Chapter 1: The Voting
Hizashi ran a hand across his plume of golden waxed hair. He had a cup of coffee beside him, his headphones were on and the board was lit. He glanced at the prompt in front of him, his personality lifting as he slipped into his hero persona.
"Welcome, listeners, to a very special edition of Put y'hands up radio!" He cheered dramatically, flipping a few switches for zany sound effects. "I gotta extra treat for tonight, yo! I have here with me the underground hero Eraserhead. He's gonna help me read out the rules for this voting session." He gestured emphatically at the other man when he said nothing.
"Oh. Yeah. I'm here." Aizawa looked the same as always: black on black, with black shoes. The only color break in his outfit was his belt and the gray scarves loosely wrapped about his neck.
Mic rolled his eyes and continued. "That's how he sounds when he's excited, I promise. Because you - that's right, you --" He spun around in his chair, grinning and whipping finger guns at an imaginary crowd. "Get to choose what happens!"
"To a certain degree, anyway," Aizawa added drily. "It's not like they can pick whatever they please."
The blond man glared at him. "Don't make me regret giving you a voice here, Eraserhead." His hand hovered over the control panels.
"You can't stop me, you know." He held up his cellphone. "Turn that off and I'll just use social media."
"Your accounts are all filled with nothing but cat memes. Good luck reaching the right audience." Aizawa muttered something about how the right audience would always like cat memes, slumping back down in his chair.
Mic shook his head and talked faster, drumming his fingers on the desk in front of him. "In light of us reaching one hundred fanfics - yes, one hundred total! -- we're gonna do a lil' somethin' special for our valued listeners. Let's see here... "
Hizashi sighed gustily, aiming at the ceiling so the sound wouldn't reverberate into the mic. "Yes. Readers. I'm trying not to break the fourth wall too much, ya scruffy idiot!"
"You get to pick what gets written," he added with an evil grin.
"Eraser!" Mic whined loudly. "I was supposed to tell them what we're gonna doooo!"
"You take too long." He whipped his capture thread out and muzzled the Voice Hero with it. Muffled screaming that sounded suspiciously like curses broadcast in the background as the laconic man read what was on the paper in front of him. "Here it is. In celebration of hitting one hundred pieces, Ches will do a one hundred theme challenge." He paused, then shrugged. "Whatever that is. Anyone, anonymous or logged into the Archive can vote. Just post in this story who you would like her to write about for the challenge - me, or that idiot over there."
Mic pounded his forehead against the desk. It was the best he could do to create a louder sound at the moment.
"That's it, I suppose. You don't have to chat or anything. Just post Shota or Hizashi, and whoever wins will get a one hundred chaptered piece with drabbles, shorts and more." He broke out into the creepiest grin yet. "You bastards are all going to choose me, aren't you."
"Mmmfft!" Mic squinted at his friend from over his glasses, his spiraling green eyes furious.
"We'll see." He looked at the list and then held it up. "This is it, right?"
Mic managed to unwrap himself from his friend's clutches after awhile. It seemed that the dark-haired hero wasn't paying close enough attention. He looked down at the monitor in front of him. "Cheshire had been wondering if we would get any votes at all." He stuck his tongue out towards the side booth. "Eventually, some awesome listeners did vote, and, guess what?"
Aizawa glared at the loud man. "You won."
Chapter 2: 23: Overwhelmed
mic.exe has shut down
Elly was getting wired for some undercover work.
Of course, since it had to do with sound, Present Mic was the one who was working the equipment. He was currently testing the device she was wearing concealed in her bra. She had clipped it to herself earlier and stood with her fellow heroes while they did some trouble shooting. Hizashi was sitting on the floor in front of her with a small box in front of him and Aizawa and Nemuri were on either side.
Aizawa eyed her speculatively. "What happens if you bend at the waist? Or lean down as if to pick up something."
"What if you have to, you know..." Midnight shook herself suggestively.
"Honestly! You can't see it at all - look," she hooked her finger in the fluffy v-neck of her bodysuit, dragging it down a little. "Nothing, it's not visible at all."
Mic squeaked faintly.
She looked down to see his eyes wide and his cheeks flaming with color. He had been below her and had gotten a pretty good view from his vantage point.
"Oops." She blushed as well and adjusted her cleavage with some embarrassment.
Mic just sat there with his legs splayed out at angles in front of him, blinking erratically with a low whine emanating from his gaping mouth.
"Uh oh. I think he crashed." Midnight waved a hand in front of his face.
Elly paused, her brow drawing together in confusion. "How do I reboot him?"
"Considering what caused his current level of stupidity..." Aizawa shrugged. "Give him a kiss."
Hizashi's green eyes grew giant as she approached him with a sly grin on her face. His glasses had slipped partially down his nose and those spiralling eyes darted back and forth in complete panic. He managed one more strangled squeak before their lips met, and then went limp as his eyelids slipped shut.
Aizawa shook his head as he watched them. "When do you think he'll realize that there was absolutely no chance the wire would be visible due to her quirk?"
Midnight snorted laughter behind one hand. "Probably never."
Chapter 3: 16: Horror
Hizashi stretched his arms over his head, yawning loudly. He sighed, let his hands drop to the sheets beside him and stared at the empty spot beside him.
Cheshire had to leave early this morning for a special parent-teacher conference or something. He pouted, rolling out of bed and scratching his neck absently. He absolutely hated waking up alone now that he was used to there being a warm, purring bundle beside him at all times. Oh, well. He grabbed his glasses from the nightstand and slipped them on.
"I'll see her soon enough," he muttered as he shambled into the bathroom to brush his teeth. The usual morning absolutions - brushing, shaving, a trip to the toilet -- didn't take long and he was soon turning on the shower. He tested the water and nodded sleepily. Good enough. He stripped off his boxers, the glasses got placed on the sink counter and he stepped inside.
His hair took a very long time because he had to make sure he conditioned it before he styled it every weekday. He lathered, shampooed and then paused, his hand on the showerhead.
What was that small, black speck on the tile? He squinted but couldn't quite make it out. "Oh, no. Ohhhh... shit." His heart started to pound wildly in his chest in terror. Trembling, Hizashi nudged as close as he dared and blew on it. This was always a good test.
The speck moved.
Hizashi did, too.
Screaming so loud that he almost hurt his own eardrums, he launched his wet body out of the shower without thought. As he flailed, his arms got tangled in the shower curtain and wrapped them together. He fell half in and half out of the tub, lucky to have not injured himself beyond a couple of bruises and, well, his pride.
He was stuck.
The shower clips had snagged together like an interlocking chain. He strained and managed to pop a few of them, but the combination of his slippery body and the just as wet plastic shower liner and cloth curtain combo defeated him. Naked, soaking and with bubbles of shampoo stinging in his eyes as it slithered down his forehead he remembered the reason he had gotten into this mess. Gasping, he looked up.
He couldn't see that far without his glasses.
A cold sweat broke out on his body. It could be crawling towards him right now and he'd never know it. What if it got on him? What was it? Probably a spider, they got a few of those in the apartment despite him having an exterminator come in every month.
"Elly." He whimpered, knowing there was no way his bug savior was going to arrive. He thrashed his way to the farthest side and tried to think of his options. The soundproofing they had installed really worked.
A quick, heart-pounding glance around confirmed no bug was near him ...yet.
So, no one would come to his rescue unless he cranked the volume up. And if he did that, he would break everything within a very large radius that was fragile enough. He would be in severe trouble from Nedzu. The principal had let him off with a warning last time, but his patience was wearing thin.
He flicked his head back, trying to keep the soap off his face. "They'll send her in to check on me if I don't show up... right?"
Elly found him an hour later, dangling from the corner of the tub, his eyes blank with fear and foam drooling out of his mouth.
She took the rest of the day off along with him to help him recover.
And the bug? She didn't have the heart to tell him it was just a fleck of mildew. It had come loose and his breath had caused it to slip on the watery tile.
Chapter 4: 100: Death
Non-canonical, yet there is death in this.
Elly threw herself in the way of the villain's blade, covering him. Mic choked and tried to move her but it was too late. She gasped and grabbed her stomach even as the man whisked the weapon free and tried to stab her again. He never got the chance before Mic unleashed a devastating yell that knocked him completely senseless.
"Shit, what were you thinking?!" He whirled around to see how badly she was injured but the other teachers stopped him.
"Don't look!" Midnight grabbed his head and shouted in his face to hold his attention. Aizawa tore off the shirt he wore under his jumpsuit and threw it over her as fast as he could. Several students ran as fast as they could for the nurse, while the more calm ones decided a call for an ambulance was necessary.
"Don't look - what? What happened?!" He struggled but she held him a moment longer until she saw the black cloth covering her.
"Okay, just... please, Mic, don't touch that. Trust me, she'll be okay. But you don't want to disturb that."
"That?" He stared dumbly down at her midsection, which was wrapped tightly in Eraserhead's capture thread. He could apply better pressure with those than anything, and the tide of blood had been stemmed. But although there was blood by her middle that had gushed from that wound, this was much lower. "Aizawa... you used your shirt..." He frowned.
"Don't." The dark haired man was paler than he had seen him in awhile and the circles under his eyes looked a whole lot darker. He placed a hand on his friend's shoulder. "You're going to have to be very strong for her, Hizashi."
"St - strong..?" His green eyes suddenly widened. "No, Shota, that's not. That's..." He pointed. "No, she got hit in the belly, it's not fatal, it..."
"Not for her," Midnight choked. She put her hand on his other shoulder.
It clicked. Hizashi's eyes went blank. He bent his head back towards the sky, tears starting to stream down his cheeks. Thankfully, no sound came out because Aizawa erased his quirk right before he screamed. He exerted so much into that powerful, silent yell that he passed out, falling limply beside his girlfriend.
He woke up before they got to the hospital. Elly had fainted when she saw the clotted blood not only on her stomach but below, and the paramedics explained a lot to him in hushed tones along the way. He sat in a cold daze, holding her hand as they wheeled her into a private room. When she woke, she immediately grabbed a passing nurse's hand.
"Where is - what did you do with our..." Elly squeezed the man's hand, panting in distress and unable to complete her sentence. Hizashi sobbed quietly and stroked her hair. They were both an absolute mess; bruises from the fight aside, she was almost white in her anxiety and Hizashi's hair had come partially down from the carefully-waxed plume he normally wore. Chunks of blond were dangling off the sides and he irritatedly flicked his head back to get them off his face.
The nurse cleared his throat. "We have your child's remains. Whether you choose to have a service or let the hospital take care of the proceedings is up to you. You were not far along, and we advise letting us handle things in these cases. Seeing how very little there is often disturbs people more."
She nodded. "Thank you."
"I'm sorry," he sighed as he backed his way out.
"I should have known!" She instantly wailed, stuffing her face in his shirt and pulling the leather jacket around her.
"I shouldn't have let you fight. Or take the hit for me." Hizashi's voice resonated oddly, and he swallowed and struggled to regain control of his quirk. "I didn't think this could happen."
"Ninety nine point nine percent," she whimpered. "All birth control is just nuh - ninety - nine..."
"I didn't even know, Hizashi!"
"I know, princess." He placed his cheek against hers, mingling their tears as they both cried. "I wish I could make it better. I can't. I don't even know what to say."
Elly wiped her eyes roughly with the back of her hand. "What do we do?"
"Would it make you feel better to have a service or something? I - I don't know."
"I don't want to think about how we don't know anything about it... them. Her. Him." She broke down again and he sighed and held her tight.
"I say we go home and cry a lot," he suggested. "The school sent one of their cars so neither of us have to drive. We've been given days off. Let's just... mourn. Okay?"
"I love you." She clung to him, still weeping. He knew she wasn't going to stop soon and simply picked her up along with the pamphlet of information the nurse had left behind.
"I love you, too." He kissed the top of her head and walked out into a strange, new world where one of those "terrible tragedies" people talked about had happened to him and his beloved.
Chapter 5: 24: Depression
Hizashi sat slumped over the arm of his couch, staring numbly at the floor. The apartment was dim, the only light shining in through the thin curtain over their glass patio door. He sniffled, considered getting a tissue but rejected the idea as he would have to stretch to reach the box on the end table. He hadn't even changed clothes except to take his neck speaker off and though the leather was hot and kind of chafing him at this point he still was reluctant to move.
The Voice Hero had been in this awkward position ever he had overheard yet another conversation about him between UA students. Every time he closed his eyes he could hear the third years laughing.
"Present Mic? She's living with him?! Why would she choose him when she comes from America? Aren't there much hotter guys there?"
"Way hotter. I mean, I don't get why anyone would pick the loud poser hero over anyone else."
He rolled his head to the side, letting out a dejected sigh. He was always the "loud guy" or the "annoying teacher". Before he had gotten together with Ches he had been jokingly called the "thirty year old virgin" by some, and thank god that was over, at least. Even if it hadn't been entirely true, it stung.
Why had Cheshire chosen him, then? They loved each other deeply yet so many people thought she had to be joking when they found out who she was with. And for him there was a lot of ... congratulating, as if he had gotten lucky somehow.
Well, he had, really. But people made it sound like it was just luck when it wasn't. This was obvious yet it overwhelmed him when he heard it repeated over and over again. He had heard it in school, too. Shota had told him to ignore the people talking then but he heard them even now in his mind when he got like this.
The loud kid. The stupid one. Didn't he hurt his parents when he was a baby? Watch out, he can't control his quirk. What a loser. What a useless power, why is he here?
So much hurt.
He groaned and checked his phone, which had been vibrating urgently for a couple of minutes. Amazingly, it was a text from her asking if he was okay. In it, she told him to check his email.
Hizashi tapped into his account and found something she had sent him.
You are amazing.
I love you for so many reasons, like how you're always there for me with a hug and a smile when I need it. And if you need a boost now, just remember:
You're trilingual. WTF, seriously! Japanese, English and ASL? That's insane.
You have an incredibly strong quirk. I know people make fun of it, but they just don't get it. You can't go on patrols regularly because you'll injure innocents, not just villians. That's not your fault - you're just so powerful.
You're adorable - both as your hero persona, Present Mic, and as yourself. Okay, all right, maybe I'm biased here. But you have the most gorgeous eyes that mesmerize me with those spiralled pupils. I shiver just thinking about looking into your eyes. And your hair! Most women can't get their hair to do what you do with yours every single weekday, all right? Enough said. That shit takes work.
You're a pro hero, a teacher, and you do radio work and MC events as well as DJ parties and club openings, shows and more. You do more work than most of the heroes around here. You are hardworking, responsible and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Baby, you're smart, funny, cute and I'm so lucky to have you to come home to (and I'll be home soon)!
♡ love, Elly
Hizashi laid the phone down on the coffee table and took his glasses off, the hint of a smile touching his lips for the first time in hours. He'd better go shower and change, because he wanted to hold her for just about forever when she came home tonight.
Chapter 6: 1: Birth
"Hizashi, why do you have an egg on your neck gear?" Elly reached out and gently touched the fragile shell.
"I what?!" He scrunched down and sure enough, a tiny egg was wedged in part of the speaker, close to the hollow of his throat. "I don't know where that came from, honest!"
"It's warm," she noted, frowning a little. "Maybe it's still okay."
"What do we do?"
"Keep it warm and safe. It's summer, so it's hot out. Heat shouldn't be an issue." She rummaged around in their closet. "Look! An old desk lamp. If we put it on a blanket inside a little tupperware container and keep this on it on low, it should hatch if it hasn't gotten too cold."
A few days later, Hizashi was eating his lunch in the kitchen. He decided to check on the egg since he was bored and put down his burger, cramming a couple fries in his mouth to munch along the way. He meandered into the bedroom and up to the nightstand. The egg had cracked, and a tiny, naked pink bird was peeping frantically under the light with half of a shell stuck to its rear. The french fry fell out of his mouth as Hizashi gaped.
"Ches Ches Ches! It hatched!"
"Ohhh my gosh," she gasped, rushing into the room. "So cute! We have to figure out what type he is!"
His eyes grew wide as its beak gripped at the fry. "I'm'a call him French Fry," he announced.
Elly giggled softly. "Nugget would be more appropriate. But, um. He probably shouldn't be eating that."
"Eh... we'll figure it out."
Chapter 7: 10: Without
He couldn't sleep. Hizashi had to go a few towns away on a hero conference, and he hated sleeping without his girlfriend by his side. It was amazing the things you grow attached to so quickly, he thought as he tossed and turned in the small hotel bed. At last he decided he had tried longer than enough. He squinted nearsightedly at the alarm clock on the drawer nearby and sighed. It wasn't too late. Maybe she was still up.
Fumbling for his phone, he picked it up and swiped it on, hitting the cheshire cat icon he had for her on speed dial.
Her voice when she picked up filled him with far too much glee. "Hizashi? Is everything okay?"
"Everything's fine, babe. Except... um. I miss you." He bit his lip, fussing about in bed until he was propped up against the headboard. "I can't sleep. It sucks."
"Poor Zashi," she purred sympathetically. "If I have to be honest, I almost cried a little when you weren't here to cuddle me before bed."
"Awww." He sniffled. "No way."
"Yeah. I don't sleep well to begin with."
"You in bed then?" He thought for a moment. "What're you wearing?"
Elly laughed shyly. "The shirt you wore before you left. It still smells like you."
"Awww! Too cute!" He blinked as his phone vibrated, then checked his messages. She had sent him a picture of herself snuggled up and smiling at him. "Super cute. I was right." He took one of himself laying there with a wistful grin to send her. His pajamas were an old black t-shirt with a microphone printed on it and a pair of blue boxer briefs.
"Aw, Zashi, now I miss you more."
"I know." He fluffed his hair out and lay back. It fanned out over both sides, shining in the dim light from the street light out the window. "Look, I got an idea. Put the phone down by your ear and get comfortable."
"You all snuggly, princess?" He smiled lovingly, thinking of her as she lay with his clothes on for maximum comfort.
