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Paper Airplanes

Chapter Text

Listless eyes stared unseeing at the colors dancing over the tv screen, pulling towards the window of the room. The boy who owned the bored green eyes sat up, playing habitually with the mask over his face. As long as it was on, he could open the window right? Mom might fret, tell him off because it’s spring, which is allergy season. All warm weather is allergy season, all cold weather is sickness season. But as long as the mask was on, he could open the window and let in the fresh air, right? Yeah, she wouldn’t get mad as long as he kept his mouth and nose covered.

The small boy slid from his superhero adorned covers, padding towards the window. It was a bit of a fight to wiggle his fingers under the windowsill just right, but once he had enough of a grip, he shoved it up and open. Grabbing the chair that usually sat next to his bed, he dragged it to the window. Kneeling on it, the boy pushed the window open higher and stuck his face outside, eyes closed, taking a deep filtered breath. The sun hit Izuku’s freckled face, the slight breeze ruffling the moss green curls crowning his head. Under the mask, he smiled, enjoying the fresh air and warmth of the sun. His eyes watered slightly, but it could’ve been worse honestly.

Crossing his arms, Izuku settled down in the chair, resting a cheek on his wrists as his fingers played with the raised plastic of the window. The window screen was supposed to sit here, but it’d been ripped to shreds during a really bad thunderstorm (one he remembers not-so-fondly because it was scary), so his Mom had popped it out and promised to replace it. He hoped she never would. This was the closest he ever gets to being outside. Without the screen, he had just a little more taste of freedom than normal when he opened the window. However, he couldn’t see the world. He understood, from the television, there was an entire world outside his house, but something blocked his view. A fence. Large and wooden, almost three times the height of the boy himself.

He craned his neck to stare up, eyeing the top of the fence. Each plank sloped to a point, prison bars that held and entire world behind it. He let out a soft noise of disappointment, turning to look back at his television. For a moment, he watched one of the commercials playing, aching to see what the world beyond holds. The commercial, disappointingly enough, was a young boy almost Izuku’s age staring at a fence much like his own. Sighing, he pouted, annoyed by the idea that even when he wanted to see more, he couldn’t. But then the commercial boy started to scribble on papers, fold them up into little airplanes, and throw them over the fence. Izuku turned to stare up at the fence with wide eyes, then whipped around to watch the television again. The boy had letters in the form of paper airplanes being thrown back to him by a man on the other side of the fence.

Before the commercial was even done, Izuku had scrambled off the chair. He grabbed his crayons and pieces of paper and spread them out on the floor, green eyes glowing with life that had previously been absent. He laid out on his stomach and grabbed a green crayon, looking it over before nodding. Green would be a good introduction to the world beyond, he was very green himself after all! So he got to scribbling, remembering the words his Mom taught him. He was so very careful of the spelling, talking to himself as he sounded out the words he knew. His name gave him a little trouble, always did, but that was okay, because he got the note right the very first time! Even with a little crayon smear and rewritten words that were too messed up to save.

Izuku sat back, holding it up as he read it, grinning. Glancing back at the television, he realized, with a severe pang of sadness, that he didn’t know how to make the paper look like an airplane. How was he going to get it over the fence now? The distress settled in, tears brimming under his green eyes as he sobbed under the mask, sitting back hard on the floor. How could he see the boy do it, surely he could learn if he watched right? Wait! The remote. Izuku scrambled to his feet and grabbed the remote, rewinding the television until he got back to that commercial. Plopping right in front of the tv, he practiced with unused pieces of paper, his note too special to practice on. When he was sure, absolutely sure, that he could fold paper into an airplane that not only looked good, but could fly too, he plotted to turn the note into a plane too. Reading it one last time, he smiled at his handiwork.

‘Hello! My name is Izuku Midoriya and I’m seven. My favourite color is green, and I want to know about the world past the fence. My room only looks at the fence, but there has to be something past it, right? If someone’s past the fence, can you tell me about it? Pretty please?”

Folding it as he’d practiced, Izuku paid extreme attention to the details, making crisp folds. Once it was done, he tossed it across his room and had to cover his masked mouth to stifle a happy squeal. It flew! All the way across the room! Izuku had no doubt it could make it over the fence now. He bolted over to where it’d slid against the doorway and snatched up the note. Returning to the window, he clambered onto the chair and leaned out the window, looking up at the top of the fence. Tongue stuck out in concentration, he took a deep breath, aimed, and threw!

Izuku watched with bated breath and sparkling green eyes as the airplane flew towards the sky, passing over a cloud. It hovered, before it fell, Izuku’s excitement with it. What if it didn’t make it over the fence? He bit his lip, following it with his gaze until it disappeared. Behind the fence. He did it! Now all he had to do was hope and pray that whoever found it would send him a note back, right? He dropped his head to the windowsill, begging for a reply, before he slid off the chair. Dinner time would be soon, he had to focus on that for now. Perhaps when he returned, there’d be a note? Maybe? Or, probably, the person on the other side of the fence would be eating dinner too, surely others ate dinner at the same time he did.

Trotting from the room with a skip in his step, he tugged down the mask and ran to the living room. He found his Mom cooking and screamed happily, startling her as he hugged her. She was so pretty, with green hair and eyes that matched Izuku’s, but instead of being a curly mess it was so silky and straight. She laughed and ruffled his hair, holding him close for a second before tugging the mask back up over his mouth.

“Izuku, baby, please keep that on. You’re still recovering remember?” Izuku pouted under the mask as she stroked his head, but the tickle of a cough was there. He choked it down, refusing to give in and make her suspicious about the open window. He should’ve closed it.

“Ready to eat? It’s almost done.” Her voice was warm, comforting and relaxing, and Izuku’s mind instantly switched from the note and window to whatever she’d been cooking. He nodded and took his place at the table, sharing a completely made up story as she finished making dinner.

---

Once he was dismissed, Izuku scrambled for his room, excited to go play again now that his stomach was full. He was sitting on the ground, scribbling the backgrounds to a city to set up so he could play superheroes when a soft ‘thump’ could be heard from behind him. Turning, he frowned, looking towards his outside wall, and the window. Glancing down at the crayon in his hand, he gasped under the mask and jumped to his feet. Racing to the window, he looked all around, hoping what he heard was a paper airplane, a return note! His excitement dropped with each second he couldn’t find one. He even checked under, on, and over his bed, all around his nightstand, under the chair. There was nothing.

Choking down a sob of disappointment, Izuku pulled himself onto the chair. He looked out at the fence, around, nothing. Sighing to himself, he reached up and grasped the window. As he pulled it down, he noticed a flash of white under the window and stopped dragging the glass down. He ducked and grabbed the white paper, tearing up when he realized it was a paper airplane! And slightly different than the one he’d made, so that meant someone sent him an airplane back right? He sat back on the chair, hands shaking as he held the airplane, suddenly nervous. What if someone had just been nice and thrown his own paper airplane back at him? Maybe thinking someone lost it and just trying to be a good person? What would he do then, that’d mean no one wanted to talk to him. He had to fight the scared sob that came from that idea. Of course someone would want to talk to him! And if it was his note, he’d throw it over the fence again and hope someone else sent him one in return.

Steeling his nerves, he unfolded the note. Instantly, his disappointment melted. The reply was written in red crayon! Not green like he’d written it! Someone had replied to him! He had to read it now. Crossing his legs, he skimmed through the note, struggling with quite a few of the words, especially the name written in the beginning.

“Hiya! I’m Eijiro Kirishima, and I’m seven too. That’s awesome! You must be the boy next door. Mother says I can’t play with you, which sucks because you seem really nice! I love the color red, see like my crayon. It’s a really cool color, but green is really nice too! What do you mean the world past the fence? The only thing on my side of the fence is my home, and my yard too. That’s where I found your note, in my yard. I hope you find this one, it’s a pretty cool idea sending paper airplanes over the fence to talk! Kind of like can phones, with the string between them so you can talk to each other. I can’t wait to see your next note, Midoriya.”

