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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:

“Deku.”


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.

Notebooks.

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.”

Pajamas.

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.

Chapter Text

“How do you like your omelettes?” Kacchan asked from the kitchen, tugging out a small stack of plastic containers. He turned and kicked the fridge door shut with his heel before dropping his stack on the counter with the eggs and bowls. “I’ve got a ton of leftover ingredients from the other night, so if you want something I’ve probably got it.”

“Plain is fine,” Izuku answered from his seat curled up on the couch in the living room.

Kacchan narrowed his eyes at Izuku for a moment, suspicious of the answer, before he shrugged and reached for the frying pan. “I can do plain.”

As the sounds of sizzling eggs filled the kitchen, Izuku stared at the television playing the morning news. About thirty minutes ago, Izuku came to a depressing conclusion:

Having graphic, erotic, escapist fantasies about a single person every day—sometimes multiple times a day—for close to six years may have skewed his perception of the real person he had been having said fantasies about.

But then again, even if he removed the fantasizing from the equation, Kacchan behaved unexpectedly for an Alpha.

Izuku rather considered him a somewhat of an expert on that particular Class at this point. Unlike most Omega who only had to deal with one or two Alpha in their lifetime, Izuku had dealt with ten on a fairly long-term basis. The last one of which also exposed him to many, many, more, giving him an even better picture on Alpha and their behavior.

In his findings, he had noticed there were three main types: The first being Alpha who liked to have sex whenever and as much as they could (which were fairly rare, thankfully), while the other two types were divided neatly between Alpha that liked to have sex before they went to bed and Alpha that liked to start their day with it.

There were always exceptions, but Alpha tended to be creatures of routine.

The most important thing to note about all of them, however, was that every single Alpha Izuku had gone home with slept with him on their first day being mated. Not all of them Marked him right away, but they all made sure to consummate the mating as soon as possible. At least two barely made it out of the car on the way home from the Matchmaking House before they’d shoved Izuku up against the nearest surface and pulled his pants down. The rest had more self control and waited until their preferred time, but it was still within twenty-four hours.

Therefore, since Kacchan had to have some semblance of self control considering his profession and had shown zero interest in sleeping with Izuku when they went to bed, it stood to reason that he was a “morning” Alpha.

So while Izuku waited for Kacchan to wake up, snug and warm under his arm, he could already picture how the morning was going to go: Kacchan would roll over to box him into the mattress, not even bothering to remove the sheets and blankets covering their backs. He’d push Izuku’s sleep shirt up and remove it along with the rest of his night clothes, half-hard and feeling up every bit of skin revealed.

Kacchan’s hand would wander lower until he cupped Izuku, more than likely pleased at how ready and eager Izuku had already become from waiting for Kacchan to wake up. With no need for foreplay or prep, Kacchan could help himself with a strong hip thrust. Maybe Izuku would even get an early Mark with Kacchan’s cock buried deep inside of him for lazy, morning sex.

Reality presented a different picture.

Kacchan jerked awake, startled by Izuku’s presence before he groaned and pressed his face in the pillow over Izuku’s shoulder. He said, “That’s right” under his breath before he rolled away from Izuku and sat up. Kacchan rubbed the sleep out of his eyes and said, “Shit, we have a lot to do today. I’ll make breakfast as soon as I take a shower.”

Izuku watched him get out of bed, grab a fresh pair of clothes and leave the bedroom.

No kiss. No touching. No morning sex.

He didn’t even want Izuku to make his breakfast for him.

Izuku sat in bed confused for close to ten minutes listening to the sound of the water rushing through the pipes in the bathroom next to the master bedroom. When it stopped he heard Kacchan yell “Bathroom’s open.” The semi-implied request for Izuku to get cleaned up snapped him out of the daze. Izuku took his drawstring bag into the bathroom and took a quick shower, making sure the water was cold to calm himself down.

Kacchan had finished cracking the last egg into a prep bowl when Izuku entered the living room. He sat on the couch, not sure what else to do while Kacchan did the work.

“Yours is done,” Kacchan called from the kitchen. He sat a plate on the bar counter behind the kitchen counter and reached for his egg mix to make the next one. Izuku wandered to the bar and sat on a stool, watching Kacchan dump a mass of cut hot peppers into his own frying omelette. “Hope you like Western style.”

“I do,” Izuku lied. He didn’t actually know if he did or not because he’d never had one before but Kacchan made it so he was going to like it no matter what it tasted like. Izuku cut into the fluffy, yellow egg and took a bite. His prior lie became truth as he chewed. “It’s delicious, Kacchan.”

Kacchan grunted, folding over his own in the pan. “After breakfast, we can sit down and make out a list of the things you need. We’ve got a lot to get done since I have to go back to work soon, so I don’t want to forget anything major.”

“Okay,” Izuku said. “That sounds good.”

Kacchan finished making his own breakfast and ate right next to the oven. While Izuku continued to cut up his own omelette, he looked over Kacchan’s shoulder and saw a stack of books on the small kitchen table near the window. He couldn’t read all the titles, but at least one clearly read “Omega Care.”

Izuku set his fork down.

In his excitement about Kacchan—who had gone from childhood best friend to Pro Hero Ground Zero himself—had come to pick him up, Izuku had forgotten that even Pro Heroes were required to take Abuse Care Training before claiming an Omega at a Shelter.

That could explain why Kacchan had been so distant so far or why he’d offered to give Izuku so much space and the option to sleep alone the first few nights. Surely that book had instructions about taking things slow and feeling each other out for comfort levels before doing anything. Some of his friends at the Shelter were so jumpy around any Alpha that consummating the mating on the first night would have been traumatizing, even with the best of intentions. Izuku itched to crack open one of the text books to see exactly what it said.

If it had been any other Alpha on the planet that had claimed Izuku, he would have appreciated the kid gloves. Izuku would have insisted on some sort of proof that the Alpha wasn’t going to up and leave him after getting bored and a few days to a week of abstinence would be a good start on proving their sincerity.

But it wasn’t some random Alpha who’d claim Izuku, it was Kacchan.

And Kacchan could do anything he wanted and Izuku would be genuinely glad to be a part of it. Even if Kacchan got bored with him a few months down the road, Izuku would be mad to give up this chance to be with not only the person he’d admired most his entire life, but Ground Zero. Ground Zero! He was mated to a Pro Hero and whether it lasted a month or a lifetime, Izuku at least wanted a Mark out of it and one real memory to hold onto.

He still had one problem, though: He didn’t know if it was the book or Kacchan that had him keeping his hands to himself.

If Kacchan hadn’t slept with Izuku yet because he was trying to follow the guidelines in the book, Izuku would be more than happy to let him know that wasn’t necessary. They could throw the book out the window because it was Kacchan. Izuku would make it very clear he was a bright, shining exception to all the rules.

But if Kacchan hadn’t slept with Izuku yet because he didn’t want to that posed a bigger problem.

The key to handling Alpha was to give them what they wanted and to keep them happy. If Kacchan was waiting because he wanted to wait, Izuku would have to grin and bear it. Sure, they’d told him in Finishing School that if he wanted to have sex he could ask and the Alpha would usually say yes, but in practice he’d found that typically wasn’t the case. So much so that he found himself shocked years later that was still being taught or that it had been included in the curriculum at all.

Proposing sex himself had made some of his prior mates straight up angry their Omega was trying to make decisions, so he stopped that route of thought in its tracks after the first time he was Ordered to know his place and wasn’t allowed off his knees for a week.

It wasn’t even worth it to test how Kacchan would react.

“Are you finished?” Kacchan asked.

Izuku jerked his head up and snapped his mouth shut. He’d been mumbling under his breath again and Kacchan looked concerned. He nodded and said, “Yes, thank you.”

“Let me know if you get hungry later,” Kacchan said, taking the plate with his half-eaten omelette away. “As soon as I clean the dishes, we can go over the list in the living room.”

Izuku nodded and breathed out.

He was overthinking things.

Again.

Izuku had been with Kacchan for less than a day and this new situation was very different from his prior mates. Kacchan was being nice because he knew Izuku had been—had been used in ways that mates weren’t meant to and he was trying to take things slow.

He could handle slow.

For now.


Katsuki tapped the pen on the top of the notebook page. Deku sat about five inches away from him on the couch, leaning forward to watch him write. Katsuki scribbled “To do” at the top and underlined it twice.

“First things first,” Katsuki said. He wrote down the items as he listed them out loud. “We need to get you a chest of drawers or something. I don’t have enough room in my closet for two people, though we might have to get that another day. We definitely need to get you some toiletries today, though. I guess we can just go down every aisle and grab one of everything to make it easier and save me writing it all down.”

Deku nodded along, not saying anything. He’d been rather quiet most of the morning, but Katsuki figured the new situation finally hit him after their emotional evening. Deku folded his hands together and held them between his exposed thighs. The shorts he had on did nothing to hide his legs and the shirt looked worn, but thankfully in a loved way instead of a ‘cheap’ way.

“Clothes are a big one,” Katsuki said, looking away and back at the paper. “We need to get you some pajamas that fit and there’s no way you had more than one or two changes of clothes in that sack you brought with you. I’m sure we can find a week's worth of clothes to start and maybe a suit just in case.”

Katsuki pulled the pen back and bit the cap. He thought about the care book and tried to think if he was forgetting anything else that wasn’t an obvious life necessity. Food, clothes, shelter, and all that was covered by the apartment and Katsuki. The Heat stuff wouldn’t be for another two or three weeks if the House Mother’s note of when Deku’s last Heat had been was true, so Katsuki didn’t have to worry about that yet.

What was he forgetting? Katsuki tapped the pen on his thigh and glanced around the room. He spotted one of his hiking magazine and nearly hit himself. Of course! Deku needed stuff to do during the day when Katsuki was at work. Hobbies and leisure—that’s what he was missing.

“Speaking of not bringing a lot with you,” Katsuki said turning toward Deku. “Is there anything you want for your free time? Like books or games or shit like that?”

Deku frozen in place, eyes wide like the question had been unexpected and Katsuki kept himself relaxed and as non threatening as possible. The book had warned that sometimes Omega in situations with over controlling Alpha may not have had a lot of their own choices over anything, even for things as simple as preferences for their private moments.

Katsuki would be patient and wait for him to think it over.

“A notebook might be nice,” Deku said after working up the nerve to speak and a pause that spanned three television commercials. He dug his thumb into his palm and looked to the ground and away from Katsuki’s gaze. “With some pens to write with.”

Katsuki should have seen that one coming and smiled, letting it show on his face. He wrote down the request on his working list and asked, “Anything else?”

Deku said, “That’s enough.”

Katsuki didn’t push.

“Let me know if you think of something we're forgetting,” Katsuki said. He threw the pen on the table and got up, grabbing the list as he stood. “I have to go back to work the day after tomorrow, so I want us to get as much shopping done as we can today so we can spend tomorrow setting up.”

“Okay,” Deku said. “That sounds good—wait, we?”

“Yes,” Katsuki said, looking down at the couch. “All of this is for you, so you’re coming with me. I figure you’d want to pick most of this out yourself.”

“I—I can do that,” Deku said, clasping his hands together. He squeezed them tight enough Katsuki almost reached down to split them. Deku must have sensed his concern, or noticed him staring at them, because he moved his hands to sit on his knees instead. He looked down and bit his lip. “I’m not sure if I have anything to wear, though. I only brought another shirt and my shorts are sort of short.”

Deku tugged subconsciously at the edge of the fabric.

“You can borrow a pair of my work out pants,” Katsuki said. He headed to the back bedroom and pushed open his door. Deku trailed behind him, pausing in the doorway. “They’ll be too big, but we can tighten them with a rubber band or something at the waist. Your shirt’ll cover it.”

“Thank you, Kacchan,” Deku said.

Katsuki managed to find an older pair from the tail end of his high school days that was on the smaller side, saving Deku the rubber band. They rolled the top a few times and it fit loose, but nothing that would matter for a day trip. Izuku changed into the other shirt he’d brought with him that appeared to be newer and followed Katsuki out of the bedroom.

He grabbed his keys, phone, and wallet and slipped on his shoes at the door. Deku did the same, following him out. After he locked the door, Katsuki headed down the hall and they left the apartment without incident.

When they hit the street, however, Katsuki met the first of his troubles for the day. He pointed at Deku and said, “Stay there.”

Deku snapped up straight, confused as Katsuki stalked away from him. He headed straight for the glint he saw in the bush and snarled as he reached over and grabbed the camera before the man could escape. Katsuki placed his palm around the lens and yanked it forward. The reporter and cameraman on the other end sweat with wide eyes and panic.

Katsuki knew his eyes had slit pupils as he said, “I made it very two days ago that if any of you morons even thought about putting my mate in the paper or a tabloid before I gave you permission, that I’d break your equipment and put you in the hospital.”

He activated his Quirk and exploded the camera, film and all. The two reporters yelped and fell to the ground, covering their heads as the damaged equipment fell over them. Katsuki stomped on a loose piece and dug it into the dirt. “This is your warning. Go tell all your little buddies this story is off limits. You got that or do I need to go through with the second threat?”

“We understand!” The Beta cameraman yelled. He threw his hand over his companion’s mouth and dragged him back. “No story! Got it!”

The two of them scrambled off back into the bushes, running for the van parked down the street. Katsuki glared at a couple staring at him and he barked, “What’re you looking at?”

They looked away and power walked in the opposite direction. Katsuki snorted and blinked, shaking his head as he calmed down. He looked up and saw Deku staring at him with wide eyes that almost sparkled in their delight.

He couldn’t help the tiny puff of pride as he sauntered back over. “You like that?”

“You’re so cool, Kacchan,” Deku said, smiling bright and wide.

For a minute, Katsuki was back in the woods behind his apartment when he was four years old with Deku trailing behind him. That same look of adoration plastered on his face as he clutched a bug collecting kit in the heat of the summer.

“Kacchan?” Deku asked. “Are you okay?”

“I’m good,” Katsuki said, licking his lip. He turned and headed toward the train station. “Come on.”

He heard Deku’s footsteps pick up behind him and he reminded himself to stay focused in the present.


Izuku felt like he was being tested.

Not necessarily by Kacchan himself, but the universe at large. After the amazement of Kacchan using his Quirk wore off, it hit Izuku why Kacchan had attacked two people in the street: They were reporters.

It struck him again that Izuku wasn’t just mated to Kacchan, his childhood friend, he was mated to Ground Zero: the famous Pro Hero who had been the subject of the news lately because he was still single as he approached age twenty-two.

No wonder they were jumping on any lead they could find that if they found out he might be mated to an Omega.

Izuku’s heart pounded in his chest. As Ground Zero’s Omega, Izuku was going to be in the public eye a lot once Kacchan felt content enough to introduce him formally.

If he ever did.

Keeping more than one Omega was pretty normal for high status Alpha like Kacchan, so having his ‘Rescue Case’ at home and in private alongside a proper, equally high class Omega for the public wouldn’t be that unheard of.

Izuku could live with that. Maybe. It was still better than any of the alternatives, but that didn’t mean Izuku wasn’t going to do everything he could to earn at least a public acknowledgement.

Which meant he was going to do the very best he could by being the Omega of Kacchan’s dreams.

If only he’d cooperate and throw Izuku a bone about what he liked.

“What do you think I should get, Kacchan?” Izuku asked, feeling his last nerve snap. It’d been one thing for Kacchan stand back and let Izuku pick out his toothpaste and shampoo or even what sort of notebooks he got, but this was pushing it. How was Izuku supposed to make the Alpha happy if he wouldn’t say what he wanted!? “What do you like?”

“Does it matter?” Kacchan asked, looking up from his phone. He pushed his sunglasses up over his hair, revealing a confused expression. “We came to a second hand store because they have a bigger variety. Find stuff you like and later we can go to an actual outlet that carries that style later. Who cares what I like? They’re your clothes.”

Izuku cared and yes it mattered because Kacchan would be the one looking at Izuku. It would be better if he picked out clothes that Kacchan found attractive, but he had no idea what Kacchan found attractive because it clearly wasn’t short-shorts and oversized t-shirts.

Izuku had had three Alpha that were a tad higher standing than the general middle class and had reputations to maintain. All three of them had insisted on dressing Izuku to make sure he fit their style, which varied wildly between their three individual tastes. The rest of his mates either didn’t want him wearing clothes at all or bought him things that he looked “cute” in—or were easiest to get off quickly, but Izuku knew that comparing Kacchan to Alpha like that last bunch was a lost cause.

The point was, Kacchan both had a reputation to maintain and he had some sort of preference for Izuku to be in clothes more than he was without them since the Alpha had bought two sets of pajamas for Izuku to wear to bed.

Two.

Izuku dropped the pajama topic before he got back to that weirdness. His current dilemma needed more focus. It’d been subtle, but Kacchan hadn’t been pleased with Izuku’s current clothes and was too nice to say anything. Worst yet, though, it didn’t look like he was going to help fix that problem.

He’d have to get creative.

Izuku stared at the expanses of clothing racks and looked over his shoulder. Kacchan had gone back to texting on his phone with a stern expression, maybe talking with another Pro Hero. While he was distracted, Izuku searched the rack for clothes his size. If Kacchan wouldn’t tell him with his mouth what he liked, he’d just have to do it with his eyes.

After he’d amassed a fairly decent variety, Izuku tapped over to Kacchan and took a risk. “Kacchan?”

“Yeah?” He asked.

“Would you mind telling me if these look okay after I try them on?” Izuku asked, he held the pile of fabric close to his chest. He bit his lip for added effect. “I can’t remember the last time I picked out my own clothes.”

“Sure,” Kacchan said, putting his phone back into his pocket.

He walked side by side with Izuku toward the changing room and followed him in. Izuku left the stall door open for him after he picked one big enough for two people, but Kacchan had settled agains the wall near the larger mirror instead of coming with him.

Izuku shut the stall door and set his head against the back. He understood if Kacchan wanted to take things slow, but he figured he’d at least want to watch Izuku change clothes.

He smacked his cheeks and put his pile of clothes on the small bench. Izuku had a mission and he needed to stick to it. Izuku shed his meager clothes and grabbed the first outfit to tug on.

Izuku started simple: button up shirt with slacks. He stepped out of the dressing room and Kacchan gave him a look over, but his face didn’t change. “That looks okay.”

“Okay” wasn’t “I want to shove you in the dressing room and lock the door behind us.”

Izuku went back into the stall and ripped his shirt off. Dress casual wasn’t the right direction, so he went casual-casual for Kacchan’s second option. He pulled on a printed t-shirt in Kacchan’s Ground Zero colors of black and orange with some blue jeans.

That outfit received a similar response with an honest, but still not that impressed: “Looks good.”

Kacchan didn’t even notice the Hero colors.

He might need to step it up.

Izuku tossed on the black tank he’d found and threw a fishnet top over it. He squeezed into the short-shorts that could have passed for a bikini bottom and tugged on some black stockings to the knee. He grabbed the black boots he’d shoved under the clothes stack and laced them up. The short heel gave him some height, so he hoped Kacchan didn’t mind being eye to eye.

This outfit got a reaction, but it was a choked “That’s different” followed by a look that Izuku could describe as vaguely horrified and confused. He studied Kacchan’s face for any hint this was a “I’m turned on but embarrassed by it” expression but saw nothing of the sort. Kacchan was just shocked by the skimpy outfit and borderline uncomfortable with Izuku wearing it.

Back to the drawing board.

Izuku shut the dressing room door behind him and bit his thumb. Kacchan had to have a preference. Sure, he might be in over his head trying to figure out Kacchan’s clothing turn-ons only a day into their mated life, but Izuku was up for anything that would move the Alpha’s attention toward consummating that same mated life a little quicker.

He tried another four or five outfits with Kacchan showing near visible relief that none of them were as revealing as the fishnet getup, though that also covered any indication of preference between the next few options.

One outfit remained on the bench.

Izuku pulled it on without looking at it in the mirror, shoulders dropping. He’d stick with the t-shirts and jeans for now, and maybe the first collared shirt, if he had to. They weren’t flashy, but it was enough to wear around the house until he had a better idea of what Kacchan liked. Maybe if he studied Kacchan closely while they watched television or a movie he could pinpoint when Kacchan saw something he liked.

“Last one,” Izuku said, opening the door.

He took a step out of the dressing stall and caught it on Kacchan’s face: The widened eyes, the slow lowering of the bottom lip, and the pause in breathing—the interest was unmistakable.

Izuku glanced at his reflection in the mirror behind Kacchan and looked at the outfit he’d thrown on without thinking: a mint button-up shirt with a button-down collar with the sleeves rolled to the elbow because he’d grabbed a size too large on accident. He’d left it untucked and the shirt tails hung over the belt line of the black skinny jeans.

“What about this one?” Izuku asked, hoping for a verbal confirmation to match the tiny flicker of desire in Kacchan’s eyes.

“Looks good,” Kacchan said, nodding. “That’s a good one.”

“I’m glad you like it,” Izuku said. He saved the sigh of relief for after the dressing room door shut behind him. He whispered under his breath as he unbuttoned the shirt. “And thank you for a starting point.”

He folded the winning outfit neatly and set it aside before tugging his clothes back on. Izuku grabbed the one t-shirt he’d chosen and the second pair of jeans to wear while he was cleaning later before dumping the rest on the return rack in the corner.

Kacchan followed him out of the dressing room and to the clothing aisle where he’d found the mint shirt. Izuku picked up a few more similar tops, all one size too big, in different patterns and another pair of skinny jeans.

“I’m done,” Izuku said, holding his tiny stack. He winced at the time on the wall and pulled his shoulders in to look smaller. “I’m sorry that took so long.”

“You’re fine,” Kacchan said. He looked at the clothes and said. “You don’t want to try those on, too?”

Izuku shook his head. “I got an idea of what I needed.”

“If you’re sure,” Kacchan said. He took the stack of clothes from Izuku and walked up to the counter. Kacchan paid for their purchase and carried the bag without a care. As they left the store he asked, “You want something to eat?”

“Sure,” Izuku said. He glanced at the bag and said, “Can I change into one of those in a restroom first? I feel underdressed.”

Kacchan handed him the bag and Izuku ducked into the public restroom on the corner. He came out wearing the mint shirt and black jeans and Kacchan’s expression lit up just enough to prove that was the right move. Kacchan took the shopping bag from him again and Izuku felt better standing next to him now that he was properly dressed.

All through dinner, Kacchan kept looking him over, particularly at his neck and the tiny sliver of skin that the unbuttoned collar revealed. Izuku played with his sleeve cuffs near his elbow as he went over what they’d bought that day to make sure they hadn’t forgotten anything and he took note of every time Kacchan’s eyes flicked to watch his fingers.

Finally, Izuku was getting somewhere.

By the time they got back to the apartment, he was fairly certain that Kacchan would be taking that mint shirt off himself when they got into the bedroom. Izuku had been near giddy when Kacchan’s fingers played with his shirt collar while they’d watched the evening news and he’d thrown his arm over the back of the couch behind Izuku’s head.

They were a day late, but Izuku wasn’t complaining.

He nearly squirmed on the couch as he thought about what was coming. He tried not to let his imagination get too far ahead of himself, but it was hard not to think about Kacchan slipping his hand under the shirt and over Izuku’s belly to draw it right back down and shove it right down into his jeans, pressing hard into Izuku’s skin as he fought the tight fabric.

Kacchan turned off the televisions and Izuku pulled a leg up on the couch. He sat up straight and—

“Here’s your pajamas,” Kacchan said, handing him a small bag from one of the earlier stores they’d visited. “You can go ahead and change and get in bed. I’ll be in after a minute.”

“Alright,” Izuku said, holding the small bag to his chest. He left Kacchan alone in the living room and went to the bedroom as instructed. Izuku changed into the nightshirt and cotton pants and sat on the edge of the mattress. He fell on his back, ready to jump back up if Kacchan came in and huffed. “Stupid Pajamas.”

By the time he stopped sulking enough to crawl under the covers, Kacchan came in and headed for his own set of drawers in the corner. He changed and turned out the lights. Slipping into his side of the bed, he shoved a pillow between the two of them. Izuku stared at it and looked to Kacchan for an explanation.

“I’m hoping that’ll keep me from getting in your space,” Kacchan said, putting his back toward the pillow. He spoke softly, the dark of the room keeping the atmosphere gentle. “I didn’t mean to wake up crushing you.”

“I was fine,” Izuku whispered. “I really didn’t mind.”

“I did,” Kacchan said. “Night.”

“Night,” Izuku said, glaring at the pillow.

He waited for Kacchan’s breath to even out before he sat up and grabbed the pillow. Izuku would be the perfect Omega tomorrow, but tonight he’d risk the disobedience to the hinted command to stay on his side of the bed. Izuku tossed the pillow past their feet and scooted over until he could curl up against Kacchan’s back.

Izuku nuzzled Kacchan’s shoulder, throwing an arm around his waist and snuggling up. Kacchan didn’t wake up and Izuku took what he could get. Izuku kissed Kacchan’s back and fell asleep breathing in Kacchan’s Scent.

If Kacchan got angry in the morning for circumventing the pillow barrier, it’d have been worth it.

Chapter Text

Katsuki had given up on the pillow barrier.

After three more nights of it getting thrown around in their sleep and waking up tangled with Deku no matter what he tried, he accepted the inevitable. Katsuki had been concerned about smothering Deku in his sleep, but the twerp insisted he was fine. He also vetoed Katsuki’s suggestion of sleeping on the couch again so Deku could have his space and not worry about waking up with an Alpha shoving him into the mattress, albeit unconsciously. Considering it was one of the few thing he verbally spoke up about, Deku must not be too upset over having his personal space invaded in the night.

The book said some Omega felt safer sleeping with someone else close by than alone regardless of any prior trauma, so Katsuki didn’t feel the need to be concerned just yet.

“We should go pick out a dresser for you today,” Katsuki said, sipping his coffee. He picked up his empty breakfast plate and got up from the kitchen table to sit in the sink. “If I move that bench under the window to the living room, I think we can fit one in. I’ll have to measure it though to make sure we don’t get one too tall.”

“Okay,” Deku said, finishing off his food. He brought his own plates over and put them in the sink as well. Katsuki turned on the water and washed them out of habit. Deku stood next to him, fiddling with a dish towel. He stood close enough that their arms touched and said, “Is there anything else you want to do on your day off?”

“Haven’t decided,” Katsuki said, rinsing off a plate. Deku took and dried the clean dish before Katsuki could put it on the rack. Katsuki asked, “Is there anything you want to do?”

“I’m up for anything,” Deku said, like he usually did.

Unlike the bed thing, that was a tad more difficult to unpack.

From talking with his Alpha friends and the Care book, it was fairly common for many Omega to be content deferring to their Alpha for most things: How they spent their day, what chores they did, if they went out or stayed in, etc. In fact, Katsuki knew one Pro Hero buddy whose Omega became legitimately stressed out and anxious if she didn’t give the poor guy things to do all day and tell him what to do. However, even extreme cases like that one knew that if they didn’t want to do something or had a preference, they could speak up for what they wanted—especially if they’d been given an explicit choice.

But Omega like Deku were often conditioned to defer to their Alpha for everything or they’d be punished. Alpha like that shouldn’t have been allowed to take care of a dog, let alone another person.

As much as Katsuki hated to admit it, it was hard to tell if Deku wasn’t speaking up because he was genuinely fine with Katsuki making the decisions or if he was scared of how Katsuki would react if Deku said “No.”

“Then I guess we’ll see what the afternoon brings us,” Katsuki said, finishing up the dishes. That was part of taking things slow, too, on some level. Maybe after a month or two after really getting settled in and Deku knew he was safe here, Katsuki would broach the subject and encourage Deku to speak up more about what he wanted. But until then, he’d try and give Deku easy options to try out. “I’m going to measure the space and then we can head out.”

“Alright,” Deku said, drying the last dish.

Katsuki tugged on the side of Deku’s shirt collar as he walked by, amused by the loose fabric. The shirt was way too big for Deku, but he couldn’t help but think the look fit him. “I shouldn’t be more than ten or fifteen minutes.”

He left Deku alone with the last dish to dry and rolled up his sleeves. Weird or not to be living with his childhood friend, Katsuki had made a commitment and it was time to make this place more of a home for two.

A dresser would be a good start.


Izuku sat cross-legged on the bed, watching Kacchan assemble his new dresser. Thankfully, the size restrictions meant that neither Kacchan nor Izuku had much of a choice with which one they got so Izuku couldn’t be put on the spot to pick one. After three stores and a quick lunch at a ramen place, they found one that fit the correct parameters—which meant it was perfect, even if it didn’t match any of the other furniture in the room.

He hugged the defeated pillow to his chest, lamenting that the metaphorical Pillow Barrier still existed between the two of them.

It’d been almost a week and Kacchan still hadn’t made a move. Aside from letting them wake up together after Izuku crawled into his arms after Kacchan went to sleep, there had been no attempts to kiss, touch, or otherwise fondle aside from playing with his loose shirt. Kacchan was either waiting for Izuku to break down and beg or he was legitimately not interested in having sex outside of a Heat.

One of the other Omega at the Shelter had talked about Alpha like that. Before she’d been hurt herself, she’d lived next door to an Alpha who’d taken in a “pity case” (She didn’t call other Shelter Omega that any more, though) to boost his standing in the community. She said her neighbor was treated well, but definitely was more of a houseguest than a “mate.” His friend said that her neighbor’s Alpha jacked off in the shower more than he slept with his Omega and that was endlessly frustrating.

Izuku hadn’t caught Kacchan masturbating since he’d started living with him, so either the Alpha was really good about hiding it in the shower—which Izuku didn’t think was happening because he’d listened through the door and sex pheromones would have cut through the water—or he did it at work and was already satisfied by the time he came home.

It would be Izuku’s luck that the only thing that turned Kacchan on was fighting crime.

“Do you see where the other bag of screws went?” Kacchan asked, standing up and looking over the mess of packaging on the floor. He lifted some plastic wrap and said, “Gotcha! Never mind, I found them.”

Izuku clutched the pillow and fell over on his side on the bed. In truth, Izuku still hadn’t completely separated his imaginary Kacchan from the real one and his unrealistic expectations continued to plague his thoughts. Six years of fantasy were hard to destroy in a few days, especially when Kacchan still smelled amazing and his touch made Izuku want more.

It was likely that Kacchan had brought Izuku home out of some weird sense of obligation or guilt since they used to know each other more than the desire to be with Izuku personally that he wanted Kacchan to have so badly.

Which might be why he hadn’t felt any real need to sleep with Izuku outside of what was required.

“Done!” Kacchan said, smacking his hands together. He turned and gathered the packaging material off the floor, shoving it into the box the dresser had come in. Izuku smiled as Kacchan grinned to himself, satisfied with a job well done. “I knew I could do it in under an hour.”

The fully assembled chest of drawers fit neatly under the window, the perfect size to match what Kacchan had measured. It had six thin drawers for Izuku to put in whatever he wanted. Kacchan had made it clear in the store it was his piece of furniture and if he wanted to decorate the top or anything, he was welcome.

Izuku smiled into the pillow, staring at his new dresser. He still had some hope that he was more than a “pity case.” Kacchan let him in his bed and was doing all he could to make him feel welcome, sex aside.

That had to mean something.

“I’m glad that’s out of the way,” Kacchan said, walking back in after throwing out the box. He had Izuku’s small basket of clothes under his arm and sat it on top of the newly assembled dresser. “I’ll let you organize that however you want.”

He stretched his arms over his back and headed to his own dresser on the other side of the room. Kacchan pulled his sweat-soaked shirt off and threw it into the laundry hamper. Izuku rolled over to watch him, eyes trailing over the muscles flexing along his spine. He dug out a clean shirt and pulled it on, shaking out his hair.

“Anything you want for dinner?” Kacchan asked.

“You” popped into Izuku’s head first and he shoved the thought down. He bit his lip and shrugged. “I’m good with anything.”

“I was thinking take-out,” Kacchan said, standing over the bed. He reached over and pulled the pillow down to see Izuku’s face. “You still like fried pork? There’s a diner down the street that delivers now.”

“Yes,” Izuku said. Red eyes locked with his own, the eye contact proving he was paying attention to Izuku’s answers. “That sounds great.”

“Then I’ll go order something,” Kacchan said. He let go of the pillow and ruffled Izuku’s hair with his hand as he left the room. “It shouldn’t take more than thirty minutes to get here.”

“Okay, Kacchan,” he called out.

Izuku shoved the pillow into his face and rolled over, pretending that he wasn’t getting hard from just a simple hair pat. Slow. Kacchan was taking things slow but then he did things like ruffle his hair and let him know what those big strong hands felt like and—

“Kacchan,” Izuku said, voice loud as he sat up and hugged the pillow tighter. “I’m going to take a shower while we wait, is that okay?”

“Sure,” Kacchan said back.

“Thanks,” Izuku said.

He went into the bathroom and left the door unlocked behind him. If Kacchan wasn’t going to help him, Izuku would just take care of it himself.

Izuku could only hope smelling the excess pheromones through the door would finally tempt Kacchan to come in and join him.

However, after a very, very long shower and an exhausted hand from delaying his orgasm as long as possible to give Kacchan the honor when he finally wandered in, Izuku gave up waiting on his Alpha. He finished himself off, unsatisfied. Izuku rested his head against the shower wall as he turned the cold water up and cleaned himself properly.

Izuku may have miscalculated in his more straight forward attempt to casually seduce Kacchan.

At least two Alpha didn’t like Izuku to masturbate unless they had told him he was allowed. One had been very clear that Izuku was never to do it unless his Alpha was watching. What if Kacchan was one of those Alpha?

What if he hadn’t come in to join him in the shower because he was angry?

Izuku’s hand shook as he turned off the water. He’d been so careful tip-toeing around Kacchan this past week and he may have just ruined everything because of something as stupid as sexual frustration. Izuku bit his lip and pulled back the curtain, listening. It was quiet and he sucked in a breath, hoping Kacchan was just ignoring him.

He crept to the bedroom and dressed, hoping to make himself as small as possible The smell of his pheromones in the hallway dissipated with the air conditioning with their source long clean. Izuku dressed and walked into the living room to judge the atmosphere and see if Kacchan was upset.

Kacchan wasn’t in the living room. Izuku clutched his oversized shirt and sat on the couch. Had he been so angry he’d left?

It’d been close to forty minutes since Izuku had started his shower. He pulled feet up onto the cushion and wrapped his arms around his knees. He breathed into his jeans and counted to ten. His Alpha was coming back. Maybe he’d just stepped out to avoid Izuku’s Scent because he didn’t want to be tempted.

That was it.

That had to be it.

The door opened after another ten minutes of anxiousness and Kacchan came in with two bags. He spotted Izuku on the couch and held one up. “Sorry that took so long.”

“You went and got it?” Izuku asked, too confused to be scared. He sat up at the smell of the food and asked, “I thought they were delivering?”

“When I called in the order they said their delivery driver was sick so I’d have to pick it up,” Kacchan said. He frowned and put the bags on the counter. “Maybe you didn’t hear me over the shower water when I said I’d be back.”

“I didn’t,” Izuku said, immensely relieved. “Sorry.”

“No, I should have made sure you heard me instead of just yelling through the door,” Kacchan said.

He started digging into the take out bags and Izuku covered his face, sinking into the couch to count to ten to calm his nerves before he got up to join his Alpha.

Izuku had gotten lucky and he wasn’t going to make that mistake again. He'd be better about his self control.

“One pork for you,” Kacchan said, handing him his take out bowl. He cracked open the lid to his own and smelled the dish with a soft smile that made Izuku’s heart melt. “And spicy curry for me.”

Losing Kacchan was not an option.


Katsuki dropped his duffle bag off by the door as he came in after his last patrol for the day. He was early, so Deku wasn’t there by the door to greet him for a change and Kacchan almost sighed in relief. Katsuki was not used to that sort of welcome every time he came home and he didn’t think he ever would be.

“Deku?” Katsuki asked, not seeing the Omega in the living room. He wandered down the hall and poked his head into the bedroom. “You in here?”

He found Deku taking a nap on the bed, his hand clutched around his cell phone. The Omega had set an alarm to wake him about twenty minutes before Katsuki normally came home. Deku curled tighter around the phone when Katsuki patted his hair and he took his hand back.

Maybe touching him when he was asleep wasn’t the best idea.

Katsuki went back to the living room and let him be. He smiled at all the little things that had moved in the room and at his notebook on the coffee table. He wasn’t sure what Deku was writing in it these days, it felt too private to sneak a peak in, but it was nice knowing the books were getting used. The blanket on the couch was unfolded, which meant he probably used it, and he saw a glass and plate still waiting to get to the sink.

Usually when Katsuki came home, the place had been cleaned spotless, like Deku hadn’t even been there.

This felt better and he smiled as he folded the blanket himself and picked up the used dishes. Katsuki had finished the last dish by the time Deku came into the living room, confused.

“Kacchan! You’re home early,” he said. Deku put his hands on the bar top and frowned at the dishes. “I wouldn’t have taken a nap if I’d known that.”

“I didn’t know either until I was relieved from duty early,” Katsuki said. He dried his hands on the towel and threw it on the counter. “Did you have a good day?”

“Yes,” Deku said.

Katsuki was about to ask him what he did when the door knocked and an obnoxious, “Bakugou! Open up!” came from the other side.

Deku stared at the door, standing up straight and Katsuki yelled back, “No!”

“Don’t give me that!” Kirishima shouted back with a laugh. He opened the door, still grinning brightly with sharp teeth as he let himself in with his key. He was followed by Todoroki and his mate, Momo, with Sero and Mina waving from the hall. “Your newly-mated first week is up and I missed my buddy! No more skipping dinner night for you!”

“We saw each other yesterday,” Katsuki said, noting that Deku had taken a couple steps back from Kirishima. He didn’t quite sprint, but he was clearly tense with the other two Alpha in the room. Katsuki took a step between Deku and Kirishima and crossed his arms. “You could have called.”

“You would have said no and this is an intervention,” Kirishima said. He wagged his finger back and forth. “The last time you skipped one agency get together, you weaseled your way out of them for the next three months and that’s just not good for team building.”

“Is that why they’re with you?” Katsuki asked, glancing over Kirishima’s shoulder. Todoroki and Momo were watching Deku out of the corner of their eyes while the other two chatted in the hallway. “Or did you want something else?”

“We’re carpooling,” Todoroki said. He shrugged. “The place they want to go is in the next prefecture, so I volunteered a vehicle. There’s more than enough room for the seven of us in my van.”

Todoroki had included Deku in that count, which made sense. Spouses were welcome at these Team Building dinner things, which now included Deku. He turned over his shoulder to introduce Deku when he realized that the Omega had retreated to the living room.

“I’ll be right back,” Katsuki said. He walked past his kitchen and leaned over the couch back next to Deku. “You okay?”

“Kacchan,” he whispered. He wrung his hands together, bowing his head over. “Sorry. I know you didn’t tell me I could leave, but you were talking and—”

“It’s okay,” Katsuki said. He put his hand on Deku’s head and tilted his head back to look him in the eye. “My agency does a dinner thing every month and it’s normal to bring your mate. Do you want to come with us tonight?”

“Do you want me to?” Deku whispered.

He remained rigid, hands squeezing tightly together. Katsuki could smell the other Alpha’s Scents from here, so Deku had to be able to smell them, too. If this was enough to set him on edge, there was no way he’d survive a crowded table of them in a restaurant. At least when they’d gone out shopping, most people had given them a wide berth because of who Katsuki was and because he’d chosen places with less guests. Dinner would be different and Katsuki was half tempted just to tell him to stay home.

But it was important Deku had the choice.

“Deku, I won’t be mad if you say no,” Katsuki said, rubbing his hand in Deku’s hair. “It’s entirely up to you.”

“I want to stay here,” Deku said, voice so quiet Katsuki barely heard it.

“Then I’ll see you later and don’t worry about staying up for me,” Katsuki said. He pulled his hand out of Deku’s hair and patted him on the back. “Have a good night, okay?”

“Have a good time,” Deku said, speaking up. His shoulders stayed slumped and he stared at his hands.

“Is everything alright?” Momo asked when Katsuki returned.

He rubbed the back of his neck and spoke softly. “At the Shelter, they didn’t allow more than three Alpha in the room at a time with the Omega. Plus it was a decent sized room, so there was a lot of distance between them all. I think Deku’s a little overwhelmed with so many Alpha around right now, which is probably why he doesn’t want to come to dinner, either.”

“Poor thing,” Mina said, covering her mouth.

Kirishima nodded along with Sero, not saying anything but the looks of pity were unmistakable.

“I think he’ll be fine once we leave,” Katsuki said, reassuring his friends. He scrunched his nose looking over his shoulder at Deku, who was still pretending to be invisible on the couch. “Though I do feel bad leaving him alone now that he looks upset.”

“I could stay, if you like,” Momo said. She put a hand over the top of her chest and tilted her head, spilling a sliver of her loose, long hair over her shoulder. “I wouldn’t mind keeping him company while you catch up with the others.”

“Fine with me,” Katsuki said. He glanced at her mate. “Todoroki?”

“I don’t mind,” Todoroki said. “I have to come back to drop you off anyway, so I can pick her up at the same time.”

“Perfect,” Katsuki said. He stopped whispering and called over his shoulder. “Hey, Deku! Momo says she doesn’t want to go either. Do you care if she hangs here with you?”

“No,” Deku said, shooting up straight. Momo waved at him and he waved back, tiny and close to his chest. “That'd be okay.”

Momo kissed Todoroki on the cheek and walked into the room, slipping her shoes off at the door. She walked over to the couch and introduced herself as she sat next to Deku. He answered back and Katsuki felt his shoulders relax. The two Omega would be fine by themselves.

“Let’s go before I change my mind,” Katsuki said, shoving his shoes on and grabbing his wallet. He pushed Kirishima and Todoroki out the door before shouting, “See you later, Deku!”

“Bye, Kacchan!” he heard back.

With that reply, Katsuki shut the door and locked it behind him. He looked over his shoulder and saw Kirishima smiling warmly with him, hands on his hips. Katsuki grunted, “What?”

“Look at you being all gentle!” Kirishima said, throwing an arm around Katsuki’s shoulder. “I didn’t know you had it in you! And to think I was actually worried when you suddenly went to take that test. You’re going to have to tell us everything about your new mate that has you so smitten!”

“Get off,” Katsuki said, shoving him away. “And we are not talking about Deku all night.”

Shouto said, “Half of our agency was expecting to meet him tonight, so since they are going to be disappointed, there is a good chance you’ll be bombarded with questions all night instead.”

“Yup!” Mina said, slapping him on the back. “You’re going to be the man of the hour!”

“Perfect.” Katsuki let himself be dragged to the car and hoped Deku had a better night with Momo than he was going to have trapped with his so-called “friends.”

Chapter Text

“Hello, there,” Momo said, approaching the timid man siting on the couch. “My name is Momo Todoroki. Thank you for letting me accompany you tonight.”

“Ah, no problem,” he said. Momo took a seat next to him on the couch, giving him a good foot of space between them so he wouldn’t feel crowded. He tried for a smile, though she could tell he was still tense. His gaze occasionally flicked to the door where the other Alpha were still gathered, but he did his best to stay focused on Momo. “My name is Izuku. It’s nice to meet you.”

“See you later, Deku!” Ground Zero called from the doorway.

“Bye, Kacchan!” Izuku called, turning to the door and watching as it closed.

Momo had to take pause—that was a rather cute nickname for the Explosive Hero.

The fact Ground Zero called Izuku “Deku” made sense because that particular Pro Hero had shown time and time again his ability to remember names was poor. It seemed like even in his own home that held true and she could believe that the Omega sitting next to her hadn’t worked up the nerve to correct him getting the poor man’s name wrong.

However, the diminutive nickname of “Kacchan” didn’t seem like the kind of thing Ground Zero would appreciate as a pet name, and she had a hard time picturing the man who’d been shaking seconds ago from too many Alpha in the room could be brave enough to call Ground Zero such a cute name within a week of knowing each other.

“Kacchan? Did he ask you to call him that?” she asked, unable to help herself.

Izuku covered the lower half of his mouth and his eyes went wide. A hint of panic laced his features and he grabbed the lower half of his loose shirt, clutching the fabric. “Oh! No! That’s just what I’ve called him since we were little and I didn’t even think about it. You don’t think I embarrassed him in front of those other Alpha, do you?”

“No, of course not.” Momo shook her hand back and forth to alleviate some of the panic. There was a possibility Ground Zero would be teased for the nickname, but no one in their friend group would be stupid enough to tease the man in front of his Omega. “I was just curious who came up with it since it’s such a cute pet name—wait, did you just say ‘since you were little?’ Didn’t you just meet a week or two ago?”

“No, Kacchan and I have known each other our entire lives,” Izuku said, staring at his hands. He rubbed his thumb against the other one. “Our parents are friends and we grew up next to each other. When we were really small, I started calling him ‘Kacchan’ and he called me ‘Deku’ and the names stuck.”

“It sounds like you two must have been close then, if you had nicknames for each other. Were you?” Momo asked.

“Yes and no,” Izuku said, unrolling his sleeve. He tugged on the end of the cuff, pulling it over his hand. “Kacchan was definitely my best friend, but I don’t think he liked me much as we got older. I didn’t have a Quirk, so he thought I was sort of useless to have around and I think I got on his nerves.

“He still let me hang out with him and his other friends, though,” Izuku said. “So he couldn’t have hated me too much.”

“I see,” Momo said.

Her concern must have shown on her face because he immediately sat up straighter. Izuku defending his Alpha immediately: “I know it doesn’t sound good, but Kacchan wasn’t that bad. I promise! And he’s grown up so much since then I barely recognize him, and that’s with keeping up with his hero career in the news when I could.”

“Oh?” Momo asked.