"All right. Then, relax." He breathed softly in and sang a popular love song in the low, low frequency she loved. His smile grew broader when he heard her start to purr and when the song ended he was pretty sure she was asleep. He held the phone close to his ear and the steady, rumbling purr relaxed him enough so that he could drop off as well.
Chapter 8: 59: Colorful
"Get them toe beans up here, lady," Hizashi chuckled, patting his bare legs. "And tell me what color you want."
"Purple, please." Elly wriggled her freshly-washed feet and smiled, resting back with her favorite couch cushion cuddled in her arms.
"Why am I not surprised." He grinned and massaged her feet for a few minutes, staring at the bucket of supplies and trying to pick out one she might like. "God, baby, there's like ten different purples!"
"I know." She chuckled at his reaction. "I always buy one if I see one I like. I can't seem to help it."
"Okay, all right... then, here. Pick for me: left or right?"
Elly pursed her lips. "Left!"
Hizashi flashed her the color he held in his left hand, a shade that matched her lighter striping with lots of glitter in it. She purred with contentment as he shook it to mix. "If you want, you can do mine after."
She watched him fondly as he stuck his tongue out to concentrate. "Really? Hands, too?"
"Sure, whatevs." He blew on the completed right foot a little.
"Won't the kids tease you?"
"Nah. Besides, if I tell them it's because we were doin' lovey stuff the girls damn near faint and the guys immediately start barfing. In conclusion, they all shut up real quick."
"You're such a sweetheart."
"Uh huh." He flashed her a cheeky grin. "Switch footies... aw, this one's cold."
"Just 'cause I had my ankles crossed, I think. Yeek! Zashi!"
He had lifted it to his lips and was kissing and lapping at the cold skin. "Hwha? S'cold. This is the fastest way to warm it up."
"Your mustache tickles!"
He blinked at her for a moment, then wiggled his eyebrows. "Oh ho ho."
"Oh no, baby, wait!"
"Stay still now," he chided as he deliberately rubbed his upper lip on her foot. "I've got an open bottle in my hand."
"Quit!" Laughing louder, she waved her hands around. "Please! What about a bribe? Hmm?"
"Hmm..." He pretended to think it over, nibbling on her big toe. "Whatever I want after you're all dry?"
"Okay then." He kissed the top of her foot and brought up the bottle again. He hummed happily as he started painting again. "I propose we do some more painting together."
"I bought some special stuff."
"Oh dear... what did I agree to."
He glanced over at her innocently, his green eyes wide. "English coloring books, princess. I wanted us to do a couple so the kids wouldn't be embarrassed later."
She pulled the cushion up over her face to muffle her laughter.
Chapter 9: 8: Soft
The sound of humming filled the apartment. Content, low and melodious strains of unidentifiable songs reverberated in the small space as he lay back on the couch in his girlfriend's lap, eyes closed. His glasses sat on the table in front of them, he wore a t-shirt and pair of old sweatpants, and all was right with his world.
She was grooming his long, blond hair.
As she ran the wooden brush through his long tresses she stroked with her hand, gently working any tangles out and massaging his scalp. It was soothing to both of them and good for his hair, turning it into a soft cloud of gold that puffed out to frame his sweet, sleepy face. The caresses were turning him into a little bundle of pleasure and he rolled over on his side, snuggling with her leg. She was wearing sweats, too, and the worn cloth was fuzzy and even more comforting.
When she set the brush aside and ran her fingers through he opened his heavy eyelids, the spiral pupils swirling with intensity. He didn't have to ask; she leaned over, fingers still entwined in his hair and pressed her lips to his in an upside down kiss. His humming ceased momentarily as he moved with her, lightly flicking his tongue and mouthing gently. When they broke for air they were both panting, catching their breath as their rapidly beating hearts slowed back to normal.
"You're next, princess," he whispered dreamily, and she handed him her brush with a smile.
Chapter 10: 2: Enthusiasm
Mic made a heart with his curled hands, grinning and blushing across the bridge of his nose and his cheeks. His propped-up phone recorded this and he giggled to himself as he sent the video.
"Yamada is such an idiot," Midnight commented, sipping from a mug with the school's logo on it.
Aizawa shrugged. "You know he's not."
"Yeah, okay, but a lovesick idiot. At least give me that."
Mic slid into his seat, grinning happily. "What'cha talking about guys?"
She stared at him dolefully above the rim of her cup. "I'm not a guy, Yamada."
He made a face at her stubborn refusal to call him by his hero name. "And I'm not talking to you. Whatever." A hand flapped in her direction, hardly an apology but all she was going to get from the besotted man. "Look, I'm thinking of getting this one."
"Hizashi," his friend sighed wearily, "are you going to show me fifty images of engagement rings again?"
He chuckled and ducked down in his neck speaker, biting the top in embarrassment. "Um... no?"
"Good." His tired eyes met the other man's excited green ones. He pointed at his computer. "Don't you have papers to grade?"
"I finished half an hour ago."
"Then go visit her in her office."
"I cant," he wailed, dramatically flinging an arm over his head. "She's busy and she'll get ma-a-ad."
"Then go buy the damned thing already. Or at least look. You're done, Nedzu isn't going to care. Trust me, we'll all be happier if you keep this rolling along."
"Hey, yeah!" He flung himself out of the desk chair and was out the door in another moment, a blur of leather and blond hair.
"So..." Midnight sipped her coffee again. "You think he's going to do it with his hero costume on?"
They craned their necks to look curiously out the window. Sure enough, the black and gold blur was racing madly towards the entrance to the campus without a second thought.
"His publicist must love him," she commented drily.
Chapter 11: 33: Anger
The teenagers parted like a wave when they heard the screaming. No one wanted to be in the way of an upset teacher, sure, but an angry Present Mic? You would be deaf before he even caught you. Students melted from his path as he rushed down the halls, skidding around corners and obviously chasing someone.
"You get back here, you little pervert! I'm draggin' your ass straight to Principal Nedzu when I catchya!" His glasses were askew, the spiral pupils whirling with rage. His hair was bristling up like a furious cockatoo and it looked like he couldn't get his mouth wider or show any more teeth. It just wasn't humanly possible!
A small figure dashed into room 1-A and shot under the desk. A few of the students were sitting there waiting for some test results and saw this. Approximately one minute later the stomping fury they knew as their English teacher slammed the door open, panting heavily.
"Where is he?!"
They pointed under the desk.
His prey successfully captured, Mic held him out at arm's length, by the scruff like a cat as he banged back out the door.
"I swear I didn't know you two were in there!" Mineta struggled but couldn't escape the older man's steely grip.
"That's our apartment!"
"The blinds were open! I just looked, that's all!"
Mic turned him around. The small teen winced and shriveled up into himself. The teacher's eyes appeared red beneath the orange tinted glasses he wore. "You just looked." His mouth set in a thin line.
"Yes! Yes! Yes! I swear I didn't -"
"For ten minutes?!" The teachers had monitors stationed outside their rooms for security just like the student dorms. Later in the principal's office, the footage clearly showed Mineta had stood by Hizashi's patio doors, frozen in place with blood dripping from his nostrils, for exactly ten whole minutes.
Punishment was meted out and after he had left to return to his dorm, Nedzu waved the teacher over to his desk. "If you catch him at it again, feel free to spar with him in one of the battle simulators."
Mic's grin was fierce. "Thanks."
Chapter 12: 70: Disgust
The door to Elly's office slammed open. She jumped in her seat, ears snapping up in surprise. It was her boyfriend, and he was not well. She paled when she saw his grimace, his brows drawn low and his mouth set in a disapproving line. His mustache points even appeared to be pointing down. When he got closer she could make out his eyes under the glasses he wore and they were greener than usual.
He held a comic book out towards her like it was a live snake. "It was my turn to dig through the lost and found to see if we could find any owners and dispose of the stuff that's been in there too long. I found... this."
She took it and glanced at the cover. "Oh boy."
"The students are reading these!" His mouth twitched and he looked like he might actually be sick. "Stuff like this is not only against the rules, it's disrespectful to us."
"You know these things exist, Mikey." She placed the book face down, then did a double take at the art on the back and quickly flipped it to the front cover again. "Whoa."
"Yeah, whoa." He plopped down in one of the chairs, pouting. "I mean, I get it - kids, porn, whatevs. They're better off looking than doin'. But when it involves their teachers?!" He frowned even harder and looked down at his feet. "And it wasn't even me," he said in a small voice.
Elly stood and walked over to him, kneeling in front and placing her hands on his. "That's what has you so upset, isn't it. You know these exist - we all do -- but it's because this one isn't you and me."
"Who the hell ships you with Eraserhead?!" He sputtered out. "That's - that's ..."
"They pair people with all sorts of others. It doesn't have to make sense at all, although they'll defend their choices to the death. It's all about fantasy and projection."
"Please don't go all psych doc on me babe. I just need you to tell me that's gross, an' then I'll go throw it out."
"Okay." She stood back up. "It is gross. Go toss it. Okay?"
He sighed dramatically and grabbed it off her desk. "Im'a burn the damned thing," he muttered angrily.
Chapter 13: 3: Love
"Alllll righty... there's the food, the drink, the paper plates so we don't make a mess I can't quickly clean up." Hizashi reached up and fiddled with one of the points of his mustache as he thought. "Food wise, I think that's it."
He turned his attention to the apartment in general, slowly walking through every room with his eyes peeled for any mess. He pushed his glasses back up on his nose and grinned, pleased with himself. Everything was clean, her favorite food and drink was ready in the refrigerator and he was pretty sure he had done all his chores and then some, going as far as to do a couple of hers as well. He got out her favorite comfort outfit and lit a few relaxing candles.
When Elly turned the key in the lock and pushed the door to their apartment open, she was dead tired. She didn't want to have to do anything other than collapse in a heap on the couch and cuddle with Hizashi. She flipped the lights and smiled wanly when he immediately took her in his arms.
"Welcome home, princess." He kissed her neck and picked her up. Elly let her bag fall where it may as he carried her to the bedroom. "I put your fuzzies out for you. Get dressed, go pee or whatever you need to do so you can veg out with me all night."
"Oh, sweetie, you're home?" She thankfully slid out of her hero costume and into the t-shirt and sweats, sighing.
"Yep. I took the night off. You sounded like you needed me. It's a whole night of eating takeout, watching whatever you want and cuddles." He wiggled his eyebrows at her. "I'm so pumped for cuddles."
"You're the dearest man ever, Zashi."
"Hey, I love you. That's all." He slipped around the corner in comedic slow motion, pointing at her and winking.
Chapter 14: 46: Lust
His leather pants were just too tight. They were designed to be form fitting, but he was having a problem that was really testing the limits of the material. Present Mic fidgeted at his desk, crossing and uncrossing his legs.
The room was warm, a couple windows on the far side open in an effort to capture the slight breeze that was blowing outside. But he was far hotter than that as he watched his girlfriend with a piece of chalk in her hand, pointing at the board and asking the students questions. Sweat trickled down his neck and he wiped at it hurriedly, knowing what a problem it would be if he shorted out his neck gear. It certainly felt possible that he could sweat enough to do that today.
Good thing he was at his desk. There was no way he could hide his reaction to her standing up. His heart was pounding in his chest faster and faster. What concerned him the most, however, was the feeling of being nearly crushed by the pressure building in his groin.
All he could think about was being a student in her class. His eyes became dreamy as his fantasy grew progressively more intense and he actually yelped when she dropped the course book next to him.
"Augh! Don't give me detention!"
Elly burst out laughing. "You're lucky the class left, or they'd be teasing you into next week with that one."
Mic chuckled shyly, biting at the top of his neck speaker. "Unf. Look, babe, m'having a little problem..."
"I know. You want help with that?" He choked a little at this, his eyes huge, and she clarified, "Cover as you make a mad dash for the men's room?"
Frantic nodding. "Although, maybe later..."
"What is this maybe?" She grinned. "Definitely."
Chapter 15: 67: question
"Hey, hey, baby. Can I ask you something?" Hizashi's green eyes stared warmly at his girlfriend. They lay comfortably on the couch in their living room.
"Mmmn?" Elly's ears perked and she lifted her head where it laid on his lap.
"Nah, s'okay, don't hafta move." He rubbed her ears. "Just listen, 'kay? So, you know how we got them rings way back when we started living together?"
She nodded, smiling up at him. "I love them."
"You wanna upgrade?" He gave her the look she adored, one eye squinted and the other wide.
"You mean, get another..?"
"Yep. Sort of. I mean, I wanted to propose to you before. I was kinda afraid it was too fast. Was it? Would it be now?"
"Mm. You want to get married, sweetie?"
He pulled her up closer to him, wrapping his arms around her in a tight hug. "I've wanted to for like, forever!"
She laughed loudly in sheer joy. "You're too damned adorable!"
"I was wondering when you would ask. Of course I'll marry you."
His grin grew so huge she was momentarily afraid he would unhinge his jaw or something. Then she remembered how wide he could open it and mentally shrugged, hunkering down in preparation for the scream that usually followed. "Aw, yeahhh!"
Chapter 16: 99: Embarrassment
Elly was filing some actual papers, a rarity in these modern times, when her boyfriend sauntered into the small office adjacent to the principal's.
"Hey hey," he murmured, tilting his head to watch. "I thought I heard a nice butt come in here. I was ri-i-ight."
She snickered at this and swished her tail to one side, standing back up. "Really?"
On a desk under the window sat a microphone and small box with various switches of audio nature. Several yellow sticky notes were attached, all of them with the same basic message:
"!!!Do not let Present Mic near the PA System!!!"
They moved it around a lot so he wouldn't know where it was. He didn't see it today, either, but his hand bumped the switch as he ran his fingertips along the desk towards her. Students and teachers everywhere glanced up as the system crackled to life in rooms all over the campus.
"Hey, princess. C'mere for a minute." Muffled sounds of him advancing on her and an exasperated mew from Elly could be heard.
"Mikey, I've got to get this filing done!"
"So? File. I'll just..." More mumbles and a long, loud hum followed by an obviously long, moist kiss. Several teachers were scrambling out into the halls asking where the system had been moved today. No one could remember but one had the foresight to recall Elly had mentioned filing.
"Quit it!" Both of them were giggling now.
"Uh uh, babygirl," Mic crooned. "No way."
"If you don't knock it off I'll tickle you half to death later."
He squealed. "Promise?!"
Ectoplasm left his class and pelted down the hall as fast as he could towards the office. He banged the door open only to witness Present Mic and Cheshire wedged into a corner of the room against each other and the filing cabinet. He reached out and turned the system off with a relieved sigh.
Mic's face very slowly began to flush red from the collar up. He stared incredulously at his fellow teacher and then the broadcasting system over the top of his glasses. "Did I just - did everyone hear ..?"
Mic's left eye twitched. "Oh, shit."
Elly sighed and patted the side of his cheek. "Yep."
He squeezed his neck as far down into his gear as he could for the rest of the day. It was fine with the kids, since most were kind of disgusted about hearing the two of them canoodling. But his colleagues were relentless. His name, as far as they were concerned, was now "Mikey", not Present Mic. And they were really very interested about his joy at getting tickled.
That was the worst part.
He walked into the break room at lunch to find Midnight giving a dissertation on tickling as a kink.
"Oh, hey, Mikey." She scratched under her chin, deep in thought. "Would you say you prefer to be tickled senseless as in bound beforehand or is it just a light kind of ..."
"Okay, okay," he pleaded, breaking out in a cold sweat. "C'mon, can't we just drop this? It was an accident. I didn't think everyone could hear!"
"Also, I'm really getting tired of hearing everyone call my boyfriend 'Mikey'," a low growl hissed from the corner of the room. "That's my name for him, and I'll be damned if you're going to ruin it."
Everyone jumped as Elly materialized into view, her eyes glowing. "My quirk is invisibility, remember guys? And I'm the school flipping counselor. I've pretty much got dirt on everyone. Quit picking on him."
"Aw, babe," he choked, rushing up to give her a hug.
"I think you've been tortured enough. Right?" She glared around at everyone, her fur on end and her ears laid back.
The teachers grumbled a little, but nodded. "My hero," he murmured as he gave her a squeeze.
Chapter 17: 47: Longing
Elly and Hizashi were snuggled up tight next to each other on the couch under their favorite blanket. It was warm, fuzzy, and was imprinted with a night scene, complete with full moon and a leopard roaring under the stars.
They were randomly flipping through their streaming options when one of those "cute kid does something" stories on a news channel someplace popped up. Hizashi paused to watch since a cat was also involved.
"Ha!" He pointed with the remote. "They both got brain freeze at the same time!"
Elly laughed openly at the stunned faces on the screen. "I'm not sure which is cuter."
"Hmm. What if the kid had kitty ears?" He reached out and fluffed hers affectionately.
"Hmm." She purred softly. "You know, if we had kids we might get that."
"They would look like you?" He smiled. "I could live with that."
"They might look like you, mister, but with cat ears!"
He snorted, squeezed her tight. "Okay, okay. But what would we name 'em, babe? You like any names? Ever thought about it?"
She blushed shyly and nuzzled into his side, inhaling his sweet, sleepy scent. "Don't you dare make fun of me, Hizashi Yamada..."
"Oh? Me?" He widened his green eyes in an effort to look innocent. He almost managed it, but the sly twist to his lips ruined the effect.
"I'm too indecisive. I always think I could come up with something better. Especially..." She stopped in mid sentence and bit her lip.
"Hmm?" Hizashi hummed softly, stroking her hair back into place from his gentle teasing earlier. "Especially with me?"
"I feel so old fashioned," she fretted. "I never thought about this before and all of a sudden I'm imagining what our babies would look like and - and I really want that."
"Hoo boy, princess," he breathed. "Sounds like yer clock is more than tickin'. It's doing that sproingy cartoon thing. You know, like when they show 'em going superfast..?"
"Yeah. That." Elly murmured, then added in a much lower voice, "But it's not 'cause of my age."
