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Out Of The Dark And Into The Light

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How did all of this happen? Why were they doing this to him and why couldn't he make them stop? He knew he could do it, but whenever he was about to say or do something, fear would fill his heart and he just... accepted it. At first, they just yelled at him and insulted him. Slowly chipping away at his confidence, he now realized that. A few weeks ago though... they started to get more hands-on in their bullying. It was too late to stop them now, all the confidence he had built over the last two years were just gone. Sure, he could use One for All to protect himself but... his quirk wasn't working as good as it used to work. And it was all Izuku's fault, for being such an unworthy heir of that power. And All Might was still rooting for him, training him even though Izuku was the absolute worst.



Why was All Might still with him? He had to notice that Izuku was a useless piece of trash that couldn't use the quirk anymore. He was such an embarrassment to him. How could he still care? He had to notice that Izuku wasn't on top of his training anymore, even his form wasn't as muscular as it was before. And Izuku knew that All Might had to know this because he always stared at him with so much concern. He didn't deserve that and couldn't understand why anyone would care about him. The boys from the other hero school had opened his eyes to this realization. It would not matter if Izuku was there or not. Izuku was not important, so why would anyone notice when he was gone?



Izuku sighed. He was half sitting and half lying behind the trash can where they beat him up an hour ago. His ribs were hurting like hell and he shivered at the thought to lie to Recovery Girl again. She always looked at him with such sad eyes when he told her that his injuries were mere training injuries. But she had to know that he was lying, right? Wouldn't her knowledge tell her that those scratches and bruises weren't from training? Why would she keep quiet about it?



Oh yeah, right. She didn't care enough about him to actually say something. And all of this was his fault for being such a weak and pathetic person. It had to be about him there was no other explanation.



“If it isn't that little useless piece of shit. We have waited for you,” one of his bullies said when Izuku rounded the corner of the grocery store. Izuku just gulped and didn't say anything. Fear was thrumming through his veins and he could feel the lump in his throat tighten. He just wanted someone to save him. Anyone.



But no one would ever come. Izuku wasn't important enough to anyone to care. As the realization hit him, a weird calm spread through his mind. It didn't matter anymore, nothing mattered. They couldn't hurt him any more than they already did. They already broke him.



The hitting started shortly after Izuku's shutdown but he didn't feel anything. Just let them be. Maybe today they would end his misery forever and he could find peace. Izuku was snapped out of his thoughts when he heard screaming. His bullies were thrown back against the wall and two figures stood protectively over Izuku. When did he end up on the ground?



“Kaminari get a teacher. And you fuckers stay right where you are or I will kill you!” Kacchan's voice boomed through the alley.



“Oh, the worthless piece of hit has some friends. Cute. Get away from him, we are not finished.”



“Make me,” Kacchan growled and Izuku just stared. Why was Kacchan here? And Kirishima too? What was happening?



“Kirishima, take care of the idiot. I can handle them,” Kacchan snarled and cracked his knuckles. Kirishima knelt down next to Izuku, blocking his view of Kacchan and his bullies. He was confused. Why did Kacchan of all people help him?



“Take it easy there Midoriya, you look pretty bad,” Kirishima said gently when Izuku tried to sit up.



“Why are you here?” Izuku asked weakly and didn't move. He registered the dull pain all over his body and could taste a lot of blood in his mouth. Kirishima just smiled and said, “Katsuki noticed that something was wrong with you so we followed. Good thing we did.”



“No... Why would you do that? It could have been over...” Izuku said and to his shame tears started to fall down his cheeks. Kirishima looked at him, shocked to his core. He opened his mouth to say something, but before anything could come out All Might's voice rang through the alley, “What is going on here?!”



“Oh, shit is that All Might? But I thought he was that weak ass skeleton now!” One of the bullies said and they scattered. With a lot of effort Izuku lifted his head and what he saw took his breath away. All Might was livid. Rage was radiating off every pore of his being and his trademark smile was gone. His expression softened somewhat when he saw Izuku and turned into concern quickly after. He hurried over, demanding an explanation.



“Deku was behaving even more weird than usual so we followed him to see what's going on. When we arrived they were standing over him, kicking and punching him everywhere they could reach,” Kacchan explained and to Izuku's surprise, he looked actually worried. All Might growled and carefully knelt beside Izuku. He gently placed a hand to Izuku's face and asked: “Why didn't you tell anyone?”



Izuku just closed his eyes in shame and turned his head away. He was so pathetic. All Might just sighed and said: “I'm going to take you to Recovery Girl. And after that, we will talk about this.”



“NO! Don't waste your strength on someone as worthless as me!” Izuku yelled when All Might carefully lifted him into his arms, ready to jump. Everyone froze.



“What?! Mido- Izuku, you are not worthless!” All Might said and Izuku would have laughed at the look on his face if he wasn't so... empty. Instead, he just closed his eyes and hid his face in All Might's chest.



“You two get back to school. I will take Midoriya from here,” All Might just sighed and jumped...



*** ****



“I knew that something might be wrong, but I didn't know just how wrong,” Recovery Girl said sadly after she gave Izuku something to fall asleep, so she could heal him better.



“Then why didn't you say something, for god's sake!” Toshinori said, still angry.