Izuku read the note a couple times, it was much longer than his, and better written too. He knew his Mom did the best she could teaching him, but it looked like maybe Kirishima’s parents taught him better. It didn’t matter though, because someone replied! His name was Eijiro Kirishima, so Kirishima since he’d called Izuku by his last name too. Mom said that was polite after all. Kirishima liked red, and… can phones? With strings? Weird, maybe he could convince Mom to make some for him! If Kirishima’s house was on the other side of the fence, did that mean there was a bunch of people on the other side of other fences? How many fences were there? That didn’t matter though! Kirishima wanted another letter! Izuku could do that.

Setting the note aside once he’d folded it back into a paper airplane, Izuku clambered from the chair and wrote out another note. He wasted no time in folding the finished note and tossing it over the fence with wonder-filled emerald eyes. It held more questions, asking Kirishima about the world past his yard then, and thanking him.

He sat for many minutes, waiting on the reply eagerly. That was until he heard footsteps approaching his room and went into panic mode. Closing the window quickly, Izuku jumped off the chair and pushed it back to where it had been. His Mom opened the door the second he’d sat on the floor and grabbed another crayon to seem like he’d been working on his superhero city. He was tingling with excitement, more excitement than playing superheroes gave him.

As his Mom tucked him in for bed and turned on a movie for him to watch, he stared at the window. The sun had set while Izuku was writing his next note, and he had to wonder if there’d be a note in the morning or not. Maybe Kirishima, who was the same age as Izuku, was being put to bed too. That was okay. Izuku could wait.

Chapter Text

Izuku awoke the next morning and checked the window the second his Mom was no longer in the room. He couldn’t slide it all the way open without the chair, but it was enough that he could stick his head and torso outside the window. Green eyes scoured the grass below the window and he had to stifle an odd sob-screech of happiness when he saw the paper airplane within the strands of emerald below, the nose of the paper craft wrinkled from where it’d smacked the house. Izuku had to fish to grasp it, missing a couple times before he managed to catch a wing between his tiny fingers and yanked the note inside.

He settled back on the balls of his feet, covering his mouth with his free hand as he coughed a couple times, eyes watering. The pollen must’ve been bad outside already this morning, that didn’t bode well for receiving letters for the rest of the day but Izuku could just wear his mask, that was fine! But he couldn’t wear the mask always or Mom would get worried that he was getting sick again. Maybe he’d only wear it when he was opening the window, that would probably work.

Izuku reached up and quickly closed the window before he padded over to the chair next to his bed and sat on it. Unfolding the note with slightly shaky hands, he poured over the letter happily. It was Kirishima’s writing, once again in red crayon.

“The world past my yard? Well, school of course! And the store, and the playground. When I’m not at home, I’m usually at one of those, I really love the park, though school is really fun too! I don’t think there is any Izuku’s or Midoriya’s in my school, not in my grade at least. Do you go to a different school?”

The freckled boy sat there in wonder, looking over the note a couple times. He honestly had to think it over. He’d gone to the store twice with his Mom, it was fun to get out of the house, but he was so scared of all the people there. So many people. It’d made him feel tiny, and scared, and he couldn’t breathe and ended up sobbing into his Mom’s shirt until they checked out and went home. As for school, Mom said he was home-schooled, meaning he learned things from home. He even knew how to write really well, which came in handy for his note, but it was obvious by Kirishima’s words that he was better at writing than Izuku.

But a playground? What was that? Was it, like, a giant playmat with toys all over, like a giant room filled with fun stuff? That sounded really cool. Izuku couldn’t help but wonder if there were a lot of other children that went to the playground, wondered if Kirishima had friends he played with. Friends… Izuku didn’t have any of those, but he’d seen a lot about them. Maybe Kirishima would want to be Izuku’s friend?

Folding the note, he tucked it next to the other one in his nightstand drawer, under one of this storytime books, hidden from Mom. Then settled on the ground on his belly and started scribbling out another note. Tongue sticking out, he didn’t notice when his Mom came to the door, though her knocking on the door frame made him jump and look up.

“Time to do some math, baby,” she cooed, looking down at the paper he was scribbling on curiously. He made up something before she could ask about it.

“I wanted to write a note! For myself, in the future. They did it on the television, and I wanted to do it too.” The lie stung his tongue, but the fear of her finding out about Kirishima’s note was an even more painful burn, the idea of losing his only contact outside his house scarier than any trip to the store. So he swallowed the sting and smiled up at his Mom, who returned it with a soft smile of her own.

“Good idea, dear. I’ll let you finish, but when you’re done, come to the kitchen so we can practice your math, okay?” Izuku nodded quickly and she laughed to herself before wandering away from the door.

Waiting quietly to make sure she was gone, Izuku returned to writing when the coast seemed clear. Adding the last of the words to the note, he smiled to himself and read it a couple times. He felt a little… stupid. Honestly. Stupid to be asking all these questions like he didn’t know anything, but he truly didn’t. He really wanted to know what school was like, what a playground was, if Kirishima wanted to be his friend? Did Kirishima want to be his friend? He hoped so, he’d even asked in his note, it was the last question he’d shared. “Do you have friends? Would you like to be my friend? I don’t have any, not any real friends.” Izuku bit his bottom lip nervously, thumbing the corners of the paper before he let out a nervous sigh and started folding.

Once it was folded in a crisp airplane, he opened the window, covered his mouth with one hand, and threw the paper. It flew over the fence and to the other side, out of sight but never out of mind. Closing the window quickly, Izuku changed out of his pajamas then ran off to the kitchen with little time to spare. He didn’t need Mom coming to look for him again, she’d be a little less patient and he only had so much time to do his school work in the morning before she made lunch.

---

For months, this was the daily routine. Izuku would wake up, search for the early morning airplane that came without fail (well nearly, if it was raining they didn’t exchange notes because paper and water weren’t friends, unlike them). Then send a return letter, school work with Mom, lunch, more school work until dinner usually. After dinner, Izuku was free to do what he wanted, so he’d run to his room, find the new note, and reply. Back and forth for hours until the sun started to set and his Mom came to put him to sleep. Izuku always sent the last letter of the night, and Kirishima always sent the first one of the morning.

One time, Izuku questioned this. Why Kirishima responded in the morning. Apparently that was because Kirishima went to school, public school. And he had to wake up and go to sleep before the sun, so he wasn’t able to get Izuku a reply until he woke up in the morning. He’d throw his note over the fence before being bustled off to school. That was the note Izuku always found when he woke up, because Kirishima said he made sure to always reply in the morning, just in case. What that ‘in case’ was, Izuku couldn’t ever get from him, but that was okay.

Every day, they exchanged at least ten notes. It was getting in the multiple dozens now, and Izuku was starting to have troubles hiding all these notes from his Mom. Currently they were tucked in a toybox under his bed, one with his older toys he rarely played with anymore, but saved just in case he couldn’t find one of the toys he wanted to play with. Now it was a storage box filled with notes from his friend, his best friend if what Kirishima said about ‘best friends’ was true. Izuku’d never asked if he was Kirishima’s best friend, he couldn’t fathom the idea of it honestly. Because what if Kirishima said no? Izuku couldn’t handle the heart crushing idea of that.

Izuku’s luck and hiding skills ran out one day. He’d been outside, one of the rare times he was allowed to go outside with sunglasses and a mask on, during lunch. Izuku’d called and called over the fence, distressed by the lack of response. Would Kirishima not want to actually talk to him? Was Izuku not good enough to be talked to? Wait, no, Kirishima said he spent most of the day at school, lunchtime included. He just wasn’t home. That was too bad, really too bad, he wanted to talk, truly talk, to Kirishima. Still, Izuku made the most of his time outside and drew a lot of pictures that he folded and threw over the fence, along with extra notes letting Kirishima know just how much fun he was having outside. Even tossed a dandelion flower crown over the fence for Kirishima to wear if he wanted to, making one for himself so they could be ‘matching’. Izuku just had to hope Kirishima wore his too!