She sometimes forgot that he had pretty good hearing for someone that deafened others. "I know, babe. It's because it's me, an' it's you. S'okay to say it."
She choked. "Say..."
He leaned close to her ear, turning it towards him with his fingers. "I would ab-solutely love to have a baby with you. When we've been married a little while and are ready, that is."
Chapter 18: 54: Challenge
"Renting this hot spring area was like, the best idea we've had in awhile, babe." Hizashi slid down into the steamy water with a sigh, rubbing at the back of his neck. He wore his hair pulled up so he didn't get it wet, double rolled into a very immaculate bun. His glasses were in a small fabric box on the ledge along with their towels so he had to squint as his girlfriend climbed in beside him. Elly didn't need to worry as her purple hair was buzzed underneath and cropped short so it winged out on the sides. Tonight, however, the wings were fluffed down without styling gel in them and she had clipped her side locks back in two cute little teacup barrettes. Both of them wore bathing suits to soak.
"Ohhh, it's so warm," she purred as he wrapped his arm around her shoulders.
"Mm hmm." He smiled when she leaned on him. "And it smells great. Did you add the stuff they gave you?"
She nodded. "It smells sweet." Her purring intensified when he hummed under his breath, fingers toying with the strap on her bikini top. "You want a neck massage, sweetie?"
"Ah, you know it." He grinned at her. She wriggled behind him and rubbed his tired neck muscles. Wearing heavy gear all the time did "quite a number" on him, as he was fond of saying. The water trickled down on one side of the natural stone bath, and sweet-smelling steam surrounded them. Hizashi whimpered happily after a few minutes.
"Now you." He took her hand and urged her in front of him. As he gently kneaded all tension from her shoulders he sang the song she loved, softly, until she sank with a quivering sigh into his chest.
"I love you."
"Hmm. Love you, too."
Chapter 19: 31: Rage
Present Mic stormed into the break room, his eyes blazing under his orange tinted glasses. He kicked an unoffending chair out of his way and slapped a magazine on the table in front of his friend.
Eraserhead looked up to see the Voice Hero barely holding himself together. He was bent over, pointing at the photo on the cover with his mouth set in a thin line. His mustache ends were frizzed out as if they also indicated his extreme dissatisfaction and his finger was shaking.
The cover depicted Toshinori Yagi and Elly at some function they had coincidentally met at. Neither had known the other was there, so their greetings had been warm as they had been somewhat nervous beforehand. The enterprising reporter had taken their friendly hug to mean a lot more. The title read 'All Might and Cheshire: their first date?'
"I've never seen you this angry." Aizawa raised his eyebrows in concern.
"I'm not angry, I'm - I'm hurt," he snapped, pounding his fist on the table. He sneered, his teeth showing as his upper lip curled. "I can't stand when people make things up like this."
"You know what the press are like." His friend shrugged. "And one can barely call this a shining example of journalism."
"She's my girl, Shota! Not his!"
"No one cared when we started dating!"
"They didn't recognize you, more often than not." Aizawa lifted his cup, then frowned as he saw it was empty. He set it back down and added, "You look very different in civilian clothing."
"We're practically engaged! We live together!" He caught the book in his hand and threw it across the room, adding some very choice curses in english.
"Whoa," Yagi murmured, sticking his head in the door. "What's got Yamada riled up?" Aizawa made a slashing motion across his throat at the other man. Unfortunately, he didn't see the warning for what it was and entered the room. "Ahhh... Mr. Present Mic?"
"Damn it!" He whirled around, stomping one foot on the ground as his emotions overcame him. "Get the hell out of my way!" He pushed past him and out the door.
All Might stared after him, baffled, as he stood there partially hunched over with one hand stretched out. "Was it something I said?"
Chapter 20: 34: Fury
Hizashi whistled cheerfully as he bounced the small bag of goodies he had bought for dinner in one hand. He unlocked the door to his apartment and immediately was struck by a terrible sight.
Elly was sitting hunched over on the couch, sobbing her heart out. She had muffled her cries by cramming her favorite pillow against her face so he hadn't heard before he walked inside. She looked horrible; her hair was flattened on one side, her face paler than normal. Those beautiful purple eyes he loved were red flecked, like Aizawa's, and there were dark circles under them. Wads of tissue lay everywhere around her, some of them blood-spotted.
"Oh, god, princess, what is it?" He dropped the groceries on the floor and rushed to the couch, flinging himself on the floor in front of her. "Are you hurt?" The blood meant she could have cut herself, or any number of things.
She shook her head, gulping. "N - no, it's something stupid. Just a bloody nose."
He stroked her tear-streaked cheeks, his green eyes filled with worry. "You cried so hard you bled? Oh baby, tell Zashi what's wrong. I'll fix it - I'll try my damndest to fix it."
She pointed blindly at the ground. "I know it's not true, I - I know, buh - but..."
Hizashi blinked, noticing for the first time the magazine on the floor. He picked it up and opened it to the page she had been reading. "This is that rag that printed the photo of you and Toshi...nor... eeeehhh, what the hell is this?!" He screeched the last part so loud she covered her ears.
"I know it's not - !"
"Those bastards!" His glasses slipped down his nose but he didn't notice. "No. No-o-o-o, no, this is too far. I'm with you. Not whoever the hell this is."
"I know. I know..."
"At least it's just this shitty mag," he snarled as he drop kicked it across the room.
"It's not just them." She waved the remote weakly in one hand.
His eyes bugged out of his head. "What."
She breathed erratically, tears starting afresh. "It's eh - everywhere on the news!"
He jumped as his phone suddenly went off. "Shit, not now."
"Who is it?"
He checked. "Awwww, crap. It's my publicist. Babe, maybe this will help." He tapped and held it up to his ear. "Yeah, I'm here."
Elly blew her nose and rolled over miserably. "Stupid, stupid," she groaned.
"Yeah." Hizashi's tone had grown cold. "I saw. My girl's here cryin' her damn eyes out. What're they tryna do to us?!" He paused as he listened, tapping his foot on the floor. "Okay, listen. Not only are we gonna do those interviews in costume, I'm gonna freaking propose on camera! That's it!" He flung the phone down, his nostrils flaring.
"H - Hizashi?"
"Ohhh. Oh shit I said that out loud, didn't I."
She covered her mouth and hiccupped softly, trying to hold back a wild burst of laughter. "Uh huh."
"Well, screw 'em! I'm'a make this so damned romantic and perfect somehow, even if you do already know about it. And I swear if they ever make you cry again..."
He threw back his head and yelled, carefully controlling his voice. "No! No one can make you cry!"
"No one's ever gotten this angry for me before." She leaned forward and hugged his legs. "At me, sure, but never for me. It's sweet."
"Uh. Good," he finished lamely. "Err, we have to do those live interviews in like an hour."
Her eyes popped open. "Crap."
Chapter 21: 57: Stress
The UA stadium was packed for the first years' sports festival once again. In the announcer's booth far above someone was noticing this for the first time.
Present Mic paced the tiny area, biting at his nails. "Oh, mannnn - lookit how many people came to this one, Sho!"
The dark haired man glanced out the windows. "Yes. There are many."
"How'm I gonna - I can't stop it now. What do I do?!"
"You're a born performer, moron. Sit. You'll be fine once you open that trap of yours and start talking."
"I am talking!" He whined loudly, pulling at his long leather collar nervously. "M'gonna barf, Sho. For real."
"Sit." His friend pointed at the chair beside him.
Mic sat, biting at his lower lip and drumming his fingers on the panels in front of him. "I'm so nervous."
"Nothing to worry about." Aizawa yawned and closed his eyes.
"What if she's too shy? What if this scares her somehow and what if she's not here in time? Maybe the kids will forget what to do. Or what if sh - she says no..."
"Ugh, quiet." He turned, hair whooshing up and his eyes blazing red. "Now. You will sit, and you will over dramatize the events like you always do."
Mic nodded, his mouth open but no sound coming out. He flailed around momentarily, pointing at the small box in front of them.
"It's in there. You checked five times already. Now, are you going to calm down?"
He nodded, wincing.
"Good." Aizawa's hair floated back down.
"Erghh!" Hizashi gasped for air. "Damn it, you know not bein' able to talk freaks me out even more!"
"Just think about me doing all the commentary by myself."
"Ugh. It'd be boring."
"Factual," he corrected flatly.
"Whaaaa?!" He did a double take at the panels, and outside, where the clock clearly showed it was time. Choking back his nerves, he cleared his throat and yelled his usual opening speech, ending with, "Is everybody ready?!"
They cheered wildly.
He swallowed nervously, hoping he was.
Chapter 22: 74: Humiliation
Mic: hey hey bby ♡ what's up
"Huh. Shows she read the text." She was normally right on top of these things. He placed the phone facedown on his desk and went back to grading papers. A few minutes later he tried again.
Mic: we still on 4 later? I bought this sweet little number just for tonight
Nothing. It did show she had seen the photo he sent, though.
Now he started to panic.
Mic: you ok?
He must have waited five full minutes before coming to the conclusion that she was in danger or - possibly worse -- angry at him.
Mic: I'm coming over
Present Mic stuffed his phone in a pocket and pelted off down the school halls until he skidded to a stop by his girlfriend's door. Panting, he struggled to pull himself together before knocking.
Cheshire looked up, startled, at the flurry of knocks. "Hey, come in..?"
A very loud blond man crashed into her office at the invite. "Els, what's wrong? You didn't answer any of my texts!"
Elly frowned. "Mikey, I didn't get any texts from you lately."
He froze mid way to her side, his eyes widening. "Uh... no? No uh. No, photos, either?"
"What did you send?!"
He twitched. "Something that's gonna come back at me really hard."
"We still on for tonight?"
"Yeahhhh." He drew this out as he jumped guiltily when he heard adult laughter coming from the lounge. "Yep. I'm - I'm just gonna..." He backed out, pointing sheepishly behind him with a huge grin on his face.
Elly sighed. "Hope it wasn't a nude."
Mic rushed into the teacher's lounge only to be met with a sea of bright red and teary-eyed faces. Some were biting their hands or lips, and one - his best friend, by the way -- was openly chuckling.
"Hey, I'm not the one who sent this." He held his phone out, and to his chagrin there he was in the brand new fluffy puppy pajamas he had gotten for "stay-at -home-movie night" at their place. It wouldn't have been so bad if he wasn't posing rolled over on his back with the sticker he'd added asking for "tummy rubs".
"Aw, shit." Mortified, he dropped into a chair and his his flaming face in his hands.
Chapter 23: 7: Wrecked
"Hang on, sweetie," Elly urged. "You'll be okay. Just get it all out." She pulled back on his hair just a little, making sure the golden locks were far out of the way of the toilet. They were firmly ensconced on the tile of their bathroom, Elly seated on the bathing stool while her boyfriend kneeled in front of the bowl.
Hizashi rolled his eyes, gagging. "No fair," he whined. "I didn't drink anything last night!" A convulsion struck him and he lunged forward one more time.
She waited until the noise died down to speak. "I know," she soothed, wiping his sweaty neck with a washcloth and dabbing his forehead when he turned, his eyes pleading with her to make it stop. "Better yet?"
"I - I just don't think I have anything left."
"Okay. You wanna brush your teeth?" He smacked his lips and grimaced, nodding. "Be careful with the toothpaste if you do, it might trigger it again."
"'Kay." He hobbled over to the sink.
"I'm going to tie your hair back while you do that." She got out a soft hair band and did just that, making certain it was doubled up and out of the way.
Hizashi spat and rinsed a couple of extra times. "Nghh, babe, I don't feel so good." He wobbled a bit and she grasped him about the waist, leaning on one side.
"Quick, Zashi - bed or couch?"
"Okay, here we go."
They shuffled clumsily along, him grabbing weakly at the walls to steady himself until they rounded the corner to their living room. He flopped heavily onto the couch, groaning, and closed his tired eyes.
"I feel like I've been wrung out."
"I think it might have been food poisoning." She had been busy gathering things and set down a plastic bottle filled with water by his side.
"Ugh. I only had a burger, though." He sniffled and sighed as a warm blanket was draped over him.
"Who knows? Maybe it's a twenty four hour bug. If it goes on longer than that we'll see. I bet the worst is over now, though."
"I hope so."
"No eating yet. Which I think is okay with you now, but later you might get hungry. There's a mug of plain broth in the fridge and saltines on the counter. Crackers first."
Elly stroked his hair. "Drink lots of water. I put a couple other bottles on the table. I want them all empty when I get back from school. But don't drink too fast."
He grinned weakly. "I love you, mommy."
"You little shit." She laughed. "Call me if you get worse. Or for anything. I'll try to peek in on you on my lunch." She kissed his clammy forehead, but he was already in a fitful sleep.
Chapter 24: 92: Zest
Please forgive me xD
Her boyfriend was humming as he washed his long, blond hair. She heard him rinsing, gargling and then giggling to himself. Elly smiled and walked into the bedroom to put her ring on. She always took it off before she slept and put it back on if she wasn't in costume.
Hizashi had begun singing and she clearly heard the words of a soap commercial she remembered from long ago. She shook her head.
"I love him," she murmured.
As if this were his cue, he bounced out of the shower and whipped his towel behind him, open and covering his back half, as he grinned widely at her.
"Hizashi, what the hell?"
He doubled over laughing, grabbing the top of the counter. "Sorry... sorry, I couldn't hold it back this morning!"
"We don't even have that soap!"
"That's your problem with my whole jingle?!"
Elly leaned over, staring at his naked body with her lips curving into a sly smile. "I have zero problems with your 'jingle', Zashi."
He collapsed onto the floor, wheezing with laughter.
Chapter 25: 6: Feel
"Lay down. Let me do this for you." Hizashi wriggled on the bed with his knees firmly planted on either side of his girlfriend. She had been laying down on her belly reading a book with a sports bra on and a pair of old sweatpants she had cut into shorts. "C'monnnn! I wanna give you a back massage."
"You promise you won't start tickling?" Elly flicked her tail to one side. "Hizashi... do you promise? Some of us aren't that fond of getting tickled to death."
"Aw. All right." He crossed his arms, pouting with his lower lip thrust out. "But you're so cute when you giggle."
"Bleah." She grinned and stuck her tongue out at him. He carefully unsnapped the back of the bra and let the sides fall to the bed.
"Silly kitty." He poured the massage oil he had bought in his palm, a little bit, and let it sit there while it warmed to body temperature. It slid fluidly about and he was impatient to touch her. When he did, she sighed and relaxed, purring right away.
Her back was pale and soft and he loved the sensations of this act as much as she did. His hands picked up every nuance of her skin, tiny scars and bumps, a few random hairs. No one's body was completely smooth but he loved hers because of this. He worked slowly and evenly and closed his eyes, kneading gently and listening to her soft little hums of pleasure. Eventually she was a furry little puddle on the bed and his work was done.
"Here - let me get a towel, babe. You're all over oil an' stuff. Don't move!" He leaped off the bed and returned with a handful of wash cloths, which he then immediately rejected for the task because they were too coarse. "Hmm. Ahhh, I know!"
"What are you doing?" His shirt fell beside her as he yanked it off.
"Relax, baby, I'm not gonna use the shirt. I know it'll stain." He grinned and stretched, his necklaces jingling. "I'm gonna use me."
Hizashi bent and embraced her from behind, letting his skin accept the extra moisture of the oil. "Hey, now," he muttered, "this stuff is really slippery."
"Okay, I know. Lemme just ...uh." He coughed, blushing, and rubbed his chest on her back. The puff of golden hair he sported in the very middle sponged up quite a bit, and really, there hadn't been too much in the first place. The problem was it felt so good he didn't want to stop. He had to, he reminded himself, or things would turn from relaxing to far more serious.
"That was great, sweetie," she purred. "Now, why don't you come lay next to me?" She set her book aside. "I feel like some extreme cuddling."
"Meow," he grinned.
Chapter 26: 84: Shame
I know it's technically Shota here, but they're involved.
Aizawa hated these nights spent at the bar with the other teachers. He had never been particularly fond of being in any public space, but with his friends once a week it was semi-tolerable.
He sighed and nursed his beer, staring dully at the couple in front of him. Hizashi had gotten tipsy enough so he was clingy - what his girlfriend called "stage 3: hugzashi". The blond man sat with a dopey look on his face and Elly in his lap, his arms tightly clasped around her waist.
Aizawa's face burned and he was glad he was drinking because he could blame it on the alcohol.
"And then he was all like, 'look, no, I'll fix it', right? But the squid landed right on his face - !" She was laughing, her normally pale cheeks flushed and prettier than normal with the added color and excitement. Her purple eyes sparkled and now and then he caught a glimpse of her pointed fangs as she grinned.
Hizashi hummed and burrowed his face under her arm. She squeezed him tight and dropped a soft kiss on his upturned lips.
What was he thinking?
Stupid! It was stupid, and it was wrong. He swore inwardly at himself, hating these illogical feelings. And yet, there was no stopping them and he knew it. He had tried everything and for awhile, had even ignored his best friend. Hizashi had been nearly in tears, of course, and he had to explain that he had been "busy" and let things go back to normal.
His gray eyes more bleary than usual, he watched his best friend and his girl, sick in the pit of his stomach as he wished he was the one holding her right now. And hating himself for his thoughts.
Chapter 27: 25: Adoration
"Can I ask what is it with you guys and our relationship? We get asked nonstop now."
The interviewer smiled disarmingly. "A lot of people here see you two so obviously, so deeply in love and think 'how can I get that for myself?' I think most folks are curious. That's all."
Elly flicked her tail tips idly about. "I - well -- like I said, I wasn't even looking for a relationship. Personally I think that's a big reason things went so well. I was more relaxed and open. I just... saw him, and it clicked, I guess. It's so hard to describe."
"Present Mic has said that you two are living together now - "
A chorus of hoots and "ooh's" filled the studio. Elly blushed and winked at the camera. "We are."
"And is that a ring on your finger?"
