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A Mate's Worth

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“I feel like I’m going to throw up,” Kirishima said, stepping out of the car. He shut the door behind him and smacked his cheeks with both hands. “This is so huge.”

“You are literally the only person I know who would even remotely be able to handle this, so stop that,” Katsuki said, hitting Kirishima upside the head as he walked around the front of the car. “You got certified and passed the stupid therapist’s exam with so many flying colors they practically handed you two Omega, so relax.”

“Still, this,” Kirishima paused. He steadied his breath and pointed at the small building at the end of the parking lot. “This is a big deal. I mean. They’ve been through so much and I have to step up.”

“You will be fine,” Katsuki said. He put his hand on Kirishima’s head and shoved it down until he could only stare at the concrete. This was his best friend in the entire world, but Kirishima really needed to do something about his self confidence issues. He was an Alpha! But a sensitive one. Katsuki let go of the guy’s head and wiped the excess hair gel off on the back of Kirishima’s jeans. “More importantly, today you’re just introducing yourself as an option. No one is expecting you to make a decision today, idiot.”

“You’re right,” Kirishima said, breathing in and out. He squared his shoulders and stood up straighter. “Thanks for coming with me, though. I appreciate the support, dude.”

“If it gets you to shut up about it then I can put up with standing in a corner for two hours,” Katsuki said.

He shoved his sunglasses on the top of his head and tapped up the steps of the small Omega Shelter. He scrunched his nose as walked into the door and the pheromones lingering in the lobby hit him in the face. Unlike a regular Matchmaking House, this one didn’t see much foot traffic from Alpha and the sweeter, softer Scents of Omega lingered without being overpowered.

“Hello, may I help you?” A Beta at the front desk asked as they walked into the door. She wore a kind expression, but her eyes remained focused and stern.

Kirishima walked up to the counter, movements stiff and showing off his nervousness. He tugged a small stack of papers out of his inner coat pocket and set it on the table. She pulled it across the desk to inspect it. Kirishima rubbed his arm. “The therapist said I should come by and visit sooner than later.”

Her smile and gaze turned warm as she finished reading the paperwork. “You would be correct. These all look like they’re in order, so welcome to our Shelter, Mr. Kirishima. Though may I ask what your friend is here for?”

“Moral support,” Katsuki grunted, holding back the yawn. He hadn’t really planned to spend his afternoon shadowing Kirishima as he picked out a mate, but now he was stuck. “That’s all.”

“That’s sweet of you,” the Beta said. She turned back to Kirishima and put her hands on the desktop. “Before we let you in, I’m going to give a short rundown of the rules. We do things very differently here than they do in standard Matchmaking Houses and I expect you both to be on your best behavior.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Kirishima said, full attention on the Beta. His nerves dropped away now that he needed to focus and Katsuki couldn’t help the inner smile.

There was a reason Kirishima was good for this, Katsuki thought to himself before leaning on the wall.

“First, we do not permit more than three Alpha in the room at a time,” the Beta said, “So you and your friend might have to wait if he’s going in with you.”

“That’s fine,” Kirishima said.

“Second, remember to be gentle and to keep your voice down. While everyone has their own individual needs and issues, many of them are sensitive to yelling, so we try to discourage loud noises.

“Third, I wouldn’t recommend bringing up pasts or individual care needs just yet. If you find someone you like, I will provide you with the proper care and background history so you may be informed before you make a final decision,” the Beta said. She smiled and tilted her head. “Aside from that, I encourage you to talk with everyone a little bit, just to get to know them. This is a big life change for both you and the Omega you’ll be mated to. Do you understand?”

“Yes,” Kirishima said, nodding firmly. “I do.”

“Wonderful,” the Beta said. She reached under the desk and pulled out two lanyards with passes on them. “There are two Beta guards in the room, just in case, but you shouldn’t need to pay them any mind. Here are your passes. If you head around the corner and down the hall, you’ll find the main greeting lobby. A number above the door states how many Alpha are in the room so you know if you need to wait or not.”

“Thank you,” Kirishima said, taking the tags.

He handed one to Katsuki and the two of them walked past the font desk and the waving Beta. Following her instructions, they found themselves at the correct door and the number above it read zero. Feeling safe that the count was accurate, they showed their pass to the Beta as they walked by.

