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Chapter Text

When Izuku Midoriya turned four years old, he knew two things: He wanted to be a Hero like All Might more than anything in the world and that he was destined to be mated to Katsuki Bakugou.

At the age of nineteen and freshly graduated from U.A., his first wish was well on track. While his Quirkless childhood had done its best to condemn Izuku to a civilian lifestyle, thanks to All Might himself and the wondrous power of One for All, there was no doubt in Izuku’s mind that he would fulfill the legacy placed upon his head and carry on the name of the Symbol of Peace.

His second goal of courting Kacchan was a work in progress, but Izuku had hope. He was still young and there was plenty of time yet to work on relationships while he started his Hero Career proper.

Truth be told, only Kacchan could make the simple act of mating more difficult than acquiring a Quirk.

But that was fine, really. A part of Izuku preferred it that way because stubbornness was just something Kacchan excelled at and there was a thrill that came with the pursuit that cried out to the more primal instincts of his inner being. And despite what Uraraka and Iida would tell you, Izuku knew how to be patient when things mattered.

Kacchan mattered.

Enough so that when Izuku had presented as an Alpha—not only a year earlier than his peers, but also to the surprise of his two Beta parents—he had fully resigned himself to a life of perversion if need be.

Kacchan had had “Alpha” written all over him as a child with his dominant personality, sharp canines, and fearsome Quirk. Aggression suited him and he was the picture perfect image of his Alpha mother.

Even knowing that Kacchan would likely present as the most aggressive and dominant of the three classes, Izuku found his interest in the other did not fade. If anything, his crush on Kacchan had remained as strong as ever, only increasing as he grew to admire the other’s strong presence and dedication to victory. Even Kacchan’s indifference and occasional violence aimed at Izuku’s “uselessness” as they grew up through elementary and middle school did nothing to deter his desire to be mated with Kacchan when they came of age.

Izuku couldn’t help himself. It was like fate itself had ripped out his heart and handed it to Kacchan to do with what he pleased.

As more and more of their peers presented their secondary classifications, Izuku had grown anxious of how things would work if Kacchan also presented as an Alpha when his own affections had refused to waver. No one caught his attention like Kacchan did whenever he bragged or smiled. No one smelled as good. No one else even blipped Izuku’s radar. Being mated to anyone else just didn’t register as an option.

Ever difficult, Kacchan did Izuku’s wild imagination no favors by being a late bloomer. Even by the end of their third year of middle school, he still hadn’t presented, even though it seemed “Alpha” was the inevitable choice.

So Izuku had researched.

Alpha-Alpha pairings were ultimately considered a perversion: A failure of biology that refused to take advantage of the Alpha’s fertile nature to pass on their genes, as well as an abandonment of the “natural course” that made them lust for and satisfy the needs of an Omega spouse.

They still happened, however, so young Izuku had held out hope he might be able to one day convince or seduce Kacchan into a life of debauchery.

(Or at least be enough of an influence that Kacchan might consider a second spouse in addition to whatever Omega might catch his fancy. There were always other options, even if Izuku would have to grit his teeth through them.)

Thankfully, it never became a problem.

During their second year at U.A., his slightly-matured Kacchan had presented as a Beta two weeks after he had been bedridden with the flu. His mother believed that the severe illness had finally kickstarted Kacchan’s hormones into gear from their resting state. Izuku wasn’t quite sure how it really worked, but Kacchan walked into class finally sporting his own unique Scent all the same, albeit dulled due to his Beta class. Kacchan had been overall disappointed he wasn’t an Alpha, but sometimes life worked out that way.

Izuku, on the other hand, couldn’t remember the last time he had been so relieved.

Alpha-Beta pairings were looked down upon, but not uncommon—case in point, Kacchan’s father was a Beta. And best of all, Beta were capable of childbirth. True, they would only have one or two children over the course of their lifetime compared to the full, multiple litters Omega could produce, but Izuku would be happy with one child if it was with Kacchan.

But the gratefulness of knowing he wouldn’t be a total social outcast was nothing compared to the relief of knowing Kacchan wasn’t an Omega.

A secret, ugly part of Izuku fantasized about it once in a while during those long years while he had waited for Kacchan to present. There was a reason that the Alpha-Omega match was expected and why entire Matchmaking Houses were dedicated to it. They fit together the way biology had designed; two halves meant to complete each other.

Izuku would not deny the thought of Kacchan on his back, begging Izuku to take care of him, had kept his fifteen year old self up at night—multiple nights—until the reality of what that would have meant set in. The terror that Izuku might lose Kacchan forever if he had presented as anything other than an Beta or Alpha had kept him up at night after that in a far more unpleasant fashion.

No matter how nice of a daydream Kacchan being an Omega would be, it wasn’t worth the risk of some other Alpha getting their hands on Kacchan first. The thought filled him with a rage he could only blame on natural forces beyond his control.

Being a Beta was the best outcome without question.

And not just because Izuku wouldn’t have to suffer the title of “pervert” for the rest of his life.

Kacchan’s Beta class meant he wasn’t particularly desirable from a biological front for the Alpha looking to have large families and his strong personality kept the rest of them away. Kacchan wasn’t scared to butt heads with other Alpha, posturing and yelling and growling just as loudly as any of them might. He may have been a Beta, but as far as other Alpha were concerned, it’d be like dating one of their own—a fact Izuku had learned long ago most weren’t even willing to consider.

Other Beta who showed interest were easy enough to discourage to the point they weren’t even a concern. No Beta would dare challenge Izuku when he’d made his own interest in courting Bakugou well known.

Kacchan could stay single for now all he liked. Eventually, he’d feel that same natural tug to mate that the rest of the population experienced and when that day came, Izuku would be right there waiting for him.

Chapter Text

“Deku! Inquiring minds want to know! You’ve been of age for quite some time now but so far no sign of a mate! Will you be visiting any of the Matchmaking Houses before the year is out?” The reporter asked, shoving their microphone in Deku’s face. Dirt clung to his cheeks from the falling building he’d just caught, saving about thirty or forty people from its clutches. Not that the press cared about that when the nation’s newest Hero Darling was old enough to pick a mate. “There’s quite a lot of gossip running around about who you might pick to carry on the Midoriya name.”

“Oh, no. I have no plans of that in my future.” Deku held his hands up and laughed, amused and full of teeth. Practiced for the press like he’d been expecting this question. “I have no intention of mating with an Omega at this time.”

“That’s a bold statement,” the reporter said. “Is there a reason?”

“I already have someone special in mind,” Deku said, continuing to smile brightly for the camera. “I’ve been courting him for years now and I don’t have eyes for anyone else. His explosive personality has had me smitten since we were four, what more can I say?”

“You may have broken the hearts of thousands of eligible Omega with that statement, you know,” the reporter pressed.

“Sadly, there’s only one heart I’m interested in,” Deku said. He held up a hand and laughed. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to assist in the clean up. That rubble won’t move itself!”

Deku walked away from the stunned reporter, not a care in the world of how this was going to affect his own PR or the fact everyone in the world knew who he was talking about.

Katsuki wanted to strangle him.

“It’s probably a good thing you want to stay single,” Kirishima said, crossing his arms next to Katsuki on the couch. The television with the news report continued to air, showing Deku cleaning up with their gossip overlaying the footage. “Because I feel bad for anyone you tried to date with an Alpha like that courting you. I think he’s done everything short of straight up marking you to get the point across that he’s staking a claim.”

“I’d bust his nose open if he tried,” Katsuki said, picking up the remote. He changed the channel, flipping through the other news stories talking about how Deku had rescued the people downtown looking for anything else. “And he knows it.”

“I have to give him props, though, it’s pretty manly to be that dedicated and persistent,” Kirishima said. He leaned back on the couch and pulled his legs up. He nudged Katsuki in the side with his elbow. “That is a guy totally willing to die single if you keep turning him down.”

“That makes him an idiot,” Katsuki said. He stopped on a channel advertising cute jewelry for the “spoiled Omega” in your life. Nothing but decorations for a potential gilded cage. He looked at Kirishima out of the corner of his eye. “What about you? Didn’t you turn twenty last month? Pretty sure being Red Riot counts as proof of provision.”

Kirishima rubbed the back of his neck and leaned on the couch arm, slumping down. “I did think about visiting one, but the thought of going by myself was kinda intimidating. I mean, you’re going there to meet your mate! The person who’ll have your kids and you spend the rest of your life providing for and protecting!”

Katsuki cracked a small smile, shaking his head. “So the big bad Alpha wants someone to go hold his hand while he looks at potential mates?”

“If you’re trying to imply there’s something unmanly about wanting support from your friends while making the biggest decision of your life, then you’re wrong,” Kirishima said, putting his hands on his chest. Katsuki turned off the television and shoved Kirishima off the couch. Unfazed, Kirishima clasped his hands together and grinned at Katsuki from the floor. “I also wouldn’t say no if that was an offer.”

It hadn’t been.

He’d only been curious concerning his best friend’s future plans now that he was old enough to legally start a family. Kirishima was one of the few Alpha that Katsuki knew for sure would treat his future mate right, so for once, he didn’t get the usual skin crawling feeling that typically accompanied thinking about an Alpha and Omega being mated.

However, he couldn’t fight the chill that rushed down his spine at the thought of walking into one of those places willingly.

But Kirishima had those big damn puppy eyes out and Katsuki had gotten way, way too soft in the past four years.

He had his pills.

He’d be fine.

“When do you want to go?” Katsuki asked, rubbing the bottom of his mouth.

“Thank you, man!” Kirishima jumped up and tackled Katsuki in a hug. He allowed it, shoving Kirishima off after the contact got too much. His friend pulled out his phone and tapped away at the keys, excitement in his eyes. “I think there’s an open house this weekend! Let’s go then.”

“Sure,” Katsuki said. He dragged his hand through his hair and breathed out.

He hoped he didn’t regret this.

Izuku dropped the stack of tabloids on his kitchen table as he passed by. Pictures of himself and Kacchan had been cobbled together to highlight the gossip article titled: “World’s Most Eligible Hero Courts Beta!? Read inside for more!” He had laughed so hard at the magazine and the cartoon hearts drawn around them when he picked up his groceries he couldn’t help but grab a copy or two.

If Kacchan ever saw them, he’d light the entire store on fire.

His phone rang as Izuku searched his fridge for leftovers and he answered with a strong, “Hello, Deku speaking.”

“Oh, good. You’re alive!” Uraraka said from the other end. “I was scared Bakugou might have actually murdered you over declaring your love for him on television.”

“You think he saw that?” Izuku asked, leaning against his counter and smiling at the tabloids. “I have my doubts since I haven’t had an angry text or phone call from him yet.”

Uraraka laughed on the other end, knocking into something as she smacked her hand on the table. “I bet Bakugou’s ignoring you because he knows it feeds your ego when he pays attention to you.”

“Maybe,” Izuku said, taking a seat at his kitchen bar. He appreciated these phone calls from his friend, but there were some topics he’d already beaten into the ground. “So how are you doing? I saw you were hard at work the other day stopping a burglary.”

“You know it,” Uraraka said. He heard her old couch creak as she sat down. “And I also know a topic dodge when I see one. You’re pretty set on Bakugou, but have you thought about what you’re going to do if he keeps saying no? I mean, it certainly can’t hurt for you to at least look at other options. Even if you don’t want an Omega for whatever reason, there are lots of other Beta out there!”

“We are not having this conversation again,” Izuku said, resting his head back. He slumped back against the counter, sliding down on the stool. He stared across the room at a photo of him and Kacchan at U.A. taped to the wall from one of their final exams. The two of them had been partnered up for a search and rescue exercise and they’d been brilliant. Three years of training, hard work, and compromise had paid off. They had never been closer to each other then during that moment. Izuku wanted that feeling to come back. “It’s Kacchan or nothing, Uraraka.”

“Are you really listening to yourself?” She asked. “He doesn’t like you, Izuku.”

“Yet,” Izuku said. “He doesn’t like me that way, yet.”

She did the inevitable, heavily performed and loud sigh over the other line. “And what makes you think he’s going to change his mind?”

“Nothing,” Izuku said. He leaned his head back and stared at the ceiling. “But I also know he’s worth waiting for, so it doesn’t really matter either way.”

“I can’t tell if your dedication is admirable or sad,” Uraraka said. “Just try and be a little more subtle about it in the media. Bakugou’s already pretty skittish around you these days, so I doubt you want to make it worse.”

“That’s fair,” Izuku said. He hopped off the stool and stretched his back out as he headed to the center of his apartment. “Thanks, Uraraka.”

“Catch you later, Deku!”

He turned off his phone and tossed it on the couch seat next to him as he sat. Uraraka did have a point—he might have gone a tad far in singling Kacchan out on television that way, even if he didn’t say his name. It was easy enough to put together who he’d been talking about considering “Deku” and Ground Zero worked together often (though still not often enough) and were famous for being a Hero Duo from the same town.

But he couldn’t not say it either.

The desire to stake a claim on Kacchan burned in every inch of him and Izuku constantly fought the instinctual desire to corner him until he submitted. Kacchan would never go down easy, fighting and screaming every step of the way, but even that gave Izuku a thrill. Taming someone as terrifying and powerful as Kacchan into submission— knowing that Kacchan would only yield for Izuku—made his blood rush.

Izuku groaned and rolled over onto his side on the couch. He covered his face and breathed in to calm himself down.

(Maybe he really was a pervert.)

Katsuki arrived at the Matchmaking House at ten o’clock in the morning as arranged and rested his head against the steering wheel. Kirishima should be waiting for him at the door, but he needed a moment to settle his nerves. He shouldn’t be here. Katsuki shouldn’t be anywhere near this building, but he’d promised Kirishima he’d support the nervous idiot.

He was a Beta. Katsuki sucked in a breath. A Beta. A plain, average, Beta. No one in there would care about him at all. He couldn’t legally be mated to an Omega so they’d ignore him to try and find an Alpha they could tolerate. The Alpha in the room wouldn’t pay him any mind at all with Omega to ogle.

He’d be fine.

Katsuki would hold Kirishima’s damn hand, remind him he was a genuinely nice guy, a Pro Hero, and that he could randomly pick someone out of a hat and they’d be thrilled to be with him, so he was worrying over nothing.

Kirishima would get flustered.

They’d leave.

It’d be done.

“Okay, let’s do this,” Katsuki said. He shoved his car door open and put on his shades as he locked up and headed to the front entrance. You could have spotted Kirishima’s spiked hair from a mile away, so it was easy enough to tap up to his side. “You ready, Romeo?”

“You’re going to tease me the entire time we’re in here, aren’t you?” He asked, straightening his shirt. While Katsuki had chosen to dress down in jeans and a light jacket, Kirishima had spruced himself up with a button down shirt and slacks. He looked ready to make a good first impression. “I can’t tell if that'll help or not considering how nervous I am right now.”

“The fact you’re nervous is a good thing,” Katsuki said, glaring at an Alpha that strut through the door, oozing in his own overpowering aroma and self-declared authority. “At least you remember the Omega in here are people.”

“Of course they’re people,” Kirishima said, scrunching his nose. “What else would they be?”

“And this is why we’re friends,” Katsuki said, slapping Kirishima on the back before shoving him into the main entrance. “Daylight’s burning. Let’s get this over with.”

“Okay, okay!” Kirishima said, throwing his hands up.

The main lobby of the building had been decorated in marble floors and countertops, clean and polished. Professional. Kirishima whistled at the detail in the decor trimmings and the people milling about, posturing this way and that. The room looked beautiful, but the stench of competing Alpha nearly overwhelmed Katsuki. He had no idea how the Omega in the building could put up with it every day.

To his shame, Katsuki stuck close to Kirishima, focusing on the soft scent of warm earth that hovered around his person.

The receptionist at the front desk recognized Red Riot immediately and perked up. “Hello, sir! How can we help you today?”

Kirishima tugged on his shirt sleeve. “I was wondering if you could tell me how the open house worked?”

“Of course,” she said. Pulling out a small folder of paperwork she stood to help hand it over the high counter. “If you would just fill out your information here, I’ll be more than happy to explain the process while you write.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Kirishima said.

Katsuki leaned on the counter, pretending not to listen as the woman started her spiel.

“I want to start by saying that you will find that all of the Omega in our establishment passed their Finishing School exams with flying colors and all of them are more than ready and eager to be the perfect spouse. We are deeply grateful you’ve chosen our Matchmaking House for selecting your future mate.”

Kirishima nodded, concentrating on the paperwork that listed his credentials. Katsuki struggled not to make a fist.

“Today’s Open House is a nice way for you to see all of your options. Our Omega will be sitting in the waiting room and you’re welcome to talk to anyone who catches your eye to hopefully get to know them better. It’s a big decision, so make sure you take your time.”

“Right,” Kirishima said, swallowing. Katsuki knocked him in the arm with his knuckles and hissed, “Relax, idiot.” Kirishima straightened and handed back the completed paperwork. He rubbed the back of his neck and tried to smile. “Talking. I can do that.”

“Now if you see someone you like enough to be a potential mate,” the receptionist said, straightening the stack she’d been handed. “Then we can move onto the next step. If you can provide the full dowery up front, your chosen mate can go home with you today! If not, then you are welcome to return next week during the open auction and see if there are any other suitors. If there are none and you meet the minimum bid, you’ll be welcome to take your new spouse home.”

“And if there’s competition?” Kirishima asked.

“You have a variety of options from simply outbidding them monetarily to challenging them in traditional combat,” the receptionist said. She leaned forward, holding a hand near her face at the side of her lips. “Though forgive me for saying, but I doubt you will have trouble with that. I don’t think there’s anyone here who’d challenge a Pro Hero and expect to win.”

“Ah, I don’t know, I’m sure a few would try,” Kirishima said. Katsuki agreed. Alpha could be idiots that way. Lord knows his own mother would have jumped into the ring against All Might himself if Katsuki’s dad had been up on the plate. Kirishima punched one fist into his other palm. “Oh! Can Bakugou come in with me? I know he’s a Beta, but he’s not here for picking a mate, he’s just keeping me company. I’d hate for him to have to sit out here alone the whole time after asking him to come.”

“Of course he can, as long as he knows not to interfere with the matchmaking conversations,” the receptionist said. Katsuki didn’t bother to grace her with a response. The woman nodded, content with that statement before tapping on her computer and printing two slips. She handed the passes over the counter and Kirishima picked his up. “Those will let you though the gate. Please make sure to return them when you leave.”

“Thank you,” Kirishima said. He held up his pass and inhaled as they left the desk. He turned to Katsuki and breathed out. “I can’t tell if I’m excited or terrified.”

“You do know you don’t have to pick a mate out today,” Katsuki said. “Relax already or you’re going to scare someone.”

“You are so right,” Kirishima said. He scanned his badge and walked through the gate. Katsuki followed, still close to his arm to keep track of him. The scent of posturing Alpha only increased as they reached the back room and it overwhelmed everything else. Kirishima whistled as they entered the small parlor area. “Wow.”

Chatter and laughter filled the room, with Omega and Alpha paired off everywhere. A few Alpha had two or three Omega around them, while others had ganged up two or three on a chosen target in a corner. Most of them appeared to be behaving themselves and at least half the occupants in the room were either Alpha talking amongst themselves as they pointed at Omega in the room or Omega waiting for someone to come speak with them.

Kirishima looked on in awe.

Katsuki felt his stomach twist and his palms sweat as he stood in the room. It was his worst nightmare in stereo, surrounding him in every corner. He needed this to be done and to get out.

“Well?” Katsuki asked. He shoved Kirishima forward. “Go talk to someone, idiot.”

“I’m going! I’m going!” Kirishima said. He held his hands up and crossed the room, looking around like a lost pet before he spotted an Omega sitting by herself. He sucked in a deep breath before walking over and shouting “Hello!” far too loud and nervous.

The girl laughed and Katsuki let go of the breath he was holding.

Crossing his arms, he made for an empty bench off to the side. He just had to close his eyes, pretend he wasn’t here and then it’d all be over. Katsuki could put up with Kirishima gushing about mates for a few days if it meant getting out faster.

“Well look what we’ve got here!” A snide voice called out. Katsuki turn his head and snarled, seeing Phantom Thief of all people. The smug Alpha grinned at Katsuki and laughed behind his hand. “Don’t tell me Ground Zero is so much of a wanna-be Alpha now that he’s trying to find himself an Omega? The scandal!”

“I will break your face in,” Katsuki said. He closed the distance between them, snarling in the other blond’s face. “Don’t test me.”

“You’ve got the growling down at least,” Monoma said. He refused to budge, his own scent of sweat and musk increasing as he matched Katsuki’s aggression. “But I was only teasing. I know perfectly well you’re just here as moral support for your little friend. I mean, we all know that Deku, a real Alpha, will eventually stop humoring this little macho act you’re putting on and put you in your place under him one day, so whatever would you need a mate of your own for?”

Katsuki’s rage blocked out his vision and filled him so completely he might has well have been a real Alpha when he threw his fist in Monoma’s eye.

Chapter Text

After thousands of fights with Alpha, no matter which one he traded blows with, Katsuki had learned that they always escalated in violence and intensity the longer they went on. Even sniveling little Alpha like Monoma knew how to be vicious when their blood shouted with the need for dominance.

The joy that came from crushing them was the only thing that kept Katsuki’s own screaming instincts at bay.