"Well, yes." She held it up and the black and yellow stones shone under the stage lights. "It's not an engagement ring, though. It's the one that goes before that. A promise ring. He has one, too. Basically he's told me he will propose but not right away. I would have said yes to that right away, too, though. Mic is special." Her eyes shone with love as she spoke of him.
"You're killing me," the other woman sighed. "True love is one thing, but you two are inseparable." She paused. "Oh, and speaking of that..." At a crook of her finger the curtain moved and a beaming Hizashi in full hero garb strolled out.
Elly squeaked. "You didn't tell me!"
He grinned as he walked over to the couch and sat next to her, kissing her on the cheek and curling an arm around her shoulders. "Surprise, babe."
"Uh oh," the interviewer laughed a little. "From the look of things, we might have lost these two."
The heroes stared lovingly at one another for one more moment, then broke into giggles.
"Nah, we're okay. I am now, anyways." He squeezed her and she smiled.
"Mic, a lot of people have been talking lately about you two, and I bet it can get a little overwhelming."
He shrugged. "Hey, my listeners can say whatever they want about me. But! If it upsets my babygirl, then I have a problem with it." He stared into the camera, lowering his glasses so his eyes could be seen clearly. "Ya dig?"
"Oh, gosh that's cute."
He squirmed. "Aw, now yer makin' me blush on tv!"
Elly chuckled. "He's adorable. How can I not love this man? Look, ladies. I know everyone gets all into the juicy details in those magazines and articles online and stuff. And yes, we're very compatible. Everywhere."
Mic's ears started to burn but he just grinned. "Yep."
"He cares about me, and takes the time to do all the little things I like or that need doing before I can get to them. Don't laugh, but part of the reason I love him so much is he takes out the trash if it's full. Because he's considerate."
"I didn't know that." He scratched his chin.
"He's incredibly handsome, and his voice is stunning - of course, I'm biased but it is his quirk. And he makes me laugh but knows when to be serious." She placed a hand on his, meeting his startled look with one of utter and complete love. "I can't explain it like I want to, but my love for him damn near breaks my heart."
The audience freaked out.
Other publications actually labeled what occurred as such: "audience freaks out over Cheshire's declaration of love" was a popular headline. Clips went viral and audience reaction photos became memes.
Just another day in the life of two ridiculously in love pro heroes.
Chapter 28: 18: Sympathy
"But isn't the full name bipolar disorder?"
"It's called a 'disorder' by most, yes," she said, smiling. "Some of us with mental illness prefer to say we're 'neural divergent' instead of having a 'disorder'. Disorder implies that something is wrong with us. Which, technically, there is, but we're just different, that's all."
"Bullshit. Call it what it is."
The talk about mental illness went on for much longer than she had expected. Elly sighed, giving her boyfriend a kiss on the cheek as she left his class. Present Mic waited until the door closed behind her before rounding on his students.
"Don't be too hard on her," he snapped, pointing essentially at Bakugo, who had needled her relentlessly. "Look, you know why she went into this? Why she counsels your dumb asses?"
Mic snapped his fingers. "Uh uh! Shut it!" He paused for dramatic effect, then turned so the light from the window caught his shaded glasses. "It's a heart breaking tale of how things should've gone, but - "
"Cut the crap," Bakugo snarled. "She's fine. Teacher at the top school for pro heroes? I mean, c'mon."
"And dating Mr. Mic," Tsyu added.
"She can't win them all."
Uraraka smacked him on the shoulder. "Kacchan!"
"Ugh." He thrust his lip out in a sneer.
The voice hero glared at the sullen teenager from under his glasses, his pupils appearing disturbingly red. "Look, you all have loving families. They support you. But she didn't - doesn't. Before me, she ah... didn't have any guy that loved her unconditionally." He bit his lip and the students were stunned to see him reach into a pocket and pull out a tissue. He blew his nose noisily.
"Her hero file says she left home right away for college. But not only that, she applied to try and get out earlier." Midoriya frowned. "I thought she was just conscientious."
"Nope. She's had a hard time. So take it easy on her, okay? With regards to the, you know, illness thing. Besides, we're not just dating. We moved in together right before she started work here."
He winced. "Okay, okay, simmer down!"
"Sheesh. Now I kind of do feel bad for her."
Chapter 29: 73: Pity
It's Zashi feeling bad for Sho here...
Mic: hey, when are you going to the festival this year?
Eraser: Are you bringing Cheshire today?
Mic: yeah, we're going in a couple hours
Eraser: You two have fun. I'll be catching up on sleep.
Hizashi groaned and let his hand fall to the couch. The cell phone slid out of his limp grip. "Auughhh. He's killing me. So noble."
And a good friend, let's not forget that.
This wasn't a situation that could be fixed, unless time would help cure him. And, knowing Aizawa, it might not. He had known him for years - more than a decade -- and the man had never shown interest in another person. That's why this had hit him so hard, and it might be more than a crush. Hizashi was willing to bet it was much more, and he felt terrible about it.
He loved his girlfriend with all his heart. But he didn't want to hurt his best guy friend, either. He tried not to talk about her as much around him or act overly affectionate when she was around. That was difficult enough and no matter, for it didn't seem to be helping.
He never complained, he kept his distance as best he could and he, well, was a really good friend. He did all the right things and despite that, he still suffered. Hizashi could see actual pain in his eyes at times, mostly after a rare moment of peace would settle on his tired features. Aizawa would suddenly blink, check himself, and reality would set in.
He tried not to think about it just as much as his friend obviously struggled. It was the best they could do in a bad situation.
But the voice hero really couldn't stomach those fleeting moments of purity, when he caught the scruffy, haggard man smiling softly as he watched her.
"Poor Shota," he mumbled.
Chapter 30: 42: Agitation
Eraser: Hizashi. Your girlfriend is here at the shelter with me. You coming?
Mic: uhhh no I have to work soon.
The local animal shelter was holding a cat adoption drive, trying to find as many of the animals forever homes as possible. She had, of course, not realized resident cat enthusiast Aizawa Shota would be there. Hizashi hadn't, either, assuming the man was on patrol as he normally was this time of day.
He groaned and bit his fingernails. This wasn't good. "I can't tell her..."
His leg shook, foot tapping on the floor in a restless staccato. Elly didn't know his friend still had feelings for her. She assumed he had gotten over what had likely been an infatuation due to her being part feline.
Hizashi knew better. Shota had not liked her just for that. He also had a very strong hunch that his best friend was in love with his girl. The photos she innocently sent confirmed this; the pale, scruffy man was even blushing in one. He looked extremely uncomfortable and in a few, guilty.
Cheshire: hey babe, Shota tried to tell me to call you to pick me up, for safety's sake, but I said that was dumb
Cheshire: you've got to be at work later, after all. We all live in the same complex so we'll just walk home together. See you soon ♡
Mic: ok stay safe bby!
He set his phone down and removed his glasses, rubbing tiredly at his eyes. Shota was a good man. He had tried to distance himself but she was clueless. Maybe he should talk to her about this? But then she would get awkward around him. Saturday nights at the bar were weird enough. Aizawa watched them, silently judging himself and, from the look in his red-speckled eyes, finding himself to be a terrible person.
He waited until he heard her laughter before lunging at the door to open it. Aizawa was smiling, really smiling for once, an expression that was out of place on his haggard features. The happiness faded when he saw Hizashi, and something very close to self loathing replaced it.
He really felt bad for the guy.
Chapter 31: 41: Grasping
"Hey, Mikey, look!" Elly pointed at the crane machine in the window.
"Isn't that you, babe?" He pulled up short with a grin slowly spreading across his face.
"Well, kind of. It's the cheshire cat." She pressed her face to the glass, her tail swishing excitedly. Hizashi, who had never seen her want a single thing "just because", was thrilled.
"Let's go in!"
"Babe, we can't. We have to get back to school, remember?"
"Aw, Ches. Yer right, though. I'm on thin ice with Nedzu right now over our last window incident."
"Yeah." She gave the place one last, lingering look before they walked on.
Five hours later, Hizashi strolled up in his civilian clothing to try and win one of the stuffed toys. They were holding t-shirts, and they said they were limited edition besides! The arcade staff had stocked a handful of Alice in Wonderland cranes, knowing Cheshire was growing fast in popularity since she started work here. He converted far too much change and settled in for a long session.
Hizashi was terrible at these types of games. He had very little patience, although intelligence did play a key factor. He knocked one of the sets down in one corner, hoping for a strategy where he could nudge it along until it got close enough to latch on and pop it into the chute.
At one point he had attracted quite a crowd. Many of the people were too polite to say anything, but a few were cheering him on, especially after he had confessed he was "Cheshire's absolute number one fan". He started to sweat as he came to the end of his change, as he noticed the always present opportunists skirting around the corners of the crane. Now that he had spent a lot of money and effort, they could scoop it up when he ran out of cash. He was starting to think this would be the case when an attendant tapped him on the shoulder.
"Excuse me, sir - I'd like to offer to open this up and get one of these for you. You've earned it."
Hizashi flipped a wayward strand of hair that had come undone from his bun, blinking in surprise. "For reals?"
"Yes! Here - what size shirt would you like?"
"Uh... large, please." He beamed as he opened the machine and the crowd around him, also smiling, began to disperse as he got his coveted prize. "Thanks!"
The attendant grinned back. "It took me awhile to recognize you. You're Present Mic, aren't you?"
Hizashi's grin grew even larger. "Are you a listener?"
"Sometimes, especially like, when we work late! Really, though, I saw you two outside the other day. You're dating Cheshire, aren't you."
He nodded. "Yeah. She doesn't ask for things, you know..." He rubbed the back of his neck shyly. "But she really loves stuff like this."
"I hope she loves it. If you come again ask for Yuuto." He bowed.
"We will! On both counts!"
Chapter 32: 12: You
Your hair, your eyes, your lips, your everything. All of your body makes mine sing in a way no other does. You ring out, and I respond in kind whenever that happens, whether it's good or bad.
Bad and I want to hold and cuddle you and comfort you and tell you I love you a million times until you feel better.
Good and I'm happier than I ever am, my heart soaring along with yours and storing the sparkles in your eyes and the sweet curve of your lips for those other days.
You're the best, and I'll fight anyone that disputes this. Come at me with a hurtful word about my beloved and it riles me up, makes me furious and turns me into a protective beast. I'd get in trouble for you, break the rules to keep you warm and safe in every way.
If you make a mistake, I'll acknowledge it, but this doesn't mean you're a villain. Everyone screws up at one point or another. We lie, we cheat, we drink or we eat too much... among other things. People aren't perfect, and though I think you're my kind of perfect, I know you're not a deity.
You're you, and that's better.
And you're mine, and that's all I could ever really want you to be. Whatever else you accomplish is just a bonus.
I love you.
Chapter 33: 88: Feelings
"It's going to be okay. I love you."
Eight words that she repeated, over and over again as he sobbed against her, his body shaking. His face was hot on her chest and he had wet the front of her t-shirt with tears.
"You're allowed to have a bad day," she said quietly. "Don't let it get you down. I know part of your hero persona is that you're always happy and cranked to eleven, but it's okay."
Hizashi sniffled, winding down just a little. "M'sorry, Ches, I don't know why I'm like this tonight. Really."
She shrugged. "You don't need to apologize, sweetie. And you don't need a reason to feel like crap. It just happens sometimes. Built up stress, whatever."
"Ugh." He gave her a squeeze and she smiled, kissing his forehead as he looked up at her. "I guess I play the cheerful dude too much. And then people act like I'm this worthless hero."
"I don't think you're worthless. It really makes me angry when people say those things to you... or hell, even act like it." Her tail frizzed out as she spoke.
He kissed her this time, aiming for her cheek, and she dipped so he caught her mouth instead. "Mnn. Thanks, babe. But I mean... I know what I do. I get it. I do it because everybody needs a little pep in their life."
"Hope, Hizashi. Pro heroes give people hope, too. You offer the usual chance to save them, but add several other things. You teach the next generation of heroes, for one, and two, you make people smile."
He grinned, blushing. "You're biased, kiddo." He reached out, sitting up now, and gently touched her nose. "Beep."
She stuck her tongue out at him. He laughed. "I personally think you burden yourself too much, Zashi. You were bound to explode sooner or later. But, I don't want to sound like I'm telling you what to do."
"Nah. I get it. I worry about you, too. You're just like a little teapot sometimes, princess. I love you, and I'm kinda startin' to notice when you're about to go off. Maybe everybody has these issues..? I feel like we're weird but we're probably not."
"Oh, we're weird." She laughed out loud and threw her arms around his neck, immediately starting to fiddle with his necklaces. "I like weird. Regular is too boring for me."
Chapter 34: 5: Triumph
Midoriya leaped to his feet, his arm waving about like mad. His eyes were wide and he was grinning. "Oooh, ooh! I know! Bicycle!" He spoke in English, as they all had to since they were in that class.
"Idiot," Bakugo sneered, pointing at the chalkboard where their teacher was furiously doodling circles over and over again. "It's ah... ah, fuck." His face drew up in an incredible pout as he forgot the word he wanted.
Present Mic slapped his own face with a fingerless gloved hand. As per the rules, he wasn't allowed to talk and it was killing him. The little bastard knew his curse words in the language, but not much else. Why on earth had they picked this game?! He wanted to scream!
Jiro snickered from where she sat in the back. That's exactly the reason they had chosen it, and she, for one, was glad they didn't have to hear his screeching for at least a little while today. She knew the answer but held back, liking the silence more than winning.
Mic rubbed at his face and glared at them all, one eye squinted narrowly. He erased everything and then drew two circles again, then connected them with a "v" shape. He held his hand underneath them, as if to show he hadn't just drawn them smaller this time, it was their actual size.
Mineta chuckled wickedly. "Balls."
"Ughhh, have you learned nothing, you little pervert? Also, there's no way he would draw that." Mina banged her head on her desk.
Mic blinked. That had been a pretty decent sentence! He grinned at her on the side, giving her a thumbs up. He turned back to the board and frowned. He really couldn't think of anything else to tip them off, so he started adding more circles, and then a long, oblong shape with lines through it. He speckled the other circle and added little leaves...
Bang. He slammed the desk and nodded vigorously. And then pointed back to the two circles, drawing out his hands.
That makes these...?
When they still stared blankly at his little drawing, however, he gave up and started doodling sunglasses on the banana, much to the students' delight.
"Cherries!" Uraraka burst out all at once.
Mic gasped, sinking down to the floor and pointing at her with a shaking finger. "Yeahhhh! We have a winner!"
"Those are cherries?"
"I'm not an artist," he sniffed. "Still, that one took you guys wayyyy too long to get. I betcha I can guess anything in half the time."
"It's my turn."
Mic stared at Mineta. "You're going to draw boobs." The teenager slunk down in his chair, a defeated look on his face. "See? No challenge there. Okay, all right! Uraraka won, so how about it?" He handed her the chalk, dusting his leather gloves off.
The girl thought for a second, then held up one finger. What emerged from her scrawling was a fuzzy, striped cat and another oblong with glasses.
It certainly looked like a cat and a banana.
"Uh. How many words?"
She tapped her arm. Held one finger up.
"One." Present Mic's face turned bright red. He gave her a shocked look, his eyes widening. "You..."
She giggled, her hand covering her mouth.
"Uh. Okay, I get it. I'll bite." He started to sweat, aware that the class was openly amused by his embarrassment. "Dating? Romance? Love?"
She shook her head but waved him on in encouragement.
"Look, this is clearly me an' Ches, right. What the heck is... erk." This close up he saw the banana had a colored-in square in front of it with a thing sticking out.
"Really?" He threw his hands up. "Y'all wanted to see this, you just had to ask!" He lifted his hand and bit the leather near a finger, yanking the tight-fitting gloves off. "It's not a wedding ring, it's for promising I'll ask her later."
Most of the class jumped up, rushing him in their frenzy to view the much-talked about ring.
Chapter 35: 90: I
It's easy to say something that flutters people's hearts, a tiny phrase, a certain bunch of words that gets drawn way out of proportion in today's world.
When I started dating I never said it. I'm emotional as heck, yeah sure. Everybody knows that. But that's why I didn't tell anyone. And you know, now, I'm glad? I finally met somebody that is my ideal partner. I'm luckier than I thought I ever would be.
No, really. I never thought I'd find you.
I never said those words to anyone else and people told me that's why I couldn't find anyone, that I couldn't commit. I just didn't want to! Why is everyone so focused on words when it's actions that mean the most? I see it in the way you look at me, the way you touch my arm and the way I make you smile.
So I'll say it now.
Because I want you to smile.
Because I'm happy when you're happy.
Because I like it when you say it to me.
Because now it's the truth.
I love you.
Chapter 36: 11: Inspiration
So he'd be starting out the set with... Hizashi scrunched his brow hard, thinking. The music had to be good. An all-American list for him to play would also showcase a lot of different music styles. Or, at least as many as he could.
Greatness, by American Gentlemen.
"Yeahhhh, that one's got 'putcha hands up' and it kinda sounds like they're sayin' my babygirl's name, too. Mm hmm. Mikey like."
King of my Heart, by Taylor Swift.
You Spin Me Round (Like a Record), by Dead or Alive.
"Oooh, that one's got mixes she likes, too. Uh, the cowbell one! Always says it sounds like me bangin' on it." He laughed.
He grinned, then hastily scrawled another, and another, until he finally had enough. Yawning, he left the paper to go to the bathroom before he entered it into his phone. There really was something to be said for writing on paper sometimes. Especially when you needed both hands and he had been busy shoveling cup noodle in his face. Yet another reason to use paper was that phones were banned from the kitchen table in their home. She said it was for many reasons, but he assumed it was due to the fact that he had dropped his last in a huge bowl of soup.
When he got back there was one added in her scrawling print.
Pretty Fly for a White Guy, by The Offspring. ♡
He heard giggling from around the corner and he whipped around, his eyes narrowed. "Very funny, princess!"
"I thought so!"