When he was done outside, he’d shuffled inside begrudgingly, even though he was tired. Being outside always drained him so much, even if he loved it. He found his Mom, in his room, cleaning… under his bed! She was looking through the toy box that hid all his secret letters, her green eyes wide with worry, concern, sadness, so many familiar emotions she couldn’t ever completely hide from Izuku. Instantly Izuku went into a panic, sobs bubbling up as the hysterics started. She was going to take him away, she was going to take Kirishima away from him. She couldn’t have his friend, his best friend, Izuku needed Kirishima.

His Mom noticed him, hands filled with paper airplanes as she looked up at him. “Izuku, what are these?” She’d asked, her voice soft despite the worry in her eyes. This was it.

“My friend! Please.. Pl-please don’t. I-I need, need him! I n-need Kiris-shima, he’s my f-friend!” Around his hysterical hiccuping sobs, he managed to stutter out pained words, reaching towards the notes in her hands. “M-my letters, h-his notes. P-please don’t!”

“Izuku, baby, calm down. Breathe. I can’t understand you. I… I won’t take the letters. Not yet. But you need to explain yourself, dear. How did you get all these, they’re not your handwriting. So they’re not apart of the ‘dear future Izuku’ letters you keep telling me about, right?” His Mom got to her feet and set down the letters. She shuffled over and dragged Izuku into her arms, stroking his mass of green curls, trying to calm him from the panic attack he was experiencing.

He clung to her, wailing as he struggled for breath, begging constantly to let him keep the letters, to not take away his happiness, to let him have Kirishima. He couldn't think of anything else to say but to beg her because this was his only friend that wasn't a toy in his life. Izuku could feel her rubbing his back, soothing him until he could speak again but his eyes were fixated on the paper airplanes spread over the bed.

“P-please, Mom. K-Kirishima… he's my best f-friend.” Stuttering around his broken hiccups, he turned teary eyes upwards, matching green meeting. Her face was so soft, as it usually was when Izuku went into a panic, but the way her jaw was set offered no give. Izuku knew that, and it stirred the anxiety within him again. She was going to stop this.

“Izuku, baby. It's not healthy. All this sneaking around, lying, disobeying. You know you're not allowed to open your window, and you've been lying to my face.” Izuku looked down into her shirt, fingernails tangling into the pale blue fabric. He frowned around his fear, opening his mouth to argue but she stopped him. “But I'm not going to stop it.” What? Wait, really?! “Because I already know you'll keep doing it whether I say you can or not. So I'll allow it, on a couple conditions. You have to always wear your mask then you open the window.” Izuku nodded, he could do that, still stunned with surprise. “Okay? And I get to go through them every now and again to make sure you're not doing anything bad?” Another nod. “And we're going to store them properly. I think I have a small drawer set somewhere.”

She pulled away, hands resting on Izuku's shoulders to gaze down at him with a expression filled with love. Izuku could feel himself return it, smiling despite the tears (happy ones, he swears) that dripped down his freckled face.

“T-thank you.”

“You're welcome Baby.” She hummed and kissed his forehead. “I'll go hunt those drawers down. We can store the notes then I'll make lunch.”

Izuku watched her retreat through his door before turning to the notes all over the bed and floor. He started to tidy them up, keeping them nice and folded- only stopping to read a couple of them from time to time, Kirishima's words leaving a happy fuzzy feeling in his heart.

He’d gotten lost in their previous conversations, many of them about Kirishima’s life, as Izuku’s wasn’t exactly exciting. Looking through the paper airplanes, he dragged his fingers over the rough crayon drawings of the playground Kirishima loved, of the flowers Izuku couldn’t usually touch but Kirishima thought were pretty and got for his Mom, of the birds they both saw perched on the fence. Kirishima was such a good artist, Izuku wanted to impress him too, even if all he could draw were pictures he’d seen on the television or in his head. By the time his Mom returned with the plastic drawers, he’d doodled a handful of pictures, including a tiny sketch of Kirishima and himself wearing dandelion flower crowns.

Chapter Text

Years of paper airplanes, stored away in an actual cabinet now, safe and well loved. Over the years, the notes changed from those written in crayon and colored pencil to pen and pencil. Some scrawled out on lined paper, some remaining on white printer paper. But two things were certain. One, seven years later and they’d never stopped coming no matter how they changed. Two, the two responsible remained close friends, the only changes in their relationship was how it strengthened. Even though the boys were no longer cute chubby faces seven year olds, they continued their only chance at connection every day they could. Sometimes things happened though. Kirishima would be ill and not allowed outside, or he’d have some sports thing to go to. And sometimes, Izuku would be too sick to do anything, trapped to his bed and either coughing or running a high fever with his mother fretting over him. The latter was a very common occurrence, even as Izuku aged he’d never been able to shake the lingering cloud of illness that poked at his immune system on the daily.

It was the days that Izuku couldn’t get out of bed that he received the sweetest notes from Kirishima. He’d long since told Kirishima about why he was home-schooled, why he was trapped inside, why they couldn’t meet. And Kirishima, being the amazing person he was, was so patient and understanding. If days went by without a note from Izuku, his friend would send extra update letters over the fence. Well wishes, updates on exciting things, thoughts about Izuku he’d had, always there for Izuku when he was feeling well enough to open the window. And when he couldn’t, he’d read all the previous get well’s that his friend had sent him, he’d feel all the warmth his friend sent him in his words.

It was after one of these particularly terrible spells that Izuku’s life got more exciting.

He was sitting at his desk, able to get out of bed finally, blurry eyes focused on the book in his hands. His mouth was covered by his trusty mask, his mossy green hair an absolute mess where it stuck up and curled around his pale freckled face. The previous bout of bronchitis left him a hot mess. But he had to reply to Kirishima. Next to his bed sat seven unfolded airplanes, four lovely notes from his best friend, his confirmed best friend at that. They read as normal, almost a timeline of Kirishima’s thoughts in the past few days. The first was a direct reply to Izuku’s last letter, and from there it went to well wishes and a couple updates. Izuku hadn’t replied in seven days, the longest so far, but Kirishima kept sending letters. The most recent, which had come that morning, held the most content so far.

‘I hope you’re feeling better today, Midoriya. I’m very worried at this point, considering I haven’t heard from you for an entire week by now. Today a couple of my friends pointed out how off I’ve been all week, so I wanted to apologize if any of my notes seemed off as well. I’m honestly a little scared, you’ve never been so sick. I hope you didn’t have to go to the hospital this time, last time you did it was so stressful for me. Nevermind how stressful and scary it must’ve been for you! But I’m wishing the best for you, every single day, and I know you’ll get better very soon! I miss you - Kirishima’

Izuku ran his fingers over the note, feeling how the red pen indented the paper through some of the words, an obvious sign of the stress Kirishima was feeling made physical. He could tell from the wobbly letters too and a few of the violently scribbled words like Kirishima had decided to just plow through with his feelings instead of starting over when he messed up. It had guilt settling in Izuku’s stomach, that he made Kirishima feel this way and had been unable to comfort him. It was time to fix that, whether he was completely recovered or not.

So he grabbed his black pen and started a reply, head ducked over the notebook he had specifically for writing to Kirishima. He’d have to get a new one soon, but with his birthday being just over a month away, he was sure he could convince his Mom to get him a brand new one.

‘I’m sorry for causing you distress, Kirishima. I have been really sick this past week and only today am I finally starting to feel better. But there was no hospital visit, which should be a major relief to your worry. While I’m not completely back to normal, I couldn’t handle not talking to you anymore.’