“I could ask you the same thing. You are training him almost every day, why didn't you say something? Surely you must have noticed that something was wrong too.”



“I- I just thought he was stressed out. It's his final year and he is part of the top three...” Toshinori said, shame evident in the blush of his face.



“Exactly. Whenever he came here with cuts and bruises he told me it was training. I believed him but there was just something that sounded wrong.”



“We both messed up,” Toshinori said and gently gazed at Izuku. He looked horrible. His face was one big swollen bruise and the parts of the skin that weren't various colors of blue and purple looked sickly pale. Why didn't he talk to Izuku sooner? What a Mentor was he?!



Further diagnostics from Recovery Girl revealed several broken ribs and slight damage to his internal organs. Nothing deadly, thankfully but worse all the same.



“Jesus Christ, he is malnourished too. I can heal the worst of it but he will have to stay in bed for at least a week,” Recovery Girl said and Toshinori gulped. If Bakugo, Kaminari, and Kirishima hadn't arrived when they did- he couldn't even think about it.



Toshinori was filled with self-loathing. Of course, he saw that Izuku wasn't doing well but instead of talking to him he just found an excuse. It was his fault too that it had come to this and he couldn't take it. As soon as Izuku woke up he would talk to him, apologize and offer whatever comfort his young man needed.



Toshinori couldn't deny that his feelings ran deeper than simple teacher adoration for Izuku. Especially not now, looking at the broken sleeping boy in front of him. Every cell in his body screamed at him to protect Izuku from any further harm. He would become whatever Izuku needed him to become.



“He won't wake up until tomorrow so I suggest you go and take care of yourself. He will need someone when he wakes up and I am sure that you will be one of the few people he will talk to,” Recovery Girl said but Toshinori was reluctant to go. He didn't want to leave Izuku, what if he woke up sooner than they expected?



“At least take a shower and change some clothes. You have blood all over you,” Recovery Girl sighed and Toshinori nodded. Wouldn't do to scare Izuku when he woke up...

 


*** ****



Izuku didn't wake up the next day, nor the day after. Recovery Girl assured Toshinori that it was perfectly normal after experiencing the trauma Izuku had, but he was still worried. Sometimes Izuku would mewl in his dreams, trying to curl up as if trying to get away from something and Toshi's heart broke just a little more every time that happened. He tried to comfort Izuku in any way he could and found out that holding his hand and whispering sweet nothings to him helped calm his young man.



“Shh... It will be alright, I am here...” Toshinori whispered gently when Izuku started whimpering. Gently he took Izuku's hand in his, stroking his thumbs over the knuckles. Izuku shivered and his eyelids fluttered. Toshinori sat up straighter, that was new. Maybe he-



“Ungh...” Izuku said and opened his eyes. He shot up in bed doubling over in pain.



“Izuku! Thank God!”



“A-All Might? Where am I?” Izuku asked on the verge of a panic attack. Toshinori gently squeezed his hand and said: “It's okay, you're in the nurse's office.”



Izuku calmed somewhat and took a look around. He was still trembling but eventually zoned in on Toshinori's hand holding his own.



“It's the only thing that would calm you down when you got restless,” Toshinori said, noticing Izuku's gaze. After that an awkward silence ensued but neither let go of the other hand. That was until Recovery Girl entered the room. She sighed in relief and walked off to Izuku to check up on his vitals.



“You have a few broken ribs and some internal organs were damaged. I healed the worst of it but I couldn't do much since your stamina is really low,” she said and Izuku looked down in shame.



“I realize that the whole situation is a rather traumatic matter for you so I would like you to talk to someone about what happened.”



“Nothing happened...” Izuku whispered and Toshinori growled. Izuku lifted his head, fear evident in his face and Toshinori cursed himself. Way to ruin the mood.



“Listen Izuku... I saw what happened, Bakugo, Kaminari, and Kirishima saw it too... How long has this been going on?” Toshinori asked gently but he could see the walls building around Izuku. Sighing he squeezed his hand and added: “Don't lie to me... Please, we just want to help you.”



“Help me... Why do you of all people want to help me?” Izuku spat and Toshinori reeled back in shock, letting go of Izuku's hand.



“Because... because I care about you!”



“You only care about the fact that I inherited your power. But don't worry I don't want it anymore and will give it to someone else. You just have to find someone better suited than me,” Izuku whispered and closed his eyes in obvious emotional pain. Toshinori was speechless and looked at Recovery Girl, looking for help but she just shook her head and gave him a pointed look.



“Whatever makes you think that there is someone better suited than you?” Toshinori asked gently and laid a trembling hand on Izuku's knee.



“Isn't it obvious? I am nothing. I can't do anything. I have your power for two years now and I still can't use more than fifty percent. Someone like Mirio-senpai would be so much more deserving than me...” Izuku whispered and Toshi swallowed. What did they do to this sweet little young man?! At this moment he just wished that he would arrived a bit later, maybe Bakugo would have done something to Izuku's bullies then.



“Izuku, you are everything! There is no one out there who is more deserving of the power I gave you. You are kind, compassionate and you would sacrifice everything for the ones you care about. Not a single person out there is as worthy of One for All as you are.”



“Stop, just... please stop....” Izuku said and to Toshi's horror, he was crying again.