Chapter 37: 9: Cold
"You're shivering, Ches." Mic scooted over on the bleachers close to her and slipped his leather jacket off. "Here, take this."
"Then you'll be cold! You're only wearing a t-shirt under there."
He shrugged. "It's fine."
"No," she objected vehemently. He blinked, taken aback at the force of her statement. "Put it back on. Now lift your arm."
"Lift my - ?"
"If this is okay," she said, suddenly shy. "I can, um..."
Present Mic found his glasses fogging up in the next moment as she sat under his arm in the open jacket. He slowly settled it around her as she trembled so close to his warmth. "Aww, yeah," he murmured. "I like this idea a whole lot better, baby."
She grew a whole lot hotter from that statement, her face burning.
Several students glanced over from the field and stopped practicing to stare openly, their eyes huge.
"Ohhh, my gosh. Is that..."
Chapter 38: 19: Holding
Hizashi mumbled in his sleep and clutched his girlfriend to him. "Nmm. Soft baby," he whispered.
"Mrrff, Zashi, you're doing it again." She laughed, out of breath and not entirely displeased. His arms held her as tight as a child's prized stuffed animal and he was humming.
"Hwha?" He lifted his head from his pillow, a little sleepy drool trickling down his chin. "Mnn, stay still. Zashi wants cuddles." She wheezed in a fit of giggles as he draped a leg over her and nuzzled the back of her neck, tickling her with his mustache.
"Nuhhhh." He whined softly. "Want my babygirl."
"Dammit, you're way too cute." She relaxed in his tight grip and he made a happy, sleepy sound. "All right, just go back to sleep."
"Hooray," he breathed, and gave her an extra squeeze before starting to snore again.
Chapter 39: 22: Knife
Elly was cutting vegetables for their dinner when she yelped. "Ow!" She groaned and set the knife aside, staring numbly down at the blood oozing from her finger.
Hizashi exclaimed softly, coming up behind her to take her hand. "Oh no," he whimpered. "Poor baby. Let's go fix it."
"I'm okay, really."
"Nuh uh." He led her into the bathroom and insisted on washing her hand himself. Elly could not have loved him any more in this moment. He dried the cut, then looked down at her with serious, green-spiralled eyes. "I need to disinfect, love. It'll sting a little."
She bit her lip, tears welling in her eyes which he didn't see as he was grabbing the peroxide from the cabinet and a couple of cotton balls. When he faced her again he almost dropped them both.
"Ah, baby! You okay? Does it hurt bad? I didn't mean to scare you..?"
"No, Zashi, it's not that." She clutched the front of his shirt with her other hand, sniffling. "It's just that you're - you're so kind. And - and no one's ever treated me like this."
He held her gently, rubbing her back in calm little circles. "Then you deserve it all the more."
"It's just a tiny cut - "
"On my precious baby's finger." He took her hand and held it out, dabbing it with the soaked cotton ball and blowing on it to take away the sting. "Listen, I know you hear your parents a lot in your head."
She flinched, not from the pain of the wound but his apt observation. "Yeah."
Hizashi began wrapping her finger in a strip of clean bandage. "It'll take a long time before their voices fade, if they do at all. In the meantime, I'm gonna be here to love you like you need." He smiled, then kissed her finger. "All better."
"I will be," she whispered tearfully.
Chapter 40: 4: Hate
Mic flicked a switch on the panels in front of him. "Hey, hey, listener - you're live! Tell me whatcha wanna hear, hmm?"
"Hey, uh. We kind of wanna hear that you're going to dump that lunatic you're with."
Present Mic's face stilled, paling and becoming more Hizashi at the moment than his hero persona. "Hey, now - that's not very nice," he admonished the person. "You're off the air, naughty listener." He cut them off as they were protesting.
I hope Ches isn't listening right now, he thought, worried. He shook all over, wiggling right down to his fingerless gloves, and pulled himself together.
"Awwwright, let's try another call, hey? Hey! Howzit goin' there, listener! You're on putcha hands up radio! You got a request for me?"
"I agree with the last caller," the female on the line said firmly.
Mic banged his head on the table, then dragged it wearily back up to the microphone. "You got a partner, listener?"
"What, am I in a relationship?"
"I'm married," she said proudly. "Just this past winter."
"How'd you feel if someone told you to dump him?"
"Pffft," she huffed into her phone. "He's fine, though. You're dating someone whose title is 'Insanity Hero'."
"Okay, okay," he said very clearly in a serious, deep tone that he never used when he was on the air. He dropped the caller and then cleared his throat.
"I call you my listeners - I want you all to do just that right now. Listen up, and listen good. I don't care if I'm supposed to be all PC and say a certain thing. I love Ches, and it's not your place to tell me that I shouldn't. I'm not going to answer this again and I'm going to cut any hate calls immediately."
He paused, took a deep breath and glanced over at his cell phone lock screen. They had gone to one of those silly photo booths and taken a bunch of pictures during one if their first dates. He had his favorite one as his lock, and one other as his home screen. She looked so sweet and happy as he kissed her cheek, both of them smushed together in the tiny area.
"So, all right! We're gonna launch into a twenty minute music blast from the past, an' when we're done rockin' with those I'll take some more requests!"
Chapter 41: 14: Affection
Elly purred happily at the thought of the coffee she was about to brew. She was not a morning person and loved waking up much slower than her boyfriend. Hizashi was, by the way, currently singing in the shower with an enthusiasm she wondered in awe at.
There was a little scrap of notebook paper under her coffee cup. She pulled it out and saw he had written "Good morning, my sleepy baby ♡" on it in his neat printed english.
Elly smiled, and tucked the paper away in an envelope where she kept coupons.
The next morning there was another.
"I loved the way you held me last night"
"Bought you a special coffee!"
It went on, unspoken between the two of them but every single day Hizashi left her a tiny note tucked away under her cup. She kept them all, first in the little envelope and then in a small box that resembled one for recipe cards. Each was better than the last because, as a symbol of his undying love for her, he never skipped a single day.
Chapter 42: 29: Exhaustion
His legs felt like they didn't belong to him. He struggled to lift them as if the deadened hunks of meat were intricate marionettes, putting a lot of effort into the motion of picking up and putting down, one after the other. The steel-toed boots had seemed a good idea for the design of his outfit, but damn they were heavy now. His gear was the only thing keeping his neck from rolling bonelessly around, but it was also
The fight had been a brutal one. He was raw from screaming, because although the best ones came from the diaphragm, the last few had torn out, ripped from his throat in desperation. His eyelids kept drooping shut but he had to make it home before he could rest.
No blood... that was good. But he needed to lay down and recharge. He was trembling all over now but so close, the giant gates to his salvation in view.
Staggering up to them like a shuffling zombie in a horror film, he caused quite a stir from the few clustered around getting ready to enter. They recognized him and somehow got him back to the nurse's office, where he collapsed gratefully on a small cot.
He would be fine after a nap.
A good sleep.
Chapter 43: 30: Obsession
"Hizashi?" Elly placed a gentle hand on his studded shoulder pad. "You really don't eat anything other than that frosted, marshmallow sprinkled cereal for breakfast?"
He stared up at her with innocent eyes, spoon end dangling from his mouth. "Nope."
She laughed as she set down her soft boiled egg on the table beside the little toast points she had already sliced. "You're too adorable. I'm not judging you, honey. Don't look scared."
He swallowed the huge mouthful he had taken in relief and then burped. "'Scuse me. N'm sorry princess, I know you weren't. I'm just always catchin' flak for eating too many sweets from everyone else."
She tapped her egg open and set the shell bits aside. "You want to go to that bulk candy place this weekend? They just opened in the mall and I heard they have all kinds of goodies."
He grinned at her. "For reals, yo?"
"Yeah, why not? We haven't done anything in awhile. And I know you want to go."
He threw his hands up, the spoon still firmly clasped in his fist. "Hooray!"
That weekend Hizashi managed to have not just one, but every meal fully sugar loaded.
Breakfast was chocolate chip pancakes, with chocolate syrup and whipped cream. For lunch they went to a cake cafe and dinner, well...
At that point he just scarfed down some of the bagged stuff they had purchased at the store.
Elly smiled as she looked on. One day a month and one meal a day he indulged himself. She had come up with that rule almost as soon as she had seen his original eating habits. How this man had such a good body when he used to eat sugar almost continuously was beyond her.
Chapter 44: 48: Tender
Hizashi liked to talk to his girlfriend when she was asleep.
Her eyes had been closed for several minutes and her breathing was slow, deep and regular as she snuggled against him. She had fallen asleep on his lap on the couch, and his heart ached with love at the sight.
So he told her.
"Ah, babe. This is great. Just sitting here with you all warm and fuzzy in our home. No matter how much time I spend with you, I always want more."
He sighed, green eyes dreamy under his red-framed eye glasses. When he looked down a strand of purple hair from her side locks was blowing near her mouth. He reached down and very carefully removed it, tucking it away where it belonged. He lightly brushed her lips with his fingers then lifted them to his own.
"So cute," he whispered softly.
"Mmm." She hugged his leg tight, mumbling sleepily. "Zashi..."
"I'm here," he hummed, bending over to kiss her forehead. "Go back to sleep, my love." Elly smiled sweetly and sighed. He rubbed her ears until she fell asleep again.
Chapter 45: 37: Infatuation
"Sit still, darling."
"How'm I supposed t'sit still when you're doing that?!" Hizashi fussed around on the edge of the bed, bumping his legs in the air. Both he and his girlfriend wore soft black robes, his with gold trim and hers purple.
Elly sighed and placed the comb she was holding on the nightstand. "I'm making sure the oil is worked through. Then you can rinse again."
"I know... sorry."
She placed a gentle hand on the side of his neck. "It's just as much my fault," she admitted. "I can't help it. Your hair is so beautiful."
He blushed, squirming around under her. "Aww."
"But it is." She sighed and dropped a soft kiss on his cheek. He squeaked cutely and she grinned. "You know, I used to have the biggest crush on you... before, um, we actually met."
His brow raised. "Whaaaa? For real, yo?"
"Yeah." She blushed. "I listened to your show a lot when I couldn't sleep. You got me through a lot of hard times, so I started to fantasize about you."
His glorious green eyes were huge, his mouth open in a wide, dopey grin he couldn't hold back. "Yer shittin' me, babe."
"No, really." She prodded him and he stood. "Bathroom time. You need to rinse."
"Tell me more?"
"Aww, sweetie. I'm embarrassed." Elly mumbled under her breath. "Okay... I bought a few things. Some of your merch. And, uh. I started to daydream about meeting you."
"Oh my god. So cute." He slipped his robe off and pulled the shower curtain back. "How'd you hide that when you met me?"
"No clue," she laughed sheepishly. "I was so nervous I damn near threw up."
"I'm gonna wanna see that stuff you bought when I get out." He grinned at her and slipped under the running water.
"So embarrassing," she groaned.
Chapter 46: 15: Joy
"Hey heyyyy, listeners! It's that time again to put y'hands up!" Hizashi had transformed into Present Mic once more for his radio show. He sat in his desk chair rolling back and forth as he eyed the microphone in front of him. It was quite gross as the person that ran before him had eaten and gotten it all over the metal, but nothing could dampen his spirit. One of his favorite times of the day was here, and he was going to enjoy himself.
"I gotta whole bunch of hot, fresh music for y'all out there an' yer gonna looove it!" He flicked a few switches. "To start, a selection of the music you picked from my poll last week!"
As the first song started he grinned hugely and leaned forward, folding his hands in front of him. There were some really great tunes lined up tonight. He tapped his boots in time with the beat and hummed along happily.
Chapter 47: 20: Defeated
"Ughhh. What's the score again?" Hizashi strained, his arm bunching as he held himself and part of his girl precariously up.
"There is no score!" She burst out laughing as he wriggled around under her. "Whoever falls first loses."
"Ohhhh. Uh oh." He squinted at the color wheel to his left. "Uhhh, babe, I don't think I can reach that to spin."
"Here." She blew at the little plastic spinner and he wheezed laughter.
"Oh my god... okay, what's it say?"
"Left hand red."
Elly giggled wickedly. "You better reach, sweetie."
"Ughh..." He bit his lip, struggling to get his fingers near that dot on the floor. He started to sweat and wiggled them, groaning. "Almost. Alllmossst... aha!" His smile was smug. "Got it!"
"Okay, me next."
He kissed her neck and she flinched away, giggling again. "Quit it, Zashi!"
"Uh uh. Yer wrapped around me like a pretzel. I like this."
She spun and frowned a little. "Right foot blue? How the hell..?"
"Aww yeah, let's go baby! You're gonna lose now."
"No way." She wormed her foot under him until his face burned bright red.
"Yeek!" His knees buckled and he screeched, collapsing on top of her in a tangle of arms, legs and one wildly slapping tail. "Err... heh heh."
"Hizashi!" She shook her head to clear it.
"Sorry, sorry. That tickled!"
Chapter 48: 17: Acceptance
He had been afraid to use his quirk as a child. His talent was strong and as a baby he had hurt his parents a few times. He understood it wasn't his fault, but the kids at school were cruel.
His quirk was screaming.
Except that wasn't everything he could do. He could alter his tone low or high and much more. He could utter vibrations humans couldn't hear and make animals pay close attention with a sound.
It didn't matter; all people knew about him was that he yelled at things. The teasing continued without pause.
Hizashi put a brave face on things and kept on going through the little grades and on at UA itself until he had made it. He was a pro hero. His license was approved and he began patrol work besides his radio show and other music gigs.
Even then it took awhile.
He sighed as he slipped his jacket back on in the studio, ready for the long walk back to campus in these early morning hours. He liked to clear his head before coming home to his girlfriend. Smiling softly, he closed the door behind him and stepped out into the cool air.
"P - Present Mic?"
He blinked. "Yeah?"
"Um. Um... can I have your autograph?" A little bird girl stood nervously beside a very sleepy-looking adult.
"Hey, hey, of course, little listener." He took the pad of paper she offered and pen. "What's your name?"
"Lucy." She was suddenly super shy, scuffing her feet on the ground and hiding between the adult's legs. The parent shook themselves awake and faced him with a large smile.
"She begged me to wait up so she could meet you. She's got a voice quirk, and she's looked up to you for a long time."
"Aw." He bent so he could be on her level after signing her notebook. "Hey, little listener Lucy! You keep workin' on your quirk, aw'right? You can be whatever you want to be if you work really hard at it."
"Yeah!" She grasped his gloved hand and squeezed tentatively. Hizashi bit his lip and gently squeezed back. Her smile was brighter than the sun coming up behind them, and it warmed him twice as much.
Chapter 49: 72: Power
The concert was fun as hell.
Hizashi had dressed up as his hero persona, since he had been around enough to know shenanigans occurred when enough people gathered together. Everyone was thrilled to see him - except the small mob of villains that tried to hold up the popular band.
"All right, we're taking over..."
He shook his head, waving the civilians out of his way so he could have a clearer path to the stage. Before he could get there he had been spotted and, in a bold move from the evildoers - ignored.
"Aw, it's just the scream guy. We're fine, we been workin' around loud crap for years."
Hizashi frowned and straightened himself up to his full height which was six feet and one inch exactly. His gloved hands flexed once and he took a long, deep breath, tensing his diaphragm for maximum effort. His arms thrust back, hands out. The stage light flashed across his orange-shaded glasses and he let loose a high pitched yell.
Every single villain in the group fell, some screaming themselves as they clutched their ears in pain. They hadn't thought to wear protective gear since they had been working the concert regularly and had gotten accustomed to the noise. But his was a special kind of sound, and those that were still awake realized their grave mistake as Hizashi calmly threaded his way through their ranks, slipping zip ties around their wrists to hold them until the police arrived.
Chapter 50: 78: Goosebumps
She wasn't even aware she was doing it.
Hizashi was certain the lady he was in love with hadn't the faintest idea of how she affected him when she sang. It hurt his heart - in a good way -- and it made him tremble. He sat in the booth and listened, tucking a wayward strand of blond hair behind his ear. His green eyes were dreamy behind his glasses and he was thoroughly enjoying himself. Little bumps rippled along his arms and down his spine as her voice rose in the refrain of the song he loved.
What Elly knew was that she was singing for him, the most important man in her life, and it made her want to do her very best. She didn't think she was that great, but he seemed to enjoy what little skill she had. When she looked over and saw him sitting there so happily her heart beat faster. Her boyfriend was so adorable he damn near broke her heart, biting his lower lip with his spiralled pupils hazy with pleasure. He twined a lock of golden hair around his finger and smiled so wistfully she shivered.
Chapter 51: 80: Remorse
"Uh. We're gettin' married, man. I thought you'd be happy for me. Us."
Aizawa Shota stared at the man beside him incredulously, his bloodshot eyes wide. He shook his head, one hand raising to rub at the back of his neck. "Okay. Yes." He sighed. "I knew this would eventually happen."
"You, uh. Okay there? Y'look kinda upset."
"It's a problem of my own making." He shrugged. "Nothing to bother you about."
"C'mon, it's not like yer jealous or anything!" Hizashi burst out in a loud bray of laughter that stopped abruptly when he saw the pain in his friend's eyes.
"I still harbor feelings for Cheshire. As promised, I won't ever act on them again, however."
Hizashi sucked in air through his teeth sharply. "Sorry, Sho. I didn't realize - "
The drawn features of the laconic man grew more tense but he waved a hand dismissively. "You're my friend. She's... my friend. I'll do it." He turned back to his computer screen, his eyes haunted.
"...and then he like, shuffled off. He looked hella sad." He confided to Nemuri about what happened afterwards, at the teacher's lounge.
Midnight shook her head. "You know how he feels about her, right?"
"Uh... yeah." He bit his lip, his leg shaking under the table. "I mean, I didn't think he still had the hots for her, seriously, it's been a year. But I knew originally he liked her."
"It took him a long time to find anyone he felt that way about. It's hitting him harder." She paused, tapping her long, red nails on the table top. "Well. He knows he can't do anything about it. That he shouldn't. I think your best bet is to do what he's doing."