Now that his apology was out of the way, Izuku shook his pen quickly, thinking about what else he could add to the letter. He absolutely wanted an update on how Kirishima was doing in school, and his friends too. Kirishima rarely talked about them.

‘You mentioned your school friends. I only know about Sero, how many friends do you have? Do you hang out with them outside of school? How is school going by the way? Mom has decided to end my school work soon for the next couple months as a birthday present, since I usually have to work through it. I can’t believe I’ll be fourteen so soon. I’ve missed you - Izuku’

With that, Izuku quickly, but carefully, folded up the airplane, threw open his window, and tossed the airplane over the fence. Nodding to himself once it disappeared to the other side of the fence, he retreated back into his room and closed the window. Now to make up on the school work he’d fallen behind on due to his sick spell.

--

It wasn’t until later that day that Izuku heard the reply as it smacked into his window almost dead on. Kirishima had gotten very good at aiming the airplanes, and on Izuku’s really good days where he could have the window open, they’d come sailing straight into his hands. He got up from his desk and pulled open the window, yelling a “Hello!” to the fence. He got a muffled response that made his heart seize a bit. Even just these tiny things scared Izuku, but he still enjoyed being able to at least greet his friend. They still had yet to meet, Izuku wasn’t sure if they ever would at this point. They never even had a real conversation because of Izuku’s mask and the fence muffling anything they tried to exchange. But it was still amazing to know that Kirishima was real, he was beyond that fence, they were friends.

Not bothering to close the window, he opened the note, coughing into his fisted hand. Not good, especially since he could hear Kirishima’s worried voice from the other side of the barrier. He wasn’t sure if his friend could hear his reply, but when no other worried responses returned, he continued on. Reading the words, he smiled and relaxed into the windowsill, green eyes comfortably reading over the scribbled red words.

“No need to apologize, I’m just happy you’re feeling better. Other than you, I have three really good friends. Their names are Ashido, Kaminari, and, of course, Sero! I’ve known Sero the longest, but I’ve known Mina almost just as long. Kaminari is pretty awesome too, though he’s pretty silly from time to time. Honestly, we get into a lot of trouble, especially if it’s Kaminari’s idea. Honestly he’s a big ball of goofy trouble, I think you’d like him. I’d like to introduce you to them one day, but only after I get to meet you first. Sometimes I hang out with them, those are the days we don’t always talk because I’m out with them, but I don’t really like to leave you without anything. You say you’re turning fourteen soon? So you’re birthday is before me right, what day is it? I hope you’re back up and running soon!”

Izuku smiled, fingers brushing over the first few words, committing them to his heart. It always made him happy(and a bit guilty) that Kirishima worried so much for him. But he appreciated every single word his friend took the time to write. Re-reading the letter, he couldn’t help the goofy grin that formed stronger than his original smile at the idea of actually one day meeting Kirishima. The next-door boy had tried, really tried before, but Izuku’s Mom was too nervous and cautious to let Izuku meet any strangers. With his bad immune system, and severe anxiety, Izuku’s reaction could be a complete minefield, even though he really tried to convince her it’d be okay. He’d be okay. But she wouldn’t give, and he had to respect her words even though it was infuriating.

Taking the note to his desk, he settled down and scribbled out his reply quickly, wasting no time in sending it over the fence once it was signed and folded nice and neat. Once he was sure it was over the fence, he closed the window and returned to his desk, looking over his school notes. Even though his Mom wasn’t making him do any more school work, he didn’t want to forget, already fuzzy on some of it after his bout of sickness.

The response to his note came later in the day, which Izuku wasn’t too surprised by the length between replies. Kirishima did have school work after all, homework he called it, and he had friends too. And family, and a lot of things Izuku didn’t completely understand but had gotten used to. The short response surprised him though, it promised that Kirishima would remember Izuku’s birthday, July 15th which was indeed before Kirishima’s(Izuku found a little pride in being older than his friend), but he’d probably be a bit MIA for the next couple weeks before then. Something had come up on top of his final exams for the school year. Izuku felt… disappointed, but life happened and he understood that. Kirishima had a life to live, and Izuku couldn’t be his be-all, end-all. He expressed that in another note, wishing Kirishima a good dinner and hoped to talk to him soon again before it was sent over the fence. Izuku knew that there’d be a note in the morning, Kirishima was extremely good about that even if he didn’t reply for the rest of the day afterwards. He always let Izuku know that the housebound boy was on his mind and never forgotten.

--

As predicted, the following morning there was a lovely note, wishing Izuku a good morning and wonderful day, scrawled in red ink. But that was about it, nothing too important other than idle greetings, and a question. “You said All Might is your favourite superhero right? What’s one thing you’d like to have of his that you couldn’t have normally? I wonder if it’s the same as mine.” That was a good question, actually. It took a couple hours for Izuku to reply, but thankfully Kirishima was at school still when he’d finally sent his reply over.

--

For the next couple weeks, the chatter between them was near minimum. If Izuku sent over a note without waiting for Kirishima’s reply, their conversations picked up, so Izuku knew Kirishima was around and still chatting with him, still enjoying his company, but the rest of it was sparse at best. Izuku chalked it up to Kirishima being busy, and barely noticed his friend’s absence too heavily as his birthday ticked closer.

It was only when a short letter tapped against his window that Izuku noticed it was the first time Kirishima had started a conversation in almost five days. It spurred his eagerness and he snatched the letter up to read it, throwing a hello to the fence with no reply. That was okay.

“Is there anything I could get you for your birthday? It’s three days away now, but I’m not sure what I could possibly send over the fence without breaking. But I really want to send you something, Midoriya.”

Izuku whimpered, pressing his lips together as he thought. Honestly, he only had one single thing Kirishima could give him, but it’d been impossible so far. It was only polite to be honest though, so he wrote out what he’d wanted for so long, sharing it with his friend.

“I don’t want anything, not really. Though I would like to meet you one day, it doesn’t have to be for my birthday! To know that you’re real, the notes are plenty enough. So please, for my birthday, remain being my best friend and please keep sending notes for me to read!”

Folded and sent, Izuku left the window open before he headed out for dinner. There were no notes when he returned.

--

July fifteenth, Izuku turned fourteen at eight twenty one that morning, drowsy when his Mom came in and kissed his cheek, wishing him a happy birthday like she did every year. And, like every year, his birthday progressed well. The only difference, there were no notes from Kirishima, the very first time his friend had ever forgotten to send a note in the morning. Izuku smothered the rising anxiety deep, refusing to believe it was anything more distressing than Kirishima waking up late. His Mom didn’t really give him a chance to focus on the building panic, sweeping in with breakfast.

His day carried on quick, filled with more love from his Mom to fill the empty space his lack of friends, of any social life, left. Thankfully, for the second time ever, she was giving him a chance to make and keep friends, having saved up enough to buy him a laptop AND a cellphone. Both were cheap, and Izuku could tell they probably wouldn’t last more than a couple years, but he was so thrilled, absolutely ecstatic. He’d been left out of the technology phase, like many things in his life, so he spent a good part of his day setting up the phone and laptop and just learning how to use the things. The cellphone, smartphone actually, was touch screen, the laptop was not. The phones keyboard was built into the screen while the laptop’s was physical, it was so cool to see the difference in the pieces of technology.

With his Mom’s help, he was set up to the wifi in no time, something she had for work in case Izuku got sick and she needed to work from home to care for him. He was so lost in his new toys, namely trying to just understand them, that dinner rolled around and he still hadn’t noticed the absolutely lack of notes he adored every day.

It was only post dinner and cake that Izuku slumped back to his room, flopping on his bed and stretching out happily. Today had been a good day, but something was missing, lacking. Kirishima! Oh no, oh no, oh no!