“I ask again... how long has this bullying going on? Izuku, I just want to help you...”



“Yeah right... That's why no one noticed that something was wrong, to begin with...” Izuku spat and made Toshinori speechless again. Thankfully Recovery Girl finally decided to say something: “Midoriya-kun as you might recall I asked multiple time where your injuries came from and you always told me that it was from training. We would have helped you sooner if you just had said something. So it's really not fair to blame us for you not saying anything.”



Izuku froze when he heard that and just stared into his lap. Toshi could almost hear the gears in his head turning. He sighed and said: “Recovery Girl is right, Izuku... How should we have known that something was happening to you, you never said a word. And people did notice that something was wrong or Bakugo, Kaminari, and Kirishima wouldn't have come to your aid when they did.”



“It's just... it's... okay... I am sorry... I don't deserve your help at all, especially since I lashed out on you even though you are really not to blame...” Izuku whispered and Toshinori could feel his walls melting away.



“Will you talk to one of us now?” he asked gently and Izuku nodded. He looked at Recovery Girl uncertainly and asked: “Would it be okay if I talk to All Might about this? It's not like I don't want your help but...”



“It's okay Midoriya-kun. I can see to other patients while you two talk...” Recovery Girl said and left the room smiling. Silence ensued after she left since neither really knew what to say, so they just stared at each other until Izuku broke the gaze and said: “It started a year ago... I don't know how exactly but I remember being at the Grocery store and when I left it they threw a few choice comments my way.



One of them I actually know from Middle School, he was a bully there too, but not much towards me, since I was just a quirkless fry and Kacchan was doing all the bullying for him. The others are probably some goons from his high school.



At first, it didn't touch me one bit when they threw their comments my way but that changed rather quickly. They were always following me as soon as I left the school grounds and waited for the right moment to pounce on me.



The thing is... after a few months I realized that they were probably right about me... My training doesn't go anywhere and I feel so useless and they added to it. So I started to believe them... I won't repeat what they actually said about me but let me tell you that it wasn't nice. Kacchan is a little baby kitten with his jabs, I tell you.



Anyway, about half a year ago they started beating me. Thinking about it their strategy was pretty good. Make him feel worthless and when he thinks it can't get any worse beat the shit out of him to break him even more. I guess I deserved that too...



It didn't help one bit that everyone just sees Deku in me and not me. No one sees Midoriya Izuku, no one sees who I really am. People just see the hero I wanted to become and nothing more... Everyone thinks I am so confident and strong but I am really not... I am so scared of everything... I don't think I have it within me to become a hero if I can't even defend myself against bullies... I am a shame to every hero, especially to you...



I really thought I could do it. Become a hero, show everyone they were wrong about me from the very beginning but turns out they were right and I was just lying to myself. I can never be a hero...”



The next thing that happened was out of Toshinori's control. Hearing Izuku say those things about himself made him snap. He stood up and sat down next to Izuku to hug him to his chest in a bone-crushing embrace. Toshi was crying now too because he knew just how Izuku felt, hell, he had the same doubts when he was Izuku's age.



“Let me tell you one thing Midoriya Izuku. I can see you and that is the reason why I gave you One for All, why I decided that you will be the one to become the next Symbol of Peace. I can see all your doubts every day and all the times you think you can't do it, believe me. But I also saw how you have overcome your doubts your first year here. And being a hero doesn't mean that you are forbidden from feeling fear or doubts.



Being a hero means that you will do it anyway. No matter how much you doubt yourself, no matter how scared you are. Think about Kota or Eri. How you helped them become better people. Remember the time you saved Bakugo. Hell even remember how you felt when you cleared the beach of all the trash. That is the feeling you need to hold on to.



I see you Midoriya Izuku, maybe even better than you see yourself. You made me believe in myself again, that day where you a mere quirkless boy, ran headfirst into danger to save a friend. Whenever I feel my confidence wavering I think about that day and the feeling I had when you ran towards that Villain. That was Midoriya Izuku and it gave me the strength to continue fighting.



You are a hero Izuku. There are thousands of moments you have proven that to me and the world. There is no one in this wide world that is more deserving of One for All than you. I know that my words won't magically bring back your confidence or make you believe that you are worth anything. But I will prove to you, every day from now until the day I die that you are worth everything.”



Of course, Izuku bawled his eyes out after Toshi's little speech and it made him cling even tighter to his hero. Toshi just gently stroked his hair and waited for Izuku to say something. Eventually, it came in the form of a soft cry and the question: “Why would you do this for me?”



Because I love you, Toshi wanted to say but what came out was: “Because I really do care about you, Izuku.”



If possible that made Izuku cry even harder and even Toshi felt a few tears escape and so they sat there, silently crying into each other...



*** ****



The next day Toshinori walked into Izuku's room, holding a lunchbox and a note.



“I'm not hungry...” Izuku said and then his stomach growled which earned him a very pointed look.



“Even if you are not hungry you are going to eat it. I even made it myself!” Toshinori said with a proud grin and that was so cute that Izuku actually smiled a small smile. Toshinori counted that as a small success and gave Izuku the box and the note. Of course, Izuku went for the note first and it read: Your fifty percent are way stronger than mine.



