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The Power of Memes

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It starts with a question.

“Hey Aizawa!” Kaminari sprints after his teacher on 1-A’s post-final-bell scattering to the four winds. “Have you got a sec?”

Aizawa grinds to a halt, then pivots like he’s on a slow-moving turntable, perhaps curious that it’s Kaminari of all people chasing him down for after-school requests. Usually it’s the – no offense – nerdier members of the class who want just that little bit more of Teacher’s time.

“Yeah?” Aizawa sounds like (and is) someone with places to be.

“You’re training Shinsou, right?” Kaminari bursts like an overpressured tap. There’s a shifty look-around moment on Aizawa’s part: like everyone hasn’t worked that out already. The only thing that’d make it more obvious is a Disciple of Eraserhead stamp on Shinsou’s forehead.

As the preliminary rush of students from classrooms thins out into stragglers, Aizawa levels his best unimpressed stare at Kaminari: namely, his normal expression for most of his waking hours. “So?” They don’t hide it, the shadowy underground Hero and his not-all-that-unlikely prodigy, but that doesn’t mean it’s something they like anyone talking about.

“So you’ve probably got his phone number.” It’s just for a moment – and not long enough that the starry-eyed electric blonde actually picks up on this detail – but one of Aizawa’s eyebrows quirks, peeking out between two rancid locks of his hair. “Can you give it to me?” Kaminari seems nervous, justifying himself with a speedy, “It’s for a good reason, I swear.”

1-A’s homeroom teacher looks like someone trying to find the end of the line at a crowded deli counter. “Which is…?”

Kaminari, amazingly, doesn’t seem to expect this kind of questioning over his intentions, and has to come up with a spluttery, “Well I… we did that training exercise with him, didn’t we? Because he wants to transfer onto the Hero Course.”

So far, this isn’t anything Aizawa doesn’t know already, and therefore, constitutes a waste of his time. His listless expression conveys this ‘get to the point before I drag your ass over the line myself’ sentiment of this unwanted recap.

“Okay, so I–” If they didn’t know better, anyone would think Kaminari’s making this up on the spot. “I was thinking he might wanna hang with us, yanno? If Shinsou transfers onto the Hero Course, he’ll be crazy behind and stuff. I was gonna message him and ask if he wants to meet up and…” There’s a pause here, of the time it might take to swap one thing out and deftly slot another into place, upon deciding last-minute that the original plan wasn’t the way to go, “... study.”

Aizawa’s stare could freeze a pond in the middle of summer. It’s not meant badly, but if there’s one thing their teacher is, then it’s protective of his extra-curricular student. The one who failed UA’s one-size-doesn’t-fit-all entrance exam, and instead got noticed by Eraserhead – the Hero before the teacher.

Maybe it’s Kaminari’s hopeful smile, the way he almost vibrates with wanting the thing – it’s simple enough, and well-intentioned enough (at least on paper) to be good for all of them. Probably. Kaminari’s gesture is thoughtful, kind under a cheery polish of just being friendly, but that’s the peppy glue of 1-A all over. Binding people like static sticks hair to a balloon.

“... Alright,” Aizawa relents cautiously, probably thinking this is the kind of thing he ought to check with Shinsou first – but then Kaminari’s got those golden puppy eyes. What’s the harm it could do? Pulling his phone out of a pocket in his ever-functional onesie, Aizawa opens up a contact page that he covertly shares with Kaminari in the almost-empty school corridor, just a few students flowing to-and-fro like the passing of leaves dropped into a stream. “Just don’t tell him I gave it to you.”

“Deal.” Kaminari’s practically glowing, effervescent with his hard-won bounty.

Shinsou’s making a new friend – whether he likes it or not.

Hitoshi is getting his ass handed to him by Aizawa (as usual) when the first message arrives.

Electric6: hey dude!

If Aizawa spots the utterly perturbed look that crosses Hitoshi’s face when he checks this message during one of their breaks, the stone-faced teacher-trainer keeps it to himself. Even moreso the way Hitoshi frowns over his reply, hastily typed before returning to the regular ass-kicking.

SH: who is this?

It’s another few rounds before coming back for a water-and-phone break, by which point a series of messages have arrived over approximate thirty-second to one-minute intervals for the last… fifteen minutes. Hitoshi reads the series like unspooling a long scroll, long enough to bounce to the floor and roll out of the nearest door.

Electric6: It’s Kaminari

Electric6: … from the training exercise the other day

Electric6: i’m in 1-A

Electric6: the electric guy

Electric6: you saved my ass

Electric6: u… remember me rite?

Electric6: wow you’re really hurting my ego here dude

Electric6: are u busy or blanking?

Electric6: wait that sounded crazy

Electric6: it’s fine if ur busy

Electric6: i was gonna ask if u wanted to hang out with some of us in 1a for group study sometime

Electric6: it’ll be rly awkward if ur blanking me

Electric6: ….. R u there?

Electric6: Shinsou?

Electric6: shit this is shinsou rite?

Electric6: sry if this is some stranger

This incredible downward spiral hooks the corner of Hitoshi’s mouth and pulls up a smile, which a keen angler like his mentor wouldn’t miss, even if Aizawa never says a word about it. Hitoshi’s got a word for Kaminari, though.

SH: wow

Hitoshi thinks a moment longer before adding the question most pressing in his mind.

SH: how did u get this number?

And this is when it starts.

Electric6: i guessed it

Hitoshi’s quicker to answer this time, and really, the training break with Aizawa is running over But Aizawa is plugged into his own phone – texting Mic, probably – so neither of them are dragging each other back on the dojo floor in a hurry. There’s only so many times Hitoshi enjoys getting smacked around by Aizawa in a day, even when it is for his own good.

SH: well that’s not true

Electric6: okay okay u got me

Hitoshi lies to himself, just a little, watching those three dots that tell him another reply is coming, and truly it’s dumb all over. Hitoshi’s not making friends with those dumbasses; even if they’re not that dumb, and only a few of them are asses. They’re just the competition, and Hitoshi’s going to feel worse about having to push out someone he’s gotten to know enough to feel sorry for.

Except Kaminari appears to care about Hitoshi’s plan not to make friends literally 0%, chatting and praising Hitoshi during the exercise like they were the best of buds already. Of course Hitoshi remembers him – the guy with the plan that saved their asses in the challenge Hitoshi needed to (and did) win if he wanted to be taken seriously as a transfer student. The win he practically owes Kaminari for, if Hitoshi hadn’t saved his ass too.

No lie, it’s a little flattering to see Kaminari blabbing about Hitoshi saving him—even if they’d all have been done for without Sparky’s plan when they were down on numbers and Hitoshi couldn’t figure his way out fast enough to do anything; that honour went to Sparky, who came into his own and scraped shit together just in time for the curtain call.

Hitoshi still has a lot to learn. Aizawa had warned him it’d be different doing training exercises with the kids on the Hero Course, at least compared to anything he’s done before, but he still feels like he went in woefully unprepared.

Yet all this admiration and goodwill dies when the three dots turn into a message.

Electric6: i got it from ur mom

Hitoshi snorts and then pulls a straight face when Aizawa looks over, putting away his phone. Let the bastard stew. “C’mon teach. Let’s get back to it.”

Denki’s got an issue.

The issue is, Shinsou won’t answer his texts. It’s been over an hour. Was it the your mom joke? Denki’s got a bit of a mouth and a wicked fast pair of thumbs, sure, but it’s all meant in good fun.

Lying on his bed, the dorm balcony doors open so an evening breeze that smells like rain wafts through the air, Denki feels extra conductive, like any moment he’ll drop a few thousand volts with a single frustrated yelp. Because maybe Shinsou doesn’t know Denki well enough yet, which means Denki has to swallow his pride and go back on what he’d thought was a terribly funny burn, at least for high schoolers (which they are so it’s allowed).

Electric6: was it the your mom joke?

Electric6: sry if u mad

This gets Shinsou talking again, if only to repeat the same question as before.

SH: just tell me who gave you my number

Denki still thinks he’s hilarious and merrily taps out a response that can’t go wrong like the mom joke. This one’s got to be gold.

Electric6: i got it from the wall of the girls bathroom

But Shinsou doesn’t reply, and that clock starts ticking again.

“Idiot,” Denki congratulates himself, and doesn’t follow up with the ‘they told me it said to call you for a good time’ he’d been planning on account of being so damn funny all the time. Not that Denki would know what’s written in the girls’ bathroom, but he could totally imagine they would have Shinsou’s name doodled up in the stall somewhere – guy with a face like that, bone structure you could hang a coat on? “Real smooth, dumbass.”

Electric6: okay… that sounded wrong

It’d be easier if Denki could just tell Shinsou where he got his number, but Aizawa made him promise. Well, not exactly promise, but Denki’s afraid of getting extra homework if he rats on his teacher. Maybe Denki’s not the sharpest tool in the box when it comes to writing assignments and not zapping himself so hard he’s stupid with-a-side-of-stupid, but he’s not so dumb he’ll shit where he eats.

Electric6: i got your number from midoriya

Already patting himself on the back for this cunningly plausible lie, Shinsou hardly even hesitates to reply at this point. Denki’s not sure which is worse – Shinsou not replying, or replying the way he does.

SH: he doesn’t have my number

SH: you’ve got a minute to tell me where you got it before i block you

Electric6: no!!!!!

As soon as he’s hit send, Denki realises that was way too many exclamation points. Good job looking desperate, dude. Since when was making friends this hard?

Electric6: FINE… i got it from someone who didn’t want me to tell you it was them

There’s a pause now, the three dots that loom and then disappear and then loom again, while Denki lies on his back in his dorm room wondering why Shinsou has to be so offish. He’s like a mix of Bakugo and Earlyroki with cool hair and cheekbones to die for. Denki just wants to be his pal, what’s so bad about that?

Finally the dots turn into… more dots.

SH: … It was Aizawa, wasn’t it?

Electric6: haha no way dude

Electric6: like i’d get ur number from a teacher

Electric6: that’d be so embarassing

It was, and still is. A piece of Denki’s soul drags itself out of his body, crawling around on its belly to accusingly ask his cheeks why they have to be flushing like he’s auditioning for the starring role of a new shoujo anime. This is all so incredibly uncool.