“Die!” Katsuki slammed an uppercut into Monoma’s upper ribs, grinning around his split lip and the pounding in his skull from where Phantom Thief got in a lucky hit. “I’m going to rip you apart!”

The other hero growled, pupils slit and teeth barred as he grabbed Katsuki’s arm and fell back, jamming his leg into Katsuki’s gut. He rolled, flinging Katsuki over his shoulder and into a table. The wood shattered underneath him, knocking into his side. Katsuki hissed under his breath but refused to stay down. Palms sparking as he got up, he made a run for Monoma again.

“Hey!” Kirishima attempted to get in the way, Quirk active as he attempted to get in Katsuki’s path. “This is getting out of hand.”

Katsuki paid him no mind, too angry to think straight. He’d already had too many nightmares of Deku having his way and getting what he wanted to have Monoma suggesting it when Katsuki was awake. He shoved Kirishima aside and threw another punch at Monoma. The only thought on his mind was breaking that snide Alpha’s face and making him eat his words.

His place in the world was as a Pro Hero and nothing else.

Monoma lowered to make a running tackle, but Katsuki was ready for him. He dove to the side and caught him, slamming his foot into the back of Monoma’s knee, dropping him to the floor. The other Hero hit the ground and Katsuki barely contained his shout as he cupped his hands together and swung to knock Monoma right back down as he tried to stand again.

“Bakugou! Stop it right now!”

The Order slammed into him like a freight train, sucking the air out of his lungs. No amount of suppressants could erase the immediate response to obey and Katsuki doubled over from the force of it.

Hands on his knees he sucked in a heavy breath, arms trembling as he fought off a whimper. He bit his lip to stop the sound from escaping and shut his eyes as he focused on his own heartbeat.

“Shit. Oh, shit, shit, shit! I didn’t mean to do that,” Kirishima said, rushing over to Katsuki’s side. He hovered just in his peripheral, arms out ready to steady Katsuki if he looked like he would actually fall to his knees. “I’m sorry. You were really going to hurt him and I was trying to get your attention. It just came out as an Order. I panicked.”

“You’re still panicking,” Katsuki wheezed, covering his lower mouth.

“Right,” Kirishima said. He put a hand on Katsuki’s shoulder and rubbed it. “I’m really sorry though. I know you hate when I do that.”

“Of course he does,” Monoma said, straightening his ripped vest. “It reminds him what he is.”

Katsuki glared at Monoma through his bangs, unable to take any pleasure in the giant bruise forming on the side of his face.

That idiot had no idea just how right he was.

Monoma turned away, muttering under his breath. “This is why Beta shouldn’t be Pro Heroes.”

Kirishima slammed Monoma into the ground so fast Katsuki barely caught it. Monoma’s nose bled heavily after he rolled onto his back and he whined through his hands. The room went silent as Kirishima stood over Monoma, hand raised in a fist and his hardening Quirk slowly crawling up his body. His eyes had slit over and Katsuki honestly couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen that happen to his friend.

“Say that again,” Kirishima said, daring Monoma to move.

“Any Beta that cowers to an Order doesn’t deserve to be in the field,” Monoma said, wiping the blood from his upper lip. “There are as many Alpha Villains as there are Heroes and that makes him a liability.”

Kirishima grabbed the front of Monoma’s jacket and yanked him up until they were nose to nose. “I’ve seen Bakugou stand up to Orders from Alpha a hundred times more impressive than you. His Guard is impeccable.

“The only reason he fell to mine is because we’re friends. He trusts me and has never needed his Guard up around me,” Kirishima continued, voice even. “I blindsided him and he has nothing to be ashamed about. He’s a better Pro Hero than most Alpha I know, Beta or not. So keep your mouth shut.”

Kirishima dropped Monoma to his feet and kept at the ready.

“Aren’t you the protective one,” Monoma said. Smart, he turned away and brushed off his arms. “Are we done?”

“You are,” Kendo said. The redheaded Alpha shoved her way through a small group of gawking Omega and stopped near Monoma’s side. She put her hands on her hips and exhaled heavily through her nose. “I leave you alone for five minutes and you pick a fight. Why am I not surprised?”

Monoma looked away, immediately giving Kendo the authority. “What took you?”

“I had to talk with someone, but now we’re leaving,” Kendo said. She pushed him on the side and nudged him toward the door. Monoma rolled his eyes, sparing a glare to Katsuki and Kirishima as he left. When the door shut behind him, Kendo turned and sighed softly. “Sorry about that. He didn’t really want to be here today, so he was on edge already.”

“Didn’t want to be here?” Kirishima asked.

Kendo’s eyes glanced at the door, her gaze much softer than it should have been from one Alpha to another. “Long story. We can catch up later.”

She waved and followed him out.

Katsuki stood, hating the way he still shook from the shock of taking an Order from an associated Alpha. Even with all his practice at fighting those off, there was no way he’d be able to stop one from someone as close to him as Kirishima.

He wasn’t wired for anything else.

“Are you okay?” Kirishima asked.

He looked concerned and Katsuki nodded before Kirishima’s worry increased. “Peachy.”

“Monoma doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” Kirishima said, crossing his arms. “I think he’s still jealous you out scored him in U.A. for all three years.”

“Maybe,” Katsuki said. He glanced around the room and licked his lips. “Looks like some people in here want your attention.”

“What?” Kirishima asked. As he turned around he noticed that every Omega in the room was staring at him with awe and wide eyes, while every Alpha immediately averted their gaze when he looked their way. Kirishima swallowed, and licked his lip. “Oh.”

“Congrats,” Katsuki said, patting his friend on the shoulder. He shoved Kirishima to the center of the parlor and said, “You’re the top dog in the room. Go talk to someone so we can go the fuck home.”

The swarm of interested suitors fell on his friend, sending the room into a new form of chaos. Katsuki mentally apologized to Kirishima but he was too tired to deal with it all. He trudged over to the empty bench he’d been aiming for earlier and collapsed into it, closing his eyes.

Katsuki knew he shouldn’t have come here.

He could only hope tomorrow would be better.

“Kacchan!” Izuku jogged to catch up with his target, slowing when he reached the other’s side. To his delight, Kacchan kept his pace even allowing Izuku to walk beside him without much fuss. “Do you—”

“No,” Kacchan said, cutting him off.

Izuku pushed his mask back and tugged down the mouthpiece. “You didn’t even let me finish.”

“I don’t really care,” Kacchan said. He reached the company car and opened the back seat, getting in and sliding across for Izuku to follow. The driver pulled away from the curb, taking them back to the agency to change and turn in their patrol report. “The only thing I’m doing is going home. I don’t want to see you or any other Alpha for at least a week.”

Izuku leaned back in his seat. Kacchan sounded exhausted, which was odd and slightly worrisome. Normally after patrol or beating up a Villain or two he was on top of the world. He also never typically cared about who he hung out with when it came to classes. Izuku watched Kacchan for any clues as he asked, “Did something happen?”

“Nothing important,” Kacchan said. He rested his head on the back rest and closed his eyes. “Some idiots just don’t know when to keep their mouths shut.”

With that, the conversation appeared over as their ride continued on its track back to headquarters.

Izuku took this moment to study Kacchan. In addition to the tired state that clung to his limbs and voice, Izuku noted that there was a slight discoloring hidden behind the mask. If he peeled it off, Izuku imagined he’d reveal a bruise—which meant that whatever thing this mystery Alpha said, it had led to a fight.

Under normal circumstances, that wouldn’t be a big deal.

Kacchan put lesser Alpha in their place all the time for all sorts of things from looking at him the wrong way to insulting the wrong person. Kacchan had been doing that that since even before he presented his class.

To have bothered Kacchan this much, whatever harassment he’d endured must have been personal.

Izuku clasped his hands together and steadied his breath before he became too angry.

The car pulled up to the side of their building and Kacchan left without a word. Izuku followed behind, a solution forming on the tip of his tongue to keep this from happening to Kacchan again. He really shouldn’t say it, though.

But he did anyway.

“You know, Kacchan, if you let me mark you then other Alpha would leave you alone,” Izuku said, voice low. “We don’t need to be mates to do that.”

Kacchan came to a dead stop, hand on the door. He looked over his shoulder, his face completely blank. “I’m going to pretend you didn’t say that.”

“If it feels more like a compromise, I’d even let you mark me back,” Izuku said, pointing at his own neck. “It doesn’t quite work the same, but if you bit me hard enough it’s certainly going to leave a bruise at least.”

“You, an Alpha, would be seen wearing a mark?” Kacchan asked, almost as if he was considering it.

Izuku felt his pulse pick up and pressed his tongue into the roof of his mouth. He wondered if he should have thought of letting Kacchan mark him earlier. Maybe that would have moved things along a little faster in their courting.

(He would be the type to like that sort of thing, wouldn’t he?)

“If you’re the one who did it,” Izuku said, being utterly truthful. “I wouldn’t mind.”

Kacchan pulled away from the door and stopped an inch from Izuku. He put a hand on the wall behind Izuku’s head and leaned down. “You are not marking me and I’m not going to mark anyone. I’m not an Alpha.”

“I know that,” Izuku said.

“But I do know something you can do for me,” Kacchan said.

He leaned near Izuku’s ear, breath warm and allowing him to be close enough to smell Kacchan’s Scent. The surprisingly soft aroma calmed Izuku and he desperately wished it were stronger. Then he could smell it all the time instead of only when Kacchan dared to close the distance himself.

Izuku whispered, “Anything.”

“Go find an Alpha Only club and get this shit out of your system,” Kacchan said. Izuku curled his fingers into a fist. “Because it’s becoming clear to me, that’s what you really want and I’m just the closest thing you can find that’s still ‘safe’ to date in the public.”

“That’s not true,” Izuku said, putting a hand on Kacchan’s chest. He leaned up and dug his fingers in. “I don’t care about being with an Alpha, I just want to be with you.”

“Then you’re going to be alone a long time,” Kacchan said, a hint of pity lacing his words. He shoved Izuku’s hand off his chest and stepped away, turning his back on Izuku. “Go find somebody else to obsess over.”

He stomped inside their building, motions stiff and laggy. Their confrontation hadn’t done anything for Kacchan’s already poor condition.

Izuku pushed away from the building, almost smiling to himself. He knew full well that Kacchan was not an Alpha. If he was, he’d know by now that Alpha didn’t give up when they set their sights on something whether it was mating or taking care of what belonged to them.

It just wasn’t in their nature to be anything else.

First Katsuki had to visit the stupid Matchmaking House, then he had to deal with Monoma, and not even two days later, Katsuki got stuck on a patrol with Deku who had decided to up his courting by flat out asking to mark Katsuki.

And to top it off: He ran out of pills.

“Unbelievable,” Katsuki said, staring into the empty bottle. “This day can’t get any worse.”

He had thought he counted better than this. He knew he had counted better than this. Katsuki twisted the cap back on the bottle and went into his bedroom. He dropped onto his back and dragged himself under the bed, grabbing the small emergency packet he’d taped to one of the support beams.

Katsuki swallowed the pills dry and got dressed for the day. The only blessing of all this, was he had the day off which meant he could go visit his favorite doctor and get more before he had to work again.

He shoved the empty bottle into the inner pocket of his jacket and locked his apartment door behind him. Making sure that his hat and glasses were in place, Katsuki tapped down the stairs and out the back door. If he made it across town in the next hour, he should be able to squeeze in a walk-in appointment and get his shit refilled.

It’d be faster to take the train, but Katsuki needed to keep to the back roads to keep any chance of a sighting to a minimum.

He walked.

After fifty minutes, Katsuki found himself in a run down section of the city with crumbling buildings and poor street lighting at night. During the day, the sunlight revealed the thick layer of dirt and grime that coated almost every surface. His destination could be found situated in the back corner of what used to be a fairly busy office building before it had been torn apart by a wayward Villain attack.

Katsuki approached the unmarked door and tapped twice on the metal plate in the center. After about a minute, a small click announced the intercom hidden in the door frame had turned on. Katsuki said, “Let me in or I blow up your building.”

“Always a pleasure to see you, Zero,” a dry voice answered. “It’s unlocked.”

Katsuki pushed open the door, using his sleeve to cover his fingerprints and closed it behind him. The doctor called from behind an operating curtain in the main portion of the small, hidden clinic: “You need to update your pass phrase. We all know you’re never going to do it because where else would you get your fix?”

“I’m sure I’d find somewhere,” Katsuki said. He pushed the curtain open and froze, seeing someone else occupying one of the three exam tables.

Dabi waved his fingers and whistled before grinning, stretching the worn stitches on his face. “Well, well, well! Now there’s a face I wasn’t expecting to see back here. Long time no see, buddy.”

Katsuki almost walked right back out the door.

Chapter Text

Katsuki and Dabi stared each other down, one frowning and the other with a shit-eating grin that Katsuki wanted to punch.

He took in a shaky breath and crossed the room to the Doc, breaking eye contact first. This didn’t matter. Running into another patient had been inevitable and Katsuki couldn’t have avoided it forever. Doc had limited room and no real appointment schedule, which meant patients shared the space. They’d all been told that on their first day when he laid down his conditions for treatment. So far Katsuki had been lucky catching the Doc when he was free whenever he arrived, but it looked like his bad week just decided to continue.

“I know the rules tell us to stay out of other people’s business and don’t ask questions but man I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t curious,” Dabi said, shaking out his hair. Looking closer, Katsuki noted the IV line going into his arm with a clear liquid. “What would bring the famous Pro Hero Ground Zero down to this humble establishment?”

“You two know each other I take it?” Doc said, nose in a chart on his laptop.

“Oh, we cross blows now and again whenever the League decides to make some noise,” Dabi said, leaning back on his rickety exam table. He got a fond look in his eye, that almost felt nostalgic. “And I helped kidnap him a few years back, so that’s got to count for something.”

Rule two in the clinic was no fighting and that was the only thing that kept Katsuki’s feet walking forward and avoiding the Villain. He slammed his empty bottle on the desk with a wad of cash and said, “Refill.”

The Doc pocketed the cash without counting it and looked at the bottle. He clicked twice on the screen and Katsuki saw his chart pop up, albeit under a fake name. Doc stepped away from the desk and patted the exam table closest to him. “Up you go.”

“What?” Katsuki asked.

The Doc walked to the the other side of the room and pulled down a small blood collection kit. He pushed his lab coat aside to reach into his pocket for a key and used it to open a box on the bottom shelf. He put edge of the kit’s sanitary wrapper in his mouth and tugged out a collection vial before locking the box again. “You skipped your last physical, Zero. No check up, no refill.”

“Don’t you just love illegal medical practitioners that actually care about your health?” Dabi asked, laughing from the other table. He waved at the hanging bag on the stand and shook his head with a bit of show. “Take me for example, I’m stuck on fluids for another day because my stitches got infected and he wants to play it safe. Fun, huh?”

“I do not care,” Katsuki said. He ran his hands through his hair and scratched the nape of his neck. “I know you mean well but can I just get what I came for and go? It has been a shitty week already and I am not in the mood for this.”

“You never want to have your physical and you heard me,” Doc said. He pointed at the exam table and repeated himself. He glared straight though his glasses and hissed, his snake tongue darting out. “No exam. No pills. Am I clear?”

“Shit,” Katsuki said. As much as he’d like to tell the Doc to screw himself, he honestly needed the damn pills and that was a man who didn’t bluff. Katsuki ripped his jacket off and hopped onto the table before tugging his sleeve up. “I have literally no complaints about anything health wise. Just take the blood sample.”

“Heroes make the worst patients, don’t they?” Dabi snickered.

“Always,” Doc said. Katsuki glared at Dabi while the man gathered a tube full of blood and hummed under his breath. Katsuki watched him as he finished up and pressed a swab of gauze on his arm over the bleeding dot and taped it down. He patted Katsuki on the thigh as he took the sample toward the back. “I’ll be back in about fifteen minutes. Play nice, you two.”

Katsuki crossed his arms and closed his eyes. He was one blood test away from getting his pills and going home.

But Dabi wouldn’t stop staring.

“What?” Katsuki asked.

“I’m upset at how much I want to break the rules for once,” Dabi said. He reached up and bit the tip of his finger, watching Katsuki closely. The scrutiny made Katsuki’s skin crawl. “There’s a lot of corrupt heroes out there into some dirty business, but I’m surprised to see that you’re one of them. Makes me wonder just what is in those little pills you’re so desperate to get.”

“Keep wondering,” Katsuki said. He stared Dabi down and tried to keep his calm. “Because it’s none of your business.”

Dabi went back to staring, his tongue pressed between his teeth and upper lip before he sat up.

“Oh, wait. I know! You’re taking Alpha supplements, aren’t you?” Dabi dropped his arm on his knee and burst into laugh. “That would explain so much about you, but then again, if you’re trying to be subtle about your Alpha envy you failed big time.”

“Shut up,” Katsuki said. He didn’t need these constant reminders that he could never be the one thing he had really wanted when he was young. Katsuki dragged his hand into his hair and clutched at his scalp, pulling at the strands until it hurt. “I’m getting so sick of hearing that bullshit.”

“Aw, I hit a nerve,” Dabi said. He licked his teeth and dropped his head, hair falling in his face. His smile faded into a soft frown before his eyes shot up and caught Katsuki’s gaze. “If they aren’t supplements, they’re the other way around, aren’t they?”

Katsuki stopped breathing.

“You’re here for suppressants, aren’t you?” Dabi tugged over the IV cord and wrapped it around his fingers, smiling. He kept a hawk’s eye on Katsuki and caught the flinch that gave himself away. Dabi clicked his tongue. “I called it. Oh man, if only I could tell Shigaraki. He’d have tried way harder trying to recruit you back in the day if he knew.”

Katsuki’s palms smoked as he gripped the table. There were rules. There were rules. There were rules and Dabi had to abide by them, too. Katsuki needed to calm down and get a grip.

He could kill Dabi in the alley outside after they left.

“Hey, don’t look so tense,” Dabi said, holding his hands up and stretching the clear tube between them. “If there’s anyone who understands completely, it’s yours truly.”

“And why is that?” Katsuki asked.

“Come on now,” Dabi said, he dropped the IV tube and rested his hands on his knees. “You don’t honestly think you’re the only Omega in the world who said ‘Fuck the system’ are you?”

Dabi laughed at Katsuki’s shocked face and he tugged up a knee to lean on. He dropped his head onto it and grinned at Katsuki across the room, all too knowing and full of warped pity.

Katsuki swallowed and shifted on his own exam table, pressing his hand into the bandage on his arm where the Doc had taken his blood.

This was unknown territory.

It was only his second year at U.A. and Katsuki’s life was over.

He clutched the sheets of his bed, his knees trembling as he struggled to pull himself off the floor. Every smell in the house had increased a hundred fold, making him dizzy with the wave of new Scents from his mom and dad. He could even detect traces of Kirishima where’d he’d come over to study in his usual seat. Katsuki breathed through his mouth, praying that the ache in his lower body would stop so he could move again.

Something had gone wrong.

His newfound senses meant he’d presented but he wasn’t the Alpha he had thought he would be. Katsuki pressed his eyes shut and shoved his face into the side of his mattress. His knees knocked on the floor as he kept trying to get up, shaking so hard he slipped and fell again. Katsuki wasn’t even the Beta he inwardly had always accepted was a possibility. He could smell himself as his pants grew wet, signaling the start of something he’d only heard about.

Katsuki presented five years late with the worst possible outcome: Omega.

Everything was over. Katsuki bit his sheets, ignoring the ever growing pulse and sharp jabs of pains. Even his hip bones felt tender and he wanted to scream.

Omega were taken away to Finishing School where they learned how to please an Alpha. Everyone knew that. Deku and Katsuki had watched in silence with the rest of their class as students that were once friends vanished and were marked off the school rolls their first year of middle school. Omega weren’t allowed to be Heroes. They weren’t allowed to have jobs at all without permission and even then their options were limited. Katsuki’s training, his year at U.A., and all his work would have been for nothing. It’d all been a waste.

His Class didn’t even get to chose their mate. They went to a stupid Matchmaking—Katsuki clutched the sheets tighter, ripping the fabric. He sunk further down to the floor, his head hitting the frame of his bed.

He was already a year older than when most Omega came of age and went to a Matchmaking House.

Katsuki could be claimed by an Alpha tomorrow.

The nausea swallowed his gut, momentarily distracting him from the constant stab of pain under his belly. Why was this happening?

He was supposed to be an Alpha like his mother and shitty Deku—


Katsuki dropped the sheets and curled his arms around himself as he shivered. Deku had been trying to court Katsuki since he presented. He’d made no move to hide his interest, staring at Katsuki throughout the day with so much want that it had unnerved him. But Katsuki had never been truly worried about it before. So Deku was a pervert—what did it matter? He’d grow out of it and Katsuki was going to be an Alpha. Deku would have to find someone else to pine after.

But Katsuki was an Omega.

And Izuku was still an Alpha.

An Alpha physically stronger than Katsuki now that he’d gotten a handle on his Quirk. Even without that, Deku could give Orders. Could Omega say no to an Order? Was that possible? Could they fight it the way a Beta or another Alpha could?

Katsuki didn’t know and it terrified him.

It was too easy to imagine Deku finding Katsuki like this, wet and shaking on the floor. He’d want to be the first. Deku would claim him in a heartbeat before the authorities could take Katsuki away. He’d say something wretched like “I knew it the whole time, Kacchan.” Deku always said they were meant to be together.

