The sun was already starting to set by the time the battle wrapped up. Deku’s work shift had technically ended over three hours ago but it wasn’t the first time – nor would it be the last – that he’d work late.
On an average day, Deku wouldn’t be upset about the extra work. In fact, anyone at the Endeavor Hero Agency would agree that Deku was one of the worst offenders of pushing against the strict work-time restrictions sidekick heroes had.
But it wasn’t an average day. And the source of Deku’s frustrations had already stormed off in a blaze of fiery explosions, leaving Deku and Lemillion to handle the reporters slowly crowding around the pair. Their intern, a young student from U.A. named Reverie, was nowhere to be found. Deku wasn’t surprised to see her disappear after being thoroughly chewed out by Ground Zero.
As soon as the clean-up team arrived, Deku pulled away from the scene, Hiyori tucked tightly into the hood of his costume. Both her fur and his emotions were still on edge.
“Deku! Deku! A moment, please!” a reported called out, reaching out as if to grab him.
Deku, known best for his smiles and pleasant demeanor, faced her with a deep frown. “I don’t have a moment; I need to find our intern.”
“Please excuse my dear colleague, Deku,” Lemillion quickly interrupted, placing an arm around Deku’s broad shoulders and gently steering him away from the crowd of reporters. “We’ve had a rather long day, all things considered.”
A publicist from the Endeavor Hero Agency rushed forward to take their place. Erika, Lemillion’s large lioness daemon, placed her body behind them to ward off any others from forcing their way through.
As the pair of pro heroes were making their way back to the transport van, Reverie and her daemon reappeared without a word and tagged along behind them. Deku couldn’t help but be slightly envious of a Quirk that allows its user to be unnoticeable, especially when all he wanted to do was disappear and go home.
Once they and their daemons were safely within the white, unmarked van and on their way back to their hero office, Lemillion turned to Deku with a serious look on his face. “Deku, I understand that you and Ground Zero are… working through some type of issue… But you can’t allow it to affect your performance on the battlefield. It is the duty of a pro hero to rise above all the challenges that face them, even the private, emotional ones.”
Deku’s face bloomed red, a flood of embarrassment rushing through his system. He’d secretly hoped Lemillion wouldn’t bring this up until with Reverie around. “I- I know. I won’t let it happen again.”
“Deku, you made one of the citizens cry.”
Hiyori, from her spot on Deku’s lap, spoke up. “He said it wouldn’t happen again, so back off.”
Deku put a hand on her head, pushing her long ears down flat against her body. “Lemillion’s right. That woman didn’t deserve me yelling at her. …Even if she was being rather forward.”
The woman in question’s low cut top had proudly displayed the phrase ‘DEKYUUTIE <3’ while she went into rather descriptive detail of a wide variety of sexual acts she wished to perform on Deku, before he loudly and rudely shot her down.
“Reverie.” Lemillion turned to the intern.
She sat up taller in her seat, the slouch in her back becoming less pronounced. “Y-yes, Lemillion-san?”
“Let this be a learning moment for you. There will be times when a citizen may approach you with amorous intent. You need to turn them down quickly and calmly, and then remove yourself from the situation.”
“Yes, sir.” Reverie shifted minutely in her seat. “I would probably just use my Quirk.”
“That is a fantastic plan of action!” Lemillion shouted, pumping his fist in the air.
Deku turned to Reverie. “And don’t let what Kacc- Ground Zero says get to you. Even when he’s in a good mood he tends to yell a lot.”
“And he was in quite a bad mood today, wasn’t he?” Lemillion laughed.
Reverie nods and looks at her feet.
“I don’t even know what Kacchan’s problem is!” Izuku whined, head resting on the table. The condensation from his fourth (...fifth?) beer was slowly dripping onto the side of his face. “He was so – it just doesn’t make sense because Kacchan and I don’t fight, like… well, no, we do fight sometimes… but even when we fight it’s not a big, big thing and he hasn’t been returning my calls but he gets suuuuper pissed if I don’t respond when he messages –“
Todoroki placed his cold hand over Izuku’s mouth. “Midoriya, you need to stop bitching about Bakugou.”
The coolness felt amazing against his overheated face.
“I will freeze your mouth shut.”
Behind the hand, Izuku asked, “How can I drink if my mouth is frozen?”
Izuku pouted. “Don’t freeze my mouth, I need this.”
Todoroki rolled his eyes and removed his hand. Izuku’s frown deepened and he pulled the hand back until it was resting on top of his forehead. “This is nice. You should sell this. I think it would be very popular.”
“Temper’s Cool Hands – Cold Enough to Ease Your Worries,” Hiyori chimes in from her spot atop Izuku’s head.
Amiboshi spoke up from her corner. “It’s not like Bakugou would let you keep them.”
“Maybe not at first, but I bet I could convince Mikki and she could talk Kacchan into it,” Hiyori argued.
Izuku laughed. “Kacchan’s always hot; I’d bet he’d be the first to buy them and try to hide it.”
“Yeah, and Mikki would try to rat him out – “
“Kacchan’s so cute when he blushes…”
A crust of ice began forming along Izuku’s jaw, quickly numbing the skin. “I know I said don’t bitch about Bakugou, but I don’t want to listen to that, either.” Todoroki sighed. “Don’t you usually go to Uraraka for this sort of thing?”
“She’s on a date tonight.” Izuku pulled the ice off his face. “I didn’t wanna interrupt.”
“I didn’t know she was dating again.”
“Yeah, he’s pretty cute.” Izuku pulled up a photo on his phone that Uraraka had sent him a few days ago. Even with such a large nose, he could be considered traditionally handsome. His face was remarkably symmetrical and he had dark, dark eyes that seemed to look into your soul and appreciate what was there. “…Don’t tell Kacchan I said that.”
Hiyori hopped off his head and made her way over to Amiboshi. She placed herself atop the large horns and the two daemons began their own quiet conversation.
“Uraraka’s a great woman. Why is Iida even wasting his time not pursuing their previous relationship?” Todoroki frowned down at the image as if it personally offended him. “It doesn’t make any sense at all.”
“Long distance relationships are tough.” Izuku turned off his phone. He ignored the three unread messages from Katsuki.
“Theoretically, if Bakugou was living in northern Japan and you were still here, would you break up?”