Izuku clutched at his shirt and laughed. “It’s embarrassing, but realizing I was probably never going to see Kacchan again was the worst part of presenting. I missed him so much those first few years in Finishing School, I’m not sure how I made it through.

“Seeing Kacchan win the U.A. Sports Festival might have been one of the best days of my life,” Izuku said. He continued twisting the fabric of his shirt in his hand, tugging his collar down. Momo noted there was no Mark yet and felt relieved. Shouto had been concerned about Ground Zero’s lack of patience and was worried he might be rushing things. Izuku let go of his shirt and grinned. “Seeing Kacchan premiere as Ground Zero might have been the best.”

“You seem very fond of him,” Momo said. She reached over and patted his leg. “I’m glad you two found each other again.”

“Me, too,” Izuku said.

“Oh! I almost forgot,” Momo said. She tugged out her phone and typed up a quick message to Shouto, making sure that Izuku couldn’t see the screen. She wasn’t going behind his back, but she had a feeling he might be a little embarrassed if he knew what she was typing. When she’d hit ‘send’, Momo put the phone away. “Just had to tell Shouto something.”

“It’s fine,” Izuku said. He rubbed his thumb on his other hand and asked, “What’s it like being mated to a Pro Hero? I have to admit, most of my other mates were pretty low class so I’m not sure what to expect now being mated to Kacchan, like with public appearances and things.”

“I wouldn’t be worried,” Momo said, covering her mouth to hide her amused expression. “We have the easy job of standing still and smiling. They’re the ones who have to do all the work talking to the cameras, but if you’re still concerned, I doubt Ground Zero will make you come to any press events if you don’t want to. There’s no shame in wanting to avoid their limelight.”

Izuku leaned forward and grabbed a notebook off the table. He flipped open the page and wrote a few notes. “That makes sense and how I figured it worked, but I wanted to be sure.”

Momo didn’t overtly glance at the notebook, but she did notice that the text looked disorganized and scattered, with random thoughts scribbled in all directions. Izuku bit the end of his pen before he wrote down one more thing.

He shut the notebook and put it back on the table, quickly pulling his hands back into his lap. “Sorry, was that rude?”

“It’s fine,” Momo said.

They both stared at each other, quiet and gauging. Momo reached for conversation but she wasn’t sure what to ask aside from straight up asking how Ground Zero was treating Izuku, but after finding out how biased he was toward the Pro Hero, she wasn’t sure if she’d get a straight answer.

She’d have to watch him for context cues and any sign that he was distressed.

“May I ask why you didn’t want to go to dinner?” Izuku shifted, pulling a knee onto the couch as he turned toward Momo. “Kacchan said it was normal for mates to go.”

“I’ve been to a ton of dinners, but it’s not every day I get to spend the evening getting to know someone one-on-one,” Momo said, doing her best to smile gently. “A quiet night in talking with a new friend seemed like the better option.”

Izuku’s smile turned more natural and he asked, “How long have you and Shouto been mated?”

Momo answered, relieved things were going well so far.


Shouto tugged out his phone at the dinner table as they settled into their seats and finished ordering dinner. They’d rented out the party room in the back of the restaurant, all the Heroes in their agency loud and crowded around the table. He’d felt his phone buzz in the car on the drive there, but knew better than to answer a text while at the wheel.

“How’s it feel no longer being single?” Kaminari asked Bakugou across the table. He grinned with his arm around his mate Kyouka’s shoulder and grinned. “I’ve gotta’ say, you sure surprised me when Kirishima said you got yourself hitched!”

“You guys really aren’t going to drop this are you?” Bakugou drank from his beer and slammed the cup back on the table. “And it’s weird, that’s what it is. Every time I look at Deku I see the guy I used to hang out with in elementary school and seeing him so mousey is weird. Deku was always on the shy and quiet side, but this is a whole different level.”

“Izuku,” Shouto said, speaking up as he read the text from Momo. He looked at Bakugou, turning his phone around to show the message. “Momo said your Omega’s name is ‘Izuku’ and she wanted to make sure you didn’t forget to tell us his actual name since you seem so used to calling him by the nickname.”

Bakugou shoved Shouto’s hand down until the phone screen was flat on the table and hidden. “Yes, Deku’s a nickname and his full name is Izuku Midoriya—or well, I guess Izuku Bakugou, now. That’s the part I really need to remember.”

Shouto texted Momo back that the mission was accomplished and returned it to his pocket. “I’m sure that will come more naturally with time.”

“Sure,” Bakugou said. He leaned back in his chair and looked around the table. “And why are you guys being so nosy? I don’t remember anyone else getting interrogated this much when they got mated.”

“They’re not the ones who spent a year and a half being unsatisfied with the every Omega they met in four different Matchmaking Houses only to drop literally everything and get a Care License so he could claim a mate by the end of the week,” Sero said, grinning into his cup. “That’s a major life change coming out of nowhere! Of course we’re curious.”

“He’s got you there,” Kirishima said. “I was pretty shocked too when you went ballistic at the shelter. I’m surprised they didn’t call the cops when you broke that wall.”

“Bakugou broke a wall?” Ashido asked, perking up.

“Totally!” Kirishima shouted, throwing his hands up. The guy grinned brightly as he retold the story of what happened at the shelter, finishing up with a “It was intense! Bakugou went into total Protect mode over a guy he hasn’t seen in forever. Like, I would have thought they’d been mated for years with the way he was out for blood concerning Izuku’s previous mates.”

“That’s so romantic,” Kyouka said, leaning into Kaminari’s side. “I need to meet this guy, too!”

“I’m sure everyone will at some point,” Bakugou said. He licked the side of his teeth. “Just not all at once, yeah? The guy’s already jumpy as it is.”

“Of course,” Kyouka said, holding up her hand. “It’s not like we’re pressed for time and I’d rather he be comfortable with hanging out before we did anything.”

“Good,” Bakugou said. He looked over his shoulder and shouted down the table. “Before I forget, hey! Iida. Did you still want to switch patrols next week?”

Shouto crossed his arms on the table, listening as the conversation slowly moved away from Bakugou’s newly-mated status and fell back into the usual Hero chatter. There was still much he was curious about concerning his friend’s new relationship, but he was sure he’d hear more from Momo later.

She was very good at drawing out information when she wanted it. Strategy was her specialty and she was quick witted and charming enough to pout any plan she had into action.

He was sure she’d know everything there was to know about Izuku before the night was over.


Momo had wanted to gather more information out of the other Omega by sharing about her own mate and experiences, but this wasn’t what she had in mind.

Specifically, she’d been hoping for more information about Ground Zero.

What she got was a vent fest about Alpha that she was pretty sure she never, ever wanted to meet in person.

“I swear, my ninth mate lost me in a poker bet to an Alpha that got off watching other people sleep with me, more or less prostituting me for free under the stipulation that he got to be in the room, and it was still my 6th mate that was hands down the worst I had to put up with,” Izuku said, leaning in Momo’s space. He glared at a spot over her shoulder, cursing under his breath as he shared his rather awful memories. “He wanted me to take charge in the bedroom, right? Which was fine. I’ve topped before. Submissive Alpha aren’t completely unheard of, but he was so bratty. Nothing I did was right. It was like he was backseat driving a car but from with his face in a pillow.

“Never mind I already didn’t want to do it because I hate topping, but he wouldn’t even critique properly and order me around. He just let me do things and went ‘Oh, you did it wrong. Try again’ and then not tell me what I did wrong!”

Izuku breathed heavily, half shouting and Momo nodded, shifting an inch away from him on the couch. “That sounds like a trying situation.”

He nodded to himself and continued, lost in his rant. “The worst part is I couldn’t even pretend the guy was Kacchan like I usually did with all my other Alpha when things were too much for me. Number six was so pathetic I didn’t want to sully Kacchan’s memories with anything associated with this guy.”

“You pretended your Alpha were Ground Zero?” Momo asked before she could stop herself.

Izuku stopped dead and looked up with a horrified look. He grabbed Momo’s shoulders and she could smell his Scent strengthen under his distress. Izuku whispered, “Please pretend you didn’t hear that.”

Momo winced under his grip. He was thin, but desperation created strength. “I won’t tell anyone, I promise.”

“Not even your mate,” Izuku said again, swallowing. “I don’t want Kacchan to know. It might freak him out if he knows I used to fantasize about him and I can’t risk that.”

“I promise I won’t tell anyone,” Momo said again. She reached up and held Izuku’s hand. “And it’s nothing to be ashamed about. It sounds like you were in some difficult situations and using the memory of your childhood friend to escape it may not have been the healthiest way to handle that, but if it worked, it worked.”

Izuku dropped his shoulders and said, “Thank you.”

Momo breathed out as he let go and sank back into the couch. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Izuku said. He rubbed under his nose and laughed. “Though sometimes it still feels surreal being with the real Kacchan. I fantasized about being his Omega so much over the years it’s hard to believe it really happened.”

“Well it did,” Momo said. “And there are now many others who can confirm it’s real for you.”

Izuku chuckled under his breath and smiled. “I appreciate it.”

“So how about we focus on the now,” Momo said. She scooted closer and put on her ‘gossip’ voice. “What’s Ground Zero like at home?”

“The best!” Izuku said, eyes lighting up. “Did you know he’s an amazing cook? He makes breakfast every morning and it’s always something different. He’s made omelettes, pancakes, and french toast already.”

Momo nodded and smiled along as Izuku continued to gush about Ground Zero and his domestic exploits starting with cooking and ending with always stealing the chore of washing dishes before Izuku could get to them.

He didn’t talk too much about them as a couple, but she supposed they still had only been together a week. She didn’t have personal experience, but after researching Omega from Shelters when she found out she’d be meeting Izuku, Momo did notice that all the resources recommend that Alpha take things at a glacier pace with their Omega.

It wouldn’t be good to upset them more than they already have been.

She appreciated her newfound knowledge that Ground Zero had control over himself despite their initial concerns with his brash and harsh attitude.

There was no mistaking that gentleness she’d seen when Ground Zero went to Izuku at the couch, but it was even better to hear he continued that same behavior when no one was watching, too.

Momo continued to be relieved as Izuku kept talking, the affection and admiration dripping off of him long into the conversation as he shared about his favorite person.


Katsuki opened the door to his apartment with Todoroki in tow, ready to pass out in his bed as soon as possible. They’d already dropped everyone else back at their respective homes, tired and happy. Katsuki threw his keys in a bowl and looked around before saying, “Deku?”

“He’s asleep,” Momo said from the couch, holding her finger up to her lip to indicate he should be quiet. The television played across from her and Katsuki stared at himself as Ground Zero from a few old news reports. Momo followed his gaze and bit her lip. “He had a collection of your old news appearances he wanted to show off.”

“Huh,” Katsuki said, walking over. He looked over Momo at Deku, asleep and drooling on the couch as he leaned on Momo’s shoulder with his head tilted away from her. “I didn’t know that.”

“It might be nice if you pretended you still didn’t until he shows you himself,” Momo whispered. “He was a little embarrassed that he had it now that he’s mated to you. He said it felt weird still being such a big fan of your Hero persona now that you were his spouse.”

“I’ll bet,” Katsuki said. He reached for the remote and clicked the television off, not sure if he was flattered or not that Deku had kept up with his Hero career all these years while he was with other mates.

“How was your night?” Todoroki asked Momo. “Was there any trouble?”

She shook her head. “We had a quiet time and talked, that’s all. I think he appreciated having another Omega around so he could relax more. I think you were right to believe Alpha being around has him on edge.”

“Kyouka said she wanted to come over, too,” Katsuki said, thinking back to the dinner table. His stomach twisted wondering if he was included in the Alpha that made Deku nervous, but tried not to take it personally. You didn’t heal from what Deku went through overnight. “I’m sure this can happen more often.”

“I look forward to it,” Momo said. She gently stood up, steadying Deku so he wouldn’t fall over as she moved. She brushed off her skirt and said, “But I think it’s time for us to turn in as well.”

Katsuki saw Momo and Todoroki to the door and said, “Thanks for keeping Deku company” as they stood in the hallway outside his place.

“It was my pleasure,” Momo said. She folded her hands together, her face turning serious. Even Todoroki sensed the shift in mood and put a hand on his mate’s shoulder. “And Ground Zero?”

Katsuki stood up straighter. “Yes?”

“I’m not sure how much you realize it, but you really saved that man,” Momo said. Her expression turned kind, and she put a hand on Katsuki’s shoulder and squeezed. “So please keep being good to him.”

“That’s the plan,” Katsuki said.

She nodded, satisfied with that answer and waved. “Good night, Ground Zero.”

“Night, Bakugou,” Todoroki added.

He closed the door after the two of them and rested his head on the wood. Be good to Deku.

Boy was he trying hard to do that.

Katsuki returned to the couch and gently lifted Deku into his arms. The small Omega nuzzled into him by reflex, curling up in his grip. Katsuki smiled a bit and carried him to the bedroom. He didn’t bother changing their clothes and climbed into bed next to him, still fully dressed.

Deku mumbled, “Kacchan” into his skin as he snuggled closer and Katsuki threw an arm around him. He fell asleep breathing in the soft Scent of cedar and hoped he didn’t screw this up.

Chapter Text

Izuku was early.

He felt the shift like an electric shock through his entire body while sitting on the couch while writing in his notebook in the middle of the day. Izuku wasn’t supposed to have his next Heat for another week but bless Nature, it must have realized his Alpha needed a nudge. The closest Kacchan had come to making a move was carrying Izuku to bed the other day after he came back from the dinner with his coworkers.

By two o’clock, Izuku’s Pre-Heat pheromones were in full bloom and he was more than ready for it. He had a few hours to prepare for Kacchan’s return home and Izuku had no plans to waste a second of it.

It was going to be so good. Izuku grinned to himself like a loon as he retreated to the bedroom and took off his pants and underwear. He stared in the mirror on the back of the door, taking himself in as he wore the over-sized shirt and bit his lip. Izuku put the pants back on, leaving the underwear abandoned.

That way Kacchan could take his clothes off himself if he wanted, but Izuku was all for expediency this time around.

The excitement was almost too much to contain. Tomorrow, it’d be just him and Kacchan all week, connected and intimate during his Heat. Izuku would get his Mark—if he didn’t get it today—and they’d be official-official. Their mating would be more than a legality and fully consummated.

Izuku kept his eyes on the clock as he prepped the apartment, cleaning and keeping busy. He shoved a side table over and removed any obstacle that they could trip over between the door and the couch. Afterwards, he cleared a path from the couch to the bedroom.

He would just wait in the bedroom, spread out and ready, but Izuku wanted to see the moment Kacchan walked in the door and Izuku’s modified Scent hit him.

Izuku had seen it so many times on other Alpha: the stop of breath, the dilated pupils, the almost trance-like state they fell into as their instincts overrode everything else and the Scent dragged them to the Omega like a man dying of thirst who’d just found a spring. Izuku could not wait to see it happen to Kacchan.

The Alpha wouldn’t be able to keep his hands to himself, self control be damned.

After making sure the apartment was prepped and checking the clock, Izuku took a seat on the edge of the couch, eyes on the doorway. He rubbed himself through his pants in a slow, steady pace—just enough to spark interest without getting too ahead of himself. His goal was to increase pheromone production and help speed the prep time along, not get too far ahead before Kacchan got there.

One more hour.

Izuku pressed his hand into his jeans harder, sinking into the side of the couch.

He hoped Kacchan got home early.


Katsuki cracked his neck both ways, stretching his arms out over his shoulder as he waited in line to turn in his report. He’d helped stop two small muggings and assisted Todoroki with a Villain attack downtown, but nothing that wasn’t cleaned up in an hour. All in all, his work day had consisted of small time crooks with too much free time and not worth calling home about.

But it did mean he was off patrol about an hour later than usual and Katsuki looked forward to a quiet evening of passing out on the couch with Deku.

He stepped up to the front of the line when his turn arrived and dropped off his report before signing out for the day. Katsuki headed to the locker rooms, holding in the yawn and feeling relaxed for a change. He and Deku were approaching the end of their second week together and Katsuki felt like he had a handle on things.

He no longer second guessed everything he did and it was clear Deku wasn’t as nervous and jittery as he had been the first week. He still deferred to Katsuki for everything just about, but now whenever Katsuki asked him if he wanted something, he answered faster instead of pausing to process that he’d been given the option at all.

In another week or two, they might have settled into a comfortable enough routine that they could start taking the next few steps in their mated life.

He shut his locker door and picked up his duffle and checked his phone as he started his trek back home. His mom had texted him back to confirm his plans for next weekend and that she’d gotten the reservation he’d wanted at the only five star restaurant in the neighborhood. Whether or not that dinner happened though was still in the air. Katsuki still needed to ask Deku what he thought about it and then decide if he wanted to keep it a surprise or not.

His mother was in favor of a total surprise visit while his father thought prior notice would be better.

Katsuki figured he could always ask Deku which he’d prefer, assuming he wanted to go.

The Care Book had said things could go either way when it came to reuniting abused Omega with their families. Some jumped at the chance to regain contact and others would rather stay estranged. He would bet money Deku would jump at the chance to see his mother, but it was better to play it safe.

Katsuki yawned into his hand as he hit the button for the elevator in his apartment building. He’d bring it up tomorrow after work. Tonight the only thing he planned on doing was going to bed early.


The doorknob twisted and Izuku shot up, yanking his hand out of his pants. He buttoned them back up with one hand and fixed his shirt over it. Izuku absently wiped his fingers off on the couch and felt his pulse pick up. This was it. Kacchan was late but he was here.

Izuku leaned on the back of the couch, sitting up so he had a clear view of the apartment door, breath heavy as he bit his lip. A loose curl fell in his face and he blew it out of the way.

The door opened and he heard a soft, “Deku, I’m home—”

Kacchan paused, grip tight on the knob. He looked up and Izuku nearly weeped at the beautiful sight of Kacchan’s breath shuddering after a deep inhale. He looked straight at his Omega, pupils wide and you could have seen the lust that fell over him from a mile away. Kacchan took a few stumbling steps inside, slamming the door behind him. He dropped his duffle bag on the ground, gaze locked on Izuku.

Izuku breathed in, sitting up. This was it. This was it. This was—Kacchan stopped.

No.

Kacchan slammed his hands over his nose and wheezed as he turned away. He shook his head and spoke into his palms. “Shit, almost lost it.”

No.

Izuku got up from the couch, leaving it behind and taking a step closer. This was his good thing. They were finally going to be together. What was Kacchan doing?

“I thought this wasn’t for another week at least.” The Alpha breathed through his nose and shook his head before taking a few steps back closer to the kitchen. He must have sensed Izuku’s slow approach because he said, “Stay over there, Deku.”

No.

Izuku’s eyes watered and his chest tightened. He grabbed his shirt, squeezing over his heart. Any hint of his earlier arousal washed away like it’d never been there as a cold feeling fell over his limbs. Kacchan really didn’t want him. He’d even fought past Heat Pheromones to get away from him.

He bit it back as hard as he could, but as Kacchan went for the apartment door to leave, Izuku couldn’t be a good, quiet little Omega: He cried, deep ugly sobs that made it hard to breathe.

“Deku, shit, don’t cry,” Kacchan said, turning back toward Izuku. He didn’t come closer though, and stayed too far away. “I’m sorry. Did I scare you? I promise, I’m not going to touch you. You’re safe, but I need to leave before the pheromones take hold again. Even I can’t fight them forever and—”

“That’s the point!” Izuku shouted, feeling the anger bubble up. He’d put up with too much over the years. This was supposed to be his day and Kacchan would love him and they’d be a proper pair. Why was he fighting this? “That’s why they exist! You’re my Alpha! The pheromones are supposed to get your attention!”

Kacchan dropped his hands from his face, eyes wide. “Deku?”

“You’re supposed to want me,” Deku said, voice choking.

He hugged himself and curled up, ashamed that he’d yelled. The tears continued to coat his cheeks and he stared at the floor, watching the wet spots grow near his feet.

Izuku listened to his own breaths, scared to look up and see that Kacchan had walked out. But the smell of Roses stayed in the room, coming closer even though Izuku still didn’t dare look up.

“As Alpha Pro Heroes, we’re trained to make sure we don’t react to an Omega’s pheromones,” Kacchan said. Izuku felt a hand on his cheek, the thumb wiping the line of tears back. “It’s incredibly important that we are able to leave and let a Beta take over so we don’t hurt someone we’re trying to save. Stopping myself and walking away is almost as much instinct as breathing now.”

Izuku looked up as Kacchan put his other hand on the other side of his face. He sniffed, trying to pull the tears back as Kacchan looked at him so fondly.

“It didn’t occur to me that this is the one time I don’t have to stop,” Kacchan said, inhaling.

Kacchan’s shoulders relaxed and Izuku watched his focus waver and disappear into that familiar trance-like state as he let the pheromones back in, no longer fighting Izuku’s call. He could smell the growing lust under Kacchan’s rose Scent and Izuku accepted the greedy kiss that followed, desperate for more.

Finally.

Izuku grabbed tight to Kacchan’s back, tugging the Alpha with him as he headed to the couch. The bed would be better, but he didn’t want to risk distracting Kacchan again in case he changed his mind.

Kacchan growled into his mouth, reaching down and tugging Izuku into him by the back of his thighs, crushing them together. The movement caught him off guard and they stumbled, crashing into the couch. Izuku scooted back, still kissing Kacchan as he dragged the two of them to fit properly on the cushions.

Izuku broke the kiss and pushed Kacchan’s head into his neck, bucking his hips up. His Alpha took the hint and kissed behind his ear, sucking on the skin. Izuku kissed the side of his head and moaned as they ground against each other. “Kacchan.”

His Alpha remained lost in his pheromone induced haze, hands groping at Izuku’s sides and clothes but making no move to remove anything. Kacchan seemed content to nuzzle and nip, which wasn’t good enough.

Izuku reached down and unzipped his pants, now definitely glad he’d forgone the underwear.

“Fuck, you smell good,” Kacchan groaned into his neck. He kept kissing Izuku’s neck, tugging the collar of his loose shirt down.

Izuku grabbed one of Kacchan’s wandering hands and lined his palm against the back, aligning his fingers with Kacchan’s. Izuku guided it to his belly and pushed both appendages past his belt line. “I feel good, too.”

Kacchan whined as Izuku pushed their fingers inside to the knuckle, soaking them and adding a new layer to the smell of sex. Izuku removed his own fingers and pressed Kacchan’s hand into himself. The Alpha’s fumbling fingers spoke of his inexperience as they wandered, guided only by Izuku’s tight grip on Kacchan’s wrist. Izuku wasn’t sure what made him happier: That he finally had Kacchan inside of him or knowing that he was for sure Kacchan’s first Omega.

Izuku rolled his hips on Kacchan’s fingers, helping out as Kacchan breathed heavily into his neck, seemingly lost in the haze of the hand job. Izuku spread his legs open further to help Kacchan situate himself more comfortably between Izuku’s thighs. The Alpha’s arousal grew and Izuku could smell it cutting through his own Scent.

He wanted more.

Sex wasn’t going to be enough.

“This is yours,” Izuku whispered, squeezing Kacchan’s wrist tighter. He drew his legs up, boxing Kacchan into him. The Alpha’s hand trembled hard enough that Izuku felt it inside of him and the Alpha groaned. Izuku kissed Kacchan’s head. “You should make sure everyone else knows it, too.”

Izuku unbuttoned the top few buttons of his shirt, allowing Kacchan free reign as his fingers continued to move. Kacchan did the rest with his other hand, tugging the fabric away and kissing the newly revealed skin. Izuku reached up and put both hands on the back of Kacchan’s head and held it in place, hovering over the most traditional spot.

Izuku held his breath and closed his eyes, pulse racing. Kacchan was an Alpha. He knew what to do. It should come as natural as breathing, but he felt when Kacchan hesitated. Like before when he fought the pheromones, something held Kacchan back and Izuku wasn’t having it.

“Please, Kacchan,” Izuku begged, whining as pathetically as he could muster. He hugged the Alpha’s head closer, rubbing his face in Kacchan’s hair. “I want it, I promise.”

It was enough.

The bite came hard into the crook of his neck and Izuku jerked his hips hard as he dropped his head back. He felt Kacchan’s venom in his veins and he felt the tears well up again. It’d never felt this good before and he accepted the Mark with every inch of his being, moaning into it as the bite deepened.

Kacchan kissed the wound before he sat up. Izuku lay back on the couch, staring up into pupils transformed into vertical slits—wild and wanting Kacchan licked a smudge of blood from the side of his lip and Izuku shuddered, pulling his hands away from his Alpha.

The next kiss came harder and rougher, bruising his lips and pushing him hard into the couch. Kacchan’s hand shoved further inside, fingers deep and thumb pressing in from the outside. Izuku continued meeting each movement with a roll of his hips as he opened his mouth to let Kacchan in there, too.

Fumbling, Izuku blindly reached down to shove at his pants. Kacchan left him empty as he took his hand out to help, shimmying the jeans off and throwing them on the floor. Izuku immediately went for the front of Kacchan’s pants, opening them. As soon as Kacchan was free from the confines of his zipper, faster than Izuku could blink, the Alpha was inside of him.

It hurt, too fast and too big but Izuku didn’t care. He adjusted to Kacchan’s movements and soon enough the pain turned to pleasure. Izuku hugged Kacchan, letting the Alpha take over the control of their new rhythm, more than content to accept each growing thrust.

Kacchan’s grip on his thigh bruised the skin, already turning it purple, and Izuku loved it. The Alpha took him desperately, and Izuku felt more wanted than he ever had in his life. This was better than the fantasies, harsh, rough, and almost clumsy in its realness. Izuku whispered, “Yes” and “Kacchan” between his own heavy breaths to keep the Alpha encouraged. He was close and Kacchan didn’t appear like he was going to last much longer either.

Izuku came first, shoving his face into Kacchan’s neck as he shivered. He rocked as Kacchan continued to thrust, finishing a minute afterwards. Izuku was aware enough through the post coital bliss to feel it and he nuzzled Kacchan’s neck as the Alpha dropped, limp and sated.

They breathed heavy, lying on the couch wet and locked together.

Izuku petted the back of Kacchan’s head, soothing him as he cooled down. The Alpha fell asleep in Izuku’s arms, exhausted. Izuku kissed the top of Kacchan’s head.

“That was amazing, Kacchan,” Izuku whispered.

He tugged the blanket off the back of the couch by it’s folded corner and snuggled the two of them together under it. His shoulder burned with each movement and his hips ached, but Izuku couldn’t remember the last time he felt this good.

Izuku fell asleep looking forward to his Heat tomorrow for the first time since he’d presented.

Chapter Text

Katsuki woke with Deku sitting on his lap, straddling his hips and leaning forward with his hands on Katsuki’s chest. His stained, oversized shirt hid everything at their waists, but there was no mistaking the feeling of his cock inside of Deku or the sound it made when Deku shifted. Even worse, the Omega’s shirt collar hung open, revealing the rather large Mark on Deku’s shoulder, still red and wet from where the slow-forming scabs had yet to develop.

Looking down, he spotted a rather large bruise on Deku’s thigh—Both thighs. He didn’t have to put his hand over the discolored skin to know it matched. Between the hickey on Deku’s neck and the other assortment of bruises, the Omega looked like he’d been in a boxing match instead of a round of rough sex.

Well, shit.

“Morning, Kacchan,” Deku said. He pulled his shoulders in, lifting his hips up before lowering slowly. Katsuki grunted and tried not to react too much, even if it felt ridiculously good. Deku kept rocking, slow and steady with a dissecting gaze. Katsuki felt his breath and heartbeat pick up with each thrust, but Deku looked like he barely felt the ride. “Sorry if I got ahead of myself by starting without you, but I thought it’d be a nice treat. You were still inside me when I woke up and well, I couldn’t leave you to take care of that morning wood all by yourself, could I?”

How the hell was Katsuki supposed to answer that when all the blood in his body had rushed to his dick instead of his brain? His lower half shouted, “Yes, this is the perfect way to wake up every morning,” while the rational part of his brain reminded Katsuki that their first time having sex probably should have had more talking involved.

Katsuki was pretty sure he hadn’t been in his right mind when he kissed Deku last night. He also didn’t remember anything that happened past his brain yelling “Deku’s crying. Fix it!” and being an idiot who stayed in the room until the Pre-Heat pheromones took over his—

“Ah,” Katsuki said, dropping his head back as Deku thrust down harder. The little shit smirked, biting his lip. He went back to the slow rocking when their eyes met. The “pay attention to me” was pretty explicit in his expression. Katsuki almost hit his thigh for being cheeky, but thought better of it when his eyes caught sight of the bruise again. He sighed and shifted, pushing his knees up against Deku’s back as he settled back into the couch. “I still have to go to work, so you might want to finish up.”

“I can do that,” Deku said. He increased his rhythm, watching Katsuki’s face as he rolled his hips up and down. His breath stayed steady and even while Katsuki couldn’t ignore how close he was to coming. Deku balanced himself on Katsuki’s hip and reached one hand behind him to hold his knee to thrust harder and Katsuki finished embarrassingly fast. Deku pulled himself away and crawled forward to kiss the side of Kacchan’s mouth. “Good?”

Katsuki grunted in what he hoped sounded like a “yes” and rubbed Deku’s back. He looked over at the clock and pinched between his eyes. “What time does your Heat usually start?”

“Four or five,” Deku said, snuggling under Katsuki’s chin. “I’ll be fine if you’re late, though, since we had sex twice already. That keeps things pretty manageable and it won’t be anything painful until tomorrow morning.”

“I shouldn’t be late,” Katsuki said. He was hoping to be home early to squeeze in some early prep time and figure out what Deku wanted out of him. He regretted putting off the Heat prep half of his research for so long. Katsuki should have known Deku would start early with a new environment to adapt to. “Call me if anything feels different, though.”

“I will,” Deku said, hugging him closer. He rubbed his palm up and down on Katsuki’s chest. The satisfied smile on his face reminded Katsuki of a cat. “Though I do have one question.”

“What?” Katsuki asked, still half dazed from the orgasm.

“May I touch myself while I’m waiting for you to come back?” Deku asked. “The Heat itself won’t start until later, but sometimes the arousal starts early.”

That snapped Katsuki out of it. He curled his arm tighter around Deku and put his hand in the Omega’s hair. If he was asking permission, that meant there was a point where someone had told him “No.”

“Of course,” Katsuki said. “Anything to help.”

Deku nodded and squeezed his hand into a fist. “You’re going to be late to your morning patrol if we don’t get up.”

“Yeah,” Katsuki said. He sat up and cracked his spine as he stretched. He winced at the mess at his waist and looked at Deku, who was equally filthy. “You want to share the shower?”

“Yes,” Deku said, eyes hungry.

Katsuki wondered if he was going to survive this week.


Izuku knew he’d been pushing his luck hoping for shower sex after the pure instinct sex last night and the morning wakeup sex, but he couldn’t be too upset the Alpha had turned him down.

Kacchan really did have to go to work. Ground Zero was distant with his fans and the public, but he never disappointed them. It wouldn’t be good if he dropped out of the limelight again, even for his Omega’s Heat.

Izuku didn’t mind, though. He’d be seeing plenty of Kacchan tonight and every night for the rest of the week.

Even better, Izuku had learned a few things about his Alpha to note for later. Specifically, Kacchan hadn’t appreciated that Izuku had taken the initiative this morning. He hadn’t disliked the sex, but it was clear he hadn’t been fully into it either. Izuku had been with plenty of Alpha that preferred to sit back and let their Omega do all the work, getting the most of the experience from making Izuku perform, and that’s not what happened this morning.

Izuku had been humored, that much had been clear, and he wouldn’t make that mistake again. Kacchan could have all the control he wanted if it made him want Izuku more.

The clock on the kitchen wall switched to four o’clock and Izuku finished cleaning the living room and put the vacuum away. He’d spent all morning attempting to get their mess out of the upholstery of the couch, kicking himself for forgetting to lay down towels first. He’d been so excited about getting Kacchan to himself that he’d forgotten the most basic prep!

At least beds came with their own coverings he could rip off and wash with ease.

Izuku tugged off his shirt and dropped it in the hamper as he went into the bedroom, feeling the warm haze of his Heat start to gather. Izuku couldn’t say he was too fond of the later half of Heats, where it became impossible to focus on anything other than the intense desire for sex and his Alpha, but the few hours before were pleasant and relaxing.

Despite his earlier failure in guessing Kacchan’s preferences, Izuku decided to push his luck once again. He stripped down entirely and climbed onto the sheets naked, the comforter already folded neatly onto the end. Kacchan hadn’t reacted much to Izuku being naked with him in the shower this morning, but that might have been because he was concentrating too much on getting clean to care about ogling his Omega.

Izuku put his hands on his chest, staring at the ceiling. The cold sheets felt good against his warm skin and he was glad he’d turned up the air conditioner. Kacchan wouldn’t be back for another few hours, maybe sooner if he was able to leave work early.

A full eternity to wait considering the anticipation growing in Izuku’s loins.

He tugged over a pillow and hugged it, drawing his legs up. He wished that he could be as aware during his Heat as he was the Pre-Heat. Poor Kacchan had been so hesitant before his instincts took over completely—Izuku shivered again thinking of the intensity of his split pupils—and it was easy to forget that this was new to him. That was both adorable and frustrating. Izuku wondered how this Heat was going to go without him guiding Kacchan—granted, he’d figure it out pretty quick, but still, Izuku looked forward to more fully-cognizant sex in the future.

It hadn’t occurred to Izuku prior to yesterday evening that maybe the reason Kacchan wasn’t expressing what he wanted out of Izuku physically was because he hadn’t figured it all out himself, either.

Kacchan was as new to sex as Izuku's first mate had been, but with mountains more self control.

It’d explain why he took so long to answer whether or not Izuku could start without him. How could he know if he wanted his Omega aware, ready, and already prepped when he walked in the door or if he preferred a needy, desperate mess pleading and whining for his Alpha? If he hadn’t experienced either to develop a preference, it was hard to give a final word.

Izuku grinned into the pillow. That was only a minor set back. They had all the time in the world to figure out what Kacchan liked best and Izuku had already prepared himself to take as many mental notes as possible during his moments of clarity.

He looked at the clock again and snuggled the pillow. Izuku felt the increase of his heartbeat and the shift in his lower body. He reached a hand down between his legs and bit the pillow.

It had started.


Katsuki was a proud man.

But he wasn’t too proud to admit this might be one time he should get some advice before going home because he had already messed up day one of this entire fiasco.

He grabbed Kaminari by the arm as they finished up in the locker room and dragged him to the side corner and out of sight of the others changing. The other Pro Hero yelped, but didn’t fight it and said, “What’s up, man?”

“Deku started his Heat early,” Katsuki said, voice low and trying not to blush. He crossed his arms and rubbed his upper arm. Aside from Todoroki, Kaminari was the only other mated Alpha he knew personally and Todoroki had today off. But Kyouka seemed pretty head-over-heels for Kaminari, so he must be doing something right. “Any advice?”

“Vibrator dildo,” Kaminari said with a serious, straight face. “With a remote. I don’t know about your refractory period, but I don’t usually make it past two orgasms and Kyouka can go anywhere from needing three to five before she’s satisfied enough to go to sleep.

“Omega only need your dick the first time they come, so letting a toy do the rest of the work makes life easy,” Kaminari said. He shrugged and said. “I mean, hand jobs and oral and stuff works, too, but you’re going to be doing this all week, man. It helps to shake things up.”

Katsuki nodded, making a note to stop by the sex shop on the way home. Kaminari did have a point and this is why Katsuki should have brushed up on his Heat sex ed knowledge before Deku’s internal clock decided to strike early. He was pretty sure he’d had that multiple orgasm thing written down in his notes back in high school. “Thanks.”

“Any time,” Kaminari said. He smacked Katsuki in the arm and grinned with a thumbs up. “Good luck!”

Katsuki patted him on the shoulder and moved to walk away and get his bag when he heard Kaminari shout, “Oh!” before he grabbed Katsuki’s arm. Kaminari said, “Sorry! I forgot something important.”

“Yeah?” Katsuki asked.

“Has Izuku had kids before?” Kaminari asked. “Like with his first mate or something?”

“No,” Katsuki said, not sure why that mattered all of a sudden. He didn’t feel like spreading it around that Deku was basically infertile, but he did tell the truth. “Deku’s never had children before.”

“Ah, then I’m glad I remembered,” Kaminari said. “Because this’ll probably affect you two.”

“What will?”

“Make sure you’re mentally ready to comfort him on the morning after the last day of his Heat,” Kaminari said. He let go of Katsuki’s arm and rubbed the back of his neck, his face turning serious. “Sex ed didn’t cover this like at all, but Omega know pretty much immediately when they wake up if they’re pregnant or not after a Heat. Kyouka said it was hard to put into words, but there’s this empty ache they feel when they’re not knocked up.

“It gets worse for every Heat they go without having kids,” Kaminari said, licking his lip. “Kyouka said some hide it better than others, so a lot of Alpha don’t know it happens to their Omega at all. I don’t think she would have even told me if it wasn’t for the fact her pain had gotten so bad she couldn’t hide it.

“You might want to watch Izuku closely on that last morning. It’s not great to bottle all that up. Kyouka’s usually good after a cry and maybe some gentle post-Heat sex if it’s really bad. After that, she’s back to normal like it never happened within the hour, but I have no idea about Izuku and his situation.”

“Thanks for the head’s up,” Katsuki said. He had a few days to prepare for that at least, and maybe he could research a little on his own time while Deku slept it off. “I appreciate it.”

“Sure,” Kaminari said. He lightened up and clapped his hands together, sending off a tiny spark. “But enough of that, go take care of your Omega man! He’s probably ready for you now.”

Katsuki snorted and punched Kaminari’s shoulder in response in place of a verbal “See you, later.”

He had a lot to think about on his commute home—and sex toys to buy.

Just in case.

Chapter Text

The clock had to be going backwards.

Izuku glared at it, face smashed into the wet spot in the pillow he’d created from chewing on it. The drool felt damp against his cheek, uncomfortable and annoying but Izuku didn’t want to risk moving and creating more friction to remind him he was agonizingly empty. Izuku had long given up on keeping the arousal under control with his hands.

He used to touch himself thinking of Kacchan to keep his prior Heats manageable while he waited for his Alpha to come home (or decide they’d heard enough begging). That had always worked like a charm but now Izuku knew what that Kacchan’s touch felt like and his imagination no longer satisfied.

His body had learned the difference and it was the real deal or nothing.

Izuku squirmed on the sheets as his lower regions begged for movement, breathing heavily and doing his best to ignore the loud pulse that accompanied it. He’d hunted down a beach towel earlier to spread over the mattress when he realized he’d been wet enough to soak through to the mattress cover under the sheets.

Izuku was more than ready to be plowed into the bed but Kacchan clearly didn’t succeed in his plans to come home early. His arrival couldn’t come too soon, either. Izuku dug his fingers into the end of the towel at his shoulders, twisting it in his grip. Izuku grabbed the spare he’d brought and shoved it between his legs, feeling himself up through the fabric to hopefully fool his brain into thinking it was Kacchan. Twenty minutes. He had twenty more minutes before Kacchan usually came home after his shift.

He could make it.

At the very least Izuku would find out how Kacchan felt about finding his Omega naked, whining, and needy for him in bed—because that’s what Izuku had been reduced to: Desperate and humping a towel. It didn’t get much needier than that, and the whining spoke for itself with every high pitched wail.

He groaned into the pillow and looked at the clock. He still had nineteen minutes to wait before Kacchan would come home. Izuku grunted and bit the pillow again, shoving his hand harder against himself. His Alpha said he would try and come home early—Where was Kacchan!?


Katsuki had been aware that there were more varieties of sex toys than he was familiar with, but he hadn’t been prepared to try and navigate that minefield face to face.

His only reprieve had been the nice Omega behind the counter who’d seen Katsuki’s confused expression as he stared at a wall of dildos and asked if he needed help. Katsuki blurted out “First Heat” and the clerk patted Katsuki on the back with a knowing, but surprisingly not mocking, smile. She pushed him a few rows down and set him straight with a hand vibrator, a regular dildo, and a vibrating one with a remote.

He’d left the store feeling more confident, despite the red plastered to his cheeks. Katsuki wouldn’t have blushed so badly, but the Omega asked for his autograph after he paid for his things—on a Ground Zero themed dildo. Katsuki had choked and dropped his bag while the Omega covered her mouth to hide the laugh.

Katsuki signed a piece of paper for her after the Omega admitted it had just been a joke.

When he made it back to his apartment, Katsuki checked the time and breathed out. His stop in the store ruined his plans to be back early, but he had made it a few minutes after his usual time. As long as Deku had been telling the truth, Katsuki had made it back with plenty of time to help him through the Heat.

“Deku?” Katsuki called as he came inside. He didn’t get an immediate answer and shut the door behind him. He spoke louder, “You okay?”

Katsuki didn’t receive an answer that time either and put the sex toys by the sink in the kitchen to clean later, prepared to help Deku by hand today. Katsuki didn’t see the Omega in the living room or the bathroom as he passed by, which meant he was in the bedroom—likely ready to go already.

Katsuki sucked in a breath and prayed for his instincts to kick in because he still wasn’t sure he was ready for this.

“Deku,” he said again as he opened the bedroom door. “I’m back.”

He walked straight into an almost tangible wall of Scent, layered with sex and cedar. It sent blood to his loins like a flash and Katsuki swallowed, breathing it in and staring at the Omega in his bed.

“Kacchan,” Deku muffled into his pillow. His eyes stared at Kacchan from over the top of the damp linen of the pillowcase, pupils dilated so wide there was barely any green left. His eyes teared up and he heaved out a breath and said again, the relief clear: “You’re here.”

“Sorry I made you wait,” Katsuki said.

“Kacchan,” Deku said again. Katsuki stepped closer to the bed and Deku threw the pillow to the side, rolling on his back. Deku opened his knees and shoved his hand between his legs. He moaned, “Please take me.”

Katsuki could do this. They’d already had sex twice. Sort of. Katsuki didn’t remember the first time and he’d been uncomfortable the second time, but he could do this.

He had to do this.

Katsuki moved to Deku’s side of the bed and put his hand in those green curls. Deku rolled his head toward Katsuki and groaned, eyes half-lidding under the touch. Katsuki whispered, “What do you want me to do?”

“Feel good,” Deku said, breathing heavy. He whined again, shifting his hips up. Deku’s words came out airy through his heaving chest. “Whatever you want. I don’t care. I just need you, please. Now.”

Katsuki should have asked that before he left this morning and Deku was actually in a state to answer that honestly. Katsuki would just have to pay extra attention and hope he did okay. Katsuki pulled his shirt off over his head, tossing it on the floor. “Okay, I can do that.”

Deku moaned when Katsuki dropped his pants, shoving his fingers inside of himself and splitting them open to show Katsuki where to go.

Katsuki concentrated on the smell in the air and his growing arousal from the Scent of “Omega” instead of the inconvenient and intrusive realization that he was about to screw his childhood friend.

Maybe he should have made Kirishima claim Deku instead—no. Katsuki shook his head. He didn’t want that either. The thought of someone else touching Deku like this made something stir in his chest that he blamed on the mating and guttural instincts to hoard what was his.

Deku threw his arm back and braced on the headboard of the bed. His chest continued to pound up and down and his eyes glazed over, almost milky as he got lost in the Heat, fingers trembling hard as he struggled to keep himself open. “Kacchan, I need you.”

“I’m here,” Katsuki said. He reached down and removed Deku’s hand, using his own to make sure Deku was actually as ready as he looked. The Omega groaned and grabbed Katsuki’s upper arm with his freed hand. Deku bucked his hips and wrapped his legs around Katsuki’s waist as he crawled between Deku’s thighs. “Ready?”

“Always,” Deku said, grip tightening on Katsuki’s arm.

Katsuki nodded and pushed inside, dropping forward and putting his head into Deku’s shoulder. The sensation stole his breath away and he groaned, placing a hand on the back of Deku’s thigh as he adjusted to the heat that surrounded him. Deku threw his hands around Katsuki’s shoulders and squeezed him close.

He whispered, “Move.”

Deku moaned when Katsuki pulled out to push back in, his body trembling with each thrust as he started slow. Deku clawed at Katsuki’s neck and spine, nails digging in deep and he shuddered hard, crying out.

Katsuki paused as Deku went limp on the mattress, smiling wide like a drunkard. Katsuki asked, “Did you just come?”

“I was already halfway there before you came home,” Deku said, a moment of clarity blinking into green eyes. He put his hands behind Katsuki’s neck and pulled him down into a firm kiss. When they separated, Deku nuzzled the side of Katsuki’s head and moaned as he lifted his hips. “You feel so good inside me.”

Katsuki didn’t know how to answer that, but he groaned at the movement. He shifted his hold and hugged Deku higher on his back. “Should I keep going?”

“Yes,” Deku said. He bit Katsuki’s ear and kept pressing kisses there. Deku groaned into Katsuki’s ear and squeezed his thighs together around Katsuki’s waist. “Please, again.”

Katsuki braced himself better on the bed and went back to the slow thrusts, picking up his pace as Deku moved to meet him. They found a companionable rhythm and Katsuki knew he was close himself. Deku’s second orgasm took much longer to reach and Katsuki finished himself soon after.

After he caught his breath, Deku sat up and wrapped himself around Katsuki’s shoulders and moaned, “Again,” into his mouth before yanking Katsuki back down into a kiss. He put his leg behind Katsuki’s thigh to keep him locked together with Deku as they made out and used tiny hip thrusts to bring life back to Katsuki’s dick.

Unlike the first two, slightly passive bouts of sex, Deku turned aggressive and almost violent in his love making. Katsuki felt more like one of the toys he’d bought than an active participant as the Omega did all of the work, his hands always moving. He tugged, clung and stuck his tongue down Katsuki’s throat with so much intent he thought Deku was going to eat him alive.