Scrambling out of bed, Izuku threw open his window and looked around, trying to see if he could find any scraps of white in the fading light, but it was no use. There was… nothing? That couldn’t be right, Kirishima would never forget about him. Maybe his note just didn’t make it over the fence, and he hadn’t noticed. Yeah, that could explain it. But wouldn’t Kirishima have found his own note then? Would he think Izuku threw it back? Or worse, the note was lost in some bushes or something and Kirishima thought Izuku hadn’t replied to him!? Been too busy for his best friend? What kind of friend did that make him?

Pulling back from the window, he closed it and sucked in a slow breath. No. Izuku Midoriya, get a hang of yourself. He’ll send you a note, for sure. No matter what.

So Izuku planted his butt at his desk in front of his new laptop and scrolled through the internet, taking in everything he could. Somehow, the first thing he’d managed to do was filter through Google images, and everything he saw was glorious! Beaches, birds, parks, cats, flowers, playgrounds… Izuku’d long learned the expanse of the world, but the fact that he could see any city, any beach, any country he wanted at the tip of his fingers was… overwhelming almost.

He sat back with a sigh, followed by a thump. At the window. Izuku jumped and looked over, his green eyes wide. The thump was more of a tapping, and it came again. Getting up, Izuku shuffled over to the window and yanked it up all the way, expecting to see a couple paper airplanes, but instead came nearly face to face with a boy his age, long black hair framing his face and highlighting his earnest wide rose red eyes.

Izuku covered his mouth to choke down a screech of surprise, stepping back from the window, his anxiety spiking instantly. What did he do!? He had to think of something, Izuku don’t panic! Now is not the time!

Before he could actually react, the kid held out a paper airplane, balanced delicately in his hands. Izuku stared at it, his heart beating a mile a minute, but he took it with shaking fingers, his green eyes flickering towards his bedroom door. But he opened the paper first, emerald eyes widening at the familiar red handwriting.

“My name is Eijiro Kirishima, hello Izuku Midoriya.”

Izuku teared up, a sob cracking from his throat as his watery gaze returned to the noirette in his window. The boy smiled crookedly, leaning forwards slightly, braced against the side of the house.

“Happy birthday.”

The words, the first true words he’d ever heard from his best friend over the fence, tore true sobs from his throat, tears streaming down his face where they dropped onto the paper with the big red letters. A letter that fluttered to the floor as Izuku pitched forwards, wrapping his arms around Kirishima’s neck to give him a hug he’d long dreamt about. Kirishima’s laugh was as soft as his hand writing, the arms that returned the embrace tight and just as desperate as Izuku’s.

“T-Thank you.” Izuku managed to whisper, fingers digging into Kirishima’s shirt. He never wanted to let go, never wanted to break the contact.

“You’re welcome. But that’s not everything. Uhm, could I come in?”

Izuku pulled back, looking over Kirishima’s face, memorizing everything he could in that short span of eye contact, before he broke it to look at his door. “Uhm..” He walked over to the door and opened it just a crack to see his Mom coming down, turning off the lights. Stepping back, he skidded over to the window, grabbing the bottom of it. “Almost, my Mom is coming to say good night, give me five minutes.” His voice is a panicked whisper, but Kirishima nods and Izuku closed the window.

Turning on the tv, he sat on his bed, picking at the cotton nervously, his anxiety peeking for just a second when he realizes his face is probably red from crying. Thank god for the movie that seemed to be playing, a film that made him cry normally.

His Mom opened the door, poking her head in with a smile. “Good night, Baby. Happy Birthday again, don’t stay up too late, okay?” Her smile faltered at his red face, but his vigorated nod soothed her enough. “Love you, g’night.”

“Love you too Mom, thank you. Good night.” Izuku smiled, nails tearing at the bedspread, impatient to get back to the window, to make sure everything wasn’t just a dream or an hallucination.

The second the door was closed, he threw himself off the bed and opened the window, stretching out a hand to Kirishima. He was still there, his green eyes misty again when he realized this truly was his friend waiting for him just outside his window. Kirishima grinned, Izuku noticed his larger than average canines that accented the smile, and took the freckled boy’s hand. Izuku gently pulled his friend inside, squeezing his hand tightly. His heart sang with the contact, rushing with excitement that smothered his anxiety.

Kirishima was really here. In Izuku’s bedroom, red eyes taking in everything about Izuku’s nerdy room. A sob hiccuped out, smiling when Kirishima looked at him again.

Kirishima’s eyes lit up and he held up the plastic bag he’d carried in, something Izuku hadn’t even noticed right away. “Oh, right! I have something for you, a birthday gift.”

“A-A birthday gift? You didn’t have to do that, coming to see me is just.. Amazing. Oh my god, you’re here in my room with me.” Izuku raised shaky hands to his face, smiling despite the flowing tears. He probably looked weird, absolutely giving off crybaby vibes, and his anxiety twinged. Kirishima was going to think he was weird, and wouldn’t want to be his friend anymore. A true scared sob squeaked out, Izuku stepping back to sit on the bed. “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to cry, I just.. I-I.” Lips wobbling, he couldn’t get it out.

He started when gentle fingers touched his hands, brushing over the skin in a way that once again had Izuku’s heart singing. Izuku leaned into the touch, stiffening when those fingers moved to brush through his soft green curls, face lifting from his palms to look up at Kirishima. Kirishima was smiling, but it was sad and worried, tears brimming at the corner of his eyes. Oh no, Izuku messed up!

“I-I! I just, K-Kirishima, I’m sorry!”

“Why?” Izuku cocked his head at the unexpected question, a confused whimper leaving his lips. Before he could ask, Kirishima positively beamed at his friend crying on the bed, melting away all Izuku’s fears. “Don’t be sorry! I get it, this is overwhelming. You mentioned having anxiety, or it sounds like anxiety to me. And it was probably scary for me to just show up, but I really did want to surprise you. And I got you gifts because it’s your birthday, and because I finally get to meet you I wanted to give you stuff that I can’t give you over the fence. Think of it as belated birthday gifts, for the seven years I’ve missed.”

Izuku whimpered, leaning his head into the hand that hadn’t moved from his curls. But he was starting to understand. Kirishima was his friend, and he was doing was friends do. Being nice, caring. He relaxed as Kirishima settled next to him on the bed, setting the plastic bag in Izuku’s lap.

“Here! I think you’ll like it.” Kirishima flashed that bright sunny smile, and Izuku couldn’t help but feel brightened.

Izuku sat back on the bed, wiping his face quickly, palm dragging over his red freckled cheeks as he calmed down steadily. Playing with the bag, he took a soft breath and opened, looking inside at the contents within. Nothing was wrapped, which was absolutely perfect for Izuku, anything was perfect though honestly.

Tugging out a box, he turned it in his hands and very nearly dropped it in shock, his eyes widening with pure surprise. He was holding a limited edition box set of absolutely every All Might superhero movie out there, an autograph scribbled on the side from the actor. No. Way. This was the one thing he’d wanted, other than to meet Kirishima and keep talking to him, that he’d told his neighbor about. And Izuku knew it was expensive, which was why he hadn’t bothered to ask his Mom for it, the commercials placing it easily over a hundred dollars, especially for a signed set.

“Oh my god..” Izuku breathed out, tears forming again, but he wiped them away vigorously before they could fall. “T-Thank you! H.. How did you afford this?” Looking at Kirishima with surprise, the noirette shrugged, kicking his feet, which Izuku noticed were tucked in red crocs. Oh lordy, his friend was a dork. Izuku kinda liked that.

“Well… that’s kind of why my notes have been so few. I saved up a lot of money and did a bunch of extra chores, especially around the neighborhood. When I mentioned that I was trying to get a present for you, a lot of the neighbors were willing to give me tasks to do. Clearing out the autumn leaves from last year, mowing lawns, cleaning cars, lots of work but I saved just enough to get it before your birthday came around!”

Izuku shook his head, holding the box out to Kirishima. “I can’t take this, seriously! You worked so hard for it, I wouldn’t feel right keeping it.”

