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Thawed Hearts

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Useless. Miserable. Worthless. Hopeless.

As far as Izuku Midoriya was concerned, those four words are all that he is. Just a burden to this world, and even worse, a burden to his mom. Though she would never admit it; Midoriya just knew he was causing her trouble by simply existing. Every time his mom looks at him it seems to be out of pity or worry. She puts up a cover of being strong, but Midoriya sees through it. It's exactly like the mask he puts on every day, pretending he's okay to not cause her anymore grief. She's the only one he has to keep it up for; she's the only one that truly cares for him. But then again, who wouldn't worry about a child who needs lots of medication to monitor how they feel.

Since he was a teenager, a pit of depression enveloped him. When he turned thirteen he got put on Zoloft; his first ever depression medication. Going on Zoloft never really helped, in fact it drove the urge to off himself to uncontrollable levels. Due to that, he stopped taking his medication completely in secret; but he accidentally slipped up and told the therapist and it was back to finding new medication and a new plan. After dealing with that, he got put on Cymbalta. His ups and downs still remained, but then again, what would his world be without them.

Today's day started all like it had before; Izuku got up, dragged himself out of bed, swallowed his pills, then collected his things for another day in the same routine. Walking to the coffee shop and watching the world pass by in the city, while he seemed to be stuck in one place. Most twenty year olds are in college, pursuing the things they love. Midoriya was jealous, if he could deal with all the anxiety and pressure he could be one of those people. Instead he ended up dropping out freshman year.

"I'm off mom." He said lightly once he got downstairs. He noticed his mom was always downstairs when he left, heading off to work after he's gone. She doesn't mention it, but he knows that she sticks around to make sure he gets out of bed in the morning; not because she wants him out of the house, but because of the constant underlying sense of worry she seems to carry every day. "Have a good day at work, okay?" He added, giving her a small peck on the cheek.

"Have a good time sweety." His mom responded softly, smiling over at him. "You going to the coffee shop? I hear they have some new scones that are delicious."

He nodded. "I can get you some for when you get home, if you want."

"Sounds good. I'll see you when I get back from work. Be safe, Izuku."

"I will. Don't worry mom."

Midoriya headed off, bag slung on his shoulder and hands shoved in his pockets. He maneuvered the streets fairly well, considering the daily crowd of the morning rush. Finally he reached the Hero Coffee Shop, a place which gave him the ability to concentrate on whatever he wanted, without being bothered by countless others. If there was a place he could say gave him some sort of real peace it was here.

Stepping to the counter and ordering his usual Carmel frappe and blueberry muffin, he noticed someone he had never seen before; which was odd. Izuku has been here so often that he practically knew all of the regulars and people that came here, even some of their orders. But he didn't recognize this person at all. His hair was split down the middle, half red and half white, and though he couldn't completely make out all the features of his face there appeared to be a scar over his left eye. Midoriya was trying not to stare, but that person was so breathtakingly beautiful he couldn't help sneaking looks at him every so often.

The seat he usually sat at was next to the window, furthest in a corner. There he sat, like the day before and many days in the past. The only thing that was new in this completely normal boring day was this stranger that Midoriya couldn't keep his mind from wondering about. By the time he took a seat, the man was up and no longer present; probably having slipped out when Izuku finally received his order. Who was he, and why had he never come around before? Why was he alone? Would he have liked some company? It wasn't long before he shook off his thoughts of the mystery boy. It was for the best, his existence isn't important enough to make people care about him, so why would he make an impact in this person's life.

'Silly Midoriya,' he thought to himself, shuffling into his bag and taking out a small sketchbook and a pencil, the only things he kept on him most of the time. 'There's no way he would even want to talk to you. You're no one.'

Sometimes he wishes he could just whisk off to another reality where he is successful and skips through all of this depression shit, but this is the reality he lives in. At this point there were only about three things keeping him going; his mom, his art, and All Might.

Who is All Might? Only the best comic creator of all time, at least in Midoriya's eyes. Almost every graphic novel type book that has been released has All Might's name on it. He was famous for his sudden rise to fame and his fantastic character building; not to mention his

art which is completely out of this world. Not many people have seen him out and about, but according to the people who have run into him he's a wonderful guy. Izuku lives to meet his hero.

If there's one thing he would want to do with his life it would be creating art and comics like All Might. His drawings are mediocre, so he doubts it would be good enough to sell let alone make a series out of it. But drawing keeps him sane, so he keeps at it anyways.

"You're so talented! This art is absolutely wonderful!" He hears from his mother. She might just be biased, he is her son after all.

On the opposite end, other people his age like Bakugou have teased his drawings, mentioning "You'll never be good enough. Those suck." For a while that discouraged Midoriya from doing what he enjoyed the most. He then realized it was a way to get out his emotions in a pretty healthy way so he tried to not give a shit what those other people said. The only one that is able to criticize his drawings, he decided, was him and him alone.

He liked to draw what was around him; expressions, people, plants, the occasional dog that passed by in the street. Hero Coffee Shop was the perfect place for him to grab inspiration from, the people outside passing by and the people wandering in the inside gave Midoriya plenty to draw. So he continued his daily routine; sitting and drawing whatever he observed. While doing his art it's easy to get lost in time, and next thing he knew hours had passed and it was time to get up and leave to meet his mom back at home for some supper.

In order to not be late, Izuku decided not to put away his sketchbook and to just carry it instead. Getting into line again, he bought some of the scones he promised her before he left in the morning. After receiving his order of scones, he turned to the door in order to exit the coffeeshop; accidentally running into a person who was entering through the same door. He didn't realize at that time, but his sketchbook fell out of his arms, landing open. Midoriya was more concerned at the fact he was probably going to get chewed out by someone he didn't even know. He didn't try to escape the situation; instead he just froze.

"'M sorry." He mumbled down to his feet. He didn't want to look up at the person. Awkward eye contact he hated, not to mention he didn't want to see the angry look that he assumed was on that person's face. "Didn't mean to run into you…"

"It's alright. Don't worry about it." The voice of the stranger sounded slightly familiar; Midoriya couldn't quite figure out who exactly this stranger was. But he didn't want to look up, and he wasn't planning on it. "Is this yours?" Was the next thing the mystery man asked, which made him glance up a little to find in the stranger's hand none other than his sketchbook.

"Yeah…" Izuku responded, looking up further to figure out who exactly this person in front of him was. Immediately after he looked up, his breath was completely gone and words suddenly wouldn't form. His mouth hung open like a gaping fish. Standing right in his face holding his open sketchbook was none other than the All Might.

All Might was slightly confused by this boy, but his reaction made him chuckle a bit. "The way you're reacting tells me you know who I am. What's your name young man?"

"I-Izuku Midoriya Mr. All Might, sir. Y-You're my hero I- it's so nice to meet you sir, an honor."

All Might let out a mighty laugh. "You don't have to be so formal with me, boy. May I ask your permission to look through this? I didn't mean to peek but I noticed your drawings when it fell."

Midoriya hesitated for a moment; were his drawings even good enough for the one and only All Might to look at? Probably not. But he shook those thoughts off nodding his head quickly, anxiously watching All Might flip through page after page; hoping to god he won't just criticize his work and walk away. It was very difficult to tell what All Might was thinking; Midoriya couldn't quite read him. So, he just observed quietly while twiddling his thumbs. Finally, his hero spoke.

"You're good kid. Like, really good." This blew Midoriya away, again leaving him speechless. This is his idol. Who thinks his art is good. All Might kept on talking while Izuku was busy pinching his leg to make sure this isn't a dream. "Here's thing; I'm looking for an assistant to help me with my work, someone who can work diligently and will let me mentor them as well. And you; you my dear Midoriya, I feel like you can improve a lot with my guidance while helping me in return." He offered Izuku his sketchbook back, also handing him a small business card. "No rush, think about it. When you make a decision, call me. I would be glad to add you to my team."

Then, just as fast as he was in front of Midoriya he was gone, walking in Hero Coffee Shop with a wave and ordering from the counter. Still flushed and trying to figure out what just happened, Izuku shoved his sketchbook back into his bag with the business card. Taking out his phone, he sent a small message to his mom. 'Heading back now. Sorry will be a little late, you won't believe what just happened.' She won't believe what happened today. She was just as big of a fan as him when it came to All Might; probably partially because his stuff has been keeping Midoriya alive all these years.

'Alright honey. Be safe.' Her text back pinged up, as he headed the direction to his house.

Little did Midoriya know; this would mark the ending of his seemingly boring, unimportant life; an adventure waiting to unfold.

Chapter Text

"You won't believe what just happened to me." Midoriya quickly breathed out, trying to catch his breath. After the event that took place at the coffee shop he practically sprinted home. Heck, he's still trying to figure out if it was still some sort of crazy dream.

"So you said." His mom responded, stirring noodles on the stove. "Dinner's almost ready."

Izuku nodded, moving to the cupboard to grab the necessary things in order to set the table. "So don't freak out or drop anything or spill dinner over yourself but…" He swallowed, hesitating a bit. Would she even believe him? "IranintoAllMightandheofferedtohelpmeimprovemyart."

Midoriya mumbled it all out so quickly, his mom didn't even catch a word of it. "What did you just say honey?" She questioned. He wanted to knock some sense into himself; of course she wouldn't understand him, he just mumbled everything out at once.

"I ran into All Might." Midoriya said again, slower and this time more annunciated. "He offered to help me improve my art. It'll be more experience than anything but… This has been a dream for so long I'm still convinced I'm in one."

His mom was silent and that puzzled him. He thought out of everything his mom would be the most happy for him; but she just seemed blank. He watched her carefully as she brought the steaming pot over, placing it in the middle of the table. Just about when he was ready to sit to eat, she came around and wrapped him in a gigantic warm hug.

"That's amazing sweety!" She returned, a grin finally sprouting to her face, squeezing him tight. "I'm so proud of you. You're gonna take the opportunity, right?"

Midoriya paused for a moment. He didn't want to admit it to his mom, but he doubted he was worthy enough for this opportunity; he wasn't that talented, just a normal depressed kid in New York City. Why would All Might want to train him when he could take someone else; someone who is already long on their way to become famous. They would be something. He, is essentially nothing. Shaking his head and turning to the table; he changed the subject. "Dinner smells really good mom, let's eat. Don't want the food to get cold, right?"

His mom sighed at his change of the subject but was quick to smile again, nodding as she and Midoriya gathered around the table. He tried his best to keep the subject away from All Might to stop thinking about it. Maybe if he forgot about it, he could avoid all possible chances of them suddenly deciding that he wasn't good enough. For a second he might have forgotten; but it just kept creeping up on him. The thoughts of 'you're not good enough' did the same. As much as Midoriya tried to enjoy the delicious dinner his mother made, it was like his mind was at war; one that won't be resolved anytime soon. He tried to focus on what his mother was talking about with her day, but a part of him wasn't listening. Not that he wasn't interested, but his mind was so busy it was hard to ignore.

After dinner, the dinner table was cleared and Izuku excused himself to his room. Throwing his bag on his bed, he stared at the ceiling; still debating on what he wanted to do. On one hand, even if he eventually gets dropped by All Might because he wasn't good enough it would be good experience. But on the other hand, getting rejected by one of the only people he looks up to would hurl him into the deepest pit. He doesn't even know if he could take that type of failure. If All Might didn't want him, then who would?

"I'm not going to do it." He said out loud to himself, trying to take the easy way out. Not calling back was just the way to go. So, he laid there, scrolling through his sorry Facebook page on his phone.

The only people he had on there besides his mom were Uraraka, Iida, Kirishima, and Asui. He doesn't post at all but uses it as a way to keep up with them. Besides, they were the only four people who actually cared to be around him in school; though since he left he hadn't reached out to any of them. It's a shame; when he was around them he felt he really could belong to something. Now he's not there, and it doesn't see like they miss him much anyways.

Their lives seem to be so interesting. Uraraka taking classes to be a preschool teacher, Iida for engineering. Asui was keeping up her goal of being a professional swimmer. Kirishima, despite not having settled into a major, still has his own life. It was a surprise to everyone when he came out saying he liked guys, but he still got all this support from everyone. That was something Midoriya envied, if he told people he was gay he could just imagine the backlash. He hasn't even told his mother even though she's made it clear to him many times she loves him no matter what.

In his messenger inbox he has messages from months ago, back when they missed him. But after a while the messages stopped coming; the last one he ever received last spring was from Ochako, simply saying the words "Are you ok? We're worried about you." She would be a great teacher, he was sure; always caring and thinking about other people and their wellbeing. Izuku didn't respond. At the time he was at his lowest point and convinced himself he would be better without them. Now he just figured that it had been so long reaching out would be pointless. No matter what he would say it had been way too long.

What was he even doing with his life? No one knows. Even he was sure he didn't have a clue. Forcing his sorry self to exit out of his Facebook, Midoriya locked his phone and dropped it on his bed, looking at the empty ceiling once again. It's like nothing would change if he closed his eyes. He would still be looking at an empty space; like a blank canvas that has no use to the artist because they're plagued by artists' block. There's nothing in his life really waiting for him. But maybe he could make something, maybe he could be something with his idol at his side.

Midoriya immediately sat up. All Might's comics filled his bookshelves right in front of his face. He's a professional, an artist, Izuku's very own hero. He can help him become a something in this world; at least make him important to someone. Every last person that ever said anything against him; this was probably the only shot he had to prove them wrong. If this doesn't all work out, then he could melt back into the shadows and leave this world for good. But for now, all he could do was try.

Once he dug in his bag to get the card, he quickly dialed up the number. The more it rung, the more Izuku's anxiety spiked and the more he considered hanging up already. But he somehow kept himself on the line; which seemed like a miracle.

"Welcome to the UA Comic Company, how may I help you." Came a male's voice through the phone. It wasn't All Mights, it sounded way too deep and tired.

"H-hello my name is um… Izuku Midoriya?" Izuku stammered out, still trying to get over the fact that this was actually happening right now. "I ran into All Might earlier and I… I was calling to accept that offer."

There was a brief silence over the phone. Midoriya was wondering what was going on with the sudden quietness at the end of the phone. Maybe they found someone else and hung up on him.

Out of nowhere the man started to speak again with a huff. "So you're the boy huh? Seem awful nervous. Got a note from All Might here that says for you to be here at 12 to meet the team should you accept the offer." Another huff. "You'll get a tour of the place and meet all the people. Any questions?"

"N-no sir. Thank you very much. Goodbye." Midoriya said quickly. Whoever that guy was, he sounded like he absolutely hated his job. If anything, Midoriya hopes he wouldn't see him around tomorrow. He also hoped he wouldn't be that guy; probably hating what he was doing.

Tomorrow seemed so far away, yet it only happens to be there in a few hours. It's funny to think about; how so much happened in only one day. Midoriya had no idea that things could ever be this way. But now it is, and as much as he's excited he's also completely horrified. But it's good to leave the comfort zone every once in a while… right?

A new beginning. A new start. And Izuku is heading right for it.

Chapter Text

On a usual weekday, it would take Midoriya a while to roll out of his bed. Today was different though; his alarm violently rang and he immediately jumped out of bed. If anything, he couldn't miss today. He committed to this, he would probably kick himself in the ass if he skipped out. He only had one singular suit in his closet; one that he had just in case he needed it. In all his years, he had only worn it once. Why he had it, if he had to guess he had it for a moment like this, one that past him never thought would come in his life.

With the different morning, came new worries that Izuku hadn't thought in a while. Things like is he overdressed? Will he make the right impression? Will everyone accept him there? All of these things kept bustling around his head. They made him not want to go at all. But this was the one day he wouldn't give in. He couldn't. He'll force himself to go if he has to.

It was new going downstairs having a purpose. At the table sat his mom; coffee in her hand and reading the daily news. As usual, he gave her a kiss on the cheek. She smiled, giving him the same words of "Have a good time." Today, she added, "Good luck! I'm sure it'll be great." His mom has always been his biggest supporter. He loves her for that.

With a grin and a silent wave, Midoriya was on his way. He was closely following the maps on his phone to UA Comic Company; though he had heard of it tons of times he had never taken the initiative to scout it out. There was a time where even stepping out on the streets in the city would give him anxiety attacks left and right. Though that wasn't the case anymore, Izuku still didn't care much for the crowds. Having so much people follow you just bothered him, even if they eventually all would part their separate ways; it always felt like someone was carefully watching your every movement, despite if no one was looking at all.

Izuku was so focused on his phone that he didn't notice that he was approaching the extravagant building of his destination. A message of "You have arrived" appeared on his screen which made him puzzled. All he could see to his left and his right were boring buildings of restaurants and some tattoo parlors. If his destination was here then how come the place seemed so barren and empty? He checked his screen for a second time. This definitely was the place where he was supposed to be, he even triple checked. What a good start to the day. Midoriya wished to himself that he scouted this out beforehand; now he was lost in the middle of the city. Luck wasn't on his side already. Maybe this just wasn't his break after all.

Nobody would help him if he asked for directions, everyone that he had tried to get help from in this damn city has always scoffed him off, treating him like some helpless teen who didn't know anything in this day in age. People like that made him want to scream. Izuku sighed, closing his eyes. He just felt tired. Maybe he should have gotten coffee before he left. Maybe then things would be going in his favor.

"So that's where All Might works. Amazing!" Midoriya picked up from a side conversation through all the noise of the busy morning street. "Imagine working in that building man, I heard it's really hard to get hired there!"

"Only in your dreams Monoma." Another voice chuckled, the boy's friend perhaps. "You got years until you'd be close to entering those doors. All you can do is look."

Midoriya opened his eyes to find the boys marveling on a sight right in front of him. It's interesting how blind you can be sometimes; although the building was so gigantic it would be easy to miss if you paid attention to everything bland around it. But he made it indeed, to the UA Comic Company. He silently thanked the two boys as he wandered to the building, partially in a sprint. He was extremely nervous, but a part of him felt excited, also very relieved.

The building was the tallest he had ever seen – it was nothing like the simple buildings of the Hero Coffee Shop and other businesses like it. The top of the door shined with the words of the company in big, bold letters. Izuku inhaled deeply. It was now or never, he figured, pushing open one of the heavy bronze doors as he walked on in.

Midoriya held his breath. The interior of the building was even more spectacular, it was like something only rich kids would see on a daily basis. To the left of the desk (a check in desk, he would presume) was a fountain; one that people would toss coins in to make wishes. He secretly wished he had a coin on him, so he could make a wish that everything would go well. Though everything would probably be okay, he was still thinking about things that could go wrong.

"Pssst, hey kid." Came a voice from behind the counter, making Midoriya jump. He didn't see anybody sitting there; that made him feel slightly embarrassed about how long he was staring. "You're really not supposed to be in here if you don't have any business to attend to."

This startled Midoriya even more, making him even more flustered. Nervously, he started twirling his thumbs, looking back at the older guy. "I-I'm not here just to gawk, sir. My name is Izuku Midoriya. I'm here to see… to see All Might."

The guy squinted through his triangle glasses. He didn't seem like a serious guy due to his small blonde mustache and the way his hair was spiked up; but Midoriya knew that it's hard to judge people because they could be unpredictable. He watched him closely slightly on guard, not sure what he was going to do next.

"Izuku Midoriya, huh." The man said, taking a moment before full out exploding into laughter. "You can relax, kid. I know who you are now, man Aizawa was right. He was only guessing but he said you would probably be an awkward guy. The name's Hizashi Yamada. But you can call me Present Mic."

Midoriya, not sure what to think of this man in front of him hesitated a bit, before shaking the other's outstretched hand. "Present Mic? Why do you want people to call you that?"

"It's got a nice ring to it don't you think?" Yamada (Mic?) grinned, winking before pouting a bit. "The only one that refuses to call me it is Aizawa. Ah – you don't know who that is do you? He's the other desk guy. You know, the gloomy one you talked to on the phone? Don't let his demeanor fool you he's really a nice guy. He works in the afternoons with me and alone in the evenings. You'll get to meet him eventually."

If there is anything to learn about Mic right off the bat, it was that he liked to hear himself talk. This was made evident by this practically one sided conversation he was having with Midoriya this very moment. Not that he wasn't enjoying hearing the other talk, but it just kept making Midoriya even more anxious about being here to see All Might. He didn't want to cut Mic off from what he was saying, but it was kind of hard to stand still. Whether or not Mic picked up on this he had no idea, but the next words that came out of his mouth were "Well I don't know what I'm keeping you from – All Might is just through those elevator doors waiting for you! Office is on the left."

Thanking Mic, Midoriya slipped away to the elevator. The arrow to go up arrived quickly, and he sighed in relief when the door closed. It was nice being around the older man, but once he kept talking it was kind of overwhelming. But he passed obstacle two of the day, socialization with someone he had just met; it was like he was gaining experience points in a video game, and he was about to face the final boss. Sure All Might isn't some villain and this wasn't some game, but he was the most important reason why Midoriya was here today. It was still terrifying beyond belief.

The elevator dinged. At that moment all of his air left him completely. He hoped that it wasn't a panic attack, this would be the worst time ever for one of those to happen. He didn't need some random person to find him and try to calm him down; that would be the least ideal situation. As the door opened, Izuku retaught himself to breathe normally. He had no clue how he succeeded.

Right to the left of the elevator was another extravagant door. It seemed like every single angle of this building was meant to be some fancy hangout; it was weird that even the offices in this building were fancy looking. Usually office buildings are dull and boring, with people who seem to have the life sucked out of them. At least it didn't seem like the workers at UA were that way. Maybe that Aizawa guy but there's no way to know about a person until you meet them.

All that's left is for him to knock on the door. He could just leave; then All Might wouldn't even know he was there at all. He would just be like a fleeting dream. But All Mights office has his number now; and Mic knew he was there, so someone would remember him. It's a shame; it's almost like he can't get out of this now.

Sucking it up, he knocked on the intimidating door. Just standing there made him feel so small, even more insignificant than he was before.

"Who is it?" Came All Might's booming voice from the other side of the door. It felt like that scene of Wizard of Oz where Dorothy and the others confront the man behind the curtain.

"Izuku Midoriya, sir." It came out of Midoriya's mouth in a whisper like manner. "I'm here to meet with you about the offer? I'll take it."

The giant door flew open. Izuku was glad he wasn't a step closer; or the only thing he would get out of this visit was probably a concussion. "My boy!" All Might was at the entrance of the door, grinning from ear to ear. It was like he was excited to see Midoriya, and not the other way around. "Didn't I say when we met there's no need to be formal? Please, come in come in! Welcome to my office. Izuku Midoriya, correct?"

"Yes that's my name –"

"Perfect." All Might returned to his seat, patron the empty seat next to him. "I'm sure you have a lot of questions. First we'll address those, and then you'll get into a tour and introductions. Yeah?"

Midoriya nodded, as All Might continued on about his goal as a creator which is to make things people would enjoy (which is something Midoriya understood he did really well, being a fan of his and all); He also talked about how his goal with this internship-like thing is to get a young person involved so that there is a future for the comics, since less and less younger people are taking hubs like this.

When Midoriya asked the "Why me?" question All Might just responded with the simple answer that he saw potential in his sketchbook. It seemed like he wanted to say more, but stopped himself. It was a wonder of why that was.

Their chat lasted for at least thirty minutes – there was quite a lot of information to cover and important papers to sign. It was kind of like he was signing his life away; Midoriya hoped that this wasn't entirely the case. It would suck going from having absolutely full reign of his life to having none due to a company taking it away from him. When the papers were all signed and done; All Might let Midoriya in on a few more things about what he would be doing, before leading him around on the tour.

They first went above to view the large cafeteria, where food can be purchased if for some reason you forget to bring some. Then came viewing the location of the main person of the company's office. Nezu wasn't in today, All Might informed Midoriya, so he unfortunately wouldn't be able to meet him. In All Might's words, Nezu was "Very thrilled and excited to meet All Might's underling now that he finally had one."

A level down was the break room; there were probably about five vending machines with a multitude of couches to relax in. There Izuku got introduced to No. 13, the creator of Space Adventures of Leonard which is a heartwarming tale about a boy who goes into space because he felt like he had nothing left for him on Earth. Midoriya never read it but besides All Might No. 13 was probably the second popular. Sitting across from them was Mandalay, Tiger, Pixie-Bob, and Ragdoll, a team of writers that work on the comic A Cat's Tail. They were more upcoming than the other two; Midoriya had heard about them getting hired to UA after they suddenly caught the attention of Nezu.

In the far corner Midoriya also noticed someone sleeping in a yellow sleeping bag. He was slightly concerned; the person seemed very disheveled and messy, a big contrast from the shiny, fancy atmosphere the room was giving off. "Um.. Excuse me, All Might but… does that person have authorization to be here?" he questioned, pointing towards him.

"Oh! I didn't know he would be in already." All Might let out a hefty laugh while leading the young boy over to the sleeping man. Bending over he reached down, shaking the other man's shoulder. "Aizawa. Hey, Aizawa. This is the boy. I want you to meet him."

The disheveled man's eyes shot open. He seemed absolutely annoyed to have been disturbed, staring daggers at All Might. This was Aizawa Mic was talking about earlier? He just seemed even more miserable and terrifying to Izuku. "You know, Toshinori," he huffed. "He's going to be coming almost every day, he's bound to run into me eventually. Is this really so important as to interrupt my sleep?"

"Yes. Izuku Midoriya, meet Eraser Head. One of the few other comic creators that work here. Also known as Shota Aizawa, the other person in charge of the desk."

"Wait, you're Eraser Head?" Midoriya gasped, sticking out his hand. "I'm sorry I judged you. You're comics are amazing."

"Skip the flattery, kid." Aizawa sighed, shaking Midoriya's hand. "Just call me Aizawa. It sounds better than Eraser Head." He looked back at All Might, with a look that still appeared to be a glare. "Now can I please get more rest Toshinori, I got here early to be able to take a nap. That you so graciously disturbed."

All Might chuckled and turned around waving at Aizawa, Izuku following him close behind. "Man, excuse me for saying this, but he seems like he's so miserable, he's nothing like you or Thirteen or the other four."