Their third round took even longer than the second and Katsuki finished long before Deku did, not that the Omega noticed. He clung for dear life as Deku had his fill and after the Omega’s third orgasm, Deku passed out, but not before a sleepy kiss to Katsuki’s eyelid.

Katsuki rolled over when it finally hit him that they were finished for the night and stared at the ceiling as he breathed out. He hoped that Deku was a “three times” Omega and not a “five times” or Katsuki wouldn’t make it through the week, toys or not.


Izuku woke up briefly in the morning as he felt the mattress shift and Katsuki ruffled his hair as he said goodbye for work. Izuku grunted and returned to his near-hibernation state, content and warm.

The next time he woke up, the clock read four in the afternoon and despite the sluggishness, Izuku noted that the towel under him had been swapped for one with a new pattern. He sat up and frowned at the empty room.

That was always the worst part of a Heat: waking up alone.

He didn’t need-need Kacchan right now but he couldn’t fight the longing that the Heat drew out of him. Izuku missed Kacchan. The Scent of him, the sound of his voice, and anything else he could get to sooth him as his overheated body refused to cooperate as it readied for another exhausting night.

Izuku calmed his loneliness by remembering bits and pieces of his first night with the real Kacchan and grinned. He might have been too forward, though, taking the lead as much as he did. But who could blame him? His adorably inexperienced Alpha had been too slow for a Heat and Izuku had needed all of him.

But it’d been good.

He hummed under his breath as he slipped off the mattress and headed for the shower to clean up before Kacchan got home with dinner and they got down to business.

And then they’d get to do it again.

Izuku looked forward to Kacchan growing in confidence with the passing of each night, learning his Omega inside and out—Filling him; owning him. The real thing was so much better than his little daydreams, even at Kacchan’s most timid and unsure.

Izuku bit his lip as he turned on the shower, shivering under the cold water.

The evening couldn’t come soon enough.


Katsuki survived the rest of Deku’s Heat week thanks to nothing short of a miracle. The Omega had muttered that they were done after they finished moments ago and then passed out, which meant in the morning it’d be back to normal between the two of them—and none too soon, either.

Katsuki’s reservation at the restaurant for Deku to meet up with his mother and Katsuki’s parents was for the day after tomorrow and he hadn’t wanted to cancel, despite the poor timing of Deku’s Heat. It’d still be short notice to tell Deku about meeting at least one of his parents again, but it was better than nothing.

He threw his arm over Deku when the Omega rolled over under his arm in his sleep. He snuggled closer and nuzzled Katsuki’s chest with a soft smile, looking utterly content and satisfied.

Their first week must not have been too bad, which meant Katsuki hadn’t totally screwed everything up.

He needed to buy Kaminari a thank you gift of some sort because the toys had been literal life savers when Katsuki discovered that Deku’s three-time orgasm the first night had been a fluke and the little Omega needed six or seven before he conked out the rest of the Heat.

“Insatiable” had taken on a new meaning.

He looked at the clock, noting it was after midnight before rubbing his hand down his face. Katsuki was grateful he had the day off tomorrow, especially if Deku’s morning was going to go how Kaminari had warned.

Katsuki rolled onto his side, shifting to spoon Deku from the back and went to sleep. He tried not to be too bothered that Deku’s Scent had changed to Katsuki’s roses with no hint of the cedar lingering.


Deku’s Post-Heat morning greeted him like an old friend, leaving him numb and empty with his first waking breath.

But Kacchan’s arm was still around his waist and his warm skin rested against Deku’s back. He rolled over, ignoring the sting in his chest and the squirm in his gut. Those were familiar aches.

And they didn’t matter. Not this morning. Deku had long come to terms with the knowledge that he would never have children. If he hadn’t gotten pregnant now, after all the Alpha he’d known and been with over the years, it wasn’t going to happen.

Kacchan being there was a miracle in and of itself; Deku knew better than to ask the universe for more.

He kissed Kacchan’s cheek and settled back under his arm. His pain lingered, remaining him of his failure yet again, but it was easier to ignore when his Scent smelled of roses and he’d been claimed completely by the Alpha in his bed.

Deku could have stayed like this forever.

By the time Kacchan joined him in consciousness thirty minutes later, the feeling of emptiness had turned to a dull knock in the back of his chest. Izuku said, “Morning, Kacchan.”

“Morning,” Kacchan said. He pushed a curl of hair behind Deku’s ears, red eyes soft. He whispered, “You okay?”

“Perfect,” Izuku said, nuzzling into Kacchan’s neck. He squeezed tight and kissed Kacchan’s shoulder. He couldn’t stop the grin that stretched his face. “Better than perfect.”

“You sure?” Kacchan asked, rubbing Izuku’s back slow and steady. He put his chin on Izuku’s head and said, “You can tell me if there’s anything wrong, or there’s something I can still do for you.”

“I’m good,” Izuku said. He squeezed Kacchan tighter and said. “You were perfect, I promise.”

“That goes for things not related to your Heat, too, you know,” Kacchan said, too gentle and too soft. He continued to rub Deku’s back, massaging his thumb against Deku’s muscles. “You can tell me when things are bothering you or you’re upset. It’s okay.”

“I’m not upset,” Izuku said. He sat up and braced himself to lean over Kacchan, one hand on the mattress next to his head. “Nothing you do can upset me. I’m fine with whatever you want, I swear.”

“Deku,” Kacchan said, frowning. Izuku tensed, sensing his Alpha’s confusion and displeasure. Something about his answer had been wrong but he didn’t know what. Kacchan watched him, still thoughtful. He breathed in and exhaled, licking his lip. “Just tell me if that changes, okay?”

It wouldn’t.

But Izuku agreed, “Of course.”

Chapter Text

Katsuki and Deku took a shower together after they managed to get out of bed, Katsuki exhausted and Deku content with cuddling lazily under the covers. But the day needed to get started, especially with what was coming up tomorrow. The hot water and repetitive motion of scrubbing helped Katsuki clear his head and gave him time to think.

He had to sit down and talk with Deku concerning two major topics, but he wasn’t sure if he wanted to put both on the table this morning or tackle them one at a time. The first dealt with Katsuki’s dinner reservation tomorrow and he really needed to talk to Deku about what he wanted to do concerning his mother. The second involved whether or not he should confront Deku about that after Heat depression Kaminari warned him about.

Because if Deku had experienced it, he hid it too well to be healthy and Katsuki couldn’t help but be concerned if Deku was that good at hiding his emotions and lying. If he could cover that up, who knew what else he’d lied about?

For all Katsuki knew, Deku was suffering in silence for more things than just whether or not he was a father.

However, pregnancy and children were sure to be a sensitive topic that probably deserved more discussion time than the rest of today before he was hit with Katsuki’s parents and his mother tomorrow.

He’d wait until Deku’s next Heat to bring that one up.

Katsuki switched places with Deku to let him rinse off his own hair and leaned against the shower wall. Deku hummed under his breath, sneaking glances at Katsuki every so often, but kept to himself. Katsuki was glad his shower was big enough for two to be comfortable so they weren’t crowded or stuck waiting on each other to take turns. Once Deku was clean, Katsuki turned off the water and grabbed their towels.

It was still a little weird being this intimate with Deku, Katsuki thought as he dried his hair, but he had to admit it was nice to have the company.

“Do you want to go out for breakfast?” Katsuki asked as he headed back to the bedroom to get his clothes. Deku trailed behind him, damp curls hanging low. “I don’t feel much like cooking this morning.”

“I could do it,” Deku said, perking up enough that his hair bounced. He hugged the plush towel around his shoulders. “I can cook.”

“You really want to cook after that week?” Katsuki asked, putting his shirt on. Deku sat on the bed, still in his towel and apparently in no rush to put his clothes on. “I figured you’d want to take it easy today.”

Deku pulled his knees up to cross his arms over them and snorted. “I’m fine, Kacchan. I slept half the time while you still had to go to work. Between the two of us, I’m not the one who should be tired.”

“You’ve got me there,” Katsuki said.

He stepped into his pants and buttoned them. Katsuki searched for a pair of socks right afterwards. He knew a nice place down the street that had semi-private booths that would be good for the conversation they were about to have. Plus, they needed to go shopping for a better outfit for Deku if he did decide to go. Katsuki’d never hear the end of it if his parents saw his Omega dressed in clothes that didn’t fit.

Stupid fashion designers.

Katsuki ruffled Deku’s hair as he passed the bed and said, “Get dressed. You can make lunch if you want, but I’d still rather go out for breakfast.”

“Okay, Kacchan,” Deku said. He got up and headed to his dresser, still smiling and with a noticeable bounce in his step. Deku dropped his towel on the floor and opened the top drawer to pull out his pants and a shirt. Katsuki ignored that Deku didn’t bother grabbing underwear. Deku looked over his shoulder and held his shirt to his chest. “I’ll be there in a minute.”

“No rush,” Katsuki said.

He grabbed his phone off the charger on the side table and went into the living room, texting his mom to let her know he’d have an answer in a couple hours.


Izuku had had one mate who’d been fond of having a “Spoiled” Omega: A mate that did literally nothing but sit around the house, look pretty, and be available when they wanted to have sex.

She didn’t like it when Izuku tried to cook or clean, because he never did it “right” or because he might ruin his outfit or get dirty. That particular Alpha said she picked Izuku out because he was cute with adorable green eyes and freckles and that was all he needed to be. She even went the extra mile to dress him up like a doll and make sure he was as fashionable as she was. It’d hadn’t been the worst situation he’d ever been in, but it had been boring.

He’d been relieved when she was arrested for selling drugs.

Izuku found himself surprised that Kacchan seemed to be leaning toward the “Spoiled Omega” line of thought. He’d been so assertive and dominant in middle school, constantly ordering everyone around, that Izuku naturally assumed he’d be the same way as a mate.

He thought Kacchan would be overjoyed to essentially have a live in, permanent servant that worshiped the ground he walked on.

But so far—even taking into account they’d only been together two weeks, one of which was a Heat week—Kacchan had done nothing to hint that he’d be giving Izuku chores to do in the future or that he expected anything out of him, sex included. His Alpha had done all the cooking and washing up the first week, as well as the laundry, and any cleaning he saw before Izuku could get to it. Even when Kacchan had been exhausted this morning, he hadn’t wanted Izuku to make breakfast.

Izuku couldn’t tell if Kacchan was still trying to take things easy because of his past or if he would genuinely rather Izuku not do anything but sit around like an ornament.

He might be getting ahead of himself with assumptions. Izuku pinched his arm and focused on the present as they approached their destination.

“Two please,” Kacchan said to the host when they came inside. “And I’d like to sit in the back, if we could.”

“Anything for Ground Zero,” the host said, winking. The Beta picked up a couple menus and said, “Follow me.”

The host led them toward the back room and Izuku looked around as they walked. The restaurant Kacchan had picked for breakfast was mostly empty, but there were a few people dotted here or there. Izuku liked the interior, decorated with old Hero merchandise and posters with a homey feel that had to be a mom-and-pop kitchen. The booths in the back room had tall privacy barriers and Kacchan and Izuku were the only patrons seated there.

“Your waitress will be back soon for your order,” the host said.

Izuku glanced at the menu but stopped when he saw Kacchan’s face: The Alpha had his arms crossed on the table, looking pensive. Izuku folded his hands under the table, tugging on his sleeve. He whispered, “Kacchan? Are you okay?”

Kacchan jerked, and rubbed the back of his neck. “Sorry, I’m trying to think of the best way to say this.”

Izuku felt his heart speed up, pumping so hard and fast it felt like it might burn out. What did that mean? He had noticed Kacchan had been a little stressed throughout the Heat, but he had chalked that up to inexperience and embarrassment. Had it been worse than Izuku imagined? He had been sloppy lately—taking way too many liberties.

He’d been downright pushy that last week, starting with the Pre-Heat sex.

Kacchan had stayed through the Heat because he was required to, but was this it? Had he had enough? Had Izuku been too complacent and ahead of himself assuming that Kacchan was around for the long haul?

It wouldn’t be the first time wishful thinking and denial had gotten the best of him.

Izuku felt his knuckles burn as he gripped his hands under the table.

“You see, I have a reservation tomorrow for dinner with my parents,” Kacchan said, still looking at the table. “And your mother is going to be there.”

What?

Kacchan looked up, staring Izuku in the eye and asked, “Do you want to come?”

Oh.

Izuku’s shoulders dropped and he leaned into the back of the booth, limp and numb. He hadn’t seen his mother in years. Kacchan didn’t look like he was joking; his eyes said he was dead serious. Izuku’s throat felt thick. “My mother?”

“I wanted to tell you sooner, but your Heat came early and I wanted you to be able to think clearly when you made a choice,” Kacchan said. “I know it’s sudden.”

“Wait,” Izuku said, shooting straight up. He felt his heart rate return to that rapid pace earlier, though with an entirely new fear. “Does she know? About—About the Shelter?”

“No,” Kacchan said. “Unsure” was a bad look on Kacchan and he shifted in his seat as he held the back of his head. “I did tell her and my parents I found you at a Matchmaking House and that I was going to claim you before I picked you up, but I may have neglected to specify what sort of Matchmaking House it was.

“Your mom was pretty angry I had declined her request to visit you immediately since she said the last time she was in contact with you was four years ago,” Kacchan said, wincing. He dropped his hands on the table and looked apologetic. “I told her I wanted to give us a week or two to settle in first before we started working out family visits. She only backed off and accepted it because my mother intervened.”

Izuku nodded, feeling the instant relief.

“I thought you might like to tell her yourself,” Kacchan said. Izuku smacked one hand over the other to stop the trembling. “Or I can if it’s too hard. That’s up to you.”

“No,” Izuku whispered, feeling the tears well up against his will. He shook his head, knocking his hair in his eyes. “I don’t want her to know.”

There was a feeling beyond shame that kept Izuku wanting his mother to stay in the dark. She would never hate Izuku for the things he’d done or the Alpha he’ been with, but she wasn’t strong like Kacchan.

He was afraid this would hurt her more than she could handle.

Izuku wasn’t even sure he could bear to see her face to face without falling apart and telling her everything.

“If you don’t want to see her,” Kacchan said softly, “I can tell her I changed my mind. Legally, she can’t see you unless I give permission anyway. So if this is too much, just tell me.”

“I want to see her,” Izuku said, trying to keep his voice firm. Kacchan shouldn’t need to play the bad guy because Izuku was afraid. “But I don’t want to tell her about the Shelter or why I was there. She doesn’t need to know about that.”

“Then I won’t tell her or my parents,” Kacchan said. He reached over and put his hand on Izuku’s head. “But don’t lie to her, either. If she finds out later, it’ll be worse than if you told her tomorrow.”

Izuku leaned into Kacchan’s touch and shuddered. “Alright.”

“It’s going to be okay,” Kacchan said. He leaned back into his chair and cracked a smile. He put his cheek in his hand and laughed. “She’s been harassing my mom every day for when she could see you, though. Your mom’s a persistent lady—I’ve never been scared of a Beta before the day I told her she had to wait to see you.”

Izuku snorted in response. “I’ll have to tell her to leave you alone. It wouldn’t be good if I have to find a twelfth mate after finally getting lucky with my eleventh one.”

“I said I was scared,” Kacchan said, rubbing his tongue on the side of his canines. “Not that I couldn’t beat her.”

“Kacchan!” Izuku shouted, covering his face. He put his head on the table and smiled up. “You’re too much.”

He smiled back and held his hand up, waving the waiter over. “I’m hungry, too. Let’s get something to eat.”

Izuku looked back at the menu and pointed at the first thing he saw, red that he hadn’t noticed when Kacchan told the waiter they still needed time earlier. Kacchan ordered too and he felt lighter as they ate.

It was hard to be afraid Kacchan might leave when he was making plans to keep in touch with Izuku’s mother.


Katsuki took Deku to one of his dad’s favorite store chains to pick out a semi-casual outfit for dinner.

“Normally I’d let you choose something yourself, but we have to pass my parents inspection and I’m just not risking that,” Katsuki said, sorting through suit jackets. He held one up next to Deku’s chest, frowned, and shoved it back on the rack. Deku’s eyes widened and he grabbed his sleeve. Katsuki corrected himself: “They don’t really care what you wear, but just trust me when I say it’ll save us some trouble.”

Or save Katsuki trouble for when his parents gave him a fashion lecture.

“That’s better,” Katsuki said, holding up a dark red jacket. It complimented Deku’s hair and looked like it wouldn’t need too much work to fit Deku’s frame. “Let’s try this one out.”

Katsuki chose a matching button-up shirt in white, a dark vest, and a pair of black slacks. Deku followed along without a word and behaved for the tailor as he took some quick measurements. Katsuki paid him in advance with enough extra to guarantee the suit was finished in a few hours.

“That means we can go home and I can make lunch,” Deku said, as they walked out of the store, Katsuki’s job ticket in hand. He looked over his shoulder, and ducked his head. “If you want, I mean.”

Katsuki flicked him in the side of the head. “If you really want to make lunch that bad, help yourself.”

“Thank you, Kacchan,” Deku said.

When they returned home, Deku turned straight into the kitchen from the front door and opened the fridge with a determined look. Katsuki remembered that face from their school days. It was the same expression he used when he watched Pro Heroes in the field before excitedly popping open one of his many journals and writing a thousand notes.

Deku continued his concentration, muttering under his breath as he went, but instead of “Quirk” and “Potential uses” the words that he heard every so often were “cooking time” and “flavor.”

Katsuki had to walk into the living room to get away from too many memories.

He took a seat on the couch and turn on the television, occasionally turning his head to see what Deku was up to over the bar counter. The Omega appeared to know what he was doing as he gathered small trays of spices and pans, so Katsuki tried not to fret over his kitchen’s safety.

After twenty minutes, Deku called, “It’s done!”

Katsuki headed back to the bar and sat down to a plate of curry and a proud Deku. The Omega washed his hands in the sink and asked, “You still like spicy food, right?”

“Love it,” Katsuki said, he pulled the plate over and took a bite—well aware Deku stared at his every move. He swallowed and went for another spoonful. “Not bad. It’s got a good flavor. Did you used to do a lot of cooking?”

“Yes,” Deku said. He shrugged, sitting down with his own plate. Deku started with the rice and stirred the food around, not eating yet. “Usually most of it, depending on the mate. Every Alpha’s different and some liked me to cook every meal.”

Katsuki mixed his rice with the sauce and ate another bite. He didn’t want to dig too much, but he was curious. “Did you like cooking? Or was it just something you were expected to do?”

Deku returned to his state of confusion as he considered the question. He kept his eyes on Katsuki, analytical and thinking much too hard about a simple question. Deku eventually answered, “I liked it.”

“What’d you like about it?” Katsuki asked, pushing more than he should.

Katsuki himself loved cooking. It was a soothing force of productivity that gave him a mindless, repetitive task to do prepping his ingredients that turned into something thoughtful and creative as he combined those individual parts. One part chemistry, one part taste, and all worth it when he made those losers admit his dish was the best thing they’d eaten that week.

If Deku could name even one thing along those lines, Katsuki would believe him.

Deku narrowed his eyes slightly, picking up on the test for what it was. He gave Katsuki a slightly cop-out answer: “I like seeing their faces when they enjoyed what I made.”

Katsuki couldn’t argue with that and technically counted. “That’s definitely a joy of cooking.”

He nodded and went back to eating. The dish really had been good and Katsuki said so again before he beat Deku to the dishes. By the time he finished cleaning everything up, they had an hour or so to watch television before picking up Deku’s new suit.

It was easy to focus on the little things to stop his stomach from twisting in nerves over worrying about how tomorrow was going to go.


The evening and next day passed too quickly.

Izuku stood next to Kacchan at the entrance of the fanciest restaurant he’d ever been in his life, with crystal chandeliers and suits everywhere, waiting to be led to their table. A table where Kacchan’s parents and his mother were already seated.

“Are you okay?” Kacchan asked. He touched Izuku’s shoulder and leaned closer. “Do you need some more time?”

“I’m alright,” Izuku said. He breathed in and breathed out. Izuku could handle this. He was fine. He’d come too far to turn around now and running away wouldn’t do him any good. “I want to see her.”

Kacchan put his hand on Izuku’s back and gently pushed forward. “They’re this way.”

Izuku let Kacchan put his arm around his shoulder as he guided him past round tables with white tablecloths and well dressed patrons. Izuku forced his limbs to move despite his tense muscles and concentrated on Kacchan’s warm touch.

He saw Mrs. Bakugou’s blond hair first when they reached the far corner of the main dining room and Kacchan’s father sat next to her, able to see Izuku and Kacchan’s approach. Mr. Bakugou stood first and his wife turned around, bright red eyes delighted to see him. When Mrs. Bakugou stood, she revealed the woman sitting across from her.

“Mom,” Deku whispered.

“Oh, my baby,” his mother said. She stood, hands over her mouth as she let tears flow freely. They spotted her nice dress and she scooted around the table, breaking into a run as she cleared it. His mother crashed into Izuku with a fierce hug that shoved Kacchan to the side. Her head came up to his shoulder, where once upon a time Izuku remembered it being the reverse. She clung to his chest and sobbed into his new suit. “Who gave you permission to get so tall without me knowing?”

“Mom,” Deku said again. He hugged her back, squeezing tight. He hadn’t heard from her in four years, but he hadn’t held her in five. “I missed you so much.”

He could hear Bakugou’s parents talking in the background and he felt the stares of the other people in the restaurant as he and his mother sobbed, holding onto each other like the other would disappear if they let go.

Chapter Text

Their reunion hug ended when Kacchan barked “Show’s over!” at the people staring. The patrons obeyed his authority immediately, as they should from an Alpha of Kacchan’s rank, whipping their heads back down to their food and drinks. Izuku rubbed the side of his eyes and stood back from his mom, trying hard not to smile too much at his Alpha glaring at anyone who still tried to eavesdrop.

The Bakugou couple returned to the table and Izuku led his mother with an arm on her back to take their seats. She sat between Mrs. Bakugou and Izuku, who took his proper place next to Kacchan. The waiter came by with drinks that had been ordered before Izuku and Kacchan arrived and took their orders. Kacchan ordered for the two of them and Izuku breathed out, holding his mom’s hand under the table.

“I swear, when Katsuki called saying he found a mate I nearly had a heart attack right there on the phone and that was before he said who it was!” Mrs. Bakugou said, smacking a hand on the table. “That little brat’s been so picky I didn’t think he was ever going to bring someone home.”

“It’s a big decision,” Mr. Bakugou said, smiling at his wife. “You should be happy he’s been putting thought into it.”

“He went to eight Matchmaking Houses, three of which were the highest rated in the country, and didn’t come home with so much as a list of potential choices,” Mrs. Bakugou said, taking a sip from her cup. She put it down with a firm click on the table, sitting up straighter. “The brat was being picky and you know it.”

Izuku glanced at Kacchan, trying not to be too obvious that he was staring. Eight? He’d been to eight Houses and hadn’t found a single Omega that met his standards?

He didn’t know if it was impressive that Kacchan refused to settle or terrifying to think of the day when he did finally meet an Omega that was up to snuff and Izuku had to compete with them for attention.

“Can’t say I’m surprised he caved with you though,” Mrs. Bakugou said, looking straight at Izuku with a warm smile. “He’ll never admit it, but he missed you like crazy when you went to Finishing School.”

“Mom,” Kacchan said, glaring over his glass.

The warning went unheeded by the higher ranked Alpha at the table. She laughed and waved her hand. “He moped around for weeks like a little kid who had his favorite toy stolen. It was as adorable as it was sad.”

“Why are you doing this?” Kacchan asked, covering his face with his hand. He pulled it down and glared over his palm. “And I did not mope.”

“You did a little,” Mr. Bakugou added.

Izuku’s mother squeezed his hand under the table tighter. He didn’t think the others noticed, but her smile seemed strained. Izuku asked, “You okay?”

“Of course, sweetie,” Inko said. “I’m just still so relieved you’re okay. I haven’t heard from you in so long, I had to wonder. The only way I knew you were still alive were those dowery checks from Matchmaking Houses I kept getting, and even those stopped coming a little over a year ago.”

“When was the last time you heard from him?” Mrs. Bakugou asked. She pointed at Izuku and leaned on the table. “I still can’t believe someone actually cut off contact.”

“It’s been about four years,” his mother said, still squeezing his hand. She looked at him and asked, “Was there a reason your Alpha did that?”

“He was very private,” Izuku said, trying to find the right words.

His fourth mate had been an alright Alpha who loved to dress Izuku up in “cute” frilly clothes and cuddle. He had loved it when Izuku sat in his lap while he worked and never failed to give him attention. However, while he was an office assistant officially by day, he also had a night job forging documents that included everything from driver’s licenses to fake Classification certificates.

If there was anyone who’d notice that Izuku had been Ordered not to mention the illegal paperwork in his office, it’d be a parent.

“He didn’t like having other people around much,” Izuku decided on. Even clients he met were only around long enough for the transaction. “He didn’t even talk with his own parents.”

“But Izuku, why didn’t you call me when you got back to the Matchmaking House?” his mother asked. “I got another dowery check about six months after that which meant you had to have been returned again.”

Izuku bit his lip, sinking in his chair, but he did what Kacchan had told him earlier and went for honesty.

It was only his last mate that he absolutely didn’t want his mother to know about if push came to shove.

“I wanted to wait and make sure my next Alpha would let me see you,” Izuku said, he fiddled with his fingers on the table. “That was the first time my Alpha had used their right to cut off contact and it hit me that any of them could do it. I didn’t want to get your hopes up about calling me again if the next one said ‘No’, too.”

“Let me guess,” Kacchan said, fist gripped tight on the table. “That’s exactly what happened, isn’t it?”

Izuku put his free hand back in his lap. “Yeah, my next Alpha was the same.”

After her, Izuku had been with his sixth mate and—frankly—he didn’t want his mom to know about that one. He’d complained to Momo about him, but that only scratched the surface. That Alpha had been a walking embarrassment between the poorly executed submission fetish and demanding he and Izuku wear matching outfits.

His sixth mate getting bored of Izuku was still one of the best days of his life.

But then Izuku’s seventh mate had been another petty criminal and by that point, it was just easier to not call his mother at all. He had nothing good to report and then, he really didn’t want to get her hopes up again to crush them.

Cutting contact on his own had been for the best.

“At least that’s all over now,” Mrs. Bakugou said, slapping his mother on the back with a grin. “If my boy keeps your son away too long this time around, you can just give me call and I’ll set him straight.”

She finished her sentence by flexing her arm and patting her bicep with that wide grin he knew so well from Kacchan’s own face.

“I appreciate that, Mitsuki,” his mother said.

The conversation lulled as the waiters came back with everyone’s meals. Everything smelled amazing and Izuku dug in after waiting for Mrs. Bakugou and Kacchan to start eating. They ate for a while before Mrs. Bakugou started up the conversation again.

“So, how’s the newly-mated life treating you boys so far?” she asked. “It’s not too cramped in that tiny apartment of his, is it?”

“We’re making it work, but a bigger place wouldn’t hurt,” Kacchan said. He pushed his empty plate aside and pulled over the dessert menu the waiter had left at the side of the table. “We barely fit in a second dresser for Deku’s things.”

“Let me know if you go house hunting,” Mr. Bakugou said. “Our new neighbor is in real estate and can probably get you a deal.”

“Thanks, dad,” Kacchan said. He flipped a page over in the menu and asked, “Do you want dessert, Deku?”

“I’m fine,” Deku said. He wouldn’t mind a bite of something sweet, but he didn’t want to waste money on an entire dessert if he was only going to have a spoonful. “I’m full from dinner.”

“What about you, Inko?” Mrs. Bakugou asked right after. “Want to split something? It’s still my treat, so don’t worry about it.”

“I wouldn’t want to impose,” she said, shaking her hand back and forth. She curled in her shoulders. “I’m full, too.”

“Suit yourself,” Mrs. Bakugou said. She snatched the menu from Katsuki and flipped though the pages with delighted eyes. “But I’m ordering something with chocolate.”

Like mother, like son, Kacchan ordered a chocolate dessert as well, but it was a bitter dark chocolate mouse to contrast her fluffy, sweet cake.

After the waiter took their dessert requests, Izuku’s mother asked, “Would you mind if Izuku and I stepped outside on the patio to talk for a bit? It’s getting late and I was hoping to spend a little time alone with him.”

“Sure,” Kacchan said, crossing his arms on the table. “Knock yourselves out.”

“We’ll come get you when we finish with the deserts and it’s time to go,” Mrs. Bakugou said, waving her hand. “Go enjoy the night air.”

“Thank you,” his mother said, breathing out like she believed he’d actually say no. She stood up, putting her napkin on the table. “Come on, Izuku.”

Izuku glanced at Kacchan, who had been distracted by his father, before he got up and followed his mother outside. She wrung her hand together and he had a bad feeling about the upcoming discussion.


Katsuki made it one bite into his mouse before his mother kicked his chair. “Hey brat, real talk. How’s it going?”

“Weird as shit,” Katsuki said, shoving his spoon back into the dessert and shoving it in his mouth. “Like I said the last time you asked on the phone.”

“And you keep refusing to give me any details,” she said right back.

Katsuki reached over and stole a spoonful of his mother’s cake and dumped in his mouse. “Deku’s got a lot of built-in habits and I can’t tell what’s normal for an Omega and what’s conditioned from the jackass, previous Alpha he was with.”

“They were really that bad, huh?” his mother asked.

Katsuki had hinted that Deku’s previous mates hadn’t been anything to write home about, but he had a feeling the knowledge that a few of them cut Deku off from his mom drove the point in for Katsuki’s own mother. “That’s his business to tell, but I can say if I ever meet a few of them in person, you better believe I’m going to introduce their faces to my Quirk.”

“Good,” she said, slicing her cake in half with her fork.

“But that still doesn’t help trying to navigate the minefield that is Omega behavior. Deku doesn’t do anything until I tell him to and he keeps looking at me like he’s expecting something and gets frustrated when I don’t do it,” Katsuki said. He rubbed the back of his neck, staring at his empty bowl. He slumped on the table and shook his head. “But I have no idea what he wants and he won’t tell me when I ask.”

“Sounds like you’re a little in over your head,” his father said, smiling while he fiddled with his napkin, rubbing his hands off. “I imagine it’s hard being a first time mate with someone who’s had multiple partners already.”

“Tell me about it,” Katsuki said, rubbing between his eyes. “It’s been two weeks and I still have no idea what I’m doing.”

His mom whistled and said, “Wow, if you’re admitting that, it must be bad.”

Katsuki glared at her.

“It’ll get easier as you get into a routine and figure each other out,” his father said, reaching over and patting his hand. “You should have seen your mom and I when we were first figuring out how to live together.”

“She said to jump and you said how high, right?” Katsuki said, tapping his spoon against the bowl.

His mother kicked him under the table again.


“Izuku,” his mother started, crossing her hands on her lap. She stared at the garden that spread out in the yard behind the restaurant, sitting on the small bench under the window. “Will you be honest with me?”

Kacchan had told him to be and it hadn’t been bad advice so far. Izuku nodded, “Yes.”

“Is Katsuki being good to you?” his mother asked. She squeezed her hands together and frowned. “Because I remember what he was like when you two were younger, and he—he didn’t treat you well. Now he’s much older and stronger and—”

“Mom,” Izuku said, cutting her off. He reached over and grabbed her hands, holding them between his own. “Kacchan’s been perfect, I promise. He’s changed so much and is so nice I almost can’t believe he’s the same person.”

It scared Izuku how gentle Kacchan had become from the aggressive Alpha he grew up with. He didn’t hate the kind treatment, but Izuku found himself annoyed with it all the same. Izuku had been hurt in the past, and there were things he would rather forget, but he wasn’t made of glass.

He wanted Kacchan to treat him like he would if he’d picked Izuku out of a proper Matchmaking House like a proper Omega.

Izuku hated not knowing how much of Kacchan’s behavior was himself or from a stupid care book.

“Kacchan’s the best thing to ever happen to me,” Izuku said, smiling. He did his best to reassure her worries and squeezed her hands tight. “I really missed him, mom.”

“You always liked that boy too much,” she said, lowering her shoulders. She turned her hand in his hold to squeeze back properly. “Just promise you’ll tell me if he does anything to hurt you again. I know he used to hit you then, so he could still do it now.”

“You don’t need to worry about Kacchan,” Izuku said. He leaned on his mother’s shoulder and sighed. “I’m really lucky to be with him.”

“Promise me,” his mother said again, clutching his hand harder.

Izuku pressed his lips together. He had decided not to lie and if Kacchan did somehow hurt him down the line, on purpose or on accident, Izuku knew he wouldn’t tell anyone.

He’d never do anything to jeopardize his mating to Kacchan. Izuku had thought he’d be fine if Kacchan returned him in a few months when they were first mated, but that had been pure denial. Izuku couldn’t do it. He couldn’t go back to going from mate to mate, never really wanted by anyone as anything more than a passing interest.

Izuku would rather be Kacchan’s personal punching bag than return to that.

At least then he’d have still have some purpose and value to his Alpha.

“I can’t make that promise,” Izuku whispered. He squeezed his mother’s hand and sucked in a shaky breath. “I really, really want Kacchan to keep me, no matter what he wants from me.”

“Izuku,” she said, turning to face him. Her eyes watered and she touched his cheek. “You’d let him hurt you? Without a word to anyone?”

“He’s not hurting me,” Izuku said, well aware he didn’t answer her question. His response would be ‘yes’ and his mother didn’t need to hear that right now. Izuku let go of her hand and held her shoulders, staring down at her. He felt like the older one in this conversation. “He hasn’t even used an Order yet. Alpha use Orders like breathing—Kacchan’s been that gentle with me! You’re worrying over nothing, that I can promise.”

“I don’t like this,” she said again. She put her hands back in her lap and clutched at her skirt. “What you’re saying doesn't add up. I’ve watched Katsuki grow up and he’s every bit as aggressive and out of control as an adult as he was as a young boy. Violent Alpha like that shouldn’t have so much power over their mates. ”

“He has total control over your entire life, Izuku. He even stopped me from seeing you!” She sniffed and the tears spilled on her cheeks. “Katsuki agreed to let us visit today, but what’s to stop him from cutting me off again if he changes is mind? I can’t lose you again, Izuku.”

“I’m sorry. That’s all my fault. I could have called you long before now, but I didn’t,” Izuku said. He hugged his mother close and rested his cheek on her hair. He’d been ashamed of sleeping with criminals. He’d been ashamed of being a cheap toy for a voyeur. But more importantly: “I was scared you’d be ashamed of me for being returned so many times. No one wanted to keep me.”

“They were all idiots.” She squeezed him back and he felt her tears soak into his shirt. “I could never be ashamed of you. I love you so much, Izuku.”

“I love you, too,” Izuku said, rubbing her back. He kissed her head and said, “It’s going to be okay.”

“I hope so,” she said. She let go of him and glanced into the restaurant. “I think they’ve been waiting for us to finish talking instead of coming to get us. From all those empty plates, they stopped eating a while ago.”

Izuku tugged out his handkerchief and handed it to his mother. She dried her eyes with it and he used his own sleeve to do the same. “That doesn’t surprise me.”

“We should go back in,” she said.

“Yeah,” Izuku said, staring at the flowers.

“When do you think I can see you again?”

“Soon, I’m sure,” Izuku said. “Kacchan doesn’t give me much to do, so I’ve got a lot of free time.”

“Good,” she said, nodding her head. “He shouldn’t be bossy to his spouse.”

Izuku laughed under his breath. Personally, he’d rather Kacchan ask more of him. If he wasn’t there to do chores or to please Kacchan in bed, Izuku was starting to feel pretty useless. He couldn’t even give Kacchan children, so his worth and value in the house revolved around those other two things.

An Omega could only be a pretty ornament for so long before an Alpha became bored with them.

He didn’t want that to happen with Kacchan.

His Alpha liked to keep busy and do things himself, so Izuku would leave the chores to him if it made him happy.

Which meant he should focus more on his value in the bedroom. Maybe then, Kacchan would seek him out for more than just obligatory Heat sex.

But that was a topic Izuku didn’t need to talk about with his mother.

“Let’s go inside,” Izuku said, standing and brushing off his pants. “I think Kacchan’s fighting with his mother.”

“They do that,” his mother said, sighing under her breath. She put her hand on her cheek, watching the two blonds scuffle across the seating. They made a scene in the center of the restaurant, with more than one person staring. “Alpha, I swear. It’s always a power game with them.”

Izuku chuckled and grinned, rooting for Kacchan in his head. “Yeah, but they wouldn’t be Alpha otherwise.”

His mother shook her head, looking like she wanted to say more but kept her mouth shut. She went for the door and opened it, “Come on. Let’s go break them up.”

Izuku followed, closing the patio door behind them with a soft smile. He loved his mother, but Beta were never going to understand Alpha the way an Omega could.


Katsuki kicked his apartment door behind him, happy to be home after that long night. Visiting with his parents always left him exhausted. When he added in the suspicious looks from Deku’s mother all night and the signs that she and Deku had been crying on the patio it did not help his nerves.

He wanted this night to be over.

Deku followed him into the bedroom, still as quiet as he had been since they left the restaurant. Katsuki would bet money he was more exhausted than Katsuki by a mile if his talk with his mother had been as emotional as it looked.

Katsuki dropped his suit jacket off his shoulders and threw it over the chair in the corner. He’d put his clothes up properly in the morning. Deku slipped off his own jacket and went for his tie, but his fingers fumbled with the knot. He tugged on it, but it didn’t loosen.

After a few more tries, he asked softly, “Can you help me with my tie?”

“I put it on you, so I guess I can take it off,” Katsuki said, amused. Deku hadn’t been able to tie the thing earlier when they got dressed, so Katsuki had to do it. He walked over and reached up to undo the damage from Deku’s attempts. “I need to teach you how to do this right.”

Katsuki tugged the tie off and put it on Deku’s dresser. He moved to go back to his half of the room when Izuku grabbed his shirt. He kept his eyes down, hand trembling. He licked his lip, still holding tight but not saying anything.

“If you want something, you can ask,” Katsuki said, soft as he could. Deku had been weird about making requests and he had a pretty good idea that was part of “previous asshole mates” instead of “Omega things.” The tension grew as Deku inched closer, putting his head on Katsuki’s shoulder. “Deku?”

“You can take the rest off, too, if you want,” Deku whispered. His grip tightened, twisting Katsuki’s shirt. “I’m not going to break if you sleep with me outside of a Heat.”

That was a test Katsuki didn’t know the right answer to.

“Is that what you want?” Katsuki asked, putting his hand on Deku’s back. He rubbed his thumb along the Omega’s spine. “I’d think you’d want a break from Alpha pawing at you after well, you know.”

“Yes, I know,” Deku said, snorting into Katsuki’s shoulder. He let go of Katsuki’s shirt and dropped his hand to rest on his belt line. “I’m not broken, Kacchan.”

“You’re not,” Katsuki said. He dropped his arms to pull Deku into a hug, holding him close. He closed his eyes and remembered the kid who kept getting back up no matter how many times he was shoved down. The brat that held out his hand to dare ask if Katsuki needed help. The Omega that survived things that would have shattered anyone else. He hugged Deku tighter, almost crushing him. “You’re the strongest person I know.”

“Kacchan,” Deku said, voice low. His fingers dug into Katsuki’s back and his breath picked up. “Please take me to bed. I want it. I want it so much it hurts.”

He pulled out of the embrace and tilted Deku’s head back with his thumb. Dry eyes watched his, steady and firm without a trace of tears.

Katsuki kissed Deku and did as asked.

Chapter Text

Izuku petted Kacchan’s hair, feeling his Alpha’s warm breath on his chest as he waited for the morning alarm to go off. The Alpha snuggled under Izuku’s arm in his sleep, content and pliable.

It would have been perfect if not for the pajamas in the way.

Izuku groaned and turned on his side to hug Kacchan’s head to this chest, arms holding him tight. His well meaning Alpha had made soft, gentle love to him and then decided they should clean up before they went to sleep. Izuku hadn’t minded—he wasn’t a fan of going to bed dirty, either. They took a quick shower, both barely staying awake under the water. Afterwards, as Izuku prepared to climb back under the covers, he saw a pair of pajamas waiting for him on the edge of the mattress.

Kacchan had already stepped into his pajama bottoms on the other side of the bed and Izuku knew sleeping in the nude was once again off the table.

One day he’d convert Kacchan to the joys of a naked Omega in his bed, but not today. That could have led to an argument and he was too happy after last night to let anything ruin his morning, pajamas aside.

Izuku tilted his head to see the clock on the side table, watching the small glowing numbers tick past. Kacchan would be awake any minute, usually beating his alarm clock to the punch. Izuku nuzzled into Kacchan’s blond hair and enjoyed the rest of his morning cuddle, memorizing Kacchan’s Scent and loving how it continued to mask his own cedar with fresh cut roses and sweet sugar.

Right on schedule, Kacchan shifted around five twenty-six, rolling over to turn off his alarm before it could sound. He sat up, shoving his hand through his hair with a yawn. “Morning.”

“Morning,” Izuku repeated, rolling on his stomach to cross his arms. “You’re back to work today, right?”

“Yeah, sorry I woke you,” Kacchan said. He rolled his shoulder and cracked his spine as he put his legs over the side of the bed. “Go back to sleeping in.”

Izuku licked his lip, amused Kacchan hadn’t seemed to notice yet that Izuku was wide awake long before him every morning—yet another cute feature to add to the man. “Have a good day.”

“You, too,” Kacchan said. He moved to get up but paused. Kacchan looked over his shoulder, watching Izuku before he looked down and back up again. He nodded his head once and leaned over, putting his hand behind Izuku’s neck and kissing the top of his head. “I’ll see you after work.”

Kacchan dragged his fingers through Izuku’s hair and got out of bed. He dressed for the day and left, shutting the door behind him.

Izuku shoved his face in the pillow to hide his delighted grin.


“How’d the big reunion go?” Kaminari asked, closing the door behind the police van. He waved hit on and the vehicle left with the petty crook they’d caught lifting purses. Katsuki gave the guy credit for shoplifting at noon in broad daylight. Kaminari brushed his hands off and put his hands on his hips. “You make it out in one piece?”

Katsuki cracked his neck both ways, trying to keep his smile from being too scary as he waved at the fans behind the police line. “They cried and my mom teased me, so it went about as I expected it would.”

“Sounds like it went well, then!” Kaminari clapped his hands together and rubbed them, making tiny sparks of friction as they headed back to their patrol route. He grinned leaning closer and whispered, “That must have been rough right after Heat week, though.”

That was putting it lightly.

“How do you survive that once a month?” Katsuki asked, dead serious. He held his hands in front and stared at his palms like they might have answers. “I thought I was going to die on night three.”

“Seriously?” Kaminari asked, looking over his shades. He shoved the glasses higher on the bridge of his nose and clicked his tongue. “I know it can get a little exhausting trying to keep up, but ‘survive’ is a little harsh to describe the best sex of your life, isn’t it?”

“That’s not what I’d call it.” Katsuki snorted and cracked his knuckles. “Fighting villains is less work.”

“You need to lighten up,” Kaminari said, slapping Katsuki’s back. He threw an arm around his shoulder and leaned on him, waving his hand back and forth. “I know it’s an ‘obligation’ or whatever, but try to have some fun next time. It’s still just sex, dude.”

“Sex” was what happened last night when Katsuki slept with Deku under the sheets. It’d been slow, quiet, no one gained any new bruises, and had felt amazing and fulfilling in the way Katsuki figured it was supposed to feel like.

He wouldn’t mind doing it again if Deku let him.

What went on during Heat week had been bedroom warfare. It’d been like Deku had been possessed by a wild animal and Katsuki had to wonder if that’s what he’d been like that first Pre-Heat night where he’d screwed Deku into the couch hard enough to turn him black and blue. He couldn’t forget the sight of his hand-shaped bruises on Deku’s thighs, despite not remembering how they got there, and seeing them yellow over the course of the week. Deku didn’t seem to mind or care that they’d been there, but Katsuki did.

Lost in lust or not, Katsuki should have minded his strength better.

Bruises were for bad guys and walking annoyances, not his mate.

“That lovely topic aside,” Katsuki said, forcing those thoughts out of his mind. “Does Kyouka still want to come over? Todoroki said Momo was up for another visit the other day, but was waiting on a date.”

“Yeah, man! She’s totally psyched to meet Izuku,” Kaminari said. He snickered under his breath and said, “Though maybe they should meet up at my place or Todoroki’s house. Your apartment is sort of small and there’s no place for them to be alone.”

“Your house is fine,” Katsuki said. “Todoroki’s mansion might be overwhelming. I still can’t believe Momo’s parents bought them that place for her birthday.”

Kaminari whistled and said, “No kidding.”

Having their meet up someplace more reasonable would definitely be the right choice.

“How’s tomorrow?” Katsuki asked. He pulled out his phone and checked the date. “Kirishima’s been not-so-subtly hinting he wants to start hanging out again, so it might be a good way to kill two birds with one stone.”

“I forgot you guys did a thing every week,” Kaminari said, snickering. “That got put on hold when Izuku showed up, right?”

“Yup,” Katsuki said. “Like you said, my place is kinda small and I think an Alpha as boisterous as Kirishima might be too much for Deku for extended periods of time.”

“Plus, Kirishima has been seriously mopey the past two weeks,” Kaminari said, snickering. He held his hands out, sending small electric sparks between them. “He feeds off friend energy and he’s been missing one of his favorite batteries.”

“You’re lucky that wasn’t technically a pun, or I’d have to kill you,” Katsuki said, shoving Kaminari into the wall.

He laughed all the same and Katsuki texted Kirishima to let him know they were back on for game night.


Izuku had his knees up as he sat on the couch watching Kacchan dig out a game console from the cabinet under the television. He set it on the side table and walked behind the large screen, plugging in the various cords and wires needed for it. Izuku smiled into his knees, remembering when Kacchan used to spend his afternoons in the arcade down the block.