Deku had to have known subconsciously this was going to happen. That’s why he was so determined. It would explain so much: Katsuki’s Omega to Deku’s Alpha. A mated pair. Deku must have had daydreams of shoving Katsuki’s face into the ground and helping himself.

And now he could.

Katsuki’s breath hitched and he openly sobbed. The pain continued to grow, spreading like a thousand stab wounds across his body as it demanded attention. He couldn’t take this. He didn’t want this. Katsuki could only cry; doing anything else hurt too much.

That’s how his mother found him: Sobbing on the floor in his own filth.

His eyes could barely focus on the open door as the old hag stared down in him at horror, her hand covering her nose. Katsuki’s chest heaved as he forced himself to breath and they stared at each other for what felt like an eternity.

Katsuki whimpered like the pathetic thing he’d turned into and choked out a soft, “Mom.”

His mother’s eyes slit as she straightened her back. Every inch the powerful force of nature that she was, his mother declared, “Don’t worry, baby. Mom’s going to fix this.”

Before he could answer, she scooped him up in a blanket and her pores opened, drenching the room in her Scent to the point Katsuki felt like he was choking. She slammed his bedroom door open and rushed down the hall to the bathroom.

Holding him against her side, she continued to Scent him and the room. With determined eyes, she turned on the faucet and filled the tub. “I need you to get in the water and stay as clean as you can. My Scent can’t cover yours completely so we need to dull it as much as possible. Can you do that?”

Katsuki wasn’t sure he could move at all and rubbed his face into his mother’s chest, concentrating on her smell instead of how badly his hips hurt.

The longer he stayed here, the harder it was to focus. There was just the constant, pulsing agony and the desire to make it go away that continued to grow. Katsuki needed something to stop it. Anything to stop it. The pangs in his gut made it impossible to think and continued to spread through his limbs in tremors and desperation. His thoughts grew muddled and lost enough to blank out most of the experience, but later he distinctly remembered begging his mother to make it stop.

He pleaded for her to help him.

It was the first time he’d seen his mother cry.

She gathered him into a hug and kissed him on the head, whispering “It’ll be okay.” Katsuki almost felt relieved, but she let go of him right after and left the room. Katsuki’s fingers clung to the cold tile of the floor as he reached for the door. He needed her to come back. He found the energy to grab the door handle and push it forward, but it smacked into something.

They’d blocked him inside.

Katsuki sunk to the floor and pressed his face into the wood. He’d used the last of his energy and the rest of the room blurred as he passed out.

He woke between the spikes of pain when his father came in to hand wash him and apologize over and over as he forced warm soup down Katsuki’s throat.

Katsuki barely noticed in his delirium.

After nearly two weeks of constant need, nightmares, and pain—it ended. Katsuki woke, sore and numb, staring at their bathroom ceiling. It took him longer than he wanted to admit to remember what had happened as he clung to the small fort of blankets he’d hidden himself in.

The true horror of the past two weeks was just beginning. Would they take him away now? Had they called the authorities already and were just waiting for his wretched Heat to end before they claimed him?

He curled further in on himself, ashamed of his nakedness and tears.

Just as the sun set, the door opened. Katsuki peeked through the blankets, expecting a man in a uniform but only seeing his mother. She looked worn and old and her smile was forced.

She sat on the edge of the tub, her feet near the base of Katsuki’s blankets. She held up a small bottle of pills and a sheet of paper that looked official. Her cheeks were soaked with tears and her voice cracked as she said, “Congratulations, baby. You presented as a Beta.”

Katsuki stared at the paper with his name on it and a classification that definitely did not list “Omega” on the line.

He still didn’t know what she had done to get that paper and those pills on such short notice.

“Your father is never going to let me live this down.” His mother sniffed and wiped her face off on her sleeve. “He always joked that you’d be a Beta like him and it looks like he was right!”

Katsuki crawled out of his blankets and tackled his mother in a hug. He could see his father in the doorway and for the first time since he presented, he thought things might be okay.

“Your chart gives me a headache every time I look at it,” Doc said, strolling back into the room with a stack of papers. Katsuki broke away from his own thoughts and ignored the unsettled feeling that sunk into his stomach. “You’re such a mess.”

“I’ll bet if he’s on suppressants,” Dabi said. The Doc whipped his head up and Dabi held up his hands. “Sorry, sorry. I broke the rules and guessed, but I figure for once you’ll let it slide considering what it is we have in common, ya’ know?”

The Doc glanced between Katsuki and Dabi and blew out a breath. “Honestly? Yes. Zero over here could use the second opinion from one of his own instead of the Beta Doctor whose advice he likes to ignore.”

“I don’t ignore your advice,” Katsuki muttered, staring at the side wall.

He listened very carefully and just happened to be selective about which bits he followed through with and which he didn’t.

“Can I get my pills now or what?” Katsuki asked.

The Doc pulled off his glasses and took a seat in his chair. “You wouldn’t happen to have a month’s vacation time saved up would you?”

Katsuki didn’t like where this conversation was going. “Why?”

“Because your body is a wreck, more so than usual,” the Doc said. “Your natural systems are straight up attacking the suppressants at this point which makes me think something kicked them back into waking up. You haven’t done anything that would cause that, did you?”

“Like what?” Katsuki asked. He hadn’t done anything lately he didn’t normally do except—the Matchmaking House.

“Your face tells me you did something,” the Doc said. “What happened?”

“I went with Kirishima to a Matchmaking House,” Katsuki said, sinking back. “He wanted moral support.”

“Aw, how cute,” Dabi said.

“Shut up,” the Doc said. He looked back at Katsuki and touched the side of his head. “So you were in a room full of Alpha on the verge of a rut. That would definitely kick start something.”

“I answered an Order, too,” Katsuki whispered. If there was anything that had reminded him he was an Omega, that was it. A Beta wouldn’t have been so winded and he was still lucky that that no one had really noticed how hard that Order had shaken Katsuki. “It came from Kirishima. I couldn’t. I couldn’t stop it.”

“All the more reason to believe you need a break from your suppressants. If you go without for a month and let your body go through a natural Heat, then it should trick your system into thinking it’s won and you can go back to using the suppressants to hide yourself,” The Doc said. “If not, your insides are going to tear themselves apart competing between your own body and the drugs. In the the best case scenario, you’d go into Heat without warning and in the worst case, you might have a heart attack, or severe organ failure, or any other cause that would lead to dying.”

Dabi whistled. “That’s why I don’t take that shit.”

“Then why can’t I smell you?” Katsuki asked. The suppressants dulled his own Scent, but they didn’t stop him from being able to smell other people.

“Because most of my pores are burnt off, idiot,” Dabi said, pointing at his neck and arms. “Don’t know if you noticed, but it’s kind of hard to smell like anything when there’s nowhere for the smell to come out. And before you ask, I don’t hide that I’m an Omega either—I just don’t advertise it. The people who need to know, know, and the ones that don’t live in blissful ignorance.”

“He also has the benefit of being generally out of the pubic’s radar so no one cares or notices if he disappears for a week at a time,” the Doc said. “Unlike yourself who surrounds himself with Alpha and has to be on guard twenty-four-seven. I swear, the fact no one’s noticed you’re not a Beta for this long makes me doubt the qualifications of the Hero system.”

“They see what they want to,” Katsuki said.

And they all wanted to see an Alpha, not a Beta or Omega. Even Deku, the one who would benefit most from Katsuki’s Class being an Omega seemed to want the first one for some perverted reason.

“But, we’re getting off track,” the Doc said. He put Katsuki’s bottle back on the table and rubbed his eyes. Katsuki picked it up and gritted his teeth as he stared at the five small pills sitting in the bottom. “I can’t in good conscious give you more than that. I shouldn’t have let you get away with it as long as you have.”

“No,” Katsuki said, shaking his head. “No. I haven’t taken a vacation in four years. There’s no way someone won’t want to know what’s going on.”

He couldn’t live through another week of a Heat either. His parents wouldn’t be there to help him this time. They lived too far away and he couldn’t put that burden on them again. He’d taken over getting his own pills. Katsuki would handle his own problems.

“What? You don’t have any buddies of yours you can trust to help you?” Dabi asked, seemingly sincere. “No ‘My friend is dragging me on vacation and I can’t tell him no?’ cover up. I mean, you’d have to take someone with you for that week anyway, so might as well make up a cover story for both.”

“No,” Katsuki said, breathing out. He wiped the sweat of the side of his head and sucked in a breath. He couldn’t take that much time off and he couldn’t have someone with him. No one could see him like that again. Katsuki said, “You don’t know anything, so just stay out of it.”

“Hey, Bakugou,” Dabi said, leaning forward. “Humor me: When was the last time you actually had a Heat?”

Katsuki grabbed what little pills he had and shoved them in his pocket.

He wasn’t answering that.

He was not dealing with this right now.

Not after this week.

“Zero,” the Doc said. He stood up and trailed after him. “We aren’t done. You need to listen!”

Katsuki ignored him; his heart beating a thousand miles a minute in his chest. He pushed passed the curtain and ran out into the street. The Doc didn’t leave his clinic and Katsuki broke into a sprint as he hit the corner.

He didn’t know what to do.

Chapter Text

Something was wrong with Kacchan.

Izuku should have been ecstatic to have another patrol with his favorite person so soon, even if their last one hadn’t ended on the best of terms, but he couldn’t gather the energy with a worm of worry wriggling its way through his stomach and into his chest.

Kacchan’s gait was stiff and his eyes stayed locked on the ground as they walked the streets. His hands didn’t know what to do with themselves, constantly flexing and fiddling with his gauntlets. They were small things to anyone else, but to Izuku or the other people closest to Kacchan, he might as well have been screaming in the street.

If Izuku didn’t know better, he’d think Kacchan was nervous—but over what?

Kacchan didn’t get nervous.

He could be easily upset and frustrated, crying his eyes out when he failed or lost. But that was normal considering Kacchan was still human under all his bravado and humans had feelings. Occasionally Kacchan would suffer from insecurity, but that was also to be expected considering the extra pressure placed on him as a Beta Pro Hero with as high a standing as he had. But he was never afraid of those things. Kacchan took all of it head on, tears or no, and fought back until he won.

Izuku wasn’t sure how to approach this anxiety that had hold of his friend.

But at least now he had an idea of what could be responsible.

“I heard from Uraraka that you went with Kirishima to a Matchmaking House,” Izuku said. Kacchan tilted his head enough toward Izuku to indicate he was listening, but the frown on his face said he wasn’t happy with where the conversation was going. Another tick on the list indicating this might be the source of his troubles. “Kendo told her you and Monoma got into another fight.”

“Like I said before: Some idiots don’t know how to keep their mouths shut,” Kacchan said, clicking his tongue. “It wasn’t a big deal.”

Liar, Deku thought to himself. “What’d he say anyway? Kendo didn’t mention any details.”

“What’s it matter?” Kacchan asked, moving a step faster than before as they walked down the street.

“I’m just trying to make conversation.” Izuku matched his pace. He kept his voice low and watched Kacchan though the corner of his eye as they walked through the civilians and ignored their gawking. “You’ve been upset the past few days and I thought it might help to talk. Courting aside, I am still your friend, aren’t I?”

Kacchan drew his lip up in a half, frustrated sneer before dropping it along with his shoulders. He rubbed his hand on the back of his neck and exhaled. “That weasel accused me of wanting to be an Alpha so badly I was there to find an Omega mate for myself.” Kacchan paused, glancing at Deku. He opened his mouth and shut it, pressing his lips together. Kacchan found his words and settled on, “I overreacted when I shouldn’t have let it get to me.”

There was something else there he wasn’t saying. Kacchan had tried to share, but changed his mind—which meant it was important and he was scared of telling Izuku. But what could it be?

Izuku knew people gave Kacchan a hard time about his behavior mimicking an Alpha, but that happened all the time and he never had any problem brushing those comments aside before. So why did this one in particular cause so much grief?

Unless it was true.

Izuku stared directly at Kacchan, his jaw falling open before he caught it and snapped his mouth shut. That would explain so much:

Kacchan had always avoided Matchmaking Houses and Omega like the plague. Whenever they visited friends, Kacchan pretended like their Omega spouses weren’t there to a level that was almost downright rude. He typically kept his distance with Omega in general unless his job called for it, such as the times when they needed a Beta to stay with an Omega victim to keep them calm or to save one from a Villain.

Izuku had been genuinely shocked when he’d heard from Uraraka that Kacchan had been willing to go with Kirishima as moral support.

For the longest time, Izuku just thought Kacchan disliked Omega. They were the total opposite of everything Kacchan strived for and wanted to be: Submissive and dependent on someone else. Kacchan certainly wouldn’t have been the first person to immediately associate Omega with “weakness” and used that as justification to avoid them.

But maybe Izuku had assumed incorrectly. Maybe it was entirely the opposite: Kacchan liked Omega too much.

An Alpha mated to an Alpha was a perversion. A Beta mated to an Omega was illegal.

Izuku looked at Kacchan’s face, taking in the purse of his lips and his gaze focused down despite his head held high. Now that he looked for it, it was easy to see the hint of shame.

No wonder Kacchan had convinced himself that he was going to be alone forever and yelled so loudly he wanted to stay single.

He didn’t avoid Omega because he was disgusted by them. Kacchan was tempted by them.

Worst of all, Izuku had no idea how to help Kacchan if that was true. Or at least, not in any way that would actually work. Theoretically, Izuku could take two spouses—Kacchan and an Omega of his own—and just look the other way when Kacchan slept with the Omega in secret. But the chances of them getting caught were still pretty high, especially if Kacchan got the Omega pregnant.

Beta weren’t particularly fertile and the odds were slim, but it wasn’t impossible.

(Izuku himself had been born to two Beta, after all.)

Of course jealousy would also be a factor. Izuku felt his heart constrict. He wasn’t even sure he’d be able to put up with knowing Kacchan was sleeping with someone else and it would be a thousand fold worse if it was under his own roof. Izuku could maybe tolerate the affair it if he was there to watch or participate as a third party, but Kacchan would hate that.

Izuku might have to suck it up and control himself, though.

He didn’t want Kacchan to be unhappy and it was becoming clear that Kacchan chose to be alone because he felt he had no other choice, not because that’s what he actually wanted.

“You’re not mumbling, but you look like your brain is frying,” Kacchan said, reaching over and poking Izuku in the temple. “Stop overthinking. Kirishima was stressed about picking out a mate which had me on edge, too. Monoma caught me at a bad time and that’s all there is to it, okay?”

“I’m sorry, I just worry sometimes,” Izuku said, going back to the topic at hand. He needed to think things over before he confronted Kacchan directly. “You know I care about you, don’t you?”

Kacchan reached over and ruffled Izuku’s hair, harder than he should have, and shoved him to the side. “I know, nerd. But you don’t have to worry about me. I can take care of myself.”

Izuku knew that very well, but it didn’t stop him from wanting to take that burden away now and again anyway.

After their rather nerve-wracking heart-to-heart, the rest of patrol went on as usual. Katsuki still wasn’t sure what had Deku thinking so hard to himself, but it didn’t look like he had figured out Katsuki’s biggest secret or the twerp would have said something. Katsuki was safe for now.

“For now” being the big problem.

Katsuki had one more day of pills left. Which meant not only was he likely going to have to take a month off before Doc would give him more suppressants, but it’d be a month off with no warning. He might have to actually ask someone for help but he’d been struggling to think of who he could ask for the past two days—

“Let me go!” A scream interrupted Katsuki’s inner drama and he sprinted for it, Deku fast on his heels.

It took only a glance to assess the situation: An Alpha cornering an Omega in an alley, using his knee to keep the poor guy pressed to the wall while a nose sniffed way too close to his neck.

The people on the street were content to ignore the scuffle in the alley but Katsuki absolutely was not.

The tears on the Omega’s face were more than enough incentive for Katsuki to not even bother holding back when he grabbed the monster’s shirt. He yanked him away with enough force to give the assailant whiplash. Katsuki followed through by smacking him so hard across the face with his gauntlet the Alpha slammed into the opposite wall of the alley ten feet away and crumpled into a heap.

Deku whistled before checking on the Omega. “Are you—”

He cut off and backed away a few steps with his hand over his nose. Katsuki watched the Omega continue to shiver, sinking down onto the ground where his dark bangs covered his face. Deku kept his nose covered and Katsuki took in a deep sniff and—Oh.

The telltale sickly-sweet scent of pheromones were unmistakable: The Omega was close to a Heat. No wonder a random Alpha had cornered him so fast and without a care for attacking someone in broad daylight.

“I’m going to call this in,” Deku said, walking closer to the Alpha to make sure he didn’t get up and to get away from the smell. He narrowed his eyes as he tugged out his phone and Katsuki could practically feel the anger coming from him. “And I swear, when his Alpha comes to pick him up I’m going to give that jerk a piece of my mind. It’s completely irresponsible to let your mate walk around alone this close to a Heat.”

Katsuki’s stomach twisted.

“Can you watch him?” Izuku asked, unaware of Katsuki’s inner turmoil. He slammed his heel into the unconscious Alpha’s back and nodded toward the Omega. “I don’t want to leave him by himself like that in case someone else comes.”

“Sure,” Katsuki said.

As Deku turned away, he took a closer look at their almost-victim. He was a pretty thing with dark hair and brown eyes, slim but tall—and still terrified. Katsuki followed his line of sight to Deku on the other side of the alley, calling the authorities to come pick up the Alpha rapist and the Omega both.

Katsuki thought of two reasons this Omega would be out by himself and terrified at the thought of someone coming to get him: Either he didn’t have a mate and had somehow escaped a Matchmaking House or he was running away from an Alpha he didn’t want to be with.

There was only one thing to do.

Katsuki knelt next to the Omega, voice hushed and fast. “Around the corner is a small grocery that has another exit in the back. It’ll take you to another alley that connects to the main street on the other side of the block.”

The Omega’s eyes darted to Katsuki and he bit his lip, listening.

“I need you to hit me as hard as you possibly can in the face and run for it. Deku will stop to check on me first which will give you the split second you’ll need to get into the store and disappear.” Katsuki kept his own gaze on Deku, making sure he was still on call with the police. “I’ll stall him as long as I can, but you need to run like your life depends on it. Do you understand?”

“Yes,” the Omega said, whispering. “Thank you.”

“Thank me when you get away,” Katsuki said. He sucked in a breath as Deku pulled the phone away from his ear. Katsuki hissed, “Do it now.”


Izuku turned in time to watch Kacchan hit the ground, holding his nose as the Omega sprinted out of the alley. He felt the hairs rise on the back of his neck all the same, even if it clearly wasn’t a serious injury. “Kacchan!”

He darted to the other’s side and slid to a stop next to him. “Are you okay?”

Kacchan hissed as he pulled his hands away from his face and scrunched his bruised nose. “That little brat can throw a punch.”

Izuku left the alley after the Omega, shaking his head. Kacchan was fine but now they had a frightened Omega on the run and that never led to good places. Panic made people do stupid things and the last thing they needed was for some other Alpha to find the poor man in such a vulnerable state and take advantage.

He cursed as he turned the corner, however, eyes darting around the people on the street. Izuku didn’t see the Omega and there were too many people around to catch his Scent.

They’d lost him.

Izuku returned to the alley to find Kacchan sitting against the wall, fingers pressed against his nose to test if it was broken. Upon spotting Izuku, he looked up and sighed. “The Omega’s long gone, right?”

“Yes, there’s too many people in the street,” Izuku said. He crossed his arms and squatted next to Kacchan, attempting to look stern. That poor Omega was out all alone now because they failed to do their job, but it was also hard to ignore the instinctual need to make sure Kacchan was okay. “What happened?”

“I let my guard down,” Kacchan said, pulling his knees up and resting his arms on them. “I got distracted and it didn’t occur to me he’d make a run for it. It’s my fault and I’ll take the hit.”

“Distracted, huh?” Izuku said, noting Kacchan had pretty much thrown himself into taking the blame.

No arguing. No yelling. Just fast acceptance and wanting to drop the topic. The smell of the Omega still lingered in the alley, though much more diluted now that the source was absent. Kacchan kept his head down and his body remained tensed and guilty. Izuku had been right earlier: Kacchan liked Omega.

Izuku bumped their shoulders together, mind racing as he bit his lip. “It really hasn’t been your week, has it?”

Kacchan laughed and covered his face with his hands before resting his head on the back wall. He dropped his arms, and didn’t move away from the small bit of comfort Izuku offered him—furthering the severity of how badly he had to be hurting right now. Kacchan said, “Tell me about it.”

“After the police pick up that Alpha, do you want to get something to eat?” Izuku asked, testing the water. “That place you used to really like finished their renovations a couple days ago, so they’re open again.”

“Why not?” Kacchan stood and took Izuku’s hand to haul him up alongside him. “But I’m paying and you’re not going to argue about it.”

“Alright, Kacchan,” Izuku said. Letting Kacchan pay was a small price to pay to spend time with him. However, Izuku wasn’t going to let him get away with it all time. “But next time it’s my treat.”

“Not a chance,” Kacchan said. He stretched out his arms and straightened when flashing lights filled the alley.

