“I’m sorry!” Izuku yelped, his hands clutching the quiz so tightly that it began to actually rip. Quickly, he readjusted his hold before sputtering, “I-I just can’t believe I got such a bad grade on this. Oh my god - dad’s going to kill me.”
“Your dad loves you to bits,” Ochako scolded gently, and she not so subtly began to swipe for his paper. “Now show me your score, it can’t be that - oh my god, Toshinori-san is going to kill you.”
Izuku slumped into his seat, defeated, and let his quiz be fully seen with its gloriously large, fat, and red number of thirty-four on the top, even covering up his name. He watched, dismayed, as Ochako began going over the things he completely and utterly messed up on.
“Geeze, Deku-kun,” Ochako said in an exasperated tone. “This is easy stuff! Nomenclature, lewis dot, electron configuration…”
“Last year was hell,” Izuku mumbled half-heartedly, scratching at a stain on the table, one that indicated someone had broken the rules and secretly smuggled in what seemed to be pasta into the no-food zone of the library. “Remember? That biochem unit made me cry so hard that I threw up.”
“I cried so hard I threw up,” Ochako agreed. “But Deku-kun, that was organic chemistry. Nobody likes it, even Tenya-kun admitted he flunked that one quiz over enzymes. This year is so much more fun, don’t you think?”
“No, it isn’t,” he pouted, and rumpled up the quiz before shoving it back into his bag so no one could see the shame of its score. “I don’t get it! What does the P mean? Why do I have to use arrows? What are those little dots there for? It doesn’t make sense, because I studied so hard and I watched like five hours of tutorials in total - they said that the valence electrons were what we had to use in order to draw the lewis dot and represent the bonds? But then it said that the valence electrons were the number of that element’s group, so why doesn’t oxygen have sixteen valence electrons, it doesn’t make sense - “
“Deku-kun, you’re rambling.”
“Sorry, Ochako-chan,” Izuku blushed, embarrassed at being caught during his uncontrollable habit of running his mouth. “I just don’t get this stuff, it doesn’t click with me. Can’t you tutor me, oh amazing one?”
Ochako laughed, gentle and genuinely full of mirth. “I’m sorry, Deku-kun. But you know I’m too busy after school! Maybe you can ask someone else in our class. A smart one? I hear Yaoyorozu-chan has that study session on Sunday!”
“Yeah, but I don’t want to bother her,” Izuku sighed. “She already has four people poking her for her genius chemistry skills. I’d rather it be a one on one session, anyway.”
“He’s not taking chem, remember?”
“Oh, right. He’s really determined to avoid it, huh? Last year gave him a good dose of trauma.” Ochako giggled, causing him to laugh as well. She tapped her chin thoughtfully and said, “hm… well, you know, you can always ask Todoroki-kun!”
There was no way he was mistaking that smug tone of hers. He shot her a glare, and her smile only widened. “No.”
“Why not!” Ochako grinned, giving him jazz hands. “He’s the top in our class aside from Bakugou-kun, and we know what’ll happen if we ask him to tutor you instead.”
“Yeah,” Izuku said, already feeling the phantom punch in the arm he’d get if he even tried to approach his childhood friend. Everyone knew that the only person Kacchan tutored was Kirishima. “But Ochako-chan, I can’t ask T… Todoroki-kun!”
He whispered the last part urgently, as if he were trying to tell her some world-stopping secret.
To be honest, to him, it certainly felt like some world-shattering, earth-destroying secret. Just the name of Todoroki was enough to make Izuku jump in alarm and then go at least ten different shades of red, each one darker than the last.
Because Todoroki Shouto was in Izuku’s sixth period chemistry class, had the brains of a god, and the looks of one to boot. It was kind of embarrassing for Izuku to act like such a braindead zombie around him, but to be fair, at least half the school was infatuated with Todoroki’s mysterious and cold aura, so. You know. Whatever. Totally fine of Izuku to be so nervous around him, and get his palms all sweaty, and maybe kind of want to kiss him all over his scar, right? Right.
(Oh my god.)
“He’s too pretty,” Izuku moaned in despair, pressing his cheek against the cool wooden surface of the table. “And I can’t be in too close proximity of him for more than a minute, I’ll definitely embarrass myself.”
Ochako snickered, not even bothering to cover up her amusement. He had a horrible best friend. “Oh, I know. Remember last year in bio?”