SH: it would

That’s all Shinsou sends, and Denki gets the crushing feeling that he knows for sure now. Not just that it was Aizawa, so Denki’s screwed on that front already, but also that Mr. Cool (Denki’s nickname for himself that no one ever uses) is a shitshow, and Shinsou should never speak to him again. At least, that’s what the ‘what the fuck are you doing, shitshow?!’ voice in Denki’s head is wailing at him right now. But who listens to that guy?

Denki doesn’t know what else to say, too mixed up with how not-like-he-thought-this-was going-to-go it actually went. He does the only thing that seems sensible at this point and calms down with a nice distracting wank. Looking at anything on his phone would be too much of a reminder of Shinsou (who might even message, and wouldn’t that be a distraction?), which is extra-double-triple weird, so Denki settles for the ceiling and an image in his mind of a super-hot babe with awesome bone structure.

Yeah, Denki reflects after cleaning himself up and pretending not to check the same abruptly ended message chain several times, like it’ll be different the next time he scrolls up and can point out pretty much every instance in which he should’ve Not Said The Thing and – because he’s him – totally did say it. He’s definitely a shitshow. Shinsou just better learn to like it.

Denki’s nothing if not persistent.

“You gave my number to that… Kaminari. ” Hitoshi knows his name, it just feels wrong to say for some reason. Like proof of guilt over something Hitoshi’s got no idea he did in the first place.

Aizawa looks like he hasn’t got a clue what Hitoshi’s talking about, as if butter wouldn’t melt in Aizawa’s mouth, and there’s no way he’d ever do something as transgressive of their careful conventions as give Hitoshi’s number to one of his students without asking Hitoshi first. Even if that’s exactly what the guilty fuck did.

“It’d be a good idea to spend some time with them,” Aizawa says like he’s remarking on the weather or how Hitoshi’s holding up in ass-kicking today.

Things have quieted down with Aizawa’s underground Hero work for a bit, though Hitoshi suspects that might be deliberate. Not taking cases is the primary reason for not having any, in spite of how much Aizawa makes out like he isn’t pulling back to give Hitoshi a break from looking at grisly crime scenes after school twice a week. Maybe Aizawa does it for himself too, but Hitoshi’s not convinced.

Something will come along before long, thankfully, and they’ll be back on their bullshit soon enough. For now, the only bullshit is the begrudgingly got-a-point lecture coming out of Aizawa’s mouth like meat through a grinder. “You’ll have to work with them again if you’re getting into the Hero Course. No harm in starting now.”

“So why’d you give it to him?” Hitoshi questions. He sounds more irate than he likes being about anything as schoolyard bullshit as this. Aizawa should know better, and if Hitoshi had ever done the same, he’d be in the bottom of a shallow grave eating dirt right about now.

Sure, Kaminari was one of the ones in 1-A Hitoshi sorta got on with, in a sense of letting the sparky blonde rail at him about how great Hitoshi was. Hitoshi probably shouldn’t find that annoying – and he doesn’t, not really – it just puts him on edge. Any one of those fucks could be his ticket into the Hero Course, and it’s just his shitty luck that the one to get dropped to make room for Hitoshi would be the first one he starts to like.

Aizawa shrugs, undermining the notion that this was a calculated act, and says, “He asked.”

Hitoshi knew that, really, it’s just weird hearing it. Somehow Hitoshi hadn’t imagined it’d be someone like Kaminari who’d come scratching at Hitoshi’s door, even if he did smell the enticing aroma of new friend inside. The dude seems popular enough—what does he need more friends for?

“Well, he won’t stop fucking messaging me.” If it’s not inviting Hitoshi to their group study in 1-A’s fancy student dorms, which Kaminari keeps bringing back up with the unwanted familiarity of acid reflux, it’s a stream of ridiculous reaction images and internet jokes that couldn’t be a bigger cry for attention than if the plucky idiot marched right up to Hitoshi and yelled “NOTICE ME!” in his ear. But Hitoshi doesn’t know what he’d do if Kaminari did that.

“I know you like to think you can’t let yourself get close because you might have to go up against them,” Aizawa declares like it’s true, which is unfortunately because it is, “but you stand a better chance at getting a transfer if you let yourself learn from them, Hitoshi.”

Hitoshi sighs, because he knows that’s true, it’s just complicated getting to know new people – what they know about him, for starters. It’s easy enough to get along with them, but that’s half the problem. He doesn’t believe in sleeping with the enemy.

Aizawa’s right, as usual. But it doesn’t mean Hitoshi has to roll over right away. He pulls up the latest string of ridiculous memes that Kaminari has been spamming and flicks through the endless reaction images as he holds the phone out to Aizawa, a ‘look what you’ve done’ accusation that goes, “You call that learning?”

“He’s just trying to get a reaction,” Aizawa points out neutrally, and Hitoshi knows that Aizawa knows Kaminari even better than he’s letting on. Aizawa’s taught the guy long enough – longer than he’s taught Hitoshi, and no, Hitoshi is not jealous. Much.

“Yeah.” An image of a grumpy-faced white cat with a ridiculous rabbit hat and the caption “ fuck” slides to a stop under Hitoshi’s finger, and he hates how it makes the corners of his mouth want to curl. It’s so stupid that it shouldn’t be so funny. “I’ll say.”



Denki will keep up a steady campaign of meme spammage until Shinsou replies, blocks him, or literally just starts a punch-up in the playground. The last one might be a wild bet, but Denki wouldn’t mind a little impromptu sparring session with Shinsou, see how he measures up head to head. At least it’s some kind of reaction.

It only takes a day of sending Shinsou every stupid meme and reaction gif Denki’s bored fingers pluck out of his always-charged phone before the tough little bastard cracks. Denki’s busted harder nuts than Shinsou before – which sounds much weirder once he’s had the thought than when he was having it. But Denki always gets his guy, so Shinsou finally responds during one of the final classes of the day.

It’s not a great start, but it’s still a start.

SH: you’re pretty annoying

Denki does what he does best, and bluffs like a motherfucker.

Electric6: na that’s just my incredible charm

Electric6: is it working?

Denki’s good at making people like him, and more than that, he enjoys it. Getting someone on-side has always made more sense to him than math and science or quoting dates from dusty books ever has, and the target of his friendship laser is as accurate as a sniper rifle. His approach doesn’t change for the girl or guy Denki’s got his sights on – he’s just being friendly, anyways.

And if Denki wants someone with his laser cannon of friendship, he gets them.

Unless that person is Shinsou.

SH: no

Denki pouts, which has Ashido giving him a curious ‘what’s up?’ pantomime from the next desk over. Shinsou must be in 1-C right now, sitting in some General Studies class while Denki spaces out in Hero, and Denki has a thought about how weird it must be for him. Having worked side-by-side with the guy, Denki knows Shinsou’s got exactly what it takes to be a Hero as much as any of them. Except they’re here, and Shinsou isn’t. Hardly seems fair.

So Denki’s not giving up, because even if they are the competition in Shinsou’s eyes, everyone needs friends. Nothing wrong with a little friendly competition anyway. Denki pulls up a pic and hits send with vindictive pleasure.


kitten me

If Shinsou doesn’t find that funny, maybe he’s a villain after all.

Denki slips his phone away and focuses back on the class for a bit, feeling almost bad for wasting time when Shinsou would probably do anything to be in this seat right now, listening to Midnight go on a tangent on the history of capes in Hero costumes (basically: they suck). The buzz of Denki’s mobile in his pocket is an unexpected thrill, and not just because it’s right next to his junk.

Slyly, fully aware that Midnight will literally bitch-slap the device out of his hand if she sees, Denki slides his phone back out and pretends his heart doesn’t go on a victory circuit around the inside of his chest when he sees Shinsou has replied.

Good news: it’s a reply, and it’s even another reaction image—like Denki’s been peppering Shinsou with until he gets the reaction Denki wants. Bad news: it could be a lot better.


And if that isn’t a crazy mixed signal?

So Denki does one of the things he does best, and doubles the fuck down.


Denki doesn’t figure Shinsou for the kind of guy who wouldn’t tell someone to stop if he wanted them to – could even make them stop with his whack-ass quirk – so unless Denki’s reading the words ‘stop messaging me’ , then he doesn’t believe Shinsou truly minds Denki spamming him. It’s not personal; Denki texts just about anyone who’ll reply to him, and it’s inevitable that a groupchat exists where he, Sero and Mineta mostly post dank memes at each other. That’s a hell of a collection to draw on for the purposes of annoying one very resistant stray from the pack, who Denki’s identified with his deepest sheepdog instinct. To bring everyone together.

It takes Shinsou a while to reply to this one, but then maybe he’s just paying attention in class – like Denki isn’t. Amazingly, Denki happened to want to be a Hero so he wouldn’t have to spend a lot of time with his butt parked in an uncomfortable chair at a desk having to sit still and focus. Denki just thinks better when he’s moving around, so even though he wants to pay attention in class, mostly, it’s still difficult to follow what Midnight’s teaching them all of the time.

SH: will u stop the memes if i come to your stupid group study thing?

Denki’s stomach bounces like a dog about to go for walkies, and he thinks about just replying “ YES!!!1!!!” but is then so immediately conscious of how excited the thought alone makes him that he needs to backpedal away from it – before he makes himself look criminally uncool. Desperate isn’t a good look on anyone. (This, he has learned from observing Mineta. No control group necessary.)

Instead, Denki triples his double-down.

Electric6: u can’t stop the memes

But then Denki thinks what if Shinsou doesn’t come, and with a bolt of panic adds the awkward reply he’d just been putting off anyway.

Electric6: there’ll basically be a bunch of us chilling in the 1-A common room after class tomorrow

Electric6: it’ll be cool u should come

It’s hard to explain just why Denki is just so mortally desperate for Shinsou to agree to spend more time with him. But that’s all he wants: more time with Shinsou, getting to know anyone who seems so effortlessly cool – and with this whole secret-student-being-trained-by-frigging-Eraserhead, straight up badass. But even if Shinsou’s literally too cool for school, Denki’s totally convinced the guy still needs friends. Especially if Shinsou says he doesn’t. In Denki’s experience, those are the people who usually need friends the most, drawing his attention like a dog whistle. Kinda like the way Bakugo was at first, with a little more deadpan sarcasm than explosive temper; and, even though Bakugo still acts like he hates Denki at least 40 percent of the time, Denki knows they’re best buds and it’s awesome.

It takes a while, and Denki truly considers spamming some wet-eyed seals or kittens or puppies in the meantime but resists – in case Shinsou’s still thinking of saying no and Denki will have to negotiate.