Izuku brushed off his costume and walked to greet the police and give their report of events. The Alpha was arrested for the double charges of attempted assault and failing to report an Omega alone in public on the verge of Heat, and the police had been notified of their panicked Omega victim. Kacchan received some flack for letting the Omega get by him, but no one was in trouble.

“Come on,” Kacchan said, checking the time. He still looked uncomfortable and tense, but a little better than he had before. “Let’s get back to the office and get changed. I’m starving.”

“Yes, Kacchan,” Izuku said.

Izuku hated that Kacchan was upset enough to need comfort, but he also couldn’t help but be glad that he could give it.

Chapter Text

Katsuki stared at his last pill like a death sentence.

It wasn’t even a full dose. The Doc had only given him five pills and Katsuki regularly took two in the morning. Not one. Two. The suppressants would be out of his system entirely by that evening. He’d gone from a theoretical running out of time to a literal countdown for his last hours of freedom. Katsuki palmed the pill swallowed it dry, dropping his head onto the table and digging his hands into his hair.

Who could he ask for help?

Kirishima was the first option he’d considered, but crossed him off the list as fast as he thought of him. Katsuki glanced up at the photos sitting on the small hall table, focusing in particular at a shot of him with Kirishima’s arm around his shoulder after their first Team Mission as Pro-Heroes. Kirishima had been his first real friend and equal. Katsuki could always count on him to have his back in a fight or if he needed something—as rare as that was—and he couldn’t bear to lose that relationship.

To risk that friendship over something as stupid as his Class was not an option.

Katsuki knew that Kirishima didn’t think less of Omega, and he certainly valued them as people, but he still viewed them more traditionally than others. As far as Kirishima was concerned, Omega existed to be cared for and protected. He was the perfect Alpha to take on that role for an Omega that actually needed it, but would he look at Katsuki differently if he knew? Would their friendship turn into a weird obligation to “care for” Katsuki?

He didn’t know and it scared him.

Aside from that, Katsuki didn’t have many other options. Sero and Ashido were Beta so they couldn't help even if they wanted to. Kaminari was an Alpha, and while Katsuki could theoretically trust him with this, Kaminari also had difficulty keeping secrets. And he was really bad about keeping them when someone’s wellbeing was on the line and he felt like telling another person was the best choice. Katsuki would bet money that if he told Kaminari he was an Omega that Kirishima would know within the same hour.

Which brought him back around to his original issue.

Katsuki’s phone rang. He tugged it over from the other side of the table and frowned at the “Unknown Number” on the call screen. He hung up on the call mid-ring and put the phone aside.

As much as he hated it, Katsuki might have to risk Kirishima, though, because he sure as hell wasn’t asking—

The phone rang again.

Katsuki picked it up, saw the same number and clicked it off. It rang again and he growled as he answered, “What the fuck do you want?”

“Aren’t you pleasant,” Dabi said from the other line.

“How did you get this number?” Katsuki asked, dropping his arm on the counter. He knew that moment in the clinic was going to come back and haunt him. “The Doc has rules.”

“Yeah and the Doc is why I’m calling, so listen up,” Dabi said. Katsuki could hear the huff. “Look, I don’t give a shit about you and your problems, but the Doc does and he’s beating himself up because he’s actually worried about your ass. So he said he’d wave my medical fees for the next year if I did him a favor which brings us back around to this lovely phone call.

“You’re going to meet me at the bar at the end of Doc’s street, I’m going to pass on some information, you’re going to listen, and then we never have to see each other again,” Dabi said. “Well, until the next time we have to fight each other, but you know what I mean.”

“And why should I do this?”

“Because the Doc said you’re out of pills and you’re about to be desperate, I’m guessing,” Dabi said. “It’s up to you if you’d like a potential solution to your problem or not from a fellow Omega. I’m waiting here for an hour and if you don’t show, well, that’s your loss.”

The phone clicked off and Katsuki stared at his empty bottle of pills.

He got up from the table and grabbed his coat, cursing under his breath as he tapped out the door.

Dabi hunched in a corner booth in the back of one of the shadiest bars in downtown. Everyone in the place was either a Villain or a two-bit crook that wanted to make it big by getting on someone’s good side in the event a big time crook showed up. Fights broke out on the regular and it was near impossible to hear yourself think over the chatter of arguing Alphas.

It was the perfect place for a private chat.

Mr. Ground Zero himself walked in about twenty minutes after Dabi’s call in sunglasses and a hoodie, stopping at the bar to buy a drink before he joined Dabi in the corner. No one paid the angry blond a second look and he slammed the cup on the table before sitting across from him.

Dabi wouldn’t have recognized him either if he hadn’t been looking for him.

“Wreck” would have been too kind of a description for the mess that sat across from him as Bakugou ripped his sunglasses off and tossed them on the table. The bags under his eyes alone made him look more like that mind control guy then the explosive “Beta” that had made such an impact on the Hero Scene.

“Glad you could make it,” Dabi said, glad to get this over with. He dug into his bag and pulled out a small aerosol can and threw it at him. Bakugou caught it, staring at the label. “That’s from the Doc.”

“What is it?” Bakugou asked.

“Odor neutralizer,” Dabi said, shrugging. He slumped down and threw his feet up on the seat next to Bakugou’s hips. “It doesn’t work to hide your Scent as well as suppressants and doesn’t last nearly as long, but it’s something to help at least. He said use liberally as needed on you, your clothes, your furniture, and everything else you could Scent on accident.”

“Is that it?” Bakugou asked, popping the cap off his beer. “Because I would have been much happier with an apology bottle of pills.”

Dabi dropped his elbows on the table and rubbed between his eyes. If his stupid stitches didn’t stick him in that stupid clinic with infections at least twice a year he wouldn’t be bothering with this. “Okay smart ass, here’s part two: The Doc wanted to clarify that whole ‘take a month off thing’ but you ran out like a puppy with his tail between his legs before he could even bother.”

“Clarify what?” Bakugou asked.

“That you might not have to take an entire month off,” Dabi said. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a cigarette. He lit the end with his Quirk and took a puff. “What he was going to explain before you sprinted out of there is that everyone’s different and after you stop taking the suppressants, your Heat could start in two or three days or two weeks.

“Since you’re an idiot who literally can’t afford to be caught with his pants down by anyone, taking a month off would be playing it safe so it’s just you and whatever Alpha will be getting your rocks off who's around when it happens.” Dabi tapped the ashes off his cigarette into the tray. He couldn’t remember the last time he had to talk this much. “You get the picture?”

“Yeah, use the odor neutralizer until I have a Heat and disappear for a week. That’d be a great plan except it doesn’t solve the problem of how I just vanish for a week and have no one question where I went,” Bakugou said, hissing low. He dropped his elbows on the table and ran his hands though his hair. “I’m a workaholic and everyone knows it. And I don’t have anyone to cover for me because they’d never believe me if I said I was just taking a break for a week and would hound me more than ever to find out why I was really taking the time off.”

Dabi put his face in his hands. He was not here for counseling, but now he was just morbidly curious. “Okay, let’s just go with square one. What’d you do the last time you had a Heat?”

Bakugou leaned back into his seat and tapped his heel up and down. “That won’t work this time.”

“Why not?”

“It just won’t,” Bakugou said, glancing around the room. Dabi thought in any other situation that seeing Ground Zero nervous and anxious would be hilarious. Right now it was just frustrating. “What?”

“You never did answer before,” Dabi said. He blew a puff of smoke at Bakugou’s face. “When was the last time you had a Heat, anyway?”

“Does it matter?” he asked.

“Humor me,” Dabi said.

Bakugou rubbed the back of his shoulder on the booth and pressed his lips together. After far too long of a hesitation to be normal, he admitted, “When I presented.”

Dabi must have heard that wrong under the racket of the two Alpha having a drinking contest to the left. “Say that again?”

“When I presented,” Bakugou hissed a fraction louder. “Okay?”

“You,” Dabi said and choked on an inhale of smoke, “you haven’t had a Heat since you presented. You’ve been on suppressants every day since you presented—that’s what you’re telling me right now.”

“Yes,” Bakugou said, eyes glaring and daring Dabi to say more.

He was definitely going to do that.

“Holy shit, how are you alive?” Dabi asked. He wheezed in and shoved his cigarette out in the ashtray. “Do you know how easy it is to overdose on that shit? And who knows what the hell it’s been doing to your body—oh wait, I do know. You’re on your way to total organ failure before you’re twenty-five.”

“I didn’t have much of a choice,” Bakugou said back. He bit his lip and snarled. “I had to hide what I was somehow, and frankly, that first Heat was awful enough I wasn’t exactly itching to repeat the experience. Those pills were the best damn thing to ever happen to me.”

“What? Big tough guy like you couldn’t handle his first baby Heat?” Dabi shook his head and pressed his lips together. Even for an Omega, Bakugou was proving to be rather pathetic under that Alpha act he had going on. “Who knew Ground Zero could be taken down by the fear of a little discomfort. What a scaredy cat.”

“You shut your mouth,” Bakugou said. Dabi glanced up, stilling at the sheer fury on Bakugou’s face. He leaned across the table, voice low and threatening. “I know discomfort and I know pain and I don’t think you know what the fuck you’re talking about.”

“Then enlighten me,” Dabi said, scoffing. He’d had his first awkward Heat just like everyone else at the Finishing School he’d been trapped at for two years. If anything, Bakugou’s first Heat should have been even more of a breeze because he’d been at home for all of it. “Sharing First Heat stories is practically a beloved past time between Omega.”

Bakugou snorted heavily through his nose and turned his face to the side. He spoke softly and Dabi struggled to hear him. “I’ve taken a punch to the face from Deku in a spar, so I’m no stranger to pain, but nothing has ever came close to that fucking day.

“At first it was only sharp pains in my gut that sent me to my knees. By the time I figured out what was going on, the pain was so bad I couldn’t stand,” Bakugou said. He glanced at the table, swallowing. “It felt like that Toga chick had taken her knife to my gut and went to town stabbing it over and over, and that was at its most tolerable. By the time someone found me, even breathing hurt and I couldn’t get off the floor.”

Bakugou’s eyes glazed over and Dabi felt something twist in his gut. He pulled his feet off the seat and set them on the ground as he sat up against the booth's backrest. That—that didn’t sound right.

“Eventually, the pain was so bad that my bones hurt,” Bakugou said, his breath picking up. His anger returned and his red eyes bore into Dabi’s own. “I was so desperate to stop it that I begged my own mother to fuck me. I was relieved when I thought she would, but she didn’t. She left me on the damn bathroom floor alone and in so much pain I passed out.

“When I woke up, it’d managed to get worse somehow and I prayed to die because I couldn’t do anything else to make it stop, but I didn’t. For two weeks this went on and I still don’t know how I managed to live through it.” His voice choked and his palms smoked as he clutched his hands together under the table. “I know what pain I can take and I know what I can’t, and that? I wouldn’t have wished that on the most evil Villain in the world, so don’t you dare fucking tell me I was a coward for not wanting to go through it again.”

Katsuki swallowed as he caught his breath. Dabi stared at him, wide eyed and mouth open. Katsuki rubbed the tears out of the corner of his eyes and hissed. “What? Something else to say?”

“Bakugou,” he said, catching Katsuki off guard with his name spoken so softy. “That’s. That’s not normal. Shit.”

Katsuki put his hands on the bench seat and frowned, searching Dabi for any hint of a lie but all he saw was horror on Dabi’s face. “What do you mean? Heats hurt, don’t they? That’s like the whole reason you’re supposed to have an Alpha or some bullshit, right?”

“Or some bullshit, yeah,” Dabi said, falling into a calmer state as he stared at Bakugou. He covered his eyes and dragged his hand down. It would have been nice of the Doc to warn him about this part of the conversation at some point. “You don’t know anything about Omega, do you?”

“You’re acting like I know any,” Katsuki said, looking to the side. “Mom’s an Alpha, Dad’s a Beta, and everyone at U.A. was one or the other. The only Omega I know are spouses to my classmates, and I usually try to avoid them because I’m terrified they’ll just sense out I’m one of them even with the suppressants, knowing my luck.”

Dabi sucked in a breath and tugged on the stitches on the back of his hand as he dragged the taut, wrinkled skin. “Okay. We’re going to do this.”

“Do what?” Katsuki asked.

“Sex ed,” Dabi said. He opened his mouth before he shut it with a snap. Dabi squinted at Katsuki and pursed his lips. “Wait. There was something else weird about you, wasn’t there? Aside from the whole Beta pretending to be an Alpha thing people accuse you of. It was a big deal your first U.A. Sports Festival that year we kidnapped you, but I don’t remember what it was because I didn’t care at the time.”

“I hadn’t presented yet,” Katsuki said. He shrugged and rubbed his arm. “I won First Place without a Class which was big news at the time.”

Dabi narrowed his eyes. “How old were you when you presented?”

Katsuki matched his glare and muttered, “Seventeen.”

“Holy shit,” Dabi said, leaning back into his seat again. He tugged on his hair before dropping his hands on the table again. “That’s insane. Most late bloomers are fourteen at the oldest.”

“I know,” Katsuki said, remembering many a doctor’s appointment double checking nothing was wrong with him every year he failed to present. “You don’t have to tell me.”

“But that explains more than I thought it would,” Dabi said. He sighed and slumped on the table. “Most Omega present the same age as everyone else: somewhere between eleven and thirteen.”

“Yeah, I know,” Katsuki said. He knew his information on Omega was limited, but he knew the basics, dammit. “What of it?”

“Look, I’m only saying this shit once so shut up and listen,” Dabi said. He tapped his fingers on the table and continued and Katsuki resigned himself to listen to things he didn’t want to hear. “When an Omega presents, they have their first Heat.

“What you went though? That’s not how it’s supposed to happen.” Dabi shook his head and winced. “Your first Heat is a week of being aroused constantly. It’s awkward and uncomfortable, but you could totally power through the day if you had to. Everyone’s favorite thing to do in Finishing School when someone first arrived was to weasel out their ‘First Heat’ story because they were always a riot from people presenting at the wrong place and the wrong time.

“For goodness sake, I presented in the middle of a field trip and had to try and keep from jacking off in front of the Zoo staff while I waited for the ride to the doctor to confirm my Class,” Dabi said. “Your first year’s worth of Heats are about that level. It’s annoying, but harmless.”

Katsuki straightened his back.

“After about two years, your Heats get more concentrated and,” Dabi paused, “loud, I guess, might be a good way to put it. The horniness makes it hard to think and you start noticing just how good an Alpha can smell. But still, you can suffer through it for a week with your own hand if you had to. You can still think and make decisions.”

Dabi drummed his fingers. “Things get more complicated after that. By the time you’re fifteen or sixteen, that’s when Heats can start to hurt if you don’t actually get an Alpha’s attention. At that point, they start handing out suppressants for the week of your Heat, but no longer, and that goes on until you get a mate or find an Alpha to jump, whichever happens first.

“Omega go to Matchmaking Houses when they’re sixteen because that’s around the point where they actually need an Alpha mate to get through a Heat,” Dabi said. “And why Alpha have to be at least twenty years old with a decent job before they can pick out an Omega. The chances of getting pregnant on your first Heat with an Alpha are through the roof and they have to prove they can take care of you and the kids.

“But that’s beside the point,” Dabi said, shaking his hand back and forth. “Your situation was not normal, is what I’m trying to get at.”

“So what the fuck happened to me?” Katsuki asked, his breath picking up.

“Heats get worse the older you get and apparently they don’t care if you presented late in your case. Instead of slowly working your way up to the adult stuff, you just started there,” Dabi said, digging his thumb into the stitches in his hand. “Most Omega by the time they’re old enough to hurt even a fraction of what you described have figured out they need suppressants or an Alpha. Since the first option tends to have some serious health issues associated with it, most sensible Omega take the second route.”

“Bakugou,” Dabi said, voice low and serious. “Even Omega that get out of the system like me can find an Alpha for their Heat, whether it’s a friend they trust or if they have to lend themselves out to a whore house for the week.

“The only Omega who go through what you did are usually being abused by some sadistic Alpha who gets off watching us suffer,” Dabi said. He twisted his hands into fists and laughed. “I light people on fire for kicks and even I think that’s disgusting. No one, and I mean no one, should go through what you did.”

Katsuki pressed his lips and whispered, “My parents didn’t abuse me.”

“I know,” Dabi said. “They didn’t know any better, right?”

Katsuki nodded.

Dabi breathed out and reached into his coat for another cigarette. He lit the thing and put his feet back up on the seat next to Katsuki’s hip. Dabi tapped Katsuki’s side with his loafers. “So let’s try this again: Do you have an Alpha that can help you through your upcoming Heat, yes or no?”

“No,” Katsuki said.

“None,” Dabi said again. “You, surrounded by do-gooder, meddling Heroes who have nothing better to do with their time than save people, don’t have a single friend who can help you?”

“I have one that’s a maybe, but I don’t actually know what he’ll do if he finds out,” Katsuki said, hating to speak so low of Kirishima. “And the others are idiots who’ll probably say something on accident.”

“What about that Midori—”

“No!” Katsuki shouted, scared of the force in his own voice. He inched back down into his seat from where he’d jumped up and grabbed his beer to stop the shaking in his hands. “Deku can’t know shit about this. Ever.”

“Ah, he’s one of those Alpha.” Dabi whistled and nodded, almost knowingly. “The kind who don’t know the meaning of no-strings, casual sex and think they own you.”

“You have no idea,” Katsuki said, shaking his head.

“Likely more than you think and pretty sure I’ve killed one or two, but I’ll let your ignorance slide,” Dabi said. He tapped his cigarette against the ash tray as he and Katsuki stared at each other in the awkward silence. He licked his lip and shot Katsuki a small smile that made him nervous. “But I do think I might have an answer to your problems.”

Katsuki didn’t believe him, but asked anyway, “Yeah?”

“First up, that week off you need? When you sense your Heat coming, throw a fit. The media’s been waiting for you to blow up from the pressure for ages Mr. Beta Pro-Hero,” Dabi said, voice sinking back into it’s usual dullness. “I don’t care what you do, just end it with telling them all you’re taking a week off. The friends that bug you about it? Tell them if they cared they’d leave you be. Guilt trips are great for when you really want someone to leave you alone.”

“Assuming that works, there’s still the other problem of the Heat itself,” Katsuki muttered. “I’m not exactly looking forward to locking myself in a room and suffering for a week.”

“Let me put it this way: You don’t know any Alpha up for no-strings sex, but I sure as hell do and every single one of them would jump at the chance to fuck a Pro-Hero through a Heat. Who do you think helps me every month?” Dabi blew a puff of smoke. “They’re so casual about it they even take turns.”

Katsuki knew where this was going. “Fuck no.”

“I haven’t even given you your options yet,” Dabi said, smile turning sly. “For example, Twice is a riot and definitely your guy if you want dirty talk. He goes back and forth between petting your head and whispering ‘What a good boy’ to ‘Take it you filthy slut’ so fast it’ll make you dizzy.”

“I’m not listening to this,” Katsuki said, covering his ears.

“Toga’s fun because she likes to role play, sometimes even going as as far as using her Quirk to fully pretend to be someone else, and I absolutely promise you she will try to stab you at least once,” Dabi said with a shrug. “Keeps you on your toes.”

“Please stop talking.”

“Mr. Compress is the most clinical of the bunch if you really just want to get it over with,” Dabi said, scrunching his nose and staring at a spot behind Katsuki. “I think he read a book once while I rode him, the lazy bastard.”

“Why are you doing this?” Katsuki asked. “I know you’re a Villain, but there has to be a line somewhere.”

“But seriously though,” Dabi said, straightening in his seat and crossing his arms on the table. “I’d honestly recommend Shigaraki. He’s a weird blend of greedy and reverent that makes you feel wanted and respected at the same time. Because of his Quirk, not many people let him touch them, so getting to sleep with someone is a huge deal to him. Shigaraki’ll take it seriously without getting clingy.

“Plus, he already likes you,” Dabi said. “You’re still ‘the one that got away’ and on his tiny list of Pro Heroes he thinks are cool next to Eraserhead. I can’t promise he won’t give you a lit tract for joining the League in between rounds, but he will absolutely keep your secret, just to make sure he can fuck you again. He can’t exactly sleep with you if you’re arrested and rotting in whatever hell they’d put you if you got caught.”

“I can not sleep with the fucking leader of the League of Villains,” Katsuki wheezed, trying to block out all the new thoughts assaulting his brain. He couldn’t believe Dabi even suggested it. “He’s a monster.”

“Depends who you ask,” Dabi said. He licked his teeth and shrugged. “But what other choice do you have? Because at the end of the day you at least know Shigaraki, good or bad, which means he’s gotta’ be better than some random Alpha on the street who’d sell you out for a dime or blackmail you.”

“I can’t. You’ve all killed people and that’s the start of everything wrong with this.” Katsuki grabbed the back of his head and leaned on the table. “What am I even doing here?”

“You’re desperate and unless you suck it up and ask one of your Hero buddies, this is the best chance you’ve got,” Dabi said. He tugged out a piece of paper and scribbled a number on it. “But on one Omega’s word to another, I won’t tell anyone your secret unless you agree. Call me when you feel like your Heat is going to start.”

He slid the piece of paper across the table, shoving it in front of Katsuki’s face. Dabi leaned close to Katsuki’s ear and whispered, “And trust me, once your Heat starts, you’re not going to care whose cock is in you, which it sounds like you’re already well familiar with, so maybe make sure it’s one that you picked out ahead of time and not just the first one you jump.”