Kirishima laughed and held his hands up, head shaking in return. “Absolutely not! I’d hoped we could watch them together.”

“We’d never get through them in one night!” Izuku gasped, trembling because he really liked the idea of watching movies with his friend but not sure he could possibly accept the gift.

“Well, no. But that doesn’t mean I can’t come over often. It’s summertime after all, I don’t have school and you said you don’t have any school work to do yourself. And now I’m tall enough, and strong enough, to climb over the fence, so there’s no reason I can’t hang out with you now!” Izuku noticed how Kirishima’s voice shook, noticed his fisted hands, noticed the stress he put into his words. He was worried Izuku was going to say no!

“Absolutely! Any time you want! Well, any time after my Mom is asleep that is.” The idea that his friend would be willing to climb over their fence, just to talk to Izuku, was mindblowing. Izuku was no longer surprised when the tears welled up.

“Then it’s a deal. You keep the gift, we’ll watch them all together. There’s another gift in there, it was, uhm.. My idea.” The sheepish smile Izuku received was interesting, but didn’t make him any less excited.

Tugging out the second of two items in the bag, he turned it over in his hands. It was a pen, a green one filled with glitter ink. Izuku looked at Kirishima, tilting his head slightly. Why a pen?

“Uhm…” Kirishima cleared his throat, playing with his finger nails, his gaze on his lap and hands. “You started using black ink a while back and I.. I really miss the green. I don’t know why, it’s just.. Whenever I see green, I think of you know. But, I kinda know why you like green.” His eyes flicked to Izuku’s face, taking in the emerald eyes and jade curls, laughing.

Izuku felt his face heat up, clutching the pencil close. But Kirishima was wrong. His favourite color hadn’t been green in a long time. His favourite color was that of the ink used on the notes that came over the fence, the same color they’d been since the beginning, the same color of those rose eyes that studied Izuku’s face. But he bit his lip and kept that to himself, feeling like it might be a little too much to express those thoughts.

“Thank you.” He whispered honestly, looking at the pen in his hands, twisting it. Smiling, Izuku got to his feet and set it on his desk, next to his new laptop. “I’ll make sure to use it then, always!”

Kirishima’s grin was brilliant, like Izuku had just made his whole night and not the other way around. Not like Kirishima had given Izuku everything he could’ve ever wanted and so much more. Picking up the box set, he carefully tore the plastic off it, looking through the movies, fingers trembling as he chewed over his next words.

“Uhm… Kirishima? Would you like to watch a movie with me then? I’m not tired yet. B-but if you’re busy, or have to get back home, I understand! We can always watch them another night, w-whenever the next time is, I mean, ya know-”
“Sure. Let’s watch one.” Kirishima almost expertly cut off Izuku’s ramblings, expression patient beyond belief.

Izuku expressed a thankful smile, casting it over at his friend. “Alright.” Wasting no more time, he put the very first movie into his DVD player and started it up. He noticed he was still trembling, but that was okay. Kirishima wasn’t judging him, not at all. Izuku could feel his friend’s eyes on his back, so he set the box set aside, grabbed the player remote, and rejoined Kirishima on his bed. Crawling past him, he set up the pillows(and stuffed animals) so they could sit side by side comfortably.

Izuku settled into the cushioned mess he’d created, nervously patting the spot next to him, watching Kirishima. There was little need for his worry as the noirette quickly crawled over and planted himself next to Izuku, leaning on him in a way that had Izuku’s heart throbbing from the contact. He forced himself not to tense up, eventually naturally relaxing into Kirishima once the movie started up.

Soothed by the warmth of another person in his bed, Izuku wrapped his arms around one of Kirishima’s, holding it close, aching to keep his friend nearby for as long as possible. But the excitement of the day was catching up to him and he was losing the fight against sleep. Izuku slumped into his red eyed friend, comfortably drooling on his shoulder as the best day of his life came to a soft end.

--

Izuku woke up tangled in his blankets in a nest of stuffed animals and pillowed, dizzy with sleep. Something felt like it was missing. He sat up and rubbed his eyes, yawning and stretching with soft pleased grunts. Then it hit him. Kirishima! Izuku’s green eyes darted towards his televison, spotting the box set sitting there, and reality smacked Izuku hard. It hadn’t been a dream! Kirishima really had visited him, he’d really gotten to meet his best friend! He looked around in a flurry, noticing that Kirishima was no longer in his room and sun was filtering into his bedroom. Probably went home after Izuku had fallen asleep.

Izuku got up, glancing at the window for a second. Perhaps he should look for a note. Bathroom first though. On his journey to his door, destination in mind, he noticed something out of place. A paper airplane, set delicately on his desk. Oh! Izuku forgot all about his morning commute and grabbed the airplane, unfolding it and reading the contents written in red.

“I’m so happy I got to meet you Izuku, I hope it’s okay I use your first name. I noticed you had a phone and left my phone number below for you to add to it, so you can text me at any time you want. Happy birthday, I hope it was as good as you dreamed. See you soon - Eijiro. (xxx) xxx-xxxx”

Izuku added the number the second he figured out how, fingers trembling over the ‘send’ button. He took a deep breath, pressed the button, and scrambled off to the bathroom, purposefully leaving the phone behind.

“Good morning, Eijiro. My birthday was amazing, thanks to you. Please come see me again soon. - Izuku”

Chapter Text

A soft breeze filled the room, air warm as it rustled through paper and fabric, barely there to make noise but enough that it dragged the stale air out when it receded. Izuku tugged the white sick mask up a bit higher on his nose, gently pressing the soft metal down so it fitted comfortably on his nose. Despite being sixteen and much more adapted to the world and germs than he had been earlier in his life, he still needed to take many precautions to avoid getting violently ill. Even with the warm late fall day, there was an undertone to the wind that was chilly, promising the coming of the cold that would keep Izuku trapped in his room for months until it warmed up again. So, despite the risks, he kept his window open and returned to his work.

Sitting at his desk, his fingers started to dart over his laptop’s keyboard as he wrote. Soon after his fourteenth birthday, his Mom had helped him enroll in online high school courses so he could get some form of a diploma and have a chance when he was older to do great things. He’d decided, with the encouragement of Eijirou, not to let his life go to waste if he could help it. Smiling at the thought of his friend’s bright red eyes and loud words encouraging him to chase whatever dreams he had because it’s his life, Izuku finished up the rough draft of the essay he’d been assigned.

The assignment wasn’t due for three weeks still, but there was something about writing that Izuku absolutely loved. He enjoyed being able to communicate through paper, and perhaps that was the fault of his paper airplanes, but he never wished to stop writing, stop sending, stop communicating.

Sending the rough draft off to his friend, Uraraka, via email, he sat back stretched over the back of his desk, groaning when his back cracked. He fell limp, humming into the mask, eyes closed as the breeze kicked up and ruffled his messy green curls. An idle thought about needing a haircut passed through his mind when his phone dinged. Hands smacking the desk in front of him, he felt around for the phone before giving up. He sat up properly, opened his eyes, and snatched the phone up, unlocking it quickly. It was a message from Eijirou.

‘Leaving school now, I have to drop Bakugou and Sero off at their homes. What’s the verdict?’

Izuku smiled, hands shaking for a second as he held the phone close. This was something he’d never gotten used to, being able to have Eijirou’s words in his hands the second they’re thought and written to him. Not having to wait hours all alone while Eijirou was at school and Izuku was trapped alone in his room. Yes, Izuku had online friends, of course he did. He talked with them all the time, voice and face chat even. Hell, he’d been chatting with Uraraka that morning, letting her complain about the essay assignment while he worked on his. She was his second oldest friend, she took extra online high school courses so she could graduate early. Something about getting a career ASAP to help her parents? It was admirable.

Izuku wished he could do the same, but for now his Mom and him were okay. They had a little government assistance, and his Mom had picked up a second job now that he was older and able to safely and intelligently care for himself. Which was where his reply to Eijirou came in.