SH: i guess i can stop by

“Hey,” Ashido whispers across the aisle between their desks at Denki, and he whips his head up to the front with gotcha-guilt. His phone buzzes in his hand a moment later.

Acid_trip: wat r u smiling about???

With his hand in his lap and an expression like he’s totally listening to Midnight talk about the integration of support gear as part of costume design (duh) while typing out a reply… or two:

Electric6: nothing

Acid_trip: i don’t believe u

Electric6: OKAY Shinsou said he’d come to group study tomorrow after school


Acid_trip: i didn’t know we were doing that

Electric6: well we are now

There’s almost always people in the common room doing homework together after school, and just because it hasn’t been officially planned doesn’t mean Denki can’t invite Shinsou. Hell, even if it’s just him and Shinsou, Denki wants his study date—er, group study.

Hitoshi thought that agreeing to meet up with Kaminari – and presumably some of the others, though Kaminari’s the one who asked – would put a stop to this meme harassment campaign. More the fool Hitoshi.

It arrives in the evening, when Hitoshi’s at home, curled up under a blanket beside his Ma, with a cat purring on his toes like a vibrating footrest.

Electric6 : dis u? 

Kaminari must be in the dorms, it occurs to him, and Shinsou’s kind of glad, almost, for a moment, to still be just a day student rather than boarder at UA. After a moment of consideration, Hitoshi pulls up a search window and enters a single word, picking out the most appropriate search result to send back.


Hitoshi doesn’t bother to put his phone away, watching the bouncing dots tell of instantaneous reply. It’s kind of nice having someone blowing up Hitoshi’s phone who Hitoshi can count on to literally always reply, usually within seconds.

Electric6: is that supposed to be me????

SH: you’re a regular sherlock holmes aren’t you?

Electric6: that hurts bro


He’s so ridiculous, Hitoshi thinks with that same fish-hook grin dragging his lips into a crooked smile. But hell if it isn’t amusing. He pulls another Pikachu.

SH: found a better pic


Electric6: i can’t believe you’ve done this

“What’s that smile all about?” Hitoshi’s Ma picks up over the soothing background of dramas they’ve seen every episode of before (which doesn’t stop them being good).

“Nothing,” Hitoshi denies as quickly as he can, reminding himself he’s trying to get into the Hero Course to work hard and become a Hero, not to make friends with idiotic blondes that don’t think before they speak – or text. (Reminds Hitoshi of a certain English teacher, and if that isn’t an interesting coincidence.) “Just someone from school.”

“Yeah yeah, that’s what you always say,” his Ma says knowingly. She nudges Hitoshi with a foot wrapped in a fluffy sock that makes her steps slippery and fucking silent across this floor – usually just outside his bedroom door when Hitoshi’s on the phone to various ‘friends from school’ (which is an umbrella he puts over a pretty wide range of relationships). Even Aizawa’s technically a friend from school.

“I’ll be home late tomorrow,” Hitoshi announces as if it’s totally unrelated, turning his phone face down to resist looking at it, even if it’s just to scroll back through the ridiculous stream of stupid pictures Kaminari has sent to him. He does that too much recently, even though the images are all the same as when Kaminari sent them and don’t get any less dumb. But somehow they do get funnier.

“You already trained with Aizawa this week,” his Ma points out with scrupulous diligence. No more than two nights a week, bla bla bla, something about keeping Hitoshi’s life in ‘balance’ and not stuffing every waking moment interning with a legendary underground Hero. Like Hitoshi’s life has ever been balanced in the first place.

“It’s not that, just this friend who wants to… study.” How Hitoshi makes this sound so conspicuous is a complete and utter failing on his part, and he’s definitely got more cool than this to keep if he’s actually going to spy on the kind of homework they’ve got those dorks in 1-A doing. Glimpses of the future he covets, sweet and tart like pomegranate seeds.

“Oh, that’s what she called it?” Hitoshi’s Ma means well, but her sarcasm misses the mark.

In a split-second decision, deciding it’s better to correct now than have to be weird about it later, Hitoshi says, “He did, yeah. A guy from the Hero Course.”

Hitoshi’s Ma looks thoughtful, and he worries for a moment before she just asks, “Not the one you fought in the sports festival?”

Hitoshi shakes his head. “No, but he’s in the same class as Midoriya.”

Ma’s heard Hitoshi complaining about Midoriya more than enough to remember the name and holds a dim view of anyone who would punch her son out after breaking a supposedly unbreakable brainwashing quirk. Hearing a vibration from his phone, Hitoshi makes himself wait a moment before checking.

Electric6: ur still coming tomorrow rite?

Hitoshi’s stomach flips, warm and fluffy like a pancake, which is stupid because it’s homework, and Hitoshi won’t even get a fucking grade from it. At least that means he doesn’t have to pay much attention. With a vindictive grin weaseling its way onto his face, and to hell with what Ma thinks if she sees him smirking and wonders what it means, he begins typing a reply.

SH: only if you don’t send me anymore memes

Hitoshi doesn’t mind them – well, it’s a little distracting – but he wants to know if Kaminari can resist the urge, or if he’ll just word-vomit at Hitoshi in text format instead.

Electric6: WHAT

Electric6: why

Electric6: do u hate fun?

SH: i just wanna see if you have any self control

It feels natural in the moment, but only after reading the message back does the orchestra in Hitoshi’s gut start to play him a wobbly aria that suggests he might have come off sounding a little weird. Like he needs to test Kaminari’s self-control in the first place.

But thankfully – or unfortunately – Kaminari’s as indefatigable as ever, his last message before leaving Hitoshi alone for the night settling the question of whether or not he could communicate in ways that weren’t memes.


Chapter Text

Today’s the day.

It’s just like any other day really, except that Denki’s been resisting the urge to tell anyone who’ll jump on board – which is let’s face it, basically everyone who’ll listen – that Shinsou agreed to study with them after school today. Doesn't want to jinx it by promising that Shinsou's coming when he might not.

Compounding this tension is the fact that Shinsou made Denki stop sending him memes in the meantime, which serves the dual purpose of making Denki so incredibly conscious of how much he was spamming Shinsou, as well as how little he actually has to say now he can’t. Denki overthinks all of the messages he starts to type out and then deletes, all the way up to lunch, saying nothing at all.

Then during lunch, he has a bolt of inspiration.

Electric6: r u bored of a life without memes yet?

It doesn’t take more than a few minutes to get an answer – and yeah, that’s nice on Denki’s ego, feeling like he’s definitely wearing the bastard down… until Shinsou does the most outrageous thing possible.


Electric6: U SAID NO MEMES!!!

SH: I said YOU couldn’t use them

Denki is shocked. Hurt. Destroyed. Confused. Horny? Shinsou had been offish from the start, but Denki hadn’t expected such a fucking troll.

Electric6: that’s evil

Once Denki’s sent it he thinks, fuck, only he’d make himself look like an idiot by calling Shinsou evil, the guy with the ‘villainous’ quirk who doesn’t seem that bad at all. Sure is tiresome, Denki having to pull his feet out of his mouth all the time.

Electric6: not evil evil

Electric6: just uh

Electric6: memevil

Maybe this is why Shinsou made him stop using memes in the first place. But Denki’s gone and made a monster.


Denki bursts out laughing, spewing water all over Kirishima’s arm, and has to fess up what made him choke so much, which in turn reveals the casual gem of information that Kaminari somehow got hold of Shinsou’s number in the first place.

“I didn’t realise you two were texting,” Kirishima chortles like he knows something Denki doesn’t. Which he can’t, but that might just be all that nervous energy pinging around in Denki’s head like a pinball right now, as he waits for the end of the day so he can… study?

“Yeah, a bit,” Denki plays off like it’s easy for him, instead of being something he’s obsessed over like a scab that just can’t go without being picked. “Mostly I’ve been trying to get him to hang with us after school.”

“Oh, that’d be awesome,” Kirishima beams, and is certainly the kinda dude to appreciate the challenge of winning over a tough cookie. “You think you’ll get him?”

“Man, I hope so.” Denki’s not sure he’s ever been this excited to learn.

Hitoshi sneaks into 1-A’s classroom after the final bell and does his squatter act, the one where he sits in the room he hopes to rightfully occupy one day. The tranquil classroom is basking in the late afternoon sun that Aizawa was clearly trying to take a nap in, swaddled in his sleeping bag when he’s interrupted by Hitoshi seeking him out. They were training yesterday and will be patrolling tomorrow, which means Hitoshi isn’t really supposed to be here, but Aizawa will never turn Hitoshi away. He trudges over to the end of Aizawa’s desk that faces the windows, catching a long beam of afternoon sunshine that drips like honey, and offers a weary, “Hey, teach,” as he slides with his back against the warm wood to the floor. Aizawa offers an accepting murmur in return.

There’s nothing Hitoshi wants exactly, not from Aizawa, so he doesn’t say anything. Just shuffles to a more comfortable sit, soaking in the aura of the place he hasn't reached yet, stealing some lingering trace of what makes the students who learn in this room every day worthy of being on the Hero Course when Hitoshi’s not.

Aizawa’s a dark chocolate cream horn in his sleeping bag, half-listening to the police scanner he keeps in the bottom drawer of his desk, and lets Hitoshi ply Aizawa's phone from his limp hand without protest. Hitoshi knows Aizawa’s passcode, and is soon idly flipping through archived emails about cold cases (and peeking at pictures received from ‘Hizashi’ with a stone cold poker face), ignoring the persistent buzzing of his own phone in his pocket.

But if Hitoshi pretends not to notice his phone blowing up, Aizawa certainly doesn’t. “If what my class have been whispering over all day is true, aren’t you supposed to be studying with them right about now?” Aizawa murmurs with his eyes closed, as if somehow managing to deliver a lecture in his sleep, though Hitoshi’s yet to truly catch his hero truly unaware.

That’s what the messages on Hitoshi’s phone probably say, which is why he hasn’t bothered to check them yet. The determined ‘where are you’s of a guy who seems to have made it his mission in life to spend time with Hitoshi – so why Hitoshi’s dragging his feet is ridiculous, if you think about it.

But inertia’s a hell of a bitch. “Didn’t have you down for a gossip, teach,” Hitoshi replies self-consciously, and maybe he is dragging his feet from familiar ground into new territory. What if Hitoshi likes when it’s just him and Aizawa? Solid and predictable, where they know each other already and it’s always good and affirming. Not like the Russian roulette of being in a room with every person that rat in the Principal’s office decided is more deserving of Hitoshi’s dream than he is. Kaminari included.