“Of course not.” Izuku took a long drink, finishing the glass. “I’m never letting Kacchan go. He’s mine.”
Todoroki gave him a flat look. “You do realize how creepy that sounds.”
“I don’t care. Kacchan is mine and I’m not giving him to anybody!” Izuku shouted. He stood up as he let the passion he felt run wild. “Kacchan is so amazing it’s hard to look at him sometimes. It’s like looking into the sun knowing your eyes will burn. But I worked hard and he’s mine and I won’t ever let anyone take that from me. Not even Temper’s Cool Hands!”
“You tell him, Izuku!” Hiyori cheered from the sidelines.
“I don’t want that asshole.” Todoroki lifted and then finished his own beer. “Sit down before someone starts filming this and puts it on social media.”
Izuku plopped back to the ground and grumbled, “I don’t care if the whole world knows how I feel about Kacchan.”
One of the waitresses from the bar walked up to their seating area. Her small snake daemon was wrapped around an arm like an exotic piece of jewelry. “Would you gentlemen like anything else?”
“Two beers,” Izuku smiled and held up two of his crooked fingers.
“Squid!” Hiyori shouted, addressing the waitress directly. She bounced excitedly on top of Amiboshi’s horns. The waitress was only slightly surprised this time, having had the small hare yell at her several times over the course of their visit.
Todoroki pulled out his own mobile phone.
“And more fried squid, please.”
“Got it. Please wait as I go place your order.” The waitress bowed and left. Izuku pretended his eyes didn’t wander to where her top gaped open slightly as she bent over.
Todoroki noticed and rolled his own eyes. “Have you picked out a place yet?”
“Um, no, not yet.” Izuku looked down at his mobile phone where it sat dark on top of the table. “Nothing feels right. It’s not like my mom’s pushing me to move out immediately, either.”
“You should just move in with Bakugou and Kirishima and be done with it.”
Izuku glared at Todoroki. “I can’t do that to Kirishima-kun! It’s bad enough Kacchan kicks him out when I come over…”
“I’m sure Kirishima doesn’t want to listen to the two of you.”
“Exactly! That’s why I’m gonna find my own place!”
“Or you and Bakugou can just move in together by yourselves-“
“Stop stomping all over Kirishima-kun’s feelings! I’m not gonna let Kacchan just abandon his friend!”
“Midoriya.” Todoroki said with a serious look on his face. “Bakugou and Kirishima have lived together for five years now. I’m sure Kirishima is looking for an excuse to move out.”
“Kacchan is an amazing cook, cleans up after himself and goes to bed early.” Izuku was beginning to get agitated again. “You won’t find a better roommate than Kacchan! Kirishima-kun would be an idiot to not recognize that!”
“So you’re willing to let your lover indefinitely live with another man.”
“Not- not forever. Just for a little while. Kacchan is mine after all.” Izuku looked away. He could feel tears welling up in his eyes. “He is mine. Kacchan… Someday we’ll be together. I just can’t leave Kirishima-kun out in the cold. He’s been so good for Kacchan.”
Izuku was full-on crying now. He dropped his forehead back onto the table. How embarrassing. “Todoroki-kun, I just love Kacchan so much.”
The waitress silently dropped off the two beers and fried squid snacks. Hiyori had fallen asleep from her perch atop Amiboshi.
“Uh, there, there.” Todoroki pat the top of Izuku’s head twice and then took a big swig from his beer.
Izuku turned to him, with his head still on the table and tears still falling down his cheeks. “I need Temper’s Cool Hands.”
He grabbed Todoroki’s cold hand and put it back on top of his head. Todoroki, not really knowing how to react, just left it there and slowly drained his beer.
Todoroki had moved onto Izuku’s beer when the front entrance for the bar was slammed open. Katsuki, dressed in a black hoodie with his daemon harnessed to his back like a fuzzy backpack, locked eyes with Todoroki and stomped over.
Katsuki glared at the hand resting in Izuku’s hair. Todoroki removed it.
Mikaze dropped from Katsuki’s back and shook out her fur. She greeted Izuku with a swipe of her tongue on his hand, and both he and Katsuki shivered. Katsuki nodded over at Hiyori. “Go grab her off the half-n-half bastard’s dumb goat.”
“Amiboshi is a markhor,” Todoroki corrected, sipping at the beer.
“What the fuck ever,” Katsuki dismissed and turned to Izuku, who was just realizing who showed up.
“Kacchan…” Izuku whispered. His tears increased. “Kacchan, I wanted to see you.”
“C’mon, you drunk asshole, let’s get you the fuck home,” Katsuki grumbled, pulling Izuku up from his chair with an arm wrapped around his back. Mikaze followed suit and picked up Hiyori in her jaws. From an outsider’s perspective, it looked almost like the hyena would devour her prey in an instant.
“Squid…” Hiyori mumbled in her sleep.
Katsuki turned to Todoroki. He silently ate a piece of the fried squid and followed it up with another sip of beer. Katsuki asked, “You got a ride home?”
“We’ll be fine,” Todoroki coolly answered.
“Kacchan,” Izuku wiggled in Katsuki’s grasp. “Kacchan, you’re too hot. You need Temper’s Cool Hands. They’re very nice.”
“What the fuck are you on about. I don’t need shit. ‘sides, the half-n-half bastard only has one cold hand.”
Izuku was speechless.
“Hi- Hiyori,” Izuku called out to his daemon. “Our marketing materials are all wrong. Temper does only have one Cool Hand. Everything will need to be rebranded. The product failed before it even went to production.”
Hiyori, who was asleep, remained asleep and didn’t respond.
Katsuki turned and began to walk off. Without looking back at Todoroki, he said, “Let me know when you get home.”
“Kacchan, people say you’re mean but you’re actually very sweet.”
“Shut the fuck up, you shitty drunken nerd. You don’t know what the hell you’re saying.”
Izuku snuggled closer to Katsuki, rubbing his sweaty forehead against Katsuki’s sweaty neck.
Izuku woke the following morning in his bed at his mom’s home with a pounding headache and a mountain of regret. His neck was sweaty from where Hiyori had likely spent the whole night sleeping. She was still sleeping.
Despite the amount of alcohol he’d imbibed, Izuku was well aware of the embarrassment he made of himself the night before.