‘Coast is clear, she’s working a double today. She won’t be back until tonight. Come over and I’ll help you with your homework. Bring a movie too!’

Perhaps he was just a little too immature yet, sneaking his friend in around behind his mother’s back. As far as he knew, she had no idea that most days Eijirou would climb over the fence and join him. They’d spend time when she wasn’t home doing homework, playing games, watching movies, being teenage boys.

Maybe more than just friends, if Izuku dared listened to the happy beating of his heart. No, it was just the nerves, he never got used to seeing Eijirou. It always felt like a dream, completely impossible.

Izuku jumped when a loud ringing came from his laptop. It was Uraraka, requesting a Skype call from him. Probably to whine over how he managed to already finish the essay rough draft. He dived for his laptop, accepting the call with a smile, wave, and bright “Heya!”, phone set aside for the moment.

Uraraka, a pretty brunette, started on a tangent about how awesome Izuku's word choices in his essay draft were when she stopped and stared at him through the camera.

It startled Izuku a bit, especially when she smirked at him. “W-what? Why are you staring at me?” Izuku sputtered, a hand drifting towards his phone. It dinged just as his fingers brushed it, and Uraraka's grin widened.

“I knew it! Eijirou just texted you, didn't he?” She stood up so fast, Izuku could see her chair throw itself to the floor. Her face blocked the entire camera, a happy noise like a squeal emitting from her. Izuku's bewildered expression said it all. “I knew it! You always get this happy little smile and your face gets red. That's how I know its Eijirou and not Iida or your Mom.”

Izuku sputtered, holding his phone close to his chest, green eyes wide as he watched her squeak and dance. He wasn't sure why she was so excited, but the idea of him blushing in front of Eijirou was embarrassing as hell. He squeaked abruptly and buried his face in his phone, trying to hide as Uraraka started to talk again.

“I'm telling you! You look like a school girl in love, I don't think you realize how much you like him.” Uraraka stated, picking up her chair to sit down again.

“O-of course I like him! He's my best friend, Uraraka. He means the world to me, he's always been there for me so I'm happy he's still here. And he likes me just as much too!” Izuku didn't notice the way Uraraka was watching the way a smile formed on his face, green eyes lighting up, and the blush returning in full force. He had it bad and was in complete denial. But what could Uraraka do? Her friend was a little social dumb.

“I guess. But.. I'm just saying, maybe he likes you a little more than best friends. And it sounds like you like him more than just friends too.” Uraraka waved a hand, shrugging to herself. After all, Izuku had remembered that Eijirou had texted him and was answering that rather than her. Yeah, complete denial.

‘Got a new game, and a surprise! I'll see you soon.’ Eijirou had sent. A surprise? Oh God, please not another gift. Izuku was so bad at receiving gifts from anyone, especially from Eijirou! He worked so hard and the most Izuku could give in return is small things he was able to buy with whatever meager money he managed to make. It always makes Izuku feel bad, even if Eijirou says he doesn't mind and likes getting Izuku things they both enjoy.

But Izuku didn't want to ruin Eijirou's excitement. ‘Really? I cant wait! See you soon, Ei.’ He smiled down at his phone, a blush high in his cheeks and sparkling adoration in his green eyes.

“Yeah, sure. Total denial.” Uraraka teased, getting Izuku’s attention. He jerked his head up, blushing a little dark. Setting his phone down, fought for his mouse, mumbling a low ‘be quiet’ under his breath. She giggled at him, but left it at that, instead moving onto what she’d originally called about. They spent about thirty minutes on the essay, talking about both their assignments. Izuku spent at least five minutes convincing her to just get it done! The sooner the better, procrastinating would make it a lot harder to focus on writing something good when you’re just trying to write something fast.

Maybe three minutes after Izuku ended the call and got up to get dressed into something that wasn’t sweats, there was a soft rustle of paper as an airplane flew through the window and settled on his bed. Eijirou and his constantly perfect aim, it made Izuku laugh soft to himself as he tugged the clean casual shirt down over his wild green curls. Quickly smoothing the wrinkled fabric with one hand, the other snatched up the paper and unfolded it.

‘Be over in thirty, need to shower quick and change clothes.’ It was such a simple message, one that would’ve fit better in a text than scribbled in red pen on a piece of paper, but the contents of the message weren’t important. It was the fact that Eijirou literally just arrived home, snatched up a piece of paper and his pen, and scrawled a note before folding the paper with perfect practice and tossed it to Izuku. It would’ve taken three seconds to text it, but he’d taken the five minutes to send it instead.

It warmed Izuku’s heart, a tiny smile forming on his face that was quickly hidden behind the note. He heard Uraraka’s “total denial” in the back of his mind and squeaked, hiding from his own thoughts behind the message. Not, Eijirou was JUST his friend, his best friend. It was normal for Eijirou to take time to write to him. And Izuku, if he was a good friend, would write a reply.

So he refolded the plane and set it aside before dropping into his desk chair. Rolling up to the desk, he grabbed one of the perfectly square stationary he kept specifically for Eijirou and grabbed the sparkly green pen decorated with broccoli that Eijirou had given him for his last birthday. Like it was a tradition. His reply message was a simple ‘Window’s open, no rush. I’m not busy after all’ which took all of two minutes, so he started to decorate the paper with little green doodles. A bird, flowers, maybe a couple hearts but Izuku would swear up and down they were just normal little doodles like the rest. Twenty minutes from the second Eijirou’s note flew through the window, Izuku had filled most of the paper with doodles and folded it crisply until it was a perfect plane.

Through the open window it went, over the fence and into Eijirou’s yard. Eijirou wouldn’t find it until he was already heading over so the ‘no rush’ bit was pointless really, but it was still nice to be able to be so casual. It felt like… a conversation, a face to face conversation but through colorful ink instead.

Izuku kicked off the floor away from the window, letting his chair roll all the way across the room to his bedroom door and out into the hallway where he crashed into the bathroom door with a yelp. He hadn’t meant to push off that hard, and his mind hadn’t been on where he was going or even stopping, he hadn’t expected to hit a wall, just putter to a stop. Picking himself off of the floor, he set his chair upright before padding along in his socked feet to the kitchen. The snack haul was quick, everything always kept within Izuku’s reach for ease. And most of it was healthy as heck too, but that was fine. It was still delicious.

Grabbing a few apples and pre-cut celery stalks, some peanut butter, and a butter knife, he returned to his abandoned chair and rolled back into his room with ease and a little more control. Well, rolled backwards right into Eijirou, and with enough force to throw them both off balance. Eijirou slipped and landed on his butt with a gasp, and Izuku was nearly bucked off the chair again himself, green eyes wide as he squeaked with panic. But his heels dug into the floor and he managed to save himself, and his snack haul.

Izuku turned quickly in his seat, snacks moved to one arm with the free hand shooting out to Eijirou out of reflex. Then he flinched, biting down a yelp as his entire body went violently tense. This wasn’t Eijirou! The crazy hairdo, spiky and violently cherry red were NOT signs of Eijirou Kirishima like Izuku knew. He yanked away, hand pulled back as he pushed the chair back a bit, panic curling in his stomach at the thought of having to fight off a robber. He was too weak to do much than throw the stuff in his arms at this guy in defense.

As he was panicking, his mind trying to connect the very Eijirou like figure to the hair, those oh-so-familiar warmth filled rose eyes turned up from the floor to Izuku, wide with worry.

“Izuku!” Eijirou’s voice, it was his voice for sure, even though it was riddled with worry and guilt. “Hey, sorry for scaring you. You weren’t in here when I tapped, so I figured I’d wait for you. I didn’t expect you to be playing human bowling though.” He laughed, and it was just so Eijirou, warm and bright like the sun, that Izuku’s entire being relaxed. His mind and his body melted slightly, though the panic was still crackling under the surface.