"My boy, you just gotta catch him on Wednesdays. That's his good day. Those days he only works here. It's fantastic."

"Only works here? What else does he do?" Izuku questioned, as All Might led him to the elevator, where they had one other place to visit before they were completely done. "If he doesn't mind you mentioning them, of course."

"Oh well, besides making comics and doing the desk, he owns a cat shelter. I think he also waits tables at a restaurant? He's pretty much packed, but he loves what he does I'm pretty sure so I guess it's okay." The elevator opened up and the duo walked out as All Might continued talking. "Okay, so this is the last place I wanted to bring you. He's usually in by now but I wanted you to get to know my editor. I correspond a lot with him and think it's important that the two of you know who the other is. Don't be afraid of him – he seems intimidating but he's really not as scary as he seems." Midoriya nodded silently, watching his idol as he gently knocked on the door. "Todoroki, my boy are you in there?"

After a few seconds had passed, the door slowly opened, and someone that looked about Midoriya's age was standing in the opening. He looked familiar; but Izuku couldn't quite put his finger on where he knew him from. There was something about his red and white hair, his grey and piercing blue eyes, his scar…

Then it popped into his head. The coffee shop, that stranger. He's that stranger; Todoroki. Midoriya could now put a name to that beautiful face. Funny how fate seems to work like this. He never thought he would have the opportunity to meet this boy again. "This is Izuku Midoriya. He'll be assisting me from now on."

"Shoto Todoroki." The other boy mentioned. He didn't smile, but his gaze became soft. Midoriya wondered what he would be like with a smile but he seemed awfully reserved – like there were very few that were let in to the softer side of Shoto Todoroki. "Izuku Midoriya huh? It's nice to meet you."

"You can just call me Midoriya." He responded, letting out a bit of nervous laughter. Feeling a slight heat coming to his cheeks, Midoriya once again offered his hand. "Todoroki, right? Glad to meet you." He's been shaking hands with a lot of people today. It was weird considering before he never wanted to meet anyone new; now these people are just appearing in his life and he was somehow okay with it.

Todoroki took his hand, nodding silently with that same gentle gaze. He didn't say much else before he disappeared back into his office, closing the door softly. Soon after, All Might led Midoriya back down to the front entrance where said goodbye before parting. For the first time in a while, Midoriya headed home with a light heart. He wasn't sure what was to come of this experience; but he could tell he really was going to love it there.

Chapter Text

For once, it felt good to wake up. Midoriya didn't know the last time he woke up feeling a purpose of life; no matter how small. He didn't have to be at the UA office for a couple of days, they gave him a time off before throwing him into chaos with the busy work he would be doing. So he decided to follow his usual daily routine of going to the coffee shop, this time to enjoy his day in contrast to all the times before that he just watched moments pass by.

The coffee shop was filled with people, compared to other days it was much busier than before. While standing in the line, Izuku realized that his corner seat he usually sat in was occupied by two girls who looked to be in their teens. He rolled his eyes. That was the only seat that was isolated away from all others, and with how many people that were present Midoriya was not a fan.

He grabbed his order; a large hot caramel latte instead of a frappe and the usual blueberry muffin. The warm drink was comforting on a cool day like today. The fall weather made the city on some days windy and cold. Izuku didn't mind; fall was his favorite season.

What he did mind, was the near full café with the table he usually sat at not available. Hat made him struggle to find a place to sit. While scanning the place, he noticed a familiar face. Even though they had only come across each other twice, Midoriya would recognize that bright blue eye anywhere. He didn't care how awkward this may be; though he didn't know why he had this desire to get to know Todoroki better. He was a mystery to Izuku; but he wanted to solve the mystery of who this person really is. Besides, it's not like he won't be seeing the other ever again, they're literally working in the same building from now on. Under the same person.

He took a deep breath, approaching the person that was seated. "H-hey." He stammered, clearing his throat. "I noticed you were um… sitting alone and uh – I guess I mean…" Smooth. Real smooth. "Can I sit here? I mean, if you want some company at least."

Todoroki raised his eyebrow, giving Midoriya a look he couldn't quite decipher. Jesus this was a mess, why did he even try; he just did a good job of embarrassing himself. "On a second thought I'll just…"

"No you can sit here." Todoroki mentioned, nodding to the seat that was across from him. "I mean, no one else is there anyways."

Izuku hesitated a bit, before sliding out the chair and sitting down. He couldn't quite read Todoroki's initial expressions all that much, but he doesn't seem to be too bad. He radiated some sort of professional energy even though they were outside of a workplace. His chilling blue eye made him seem cold; though Midoriya knew more than to judge a person just by a couple of meetings.

"No work today?" He asked, attempting small talk.

Todoroki shook his head in return, murmuring "No, I have work. I just don't have to be there exactly when the others do." He glanced out the window, and Midoriya was surprised that he even spoke again. "This place it's… Nice to be at."

For a moment it seemed like Todoroki wanted to say more, but he then glanced out the window. Izuku found the quiet of the other boy nice and relaxing. If it were anybody else they would probably talk his ear off, which is something that would make him want to escape breakfast with a person he barely knew. But with Todoroki it wasn't like that. There was some sort of a calming vibe just being around him, however awkward the silence might be.

"You're not much of a talker, are you?" Midoriya mentioned, tilting his head. A couple of minutes had passed, and neither of them had said a word. That's not a bad thing; but there was some drive he had to get a real conversation with the other. To him it was a challenge, one that he was eager to take on.

Todoroki chuckled in return, shaking his head. "I don't really like people all that much. That's why I became an editor. I only really have to deal with one person."

"That makes two of us, I don't really like people either." Izuku said back, which made Todoroki laugh. The other's laugh made him laugh too; Midoriya couldn't remember the last time he had such a genuine laugh, it must have been years. He hadn't felt this relaxed with a person who wasn't his mother in god knows how long. It might just be Todoroki's gorgeous face, but it might also be something else entirely. This person sitting across from him didn't see to judge him at all, he was treating him like a normal person; not like some messed up depressed child. "So… Do you live around here?" He questioned, trying to keep a conversation going. Usually he wouldn't, but he wanted to talk to Todoroki. It wasn't just a simple want; it was a big desire.

"I have an apartment just down the road. Me and my cat Ember."

"A cat, huh? Would never take you as a cat person."

Todoroki chuckled again pulling out his phone, showing Izuku his home screen with an image of a fluffy black cat. "I wasn't going to be. Little girl was hanging around and no one else was claiming her. It got really cold early that year and I couldn't just turn her away. She's been at my place ever since. Such a sweetheart. Do you live by here?"

Izuku shook his head. "Not close but… A good walking distance. I come here a lot of mornings." Actually every morning, but Todoroki didn't need to know that. "Have you been around for a while?"

"What is this, 20 questions?"

"No, but it can be." That just slipped out of Izuku's mouth, before he realized it. Once he noticed what he said, he became a bit flustered, shoving part of his muffin into his mouth to stop himself from talking. He couldn't believe he just blurted that out; he wasn't flirting with Todoroki, was he..? Midoriya wasn't quite sure what flirting entails, he hadn't been romantically interested in anyone for so long, not like there was anyone to be interested in him in return anyways.

What he said seemed to fluster Todoroki. This surprised Midoriya, he didn't think Todoroki would be the type to get flustered so easily. Instead of turning to food, his company turned to sipping on his coffee to avoid conversation. Well this was awkward, Midoriya was pretty sure he had ruined any chance possible to be friendly with his mentor's editor. It was good while it lasted, at least he tried. Why does social interaction have to be so difficult; this is why it's always so hard to initiate anything with anyone. Everyone regrets talking to him eventually. This was foolish, now Izuku felt a need to escape, though he didn't really want to. He wanted Todoroki to just say something.

People moved around them, but neither Todoroki or Midoriya rushed to get away. It was like it was the first time they had been in this situation and neither one of them wanted to make a move first. As embarrassing as this was; it was pretty funny. Even though they were both technically adults, it was like they were children who were clueless as to what would happen next. Midoriya didn't have his muffin as a reason to keep quiet anymore, but he didn't want to make things increasingly more weird so he kept his eyes on the table.

After more minutes of silence, Todoroki stood up. Izuku didn't even think he would give a goodbye at all; why would he? It didn't seem like he had that good of a time. Which is fair, but that made Midoriya worry about the office. He was going to be seeing Todoroki very often, after this the other might not want to see him at all.

"I have to go to work now but I'll see you around?" Izuku had to admit he was shocked when Todoroki turned around and addressed him again after throwing his garbage away, a small smile on his face. He blinked, making sure that this was real life, nodding his head. He was also surprised when Todoroki held out his phone. "You're an interesting kid, Midoriya. If you ever want to continue those questions, feel free to text me."

Izuku blinked again, and got a confused look back. "You can take the phone, you know."

"Right." He grabbed the phone, typing in his number and sending a text to himself before handing the phone back to his rightful owner. Todoroki after waved and briskly walked out of the coffee shop, leaving Midoriya alone.

He watched Todoroki wander away from the building, and there was a warmth coming to his cheeks. Surely he didn't have a crush on All Might's editor; there was no way. He just met him. He only just found out about his dislike for people and his cat named Ember. Plus, he called Midoriya kid, he must be years older than him.

He wasn't crushing on Shoto Todoroki; there was absolutely no way.

Chapter Text

Through the next few days, Todoroki actually stuck to his word. Midoriya was decently surprised; whenever he asked a question over text he would get a response back. It made being at the company more entertaining at times and gave him something to do when he wasn't helping out with comics. He was decently surprised; after a while Todoroki started asking some questions as well.

They didn't see each other much. All Might had Midoriya busy with inking and working on initial ideas of the scripts. Todoroki was typically running around doing errands or working on the fine details; finishing up some of All Might's earlier projects that are closer to being published. All the interaction they really had thus far besides at the coffee shop was the occasional smile or wave at the beginning of the day or in the break room. There was really no time for a conversation to be held, as soon as one arrived the other had to leave. It was a shame really; Midoriya actually enjoyed talking to Todoroki face to face.

Though Todoroki was the only one here around his age, some of the other creators made the effort to get to know him as well. In the beginning it was rather intimidating, due to the others being rather well known by the public. Despite that, they were all rather kind and also understanding if he needed to step away from a conversation due to things getting too uncomfortable. No. 13 especially always had something inspirational to say, it happened to be a nice break on days where Midoriya has a difficult time getting out of bed to come. He also found some surprising company in the break room with Aizawa when he wasn't sleeping or grumpy. By far, he was Midoriya's favorite person to talk to – besides All Might.

Izuku felt very relaxed being by All Might's side. He would have expected working under high expectations would be tense; but his mentor made sure to stress he would help with any issues while working. He was also very receptive to every suggestion given; it was hard to believe All Might was in charge as it was so often he would agree with what Midoriya said. He was also a joy to talk to; mentioning his plans for the rest of his day if he wasn't swamped with making comics. Midoriya didn't ask, but he was curious about All Might's personal life. He was a phenomenal character, how come he wasn't married, and how come he didn't have any children?

Izuku had to admit; if All Might had children he would be jealous of them. He couldn't imagine having a father like that. It wouldn't be like his own dad, if Izuku could even call him that. Absent because he was away on a business trip; it was hard knowing that excuse wasn't the only reason he hasn't returned yet. The real reason he left was that he couldn't handle his son being so depressed all the time. He made Midoriya constantly feel like he was the real issue in their "perfect family" before he up and left. He doubted that All Might would be a parent like that.

Not that anyone here knew how depressed he actually was. But it's also not like they ever have to know.

Today Midoriya wasn't doing much at all in the office. All Might had him do some basic inking, but this gave him a lot of downtime to deal with. He stretched, leaning back against the chair, letting a yawn out. It was an unsuspectedly slow day, one that Midoriya had not had since he started here. It was nice.

Izuku looked down at his phone, which a notification had just popped up on. It was a text from Todoroki; another thing that came unexpected during the day. 'Would you like some coffee?'

'Would I ever.' Midoriya typed back, chuckling to himself. Even though it was the middle of the day he could never pass on the opportunity to have a nice cup.

"Who're you talking to?" Midoriya jumped. All Might's voice came out of nowhere; he swiveled around in his chair, winking. "You've been looking at your phone a lot when you have the time. You got a girl?"

"N-N-No!" The boy jumped, shaking his head. He could feel his face turning red. A girl? He didn't even like girls. Not that All Might would know that, of course. "It's just Todoroki."

One of his mentor's eyebrows raised. "Todoroki, eh?" His expression seemed to soften a bit. "That's surprising. The boy's never been much of a talker, I'm glad." He gave a smile. "I guess that it's good that there's someone closer to his age now, instead of him just being surrounded by older people."

"He doesn't really like contact with people in general. It's not my place to ask but… Do you know why that is?"

"My boy, just as it's not your place to ask, it's not my place to say." All Might sighed, giving Midoriya a sympathetic smile. "Just be patient and kind to him. He could use a good friend."

"I'll be sure to take care of him, I promise."

"The way you're saying it makes it sound like you're going to marry him or something."

Midoriya mumbled out a soft yeah, before realizing what was said; making him blush furiously and shake his head denying what All Might said. His mentor just chuckled, telling him to relax. "I'm only pulling your leg." Is what he had said, through his laughter. Midoriya was as red as he could get, he couldn't believe that the first person to jokingly poke fun at him here would be his idol himself. Besides being flustered, Izuku didn't mind it all that much. He knew the other was kidding. It had been almost a week and that was just enough to figure out that All Might wasn't a serious guy at all.

After that All Might got back to his work, handing over something small for Izuku to work on while he had the time. He was still in the office for a while; and he had nothing to do really anyways. In between finishing All Might's things, Midoriya brought his own materials to start on. He still wasn't sure what he wanted to create; but no creative process starts easy, he knew that well. There was never even a time where he dreamed of coming up with his own comic, or that the supervision he would be under would be one of the greatest comic creators of all time. If this wasn't real life, then he didn't really know what it was.

If anything he had sketches of characters, but he was too embarrassed to show them off yet. Even though he was recruited due to his art being noticed; there was still an insecurity about showing it off to others. He was too afraid of only criticism and no ways that he could improve, afraid his ideas would be trashed and he would have to draw them all over again. After all, there was still this shadow behind him of all the people who shut him down in the past.

Once the clock hit one-thirty, Midoriya was done with all the simple tasks from All Might so he began working on his own stuff anyways. It's not like anyone was paying attention, so he figured it was safe. It had been a few minutes, before a coffee suddenly appeared in front of his face. Midoriya completely forgot about Todoroki and the coffee that he offered; it scared the daylights out of him. He had hoped that the other didn't notice what was on the computer as he quickly shut it. "Thank… Thank you Todoroki."

"It was… No problem." Todoroki replied. Face to face conversation still seemed a bit awkward to Midoriya; but he didn't mind. He preferred that contact over text anyways. "What were you working on?"

"Just… Stuff." Midoriya responded, immediately taking a sip of his coffee to avoid saying anymore. Todoroki was surprisingly good at reading people, he backed off a bit when he seemed to sense the other was unwilling to talk. Todoroki was very respectful, and Izuku could admire that. He didn't push boundaries. That's something that was made apparent with the questions as well, as he didn't ever ask too much.

Todoroki nodded, giving a small smile before saying goodbye, taking some materials left for him by All Might and leaving. Izuku had to admit, he wished Todoroki would have stayed just a bit longer. But even if he appears to be comfortable, Todoroki always seems like he needs an escape. Midoriya just wanted him to be comfortable enough to speak his mind and be at ease, but it appears as if that was rare. He seemed like the type to listen to others rather than open up; but just maybe if Izuku was patient he'll be able to break through and learn more about him as well.

Hours passed, and all the freckled boy could do is swirl his pencil while sipping his coffee. For some reason, whenever he comes in contact with Todoroki he becomes all the boy can think about. Midoriya didn't like that; so he tried his best to brainstorm for his story despite his racing mind. Though it may not have worked well, he did get to jot down a couple of ideas for possible plots.

Once it grew dark, All Might excused Midoriya to go back home. He never went home when Midoriya left, the boy wondered if he ever got sleep. When he showed up All Might was always there working; likewise when he left All Might always stayed. It seemed exhausting and overwhelming and he always seemed tired beyond belief, but at least he seemed to be doing what he loved.

"Midoriya?" he heard softly, as he headed on his way out. He was so focused on leaving that he had not realized that he passed Todoroki's office on his way out. Midoriya halted. Standing right behind him was the other boy. "You leaving?"

Izuku nodded. "Yeah."

"Give me a moment. I'll head out with you." Todoroki replied, turning around and hastily taking out a key. He struggled with it a bit; as he stumbled to lock the door. "Ah. There we go."

If Midoriya was reading him correctly – Todoroki seemed a bit… Nervous? His hands appeared to be shaking. He wasn't sure why that was, he assumed he was younger than Todoroki and he didn't think he was that threatening; but maybe he was. He is known after all to have a case of the resting bitch face most of the time. He waited for Todoroki to catch up before heading on his way again, the first few minutes in the walk of absolute silence. Even though the company on the way was nice, the silence felt awkward. It was odd though; usually the silence would make Midoriya feel at ease, but when he was with the other it was deafening. He didn't like it at all, which is odd considering at the coffee shop the moments of quiet weren't bothersome at all.

"So you've been here for a week right? How are you liking it?" Words. Todoroki spoke words. Midoriya was so surprised and shocked, he may as well have jumped three feet in the air.

Todoroki gave him a weird look; oops. Midoriya hoped he hadn't offended the other somehow. For some reason, he was very scared whenever he had an encounter with the other he would do or say the wrong thing. He worried a lot what people thought, but for some reason with Todoroki his worry was on a completely different level.

"It's going good. It's nice and everyone's so nice and… I don't know, I guess I haven't had something like this in a long time." Midoriya just realized what came out of his mouth. Shit. He probably said too much; Todoroki has only known him for a week he shouldn't be saying stuff like that in conversation. "I-I mean um…." He trailed off, looking down.

"Yeah I felt the same when I came here." That was surprisingly the most personal comment the other had made thus far; Izuku wasn't sure if it was because he mentioned something simiar but it was... nice. Even though he was confused by Todoroki, he wondered if things weren't as weird between them as he thought. "I've had plenty of jobs before this, they seemed to never care about me. Here everyone is understanding and… Especially All Might. It's really nice, yeah?" Todoroki gave a soft smile. It would be a crime for Izuku to not return that smile, it just seemed so vulnerable and stunning. But like Midoriya realized when he spoke, Todoroki seemed to realize that he said something that was maybe a little more past his comfort level than he had liked. "I… I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said something like that please excuse me."

"No! No it's okay Todoroki, you're good." Midoriya responded. Todoroki said nothing back, and he was afraid that the silence had returned. He may have been mistaken, but there appeared to be a faint blush on the other's cheeks. "You know, when you came into the office earlier, the stuff that I was working on. It's my own work. I'm just embarrassed by it and don't really want anyone to see it."

He sighed. "It's just a start. I don't have names or a solid plan but… Characters, you know? Designs and all. I don't know why I'm telling you about this… I just feel like I can trust you. Can I trust you?"

"I'd hope you can." Todoroki's gentle smile returned to his face. "And I would love to view your work sometime, if you're comfortable with it. All Might isn't the only one that knows some things about comics."

"Alright, I'll consider it."

Todoroki stopped walking, pointing down the road. "Well, this is where we part. See you around?"

"Yeah Todoroki, I'll see you around." Izuku said softly, before watching him walk away. He never thought he could trust anyone much, let alone it being someone he met just over a week ago, but talking to him just seemed natural. After Todoroki disappeared from his sight, he headed straight, walking along his route to his house. Without the other, it seemed so empty again; Izuku felt so alone. But he felt some solace in knowing that there might be a few more people in his life that cared about him now. With that thought in his mind, he headed home. His mother was waiting after all; and he couldn't wait to tell her about his day.

Chapter Text

Izuku was exhausted. The company had been nonstop busy lately, and it was hard to even have the time to get a break. All Might was throwing pages and scripts at him left and right. Although Midoriya was having fun, days like this leave him just wanting to just go home and lay in bed. Though it made him feel guilty thinking this way, on days like this he could forget about talking to his mom; sleep was more important.

Todoroki had become accustomed to walking him after he got out – sometimes leaving when Midoriya is and sometimes even coming back just to be company. Though he insisted that the other didn't need to accompany him on days that he had already left work; but Todoroki always responded that it was no problem and he was happy to do so. He seemed to be worried at times like today, when Midoriya had been exhausted when they met at the doors. Todoroki didn't seem like the type to show a whole lot of emotion but apparently that rule does not apply when worry comes into play. What an odd fellow Todoroki seemed to be.

When he walked through the door of his house, Midoriya almost tripped on the doorframe. He wasn't quite attentive because his eyes were falling closed. The first thing he saw when he entered the house was his mom in the living room. Thank god she didn't see him almost fall; she might be his mom, but that would still be extremely embarrassing. The first thing he was going to do when he got home was crawl into bed, but something seemed off. His mother didn't greet him when he came through the door, which was very unusual. She also seemed lost into space, staring down at her phone which she had clutched in her hands. This wasn't right; Midoriya needed to get to the bottom of this. His mom was never this way.

"Hey mom. I'm home." He said gently, slowly walking towards the couch and sitting next to her. Bed would have to wait, his mom was the one person who has stuck with him through everything, and if something was wrong he wanted to be there like she had been all these years.

"Oh hi honey." She said back softly. Her voice was always very warm; but that warmth was faded today. At this point he knew, something was definitely off. "How was your day?"

"Tiring. Busy. Lots to do." The room fell back into silence.

Izuku respectfully gave her a moment to say something first. He figured that would be better before he started prying; that's something he got from her; it's what she did all the time when he was having an off day. He learned how to deal with situations like this from the best, after all. "Are you okay? You just seem out of it. I just wanted to make sure everything is fine."

No response. "I won't make you tell me what it is, if you don't want to. But just tell me that everything's okay. Please?"

Finally, a chuckle escaped from his mother's mouth. She looked over at him, a tiny smile blooming. That was a bit of relief, but Midoriya wasn't letting himself relax just yet. "When did you get so good at this, my love?"

"I only learned from you, ma."

"You flatter me." She said back, before leaning forward, resting her elbows on her legs and letting out a heavy sigh. "I'm ok. It's just your father, he called."

"Oh. Right. Him." Izuku huffed, slumping down on the couch, staring at the ceiling. Whenever his father called in his opinion was unimportant, it's not like he ever asks about how "Izuku Midoriya" was doing. "What did he want?"

"Izuku please, think nice of him okay sweety?" There she goes defending him. When I comes to the subject of his father, there always was some sort of defense in her. But of course there would be; she and him, they were in love after all. "He called to check up on us."

"Check up on you." Midoriya corrected with a huff.

"Anyways he… I told him about here, and all the good things you're doing at the company and he… he wants me to go out there and live with him."

This was not what Izuku expected at all. It's like a bomb went off in his mess of a mind that was at constant war. This bomb really cleared out the battlefield, and just made his mind go blank. What the hell was his father thinking? Yes, him and his mom could be happy; but with such short notice? And what would happen to the house – to Midoriya for that matter? Believe him he didn't want to see his father at all after he left such a long time ago, but it was like he wasn't thinking at all about what his son would do without his mom around. He can't afford the rent, he would be all alone; that's something that Midoriya dreaded. The thought of being alone with this mind frightened him greatly.

But this was all what his father was. A selfish asshole. Only thinking of what's best for him, and not what's best for his family, if Izuku and his mom even counted as one. His mother still counted, he had no doubt on that. But Midoriya was this useless little brat who's finally just now doing something with this life of his.

And now he's trying to take away one of the lights in Izuku's life? He thinks not. "No… no mom you can't – I don't know how I can explain this but…"

But maybe this would be good for his mother. She's been separated from the love of her life while she watched over him. That couldn't have been easy; making sure he ate on time and actually got up to start the day. Worrying about whether or not her child would even wake up or whether she would walk in and find him dead. His mother has been his light, but she's been taking care of him for so long. He wondered if this was the kind of she even wanted to be living.

"You… you should go be with him." Izuku mumbled out softly, giving up a bit and shaking his head. "You haven't seen him in so long, and now I have a thing here. It'll be able to distract me from not having you around."

"Oh Izuku…" She said, lightly cupping his face. "I just don't know. I don't want you to be all alone. Wouldn't you be lonely? And where will you live? You're not going to be able to afford it."

"You're worrying mom. I'd be fine, promise."

"It's what mothers are good for." A heavy sigh came from her mouth as she let go of Midoriya's face, sitting back and glancing up at the ceiling. "This is just all so sudden. It happened very fast. I don't want to leave you, but I do miss your father. It's a lot to think about."

This made Izuku feel a bit bad; his mother shouldn't have to make this choice. No mother should have to choose between her son or her husband, they should all be able to live together in a happy life. This wasn't fair to her; who has devoted her entire life to being not only a dedicated mother, but still keeping her love for her husband no matter how far away he ended up. Midoriya wishes he could fix this for her – but this was out of his control. The choice to make is in her hands. No matter what choice she makes, he just hopes that she can be happy.

His mother gently scooted closer to him, placing her arm around his shoulders. "You grew up to be such a good man, but you're still my little boy."

"I'm twenty mom, I'm not a little boy anymore." Midoriya protested, chuckling lightly as he nuzzled into his mother's warmth.

"You'll always be my little boy."

They sat there in silence, sharing the comfort of each others' warmth. They stayed like that for a half an hour, before his mom kissed his forehead. She made a comment that he looked exhausted, he should be heading straight to bed. When they stood, he wrapped her in his arms. Midoriya has to admit though he always seemed like the most fragile one, right now she appeared to be the frail one. It was a long time since Midoriya last told himself to be strong but now he really had to be. For her.

They both separated, and his mom placed a soft hand on his cheek before he went upstairs and crawled into his bed. There must be something he could do to ease her decision. But there was nothing at all that popped up in his head. With a sigh, he turned to face the wall. With everything good in his life recently, it figured something would come ruin it. The unexpected part, was that it was his father that would be the cause.