Katsuki had been to a few Matchmaking Houses over the past year since he’d turned twenty, never really finding an Omega that caught his eye. And while it was still odd and uncomfortable seeing all those potential mates sitting in one room, mingling and flirting, it was worlds better than this: Quiet, tired looking Omega scattered about on old couches and chairs. None of them were particularly dressed up or decked out like their younger, more eager counterparts in proper Houses, but more importantly, you could sense the rise in tension when the two Alpha walked into the room.

Kirishima swallowed and Katsuki patted his back as they stood there awkwardly, the new center of attention.

An Omega to the left, who seemed to hold himself better than the others, saved them from the continued awkward silence by saying “hello” to Kirishima first. The ice broken, Kirishima answered the greeting and fell into the standard rounds of polite conversation. Katsuki took that as his cue that his shark-toothed friend would be fine and yawned before glancing around the room for a place to sit and wait.

However, after taking a few extra steps Katsuki had to pause. He breathed in and concentrated. There was a familiar Scent in the air, and though he couldn’t quite place it, he was sure he’d smelled it before.

In the other corner of the room, an Omega yelped and Katsuki turned to see a girl stumble and the door behind her slam shut. He heard Kirishima ask “Is she okay?” and one of the Beta guard opened the door with a frown.

Katsuki watched the back door. Years of training had honed his instincts and he could almost see the scuffle happening on the other side from the shout and the thump of a body against the wall. Kirishima straightened up, too, eyes locked on the door and prepped to move if it sounded serious. Omega Shelters were supposed to be safe havens, but nothing was entirely safe from the rottenness of people.

The door slammed open a minute later, the Beta guard’s hand wrapped around a thin wrist. “You know the rules. You can go back to your room after visiting hours are closed, but until then everyone stays in the lobby together.”

“Please,” a tenor voice said, deep enough to clearly be male. Katsuki watched a hand shove at the Beta’s arm and his feet digging into the ground as he was dragged. “Please. I’ll come back in when they leave. Don’t make me go back out there.”

That familiar Scent grew stronger as the Omega grew more distressed, confirming he was the source. Katsuki focused on it, wracking his brain to remember where he knew it.

The Beta finally lost his temper and dragged the Omega forward all the way through the doorway with a harsh yank. The Omega screamed “No!” before he shouted, “Please! I don’t want him to see me!”

Katsuki felt like he’d been punched in the gut by All Might himself.

Red eyes met green and the smell of Cedar filled his lungs, cutting through the Scent of everyone else in the room. Katsuki saw green curls and dark eyes surrounded by freckles. Tears gathered and terror had plastered itself across every inch of the frozen Omega. He looked leaner, older, but it was still a face that he knew:


February 3 of their second year of middle school, Deku stopped coming to school.

Katsuki hadn’t thought much of it at the time. His annoying tag-a-long probably caught a cold or some shit. He wouldn’t be surprised if the Quirkless loser had a bad immune system, too. Katsuki went through the day unconcerned, though his followers annoyed him more than usual for some reason whenever he’d notice there was one missing.

It changed when he walked in the door of his home and his mother looked him straight in the eye. She said, “We’re visiting the Midoriya family and you will be on your best behavior or you will be grounded for the rest of your life.”

Ten minutes later, Katsuki found himself in the small apartment down the street and had to bite his lip when he saw Mrs. Midoriya sobbing on the couch. Her husband rubbed her back and said softly, “You can visit him on the weekends and call him every evening. It’ll be fine.”

Katsuki knew why Deku hadn’t been in school that day.

His mother and father joined the Midoriya couple on the couch and Mitsuki hugged Mrs. Midoriya with her own mixed condolences and congratulations on Deku’s presentation. Katsuki stood in the opening of the living room not sure why he was there.

“Katsuki,” Mrs. Midoriya said, as she looked up. She sniffed and waved her hands. Not insulting his intelligence, she got straight to the point. “I haven’t packed up his things yet. He said you might want something in there since he knows you love All Might, too.”

He bit his lip, not trusting himself to talk. Katsuki nodded his head and left the room. He didn’t want Deku’s shit, but he couldn’t stand there and watch his mom cry either. Katsuki walked back down the hallway and pushed open the small room with the All Might name plate.