“Uhm.... thanks?” Izuku asked uncertainly and Toshinori just grinned and said, “You are very welcome. That's my first proof by the way.”



“Uhm... it's very... nice...” Izuku said and his smile and blush made Toshinori's heart melt a little bit.



Over the next week that Izuku had to spend in the nurse's office Toshinori mad sure to bring him a note and homemade lunch every day. Izuku kept all the notes in a small box that he asked Aoyama to bring him and was reading through them while he waited for Recovery Girl to come and do the final diagnosis in him.



Because of you, I became a better hero.

You are Eri's number one hero, I asked her myself.

Your tactical thinking is remarkable.

I am so proud of you.

You bring out the best in people by being you.



And the final note for this week, that made Izuku tingly all over: Call me Toshinori. We are too close for you to keep calling me All Might.



Toshinori's never failed to make him smile and that last note made his heart beat just a tad faster. He wondered why but maybe it was just the attention he got that made him nervous. While he enjoyed all the notes he got so far it made him feel oh so weird. Toshinori doing all that stuff for him, even though he was so useless...



But was he really that useless if Toshinori went through all the trouble to make him believe otherwise? He obviously saw something in Izuku or he wouldn't do it... Toshinori even made him lunch every day... Still, Izuku couldn't shake the feeling that he wasn't worth it... But getting all this attention from his favorite superhero certainly made him feel something, even though he couldn't quite name the emotion...



Lost in thought he didn't notice that Toshinori and Recovery Girl had entered the room.



“Are you ready for your last checkup?” Recovery Girls asked and Izuku started out of his thoughts and blushed.



“Uhm... What was the question?”



“If you are ready for your last checkup. The injuries I couldn't heal a week ago should be healed now so that you can attend school again,” Recovery Girl said, smiling gently and motioned for Izuku to lay down.



“Everything looks good so far even though you are still malnourished. I will give Yagi-kun a list with things you should eat over the next couple of weeks...”



“Uhm... I can make it for myself... I don't want to bother All- Toshinori-san with this,” Izuku said and fiddled with his thumbs but Toshinori just said: “Not happening. Me making you lunches is part of the Confidence Boost Plan.”



“But really, you already do so much for me...”



“And I will continue to do so Izuku because I care about you.”



“But-”



“No. Fight me on this, but I believe I am more stubborn than you so just accept it,” Toshinori said with a finality that made Izuku grit his teeth and nodded...



*** ****



Three months later Izuku was almost back to his old self. He still had some minor setbacks whenever someone threw an insult his way, even when it was just a joke. To everyone's surprise, though, Bakugo was up to everyone's throat that dared to treat Izuku badly.



“It's my fucking job to make the Nerd's life hell so you better back off or I'll kill you!” was Bakugo's new catchphrase and either he or one of the other students from 1A would always accompany Izuku whenever he left the school grounds, just like today.



It was almost Christmas and Izuku wanted to buy a few presents for Toshinori, Bakugo, and Iida. That's one of the reasons why Ochaco was with him today, the other being a question he would rather ask in private.



“Uhm... Ochaco-chan, I want to ask you something....” Izuku said and scratched his neck. Ochaco smiled and nodded for him to ask.



“Lately I have been having those weird feelings whenever All Might is around... And I don't know what they mean so I wanted to ask you because you always seem to have the right answers when feelings are concerned,” Izuku mumbled and Ochaco had to stifle a laugh. She had a pretty good idea what these feelings were, from the way Izuku acted around All Might lately. She gave Izuku a gentle smile and asked, “Could you describe those feelings to me, please? I see if I can help.”



“Well... this is so embarrassing.... whenever he enters the room I can feel how my mood improves... and I feel really warm and nervous whenever he hugs me and he does that a lot since I was.... and I can't stop thinking about him. I constantly want to please him and earn his smiles because it makes me feel good. And my heart just beats faster whenever he brings me my lunchboxes... And I always feel hot and awkward when we accidentally touch...” Izuku spluttered and flushed a deep shade of red. Ochaco couldn't believe how cute and oblivious Izuku was. She just stared at him in absolute adoration and vowed to herself that he would join Bakugo in his everlasting quest to protect this precious boy from harm.



“Well... What you are describing can really be just one feeling... You... are in love,” she almost squeaked and Izuku just stared at her in shock. On the one hand what Ochaco just said seemed absolutely unbelievable, but on the other hand... it just seemed... right, in a weird kind of way.



“Uhm... But that's a bad thing isn't it?” Izuku asked uncertainly and Ochaco just stared at him until it hit her with whom Izuku was in love.



“Well, being in love is not a bad thing at all but I see what you are getting at...” she said sadly. An uncomfortable silence ensued after that which neither one could really break, especially since Izuku was lost deep in thought. In his opinion it was logical that he fell in love with Toshinori of all people but... it crushed him, knowing that nothing would ever come of it. While Toshinori must care about him to a certain degree it was probably just fatherly affection or guilt. Izuku grabbed his chest at that thought because his heart started aching. What if Toshinori did all this simply because he felt guilty? That would be awful since there was nothing he had to be guilty about in Izuku's opinion.