Dabi shoved a hand in his pocket and got up from the booth. “Don’t take too long to decide.”

Katsuki clutched the piece of paper between his fingers. The phone number glared back up at him and he breathed out before turning it over and drinking the rest of his beer. He listened to the sounds of the bar around him and counted to ten before grabbing the odor neutralizer and dropped it in his jacket pocket with the phone number.

He left the bar with a new sense of dread and a choice to make.

Chapter Text

Katsuki had forgotten what he smelled like.

It’d been so long since he’d had his own active Scent that when he woke up in the morning surrounded by the out of place aroma, he’d half-panicked thinking someone else had been in his bed all night. The sheets smelled like fresh-cut roses, like the ones his dad always got for his mom on their anniversary, but smothered in sugar. It took Katsuki far too long to realize that the Scent was coming from him and that he’d marked his linens in his sleep.

The first time he’d presented a Scent, he didn’t have a chance to realize what it was before his insides had decided to try and murder him. Afterwards when the Heat was done, he’d practically inhaled the suppressants his mother had gotten and they’d taken his Scent with them.

Katsuki picked up his pillow and sniffed it before lifting his arm to compare. He smelled like a damned candied rose bush and he hated everything. Katsuki groaned and fell back into his sheets before looking at the clock.

He had to go to work.

He crawled out of bed, dragging his sheets and blankets with him and threw them in the wash before grabbing the can of odor neutralizer. He shook it hard and “applied liberally” to everything else in the room before he jumped in the shower to wash off the sweat from his sleep.

The Scent was as strong as ever when he got out and Katsuki groaned before spraying himself down, both before and after he put his clothes on.

His first day without suppressants in four years.

Katsuki sat at his kitchen table with a bowl of cereal, not in the mood to make his own breakfast before he breathed out. He needed to think of a proper plan of action and he needed real time to do it. Katsuki licked his lip and pulled over his phone.

Maybe he should test the water.

As much as he hated to admit it, Dabi’s plan wasn’t bad. Katsuki hadn’t been himself lately at work and even Deku admitted he’d looked upset the past week. It wouldn’t be too hard to say the pressure finally got to him and he needed a break. He’d gone four years without taking a vacation day, only taking time off on the required two days a week and nothing more.

He was technically long overdue for some “rest and relaxation.”

Katsuki held his phone between his hands and stared at the time. He needed to report for duty in one hour, which meant he had more than enough time to call in sick now if he had to. Katsuki sucked in a breath. If he called in for one day off now, then maybe it would help his cause later in two or three days or however long it took for his Heat to show up when he needed the full week.

It was worth a shot—what did he have to lose?

Like ripping off a bandage, Katsuki called headquarters and said he was taking a sick day. The secretary at the front desk told him to feel better soon and that was that. Katsuki clicked off his phone and breathed out before picking up his cereal bowl. He dumped out the remaining, soggy sludges and washed the dish in his sink.

Looking for something to calm his nerves and procrastinate thinking about things he didn’t want to, Katsuki opened the fridge and cleaned it out.

By the time he returned to the table, Katsuki confirmed his original fears that knew deep down he would never be able to take any time off without an inquisition squad.

In less than thirty minutes he had ten texts from Deku, two from Kaminari, one missed call from Ashido with a rather loud message left on his voicemail that he better call her back, and he even had texts from Iida and Uraraka—the first wishing him well and the second yelling at him to call Deku back before the guy had a heart attack.

Katsuki didn’t bother to answer any of the messages and sat the phone back down before groaning into his hands. The phone continued to buzz on the table with new messages as more and more of his friends and coworkers heard that he was sick. His chest constricted and he rubbed a thumb into his ribcage. This was never going to work. Katsuki had friends now that cared about his wellbeing and they were going to ask questions if he just dropped off the face of the Earth for a week.

He was so fucked.

Katsuki answered Kirishima after his third missed call and sighed, “Hello.”

“Dude, if you need a ride to the hospital you tell me right now,” Kirishima said without preamble. “Because your version of ‘I’m sick enough to stay home’ is most people’s ‘I should visit the ER’ and I’m not having any of it.”

“I’m fine, Kirishima,” Bakugou said. He slumped on his kitchen table and leaned on his elbow, holding the small phone near his ear. “Tell everyone to stop texting me. I’m not dying.”

“How sick are you, though? I know you, dude. If you’re bad enough to stay home it has to be serious,” Kirishima said. “Do you want me to come over?”

Katsuki bit his lip, thinking of last night and Dabi’s offer. The concern in Kirishima’s voice outweighed it and he made a small choice. “I’m not sick, I’m just tired. There’s been a lot of things on my mind and I needed time to myself to think.”

“Are you okay?” Kirishima asked. “What’s going on?”

“Everything’s just catching up with me,” Katsuki said, whispering into the phone. He wanted to tell Kirishima. “And I’m not sure what to do.”

“What’s catching up with you?” Kirishima asked. “Is something going on?”

Katsuki wanted to tell him.

But he couldn’t.

“I think that the pressure of being,” Katsuki paused, hating himself as he knew what he was going to do. He needed that week off and Dabi’s plan had merit. This wasn’t a ‘fit’ but it was close enough. Katsuki sucked in a breath as Kirishima waited patiently. “Being the only Beta in the top ten is getting to me. I needed a break from it all, and I had thought about taking a week off but I wasn’t sure how that would go down. So I tested it with taking a single day off and you can see how that went: You all think I’m dying.”

“Dude,” Kirishima said, voice soft. “How long have you been feeling like that?”

“A while,” Katsuki said. “It’s fine. It is. I just need some time away from everything so I can think it all through without idiots like Monoma and Deku making things worse.”

“If you need someone to listen, you know you can count on me.” Kirishima got that steel in his voice that always sounded clearest when he was determined. “I’m here you for you, man.”

“I know,” Katsuki said. He sat up and pushed away from the table, but when he moved to step down from the stool, Katsuki felt it—a sharp pain in his stomach.

His hiss in response was not missed on the other end of the phone. “Bakugou? What was that?”

“Nothing,” Katsuki said, staring at the table top. He put a hand on his stomach and bit his lip. He was supposed to have two or three days before his Heat started at the earliest. Bullshit. Katsuki dropped his head on the table and sucked in slowly. His stomach twisted and he scrunched his eyes shut. “I’m good. I just. I’ll call you later, okay?”

“Bakugou?” Kirishima asked. “You don’t sound good.”

“I’m fine,” Katsuki repeated, as much as to himself as to Kirishima. The next wave of pain came with a rush of arousal and a hint of something wet between his legs. Katsuki dropped his head on the counter and couldn’t stop the curse: “Shit.”

“I’m coming over,” Kirishima said. “You are not okay.”

He hung up and Katsuki cursed again. This was not happening. Wasn’t he supposed to get like a day’s warning or something? Did the suppressants mess him up that badly that he wasn’t even allowed to have proper warning like other Omega? Katsuki sucked in a steadying breath and concentrated on his phone.

He bit his lip as he typed in the number he’d glared at all evening, glad he’d memorized it in the process.

Katsuki managed to press “send” before his knees buckled.

Shigaraki and Mr. Compress argued over recruiting efforts and Dabi attempted to stay awake.

These stupid “League Meetings” had been going on since Kurogiri had suggested it would be good for the group to “be more organized” for the sake of their future work and plans. Their success rate had been pretty low over the years, so he supposed it sure didn’t hurt to try new things.

If only the meetings weren’t so boring every single time.

Or happened so early in the day.

Dabi’s phone rang in his pocket. The ringtone interrupted Kurogiri’s agreement with Mr. Compress and they all turned to look at him. Dabi winced under the scrutiny and glares of the more dapper members of the group. He tugged the thing out to turn it off when he remembered why he’d put the ringer on in the first place: “Zero” popped up on the screen under the caller’s name.

“I actually need to take this,” Dabi said, putting the phone back down so they couldn’t see the name. “I’ll just be a minute.”

He hopped off his stool in the small meeting room in their newest hideout and tapped out the door, feeling Shigaraki’s eyes on his back.

Dabi answered the phone as he got in the hallway and said, “That was quick.”

Doc must have called it about the Heat showing up in two to three days if Bakugou already had the pre-Heat symptoms. Short time table, but at least the poor guy was going to get it out of the way.

There was no answer on the other end and Dabi frowned. “Bakugou?”

Katsuki gritted his teeth, breathing hard through his nose as he stared at the phone just an inch too far out of reach. Dabi’s confused voice came from the other end and he grunted as he fought the spike of pain in his gut to crawl closer from his spot on the ground.

Of course he’d drop the stupid thing when he fell and of course it’d land so far away. But at least Dabi picked up. Katsuki struggled to say something loud enough for him to hear from this distance, but his voice wouldn’t work. The only noise that came from his mouth were weak whimpers.

The light on the phone went out as the connection disconnected. He dropped his forehead on the ground and sucked in a breath. He just had to get to the phone and he could call again. The redial button existed for a reason.

A knock hit his door. Katsuki’s limbs trembled through the pain. He was out of time. Another knock came as he pushed his feet forward to inch along the ground. The doorbell rang.

Katsuki had to get up.

He had to get the damn phone and call Dabi back.

“Bakugou!” Kirishima shouted from the other side of his door. He banged it twice more and Katsuki found the effort he needed to get on his elbow. This wasn’t good. “Let me in!”

Katsuki saw his phone screen light up from the corner of his eye but it didn’t matter because Kirishima kicked his door open.

“Sorry, but you weren’t answering and—Bakugou!” Kirishima crossed the room in a blink and dropped by Katsuki’s side on the floor. He hovered near Katsuki’s head and the panic in his voice echoed in Katsuki’s ears. “What happened?”

Katsuki grunted and shoved his face back onto the floor. He’d had one chance. His choice was made and Katsuki hated everything.

Because fuck if Kirishima didn’t smell good and—No. No. He wouldn’t do that. He wasn’t going to make that mistake again. Katsuki fought the desire with everything he had, hoping to make his mouth work so he could explain and tell Kirishima to get out.

As if sensing Katsuki was rejecting the Alpha next to him, the pain worsened in an attempt to change his mind.

Kirishima touched Katsuki’s side as he inspected his friend, completely oblivious to Katsuki’s inner turmoil. The press of his hand was gentle, but Katsuki couldn’t stop the howl that came from the touch of his fingers against far too sensitive skin.

“Shit!” Kirishima exclaimed, pulling away. Without another thought he dragged his phone out of his pocket and dialed with one hand. His other hand went to rest on Katsuki’s head, petting his hair back. “You’re going to be okay. I’m going to call an ambulance, and they’ll be here soon.”

Katsuki grabbed Kirishima’s pant leg and twisted his fingers into the fabric. Finally, finally Katsuki managed to get out a word: “No.”

“Hello? I’d like to report an emergency,” Kirishima said, calm and well trained from years of Hero work. Katsuki twisted on the floor, desperate for the strength to stop the phone call, but it wouldn’t come. Katsuki made it the inch needed to drop his head on Kirishima’s thigh before the pain in his stomach shot up to his ribcage. Kirishima caught the motion as Katsuki grabbed his own chest and his friend squeezed him closer, hand still in Katsuki’s hair. “I found Pro Hero Ground Zero collapsed in his apartment. He’s conscious but in so much pain he can’t move. I think he fell, but I’m not sure. It looks like there’s also some chest pain, like he’s having a heart attack.”

Heart attack.

If only.

“No,” Katsuki said again.

He shook his head, fighting the urge to nuzzle Kirishima’s thigh and concentrated on what he needed to do. He had five or six minutes. He needed to get to his own phone before the ambulance arrived or he did something regrettable.

Katsuki shoved off of Kirishima’s thigh with enough force that he nearly blanked out from the pain when he hit the ground, yelling hard enough that Kirishima jumped, but it also placed him closer to his phone.

His fingers touched the screen when Kirishima grabbed his hand.

“Dabi!” Shigaraki hissed, sticking his head into the hall. He glared through messy bangs, his chapped lips pursing. “What’s so important that you’re missing the meeting?”

“Nothing,” Dabi said, holding the phone close to his chest.

Bakugou wasn’t picking up and he couldn’t tell if it was just bad cell reception or if something happened. Either way, he couldn’t tell Shigaraki who he’d been trying to call back. Not yet, anyway. Even if Dabi could guess what the call was about and that it’d involve Shigaraki soon enough, he couldn’t say a thing until he got a verbal confrontation from Bakugou.

There were just some things you didn’t betray in this world.

“I thought it was someone else, but it was just a sales call,” Dabi said. He swallowed and put the phone back in his pocket. “And you know, I’ll take any excuse to get away from Mr. Compress and Kurogiri monologuing at each other.”

“If I have to suffer through it, so do you,” Shigaraki said. He pointed over his shoulder. “Get back in here and turn off your phone.”

“Right, Boss,” Dabi said. He took the phone out and pressed the power button where Shigaraki could see it and put it back in his pocket.

Satisfied, Shigaraki nodded and went back into the room, only looking over his shoulder once to make sure Dabi followed him. He shoved Toga off her stool when she laughed at him for “getting in trouble” and took his seat while the discussion started back up.

Dabi made a note to call Bakugou back as soon as the meeting was over.

Eijirou didn’t know what to do.

First Bakugou called in sick, spilled his guts about societal pressure, and then he collapsed. This was not how Eijirou thought his morning was going to go after he woke up and drank his protein shake.

Bakugou sobbed into the floor as Eijirou held his wrist and gently brought it back to help his friend into a more comfortable position. He didn’t know what was causing the pain, but he had to do something while they waited for the ambulance. “You don’t need to call anyone, I already got it. I called for help, okay? Try to relax.”

Eijirou wasn’t even sure if Bakugou knew he was there from the way he stared at the phone on the floor. Bakugou’s eyes glazed over and he closed them hard enough to wrinkle his face. Eijirou had never seen his friend reduced to a state like this, but he knew Bakugou needed help right now.

What was taking that ambulance?

“No,” Bakugou said, shaking his head. He clutched at his shirt with one hand and Eijirou’s thigh with the other. He groaned, pained and long. “No.”

Bakugou heaved his chest in and out with staggered breaths and cried harder than Eijirou had ever seen. Giving the only comfort he could, Eijirou petted Bakugou’s hair and whispered. “It’ll be okay. You’re okay. They’re coming to get you real soon.”

“It hurts,” Bakugou whispered. His labored breathing felt hot on Eijirou’s thigh and his hips jerked off the floor. “Make it stop.”

“I know, buddy,” Eijirou said, halfway to tears himself. Why hadn’t he just come to check earlier instead of calling? Eijirou knew something had gone wrong when Bakugou called in sick. “Just a little longer.”

“No,” Bakugou said again. His hand darted up and grabbed for the top of Eijirou’s pants. Bakugou’s fingers dug behind the fabric over the belt line, nails scratching Eijirou’s stomach as they curled in. Bakugou whined. “It hurts.”

“Can I help you?” Eijirou asked, afraid to move Bakugou too much. His friend shook his head on Eijirou’s thigh and stopped moving. His soft breathing remained labored and tears still clung to his cheeks, but he seemed calmer now. Resigned, even. Eijirou listened to him whimper and kept petting his hair. “I’m right here. I’m not going anywhere, okay? Just hold on.”

Listening to Bakugou’s suffering grew unbearable and Eijirou tilted his head back to take in a deep breath to calm himself down and—wait.

Eijirou couldn’t smell anything in the room. In his panic over Bakugou, he hadn’t paid attention, but he should have been able to smell his friend’s Scent at least on him. This distressed, even a Beta would be releasing pheromones everywhere. Sure, Bakugou’s Scent was dull and barely there at the best of times, but Eijirou had gotten so used to it he knew it by heart.

Its sudden absence was like a warning bell.

Bakugou jerked his hips forward again, moaning softly into Eijirou’s thigh, a sliver of drool escaping the side of his mouth. A sharp spike of something sweet smelling cut through the otherwise odorless room and Eijirou gasped as it hit him. Looking for the source, his eyes locked on a damp spot growing on the inside of Bakugou’s thigh, darkening the fabric of his grey sweatpants.

Eijirou swallowed and breathed through his mouth, still taking in the far too sweet Scent.

“No,” Eijirou said. He clutched tight to Bakugou’s hair and his heartbeat picked up. Beta didn’t do that. The pain. The moaning. The clinging to Eijirou. Bakugou’s grip tightened and his knees pulled up as he crawled closer. Eijirou knew what this was. He felt his own heart constrict as he looked back down at Bakugou’s large pupils and open mouth as he sucked in air. “Bakugou. You—”

“He’s in here!” A voice called out.

Eijirou whipped his head around and stared wide-eyed at the EMT in the doorway. He’d screwed up. Eijirou clutched to Bakugou, tugging him up higher into his grip and shook his head. “Wait.”

Another EMT grabbed Eijirou from behind, but he fought it. He couldn’t let them take Bakugou. He couldn’t!

“We need you to back up, sir, or we can’t help your friend,” The EMT said, ripping the two of them apart. Eijirou wouldn’t have let go if not for Bakugou’s shriek of pain when the EMT yanked on Eijirou’s arm and he tugged Bakugou with him. He let go to avoid playing tug-of-war with his friend and regretted it as soon as the EMT stood between the separated Eijirou and Bakugou. “Please stay back.”

“No,” Eijirou said, grabbing the EMT’s arms. He shook the man and darted his gaze between the medical technician and Bakugou. “You don’t understand.”

“Hell, this isn’t a heart attack. This guy’s in Heat,” the other EMT said. He looked over his shoulder at Eijirou and dropped his jaw. “Did you know that?”

“If I did I wouldn’t have called you!” Eijirou shouted back. He snapped his jaw shut and shook it. “I just. Can you leave? Just pretend you didn’t see this. I didn’t know, I swear. You can’t do this to him. Don’t take him.”

“I’m sorry, but we have to report this,” the EMT said, looking almost remorseful.

He clicked on his radio and Eijirou moved forward. He had to stop this. If he knocked the EMT out he could grab Bakugou and run before they took him to the hospital and arrested him. However, Eijirou had forgotten about the second EMT in his rush to get to the radio. He didn’t use his Quirk in time to fight the needle jammed into the back of his neck.

Eijirou’s knees hit the ground as the sedative flooded his system. He fell on his side, eyes glued to Bakugou as his friend fought the EMT attempting to restrain him. Eijirou passed out to Bakugou’s shouting as he struggled to get away, even if it meant crawling on the floor.

The image burned into his mind as his eyes closed.

Izuku slammed his apartment door behind him as he trudged over the threshold. “A bad day” didn’t even begin to cover what he wanted to call it.

To start, Kacchan hadn’t answered any of his text messages asking if he was okay after he’d found out that he called in sick. Kacchan hadn’t answered anyone’s messages from what he’d heard when he texted them while waiting for Kacchan to answer. Izuku wasn’t even sure if Kirishima had heard back from Kacchan since he hadn’t sent out reassuring “I’ve got this!” messages like he usually did.

But before Izuku could properly check on Kacchan, he’d gotten a call for an emergency rescue operation and had to drop everything to get to the scene as fast as possible.

While some days he would like to put Kacchan’s wellbeing as a priority above everyone else, Izuku didn’t have much of a choice as the Symbol of Peace. A suspicion that something was wrong wasn’t confirmation. Kacchan had been fine enough to call, which meant he definitely didn’t rank higher than a little girl held hostage by deranged Beta who’d cornered them in an old gas station.

Even if Izuku counted the severity of the situation with the Beta armed and rambling while the little girl was in his grasp, it still should have been a relatively quick rescue considering Izuku’s Quirk and his support from the Police. Izuku should have had plenty of time to clean things up and check on Kacchan. However, it turned into an all day affair when a gas fire broke out and complicated the situation into a fire scene and the number of people needing rescued turned from one to fifty.

Worst of all, Izuku’s phone had run out of battery by the time they’d finished up and he’d forgotten his spare charger at home in his fretting over Kacchan.

His worry over Kacchan stopped him from being able to check on Kacchan.

Izuku took that as a sign that he needed to calm down and clear his head, so he walked home with the dead phone in his pocket, mumbling under his breath that he should be better than this and that Kacchan had to be fine. Izuku even kept to the back alleys to keep his fans from seeing him in such a worried state. Izuku wasn’t much in the mood for smiling and he hated to expose them to his bad attitude as he pouted.

Once safe in his apartment, Izuku plugged his phone into the charger on the counter and turned the power on. As it lit up, a stream of messages arrived and all of them were from Uraraka with some variant of “Call me.”

He dialed and held the phone up to his ear and waited for her to answer. “Uraraka?”

“Deku! Oh thank goodness, you answered.”

“I just got home from a rescue,” Izuku said. “What was with all the messages? Are you okay?”

“You still haven’t heard yet,” Uraraka said, whispering. He heard a soft thump on the other end of the line, like a hand hitting a counter. “I forgot. I told them all I’d do it, but you didn’t pick up.”

“Uraraka, what haven’t I heard?” Izuku asked.

“Deku,” she said. He could hear her swallow on the other end. “Don’t turn on the TV. I’m coming over because I don’t want to tell you this over the phone. Just. Don’t turn on the TV.”

The call disconnected and Izuku stared. He put the phone back on the counter and went to his living room.

“Sorry, Uraraka,” he whispered.