The smell of Cedar smacked into his face as he entered. The room had been drenched in the strong Scent and he had to cover his nose at first before he got used to it. Deku’s Beta parents likely hadn’t even noticed the new Scent their son had acquired when he presented, let alone realized he’d Scented half his room with the strong smell. The greatest concentration of it came from the bed and Katsuki swallowed as he looked away.

All Might merchandise coated every surface from the walls to the floor and shelves. Katsuki scoffed under his breath and flicked over an All Might figurine on the desk. It fell on it’s side with a small bounce and Katsuki felt numb. He should have known this is what Deku’s room would look like. Katsuki sat on the floor next to the desk and set his head on the drawer.

He’d been so sure Deku was going to be a Beta. It seemed only natural: Katsuki was an Alpha like his mom and Deku would be a Beta like his. They both took after their mothers in everything else, so why not Class, too?

Katsuki rubbed his hands down his face. There was no helping your Class and if Deku was an Omega, he was an Omega. In two to three years he’d be at a Matchmaking House and probably meet an Alpha who’d take care of his ass and keep him from running into trouble.

Deku needed the supervision anyway.

He got up from the floor, but as he put his hand on the desk to pull himself up he took another look at the bookshelf in the corner. On the bottom shelf was a small row of school notebooks. Katsuki tugged one out and saw Deku’s handwriting on the cover. He flipped open the first page and stared at handwritten notes about Pro Heroes.

The next volume was the same, but the notes had gotten more in depth. By the last volume on the stack, the twelfth volume, Deku had managed to create a rather detailed description of Pro Hero Quirk Pros and Cons on each page.

Katsuki grabbed the twelve volumes and left the room to wait in the hallway for his parents.

This was all he needed.

Kacchan had seen him.

Izuku trembled under the guard’s hold, frozen in place as Kacchan—Kacchan, Kacchan, Kacchan—stared at him with wide eyes and a dropped jaw. Izuku scrunched his eyes shut and wished he was anywhere else.

He’d tried so hard to hide. The moment that sweet, rose petal scent entered the room, Izuku’s blood had frozen. There was only one Alpha who smelled like that—so strong and so deep that it’d been prominent even to those who hadn’t presented yet. He would never forget that Scent for the rest of his life. Izuku had never been particularly ashamed of his history, but in that moment he would have done anything to keep Kacchan from seeing him here in this place.

Kacchan wasn’t supposed to know.

Izuku had tried to hide. He was going to hang out in the hallway until Kacchan left but the guard had found him and dragged him back inside and now he’d been caught and Kacchan knew. Izuku opened his eyes again, feeling the tears welling up.

Kacchan knew.

Izuku bit his lip and forced the tears to stay locked inside.

Kacchan shouldn’t be here. He was an amazing Pro Hero. He held the number two spot in the entire nation and could have any Omega he wanted from the highest and most prestigious Matchmaking Houses.

Why was he here?

“Bakugou, dude,” Red Riot said, shaking Kacchan’s arms. The usually chipper Pro Hero’s face twisted in confusion as he watched Kacchan. “You look like a ghost. Do you know him?”

“We were neighbors,” Kacchan said, still staring right at Izuku. “We went to school together and shit.”

Red Riot looked at Izuku and back to Bakugou. He rubbed the back of his neck and frowned. “Small world, I guess.”

Izuku stared at the ground, heart heavy in his chest.

That rose Scent came closer and Izuku’s breath picked up. The Beta guard let go of his arm and Izuku looked up and met red eyes, still locked on his own.

Kacchan’s eyes were wide and full of horror. He whispered, “What the fuck are you doing here?”

Izuku couldn’t help it; he sobbed.

He was already so embarrassed he could die—what more would it hurt?

Nine known Alpha mates and possibly more that Deku refused to talk about.

Katsuki stared at the information sheet he legally shouldn’t have access to but being Ground Zero and a furious Alpha helped the front desk clerk make an exception. He dug his hands into his hair, gritting his teeth as Kirishima stared at him with caution in the back. His own meeting got cut short when Katsuki left the room and punched a wall in the hallway so hard he left a hole. The good friend he was, Kirishima had chosen to pick a mate another day and stand behind Katsuki while he read Deku’s file.

