Izuku could count on one hand the number of times he had ever dreaded going to work. He adored his job, felt it was his true place in the world and greeted every work day as if it was going to be his best. Very rarely did he ever feel otherwise. If he did he could absolutely blame it on one of two things--an ongoing, particularly terrible case or because one of his coworkers had dragged him out for heavy drinking to celebrate a case being solved.
Now he could say neither of those things plagued his morning.
Instead it had been a phone call from his captain. An hour before his alarm had gone off for the day, his shrill ringtone had shattered the early morning air and easily ripped him from blissful sleep. The sharp, oddly rough, voice of his captain had pushed him to wakefulness.
“You are needed in immediately,” she had said, offering no room for questions or arguments.
Not that Izuku would ever argue with Chief Inspector Nakagawa. She was a fantastic leader with a fierce attitude that often popped up, claws out, at the tiniest whim.
Before the phone call was over, Izuku was flying out of bed and yanking on his clothes for the day. Face splashed with cold water and teeth brushed, he rushed out of his apartment. Breakfast could always come later--based on the tone Nakagawa had used, he needed to shave as much time off his commute to the precinct as possible. He all but sprinted to the train station. As he ran, his phone kept buzzing in his jacket pocket, letting him know he was receiving a plethora of messages from his fellow detectives.
A quick glance at them, once he was safely on the first train out, told him he was in for a storm. There was a range of mild alarm, to down right horror.
There had been rumors of a bad case creeping its way up the police line. Scattered across the city, seemingly random attacks had befallen civilians who happened be out late at night. So far, the individual precincts and tiny kobans had tried to handle the cases as they came but as time went on they started to fall into ‘cold’ territory. Now, it seemed, there had been a huge turning point and suddenly all the files were being sent to Central and dropped on Izuku’s department.
Between the messages and the early morning call, his anxiety was ratcheting it’s way to the ceiling. He was practically bouncing in place, willing the train to go faster. More than one traveler shot him an irritated glance. Luckily, it was only a ten minute ride and then a quick jog to the station itself.
Musutafu Prefectural was a stunning building of steel and glass. Shining and bright, Izuku was very sure the station could be seen from anywhere in Musutafu. It was a daunting structure and the entire city’s police force reported to at one point or another. Nearly every single day since he’d graduated from the Academy, Izuku stepped into that building with a deep sense of pride. He might not be a hero, or nationally recognized by the citizens of Japan, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t striving for peace or working damn hard to keep the city safe.
“Morning Midoriya,” the chipper, round faced woman who sat at the front desk greeted. She tended to be one of Izuku’s favorite people, an active rumor mill who made the best snacks, she always had a kind word or two for him.
“Morning,” Izuku offered, speeding by her.
“Good luck!” She called after him; clearly she already had some hint of what was going on sniffed out.
As if sensing his urgency, the elevator doors slid open before he’d even hit the call button. Jumping inside, he jammed his thumb into the fourth floor button.
“Hold the elevator!”
A deep voice echoed up the hallway, almost jarring in the quiet shuffle of the lobby. At any other time, Izuku would’ve been curious about it, instead he was hit with a dilemma. Surely, it wouldn’t hurt to wait for just a moment. It was an elevator ride, it shouldn’t take too long.
Suppressing a grimace, he hit the hold button and stepped back. Just as his back hit the support bar, an incredibly sweet smell hit his nose. One he was deeply familiar with, one had he spent his entire middle-school career attempting to ignore and one that had fueled many late night fantasies.
The sweet, burnt sugar smell of nitroglycerin hit the elevator before the owner of the scent did.
There was only one person in Izuku’s entire lifetime that had ever smelled like that. From childhood friend to middle school tormentor to current hero idol, only one man smelled like sugar but acted like he’d swallowed an entire bag of salt.
The second his brain caught up with his nose, his heart shot into his throat and his face paled.
Katsuki Bakugo, current sidekick at the Endeavor Agency, rising star in the hero world and Izuku’s very first and longest love stepped onto the elevator.
Even dressed in casual clothes, a black ball cap and with sunglasses obscuring his eyes, Izuku would’ve recognized him anywhere. Which was why he was doing his damndest to shove himself into the furthest corner of the elevator and not breathe too loudly.
“Thanks,” Katsuki grunted before he too stopped, brows furrowing behind the glasses. He slowly lifted one gloved hand to the frames and carefully pulled them down his nose. “Deku?”
Izuku twitched, shoulders becoming one with his ears. Old fears settled in his gut and the utter horror that Katsuki would know everything he’d ever thought about made his throat tighten to choking point.
“Uh, hey, Kacchan,” he got out.