Katsuki was nowhere to be seen. Not that Izuku really expected him to stick around. Even though it was only 10 in the morning and Katsuki’s shift didn’t start till 2…
“Kacchan’s still mad, huh…” Izuku murmured. Hiyori twitched but didn’t respond.
Turning to his nightstand, Izuku found his phone plugged into its charger. He grabbed and unlocked it. Feeling particularly masochistic that morning, he tapped to check the three unread messages Katsuki had left him the night before.
Izuku groaned loudly and rolled over, disrupting Hiyori’s sleep and shoving his face into his pillow. She made an irritated chittering noise and relocated to the small of Izuku’s back.
Ignoring Katsuki’s messages for the time being, he tapped over to Kirishima’s log.
Sunday was the only day both Kirishima and Izuku were off and they had a standing gym date together in the afternoons. There were occasionally situations in which they skipped a week or two, but for the most part Izuku enjoyed spending time one-on-one with Kirishima in the gym setting. He was, by far, the most positive influence to have around when working out. Kirishima was also one of the only people he knew that could really spot for Izuku while weightlifting (Uraraka being the other for obvious reasons).
While waiting on Kirishima’s response, Izuku opened up his email app to look at some of the apartments his realtor had sent for him to review. None of them immediately caught his eye.
Izuku couldn’t help but wonder if he was never gonna move out of his mom’s apartment.
Hiyori, apparently unable to fall back asleep, crawled forward and perched herself on top of Izuku’s shoulder. He twitched as her long whiskers tickled his ear.
“That one’s got nice windows,” Hiyori pointed out. The windows in the pictures were nice; not floor-to-ceiling, but large enough to let in lots of natural light.
Izuku quickly read over the description. “It’s on ground level. Kacchan would throw a fit.”
“Well, it’s a good thing were not looking for apartments for Kacchan.”
He turned the phone off, giving up the search for now. The realtor was just gonna have to try harder.
It was quiet for about a minute before Hiyori spoke up. “Izuku, I’m hungry.”
“Then go eat.”
“I don’t wanna go by myself,” Hiyori complained. “Norio keeps trying to guilt me into making us stay.”
“It’s not like he won’t do it if I’m in the room. Mom keeps doing the same thing to me.”
Izuku’s phone buzzed, putting a temporary halt to the conversation.
“We’ll have to leave here at noon to make it to the gym by one.” Izuku stood up and stretched, his All Might pajama top lifting and letting the cool air hit his stomach. “Might as well wait and just have an early lunch, now.”
He quickly shed both pajama top and bottom, replacing them with a pair of shorts and a top designed to wick away sweat. It was orange with black piping and made it easy for Izuku to pretend it was unofficial Ground Zero merch.
Cautiously, Izuku cracked open the door to his bedroom and peeked out into the hallway. He didn’t hear a TV playing…
Hiyori hopped past him, not wanting to wait to eat any longer. For a daemon that didn’t actually need food to survive, she certainly ate a lot. Izuku turned and walked the other way to take care of his morning ablutions.
Once Izuku made his way to the living room, he spotted Hiyori on the low table with a bowl of carrots chopped small enough for her to eat, a note folded up underneath and ignored by the daemon. The TV was already on and turned to a news broadcast. As Izuku expected, neither his mother nor her platypus daemon were around.
Izuku walked over to the kitchen area and pulled a package of cup noodles from the cupboard, flipping the switch of the electric kettle to boil water. He tried not to think too hard about the fuss Katsuki would make about his dietary choice.
On TV, a shakey-cam clip of a large horse daemon running wildly through the middle of a shopping center played, with a voiceover of reporters discussing the incident. Deku vaguely recognized the area, but it wasn’t anywhere near where he typically patrolled.
“They just had an interview with the horse’s person,” Hiyori said. “The lady said her daemon just took off like something had spooked it and it wouldn’t go anywhere near her.”
“You don’t usually see daemon that large in the city to begin with.” Deku opened the cup packaging and poured in the boiling water, and then went to sit down next to Hiyori.
“They don’t know what caused it or what made it stop. They’ve got investigators looking into it.”
“Any heroes help out?”
“Someone from Best Jeanist Hero Agency.” Hiyori turned to Izuku’s noodles, sniffing the carton. “Kacchan’s gonna get pissed when he finds out you ate that.”
Izuku glared at her. “There’s no reason for Kacchan to find out unless you say something.”
Hiyori pushed the bowl of carrots over to Izuku with her head. “You should at least eat something healthy.”
Rolling his eyes, Izuku grabbed a carrot and ate it. He then picked up the note his mom had left to read as he began eating his noodles.
I’m meeting a few neighborhood ladies for brunch and then plan to stop by the supermarket. Let me know if there’s anything special you’d like me to pick up while I’m there!
Stay safe and don’t get into trouble.
“Ask her to buy salted caramel ice cream.”
“You can’t make comments about my diet and then demand something like that.”
“Izuku. I’m a lady. Ladies have needs.”
Izuku rolled his eyes again then turned to the TV just in time to see a video of himself in his hero costume get smashed into the concrete. It was a recording of his fight from the previous day, before backup had arrived.
It had taken literal hours to draw the villain out and into the open. He had a Quirk that allowed him to liquidize himself, seeping into cracks to escape, and then harden into ice with a right hook strong enough to lay even Deku flat.
To be completely honest, having Lemillion, Ground Zero and the intern assist as backup against one villain was just… embarrassing. Izuku had worked very hard to get his body into shape enough to fully handle One for All.
All the stress from his dumb fight with Katsuki was really starting to affect his hero work, and it needed to stop. Immediately.
Izuku unlocked his phone.
Katsuki didn’t immediately respond. Not that Izuku expected him to – he was likely in the middle of getting ready for his next shift.
Izuku stood up and went to toss his empty cup noodle into the trash. “Hiyo, are you almost ready to go?”
“Just a minute.”
Hiyori picked the note up with her mouth and deposited it into the empty bowl on the table. Breathing deep, she let out a small puff of flame directly at the note and cheered as it quickly caught fire and turned to ash.
“That is completely unnecessary.”
“I never get to use my Quirk,” Hiyori pouted. “You should give me your hair and see if One for All can get passed onto daemons.”
Izuku grabbed a hoodie from the coat rack and pulled it on. Hiyori jumped and situated herself within the hood. “All Might said it wouldn’t work.”