"I really wish I hadn't asked him," he groaned, throwing his head back in despair. "I feel like such a crap friend."
Chapter 52: 21: Pride
Elly woke to the smell of ground beef sizzling in assorted spices and the sound of her man singing softly to himself in the kitchen. She got up and padded on bare feet to the hallway, where she could listen.
He was dressed in a t-shirt and jeans with a comically lavender colored, frilly apron tied around his waist he had picked out at the mall himself. His hips swinging in tune to the beat, he sang very softly as he stirred the meat in the pan.
"I'm makin' tacos for my baby, we gonna eat them when they ready..." He bent and got a spice container, shaking it in time as he continued cooking, repeating the verse over and over. She backed slowly away, knowing he would want to surprise her. He had a huge, pleased grin on his face that she wasn't about to spoil for the world.
He poked his head into the bedroom a few minutes later. "Hey, baby!"
"Mwha?" She perked her ears, amused that she had managed to fall back to sleep so fast. "Zashi?"
"I made tacos!"
She blinked, then laughed out loud. "That's what I smell!"
"All by myself," he added with the biggest smile on his flushed face.
Chapter 53: 13: Confused
"Wait-wait-wait-wait-waaaait..." Hizashi was laying on his back in bed, propped up on his elbows staring at his girlfriend in amazement. "Lemme get this straight, princess. The school knew the other kids were throwing rocks at you and weren't able to stop em? What?"
Elly shrugged, her head deep in the closet they shared as she searched for a dress she wanted to wear. "Yeah. I mean, they said they were doing stuff, but the bus driver never bothered to try and stop them. All they did was change my stop to the last picked up and the first dropped off."
He absently cleaned his glasses on his shirt, his brow drawn and mouth set in a pouting frown. "What the heck?"
"The rocks didn't hurt as much as the other things. Oh, and my mother asking what I did to make the other kids throw them at me." She picked one out that matched her tail stripes and turned around to show him.
The voice hero was, for once, at a loss for words. He was laid back with the most baffled expression on his pale face, his green eyes filled with unshed tears. "Wh - whaaa? How..?"
She spent the rest of the evening with a tall, muscular voice hero strapped to her side. Not a bad thing, really, but Hizashi was so stunned that he was pretty quiet that night. He just held her.
Chapter 54: 26: Worship
"Oh my gosh, are you -? I'm sorry, you look like you might be, um. Present Mic?"
Hizashi turned around, mildly surprised. Not a lot of people recognized him in casual clothing. He wore his long, blond hair tied up in a messy bun today with a simple shirt and khakis. Nothing remarkable, but then again his fans did listen to him on the radio. If they heard him speak, they sometimes realized who he was.
"Are you a listener?" He asked the teenager with a quick finger gun motion.
The kid nodded, then looked embarrassed. He was quite ordinary looking, of medium build with dark hair but striking ice blue eyes. "Sorry for blurting that out. I know you're busy and all, I just really love your show and, um..." He trailed off.
Hizashi nodded at his denim jacket with various band buttons pinned to it. "Hey, no problem. I like your taste in music." His mouth twitched when he saw he was wearing a shirt with his hero logo on it. This was a mega-fan, so he had better tread carefully to make this experience the best he could.
"Oh!" He jumped a little, then grinned abashedly. "Yeah, that's why I like your show. Could you, maybe, like, sign my jacket or something? If it's not too much to ask?" The words rushed out of him too quickly, his face bright red as if he expected a refusal.
But Hizashi knew a big fan when he saw one, and it didn't hurt to encourage younger people. He nodded, and looked amused when the kid produced a sharpie immediately from a side pocket. He signed the back with a flourish and told him he was lucky to have a great listener like him. The teenager was too tongue-tied to talk much other than a quick thank you after that, but when they parted he was pleased to see he left brimming with happiness.
Meeting your hero was supposed to be an exhilarating experience in Hizashi's opinion. If he only got to do it once in a while, so what? It meant he could concentrate his efforts and make his fans even happier.
Chapter 55: 93: Tears
Hizashi Yamada was crying.
The warmth and wet trickled down his cheeks and into his mouth as he smiled. They tasted salty but for once he didn't notice as he was focused on one thing only. Frozen in place, he was barely breathing as he watched the woman he loved walking towards him in a beautiful lavender dress that matched her tail striping. He had insisted on a western style wedding, and was glad that they had observed the customs that led up to it, including them not being able to see each other. If he had caught a glimpse of her beforehand, he would have dissolved into tears then. Now, it was expected as most of the guests, friends and some family, did the same.
He bit his lip and blinked hard, extending a trembling hand to her as she reached the end of the carpet near him. He noticed hers was just as shaky and smiled, lifting it to his mouth to kiss. She reached up and brushed some of the wetness on his cheeks away with a smile. He took that hand as well.
They paused for a moment, hands entwined, before turning towards the first step of their new future together.
Chapter 56: 36: Submission
"Aww, yeahhh! Let's get ready!"
"Zashi! Inside voice!" Elly clapped her hands to her ears like everyone else in the classroom.
Hizashi coughed lightly, rubbing the back of his head sheepishly. "Yes, dear," he said in a softer tone.
"Did he just..."
"Aw, man, he listened?"
"Can I take my earplugs out?"
The students in his class were grateful for Elly coming in for a visit. She handed her boyfriend a folder and kissed him on the cheek while they giggled and hooted. Mic stuck his tongue out at them and she hid a smile.
"I'm not staying, Mikey, but will be next door for a bit. Try not to obliterate anyone's eardrums today, okay?"
He hung his head dramatically, his lower lip jutting out in a pout but his eyes twinkling. "I promise."
Chapter 57: 81: Degraded
"Ha! You lookin' to beat me? You're definitely not on my level yet." Mic crossed his arms in a confident pose, staring down his custom prescription shades at the student before him.
First years always thought he was an easy mark. And if you take down a teacher, you got a little credit under you. He didn't know what the kid's quirk was, but he knew he was a seasoned fighter and the other was not.
But once on the practice grounds he whimpered, terrified. Had he known the student had a bug-related quirk, he would have suggested another teacher spar with him. The teenager had changed his arm into a buzzing horror. Still, he could try to end things quickly, so he sucked in a huge lungful of air and aimed it at his opponent.
"Yeaaaaaaaa....eeeeeek!" His yell turned into a shriek of pure, unadulterated terror as a wave of bees came rushing at him.
He could feel the kid's contempt as he fled, rushing around in a panicked circle and screeching. Later on he heard his fellow teachers talking outside Recovery Girl's room and he felt even worse.
"Should he go into therapy or something for it? I mean, it makes us all look bad."
"We've all got things we're afraid of."
"Yeah, but his seems so common for a hero."
Ugh. He ducked down into his neck speaker, face flaming. Once again he was a laughingstock; the one nobody took seriously. And all because he hated bugs.
Chapter 58: 40: Jolly
The sound reverberated throughout the apartment, joyous booming laughter. It was cold outside and snowing, and she knew what he was about to surprise her with before she opened the door.
Present Mic sat on their couch dressed half as his hero persona and half as that old time Christmas staple, Saint Nicholas - Santa Claus himself. Elly let the door close behind her, flurries of snow drifting in and getting sucked back out as it shut. His hair was waxed up like usual but in addition to his little pointed mustache ends he wore a fluffy white beard. The suit was red, but all leather like his hero garb. It was trimmed with white fur, however, unlike his studded gear. His grin was so huge she saw it behind the massive fake beard.
"Oh, Zashi," she sighed, smiling in resignation.
"Ho ho who is that?"
She burst out laughing this time as he stroked the beard, his eyes alternately squinted and huge behind his shaded lenses. "Oh my god..."
"C'mere and sit on Santa's lap." He patted his knee suggestively. "You've been a very good girl this year, so you can ask me for anything you'd like."
She almost passed out from holding in her mirth combined with the near stifling passion she had for this man.
Chapter 59: 97: Dealing
The door bumped loudly open and Hizashi stuck his head inside his apartment, his large plume of blond hair sticking out as he shoved his face into a strange darkness.
He frowned. It was odd, the home being so dark. Elly usually greeted him enthusiastically with music playing and sometimes something cooking on the stove despite the early hour. The only sound he could hear now, however, was the tapping and chiming of her phone in the bedroom. He unfastened his neck speaker and set it absently aside on the kitchen counter as he passed. Walking down the hallway in that ominous silence was eerie, and he felt a creeping sense of dread.
"You okay, babe?" He peered inside. It was slightly brighter in here with the lava lamp on, casting a shimmery gold light over his beloved hunched over in their bed. She jerked upright at his voice, startled.
"Zashi! I didn't hear - did you just get home? Is it that late?!"
"Uh oh," he murmured as he saw the blue of her twitter profile. He gently took the phone out of her trembling hands to look. He sucked air in through clenched teeth as he read the barrage of tweets on the glowing screen. Most people were twisting her words around, hearing what they thought someone like her would say. They weren't thinking that maybe, just maybe, a difference in opinion didn't always come with intent to harm.
"Whoa, princess... it's gonna be okay. I promise. I'll take care of this, an' you won't have to deal with it." He set the phone far out of her reach and cuddled her closely against him, knowing she loved to be held. "What do you need from me to feel better? Can I help right now?"
"Just... be you," she husked softly in confusion. "My brain is on fire, I can't stop it. I'm hurting myself."
"Aw, no." He pulled her all the way onto his lap and began talking in a lower tone, rocking her a little. "You don't need to do that. I know you know this, but you probably need t'hear it, eh? It's not your fault."
She sighed, snuggling closer into the t-shirt he wore under his jacket. "I shouldn't have said anything."
"Nah. People will always pick on others. Especially if you're in the spotlight, like a pro hero." He smiled sadly. "I know what the worst comment on there was for you, too. Saw it a lot. It's easy for others to say 'just deal with it', but they don't know what you've gone through."
"I don't know if I deal with things, but I always have you to calm me down. I love you, Zashi."
He grinned when her hug turned fierce. "I love you, too."
Chapter 60: 43: Calm
Hizashi sighed and leaned back with a peaceful smile. "I like this," he confessed.
"What, napping?" Elly murmured drowsily from beside him on the sand. They were laying on towels on the beach, incognito and happy.
He beeped her lightly on her nose. "No, silly. Well... yeah actually. But I meant just relaxin' here with you."
"Thank goodness you came up with the idea of this cover-up thing. Otherwise we'd always be recognized." She flicked her tail, wrapped in thin, black fur that caused it to resemble a normal cat's tail. Her purple-striped, double ended one was too iconic. "But, you know, that's usually what us pro heroes put up with."
"M'not a pro hero right now. I'm just a guy hangin' out with his girlfriend." He kissed the side of her neck and she smiled.
Chapter 61: 27: Zeal
Hizashi was, for once, himself and not his alter ego, Present Mic, for the duration of this extracurricular event with class 1-A. His hair was pulled into a tighter golden bun than usual, and he, like the students, wore old clothes with a smock covering most of his upper body.
"We're gonna make cards, banners and posters. And uh. Stuff." He pointed at the materials nearby. "For your grumpy-assed teacher's birthday."
"Ugh." Bakugo sneered, but then again he was almost always doing that so everyone ignored him.
"That's finger paint? We're not little kids, Mr. Mic."
"You don't have to be," he insisted, carefully sticking his hand into a plate of purple paint. He grinned as he splattered it across the room onto a sheet of giant paper and threw himself into the act, paint flying about. "Hey, this is fun!"
The class erupted into a sort of organized chaos, a contradiction that fit perfectly with their assignment to create art for the upcoming party. Aizawa hated parties, which was precisely the reason he was going to get one this year.
Chapter 62: 60: Coping
"'Sup?" Present Mic walked into his girlfriend's office to chat before lunch. "Had anyone stop by for anything today?"
"Ah, one of the students had the same problem I had recently." She sighed and looked up from her desk. "They said something on social media that got posted everywhere. Blown way out of proportion. "
"Ugh." He sat down with a thump in the chair in front of her, his long legs bent at the knees to make room. "That wrecked you as I recall. How'd you handle it?"
She shrugged. "I told them that, and how I felt about it. And also, how this type of calling people out is a form of mob mentality and bullying. Even if another says something we disagree with, shaming them for their opinion is not right. And posting it everywhere so that they can be pulled apart by the masses is terrible."
"I told them things like this will always happen. People will see things from their perspective and they will sometimes twist your own words to use against you. It does not mean you are a bad person, even if others are mocking you and claiming you are. It just means you are being misunderstood..." She faltered to a stop, soft leather on her lips suddenly blocking her from speaking.
"Babe." He had gotten up and gently covered her mouth with one gloved hand. "Shh. It's okay. Don't dwell on it too much."
Elly's ears slowly unfolded from where they had been laying flat, almost hidden in her hair. She nodded wearily. "Sorry, Mikey," she murmured when he removed his hand.
"Nothing to be sorry about." He kissed the side of her neck. "You know you're not a bad person and they took shit the wrong way, so who cares. 'Lotta folks think I'm useless as a pro hero." He chuckled ruefully. "They're wrong. You help me see that every time I have a problem with it." He flashed her his very best and biggest Present Mic smile and was relieved to see her smile genuinely back.
Chapter 63: 38: Anticipation
"Aw, it still says 'label created', but it hasn't shipped yet!"
Only Aizawa's eyes moved to stare at his loud friend beside him in the shared teacher's office. "Are you seriously going on about that again?"
Hizashi tugged at the long collar on his leather jacket. "But I bought it days ago."
"Mic," Aizawa sighed, "It'll get here." He once again stopped himself from asking what the item was, knowing the other man would go into elaborate detail.
He knew this. Spinning around in his chair, he pointed a single finger gun at the dark haired man next to him. "Ya never asked what it is, y'know."
Mic ignored his friend's flat declaration of disgust and held his hands up in two balled up fists. "It's the latest console system!"
"Of course it is," Aizawa grumbled under his breath. More loud, unnecessary noises from the apartment over his. Joy.
"It's got all the hot new music games and really cute ones, too. You know, I can't wait to pop everything in and make sure it works."
"It'll get here. Checking that every five minutes won't help."
Chapter 64: 50: Rebirth
"What'cha doing over here, Mrs. Yamada?" He playfully wrapped his arms around his new wife, grinning hugely. The apartment seemed brighter today - the whole world, even. The couple had gotten officiated before the ceremony to take the pressure off.
"Hizashi! You scared the crap out of me!"
She sighed, laughing a little. "No, it's okay. I was thinking, this is it, huh?"
"It?" He stopped nuzzling her neck to stare soulfully into her eyes.
"I no longer have that name. The one I hated so much. I'm - I'm free."
"Yep. Everything after this is a new chapter in our lives." He held her tight, then looked quickly down when she sniffled. "Uh oh, here it comes. I thought I was gonna be first!"
She laughed through her tears, then harder when he joined her, both of them smiling in the sun-drenched apartment that was their home.
Chapter 65: 35: Delight
Hizashi was lounging around the apartment barefoot, wearing worn jeans and a black t-shirt that read "Press Play" with an arrow pointing downwards. She watched as he flopped full-length onto the couch, which meant his feet dangled off the end if he didn't bend his knees. He did this and then wriggled around, stuffing them under the blanket they had draped over the edge. He had the remote in one hand, lazily dangling so loosely between his fingers she wondered how it didn't fall. He would find his surprise soon, and she smiled, waiting.
Hizashi yawned and clicked the television on. He scrolled through their recordings with a bored look on his face until something caught his eye. His squeal of glee was not feigned; he was a simple man at heart. She had seen his favorite television show had come on in reruns and had recorded them.
"Babe babe babe! You didn't tell me they were showin' these again! Oh my shit!"
She couldn't hold it in anymore and started to laugh.
Chapter 66: 28: Light
All the colors of the rainbow flickered in and out and all around in the otherwise dark club, speckles of light from multiple fixtures over the dance floor. They had disco balls as well, but they hadn't dropped them yet. For now it was just the multicolored dots zooming around with the thump and beat of the music.
He liked the purples the best.
They reflected off his specially crafted prescription sunglasses, shining in brief flashes as he moved his head. Since his outfit was mostly black leather, he was nearly invisible in his area, set to one side and happy to be that way tonight. The music was what mattered, and he read the crowd and played the sets the customers cheered for as they danced under the dazzling colors
Chapter 67: 63: Tired
The world looked and felt fuzzy, the familiar views of his bedroom with the black light posters and stars on the ceiling blurry.
And he hadn't even taken his glasses off yet.
Groaning softly, he tried to gather up the strength to remove them but found that the slightest twitch felt like he was pushing through molasses. He was weak; he couldn't even roll over.
No matter. At least he was laying down in a nice, dark room. His hair was undone, a golden mass surrounding his pale features in stark comparison as he rested. His work clothes were piled in a heap next to the bed and he lay nude except for a pair of black boxer briefs. It was soothing, and a small fan was blowing cool air from the nightstand.
His mind couldn't focus and he finally gave up, trusting that when his girlfriend came home she would take care of him if he needed anything. Right now, though, what he needed was sleep.
Chapter 68: 82: Revenge
"Ohhhh..." The concentric circles of his pupils contracted as he stared hard at his opponent. "No way, no how, I lost that fast. Yer gonna get it!" He tensed all over and managed a massive leap over to their side, reaching out to grasp them as they both rolled on the ground, grappling. He was both bigger and taller, and gained the upper hand quickly, pinning them to the ground.
The group of teenagers watching cheered loudly.
"You lost, Mr. Yamada!"
"That fast?!" He lifted his head from where he had been humming loudly against his rival's skin. They twisted free in the amount of time he took to answer the student and stood panting some distance away.
"You're a sore loser, Mikey." Elly laughed weakly, her ears twisted on either sides of her head and her eyes a little wild. The hum had nearly wrecked her senses, as he knew it would. Good thing the kids didn't quite understand how.