“Why was all of that put away?” Izuku asked, sitting his chin on his knees. “Do you not play as often anymore?”

“I was playing too much and needed to physically put it away. It cut into my sleep time when I got a little too competitive with a few online games and I had to self intervene,” Kacchan said, jamming the last cord into the television input. “Out of sight, out of mind. Kirishima and I started having weekly game nights so I could play in moderation.”

“That’s fun,” Izuku said, hugging his legs. “That’s why he’s coming over tonight, right?”

“You got it,” Kacchan said, stepping back to inspect his game system. Upon his approval, he abandoned it and walked into the kitchen to get the snack bowls he’d prepped earlier. Izuku watched him over the kitchen bar from the couch. “So while you’re out with Kyouka and Momo, I’ll be reminding Kirishima why my name is on all the High Score charts.”

Izuku pressed his lips together, squeezing his knees tighter.

Kacchan dropped the snack bowls on the table with a small, genuine smile tugging at the edge of his mouth. He had an excited energy about him, that looked forward to the night ahead. It was a small change that would have been hard to miss if you didn’t spend your time studying him, but that’s exactly what Izuku did—and he noticed.

“Have you two been friends long?” Izuku asked, more comfortable speaking up without a prompt. Kacchan had proven that he didn’t mind conversation. He looked at the small selection of photos sitting on Kacchan’s side table, the one in the center being of Kacchan and Red Riot in their Hero gear. “You seem close.”

“He’s been my best friend since high school, so we probably should be,” Kacchan said, snorting as he wiped off the kitchen counter. “He’s the first person I’ve ever met who could take an explosion to the face and not flinch thanks to his Quirk. He’s pretty awesome.”

“Red Riot did seem cool,” Izuku said, still watching Kacchan.

Someone knocked at the door and Kacchan snorted. “And early, looks like.”

Kacchan let their visitor in and Red Riot dragged Kacchan immediately into a bear hug, lifting the other Alpha off the ground. He squeezed and dropped Kacchan just as quickly, smacking his back and handing him a six-pack of soda. “Hey!”

“Hey, yourself,” Kacchan said, taking the cans off the plastic and dropping them in a bowl of ice. “Is there a reason you’re twenty minutes early?”

“It’s game night, not a mission,” Red Riot laughed. He shoved Kacchan in the shoulder and leaned on the counter next to Kacchan. He glanced toward the living room over the bar top and raised his hand. “Hello, again! You’re looking better.”

“Thanks,” Izuku said, forcing himself to stay still.

Dealing with one Alpha was manageable, but trying to keep up with two was another matter. Things you did to make one happy inevitably made another upset. It was hard to balance and judge how to behave, especially when such conflicting personalities were in one place. Izuku shook his hair out and exhaled.

It was easier to just stay still and out of their way, but he couldn’t afford to be rude to Kacchan’s “best friend” either. Izuku would be fine. He could be polite and social the way a mate should be.

Red Riot laughed in the kitchen, his Scent of warm earth—dirt—growing stronger with as his energy increased. It tickled at Izuku’s nose, almost overpowering the Scent of roses that he’d focused on for comfort.

Izuku could do this.

Red Riot was Kacchan’s friend and also trained for abuse care since he’d been at the Shelter to pick out a mate first. Izuku was safe. He was safe. He—

Red Riot leaned on Kacchan’s back, invading his personal space and throwing an arm around his shoulder. He watched Kacchan from that position, with near total body contact, grinning. “Tell me you made those brownie things.”

“Yes, I made the brownie things,” Kacchan said, continuing to let Red Riot hang on him. Izuku forgot his fears of displeasing Alpha as he sat up, staring straight at the two Alpha that were standing much too close. If Red Riot pressed any harder, he’d be Scenting Kacchan. Izuku’s Alpha shoved a timer in Red Riot’s face. “They’ve still got another fifteen minutes, which means if you’d been on time, they’d be done and waiting.”

“Nah, that just means I get to see you take them out of the oven for once,” Red Riot said. He drew his arm in and ruffled Kacchan’s hair, laughing. “They’ve gotta taste the best fresh, I bet!”

Kacchan smiled, before elbowing Red Riot playfully. “Are you saying they don’t taste good if they’ve had a chance to cool?”

“I dunno,” Red Riot said. He patted his stomach and finally let go of Kacchan. “I’ll have to experiment.”

“If there’s any left in the pan,” Kacchan said, still smiling. It’d turned into that cocky smirk Izuku had been longing to see more of, but it was there. Red Riot had drawn it out so easily and he’d only been there a few minutes. “Try to control yourself. I want some leftovers for Deku and the others when they come back.”

“Got it,” Red Riot said. He crossed his arms on the counter and addressed Izuku directly. “You’re hanging out with Kyouka and Momo tonight, right? Bakugou said you guys were heading to Kaminari’s place.”

“Yes,” Izuku said, wincing at how clipped it sounded. He swallowed to clear his throat and put his legs back on the floor. Izuku looked at the clock and said, “In about five minutes.”

“Awesome,” Red Riot said.

Izuku held his hands in his lap and Red Riot tapped his fingers on the counter. The conversation died there and he slapped his hand on the counter once before going back to talking with Kacchan.

They moved around each other easy in the kitchen and conversation flowed freely, though Red Riot carried most of the dialogue. Kacchan answered in turn with smart replies and teasing. He moved lighter and more relaxed than Izuku had seen him yet.

Kacchan was comfortable around Red Riot.

Izuku clutched his hands together.

Too comfortable.

Kacchan had shown very little interest in touching Izuku outside of a head pat here or there. He’d been near reluctant to have sex at all which had been odd, but Izuku had assumed it was inexperience. Nerves. Even Kacchan had to have things he got nervous about, but his interactions with Izuku always had a sense of force and obligation behind them.

Kacchan felt like he did things because he thought he was supposed to, not because he wanted to.

Nothing about what was going on in that kitchen was forced.

Izuku stared openly at the two Alpha in the kitchen, still chatting back and forth. Still comfortable with each other. Still touching each other freely. Happily. Izuku dug his thumb into his palm with his heartbeat racing when Kacchan straight up snorted under his breath.

What if Kacchan liked Alpha?

The horrific thought slammed into Izuku’s brain and he couldn’t stop it. It would explain so much about Kacchan’s reluctance to sleep with Izuku without heavy prompting and his general lack of interest in the Omega he’d seen at eight Matchmaking Houses—Eight!

Izuku bit his thumb.

Kacchan might like Alpha.

That did nothing help Izuku’s future plans to make Kacchan want to keep him through seduction. If he couldn’t do chores and he couldn’t seduce Kacchan, then what good was Izuku? How much longer could Kacchan’s act of charity really last?

Once Izuku was “better” and “rehabilitated”, Kacchan would have no reason to keep him and could just take him back to a Matchmaking House for another Alpha to take him home again.

He couldn’t do it again.

This wasn’t happening.

Izuku—

“Deku!” Kacchan shouted.

Izuku jerked his head up, staring into concerned, red eyes. Kacchan stood over Izuku, hand on the back of the couch.

“Are you okay?” Kacchan asked. He continued to hover, brows drawing in confusion. “You spaced out hard enough you couldn’t hear me.”

“I’m fine,” Izuku said, voice low. He whispered, scared to speak too loudly after his Alpha had been forced to yell to get his attention. “Did you want something?”

“Kyouka and Momo are here,” Kacchan said, leaning back so Izuku could see over his shoulder. The other two Omega stood in the doorway, Momo with a hand over her mouth and another girl that must have been Kyouka stood with her arms crossed. “It’s time to go, unless you changed your mind?”

“I want to go!” Izuku said, standing up. Kacchan followed him, standing up straight, still looking concerned. He put his hands together and licked his lip. “Sorry, I was thinking about something a little too hard.”

“If you’re sure,” Kacchan said. He ruffled Izuku’s hair and patted his back. “I’ll see you in a few hours, then. Have some fun, okay?”

“I will,” Izuku said. He breathed out and trotted over to the door where the others were waiting and introduced himself. “It’s nice to meet you, Kyouka.”

“Back at you!” Kyouka said, holding her hand up. She laughed, the cheer forced and awkward, and took a step back into the hall. “Come on, let’s let the Alpha have their game night.”

Momo followed her out with a shy smile.

Izuku blew out a breath, attempting to switch gears. He needed to be social and behave while going out. Panicking could wait until he was alone.

He called over his shoulder, “Bye, Kacchan.”

“See you soon,” Kacchan said, taking a seat on the couch and pulling over one of the controllers.

As Izuku turned away, Red Riot joined his Alpha, throwing an arm over Kacchan’s shoulder with a comforting side hug.

Izuku shut the door, unable to ignore the tightness in his chest.

Chapter Text

“Does Izuku like video games?” Kirishima asked, putting the controller in his lap as he reached for a brownie, easily in reach from his spot sitting on the floor with his back against the couch. He popped it in his mouth and chewed before going back to the selection screen to change his character up. “Maybe he could play with us next time.”

“No idea for sure, but I don’t think he does,” Katsuki said. He choose the next character and started the round of the fighting game. “He never had a game console as a kid and I don’t think it’s because his mom couldn’t afford one. Deku never went to the arcade either, so I don’t think games were on his radar.”

“Bummer,” Kirishima said, tapping away at the buttons, eyes glued on the screen. “Don’t suppose he likes hiking?”

Katsuki snorted. “He’d probably say he did if I asked, whether he did or not.”

“Yeah?” Kirishima asked, he winced as his character died and he tossed the controller on the coffee table. He grabbed another brownie and turned to fold his hands on the cushion next to Katsuki’s thighs. “What makes you say that?”

Katsuki turned the game off and leaned into the couch back. He rubbed the side of his temple and frowned. “I think he’s been lying to me to tell me what I want to hear instead of being honest, but I can’t prove it.”

“The book talked about that, didn’t it?” Kirishima asked. He looked up, lips pressed as he remembered his own training. “One or more of his previous mates probably punished him excessively for little things.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised,” Katsuki said. He rubbed between his eyes and sighed. “It doesn’t help we didn’t have the best relationship when we were kids. I shoved him around a lot, so I’m sure he’s adding that into the factor.”

“Don’t worry about it too much,” Kirishima said, reaching over and patting Katsuki’s leg. He gave a thumbs up and grinned, showing off his teeth. “He’ll figure out you’ve got his best interests in heart and start opening up in no time. Don’t rush things, dude. You two haven’t even been together a month yet.”

“That’s true,” Katsuki said. He cracked his back and stretched his arms out. “Maybe if I catch him in lie later, I can show that I’m not angry and he’ll realize he can be honest without repercussions.”

“You’ve got this,” Kirishima said. He pulled himself up to sit on the couch next to Katsuki and threw an arm around his shoulder. “Oh, by the way. Are you done with my books? I wanted to review one more time before I went back to the shelter this weekend.”

“Sure,” Katsuki said. “The books don’t cover much about how to handle a mate you knew when you were kids anyway. I think it puts Deku and my relationship into a slightly different light than if we’d been strangers.”

“Thanks,” Kirishima said. He picked the controller back up and laughed. “The licensing committee gave me another call and asked if I’d had any prospects yet. I keep forgetting they want you to pick out a mate as soon as possible after qualifying.”

“The sooner you pick someone out, the sooner the Omega gets out of the shelter,” Katsuki said. “You want me to come again?”

“If you don’t mind,” Kirishima said. He knocked his elbow into Katsuki’s side and said. “You don’t have any other childhood friends who presented as Omega I should be worried about, do you?”

“Shut up and pick your player,” Katsuki said, turning the game back on. “You’re going to be as bad as Kaminari when you pick out a mate, I can tell.”

“Says the guy who’s been asking Kaminari for advice all week,” Kirishima said, laughing under his breath.

Katsuki shoved him. “What’s he been telling you?”

“Nothing embarrassing,” Kirishima said, holding his hand up and waving back and forth. “I promise! He’s was mostly happy he could help and was proud you were asking him instead of Todoroki.”

“Kyouka’s a little more on Deku’s level than Momo,” Katsuki said, flicking through the game menu. “It made more sense to ask him.”

“Still, you made his day,” Kirishima said. He selected a new character to try out—not that it would help his game—and grinned. “And I guess I’ll be asking you for advice soon.”

“Or you should ask Kaminari,” Katsuki said. He blew his bangs out of his face and elbowed Kirishima. “Because I have no idea what I’m doing.”

“Does anybody?” Kirishima asked.

“Just play the game,” Katsuki said, leaning back into the couch. “No philosophy on game night.”

Kirishima laughed and reached for another brownie.


Momo wondered how rude it would be to ask Chargebolt to leave the room.

The other Pro Hero wasn’t in the way, exactly, but he was still in the room which made fully open conversation slightly difficult. Chargebolt had taken roost in the corner of the couch in the living room, reading a book. He was technically at a polite distance, but with the open floor plan connecting the living room to the dining area, he was still within earshot.

Had it just been Momo and Kyouka, it wouldn’t have been a problem at all.

But their new friend Izuku appeared to be nervous with an Alpha in the room and the extent of his participation in the conversation had been short “Yes” and “No” answers, mostly choosing to listen.

Which made asking why he had been upset earlier rather difficult.

It seems Momo would have to take matters into her own hands and while it would be insulting to ask him to leave herself, there was someone in the room that could get rid of the other Alpha for the time being.

When Izuku excused himself to the restroom Momo leaned over to Kyouka and whispered, “I think Chargebolt is making Izuku nervous. Maybe you could do something?”

“I got that vibe, too,” Kyouka said. She gave Momo a thumbs up and said, “On it.”

Momo picked up her tea cup and sipped it as Kyouka tapped across the room, pulling the top of her shirt down just enough to let her Mark show and give a hint of cleavage. Momo fought the blush as she hid her face with her cup as Kyouka helped herself to a seat on the edge of the couch, bouncing a bit.

“Hey, babe,” he said, holding his book up over his head to see her better. “What’s up?”

“Denki,” Kyouka said, she leaned over and wrapped her ear jack cord around her finger. Momo watched his eyes dart down to the lowered shirt for a second before he visible forced his head to stay on her face. She sighed into her cup while Kyouka leaned even further forward, touching the edge of her jack to her lip. “I was going to get Izuku a newly-mated present, but I forgot to go pick it up while I was prepping for them to come over today.

“Could you maybe go out and get it for me so he can have it tonight?” Kyouka asked, putting her hands together.

Chargebolt closed his book and sat up. “I can do that.”

“Aw, baby! Thank you,” Kyouka said, throwing herself on him with a hug. She squeezed the other hero hard enough that he grunted, but he returned the hug. Kyouka kept her arms draped around his shoulders as she leaned back, now half in his lap. She lowered her voice and whispered something in his hear before leaning back. “That’s not too much trouble, is it?”

“Don’t worry, babe. I’ve got this,” Chargebolt said, kissing the side of her cheek. “I’ll be back before you know it.”

Kyouka followed him to the door and kissed his cheek with a soft, “Don’t forget to gift wrap it!” as she waved goodbye.

“Where’d Chargebolt go?” Izuku asked, coming back into the dining room.

“I sent him on a tiny errand,” Kyouka said, coming back to the table. She took a seat and poured a fresh cup of tea. “He’ll be back in an hour or so.”

“You sent him?” Izuku asked, tilting his head in visible confusion.

Kyouka reached for a slice of cake and served Izuku first, followed by Momo and herself. “I said I needed something and asked if he could go get it. Denki loves feeling useful, so he was more than happy to.”

“So he likes it when you ask him for things,” Izuku said, cutting off a piece of cake. He nodded and took a bite, staring at the table with a calculating look. “He is a Pro Hero. I imagine they like saving people on any scale.”

“You know it,” Kyouka said. She crossed her arms on the table and leaned toward Izuku. “And now we’re all alone.”

“Oh?” Izuku asked.

“We noticed he was making you uncomfortable,” Momo said, setting her tea cup down. “It might be easier to talk more freely now that he’s left.”

“I was fine,” Izuku said, sighing into the table. Momo disagreed with that statement, noting that his shoulders were far more relaxed and his voice louder without the Alpha in the room, but she didn’t say as much. Izuku added a sugar cube to his tea. “But I appreciate the thought.”

“So what was up with earlier?” Kyouka asked, taking the lead. “You looked pretty upset there on the couch when we came to pick you up. You totally zoned out.”

“I must admit, I found myself concerned as well,” Momo said. “Is everything alright with Ground Zero?”

“Yes! Kacchan’s fine,” Izuku said, sitting up straighter. He clutched his fork tight and licked his lip. “I was thinking too hard about something else, that’s all.”

“Like what?” Kyouka asked. She twisted an ear jack around her finger. “It had to be something serious. It’s good to talk about things that are bothering you, you know.”

“It won’t leave the room,” Momo said, internally apologizing for breaking that promise should he disclose something harmful. There were always limits to secret keeping when it came to these sorts of situations. “If you need a listening ear, we’re here for you.”

“Literally,” Kyouka said, pointing at her ear jacks.

Izuku cracked a smile and rubbed the back of his neck. “It’s a little dumb.”

“Now I really want to hear,” Kyouka said, scooting her chair closer around the table. “Tell us!”

Momo smiled at the antics and made sure to pay attention as Izuku talked about his troubles.


“I think your phone is ringing,” Kirishima said, pressing pause. “Isn’t that Kaminari’s ringtone?”

“It is,” Katsuki said, reaching over. He picked it up and answered. “What is it, Kaminari?”

“What’s Izuku’s favorite color?” Kaminari asked. Katsuki heard the sound of people in the background, chatting away. Kaminari said, “Kyouka wanted to get him a newly-mated present—because she’s awesome like that—but didn’t get a chance to pick it up so I’m here to save the day. She told me what to get, but it comes in like ten colors and I have no idea what to choose.”

“Shit,” Katsuki said. He tapped his controller against his thigh and winced. “I don’t know. He picked out a bunch of colors when he got his own clothes and as much as I’d like to say ‘green’, that’s just his hair and eye color.”

“I guess I could go with green,” Kaminari said. “It’s a safe enough bet.”

“Wait, give me a minute,” Katsuki said. He closed his eyes and tried to remember elementary school and middle school. Katsuki saw Deku almost every day for over ten years. He had to have picked something up about the guy when it came to likes and dislikes. Katsuki thought about walking to and from school and about Deku at his locker and—that was it! Katsuki said, “Red. Deku’s favorite color is red. He had these stupid red sneakers he wore everywhere when we were kids.”

“Got it,” Kaminari said. “Red it is!”

He hung up and Katsuki fell back against the couch. He felt Kirishima’s eyes on him and he asked, “What?”

“Nothing,” he said, while the glee in his eyes said the opposite.

“What?” Katsuki asked again, reaching down and grabbing Kirishima into a headlock. “Share with the class.”

“I’m amused Izuku’s favorite color is red, that’s all,” Kirishima said.

“Why? Because it’s your favorite color, too?” Katsuki asked, letting him go.

“No, dude,” Kirishima said. He poked Katsuki in the nose and said, “Because it’s the color of your eyes.”

“Shut up!” Katsuki shouted, shoving Kirishima’s face into the cushion.

There was no way Deku’s favorite color was red because of Katsuki’s freaking eyes.


Izuku frowned at his empty cake plate.

Kyouka continued to laugh, wheezing as she held her side and hit the table with her fist. Momo had covered her mouth to hide her own smile, but Izuku knew it was there.

After his sharing his concerns about Kacchan’s closeness to Red Riot earlier, adding in that they had weekly meet ups and that Kacchan had accompanied him to pick out a mate, she had proceeded to bite her lip to hide the giggles before she gave up and burst out laughing.

She continued to do so for a good ten minutes afterwards.

“Ground Zero liking Alpha,” Kyouka said, trembling in joy. “And Red Riot at that! That’s the best thing I’ve heard all week. I can’t breath.”

“I could see it,” Momo said, shoulders shaking. “They are rather close.”

“You’re making fun of me,” Izuku said, pouting.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” Kyouka said, holding her hand up. “Just, of all the things that could have been bothering you, worrying about whether or not Ground Zero was going to dump you for Red Riot wasn’t on the list.”

“I can understand your insecurities,” Momo said, “but this is one case where you don’t need to worry. If Ground Zero and Red Riot were going to have a hidden love affair, it would have started years ago. They’re close friends, that’s all, and you have nothing to worry about.”

“I know it’s a stretch, but I’m not sure how else to explain his general lack of interest,” Izuku said, pulling his napkin over. He tugged at it, folding it and wrapping it around his fingers. “He’s only slept with me during my Heat, when he had to, and once because I begged him to do it after an emotional night.”

Izuku sunk into his chair, not sure if saying it out loud was the right thing to do. “It’s like he doesn’t want me at all.”

Kyouka reached over and tugged Izuku into a side hug. “I’m sure he does, but those Care classes he took probably told him to keep his hands to himself for awhile. Ground Zero doesn’t half-ass anything. Give it another week or two for him to confirm whatever that book told him to and I’m sure he won’t be able to keep his hands off you.”

“Maybe,” Izuku said. He dropped his napkin and leaned on the table, putting his hands in his hair. “But Kacchan’s mother said that he went to eight Matchmaking Houses—the best in the country—and no one was good enough for him. If he wasn’t attracted to any of those Omega, then how am I supposed to believe I’m a better choice?”

“Eight!” Chargebolt shouted.

Izuku whipped his head around to see the man standing in the doorway in the living room, he had a bag at his side and his mouth dropped open. Izuku snapped his mouth shut, covering it.

“Denki,” Kyouka said. “That was quick!”

“I wanted to make sure I got back in time,” Chargebolt said. He walked over and handed the grocery bag to Kyouka and stared at Izuku. “Did you say Bakugou went to eight Matchmaking Houses?”

Izuku bit his lip and nodded.

“That loser!” Chargebolt said, turning away and tugging out his phone. “He told us he’d only been to four!”

Izuku sucked in a breath as he watched Chargebolt dial and walk toward the living room. He shouldn’t have said that. This time he really had embarrassed Kacchan and now his friends knew something private and it was his fault. He clutched at his chest and leaned forward. Chargebolt would tease Kacchan now and he hated being teased.

Kacchan would be so angry.

“Izuku, calm down,” Momo said, reaching over. She grabbed his hand and squeezed hard enough to hurt. “You’re not in trouble.”

He jerked his head up and looked at her, catching his breath. He glanced across the room and saw and exhaled slowly. Kyouka had grabbed Chargebolt’s arm, holding his phone away from his head. She pointed at the table and he went, “Shit,” before looking at his phone.

“My bad! If that was a secret, it’s a secret.” Chargebolt held both hands up, showing the dark screen toward Izuku. “I won’t tell him I know or spread that around. Promise.”

Kyouka blew out a breath and let go of his arm. “Thanks.”

“I’m sorry if I scared you,” Chargebolt said. “I was just going to tease him a little, but that might not be the best thing to hold over his head if he didn’t want us to know.”

Izuku didn’t trust his voice, sinking into his chair.

If he kept having close calls like this, he wasn’t sure his heart was going to hold out for the rest of the month, let alone another year or so.

“I’m glad that’s cleared up!” Kyouka said, voice forced and light. She jogged back to the table and reached down for the bag Chargebolt brought in. Kyouka opened it up and pulled out a wrapped box. She handed it to Izuku and said, “This is for you! As a newly-mated present and proper welcome to the Hero’s Spouse Club!”

Izuku stared at the wrapped present and took it. Momo, Kyouka, and Chargebolt smiled at him and Izuku reached to the top corner and tugged it open. He pulled off the paper and stared at a dry erase board, framed in red with a small set of matching magnets and a set of markers to go with it.

“Hero schedules can get really hectic, so that’s a great way to leave each other notes if you miss them,” Kyouka said. She tapped the top of the board with her finger and said. “And for anything else, really. I use mine to plan out dinner for the week and to list to-do reminders, and Denki adds things he wants when I do grocery runs. It’s been a real lifesaver.”

“Thank you, Kyouka,” Izuku said, hugging the board. “It’s really thoughtful.”

“I know it’s a practical gift more than fun gift, but I don’t know you well enough for the second one,” Kyouka said, nudging him in the side with her elbow.

Momo patted Izuku’s arm and smiled brightly. “Something that will hopefully be rectified in the future, I imagine?”

“Absolutely,” Izuku said, matching their smiles.


Katsuki helped Deku hang up his new dry erase board on the column on the end of the kitchen bar after Kaminari and Kyouka dropped him off. He could have done it the next day, but Deku clearly liked the thing and they still had an hour or so before bed, so why wait?

“Thank you, Kacchan,” Deku said, snapping the markers into the holder on the bottom of the board. “There.”

“You have fun with Kyouka and Momo?” Katsuki asked, going back into the kitchen. He packed up the last few brownies into a plastic container and snapped the lid on. “Kaminari wasn’t in the way, was he?”

“No, he was fine,” Deku said. He licked his lip and leaned on the counter. “We had fun. Kyouka and Momo are really nice.”

“Good,” Katsuki said. He watched Deku, who had crossed his arms on the counter. He held himself, looking thoughtful. “Something on your mind?”

Deku shook his head and said, “No.”

A lie.

Katsuki put his hand in Deku’s hair and tilted his head back. Finding that narrow line between firm and gentle made his body tense, but he gave it his best shot: “Please don’t lie to me.”

Deku shivered under his hand and whispered, “Sorry.”

“Something made you upset earlier, too. Is it the same thing?” Katsuki asked.

“Yes,” Deku said, glancing back at the counter.

“What is it?” Katsuki asked. “You can tell me.”

Deku sucked in a hard breath, shuddering as he spoke. His voice stuttered and he squeezed his arms. “Is what your mother said true? Did you really go to eight Matchmaking Houses and not find a single Omega you liked?”

Katsuki made a note to call the old hag later and remind her to keep her mouth shut about certain things. He took his hand out of Deku’s hair and pushed him on the back toward the living room. “Come on, let’s sit down for this.”

Deku followed him to the couch and they sat side by side. Katsuki rubbed his face before dropping his hands on his knees. “That’s half true.”

“Half?”

“There were a lot of Omega that I liked,” Katsuki said, he sat deep in the cushion of the couch and rested his head on the back. “But none that would have worked.”

“Why not?” Deku asked, strength coming back to his voice. He sounded downright offended on Katsuki’s behalf and that was kind of adorable. “You’re Ground Zero!”

“Exactly,” Katsuki said. He waved at the television and put his hand in his hair. He wasn’t ashamed of himself, but at times like this, his reputation had really come back to bite him. “I’m famous for being violent, loud, and scary. They were all terrified of me, Deku.

“The Omega at those Houses tried to hide it, but I could see how they tensed up when they tried to pretend and be happy I was talking to them,” Katsuki said. He saw it over and over again. No matter how nice he tried to be. No matter how much he tried to be gentle, they still knew him as Ground Zero—the guy who broke bad guys in half and had enough explosive power to demolish entire buildings. “I saw how they relaxed when I walked away. They didn’t want me anywhere near them.

“I wasn’t going to live with someone terrified of me, and who knew how long it’d take to break that fear out of them,” Katsuki said. He looked at Deku and snorted. “As much as I hate to admit it, you’re probably the only Omega who isn’t scared of being my mate.”

“Kacchan,” Deku said. He leaned over and dropped his head on Katsuki’s shoulder. Deku reached down and took his hand, holding it loosely. Katsuki turned his fingers and laced their fingers together. Deku squeezed and said, “Those other Omega are idiots.”

Katsuki snorted and rubbed the back of Deku’s hand. “Or maybe you’re just weird.”

“No,” Deku whispered. He clutched Katsuki’s hand tighter and breathed out. “They missed out, for sure.”

“Can I kiss you?” Katsuki asked.

Deku sat up and snorted. “Of course you can. Why are you even asking?”

“Because you can say ‘no’ if you want to,” Katsuki answered.

“Why would I ever say no to you?” Deku asked, smile soft. He licked his lip and leaned up and closer, hovering near Katsuki’s face. “Then I’d be an idiot, too.”

Katsuki kissed him, the pressure light. Deku hummed into it, letting go of Katsuki’s hand to hold his shoulders instead. He crawled into Katsuki’s lap, straddling his thighs and breath picking up. He opened his mouth to let Katsuki’s tongue inside and Katsuki grabbed Deku’s hips to hold him in place and to keep from shifting too much.

Deku held the back of Katsuki’s neck, whining into each kiss and nuzzling the side of his head when they caught their breath. Deku took Katsuki’s hand and moved it up his thigh. He whispered, “Everything is a yes for you. Any time.”

Katsuki wasn’t sure he liked that answer, but for the moment, he took it for what it was and took Deku to bed again.

Chapter Text

Inner conflict continued to be Izuku’s best friend.

He scrubbed at his hair in the shower, taking out his frustration on his scalp while he had the privacy to let it all out and vent. Kacchan made breakfast in the other room, deceptively content as he prepared to go with Red Riot back to the Shelter.

To Izuku’s benefit, he now knew that Kacchan was the sort of Alpha that liked to have sex before bed. All the non-Heat related sex they’d had had been right before they went to sleep. Combining this with no hint of desire for carnal activities when they woke, confirmed his suspicions. Knowledge was everything when it came to the ins and outs of Alpha.

Kacchan had also slept with Izuku two nights in a row of his own volition, with only minor prompting from Izuku kicking things off by sitting in his lap. His Alpha needed a nudge to start sex but he was finally taking the lead, as he should, and Izuku let him set the pace.

However, this led to Izuku’s inner conflict: The sex once again had been soft, slow, and so, so very gentle—careful.

Izuku growled under his breath staring at the drain as the suds and soap washed out of his hair.

Kacchan was still treating him like a piece of glass that could shatter any minute and it made Izuku want to scream.

Why couldn’t he just be happy? He’d wanted Kacchan to want him and the Alpha had certainly started taking an interest. Izuku had even vowed he’d be happy if it all turned out that Kacchan’s newfound desire only came from an Alpha discovering how good an Omega felt in bed for the first time. Izuku would take it and be glad that he was still useful.

But it wasn’t good enough.

Izuku shut off the water, setting his head against the side of the shower stall. If Kacchan was taking things so slow and careful, it meant that he still considered Izuku “damaged.” Izuku grabbed a towel and stepped out, putting it on his head to dry out his hair.

He was, in a way. Izuku wasn’t so delusional to think he didn’t have a hang up or two, but if there was one thing he could handle it was sex.

Izuku wanted to tell Kacchan that he’d participated in almost every sex act known to man over the years. There was next to nothing nothing that Kacchan could want from him in the bedroom that Izuku hadn’t already done or mastered at some point. He’d had so much sex with so many different partners that Izuku couldn’t even say he had his own preferences any more. It was all the same when it came down to it.

The person was more important than the position.

Kacchan’s satisfaction would be Izuku’s satisfaction and if his Alpha held himself back, going out of his way to be gentle because he was scared of “going too far”, then he wasn’t taking the full pleasure he could be from his Omega.

Izuku trailed back to the bedroom with the towel around his shoulders. He tugged open his dresser and pulled on his clothes. He caught his reflection in Kacchan’s dressing mirror as he walked by and slapped his own cheeks. Izuku couldn’t afford to let his concerns show or Kacchan might feel like he was failing at Izuku’s care.

He dropped his shoulders and licked his lip.

Izuku had made progress, but really, he was still at stage one: Figure out what Kacchan wanted and provide it.

As much as he’d like to tell Kacchan that literally anything he could ever want to do was on the table, Izuku didn’t want to scare him away, either. The difference in their sexual experience already lingered between them like a swinging ax, waiting to cut that thread that held them together.

Izuku wasn’t damaged goods, but he was certainly “used” ones and he wasn’t sure he really wanted Kacchan to know just how much.

“Omelette’s done,” Kacchan said as Izuku walked into the living room. Kacchan set Izuku’s plate on the counter and said, “You still like plain, right?”

“Yes,” Izuku said, tapping over. He pulled over the fluffy plate and helped himself with genuine enthusiasm.

Kacchan grabbed his own omelette, dousing it in enough hot sauce to burn off his tongue. Izuku smiled at the spicy food and vowed to make a better effort to discover Kacchan’s turn-ons.

If he could pinpoint something specific that Kacchan found irresistible, he could serve himself up on a platter and watch Kacchan help himself with real zeal.

Izuku shoved a bite of egg in his mouth with newfound determination. It was time to research.


Katsuki grabbed his hat and sunglasses to go with his heavy coat. Visiting an Omega Shelter wasn’t anything to be ashamed of, but it was easier if he didn’t have to break cameras and chase off reporters desperate for a story. He grabbed his keys and shoved them in his pocket before heading into the other room.

Deku had his notebook in his lap—his third one, if Katsuki remembered correctly—taking notes in a margin with his eyes focused and mumbling under his breath. He hated to interrupt, but Katsuki wanted to ask one thing before he left.

“Hey, Deku,” Katsuki said. “I’ve got a question.”

“Yes, Kacchan?” Deku said, snapping his notebook shut. He put it on the table, face down and put his pen on top. “Did you forget something?”

“It hit me that you might be a good reference since you knew all the Omega at the shelter,” Katsuki asked. He leaned on the back of the couch and tugged on a curl of Deku’s hair near the back of his neck. “Is there anyone there who’d be better with someone as loud and bright as Kirishima? Or an Omega he should avoid just in case he takes a shine to someone who’d be uncomfortable with him?”

Deku considered the question and drew his brows together in thought. He crossed his arms, staring at the coffee table. Deku mumbled under his breath, listing names and a few traits before he dropped the pose and smacked his hands together.

“I take it you thought of someone?” Katsuki asked.

“Tamaki might be a good choice,” Deku said. He put his hands between his thighs and leaned back into the couch cushions. “He’s super shy and doesn’t talk, but he likes being around energetic people. Tamaki had written down once that he’d always been on the quiet side, so he admires people who can be more open and outgoing. His favorite Pro Hero is Lemillion and Red Riot had that same sort of feeling about him.”

That did sound like a good match. Kirishima was a natural center of attention and a more reserved, quiet mate would be a good fit to reign in his boisterous personality.

“Thanks,” Katsuki said. “I’ll let him know when we meet up.”

“Oh,” Deku said, sitting up. He rubbed the back of his neck and said, “I forgot, though, but Tamaki’s a little older than us. I don’t know if that’ll bother Red Riot or not.”

“I wouldn’t think so,” Katsuki said. “Getting an older mate is pretty much part of the package at that place.”

“I guess so,” Deku said. He licked his lip and grabbed the couch cushion. “How long are you planning to be gone?”

“A few hours, maybe?” Katsuki said. He pulled his glasses down and patted his keys against his thigh. “I’ll call if it looks like it’ll be longer than that, but I should be home in time to make dinner.”

“Take your time!” Deku said. He got up and followed Katsuki to the door, hovering just within reach but not touching him. “I’ll be here when you get back.”

“See you soon,” Katsuki said.

He shut the door after Deku’s soft “see you” in reply and breathed out. He still wasn’t completely sure of how things were going, but there was progress being made.

Katsuki hoped Kirishima had an easier time with his future mate, though depending on what had happened to Tamaki to put him in a Shelter, it would be hard to tell until they saw things for themselves.


Izuku waited five minutes after Kacchan left before he started the first phase of his plans.

He’d behaved himself thus far, keeping his hands to himself and staying out of Kacchan’s belongings like a good Omega should. Touching things without permission never went well, but much like the barrier pillow, some things were worth risking.

“I should save the computer for an emergency since that’s harder to hide I was on it,” Izuku said. He threw open the Alpha’s closet and looked around. “But I might find something in here.”

It wasn’t a fool proof plan but if Izuku he found out what sort of adult content Kacchan liked, he could start from there and experiment until something really lit up Kacchan’s eyes in the bedroom.

Izuku should have thought of this his first week.


The same Beta greeted them as Katsuki and Kirishima arrived. “It’s good to see you. Ready to try again?”

“Yes, Ma’am,” Kirishima said.

“And how are you and Izuku doing?” the Beta asked, looking at Katsuki. “Are you two settling in alright?”

“We’re taking it slow,” Katsuki said. He and Deku had a few issues still hanging over them, but he imagined that was the same for any pair that left this place. “But so far it’s working.”

“Wonderful,” the Beta said. She handed their badges across the counter with a smile. “If it keeps going well, don’t forget your license and current standing permits you up to three mates. I know you’re here for emotional support, but don’t be afraid to look for yourself as well while you’re there.”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” Katsuki said, forcing his face to stay neutral. He hadn’t paid attention to that part of the paperwork. Katsuki wasn’t sure if they’d start “encouraging” him to take another mate or two like they’d been hounding Kirishima to pick up his first one or not. Katsuki licked his lips and said, “But I think for today, we’ll concentrate on this idiot.”

Kirishima laughed as Katsuki reached over and flicked him in the head. He said, “Yup! Speaking of that, Izuku said I might get along well with someone named Tamaki. Could you point me in his direction?”

“Of course,” the Beta said. She tapped at her computer and printed out a small photograph. She placed it on the counter and they stared at a sullen face surrounded by dark hair. “This is our Tamaki. There is a good chance he won’t say anything to you if you say hello, but I can promise you he’s listening closely. If you think there’s a connection, I’ll be more than happy to provide you with his background information.”

“Thank you!” Kirishima said. He stared hard at the picture one more time before he headed toward the back room.

Katsuki followed at a slower pace, content to stay in the background this time around. There was one other Alpha in the room, but he was occupied in the corner, deep in conversation with a crying Omega.

If she wasn’t smiling, Katsuki might have walked over.

“There he is,” Kirishima said, pointing to the corner. Curled up on a couch, the recommended Omega had his nose buried in a book. Kirishima puffed up his chest and patted Katsuki on the arm. “I’m going to go over. Wish me luck.”

“Good luck,” Katsuki said. He looked around and took a seat on a bench near the wall, leaning back and crossing his legs at the ankle as Kirishima approached Tamaki.


Izuku ripped apart the entire apartment and didn’t find a speck of naughty literature, magazines, or movies.

No adult rated material of any sort graced Kacchan’s apartment. No toys hidden in his drawers, closet or under the bed. There was not a single thing Izuku could find related to nighttime, bedroom fun. Izuku checked the television cabinet in a desperate effort and found Kacchan’s movie collection to be just as clean as his closet and drawers.

The Alpha had somehow found every action movie on the planet without sex in it.

The only trace of anything sexual in Kacchan’s apartment was the small plastic tub with the toys Kacchan had bought Izuku for his Heat and they didn’t count as something Kacchan found arousing because his Alpha had admitted that the store owner had recommended them!

How was Izuku supposed to imitate Kacchan’s fantasies if he didn’t know what that Alpha fantasied about?

This was picking out clothes the Alpha found attractive all over again and Izuku nearly ripped out his hair as he groaned in despair.

“Kacchan, why are you so difficult?” Izuku asked the air, staring at the computer on his desk.

He could put everything he’d taken out from the closets, cabinets, and furniture back into place like it’d never been moved, but Izuku couldn’t completely hide his trace on a computer. But this was the only place left Izuku could check. He nudged the mouse. The computer screen left sleep mode and he bit his lip.

Kacchan was worth the risk.

Izuku thanked the stars above that he didn’t need a password to access the files and went to work, starting with the browser history.


Katsuki checked his watch and smiled under his breath. Kirishima had been talking with Tamaki for close to an hour now and it looked to be going well. The Omega hadn’t said a peep since Kirishima sat down, but he nodded and shook his head when appropriate and Kirishima had adapted his conversation to include more “yes and no” answer questions.

Izuku’s recommendation had hit the nail on the head.

“Excuse me,” a soft voice said from Katsuki’s left. An Omega took a seat next to Katsuki on the bench, hands in his lap. A large scar split across his left cheek, but it was easy to see the Omega’s handsome face made it work. “You’re the one that claimed Izuku last month, aren’t you?”

“Yes,” Katsuki said.

The Omega’s mouth twitched. “And are you really the Ground Zero?”

Katsuki pushed his sunglasses up on his head, wondering if the Omega wanted an autograph. “Yes?”

“I still can’t believe it’s really you and I have to know, has Izuku showed you his collection yet?” The Omega asked, leaning back on the bench on one arm. He crossed one leg over the other and touched his lip with his finger. “It was well loved, I can tell you that much.”

“Collection?” Katsuki asked. He thought back to what Deku had brought with him to the apartment and couldn’t think of anything he had enough of to be a collection—wait. “Do you mean his news clips about my Hero work? He hasn’t shown them to me, but I did find them on accident.”

“That’s a surprise! I can’t believe he hasn’t shown them off,” the Omega said. He curled a strand of long, dark hair around a finger and clicked his tongue. “Or maybe not. Why would Izuku still need his his collection of jack off fodder now that he’s got the real thing?”

Katsuki stared at the Omega coyly biting his lip and couldn’t help the raise in his voice when he exclaimed, “His what!”


Izuku had never seen such a clean computer in his life. He’d learned a thing or two from his previous mates when it came to these things and how to hide search histories and and where you can find out more information from the less computer savvy and there was…nothing. No naughty browser history, no hidden files, and nothing more incriminating than a cookbook collection.

Kacchan had nothing for Izuku to work with.

He dropped his head on the desk and shoved the mouse to the corner of the screen to put the thing back to sleep.

“I might have to ask,” Izuku said, pushing away from the work station. He spun on the chair before standing up and overseeing the destruction he’d caused to the apartment in his earlier search. He picked up a couch cushion and put it back where it belonged, mumbling under his breath. “I really don’t want to do that.”

He ran through various scenarios as he backtracked through each room, recreating their original state one item at a time.

Was it so much to ask for at least one thing in his life to be easy?


Thankfully, Katsuki’s outburst hadn’t been loud enough to disturb Kirishima’s visit on the other side of the room. He would have kicked himself if he ruined two visits in a row because of his issues with Deku.

So he stewed over the extensive gossip the Omega had shared concerning his ex-roommate while Kirishima looked over Tamaki’s private file in the other room. The Omega held nothing back, sharing more details than Katsuki ever wanted to know about Deku and he had no way of confirming or denying any of it unless he asked Deku about it personally.

Katsuki had no desire to ask Deku if he’d really spent his free time masturbating to Katsuki’s Hero Persona long, long before he and Katsuki had met each other again.

“The odds of Izuku meeting you here after all of that are near miraculous,” the Omega had said, clearly amused as he leaned on Katsuki’s shoulder, holding his arm and linking their elbows. “We were all so very happy for him when you came back and claimed him.”

Katsuki would have focused more on the the sarcasm of that last statement if he wasn’t so busy wrapping his head around Deku’s apparent obsession with him that went much farther than he’d thought.

Despite it all, he kept his mouth shut when Kirishima came back out. This was his buddy’s day and he could vent about personal issues later.

“What are you thinking?” Katsuki asked when they got to the main lobby. The Beta pretended not to be listening in, but he caught her eye looking in their direction. “Is there potential?”

“I’m going to sleep on it,” Kirishima said, nodding twice to himself with that same look he got during a mission briefing, showing just how seriously he was taking this affair. “His file was nothing like Izuku’s, but it was still intense. I want to make for absolute sure I can handle it before I commit, but I think he’s the one. Tamaki’s really special.”

“That’s awesome,” Katsuki said. He reached over and threw an arm around Kirishima’s shoulder and patted his arm. “I’m glad you found someone after all that work you put into this.”

“I think you’ll like him, too,” Kirishima said. “And his Quirk is awesome!”

Katsuki nodded along, listening as Kirishima shared details that he’d gotten out of Tamaki’s file and felt relieved at least one person’s problems were getting solved.

Katsuki’s own issues had gotten more complicated and he had no idea how he was going to look Deku in the eye when he got home.


Izuku almost didn’t make it, but he shut the closet door in time with the front door of the apartment opening, signaling that Kacchan had returned home. He hadn’t learned anything, but Kacchan was none the wiser of his exploits, so he’d consider it a success at least on that front.

“Welcome home,” Izuku said, heading into the main living room. “Did Red Riot find anyone?”

“Yeah, you were right,” Kacchan said, heading straight into the kitchen. He didn’t look at Izuku, and his voice sounded odd. “Kirishima really took to Tamaki.”

“That’s good,” Izuku said. He grabbed his sleeve and stepped closer to the bar counter that split the living room and kitchen. Kacchan jerked around the kitchen, pulling down prep bowls and grabbing things out of the fridge with none of his usual grace. His muscles tensed and he continued to avoid looking at Izuku. He tread carefully. “Is he going to claim him?”

“It looks like it,” Kacchan said. He licked his lip, pulling out a kitchen knife. He glanced at Izuku and blew out a breath before pulling over the veggies he’d collected. “You don’t have to hover.”

“Okay,” Izuku said, nodding. He stepped away from the kitchen and went back to the living room.

The atmosphere continued to thicken as Kacchan cooked and Izuku ran through all the possibilities of why Kacchan was so upset. Neither of them spoke during dinner and Kacchan told Izuku to go to bed first while he took a shower.

He specifically said Izuku didn’t have to wait up.

Izuku pretended to be asleep when Kacchan came back from the shower. The Alpha crawled into bed, staying on his half like they had slept their first week together. Izuku held his breath while he waited for the Alpha to sleep, clutching at the blankets.

Fifteen minutes later, they were both still wide awake and hoping the other would fall asleep first.

Chapter Text

Kacchan wasn’t much better by morning.

Izuku felt the panic rise in his chest, building under his ribcage. He had won the battle of staying up the latest, solidifying his championship by not getting a wink of sleep all night. At the usual time, Kacchan woke, made breakfast, said his goodbyes and left with the promise of bringing home dinner. No hair ruffles or good morning kisses. None of the open affection that Izuku had worked so hard for. Izuku sat in the middle of their bed, breath heavy.

Kacchan had barely looked at Izuku.

It’d taken all of his willpower to crawl out of bed and change into the original mint shirt that caught Kacchan’s eye in hopes that he’d appreciate it when he got home after work.