His heavy eyes were coming to a close. Though his mind was busy with trying to find possible solutions to his situation if his mom were to leave, his exhaustion happened to be winning at the moment. For the first time in a while, he felt completely helpless. Helpless, and pathetic. While he was laying there, he could hear his mother's steps as she made her way up the stairs. He would guess that she was headed into her room; with the footsteps getting eventually muffled it seemed that he was correct. Though it was just a room away, the walls weren't very thick so voices and noises could be heard softly from the other side. He knew she wouldn't want him to worry about her, but Midoriya was listening to make sure that his mother settled and was able to fall fast asleep. Each second it got harder to keep his eyes open however, and he eventually ended up shutting them.

Through the walls, he faintly heard his mother crying. That sound broke Izuku's heart as he ended up slipping away to darkness, falling asleep.

Chapter Text

"My boy, I have some things for you to work on here." All Might's voice went right through him – Izuku was distracted. He couldn't stop thinking about last night; his father, his mother, and her silent sobs that ended the day. Needless to say, he was spaced out so much, he didn't hear anything but the quiet.

"Midoriya? Izuku? Izuku Midoriya?" All Might attempted again and again, leaning closer to the boy. He must have been able to tell there was something weighing on Midoriya's mind; it was unusual for him to be acting that way after all. Usually he was attentive to what was going on and what he had to work on, but not today. "Hey, is everything alright my boy?"

Midoriya finally snapped into focus. He hadn't really realized how long he had just been blankly staring forward at his computer for. All Might's question pulled him back to reality, to which he quickly responded: "Yeah, I'm okay."

"You sure? You're really spaced out."

"Yeah, fine. I promise." Though he was saying that to convince All Might, Izuku felt like he was trying to also make himself convinced of his own complete lie. His mentor looked skeptical, but handed the materials to him without asking any more questions. He didn't need to bother the man with his personal problems, Midoriya thought, so he just kept to himself.

But the more he tried to keep it down, the more it wanted to come up. It was like he was trying to swallow food when his stomach wanted to reject everything he ate. He wanted to trust All Might, but could he? Or would he just be another burden like he was for his friends in the past? Or an annoyance. Maybe then All Might would want to replace him or get rid of him. Maybe a kid with some personal problems would be too much to even attempt to mentor.

His mind was filled with continuous thoughts – mostly irrational – as he started to work through what he was given. Even with the distraction of work, it did no good in stopping his brain from thinking all these things; about his situation. His mentor. His mother. Those three topics kept cycling around, and he was trying to figure out if there was any way to narrow to him only thinking about one. That would be a little easier than all three at the same time. Unfortunately, there really was no way for him to stop. His hands were shaking as Midoriya let out a heavy sigh.

"Actually…" He started hesitantly. If mentioning something would stop it from running around in his mind, it was worth a try. Besides, All Might won't judge him that much, right? "Something happened at home last night. It's nothing that will put me in danger, and it's kind of complicated. I'm not used to talking about things so… It's hard."

All Might stopped his work and sat forward, all eyes on Midoriya. He seemed to be studying the boy; being careful about what action he should take next. "It's alright, my boy. Take your time, I'm here to listen."

"My dad is far away on business; he's been there for years. Now my mom has been here with me forever because of… reasons, and he just calls and wants her to go live with him because he learned about this that I have right now." His shoulders rose and fell in a shrug. "As much as I don't want her to leave, I think she should go. But then that also goes into like… Where I would go because I can't afford to live on my own and all that stuff."

Midoriya glanced over at All Might. It was easy to tell that he was taking in all the things the younger boy was saying, but it was hard to tell what exactly he was thinking. He didn't say anything; basically just sat there, nodding. This had Izuku wondering if he made a mistake, but it did seem surprisingly lighter on himself from having told someone. Maybe there's a benefit to not holding stuff in after all. But it was a bad habit – one he doubted he would break anytime soon. "I… I hope my personal problems don't make you see me any differently and that you still want me to be under your wing. I…"

All Might approached Midoriya and made sure to make sure that he was eye level before he spoke once again. "Midoriya, my boy, we all have problems. I won't drop you because you're human. I would like to talk to your mother, if possible. I'm sure we can figure something out."

Izuku was so relieved to hear those words of reassurance, he burst into tears. It's pretty pathetic for a twenty-year-old to start crying in his opinion, but it was something he really couldn't help at this point. "Hey, hey no need to cry, it's ok." All Might said frantically, not knowing quite what to do. His hero frazzled; that's something Midoriya never thought he would ever see in his life. If Midoriya wasn't caught up with heavy sobs, that sight would make him laugh.

After he managed to calm down, he was allowed to go on a break to come back with a clearer mind. Before leaving the office, they both agreed that it would be a good idea for All Might to visit Izuku's home at the end of the work day. All Might. At his small house. A few years back it would seem absolutely unbelievable that an event like this could happen in this lifetime. But yet here it is, and it is most definitely happening now.

Standing in front of the sink in the bathroom, Midoriya splashed his face with cold water to try to fix his eyes so that it wasn't so obvious he had just spent the last few minutes of his day crying. He didn't want to have to explain to others why or admit that he had even had been crying. The only other person he was a little close to at the building was Todoroki – and he didn't need to know that Midoriya was a mess. Izuku's relationship with Todoroki was good, but he wasn't even sure if he could call the other colleague his friend. Those conversations that they have been having – through text or during walks home – who knew if they even meant something to Todoroki.

He glanced in the mirror. His face looked alive enough for him to step out. There was still a few more minutes before Midoriya had to be back at the office, so he concluded it would be okay for him to take a stroll to the break room. A little water would do him some good.

Luck was really not on his side today; as soon as he exited the bathroom he ran straight into the one person he didn't really want to at this moment. Todoroki seemed oblivious for a second as he said sorry, but then seemed to realize that he did indeed recognize the person in front of him. Although Izuku felt bad, he greeted Todoroki and mumbled under his breath that he had something else to do before quickly scampering away. Once he got to the breakroom, he was feeling a bit guilty for not saying more than hello. A small conversation would not have hurt him one bit. Stupid Midoriya.

Almost as his thoughts commanded it, Todoroki walked into the break room. By that time Izuku was stationed on a couch, staring at the wall as he took a sip from the clear cup. He barely even noticed when the other sat down next to him. "Hey."

Izuku was frightened, the water almost spilling out of the cup as he jumped. "Did I scare you? I'm sorry." Todoroki questioned, letting out a chuckle.

"Not at all, no you didn't. Not one bit." The green haired boy responded quickly, trying to stabilize his voice. He glanced up. "What's up? Sorry about earlier I um…"

"Oh, you running into me? That's no big deal. Everything okay? You seemed a bit off put."

"You know, just… Stuff. Life."

"Ah I get it. Life's a bitch sometimes." That made Midoriya shocked. He didn't expect the other to say something like that, let alone swear. Todoroki seemed to react to his shocked face, shrugging. "What? I haven't been dealt the best hand in life. I know shit happens and… I guess I'm trying to say, if you need to talk about anything, I'm here to listen."

Izuku gave him a gentle smile. "Thank you, Todoroki. It means a lot, it really does."

Soon after, Midoriya had to dismiss himself to get back to work. It meant a lot to him that Todoroki would offer to listen to him; but he also didn't want to overload him so he shoved it into the back of his mind. The more and more he talked to the other, the more kindhearted he seemed. It was interesting on how he appeared to consider Midoriya a friend – even though he was still unsure how exactly he fit into Todoroki's life. With that conversation, he was able to return to All Might's office with an even lighter heart, and he was able to work with little distraction.

That evening it felt weird leaving the office with All Might instead of Todoroki. Midoriya wondered about his mom's reaction when she opens the door to see All Might's tall figure behind her son. He thought about letting her know he was coming, but the thought escaped him until now. It will be a surprise indeed. Thank god it was late out, or they would probably be swarmed with all sorts of people trying to get All Might's attention. If Izuku had to get swamped into that – he would probably die right on the spot.

It was a very peaceful night. There was really no one around and it was a pretty straightforward walk to Izuku's small little place. It took him a couple of times to convince himself to open the door and step inside, All Might following him. It was odd having his mentor follow him; especially because the person leading would usually be the other way around. As they entered, Midoriya heard footsteps down the stairs. "Hey honey, I made some soup earlier if you're interested, it's in the…" His mother immediately froze when she realized that her son was not alone in the house, her eyes becoming wide. "Oh my god." Was the next thing she managed to breathe out in her shock.

In that moment, it was easy to tell that the two of them were related. Much like Midoriya when he first met All Might, his mother's mouth was wide open. Even though he wanted to laugh, Midoriya kept quiet because he didn't desire to embarrass his mother. She was usually fairly well spoken, it was strange to see her so speechless.

"Good evening Mrs. Midoriya. I was going to introduce myself but… it seems like I don't need to." All Might began, stretching out his hand.

"Please, call me Inko." Izuku's mother responded quickly, smiling gently while regaining her composure and going down the last few steps to approach All Might. She reached out taking his hand. Next to his mentor, his mom appeared to be so small. "And I know exactly who you are. It's a pleasure to finally meet you, All Might. To what do we owe the pleasure?"

All Might looked to Midoriya, seemingly for approval to continue talking to which Midoriya nodded. "Well… Your son here told me about the position you're in. I wanted to discuss things to possibly make the decision easier on you."

Izuku watched his mom's actions and facial expressions closely, trying to decipher his mother's mood. But her face stayed in that kind smile as she invited All Might to come sit at the table and stay a while. Midoriya, of course, also had to be there. Before talking, his mother was hospitable, serving the two bowls of soup and drinks as desired. The three of them got settled at the table, and when everyone was comfortable, the meeting began.

They started out by discussing the situation at hand – Izuku's father and the conflict of Midoriya not being able to support himself and their living space. There was a lot of back and forth going on, All Might trying to learn more about the situation and his mom in return giving him the answers. If there was one thing Izuku was glad that his mother didn't mention to All Might, it was that her real concern was leaving Midoriya all alone because she was the only one who really understood how terrifying his lows could get.

That discussion lasted for about twenty or thirty minutes. In order to keep him focused and his mind busy, Midoriya took to twiddling his thumbs under the table. He was getting a bit tired with all this talk, but he knew it was important that he heard this conversation as it did indeed affect his life after all. Once they finished speaking, there was a moment of silence as if they were all trying to think of an effective solution to all this.

"The only solution I can think of as of now, Inko, is for Izuku to reside in my home." All Might mentioned, nodding his head. "I have an empty room in my apartment, and he won't have to worry about transportation. I don't mind taking him in."

"Are you sure?" Izuku's attention snapped over to his mother, who seemed unsure with what she was hearing. The unsureness could be caused by anything; Izuku was wondering what exactly his mother was considering at that moment. "This is awfully kind of you to suggest All Might but I just…"

"Mom," Midoriya butted in. "It'll be okay. Honestly, his suggestion doesn't sound that bad. I wouldn't mind."

"But honey, what about you…"

Izuku sighed deeply, shaking his head. "Think about yourself for once, mom, I want you to be happy. I'm glad that you're so worried about me but this is your decision, being with dad again would make you so happy and… I really think you should go. It's not like I'm going to go anywhere. You'll know where I am, you could visit at any time." He grinned, looking at her. She appeared to have tears in her eyes, but it was hard to tell. "I'll be fine, I promise. Don't you think this would be good for me too?"

"Yeah…" She trailed off, looking to the floor.

Usually the conflict was in Midoriya's mind, but now it was in his mother's. Midoriya looked over to All Might, who in return said some reassuring words. His mom seemed to think for a long while, taking in consideration both sides of the argument, her words vs All Might and Midoriya's. The clock was ticking with anticipation. Izuku had no idea what would happen next, he just hoped by the conclusion of this he would have a place to live. But he also was worried about his mother – this is probably one of the worst decisions she ever had to make in her life.

"Okay." His mother finally responded, with a sigh. "All Might, I will trust my son to you. Just… Just be good to him, okay?"

"I will, Inko. I promise."

His mother for the first time in years finally deciding to put herself first made Izuku grin, before scooting out his chair and giving his mother a kiss on the cheek. It was late so even though he wanted to stick around longer he said his goodnights, before mentioning that they should get some rest as well. After all, it will be a long next few days of arrangements; his mother, preparing to live with his father, and Izuku, preparing to move in with the one and only All Might. It seemed like his sad, boring, mundane life was far behind him already. But disappointment was still lingering; he would miss seeing his mother's smiling face every day.

As he slowly made his way up the stairs, he heard All Might's voice softly speaking. Due to pure curiosity, Midoriya stopped at the step he was on, out of sight. "That Izuku Midoriya. You've really raised an exceptional young man, Inko. I'm glad that I have the opportunity to work alongside him."

"What you're doing for him All Might – mentoring him and taking him under your wing, it really means so much to him. In return it means so much to me as well." Izuku couldn't see her face; but he could imagine that usual warm smile on her face as she mentioned that. "Please promise me… That you'll do everything possible to look after him."

"I will. I promise." With that, Midoriya didn't need to hear anymore as he headed up to his room, not quite settling into his bed yet. He picked up one of his All Might comics and flipped through it. It hadn't quite sunken in yet that when everything is all settled, he'd be moving in with a person that he thought was completely unreachable years back.

He was still flipping through comics when he heard the faint close of the door from downstairs. His mother before heading to her own room stopped by his, coming in and giving him one of those bear hugs she gives when she attempts to convince him that everything's alright. But he's pretty sure that the person that she's attempting to convince today was herself. He melted into the hug, returning it and squeezing her gently. There's one thing he was sure of in this whole thing – he was certainly going to miss this when she is gone.

Chapter Text

The transition to All Might's apartment went surprisingly smooth. In the weeks before, Midoriya's mother bought her ticket, and All Might allowed some days off so Midoriya could spend time with her before she eventually left. They came up with a list of things that they ever wanted to do around the city; eating around in restaurants that seemed way too expensive before and just keeping each other company before the fated day. The two of them tried to take their time to enjoy, but they knew it was limited. It's hard to believe that was only a few weeks ago.

Now he was in a new place, with a new person. Izuku couldn't believe that his mom is actually gone. He could still feel her touch lingering when she hugged him goodbye, before stepping on the plane. It's odd that he won't see her smile every day, or hear her voice, or hear her laugh. She promised she would call often; but he reminded her that he's an adult now, and that she should spend some long lost time with her husband.

All Might has been very welcoming towards Midoriya. There was breakfast on the table every morning, and even though Midoriya wasn't a huge fan of scrambled eggs with ham, cheese, and peppers he took some anyways when it was made. It was nice not having to go places to get coffee and food in the mornings, but he did miss going to the Hero Coffee Shop. All Might's apartment was a short distance which was nice, but he really didn't feel like making the walk alone from an unfamiliar place. But he did make a promise to himself to go there soon and sit like he did before this all started, maybe try one of those scones that he got for his mother forever ago. It's surprising how much time has passed since then.

He was surrounded by people every day, but for some reason a loneliness is still aching deep down in his heart. Izuku was trying to ignore it, but he really missed his mom. He found himself missing everything. It just wasn't the same having a place to call home without her in it. Getting more involved in his work helped be a distraction; but All Might kept him at a minimum. Even if Midoriya wanted to do more, but he figured his mentor was doing it on purpose, to make sure he didn't work himself to death. Working was all he really had the desire to do.

If there was one thing that was really nice though, it's that All Might didn't treat him like a child that needs to be babied and taken care of. He seemed to acknowledge that babying was not the right way to take in a twenty year old, and that they had the entirety of time to get to know each other's habits before setting ground rules. Midoriya had never in his life considered living with someone that wasn't family; but right now, it didn't seem that bad. It seems like everything is new; even though what he's doing with All Might at UA has not changed at all.

Everyone at the company has been super nice to him in the time since his mom left. He wasn't sure if this was All Might's doing, but he has to admit it has been awfully comforting in a way. Though he was going through major changes in life, it was nice to know some people cared about him to an extent. It's amazing that his circle of older aquaintances began to expand a little past his mom. One Wednesday Aizawa even offered a kitten from his shelter, which Midoriya sadly had to decline due to All Might being severely allergic. After that conversation, Izuku swore he heard Aizawa mumble under his breath: "The offer still stands, if you so desire."

The one person that Midoriya wasn't sure was aware of anything was Todoroki. There were multiple times that he himself was going to mention something to the other; but though he knew Todoroki was someone he could trust a small voice in his head still told him not to be a burden. That was what kept Midoriya silent. He didn't want to risk losing the seemingly good acquaintanceship he had with the older guy after all. It was nice, and at times even has the benefit of free coffee. If Todoroki was aware of it, he was doing a good job of not showing the worried expression he seemed to have whenever things didn't seem to be going well for Izuku. At the same time, he didn't quite know why Todoroki would care that deeply about him in the first place.

Today Izuku decided he was going to break his new routine of going back to the apartment after his full day at the company. It had seemed like ages, so he decided to head to the Hero Coffee Shop and treat himself. Things had been going surprisingly okay, and he even felt strangely peaceful. Arriving at the coffee shop, he ordered a caramel frappe with a scone. Midoriya eyed his favorite spot – that one in the corner that no one else seemed to ever approach. Receiving his order, Midoriya sat down and glanced out of the window. It was a quiet night; the only noise that was occurring was soft music from the speakers that were above him.

Suddenly his whole world seemed to crumble, just like the scone he held in his hand. The loneliness that seemed to disappear earlier came up and enveloped his whole being. He felt guilty; why is it that he couldn't have felt this calm with his mother around? If anything, he should have felt this before she was gone. This scone just reminded him of her, and her smile, and he began to miss her all over again. Midoriya hadn't felt an absolutely overwhelming feeling like this for a good while.

Silently cursing to himself, he frantically searched for a place where an escape could be made and the time to recollect himself could pass. Even though he was pretty much alone in the corner, there were still the workers who could notice him and that made him uncomfortable to think about. He didn't want anyone to see him in this sorry state. Finally settling on a location, his eyes darted to the bathroom. It might not be the best option for privacy, but at this point it was probably the best option he had. Izuku scrambled to stand, struggling to stability. His whole entire body felt numb and it was difficult for him to even step forward.

It was a miracle that Midoriya even made it into the bathroom, he didn't think his body would even follow his command to move. Once locked in the stall, he ended up collapsing to his knees facing the toilet; it was a miracle that nothing came up even though he didn't have much. It's a shame – the few bites of the scone were delicious just as his mother mentioned.

His knuckles were white from how hard he was clenching the sides of the toilet bowl. Izuku could feel himself trembling as his throat constricted, leaving him gasping for air. It was like struggling to find oxygen in the depths of the ocean; it's impossible, and the next thing you know is that you're drowning, except there was no water. The only thing choking up Midoriya was the very air that he was supposed to be breathing in. So much was going on in his mind that he didn't even realize there were tears that started to stream down his face.

Somehow Izuku managed to relax the grip from his hands, only to collapse back against the stall door in a sobbing mess. He needed something – someone to anchor him or there was no way he could snap out of this. But who even is there to contact? His mother isn't here to rush to his aid, All Might is probably still busy working at the office. There was no way he could bother them at this time, especially when they probably can't do anything besides worry. He was trembling terribly; it was hard to even look at his phone between the shaking and his blurred eyesight. It's too bad he didn't have any friends. That would make this situation a lot easier to deal with.

"If you need to talk about anything, I'm here to listen." Those words rang in his ears. Who was it that had said that to him recently? Thoughts in his mind were all scrambled up. The screen of his phone looked like nonsense as he glared at the screen. At this point, he could probably fall asleep and never be discovered until the next morning.

At that moment, a text pinged up on his screen. Through his poor vision, Midoriya was miraculously able to figure out the sender. Todoroki. How could he have forgotten? It was Todoroki that said that. Izuku might be in this pathetic state, and there is just a sliver of a chance that the other would judge him, but he had enough of a sense to know that being alone would not be ideal right now.

He steadied his hand just enough to get a call started. There were a couple of times that when the ringing occurred, he desired to hang up. To deal with it himself. To just be alone. It was a surprise that he could convince himself to stay on the line. But what if Todoroki doesn't even pick up? Then there really won't be anyone to save Midoriya from, well, whatever this is.

"Hello?" Izuku barely heard the voice over the sound of his sobs; if Todoroki didn't speak again it would have seemed like he made the voice up for a source of comfort. "Midoriya? Is that you?"

The only thing Midoriya could manage to mumble out was a yes, before his throat closed up and he ended up choking on more cries. Even as he tried to mumble more words out it all came out as blabber, not forming comprehensible words. It felt like he was a child again; trying so hard to be understood while words he spoke made no sense at all.

Todoroki's voice came through the phone. "Are you okay? What's wrong?" Midoriya could only answer the first question with a no, but there was no way he could actually put together enough to respond to the second question. It was a genuine surprise that Todoroki was still on the phone trying to make some sense of what Midoriya was saying. The poor boy must be so confused. "Midoriya… I know it might be hard, but I need you to tell me where you are."

His tone was gentle, and Todoroki was so patient as the sobbing mess attempted to sound out his location. "H-h-h-hero Coffee S-sh-shop." He managed to out, even though it took about three times. It was like his throat wasn't allowing him to speak.

"I'll be right there."

Izuku wasn't sure if he heard Todoroki correctly; he was coming here? But at the same time, it would be nice to have someone with him. At this point, it would take a long time for this hysterical sadness to subside on its own. He could worry about being judged later, for now things are bad and if he had any hope of getting out of the coffee shop without struggling to stand it was safer to not be alone.

With all of his shaking and the tears that were covering his eyes, the time that passed seemed to be a blur; Izuku had no idea how much time had passed. For all that he knew, the other could have forgotten him after all. The shaking still covered his body, as he tried to stabilize his vision on the floor. He needed to stop this frantic crying if he ever wanted to get anywhere in conversation with Todoroki if he comes. It's not like he could babble nonsense forever.

The bathroom door flung open. The moment of truth.

"Midoriya? Hey… It's me." The soft voice came from the other side of the stall. Todoroki was here. He actually was here. "Can you let me in? It might be a bit crowded but… I can't figure out what to do for you unless I'm there with you."

Izuku stumbled a bit, but he moved fast to turn the knob so the stall was once again unlocked. Todoroki slowly entered, it appeared that he didn't want to startle the already shaken up person in front of him. From what he could tell, Todoroki looked very concerned as he sat down so they both could be eye level, reaching out hesitantly to put a hand on his shoulder. Izuku flinched away. He wasn't ready for his bubble to be pierced just yet, even if Todoroki was here to help.

"I know you probably are not able to right now, but I need you to take deep breaths. It's okay. It'll be okay. This will pass." His hushed words were gentle. Todoroki inched forward, not sure if he was able to get close. Trying to get a clearer focus on Todoroki, Izuku attempted to wipe away some of the tears. This didn't work very well; as soon as he cleared some away more flowed out. The other was patient, mumbling more reassuring words as Midoriya struggled to calm himself enough to be able to talk. "I'm here for you. I just want to help."

It took a couple more minutes, but eventually the constriction in Midoriya's throat went down. There was just something in Todoroki's presence that caused him to relax, despite the fact he was still sobbing uncontrollably. After a while, he let out a shaky sigh. "I-I'm sorry…" was the first thing that managed to slip out of his mouth.

Todoroki shook his head. "Hey, you're fine." He moved in, reaching out to once again place his hand gently on Midoriya's shoulder. This time Izuku stayed still, allowing the other to get close. Todoroki still seemed a bit hesitant with his actions, and it was greatly appreciated. "I'm just glad that you called me. What's going on?"

"Everything. Everything's all wrong." Izuku cried out, shaking his head. "M-my mom's gone, but I felt okay for the first time in a long while. I feel guilty, and I feel so… Alone. I know, "Midoriya, you're surrounded by people every day, you're not alone" but… She was my world, Todoroki, my stability. How am I supposed to pretend that I'm okay? That I can go on like every day is fine, when it usually is going oh so wrong?"

"No one is asking you to be okay." Todoroki responded, shaking his head. "You shouldn't have to pretend. How long have you felt this way?"

This caused Midoriya to sob even harder. "Forever. Her going away just made everything worse."

"Oh… Midoriya…" Todoroki began, letting go of Midoriya's shoulder. It was hard to tell what his next move was going to be, before opening up his arms. Izuku was exhausted from crying but seeing as the tears just kept coming it was not apparent of what other option he had at this point. He collapsed into the older boy's arms, craving all sorts of comfort receivable at this point. In attempt to soothe the other, Todoroki began to softly rub his back before speaking again. "I know you might feel like a burden right now, but it's not good to bottle things up. You can rely on everyone in the company; we all knew about your situation but we didn't know how much you were hurting." He sighed. "I'm sorry, I should have asked how you were doing. I know how painful losing a mother can be."

"I miss her. I miss her so much, Todoroki."

"I know."

"I just want to be happy."

"I know." Todoroki gave Midoriya a soft squeeze. "You can be. You'll get there."

Izuku chuckled through his tears. "Why are you so good at this?"

"Believe it or not, I've had a lot of practice on myself." The other muttered under his breath.

They stayed there for what felt like forever. Izuku didn't know how long it took the tears to stop falling, but eventually all that exhaustion was catching up to him. He had to admit, it made him feel better after being open to Todoroki – it was like when he confided in All Might before his mother made the decision to leave; he also had to admit, Todoroki's arms were so comfortable to be in. This was nothing compared to "the good old Inko Midoriya" hugs, but it was just as comforting. He was actually disappointed when Todoroki let go.

Izuku watched Todoroki stand up, who after offered his hand. Once standing, the green haired boy almost stumbled forward; he thankfully got caught before hitting the ground. "Hey… I think we should get you home." Midoriya was too tired to disagree, but since he was stumbling Todoroki ended up supporting him as they grabbed his things before leaving. By the time they got out of the coffee shop it was freezing; Midoriya wished he had planned ahead of time and brought a jacket. But he wasn't stumbling to walk anymore, so there was no need for Todoroki's support.

