Izuku took a deep breath. It was finally happening. He walked into Eijirou’s agency side by side with him. They took the elevator up, and Eijirou guided Izuku past offices and cubicles to a room near the end of the hall. His name was etched into a silver placard on the door. Izuku couldn’t ignore the butterflies that swirled in his stomach as Eijirou unlocked the door and held it open for him.
“Ta-da! Your new office!” He said with a grand, sweeping gesture.
The room was small, but welcoming. There was a desk and several bookcases just waiting to be filled. A TV screen was mounted in the corner, probably to watch news reports. And the tall windows showed off a gorgeous view of the city.
“What do you think?” Eijirou asked.
Izuku spun in a circle slowly, taking it all in.
“I love it…”
His breath quickened. He stopped in front of Eijirou, taking half a second to check that the door was closed, before throwing himself into Ei’s arms.
“I really love it!”
Eijirou chuckled, hugging Izuku back and lifting him off his feet.
Then, there was a loud knock on the door. Izuku pulled away just as it opened.
Ground Zero, dressed in his costume, poked his head in. He looked entirely unfazed to see Izuku, eyes only on Eijirou.
“Hey, Ei. Ya gotta suit up. We’re starting patrol early today.”
“Shit, almost forgot.”
Eijirou looked at Izuku. “The head of the analyst department will stop by soon to show you the ropes. Think you can handle it?”
Izuku nodded, determined.
Eijirou left the room, slipping by Ground Zero, and was gone. But the other hero remained.
“Can I help you with something?” Izuku asked.
Ground Zero entered the room fully, revealing a tablet tucked in one of his arms. “There’s a case I want you working on right away, okay?”
He held out the tablet, and Izuku took it. He thumbed through the available date, ready to become fully immersed in his work, when someone cleared their throat. He looked up, surprised that Ground Zero was still there.
Neither spoke for a moment, only staring at each other. It wasn’t the hostile prey and predator atmosphere from their childhood. Nor was it the utter reversal from when Ground Zero nearly begged for Izuku’s help. It was somewhere in the middle. Izuku was not afraid of this man anymore, but being together still felt tense. Awkward, even.
Ground Zero shifted his weight from foot to foot, looking like he wanted to say something, but then just sighed and turned back around. Izuku thought he’d leave, but Ground Zero paused in the doorway.
He looked over his shoulder. He finally said, “Welcome to the team, Midoriya. Hope the rest of our staff can keep up with you.”
Then he was gone too.
And there was something truly, utterly genuine about Ground Zero’s words that made the corners of Izuku’s mouth quirk upward just a little bit.
Izuku and Eijirou had waited weeks for this moment. (Well, really it was Eijirou who had been the one waiting. Izuku more or less only came along to indulge him.) But Izuku stared, hands covering his mouth in awe, at the little doggy in front of them. She was small, but stout. Her legs and body were stocky and robust. The puppy yipped excitedly, and Honeydew barked back.
It all started a few weeks ago, shortly after Izuku started doing analytical work, when Eijirou ran into the kitchen while Izuku was cooking dinner.
“Babe! Look at this!” He said.
He held out his phone for Izuku to take. On the screen was the adoption info for a pitbull puppy. Izuku looked from Eijirou to the adoption page, a frown forming on his lips.
Pitbulls were big dogs. Bigger than the typical breeds found in crowded cities. And not only was it going to get bigger, but even as a puppy it was probably already around Honeydew’s size.
Eijirou held his hands up. “No, Izuku, please just listen.”
So Izuku did.
“It’s going to be a big dog, sure, but who can you think of that’ll adopt her instead of us? She’s just a puppy, but who knows how long she’s going to spend in that shelter!”
Eijirou stuck out his bottom lip and laced his hands in front of his chest, pleading. “Can we just meet her? If she doesn’t feel like a good fit for us, I’ll drop this. I promise!”
And Izuku caved. He and Eijirou had already visited the shelter to meet the puppy. She was admittedly very cute and sweet, but had a lot of energy. A good match for Ei, but Izuku was scared that she’d accidentally hurt Honeydew if they met. And deep down, he doubted he’d ever like such a boisterous dog. One of the reasons why he and Honeydew clicked so well was because they both liked their quiet time, and neither were particularly high-energy.
He thought he was going to stay on the fence about this, regardless of how much Eijirou liked the puppy. But there was a third member of their household whose opinion also mattered: Honeydew, Izuku’s eleven year old senior dog.
After bringing Honeydew to the shelter for a meet-and-greet, there was something blossoming in Izuku’s chest. Something warm. Something that felt like want.
The puppy had quieted down a bit since spotting Honeydew, although her tail was still wagging. She started to sniff Izuku’s dog, and Honey sniffed her in return.
“They like each other!” Eijirou said, whispering but still excited.
The puppy stretched her front legs out in front of her, bowing with her tail still wagging. Honeydew pawed at her, her own tail starting to wag as well.
As Izuku watched the two of them interact, his remaining doubts were beginning to dissolve. Honeydew typically preferred the company of people (i.e. him) over that of other doggies. She was so attuned and accustomed to him that Honeydew even refused to get to know Eijirou at first. But this puppy, somehow, was convincing her to play.
Izuku looked up, finding Eijirou’s eyes darting around the room as he followed their every move. Izuku went back to watching the two dogs interact. Already, he knew what his final decision was going to be.
After signing all the papers that needed to be signed, Izuku cradled the small doggy kennel in his arms on the train ride back home. He rested the head against the kennel, listening to their new puppy huff and move about.
When they got back to their apartment, Izuku set the kennel down in the corner of the living room. That was when his emotions finally got to him, and he finally started crying. He sat on the floor near the kennel, unable to take his eyes off his new little friend. He heard Eijirou’s footsteps behind him, and his boyfriend came to sit down next to him. Ei wrapped an arm around his shoulders, urging him closer.
“Hey, babe, don’t cry.” He pressed a kiss to Izuku’s temple and chuckled softly, “I didn’t think you’d like her this much.”
Honeydew pawed at Izuku’s side, and he lifted her onto his lap. Their new puppy poked her head out of the open kennel. Eijirou held his hand out, luring her closer, and gave her a scratch behind the ear.
“What should we name her?” Izuku asked.
Eijirou laughed as their new puppy nipped at his hardened fingers. “I like the name Scarlet. What do you think?”
“Scarlet.” Izuku repeated. Another word for red. He smiled and pet their new pup. He leaned against Eijirou’s side, and Ei moved his arm to wrap around Izuku’s waist.
“Welcome home, Scarlet,” he said, “The four of us are going on a long life journey together.”