"Aww, but that was too fast." His lower lip thrust out as he pouted.
"Well, maybe next time don't go too easy on me with your quirk."
He scuffed the ground a little with his boot, coughing. "Um."
"Ha! I knew it." Bakugo snickered. "A relationship just makes you weak."
It took some time before the others in the class would stop discussing that little tidbit. The couple sat on the sidelines and watched them for awhile.
Chapter 69: 75: Satisfied
"Oh man," Hizashi sighed blissfully, leaning back with his arms stretched over his head. His face was flushed, his cheeks hectic with color and his green eyes glazed. "That was excellent."
"I'd have to agree there," Elly murmured. She laid her head on her folded arms for a moment and closed her eyes, her ears peacefully resting down. "So good."
"We've got to come back next week!"
"Yeah." She sat back up and pulled her drink over to her again. "That was some of the best ramen I've ever had."
Chapter 70: 39: Pessimistic
"Look, I'm having a tough time right now." Mic raised one hand to his brow and massaged as he spoke into the phone. "Nah... nah, look, okay, my girl's going through a time and people have been ganging up on us a bit. We need some time off. Both of us."
He listened and then nodded, sighing gratefully. "I really didn't think you'd understand. Honestly, I think I'm a fraction of a millimeter within givin' up on the whole damn human race at this point."
Elly wandered into the room, her face drawn. She had taken her hero costume off and was dressed in one of his old t-shirts and jeans. Hizashi smiled at her when he saw that; it was adorable, but the downside was he knew she did it for extra comfort.
"Whahuh?" He grabbed the phone tighter. "No patrols for a week? Thank fucking god," he added that last in English in a low tone. "Thank you. Thanks."
"Hey princess," he smiled at her and offered his lap with a grand, sweeping gesture of his arms. She willingly sat, snuggling into his leather jacket. His speaker was set on the table in front of them so it wasn't in the way. "No gigs, no patrols for a week. Well, except my radio show."
"That's good," she said in a wan voice.
"No other people for a week, just us time."
"Do you think it will help?" Her normally dark purple eyes were pale lavender in her stress.
"Eh..." He wriggled his mustache points, rocking a hand back and forth uncertainly. "We'll see."
Chapter 71: 44: Astonished
"Okay, we've got you for the whole day, sweetie, and I've got a few things planned, like..." Elly whipped off the towel that was on the counter, showing a pile of apples, sticks and various candy toppings.
Hizashi took a deep breath. "Candy apples!" He yelped, careful to keep his volume down so the windows didn't shatter. It helped that they had gotten special glass installed and the only thing broken was one glass that had been sitting too close to the edge of the counter. "Whoops."
Elly slowly uncovered Eri's ears. "Zashi! Inside voice, love."
Eri stared curiously at the cat woman. "Why didn't your ears get hurt?"
"I've been wearing earplugs." She took them out with a wry smile. "Candy makes Hizashi go crazy."
"Yeah, well... ya coulda told me in advance." He finished picking up the pieces of the tumbler, noting that it must have fallen just right to break. Everything in their home was, of course, plastic or sound proofed as much as possible.
"It was a surprise, silly." She hugged him and he giggled, squeezing her back.
Eri watched their interactions, fascinated. Not five minutes could pass without one or the other hugging, touching, or saying they loved each other. She hadn't seen this much affection in her whole life.
"Do I really get to stay the whole day?"
"Yep!" Elly nodded happily as her boyfriend rested his chin on to of her head, also grinning. "We cleared it with the rest of the staff. It'll be fun!"
"Do you both want kids?" Eri clambered up on a stool, eyes on the mouth-watering apples.
Hizashi blushed, blinking rapidly in confusion. "Uh... we haven't really talked about it yet."
"Why?" Elly asked the little girl.
"I dunno. I just think you would be good."
Hizashi was quiet for a good fifteen minutes after that. He did, however, hug them both, grinning like a maniac.
Chapter 72: 45: Loneliness
It was hard before he had gotten accepted at the best school for heroes in the world. Before that, he was just a loud kid that was, according to most of his teachers, "hyperactive" and "disruptive" in classes.
But regular school was so boring - he already knew what they were trying to teach him and he didn't like to keep still or be quiet for more than a few minutes at a time.
It didn't help him gain friends for some reason, though. They teased him about his quirk and ridiculed him about his love for older music as well as the new stuff. The harder he tried to smile more and be cooler so they would like him, the more he was ostracized. His smile faltered in private, and there were tears more times than he liked to remember.
He ate lunch in the music room and went there on his breaks, too. One of the sound proofed rooms had technical equipment and he picked up a lot of techniques on his own fooling around learning what he could. It was fun, but a lot of the times he found himself wishing he could just sit down with a friend and talk. At least his headphones allowed him to ignore some of the crueler things said about him.
He knew that if he could become a pro hero, he would always smile. He would make everyone feel happy and included, because that's what everyone deserved.
Chapter 73: 52: Broken
"Crap!" He wrenched at his neck gear in panic. The smell of burnt circuitry was acrid in his nostrils and he gagged, dismayed. It had been damaged, and there was no way it was in good working order.
Present Mic swore under his breath. He didn't know if it could dampen and direct his quirk enough to use it. There were civilians in the area, and if he shouted now they might get hurt as well. True, he could tone his voice down and would still deafen the villains, but it would also reach the ears of everyone around. Their hearing would come back but if there was one thing he had learned it was that civilians really didn't like being deafened.
"Never mind that they're gonna get clobbered by the bad guys," he muttered. He would also become the enemy if he dared to save them in any manner that would cause them be inconvenienced. He glanced around and saw that his previous yell had loosened some rubble from a building construction site nearby. The villians were congregating underneath, plotting their next move. Mic raised an eyebrow and slowly reached down to grab a chunk of concrete in his hand. He gauged the distance between him and the pile and threw at a precise angle.
They didn't realize what was happening as the bits and pieces fell all at once, crumbling on top of them. Luckily this bought enough time so that another hero showed up and easily captured the rest.
He sighed with relief. Now all he had to do was get this damn thing fixed... again.
Chapter 74: 79: Worthless
Recovery Girl scoffed as she cracked the packet and held the smelling salts under his nose. The strong whiff of ammonia jolted him back to reality - something he immediately regretted.
"Ugh... ohhh my god, I can still feel them on my leg!" He squeaked in panic and jerked the limb several times to reassure himself that nothing was crawling on him. "Are they gone? Please tell me that they're gone!"
Chiyo watched him flop around, her arms crossed as she frowned. "Taken out by bugs," she murmured in a disapproving tone. "A pro hero taken out by insects."
Slowly he remembered the whole training incident and flushed, embarrassed but remaining steadfast. "It's not my fault. Besides, we were told to go easy on them if they thought of something." He pulled himself around and stretched, wincing at the pain in his neck. He must have gone down hard when he fainted.
Despite his defense of himself, he felt depressed. The one kid - she had dissed him already, though he thought she might at least have a bit of respect for his quirk now. He hoped that the students saw him as a worthy pro hero. It would be hard to teach if they thought he was as useless as he felt right now.
Chapter 75: 69: Noble
"Oh, hell no." Mic stood shakily in front of the students, holding his arms out. His outfit was charred and ripped and spotted with blood in places, and the stem of one of his glasses was broken off. His giant plume of hair tilted to one side and several strands were drooping over his shoulders. "You're not gonna hurt them as long as I'm here."
The villain dismissed him with a wave of his hand. The kids clutched each other, not knowing what to do. Their quirks weren't strong enough to handle such brutality. He inhaled as his opponent moved, catching the air in his diaphragm to really blast the enemy as hard as he could. As he let loose his scream he noticed with dismay that the previous one had deafened the bad guy.
Not a good sign.
He was struck full force in the chest with the massive fist the man could make, even as he tried to dodge. Choking, coughing up blood, he rolled over, still in front of the terrified teenagers. The villain thought he had the upper hand now and moved in to swipe him out of the way.
"Ow, damn it!" He jerked his hand back in pain. Three or four lines of blood welled up from some thin cuts that had appeared out of nowhere.
"Careful, baby," Mic wheezed as a snarl of rage was heard. Two eyes were all that could be seen, dissolving in a milky white, glowing haze. The villain stepped back, his eyes wide and expression confused.
"What's happening?" He fell backwards on the ground, eyes wide.
"You attacked the children in our care and hurt my beloved." Cheshire flickered into view briefly, regarding the man cowering before her. "I'm not pleased with that." She flexed the claws on her paw pads and then slipped out of sight again.
"Wh - what..." The man flinched as the drug passed into his bloodstream through the cuts took effect. Though he could barely hear, he was still terrified. "She's crazy!"
"I'm not crazy," she purred, the glowing, fanged grin of her neck gear coming into view in a disturbing fashion. "My reality is just different from yours."
When the others came to confine him before the police came he was gibbering with fright. Elly had checked the students and since they were all fine, had been fussing over the wounds her boyfriend had gotten instead.
"M'fine. I'll be fine," he insisted. "I've been beaten up worse. Good thing you were around, though."
She wiped blood off his brow with a worried look. "Good job holding him in here, too. You're awesome." She hugged his arm gently, one of the parts that hadn't been injured.
Chapter 76: 87: Content
He was wearing soft clothing, a loose t-shirt and sweatpants rolled up to the ankles. His glasses were set on the counter near the sink and he sighed peacefully.
Hizashi floated in a warm world of comfort as his girlfriend washed his long, blond hair. Taking care of his trademark locks was quite a task in the wintertime as they could become brittle from all the product he used. It was also difficult to dry such a thick head of hair and he had to allow for extra time when it was colder. But now, on the weekends when they were alone, she had started cleaning his hair and treating it with whatever care it needed.
The plastic basin rested on her lap and he rested his head on it as they shared a quiet moment in their bathroom.
Chapter 77: 94: Building
He wasn't designed for silence, or for sitying still for long periods of time. But once Hizashi got an idea in his head, he could be very stubborn about it.
Elly's birthday was coming up, and for awhile he had wanted to do something really cool for her. To make a gift with his own hands, if he possibly could. Everyone was expecting him to make a playlist or sing a song, get their friends together for a rockin' party... you know.
Present Mic stuff.
And he would do those things, and possibly more, in fact.
He just wanted a Hizashi gift for her.
And so he had spent an hour or so a day, sometimes less but never more so as not to arouse suspicion, in his classroom working on this project. He was very proud of himself. It had taken almost a whole month.
Hizashi held his breath as he took the last brightly-colored plastic pieces out of the box.
"Okay, all right. Almost..!" He checked his instructions and snapped the bits on the rest of the construction, sighing happily.
The entire diorama was the cheshire cat scene from Alice in Wonderland, but he had removed the Alice parts and replaced it with a Hero kit of himself. The pieces were glued in place and would not break apart easily. He whipped his cell phone out and took many pictures, though, just in case.
Chapter 78: 53: Abused
"So, um. Do you really want to hear one?"
"Yes." Hizashi held Elly's hands in his. "I know you had a hard time when you were young, and I want to help heal you. Tell me about one of the bad times."
"That's sweet, but I mean... okay." She took a deep breath. "This will give you a quick example of what I went through. I was really attached to my mother, right? She had made me that way, probably because she didn't have a good relationship with her own mom and she had gotten divorced, so she wanted me to think she was 'the good one'."
"She left with my stepfather one day to go eat, asked me if I wanted to come and I was, due to my mental illness, very indecisive. I finally said no, because they were going to a place I didn't like. I changed my mind as they started to leave and rushed to the living room, only to see the van rolling down the street."
"Yeahhh. I kind of lost it. I went to my room and started to cry really hard. After awhile the door burst open and my grandfather screamed, 'shut the hell up!' at me. I think he added that I had no reason to cry, but I'm not sure. He was terrifying and I swallowed back any more tears. I just shook, horrified, ashamed and afraid for the rest of the night."
Hizashi couldn't quite come to grips with this. "They knew you had a mental disability - so you were really sensitive."
"But they would scream at you to hold in all your emotions because it bothered them?!"
"Oh." He suddenly hugged her. "I'm sorry, princess. That's - and that's only a little story. I bet you have tons more..."
"Yep." She sighed and hugged him back.
Chapter 79: 86: Shining
He sighed as he pulled the brush through his hair. He had grown it out as part of his look, and now he was stuck with it. Most guys didn't have to spend this much time grooming, even if they were conscientious about it.
Hizashi had to make sure his golden locks were strong enough to withstand all the product he used throughout the week. Sometimes his girlfriend helped, but tonight she was at a book event and so he sat here alone, the glittering light from their golden lava lamp casting a glow that matched his hair.
It ran a good way down his back, so much that he had to tie it up when he was in casual dress. He left it down sometimes, but sleeping with it that way meant it would tangle. He had tried it once and wound up with it wrapped around his neck, strange as that might seem.
Of course he had twisted and turned in bed until she came along anyway. It might be safer to try now that he slept quietly, snuggled up against her warmth at night.
"Ugh, that's enough," he grunted and turned the brush in his hands, taking a pair of scissors from where he had laid them beside him. He carefully snipped the middle of the bright blond wad stuck in the bristles, enabling him to pull it all out at once. "There."
He was done for the night once he tied it up again. Yawning, he took everything back into the bathroom to clean up.
Chapter 80: 90: Relief
His eyes wider than wide, Hizashi inched around the corner of the hall. He was sweating, dressed in a tank top and shorts he had been getting ready to sleep in. Both hands had a fly swatter clutched so tightly that all his knuckles were white.
There was a buzzing sound coming from the kitchen.
He gulped and warred with his fear for a moment. He could barely breathe and was near fainting, but unless he did something about this he was too scared to sleep even with the door closed. Whining softly, he stepped closer, and edged even closer to the sound.
He could see nothing. The noise was definitely louder towards the refrigerator, though. He swished the air with a fly swatter, jumping back in anticipation and screeching with horror when a strand of his hair tickled his cheek.
He chuckled weakly.
Still nothing. Was it inside? He opened the fridge carefully and saw only the food they had purchased.
"Can't be the freezer..?" He cracked this open as well and relaxed all at once, his arms drooping to his sides. "Oooof."
The ice cube maker on their old unit had gotten pressed into the on position. The thing couldn't actually make the ice, as it wasn't set up for that, so it was emitting an angry buzz.
"Ahhh, thank god." He slunk down against the wall with a weary sigh, color beginning to return to his pale face. "Now I can sleep."
Chapter 81: 32: Empty
"What's wrong, Mr. Mic?"
"He looks as tired as Mr. Aizawa," a familiar voice snickered.
"Yeah, but that's not nice to say..."
The English teacher wearily lifted his head to stare at the class in front of him. His eyes were hidden under his shades but everything else about him screamed exhaustion. "Th' bell ring yet?"
"Unf." He dropped his head in his arms, groaning.
Present Mic's problem was an astoundingly simple one.
He ran on high octane good spirit, hope... and a lot of sugar and caffeine. And if he were to be honest with himself, it was often mostly the latter that got him through the multiple jobs he worked.
The coffee machine in the break room was being worked on. The metal case hung open, devoid of any sweet, dark brew that would get him perked up for his teaching sessions.
But it wasn't just the coffee machine, of course not. The soda was broken, the candy one was out of everything but the health bar crap no one liked and it was just not his day.
His nose sniffed, wrinkling and wriggling the pointy ends of his mustache.
"Hwa... oh, baby, yer a life saver." He pulled down his prescription shades to give his girlfriend a warm wink. She was grinning at him with a full four cup tray of coffee from the cafe down the street from campus. She set the entire thing down, kissed him on the nose and left, waving at the kids.
When the bell rang seconds later he had already downed half of a cup and, to the dismay of some of his students, was feeling more like himself.
"Let's get this party started!"
Chapter 82: 98: Reflect
He smiled, holding her tight. "Oh no, yer not going anywhere right now. I gotcha!"
"Mic! I have to get back and send those reports."
"Nuh uh. Not yet, we're still on lunch." He nuzzled her neck, knowing how his mustache tickled her and wanting to hear her giggle.
Elly shrieked playfully and wriggled in his grip. "Present Mic, whatever would your listeners think if they knew you were such a bully to your girlfriend?"
He chuckled. "Is that what this is? You wanna escape?"
She smiled fondly at him. The smell of leather and sweetness surrounded her, the pliant feel of well worn leather under her hands. She couldn't see his eyes but instead saw herself in the mirrored shades, staring at him like a lovestruck teenager. She blushed.
"Goddamn yer cute," he wheezed.
Chapter 83: 89: Pleased
"That guy has been staring at the stuffed animals in there for an hour." The store employee whispered to her manager.
"Did you ask him if he needed help?"
"Yeah, but he said he was okay, just trying to figure something out. I asked what but he told me that he really was okay."
The two stared in consternation at the tall man perusing the fluffy toy section. He had blond hair tied up in an intricate double bun, red glasses and a small Errol Flynn mustache, two pointed bits and that was it. He wore khakis and a maroon shirt with a gold and silver necklace. A red beaded bracelet that matched his shirt hung on one wrist.
He didn't look dangerous. He looked confused.
"Ahhh, shit," he finally sighed, and turned around to see both the manager and employee staring right at him. He blinked, then smiled sheepishly. "Maybe I could use some help after all."
The manager gave a gentle pat to the employee's hand.
"So," she said, mustering some semblance of her usual professional attitude. "How can I help you, sir?"
He pointed at the huge display. "There's really too many for me to pick a special gift for my girl. It's... um. Important to her, and I wanted something real over the top."
"Nah, nothin' like that. It's just, well, she wasn't allowed to keep toys as a kid and she loves plushies. I want to get her the best one to show her I'm okay with her collecting them at our home. She's shy to start."
"Wow, that's kind of sad." She looked at him in a new light. This was one of the sweetest things she heard a guy do. And to take so much time to get it right - she was determined to help. "It's awesome of you to do this, though. She's lucky."
He grinned suddenly and she thought she recognized him for a moment. "Yeah, she says that but y'know. Modesty and all."