Izuku turned on the television against her warning and he knew immediately what she didn’t want him to know as the picture came into focus.

The remote tumbled to the ground as Izuku whispered, “Kacchan.”

Chapter Text

Every channel featured Kacchan.

The reporter held her hand near her earpiece as she stared at the camera. She waited a beat before speaking into the mic. “We’re live outside the courthouse where Katsuki Bakugou, otherwise known as the previous Pro Hero Ground Zero, arrived not moments ago after being discharged from the hospital earlier this morning.

“With us now is a member of the courts who agreed to answer some questions regarding the case,” the report said. She turned to the gentleman in a tailored suit and held out her microphone. “Mr. Bakugou was taken into custody early this morning and is now already in a courtroom. Is there a reason the proceedings are moving so quickly?”

“Due to the celebrity nature of the defendant in question, as well as the severity of this abuse case, it was decided that it would be in everyone’s best interests to get past the first stage of the process as quickly as possible,” the man said. He adjusted his glasses and went back to holding his hands together. “And I would like to remind everyone that this trial is only to see if he will be formally charged as an accomplice to the falsified Class listing or for failing to report the matter.”

“So you’re saying he may not be legally held accountable for this crime?” The reporter asked.

“In cases like this there are many factors at play that make it less cut and dry than a Beta falsifying his records to pass as an Alpha,” the court representative said. “When we take into account young Bakugou’s Class, it is highly possible that he did not have a choice in the matter. Ultimately, however, that will be up to the Judge to decide.”

“What will happen if he’s charged?”

The man frowned and rubbed his hand. “He will return to a jail where he will wait a formal trial. In most normal cases where an Omega is charged with a crime, their Alpha would be permitted to pay their bail and they would be allowed to spend the rest of the time under house arrest, however as he does not currently have one legally available, young Bakugou would have to remain in prison while he awaited trial.”

“And if the charges are dropped?”

The man smiled, straightening back up. “In that most hopeful case, we would of course follow the laws already in place designed to protect abused Omega such as this.”

“Thank you,” the reporter said. She turned back to the camera and nodded her head. “We’ll remain at the scene and let you know as soon as we hear some results. Back to you.”

The picture switched back to the main desk at the news station, two news anchors sitting side by side, smiling and ready to continue.

“Thank you for the update,” the anchorman said. He turned to the screen and nodded. “As a recap, early this morning around eight o’clock, the Pro-Hero Red Riot found Katsuki Bakugou, previously known as Ground Zero, collapsed in his home from what he believed to be a heart attack.

“The EMT that arrived on scene identified the ailment as a Heat, surprising everyone in the room. Regrettably, the Alpha Red Riot had to be sedated on the scene when he turned hostile due to the pheromones in the air. Bakugou was rushed to the ER where a Heat Null was admitted, followed by a full examination.

“The medical exam revealed a history of severe suppressant overdose that may have caused irreversible damage to his systems had it continued any further, but thankfully it was caught in time. Bakugou was up and well enough to be transported to trial two hours after he arrived at the ER.

“A full scale investigation started upon Bakugou’s arrival at the ER and it was soon discovered that the young man’s Classification paperwork had been falsified. We now know that the young Omega has been forced to act as a Beta for close to four years in what might be the most horrific Omega Abuse case we’ve seen in decades.”

“If any of you bastards touch my boy I’ll rip your lungs out of your chest,” Mitsuki Bakugou screamed into the camera, two officers holding her by the arms. Her husband stood in the back, already restrained and glaring. The Alpha shouted words of murder with no hesitation. “You would have done it, too, if you’d seen him! Don’t you monsters touch him!”

A third officer sedated Mitsuki in the neck with a syringe and she stumbled under their hold.

The footage stopped, switching back to a man in a suit interviewing an older gentleman in glasses with a heavy book under his arm.

“As you know professor, we discovered earlier this afternoon that the cover up was in fact instigated and designed by the victim’s mother,” the man said. “What are your thoughts?”

“It is a tragedy that such good intentions could go so wrong,” the professor said. He adjusted the book in his lap, pompous and full of fake sympathy. “As you well know, Omega are not the only ones who have needs. It is an Alpha’s very nature to nurture, protect, and to care for the Omega that need us so very badly. It’s in our very blood and we fulfill this need the way nature intended by mating with an Omega.

“In some cases where an Alpha choses to be mated to a Beta, those desires and natural instincts are often not met in a satisfying way,” the Professor said. He adjusted his glasses and cleared his throat. “Which is how we end up with Jocasta complexes, such as what we’re seeing here.

“Mitsuki Bakugou never had a proper outlet for her Alpha urges and desires through her Beta Spouse. Upon discovering her son was an Omega, she likely projected those buried feelings onto him,” the professor said. “Her desire to keep and protect outranked everything else and she sought to keep her Omega son in any way she could, even if it meant causing him such great harm. She turned her son into a sort of replacement mate, if you would.

“This phenomenon is uncommon, but this certainly would not be the first time an Alpha parent mated to a Beta became far too attached to their Omega child. There are even reported cases where the Alpha parent took on every role their child needed, including taking care of them during Heats in a total perversion of everything that makes us civilized beings.” The professor shook his head. “Thankfully, we have reason to believe that the presence of suppressants in the Omega’s system, while still physically harmful, indicate that the abuse did not have a chance to progress that far in Katsuki's case.”

“Professor,” the interviewer said. “Could you possibly go into more detail about the case itself? We don’t believe many viewers truly understand the depths of abuse this young man has suffered due to his public appearances.”

“Of course,” the professor said. He put the book aside on a table and sat up. “Even if we ignore the serious health risks of constant suppressant usage, you must understand that for four years, this young man has had to deny everything that he is and been forced to perform under the spotlight under constant pressure.

“Omega are not built to be independent,” the professor said, shaking his head. “They desire to support others. They raise, they comfort, and they are built to be wanted and protected in the same breath that Alpha desire to claim and defend.

“I must say it again: This young Omega has been made to deny every natural instinct in his body by standing on the Pro Hero stage. He has been fighting the very Alpha that his inner self craves to serve and I can not imagine the mental torment he must have been under. Some of the worst suffering is not visible and this is the most blatant case of it I’ve ever seen.”

“Thank you.” The interviewer nodded. “Any parting words?”

“Let this awful case can serve as a point of warning so this tragedy may not be repeated,” the professor said. He turned to the camera and put a hand to his chest. “I hope that the courts keep in mind how truly mistreated this young Omega has been when they make their final decision.

“I can only pray Katsuki finally gets the help and treatment he truly deserves.”

Dabi stared at the call log on his phone, elbows on the table top and hands in his hair. The television played softly in the background of the hideout’s living room, report after report coming in that explained why Bakugou never picked up the phone.

He bit his lip.

Bakugou had tried to call him. He’d called Dabi for help. Dabi. League of Villains member. The enemy. The guy who shouldn’t give a shit about that Hero and his problems when they had nothing in common but a Class. But he’d still tried. Bakugou had called for Dabi because he knew there were scarier things in the world than murderers and thieves.

That stupid Hero Alpha-wannabe had trusted Dabi for help.

And he’d failed him.

Dabi exploded, his Quirk igniting in a burst of blue flames that engulfed everything around him as he shouted, “Fuck!”

He breathed heavily, fire still lingering and licking his skin as it dissipated and revealed the burnt circle where he stood. The table crumbled into charred ashes when Dabi kicked it.

“Are-are you okay—what the fuck was that you psychopath!” Twice yelled, glued to the wall in the corner as far from the flames he could get.

“Shut up, Twice,” Dabi said, staring down at the melted glass and plastic of his phone on the ground. He threw another wave of fire over Toga’s head toward the television, knocking it off the stand. He watched the burning embers, ignoring the stares of the other two in the room. He breathed in and exhaled, his fingers still itching to burn something and everything to the ground. “I need to see Shigaraki.”

“The Hero community is in an uproar over the reveal of Ground Zero as an Omega and the formal stripping of his license earlier this morning before his trial,” a reporter said, standing near an agency downtown. “We asked a few Heroes for their opinions on the matter.”

The screen flicked to two younger Heroes who looked fresh out of school.

“What are your feelings on Katsuki Bakugou’s situation?” the reporter asked.

“It’s messed up,” the one said. He crossed his arms and shook his head, looking close to tears. “Ground Zero was our Hero! He was a Beta who made it to the top ten to brush shoulders with the likes of Deku and Shouto.”

The Beta Hero stopped and covered his mouth. His companion spoke up, putting her hand on his shoulder. “Ground Zero was an inspiration to us. To find out it was all a lie, and even more so that the person we looked up to most has been abused in secret all these years is just—It’s devastating.”

The screen flicked again.

Kirishima walked out of the hospital building, dressed in his civilian clothes and face toward the ground. A bandage had been placed over his neck where the sedation had been applied and his footsteps were heavy, even through the camera screen.

“Red Riot!” a reporter said, placing a mic in his face. “You were the one who found Katsuki Bakugou this morning. Do you have any comments on the situation at hand?”

“No comment,” Kirishima said, narrowing his eyes and not a trace of a smile on his face. His face looked drawn and pale; his hands shook. “Leave me alone.”

“Do you—”

Kirishima grabbed the front of the reporter’s shirt and the picture tilted as their cameraman moved to try and intervene. His Quirk activated, the rock hard skin covering every inch of him. “If you don’t get out of my face I’m going to break that camera and you better believe no one’s sedating me a second time.”

His face hardened further, fluctuating toward his Unbreakable form as he snarled, ugly and ferocious. “Have I made myself clear?”

“Got it! No more questions!” The reporter said, throwing their hands up.

The screen transitioned to another shot.

Monoma and Kendo stood side by side, both with wide eyes. Kendo was the first to speak up to the reporter. “What did you say?”

The reporter repeated themselves, “Do you have any comments on the news that Katsuki Bakugou was an Omega this entire time?”

Monoma continued staring wide eyed at the cameras before he tilted his head toward the ground. He pressed his lips together and shook his head. “No comment.”

The reporter pushed. “Phantom Thief, there have been reports that you two were in a fight at a Matchmaking House about two weeks ago. You hatred for the other ex-Pro Hero is also well known. You’ve never held back on your comments before on the other man. Has his Class as an Omega made such a difference?”

“I didn’t like him before and I still don’t like him now,” Monoma said, “but his Class has never had anything to do with it and that’s all you’re getting out of me.”

He grabbed Kendo’s hand and the two of them left without another word.

The screen changed again to a reporter standing outside of Izuku’s Hero Agency.

“We regret to inform you that Pro Hero Deku was unavailable for comment on the matter due to an emergency call this morning. A notice from his Agency has also let us know that he would not be available for future interviews due to the nature of his relationship with Katsuki Bakugou.”

“Breaking news,” the news anchor said, the broadcast interrupting another interview with someone talking about the psychological impact pretending to be a Beta could have on an Omega. “We have just received word that Katsuki Bakugou’s trial is over and a decision has been made on his future.

“We take you to the scene live for the final word.”

The camera focused on the reporter who had been on site all day outside the courthouse. “The trial has ended and we have with us now the lead attorney of the case. Sir, can you tell us the decision?”

“I am glad to report that this awful tragedy is on its way to a happy ending. Katsuki Bakugou has been cleared of all charges. Taking into account his emotional state at the time of the offense and the domestic abuse he has suffered, the judge has decided that leniency may be granted in this case,” the attorney said. “However, his parents are both up for trial in another month for the falsification of the paperwork. There are those pushing to have them also charged with abuse and neglect, but I believe their defense is going to argue the mother was emotionally compromised as well. We’ll have more information as the trial comes closer.”

“What will become of Bakugou?” the reporter asked.

“Usually when an Omega is retrieved from an abusive environment, they are returned to a Matchmaking House for therapy and to find a more suitable, appropriate mate.” The attorney paused. “However considering the nature of our victim this time and the sheer scale of the abuse, a more long term solution has been decided upon.

“Bakugou will be mated to an Alpha trained specifically to take care of an abused Omega, and thankfully there is no shortage of such big-hearted Alpha willing to take on the extra labor. Our young Omega will be mated by this evening and placed under protective custody in order to prevent harassment from anyone who holds any bitterness toward his prior Pro-Hero career,” the attorney said. “After years of suffering, this Omega can finally be granted the life and happy ending he’s been owed.”

“Thank you,” the reporter said. She looked back at the camera and smiled. “You heard it here first, Katsuki Bakugou is going to be alright. Let us all wish him and his future mate the best in this trying time as he recovers from the years of neglect.”

“Deku,” Uraraka whispered after the television clicked off. She rubbed her hands together and swallowed. “You’ve been watching the TV all day. Maybe you should take a break—”

Kacchan was an Omega.

Izuku smashed the remote in his hand, arm trembling. He uncurled his fingers one at a time, letting the remaining bits of the plastic controller crumple to the ground.

Kacchan was an Omega.

“Deku?” Uraraka said, a fraction louder. “Deku. I know this is bad but you need to calm down. Deku!”

Nothing she said could beak through the white noise:

Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega. Kacchan was an Omega.

Kacchan was an Omega and they gave him to someone else.

Chapter Text

Katsuki was so tired of restraints and muzzles.

There had to be some sort of lifetime quota for being bound by these things.

His arms hung in front of him, locked in familiar metal cuffs that came up to his wrists, followed by braces that forced his arms straight at the elbow. The bottom of the cuffs were, as always, chained to the floor—though with a much shorter chain than usual that gave zero slack. The muzzle also had an added feature and came with a bar between his teeth, hidden behind the mask latched behind his head. Six leather straps held him to the chair and it was a miracle Katsuki hadn’t developed a complex over being tied down by now.

Either way, he wasn’t going anywhere.

Katsuki glanced around the dark room he’d woken up in. After that mockery of a trial, where he had also been bound and gagged, they’d given him a sedative “for his own good.” Next thing he knew, he’d been changed into a simple pair of cotton pants and a loose t-shirt and had been left alone to wait.

Two chairs, one of which he was using, and a large cabinet on the side wall were what Katsuki had to work with for any escape plan. The room was otherwise empty save for Katsuki sitting in the middle.

He didn’t want to think about the bed pressed against the far wall opposite the cabinet.

Katsuki tested his restraints, leaning forward to see if he could maybe tip over the chair when the door opened.

An Alpha entered, wearing a business suit, all of it black from the dress shirt and tie to his polished shoes. Katsuki stayed as still as possible, refusing to show any fear to some desk-jockey. He’d blown Tomura Shigaraki’s mask off his face when he was only sixteen.

He’d show no fear here, Omega or not.

The Alpha smiled at Katsuki with straight teeth and a dip of the head that set one strand of hair loose from the slicked back style. “Just look at you. I finally get to meet my favorite PR disaster face-to-face and let me say that your press images really don’t do you justice.”

Katsuki leaned back in his seat while the Alpha tugged over the second chair to place it directly across from Katsuki. He spun it around and straddled the seat, crossing his arms over the back.

“I don’t even think I could put into words what a pain in the ass you’ve been to deal with over the past four years,” the Alpha said, shaking his head. “The head of our Beta department literally cried for two days after you presented while the Juvenile division popped open a champagne bottle because they no longer had to deal with you.”

The Alpha continued cracking a grin. “It’s a lot of work maintaining the status quo of society and you were always one of our biggest headaches, just from the anxiety of your late presentation and that slim chance you’d be anything other than an Alpha. I’ve reviewed so many documents dealing with you that I feel like I already know you like an old friend.”

Katsuki narrowed his eyes. What was this guy even talking about?

“The confusion on your face makes it worse because it confirms that you have absolutely zero idea just what an influence you have in the big wide world,” the Alpha said. He sighed deeply and shook his head. “In this world, Alpha are on top, Omega are at the bottom, and Beta are supposed to hang out in between as sort of an average, middle ground.

“You crashed into the top ten before we could even stop you and had already secured your place in the Hero scene before you’d graduated,” the Alpha continued. “It’s not illegal for Beta to be Pro Hero, so we couldn’t legally stop you, but we had to work very hard to make sure you were never too good in the eyes of the public. I mean, if the rest of the Beta population got it in their heads they could be equals with Alpha, it’d be chaos!

“Ground Zero set a bar for Beta everywhere to strive for and my poor staff worked many, many a long hour to make sure the Beta population at large understood that you were an exception that they could never be your equal,” the Alpha said. “The fact that you are genuinely amazing made it all that much harder.”

Katsuki resisted the urge to squirm under the weird praise. His gut twisted as the conversation kept going.

“Bless that Deku boy, though, even if he was the second biggest reason we couldn’t straight up get rid of you,” the Alpha said. “No one wanted to test what he might do if something happened to his precious Beta favorite. But every time he hinted that he was going to claim you it made our job just a little bit easier. The reminder that Beta could submit to Alpha really helps enforce the pecking order.”

Katsuki sighed through his nose. This guy was never going to shut up, was he?

“And then, four long years later, we get a ticket saying you weren’t a Beta at all! Ground Zero was an Omega!” The Alpha laughed, reaching a hand up and fixing the loose strand of hair. “It was like Christmas came early. Legally, we could now finally get you out of the damn spotlight and I have to say I’m rather proud of the PR campaign we threw out there.

“Nothing tugs at the heartstrings like an abused Omega,” the Alpha said, putting a hand to his chest. “I don’t think I’ve ever been so proud of my writing staff. You should see the support you’ve gotten from all the citizens out there wishing you well. They all want to see you later once you’ve ‘recovered’ enough to come back and see you happy, fat, and mated.”

Fat chance of that, Katsuki scoffed in his head.

“But you won’t have to worry about that for a while,” the Alpha said. He licked the side of his teeth, eyes raking over Katsuki’s form from head to toe like he was dissecting him. “You won’t have to worry about much of anything, really.”

Katsuki was not afraid.

“You see, while I do supervise our PR department and make sure that the media tells the public what we want them to, that’s not my primary role here,” the Alpha said. He asked, “Do you want to know what that is?”

Katsuki glared without shaking or nodding his head.

“Of course you do, so let me explain: My primary function is to train Alpha how to break in Omega like you who don’t know how to stay in their place,” the Alpha said. He tapped one finger on his arm before throwing his hand out. “In this very room in fact. I teach them all the ropes from how to Order effectively to just flat out breaking their wills into a thousand pieces if they have to in order to get them to submit.

“And when they finish the first few tests to my satisfaction, I leave them alone to seal the deal as it would be.” The Alpha nodded toward the bed and Katsuki absolutely did not shiver. “I have a perfect tract record, by the way. There’s never been an Omega I couldn’t help another Alpha break.

“But you’re sitting there thinking: There’s only one Alpha in the room! What could that mean?” The man stood from his chair and flipped it back around and away. He shrugged off his jacket and folded it neatly over the chair back. “The truth is, you’ve been such a thorn in my side for the past four years that when your name came up on the docket for reassignment, I couldn’t help but indulge in a little selfishness.”

Katsuki controlled his breathing and focused on keeping his heart rate steady. This was just another self-important asshole. He’d faced a hundred of those a day fighting Villains. He could take this. Katsuki breathed in. He’d be fine. Katsuki had been through worse.

“Legally, you already belong to me.” The Alpha unbuttoned his sleeve and rolled it to the elbow before doing the other. “Isn’t that a kicker? Your entire future and fate is now in the hands of an Alpha whose name you don’t even know.”

“I think it’ll be fun if we keep it that way for a bit, don’t you? It might drive in the point that as an Omega, you really don’t have much of a say against any Alpha whether it’s me or anyone else.” The Alpha reached over and grabbed Katsuki’s chin under the muzzle. He tilted his head to the side, thumb digging into skin. “Besides, eventually you won’t even need to know my name because the only thing you’ll be calling me in the future is ‘sir.’”

Katsuki yanked his head out of the hold and the Alpha laughed.

“Let’s not waste any time, shall we?” The Alpha said. He backhanded Katsuki across his temple hard enough to make Katsuki dizzy. His head dropped and the Alpha caught it by the chin again, pulling it back up. He kissed the top of Katsuki’s forehead and smirked into his hair. “Be a good boy now, Katsuki. We’re going to be spending a lot of time together.”

Izuku stared down Tsukauchi, fists clenched and barely keeping One for All from sparking up as the officer gave him a runaround. They were wasting time and Izuku held back the growl as he asked again: “Where is Kacchan?”

“You knew I couldn’t tell you that when you asked the first time, so I don’t know why you’ve asked a second,” the officer said, returning Izuku’s glare with equal force. He folded his hands on the desk. “I know you and Bakugou shared a close relationship, but that information is classified for specifically this reason: Alpha coming to look for him.”

Izuku bristled, gritting his teeth together. Every second he stood here without information was a second Kacchan could be in trouble. Why couldn’t Tsukauchi understand that? “But—”

“You are not the first Alpha to come in and ask where he is, by the way. The first was Kirishima, sobbing at my desk and begging me to tell him where they’d taken his friend,” Tsukauchi said. “After him, there were four or five other Alpha Pro Heroes and their intentions were far less charitable. Katsuki Bakugou made as many enemies in the Hero community as he did friends and the ones that wish him harm are doing everything they can to take advantage of this, which is again why they chose to make his location confidential.

“Truth be told,” Tsukauchi continued, tapping his finger on the desk. “I don’t actually know where he is either. So even if I wanted to tell you, I couldn’t.”