Except, it’s not any of their faults they got picked over Hitoshi – able to prove they were worthy better than he could prove. It’s not like Hitoshi’s ever had a bad time with Kaminari, either. Barely any time at all, unless Hitoshi gets off his ass and changes it.

“Give them a chance, kid.”

Hitoshi hates Aizawa calling him that. Makes him feel so inept, wet behind the ears and half-formed, next to anyone so incredibly sure of himself as Aizawa is; like Hitoshi’s just a rough clay model next to a carved marble statue. Hitoshi knows that’s just the difference of being grown up instead of still messily working it all out, and Aizawa’s a lot of things for Hitoshi – friends among them – but maybe he should spend a bit more time with kids his own age. Focus on being what he is, instead of obsessing over what he’s not.

“If you say so, old man,” Hitoshi names and shames, getting up onto his knees and leaning over to grab the half-done zip of Aizawa’s sleeping bag, dragging it all the way up in one smooth motion to fasten right up to the top. Aizawa doesn’t fight him, and will probably sleep in this puffy orange chrysalis now Hitoshi’s left him alone. It was already indulgent for Aizawa to entertain Hitoshi this far in the first place.

Hitoshi’s sure he can already hear the snores as he gets up and leaves the classroom, gaze lingering on the desk as he wonders which one is Kaminari’s, and walks the familiar route from 1-A’s classroom to the outside courtyard.

Taking a breath of the rush of fresh air that meets Hitoshi when he steps outside, he follows the less familiar path to 1-A’s dorm. The sky remains bright even while the light has begun its slow decline toward the horizon; the evening feels young yet. Hitoshi checks his phone to a waterfall of texts.

Electric6: you still coming to the dorms for study sesh?

Electric6: bro?

Electric6: i kno u said ‘stop by’ but if ur busy it’s ok

Electric6: just like, a heads up or whatever

There’s a short pause in the otherwise regular spacing of messages; Hitoshi wasn’t unresponsive for that long. Kaminari’s just got all that golden lab energy, waiting for Hitoshi with the tennis ball in his hand, giving the text equivalent of puppy-eyes. Hitoshi’s going to have to play ball sooner or later.

Electric6: i swear i have so many memes for this

Electric6: if you don’t show up prepare to be memed within an inch of ur life dude

Those last ones are only recent, Hitoshi checks with a grin, walking without lifting his eyes from the screen.

SH: relax

SH: I’m on my way

Hitoshi’s grinning. He feels like an idiot, to be so happy to be wanted and welcomed by his competition, sure, but also the peers he increasingly feels like he deserves. Hitoshi isn’t perfect yet, but neither are they. Hitoshi belongs here, he tells himself like a mantra as he walks to the infamous 1-A dorm, where all the wildest stories originate in some capacity or another. There’s no denying this class has a lot of powerhouses.

Electric6: great!!!

Electric6: i mean… cool… see u soon

Hitoshi pretends he doesn’t know why he can’t stop smiling, because ignorance truly is bliss.

Denki’s so static he keeps giving Jirou shocks. She keeps whipping him with her ear jacks for it in return, even though it’s nothing he can help and that’s on her for sitting next to him in the first place. Just act cool, idiot, Denki’s trying to tell himself, when the reality is that Shinsou’s actually coming to hang out, and it’s all from the power of Denki’s Dank Memes alone. Even just by promising not to send any more if Shinsou will actually spend time with the ‘rivals’ he’s claiming not to be interested in making friends with.

Which, realistically, is more what these kind of ‘group study’ sessions in the common room are about. Sure, Yaomomo’s at the end of the opposite sofa, and will actually explain anything that her classmates couldn’t understand (or weren’t listening for) in class. But for others, it’s more about pretending to look at notes and chewing over how everyone did in the last Hero Ed. class (or any misadventures they’ve gotten into). Right now, Shinsou’s the missing cameo of the latest training exercise – and regardless of the outcomes in each match, whether he went up with or against the rest of the class, Shinsou certainly showed that he’s a force to be reckoned with.

“Would you sit still for a single minute?” Jirou bumps Denki and he shifts further away from her, establishing a shockproof barrier between them that’s really fair enough, when he keeps letting frustrated electricity build up enough to give anyone he touches a distinct zap. “You’re fidgeting more than a ferret.”

Denki’s trying, truly, he is. It’s just the energy that builds up in him slowly over time, needing to be discharged with movement, doing something, sometimes anything, just to keep him from zapping himself out with the pressure. He’s not good at waiting.

“Hey dude, didn’t you say Shinsou was gonna stop by?” Kirishima remarks with gleeful cheer, so sincere and upbeat that it’s hard to believe he would deliberately ask such a question for any other reason than wanting to know the answer. Denki’s not the only one interested in Shinsou. Maybe the only one quite so interested, but that’s different.

“Oh, yeah.” Denki congratulates himself on how incredibly chill and cool he makes this sound, and not like it’s made his whole week. “He’s actually on the way.”

“Really?” Midoriya might be almost as excited about Shinsou turning up as Denki is, and the sudden realisation of how Denki would be able to answer this question switches on a lightbulb above Midoriya’s head so bright that it almost dazzles. “I didn't know you two were in touch.”

“A… bit.” Denki chokes up when several of his friends look at him with this revelation, because maybe he did keep it quiet, but why would he brag about texting Shinsou to any of them in the first place? So what if they’re surprised? “Mostly I just…” The silence is awkward, crippling even, and only Denki has the words to make it that much worse, “send him memes.”

Several of his friends laugh but even more than that audibly groan, as if they should have seen it coming.

And of course, with perfect idiot timing, this is exactly when Midoriya’s gaze shifts over Denki’s head and a crushed silk voice announces, “That part’s definitely true.”

“Shinsou!” Deku actually gets up to greet Shinsou, clearly thrilled. “You made it!”

The voice came from behind him. Denki’s doing this thing where he thinks, hey, maybe he can lean back on the sofa and turn in a way that’s not super eager, so it’s sorta like he’s slumping in a couldn’t-care-less style, and not just whipping around over-excitedly to watch Shinsou approach.

The tall glass of purple drink comes from the direction of the door, hands sleeping in his pockets and a poker face that Denki would fold against in a heartbeat. No lie, it’s a pretty believable look seeing Shinsou roll around here like he’s a part of the Hero Course too. Could almost say he suits it.

“Didn’t realise you were all waiting on me,” Shinsou lilts with the voice that literally robs people of their free will. Denki kinda gets why. He feels every hair on his body lift, a sudden spike in the charge constantly stored in his body, when a gaze as vivid as the bright violet of Hitoshi’s hair locks onto Denki’s. Looking at him like they could be the only two people in the room, Shinsou gives a deadpan, “Hey.”

“Hey,” Denki echoes back at the height of cool. Or something that passes for it. “Pull up a couch cushion, dude.”

It’s not at all bad hanging out with 1-A – not even a little bit, really. Hitoshi only avoided it because he knew it would be so easy, and that’s half the problem. They’re a really hard bunch to dislike. Although Hitoshi had told himself – and his Ma – that he’d only stay ‘an hour tops’ after school, it’s now going on two. Ma won't mind… much. She should be glad he's spending time with more ‘friends’ his own age for once.

It’s amazing just being among them, in truth: all these crazy strong teens in training to be real Heroes, just like Hitoshi’s trying to. Being treated as an equal by them without question – one of their own. If he let himself be completely open, Hitoshi would’ve loved every second of it, but he still can’t quite relax around them; because it’s nice to feel like he belongs, but until he does there’s no easing off.

As the evening matured, some of the group peeled away for dinner, the rest content to snack and eat microwave food passed around as they grazed and traded notes on the week’s events – a conversation Hitoshi could actively participate in, for the first time on even footing (almost).

And although the group study part of this plan was a smashing success in many ways, Hitoshi and Kaminari haven't actually had much of a chance to speak. It's even a little strange shifting back to talking in a group after the one-to-one intimacy of direct chat, even if their one-on-one was mostly in memes.

Hitoshi feels weirdly like he hasn’t got anything to say to Kaminari in person – not that he can just ask up front – and the conversation manages to veer around the elephant in the room, so much so that they’ve hardly exchanged more than a few words, until almost everyone else has already left.

This broken line of communication is partly because Kaminari never sits still, getting up and down to bustle around the common area littered with his classmates like a ricocheting ball-bearing around a pinball machine, always in animated conversation with someone about something. It’s been interesting seeing Kaminari in his element like this, the fast-talking out both sides of his mouth, everyone’s-a-pal kind of personality that’s so damn hard not to like.

Or maybe Kaminari is waiting until the group thins, because each time someone leaves, he pinballs back into a place just that little bit closer to Hitoshi. Until, finally , they’re at opposite ends of the same sofa with Jirou planted between them. While always squabbling with Kaminari, she’s also never far from him either. In an effort to counteract what Jirou keeps insisting has been Kaminari ‘shocking her all night’, she sits notably closer to Hitoshi’s end of the couch than Kaminari’s. It’s been nice, actually, because she’s just the right amount of quiet: a soothingly chill buffer that Hitoshi perches on the edge of, like an eagle on a log sticking out of a lake, still feeling like he could take flight and get away from this if he wanted to. Not that he wants to.

Kirishima already left right after Bakugo showed up to collect him like a puppy from the dog park – Hitoshi had got a little toasting from Bakugo’s targeted fiery gaze while Kirishima was busy gathering the things he’d managed to scatter all over the common area with surprising efficiency. Hitoshi just glared back with his own stony ‘bring it’ in his gaze, until the pair sloped off for their own ‘training’.

There were some members of the Hero Course – the ones in this class especially – that got to Hitoshi for different reasons than the usual resentful envy. Hitoshi would never replace Bakugo in the spot he’s obviously meant to have in the Hero Course, but if anything, that just guarantees they’re bound to come up against each other sooner or later. Bakugo should be wary of anyone whose mode of operation is to smash his buttons until the walking temper bomb goes off; it practically makes them rivals already. Especially because he’s Aizawa’s student, just like Hitoshi is, and that does make them the same, even if the school doesn’t recognise it yet.