He thought about this throughout the whole trip and it didn't stop when they returned to their dorms. His mood lightened though when they entered the dorm and saw that everyone had already prepared their little pre-Christmas since it was their last evening in the dorm before they would leave for the holidays. Even Aizawa-sensei was sitting in the lounge, his face a bit friendlier than usual.



“We'll be with you shortly, we just need to wrap a few gifts!” Ochaco said cheerily and dragged Izuku up to her room. She saw his poor wrapping skills last year and promised to help him out this year, chatting away happily while they did it. She had to hide a smirk when she saw what Izuku got for All Might: a blanket that had the same green color as Izuku's hero costume.



“Hey, uhm... Could you read over my card? I don't want o to be too obvious...” Izuku said, blushing as he handed the card over to Ochaco.



Dear Toshinori-san.

I hope you like the blanket.

I saw that you don't have one on your sofa and you told me once that you get cold easily after your last fight with All for One... So you don't have to freeze anymore when watching TV...

Merry Christmas and happy New Year

Izuku



Ochaco had a really hard time not to sigh wistfully after reading that card. It was really sweet and kind of obvious too, but only if you knew how Izuku felt so she decided to say nothing. All Might didn't seem like the guy who would realize that Izuku was in love with him. Which reminds her of something, “Since when do you call him by his first name?”



“Since... after. He suggests I use it since we are too close to not use our first names... You know he... gives me notes every day to make me believe in myself again... and he is doing all my lunchboxes too, to make sure that I eat healthily,” Izuku said with a gentle smile and Ochaco gasped silently. She quickly connected the dots and almost squealed again. It felt like an epiphany when she realized that All Might must be just in love with Izuku as Izuku was with him.



“You really are rather close...” Ochaco just smiles and they fell into a comfortable silence for the rest of the gift wrapping. After twenty minutes they were done and ready to go downstairs. Before they left the room though Ochaco said, “Do you know what the good thing is, about you being in love with All Might? I have the gay best friend every girl is dreaming of!”



“Ochaco-chan!” Izuku spluttered adorably and Ochaco couldn't help but hug him really tight and said, “Don't worry Izuku... Everything is gonna be okay, just trust me.”



Izuku didn't quite know what Ochaco was talking about but hugged her back just as tightly. He could feel tears building behind his eyelids, but they didn't fall. He was glad he had a friend like her. She never judged him or behaved differently around him after... the beating. Sure, she was still overprotective, but she always was. It wasn't new stuff, like with Kacchan or Kaminari and Kirishima.



“Thank you Ochaco... For being my friend...” he said gently and Ochaco hugged him just a bit tighter. After their little moment started to feel uncomfortable they finally went downstairs.



To Izuku's great surprise Toshinori just walked through the front door when they entered the lounge and Izuku instantly blushed. He felt really awkward now that his feelings got a name and when Toshinori waved at him he just nodded like an absolute fool and tried very hard not to hide. Especially when Toshinori walked over to him and Ochaco just fled the scene, leaving poor Izuku all by himself.



“Good Evening Izuku! How are you today?” Toshinori asked and Izuku just stuttered out something Toshi didn't quite catch while blushing.



“Are you running a fever?” Toshi asked worried and laid a gentle hand against Izuku's forehead, which made the young man blush even more.



“I-I am alright... It was just a very long day today,” Izuku managed to say and Toshi gave him a big smile and stroked his hair, which did funny things to Izuku's stomach. Before he could stop himself he blurted, “I got you a present today... Lemme just fetch it really quick...”



Izuku made his escape up to his room and slammed the door. He needed a moment to breathe. Why was it so hard to be around Toshinori now, nothing had really changed... Other than the fact that his feelings had a name. Mumbling to himself Izuku grabbed the gift back and opened his door, only to be confronted by Toshinori again.



“You ran off so suddenly and had me worried that you have a panic attack or something...” he said apologetically and scratched his cheek.



“No, I- I really got you something for Christmas and wanted to give it to you... Otherwise, I would have waited until after Christmas...” Izuku babbled and just held out the gift bag. Toshi took it, thanking Izuku and completely froze when he saw what was inside the bag.



“You... you have to read the card too...” Izuku said gently and stared holes into the ground. He didn't dare meet Toshinori's eyes. Toshi did what he was told and opened the card. What he read made his heart jump and a feeling of hope blossomed in his chest.



“Izuku... Thank you so much. This means a lot to me...” he said and gently took a few steps towards a shaking Izuku. He gently laid a hand on his shoulder and with the other, he gently lifted Izuku's chin to look into his eyes.

 


Izuku for his part couldn't move. Toshinori was so close and it made him warm in all the weird places. He noticed Toshinori's eyes wandering down to his lips and couldn't help but close his eyes. Just when he felt his breath on his lips someone yelled his name and the moment was broken.



“I- I should go back downstairs...” Izuku whispered and fled. What the actual hell had just happened?! Screaming internally he ran downstairs and hid in the midst of his classmates. Ochaco just gave him a weird look and Izuku shook his head. He would talk to her later when Toshinori wasn't there anymore. He didn't have to wait long.



Toshinori came back downstairs a few moments after Izuku and had a quick talk with Aizawa that seemed kinda important by the looks of seriousness on their faces. After a sigh from Aizawa Toshinori beamed and turned around to announce, “I will be leaving now since I have urgent matters to attend to. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in case we won't see each other until then.”