Deku’s first Alpha returned him about two months after he’d been registered stating he couldn’t get pregnant—which was bullshit because Deku’s file upon Registration clearly stated he had a lower fertility rate. It could take a year or more of Heats to get Deku knocked up and that bastard took him anyway knowing that.

Mates two through eight were along the same route. They each kept Deku for five to six months each, give or take. Four of his Alpha returned him because they “no longer worked” which Katsuki had learned to read long ago as “got bored with him.” The others were all small time crooks who’d gotten caught and lost their mating privileges.

Katsuki hadn’t thought much about what went into deciding an Omega’s dowery. He always figured if he liked one enough, he’d just challenge for it. His Quirk was explosions—what moron would pay for it when they could just win in a fight?

But he was now learning that there were a shit ton of factors that went into play: Family status, Quirk, fertility rate, and lastly education—or rather, how well they scored in Finishing School.

Deku had been from a middle class family of Beta, had no Quirk, was borderline infertile, and had scored average on his Finishing School exams.

His dowery had been dirt cheap and his minimum bid might as well have been “Free.”

No wonder he’d been picked up so many times by the scum at the bottom of the barrel.

Especially his last registered mate: Number nine, whose name had been struck out to Katsuki’s great regret, had at some point given Deku away to another Alpha under the table. That freak got his kicks watching other people fuck his Omega, which meant Deku had been subjected to who knows how many other Alpha and perverted Beta looking for a “good time” without attachment.

Deku had been found during a police raid and after a mental evaluation, been sent to therapy and the current Omega Shelter he was at.

It turned Katsuki’s stomach and the bile caught in his throat.

He knew there were some sick assholes in the world—he beat the shit out of them daily—but it was still disgusting.

“You okay?” Kirishima asked, frowning at the stack of paperwork.

“I will be,” Katsuki said. He rubbed his hands down his face and looked over his shoulder. There was really only one thing to do. He’d never forgive himself if he just walked away. He met Kirishima’s gaze and said, “I need to borrow your textbooks.”

Izuku hugged his pillow to his chest as he sat on his bed and watched the small television. His roommates were still giving him his space, hanging out in the other rooms while he moped. He knew they wouldn’t be back until curfew and he was deeply grateful for the time alone.

The small recorded video of Kacchan played, showing him off in his full Ground Zero gear grinning wide at the camera while holding up a broken villain. When it ended, Izuku picked up the remote and started the video over, beginning with his favorite All Might rescue clip before going back to what his friends had called his “Ground Zero Collection.”

Kacchan had kept Izuku sane even more than All Might throughout the years.

In his last year of Finishing School, he had watched the U.A. Sports Festival along with the other Omega in his class. Izuku had stared at the television in awe seeing Kacchan win it all. That had been his friend. That was Kacchan standing victorious in first place, receiving a medal from All Might himself. Izuku had been so damn proud he cried and told everyone in the room that he used to go to school with that boy.

It might have been the only day he’d been popular with everyone asking him questions about what Kacchan had been like in elementary school.

After that, mate after mate, he’d been sure to watch the television whenever he could, looking for signs of Kacchan in the news. His appearances were few and far between but Izuku never missed one, even at the risk of a beating or Order.

It didn’t matter what Alpha he was with when he at least could look forward to seeing Kacchan’s Hero career progress.

When he couldn't watch him, Izuku spent his free time remembering the aggressive boy that shined so brightly Izuku thought they’d be together forever as long as Kacchan would let him follow.

But life had different plans and Izuku only had his imagination for company.

On his worst days, he could pretend the Alpha he submitted to were Kacchan. He used the footage from the news clips and fan videos to keep his old memories of Kacchan fresh and updated. Izuku had had enough experience of Kacchan shoving him around, or using his Quirk to intimidate him to make up for any gaps or to easily slot Kacchan into the place of the actual Alpha that Marked him.

Kacchan had never been as much of a bully as his mother thought, but he still had his aggressive moments and it made things easier.

At first Izuku felt guilty picturing his old friend in such an intimate way without his consent, but between a little guilt and having to face the reality that he had essentially become some Alpha’s toy instead of their mate, he chose the guilt.