The minutes inched by as Izuku sat on the couch, staring at the blank television screen as he waited for Kacchan. He’d wracked his brain all day wondering what could have happened in the few hours that Kacchan had been gone at the Shelter with Red Riot to have caused him to close up so badly.

Kacchan’s silence left Izuku without even a starting point to figure out what went wrong.

Had he done something? Had Kacchan be scolded at the Shelter? Did someone else say something?

Did it have to do with Izuku at all?

He dropped his face into his knees and counted under his breath. Izuku hadn’t done anything upsetting that would scare Kacchan away. He’d been too careful, even at his most reckless. Kacchan had to be upset about something else and was projecting it on Izuku.

That’s what it had to be.

If it was anything else, Izuku would break every bone in his body to fix it if he had to. He squeezed his arms around his legs, holding tight as he collected his breath. He’d thought it before, and he’d think it again:

Losing Kacchan was not an option.

Nothing else mattered.


Katsuki spent the entire day thinking of how to breech the topic. Beating in the face of a criminal and blowing up a car had helped clear his head from the initial shock of “Deku’s been pretending his other mates were me since he was first mated, in addition to spending much of his free time fantasizing about me.”

Which—as much as he hated himself for thinking it—would explain a lot about his return rate to Matchmaking Houses, the convicted criminal mates aside. Katsuki would be pretty annoyed too if the mate he picked out was thinking about another Alpha whenever they did anything together, too. He wasn’t sure how long he’d be able to put up with that before either something changed or he too returned his Omega to the shelter for someone who actually wanted to be with him.

But he couldn’t say that to Deku—not now, anyway.

Katsuki crossed one leg over the other as he waited in the corner of the restaurant for his take out in the chair by the door. Maybe when Deku had been freshly claimed he could have dropped a “What the hell?” at him, but things were more complicated after the rest of his mates. A few of them were definitely the type that could justify wanting to escape and think about someone else while Deku was with them.

More importantly, he didn’t even know if it was true.

“Here you are, young man,” the shop owner said. He handed the bag across the counter and Katsuki took it with thanks. “Have a good evening, and I have to add, it’s so nice seeing you order for two!”

“Thanks,” Katsuki said, holding a hand up. The old man continued to smile and Katsuki waved. “We’ll have to come eat in soon.”

“I hope so!”

Katsuki left the shop with the bags bouncing near his hip and his other hand in his pocket. He breathed out and rethought his plan of attack: First thing first: assess the source of his information.

If he had reason to believe the other Omega had been truthful, then he would gently confront Deku. But if it sounded like the other Omega was full of hot air, he’d scrub it from his mind and hide the damn news clip collection so he never had to think about it again.

That might not be the the healthiest way to deal with it, but Katsuki worked with what he had. He’d read how to take care of abused Omega, not freaked out and embarrassed Alpha.

“Deku,” Katsuki said as he opened the door. Said Omega looked up from the couch, slight bags under his eyes. Katsuki couldn’t hide the pang of guilt, thinking about how he’d avoided Deku the past evening and morning. He forced a smile and held up the bag. “Ready to eat?”

Deku nodded and slipped off the couch. He walked over and sat in his spot, staring at the bar top.

Katsuki divvied out the food and internally counted to ten before he asked, “Deku, did you know an Omega at the shelter with a scar on his left cheek?”

He looked up from his plate and pressed his lips together. “Yes? Why?”

“He asked about you when I visited with Kirishima,” Katsuki said. He took a bite of his food, watching Deku’s face. “I was curious if he actually knew you or not, since it wasn’t out of the ballpark that he could have lied because I’m Ground Zero and he wanted an ‘in’ to talk.”

“Oh,” Deku said, nodding to himself. “Yes, I know him. That was Hiro.”

“Were you two close?” Katsuki asked.

“Sort of?” Deku pushed his plate aside and crossed his hands on the counter. “We shared a room with two others and I guess we knew each other from before the Shelter. We were familiar with each other at least, though we didn’t really talk a lot.”

“You knew him before the Shelter?” Katsuki looked up from his dinner at that statement. As far as he knew, none of the Omega at those Shelters had any reason to know each other. They would have come from different places. “How?”


Izuku squeezed his elbow under Kacchan’s confused look.

He knew the subject of his past mates had to come up at some point, but he was hoping it wasn’t when Kacchan was already upset over whatever-it-was and not so soon. Or that he’d be talking about his last Alpha.

“Deku?” Kacchan asked, clearly expecting an answer from the narrowing of his eyes and the possibly-irritated, possibly-worried expression.

“We both lived in my tenth mate’s house,” Izuku said, his shoulders shrinking in. He pulled his arms off the counter and put them in his lap. Izuku squeezed his hands together. “There were seven of us total when the place was raided by the police. Hiro’s the only one that came with me to that Shelter while the others went somewhere else.

“They had us room together since we knew each other.” Izuku rubbed the back of his hand. Kacchan’s expression turned pensive as he mimicked Izuku’s earlier post and cross his arms on the counter. Izuku didn’t know how to interpret that, to his distress. “Hiro was nice, but he got really quiet after he got hurt.”

Izuku motioned across his cheek and Katsuki made an “Oh” shape with his lips. He asked, “How’d that happen?”

“One of our mate’s…guests had a pocket knife,” Izuku said and closed his eyes. He’d been reading in another room at the time, but he remembered the shout and the crash that followed from beyond the thin wall next to him. Izuku had rushed to help but he couldn’t remember much about what happened aside from the blood painting every surface and Hiro stabbing the Alpha in the chest with a shout and the stolen knife. “I don’t know how it started or what happened, but Hiro got into a fight with the Alpha he was with. It didn’t end well.”

“You don’t have to go into details if you don’t want to,” Kacchan said, voice soft. He reached over and put his hand on Izuku’s head, wide and safe. He relaxed under the touch, relieved with every new bit of evidence that supported Kacchan had been upset with something else and not him. “Are you okay?”

“I’m okay,” Izuku said. He reached up and rubbed the corner of his eye and put his hands back down. Kacchan’s hand stayed on his head and he leaned into it. “The fight is actually what caused the raid. A neighbor heard the yelling and saw a glimpse of it through a window so she called the police.”

Kacchan brushed his fingers through Izuku’s hair as he pulled his hand back and said, “That must have been scary.”

“It was, but if they hadn’t shown up Hiro would probably be dead,” Izuku said, shivering. Their mate and that other Alpha hadn’t been happy about Hiro’s show of retaliation. Things had turned ugly after that and Izuku didn’t want to think about it. “I’m really glad he turned out okay. Out of all of us, he really had it the worst since he was the prettiest and the most requested. It would have been awful if he didn’t get another chance at life after all that.”

Kacchan licked his lip, tapping a finger on the table. “You think he’d be bitter the rest of you had it—I don’t want to say ‘easier’, but slightly better than he did?”

“Maybe,” Izuku said. Hiro had always been polite, but there were days it was easy to tell being called on so much wore on him. At the Shelter he’d barely said a word to Izuku and spent most of his time alone like Tamaki. “I couldn’t tell you. Why?”

Kacchan didn’t immediately answer, tapping his finger again on the table. He shifted in the chair and he rubbed the back of his neck. He avoided Izuku’s gaze again, just like last night and this morning.

“Kacchan?” Izuku asked. He put the dots together and gripped his fists under the table. “Did Hiro do something while you were at the Shelter with Red Riot?”

His Alpha froze, tucking his fingers into his palm—jackpot.

“What did he do?” Izuku asked, pushing. He liked Hiro fine but if he’d done something to upset Kacchan there’d be no mercy. “Was he rude? Too forward? He doesn’t like Alpha very much and I could see him disrespecting you.”

“No, nothing like that,” Kacchan said, sucking in a breath. He opened his hand and smacked his palm on the table. “He just talked. Specifically, about you. He said a lot of things about you.”

Izuku felt a tiny shiver slither down his spine. “Like what?”

Kacchan growled under his breath, ruffled his hair in an exaggerated motion and finally slumped on the counter and said, “Screw it,” under his breath. He looked Izuku straight in the eye and said, “Did you really pretend all your other mates were me all these years?”


Katsuki shouldn’t have asked.

Deku jerked straight up like a startled hare and he could see the panic hit his eyes. He slipped off the stool, walking backwards with his eyes on Katsuki like he was going to lash out any moment. “I—I need to take a shower.”

He dashed out of the room and ran into the bathroom, closing the door behind him.

Katsuki cursed under his breath and smacked his fist into the kitchen counter. He shouldn’t have asked. That had been stupid to throw at him out of the blue, especially after making him think about his time with that rotten, asshole of an Alpha masquerading as a mate.

He needed to fix this and fast.

“Deku,” Katsuki said, tapping on the bathroom door. “I’m not mad if it’s true. I promise, I’m not. It just caught me off guard to find out, okay?”

No answer.

Katsuki backed up from the door and considered his options. Forcing the door open was immediately nixed because that would only freak Deku out, but sitting here talking through the door didn’t seem like a great alternative either. Ideally, he should give Deku time to calm down and then they could try and talk about it again.

After he made sure Deku just needed time and wasn’t having a panic attack.

“Hey, I’m going to leave you alone for now, but I want to make sure you’re alright with that,” Katsuki said. “Knock twice if you’re okay and we can talk later.”

Two tiny timid knocks followed.

“Good,” Katsuki said. He patted the top of the door and breathed out. “I’m in the living room when you’ve calmed down, okay?”

One knock.

It would do for now.

Katsuki checked the clock and sat on the couch. He’d ask again in ten minutes, just in case.


Izuku knew on some level that Kacchan would find out about his habits, but he’d been hoping it’d happen a year down the line when they could both laugh about it.

Not a month into their mated life while Kacchan was still stupidly skittish.

He sat in the shower base, feet over the edge and pressed the base of his palms into his eyes. Izuku needed to think but Kacchan kept showing up every ten minutes on the dot to make sure Izuku hadn’t hurt himself or something stupid and that was both touching and aggravating.

On the bright side, the annoyance might have been the push Izuku needed to just get it all over with.

Izuku opened the door and poked his head out. Kacchan paced back and forth in the living room, not immediately noticing the door was open as he got lost in his thoughts. Izuku had to play this carefully if he was really going to get what he wanted.

He stepped out into the hall and stopped next to the couch. He whispered, “Kacchan.”

The Alpha stopped immediately and turned to face him from his spot near the window. His shoulders dropped in visible relief and he asked, “Are you okay?”

“It was true,” Izuku said, reaching up and tugging on his collar. He adjusted it just right so that his healing Mark was visible. Alpha loved to see their Marks—it was basic instinct. Izuku twisted the fabric and whispered, “I always thought about you instead.”

“Why?” Kacchan asked, the confusion on his face painful to see.

Didn’t he know?

“Because none of them could ever come close to being half the Alpha you are. I saw you win that first Sports Festival and I watched you turn into an amazing Hero on the television, all the while remembering the boy I used to admire so much and being so proud it made me want to cry,” Izuku said, ducking his head down. He closed the distance between them and reached over to tug on Kacchan’s shirt. Izuku looked up through his bangs and whispered, “How could I ever want to be with anyone else, when all I could think about was you?”

Kacchan froze in place, mouth agape and eyes wide.

Izuku made a move before Kacchan had a chance to react, reaching up and tugging his Alpha down by the back of the neck. Izuku kissed Kacchan hard, too bold and too open, but well rewarded when Kacchan didn’t push him away.

Chapter Text

Katsuki stopped the kiss long after he should have because his racing thoughts needed a chance to catch up.

He grabbed Deku by the upper arms and pushed him back, keeping his hold as he held Deku a foot away. Katsuki caught his breath, licking his swollen lip as Deku whined and pouted, but his gaze looked calculating more than it did shocked or upset.

The acting grew more and more obvious as he watched those green eyes search his own, watching Katsuki’s face for his reactions.

Something was wrong with Deku—Katsuki knew that when he took him out of the Omega Shelter, but he didn’t know it went deeper than the charts and figures had said. This was nothing like the touch sensitivity or fear of sex that he’d been warned about in the books.

If Deku had been thinking about Katsuki as a mate for that long—long before he was with that tenth mate that hurt him—then there was a deeper issue going on that Katsuki was not prepared to deal with.

Alpha were the ones who got overly attached and possessive of their mates.

Omega adapted to who they were with.

That’s how it worked!

Nature designed Omega that way to compliment the Alpha’s possessive instincts. In the early days before civilization fully bloomed, Alpha were driven to fight each other and steal mates back and forth because one caught their interest or to show their dominance. Omega were the ones that could lose interest at the drop of a hat. It was a protective inner instinct so they wouldn’t go mad having multiple partners.

They were the most adaptable Class of the three.

The Matchmaking House system functioned so well because those principals of adaption were so far engrained. And if anything, it reduced the amount of stress and readjustment they had to go through because it created a sense of stability.

Deku should have been desperate to make his first mate happy, not mentally cheating on the guy every day with an Alpha that had rejected Deku before he’d even presented.

“Kacchan?” Deku asked, hands loose at his side. He continued watching Katsuki’s face, not bothered at all by the increasingly tight grip on his arms. “Are you okay?”

Katsuki blurted, “Did you talk to your therapist about any of that?”

Deku scrunched his nose as as he looked down. “Talk about what?”

“The liking me this whole time thing,” Katsuki said. Deku had been required to attend therapy sessions until he was deemed fit to be moved to a proper caretaker. Had he opened up at all to those meetings? “Even when you were with those other Alpha.”

“You sound like you’re not happy to be the center of attention,” Deku said, letting out a frustrated huff, tensing under Katsuki’s grip. He stared at a spot over Katsuki’s shoulder, quiet and considering. Deku caught himself lost in his thoughts a minute later and his muscles relaxed again under Katsuki’s hold. “So what is it that you do want?”

He wanted things to make sense. Deku had always looked up to him and followed him around, but he never thought it’d evolve into this.

Katsuki dropped his shoulders and let go of Deku’s arms. “To have even half a clue of what I should be doing right now.”

“You’re an Alpha,” Deku said, sounding amused. He reached up and touched his fingertips to the bottom of Katsuki’s ribs and slowly worked them up his chest until his palm rested flat over Katsuki’s heart. Deku smiled, like Katsuki had just told him the best joke in the world. “You can do whatever you want.”


It felt wrong pushing this much and taking such a strong stance, but Kacchan was not cooperating.

Alpha loved it when their egos were stroked and Izuku didn’t have anything to top “You’re the only one I’ve ever thought about.”

He’d met Alpha that were hard to please but he at least knew what they wanted. Izuku had gotten very, very good at reading people over the years—he could always tell what they wanted from him, even if he struggled to provide it. But with Kacchan, he couldn’t tell. Every tiny step they’d made toward their future relationship seemed like it had headed to a dead end.

It’s like Kacchan didn’t want anything from Izuku at all.

And that was unacceptable.

Izuku threw his plans to play it safe to the ground and stomped on them. The direct route would have to work: “What do you want from me, Kacchan? I’ve been trying hard to guess, but I keep missing the mark somehow. I need you to tell me or I can’t do what you want.”

Kacchan shook his head back and forth, swallowing. “I don’t want anything, Deku.”

Wrong answer.

Izuku put both hands on Kacchan’s chest and took a step forward, closing the distance again. He dropped his head into Kacchan’s shoulder and clutched to the fabric of his shirt. “You have to want something from me. You took me home. We’re mated. You had to have had expectations for how this was going to work!”

Kacchan sucked in a breath and his arms hovered around Izuku’s shoulders, but without touching him. Izuku tugged his shirt hard and Kacchan grabbed his hand to keep him from ripping the fabric.

“I expected that you’d want next to nothing to do with me or any other Alpha after what you’d been through,” Kacchan said. His chest moved up and down under Izuku’s nose, agitated and anxious. “I expected that we’d be like roommates that had to have awkward sex once a month and maybe, maybe down the line friends with benefits. That was it, Deku.”

“Then why did you bother being so nice?” Izuku said, digging his fingers in, fighting Kacchan’s grip. “Why did you bother taking me home at all if you didn’t really want me?”

“I couldn’t leave you there,” Kacchan said, voice low. “I remembered that stupid brat who was going to get himself killed one day trying to be a Hero and saw how miserable you were. I couldn’t walk away alone after that and been able to live with myself.”

“You’re really stupid sometimes, Kacchan,” Izuku said, relaxing his grip. He stepped back and reached up, rubbing his thumb under Kacchan’s Mark on his shoulder. Izuku grinned as his Alpha’s eyes followed the movement. “You wouldn’t have felt that way if you didn’t like me. You wouldn’t have Marked me so passionately if you didn’t want me.”

“I don’t even remember doing that,” Kacchan whispered, staring at it.

“Because your inner nature knows you better than you do,” Izuku said. He reached up and tugged on Kacchan’s collar to bring his head closer. Izuku pressed Kacchan’s nose into his shoulder, holding him by the neck. “But if you’re that unsure, why don’t you try it again?”

“That’s not necessary,” Kacchan said. He backed away and put his hand over the Mark, covering it under his warm hand. “I’m not sure how I feel about all this yet, but we are stuck together regardless. I think for now, that’ll have to do.”

“I can work with that,” Izuku said, feeling tired. He reached up and put his hand over Kacchan’s and squeezed. “Can we go to bed now?”

“Absolutely,” Kacchan said, pulling away. “We can tackle this again in the morning.”

Izuku followed him into the bedroom. Kacchan changed into his night clothes and fell onto the mattress, covering his eyes. Izuku decided to maintain his rebellious attitude while he was indulging for the night. He stripped naked and pulled back his side of the sheets. His Alpha looked up at the movement and Izuku enjoyed watching Kacchan’s eyes widen when he slipped under the covers, making sure to kick the waiting pajamas onto the floor.

His Alpha rolled the other direction, putting his arms over his head and mumbling under his breath, “Brat.” Izuku smiled and tucked himself in. When Kacchan fell asleep, he helped himself to an Alpha pillow and snuggled up.

He wasn’t where he wanted to be yet, but Izuku had something to work with.

Tomorrow was going to be a better day for sure.


Tamaki made a mental note that if he ever saw Izuku again, he was going to punch him in the face.

He shoved his meager collection of clothes and books into the bag he’d been given, enjoying the silence in the dorms while everyone else lounged around the Alpha meeting area. It would be unfair to hit the other Omega, as Izuku had no idea why Tamaki would be upset with having a Pro Hero claim him, but it would make Tamaki feel better. He tightened the pull string of the bag and left the dorm room to head to the main office.

Tamaki would just have to convince Red Riot that he wanted to be a homemaker and proceed to never leave the house again. As far as he knew, Red Riot and a certain someone didn’t float in the same Pro Hero circuits or agencies. He could still keep this quiet. The less he was seen, the less chance he had of running into…into him.

Worst of all, Tamaki knew his bitterness was unfair to Red Riot himself. So far, the Alpha had been nothing but pleasant and considerate. He didn’t seem to mind that Tamaki didn’t talk—though he may have been warned ahead of time, since Izuku had made the recommendation—and had a brightness about him that was familiar enough to be welcome, but different enough to keep from dragging up too many bad memories.

He just happened to have the worst job on the planet for Tamaki’s plans to stay unnoticed and underground to hide in his shame.

Tamaki knocked twice on the office door before pushing it open. He spotted the bright red hair first and schooled his face into a neutral expression.

“Hello again!” Red Riot raised a hand in greeting, sharp teeth splitting his face wide with his grin. “Ready to do some shopping?”

Shopping?

Chapter Text

Denki sprawled across the couch with his favorite lady tucked into his side as they flipped through the channels. They settled on a music station with a live concert showcasing a new rock group he hadn’t heard of that seemed decent for at least background noise. Denki rubbed Kyouka’s back as they relaxed in for a lazy afternoon on his day off.

The door exploded open—almost literally—just as Denki’s fingers slipped a little lower under Kyouka’s belt line. They both jumped, Denki putting himself in front of Kyouka to handle the threat—wait.

“Bakugou?” Denki asked, staring at the angry blond standing on the threshold of his apartment. Bakugou stomped inside and slammed the door behind him. Denki hissed, “What the hell, dude?”

“Deku won’t wear any clothes!” Bakugou yelled. He threw his hands up, palms sparking in tiny pops. The smoke gathered near the ceiling and Denki felt Kyouka’s hand clutch to his back. “That little brat went to bed nude and refuses to get dressed no matter how nicely I ask!”

Denki dropped his shoulders and asked, “What?”

“I was this close to just Ordering him to do it,” Bakugou said, still growling and pinching his fingers together on one hand while the other continued to spark with his anger. He ignored Denki and Kyouka almost entirely as he paced back and forth in front of the television as the rock group raged. “But I saw it in his eyes! That’s what he wants! Deku wanted me to Order him! His gaze screamed ‘Make me’ and I will not be manipulated in my own home!”

Bakugou’s palms continued to smoke and pop as he paced and Denki prayed that’s as far as Quirk got or he’d be missing some furniture in the near future.

“He’s being such a brat!” Bakugou yelled. He reached his hands up and ruffled his own hair, teeth grit and eyes narrowed. “I’m remembering why I used to want to punch his face in every time I saw him when we were kids! And why sometimes I just did it!”

“You used to hit him?” Denki asked.

Bakugou paused in his rant and turned, dropping his arms. He lifted them weakly with a shrug and said, “Kinda? Yeah? Definitely beat him up at least once when we were five, but the rest was just shoving him around and scaring him with my Quirk. He was an idiot who couldn’t take a hint when I told him to get lost.”

Denki had no idea where to start unpacking that problem so he went back to the first part. “Did you say he’s refusing to wear clothes?”

“Yes,” Bakugou said, looking up. Denki got a good look at the bags under his eyes and the stress wrinkles at the edges and licked his lip. Bakugou groaned and walked backwards to sit in Denki’s armchair. “Fully nude and walking around everywhere with no sense of shame.”

“Do I want to know why?” Denki asked. He shifted on the couch and sat properly and Kyouka moved to sit next to him. Her hand stayed latched to the back of his shirt, but hidden enough so Bakugou wouldn’t notice he’d scared her. “Or do you not know either?”

“I don’t know!” Bakugou threw his hands up. He slammed them back down on the arms of the chair, smoking once more. Denki weeped inside for his furniture. “I asked him and he just said ‘Don’t you like looking at me?’ and then proceeded to ignore me when I told him to put some clothes on.”

Denki drummed his fingers on his knee and nodded. “So that’s a thing, I guess.”

Bakugou dropped his head into his hands and groaned.

“I’m just going to make some tea,” Kyouka said, getting up and escaping to the kitchen.

Smart girl.


Tamaki pulled his new hoodie lower over his eyes as he sat at the small kitchen table with his cup of tea.

As far as second impressions go, Red Riot had done alright. They’d spent their first day out together as proper mates shopping (“Bakugou said Izuku had next to nothing when he moved in, so I think it’d be more fun if you had some real luggage to make the place your own when you walk in the door!” He’d said with a grin and two thumbs up.) and picked out some clothes and a small bookshelf for his corner of the master bedroom.

Red Riot had let Tamaki spend his first night alone in the bedroom, which he appreciated whether it had come from instructions in a care book or not, and they shared a relatively quiet breakfast the next day. Tamaki ate while Red Riot rambled about his friends and their mates and whatever else came to mind as he filled the empty silence.

He was a bundle of nerves and it was infinitely relaxing to see an Alpha more nervous than Tamaki for a change.

They’d spent the rest of the morning moving Tamaki’s things in properly and setting up his bookshelf, using lunch as a quick break before they cleaned up. Tamaki made tea for the two of them while Red Riot was in the shower and he supposed things were going well.

As long as he never left the house, Tamaki could see this working.

Even more so if Red Riot wore his hair down more often. He sipped over his tea cup as the Alpha walked back into the kitchen, still damp from his shower with a towel around his shoulders. He pointed at the tea kettle with a grin and Tamaki nodded. Red Riot poured a cup and sat across from him.

“Is there anything you thought of that we forgot to do?” Red Riot asked. “I’m pretty bad about skipping over detail stuff for the big picture.”

His new Alpha had mentioned before his shower he was hoping to get everything as set up as possible before he went back to work the next day. He was supposed to have gotten the week off to adjust to a new mate at home, but about four Heroes had been injured in the line of duty while they had been out shopping and Red Riot was needed to fill in while they healed. Tamaki didn’t mind too much. He liked the peace and quiet of being alone, which made him an odd one for an Omega.

Tamaki’s previous Alpha hadn’t appreciated that trait of his very much. They thought he was “cold” and “unaffectionate.”

“The only thing I can think of is maybe grocery shopping,” Red Riot said, tapping his spoon against the cup and drawing Tamaki away from his train of thought. “I have no idea what you like or what you like to use for your Quirk.”

Tamaki nodded and pulled over his pad of paper. He wrote a simple “Okay” on the pad before pausing and writing “I can pick out some things.”

“Awesome,” Red Riot said. He took a sip of tea before reaching for one of the brownies on the center plate that had already been on the table. They had been good and Tamaki wondered if Red Riot had made them earlier in the week. “I was thinking we could head out in about twenty or thirty minutes. Okay?”

Tamaki nodded.

“Great,” Red Riot said. He picked up his cup and saucer and went into the kitchen to set them on the sink before he pulled the towel over his head and shook it, drying off the strands. “I’ll go get ready.”

Tamaki finished his tea in silence, amused that he knew at least fifteen of that twenty minute wait time would involve the Alpha preening. And people said Omega were the ones obsessed with their looks.


Kyouka kept her hands even as she poured two cups of tea, breathing evenly and forcing herself to remain calm. She was not in danger. Denki wasn’t in danger. Everything was fine and she would not get distressed.

Denki would flip out in her defense if her Scent turned scared and she did not want him going toe to toe with Ground Zero in a dominance battle. The only way that could end was with Denki in the hospital. She loved Denki and knew he was no pushover, but Ground Zero was on another level and Kyouka got one heck of a reminder when he kicked his way into their home.

Ground Zero was usually such a laid back, quiet Alpha in person when he wasn’t out in the field that Kyouka had honestly let her guard down around him. She’d gotten used to thinking about him on the same level as Denki or his other Beta friends.

Kyouka had forgotten that he was a high standing, terrifying Alpha when he was truly angry. She shivered, wincing as she overfilled the cup. She wiped it up with a towel and poured it again. Ground Zero was the sort of Alpha that could be legitimately dangerous if provoked. Kyouka covered her nose with her hand and breathed in her own Scent, taking a break from the heightened, dense Scent that had filled their apartment from Ground Zero.

When Alpha were angry, they gained an undercurrent to their Scent that radiated intimidation. It helped throw their weight around to remind everyone just who was in charge. It was the sort of Scent that said “I can do whatever I want” up to and including barging into a lesser Alpha’s home to vent.

She calmed her breath again.

Ground Zero hadn’t hit anyone. He hadn’t broken anything. And he’d clearly removed himself from his home before he touched Izuku, so she should be grateful he still had it together enough to go somewhere else to cool off.

But boy did she want more information.

Izuku had shared that he grew up with Ground Zero and said that he wasn’t on the best terms, but he hadn’t said anything about it being physical. He hadn’t said that Ground Zero had actively wanted to cause him harm.

What on earth compelled him to start intentionally aggravating his mate to the point the Alpha had to leave the apartment before he struck his Omega?

What had Izuku been thinking?

Weren’t Omega from shelters supposed to be scared and timid? They were supposed to learn how to come out of their shell and be comfortable around Alpha again, not pick fights!

Kyouka wanted to call and ask him in person but Izuku didn’t have a phone yet and she didn’t want to leave Denki alone too long with another Alpha on the edge as badly as Ground Zero. Omega were great at keeping Alpha calm and that’s what she had to do.

She ripped open a bag of cookies and put them on the tea tray and took them back into the center of the storm.

Ground Zero slumped in Denki’s favorite arm chair, the edges of the fabric blackened. He had his face covered with his arms and he looked like he was counting under his breath.

Good signs that the worst had passed and she could only hope they weren’t just dwelling in the eye of the storm.

“Tea?” she asked, gently setting the tray on the table.

Ground Zero pulled his arms down, looked at Kyouka and muttered, “shit” under his breath. He took the offered cup and saucer and muttered, “I’m sorry if I scared you.”

“I’m fine,” Kyouka said, sitting back next to Denki. He put an arm around her shoulder, not taking the cup of tea. She picked up her own cup and asked, “Do you want me to talk with Izuku? Maybe I could ask him what he’s thinking.”

“It sure wouldn’t hurt,” Ground Zero said. He sipped his tea, holding the cup with one hand around the upper rim. He muttered under his breath, “If he’ll put his clothes on for company.”

“I know how to keep my eyes above the waist, thank you,” Kyouka said. Denki choked next to her with a cookie half under her breath and she giggled.

Ground Zero snorted too and the angry Scent faded away in his amusement. Kyouka relaxed into Denki’s side, picking up the crumble of cookie from the couch and putting it on the coffee table.

As her Alpha attempted to lighten the mood and change the subject with questions about Kirishima and his new mate, Kyouka planned in her head the best method of attack to get through to Izuku and figure out what was really going on in his head.

She might call Momo in on the discussion as back up.


Red Riot seemingly had endless energy.

He made Tamaki exhausted just watching him and that was a familiar feeling he’d rather not remember. It reminded him of better days when he had a friend that shone like the sun and had to leave behind.

“We’re going to have to get Bakugou to come over with all these groceries,” Red Riot said, hands full of their shopping bags. Tamaki helped carry a few bags, cradling the eggs to his chest. Red Riot held them up and said, “He’s an awesome cook. He made those brownies we had earlier and a whole lot more!”

Tamaki nodded. That had answered his earlier question and he found himself surprised the aggressive Alpha he’d seen in Izuku’s news clips could be such a homemaker. Red Riot mentioned quite a few of his friends as he chatted and talked, but Ground Zero came up the most. They had to be very close, and if he recalled correctly, Ground Zero was now the mate of Izuku.

If that wasn’t beating all the odds, he wasn’t sure what was.

Izuku’s obsession with Ground Zero had been well known to every single Omega in the shelter. People coped with their trauma in different ways, but they weren’t sure if that’s even what Izuku was trying to accomplish with his collection of news clips and demands to take over the communal television whenever the Hero was in the news. Izuku seemed to genuinely admire and adore Ground Zero on every level like a wild fan more so than an Omega admiring their mate.

The odds of him getting claimed and going home with the Alpha had been a thousand to one. It should have been impossible, but it had happened.

Tamaki wondered if the real thing was as wonderful as his fantasies, or if he’d finally waken up to the reality that Ground Zero had to be human just like everyone else.

He wondered if it was any of his business.

“I think you’re going to like Bakugou, and if you like video games, maybe you and Izuku can join us on game night,” Red Riot said. He lowered his voice and whispered, “He sounds big and scary and can yell a lot when he gets into things, but he’s a real nice guy. I promise.”

Red Riot smiled so brightly after he said it that Tamaki returned it with a small one of his own.

Ground Zero might have to become his business if he was that important to his new mate.

Maybe he could adjust his future plans to stay sequestered in Red Riot’s home to include the occasional visit to Ground Zero’s place.

That should still be safe. He reached up and pulled his hoodie down farther, hiding his face even more as he trailed behind his new Alpha as they reached a busier portion of the city as they walked home.

Tamaki’s old friend would never have to know what became of him and he could live a new, better life.

He had to believe that.

Chapter Text

Izuku stared at the door, fighting the chill of the room and his desire to wrap himself up in the blanket draped over the back of the couch. Kacchan kept his apartment much too cold for walking around naked, but that had more to do with the fact his body temperature was a fraction higher than most people’s rather than a preemptive move to thwart Izuku’s seduction plans.

The cold was only a minor inconvenience, however, as the waiting had proven to be a much more formidable enemy. Izuku groaned into the couch, bored out of his mind and he had run out of chores to do an hour ago.

Kacchan had to come back at some point and when he did, he’d either be angry enough to actually give an Order to have things his way, or he’d be resigned to let Izuku do as he pleased. Izuku wasn’t sure which outcome he wanted more, considering the point of this was to seduce him, but he’d work with what he had.

Until then, Izuku had to wait.

About three hours after Kacchan stormed out, the door to the apartment opened. Izuku popped his head over the back of the couch to see Kyouka in the doorway and he heard Kacchan yell, “He’s all yours” before the door shut behind her.

“Hey, again,” Kyouka said, waving.

Izuku frowned, slumping on the couch. “Where’s Kacchan?”

“He’s going with Denki to meet Kirishima’s new mate, which means I get to come hang out with you,” Kyouka said. She crossed arms and shook her head. “Momo gives her regards, by the way. She wanted to come, too, but her and Shouto had a dinner meeting with her parents they couldn’t get out of.”

“You didn’t want to meet Tamaki with Kacchan and Chargebolt?” Izuku asked.

“I can meet Tamaki later,” Kyouka said. She walked over and flicked Izuku in the head hard enough to sting. “Right now I’m running interference because it is not a good sign when you make your Alpha so mad he has to leave and rant somewhere else. You’re lucky he didn’t blow anything up at our place when he literally crashed his way in or I’d be the one furious.”

“Oh,” Izuku said, wincing. “I thought he’d just go outside and blow off some steam in the practice yard behind the building. I didn’t think he’d go anywhere with people.”

“Well he did,” Kyouka said. She walked around and sat in the seat next to Izuku and crossed one leg over the other. “So what’s with the nudist thing?”

“My attempts to seduce Kacchan have turned desperate,” Izuku admitted. He pulled his knees up to put his feet on the couch and rested his elbow on them. “He likes me, but won’t admit it because he thinks I shouldn’t like him because of my past and how we used to know each other. So I thought maybe if I made it very, very clear I was available whenever he wanted he might act on lust and get over the hurdle.”

“I see,” Kyouka said, tugging on an ear jack.

“It sounds stupid when I put it that way, doesn’t it?” Izuku asked. Omega were available for sex whenever an Alpha wanted—that was already their default state of being. What part of that did Kacchan not seem to understand? “But I was running out of ideas.”

“You should probably tell him that,” Kyouka said, tapping her fingers on her knees. “Because he took it as a dominance challenge and was sort of angry about it.”

“Dominance challenge?” Izuku asked, sitting straight up. “Why would he think that?”

“Because when he asked you to put on your clothes you refused and made it clear it would take an Order to cooperate.” Kyouka dropped her ear jack and crossed her arms. “How did you think he was going to take it?”

Izuku curled his shoulders in and smiled with a shrug. “As a turn on?”

Kyouka dropped her face into her hands and groaned. “Please go put on some clothes.”

“I’ll just go do that,” Izuku said, slipping off the couch.


“It’s nice to meet you,” Ground Zero said to Tamaki, polite and even voiced. He looked tired, with lines under his eyes and his hands in his pockets. Stressed. Tamaki could relate and nodded back in his own version of a greeting. “You and Kirishima holding up okay? He’s not driving you crazy is he?”

Tamaki held up his notepad and scribbled a short, “Red Riot is nice. His energy is infectious.”

“Good to know,” Ground Zero said. As he turned to look back to Chargebolt and Red Riot conversing to their left, he muttered under his breath: “I’m glad to see some couples getting along with no problems.”

Tamaki tugged on the edge of his hood, interested in that turn of events. It was no surprise that Izuku and his Alpha’s relationship appeared to be rockier than Tamaki's with Red Riot. It’d be hard for Izuku’s obsession to not have been an issue upon meeting his idol. You couldn’t hide that sort of adoration and the very down-to-earth looking Alpha next to him seemed like he shed his Hero persona when he wasn’t on camera.

“Bakugou! You have to make more brownies! Tamaki liked them too, so now I’ve got an excuse to ask for them more often,” he said, laughing. He heard Chargebolt say, “He made you brownies!?” with an aghast look on his face before Kirishima rubbed the back of his neck. “Yeah, on game night!”

“I want brownies,” Chargebolt said, looking at Ground Zero with a look of betrayal. “Your cooking is the best. It’s the number one thing I miss most from living at the dorms!”

“I gave you both a copy of the recipe,” Ground Zero said, rubbing between his eyes. “Why do you need me to make them again?”

“It’s not the same,” Red Riot said, making a hand into a fist. “Something in your manly spirit makes them taste ten times better when you do it.” Red Riot paused for a full minute before he turned sheepish and admitted, “I also lost it and have no idea where it went.”

“I’ve still got it, but Kyouka and I share the same level of cooking ability, so it’s a no-go with us, too,” Chargebolt said, dead serious. “Kyouka” must be his mate’s name, Tamaki noted. Chargebolt crossed his arms and nodded. “And we all know none of our other friends can cook either. So that means you, as our dear friend with the appropriate skill set, are the sole provider of baked goods among us all.”

“I’m not making you brownies on demand,” Ground Zero said, irritated but not mad. He clearly had something on his mind and was in no mood for this sort of play with his friends.

Tamaki took pity on him.

He wrote “May I have the recipe?” and tugged on the edge of Ground Zero’s sleeve. When the Alpha turned he held up the pad so he could see it, tacking on a short “I can cook” at the end.

“Sure,” Ground Zero said. He held out his hand and Tamaki gave him the notebook. He flipped a couple pages and jotted down a few instructions. Tamaki leaned over his shoulder, impressed with the detail in the notes down to what he should do with the flour and what type of eggs worked best. “If it gets these idiots to shut up, I’ll let you have every recipe in my kitchen.”

Tamaki snorted into his hand while the other two Alpha high fived each other over gaining a new source of confections. He looked over the small list of instructions and flipped back to the conversation page.

“Do you have any other good recipes?” Tamaki wrote on the page.

Ground Zero cracked a smile and whispered, “You want to know Kirishima’s favorite dish?”

Tamaki nodded and Ground Zero took the pad back, adding another recipe being the brownies. He made an offhand mention of getting together to cook and share kitchen secrets that Tamaki found himself looking forward to.

His earlier resolve to get to know Red Riot’s best friend was on track. There was no question he and Ground Zero were going to get along just fine.


Kyouka and Izuku watched television after their short heart to heart that gave Izuku too much to think about.

According to Kyouka, around seventy percent of the time, Kacchan was a quiet, grumpy Alpha that spent his days ignoring what all of his friends were doing as he tried to concentrate on other tasks, be it cooking, watching television, or reading a book. The other twenty percent was spent yelling at said friends when his patience was pushed to the limit and he started releasing his Quirk on instinct. The last ten percent of his temper and personality was saved for true anger and fighting villains—a state Izuku and pushed him to when he burst into Kyouka and Chargebolt’s home.

“He’s been really chill whenever I’ve seen him,” Kyouka had said. “Is he not that way at home?”

“No,” Izuku said, playing with the oversized sleeve on the one shirt he knew for sure Kacchan liked seeing him in. Izuku tugged on the fabric, swallowing. “He is exactly like that. Kacchan had been domestic as an Alpha can be in all the time I’ve been here, but I thought he was trying to follow the rules in his care book. It didn’t occur to me that he’s just like that when he’s at home.”

It was hard to wrap his head around how gentle Kacchan had turned over the years. It didn’t fit his memories of the Alpha when he was young or his Hero work at all. Izuku had been oddly relieved to see him growling and angry over the nudity-stunt, just to remind himself Kacchan still had that crazy fire in him and it wasn’t just an act for the general population when he was at work.

Watching him terrorize a cameraman or restaurant patrons hadn’t been enough.

Kyouka had slapped Izuku on the back and said, “Give the guy a break and just relax. You can’t rush this stuff.”

And that had been the end of that.

The television continued on, showing some sitcom or another that Kyouka enjoyed but Izuku didn’t care enough about to pay attention to as they waited for Kacchan and Chargebolt to come home.

Eventually, four episodes into the marathon, the door opened and Kacchan said, “We’re home.” He looked at Izuku and threw his head back and said to the ceiling, “Thank you, he’s wearing clothes.”

“You’re a miracle worker, babe!” Chargebolt exclaimed, grinning as Kyouka met him at the door with a hug. They waved and said their goodbyes faster than usual, leaving Izuku and Kacchan to their own devices.

Kacchan dropped onto the couch next to Izuku and looked at him out of the corner of his eye. He shifted, opening and closing his mouth mouth a few times in a nervous gesture before he settled on a safe topic. “Kirishima and Tamaki are taking to each other well. And as it turns out, Tamaki can cook. He might be coming over later in the week to share recipes so Kirishima stops bugging me to make him food.”

“Pretty much all Omega can cook,” Izuku said, cracking a smile.

“Tell that to Kyouka,” Kacchan said, snorting. “She has mastered tea and nothing else. Kyouka’s as hopeless as her mate in the kitchen and I’m surprised those two haven’t starved already.”

With that statement complete, the conversation lulled into silence as the sitcom continued to play. It became clear that neither he nor Kacchan was paying attention to it, so Izuku decided to get to the heart of the matter sooner than later.

He picked up the remote and clicked off the television. “Are you still mad?”

“No,” Kacchan said. He reached over and put his hand on Izuku’s head, shaking it back and forth lightly. “Confused still, but not mad.”

Izuku sucked in a breath to steady himself while Kacchan waited for his answer.

“Kyouka said it might be a good idea to just tell you what I was attempting to do, since it obviously wasn’t clear,” Izuku said. He leaned on Kacchan’s arm, still tugging his sleeve and loving the weight of the hand on his head. “I think she’s right.”

Kacchan massaged Izuku’s head, slow and steady with his fingers running through each curl. “She’s smart like that.”

“I was trying to seduce you,” Izuku said, slumping against Kacchan’s side. “You liked fighting so much as a kid, I thought a little opposition might get you more excited if seeing me naked wasn’t doing it for you.”

Izuku squeaked as Kacchan fell over on his side, smothering Izuku into the couch cushions under him. Kacchan buried his face into the blanket under Izuku’s shoulder and sighed, a dead weight on Izuku’s chest. “I’m too tired for this.”

His Alpha wrapped his arms around Izuku’s back and hugged him close, his breaths slow and even. Izuku returned the embrace, setting his head against Kacchan’s. Warm and safe as Kacchan fell asleep to avoid the topic, Izuku snuggled back and closed his eyes to join him.

Kacchan had him sleeping in clothes again, but Izuku would forgive him this once.

Chapter Text

Katsuki woke on the couch with Deku petting his head, still trapped beneath him. The morning news played on the television, the time on display in the corner. Katsuki had overslept for the first time in his life and needed to leave for work soon. Katsuki breathed out and the petting paused as Deku noticed he was awake.

“Morning, Kacchan,” Deku said, returning to the slow petting of his hair. He shifted to hug Katsuki’s head closer to his chest and asked, “Did you sleep okay?”

“I did, but what about you?” Katsuki asked, rolling to the side to give Deku some breathing room. He turned to match, scooting down to put his face into Katsuki’s shoulder. “I’m rather heavy.”

“I slept perfect,” Deku said, soft and adoring. He hugged Katsuki tighter and pressed his nose into his collar. Deku’s voice vibrated against his skin, sounding sincere with his sleepy voice. “It’s a good weight and I like waking up with you.”

Deku squeezed Katsuki like he’d slip away from his grip any moment. His movements felt a fraction too tense for Katsuki’s liking, but he didn’t think their sleeping positions were too blame.

Katsuki kissed his head, setting his cheek on green curls. “Considering I keep waking up smothering you one way or another, that’s probably a good thing.”

Deku snorted. He relaxed and nuzzled Katsuki’s shoulder, knocking their knees together as he shifted and stretched.

However nice this felt, sadly, the clock ticked on.

Katsuki patted Deku’s side twice before he sat up, dragging Deku with him. They sat upright on the couch, clothes ruffled from sleep and wrinkled. He watched the clock and rubbed between his eyes. He didn’t have time for a shower and there was still so much hanging in the air that needed to be addressed. “We have to talk about last night, but I need to go or I’ll be late for my shift.”

“It’s not like I’m going anywhere, Kacchan,” Deku said, leaning on his shoulder. He patted Katsuki’s thigh and set it there. “We can talk when you get back.”

Katsuki rubbed the back of Deku’s neck as he stood up. “I’ll try not to be late.”

Deku crossed his arms over the back of the couch as he watched Katsuki pick up his work bag and grab his keys. He waved, “Have a good day, Kacchan.”

“I’ll be back,” he answered.

Katsuki checked his watch as he skipped down the hallway, praying he had a busy day. Destroying villains never failed to clear his mind.


Izuku knew he was acting reckless, but he felt safe being reckless, and that was an odd feeling—but a good one.

He hadn’t asked permission to make dinner, but he was going to do it anyway. Kacchan hadn’t done anything when he’d been verbally defiant with the nudity stunt, so he doubted Kacchan would be too upset that Izuku decided to do a chore on his own. It felt freeing, though it still felt unsatisfying.

Izuku would have been happier if Kacchan had asked him to do it, but if Izuku was lucky, that might come up in their little talk this afternoon.

He fried the pork in the pan, flipping it when appropriate. It sizzled and he concentrated on the smell and the sound while he waited for the time to pass. The dish came together while Izuku zoned and he finished setting the food on their table with flatware by the time Kacchan walked in.

Kacchan dropped his bag by the door and stared at the spread laid out. Izuku held his breath, but his worry was for naught. Kacchan went straight for the food, steps light. “I keep forgetting I have table with as much as we eat at the bar top.”

Izuku fiddled with his apron as Kacchan looked over the plates and serving dishes.

“Looks good,” Kacchan said. He patted the back of the chair. “Is it ready or are you still setting up?”

“It’s done!” Izuku said. He tugged off his apron and sat in the chair across from him, pulling over his plate. Izuku rubbed his arm under the table. “I hope you like it.”

Kacchan cut a piece of pork in half and ate it. He went for a second bite and said, “It’s as good as it looks.”