“Yeah, he seems like the kinda guy that would try to pass it to his daemon.”
“Maria doesn’t have any kind of Quirk. You should be a little more grateful for what you’ve got.”
Izuku and Hiyori arrived at the gym a few minutes before their scheduled meet up time. He used his access badge to swipe them into the building and went to put his bag and jacket away in a locker.
The gym itself was set up exclusively for the use of pro heroes and their guests. There were (understandable) fears that the Quirk of the average pro hero should not be trained and strengthened in close quarters with the general public.
What this typically meant to Izuku was the gym was rarely overcrowded and he almost never had to wait to use the equipment he wanted.
Izuku decided to stretch out his muscles as he waited for Kirishima to arrive. His entire right side and back were beginning to bruise from the beating he took the day before. He would need to be careful to not exacerbate his injuries further and allow his body a proper healing process.
Izuku was sitting on the floor with his legs spread wide and torso held forward nearly touching the ground when Kirishima arrived.
“Yo, Midoriya!” Kirishima greeted. Sakura, his tiny hedgehog daemon, was perched atop his head within the spikey red hair as usual.
Pulling himself upright, Izuku smiled back. “Hi, Kirishima-kun!”
Sakura jumped down to greet Hiyori, and the two daemon wandered off to find a nearby ledge where they wouldn’t be in the way of the gym’s other patrons. Kirishima reached out and helped pull Izuku up from the ground.
“Glad you could make it, bro,” Kirishima said.
“Yeah, I’m glad you were still free when I got back to you. Sorry for not responding last night…”
“Hey, no worries! I get it. Your fight with that villain yesterday was playing on repeat on like every channel. Shit looked rough.”
“Ugh…” Izuku dropped down onto the seat of a chest press machine. Kirishima walked around it and added a little more weight. “It was still on this morning. They weren’t even showing the actual capture.”
“It’s a pretty big deal with Musutafu’s Sweetheart struggles at something.” Kirishima laughed and counted Izuku through the reps. “Bakugou was raising hell when he got home cause you ignored him after all that.”
Izuku rolled his eyes. “He was – hah – ignoring me first.”
“Endeavor’s been getting onto him about property damage recently. Bakugou’s been trying to tone it down but it’s lowered his effectiveness.” Izuku and Kirishima swapped places. “It’s really starting to eat at him.”
Izuku added a little more weight. “I know; we’ve talked about that, actually. The issue is, um, me moving out. Kacchan says it’s a bad idea.”
“Because you don’t wanna – ngh – move in with him?”
“No! We haven’t even… that hasn’t come up yet.” Izuku blushed. “He just ranted on and on about how I’d be abandoning my mom to live alone – But I wouldn’t do that! I would definitely pick a place nearby, maybe in the same neighborhood. But I’m already 23… and a pro hero. It’s embarrassing…”
Kirishima finished his reps and jumped up, ruffling Izuku’s sweaty curls. He laughed loudly. “Sounds like Bakugou was just surprised. All you need is to talk to him."
“I’m trying! I sent him a message but he hasn’t written me back.”
Izuku thought of his phone, inside his bag, secured in the locker. The phone he actually hadn’t looked at since before he left home.
They moved through some of the other machines before ultimately ending up at the bench press. Hiyori and Sakura were practicing their Quirks together in the specially designated area, Sakura hardening to withstand the flames Hiyori breathed at her. Hiyori was hopelessly outmatched but she did her best all the same.
“So…” Kirishima grunted and held the bar just above his chest. “I guess you won’t be heading back to the apartment with me today.”
“No, not tonight.” Izuku shook his head.
“Great! I’ve got a third date tonight and if things go well I’m hoping to bring her home.” Kirishima placed the bar back onto the rack. He grinned up at where Izuku stood above him. “Any chance you’ll patch things up with Bakugou before then?”
Izuku laughed. “I’ll try my best.”
The two men did the general public a favor and washed up before leaving the gym. Kirishima commented on the large bruises that had formed and took a quick picture, swearing he wasn’t planning on sharing it.
Izuku knew better.
His hair was still damp when he stepped onto the bus, Hiyori once more seated in the hood of his jacket. Izuku’s phone remained stowed away in his bag the entire ride home. He could feel Hiyori’s silent judgment from the back of his head.
It wasn’t until much later, after he had finished getting ready for bed, when Izuku finally worked up the nerve to check his phone again. There were a few messages from Katsuki, as he’d hoped, but there were also several messages in the “U.A. Class A Alumni” group chat and more apartment listings in his email.
Izuku needed to deal with the first issue before doing anything else, though.
“Sometimes Kacchan sounds crazy.”
Izuku pushed Hiyori off the bed. “He's just too full of love.”
“I'm serious, don't open your window, Izuku.”
“When Kacchan gets here will you fight him to protect me?”
Hiyori puffed herself up as big as she could. “Of course!”
Izuku laughed and opened up the Class A group chat. It was nothing more than Hagakure and Ashido arguing about the dessert menus from a pair of bakeries. He ultimately decided against throwing his hat into the ring, not wanting to get pulled into that mess.
Knowing he’d need to stay awake at least a little while longer, Izuku turned on the TV in the corner of his room, lowering the volume so as not to disturb his mom. He pulled an old ALL MIGHT blanket around his shoulders, ultimately deciding to not get underneath the covers of his bed.
On the TV, a reporter was commenting live from an indoor pool, gesturing to the mess behind her. The poolside chairs, which likely had been lined up in neat rows facing the pool, were now a jumbled mess. Some had fallen into the pool, most were either knocked onto their side or face down, and a handful had even made it on top of a concession booth.
In the background and off to the side, a woman in a sarong was visibly sobbing as several police officers surrounded her. Her daemon, some king of bird, had grounded itself near her feet.
“…of a wind-type Quirk. Oddly enough, police have confirmed that this is not the work of a villain or foul play; it is simply that of a daemon’s Quirk going awry…”
“There was that horse daemon this morning that was acting funny, too,” Hiyori commented.
“The news didn’t comment on misappropriate use of a Quirk, though.” Izuku put a thumb up to his mouth. “While both daemons behaved oddly, they did so in different ways. The horse daemon never used its Quirk, just ran around. It would be premature to think the incidents are connected.”
Hiyori gave him a look. “You really believe that?”