“Okay, bro,” Kaminari announces, leaning over the edge of the sofa to peer around Jirou, capturing Hitoshi’s gaze with a sense of finality. Kaminari’s turned to sit sideways on the couch, so his legs – shoes kicked off – are bent up in the space Jirou has given to him mostly uncontested, and he still can’t stop fidgeting. The guy seriously can’t sit straight for a minute. “It’s time to fess up: you miss my memes.”

Hitoshi grins before he can dare to stop himself, and shrugs to make up for it. “If you say so.”

“If you’re into shitposting then you truly deserve each other.” Jirou acts like she doesn’t mean anything by it, though with the way she deadeye-stares at Kaminari as she stands, maybe she does. Hitoshi wonders if it’s obvious. “Hey Mina, are you still up for that mani-pedi you promised me?”

“Girl, yas!” Ashido hops up over-enthusiastically, squeaking goodbye to Kaminari (and Hitoshi) as she steers Jirou out by the shoulders. They’re giggling on the way, so must find something awfully amusing about this.

Midoriya is the only one left now, and clearly wants to talk to Hitoshi desperately about something he’s not mentioning, which he’s either gotta spit out or get out.

“It’s really great spending time with you like this, Shinsou.” Midoriya eventually manages to blurt, “I hope they find a way to let you transfer.”

A pang of frustrated tension strums in Hitoshi’s heart. It’s not Midoriya’s fault, it just doesn’t always help having it rubbed in every waking moment. If Hitoshi’s feeling generous, one of these days he’ll give Midoriya his number and truly agree to be friends, but that’s just not something he’s ready for right now. The sports festival was supposed to be his ticket, and now he's having a hell of a time trying to catch the next bus.

“Yeah, that’d be pretty awesome,” Kaminari overtakes like he’s accepted the role as Hitoshi’s PR rep, relieving hidden pressure as he shuffles around on the two-thirds of the sofa he’s managing to occupy now, slyly watching Hitoshi out of the corner of his sunshine eyes. As he kicks his legs out even further along the sofa and stretches, Kaminari’s untucked shirt rides up past to show a flash of his hip bones, and Hitoshi starts to sweat just a little in bisexual. “Do you think it’d be into our class?”

“Dunno.” Hitoshi shrugs. “Don’t think about it,” Aizawa tells him at least once a week. “Just keep working toward your goal, and take what comes.” He’s right, as always. But Hitoshi still has to calm his pounding heart. “Doesn’t matter to me.” Of course it does. But don’t think about it.

“Aw c’mon! You’d definitely rather be with us than that bunch of soyboy beta fucks.” Kaminari spits scalding hot tea like they’re having one of Principal Nezu’s classic sit-down-and-get-your-ass-handed-to-you tea parties. Hitoshi can’t help but laugh – snapping him out of a green-eyed spiral that leads nowhere good.

Getting a laugh delights any class clown, and Kaminari’s beaming until Midoriya chips in, “That might be a little harsh. We should be careful not to underestimate them.”

It’s too sincere to begrudge, and perhaps because the joke wasn’t intended for him, Midoriya doesn’t quite get it. He might’ve even been about to launch into a detailed breakdown of exactly how 1-A and B compared by the stats if his phone hadn’t started ringing at that exact moment. After checking the ID, Midoriya bolts to his feet, babbling a panicked “I’vegottagogoodbye ,” and answering with a frantic, “All M–” before getting out of earshot.

“Seriously though.” Kaminari picks one of his legs up, folds it over his knee, bounces it a bit before he pushes himself to sit up a bit straighter, and closer, to Hitoshi. It’s hard to miss that they’re actually alone now, outlasting all the others with places to be. Hitoshi’s certainly where he wants to be, watching Kaminari sweep a lock of canary yellow hair from his face and declare, “You know you want us in 1-A.”

One of them, maybe, Hitoshi dares to think, and it’s not like he hasn’t noticed Kaminari’s all laughter and smiles, the sunshine personality, and maybe that’s why Aizawa loves Mic so much. The people you feel lighter being around.

“Didn’t realise you brought me here for a sales pitch.” Hitoshi goes for wry, and Kaminari suddenly sits up all the way, swiveling around to be very much in the middle of the sofa rather than at the end he started on. Hitoshi wonders if Kaminari knows he’s doing it. Maybe he just doesn’t care.

“Sales pitch? I’m just saying it’s nice hanging out with you, dude.” Like it’s the easiest thing in the world, Kaminari swings his hand out to playfully bat Hitoshi’s shoulder, and a spark comes off his fingertips that makes Hitoshi’s heart race. “Oh sorry, did I getcha?”

Kaminari means the shock, but Hitoshi just narrows his eyes a little, thinking about some advice he was given for moments just like this – and by someone just like this. Don’t go hungry, just eat; enjoy the fruit when it’s ripe, rather than wait and watch it go to waste. Life is there for the living. “Not yet.”

Hitoshi could be wrong, but Kaminari seems all about the living.

It was Sero who hadn’t been able to shut up about how Shinsou had definitely bulked up since the Sports Festival, so really, that made it his fault that Denki was so extra-conscious of that fact that when he casually grabbed Shinsou, Denki was like ‘damn, what?’ Because Shinsou sure didn’t look buff in a school uniform and baggy shirt, and he wasn’t hench or anything, but his arm is dense, like gripping an iron cable.

Denki swallows, mouth dry suddenly, and withdraws the hand to reach for a bottle of soda, whetting his whistle and considering exactly what he wants to do with this time he’s been coveting with Shinsou.

Then Denki concludes that there’s only one thing to be done.

“Hey.” Denki’s about to make an offer he’s certain Shinsou can’t possibly refuse. There’s no way, but just in case Shinsou considers not taking this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Denki sells it with a world-class smile. “Wanna look at memes?”

He’s ridiculous. He’s nonsense and gorgeous and Hitoshi wants to waste time being around him just because it feels good. Shit, this must be why Aizawa loves Mic. A puzzle Hitoshi’s been trying to piece together for ages finally comes together.

Hitoshi’s smiling because Kaminari’s smiling, and it’s a feelgood feedback loop Hitoshi’s in no hurry to get away from. “Yeah, alright.”

The electric eel wriggles immediately, and before he knows it, Hitoshi’s gone from sitting with one arm stretched along the back of the sofa to having Kaminari practically in his armpit. The blonde bombshell whips his phone out, and in seconds has a page full of meme dumps that mean they don’t need to talk or think, they can just be near each other and sweat in the tension. If that’s what it is filling the air, like the high-toned pitch of a radio tuned between stations.

Minutes turn into eternities of scrolling, and Kaminari keeps glancing at Hitoshi instead of the phone screen. When Hitoshi catches him, those lightning eyes flit quickly back to Kaminari’s phone in his palm, where the endless supply of vacuous, stupid-funny don’t-think-about-it jokes go on and on.

So it could as easily have been fifteen years as minutes before Kaminari asks, what feels like outta nowhere, even though everything comes from somewhere, “Hey Shinsou, you’ve gotta be a pretty good kisser, right?”

Whydidwesayitwhydidwesayit whydidwesayit

Denki grabs the part of him that’s freaking out by the scruff and drags it back into line. Okay, first of all: fuck. He was thinking something and then just said it as a way of trying the thought out, only now it’s been said, and Hitoshi’s giving him a look that bubbles more like a jacuzzi than a saucepan of water on the boil.

“I just mean uh–you’re popular with the chicks and, like, a total ladies man and all.”

“You keep saying that.” Hitoshi’s taller than Denki, even sitting down, and it means his eyes are slightly lidded, gaze extra-sleepy when he looks down at Denki. “Any reason?”

“Well… I can just tell, you know?” Denki scoffs, but his chest is butterflies and he really wanted to be Shinsou’s friend, but this is turning into an extra-friendly kinda friend. “I’ve got an eye for a ladykiller.” But then Hitoshi gives him this look, and Denki thinks he tastes his trainers in his mouth again. Or maybe it’s something else, a flavour Denki doesn’t quite recognise yet.

Denki’s not sure when Hitoshi’s arm went from being mostly on the sofa to on the sofa but also just touching the back of Denki’s shoulders; but Denki’s meant to be the electric one, so why is every hair on his body standing on end? Someone hook that shit up to a generator, because right now it’s so super-charged Denki could probably power all of Tokyo

Shinsou tips his head very slightly, looking with more intention at Denki than the phone screen scrolling endless stupid imagedumps and lolfails in front of them. They’ve tumbled into a ghostly quietness that haunts the deserted common room during the height of the dinner rush; everyone else was hungry, and Denki’s hungry too— starving, actually, but he can’t possibly move.

Not when Shinsou’s looking over Kaminari like a menu, intense violet gaze scanning the day’s specials. It feels like a long time, but is really only a couple of moments before Shinsou just straight-up says, “Wanna find out?”

“What?” Denki’s too hot and cold at the same time, sweating like a pig on trial for eating bacon. Is that his pulse thumping in his ears? He might not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but it sounds kinda like Shinsou just asked if Denki wants to find out if Shinsou’s a good kisser. “Like just, uh– for practice, yeah? Just trading techniques, one dude to another.”

Denki’s not looking at the memes anymore, either, and lets his phone fall down onto his knee. There’s no one else around, or if they are, they’re staying well away. Denki wonders if Shinsou would even care—it’s not like he seems particularly bothered by what anyone thinks of him. It’s pretty hot.

“If that’s what you want.” Shinsou’s got a voice like hot chocolate on a cold winter’s day, and even now it’s twisty and smart and so him. Flipping things back around, so Denki’s got to put some cash in the pot himself and just admit to what he’s hinting at.

“I mean, if you’re okay with it,” Denki babbles, feeling like they’re very out in the open to be cuddled up on one of the sofas together with Shinsou’s arm now fully draped around Denki’s shoulders like a slinky siamese cat. “Y’know, like… kissing a dude.” Ohhhhhhhhh he said it. He did it again and said the thing in his head that probably didn’t need to have been out loud.

Shinsou keeps looking straight at Denki, and it’s like the pause at the top of a huge drop on a roller coaster. The bit where they’ve finished climbing the hill, just before the cart rolls forward and gravity kicks in, and Denki finds himself thinking ‘hey, this thing’s pretty tall.’

No such doubts seem to materialise in Shinsou’s face. In fact, his gaze dives down to Denki’s mouth, and then comes back up again. “Doesn’t bother me.”

This was not what Denki had been planning when he first started sending Shinsou dumb internet jokes.