But yet Midoriya still desired some sort of closeness. "Can I… Can I hold your hand?" He asked softly, before embarrassment rushed over him. Izuku flushed red, he couldn't believe he just asked that. Were he and Todoroki even friends? Should you even ask to hold your friend's hand, is that normal? "I-I'm sorry that was weird wasn't it? I mean unless you don't want to which is totally reasonable. I can't believe I asked that. Is that weird? Are we even friends?"

A chuckle came out of Todoroki's mouth. "I've considered you a friend for a while now." It was too dark to tell his expression, but he seemed a bit… flustered? Imagine that; Todoroki being flustered. "But it's not weird and yes, you may hold my hand." Midoriya once again grabbed the hand that was offered to him. Todoroki's left hand immediately made him feel so warm, and comfort washed over him once again. The two of them walked in silence, until they reached All Might's apartment. It would be odd to keep a hold on Todoroki's hand, so once they stopped walking he loosened his grip and said goodnight, turning to the door.

"Hey… Hey, Todoroki?" Midoriya started, instantly turning around to look at the other. The lighting was faint, but there seemed to be the smallest of blushes on his cheeks. This was the first time Midoriya took to study Todoroki's face in the dim lighting. It was beautiful. He, was beautiful. Izuku was so caught up observing the other's face, that he completely forgot for a second what he was going to say.

"Yes, Midoriya?"

"Thank you." It took him a while to find the words, but once he did, he could say it with a grin. "What you did for me today… It really meant a lot."

"If you have something going on, you don't have to shoulder it alone. I'm glad I could be there." The other boy smiled in return, before giving one last wave and leaving.

Without Todoroki, he probably would have come home in the mood to shut the rest of the world out for a while, maybe forever. But now he knows he has a person, someone he could call a friend to rely on. That's something that a while ago he didn't even have in this world. Todoroki helped him realize something also, if he wanted to live in understanding with All Might, it was about time to come clean about his depression. He can keep people in the dark for so long, but Todoroki was right; they can't help if the things going on in Izuku's life are a mystery. This shadow was a part of Midoriya, and he shouldn't hide it anymore. At least not from the person that he's living with.

"My boy, I was wondering where you were this late." Izuku wasn't expecting to see All Might standing there when he got inside; this sudden appearance made him jump out of surprise.

Midoriya shrugged in response. "Yeah… It was quite a night." He lifted up his bag of leftovers from the coffee shop, about half of a scone that was left uneaten. "Want a scone? I have something I need to discuss with you."

"The Midorya's and their food discussions." His mentor responded, letting out a hearty laugh. "Sure my boy. Come into the living room, we can talk there."

Chapter Text

In the days since what Midoriya would call "the great breakdown of 2019", he found himself hanging around Todoroki more and more. It was a bit odd getting back into the swing of having a friend again, but it still felt good to be in company of one. Also, Todoroki didn't tell anyone about what went down that night at the coffee shop so it was nice being around someone he knows is actually trustable. But lately Izuku found himself wondering about who exactly Todoroki is; besides he knew little to nothing about Todoroki's personal life. No matter how curious he was however, Midoriya felt like he didn't really have the right to ask. Just because his personal life he put all in the open, that didn't mean Todoroki had to mention anything about his. A part of him desired to know, but only if the other felt comfortable.

It was odd having such a close friend. Even with Iida, Uraraka, Kirishima, and Asui he didn't take the time to get super close, when it came to relationships a wall was kept up. Not even the hardest sledge hammer would be able to knock it down. It was closed off so that his heart would be protected if they were to ever leave, because relationships always ended with him being alone. But somehow Todoroki knocked down that barrier. Midoriya wondered if this, somehow, could lead to something more.

All the while, the comfort was building up between the two and Izuku was finally comfortable enough to sit down and show Todoroki his work. He received tons of compliments from his friend; that brought a sense of validation Midoriya never knew that he needed. Todoroki also had some valuable insight to take into consideration. Not that general conversations with the other was boring, but talking about comics was so much different. The passion that Todoroki has for comics is remarkable. It was similar to if you got Midoriya talking about All Might's comics. It's nice to see the light in his blue and grey eyes, it's something that had never been seen before.

All these events led up to today, as Midoriya worked on his first draft of The Hero Within. All Might had been focused on his own stuff for a while, so I was reassuring that he didn't have to show off anything – at least not yet. It's not that he didn't trust his mentor, a part of him was still embarrassed over what he had. For now, everything about this would be him and Todoroki's secret.

"Hey All Might, can I borrow your intern for a while?" The voice made both Midoriya and All Might jump, before they realized that Todoroki was right outside the open door, popping his head in. "I have some errands to run and I could use some extra hands. Should be like, an hour and a half? If he wants to of course."

"Of course I would like to come!" Izuku responded a bit too eagerly, glancing back at All Might. "If… If you don't mind, of course."

All Might raised his eyebrows but shrugged nodding his head. "Sure Todoroki. My boy, you don't have to come back here after ok? I'll see you back at the apartment."

Izuku nodded gathering his materials and waving goodbye, before scurrying out to leave with Todoroki. Though he was glad to get out of the office, it made him curious as to why Todoroki would have grabbed him of all people to go around with. It seemed rude to ask, but surely the other must have more friends and people he could go out with… right?

"Are you hungry? Do you want to go somewhere to eat?"

"No, I'm okay." Midoriya started, but at that moment his stomach betrayed him, growling quite loudly making the other chuckle. "I mean… yeah, I am. But I don't have any money or anything."

"Hey, you came with me, least I could do is treat you to some food." He responded, before going off about some place that has some good Zaru Soba. Izuku quickly figured out that was his favorite food. There was one more thing he knew about Todoroki – his love for zaru soba, his apartment alone, his cat named Ember, and his dislike for people. It was like there were layers of Todoroki, ones you have to peel back to really get to the inside. Midoriya hoped he could get there eventually. Todoroki mad him feel vulnerable; as uncomfortable as that may be for Midoriya, he hoped that it could help his friend become more comfortable around him as well.

They soon arrived at Meiji, where they were lead to their seats by the hostess. Midoriya thought she looked familiar, her nametag read the name Kinoko. He had sworn she was someone he had seen before, it then occurred to him she was in the opposite class during high school. He doubted that she recognized his face, then again it seemed like everyone at the school knew of the "depressed kid in class 1-A"; it spread through his class like wildfire. It was probably Bakugou who said something about it first, Midoriya didn't know why the boy didn't like him but after that everyone seemed to avoid him like the plague. Thank god his current company wasn't like that.

Which brought Midoriya to the previous thought. "Why did you take me out to accompany you, Todoroki?" The question ended up forming words that came out of his mouth, to which he blushed. He didn't exactly mean to voice his thoughts out loud. Good thing the waitress wasn't around when he asked that.

Todoroki ran a hand through his hair, his shoulders rising in a shrug. "I just wanted some company. That's all."

"But why me?"

"Am I not allowed to ask my friend to accompany me, Midoriya? You were just on my mind."

Midoriya looked at Todoroki suspiciously, sipping on his water. Todoroki looked like he wanted to say more, as he has before when they were having a conversation. Izuku wasn't going to let him off the hook this time.

Sighing, the other boy closed his eyes. "No, that's not it. It's just… I wanted to make sure you're doing alright. Thought you could use some time away. Ever since… you know what; I've been worried about you."

Worried. About him. It's almost like he hadn't heard that from someone out loud in forever; the last time those words were in Izuku's life was when Uraraka messaged him. His mother was worried about him, sure, but she was never one to admit to it out loud. To Todoroki, Midoriya didn't know how to respond. He just sat there, nodding his head and sipping his drink.

The waitress was the saving grace to the moment of awkwardness that pursued. Their food finally was placed in front of them; katsudon for Izuku and of course, some zaru soba for Todoroki. The two of them stared awkwardly at each other before digging in to distract themselves from talking. At the same time, Midoriya was also sneaking glances over at the other boy across from him. There was just something about the way he looked that made Midoriya crazily attracted to that face. It's okay to find your friends attractive… right?

After minutes passed, his plate was completely empty. Midoriya sat there, as Todoroki slurped up noodles. He made his chopsticks dance on the plate, he had nothing better to do. He also found the courage to ask something else; something he had been wondering about for a while now. "Hey I don't mean to intrude on anything but… can I ask about your family?"

"What about them?" Todoroki seemed shocked at the question, seeming a little more cautious.

Izuku realized his reaction immediately which made him tread with caution in return. "Well, you know about my family situation and I… I was wondering about yours."

"It's really complicated. Are you sure?"

The waitress came around, taking their empty plates and leaving the check as Midoriya shrugged. "I'm as ready as I'll ever be, I guess."

He watched carefully as the other sat back into the booth and sighed. Todoroki looked uncomfortable – but Midoriya was grateful that he didn't just get up and leave. Like Midoriya, he seemed to have a bit of trouble with opening up and trusting others; he was starting to get the sense that something happened within his family, though it's hard to guess what.

"I haven't seen them all in years. I'm the youngest of four children, Toya and Natsuo, those are my brothers, and Fuyumi is my sister. Toya, the oldest moved out to California. Fuyumi, the middle of them went upstate, and I lost track of Natsuo a long time ago." The air in the room was heavy. Though Todoroki was so close, he seemed so distant. Even if he was looking at Midoriya, it was like he was looking through him. "I always envied people who had close relationships with their siblings. Natsuo is only two years older than me but… I was so separated from them. That's another story in itself."

Midoriya didn't quite know what to say. His friend looked like he was so lost; like he was gone on another planet. Feeling guilty, Izuku shook his head. "Todoroki, you don't have to say anything else if it's painful. I don't want you to tell me if you're not comfortable with it."

"But you should, Midoriya. I should allow you to be close to me. You've been so vulnerable and I…"

The look on the other's face was alarming; he seemed like he was in so much pain. "Hey…" Midoriya reached across the table to gently rest his hand on Todoroki's arm. "It's okay. You don't need to force yourself. It's okay if it takes time."

Todoroki, who seemed so tense before relaxed under Midoriya's touch. He had no clue if I would help or not, but he gave a warm smile. Izuku wanted to be there no matter what, if anything Todoroki deserved that. He was starting to understand what All Might mentioned around when they first met; the other really could use a good friend. Even though being a good friend was something he was still learning to be, it was important to be here right now.

"No no, it's ok. I'm ok." Shifting, Todoroki continued. "As for my parents, my father is Enji Todoroki."

"Hold up – Your father is Endeavor?"

He silently nodded. "I don't like to tell people that because everyone looks up to him but… Jesus Midoriya he was such a shitty dad. He's why I left home as soon as I turned 18; he's also the reason why I haven't seen my mother in 19 years."

"My mother's name is Rei. I don't know why she stayed in such a shitty situation but… Enji he's so cold and controlling and abusive. Everything she did wrong he would scream and throw things, I don't know how many times mom held me sobbing because she didn't know what to do anymore. He was driving her mad he…" Todoroki reached up to the left side of his face, tenderly touching the scar that covered his blue eye. "He was the reason she did this to me, pouring hot water over my eye. I forgive her Midoriya, hell I miss her. But him? After he sent her away to a mental facility he directed his anger and abuse towards us. That's why my siblings all scattered as soon as they could. I hate him."

The table fell silent. Though it looked like he was trying to hide it, Todoroki was in so much pain. His body was trembling, it must have taken a lot for all those words to come out. Midoriya, though a little panicked because of not knowing what to do, carefully scooted out of his side of the booth to slide next to his friend to shield him from the leaving customers of the restaurant. Trying to be as gentle as possible, he rubbed his hand in small circles around Todoroki's back.

Like the other person was there for him that one night, Izuku is glad he could return the favor today. All of this was pretty shocking to hear, he would have never imagined that Todoroki had such a horrific life; or that Endeavor was really as cold as he looked whenever he was on tv for his booming business. A pain arose in his chest. Todoroki was sweet, thoughtful, kind; he didn't deserve any once of what he's carrying around about his family.

It took a while for Todoroki's trembling to stop. Midoriya stuck next to him, making sure that the other was as calm as possible before speaking again. "Wow… I just… wow, Todoroki. You… you've been through a lot, haven't you?" He gave a gentle smile. "Thank you for trusting me enough to tell these things. Really. I think you're so strong."

Todoroki returned the smile, but pain still stuck behind it. "I don't feel like it sometimes, but thank you, Midoriya. You're sweet."

"Not as sweet as you."

They both flushed red, Midoriya quickly returning his hand to his side. He was really good at saying weird things around Todoroki, wasn't he? But it didn't seem to bother the other a bit. This unintentional flirting of his really needs to stop; though it might be a rise of secret feelings that started to develop. It's difficult to figure out where exactly these sayings of Midoriya came from, but one thing for sure is that his heart was beating rapidly and it wasn't going to stop anytime soon.

"How about those um…. Groceries." Izuku brought up after a few minutes of silence. The only sound that he could hear was his heart, and he wished that he could calm it. At least Todoroki couldn't hear it; though the other boy's face still was red in return.

"Yeah um… Groceries. They're not going to buy themselves." The original plan seemed to pop back into Todoroki's head; and he started to laugh. Izuku was glad to see the other laugh, it was like he finally was allowing himself to let go of this burden on his mind. "What do you say, shall we go then?"

Nodding, Midoriya slid out of the booth. Todoroki soon followed, Midoriya keeping a close eye to make sure he was really as okay as he appeared to be. Side by side, they exited the restaurant, Todoroki slightly ahead so he could lead to where he usually got groceries. On their way there, it was a chilly day but all the two of them felt is warmth. That may partially be due to the fact that somehow during the walk, they ended up with their hands clasped together for a second time. This time it wasn't Midoriya who initiated it, it was the other. As surprising as it was, he felt like the two of them were finally on the same comfort level.

Izuku's heart was still pounding as they made their way down the street; it didn't stop until they got to the store and separated, grabbing a cart to throw whatever Todoroki needed in there. Though they were just two friends on a shopping trip, Midoriya found himself wondering if other people around them thought of them as a couple. They were holding hands when they entered the store and not many people go errand running with their friends, so he could understand why people would think like that. Even though he wouldn't mind being mistaken as a couple with the other; Izuku figured that he wasn't fit out to be in a relationship. He had a lot of work to do on himself before he wanted to get involved with someone in that way.

But if romantic feelings aren't what was driving his frantic heart and his flushed face, then what was Midoriya feeling for Shoto Todoroki? There had to be something behind the desire that has pushed him to want to know the other better, the closeness that he seemed to crave when the other is near.

There is also something in the way Midoriya felt when they eventually said goodbye on All Might's doorstep, and the underlying loneliness that lasted in his chest when Todoroki turned and walked away.

Chapter Text

With all the okay things that were happening in his life, figures things would go bad eventually in the next few weeks. Midoriya snoozed his alarm five times already and was just about to press the button again for the sixth time. He didn't want to get out of bed, it was hard enough to turn around. Just reaching over to push the button was such a task; the thought of doing anything was too much. He closed his eyes.

All Might's voice came from outside his door. It was all muffled and distant to Midoriya, something about wanting to get going, he wasn't sure what really was said. Though there was nothing upon him, it felt like there were multiple hundred-pound weights covering his body.

It wasn't until All Might got into his room that he could understand the words that his ears were failing to hear earlier. "Midoriya, my boy, it's time to get up and leave, we'll be late." Izuku gave no response, he didn't even open his eyes. "My boy? Izuku? Are you okay?"

By some sort of miracle, Izuku summoned enough energy to slowly open his green eyes and shake his head. Like that night of the breakdown, he couldn't form actual words; except this time instead of sobbing he felt like everything he looked at was transparent, it was all so easy to look through. His brain was stuck in a weird dissociative state. Currently nothing looked or felt real, not even his mentor's hand that was currently placed on his shoulder. All this confusion in his brain made Midoriya clench his eyes shut once again. This state only made him sick to his stomach and that was not a good feeling to have the first thing in the morning. In fact, none of this is a good feeling to have the first thing in the morning.

"Can… Can you get me my meds?" He made out. Izuku hated how weak and pathetic he sounded at that moment. This is always what it's like, these brief lapses in depression. He hated everything about this terrible illness that made itself so prevalent sometimes. "In the top drawer."

All Might murmured out a sure. Midoriya could tell by the sounds around him that his mentor grabbed the pill bottle from the side dresser, pills rattling inside. Another sound for him to hate at the moment; stupid pills. Stupid Midoriya on pills. Stupid Midoriya who can't even get out of bed to take his pills.

As soon as All Might returned to his bedside, he made himself open his eyes again. Despite tingling in his arms, Izuku pushed himself up so that he could sit against the bedframe. He almost didn't make it up; his arms almost gave out. Even though his idol was right beside him he wished he wasn't. All Might was so strong, and Midoriya didn't want him to ever see him like this. He warned All Might about his depression, but he didn't think the warning would come into play.

Yet All Might stayed by the bedside, helping Midoriya sit up and stabilize, getting him water to take his pills, telling him he could do it when it seemed like his body was going to reject the solid medication and the liquid going down, even if it was just water. Is this what having a father in his life would be like? Midoriya had no clue.

"Give me a few minutes, I… I can… get ready to go." Midoriya's voice strained as he attempted to move forward.

His mentor pushed him back, succeeding in knocking him so he was leaning on the headrest once again. "No, you're not."

"But you said… Time to go."

"Not for you." All Might still had his hand on Midoriya's shoulder, his grip as firm as his voice. "You need this day for yourself. Look at you, you can barely move."

Midoriya struggled a bit under All Might's grasp. This was frustrating. Embarrassing. If only this wasn't his life. If only he never had to live like this at all. "It's not fair if I skip out. I have to… I have to come."

"No." His mentor stressed, giving Midoriya a very stern look. "Midoriya, I promised your mother I would do anything to look after you. You, my boy, are not well. You're going to stay here and rest up. I'll make you some food just in case you get hungry and I'll come back to check on you later. Okay?"

Izuku gave up fighting All Might to get up and sunk back into the bed, nodding his head. "Okay. Get some rest. I'll see you at lunchtime."

A part of him was still aggravated, but his mentor was right, and he hated it. He wasn't in any shape to be moping around the office. To be honest he would be no help at all, just staring at the computer. Though maybe in reality he was no real help at the office at all; maybe he hasn't been doing anything for this person that he looks up to so much. Maybe he's not worthy of being under his wing. Stupid Midoriya.

It's a good thing he was feeling weak; if not he probably would have got up and downed an entire thing of pills. What's worth living if he wouldn't be able to do anything right? Right now there was no one more feeble. There were some messages on his phone screen that he could see out of the corner of his eye. They were probably all Todoroki, but he didn't want to respond. Midoriya really didn't have the energy. His eyes grew heavy again, and there was nothing else for him to do except let the darkness take over. Izuku made a silent vow; this was the last time he was allowing himself to get this bad.

It's weird how a mind could be in chaos but that's not what dreams reflect. Sometimes there's reliving the good times, sometimes the bad, but sometimes nothing seems to exist at all. This is how this dream was, just Midoriya all alone. The ground was reflective and shiny, like a mirror and even though there was no sun it was like he was blinded by a shining light. When he tried to call out to someone, there was an echo, but no response. For some reason, he was alone and he felt so lonely.

Some voice suddenly echoed in the distance. Izuku found himself chasing the voice, even though he didn't know who was calling out. He was determined to catch up, even though he was running to who knows where. This voice, it must be important to him somehow; he wouldn't be craving to find the speaker otherwise. Even though he was going somewhere, it seemed like he was getting nowhere. This dream seemed like a metaphor of his life.

After a while, he slammed into someone. It was for sure a person; but there were no definable features. Whoever they were they didn't talk but they were coated in black. The voice Izuku was following stopped in an instant, he thought possibly it must have come from this stranger. Instead of speaking, the figure waved for him to follow, and so he did.

"Who are you?" He tried, getting no answer. Though there was no answer, he got the feeling he could trust this strange being. It must be linked to the voice, after all. The voice has been silent ever since they showed up.

The being soon came to a halt. "I'd hope that you would recognize me." It finally spoke; a familiar female voice coming through. But it wasn't the same as the other mysterious voice. "I've missed you, Izuku."

"Mom?" he called out in disbelief. If that was his mother then why is she just a black figure, like a figment of his imagination? Then again, this is a dream after all.

The figure (she?) started to walk again. "You know, I spent almost my whole life looking after you. My fragile, fragile boy. You've always been like this, why do you think you would change?"

"Mom… I don't understand, what are you saying?"

Something hushed came from the distance, it's like he could faintly hear the other voice again. "Don't listen to her, don't follow her, don't trust her." It was saying, but how could he not? She was his mother. She might not be making sense and she might be unrecognizable, but this is a dream. Things are not supposed to make sense.

"You know what I mean." She responded, shaking her head and walking towards Izuku. "You, my son, are nothing. Weak, a burden, and you've always been this way. You'll never amount to anything, you are a failure. I doubt even All Might would accept you."

She's wrong. "You're wrong." Midoriya shot back immediately. He was trying to not let her get to him but hearing things like that come from his mother's voice still stung. She was his number one supporter, his fan. Why would she be the one saying things like that? Unless his brain was trying to rip him apart even further.

"Are you sure about that? I think you might want to convince yourself first." She chuckled maliciously, putting her hand on his shoulder. "It's quite laughable, actually. You're so weak that I can do… This." Next thing Izuku knew, the shadowy person pushed him and he was falling into even more darkness. He found himself screaming as he fell down the endless pit; it couldn't be like this, it couldn't end like this. But it's not like there was someone to help him; besides the shadow he was alone in this strange world.

"Midoriya!" Was the next thing he heard. "Midoriya, Midoriya!" The voice, it was back. A least if he was going to die, he was going to die peacefully. He just wish he knew who that was, the voice that was calling out to him.

He then shot up, gasping for air. He felt disgusting, before he realized he was covered in sweat. His throat was as dry as the desert. "Midoriya…" All Might was back by his bedside. How long was that odd dream? How long has he been trapped in that hell space for? He needed his mom; he was frantic, surely she would be here. It didn't register with him for a while that she wasn't here and that All Might was the only one, a very concerned look on his face. "Are you okay? You were screaming… I just got here to check on you…"

Midoriya didn't know what he looked like right now, but he must have looked like a deer in the headlights. The falling feeling was still in his gut, even though he was wide awake. "I… I… No." Was the best he could do to answer All Might's question, before sighing. "Look, chances are this isn't going to be getting better. So… It's okay if you drop me and find someone else. Really…" Izuku wasn't sure if he meant those words or if he was just like a puppet. Either way, those were the words that came out of his mouth and he can't change that.

All Might sighed, placing himself on the side of the bed. He shook his head. "Believe it or not, there was a reason that I chose you, my boy. I'm going to tell you a story; it's your choice to listen or not, but I hope it'll clear things up for you a bit."

It was hard, but Midoriya tried his best to stay attentive to what the older man was saying. He started talking about the past – a boy that wasn't ready for life and a woman, one that saw the good in everything and everyone.

The boy was a total delinquent. His father and mother passed away which left him with nothing; he practically lived on the streets. Stole to get food, got in fights with everyone, it wasn't a good life. A dropout, he was seen as nothing to everyone he came around in society. There was no way at all for him to bring his life back around. He couldn't be saved no matter who or what came into his life. This boy was the lowest of the low. Until of course she came along.

Her name was Nana Shimura. She was a famous artist straight from Japan; she because famous for her abstract paintings that depicted the ups and downs of the world. In order to get a fresh start in life she came to New York City, leaving everything else behind. That included her gigantic art career. She was determined to make something good in this world, and help someone else who may require care. All Might mentioned how once she heard about this boy, she hunted him down, showed him the ropes, gave him passion for something again. The two of them – they became an unstoppable pair. With her mentorship, Shimura taught the boy the beauties of art, which gave some meaning to his life again.

"Eventually… The boy became a famous comic author. But Shimura unfortunately never lived to see the day. She passed away. The boy wanted to make it up to her so…." All Might glanced over at Midoriya, smiling gently. "That boy was me. I have the same desire to help someone the way she helped me. It was no coincidence that I chose you, Midoriya. When I met you in that coffee shop, I could tell something was… different." His tone turned soft. "I want to help you. I want to support you. And I am not going to give up on you because of your depression. Okay?"

It was hard to believe all that Midoriya just heard; All Might, a delinquent? Him, struggling? It seemed like it wasn't possible, but he told the story with such sincerity it's definitely not a made up story. He appreciated All Might telling him this, he's been learning a lot about everyone lately.

"All Might, I think I need to go back to therapy." Izuku admitted softly. Even though it had been a good run without it, it's really something that he shouldn't be without with all these weird lapses of mental health lately. "Do you… Do you think that would be possible?"

"I want to support you no mater what. We can work around a schedule for you, sure."

"Is this… what having a dad is like?"

That made his mentor laugh. "Sure my boy, if that's what you want."

Midoriya couldn't let out a laugh too, but All Might's laughter made him feel a bit lighter than before. "Hey… Thank you for everything, All Might. Really. And I'm sorry to hear about your master. I'm sure she was a wonderful woman."

"She was." All Might responded, tousling Izuku's hair before standing up. "I'm about to head out again. Do you need anything?" The young boy shook his head, finally feeling okay enough to lift his hand and wave before his mentor turned to walk out of his room. "Goodbye, my boy. Get some more rest. And say something to Todoroki if you can, he seemed worried sick."

Chapter Text

"So… I've been thinking." Todoroki started, leaning back so he was sinking into the break couch. Midoriya had been chilling with him in the break room for the past thirty minutes because he had nothing better to do during his break at the moment. Todoroki's right arm was currently snug around his shoulder; Midoriya found himself leaning a bit towards the other subconsciously.

"Wow, you thinking? Sounds dangerous." That statement got him elbowed, making Midoriya chuckle. Sometimes Todoroki was so teasable. "Tell me, what were you thinking my dear Todoroki?"

"Would you like to come out and get coffee with me tonight?" That was awfully bold of him. But then again; it could just mean nothing but just two friends going out together, it could be no big deal at all. People go out with their friends like this all the time. Besides, they've been going places together for a while now.