That last part was with a heated gaze towards Izuku, that made the young man swallow hard. That gaze held the promise of something Izuku didn't dare hope on. His knees started shaking and his whole face heated up. And they were still staring at each other even though no one except Ochaco and Bakugo seemed to notice. The later just huffed and coughed violently to get Izuku's attention. Seriously, those lovesick puppy eyes made him want to throw up.



“Here nerd. Mom forced me to buy you something...” he growled and held out a small gift back for Izuku. He eagerly took it and squealed in joy. It was one of those do it yourself Action figures and it just looked like him.



“Kacchan you made me into an action figure?!” Izuku said and to Bakugo's absolute horror Izuku started tearing up.



“My Mom forced me to make it.”



“Oh grow up Katsuki, you spent hours trying to find the right thing and spent days getting it together.” Kirishima laughed and threw an arm around Bakugo's shoulder. To everyone's amusement Izuku then proceeded to tackle hug Bakugo as thanks and no one but Kirishima saw the gentle smile on Katsuki's face.



After that, the gift-giving continued and as it grew later and later Izuku finally had a chance to whisper to Ochaco what had happened. And oh she was so delighted, giving Izuku those yaoi shipping heart eyes which made him nervous.



“Did he give you a present?” Ochaco asked excitedly and Izuku shook his head sadly. Huffing, Ochaco grabbed Izuku by the shoulders and said, “You are like a lovesick puppy. We all saw the look he gave you before he left and believe me, you will see him sooner than you think and he will give you the most amazing present. And if he doesn't Bakugo and I will have a stern talking to him. Well, I will do the talking while Kacchan tries to blow him up but you know what I am getting at.”



That made Izuku snort violently and he started laughing a full belly laugh. It has been ages since he had laughed like that and Ochaco just joined him, happy for her bestest friend in the world. They talked for a bit longer after that, Izuku looking decidedly more happy and soon it was time for them to go to bed.

 


***


2 days later



“Izuku dear, could you perhaps look for mail while I start on dinner?” Izuku's mother asked him and he nodded, smiling brightly. It was good to be home for a few days and enjoy the cooking of his mother and her smothering. He missed his friends a bit though, it had been a while since they were all so separated and home life felt kinda weird after the dorm life.



Shivering, Izuku stepped outside and realized that it had started snowing. A light sheet of snow had already covered the trees and the silent road.



“Wow. White Christmas!” Izuku sheered silently to himself and opened the mailbox. Only one letter was in it and it was addressed to him. Just his name nothing else, but he noticed the handwriting at once. Only yesterday he opened one of Toshinori's little holiday notes. He was quite confused why got a letter now, and why Toshinori decided to drop it personally without saying hello.



It all became clear though when he opened the envelope and a single sentence greeted him.



Meet me at our beach. I will be waiting.



Without another thought, Izuku sprinted inside to pull some shoes on and get a jacket.



“Where are you going?” his mother asked, smiling sweetly. Oh, she knew. She knew about all of this and Izuku will have a stern talk to her later but now he had to get to the beach. His heart was hammering in his chest and hope surged through every vein in his body.



“I am going to the beach. I'll be back for dinner.”



“Bring him with you, would you?” his mother said gently and Izuku just stared at her. His mother just sighed at him and said, “Go now. Dinner will be ready in a few hours.”



At that Izuku ran outside and towards the beach as fast as his feet could take him. It was still quite the distance though and when he finally saw the shoreline, he was sweating and out of breath. But all faded into the background as he saw Toshinori, looking out at the sea, not a hundred meters in front of him. With reawakened energy, Izuku sprinted the last reaming steps and Toshinori turned to greet him, a gentle smile on his face and was that... a bow on his chest?



“Merry Christmas Izuku,” Toshi just said and smiled even brighter. He was shivering violently though and Izuku wondered just how long he had been waiting for him.

 


“M-Merry Christmas Toshinori-san...” Izuku panted and smiled.



“Allow me to get to the reason why we are meeting here without giving you a chance to get your breath, but it is quite urgent...” Toshinori said and suddenly doubt nestled itself into Izuku's heart. What if he was wrong? What if Toshinori only called him out here to give him a present he just bought?



Toshinori sensed the worries of the young man in front of him and gently cupped Izuku's face.



“Midoriya Izuku. I am completely and irrevocably in love with you. And after our almost kiss in your room, I am very sure that I am not the only one with this feeling. So, cheesy old man that I am, I decided to give you a more meaningful present than the one I already had for you. Will you accept me silly retired superhero as your present?”



Izuku was speechless and didn't move for a few seconds. He just stared at Toshinori, mouth opening and closing like a fish. There was complete silence in his head and he didn't know what to say. So lost in thought, he didn't realize that Toshinori's face got closer and closer until their foreheads were touching.



“If you want me to stop say it... I can't hold back any longer...” Toshinori whispered and Izuku managed a nod. He didn't even know what he agreed to, so lost in his internal struggle with Toshinori's confession. Until there was nothing but the slightly chapped lips on his own and a kiss that was so sweet that Izuku could swear his hearts quadrupled in size. It was nothing more than a gentle press of lips but it was enough to make Izuku melt against Toshinori and return the kiss.



