have, normally, found that to be insulting but in this case it was the truth. He knew he was slack-jawed with bewilderment. Was Todoroki even speaking Japanese? Tenya knew all the words individually but strung together as they were they didn’t make a bit of sense to him. It was like someone yammering in some language he couldn’t begin to parse for all the sense it made (except he was a passable conversationalist with English and Spanish and top of his class in Latin, and generally very good with languages) Relics? Angels? This was- He felt a headache forming, sharp and strong behind his eyes. Todoroki paused, lips pursing as he looked Tenya over before motioning towards Kirishima and Bakugou.

“Kirishima, do you mind?”

“Huh? OH!” Kirishima bounded forward, lips drawn back around a smile full of inhumanly sharp teeth. He thrust out a hand then, with a jaunty wink, made a fist. Red light burst from nowhere, flared bright, and then wrapped itself around Kirishima’s neck. The light pulsed, a single clear bell chime ringing in Tenya’s ears, then came together to form a single ball of ruby colored light.

There was a collar around Kirishima’s neck where the light had circled him, thick black leather, plain save for the platinum ring hanging from the front and the ruby light fixed to it. Kirishima rolled his shoulders back, squinting then held out his hand again. Tenya watched, heart leaping up to join the lump in his throat in choking him, as Kirishima’s hand changed. The fingers lengthed, the nails grew and darkened until they were hard, pitch black, wickedly curved talons. His skin darkened, turned dusky red, pebbled and raised to become leathery and segmented scales that gleamed in the light, then hardened. It looked like pictures Tenya had seen of crocodile or alligator skin.  

The redhead reached out and, grinning wider, drug fingers and claws over his cheek. Tenya stiffened in alarm but the touch was brief and surprisingly gentle, just rough bumps and pressure but no pain, no claws piercing his skin. Kirishima leaned back, flexed his fingers, and then shook his hand; the changes faded away, seemingly banished by the movement.

He opened his mouth but no sound came out. He didn’t know what to say, a rare state for him. What the hell could he say to seeing someone’s hand grow scales and claws like something out of a fantasy novel? Part of his brain wanted to dismiss it, was screaming at him to just get up and run away and forget about all of this, but at the same time he’d *seen* it happen. He believed in things he could see in person, things he could touch. If it was tangible than it was real.

But this was...it couldn’t be real, could it?

“That’s Kirishima’s relic.” Todoroki said, touching his shoulder.

Kirishima flicked the jewel on the collar. “Dragon Soul, Red. There are two other ones, Black and White, but they’re assholes so we don’t talk about them.”

“Kiri-”

“What? They are! Especially Tetsutesue.” Kirishima snapped his teeth in apparent irritation.

Tenya looked down at his body again, trying desperately to pull a full thought together. That was a relic? And they were saying he had something like that inside of him? He breathed in, or tried to, but only ended up making a pained wheezing sound. The world spin, lurched and-

He was going to be sick again.

“Iida?” The hand on his shoulder squeezed. “Breathe! You need to breathe!” Easy for him to say, Tenya thought bitterly as the world spun wildly. A hand slipped into his own and squeezed. It was warm or maybe Iida was just cold. “ Breath .”

He breathed.

A few minutes later he was lying down again, his head back in Todoroki’s lap. He’d protested weakly when he was dragged back into that position but another firm word from Todoroki had him going limp and allowing himself to be moved.

“I understand this is...difficult to understand but your body is still weakened.” Todoroki said, frowning down at him. “You had your soul ripped out, for all intents and purposes, and you need to heal. If you open the wound I might not be able to heal it again.”

“Because it was a holy sword wound.” Kirishima offered, leaning over him and filling up the space next to Todoroki’s head. “And you’re a demon now which means not compatible.”

“I’m what?”

“So no freakouts and lots of cuddling.” Kirishima ignored his question in favor of jabbing a finger against his forehead, only to have it batted away by Todoroki.

Tenya didn’t see what cuddling was supposed to fix but, as Todoroki resumed stroking his head he found it was easier to relax fully and let what the others were saying sink in without the same panic creeping up on hm.

“Fallen Angels are our enemies. One of them, at least. We have a tentative truce but some of them are rogue, and are out to destroy all holy relics to keep the users from being recruited by heaven or hell.” Todoroki said, hand touching Iida’s chest. “You were lucky to be carrying that summoning circle I gave you earlier. You must have bleed on it and, when you wished to not die, we were able to come to you and save you.”