“Oh really? Great, uh–” Denki’s about to start yammering on about whether Shinsou knows this from having kissed other dudes before – or if it’s just more of like a conceptual thing that they’re gonna keep talking around to get used to the idea – when the point becomes moot.

Chapter Text

Hitoshi kisses Kaminari because Kaminari just about begs him to, and it’s one thing burning with a desire for the unattainable to realise liking guys is a thing, and another to find a boy who looks at Hitoshi longingly and actually wants to kiss him and is within reach; because that’s better than any couple of birds in the never-gonna-happen bush.

So rather than think about it a moment longer, Hitoshi addresses the great invisible question mark hanging over Kaminari’s head in the most practical way possible.

It’s been a while since Hitoshi kissed anyone – not much of a priority when he was busy working his ass off to get into UA at any cost. This is his first time kissing a guy, too, and it's both familiar and different; to say nothing of the fleeting buzz between their lips that’s got to be Kaminari’s quirk. Most importantly, it feels like exactly what Hitoshi needs right now.

Kaminari’s as electric to touch as he is to talk to, soft lips that thrum with as much energy in chatter as when Hitoshi presses his own to them. This isn’t what Hitoshi had in mind when he thought he’d take his teacher’s stupid good advice and actually give 1-A a chance to get to know him better. Hitoshi just hadn’t figured he would be getting to know them this well.

No complaints, though.

Shinsou kisses like a ladies man and a man’s man had a double-threat bisexual lovechild. Denki’s been on a cold streak recently, but not anymore, if dudes count now. And if they’re Shinsou, then it seems like they very definitely do count.

Denki remembers a little later than he’s proud to admit that he was supposed to be showing this guy a thing or two as well. Denki can’t just bring this handsome face and hilarious memes to the table. Sitting up straighter, Denki uses a sort of pushy tilt to plant his mouth on Shinsou’s mouth more fully, and then Denki opens his mouth.

Whereas Denki might be patient and expect to woo a girl a little before she unlocks her lips, Shinsou’s already there. Denki ends up feeling like he’s the one who just got bum-rushed, barely catching up with this being a thing that’s happening. Get with the program, idiot, and show this dude how it’s done.

When Shinsou rolls his tongue along the velvet edge of Denki’s, their mouths fill with the metallic tang of Denki’s quirk. Shinsou pulls back with a breath that’s hot and then cool on Denki’s damp lips, and maybe Denki’s doing okay if he can make someone pant like that – all the poise and composure replaced in Shinsou’s face with a heavy-lidded look that kicks out too much heat to be taken for sleepy. At least, that’s the way Denki reads it, based on the way Shinsou tightens that iron cable arm around Denki’s back and quietly says, “Kissing you is like licking a battery.”

Denki’s not thinking. Fair, he never thought that much to begin with – though he’s working on it – but now he’s really super not thinking further than how long it might be until him and Shinsou kiss again. Soon, he hopes.

“And that’s a… good thing?” Maybe people like licking batteries? Denki doesn’t have the humility to explain this only happens when he’s particularly excited while getting his mack on. That really it’s a compliment, because it means Denki’s into this when they were just meant to be casual dudes-showing-dudes how they kiss type of thing. Wow, Denki sounds really ridiculous even in his own head. Good thing Shinsou can’t read minds.

If only Denki could read minds, though, so he might know what’s going on in that purple-tufted noggin contemplating him right now. Shinsou lets out a thoughtful “Hmmm,” as if he’s truly considering whether he likes the sparky electricity taste of kissing Denki.

So just to be sure, Shinsou dips in for another taste.

Denki didn’t actually expect to get ideas for ways he could smooch on ladies from Shinsou (well, maybe a few), but his knees are like jelly right now. If it works this well on Denki, there’s no telling what it’d do to a girl. He should be taking notes or something.

Instead of taking notes, Denki takes hold of the front of Shinsou’s shirt and pulls, like he can get them any closer without wriggling into Shinsou’s lap. But there’s an idea.

A wave of energy sparks from Denki’s head to his toes, and he fidgets to realign himself even closer over Shinsou, like picking up iron filings with magnetism. The hand gripping Shinsou’s shirt rises to hook around his neck, and Denki pulls the distressingly tall (even if the last few inches are all hair) cool-guy down to his level.

Denki’s got a dude to impress with his incredible makeout skills.

Kaminari’s got a tongue like an electric eel and what feels like absolutely no inhibitions. Hitoshi certainly doesn’t care about making out with a guy in the common room of the 1-A dorms, but he might have expected Kaminari to give a shit. The shaky-footed way they led into this didn’t make it seem like making out with dudes is something Kaminari’s used to doing, not if this is supposedly ‘practice’ for the fairer sex. Whatever floats his boat, honestly. Hitoshi’s just here for a good time.

Not being straight is a reality that pretty much anyone would have to come to terms with after spending as much time around Aizawa as Hitoshi does. Even if he’d been slow to see it at first, Hitoshi’s role model couldn’t be any more of a raging queer if he tried (and Hitoshi reckons Aizawa hasn’t tried once to be anything that he’s not). So there’s a point at which Hitoshi confronting his own sexuality just became inevitable. Especially if Mic’s in the vicinity, more flaming than a gasoline fire as the two teachers bring out the best (and worst) in each other. It’s amazing Hitoshi never saw it before, but that’s how gay awakenings go – sometimes little by little, sometimes all-at-fucking-once.

This is just the proof. Not that Hitoshi needed the proof, after sweating more than enough over the thought of what his teachers did behind closed doors to know that yeah, he’s definitely not straight. But it’s still… affirming, at least. And Kaminari sure doesn’t seem to mind.

When Kaminari’s fingers slide like a serpent over warm sand to bury in the hair at the back of Hitoshi’s neck, ‘not minding’ is upgraded to ‘I’m gonna fucking melt’. Because Kaminari talks a hot game and seems determined to back it up as much as he’s backing himself into Hitoshi’s lap. Hitoshi doesn’t know if this is a contest or a relay race, but it surely doesn’t matter, as long as it keeps being everything Hitoshi needs right now.

Kaminari’s fingers clench in Hitoshi’s hair, so he only realises he’s being held by the scruff like a kitten in its mother's mouth when Kaminari pulls away and Hitoshi can’t chase him, coming up against the gentle tug on the back of his head while a wowed breath escapes his mouth. Kaminari evades the hungry way Hitoshi comes after him, turning until his mouth is so close to Hitoshi’s neck that he can feel the words as much as he hears them. “Still like licking this battery?”

Hitoshi doesn’t make it to words, more of a groany “Uhugh,” as Kaminari’s mouth brushes his throat, sending a pulse of current through his entire nervous system. When Kaminari’s lips make full contact, followed moments later with the conductive wet of his mouth, Hitoshi swears he feels the electricity through the singing iron in his blood. He’s humming all over, like a highly-charged machine that swallows a city’s worth of electricity just to switch on. But Kaminari’s got volts to spare.

Kaminari takes necking quite literally, and Hitoshi keeps involuntarily twitching as the sparks fly through his nerves. His arm coil tighter around Kaminari’s broader guy-shoulders and he tries not to make any explicitly embarrassing noises. Kaminari mouths Hitoshi’s pulse like he’s checking Hitoshi’s heart rate. About a thousand beats per minute, it feels like.

Forget licking the battery, Hitoshi’s just about ready to stick his tongue in the outlet.

Denki’s starting to feel much more accomplished with himself, going by the way Shinsou’s writhing when Denki gives him the tingly-mouth on all of that long, kissable neck. Not everyone’s into it, but there’s things Denki can do with his quirk – intentional or not – that only really apply in contexts like this.

But that, obviously, leads Denki into thinking about the stone-cold knockout who’s currently shuddering with his earlobe between Denki’s teeth about now. Because what about Shinsou’s quirk.

The problem with Denki’s thoughts is that they bounce around in his head like a ricocheting bullet, and a bullet has got to hit something sooner or later. It’s only ever really a question of time before he stops sucking Shinsou’s earlobe and blurts, “You ever use your quirk during stuff like this?”

Shinsou actually laughs, more of a chuckle, really, but it’s magnetic and shakes Denki all over, reminding him of how tangled up together they are. “You’re into it?”

Quirkplay, it’s referred to in the rather extensive categories on various pornsites. Not all quirks have to be useful for anything Heroic, and Denki’s found some truly alarming convergences of fucky quirks for pornstars. And Shinsou’s quirk is crazy powerful in just about every way possible, so it’s not Denki’s fault he’s a curious little slut.

“Hey man, I’ll try anything once,” he murmurs hopefully, and that’s all it takes – the response Shinsou needs to lock down with his quirk – for Denki to be pushed onto what feels like a mattress of pure dark matter.

Being under the control of Shinsou’s quirk is bizarre, like Denki’s totally aware and still receiving messages from all senses inwards, he just can’t send anything out. An unplugged charger, disconnected from the outlet. But that doesn’t mean there’s no one powering the machine.

Denki was never sure if Shinsou has to tell people what to do while they’re being brainwashed, whether they’ll just stay frozen like zombies when he’s taken control and given no further instruction. Turns out that’s not the case, because it’s without even a whisper of verbal command that Denki watches his own hand adjust to take an even firmer grip of Shinsou’s extremely grabbable hair, forming a fist that clenches close to the scalp, full of confidence that’s nothing to do with Denki.

Because if it’s Shinsou making Denki do this, the guy must be into it. So it’s insanely hot, Denki feeling himself pull harder on Shinsou’s hair while his mouth dives right back down to the base of Shinsou’s skyscraper neck. It’s exactly what Denki wants already, so there’s something even more incredible about the way the hands-all-over control of Shinsou’s quirk suddenly empowers him to fulfil wild desires in ways he’s never imagined possible.

All of a sudden – like, just when he’s getting into it – Denki feels the powerful grip of Shinsou’s quirk fade away, like the weight of a body lifting from a pinned wrestler, and the question: “You good?”

Hell yeah,” Denki replies with an unmanly huff, “Keep go–” and cuts off as Shinsou pulls him back into delicious submission.

Hitoshi doesn’t know why he expected any less. Girls in the past have usually waited until at least a second ‘date’ before asking Hitoshi about his quirk when they’re getting hot and heavy. But Kaminari’s so direct, it makes sense he bolts for what he wants the first chance he gets. He’ll get no objections from Hitoshi, who’s more than happy to play puppetmaster and show a person exactly what he wants them to do to him.