Arms wrapped around his face and Izuku had to stand on his tiptoes to wrap his own arms around Toshinori's neck, to keep his balance as the kiss grew decidedly more passionate. Way too soon he gentled the kiss though and Izuku was left panting even more, with a flushed face.



“I take that as a yes...” Toshinori mumbled and grinned. He looked decades younger, smiling happily like that and Izuku blushed even harder before he said: “I do feel the same for you Toshinori-san... but I have also had to confess that these feelings are quite new to me, I just realized them a few days ago and never really talked about it, except for Ochaco and then that encounter in my dorm room happened and I-”



Toshinori just sighed and stopped Izuku's nervous rambling with a deep kiss. Izuku spluttered for a bit but returned it soon enough and chased after his lips when Toshi started to draw back.



“What I meant to say was, that I want to take it slow. If.... if that is okay...” Izuku mumbled uncertainly and hid his face in Toshi's neck.



“We will take it at whatever pace feels most comfortable to you, love... but we should talk about this somewhere dry and warm, your jacket is soaked and you are trembling.”



“Yeah, but you are too. Just how long have you been waiting here?” Izuku asked, blushing as Toshinori took his hand and intertwined their fingers.



“About two hours...” Toshi said and gently scratched his cheek.



“WHAT?!” Izuku spluttered and stared at Toshi.



“I didn't know when you would read the note...” he said and Izuku just continued staring.



“So that's why Mom suddenly urged me to go look at the Mailbox. It all makes sense now. Wait for a second... does she know about all of this?!” Izuku asked in horror and Toshi just chuckled. The chuckling turned into full out laughing as he saw the look of embarrassment on Izuku's face and he said, “I wanted to get her consent first... While you are eighteen now and legal, I still wanted to talk to your mother about how I feel.”

 


“What did she say?”



“To be honest, at first she wasn't happy with the realization that a relationship between us was a possibility but eventually she just smiled at me, thinking and talking about everything I have done with you and she was okay with it...” Toshi said and Izuku blushed. Yep, that sounded quite like his mother.



“We should talk about it in all seriousness as soon as we are at my house... Mom invited you over for Christmas dinner if you want to join us...” Izuku said, suddenly very shy.



“Of course I'll join you and your mother, but I think we should talk about things first...”



And they did just that when they arrived back at Izuku's home. They both agreed to take it slow and wait with the more intimate stuff until Izuku felt more comfortable with himself. He made great progress after the bullying but there were still insecurities buried deep within his heart.



Of course, their relationship would stay a secret until Izuku graduated, but with Aizawa-sensei's permission, he was allowed to spend Saturday evening and all of Sunday with Toshi in his quarters. Izuku was allowed to tell Ochaco though if he was really sure that she would keep their secret. Toshi suspected that one look at Izuku would tell her anyway. Toshinori had one last question though, “I don't want to make you feel uncomfortable, but with what exactly are you comfortable at this moment?”



“What do you mean?” Izuku asked innocently and Toshi just stared at him with absolute adoration. He patiently waited for the penny to drop and it was delightful as it did. Izuku blushed a most beautiful shade of red and stuttered, “W-w-well kissing is quite alright and.... and... uhm... maybe... uhm... oh god... cuddling?”



Toshi just smiled widely at him and opened his arms for Izuku to cuddle up to him. They both knew it would be a long and rocky road for them, with all that had happened to both of them, but they were very willing to try and be there for each other.



Izuku's mother was beaming when they came down for dinner and she made sure that Toshinori would get a little bit of extra from everything.



“You are just so thin dear...” she said worriedly and Izuku just blushed into his dinner. Toshi's heart swelled at that comment though and made sure to eat as much as he could without throwing up. They chatted for a while after dinner, but way too soon it was time for Toshinori to leave.



“When will I be seeing you again?” Izuku asked a little uncertain and Toshi just pulled him into a loving embrace.



“Whenever you like... But spend some time with your mother too, she has been missing you very much...” Toshi whispered and leaned down to give Izuku a parting kiss. Izuku had other plans though. In a sudden rush of confidence, he pressed himself closer to Toshi to give him a very deep and very passionate kiss. Toshinori was slightly caught off guard as he could feel the tip of Izuku's tongue slightly tracing his bottom lip.



“Izuku...” Toshi whispered and deepened the kiss further, licking into Izuku's mouth. Of course, the young man lacked a bit inexperienced in that field, but he was a fast learner and very soon Toshinori had to end the kiss or it would escalate into something more.



“Call me when you need me, love...” Toshi whispered gently into Izuku's ear and gently bit his earlobe. The moan that slipped out of Izuku's mouth was even more delicious than Toshi had ever imagined and a shiver went down is back. Hopefully, he would hear that moan again soon.



“W-will do...” Izuku said with glossy eyes and with a last peck to his lips Toshi left the house and got into his cab...


***



Over the next few months, their relationship evolved perfectly. Every chance they got they would spend time together and Izuku soon seemed like his old self again. Toshinori though felt quite concerned. It was in his understanding that on the path of recovery, setbacks were about to happen but so far, Izuku didn't show any of them. Toshi knew that it was bound to happen sooner or later but it still caught him by surprise when it did...