“Y-Your hair. W-Why?” Izuku winced each time his voice wavered, cracking, and the way Eijirou’s face changed slight from worry to confusion then surprise.

“Oh! That’s.. The surprise? I dyed it red, and tried out this really strong gel. Do.. Do you not like it?” No, no no no. That kicked puppy expression should be illegal, especially when Izuku is already on edge as well as being weak to anything and everything Eijirou.

“I do!” Izuku shouted, then blinked and flushed dark red, instantly trying to hide in the healthy rabbit food in his arms. “I-I mean.I just.. Didn’t expect it! It- you- well… you scared me.” His voice dropped lower with each word, face turning from red to crimson and darker even the longer his words hung in the air because Eijirou was just staring at him. If Izuku had to guess, his face was an even brighter red than Eijirou’s new hair color. But on Eijirou, it was pleasing to look at. Like.. like a strawberry maybe.

“Oh…” The word uttered from Eijirou was more of a noise that hung in the stunned silence for a minute. At least before Eijirou broke it just by being himself. Grinning and laughing up at Izuku, accepting the re-offered hand Izuku held out to get up. “Makes sense, I’m sorry. I just… I don’t know. You always say red is my color, so I thought you’d like it. It’s why it took me so long to get over here, I had to shower then redo it so it looked perfect for you.” His hands had lifted to the spikes, running over them, when Izuku spoke mindlessly.

“You always look perfect.”

Silence fell over the two, red and green eyes widening simultaneously, faces growing red. Izuku needed to fix this and FAST, oh God. Oh GOD! But his mind was at a fault for anything intelligent at all, fumbling for something, anything, please, oh please, anything.

“So, you like it then?” Eijirou smiled, recovering so much faster than Izuku. It was impressive just how composed he sounded after… after THAT.

“Yes. It’s really your color. Though.. I like when your hair is down too. I bet it looks really nice when it’s red and down too, right now it looks like you have an upside down strawberry on your head.” Izuku grinned big enough for it to reach his eyes, scooting away on the chair until it was backed up against his desk again before he changed to sitting on the bed. He ignored the small bout of coughing that rose up behind the mask as he set the snacks on the bed.

“Fits with you then! Your hair is like the leaves on strawberries after all.” Eijirou was now tinkering with Izuku’s tv and game console, setting it up for the new game he’d brought over. His back was to Izuku, thank goodness because Izuku was sure he looked like a strawberry with how red his face turned under his green hair. He even had freckles that probably looked like strawberry seeds all over his face!

Izuku shook his head quickly, biting down a giggle as he settled back on the bed a bit, cutting up an apple with the butter knife. A minute later, he noticed Eijirou launch himself backwards onto the bed next to Izuku, kicking off his, now matching, red crocs before turning on his side, resting his head in his hand, and grinning at Izuku.

“So, come here often?” Izuku actually giggled this time, shaking his head. He shoved a piece of peanut butter’d apple in Eijirou’s mouth, sticking out his tongue.

“I never leave, so yes. If you’re looking, I’ll always be around. Kind of like a summoning charm.” Izuku laughed and popped a second piece of peanut butter covered apple into his own mouth after pulling his mask down, the two of them messily crunching mixing with the start up music from the game system.

Izuku licked his thumb clean before a controller was pushed towards him, Eijirou sitting up with the twin controller in his hands. It was peaceful as they played, and Izuku really enjoyed the game. It was a fighter style game, which weren’t always his favourites. He learned all the combo sets too quick and could win against Eijirou too easily, though Eijirou was always good natured about it. But this was a new game neither of them had played, so they were both just as terrible and filling the room with laughter and jokes about kicking each others butt and eating fists.

Between each round, Izuku couldn’t help but notice just how close Eijirou was sitting. It was normal distance, touching, they both loved the closeness. Izuku absolutely thrived with Eijirou pressed against his side, but he also noticed how warm Eijirou was, how bright his friend shone with happiness and how that brilliant aura affected Izuku’s too. It didn’t take long for Izuku to give in and lean on Eijirou, head nestled in his shoulder as the round came to an end. Eijirou dropped his controller and stretched, one arm moving around Izuku’s back to squeeze him close in a hug, a megawatt grin on his face.

“Movie time then?” He asked pleasantly, his hand rubbing over Izuku’s side soothingly. It was so comfortingly.

Izuku nodded slightly, a sudden spur of coughing tensing his body up. Thank God for the mask, kept all Izuku’s sick together and away from Eijirou. Well, he wasn’t sick. No, just weak and a little cold, if the shivering was any sort of sign. Thankfully, Eijirou picked up on it and pulled away to clamber off the bed. First the window was shut, then the next movie from the All Might boxset was put into the game console and started up. They’d watched the entire set many, many times over the years and would continue with the next movie every single time until they came full circle and restarted the set. So, even though Izuku knew the movies by heart by now, he always waited for Eijirou to watch the next movie in the set.

Setting the last of the snacks, a couple pieces of celery and the jar of peanut butter, aside, Izuku wiggled his way under his covers for warmth. His hand dropped over the side of the bed to pat around for the spare hoodie he always stored close by, fighting to get that on under the blankets. He managed it right as Eijirou crawled into the bed with him, also under the duvet. A quick hug was exchanged, then the pillows were rearranged before they snuggled in and started the movie.

Izuku, all bundled up under the blankets, pressed into Eijirou, head on his chest so he could listen to his heartbeat and the movie at the same time. It was nice, the same as every night they were together. Eijirou rubbing Izuku’s back as the two watched the boxset movies together, though Izuku kept sneaking peeks upwards. Eijirou’s hair was so.. Weird. But Izuku kind of liked it. It was, indeed, very Eijirou in color, and while the softer down style was a little more fitting for the kind person under it, the spikes were pretty cool. Kind of like a superhero.

The thought made Izuku chuckle, face slightly rubbing against Eijirou’s chest and earning a light pat from Eijirou’s hand.

“What’s so funny?” Eijirou asked, a hint of exhaustion to his voice but the smile was still there.

“Nothing. Just… your hairstyle makes you look a bit like a superhero. Guess its a little funny, because you are kind of like my hero. You go out of your way to be the best friend possible to someone like me.” Izuku smiled at the warm thought, sighing. “Yeah, my hero.”

He could’ve sworn he felt Eijirou tense under him, and the motion very quickly worried away the happiness and drew Izuku’s eyes upwards to Eijirou’s face. Eijirou was staring down at him with wide eyes filled with… something? Something good, hopefully. If the little smile pulling at the corner of Eijirou’s mouth was a sign. It calmed the festering panic in Izuku’s chest down, green eyes searching until Eijirou chuckled and squeezed Izuku.

“I’ll be your hero any day you want, nerd.” Eijirou teased, hand raising to lightly pet through green curls. They were silent only for a moment longer before Eijirou spoke again. “Hey, Izuku?” Izuku made a soft ‘mm?’ sound, spurring Eijirou on. “Well, how would you like to sneak out with me next wednesday. It’s supposed to be super warm, even later that night. I’d like to take you to a cinema and maybe to the park, since you always seemed so interested in playgrounds. I know you don’t like people, and crowds and stuff,” He added the last bit quickly as Izuku tightened in his arms. “But if we go late enough, we can be at the cinema when it’s pretty empty, and by the time the movie is done, the sun should be going down which means a lot less people. Plus, I’ll be there. I’ll keep you safe.”

The promise in Eijirou’s voice was enough to seal the deal. Izuku barely thought about it before he was sitting up pinpoint straight, nodding vigorously. If Eijirou was there.. He could do anything!

“Yes!” Izuku chirped, grinning widely. A smile Eijirou returned before a hand brushed through Izuku’s green curls to pull his head closer. Close enough for Eijirou to give his forehead a quick peck.

“Then it’s a date.”