Izuku had learned early to make sure not to say the wrong name, even in the worst of his Heats.

What did it matter who he fantasized about? It wasn’t as if he was ever going to see Kacchan again, so he’d never know. They lived in two different worlds. Kacchan was successful and rich and deserved the world.

But of course he’d be the sort of friend who’d go with another for moral support.

And of course he’d walk into Izuku’s Omega Shelter.

That had always been his luck.

Izuku turned off the television and buried his face in his pillow. He hadn’t been able to answer Kacchan’s question and the Alpha had left. Kacchan was smart; he knew why Omega were in this house. He’d walked out without another word and Izuku’s chest hurt. It’d been a week and he still couldn’t bear the look of disgust that had crossed Kacchan’s face.

Someone knocked on the room door. He looked up as it cracked open, revealing the House Mother.

“Izuku,” she said. The House Mother wore a warm smile and handed him a small, drawstring bag. “Put anything you’d like to keep in that bag and meet me in the lobby. A very nice Alpha has claimed you. He was so enthusiastic he couldn’t even wait for tomorrow and visiting hours to open.”

She shut the door without another word, oblivious to Izuku’s growing panic.

He clutched the bag and forced himself to breathe evenly. Izuku had been at the shelter for three months. He’d thought he’d have more of a break—the other Omega said on average that most of them would be in the Shelter a year or more before they found a new mate—but someone had come to get him already? Why? Who would possibly want him when he was considered broken among the broken?

Tears gathered on his face as his breath hitched.

He had to go.

Having someone come to pick him up would make everything worse. No matter who the Alpha was, it wouldn’t be a good idea to start their newly-mated life with an Order.

Izuku took ten minutes to collect himself before he judged the size of the bag and the few things he held of value. He grabbed his small collections of recordings, a few donated shirts he’d liked, and the small Ground Zero emblem die cast pin he’d stolen from a shop in a crazed moment of desperation about two years ago when the Alpha he’d been with at the time destroyed his recorded files.

His roommates congratulated him at the door, hugging him tight before he wandered down the hall with the small bag tapping against his leg.

Izuku told himself this would be okay. He was in an Omega Shelter. The only Alpha permitted to claim Omega here had to be trained and certified in Abuse Care. Even if they grew bored of him, none of them would ever be as bad as…as before.

“There he is! I caught him in a nap, so he might look a little tired, but he’s good to go,” the House Mother said. “Izuku, don’t doddle! This nice gentleman has already been waiting for an hour filling out your paperwork.”

Izuku closed the door behind him, eyes still on the ground. This would be better. It had to be better. Izuku bit his lip, breathing in. He would not cry. Izuku couldn’t even remember if he’d talked to any Alpha this past week during the meetings so this could be anyone. But he—

“Oi, Deku. I know you’re a klutz but I figured you could at least walk without staring at your feet by now.”

Izuku dropped his bag and looked up. The House Mother had covered her mouth at the insult, but Izuku couldn’t remember the last time he’d heard something so perfect.

The tears came again, warm, hot, and happy. “Kacchan!”

Katsuki had no idea what the fuck he was doing.

Deku sat in the seat next to him as they drove away from the Omega Shelter, eyes puffy and red from crying. He sniffled, reaching up to wipe off his running nose with the handkerchief Katsuki had given him so he wouldn’t have to use his sleeve. When he wasn’t tending his nose, he was staring at Katsuki with so much awe and disbelief it sent chills up his arms.

Maybe rushing into a care license had been a bad idea. Sure, by helping Kirishima study the past half a year he might as well have taken the course himself—as proven by the fact he walked in and took the test after a week of brush up studying—but there was mental prep time, too. Not to mention there were a lot of things in Deku’s file that Katsuki wasn’t prepared to deal with—but.

“I’m so happy, Kacchan,” Deku said, squeezing the cloth between his hands. “I really missed you.”

It was fucking Deku.

“Yeah, I missed you, too, nerd,” Katsuki said.

The sentimentality wasn’t like him, but for once, he figured his pride could take the hit. He just got mated to Deku—being nice was sort of a requirement now.