Izuku doubted that it meant anything, but there is no harm in accepting, is there? Even if it's not a date, it seems like they have been doing almost everything together lately. They got along so well it was like being a classic duo, like peanut butter and jelly. "Sure." Midoriya responded. "It's a date."

"It's not a date." Todoroki responded quickly; but there was a hint of discomfiture in his voice as his face also flushed red. Perhaps Todoroki thinking was dangerous after all. That adamant denial was as unconvincing as when Midoriya told him he was okay on bad days. "I-I um I mean…"

Izuku raised his eyebrows before his phone buzzed. His time was up; damn. Every part of him wanted to stick around with the other longer, he was so comfortable. Forcing himself to stand up, he gave Todoroki a wave mentioning he would see him later before quickly retreating to the hallway. It wasn't as intense as the other time, but his heart was reacting in the same way that it did at the restaurant just two weeks before. This made it almost evident; Midoriya definitely had a crush on Todoroki.

There was just so much wrong with that statement. On the good side, there finally is an explanation for these wild feelings that have been increasing ever since the day they met. But there were also all the bad things about this; for one, Midoriya is so inexperienced, he doesn't know what being in love or in a relationship really entails, also that's an entire level of vulnerability he's not certain that he would be ready for. Those weren't even the most pressing of matters in this situation, the real conflict that would really matter is; what if Todoroki was straight? What if all he wanted in life was to settle down with a nice girl? What if he already had a girlfriend?

No. Midoriya wasn't going to think too much and giving himself a useless panic attack in the middle of the office, it was not the place and time for that. This is pre-coffee with Todoroki Midoriya, not future oh-god-I-like-this-boy-and-I-don't-know-what-to-do Midoriya. He can worry about this during his possibly not date, which apparently had a very low chance of actually being a date. The more he thought about the cons, the more the probability seemed to fall. Maybe Todoroki just saw him as a friend anyways. Maybe all their interactions thus far weren't leading to anything more than just a very important friendship. Though that would be a bit disappointing, Izuku couldn't say that he would not mind.

"You're in a good mood." All Might noted as soon as Midoriya walked into the room, plopping down in the rolling chair causing it to roll backwards. He didn't think he looked that happy; but there must have been an extra spring in his step. Or maybe his mentor was just very observant.

"Something like that."

It was hard to hide the smile on his face, as he turned to the work in front of him. This week there had been tons of pages for coloring, and All Might's new comic was nearing completion. Even though it hasn't been released yet, The Rogue was probably All Might's best work, and Midoriya's favorite as well. It's hard to believe that he was getting to have a hand in this masterpiece. Just a couple more weeks and it would be available for distribution. There was a huge benefit to working with his hero – he got to see everything before the whole world and he gets to get a free copy of it, signature and all. Izuku had a plan to buy one anyways to send to his mother. It doesn't matter that it would be from money that she sent him to spend on himself; he wanted to get her something nice for a change. She needs something for all the care she gave him through the years.

The clock ticked, he hours passed, and Izuku couldn't keep still. He was so eager for this not date with Todoroki. It's good to do things outside of his room in All Might's apartment. Lately it felt liberating to get outside and get some fresh air. He worked up until Todoroki popped in to grab him for the evening, and they headed to the coffee shop side by side.

Once they got there, the two of them were stuck in a line to get to order their snacks and drinks. It was going to be a while wait, there were a good number of people ahead of them.

"I talked to Aizawa today." Todoroki brought up, as they were holding their spot in line. "He thought that we were together. Or like… Something."

Izuku raised his eyebrows, almost losing his balance. "Oh yeah? Why did he say that?" A bit of nervous laughter slipped out of his mouth, before he clasped his hands over his mouth.

Todoroki gave him a weird look, before continuing. "He said we just looked so happy and he just assumed…"

"Not that I mind." Slipped out the both of their mouths at the same time. They exchanged eye contact before gaining embarrassment, looking down. Izuku was wondering if he even heard his friend correctly, if they really did say the same thing. There's no possible way that Todoroki could like him; this wasn't a date after all, and his mind earlier convinced him that Todoroki was anything but gay.

Where they were in line finally reached the place where they ordered, got their orders, and then they headed to sit down. The sun was just sitting outside, making the coffee shop fairly dim in lighting. There was no music coming from the speakers, it just so happened that that day there was a live performer. Midoriya made sure that they sat out of site, it's like whenever he was out for a good time someone that he knew just so happened to be there too. The performer was Kyoka Jiro; someone that was in a couple of his college classes. She usually hung around Kaminari and Momo who he saw from time to time talking to Kirishima. He hoped that they weren't here with her.

Todoroki. He was here with Todoroki. He shouldn't be worried about coming across old classmates, he was here to have a fun time with this boy on this non-date. He didn't need to make the other worried like many times in the past. The music in the background was rock but slow and soft; like something you would slow dance to at a prom. Midoriya wondered if the other was good at dancing, if he went to prom. He also wanted to know if it was okay to feel the way he did. Was it okay for him to have this gigantic crush on someone who is quite honestly pretty out of his league?

"Midoriya." Todoroki's voice snapped him back to attention. "You alright? You look spaced out."

"Yeah. I am. I'm so good, actually."

"Thank you for coming out with me."

"I'm glad you invited me. I like spending time with you." That was the only way Izuku could express how he felt being around Todoroki, without possibly making the other feel weird with his desire to be close to him or his feelings about there maybe being something more between them. This wasn't a date after all. Even though it may completely feel like it.

"I like spending time with you too. A lot." Todoroki followed, smiling lightly.

Just as he said that, the song changed to something that Midoriya knew well. It was "Beauty and the Beast" from his mother's favorite Disney movie; that didn't seem like it would fit Jiro's type of music, but she sang it just as well. Izuku of course recognized it immediately – he would always watch it with his mom. It was one of those movies that if he was having a bad day, she would always throw it on and sit with him while it played. She loved it so much it made him love it also.

"Wow. What a throwback." He sighed, closing his eyes. In his head he could picture one of those days, him curled on the couch wrapped in a blanket like a burrito, his mother sitting beside him. Even though there was no popcorn around, he swore he could smell the faint scent.

He was brought back to real life by the sound of Todoroki's voice. "I don't know this song. What is it?" A dramatic gasp came out of Midoriya's mouth, and his eyes shot open as he leaned forward. "What?"

"What? Todoroki have you – have you never seen the movie Beauty and the Beast?"

"No?" Todoroki leaned back a little bit, seeming to be taken aback by the green haired boy's excitement. "I really haven't watched movies in a long while? I was separated from a lot of things for most of my childhood."

"You've been ROBBED Todoroki." Midoriya rocked back and forth in his chair, crumbs being thrown everywhere. He was in disbelief that Todoroki had never seen this movie once in his life. As he rocked, he wondered if his friend had seen any Disney movies at all; or if he was completely removed from those masterpieces completely. "Todoroki, we are watching Beauty and the Beast. I have it at All Might's apartment. Please let me show it to you, please."

Todoroki seemed intrigued, his eyebrows raising. Midoriya had no clue if he was looking intrigued about the movie or intrigued about his excitement about the movie. Either way, Todoroki was intrigued about something and Midoriya wanted to know what.

"Sure." His response brought Izuku to make a little celebratory noise, before covering his mouth. "Do you… Do you want to come over to my apartment? We can watch the movie there."

"Would I ever." This night was just full of surprises. There was no way to tell really how this night will go; Izuku, with his giant crush on Todoroki and Todoroki, who Midoriya wasn't even sure had any ulterior motives for keeping him close. This wasn't a date. But maybe it was?

"Let's get out of here."

Midoriya honestly wasn't quite so certain anymore. If there was one thing that was for sure, he was grinning ear to ear.

Chapter Text

That talk about the movie is how they ended up here, standing in front of Todoroki's apartment. For some reason Midoriya would have thought Todoroki to live far away from him and his mentor, but it ended up being a shorter walk then what was expected. With the movie and three bags of popcorn in hand, Midoriya couldn't stand still. There must have been some reason that they came here instead of just watching it at All Might's, right?

Before entering, Todoroki felt obliged to warn Midoriya of Ember; apparently she doesn't typically do well with other people in the house; she either hides or feels the need to scratch at people. How many other people had come over here? How many of those people were here for other reasons than just hanging out? Izuku tried not to think too much of these things, it doesn't matter who's been here and why. That wasn't his business to know, it was only Todoroki's and his alone. They were here to just hang out and watch Beauty and the Beast. Nothing too special about it.

"I'll make the popcorn, feel free to make yourself at home." Todoroki mentioned, as they walked into the front door and took off their shoes. The apartment living room, the first room they entered looked very plain. There were no messes in sight, the only things laying on the floor were a couple of fake mice and a pen. It was a small living space but it still had the feeling of being very homey. To be honest, this is exactly what Midoriya imagined Todoroki's apartment to be like, he wasn't a very flashy guy. Even with the times he stepped foot in the editor's office it was spotless, like no one ever existed in the workplace at all.

The grey couch was so soft, it was like just sinking into water when he plopped down. Izuku could probably fall asleep here if he wanted to, but the reason to be here was solely to watch his favorite movie. Taking the blanket that was hanging on the back of the couch, he draped it across his shoulders. Todoroki said to make himself at home, so might as well pretend like it was just another movie night with his mother. Comfort, popcorn, and companionship; what more could this night bring?

All of a sudden, there was a fuzzy feeling on his hand which made Midoriya immediately pull back, springing to the other end of the couch out of pure terror. Next thing he knew, there was a pair of eyes, one blue and one green, glaring at him. That made him yelp a bit before remembering about Ember. She had suddenly decided to make an entrance right next to where Midoriya was sitting. That's something more that this night could bring. A black cat.

"Are you… okay?" Todoroki questioned, coming around the corner from the kitchen with the popcorn in a bowl once he heard the noise of distress. Noticing Midoriya who was buried into the corner of the couch quite frightened by his cat, the other immediately attempted to stop himself from cracking up.

"She just – your cat just – don't laugh at me." Midoriya pouted, still cornered in the side of the couch by Ember. "Is she going to kill me? Oh my god, Todoroki. I need to write my will. This cat has malicious intentions I can feel it."

The sleek cat took steps towards the cowering boy, eventually stopping to sniff him gently. Izuku whimpered a bit, and Todoroki allowed himself to let out a chuckle. "Hey, you can relax. This actually is the first I have seen her approach in a friendly manner anyone but me."

"I don't believe you."

"She's not going to hurt you, Midoriya." Todoroki was at a gentle tone, placing down the popcorn before moving to the other side of him, gently placing a hand on his. Slowly lifting Midoriya's, he moved it closer to softly pet the animal in front of him. Ember, after sniffing the hand, allowed her fur to be pet. She even went as far to rub her head on the hand. "See?"

Under Todoroki's seemingly magic touch, relaxation came across him, enough to get him out of the corner. Perhaps Todoroki's cat was not that bad after all. Izuku felt so warm; and when Todoroki let go he had the warmth of the cat next to him. The other boy popped in the movie, before crawling onto the other end of the couch. This reminded Midoriya of home; the smell of popcorn, another person with him, and Beauty and the Beast. It took him all of his effort to not start crying, even though the movie was just on the title screen. It was just all nostalgic.

It was difficult, however, to focus on the movie because of the other person. Something about him was so distracting; Izuku wished he wasn't so attractive. But it was adorable how focused he was on the movie. His eyes were glued to the screen which was a good thing. Izuku didn't quite know what he would do if Todoroki were to catch his secret glances. With the popcorn, Midoriya was cautious that they didn't reach at the same time, it would be awkward to bump hands after all. This was a bad idea. He was hoping that there would be no return of his beating heart, but now the real fear was that Todoroki would notice. Either that, or the blush on Midoriya's face. Watching a movie alone with Todoroki was definitely a terrible idea.

They were only just after the opening song, but at least Todoroki seemed to be enjoying himself. That's all Midoriya could really hope to accomplish, this movie was important to him, and Todoroki so quickly became important to him. The two, the movie and Todoroki, were so fitting together. A part of Midoriya just was happy to make new memories with this movie in company of someone other than his mom.

It was intriguing to watch someone else go through all the emotions of this movie for the first time. The concern when Belle's father got lost, the nervousness about the Beast being introduced for the first time, even the blatant dislike for Gaston and his ego. There was also the joy of "Be Our Guest", and the glimmer of hope on his face when the objects talked about becoming human again. It was almost like Todoroki allowed himself to be emotional in his apartment; besides the occasional smile, worry, and that one time where he showed a large amount of anguish, he normally just seemed so stoic. But the boy was human too, of course he would show emotion. Midoriya just thought he would never see be in the presence to see such a wide range of emotions from the other.

Once they got to "Something There", the popcorn was nonexistent. Without the snack to reach for, Midoriya resulted to petting the cat to keep his hand from drifting to Todoroki's. He had to admit, with the two of them sitting this close together, it made him crave their typical level of physical affection that much more. Though they've held hands, this would definitely be different, possibly more intimate even. But those soft moments could only occur in Midoriya's dreams. This isn't a date, he has to keep reminding himself of that. He would be foolish if he thought something else was going to happen today.

The only part of the movie that really managed to catch Izuku's attention away from Todoroki was the ball scene. Everything about that scene always made him fall in love with the movie all over again. He was always a huge fan of romance movies, it helped him fantasize about what could be in his future; even if there is no possible way that could come to him. Besides the romance, something else captivated him. Whether it was the elegant ballroom, the beautiful yellow dress, or the soft looks that Belle and the beast give each other, Midoriya had no clue. Every time with the soft music in the background it brought him to tears. When he snuck a glance at Todoroki, he had tears in his eyes as well.

Suddenly, there was warmth enveloping Midoriya's hand that was not heat from the cat. It was unclear what one of them initiated it, but somehow his hand ended up in Todoroki's. He wasn't complaining, but there was a worry in his mind that he subconsciously grabbed the hand which was exactly what he wanted to not happen. Either way, Todoroki did not pull his hand back. Even though he wanted to be closer, Izuku felt it would be appropriate to kept the distance that they were at. He could feel heat on his cheeks; his hair might be the color of broccoli but right now he must look like a fresh tomato.

For the entire end of the movie, Todoroki's grip tightened in suspense. He was on the edge of his seat during the Gaston and Beast fight, and when it got to the reunion there were actual tears dripping down his face. Those tears didn't stop, even when the movie ended and the credits started rolling. Izuku would be lying, however, if he said he wasn't crying too. The both of them sat in silence, hands gently clasped. The main screen appeared again, but neither of them was in a real hurry to get up; it was like both of them were craving something, though Midoriya wasn't quite sure what Todoroki would crave from him.

"Wow… I just, wow." Came out of Todoroki's mouth, when he finally got to speaking. He had stopped crying, but he did not remove his hand from the green haired boy's. "That was… that was a beautiful movie. Thank you for showing it to me."

Izuku smiled softly. "No problem, Todoroki. Thank you for letting me."

Once again, the room fell into silence. It was unlike the other times that they sat in quiet, this time it was comfortable. Izuku wouldn' mind being in this comfortable silence forever, as long as there still was the warmth from Todoroki's hand. The only noise that was rolling was that of the title screen for the movie, which Todoroki eventually grabbed the remote, before stopping the movie and turning off the TV as well. They were really then surrounded in complete and total silence. Peaceful silence.

"You know, I guess I can kind of relate to the Beast." Todoroki brought up, gently rubbing his thumb against the side of Midoriya's hand. "I may not be as cruel as him but being secluded, and then being alone in a place for so long… It really brings out the fear of being alone for your whole life. Also the fear of being rejected by everyone. That's all me."

Midoriya let out a sigh, looking over at Todoroki. He appeared to be a bit… sad. Whatever it is, he wanted to comfort him. He didn't want to see Todoroki sad anymore. "Alienated, seen as "odd" or "different" by almost everyone, I guess that makes me Belle, huh?" That made Todoroki chuckle, as he turned his head to Midoriya.

"Yeah, I guess it does, huh."

Looking into Todoroki's eyes, Izuku's heart started racing again. The combination of the other boy's soft hand and his gentle gaze was just too much; there was a slight worry that his heart would eventually explode. By that time Ember had left, clearing the rest of the couch. Midoriya made an effort to scoot closer, to get rid of the distance between the two of them.

"And I guess like Belle…" Midoriya started, hesitating a bit. Did he really want to admit this out loud? He had no clue what it was, but something about the night gave him the nudge he needed. He figured it was now or never. "I think I may be falling in love with the Beast. Todoroki I… I like you a lot. I just…" The boy raised his free hand to gently caress Todoroki's cheek, still looking softly into his eyes. "I don't know what this can possibly bring, but I can't keep it a secret anymore."

"Midoriya… I…"

Summoning all the courage in him that he didn't know he had, Izuku leaned in greedily, meeting his lips with Todoroki's. It might be a risk, but it was one he was willing to take. For some reason, he didn't quite mind the fact that he might lose the only friend he has. It was like time had stopped, and that they were the only two people in the planet who was still clinging to a feeling. There was not a thought in Midoriya's mind, not until he broke the kiss. The first thing to rush into his mind was; man, Todoroki was a good kisser.

Immediately, more thoughts quickly rushed into his head like a crashing tidal wave. He just kissed Todoroki. Midoriya, who had no idea what kind of people Todoroki was into, just confessed his gigantic undying crush and kissed Todoroki. He didn't care about anything else; Midoriya kissed Todoroki. "Oh god," he started, trying not to panic. That would be a great way to ruin the moment, if there even was a moment to begin with. "Oh god, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry Todoroki I should not have done that."

"Sorry? Midoriya, what are you sorry for?"

That was enough to trigger Midoriya's common rambling, one that often appeared when he thinks too much. "I shouldn't have kissed you I…I shouldn't have. I was acting on impulse. I don't even know if you're into me like that. I'm such a fool, I know I shouldn't have and I'm sorry. This wasn't even a date and I turned it romantic and I'm sure the last thing you wanted was to be kissed at all, especially by me and I am so so sorr- "

His words got cut off by Todoroki, who rolled his eyes before leaning in to close the gap between their lips once again. That sure was one way to make the rambling stop, it was very efficient. Izuku wasn't sure what the other boy was thinking, but his heart continued to race; he wondered if Todoroki's heart was doing the same. This second kiss was longer, it quite literally brought his head far up into the clouds. If there was a god, Midoriya wasn't exactly sure why he chose to suddenly start treating him so good.

"If I minded I would have pushed away." Todoroki breathed out once they separated, resting his forehead on the other's. "There's really no need to freak out and ramble. Though your rambling is adorable, it's not necessary. I really like you Midoriya. I guess I'm just not as brave as you to say it out loud."

Speechless. Midoriya was speechless. Todoroki liked him? He wasn't making that all up in his head? Then… "The coffee shop? I thought you said that wasn't a date?"

A small laugh escaped Todoroki's mouth. "I was lying. You saying it was a date just made me embarrassed. I'm a human being too you know, I do feel embarrassed sometimes."

"You were lying?"

"You couldn't tell? I thought I was a bad liar."

"Or maybe I was just oblivious." The two of them shared a laugh.

"Whatever the case, I'm glad you ended up here with me right now."

"I'm glad we ended up here too."

Midoriya never thought that this movie that he loved so dearly would create even more memories for him; but tonight it did. His first confession. His first kiss. The rush of joy he felt when everything went good for once in his life, instead of bad. The person he was years ago would probably have a hard time believing this would ever happen, then again, Midoriya from about an hour ago thought the same thing. But here he was, cuddled up with this boy, receiving all sorts of affection that he never knew he was craving. The gentle touches, the soft kisses, all of it. Until now, it was something he never really knew that he needed, and now that it started he couldn't get enough. A romance starting from Beauty and the Beast, he wondered what his mom would think of that. She would probably get a laugh.

That brought Midoriya to another issue. He couldn't tell his mom about Todoroki, he couldn't show his new partner off to the world. No one that knows who he is in this world knows that he's gay. It's not even like he could tell his mom about Todoroki without coming out; and that thought was terrifying. Same about All Might, how would he react to it? How would his mother? The same can be said about the public, though they have gone places holding hands before. For all he knew they could have been assumed a couple already. Midoriya was scared. He was already rejected and ostracized by others before, and he didn't want that to happen again.

"Hey Todoroki?" he spoke softly, his voice breaking a bit. "Can I… Can I ask a favor?"

Todoroki gently ran a hand through Midoriya's hair. "Hmn? What is it?"

"Can we keep this a secret for a while? I haven't actually came out to anyone and I… I can't do it just yet. Would you mind?"

"I understand." The other responded, giving him a light peck on the forehead. "Things take time. I don't mind. Besides, it's not like there's a limited time for us to be together."

Midoriya smiled. "Thank you, Todoroki. Thank you." Nestling his head in the crook of Todoroki's neck, he sighed. "You know, I wish I didn't have to go back to All Might's place. It just feels so nice right now. It feels so nice with you."

"Would you like to stay here?"

"Here? With you?"

"Yeah." Todoroki wrapped his arms around Midoriya, resting against him and closing his eyes. "I'm tired of being here alone. Just for tonight I don't want to be alone anymore."

Basking in his presence, Izuku closed his eyes as well. Being with someone in this close vicinity was entirely new to him, but he didn't want to let this moment go. Not yet anyways. "Yes. Yes Todoroki, I would love to stay here with you."
For a while, the two stayed there entangled in each other's arms. Neither was willing to let go; it was like they were scared the other would disappear from their sight and this would all end up being a dream. If this was a dream, Midoriya hoped that he would never wake up; he was sure that Todoroki felt the same. Izuku had never felt so wanted in his entire life. He hummed lightly as the occasional soft kiss was placed on his cheek. It was so pleasant to be able to get what he wanted, things never usually worked out for him this way.

It wasn't until Midoriya was drifting off to sleep that Todoroki suggested that they move to the bed. Yawning, the younger boy agreed, blanket still wrapped around his shoulders. He sent a quick text to All Might, letting him know that he wasn't coming home, before sleepily grabbing Todoroki's hand being led to the room. Like the living room, it was simplistic and minimal, like no one really lived there at all. Letting go of his hand, Todoroki shifted some pillows around the bed to make sure it was set for two people instead of one. Ember, who Izuku hadn't seen since the end of the movie, was in a daze stretched out on the right edge of the bed. Todoroki handed over a change of clothes for him to borrow, guiding him to the bathroom. When Izuku came back, the other was all settled in, waiting.

Once Izuku climbed into the bed, his first instinct was to cuddle up close and lay his head on the other's chest; whenever laying with someone else, he always has been a cuddler. When Todoroki leaned in for another kiss, Midoriya smiled as he kissed back, a rush of joy going through his system. The moment was so passionate, it almost was like they could happily kiss each other until the night turned into day, Midoriya had to admit; he wouldn't mind. He wouldn't mind it one bit.

The kisses broke eventually when Izuku happened to yawn, settling back down on Todoroki's chest, the both of them buried under countless blankets. He had to admit he was a little disappointed, it would have been nice to kiss that face a little more. Sinking into the feeling of contentment, they both exchanged goodnights, before Midoriya closed his eyes. When snuggled up with the other boy, he finally felt like the luckiest person alive. It didn't take long for the sound of Todoroki's gentle breathing to lull him into a deep sleep, the noise reminding him that he wasn't alone anymore.

Chapter Text

Midoriya didn't know what being in a relationship typically entails, but with Todoroki things just seemed to come so naturally. If there was something that was the most thrilling, it was the sneaking around; the kisses exchanged in the bathroom and the cuddles wherever they could in secret, in Todoroki's office, at Todoroki's apartment, even sometimes All Might's apartment when Izuku got left off early. It was like they were children sneaking off at prom to have some time alone. Though in a way, that was exactly what they were doing. No one at the agency seemed to notice their sneaking around except for Aizawa; but he had been skeptical since the day Todoroki asked Midoriya on the coffee date.

This specific day they spent at All Might's apartment. Izuku was feeling a bit exhausted from working lately, so his mentor let him take a mental health day in which the other, since All Might was not going to be there, got invited over. Todoroki happily accepted the invitation, bringing his work along. They spent the afternoon laying on the couch, Todoroki, doing his work, and Midoriya, just relaxing against him as the TV softly played in the background. Todoroki's presence was such a comfort that Midoriya was drifting off to sleep. He wished he could feel this comfortable forever.

All of a sudden, a vibration scared him wide awake. "You okay?" Todoroki questioned, glancing over at Midoriya after he had jolted upward. There was a hint of worry on his face, which was pretty reasonable due to his reaction from the vibration.

"Yeah, I'm fine, I… forgot about my phone in my pocket." Izuku sighed, reaching to take out the phone, realizing that he was receiving a call. Of course something to disturb the peace, was his first thought, before looking at the caller ID to notice that it was his mother. That made him not mind as much.

"I'll be right back." He mentioned softly, pecking Todoroki's cheek as he stood up from the couch. "Mother calls. You don't mind if I answer this right?"

A gentle smile arose on his boyfriend's face. "I don't mind. Take as much time as you need."

It had been a while since he last heard from his mother. When she moved away, it was almost weekly calls, but as time went on it really dwindled. Izuku missed this, he missed her more than anything. Ever since All Might stepped up as more of a father figure to him, all he could think about was how different it was without it being his mother that was taking care of him. Though he couldn't see her in person or give her the biggest hug, hearing her voice over the phone was always nice. Whenever they talked, she sounded like she was having a great time. He was beyond happy for her. Out of everyone, his mother deserved to be truly happy. Midoriya stands by this belief.

"Hi mom." Izuku said softly, after he clicked the button to take the call. He had slipped into his room to get some privacy, leaving Todoroki alone in the living room. As much as it was for privacy it was also out of respect for the other, Midoriya was not sure if the thought of a mother would make him think about the absence of his. He didn't want to cause Todoroki to feel any pain in his presence.

"Izuku, oh how I've missed your voice." She responded, making him smile. Her voice always sounded like heaven, it just made him so relaxed as it has for many years. "How are things? How are you?"