“I… don’t have any reason to believe otherwise yet.”
The reporter continued, describing the way the bird daemon had used its whirlwind Quirk to disrupt the area. A video, likely taken from the building’s security cameras, showed the small bird flying in place and shooting forth huge gusts of wind. The daemon’s person was below, shouting at it but unable to reach. She was using her own Quirk to try to dispel the whirlwinds.
Izuku picked his phone back up and pulled up a few different news sites, looking for more information on the incident from that morning. Aside from the basics and a few pictures, there was not much else to be learned. No report showed the horse daemon using any type of Quirk.
“Maybe they’re Quirkless.”
“What’s the point of targeting a Quirkless daemon and then one with a Quirk? Unless the villain didn’t know anything about the victim’s Quirks and just chose the daemon’s that would be most destructive.”
Hiyori gestured to the TV with an ear. “If you didn’t know that bird’s Quirk you’d think it’s harmless.”
A notification popped up on his phone’s screen indicating he’d received a new email.
“Have you looked at the new listings Yamada sent?”
Izuku shook his head. “Not since this morning.”
“You’re never going to find anything if you don’t even look, Izuku. You’re just wasting Yamada’s time.”
Successfully goaded, Izuku pulled up his email app and briefly scrolled through the listings his realtor sent. There was one apartment that might be worth looking at, a 1DK on the edge of his patrol zone and a short bus ride to the hero office. His mother’s apartment would require a longer ride, well outside of his current neighborhood.
“Thoughts?” Izuku turned to Hiyori.
Her nose twitched as she read through the description. “Middle floor of the building’s okay, I guess. Mom definitely won’t like how far away this one is.”
“I should probably go look at it, just in case.”
A couple taps later and Izuku had sent his response, requesting a viewing of the apartment the following Sunday. He went ahead and sent a message to Kirishima as well, saying he’d have to skip out on the gym the following week.
Flopping onto his back, Izuku checked the time on the clock on his nightstand. 23:19. It would be at least another hour before Katsuki arrived, and that was only if he rushed over using his Quirk.
Izuku groaned and rubbing his eyes. “I’m not gonna be able to stay up.”
“Window’s unlocked. Kacchan knows how to get in.”
“What if he doesn’t wake me up?” He pulled a pillow over his head. “What if he just leaves because I’m asleep?”
“Izuku,” Hiyori said, voice serious. “Kacchan loves us. He’s not gonna be an asshole forever. It’s about time for him to apologize.”
“You really think Kacchan is gonna apologize.”
“Maybe with a blowie?” Izuku smacked Hiyori with the pillow and she fell to the ground, laughing. “You know I’m right!”
Izuku woke the following morning overheated with a large, shirtless man clinging tightly around his waist. A head full of blond hair was resting low on his chest, eyes closed and perpetual frown missing in sleep.
Looking over, he spotted Hiyori and Mikaze, both asleep and wrapped up together on the dog bed that was specially purchased for the hyena.
Looks like Kacchan did stay, Izuku thought to himself and smiled.
Katsuki was wrapped too low on Izuku’s body for him to properly snuggle back, so instead he gently ran his fingers through the wild explosion of hair. It was shorter now than it had been when they were teens, yet still long enough to have a mind of its own. It was much softer than it looked, especially more so than Izuku’s own coarse locks.
Growling, Katsuki opened his mouth and dug his teeth into Izuku’s chest. “Deku, knock that shit off. I didn’t get here until after five in the fuckin’ morning.”
“G’morning, Kacchan,” Izuku whispered back. He didn’t stop. The pressure from finally being alone with Katsuki but not talking was overwhelming.
He could always go back to sleep after.
“For fuck’s sake!” Katsuki abruptly pulled off Izuku and sat up, glaring down at his bed partner. “If you force me to do this now you’re not gonna like how it goes.”
“I know, I know. I just- I’m tired too, Kacchan, and I miss you. And you weren’t responding to my calls…” Izuku sat up, kneeling on the bed in front of him. “I just don’t understand why you’d be so mad about me wanting to move out. I’m a grown adult, Kacchan, it was going to happen eventually.”
“I’m not mad,” Katsuki spit out. “I just don’t know what the hell prompted you to leave Auntie’s house now.”
“It’s really not from nowhere.” Izuku thought back to the small gift he and his mom had bought recently. “Yamamoto – um, our neighbor down the hall? – her daughter is graduating university in the spring. And she, well Yamamoto doesn’t have a husband, and I guess she and my mom got close while we attended U.A., especially after we all had to move into the dorms, and then during that incident in third year-“
Katsuki leaned forward and bit Izuku on the nose, abruptly silencing his train of thought. “You’re rambling and I have no idea what your point is.”
“Yamamoto’s daughter is graduating college and is a year younger than me, Kacchan, and even she is moving into her own apartment. I’m a pro hero and I’m still living with my mom!” Izuku ducked his head into the crook of Katsuki’s neck. “It’s embarrassing. A ‘Number One Hero’ doesn’t live with his mom.”
“Who the hell is Number One? It sure as shit ain’t you.”
Katsuki paused. “Is Auntie pushing you to move out?”
“No, Mom… she doesn’t seem very happy about it either. But that’s why I’ve been looking at buildings close-by so I can run over if I need to.” Izuku sighed. “Mom won’t even let me give her rent money. I can’t stay, Kacchan.”
Slowly, as if without thought, Katsuki began to rub a hand along Izuku’s lower back. Izuku’s eyes fell closed at the pleasurable feeling of his blunt fingernails over his sleep shirt.
Before Izuku could fall back asleep, Katsuki asked, “...You thinking about getting a roommate?”
“Uh-uh,” Izuku denied. “I don’t even know who I’d ask. Everyone else already has their own place or roommates. Maybe if Kacchan and Kirishima-kun lived closer I’d try to stay in your building. It’d be almost like living at the dorms again.”
Katsuki stop petting Izuku and pulled him tightly into his arms. “Fucking Deku, we wouldn’t want to be your neighbor.”
Izuku hugged Katsuki back and enjoyed the embrace. Almost two weeks without a Kacchan Hug was two weeks too many. “I’d be a great neighbor. I’m not very loud.”
“What a load of bullshit.” Katsuki smirked. “I’ve got enough firsthand experience to prove that wrong.”