With Kaminari, Hitoshi wants to feel the guy’s fist in his hair, the lightning sensation on his scalp and tingle of Kaminari’s tongue as it presses over Hitoshi’s pulse. He wants to go into cardiac arrest and have Kaminari shock his heartbeat back into action, to have been legally dead for a minute before being revived with an electrifying kiss. This must be why Hitoshi was given the advice to just fool around and not worry about finding big everlasting love – because it’s fun to mess around, and it doesn’t have to be the beginning of one thing or the end of another.

By taking someone into his control, Hitoshi can show them he wants it rougher than they'd ever have the confidence to show upfront, not without Hitoshi’s liberating willpower to shore up just how alright everything is. It’s just one of the awesome things about being in charge from the back.

While Kaminari had been fairly careful about not mouthing Hitoshi’s neck hard enough to leave a mark, Hitoshi truly doesn’t care; he makes Kaminari go back and suck harder, inching the pressure up until an amazingly obvious hickey must form, but it’s right where Hitoshi’s weakest for that wet, tingly pressure and it feels so good he doesn’t want to stop.

And although it’s not actually about showing each other how they’d mack on girls anymore, Hitoshi’s still got one more trick up his sleeve for Kaminari. Hitoshi wants to show him, but just in case, it costs nothing to give the guy another tap-out.

Hitoshi’s barely lifted his quirk and started, “Still go–” when Kaminari’s panting, “Yeah,” with a guttural sound that’s just great in Hitoshi’s ear. He loves when people are needy about crawling back into the embrace of his quirk, and it’s even hotter hearing them say it.

Hitoshi takes Kaminari back into his power, the familiar feeling of connection to another mind like the spring of a mousetrap. Slowly, Hitoshi brings up Kaminari’s chin to face him without touching – without needing to touch – steadying them both eye-to-eye, nose-to-nose, just drowning in the want. Hitoshi feels struggle in the ghostly hold of his quirk over Kaminari, but he also sees the truth in those gold medal ‘you won the jackpot’ eyes. Just how much Kaminari wants it, even though he can’t move, excitement and thrill like a dog with a biscuit balanced on the end of its nose.

After a moment of bittersweet agony: “Okay,” Hitoshi murmurs while a smile works his lips, also about to get his treat. “Now.”

Hitoshi can tell when the person he’s brainwashing also wants to do what he wants them to – their lack of resistance giving his quirk more of a green-light than needing to force them against their will, which he can feel like the flicker of a flame behind a glass guard.

So it’s an extra layer of validating when Kaminari lurches forward, his arms slipping into a tight loop around Hitoshi’s neck, and kisses any remaining sense out of him.

Denki’s going to be wanking over this for weeks.

And that’s weird, it’s actually a lot of new feelings that Denki wasn’t prepared to stumble across all at once. But he does know that the kinky applications of Shinsou’s quirk are practically limitless, so until he’s done messing around with that, all the other shit can wait.

It’s actually super confusing, the tangle of Denki feeling himself do the things he wants to do, but every once in a while Shinsou steers him some other way, and it’s this sick delight that makes Denki’s knees weak all over again. The control-not-in-control mind games Shinsou takes to a whole other level. There isn’t a chance Denki can stand up in a hurry after this, and wow, he really doesn’t want to self-own by coming in his pants in the common room. Super uncool.

That means when the dreamland kiss-of-gods kiss that Shinsou orchestrates between them comes to an end, and Denki feels those groping hands come off the steering wheel in his head, the first thing Denki does is take a deep, don’t-cream-your-pants breath and say, “Wow, you really are a good kisser.”

Shinsou’s got a smile like a walk through woodlands during rain, dry under the canopy but still hearing the patter against the leaves. “Not so bad yourself.”

A familiar sensation tickles Denki’s ear, the forewarning before Hitoshi’s crotch starts vibrating underneath him. If this were a gameshow, perhaps it'd be the buzzer to remind Denki he’s literally climbed into Shinsou’s lap, and might need to back it up a bit if Shinsou’s gonna answer that call.

Shinsou doesn’t seem super thrilled at the distraction. In fact, he moves pretty damn stiffly himself as he fumbles to get out his phone. But Denki’s taking the time-out while he’s got it. This was a lot of guy-kissing to go for all at once, and Denki’s not even sure it’s got anything to do with girls anymore. In fact, kissing Shinsou feels like it’s got nothing to do with girls.

“This better be an emergency,” Shinsou answers with an impressively grumpy deadpan, while the blinder of a love bite Shinsou just made Denki give him practically shines. “I’m fine. Just tell her I’m busy with a friend from school.”

More like getting busy, Denki thinks without letting that particular pony escape the paddock of his mouth.

Shinsou’s eyes start to roll while he listens to whoever’s on the other end of the call – and Denki’s no expert, but the electric signal feels an awful lot like his teacher’s, at a wild guess. “Soon, alright? Yeah.” A short pause, and then if Shinsou is talking to Aizawa, they’re on a whole other level. “Fuck you.” Denki watches a grin lift the corners of a mouth he was just smooching, and thinks ‘oh I’ve got it bad before Shinsou concludes, “Bye” and hangs up.

They’re left in a cicada-chirping silence that threatens to become awkward, which Denki fills with the first thing he can think of. “It’s weird that you don’t live in the dorms.” This is possibly the dumbest first-thought-out-his-mouth thing for Denki to blurt, because really, what it means is ‘ too bad you don’t live in the dorms ’. The girls sleep in a separate part of the building, but the boys sure don’t.

Shinsou seems amused, and Denki wonders if their minds both went to the same dirty place. “Maybe I will, one day.”

Denki lights up, because that is totally a possibility, and he’s already doing negotiations in his head with how he could get Koda to swap rooms to one of the empties so Shinsou could be Denki’s neighbour. Or maybe he’s coming on a little strong. This is just a lot of newness at once.

“I actually do have to go,” Hitoshi finds himself admitting with more regret than he’d expected to conclude this little social experiment with 1-A. But it’s not like he’d gone into this ‘study group’ expecting makeouts either, so it wasn’t fair to judge Hitoshi by the expectations he had at the start. How’s he supposed to resist a guy like Kaminari? Not easily, that's for sure.

Kaminari looks so crestfallen that Hitoshi would literally call up his Ma and explain that sorry, but he can't come home tonight. She'd probably assume it was Aizawa’s influence and show up to wallop his mentor and lead Hitoshi home by the ear – and not only would it be chronically embarrassing, but Hitoshi's ears have already been nibbled on today, and he'd quite like to let the feeling last.

But goddam those honey puppy eyes, Hitoshi can wait a little longer. “But I suppose we’ve got time for a few more memes.”

If it didn’t make Kaminari so happy, Hitoshi wouldn’t have said it. But of course this delights the internet gremlin, squirming to pick up his phone and amazingly managing to tangle himself even more determinedly with Hitoshi in the process. Like Hitoshi can’t leave if Kaminari wraps around all his limbs like an octopus and doesn’t let him stand up. Hitoshi appreciates the effort.

Kaminari brings his phone back up between them, but the thing is, Hitoshi’s not really interested in the memes anymore.

Hitoshi’s more into the way this diversion turns Kaminari’s face back to the front, because there’s much better things to do than look at memes right now. Like nestling his nose through Kaminari’s hair – perhaps from the static, Hitoshi feels Kaminari’s hair seeming to cling to his jaw as he nuzzles to seek out a shell-like ear.

Kaminari lets out a sound that’s kind of a keyboard mash, a “sldhfksdjhfksdj” while he wriggles so urgently in Hitoshi’s lap that they’ll be having themselves a situation soon. Like a full-blown situation rather than a manageable semi-situation. Hitoshi reminds himself he’s supposed to be leaving, then after another wiggle on his crotch, conks himself around the back of the head with his own libido and decides to stay longer. Make Aizawa have to come and drag Hitoshi away. (The look on his face, Hitoshi imagines with glee.)

But unfortunately, no such happy ending is coming Hitoshi’s way. The sound of footsteps and Midoriya’s voice precedes his speeding back into view, and after a moment of flash-frozen consideration, Kaminari shifts onto the sofa next to Shinsou rather than keep up his octopus act.

If Hitoshi were a less moral guy, he’d use his quirk to turn Midoriya straight back out that door and have Kaminari climb back into his lap for afters. But Hitoshi only rarely gets what he wants – he’s used to delayed gratification.

“Sorry for leaving so suddenly like that, I just had to talk to, uh… I was, my–”

Midoriya’s babbling. It could be because Hitoshi and Kaminari recently moved from being extremely close to only being very close to one another, or it could be the huge hickey on Hitoshi's neck that he didn't have before, or it could just be Midoriya’s natural state of being.

“I was actually just about to go.” Hitoshi stands up to make it seem authentic, and in all honesty, he doesn’t want to sit and make nice with Midoriya when he wants to be making out with Kaminari. If he can’t have that, then going is easier than staying.

“I’ll–!” Kaminari bolts up like he’s shocked himself, acting first and thinking later. “– walk you to the gate.”

“Sure,” Hitoshi scoffs because he’s not some middle-school girl whose books Kaminari needs to carry on the way home from school. But it’s as good an excuse as any. “Bye, Midoriya,” Hitoshi presses with the sharp force of a thumbtack on a new cork board, making it absolutely clear that this is an invitation-only walk to the gates, and Hitoshi’s already at max capacity.

“Oh, uh… goodbye, I guess.” Midoriya seems disappointed, and truly Hitoshi feels for him (well, kinda) even though Midoriya wanting something isn’t actually a reason he should have it—at least not if it’s contrary to what Hitoshi wants. Which is Kaminari. So sorry, Midoriya, but you’re out.

A quick grab for Kaminari’s wrist shoots up sparks, the tingle running up Hitoshi’s arm like an electric mouse (one particular in mind). Hitoshi just barely falls short of dragging Kaminari out by the hand. But by the time they’re outside the dorms, Hitoshi’s fingers have slipped, until his and Kaminari’s almost intertwine, a touch that lingers much longer than it needs to as they walk into the fresh evening air. The hold is finally broken when Kaminari swings his hands up to rest behind his head.

“Sooooo… it was great hanging out with you, dude,” Kaminari remarks easily, but Hitoshi’s starting to reckon Kaminari’s a little over-easy to cover up for being flustered – that blush in his neck has to come from somewhere.

“Yeah.” A satisfied smile plays around Hitoshi’s lips. “It wasn’t all bad.”