All the questions. That was very typical of their conversations. "I'm okay. Things have been busy, it's been exciting but also exhausting. All Might let me have today off, actually. So I've just been chilling."

"Sweety are you all right though? I know you told me that you were starting therapy again and I have to admit, I really have been a little worried since then."

"I'm okay mom, really I'm fine." Midoriya responded quickly, shaking his head. If he had known she was worried, he would not have waited as much between phone calls. "You know me, I get knocked down, I come back up. Both therapy and All Might's support have done wonders. No need to worry, okay?" When no response was heard, he did his best to change the subject. This phone call was supposed to make his mom happy, but instead it just brought up her worry. "How have things been with you and you know… dad? You guys do anything fun lately?"

The change in subject was a good idea, Izuku got her on a tangent about all the stuff they have been doing around his father's work recently. One day they took a trip to the beach, another to a carnival; it made them sound like two fools in love. It seemed like they were reliving days of their youth when they weren't apart all the time. Though they weren't fools, they were definitely in love, Midoriya could tell by the way she talked about when they were together. He had to feel a bit bad however, as he was the only force that was keeping them apart for all this time. His father may dislike him, but at least he treated his mother well. At least he made her happy.

The way his mother talked about her husband was the way he wished he could talk about Todoroki. They may not be to the level of being in love, but the admiration and softness was all there. It was a shame; his mother would probably love to hear that he had someone to treasure, and someone else to live for in his dreary world. His mother was his biggest fan through anything and it made him upset that he was hiding something from her. In a way, if she didn't accept him, then there is no way anyone else would.

Midoriya tried to summon all of his courage to say something to her. She deserved to know. She has to know. "Mom… I met someone." He mumbled softly, staring at the wall. "I met someone and… they make me feel special, wanted, needed, it's something that I've never felt before. As terrifying as gaining a connection has been to me, they make it so easy. I've fallen so hard already and we've only been together for a few weeks. Is this… Is this how you felt when you met dad?"

"Yes honey, that's what you feel when you meet the right person." Her tone was gentle at the other end, a warmth spreading over Midoriya that calmed his nerves a bit. "So tell me more about this person. What's she like?"

A sigh escaped his mouth. "Before I get into those details I…" Trembles began to cover his body, before he started to continue. "Mom, you – you've always said you'd love me no matter what, right?"'

"Of course, honey." He apparently did not do a good job of hiding the distress in his voice, because she immediately came out with the usual question. "Honey, are you okay? Izuku my baby, what's wrong? You know you can tell me anything, right?"

As soon as Izuku tried to speak, his voice cracked. His mom's concerned voice really broke him down. It always had when he was having bad days, there was something about the change in tone that broke him every time. She always knew when something was wrong and he hated it. He hated how she always could point out the change in voice. Then again, his mom was always there on his worst days, so of course she would pick up on these things.

"Please, Izuku, talk to me."

"It's not a girl." Midoriya managed to softly get out, before breaking some more. "I like guys. I don't want to keep it a secret from you anymore; it's not fair to you that I've never said anything I guess that I've just been… scared. Like because I've lost everyone I'd lose you too. That's the most terrifying thought in the world."

Just as he finished talking, Todoroki came around the corner as if he could detect that the other was upset. 'You okay?' he mouthed, before Midoriya shook his head no and choking on his words. His boyfriend's face was lined with worry, as he came into the room, taking a slow seat next to him. His mom hadn't said anything back, which made Izuku worry even more, tears welling in his eyes as he leaned against Todoroki who threw an arm around him giving him a soft squeeze. At least if he loses his mother, Todoroki would be by his side.

"Why do you think you would lose me?" When his mom spoke again, her tone was in that same soft tone she has always had when communicating with him on days he was upset like this in the past. "Izuku I love you. I love you so much. I will love you till the day I die, whether you're different, or normal, or what. Whoever you're with does not matter. I've told you before and I will say it again and again, I'm your biggest supporter. Don't tell your dad this, but you're number one in my heart. Okay?"

By then actual tears were streaming down his face. So many emotions were welled up Izuku didn't exactly know what ones he was releasing. Todoroki was still holding onto Midoriya, just making sure to keep him as calm as possible while finishing up the phone call. Inko spoke again. "Honey, I have to go. I'll talk to you soon okay? I love you so much. I would love to hear about the boy soon. I am so happy for you."

"Bye mom." Izuku choked out, before the call ended.

As soon as his mom hung up, Midoriya buried his head in the crook of Todoroki's neck, sobs wrecking his body. Todoroki whispered soft words of comfort, slowly running his hands through Izuku's curly green hair letting him cry for as long as he needed. At this point it's more of relief coming out through his tears, but Midoriya still couldn't stop crying. The feeling of Todoroki's hand through his hair relaxed him, he found himself leaning into the hand just like a cat would.

"I'm sorry I came in, I just heard your voice and… I got a little worried. You alright?"

Midoriya nodded his head, not able to speak just yet. What his mom said was reassuring, yet the tears just kept on falling. At least the other was here, his shirt was absorbant. "You wanna lay down? We can lay here, cuddle, maybe nap a little. Sound good?"

Once again Midoriya nodded and Todoroki shifted so the two of them were laying, intertwined on top of the blankets. Though they were on top of the blankets, there was a feeling of warmth just the same. All the crying made him exhausted, but he was unable to drift further from reality. Even with all the comfort and gentleness it was hard for the tears to stop falling; there was just so much relief built up it was all overflowing. All that there was to do was to let it all come out, clinging to the one person that was in his presence. Todoroki was here. Todoroki cares. That was more than he could have ever hoped to achieve with a person for years. His touch on Midoriya's skin remained like a mark, and the feeling of his kisses lingered on his cheeks. Izuku tried his hardest to sync their breathing, so he could calm and stop getting all these wet tears all over poor Todoroki.

When his boyfriend spoke again, it was soft and sweet. "You're very brave you know that? Coming out is terrifying, but you did it anyways. You keep blowing me away, Midoriya. I've never been overly brave so… I really admire that about you."

The breaths Izuku took were shaky, but stabilizing. By the time he could speak, they were both dozing off in the soft, cozy bed. "I think I'm brave because of you, Todoroki." He responded tenderly, pulling back to look into his grey and blue eyes. At a time those eyes seemed so cold, now they just reflected kindness and admiration. "You just… You are just finding all sorts of ways to bring all this out of me. I can't tell you how but… you just make me want to be brave." Looking into Todoroki's eyes gave him such a new feeling of bliss; Midoriya hoped that this was what being in love felt like. He was still unsure, but it certainly was something that he hoped was coming out of this. Never had he felt so strongly for one person before.

Todoroki gently pulled the other back against him, almost like he was really craving for affection. Work must have really been running him ragged also – maybe it was good that he was taking a break so they both could cuddle right now. Izuku found himself falling closer to sleep, secure in the embrace. Letting go was something he definitely did not want to do.

He wasn't sure if he was imagining it, there was a possibility it was just a dream making it up, but Midoriya could have sworn he heard Todoroki whisper ever so lightly; "Izuku Midoriya, I think I'm falling in love with you."

Even though it didn't seem like it, hours passed. The day turned dark, and when he opened his eyes Midoriya could barely see anything besides a thin glow of the streetlights from the window. From underneath his door, he could see the faint light of the apartment. All Might was probably home by now, he could walk in and see the two snuggled up all cozy at any minute; but a part of Midoriya didn't mind. He just wanted to lay here in solace for a while longer. Also he was enjoying seeing the peaceful look on his sleeping boyfriend's face; it had been weeks since they spent the night at his apartment, and they hadn't been able to sleep in the same bed since. Not like Midoriya got to see sleeping Todoroki before, the other was way out of bed before he even woke up that one time.

A knock was at the door, making Midoriya jump. This seemed to awaken the other which was disappointing, but drowsy Todoroki was just as adorable as sleepy Todoroki. "Midoriya? How are you holding up?" His mentor's voice came through the door.

Sitting up as gently as poossible, Izuku ran a hand through the still waking Todoroki's hair. "I'm all good, All Might. Fantastic really."

"Can I come in?"

'Do you mind?' Midoriya mouthed, exchanging a look with the other. He wanted to make sure if this happened, it was because they both allowed it; Midoriya wasn't going to out Todoroki to his boss if he wasn't comfortable with it. Todoroki slowly sat up, rubbing his eyes before giving a nod. "Only if you're comfortable." He responded in a low tone. "I'm here right beside you."

"I don't want to keep you a secret anymore, Todoroki. I don't." Todoroki reached over to grab Midoriya's hand which was quivering. He wanted to do this. He had to do this. It's All Might, who accepted his family problems, depression, and the request to go to therapy again; he would accept him if he knew he was gay… right? "You can come in." Midoriya called in response to his mentor at the other side of the door.

All Might made an appearance before them. It was hard to read the look on his face, it seemed to be embarrassment, or surprise, or glad; possibly a mix of the three, even. "Was I interrupting something or?"

"No, you're fine." Midoriya responded, a genuine chuckle escaping his mouth. He wasn't quite sure what was going on, but this was not the reaction he was expecting. "What's up?"

"I was just – I thought you were doing work at home Todoroki?"

"I did it here." Todoroki responded with a yawn. "Well, kinda. I guess I ended up falling asleep, huh?"

"I'm confused."

Izuku shrugged. "All Might, I've been… I've been dating your editor for a while now." He stated honestly, lifting their enclosed hands. "We've pretty much been sneaking around to hide it, but… I didn't know how long I could hold it up without you knowing so… I'm telling you now."

His mentor seemed to be absorbing all this information, which made Izuku a bit worried. He thought everything would be okay, but what if it wasn't? What if All Might dropped him and fired Todoroki? What if things do not turn out to be okay? All these thoughts of what ifs were running through his head, and the only thing that was keeping him from freaking out was the small squeeze in his hand from Todoroki who must have somehow sensed the panic going in his mind.

"Aizawa did tell me there was something going on," All Might finally spoke with a shrug. "I had some inkling I guess on top of that. You know you guys weren't as sneaky as you thought? You were pretty obvious." He then let out one of those hearty laughs, the one that Midoriya had grown to know so well. "Though thank you for telling me on your own terms." While turning to exit the room, he added, "I brought home some sushi – you ready for dinner? Todoroki, my boy, you could join us if you like."

Once All Might left the room, Todoroki had this smirk on his face. A huge weight felt like it had been lifted off of Midoriya's chest, and now it was like they could act however they wanted in front of whoever they want. The thought was terrifying, sure, but it's a little less terrifying knowing that there are people on their side. All Might and his mother, they were all the approval that Izuku needed.

With that in his mind, he leaned in to give Todoroki a kiss. With this, they don't need to hide from anyone.

Chapter Text

It was a typical January night; cold, snowy, windy. It was the worse storm that had happened in a while, and it just had to be today. Instead of the plans they had to celebrate Todoroki's birthday, the two of them were stuck huddled inside because they didn't desire to face the storm. As much as it is nice just spending the day together indoors, Midoriya had some nice dinner plans and a surprise trip to an extravagant art gallery that was present for a limited time. It was a shame that the day out had to be ruined by the harsh weather. His boyfriend deserved a nice date.

If there's one thing that the weather did right, it gave him an excuse to stay at Todoroki's for the night and not go home. That Midoriya didn't mind at all. What started as soft kisses quickly escalated to kisses of passion, leading them clumsily stumbling towards the bedroom. They maneuvered their way quite poorly, bumping into the dresser and night table before falling into the bed, but they were both so starved for immediate closeness that they didn't mind. It was a shame it was so dark in the room, a lack of light shining through the windows; Midoriya was unable to appreciate Todoroki's full complexion. There was still a great feeling of longing, but there was also the hot sensation of Todoroki's skin on his. It was like wherever he touched left a burning mark; with every single move he made becoming even more tender. Izuku remembers every soft whisper, or moan, or whatever managed to escape their mouths at any given moment. Basking in time, there was no way Izuku could forget how this feels.

After that was a blur – Todoroki and him must have just collapsed in utter contentment. Like usual, they fell asleep with their bodies entwined. Midoriya was on such a high that he didn't think he would ever come down, no matter what happens. Just to feel this close to a person, it was such a feeling of pure bliss. Plus, Todoroki's bare chest was so smooth and his skin was so soft, it was a way better pillow to fall asleep on. Izuku didn't understand why Todoroki always wore long sleeved shirts to bed, but he wished that they could sleep like this more often.

The night was peaceful, like so many nights before. But that didn't last long. Midoriya was suddenly awoken from his light slumber by a sudden jerk from the person next to him. Drowsy he was puzzled about what just happened, before he noticed Todoroki who changed positions so he was sitting up. His face was pale, filled with such an intense look of suffering. His breathing which was once calm turned rapid. Midoriya immediately knew there was something wrong. "Hey, are you… are you okay hon?"

"Todoroki?" He treaded carefully, due to not getting a response the first time. Todoroki's look scared him more than anything; and him not responding made things a little worse when triggering the worry inside his mind. "What's going on?"

Todoroki finally responded, stumbling on his words. "L-light. Light. Midoriya turn on the light I need… it's dark…" his response seemed forced – but if there was something the green haired boy knew well it was the fact that this was coming from a source of panic, and if this continues for Todoroki it could lead to something way worse.

Scrambling out of bed and quickly throwing on a pair of sweatpants, Midoriya rushed to the light switch to flip it up before swiftly making it back to the wilted Todoroki's side. It was odd seeing his boyfriend close to tears, usually he was the one crying. But that wasn't important right now. He needed to figure out what was wrong. He needed to figure out what he could do. Why did this have to happen today of all days, why couldn't Todoroki have a birthday without having something haunting him?

"Honey, what's going on? Please, I want to help you." Izuku tried to keep his voice as stable as possible, trying not to let his concern show too much. He didn't want his worry to put pressure or be aversive towards the other, he just wanted him to be calm. This is the first time since the noodle shop that there appeared to be so much anguish in the other boy. If he didn't respond with something that was useful to calm him down, Midoriya didn't quite know what he would do.

"It's nothing. It's nothing. It will go away, it happens it… it's just terrifying, Midoriya." In an instant, Todoroki had tears that started to drip down his face. He didn't seem to realize it, which caused Midoriya to instantly run his thumbs gently along Todoroki's soft cheeks and stop the tears before they could drip down. "My father… The darkness reminds me of the times he secluded me, tried to make me "manlier" than the others, kept telling me I was special, his "perfect child", his "masterpiece". But to have me suffer the way he did with all the times he hit me when I didn't do what I was told or the amount of time something got thrown in my direction, living it once messed me up but reliving it again and again is even worse. It never gets better."

How many times has this happened? How many times has Todoroki been alone when vivid memories of his father rushed back to haunt him? How long has he kept this from his boyfriend? How many times was he stuck being terrified, all alone?

"You should have told me Todoroki. You should have." Izuku softly brought up, shaking his head. "I'm here for you. I'm here now." Leaning in, he placed a few soft kisses on Todoroki's wet cheeks. He was trying the best he could do right now to minimize the fear in the other's eyes. There was some silence, as the other attempted to compose himself again. Eventually his breathing no longer seemed frantic, but though he seemed to be calm that hint of fear still remained behind those eyes.

Midoriya moved his caress to Todoroki's arms, softly running his hands up and down. This seemed to relax the other in some way, but there was something odd with the feelings of his arms. Typically his skin was soft and smooth like silk – but he noticed the feelings of multiple raised lines all over. When he looked down, the light gave way to something he had never noticed before. There was a great number of scrapes, scratches, and scars covering the lower portion of his arms. When Midoriya looked back up, terror was back into Todoroki's eyes. Quivering soon began under his touch, trembles were covering the scarred boy's body. It was the first ever time that he saw Todoroki like this, looking like he just wanted to run away. For an instant it seemed like he might, but Midoriya was thankful he stayed.

It was hard for him to come up with words to say. It's like he was walking on thin ice, anything he could say had the chance of losing this connection they have. Todoroki could either give him the truth or make up a lie about it just being the cat. Those weren't natural. Izuku knew enough to know what those were. "Todoroki, baby, what are these?" He questioned in a soft tone. "Please don't say that they're nothing. I know they're something."

"I… They're…." Todoroki started, nervously biting his lip and shaking his head, clearly hesitating on what he was going to say next. Midoriya was patient with the shaking boy, he knew how this worked.

"I won't judge you. I won't ever judge you. I care about you a lot and I just want to understand why… or I guess – for how long?"

"Thirteen years. Five years after my mother left." It came out in a whisper. "As for why… Sometimes I get so upset with the world, or upset with myself, or upset at something and the pain finds ways to give me relief; even if it's just for a little while. I shouldn't of hid this from you, but I was just so… ashamed?"

There was a brief pause. Todoroki wasn't looking at Izuku at all, he was just staring blankly at the wall to probably avoid all eye contact. Not knowing what kind of comfort he could be at this second, Midoriya grabbed his boyfriend's hands, pulling them up to kiss his knuckles. "I wish you would have told me. There's no need to be ashamed, we've all done things we're not proud of, when we're alone, in pain, and just feeling trapped." He mentioned softly with a sigh. "You know, the only reason I was even diagnosed as depressed was because when I was twelve I attempted suicide. At the time I felt so gone and mom was away at work and I just… did it. I swallowed about twenty pills. I was barely conscious when my poor mom arrived home, I'll never forget her screams and cries. Sometimes we do irrational things, especially when pain is built up."

"I want to be here for you. I treasure you so much. You mean almost everything to me, Todoroki. You're so gentle and loving but… I wish I knew that you were hurting all this time. I wish I could – no, I want to know how I can help you, even if you don't tell me right now. I don't want you to suffer alone."

"I'm sorry." The other immediately responded, looking back at Midoriya again. "Midoriya I'm so sorry." He was cracking again, falling apart again, and it pained Izuku to watch as silent tears returned once again started falling from his eyes.

"Hey… you're okay, really." Allowing Todoroki to cry as much as he needed, Midoriya let him to fall into his arms. His boyfriend was typically so warm, it was odd that this time he felt cooler to touch. If anything, Izuku was glad he was able to at this moment be by his side, as Todoroki probably would have left more marks on his beautiful skin if he was alone with those nightmares. Midoriya tried to bury that thought back; it was disturbing to have that thought running around in his mind. Todoroki, he has to focus on Todoroki right now. With every sniffle, he gave a gentle squeeze. As to sense that her owner was in distress, Ember wandered in from wherever she was sleeping to also nuzzle against him. "See, even Ember came to let you know it's okay."

It was a big reassurance to hear a chuckle. Taking his hands again, Midoriya sat back to see Todoroki's face again, which appeared to be significantly less twisted in pain than before. A huge rush of relief ran over Midoriya. "I promise I'll stop." He mentioned when he could finally speak without his voice wavering. "It might be difficult but… I'll try."

"I'll be with you every step of the way." Midoriya added, planting a small kiss on his cheek. "You won't be doing this alone, I swear."

"Midoriya… I - I love you."

It took Izuku a moment to understand what was being said, but even so he wasn't sure if the words even made sense in his brain. "What?"

"I said, I love you." Todoroki repeated, taking a deep breath. "You're the first person who has accepted me fully, scars and all. Everyone else… They just left when they found out how damaged and used I was. You listened and you stayed. That's more that I can ever ask for." He let go of one of Midoriya's hands to caress his face with a smile.

Izuku was speechless, but a grin came to his face. "I love you too." He finally got out, before initiating a brief kiss. He traced the sides of the other boy, memorizing the feeling of his waist. How someone could be so complex yet beautiful, he had no clue. Todoroki was so scarred and damaged, yet so perfect. Oh god, he was so perfect.

"Hey, Todoroki?"

"Hm?"

"Have you ever tried therapy? I mean… it doesn't work for everyone, but it helps me a lot and I was wondering if you would benefit from it too."

He let out a sigh, rustling Midoroiya's hair a bit. "I never… I didn't think I would feel comfortable one on one. So I never did. I don't quite like talking about my problems all that much; especially to people I don't trust."

"You should come with me sometime." Izuku hummed, nestling closer to the one besides him. "It's not that scary, yeah? We can do this together, you and me. One step at a time, okay?"

A soft chuckle escaped Todoroki's mouth before he leaned in, peppering soft kisses on the other's freckled face. Moments like this made him feel so special; how he deserved the other Izuku had no clue. "Okay." He responded in a gentle manner. "We'll do this together, sweetheart." Even though he responded quietly, Midoriya heard the words very clearly. A blush arose on Todoroki's cheeks making his whole face red.

He was not the one who usually said the pet names, it was the first time one came out of Todoroki's mouth. The embarrassment on his face was adorable. "God you're so cute."

"You're cuter."

Midoriya would have never thought it to be possible, but Todoroki's face turned even more red. He looked away once again, trying to hide the embarrassment. That was just fuel for Izuku to climb into Todoroki's lap so he could savor the rare look on his boyfriend's face. "You're cuter, sweetheart." He teased, poking Todoroki on his nose.

"Noooo stopppp,"

"Only if you say it one more time."

A huff. "Fine. You're cuter sweetheart." Just him saying that word filled Midoriya with such glee, he was grinning from ear to ear. Todoroki let out another huff before giving up, letting a smile come on to his own face. "I know you're enjoying teasing me right now, but I would really appreciate it if we could go back to bed. Its two in the morning and you know, we have to be at work in six hours."

"Fine." Midoriya pouted, before pushing Todoroki back into the pillows and wrapping him up in a big embrace. "But I'm not moving from this position. You're comfortable."

Todoroki let out a laugh. Hearing that laughter was reassuring. Midoriya wasn't sure if Todoroki was just hiding his pain, but he was convinced that some of the heavy burden was left behind him; if only for this moment. "As long as you're comfortable I'm okay with that. Just… Lets go to sleep, okay?"

Izuku agreed, settling down snug up to Todoroki's chest. The sound of his heartbeat was relaxing along with the soft feeling of his chest rising and falling with every breath. But Midoriya stayed awake a while longer, making sure that the other boy could fall asleep with ease. It was odd seeing someone else be so vulnerable; Todoroki seemed so strong and composed all the time, if he didn't learn all these things now, how long would it have taken for these things to come up? How long did Todoroki intend on hiding everything? Trying to push these thoughts aside, Midoriya slowly got up to turn the lights off once again.

Todoroki seemed to be so peaceful in the bed; with Ember curled up by his feet. Izuku found himself thinking how lucky it was that they were in each other's lives, just two broken souls trying to find their place in the world. Smiling to himself, he flipped the switch before climbing back into bed, being careful not to wake the other. After the sudden awakening, he deserved to get a good night's sleep. With his whole heart, Midoriya has this urge to protect Todoroki. No matter what hardships came into their lives, he hoped they could find a way to make it through together. Sweeping some of his multi-colored hair aside, Midoriya gently brushed his lips on Todoroki's forehead. It was then he made a silent promise; he would do anything to make sure his boyfriend felt at home with him. With all of his heart, Midoriya just hopes that someday Todoroki could just feel safe and happy, with no other cares in the world.

Chapter Text

Books. Everyone was surrounded by books. Midoriya had never been in such a large bookstore before, he much preferred smaller, used ones. At least the only people that were present as of now he knew, besides a couple of employees here and there. Everyone was scrambling to set up around him, so Izuku was trying his best to stay in a corner and out of the way. They were setting up for the big release of The Rogue, which finally was finished after all this time.

"I want you to be there, but are you sure you'll be up for it?" All Might had asked him ahead of time, just to be sure. Knowing of Midoriya's discomfort of people, he wanted to make sure that his mentee would be as comfortable as possible when it came to this event. Izuku shook his head, agreeing that he should be there and reassuring his mentor that all would be good; he wanted to be there for the big day. He didn't help him during all this time for nothing, after all. Besides, it was thrilling to be able to stand side by side with his idol, knowing that this moment was something special shared between the both of them.

Of course you can't exclude the fact that he could also at the same time spend his day with Todoroki. He was so busy planning for this release event that Midoriya had barely been able to see him during or outside work. It had been lonely; but the occasional text or phone call always lit up Midoriya's day. The boy with multicolored hair was running around, helping with directions of where to put things and whatever else he could. Much like All Might, Todoroki also seemed concerned by if Izuku really didn't mind being there.

"I didn't think you would want to be there either." Midoriya pointed out. To which Todoroki responded with the fact that he has been to many of these in the past so he was used to it, which was a fair answer in return. If Todoroki could go to tons of these and be fine, he should be able to handle this one just as well. Besides the crowd it shouldn't be that bad to live through; they're all there to see All Might, so all the attention won't be on him. It's not like his name is on the cover or anything; that was partially per his request. This was all All Might's story, and though Midoriya helped he felt that it was still his mentor's work. He should have complete credit for it.

Once the tables and books were all set up, a voice came from beside him which gave him a startle. "Fancy seeing you around, come here often?" Todoroki threw his arm around Midoriya, giving him a peck on the cheek. He let out a chuckle.

"Smooth." Izuku rolled his eyes, nudging Todoroki as a smile bloomed on his face. "I just happened to be passing through. Who might I be speaking to?"

"Nobody right now, but I feel as if I can become somebody."

"Well, Mr. Nobody, sounds like you want to take me out."

"I would like to. Up to some dinner after this? You and me? I know a great place."

Midoriya laughed. "Yes, I would love to catch some dinner with you. You don't even have to ask."

They leaned in, lips almost touching before All Might's voice startled them apart. "Don't get too comfortable you two, the doors are about to open."

All Might was right – the doors indeed were about to open, and there were hundreds of people standing outside. It seemed so hectic out there, Midoriya was glad that he was observing this event from the inside. He never had the courage to go to one of All Might's comic releases, he was so terrified of the crowds and the people he might run into so he avoided them like the plague. If this is what it's like all the time, he was glad he never attempted to step out of his comfort zone. At least he's here now. That's all that matters.