Deku sniffed again and leaned his head against the glass of the window. “I can hardly believe this is real. I’ve been dreaming about this for so long I half wonder if I’m not just asleep and this is all just going to disappear when I wake up. Or maybe I finally went mad and I’m hallucinating.”

Katsuki pulled over to the side of the road and pointed at Deku’s face. “Okay, are you being dramatic and shit or can you really not tell I’m real. Because if it’s the second one, we might have to turn around because I am not prepared to deal with that level of psychosis on a long term basis.”

Deku stared at Katsuki before he snorted and giggled into his hands. They grew into a full bodied laugh that had his shoulders shaking before he wheezed. Katsuki tapped the side of the steering wheel with his finger, less amused. Deku calmed down and put his head back on the glass, smiling. “It was the first one, Kacchan.”

“It better have been,” Katsuki said. He started the car again and headed back into traffic. He checked the clock and looked back at Deku. “We should be there in about an hour. Did you want to stop somewhere to get food or just keep driving?”

“I’m fine,” Deku said. He pulled his feet up on the seat and wrapped his arms around them. “I already had dinner, unless you want to stop.”

“Home it is,” Katsuki said.

They drove in silence for another thirty minutes. Katsuki had no idea what else to say. He’d gone to get Deku because when he saw his face all he could think of is that stupid day where he hadn’t come back to class and his mother cried. Leaving Deku in that building had no longer been an option.

But now Katsuki had no idea what to do with him, aside from his obligatory responsibilities.

(Shit, he kept forgetting about that part. It was going to be so weird sleeping with Deku.)

“Hey, Kacchan,” Deku said, interrupting Katsuki’s thoughts. He looked out the window as they drove by. He stayed curled up tight in the seat, and watched Katsuki through the reflection in the glass. “Why’d you come back to get me?”

Katsuki squeezed the wheel. “Don’t ask questions you know the answer to.”

“I’m really glad you came to get me, Kacchan.”

“Let’s hope it stays that way,” Katsuki said under his breath.

Izuku had walked into a new home more times than he cared to count, but this was the first time he felt a sense of relief when he stepped across the threshold. Kacchan’s apartment was minimalist and clean with a well stocked kitchen immediately to the left of the entrance and a spacious, open living room straight ahead. He clutched his small bag of belongings as he followed Kacchan further into the apartment and he flicked on the lights.

“This is it,” Kacchan said. He licked his lip and pressed his fingers together, adorably nervous for an Alpha. “This part of the apartment is pretty self explanatory but down the hall is the bathroom, a linens closet, and the bedroom is the last room.

“I know eventually we’ll just be sharing, but if you want the first night or two to yourself or something, I can sleep on the couch—”

“No!” Izuku blurted. He squeezed his bag tighter and covered his mouth at the outburst. Kacchan didn’t look mad, only stunned, but Izuku backtracked accordingly just in case. “I mean. Sharing is fine. I don’t mind.”

“Okay,” Kacchan said. He nodded looked at Deku before he snapped his fingers. “Oh, that reminds me. Wait right there.”

Izuku stood in place, glancing around the room. He listened to Kacchan open a door around the corner and there was grunting as he moved things around. He winced when he heard something fall over with a clatter and Kacchan’s cursing followed, but stayed where he was as instructed.

A few minutes later, Kacchan came out with a paper bag in his hand by the handles. He held it up to Izuku and said, “Here. If I’d known I’d have a chance to give it back, I might have grabbed more.”

Izuku stared at the bag and Kacchan shook it, indicating Izuku was to take it. He set his own drawstring bag on the ground and took it from Kacchan. Izuku tugged the handles apart and peeked inside.


He dropped one handle and trembling fingers reached down and tugged one out. Izuku stared at the handwritten number six in the corner and he looked back at Kacchan. He’d looked off to the side with a hand behind his head, rubbing the back of his neck in a bashful move.

Kacchan took his notebooks.

Out of his entire room of All Might merchandise, a good selection of which he had known for a fact that Kacchan had wanted from overhearing him talk to his friends, he’d taken Izuku’s Hero notebooks.

He had kept Izuku’s Hero Notebooks. All twelve. Neat and tidy in a bag and free from harm or bent pages.

Kacchan had kept them all these years and had known immediately where he’d stored them.