“Oh come on, you liked it!” Kaminari insists like he’ll be crushed if a single person ever finishes spending time with him without having the greatest night of his life. Something tells Hitoshi a night with Kaminari would be great – maybe even one of the best.

“I liked parts of it,” Hitoshi replies with a sideways look that he hopes will achieve a certain impact.

The rise of Kaminari’s blush up his neck like the mercury in a thermometer is a good sign it’s working.

Denki’s clammier than a seafood broth, and if Shinsou would stop flirting with him for a minute then Denki might be able to regain some of his cool and actually be able to do it back. If that’s even what they’re doing. Which… they are. They’re flirting. Oh no, but also – oh yes?

Not to mention they were practically holding hands a minute ago – if Denki’s palms hadn’t unleashed a salty tide of nervous sweat that had him finding something, anything to do with them to avoid Shinsou finding that out the moist way (even if what he wanted was to keep holding Shinsou’s hand).

Denki feels like he took one look at Shinsou and came stumbling out of the closet still clutching a bunch of mops and brooms, blinking in the sunlight realising that maybe, just maybe, there’s more of a reason to be kissing dudes than practice for girls. Really, the girls Denki’s kissed have been practice for Shinsou. Denki could’ve gone into that kiss-fight totally unprepared, and this time only just escaped with his life and virtue intact.

Shinsou seems content to walk in silence, but it makes Denki all the more and more aware of the quiet, the absence of external noise just amplifying the natter of his internal voice – right now, it’s mostly spitting “ wekissedhim–likealotanditwasgood–likecrazygoodandthat’sgaybutcanwedoitagain?” and that’s a conversation not going anywhere but round in a circle, like a dog chasing its tail.

Denki needs something to say that’s not 1) stupid 2) embarassing or 3) both of those things, and that writes out the vast majority of thoughts that are currently circling inside his head like a flock of panicked pigeons. It’s weird for Denki to find himself tongue-tied, and if they were talking in messages and not in meatspace, Denki knows what he’d do. But there’s no real-life equivalent for spamming memes, and it means Denki’s got sweet fuck all.

Somehow, this all leads up to the next thing Denki says being, “So can I send you memes again?”

Shinsou’s got this laugh that makes Denki feel like he won a gameshow. Maybe because it’s rare, and that makes it all the more precious. Denki gets why Shinsou feels like he has to be on his guard around them, but that only means Denki wants to immediately get past any perimeter – to be in Shinsou’s inner circle at the earliest possible opportunity. That’s pretty much what Denki wants from most people he meets, but especially Shinsou. “Is it that important to you?”

“Why do you hate fun?!” Denki spurts accusingly, and it’s stupid – so stupid – but at least they can keep interacting normally, mostly squabbling, if they’re arguing about memes.

“You’ve got a weird idea of fun.” But Denki sees his opportunity.

“Didn’t catch you complaining about my idea of fun earlier,” Denki delivers like a taser-shock, his shoulder bumping Shinsou’s… arm, too much height difference between them to make it shoulder-to-shoulder. But even if Shinsou’s got some inches on Denki, with a few fast words, Denki’s hoping to get Shinsou back the way Shinsou’s been getting him.

Maybe it’s working, because Shinsou doesn’t look so cool and collected anymore, maybe even a little flush-faced as he mumbles, “Guess not.” He didn’t get that absolute welt of a hickey from nowhere.

The intimacy of the moment arrives like an unexpected houseguest, because catching Shinsou with a flirt means connecting — that he’s run out of cool-guy composure and they’re both just kinda falling over themselves about this whole thing. Maybe that’s why Denki waterfall-mouths a hesitant, “Even if it was only practice.”

It feels safer, and maybe even – Denki doesn’t know what he’s doing, but if he puts something out there – Shinsou might counter him, say no that’s wrong, and it was more. Denki doesn’t know if it was, but he doesn’t know how to express the confusion anymore than he’s able to grab a handful of fog.

Maybe Shinsou’s not sure either; he just walks with his hands in his pockets, looking down at the ground with an echoing, “Practice, right.”

Denki feels like an idiot, but what’s new?

“Wellllllllyuhh–yunno not like it’s weird or anything to kiss guys, right? I mean,” Denki gibbers nervously, hating the way he’s let the conversation steer and wanting to bring it back on track. “A mouth’s a mouth, amiright?”

Shinsou warms like an evening breeze heavy with summer heat, stopping just after they pass the UA gates to stand by the echoing quiet roadside. “In that case…” Without excuses, calling the spade a fucking spade, Hitoshi pins Kaminari first with a look, then a question. “You wanna make out?”

“Oh mygod yes –”

Hitoshi’s hit by an electric blur, like a current has just gone through Kaminari that makes him stick to Hitoshi like static cling. The force to pull them apart would certainly have to be massive, because there’s almost no power in the world that would make Hitoshi want to back his mouth away from Kaminari’s right now.

The first time hadn’t been shy by any meaning of the word, but what happens now makes their earlier kiss seem like a chaste peck on the lips. This time there’s nothing between zero and a hundred thousand miles per hour, just grabby hands and deep tongues that might not be glamorous, but Hitoshi swears there’s sparks between this teeth as Kaminari snogs like it’s about to be banned.

Hitoshi doesn’t go for any mess with his quirk this time, not coherent enough to be composed – he can barely control himself right now, much less anybody else.

Getting a good long taste of this battery, Hitoshi finally breaks the kiss, but only to mouth his way along Kaminari’s jawline until he reaches the hollow where it runs into neck. Sucks hard enough to mark—let 1-A see and wonder or work it out for themselves. Let them judge and see how much Hitoshi cares. Not nearly as much as he cares about Kaminari’s hand working its way back up into Hitoshi’s hair, waiting to be pulled like he’s been shown and yeah —that’s perfect.

Hitoshi doesn’t notice the car pulling up alongside the pavement where he and Kaminari are making out hard against the UA perimeter wall. He doesn’t even notice when the window slides down, and is more about the incredible feeling of Kaminari’s legs on either side of Hitoshi’s thigh, shifting a knee between Kaminari’s knees that’s pretty much the next-door-neighbour to outright grinding. Which would’ve been up soon, had Hitoshi’s attention not definitely been attracted by the voice of his mother announcing, “Get in the car, Hitoshi.”

Kaminari leaps off Hitoshi as if thrown by his own shock, and Hitoshi sees his Ma sitting there behind the wheel with the car window rolled down, wearing a grin that couldn’t be less subtle if she’d arranged for the words “I TOLD YOU SO” to be written across the sky in an airplane’s trail.

“Ah… looks like my ride is here,” Hitoshi announces with a sham of the cool he’s definitely lost, but Kaminari looks so panicked that he wants to reassure the poor guy somehow.

Hitoshi had kinda thought he’d get a bigger window between his first kiss with a guy and his Ma knowing about it, but he’s never been good at keeping that stuff from her anyway – not least because she’s got a nose for it like a bloodhound. Doesn’t judge – at least, not yet – but still interested, wanting to be informed rather than kept out of the loop of Hitoshi’s comings-and-goings, and inevitably worrying. Because what she knows truly can’t hurt her as much as the fearsome unknown.

“Oh… h-hi, Mrs. Shinsou.” Kaminari seems to be running on autopilot, and Hitoshi finds it cute. Of course he turns around and introduces himself as a matter of fact, even short-circuited with horny makeout haze and then slapped out of it like a whack ‘round the face with a wet fish. “I’m… uhhh– Kaminari Denki, nice to meet you.”

Props to Kaminari for staying the course after being caught with his tongue more or less down Hitoshi’s throat upon meeting Ma. Hell of a first impression to make.

Hitoshi’s Ma swings her gaze from Kaminari to Shinsou with a look of knowing that feels like a pile of lawsuits – an “ oh I see now” that spares no mercy. “Lovely to meet you, sweetheart,” she tells Kaminari, looking back to him for just a moment before returning to Hitoshi. “Get in the car.”

“Aizawa didn’t say you were coming to pick me up.” Hitoshi shifts blame as if it’s Aizawa’s job to do that, which it isn’t, but Aizawa texts Hitoshi’s Ma enough that he could’ve.

“You didn’t check your messages.” His Ma turns back to face the front, and with a much firmer edge insists, “Now, Hitoshi.”

Hitoshi swings round to face Kaminari. “You heard her: I gotta go.”

“Alright, man, well…” There’s definitely nothing they can do now, in front on Hitoshi’s Ma, that will cut this awkward tension. Or so Hitoshi thinks. “It was great hanging out with you.”

Kaminari presents his palm facing up, fingers almost fully unfurled. It takes Hitoshi a second to recognise, then he smiles.

“Yeah.” Hitoshi brings his hand down on top of Kaminari’s to high-five. “See ya round.”

Hitoshi gets into the car before his Ma starts getting fed up, and can’t help a truly satisfied smile even if he sorta-supposedly just got busted. Except it’s the kinda thing she’s always going on at him to do more of – maybe not in exactly this specific way, but the general ‘go out and enjoy yourself, be young’ insistence. Hitoshi knows she thinks he’s growing up too fast, but Hitoshi doesn’t have a measure for this stuff: he just is.

Maybe his Ma’s wondering what Hitoshi is too, because it’s only a minute or two into the drive that she opens with, “So is this a thing where you like boys now, or…”

The way she says it is funny, somehow. Sounds more innocent than it is, slightly ill-fitting and awkward around words like gay and straight.

“I can like both,” Hitoshi returns in the easy shorthand terms, leaning back in his seat and feeling the buzz of his phone in his pocket.

HItoshi’s got a pretty good idea who it is.

Electric6: its us

SH: if you say so

Electric6: or is it more like

SH: ur trash

Electric6: i bet u say that to all the boys


“Phone down, Kaminari,” Aizawa calls across the classroom, and the distracted student zaps to guilty attention.

Aizawa’s not the most observant when it comes to the personal lives of his students, but when Hitoshi’s Ma sent him a picture last night of her son with a hickey like he’d been throat-punched and the caption “know anything about this?” Aizawa really didn’t have to reach too far for an answer. The matching marks – not quite as hideous as Hitoshi’s, but noticeable – high up on Kaminari’s neck just confirm it.

Aizawa feels like he ought to have seen it coming when Kaminari asked for Hitoshi’s phone number, but hindsight’s always 20/20.

Truly, Aizawa’s only got himself to blame.