As soon as the doors officially opened, people flooded the bookstore. Employees worked to keep everyone in a straight line to avoid too much chaos, it was like they were sheepdogs shaping a frantic herd. The amount of people made Midoriya a bit anxious, but he shoved it aside. No one was here that would recognize him, and also everyone is here to see All Might. Nobody was going to care about his lowly mentee. Compared to All Might, he was nothing in these people's eyes; but that's fine by him. It wasn't his moment to shine in. So he stood there, smiling, as people came up one by one, telling All Might that they were such a huge fan like Midoriya would do if it was him meeting his idol for the first time.

In the moment, everything seemed fine. But sometimes little twists happen and suddenly something could shift the mood and knock it off the rails a little bit. This twist had some red, spikey hair; this twist was Eijiro Kirishima. Even though it had been almost two years since Izuku last saw him, he looked exactly the same. Just seeing him again made every muscle in Midoriya's body tense up. What would happen if the two locked eyes? What would happen if Kirishima initiated conversation? Would he act like nothing has changed, or would the rift between them be larger – like they never met in the first place? He was always a friendly guy in school, maybe he made other friends. Maybe he forgot about Midoriya completely, and maybe that was the best thing for him. Izuku did miss him, but he didn't want to go reliving the past if Kirishima didn't remember any of it at all, no matter how short their friendship may have been.

Speaking of his ability to make a lot of friends, the red headed boy was talking to someone. Who it was, the crowd was too busy for him to tell. It was none of Midoriya's business, but he was curious about who Kirishima was striking conversation with. He was being so animated with facial expressions and hand movements; at least it seemed like whoever he was with made him happy. As they got closer, however, some blonde spikes could be seen from the other boy in line standing with his past friend; it was a person Izuku never wanted to see ever again, the person who was a probable cause of a lot of his self-consciousness he has to this day.

Bakugou.

Kirishima was with Bakugou.

Something was bubbling within him, whether it was an extreme bout of panic or rage he wasn't exactly sure; the only thing he was sure of, was that he had to get out of the general vicinity of this area. If there was something dealing with Bakugou taught him throughout the years it was to flee when other people have so much power, and this is one of those moments.

Except before he turned to walk away, Midoriya accidentally locked eyes with Kirishima. But he couldn't stay here, not now, not even for a simple hello. Not with Bakugou there, right next to him.

"Midoriya?" Came Kirishima's voice. It sounded desperate, like he actually wanted to talk to him, like he happened to missed him or something. "Midoriya!" It came again, along with a worker's voice who was asking him kindly to get back into line. Taking a glance behind, the look on Kirishima's face was just sad.

Midoriya apologized in his head; the boy didn't deserve to have his back turned to. A part of him wanted to turn back and catch up with Kirishima, but a part of him wasn't ready. But Bakugou was another story, Bakugou made life hell. All this held back anxiety bubbled up in Izuku as he found a place to hide away far from the commotion. Taking deep breaths, he clenched his eyes shut. If there was anything he did not want, it was a full on panic attack like the day in the bathroom, but it semed like one was coming on anyways. Fuck.

"Izuku are you okay?" Todoroki's voice came out of nowhere; Izuku assumed it was a dream. But when he opened his eyes, his boyfriend was standing right in front of him. Immediately he sprung forward to wrap his arms around Todoroki's waist and bury his head in this familiar chest. "Honey, what's wrong?"

"It's… Nothing Todoroki, I'm fine…"

"You're shaking, not fine." Todoroki added in softly with a sigh. "Was it that boy that called your name? Has he done anything to you?"

Midoriya let out a light chuckle at the thought of Kirishima being the one he had to be careful of. "Kirishima wouldn't even hurt a fly. It's nothing about him, it's just… the person he's with."

"Bakugou I have known for as long as I can remember. We grew up together; were in the same classes, liked the same things, I thought we could be friends. But day in and day out he would call me worthless and useless and… He told me I'd never be successful. That my drawings were garbage. Even one time, no multiple times he told me to kill myself." Izuku's voice was shaking, and he hated it. He's glad that he could be this vulnerable with someone but he hated it. If anything it felt as if he was reverting to being his weak old self in the past. "When I got diagnosed with depression, he's probably the one that spread it throughout the whole damn school. That and everything else all because he didn't like me. He never liked me, and I never knew why."

The other was silent, seemingly taking in everything he was saying. Izuku took deep breaths, keeping his breathing from being frantic. All this talk about Kacchan made a bunch of those moments flow back and he could see them clearly in his mind playing like a movie. Those times ruined him then and they definitely were doing a good job of ruining him now.

"But look at you now." Todoroki mentioned gently, placing a light kiss on the top of his head. "You're still here, and you're proving him wrong with every ounce of your being. You don't have to forgive him, or anything he's ever done to you. I'm sorry he seemed like such an asshole; you definitely don't deserve any of that, you never did. He's missing out on a fantastic person. It's his loss, and that just means there's more for me to love and appreciate."

"Wow. I love you so much right now."

"And I love you too."

Midoriya felt like he had never seen Bakugou. There was just something about being in his lover's presence that made all of his problems seem to disappear. Though his actual medications were a pain to take, Todoroki was like that one drug he couldn't get enough of. He wished he could never leave his side; then maybe at least he would continue his streak of doing some incredibly brave things, at least brave to him. Maybe if Todoroki was with him, holding his hand he would have been able to talk to Kirishima despite his childhood bully standing right next to him.

"So, this Kirishima boy." Izuku's attention got brought back to this world by the other's voice. "You seem awfully fond of him, were you guys…"

"Oh god no. Just college friends. Are you…?"

"Jealous? No, never."

Midoriya let out a laugh. "You're such a liar."

"Maybe you're just getting better at noticing it." Todoroki hummed, kissing Izuku's cheek before leading him over to a lounge chair in the corner. Instead of plopping down in the chair next to him, Midoriya gently sat down across his lap. "Tell me about him."

Even though they weren't friends long, they were fast friends. Kirishima with his friendly nature was the first one to approach Midoriya in their basic freshman core class. The class was boring, but they made it worth something. Eijiro Kirishima is one of the kindest, most sincere people you may ever meet, and though they had nothing in common, he was the one always pushing Midoriya for conversation. Kirishima was the one person who ever got him out of his bubble in college; even more than Uraraka, Iida, and Asui who he saw more often. Midoriya told Todoroki about them too, especially that one evening they ordered two pizzas and watched Brave curled up in the common room. That was the only thing they really did as a group before Izuku dropped out. He doubted that any of them really knew what was going on in his head. Even though he was the one that drifted away, thinking of them left a twinge of pain in his heart. He cut things off, but he did actually miss them. They gave him that little bit of kindness that it seemed the world was denying him.

Talking about them made Midoriya distracted enough that he totally forgot about seeing Bakugou in the first place. Todoroki seemed to be happy learning the stories about Midoriya's past friendships, which was something Todoroki himself really didn't experience. It felt nice to just sit around and talk about them; a part of him wished that Todoroki could have the pleasure of meeting them, or that they could have the pleasure of meeting Todoroki. But maybe they never will.

Eventually, All Might found the two all snuggled up and comfy in the corner and kicked them off the chair for clean up duties; especially Midoriya because he didn't have a set up job. After they got all the tables and chairs gone, the great reward of their very own signed copies were given for gratitude, both for this event and all of their hard work throughout the entire time. All Might had no idea that to Midoriya, that was one of the greatest gifts that he could have received in his lifetime.

Chapter Text

February 18, 2020. Midoriya will remember this date for the rest of his life.

He woke up to the ringing of a phone in the apartment, but when he checked his phone there was nothing happening. That house phone was barely used unless there was some fancy business deal going on which made the so groggy Midoriya roll out of bed. The continuous ringing made him aware that he was the only one at All Might's apartment, so he had no choice but to drag himself over and answer it. By the time of answering, the ring had went off so many times that it gave him a pounding headache, and that Izuku did not appreciate.

"Hello?" He sleepily answered, glancing out of the big window on the opposite wall. It was snowing heavily; there were warnings everywhere for slippery roads and dangerous weather conditions. All Might was supposed to have gone out to a conference; hopefully he decided to just go to the office instead. Driving in New York City is dangerous as it is without all these hazardous conditions.

"Is this the residence of Yagi Toshinori?" An unfamiliar voice came through the line. Maybe it was just because he was overtired, but Midoriya was confused more than anything else; almost no one referred to him with his real name, the only one who did with Aizawa. This was definitely not Aizawa's voice, unless he suddenly became a woman.

"Yes it is, may I ask who I'm speaking to?"

"My name is Kaoruko. Are you Toshinori's son?"

"No, I don't think he has kids, I work with him. I live here in his apartment. Is something wrong?"

The words that came next almost made Izuku drop the phone. "I'm calling from Nighteye Memorial Hospital. There's been a horrible accident, do you know of any family members we can notify? He's in really bad shape."

He couldn't believe his ears. No; this can't be. He was just in the living room saying goodnight before Midoriya went to bed, his typical grin on his face. Leaning against the wall, Midoriya was attempting to stabilize himself. This immediate news made him so light headed, he didn't quite know how to respond. "Sir?" Came the voice from the phone again. The poor woman on the phone, she must have thought he hung up. "Are you still there, sir?"

"I don't think he has anyone left." Midoriya responded, his voice wavering.

All Might never mentioned any family; he just was alone all the time. That must have been lonely, with no connection with family, and the only person that ever cared about him dead. He wasn't alone at the company, but what about when he was home before Midoriya showed up? And now there he was, alone, in a hospital bed supposedly in pretty critical condition. Izuku couldn't bear the thought of someone else, especially his idol potentially suffering alone. It wasn't right that something even happened to him in the first place.

"I-I mean I don't think he has any family left. But I've been living with him for a long time and I… I would like to be there with him please." He sighed. "Please let me sit with him. My name is Izuku Midoriya. He's been like a father to me I just... Please…"

There was a small moment of silence before Kaoruko spoke again, her voice gentle. "Let me put you on hold, Mr. Midoriya. I'll see if that's alright."

Some music came on from the other side. Stumbling to the couch, Izuku reached for the remote. Surely this must be fake right? A horrible nightmare, one that he definitely wanted to be out of right now. Frantically hitting the button, he was not prepared for the screen to display the worst news imaginable. A truck had slid head on into a car stopped at a stoplight, and the person in the car was in a critical state. That person in the car was announced to be known as the comic writer known as All Might. At that moment it felt like Midoriya got hit by that truck; that's how it felt when the news knocked him back to the realization that this indeed was reality. A sinking feeling occurred in his chest. This couldn't be happening.

Midoriya just sat on the couch shaking. What was he to do now? He couldn't drop everything and run to the hospital, the woman still had him on hold, and who knows if he would be let in if he rushed there. Should he call Todoroki? Surely the other must know the news. His mind was skipping through endless possibilities of things he could do at the very moment. But at the same time his mind was completely blank.

"Are you still with me?" Finally. The voice on the phone was back. It's pretty pathetic, but it gave some sort of comfort, Izuku would like for anything to not be alone right now.

"Yeah, I am."

"It's alright. You can come in, okay Mr. Midoriya?" Thank god. For a moment there he thought that they would tell him to stay home, that everything would be okay and not to worry. This was Midoriya they were talking to, all he does is worry; not like they would know that. "He's on the second floor, talk to the people at the desk. They can point you to where his room is located."

"Thank you, thank you so much." Izuku could endlessly express his gratitude.

"Is there anything else can I do for you today?"

Biting his lip, Midoriya hesitated a bit. If anything, he wants to be able to go with Todoroki. He wants Todoroki to be by his side. In fact, he needs him to be there. If Midoriya happened to break down and become unable to breathe between his sobs, the only person that he would want to be there was his boyfriend. "Actually… My boyfriend," He added softly, before clearing his throat. "Is it alright if my boyfriend comes with me? I just really… really don't want to be in there alone."

A pause, which was followed by, "That should be fine."

Izuku didn't know how many times he said thank you today, but before the woman hung up he must have said it much more times than what may have been necessary. The second thing to do after the woman hung up was to call up Todoroki, tell him what happened, and wait until he rushed over. The two of them headed off to the hospital in a hurry, not wasting any time. They were directed to All Might's room, practically running in the halls to get there as fast as possible. The sight was terrible once they entered; his idol hooked up to all those machines and wearing an oxygen mask. If it weren't for his lover being by his side when they walked in the door, it's quite possible Midoriya would have passed out. Once they contained themselves, they sat there in total silence watching All Might take slow breaths in and out.

All afternoon they spent seated beside him. All afternoon no improvement seemed to be made. Izuku was sitting there, silently hoping that if there was someone watching from above that All Might would suddenly improve, wake up, and be himself again. He was barely holding himself together, even with his hand clasped in Todoroki's. If All Might passed away, he didn't know what he would do; on top of not having anything to do at the company anymore, he wouldn't be able to see all the people he's been accustomed to seeing everyday. He would have to yet again find a place to live. He would once again be lost, hopeless, and would probably fall into another pit of despair, one that even Todoroki couldn't pull him out of. This uneasiness made Izuku terrified. In an instance, his world was quite literally turned upside down; but unlike his mom leaving to somewhere far away or catching a glimpse of Bakugou at a comic premiere this is way, way worse of a flip.

Afternoon turned into evening, and then it was pitch black. Even though actual time was passing by quick every minute seemed to be an hour. Sitting in the room with the beeping was torture, but every muscle in Izuku's body could not move no matter how much he willed it to. Until the very end of visiting hours, the two of them stuck by the person they respected so much's side. When they had to leave, Todoroki took Midoriya home to his place, making sure that he had a least a bite to eat before they curled up into bed. Once in bed all the emotions caught up to Izuku and he let loose, crying hysterically in Todoroki's arms. Even though Todoroki was trying to comfort the shaken boy, Midoriya could tell that the very first night the usually stoic boy was losing his façade as well.

The next few days were on repeat; wake up, visit All Might, stay at the hospital until closing, go to bed. When a couple of days had passed, Aizawa, Mic, Thirteen, and the Pussycats trickled in to visit when not busy at the company. Even Nezu, despite how busy he normally is, made time to visit his colleague. This was the first time Midoriya had actually gotten to meeting him in person, which was a shame that it was in such unfortunate circumstances. Despite being there to visit All Might, they all took turns in checking in on Izuku as well. Mic made sure to make him laugh, Thirteen gave some comfort with words, Aizawa showed him lots of videos of shelter cats as he couldn't bring one in real life, no matter how hard he thought of bringing one to the hospital. The times when everyone was all there was the most amusing, however, as all of their stories lifted the mood a bit than when Midoriya was just sitting there staring at All Might and his machines.

During this time, Izuku was endlessly thankful for Todoroki. Not only has he showered Midoriya with unconditional love when he needed it most, but he also made sure that Izuku at least ate, drank, and slept even when he was anxious or upset. Nothing was forced, and when convincing was needed he was such a gentle soul. It was a real wonder what Midoriya would do if he wasn't in his life during these past few days. He would probably go literally insane; as seeing his idol lay there so helpless in the hospital bed sort of reminded him of the time he spent in the hospital, barely able to move after swallowing all the pills.

At this particular moment, Izuku was alone in the hospital room. It now was a week since the accident and Todoroki had stepped out to grab some lunch. It would be nice to look on the bright side, but hoping All Might would miraculously get better was practically useless. There were no signs of improvement, no signs of him moving or having any consciousness of what was happening on the outside. This broke Midoriya's heart. In fact, he could see on the faces of everyone who came to visit, it was breaking everyone's hearts. All Might who once was so lively was clinging to life itself. Izuku found himself wondering if he was even fighting anymore, or just slowly fading away, and if it was even worth it to fight anymore if he was.

"You know, it's funny. People always seem so invincible you forget… How fragile they really are." Izuku mentioned softly to himself. He had no clue who he was even talking to; it's not like his idol could hear him. Midoriya hoped, however, that he was listening. "And the people you love, it just seems like something happens and they get taken away in an instant. My mom is miles away and now you… you're in this state and it hurts. But it also really hurts seeing you like this, and I hope that you're not suffering though I'm not sure that being hooked up to all those machines is exactly comfortable."

He let out a sigh. "I guess… I feel like I should say all of this now and get it off my chest. Maybe if I don't say it I'll have regrets and I don't want that. I don't want that at all, so here goes. I um… I want to say that you mean a lot to me. I mean you took me in, in more ways than one. First letting me into the comic company and then into your home when mom left… You just let me into your life. You took someone who was absolutely lost and damn it, you made him feel like at least part of a person. You honestly gave me a purpose for living again. If it weren't for you coming along I would probably be stuck in my routine, still watching the days go by. You once told me that your desire was to help someone as your master helped you and you did it. You did a damn good job. I hope she could see how you helped me, I'm sure she would be so, so proud. My life would be so different if I didn't meet you, and I would not have been able to meet the love of my life. For everything you have done for me All Might, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. At this point, you're pretty much family to me. I've never really had a father… But you're definitely the coolest dad ever. I guess… I guess this might be goodbye."

Almost instantly, a shrill sound came from the heart monitor. The line that showed signs of a faint heartbeat was now showing as a long, flat line. Medical professionals immediately rushed in and did whatever they could, but it wasn't enough. Izuku knew this was probably coming, but that didn't make the sight of all the people attempting to get his idol living again any less painful; he couldn't scream or cry, the only thing he could do was watch. All Might's fire was officially fading away. After a while, they stopped trying as there was no more hope left. It was at that time Midoriya knew.

On Tuesday February 25, 2020 at 12:50 pm the famous comic book creator Yagi Toshinori, also known as All Might, was officially declared to have passed away.

Chapter Text

If there was a hell on this earth, this definitely was it. Nothing could have prepared Midoriya for the loss of the one person that he had adored all of these years, someone who he was practically living for. These past few days were rough in general, the couple along with some of the people at the comic company were packed with planning funeral arrangements as well as what needed to be done with the apartment. Izuku hadn't been back there since he went to Todoroki's, the thought of going back to that empty place was just too excruciating. His boyfriend is the one who ended up grabbing the suit for him, so he could have it for this devastatingly important day.

"Are you sure you're ready to leave?" Todoroki's voice was soft and gentle besides Midoriya's ear, as he fixed his bowtie. His face was lined with concern. It was the day of the funeral, and there was just a couple of minutes until they had to arrive.

Midoriya had been a mess since All Might took his last breath. There were periods of time where he would be completely numb, but there were also times that he completely felt everything and was a sobbing mess. As of this moment he was completely numb, the only thing he could feel being the warmth of Todoroki besides him. Every part of him did not want to go, but he knew that he should. Even though he is gone, Midoriya felt like it wouldn't be fair if he stayed behind; he owed All Might to stick with him until he was buried six feet deep underground in the Sorahiko Memorial Cemetery.

"Yeah… Yeah I am." Izuku responded, the words barely coming out. He turned to wrap the other in a tight hug. Through it all, Todoroki was his one support. He kept Midoriya standing when it felt like he could fall; he was the frame to Midoriya's house, supporting him and preventing him from caving in.

Once Izuku sighed and let go, they both made their way out the door. The two of them walked in complete silence down the street, Izuku squeezing Todoroki's hand every so often to make sure it was reality, that he was really there. It was weird feeling like he has returned to a dazed state, and nothing seemed to be able to snap him out of it. It wasn't long until they arrived at the steps of the church, that just happened to look ten times larger than it really was. This made Midoriya anxious, like how an ant must feel when encountered by a human.

The church was white, as white as the snow that covered the steps of the elegant structure. The sight was haunting Midoriya even more and made him not want to take any more steps forward. To the beat of his slow walking, the church bells rang; slow and somber. It really set the mood of today fairly well. Izuku held his breath. He didn't desire to take anymore breaths and a part of him wished he could just hold air in in until he couldn't breathe anymore. Izuku would do anything to die, just so he didn't have to walk through these church doors. Guilt ran through him as those thoughts kept going through his mind, as that would mean leaving Todoroki behind. Midoriya didn't want that, but he didn't exactly want to be living either.

Mic and Thirteen greeted them at the door. It was very odd seeing Mic with a serious face, it was a complete turn around from his usual carefree demeanor. The underside of Thirteen's eyes were puffy, it was clear he had been crying before he arrived. There was no sign of Aizawa or Nezu, but Mic claimed that they were around somewhere; probably getting some air. It was quite stuffy in there. Midoriya agreed.

The four of them engaged in some conversation, in order to distract them for what came ahead. It was not spoken, but none of them were prepared to watch their friend go into the ground. It's funny how one person could pull together so many different people; a kindhearted inspiration, a loud mouthed comic, a depressed twenty year old, a scarred boy, all connected because of a strong and creative individual that was loved by many. When it came to be ten minutes before, they took their seats in total silence. The huge sanctuary was nearly empty. All four of them were joined in the pews eventually by Aizawa, the Puussycats, and Nezu. Besides the people that he knew from the company, there was also the R-rated comic creator Midnight and a couple of other known comic names, as well as Tsunagu Hakamata, the designer in charge of the Best Jeanest brand along with a couple of other semi-famous faces. Izuku had no clue that All Might had known so many people. At least from what he could tell, All Might certainly made an impression everywhere.

Everyone's attention was brought to the organ, which began playing "On Eagle's Wings". For once, Midoriya was glad that he couldn't feel much, as the song would probably make him want to cry, sob, scream. He didn't want to do that; not here, even though he was with some people that he's known for months.

And he will raise you up on eagle's wings,

There you are the breath of dawn,

Make you to shine like the sun,

And hold you in the palm of his hand…

All Might didn't have to die to shine like the sun, he already was a bright sun. To Izuku, he shone brighter than anyone. Nothing about this was fair. He shouldn't be gone. A part of him was wondering if his mentor was watching, wishing he could come back.

But instead he was being brought down the aisle in a casket.

After the final refrain of the opening hymn, the priest said some welcoming words. Midoriya totally missed his name, but he was having a hard time paying attention. On top of the numb state he was in, he wasn't much of a church goer. That made it that much harder to believe the priest when he read passages in the bible about death and then reuniting with god in the great kingdom and all that. A couple of times, Izuku found himself wondering why he was here, and why funerals existed in the first place. Just because it didn't give him solace however, that doesn't mean that hearing those things won't help the other people's grief. At least some people would get some comfort out of this. It just left Izuku feeling uneasy, like he felt the moment he stepped through the church doors.

Up next the priest invited Nezu up. Unlike some people in the pews, he seemed very composed and together, not a hint of sadness on his face. He was also dressed very professionally, if you just saw him from afar you could probably guess that he was the head of some fancy company. Before he spoke, he took a deep inhale and exhale, looking over at the casket.

"I remember when this scrawny boy came walking into my company." He started, which got some chuckles out of the crowd. "He told me, "I want to create comics, and I know you can help me." At first, I was going to turn him away. If a strange child just walked into your company, you would just deny them too right on the spot. But he was very persistent, coming in everyday, showing me some of his so called potential, telling me about all his training that he did under his mentor… And look where that got him."

"I'm glad that I said yes. Not only did he help our company become what it is today, but he brought passion. He brought goodness, and he also brought in some of the best workers because he picked them up from who knows where. And I'm going to miss him. We all are." He added gently, shaking his head. "Losing him is a great loss, and I know all of you will be grieving, hell the whole world is going to be grieving. But it's going to be so important to keep him alive in our hearts, if anything. Yagi Toshinori was one of the greatest goods in this world, and I am honored that I could have known him as a friend. And I'm so glad that I could meet you all as well through him. I certainly learned a lot from knowing him and that will never change. I'm sure a lot of you could say the same."

He crossed to the center of the altar, where the casket was placed, and gently ran his hand on the edge. "Farewell Yagi Toshinori, creator, mentor, and friend. You will be missed greatly. By everyone." He then returned to his pew, sitting back down with a sigh.

After some more praying and speaking and praising the lord, communion arrived. The organ slowly played "Eye Has not Seen" as people got into line to accept the gifts of bread and wine. Again, Midoriya not being a normal church goer didn't get the point of communion, but he took the dry communion wafer anyways. It seemed to stick to the roof of his mouth; he didn't like that one bit. With a sip of wine it went down, thank goodness. For a while, Midoriya thought it was just going to be stuck in his mouth forever.

Our lives are but a single breath,

We flower and we fade,

Yet all our days are in your hands,

So we return in love what love has made…

All Might was doing just fine. He was growing just like a flower. He was nowhere near his time, but he faded anyways. Funny what fate has in store for people when you least expect it. The cruel trick of fate, anything can turn around in an instance. But that's life isn't it? Izuku should know that very well. He's been dodging curveballs his whole life.

The hymn finished, followed by a moment of silence. After that, the priest gave his condolences, thanked everyone for coming, and said one final prayer. The prayer in unison echoed throughout the sanctuary, but the amen rang empty. Though filled with people, Midoriya started to feel like there was no one there; just him and All Might like the time he took his last breath. Except this time he was in a casket, pretty soon to being buried in the ground. Izuku had barely noticed, but the final hymn "Amazing Grace" began to softly play, as the pallbearers began to move to carry the casket out.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound!

That saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found,

Was blind, but now I see.

Midoriya could barely finish the first verse before all his emotions came flooding back to him. He couldn't stay here, he had to leave. It felt like the walls were caving in on him, and all of a sudden sobs wrecked his body. Even though Todoroki reached out to him, Izuku shrugged away before darting outside and around the corner of the church. Thank god the area by the church was completely blocked off; he didn't need All Might's fans crowding around him checking to see if he was alright or questioning him on who he was to the deceased.

He missed him. Midoriya missed his hearty laugh, his grand smile, his passion for his comics. His mentor became the father he never had and then was taken away as soon as it could. It's not fair, it's not fair, those words kept running through Izuku's head. He was sobbing so hard he couldn't stand anymore, he just collapsed on the stairs to the side for a small entrance. He felt like he was screaming, but no sound actually came out. This is the worst time for things to happen, he hoped that it would happen when he was at Todoroki's so he could just lose it while wrapped in his arms. But a part of him didn't even want to be held by Todoroki at this moment, quite frankly he just wanted to be alone.

Suddenly, there was a hand on his shoulder. His first guess was that it was Todoroki; but the hand felt rough which was unusual. When he turned his head, he noticed Aizawa was crouched down besides him. "Hey kid, breathe. You're going to pass out like this. Breathe."