“At the cost of your immortal soul.” Bakugou added as casually as one would discuss whether or not they thought it would rain.

“On the upside, you’re kind of immortal now.” Kirishima said.

“You’re a demon. I resurrected you, with my magic, as a member of the House of Todoroki, which I’m the heir of.” Todoroki grimaced, mouth screwing up like he’d tasted something bitter. “In exchange for giving you life, you will now live your life for me, as my Knight, like Eijirou is my Rook, Bakugou is my Queen-”

“Oi, don’t say it like that.”

“And Denki and Hitoshi are my bishops.”

Tenya’s eyes drifted over to the chess set on the table. The pieces, what remained of them, were carved out of what looked like red glass and were glowing from the inside, pulsing gently in time to a beat he couldn’t catch. All the pawns were there, along with a single rook and the king. Everything else was missing.

“I put a lot into bringing you back, Iida, and if turns out badly Bakugou will never let me live it down. I’m expecting a lot from you.” Todoroki’s voice dropped, became a whisper Tenya could almost believe was just for him. “Understand?”

“No.” He said honestly.

Todoroki’s lashed lowered and mouth curled into a smile so big Tenya could see a hint of teeth. “ Sleep now , Iida.”

Sleep was literally the last thing from his mind. He had to get home, before his family missed him. He had to call the cops about some psycho going around yanking out people’s...well, maybe he would leave the soul yanking part, but the stabbing! That was bad. He needed to ask questions, to understand what was happening.

But, as if Todoroki’s words were more than just words, his eyelids became heavy and exhaustion washed over him. He blinked once, twice, and was floating in endless, peaceful darkness again.

---

Tenya woke up somewhere that wasn’t his room, in a large bed that wasn’t his own, under sheets that were much too soft against his skin to be his, with a warm body pressed tightly to his side, a head pillowed on his shoulder, a long leg tossed over his body and a fist laying on his chest. He had an arm around them, tucked around what he was pretty sure was their waist, hand gripping their...yes, yes, that was probably their butt.

Also he was naked.

And the person was naked.

And aroused, if what felt an awful lot like an erection pressed against his him was in fact an erection, bare and hot and smearing fluid against his skin, pressed against his hip.

He stared straight up at the ceiling, a very elegant affair with an actual mural full of creatures with leathery black wings, black feathered wings, and white feathered wings clashing in battle, and tried to remember how to breathe.

The body next to him stirred, somehow shifting even closer as they stretched, leg curling tighter, and hot breath brushing over his chest. Tenya shivered.

“Hmm? Iida?” The head lifted, red and white hair cascading over Tenya in tickling streams. The hand on his chest dragged, leaving a trail of tingling flesh in its wake. Tenya flushed, hot from head to toe, as Todoroki pushed himself up to peer down at him. “You’re awake.”

“...that seems debatable.” In fact this was very much like some dreams he’d had in the past, only those usually started with clothes and admittedly cheesy dialogue, not nudity and blood soaked war murals.

Mismatched eyes widened and Todoroki’s cheeks pinkened. He coughed then looked away, lashes lowering. “How are you feeling? Any pain?”

Tenya’s brows knitted together. “No?”

Fingers brushed against his skin and traced a line down his sternum. The feather light touch was distracting, almost a tease if not for the pensive expression on the other’s face. “Skin to skin contact helps with healing. Magic flows better without barriers.” His hand drifted back up then pressed flat, touching his throat and spanning his collarbone. “The closer we are the faster you’ll heal.”

The word heal gave him pause and poked at something...something right there, just out of reach, something that, even in this stranger than usual dream felt strange.

But he lost the thread, had it slip between his fingers like so much water, when Todoroki kissed him. It was a light touch, lips warm against his own, soft and yielding under pressure, a little wet. Nice. Hesitant, almost, and different from the dramatic, heated kisses he normally dreamed up, where clothes came flying off and there were tongues everywhere.

Todoroki pulled back, head tilting to the side. "Was that okay?" Tenya nodded empathtically; his lips were tingling. "Can I do it again?"

Another nod and Todoroki was leaning back in, whispering against his lips before fitting their mouths together once more.

"Let me take care of you, My Knight."