They sat together for about another minute before Katsuki pulled back. “I’m serious as hell about sleeping. I have to get fitted for a fuckin’ penguin suit at 2.”
“Dapper Zero merch?”
“Hell no.” Katsuki laid back down and pulled the quilt back over himself. “ ‘s for Dunce Face’s wedding to that pencil pusher.”
Checking the time – 08:32 – Izuku decided to lay back down as well. He put his back to Katsuki, grin widening as he was pulled into being the little spoon. “When is it again?”
“Quiet, nerd. It’s time to sleep.”
“He hadn’t been dating her very long…”
“It’s a goddamn shotgun wedding. She wants to get married before she pops.”
Izuku gasped. “Kaminari-kun’s going to be a father?!”
“How the hell did you not know that?” Katsuki shook his head, growled and then tightened his arms. “Never-fuckin’-mind. Just sleep, damn it. I’ll fill you in later.”
Although Izuku’s bladder dragged him out of bed just before noon that morning, he couldn’t help but want to go back while Katsuki was still in it. Before he could do so, his mom stopped him in the hallway.
“Izuku, don’t you think it’s about time you got up?” she chided gently.
Scratching his head, Izuku shrugged. “I was up pretty late, mom, and Kacchan stopped by…”
Both Izuku’s mom and Katsuki’s parents were aware of their relationship and remarkably positive about it, all things considered. Bakugou Mitsuki, in particular, could be counted on to embarrass the living daylights out of Izuku when he happened to run into her.
“Now Izuku, I understand both you and Katsuki-kun are healthy, grown men. But while you’re still under my roof, I would appreciate-“
“Mom!” Izuku interrupted. “It- it’s not like that! His shift ended late and he didn’t get here until early this morning. We’re just sleeping. Promise.”
Inko gave her son a long look and then sighed. “Very well, Izuku. I’m about to leave but there should be leftovers in the fridge for your lunch.”
“Thanks, mom. Really.” They both paused, atmosphere uncomfortable. “I- I’m gonna go now.”
Shoulders hunched, Izuku make his escape before the situation could get any more awkward. Katsuki was still dead to the world, sprawled out to every edge of the bed. Even asleep, Katsuki quickly pulled Izuku back into his grasp as soon as he returned to the bed, and Izuku, happily, let him do so.
The alarm Katsuki had set previously went off about an hour later, waking them both up. Katsuki, the living embodiment of ‘early to bed and early to rise’, was in a very foul mood over not getting a full eight hours’ sleep.
Stomping to the bathroom, Katsuki took a quick shower and changed into the clothes Izuku set out for him, a plain black t-shirt and a pair of jeans. He then proceeded to suck Izuku’s soul out through his dick in record time (just as Hiyori had predicted) before running out the door with Mikaze on his back, forgoing lunch but demanding Izuku eat something healthy all the same.
Izuku couldn’t be bothered to even walk him to the door.
Fuck, I really needed that…
The rest of the week flew by at a rapid pace, action-heavy shifts full of villains who think they’ll be more fortunate than their fallen peers. Izuku, naturally, did his part to make sure this was not the case. He spent his evenings rejecting apartment listings from his realtor and working off his excess frustrations in the gym.
Katsuki, on second shift, seemed equally overworked, and the communication between them was sporadic at best. Every dumb selfie or food photo Izuku sent, however, did get a response, if slightly delayed. Vague plans were made to spend time together the following Monday, the only day off the two had together.
The coloring of the bruises on his side and back were slowly shifting between dark purple and olive green, painting a gruesome picture on his skin. He, fortunately, had not added any additional injuries on top of it this week.
Being a Friday, Reverie, the Agency’s second-year student intern from U.A., was tagging along with Deku on his patrol, the boundaries shifted slightly to avoid the more dangerous areas of town.
Unlike Deku, who ultimately grew to a respectable 177 cm, Reverie was nearly 190 cm and stood taller than almost every hero in the Endeavor Hero Agency, excluding Endeavor himself. She wore her hair short and covering half of her face, and her hero costume was simple and completely black. Her daemon Aiyoshi, on the other hand, was a large, white crane with a penchant for riding on her shoulders, his wingspan hanging down her back like a feathery cape.
It was a little after two in the afternoon when Deku and Reverie took their second break. Reverie, for her part, was exceedingly uncomfortable with going inside stores or restaurants while in costume, so they sat on a bench in a quiet section of a local park. Deku, who was quickly rising in popularity in Musutafu simply because of how kindly he treated the locals, took a few selfies and signed a few autographs for fans that approached the pair.
Deku took out his phone and responded to Yamada, his realtor, insisting that none of the other apartments that she’d sent that week were something he wanted to look at further. Despite the numerous emails, the only listing they were scheduled to visit on Sunday was the one that was in the wrong neighborhood. Deep down, Deku felt bad for wasting Yamada’s time as Hiyori so frequently claimed.
There were a few unread messages from Katsuki, but before he could look at them shouting from nearby grabbed his attention. The old man working the small crepe stand in the park was yelling but unable to chase, a walking stick gripped tightly in one hand. Another man was running away, the stand’s entire cash register tucked underneath his arm.
Deku turned to his partner for the day. “Reverie, let’s go!”
Reverie nodded, a determined look on her face, and the two heroes took off.
Deku activated One For All and dashed off towards the villain, Hiyori tucked tightly into his hood. The villain’s quirk seemed to be either speed or power based as he was able to run several blocks in hardly any time at all. Reverie and Aiyoshi were left in the distance, unable to keep up, so Deku knew it would be up to him to stop the thief somehow.
The villain turned a corner, register still held tightly under his arm. His small fox daemon followed, almost but not quite as fast.
“Izuku, look at his daemon! If I could get close enough-!”
Deku jumped up and used the building walls to bound closer. He took Hiyori into one hand, breathed deeply and tossed her straight at the fox daemon.
It was a direct hit. Hiyori dug her teeth into the fox’s shoulder and forced it to the ground using her back legs. The thief stumbled and then stopped as if he had been the one attacked.
The fox, still significantly faster than Hiyori one-on-one, managed to slip out of her hold. Hiyori dug deep for her Quirk and released a stream of fire directly at the other daemon’s tail, singeing the tips of its fur.
Deku took advantage of the villain’s misstep and closed the distance immediately, delivering a full cowl kick into his side and grabbing the stolen register in the process. The villain flew towards the back of the alleyway, crashing into the brick and falling to the ground.