Izuku relaxed and ate his own portion. Kacchan continued eating, well on his way to finishing his plate and with nothing to say about Izuku cooking dinner. He considered the lack of reprimand as permission to cook as much as he wanted. Izuku asked, “Was work okay? I didn’t see you on the news so it must have been quiet.”

“Too quiet,” Kacchan said, scraping the last of rice off his plate. He got up and helped himself to seconds. Izuku smiled behind his back, proud that Kacchan liked his cooking. Kacchan returned to his seat and took a drink. “There wasn’t so much as a purse snatcher today.”

Izuku tapped his fork against his glass as Kacchan finished up and the conversation died out. The pleasant meal aside, their conversation from the morning continued to hover over them.

“We can clean up later.” He pushed his empty plate away and crossed his arms on the table. “We really do need to talk about the other day.”

Izuku squeezed his hands together. “Here?”

“Living room,” Kacchan said. He got up and Izuku followed.


Deku sat on the couch cushion near Katsuki, his feet pulled up on the seat with his arms wrapped around his knees.

“I have no idea where to start,” Katsuki said. He leaned back into the couch and stretched his legs out, crossing his ankles. Katsuki put an arm around Deku’s shoulders and sighed. “But just to clarify, you wouldn’t wear clothes because you wanted something, is that right?”

Deku said, “Yes.”

“Why didn’t you ask for it? Or rather, why didn’t you explain when I clearly didn’t pick up the memo you wanted to have sex?” Katsuki squeezed Deku’s shoulder. “I thought we were better about saying what was on our mind after that chat the other day, even if I did walk away from it embarrassed.”

Deku played with his fingers, frowning at his knees—hesitant.

“You can tell me anything, really, I can take it,” Katsuki said. He had had years of humbling from U.A. and the mantel of being a Hero under his belt. Katsuki still lost his temper from time to time and he disagreed often, but he’d gotten much better at least being told when people thought he was wrong. He dropped his arm around Deku’s waist and tugged him over. “I may not like it, but right now, I’d rather hear the truth. You’re not going to be in trouble for voicing your complaints when I’m asking for them.”

“It’s hard to ask for those things,” Deku said, squeezing his hands together. His voice sounded strained, like it was painful to speak, and it might have been. Katsuki didn’t imagine that Deku was allowed to criticize his previous mates much. “Like I said before, you’re the Alpha and you can do anything you want. It feels like I’m telling you what to do.”

“You’re always free to ask in his house,” Katsuki said. He breathed out and put his head on the couch back. “I might say ‘no’ from time to time, but you’re never going to be in trouble for asking.”

Deku nodded and muttered a small, “Okay.”

“You look like you want to say something else.” Katsuki nudged Deku’s side. “This is a good time to speak up.”

“If I want something, I should ask for it,” Deku said, tapping his finger on his knees. “Right?”

“Yes,” Katsuki said. He squeezed Deku’s side and admitted a fault of his own. “We’re both very different people from when we knew each other before and I don’t think that’s really set in for either of us.

“Embarrassing or not, upset or not, we really need to put everything out on the table when we have a problem so we stop confusing each other,” Katsuki said. “Or we’re both going to lose our minds.”

Deku nodded once more in agreement.

“So let’s start,” Katsuki said. He nudged Deku’s head back so he could look him in the eye and felt proud of the challenging gaze that met him. “Not including sex, because that’s another conversation in itself, what are two things that you’ve wanted but haven’t asked for?

“I’m sure there’s more than two things on your mind,” Kacchan continued, “but neither of us want to be up all night and I figure we can get those two items addressed and work on more later. What’s the first thing you want from me or just from living here?”


No more pajamas.

Izuku almost said it, but he could weasel out of those on his own and he had a feeling that shouldn’t be the first thing he blurted while they were having a serious conversation and he only had two things to work with right now.

The pajamas could wait.

“I want you to ask me to do things,” Izuku said, almost biting his tongue when he heard his own nagging whine. Kacchan rubbed his back and he leaned into it, desperate for more of his touch. “I want formal chores, including doing things like meal prep and washing dishes. You said you didn’t want anything out of me, but I’ve done the trophy Omega thing and it’s boring.”

“We can work that out,” Kacchan said. He dug his thumb in small circles in just the right way that Izuku both appreciated and cursed at the moment. Getting turned on right now might be a bad tie. Kacchan huffed and said, “The idea was for you to take it easy after everything you’ve been through, like a vacation. But if you want a formal chore list, we can make one.”

“Thank you,” Izuku said, breathing out.

“Another thing?” Kacchan asked.

Izuku tugged on his sleeve and looked at Kacchan again. He knew the answer: Izuku wanted Kacchan to desire him. He wanted his Alpha to look at Izuku and not be able to keep his hands off.

But he couldn’t straight out ask for that, because that was sex related and for later—Izuku had a gut feeling that topic was always going to be later with Kacchan’s shyness.

So he’d ask for the next best thing and something that had been bothering him since he moved in.

“I want you to pick out clothes that you think are attractive on me,” Izuku said, staring him straight in the eye. “Not clothes to impress your parents or clothes you think I like—an outfit that you want to see me wearing.”

“Deku,” Kacchan said, frowning. “I think you look good in anything. You’re attractive as you are.”

Izuku cut off his own frustrated whine as it escaped. He raked his hand through his hair, tangling his fingers in the curls. “If that were true, you’d have ripped my clothes off already and we’d be making a mess of this stupid couch.”

Kacchan didn’t say anything and Izuku could feel his stare burning on the side of his head.

He’d already started, so why not dig that hole deeper?

“I have no idea what turns you on and I really want to know,” Izuku said. He dropped his hands into his lap and groaned. Izuku spoke toward the floor, digging his fingers into the couch cushion. “What do you really find attractive in a mate, Kacchan? All I know is that you appreciate clothing since you hated when I was naked, so please, at least give me that much: What clothes do you find sexy? I want to wear them for you!”


Deku’s breath heaved as he finished, likely unaware that he’d started to yell.

Katsuki might have pushed too hard, but this was good. Honesty was good and they needed it.

He turned on the couch and tugged Deku into his chest and hugged him. Katsuki put his chin on Deku’s head and rubbed his back. “On my next day off, we will pick out an outfit.”

“You will pick out an outfit,” Deku said.

“I will pick out an outfit,” Katsuki said.

Deku rewarded the correct answer with a kiss and moved to sit in his lap. Katsuki considered that the end of the conversation for tonight and held him through the rest of the evening.

Chapter Text

Izuku sat on the bench in the waiting area, staring at Kacchan as he glared down clothing racks with a pained expression.

Picking out sexy clothes should have been fun. Kacchan should have had a few ideas in his head already about what he liked and Izuku could show them off in the changing room until they had a winner.

If Izuku got lucky, he might get literally lucky and Kacchan would help himself to a quickie in the changing room.

Sex in public places wasn’t always fun, but Izuku wouldn’t deny there was a thrill to having his face shoved into a mirror while his Alpha’s hand covered his mouth to keep him from making any noise. The chance of getting caught heightened the tension and pressure to perform for both Izuku and his Alpha. It had to be even better with Kacchan, though, because everything was better with him.

Except for when it came to exploring Kacchan’s sexual desires, because the poor Alpha didn’t seem to have any aside from the few slow, obligatory times they were intimate together.

They’d been to six different stores and Kacchan hadn’t seen a single thing that caught his eye. Izuku had tried on a few outfits out of desperation in each store but there wasn’t a hint of desire for any of them, just like his first attempts at dressing up that first week they were together.

Izuku didn’t know if it was adorable or sad Kacchan had no idea what he liked.

“I give up,” Kacchan said. He dropped onto the bench next to Izuku and glared with a blush on the tops of his cheeks. “It’s all the same to me. Clothes are clothes.”

“You don’t have any preference?” Izuku asked, staring out of the corner of his eye. “Like, you don’t feel different looking at someone in a skintight tank top or a dress shirt?”

“No,” Kacchan said, shaking his head. He frowned and rubbed the back of his neck. “My parents are fashion designers and they’ve rubbed off on me. When I look at clothes I’m thinking more about whether it’s in season, if the outfit is a good match for that body type, or other things like that. Whether it’s attractive or not doesn’t cross my mind.”

“Kacchan, when was the last time you looked at someone and found yourself attracted to them?” Izuku asked, curious now. Maybe he had been comparing Kacchan to all his other Alpha too much. He’d wanted to improve their bedroom life, but now he was genuinely curious. “In any way—like if you saw something in a magazine or a movie or whatever.”

Kacchan opened his mouth and Izuku tacked on “And don’t say the last time we had sex. Tell me something from before we found each other again.”

He snapped his mouth shut and frowned. Kacchan stared at his hands and his mouth stretched as he pursed his lips. Izuku watched his face as he stared at the floor, his eyes moving as he sorted through is own memories.

After a few minutes of waiting, Kacchan blushed and crossed his arms.

Found something.

“What’d you remember?” Izuku said, sitting up on his knees. In the privacy of the back corner of the small store, he risked a little physical affection and pushed on Kacchan’s shoulder. “Tell me!”

“You’re going to laugh,” Kacchan said, crossing his arms tighter.

Izuku shook his head. “Kacchan, trust me when I say I’ve seen worse. I’d be impressed if you came up with something that I found funny.”

Kacchan tossed his head back and ruffled his hair. He stood up and grabbed Izuku’s arm. “Come on, it’ll just be easier to show you.”

Izuku grinned when Kacchan’s grip slid down to grab his hand. He felt his insides grow giddy as they stepped back out into the greater mall.

They were finally getting somewhere!


Katsuki shoved the game into Deku’s hands and turned away, staring at another shelf in the used gaming store. The rows of shelves hid the two of them from sight so that no one could see the red on Katsuki’s cheeks or the blank stare Deku had while looking at the box thrust into his hands.

“What’s this?” Izuku asked, turning the cover over. His eyes scanned the back as he read and he narrowed his eyes, analyzing the content. A look usually reserved for his super hero notebooks and cooking was focused on a game description. He frowned and looked back up at Katsuki and flipped the game around to look at the cover again. “Kacchan, what does a dating game have to do with the last time you were attracted to someone?”

For someone so smart, Deku seemed to have trouble putting two and two together.

The game had been a joke gift from Kirishima and they played it together for a laugh on one of their game nights. They had romanced the popular Omega to get the best “ending” with them, using a guide to make sure they did it right. However, Kirishima hadn’t realized the game was rated for adults and turned it off rather quickly when the cut scene art got too racy. Katsuki had laughed at him for weeks for not paying attention to the full game description.

Later, curiosity got the best of Katsuki and he played through another few routes just to see how far it actually went.

And then he hit the one story that really got him good in every way that mattered. Katsuki had been hard as a rock by the time the sex scene started after an adorable main story, jacked off to the video game character that had made him cry, and threw the game away when it hit him what happened.

He regretted that when the embarrassment died out and he found himself thinking about it a few months later and got an itch to play again. The game had been really good, despite it not being his favorite genre.

Katsuki had put it out of his mind, but now that he thought about it again, he might have to take this copy home with him.

“Kacchan?” Deku asked, whispering. He bit his lip. “You zoned out and didn’t answer.”

“Sorry, I had to collect myself.” Katsuki pointed at one of the Omega on the cover and tapped him twice. “That guy. That’s the last time I was really attracted enough to something that I um, acted on it.”

“A video game,” Deku said, staring. He looked back down at the box and then back to Katsuki. He stared at the Omega Katsuki had pointed out and frowned. “He’s what you found attractive? He’s kinda plain.”

“It was the story,” Katsuki said, clearing his throat. “And the art’s really detailed.”

“Okay then,” Deku said.

Katsuki snatched the game box back and strut toward the counter. “We’re playing the damn game and then you’ll see!”

Deku yelped and chased after Katsuki, nearly tripping over a shelf as he went around the corner.

The person at the counter looked from Katsuki, who he clearly recognized as Ground Zero from the widening of his eyes, to the Omega dating game and then to Deku before yelping under Katsuki’s glare and ringing up the game. Katsuki slammed the cash down and walked out with his purchase, keeping his face schooled into a scowl to prevent anyone from questioning him.

Deku trailed behind but kept up, muttering under his breath the entire time.


Izuku didn’t get it.

The game was simple enough—it started out with an Alpha going to a Matchmaking House. The main character talked to each of the Omega for a few lines and then took one home. According to the box, from there, each Omega had a different storyline that varied with their personality.

Kacchan hadn’t bothered to talk with anyone else in the Matchmaking Room when he started the game and had his character talk to and choose the one in the back corner. The Omega’s name was Raven, after the color of his hair, and he had a soft smile and tan skin.

As the story progressed, Kacchan relaxed as he chose the various dialogue options that worked the best for this route.

Raven was a shy and quiet Omega that liked being guided by the hand for everything. He was smart, but never got anything right on the first try. The player character got the best results from taking care of Raven, whether it was showing him how to wash dishes properly or do all the tasks he’d failed to learn at Finishing School.

Izuku rested his chin on his hand. It was sort of boring, really.

But Kacchan continued to stare at the screen, reading the dialogue and so into it that he barely noticed when his real Omega leaned on his side and cuddled up to wrap his arms around Kacchan’s waist.

Izuku noted that as the game continued and as Katsuki continued to pick the “best” options that Raven grew more and more flirty. After about two hours of gameplay, the bedroom scenes had changed from soft cut-aways implying that they had sex to revealing a few more minutes of footage at a time, getting further and further into the scene during each in-game night.

By the sixth night together, Kacchan had put the controller down and they were watching an animated sex scene with Raven begging and pleading for more.

Izuku had seen better—but he couldn’t deny that Kacchan was breathing hard and he’d unzipped his pants to give his arousal more room.

When the scene ended, the game credits played with artwork of Raven and the player character that scrolled by. Kacchan pressed “save” and turned the game console off, leaning back, groaning as he shifted his hips and stuck his hands down his pants to hold himself.

“That seems like my cue,” Izuku said. He pulled Kacchan’s face over and kissed him, dropping his hand down to cover Kacchan’s. He felt the warmth under it, aching and ready to go. Izuku didn’t understand how Kacchan had gotten so excited over that video game, but he wasn’t complaining right now. “Video games are fun, but the real thing is better, right?”

Kacchan nipped Izuku’s lip and threw him over his shoulder as he stood up. Izuku laughed as Katsuki carried him toward the bedroom, blushing too hard to answer.

Chapter Text

Tamaki looked like Raven from Kacchan’s video game and Red Riot was officially the most trusting Alpha on the planet.

Izuku dropped his fear of the other Alpha to replace it with sheer disbelief and the strong desire to strangle the Pro Hero.

“Did you learn that at Finishing School or pick it up on your own?” Kacchan asked, observing Tamaki’s knife work as he diced an onion for the dish they were making. Izuku’s Alpha stood close—hovering—near Tamaki’s back, leaning over Tamaki’s back. The other Omega pointed at himself to answer the latter and Kacchan leaned on the counter. “Nice. You’re better at this than what you told me.”

Tamaki smiled under the praise, dark hair pulled back in a ponytail to reveal his cute, pointed ears. Tamaki was a handsome Omega and pretty enough to have been a character in that dating game.

Kacchan and Tamaki’s interactions in the kitchen looked like they had also been ripped straight from a game route, starting with the fumbling Omega and the Alpha more than ready to assist at a moment’s notice.

There had even been a moment where Kacchan had placed his hand over Tamaki’s to help correct something he had done wrong.

It made Izuku’s stomach churn.

“Oh, rough break,” Red Riot said, wincing at the television. A wrestling match played on the screen, loud and obnoxious. Red Riot had his eyes glued to the action, cheering on his wrestler of choice and ignored the events going on in the kitchen a few ten feet or so to his left. “Get up!”

Izuku slumped into the couch, attempting to watch the television with him, but his focus remained on the two standing much too close in the kitchen. If Tamaki moved back an inch, he’d be pressed against Katsuki’s chest from shoulders to hips.

Kacchan had asked if Izuku wanted to help him and Tamaki make dinner.

He had asked.

But Izuku, wanting to prove he was making progress on other fronts, had decided to keep Red Riot company while he waited for them to finish. Kacchan’s agency dinner was later in the week and Izuku wanted to go this time, which meant if he could be calm and comfortable around at least one other Alpha than his own, he’d be better prepared if something went wrong.

He hadn’t foreseen the development in the kitchen. Izuku figured they’d both get settled into preparing their own half and bring it together toward the end.

But Tamaki—that traitor—had decided to play dumb to get attention. Izuku knew for a fact that Tamaki knew how to do everything that he had asked Kacchan for help with on his little notepad. Izuku hadn’t suspected at first, since it was possible Tamaki had gotten rusty with a few more advanced techniques while at the Shelter, but when he asked Kacchan how to make a marinade, Izuku knew he’d been faking it.

Tamaki had made the best chicken marinade in the entire Shelter on his nights to cook.

Showing off his dicing skills was the first feat of the evening Tamaki hadn’t asked Kacchan to show him how to do and it had to be no coincidence he’d chosen to do so when Kacchan had moved to check on something else and walk away.

Izuku had to bite his tongue to stop from ratting Tamaki out. He didn’t know why Tamaki was faking his lack of cooking knowledge or his goals. Jumping to conclusions had gotten Izuku into all sorts of trouble over the past month and he couldn’t afford to make a scene.

So he could only sit and pray Red Riot noticed that his Omega was flirting with Kacchan and put a stop to it before Izuku lost his patience and threw himself between them.


Katsuki pulled the chicken from the oven, unwrapping it from its bag and putting it on the cutting board. Tamaki prepared the rice behind him, getting the plates ready to serve. He checked on Deku, catching his eye as the other spied on him from the couch and smirked under his breath when Deku turned his head back toward the television—caught in the act. Katsuki sliced the chicken to the sound of Kirishima yelling at wrestlers.

Once the chicken was finished, Katsuki helped Tamaki set up the plates and add sauce, putting them out on the table with the sides they’d made earlier.

Tamaki had been nice to work with. He followed direction well, asked for help when he needed it, and did things correctly when he didn’t need assistance. It’d been some time since Katsuki had someone to work with in the kitchen that felt so comfortable.

Part of him had considered doing this sort of thing with Deku, but there was still so much tension between them, he wasn’t sure if Deku would be able to concentrate on the cooking when his end goals always seemed to lead to the bedroom.

Not that Katsuki hated that part, but if he was there to cook, he wanted to cook!

“That’s a nice looking spread,” Katsuki said, crossing his arms. He nodded in approval at the table and put his hands on his hips. “I think that’ll be a nice consolation prize for the idiot in the other room when his guy loses the next match.”

Right on cue, Kirishima wailed and he heard the thump of his friend punching a pillow as the announcer said “And he’s down!”

Tamaki snorted, cover his face to hide the laugh.

“His picks never win,” Katsuki confided. He grabbed a rag and wiped his hands off, cleaning a spare bit of missed sauce from one of the plates. “It’s kind of sad, but he sticks to his favorites no matter what, so I’ll give him credit for that.”

The Omega graced Katsuki with a warm smile before pulling up his pad. He wrote “Shall we get them to eat?”

“We better or it’ll get cold,” Katsuki said. He walked to the end of the bar and shouted, “Food’s done!”

Deku popped off the couch first, giving Katsuki a random hug before he sat at his place at the table with a red face. Tamaki sat beside him and Katsuki turned away to grab Kirishima off the couch.

“Food,” Katsuki said, pulling on the back of his shirt. “You can cry about your loss later.”

“He was so close!” Kirishima shot up and shook Katsuki’s arm. “He could have won that!”

“Go, eat.” Katsuki shoved him toward the kitchen. “Tamaki’s a great cook, by the way, so you no longer have an excuse to keep coming over here and raiding my place.”

“I haven’t done that in forever!” Kirishima said, grinning wide as he sat next to Deku and across from Tamaki. “You’re exaggerating.”

“You only stopped because Deku moved in,” Katsuki said, sitting in the only seat left between Tamaki and Kirishima. He breathed out and said, “Thank you for the food.”

“This looks amazing,” Kirishima said, taking the first bite. He hummed in satisfaction and almost squealed. “You two are incredible! I need you guys to hook up like this all the time. You’d be unstoppable. I can’t wait to see what you make next—we so have to do this every week!”


Every week.

Izuku shoved a bite of regretfully delicious chicken into his mouth as his heart beat into his chest. Weren’t Alpha supposed to be jealous and overprotective? Did Red Riot trust Kacchan so much that he was willingly going to let them flirt every week? Had he really not noticed how close they had been?

What if he left Tamaki here alone?

Red Riot continued to eat, happily obvious and praising Tamaki and Kacchan’s team work.

That Alpha would absolutely leave Tamaki and Kacchan here alone and unsupervised. Izuku shoved a bite of rice in his mouth to hide the look of dread threatening to show on his face. He needed to get his act together and calm down. Izuku needed to be rational, but it was hard to concentrate when Tamaki’s foot rested against Kacchan’s under the table, still touching. It was a small table, but he could have placed it against his own Alpha’s foot.

Kacchan glowed in the attention.

Tamaki had been the perfect little pupil, he was pretty, and he flattered Kacchan’s ego in just the right way. How had he done in a few brief hours what Izuku had been attempting for a month?

Izuku sipped his drink and tried to keep smiling and keep up with conversation.

He’d confront Tamaki later when Kacchan and Red Riot went out for their night patrol afterwards. Izuku would have all night to interrogate the other Omega to find out exactly what he thought he was doing.


Ground Zero washed the dishes.

Tamaki had moved to collect them when the group finished eating, but the Alpha had said “I’ve got it” and gathered them all up in a practiced flash. Red Riot gave Tamaki a thumbs up and said, “It’s just what he does” to reassure Tamaki that nothing had gone wrong.

Izuku and he stayed at the table while Red Riot talked to Ground Zero at the sink.

It was impossible to miss Izuku’s glare drilling into the side of his face.

Jealous Omega were rare, but he supposed they had to exist somewhere. Tamaki had no intentions of changing his own plans though.

Being friendly with Ground Zero made Red Riot happy and Tamaki rather liked seeing his own Alpha smile.

It wasn’t the first time he’d had an Alpha that got a kick out of watching his Omega close to other Alpha and if all went well, Red Riot would be his last.

Izuku already got what he wanted, it was time Tamaki got what he wanted, too.

Chapter Text

Izuku waited for the door to close before he rounded on Tamaki.

The other Omega glared, teeth gritted and voice still low in case their Alpha could still hear them on the other side of the door. “What exactly were you trying to do back there in the kitchen? It looked like flirting to me.”

Tamaki pulled his hair out of the band, letting the strands fall around his neck. He needed to get it cut again; it had looked better short. Tamaki scribbled a quick “It was” on his notepad as Izuku continued to fume waiting on his answer.

“Why?” Izuku demanded. His hand trembled in its fist. If Tamaki wasn’t careful, he was sure that fist would end up in his face. “Kacchan’s my Alpha, not yours!”

Tamaki took a seat at the bar and threw his pad on the table. He picked up the dry erase marker and wrote on the small whiteboard. Izuku might not appreciate written evidence of this conversation floating around and Tamaki could give him that much consideration at least

He wrote, “Red Riot likes Ground Zero and wants me to get along with him. I wanted to test the water and see how Ground Zero would react if I was friendly.”

“Last time I checked, being friendly didn’t require flirting,” Izuku said. He tugged on his hair and bit his lip. “And it certainly doesn’t require touching him!”

Tamaki wiped the board clean and picked up the pen again. “Like I said: I was testing the water. If he didn’t care to make a move when I was flirting, he’ll probably keep his hands to himself in any other situation, too.”

“That’s no excuse and you’re lucky he didn’t notice what you were doing,” Izuku said. He licked his lip and muttered to himself. “I never thought I’d be grateful Kacchan could be so oblivious.”

Izuku spoke louder and crossed his arms. “Don’t do it again.”

“Red Riot liked it though,” Tamaki added. His Alpha had been beside himself in joy that his Omega and his best friend were so close and had gotten along so well in the kitchen. His Alpha was woefully inexperienced with having a mate, so it was a possibility that it hadn’t occurred to Red Riot just how much he had liked having his best friend handle his Omega. Tamaki could see that developing further down the road and had already mentally prepared for the possibilities. “If it makes him happy, I’m going to keep doing it.”

“Like hell you are,” Izuku said. He wiped off the board and slammed the eraser on the holder. “Kacchan’s mine and you stay away from him. I don’t care what Red Riot wants.”

“Why are you so jealous?” Tamaki wrote. He knew he was pushing things now, but he felt curious despite it all. Seeing an Omega get as heated and jealous as an Alpha was surreal. Even the ones he had met who were prone to jealousy kept it bottled inside like a passive aggressive brew. They never wore it on their faces enough to contort it with such fury. Tamaki scribbled, “You out of everyone should be used to sharing. Your last Alpha was arrested for failure to register his Omega and poor living conditions, not letting other Alpha sleep with his mates.

“Red Riot could give your Alpha permission to sleep with me tomorrow and it’d be perfectly legal,” Tamaki finished. Many Alpha had more than one Omega as mates, so it wouldn’t have even been that odd. “You have to know that.”

“Shut up,” Izuku said, voice thick. He averted his eyes from Tamaki and grabbed his arm, clutching to the loose sleeve. “You don’t know what you’re talking about and that’s never going to happen. Real mates don’t behave that way and Kacchan doesn’t cheat.”

Tamaki felt bad for causing Izuku so much distress, but he also hated how Izuku clung to the delusion that his “Kacchan” was a real, true mate.

It’d only hurt more later if he continued to think like that only for the harsh truth to come cashing down years later when Ground Zero brought someone else home. Bringing Izuku back into reality sooner would be for the best.

“If you’re this jealous now at a little flirting or even the idea of Ground Zero sleeping with someone else,” Tamaki wrote. “How are you going to survive when he finds a mate?”

“I’m Kacchan’s mate!” Izuku grabbed Tamaki’s shirt and shoved him against the wall. Tamaki dropped the marker and it clattered to the ground as his back stung, pressed into the corner of the bar top. Izuku twisted the fabric of his hoodie, face furious. “And Kacchan is my mate.”

“He’s your caretaker,” Tamaki said, voice low and hoarse from lack of use. “Alpha don’t go through training and certifications because they want a mate—they do it to provide a service to the community. We require special care and those Alpha only call themselves our ‘mates’ to make us feel better about the situation, but you know just as well as I do that’s not their real role.”

“You’re wrong,” Izuku said. He dropped Tamaki and wiped the dried tears from the side of his face. He sucked in a shaky breath and headed toward the couch. He repeated himself, “You’re wrong and I feel sorry for you if you truly believe that.”

Tamaki slouched against the counter and wiped the board off with his hoodie sleeve.

Izuku was the one to be pitied.

Nothing good came from clinging to false beliefs when it came to that sort of thing.

Tamaki returned to the kitchen, pulling out a few ingredients for an easy dessert to have ready for the Alpha when they returned. Izuku was a lost cause for now and Tamaki felt like making treats to clear his mind. Caretakers or not, Tamaki intended to stay on his Alpha’s good side.

Happy and pleased Alpha were far more likely to give you what you wanted when it mattered.


Katsuki blew out the wall, shouting for Kirishima to go, “Now!”

His friend dove through the opening, taking advantage of the Villains caught off guard by the explosion and slammed into them with a hardened fist. Kirishima knocked him out in one hit, the surprise strike working to his advantage as the Villain crashed into the ground.

“Got him!” Kirishima yelled back, grinning wide. He gave Katsuki a thumbs up and stomped his foot on the back of the unconscious Villain. “Let’s wrap this up and get some food! I’m starving.”

Katsuki clicked his tongue and strolled over. He kicked the loser Villain in the head to double check he was out cold and said, “You’re paying.”

“Why do I have to pay?” Kirishima asked, stepping off the bad guy as the police entered the scene for clean up. He crossed his arm, staring down Katsuki. “We can’t go dutch?”

Katsuki snorted. “Because I just made you dinner before the patrol started.”

“Not alone,” Kirishima said, following him as they went back to their evening route. Kirishima pushed Katsuki in the arm, sticking his tongue out. “Tamaki helped.”

“If I need to start adding up all the free meals you’ve gotten out of me in the time we’ve known each other, you’ll be paying for more than one meal,” Katsuki said. He looked over his shoulder, holding his hand up. “You want to do that math?”

“Fine,” Kirishima said, putting his hands behind his head. “I’ll pay, I’ll pay!”

Katsuki held him to that an hour later when they took a midnight meal in one of the few restaurants still open at the late hour.

“How are things with you and Tamaki doing so far, anyway?” Katsuki asked, shoving a bite of curry into his mouth. The spices tingled his tongue, not hot enough for his liking, but good enough for this place. “He seemed pretty okay while we were cooking.”

“I think it’s been going well,” Kirishima said. He pushed his food around and pressed his lips together. Kirishima asked, “He wasn’t nervous or anything with you was he? I was trying to give you guys space, so I didn’t look over as much as I should have. I don’t think Tamaki has the same issue with other Alpha that Izuku does, but it’s always good to check.”

Katsuki tapped his finger on the table and thought back. “He was calm and friendly. If he had a nervous issue with Alpha, I sure never would have known. If anything, I was shocked at how well adjusted he seemed. If you ignored that he doesn’t talk, I never would have pegged him for an Omega that came from a shelter.”

“Same,” Kirishima said. He crossed his arms on the table next to his empty plate and rested his head on them. Kirishima poked the edge of his mask he’d removed while they ate. “I don’t know if it’s a good thing or not that everything’s been so great.”

“I wouldn’t worry about it,” Katsuki said. He kicked Kirishima’s shin under the table and ate another bite of his curry. “You’re a good guy and I’m sure he’s just relieved to be somewhere safe with an Alpha that cares so much—of course he’s settling in well.”

“That’s one way to look at it.” Kirishima looked back up toward Katsuki, grinning into his arms. “What’s the occasion? You’re not usually this sappy.”

“Oh shut up,” Katsuki said. He kicked Kirishima harder and picked up his plate to finish off the meal. “This is why I don’t bother to be nice.”

“But you will continue to be,” Kirishima said. He sat up and put his headpiece back on, straightening it. “I am glad you two got along, though. It’s always nice to know I can leave him with you if anything pops up or there’s an emergency.”

Katsuki nodded. “Deku seems better with you, too. I’m impressed he stayed next to you on the couch all afternoon.”

“I think it’s because he spent the whole time watching you and Tamaki,” Kirishima snickered. “He was too distracted to think about me and the wrestling match.”

“It still counts,” Katsuki said, leaning back and getting up. “I just hope they get along with each other.”

“Why wouldn’t they?” Kirishima asked, getting out his money to pay. “Izuku got along okay with Momo and Jirou alright.”

Katsuki retrieved his gauntlets and adjusted his costume back into place. He didn’t have a real answer, but Deku had been tense throughout dinner. He’d shot Tamaki more than one displeased look when he thought no one was paying attention.

“I have a bad feeling about it, that’s all,” Katsuki said. “It might be different between them since they’re both from a shelter.”

“If you say so,” Kirishima said. He smacked Katsuki on the arm and gave him a thumbs up. “But I’ll keep an eye on it, if you’re worried.”

“Thanks,” Katsuki said.

The two returned to finish up the last few hours of their patrol and Katsuki hoped that his bad feeling remained a bad feeling when they finally returned home to check on Deku and Tamaki.


“Wow,” Red Riot said, looking at the small spread of sugar cookies and icing that waited for him when he and Ground Zero returned at four in the morning. “Did you make all this?”

Tamaki rubbed his hands together. He’d always been better with savory items, due to his Quirk and the foods he typically ate, but he wasn’t too bad with desserts if he said so himself.

“It looks amazing,” Red Riot said. He picked up one of the red-iced cookies and popped it in his mouth, chewing with his unique, sharp teeth. “It tastes great, too.”

“Did Deku help?” Ground Zero asked, looking around the room. Tamaki shook his head and wrote down that Izuku had went to bed a few hours ago. Ground Zero scrunched his nose and picked up a cookie with green icing. “I’m surprised. He said he liked working in the kitchen.”

Tamaki shrugged and drew a circle with his finger around the rim of a cup. If Izuku liked to cook, he hadn’t made any indication he wanted to assist when Tamaki started baking.

Red Riot wrapped up half the cookies on a paper plate Ground Zero provided and carried them to the door. Tamaki grabbed his things to follow, glad to be heading home to his own bed.

“See you later, Bakugou.” Red Riot waved and let Tamaki leave first. He gave Ground Zero a one armed hug before he followed Tamaki out.

They walked down the hallway in silence, which spoke leagues of how tired Red Riot must have been. He couldn’t blame him, already regretting that he hadn’t chosen to take a nap at any point during the night. Tamaki yawned into his hoodie sleeve, hoping that these late shifts weren’t a common occurrence.

“Did you and Izuku have a good time?” Red Riot asked, eyes still half closed. His bag of gear tapped along his side as they walked down the apartment stairs. “Bakugou was a little worried during dinner.”

“We were fine,” Tamaki wrote on his pad. He left his pen on the pad and considered how much to share. “I don’t think he likes me much.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” Red Riot said. He snuck another cookie out form the plate, eating it as they walked down the street. “Hopefully that turns around in the future when you two get to know each other better.”

Tamaki nodded.

He doubted it, but he supposed there was no reason to be entirely pessimistic about his future options.

But until then, Tamaki looked forward to going home. Tamaki reached over and pinched Red Riot’s sleeve, holding it as they walked home. Red Riot returned the move by holding his hand and Tamaki smiled.

As far as Caretakers went, Tamaki had snagged himself a good one.


“I had a feeling you were still awake,” Kacchan said, walking into the bedroom fresh from a shower already wearing his cotton pants. He pulled his nightshirt out of a drawer and put it on, sitting next to Izuku on the bed as he sat up with his notebook against the headboard. Kacchan looked warm in the soft light of the table lamp. “Did Tamaki do something to bother you? You came in here to avoid him, didn’t you?”

Izuku closed his notebook and put it on the table, wrapping his arms around his legs as he pulled up his knees. He dug his fingers into his thighs.

Kacchan wanted him to be honest.

But that didn’t mean Izuku had to make himself look bad while he did it. Kacchan didn’t need to know how jealous Izuku had gotten or how terrified he was that the things Tamaki said might have had a sliver of truth to them.

So he focused on another truth of the night.

“Tamaki flirted with you all evening and you didn’t notice,” Izuku said, watching Kacchan over his knees. “But I saw what he was doing. I confronted him about it after you left, but he wouldn’t agree to stop when I asked.”

Kacchan’s brows drew together and he mouthed “flirting” under his breath. Izuku shifted and crawled out from under the blankets so he could lean on Kacchan’s back. He wrapped his arms around his Alpha’s waist and nuzzled his back as Kacchan concentrated on replaying the earlier evening in his head.

Izuku saved him a little trouble: “Tamaki knows how to cook and played dumb in the kitchen so you’d touch him and stand closer.”

“Are you sure?” Kacchan asked.

Izuku squeezed around his waist. “I know flirting when I see it, Kacchan. He was a step away from putting his hand down your pants.”

Kacchan twisted to face Izuku, brushing his fingers through Izuku’s curls. He drew his hand down his back and rubbed. “I’ll tell Kirishima about it later, okay? Maybe that’s something they still need to work out.”

“Thank you,” Izuku said. He put his head on Kacchan’s chest and sighed, holding him closer. He closed his eyes as Kacchan continued to brush his hand through his hair. “Did you have a good patrol?”

“Good enough,” Kacchan said. He scooted back onto the bed and Izuku followed him. They crawled under the covers and Izuku pulled off his shirt and kicked off his shorts when they were settled. Kacchan snorted behind him and said, “I don’t know why you like sleeping naked. It’s so uncomfortable.”

“I’d say the same about you and your pajamas,” Izuku said. He returned to his place under Kacchan’s arm and kissed his neck. “Clothes are hot and stuffy and just get in the way.”

“They keep most of the sweat off the sheets,” Kacchan muttered into his hair. He yawned and held Izuku closer as he rolled on his side. He breathed out, body relaxing into the mattress. “Good night.”

Izuku drew a circle on Kacchan’s chest through the fabric, smoothing his hand down and dropping it around his side. He’d been hoping for a little more intimacy to end their day when his Alpha returned, but Kacchan was already asleep.

He closed his own eyes and breathed in Kacchan’s Scent. Tamaki had to be wrong. Kacchan was more than a caretaker—he had to be. In the worst case scenario that Kacchan still didn’t see Izuku as a mate, he still considered Izuku as a friend and that certainly counted as a step further than caretaker. Izuku kissed Kacchan’s chest one more time before letting sleep wash over him.

Izuku smiled to himself, thinking of all the wonderful ways he and Kacchan could spend their late morning together after a long night patrol.

Chapter Text

“What’s up, Bakugou?” Red Riot said. Oblivious to the bad feeling twisting in Tamaki’s chest, Red Riot grinned into his phone. He crossed the room to plop onto the couch and nudged Tamaki in the shoulder with a wink. “Let me guess, you wanted to get Tamaki’s cookie recipe?”

Tamaki couldn’t hear the response, but he imagined that’s not what Ground Zero wanted.

Red Riot’s smile dissolved as the other spoke on the line. Tamaki couldn’t hear Ground Zero’s words but he caught ‘Izuku’ and knew exactly what had put that concerned frown on Red Riot’s face.

He may have underestimated Izuku’s bitterness and his ability to keep matters between the two of them.

“I’ll bring it up with him, don’t worry about it,” Red Riot said. He tapped his finger on his knee and pressed his lips together. “I’m sure we’ll get this misunderstanding figured out.”

He waited another beat for Ground Zero’s answer.

“I’ll fill you in with what I found out,” Red Riot said. He exhaled and rubbed his finger back and forth on his knee. “I’ll catch you later.”

Red Riot clicked off the phone and lowered his shoulders. Tamaki waited for the inevitable.

“So, that was a fun call,” Red Riot said. He set his phone aside and put both of his hands on his knees. Tamaki picked up his notebook and slumped into the couch cushion. He wished he’d pulled up his hood before he sat down. It’d be too obvious Tamaki used it to hide if he yanked it over his head now. Red Riot inhaled and exhaled slowly. “Izuku said that you were flirting with Bakugou when you made dinner with him yesterday. Is that true?”

“Yes,” Tamaki wrote. There wasn’t much point in hiding it. Even if he convinced Red Riot that Izuku had made it up, he knew that Izuku would fight the lie. The last thing Tamaki wanted was for this to drag on forever. It was far easier to face the consequences while the offense was small before it had a chance to spiral out of control in a fight between himself and Izuku. “I was flirting with Ground Zero.”

Red Riot sat up a bit, eyes wider. He sat back and crossed his arms, staring at the ground with a pursed expression. After a minute, he turned to Tamaki with a curious look. “Are you attracted to Bakugou?”

Tamaki sat his notebook on his lap. He studied Red Riot’s face and found nothing but genuine interest. Tamaki picked up his pen and scribbled, “Aren’t you angry?”

“No?” Red Riot said, shaking his head. He threw an arm over the back of the couch and turned on his hip to sit toward Tamaki. Red Riot nodded his head toward the small stack of textbooks sitting on the shelf and said, “It’d be kind of awful if I went through all that care training and didn’t follow any of it. At least half the coursework was about anger management and making sure not to get angry.”

Thank goodness for an Alpha that took that coursework to heart.

“But even if I hadn’t read all those books, I still can’t get mad about it since it’s Bakugou we’re talking about.” Red Riot patted the back of the couch and scrunched his nose in a grin. “It’d be weirder if you weren’t attracted to him.”

Tamaki stared at the far-too-sincere Alpha who’d just said those words and pitched his head forward. He felt the giggle bubble up in his chest and covered his mouth to keep it from escaping. It’d been far too long since he’d felt so amused.

“Does that mean I have permission to keep flirting?” Tamaki asked, mouth twitching as the smile threatened to break free. “You seemed to like it last night.”

“Are you joking with me or serious?” Red Riot asked, shoulders pulling in. He scratched the side of his neck and shrugged. “I can’t tell.”

Tamaki wasn’t sure either, so he chose to change the subject.

“Why aren’t you upset I was flirting with Ground Zero?” Tamaki asked. “What makes him special?”

Red Riot hugged his knee on the couch and looked up toward the ceiling. “He’s amazing? Bakugou’s handsome, really strong, good at cooking, and he’s calmed down a lot from when I first met him.

“Bakugou used to be a real Alpha’s Alpha—the type of guy who walked into a room knowing he was the most dominant Alpha around and not scared to strut it,” Red Riot said, holding his hands up. His voice filled with awe as he continued, “He got into fights with everyone and always won. He was so manly and intense it was hard not to admire him, even if his attitude wasn’t great.”

“But he settled down as he got to know everyone and met more and more Alpha that were on his level at U.A.” Red Riot put his arms back down and smiled, but it was as sad as it was warm. “He even thinks of me that way—as an equal, which is wild when you consider the actual gap between us, but I’m not complaining.”

Red Riot didn’t have much confidence in himself, it seemed.

“You’re used to him being chosen over you?” Tamaki wrote, an idea of the situation forming in his head. It wasn’t uncommon for groups of Alpha friends to have one of them always taking the dominant role. “He’s always been first pick?”

“That’s one way to put it,” Red Riot said. He leaned back into the couch cushion. Red Riot leaned on his hand, resting his elbow on the back of the couch and rubbed his knee. “I don’t really think about it much.”

A lie.

The revelation of Red Riot’s low self esteem exposed the truth regardless of what his words said.

“It’s still odd you’re not more jealous,” Tamaki wrote, pushing the topic more than he should, but it felt safe enough. His curiosity overrode his caution and Red Riot had proven he had control of his temper. Tamaki paused and continued to scribble, “Even if you were okay with it.”

“Tell me about it. I’d be lying if I didn’t take a little hit to the old pride that you’re already looking at Bakugou that way before we’ve even slept together,” Red Riot said, “but I’m also kind of happy for him. It’s a mixed feeling.”

“Happy?”

“Bakugou has always had a rough relationship with Omega,” Red Riot said, staring at the table. He waved a hand in the air and leaned on the side of the couch. Red Riot waved his fingers and said, “He hasn’t had much luck at Matchmaking Houses in the past when he was looking for a mate and I think it’s because he’s convinced himself that Omega are scared of him.

“Bakugou didn’t talk about it a lot, but he mentioned one night that Omega were scared whenever he talked to them. It really bothered him,” Red Riot said. He settled back into the cushions, relaxing his hands back into his lap. “Bakugou’s always been aggressive and dangerous, but he’d never lay a hand on someone who couldn’t fight back.

“If you were comfortable enough to flirt and try to get his attention, then that’s proof it’s mostly in his head and Omega aren’t all instantly scared of him.” Red Riot clasped his hands together and smiled, something a little more genuine this time around. “Which I think would be good for him to know. I’d hate for one or two bad experiences to ruin his chances of finding a mate he really connects with.”

“Does Izuku not count?” Tamaki asked. He flipped the page of his notebook to write the next part. “For Omega that aren’t scared of him, I mean?”

“Izuku is a special case from what I’ve seen,” Kirishima said. He scratched the side of his head and pressed his lips together. “I don’t know what to tell you about his relationship with Bakugou, but I can say that you not being afraid feels like better proof.”

“Fair enough,” Tamaki wrote. “But to clarify, is that why you liked seeing us so close in the kitchen?”

“Yeah,” Red Riot said, dropping his head on the couch back. He grinned and threw his hands up, stretching them out. “I think it made him, happy, too. He can be gentle when he puts his mind to it and it’s fun seeing him be a big softy once in a while.”

Tamaki still held his suspicions that Red Riot might have enjoyed seeing them close for other reasons, but for now he put those thoughts aside. He could let that develop naturally over time.

Red Riot rubbed the side of his face and pouted. “But we do need to get back to the original topic—do you want to sleep with Bakugou?”

“No,” Tamaki wrote. “I was only flirting to see if he’d act on it. It’s nice to know how handsy some Alpha will get when you know you’ll be around them a lot in the future.”

“Did you tell Izuku that?” Red Riot asked.

“Yes,” Tamaki wrote, underlining it.

“I think he left that part out when he told Bakugou,” Red Riot said, throwing his arms over the back of the couch. “I’ll call Bakugou later tonight and explain.”

“Okay,” Tamaki wrote. He paused and scribbled a quick “Thanks” after it.

“Any time,” Red Riot said. He reached over and put his hand on Tamaki’s head and patted it. “Come on, let’s get something to eat.”

Tamaki got up and followed Red Riot into the kitchen, pulling this hood over his face and welcoming the small privacy and comfort it brought. That went better than he could have predicted, but he still felt the strain of extended conversation.

Tamaki looked forward to the upcoming quiet coupled with the white noise of Red Riot’s chatter.


Katsuki let Deku hold his hand.

The Omega didn’t swing their arms, but he did squeeze Katsuki’s hand every few steps as they walked down the street. Deku’s satisfied grin stayed glued on his face, announcing to everyone that dared to look that he got laid that morning.

Katsuki glared at the cameras pointed their direction. He’d fought off the media and the tabloids and kept his newly-mated status out of the headlines, but he couldn’t do anything about giggling fans. Katsuki had no desire to check and see the rumors spreading about Deku these days in the natural gossip that flooded through the Hero fans.

“Kacchan,” Deku said, tugging on his hand. Katsuki looked over Deku’s shoulder as he stared into the store window. His expression glowed as he looked up at Katsuki with an excited grin. “Your new merchandise is out!”

Keychains and pins littered the window with the newest design from his agency’s publicity department. They sat next to similar merchandise for the other Heroes in his agency from soft plushes to decorative pencils and pens. He saw Kaminari and Kirishima’s newest pins along the stacks and nodded toward the door. “You want to go in?”

“Yes,” Deku said. He tugged Katsuki’s arm as he headed toward the door, their earlier goal of getting lunch forgotten. Deku dragged them into the store, heading immediately for the “Newly Arrived!” rack in the center of the store. “Look at it all!”