“Who would know?” Izuku asked, slamming both hands on his desk. He nearly made it an Order, but didn’t resort to that just yet. “Tell me.”

“Deku,” Tsukauchi said, breathing in and rubbing between his eyes. “You need to let this go. Bakugou had no interest in you before, so I certainly doubt he’ll—”

Izuku grabbed Tsukauchi’s collar and yanked him halfway across the desk. He felt the growl rumble up as his blood boiled. “If you do not tell me where I can find out where Kacchan is, then I will look for him myself. I will search every house, building, nook and cranny, one by one in this entire country if I have to.

“You can tell me where I can find Kacchan and I’ll look in one place,” Izuku said, mentally apologizing to All Might for the abuse of his Quirk. He lowered his voice and whispered, “Or I can rip apart everything without any care for the destruction in my wake as I search. Which would you rather have happen?”

Tsukauchi looked in Izuku’s eyes for the truth in that statement before closing his his own and turning his head away. He said under his breath, “Social Services, Department 6 is responsible for mate assignments when returning the Omega to a Matchmaking House is not an option. They would know where Bakugou was sent.”

“Thank you,” Izuku said, dropping Tsukauchi. He turned on his heel and ran out of the police station before any more time could be lost.

“Hold on, Kacchan,” Izuku said, swallowing. He pushed his legs as fast as they could go as he ran to the social services building. They had to know where he could find Kacchan. “I’m coming.”

Katsuki drooled around the bar in his mouth, breath heavy and lungs heaving as he fought the trembling in his limbs. The liquid collected in the bottom of the muzzle, wet against his chin.

“I always knew you could fight off Orders, but seeing it in person is something else,” the Alpha said, hands on his knees as he leaned forward. “It was impressive when you were a Beta, but knowing you’re an Omega? It’s beyond amazing. You really are something special, Katsuki.”

The Alpha ruffled Katsuki’s hair and straightened. “I imagine all those years of practice fighting Orders before you presented have something to do with it, and the suppressants sure didn’t hurt either I’m guessing.

“But I bet you still crumble like a dry leaf to Orders from Alpha you’ve imprinted on, don’t you?” The Alpha said. Katsuki flinched and the Alpha’s mouth stretched into a sly smile. “I knew it. Did you know there is not a single recorded case of an Omega being able to deny an Order from an imprinted Alpha? They physically can’t refuse it and it’s remarkable fascinating. I wonder how many of your Alpha friends fully realize just how much power they could have had over you if they’d known you weren’t a Beta.”

Only one and Kirishima felt like a kicked puppy every time he did it on accident.

Katsuki shook out his head, fighting off the nausea of guarding himself against the onslaught of Orders the Alpha had thrown at him. Raise your head. Shake your head. Look me in the eye. Lean forward. Simple, little things that took everything Katsuki had to disobey.

So far, his Guard had worked and he’d remained obstinately disobedient.

“I know that look you’re giving me,” The Alpha said. He cupped both of Katsuki’s cheeks between his hands and shook his head back and forth. Katsuki cursed his restraints and breathed heavily through his nose. The Alpha rubbed Katsuki’s cheeks with his thumbs. “You are dripping with confidence that you can keep fighting me. You haven’t imprinted on me so you think you’re still safe. Am I right?”

Katsuki didn’t like where this conversation was going.

The Alpha released his cheeks and grabbed his chin by the base, digging his thumb in under Katsuki’s jaw. He tilted his head back, exposing his neck and Katsuki jerked as hard as he could but the Alpha’s grip remained tight.

“I’m lucky that Mother Nature has given me a way to take that choice away from you,” the Alpha said, leaning forward. He kissed the junction between Katsuki’s neck and shoulder, breath hot on his skin. “It was so nice of her to create a built in a way to eliminate all this disobedience.”

Katsuki screamed into his gag as the Alpha bit down hard into his flesh. The Alpha let go of his chin to feel up Katsuki’s thigh while the other hand dug into Katsuki’s hair to keep his head tilted back and his neck open to the bite. Katsuki felt the tears well up against his will as the Alpha invaded his very core, injecting him with his own unique cocktail of venom. It crawled under Katsuki’s skin and into his blood, burning as much as the fresh wound bleeding on his throat.

A Mark.

The Alpha licked the blood away from his own lips and leaned back. Katsuki wheezed into his gag, eyes wide. He could still feel the Alpha under his skin like the molestation had never stopped. Katsuki couldn’t hold back the whine as the Alpha took a step away from the chair. “There we go. Now let’s try this again, shall we?”

Katsuki had forgotten the true purpose of a Mark.

“Look at me,” the Alpha Ordered.

Katsuki looked up without thinking, obeying the Order with an instinctive urge that made him want to vomit.

Marks forced an imprinting between Alpha and Omega.

Katsuki had no way to fight this.

“That wasn’t so hard, now was it?” The Alpha said. He walked around Katsuki’s chair and undid his straps one at a time, humming lightly under his breath. “I don’t believe we’ll need these any longer.”

Katsuki stopped lying to himself.

He was terrified.

The Alpha left his muzzle and cuffs on, though he did unchain them from the floor. “Stand up,” he said as he walked back to stand in front of Katsuki.

Katsuki stood.

“I’d Order you to undress, but that might be difficult without your hands,” the Alpha said, amused as he tapped the front of the cuffs. He took the step closer and stuck his fingers under the elastic band of Katsuki’s pants. “Don’t worry. You’ve been good so far, so I’ll be happy to help you.”

Katsuki jerked back when the Alpha tugged down but he gave a simple, “Don’t move” and Katsuki stopped. His heart pounded in his chest and he couldn’t breathe. It’d never been like this before. He’d always been able to catch himself before he followed through with an Order. Even with Kirishima there was a hesitation where he could fight it or at least suffer through the backlash internal agony of fighting an order.

Now there was nothing.

He just obeyed.

The Alpha worked Katsuki’s shirt off, folding it alongside his pants and underwear on the chair.

Katsuki stood naked in the room, again, save for the muzzle and bulky cuffs that were the only thing between his nudity and the Alpha.

“It’s almost going to be a shame watching all those muscles go to waste now that you no longer need them,” the Alpha said, eyes on Katsuki’s chest and abs. “But then again, a little chub would be cute on you, I think.

“If you’re good for this next part, Katsuki, I might just take this off,” the Alpha said, tapping his finger against the muzzle. “Wouldn’t you like that?”

Katsuki swung his arms, knocking the cuffs into the Alpha’s face. He heard the crack of metal against the Alpha’s jaw and snarled as he raised his arms to hit him again.

“Stop!” The Alpha shouted, putting full force into his Order.

Katsuki stopped, stumbling back like he’d been hit with a shockwave.

“Don’t move,” the Alpha ordered again. Katsuki frozen in place, save for his own racing heart. The Alpha got up, rubbing his jaw and wincing as he moved it around. He shook his head at Katsuki and smiled. The fondness in that look turned Katsuki’s stomach. “You really are something.”

The Alpha nodded. “Get on the bed, face in the pillow and knees on the mattress.”

Katsuki did as instructed without hesitation; horrified at his own continued obedience no matter the command.

The hairs on his arms rose as the Alpha stood behind him, tugging him back until Katsuki’s backside sat flush with the Alpha’s hips. He heard the unzip of the other’s trouser pants and closed his eyes. He wasn’t here. There wasn’t some strange Alpha holding him. He was back at home. He was at home. This was a nightmare and he would wake up any time now.

Katsuki bit his lip hard enough to bleed when the Alpha ran his fingers down Katsuki’s spine, his hand stopping on the back of his neck.

“Only two more Orders for today,” the Alpha said, rubbing his thumb in a small circle on Katsuki’s neck near the newly made Mark. “The first: Don’t struggle.”

Katsuki’s body relaxed and the Alpha placed himself in position.

“Second,” the Alpha said, leaning over until the silk of his shirt touched Katsuki’s back. The Alpha pushed inside, stopping when he’d filled Katsuki completely. His voice turned airy as his breath shuddered. “Try to enjoy yourself a little.”

The Alpha moved and Katsuki wished that it hurt.

The Social Services building had been expecting Izuku.

His constant and vocal declarations that he had been pursuing Kacchan as a mate were well known to all and they knew he’d come sniffing around for him.

They had even prepared a statement explaining that they understood his concern, but that Kacchan had already been mated and that it would be best to leave him alone. They asked Izuku to leave with the expectation that he would do so as a law abiding citizen.

They hadn’t accounted for Izuku’s sheer irrationality when it came to Kacchan.

Full Cowling at thirty percent, ten knocked out security agents, and a broken wall later had a shivering clerk exclaim that Kacchan was still in the building and begged him not to kill anyone.

Izuku made no promises but asked for the room number.

Using his Quirk, the stairwell became the faster route as he leapt up the railings to the sixth floor of the building. He entered an empty landing, the staff already notified of his rather explosive entrance.

(Kacchan would be so proud.)

He ran down the hallway, heart pounding. Izuku found the correct door and kicked it open hard enough that it snapped off its hinges and crashed into the opposite wall.

A strange Alpha looked up from a bed, eyes wide and back jerking straight. Kacchan moaned under him, his eyes half glazed over as he nuzzled his face into a pillow.

Izuku inhaled, smelling the Alpha’s Scent blending with Kacchan’s. He squeezed the door frame, splintering the wood in his hold with a deafening and solid crack.

The Alpha was inside of Kacchan.

Izuku nearly blanked out from the force of his anger as it washed over him, awakening every natural instinct to destroy that pumped through his flesh.

He snapped his hand into a fist, sending the wood chips flying about him. The Order came out loud and snarled as Izuku shouted, “Get away from him!”

The intruder threw himself away from Kacchan, hitting the ground and crawling away on his back with elbows and scraping ankles agains the floor. He submitted and bowed his head immediately, no resistance. Izuku could smell the fear coming off him as easily as he felt One for All crackling along his skin.

He was barely worth Izuku’s time. Especially when someone more important needed Izuku’s attention.

He stepped into the room and hissed, “Get out.”

The Alpha ran, stumbling out of the room and into the hallway without bothering to cover his nakedness.

Kacchan buried his face into the pillow and Izuku dropped One for All as he took easy steps toward the bed and his shivering friend. Izuku sat on the edge of the mattress near Katsuki’s hip and his eyes watered.

“I’m so sorry, Kacchan,” Izuku said. He carefully leaned forward, slow and easy. Kacchan watched him, eyes slowly coming back into focus as his chest slowed and his body calmed down. When it looked like he had Kacchan’s attention and knew his movement wouldn’t startle him, Izuku undid the strap of the muzzle. “I came as fast as I could but I was still late.”

Kacchan whimpered as the muzzle came off, a line of drool sticking to the metal bar that had been wedged between his teeth.

Izuku should have killed that other Alpha.

He dropped the muzzle and it hit the ground with a clatter. Izuku felt wet tears line his cheeks as he gathered Kacchan into a hug, hand deep in his hair and squeezing him tight. Kacchan’s breath hitched twice before he buried his face into Izuku’s neck and sobbed. He nuzzled the side of Kacchan’s head and petted his hair, smothering the urge to erase the Mark staining Kacchan’s throat.

Now wasn’t the time.

“I’ve got you, Kacchan. It’ll be okay,” Deku whispered into Katsuki’s hair.

Katsuki hiccuped into Deku’s shoulder, body shivering in the chill of the room. He breathed in Deku’s Scent, focusing on it and using it to block out the lingering Scent of the other Alpha that clung to his own skin. The shame of being caught in such a state mixed with the shame of so openly seeking comfort from Deku.

Katsuki clung to Izuku as best he could with his hands still bound together near his waist, ashamed but too desperate for comfort to risk having Deku shove him away by saying or doing the wrong thing.

Deku slipped his hand down and rubbed Katsuki’s back with a soft coo. “Get some sleep, Kacchan. Everything will be better when you wake up.”

It hadn’t been an Order, but Katsuki treated it like one anyway and gave in to his exhaustion. He fell asleep in Deku’s ams and prayed he wouldn’t have any dreams.

Chapter Text

Katsuki knew he wasn’t at home before he opened his eyes. Even before he felt the wrongness of a strange bed, Deku’s Scent smothered him from every angle. The smell of cedar came from the pillow under his head and the skin on the arms wrapped around his waist.

“Are you awake now, Kacchan? You slept for a long time,” Deku said from behind, face moving to nuzzle into Katsuki’s shoulder blade as they spooned. His hair brushed against Katsuki’s neck and he breathed out in a lazy sigh. “You were out all night and most of the day, not that I can blame you.”

Katsuki shifted, feeling the fabric of soft pajamas on his skin and noting they smelled new. Deku squeezed, nuzzling closer and keeping Kacchan from sitting up or turning to face him. Katsuki swallowed, clutching the bed sheet in his hand. “What happened?”

“Don’t be mad, Kacchan,” Deku said, still holding tight. His nose pressed into Katsuki’s back and he could feel Deku’s lips move through his shirt. “It’s not how I pictured this would happen, but I couldn’t risk losing you again.”

Katsuki stared at the All Might poster on the opposite wall and whispered, “What did you do?”

“It was a bit archaic, but I challenged your other Alpha in traditional combat over you,” Deku said, matter of fact like he hadn’t invoked an ancient right that superseded most domestic laws. He tapped his finger on Katsuki’s stomach, the scars on his hands stretching. “He submitted immediately, which I suspected he would. Kirishima was the only other person who opposed the decision, challenging me in return.”

Katsuki let go of the sheets, staring at the sweat mark left in the fabric from his palms. All that had gone on while Katsuki had slept through the night? How could his entire life keep being uprooted in less than twenty-four hours?

“Kirishima really cares about you,” Deku said. He kissed Katsuki’s spine and yawned into his back before snuggling closer. “You can go visit him after he gets out of the ICU.”

“What?” Katsuki asked, the shock waking him up fully. He moved to get up on his elbow to face Deku properly, but the Alpha’s grip stayed firm and held him in place. Katsuki hissed as he twisted, unable to get out of the hold. “What happened to Kirishima?”

“He wouldn’t yield and the power it takes to break the unbreakable turned out too much for him to handle,” Deku said. He continued clinging to Katsuki like a child held their favorite stuffed toy. His voice turned petulant, almost annoyed that Katsuki had shown concern for the other Alpha. “He’ll be fine in a couple days and you can see for yourself.”

“Shit,” Katsuki said, his breathing picking up. If Kirishima was in the ICU that meant that Deku had indisputably won the challenge which meant—No. No, no this wasn’t happening. Katsuki stopped squirming and sunk into the mattress. “Are we?”

“Yes,” Deku said, his fingers digging into Katsuki’s sides as he clutched tighter. “Legally, personally, and in all the ways that matter. I’m never letting anyone take you away again.”

Katsuki had had nightmares about this.

He felt numb.

“There is one thing still to do, though, but I wanted you to be awake for it,” Deku said. He shifted and reached up, tugging the edge of Katsuki’s shirt collar down. His voice growled as his finger brushed the edges of the bite marks still raw and red. Katsuki felt Deku’s breath against his skin. “I’m going to Mark you, Kacchan.”

Katsuki froze.

“Are you going to fight me?” Deku whispered. He sounded apologetic, but ready to do it anyway no matter what Katsuki said.

Like a true Alpha.

Katsuki relaxed and whispered, “No.”

Deku tugged Katsuki around to put them face to face. His eyes were wet and he his voice quavered, “I know you don’t want it, but I need to get rid of that other Alpha’s Mark. I need to. No one else should have ever been allowed to touch you.”

“I already said it was fine,” Katsuki said, impressed by the steadiness of his own voice. “Idiot.”

“Kacchan,” Deku said, tears escaping his eyes. He leaned forward and kissed Katsuki’s jaw, trailing down until he got to his neck. Katsuki held onto Deku’s shirt, forcing his own heartbeat to remain calm when he felt Deku’s breath on his throat. “I’m sorry this Mark’s going to be so ugly with two in the same spot, but there’s no way I can line it up perfectly. Our mouths just aren’t the same size, but when it heals over I can do it again and—”

“Just get it over with,” Katsuki said, voice hitching.

Deku bit him, sharp canines and bottom jaw deep in the muscle. He clutched to Katsuki, one hand behind his neck and the other tugging him closer at the waist. It didn’t hurt as badly as before; Katsuki’s submission and numbness keeping the pain in check. Deku’s venom flooded Katsuki’s veins, but he didn’t feel all that different.

Deku had wormed his way under Katsuki’s skin a long time ago.

The television played softly in the corner of the room, showing a recap of the news earlier in the odd hours of the morning where Midoriya made a traditional, formal challenge for Bakugou as his mate.

And then proceeded to intimidate the original Alpha into pure submission without raising a finger and attacking the only challenger with so much vitriol that it scared away anyone else who had even thought about making a move.

(Not that many wanted to challenge the Number One Pro Hero and current “Symbol of Peace” Deku to begin with.)

“Bakugou wasn’t kidding,” Dabi said, blowing out smoke. He sat on the edge of Shigaraki’s mattress, watching the television in the dark room. The only light came from the television and Shigaraki’s game. He played behind him Dabi, clicking the buttons on the handheld device as he spread out on his half of the mattress. “That Midoriya brat definitely decided he owned Bakugou as soon as he found out the guy was an Omega.”

“Why do you care again?” Shigaraki asked, eyes locked on the screen. “I didn’t know you were so sentimental to your Class.”

“I’m not,” Dabi said. “This is just the first one who actually asked for help and there’s a recruiting opportunity we weren’t able to bring up last time. If you start sleeping with the devil, you might start thinking like him.”

“Are you still planning to go ‘rescue’ him?” Shigaraki asked, ignoring Dabi’s jab that he was a demon. “That is why you destroyed the living room and gave me a sob story about how you found out he was an Omega before the news did, isn’t it? Or does this change your plans?”

“I don’t know,” Dabi said. He stared at the television recapping Midoriya’s long history with Bakugou in a fluff piece talking about destined fates and how Midoriya must have “sensed” the other’s Omega Class the entire time. The bullshit the media came up with some days was laughable. “When I suggested he use Midoriya for his Heat he freaked and honestly thought you were a better option. I never thought the second half of the Wonder Duo would be terrified of his partner.”

Shigaraki continued tapping on his game, though he sounded more amused when he said, “That sounds like a ‘Yes.’”

“Maybe it is,” Dabi said. “Does that mean I’ve got permission to borrow a few League members to do it?”

Kurogiri in particular, to make things fast and easy.

“Wait two weeks,” Shigaraki said. He paused his game and looked over the top of the device at Dabi. “If he’s suffering as much as you say, he’ll be looking for a way out after one week and jump into your arms when you show up after two.”

“I don’t know,” Dabi said, looking back at the screen and the pictures of Red Riot getting carried away on a stretcher. “A lot can happen in two weeks. What if they break him?”

“Then grab him anyway and I’ll Order him to stay put if I have to,” Shigaraki said, going back to the game. “You’re making this more complicated than it has to be.”

“Maybe,” Dabi said. He reached over and put his cigarette butt into the ash tray. “I doubt he wants to play nice when he gets here, though.”

“Either Midoriya breaks him into the perfect house Omega or we shatter him into the Villain he was meant to be years ago,” Shigaraki said, fingers clicking and eyes half-lidded. “Make up your mind which is the lesser of two evils and commit.”

“It makes it sound easy when you put it that way,” Dabi said. He dropped back onto the bed, bouncing the mattress. Shigaraki huffed as he missed a button press but didn’t do anything. “Besides, I was getting sick of being the only Omega around here anyway.”

“Sure you were,” Shigaraki said, reaching over and tugging on the end of Dabi’s hair as the game played a cut scene. “Like you don’t love the attention.”

Dabi crossed his legs at the ankles at the end of the bed and closed his eyes.

He couldn’t really argue with that.

Katsuki crossed his arms on Deku’s kitchen table and tugged on the long sleeve of his new shirt. The green fabric was the same color as Deku’s Hero uniform and had a low v-neck that did nothing to hide the Mark at the base of his throat. He wouldn’t have thought anything of it if it wasn’t for the fact he knew Deku himself had bought the thing. The Alpha had picked it up at the same time he bought the pajamas Katsuki’d had on earlier.

Deku had handed him the bag with the change of clothes after they got up and said, “I got you some new clothes on the way back home. You’re too big to fit in mine.”

“Why didn’t you just grab something out of my apartment?” Katsuki had asked, tugging out the shirt from the bag.

“The store was right next to the social services building and your apartment is on the other side of town,” Deku had said. He changed into his own clothes with his back to Katsuki. “I didn’t want you to wake up before we got home since you were so tired and it was just faster and easier to buy something.”

Katsuki accepted that answer, though something still felt off about it. He changed into the clothes and hated that they fit perfectly, because that meant Deku knew his clothing size by heart.

But that was the least of his problems.

He still couldn’t believe he’d slept solidly in a back room during while Deku went full, primal levels of Alpha on the entire city when making his formal claim. Katsuki had caught about a minute’s worth of footage of his fight with Kirishima on the news before Deku turned off the television and said he was embarrassed and didn’t want Katsuki to see it. If the craters that he caught littered among the battlefield were any indication of how bad it had gotten, Katsuki wondered how it was possible anyone would have been able to sleep through it.

Maybe Deku had Ordered him to sleep and he didn’t notice.