Reverie showed up as Deku was using his capture tape on the villain’s daemon, the villain himself already taken care of. Both villain and daemon were passed out cold. The stolen register was placed off to the side, Hiyori sitting on top protectively.
Breathing heavily, Reverie said, “There’s no way I could’ve caught up to the villain.”
“That’s when you call for backup.” Deku quickly called in the capture through his earpiece. “We’ve all got our strengths and weaknesses. I lost track of you three times today!”
“I’m so sorry about that, Deku-san,” Reverie blushed. “I… I’m not very good with large crowds of people, so sometimes my Quirk activates without me realizing it…”
Hiyori spoke directly to Reverie. “It’s a great Quirk! Being able to slip out of people’s sight without actually disappearing is fantastically useful. It would work great with rescue missions.”
“Ah, yes. Thank you, um…” Reverie looked back and forth between Deku and his daemon, and let her statement stop there. It wasn’t polite to address other people’s daemons, or vice-versa, but that had never stopped Hiyori.
Deku laughed, grinning underneath his metal mask. “Thanks.”
Villain dealt with and statements taken by the police, Deku and Reverie returned to the Endeavor Hero Agency to clock out of their shift shortly after four in the afternoon. There was a flurry of activity within the office, far more staff present inside than there typically was at that time of day.
Spotting Pinky off in a corner chatting with her daemon, Deku walked over with Reverie in tow.
“Deku!” Pinky shouted, hugging him about the middle. “Well now, you’re looking a little dirty.”
Deku laughed. “I just finished a 10-hour shift, cut me some slack.”
“Never!” She put her hands on her hips, then turned and noticed Reverie. “Hey girl, congrats on another shift down!”
Pinky bounced over and gave Reverie her own hug, the young intern looking particularly uncomfortable. Deku pulled her back and said, “C’mon, Pinky. Give her some room to breathe.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Pinky said. Taking a long look around the room, she asked, “Have you seen Ground Zero yet?”
“No… Kacchan’s shift started at two.” Deku frowned. “So did yours. Why are you still at the office?”
“We’re all getting briefed on whatever’s making those daemons go crazy by someone from the police department’s investigation unit. There was an email that went out about it.” Pinky shook her phone.
Deku pulled up own phone and, sure enough, there was an official Endeavor Hero Agency email buried within the mass of apartment listings. “I didn’t even notice it. Says the briefing is at 1700 hours…”
He turned to speak with Reverie, but she had disappeared. “Um, Reverie? Can you come back?”
“S- sorry, Deku-san,” she tapped his shoulder and he spun around to face her. “I didn’t mean to, um, do that.”
“That Quirk must be so useful,” Pinky gushed.
Reverie fidgeted in her spot. “Am I supposed to stay for the briefing, too?”
“Of course! As an intern you’re part of the Agency’s operations.” Deku moved his mouth guard so it wasn’t blocking his face and smiled. “Do you need to confirm working late with your guardian?”
Reverie nodded. “Yes, I should probably call my mom.”
Bowing, she walked off to make her phone call. Grin widening, Pinky turned to Deku. “A little birdie told me you and Blasty McSplode made up.”
“Kirishima-kun has a big mouth.” Deku scratched his cheek with a finger and couldn’t help but smile. “But, um, yeah. We did.”
Pinky hugged Deku again. “I’m so happy for you guys. Like, it’s still a little weird sometimes with the whole intense, violent rivalry bit, but you’re both so cute together.”
“Of course!” She kissed him on the cheek and then let go. “Oh yeah, have you seen the guy Ochako-chan is dating now?”
“Yeah, she sent me a picture last weekend.”
“Ugh, she always pulls the cuties.” Pinky pulled up a picture of the man in question on her phone, the same picture he’d shown Todoroki. “Like, look at how pretty this guy is. I’m so jealous.”
He’s not nearly as pretty as Kacchan…
“I don’t think it’s serious.”
“Doesn’t need to be serious if his body matches his face.”
“Uraraka-san still deserves someone that’ll be good for her. He looks a little… self-centered.”
“Oi, what the hell are you fucks goin’ on about at work?”
Deku turned around to see Ground Zero in full hero costume with Mikaze walking alongside him. “Kacchan!”
Ground Zero bumped shoulders with Deku as he went to stand next to him. Mikaze, as usual, greeted Deku directly by rubbing against his leg on the other side, enough to tingle but not so long as to be distracting. She then went to sit on the other side of Ground Zero as if she were a well-trained dog and not a hyena. Hiyori jumped down from Deku’s hood to sit between Mikaze’s front paws and enjoy a quick tongue bath.
Pinky turned her phone to Ground Zero to show off the picture.
“Looks weak as hell. What the fuck’s Round Face wasting her time on him for?”
Pinky rolled her eyes. “Not everybody needs to be a pro hero.”
Ground Zero looked particularly kissable that afternoon.
“Deku-san,” Reverie spoke up, reappearing as if from nowhere in front of him. “I got the OK from my mom.”
“Great,” Deku said.
Ground Zero was silent.
Deku elbowed him.
Huffing and looking off to the side, Ground Zero muttered, “Sorry for going off on you like that.”
“Ah, no, Ground Zero. …You don’t – need to, um, apologize or anything. Really. It- it really was my-“
“Listen to your damn senpai and accept it.”
Reverie nodded. “O- okay.”
Deku really wanted to kiss Ground Zero.
A loud clap came from the doorway to the third floor conference room and a hush fell over the people gathered. A uniformed police officer spoke, too far away for Deku to tell who exactly it was. “The 1700 hour briefing on the Daemon Incidents will begin in fifteen minutes. We would appreciate you all moving inside now so that we may begin promptly at the turn of the hour.”
“Well, boys and girls, I’m gonna run off to touch base with Equalizer before the briefing starts.” Equalizer, known as Watanuki Ichiya to friends, was Pinky’s current hero partner. She had been working at the Endeavor Hero Agency for about three years before Pinky signed on. “I’ll see you later! Ground Zero – be nice to Reverie!”
“Well,” Deku looked at both Ground Zero and Reverie. “Let’s head inside then? There’s not enough seats for everyone.”
“You first, nerd.” Ground Zero pushed his back to move Deku forward.