Katsuki nodded at the store clerk who recognized him with a gasp, looking between Katsuki and the small Ground Zero figure sitting on the counter. Playing nice for the public was still the most annoying part of going Pro, but it wouldn’t kill him to leave the store with an autograph if the clerk asked.

“Do you get any copies of these?” Deku asked. He let go of Katsuki’s hand to pick up a pin, holding it up to the light. He turned it sideways, back and forth, to see the glimmer effect they’d added to the orange, cartoon explosion. “Or do you have to buy your own if you want any?”

“We get some complimentary samples, but I usually leave them at work,” Katsuki said. He walked over to the rack, picking up a few pins from his friends’ merchandise and held them in one hand. “I can bring them home if you want.”

“Yes, please,” Deku said. He added to the small growing stack of pins and keychains in his hands as he moved down the row toward the posters and other prints. “It’s still so cool to see all of this.”

“It is a little,” Katsuki said. He set his pins in Deku’s stack and ruffled his hair. “Don’t go too out of control with those things. The apartment isn’t that big.”

“Right,” Deku said, clutching his growing collection to his chest. He held up a small pin with Katsuki’s emblem. “I’ll stick with just the favorites.”

Deku turned back to browse and Katsuki felt his phone buzz in his pocket. He pulled it out and checked the caller. “I’ll be right back, Deku.”

“Okay, Kacchan,” Deku said.


Kacchan left the store with his phone on his ear and walked around the corner. It must have been a work call for him to answer so quickly. Izuku shrugged and returned to the merchandise racks, happy to shop freely for one of his favorite Heroes since he was a child.

He dropped a keychain as he moved to look at another one and calculated how much he was attempting to hold. Izuku had to pick out his favorites, but he could cull the collection at the register. He went for a basket at the front door, dumping the small Ground Zero collection into it. He looked at the small Red Riot and Chargebolt pins with a smile before putting them alongside the Ground Zero items.

With his items safely stored in the basket, Izuku grabbed the handle and returned to the store racks. The new items weren’t the only interesting things in the store—there were still shelves of older merchandise Izuku had wanted to see in person. Staring at pictures on the internet had nothing on holding it in your hand.

“Well, if it isn’t my discount diamond!”

Izuku flinched and spun on his heel. His second mate stared at him, leaning on a shelf. His tailored suit hung on every inch, as well fitted and stylish as ever.

“You really let yourself go, didn’t you?” The Alpha said, reaching over to tug on one of Izuku’s curls. “All that work I put into making you look nice has been reduced to oversized shirts and not a touch of product in your hair. Your latest mate must have low standards.”

His ex-mate leaned over him, still tugging on Izuku’s hair like he used to. The other Alpha had been obsessed with styling it as much as he had been in making sure Izuku dressed to match his fashion sense. Izuku clutched the basket closer to his chest and ignored the intruding Scent as the Alpha postured. Izuku stared at the shelf and focused on Kacchan’s Scent still lingering on his skin after their morning together.

“But I guess what you’re wearing doesn’t matter too much if he likes you on your knees as much as I did,” his old mate laughed. He put his hand on Izuku’s head, fingers too long and too firm. “Thinking back, returning you may have been an oversight on my part. I’ve missed you, Izuku. Maybe your current mate will let me have a go for old time’s sake.”

Izuku shivered as the Alpha leaned closer. He’d spent five months too long with this one and remembered that time far too well.

“There’s about to be a problem if you don’t step back right now,” Kacchan said, slamming his fist into the shelf behind the other Alpha’s head. “What do you think you’re doing?”

“Kacchan!” Izuku shouted, jerking up straight. The items in his basket rattled as he dropped his arms. “You’re back!”

His second mate stared at Kacchan, jaw dropped and hit the shelf. “You—you’re Ground Zero.”

“Do you know this loser?” Kacchan asked, grabbing the other Alpha by the back of the shirt. He yanked him away from Izuku and swapped places with him. “Or is he just random trash?”

“That’s my second mate, who returned me a few years ago,” Izuku said, stepping closer to Kacchan. He touched the back of Kacchan’s shirt, fingers massaging the fabric. He sent a smug grin at the other Alpha and leaned on Kacchan. “And this is Ground Zero, my current mate.”

“You got claimed by Ground Zero?” his old Alpha asked, eyes locked on Izuku. He pointed at Kacchan and then at the merchandise in the basket. “The Ground Zero is your mate.”

Izuku clutched the back of Kacchan’s shirt.

He waited for it.

“Yes,” Kacchan said. He put his arm around Izuku’s shoulder and tucked Izuku into his side. The warm hold and firm grip was nothing compared to the next line: “He’s my mate. Do you have a problem with that?”

“No, no problem!” Izuku’s old Alpha said. He raised his hands in surrender and backed up. His well pressed suit snagged on a figurine on the shelf and it ripped as he jerked it free. The Alpha frowned a the rip but jumped when Kacchan growled. “I—I need to be going now.”

The Alpha sprinted out of the store and Kacchan huffed, leaning on Izuku’s shoulder. “You had to put up with that spineless asshole?”

“Not for too long,” Izuku said. He rested his head on Kacchan’s side and put a hand to his own chest. Izuku could feel his heart beating so fast and every inch of him shivered in want. Kacchan had claimed him so boldly and so openly. It was everything Izuku could have ever wanted to hear. “It’s easy to forget about him when I’ve got you.”


Katsuki relaxed, patting Deku’s side. When he’d first read about Izuku’s exes, he figured there’d be more violence involved if he ever met one, but Katsuki could live with scaring one into submission with a growl and a glare.

“Hey, Kacchan,” Deku said, he tapped the shopping basket against Katsuki’s thigh. “Do you want to do something fun?”

Katsuki looked down at the Omega who swapped the basket to one hand. His other one not-so-discreetly ran a finger back and forth against the buttons on the front of his pants.

“We’re in public,” Katsuki said, reaching down for the basket. He snatched it from Deku and didn’t even care what was in it. Katsuki was going to pay and they were going to leave and—Deku shoved Katsuki against the shelf. “Deku!”

“Being in public is what makes it fun,” Deku said. With both hands free, he pressed his palms against Katsuki’s thighs and dragged them toward the center. Katsuki grabbed the shelf when Deku went for a more central target, feeling Katsuki up through his pants. “No one can see us back here.”

“No,” Katsuki said. He put the basket on the shelf behind him and grabbed Deku by the shoulders. “We are not doing anything like that here. We’re going to pay for this merchandise, you and I are going to get something to eat, and then we’re going home.”

“You’re really adorable, Kacchan,” Deku said, laughing. He wrapped his arms around Katsuki’s waist and hugged him, pressing his nose into Katsuki’s chest. “How’d I ever get an Alpha that’s so shy?”

Katsuki nudged Deku off and grabbed the shopping basket. “Your ass got lucky, that’s what. Let’s go buy your stuff and get out of here.”

“Okay, Kacchan,” Deku said.

He grabbed Katsuki’s hand and didn’t let go from checking out at the register until they made it to the restaurant.


Izuku sat in Kacchan’s lap after he put away their things from their shopping date. His plans to treat Kacchan to something nice at the store had been vetoed, but they still had daylight to burn.

Kacchan snorted into his hair and sprawled to lay on the couch, tugging Deku with him to rest against his side. Kacchan massaged the back of Deku’s head as he picked up the remote and turned on the television.

Izuku had more carnal activities on the mind, but he could admit this was nice, too.

His Alpha’s fingers stroked his hair and he breathed out, clinging to Kacchan’s shirt. Izuku rubbed the metal front of his new Ground Zero pin and rolled it back and forth between his fingers as they relaxed.

Kacchan flipped through the channels, settling on an action movie. Izuku held the pin loosely in his hand as he rested it on Kacchan’s chest, watching the movie with his mate.

The phone rang and Kacchan grunted as he reached over to the coffee table to retrieve it. He answered and said, “What’s up, Kirishima?”

Kacchan’s fingers gradually stopped moving as Red Riot spoke. By the end of the phone call, Kacchan had sat up and pushed Izuku into the seat next to him. Izuku clutched the pin in his hand, wishing he could hear the other half of the conversation if it put such a stern frown on Kacchan’s face.

“Thanks, Kirishima,” Kacchan said. “I’ll talk to him.”

Kacchan and Red Riot said their goodbyes and he turned off his phone. Izuku rubbed the front of the pin, tenser than he wanted to be.

“Deku,” Kacchan said.

“Yes?”

“I think we need to revisit your conversation about Tamaki from last night,” Kacchan said. He flicked Izuku in the shoulder, voice stern. “And this time, let’s not leave out important details.”

Izuku sunk into the couch and readied himself for a long evening.

Chapter Text

Honesty steered Izuku wrong.

He’d told Kacchan every, rotten moment of his fight with Tamaki—no words left unsaid—and that had been a mistake.

Izuku should have kept his mouth shut or his worst nightmare wouldn’t have been confirmed.

“Tamaki is technically right,” Kacchan said, rubbing the back of his neck. He tapped his hand on the back of the couch as Izuku’s chest tightened. “The certification you need to take an Omega from a shelter does classify you as a caretaker. If I remember right, that’s why Kirishima’s doing it. He overheard someone talking about how there was a shortage of qualified Alpha in those positions and wanted to help.

“And it is really common for most Alpha to have already had a mate of their own before they claim an Omega from one of those shelters,” Kacchan said. “Or to get another mate after a routine is settled. The book did say that Omega appreciate the extra company of a second mate a lot of the time.”

Izuku’s hands trembled in his lap.

Kacchan stared ahead, thoughtful as he stared at the blank television across from them. Izuku felt his eyes watering but desperately kept from making any noise or whimper to draw Kacchan’s attention. He couldn’t afford to look pathetic on top of everything else.

He had done it again. Izuku had assumed too much and seen things that weren’t there. He hadn’t won Kacchan over. Their intimate moments were nothing more than obligation and humoring to keep a broken thing under control and out of the Shelter’s hair.

His breath hitched.

“I’m not sure how much that applies to you and me though,” Kacchan said, putting his hand on the back of Izuku’s head. His fingers spread through the curls, rubbing the tips of his fingers absently across Izuku’s scalp. Kacchan didn’t notice the way Izuku’s heart pounded in his chest. “We’re stuck in some weird relationship limbo where neither of us know what we’re doing.”

“Speak for yourself,” Izuku said, grabbing Kacchan’s thigh. He swallowed and dug his fingers in. Almost every interaction he’d ever had with Kacchan had been calculated for the best results. His usual strategies and techniques failed half of the time with Kacchan, an Alpha too unique for his own good, but Izuku left very little to chance. He always knew what he was doing. “Our relationship has always been clear to me.”

Kacchan dropped his arm around Izuku’s shoulder. “I’m not sure if we’re there yet, but your confidence is something else.”

“I waited a long time to get what I wanted,” Izuku said. He’d had to give up on a lot of things in his life: his hero dreams, his family, the hope that he’d see Kacchan again. Having a mate that wanted to keep him. Izuku had a second chance at the last two of those things and he wouldn’t give them up. “So whatever it takes to make you think of me as your proper mate—to make you honestly want me—I’m willing to do it.”

Izuku felt like they were going in circles. How many times did they need to have this conversation? He had said it over and over again, but he’d say it as many times as he had to if it finally sunk into Kacchan’s thick skull that Izuku would do anything for him.

Kacchan’s thigh trembled as Izuku squeezed, leaning up and crawling onto the couch. He used Kacchan’s leg as a brace and sat on his knees, leaning up. “This isn’t complicated, Kacchan. If you really want to take care of me, then ignore the books and lessons and treat me like you would if you had picked me out yourself at a regular House!”


Deku needed an actual caretaker.

Katsuki hated the thought, but it came all the same. He grabbed Deku’s arms and squeezed. The smaller body trembled under his hold and Katsuki felt ill as the Omega breathed hard and held his head down, biting his lip as loose curls fell in his face. Katsuki had no better idea what to do now than when Deku had confessed he’d thought of Katsuki has his mate his entire life.

“If you’re not treating me that way because you don’t think I can handle it,” Deku whispered, “throw that thought away. Stop holding back so much when we sleep together. Don’t hesitate if you feel like using me in any way you please. I can handle it. If you don’t think I can be what you want, tell me anyway. I’ll prove you wrong.”

Deku looked up, his eyes hard and expression full of so much fury it almost kickstarted a fight response in Katsuki’s chest.

“My first mate wanted a sex toy, so I was a living sex toy,” Deku said, his fingers continuing to dig into Katsuki’s thigh. “Another one wanted a dress up doll, so I was a dress up doll. I’ve been a toy, a doll, an ornament, a passing interest, a pet, and a punching bag.

“Kacchan,” Deku paused to take in a shaky breath, “I have been a literal whore. I didn’t want you to know the extent of it, but maybe you need to hear it so you stop hesitating! I have had every sort of rough sex you can imagine from what we did on the couch during our first Heat together to the violent sort of couplings that left me unable to walk the next day.

“I’ve given head. I’ve topped. I’ve performed and done all the work as many times as I’ve been still and done nothing but take it. I can be quiet, loud or in-between with a gag. It doesn’t matter, Kacchan,” Deku said, refusing to look away. “I can tell you don’t believe me, but I promise that I can be whatever fantasy or desire you can imagine. If you want to be rough, be rough. Try out a lot of things if you don’t know yet—I’ll change to fit your mood. I’m flexible and willing and if it makes you want me, I’ll be happy to do it.

“Please, stop treating me like a piece of glass and do what you want with me!” Deku shouted, the tears spilling over his cheeks. He dropped his head and pressed it against Katsuki’s chest. “And if even after all that, you still don’t want me, I’ll hide and stay out of your way. I’ll disappear into the apartment and you won’t even know I’m here if it will keep you from returning me.”


Izuku wheezed, exhausted from the yelling. His voice felt sore and his fingers hurt from gripping so tightly to Kacchan’s thigh. Izuku stared at his hand, half amazed Kacchan hadn’t shoved him off during his breakdown.

His cheeks itched from his tears, but he didn’t dare move. Izuku had taken the biggest gamble of his life in a moment of anger. Either Kacchan would take what he said to heart and start using him properly or that had been the last straw and Kacchan would throw him away.

Kacchan let go of Izuku’s arms and gathered Izuku into his chest, hugging him tight. Izuku pried his fingers away from Kacchan’s thigh and returned it, sobbing openly into his chest.

“What I want to know,” Kacchan said, drawing his hand up and down Izuku’s spine. He shifted, standing from the couch. He picked Izuku up with the motion, carrying him with ease, still tucked into Kacchan’s chest. “Is where you got it in your head that I wasn’t already doing what I wanted with you.”

Izuku’s tears stopped. Kacchan kicked open his bed room door, shutting it behind the two of them with his heel.

He didn’t turn on the light.

“You never mention any preferences, so everything we’ve done so far have been mine,” Kacchan said. He dropped Izuku on the edge of the bed, standing in front of him. Izuku sat up on his elbows, his legs hanging off the side at the bend of his knees. Kacchan stood between his legs and his pulse raised. “Why do you think I’ve been holding back?”

“You’re always so careful and gentle,” Izuku whispered, scared of his own voice ruining Kacchan’s intensity. “Like you’re too busy trying not to upset me instead of enjoying yourself.”

Kacchan put his arms on the bed on either side of Izuku’s shoulders, leaning over him. Izuku’s pulse increased and his mouth went dry as Kacchan’s knee touched the arousal growing at his waist.

“Deku,” Kacchan said. He put his hand on the side of Izuku’s cheek and kissed him soft enough their lips barely met. “I enjoy myself too much when I sleep with you.”

Izuku pushed back on the mattress and Kacchan followed him until they were both lying on the bed. Izuku grabbed the sheets, tugging the fabric as his breath shuddered.

“Taking things slow feels good,” Kacchan said. He kissed Izuku again, firmer but still light. He reached down and ghosted his fingers up Izuku’s thigh, pulling it up to knock into his waist. “My work days are full of violence, explosions and moving too fast. Is it that hard to believe that when I come home to see you, taking it easy is more appealing?”

Izuku sucked in a breath when Kacchan nipped at his neck. He put his hand in Kacchan’s hair and pressed his hip against Kacchan’s. Izuku moaned as he felt the heat of Kacchan’s arousal to match his own.

He hated his curiosity wouldn’t let him shut up and enjoy it.

“But you were so forceful and rough in my Pre-Heat. You were all instincts,” Izuku whispered, tugging at Kacchan’s shirt. The other leaned back, letting Izuku pull it off before he smothered Izuku once more. Izuku hated that his voice choked once more. “It was the only time I ever felt like you wanted me. How could I not have thought you’ve been holding back all this time after that?”

“I’m sorry that gave you the wrong idea,” Kacchan said, pushing up on Izuku’s shirt. He kissed Izuku’s chest, pressing his nose there as he moved to keep hugging them together, still achingly slow as he rubbed their hips together. “Because I certainly have found a preference.”

“Oh,” Izuku said, his back arching. Kacchan sucked on Izuku’s collar as he finished taking off Izuku’s shirt.

He shed the rest of their clothes, taking his time to touch the skin as it was revealed and kiss Izuku to stall the process. Kacchan took ten minutes before he reached the last article of clothing and dragged Izuku’s boxers off with his finger in the belt line.

“I like it when we take our time with this,” Kacchan said, sitting up. He put his hands on Izuku’s thighs and pushed him further up the bed. Kacchan lay down and kissed Izuku between his thighs. Izuku threw his head back, putting his hand on the back of Kacchan’s head, whining when Kacchan accompanied the kisses with his tongue. “I like coming home to someone else.”

Izuku dug his heels into the sheets while Kacchan indulged, taking his time and making every motion count. Izuku felt overheated and wonderful and he might cry again if Kacchan didn’t stop making it feel so good.

“It’s nice being able to focus on what we’re doing,” Kacchan said, sitting up. He replaced his tongue with his hand. Izuku held onto Kacchan’s shoulders, eyes locked on Kacchan’s arousal. He licked his lip and shifted his hips on Kacchan’s fingers—he wanted it. Kacchan stilled his hand, waiting for Izuku to stop moving before he went back to the slow ministrations. “Instead of rushing through things.”

“You just like teasing,” Izuku said, holding tighter to his back. “Admit it.”

Kacchan snorted and kissed Izuku, pulling his hand away and moving to a more comfortable position. He pressed their noses together and muttered, “Maybe.”

Izuku laughed and groaned when Kacchan finally joined them together. He concentrated on the heat and the slow stretch, nuzzling the side of Kacchan’s head. Instead of thinking about Kacchan and what Izuku could do to make things better, he concentrated on what Kacchan did.

The way his breath increased, the way his hands tugged and pulled. The small thrusts. Kacchan’s hands clinging with more and more strength as they continued. Izuku felt the sheets twist and his heart pound. Kacchan kissed and moved, picking up the pace steadily.

Izuku came, shouting into Kacchan’s shoulder. He shivered in pleasure as Kacchan took another minute or two until he finished right behind him, kissing Izuku’s shoulder after his last thrust.

Their heavy breaths filled the room as Izuku clung to Kacchan, not wanting to let him go. His Alpha granted his wish and only pulled apart enough to wipe them clean with the sheets. He shoved them away and returned to Izuku’s side, cuddling him properly.

The dark room welcomed Kacchan into sleep, his face in Izuku’s neck.

“I love you, Kacchan,” Izuku whispered.

He didn’t join Kacchan in sleep, but he did hold him the rest of the night.

Chapter Text

“Hey, Bakugou!” Red Riot said, opening the front door. His voice picked up, turning brighter as he said, “And hello to you too, Izuku.”

Tamaki peeked at the door past the edge of his hoodie. He saw the pleased expression on Izuku’s face as he hung on Ground Zero’s arm. The other Omega shot Tamaki a look that yelled “I won the battle.” Tamaki went back to folding laundry, pretending to watch the television while he listened to the others at the apartment entrance.

“What brings you over?” Red Riot asked.

“I wanted to talk with Tamaki about the last couple of days,” Ground Zero said. Tamaki dared to look at the door again and his eyes met Izuku staring straight at him, continuing to look very pleased. “If that’s alright.”

“Sure,” Red Riot said, as if he would have answered any other way when one took into account who had asked the request. He patted Ground Zero on the arm with his usual bright grin and dropped his shoulders. “It’ll be nice to have all this sorted out and settled.”

Ground Zero nodded. He reached over and pulled Izuku over, placing the Omega in front of him. Ground Zero put his hands on both of Izuku’s shoulders, lightly pushing him toward Red Riot. “And since I’d like to ask Tamaki some things alone, you can take Izuku out for coffee or something to kill time. You two did so great getting alone watching television the other day, it should be fine.”

Tamaki bit his lip to contain the snort when he saw the look on Izuku’s face: The wide eyes and head whip to face Ground Zero made it loud and clear Izuku hadn’t been privy to that plan.

Red Riot’s lips pursed and he stared at Ground Zero for a considering moment before he nodded to himself and turned his attention to Tamaki. He walked over to the couch and asked, “Are you okay with that?”

“Of course,” Tamaki wrote on his notepad. Izuku continued to bristle in the background and the risk of being alone with another Alpha almost made it worth it to see that smug look wiped off the other Omega’s face. “I don’t mind.”

“Then we have a plan,” Red Riot said. He put his hands on his hips, oblivious to the growing tension behind him and the small passive aggressive rivalry developing between Tamaki and Izuku. “We shouldn’t be gone long. Right, Bakugou?”

“I don’t think our conversation will be long,” Ground Zero said. “Twenty minutes, tops.”

“Cool,” Red Riot said. He patted Tamaki’s head through the hoodie and trotted over to grab his coat off a rack. “I know an awesome coffee place down the street, Izuku. Let’s go!”

“Kacchan,” Izuku said. He glared at Tamaki and grabbed Ground Zero’s arm. “What are you do—”

“Have fun with Kirishima,” Ground Zero said, cutting him off. He ruffled Izuku’s hair and mouthed, “Trust me, okay?” when Red Riot wasn’t looking.

Izuku pouted and Red Riot shot them both a sympathetic look when he finished putting on his coat and turned back to watch them. He tugged on the side of Izuku’s arm and said, “Come on. They’ll be fine alone for a bit.”

Tamaki put the laundry aside, making room on the couch for Ground Zero to sit. He put the basket on the coffee table and waved as Red Riot left with a pouting Izuku. Ground Zero locked up after them and put his coat on the rack before making use of the cleared seat next to Tamaki.

Ground Zero didn’t look particularly angry or here to strike down vengeance on behalf of his Omega. That was a plus.

“Izuku and I had a rather in-depth chat about your conversation with him the other day,” Ground Zero said. He watched Tamaki’s face, looking past the hoodie barrier and straight in his eyes. “I have a few questions to clarify your side of it all, just to make sure I’ve got the entire picture.”

Tamaki put his notebook on top of the laundry basket and said, “Ask away.”


Izuku glared at the sidewalk as he and Kirishima left the apartment building. What was Kacchan thinking? Why would he put himself in that position?

What if Tamaki did something?

Would Kacchan say no?

Trust or no trust, Izuku knew Alpha had no self control when it came to a pretty Omega throwing themselves at them! Kacchan had more restraint than any Alpha that Izuku had met before, but he knew now—experiencing legitimate lust was just around the corner.

“I don’t know what’s going on in your head, but Tamaki and Bakugou aren’t going to do anything but talk,” Red Riot said, putting his hand on Izuku’s head. He kept it there, heavy and the wrong size. “Tamaki admitted he wasn’t interested in Bakugou and even if he was, Bakugou is not the sort of guy who’d sleep with someone else’s mate without asking. If that’s what he wanted, he would have told me, so you really don’t need to worry.”

Izuku’s opinion that Red Riot was far too trusting of an Alpha continued strong.

“It really doesn’t bother you that they’re alone in your apartment?” Izuku asked. He could picture Tamaki seducing Kacchan far too easily for his own good. Why couldn’t Red Riot? Izuku hugged himself and rubbed his arms. “That’s another Alpha with your mate.”

“I trust Bakugou,” Red Riot said. He put his hands in his pockets and dropped his smile. His expression turned wry as he glanced at Izuku. “I do wish he’d told me ahead of time, but Bakugou’s always been the type to do what he wants.”

Izuku dropped his arms and put his hands in his pockets.

Kacchan had said much the same last night, too.

Red Riot threw an arm around Izuku’s shoulder and patted him. His Scent filled Izuku’s nose—warm earth—and Izuku didn’t mind it. The initial panic of another Alpha so close didn’t come and Izuku smiled under his breath. Once again, he was too worried about Kacchan and Tamaki to remember Alpha unsettled him.

“Let’s get some coffee and get our mind off those other two,” Red Riot said. He pointed at the small shop that was just up ahead. “They also have amazing desserts!”

Izuku nodded and counted under his breath. He couldn’t share Red Riot’s carefree attitude, but he could distract himself until a time Izuku could actually do something about the situation at hand.


Katsuki gathered himself and evened out his expression.

The shock of hearing Tamaki’s voice lingered, but directly mentioning it felt like the wrong thing to do, so Katsuki continued as usual. The urge to ask about why Tamaki had abandoned his notebook or if he talked with Kirishima remained, but Katsuki restrained his curiosity for the sake of making sure Tamaki didn’t shut down.

“Why did you tell Izuku I was only a caretaker and not his mate?” Katsuki asked. “Were you expecting that to make him as upset as it did?”

“I knew he’d be upset but it felt like the right thing to do,” Tamaki said, voice hoarse and quiet. “The longer you delude yourself with fairy tales, the worse it is when the truth comes out.”

Tamaki paused and tugged on the side of his hood. He frowned and stared at the ground. “I may have also been angry someone who’s been through as much as he had could still be so desperate to avoid reality. He should know better.”

A sense of bitterness hung to Tamaki’s words, but it came from a place of hurt more than wanting to cause pain.

“So you were well meaning with a hint selfish motives,” Katsuki said, tugging on a loose thread on the back of the couch. Tamaki was a realist with his own issues, but again, nothing felt malicious about what he’d done the way Deku had hinted. “That’s what I had figured after I removed Deku’s jealousy from his explanation, but it’s nice to hear it from you.”

Tamaki pulled on his hoodie drawstring. “Is there anything else you wanted to ask?”

“Not about your conversation with Deku. I wanted to know your motives and you answered,” Katsuki said. Now that the important part of the conversation was out of the way, he let curiosity win and said, “I did have another question, though.”

“Yes?” Tamaki asked.

“Have you started speaking with Kirishima like this?” Katsuki asked. “Without your notebook, I mean.”

“No,” Tamaki said, shaking his head. He retrieved his notebook from the laundry stack and turned it over in his hands. “I didn’t feel like writing down a long conversation, though this didn’t turn out as bad as I thought it might be. The annoyance from writing out a deep conversation down won out against my preference to stay quiet.”

Katsuki said, “Makes sense.”

Tamaki wrote down, “Are we done?”

“More or less,” Katsuki said, but he did have one more thing to clarify: “Should I tell Kirishima you were talking, or would you like to tell him yourself?”

That seemed like progress when it came to Tamaki’s development and as his caretaker, Kirishima should know.

“I’ll tell him,” Tamaki wrote. He drew a small smiley face and scribbled a final, “With my voice.”

“He’ll like that,” Katsuki said. He stretched out his arms and got up, looking at the clock. “Well, that took a whole five minutes. Why don’t we get started on a batch of cookies or something for when the other two get back?”

“Sure,” Tamaki wrote. He picked up his things and led the way to Kirishima’s kitchen. He grabbed an apron and put the notebook on the counter.

Katsuki followed, feeling pretty good about how everything went.


Coffee could have gone better.

Eijirou had tried to be his usual cheerful self to break through Izuku’s bad mood, but the small Omega had chosen to shut down. He’d been more tight-lipped than Tamaki, though his emotions showed more on his face. Izuku’s eyes darted about and he mumbled under his breath as he continued to focus on Bakugou and Tamaki far away and out of his sight instead of on the smell of cake and warm coffee at the table.

He’d given up on small talk after five minutes and watched the clock for when they could both go back to the apartment.

Silent meals always gave Eijirou a weird feeling of loneliness—until he’d met Tamaki.

It was easy to spend quiet time alone with Tamaki. His silence felt different. Comfortable. Eijirou still filled their home with chatter, but when he ran out of things to say, it never felt awkward to spend some time together in the quiet.

Eijirou couldn’t say the same for his small outing with Izuku, however. Izuku’s silence was driven by pettiness and anger, which led to Eijirou with no idea how to help.

He was glad time was up and he could give Izuku back to Bakugou, who might have a better idea of how to handle the situation where Eijirou had failed. Izuku clutched the small drink holder with the coffee they’d brought back for Tamaki and Bakugou, still pouting and glaring at the wall. The Omega’s bad mood might only be cured by seeing Bakugou again and confirming that all his worries had been for nothing.

And if that didn’t help, maybe they could sit down and sort it all out with the four of them. The risk of a fight might have to be worth it for everyone’s peace of mind.

Eijirou unlocked the door to his apartment and said, “We’re back!” as he went inside.

“Kacchan!” Izuku yelled, dropping his tray. The lids popped off as the cups hit the ground, splashing hot coffee across the ground, splashing up against their legs. “What are you doing?”

Eijirou wanted an answer for that himself. He trusted Bakugou and there was always an explanation for when things looked bad, but he wanted one sooner than later to explain why Bakugou had Tamaki’s legs wrapped around his waist as he pinned him against the kitchen counter—or to explain why neither of them were wearing a shirt.

Chapter Text

Kacchan growled, his pupils slit and body tense. Izuku drew in on himself, his heart racing and his mouth dry. Trapped on the counter by the Alpha, Tamaki’s legs trembled as they hugged Kacchan’s waist. His eyes watered and his hands shook as he clung to the counter edge.

The saccharine undertones of Tamaki’s Scent filled the kitchen and Izuku sucked in a breath as they hit his nose. Pre-Heat pheromones had bewitched Kacchan.

“Izuku,” Red Riot said. He watched Kacchan, eyes narrowed. An intensity dressed him that twisted Izuku’s stomach in fear more than Kacchan pinning Tamaki to the counter. “When I grab Bakugou, I need you to take Tamaki and lock yourselves in my room. Do not come out until I call you.”

“But—”

“Don’t argue, just do it,” Red Riot barked.

Izuku flinched under the command but nodded in agreement. Tamaki’s heel rattled the cabinet under the counter as his hip jerked forward and Kacchan spread his legs further. Izuku’s breath picked up as Kacchan ignored the intruders and went back to tugging at the front of Tamaki’s pants, focused on the task at hand.

Tamaki whimpered when Kacchan nosed his neck, popping open the button of Tamaki’s pants.

Red Riot dashed for the couple, throwing himself between them with his Quirk active.

Kacchan jumped back, snarling at the interruption. Red Riot grabbed Kacchan’s arms and dug his heels into the ground, shoving hard to push Kacchan into the opposite side of the kitchen. Red Riot kicked Kacchan in the gut and yelled, “Now!”

Izuku darted for Tamaki and grabbed his arm, pulling him off the counter. Tamaki stumbled when he hit the ground, his shaking legs unstable and unreliable. Izuku pulled Tamaki’s arm around his shoulder and dragged him as they ran for the back room. They fell inside and Izuku slammed the door shut, locking it as the first explosion burst on the other side.

Kacchan’s yelling and Red Riot’s screaming continued as the two Alpha clashed on the other side of the thin wall. Izuku backed away from the door and sat on the ground. He almost covered his head to hide, but he remembered he wasn’t alone.

“Are you okay?” he whispered to Tamaki.

Tamaki bit his lip and shook his head, his hair falling over his face. His entire body shook with tremors as he leaned forward, putting his head on the ground. He hugged himself and his shoulders moved up and down with his heavy breaths.

Izuku scooted over and tugged a blanket off the top of the bed. He jerked as another explosion rattled outside the room, followed by a glass shattering. Izuku spread the blanket over the two of them and put his arm around Tamaki’s side.

“It’s okay,” Izuku said, rubbing his back. Tamaki’s mouth opened with dry sobs, putting his head on Izuku’s thigh. Izuku pulled his phone out of his pocket and put it next to him. His sweet Scent continued to fill the room and Izuku breathed through his mouth. Izuku huddled together with Tamaki and hoped Red Riot called soon.

He needed to know if Kacchan was okay.


“I said to cool your head!” Eijirou yelled, kicking Bakugou in the chest with a hardened limb. His lucky hit sent the other Alpha sprawling into the hallway and Eijirou thanked the stars something had gone right in their fight. The further he got Bakugou from Tamaki’s Pre-Heat pheromones, the sooner he could calm his buddy down and figure out what the heck happened. “Wake up!”

“Stop getting in my way!” Bakugou roared back. His palms sparked and every inch of his body screamed dominance. “He needs me!”

“You need to listen!” Eijirou yelled back.

He slammed his apartment door shut behind him to completely cut off Tamaki’s Scent and ran forward, tackling Bakugou in the hallway. They hit the ground with Eijirou pinning Bakugou when the door opened next to them. Eijirou shouted, “Stay inside!” and his neighbor rushed back into the safety of her apartment.

The distraction gave Bakugou the opportunity to blast him off with an explosion to his chest.

Eijirou rolled into the side wall, cracking the plaster, and sat on his elbows as Bakugou got up. The smoke from his Quirk filled the hallway and he looked every inch a beast as he stalked toward Eijirou with murder in his eyes.

He needed a new tactic.

Eijirou had never beaten Bakugou in a fight, but he had bested him in other ways.

Pride was always an easy target.

“You can’t help anyone if you’re not thinking straight,” Eijirou said. He went for another grapple hold, hugging Bakugou from the front. He squeezed, holding tight despite the explosion Bakugou smacked point-blank into his face. Eijirou grabbed the back of Bakugou’s head and shoved it into the side of his neck, filling his nose with Eijirou’s own Scent. “What sort of Hero loses control like this?”

His friend’s hands clutched to the back of his shirt and his body shivered. Eijirou continued to hold him, taking advantage of the small chink in his armor to get Bakugou back under control.

“You were trying to help, right?” Eijirou asked, wincing as the heat built on his sides from Bakugou’s smoking palms. “You’re a good guy. You wouldn’t hurt anybody, right?”

Bakugou twitched and his breath calmed.

“There we go,” Eijirou mumbled, loosening his hold. He rubbed Bakugou’s back, glad that his Scent and words were breaking through. “Come back to me.”

He dropped his Quirk when Bakugou relaxed and hugged his friend close. Eijirou counted his blessings that the worst of the damage was a broken base and some burns on the walls. No one had been hurt and they’d settled it without too much of a fight. Bakugou’s breath was warm on Eijirou’s neck and his grip loosened. With Bakugou calm, he could figure out what went wrong and then check on the other two.

“Why are we hugging in the hallway?” Bakugou mumbled. He didn’t move—the exhaustion heavily present in his overheated body. “And where’s my shirt?”

“I was hoping you’d tell me that,” Eijirou said. He pushed Bakugou back to see his face, glad to see his eyes back to normal. “What’s the last thing you remember?”

“Tamaki and I were baking cookies and I something smelled sweet,” Bakugou said. He scrunched his nose and frowned at the wall. “I remember him yelling at me, but not much afterwards.”

Eijirou patted Bakugou on the arm. He led him toward the wall at the corner of the hallway and leaned him there. “Okay, you sit here and try and remember more, but I really need to check on Tamaki. He was really freaked out that you pinned him.”

Bakugou stared, understanding dawning in his eyes. He covered his mouth and slid down the wall, sitting at the base. He stared at the floor and Eijirou pulled out his phone.

Glad he’d asked for Izuku’s number earlier during coffee, Eijirou dialed.

“What happened?” Izuku asked. “Is Kacchan okay?”

“Bakugou’s fine,” Eijirou said. “How’s Tamaki?”

“Crying,” Izuku said. “He’s really—hey!”

Eijirou listened to a rustling on the other end of the phone. Izuku yelped and a new voice returned, soft and shaking: “Please come back. I need you.”

Tamaki.

Speaking.

“I’m on my way,” Eijirou said. He left Bakugou alone in the hallway and ran back into his apartment.


Izuku rubbed the side of his arm, scooting away from Tamaki as he sobbed into the phone, begging Red Riot to come back. His body continued to shake and while Izuku didn’t appreciate being shoved off the phone, he was glad Red Riot was coming back.

He wanted to check on Kacchan.

The door kicked open, shattering the lock. Red Riot stood in the frame, breathing hard as he looked for Tamaki in the dark room.

“Riot,” Tamaki said, his voice wobbling. He jumped the Alpha, clinging to his chest and sobbing. His nails dug into Riot’s back and Izuku felt invisible. “I was so scared.”

“I know,” Red Riot said, rocking them back and forth. “It’s okay. You’re allowed to be scared.”

“I was early and you weren’t there,” Tamaki said. He held tighter, trying to sink into Red Riot’s skin. Tamaki shook his head back and forth, breathing hard. “And Ground Zero tried to leave! He tried to leave me alone!”

Izuku and Red Riot both flinched, but for different reasons: Izuku in confusion, Red Riot in horrific understanding.

“I’m sure he was going to get me, so I could help you,” Red Riot said, hauling Tamaki into a tighter hug. “He knew I was really close. No one’s leaving you alone for your Heat. No one is ever doing that again while I can help it.”

Alone for a Heat.

Again.

Izuku felt sick to his stomach. His eyes watered and he covered his mouth with both hands. Tamaki had spent a Heat alone. Izuku couldn’t—he couldn’t begin to imagine that sort of agony. He’d come close once, when an Alpha pushed just how far they could wait before Izuku cried in his begging, but he’d never had to go longer than half a day without aid.

Tamaki continued to sob. “I had to make him stay. I had to.”

“I know,” Red Riot said. He continued to rub Tamaki’s back and he sniffed, his own eyes watering. “But I’m here now, okay? You’re not alone—”

Tamaki cut Red Riot off with a kiss, jumping up to wrap his legs around Red Riot’s waist. The other Alpha grabbed him by the thighs to hold him up and gasped into the next kiss.

“Don’t leave,” Tamaki whispered.

Red Riot blushed red and whispered, “Okay.”

Tamaki kissed him again and Izuku inched toward the door. He snuck his phone off the floor and managed to get out unseen by the time Red Riot stumbled toward the bed, too busy with each other to remember the other Omega that had been in the room.

He set his head against the back of the door and put his phone in his pocket.

Izuku didn’t have the entire picture, but he could put enough pieces together to figure out what happened in the kitchen.

Tamaki and Red Riot could settle their own problems—Izuku needed to find Kacchan.

He picked up Kacchan’s shirt from the kitchen floor and shook it out. Izuku turned off the preheating oven and excused himself from the apartment, closing the door behind him.

A few steps down the hallway, Izuku saw his Alpha hunched over his knees, sitting on the floor. Izuku clutched Kacchan’s shirt to his chest and walked over slowly, kneeling next to the Alpha. “Kacchan?”

“Did I hurt Tamaki?” Kacchan asked.

His voice sounded thick and ashamed. Izuku gathered Kacchan into a hug, holding him from the side. “No, you didn’t. Tamaki’s okay and Red Riot has him. They’re both alright.”

Kacchan nodded and leaned on Izuku. He drew his arms up, returning Izuku’s hold.

“Are you okay, Kacchan?” Izuku asked. He rubbed a circle on his Alpha’s back, comforting the best he could on the floor in the middle of the apartment hallway. “Do you remember what happened?”

“Nothing in detail, but a few moments are clear. I remember that Tamaki’s Pre-Heat started when we got into the kitchen and when I tried to leave, he panicked,” Kacchan said, squeezing Izuku harder. “It reminded me of when it happened with you—you were both so upset and, shit. It’s all fuzzy, but he was crying and begging for me to stay. I couldn’t leave after that. I tried, but it was too late.”

“It’s not your fault, Kacchan,” Izuku said. He leaned back and picked up Kacchan’s shirt. He held it up and the other took it, dragging it back on. “There’s no way you could have walked away from someone that upset—you’re kind when it matters.”

“I don’t think losing control and trying to sleep with your friend’s panicked mate counts as kind,” Kacchan said, leaning against the wall. He put his legs out straight and swallowed. “That’s more like the opposite.”

“He was upset and you wanted to help,” Izuku said. Tamaki’s sobs were fresh in his mind and he leaned on Kacchan’s side, taking hold of his arm. “It sounds weird to say, but even if things had gotten farther out of control, I think if you had left it would have been worse.”

“What makes you say that?”

Izuku snuggled against his Alpha and whispered, “I overheard Red Riot say that Tamaki had been through a Heat alone. I can’t blame him for panicking when the only Alpha around tried to leave him.”

“I didn’t know that,” Kacchan said. He dropped his head to lean on Izuku’s and breathed out. “I’m glad you came back when you did, though. Kirishima’s the one who should be there with him, not me.”

Izuku nodded against his side.

They sad side by side for another moment before Kacchan exhaled. He patted Izuku’s side and got up, holding his hand. “Let’s go home. We can check in on the other two tomorrow.”

Izuku fit his hand in Kacchan’s palm and allowed himself to be pulled off the floor. He latched back onto Kacchan’s arm, leaning on him as they stood there. Izuku felt the tremble that remained in Kacchan’s limbs.

That thing in the kitchen had been scary for both the Alpha and Omega, hadn’t it?

“Kacchan,” Izuku said as they wandered down the hallway. He held tight and put his head on Kacchan’s shoulder. “If I’m not mad with you over this, you shouldn’t be angry with yourself.”

“Is that so?” Kacchan asked. He pushed the elevator button and looked down at Izuku. His tired expression wore on his face, but a hint of amusement snuck through. “You’re not even a little angry?”

“Not even a little,” Izuku said. He’d been shocked and furious for a half-second when his imagination had run wild picturing Kacchan screwing Tamaki in the kitchen, but it passed soon enough when the seriousness of the situation made itself known. Izuku wouldn’t blame Kacchan for following his instincts—he got a pass this one time. “I’m not upset with Tamaki either. He had less control over this than you did.”

Kacchan grunted, still tired. They made their way to the street, quiet as they made their way home. Their apartment waited for them and for once, Izuku looked forward to going straight to bed to just sleep.

Izuku crawled into bed and shed his clothes, welcoming Kacchan into his hold when the Alpha collapsed onto the bed, still dressed in all his clothes. He hugged Izuku and spooned him from the back, clinging. Izuku relaxed into his hold and clutched at the blankets.

He hoped Tamaki and Kirishima were alright, too.

Chapter Text

Eijirou woke up with a warm feeling inside and on top of his naked chest. He touched the arm resting across him and turned his head to the side to see its owner. Tamaki stared at him, bags under his eyes and brow wrinkled. His fingers curled on Eijirou’s chest. When Tamaki noticed his gaze was returned, he glanced away.

“Hey,” Eijirou said. He put his hand over Tamaki’s and rubbed his knuckles. “How are you feeling?”

“Stupid,” Tamaki whispered, his voice cracking on the end. Eijirou wished he had a spare notebook. He liked hearing Tamaki speak, but not when it looked like it caused so much strain on his face. Tamaki swallowed, his hair falling in his eyes. “I shouldn’t have panicked.”

Tamaki bit his lip, curling further in on himself. Eijirou kept a strong hold on Tamaki’s hand to keep him grounded.

“It’s okay. You can’t help that sort of thing and it’s nothing to be ashamed of,” Eijirou said. He pushed Tamaki’s hair back and looked him in the eye. “Can you tell me exactly what happened yesterday, though? Bakugou didn’t remember much—”

Eijirou cut himself off and sat up, throwing the sheets around his waist. “Bakugou! I left him in the hallway!”

Tamaki snorted and covered his mouth to hide a laugh that broke through his frown. He patted Eijirou’s chest and his shoulders relaxed. “I imagine Izuku got him. After you fell asleep, I went to see if they were still here and they were both gone.”

“I’ll have to call him later,” Eijirou said. He fell back on the pillow and groaned, covering his face. “He was as upset about this whole thing as you were, but with less crying. He doesn’t remember what he did, so knowing him, he’s assumed the absolute worst.”

“He didn’t do anything bad,” Tamaki said. He put his arm back on Eijirou’s chest and drew a small circle with the edge of his finger. He didn’t snuggle, leaving a good five inches between them, but he maintained their contact through this one point. “My Pre-Heat started and he tried to leave.”

The Omega went quiet, breathing hard as his fingers pulled into a loose fist. Eijirou gave Tamaki a moment as his eyes watered and his lip quivered. He opened his mouth once or twice, the words struggling to get out. He huffed and went quiet for a moment.

Eijirou waited for him.

“It’s stupid, but when I realized I was going to be alone, I was scared. I knew you were coming back and I knew my Heat wasn’t until later, but the smell of the pheromones and the thought of being alone mixing together was too much. I grabbed his arm before I could stop myself.” Tamaki caught his breath and sunk further into the pillow. “He didn’t want to hurt me and tried to get me to let go with words, but I was too panicked to listen.

“I clung harder and begged him to stay,” Tamaki said. “Ground Zero was confused by my actions and the pheromones took hold before he could try and leave again. That’s when he—when we.”

Tamaki went quiet again.

“You don’t have to keep going,” Eijirou said, touching Tamaki’s cheek. Bakugou could be a softie under that gruff exterior around the right people, but he was a force of nature when he wanted to be. “Bakugou had to be scary. You were really upset when we showed up.”

“He wasn’t what was scary,” Tamaki said. He breathed softly, pressing his hand into Eijirou’s chest. “I couldn’t stop thinking about what would have happened if I’d been alone or you never came back. I barely noticed him while replaying bad memories in my head.”

Eijirou reached over and tugged Tamaki over into a proper hug. He squeezed the Omega close and rubbed his back. “I’m sorry that happened. I should have paid more attention to when you Heat was coming up.”