“Hey To- sensei, what about this one?” Izuku asked in the general direction of Toshinori as they went grocery shopping one evening, four months into their relationship.



“Take whichever one you like. I'm gonna go look for some meat,” Toshinori smiled and Izuku got back to staring at the sweets section. The door to the store opened and with it, the fresh spring air drifted up to Izuku's nose. He loved the smell of cherry blossoms and he and Toshinori found a quiet secluded place, where they would be able to have a picnic the next day.



All his positiveness faded when he heard a very familiar voice say: “If it isn't that stupid loser who can't fight for himself...”



“W-what do you want?!” Izuku asked, trying to sound confident but failing miserably. His old bullies were closing in on him and he couldn't move or speak. Flashbacks were flashing through his mind and suddenly he felt very sick.



“Look at that pathetic piece of shit... shivering like an idiot...” one of them laughed and suddenly, Izuku snapped. His hands stopped shaking and he lifted his head to glare at the four of them.



“Oh look, he's getting angry!” another one laughed and Izuku was about to snap when Toshi's voice rang through to ask: “What are you doing here? Haven't you learned your lesson the last time?”



“Hah the pathetic twerp got a bodyguard!” the leader of them laughed, eyes still fixed on Izuku.



“Dude, shut up that's All Might!” one of them said and the leader quickly looked up, only to rear back in fear as he saw the muscled form of Toshinori standing behind Izuku.



“We're not finished with you yet...” the leader hissed in Izuku's direction and they scattered.



“Don't bother, asshole!” Izuku spat back and froze. Had... had he just talked back? Had he seriously just talked back to his tormentors?! Oh, that would have consequences, he was sure of it.



“Izuku... I am so proud of you...” Toshi said grinning and Izuku forced a smile back. He flexed his hands a few times to make the trembling stop, but Toshi saw right through him.



“Let's ring all of this up an go home, okay?” he asked gently and placed a discreet hand on the small of Izuku's back.



Izuku just gritted his teeth and nodded, the touch a burning sensation on his skin. How could Toshinori still like him after that display of utter weakness? How could he himself think that everyone was okay now when clearly nothing was okay? What had he been thinking, burdening Toshi with his pathetic existence?!



“Izuku, stop... please... don't beat yourself up about this...” Toshi gently whispered to him but it didn't reach Izuku. He sighed softly and just went up to the front to pay for their food. Their talk would have to wait until they were safely back to his Teacher's quarters.



***



“I think we should talk about this...” He said and gently patted the couch cushion next to him.



“I don't think that would be a good idea... and really, I should probably just leave...” Izuku whispered defeated and Toshi reared up.



“Why would you want to leave on our weekend?”



“I... I don't... I...” Izuku stuttered and tears welled up in his eyes. In an instant Toshi was in front of him, pulling the young man tightly to his chest, but Izuku was fighting him.



“Please, let me go...” Izuku whispered and Toshi retorted with a simple: “Not until you tell me why you want to leave...”



“Because I don't want to pull you down!”



“Why would you pull me down?”



“I am a worthless idiot! I can't even defend myself... just look at me! Why would you want someone like me?!” Izuku almost yelled and Toshinori just pulled him tighter against his chest and whispered: “I love you, Izuku. That's why. I can't imagine myself without you by my side... and I look at you and all I see is a beautiful young man, worthy of everything I can give to him!”



Silence. All the fight went out of Izuku and he was struggling to understand what had been said. Toshi used the silence to continue his little confession, “I love you more than anything else in this world... All of your good parts, all of your flaws... And it doesn't matter if you can't say it back right now, but still. I had to tell you... You are so beautiful, my love. You are the most precious thing in the world and I will protect you until the day I die, even though I know you can handle a situation... and you can handle it. You talked back.”



“Oh my god, I did, did I?” Izuku whispered, fear evident in his voice.



“Yes...” Toshi purred and it did all kind of funny things with Izuku's insides. Still... he needed to say something.



“I... to be honest, I can't quite understand how you feel for me the way you do... I am nothing much. You could have anyone anytime and still, you choose me, even though I have so much baggage with me. You say I am beautiful and I am shocked to hear that you find a broken thing like me so lovable...



But... I... I am so grateful for that... You make me feel so much better and help me so much and... I... I love you too and... I don't know what to say anymore...” Izuku whispered into Toshi's chest and Toshi's heart started beating so much faster.



“Let me show you how much I love you... I will worship every inch of your body until you see what I see when I look at you...” Toshi whispered and Izuku shivered. He very much wanted that, had wanted it for weeks now, but he didn't knew how to ask.



“I am ready...” Izuku whispered and Toshi gently lifted his head to kiss him rather passionately. He gently steered Izuku towards the bedroom, losing his shirt along the way. Maybe that would make it even easier for Izuku to undress...



“I am kinda nervous...” Izuku whispered when Toshi pressed him gently against the bedroom door.



“I will be as gentle as possible... And we can stop anytime you want.”



“I know... I trust you... with all my heart...” Izuku whispered and gently bit at Toshi's neck.



“Good....” Toshi growled playfully back at him and carried Izuku the short distance to his bed, kicking the door shut softly...