“Thank you, Iida,” Deku said, printing a few pages from his laptop at the desk in the corner of the living room on the other side of the open floor plan. He laughed into the phone and scratched the side of his face. “It all happened so fast I wasn’t really ready for this part.”

Katsuki watched the pages stack on the printer’s paper tray, rubbing the sleeve between his fingers. After their emotional moment this morning and awkward exchange of clothing, Deku had gone into “business” mode and left Katsuki behind to run around the house muttering under breath about things he had to do.

After hearing “breaking Kacchan’s apartment lease” and “find a reliable moving crew” Katsuki had tuned him out and tried to ignore the tenderness of his neck and the feeling of loss that weighed him down.

While Deku ran around, Katsuki took the time to really take in the other’s apartment. Katsuki could honestly say he’d never been here before, even in all the years he’d known Deku. He wasn’t willing to give the Alpha that inch of hope that his courting was working by having Katsuki in his home. But now that he was there, Katsuki found himself curious and wandered around looking through rooms.

The slow realization that Deku’s apartment was already set up for two people from the double closets in the master bedroom to the spare room without anything in it made his stomach churn.

Katsuki finished his tour and wandered back to sit at the kitchen table, spending the rest of his time staring at an All Might poster on the wall and fighting a fit of nausea.

Deku’d looked like he’d been planning for a second person to move in for a long time for someone who “wasn’t really ready.”

“You’re the best, Iida,” Deku said, looking at the stack of pages and generally oblivious to Katsuki’s nervous state. “I’ll call you later.”

Deku hung up and flipped through the pages, reading them aloud under his breath. Katsuki watched, feeling like a house cat lazing around with no purpose. He slumped on the table and put his arm behind his head.

“What’re those?” he asked, speaking up for the first time since he’d asked about the new clothes.

“A print out of the appropriate laws I need to prove I have the right to your personal assets and money,” Izuku said, flipping through pages. He bit his lip and gave Katsuki an embarrassed smile. “When you mentioned your apartment this morning, I’m a little ashamed to say I had forgotten about it entirely.

“So while you were looking around I called your landlord to check on it and found they attempted to seize your stuff, so I’m trying to get it back. Iida was helping me find what I needed in one go so after I get that I can also get your bank account transferred to my name, too. I think there’s a hold on it, so it should all still be there.

“If there’s anything else I’m forgetting, tell me okay?” Izuku turned back to the papers and grabbed a highlighter. “This situation isn’t the norm so just filling out and submitting your registration paperwork wasn’t enough and I’m not sure what else is in your name I’d have to get.”

“Oh,” Katsuki said.

In all his fears of being outed as an Omega and losing his Hero career, he’d somehow forgotten that Omega couldn’t legally own property.

Katsuki covered his eyes and pressed his fingers into the socket as he breathed in. He was half surprised the Alpha from last night that tried to break him didn’t bring that up when he was talking about where the Classes fell in the hierarchy.

He pulled his hands down and stared at Deku highlighting things.

The Alpha said he spent four years watching Katsuki while trying to warp his image in the media to make him look bad as a Beta. That guy had entire departments with the sole purpose of controlling what went into the mass media and the behavior of “outliers” like Katsuki who set “bad examples.”

It felt like information that Katsuki definitely wasn’t supposed to know outside of being trapped in that Alpha’s house where no one could contact him. Even the general public would be upset if they found that sort of thing out, wouldn’t they?

Katsuki reached his hand up and covered the Marks on his shoulder. Deku’s smaller bite couldn’t cover the older one completely, though he did get rid of the other Alpha’s venom with his own. He dug his thumb into it and breathed in.

He should probably tell Deku about what happened before he broke into the room and got rid of the other Alpha, but he wasn’t sure if Deku would believe him. Or if Katsuki could get through it without also mentioning how creepy the other Alpha had been the entire time.

Even if he sprinted when Deku showed, that Alpha had been obsessed with Katsuki. He’d complained about Katsuki being a “pain” but every other word that came out of his mouth had been a compliment. At the end when he’d fucked Katsuki, everything that he said had been a form of praise or some version of “I knew you’d be amazing.”

Katsuki swallowed, shifting and putting his hands on the chair seat between his legs. If he tried, it was too easy to remember the feeling of the other Alpha inside of him and the crawl of his lust on Katsuki’s skin from his breath and touch.

“Are you okay?” Deku asked, setting his stack of paperwork on the table. “You look upset.”

“I was thinking about last night,” Katsuki said. If the only thing that had happened was some Alpha took Katsuki to bed to consecrate the mating, he wouldn’t have said anything. Katsuki bit his lip. But he should really tell someone else about the shit he’d heard. Sure the guy had run away when he had to challenge Deku in physical combat, but he had looked like a man with connections. Who knew when he’d come back with something Deku couldn’t fight? “About that Alpha.”

Deku’s face turned cold, eyes burning with hatred. “You don’t have to worry about him anymore. If he so much as comes within a mile of you, I’ll make him regret being born.”

“No, he was,” Katsuki paused and licked his lip.

How did you just come out and say “He was the head of a Public Relations department that worked to keep public opinion of Alpha, Beta, and Omega in certain places and had a side job helping Alpha break Omega.” Not that he needed to do much since apparently Mother Nature hated one third of the Earth’s population and gave Alpha a literal built in advantage. But it all still sounded like a giant conspiracy theory and Deku already looked at Katsuki like he was ready to shatter any minute.

Katsuki squeezed the Mark under his palm and chose his words carefully. “He was dangerous, Deku. I don’t think he’s done with me, either.”

No one who was that obsessed gives up that easily. Or at the very least, it’ll hit him later just what a coward he looked like sprinting from Deku and some stupid Alpha pride would encourage him make a better plan of attack.

“Kacchan,” Deku said, he pulled out a chair across from Katsuki and sat down. “I know he hurt you, but you have nothing to be afraid of from that man. It’s over.

“Even if he did come back for another challenge, he’s never going to be able to stand up to me and One for All,” Deku said. He shook his head back and forth, knocking those loose curls in his face. “He can’t touch you.”

“You don’t understand,” Katsuki said. He shifted his hand, his thumb rubbing against a scab from the first Mark. Deku’s eyes watched the motion, eyes narrowed. “This guy knew how to get under your skin. He was an office worker but he terrified me, Deku. Me. I was scared of him and I think it was for good reason.”

“I think you might be making him bigger in your head than he actually is because what happened was upsetting,” Deku said, slow and carefully. “I saw the Alpha afterwards, Kacchan. He was a coward who thought he was tough because he had you chained down. That Alpha is not a threat, I promise.”

“Let me finish,” Katsuki said, dropping his hands back onto the table. “He said a lot of things while he was,” Katsuki paused, “trying to break me. In between all the weird praise he said some messed up things.”

“Praise?” Deku asked.

“I don’t know, he was a fan or something,” Katsuki said, rubbing his face. “He’s been stalking me since I won that first Sports Festival. Practically jumped on my name when he saw it on the list for mate candidates and didn’t hesitate to let me know between the stupid kisses and touching me every chance he could.”

“Well, he’s gone now.” Deku bit his lip and looked to the side. His hands clenched into fists on the table and his voice sounded strained as he said, “That’s all that matters.”

This wasn’t going where Katsuki needed it to go. “But I don’t think that he is and if you’d listen—”

“Stop talking about him!” Deku yelled, slamming his hands on the table. Katsuki flinched away from the force of it, hating himself for the weakness. Deku leaned forward. “This discussion is over, Kacchan. Never talk about that other Alpha again.”

He didn’t know if it was on purpose or not, but the declaration had come out as an Order.

Katsuki snapped his mouth shut.

Izuku’s blood ran cold when he saw Kacchan’s expression: angry with gritted teeth and a hint of hurt in his eyes.

He sat back in his seat and bit his lip. Izuku hadn’t meant to do that. He just wanted Kacchan to stop talking about that other Alpha because every time Izuku thought about someone else touching his mate it made his blood boil. If Kacchan kept talking about what the other Alpha did, he was going to keep giving more details and Izuku wasn’t sure he could control himself before he hunted the other Alpha down and actually killed him.

If he did that, Deku would get arrested—One for All was incredibly powerful, but even it had it’s limits if they actually thought Deku was a threat to the public—and then they’d confiscate Kacchan and everything would be back to square one.

“I’m sorry, Kacchan,” Izuku said, pressing his lips together. He got up from the table and grabbed his papers. His hands trembled, but he steadied them and exhaled. “But the conversation is still over. Don’t bring him up again.”

Kacchan didn’t answer and glared at the table. His nails dug into the skin behind his Mark and Izuku let him fume.

Izuku needed to give Kacchan time and be more careful about throwing Orders around. Obviously Kacchan valued his own authority and Izuku had a feeling that the next few months would be a tightrope as they got into a routine and settled some ground rules.

Transitions were difficult, but they’d be okay. They were going to work this out.

Izuku grabbed his wallet and keys, shoving them into his pocket before he grabbed his jacket. “I’m going to go take care of your apartment and belongings, okay?”

Kacchan didn’t move.

“Okay?” Izuku said, prompting Kacchan again for a response to indicate that he’d heard.

Izuku closed his eyes and breathed out when Kacchan remained silent and tense. He didn’t want to do this, but he needed to take care of Kacchan’s apartment and that required leaving. And while he had a feeling Kacchan wanted to be alone right now, he also didn’t know for sure that Kacchan wouldn’t do something stupid while he was emotional and unsupervised.

It wasn’t worth the risk.

“Don’t leave the apartment,” Izuku Ordered.

He closed the door behind him and ignored the sound of Kacchan screaming and the crash of a table.

Izuku locked his apartment and kept walking. Kacchan could get his frustration out of his system by destroying a few pieces of furniture if he wanted to. Izuku would let it slide.

He could replace a table.

But Izuku only had one Kacchan and he was going to keep him.

Chapter Text

Katsuki destroyed the kitchen table, broke two lamps, overturned the couch, and ended his tirade by cracking the coffee table in two with his fists, shattering the glass top around the entirety of the living room.

He ignored the cuts on his hands, letting them bleed as they willed.

The damage to the apartment would have been worse had he not caught sight of the All Might figurine that had been knocked off a side table by a fallen lamp. His anger drained out of him, leaving nothing but exhaustion behind seeing the tiny thing on the floor. Katsuki stepped over the broken glass and retrieved the small figure, careful not to get blood on the figure and retrieving the piece of hair that had snapped off.

He remembered buying that figurine with Deku their first year at U.A. About a month before they moved up a grade, Deku had wanted to go merchandise hunting while they had a free weekend. He’d asked if Katsuki would come since Iida and Uraraka were busy with hopeful eyes and a stupid, cheery grin. It took some badgering (and a bribe of Mrs. Midoriya’s cooking), but Katsuki eventually caved and went with him.

It hadn’t been a bad day.

Katsuki and Deku had gone from shop to shop looking through old things and new, Deku muttering an inventory under his breath the entire time of what he had and didn’t have while Katsuki snickered behind him and kept the twerp from spending too much.

They’d found the All Might figurines in a second hand shop near the end of the day after they’d stopped for a quick snack of ice cream. Katsuki had one just like it in his closet in a box of older keepsakes because Deku teased him for spending the entire day looking for merchandise and not buying anything.

Katsuki wasn’t sure if it was the good memory or the shame of breaking something that had All Might’s face on it, but the fight left him all the same.

After scrounging around Deku’s kitchen for some glue, Katsuki fixed the small model and left it on the kitchen counter. He washed his hands under the sink and grabbed a bandage to put over the one cut that still bled. He nudged the All Might figurine with his finger as he passed it by to return to the living room. Katsuki settled between the couch and the wall just under the window and spread his legs out in front of him.

He hated he couldn’t stay mad at Deku.

Katsuki had seen his face after he’d given that Order. Deku had been as shocked that he’d given one as Katsuki. Kirishima gave Orders all the time naturally and without meaning to when he got angry enough, so why would Deku be any different? Granted, Katsuki was not often on the receiving end of Kirishima’s Orders most of the time, but he still knew one when he saw it. Even if Deku was being a possessive little shit right now, he was still an Alpha and there were some things they couldn’t control.

Just as Omega were built to obey Orders, Alpha were built to give them and it wasn’t Deku’s fault nature was cruel.

Katsuki couldn’t even be angry with the intentional one he’d thrown at him on the way out the door—Katsuki wouldn’t have trusted himself to stay put either after these past two hellish days.


He reached over and grabbed a loose couch cushion that had gone flying. He tugged it over and curled up on his side. Katsuki covered his head with his arms and breathed out. He ignored the Scent of cedar that clung to the cushions and closed his eyes, going through his options.

What was he supposed to do now?

Izuku realized there was one benefit to completely losing his mind and going wild on national television: Everyone gave him his space today.

They were also much faster to give Kacchan his stuff back—or rather, give it to Izuku, but it might as well have been the same thing.

He opened the door to Kacchan’s apartment with the key he’d gotten from the landlord and stepped inside. A stool had been knocked over near his kitchen bar, but otherwise the room looked undisturbed. He’d only been here once with Kirishima and Iida when Kacchan needed to pick up some extra clothes for an overnight mission, but it looked more or less the same.

Izuku had called a moving company to come pack up Kacchan’s things before he’d come upstairs, but he wanted to go ahead and grab a box or two full of the important and valuable things he didn’t want to risk losing in a move.

He took the framed photos off the table in the living room and picked up Kacchan’s phone from the floor. There was a keepsake box in the bottom of Kacchan’s closet and he grabbed a couple outfits while he was there. Raiding his bathroom for toiletries came next and Izuku bit his lip to stop from grinning at the woodsy scented shampoo sitting in the shower. Aside from that, Izuku found surprisingly little sentimental items around the apartment, but that seemed to fit Kacchan’s personality.

The small box didn’t seem like enough, but almost everything else in the apartment was either furniture or clothes which the movers could handle.

As he put the boxes in the back of his trunk, his phone rang. Izuku answered, “Deku speaking.”

“Izuku!” His mom exclaimed. “You said you were going to call me back.”

“Ah! Sorry, Mom,” Izuku said, straightening. He closed his trunk and leaned on the back of the car. He’d gotten a call from her last night while he was changing Kacchan into some bed clothes and said he’d call her later when he had time to talk. “I really am sorry. Some stuff came up this morning with Kacchan and I forgot.”

“Of course,” his mom said, the understanding and amusement clear. She was well aware that Izuku tended to forget himself when Kacchan was involved. “How is he? Is he taking it badly?”

“That might be an understatement,” Izuku said, crossing one arm over his waist. The busy street passed him by on the road and he smiled at people passing by, despite the serious conversation. “But he’s understandably upset and I don’t think I’ve helped much.”

“I’m sure things will work out as soon as things have a chance to settle,” his mom said. “There’s no one out there better suited to taking care of Katsuki than you, so I fully believe you two will be alright.”

“Thanks, mom,” Izuku said. He sat up straight and nearly smacked himself in the face. He’d been so focused on Kacchan he’d forgotten something else rather important, even bigger than his apartment. The reason his mother had called last night in the first place: “Did you get a chance to see Kacchan’s parents?”

“Only his father, sadly,” his mom said, sighing over the phone. “His mother had gone so wild they had to sedate her rather heavily. She’s still under from what he said.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” Izuku said, rubbing between his eyes. Mrs. Bakugou was one of the scariest Alpha he’d ever met when she was truly angry, and nothing got her to that point faster than threatening her family. “Do you know how their defense is going?”

“Masaru didn’t agree with it, but their lawyer said their best shot is to declare emotional instability when Katsuki presented. He didn’t go into details, but apparently that poor boy’s first Heat was really awful and they’re going to argue that Mitsuki felt the call to ‘protect’ so loud she kept him instead of calling the hospital. Then there was something about imprinting and Alpha possessiveness, but it all went over my head.”

Izuku chuckled under his breath. The wonderful world of instincts and natural callings escaped his poor Beta parents. He still owed them apologies for all the trouble he caused when he was a hormonal teenager and they had no idea what to do with their own little Alpha.

“I hope they’ll go easy on her,” Izuku said, checking his watch. Not that he didn’t appreciate talking to his mother or the update on Kacchan’s parents, but Izuku still had things he needed to do. Getting Kacchan’s accounts in order at the bank was still at the top of the list and Izuku should head over to the Hero Agency to pick up Kacchan’s things there while he was off the clock. “I’m positive if she knew just how bad constant suppressant usage could be, she never would have given them to Kacchan. The courts have to know she meant well.”

“Same,” his mom said. “Alright, I’ll let you get back to what you were doing, but make sure to call me later and let me know how you and Katsuki are settling in, okay?”

“I will,” Izuku said.

He said his goodbyes and put the phone back in his pocket. Izuku blew his bangs out of his face before returning to the driver’s seat. He was more than ready to get these last few errands done with and to go home, no matter what war zone waited for him.

Katsuki scrunched his nose, once again waking to the smell of roses and sugar. There were downfalls to producing a lot of sweat and apparently one of them was producing more of his own Scent than other people.

That or it’d just been collected close to his body, trapped under the blanket that’d been thrown over his head.

He pushed the thick quilt up enough to see into the living room. Deku had set the couch back upright and removed the broken coffee table. He mumbled under his breath as he swept up the broken glass from the carpet, though it was too quiet to hear what he was saying.

Katsuki sat up, letting the quilt gather around his waist and stared at Deku’s back while he stayed lost in his own world cleaning. Just past him near the door were two or three boxes packed neatly that hadn’t been there before. The top one was missing its lid and Katsuki recognized one of his jackets which meant those must have been his things.

“Kacchan,” Deku said, pausing in his sweeping as he looked up. He held the end of the broom in booth hands. “Are you feeling better?”

“No,” Katsuki said, scooting back to lean on the wall.

“I didn’t think you would be,” Deku said, twisting the broom handle. He bit his lip and looked toward the kitchen. “I brought back some dinner if you want it. I’ll have to reheat it, though.”

Katsuki wasn’t hungry, but he was also pretty sure he hadn’t actually eaten anything since that half-bowl of cereal two days ago. Food might be a good idea even if he had to choke it down. “Sure.”

“Okay,” Deku said. He reached down and grabbed the dustpan, sweeping up the last of the glass and stood up. Deku looked at Katsuki before shaking his head and going back into the kitchen. He dumped out the pan and put up the broom. “It’ll be a few minutes.”

Katsuki listened to him putter about as he tugged take-out cartons from the fridge and pulled down a couple of plates. Katsuki peeled himself off the floor and folded the quilt over his arm as he stood up. He put it on the couch and returned the cushion he’d been using as a pillow.

He ignored the pieces of the kitchen table that had been shoved aside against the wall and sat at the bar top that split the kitchen from the living room.

“My mom got to visit your parents,” Deku said, pushing the time into the microwave. “It sounded like she wasn’t sure how things were going, but hopefully they have a good defense at the trial.”

“They shouldn’t have been charged with anything,” Katsuki said, crossing his arms on the counter. “Any good parent would have done the same.”

Deku frowned, pressing his lips together, but he didn’t argue even though the disagreement was plastered over his face. He turned away and tugged the food down from the microwave and handed it over the bar to Katsuki before making his own plate.

He forced down a bite, unable to appreciate the spices that hit his tongue. Katsuki was too tired to taste it.

“The movers should have all your things delivered by the day after tomorrow,” Deku said, sitting one seat down and across from Katsuki. He picked at his own, much milder food and fidgeted in his seat as he tried to find a good position. “I stopped by your apartment to grab some of your things.”

“I saw,” Katsuki said, shoving a bite of rice in his mouth. “And let me guess—that empty bedroom is for me?”

“I don’t know who else it would ever be for,” Deku said, watching Katsuki from the corner of his eye. He laughed under his breath and ate a quick bite from his plate. “I will admit, after about two years of waiting, I almost turned it into an office but I felt like I’d jinx myself. Either after I did it would be the time you actually said ‘yes’ and I’d have to clear it out again or it would be like waving a white flag to the universe that I’d given up.

“And that just wasn’t an option,” Deku said, determined as ever.

“You were pretty confident I was eventually going to give in, weren’t you?” Katsuki asked, already knowing the answer but curious despite himself. “A little full of yourself, don’t you think?”

“I’m not sure I’d put it that way,” Deku said. He pushed his plate away and poked the All Might figurine sitting next to him. Izuku picked it up and held it between his hands, rolling it back and forth. “I think it’d be better to say that you were worth waiting for, even if all my efforts went to waste.”

Deku sounded so sincere it stung.

Katsuki shoved his half eaten plate away. “Well, at least one of us got what they wanted.”

“Kacchan,” Deku said. He set the figure down and slipped out of his chair, leaning across the counter. Deku reached up and cupped the sides of Katsuki’s face and pressed their foreheads together. Their noses bumped and he whispered. “I promise that I’m going to do everything I can to make this work. I’m not going to ever get what I want until you’re happy, too.”

“And if you’re waiting forever?” Katsuki asked, curling his fingers in.

“Then at least I got this close,” Deku said, closing his eyes.

He curled his thumb in to rub Katsuki’s cheek and he could smell the want lingering just under the surface of Deku’s skin. He shivered and swallowed, but didn’t move away. They stayed like that for a minute longer, breathing each other’s air and skin touching before Deku pulled away and cleaned up the dishes.

The weird mixture of disappointment and relief that Deku didn’t kiss him followed Katsuki as he returned to the couch and curled up under the blanket.