Yes, he remembered (to his absolute horror). Back in grade nine, he and Todoroki had somehow been in the same science class as well, and that had been Izuku’s first experience in being so close to what he was fairly sure was an angel. But to make matters worse was that Aizawa-sensei had put them at the same table. They didn’t sit next to each other, for Iida and Mina had sat between them, but still.
Then came The Incident. Izuku still remembered vividly. It was their macromolecules lab, and everyone had to work with their table to complete it and get a decent grade. To Izuku’s horror, his hand had shook so much when Todoroki asked for a tube of something (he couldn’t remember exactly, it was a dark brown liquid of some sort), that he had actually tripped over his own feet and splashed the substance all over Todoroki’s arm.
After apologizing vigorously and then spending the rest of the class hiding his tears (he was always a crybaby) while Todoroki had to deal with a permanent stain on his shirt, Izuku vowed to never speak to Todoroki again after such a, simply put, disastrous first meeting.
“He hates me,” Izuku sulked.
Ochako rolled her eyes at his dramatics and gently shoved his shoulder. “He doesn’t hate you, oh my god.”
“Yes, he totally does! I ruined his shirt! I kept ignoring him after that because I was so embarrassed - I definitely put him off,” Izuku moaned. “Release me from this mortal husk. I’m cringing so hard that I’m surprised I haven’t flat-lined.”
“But Deku-kun, didn’t you say you wanted to be a paramedic?” Ochako said. “Then you need to do good in chemistry to do that!”
Izuku stared at her. “Chemistry doesn’t necess - “
“Yes it does!” Ochako interrupted, now fully invested into her speech. “Listen to your master, young Midoriya.”
Izuku squinted at her. “You’re younger than me - “
“Silence!” Ochako cried out. She even shoved a hand in front of his face, and his shoulders slumped in defeat. Her grin widened. “C’mon, Deku-kun. It couldn’t hurt to ask. He’s gotten only hundreds in class so far, plus he already helped Kaminari-kun and he got a ninety-four this quiz! That’s, what, sixty points higher than your grade?”
Izuku glared at her, and she smiled sheepishly. “Hehe, woops. Sorry. But either way, doesn’t that prove how good of a teacher Todoroki-kun is? Plus - “
Ochako leaned in close, eyes sparkling and hair almost looking like it was defying gravity in her excitement, vaguely reminding Izuku of a Studio Ghibli character. “This is your opportunity to turn yourself around in his eyes. I know last year was, um, not a good year for you - “
Izuku made a sound resembling that of a dying whale.
“But you can totally change his opinion of you!” Ochako sputtered quickly. “If you impress him with your learning skills, maybe he’ll forget all that stuff you did and find you as a smarter and not-so-clumsy person. And you’ll get to spend time with him.”
Ochako winked, like she knew exactly what he was thinking. “Your grades will improve, you’ll redeem yourself in Todoroki-kun’s eyes, and you get to get closer to the person you’ve been pining over for a good year and a half now. What do you say?”
Izuku gulped. Those all sounded really, really appealing to him in all honesty. (Especially the part about spending time with his kind-of-but-actually-really-embarrassingly-strong crush.)
But instead of verbally giving in and letting Ochako win, he instead makes direct eye contact with her, and without an ounce of regret, slowly opens his mouth to let his tongue stick out and run over her palm.
Her resulting shriek of “DEKU-KUN!” gets them kicked out of the library for good.
Izuku wasn’t staring.
He… He was… observing! Casually, and not at all like he was daydreaming about running his hands through the carefully combed red-and-white locks, or taking a pale hand into his scarred one, or looking into amazing heterochromatin eyes -
Oh, fiddlesticks. Yeah. He was totally staring at Todoroki.
But whatever! It was totally normal, right? After all, today was the day Izuku was going to ask Todoroki about the whole tutoring thing, and understandably he was nervous - Izuku was very intimate with bad luck and embarrassment, but last year was a whole lot more than Izuku would like to experience any time soon. (Plus, Todoroki was just… very, very pretty. Izuku thought his ears were cute, okay?)
Oh my god. Ochako was right. He was totally and utterly - what was the word - smitten. Izuku has had a fair amount of crushes before, because being pan meant his puddle became an ocean, but holy mother of god, Todoroki just did something to him. He couldn’t really pinpoint the reason why Izuku liked him so much - maybe it was his gentle kindness, like the time he lended Izuku a green mechanical pencil when he forgot his at home. (Speaking of, Izuku had totally forgotten to give that pencil back and it still rests in his pouch, heavy with his guilt.)