“I was a week and a half early,” Tamaki said, snorting into Eijirou’s chest. He didn’t return the hug, but he didn’t push Eijirou away, either. Tamaki mumbled into his chest. “You would have still left for twenty minutes if you thought my Heat was that far off.”

He had a point.

Nature was a tricky foe and Eijirou had no idea how to fight her.

“Are you okay now?” Eijirou asked, pressing his face in Tamaki’s hair. “And will you be alright for your Heat tonight? We haven’t talked about it much.”

“Yes, I’ll be fine,” Tamaki said. He touched Eijirou’s back and breathed out. His fingers curled in as he tensed. “You’re staying in all day, though, right?”

“Of course. I promised I’d take off the entire week for our first Heat together and that’s what I’m going to do,” Eijirou said. He kissed the top of Tamaki’s head and sat up. “I need to call into work first, though and let them know I’m not coming in. I should also probably check on Bakugou and let him know you’re okay.”

Tamaki smiled at him, his eyes amused. He looked like he wanted to say something, but he kept it to himself and pulled the blanket back of his shoulders instead. He snuggled into the bed and closed his eyes, ending their conversation. Eijirou patted his back though the blanket and slipped out of bed.

He grabbed his boxers from the floor, breathing out. Eijirou remembered a flash or two of what had happened last night after Tamaki kissed him, but most of it blended together into pure emotion and raw feelings.

That wasn’t how he pictured his first time with Tamaki, but at least things were settled.


Izuku worked on a late breakfast while Kacchan slept through the morning. He checked the rice in the cooker and went back to the eggs in the pan, listening to them sizzle as they cooked. Izuku enjoyed watching Kacchan wake up in the mornings, but the poor Alpha was exhausted. He stayed up too late thinking about yesterday and what he could have done better or different. Kacchan went to bed late into the night, well past his usual time.

He might appreciate breakfast to be ready when he woke up more than Izuku watching him sleep.

Soon enough, the Alpha wandered in, drawn by the smell of food and still wearing his pajamas. Izuku grinned under his breath at Kacchan’s good timing, having just finished making the first plate. Kacchan sat at the bar, bags under his eyes and watched Izuku. “I’m really glad I don’t have a patrol today.”

“The Villains appreciate it too, I bet,” Izuku said. He put the breakfast plate in front of Kacchan and smiled as the Alpha pulled it over. “You’re scary in a good mood, let alone cranky or tired.”

“Like I care what they think.” Kacchan took a few bites from breakfast. He chewed and rubbed the side of his head. “How long have you been up?”

“Not too long,” Izuku lied. Kacchan had enough on his plate to worry about Izuku’s sparse sleeping schedule. Honesty was best and what Kacchan preferred, but a little white lie here or there wouldn’t hurt things. That was one lesson Izuku knew for a fact. “Do you feel better?”

“Not really.” Kacchan finished off his plate, scraping every last bit off it. He reached over the bar and set the dish in the sink. Kacchan turned on the water from the wrong side of the bar, rinsing it. “That was good.”

“I’m glad you liked it,” Izuku said. He skipped his own breakfast and walked around the bar. He hugged Kacchan from the back and nuzzled his back. Kacchan turned off the water and Izuku went about planning a distraction for his Alpha. “What do you want to do today?”

“I would suggest checking on Kirishima and Tamaki, but I imagine they're busy this week,” Kacchan said.

The Alpha’s cheeks turned pink and he rubbed the side of his arm. He let Izuku continue to hold him, either too tired to move or happy to enjoy the contact. It was hard to tell when the more likely answer was that Kacchan had started thinking about Kirishima and Tamaki together in a Heat.

Izuku held back the urge to pinch Kacchan and put an end to that daydream, but he had another question still on his mind concerning Tamaki and Kirishima. “Hey, Kacchan.”

Kacchan turned his head toward Izuku. “Yes?”

“What did you want to talk with Tamaki alone about yesterday, anyway?” Izuku wrapped his arms tighter around Kacchan's waist. “With everything that happened, I didn't get to ask.”

“I wanted to find out if he had been trying to make you upset on purpose,” Kacchan said. He patted Izuku's arm and turned in his hold so that they were chest to chest. Kacchan put his hand in Izuku’s hair and rubbed it, curling the strands around his fingers. “Tamaki wasn't, by the way. I’m pretty sure he was trying to help you, though he chose a bad way to go about it.”

Izuku scoffed.

“He thought you were setting yourself up for a worse fall later and wanted to stop it,” Kacchan said again. He put his forehead against Izuku’s and held him by the bottom of his back. “We’re a unique situation and he didn’t know any better.”

“I guess,” Izuku said. He still didn’t like it, but after yesterday, it was clear Tamaki had issues of his own. Izuku would just keep an eye on him and see how things went. “He’s lucky you’re understanding.”

Kacchan snorted and kissed Izuku on the top of the head.

Izuku hugged Kacchan and kissed his neck. He knew a wonderful way for them both to take their minds off things. Izuku touched his back and reached for his belt line—

Kacchan’s phone rang with his work ringtone.

The Alpha got off the bar seat and walked across the room to where his cell phone was charging on the counter. He answered it with “Ground Zero.”

Izuku stole Kacchan’s abandoned seat and crossed his arms on the counter.

“I understand,” Kacchan said. “I’ll be there in an hour.”

When he hung up, Izuku asked, “Do you have to go into work?”

“Yes,” Kacchan said. He put the phone on the counter and ruffled Izuku’s hair as he headed for the bedroom to change clothes. He kept talking from the bedroom, voice loud enough for Izuku to hear. “Kirishima’s taking the weak off for Tamaki’s Heat, so they need someone to cover his shift and I was up next for the substitution list.”

Red Riot and Tamaki seemed determined to get in the way, even from a distance.

Kacchan kissed Izuku on the side of the head as he went to the door, picking up his work bag and throwing it over his shoulder. “I might be back late, so you don’t have to wait up for me.”

“Okay,” Izuku said. He waved and said, “Have a good day.”

“See you soon.”

Kacchan left and Izuku went for the bedroom closet to dig out a toy to kill time while waiting for his Alpha to come back.


Tamaki bruised Red Riot’s wrist.

He clutched hard to the Alpha’s limb, breathing heavily as his Heat made itself known and his arousal spiked. Tamaki’s hand trembled from the pressure of his hold, cutting off the circulation of Red Riot’s wrist He refused to let go and almost used his Quirk to turn his hand into something harder to pry off.

That Alpha was not leaving this room.

Not that Red Riot wanted to go anywhere, but the demand made itself known all the same.

The purpled skin looked odd on the Alpha. Red Riot was the unbreakable Hero: the man with a Quirk of stone skin. He didn’t bruise for Villains, but his skin changed color for one, slim anxious Omega who held on too tight.

If Tamaki hadn’t been aroused from his Heat, that would have got him hot and bothered all by itself.

“I’m ready,” Tamaki said, sitting up on his knees and leaning over the Alpha staring at him with wide eyes and a red face with his back against the mattress. He rubbed at Red Riot’s bruised wrist with his thumb, still refusing to let go. Tamaki pressed his free palm into the growing arousal between Red Riot’s legs and leaned on it. “Are you?”

Red Riot pulled their joined arms to the side enough to get them out of the way and put his hand on Tamaki’s hip and pulled his boxers down. Red Riot stared as he exposed Tamaki and whispered, “Yes.”

“Good,” Tamaki said.

Red Riot kissed him and rolled them over to press Tamaki’s back into the bed and get into a better position. The Alpha rubbed a circle on Tamaki’s hip as he steadied himself. Tamaki grabbed the pillow as Red Riot invited himself inside to soothe the Heat. His hips ached with the new pressure as Red Riot moved in and out, muttering his name over under his breath. Red Riot abandoned his hold on Tamaki’s hip to cradle the back of his head and his fingers tugged on Tamaki’s too-long hair. Tamaki stared at the discolored skin continuing to grow on Red Riot’s wrist, adjusting his hand’s grip to their new position.

Tamaki had put that bruise there.

A tiny bubble of possessive pride grew in his chest as Tamaki figured out the appeal of Marks.


Katsuki slammed open the door to the agency locker room. He yanked off his headpiece and mask, throwing it on a bench as he opened his personal locker. Katsuki changed out of his sweat-soaked uniform and gathered his towel and soaps. Kaminari patted him on the shoulder as he walked by and went to change on the other side of the room.

He blessedly didn’t talk to Katsuki, leaving him to shower in peace.

Katsuki turned the heat up as hot as he could stand and dumped his head under the scalding water. He hissed as it burned and grabbed a cloth to start cleaning. The steam cleared his thoughts and his mind and he relaxed as he adjusted to the temperature.

He’d shared his patrol with Kaminari and his foul mood had been impossible to hide. Kirishima had sent him a short text on his way into work that read “We’re okay! We’ll have a real discussion about everything after Tamaki’s Heat, but don’t worry about it in the meantime.” It hadn’t helped his worry about the situation and he’d wished Kirishima had called to tell him in person so he could hear his voice and tone.

Kaminari had tried to lighten the mood with light conversation about how they could welcome Kirishima to the ‘newly-mated club’ since he was spending his first Heat with an Omega, but that had crossed into topics Katsuki didn’t want to think about.

Katsuki switched the conversation back to work, but it was a quiet night rampant with nothing but calm and peace. The Villains must have sensed Katsuki was looking for a face to break in to relieve some of his frustration and taken the night off.

He hated that they wouldn’t be able to truly talk about all this for another week. But he’d respect Kirishima wanted to hold off, whether he liked it or not.

And Katsuki really hated that he was curious how Kirishima was handling the Heat with Tamaki. Was he having as much trouble as Katsuki had with Deku, or did he take to it as naturally as breathing as Kaminari had when it came to Kyouka?

But he wasn’t going to talk about that with Kaminari or anyone else. Katsuki kept his mouth shut and grunted as Kaminari continued to try and lighten the mood during their patrol.

Kaminari gave up on conversation after an hour or two. The rest of their patrol was spent in silence until they returned to the agency to clean up and go home.

After he rinsed the last of the shampoo from his hair. He stood under the shower for one more blessed minute before he turned off the water and grabbed his towel. He dried off his hair first and let the towel hang around his shoulders as he put his things away.

Katsuki dropped the towel to around his waist when he returned to the locker. He changed, feeling better after a long shower. The one benefit to late patrols was how few people were in the agency. The overnight patrols wouldn’t be back until the morning and the day patrol people were long gone and resting at home.

He packed away his things, checking his phone for messages while he was in the shower.

One from Deku sat on the screen.

Katsuki clicked it open and sat on the bench, holding his head as he stared at the words: “Kacchan, my Pre-Heat started a few minutes ago. I’m sorry I forgot to remind you my own Heat was coming up so soon, but it slipped my mind. I thought you might want a head’s up before you got home at least.”

He closed the message window and pulled up his calendar and scrolled through appointments looking for the reservation he’d made to meet with their parents. When he found it, he counted back a week from that date and Deku was right on time for his Heat.

It’d been about a month since his last Heat, give or take a few days and Katsuki couldn’t believe they’d been together this long already.

Katsuki turned off the screen and shoved his phone in his pocket. He couldn’t decide if the timing of Deku’s Pre-Heat came at the worst time or the best. Falling to Pre-Heat pheromones so soon after what happened with Tamaki made Katsuki feel sick to his stomach, but it’d be nice to have something else to focus on all week instead of dwelling on the situation with Kirishima and Tamaki.

He grabbed his bag and left the locker room. Katsuki couldn’t stall when Deku had to be waiting up for him back home. He left the agency and entered the dark streets, hurrying to the trains station to get back as soon he could.

Katsuki could worry about everything else later, but for now, his own Omega needed him.

Chapter Text

Tamaki had forgotten about Red Riot’s teeth.

He touched the tender skin, wincing at the deep imprints as he inspected the Mark in the bathroom mirror. The wide imprints were each almost a half inch wide per tooth and the entire wound still felt raw and open. The venom formed the usual, clear barrier to keep it from bleeding, but the Mark was far deeper into the muscle than Tamaki had been used to.

The Alpha responsible hid behind his arms in shame. “I am so sorry. I didn’t even think about that.”

Tamaki reached over and patted the Alpha’s arm twice.

Red Riot dropped his arms, mouth still drawn in a frustrated frown. Tamaki dragged his notebook over and spelled it out: “It’s okay. It didn’t hurt when you did it, so that’s all that matters.”

“Still,” Red Riot said. He lifted his hand and touched the backside of the Mark near the side of his neck under his hair. “I should have been more careful.”

In the mirror, Tamaki could see the dark, blotchy bruise that had taken up nearly all of Red Riot’s wrist and upper arm.

Tamaki turned to face him and tapped the bruise. He wrote, “We’ll call it even.”

Red Riot cracked into a smile and Tamaki left the mirror to finish cleaning up. He’d woken up early in the morning, irritated by the pain in his shoulder and he hoped that a bath would relax him enough to go back to sleep for the rest of the day. Heats were exhausting and there was a reason Omega slept through most of the week.

Tamaki yawned into his hand and Red Riot left the shower, saying he was going to wash the sheets while they were up. Tamaki closed his eyes and breathed in, hating he could already feel his heartbeat pick up as the Alpha left.

He was coming right back.

Red Riot was only in the next room.

Tamaki exhaled and dropped into the bath, sinking under the hot water. He stayed as still as possible so the sound of splashing wouldn’t drown out the sound of the Alpha moving about the apartment.


Kacchan was a liar.

Izuku crossed his arms on the sleeping Alpha’s back, smiling to himself as he stretched his sore limbs. He could feel the bruises stretch as he moved and he settled into Kacchan’s side, glad his Alpha had the morning off of work after his long night shift and what waited for him after it.

Instincts, however, always spoke the truth.

Izuku had waited in the bedroom, naked and wet. He tapped the screen on his phone, hoping Kacchan had seen the text he’d sent in warning. The Alpha must have read it because Izuku could hear him pace around the living room before he worked up the nerve to go into the back bedroom where the source of the Pre-Heat pheromones rested on his bed.

Kacchan didn’t fight it and Izuku watched as once again his eyes grew into slits and his breath grew heavy. He fell onto Izuku with purpose, taking him before Kacchan had bothered to shed his own clothes past what was necessary to expose himself.

The Alpha had claimed he enjoyed it slow and taking his time, and on some level—Izuku was sure that he did—but he’d been as rough during the Pre-Heat warm up as he had the first time he’d taken Izuku to bed (or well, the couch).

Once more, Izuku’s thighs and hips were decorated in bruises and his neck ached from the fresh Mark he’d begged for while Kacchan enjoyed himself.

In his previous experience, Izuku had found that Pre-Heat sex and regular sex with his Alpha hadn’t varied much. The ones that liked it rough, tended to be rough. The ones that didn’t like to do any work, still made Izuku do all the work subconsciously. It went on and on, but the major difference was the lack of the Alpha’s senses. They lost rationality in their pleasure and took Izuku to bed uninhibited.

There was no mistake: Kacchan without any sort of restraint was rough in every way. In the dominating kisses, in his strong hold, in the depth of his bite—all of it.

Izuku kissed the side of Kacchan’s face, helping himself into a position in his arms. The Alpha continued to sleep, tired from the exertion. Izuku snuggled up and breathed out.

Kacchan had to be in denial—he liked it rough, but didn’t want to admit to it. The Alpha had said he’d had issues with Omega being afraid of him, so subconsciously perhaps he wanted to make an extra effort to be a gentle thing when his blood called out for dominance. Kacchan had convinced himself he liked it slow and sensual and his true desires only came out when nothing could stand in his way, be it his own thoughts or fear of hurting someone.

That had to be it.

Izuku grinned, hugging his Alpha closer. He’d keep that in mind during his Heat. Maybe if Izuku asked for him to be rougher, he would remember that Izuku wasn’t scared of him.

He looked forward to the week ahead and testing out the theory.


Katsuki survived another week of Deku’s Heat.

Barely.

Deku’s demands were near impossible to keep up with and Katsuki once again said mental thanks to the Omega who’d helped him at that toy shop. To his great relief, he’d managed to convince Deku that he liked watching the Omega take care of himself with the toys, so he could rest while Deku “put on a show.”

It wasn’t a total lie, either, Katsuki admitted.

If he’d had the stamina for it, he probably would have gotten something out of Deku doing things for himself.

But he didn’t have that sort of energy and spent the time catching his breath.

By the end of each night, Katsuki had wanted to do nothing but sleep and ignore the bruises that had darkened throughout the Heat until they were purple. Deku said he liked them, but that didn’t bring Katsuki any comfort.

It made him wonder if he’d bruised Tamaki and that brought him back to topics he’d failed at distracting himself from.

Katsuki brushed Deku’s hair back as the napping Omega cuddled on the couch next to him, his head on Katsuki’s lap. He needed to talk to Kirishima about what happened and apologize properly to the both of them.

Kirishima was his best friend and he didn’t want this to create a rift between them. It’d be best if they talked alone, so maybe it was time for another visit to Kyouka or Momo. It’d be good for Deku to keep socializing with others anyway.

Maybe even Tamaki would go and they could work out their own issues, too.


“So, it sounds like you had a major couple of weeks,” Kyouka said, swirling a cup of tea around in her cup. Momo sat next to her and across from Izuku, helping herself to a cookie. Kyouka set the cup down with a sound clink. “Denki said Ground Zero was in one heck of a mood all week, which meant something must have happened before your latest Heat.”

“It’s a long story,” Izuku said, sinking into the chair. He felt too aware of Chargebolt in the living room, but he felt comfortable enough to talk. The other Alpha hadn’t told Kacchan about his slip concerning his visits to the Matchmaking Houses that he knew of, so he was safe enough. A little trust did wonders for his Alpha related fears. “The worst of it was just bad timing for an already tense situation.”

“Yeah?” Kyouka asked. “What happened?”

“Red Riot’s new mate,” Izuku said. He reached for a cookie and snapped it in half. “That’s what happened.”

“Oh,” Kyouka said. She rubbed the back of her neck and asked, “Do you not like him?”

“Not really,” Izuku said. “Why?”

“Because he’s about to arrive,” Momo said, pointing at the door. Through the small window near the side of the door, Izuku saw the distinct red color of Red Riot’s hair through the blurry glass. Momo tugged the end of her hair over and folded it around her fingers. “He was invited to attend our meeting today as well.”

Izuku dropped his shoulders as the doorbell rang and Chargebolt went to greet their guests. It opened, revealing Tamaki in his usual hoodie standing next to Red Riot. While the Alpha kept his attention on the other Alpha, Tamaki shot Izuku a wary glance. Chargebolt ushered Tamaki inside and Red Riot saw himself back out onto the street.

Kyouka put her hand on Izuku’s shoulder and squeezed in support. She removed it fast enough, working to hide that she’d noticed the rise in tension with the fourth Omega’s arrival.

Tamaki took the empty seat between Izuku and Momo. He wrote a quick, “It’s nice to see you again” before putting the notebook down.

Izuku counted to ten in his head before asking Kyouka how she’d been the past week. Conversation picked up between the four of them, centering around niceties and small updates about what their Alpha had been up to. Izuku and Tamaki both chose to listen while Kyouka and Momo talked about safer topics.

He could make it through an afternoon without causing trouble.

“What about you, Tamaki? How’s it been with Red Riot?” Kyouka asked. “We haven’t really seen you since your Alpha introduced us.”

“It’s been good. I think my Alpha has a crush on Ground Zero,” Tamaki wrote on his notepad. “It’s so adorable I want to frame photos of his face as he gushes over his best friend.”

Izuku almost dumped his tea on Tamaki’s head.

The other Omega was saved when Kyouka burst out laughing and said, “Izuku thought the same thing! You should have seen him when he was terrified they were running off together in secret!”

Momo chuckled and the atmosphere stayed light as the four of them teased each other and Tamaki wrote out his evidence for his suspicion.

Izuku shoved his tea cup away before the temptation grew too great, but at least he wasn’t the only one who’d had that thought about Red Riot and Kacchan.


Eijirou gave Bakugou a hug the moment he saw him.

It didn’t show on his face or expression, but Eijirou knew festering guilt when he saw it. He squeezed Bakugou hard and said, “I told you we were okay and not to worry about it.”

Bakugou returned his hug—showing Eijirou just how much he was upset about this—and let go to sit back down at the restaurant booth.

The waitress came over and took their orders before Eijirou made sure everything was clear between the two of them and explained it all from Tamaki’s past history to reassuring Bakugou that Tamaki was more upset that he panicked at all than Bakugou losing control.

“I’m still sorry that happened,” Bakugou said after Eijirou had finished. He looked stern and the self hatred snuck onto his face in the twist of his lower lip and the narrowing of his brows. “I trained to be better than that.”

“With total strangers,” Eijirou said, leaning across the table. “There’s a reason they sedate Alpha when their Omega are in trouble and why Heroes aren’t assigned cases involving loved ones. Instincts make it impossible to think rationally in times when they need our help.

“You care about Tamaki because you care about me. That made your choice to leave him alone harder than if it was a stranger. With someone you’ve never met before, objectively you would know without a doubt walking away was better,” Eijirou said. He crossed his arms and leaned back in the booth. “With a friend, you second guess yourself because you can’t stand to see them hurting. But at the end of the day, it’s my call and I accepted your apology before you said it.”

“If you were anyone else, I’d have been arrested,” Bakugou said, voice low.

Eijirou reached over and tugged hard on his hair. He yelped and the Alpha growled before stopping himself. He glared at Eijirou and he snorted. “Arrested, yes, but you would have been cleared of all charges when we explained the situation. Tamaki’s not upset with you and I certainly wouldn’t press the issue, so you’re fine. Stop beating yourself up.”

“You are taking all of this so well it’s scary,” Bakugou said, calm enough to start eating the food that had been dropped off somewhere between “You cared about Tamaki” and accepting his apology. “Be a little concerned for your Omega, would you?”

“I was concerned! I know it doesn’t look like it now, but I promise I was worried out of my mind a the time and I’m fine now because he’s fine,” Eijirou said. He licked the side of his teeth and cut into his own food. “Besides, I’m partly to blame for all this, too, so it’s not like it’s all on you.”

“How is any of this your fault?”

Eijirou fidgeted with the food on his plate and blushed. “Because when I first sat down to talk with Tamaki about flirting with you, I asked if he was attracted to you and wanted to sleep with you.”

Bakugou stopped eating and stared.

“And before he could clarify he was just trying to figure out if you’d molest him when I wasn’t looking,” Eijirou blurted. He looked at the table, his own cheeks turning red as he remembered the conversation and the metal images that came with it. “I told him I was fine with him sleeping with you if you were, so maybe later when he thought he was going to be alone for his Heat, he begged for you so badly because he knew I’d already okayed it in a way. You were a safe option for him.”

The other Alpha kept staring before he put his utensils down and his hands in his lap. Bakugou stared at Eijirou. “Do you really put me that much above you?”

Eijirou bit the edge of his lip.

It wasn’t common these days, but long in the past, an Alpha letting another sleep with their mate was a sign of trust and total submission. It was a clear “You’re higher than me in the dominance hierarchy and what’s mine is yours.”

But that’s not quite what this was.

Maybe.

Eijirou rubbed the back of his hand. “It’s okay if it’s you. I don’t know why I feel that way, but I do.”

Bakugou stared at him for a long while. His considering expression and steady gaze felt like it was looking through Eijirou’s ribs and straight into his heart.

“I feel the same,” Bakugou said. He sipped his water, embarrassed. “Because we’re equals, idiot.”

Eijirou felt a warmth grow throughout his chest and he let out the breath he’d been holding. “So, are we all settled with this?”

“Yes,” Bakugou said. He sat back into the chair, straighter and more relaxed. “It’s done and I’m glad we’re okay.”

“Awesome,” Eijirou said. He reached for his cooling food and dug into the rest of it. His stomach and heart felt lighter and he was glad to have had this tiny moment of honesty between them.

“I do have a question though,” Bakugou said. He pointed at Eijirou’s wrist with a confused look. “What the hell happened to your arm?”

Eijirou laughed and gave Bakugou a run down of his first Heat week, amused at Bakugou’s embarrassment when he didn’t spare any details.

Chapter Text

Izuku deserved a reward.

They were an hour into Kyouka’s afternoon tea and he had played nice with Tamaki the entire time. Not a single insult, passive aggressive statement, or blow was thrown between the two of them. The other Omega had aided in his endeavor to remain civil by keeping to himself. Aside from the small bit of gossip about Red Riot and Kacchan’s relationship after Tamaki first arrived, he mostly listened to Kyouka and Momo talk about their days, same as Izuku.

As long as they didn’t talk to each other or discuss their Alpha, Izuku and Tamaki got along fine.

In the middle of Kyouka and Momo sharing gossip from the last team building evening their Alpha attended, the door rang.

“I got it,” Chargebolt said. He got up from the couch and trotted over to the door with a skip in his step.

“Kacchan and Red Riot must be back early,” Izuku said to himself. He turned in the chair to see his Alpha and saw someone else in the doorway.

“Oh! Lemillion!” Chargebolt said. He stood to the side, fully revealing the blond, bright eyed Pro Hero dressed in his costume. Izuku gripped the chair as Chargebolt asked, “What brings you over?”

“We’ll be working together next week in a joint project by our agencies, so I thought I’d drop by and say hello!” Lemillion said with cheer, putting his hands on his hips.

“Really?” Chargebolt grinned and crossed his arms. “I hadn’t heard that!”

“I wanted it to be a surprise,” Lemillion said, laughing. “The agencies want to encourage all sorts of new Hero combinations to bolster teamwork between the Pros.”

“Hey,” Izuku whispered to Tamaki. “Isn’t Lemillion your favorite Pro Hero?”

No answer.

“Ta—”

Tamaki slammed his hand over Izuku’s mouth, dragging his hood down over his head. He shrunk in the chair, his entire body shivering. He shook his head hard and put his finger on his lip, eyes wide in fear.

Izuku snapped his mouth shut. For someone who’d spoke so fondly of Lemillion when the Omega at the shelter talked about their favorite Pros, he looked terrified. Izuku would expect nervousness or shyness, but Tamaki looked ready to bolt.

“Do you want to meet my mate?” Chargebolt asked. “And you can meet some of my friend’s mates, too. They’re over for a visit today.”

Tamaki full on flinched, shivering harder as the two heroes approached the table. He held tight to his hood, covering his face. He ripped out a few strands of hair that got caught in his clinging nails.

Lemillion laughed, fully and hearty. “Of course! I’d love to.”

Tamaki stilled, not even breathing as the two reached the table.

“Hey, is something up?” Chargebolt asked, drawing his brows together as he looked at Kyouka. “You don’t look so good, babe.”

Kyouka covered her mouth and darted her eyes at Tamaki without saying anything. Chargebolt followed her gaze and noticed the state of the other Omega hiding behind his hood. Izuku felt his own nerves twitch from the new Alpha’s Scent as Lemillion stood directly behind Tamaki.

“Hey, are you okay?” Chargebolt asked, leaning over the table. The Omega’s eyes widened further, pupils in pinpricks. Chargebolt tugged out his phone. “Do you want me to call Kirishima, Tamaki?”

“Did you say Tamaki?” Lemillion asked.

The Hero stared at Tamaki’s back, eyes narrowed at the fabric in the way. He reached up and tugged down the hood, revealing Tamaki’s dark hair and pointed ears.

Izuku watched the Hero’s eyes soften and his shoulders drop.

“Tamaki,” Lemillion said, dropping the hood.

“Mirio,” Tamaki said back. His breath hitched and he broke into a sob that Izuku knew very well.

He’d done the same when he’d met up with Kacchan for the first time at the Shelter.


Katsuki’s phone buzzed and he tugged it out. Behind him, Kirishima paid for a box of pastries to share with everyone when they returned to Kaminari’s place. Katsuki walked closer to the window of the the shop. With no one to look over his shoulder, Katsuki opened the messages and stared at the steady stream of texts coming from Deku.

“Is something up?” Kirishima asked, walking away from the counter with the box. “You’re staring hard at your phone.”

“I’m still reading, give me a second,” Katsuki said. Deku’s texts continued to arrive, one after the other. Katsuki read through them until he got to the last message and breathed out. “Deku and Tamaki have more in common than they realized.”

“Isn’t that good?”

“Not when the thing they have in common is they both used to be friends with Pro Heroes before they presented,” Katsuki said, putting his phone in his pocket. He grabbed the box of treats from Kirishima and put it under his arm, walking out of the shop door. The other Alpha followed in step behind him. “To summarize what Deku just sent me: Lemillion dropped by on a surprise visit to Kaminari and Tamaki had a breakdown because he used to know the guy when they were preteens.”

“What’s Lemillion doing at Kaminari’s house?” Kirishima tapped after Katsuki with a concerned look on his face. “They don’t work together.”

Katsuki didn’t know the answer. “We’ll find out when we get there.”

They made their way back to Kaminari’s home as fast as they could, both hoping the situation wasn’t as dire as Deku’s text had sounded.


Tamaki had let his guard down.

His plans to stay as isolated as possible and avoid Red Riot’s Hero circles to keep this exact moment from happening had failed. He’d been careless thinking it was okay to add one more person to his visitation exceptions. He should have cut himself off with Ground Zero an been done with it.

“You’re okay,” Mirio said, hugging Tamaki into his chest as he sat in the Alpha’s lap. Mirio was too big and too large to fit his old memories, but he was still every bit as warm as Tamaki remembered. He held Tamaki tight, his own eyes watering. “I missed you, too.”

Tamaki went slack and rested against Mirio.

He could still save this.

As long as Mirio didn’t know everything, Tamaki might could salvage something of his pride.

But that only worked if everyone kept their mouths shut until he could beg them not to tell the person he admired most that Tamaki had went from his best friend to a pity case.

“How’ve you been?” Mirio asked, still rubbing Tamaki’s back. “Is your mate treating you okay?”

Tamaki wanted to answer.

But his mouth wouldn’t work and he left his notebook on the table when Mirio said he wanted to catch up with Tamaki alone.

Kaminari and the others hadn’t been able to argue against Mirio’s unspoken command that no one would interrupt him and Tamaki. His presence was too large and gave no question to who held the authority in the room. Tamaki, too, had been caught up with him and followed Mirio like he used to when they were young. His cheeks were still wet and Mirio wiped them off in the room with the side of his cape.

Tamaki nodded into Mirio’s chest, answering as best he was able. It’d been a while since his voice had truly left him. Tamaki almost cried again; he’d always been able to talk to Mirio before.

He’d been Tamaki’s first true friend.

“I thought about you after you left,” Mirio said. His voice sounded soft, but maintained a weight of maturity he’d gained over the years when Tamaki could only watch him from a television screen. “I asked your parents for an address where I could send letters after they said you were mated, but they didn’t know where you were. Your Alpha cut off contact.”

He’d done many things worse than that.

Where Izuku had dealt with Alpha after Alpha over the years, caught in a return cycle, Tamaki had been trapped with a single mate that had dedicated himself to ruining his Omega’s life.

And Tamaki had let him, throwing away everything Mirio had taught him about sticking up for himself and staying strong.

How could he look Mirio in the eye knowing that? How could he admit that he hadn’t been the person Mirio knew and believed he could be?

Mirio squeezed Tamaki tighter and his fingers dug into Tamaki’s back. “Please say something.”

Tamaki trembled, putting his hand on the side of Mirio’s Hero uniform. He tugged it and looked around for something to write with. Tamaki could do at least that much. Mirio loosened his hold to lean back as Tamaki fidgeted.

He didn’t look up to see Mirio’s expression.

“Tamaki?” Mirio asked. “What are you doing?”

For an office, there was a distinct lack of pens or paper on Chargebolt’s desk. Tamaki gave a frustrated huff as he tugged on a drawer, looking for something stashed away he could use.

“Where is he?”

Tamaki snapped off the handle on the drawer, jerking up at the raised voice that broke through the door. That had been Red Riot, but he sounded—angry. Tamaki had never heard him yell before.

Mirio stiffened as well, staring at the shut office door.

Red Riot continued to shout on the other side and Tamaki stared in awe at the door. “I’m not asking again! I don’t care who he’s with!”

“Is that your Alpha?” Mirio asked, voice low.

Tamaki nodded, too surprised to hear the possessive tone in Red Riot’s voice to think about what he’d just answered.

“He and I need to have a talk, don’t we?”

Mirio set Tamaki in the office chair and threw open the door, storming out. It’d been impossible to miss the expression he wore: Rage.

Chapter Text

Eijirou smelled the distressed pheromones that mixed with Tamaki’s Scent when he walked in the door.

Kaminari and the others were in the living room, yelling at each other with hushed voices. Eijirou didn’t see Tamaki or Lemillion in the living room and took a few steps in, leaning to the side to get out of the way when Izuku brushed by him to hug Bakugou. Kirishima dropped the box of pastries on a side table and looked around the room.

“Did you get my messages?” Izuku asked behind him.

Bakugou said, “Yes. Are you okay?”

He blocked out their small conversation and headed to the spot where Tamaki’s Scent was strongest in the room. The distress grew with it and he put both hands on the back of a chair at the table, breathing deep.

“Kirishima, oh man,” Kaminari said. “I’m glad you’re here. Lemillion showed up and Tamaki—”

“Where is he?” Eijirou asked, squeezing the back of the chair. He could smell an unfamiliar Alpha in the room and it lingered in the same spot as Tamaki’s Scent—that had to be Lemillion. Eijirou wanted to follow it and look for them, but he was terrified about where they’d gone.

He needed Kaminari to tell him they were somewhere innocent. If he went looking and found them in a bedroom, Eijirou wouldn’t be responsible for his actions.

“He’s fine, I promise,” Kaminari said. “Just keep your head cool, okay?”

That wasn’t the answer Eijirou wanted.

“Where is he!” Eijirou yelled.

Kaminari took a step back and held his hands up. “Look, he was upset but Lemillion wanted to talk with him alone, so just relax and give them a minute. I’m sure they’ll be done soon.”

Eijirou shoved the chair under the table and gripped his hands into fists. Why didn’t Kaminari want to tell him where they went? “Where are they?”

“I know you’re used to hanging out with powerful Alpha, but it’s Lemillion,” Kaminari stressed. He put his hands up and made a fist and smacked it into the other palm. “He’s not in the top ten for nothing and I’m certainly not going to tell him no. Tamaki went right with him when he asked without a fuss and they clearly know each other. I’m sure they’re—”

“I’m not asking again! I don’t care who he’s with!” Eijirou shouted. He grabbed Kaminari’s shirt and pulled him over. “Tell me where they are.”

“Kirishima, put him down,” Bakugou said, grabbing Eijirou’s wrist. He looked equally angry, but managed to keep his calm with Izuku clinging to his other arm. “Deku said Lemillion is Tamaki’s favorite Hero and he was nervous about being seen by the guy. If we rush in, you might make him more upset.”

“That Alpha has made him upset enough.” A large palm landed on Eijirou’s shoulder, swinging him around to face Lemillion himself. The larger Alpha glared down, face twisted in fury. He lifted Eijirou off the ground, yanking him out of Bakugou’s grip and hissed. “I don’t know what you did to Tamaki to hurt him as badly as you did, but you’re going to pay for it.”


Tamaki sat in the office chair, heart racing and staring at the doorway where Mirio had left through. When Mirio’s destination became clear from the scuffle down the hallway, Tamaki dove straight for desk again, ripping open the drawer to find paper and a pen. Red Riot was an Alpha not to be messed with, but Mirio was better.

The Pro Hero Lemillion was at the bottom of the top ten Hero rankings, but only because he stayed out of the limelight. He made an effort to spread the attention to the Pro Heroes around him, stepping back from praise. Tamaki had spent time wondering if it was because of his Quirk and Mirio didn’t want the attention. It had to be frustrating to explain how his Permeation Quirk had evolved to give him enhanced abilities in addition to his power to become intangible, making it almost appear like he had two Quirks instead of one.

Most people even forgot Mirio had his Permeation Quirk as little as he used it—which came in handy when a bad guy forgot he could go through a wall with ease.

Regardless, Lemillion found himself near the bottom of the rankings one way or another due to his public relations.

But if the Hero rankings were only judged on strength and ability, Mirio would have been number one.

Tamaki didn’t want to see if Mirio’s Quirk could break Red Riot’s.

He slammed a stationary block on the desktop and found a pen in the bottom drawer. Tamaki wrote out a message, biting his lip hard enough that it bled as he hurried. Finished, he held the pen and ran out into the hallway, smacking into the wall on the other side of the door.

He kept moving despite his slip-up and ran to the other end of the house.

In the living room, Mirio had Red Riot off the ground and slammed into the far wall. He accused Red Riot of all sorts of horrible things while the other Alpha shouted back. Ground Zero yelled at him to put his friend down, his palms smoking as his Quirk threatened to ignite. Izuku shouted, too, while Kaminari and Kyouka bickered behind them. Momo had her phone out speaking in a hushed voice to what was likely her Alpha on the other end.

None of them paid any mind to Tamaki as he entered, too caught up in the unfolding situation between Mirio and Red Riot.

All of them spoke at once.

Tamaki’s voice remained inaccessible, but he could still move.

And he still had his Quirk.

Glad he ate the seaweed snacks at the start of the meal, Tamaki transformed his arm into a long, leaf-like blade of seaweed and ran toward Mirio’s back. He threw his arm up, wrapping the seaweed limb around Mirio’s face like a wet scarf, making sure to cover Mirio’s eyes before pulling it tight.

Mirio dropped Red Riot and reached to grab Tamaki’s arm. When he moved, Tamaki leaned back, tugging him around so that when he transformed his arm back to normal, Mirio looked straight at him.

“Tamaki!” Mirio and Red Riot shouted at the same time.

He opened his mouth, hoping his boldness had returned his voice, but it still refused to cooperate. Tamaki growled and shoved the stationary he’d written on in Mirio’s face instead.

Red Riot leaned on the wall, rubbing the bottom of his throat as he looked between Tamaki and Mirio. Ground Zero put a hand on Red Riot’s shoulder and asked if he was okay while Mirio read the page out loud.

“My first Alpha is in jail,” Mirio read, his shoulders dropping as he read the page. “Red Riot didn’t hurt me. Don’t touch him.”

Mirio reread the page, looking to have calmed for the moment.

Tamaki tapped around Mirio and stepped next to Red Riot—just in case.


Katsuki crossed his arms across his chest as he leaned against the back of the couch, watching Kirishima, Tamaki, and Lemillion. They’d moved to the the table in the small, open dining room just off the living room where everyone’s mates tended to gather when they visited.

Deku sat behind him on the couch, half turned so he could watch, too. He scrunched his nose in a conflicted pout, but his eyes studied the situation. He mumbled under his breath whenever he came to a conclusion on his own, but stayed quiet enough only Katsuki could hear him. Kaminari had left to take Momo back home, not wanting to stick around in the tense room and he’d taken Kyouka with him.

Katsuki had no intention of leaving Kirishima alone with Lemillion, especially not after the guy had pinned his best friend against a wall after jumping to conclusions.

They were all lucky Tamaki had shown up when he did, or a dominance brawl would have broken out in Kaminari’s home between at least three Alpha, four if Kaminari jumped into the fray.

Katsuki had never liked Lemillion.

There was always something off about that guy—he was too cheery, too powerful, and his fighting style reminded him too much of All Might back before he retired. None of those things were enough for him to distrust the other Hero or refuse to work with him, but that didn’t mean he had to be friends with the guy.

Kirishima’s Omega did not feel the same.

“So you two grew up together and used to be close friends,” Kirishima said, holding Tamaki’s hand under the table. The possessive move was unlike him, but Katsuki couldn’t blame the guy with such a threatening Alpha sharing an interest in his mate. Lemillion sat across from them, hands on the table and frowning. “Do I have that right?”

Tamaki wrote something on his notepad, but Katsuki couldn’t read it from where he was. He must have confirmed Kirishima’s question because the Alpha nodded and said, “Okay.”

“Tamaki presented late, so he was almost fourteen by the time we had to say goodbye,” Lemillion said. He leaned back into his chair and clenched his hands into fists under the table. “I wanted to keep in contact but his parents said his mate cut off contact.”

“I’m not surprised,” Kirishima said, rubbing his thumb back and forth on Tamaki’s hand. He bit his lip and breathed in before he exhaled, calming himself. Kirishima glared at the table. “That Alpha was a monster.”

Tamaki slumped into his seat, his hood falling further forward to hide his face.

“I’m sorry I assumed you were him,” Lemillion said. He folded his hands together and watched the Omega at the table. “Tamaki was so scared when you were yelling from the other room, I jumped to the wrong conclusion. It didn’t occur to me he was shocked you were yelling at all.”

“I’ve never had a reason to,” Kirishima said, narrowing his eyes. “But it’s warranted when you find out your mate is alone somewhere with another Alpha while he’s distressed.”

Lemillion sat up straighter and Katsuki tensed along with Kirishima. He said, “I didn’t want him to be embarrassed in front of his friends. He’s never liked people watching him and it’s worse when he’s emotional.”

Tamaki wrote something else down and Kirishima bit his lip but turned away. He dropped the subject, switching to something new. “Did you and Tamaki manage to catch up?”

“Not really,” Lemillion said. He breathed out and frowned, “No one told me he had trouble speaking now, so it was a rather one sided conversation.”

Tamaki scribbled something else and Katsuki almost walked over. He felt like an eavesdropper as much as they were paying attention to the other couple in the room. Deku had given up on subtlety and had turned around to sit on his knees so he could get a better look, though he didn’t have much luck either with Tamaki’s small handwriting.

Katsuki put a hand on his head and shoved him down. “Don’t bother.”

“I want to know what Tamaki is saying,” Deku said, voice low. He crossed his arms on the back of the couch and huffed hard enough to bounce the curls on his head. “We’re missing half the conversation.”

“We probably shouldn’t be listening to this much,” Katsuki said, rubbing Deku’s hair. “If they all weren’t so tense, I’d leave them alone to sort this out themselves.”

Deku leaned into his hand and went back to analyzing the others talking, frowning and unamused. Katsuki checked the time and pushed off the couch and walked over to the table. He knocked his knuckles on the side, gaining the attention of all three.

“Are you two about done?” Katsuki asked. Tamaki fiddled with his notebook, holding it at an angle Katsuki couldn’t read. So much for coming closer to sneak a peek at it. It was likely for the best that he didn’t read it. “Because it’s late and we have to work tomorrow, so it might be good if we wrapped this up and went home.”

“It would be better if we talked more later,” Kirishima said. He looked around and winced, “Kaminari might want his house back at some point, too, and we have a lot to discuss it seems like.”

“Yes,” Lemillion said. He reached over and put his hand on Tamaki’s shoulder, his smile turning soft. “We have a lot to catch up on.”

Tamaki nodded, reaching up to pat Lemillion’s hand.

Kirishima got up from the table first and pulled over a napkin. He borrowed Tamaki’s pen to write out his phone number before handing it to Lemillion. “Call me and we can meet up later.”

“Thanks,” Lemillion said. He folded it in half and put it in his side pocket. Lemillion turned to the Omega and said, “I’m really glad I got to see you again, Tamaki. I really did miss you.”

Tamaki’s eyes watered and he rubbed his arm. He whispered, “I missed you, too.”

Katsuki’s chest tightened as he watched Kirishima’s face grow blank. He reached over and tugged on his friend’s arm, “Come on. Deku and I’ll walk you two back home.”

“Sure,” Kirishima said, licking the side of his lip. “Let’s go home.”

Katsuki met Deku at the couch, gathering their coats and things. Kirishima waited for Tamaki as he picked up his notebook and pen and held them near his chest. He didn’t seem to notice Kirishima’s dour mood as he kept his gaze aimed at Lemillion.

The Alpha causing all the trouble followed them to the door, standing with Tamaki and Kirishima just outside while Katsuki locked up with Kaminari’s spare key. He sent their friend a text to know that the coast was clear and that he could go home. The group walked together in silence until they split ways at the end of the street.

Tamaki waved as Lemillion left and the other Hero answered it with a brilliant smile.

Kirishima looked away from them both when Tamaki hugged his notebook tighter and gained a soft smile, almost hidden by his hood.

Deku sensed the mood and grabbed Tamaki’s arm. He tugged him ahead of the two Alpha and started asking him what he thought of Kyouka and Momo. Tamaki’s hood fell back as he was dragged and pulled his arm back so he could answer on his notebook, thoroughly distracted from the subject of Lemillion.

“You okay?” Katsuki asked when the two Omega were far enough ahead to avoid overhearing.

Kirishima shook his head. His fist trembled at his side and he breathed hard. “I’m jealous and I hate it.”

Katsuki threw an arm around his shoulder and tugged him over. The jealousy was normal, though he still hated to see it on his friend’s face. He patted Kirishima’s chest and said, “You can take that guy. Have some confidence, idiot.”

“That’s easy for you to say,” Kirishima muttered. He crossed his arms over his chest, watching the two Omega with a heavy frown. “Izuku adores you. Tamaki and I are still new to each other and Lemillion’s got a history with him.”

“Lemillion’s not Tamaki’s mate,” Katsuki said. “You are. And like I said, if he does do something stupid like make a formal challenge, you can take him.”

“You think I can take Lemillion?” Kirishima cracked a disbelieving smile, brows drawn together as he considered it. He held his hand up, activating his Quirk and changing his hand into claws. “I guess I won’t know for sure until it happens.”

“You’ll win,” Katsuki said with absolute confidence. “So don’t worry about it.”

“Thanks, Bakugou,” Kirishima said. He dropped his Quirk and looked ahead at Tamaki. “He’s worth going the extra limit.”

Katsuki smacked Kirishima on the back and stepped aside to put his hands in his pockets. “That’s better.”

The rest of their walk continued in silence and Katsuki would have to ask Deku for his notes on Lemillion if he still did that sort of thing.

If the worst happened and Kirishima did somehow lose to that guy, Katsuki would just have to get Tamaki back for him.