She laughed softly. "Okay... well, there are some we don't keep on the floor because they're actually too big. I think one of those might be your best bet if money isn't an issue."
"Oh, it's not. Uh, within reason, of course. I don't have thousands laying around. But a couple hundred or so, that's fine."
Her eyebrows raised. They were an upper class store, but most people didn't look at the catalogue. He really was out to do this the most flamboyant way possible. God, her manager was going to love this! "Come over to the side here, sir, and I'll get a catalogue from one of the drawers..."
He bent at the waist, peering at her name tag. "Thanks, Rin."
She smiled. Not a lot of people bothered to use her name. The tags were there, but retail employees were often treated like slaves to the public. "No problem - here we go!" She hefted the huge book onto the side and flipped through.
"Woooow," he murmured in English.
"Yeah, it's big," she laughed. "There are the bigger plushies." She tapped the page. "Some are life sized, too."
He turned the page and suddenly broke out into the sunniest smile ever. "There," he chuckled, his finger resting on a particular toy. "That's perfect."
Rin looked and was surprised. The Hero line of giant, stuffed teddy bears was specialized merchandise for their store and subsequently higher priced. But he had chosen one of the lesser popular ones. She nodded, checking the serial number and getting the information entered into their database.
"There! They will pull the item from our warehouse in the back and bring it up front to you." She handed him a receipt.
"This is better'n I expected. Thank you so much!"
Rin stared after him as he left. He had been so happy to find that certain plush... her eyes widened. She squinted at him, tilting her head sideways. "Uhhh, boss?"
"Yeah? Good job selling one of those, by the way. Not as expensive as the others but we have a lot of 'em in the back."
Rin pursed her lips. "I think we sold the Present Mic plushie to, ah, Present Mic."
Chapter 84: 76: Thankful
Present Mic spotted the coffee and box of donuts on his desk one spring morning. He picked up the handwritten note slipped between the striped cord that tied the box together and read it softly aloud.
"I never expected to find someone like you in my lifetime. I'm lucky to have your love and want you to know that I've never loved anyone as much as I do you.".
She had included a pawprint as a signature and he smiled.
Upon opening the box his eyes nearly popped out of his head. He went to heart-thumpingly lovey to heart-stoppingly stunned in, well... a heartbeat.
These were only the most hard to get donuts in the prefecture. The line was huge, and he had been dying to taste them for months. He bit his lip and set one carefully aside for her before digging in.
Chapter 85: 64: Bliss
"Um, what smells like roasted chicken seasoning in here?" Elly slipped into the bathroom, waving a hand around in front of her face to dispel the steam.
"New shampoo and rinse," Hizashi called out from the shower. "It's from... well, can't read the label right now, babe. But it was sent to me as a sample. It's lemon and some kinda herb."
She wrinkled her nose. "I like your other stuff better."
"Yeah, well, me too. But I gotta try the stuff the companies send, sometimes I can get an advertising deal out of it. Free product, and I use so much yanno?"
There was mild swearing as he fussed around, rinsing himself off. Then the taps squeaked and Hizashi emerged, dripping, the first towel already wrapped around the massive amount of hair on his head.
"Oh. That's the name of the company."
"Huh. I guess it's a good one. But, honestly, lemon and sage?"
Chapter 86: 56: Glad
Snoozing for hours on a couch, any couch, is not really that comfortable. Elly had been waiting for hours now, clutching her favorite pillow and dozing. It was dark out, around two o'clock in the morning and almost time.
The door cracked open and her ears perked up as she flung herself to her feet.
A denim-clad arm carefully slipped through and opened it the rest of the way. Hizashi crept in, a stuffed backpack slung over one shoulder and a suitcase in one hand. These both fell to the floor with a thud as she propelled herself into his arms.
"Whoaa, uh ... miss me, babe?"
"Yes!" She hugged him tight. "I'm so happy you're home."
Chapter 87: 51: Amused
Hizashi walked into the bedroom with his toothbrush held loosely in his mouth, his eyes trained on the phone he held in his other hand. "Hey babygirl, did ya know that the place I'm goin' for my newest gig used to be an old factory?"
"Yeah." He looked up and blinked. "Uhhhh..."
Elly grinned abashedly at him from the floor where she was sitting, her tail thumping against the bedframe. "I got stuck."
He couldn't do anything other than remove his toothbrush, smiling hugely. "I'm - I'm'a be right back, 'kay?"
She heard him trying to mask a fit of laughter with rinsing the remnants of toothpaste from his mouth.
"It's not my fault! You're the one that thought it would be cute to buy me yarn." She twisted around, bound by the fuzzy string.
Chapter 88: 77: Hyper
Hizashi spun about, grinning widely. "You look gorgeous in traditional clothing," he gushed, wringing his hands as he stared at his girlfriend.
"Oh, Zashi," she sighed shyly. "You've said that a hundred times already. I told you I can barely look at you, you're so handsome."
"Yeah, but! But!" He danced around her, pointing here and there. "The fabric is perfect, the bow, the flowers in your hair. I love summer festivals!"
Elly waved her tail about her front, tying a small wreath of flowers right before the white tips. "I do, too. The food stalls and activities... fireworks. It's so much fun."
Hizashi brushed the front of his robe, fiddling with the golden sash. "C'mon, c'mon, let's go, then! I wanna get to the takoyaki booth before they sell out like they always do." He flung the front door open and dashed outside.
Chapter 89: 66: Fine
Her ears lay flat as she watched the end of the movie. Hizashi knew that meant something was wrong, but she hadn't said anything and seemed okay otherwise.
"You okay, princess?"
"Uh huh." She flicked her tail once. "Just kind of angry at the roles women get written for a lot of movies."
"Oh. Like you mean, in this one where the woman basically uses her boobs to get whatever she wants?"
"Yep." She tilted her head. "Sometimes I get tired of the sexist tropes. I know it's an uphill battle fighting them, but, eh." She shrugged. "I don't have the energy to care too much, though. I'm okay. I'm just... fine today. It'snot a good or bad day."
"Fine condition is better than poor," he agreed.
Chapter 90: 95: Optimistic
Elly scrolled through her phone again, and once more she snorted with annoyance.
"Hey, uh, babe? S'up with that? You've been checking your phone for a few days now, lookin' more and more pissed."
She sighed. "Well, I ordered something custom from Etsy a few days ago." She paused. "Six days ago, in fact. It was a pretty big order, and the shop says they ship within three to five days."
"Uh huh." He took his coffee cup and set it under the pot. "Nothing?"
"Not a word sent to me from the seller. Nothing at all. I mean, with this big an item I expected a 'hi, I'm working on this' - you know, professional contact."
He grinned. "That's what should happen, but there's your problem." He added cream and sugar.
"Ughhh, I know! Anyone with talent can open a shop, but it takes basic customer service skill. You can't just do whatever and think you're going to get super positive reviews if you don't update people! Now she re-listed the item I bought today. Fine. But what about the one I ordered?!"
"It'll get here. You just have to remain positive." Hizashi was taking the next step to getting his coffee just right: microwaving it to warm it back up. He always added so much sugar and creamer it cooled it down too much. "Your stuff always does, right?"
"Yes. I know... bleah."
"Positive," he chuckled.
"Better. We'll work on it." He removed his cup after the beep and promptly burned his lips on the mug when he sipped. Yep. Just right.
Chapter 91: 55: Composed
"Hey hey, I'm here to answer any questions about the incident." Present Mic stared out at the crowd of reporters, cringing inwardly. He adjusted his prescription shades and smiled disarmingly, spreading his hands apart. "Everyone is safe and the area is secure."
The media had other, more pressing, matters they wanted to discuss, however. Mic was struck with how many people began struggling to be chosen to ask a question. He knew the villain wasn't a big one and what happened had been routinely taken care of. No, they wanted something else.
He should have known; the ring Elly was now wearing had been noticed. The first reporter he picked asked what it meant, and if he was wearing one as well.
He carefully peeled his left glove off and showed them the one he had on. "Yeah, we have committed to each other." He raised his other hand. "Let me just answer the other questions in one go, huh? It's not an engagement."
Several disappointed faces showed they had thought it might be. Hero marriages were a big deal for the masses, rivaling celebrity ones.
"Mic? Excuse me - does this mean you don't believe in marriage, or she's not the right one for you?"
His eye twitched, and he set his mouth in a firm line. He was emotional and his colleagues were always having to hold him back in times like this. He tipped his glasses down, staring at the person with his mesmerizingly spiralled green eyes.
"It's not the right time yet," he answered calmly in a much deeper voice than he normally spoke in. "But she is the only woman for me."
Chapter 92: 83: Fulfilled
"Mmmn, there's nothing else I want in this world," Hizashi sighed in bliss. He rolled over on the floor where they were laying and leaned over her for a kiss.
She purred faintly. "Oh, really?"
"Ohhh. Oh yeah, well, there is one thing." He reached out and spun the ring on her finger. "You wanna swap this out, baby?"
"Silly," she murmured. "You've been teasing me about that since we got these."
"Aww. But what if -" He reached into the breast pocket of his shirt and pulled out a flat little box. "I really, really meant it this time?"
She smiled and held out her finger. "Put it on then, Zashi. You know I was only waiting for you to ask."
"Did I?" He grinned from ear to ear as he slipped the simple band on. "Well, there we go. Now we can talk about some more important matters."
"Mmm. Like when?"
"Who." He could barely contain his laughter. "You say 'why' an' I'm gonna pee myself, I swear..."
She snickered. "How."
He rolled over, clutching his sides and howling.
Chapter 93: 96: Thrilled
"Ohhhh, my shit, babe!"
Elly watched in high spirits as her boyfriend hopped first on one leg, then another, his grin huge. His eyes sparkled behind his glasses with utter joy in that innocent, childlike way he had. She had given him a gift, just because she had known he would love it the instant she had seen it.
"I'm glad you like it."
He hugged her fiercely, laughing. "Like it? I'm gonna sleep with it tonight." He paused, then added sheepishly, "uh, and you. There's room in the bed. Right, right?"
She joined him in laughter.
Chapter 94: 49: Hard
Hizashi woke up in the hospital after a particularly painful fight to find himself surrounded by his closest friends.
"There, you see? Nothing else was wrong with him but exhaustion." Aizawa nodded to him and backed out as a disheveled Elly flung herself forward.
"What happened? How did your arm get injured?"
He scrunched up his face, looking embarrassed. It hadn't really been the bad guy's fault. In the background Midnight murmured something to someone else he couldn't see.
"I, uh, had no idea that water wouldn't break your fall if you fell into it from too far away. It was always ... well, liquid. Yanno?" He blushed shyly as she hugged him tight. "Oh! Um. Hey, maybe I should break an arm more often."
"Don't you dare!" Elly tapped him on the forehead. "I want you to stay as safe as possible, Mr. Yamada."
He raised his eyebrows, grinning. "Yes, ma'am."
Chapter 95: 62: Placid
The interviewers were trying yet another trick to excite him into saying something newsworthy again. They knew they could always count on him, every day but recently.
He had been practicing with his girlfriend, who, after all, was a trained therapist.
Hizashi sighed and stared straight ahead, his expression as flat as before.
When they needle you, remain strong and state simple, solid facts.
"No. We're still together. She's staying in Japan indefinitely."
Show little to no emotion when confronted with an antagonist. They feed on your pain.
He answered every jibe, every politely phrased insult and barbed question. Some of the people, of course, were polite and he enjoyed talking with them. He finished up and then turned on the Present Mic charm once again, flashing a giant, happy smile and cranking up the volume of his voice.
But, most importantly, don't forget to stay true to yourself. Don't lose yourself in the grayness.
Chapter 96: 65: Neglect
"Uh, babe?" Hizashi called out from the living room as Elly was finishing up her hair in the bathroom.
"Yeah?" She carefully selected the unscented hair gel marked with her name on the top of the lid and began applying it to her short, purple hair.
"When did we water the plant last?"
"Uhh... shit, I forgot. Did you do it last? Or did I?"
He walked into the room holding the pot in one hand. "I don't think either one of us did." The poor thing was brown and withered, probably past hope to anyone without a gardening quirk.
"Maaayyybe we should just get a plastic one."
Chapter 97: 85: Graceful
Hizashi cringed, scrunching his face into a horrified expression as he stared at the wet sidewalk. It looked like a seething mass of live noodles - terrifying, alive black noodles.
"Euurgh, baby, I can't do it. Not today."
"We have to get to school, sweetie."
"Man, it isn't even a dress up day." They were wearing casual clothing, having been asked to participate in a scenario where they played victims the students would save. "I feel like we coulda just stayed home."
"You know we can't. Besides, you going to let me play a damsel in distress without you? Here, hold my hand."
He sighed tremulously and took it. The skin was cold and clammy with fear. "Awright. Let's go."
She was amazed at how he could move.
The tall blond man picked his way through the wriggling mass of earthworms like a dancer, his boots barely touching the ground. He managed to never touch a single worm, though he frequently made disgusted sounds when he thought he had gotten too close.
When they arrived at the practice arena, he was still so shaken that the other teachers complimented him on his acting having gotten much better.
Chapter 98: 68: Energetic
"Ohhhh man, I knew this was a great idea!" Hizashi was in full-on Present Mic mode working at a club in the middle of town. Tonight it was special: he had brought his girlfriend along to help with the venue. The manager had been thrilled. The club was crammed to capacity not only due to him being the DJ, but Cheshire showing up alongside him. She was at her impish best as her namesake, causing mischief and mayhem among the patrons in a splendid display of blacklight painted-on stripes and huge, fanged grin.
He drank only water between mixing songs and taking his headphones off occasionally to chat with someone that wanted a particular song played or an autograph. He had learned a long time ago that mics and burps did not mix.
He was sometimes as invisible as his girl when playing music, the patrons only caring about their dates, their drinks and their dancing. He knew how to get a crowd pumped, and he used every single trick he had tonight. When he pointed and called out, they responded. When he praised his baby's performance, they cheered. It was the best gig he had performed at in a long while.
Damn, this was fun.
Chapter 99: 71: Lively
"No no no! Wuh - wait! C'mon guys! Uh, and girls - no really!"
Elly's ears snapped up at the pounding of many feet outside her office door, recognizing one heavy boot stomp in particular. "Uh oh, Mic alert."
The door burst open and Mic flailed behind a sea of class 1-A students, pinwheeling his arms about like mad to stay upright. "Sorry, babe! They insisted, I couldn't stop 'em."
"Ms. Cheshire!" Tsyu was so excited she hopped right up on her desk. "We were having a discussion in class, and he didn't know the answer."
"He knew," someone scoffed in the back. "You guy's're pushing him about it."
"So wait! Wait! If you two get married will you take his name? What do we call you then?"
Midoriya looked like he was running equations in his head to figure out the answer. "Well, that's proper in both countries, so why wouldn't they do that..."
"We could call her 'Mrs. Mic'", Bakugo snickered.
The shaded glasses hid his eyes, but Mic had such an expressional face he could never fully mask his feelings. Right now he was so red he was almost purple, biting his lower lip with his eyebrows drawn so close together she couldn't see them. "Uhhh. Heh. I don't actually know the answer... I, uh."
"Well. You'd probably call him Mr. Mic and me, Mrs. Cheshire. Right? But I would be taking his actual last name. If you were going to address me in public I would be Mrs. Yamada."
Mic swayed on his feet, a deeply goofy grin crossing his face. "Uh huh huh," he laughed.
"Oh no. We broke him again!"
"Did you honestly think that a discussion like this wouldn't?"
Chapter 100: 58: Serenity
He floated in a soft, fuzzy comfortable haze. The fan was on above them as they lay together in bed, the cool breeze and sound of the motor soothing. A soft golden glimmer danced along the sheets from their lava lamp, the only light in the room but not for long. The birds were singing outside and soon it would dawn the morning of a new day. He would have to get up and start getting ready for school soon.
But for now, Hizashi snuggled deeper into the bed and squeezed his warm, purring girlfriend against him, burying his face in her hair.
Chapter 101: 61: Boisterous
"Everybody say hey!" Present Mic cupped a hand to his ear - technically, to his headphones -- and then sighed dramatically. "Yeah, yeah. Yer all too nervous to get pumped, right?"
The students below him were jumpy; he knew that. But if they couldn't handle the pressure they wouldn't make the cut. Beside him, his girlfriend was explaining the rules of the entrance exam to the latest batch of hopefuls. She had joined him as a team in mostly everything and he couldn't have been happier. This showed, for he was exceptionally loud as he called out to ask for questions.
Elly hid a smile behind one hand. Some of the teenagers had flinched as he used just the tiniest, controlled blast of his quirk. They would need to get accustomed to many surprises if they wanted to make it here.
Meanwhile, Mic was so engrossed with answering a possible student that he was hopping about on the podium. She flickered out of sight and whispered to him.
"Nezu's going to be pissed if we don't start soon."
Elly popped into visibility beside him once more with a grin worthy of her hero persona. He pointed at the arena and then called out, admonishing those that hadn't moved yet. It was his favorite thing, to shock the recruits with no warning countdown.
"Heh heh." He squeezed her waist as he chuckled. "We're gonna see how many make it this time."
She laughed and snuggled into his side. "You're freaking adorable when you're like this."
"I know right? ... ow!"
Chapter 102: 101: The End
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Hizashi pushed his glasses up on his nose with one finger, reaching for the coffee cup on the table with his other hand. "Hey, princess, you think they liked our show tonight?"
Elly shrugged. "I hope so. Now that it's over, we're on to other things!"
"Yep." He sighed and sipped from his mug. This one was black and read "I accept no feedback" with an image of a microphone on it.
"Zashi, you didn't add any sug-" She watched in amusement as he made a terrible face when he sipped the dark brew.
"Bleah! Not enough sugar!"
She sighed, grinning evilly, and reached over to tug at his lapel. "Not enough sugar, you say?"
"Mffft!" He waved his hand around as if covering a camera lens, his green eyes huge.