Izuku dropped the bag and threw himself at Kacchan, consequences be damned. He heard the grunt through the rumble in Kacchan’s chest as his face collided with it, arms encircling him into the tightest hug he could manage.

Kacchan didn’t shove him off, strangely patient. He set his hand on Izuku’s head and rubbed it. “You really must have been through some awful things if this is all it takes for you to throw yourself at a guy who used to hate you when we were kids.”

Izuku dug his fingers into Kacchan’s back, clinging just as tightly. “I noticed the past tense in that sentence, Kacchan.”

“Come on,” Kacchan said, stepping back and ruffling Izuku’s hair. He then dodged the comment and said, “I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to pass out. We can deal with getting you properly settled in tomorrow.”

Izuku ducked down and collected his fallen notebooks, putting them neatly back in the bag before grabbing his things from the Shelter. Kacchan waited for him and he tapped after him as they went down the hallway.

His heart pounded in his chest, still anxious and full, but excited for the first time in years.

Izuku entered the bedroom more than ready to—

Kacchan threw a shirt and a pair of grey sweatpants at him. Izuku caught them, slightly confused. He put his things on the floor near the wall and inspected the garments more closely. They were both oversized for Izuku and had All Might’s logo on the front of the shirt. Across the room, Kacchan tugged open a drawer and pulled out a white shirt and some pajama bottoms. “Sorry they’re too big. We can get you some real sleep clothes tomorrow.”


Izuku squinted, thinking hard and long to try and remember the last time he’d worn those. Most Alpha were fairly against the concept of them entirely since it meant time that Izuku wasn’t naked in bed. Even at the Shelter, he usually stripped down under the sheets like everyone else from sheer force of habit. Izuku glanced at Kacchan’s bare back for the slight moment it remained before it was covered again by his own sleep clothes. Izuku changed into the offered clothes, despite the oddity.

If Kacchan wanted him to wear pajamas, he supposed that’s what he would do.

Izuku drowned in the large clothes. His thin form had nothing on Kacchan’s bulk and muscle, making their size difference rather noticeable while wearing the borrowed shirt. But the clothes smelled like Kacchan and Izuku couldn’t help but smile.

“Come on, I’m turning out the light,” Kacchan said, turning back the covers. Izuku crawled into the opposite side from Kacchan and settled into place, his heart beating faster and faster in anticipation. His mate clicked off the lights and got in afterwards, dipping the mattress down to his end. Izuku rolled toward Kacchan, but kept his distance since Kacchan didn’t ask for him to come closer yet. Kacchan breathed out and said, “Night.”

They were just sleeping. Izuku gripped his sheets and curled up tighter into a ball on his half. That was also odd, but it explained why Kacchan had them change into pajamas. Maybe Kacchan really was that tired.

“Night,” Izuku whispered.

Kacchan fell asleep fast, his breathing evening out mere minutes after his head hit the pillow. Izuku couldn’t remember if the Alpha had always been like that, or if his years as a Pro Hero had trained him to fall asleep and wake up quickly in case he was needed. Izuku watched him, either way, still not quite sure if when he woke up the next morning that he’d still be here. This could all still be a dream and when the morning came, he’d be back in the Shelter and Kacchan would be gone again.

Izuku didn’t want to go to sleep.

But despite his best efforts, Kacchan’s sweet Scent and steady breathing lulled Izuku to visit his dreams. He slept, deep and warm under the thick blankets.

Izuku woke buried under Kacchan, the Alpha’s arm thrown across his side and his breath heavy in Izuku’s hair. At some point in the night, the Alpha had rolled over and attempted to smother Izuku in his sleep.

Dried drool stuck to his cheek and pillow and there was no mistaking the excess sweat on his body that soaked into the night shirt for any form of illusion or dream. Izuku pressed his hand over Kacchan’s chest and felt his heartbeat.

This was real.

Kacchan arriving at the Shelter. Claiming him. Taking him home. Returning his notebooks. Sharing a bed—It had all been real.

“Kacchan,” he whispered, nuzzling into his neck. Kacchan didn’t wake, but he squeezed Izuku closer in his sleep and he couldn’t stop the burst of joy that welled in his chest.

He was home.