"I-I-I c-can't…" Midoriya responded, choking on his words. Aizawa telling him to breathe seemed to trigger him hyperventilating, which between the sobs was something not desirable.

Without any hesitation Aizawa pulled Midoriya close to him, as if he was attempting to shield him from the outside. Izuku spent a good amount of time crying his eyes out, it was difficult for him to stop or do anything else besides sob. Aizawa was patient however, doing whatever he could to attempt to calm the storm that was pouring out. The scarf around his neck was soft, it reminded Midoriya of blankets back at Todoroki's. What he would wish to be under one right now, hidden away completely. How nice that would be.

"You're having a really rough time, huh kid?" Aizawa added, some sympathy in his voice. "I can only imagine what you're going through. Toshinori he… He really thought of you as his own son. I've known him for a long time, but never had I seen him light up like when he talked with you, and about you. I am so so sorry for your loss, Midoriya."

"He's g-gone. He's n-never going to c-come back…" Izuku stammered in a weak voice. "H-he's… Gone."

Aizawa let out a sigh. "I know, kiddo, I know. But once someone passes away they're never really gone right? Your memories of him, that'll keep him alive. That'll keep everyone remembering what a great person All Might was."

"I don't think I'll be able t-to. I c-can't…"

"Midoriya, listen to me." Aizawa took Izuku's head in his hands, gently looking into his eyes. His eyes were stern, but his voice was very gentle. As stone cold as Aizawa seemed almost all the time, there was a kindness always when it comes to him; that showed especially now. "It's going to be a long grieving process, but it's important to not lose yourself. I know you loved All Might like family, hell we all did at the company, and as someone who has lost almost everyone close to me I can tell you it hurts like hell. But you'll get through this, I know you will. It's important to remember you're not the only one hurting, people will be willing to help you through this. Me, Todoroki, everyone else… You'll be okay. You'll be fine. If not now, eventually. You will heal."

"Okay." Izuku whispered softly, trying his best to clear his tears away. They weren't as heavy which he was grateful for, but they continued to fall and probably weren't going to stop anytime soon. He cleared his throat. "I… I don't know what to say."

"You don't have to say anything." Aizawa said back, motioning behind the area they were sitting. Standing at a distance was Todoroki, with a very distressed look on his face. "You might want to go to him. He's probably concerned about how you darted out of the sanctuary so quickly."

Midoriya silently nodded, tears still dripping from his face as he got up. "Thank you, Aizawa." He said, just getting a wave in response from the other before he walked away.

When heading over to his boyfriend, he almost lost his balance and keeled over; it was a good thing Todoroki was quick acting or Midoriya would have straight up fell to the floor. If he fell, there was no way he would get up, possibly ever again. He got pulled into an embrace which was more comforting now that he could at least get himself to take normal breaths, and his tears slowly lessened as the calm was finally starting to fall back over him.

"Are you okay?"

"I am now." Izuku said in a small voice, nuzzling into Todoroki.

They stayed posted in that spot for a while, Todoroki peppering gentle kisses of comfort all over his face. It wasn't long before they were approached by Nezu, who offered to drive them to the cemetery for the burial. Naturally the two accepted, hands clasped together the entire ride to Sorahiko Memorial Cemetery. Midoriya held his breath as the car entered the gates, which is when Midoriya noticed that Todoroki seemed to take a deep breath as well. The graveyard was lively, with flowers planted everywhere. If anything, at least All Might seemed to be going to a place where many, many people who were loved and lost were not forgotten.

It was odd seeing the casket on top of the burial site. A part of Midoriya thought it was very strange, seeing the casket on top of the already dug hole. A part of him wished that they would have already put the casket in and had it covered, so they wouldn't have to stare at the reminder that their friend was gone. Then it would be all over, and he wouldn't have to feel like he needed to say goodbye again. The only people at the site were the people of the UA Comic Company, which was nice. It felt more personal, only having them there. When everyone was gathered together, a couple more prayers were said, and then they each took their turns saying official goodbyes. Seeing each person touch the casket and say small farewells quite honestly broke Midoriya's heart. When it was his turn, he made it brief; All Might knows what he would have said, and he already said it all at the hospital bed. This was just his final goodbye.

Once he was finished, it was time to lower All Might into the ground. As the casket lowered, Izuku shed some more tears. When he looked over, Todoroki was crying as well. Midoriya gave a small squeeze of reassurance; to which his boyfriend returned. It was tough to watch, Mic and Thirteen had to walk away because watching was too much for them to handle. Izuku watched it the entire time, a part of him was unable to take his eyes away. He was officially gone now. After exchanging goodbyes with everyone, Nezu left to take the crying Izuku and Todoroki back to the apartment.

By the time that everyone left, All Might was officially buried six feet under the ground.

Chapter Text

Midoriya woke up in an empty apartment. Though it seemed vaguely unrecognizable, there was no mistaking the barren, empty walls that were just covered with paintings by Nana Shimura once before. All Might's apartment was abandoned; all signs of life gone like the person who owned it. Even Midoriya's room was unrecognizable, all of his stuff stacked away in boxes, ready to be moved out. It was a very isolated place to be at the moment and he would do anything to leave, to never come back. But yet here he was; in the empty apartment, paralyzed by the thought of how he was left alone thanks to death knocking at that white door.

The complete silence in the apartment was suddenly broken by a very loud high-pitched ringing noise. That was an odd thing to be hearing, as the phone was unplugged and the only people who know the number are aware of All Might's passing. No ringing should sound from it. With every tick of the clock the ringing got louder; Izuku wondered if it would end if he happened to ignore it, but it didn't. The high pitch was piercing his eardrums, a splitting headache developing in his head. Every piece of him wanted the ringing to silence. Either the ringing has to stop, or Midoriya was going to exit the apartment and never return to this spot.

As soon as he stepped out of his room, he attempted to make his way to the phone. However, every time he took a step the phone became further and further away. Somehow the hallway kept getting longer in length. The obnoxious phone and Midoriya; he just wanted to know who it was before returning to his room and locking himself away for potentially all eternity. His walk escalated to a sprint but no matter how hard he tried the phone continued to be out of his reach despite how fast he ran. The sound of the object was so haunting with the ticking of the clock, at this point he would do anything to make it quit the obnoxious noise.

In an instant, the scene changed. His eyes shot open, and Midoriya was not in All Might's apartment; he was at Todoroki's where he has been residing ever since weeks after the funeral. Just seeing his boyfriend beside him made him calm down a bit from that vivid nightmare, at least he wasn't alone. He did however, lightly caress Todoroki's cheek just to make sure he was indeed back to reality. The sleeping boy leaned into Izuku's touch which made him smile, but through the comfort he truly only felt miserable. Miserable is all that he has been. It was questionable to if he would ever truly be okay again.

Midoriya almost forgot the ringing from his dream; it was soon that he noticed that carried on to reality, but instead of it being from All Might's home phone the sound came from his cell. Who knows how long the ringer had been going on for, it must have been a while. It's kind of surprising that both him and Todoroki were sleeping through it, and that his ringtone was still sounding. Groggily he sat up and reached over, noticing that the number was one he was fairly familiar with; the number that was on the business card he got from All Might on the very first day. Why were they calling? Were they calling to get ahold of Todoroki? To ask him to come to work? He thought that it was supposed to be a couple more days until he was expected back?

"Hello?" He asked softly, leaving the bed and exiting the bedroom to make sure that he would let the other sleep. Todoroki had been taking care of Midoriya so often that it barely seemed like he made time for himself to sleep peacefully. It would be rude to accidentally wake him.

"Hello Izuku." Nezu's familiar voice came through the other line. What was he calling for? It must be something really important if it was the head of the company reaching out and not someone like Aizawa or Mic who have been calling every so often to check up on him. "I hope I didn't call too early. I was worried I wouldn't be able to get ahold of you."

Midoriya cleared his throat. "No – no it's not too early. But if you don't mind me asking Mr. Nezu, why are you calling? If you need Todoroki I'd have to wake him, he's still sleeping. I can get him if you want –"

"No, I'm calling for you. I would like to talk to you, if you're up for it of course. Think you can meet me in about thirty minutes?"

Him? They want to talk to him? Midoriya was puzzled beyond belief, but agreed to go anyways. For Nezu specifically saying he wanted to meet, Izuku was curious to what it could possibly be. After hanging up, he headed back into the room to find Todoroki taking up both sides of the bed, snuggled in the blankets and hugging a pillow. The sight was too cute for Midoriya to bear; Todoroki probably didn't even realize that he left the bed he was in such a deep slumber. It would be terrible of him to wake Todoroki up, but he figured it would be best so he knew Izuku was going out.

Letting out a chuckle, Midoriya planted a light kiss on Todoroki's cheek. "I'll be back soon love, I have to run out, but it shouldn't take too long."

"Will you be okay?" Todoroki mumbled in a quiet voice. He must be mostly asleep still, as his eyes didn't open even when he responded. His response was so soft, it was almost inaudible. Adorable.

"Yeah, I will be." Izuku might as well be wearing a sign claiming LIAR on his forehead, it's a good thing his boyfriend's eyes weren't open. Honestly, there was no telling how today would go. Though technically he wasn't lying much at all; he will be okay, maybe not today or in a thousand years, but maybe someday.

"Promise?"

"Promise."

With a second kiss to the forehead, Izuku left after making sure Todoroki fell back asleep. The weather outside was warmer than it had been earlier this month, but it was still chilly enough his breath could be seen in the crisp air. It had been a while since he made the walk to the company building, the last time was before All Might's book release. Oh how time has passed, a part of him missed going there. He missed the people too, sure he saw Todoroki everyday but everyone else at the company were becoming a part of his small makeshift family also. None of them probably know he would be stopping by today; it will be a nice surprise.

Being at the front doors again reminded him of the first time he came here. Insignificant. Nothing. That was all he really considered himself to be. This company changed that, gave him a boyfriend and other people that seem to care about him. The feelings of being insignificant weren't gone completely, nothing could truly erase that from his mind; but they were a lot less when he was around people who cared like the company did. Being here alone made him feel a bit empty, however. This is the first time he won't be greeted by All Might on the third floor. This is also the first time he was here while Todoroki was not, whether they arrived together or separate the two of them always hung out at the office.

He swung open the door with a sigh, before being greeted with, "Hey, now that's a face that I haven't seen in a while." It was reassuring to see Mic returned to his normal demeanor, him being very down was very unsettling as it was horribly out of character. "What's up kiddo? Haven't seen you here in a while."

Izuku shrugged. "Nezu called me in. I have no clue why, fingers crossed it's good news."

"Better not keep the big boss waiting then." When he turned around to press the elevator door, Mic added, "I hope you and Todoroki are doing alright. It's honestly really nice to see you out and about. Take care of yourselves, okay?"

With a smile, Midoriya stepped into the elevator. As the door closed, the only response he could give to Mic back was, "We're taking it one day at a time. We're working through it. Thank you, Mic."

Once the elevator door closed, he inhaled deeply. One day at a time was right, this was the first time in weeks he felt okay enough to actually exit the apartment. It was a wonder that he even woke up from the nightmare of the empty apartment and the damn ringing phone. But he was very fortunate to have Todoroki through this healing process. Maybe his boyfriend deserved something if this went well. Izuku made a silent note to himself to get them nice juicy burgers for lunch if something good occurred.

The elevator dinged; he jumped. His anxiety levels immediately spiked as the doors widened, leaving the elevator open for him to exit. Though he had only met Nezu once, he knew exactly where the office was located. Midoriya took a deep inhale. The tone of voice wasn't mad sounding on the phone, so it can't possibly be a bad talking. He wouldn't be hard on Midoriya ever, would he? Izuku hadn't felt this nervous in front of a door since he first arrived at the company to accept All Might's offer. Well, might as well get this over with. He made a knock on the door.

As the door opened, Nezu's small figure appeared on the other side. "Hello Midoriya, come in, come in." Motioning to a chair, he added; "Make yourself at home."

All Might's office made Izuku feel small, but the office he was in now made him feel miniscule. It was very intimidating; he had no clue how such a small person could work in a space like this. This didn't do anything for his anxiety, as the reason he was called here this morning was still unknown. Hesitantly taking a seat in the chair, Midoriya felt the need to twiddle his thumbs to keep himself busy for a distraction. Keeping calm today was his only goal after all.

"If you don't mind me asking Nezu, why exactly did you call me here? The walk is nice to make but… I'm just a little perplexed."

"Well, you see…" Nezu looked over at Midoriya, sitting opposite of him. "Ever since we lost All Might, I've been thinking and thinking about how to honor his legacy and talent. It's still miserable not having him here in this building, not seeing him every day… But it would also be a great loss if we weren't able to respect him and his work properly. It would also be a great loss of we lost you, Midoriya."

"You don't have to commit to anything and I know you're going through a great deal of grief right now, but I know you helped All Might out tremendously and I trust that you would be a very diligent worker on your own. He saw something in you; something special. I talked to the rest of the creators and staff and they all agree, they think you can become something great. That you are something great. I would like to offer you a creator's position on our team. I believe that you can do great things, and you would definitely, definitely, make All Might proud."

Midoriya was speechless. This offer was something bigger that he could ever imagine. Never had he considered something so huge would come his way through all the unfortunate circumstances. Should he accept? Refuse? He really didn't have words on the top of his head to even express how grateful he is for this opportunity. It also meant everything to him that the entire company seems to think so highly of him; they were all way too kind. Something great? Izuku doesn't think so, he never could compare himself to how great All Might was. Does he even deserve this? A huge internal conflict was going through his mind.

But to refuse this opportunity, he doesn't think he can.

"If you don't want to take the position I understand, I just thought you were the first person the opening should go to and –"

"I'll take it." Izuku responded quickly, looking to the ground. Raising his head up, he made sure to look into Nezu's eyes and speak to him face to face with respect. "I would love the position. This is… This is the best offer I have ever gotten in my whole life. You, Aizawa, Mic, the rest of the people in the company… I am so honored that you guys think I am even able to live up to All Might's legacy. I cannot thank you enough. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I won't let you guys down."

After the confirmation, Nezu offered his hand. "Izuku Midoriya, welcome to the team."

For the first time in days, Izuku could feel a small smile coming to his face as he took Nezu's hand in return. "It's my pleasure."

Chapter Text

A couple of minutes after his meeting with Nezu, Midoriya decided that he was going to stop for lunch, both as a surprise for his love when he returned home and as a celebration for the position he just achieved. The news of the position enough would be a surprise for Todoroki, Midoriya couldn't wait to tell him and see pride radiate all over his face once he tells him. These juicy burgers are about to taste so delicious he just couldn't wait. While listening for the number to be called, he wrote a text to Todoroki that he would be home soon. He didn't get a response back which was quite unusual, but maybe Todoroki was treasuring his time to sleep in; he didn't get to do that much at all.

Humming to himelf, Izuku heard his number called from behind the counter and grabbing the food, he left to go home. It felt nice to be outside for once, quite frankly he felt like he was floating. He was, however, stuck wondering if this good mood he was in was acceptable, or whether it's going to last at all. Those things don't matter right now. What mattered right now is that he's believed in. He's something special. He's being trusted by everyone at the company to be able to carry out All Might's legacy. He hoped that after all this he will really grow into a person that All Might would be proud of. His one desire is to be someone that when he dies, All Might would greet him with a grin and tell him: "You did great, kid."

In this good mood, Izuku arrived home at Todoroki's apartment, unlocking the front door with the key. He still had not gotten a response from his partner, even when mentioning he was heading back from the burger place. The apartment seemed oddly lifeless; for a moment Midoriya thought that his nightmare from earlier was somehow an odd premonition. No one being home, a phone ringing, it just seemed so real. Shaking those thoughts off, he tried to bring back into his mind the positive news from earlier. He had no time for hauntings to scare him away from his one opportunity in weeks to look forward to life again. With a sigh he opened the door.

The first thing he noticed when he walked through the door into the living room was a disheveled kitchen; which was very out of the ordinary. Normally it was all tidy and organized, but it looked like someone had come and thrown appliances all over the place in a frantic search for something in particular. Out of the set of knives they had, one seemed to be missing, though Midoriya was only guessing as it was hard to tell for sure with everything being thrown around. This morning when he left everything was alright and in place; what possibly could have happened when he was gone? His main concern at this point was Todoroki. Was he in danger, is he okay?

"Todoroki?" He tried calling out, walking back into the living room. Hopefully there wasn't a robber inside that would murder him right on sight, as he was making a ton of noise; but Izuku just wanted to be able to find where his boyfriend is, hopefully safe and sound.

"Todoroki?" He tried again, approaching the hallway to the bedroom. That was hopefully where he would find him, possibly in shock but hopefully safe. It wasn't until he heard a scratching noise and looked down that he noticed Ember, who was desperately pawing at the bathroom door trying to get it open.

"Hey, honey, are you in there?"

Midoriya pressed his ear to the door to hear a response, but all he could hear was the sound of choked sobs. This can't be good.

With a bit of hesitation, Izuku slowly opened the bathroom door. "No, wait, don't…" Todoroki started in protest, his voice small yet desperate; Midoriya had never heard his voice so hopeless before, that in itself was almost as terrifying as the sight in front of him.

Red. The color red was the first thing he noticed. Todoroki's arms were covered with fresh gashes, trailing all the way from his wrists to his elbows. None of them were large enough to require stiches to close up, but a number of them were bleeding enough for blood to be dripping down. Tears streaked his face, and behind his eyes there was only terror. The missing knife was askew besides the sink; of course it was here. Based upon the sights he was seeing, Midoriya was putting together the pieces of the puzzle. Something must have triggered Todoroki into a dark, dark place. Since he was alone, there was no one to prevent his emotions from pooling out and he needed to find a way to release the pain. So he scrambled to the kitchen, frantically searching for the knife and closed himself in the bathroom to release it all. Lastly, he didn't plan on if Midoriya would come home earlier than expected, to see this.

Midoriya didn't blame Todoroki for this, a part of him blamed himself. Has Todoroki been hurting all this time, and he never noticed?

"I'm sorry… I-I'm sorry… I promised I would s-stop b-but I'm so... So sorry." He kept repeating apologies, the words only making him sob harder. Whenever Midoriya took a step forward, Todoroki wold step back, eventually bumping into where the wall met the shower. He then clumsily fell to the ground, crumpling into himself to hide his face.

"Baby no, don't apologize." Midoriya said back, quickly searching through the cabinets for something, anything to disinfect and wrap up the open wounds. Tending to Todoroki is his only job right now; that's the most important thing. But yet again, when he attempted to approach the crumpled up sobbing boy he leaned away, still murmuring sorry over and over again. This hurt more than the fact that he relapsed; the fact that he was suffering, and that Izuku couldn't do anything to help.

"Please baby, I want to help you…" Izuku felt completely empty, but despite how much this pained his chest he had to do something, somehow. He couldn't leave his love alone in the bathroom, so he took a seat facing Todoroki, fiddling with the bandage he had in his hands. "Please." Midoriya pleaded, his voice cracking.

The cries of the other was absolutely heart shattering. The world might as well rip his heart out right now; this was so much for him to handle. But these are the things he knew he was taking on when it came to loving Todoroki; and Midoriya still loved him now. Even when he was sobbing in a corner, even when he didn't know how to handle his own pain. Izuku just wished so desperately there could be more ways for him to explain that to relieve his boyfriend of this heightened hysterical state.

By the time Midoriya was sitting the other stopped his apologizing, but was now trembling uncontrollably under his sobs. The green eyed boy just sat there patiently waiting for something to happen, whether it be Todoroki reaching out or the allowance to move closer. He didn't know what he would prefer, but something would be better than nothing. He just wanted to be a source of comfort for the other; right now he felt like he was failing.

Fighting back some tears of his own, Izuku gently spoke. "Do you remember… when you first opened up to me about this? I didn't know what to do, but you let me just be there and do whatever I could to help you." With a shrug he added, "I really want to help you, I do."

"B-but I fucked up. I f-fucked up really b-bad."

"I don't care. I don't care that you fucked up. I love you. I love you so much Todoroki. I told you that day and I'm telling you again, I treasure you so much, and you mean almost everything to me. You're not going through this alone; we're a team. You've been there to catch me when I've fallen so many times, and I adore you so so much, damaged or not. I'm not going to leave this bathroom until I know you'll come out with me. You've supported me so much all this time, been with me all this time, and I couldn't see you were in pain. You've been so strong for too long and if anyone should be apologizing it should be me. I'm sorry that I didn't check on your feelings. I'm so so sorry I couldn't prevent your pain sooner."

Izuku looked to the floor. He couldn't stand to look at Todoroki's tears any longer, but he wasn't going to move from his position so that was the only option he had. It's odd how all of a sudden his day went from amazing to so, so messed up. He clenched his hands into fists, resting them on his knees. The both of them couldn't escape life without misery it seemed.

Suddenly, there was a feeling of softness on the top of his right fist. Midoriya glanced over at his hand to see what was causing this feeling, and to his surprise it was Todoroki's own hand.

"It's n-not your fault, M-Midoriya." He whispered out, barely able to speak any louder.

"It may not be, but I am sorry."

"I-I'm sorry too."

Izuku opened up his clenched fist so Todoroki's hand would gently fall into place with their hands interlaced. Before he tended to wounds, he made sure Todoroki was comfortable; though he finally allowed Midoriya to come close he still was crying uncontrollably. Gently, Midoriya gave a small kiss to the top of Todoroki's hand for some sort of gesture that things might not be stable right now, but they will be, someday. They'll get through this bump in the road. They always do.

Slowly but surely, Izuku worked on dressing Todoroki's wounds, making his way down the arm. With every time the disinfectant came in contact, the grip on Midoriya's hand became even tighter; Midoriya felt bad, it must sting a lot. But the other was so brave, and never pulled his hand away. Then again, compared to the emotional pain that he was going through, the physical was probably numbed down; Midoriya understood that feeling very well. Wrapping the bandage around with one hand was very difficult but seeing as his boyfriend didn't seem like he was planning on letting go anytime soon there really wasn't a choice in that matter. Todoroki attempted to help with the bandaging as best he could (which was in Midoriya's eyes, adorable) but his hands were clumsy from all the shaking. It took a while, but the arms were finally able to be bandaged up. Even though it wasn't the best of circumstances, taking care of Todoroki for a change made him feel good; that was something that was very long overdue.

"Are you okay?" Izuku softly spoke, giving a gentle squeeze to his hand once they were done.

Todoroki glanced down, hesitation reading on his face. There was no answer, which Midoriya expected as the other was still fighting his tears from falling. When he let go of his partner's hand the look on his faced turned back to terror, causing Izuku to immediately hold him close and protect him from anything else. It might not be as comforting as the hugs his mom would give him, but Izuku hoped that it would help just the same. He also hoped it would let Todoroki know that beneath his scars and beneath his flaws, he was loved, oh so loved. There never will be a time where Midoriya would fall out of love with him. There are no words that could come to Izuku's mind about what he wanted to relay, so he just let it all flow into this embrace.

Unexpectedly, Todoroki clutched him back almost immediately, clearly not wanting to ever let go. Izuku just let him sit there and cry for however long is needed. It's not like either of them planned on going anywhere in this state.

"You'll be okay. We'll both be okay." When that was gently said, the tense boy finally seemed to relax slightly, burying his face into the crook of Midoriya's neck. There probably wasn't this sort of comfort ever in the past for Todoroki, knowing the boy's broken family life. This was probably entirely new for him. "I'm here, and I always will be."

After a good thirty minutes, Todoroki seemed to get his shaking under control, and though he was still crying it was a lot less than the sobbing he was doing at the beginning of this ordeal. Soon after Midoriya pulled away to see if Todoroki was okay to stand, his boyfriend immediately reached to clasp their hands once again, which Midoriya didn't mind at all. After helping him up, the two of them headed out to the kitchen to pick up the chaos that was still in place. Izuku did most of the cleanup, but here and there Todoroki helped place something as well. It was like they were picking up the broken pieces of themselves, putting them back to where they belong. The knives, including the one that ended up in the bathroom, they both agreed to put someplace out of sight for a while; just in case temptation and grief would win again in the instance Todoroki may be left alone.

At the moment, it was past lunchtime, but the both of them were so hungry they warmed up the burgers and ate them anyways. It wasn't as good as being fresh, but hey it was food. Todoroki's tears had cleared, but every so often Izuku could still hear sniffling beside him. He just offered an extra squeeze from his hand at those moments, to just give reassurance that he was not alone.

"Hey, what were you doing around Villain's Burgers anyways?" His voice was pretty hoarse, but Todoroki finally got some words out when they were almost done eating. This was good, at least he was willing to speak now. "Last I knew that was out by UA. Is that where you went?"

Izuku cleared his throat, hesitating a bit. Is it okay that he had received good news in the beginning of the day? Is it going to make Todoroki hate him? If it is he didn't want to say it, but it was too late to change his mind, because he already began to speak. "Well I… I got called in by Nezu. He offered me a position as a comic writer and I… I took it. I'm going to do comics, Todoroki. I want to do this. He would have wanted me to do this."

"That is amazing news, Izuku. I am so, so proud of you." The sad expression didn't leave from behind his eyes, but Midoriya knew he meant what he said, every word of it.

He leaned in to peck Todoroki's cheek, before questioning what he wanted to do for the rest of the day; to which Todoroki mentioned some movies he had always been dying to watch when he had some free time, which he may never have again. So the two of them curled up together with some blankets and pillows, choosing movies that would make them laugh, cry, and feel every other emotion in between; even being joined by Ember who willingly climbed in Midoriya's lap for the first time since he officially moved in. When they got halfway through Coco, Izuku felt his shoulder get heavy. Turning his head, he realized that his boyfriend had fallen fast asleep right up against him. It was so nice not seeing him in pain like earlier that Izuku got lost in the peaceful expression on his face. He hoped that this time, Todoroki would be able to truly sleep peacefully.

"I love you." He whispered softly. With that, the asleep Todoroki smiled.