Deku laughed and went along, picking up Hiyori along the way. “C’mon, let’s go Reverie.”
“Good evening, heroes. The following information you’re about to received has been deemed For Official Use Only. As always, this information should not be shared with outside staff or unaffiliated personnel unless necessary.”
Deku did not recognize the presenting officer. His arms looked almost too long for his body. Likely has something to do with his Quirk. I wonder if the arms are normally like that or if his Quirk has to be activated before-
Ground Zero pinched his side, as if able to tell that Deku wasn’t properly paying attention.
The large TV behind the officer was on.
“This briefing will covered the four incidents of the past week in which a person’s connection with their daemon was disconnected, causing the daemon to behave in a manner inconsistent to normal. All four incidents have taken place within Musutafu, and at this time there is no reason to believe the villain or villains behind this matter have left the city.
“September 25 at 0912 hours. A 62 year old male lost control of his daemon, an average sized kiso horse, in the Matobaya Shopping District.”
A slide with a still image of the daemon was projected onto the screen. Deku recognized the scene from the news broadcast he’d watched.
“The daemon ran free for approximately four and a half minutes before returning to its senses. The daemon’s Quirk, a speed-based enhancement type, was not activated during this event. Both the male and his daemon agree that there was no apparent trigger for the strange behavior. The male claims his connection with his daemon became ‘fuzzy’ during this incident.”
A new slide as projected with an image of a tiny striped bird in mid-flight.
“September 26 at 1840 hours. A 39 year old female lost control of her daemon, a black-and-white warbler, inside Let’s Swim Indoor Natatorium. Unlike the previous incident, the daemon was stationary and utilized its whirlwind Quirk to disrupt the pool’s operations. As with the previous male target, the female’s connection with her daemon was ‘fuzzy.’ In this case, the disconnect lasted nearly seven minutes.”
Deku’s grip on Hiyori tightened, and she likewise dug her claws into his thighs.
The next slide was a nighttime image of a large, orange cat daemon on top of a ramen stand. The fabric covering was torn to shreds.
“September 30. 0115 hours. Jinya Ramen. A 41 year old male with an above-average sized housecat daemon. Both the male and daemon share a Quirk that elongates and strengthens their claws. The daemon attacked the ramen stand and entrance banners to two other local establishments before regaining its mental faculties. The duration was 2 minutes and 15 seconds.”
A click and a new slide appeared with a rat daemon held in an elderly woman’s arms. The woman is smiling.
“October 1, 0940 hours.” This morning... “Cosmo Supermarket. A 73 year old female with a black rat daemon. Unlike the previous incidents, the daemon did not run off or damage its surroundings. Both female and daemon are Quirkless.”
The officer sighed. “Honestly, compared to the previous three incidents, there are a number of inconsistencies. However, during her report to her local police station, the female complained of a ‘fuzzy connection’ with her daemon that lasted more than 20 minutes. At this time, we are unable to rule out a connection with the previous three incidents and will be looking into the matter further.”
He clicks again and the TV screen goes blank.
“We do not have any current leads on what is causing these incidents. We at the Musutafu Police Department request all hero agencies be forthcoming in any information you may have regarding these and potentially other, undocumented events. The MPD plan to continue these briefings as new information becomes available.”
Endeavor, who stood to the side during the presentation, moved into the center. His daemon, a tremendously large panther, remained where she sat, sleek, black fur shining beneath the ever-roaring flames.
“Heroes and sidekicks, it is our duty as the protectors of this city, of this great country, to find the villain responsible for these attacks and stop them. We must not allow these villainous acts to continue. I am tasking each and every one of you here to do this for the innocent citizens of Musutafu.”
A rousing cry rose through the group of heroes gathered. Hiyori shouted, “Yeah, Plus Ultra!”
As Endeavor walked off, one of his executive assistants moved to the take his place. “For the time being, we will continue to hold daily briefings on the disconnected daemon incidents at 1700 hours. Excluding mandatory briefings as designated by the Agency, only heroes on second shift will be required to attend. All information discussed during these briefings will be distributed through official Agency correspondence.”
She gestured to the officer that gave the briefing, and then at the other officers gathered in the back of the room. “The Musutafu Police Department will be around to answer any additional questions you may have at this time. You are otherwise dismissed.”
Deku stretched his arms high above his head, twisting his back until it popped, and then checked his phone. 17:36. The briefing was brief, as intended, but he was more than halfway into his twelfth hour of work that day and more than ready to clock out.
Before turning to Ground Zero, he faced Reverie and asked, “Any questions you have for the police?”
“No, I don’t think so.” She tried to hide it but a yawn escaped through her closed mouth.
“That shit can wait till tomorrow, anyway. No sense in overworking yourself as an intern,” Ground Zero said. “Deku, get her home.”
“Got it, Kacchan.” He playfully saluted his boyfriend and stood up.
Reverie followed suit, grumbling under her breath, “I- I am capable of commuting by myself, Ground Zero…”
“Haaah, you wanna say that again, Ghost Girl?!”
“Kacchan! Stop that.” Deku flicked him in the forehead. “You promised Pinky you would be nice.”
Ground Zero glared fiercely up at Deku but otherwise stayed quiet.
Mikaze grabbed the side of Deku’s long glove with her mouth and tugged. With the material still between her teeth, she asked, “You comin’ over tonight? Kirishima’s new girl smells weird. We think she won’t stick around if you’re there.”
Deku looked at Hiyori, Ground Zero, and Reverie in turn, and blushed. “Um, maybe later? I promised Mom I’d stick around to help prepare dinner tonight.”
“Mikki, we’re not supposed to talk about that at the Agency.”
“Deku and Katsuki are being dumb, it’s up to me to take the initiative.”
Ground Zero grabbed Mikaze’s snout. “Don’t make me put a muzzle on you, you damn hyena.”
“Um, Deku-san? I’m gonna go clock out…”
“Yes, one moment!” Deku turned to Ground Zero. Quietly, he said, “I’ll message you.”
Ground Zero reached out and squeezed his hand. Deku squeezed back and let go.
“Okay, Reverie, let’s go clock out! Plus Ultra!” Deku shouted and took off, Reverie following.
“Plus Ultra!” Hiyori echoed, jumping onto his shoulder.
“P-Plus Ultra…” Reverie said, weakly.