In the glow of the setting sun Izuku had never felt so alive and so happy. Walking along the path back to the dorms at the dusk of what had been a glorious summer day, everything felt as it should be. The world was stained orange in the glow of the fading sunlight and the trees shifted gently in an evening breeze. There was the faint smell of jasmine in the air and sunscreen, which Tenya had insisted they reapply twice during the day.
Tsuyu and Ochaco beamed, arms around each other as they walked, singing a pop song that Izuku had heard recently on the radio, to an equally happy but much more restrained Tenya. Shoto softly smiled at their antics as the girls attempted for what felt like the tenth time to convince Tenya to sing with them.
Izuku felt like the luckiest person in the world. Overwhelmingly so. Mere weeks ago they’d all been sitting in Tenya’s dorm room when Ochako had insisted that they drop formalities and called her buy her given name. Izuku had agreed insisting the same went for him. Shoto followed easily enough. At that point Tenya was bright red and babbling on about it being inappropriate, arms waving. Tsuyu simply pointed out that they were all close friends and that they’d all been using her given name for months so it was about time they did for each other.
Now Tenya wasn’t the least bit reserved, calling Ochako by her name as he scolds her for “unreasonably loud singing in public spaces”. It still warmed Izuku’s heart every time he heard his name on his friends lips knowing that it represented their mutual trust and how close they’d grown over their first year of hero training.
Izuku knew that he would remember today for years to come, for no other reason that the sheer contentment and joy he felt in this moment. Their day had been mostly spent at a summer market in a park nearby school. They’d all received permission from Aizawa to go a week in advance. It had been Shoto’s idea initially, he’d seen a flyer for it and brought it up during the groups weekly movie nights, but it was Tsuyu who truly sold them on it. She told them all of how she used to bring her siblings along to their local market. She’d buy groceries for the week and if they behaved a special treat too. Tsuyu confessed how she missed the way their faces would light up at a hot jam donut or ice-cream, even going so far as to miss cleaning the snacks remains of her youngest siblings’ face.
Her story made Izuku tear up a little, remembering his own journeys to the market with his mother as a little boy. Izuku’s tears could move coutries, so that afternoon they filled out their weekend excursion request forms together.
It was the first time they had all gone out together, it was not uncommon for Izuku and Shoto to go out together, or even Tsuyu and Ochako, or Izuku, Ochako and Tenya. This felt different, almost solidifying. Izuku had his own anxieties around making friends but Shoto had also confided to him that he sometimes felt as though he didn’t belong, simply being accepted for Izuku’s sake. He hoped that this outing had squashed any leftover worry about acceptance for Shoto.
Tenya had made sure to alert everyone to the warm weather the night before, so when the morning came and Shoto walked down in jeans and a hoodie he’d almost had a heart attack. Shoto had simply shrugged and said that he could regulate his own temperature, and he was being sun smart anyway. The way Tenya had stuttered unable to argue but obviously feeling the need to, made Izuku giggle uncontrollably.
The girls had both come down in their favourite shirts, Ochako sporting a wonder woman singlet that showed off her hard-earned muscle and Tsuyu her classic cartoon frog t-shirt. Deku’s own loose Plus Ultra singlet had earned a blush from Shoto, and the whole group praised Tenya on his choice of blue button up and collar pins. Kaminari had wolf whistled from his spot on the couch as they made their way to the door, only to be hit over the head by Jirou.
The market hadn’t been overly crowded when they first got there so Ochako suggested they go to the food stalls first and beat the lunch crowds. Tsuyu had bought everyone ice-creams despite many protests from Tenya about nutritional diets for heroes in training and “proper meals”. When Izuku accidentally got some on his nose Tsuyu had laughed and whipped it off with her thumb catching him off guard but causing a blinding grin to split across his face. To sate Tenya, Shoto then bought two punnets of fresh strawberries which they shared sitting at a park bench watching the crowd build.
The group had then split up wandering around different stalls. Izuku wasn’t looking for anything in particular so he just followed around his friends. He first tasted jam samples with Tenya, then helped Ochako and Tsuyu pick out cute matching tie dye t-shirts and when he found Shoto he was stuck on choosing which of several delicate hair pins to buy his mother. They’d gone for the blue and silver pin, covered in delicately crafted metal roses with vines wrapping around the tip. Izuku bought a matching pin in green and gold for Inko.
After meeting back together and excitedly showcasing their purchases, the group had settled underneath a large willow tree on the outskirts of the park grounds. Ochako announced it was selfie time and snatched Tenya’s recently upgraded smart phone and made quick work of sliding to the camera.
Tsuyu held up a peace sign and stuck out her tongue, Izuku’s smile consumed his entire face, Shoto’s smile barely lifted the corners of his mouth. Tenya simply turned his head with a paparazzi smile fixed in place before Ochako elbowed him allowing it to shift into something more genuine, as though he were caught mid laugh. Izuku had to remember to ask for copies of the photo from Tenya later, so he could frame it and put it on his bedside next to his pictures with his mother and All Might.
Ochako snapped a few pictures, each time shifting her expression slightly, before relinquishing the phone to it’s owner and promptly laying her head down in Tenya’s lap. Without allowing a moment of protest Tsuyu joined allowing her head to rest on Ochako’s stoumach. Izuku laughed and slid in to Tenya’s other side leaning his head on his shoulder and beckoning Shoto over to lay his head in his lap. Faced with pleading eyes from Izuku and the rest of his friends, Shoto had no option but to give in, and was glad he had the moment he felt Izuku’s fingers threading through his hair.
That’s how they had sat for the remainder of the afternoon, Ochako had fallen asleep within minutes but Tenya and Tsuyu struck up a gentle conversation about their siblings, Shoto occasionally added in but it wasn’t long before the fingers brushing through his hair lulled him into a comfortable doze. Izuku had been happy to simply watch his friends and the pattern from the sun filtering through the leaves of the willow tree dancing on their faces.
The whole day filtered through Izuku’s mind like a rose-tinted dream. These kinds of perfect days only happen in fantasy, but here he was walking with his friends having not a single complaint on the days happenings.
Izuku was jarred from his thoughts when he heard the gentle rumble of Tenya finally giving in to join the girls in singing, now a gentle tune rather than the pop song they’d been singing before. Their harmony was a little off, but it was made up for in joy and spirit. There was a skip in Tsuyu’s step and Ochako turned to look at Izuku expectantly. With much less dragging of feet he joined in for the chorus, barely registering Shoto’s gaze of wonder.
They walked and sang and skipped. The group were nearing their destination but Izuku couldn’t find it within himself to care. The joy of their day wouldn’t stop once they reached the dorm. Everything felt right in the world. For that beautiful summers day Izuku didn’t need to think of the future, of danger or fear. Happy tears rolled down his face and his singing wavered off key. Izuku had his friends, his amazingly beautiful, caring friends and that was all he needed.