Or maybe it was his mind. Todoroki was smart, that was for sure. He was the number one student in their class, right above Kacchan, and though Izuku didn’t share any other classes with him, he was sure Todoroki was a genius in the rest of them as well. That intelligence of his appealed to Izuku greatly.
Or maybe it was just the fact that he was Todoroki. Kind and gentle but quiet. Izuku would like to see what it looked like when he smiled. He bet it was absolutely amazing.
“... our next quiz is two weeks from now,” Aizawa said in his usual deadpan voice. He waved lazily at the board behind him to show the date he had just mentioned. “A bunch of you failed the last one, so shape up or you’ll get expelled.”
Izuku felt a nervous sweat break out. He was never sure if the science teacher actually meant his threats - after all, last year in biology, he had made the exact same quip but never really actually did the deed. Although, judging by how Aizawa’s eyes lingered on him for half a second, maybe he would. Oh god.
Izuku really needed Todoroki to tutor him, didn’t he? Damn. He was hoping he could make some half-assed excuse to not ask him, but the fear of Aizawa’s wrath was enough to make him shakily pack his things as the bell rang and not dart out of the classroom like he usually did.
The problem was that Izuku sat in the middle, and Todoroki sat right at the front of the room. While this did give Izuku the most amazing view of the back of his head (okay, so maybe his failing grade in chemistry wasn’t due to just because of Izuku’s inability to understand the content), it also meant Izuku had to awkwardly walk past two rows of tables and approach the boy he had been admiring for so long now.
“Yes?” He immediately replied, and Izuku almost abandoned the whole plan when Todoroki straightened himself to stare directly at his face. His eyes were different colors, just like his hair, an example of what he recalled was known as total heterochromia, or something of that sort. The right side of his soft yet angular face had his silver iris and his white hair, while his left side held his blazing blue eye and bright red locks. He was almost split down the middle, completely symmetrical, if not for the fact for the burn around his left eye.
No one ever talked about the scar. (Izuku wished he could press soft kisses against it.)
“You, I know you must be very busy,” Izuku sputtered, realizing that he hadn’t spoken in at least a minute. He scuffed the floor with his red sneaker, and said, “and I’m so sorry to bother you like this, b-but, I would really appreciate your help if you could please tutor me, Todoroki-kun!”
There was silence, then a quiet shuffling before Todoroki cleared his throat and said in his (very smooth and amazingly low) voice, “I thought you were good in science.”
Izuku went red in embarrassment, still refusing to meet the other boy’s eyes as he stuttered, “n-not really. I-I’m really bad at all this chemistry stuff, and I know that you’re the top in our class, so I was hoping you could help me - only if you have the time, of course! I know you must be very busy, after all you’re in all honors classes and have an exceptional GPA, I admire that about you, n-not that I admire admire you, oh my god Izuku stop talking - “
Izuku stiffened, his face now what he believed was permanently red, and his eyes refusing to meet Todoroki’s own gaze. God, he thought to himself, he was so stupid. Here he was, embarrassing himself to hell in front of his crush, and he really hoped the earth would swallow him up because he’d like to die right now please.
“Sorry,” Izuku whispered. “I ramble a lot.”
“It’s okay.” Todoroki said, just as quietly. There was another shuffling noise, and Izuku gathered enough bravery to look up just in time to see Todoroki swinging his bag over his shoulder with grace. “If you want me to tutor you, then I’ll see if I have time this week. Here.”
Izuku startled as a phone was placed into his hands, and he almost dropped it when he realized that it was open to a new contacts page.
Todoroki pointed at it and said, “give me your number. I’ll text you whenever I have a free spot in my schedule.”
Izuku tried not to show how shaky his hands were as he clumsily typed in his number, and before he could stop himself, he wrote Midoriya Izuku :) instead of just putting in his name alone like a normal person. Just as he was about to backspace and get rid of the stupid smile, Todoroki was already taking his phone back and a stunned Izuku was holding nothing but air.
“I’ll see you later, Midoriya,” Todoroki said, and Izuku looked up slowly to see the smallest of smiles on the taller boy’s face as he observed the newly made contact in his phone.
Izuku squeaked something that half-resembled a goodbye, and Todoroki left, the door closing quietly behind him.
“If you’re done with your little flirt fest, I’d like to go back to grading papers,” Aizawa suddenly grunted. Izuku nearly screamed - he had completely forgotten that the teacher was still there. Face blazing red, he apologized furiously before practically sprinting out of the room.
As he was power-walking to his next class (p.e, probably the only class he really enjoyed), he pulled out his phone and began to text Ochako and Tenya.
Small Might: red alert red alert
Small Might: this is not a drill. i repeat, this is not a drill
Ocha-cha-chako: who do i need to kill
Small Might: OCHAKO-CHAN NO
Ten Out of Ten: Izuku, should I gather my weapons
Ocha-cha-chako: tenya-kun you edgelord calm down, what weapons do you even have
Ten Out of Ten: THE POWER OF KNOWLEDGE IS A FORMIDABLE WEAPON, OCHAKO.
Small Might: oh my god both of you please（ΩДΩ）
Small Might: i asked todoroki-kun to tutor me and i embarrassed myself so bad and i want to die because oh my god he’s so pretty isn’t he pretty
Ten Out of Ten: Yes, Todoroki-kun is fairly attractive. I apologize for not being able to tutor you, Izuku! But last year was too much, and in all honesty, I would not mind if I never have to work with molecules again.
Ocha-cha-chako: tenya-kun you cute baby don’t apologize, last year made me want to jump out a window
Ocha-cha-chako: and also deku-kun did he say yes????
Small Might: ugh…….. yes ╥﹏╥
Small Might: i’m definitely going to embarrass myself again, omg
Small Might: he gave me his number
Small Might: OMG WHAT IF HE TEXTS ME WHAT DO I SAY ALSKMLKAJ
Ten Out of Ten: Shall we go visit the Place for ice cream after school, Izuku?
Ocha-cha-chako: OMG DEKU-KUN THAT’S AWESOME and yeah that sounds great tenya-kun, the perfect cure to deku-kun’s Gay Crisis
Small Might: asdlaskjfj i love you both ༼☯﹏☯༽
Small Might: i’ll see you both later then
By the time Izuku slipped into the boys’ locker room and began to peel off his shirt, he felt much better, cheered up considerably and not (too) embarrassed from his encounter with Todoroki. That was, until his phone chimed once more to let him know that he got a new text.
(xxx)-xxx-xxxx: Midoriya, it’s Todoroki. I checked my schedule and I have some time to tutor you this Friday after school. Where would you like to meet up?
Holy crap. Holy crap. Someone call an ambulance, because good lord, Izuku’s crush was texting him and oh my god what does he say he wasn’t prepared for this.
Fingers trembling, Izuku first saved the number in his contacts, unable to stop himself as he self-indulged himself with the name. Then with shaky fingers and his shirt half-off to show everyone how far his blush went, he typed.
Midoriya: hello, todoroki-kun! friday sounds perfect. um how about the library beside the park?
Todoroki <3: Okay. We can meet there after school.
Midoriya: uh, yes, you already said that??? (ー∀ー；)
Todoroki <3: Oh. Yes.
Todoroki <3: What’s that thing you put at the end?
Izuku had to slap a hand over his mouth to prevent his laugh from spilling out. Oh my god. Who knew Todoroki was so… awkward? And apparently didn’t know what emoticons were? It was almost too much for Izuku’s poor gay heart, he was positive he was going to explode if Todoroki didn’t stop being so cute.
Midoriya: they’re called emoticons (ﾉ≧ڡ≦)
Todoroki <3: Oh.
Todoroki <3: y(^ｰ^)y
Todoroki <3: Did I do it right?
Izuku had to take a moment and breathe, lest he collapsed from sheer adoration.
Holy fudge. There was absolutely no way it was legal for someone to be this cute. Oh my god.
Midoriya: yeah! (σ≧∀≦)σ
Izuku waited eagerly for Todoroki’s reply, seeing the typing… sign, only to scream when there was a loud, “MIDORIYA! EXTRA TEN LAPS FOR BEING LATE… AGAIN!”
Izuku groaned weakly at his coach’s harsh bark, and he reluctantly put down his phone in his locker and pulled on his gym shirt before rushing out.
The fierce pounding of his heart, though, had nothing to do with those extra ten laps.